Full of sound and fury/ Signifying, umm, what?
April 27, 2017 12:11 PM   Subscribe

This weekend the Trump Administrations will mark 100 days in office, with little of substance, but plenty of activity and noise, often breaking (or seriously bending) Trump's own promises in the process. Lots of goalpost-moving in just the last 24 hours, so shall we wade in?

Let's start with the ACA repeal/replace. After (despite?) the colossal failure of TrumpCare, the administration sees passing ZombieTrumpCare as their Hail Mary for a legislative win. They’ve now made it cruel enough to win Freedom Caucus support, but now some moderates are unhappy and senators, who ultimately would have the say, are feeling queasy. A vote could come by this weekend, but Democrats seem willing to play chicken with the administration. Meanwhile, progressives are mobilizing for Round 2.

Then there’s tax reform, the other last-minute bid for achievement or distraction. Treasury Secretary and Mr. Moneybags Steve Mnuchin dangled a bright shiny plan they said would cut everyone’s taxes, but as it turns out, most most benefits go to people like him and Trump -- breaking Mnuchin's own promise on tax reform. One provision is eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, which changed Trump’s 2005 tax payment from 3.48 percent to 24 percent of his income, or less than the share a single taxpayer earning about $50,000 a year would pay.

Democrats are insisting that you can’t pass a tax plan without seeing how it benefits the President, and even some Republicans are saying deficits still matter, giving the proposal long odds of passing in its current form, if at all.

The NAFTA reversal and re-reversal happened at whiplash speed. We’ll withdraw from from it; no, we’ll modify it; er, ummm, we still could withdraw after all.

The wall, well, that's almost too easy. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for it.”
That is, “We’ll build it eventually, mostly, and someday they’ll pay, but for now, we need $20 billion.” (paraphrase)
Even Republican Congressmen are skeptical and supporters are disappoint.

Even without the wall, Trumplandia is apparently keeping Mexican citizens from crossing the border, possibly from fear as much as from any policies.

And that's where the successes are. The measure of the 100 days isn’t so much what Trump & Co. did, but what they un-did: disposing of rules limiting student debt, prohibiting the sale of internet browsing history data, requiring employers to keep accurate employee injury records, making coal companies keep waste out of rivers and streams and mandating energy companies report payments to foreign governments.

Team Trump may seem divided on that Chinese hoax, climate change. But fear not, at home, it's consistent in efforts to undo environmental protection. The administration took the first steps to rescind the designations of large, new national monuments. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, formerly a board member of an oil pipeline company, sees logging, mining and drilling as appropriate uses of those lands. The move has prompted the expected responses from Sierra Club, NRDC and others, and even a threat of a lawsuit from Patagonia.

Heard enough about domestic matters? How about international crises? As the lost carrier fleet is puffing out American chests off the waters of North Korea, that country’s propaganda team has literally put it (and the White House) in the crosshairs. Senators, summoned to the White House yesterday for a briefing on North Korea, gave the presentation bipartisan rave reviews, ranging from “OK” to “dog-and-pony show.” However, some said it sounded like an administration lacking a plan but determined to act.

We're almost there. With so many big, public stories, it would be easy to miss news of First Daughter and Special Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump’s plan to set up a private foundation, prompting comparisons to the Clinton Global Initiative and conservatives’ outrage over Hillary Clinton’s potential conflicts of interest. (thanks Metafilter!) Meanwhile, first Son-in-Law and Master of the Universe Jared Kushner had new potential ethical conflicts emerge.

And – breaking news, or it was when I started! – now Defense Department watchdogs are reportedly pulling at another end of the Russia ball of collusion yarn.

Whew. A tale told by an idiot. What will the next 100 days bring? Have at it.
posted by martin q blank (3373 comments total) 125 users marked this as a favorite
 
A tale told by an idiot.

I saw a snippet of this chap on the news yesterday, he was walking around with a huge contraption. I suspect his days are numbered
posted by Greg Nog at 12:15 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]




Tweet of the day for me, so just leaving this here since it seems on topic:

Congratulations to Donald Trump on his debut album on No Limit Records.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:17 PM on April 27 [22 favorites]


A documentary from the BBC World Service: “Me And The President”
Joe Borelli is a New York City councilman who spoke on behalf of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign - he was thrilled when Trump won the election last November, and approached the Trump presidency with high expectations. Over the first 100 days of the Trump Administration Joe recorded his impressions of the new President, starting with a visit to the Inauguration in Washington on 20th January. As the weeks went by with controversy about the executive order travel ban and the battle in the courts, the Presidential well received address to Congress, and through the twitter storms prompted by Donald Trump’s tweets about the intelligence agencies and President Obama, Joe recorded his observations.
It’s worth noting here that Borelli was born in 1982, so qualifies as a milleniold.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:18 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


The truly depressing part is that the one time he got the respect and adulation he craves is when he launched a bunch of cruise missiles. According the media, that was 'acting presidential'.

So, look forward to more of that, I guess.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:19 PM on April 27 [10 favorites]


What will the next 100 days bring?

Whatever your opinion of the man, you do have to hold a sort of grudging admiration for a man who, every morning upon waking and hearing incredulous comments of "he can't possibly bring the office any lower," EVERY SINGLE DAY responds with "Hold my spray-tanner."
posted by Mayor West at 12:19 PM on April 27 [75 favorites]


(Also, as Borelli recently retweeted a positive description of himself as “Trump on steriods”, you shouldn’t be listening to the doc expecting a twist ending.)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:20 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Just to get this in at the top of the new thread, right this minute is a perfect time to call your rep, especially if you're represented by a Republican, and ask them to oppose the zombie AHCA. Folks are making up their minds now and the calls can make a big difference. Look up the number, make a two minute call, help save millions of people's healthcare.
posted by zachlipton at 12:20 PM on April 27 [30 favorites]


The longest 100 days of my life. Is the light at the end of the tunnel a trash fire?
posted by prefpara at 12:21 PM on April 27 [12 favorites]


let's all send the president a dartboard - he's got a LOT of decisions to make
posted by pyramid termite at 12:24 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Seeing one of these threads with less than a thousand comments feels liminal. Like hearing distant drums across the savanna.
posted by Mayor West at 12:25 PM on April 27 [39 favorites]


Update on the Texas Show Me Your Papers bill just passed:

-children not exempt
-domestic violence shelters not exempt
-homeless shelters not exempt
-churches are exempt
-there will be lawsuits about its Constitutionality
-lots of local law enforcement: "this is a bad idea"
-cant' find the link, but saw a Tweet earlier indicating that El Paso and Houston are both defiant about assisting with this

Re the tax plan, corb asked me for a cite at end of the last thread what middle class families will lose--I've seen more than one analysis that says the cuts we get will be wiped out by the increase in other expenses, but of course, since this is basically an Underpants Gnome-level tax plan, it's hard to be sure what the heck they will do! Really I can just refer you to Krugman's twitter feed if you want to watch a very smart man sort through a pile of badly-thought-out policy.
posted by emjaybee at 12:25 PM on April 27 [30 favorites]


> "... you do have to hold a sort of grudging admiration ..."

Nope.
posted by kyrademon at 12:25 PM on April 27 [30 favorites]


I mean, in the same way we hold grudging admiration for cholera.
posted by Mayor West at 12:28 PM on April 27 [30 favorites]


The Financial Times made a gif
posted by infini at 12:31 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


homeless shelters not exempt
-churches are exempt


What about homeless shelters run by churches? This seems like the perfect time to practice some [insert x religion here] values.
posted by corb at 12:32 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


Bright (orange) cholera!
posted by Kabanos at 12:32 PM on April 27


-homeless shelters not exempt
-churches are exempt


I was going to say "a church-run shelter could be a loophole there" but then I remembered I know a guy who runs a homeless charity. He broke off on his own after volunteering and seeing how most of the local church-run ones operate. I wonder how many church-run shelters are going to start demanding papers on their own.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:33 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Here in Alabama, when Jeff Sessions got the AG nod, I thought "it could have been worse -- they could have picked Roy Moore." Then, when Luther Strange got selected by the (now former) governor to take over for Sessions in the Senate, I thought "thank heavens he didn't send Roy Moore." Then, when the governor resigned and Kay Ivey took over, I thought "well, at least she's not Roy Moore."

Guess who just announced a run for Session's seat in the upcoming special election?

I don't have words to express how bad I think it will be if he actually gets elected, other than to say that if he does, I expect to see levels of bible-thumping, demagoguery, racism, and chauvinism that will make the worst of the past look tame in comparison.

I wish I could expect my fellow Alabamians to have better sense than to vote for this would-be ayatollah, but considering our state's political past, I'm not too optimistic. The only ray of hope I see is that there is expected to be a large field of candidates, some of which should also play well to some of Moore's base* (for example, the former chairman of the Christian Coalition of Alabama.)

*easily identified by the signs in their front yards listing the 10 commandments*
posted by TwoToneRow at 12:35 PM on April 27 [27 favorites]


-domestic violence shelters not exempt
-homeless shelters not exempt


Do they mean that anyone going to a shelter has to show their papers?

-churches are exempt

So sanctuary cities are bad, refugees seeking asylum are bad, but the literally medieval concept of sanctuary is something that needs to be explicitly brought back?
posted by Etrigan at 12:38 PM on April 27 [34 favorites]


Did you mean to say "Secretary of Commerce" Mnunchin?
posted by autopilot at 12:38 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Homeless people are widely known for carrying full and up-to-date dossiers proving their citizenship. So no worries there.
posted by delfin at 12:41 PM on April 27 [65 favorites]


These posts often end up functioning merely as venues for discussion of current events, but the framing and narrative style of the post content is commendable, with very informative links that are worthy of discussion above and beyond the usual griping about whatever awful thing POTUS45 has done lately. Thanks much for putting this together, martin q blank.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:43 PM on April 27 [114 favorites]


All I can think as we near the 100 day line is "I could have voted for the meteor."
posted by Archelaus at 12:44 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


Thanks, tonycpsu. It's my first-ever post, so I tried to do it right. (Still managed to make three typos; sorry. Edit: looks like cortex cleaned up my mess.)

