Did you see the politics? It made me angry.
March 8, 2017 12:48 AM   Subscribe

The President and his party continued their path of destruction, announcing a new travel ban, suspending new visas for citizens of six majority-Muslim countries and all refugees, along with a poorly-received new health-care plan, amid a string of unforced errors, including the President's explosive no-evidence wiretapping tweets (which we shouldn't take too literally), his staff's scramble to try to defend their boss's latest mess, and the continuing efforts to investigate Russia's role in the campaign and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for providing false testimony.

Today marks the next major action in the spirit of the Women's March, A Day Without A Woman [current Mefi thread here].

The Republican health-care plan (ably explained by Sarah Kliff) received the President's endorsement this morning, but soon faced opposition in Congress and across the nation. Right-wing groups and many House members promptly condemned the bill, decrying it as "Obamacare-lite," while a group of Senate Republicans have pledged to protect the Medicaid expansion, setting up a showdown over a bill that may provide too many benefits to pass the House and eliminate too many benefits to pass the Senate. Democrats and the AARP promptly condemned the bill for its cuts to premium subsides, which will leave many unable to afford coverage, as right-wing pundits chimed in with criticism of their own. House leadership plans to push ahead with mark up on the bill as soon as Wednesday, proceeding without a score from the Congressional Budget Office. While the bill does not impact Medicare directly, its tax cuts threaten the Medicare trust fund, setting up future cuts to the program. For his part, Press Secretary Sean Spicer chose to highlight the length of the bill as its primary feature, providing an interactive demonstration involving stacks of paper. All this leaves Paul Ryan stuck in the middle of a precarious situation, and millions of Americans in fear they could soon lose their health insurance.

Link grab bag: Post title from Simon Rich's "The Wisdom of Children"
posted by zachlipton (2309 comments total) 126 users marked this as a favorite
 
Random moment of brightness: British comic Richard Herring traditionally spends today informing people who demand to know when International Men's Day is/if it exists that IMD is on the 19th of November. It is amusing.
posted by jaduncan at 12:52 AM on March 8 [67 favorites]


Thank you for including the origin of your post title. That phrase pops up in my head all the dang time and couldn't remember where it came from.
posted by goofyfoot at 12:55 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


[As a quick reminder for the new thread, please try to avoid repeating links that have already been posted, and don't fill up the thread with a ton of single tweets. You can make a comment that includes several if they are important, or link together various tweets to explain a point, or link to the actual news sources, or include interesting commentary of your own, but just creating a twitter mirror here isn't that interesting, and makes it really tough for people to use the thread. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 12:57 AM on March 8 [30 favorites]


It's honestly a phrase that's in my mind pretty much constantly nowadays.
posted by zachlipton at 12:58 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Trump has made me realize more than ever before that good government, indeed civilization, is akin to an elaborate ship model (or anything else delicate which took a great deal of time and care to make): to even do a passable job takes tremendous dedication, but destroying it takes very little time and no effort. There is very little you can do to protect the delicate thing from those intent to smash it.

Perhaps when you were 9, the destruction seems much cooler than the creation. But once you have poured time and energy into a delicate construct of your own (which can be one of mind or achievement, not just physical things), the destruction of anything elaborate is unsettling at best and nauseating at worst.*

The destruction is juvenile. Every republican, even "good" ones, are juvenile, as shown by their attitudes, prejudices and sheer joy in destruction. They are vandals, one and all. A "good" republican is a like a "good" cop--looking the other way as "your" team does reprehensible things does not make you good.

Trump's bunch just takes it to a whole new level.

* Barring constructs born out of desire to make the world a harsher, worse place; seeing the works of Bannon et all destroyed will (hopefully, if we get there) be satisfying.
posted by maxwelton at 1:08 AM on March 8 [143 favorites]


13 Shots fired at Tulsa LGBTQ Center, followed some hours later by a man walking in and yelling profanities and hate speech at the staff. None of the pellets penetrated the center's reinforced window.
posted by zachlipton at 1:30 AM on March 8 [47 favorites]


Holy crap, I've never seen a thread in such a pristine state. So I'll take the opportunity to say what I tried to type earlier but my phone froze and I had to force close Chrome...

I spent a good amount of time last night and today commenting on my House rep's FB wall in response to his glowing post about the proposed health plan. The comments were busy and literally 100% negative. Some people were angry because of how little the plan covers and all the ways it's bad, and some were infuriated that it wasn't a total repeal. The most anger came from the right, including primary threats.

But my favorite name for the bill also came from an angry right winger: RINOcare. If you're not familiar with the angry right's terminology, RINO is pretty much the worst thing they can call a Republican legislator. It stands for Republican in name only.

Seeing my neighbors call my Tea Party rep a RINO makes my little liberal Texan heart warm. It's nice to watch the other side wage purity wars for a change.
posted by threeturtles at 1:37 AM on March 8 [90 favorites]


[Linked the Mefi thread on "A Day Without A Woman" per discussion with OP.]
posted by taz at 1:41 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I've been following these US politics threads obsessively, although I'm a UK citizen living in the UK. I finally realised that perhaps, I'm doing this because it's a distraction from the mess we're ploughing into in the UK because of Brexit, which I still find almost too much to comprehend and deal with. I've had to clear quite a few political posters from my Twitter feed as it just gets too much.

... which has made me realise just how much emotional strength and energy you all are showing by contributing to these threads. I'm not sure I'd be able to do the same on threads about Brexit - I'd get too mad and sad.

So thank you, and I'm impressed, genuinely. And inspired to do more to try and avert our own car crash over here.
posted by dowcrag at 1:50 AM on March 8 [70 favorites]


The conservative backlash to Ryancare is encouraging, until I remember that most of them are upset that it isn't cruel and stupid enough.

On the bright side, support for the ACA is at an all-time high, with a recent CNN poll finding for (I think) the first time that a majority of Americans support the individual mandate, which has always been by far the most hated part of the law.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:02 AM on March 8 [29 favorites]


In the latest Wikileaks dump, there is a CIA document on how to configure nginx.

One of the domains in the config provided as example is "bigbronies.com".

If you go to bigbronies.com you get Evan McMullin's Stand Up Republic. I guess Brewster Jennings & Associates provides web hosting these days...
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 2:09 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


This Trump guy is a frigging jerk, get him out of here. Seriously, my full time second job since the election has become "read about what a fucking jerk this Trump guy is" and I have had enough. Does he have a friend we could talk to about this? Enough, fuck that guy, fuck off.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:19 AM on March 8 [96 favorites]


Out with the Affordable Care Act in with the Republican Unaffordable Care Act. I particularly like the billion dollar windfall for the health care companies.
posted by WinstonJulia at 2:23 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


The Snopes headline declares "Bills Introduced by Republicans While We Were Distracted by the 'Russian Spy Drama'." In fact, some pretty nasty stuff winding its way through Congress now. But is it true, or, rather, how true? I guess now, we'll see what the "moderate" Republicans are made of, or, the few who are left.
posted by WinstonJulia at 2:27 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


But is it true, or, rather, how true?

Is the snopes headline true? It's bullshit clickbait, lazily assuming that stunt bills introduced by House teapartiers are what's of real importance.
posted by thelonius at 2:32 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Just read the NYT piece about DJT's 'staff' trying to defend his Obama tweets, and it really is becoming more and more difficult to tell which information is the news and which is the Onion
posted by Myeral at 2:35 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Seeing my neighbors call my Tea Party rep a RINO makes my little liberal Texan heart warm. It's nice to watch the other side wage purity wars for a change.

Yea, no kidding. Now joining the list of filthy liberal RINOs, we have...the editor of the National Review Online!
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:35 AM on March 8 [24 favorites]


Man, that AARP statement on AHCA stops just short of "Your bill is bad and you should feel bad!"

I guess their opposition was a given with their history of supporting the ACA but having them explicitly call it out as a stealth attack on Medicare should rile up seniors all across the political spectrum.
posted by murphy slaw at 2:48 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


On the bright side, support for the ACA is at an all-time high

I remember the scrambling terror of the Republicans before it was passed, because it was generally thought that it would be hard to repeal - that is, that it would be politically costly to take people's health care away, once they got used to having it.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 2:49 AM on March 8 [35 favorites]


Yeah, referring to stunt bills with no sponsors as "winding their way through congress" is a gross exaggeration. These bills have barely wound their way off the author's desks.
posted by murphy slaw at 2:51 AM on March 8 [11 favorites]


* Barring constructs born out of desire to make the world a harsher, worse place; seeing the works of Bannon et all destroyed will (hopefully, if we get there) be satisfying.

I would argue that smashing those reduces the amount of pointless entropy in the world and is thus a constructive act.
posted by jaduncan at 2:56 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


I remember the scrambling terror of the Republicans before it was passed, because it was generally thought that it would be hard to repeal - that is, that it would be politically costly to take people's health care away, once they got used to having it.

Yup. They'd had years to try to build a perfect defence against any kind of (Democrat-sponsored) functional health care, and they failed.
The long-term political effects of a successful... health care bill will be even worse—much worse.... It will revive the reputation of... Democrats as the generous protector of middle-class interests.

And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.
— William Kristol, "Defeating President Clinton's Healthcare Proposal", December 1993
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:59 AM on March 8 [22 favorites]


Hmm:
WikiLeaks CIA Dump Gives Russian Hacking Deniers the Perfect Ammo
Never accuse Wikileaks of getting its timing wrong. Last fall, the group perfectly paced its steady drip of John Podesta’s emails to undermine Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Now, as the capital thrums with chaos, it has unleashed a cloud of confusion that makes it hard for experts to discern the facts and easy for non-experts to see whatever they want.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:00 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


What’s so terrible about Russia? Serious question ... Trump is doing nothing less than destroying American democratic institutions and principles by turning the presidency into a profit-making machine for his family, by poisoning political culture with hateful, mendacious, and subliterate rhetoric, by undermining the public sphere with attacks on the press and protesters, and by beginning the real work of dismantling every part of the federal government that exists for any purpose other than waging war. Russiagate is helping him—both by distracting from real, documentable, and documented issues, and by promoting a xenophobic conspiracy theory in the cause of removing a xenophobic conspiracy theorist from office.
Masha Gessen, Russia: The Conspiracy Trap, NYR Daily (6 March 2017).
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:11 AM on March 8 [25 favorites]


I'm not buying the Wikileaks Muddies The Waters line. Anyone who actually follows cybersecurity with any focus will know all this stuff already - or at least that it's technically possible and operationally probable - and those who don't will be able to think what they like, as before. This latest dump may harden some attitudes, but on both the 'it's all a CIA/Obama/Deeo State false flag' and the 'Wikileaks is an arm of Russian state disinformation' sides.
posted by Devonian at 3:14 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Would anyone be surprised if Trump demands an investigation into the CIA leaks and uses that as an excuse to force them to clean out anyone competent who won't toe the party line?
posted by PenDevil at 3:17 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


What’s so terrible about Russia? Serious question

I mean, insofar as it relates to the President, they just "ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election," according to the Intelligence Community in a statement endorsed by President Obama. That doesn't mean it's healthy or productive to spend all day going way down the conspiracy rabbithole, nor does it mean there aren't plenty of other problems with this administration that should be fought, but I'm not swayed by the idea that we should just forget that all happened.
posted by zachlipton at 3:25 AM on March 8 [64 favorites]


From the New Yorker article:
If his health-care-reform effort fails, Ryan himself may not survive as the House leader. Meadows and his colleagues catapulted Ryan to the Speakership, and they still have the power to bring him down.
Is this a realistic assessment? Does the Freedom Caucus still have enough leverage to pull a Boehner on him?
posted by murphy slaw at 3:25 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


For sale: One pair baby gloves, very sticky.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:27 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


sebastianbailard quotes Bill Kristol's infamous 1993 memo which called for lockstep opposition to any health care reform, for the reasons cited -- it'd prove that a government program could make people's lives better, which Republicans oppose philosophically, and it'd make the Democrats more popular by providing a benefit to voters, which Republicans also oppose philosophically.

In light of that memo -- which, again, he wrote during the Clinton Administration -- it was an act of almost criminal negligence by the media to presume Republican opposition to the ACA was ever in good faith.
posted by Gelatin at 3:28 AM on March 8 [119 favorites]


Senate panel approves transgender bathroom bill: A Texas Senate committee approved the transgender bathroom bill at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday, almost 21 hours after the start of a public hearing that drew hundreds, most of them in opposition.

The 8-1 vote by the State Affairs Committee — with only Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, opposed — sent Senate Bill 6 to the full Senate, where a vote is likely to be taken next week.

During the hearing, 253 witnesses spoke against SB 6 – many of them transgender Texans or parents of a transgender child — while 29 urged the committee to support the measure, according to a count by the American-Statesman

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:28 AM on March 8 [24 favorites]


Would anyone be surprised if Trump demands an investigation into the CIA leaks and uses that as an excuse to force them to clean out anyone competent who won't toe the party line?

Yes. He's not fully at war with the IC yet, and I would like to think that at least some people would advise him that he doesn't want to annoy the remaining officers massively whilst having some newly sacked officers with nothing to do but play the system to screw the man that sacked them whilst (YMMV on this, as would theirs*) saving America.

*crucially meaning that for some it's the perfect confluence of revenge and patriotism.
posted by jaduncan at 3:31 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Oh goodie. House, Senate Conservatives Plan Own Obamacare Bill (hint: repeal, no replace)
posted by Mchelly at 3:33 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


From Myeral:
Just read the NYT piece about DJT's 'staff' trying to defend his Obama tweets, and it really is becoming more and more difficult to tell which information is the news and which is the Onion
The ability to force a warp in his subordinates' sense of reality is a standard item from the authoritarian repertoire.
posted by runcifex at 3:35 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


I'm really struggling to figure out how the insurance market doesn't totally collapse after the Republican health-care program gets enacted. That 30% surcharge on returning customers will discourage people from getting insurance until they really, really need it instead of encouraging people to have insurance like the ACA does. It's going to create a huge pool of healthy uninsured people leave the insurance companies with a much sicker and more expensive customer base. Am I crazy?

Full disclosure: I work for a large health insurance organization but not in that division and have no idea how they feel about the bill
posted by octothorpe at 3:48 AM on March 8 [22 favorites]


I thought this was worth bringing over from the end of the previous thread:

Hawaii will be the first state to challenge the new travel ban in court
posted by melissasaurus at 6:12 PM on March 7 [27 favorites +] [!]


Buzzfeed now has the full complaints.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:53 AM on March 8 [23 favorites]


It's going to create a huge pool of healthy uninsured people leave the insurance companies with a much sicker and more expensive customer base.

They'll just jack up the premiums in the individual market and we'll end up where we were before. Of course, I'm pretty sure insurance companies love the mandate--turns out you can make more money by insuring loads of people at lower premiums.
posted by hoyland at 4:09 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


I'm really struggling to figure out how the insurance market doesn't totally collapse after the Republican health-care program gets enacted. That 30% surcharge on returning customers will discourage people from getting insurance until they really, really need it instead of encouraging people to have insurance like the ACA does. It's going to create a huge pool of healthy uninsured people leave the insurance companies with a much sicker and more expensive customer base. Am I crazy?

No. This is exactly what would happen - it's a massively distorting effect on the balance sheet.

Part of my background is in gambling, and this is like forcing the bookies to have a minimum price of 2/1 on the favourite. You can't build a book in that way.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:11 AM on March 8 [26 favorites]


The editor of the Washington Post must regret that he has only one headline to give to his nation each day during this administration.
posted by jadepearl at 4:42 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


A Republican like me can dislike the House GOP in ways all you liberals can't imagine. I don't consider the repeal bill to be "RINOcare" but rather a fine example of the House GOP's typical mix of good intentions, pandering, and expediency -- all against a background of the intellectual mediocrity that let's them get run over by smarter or savvier lobbyists or liberals who strategically play nice.

I expect the bill and its bizarre insurance market reality misfires fixed by the Senate and the Administration; Mnunchin and Cohn can do the math. You simply cannot have individual shall issue and pre-existing condition coverage requirements in absence of a mandate, because literally no insurance company can afford to write such policies.
posted by MattD at 4:48 AM on March 8 [24 favorites]


Seeing my neighbors call my Tea Party rep a RINO makes my little liberal Texan heart warm. It's nice to watch the other side wage purity wars for a change.
Primary threats and purity wars have been the standard weapon of the Tea Party since its inception; and that's what's purged any notion of moderate cooperation from within the Republican party. They've been waging purity wars since 2006. All of those individuals who would've been willing to work with Democrats in a spirit of country over party have steadily been labelled RINOs and tossed out in favor of an extremist steadily over the last 10 years.

While I too like to indulge in the occasional bit of schadenfreude over the fractricidal chaos that this is sowing, I'm not fully convinced that these sort of purity fights are actually good for the country. They just feed more gridlock, more partisanship, and more alienation. I recognize that we in the opposition must call for scorched earth resistance to everything in the administration's agenda, but given that both sides are now in this take-no-prisoners mode, it feels like accelerating these purges will just put us in a place where the one of the parties has to be completely annihilated as a political force in order to get anything done.
posted by bl1nk at 4:49 AM on March 8 [44 favorites]


I'm genuinely curious, what "good intentions" do you see in the Republican health care bill?
posted by Gelatin at 4:50 AM on March 8 [85 favorites]


You simply cannot have individual shall issue and pre-existing condition coverage requirements in absence of a mandate, because literally no insurance company can afford to write such policies.

You'll never get a bill with a mandate in it past the Tea Party caucus (muh freedoms!), and if the Dems vote party line against, the Tea Partiers can kill the bill. And if they kill the pre-existing condition coverage, you'll see the political end of the GOP. What could the Senate do to fix it? The bill is a shitburger because the only real answer is to expand the ACA and make it stronger, but the GOP has painted itself into a self-defeating Obamacare-is-evil corner and now is totally hobbled, entirely by ideology and political showmanship, in their ability to legislate on this issue.
posted by dis_integration at 4:56 AM on March 8 [75 favorites]


Russiagate is helping him

I have mucho respect for Masha Gessen, and I wouldn't like it either if my native country were being villainized this way in my adopted country. But this is NOT helping Trump. And she is very right that Trump himself is a bigger threat to American democracy and American interests than Russia is. But I think that means we need to use all the (legitimate, constitutional) tools at our disposal to limit the damage he can do or preferably get him impeached. It seems overwhelmingly likely to me that Trump was involved in some kind of Russian money laundering and was aware at some level of Russian inference on his behalf in our election. Those may not be the worst of his crimes, but they are the hardest for the purportedly patriotic, nationalist Republicans to overlook or excuse, and they hold all the power right now.

Ordinary Russians are not villains (if anything, they are victims of Putin's oppression) but Putin himself is unquestionably interfering in our democracy, and I resent it very much. That should be one of the more fixable problems with our democracy, so let's fix it, and then it will bebthat much easier get to work on the bigger problems.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:57 AM on March 8 [44 favorites]


Russiagate is helping him—both by distracting from real, documentable, and documented issues, and by promoting a xenophobic conspiracy theory in the cause of removing a xenophobic conspiracy theorist from office.

If only there had been a Russiagate prior to the election that people could have focused on.

If only my response to people panicking about Russiagate now didn't need to be "where the fuck were you six months ago?"

Walk and chew gum, people.

***

In more local news, my state rep's assistant (the one who freaked me out a few weeks back when she asked for my full name and phone number when I called to protest an upcoming bill) just called me yesterday. She connected my name with ANOTHER message I sent them, and she wanted to invite me to their upcoming town hall.

Either my state rep needs more love or his team is really responsive or both, but I'm going to make it a point of going there, hopefully with others from my local PSN group.

Second bit of local political news: I accidentally managed to confirm our Republican senator *does* keep a record of all of our phone calls. I called one of his adjacent offices about Sessions last week, but, after I'd said my bit, the woman taking the call couldn't repeat back the content of my call (wanting Sessions to resign due to Russian connections and lying under oath) nor my zip code. She helpfully pointed me to the Washington office if I wanted to repeat my complaint.

... so I called the Washington office on HER, mentioned that I didn't think she was doing her job, and the staffer at that office pulled up the statewide database that may or may not have recorded my call in the last few minutes. I suspect the dude would have argued with me had I stated my opinion to him, but he was definitely on the ball when it came to that field office.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 4:57 AM on March 8 [30 favorites]


What "good intentions" do you see in the Republican health care bill?

If you squint, they kinda look like paving stones.
posted by box at 4:57 AM on March 8 [35 favorites]


the GOP has painted itself into a self-defeating Obamacare-is-evil corner and now is totally hobbled, entirely by ideology and political showmanship, in their ability to legislate on this issue.

I'll go further than that. As indicated by the Kristol memo cited above, one of the chief problems the Republicans have with reforming the insurance market -- which, let's not forget, was then and still is basically set up as much along free-market principles as a necessary service like medical care can be -- is that they can't admit a government program can ever improve the lives of citizens.

Republicans have gone from -- if they ever were -- the party of "we prefer lower taxes, less government spending, and less regulation" to the party of "no tax increases, ever, not even to finance a war" (hello, Grover Norquist!), "government can never work and is always inferior to the free market," and "polluters can do whatever they please" (which anyone who really understood the free market would understand would result in a race to the bottom, by creating profit advantages for companies that pollute). Not to mention relying on a media bubble that defines conservatism as "whatever liberals are for, we're against, and vice versa."

That's why I'm somewhat incredulous about the earlier claim of Republican "good intentions." The movement conservative ideology that drives the modern Republican has become so reactionary and extreme -- and not recently, either! -- that cooperation with any part of the Democratic agenda, even the parts that both parties used to more or less agree on, like "torture is illegal and un-American," is tantamount to political suicide.
posted by Gelatin at 5:05 AM on March 8 [126 favorites]


But is it true, or, rather, how true?

I find my blood pressure lowers significantly by looking at GovTrack's "percentage of likelihood this actually passes". Most of the wilder bills are holding steady at 1 or 2 percent.
posted by corb at 5:13 AM on March 8 [11 favorites]


On the bright side, support for the ACA is at an all-time high

If only Congress cared.

This all about ideological purity, not the needs and wishes of the people. The GOP has been steering itself to this moment ever since the New Deal happened. This is about eliminating/crippling as many vestiges of liberalism/progressivism as possible, including the traditional third rails of Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, even if it means breaking the nation to do it.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:14 AM on March 8 [29 favorites]


What Republicans should be afraid of is that the next time Democrats have power, a party that has been dragged left by its constituents may have the ability to create single payer or Medicare for all. People who have healthcare now and lose it, or who find, in the next few years, that they can't get healthcare when they could have under the ACA, are going to be pissed.

The Republicans are the ones building up support for the ACA and bringing it to the public's attention. They are dumb as shit. The smarter thing to do would be to leave it alone to struggle, because it's a plan with genuine problems despite its strengths. Leave it alone to struggle and concentrate on all the easier ways to destroy America.

I don't know if they'll be able to destroy the ACA, but I think that if they do, it will be really, really bad for the GOP.
posted by Frowner at 5:14 AM on March 8 [66 favorites]


Yes Runcifex

But what sort of reality do these subordinates exist in? I mean, how warped can you get?
posted by Myeral at 5:15 AM on March 8


They are dumb as shit. The smarter thing to do would be to leave it alone to struggle, because it's a plan with genuine problems despite its strengths.

Which, ironically, mainly derive from being as much a "market-based solution" -- having people buy private insurance -- as possible. It's a shame that so few Democrats even appeared to understand the fact, let alone have been willing to both defend the program and criticize basic Republican assumptions on that basis.
posted by Gelatin at 5:26 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


[One deleted. If you haven't noticed it, we have a way of hiding US politics threads via the sidebar on the front page. Info here. (Also, if you have complaints about meta issues, please contact mods or make a Metatalk thread rather than bringing up in thread.)]
posted by taz at 5:27 AM on March 8


Labeling, as we know, is very important. It's why Republicans only and always referred to the Affordable Care Act as "Obamacare." Now that Obamacare is being replaced, it is worth noting we will be left with "TrumpChange."
posted by flarbuse at 5:30 AM on March 8 [32 favorites]


One aspect I haven't seen discussed very much is how punitive this bill is towards women. Under the ACA insurers were not allowed to charge more for women then men, birth control had to be covered as did pregnancies. All of those things have been removed from the AHCA. Women wishing to have maternity coverage may discover that supplemental insurance is either prohibitively expensive or flat out unavailable.

I had to buy my own coverage in the 80's because my husband and I worked in restaurants-- which came with minimal benefits even when my husband became a manager. Our Blue Cross plan did cover pregnancy and delivery after I had been on the plan for a year however it had a $6,000 deductible.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:31 AM on March 8 [68 favorites]


But what sort of reality do these subordinates exist in? I mean, how warped can you get?

"The advanced societies of the future will not be governed by reason. They will be driven by irrationality, by competing systems of psychopathology."—J. G. Ballard

In this case, paranoid authoritarianism is the flavor of psychopathology that appears to driving the White House, with Breitbart and Infowars as signposts. We've got a long road ahead of us, too.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:31 AM on March 8 [24 favorites]


If this bill were about ideological purity...I think it would have actually repealed Obamacare. How many times did everyone with a hand on this bill say that?
posted by radicalawyer at 5:34 AM on March 8


They can't "actually repeal" Obamacare without Democratic fillibuster.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:37 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


If I still had to worry about such things I'd be going into hock right now to get an IUD. No way would i choose to have a kid right now.
posted by emjaybee at 5:40 AM on March 8 [15 favorites]


Everything in this bill is stuff that can be done through, I think it's called Reconciliation? A process that has to do with budgeting and which only requires a simple majority to pass. Most other bills can be filibustered.
posted by hippybear at 5:48 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Kaiser Family Foundation has a fascinating interactive map showing how much people who bought individual insurance would gain or lose under the Republican proposal, based on age, income and geography. It's bad for a lot of people, but it's hard to overstate how awful it is for middle-income older people living outside of big cities. A 60-year-old making $40,000 a year in my county would get a tax credit that is $6500 a year less than their current subsidy.

I don't think this guy has a prayer. It's not conservative enough for the conservative folks, and it's going to screw over a fair number of Trump voters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:51 AM on March 8 [32 favorites]


This all about ideological purity, not the needs and wishes of the people. The GOP has been steering itself to this moment ever since the New Deal happened. This is about eliminating/crippling as many vestiges of liberalism/progressivism as possible, including the traditional third rails of Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, even if it means breaking the nation to do it.

I'm going to quote this for truth. I was raised with this ideology in its purist, least tainted by religious whackadoodlery form. These people want to destroy the state, they do not believe that the state has any role whatsoever in improving the lives of the polity. They don't care that this shit doesn't work or would hurt people or anything like that. It's about a theory and an ideology. The theory says that removing the welfare state will usher in a golden utopia, so by golly that is what they are going to do. Facts don't matter, data doesn't matter, if you bring those to this fight you will get no true scotsmen in return. Don't try to fight this with facts or wonder what these people are thinking (this is dubious economic theory elevated to the level of fundamentalist religious faith, that is what they are thinking)--you're going to have to get out in the streets and make enough noise that the least ideologically-motivated legislators start to get scared. You won't capture all of them, but you can peel off enough to make it difficult to impossible for the real John Galt wannabes to get much done.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:52 AM on March 8 [103 favorites]


The Republican party is a huge and phenomenally stupid dog that has finally, for the first time in its life, caught the car it was chasing, and now has absolutely no idea what to do with it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:52 AM on March 8 [58 favorites]


Labeling, as we know, is very important. It's why Republicans only and always referred to the Affordable Care Act as "Obamacare." Now that Obamacare is being replaced, it is worth noting we will be left with "TrumpChange."

Labeling is important. Whatever health plan is proposed, IT IS VITAL THAT WE ALL CALL IT REPUBLICARE. ALWAYS.

Do not let them call it "Trumpcare" or anything else. They absolutely as a party have to own it and take credit for it no matter how bad it is.

They will likely want to call it "Trumpcare" so when they as a party jettison Trump they can hang the terrible plan on him and disassociate the party from it.

No go. We need for this to stick to them, so everyone will be constantly reminded of who made this craptastic plan in 2018, 2020, and 2022. It's theirs, and we should not let them escape it.

Try saying it: "Republicare". See how catchy it is, how it rolls off the tongue?

Now, let's all keep saying it for years. Republicare. Republicare. Republicare.
posted by sourwookie at 5:53 AM on March 8 [161 favorites]


No way would i choose to have a kid right now.

Yeah, we are right at a point where we "ought to" (and would like to) have another, but ... I don't really feel right about it. So, thanks, Trump, for fucking up our family planning. Although I guess we're not ethnically pure anyway, so probably a net positive for the administration.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:54 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


The Republican party is a huge and phenomenally stupid dog that has finally, for the first time in its life, caught the car it was chasing, and now has absolutely no idea what to do with it.

The greatest difficulty is that the dog now also theoretically has to drive the car on an ongoing basis whilst avoiding all obstacles. If it messes up, the car blows up and passengers die. They are currently at the point of just starting to wonder if ripping out the steering wheel is really such a good idea.

Drive, Spot, Drive.
posted by jaduncan at 5:59 AM on March 8 [28 favorites]


I should also add that "Taxation is theft and a violation of my civil rights" is a legit part of this ideology. Arguing against that with facts about the social contract and the many times that large scale government programs funded by taxes literally saved the country from ruin sound, to these people, like you're trying to justify murder. Any system of wealth redistribution is wrong, period.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:59 AM on March 8 [36 favorites]


I was kicked off a park bench while nursing my baby by the Secret Service the other day; I was at a protest in Lafayette Park (right by the White House) and I was feeding the kraken when they said they needed to shut down the park and we all had to relocated to the northeast quadrant (even though we had a permit and everything). An agent came by to tell me I had to leave; to his credit he was very polite (I also know that this is likely because I'm an upper middle class white woman) and offered to help me move my stuff but I was in the middle of nursing and I was like "seriously?" and he was apologetic and I get that what he meant was "we can't make exceptions, this is our security policy" but what he actually SAID was "It's a national security issue" and all I could think, as I gathered my stuff to move was, "we have an unhinged nutcase tweeting from the West Wing at all hours of the night and me feeding my baby on a park bench is the national security issue?".

Then I picked up my baby and moved away as grumpily as possible in the hopes that the Secret Service people would feel badly about themselves and question their choices.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:01 AM on March 8 [185 favorites]


Is it wrong to hope that this health plan ends Paul Ryan's speakership?
posted by drezdn at 6:02 AM on March 8 [35 favorites]


Man, that AARP statement on AHCA stops just short of "Your bill is bad and you should feel bad!"

Given how older people not only tend to vote, but tend to vote GOP, I was really surprised at how the proposed repeal blatantly screws over that exact voting bloc. I may be missing something, but this sure looks like a poor political move.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:05 AM on March 8 [19 favorites]


You know, when Germany was run by fascists, the U.S. was among those who went in there and kicked them out of power.
Maybe Merkel could return the favor.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:09 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Are you kidding? I want it to end his career.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:09 AM on March 8 [45 favorites]


These people want to destroy the state, they do not believe that the state has any role whatsoever in improving the lives of the polity.

I have gotten an acquaintance to admit that the FDA's regulation of his insulin pump is not "government in the healthcare business" in terms of his objection to the ACA, which now seems to be predicated on the freedom and liberty issues of the Individual Mandate's requirement that he give his money to a Health Insurer or pay an additional tax.

I asked him if HR deducts withholding from his paycheck. Haven't heard back.

( IF he's all like, I don't mind payroll deductions going to tax, there's one option left... Universal Medicare. )
posted by mikelieman at 6:11 AM on March 8


Is it wrong to hope that this health plan ends Paul Ryan's speakership?

No. He's made bad choices and should feel bad about his bad career which has achieved nothing but bad things.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:13 AM on March 8 [51 favorites]


I'm basing this argument on "Payroll Withholding" == Individually Mandated Savings Account ( earmarked for Income Tax Liability ), but the same, nonetheless.
posted by mikelieman at 6:13 AM on March 8


Has Paul Ryan ever eaten a meal or lived in a home not provided at taxpayer expense since his father died?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:14 AM on March 8 [63 favorites]


You know, when Germany was run by fascists, the U.S. was among those who went in there and kicked them out of power.

Maybe Merkel could return the favor.


I, for one, never expected to welcome our new German overlords, but....
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:14 AM on March 8 [26 favorites]


The other thing about why this plan will destroy the GOP if it passes: it breaks employer-provided healthcare. The reason there isn't a constituency in this country for single-payer is because the middle class mostly gets their healthcare through their employers and doesn't think about it much except to lament the costs. Once Joe Regional Manager has to scrabble around on the exchanges trying to pay for healthcare from the magical shrinking tax credit, he's going to see the point of healthcare for all.

Also, you know what? I think the GOP has probably overestimated - wait, hear me out - the power of racism. I think they're assuming that no matter what happens, white people will never, ever break in significant numbers for a policy that helps people of color, no matter how good that policy is. I think this has been true in large part because Joe Regional Manager has healthcare, has reliable water, etc, so racism is sort of a hobby for him. And if the GOP were smart, they would keep things that way. But they aren't; they're dumb as shit. They're going to push things to the point where Joe is so worried about affording to insure his family that he no longer cares.

They are dumb as shit and we are going to drive them into the sea. I'm serious - if we work hard, we can do it.

(You must picture that early eighties movie The Last Unicorn - you know that bit where the last unicorn defeats the evil red bull and drives him into the sea and all the other unicorns are freed? Was ever a better metaphor for the GOP? We are going to be that unicorn, you guys.)
posted by Frowner at 6:17 AM on March 8 [118 favorites]


Are you kidding? I want it to end his career.

Myself, I'm hoping for an O'Henry-ish situation where he becomes an untouchable political pariah who leaves office to return to his true passion, repossessing cars from little old ladies who miss a payment, and then contracts some ghastly chronic condition that makes him ineligible for insurance under the health care laws he helped pass.

Come on, 2019, you have the power to be even zanier than 2016, you just have to work hard and believe in yourself.
posted by Mayor West at 6:17 AM on March 8 [52 favorites]


A 60-year-old making $40,000 a year in my county would get a tax credit that is $6500 a year less than their current subsidy.

Tax credits are such a sick joke when so many people aren't going to be able to afford a plan in the first place. Subsidies are the only way you can properly assist lower income families.

I still wish the Dems would very vocally try to attach an amendment to everything the Republicans try to push through that would repeal government-supplied healthcare coverage to all elected officials. Just make this a big, loud public point that, while the Republicans are trying to take your coverage away, they enjoy gold-plated-latinum policies paid by your taxes. Just beat that drum as loud and long as possible.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:19 AM on March 8 [56 favorites]


I should also add that "Taxation is theft and a violation of my civil rights" is a legit part of this ideology.

In Brave New World, there were reservations in which tribal culture was allowed to prevail away from the control of the World Society.

I wish we could create reservations out of all that empty government land out West where people like that could move and live free of taxes, and also without enjoying the benefits of anything taxes have ever paid for. Like, say, the Internet. Or modern medicine.

We could call it "Libertopia."
posted by Gelatin at 6:20 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


In the Atlantic yesterday, there was a persuasive discussion of the political rationale behind Trump's Tweets on wiretapping. I found it pretty convincing - the same Bannon-esque MO of undermining trust in all institutions of government and civil society.
posted by Miko at 6:21 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


The Republican party is a huge and phenomenally stupid dog that has finally, for the first time in its life, caught the car it was chasing, and now has absolutely no idea what to do with it.

Slight adjustment: the huge and stupid dog has caught the car, sees that the car is full of its own puppies, and decides "Well, now I guess I have to kill and eat them all."
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:21 AM on March 8 [12 favorites]


The reason there isn't a constituency in this country for single-payer is because the middle class mostly gets their healthcare through their employers and doesn't think about it much except to lament the costs.

And employers would love to get rid of their share of the costs, except they generally need to offer the benefit in order to compete for talent, and they generally aren't willing -- yet -- to exchange the burden of paying for and administering insurance for taxes that would support a single payer system.
posted by Gelatin at 6:22 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


They're going to push things to the point where Joe is so worried about affording to insure his family that he no longer cares.

I wish I could believe this, but I can't. Even at the point where Racist Uncle is scraping to afford anything, the one solace he can take is that at least he's "better" than those people.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:24 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]




What I tend to believe is that there will always be racist uncles who would rather die in a ditch, etc, but they can be reduced to a small minority by events. I think history shows this - union organizing, for example, moved over time from being extremely racist and divided to being mostly racially integrated. This was because of political efforts and circumstances; it didn't happen by magic or because people just got nicer, but it did happen. Also, I submit the major social reforms in the UK after WWII - things that people had struggled for through the 20s and 30s actually happened in the 40s and 50s, because so much had been shattered in the war and a majority benefited from those policies. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth among the wealthy, sure, but circumstances and ideology (the state's own ideology, in part) made it possible to make those reforms.

It's true that none of these things have ever been revolutionary, but they have made enormous improvements in people's lives.

It's easy to see these vile, vile people on the internet and think that Average Casually Racist Uncle is, like them, a hardened ideologue, but I don't think that's the case.

I had a dream about Mencius Moldbug, you guys. In my dream, he hung out at a local antique mall and was very, very charming - though he looked like Voldemort if Bannon was Voldemort - to all the white people. Seriously, I hate this.
posted by Frowner at 6:32 AM on March 8 [23 favorites]


I had a dream about Mencius Moldbug, you guys.

worst discarded MLK speech draft ever
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:34 AM on March 8 [67 favorites]


This might very well have been linked to earlier, but last night a friend showed me this video of American citizens being pulled over at "immigration checkpoints" by the DHS. I've been vocal here about how my wife and I are cutting off all travel to the United States for the time being, and this sort of thing certainly doesn't make me second-guess the decision.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:34 AM on March 8 [11 favorites]




This might very well have been linked to earlier, but last night a friend showed me this video of American citizens being pulled over at "immigration checkpoints" by the DHS. I've been vocal here about how my wife and I are cutting off all travel to the United States for the time being, and this sort of thing certainly doesn't make me second-guess the decision.

That video was posted back in 2013 (and probably contains clips from much older videos), during Obama's presidency. The US has run border control checkpoints many miles from the actual border for many years. It seems unconstitutional to me and I have resented the times I've been stopped at them, but it is not a new phenomenon in any way.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:40 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Now, let's all keep saying it for years. Republicare. Republicare. Republicare.

As much as I agree with this, it seems that Trumpcare is already pretty well entrenched. Just google it.
posted by Splunge at 6:42 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Just another day in the kakistocracy.

*sigh*
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:43 AM on March 8


AP: China grants preliminary approval to 38 new Trump trademarks including for "escort services." Happy International Women's Day!
posted by melissasaurus at 6:44 AM on March 8 [73 favorites]


The problem with the ACA replacement bill to my view is what kind of havoc people like Ryan are going to have to wreak to get it done.

What they're learning now seems pretty obvious to me. Who's going to vote for this bill? Obviously the hard right wing of the GOP is never going to support anything that suggests any government involvement at all. These are people to whom, literally, anything more than "bury a whole bunch of money in a mason jar in the back yard and dig it up when you get sick to pay for your doctor" is like gay space communism. They're never going to help get anything like this passed.

So Ryan's faction needs Democratic support to get this done, but why the fuck are Dems going to help gut their own law to help replace it with something worse? So there's really no constituency for this bill at all.

That makes it tempting to point and laugh at these guys, but then consider what's their way forward? The reason Dems aren't going to support this bill is because they've already got Obamacare. So the solution then is to get rid of Obamacare.

They could totally pass a simple repeal with no replacement at all. The Tea Party faction is chomping at the bit to do that. Then they can turn around to the Democrats and go, okay, now your choice is our bill or jack shit.

So I'm pretty concerned that after this goes down in flames, the Republicans are simply going to eliminate ACA entirely, and then put the pressure on the Democrats to support a shitty bill or watch people start dying in the streets.
posted by Naberius at 6:46 AM on March 8 [11 favorites]


Trump considers cuts to Coast Guard, TSA to fund border wall.

I'd go for a joke about how cutting real border security to fund fake border security might be counter-productive, but at this point Trump probably stands to benefit politically from some high-profile security failures, Dubya-style.
posted by fifthrider at 6:47 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


The "government is always wrong" fundamentalism is why I will always call Ronald Reagan the worst President of my lifetime. Possibly ever. And, yes, worse than Trump.

Trump and his admin are a bunch of clowns and grifters incapable of governing and intent on abusing our busted system for their benefit. Reagan was the hammer that broke that system. Grandpa Caligula waved and smiled and pretended to be genial while he and his people planted that exact meme -- that government is always horrible and that "elect me so I can sabotage it from within" was a reasonable political platform. Reagan's presidencies normalized that, while defanging the media and opening the door for massive propaganda engines reinforcing it.

And here we are enjoying Birchers on every corner.
posted by delfin at 6:50 AM on March 8 [71 favorites]


In the latest Wikileaks dump, there is a CIA document on how to configure nginx. One of the domains in the config provided as example is "bigbronies.com". If you go to bigbronies.com you get Evan McMullin's Stand Up Republic

It's been kind of remarkable over the last year watching people here push the same "never mind the Russians, it's all the CIA" line that Trump, Fox, Breitbart, et al. are pushing now. And this morning the likes of Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Kim DotCom are all over that, too. Worth reading: Dell Cameron's tweet threat and Pwn All The Things' musings on the matter— "It doesn't matter if everyone knows it's clearly Russia. They'll have got POTUS to tweet out that his own CIA false-flag attacked the DNC."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:52 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


gay space communism

I've found my people.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:53 AM on March 8 [77 favorites]


They could totally pass a simple repeal with no replacement at all.

They can't. The only reason they can even attempt a partial repeal and replacement is because of reconciliation. They can't repeal the whole thing without overcoming a Senate filibuster. And 4 GOP senators have already said they won't back a full repeal. They really have no other moves after this, as far as I can tell. Their best bet would be "single payer for enough white people to not lose votes" but the tea party hardliners won't let them pass anything with any government assistance, even for white people. They are so racist, they'd rather die (see also, @BougieLa's feed for stories of dying white people refusing medical care from black nurses).
posted by melissasaurus at 6:54 AM on March 8 [21 favorites]


They could totally pass a simple repeal with no replacement at all.

Afaik, they could only do that by nuking the filibuster entirely.
posted by Jpfed at 6:54 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


As much as I want to believe all the talk about GOP dissent killing the bill, it's never stopped them from falling in line before.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 6:56 AM on March 8 [20 favorites]


I'm pretty concerned that after this goes down in flames, the Republicans are simply going to eliminate ACA entirely, and then put the pressure on the Democrats to support a shitty bill or watch people start dying in the streets.

That's a pretty huge gamble that the American public -- which, let's not forget, is coming around to the fact that they don't want several facets of the ACA to be repealed at all -- won't obviously blame Republicans for the mess they caused.

Republicans leveraged their lockstep opposition to any Democratic reform of the health care marketplace that was bankrupting many Americans thru absolutely no fault of their own into political advantage since at least the Clinton Administration, and most obviously during Obama's presidency.

There is simply no way Democrats should sign on to a watered-down bill solely so that Republicans can share the blame for the bad consequences that they know are coming. For once, Kristol was right -- the situation is, Democrats offer the American people health care, and Republicans don't. Their reliance on euphemisms like "access to" heath care prove that they know it. If the American people like the Republican "Americans dying in the streets" plan, they can re-elect them. If not, let's vote Democrats into office so they can, one again, set about the work of cleaning up Republican messes.
posted by Gelatin at 6:57 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


I wish I could believe this, but I can't. Even at the point where Racist Uncle is scraping to afford anything, the one solace he can take is that at least he's "better" than those people.

You know, not only are you probably correct, but I would go further and say that Racist Uncle would blame whatever hardship on the very people he oppressed.

A couple of years ago we visited my husband's town in Bosnia, and it was a bizarre experience. The town used to be mixed (Muslims and Orthodox Christians), but at the beginning of the war in the 90s a faction of indoctrinated Orthodox people in this and many other towns decided to get rid of Muslims and Catholics by either kicking them out, imprisoning them in internment camps, or systematically killing all boys 12 and up.

Anyway, my husband's family is mixed, so they had to run away, lost everything, were shot at and lived "in transit" several years and eventually their case was accepted by USCIS and they resettled here. 3 years ago, we went to visit the Orthodox side of my husband's family who had remained in the town (they are non-indoctrinated, decent people who actually risked their lives saving them and helped them run away), and it was really interesting to see the aftermath of ethnic cleansing.

Obviously there were no Muslims left. The main streets had been renamed to commemorate Orthodox "war heroes", and what was most telling was that the people who lived there were super resentful. My husband and I had driven a nice-ish car from Austria, and I guess to them it was a slap in the face that once in a while Muslims or mixed people who escaped go back to see relatives or to check on valueless property that's just sitting there and nobody wants because the town went from vibrant, diverse and full of commerce and art to ethnically homogenous and impoverished. We got a whole bunch of evil eyes and also a bunch of guilty stares and it was really uncomfortable.

I don't think people who "won" the war ever moved on, and now there are all these conspiracy theories flying around, much like with the deplorables and pizzagate, and they continue to blame Saudi Arabia, the US or whoever isn't them for all their problems. In their cognitive dissonance, they manage to live their lives in the town they cleansed, but they feel like victims. Those Muslims who managed to survive and escape moved on and started new lives, but those who remained never moved on.

After visiting the town, we went to Sarajevo, and other parts of Bosnia where there was war but no ethnic cleansing, and it was completely different. People were happy and hopeful, there was diversity and on the whole they had moved on.
posted by Tarumba at 6:57 AM on March 8 [258 favorites]


I had a dream about Mencius Moldbug, you guys.

I dreamt about Milo Yiannopoulos last night. People were singing songs about him. Fuck.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:57 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


1. Run for office on the premise that government doesn't work
2. Get elected
3. ???
4. Nuclear war
posted by odinsdream at 6:58 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]




That makes it tempting to point and laugh at these guys, but then consider what's their way forward? The reason Dems aren't going to support this bill is because they've already got Obamacare. So the solution then is to get rid of Obamacare.

But why not just get rid of Obamacare in the first place?

Also, "we'll get rid of Obamacare and then you'll vote in our incredibly shitty bill" assumes that none of the forces arrayed against this shitty bill will object to the next one - not the insurance companies, not the Kochs, etc.

These people aren't magic. They're dumb and useless. Remember when everyone liked to think that Obama was always playing 11th dimensional chess and it turned out he wasn't? Obama is actually smart. They are not cleverly strategizing to burn Obamacare down so that they can pass a lousy insurance bill that the insurance companies will hate.

If they torpedo the ACA, they will own it and they'll go down in flames themselves.

These are terrible times - I'm not trying to diminish that. People will suffer and die because of the GOP. People like Thiel and Bannon and so on are like cartoon supervillains - they're terrible, and no fate is too bad for them.

What I think about right now, actually, is how effective 9/11 was. At the time, I was young and didn't understand how one thing could really fuck up this country - I thought people could think their way through it and go back to normal. But instead, we got the nightmare that was the Bush administration. That's very depressing, but the way I'm thinking of it now is "the GOP should be able to think their way through this situation, find a way to torch healthcare and loot the country without creating a powerful reaction at the polls and just be content with that, but they aren't able to. The sheer weight of their stupidity and ideology is going to destroy them."

This is going to be a very bad few years. Again, I am absolutely not trying to deny or diminish that. But these people aren't magic. They're greedy, stupid people who have never been told no or been responsible for their mistakes, and those are the people who fuck things up and lose.
posted by Frowner at 7:00 AM on March 8 [82 favorites]


Republicare. Republicare. Republicare

Don'care?
posted by Segundus at 7:00 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Trumpcare + Ryancare = TRyancare: Just "try an' care" about kleptocratic Russian puppets when you're dying of a treatable illness!
posted by melissasaurus at 7:07 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


Republicare is by far the most accurate and politically useful name for this bill. Trump didn't write it, and we don't want the stigma associated with the bill to be limited to any one person, so TrumpCare (and RyanCare) are out. DontCare is funny and all but it doesn't connect with the people who wrote it, let alone tarnish them.

It's Republicare.
posted by Jpfed at 7:09 AM on March 8 [29 favorites]


House leadership plans to push ahead with mark up on the bill as soon as Wednesday, proceeding without a score from the Congressional Budget Office.

Yeah, it's a good day to call your Congressman. Mine was on NPR this morning saying that the new healthcare legislation is being rolled through the House Ways and Means committee *this morning* without the usual amount of discussion and deliberation.
posted by puddledork at 7:09 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


My state Senator Konni Burton texted me this morning "A day without a woman? No thanks! This woman doesn't stop!"

Fuck you, Konni.

Dealing with the reality of ignorance and backwardness of my state's government has been a humbling exercise in privilege-bubble-popping, at least. I thought I understood how bad it was, but I didn't. I really did not appreciate how ass-backwards these people are, because hey, my life isn't too bad. I don't get hassled much. People of color in my state, of course, already knew exactly how bad it was. Sandra Bland happened in my state.

But it's a big place, and it's easy to just shake your head and go on living your comfortable white life and assuming somebody somewhere has a lick of common sense and at the very least, will not want to ruin everything. But that's not true now, if it ever was. We are in the control of a death cult run by Confederacy apologists and John Birchers and it's pretty fucking bad.
posted by emjaybee at 7:12 AM on March 8 [40 favorites]


Republicare is by far the most accurate and politically useful name for this bill

I've also been hearing GOPcare
posted by mikepop at 7:12 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


YOYOcare, as in "You're On Your Own", which is the official motto of modern conservatism.

Also, it was created by a bunch of yoyos.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:12 AM on March 8 [27 favorites]


Their best bet would be "single payer for enough white people to not lose votes" but the tea party hardliners won't let them pass anything with any government assistance, even for white people.

I've thought for a while that "Medicare for everyone 19 and under, regardless of income" would be a great gateway drug to full on single payer. (I know this came up during President Clinton's term). Kids are fairly cheap to insure (expensive issues are still expensive, but statistically the vast majority of kids have few expensive health issues), and despite the GOP resistance to the various CHIP programs is very hard to come out against any program that denies children care.

Dems could even expand it to "everyone 19 and under, including pregnant women" if they wanted to get an extra dig in a the anti-abortion side of the room.

They won't of course, but a girl can dream.....
posted by anastasiav at 7:13 AM on March 8 [46 favorites]


what I don't understand about Trump's deranged "Obama has a tapp on my wires!!!" tweet is the media's reaction to it. I turned on PBS NewsHour for some background noise the other night and they were using their "the truth is somewhere in the middle!!!" panel format of inviting one person from the "this is deranged and totally without evidence" side and another person (an ex-NSA official, so obviously he has access to all kind of secret information we don't know *eyeroll*) to argue that gee we don't really know that Obama *didn't* do that and we must consider all the facts here and proceed with an investigation of these very serious allegations.

it's like being at a house party and the owner's new puppy takes a dump all over the middle of the living room and everybody's all, "wow, actually Mittens makes a very good point and I'm glad he brought it up" and maybe like rolls around in the filth and continues on as if everything's normal.
posted by indubitable at 7:14 AM on March 8 [37 favorites]


A lot of people are talking about how AHCA repeals the ACA essential health benefits, but after reading the proposed legislation I'm here to report back that it only does this for people covered by the Medicaid expansion. The individual, small business, and group markets still have to provide them.

Of course this is bad, but it's only incrementally bad over the fact that they're phasing out Medicaid expansion completely.
posted by zrail at 7:16 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Monica Crowley: "Donald Trump is an alien organism that has been injected into the body politic by the American People to reform it."

She's right about two things: 1) Donald Trump is a cancer on the body politic and 2) we won't stop fighting it until either the cancer is gone or the body is dead.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:16 AM on March 8 [12 favorites]


Monica Crowley, registered member of the Xenomorph Party:

"You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:17 AM on March 8 [33 favorites]


what I don't understand about Trump's deranged "Obama has a tapp on my wires!!!" tweet is the media's reaction to it.

Yeah, this. I know we're way down the normalization rabbit hole at this point because awful 2016 has birthed even awful-er 2017, but: what the fuck, media? You're seriously going to let Trump surrogates get away with e.g. "oh, he wasn't being serious when he accused his predecessor of committing felonies to hinder him ...".
posted by tocts at 7:18 AM on March 8 [16 favorites]


That's on page 8, line 3 of the bill, if anyone wants to check my reading of it. It refers to this section of the Social Security Act.
posted by zrail at 7:19 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]




an ex-NSA official, so obviously he has access to all kind of secret information we don't know *eyeroll*) to argue that gee we don't really know that Obama *didn't* do that and we must consider all the facts here and proceed with an investigation of these very serious allegations.

I strongly suspect the ex-NSA official was trolling to try to get an investigation started so that the IC can release all the probable cause they would have had to spy on Trump.
posted by corb at 7:21 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I tried to tweet yesterday that we shouldn't call it Trumpcare because we shouldn't feed the narcissists.

(lemme alone I thought it was clever.)
posted by INFJ at 7:21 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


A lot of people are talking about how AHCA repeals the ACA essential health benefits, but after reading the proposed legislation I'm here to report back that it only does this for people covered by the Medicaid expansion. The individual, small business, and group markets still have to provide them.


Yes and no. It keeps the requirement that they have to provide the essential health benefits, but removes the actuarial value requirement as of 2020. So they can "provide maternity coverage" that actually only covers like 1% of the actuarial value of maternity care, meaning it is still unaffordable and inaccessible for most people on the plan.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:22 AM on March 8 [16 favorites]


Monica Crowley: "Donald Trump is an alien organism that has been injected into the body politic by the American People to reform it." "Long Live the New Flesh!"
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:22 AM on March 8 [12 favorites]


Is the escort service thing real? Because something similar came up a year ago and was shot down by WaPo.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:22 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


melissasaurus: Trumpcare + Ryancare = TRyancare: Just "try an' care"...

TyrantCare?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:28 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


I submit the major social reforms in the UK after WWII - things that people had struggled for through the 20s and 30s actually happened in the 40s and 50s, because so much had been shattered in the war and a majority benefited from those policies.
This is the power of universal social provision, and another reason why means testing and other forms of neoliberal resource rationing in the name of "efficiency" have been such a disaster for the welfare state. The standard (non-plutocrat) right-wing argument against welfare relies on ressentiment—the suggestion that they are getting something you aren't entitled to, because the entitlements are targeted in such a way as to exclude you from applying for them. Hence the sting in the word "entitlement": something for them and not for you. But universalism routes around this form of resentment. If social provision is universal (as in universal free health care, or universal free tertiary education), it's now much harder to divide people up into "us" and "them" categories. It takes a special kind of ideologue to resent the fact that they get what you now also get, and I'd suggest that there are actually rather fewer of those than many (on both the left and right) assume that there are out there in the world.
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:28 AM on March 8 [53 favorites]


Let's eliminate means testing as a concept.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:30 AM on March 8 [27 favorites]


I am bigly! It's the presidency that's gotten small!
posted by kirkaracha at 7:32 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Hence the sting in the word "entitlement": something for them and not for you.

A person who acts "entitled" is arrogant, self-centered, thinks they don't have to wait in line, that the rules don't apply to them. So merely repeating the word, as often as possible, accomplishes the desired negative framing of entitlement programs, never mind that the word has a distinct legal meaning in this context.
posted by thelonius at 7:33 AM on March 8 [25 favorites]


Sometimes, I start to type a longer comment, then realize it's just an elaborate rephrasing of the more basic sentiment "AHHHHHH! SHIT! OMFG! OH GOD! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHEN WILL IT STOP?" and that pretty much all of us are doing that 24/7 now anyway.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:33 AM on March 8 [85 favorites]


A friend of mine is on the staff of a local Methodist church that runs a food pantry. There is one board member who, every meeting, tries to make them institute some sort of qualification to get food, because he doesn't want to help the "wrong people." The rest of the Board thinks that's nuts and un-Christian, and votes it down, but he is wealthy and therefore has some pull. I personally think they should boot him because that shit is so poisonous that it'd be better to go without his dollars, but it's not my church.
posted by emjaybee at 7:34 AM on March 8 [75 favorites]


taz: please try to avoid repeating links that have already been posted

Pro tip: if you see a comment with a link that's already been posted, flag it as "double comment" and the mods will check for a duplicate link as well as an actual double.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:34 AM on March 8 [11 favorites]


Sometimes, I start to type a longer comment, then realize it's just an elaborate rephrasing of the more basic sentiment "AHHHHHH! SHIT! OMFG! OH GOD! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHEN WILL IT STOP?" and that pretty much all of us are doing that 24/7 now anyway.

On the bright side, I've gotten WAY better results explaining what an anxiety disorder feels like, by describing it in terms of that creeping pit of horrified despair in your stomach when you read about Trump's most recent shenanigans. When everyone has a low-grade mental health disorder, it helps destigmatize it.
posted by Mayor West at 7:36 AM on March 8 [28 favorites]


It's going to be Trumpcare because most Americans don't actually understand how their political system works or that there is more than one body involved.
posted by Artw at 7:37 AM on March 8 [11 favorites]


Republicans hate poor people. Their problem in this case is that it's not just poor people who need health insurance. So, how can they fuck poor people without also fucking their base? It sure is a quandary.
posted by Slothrup at 7:38 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


A friend of mine is on the staff of a local Methodist church that runs a food pantry. There is one board member who, every meeting, tries to make them institute some sort of qualification to get food, because he doesn't want to help the "wrong people." The rest of the Board thinks that's nuts and un-Christian, and votes it down, but he is wealthy and therefore has some pull. I personally think they should boot him because that shit is so poisonous that it'd be better to go without his dollars, but it's not my church.

Ugh this is infuriating; I agree that it's un-Christian and I also think that trying to check out everyone's "qualifications" is going to be basically impossible to implement. You're a food pantry, someone saying "I need some food" is the only qualification necessary.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:39 AM on March 8 [40 favorites]


Sometimes, I start to type a longer comment, then realize it's just an elaborate rephrasing of the more basic sentiment "AHHHHHH! SHIT! OMFG! OH GOD! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WHEN WILL IT STOP?" and that pretty much all of us are doing that 24/7 now anyway.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:33 PM on March 8 [6 favorites +] [!]


I have written so many brilliant comments that none of you will ever see.

A person who acts "entitled" is arrogant, self-centered, thinks they don't have to wait in line, that the rules don't apply to them. So merely repeating the word, as often as possible, accomplishes the desired negative framing of entitlement programs, never mind that the word has a distinct legal meaning in this context.
posted by thelonius at 11:33 PM on March 8 [+] [!]


I hereby call for a universal entitlement to call everyone in government who supports means testing a turd. I know we have that already, but it's an example of the kind of brilliant commentary I often think better of posting.
posted by saysthis at 7:40 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


I'd guess the "escort service" trademark is to stop others from using the name.

The past couple of weeks have brought things that make my internal canary a little woozy: the "Obama tapp" stuff and how it was fabricated, and the "CIA false flag" stuff over the past day showing similar patterns. Given that the White House resident is just watching TV and reading selected printouts from Bannon all day, I fear that we're going to see ever greater insulation and a press that either can't permeate it or has to compromise itself to get through.

It takes a special kind of ideologue to resent the fact that they get what you now also get, and I'd suggest that there are actually rather fewer of those than many (on both the left and right) assume that there are out there in the world.

I don't necessarily think it's an ideological thing. The American model has been to individuate handouts [to white people] so that within a couple of generations it's forgotten, and that both has an assimilative social function and makes it harder to repeat down the line. You can't universalise property ownership in a nation that is so tied to the idea of a property-owning citizenry.
posted by holgate at 7:40 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]




Pope Guilty: Has Paul Ryan ever eaten a meal or lived in a home not provided at taxpayer expense since his father died?

Government Programs and Taxpayers Financed Paul Ryan: He Didn't Make It on His Own -- the article was written in 2012, when Ryan was a spry 42 year old. He's now 47, and he's been a congressman since 1998- that's 19 years living off of the generosity of the tax-paying public, since he was 28. And beyond his own livelihood, his family business grew off of government contracts. When his dad died of a heart attack at 55, Paul lived off of his father's Social Security payments for two years, and he saved some of these government funds for his college education.

Yeah, the government has been real rough on poor Paul.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:42 AM on March 8 [99 favorites]


It's going to be Trumpcare because most Americans don't actually understand how their political system works or that there is more than one body involved.

Crowdsourcing this: what is the best online resource for very simply explaining to people how the government works on a basic level, how a bill becomes a law (including the existence of committees which I think a lot of people don't understand)?

One of my local brand new white lady activist Facebook groups is forever freaking out about stunt legislation that is going to die in committee when there are far bigger things to be keeping eyes on right now, but I don't want to come in all 3-paragraph-long explainy. I'd rather just drop a link and be like "Check these bills you are worried about against the process described here."
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:43 AM on March 8 [11 favorites]


You're a food pantry, someone saying "I need some food" is the only qualification necessary.

Picking up on what Rev. Barber said the other day, I can think of someone relevant to the mission of churches who provided a lot of free healthcare and gave out food to everybody who showed up without means testing them.
posted by holgate at 7:43 AM on March 8 [57 favorites]


Picking up on what Rev. Barber said the other day, I can think of someone relevant to the mission of churches who provided a lot of free healthcare and gave out food to everybody who showed up without means testing them.

"Bread and fishes for everybody! Except that guy with the scrap of jerky in his pocket. Fuck that freeloader." - Jesus [fake]
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:47 AM on March 8 [43 favorites]




Honestly, I've been around far more people who could really use a food pantry but weren't going than anything else. If everyone who was food insecure went to food pantries they would collapse.
posted by Frowner at 7:48 AM on March 8 [26 favorites]


"Bread and fishes for everybody! Except that guy with the scrap of jerky in his pocket. Fuck that freeloader." - Jesus [fake]

The diametrical opposition between the stated concerns of Jesus Christ and the stated concerns of (a huge chunk of) people who act in his name is long noted, but never ceases to be amazing and depressing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:51 AM on March 8 [61 favorites]


So, how can they fuck poor people without also fucking their base? It sure is a quandary.

Nah, they just fuck all of them, and there's still enough who are happy that at least those people aren't "getting over" that they keep voting right.
posted by Etrigan at 7:53 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I could really use some reassurance right now (ideally numbers-based or otherwise fact-driven). I know a really large percentage of people don't vote, and an even larger number don't vote down-ticket or off years. And I know that Koch Brothers and other Republican spending makes it far easier for Republicans to run, and gerrymandering makes it far easier for them to win. I am pretty sure that there is far more money on the Republican side, and always will be - if they're the "pro-business" party that will let your corporation pollute and pay no taxes and limit lawsuits nd otherwise keep generating more income, that's always going to be the case.

But where is the proof that more American people - who seem to be overwhelmingly electing the leopards-eating-your-face party in race after race nationwide - aren't actually, at least passively, in favor of the face-eating? Hillary's popular vote win is meaningless if Republican representation in the other houses keeps growing. Isn't it?

I mean, the Republicans make no secret of what they want to do. I keep reading the schadenfreudy stories of people who voted against their best interests and are now saying "but I didn't think they meant it," but I think they're the exceptions, not the rule. It just looks like more people who vote, are voting Republican. They want this.

I keep reading here that the ACA is more popular, that people like the individual mandate, that people don't want to kill the safety net or gut the EPA. But I don't see how to believe it's actually true. This kind of monstrosity isn't happening in a vaccuum. Some Republican voters - if not most of them - want this. And I really am starting to believe they not only outnumber us, but their numbers are growing. My gut feeling is the majority of people are just passive and don't care. Or are not paying attention because they don't (and won't) see how this affects them until it's too late, and when it happens will also believe whatever convenient Republican lie that blames it on the Democrats. But either keep voting for the face-eating, or keep staying home on election days, because "eh."

Where's the proof that this isn't the case? Is there any?
posted by Mchelly at 7:53 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


Of all the terrible things to come out of this country's history of racism and reliance on slavery (with a special shout out to the old Confederate/Treasonous States), the marriage of certain forms of Christianity with racism -- where racism always has priority -- is, somehow, one of the things that really punches me in the gut.

I'm not naive about Christian history, and I don't identify as a Christian, but I've always admired the main message (plus some gnostic gospels, and minus John, which is...yeah).

There is something fundamentally right and good about the idea of accepting that one is powerless, in the end, to do anything but simply love people, as best you can.

And they have perverted that. I mean, truly, in the most sickening way, they have taken "love thy neighbor" and twisted it until they could find a justification for hatred and brutality in there.

It's a capacity for evil that shocks me every time.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:55 AM on March 8 [59 favorites]


You're a food pantry, someone saying "I need some food" is the only qualification necessary.

Here in England, our erstwhile welfare minister, Baron Freud, who comes from a stockbroker background, stated back in 2013 that:

'...Food from a food bank – the supply – is a free good, and by definition there is an almost infinite demand for a free good." (Link to Guardian article)

This was in response to a reported increase of people using food banks from around 70,000 in 2011 to around half a million two years later. The Trussell Trust estimates at least 1,000,000 food parcels were handed out in 2015-16.
posted by Myeral at 7:59 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Sen. Leahy told a story about being stopped at an interior checkpoint back in 2008 (pdf of hearing, page 7, 3rd paragraph)

It’s interesting. I went through one of those symbolic checkpoints in the State of New York, driving back here. It was about 125 miles from the border. And a car with license plate ‘‘1’’ on it, from Vermont, and little letters underneath that says, ‘‘U.S. Senate,’’ stopped, ordered to get out of the car, and prove my citizenship. I said, ‘‘What authority are you acting on?’’ And they—one of your agents points to his gun, and he says, ‘‘That’s all the authority I need.’’ An encouraging way to enter our country.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman

posted by phoque at 8:01 AM on March 8 [59 favorites]


soren_lorensen:

Here is a very barebones basic brass-tacks explainer of the three branches of government, how they interact, and how bills are passed.

For a little more detail, refer them to this excellent Quora thread.
posted by blucevalo at 8:03 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


stopped, ordered to get out of the car, and prove my citizenship

How does one actually do this?
posted by schadenfrau at 8:03 AM on March 8


How does one actually do this?

recite the Brooklyn Dodgers lineup
posted by thelonius at 8:05 AM on March 8 [31 favorites]


Mchelly, I have had to accept that what I see clearly is not what other people see, and often that's a choice on their part. They find politics confusing or scary and so disengage. That's the majority of the electorate, in my view. It's hard to reach them because they are right; it is confusing and scary. Also frustrating. Also enraging. That doesn't mean they love the Republican policies (polls usually show they don't) but it can mean they feel helpless to fight them.

Our goal should be to help non-voters realize that things will get much worse if they don't (Republicans have made that easier) and, (a harder task), that they can make a difference if they participate in enough numbers. The encouraging part, for us, is that even a few percentage points of nonvoters deciding to vote Democratic would have a big impact.

I no longer have interest in appealing to Trump voters. They are welcome to join the right side of history, but they are not my focus; the people who can vote but aren't are where I want to put my efforts.
posted by emjaybee at 8:07 AM on March 8 [26 favorites]


Every bit of this wave of accelerating hate crimes is terrible. But there is something particularly confounding about the attacks directed at Indian and Sikh people. Chrissakes, these fuckers aren't even good at racism.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:07 AM on March 8 [20 favorites]


The traditional way to explain how a bill becomes law is through the power of song.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:08 AM on March 8 [27 favorites]


The Brooklyn Dodgers are my favourite squadron.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:08 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


>>stopped, ordered to get out of the car, and prove my citizenship
>How does one actually do this?


"Please, I like America! Fancy schmancy! What a cinch! Go fly a kite! Cat got your tongue! Hill of beans! Betty Boop, what a dish. Betty Grable, nice gams. [singing] I say can you see! I say can you see!"
posted by entropicamericana at 8:09 AM on March 8 [17 favorites]


> But there is something particularly confounding about the attacks on Indian and Sikh people. Chrissakes, these fuckers aren't even good at racism.

You Wanted Just A Little Bit Of Xenophobia, But Got Too Much
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:09 AM on March 8 [20 favorites]


>>stopped, ordered to get out of the car, and prove my citizenship
>How does one actually do this?


"WTF is a kilometer?!"
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:14 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


The diametrical opposition between the stated concerns of Jesus Christ and the stated concerns of (a huge chunk of) people who act in his name is long noted, but never ceases to be amazing and depressing.

I think in the very long run, history is going to regard whatever Americans are yammering on about now as something fundamentally different from Christianity per se. I mean, there are nearly two millenia of recorded religious thought on Jesus and his teachings, and these American "Christians" barely understand any of it, let alone embody these teachings in their behavior! It's all about money ("prosperity gospel") and war and patriotism. Totally alien to the actual gospel.

In much the same way that Guatama was born a Hindu but later recognized as the Buddha, and Jesus-worship was originally a Jewish cult until he was later venerated as Christ, whatever is happening now is the start of the next thing. I don't know what the precipitating event will be for a historical recognition of this; perhaps it's already happened and will be clear only in retrospect.

Anyway, to keep this on topic, Trump sucks. And the whole "not actually a Christian" thing certainly seems to apply to him personally.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 8:14 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


But there is something particularly confounding about the attacks on Indian and Sikh people. Chrissakes, these fuckers aren't even good at racism.

They may be bad at distinguishing darker-skinned "foreign"-looking people from one other, but I'd argue that they're actually doing pretty darn great at racism. Because racism isn't based on actually knowing anything about the people you mistreat; rather, it's all about mistreating them because they are different from you. Everything else is mere justification.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:15 AM on March 8 [43 favorites]


Re: Food Pantry post above from EmJayBee
What Would Republican Jesus Do?
posted by The_Auditor at 8:17 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


So merely repeating the word, as often as possible, accomplishes the desired negative framing of entitlement programs, never mind that the word has a distinct legal meaning in this context.

And much of the American media -- or at least NPR -- fails to understand that then entire Republican Party operates under Newt Gingrich's infamous directives to always control the language and framing of politics. They use a veritable Gish Gallop of negative framing -- Mitch McConnell will never say "regulations" without saying "job-killing" right before, and every time they're quoted by the media, even in other contexts, even when their point is rebutted, they inject that framing and that language into the public discourse.

For example, in Steve Inskeep's interview on NPR this morning with some Republican Congressman about the new health care proposal, the congressman seemed to make at least two unchallenged assertions for every point Inskeep tried to rebut (and to his credit, his questions were less softball than usual -- but it hardly matters, when the congressman is slipping unproven assertions like "Obamacare is imploding" right past him).
posted by Gelatin at 8:20 AM on March 8 [19 favorites]


The Card Cheat: That deadspin article puts into words much of what my brain means when it goes: WTF ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!
posted by INFJ at 8:23 AM on March 8


I think in the very long run, history is going to regard whatever Americans are yammering on about now as something fundamentally different from Christianity per se. I mean, there are nearly two millenia of recorded religious thought on Jesus and his teachings, and these American "Christians" barely understand any of it, let alone embody these teachings in their behavior! It's all about money ("prosperity gospel") and war and patriotism. Totally alien to the actual gospel.

Having just read Frederick Douglass's Narrative, I'm reminded of the passages in which he lays out the hypocrisy of American (not just Southern) "Christianity", and in particular this from the appendix:
What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels.
This is not history, this is now.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:25 AM on March 8 [107 favorites]


The proposal to cut funding to the coast guard and TSA also contains cuts to FEMA. Remember the sick feeling of Bush blithely ignoring how bad Katrina was? Now imagine Trump's administration dealing with such a crisis, and with a further reduced FEMA. Given the unprecedented weather of 2016, a natural disaster scenario has me worried at least as much as a political or military crisis. It would be a shitshow. All of the wingnut fantasies of martial law and internment might well come back to bite them, albeit not from the source they expected.
posted by werkzeuger at 8:25 AM on March 8 [32 favorites]


The Pro-Publica map of bomb threats against Jewish synagogues, schools, JCC's and ADL offices was updated last night. It now shows 130 bomb threats made to 99 institutions. When the New Castle, DE threat r317 linked to upthread is added, that will make 131 to 100. This is the first reported bomb threat made in the state of Delaware to a Jewish institution in 2017.

A group of Jewish organizations have put together a "We Stand Together" video and facebook group for Jews and their communities to show their solidarity against hatred.

Meanwhile:
What is it like to receive a text message notifying you of bomb threat at your child’s preschool at 6:40 in the morning? It’s like this: a flurry of texts from friends and family, an uptick in comments of love and solidarity on Facebook. And life goes on in our little house, my daughter blissfully oblivious to her mother’s distraction this morning.
...
I check Facebook. My daughter’s teacher from last year posted a reassuring comment. I want to reach through the fiber optic cables and hug her warmly: “Even if your children were with us when getting the threat, we would have taken care of them and protected them as if they were our own.”

I’m amazed how such love and compassion can coexist with cruelty.
...
Delayed openings are supposed to be because of snow. Not bombs.

posted by zarq at 8:26 AM on March 8 [40 favorites]


but I'm not swayed by the idea that we should just forget that all happened.

We can't be or we'll never be able to say with any degree of confidence we actually are still a functioning democracy. People dismiss it as pointless conspiracy theory to imagine large scale, coordinated and dedicated psiops and propaganda campaigns to influence or factionalize a society, but totalitarian regimes exist and from them we can readily observe it is possible to disrupt, factionalize, and subdue a population using little more than those kinds of techniques with an implicit threat of use of martial force as a backstop to help fuel the sense of powerlessness, futility, learned helplessness, and lack of motive social consensus that such psiops are really most concerned with helping to create.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:26 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


FWIW on the Christians-not-being-Christian thing, it bears stating for the record that of course we know there are many perfectly nice Christian people on MeFi, who are rending their hair at what is going on in the US these days the same as anyone else.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:27 AM on March 8 [25 favorites]


The Pro-Publica map of bomb threats against Jewish synagogues, schools, JCC's and ADL offices was updated last night.

Just imagine if those were protestant churches.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:27 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Just imagine if those were white Protestant churches.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:29 AM on March 8 [54 favorites]


when the congressman is slipping unproven assertions like "Obamacare is imploding" right past him

I walked out of the room when I heard this.

The key to the next election cycle is sound bites. We know that government is complex and anti-government is simplistic followed by racism being all too easy, but there must be some way to counter the Gingrich/Lutz language.
What's in it for you and why it's good. DONE.

I hate it, but it's the only thing that works.

Whether Inskeep argues points on Morning Edition?It pisses those of us who give a shit, but does it really change perdeption? But no, Obama care is not imploding.
posted by readery at 8:29 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


For example, in Steve Inskeep's interview on NPR this morning ... the congressman is slipping unproven assertions like "Obamacare is imploding" right past him).

I think it was Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter, if anyone wants to hear the discussion. I believe he's the jerk that used "empowering" to describe cutting healthcare subsidies.
posted by puddledork at 8:32 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I think in the very long run, history is going to regard whatever Americans are yammering on about now as something fundamentally different from Christianity per se. I mean, there are nearly two millenia of recorded religious thought on Jesus and his teachings, and these American "Christians" barely understand any of it, let alone embody these teachings in their behavior! It's all about money ("prosperity gospel") and war and patriotism. Totally alien to the actual gospel.

I have some really bad news for you about what the Church in its various forms and structures has been up to for the last couple of millennia.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:33 AM on March 8 [35 favorites]


FWIW on the Christians-not-being-Christian thing, it bears stating for the record that of course we know there are many perfectly nice Christian people on MeFi, who are rending their hair at what is going on in the US these days the same as anyone else.

In some tweets from a protest outside CPB yesterday you can see my "Christians for Muslims" sign which I made because I want to push back on the normalizing of the idea that Christianity is anti-Muslim. That was only yesterday but it already feels like a long time ago. This is exhausting. Anyway Muslims, Jews, atheists, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha'i people, members of indigenous/First Nations religions, Shinto people, pagans, Jains, everyone (I know I'm missing a lot and I apologize for anyone I identified incorrectly) I am REALLY REALLY sorry that so many Christians are awful. They are so awful. It is so bad and painful and I'm just so, so sorry about the Radical Christian Terrorism happening right now.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:36 AM on March 8 [33 favorites]


I have some really bad news for you about what the Church in its various forms and structures has been up to for the last couple of millennia.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:33 AM on March 8 [+] [!]


eponysterical
posted by entropicamericana at 8:36 AM on March 8 [40 favorites]


I have some really bad news for you about what the Church in its various forms and structures has been up to for the last couple of millennia.
posted by Pope Guilty


Eponecumenical.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:36 AM on March 8 [92 favorites]


The proposal to cut funding to the coast guard and TSA also contains cuts to FEMA. Remember the sick feeling of Bush blithely ignoring how bad Katrina was? Now imagine Trump's administration dealing with such a crisis, and with a further reduced FEMA. Given the unprecedented weather of 2016, a natural disaster scenario has me worried at least as much as a political or military crisis. It would be a shitshow. All of the wingnut fantasies of martial law and internment might well come back to bite them, albeit not from the source they expected.

Wouldn't it be rich if, moments after he gutted FEMA, a hurricane laid waste to the winter whitehouse....
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:37 AM on March 8 [12 favorites]


it was an act of almost criminal negligence by the media to presume Republican opposition to the ACA was ever in good faith.

Almost? Corporate news media is the Atlantis of Republican evildoery. A mystical, magical place where dreams are made real. Viz; Reagan closing state psychiatrics, Iran-Contra, Gulf War I, 2000 Scalias, Gulf War II, 60-votes to overturn Obamacare under Obama (not one yet tho), etc.

Whether Inskeep argues points on Morning Edition?

*eats hat angrily*
posted by petebest at 8:39 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


I don't mean to be all Dawkins or whatever, I just mean that "whatever my economic/political interests are, and also here's some of the forms of Christian piety without much concern for Christ's actual teaching" is probably much more normal, historically, than putting the message of the Gospels above all else, at least in part because the former group is in a much better position to have the means and motive to have the latter group murdered as heretics.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:39 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


But there is something particularly confounding about the attacks on Indian and Sikh people. Chrissakes, these fuckers aren't even good at racism.

On the one hand, I get this, and it's hard not to agree - they're not just assholes, they're dumb! On the other hand, it reminds me of the Nazi-era joke:

A Nazi stops a Jew on the street and asks him, "Who is repsonsible for all Germany's problems?"
The Jew responds, "The Jews. And the bicycle riders."
The Nazi asks him, "Why the bicycle riders?"
He answers back: "Why the Jews?"

It's easy to get upset or ironic about how the "wrong" people get targeted in racist attacks - but it makes it easier to give the impression that if they only hit the "right" targets it would be somehow more justified. When violence is completely irrational, expecting it to be carried out rationally is giving it more credit than it deserves.
posted by Mchelly at 8:39 AM on March 8 [109 favorites]


There's a real simple way to make uninsured care for chronic conditions vaguely affordable. Anyone who takes Medicare patients also has to take uninsured people and let them pay Medicare negotiated rates for care.
posted by Talez at 8:41 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


When violence is completely irrational, expecting it to be carried out rationally is giving it more credit than it deserves.

As a friend said after one such incident (I've forgotten which one, sadly): The problem here is not sloppy recon.
posted by Etrigan at 8:42 AM on March 8 [24 favorites]


I would think we could give each other enough credit on MeFi not to suppose for a nanosecond that I or anyone else here was hoping that racists would target more effectively.

Rather, noting how misdirected their hate often can be is a way of lamenting their general wrongheadedness.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:44 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I don't mean to be all Dawkins or whatever, I just mean that "whatever my economic/political interests are, and also here's some of the forms of Christian piety without much concern for Christ's actual teaching" is probably much more normal, historically, than putting the message of the Gospels above all else, at least in part because the former group is in a much better position to have the means and motive to have the latter group murdered as heretics.

Except the American version of that is, well, exceptional. As Frederick Douglass talks about, the version here was warped and corrupted by the institution of slavery — and continues to be corrupted to this day thanks to unrepentant systemic racism.

It's no coincidence the "Land of the Free" is also the one with the most prisoners, and it's not a coincidence those prisoners are disproportionately people of color.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:45 AM on March 8 [17 favorites]


I'm not buying the Wikileaks Muddies The Waters line. Anyone who actually follows cybersecurity with any focus will know all this stuff already

Rush and the dittoheads have picked it up. Won't be long before Trump repeats it.

The problem being that 99% of America knows nothing about cybersecurity, and something like 48% are willing to believe whatever comes out of the Trump White House.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:46 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


What is it like to receive a text message notifying you of bomb threat at your child’s preschool at 6:40 in the morning?

I can't answer that myself, but I can answer, "What is it like when your downstairs neighbor comes home in tears again and again because she's the one answering the phone and receiving the terrorist threats at the JCC where she works?'

It sucks.
posted by mikelieman at 8:49 AM on March 8 [34 favorites]


I would think we could give each other enough credit on MeFi not to suppose for a nanosecond that I or anyone else here was hoping that racists would target more effectively.

Rather, noting how misdirected their hate often can be is a way of lamenting their general wrongheadedness.


Pointing out that Sikhs are the wrong target tends to gently reinforce the idea that Muslims are the "right" target. Please do everything you can to avoid reinforcing that idea.
posted by puddledork at 8:51 AM on March 8 [22 favorites]


The proposal to cut funding to the coast guard and TSA also contains cuts to FEMA.

This is the reason, if you live in a vaguely blue state or any area that has any resistance to 45, you absolutely need to get yourself:
* a minimum of 5 days worth of supplies on hand for each person in your house
* don't forget the pets
* first aid supplies
* a crank radio
* a generator if you can afford it
* a stash of dollar bills
* an extra month of any medications you or a family member takes
* alcohol or other "luxury" items to trade.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:55 AM on March 8 [45 favorites]


The past couple of weeks have brought things that make my internal canary a little woozy: the "Obama tapp" stuff and how it was fabricated, and the "CIA false flag" stuff over the past day showing similar patterns. Given that the White House resident is just watching TV and reading selected printouts from Bannon all day, I fear that we're going to see ever greater insulation and a press that either can't permeate it or has to compromise itself to get through.

The Atlantic had a scary article supposing that there is now a market for Trumpbait news, like clickbait but specifically catered to Trump's media consumption habits and his conspiracy theory belief system. Trump and the alternative facts media now have a positive feedback loop to construct and promote more crazypants conspiracy propaganda.
Some people imagine political propaganda as a top-down operation, in which the government beats down critical journalism and builds a machine of sycophancy to take its place. But propaganda in the age of Trump can self-assemble from the bottom-up. There’s no need to build 21st century Pravda; left unaided, attention-driven economics and status-seeking individuals who’d get a kick out of seeing the president tweet their essay will gladly write outrageous stories, designed to appeal to Trump's conspiratorial worldview, for the clicks. The propaganda will self-propagate, and the president won't even have to request it. That is what you might call an efficient market—just not for the truth.
posted by peeedro at 8:56 AM on March 8 [11 favorites]


I, for one, never expected to welcome our new German overlords, but....

The ethnic ancestry of the strongest group of Trump supporters in America is German.
posted by srboisvert at 8:58 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Pointing out that Sikhs are the wrong target tends to gently reinforce the idea that Muslims are the "right" target. Please do everything you can to avoid reinforcing that idea.

I wouldn't imagine anyone could have possibly gotten that read from taking in my entire initial comment, but I do recognize that the nature of a thread is that only part of it may get lifted for discussion and it can give the wrong idea.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:00 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


* alcohol or other "luxury" items to trade.

"It's for prepping," I explain to the person looking askance at my ten-dollar 1.5L vodka. "I'm being responsible, I'm thinking ahead. It's for.. uh.. the After Times. definitely not for mixing with milk while i watch an ep of Young Pope tonight"
posted by Greg Nog at 9:02 AM on March 8 [33 favorites]


The propaganda will self-propagate, and the president won't even have to request it. That is what you might call an efficient market—just not for the truth.

Yep. It's a dirty-news laundering operation for somebody whose business was built upon laundering dirty money. The press isn't set up to not report on whatever bullshit the White House occupant dredges up, and even adding "without evidence" and 14 pinnochios doesn't sanitise it. "President Repeats Bullshit, Is Bullshitter" is the only way to cover it.
posted by holgate at 9:05 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I dreamt about Milo Yiannopoulos last night. People were singing songs about him. Fuck.

It just has to be the correct song.
posted by phearlez at 9:05 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


my ten-dollar 1.5L vodka.

My god, man, Dark Eyes is nobody's friend.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:06 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


"It's for prepping," I explain to the person looking askance at my ten-dollar 1.5L vodka.

liquor store clerks have seen the entire lifecycle; they would not blink at this
posted by thelonius at 9:07 AM on March 8 [24 favorites]


Personally, I think that pointing out that the attacks on Sikhs and Indians are misdirected is important. As Strange Interlude pointed out above, it lays bare that the rationalizations for targeting Muslims are just pretenses for racism. Even if I still hold I wasn't unclear, I can concede I maybe didn't qualify the way I made that point as well as I might have.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:07 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


>my ten-dollar 1.5L vodka.

My god, man, Dark Eyes is nobody's friend.


Untrue; there's a lotta boat hulls that need cleaning.
posted by phearlez at 9:08 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


The modern Christians I know don't talk about helping anyone these days. Their groups are essentially a self help group. Everything I've ever heard is how they need to focus on themselves, to make themselves righteous in the eyes of God. Constant talks about how everything, literally everything, is a corrupted tool of the devil out to get them. I haven't heard my friends (not so much anymore) say anything about helping anyone in at least 6 years. They've even claimed GoFundMe is a tool from the devil to weaken people. It's crazy.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 9:09 AM on March 8 [41 favorites]


My god, man, Dark Eyes is nobody's friend.

Just a good honest bottle of Delarov, the only "authentic" "Russian" "vodka" made and bottled in the "Soviet" state of Delaware
posted by Greg Nog at 9:10 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


The Atlantic had a scary article supposing that there is now a market for Trumpbait news, like clickbait but specifically catered to Trump's media consumption habits and his conspiracy theory belief system.

Ten reasons clickbait got Trump elected! Number eight will shock you!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:10 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


Sen. Leahy told a story about being stopped at an interior checkpoint back in 2008 (pdf of hearing, page 7, 3rd paragraph)

It’s interesting. I went through one of those symbolic checkpoints in the State of New York, driving back here. It was about 125 miles from the border. And a car with license plate ‘‘1’’ on it, from Vermont, and little letters underneath that says, ‘‘U.S. Senate,’’ stopped, ordered to get out of the car, and prove my citizenship. I said, ‘‘What authority are you acting on?’’ And they—one of your agents points to his gun, and he says, ‘‘That’s all the authority I need.’’ An encouraging way to enter our country.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman




My blood = boiling.

Please tell me that agent was fired. Because if a white, male, fucking US SENATOR is treated this way, what the hell chance or hope does the average minority citizen have in receiving ANY kind of due process from CBP?

Please, I have to know that agent was fired. Please? If you have to lie to me and tell me he or she was fired, okay, but I have to know that this episode did not just slide down the memory hole of fascism with no one getting fired and their boss getting an ass-chewing. Please?
posted by darkstar at 9:13 AM on March 8 [22 favorites]


I dreamt about Milo Yiannopoulos last night. People were singing songs about him. Fuck.

Sorry to do the thing where I try to top your anecdote with my anecdote, but I had a sex dream about Steve Bannon and in the dream I laid eyes on his actual junk and it looked like a lump of wet paper towels. I still get nauseated when I think about this.
posted by witchen at 9:16 AM on March 8 [19 favorites]


Speaking of preparation efforts (nice list, Sophie1), here's a list I submitted to and was rejected by McSweeney's before the election. It was supposed to be funny. Joke's on me. Ha ha.

Surviving a Trump Presidency:
10 Must-Read Books for US Residents


1. Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare
2. Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America (Updated and Expanded Edition) by Mark Ehrman and Cletus Nelson
3. Counterfeit I.D. Made Easy by Jack Luger
4. Methods of Disguise by John Sample
5. 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation by Clint Emerson
6. Cooking Critters for Dinner: Refined Road Kill Recipes by Danny Gansneder
7. Edible Wild Plants by Oliver Perry Medsger
8. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
9. Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins
10. The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners by Nicholas J. Brown
posted by Bella Donna at 9:16 AM on March 8 [67 favorites]


And what about a President who runs escort services in China? See the Chinese deals with his name on them, in today's Guardian.
posted by Oyéah at 9:17 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


The Atlantic had a scary article supposing that there is now a market for Trumpbait news, like clickbait but specifically catered to Trump's media consumption habits and his conspiracy theory belief system. Trump and the alternative facts media now have a positive feedback loop to construct and promote more crazypants conspiracy propaganda.

Isn't this problem solved if there's no way to monetize it?

Which would mean Google and Facebook would have to stop paying people for this kind of thing. Like, there is, if I'm understanding this part of the economy correctly, two major choke points for this growing feedback loop. And the biggest is Google, no?

Google is the company that pays these people to poison the republic in the form of ad revenue.

Is Google susceptible to the sort of public pressure that would demand they stop rewarding fake news sites with a shit ton of money?
posted by schadenfrau at 9:21 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


NYT: Since Trump, Quiet Upstate Road Becomes a Busy Exit From U.S.
Given their proximity to Canada, people around here [Champlain, N.Y.] have always had some awareness of the world beyond the border. A pop music station in Montreal comes through clearly on the radio, and it is not all that unusual to make a run to the other side to shop. But the steady stream of cabs that have started driving up Roxham Road has forced them to reckon with life on the border and decisions made in Washington in ways they never have before.

...

Migrants have been coming to places like Roxham Road not because they want to sneak over the border; the expectation is to walk right into the arms of the Canadian authorities. An agreement between the United States and Canada makes it virtually impossible for them to ask for asylum at a legal border crossing; Canadian border officials would have to turn them back. But a technicality allows them to bypass the agreement by illegally setting foot in Canada.

“Once they get arrested, they’re already on Canadian soil,” said Jean-Sébastien Boudreault, the president of the Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association, “so we have to let them do a refugee claim.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:22 AM on March 8 [18 favorites]


The modern Christians I know don't talk about helping anyone these days. Their groups are essentially a self help group. Everything I've ever heard is how they need to focus on themselves, to make themselves righteous in the eyes of God. Constant talks about how everything, literally everything, is a corrupted tool of the devil out to get them. I haven't heard my friends (not so much anymore) say anything about helping anyone in at least 6 years. They've even claimed GoFundMe is a tool from the devil to weaken people. It's crazy.

Interesting. Most of the Christians I know are the exact opposite. They volunteer, donate and generally try to help others in need. They're marching in protests and teaching kindness and respect to their children. They're vehemently anti-racist and horrified by (and outspoken against) the various acts being taken in the name of their religion. They are a positive example of their faiths' core values.
posted by zarq at 9:22 AM on March 8 [19 favorites]


Perhaps those who are Blue and those Red need to call out to all elected officials

GIVE US THE SAME HEALTH CARE PLAN YOU HAVE
posted by Postroad at 9:23 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


GIVE US THE SAME HEALTH CARE PLAN YOU HAVE

Wait, isn't what they have Obamacare now?
posted by C'est la D.C. at 9:26 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


There is something fundamentally right and good about the idea of accepting that one is powerless, in the end, to do anything but simply love people, as best you can. And they have perverted that. I mean, truly, in the most sickening way, they have taken "love thy neighbor" and twisted it until they could find a justification for hatred and brutality in there. It's a capacity for evil that shocks me every time.

If you read the Bible, it's something that Jesus pretty much knew was going to happen:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [a]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’" (Matthew 17:21-23)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on March 8 [28 favorites]


>alcohol or other "luxury" items to trade.

Might be a good time to get a case of tequila or any other liquor from Mexico, if any of the mendacious testicle's tremendously terrible trade policies get enacted.
posted by Catblack at 9:31 AM on March 8


Yeah, there are definitely different kinds of Christians and using a broad brush to paint them all isn't useful or accurate.

I've worked with some of the most sincere, love-thy-neighbor types that would make Mr. Rogers want to be a better person. Real Sermon on the Mount believers.

And I've worked with others who have a long pedigree of Christianity, who proclaim their faith loudly, publicly, embracing the more convenient passages of Scripture and using them effectively to argue their points. But in private (before they find out you don't agree), they will tell you about how women who were raped probably did something to deserve it, how poor people have earned their plight because of their sinfulness, how most refugees shouldn't be allowed to enter the country regardless of their situation, how sick people shouldn't expect to have quality health care unless they can pay for it, etc.

In short, as it was known thousands of years ago: by their works ye shall know them.

(On preview: what Empress said)
posted by darkstar at 9:33 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]




Wait, isn't what they have Obamacare now?

Technically yes. Each member of congress is treated as a separate small employer and buys a SHOP plan for themselves and their staff. The Federal government picks up the tab for between 72% and 75% of whatever plan they pick.
posted by zrail at 9:36 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


I have a feeling that the next Republican president to meet basic standards of decency will develop an undeserved reputation for greatness by simple virtue of the comparison to the ones elected in 2000 and 2016.
posted by Sleeper at 9:36 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I have a feeling that the next Republican president to meet basic standards of decency will develop an undeserved reputation for greatness by simple virtue of the comparison to the ones elected in 2000 and 2016.


Good news for President Pence!
posted by darkstar at 9:38 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]




Interesting. Most of the Christians I know are the exact opposite. They volunteer, donate and generally try to help others in need. They're marching in protests and teaching kindness and respect to their children. They're vehemently anti-racist and horrified by (and outspoken against) the various acts being taken in the name of their religion. They are a positive example of their faiths' core values.

This, but I'm going to add a couple caveats:
1) Abortion - the protests outside Planned Parenthood, the horrible psychological manipulation of their alternative adoption-focused "clinics", and the literally voting for Nazis / a presidential candidate who perfectly embodies the description of the Antichrist over this single issue.

2) Missionary work - it's hard to respect Evangelicals who don't, because if you seriously believe that everyone who doesn't hear about Jesus defaults into an eternity of infinite pain, and you're not out there working near-suicidal hours to convert people then you're basically a fucking monster. On the other hand, it's hard to respect people who exploit the medical needs of others to conduct ideological warfare, even if they're essentially volunteering their labor to fulfill those needs.

As someone with, at any given moment, 10-15 extended family members actively performing missionary work (usually medical) in countries where it is either flatly illegal to do so, or where they have had to occasionally flee the Taliban/ISIS, I remain pretty conflicted on those specifics. Overall I agree with what you're saying, mostly.
posted by Ryvar at 9:39 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


NYT: Since Trump, Quiet Upstate Road Becomes a Busy Exit From U.S.

OMG now I'm crying at work. The pictures of the travel document in Arabic thrown in the snow, and mother and son crying at the border ...what the fuck happened to this country? Haven't refugees suffered enough?
posted by Tarumba at 9:39 AM on March 8 [19 favorites]


That's not the actual bill, bonehead. It's a yearly stunt by a Texas congressman.

(It sounds like I'm insulting you when I use your username, heh)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:39 AM on March 8 [19 favorites]


Senate panel approves transgender bathroom bill: A Texas Senate committee approved the transgender bathroom bill at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday, almost 21 hours after the start of a public hearing that drew hundreds, most of them in opposition.

Dammit, I thought my pitiful optimism couldn't disappoint me yet again, but looks like I'm wrong. (There was even a Democrat who crossed the aisle to vote this one in, and people arguing that we shouldn't primary him because "his son will take over his seat when he goes and the son is better!" Fuck you. Fuck all of you.) Time to look for our next line in the sand; at least we'll make them push us over it and wade through our exhaustion and blood. This is going to affect my workplace; it's more narrowly defined than HB 2 but SB 6 explicitly is intended to apply primarily to places of learning and education, because children are our future so I suppose it's better if the gender variant one hurt themselves and remove themselves from that future before it passes.

(The Capitol was covered in trans children and their parents having their backs, you guys. Kids as young as elementary schoolers whose parents wanted them to be happy whatever that looked like; a woman who went from Republican to hardline Democrat because her kid was trans and she decided her kid's happiness was more important than her inherited values publishing her story in the papers; teenagers and at the same time there were at least three class trips to the Capitol I walked past on my way to deliver my packet of letters. This process was witnessed by so many children, directly affected and not.)

My Republican family has abandoned me to this, and I'm sad, and I'm tired. So I'll let myself grieve for a few hours, and then we'll pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and laugh at some of the better protest signs because it's that or weeping. And then I'll let my own students, eighteen and nineteen year olds as they are, fret to me about their upcoming biology exam on Friday and distract us all with a field I still love when I've got the energy to do so.

We were talking seriously about having children in the next few years. Yeah, that's not happening for us now. Who knows what the GOP might do to try to take my children away, if I was so foolish as to bring them into existence in a place so tightly controlled by people who hate me so much? And how could I ever afford to survive pregnancy and childbirth and being medically vulnerable with so many attacks on my personal medical coverage?
posted by sciatrix at 9:39 AM on March 8 [71 favorites]


Isn't this problem solved if there's no way to monetize it?

Not if the model now is to end up in President Bannon's printer queue.

On Google: it's felt to me for a couple of years that (forgive the anthropomorphism) the big G has been showing signs of... well, the things that seem to affect the White House occupant. Can't recall stuff with the accuracy it once did, misremembers basic facts, repeats crazy stuff because many people are saying it. When infrastructure decays, it resembles physical frailty; when information services decay, they mimic cognitive impairment.
posted by holgate at 9:41 AM on March 8 [17 favorites]


GIVE US THE SAME HEALTH CARE PLAN YOU HAVE

"Sorry, I'm more important to society than you, as measured by The Market."
posted by Coventry at 9:41 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Is Google susceptible to the sort of public pressure that would demand they stop rewarding fake news sites with a shit ton of money?

Join Sleeping Giants on Twitter or on Facebook.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:42 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


H.R.1275 - World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017

Well, I don't know how official any of these rankings really are.
posted by AndrewInDC at 9:43 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


zarq, granted I only know of about 10 people that actively proclaim their faith, they all belong to the same group. I don't remember the name but they have regular retreats and gatherings. Each time I've spoken to them, including going out bowling as one of their functions, it was always about themselves and the evils around them.

I know there are many other Christians that don't act like this but I also don't really call them modern Christians. I feel that the modern Christians have recently become engaged with their beliefs versus others that have grown up with it.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 9:49 AM on March 8


I'm being responsible, I'm thinking ahead. It's for.. uh.. the After Times. definitely not for mixing with milk while i watch an ep of Young Pope tonight

Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:51 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


The Federal government picks up the tab for between 72% and 75% of whatever plan they pick.

And they pay the rest with the $174,000+ salary they get from the Federal government.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:56 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Sundance Selects will release the documentary KIKI, a dynamic coming of age story about resilience and the transformative art form that is voguing. KIKI offers riveting and complex insight into the daily lives of a group of LGBTQ youth-of-color who comprise the "Kiki" scene, a vibrant, safe space for performance created and governed by these activists.
posted by robbyrobs at 9:58 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


there is something particularly confounding about the attacks directed at Indian and Sikh people.

Nothing confounding about them, if the attacks are motivated by envy. Indians, at least, and I would assume Sikhs too, tend to have higher socio-economic status than average.

(This is not to excuse the attacks. They are despicable and racist whatever the initial motivation. Not sure what you mean by "these fuckers aren't even good at racism." Seems like the epitome of racism to me.)
posted by Coventry at 10:00 AM on March 8


huh, in all of the noise of the last couple of days i was not expecting this:

Quinnipiac Poll: Majority Want Sessions To Resign, Think He Lied Under Oath
posted by murphy slaw at 10:03 AM on March 8 [65 favorites]


It's not confounding. Brown == bad. That's all these people care to know.
posted by jferg at 10:03 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


H.R.1275 - World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017

Not to be confused with the World's Finest Healthcare Plan.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:06 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Also, Sikhs wear turbans which makes them Muslim which makes them terrorists.
posted by uosuaq at 10:06 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I hate to keep being That Person, but: does Quinnipiac lean liberal or conservative?

Can we add the biases of polling to the Wiki so I don't have to ask every thread? I like to get a sense of perspective on how these pollsters lean.
posted by pxe2000 at 10:07 AM on March 8


I know there are many other Christians that don't act like this but I also don't really call them modern Christians. I feel that the modern Christians have recently become engaged with their beliefs versus others that have grown up with it.

There could be some confirmation bias. There is a chance that you do know or are aquainted with more Christians whether regular church going or just generally follow the principles and don't know it because they're more about just working at being and doing good and not proclaiming "Hi, I'm X and I'm Christian and I'm doing this because I AM CHRISTIAN'. I grew up in this sort of environment where people didn't go around telling people or talk about it. They just did their thing.
In my experience it's the people who make it known 'I am Christian' if you care or not are generally the people who I would consider not super great in the whole Christ love your neighbor department.
posted by Jalliah at 10:08 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


Paul McLeod (BuzzFeed) is livetweeting from the Energy and Commerce committee markup of the healthcare bill. It seems to be going about as well as expected, and they've just finished making the poor clerks read the whole thing out loud:
This committee has collapsed into what I can only describe as a procedural brouhaha.
There is much objecting.
Other quality coverage on Twitter is available from Anna Edney (Bloomberg) (at least check out this t-shirt) and over on the Ways and Means side, Margot Sanger-Katz (NYT).
posted by zachlipton at 10:09 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


does Quinnipiac lean liberal or conservative?

This doesn't judge bias, but 538 considers them pretty accurate.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:09 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Quinnipiac is a very good pollster, I always take them seriously.
posted by Justinian at 10:10 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I support leadership declining to use their power to constrain student and faculty actions on campus. I understand it is a complicated issue, and I support the rights of students to protest and to do whatever they can to stand with the weak, including bringing pressure to bear on the students groups, faculty cooperators, and university leadership.
posted by Miko at 10:11 AM on March 8


It is becoming clear to me that my assumption that people would quickly grok what I meant in the comment above was wrongheaded. Somehow, despite leading off with "Every bit of [this] is terrible" it is still unclear on whether I consider all of the attacks terrible. And somehow, having closed by calling the perpetrators of such attacks "fuckers" engaged in "racism" was still not enough to curb speculation that I might simply be criticizing how well the attacks were targeted rather than that agreeing with the consensus that the attackers might just be fuckers engaged in what is clearly racism.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:11 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: collapsed into what I can only describe as a procedural brouhaha
posted by murphy slaw at 10:12 AM on March 8 [22 favorites]


darkstar: Yeah, there are definitely different kinds of Christians and using a broad brush to paint them all isn't useful or accurate.

Ryvar: This, but I'm going to add a couple caveats:

JakeEXTREME: I know there are many other Christians that don't act like this but I also don't really call them modern Christians. I feel that the modern Christians have recently become engaged with their beliefs versus others that have grown up with it.