I've been a lurker for years, and filthy light thief and rhaomi have long been my heroes. (heroines? whatever.) All credit to them for setting good examples!
posted by martin q blank at 12:49 PM on April 27 [103 favorites]


Great post! Thanks for putting it up, it will take some time to get through it, but it looks worth it!
posted by mumimor at 12:50 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


One good piece of news is that zombie AHCA looks likely to fail again.
posted by overglow at 12:50 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]


I wonder how many church-run shelters are going to start demanding papers on their own.

they'd better - this one couple smuggled their kid to egypt and back and no one checked their papers

next thing you know he's telling everyone about some kingdom and undermining the way society is supposed to work and stuff like that - why, he even caused trouble in a temple

see what happens when you don't ask for papers?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:51 PM on April 27 [45 favorites]


I just tried calling the VOICE hotline ready to ask the person on the other end of the phone if they have ever read about "The Criminal Jew" (Nazi publication that predated the Holocaust) but the line was too busy. I hope it's because they are flooded with calls about crop circles.
posted by prefpara at 12:53 PM on April 27 [20 favorites]


the literally medieval concept of sanctuary is something that needs to be explicitly brought back?

Yes. Yes it does, and I will advocate for it anywhere I think it's likely to pass. If people can flee to churches for sanctuary from the new blackshirts, I think it is possibly the most noble use of a church that you can possibly find short of actually becoming a hospital.
posted by corb at 12:54 PM on April 27 [25 favorites]


Babies and children listed in Homeland Security's immigrant database of alleged criminals

Immigration attorney Bryan Johnson first noticed the flaw during a test search of the system. Johnson, who is based in Long Island, N.Y., and frequently defends children brought into the United States illegally, called it “reckless incompetence on the part of the Trump administration.”

“In their haste to pretend like they care about victims of immigrant crimes, the Trump administration released personally identifiable information regarding vulnerable children at risk of human trafficking and other crimes,” he said. “They should just take it down and do it right, which would basically show it's a farce because [it would] be close to impossible to create a database where only detainees listed had ‘victims.’”

posted by futz at 12:57 PM on April 27 [24 favorites]


>the literally medieval concept of sanctuary is something that needs to be explicitly brought back?

Yes. Yes it does, and I will advocate for it anywhere I think it's likely to pass. If people can flee to churches for sanctuary from the new blackshirts, I think it is possibly the most noble use of a church that you can possibly find short of actually becoming a hospital.


I'd really rather we got rid of the blackshirts so that the concept was unneeded in the first place, but that's really a question of scope and context so approaches may reasonably vary.
posted by cjelli at 1:00 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]


Whatever your opinion of the man, you do have to hold a sort of grudging admiration

Let me stop you right there.
posted by Gelatin at 1:02 PM on April 27 [35 favorites]


I'm assuming, based on the link that Etrigan was referring to, "sanctuary" in medieval England was basically equivalent to surrendering to ICE for deportation while simultaneously losing everything you own to civil forfeiture.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:04 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Do they mean that anyone going to a shelter has to show their papers?

"Has to"? No. "Can be forced to and arrested if they don't"? Yes.
posted by hanov3r at 1:05 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


the literally medieval concept of sanctuary is something that needs to be explicitly brought back?

Yes. Yes it does, and I will advocate for it anywhere I think it's likely to pass. If people can flee to churches for sanctuary from the new blackshirts, I think it is possibly the most noble use of a church that you can possibly find short of actually becoming a hospital.


You realize that the new blackshirts are thriving largely because of the enshrining of the church as a higher authority than the law, right? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast -- man's laws, not God's.
posted by Etrigan at 1:06 PM on April 27 [27 favorites]


Yeah, seeking sanctuary in a church is a short term measure, not a "god I hope these four years pass quickly as I don't have anything now and have to live inside a church" solution.
posted by Kitteh at 1:08 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


"The NAFTA reversal and re-reversal happened at whiplash speed. We’ll withdraw from from it; no, we’ll modify it; er, ummm, we still could withdraw after all."

Has it occurred to ANYONE in the media that Trump really has no idea what he's doing??
posted by Melismata at 1:09 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


Molina Healthcare says that if Congress doesn't fund the cost sharing reductions in the spending bill, they will withdraw from the marketplace immediately on the basis that the government isn't paying premiums, dropping coverage for ~650,000 people right away.

I think it is possibly the most noble use of a church that you can possibly find short of actually becoming a hospital.

I have huge problems with the Catholic hospital system, but they're unequivocal on what's happening now, even if they insist on using two spaces after a period (which actually takes some effort in HTML, WTF?):
It is critically important to look at this bill for what it is. It is not in any way a health care bill. Rather, it is legislation whose aim is to take significant funding allocated by Congress for health care for very low income people and use that money for tax cuts for some of our wealthiest citizens. This is contrary to the spirit of who we are as a nation, a giant step backward that should be resisted.
posted by zachlipton at 1:10 PM on April 27 [49 favorites]


I just want to put them in all in a machine that beams awareness of their stupidity and reckless endangerment of anything good that this country has into their heads so that they are overcome with shame.

I never really grokked the whole idea of the criminal is supposed to show remorse for his crimes and apologize to victims' families, really. It always struck me as sort of a Puritanical holdover.

But now I want an apology from these fuckers. I want to see Sessions crying with shame. I want to see Ivanka in the stocks. I am getting medieval with this shit.

And it's only the first one hundred days. Jesus.
posted by angrycat at 1:11 PM on April 27 [59 favorites]


No one is going to do this? Really? Ok then, it falls on me.

Metafiler: Little of substance, but plenty of activity and noise,
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:11 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


Can't they just go live in the nearest Ecuadorian embassy? They'll house anyone, apparently.
posted by delfin at 1:11 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


Riane Konc, New Yorker: One Hundred Days Of Trumpitude
Many months later, as he faced the impeachment committee, President Donald Trump was to remember that distant afternoon when Jeff Sessions took him to discover ice. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and, in order to indicate them, it was necessary to point. President Trump pointed at the customs agents.

“Yes,” Senator Sessions said. “These are the representatives of ice.”

“Wow. Such great Americans. Terrific,” Trump said, grabbing an agent’s hand and yanking it toward him in a manner so powerful that anyone watching should sincerely doubt that he had ever taken Viagra. “Keeping bad hombres out. Mexico will pay for it. Believe me!” he continued, casually removing and tossing aside the mittens he had worn because of a misunderstanding of what ice was. The Secret Service agent tailing him picked up the gloves and put them back on the hands of the American Girl doll from which they came.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:14 PM on April 27 [74 favorites]


A thing Obama said once: One of the things that you realize when you're in my seat is that, typically, the issues that come to my desk — there are no simple answers to them. Usually what I'm doing is operating on the basis of a bunch of probabilities: I'm looking at the best options available based on the fact that there are no easy choices. If there were easy choices, somebody else would have solved it, and it wouldn't have come to my desk. (from this interview)
Probably almost all presidents are surprised by how difficult the problems that land on that Resolute Desk are. But Trump is creating a worse situation for himself because he doesn't have those executives who can handle the easier questions. He literally does not have a functioning State Department. He has outsourced security to the generals not knowing that it is not within the generals reasonable qualifications to understand global politics. He has no idea how to deal with Congress, and he has no one on board who knows. There is no way he can succeed in conventional terms. But his core voters don't care about that. They are there for the feels, and he is delivering 200% on the feels, still.
posted by mumimor at 1:19 PM on April 27 [75 favorites]


Medieval sanctuary was a part of legal framework that made it permissible for churches to shelter actual criminals fleeing from law enforcement. Modern Republicans would lose their mind. It's as outrageous a concept as jubilee.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:21 PM on April 27 [15 favorites]




"... you do have to hold a sort of grudging admiration ..."

"I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."

posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 1:25 PM on April 27 [21 favorites]


Speaking of North Korea, here's a lovely example of the thought process of our elected representatives. Ladies and Gentlemen ... California Rep Brad Sherman:

At classified briefing @VP urged members to "convey the Administration's level of resolve to confront N. Korea." That resolve is weak, phony

Trump will pressure China only slightly, no tariffs. Wallstreet wins. China will take only token steps against N. Korea. Kim Jong-un wins.

I raised two issues: No. Korea could smuggle nuke into U.S. rather than use ICBM. Could smuggle inside a bale of marijuana....(1/2)

...and might sell nukes to Iran, which has billions of hard currency. Waiting for answers...(2/2)
... Because smuggling BALES OF MARIJUANA is so simple!
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:29 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


That seems completely off in any case. ICBM warhead nacelles are quite a bit bigger than a bale of mary jane (I'm imagining about the size of a bale of hay?), so unless you're talking about a bale the size of a shipping container there's no way North Korea's devices are getting smuggled anywhere. If they could make them that small they'd just stick them on top of a missile.
posted by zrail at 1:33 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


2018 is coming up fast. Any candidate who has any sense should try to force their opponent to make a statement on Trump--if its a toss up as to whether Trump's policies are locally popular, then focus on his character. Here are some handy videos: Trump recounting how great it was to have a beautiful girlfriend and wife at the same time, and of course an uncensored version of the access hollywood video with very clear audio.