Yeah, I'm definitely not trying to say that all Christians are 'this way'. The people I mostly associate with and am friends with are self-selected as well.
posted by zarq at 10:13 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]




Saw the title of the Republicare bill and just laughed. It's further reinforcing my view that they're really pursuing a bolshevik strategy. A strong democratic centralism. Heavy critique of Trump, but then when he's chosen, go kowtowing back with your tail and "support the decision of the party" full throttle.

But now this, it reads like straight up propaganda from a fascist dictatorship.

Frankly it's getting mighty Juche up here.
posted by symbioid at 10:14 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


wish we could create reservations out of all that empty government land out West where people like that could move and live free

Just to point out that land wasn't "empty" in 1492 and people who are still alive and enjoy limited national sovereignty would like to point out that conveying stolen property to someone other than its original owners is a separate crime from the theft itself.

The Libertopians are welcome to find Libertopia on their own traditional lands. There's plenty of fucking wastelands in Northern Europe.
posted by spitbull at 10:14 AM on March 8 [60 favorites]


On the various types of Christians:

See, this kind of discussion is why I have long advocated just dividing the world up into only two categories: jerks and non-jerks. Because the kind of Christians who would mix racism up in their personal beliefs aren't people we dislike because are Christians as such; they are people we dislike because they are jerks. Similarly, there are atheist jerks, Muslim jerks, Hindu jerks, Jewish jerks...there are also feminist jerks, misogynist jerks, Republican jerks, Democrat jerks, etc., etc., etc. And the various affiliations can inform and shape their jerkdom and provide it an avenue for manifestation. But the one constant in all cases, though, is that they're jerks.

There are degrees of jerkdom, and it is possible for a non-jerk to do a jerkish thing. But at least it's easier to agree on whether or not being a jerk is a bad thing. Because it is because they're jerks.

So yeah, there are Christians who do get all xenophobic right-wing racial politics about things, and there are Christians who don't. We could probably argue until the cows come home about how many of each category of Christians there are - but i bet that we would all agree that the xenophobic ones are jerks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:22 AM on March 8 [26 favorites]


I kind of wish Jimmy Carter could invite Trump to join him for a day at, say, a work site. If Trump bears a callous, it's certainly not on his hands, earned in service of others.

But I wouldn't want that for on Carter, and Trump would learn nothing. The example of Carter's faith and simple, human decency would be utterly lost. Plus Trump would be worse than worthless on a work site, I'm positive.
posted by Caxton1476 at 10:22 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


I've come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people in this world; the kind who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and the kind that don't.
posted by Rat Spatula at 10:23 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Given how older people not only tend to vote, but tend to vote GOP, I was really surprised at how the proposed repeal blatantly screws over that exact voting bloc. I may be missing something, but this sure looks like a poor political move.

Given that older people are the ones who most directly benefit from the very programs Republicans have historically wanted to eliminate, eventually they'll have to say "Fuck you" to the elders if the Rs intend to remain pure to their goals.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:24 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


That Delaware JCC got at least one bomb threat last month, so it's probably already on that list. It's just down the road from where I work.
posted by interplanetjanet at 10:24 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I've come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people in this world; the kind who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and the kind that don't.

And then there's me.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:27 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I've come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people in this world; the kind who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and the kind that don't.

And then there's me.


Is this a riddle? This feels like a riddle.

If one of you always lies and one of you always tells the truth...

Ugh I hate riddles.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:28 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


gerrymandering makes it far easier for them to win

A serious question (or perhaps a clarification, because I'm a mathematician and should theoretically know this shit), isn't the point of gerrymandering to slice a margin of victory as thin as is safe and spread it to a lot of districts, while shoving the opponent's margin into as few districts as possible? On a district-by-district level, gerrymandering results in many districts being harder for the gerrymandering party to win in exchange for having more of them which lean your way.

This seems like it'll matter if the Republicans piss off enough people. Gerrymandering is a good way to get more bang for your buck in exchange for getting nailed hard by a major electoral shift. In heavily gerrymandered states, it seems like they're actually more vulnerable.
posted by jackbishop at 10:28 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


Vox: The puzzling way Republicans want to replace the individual mandate, explained with a cartoon

Nice explainer, points out how the incentives in the replacement plan really don't appeal to healthy individuals.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:29 AM on March 8 [21 favorites]


So this happend:

At the start of each new U.S. Congress, in January of every odd-numbered year, newly elected or re-elected Members of Congress – the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate – must recite an oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

This oath is also taken by the Vice President, members of the Cabinet, federal judges and all other civil and military officers and federal employees other than the President.

So when will they do that? The defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic part?
posted by Freedomboy at 10:30 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


There are two kinds of people. Those who can't extrapolate from incomplete data...
posted by INFJ at 10:31 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


In much the same way that Guatama was born a Hindu but later recognized as the Buddha, and Jesus-worship was originally a Jewish cult until he was later venerated as Christ, whatever is happening now is the start of the next thing. I don't know what the precipitating event will be for a historical recognition of this; perhaps it's already happened and will be clear only in retrospect.

I think it's a mistake to see the American bastardisation of Christianity as the beginning of something new religiously. But I think it most certainly is the beginning of something new(-ish) and awful politically. I don't foresee much political stability when post-truth takes over.

Anyway, to keep this on topic, Trump sucks. And the whole "not actually a Christian" thing certainly seems to apply to him personally.

I've previously gone over that in some detail but can't find the thread. Months on, I'm still waiting for evidence to the contrary.

I have some really bad news for you about what the Church in its various forms and structures has been up to for the last couple of millennia.

Co-opting Christianity to further your own agenda isn't really a new thing, no. (Actually any popular religion or movement is probably a target for that.) But I think what's going on in America is more about ignorance regarding Christianity and utter stupidity regarding government than it is about claimed Christians being maliciously two-faced, as has happened before.

Also, that comment conflates the spiritual definition of Church (ἐκκλησία) with its outward, physical manifestation (no Greek word, because it's less useful conceptually and as Jesus predicted per EmpressCallipygos, the thing's gone bad a lot).

I usually poke people for conflating those two things, so *poke*
posted by iffthen at 10:31 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Is this a riddle? This feels like a riddle.

I think we were both badly paraphrasing a J.R. "Bob" Dobbs quotation:
"There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say, 'There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say there are two kinds of people in the world, and the other kind,' and there's who don't say. Well, then there's me."
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:31 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


> Gerrymandering is a good way to get more bang for your buck in exchange for getting nailed hard by a major electoral shift. In heavily gerrymandered states, it seems like they're actually more vulnerable.

Right, gerrymandering makes a party more vulnerable *if* there's a wave election. A 5-10% vote swing would lead to a massive (non-linear) shift in Congress.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:31 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I have long advocated just dividing the world up into only two categories: jerks and non-jerks.

Masturbatory Manichaeism?
posted by Coventry at 10:32 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


(It's also interesting that a component of post-truth is that bald-faced hypocrisy is just fine because it's not "the other side" doing it. That and actual Christianity are mutually exclusive.)
posted by iffthen at 10:33 AM on March 8




Trudeau unveils $650 million plan for sexual, reproductive health

I feel like (or maybe hope) that Canada's response to Trump is just to be EXTRA nice. Canada dialing it's niceness up to 11.
posted by INFJ at 10:35 AM on March 8 [28 favorites]


Spicey time
Time for you to go out go out into the world.
Spicey time
Turn the lights up over every briefing room
posted by zachlipton at 10:36 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


I feel like (or maybe hope) that Canada's response to Trump is just to be EXTRA nice. Canada dialing it's niceness up to 11.

If that's the case what does Australia do extra of?
posted by iffthen at 10:37 AM on March 8


Maybe Canada's strategy is to attract all the tech workers up there. Independent of Trudeau's latest initiative, they are making Montreal look mighty attractive to AI researchers.
posted by Coventry at 10:38 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


If that's the case what does Australia do extra of?

Evolving more terrifying and highly venomous creatures?
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:40 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


that's exactly why Georgia Republicans are redistricting again right now.

Redistricting in 2017 means that you can bring in all the new residency data, feed it into the mapping software, and avoid the usual situation in which demographic change unwinds the gerrymander towards the end of the decade. Even GOP-led states that lost districting cases are able to go back and do that, and run with parameters that give themselves more of a buffer against losses in a potential wave election instead of trying to steal additional seats. And of course, all of that stuff is done behind the scenes, so we don't see the inputs. That's why districting needs to be out of the hands of politicians.
posted by holgate at 10:44 AM on March 8 [19 favorites]


If that's the case what does Australia do extra of?

Unleash massive waves of Yahoo Serious movies.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:45 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Maybe Canada's strategy is to attract all the tech workers up there.

Well, if they have a website for me to apply for residency and post my resume, it's an attractive option.
posted by mikelieman at 10:45 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Right on time RT gives Roger Stone an opportunity to accuse Obama of "breaking in" to the Trump Tower and fantasizes about dragging him before a Grand Jury. I'd honestly like to know if RT stories make the list of Presidentially-approved media sources.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:47 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


wish we could create reservations out of all that empty government land out West where people like that could move and live free

Just to point out that land wasn't "empty" in 1492 and people who are still alive and enjoy limited national sovereignty would like to point out that conveying stolen property to someone other than its original owners is a separate crime from the theft itself.
For an example from the West where this sort of thing went really, really wrong I would like to mention that's pretty much the entire history of Utah up to the present day. Mormon squatters forcibly ejected native tribes wherever they found a water source that allowed the tribes to subsist, but then the Mormons also rejected any outside knowledge of how subsistence worked in the desert and tried to grow non-desert-friendly crops like tobacco. Many early Mormon communities more or less failed because they didn't know what they were doing in the first place, failed to adapt to local conditions, or because they were wiped out in floods they didn't know to expect. It's really interesting to visit National Park Service lands in Utah where they have to present this history in a non-confrontational way. Capitol Reef and Pipe Spring talk about it a bit; Zion's history mentions a Mormon settlement but not that it was abandoned primarily because it couldn't support cattle ranching.

A lot of white people in Utah (see: Chaffetz, Jason) and Nevada (see: Bundy, Cliven et al.) still act like federally-owned lands should just be there for white people to take and ruin before moving onto the next plot, showing no indication of having learned from multiple generations' worth of mistakes. Even if there were no native claim to any of the Federal lands, these are typically people who will still try to take other land through violent conflict if they think it's better than what they have. Meanwhile the native tribes who adapted to subsistence in the first place get pushed off the parts of their land on which it's actually possible to subsist, and face too much outside pressure (social, political, environmental, etc) to preserve the way of life they had on what meager land they have left.

It's … not a great system. For anybody.
posted by fedward at 10:49 AM on March 8 [78 favorites]


Just to clarify, the Georgia Republicans are redrawing state districts, not federal districts.
posted by Sauce Trough at 10:51 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Even if there were no native claim to any of the Federal lands, these are typically people who will still try to take other land through violent conflict if they think it's better than what they have. Meanwhile the native tribes who adapted to subsistence in the first place get pushed off the parts of their land on which it's actually possible to subsist, and face too much outside pressure (social, political, environmental, etc) to preserve the way of life they had on what meager land they have left.

It's … not a great system. For anybody.


Put a wall around Manhattan, mine the bridges and tunnels, enjoy your libertarian paradise. Lemme know who the Duke turns out to be.
posted by mikelieman at 10:52 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


symbioid, I've been grossed out by the fascism creeping into and all over the language for ages, ever since the gag-inducing decision to name the stupid thing "The Department of Homeland Security." "The Patriot Act." The threat-level posters and announcements in the airports, permanently stuck on orange. A million other stupid things I've no doubt repressed from W's reign.

But Trump has kicked it up to the tippitytoppest notch. If you have to click on the latest MAGAism to determine whether it's a joke, and then it turns out to be real? Well, then you know it's pretty bad.

Threatlevel goldtoilet.
posted by Don Pepino at 10:52 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


Quinnipiac Poll: Majority Want Sessions To Resign, Think He Lied Under Oath

Sessions obviously lied under oath. It's somewhat heartening that many Americans are less gullible and/or corrupt than the news media that has bent over backwards to excuse Sessions' inexcusable and contemptuous act.
posted by Gelatin at 10:55 AM on March 8 [29 favorites]


Put a wall around Manhattan, mine the bridges and tunnels, enjoy your libertarian paradise. Lemme know who the Duke turns out to be.

I don't understand this comment. Are you replying to me, or commenting on the behavior of Western expansionists? I assure you I am not a libertarian.
posted by fedward at 10:56 AM on March 8


So when will they do that? The defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic part?

The Constitution is a contract between the American people and the American state. You can break contracts as much as you like if you think the other side isn't going to take you to court - that's Trump's SOP. The only way the Constitution will save you is if you the American people declare it's being breached and take appropriate action.

There are various remedies to broken contracts. The standard one is to go to court. Another is to stop acting as if you're bound by it, and refuse to accept its strictures if you don't get its benefits. Still another is to publicise the breach and use that to persuade others to help you fix things.

The appropriate action is up to you, Americans. I'd stop short of civil war if possible, as it has notable downsides, but nothing morally or practically says you can't use the Constitution as a rallying point. As far as I'm aware, it's still held in high regard even by many who don't otherwise agree on much.
posted by Devonian at 10:58 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


It's an Escape from New York joke.
posted by Sphinx at 10:58 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


(It's also interesting that a component of post-truth is that bald-faced hypocrisy is just fine because it's not "the other side" doing it. That and actual Christianity are mutually exclusive.)

Yeah, over 100 Evangelical fundamentalists in my Facebook feed (aka Everyone Back Home), 0 pro-Trump memes.

Ever. Combined.

Used to be some non-Trump Breitbart links but after 7-8 Snopes links from me that dried up entirely - they're not stupid, and they're not disingenuous. Filed under "why I still go home for the holidays".

That said, not a day goes by where I don't see at least a dozen of them arguing about how Planned Parenthood = Nazis and enablers of state-sanctioned genocide. They will never side with us in the voting booth because of that. They're mostly willing to grudgingly accept gay rights because most prohibitions against that (and all the extreme ones) exist in the Old Testament (thus, Old Covenant, and superceded by Christ). To be completely honest the prevailing attitude towards LGBTQ seems to be that as long as they get to be catty about it behind closed doors, they're willing to let it drop. Christ's kingdom is not of this world, thus not their place to enforce it through secular means, etc.

That is absolutely not the case with abortion... or at least so I thought until nearly a quarter of them - including my mother - told me after the election that they would've voted for Bernie Sanders if they'd had the choice. Not sure how you square that circle, but there you go: Bernie Bros for Jesus might be a thing. In seriousness: Trump vs Warren might actually pull some of the fundies away from straightline GOP voting. Only a few, sure, but it's entirely possible.
posted by Ryvar at 10:59 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]




Spicer: "There is a big difference between disclosing John Podesta’s Gmail account … and the leaking of classified information."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:02 AM on March 8


Hey, remember that Confide app that Republican staffers have been using? Turns out it's not very good.
posted by ckape at 11:02 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Spicer, on Why Trump said he loved WikiLeaks last year vs now: "There is a big difference between disclosing John Podesta's GMail accounts...and leaking classified information."

In short: It's Ok If They Attack A Democrat
posted by zachlipton at 11:02 AM on March 8 [43 favorites]


A pro-choice man is a lot different than a pro-choice woman. A pro-choice woman is unnatural and evil, because we're supposed to love all the babies. A pro-choice man is just a politician.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:03 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Just to point out that land wasn't "empty" in 1492 and people who are still alive and enjoy limited national sovereignty would like to point out that conveying stolen property to someone other than its original owners is a separate crime from the theft itself.

I'm not actually advocating creating literal concentration camps for libertarians.
posted by Gelatin at 11:04 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


"If you're looking at the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place," Spicer says of non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:06 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


Spicer ducking the question on whether the President has full confidence in Janet Yellen is not a good look.
posted by zachlipton at 11:07 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


"If you're looking at the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place," Spicer says of non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Just eliminate the CBO and replace it with Infowars, amirite?
posted by dis_integration at 11:11 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Spicer, on Why Trump said he loved WikiLeaks last year vs now: "There is a big difference between disclosing John Podesta's GMail accounts...and leaking classified information."

Thank you for providing context here, zachlipton! It helps those of us not watching to know what he's responding to.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:12 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Spicer says thanks but no thanks to outside DC-based organizations' opinion on the healthcare bill.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:12 AM on March 8


"If you're looking at the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place," Spicer says of non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

note that republicans created the CBO in the first place after Johnson slipped Medicare past them on made-up numbers
posted by murphy slaw at 11:13 AM on March 8 [37 favorites]


Spicer is asked if it's concerning that all the doctors' associations are opposed to this bill. In response, he makes a big deal out of the fact that Tom Price is a doctor too, apparently saying that medical associations don't matter as long as you've got a doctor at HHS Secretary.
posted by zachlipton at 11:14 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


That is absolutely not the case with abortion... or at least so I thought until nearly a quarter of them - including my mother - told me after the election that they would've voted for Bernie Sanders if they'd had the choice.

They told you that after they got sticker shock over their part in electing the worst major-party candidate for President in American history. It's bullshit. They wouldn't have voted for Sanders, and they won't vote for Warren. They'll come up with any excuse they can to vote for a Republican, because that's the choice they've made, and it's only vaguely about abortion, because everyone who's taken more than five minutes to look at it knows that abortions decrease when you (elect Democrats and) have better sex ed, better education for women generally, and better healthcare for women.

If Sanders had been the nominee, he would have had months more slime thrown at him, and if he'd lost, those people would tell you that they would have voted for Hillary Clinton if they'd had the choice. Effort spent peeling off Trump voters is wasted effort.
posted by Etrigan at 11:14 AM on March 8 [103 favorites]


Disney's Iger cites 'Hamilton' in defending role on Trump's forum:
"There's an opportunity to have a voice in the room where it happens to speak for our company and its investors," Iger said. "But I respect your opinion."
Sit down Bob.
posted by zachlipton at 11:16 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Put a wall around Manhattan, mine the bridges and tunnels, enjoy your libertarian paradise. Lemme know who the Duke turns out to be.

Batman with the Vocal Fry.
posted by srboisvert at 11:19 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Hey, remember that Confide app that Republican staffers have been using? Turns out it's not very good.

Rubbing hands in anticipation of revealed messages that Trumpists thought were secure....
posted by msalt at 11:22 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Responding to WAY upthread stuff, but, hey.

Do not let them call it "Trumpcare" or anything else. They absolutely as a party have to own it and take credit for it no matter how bad it is.

Ehhh... As much as I'm sympathetic to any call to stick it to Republicans, this tactic could prove to be VERY counterproductive. Giving them ownership of it would be giving them a reason to defend it; pinning it on a single person (Trump, Ryan, or even Obama still) gives them permission to oppose it. The goal should be to make it as easy as possible for Republicans to cut this thing off at the knees.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:22 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I'd point out that these headlines are somewhat misleading in describing Mennonites as "apolitical" or not in the habit of taking action for social justice.

While that may be true for the specific communities described in the articles (I wouldn't know) there are very many different denominations of Mennonite, some of which are focussed on social justice and nonviolent action first and foremost.
posted by tel3path at 11:22 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Yeah, over 100 Evangelical fundamentalists in my Facebook feed (aka Everyone Back Home), 0 pro-Trump memes.

I wish I had your friends. Between my evangelical parents and friends from Christian highschool and my warmongering Navy shipmates my newsfeed is an irredeemable morass.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:22 AM on March 8 [10 favorites]


The right blasts the CBO whenever CBO analysis suggests right wing policy will result in deficits. Here's Gingrich recently (Gingrich: Congressional Budget Office 'Incompatible' With Trump):
According to its website, "CBO has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process."

Gingrich challenged that definition, saying, "It is a left-wing, corrupt, bureaucratic defender of big government and liberalism . . . in the four years I was Speaker of the House, CBO was consistently difficult to work with. If we hadn't fought with them constantly, we would never have balanced the budget."
They aren't going to let CBO scoring get in the way if they can help it (and they can't help it in the Senate: Vox primer on reconciliation and the CBO), but it's still helpful for the rest of us to have some decent cost estimates.
posted by notyou at 11:26 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Update on the Hawaii case against Trump's travel ban: According to the joint filing by the state and Justice Department lawyers, the department’s response would be due on March 13 and Hawaii’s reply would be filed the next day. Judge Watson agreed with the proposed schedule in an order filed on Wednesday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:26 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


I don't see how Disney World/Land will survive without international travel.

At this point I'm actively telling people I know outside of US to stay as far the hell away as possible for now.
posted by archimago at 11:26 AM on March 8 [14 favorites]


Some fine-tuned machine action right here, with the OMB Director talking up the CBO score as Spicer trashes the CBO.

It's also worth pointing out that the main reason the ACA's CBO score was off was because they assumed more employers would drop health coverage, leaving more people to need the exchanges. It turned out that didn't happen, which is not actually a bad thing.
posted by zachlipton at 11:33 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Spicey is basically saying sure, it's a shit sandwich, but we're carefully slicing the bread and placing the shit so nicely upon that we should be praised. Eat your tasty , filling Obama sandwich sure, but remember how sloppy it was, and that's why it's bad.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:33 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Linda Sarsour has been singled out and arrested along with about a dozen others, among a larger crowd.
posted by Yowser at 11:33 AM on March 8 [6 favorites]


So yeah, there are Christians who do get all xenophobic right-wing racial politics about things, and there are Christians who don't. We could probably argue until the cows come home about how many of each category of Christians there are - but i bet that we would all agree that the xenophobic ones are jerks.

The problem with this position is it ignores institutionalized racism, sexism, etc. It's not enough to say "there are Christians who are jerks. We must acknowledge that their Churches not only sanction such behavior but also encourage it in their flocks. In some cases to the extent that they push their congregations to vote for laws that take rights away from their fellow citizens.

It's not enough to say, "Some Mormons are jerks." Because their Church raised and spent millions attacking gay marriage in California.

Put another way, the problem with this is there are religious institutions who officially advocate screwing over people they don't like. The policies and rules of the Catholic Church for their faithful have been overtly homophobic. Saying, "well, some Christians are jerks" drastically downplays the problem.
posted by zarq at 11:36 AM on March 8 [35 favorites]


Linda Sarsour has been singled out and arrested along with about a dozen others, among a larger crowd.

uh, context?
posted by murphy slaw at 11:36 AM on March 8 [13 favorites]


At this point I'm actively telling people I know outside of US to stay as far the hell away as possible for now.

Only anecdotal here. I know a bunch of people who regularly go on vacation to the US. I know another bunch that take trips over the border a few times a year for a daycation of shopping. Every single one of all of these people are have either cancelled or have changed their plans. I'm hearing people chatting about not going to the US anymore all over the place. I knew that their would be some if not a lot people doing this but I'm actually a bit shocked at the extent of it. The big talk among the Snowbirds around here (there's tons and many have come home early this year) is whether to sell now, wait and see or if they don't own find some other country to go too.

I also have heard of people cancelling going to conferences and talk about moving other conferences up here (mostly tech community).

It feels ominous.

I super interested to find out how much I'm in a bubble or if visits from Canada are going to drop right off.
posted by Jalliah at 11:37 AM on March 8 [12 favorites]


They told you that after they got sticker shock

It is entirely possible that this is the case for most of the ones that told me this, yes, hence the hedging on my part. That said: as above, they're not idiots, and they're not disingenuous - they're aware of the essential similarity between Bernie's message and Christ's (particularly the Den of Thieves bit), and of Trump precisely fitting the description of the antagonist in every one of Christ's parable, and the Antichrist's description as well. I don't think you'll get most, or even most of the ones who say they might have jumped differently, but we just suffered the worst electoral disaster in modern history by a margin of 100,000 votes, so...

it's only vaguely about abortion, because-

Yeah, I'm going to stop you right there and say not only are you wrong, but you're utterly, completely, and in all ways wrong on this point. For the northern coastal (NE/PNW) fundie crowd it is 99% about abortion and maybe 1% about residual cultural patriarchy bullshit regarding Hillary. The actual results of administrations and policies is not a factor and influences their decision-making exactly zero, and contrary facts and figures may as well not exist. There is a culture-spanning mental short circuit at work here, where Psalm 139:13 = a divine ruling that fetal personhood is a thing = abortion constitutes state-sanctioned genocide. End of story. They believe their definition of human life comes directly from God, and historically nothing has ever beaten "God told me so."

And not one of these people would have voted for Hillary under any circumstances except Trump openly supporting abortion, nor would they have claimed to be willing to do so post-facto. There is absolutely a patriarchal cultural element at work here, and while women can hold (non-ministerial) authority they are always held to an incredibly unfair standard while doing so. My mother was a raging firebrand of a community leader and I shudder to think what she might have accomplished unburdened of that prejudice.

I wish I had your friends.

See also: these are northern "coastal elite" WASP-ish fundies. The kind with both the financial means and self-honesty required to motivate the majority of them into spending at least several years overseas doing serious embedded missionary work as doctors or nurses. Culturally patriarchal as fuck, they can still be salvaged in certain contexts and extreme circumstances.
posted by Ryvar at 11:38 AM on March 8 [15 favorites]


Linda Sarsour has been singled out and arrested along with about a dozen others, among a larger crowd.

uh, context?


Context is that there was a protest in NYC to go along with the strike, and cops are gonna cop.

"BUT SOME OF THEM WORE PUSSY HATS!"

A cop in a pussy hat is still a cop, at the end of the day.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:39 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


> I also have heard of people cancelling going to conferences and talk about moving other conferences up here (mostly tech community).

This is certainly true of astronomy meetings, and from what I hear, true for other academics as well.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:39 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Linda Sarsour has been singled out and arrested along with about a dozen others, among a larger crowd.

uh, context?


Here's a tweet from Al Jazeera. That's all I've seen so far.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:40 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


At this point I'm actively telling people I know outside of US to stay as far the hell away as possible for now.

What a coincidence! I'm telling people I know inside the US to stay as far the hell away as possible for now.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:40 AM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Spicer continues to dodge the question of whether or not Trump & associates are or were under federal investigation -- asked specifically about that, says repeatedly 'there's no evidence that anyone colluded with Russia; Trump has been clear he has no ties.' Follow-up question: but is there or was there an investigation, yes or no? Spicer, dodging again: 'There's no evidence that anything happened! People keep recycling the same old stories, but there's no evidence!'

Reporter: 'But the president himself has said that his wires were tapped.' (Implying: is he confirming that there was an investigation? Are you saying that there wasn't a wiretap?)
Spicer: 'The President has made very clear that he's asked the House & Senate to open an investigation. Next question!'
posted by cjelli at 11:40 AM on March 8 [8 favorites]


I super interested to find out how much I'm in a bubble or if visits from Canada are going to drop right off.

Not a bubble; I've had conversations with three different sets of friends and family in Canada, and everyone across the board agrees that their former two or three trips a year is now zero trips a year. The reason is usually a mixture of paranoia and distaste.
posted by tillermo at 11:40 AM on March 8 [5 favorites]


It's unclear to me why people are being arrested, but the Al Jazeera link from Strange Interlude shows a woman being arrested for apparently sitting in the street, which NYPD will get you for on a good day.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:42 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]




I'd honestly like to know if RT stories make the list of Presidentially-approved media sources.

Yes, they do.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:46 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


All I have right now is a video along with unsubstantiated(but plausible) claims that people other than her have been arrested.
posted by Yowser at 11:47 AM on March 8


Per their Facebook:
UPDATE! Location to meet is 7th Precinct. NYC: Many of our national organizers have been arrested in an act of civil disobedience. We will not be silent. Meet us at 7th Precinct in Manhattan now to show solidarity with our sisters who were arrested today. #DayWithoutAWoman
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:48 AM on March 8 [9 favorites]


I super interested to find out how much I'm in a bubble or if visits from Canada are going to drop right off.

I have two friends in Canada (Yellowknife) who have a trip planned to visit another friend in Arizona sometime this month, and a whole Facebook conversation happened about whether they should cancel. The specific impetus for the concern was a report that went around some LGBT blogs last month about a Canadian man denied entry to the US when CBP looked at his Scruff dating app profile and decided it meant he was a sex worker. (Then apparently he tried again after deleting the app for the trip and was again denied because "deleting it was suspicious.")

Further research shows the incidents happened last fall, pre-45, but given CBP's current more aggressive stance it seems plausible it could happen again soon.
posted by dnash at 11:49 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


And not one of these people would have voted for Hillary under any circumstances except Trump openly supporting abortion, nor would they have claimed to be willing to do so post-facto.

So these people who would never have voted for Clinton because of abortion would have voted for a person with the exact same 100% NARAL rating and 0% NRLC rating with a much, much longer record of votes on the topic? I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.

And yes, the margin was only 100,000 votes. But it'll be a lot easier to get 100,000 people who didn't or couldn't vote to the polls than to find the magical 100,000 unicorns who weren't quite convinced to hold their noses and vote against Trump.
posted by Etrigan at 11:52 AM on March 8 [24 favorites]


I super interested to find out how much I'm in a bubble or if visits from Canada are going to drop right off.

Canadian here!

I have friends who live in the US who are within an easy day's drive. I've visited them before and would love to again - but not with this administration.
There are gaming conventions and LARP events in the US that I have done in the past, and would love to go to in the future - but not with this administration.
I would love to visit Hawaii, my parents have had such good times there, and it seems like my kind of mountain-plus-ocean getaway - but not with this administration.

I'm not the only one.
posted by sandraregina at 11:53 AM on March 8 [24 favorites]


I super interested to find out how much I'm in a bubble or if visits from Canada are going to drop right off.

If I see my parents this year it will be because they traveled from Canada to Chicago to visit me because I am not crossing the border until shit gets properly sorted.
posted by srboisvert at 11:56 AM on March 8 [7 favorites]


I teach english in Brazil. In just the last few months all of my students have stopped talking about traveling to Disney. That place is fucked if things continue like this.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:02 PM on March 8 [33 favorites]


until shit gets properly sorted

I just hope this doesn't mean as we are ushered through checkpoints and into trains.
posted by archimago at 12:04 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I noticed something in an article from The Hill cited in the previous thread:
Said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL): “Right now the Speaker of the House does not have the votes to pass this bill unless he’s got substantial Democratic support.”
Hey, remember how Republican Speakers of the House kept invoking something called the "Hastert Rule" that said they couldn't pass even popular or even necessary legislation unless they had a majority of the Republican caucus?
posted by Gelatin at 12:08 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


It's really more of a Hastert suggestion
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:09 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


I just hope this doesn't mean as we are ushered through checkpoints and into trains.

We don't really have that kind of train infrastructure in the US anymore. Surely they'll use tractor-trailer trucks.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:09 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Hearing the Canadians talk about not coming here is so depressing. I mean, if I were a citizen of another country, I definitely would not be coming to the U.S. at this point, but it's so hard to hear people say this (correctly!) about my country. I hate this.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:10 PM on March 8 [49 favorites]


So these people who would never have voted for Clinton because of abortion would have voted for a person with the exact same 100% NARAL rating and 0% NRLC rating with a much, much longer record of votes on the topic? I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.

This is exactly why I indicated my shock at having 20-25 of them tell me that, because they're completely aware of those facts. For them, researching the positions of presidential candidates (and we are talking about the kind of people who actually set aside time dedicated to doing that, because in their 1950s picket-fences mental model God wants them to be Responsible Citizens) generally consists of tracking down a non-partisan candidate comparison chart and scrolling down to the section on abortion. And yes, there's some dark fucking irony right there; sic transit gloria mundi.

The thing is, when Bernie Sanders speaks he sounds a lot like the actual red text in their Bibles - Jesus Christ was a pretty hardcore class-warrior, even by modern standards. Warren shares that in a way that Hillary never did - my cousin shared that video of her chewing out the former Wells Fargo CEO, between shifts at a Nigerian field hospital - and I think it could make a difference.

than to find the magical 100,000 unicorns who weren't quite convinced to hold their noses and vote against Trump.

To be clear: I'm not suggesting we do anything - I have no plans to beyond the every-couple-weeks political link that I think might reach them or a judicious Snopes link when something demonstrably false starts to gain traction - I am simply stating that some of them might come around, and attempting to correct the mental model of my fellow travelers on the left regarding fundies of the non-hick variety.
posted by Ryvar at 12:11 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Come visit us in Canada! We have poutine and almost-legal pot!
posted by mannequito at 12:12 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I don't see how Disney World/Land will survive without international travel.

At this point I'm actively telling people I know outside of US to stay as far the hell away as possible for now.


I'm curious about how the international Disney parks will hold up. Remove the travel aspect and they're just another outpost of American culture.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:13 PM on March 8


Come visit us in Canada! We have poutine and almost-legal pot!

Plus, you might not be able to return to the US!
posted by uncleozzy at 12:14 PM on March 8 [22 favorites]


Disney World (and Land) might also see attendance stay stable - I keep hearing a lot of people here say they aren't willing to travel internationally because they don't want to deal with any potential issues at the border.
posted by Mchelly at 12:16 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


I think American culture is fine.

Us people outside of America are scared shitless of the thought of being detained for months or years for having Tinder on our phones (or whatever arbitrary BS).

Maybe it hasn't happened yet to white privileged people with single citizenship from "acceptable" countries, but who dare risk being the first one?
posted by Yowser at 12:16 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


MIT Media Lab is offering a $250,000 prize for disobedience: "With this award, we honor work that impacts society in positive ways, and is consistent with a set of key principles. These principles include non-violence, creativity, courage, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. This disobedience is not limited to specific disciplines; examples include scientific research, civil rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and the freedom to innovate."

Applications accepted through May 1. One caveat: "The recipient must be living."
posted by adamg at 12:17 PM on March 8 [40 favorites]


Come visit us in Canada!

I want to visit my family in Seattle-Portland but do not trust CBP two months from now. So I bought tickets to Vancouver and will decide day of if I feel like risking it with a bus ride. Maybe I will just hang out in BC for a couple weeks, enjoy Canadian hospitality, and guilt my Republican parents into driving up and visiting me.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:19 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Come visit us in Canada! We have poutine and almost-legal pot!

We're coming to Ottawa in July to see giant monsters!

With our mixed bag family of two dual citizens, two American citizens and one Canadian green card holder, the border crossings should be... interesting? Educational?
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:19 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


So when do people start wearing discrete video cameras and livestreaming/broadcasting their movement through the US border checks?

Just for the sake of having documentation of maltreatment or at least something to base the lawsuit on.
posted by teleri025 at 12:20 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


adamg: MIT Media Lab is offering a $250,000 prize for disobedience...
Applications accepted through May 1. One caveat: "The recipient must be living."


From the page before you enter your name and more details:
We take privacy seriously.
This nomination form is a secure form and the information submitted will not be shared publicly. Information submitted will be reviewed by the award selection committee only. If one of your nominees is selected as the award recipient, we will contact the winner for permission before announcing any personal information. We are mindful of privacy and the fact that many people and organizations doing disobedient work might not want to disclose their information to the public.
Award recipient will be announced live on July 21, 2017.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:22 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


The Intercept is debunking the Wikileaks claim that the CIA tools leaked (Vault 7) are designed to forge forensic evidence and improperly assign hacks to Russia.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 12:24 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


I've come to the conclusion that Putin's plan to put Trump in power was not about controlling the United States. It was about destroying the United States.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:25 PM on March 8 [26 favorites]


I just hope this doesn't mean as we are ushered through checkpoints and into trains.
---
We don't really have that kind of train infrastructure in the US anymore. Surely they'll use tractor-trailer trucks.


Self-driving trucks. Less chance of a driver being compromised.
posted by erisfree at 12:25 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


The Intercept is debunking the Wikileaks claim

Do mine eyes deceive
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:26 PM on March 8 [18 favorites]


It was about destroying the United States.

Well, yeah. In a way, Putin is also along for the dog-that-caught-the-car ride here. Hence the kind of blowing hot and cold on Trump that the Russian state media is doing.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:28 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Come visit us in Canada! We have poutine and almost-legal pot!

Things I have been asked as a Canadian PR returning to Canada:

a. Names and occupations of all the people I visited in the US (more than once)
b. A day by day account of everything I did in a 3 day trip across the border
c. Why I like to visit my family in [Western European country]. (Answering 'because I love them' is not the right answer, by the way)
d. What my mother does and why she lives where she does and so forth.
e. etc, etc.

I have seen going through borders involve Canadian border guards making old women cry, screaming at people who don't understand English, etc. etc. Crossing any international border these days is not a pleasant experience (or so I have found), and it's getting progressively worse. Canada may not have Trump, but it's not a world of flowers and bunnies at the border either.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:28 PM on March 8 [28 favorites]


ABC News has linked a letter the JCC Association just sent AG Sessions, asking for a meeting.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:34 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Sessions apparently met Kislyak a third time during the campaign (at the Mayflower hotel for a Trump speech in April 2016). He didn't disclose this in his written additions to his testimony he submitted Monday.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:34 PM on March 8 [85 favorites]


"MIT Media Lab is offering a $250,000 prize for disobedience: "

I nominated Aaron Swartz. I know he's not eligible, but... it seemed appropriate.
posted by BentFranklin at 12:34 PM on March 8 [30 favorites]


The more Sessions and Kislyak thing show up the more I just wish to cackle with glee.
posted by INFJ at 12:37 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Sessions apparently met Kislyak a third time during the campaign (at the Mayflower hotel for a Trump speech in April 2016). He didn't disclose this in his written additions to his testimony he submitted Monday.

Another term for that is "covered up."

I hope the media is paying attention that even the nonsense excuses he offered up the other day -- and they appear to have credited, incomprehensibly, with being plausible -- appear to have been phony, and draw the obvious conclusion that the Trump Administration is covering something up -- something that involves, but I doubt is limited to, shady ties with Russia.
posted by Gelatin at 12:39 PM on March 8 [17 favorites]


You know, I'm having these weird day dreams about moving to the trailer park of the Trailer Park Boys except they are real people and to get my cannabis I just peel some hashish off of Ricky's driveway. I'd also talk to Bubbles about kitties a lot.
posted by angrycat at 12:41 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Maybe Kislyak has one of those "Men In Black" type of flashing pens.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:42 PM on March 8 [15 favorites]


All the Trump supporters I know personally (my husband's extended family, mainly) are Christians of the "love thy neighbor but not thy brown neighbor" variety. It's sickening.
posted by lydhre at 12:44 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Regarding religious communities - I just finished listening to 99 percent invisible's episode on the Sanctuary Movement, and these sorts of things do give me hope for the future regarding Christian voting patterns.

Arguments about what Christians are like always seem so weird to me because most of the captial C Christians I know (the ones that proclaim their Christianity through words, deeds and facebook memes whenever possible), are also not white. And there's a gigantic gulf there between Mexican Catholics, African-American Episcopalians, and White Christianity. I'm not going to say that they don't care about abortion, but it's certainly not how they decided to vote en masse - the majority of Christians I know are pro-choice even if they don't really associate with that label (IE, they believe abortion is immoral, but they don't want to restrict abortion for others).
posted by dinty_moore at 12:44 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


"However, in a small group setting like this one, we consider it unlikely that anyone could have engaged in a meaningful private conversation without drawing attention from others present,” the statement read.

Just being in the same room doesn't count as a meeting to me. I'm sure it was no more than significant glances being exchanged.

Slightly related, see this: No Way Out.
posted by BentFranklin at 12:45 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Sessions apparently met Kislyak a third time during the campaign (at the Mayflower hotel for a Trump speech in April 2016). He didn't disclose this in his written additions to his testimony he submitted Monday.

OMG these people are so dumb. It's painful.
posted by Jalliah at 12:47 PM on March 8 [22 favorites]


I don't care about spoiler alerts any more. I just want to know how this whole thing ends.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:47 PM on March 8 [48 favorites]


The Republican Plan Is Even Worse Than Obamacare
March 7, 2017 By Megan McArdle
posted by robbyrobs at 12:49 PM on March 8


it keeps cracking me up to see conservative commentators use Obamacare as an epithet, but hey, whatever it takes to express that this bill is an Atkins-friendly shit sandwich
posted by murphy slaw at 12:51 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Matt Taibbi: Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media: Russia scandals have bloodied the Trump administration. But it carries dangers for those reporting it.
Hypothesize for a moment that the "scandal" here is real, but in a limited sense: Trump's surrogates have not colluded with Russians, but have had “contacts,” and recognize their political liability, and lie about them. Investigators then leak the true details of these contacts, leaving the wild speculations to the media and the Internet. Trump is enough of a pig and a menace that it's easy to imagine doing this and not feeling terribly sorry that your leaks have been over-interpreted.

If that's the case, there are big dangers for the press. If we engage in Times-style gilding of every lily the leakers throw our way, and in doing so build up a fever of expectations for a bombshell reveal, but there turns out to be no conspiracy – Trump will be pre-inoculated against all criticism for the foreseeable future.

The press has to cover this subject. But it can't do it with glibness and excitement, laughing along to SNL routines, before it knows for sure what it's dealing with. Reporters should be scared to their marrow by this story. This is a high-wire act and it is a very long way down. We might want to leave the jokes and the nicknames be, until we get to the other side – wherever that is.
Emphasis mine. I'm somewhat reminded of the fallout from the debacle over George W. Bush's National Guard service, or lack thereof.
posted by homunculus at 12:54 PM on March 8 [19 favorites]


Sessions apparently met Kislyak a third time during the campaign (at the Mayflower hotel for a Trump speech in April 2016). He didn't disclose this in his written additions to his testimony he submitted Monday.


so that's after he's officially in charge of the Trump national security committee.

is this some kind of Zeno's paradox thing where every time you divide the timeline of Sessions' activities in half, you find another meeting with Kislyak?
posted by murphy slaw at 12:55 PM on March 8 [50 favorites]


I've come to the conclusion that Putin's plan to put Trump in power was not about controlling the United States. It was about destroying the United States.

Well, like any good plan, his interference was a win-win-win scenario.

* Trump loses? The FUD kicked up by the campaign will still undermine President Clinton, so it's no big deal.
* Trump wins, and he plays ball? Well, the upsides of that are obvious.
* Trump wins, and he doesn't play ball? America is weakened by the Trump presidency anyway.

Even hard proof of Russian interference doesn't harm Putin in any meaningful way. If the proof comes out under Trump? We're living that out right now, and so far it's not harming his agenda any. If the proof came out under Clinton? Big deal, he can count on the GOP to make it a partisan issue and interfere with any action she takes against him.

The left has a lot of would-be 11-Dimensional Chess players who believe that smart political moves are always intricate affairs where the planner has mapped out every twist and turn while steepling their fingers and saying, "Just as planned." But the truth is that actual smart political maneuvering is creating situations where any potential outcome can be exploited to your advantage.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:58 PM on March 8 [30 favorites]


Are we sure Sessions and Kislyak aren't actually the same person? Which one is Ed Norton and which one is Brad Pitt?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:58 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]


Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats

The new "great news, for John McCain!" ?
posted by odinsdream at 12:59 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Disney World (and Land) might also see attendance stay stable - I keep hearing a lot of people here say they aren't willing to travel internationally because they don't want to deal with any potential issues at the border.

I'm skeptical of this. A family of 4 can easily drop $1,000 at Disney over 5 days. Who can afford that.
posted by archimago at 1:00 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


The Republican Plan Is Even Worse Than Obamacare // March 7, 2017 By Megan McArdle

Still think the most likely result is that everybody not in Congress calls it a shit sandwich, plenty of people in Congress call it a shit sandwich, and the GOP votes for it anyway because not passing a bill is worse for their political prospects than having their votes attached to a shit sandwich forever.
posted by holgate at 1:01 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Oh, go fuck yourself, Taibbi. Part of the reason that minefield exists is because you and yours were hellbent on attacking anyone who brought up those Russian ties a few months back.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:01 PM on March 8 [15 favorites]


the nice thing about being aligned with Chaos is that even if your plan completely fucks up, you still come out ahead as long as the fuckup is sufficiently spectacular
posted by murphy slaw at 1:01 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


OMG these people are so dumb. It's painful.

Oh no. We're way past painful. We're into schadenfreude laughter levels now.
posted by INFJ at 1:02 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


In the previous thread, Rust Moranis posted:

Specifically asked about DHS and ICE plans to separate families, and he says that's not the WH's authority, even though those agencies fall under the executive branch.

Make no mistake: this is an invitation for those agencies to work towards the Führer.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:31 AM on March 7 [17 favorites +] [!]


This idea of "working towards the Fuhrer" ..wow.. it free's those poised for violence to act without direct instructions. (see also: stochastic terrorism). anyhow..I thought I'd repost it here in this current thread for further exposure, hope thats ok.

Here's an excerpt from the link above:

Everyone who has the opportunity to observe it knows that the Fuhrer can hardly dictate from above everything which he intends to realise sooner or later. On the contrary, up till now everyone with a post in the new Germany has worked best when he has, so to speak, worked towards the Fuhrer. Very often and in many spheres it has been the case—in previous years as well—that individuals have simply waited for orders and instructions. Unfortunately, the same will be true in the future; but in fact it is the duty of everybody to try to work towards the Fuhrer along the lines he would wish. Anyone who makes mistakes will notice it soon enough. But anyone who really works towards the Fuhrer along his lines and towards his goal will certainly both now and in the future one day have the finest reward in the form of the sudden legal confirmation of his work.
posted by The_Auditor at 1:03 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats

Because it's sheer coincidence that the Trump people are acting guilty as sin. Sessions lied, under oath, and spontaneously, just for laughs. The Trump people aren't inept bunglers, but cunningly crafting a trap to invite Democratic overreach, never mind that they lie about and dismiss Democratic and media criticism anyway.

Right.
posted by Gelatin at 1:03 PM on March 8 [32 favorites]


I'm just waiting for the day that Republicans regret calling it "Obamacare." Right around the time they realize the law isn't going away and that all future government healthcare laws will just be called "Obamacare." In a few years when we pass univeral healthcare everyone just calls it "Obamacare" and Mitch McConnell groans. Then we will have our revenge.
posted by Glibpaxman at 1:03 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Sessions apparently met Kislyak a third time during the campaign (at the Mayflower hotel for a Trump speech in April 2016). He didn't disclose this in his written additions to his testimony he submitted Monday.

Wait, is this new new or is it the same meeting we talked about in the previous thread? I think it is the same meeting that the WSJ reported on about 9 months ago but flew under the radar until about 24 hours ago when it hit the news again.
posted by futz at 1:04 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Are we sure Sessions and Kislyak aren't actually the same person? Which one is Ed Norton and which one is Brad Pitt?

Well, it certainly appears that the first rule of meeting with Kislyak was not to talk about meeting with Kislyak.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:06 PM on March 8 [41 favorites]


any discussion about abortion issue voters is incomplete and inaccurate if it doesn't discuss misogyny.

A fetus is not a child. The only way you can elevate it above and give it more rights than the woman carrying it is if you fundamentally deny the agency of that woman, and the real, actual, physical work she has to do to take that fetus -- not a person! -- and grow it into a baby.

Opposition to abortion is not separable from misogyny, whether the people who hold those views are aware of it or not. I'm really tired of political hypotheticals that ignore this fact.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:08 PM on March 8 [140 favorites]


OMG these people are so dumb. It's painful.

I really don't get this. Kislyak is an ambassador. He's apparently everywhere, meeting with lots of people. Shaking hands with him at a reception line is not evidence of collusion. So why couldn't Sessions have just said he meets a lot of ambassadors and left the door open to the possibility that he bumped into the guy another time or two? Like after the first time he got caught lying about it, he couldn't have left himself a little room for error in there? For a guy who went to law school and everything, why does he keep making definitive statements denying things that both clearly happened and aren't actually indicative of wrongdoing in and of themselves?
posted by zachlipton at 1:09 PM on March 8 [30 favorites]


Wait, is this new new or is it the same meeting we talked about in the previous thread? I think it is the same meeting that the WSJ reported on about 9 months ago but flew under the radar until about 24 hours ago when it hit the news again.

I think it's the same speech but IIRC the discussion of it in the news yesterday was focused on Kislyak and Trump crossing paths but didn't mention Sessions being there.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:10 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


More about the Congressional health plan from The New Yorker, 1/17/2017 — On Health Care, We'll Have What Congress Is Having:
The F.E.H.B.P. [Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan], as it’s known, was started in 1959, a few years before Medicare, and was meant to cover some nine million government employees—civil-service workers, the courts, the Post Office, members of Congress, and more. It wasn’t a single plan but, rather, as a Times story put it, “a supermarket offering 300 private health plans.” (Even the right-learning Heritage Foundation called it “a showcase of consumer choice and free-market competition.”)

One may get a sense of its scope and inclusiveness—its supermarket-ness—in the way that the Office of Personnel Management, which administers the program, explains [*] it to federal employees. Much of the program—for instance, the idea that no one can be refused, or charged more, for a preëxisting condition, or that dependents under twenty-six are covered—will sound familiar to anyone conversant with the most attractive parts of the Affordable Care Act.
*Video, text and additional links on the OPM.com website.
posted by cenoxo at 1:10 PM on March 8 [16 favorites]


'There are no sacred cows': Breitbart's honeymoon with establishment wing of Trump White House may be over: Bannon was furious because he and Priebus were portraying themselves in the press as friends and allies, a narrative almost no one bought, and political observers still connected Breitbart's coverage to him. To many, it looked like Bannon ordered the attack, though the sources said the story actually blindsided him.

According to the two sources, Bannon was so furious he phoned Boyle after the publication of the story and unloaded on him. Boyle had not sought to notify Bannon he was publishing the story in advance, the sources said.

Bannon further aggravated Boyle that week when he instructed him not to publish additional articles critical of Priebus, prompting the Washington editor to tell others Bannon had betrayed Breitbart and was guilty of "treason," according to a source.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:11 PM on March 8 [24 favorites]


ABC News has linked a letter the JCC Association just sent AG Sessions, asking for a meeting.

Another bomb threat was made to Louisville's JCC today, which I believe makes my city number 101 for this year. Fucking horrifying.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:13 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


They seriously have named it "The World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017". I am not kidding.

This is all over Twitter, but no. The World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017 is Pete Sessions' compromise proposal, more or less the same as the one he introduced last year (he, creatively, called it The World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan Act of 2016 back then). It's a different bill from the American Health Care Act, which is the pile of crap Paul Ryan and the White House are pushing. They have a bunch of similarities, though the WGHP17 keeps the Medicaid expansion (kind of, sort of, in the form of a block grant) and gives everyone a flat $2,500 tax credit to buy insurance, while the AHCA freezes the Medicaid expansion and uses a different (yet still inadequate) formula for its tax credits. Both are, in fact, not really great at all.
posted by zachlipton at 1:14 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Bannon further aggravated Boyle that week when he instructed him not to publish additional articles critical of Priebus, prompting the Washington editor to tell others Bannon had betrayed Breitbart and was guilty of "treason," according to a source.

Winning is easy, old man, governing is harder.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:16 PM on March 8 [22 favorites]


Let's pause:
We must start from where we are … thrown back on our individual will and energy, forced to exploit each other and ourselves in order to survive; and yet, in spite of it all, thrown together by the same forces that pull us apart … to develop identities and mutual bonds that can help us hold together as the fierce modern air blows hot and cold through us all.
Karl Mark 1848
posted by robbyrobs at 1:17 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


there are no sacred cows in war

uh

except for the sacred warcows

we'd be pretty fucked without our legions of sacred warcows
posted by murphy slaw at 1:20 PM on March 8 [26 favorites]


'There are no sacred cows': Breitbart's honeymoon with establishment wing of Trump White House may be over

An interesting sidenote to this is that Breitbart is currently trying to obtain Congressional press credentials (which also gets you into the Supreme Court gallery, because reasons), and one of the issues that's come up is the extent to which Breitbart is independent of the White House, because credentialed reporters cannot use the press galleries to lobby or promote on behalf of political parties or government agencies.

I don't really think Breitbart would start a war with Bannon just to bolster their case of editorial independence for the credentialing process, but it certainly doesn't hurt the cause.
posted by zachlipton at 1:20 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


I teach english in Brazil. In just the last few months all of my students have stopped talking about traveling to Disney. That place is fucked if things continue like this.

If that's true, Florida's economy is fucked. When the economy tanked here in 2007 it was the Brazilians and other South Americans who invested in real estate and kept the tourist industry barely afloat. Like I mentioned in the last thread, if tourism here tanks it's going to be devastating to the folks at the bottom.
posted by photoslob at 1:20 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


MIT Media Lab is offering a $250,000 prize for disobedience: "With this award, we honor work that impacts society in positive ways, and is consistent with a set of key principles. These principles include non-violence, creativity, courage, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. This disobedience is not limited to specific disciplines; examples include scientific research, civil rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and the freedom to innovate."

Bree Newsome better get this award!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:21 PM on March 8 [24 favorites]


I really don't get this. Kislyak is an ambassador. He's apparently everywhere, meeting with lots of people. Shaking hands with him at a reception line is not evidence of collusion. So why couldn't Sessions have just said he meets a lot of ambassadors and left the door open to the possibility that he bumped into the guy another time or two?

Yes, indeed, why Sessions and others would lie about meetings with the Russian Ambassador that might well have had an innocent and plausible explanation is an interesting question.

The obvious answer is that said meetings aren't actually explained by the innocent and plausible explanation -- "I meet ambassadors all the time! It's no big deal!" -- and the real reason isn't innocent at all.

People lie, and often lie badly, when they have something to hide. I wonder what Trump's people are trying to hide?

Other than his tax returns, of course. We know he's trying to hide those.
posted by Gelatin at 1:24 PM on March 8 [14 favorites]


Bannon further aggravated Boyle that week when he instructed him not to publish additional articles critical of Priebus, prompting the Washington editor to tell others Bannon had betrayed Breitbart and was guilty of "treason," according to a source.

Oh God yes, that's the stuff. Jesus that's good.

Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:24 PM on March 8 [28 favorites]


Sessions apparently met Kislyak a third time during the campaign (at the Mayflower hotel for a Trump speech in April 2016). He didn't disclose this in his written additions to his testimony he submitted Monday.

I wonder if “somehow, the subject of the Ukraine came up” that time too.
posted by diogenes at 1:24 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


I think it's the same speech but IIRC the discussion of it in the news yesterday was focused on Kislyak and Trump crossing paths but didn't mention Sessions being there.

Great googly moogly! These people are fucking idiots. The gift that keeps on giving. Thanks for setting me straight melissasaurus.
posted by futz at 1:24 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


So why couldn't Sessions have just said he meets a lot of ambassadors and left the door open to the possibility that he bumped into the guy another time or two? Like after the first time he got caught lying about it, he couldn't have left himself a little room for error in there? For a guy who went to law school and everything, why does he keep making definitive statements denying things that both clearly happened and aren't actually indicative of wrongdoing in and of themselves?

Why did he kick all this off by volunteering a lie in the first place when answering a different question? Sen. Franken didn't ask if he met with anybody, he asked Sessions what he'd do if he found out other people had been communicating with the Russians in the course of the campaign. It's like he had some internal, Homer Simpson style "don't mention the cover-up, don't mention the cover-up" monologue, and followed by an internal "d'oh!" after he realized he'd blown it.
posted by fedward at 1:25 PM on March 8 [57 favorites]


and followed by an internal "d'oh!" after he realized he'd blown it.

I've seen the video. It was an external "d'oh!"
posted by diogenes at 1:27 PM on March 8 [43 favorites]


I wonder what Trump's people are trying to hide?

I wonder if any of them are under NDA's, and if so, if they're legally binding when it comes to national security.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:29 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


It's pretty remarkable that Senator Graham is publicly asking the FBI and Justice Department for details about Trump's wiretapping claims. I don't think he's doing that to help Trump.
posted by diogenes at 1:32 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


I wonder if any of them are under NDA's, and if so, if they're legally binding when it comes to national security.

I've said this before, but I wonder when some of them are going to start pleading the Fifth.
posted by Gelatin at 1:32 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I'm not actually advocating creating literal concentration camps for libertarians.

Hey now, let's not be hasty. There could be a free market opportunity here. Projections on ratings for "Republican Reservation" are through the roof!
posted by bonehead at 1:33 PM on March 8


One more to file under "Fine. Tuned. Machine." Here's WaPo on "Why Trump’s $1 trillion promise to deliver infrastructure jobs may not happen this year".

The quick shift from popular campaign promise to the bogged-down bureaucratic negotiation process is the latest test of Trump’s ability to pivot from thematic ideas to concrete action. He has already encountered logjams on tax policy, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and plans to force Mexico to pay for a wall along the U.S. border.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:33 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


It's called Grahamstanding.
posted by fedward at 1:34 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


They're being so bold and careless because they think they've won sufficiently, and have torn down enough of the system, that there is going to be no chance of anyone prosecuting them.
posted by odinsdream at 1:34 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


The thing about the Russian house of cards is that the lying is the big deal here. Even if nothing major was discussed ever (fat chance) the fact that they have felt the need to lie about the meetings under oath and in public forums is a huge problem in and of itself. That's the thing that I feel like the media is underselling - the lies lies lies yeah*.

*They're gonna get you.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:36 PM on March 8 [17 favorites]


I know the conversation has moved on, but I can't help but remind y'all that you have friendly, social justice oriented, explicitly and proudly pro-choice Christians among you here on Metafilter. My spouse and I rode up to DC for the Women's March on a bus chartered by my church with a bunch of other social justice oriented, explicitly and proudly pro-choice Christians (and yes my Jewish atheist spouse). I'm sorry y'all don't know more of us in person. We're pretty great. Look for us at UCC, Presbyterian (USA), and Episcopalian churches, or you know at your local protests, marches, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.
posted by hydropsyche at 1:39 PM on March 8 [78 favorites]


Just the sheer stupidity of Sessions telling a lie under oath in answer to a question that didn't even ask what he was answering, plus the 'OOPS' look on his face afterwards, should disqualify him as Attorney General and get him disbarred as well.
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:40 PM on March 8 [19 favorites]


It's called Grahamstanding.

I'm not sure that's true in this case. He isn't just talking. He co-wrote and signed a letter to the FBI and DOJ. And he's threatening to issue subpoenas if they don't respond. Although I guess it would be Grahamstanding if he backs off the subpoena threat when they don't respond... Dang, he probably is Grahamstanding.
posted by diogenes at 1:41 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Look for us at UCC, Presbyterian (USA), and Episcopalian churches, or you know at your local protests, marches, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.

How about Unitarian Universalists? Do we count?
posted by diogenes at 1:42 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Just the sheer stupidity of Sessions telling a lie under oath in answer to a question that didn't even ask what he was answering, plus the 'OOPS' look on his face afterwards, should disqualify him as Attorney General and get him disbarred as well.

Or at the very least, turned into a gif/meme.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:43 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I'm not actually advocating creating literal concentration camps for libertarians.

Hey now, let's not be hasty. There could be a free market opportunity here. Projections on ratings for "Republican Reservation" are through the roof!


Ahem... Galt's Gulch.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:45 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Surely, making bold pronouncements and then caving completely has to be named after Ted Cruz now. I cannot believe Cruz and his wife are having dinner with Trump tonight. How do you sit down to dinner with the guy who waved around a National Enquirer story about your dad being connected to the Kennedy assassination and insulted your wife's appearance? Like, how does that conversation start? "Would you pass the peas, if you don't think peas are reserved for people you find attractive." "This meatloaf is delicious, but I would enjoy it far more if it wasn't being handed to me by someone who accused my father of conspiracy to assassinate the President."
posted by zachlipton at 1:46 PM on March 8 [23 favorites]


Meanwhile here in Hawaii, our Muslim community has been receiving threats and hate mail since the travel ban. Flames from the sides of my head.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:48 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


How about Unitarian Universalists? Do we count?

Absolutely! I know lots of UUs who don't identify as Christian, but if you do, of course you count.
posted by hydropsyche at 1:48 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


i dunno, i could still see cruz punching trump in the mouth over the dinner table. he's scum, but sometimes he's scum in a way that surprises me.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:49 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


He isn't just talking. He co-wrote and signed a letter to the FBI and DOJ.

So you're saying that sending a letter to the guy who handed the election to Trump and the guy who Trump appointed and has already expressed total faith in over this situation -- or possibly to the guy who Trump specifically put in the DOJ chain of command by EO after Obama took him out of it just a bit before the inauguration -- is actually something?
posted by Etrigan at 1:50 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Deportation Stay Denied For NY Immigrant With Years-Old Pot Conviction: An immigration judge has denied an emergency deportation stay and motion to reconsider for 37-year-old Joel Guerrero, a father-to-be from New Paltz, according to his wife and family.

Mr. Guerrero missed a court appointment in 2011 "because he was "struggling with an illness of substance abuse and dependency" but has since "completely turned his life around, and has completed a rehabilitation program with success." Guerrero immigrated to the United States legally in 1997, when he was 17 years old. He was living in North Carolina in 2004 when he was arrested on a marijuana-related charge " His wife is six months pregnant.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:50 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Thinking long term -- seems to me that there is a very real chance this admnisistration could implode, and that progressives need a strategy for managing the chaos after that might happen.

A good start would be a bipartisan ten-point Plan to Restore Integrity, restoring and codifying the unspoken agreements that Trump has swept aside. (The whole Republican party leadership, really, but Trump's collapse would give saner Republicans a chance to take power.) This plan should be circulated NOW and forced to a vote to get people on record, either all together or individually as ten bills.

As messed up as it was, the Republican Contract With America showed the power of this approach. I'm just spitballing and am curious what you would add, but for starters:

1) Conflict of interest laws are extended to the president and his family.
2) Ethics restrictions on federal departments unequivocally apply to the office of the president.
3) Strict laws against presidents interfering with investigations into their business (like the guidelines Obama imposed and followed voluntarily.)
4) Statutory support for OMB independence
5) Scientific independence; can't punish researchers or cut funding if you don't like results. Also, all studies for federal approvals (e.g. new drugs) must be made public even if results are bad.
6) Clarify and reimpose filibuster rules, with some kind of reasonable limits. (Can't filibuster more than one ABA-recommended judge a year?)
7) Process for agency staffing to continue when President refuses to appoint people; can't fire people (like diplomats) unless someone is in place to replace them.
8) Instead of special prosecutors, a permanent independent INspector General type is set up to investigate issues concerning the presidency.
9) Rules preventing White House from playing politics with news credentials -- again, some kind of independent arbiter judges these.
10) I dunno, but the general principle is independent, non-partisan arbiters.
posted by msalt at 1:51 PM on March 8 [63 favorites]


So you're saying... is actually something?

Yeah, I think I am. Even if the recipients of the letter are sympathetic to Trump, the letter still puts them (and Trump) in an awkward position. There's no answer to "did you wiretap Trump" that results in Trump not looking bad.
posted by diogenes at 1:53 PM on March 8




I'm just spitballing and am curious what you would add, but for starters:

FWIW, some of the items in that list are already being pushed by various Democratic Congresscritters. (The thing about clarifying that federal ethics restrictions explicitly apply to the President as well.) But I agree that it'd be very nice to see them all wrapped up in a nice bundle.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:56 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


From upthread: If the proof came out under Clinton? Big deal, [Putin] can count on the GOP to make it a partisan issue and interfere with any action she takes against him.

What really galls me about this is that I fully believe Clinton would have found a meaningful way to retaliate against Putin and make him regret it -- without starting World War III.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:57 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Mark me down as another Canadian who you couldn't *pay* to go into the States right now.

I'll be up here doing what I can to fight our own homegrown maplefascism, and getting the extra beds and linens in order for anyone fleeing North.

Good luck, good Americans.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 1:59 PM on March 8 [15 favorites]


Surely, making bold pronouncements and then caving completely has to be named after Ted Cruz now.

I'll see your Cruz and raise you a Chaffitz.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:00 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Counties are increasingly super red or super blue, with less and less in between.

Oddly does not mention gerrymandering.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


Counties are pre-existing political jurisdictions; the district gerrymandering is within and often overlapping the counties.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:03 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


Report: Kansas governor to be named ambassador to the U.N. for Food and Agriculture

I guess he figured he couldn't do more damage in Topeka and is looking for new pastures to make barren?
posted by rewil at 2:03 PM on March 8 [23 favorites]


Also they're primarily talking about numbers from the presidential election, which aren't broken down into districts like legislative elections.
posted by murphy slaw at 2:04 PM on March 8


The April speech and its attendees were re-examined because the timeline has solidified a little: the foreign policy team was announced in March, and the decision to change the Ukraine plank of the platform and push an aggressive policy towards NATO partners' financial contributions was made soon afterwards. Oh, and the Fancy Bear DNC hacks started in April. The old timeline assumed that the Ukraine shift was hashed out in July, just before the convention: that is, after the DNC hack was made public but before Wikileaks started dumping its ill-gotten gains. Moving it back to March (and Manafort's hiring) puts greater focus on any Russian interactions in April and May.
posted by holgate at 2:09 PM on March 8 [15 favorites]


Hey, remember how Republican Speakers of the House kept invoking something called the "Hastert Rule" that said they couldn't pass even popular or even necessary legislation unless they had a majority of the Republican caucus?

I thought the Hastert Rule was, "If you're going to buy the silence of the people you molested as children, don't structure your bank withdrawals into a bunch of small transactions".
posted by indubitable at 2:09 PM on March 8 [45 favorites]


I just hope this doesn't mean as we are ushered through checkpoints and into trains.

We don't really have that kind of train infrastructure in the US anymore.

We didn't have a railway to Westerbork in the Netherlands. And then Nazi's turned the refugee camp that was there into a Nazi deportation camp and the Dutch Railways had the brilliant idea to make a railway there, because the Nazi's paid for every "transport".

That's what fascism looks like. It's not just the awful people at the top and the awful enthusiastic followers (like border patrol officers), but so many people who just kept doing what they always did. Business people thinking about their business.
posted by blub at 2:21 PM on March 8 [60 favorites]


Even at the point where Racist Uncle is scraping to afford anything, the one solace he can take is that at least he's "better" than those people.

As someone who was a gatekeeper to government funded assistance, let me tell you how it goes when Racist Uncle Joe needs public assistance.

RUJ shows up to get his handout. He is given the miles of red tape that the people he voted for require to make sure not one undeserving person gets a cent. He is given an appointment a month or so away for evaluation because that's the next available. He finally gets through all the obstacles to help and is then placed on a waiting list of six months because of how limited the funding is.

Then he goes on a loud rant about 1) how wasteful the process is and 2) how he can't believe we won't help a decent person like him when all Those People get free Cadillacs and smartphones or whatever.

Sometimes he then gets his Locally Connected Family Member to call you personally to complain and try to get special treatment. At which point this writer will explain that RUJ should feel lucky even to be placed on a waiting list because so many other people are much worse off and there is a line here. If you have an issue please call your state legislature and request more funding, thanks.

Basically even when they need help and encounter the system they still think others are getting away with something they don't deserve. It's an article of faith.
posted by threeturtles at 2:21 PM on March 8 [122 favorites]


re: the Huffington Post Sessions third-meeting story, which I'm not going to link to because fuck liberal clickbait.

This story is some seriously weak sauce, even for HuffPo. Much of it is weaseling away from their thesis .. "likely met" ... "crossed paths" ... "it is unclear if Sessions and Kislyak spoke directly." Is there anything more substantial to say other than these two bigshots were at a reception with two dozen other people?

No one else appears to be running with this story, at least not according to Google News.

This drives me crazy, because a) our cause is just and can be made without having to recourse to weak-ass shit. b) when outfits like the HuffPo speak uncredibly, it weakens our case. and c) when I get all excited and click on it, I feel like I'm being played -- just like some idiot who's buying baldness cures and gold ingots from Rush Limbaugh's advertisers.
posted by Sauce Trough at 2:25 PM on March 8 [23 favorites]


Counties are increasingly super red or super blue, with less and less in between.

Oddly does not mention gerrymandering.


Counties aren't gerrymandered. This is worse--it's self sorting.

Which fucks urban areas because of our dumb Senate.

But that's not the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is that 3/5 of the red states empty out of blue people completely, leaving them underpopulated and easy marks for legislative takeovers, and then, in lockstep, they call a goddamn Constitutional Convention.

There are some structural problems coming up.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:25 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY) on the cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: The Lakes support 1.5 million jobs and $62 billion in wages per year, which is why reports that White House plans to slash the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the EPA budget by 97 percent is not only environmentally devastating but a shortsighted plan that will cost jobs and sink the economies of Great Lakes communities that have fought their way back.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 2:28 PM on March 8 [47 favorites]


the general principle is independent, non-partisan arbiters.

I think a big part of how we got here is a justified erosion of faith in the supposedly non-partisan arbiters of these different domains, though. I like what your plan stands for, but I think the restoration of integrity has to start at a lower level, and that is going to cause as much disruption as the Trump administration itself.

Look at what the field of psychology is going through now with the "reproducibility crisis." It is not the only field which has closed its eyes to serious methodological issues, it just happens to be one where experiments can be replicated relatively inexpensively and with little specialized training.

Or look at the integrity of the SEC. They had ample warning that Madoff was a crook, but he was a popular crook.

Or look at the handling of the post-2008 fiscal stimulus... lots of money going places it where really didn't make much economic sense.

These kinds of abuses have been going on forever, of course, but somehow over the last 10 years there's been far more accountability for them than there used to be, and the institutions we're supposed to trust have been struggling to adjust.
posted by Coventry at 2:30 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Sessions apparently met Kislyak a third time during the campaign

We're going to eventually discover that, back in '97, when Jeffy Sessions came up to DC, Sergey Kislyak was looking for a roommate, and, well, long story short, they've been splitting rent on a townhouse for the last 20 years. [fake, probably]
posted by jackbishop at 2:33 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


Then he goes on a loud rant about 1) how wasteful the process is and 2) how he can't believe we won't help a decent person like him when all Those People get free Cadillacs and smartphones or whatever.

At the food pantry where I volunteer, we hand out TEFAP boxes a few times a month in addition to the usual pantry goods. TEFAP is a federal program and so there's a large binder of information sheets we need for each customer, and I always feel bad asking them to fill out a convoluted form just so they can get some peanut butter and canned tuna. It seems absurd, but whatevs. Most everyone fills it out without grumbling. But can you guess who might use their TEFAP sheets as an opportunity to complain about government inefficiencies?? That's right: white people!
posted by witchen at 2:41 PM on March 8 [31 favorites]


The nation's Attorney General perjured himself to get the job?
posted by petebest at 2:41 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]



I don't care about spoiler alerts any more. I just want to know how this whole thing ends.


*cough*
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 2:41 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


@TheDemocrats If the hospitals are coming out against the GOP health care proposal, you know it desperately needs revision.

Lots of unease at the use of the word "revision"here, because it looks a lot like prep for wimping the fuck out.
posted by Artw at 2:41 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


can you guess who might use their TEFAP sheets as an opportunity to complain about government inefficiencies?? That's right: white people!

The archetypal version of this remains “I’ve been on food stamps and welfare. Anybody help me out? No. No.”
posted by holgate at 2:43 PM on March 8 [25 favorites]


From the Rolling Stone/Matt Taibbi piece linked to above:
We have to remember that the unpopularity of the press was a key to Trump's election. Journalists helped solve the billionaire's accessibility problem by being a more hated group than the arrogant rich. Trump has people believing he shares a common enemy with them: the news media. When we do badly, he does well.

I used to be a mainstream journalist, just barely and on the margins. And I have to say that it's not like the lamestream press fucked up only recently. I understand why the Russian angle has gotten play but honestly, I would much prefer that political reporting focus on the impact of existing and proposed policies on US residents. The nitty gritty "who this benefits/affects/harms" plus how and why. We're never going to get that on a regular basis because the media is a profit-driven industry. We never really had it anyway. But golly, I wish we did.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:49 PM on March 8 [22 favorites]


@TheDemocrats If the hospitals are coming out against the GOP health care proposal, you know it desperately needs revision.

Lots of unease at the use of the word "revision"here, because it looks a lot like prep for wimping the fuck out.


Never in my life will I breathe the words "don't worry, elected Democrats will definitely not wimp out", but it's very hard to imagine what that "revision" could possibly be.

Hospitals and doctors' groups don't like Republicare because it makes no sense. I got emails from the American Medical Association and the American Association of Pediatrics hours after the text was released -- spoiler alert, they hate it -- and I cannot recall the last time I saw that kind of quick response from them on a political issue.

These are not cynical hyperpartisan lobbying organizations, though they have their high-dollar vulnerabilities like every other industry group. By and large they are run by serious people whose main interest is public health. I will tell you straight up, decreasing coverage and increasing costs will make any version of Republicare a no-go for the AMA and AAP.

If that's the cover Democrats need to block it -- though of course they really shouldn't need it -- then they'll have it, no matter what tweaks are coming, because there is no version of this bill that will make sense to healthcare providers.
posted by saturday_morning at 2:53 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


rewil: Report: Kansas governor to be named ambassador to the U.N. for Food and Agriculture I guess he figured he couldn't do more damage in Topeka and is looking for new pastures to make barren?

On the positive side, it's a chance for another progressive to get elected post-Trump, like Montana's banjo-strumming Democrat house rep candidate.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:55 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]


Congress is so busy trying to take away people's health insurance, they haven't bothered to account for the fact that they themselves, and their staffers, have to buy insurance on the exchanges, and they might be shooting themselves in the foot. They're not going to be able to fix that in the bill either, because you can't get a change like that through reconciliation.
posted by zachlipton at 2:56 PM on March 8 [15 favorites]


banjo-strumming

banjo-picking, surely
posted by OverlappingElvis at 3:00 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


"banjo-strumming" is a vicious anti-Dixieland/Vaudeville dogwhistle
posted by saturday_morning at 3:03 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


He could play clawhammer.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:03 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Congress is so busy trying to take away people's health insurance, they haven't bothered to account for the fact that they themselves, and their staffers, have to buy insurance on the exchanges

okay, this sick, hilarious elation i'm feeling, is that what conservatives feel when they drink liberal tears?
posted by murphy slaw at 3:05 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Surely, making bold pronouncements and then caving completely has to be named after Ted Cruz now.
I'll see your Cruz and raise you a Chaffitz.


Don't forget Mitt Romney and his humiliating dinner with Trump as he dangled the possibility of a cabinet post. Trump revels in total dominance and absolute submission. There is nothing that pleases him more than seeing his opponents grovel at his feet, roll over on their backs and expose their bellies to him.
posted by JackFlash at 3:06 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


Congress is so busy trying to take away people's health insurance, they haven't bothered to account for the fact that they themselves, and their staffers, have to buy insurance on the exchanges

okay, this sick, hilarious elation i'm feeling, is that what conservatives feel when they drink liberal tears?


No no, ours is better because they did this to themselves.

I would not recommend this to schadenfreude virgins, though. Be careful, be safe. Build up your tolerance slowly.

Then enjoy the really good shit.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:09 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


I don't care about spoiler alerts any more. I just want to know how this whole thing ends.

How will this end?
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:10 PM on March 8


If that's the cover Democrats need to block it

Any Democrat—hell, any Republican—who thinks they need "cover" to vote against this thing is way, way too chickenhearted to serve in Congress. Y'know those toothless but nice resolutions that occasionally come before legislatures declaring May 12th to be Official Kitten Day or whatever and everyone votes for it because nobody wants to be that asshole who's against kittens? This bill is basically the opposite of that, AFAICT, and anybody dithering over that is even worse than the legislator who decides to wast everyone's time by debating the question of whether kittens really need an official day.

Yes, it's a partisan rallying point everyone is watching but it is also something that absolutely nobody has anything nice to say about. Literally, I have not actually heard a single political actor or commentator (including Ryan and Trump, who seem to be the only people who really want the damn thing to pass) come up with a concrete aspect of it that's good for anybody. It's not unsurprising that Democrats hate it on partisan grounds, but the fact that it is also hated by the AARP (for fucking over the olds), by medical practitioners (for reducing coverage), presumably by insurers (because the coverage-gap penalty won't work), by a host of conservative standardbearers (variously either for its general crock-of-shitness or for not going far enough in dismantling government) means that, y'know, if you can't bring yourself to vote against this, it doesn't seem like you could bring yourself to vote against anything. Whoever the hell you might regard as your constituency, this is bad for them and something they hate.
posted by jackbishop at 3:20 PM on March 8 [22 favorites]


Is Cruz having dinner tonight with Pence and Trump? That's a good time. I guess they won't discuss the senator's father.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:21 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


That Working towards the Fuhrer shit made me angry.
posted by mikelieman at 3:21 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Is Cruz having dinner tonight with Pence and Trump? That's a good time. I guess they won't discuss the senator's father.

I wonder if Cruz will need to secrete digestive enzymes on his plate of Nixon's Submission Meatloaf before he dutifully slurps it through his extended proboscis
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:25 PM on March 8 [17 favorites]


Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) will be named the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for Food and Agriculture, the Kansas City Star reports.

Christ almighty, talk about failing upwards.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:27 PM on March 8 [32 favorites]


This cruz/trump dinner: I wonder if they lie to each other as much as they lie to us?
posted by valkane at 3:28 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Cruz will need to secrete digestive enzymes on his plate of Nixon's Submission Meatloaf before he dutifully slurps it through his extended proboscis

Luckily White House staff is used to it, since Bannon went through that pupal phase last month.
posted by codacorolla at 3:28 PM on March 8 [14 favorites]


Ted and Heidi Cruz are having dinner with Donald and Melania Trump. I thought the phone banking was the ultimate humiliation, but apparently the humiliation tour will extend to meatloaf.

I hope they serve Ted some soup. If he's going to debase himself this much, he at least deserves some of his beloved soup.
posted by zachlipton at 3:28 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


As messed up as it was, the Republican Contract With America showed the power of this approach. I'm just spitballing and am curious what you would add, but for starters:

I would also make sure that the US Marshals get out from under the DOJ and are set up directly under that independent inspector general office you mentioned. The court needs to be able to enforce orders against the executive without fear of interference.

Also some mechanism to force the hand of a Chaffetz or whoever who would slow roll investigations, perhaps by giving the congressional minority the ability to form some limited committees with subpoena power to go around a stonewalling majority. This would get used and abused by the Republicans when they're in the minority but that's a small price to pay.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:32 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Brownback is like Pence 2.0. Leave yer state a hurtin, republican? Trump appointment is certain.
posted by valkane at 3:33 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


How will this end?
On TNT after 4 seasons in first-run syndication.

My most disturbing discovery of recent days is that Heidi Cruz was born in my beloved adopted town of San Luis Obispo, CA. I'm just going to play some Weird Al and Mountain Goats music and maybe a couple games of Madden to cheer me up.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:37 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


I['m] super interested to find out how much I'm in a bubble or if visits from Canada are going to drop right off.

Google's Tourism team surveyed Canadian leisure travelers and 52% reported they are less interested in traveling to the US for leisure compared to last year. Top reason? 78% cited the results of the US election/Trump presidency.
posted by furtive at 3:39 PM on March 8 [22 favorites]


The US is ranked 104th in women's representation in government

In the past two decades, the US has sunk from 52nd in the world for women’s representation to 104th today, according to data compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. In the past year alone, the US has dropped nine places — from 95th to 104th — among more than 190 countries.
posted by futz at 3:39 PM on March 8 [28 favorites]


Mike Konczal: "The biggest, most underappreciated problem for Republicans is simply that they ran against Obamacare, in effect, from the left, while all the concrete actions they want to take come from the right."
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:42 PM on March 8 [17 favorites]


My most disturbing discovery of recent days is that Heidi Cruz was born in my beloved adopted town of San Luis Obispo, CA. I'm just going to play some Weird Al and Mountain Goats music and maybe a couple games of Madden to cheer me up.

i had a moment of terror when i realized that she is the right age to have gone to high school with me but she went to a private school so i never met her.
posted by murphy slaw at 3:44 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Mike Konczal: "The biggest, most underappreciated problem for Republicans is simply that they ran against Obamacare, in effect, from the left, while all the concrete actions they want to take come from the right."

Similarly, Matt Yglesias breaks down the schism between GOP policy goals (taxes bad, redistribution bad) and the arguments they've made against the ACA (we can deliver cheaper medical care and better insurance) and how it creates big obstacles to for them to move forward with any ideologically-derived ACA replacement plan: Republicans are now paying the price for a years-long campaign of Obamacare lies. They promised better insurance. They can’t deliver. Now the jig is up.
posted by peeedro at 4:00 PM on March 8 [16 favorites]


Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) will be named the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for Food and Agriculture, the Kansas City Star reports.

so not only is our foreign policy an incomprehensible shambles, all of our ambassadors are going to be assholes, too. yay.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:07 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I've mentioned before that my father worked for 30 years as an Insurance Underwriter, mostly in Property or Liability Insurance. One of the few Capitalist-unfriendly things I ever heard him say was how Private Medical Insurance just plain doesn't work in the same model of all the other forms of Private Profit-Centered Insurance. "It just plain doesn't work." Years later, I got an Accounting job at a Life Insurance Company and discovered that opinion was/is pretty darn common among people in other Insurance fields. Medical is the black sheep of Insurance.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:10 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government
We have obtained a list of more than 400 Trump administration hires, including dozens of lobbyists and some from far-right media.


While President Trump has not moved to fill many jobs that require Senate confirmation, he has quietly installed hundreds of officials to serve as his eyes and ears at every major federal agency, from the Pentagon to the Department of Interior.

Unlike appointees exposed to the scrutiny of the Senate, members of these so-called “beachhead teams” have operated largely in the shadows, with the White House declining to publicly reveal their identities.

While some names have previously dribbled out in the press, we are publishing a list of more than 400 hires, providing the most complete accounting so far of who Trump has brought into the federal government.

posted by futz at 4:19 PM on March 8 [84 favorites]


they ran against Obamacare, in effect, from the left, while all the concrete actions they want to take come from the right.

Trump ran against it from the left, while the GOP Republicans ran against it from the right. I expect that's the faultline where the real conflict is going to blow up.
posted by Coventry at 4:19 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


> We're going to eventually discover that, back in '97, when Jeffy Sessions came up to DC, Sergey Kislyak was looking for a roommate, and, well, long story short, they've been splitting rent on a townhouse for the last 20 years. [fake, probably]
This isn't the oddest idea for a Bosom Buddies remake.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 4:20 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Trump ran against it from the left, while the GOP Republicans ran against it from the right. I expect that's the faultline where the real conflict is going to blow up.

You're making the fundamental mistake of taking anything coming out of Trump's mouth as in any way meaningful. Trump doesn't care what they give him, he'll sign it.
posted by Justinian at 4:22 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


Meanwhile, in committee, the Democrats are attaching amendments to the bill. It's unclear whether the plan is to try to drag this out for days and days until the CBO gets its scoring done or not.

My personal favorite (because I came up with the concept, though I'll grant it wasn't that creative) is the "TrumpCare Test": nothing in the bill can take effect until the CBO certifies that health care under the bill will be lower cost, more affordable, and better, with no increase in the number of uninsured, as the President himself promised to Congress. That's a pretty good troll right there.
posted by zachlipton at 4:22 PM on March 8 [80 favorites]


We're going to eventually discover that, back in '97, when Jeffy Sessions came up to DC, Sergey Kislyak was looking for a roommate, and, well, long story short, they've been splitting rent on a townhouse for the last 20 years.

On March 2, Jeff Sessions was asked to remove himself from the investigation into Russian involvement in the Trump campaign; that request came from anyone with a brain. Deep down, he knew they were right, but he also knew that some day he would return. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his friend, Sergey Kislyak. Several years earlier, Kislyak's FSB handler had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two Russian assets share an apartment without driving each other crazy?
posted by kirkaracha at 4:28 PM on March 8 [28 favorites]


Meanwhile, in committee, the Democrats are attaching amendments to the bill.

Oh fuck no. Don't make compromises to try and fix this peice of shit you dumb idiots.
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


On review: maybe they are not quite as bad at this as I expected.
posted by Artw at 4:29 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Trump ran against it from the left, while the GOP Republicans ran against it from the right.

I dunno about that. How many years have we heard them complaining that premiums, deductibles, and co-pays are going up. That seems like a leftist critique of the failure of the free market requiring government intervention. Their proposed solutions, all rightwing ideology and free market fairy dust, do nothing to address these complaints.
posted by peeedro at 4:30 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, in committee, the Democrats are attaching amendments to the bill.

Oh fuck no. Don't make compromises to try and fix this peice of shit you dumb idiots.


artw, click the link. One of the amendments is "Change title of bill to REPUBLICAN PAY MORE FOR LESS ACT" and another is about Trump's taxes. They're trolling! Look, they're learning!
posted by saturday_morning at 4:31 PM on March 8 [90 favorites]


Heh, jinx.
posted by saturday_morning at 4:31 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


This isn't the oddest idea for a Bosom Buddies remake.

The Odd Couple (2017): One's a straight laced power hungry sycophant to a wannabe dictator and the other is a slovenly Russian diplomat.
posted by Talez at 4:33 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


YES, OUR DEMOCRATS IS LEARNING!
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on March 8 [42 favorites]


My guy is actually on this committee. He'll be hearing from me vis-a-vis A+ trolling by the committee Dems.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:40 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


I['m] super interested to find out how much I'm in a bubble or if visits from Canada are going to drop right off.

Three of my favourite bands are skipping Vancouver on tour this year (one was last here in 1993, the other in 2015, the other in 2008 and skipped Vancouver the last time they toured, too, thanks jerks, not naming any names, Radiohead) so in order to see them live I'm going to have to cross the border. I have the tickets. My partner's daughter is going to see Lady Gaga in August as a 17th birthday present, in San Francisco, with us. We have the tickets.

Every few days I'm hearing stories of people deactivating their social media accounts before they cross the border, and they're only going to the US if it's necessary. Others, such as American-born trans friends, are resigned to not being able to go home until this administration is gone. Every day I'm becoming more and more apprehensive about heading South. If it wasn't for something so important to me (seeing Polly Harvey for the first time in 24 years? I think so) I wouldn't be even thinking about crossing the border. Social visits are, for now, out.
posted by jokeefe at 4:46 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Huh. I just got a note from a local reporter asking me for an interview about that written testimony I submitted against SB 6. A quick Google confirms she is associated with the paper she describes, even.

....huh.
posted by sciatrix at 4:58 PM on March 8 [94 favorites]


Also, frankly, at this point I would be actively discouraging international friends from coming to visit me. In fact, some of our British friends fell in love with New Orleans last year, and I've been honestly trying to dissuade them from their love of that city despite being terribly fond of them and wishing we could spend more time in the same place. It just feels so amazingly not safe to be here right now.
posted by sciatrix at 5:00 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


A few more healthcare tidbits:

Robert Costa has a new behind-the-scenes: Trump goes into dealmaking mode, works behind the scenes on health bill. It seems like Trump is focusing his attention on Rand Paul right now. The Kentucky trip is still up in the air, but if it happens, it puts pressure on Paul, who isn't exactly thrilled with the current state of the bill and Congressional leadership:
But Paul wondered whether Trump would remain an avowed advocate for the proposal in the coming weeks. “The leadership is selling him a bill of goods and has mischaracterized to him the amount of opposition,” he said. “The speaker keeps saying the votes are there and the president could end up being annoyed.”
Trump, who splashes his name on everything from buildings to steaks, doesn't want his name anywhere near this bill

9 hours into markup, they're finally getting to amendments, starting with Rep. Pallone's amendment to rename the bill the "Republican Pay More for Less Care Act"

The Tax Policy Center ran the numbers on the healthcare plan, and it's a tax cut for the top 1%, with a substantial reduction for those earning millions in investment income. Everyone else gets nothing.
posted by zachlipton at 5:01 PM on March 8 [49 favorites]


I really think we could work with the Bosom Buddies intro dialogue. The last line is, "See? It's all perfectly normal," which is almost *too* on the nose.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:03 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


“The speaker keeps saying the votes are there and the president could end up being annoyed.”

Oh, we're going to need more popcorn over here.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:04 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Politico: White House: Don’t call it Trumpcare
Critics are hijacking the branding process for the GOP health plan as the White House resists slapping the president’s name on it.

Well folks I think we have an answer to the ____care debate from upthread
posted by saturday_morning at 5:05 PM on March 8 [26 favorites]


WaPo: How wiretaps actually work — and what’s really going on here

…Trump is spending at a terrific rate the accumulated credibility capital of the office he occupies. There may come a day when he needs to speak seriously, and to be taken seriously, at home or abroad. On his present course and speed, that will be a hard day. If this were “House of Cards,” it would all be very entertaining. As it is, existing institutions, both domestic and international, are going to have to adapt to this new feature of our world.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:10 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


But Paul wondered whether Trump would remain an avowed advocate for the proposal in the coming weeks. “The leadership is selling him a bill of goods and has mischaracterized to him the amount of opposition,” he said. “The speaker keeps saying the votes are there and the president could end up being annoyed.”

Delicious.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:11 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Politico: White House: Don’t call it Trumpcare
“Pretty much anything with the pejorative suffix on it — ‘care’ — is going to be viewed unfavorably by conservatives,” said former longtime Mitt Romney spokesman Ryan Williams, who was with the Massachusetts governor when he signed Romneycare. Romney had hoped to tout it in his 2008 presidential campaign, and he campaigned on a promise to repeal Obamacare in 2012.

“Anything with the word ‘care’ in it pretty much sounds bad to people these days,” Williams said.
...These people just don't pay any attention to what they're saying, do they.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 5:12 PM on March 8 [67 favorites]


Re: encouraging non-U.S. visitors to avoid travel to the U.S.:

I've gone one further and explicitly asked close friends and family to:

1) Boycott or limit travel to the U.S.
2) Boycott or limit U.S.-based goods and buy local instead

I want the U.S. to hurt economically because of this. Even though I live here, and that can harm me too. But money speaks, and our powers of labor and consumption are about all that we and others have left to exercise if we won't be heard.
posted by orbit-3 at 5:22 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


1) Boycott or limit travel to the U.S.
2) Boycott or limit U.S.-based goods and buy local instead


I wonder if it would do any good to extend that to red states (for americans). I don't plan to spend any money in red states for the foreseeable future, nor travel to them, unless it's through them. I agree that the economics of dampnut's assholery is what ultimately might bring him crashing down.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:30 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Robert Costa has a new behind-the-scenes: Trump goes into dealmaking mode, works behind the scenes on health bill.

All of Trump's behaviour so far on this, as explained in various different ways by the Republicans as a mixture of masterly inaction, behind-the-scenes dealbroking, delegation, and lying in wait for the big push once the details are settled, is also a good match for 'in way over his head and looking for someone to fix it for him'.

Which could lead to an interesting explosion or two, because I do not think him a patient man.
posted by Devonian at 5:33 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


The places in red states where people would actually go and spend money are typically the bluest parts of those states. But by all means, punish away.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:33 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]


don't call it a trumpcare
i've been here for years
i'm payin' my peers
puttin' voters in fear
posted by murphy slaw at 5:34 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


...Liberal tears
raining down like a monsoon
Listen to my base go boom
Explosion...
posted by Rykey at 5:40 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


The places in red states where people would actually go and spend money are typically the bluest parts of those states. But by all means, punish away.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:33 PM on March 8 [+] [!]


I anticipated this reaction, but my feeling is that why, for instance, would I want to vacation in Florida, pay tourist (hotel/rental car/sales) taxes to fill their coffers, when I could go to Cali or New Mexico instead.
Any economic pressure put on this administration will carry the argument that it hurts the little guy, the workers at the bottom, but weighed against the harm caused by Dampnut's policies my "vote with my wallet" stance is a drop in the bucket.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:44 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


Gelatin: I'm not actually advocating creating literal concentration camps for libertarians.

I didn't think you were, but the trope of the west as "empty" goes back to genocidal history. It was never "empty" land. Constructing it as such, subject to manifest destiny, was the precursor to genocide and internment. If no one lived there except savages who might as well be animals, then it's available for settlement. So that's the story America told itself. And we still talk about the west that way a lot. Its emptiness is the silence of death. Nay, murder. But it didn't work. Indians are still here and there's the small matter of hundreds of treaties that have not been honored.
posted by spitbull at 5:47 PM on March 8 [31 favorites]


White House: Don’t call it Trumpcare

If you're on twitter, make sure to use #Trumpcare at every opportunity. It needs to be the top trending hashtag.
posted by diogenes at 5:52 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


If this site is correct, we're just scratching the surface of the Trump/Russia connection web
posted by adamvasco at 5:57 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


If this site is correct, we're just scratching the surface of the Trump/Russia connection web

Looks uncomfortably like a Wall of Crazy to me.
posted by Justinian at 6:01 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


I'm just in love with the fact that the Republicans have to talk healthcare, and work on healthcare, and take heat for being bad at healthcare, and spend a ton of political capital on healthcare, even though they're disingenuous and pants-on-head incompetent at it. The Republicans getting caught in a leftward Overton Window shift warms my soul. They thought they could just go back in time seven years and nobody's having it.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:03 PM on March 8 [72 favorites]


The places in red states where people would actually go and spend money are typically the bluest parts of those states. But by all means, punish away.

This. Here in St Petersburg, Hillay overwhelmingly won the vote. The Tampa Bay area is a liberal oasis surrounded by a sea of red. We have beautiful beaches, great museums (Dali, Chihuly, MFA) and we're proud to be the home of the largest Pride parade and event in the state. The Women's March back in January was more than 28,000 people.

Don't get me wrong, Florida can be a fucking hellscape, but if you spend time in any of the cities in central and south Florida you'll feel right at home as a progressive-minded person. We need more of you here, not less and the economies of our cities would be fucked without you.

With that said, my wife and I are vacationing in Seattle and Portland at the end of the month. I can't wait.
posted by photoslob at 6:07 PM on March 8 [14 favorites]


I'm not really a Twitter list person, but I just threw together a list of people to follow for status on the AHCA TrumpCare markup process, if you want to watch different parts of the sausage get rejected by various factions and reporters slowly lose their mind as they continue well into the night.

Completely irrelevant to this thread, this list also just brought me this amazing news story about a lawyer's pants bursting into flame during the closing arguments in an arson trial, and I feel I would be remiss in my duties if I did not bring such perfection to your attention.
posted by zachlipton at 6:11 PM on March 8 [30 favorites]


The places in red states where people would actually go and spend money are typically the bluest parts of those states. But by all means, punish away.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:33 PM on March 8 [+] [!]

I anticipated this reaction, but my feeling is that why, for instance, would I want to vacation in Florida, pay tourist (hotel/rental car/sales) taxes to fill their coffers, when I could go to Cali or New Mexico instead.
Any economic pressure put on this administration will carry the argument that it hurts the little guy, the workers at the bottom, but weighed against the harm caused by Dampnut's policies my "vote with my wallet" stance is a drop in the bucket.


Do state budgets follow the national pattern of blue areas generating income which gets redistributed to red areas? How long would it take before a red state felt the pinch? And would R voters really turn on Twitler instead of blaming the Evil Libruls?

I apologize if these are stupid questions. On the one hand I'm loathe to inflict even more pain on the pockets of resistance in redstateistans, but on the other the economics of dampnut's assholery...bring[ing] him crashing down feels like a plausible solution, since unlike previously hoped-for solutions it wouldn't depend on assorted treacherous invertebrates for success.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 6:11 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


orbit-3: "Re: encouraging non-U.S. visitors to avoid travel to the U.S.:"

I've tried researching (well, Googling) how much it would cost to buy up anonymous billboards on the Canadian side of the major US/Canada crossings (Blaine, Ambassador Bridge, Peace Bridge, and maybe Champlain, probably) that basically say something like
US Border Guards Are Detaining Canadians And Denying Entry. Why Risk It?
It's probably more than I could reasonably spare but it gives me something new to daydream idly about. While there might be some economic effects on the cities on the US side that benefit from Canadian tourism & cross-border shopping, the real goal would simply be to a stunt to get the local news -- on both sides of the border -- talking.
posted by mhum at 6:11 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


The places in red states where people would actually go and spend money are typically the bluest parts of those states. But by all means, punish away.
This. Here in St Petersburg, Hillay overwhelmingly won the vote. The Tampa Bay area is a liberal oasis surrounded by a sea of red. We have beautiful beaches, great museums (Dali, Chihuly, MFA) and we're proud to be the home of the largest Pride parade and event in the state. The Women's March back in January was more than 28,000 people.


On the other hand, Sarasota is pretty damned red and the roads are constantly jammed with tourist traffic around the beaches. Ft. Meyers and Naples are probably much the same. I don't think you can just assume that conservative places are just the places that nobody would want to visit anyway.
posted by indubitable at 6:15 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


DNC Chair Perez, deputy Ellison kick off live video Q&As

I think it's interesting a) how Perez and Ellison are really working the "united front" angle, and b) being MUCH more visible than past DNC (or RNC) leadership. I follow this kind of thing moderately closely, and I don't remember party chairs doing visible stuff beyond showing up on the Sunday shows.

They need to be fundraising and building out the state parties and finding good candidates, too, of course. But I think this sort of visibility is a Good Thing.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:20 PM on March 8 [31 favorites]


We've talked about the AARP in this thread but this headline gave me giggle fits.

Spicer On AARP Concerns: We're Not Trying To Accommodate 'Special Interests'

All your fucking TrumpDon'tCare bill does is cater to special interests you fucking lying piece of shit.
posted by futz at 6:20 PM on March 8 [20 favorites]




This cruz/trump dinner: I wonder if they lie to each other as much as they lie to us?

Purmt: I invented belts. Like, for pants.
Cruz: There's a country in South America that venerates me as a living god.
Tupmr: I won the Vietnam War singlehanded!
Cruz: I AM COMPOSED ENTIRELY OF ANTIMATTER.
posted by um at 6:22 PM on March 8 [53 favorites]


I know the general demographics Sarasota is the ritzy ritz republicans, Tampa is the blue collar red neck jumbled junky city and St. Pete is the laid back middle class/upper lower class (think union postman, plumbers etc(thus more democratic)) retiree city.
And yes Sarasota used to be a cool laid back moderate Republican artsy Democratic enclave until the Ritz money discovered the town and F'd it all up
posted by robbyrobs at 6:28 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


Spicer On AARP Concerns: We're Not Trying To Accommodate 'Special Interests'

AARP's constituency is old people … and people who hope to grow old. And from what I hear they vote. So please, keep harping on how you're going to piss them off.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:31 PM on March 8 [43 favorites]


Trump just liked a Fox News tweet: "#Franken Says He Thinks #Sessions Committed Perjury." That's, um, interesting.

Meanwhile, back on the Hill, Ways and Means is spending a considerable amount of time debating the tanning tax. @t_golshan: "Ds and Rs are debating which is worse for women: Defunding Planned Parenthood or taxing tanning salons (which are mostly used by women)?"

Somebody please make it all stop.
posted by zachlipton at 6:36 PM on March 8 [21 favorites]


On the other hand, Sarasota is pretty damned red and the roads are constantly jammed with tourist traffic around the beaches. Ft. Meyers and Naples are probably much the same. I don't think you can just assume that conservative places are just the places that nobody would want to visit anyway.

Yes, all red as well as being God's Waiting Room™. Don't go there. Go to Miami, St Petersburg or Orlando. Don't go to the theme parks unless you're into that kind of thing. Come for Art Basel or the Dali museum in St Pete. Come for the LGBT friendly beaches, restaurants and other businesses.

I used to talk a lot of shit about Texas. I've done it here on the Blue many times and one day somebody called me out for it. Folks like Sciatrix remind me of why every Red State shouldn't be abandoned. Austin is much like Miami, Gainesville and Tampa in that there's a majority of us fighting like hell to change things for the better. Please give us a hand.
posted by photoslob at 6:38 PM on March 8 [16 favorites]


Authorities looked into Manafort protégé

-- Kilimnik, a joint Russian-Ukrainian citizen who trained in the Russian army as a linguist, told operatives in Kiev and Washington that he met with Manafort during an April trip to the United States. And, after a late summer trip to the U.S., Kilimnik suggested that he had played a role in gutting a proposed amendment to the Republican Party platform that would have staked out a more adversarial stance towards Russia, according to a Kiev operative.

-- With Manafort’s help, Yanukovych was elected prime minister in 2006 and president in 2010 as the leader of the Russia-aligned Party of Regions. Multiple sources said the party paid millions of dollars a year to Manafort’s firm, for which Kilimnik eventually came to run the Kiev office.

-- And when Kilimnik returned to Ukraine after that trip, he suggested to Kiev political operatives that he played a role in a move by Trump’s representatives to dilute a proposed amendment to the GOP platform calling for the U.S. to provide “lethal defensive weapons” for Ukraine to defend itself against Russian incursion.

posted by futz at 6:40 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]


Tampa is the blue collar red neck jumbled junky city and St. Pete is the laid back middle class/upper lower class (think union postman, plumbers etc(thus more democratic)) retiree city.
And yes Sarasota used to be a cool laid back moderate Republican artsy Democratic enclave until the Ritz money discovered the town and F'd it all up


I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth but you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. I guess I deserve this for being a condescending dick about Texas.
posted by photoslob at 6:43 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Looks uncomfortably like a Wall of Crazy to me.

I think so too. Like, I think there's probably some fire there. And I'm amenable to the argument that anything that hurts Trump is good for America outside of outright making up bullshit.

But we need to keep our eye on the ball. The stupid corruption things are flashy, but the real damage is what's happening to the rule of law, the disregard of the political norms that previously were keeping this country on a path to genuine multiracial democracy, and the increasingly open attacks on any persons who are not white cis-male citizens. Oh, and the incredible incompetence that is dismantling our nation's already-frayed social programs.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:46 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


So, there's a declared Dem challenger in UT-3 (i.e., Chaffetz). And her platform looks pretty good.

She'll need a lot of luck - Chaffetz won by 46 points in '16 - but anything that makes that rat bastard sweat a bit is a good thing.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:47 PM on March 8 [18 favorites]


Man, I don't know what to tell ya'll that don't live in red states. What would help? Fuck if I know. Will conservative lawmakers notice if nobody came here? Maybe?

It would hurt us, but so does the complacency/apathy of our fellow red-staters that let the nutbars take over.

If you do have plans to come here and cancel/change them, what WOULD help is to write the places you were going to patronize--the hotel, the amusement park, whatever--and tell them that the idiot bathroom bill/whatever is the reason you changed your plans. Tell THEM to call their state congresspeople and mayor and Reps and Senators in DC. The hospitality industry is already on edge, not to mention all the towns that depend on convention business, so you can fan that flame.
posted by emjaybee at 6:47 PM on March 8 [65 favorites]


Jim Acosta: Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.
posted by Artw at 6:55 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


What I don't get is why Trump's people made the Ukraine change in the Republican platform - it's not like the platform is a binding contract, they could have "changed course" on Russia/Ukraine policy any time later after some showy diplomatic talks with Russia and Trump could have led the GOP along down that path. But nope, they're fucking idiots who put a big giant spotlight on the issue.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:55 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


This cruz/trump dinner: I wonder if they lie to each other as much as they lie to us?