Sorry, sorry, just feeling angry today and had to get that out. Back to the current discussion, and speaking of character--how 'bout that Flynn character? (Link goes to WaPo article about new investigations as to whether his payments from Russia and Turkey were illegal.)
posted by TreeRooster at 1:34 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


From The Atlantic, April 24, 2017 — Donald Trump's Conflicts of Interest: A Crib Sheet [and still counting].
posted by cenoxo at 1:38 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


Yes, the R's don't get to have "moral" complaints about candidates anymore, ever. I really hope Democratic activists will hold fast on this.
posted by mumimor at 1:39 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


It's not totally crazy to suggest that given NK's ICBM technology that it would be easier for them to nuke US cities by smuggling the bombs in rather than by firing them at us, but daaaaaaaaamn dude.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:40 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


This zombie healthcare thing is like a worst case scenario for the Republicans, all in an attempt to let Trump save face. Josh Marshall makes a good point; because this thing was dug up from its grave the Democrats can now easily argue in 2018 that the Republicans will never stop trying to take away your health care. Even when you think you're finally safe they'll pop up again to get you.

They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop... ever, until we are dead.
posted by Justinian at 1:41 PM on April 27 [76 favorites]


Some perspectives on Trump from rural Ohio voters in my district.

Kill me now with fire, bathe me in the iridescent light of oblivion, let me pass unfettered to the realms of glory for I cannot even comprehend the reality where anyone could grade this President with an "A" in these first one hundred days.
posted by Tevin at 1:44 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


This is delicious:
Fox News in crisis: Sources say Bill Shine asked that the Murdochs release a statement of support but they refused.
--@gabrielsherman
Gäbe i pray this is NOT true because if it is, that's the total end of the FNC as we know it. Done. Best Sean
--@seanhannity

Ignoring for the moment that Hannity signed his tweet (or perhaps he was saying he's the best person named Sean?) and added a strange dieresis to the reporter's name, or that he capitalized "NOT" but not "i," can it be the end of Fox News? Pretty please? Best Zach.
posted by zachlipton at 1:44 PM on April 27 [41 favorites]


And what will take the place of Fox News? Surely not something better.
posted by dilaudid at 1:46 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Adam Liptak, NYT: Justices Alarmed by Government’s Hard-Line Stance in Citizenship Case
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. tried to test the limits of the government’s position at a Supreme Court argument on Wednesday by confessing to a criminal offense.

“Some time ago, outside the statute of limitations, I drove 60 miles an hour in a 55-mile-an-hour zone,” the chief justice said, adding that he had not been caught.

The form that people seeking American citizenship must complete, he added, asks whether the applicant had ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was no arrest.

“If I answer that question no, 20 years after I was naturalized as a citizen, you can knock on my door and say, ‘Guess what, you’re not an American citizen after all’?” Chief Justice Roberts asked.

Robert A. Parker, a Justice Department lawyer, said the offense had to be disclosed. Chief Justice Roberts seemed shocked. “Oh, come on,” he said.

The chief justice asked again whether someone’s citizenship could turn on such an omission.

Mr. Parker did not back down. “If we can prove that you deliberately lied in answering that question, then yes,” he said.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:49 PM on April 27 [86 favorites]


The Twitter whip count has 35ish 'no' votes for Zombie TrumpCare, enough to spike it through the brain again. Pressure on "moderate" Republicans in Clinton districts is working.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:54 PM on April 27 [31 favorites]


Ignoring for the moment that Hannity signed his tweet

so that's what todd lokken is up to these days
posted by entropicamericana at 1:57 PM on April 27 [10 favorites]


Cynically, I'd say that the lesson of this past election is that focusing on a candidate's morality is a bad way to win, because racism and sexism are fine. But I've been wrong about a lot.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:58 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


But isn't speeding a civil offense, and not criminal?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:00 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Oh and btw, on the radio I heard a Trump supporter explain why everything was still good. To cut it very short: there is no doubt this is all about the racism. But ignorance is a big thing too.
posted by mumimor at 2:01 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


But isn't speeding a civil offense, and not criminal?

According to the Trump administration, it doesn't matter what you lie about. You can lose your citizenship for lying about anything at all on the forms.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked about the failure to disclose an embarrassing childhood nickname. Justice Elena Kagan said she was a “little bit horrified to know that every time I lie about my weight it has those kinds of consequences.”

Mr. Parker said the law applied to all false statements, even trivial ones.
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:04 PM on April 27 [65 favorites]


Necessary for immigration but not necessary for the Attorney General, apparently. Asses.
posted by Green With You at 2:06 PM on April 27 [74 favorites]


Meanwhile Trump lies even when he's asleep.
posted by valkane at 2:07 PM on April 27 [15 favorites]


I'm glad the Supreme Court seems to be pretty united on "What the actual fuck, Trump administration" on that one. I was wondering how far they could stretch that one - like, does that apply to naturalization paperwork too? What if you submit it for your kids, are your kids no longer citizens? What if that then means they don't have a state?

In, uh, related news, which countries take stateless citizens?
posted by corb at 2:07 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


Kaitlin Mensa, marie claire: Meet the Woman Who Took Bill O'Reilly Down
Three weeks ago, the Fox News figurehead was the most visible face of the President's favorite network. Until Steel and her Times colleague Michael S. Schmidt published an explosive investigation into repeated settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior. They found that O'Reilly had settled with at least five accusers over the last 15 years, to the tune of $13 million. (O'Reilly denies any wrongdoing.) Within days of their report, over 50 advertisers publicly dropped his show. Now, of course, he's out of a job.

It was a full-circle moment for Steel, who was threatened by O'Reilly two years ago. She'd been reporting on his exaggerated claims about covering the Falklands War in the 1980s (he had actually covered protests more than 1,000 miles away, in Buenos Aires). "I am coming after you with everything I have," O'Reilly said in an on-the-record phone call to Steel. "You can take it as a threat."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:11 PM on April 27 [25 favorites]


Remember Ted Cruz's "EL CHAPO Act" to use forfeited drug money to pay for the wall?

We were so busy mocking other aspects of it that we forgot the obvious joke: "You named a bill to build a wall after a man who escaped from prison by tunneling under walls. Good work, buddy."

In other news, Will Trump Release the Missing JFK Files?. Maybe he's hiding the truth about Ted Cruz's father.
posted by zachlipton at 2:12 PM on April 27 [20 favorites]


Came across this Sartre quote from 1944 that crystalizes for me the nature of alpha-birther Donald Trump and Infowars and the alt-right movement that has somehow gained such power over our lives.
Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play.

They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:13 PM on April 27 [148 favorites]


The handsome, mysterious, btw also Jewish power behind the throne famous for owning 666 Fifth Avenue is like something Jerry Jenkins cut from Left Behind for being a bit much
posted by theodolite at 2:14 PM on April 27 [13 favorites]


The marijuana thing is stupid.

North Korea has plenty of able chemists, and one of the big sources of meth in China is actually North Korean cooks who have access to fairly high-quality precursors.

They'd smuggle it in bales of meth, is what I'm saying. Or however you ship large quantities of it.
posted by anem0ne at 2:14 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]




Also, I don't know if North Korea would really sell to Iran; they've done most of their knowledge sharing with Pakistan, instead. Rumor has it's mostly missile tech for nuke tech.
posted by anem0ne at 2:16 PM on April 27


The chief justice asked again whether someone’s citizenship could turn on such an omission.

Hmmm.. So, if the stories about Melinia Trump working on a tourist visa are true...
posted by mikelieman at 2:21 PM on April 27 [16 favorites]


easily identified by the signs in their front yards listing the 10 commandments

Any time the 10 Commandments comes up in a political context, the first question should be "which 10 Commandments?" There are four versions: Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim. Displaying one particular version is endorsing a particular religion.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:21 PM on April 27 [29 favorites]


Kill me now with fire, bathe me in the iridescent light of oblivion, let me pass unfettered to the realms of glory for I cannot even comprehend the reality where anyone could grade this President with an "A" in these first one hundred days.

It's easy to understand in the first few sentences.
you'll often hear some variant of the same answer: the president is a voice for an area that for too long has been ignored by the political elite.

"He is more or less saying what we're saying," said Jane Woddell, a 68-year-old lifelong Republican
He's a white man kicking around brown people. What's not to love if you're an unamerican dirtbag?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:24 PM on April 27 [15 favorites]


To be perfectly clear:

Immigrants: There is no omission or falsehood immaterial enough to be excused.

The Attorney General: There is no omission or falsehood material enough to be prosecuted.

( See also: Michael Flynn )
posted by mikelieman at 2:25 PM on April 27 [51 favorites]


Riane Konc, New Yorker: One Hundred Days of Trumpitude
“Just found out Obama hypnotized frogs to cast votes illegally!! Very bad move. Without frogs, I would have won popular vote easily!” he tweeted. The next morning, Kellyanne Conway awoke in her isolation chamber, and called all the morning shows, as she always did, disguising her voice. “O.K., yes, President Trump did say that Obama is hypnotizing frogs, but I think the real issue here, O.K., is why no one is talking about whether Hillary Clinton colluded with the frogs, and which frogs, and, frankly, how many frogs.”
posted by kirkaracha at 2:26 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


I can see what the Chief Justice is getting at, and of course I agree with his thrust, but I thought you only committed a criminal offence if a court finds you guilty? Otherwise - who knows whether it was really criminal or not? There are some classes of offence for which there is no legal defence (strict or absolute liability) if you can be shown to or admit the act, but in general you need to go through a hearing or trial to exclude potential factors that mean you didn't do anything criminal after all.

So, if I'm asked on a form if I ever committed a criminal offence, I always answer no. Because I've never been convicted of one (and anyone who says I have is guilty of libel or slander, to boot).

I don't think that question is designed to unfairly intimidate - or if it is, it's not going to work against the well-advised.

(I can't believe I'm quibbling with the Chief Justice on points of law, but here we are. Yay, internet. Yay, 2017)
posted by Devonian at 2:38 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


Any time the 10 Commandments comes up in a political context, the first question should be "which 10 Commandments?" There are four versions: Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim. Displaying one particular version is endorsing a particular religion.

Five if you count the Ritual Decalogue!

(I would love for some wag to carve them up next time some horrible municipality wants a Ten Commandments monument. I think it's important for us to remember how America is founded on the one about not keeping covenants with the inhabitants of the land to which our God has brought us. I think that might've been Andrew Jackson's favorite commandment)
posted by jackbishop at 2:42 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


Chief Justice Roberts added that the government’s position would give prosecutors extraordinary power. “If you take the position that not answering about the speeding ticket or the nickname is enough to subject that person to denaturalization,” he said, “the government will have the opportunity to denaturalize anyone they want.”

Roberts also added that that kind of prosecutorial discretion should only ever be available to people trying minorities for drug-related crimes. [fake]
posted by TypographicalError at 2:46 PM on April 27 [10 favorites]


Any time the 10 Commandments comes up in a political context

My eye starts twitching. INVARIABLY it's "Christians" pushing for some sort of 10 Commandments based legislation, and I'm all like, "As a Jew, I'd like you to explain clearly how this "Father, Son, Holy Spirit" doesn't violate the 2nd Commandment ( Talmud version )...

Then I drink bourbon.

delicious... bourbon. Brownest of the brown liquors... so tempting.

/me holds bottle to my ear: [whispering] What's that? You want me to drink you? But I'm in the middle of a post!

[puts it down]

Excuse me.
posted by mikelieman at 2:50 PM on April 27 [57 favorites]


I want a monument to the 613 commandments on the front lawn of every government building.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 2:52 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


GOP in 2009: NO DEATH PANELS!
GOP voters 2009: We don't want DEATH PANELS!
GOP in 2017: GETTING RID OF PANELS! JUST DEATH!
GOP voters 2017:that wasn't what we meant...
GOP: JUST DEATH! ADDING DESTRUCTION!
GOP voters: uh...
posted by eclectist at 2:54 PM on April 27 [44 favorites]


I want a secular republic.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:55 PM on April 27 [35 favorites]


For the record, in our household, a "Sound and Fury" or "Faulkner" poo is what happens when you go to the toilet expecting something to happen, and it's just farts.

So. Yeah. Deeply apropos and a great title.
posted by teleri025 at 2:55 PM on April 27 [11 favorites]


should I call the new ICE hotline and report Melania y/n

Dude, she's not from space.
posted by Artw at 2:58 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


lol why the hell would you smuggle an illegal item INSIDE ANOTHER ILLEGAL ITEM
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 3:04 PM on April 27 [39 favorites]


I want a secular republic.

Yeah, same. Can we tug the window back in this direction, rather than quibbling about which commandments of which religious traditions are appropriate to display on government buildings? Because the correct answer is "none of them."
posted by witchen at 3:05 PM on April 27 [16 favorites]


America Could Look Like North Carolina by 2020

Trump isn't the problem, it's all Republicans, and the proof is what they do with total control.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:12 PM on April 27 [38 favorites]


Ryan Lenz and Booth Gunter at the Southern Poverty Law Center: “100 Days in Trump’s America”
posted by Going To Maine at 3:14 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


And what will take the place of Fox News? Surely not something better.

The answer is InfoWars, and “has taken”
posted by Going To Maine at 3:17 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


America Could Look Like North Carolina by 2020
You go far back enough and most of America used to look a lot like today's North Carolina. That's the obvious meaning of "Great Again".

And what will take the place of Fox News?

NewsMax is already running its own 24-hour channel. Even more appropriately, so is RT.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:21 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


cynically, I'd say that the lesson of this past election is that focusing on a candidate's morality is a bad way to win, because racism and sexism are fine. But I've been wrong about a lot.

Yeah, that ain't cynicism. That's an accurate appraisal of the election. The DNC tried! They tried so, so hard to nail Trump on being an unbelievably awful person who's spent decades saying unbelievably shitty, horrifying things in front of cameras. And guess what, it didn't work. The right is not going to abandon Trump for being racist, sexist, borderline-incestuous, venal, greedy, sleazy, cheating his contractors, not paying his taxes, and basically displaying the opposite of every Christian virtue. Hell, i think a lot of evangelical conservatives would be okay with it if he literally worshipped at the altar of Mammon. Hey, sometimes God uses imperfect tools for his purposes, or whatever. They already know that Trump is not a good christian or a good person. But that doesn't matter if he's their attack dog, as long as he gives them what they want. If he doesn't give them that, they might abandon him. But yeah, everyone already knows what an amoral shitbag he is, and a lot of Good Christians have found a way to think of that as a feature, not a bug.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 3:31 PM on April 27 [55 favorites]


At least we never again have to take a single thing they say seriously. All of their family values pontificating, all of the deficit hawking, all of it has been revealed to be utter bullshit. Sure you and I knew that already but now it's been shown, live and in living color, to everyone. They don't care about it. All they care about is racism and tax cuts.
posted by Justinian at 3:36 PM on April 27 [43 favorites]


America Could Look Like North Carolina by 2020

You go far back enough and most of America used to look a lot like today's North Carolina. That's the obvious meaning of "Great Again"

The President was born and raised in Queens.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:43 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


“Just found out Obama hypnotized frogs to cast votes illegally!! Very bad move. Without frogs, I would have won popular vote easily!” he tweeted. The next morning, Kellyanne Conway awoke in her isolation chamber, and called all the morning shows, as she always did, disguising her voice. “O.K., yes, President Trump did say that Obama is hypnotizing frogs, but I think the real issue here, O.K., is why no one is talking about whether Hillary Clinton colluded with the frogs, and which frogs, and, frankly, how many frogs.”

That's like a joke but not as funny. Clickhole's take on Bannon is about where you need to pitch it in today's target-rich environment for political comedy.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:43 PM on April 27 [13 favorites]


At least we never again have to take a single thing they say seriously.

You're assuming they care. Even if they feel like they have to listen (they don't), they invoke the Coulter defense: "No, YOU'RE the hypocrite because of the USSR, or something"
posted by lumpenprole at 3:44 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


As flames continue to consume Bannon’s car, the two of us begin our long walk to the White House for Bannon’s meeting with President Trump. As we walk, Bannon reaches into his coat pocket and starts pulling out Komodo dragon eggs and throwing them into the woods. “These scaly fucks kill every goddamn animal they see,” says Bannon as he throws five Komodo dragon eggs at a time deep into the forest.

“When these eggs hatch, they’ll eat almost all of America’s wildlife. Soon the only animals left in American forests will be Komodo dragons and bald eagles, just like in the age of Andrew Jackson. You’re witnessing the beginning of the great Forest Revolution, which I started. I’m the Johnny Appleseed of invasive reptile eggs.” He is then silent as he continues to scatter the eggs.

We continue our trek down the highway. Bannon is mostly quiet, except for one moment where he mumbles the words, “Jaws is the only Christian shark,” to himself.

posted by Sebmojo at 3:50 PM on April 27 [32 favorites]


> “Just found out Obama hypnotized frogs to cast votes illegally!! Very bad move. Without frogs, I would have won popular vote easily!” he tweeted. The next morning, Kellyanne Conway awoke in her isolation chamber, and called all the morning shows, as she always did, disguising her voice. “O.K., yes, President Trump did say that Obama is hypnotizing frogs, but I think the real issue here, O.K., is why no one is talking about whether Hillary Clinton colluded with the frogs, and which frogs, and, frankly, how many frogs.”
No matter where you fall on the D&D alignment chart in regards to Chaos, just know that the slaadi also totally hate Trump too.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 4:01 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


And what will take the place of Fox News?

Trump News! I mean, that was his real objective in running, right? Publicity for his new network, stealthily aided by Roger Ailes, overtly run by Bannon. He looked at Fox, knew that Murdoch was in the process of turning it over to his sons who are less fanatically conservative, and saw an opening. Okay he had to postpone his plans after accidentally winning the election but now he's reevaluating his position, with Fox weakening. He's in talks with O'Reilly as we speak, I guarantee it! And Ivanka gets her own time slot too! (/fake)
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:07 PM on April 27 [7 favorites]


I say we just chuck all this BS, refuse to pretend Trump or any of the Republican leadership is legitimate, and start organizing and building an alternative, parallel government without all the fund raising graft and party system baggage on our own.

I guess that's probably unrealistic though. :/
posted by saulgoodman at 4:13 PM on April 27 [11 favorites]


If you've been busy calling and visiting your elected officials (or even if you haven't!), I just wanted to say: please say thank you.

I've mentioned before that, in addition to lots of calls and faxes urging my representatives to take a particular action, I've also been trying hard to watch for things they do that I approve of, and then taking a moment to say thanks. (Many weeks I'll send a Friday thank-you fax thanking a rep for a few recent things - like this week Senator Harris gets my thanks for her DACA legislation, speaking out about national monuments, supporting a higher minimum wage, and holding a town hall.)

So, today, after calling my senators on ACA and the budget, I took a moment to call San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who (with Santa Clara) filed the lawsuit over Trump's executive order to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities. So far, the city has prevailed and Trump and Sessions have lost - the ruling puts a halt to any withholding of funds from sanctuary jurisdictions.

So I called and left voicemail just offering my effusive thanks to Herrera and his staff.

I just got a really nice voicemail back from one of the main staffers there saying how much it meant to get a call like that. "It is not common that people call government expressing gratitude, and for those of us who have worked really hard ... - I really thank you for placing the call and for letting us know how you felt."

There are a lot of people working really hard for us, especially in the cities and states where this is all playing out. A genuine thank you recognizing hard work can mean a lot.

So please: watch for your officials to do the right thing. Then, whether they succeed or not, take a moment to say thank you.