I know one thing: if Cruz doesn't at minimum make the President wear the main course on his weaved toupee, then Heidi needs nothing more to present grounds for divorce.
posted by ocschwar at 6:55 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


All your fucking TrumpDon'tCare bill does is cater to special interests you fucking lying piece of shit.
posted by futz at 1:20 on March 9 [4 favorites +] [!]

This is utterly untrue. I feel you have forgotten that 6 pages are devoted to hating on lottery winners.
posted by jaduncan at 6:55 PM on March 8 [26 favorites]


republicare, spicy, epa, hud...forget about all that. russia. i got a vibe.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:56 PM on March 8


That's a VERY specialized interest.
posted by Artw at 6:56 PM on March 8


Trump gave away the game: Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.

Their plan is win-win for Republicans dying in the streets enthusiasts. Either they pass a bill that kills healthcare in America and tax cuts for the rich; or the bill fails, they let healthcare markets fall into a death spiral anyway, and blame Democrats for it to win a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority in 2018, and then kill healthcare in America anyway.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:57 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his friend, Sergey Kislyak. Several years earlier, Kislyak's FSB handler had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two Russian assets share an apartment without driving each other crazy?

It's Sergey Kislyak.

5 paces into your commute, and you think you live alone.
posted by ocschwar at 6:58 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


they could have "changed course" on Russia/Ukraine policy any time later after some showy diplomatic talks with Russia and Trump could have led the GOP along down that path. But nope, they're fucking idiots who put a big giant spotlight on the issue.

Pee-pee tape.

Or more likely incriminating details of the Rosneft money changing hands.
posted by Artw at 6:58 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "Trump gave away the game: Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.

Their plan is win-win for Republicans dying in the streets enthusiasts. Either they pass a bill that kills healthcare in America and tax cuts for the rich; or the bill fails, they let healthcare markets fall into a death spiral anyway, and blame Democrats for it to win a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority in 2018, and then kill healthcare in America anyway.
"

Color me skeptical that this is how things would actually work out.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:02 PM on March 8 [31 favorites]


Trump gave away the game: Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.
i don't see how that works for Republicans. They control both houses of congress and the presidency. How are they going to blame the Democrats? Why didn't they fix it? Nothing is stopping them. Whatever happens now is 100% on them.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:03 PM on March 8 [38 favorites]


Somebody please make it all stop.
posted by zachlipton at 6:36 PM


Looks like the Great Filter might have you covered: Russia Has Deployed Missile Barred by Treaty, U.S. General Tells Congress
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:04 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


Kilimnik, a joint Russian-Ukrainian citizen who trained in the Russian army as a linguist, told operatives in Kiev and Washington that he met with Manafort during an April trip to the United States.

"Whan that Aprille with hise shoores soote / the hacks of March hath perced to the roote..."

Color me skeptical that this is how things would actually work out.

Me too. "You had health coverage and now you don't, so blame the party who have been out of power for the past 18 months" vs "kick those fuckers out now"? GOP congresscritters will be afraid to set foot in their districts.
posted by holgate at 7:06 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Trump gave away the game: Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.


Wait, so Trump told people exactly what they'd want to hear, even though it doesn't make a lot of sense?

Let's remember that these people cannot do anything - so far - that requires the active consent of the governed. They can do half-assed executive orders, they can get rid of regulations, they can make horrible appointments, but actual law? They're shit at actual law, and Trump is an idiot. They're bad people, they'd like to destroy Obamacare, but anything that is not actually passing a terrible replacement or a repeal is a victory right now, because it leaves a lot of doors open. The longer people have healthcare - even mediocre healthcare at bad prices - the less likely they are to want to go back to zero healthcare. That's why Trump et al want to get rid of this now now now.

Also, frankly, everyone is going to be incredibly motivated by hatred of Trump in 2018. I find it very unlikely that the GOP will gain meaningful seats, even if the Democrats don't do as well as we would like.

We're not in the wolf's mouth yet. We're facing evil people with evil plans, but just because someone has a plan doesn't make it a good or effective plan.
posted by Frowner at 7:07 PM on March 8 [16 favorites]


Nothing outside the US exists foe these people. North Korea is doing test runs on an attack on America's Japanese bases and nobody has said squat.
posted by Artw at 7:07 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


GOP congresscritters will be afraid to set foot in their districts.

They already are.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:08 PM on March 8 [20 favorites]


i don't see how that works for Republicans. They control both houses of congress and the presidency. How are they going to blame the Democrats? Why didn't they fix it? Nothing is stopping them. Whatever happens now is 100% on them.

Bill fails -> "Democrats (and traitorous Republicans like Rand Paul) stopped us from fixing Obamacare" -> 2 more years of "Obamacare is killing American jobs but Democrats won't let us fix it" -> 60 seats in 2018 when Democrats are facing the worst Senate map in modern history.

Also, frankly, everyone is going to be incredibly motivated by hatred of Trump in 2018. I find it very unlikely that the GOP will gain meaningful seats, even if the Democrats don't do as well as we would like.

I wish I believed that. I can easily see them gaining a filibuster proof majority after yet another Democratic wipeout outside of the costal strongholds.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:10 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


And seriously, if the "game plan" is to keep the ACA and use regulatory powers and industry panic to run it into the ditch, the Dems can start the midterm campaign right fucking now and say "here's exactly what they'll do to run it into the ditch in 2018." Either they do those things, and they're fucked, or they don't, and they're still fucked.
posted by holgate at 7:10 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


What I don't get is why Trump

Imma stop you right there. He's an idiot prince douche-donkey that got elected because he's good at scaring white people
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:12 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


"Democrats (and traitorous Republicans like Rand Paul) stopped us from fixing Obamacare"

Response: "Your party had a majority in both houses of Congress. You didn't need Democratic support to pass a bill. Why didn't you propose a bill that members of your party would vote for?"
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:12 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


It gets worse.

@Acosta: "WH team indicated openness to move up Medicaid fix to Jan 1, 2018 instead of 2020 to entice conservatives, per source at tea party Trump mtg"

So they'd freeze the Medicaid expansion right away to try to get more of the Freedom Caucus folks on board, making the bill even less acceptable in the Senate. To resolve that problem, he's got a plan:

@Acosta: "Trump confident health care will pass House but for Senate he plans "football stadium rallies" in red states to prod vulnerable Dems."

Given how his last round of rallies weren't all that well attended, does he really think he can fill football stadiums now?

Oh, and the Chief Medical Officer for Medicaid just came out against the bill "despite political messaging from others at HHS."
posted by zachlipton at 7:13 PM on March 8 [28 favorites]


Their plan is win-win for Republicans dying in the streets enthusiasts. Either they pass a bill that kills healthcare in America and tax cuts for the rich; or the bill fails, they let healthcare markets fall into a death spiral anyway, and blame Democrats for it to win a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority in 2018, and then kill healthcare in America anyway.

There's maybe 6 seats that they could pick up without a wave election towards Republicans and then Republicans have to run the table in 2020. That's if they don't lose Nevada (which is likely D at this point). 60 seats is not anywhere in the future without a massive swing away from Democrats that we haven't ever seen. There are too many firmly blue bulwarks to go below 42 Democrats.

To get to 60 Republicans would have to run the table and unseat Tim Kaine and Tammy Baldwin.

But then again I thought SCROTUS was going to get stomped in the election so what do I know.
posted by Talez at 7:13 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


oh for fuck's sake:

Trump confident health care will pass House but for Senate he plans "football stadium rallies" in red states to prod vulnerable Dems. -- @Acosta

don't worry, guise, we'll hold rallies! they happen to be my specialty!
posted by murphy slaw at 7:13 PM on March 8 [23 favorites]


Yeah, they're going to have a tough time filling football stadiums with people who are just itching to lose their healthcare. I'm pretty sure that any football stadium rallies are going to be against his terrible proposal. That could actually happen.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:15 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


What are the rallies going to do? There's a fucking bill. With words in it. It's not a fucking steak. It's not a bullshit get-healthy-quick scheme. The only purpose I can imagine is to gather up a few thousand magahats and tell them to bring pitchforks and torches to intimidate Dems.
posted by holgate at 7:17 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


There wouldn't even be football stadia empty and available in the spring if he hadn't killed the USFL with his dumbassedness.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:17 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


he's like a b-list member of a superhero team who's always recommends that they use his lame-ass power to catch the bad guy.

"i know! i can use my power of prawn control to summon an army of crayfish from the sewers!"

"uh huh, prawnboy. how bout you keep the engine running while Fistman and I go punch them in the face."
posted by murphy slaw at 7:19 PM on March 8 [66 favorites]


What are the betting odds these die in committee or horrifyingly, make it out?

HR 899: "The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018."
HR 861: "The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018."

(Is there historical precedent for any legislation that is as, ah, concise as these two?)
posted by mostly vowels at 7:19 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


I can think of someone who could fill stadiums with people who want to defend a piece of legislation with his name on it. He'd have to want to do it, but he could.
posted by holgate at 7:19 PM on March 8 [33 favorites]


Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.

The original Deus Ex introduction:
Walton Simons: This plague -- the rioting is intensifying to the point where we may not be able to contain it.
Bob Page: Why contain it? Let it spill over into the schools and churches, let the bodies pile up in the streets. In the end, they'll beg us to save them.
And to think I thought at the time that it was amusingly schockly and that nobody would think like that.
posted by jaduncan at 7:19 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


What are the betting odds these die in committee or horrifyingly, make it out?

If you look these bills up, they have exactly one sponsor, the dude who wrote the bill. They aren't even making it into committee, let alone the house floor. They are stunt bills and not worth worrying about.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:20 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


60 seats is not anywhere in the future without a massive swing away from Democrats that we haven't ever seen. There are too many firmly blue bulwarks to go below 42 Democrats.

Yea, I'm done believing in the unbreakable blue firewall.

Manchin. McCaskill. Tester. Heithamp. Donnelly are all in massively red Trump states and should be assumed done. Then Brown isn't much better. Nelson. Casey. Baldwin. And King. All in Trump states. There's 60 even if Dems get Heller.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:20 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


It's common that the governing party doesn't make big gains at the midterms.

One thing no one has emphasized enough when post-morteming the election is simply that it's unusual for a party to hold the WH for more than two terms in a row. The election followed, in that respect, a relatively predictable pattern.

I think that the trends in US politics are still pretty strong and still holding. It's a burning nightmare that Trump is president and I have barely known an hour since November 8 when I have not thought of how utterly fucked things are, but personally I'm surprised by how much better our institutions are holding up than I'd thought they would. Everything is a total garbage nightmare, but bills still have to pass Congress before Trump signs them, the travel ban is still being challenged in court, we still have rule of law. An important thing to think of - you know how all those videos of people being deported or stopped at the border seem to be turning out to be from the Obama administration? What we're seeing now is an intensification but not a radical departure.

Again, I'm not trying to say that things aren't terrible. They're absolutely horrible, everyone I know is miserable and angry. But "we are miserable and angry and we are able to fight and we will turn this around by organizing and voting" is very different from "we are miserable and angry and public assembly has been banned, plus Pelosi, Warren, BLM and the cast of Saturday Night Live have all been arrested and their location is unknown", which is a scenario that did not seem impossible on January 21.
posted by Frowner at 7:22 PM on March 8 [57 favorites]


i don't see how that works for Republicans. They control both houses of congress and the presidency. How are they going to blame the Democrats? Why didn't they fix it? Nothing is stopping them. Whatever happens now is 100% on them.

Also, Trump has already shown an inability to resist putting his thumb on the scale by signaling he won't enforce the mandate's penalty, if it goes down it's going to be down to him pulling shit like that. It's not likely to fail it on its own, the price hikes last year seemed like a short term market correction down to the insurance agencies misjudging costs.

It will be a very interesting lawsuit if someone is able to sue the IRS challenging their discretion to not enforce the collection of ACA penalty taxes. I imagine they get plenty of challenges trying to stop them from collecting taxes, but a lawsuit trying to get them to do so seems like a novel thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:22 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


The GOP leadership in the House just passed a bill making class-action lawsuits impossible, freeing the megacorps to nicke-and-dime and poison us to death.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:23 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Color me skeptical that this is how things would actually work out.

They're gonna try, and it might work. I say this because I just finished talking to a friend today who didn't know that a Day Without Women was going on today, because everything in the news is stressing her out, and as a result she's trying to "keep her head buried in the sand". It made me realize that there are some folks out there who are deliberately tuning out, because the deluge of negative shit that Trump & Co. are pumping out.
posted by FJT at 7:23 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


i just got a robocall from one of my senators, corey gardner (CR*-colorado) inviting me into a running 'telephone town hall'. nope, you can have a town hall OR a teleconference. you are not fooling anyone.

*chickenshit republican
posted by j_curiouser at 7:26 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


Manchin. McCaskill. Tester. Heithamp. Donnelly are all in massively red Trump states and should be assumed done.

Well, in that case we should all just give up, and expect "No Really I Invented Email" Guy to beat Warren as well. "We're doomed no matter what" is a nice comfort blanket but it doesn't really get us far.

(Claire McCaskill is one of the savviest politicians in the country, and the fact that she's not considered as such is both a sign of how women in American politics get underestimated, and also a sign of how savvy she is.)
posted by holgate at 7:28 PM on March 8 [29 favorites]


Maddow reported tonight that Kathryn Allen, who is running against Chaffetz, found an additional $80,000 in her coffers after Shitgibbon Chaffetz's comment about iPhones vs healthcare. This is apparently updated info since Chrysostom posted a link above. It was $40,000 at that time and considering her original goal was $50,000 but had only raised $15,000 prior to Chaffetz's comment. Go go Kathryn Allen!
posted by futz at 7:28 PM on March 8 [38 favorites]


Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.

Just to be clear again, that's literally applying pour encourager les autres to healthcare. If they actually do this people will needlessly be left to die to make a point, and they would have blood on their hands.

I feel like a Democratic party that wanted the fight would be able to fight that and win, probably with repeated photos of the needlessly dead and explanations of how their deaths were linked to removal of care.
posted by jaduncan at 7:29 PM on March 8 [19 favorites]


I feel like a Democratic party that wanted the fight would be able to fight that and win, probably with repeated photos of the needlessly dead and explanations of how their deaths were linked to removal of care.

If that's the fight, Perez and Ellison need to ensure that local healthcare-focused activist groups become a key resource for the campaign, because they'll identify the people who are getting fucked over for political points-scoring.
posted by holgate at 7:35 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


If you look these bills up, they have exactly one sponsor, the dude who wrote the bill.

Genuine question, is there a meaningful difference between a sponsor and a co-sponsor? I thought the person who introduces it is always the singular sponsor, then s/he picks up co-sponsors. And it looks like each of the bills I mentioned has at least a few co-sponsors, though admittedly not what appears to be much of a critical mass (HR 861, HR 899)
posted by mostly vowels at 7:36 PM on March 8


Marco Rubio asked to vacate second Florida office due to protests

Heeeeeheheeheheheheheeee-haaaaaaa!

As always, fucka Marco Rubio!
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:37 PM on March 8 [36 favorites]




And for those wondering, the amendment to rename the bill "THE REPUBLICAN PAY MORE FOR LESS CARE ACT" has just been voted down .... after a three hour debate.
posted by dannyboybell at 7:46 PM on March 8 [86 favorites]


Genuine question, is there a meaningful difference between a sponsor and a co-sponsor?

Sponsor is usually the bill author or the guy who's handing the lobbyist's bill to congress. Co-sponsors are endorsements. They add weight to a bill. In the case of, for example, the EPA elimination bill, he has three co-sponsors. But! They're all extremely junior congressmen with no seniority on any of the appropriate committees. They don't have the leverage to get these bills anywhere.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:46 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


The Atlantic has a good article on the EPA bill and stunt legislation in general.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:47 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


And King.

ANGUS King? From Maine? I hate to break it to you, but MAINE IS NOT A RED STATE. Despite Lepage. And although King is up for election in '18, he's not going anywhere.
posted by anastasiav at 7:53 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


And Mike Flynn has now registered as a foreign agent of the Turkish government, for half a million dollars of work he did in 2016. Hilariously, the person he was working for requested a partial refund on the fee.
posted by holgate at 7:55 PM on March 8 [42 favorites]


you know how all those videos of people being deported or stopped at the border seem to be turning out to be from the Obama administration? What we're seeing now is an intensification but not a radical departure.

Yes, I've noticed that too. And as anecdata, I've noticed that US border control at international airports has been getting more intrusive and intimidating for a long time, certainly since the attack on the WTC. But these videos and reports are being used to signify people's concerns about real problems, so I hope that the increased level of attention being paid to them will result in some meaningful changes.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:56 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "Manchin. McCaskill. Tester. Heithamp. Donnelly are all in massively red Trump states and should be assumed done. Then Brown isn't much better. Nelson. Casey. Baldwin. And King. All in Trump states. There's 60 even if Dems get Heller."

It's notable that none of these people has come out for Trumpcare yet. They clearly do not believe that they will sink or swim based on support of this bill.

I also think you're underestimating state politics. Yes, MT went strongly for Trump - they also elected a Democrat as governor. WV did the same thing. Manchin and Tester are well liked in their states, whatever we may think of them here.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:57 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]




So, all politics is local then?
posted by vrakatar at 7:59 PM on March 8


I certainly don't expect the Dems to take the Senate in 2018 given the map, but assuming they will lose every red state seat even though they have won those seats repeatedly in the past seems extremely pessimistic to me. Why would McCaskill lose this race and not her previous races?

It's certainly possible she could lose but why assume it?
posted by Justinian at 8:01 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]




Can we just call it NoCare legislation? From ObamaCare to GOP NoCare. It conveys the true intentions without swearing like FuckYou I Got Mine Care.
posted by jadepearl at 8:20 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


I can think of someone who could fill stadiums with people who want to defend a piece of legislation with his name on it. He'd have to want to do it, but he could.

Go Bernie!!
posted by Coventry at 8:21 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Hoo boy, Michelle Wolf eviscerated Ivanka on TDS tonight. Ivanka is made out of vomit.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:22 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Yeah, no, there's no reason to assume Casey is going down in PA in 2018. Trump only took PA by about 50,000, and Casey is fairly popular and respected. He gets more support in rural areas than you might think because he is a white male pro-lifer, but is also doing all the right things to capitalize on anger towards Trump, like personally dashing out of a white tie charity fundraiser to go down to the airport on the Muslim ban.

He could lose, because anything could happen, but pretending that he will absolutely lose in 2018 and is dead meat walking is not only defeatist, but just plain factually wrong.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:26 PM on March 8 [11 favorites]


THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH - "TRUMP’S UNPOPULARITY DID NOT STOP HIM FROM BEING ELECTED, AND IT WON’T STOP HIM FROM ENACTING HIS AGENDA"
This is important because we need to recognize that most Trump voters wanted to vote for Trump — which means that they wanted what Trump ran on. They aren’t “confused Democrats who wound up voting for Trump out of some giant misunderstanding.” It’s true that voting is a noisy signal of beliefs; it’s not as if voters give an explanation for their vote on the ballot.
Jon Huntsman, noooooo! Huntsman offered Russia ambassadorship

The plot against Europe
May 9, 2022 — Standing on the viewing platform in Red Square, President Vladimir Putin observed the military parade commemorating the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany. This Victory Day, he had reason to be especially proud of his country.

Earlier that week, a group of 150 Russian special forces — bearing no insignia and disguised like the “little green men” who had occupied the Crimean peninsula eight years prior — had slipped into the tiny neighboring Baltic state of Estonia. Seizing a government building in Narva, a city on the border with an ethnic Russian majority, they planted a Russian flag on the roof and promptly declared the “Narva People’s Republic.” In a statement released to international media, leaders of the nascent breakaway state announced they were “defending ethnic Russians from the fascist regime in Tallinn,” Estonia’s capital. Most of Narva’s Russian-speaking citizens looked upon the tumultuous events with passivity. Ever since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, they suspected something like this would eventually happen.
Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government
A Trump campaign aide who argues that Democrats committed “ethnic cleansing” in a plot to “liquidate” the white working class. A former reality show contestant whose study of societal collapse inspired him to invent a bow-and-arrow-cum-survivalist multi-tool. A pair of healthcare industry lobbyists. A lobbyist for defense contractors. An “evangelist” and lobbyist for Palantir, the Silicon Valley company with close ties to intelligence agencies. And a New Hampshire Trump supporter who has only recently graduated from high school.

These are some of the people the Trump administration has hired for positions across the federal government, according to documents received by ProPublica through public-records requests.
BEN CARSON, DONALD TRUMP, AND THE MISUSE OF AMERICAN HISTORY
Strangely enough, many of us opted to respond to Trump’s weapons-grade pessimism in the most optimistic way possible, conjuring best-case scenarios in which he would simply be a modern version of Richard Nixon, or perhaps of Andrew Jackson. But he is neither of these. Last summer, as his rallies tipped toward violence and the rhetoric seemed increasingly jarring, it was common to hear alarmed commentators speak of us all being in “uncharted waters.” This was naïve, and, often enough, self-serving. For many of us, particularly those who reckon with the history of race, the true fear was not that we were on some unmapped terrain but that we were passing landmarks that were disconcertingly familiar. In response to the increasingly authoritarian tones of the executive branch, we plumbed the history of Europe in the twentieth century for clues and turned to the writings of Czeslaw Milosz and George Orwell. We might well have turned to the writings of W. E. B. Du Bois and James Baldwin for the more direct, domestic version of this question but looked abroad, at least in part, as a result of our tacit consensus that tragedy is a foreign locale. It has been selectively forgotten that traits of authoritarianism neatly overlap with traits of racism visible in the recent American past.
Never forget Paul Ryan’s massive cruelty
Trump once proposed single-payer health care because he thought it could win him the presidency. Now he’s betting his presidency on the opposite.

Donald Trump’s agenda is Paul Ryan’s agenda. It’s a “monumental fraud,” as Greg Sargent calls it, on Trump’s working class voters. But Trump is happy to oblige, since Ryan’s agenda essentially matches his and his donors’ basic world view — the rich should get richer, polluters and bankers should feel free to victimize whomever they please and women and minorities are inherently suspect thus must be subject to strict government controls.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:26 PM on March 8 [17 favorites]


Trump ran against it from the left, while the GOP Republicans ran against it from the right. I expect that's the faultline where the real conflict is going to blow up.

Yeah. This, combined with the reconciliation bullshit. It's not like the GOP doesn't have metric fucktons of talented policy wonks at thinktanks that could come up with a coherent proposal, at least. But those policy proposals would either 1) cost more, or 2) insure less people - thus either breaking Trump's promise, or becoming filibusterable. Thus, you have this Frankenstein monster of a bill that nobody but nobody likes, because it's fucking insane.
posted by corb at 8:32 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


I certainly don't expect the Dems to take the Senate in 2018 given the map, but assuming they will lose every red state seat even though they have won those seats repeatedly in the past seems extremely pessimistic to me.

Yeah, there's simply no basis for this assumption. It remains to be seen whether the #resist momentum and anger at Trump fuck-ups translates into electoral gains in the midterms, but Senators are generally really, really safe. Even the ones that look precarious.

I honestly think it's more likely that the 2018 midterms get outright canceled in a blatant fascist takeover than 10 Democratic Senators lose their seats.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:37 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


Hoo boy, Michelle Wolf eviscerated Ivanka on TDS tonight. Ivanka is made out of vomit.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:22 PM on March 8


Anybody got a link to video of this? TIA.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 8:37 PM on March 8


With Manafort’s help, Yanukovych was elected prime minister in 2006 and president in 2010 as the leader of the Russia-aligned Party of Regions.

Let's not forget that just two years before that, Yanukovych ran for president in an election featuring his opponent Viktor Yushchenko being poisoned with dioxin before a widely discredited run-off election that initially had Yanukovych winning, until Ukraine's Supreme Court ordered a re-run of the run-off which came out favoring Yushchenko.

That is to say, Manafort's clientele is only the classiest of politicians.
posted by mubba at 8:45 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


Manchin. McCaskill. Tester. Heithamp. Donnelly

Keep in mind that just one year ago Republicans were for once able to pass an Obamacare repeal bill and Obamacare was only saved by Obama's veto. Guess who voted to override Obama's veto and repeal Obamacare -- Manchin, Heithamp and Donnelly.

Now perhaps they were just showboating for their redneck homeboys given there was no chance of the override succeeding, but it certainly provides no comfort that Democrats are united. Every vote is going to count in this battle.
posted by JackFlash at 8:54 PM on March 8 [18 favorites]


vrakatar: "So, all politics is local then?"

I mean, no, of course not, we're in a very different world from when that was said. But we're not in a case where NO politics are local, either. You have to look at each state individually. Montana, for example. Tester is well liked, and the number one GOP potential candidate is now out, since he became Secretary of Interior. The distant #2 is running for House; he'll either win that or be tagged as a two-time loser (he just lost the governor's race).

I wouldn't particularly want to be in Heidi Heitkamp's shoes, but her goose is a long way from cooked yet.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:56 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


republicare, spicy, epa, hud...forget about all that. russia. i got a vibe.
posted by j_curiouser


Manchin. McCaskill. Tester. Heithamp. Donnelly

Billy Joel, where are you, time to update your song!
We Didn't Start the Dumpster Fire
posted by sylvanshine at 9:00 PM on March 8 [15 favorites]


Flynn lobbied for Turkish-linked firm after election, documents show

Flynn discloses lobbying that may have helped Turkey


I for one am sad that Mike Flynn would be prepared to support an obviously facist authoritarian and risk legitimising the attack on democracy and democratic institutions in the state that authoritarian claims to want to save. Also, he's in favour of Erdogan.
posted by jaduncan at 9:07 PM on March 8 [13 favorites]


Spicer On AARP Concerns: We're Not Trying To Accommodate 'Special Interests'

AARP's constituency is old people … and people who hope to grow old.


AARP is age 55 and up. That isn't even old anymore. That's just middle aged (he tells himself hoping its true!).
posted by srboisvert at 9:09 PM on March 8 [25 favorites]


So my Lyft driver tonight reported that we have Marines on the ground in Syria. Is this just a bullshit rumor? because I believe it's possible, even if it's not true now.
posted by suelac at 9:10 PM on March 8


It's true. US Marines join local forces fighting in Raqqa, and Marines have arrived in Syria to fire artillery in the fight for Raqqa

This is related to the Obama plan, handed over in the transition, which the Trump folks, led by Flynn, promptly rejected. That plan was centered around arming Kurdish fighters, which has its own consequences in terms of Turkey's reaction. If you're nodding in the direction of the story above titled "Flynn lobbied for Turkish-linked firm after election, documents show" right now, then you're fully understanding the implications of what I'm saying here.
posted by zachlipton at 9:18 PM on March 8 [42 favorites]


And if we're not fully understanding, can you draw a clearer picture for us?
posted by Miko at 9:19 PM on March 8 [12 favorites]


Regarding the discussion of voting upstream, I'm seeing more activity from SwingLeft. I recall in a past election thread there was some discussion about whether SwingLeft was really a genuine effort or some sort of clever weapon being wielded by the right. Has there been a conclusion about this? And if it's on the up-and-up, can SwingLeft help in the election issues being discussed?

(Genuinely trying to figure this all out... I have no relationship to SwingLeft.)
posted by StrawberryPie at 9:22 PM on March 8


And if we're not fully understanding, can you draw a clearer picture for us?

Turkey would rather the Kurds (and the YPG in particular) were massacred at the same time as IS, rather than emerging as a group that can hold territory on the southern Turkish border. Turkey doesn't want the US aiding groups they currently bomb.

Flynn was apparently willing to lobby for that to happen, and was worth hard cash money as NSA that he clearly isn't as a random citizen.

Note: allegedly, although it's hard to see what Turkey would pay him for as the NSA beyond that and not giving Erdogan a hard time over the ongoing domestic purges, throwing their weight around in the ME and/or occasional incursions into Northern Iraq.
posted by jaduncan at 9:23 PM on March 8 [8 favorites]


> if we're not fully understanding...

The implication is that Flynn was being paid by the Turkish government to put his thumb on the scale against arming and aiding Kurds, who want to carve out their own independent state with part of Turkish territory. It's bribery by a foreign government to act against the "national interest"[*], in plain words.

[*] No opinion about whether that's really the national interest or not - just that it was apparently the Obama admin choice.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:25 PM on March 8 [21 favorites]


Yeah, that was a bit vague. It goes something like this:

The Obama Administration put together a plan to take Raqqa.
The key part of that plan was to arm Kurdish fighters
Turkey really, really doesn't want that to happen.
A week or so before the inauguration, the Obama folks tell the Trump team about the plan. Specifically, Susan Rice speaks to Flynn. Flynn says not to go forward, and they will make the decision
Obama viewed a decision on the plan as an urgent priority, to the extent he was going to discuss it with Trump the morning of the inauguration
The plan "was dead on arrival at the Trump White House"

Meanwhile:
From August to mid-November, Flynn's firm was paid $350,000 to work on behalf of "Inovo BV, a privately owned consulting firm in the Netherlands run by Turkish businessman Kamil Alptekin"
This is a sketchy company run by a guy with close ties to the Turkish Government
Flynn was paid to meet with Turkish government officials and do some work that seems to be rather closely aligned with Erdoğan's (President of Turkey) goals, specifically waging a PR campaign against Fethullah Gülen (very, very long story, but the very short version is he's a Turkish exile in the US who Erdoğan calls a terrorist)
Just today, Flynn got around to filing his registration as a foreign agent for this work. In doing so, he admitted that his work for Inovo "could be construed" to have actually been for the benefit of the Turkish Government.
Some of the paperwork tries to pass this off as typical business consulting work, but other paperwork admits to the above activities, and it's not really credible to me why providing consulting on US-Turkey relations would legitimately involve creating a documentary about Gülen or writing an anti-Gülen op-ed.

So in short, Flynn is taking money during the campaign from some Dutch company to do weird pro-Erdoğan lobbying, becomes National Security Advisor, and promptly shelves the Obama plan to arm Kurdish fighters and support them in the fight for Raqqa.

That's not to say that the Obama plan was necessarily any good or that other factors didn't go into this analysis (the Post article cites various perceived deficiencies with the plan). But there's some pretty huge conflicts of interest involved in what happened here.

I'd add that there are a bunch of recent developments today, which I'm not fully up to speed on, involving US and Russian forces essentially working together to block Turkey from crushing Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The situation is, well, complicated.
posted by zachlipton at 9:52 PM on March 8 [88 favorites]


Not going to link but when the Dailycaller is calling out Flynn you know something is up:

New Disclosures Show It Was Probably A Good Idea To Fire Michael Flynn
posted by futz at 10:10 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


involving US and Russian forces essentially working together to block Turkey from crushing Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

Huh. This sort of implies Moscow Mike was also acting against Moscow.
posted by Artw at 10:18 PM on March 8


AARP is age 55 and up. That isn't even old anymore. That's just middle aged (he tells himself hoping its true!).

It's 50 and up. I know because I signed up on my 50th birthday and spelled my own name wrong on the registration in a world record soonest senior moment.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:23 PM on March 8 [88 favorites]


a scenario that did not seem impossible on January 21

There hasn't been a day since that I would've been surprised to wake up and learn we'd launched nukes at someone.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:24 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Rasmussen's daily tracking poll has a 49% approval rating. It's the first day of his presidency that it's been below 50%. There's no reason to take any meaning from it, that poll being hot garbage, but I sure want to. If nothing else Rasmussen might be trying to send a distress beacon to the God-Emperor, since they're just about the only pollster he likes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:32 PM on March 8 [4 favorites]


a distress beacon to the God-Emperor,

It's the Ides of March next Wednesday. Bad time for togas.



I
posted by Devonian at 10:53 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Can we just call it NoCare legislation? From ObamaCare to GOP NoCare.

There's a better name for Trump's health care bill: CareLess
posted by msalt at 10:56 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


If we call Republicare, we hang it around all their necks.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:04 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


There hasn't been a day since that I would've been surprised to wake up and learn we'd launched nukes at someone.

I mentioned this many threads ago: I was eating breakfast in a hotel and the TV ran an Emergency Alert System test. My first thought upon hearing the tone was "What did that fucker tweet now?"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:07 PM on March 8 [16 favorites]


The situation is, well, complicated.

There was a period when Erdoğan was courting non-separatist Kurdish votes on the whole "traditionalist" thing, but those days were before Syria became a basketcase.

Anyway, Gallup's daily tracker also shows a drop since the shit sandwich reveal. It's a reminder that Americans tend to think of government as more unitary entity than it actually is, regardless of whether power is held by a single party or divided. As someone noted on the twitters, the orange menace slaps his name on any marginally-profitable branding opportunity, and he doesn't want it on the shit sandwich.
posted by holgate at 11:07 PM on March 8 [3 favorites]


If we call Republicare, we hang it around all their necks.

Not necessary. Again, Americans love their branches and checks and balances in civics classes, but they basically treat government as a single entity. Name it after the man perceived to be in charge, and it gets hung around all their necks.
posted by holgate at 11:09 PM on March 8 [2 favorites]


"AARP is age 55 and up. That isn't even old anymore. That's just middle aged (he tells himself hoping its true!)."

As kirkaracha said, AARP eligibility starts at 50. Almost all of us get mail from them around our 50th birthdays to tell us that we are officially Over The Hill Now and we'll get a free bag if we join.

Most of my friends made fun of it and refused to join -- I joined last fall, specifically because I want AARP to continue to support things that are important to me. (And not to throw the under-55s to the wolves in any proposed health care acts!) Being 51 means that retirement age seems a lot closer than it used to...

Incidentally, though AARP is officially non-partisan, the fact that they support the ACA makes them "too leftist" for some... there are competing organizations for those folks, notably AMAC.
posted by litlnemo at 11:12 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I'm one of the AARP Special Interests, too, and I tell you when they head of the AARP was on NPR going, "nope.", it *did* give me a slight feeling of almost-not-total-dread for about 15 seconds.
posted by mikelieman at 11:24 PM on March 8 [14 favorites]


I kind of wish Jimmy Carter could invite Trump to join him for a day at, say, a work site.

i wish he would invite trump down to the cellar to check out some awesome rare wines

all the way in the back
posted by poffin boffin at 11:35 PM on March 8 [113 favorites]


Worth checking in on what's happening in the House. Markup continues all night on the health-care bill, with Ways and Means getting the giggles at 2am as Energy and Commerce fights about abortion. In E&C, Democrats have filed a gazillion amendments, over 100 apparently, and progress appears to be rather slow indeed. The clerk has multiple cans of Red Bull at her desk. The reporters covering the hearings are pretty much delirious at this point.

Follow the descent into madness on Twitter here.
posted by zachlipton at 11:41 PM on March 8 [30 favorites]


saturday_morning at 5:53 PM way upthread: I will tell you straight up, decreasing coverage and increasing costs will make any version of Republicare a no-go for the AMA and AAP.

You know, I remember being a little bent out of shape about all the medical and insurance industry buy-offs built into the PPACA. Not as much as many people, because I figured that an incremental approach was the realistic way to get it done, and to do that you had to give entrenched interests their pound of flesh. Still, I definitely sympathized with the view that the bill was littered with borderline extortionate giveaways.

Now I'm really reevaluating that perspective. Sure, we had to buy those guys off, which was awful, but it looks like they've stayed bought. The entrenched interests are now entrenched in favor of ObamaCare. In retrospect from current circumstances, which I definitely didn't foresee, the price of their loyalty looks like a good bargain.

I mean, this kind of immediate, unambiguous, and unified public opposition from every industry trade group is pretty unusual. Try to imagine the kind of private phone calls that senators are getting from lobbyists right now. Lobbyists who've been told to go to the mattresses to prevent a trillion dollar industry-wide meltdown. These are not nice guys. They're lobbyists who think, with some justification, that they own senators. For those senators, this has got to be deeply uncomfortable, and for some, existentially terrifying.

So yeah, if buying off those entrenched industry interests plays out the way I hope it does -- fingers crossed -- that'll be a real world demonstration of Obama's mythical 11-dimensional chess mastery.
posted by dirge at 12:21 AM on March 9 [30 favorites]


And apropos of nothing, I feel a need to note the absurdity of claims that Obama is spearheading a shadowy conspiracy to thwart Republican policy objectives. They're not absurd because he's not doing that. They're absurd because of course he is, and there's nothing shadowy about it. We've even got a catchy name for the conspiracy. It's called the Democratic Party.
posted by dirge at 12:47 AM on March 9 [22 favorites]






CareLess

Smile more.
posted by chris24 at 3:42 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


CareLess
Smile more.

Don't deliberate, just send this plan to the Senate floor.
posted by Superplin at 4:12 AM on March 9 [20 favorites]


I don't know. His name is Donald Trump, so I think it should be called DON'TCare
posted by emelenjr at 4:16 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Republicare and CareLess and some others aren't good names. They aren't catchy.
posted by thelonius at 4:19 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Republicare and CareLess and some others aren't good names. They aren't catchy.

I've heard that "Trumpcare" pisses him off. We should do everything we can to piss him off.
posted by mikelieman at 4:21 AM on March 9 [27 favorites]


"Republicare" is a good idea but it has too many syllables, perhaps
posted by thelonius at 4:24 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Trumpcare is perfect. His brand is cratering with all the grace of a lead falcon. "Trump" will become a mainstream term for something corrupt, shoddy, and of no use to anyone.

There's really no better insult for the GOP's plan.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:28 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


It's not going to live long enough to need a name.
posted by notyou at 4:28 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


That's what I say. It's FetchCare. Stop trying to make it happen.
posted by Mchelly at 4:33 AM on March 9 [21 favorites]


I think it should still be called Obamacare. Whatever healthcare the government provides for everybody, that's Obamacare. Don't give Trump the credit, he's just the person who temporarily broke it.
posted by rhizome at 4:35 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


since the GOP believes in funerals for miscarriages, it will need a name for the headstone
posted by murphy slaw at 4:37 AM on March 9 [20 favorites]


"Republicare" is a good idea but it has too many syllables, perhaps

Huh, same number as "Obamacare". Maybe the personalization is what makes it stick - another vote for "Trumpcare", then
posted by thelonius at 4:47 AM on March 9


Saw a newspaper this morning with "Ryancare" in the headline and that seems like the perfect person to hang this on.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 4:54 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I've heard that "Trumpcare" pisses him off. We should do everything we can to piss him off.

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” as Saul Alinsky advised. The Tea Party took this maxim to heart when they adopted the term "Obamacare" popularized during Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign. The Dems made the mistake of embracing it, too, ensuring the term would be polarizing no matter how much people liked the actual ACA. By the time of Trump's inauguration many of his supporters even some of the general public didn't know the ACA and "Obamacare" were the same thing.

Turnabout being fair play, "Trumpcare" should be the resistance's preferred term for whatever legislative shit sandwich emerges from D.C.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:02 AM on March 9 [13 favorites]


This article is kind of a mess, but The Smoking Gun claims to have evidence that Roger Stone was exchanging Twitter DMs with Guccifer 2.0 prior to the wikileaks release of DNC emails.

To me it doesn't read as ahem a smoking gun, but it does put Stone closer to the nexus of the hacks than his professed backchannel to wikileaks. Might turn out to be something, might be a nothingburger.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:05 AM on March 9 [14 favorites]


The results of the recent Los Angeles election make me nervous. Record low voter turnout.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 5:10 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


I have a feeling that trend will continue. I know it makes a lot of people here angry, but I (and many acquaintances of mine with similar political leanings) have been having to tune out politics pretty hard just to maintain our sanity. Layering all of the anxiety of politics on top of existing anxiety disorders is not a healthy recipe.

I have a strong suspicion that struggling with anxiety is a problem far more common to the left than the right, and that this hamstrings the left when they need the help most.
posted by ragtag at 5:21 AM on March 9 [5 favorites]


Huntsman ambassador to Russia, huh?

How that shit taco bowl taste, Mitt?
posted by box at 5:35 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


It remains to be seen whether the #resist momentum and anger at Trump fuck-ups translates into electoral gains in the midterms

Especially given that the voters very recently were treated to the Gee Dubz World Order Prsidency, widely, and formerly regarded as the worst in American history. Eight years of a black man as President and the thought of a woman - that woman - was too much too bear so the GOP, The Party of Enlightenment®, showed up in droves to drive the government car into the ditch and throw the keys into a passing garbage truck.

People we know! Did this. I am gonna lose some friends in 2018 (or maybe they'll just find out then).
posted by petebest at 5:52 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Nigel Farage Just Visited The Ecuadorian Embassy In London
Asked by BuzzFeed News if he’d been visiting Julian Assange, the former UKIP leader said he couldn’t remember what he’d been doing in the building.
posted by PenDevil at 6:02 AM on March 9 [32 favorites]


The low turnout in L.A. is something to be concerned about, but was the result good or not? I know nothing of L.A. mayor politics.
posted by emjaybee at 6:07 AM on March 9


I think it was a foregone conclusion, hence the low turnout.
posted by Artw at 6:09 AM on March 9 [5 favorites]


@TheDemocrats
If the hospitals are coming out against the GOP health care proposal, you know it desperately needs revision.


@GarbageApe
Heritage Foundation: It sucks.
FreedomWorks: It sucks.
Club for Growth: It sucks.
Democrats: Needs some tweaking!

---

So fucking help me, if the Dems cave....


@ReutersUS
JUST IN: EPA chief Scott Pruitt disagrees that CO2 is primary contributor to global warming: report

---

Ah fuck it, we're all dead anyway.
posted by chris24 at 6:10 AM on March 9 [31 favorites]


He will try the "methane is a stronger greenhouse agent" dodge if he gets nailed for that.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:14 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


He will try the "methane is a stronger greenhouse agent" dodge if he gets nailed for that

With a name like Pruitt he may have first-uh-hand experience with that.
posted by Namlit at 6:18 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I have a strong suspicion that struggling with anxiety is a problem far more common to the left than the right, and that this hamstrings the left when they need the help most.

I just think the Right handles their anxiety differently. On the left we cocoon and binge Netflix, on the right, they get out and vote for the guy who most loudly and emphatically vows to kill all the people who scare them.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:18 AM on March 9 [63 favorites]


EPA chief Scott Pruitt disagrees that CO2 is primary contributor to global warming

Well methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So clearly he's going to go after all the methane leaks from oil and gas pipes, right? .....right?
posted by C'est la D.C. at 6:19 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Asked by BuzzFeed News if he’d been visiting Julian Assange, the former UKIP leader said he couldn’t remember what he’d been doing in the building.

how does this forgetfulness strategy keep working? "The Ecuadorian embassy? How did I get here? Last thing I remember was dipping a jaffa cake in a mug of gin, and before you know it I'm on foreign soil! Life sure does take you places" is about as plausible as "Kislyak? Now that you mention it, I guess he did stop by my office. No idea what for though. Can't really remember. Maybe he wanted to know who did my curtains"

Like are all these people suffering from severe brain disorders?
posted by dis_integration at 6:21 AM on March 9 [42 favorites]


The problem is probably all the methane that trees give off.
posted by thelonius at 6:22 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


how does this forgetfulness strategy keep working?
...Like are all these people suffering from severe brain disorders?


worked for reagan
posted by entropicamericana at 6:22 AM on March 9 [12 favorites]


So clearly he's going to go after all the methane leaks from oil and gas pipes, right? .....right?

There's no ag sec because we're about to launch a war on cows.
posted by Artw at 6:22 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


currently working for Trump
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:23 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


He will try the "methane is a stronger greenhouse agent" dodge if he gets nailed for that.

Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas and contributes a majority of the greenhouse effect. But that's a technically correct but dumb thing to argue because it's the human emissions of other greenhouse gasses that have made big changes in the climate in a short timeframe.
posted by peeedro at 6:26 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


> Asked by BuzzFeed News if he’d been visiting Julian Assange, the former UKIP leader said he couldn’t remember what he’d been doing in the building.

Who among us has not wandered into a foreign embassy and then forgotten what we came there for?
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:27 AM on March 9 [91 favorites]


There's no ag sec because we're about to launch a war on cows.

But what will happen to our sacred war cows in this war on cows?
posted by C'est la D.C. at 6:32 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


The low turnout in L.A. is something to be concerned about, but was the result good or not? I know nothing of L.A. mayor politics.

These were the two I had my eye on.

Measure S (anti-development/anti-affordable housing) failed = good

Measure H (1/4-cent tax raise to support the homeless) passed with 2/3 majority = good

Garcetti (future Dem Presiidental candidate) winning = expected. Him winning by almost 81% may have been a surprise but I don't live in the the city so don't follow the details of the mayoral stuff.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:35 AM on March 9 [12 favorites]


War on cows?

Extreme vetting is the answer. More employment for vets.
posted by Namlit at 6:41 AM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Buzzfeed: Steve Bannon Helped Preserve DACA But Democrats And Activists Aren’t Celebrating: And in recent conversations, two administration sources pointed to chief strategist Steve Bannon as the man who preserved the current iteration of DACA, the victor of a debate with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who favored curtailing the program.... But the disagreement on DACA doesn’t mean that Bannon, Sessions, and Miller don’t agree on other parts of immigration policy.

In fact, they are all said to view sharply increasing enforcement and deporting millions as paramount to satisfying their base and fulfilling campaign promises to get illegal immigration under control. Sources who speak to administration officials said staggering deportation numbers have been floated — one said they heard two million in the first year, another Republican said four million by the 2018 midterm election.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:42 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Sources who speak to administration officials said staggering deportation numbers have been floated — one said they heard two million in the first year, another Republican said four million by the 2018 midterm election.

There are many people on MeFi more knowledgeable about this kind of thing than I am, so please, please, please correct me if I'm wrong, but...

This does not seem possible without a) completely militarizing an expanded ICE, and b) concentration camps.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:55 AM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Who among us has not wandered into a foreign embassy and then forgotten what we came there for?

*raises hand*

It was Baghdad, I had a ton of shit on my Green Zone To Do List, and I knew there was a reason I had "Chancery - 11 - Jon" on there, but fuck if I knew which "Jon" it was or what it was about. The guards were neither helpful nor amused.
posted by Etrigan at 6:57 AM on March 9 [65 favorites]


@TheDemocrats
If the hospitals are coming out against the GOP health care proposal, you know it desperately needs revision.

Heritage Foundation: It sucks.
FreedomWorks: It sucks.
Club for Growth: It sucks.
Democrats: Needs some tweaking!
---
So fucking help me, if the Dems cave....


Again, believe me, I understand any and all concerns about Dems caving, but at this point there isn't any reason to think that's happening just because of a single tweet, probably written by an intern, that insults the bill using mild language, possibly in a sarcastic fashion (at least that's how it reads to me), while the actual elected members of the party are treating it like the piece of shit that it is and throwing up roadblocks in the form of trollish amendments all night in committee.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:00 AM on March 9 [24 favorites]


I wonder what happened to Jon...
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:00 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Farewell, EPA.

Oh beautiful, for choking skies
For amber waves of drought
For fracked mountains' majesty
Above the hunted plains

America, America
Christian God shed his grace on the rich

And crown thy Trump
Snake King of his garbage dump
From rising sea to oily sea.
posted by archimago at 7:07 AM on March 9 [9 favorites]


I wonder what happened to Jon..

He's not handling it very well.
posted by sporkwort at 7:13 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]




how the hell can we consign nazism to the dustbin of history if world war fucking two wasn't enough to do it
posted by murphy slaw at 7:27 AM on March 9 [40 favorites]


while the actual elected members of the party are treating it like the piece of shit that it is and throwing up roadblocks in the form of trollish amendments all night in committee.

Messaging from the Democrats seems pretty on point. We've got everyone from Schumer to Sanders saying the same thing: this is not a health care bill, this is a bill giving the wealthy a tax break.
posted by zabuni at 7:40 AM on March 9 [48 favorites]


how the hell can we consign nazism to the dustbin of history if world war fucking two wasn't enough to do it

With our luck, people will be using all the surplus sticks leftover from World War IV to make swastikas.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:41 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Yeah, and then this, on the subject of the Dem counter-campaign: Chuck Schumer with the emergent Dem message: "Trumpcare is really a tax break for the rich, not a health care program." https://t.co/8TfNDRNNiV

There's a message I think we can all get behind, no? Clear, concise, accurate, uncompromising. Makes clear why there really is no "health care plan" here to make compromises on.

Edit: jinx, Zabuni!
posted by saturday_morning at 7:42 AM on March 9 [38 favorites]


Here's video of Pruitt's CO2 comments, he's gone full denier.
posted by peeedro at 7:48 AM on March 9 [10 favorites]


We never doubted he would do, the peice of shit.
posted by Artw at 7:52 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Today's greatest threat to complex life on earth is a bland-faced middle-aged white guy named Scott. When humanity is reduced to a few million people in the polar regions and in cave systems and abandoned mines, I doubt any of them will be named Scott.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:55 AM on March 9 [21 favorites]


this is a bill giving the wealthy a tax break.

Unless you made your wealth by winning the lottery.
posted by achrise at 7:56 AM on March 9 [35 favorites]


Unless you made your wealth by winning the lottery.
Oh, it seems so obvious now.
I really couldn't parse the lottery thing at first but it's just another step to keep those people out of the club.
posted by fullerine at 8:00 AM on March 9 [22 favorites]


The wrong kind of lottery.

Not the bootstrappy inheritance kind.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:01 AM on March 9 [45 favorites]


I really couldn't parse the lottery thing at first but it's just another step to keep those people out of the club.

I mean, I guess it makes sense that they'd want to keep those new-money rabble out of their club, but if you're going to keep out the riffraff, Donny, you might need to switch from scotch tape to a tie clip before someone catches on.
posted by Mayor West at 8:05 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


If you do have plans to come here and cancel/change them, what WOULD help is to write the places you were going to patronize--the hotel, the amusement park, whatever--and tell them that the idiot bathroom bill/whatever is the reason you changed your plans. Tell THEM to call their state congresspeople and mayor and Reps and Senators in DC. The hospitality industry is already on edge, not to mention all the towns that depend on convention business, so you can fan that flame.

Indianapolis was among those that helped kill Pence's anti-gay-rights so-called "religious freedom" bill by pointing out that they would lose a ton of convention business -- not to mention, potentially, any prospect of NCAA tournaments in this basketball-loving state -- and multinational companies like Eli Lilly would face major obstacles to recruiting.

In other words, the money wing of the Republican Party trumped, so to speak, the religious right. Again. And his bumbling weakness was one of the reasons that Pence looked likely to lose his re-election bid before he joined the Trump campaign. If that kind of pressure could work in bright-red Indiana, it can work elsewhere -- and help drive a wedge between the money wing of the Republican Party and the religious conservatives who have hitched their wagon to it.
posted by Gelatin at 8:14 AM on March 9 [21 favorites]


There are many people on MeFi more knowledgeable about this kind of thing than I am, so please, please, please correct me if I'm wrong, but...

This does not seem possible without a) completely militarizing an expanded ICE, and b) concentration camps.

posted by schadenfrau at 9:55 AM

In order to expand ICE to the extent needed you would have to 1) lower the bar to entry because they already find it difficult to keep up the numbers and 2) get Congress to agree to funding. Let's say you accomplish that, what do you do with 2 million people? The camps to house and feed and provide medical care for 2 mill (plus staff) would be staggering. You could try to force everyone over the border but Mexico has already laughed at that suggestion. You could try to fly/bus everyone back to their country of origin but that would again be a staggering sum as well as a logistical nightmare and take time.

Here is a comparison to the infamous Operation Wetback which at it's height deported 300,000 in one year: Largest deportation campaign in US history is no match for Trump’s plan

By contrast here are the figures for last year:
Both removals and returns* result in the confirmed movement of inadmissible or deportable aliens out of the United States. There were 462,463 removals and returns in 2015 and 450,954 in 2016, roughly a 10 percent drop from the 570,320 removals and returns in 2014.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:17 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Jim Acosta: Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.