(And to everyone who's been calling and writing and taking to the streets and doing all the other work of resisting and organizing: I say thank you!)
posted by kristi at 4:17 PM on April 27 [96 favorites]


Are Trump Voters Ruining America For All Of Us? asks conservative Naval War College professor of national security affairs Tom Nichols.

"There is a more disturbing possibility here than pure ignorance: that voters not only do not understand these issues, but also that they simply do not care about them. As his supporters like to point out, Trump makes the right enemies, and that’s enough for them. Journalists, scientists, policy wonks — as long as “the elites” are upset, Trump’s voters assume that the administration is doing something right," he observes.

"There is a serious danger to American democracy in all this. When voters choose ill-informed grudges and diffuse resentment over the public good, a republic becomes unsustainable. The temperance and prudent reasoning required of representative government gets pushed aside in favor of whatever ignorant idea has seized the public at that moment. The Washington Post recently changed its motto to “democracy dies in darkness,” a phrase that is not only pretentious but inaccurate. More likely, American democracy will die in dumbness." {emphasis added}

And as if to confirm his thesis, the Washington Post published this article: Trump’s Lies Are Working Brilliantly. This New Poll Proves It.; and the LA Times this one: This Democratic Bastion Flipped For Trump. After 100 Days, Voters Have No Regrets.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:21 PM on April 27 [67 favorites]


I've been worried about Voice of America turning into Trump's World Trumpet, what with the editorial board being dissolved and right wing bloggers being put in charge, but so far it's holding out. Today, they lead with Flynn and, cheekily, put an update on the MOAB drop under 'Extremism Watch' - would that US domestic news had that sort of focus.
posted by Devonian at 4:22 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Great article from Tom Nichols, but we already knew that. If he has any suggestions for how to fix this, I am all ears.
posted by corb at 4:27 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


teleri025: Keeping MetaFilter Classy Since 2005™
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:32 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Did anyone notice that we finally got an Agriculture Secretary this week? I'd totally forgotten about that.
posted by octothorpe at 4:35 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I don't get it, while Perdue wouldn't be my choice he doesn't appear to be some sort of traitor, moron, neo-nazi, religious wackjob, or any of the other factors which tend to get someone brought to Trump's attention for a cabinet position. Did they run out of scum they found under a rock?
posted by Justinian at 4:44 PM on April 27


Matt Fuller, who really knows how to count members of Congress on healthcare, has a AHCA whip count up. Republicans can only afford to lose 22 members (21 if Chaffetz is off getting treatment for a preexisting condition). There are 17 firm nos, 10 leaning no, and 11 who say they're undecided. A bunch of moderates who were willing to support the last version of the AHCA have bailed, saying this goes too far on their promises on preexisting conditions, and they haven't picked up everyone from the Tuesday Group either. The chairs of Appropriations and Foreign Affairs aren't willing to support it, and it's not a good sign when top committee chairs won't back their leadership.

If your reps are on the linked list, your call could make a big difference.

Meanwhile, 28 hours and 15 minutes to a government shutdown.
posted by zachlipton at 4:44 PM on April 27 [16 favorites]


My church is working with other local parishes to prepare to house people needing sanctuary. We have people willing to barricade the doors if it comes to that.
posted by EarBucket at 4:44 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


Oklahoma state Sen. Kyle Loveless resigns amid criminal investigation

Facing new accusations that he embezzled his own campaign funds, state Sen. Kyle Loveless resigned Thursday and admitted he made mistakes.

-- He became the third Oklahoma senator in the last two years to resign in disgrace after coming under criminal investigation. His resignation is effective immediately and is irrevocable.

-- The investigation by the DA's office at first focused on whether Loveless committed perjury when he failed to report all of his PAC donations on his campaign reports.

That investigation has expanded, Prater confirmed Thursday. It now also involves whether Loveless embezzled campaign donations.

-- Loveless also has been under investigation by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission because of discrepancies over his PAC donations. That investigation began in November.

-- Loveless has acknowledged in the past he's had personal shortcomings but was restored by God.


Another one bites the dust.
posted by futz at 4:45 PM on April 27 [23 favorites]


New Labor secretary too.

Senate confirms Labor Secretary Acosta (No, not fluttering hellfire's boo Jim Acosta)
posted by futz at 4:54 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Octothorpe: Did anyone notice that we finally got an Agriculture Secretary this week? I'd totally forgotten about that.


I watched the livestream of his welcoming speech. He took off his jacket, whipped off his tie, and rolled up his sleeves!
posted by acrasis at 4:55 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Haaretz: Israel Believes Trump Will Not Seek to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem for Now, Officials Say

I mean, good, but I guess they just had to get another reversal in there before the 100 day mark?
posted by zachlipton at 5:00 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


Kill me now with fire, bathe me in the iridescent light of oblivion, let me pass unfettered to the realms of glory for I cannot even comprehend the reality where anyone could grade this President with an "A" in these first one hundred days.
posted by Tevin at 4:44 PM on April 27

That's because you get your news and information from somewhere other than Trump's tweets, FOX news, and Facebook. If those are your only sources then Trump hasn't done anything wrong-- in fact he has had a lot of success. It won't be until reality snakes through the lies and actually bites them on the ass that the hard-core fan is going to turn on Trump...and maybe not even then.

I've heard and read so many takes on how Trump really resonated with the voters, how he (and Bernie) really had the right language to speak to the White working class. I think that's hogwash. I think he just lied his head off and made all sorts of promises he could never fulfill. Unfortunately the people are so used to Politicians lying to them and making big promises they can't keep that the lying per se did not bother the Trump fans. Amidst the multitude of lies each fan found some nugget of fool's gold that they thought might turn out to be real--whether it was the part about draining the swamp or bringing the high paying manufacturing jobs back or putting Hillary in jail-- and then they dismissed all the other stuff as being unimportant or just "Trump being Trump."

He actually promised them at his rallies "I'll make all your dreams come true," as though he was a Prince in fairy tale, sweeping the princess off her feet. How could anyone who wasn't lying, who was trying to only promise those things that might actually be achievable, how could they compete with a fantasy? Who knew that the best way to reach out to "WWC voters in Red States" was just to lie your head off? I guess it makes sense, who wants to hear the truth ("The coal mining jobs are never coming back.") when the fantasy is so much more enjoyable?

The real test will be what happens in the coming 3 years and Trump not only does not fulfill any of the promises he made but actively works to make the lives of the poor and middle class voters more miserable. Even then, I'm sure he will still have a core of die hard fans who believe in him.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:03 PM on April 27 [38 favorites]


SB 562 (California's single payer act) just made it out of committee in California!

CA is really doing this. They're going to go it alone and just implement single payer for the state lock, stock, and barrel.
posted by Talez at 5:05 PM on April 27 [90 favorites]


third Oklahoma senator in the last two years

that is kind of amazing
posted by ryanrs at 5:13 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


He actually promised them at his rallies "I'll make all your dreams come true," as though he was a Prince in fairy tale, sweeping the princess off her feet.

That fairy tale prince had a name. His name was Pedro.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:16 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Talez: "CA is really doing this. They're going to go it alone and just implement single payer for the state lock, stock, and barrel."

I haven't been following this too closely but I hope the bill sponsors have done their homework (e.g.: worked out the funding so they don't end up like Vermont did with their single-payer proposal, figured out how to fend off the insurance industry so they don't get "Harry and Louise"-ed, etc...)

I recall someone suggesting that if smallish countries like Denmark (population ~6MM) can figure out universal health care, then there's no reason why a state the size of California (population ~40MM) couldn't do the same. Except, as we learned from the Vermont example, perhaps the blockers are not necessarily due to the size of the population to be insured but rather their expectations around their tax burden.
posted by mhum at 5:18 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


CA is really doing this. They're going to go it alone and just implement single payer for the state lock, stock, and barrel.

As much as I wish that were the case, I don't think Jerry Brown will sign it without major work on how the thing gets paid for. Major, major work.

So far this is like the Obamacare repeal pre-Republicans taking the government over. You push for stuff without a care about the details because it won't happen. But if we actually want single payer here in CA it's time to care about the details. How is this financed? What gets covered? Who runs the thing and how does that happen?
posted by Justinian at 5:20 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


28 hours and 15 minutes to a government shutdown.

Currently Navy Federal, USAA, and First Command are offering government shutdown assistance for people on DoD payroll, as a heads up for our DoD members.
posted by corb at 5:25 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]


If anyone is interested, you can read SB562 here. Notably present: the start of a plan to address the "who runs the thing and how does that happen" and "what gets covered" part of the equation. Notably absent: how does this get paid for!
posted by Justinian at 5:27 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Civil service update: we heard nothing about a shutdown again today. If it happens it's going to catch at least one major agency totally flat footed.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:32 PM on April 27 [7 favorites]


Do other countries go through this type of thing? Where political parties are so at odds with each other (and their constituents) that they let the government literally shut down for a while?
posted by witchen at 5:35 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Do other countries go through this type of thing? Where political parties are so at odds with each other (and their constituents) that they let the government literally shut down for a while?

Some European countries are in caretaker mode for extended periods of time while the ruling coalition works itself out but they don't really shut down per se.
posted by Talez at 5:39 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


In the first world? No, not generally as far as I know of. Our appropriations process is uniquely stupid, in that congress can mandate that money be spent...but a future congress still must take separate action to the authorize that money to be appropriated during a given budget year. Not to mention the separate and distinct stupidity of an arbitrary statutory cap on the government's total borrowing authority that must also be separately raised by congress.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:39 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


cautionary statement here - if say this does finally tip too far in the problems of trump - the issue won't be brought up soon. first, we'll see this go until January 21, 2019 before congress is actually motivated to sink this administration. i'd expect simultaneous efforts to be made against pence...

then president ryan. really, that can be that guys only long play here.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:40 PM on April 27


Notably absent: how does this get paid for!