Not like anyone thinks he takes his Constitutional mandate to faithfully execute the laws of the United States seriously anyway.
posted by Gelatin at 8:17 AM on March 9 [11 favorites]


"EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming"


y'know, you hear about crackpots like David Icke and his idea that shape shifting reptilian humanoid aliens are conspiring against humanity by getting into positions of power and altering the biosphere of the planet.

...and yet, it makes more sense than Scott Pruitt being this stupid.
Honestly, if I drove up to your house with a dump truck full of money and said I'd give it to you but only if I can direct exhaust from the truck into your bathroom and keep it running forever, and you and your kids can't live anywhere else.

Any thinking being would say 'No."

And yet, here we are.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:19 AM on March 9 [14 favorites]


Just assume death camps and it all makes sense.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


People will go to greater lengths than you or I can possibly imagine in order to avoid having to admit to themselves, let alone others, than their actions have led to negative consequences.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:22 AM on March 9 [35 favorites]


Trump gave away the game: Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.

i don't see how that works for Republicans. They control both houses of congress and the presidency. How are they going to blame the Democrats? Why didn't they fix it? Nothing is stopping them. Whatever happens now is 100% on them.


Especially because they have been running for years on repealing Obamacare. Just like Mitch McConnell took advantage of the fact that few people knew -- including the Beltway media whose job it was to know -- that there isn't a "60 vote requirement for passing bills in the Senate," Republican voters who have been fed a steady diet of lies about the ACA probably won't settle for "we couldn't really repeal it because reconciliation" as an excuse for their health insurance, which they probably have seen improving in ways they like, utterly collapsing.
posted by Gelatin at 8:22 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


X-TREME vetting (emphasis mine, just for fun):

The White House is scrutinizing job candidates’ old social media posts for criticism of Trump
As President Trump continues to build out his administration, many of his officials are having trouble filling vacancies in their departments because of questions about the loyalty of the people they want to select — questions that include scrutiny of old social media posts. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is sufficiently frustrated about the situation that “people familiar with the matter” leaked about his frustration to Bloomberg:
posted by Room 641-A at 8:22 AM on March 9 [26 favorites]


How is prison capacity and how long does it take a private prison company to build a new prison?
posted by VTX at 8:23 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


You're assuming they won't just be miltiarized tent cities.
posted by archimago at 8:25 AM on March 9 [12 favorites]


Oh my god, the ICE expansion is going to be Bannon's combination jobs program and Trumpabteilung.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:28 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


(Breitabteilung?)
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:28 AM on March 9


Things are only complicated if you give people due process. If you just round people who look vaguely nonwhite up and put them on trucks and dump them across the border in Mexico without spending any time on quibbles such as "is this person an American citizen or LPR?" or "is this person even from Mexico?" (remembering to siphon a portion off to work as free labor in private prisons), well...
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:29 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


The Bezosington Post has gotten a lot of kudos in these threads -- deservedly so -- but some of us have also noted the fact that they give a prominent platform to Chris Cillizza, perhaps the worst journalist in the BUT HER EMAILS division.

Anyway, Cillizza's "The Fix" apparently has other people who write there, and one of them is Amber Phillips. I'd never heard of her, but she spewed this hot garbage the other day blaming Bernie Sanders for the decline of civil discourse. Sanders responded on Medium, noting that there's really no playbook for when the President just routinely lies to the American people, and that Phillips herself wrote that Trump's "voter fraud" allegations were bullshit. This exchange has led to some LGM commenters digging into Phillips' body of work, where they unearthed this shiny turd about how Mike Pence's hacked emails are totes no biggie when compared to Hillary's not-hacked emails.

I'm not canceling my WaPo subscription or anything, but I guess I just don't get why a paper that seems to have shit figured out more than most major outlets is giving real estate to these preening wankers.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:31 AM on March 9 [26 favorites]


Just like Mitch McConnell took advantage of the fact that few people knew -- including the Beltway media whose job it was to know -- that there isn't a "60 vote requirement for passing bills in the Senate,"

I don't understand this statement. It seems like that's a pretty widely known fact, especially considering the ACA was passed without 60 votes in the Senate. Every article I've read for years about how the GOP would repeal the law has said they would likely go the reconciliation route.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:38 AM on March 9


Here's video of Pruitt's CO2 comments, he's gone full denier.

To be fair, it's hard to see the truth when your head is simultaneously buried in the sand and up your own ass.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:38 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


"The Fix" really is garbage. It started as an experiment on how to increase the Post's online footprint and it's turned into pageveiw chum that leans heavily on hot takes they hope will go viral.
posted by peeedro at 8:41 AM on March 9 [5 favorites]


Turtle gets confused, speaks truth about wall.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:41 AM on March 9




-- that there isn't a "60 vote requirement for passing bills in the Senate,"

I don't understand this statement. It seems like that's a pretty widely known fact


It's extremely common for media outlets to report a filibuster as "The bill failed to obtain the necessary 60 votes in the Senate". Search Google News for "60 votes" required and you'll see tons of articles written as if the Senate purely operated on supermajority.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:43 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Congressional Testimony Perjurer® Scott Pruitt?
posted by petebest at 8:43 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Search Google News for "60 votes" required and you'll see tons of articles written as if the Senate purely operated on supermajority.

Well, I mean... with the level of dysfunction it's had since about 2006, that's not really too far from the de facto truth, is it?
posted by jammer at 8:45 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I'm not canceling my WaPo subscription or anything, but I guess I just don't get why a paper that seems to have shit figured out more than most major outlets is giving real estate to these preening wankers.

Yeah, the sad part is that there are a couple interesting data journalists they stuff under the Fix banner so I can't just 100% ignore it (I sure try, though). But Cillizza is a known and rightfully despised hack and I can't say I'm surprised there's another hack working under his "brand."
posted by fedward at 8:46 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


In a post-truth society only the liars can lead.
posted by valkane at 8:46 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Here's video of Pruitt's CO2 comments, he's gone full denier.

Gone? Pretty sure he's always been that and this isn't a change.
posted by fedward at 8:47 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Okay, which one of you is responsible for this?

No Lola Bunny? Obvs. not me.
posted by mikelieman at 8:48 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


in today's edition of Incredibly Unlikely Heroes of the Revolution, we have … Tucker Carlson!?!
Carlson: The overview here is that all the wealth [in] basically the last ten years basically has stuck to the top end, that’s one of the reasons we’ve had all this political turmoil, as you know. Kind of a hard sell to say, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna repeal Obamacare but we’re gonna send more money to the people who’ve already gotten the richest over the last ten years.’ I mean, that’s what this does, no? … I’m not leftist, that’s just, that’s true!

Ryan: I–I–I’m not concerned about it because we said we were gonna repeal all the Obamacare taxes, this is one of the Obamacare taxes. The other point I’d is, this dramatically helps tax reform.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:49 AM on March 9 [57 favorites]


Newspapers contain multitudes.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:50 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


guys, i'm kinda into #wealthcare

just throwing that out there
posted by prefpara at 8:51 AM on March 9 [63 favorites]


I'm going to a conference in a few weeks and Paul Ryan is the keynote speaker. I guess what I'm asking is: does Amtrak allow you to check bees or should I plan to buy them in DC after I arrive?
posted by melissasaurus at 8:54 AM on March 9 [79 favorites]


shorter ryan: i don't give a fuck, this gets me my tax cuts, dolla dolla bill y'all
posted by murphy slaw at 8:55 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


I don't think Amtrak does checked bags on its regular Northeast Regional service so it's probably a moot point. There may be checked baggage service on long running service like the Vermonter and the Palmetto, but you'd have to tip the porter really well.
posted by fedward at 8:58 AM on March 9


shorter ryan: i don't give a fuck, this gets me my tax cuts, dolla dolla bill y'all

Of course the guy from Wisconsin is all about cream.
posted by Talez at 8:59 AM on March 9 [8 favorites]


I guess what I'm asking is: does Amtrak allow you to check bees or should I plan to buy them in DC after I arrive?

I know we're into bees here on metafilter, but I'm just going to point out that horseflys really love a giant pile of bullshit.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:59 AM on March 9 [24 favorites]


It seems like that's a pretty widely known fact, especially considering the ACA was passed without 60 votes in the Senate.

This is one of those Republican "alternate facts" that is not true. The ACA absolutely was passed with a 60 vote majority. This was accompanied by a second bill, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which tweaked some of the tax and subsidy numbers in the ACA, which was passed by reconciliation.

However, the ACA, the guts of Obamacare was passed with a 60 vote majority under regular rules.
posted by JackFlash at 9:01 AM on March 9 [49 favorites]


It's extremely common for media outlets to report a filibuster as "The bill failed to obtain the necessary 60 votes in the Senate". Search Google News for "60 votes" required and you'll see tons of articles written as if the Senate purely operated on supermajority.

Sure, because that's true 99 percent of the time. Do you want every news story that mentions a vote to bring up budget reconciliation when it's irrelevant? The process can only be used for bills that Congress designates ahead of time. Republicans specified in the opening days of Congress this year that they would use reconciliation to repeal the ACA.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:03 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


The debate over which clever name to use for the Republican health care bill is becoming even more tiresome than the endless string of nicknames for Trump.
posted by parallellines at 9:05 AM on March 9 [21 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump

Despite what you hear in the press, healthcare is coming along great. We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!


I guess the third panel of Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights is beautiful in its way.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:06 AM on March 9 [65 favorites]


Well, it has a certain je ne sais quoi.
posted by pharm at 9:08 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:09 AM on March 9 [16 favorites]


je ne sais quoi is French for Jenny Sasquatch.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:10 AM on March 9 [32 favorites]


Trump's idea of a beautiful picture ending is way different than mine. Also, he still doesn't understand what the press actually does. And beeeees. We need the bees now.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:13 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


The ACA absolutely was passed with a 60 vote majority. This was accompanied by a second bill, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which tweaked some of the tax and subsidy numbers in the ACA, which was passed by reconciliation.

That's a good point. Only the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act was passed via reconciliation, but PPACA would not have become law without it.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:14 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: I don’t know. It’s French for something I’m sure.
posted by pharm at 9:14 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


(mass deportation) does not seem possible without a) completely militarizing an expanded ICE, and b) concentration camps.

Just trying to keep it straight, here: they are separating women, children and men before, or after the entry into camps?

Wait, I feel like I've heard this before. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
posted by Dashy at 9:17 AM on March 9 [25 favorites]


It has been noted, yes.

Some motherfuckers are going to act surprised by it though.
posted by Artw at 9:18 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Chuck Schumer with the emergent Dem message: "Trumpcare is really a tax break for the rich, not a health care program."

This is just marketing failure on Schumer's part. Tax cuts for the rich is not considered a bad thing by Republicans because they all believe they are going to be rich one day.

A much better approach is demonstrated by the wily AARP. They are calling the premium formula an "age tax," a formulation familiar in the "death tax". People hate tax increases. They don't hate tax cuts, even for the rich so don't talk about tax cuts.

To broaden the appeal beyond the AARP set, Democrats should simply call the Republican plan a massive tax increase on the middle class, because that is exactly what it is. The subsidies are tax credits. If you take away tax credits from the middle class, that's a tax increase, plain and simple. And it's not trivial. For many families it will amount to a tax increase of $4000 to $10,000 a year. That's huge for a middle class family.

Talk about the Republican tax increase on the middle class.
posted by JackFlash at 9:21 AM on March 9 [67 favorites]


It's not like the GOP doesn't have metric fucktons of talented policy wonks at thinktanks that could come up with a coherent proposal, at least. But those policy proposals would either 1) cost more, or 2) insure less people - thus either breaking Trump's promise, or becoming filibusterable.

I am no longer convinced of the existence of talented conservative policy wonks, except in the vaguest, most idealistic, "assume a spherical voter" sense. If those policy wonks really existed, wouldn't there already be a plan the GOP could have stuck its name on? They've had years to come up with one. Instead what we have seen is unrealistic and unworkable. The conservative think tanks love ideologically pure things like health savings plans (never mind how that sort of "individual responsibility" only works when you're already wealthy and they still wouldn't prevent financial catastrophe from cancer or a complicated pregnancy), tax credits (which are regressive by design), and block grants for Medicare and Medicaid (buck passing and acting like costs don't exist anymore, also harder on poorer states). Literally none of those things pass the smell test, singly or in combination. Also the idea for Obamacare came from a conservative think tank in the first place. It is the conservative plan. Now they're expected to do what, come up with an even more conservative plan that somehow magically handwaves away all the problems with conservatives' pet plans?

I used to believe there were smart conservatives (indeed I used to think I was one of them). I'm not sure they exist in viable numbers anymore.
posted by fedward at 9:21 AM on March 9 [19 favorites]


I'm going to a conference in a few weeks and Paul Ryan is the keynote speaker.

....what on earth conference is this? And can you escape going? Because oof.
posted by sciatrix at 9:23 AM on March 9 [5 favorites]


the third panel of Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights

Which appeared very briefly in only one episode of The Brady Bunch, hanging in Alice's room. The Bradys were know for breaking up sets and hanging them separately, explaining why the other two panels were never seen.
posted by achrise at 9:25 AM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Single payer: Shaquille O'Neal, 2000 MVP
Obamacare: Shaq at the free throw line.
GOP Replacement bill: Kazaam.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:28 AM on March 9 [22 favorites]


Just like Mitch McConnell took advantage of the fact that few people knew -- including the Beltway media whose job it was to know -- that there isn't a "60 vote requirement for passing bills in the Senate,"

I don't understand this statement. It seems like that's a pretty widely known fact, especially considering the ACA was passed without 60 votes in the Senate.


Passing a bill in the Senate requires a simple majority. Invoking cloture requires 60 votes. So when Obama became President, McConnell started filibustering nearly everything in sight. All's fair, of course, but the Beltway media immediately adopted the framing of "60 vote requirement to pass the Senate" -- which had never before existed -- and not "the Republicans are engaging in historically unprecedented obstructionism."

But while the 60-vote threshold may have worked its way into the public consciousness thanks to the media normalizing Republican bad behavior -- again -- I doubt Republican voters will be much inclined to accept the excuse that "we had majorities in the House and Senate and the Presidency, but those mean old Democrats kept us from repealing Obamacare on a technicality," especially if they actually do force the insurance market to collapse.
posted by Gelatin at 9:30 AM on March 9 [12 favorites]


On lack of preview, what 0xFCAF said nearly an hour ago.
posted by Gelatin at 9:31 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Sure, because that's true 99 percent of the time.

This is verging on a derail, so I'll keep it short. But filibustering every single bill that comes through the Senate as a strategic political maneuver is genuinely a new thing that started happening circa 2006, when the Democrats took the Senate back from the Republicans.

"60 votes to pass a bill" was a GOP invention, but political journalists all bought into it even though they damn well knew better. It was an act of journalistic malfeasance for them to uncritically repeat that line then, and it still is now even though a decade of GOP horseshit has made it seem normal.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:31 AM on March 9 [22 favorites]


Remember that Trump said, "No one knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it." He also promised "insurance for everybody...Much less expensive and much better" that would not include cuts to Medicaid. (From a January 15 press conference when his health plan was "very much formulated down to the final strokes.") If he can't deliver on those promises this is a huge personal failure.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:33 AM on March 9 [29 favorites]


I'm going to a conference in a few weeks and Paul Ryan is the keynote speaker.

....what on earth conference is this?


It's a tax conference; I'm hoping he has completely eroded what is left of his reputation by then (which he seems to be on his way to doing), such that he gets laughed out of the room. If not: bees.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:34 AM on March 9 [33 favorites]


If he can't deliver on those promises this is a huge personal failure Obama's fault
posted by uncleozzy at 9:35 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Melania Trump's secret to her "soaring" popularity: hide and say nothing (paraphrasing Politico's story, quoted below)
The confines of Trump Tower appear to have shielded first lady Melania Trump from much of the negativity associated with the chaotic infancy of her husband’s presidency.

According to a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday, a majority of Americans have a favorable view of the first lady, who has largely been out of the public eye since her husband, the least popular president to enter office in modern times, was sworn in on Jan. 20.

Fifty-two percent of Americans said they have a favorable view of Melania Trump. Nearly one-third, 32 percent, have an unfavorable view of her, while 3 percent have never heard of her and 12 percent have no opinion.

Trump has remained in Trump Tower raising her son, Barron, since her husband became president. She has occasionally come to Washington and has spent some weekends at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.
Well, compared to her husband, her popularity is "soaring" at just above half of respondents thinking she's not terrible, compared to just under a third who say she is.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:35 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


GOP Replacement bill: Kazaam

POTUS #45 Hillary Clinton: Hey, does anyone else remember this movie where Sinbad was a genie?
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:37 AM on March 9 [27 favorites]


If he can't deliver on those promises this is a huge personal failure.

As long as people who currently support him believe he said (and meant) those words, which he may well deny. Or he'll blame the "do-nothing Democrats" for getting in the way of his beautiful plan. Rest assured, it won't be his fault.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:37 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Remember that Trump said, "No one knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it."

It is SUPER HILARIOUS that his next statement on it was "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated." Even more hilarious that his base didn't notice or care!
posted by witchen at 9:39 AM on March 9 [60 favorites]


Via 61 Paths to Putin posted above:


1) His son in Law is Jared Kushner, the former owner of the Observer. The Observer received the DNC hacks from Guccifer 2.0 who is rumored to be a Russian agent.

4) His second campaign manager is Paul Manafort who had to resign in August due to having questionable Russian ties like Dmitry Firtash and the former Ukranian President. Manafort lives in Trump tower, along with Kellyanne Conway and her husband.

8) Trump advisor J.D. Gordon is claiming that he was the advisor who had the Ukraine language softened at the Republican National Convention, at the request of Donald Trump

9) Kellyanne Conway’s husband has business dealings with the Russian government and deleted tweets about it once Conway was chosen. (Conway, Bannon, and the Mercers are part of the “Council on National Policy” a secreteive far right think tank group.

10) Trump sold his condo to Dmitry Rybolovev, whose private plane keeps showing up where Trump is. Rybolovev is a Russian billionaire with ties to Putin.

13) Secretary of State Tillerson has many Russian business dealings through Exxon with Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft.

14) The Dossier Christopher Steele created said that Igor Sechin along with Oleg Orovinkin were working on a deal to sell 19.5% of Rosneft to Trump in exchange for dropping sanctions. This deal relied on Carter Page, who resigned as a Trump advisor in September. After the election, a 19.5% deal went through, Oleg Orovkin was found dead in his car and the guy behind the Russian Hacking was arrested for treason in Russia.

17) The Dossier also claims Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to meet with Russians, which he denied. Recently, it came out that he was working with Felix Sater to broker a Ukranian-Russia peace deal. Cohen, Sater, and a member of the Ukranian Parliament, Andreii Artemenko sat down for dinner to discuss Ukraine, Russia, and sanctions.

19) Felix Sater claimed to be a Senior Advisor to Trump , which Trump claimed not to remember. Sater had his own office in Trump Tower. Sater has been connected to organized crime and his father is in the Russian Mafia

22) Putin’s propaganda news station Russia Today has frequently had Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and Sebastian Gorka on it.

25) Trump friend Roger Stone is in contact with Julian Assange who runs wikileaks, who also hacked the DNC and provided leaks to Russia today. Stone is also partner in a lobbying firm with Paul Manafort

26-28)
[condensed]Secretary of Education Betsy Devos is the sister of mercenary Erik Prince. Erik Prince is running all over the world helping dictators suppress Muslims. He is a Breitbart contributor, a Pence supporter and a Trump advisor. Prince also used to work for House Rep Dana Rohrabacker, also known as Putin’s Favorite Congressman and one time time consideree to be Trumps secretary of State.

30) Trump Tower housed an office of Alfa Bank which had a private server communicating with companies like Spectrum Health, which lists members of the Devos Family as Board Members.

31) Richard Burt, a Republican Lobbyist and CNI Board Member sat on the board of Alfa Bank. He worked for the Trump Campaign while lobbying for Russian State owned Gazprom

34) The Bayrock Group was founded by Tevfik Araf, and housed in Trump Tower. Araf hired Felix Sater as his C.O.O.

41) Lev Leviev is a Putin friend. Not only has he had multiple business dealings with Jared Kushner and the Bayrock group (Felix Sater and Tamir Kapir) but he also works with Netanyahu on settlements.

45) Jack Abramoff may be where it all starts. Russian Oil and Gas company NAFTAsib formed a shell company called Chelsea Commercial, which only listed Abramoff and Patrick Pizzella as lobbyists when it was created. The purpose of Chelsea was to promote Russian oil and trade interests in the United States. It also underwrote the trip Tom Delay and Ed Buckham made to Russia with Abramoff. Pizzella also happens to work for Trump. Buckham formed the Alexander Strategy Group to help the US Family Network funnel its money received from Naftasib. The US Family network was primarily a vehicle consisting of Buckham, Delay, Ralph Reed, CNI Board Member Grover Norquist and Abramoff. All of these people have been members of the Council on National Policy over the years.


Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang. Did Not Know or had forgotten a lot of that. It's like an electron cloud of super shady shit. Back, and to the left. Back, and to the left, y'all.
posted by petebest at 9:39 AM on March 9 [74 favorites]


kirkaracha If he can't deliver on those promises this is a huge personal failure.

Well, that's the question isn't it?

So far Trump has succeeded through bluster, buff, bragging, buck passing, and bankruptcy. He's never actually delivered much of anything his entire life and it's worked out quite well for him.

I'm not entirely convinced that it will stop working out well for him simply because we want it to.

Sure, any rational, reasonable, person would look at a massive failure on the part of Republicans to enact a functional health care system as a failure on their part and especially on Trump's part. But as we learned on 11/9 when taken collectively American voters are neither reasonable nor rational.

Trump, inevitably, will be on twitter and TV laying the blame for his failure on absolutely anyone but himself, and that only if the media bothers to even try holding any Republican accountable rather than just rolling over and letting the Republicans on the news shows blame everything on Obama.

So far Trump's voting base has believed absolutely everything he said no matter how blatantly false it was. And Trump's voting base is very much predisposed to hate the Democrats. So when his healthcare plan fails miserably, and Trump storms up on the national stage and declares that those horrible, evil, Democrats stole your healthcare, that they blocked his real proposals, that because of the awful economy and conditions he inherited from Obama, because the Democrats are keeping so many illegals in the country that's ruining your healthcare, and whatever other lies he can invent, why wouldn't they believe him?

Trump isn't invulnerable, but I'm doubtful that mere abject failure will be enough to end his support.

It may be enough for us to rouse our voters from their slumber and get them out to the damn polls where htey can do some good, but it won't cost Trump any votes.
posted by sotonohito at 9:43 AM on March 9 [13 favorites]


In the absence of any true global effort to curb CO2 emissions, it's going to take a massive reduction in economic output to put the brakes on, so the balance to Pruitt is the inevitable recession that's going to result from dampnut's idiotic policies.
The part of my brain that has to find silver linings in all of this is telling me that the pendulum will swing, and if the rest of the world takes the lead, that's okay, we'll just be forced to catch up with alternative energy investment in the next Dem administration.
It's gonna hurt, no lie, but we've been dragging our feet since the 70's, so a sharp wake-up might be the only thing that brings us to action.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:47 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]




> It's gonna hurt, no lie, but we've been dragging our feet since the 70's, so a sharp wake-up might be the only thing that brings us to action.

When we as a species get our climate change-induced sharp wake-up, the only action it will bring us to is military, as nations scramble for control of the remaining fresh water and arable land.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:55 AM on March 9 [21 favorites]


The confines of Trump Tower appear to have shielded first lady Melania Trump from much of the negativity associated with the chaotic infancy of her husband’s presidency.

Weird timing on that politico story, above:

Melania Trump to change style after moving to White House

Melania Trump is preparing herself to move to Washington, D.C. where she will live with President Donald Trump in the White House, according to a new report Wednesday. The first lady has been living in New York with her son Barron as he continues attending private school in Manhattan’s upper west side neighborhood.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:57 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


i have to keep reminding myself that every generation thinks the world will end on their watch, but man we're getting a lot more evidence than most
posted by murphy slaw at 9:57 AM on March 9 [16 favorites]


School doesn't let out here in NYC for almost four months. It's unlikely Melania is moving anytime soon.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:59 AM on March 9


Nah. As a Gen X-er, I firmly believe the world will end on the Boomers’ watch.
posted by nicepersonality at 9:59 AM on March 9 [30 favorites]


the world doesn't end, but a person's world, a family's world, a culture and civilization's world, boy howdy do those end all the time
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:00 AM on March 9 [48 favorites]


The article mentions a summer move.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:01 AM on March 9


Okay it's officially getting weird: per the commenter on the 61-Paths-to-Putin article, Breitbart was inspired by Netanyahu. Not linking to Breichbart itself, but the article the comment references is from their own site with a picture of the founders and Bibi. From that article:

A lot of people don’t realize this but Breitbart News Network really got its start in Jerusalem. It was the summer of 2007 . . .

One thing we specifically discussed that night was our desire to start a site that would be unapologetically pro-freedom and pro-Israel. We were sick of the anti- Israel bias of the mainstream media and J-Street. By launching Breitbart Jerusalem, the journey comes full circle and a promise between two friends is fulfilled. And in a very real sense, Breitbart News Network returns to its roots.


HaBruzzchwhaa?? Okay I'm misunderstanding something here. Note that it does not say *specifically* that Netanyahu asked them to start Breitbart.

/boggle
posted by petebest at 10:01 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I think Melania may "stay" in DC for the summer with Barron, and will move back to New York after Labor Day.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:02 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Nah. As a Gen X-er, I firmly believe the world will end on the Boomers’ watch.

unwilling to to step up and take responsibility, typical Gen X
[hamburger]
posted by murphy slaw at 10:03 AM on March 9 [9 favorites]


There's a bunch of right-wing Christians who believe that all the Jews being in Israel is a precondition for Christ coming back. Leaving that and its astonishing arrogance aside, many right-wingers see Israel as a white, Western outpost in the Middle East, taking a stand against the Muslim hordes. Even anti-semites find a lot to love about the Israel situation.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:04 AM on March 9 [18 favorites]


Jake Tapper reports that Secretary of State Tillerson is about to embark on first major trip to Asia in the midst of North Korean crisis. He will not bringing any reporters.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:04 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


There's a bunch of right-wing Christians who believe that all the Jews being in Israel is a precondition for Christ coming back

A whole bunch.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:06 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


tempted to convert to judaism and tweet from the bahamas every day just to piss those people off.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:07 AM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Sean Spicer starts off the briefing by saying "good morning" at 1:05 in the afternoon. He says "it's not my fault" because it's written that way on his paper. Then he looks down at his paper to start again and says "good morning" again.
posted by zachlipton at 10:08 AM on March 9 [96 favorites]


Sean Spicer starts off the briefing by saying "good morning" at 1:05 in the afternoon. He says "it's not my fault" because it's written that way on his paper. Then he looks down at his paper to start again and says "good morning" again.

Was that from last weekend's Saturday Night Live?
posted by Gelatin at 10:10 AM on March 9 [15 favorites]


Nah. As a Gen X-er, I firmly believe the world will end on the Boomers’ watch.

Because only Boomers have watches these days.
posted by srboisvert at 10:10 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


"good morning" at 1:05 in the afternoon, day is night and night is day. Later they will say the clocks were wrong, and Spicer was right.
posted by Oyéah at 10:11 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


> Sean Spicer starts off the briefing by saying "good morning" at 1:05 in the afternoon.

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
posted by mosk at 10:13 AM on March 9 [48 favorites]


"good morning" at 1:05 in the afternoon, day is night and night is day. Later they will say the clocks were wrong, and Spicer was right striking thirteen.
posted by Gelatin at 10:14 AM on March 9 [12 favorites]


Jinx, mosk. I owe you a Coke.
posted by Gelatin at 10:15 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Press briefing time.

Now where he at?

Now there you go

posted by srboisvert at 10:15 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Not sure if covered yet, but Aunt Maxine trying to lend some validity to the pee pee claims

No new evidence presented, but that doesn't stop anyone on the GOP side these days.
posted by strange chain at 10:16 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Spicer lays out the "three phases" of repeal and replace:
-step one: the AHCA reconciliation bill
-step two: HHS Sec. Price will eliminate/undermine any regulations that the ACA gave his department authority to enact
-step three: additional bills re interstate insurance sales, small business credit, etc.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:17 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Rep. Maxine Waters watch: she goes on MSNBC and claims that the piss tape is "absolutely true." She provides no evidence for this assertion.

I guess if the President can do it, everyone can just throw out their own facts nowadays.
posted by zachlipton at 10:17 AM on March 9 [34 favorites]


Okay, which one of you is responsible for this?

I bow to no one in my love for fully automated luxury gay space communism, but cannot accept credit for this.

Okay... I might bow before Sleeper Service... and Zero Gravitas... and some of their friends. Come to think of it, most GSVs have an even deeper love for fully automated luxury gay space communism than I do, but that's beside the point.

Of course Python has spread throughout the galaxy. Why would you doubt that?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:18 AM on March 9 [10 favorites]


-step two: HHS Sec. Price will eliminate/undermine any regulations that the ACA gave his department authority to enact

okay, so Obamacare is in a death spiral because we'll make damn sure it is.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:18 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Spicer seems to be suggesting that all Rs will have to fall in line on AHCA because they can't defend Obamacare.
posted by prefpara at 10:19 AM on March 9


It's a tax conference; I'm hoping he has completely eroded what is left of his reputation by then (which he seems to be on his way to doing), such that he gets laughed out of the room. If not: bees.

How might a like-minded citizen go about supporting this initiative? Sure, it might be illegal to FedEx a swarm of bees, but what if a bunch of us just FedEx one bee?
posted by Mayor West at 10:19 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


Nah. As a Gen X-er, I firmly believe the world will end on the Boomers’ watch.

really if you think about it, the donald is pretty much the epitome of all of the stereotypical boomer's bad traits (yes yes #notallboomers, i know). it's hard not to think that he is the final boss, the culmination of their 70+ years on the world stage, one last parting gift
posted by entropicamericana at 10:19 AM on March 9 [39 favorites]


Spicer says he doesn't believe that it was known that Flynn was acting as a foreign agent, but he doesn't know what was discussed, and he doesn't know what Trump would have done if he did know.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:19 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Spcier says "I don't believe that was known" as to whether Trump knew Flynn was acting as a foreign agent (Turkey) before he was appointed as National Security Advisor.
posted by zachlipton at 10:19 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Once again the Republican plan is to cut the brake lines and insist that cars can never be safe.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:20 AM on March 9 [65 favorites]


> There's a bunch of right-wing Christians who believe that all the Jews being in Israel is a precondition for Christ coming back

All of them? Like, *every single one*? So if my buddy here in Toronto decides to stay put Jesus is a no-go?
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:21 AM on March 9 [16 favorites]


This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a Boomer.
posted by mushhushshu at 10:21 AM on March 9 [36 favorites]


The Divine Rep. Waters said that it's supposed to be true, and there should be an investigation to determine if that's really the case.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:22 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


All of them? Like, *every single one*? So if my buddy here in Toronto decides to stay put Jesus is a no-go?

Pretty much. This is why it's perfectly fine to back Israel unconditionally, while also perfectly fine to vandalize Jewish graveyards and call in bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers (Many of which serve as a daycare - they're threatening to blow up babies and toddlers for being Jewish.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:24 AM on March 9 [5 favorites]




Trump rally in Nashville next Tuesday

Campaign rally.

"Paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc."
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:27 AM on March 9 [28 favorites]


Is there any precedent whatsoever for a sitting President to continuously hold rallies, as opposed to like... just giving policy speeches? Maybe I'm not remembering it because of selectivity, but I honestly can't think of many "rallies" that Obama or even W. held during their tenure.
posted by codacorolla at 10:28 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


All of them? Like, *every single one*? So if my buddy here in Toronto decides to stay put Jesus is a no-go?

Some believe this. Others believe that there's just a threshold that has to be met (usually involving some creative interpretation of the number "144,000").

Break out your Strong's Concordance and follow along at home, kids!
posted by tobascodagama at 10:30 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


All of them? Like, *every single one*? So if my buddy here in Toronto decides to stay put Jesus is a no-go?
Gosh. That seems like it would raise some complicated issues about how one even defines "Jew."
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:30 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


i get the feeling that if Trump lost he would immediately have started doing rallies for 2020. he just likes campaigning. he has no interest in actually governing.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:31 AM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Is there any precedent whatsoever for a sitting President to continuously hold rallies, as opposed to like... just giving policy speeches?

Yes, but not in America. 1930s Germany and Italy, though? Tons of precedent.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:31 AM on March 9 [58 favorites]


Spicer is really pushing this idea that there are three phases, the current bill is only phase 1, and critics of the bill just Don't Understand the gestalt.
posted by prefpara at 10:32 AM on March 9


Please someone ask Spicey whether this is the "collect underpants" phase.
posted by holgate at 10:34 AM on March 9 [20 favorites]


Gosh. That seems like it would raise some complicated issues about how one even defines "Jew."

Do not quibble over details with these people, can't you see they've got red heifers without spot or blemish to breed?
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:34 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


Step 1: cut a hole in a bill
Step 2: put your junk in that bill
Step 3: try to pass the bill
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:34 AM on March 9 [73 favorites]


Hi. I'm someone for whom the ACA was written for. I'm either on Medicaid when I'm in school (like now), or I buy a plan on the exchanges when I'm working, because I take on a lot of contract tech work. I also have a couple of conditions that require medications, that I can't exactly go off of.

Is the ACA going to just chug along if this bill fails? If this bill fails, is it all over for this go at 'repealing/replacing' the ACA for the year? Is it too early to predict? Is it even worth worrying about at this juncture?
posted by spinifex23 at 10:35 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Spicer is really pushing this idea that there are three phases, the current bill is only phase 1, and critics of the bill just Don't Understand the gestalt.

"Why is everybody upset about the Grey Death? Next we overthrow all world governments, and phase 3 is Bob Page merging with Helios to rule the world through its telecommunications infrastructure and control over all computer networks and hardware. You critics just can't see the big picture!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:35 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Campaign rally.

"Paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc."
"I'll tell you what. He should not be campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He should be at the Oval Office working on jobs."
Oh we were all so innocent back then before... the election.
posted by Talez at 10:36 AM on March 9 [31 favorites]


The three phase thing is just magical thinking though, because phrase 3 is all the stuff that can't be done through reconciliation, so it needs 60 votes in the Senate. They're really just saying "we'll do that stuff if we somehow get a supermajority one day." And there's no actual bill for phase 3. It's just a magic phrase for "we'll get to the part that makes it better some other time, somehow, someday, somewhere."
posted by zachlipton at 10:37 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


DOJ, trying to very very carefully thread a needle:

Justice Dept. Declines to Back Claim Trump Is Not Under Investigation
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:39 AM on March 9 [49 favorites]


The three phase thing is just magical thinking though, because phrase 3 is all the stuff that can't be done through reconciliation, so it needs 60 votes in the Senate. They're really just saying "we'll do that stuff if we somehow get a supermajority one day." And there's no actual bill for phase 3. It's just a magic phrase for "we'll get to the part that makes it better some other time, somehow, someday, somewhere."

Sounds a lot like the bullshit pulled in NC: "repeal the Charlotte anti-discrimination bill and we'll repeal HB2, we promise!" Charlotte repeals the bill; HB2 repeal magically never materializes.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:40 AM on March 9 [11 favorites]


"As Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, and others have pointed out, the holiday-themed green “Make America Great Again” hat (a promise that becomes more fleeting with each passing nanosecond) does not sport the traditional Irish shamrock, where the three leaves represent the Holy Trinity. Instead, the $50 hat (twice the price of Trump’s favored red MAGA cap that helpfully hides his facial spray-tan lines) features the lucky four-leaf clover, which has turned out to be another unlucky turn for the incompetent Trump administration."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:40 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


God help us, I just hope the national Dems aren't as fucking stupid as the ones in North Carolina.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:40 AM on March 9 [5 favorites]


tep 1: cut a hole in a bill
Step 2: put your junk in that bill
Step 3: try to pass the bill


At first I read junk as slang for genitalia and nodded, like, *good one*
posted by angrycat at 10:41 AM on March 9 [12 favorites]




This is total Washington Examiner gossip stuff, but interesting. Trump says privately second healthcare bill ready as early as next week. It says that Trump wants "phase 3" in the House as soon as next week and they all told him that he doesn't know how to count to 60 and it's not going to happen next week. The bill also doesn't, you know, exist.
posted by zachlipton at 10:44 AM on March 9 [19 favorites]


Press Briefing Bingo: Sean Spicer says "I think the President has been very clear on [this issue]," in response to a question for clarification on an issue that Trump has been extremely unclear on.

By my count, we're up to three separate Very Clear's today: Trump's views on Wikileaks/Julian Assange, Trump's views and plans on DACA, and funding for HBCUs.
posted by cjelli at 10:44 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


Is the ACA going to just chug along if this bill fails? If this bill fails, is it all over for this go at 'repealing/replacing' the ACA for the year? Is it too early to predict? Is it even worth worrying about at this juncture?
posted by spinifex23 at 1:35 PM on March 9 [has favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


I think it's best if you just assume the ACA is going to keep on keeping on, for the next year.

And try not to worry. I know that's easier said then done, but I (would hope) we'd see the end of the ACA coming before it actually happens.

If you have the time, please write your congresspeople and let them know that the loss of the ACA would have direct impact on you.
posted by INFJ at 10:46 AM on March 9 [11 favorites]


"As Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, and others have pointed out, the holiday-themed green “Make America Great Again” hat (a promise that becomes more fleeting with each passing nanosecond) does not sport the traditional Irish shamrock, where the three leaves represent the Holy Trinity. Instead, the $50 hat (twice the price of Trump’s favored red MAGA cap that helpfully hides his facial spray-tan lines) features the lucky four-leaf clover, which has turned out to be another unlucky turn for the incompetent Trump administration."

I eagerly await footage of Sean Spicer attempting to explain the doctrine of the Quadrinity.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:46 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


My boy Spicer turning a question about the DOJ investigation into a debate about epistemology
posted by theodolite at 10:51 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


What does that mean, theodolite? How did he turn it?
posted by agregoli at 10:53 AM on March 9


also no irony at all in trying to glom on to a holiday that only exists due to liberal immigration policies
posted by murphy slaw at 10:53 AM on March 9 [19 favorites]


My boy Spicer turning a question about the DOJ investigation into a debate about epistemology

Maybe he watched Errol Morris' Rumsfeld documentary this weekend.
posted by dis_integration at 10:53 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


spinifex23, I second INFJ's comments. That is basically what I have been telling my patients since the election: hold on, proceed for the present as if nothing has changed because legally, nothing has been done yet. We will cross whatever bridges are there once we come to them.

With the caveat that I think it is prudent for persons enrolled in exchange or Medicaid coverage to make sure to take full advantage of that coverage, particularly if you have Medicaid since that's pretty much free.

Have you been putting off having [shoulder / knee / back] looked at, or getting a referral for that pesky low-grade sinus infection? Get it checked out.

You're entitled to a free yearly wellness visit: get it done.

But for the most part, we still don't know what will happen; as I've said in the threads before, it's very much possible that there's no viable way for repeal & replace to happen, and the ACA may well limp along, hindered only by malfeasance and general incompetence at HHS/CMS (and that should not be underestimated, mind you: this stuff is enough of a massive headache when smart, motivated and compassionate people are trying to make it all run smoothly, and we're not going to be seeing that under the likes of Tom Price and Seema Verma).
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:58 AM on March 9 [16 favorites]


"I don't think we can continue to have press conferences on this basis until we settle the underlying question of what can be known."
posted by murphy slaw at 10:59 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


also no irony at all in trying to glom on to a holiday that only exists due to liberal immigration policies

Not only that, but the GOP misgendered St Patrick. Make "Patty" Paddy again.
posted by peeedro at 10:59 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


What does that mean, theodolite? How did he turn it?

Spicer was asked for clarification on his comments yesterday, when he added, at the end of the Tuesday 3/8 press briefing, that he 'needed to clarify' that 'there was no reason to believe' that Trump was under investigation by the Department of Justice; today, the DoJ stated (as mentioned upthread) that they had neither confirmed nor denied anything to Trump or his team, and were not commenting on the issue. Spicer was asked specifically if his earlier statement was based on information from the Department of Justice, and if not, on what basis he could say that 'there was no reason to believe' that Trump under investigation.

And then Spicer went off on a lengthy and confusing argument that 'no reason to believe' is the same as 'we don't know' which is the same thing as 'not having any evidence' -- rather than as many people took it to mean, which was that the administration had looked into the issue and found no information. Instead, it appears that the administration has not looked into the issue -- has, in fact, received no information from the DoJ about this at all.

Spicer: 'I can bring a thesaurus up here, these all mean the same thing, I'm not sure what you're asking me' (to paraphrase), when pressed.
posted by cjelli at 11:01 AM on March 9 [15 favorites]


murphy slaw can you provide some context for those of us who can't watch. Who said that in response to what?
posted by INFJ at 11:01 AM on March 9


Is the ACA going to just chug along if this bill fails?

We can assume Price will gut the regulatory side for 2018 no matter what -- for instance, preventative no-copay stuff -- and insurance companies will be looking to GTFO of the individual market. Insurers might be in the business of modelling uncertainty, but they're not going to touch that kind of uncertainty. Blue states might try to do something on a state level, but options are more limited there.

I don't want to cause panic, but if you have chronic conditions and rely on ACA plans, I'd be looking to be in a situation for 2018 that either involves an employer plan, not working at all if you're Medicaid eligible, or living in a different country. Self-employment with ongoing (manageable) medical issues is not going to be viable.
posted by holgate at 11:01 AM on March 9 [15 favorites]


(Or, to put it another way, Spicer made a statement yesterday that many people took to mean that the administration had evidence that no investigation occurred; he is now claiming he meant, and always did mean, that he meant that they had no evidence that an investigation did occur; and then he doubled down on that by spending a while arguing that those are actually the same position.)
posted by cjelli at 11:03 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


"As Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, and others have pointed out, the holiday-themed green “Make America Great Again” hat (a promise that becomes more fleeting with each passing nanosecond) does not sport the traditional Irish shamrock, where the three leaves represent the Holy Trinity. Instead, the $50 hat (twice the price of Trump’s favored red MAGA cap that helpfully hides his facial spray-tan lines) features the lucky four-leaf clover, which has turned out to be another unlucky turn for the incompetent Trump administration."

That is straight up the 4-H clover with the H's removed! I will personally donate to a GoFundMe to pay the bills of any enterprising USDA employee who wants to go out with a bang by filing a C&D against the Trump campaign for misuse of the 4-H emblem, which they are actually very protective of.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:03 AM on March 9 [47 favorites]


Spicer: 'I can bring a thesaurus up here, these all mean the same thing, I'm not sure what you're asking me' (to paraphrase), when pressed.

I can't wait for this to show up on SNL!
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 11:04 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


sorry, that should have had a [fake] tag
posted by murphy slaw at 11:04 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


"I don't think we can continue to have press conferences on this basis until we settle the underlying question of what can be known."

Socrates: You asked, Cephalus, about the Department of Justice. But can we properly ask about Justice's Department before we know what Justice is?
posted by dis_integration at 11:05 AM on March 9 [26 favorites]


I don't want to cause panic,

Nope - that didn't cause panic at all. I can't speak for others in my situation, but I'd rather know what's going on as soon as possible so I have time to make contingency plans, rather than ignore it all, and then when it comes time to get healthcare? Oops - there's nothing available for you to purchase. Thanks all.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:05 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Socrates: You asked, Cephalus, about the Department of Justice. But can we properly ask about Justice's Department before we know what Justice is?

Is a thing legal because Trump loves it, or does Trump love it because it is legal?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:06 AM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Oh my. Sherrilyn Ifill, who is President of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund met with Jeff Sessions to make a case for police reform and voting rights. She tweets: "Many have asked abt the AG's reaction to my presentation. He listened respectfully and said that I was "articulate.""
posted by zachlipton at 11:08 AM on March 9 [146 favorites]


"Many have asked abt the AG's reaction to my presentation. He listened respectfully and said that I was "articulate.""

Oh FFS.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:12 AM on March 9 [24 favorites]


luckily a staffer managed to cut him off before he called her "a credit to her race"?
posted by murphy slaw at 11:13 AM on March 9 [49 favorites]


Oh my. Sherrilyn Ifill, who is President of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund met with Jeff Sessions to make a case for police reform and voting rights. She tweets: "Many have asked abt the AG's reaction to my presentation. He listened respectfully and said that I was "articulate.""

Well, my outrage pistons are working just fine, thank you for that test.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:14 AM on March 9 [34 favorites]


"Many have asked abt the AG's reaction to my presentation. He listened respectfully and said that I was "articulate.""

Christing fuck, when your racism is so old that a children's movie has pre-called you out on it, you should probably not be AG.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:16 AM on March 9 [15 favorites]


"articulate."

there aren't enough bees in the world for this motherfucker
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:16 AM on March 9 [42 favorites]


would'nt it be fun if at one of these pressers some journalist would just say (when called upon to present their question)
"hey Spicer, YOU ARE ENTIRELY FULL OF SHIT AND YOU KNOW IT ASSHOLE!" ..?


yes, they'd be escorted out but they'd instantly become a national hero!
posted by The_Auditor at 11:17 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


"Many have asked abt the AG's reaction to my presentation. He listened respectfully and said that I was "articulate.""

This really is the "hold my beer" administration. It's just one long line of beer-holding. "Oh, wha tyou did was offensive and awful? Hold my beer, bruh." and right on down the line into the sunset.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:17 AM on March 9 [17 favorites]


A DC wine bar has filed a lawsuit against Trump and the Trump International Hotel for illegal and unfair competition alleging that the president’s continued affiliation with the government-owned property puts competing businesses at a disadvantage.
All the lawyers are working on the case pro bono, and the lawsuit isn’t seeking any money. Rather, they’re looking for a court order to stop the “unfair competition,” whether that means Trump divests or sells the hotel or takes his name off of it and transforms it into something else.
posted by peeedro at 11:19 AM on March 9 [67 favorites]




[Couple comments deleted. Please don't make gross racist remarks as a joke about how bad those remarks are.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:23 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


All the lawyers are working on the case pro bono, and the lawsuit isn’t seeking any money. Rather, they’re looking for a court order to stop the “unfair competition,” whether that means Trump divests or sells the hotel or takes his name off of it and transforms it into something else.

I know there are so many bad things but this really does make me crazy; there was an article in the Express (free paper published by the Washington Post, they hand it out by the Metro) the other day about how popular it is and the whole thing is just so inappropriate.

I wish I could organize a group of people to stand outside the building literally every day, even just for a few hours, to glare meaningfully and wave signs and stuff to make it awkward for people going in and out so that it's just not worth staying there because it's too much of a hassle to deal with the protestors; it'd be great if rich people/diplomats/politicians would be like "let's head back to the hote...oh no, we can't, it's 1:30 and they'll still be protesting and I want to skip that. What a pain, let's stay somewhere else next time.". Maybe guests could get kindly clinic escorts to help them in and out of the Hotel Fascism if they didn't like facing protestors.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:31 AM on March 9 [24 favorites]




The Twitter thread from Sherrilyn Ifill has some other observations:

Beyond his ideological opposition, it appeared to me that the AG is poorly informed abt how policing consent decrees really work. Reminded him that his proposed Deputy just indicted 7 Baltimore cops last wk for racketeering. He conceded "maybe there are some problems."

So he's not only racist, but racist and incompetent.
posted by zabuni at 11:40 AM on March 9 [27 favorites]


I think we can all agree that Trump isn't not not under investigation.
posted by diogenes at 11:41 AM on March 9 [11 favorites]


you know, Spicer has this quality of understanding that he's not that smart. I'm not saying he's at peace with that fact, but you sort of get the impression that he's listening to himself and thinking *jeez i sound bad* Hence the defensiveness.

Mostly I can totally see myself doing that "good morning, oh it's the paper's fault, so good morning" thing and just dying inside a little.
posted by angrycat at 11:41 AM on March 9 [14 favorites]




Mostly I can totally see myself doing that "good morning, oh it's the paper's fault, so good morning" thing and just dying inside a little.

I mean, yeah, we all have the giving-a-speech-to-a-giant-auditorium-naked dream, right? But most of us wake up thinking "Thank goodness that didn't happen!" rather than "Hey, they bought it; maybe next time I'll actually call them Lügenpresse and see if anyone notices!"
posted by Mayor West at 11:45 AM on March 9 [8 favorites]


not only racist, but racist and incompetent.

Now they they have to govern and can't just throw rocks, this seems to describe a majority of the GOP congressional members.
posted by strange chain at 11:45 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


EPA’s environmental justice head resigns

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency program aimed at protecting minority populations from pollution has resigned.

Mustafa Ali, who has worked at the EPA for 24 years, is leaving as the Trump administration is proposing to completely defund environmental justice efforts at the EPA.

posted by futz at 11:53 AM on March 9 [55 favorites]


The fact that we are talking about Sessions in any context other than that he perjured himself and should be forced to resign is exactly what is wrong with the press corps right now. Dampnut successfully controlled the narrative this week and the subject has gone away.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:54 AM on March 9 [38 favorites]


I know, I know, fuck these people, but I thought this stat was worth noting:

‘I might as well have not voted’: Details of GOP health plan leave Trump voter appalled
Brawley was particularly upset when she learned that, under Trumpcare, she would receive a paltry $3,500 tax credit to buy insurance. At the moment, she gets a federal subsidy of around $8,688 to buy insurance from Obamacare.

Base-1
posted by Room 641-A at 11:56 AM on March 9 [33 favorites]


To their credit, the Democrats have been on message as far as continuing their calls for Sessions to resign. Pelosi keeps talking about it, for instance.

(I'd much rather they were talking about bringing up charges of perjury, but still.)
posted by tobascodagama at 11:57 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Living here in Mass., and covered by an Obamacare health-insurance plan, I was sort of thinking, eh, worst case, we go back to Romneycare. Turns out the worst case might be worse than that.
posted by adamg at 11:57 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


There's a bunch of right-wing Christians who believe that all the Jews being in Israel is a precondition for Christ coming back

That precondition being their deaths.
posted by PenDevil at 11:58 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]




GOP health-care bill would drop mental-health mandate covering 1.3 million Americans

Republicans confirm substance abuse and mental health coverage would no longer be mandated under Medicaid expansion
posted by futz at 11:42 AM on March 9 [9 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Hey, where's our Super PAC with a seasoned FB advertiser account to plaster the shit out the FB feeds of people who live in all those red counties with opioid problems explaining that now they have both an opioid and a Trump problem

They do not give a shit about ANYONE, do they
posted by schadenfrau at 12:01 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Republicans confirm substance abuse and mental health coverage would no longer be mandated under Medicaid expansion

Hey, rural red-state America? Your prisons will once again be your substance abuse and mental health facilities. Mental health crises will be resolved with guns and knives. (The affect of this on nursing homes is also going to be terrible.)

The leopards appear to have a taste specifically for the faces of those who voted for them.
posted by holgate at 12:01 PM on March 9 [44 favorites]


‘I might as well have not voted’: Details of GOP health plan leave Trump voter appalled

"I MIGHT AS WELL NOT HAVE VOTED" IS WRONG AND DUMB! YOU SHOULD HAVE VOTED FOR SOMEONE ELSE! NOT VOTING IS INSUFFICIENT! YOU ARE A FIFTY-FIVE YEAR OLD ADULT WHO VOTED FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR DONALD EFFING TRUMP AND NOW THINGS ARE BAD AND YOU STILL DON'T REGRET NOT VOTING FOR THE OTHER PERSON! Are you so lacking in self-reflection that you can't realize that this outcome could have been avoided and you could have helped avoid it by voting for Hillary Clinton? Have you taken a moment to say "who warned me about this and why didn't I listen to them?"? Will you listen to those voices in the future? If not then this shit will keep happening to you because you are COMPLETELY UNWILLING TO DISMISS YOUR PREJUDICES EVEN IN YOUR OWN INTERESTS.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:03 PM on March 9 [153 favorites]


Hey, rural red-state America? Your prisons will once again be your substance abuse and mental health facilities.
I mean, that's kind of how it is right now. I know this will make things even worse, but the state of mental health care in rural America is an abomination.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:04 PM on March 9 [23 favorites]


Republicans confirm substance abuse and mental health coverage would no longer be mandated under Medicaid expansion

thisisfine.jpg

Seems legit. It's not like there's an opiod epidemic sweeping the country, hitting the (red-leaning) Rust Belt the hardest. I'm sure those folks in West Virginia will just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and kick their heroin addiction tout de suite, once all those sweet coal-mining jobs come back.
posted by Mayor West at 12:05 PM on March 9 [19 favorites]


ABC News this week talked with North Carolina resident Martha Brawley, a 55-year-old woman who cast a ballot for the first time in her life for Donald Trump. Brawley says that she voted for the president on the hopes that he could bring down the cost of health care — but she’s been appalled so far by what she’s seen from the Republican Congress.

“I voted for Trump hoping that he would change the insurance so I could get good health care,” she told ABC News. “I might as well have not voted.”


For what it's worth, Martha, I agree. You shouldn't have voted. I'm not sure what, exactly, ever lead you to believe that the content free "plans" on the campaign trail would lead you to have good health care, but now you and your type have fucked it up for yourselves, in addition to the minorities and outsiders that you really wanted to fuck over. People like her are worse than zero information voters. They're negative-value information voters.
posted by codacorolla at 12:06 PM on March 9 [66 favorites]


Though I do have to hand it to them: I thought for sure the first wave of legislation coming out of the administration would be targeted directly at the states that went bluest. It's nice to see that Trump has abandoned his ideal of petty vengeance long enough to specifically target his own voters.
posted by Mayor West at 12:07 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


Martha doesn't sound like she has the self awareness to know how racist she probably is. I mean...that is truly dumbfounding.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:10 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I really appreciate the EFF producing and sharing that guide to Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border but there are not bees enough for the people who have made it necessary.

After we get through this, and start fixing broken shit, privacy rights at the border has to be near the top of the list.
posted by notyou at 12:10 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Aging white men in the rural West commit suicide at staggering rates, and I can testify that for every lonely old dude who ends up in the suicide statistics there's half a dozen who mysteriously swerved into the wrong lane in front of that oncoming truck on the way home from the bar or who didn't go to the doctor for their stroke or their brain tumor. Cutting funding is going to only escalate and accelerate this phenomenon as the rural population gets older and lonelier every year. It'll be grim.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:11 PM on March 9 [32 favorites]


The Office of Government Ethics has sent a letter (twitter link) stating that they "remain concerned" about Kellyanne Conway, and that they believe she should be disciplined. They also state that "presidential administrations have not considered it appropriate to challenge the applicability of ethics rules."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:12 PM on March 9 [20 favorites]


JMM has jumped on the Farage-Assange meeting like a terrier, so that bodes well: "The Fuse Is Burning."
posted by schadenfrau at 12:13 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


New York is joining the travel ban lawsuit, AG Schneiderman calls it "a Muslim ban by another name"
posted by zachlipton at 12:14 PM on March 9 [37 favorites]


Living here in Mass., and covered by an Obamacare health-insurance plan, I was sort of thinking, eh, worst case, we go back to Romneycare. Turns out the worst case might be worse than that.

Worse still, they're going to open up health plans across state lines. Even if you tried to mandate people to companies selling insurance in MA, Red State Insurance Board Health Company is going to undermine it by taking all your healthy people for next to no money and give them next to no benefits.

The only option left would be to go it alone on healthcare as a state and that would require an absolutely heroic effort. I don't think even MA could pull it off. It all depends. I could maybe see federal funding supporting a state system by wooing Medicare patients to state hospitals but the income tax hit you'd need to take to finance a working health system from scratch would be politically unpalatable even in the bluest parts of the state.
posted by Talez at 12:14 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Here's a clip of Spicer's derail into epistemology, courtesy of CBS, and here's a partial transcript, courtesy of a slow work afternoon:
Margaret Brennan: Yesterday, you said, quite definitively, that there's no reason to believe there's any type of investigation with regards to the Department of Justice. Did the Justice Department give you that assurance, because they're telling the New York Times they did not.
Sean Spicer: I’m not aware of it, but that's my point, is that we're not aware of anything.
Brennan: You've never been told by the Justice Department that there is no investigation?
Spicer: Nope.
Brennan: So there might be one? You just don't know?
Spicer: No - I said, yes, right, right, I said I'm not aware, and we're not aware, and that's why we want the House and Senate to do what the President has asked of them, to look into this. But no, we're not aware.
Brennan: To discover if there is an investigation.
Spicer: No -
Brennan: That's --
Spicer: - to look into the situation.
Brennan: The Justice Department is saying, though, that they never gave you the assurances that you gave us.
Spicer: Okay? No, no - what the assurance I gave you, Margaret, was that I'm not aware. And that is one-hundred percent accurate.
Brennan: So when you said 'no reason to believe,' it was 'I'm not aware' --
Spicer: That's right.
Brennan: ' - if there's an investigation.'
Spicer: Right, I don't know that they're not interchangeable. I'm not aware, I don't believe -- look up in a thesaurus and find some other ways, I don't know that there's a distinction there that's noteworthy, but we're not aware, I don't believe that that exists.
[Unknown reporter]: What's that's based on?
Spicer: That's based on that I'm not being aware of -- that -- that's the answer. Someone asks me if I'm made aware of something and the answer is no, then the answer is no.
Brennan: But the question was whether he was the target of a counter-intelligence probe.
Spicer: Right, and the answer is we're not aware. I don't know how much clearer we can be on this.
Brennan: So it's just that the White House is not aware of if the President is the target of a counter-intelligence probe.
Spicer: Correct. I'm -- yes -- I'm not sure if we're dancing around the same question.
Brennan: Because I think yesterday, when you came out and corrected and clarified, people took that as a definitive answer, that in fact that was not the case.
Spicer: We're not aware. I don't -- just -- that should be the definitive answer, [calls for next question.]
Shorter Spicer, paraphrased: 'I don't know how much clearer on this we can be than that our not being aware is based on our not being aware, and that is our definitive answer that is 100% correct.'
posted by cjelli at 12:17 PM on March 9 [35 favorites]


he just likes campaigning. he has no interest in actually governing.

replace "campaigning" with "being on stage with eyes on him and people cheering him on" and you may have a point. I doubt he liked going for Buttsack, ID to speak in front on 150 people. He's in for the attention, and now he realises sitting on the oval office signing papers isn't the rush he expected it to be because maybe having Pence, Conway and Bannon cheering him on feels a bit too masturbatory. This is why he's always looking for validation on twitter and pseudo campaign rallies. If the secret service allowed it, heck, he'd probably sign all his bill in the middle of FedEx field in the halftime of NFL games (or Navy/Army games, since in all likelyhood still hates the NFL).

I think the WH staff has a "DJT suicide watch emergency plan" that kicks into action if the internet (or twitter) and cable go down for a considerable stretch nationwide, and OTA TV doesn't mention him once during that time. That plan includes a library of fake (or faker) news bulletins produced by Fox and a intranet twitter so trumpy can feel coddled again.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:18 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


Martha doesn't sound like she has the self awareness to know how racist she probably is. I mean...that is truly dumbfounding.

I said it earlier in the thread (or maybe the last one?) -- the Trump supporters I know actually want healthcare to operate like it does in Canada or the UK, or maybe Germany (though I think even that is more complex than they would like). You pay a set amount based on how much you make (i.e. progressive taxation), and maybe a small co-pay when you see a doctor ($10, $20), but you otherwise don't have any cost at the point of service. But when you tell them "this is like healthcare in Canada" they're like "no, everyone in Canada is dead because they had to wait ten years for a strep test and also no one in Canada has a job because taxes are too high." (this is not much of an exaggeration on comments that I've actually heard)

They are so *consciously or subconsciously or brainwashedly* racist that they would rather go bankrupt and die than accept that maybe the answer here is a little bit of government assistance.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:19 PM on March 9 [58 favorites]


The only option left would be to go it alone on healthcare as a state and that would require an absolutely heroic effort. I don't think even MA could pull it off. It all depends.

I dunno if that proposal to create single-payer in California will go anywhere, but it seems like the only way. Private, corporate health insurance simply isn't sustainable any more.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:19 PM on March 9 [15 favorites]


I['m] super interested to find out how much I'm in a bubble or if visits from Canada are going to drop right off.

Going to? Are. My organization has a triennial North American meeting, the venue of which rotates between Canada, the US, and Mexico. It was in the US last month, on the east coast; I didn't fly from Canada because of course I don't. I was talking last week to a colleague who said that 50% of the usual complement of Canadians was present, and maybe 10% of the Mexican contingent. Some smaller portion of the American representatives skipped it -- I have not spoken with them about their absences, but they are Latinx and based on the west coast so they might not find flying (even domestically) a great experience these days.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:20 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


sooo this is interesting as it relates to donald trump jr's paris trip.
we're more than a few infosec people and some other hush puppies, but we're utterly unable to id the guy, and the french journalist who was at one of the meetings clam up when we've asked about him.
posted by xcasex at 12:20 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


JMM has jumped on the Farage-Assange meeting like a terrier, so that bodes well: "The Fuse Is Burning."

this would be the noose, watch for a hanging friday or monday.
posted by xcasex at 12:21 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear appeal by Donald Trump, developers:

Canada’s top court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling in favour of investors who had launched a lawsuit alleging they were misled by U.S. President Donald Trump and a real estate development firm.

The Supreme Court of Canada said it will not hear a leave to appeal by the defendants in the legal saga — which include the U.S. president, developer Talon International and its former executives.


Um. Does this portend an invasion?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:22 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]




I dunno if that proposal to create single-payer in California will go anywhere, but it seems like the only way. Private, corporate health insurance simply isn't sustainable any more.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:19 PM on March 9 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


How many states can afford this? I know literally nothing about the policy or budgetary requirements, but if I had to guess I'd say...CA and NY? And for NY that will involve some state level political fuckery, because our dumb dumb dumb IDC/DINO situation in the state senate.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:24 PM on March 9


Remember this after the next mass shooting, when Republicans claim it's not guns, but mental health that's to blame.
posted by monospace at 12:24 PM on March 9 [39 favorites]


That plan includes a library of fake (or faker) news bulletins produced by Fox and a intranet twitter so trumpy can feel coddled again.

Goodbye, Lenin Putin!
posted by emelenjr at 12:25 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


The Brookings Institution has estimated how the CBO scoring will assess the impact AHCA using prior CBO assumptions. How many people will be projected to lose insurance under the GOP’s healthcare bill: "Likely at least 15 million, possibly millions more".
posted by peeedro at 12:27 PM on March 9 [21 favorites]


Honeybees are sweeties though. You might have better luck mailing your congressperson a a fucking live adult goose!

Red postcards are good too, I hear.
posted by stet at 12:28 PM on March 9 [12 favorites]


Um. Does this portend an invasion?

Trash by catapult, at the least.
posted by notyou at 12:30 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Forcing a goose to live with someone as odious as Ted Cruz would surely be considered animal cruelty.
posted by zachlipton at 12:30 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


sooo this is interesting as it relates to donald trump jr's paris trip.
we're more than a few infosec people and some other hush puppies, but we're utterly unable to id the guy, and the french journalist who was at one of the meetings clam up when we've asked about him.


Isn't facial recognition machine learning stuff pretty amazing now?

Use that creepy tech for something good, SV nerds. It's a start.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:31 PM on March 9


And apropos of nothing, I feel a need to note the absurdity of claims that Obama is spearheading a shadowy conspiracy to thwart Republican policy objectives. They're not absurd because he's not doing that. They're absurd because of course he is, and there's nothing shadowy about it. We've even got a catchy name for the conspiracy. It's called the Democratic Party.

i just realized these claims remind me of nothing so much as Harry Potter book 5 when Umbridge was headmaster for a few months and couldn't let go of the idea that "Dumbledore's people" were still working against her
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 12:31 PM on March 9 [28 favorites]


OMG, Geese! The only thing meaner than geese are swans. Both are gianormous, evil, poop spewing, noisy assholes. They are the perfect gift for your Republican congressperson of choice.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:34 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


The only option left would be to go it alone on healthcare as a state and that would require an absolutely heroic effort. I don't think even MA could pull it off.

No, but Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, MA, RI, CT, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware working together certainly could. Maybe team up with the West Coast states, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota and Illinois for a single-payer system.

It would require Chris Christie and the lunatics in the Gov slot in Maine and Illinois to leave office, but that's only two years off, and another republican to replace them seems unlikely. Write your state Reps and Sens and Governors so they can get to work on a framework, pronto.

Dems got WAY more votes than the GOP in the Presidential, Senate and House races. Our federal government is not currently a democratically elected one. If they fail our basic needs so badly, we have no choice but to go it alone, and many states working together can make it work despite Federal incompetence and cruelty.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:35 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


I dunno if that proposal to create single-payer in California will go anywhere

I've often wondered why California doesn't do this (you know, except for the usual politics). It's both bigger in population and richer than us in Soviet Canuckistan. If any place in the US can do this, it's California.
posted by bonehead at 12:35 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


Spicer: Right, I don't know that they're not interchangeable. I'm not aware, I don't believe -- look up in a thesaurus and find some other ways, I don't know that there's a distinction there that's noteworthy, but we're not aware, I don't believe that that exists.

I am a bit in awe that he knows what a thesaurus is.
posted by INFJ at 12:36 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I dunno if that proposal to create single-payer in California will go anywhere, but it seems like the only way. Private, corporate health insurance simply isn't sustainable any more.

How many states can afford this? I know literally nothing about the policy or budgetary requirements, but if I had to guess I'd say...CA and NY? And for NY that will involve some state level political fuckery, because our dumb dumb dumb IDC/DINO situation in the state senate.

The biggest problem with setting up a functioning state healthcare system is the capex for hospitals to meet the demand. If I was going to do it in 2017 here's how I'd probably do it:

First, get county hospitals under state control. Secondly, attach new hospitals to the state university system and funnel medical students into these hospitals. Promise no debt in exchange for ten years in the public health system (2 year internship, 3 year residency, 5 years attending) at a fair wage. Doctors with adequate performance ratings at the end of their five year of being an attending get first dibs on permanent positions.

Then set up two entities, State Health HMO and State Health Medicaid.

State Health HMO participates in the competitive market and can supplant health insurance for employers. Instead of a fixed amount per person it just becomes a progressive percentage of income, much like a tax. Also, workers in the state employed at companies with 15 employees or more can request coverage through State Health HMO and the employer has to do it.

State Health Medicaid gives a card to anyone under 200% of the FPL. After that, if your employer doesn't give you insurance, you can withhold to get the card. Employers that don't give insurance pay a penalty rate to help finance the system.

It's a moonshot but it's certainly feasible.
posted by Talez at 12:36 PM on March 9 [56 favorites]


The only thing meaner than geese are swans. Both are gianormous, evil, poop spewing, noisy assholes. They are the perfect gift for your Republican congressperson of choice.

If the entire GOP caucus were replaced with geese and swans, would anybody notice?
posted by uncleozzy at 12:36 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


Isn't facial recognition machine learning stuff pretty amazing now?


we've actually tried everything from vk's facefinder to various reverse image search tools to no avail, amongst many other things.
posted by xcasex at 12:38 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


well I hope this international man of mystery doesn't turn out to be a giant chowderhead like Carter Page. give us something good, 2017 writers!
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:44 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Isn't the main problem with state-based single payer the inability to stop out-of-staters from coming in to use it without having to pay the requisite taxes?
posted by Rhaomi at 12:46 PM on March 9


Forcing a goose to live with someone as odious as Ted Cruz would surely be considered animal cruelty.

Cruz wouldn't last long, though.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:46 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Rhaomi I feel like that is easily solved with some form of identification?
posted by INFJ at 12:47 PM on March 9


Beyond his ideological opposition, it appeared to me that the AG is poorly informed abt how policing consent decrees really work. Reminded him that his proposed Deputy just indicted 7 Baltimore cops last wk for racketeering. He conceded "maybe there are some problems."

So he's not only racist, but racist and incompetent.


Yeah, Sessions should have remembered that he was supposed to refer to crooked/dirty/murdering/racist cops as "a few bad apples," and never admit that anything could be wrong with the system.
posted by Gelatin at 12:47 PM on March 9


xcasex: "sooo this is interesting as it relates to donald trump jr's paris trip."

The OP of that Twitter thread does not think it's Tugdual Derville based partly on an eye color discrepancy and "other, more subtle features" (not sure what features he's talking about). I'm more ambivalent regarding the eye color thing given all the weirdness that can happen in digital image capture and processing.
posted by mhum at 12:48 PM on March 9


Isn't the main problem with state-based single payer the inability to stop out-of-staters from coming in to use it without having to pay the requisite taxes?

If you don't have a state insurance card charge them the Medicare rack rate or bill their private insurance.
posted by Talez at 12:49 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Isn't the main problem with state-based single payer the inability to stop out-of-staters from coming in to use it without having to pay the requisite taxes?

No, they get billed at the going rate, unless they're indigent, and up front for all but emergency care.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:49 PM on March 9


Isn't the main problem with state-based single payer the inability to stop out-of-staters from coming in to use it without having to pay the requisite taxes?

As long as we're dreaming, couldn't you set it up like your basic state university system? Residents get a discount, out of staters pay list price. Would work great in places with strong teaching hospitals that already attract out-of-staters/non-residents.
posted by adamg at 12:49 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Isn't the main problem with state-based single payer the inability to stop out-of-staters from coming in to use it without having to pay the requisite taxes?

If you go with something like Talez's plan then this isn't really a concern. You wouldn't be able to sign up for the State HMO without showing proof of residence and it just competes in the marketplace like every other insurance company.
posted by zrail at 12:49 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


The fact that we are talking about Sessions in any context other than that he perjured himself and should be forced to resign is exactly what is wrong with the press corps right now. Dampnut successfully controlled the narrative this week and the subject has gone away.

"Controlling the narrative" by lurching from one out-of-control disaster to another is not exactly a superpower. The media, and the Beltway press especially, seems to be lazy and/or have the memory of a goldfish, but you can bet a shiny new dime that Al Franken hasn't forgotten that Sessions lied under oath. The next time a new Russia story drips out, Sessions' lie becomes part of the narrative, and the lazy media loves its narratives.
posted by Gelatin at 12:50 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Isn't the main problem with state-based single payer the inability to stop out-of-staters from coming in to use it without having to pay the requisite taxes?

Talez got there first, but yes, you just need a decent ID system to prevent that.
posted by emjaybee at 12:51 PM on March 9


Yes, yes, adamg's plan! Could you charge outofstaters, I dunno, a fifth of what they'd have to pay out-of-pocket? Still astronomical, but maybe do-able if it were life and death? Maybe? Asking for a Floridian friend. And another Floridian friend. And myself and my entire family and everyone I know.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:51 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Cruz wouldn't last long, though.

"My eggs! Get away from my glistening eggs you horrible creature!"
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:53 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


California's relative geographic isolation would also help limit the "medical tourism" issue. Doesn't really scale for other states, though, and of course nowadays we can buy plane tickets anyway.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:54 PM on March 9


Yes, under a single-payer system there would probably be a brief waiting period for new residents. I think Ontario's is three months.

Also, just FYI the Canadian single-payer system isn't federal, it's provincial.

The smallest province is Prince Edward Island, population less than 150,000. So you don't need a massive state to sustain single-payer. BECAUSE IT IS MORE COST-EFFECTIVE.

The barriers, insofar as I can see, are purely political -- both ideological and in the sense that entrenched interests with lots of power are currently making lots of money and would like that trend to continue. Granted, building a single-payer system in 2017 would be orders of magnitude more complicated than doing it was in the 50s and 60s like normal countries did. But it's definitely achievable in my opinion, if not quite as simple as drawing a line through the part of the Medicare eligibility rule that says "65 years old".
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:55 PM on March 9 [36 favorites]


The Spicer-Brennan exchange with its defensiveness, its pathetic bluffing and its snippiness, reminded me strongly of this.

Marge Gunderson: It's this vehicle I asked you about. I was wondering...

Jerry Lundegaard: Yah, like I told ya, we haven't had any vehicles go missing.

MG: OK. Are ya sure? Cos, I mean, how do you know? The perpetrators were driving a car with dealer plates and called someone here, so it would be quite a coincidence if they weren't, you know, connected.

JL Yah, I see.

MG: So how do you... Have you done an inventory recently?

JL: The car's not from our lot, ma'am.

MG: How can you be sure without doing a...

JL: Well, I would know. I'm the executive sales manager.

MG: Yah, but I understand...

JL: We run a pretty tight ship here.

MG: I know, but how do they establish that? Are the cars counted daily, or what kind of a routine here?

JL: Ma'am! I answered your question.

MG: I'm sorry, sir?

JL: Ma'am, I answered your question. I answered the darn... I'm cooperating here, and there's no...

MG: Sir, you have no call to get snippy with me. I'm just doing my job here.

JL: I'm... I'm not... I'm not arguing here. I'm cooperating and there's no... We're doing all we can.

MG: Sir, could I talk to Mr Gustafson? (no answer) Mr Lundegaard.

JL: Well, heck! If you wanna... if you wanna play games here... I'm workin' with ya on this thing here, but... OK, I'll do a damn lot count.

MG: Sir, right now?

JL: Yah, right now. You're darned tootin'.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:58 PM on March 9 [39 favorites]


As long as we're dreaming can the rest of the West coast join in? Or is there something to prevent that kind of infra-state alliance?

Add education and believing in science to the wish list while you're at it.
posted by Artw at 1:00 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


JMM has jumped on the Farage-Assange meeting like a terrier, so that bodes well: "The Fuse Is Burning."

Help me out here - is the implication that the CIA is screwed or that the CIA is screwed and that its obviously going to come back and bite Trump in the ass, so he's screwed too?
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:00 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


As long as we're dreaming can the rest of the West coast join in? Or is there something to prevent that kind of infra-state alliance?

I am pretty sure that an inter-state agreement like this would need to be approved by Congress. Then again Congress is pretty much paralyzed and no one is paying attention to the Constitution anymore, anyways, so
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:02 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Um. Does this portend an invasion?

As a Canadian I cannot imagine a situation where Canada would have a better chance of winning against the United States than right now.
posted by srboisvert at 1:02 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


You and every other country.
posted by erisfree at 1:05 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]




I think I speak for all sane Americans when I say, please invade us, Canada.
posted by emjaybee at 1:06 PM on March 9 [31 favorites]


The smallest province is Prince Edward Island, population less than 150,000. So you don't need a massive state to sustain single-payer. BECAUSE IT IS MORE COST-EFFECTIVE.

Yabbut we also have federal equalization too which does pay for a healthy fraction (heh) of provincial budgets now. You can quite justifiably argue that the health care pool in Canada is federalized and national. The standards of care also are set federally too under the Canada Health Act. It would be a hard go, especially in the smaller Maritime or Prairie provinces to be able to afford a level of care that could be achieved in the bigger four. We really do have a national system in most of the ways that count.
posted by bonehead at 1:07 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


Invasions of Canada have historically not gone well for the US.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:07 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


You need to tackle that guy with the football first - it'll be tricky getting intel on... wait, never mind.
posted by Artw at 1:08 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


I am pretty sure that an inter-state agreement like this would need to be approved by Congress.

Under the U.S Steel case, this is more or less not true anymore (that is, they could structure it around the congressional consent requirement). SCOTUS recently declined to hear several cases that would have revisited this issue.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:09 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


As a Canadian I cannot imagine a situation where Canada would have a better chance of winning against the United States than right now.

it's fine if you burn down the white house this time too, we were never gonna get that smell out.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:11 PM on March 9 [46 favorites]


Sure, there's equalization payments but we have the same thing here (we just don't talk about it as much, although there's been more conversation about maker/taker states in the last few years).

The point is that even your have-provinces like Alberta and BC are pretty tiny by US standards and can sustain single-payer, because the cost of health care delivery is like 60% of our per-capita cost. In fact, I think the last time I dug up stats, it looked like US government (federal+state+local) health spending is roughly equivalent to Canadian federal+provincial spending, it's just super-inefficiently spent because of all the nonsense in our system.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:11 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


uncleozzy: If the entire GOP caucus were replaced with geese and swans, would anybody notice?

Well, one would be more foul than the other, amirite?

Waka waka.

*ducks*

"No, not ducks - they said geese and swans."

*end recursive pun routine*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:13 PM on March 9 [22 favorites]



Tracking GOP votes on #TrumpCare


They're party line voting, so it's a pretty boring spreadsheet so far
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:14 PM on March 9


Help me out here - is the implication that the CIA is screwed or that the CIA is screwed and that its obviously going to come back and bite Trump in the ass, so he's screwed too?

Well, imagine you're the CIA, and you not only have evidence that the President conspired with a foreign power to sell policy for election tampering, but that now he's going to war with you, personally, using Russia to do it.

How would you react?
posted by schadenfrau at 1:15 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


Brennan: You've never been told by the Justice Department that there is no investigation?
Spicer: Nope.
Brennan: So there might be one? You just don't know?
Spicer: No - I said, yes, right, right, I said I'm not aware, and we're not aware, and that's why we want the House and Senate to do what the President has asked of them, to look into this.


This exchange is mental in so many different ways. I tried to capture it, but I felt madness looming. Let's just say it's fractally stupid.
posted by diogenes at 1:17 PM on March 9 [43 favorites]


"Well, imagine you're the CIA, and [darkest timeline].
How would you react?"
I would go to Canada and check in somewhere for a rest cure.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:19 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Invasions of Canada have historically not gone well for the US.

In honour of this week's events, our 1812 Package is on sale. That's not all. Order one burning, we'll throw in the ransacking for free!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:23 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


"it's fractally stupid"

That is a BRILLIANT description of this!
posted by mosk at 1:24 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


I like it when I walk past a TV playing CNN and I hear "Trump aides" and "subpoenas if necessary" in the same sentence.
posted by diogenes at 1:24 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


So, I don't tune into Spicey Time but has anyone asked: "Why won't the president release the evidence he has regarding Obama's illegal wiretapping?" The key here is the phrasing. You have to ask the question as if you accepted the (ludicrous) premise that Trump actually has evidence. Don't try being a normal, informed person and approach the issue as "Trump is espousing ridiculous conspiracy theories without evidence." No, if you accepted the premise that Trump actually knows what he's talking about (lol), then the obvious question is why isn't he doing a damn thing about it.
posted by mhum at 1:25 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


So, I don't tune into Spicey Time but has anyone asked: "Why won't the president release the evidence he has regarding Obama's illegal wiretapping?"

A reporter asked that either yesterday or the day before. The answer was word salad involving the separation of powers.
posted by diogenes at 1:29 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


Trump sold his condo to Dmitry Rybolovev, whose private plane keeps showing up where Trump is. Rybolovev is a Russian billionaire with ties to Putin.

Not hardly a condo (or perhaps in addition to a condo), Trump sold Rybolovev a 62,000 SF mansion that Trump bought for $43 million.

The thing is, Rybolovev paid $95 million for it only 4 years later without even inspecting it -- just $5 million less than Trump's asking price of $100 million, (reduced it from $125 million following two years where it sat on the market unsold.) Rybololbev never moved in or did anything with it -- until he tore it down last year.

And yes, since then Rybolovev's jet has parked on the tarmac near Trump's plane on 3 different occasions at different locations. Good work by the Palm Beach Post - they break down all the details in this story.
posted by msalt at 1:29 PM on March 9 [45 favorites]


A much better approach is demonstrated by the wily AARP. They are calling the premium formula an "age tax," a formulation familiar in the "death tax". People hate tax increases. They don't hate tax cuts, even for the rich so don't talk about tax cuts.

To broaden the appeal beyond the AARP set, Democrats should simply call the Republican plan a massive tax increase on the middle class, because that is exactly what it is. The subsidies are tax credits. If you take away tax credits from the middle class, that's a tax increase, plain and simple. And it's not trivial. For many families it will amount to a tax increase of $4000 to $10,000 a year. That's huge for a middle class family.


Coming in late on this but it's worth pointing out that I'm astounded how no one at all has called out Grover Norquist on his greedy, soulless horseshit on this, because this is literally the argument he makes about anything else regarding getting money, ever. In 2009-2010, Norquist flat-out said, and threatened to score sample ballots as such, that any Congressperson voting to not renew the Bush tax cuts "was in effect voting for a tax increase."

By his own argument, Republicans and Trump are voting en mass to tax Americans more for their health care.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:30 PM on March 9 [21 favorites]


Rep. Waters issued a clarifying statement on the pee tape.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:31 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Here are the details on Spicy's separation of powers nonsense.
posted by diogenes at 1:31 PM on March 9


Could Canada at least invade Minnesota? We like Canada! If you let us align our government/currency/etc gradually, I'm sure everything would go fine. We're a highly educated state with many sites of natural beauty and a healthy population. The MPLS-St Paul area is relatively diverse and has historically welcomed immigration, and everyone says that the northern Minnesota accent is practically Canadian anyway.

Otherwise we'll all end up walking over the border into the waiting arms of the Mounties at some point in the Trump administration, you know this.
posted by Frowner at 1:31 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


Grover Norquist is too busy vaping these days.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:31 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


I think it's pretty well established that the US health care system is the most expensive in the world per capita. So if a state wanted to go single payer it would end up saving money wouldn't it?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:32 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


So if a state wanted to go single payer it would end up saving money wouldn't it?

Depends on how much it costs to defend all the lawsuits from private insurance companies, hospitals, and a hostile federal agency or three. Also, "death panels," anecdotes about how somebody's friend's friend's cousin's friend's brother in Canada couldn't get an MRI, attack ads from conservative interest groups, ad nauseam.
posted by fedward at 1:36 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


Rep. Waters issued a clarifying statement on the pee tape.

Saying that you know something is true because you read it in the dossier is kinda sloppy. Save your bullets.
posted by diogenes at 1:38 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


I think it's pretty well established that the US health care system is the most expensive in the world per capita. So if a state wanted to go single payer it would end up saving money wouldn't it?

I think a post-mortem on Vermont's attempt would be interesting right about now.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:39 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


The key here is the phrasing. You have to ask the question as if you accepted the (ludicrous) premise that Trump actually has evidence.

I dunno, I feel like the last thing we need right now is to raise support for Trump's framing.
posted by glhaynes at 1:40 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


To broaden the appeal beyond the AARP set, Democrats should simply call the Republican plan a massive tax increase on the middle class, because that is exactly what it is. The subsidies are tax credits. If you take away tax credits from the middle class, that's a tax increase, plain and simple. And it's not trivial. For many families it will amount to a tax increase of $4000 to $10,000 a year. That's huge for a middle class family.

ah hahahahaha that is beautiful, JackFlash. Republicans are the same dicks who were demanding all welfare and subsidies be administered by the IRS and paid out as tax credits in the first place. You live the by the sword and you die by the sword!
posted by indubitable at 1:50 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


since then Rybolovev's jet has parked on the tarmac near Trump's plane on 3 different occasions at different occasions

I don't know anything about flying, so can you tell me whether that means anything more than "people with private jets use airports"? The Palm Beach Post article doesn't say that Trump and Rybolovev met on those occasions, so what's the actual implication?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:52 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


The MPLS-St Paul area is relatively diverse and has historically welcomed immigration, and everyone says that the northern Minnesota accent is practically Canadian anyway.

Still holding out for this proposed arrangement from around 2004. (Ref.)
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:52 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Saying that you know something is true because you read it in the dossier is kinda sloppy. Save your bullets.

"True" doesn't matter anymore. If the White House says one bullshit thing should be investigated, why not investigate ALL the bullshit there is. Maybe it's true? Maybe it's not? People are talking about it, so we deserve answers.

The obvious trap here is someone calling out "Waters, produce evidence" and her nailing them with "YOU FIRST"...
posted by mikelieman at 1:54 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


In fact, I think the last time I dug up stats, it looked like US government (federal+state+local) health spending is roughly equivalent to Canadian federal+provincial spending, it's just super-inefficiently spent because of all the nonsense in our system.

Yeah, to follow up with this, if I'm reading this correctly: per this chart, US health spending per capita (from all sources) is $9402 and Canadian health spending per capita is $5291 (2014 numbers).

Click on the related chart on the right sidebar entitled "Health expenditure, public (% of total health expenditure)" to see that US health spending by public sources is 48%, whereas for Canada it's 70%.

So if my arithmetic is correct, that yields $4512 per capita in US health spending just from governmental sources, whereas Canada comes in at $3703 per person in public expenditures on health. (All dollars in USD.)

That's even lower than I was thinking. Our system is wild.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:55 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


I dunno, I feel like the last thing we need right now is to raise support for Trump's framing.

That's not framing, it's a factual claim: "Obama tapped my phones, I have proof." Politely downplaying that obviously absurd claim and treating it as unworthy of followup is the normalizing approach. To respond with an eager "Oh do you, that's huge news, please tell us all about it! Oh, you're not going to tell us about your evidence? Why not?" is to call his bluff and deny him the ability to spout unchallenged falsehoods as a display of power.
posted by contraption at 1:56 PM on March 9 [28 favorites]


“There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves,” said Rep. Roger Marshall, a doctor.

“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” Marshall said in response to a question about Medicaid, which expanded under Obamacare to more than 30 states. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

He added that “morally, spiritually, socially,” the poor, including the homeless, “just don’t want health care.”

posted by The Card Cheat at 1:56 PM on March 9 [12 favorites]


I think it's pretty well established that the US health care system is the most expensive in the world per capita. So if a state wanted to go single payer it would end up saving money wouldn't it?
I don't know: I think that some of the high costs are determined at the national, not the state level. So, for instance, doctors' salaries are a lot higher in the US than in other countries, and you would still need to compete with other states for doctors. Drug prices are higher here, and I'm not sure that a state could get cheaper drugs.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:57 PM on March 9


And it gets worse. Check out this Talking Points Memo chart showing how the
GOP Plan's Insurance Tax Credits Get Stingier Over Time.
posted by justso at 1:58 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


He added that “morally, spiritually, socially,” the poor, including the homeless, “just don’t want health care.”

Just like yelling at somebody to get on their feet when you're standing on their neck.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:59 PM on March 9 [15 favorites]


In some ways I wish the Republicans would just say "Poor people are not really people and we don't care about them," instead of dragging poor old Jesus into this and claiming he would be ok with their cruelty. Own your evil, you lousy SOBs.
posted by emjaybee at 2:00 PM on March 9 [66 favorites]


contraption: "To respond with an eager "Oh do you, that's huge news, please tell us all about it! Oh, you're not going to tell us about your evidence? Why not?" is to call his bluff and deny him the ability to spout unchallenged falsehoods as a display of power."

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was going for. The interaction that diogenes linked above was pretty close, although the question was more like "Why won't Trump show Congress the evidence?" (which gave Spicey an opening for his separation of powers nonesense) rather than "Why won't Trump show the American people the evidence?"
posted by mhum at 2:02 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


the republicans would literally deport jesus actual christ from the US if he showed up, i want them to all be struck by lightning every time they invoke his fucking name
posted by poffin boffin at 2:04 PM on March 9 [67 favorites]


Hell, ICE stormtroopers would rip Him out of Mary's arms and throw them into separate camps. No one would see Joseph ever again.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:06 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


So, I don't tune into Spicey Time but has anyone asked: 'Why won't the president release the evidence he has regarding Obama's illegal wiretapping?' The key here is the phrasing.

How about "put up or shut up"?
Or "put up or shut up, sir" if you don't want to be rude.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:07 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


And it gets worse. Check out this Talking Points Memo chart showing how the
GOP Plan's Insurance Tax Credits Get Stingier Over Time.


Yep. This is the part people don't realize. It's not that the tax credits are stingy (they are woefully inadequate even in the first year), but the really bad news is that they're not linked to the cost of premiums. The ACA tax credits are set based on the actual costs of premiums in the marketplace, such that they rise to have healthcare take up the same percentage of a family's budget each year (if they're eligible for subsidies anyway). The AHCA credits rise much more slowly, which is really going to hurt in a few years.
posted by zachlipton at 2:07 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


So, I don't tune into Spicey Time but has anyone asked: 'Why won't the president release the evidence he has regarding Obama's illegal wiretapping?' The key here is the phrasing.

The variation I prefer is more like: "Why is the President withholding crucial evidence of wrongdoing by the former President from Congress? Why is the President obstructing a Congressional investigation?"
posted by zachlipton at 2:09 PM on March 9 [17 favorites]


My preferred variation is "how high was the President when he sent out that tweet?"
posted by uosuaq at 2:12 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


David Friedman: Man who said liberal Jews are worse than Nazi collaborators approved as new US Ambassador to Israel by Senate panel

Mr Friedman now has to be confirmed by the full senate. With the senate weighted 52-48 in favour of the Republicans, Mr Friedman would expect that to happen.

Yet nothing is certain. Members of the Republican-led panel on Thursday voted 12-9 - a move that played out largely along party lines and a possible indication of a battle that may lie ahead. New Jersey senator Bob Menendez broke ranks with his fellow Democrats to support Mr Friedman

posted by futz at 2:16 PM on March 9 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah, the other fun fact is that the ACA tax credits are based on geography: they're set based on what plans are actually available in the Marketplace in your area, not what health care costs someplace else (technically, it's based on the cost of the second lowest cost silver plan). So you can choose whatever plan you want, but the subsidies you get are all based off that actual price. The AHCA tax credits are the same everywhere in the country, just varying based on age (and phasing out with incomes above $75K). Alaska gets completely hosed as a result.
posted by zachlipton at 2:17 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Semi-relevent to Trump's "Enemies of the People" outrage: as part of a Comic Strip of the Day summary of Watergate-era political cartoons (contains a lot of Herblock), Mike Peterson included a pic of a clipping with Richard Nixon's original "Enemies List". Some fun stuff here, including mislabeling Joe Namath's NFL team (most of the celebrities in the "various politicos" section are worth a chuckle), alphabetically listing the Black Panthers and the Brookings Institution together, the "media" list being newspaper-dominated, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and syndicted drama critic Sydney Harris, and the "business" enemies including Jack Valenti of the MPAA and the President of Otis Elevator Company.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:20 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


You know, if a couple of the Blue States could get behind the idea of being Provinces instead, we could finally be bigger than Russia.

C'mon, think about it! I know the walk of shame back to the Queen would chafe, but I'm sure she'll be chill about it, considering.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 2:21 PM on March 9 [12 favorites]


So, I don't tune into Spicey Time but has anyone asked: 'Why won't the president release the evidence he has regarding Obama's illegal wiretapping?' The key here is the phrasing.

The variation I prefer is more like:

My preferred variation is...

I really don't think that there's some perfect phrasing that will bring the whole house of cards down. This same thing happened during the debates, where people kept dreaming up the perfect retort that would put an end to Trump. If it does happen, it will likely be through in-depth investigations, congressional subpoenas, continued intelligence leaks, and general incompetence. Spicey Time is just an insufferable flow of bullshit with no great significance. The only person who is ever likely to pay a price for the lies and deceptions that occur is Sean Spicer.
posted by parallellines at 2:25 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


Regarding planes on tarmacs, I assume they can deny anyone ever got out of the planes. Is there some sort of line-of-sight comms they could have been using?
posted by BentFranklin at 2:26 PM on March 9


the republicans would literally deport jesus actual christ from the US if he showed up, i want them to all be struck by lightning every time they invoke his fucking name

While discussing healing the sick, I asked a Christian "Are you a Christian?", to which they replied "That's irrelevant". Instead of punching him in the face, I ranted about tikkun olam for 20 minutes.
posted by mikelieman at 2:31 PM on March 9 [15 favorites]


Just like Jesus said, 'The poor will always be with us'

I thought it went more like "I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me....The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
posted by kirkaracha at 2:31 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


parallellines: "I really don't think that there's some perfect phrasing that will bring the whole house of cards down."

Yeah, that's probably right. Theoretically, some press conference phrasing could move the larger media narrative. But, there's likely too much institutional inertia in normal media (e.g.: classic "objective" both-sides-ism and assumptions of good faith) as well as coordinated push-back from the Fox/Breitbart right-wing machine to actually be effective.
posted by mhum at 2:33 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Regarding planes on tarmacs, I assume they can deny anyone ever got out of the planes. Is there some sort of line-of-sight comms they could have been using?

Here's how it might've gone down.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:34 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I thought it went more like "I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me....The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"

#fakegospel
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:34 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


#fakegospel

#fakegoodnews
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:36 PM on March 9 [27 favorites]


i like the whole "oh their planes were near each other a bunch of times therefore CONSPIRACY" thing because it reminds me of the time that me and my mom were alone in an elevator together and due to our extreme self-involvement did not notice the other sole living member of our immediate family in a small enclosed moving box for 26 floors.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:39 PM on March 9 [25 favorites]


Here's how it might've gone down.

I was thinking you'd link to this.
posted by peeedro at 2:40 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Inside The Investigation To Get To The Bottom Of Russia’s Role In The Election. Officials from the Senate Intelligence Committee worry that the drive to look for a smoking gun on collusion, which likely doesn't exist, is overshadowing the broader point about Russia influencing the election.

It's also worth revisiting this 2015 article on the role of the Senate Parliamentarian in deciding what can be passed through reconciliation with 50 votes under the Byrd Rule.
posted by zachlipton at 2:43 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


> EPA chief Scott Pruitt disagrees that CO2 is primary contributor to global warming: report

Trump's EPA Chief Denies the Basic Science of Climate Change. He has no evidence. He’ll successfully mislead people anyway.
posted by homunculus at 2:43 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Jesus said, 'The poor will always be with us'

I looked it up to make sure it's not actually from Shakespeare or somewhere else. It's from the Bible all right, but I'm not quite sure the guy understands it....definitely sure I don't; it seems kind of deep-ish. I am pretty sure that He said you can help the poor after this one time......but I have a sick feeling that this bit been co-opted into the Prosperity Gospel thing (where my 2nd vacation home = anointing the Lord? ) by now.......
posted by thelonius at 2:45 PM on March 9


Pretty sure that "poor people - whaddya want from Me?" was not Jesus' considered position.
posted by thelonius at 2:48 PM on March 9 [10 favorites]




The accepted interpretations of that verse are of course familiar but so what if it really did mean what it sounds like to a Republican ear? it's not like anything is right or wrong because Jesus, of all people, said so.
posted by queenofbithynia at 2:52 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


In theory, members of a religion are supposed to do what the founder of that religion says. In theory.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:56 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


The quote in question is a reference to Deuteronomy 15; the full sentence there reads, "Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, 'Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.'"

The whole passage is quite remarkable, actually:
Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts. And this is the manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the community, because the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed. Of a foreigner you may exact it, but you must remit your claim on whatever any member of your community owes you. There will, however, be no one in need among you, because the Lord is sure to bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a possession to occupy, if only you will obey the Lord your God by diligently observing this entire commandment that I command you today. When the Lord your God has blessed you, as he promised you, you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, "The seventh year, the year of remission, is near," and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land."

If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and works for you six years, in the seventh year you shall set that person free. And when you send a male slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; for this reason I lay this command upon you today. But if he says to you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his earlobe into the door, and he shall be your slave forever.
So yeah. Not only is care for the poor mandatory, but also specific regulations were established to try to ensure that debt cannot become overly burdensome by means of a mechanism for periodic, systematic debt forgiveness. We see also that regulation for the humane treatment of slaves was established, and slavery was also not permanent but lasted for a fixed period, after which the owner was required to provide specific goods that would enable the former slave to have food, and to be economically independent (I'm assuming that's what the flocks are for). The freedperson even gets wine.

GOP policies: more barbaric than a literal Iron-Age law code.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:00 PM on March 9 [85 favorites]


Remember Carter Page's batshit letter to the Justice Department? He's written a new one to the Senate Intelligence Committee. He keeps wavering on his actual connection to the campaign. He played it up big during the election, acted like he basically did nothing other than attend rallies with tens of thousands of people in recent interviews, and now he wants us to know how much time he spent at the Trump Tower eateries (and campaign HQ):
But in a letter late Wednesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Page cast himself as a regular presence in Trump Tower, where the campaign was headquartered.

"I have frequently dined in Trump Grill, had lunch in Trump Café, had coffee meetings in the Starbucks at Trump Tower, attended events and spent many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor last year," Page wrote. He also noted that his office building in New York "is literally connected to the Trump Tower building by an atrium."
posted by zachlipton at 3:01 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


In theory, members of a religion are supposed to do what the founder of that religion says. In theory.

in some religions, sure. but a lot of people who are not necessarily members of that religion seemed puzzled by the idea that Jesus could have said something that sounds bad, as if this were a paradox that must be resolved by declaring either that it isn't bad or he didn't say it.

and in this particular case, that works out. happily.

but it's not a good way to bet, putting the forgone conclusion before the argument. in my personal opinion, which is as sound as any prophet's or messiah's, if not sounder.
posted by queenofbithynia at 3:01 PM on March 9


Somewhat clickbaity, but interesting, The staggering, sudden change at the US border:
Has President Donald Trump, in his first six weeks in office, singlehandedly secured the US/Mexico border — simply by scaring people out of coming to the US?

It sounds absurd. But it’s plausible.

In the first two months of 2017, apprehensions of people crossing into the US from Mexico have fallen by more than half. In December, US Border Patrol agents caught 43,254 people trying to cross into the United States; in February, they caught 18,762.
posted by peeedro at 3:02 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


The point is that even your have-provinces like Alberta and BC are pretty tiny by US standards and can sustain single-payer, because the cost of health care delivery is like 60% of our per-capita cost.

I'm sure the actuaries have the exact numbers, but there is a point at which a risk pool is near as dammit in character to the actual population, a bit like margin of error in polls. The biggest pool in many states is the state employee pool, which is typically pretty diversified because it covers a lot of age cohorts and jobs. You can also look at large company pools that self-insure, the ones where premiums aren't blown sky-high because a single employee has a difficult pregnancy.

Perhaps that's a way to finagle things for self-employed people over the 400% FPL threshold: let people buy into the state employee pool. Premiums won't be cheap, and the standard adverse selection stuff applies, but the actuarial stuff would be more straightforward.
posted by holgate at 3:06 PM on March 9


So basically, Jesus is being really sarcastic? He's really saying, "You are so upset about using this fancy nard instead of selling it and giving the money to the poor, but in the rest of your life you don't seem to care about the poor or the word of god, because as we all know, the poor you will always have with you unless you follow the scriptures, and since you seem to have poor people with you, I can tell that in your daily life you are not following the scriptures, so your exaggerated concern over this special occasion use of nard is kind of bullshit". Or maybe he's saying "put up or shut up"?
posted by Frowner at 3:07 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


GOP Health Care Bill Would Cut CDC Fund to Fight Killer Diseases
Bird flu has started killing more people in China, and no one's sure why. Zika virus is set to come back with a vengeance as the weather warms up and mosquitoes get hungry. Yellow fever is spreading in Brazil, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are evolving faster than doctors can keep up with them.

And the new health care replacement bill released Monday night by Republican leaders in Congress would slash a billion-dollar prevention fund designed to help protect against those and other threats.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund accounts for 12 percent of the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2010 Affordable Care Act set it up specifically to try to lower health costs by preventing diseases before they happen. The CDC uses it to help states deliver vaccines, watch for infectious diseases, keep an eye out for lead in water, promote breastfeeding in hospitals, prevent suicide and watch out for hospital-associated infections. It totals $931 million for 2017.

"It really is a core activity," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director.

Not only would the proposed American Health Care Act explicitly cut the fund, but President Donald Trump has said his 2018 budget would chop domestic spending and funnel more cash to the Defense Department.
Imagine How Bad the Republican Budget Could Be. It's Worse. And it's only going to get worse.
This would be madness even under a government that wasn't so full of people invested in denying what's going on with the planet. The climate crisis is going to bring us more bad storms, so let's gut FEMA and the Coast Guard. The climate crisis—and the globalized society—already has produced dangerous epidemics, one of which reached as far as Houston, so let's shred the CDC, and especially the program designed to fight that very phenomenon.

And let's do it secure in the knowledge that this president thinks the climate crisis is a Chinese hoax, and that he will sign anything in front of him because he doesn't know dick about anything and because it will give him a big, beautiful wall in front of which to pose. These really are the fcking mole people.
posted by homunculus at 3:07 PM on March 9 [29 favorites]


Video: Sean Spicer doesn't know. Today.

(This could be a bit unfair, since being a good Press Secretary involves not making stuff up when you don't know the answer, but this is a fairly astonishing amount of things he didn't know today.)
posted by zachlipton at 3:07 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]




So basically, Jesus is being really sarcastic? He's really saying, "You are so upset about using this fancy nard instead of selling it and giving the money to the poor, but in the rest of your life you don't seem to care about the poor or the word of god, because as we all know, the poor you will always have with you unless you follow the scriptures, and since you seem to have poor people with you, I can tell that in your daily life you are not following the scriptures, so your exaggerated concern over this special occasion use of nard is kind of bullshit". Or maybe he's saying "put up or shut up"?

Yes; and in the context of the story there is theological weight relating to the fact that Jesus' body is symbolically being prepared for burial with this perfume. He is, if you will, a dead man walking, about to be consumed by the powers of the world, and she is making an extravagant, costly gesture of love for him.

It's also a statement about art and beauty.

There are a lot of things happening in this story, but none of them is Jesus saying "fuck the poors".
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:13 PM on March 9 [38 favorites]


CNN: Sources: FBI investigation continues into 'odd' computer link between Russian bank and Trump Organization

Wow. I never thought this story would have legs.

Two thousand, eight hundred times.
posted by mikelieman at 3:13 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


So basically, Jesus is being really sarcastic?

I also think it's an error to read that quote as some kind of isolated dictum, in isolation from its very dramatic context, placed just before Judas betrays Him. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it seems pretty significant, especially given the bent for parables in the text.
posted by thelonius at 3:14 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


> Trump gave away the game: Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I'm told.

Their plan is win-win for Republicans dying in the streets enthusiasts. Either they pass a bill that kills healthcare in America and tax cuts for the rich; or the bill fails, they let healthcare markets fall into a death spiral anyway, and blame Democrats for it to win a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority in 2018, and then kill healthcare in America anyway.


Trump is already taking actions to sabotage Obamacare. His administration has already taken action to impede the legislation.
posted by homunculus at 3:15 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]




"I have frequently dined in Trump Grill, had lunch in Trump Café, had coffee meetings in the Starbucks at Trump Tower, attended events and spent many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor last year," Page wrote. He also noted that his office building in New York "is literally connected to the Trump Tower building by an atrium."