I'm not sure you read enough. Premiums currently paid into the private system become a progressive premium paid into the public system.
posted by Talez at 5:40 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


ABC News: President Trump at 100 days: No honeymoon but no regrets (POLL)
There's no honeymoon for Donald Trump in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll but also no regrets: He approaches his 100th day in office with the lowest approval rating at this point of any other president in polls since 1945 — yet 96 percent of those who supported him in November say they'd do so again today.

...

As noted, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds no evidence of buyer's remorse among Trump supporters. Among those who report having voted for him in November, 96 percent today say it was the right thing to do; a mere 2 percent regret it. And if a rerun of the election were held today, the poll indicates even the possibility of a Trump victory in the popular vote among 2016 voters.
Chauncey DeVega (via Salon/Alternet): Are American voters actually just stupid? A new poll [from ABC News] suggests the answer may be “yes”
Political scientists and other researchers have repeatedly documented that the American public does not have a sophisticated knowledge on political matters. The average American also does not use a coherent and consistent political ideology to make voting decisions. As Larry Bartels and Christopher Achen demonstrate in their new book “Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government,” Americans have identities and values that elites manipulate, which voters in turn use to process information — however incorrectly.

While some groups of voters may apply decision-rules based on community concerns (African-Americans fit this model), American voters en masse are not rational actors who seriously consider the available information, develop knowledge and expertise about their specific worries and then make political choices that would maximize their goals.

...

This ABC News/Washington Post poll also signals a deeper problem. In different ways, both Trump and Clinton voters appear unable to connect their personal political decisions to questions of institutional power and political outcomes. This is a crisis of civic literacy that threatens the foundations of American democracy.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:42 PM on April 27 [40 favorites]


then president ryan

don't worry I'll do better than the current guy
posted by ryanrs at 5:43 PM on April 27 [19 favorites]


Civil service update: we heard nothing about a shutdown again today. If it happens it's going to catch at least one major agency totally flat footed.

Trump has rapidly gained the reputation of a caver. Everyone expects him to keep caving.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:43 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Civil service update: I got an email today asking me to list the tasks I'd need done in case of a shutdown.
posted by acrasis at 5:44 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Civil service update: we heard nothing about a shutdown again today. If it happens it's going to catch at least one major agency totally flat footed.

Make that two, my agency has yet to say a single word to the workforce, total opposite of the daily updates we got in 2013. Not that I'm surprised.
posted by photo guy at 5:45 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


"Do other countries go through this type of thing? Where political parties are so at odds with each other (and their constituents) that they let the government literally shut down for a while?"

Sometimes, sort-of. Consequences vary based on form of government and specific rules. Parliamentary systems are more common in the First World, and they collapse and form a new government rather than "shutting down" per se. But Belgium notably recently went 20 months without a government at all because they couldn't manage to form one, which is somewhat analogous to a US shutdown.

"Our appropriations process is uniquely stupid, in that congress can mandate that money be spent...but a future congress still must take separate action to the authorize that money to be appropriated during a given budget year. "

Yeah, also this; in the US if no appropriations are passed, the budget zeroes out. In other countries, spending typically continues at current levels. Which really changes the bargaining incentives.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:45 PM on April 27


Among those who report having voted for him in November

So this buyers remorse analysis doesn't take into consideration those who will no longer say they voted for him?
posted by localhuman at 5:47 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]


Since I know everyone is dying to hear about how things went at the Berkeley protests today, I have reports from the ground: nothing happened. I saw an old white guy with a huge American flag get into an argument and then get kicked off campus by a cop. Other than that it was mostly just people walking to class. There were police everywhere.

Meanwhile, there was a rally for free speech near city hall. I didn't bother stopping by, but apparently there were (and still are) people in body armor and capes(!), because that's what you wear when you're totally defending freedom for real and not just LARPing. Eyewitness reports called the crowd "hilarious," but sadly I have already left Berkeley for the day and cannot confirm this.

Gavin McInnes apparently read Ann Coulter's speech, because nothing says "intellectual freedom" like a racist guy railing against immigrants at 3 PM on a weekday in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. The other celebrity appearance was the guy who got arrested for hitting someone with a stick while holding a homemade shield at last week's protest. He's using his newfound fame to promote a group called the Proud Boys, which sounds in no way like the bad guys in a late 80s/early 90s action movie starring Corey Haim.

No fights have broken out. We'll see what happens after dark.

/update
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:47 PM on April 27 [29 favorites]


In my fantasy of how this all plays out in the event of an impeachment, whatever whatever scandalgate finally awakens the rough beast of the far right and they go after both Trump and Pence. Just as this is going on, as the insane rump wing Freedom caucus guys realize that Ryan might end up as President and decide to do everything they can to kneecap him. A successful kneecapping results in an inconclusive floor fight for a speaker with the Republicans delaying a vote again and again while they try to coalesce around a candidate (as they realize it will be President Pelosi if they divide the vote).

Now, some right wing Republican asshole still ends up as president under this way ("President Orrin Hatch"), but I'd be thrilled just to see a total Republican cluster fuck of succession. Indeed, it is the bright fantasy cloud I hold on to at all times.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:47 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


But Belgium notably recently went 20 months without a government at all because they couldn't manage to form one, which is somewhat analogous to a US shutdown.

No it's not. In caretaker mode governments still function with the previous government in the executive. However, typically the old government can only continue with business as usual. No new initiatives can be taken but services are most certainly funded and continue to function during coalition building.
posted by Talez at 5:48 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


In other countries, spending typically continues at current levels.

The problems of government shutdowns and governance by hostage taking could be easily solved by a simple fix to the appropriations process, pass a law that says in the event of a funding lapse, current levels continue until a new appropriation. Same for the debt ceiling, pass a law that either abolishes it, or raises it xxx$ every time the debt gets within xxx$.

But that would take away Republicans' only method of governing. They don't know how to do anything other than extort concessions through threatening to harm their own citizens.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:49 PM on April 27 [29 favorites]


Talez:

100657. (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would develop a revenue plan, taking into consideration anticipated federal revenue available for the program. In developing the revenue plan, it is the intent of the Legislature to consult with appropriate officials and stakeholders.

That's just a placeholder. They know they need a ton more revenue and they have no idea how to get it yet. It's like, as I said, the Republican health care plan which had a section under "Pre-Existing Conditions" which read basically "We're gonna be great on pre-existing conditions and are hammering out the details!"

Hey I hope they make this work. But they're doing the easy bit now not the hard bit.
posted by Justinian at 5:49 PM on April 27


... in the same way we hold grudging admiration for cholera

Ahem. This administration would need to improve significantly before I extend them the same respect I afford cholera.
posted by um at 5:54 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


Civil service update: we heard nothing about a shutdown again today. If it happens it's going to catch at least one major agency totally flat footed.

Trump has rapidly gained the reputation of a caver. Everyone expects him to keep caving.

Uh the proper term is “spelunker” thank you.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:54 PM on April 27 [18 favorites]


They know they need a ton more revenue and they have no idea how to get it yet.

You take the revenue currently being taken in on premiums, tweak it a little to take more from the top end earners, and add in Medicaid either in per-capita funding or a block grant clusterfuck, subtract the profits taken out and you have yourself working single payer funding. What am I missing here? It's not like everything gets 200% more expensive because the government is doing it.
posted by Talez at 5:56 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


Trump has rapidly gained the reputation of a spelunker. Everyone expects him to keep spelunking.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:56 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


Cholera gets things done.
posted by kyrademon at 5:57 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


But that would take away Republicans' only method of governing.

This is still a fairly novel form of government abuse around here, though - like, it seems relatively important to use the proliferation of shutdown brinksmanship as an example of how things have gone off the rails. Republicans used to govern without shutting everything down.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:58 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Ahem. This administration would need to improve significantly before I extend them the same respect I afford cholera.

CHOLERA/RESURGENT MUMPS OUTBREAK 2020!
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:59 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


Mm, I seem to recall a government shutdown back in the mid 90s too. I don't know much about pre-Gingrich shenanigans though.
posted by nat at 6:03 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Um. "EXCLUSIVE: Trump tells @Reuters there is a chance of 'major, major conflict with North Korea' in 100 days interview"

That doesn't seem like the kind of thing you should just casually drop in an interview.

Here's the story:
"There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely," Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday.

Nonetheless, Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve a crisis that has bedeviled multiple U.S. presidents, a path that he and his administration are emphasizing by preparing a variety of new economic sanctions while not taking the military option off the table.

"We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," he said.
...
Trump, asked if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be rational, said he was operating from the assumption that he is rational. He noted that Kim had taken over his country at an early age.

"He's 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age.

"I'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I'm just saying that's a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he's rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he's rational," he said.

Trump, sipping a Coke delivered by an aide after the president ordered it by pressing a button on his desk, appeared to rebuff an overture from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who told Reuters a direct phone call with Trump could take place again after their first conversation in early December angered Beijing.
He sure loves his Coke button, doesn't he? And once again, he's talking about how it's "very difficult." Who knew?
posted by zachlipton at 6:09 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Mm, I seem to recall a government shutdown back in the mid 90s too. I don't know much about pre-Gingrich shenanigans though.

Right - per It’s Even Worse Than It Looks I would suggest that Gingrich was a critical change point. But that’s only three administrations ago, and there were no threats of a shutdown during the W. Bush years. (That, of course, is why it’s so weird to the threat of a shut-down right now, when the Rs control everything.)
posted by Going To Maine at 6:10 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


There were several in the 80s too. It's not a new threat by Republicans. They've hated government since the New Deal, and wanted to end every single domestic dollar spent since. It's just been ramped up to 11 during the end stage of our democracy along with everything else.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:11 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Um. “EXCLUSIVE: Trump tells @Reuters there is a chance of 'major, major conflict with North Korea' in 100 days interview”

That doesn't seem like the kind of thing you should just casually drop in an interview.