"I'm TOTALLY with the band. I hung out by the stage door and the tour bus, and sometimes the security guy would let me backstage, and I went to lots of band parties. I even got their name tattooed on my shoulder, see?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:22 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


Wow. I never thought this story would have legs.

Centipedes have nothing if not legs.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:25 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


re: Border crossing from Canada

A case of not-terribad news; an acquaintance of mine is the head supervisor at an agricultural company in Washington state but resides in British Columbia and crosses the border (Aldergrove crossing) on an almost daily basis.

His company has about 20 people who do this; said acquaintance is S. Asian with a very "funny" name, and his second in command is S. American-looking.

"It's [sic] really friendly environment at the border in aldergrove. I never had an issue so far."
posted by porpoise at 3:25 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, it's unfortunate that eschatology is mostly the preserve of wingnuts these days, because I honestly think it's possible that the literal, actual Antichrist has taken power.

I'm very nervous about those bowls of plague the angels are supposed to pour out (yeah okay, the bowls could be metaphorical but the plagues sure ain't). I can't figure out if we start at bowl one or if we're already several bowls in. Are we starting with infectious disease, polluted oceans, polluted rivers, unbearable heat? I can't pick just one.
posted by tel3path at 3:27 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


Has President Donald Trump, in his first six weeks in office, singlehandedly secured the US/Mexico border — simply by scaring people out of coming to the US?

It sounds absurd. But it’s plausible.


Are they scared of coming because of increased enforcement, or is it that the US is no longer viewed as a place to want to get into?
posted by nubs at 3:28 PM on March 9 [12 favorites]


Wow. I never thought this story would have legs.

Me neither, and that report makes me revise my previous thinking on it. Random backscatter mailout traffic doesn't account for it. Maybe dead links to image embeds in old emails goes some way, but probably not. And when you start ruling out innocuous explanations, you start heading into "innocuous but really unusual" (which is probably what the experts are racking their brains over) and then into the domain of directed traffic, whether automated or done manually: VPNs, SSH tunnels, command-and-control backdoors, and so on.
posted by holgate at 3:37 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


porpoise: ""It's [sic] really friendly environment at the border in aldergrove. I never had an issue so far.""

While this is a good data point by itself, it actually points to a somewhat deeper problem. The CBP officers appear to have near unlimited discretion with little to no oversight or avenues for appeal. So, travelers are essentially at the mercy of each individual CBP officer. This is actually not new but rather how it's always been. So, the CBP at Aldergrove might be all nice and reasonable. But the officers at different entry ports could be fascist racists and there wouldn't be a damn thing anyone outside the executive branch could do about it.
posted by mhum at 3:46 PM on March 9 [10 favorites]


Trump White House Score Card:

Foreign Policy D
Domestic Policy F-
Social Affairs TBD but most likely not a passing grade:

What is to Become of the White House Easter Egg Roll?
the presence of giant bunnies aside, planning for this behemoth is not to be taken lightly. A former White House official described it like this: "You have 35,000 or more people coming in, so you're coordinating five different time slots, each of 7,000 to 8,000 people. Programming for each time slot, 7 or 8 stages, 5 consecutive two-hour events, activity zone, sports."

Over the years, the event has featured celebrities like J.K. Rowling reading to one group of kids (something tells us the Harry Potter author won't be there this year) and Shaq shooting hoops with another. Justin Bieber appeared, as did Power Rangers, Joe Jonas, and Troy Aikman. Coordinating all of this effort are 1,000 volunteers, all of whom have to be recruited and screened for security. Then there are also about 30 security checkpoints that have to be manned by Secret Service teams, which requires planning and staffing.

As of this week, the first step in the process, the complex ticket lottery, has not yet happened.
The Official Egg Roll Date is April 17

Then there is this:
Wells Wood Turning, a Maine company that produced as many as 75,000 to 100,000 wooden eggs for most of the last 10 White House rolls, has tweeted at President and First Lady as well as Ivanka Trump, with a plaintive request for news. "FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near. Please reach out!" read one on Feb. 20,
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:47 PM on March 9 [36 favorites]


"FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near. Please reach out!" read one on Feb. 20.

Oh god. And if they did finally receive an order, no way would they get paid for them.
posted by holgate at 3:52 PM on March 9 [26 favorites]


Yeah, Wells may have dodged a bullet there...
posted by downtohisturtles at 3:54 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Fiver says Trump's got them made cheap in China.
posted by MattWPBS at 3:59 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


What is to Become of the White House Easter Egg Roll?

Sean Spicer might just climb right back into the bunny suit and never come out.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:00 PM on March 9 [14 favorites]


Boy, Trump knows how to pick em

WSJ Few Recall Gorsuch’s Volunteer Work at Harvard
[You might get behind paywall through twitter]
When President Donald Trump introduced his Supreme Court pick on live television last week, he said Neil Gorsuch had “demonstrated a commitment to helping the less fortunate” by working in the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project and the Harvard Defenders. [...]

But roughly three dozen students who participated in the two programs while Mr. Gorsuch was at Harvard Law School from 1988 to 1991 said they have no recollection of his involvement. “If he was active in PLAP I am sure I would remember him,” said Elizabeth Buckley Lewis, who attended Harvard at the same time as Mr. Gorsuch. Now a New York City tax lawyer who advises nonprofits, she said PLAP was her “most meaningful experience” at Harvard.
Almost everyone of the many people contacted said they had no recollection of him involved with PLAP. Only one person said they remember him but could not provide any details. Gorsuch appears in none of the group photos nor is he listed under "not pictured." One man was friends with Gorsuch and they sat next to each in class but even he has no memory of Gorsuch participating.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:01 PM on March 9 [27 favorites]


Spicer ducking the question on whether the President has full confidence in Janet Yellen is not a good look.

Vanity Fair: The One Woman Who Could Derail Trump’s Presidency -- No, it’s not Hillary Clinton.
While he was running for president, Donald Trump had some not entirely kind words for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Yellen, Trump alleged, “should be ashamed of herself” for conspiring with Barack Obama to keep interest rates low and to create a “false stock market,” thus allowing the Kenyan pretender to “go play golf,” exit the presidency on a high note, and leave his predecessor to deal with the fallout. Now that Trump is in office, he has, unsurprisingly, changed his view entirely.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:06 PM on March 9 [12 favorites]




I don't know anything about flying, so can you tell me whether that means anything more than "people with private jets use airports"? The Palm Beach Post article doesn't say that Trump and Rybolovev met on those occasions, so what's the actual implication?

Have we already forgotten the shitstorm about Bill Clinton's public tarmac visit with Loretta Lynch, who had to recuse herself from Hillary's investigation? Apparently that's just as bad as lying to Congress about secret meetings with Russians. Here's Jared Kushner's Observer on the subject.

Like all good journalists, the Palm Beach Post authors are signalling that there is potentially something there but they don't have any direct proof yet that there is, while encouraging other journalists to dig into the uncanny coincidence. Here's another article from McClatchy that looks at a different Trump/Rybolovev jet rendesvous in Charlotte. Rybolovev spends most of his time in Europe and Russia but a lot of his US visits overlap precisely with Trump's visits in places such as Charlotte NC and Las Vegas. EG in Vegas, his plane landed just as Trump was finishing up a rally downtown, stayed for 2 hours and 2 minutes, then left.

An interesting detail they add: Rybolovev's spokesman and business partner Brian Cattell is a former Breitbart writer. Their company website shows him appearing on Russia Today TV. They also note that Rybolovev's drastically overmarket purchase of Trump's flipped mansion came in 2008 -- in the middle of the real estate crash that almost destroyed the US economy, as prices were plummeting everywhere and especially in Florida.
posted by msalt at 4:11 PM on March 9 [29 favorites]


Brazil visitors to USA will shrink.
Brazil and Visa Backlash?
posted by adamvasco at 4:15 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


So the first Gorsuch documents delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the White House... had a cover memo instructing people to contact the liaison at his personal email rather than his government email. #ButHerEmails
posted by chris24 at 4:19 PM on March 9 [46 favorites]


Isn't the main problem with state-based single payer the inability to stop out-of-staters from coming in to use it without having to pay the requisite taxes?

No the main problem is out-of-stater insurance companies. Under the new Republican rules they are repealing the minimums on what counts as a Qualified Health Plan. These requirements include maximum deductibles, maximum co-pays, and minimum coverage of medical expenses, 70%.

Without these restrictions, private insurance companies can come in and issue dirt cheap catastrophic insurance. They will cherry pick off all the healthy people, leaving the sick people in the state run single-payer pool, because these healthy people always know they can hop right into the better plan if they get sick.

This is know as the adverse selection death spiral. Since the single-payer pool has sicker people, its premiums have to go up. And as premiums go up, more and more of the less sick leave for cheaper insurance. This causes premiums to go up more, which leads to more people fleeing.

You won't be able to run a single-payer program under the new Republican law. It would quickly go broke.

Single-payer could exist under Obamacare because single-payer and private insurers are both required to offer similar plans with similar benefits.
posted by JackFlash at 4:20 PM on March 9 [27 favorites]


I think Rob Graham's thread is the best way to look at the Alfa server thing: weird unexplained coincidences show up in tech forensics, a lot of them are just weird coincidences and blind allies (because forensics relies upon incomplete information) but some of them are strands that you can tug at and reveal other things.

The Rybolovev flight patterns are pretty similar in a different context: the US is a big country with a lot of airports, and when the travel of candidates (and presidents) is typically accompanied by ATC and ground restrictions, you'd assume that private pilots would avoid those airports for routine refuelling stops.

One thing that isn't unclear is that Richard Burt, who's on Alfa's advisory board, had a big role in writing that April foreign policy speech while lobbying for a Russian (state-owned) pipeline.
posted by holgate at 4:26 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


So the first Gorsuch documents delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the White House... had a cover memo instructing people to contact the liaison at his personal email rather than his government email. #ButHerEmails

To be clear, that's the Bush administration private server from 2005, the one they deleted millions and millions of emails from. It's an old document, but still completely unacceptable.
posted by zachlipton at 4:28 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Could you pass state level legislation that compelled those minimums (or parity or whatever) from private insurers? If so that doesn't seem more difficult than creating a single payer system in the first place.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:29 PM on March 9


Could you pass state level legislation that compelled those minimums (or parity or whatever) from private insurers? If so that doesn't seem more difficult than creating a single payer system in the first place.

Not if they let insurers sell across state lines and if you can't/won't mandate that the healthy population have insurance you'll see premiums go up exponentially and/or insurers withdraw from the market.
posted by Talez at 4:31 PM on March 9


Jennifer Rubin, WaPo: A populist agenda based on Fox News hooey fizzles

With a lot of pretentious talk about the “deconstruction of the administrative state” and political fantasies (tariffs that don’t provoke retaliation, for example), Stephen K. Bannon and President Trump hoped to transform the GOP into an ethno-nationalist, pro-Russia party akin to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the National Front in France and the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom (headed by Geert Wilders). We will see how the European counterparts do in elections throughout the year, but so far the Trumpist GOP and its hodgepodge of ill-conceived ideas gleaned from Fox News (with its obsession over illegal immigration for which it provides oodles of incorrect data) have fallen flat.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:33 PM on March 9 [15 favorites]


Could you pass state level legislation that compelled those minimums (or parity or whatever) from private insurers? If so that doesn't seem more difficult than creating a single payer system in the first place.

The whole point of the "sell insurance across state lines" thing is to essentially make state-level rules irrelevant. States already had a whole bunch of rules that varied, with California requiring all health insurance sold in the state cover, say, pregnancy and mental health care, and other states allowing much more of a free-for-all. If Congress essentially preempts that, it allows for a race to the bottom, where some random state, say Delaware, can market itself as the least restrictive for insurance companies. All the insurance companies base themselves in Delaware and sell whatever plans they feel like into all the other states.

Those plans will be cheap, because they don't cover that much, and the young healthy people will buy them. Then the only plans actually offered in your state will just consist of increasingly sick people as the premiums go up and up.
posted by zachlipton at 4:35 PM on March 9 [29 favorites]


Oh, and the Charlotte stop is even curiouser: Rybolovev's plane landed at Concord (the little airport next to the motor speedway, typically used by NASCAR teams), possibly dropped someone off, spent an hour on the ground refuelling, then flew 20 miles to Charlotte-Douglas, after which the orange menace's 757 arrived.

Who flies from one side of a city to another in a private jet without having a reason for it?
posted by holgate at 4:42 PM on March 9 [34 favorites]


Maybe the second Charlotte airport had the Cinnabon.
posted by notyou at 4:47 PM on March 9 [51 favorites]


HUH I wasn't seeing one of the shittier parts of this at all

Every once in a while I run up against something that just strikes me as a visceral "NO that cannot be legal," and I'm reminded how much I don't know about constitutional law (among other things). this is one of them.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:47 PM on March 9


If Congress essentially preempts that, it allows for a race to the bottom, where some random state, say Delaware, can market itself as the least restrictive for insurance companies. All the insurance companies base themselves in Delaware and sell whatever plans they feel like into all the other states. Those plans will be cheap, because they don't cover that much, and the young healthy people will buy them. Then the only plans actually offered in your state will just consist of increasingly sick people as the premiums go up and up.


It is, perhaps, worth mentioning that this is also a giant 'fuck you' to the ideology of state's right, to which the Trump administration has repeatedly (albeit selectively) deferred -- 'allowing' insurers to sell policies across state lines requires the federal government to overrule the discernment of the states, and remove the minimum barriers to entry and minimum coverage requirements that they'd all set.

I don't think Trump actually cares one way or the other about the issue, and Republicans in general are constantly hypocritical about the concept of state's rights, but this, in particular, is such a glaring example of that continual hypocrisy it's hard to ignore.
posted by cjelli at 4:53 PM on March 9 [26 favorites]




A little more about those planes including 7 visits to New York earlier last year usually coinciding with a Trump presence. No fire but plenty of smoke.
Wilbor Ross seems to have brokered the overpriced Mansion deal.
posted by adamvasco at 4:59 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


this, in particular, is such a glaring example of that continual hypocrisy it's hard to ignore.

The GOP, news media, and voting public will take that as a dare.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:01 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Ezra Klein from Vox is a guest on Pod Save America and he discusses tha AHCA bill--stressing the hypocrisy of the Republicans in jamming it through without knowing the effects it will have on the numbers insured or the deficit. He has an idea that Democrats should run in 2020 on asimple 3 step plan:
1) Everyone making 300% of the poverty line is covered with MediCaid.
2) Everyone over 49 buys into Medicare.
3) Everyone else is highly subsidized to buy good insurance with low deductibles paid for with taxes on the rich.

Done. So much of what went wrong with Obamacare was attempting to keep costs down and appease moderate Republicans. They weren't generous enough which led people to complain about ObamaCare and also led to ill will against Democrats.Obviously the Republicans don't care about the deficit so why should the Democrats?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:05 PM on March 9 [40 favorites]


Strike 1) and 3) and change 49 to 0 and the plan is even simpler.
posted by zachlipton at 5:10 PM on March 9 [29 favorites]


adamvasco, your link is bad. Did you mean this?
posted by Coventry at 5:10 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


The democrats should organize a "backup" egg roll, just in case the WH can't get it's shit together.
posted by VTX at 5:12 PM on March 9 [27 favorites]


Because we are at a time when MAD Magazine is providing cogent political thought:
MAD EXPLAINS THE GOP’S AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT LOGO.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:15 PM on March 9 [20 favorites]


Because we are at a time when MAD Magazine is providing cogent political thought:

mad magazine provides cogent political thought significantly more often than time magazine
posted by murphy slaw at 5:19 PM on March 9 [16 favorites]


Online dissidents expose the Russian prime minister’s material empire

-- But as of Thursday, Mr. Navalny’s biting, often humorous and slickly produced video (in Russian with English subtitles) had been viewed 7.4 million times on YouTube and attracted 40,000 comments. It’s a testimony not only to the staggering corruption of the regime of Vladi­mir Putin, but also to the power of the Internet and social media to expose it and inform Russians about it.

-- Mr. Navalny’s conclusion is stark: “Medvedev can steal so much and so openly because Putin does the same, only on a grander scale; because everyone in government does the same, because the judges and the prosecutors and the special services are also doing the same. . . . The system is so rotten that there is nothing healthy left.”


Looks like Mr. Navalny ought to start looking over his shoulder...often.
posted by futz at 5:21 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Looks like Mr. Navalny ought to start looking over his shoulder...often

Alex Navalny has been on the Russian government's shit list for over a decade, he knows.
posted by suelac at 5:26 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Yes, Zachlipton, I agree. I 'm not sure why he didn't want to go that far.

Thinking about the idea though of promises made to the electorate, we had DJT saying, "I will make all your dreams come true." We have also had numerous Republicans accuse the poor of voting for Democrats for the handouts--as though the wealthy didn't vote Republican for the tax cuts. So what I propose is that the Democrats go all out and offer every possible goody under the sun: free healthcare, free college, free public transport, solar panels on every roof, free broadband. $15.00 min wage, free drug rehab, free birth control, free child care. Free school lunches, free tutoring, free music programs, and free summer camp. Anything I'm missing?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:28 PM on March 9 [12 favorites]


Include dental* and mental with the healthcare, and I'm in SLoG.

*teeth are part of your body, dentistry is a medical specialty, gum infections can kill you why the fuck are we still acting like "teeth" exist in a different universe of medicine than "spleens," this makes me so angry.
posted by emjaybee at 5:32 PM on March 9 [88 favorites]


It's worth noting that private jets typically go to a secure, secluded area of an airport apart from commercial traffic, thousands of feet away from anyone else except the odd billionaire or two. If you want a private meeting away from the press, it's probably about as secretive as you can get.
posted by JackFlash at 5:36 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Heh, emjaybee I was thinking "dental and vision" just before I read your comment. I completely agree that dental health is very important--I've had an abscessed tooth that left a hole in my jaw and it's insane that health insurance doesn't cover that. I was lucky to have the $2000 for a root canal and a crown and pain pills. I can't imagine the nightmare not having a couple hundred bucks for a dental visit and extraction.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:47 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


I thought it went more like "I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me....The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"

The real kicker is the bit that comes next.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 5:49 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


How out of the loop is the State Department? Mexico has a delegation in town. It's a high-level thing, headed by their Foreign Minister, with the Secretary of Commerce holding a press conference with his Mexican counterpart tomorrow. The State Department spokesman didn't even know this was happening.
posted by zachlipton at 5:52 PM on March 9 [22 favorites]


Ooh yeah vision too SloG! Eyeballs=also part of the human body and therefore eligible for medical attention!
posted by emjaybee at 5:53 PM on March 9 [8 favorites]


Tillerson is a busy man, you can't be bothering him with dumb stuff like "his job".
posted by Artw at 5:55 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


It's hard to believe that the FBI hasn't been able to come to a conclusion one way or the other after six months of looking at that server.
posted by diogenes at 5:56 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Ooh yeah vision too SloG! Eyeballs=also part of the human body and therefore eligible for medical attention!

yeah I mean my ophthalmologist even went to real medical school, so I don't know what the justifications are there for keeping it separate, other than "fuck you, we don't want to pay for it".
posted by indubitable at 5:56 PM on March 9 [16 favorites]


...spent an hour on the ground refuelling, then flew 20 miles to Charlotte-Douglas, after which the orange menace's 757 arrived.

Who flies from one side of a city to another in a private jet without having a reason for it?


I used to do this frequently when I flew propeller planes. Gas was much much cheaper at the smaller airport.
posted by procrastination at 6:05 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


It's hard to believe that the FBI hasn't been able to come to a conclusion one way or the other after six months of looking at that server.

It's DNS lookup traffic, a very very indirect indicator of what might actually be happening. However, that new CNN article has a very striking point that was not reported back in August.
From May 4 until September 23, the Russian bank looked up the address to this Trump corporate server 2,820 times -- more lookups than the Trump server received from any other source.

As noted, Alfa Bank alone represents 80% of the lookups, according to these leaked internet records. Far back in second place, with 714 such lookups, was a company called Spectrum Health. Spectrum is a medical facility chain led by Dick DeVos, the husband of Betsy DeVos, who was appointed by Trump as U.S. education secretary.

Together, Alfa and Spectrum accounted for 99% of the lookups.
There were also two individual lookups from The Netherlands.
posted by msalt at 6:07 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


Speaking of driving conservatives crazy with verses from the gospels, I recently discovered this verse has a particularly maddening effect:

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Luke 6:30


Recently quoted that to a law and order, maga-wall-building conservative on Reddit's /r/Christianity, and was accused of being a communist in return. They just couldn't wrap their minds around this simple command from Jesus. Went against everything they believed, and yet it was right there in the book they supposedly take as literal, unerring truth.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:07 PM on March 9 [61 favorites]


yeah I mean my ophthalmologist even went to real medical school, so I don't know what the justifications are there for keeping it separate, other than "fuck you, we don't want to pay for it".

My opthalmology is covered by medical insurance, my optometry is covered by vision insurance. (And some offices bill both, depending on the service.)

But yes, dental+vision should absolutely be covered if we're going to all the trouble of rebuilding the healthcare payment system.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 6:08 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


It's hard to believe that the FBI hasn't been able to come to a conclusion one way or the other after six months of looking at that server.

Coming soon: George Clooney in Men Who Stare at Servers.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:12 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


So what I propose is that the Democrats go all out and offer every possible goody under the sun: free healthcare, free college, free public transport, solar panels on every roof, free broadband. $15.00 min wage, free drug rehab, free birth control, free child care. Free school lunches, free tutoring, free music programs, and free summer camp. Anything I'm missing?

A round of applause.

Also maybe a UBI type thing.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:13 PM on March 9 [16 favorites]


>>Who flies from one side of a city to another in a private jet without having a reason for it?
>I used to do this frequently when I flew propeller planes. Gas was much much cheaper at the smaller airport.


Very interesting, thanks.

In contrast to your prop plane frugality though, though, Rybolovev flies in an Airbus 319 "about the size of a 737-300. 'It looks like a sheikh's airplane' [said Mike Dockery, president of Concord Air Center] ... Wealth estimators say his [Rybolovev's] fortune has shrunk from an estimated high of $13 billion to somewhere between $7 billion and $9 billion."

I frankly doubt that he's willing to waste a couple hours of his time to save 300 bucks on kerosene.
posted by msalt at 6:16 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


This climate lawsuit could change everything. No wonder the Trump administration doesn’t want it going to trial

-- A groundbreaking climate lawsuit, brought against the federal government by 21 children, has been hailed by environmentalists as a bold new strategy to press for climate action in the United States. But the Trump administration, which has pledged to undo Barack Obama’s climate regulations, is doing its best to make sure the case doesn’t get far.

-- ...And in November, the case cleared a major early hurdle when U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken denied motions filed by the Obama administration, as well as the fossil fuel industry, to have the lawsuit dismissed, ordering that it should proceed to trial.

-- Just last year, a court in the Netherlands ordered the Dutch government to cut carbon emissions by a quarter within five years. Similar climate-related suits have been brought and won in Austria, Pakistan and South Africa.

-- “One of the things that the government argues is that the preservation of documents itself represents a burden on the government,” said Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. “What they’re arguing is that they’ll be irreparably injured by having to go through discovery here.”

This, he added, “sends kind of the wrong signal, or at least a very dangerous signal, in terms of what the government’s priorities are or what it’s thinking of doing. It shouldn’t be any kind of burden for the government to preserve documents that are already in existence.”
posted by futz at 6:20 PM on March 9 [46 favorites]


ACLU Lawyer Files Ethics Complaint Against Jeff Sessions Over Russia Testimony

The Alabama State Bar is being asked to investigate the attorney general’s statements about contact with Russian officials to “determine whether he violated the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct.”
posted by futz at 6:26 PM on March 9 [54 favorites]


This article is kind of a mess, but The Smoking Gun claims to have evidence that Roger Stone was exchanging Twitter DMs with Guccifer 2.0 prior to the wikileaks release of DNC emails.

Wow, that Smoking Gun article really is a mess, though it's full of interesting nuggets and seems to claim that they were also DMing Guccifer 2.0 directly over and over all last year.

GQ has a shorter but actually edited article not written by a coke addict at 3am. It's apparently based on the Smoking Gun article. (Technically I should write "based on the The Smoking Gun article" but I hate that and you can't make me.)
posted by msalt at 6:28 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


> This climate lawsuit could change everything. No wonder the Trump administration doesn’t want it going to trial

More: Our Children's Trust U.S. Federal Climate Lawsuit
posted by homunculus at 6:40 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


Trump administration sends judges to immigration detention centers: sources

The Department of Justice is deploying 50 judges to immigration detention facilities across the United States, according to two sources and a letter seen by Reuters and sent to judges on Thursday.

The department is also considering asking judges to sit from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., split between two rotating shifts, to adjudicate more cases, the sources said. A notice about shift times was not included in the letter.


Fucking ugh. They are expediting removal of immigrants.
posted by futz at 6:45 PM on March 9 [11 favorites]


Remember that story about how Trump was going to bring in a hedge fund guy to investigate the intelligence community? An update on that in Trump’s Intelligence Nominee Gets Early Lesson in Managing White House:
Until last week, the White House was weighing a plan to bring in Stephen A. Feinberg, a co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management and a friend of Mr. Bannon and Mr. Kushner, to lead a White House review of the intelligence community.

Stiff resistance from Mr. Coats and Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency — aided by pushback from allies in the Senate and even Mr. Pence — appears to have derailed the plan. Mr. Feinberg is now in discussions with administration officials to take on a still-undetermined role in defense, rather than intelligence, according to several people familiar with the matter.
...
Mr. Trump was apparently unaware of the fierce resistance within the intelligence community to the proposal until the planned appointment was reported last month. Sen. Richard Burr, the powerful chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, was also not aware of the proposal until then, officials said.
He didn't realize that everyone would freak out about asking some random guy to start investigating the country's spies? That's a pretty alarming lack of basic awareness.
posted by zachlipton at 6:51 PM on March 9 [49 favorites]


'It looks like a sheikh's airplane'

This one, with a paint job straight off an action movie. I can see why it might get noticed on the tarmac.
posted by holgate at 6:59 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Fucking ugh. They are expediting removal of immigrants.

Judges haven't been a friend to this administration. These detentions are so egregious that maybe this will backfire?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:15 PM on March 9 [6 favorites]


He didn't realize that everyone would freak out about asking some random guy to start investigating the country's spies?

To be fair, as a friend pointed out recently, he's also too dumb to know how to lie competently: if there were any chance his claims about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower were true, he could have used his authority to declassify the evidence and proven it on the spot.

It's insane how much outright being lied blatantly to we're expected to just normalize here. You can't just really put a mess like that back in the bottle afterwards and we already had serious enough issues when it comes to the integrity of our political leaders before this newest round of lurching dramatically toward unsustainable fictions.

Some appeasers are trying to find an upside to all the nationalism, but there's not one. Going back toward more intense international competition now is a mistake. Climate change needs better international relations to manage, not more of the same kinds of global competitive pressures that have helped entrench fossil fuels and promoted military expansion (which unless we retool quickly, is carbon costly too).

Hell, the new head of the EPA is an actual climate change denier.

Anybody who thinks there's an upside here in any scenario other than Trump getting booted out ASAP and serious investigations into collusion between his campaign team and foreign intelligence services explicitly aiming to undermine American faith in democracy as a form of political system needs to explain it to me because I can't see it.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:17 PM on March 9 [24 favorites]


Judges haven't been a friend to this administration. These detentions are so egregious that maybe this will backfire?

That is what I am hoping. The article said that they are looking for volunteers first and then will assign Judges. It will be interesting to see how many/who/if anyone takes them up on it.
posted by futz at 7:22 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


White House privately backing earlier rollback of Medicaid expansion

Because the suspense of waiting until 2020 for the joy of cutting off poor people's healthcare and killing them is too much to endure. Despite all of their claims otherwise, Republicans really aren't into delayed gratification.
posted by JackFlash at 7:24 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]




Invasions of Canada have historically not gone well for the US.

Invasions of Canada have historically not happened for the US in over a century.
posted by scalefree at 7:35 PM on March 9


White House privately backing earlier rollback of Medicaid expansion

Because the suspense of waiting until 2020 for the joy of cutting off poor people's healthcare and killing them is too much to endure. Despite all of their claims otherwise, Republicans really aren't into delayed gratification.


Doesn't waiting for 2020 mean the rollback may not effect voters prior to the 2018 elections or the 2020 presidential election? And there's a subset of voters for whom if something hasn't affected them personally, then it clearly didn't happen at all.
posted by beaning at 7:40 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Doesn't waiting for 2020 mean the rollback may not effect voters prior to the 2018 elections or the 2020 presidential election?

They are playing to the Tea Party, mostly upper middle class, which wants poor people dead right now, the sooner the better. Besides, poor people tend not to vote for a lot of reasons, including vote suppression.
posted by JackFlash at 7:45 PM on March 9


NYT: With Trump in White House, His Golf Properties Prosper: Eric Trump defended the overlap, saying it was nothing unusual. “Bush arguably brought name recognition to Crawford, Texas,” Eric Trump said on Thursday, noting that George W. Bush had a ranch there that he frequented. But when pressed — Mr. Bush derived no commercial benefit from his ties to Crawford — Eric Trump then offered a different defense.

“The American people elected a businessman,” he said, adding that to his father the golf courses are “his home” and the fact that they are for-profit enterprises is secondary.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:48 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


'Slimy, Foul-Smelling' Meat And Other Abuses Found At Orange County ICE Detention Center
Federal inspectors found that immigrants detained at an Orange County facility were repeatedly served "slimy, foul-smelling" meat, subjected to moldy showers, and kept in overly restrictive solitary confinement conditions, according to a report issued Monday. The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General's report, which urged to ICE to take immediate action on the issues, stems from a surprise visit made to the Theo Lacy ICE Detention Facility back in November.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:50 PM on March 9 [29 favorites]


The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a state-by-state analysis of how the republican healthcare bill will change the average tax credit by not accounting for geographic variance in healthcare costs. Short answer is this chart; tax credits would fall by an average of $2,100 or 41 percent for marketplace consumers across all HealthCare.gov states, many red states are particularly hard hit, with 11 states having their tax credits cut by more than half.
posted by peeedro at 7:58 PM on March 9 [9 favorites]


I had gum infections that spread to the soft tissue of my cheek and basically it was like *watch the infection march up to your brain*

Then the antibiotics they gave me reorganized my gut flora to the point where I was diagnosed with c-diff

And the medicine they gave me to treat the c-diff had me so sick that I was mega-vomiting and it was definitely one of those things where you're so sick if somebody came along and volunteered to punch you into a coma you'd say go for it I can't be conscious anymore right now.

So, yeah. Teeth.
posted by angrycat at 7:59 PM on March 9 [34 favorites]


OOooh! Kathryn Allen is up to $300 Grand in her race against against Chaffetz.

It was only $80,000 last night.

i am having a very rare squee! moment.
posted by futz at 8:10 PM on March 9 [33 favorites]




what I propose is that the Democrats go all out and offer every possible goody under the sun:

That would require them to form a coalition with their electors instead of their funders. Think they have the guts?
posted by Coventry at 8:22 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


Oops, link. In just two days, Kathryn Allen raised about $300,000 in her campaign against the GOP congressman, Jason Chaffetz.

Um, Chaffetz is a choad, but his seat isn't remotely competitive to a democrat; better to support folks to primary him.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:29 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Um, Chaffetz is a choad, but his seat isn't remotely competitive to a democrat; better to support folks to primary him.

That's not the right attitude!
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:32 PM on March 9 [22 favorites]


We should absolutely support Democratic challengers in each and every district. But if people have limited funds to donate to Democratic candidates they should probably prioritize giving their money in places which are battlegrounds.
posted by Justinian at 8:33 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


Anybody who thinks there's an upside here in any scenario other than Trump getting booted out ASAP...

At this stage it's all various shades of horrifying. I don't see much upside to Pence vs Trump. Pro: no Russian contacts so far, or at least they're explainable. Con: Total alignment with standard Republican agenda, and the skills to push it through with minimal damage to the Republican image.
posted by Coventry at 8:34 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


Pro: If Trump gets impeached with Republican establishment support it would alienate his voters to the point where the Republicans get wiped out in 2018 and 2020.

Pro: It's the right thing to do.

Con: It'll never happen.
posted by Justinian at 8:35 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


Um, Chaffetz is a choad, but his seat isn't remotely competitive to a democrat; better to support folks to primary him.

Okay.
posted by futz at 8:37 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


The important thing to remember is that Chaffetz is a choad.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:39 PM on March 9 [46 favorites]


So I guess the best outcome would be if he's impeached October next year, so Pence is a lame duck.
posted by Coventry at 8:40 PM on March 9 [3 favorites]


Interesting article about how the IRS protects tax returns, with many speculations that Trump's could not be latex from there.
posted by Coventry at 8:54 PM on March 9


Max Boot: WikiLeaks Has Joined the Trump Administration: The anti-American group has become the preferred intelligence service for a conspiracy-addled White House.
As president, Trump hasn’t come out and said anything laudatory about WikiLeaks following its massive disclosure of CIA secrets on Tuesday — a treasure trove that some experts already believe may be more damaging than Edward Snowden’s revelations. But Trump hasn’t condemned WikiLeaks. The recent entries on his Twitter feed — a pure reflection of his unbridled id — contain vicious attacks on, among other things, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the New York Times, and Barack Obama but not a word about WikiLeaks. Did the president not notice that the intelligence community he commands has just suffered a devastating breach of security? Or did he simply not feel compelled to comment?

Actually there is a third, even more discomfiting, possibility: Perhaps Trump is staying silent because he stands to benefit from WikiLeaks’ latest revelations.
posted by homunculus at 8:57 PM on March 9 [22 favorites]


DPRK nukes Mar-a-Lago, a nation shrugs and just cordons off the area.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:57 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Judges haven't been a friend to this administration. These detentions are so egregious that maybe this will backfire?

These would be administrative law judges working for DoJ -- something in between civil servants and regular judges, even more so than most article-1 judges. I'm sure most of them take their job seriously and soberly, like most feds do, but they're probably also coming out of the prosecutorial culture of DoJ instead of an ostensibly-neutral-arbiter culture like article-3 judges.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:04 PM on March 9 [7 favorites]


Max "Das" Boot is a terrible neocon, but he's right about the trend here: the IC is being bypassed and there's clearly some shit going on with Ambassador Lord Flange and J. Assange. The entire policy bit of the State Department has been replaced with "they went to Jared." We're seeing parallel institutions emerge, staffed by a handful of cronies, without any formal accountability.

The NYT's former Cairo correspondent sees parallels to Egypt. I think the test will be when a real crisis occurs, and this rag-tag bare-arsed pack of squatters pretending to be the executive branch has to deal with the damage they've already inflicted. Keeping an eye on that wheezy canary.
posted by holgate at 9:19 PM on March 9 [28 favorites]


I've been wondering about this since the election (emphasis mine):

Congress doesn't like Trump's deleted tweets (and it's not because of the typos)
On Wednesday, the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform sent a letter to the White House expressing concern about the way Trump deletes those typo-filled tweets, preventing them from being cataloged properly by the Presidential Records Act. [...] The letter, signed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in a rare Trump Era show of bipartisanship, also addressed additional concerns about White House employees using private, non-government emails and encryption apps like Signal and Confide to communicate.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:34 PM on March 9 [32 favorites]


Yes, Max Boot is one of the luminaries who sold us the invasion of Iraq as a "small war." See his book The Savage Wars of Peace (the title being a reference to Kipling's white supremacist poem " White Man's Burden.")

I bet Trump dropping marines in Syria got him all hot and bothered.
posted by Coventry at 9:40 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


How about bombs in Yemen? Trump’s Ramped-Up Bombing in Yemen Signals More Aggressive Use of Military
After a week of punishing airstrikes loosed on al Qaeda in Yemen that saw 40 targets go up in flames and smoke, American pilots took a breather the past two nights, watching the dust settle.

The weeklong blitz in Yemen eclipsed the annual bombing total for any year during Obama’s presidency. Under the previous administration, approval for strikes came only after slow-moving policy discussions, with senior officials required to sign off on any action. The Trump administration has proven much quicker at green-lighting attacks.
posted by zachlipton at 10:36 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


Under the previous administration, approval for strikes came only after slow-moving policy discussions, with senior officials required to sign off on any action. The Trump administration has proven much quicker at green-lighting attacks.

The classic "Shoot first, ask questions later" strategy. Also known as "Ready. Fire. Aim."
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:46 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


So, tonight Senator Isakson (R-GA) did a telephone town hall. A friend of mine attended and took notes. The town hall contained this exchange:
----
Tom (from Decatur): The media. What is your opinion on Trump's statement that the media is the enemy of the American people?

Isakson: I think the media and free reporting of news is essential.

Follow-up: Will you publicly denounce the president's statement?

Isakson: "I'm not going to get in a urinating contest with the president."
posted by litlnemo at 10:47 PM on March 9 [39 favorites]


Interesting article about how the IRS protects tax returns, with many speculations that Trump's could not be latex from there.
“I think an I.R.S. leak is extremely unlikely,” said Fred Goldberg, who served as I.R.S. commissioner from 1989 to 1992. “It’s a combination of the culture, the legal framework, the logistics and the risks.”
I agree, but think the real key is the culture, logistics next, and I never really thought about the legal and risk side of it. Most of my Gov't Specialty Banking ( processing tax remittances ) experience was in NY Personal Income Tax, but being a SME in Perl and secure EDI, I worked with the other side of the house frequently.

There's not a lot of people who can just run a query on production data, and every. single. one. was without exception competent and committed. And happy. BAC might be shit to customers, but as an associate they were A-Number-One. No-one is stupid enough to fuck up that gig to score political points.
posted by mikelieman at 12:16 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Isakson: "I'm not going to get in a urinating contest with the president."

Fair enough. Apparently the president has a squad for that.
posted by jaduncan at 12:25 AM on March 10 [15 favorites]


Don't get in a pissing match with the president. You get covered in piss and the pig likes it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:36 AM on March 10 [9 favorites]


Never get into a pissing match with a guy who buys piss by the mattress-load.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:40 AM on March 10 [28 favorites]


Spicer is lying about the WH not knowing about Flynn and Turkey, Rep Cummings told them on 18 Nov 2016 in a letter directly sent to Pence.
posted by PenDevil at 12:50 AM on March 10 [58 favorites]


Spicer is lying about the WH not knowing about Flynn and Turkey

Technically not: "I don't believe that was known" isn't actually a statement about anything but Spicer's state of belief...and yes, I'm 100% sure he'll split that hair.
posted by jaduncan at 12:58 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Technically not: "I don't believe that was known" isn't actually a statement about anything but Spicer's state of belief...and yes, I'm 100% sure he'll split that hair.

I think someone, and it might be me, isn't clear about for whom the White House Spokesman speaks.
posted by mikelieman at 1:09 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Annie Lowrey's interview with Nobel winning economist Angus Deaton (co-author with his wife Ann Case on the "white people death epidemic" study) was a real eye-opener for me. One of the strands is how America as a nation gives people what they ask for even if it kills them: it gives people ownership of property, but often in places where it's really fucking hard to live off the land, and once you're a property owner, you're rooted; that OxyContin showed up as a way to give people some kind of relief in pill form (often covered under Medicaid) and it's now become a currency in certain places.
posted by holgate at 1:10 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


The should NEVER let him use the word "I" in a sentence, actually.

Whenever he goes, "I think..."

Followup with, "Does the White House think...."

"We, not I", Mr. Spokesperson.
posted by mikelieman at 1:12 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


once you're a property owner, you're rooted

holgate, do you mean rooted in the Australian sense? Because in relation to property, it's a tad ambiguous.
posted by rory at 1:37 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


When? When will this four years be over??

It's only the second month of 48 and I already feel like Stewie Griffin: we just can't fit anymore poop in this diaper.
posted by darkstar at 1:43 AM on March 10 [23 favorites]


When will this four years be over?

I'm still hoping that in a month or two Trump will walk up to a press conference microphone, say "And I call this act 'The Aristrocrats'", and then go home to Mar-a-Lago secure in the knowledge that he is the best comedian of all time.
posted by mmoncur at 1:53 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


I think someone, and it might be me, isn't clear about for whom the White House Spokesman speaks.

The WHPS is merely someone employed to make informal statements to affect coverage of the administration, and can speak on behalf of himself or his employer. That's why examination of the language is so important.

The should NEVER let him use the word "I" in a sentence, actually.

Whenever he goes, "I think..."

Followup with, "Does the White House think...."

"We, not I", Mr. Spokesperson.


Yes, pretty much. It's a pity that many journalists are so badly paid; it seems self-evident to me that an adversarial questioner should have similar skills to a barrister/trial lawyer. It is often plain that Spicer skips between personal and institutional claims of knowledge, and in a courtroom that would doubtlessly be picked up on in the next question.
posted by jaduncan at 2:56 AM on March 10 [10 favorites]


Another example of this:

Spicer - "It has continued to be the same old, same old, played over and over again. The president has made clear he has no interests in Russia and yet a lot of these stories that come out with respect to that are frankly fake."

I have almost no idea how the followup question wasn't "Some? Thank you for your candour. Which are real and which are fake?"
posted by jaduncan at 2:58 AM on March 10 [10 favorites]


co-author with his wife Ann Case

I think "economist and Princeton professor Anne Case" is more germane than who she's married to.
posted by Etrigan at 3:34 AM on March 10 [48 favorites]


Leaked emails reveal Nigel Farage's longstanding links to Julian Assange
In February 2011, after a European Arrest Warrant had been issued in a case in which prosecutors sought to question Assange in connection with a sexual assault allegation, UKIP repeatedly reached out to Assange to see how they could work together. Assange has not been charged in the case.

The office of UKIP MEP Gerard Batten contacted Assange's lawyer Mark Stephen's about "the possibility of meeting Mr Julian Assange."

They added: "So far, UKIP London has been only British political party to openly support Mr Assange fight against EAW and his freedom of speech, and we would very much like to continue doing so."

posted by PenDevil at 4:33 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


I reported a couple of days ago that the new healthcare bill didn't cover pre-natal care, that was wrong. The original version had removed that mandate but the version in front of congress now does keep maternity coverage. However during one of the committee debates, Republican Congressman John Shimkus argued that men shouldn't have to pay for that because "it doesn't affect them." He thinks that people should be allowed to buy a la carte insurance thereby proving he doesn't understand insurance.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:06 AM on March 10 [35 favorites]


Interview about Trump with Bernie Sanders at the Guardian. Very diplomatic, pulls his punches.

'Trump lies all the time': Bernie Sanders indicts president's assault on democracy

Bernie Sanders has launched a withering attack on Donald Trump, accusing him of being a pathological liar who is driving America towards authoritarianism.

In an interview with the Guardian, the independent senator from Vermont, who waged a spirited campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, gave a bleak appraisal of the new White House and its intentions.

He warned that Trump’s most contentious outbursts against media, judiciary and other pillars of American public life amounted to a conscious assault on democracy.

“Trump lies all of the time and I think that is not an accident, there is a reason for that. He lies in order to undermine the foundations of American democracy.”

posted by MattWPBS at 5:12 AM on March 10 [39 favorites]


And the interview link:

Bernie Sanders on Trump and the resistance: 'Despair is not an option'
The senator talks about his fight to make the Democratic party more attractive to working-class people – and on taking his progressive populism to the heartland in order to topple Trump
posted by MattWPBS at 5:14 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


"All right, Mr. Shimkus, here is your revised policy, and I think we've addressed your concerns. Prenatal care is no longer covered for you, so you won't have to pay for something you will never use."

"But the premium didn't go down."

"Yes, that's an actuarial adjustment. You see, men who make a big deal about this sort of thing are such uninformed, anal-retentive assholes that they often develop severe constipation to the point that their colons become infected and eventually perforate, spilling fecal matter and pus into the abdominal cavity. The increase in your premium reflects that risk, and just happens to be exactly the same as whatever it is you saved by being a dick about prenatal care. Initials here please."
posted by saturday_morning at 5:19 AM on March 10 [40 favorites]


Trump’s in the White House bubble, and he loves it: Trump is expected to make several appearances across the country next week — but he is likely to head back to Washington at night.

His habits in the White House so far comport with what friends in New York say about his pre-political life. He has long been a creature of comfort, eschewing some of New York's glitzy balls and galas to instead stay at home, watch TV and dine in his apartment, while watching sports and calling friends. After winning the presidency, he largely stayed in his apartment or at Mar-a-Lago, venturing out once in New York to the 21 Club for dinner. He is happy to not go outside.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:30 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


Jobs report: Payroll employment rises by 235,000 in February; unemployment rate changes little at 4.7%
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:34 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I would really like more interviews and articles about how Republicans view health insurance. For example ask who should get health care and how exactly it should be paid for. I think there's a lot of subtext going on that should brought out of the shadows and clarified. Paul Ryan says Obamacare is failing because "healthy people are paying for sick people." So let's ask him how should these sick people be covered exactly and what happens when the healthy people get sick. At what point do people get put into a high risk pool and do they ever leave the high risk pool. What happens to that pool when the government funds fall short or when the person covered cannot afford the premiums?

I get the sense that Congress is making life and death decisions but without being honest to themselves or the American people about the possible consequences.

Other questions I would like to see addressed:

What about non-citizens, visa holders, green card holders, refugees, the undocumented. Do they get admitted to hospitals in case of labor, infectious diseases, accidents? If so who pays for it?

What about super-premies who can run-up million dollar hospital charges in the first three months?

What about occupational hazards like miner's lung? Is that on the individual, the employer, or the government? What happens when the employer goes out of business?

Our healthcare has been a cobbled together mishmash for years because our government has preferred not to be involved. The private market cannot and will not address all the problems and pretending doesn't make it so. We need both a National dialog and a responsive government before this problem can be fixed.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:10 AM on March 10 [62 favorites]


"I would really like more interviews and articles about how Republicans view health insurance."

tldr: Ill health is almost as much a moral failure as poverty.
posted by klarck at 6:29 AM on March 10 [23 favorites]


If I gotta pay for old men's boner pills and prostate pokings, they gotta pay for birth control.
posted by emjaybee at 6:30 AM on March 10 [25 favorites]


Shame levels are holding strong at zero.
posted by prefpara at 6:32 AM on March 10 [37 favorites]


‘We are angry’: Families of transgender children meet with Betsy DeVos: “I told her in order to feel good about the meeting that I needed to leave her with a charge,” the teenager said. “She has the lives and the futures of thousands of students across the country in both public and public charter schools in her hands. It is up to her to provide protections for transgender students, and it is up to her to combat the ignorant, harmful, bigoted actions of the Trump administration.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:36 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


Republican Congressman John Shimkus argued that men shouldn't have to pay for that because "it doesn't affect them.

Conservatives so clearly live in their hermetic atomic self-worlds of Me Me Me.

They may have wives, daughters, but they don't matter apparently.

The depths of the stupidity of conservatism never ceases to amaze.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 6:41 AM on March 10 [20 favorites]


Oh and a House panel just approved a bill that would let employers demand genetic testing as part of "wellness" programs (which are only voluntary if you don't mind paying the penalties).
posted by emjaybee at 6:42 AM on March 10 [17 favorites]


The private market cannot and will not address all the problems and pretending doesn't make it so. We need both a National dialog and a responsive government before this problem can be fixed.

I'm not saying it's guaranteed to work, but what if we at least tried a swarm of angry bees in a couple of boardrooms, instead?
posted by Mayor West at 6:43 AM on March 10 [10 favorites]


Oh and a House panel just approved a bill that would let employers demand genetic testing as part of "wellness" programs (which are only voluntary if you don't mind paying the penalties).

It doesn't surprise me that Khan Noonien Singh would be part of this administration.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:49 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


I still don't really grok why the markets aren't freaking out. I read an explainer in the New Yorker this week that suggested that we might be in a bubble along the lines of 1999 but not say, 1929. I don't get why it's not like 1929 but worse or something.

I don't understand markets at all, but it would seem if, say, the executive branch is about two lines of cocaine and a natural disaster away from spilled blood in the Oval Office, a lot of people would be backing the fuck away from all sorts of U.S. assets.

Maybe this is something I'm too in my liberal bubble to get. I have a few wacky people in my family with wacky political beliefs, but my idea of people involved in the stock market was formulated by the creepy feeling I'd get while passing N.Y.U.'s Stern school en route to class: those were some smart, conservative, soon-to-be-rich assholes.

In other words, I'd expect those people to have the foresight to maybe not panic but do whatever stock market people do when they have an urgent need to protect their assets.
posted by angrycat at 6:50 AM on March 10 [17 favorites]


Paul Ryan says Obamacare is failing because "healthy people are paying for sick people." So let's ask him how should these sick people be covered exactly and what happens when the healthy people get sick.

Hey, ya know what, it's also usually healthy doctors who are taking care of sick people! Sick people should only get sick doctors!

This reminds me of a stand-up comic's joke that went something like, "I found one of those handicapped people parking their car in one of our spaces, so I hooked up my tow hitch and got it right out of there!"
posted by XMLicious at 6:52 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


If I gotta pay for old men's boner pills

People should be asking every elected official who opposes BC in any way why one and not the other. Every one, every time. They should have been doing that for decades.

Also, it's not just old men, which makes the argument even stronger.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:55 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


"Paul Ryan says Obamacare is failing because "healthy people are paying for sick people.""

He either genuinely does not understand or is taking advantage of low-information voters that do not understand pooled risk. I mean, that's fundamentally how health care works. In fact, the more I think about it, the intentional rejection of pooled risk seems like it underlies a lot of conservative thinking. Opposition to taxation as a principle is basically the same thing, right?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:58 AM on March 10 [56 favorites]


I don't get why it's not like 1929 but worse or something.

My understanding from history classes is that like the 2008 crash, 1929 was partly the result of specific risky practices, "buying on margin" in particular which effectively allowed traders to invest money they didn't have. I'm not any sort of expert either but I'm equally surprised that the current financial markets seem so chill with the ongoing political chaos and things like openly-declared premeditated trade wars heating up while massive layoffs are happening at the State Department.
posted by XMLicious at 7:00 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


"Paul Ryan says Obamacare is failing because "healthy people are paying for sick people.""

He either genuinely does not understand or is taking advantage of low-information voters that do not understand pooled risk.


It's clearly the former, because his college tuition was paid by Social Security. Since nothing good comes from Big Government, his education was similarly half-assed.
posted by Etrigan at 7:02 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


"Paul Ryan says Obamacare is failing because "healthy people are paying for sick people."

Deep thoughts from the leading intellectual light of the conservative movement!
posted by diogenes at 7:03 AM on March 10 [37 favorites]


Paul Ryan, like many Americans, thinks being sick is something that happens to you because of choices you made. Don't want to pay for sick-people insurance? Stop making bad choices.

That's literally as far as the thinking goes here.
posted by potrzebie at 7:08 AM on March 10 [27 favorites]


guys it just honestly feels like the US is a replicant

why aren't we helping the turtle?????
posted by prefpara at 7:12 AM on March 10 [14 favorites]


But isn't this thinking essentially ruling out insurance all together? I mean, the whole concept is that everybody pays in and the people who need it take out, whether that's for health or property or financial loss. It sounds like Ryan just wants to get rid of the insurance industry entirely.
posted by worldswalker at 7:12 AM on March 10 [14 favorites]


we were programmed not to.
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:12 AM on March 10


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lays on his back, his belly baking in the hot sun, beating his legs trying to turn himself over. But he can't. Not without your help. But you're n