Let me suggest a new standard for perceiving reality. That is absolutely the sort of thing the President would drop casually during an interview, because he says that kind of crazy thing all the time. So maybe that will happen, or maybe not. Who knows? When someone else says this might happen, without a few fewer caveats, then there’s a risk.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:12 PM on April 27 [13 favorites]


There were several in the 80s too. It's not a new threat by Republicans.

Perhaps Wikipedia’s table misrepresents things, but the 70s and 80s shutdowns seem to involve the Ds as players as well. Still, I’m learning things. Serves me right for not googling.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:15 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I've been briefing my people based on our agency's contingency plan, but nothing "official" has come from up the line yet other than asking for a list of excepted employees who may need to work during a shutdown. I listed my IT guys so that they can shut everything off and go home. Oh, I also made a phone tree with personal phone numbers and e-mails. A research leader's work is never done.
posted by wintermind at 6:16 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Here's a list of the shutdown plans although none of them seem to be updated since 2015
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:21 PM on April 27


As always, Trump is just talking the way your drunk uncle talks lazily over Thanksgiving dinner. I can so clearly hear uncles across America making proclamations like this. It's not indicative of any policy in the works. He's just shooting off whatever feels good to say in the moment.

It's like my dad's whole thing with Pakistan's nukes. "It's going to be major, major, probably in your lifetime," he tells me on the phone while watching UNC basketball on mute and eating Triscuits. This is the same thing, only DJT is a) the president and b) less smart and circumspect than my dad.
posted by witchen at 6:23 PM on April 27 [27 favorites]


Gäbe i pray this is NOT true because if it is, that's the total end of the FNC as we know it. Done. Best Sean

There is a lot going on at Fox right now. Big deals in the works, investigations, and lawsuits.

Federal probe of Fox News expands

In February the investigation was reported to be focusing on settlements made with women who alleged sexual harassment by former Fox News boss Roger Ailes, and questions about whether Fox had a duty to inform shareholders about the settlement payments.

The investigators have been asking "how the shareholder money was spent; who knew; and who should have known," one of the sources said.

But, CNNMoney has learned, the settlement payments are not the only thing they are examining.

Investigators have been probing possible misconduct by Fox News personnel and asking questions about the overall environment at the network.

Investigators have also been asking questions about mysterious confidants of Ailes -- people who were known inside Fox as "friends of Roger."


Lawsuit: Fox News group hacked, surveilled, and stalked ex-host Andrea Tantaros - After a sexual harassment claim, Fox News planted spyware on ex-host's computer.

Comparing their actions to the plot this season on the Showtime series Homeland, an attorney for former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has filed a complaint in federal court against Fox News, current and former Fox executives, Peter Snyder and his financial firm Disruptor Inc., and 50 "John Doe" defendants. The suit alleges that collective participated in a hacking and surveillance campaign against her.

-- Tantaros claims that as early as February of 2015, a group run out of a "black room" at Fox News engaged in surveillance and electronic harassment of her, including the use of "sock puppet" social media accounts to electronically stalk her. According to the lawsuit:

Trying to silence Ms. Tantaros by unsuccessfully seeking to overwhelm her with a multitude of lawyers was unsavory, but legal. But the Defendants went to the next level with Ms. Tantaros: committing crimes...the Defendants in this case subjected Ms. Tantaros to illegal electronic surveillance and computer hacking, and used that information (including, on information and belief, privileged attorney-client communications) to intimidate, terrorize, and crush her career through an endless stream of lewd, offensive, and career-damaging social media posts, blog entries and commentary, and high-profile "fake" media sites which Fox News (or its social influence contractors) owned or controlled. These accounts and sites were made to appear as held by independent persons or neutral media entities ("sockpuppet accounts"). While the use of professional social influencers and fake stories, accounts and posts has been part of Fox News's [sic] stock and and trade for years. the use of illegal electronic surveillance and computer hacking has taken the company's conduct to a profoundly disturbing next level.

...According to a report by Salon's Matthew Sheffield, Snyder had originally done social media "black room" work for Fox News and Ailes through his company New Media Strategies, and he continued to do so under the aegis of Disruptor. This work, also done by a number of other contractors (such as Bert Solivan, a former FOXnews.com general manager who reported directly to Ailes), included operating a number of blogs under concealed identities to spread disinformation about competitors and allegedly obtaining phone numbers and credit reports of reporters Ailes disliked in order to spy on them. These surveillance campaigns were funded by Ailes from Fox News' budget.


I know that it seems like I quoted a lot from the article above but there is even more info that if true is damning. More accusations incoming:

Beyond Sexual Harassment, Lesser Known Scandals Could Cost The Murdochs A $14B Deal

-- And yet, there is a quieter scandal hiding in plain sight — rife with allegations of computer hacking, accusations of fraud, questions of political interference and payouts totaling more than $900 million — all which centered on a relatively anonymous Murdoch enterprise called News America Marketing.

Most recently, Jesse Watters of Fox Announces Vacation After Ivanka Trump Comment

Jesse Watters, the Fox News host who took heat this week for making a joke about Ivanka Trump that was criticized as lewd, said on Wednesday that he would be taking a family vacation until Monday. The move came just three days after his show began airing in a new high-profile time slot.

A Fox News spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the vacation had been planned before “The Five” moved to its new time slot, or if the time off was related to the criticism Mr. Watters had received throughout much of Wednesday.


On "vacation". All is not well at Fox "News". SAD.
posted by futz at 6:30 PM on April 27 [37 favorites]


I mean, good, but I guess they just had to get another reversal in there before the 100 day mark?

I occasionally try to give Trump voters the benefit of the doubt and assume they had issues that were important enough to vote for him despite his racism, sexism, and incompetence. As he fails to deliver on promise after promise after promise, and (almost?) all that's left is the ugly stuff, how can they claim they didn't vote for that stuff, too?
Some of these people are people I love. I can't hate them. I just can't understand them.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:37 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]


This is not how you talk about North Korea. It just isn't. Even Reagan only talked about bombing Russia on camera by accident. And he had Alzheimers.
posted by Justinian at 6:40 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


So does Trump
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:42 PM on April 27 [11 favorites]


This is not how you talk about North Korea. It just isn't. Even Reagan only talked about bombing Russia on camera by accident. And he had Alzheimers.

It is, though. It really, really, is. Welcome to our country.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:43 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


He's 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age.

Trump was 25 years old when his father died and he took over a regime.
"I'm not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I'm just saying that's a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he's rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he's rational," he said.
He renamed Elizabeth Trump & Son to The Trump Organization. Elizabeth was his grandmother.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:45 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop... ever, until we are dead.

Oh, elected Republicans feel fear, all right. Every time they look at Trump's polls, and remember he lost by three million votes, and remember their own tea party, they feel fear. Fear is all they have to sell, but they're feeling it now.

Everything else is spot on, of course.
posted by Gelatin at 6:46 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


In which the Washington Post talks to Trump about why he didn't pull out of NAFTA: he learned it would hurt Trump voters. ‘I was all set to terminate’: Inside Trump’s sudden shift on NAFTA
“I was all set to terminate,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday night. “I looked forward to terminating. I was going to do it.”

There was just one problem: Trump’s team — like on so many issues — was deeply divided.

As news of the president’s plan reached Ottawa and Mexico City in the middle of the week and rattled the markets and Congress, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and others huddled in meetings with Trump, urging him not to sign a document triggering a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA.

Perdue even brought along a prop to the Oval Office: A map of the United States that illustrated the areas that would be hardest hit, particularly from agriculture and manufacturing losses, and highlighting that many of those states and counties were “Trump country” communities that had voted for the president in November.

“It shows that I do have a very big farmer base, which is good,” Trump recalled. “They like Trump, but I like them, and I’m going to help them.”
And this:
In the Oval Office interview, however, Trump repeatedly insisted that he was ready to pull out of NAFTA. At one point, he turned to Kushner, who was standing near his desk, and asked, “Was I ready to terminate NAFTA?”

“Yeah,” Kushner said, before explaining the case he made to the president: “I said, ‘Look, there’s plusses and minuses to doing it,’ and either way he would have ended up in a good place.”
This man is dangerously ignorant.
posted by zachlipton at 6:47 PM on April 27 [39 favorites]


“Yeah,” Kushner said, before explaining the case he made to the president: “I said, ‘Look, there’s plusses and minuses to doing it,’"

In conclusion, NAFTA is a land of contrasts.

Seriously, this is how you write when you haven't read the book for your book report.
posted by Justinian at 6:50 PM on April 27 [56 favorites]


Trump was 53 when his father died.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:55 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]


“Yeah,” Kushner said, before explaining the case he made to the president: “I said, ‘Look, there’s plusses and minuses to doing it,’

In conclusion, NAFTA is a land of contrasts.

Why wouldn’t Kushner say that, regardless of his true feelings? He’s with the President in public, and his job is to make the President look good. Given that everyone surrounding the President knows who he is, I’m unsurprised that they communicate with him at his level.

(That said, pretty much any trade deal could be summarized as a “land of contrasts”, yeah? Witness the poor TPP, which everyone loved before they said they hated it, before they said they loved it again.)
posted by Going To Maine at 6:56 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


“I was all set to terminate,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday night. “I looked forward to terminating. I was going to do it.”

This is Trump in a nutshell: gung-ho about taking some insanely drastic action that he has no concept of the consequences of, right up until the point when the latest person who talks to him changes his mind.

Senile doesn't even begin to describe the degree to which his faculties are compromised.
posted by tocts at 6:59 PM on April 27 [11 favorites]




More from the Reuters interview is dropping:
MORE: Trump wants to renegotiate or terminate 'horrible' trade deal with South Korea, wants it to pay for $1-billion THAAD missile defense

EXCLUSIVE: Trump tells @Reuters he was 'psyched to terminate NAFTA' before telephone calls from Canadian, Mexican leaders
So first he tells us we might be about to have a "major, major conflict" with North Korea, then he announces he wants to shake down South Korea for a billion bucks?

And "psyched???" And surely "I was psyched to cancel a deal, but then the counterparties called me up and I changed my mind" might undercut whatever cred he had left as a negotiator?
posted by zachlipton at 7:03 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, will teach a course on “dystopian visions” next fall in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the school’s dean confirmed Thursday.

turns out the course is just a television playing c-span
posted by entropicamericana at 7:06 PM on April 27 [52 favorites]


Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, will teach a course on “dystopian visions” next fall in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the school’s dean confirmed Thursday.

Week 1: The horrors of graduated tax brackets
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:07 PM on April 27 [10 favorites]


Everyone loves the explosive buzz of a fresh batch of nukajuana!
posted by The Whelk at 7:10 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, will teach a course on “dystopian visions” next fall in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the school’s dean confirmed Thursday.

He already scored an A on the practical.
posted by Artw at 7:11 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


Week 2: Civil Rights

How is this real life
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:16 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


No vote on the AHCA tomorrow or Saturday. In other words, they don't have the votes. Instead, they're, shockingly enough, just trying to see if they have the votes to fund the government instead.
posted by zachlipton at 7:17 PM on April 27 [23 favorites]


Oh sorry, I forgot: Sad.
posted by zachlipton at 7:23 PM on April 27 [16 favorites]


God that North Korea story upthread - I can't even.

"We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," he said.

If only you had a cabinet-level agency designed to do just that!
posted by photo guy at 7:29 PM on April 27 [20 favorites]


Everyone loves the explosive buzz of a fresh batch of nukajuana!

HOW IS THIS NOT A THING IN THE FALLOUTVERSE?!

Obviously it's what you get if you grow marijuana on a hydroponic diet of pure Nuka-Cola Quantum. It's like the reverse of psychojet.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:32 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


Are Trump Voters Ruining America for All of Us?
A hard knot of Hillary Clinton’s supporters, for example — led by Clinton herself — refuse to accept that her defeat was anything less than a plot by the Russians or the FBI (or both). The idea that Clinton was an awful candidate who ran a terrible campaign is utterly alien to them.
Kevin Drum has rebutted this pretty convincingly:
First: Keep in mind that Clinton was running for a third Democratic term during a period when (a) the economy was OK but not great and (b) Barack Obama's popularity was OK but not great.
...
Second: For the sake of argument, let's assume that Hillary Clinton was an epically bad, unpopular candidate who ran a terrible campaign.
...
If this is true, it was true for the entire year. Maybe longer. And yet, despite this epic horribleness, Clinton held a solid, steady lead over Trump the entire time.
...
Third: Every campaign has problems. If you win, they get swept under the rug. If you lose, bitter staffers bend the ears of anyone who will listen about the campaign's unprecedented dysfunction and poor strategy. This is all normal.
...
If you disagree that Comey was decisive, you need to account for two things. First, if the problem was something intrinsic to Clinton or her campaign, why was she so far ahead of Trump for the entire race? Second, if Comey wasn't at fault, what plausibly accounts for Clinton's huge and sudden change in fortune starting precisely on October 28?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:41 PM on April 27 [76 favorites]


Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, will teach a course on 'dystopian visions' next fall

Dude, those are usually warnings, not wish lists.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:42 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


The idea that Clinton was an awful candidate who ran a terrible campaign is utterly alien to them.

She outperformed her Abramowitz Model numbers, a forecasting measure of election fundamentals, by 2.4%. No winner in the last 7 elections did better than 1.5%.

She also outperformed House Ds by 3.3%. On top of, you know, winning the popular vote by 2.1%.
posted by chris24 at 7:50 PM on April 27 [66 favorites]


In which the Washington Post talks to Trump about why he didn't pull out of NAFTA: he learned it would hurt Trump voters.

Bullshit, and the Post should be embarrassed with themselves for falling for this. Trump's team's eagerness to sell them this story should have been a great big flashing sign that something wasn't right, and now they've gone and published a lie for Trump's deluded poorer supporters to point to when they claim that he really is trying to help them despite all of his actions accomplishing the contrary.
posted by IAmUnaware at 8:07 PM on April 27 [19 favorites]


From the end of the last thread:

“You don’t walk in with a traditional presentation, like a binder or a PowerPoint. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t consume information that way,” said one senior administration official. “You go in and tell him the pros and cons, and what the media coverage is going to be like.”

TV is our god, that is all we need know.
posted by petebest at 8:29 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


Cripes. So this week he's given exclusive interviews to WaPo and Reuters and I think AP. Plus he's been the anonymous senior White House source in how many other reports?

Trump loves talking to the press, that's for sure.
posted by notyou at 8:30 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


TV is our god, that is all we need know.

Yeah what is this some type of 80s dystopian satire.

Oh wait.
posted by kittensofthenight at 8:36 PM on April 27 [10 favorites]


I shall become a bat! Or possibly a robot cop.
posted by Artw at 8:38 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Our 80s dystopian satire needs more Max Headroom.
posted by Archelaus at 8:39 PM on April 27 [14 favorites]


Hot takes and listicles = blipverts.
posted by Artw at 8:40 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


More Reuters dystopia: Trump says he thought being president would be easier than his old life:
President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House.

"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."
...
More than five months after his victory and two days shy of the 100-day mark of his presidency, the election is still on Trump's mind. Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map.

"Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers," the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. "It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us."

He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room.
kj9ji;JIsd9KLhuow8r 🤡
posted by zachlipton at 8:42 PM on April 27 [81 favorites]


"Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers," the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. "It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us."

He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room.


What a small petty insecure emotionally stunted 'man'. He is unfit.
posted by futz at 8:48 PM on April 27 [16 favorites]


He thought running the United States of America would be easier than running a Real Estate company?
posted by meech at 8:51 PM on April 27 [43 favorites]


Yeah, seriously?!?!?!

If/when all of this is eventually over, I want a constitutional amendment requiring presidents to have held at least elected office before.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:54 PM on April 27 [19 favorites]


>"This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."

Bizarre. He really thinks he worked hard, overcame stuff, and succeeded by merit. He doesn't know he's King Joffrey.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:55 PM on April 27 [66 favorites]


Some thoughts on 99 days with Trump: "Nobody knew that...could be so complicated"

To me, the "nobody knew?" line is the really insulting part of this entire time [note: this was written before "I thought it would be easier" upthread, but sub in that line instead as the worst]. I expected the grift, the palace intrigue, the lies, the demonization and attacks on millions of Americans, the attacks on institutions, the efforts to tear down useful things out of spite, and the lashing out at dissenting views, and running indecisively from crisis to crisis. I was, regretfully, prepared for that by the campaign. But the bit that punches me in the gut is the extent to which none of these are serious people. They have no interest in actually doing the hard work involved in creating something worthy of being called "policy," no interest in doing any work at all. These are people who are now shocked to discover that "this shit is hard."

The tax "plan" is a perfect example. They supposedly had over 100 staffers working on this thing, yet they failed to produce a document that answers basic questions like "how much tax will I pay?" or "what is the revenue impact of these changes?" Something worthy of the title "plan" for something that impacts every person in the country ought to compare favorably in detail to a CVS receipt. I suspect the average President of a College Republicans chapter could have put out the same list of bullet points, possibly even a less regressive one, except they'd have done more research first. It was literally written on a cocktail napkin in the back of a club. The same slapdash "activity over quality" approach has been true for every single task this Administration has taken on, from the most basic ones like using the correct flag or identifying its own cabinet members properly to the big ones like launching missiles or rewriting the tax code.

What this means is that there has been a total abdication of any responsibility to care about the job. White House officials openly brag to the press about how they treat the President as a child, giving him just one one option and telling him how everyone will love him for it. Heck, they even brag to the press about how they lie to the press for sport. Hundreds of posts up and down the government have been left unfilled. Nobody in the White House cares.

And while I know we do here, the country doesn't seem to care either. Even in these threads, we're falling into the trap of trying to treat these pronouncements as serious proposals, debating the virtues of 401(k) deductions as if the White House's emissions constituted a good faith effort to govern rather than an exercise in noisemaking. There's not enough substance in these pronouncements to be worthy of evaluation, not enough credible backing behind them to have any reason to care, but we're so desperate for normalcy that we want to pretend. And the press isn't doing the job, not enough anyway. Julie Bosman summed up that situation yesterday:
"Journalists on twitter: This is not a plan!
Journalists in news stories: This is a dramatic plan/blueprint/proposal etc"
Institutions though, are starting to notice. Last month, Lawfare published an essay titled What Happens When We Don’t Believe the President’s Oath?. It argues that a whole bunch of systems are built on the assumption that everybody will take the President more-or-less seriously, and there's a long series of repercussions that occur when that doesn't happen. And we're seeing that in a lot of places. The Sanctuary Cities ruling this week involved both the Justice Department and the Court concluding that Trump's Executive Order was a mere bunch of puffery; it was an exercise in everyone saying "well, we'll just follow what the law says instead of what he's signed here." That's how people treat a child or an elderly relative with dementia who's demanded something absurd or impossible. Congress has enough problems on its hands and continues to pretend the President doesn't exist when it comes to healthcare, the budget, or the wall, and they spend most of their time hoping he doesn't start tweeting about this stuff, because he'll just get in the way. Foreign countries are learning to ignore his threats, secure in the knowledge of how easily he caves. Companies were worried about "tweet risk," the fear their stock would nosedive after an unfavorable Presidential tweet; now nobody thinks there's any there there. Even military movements are considered comedy after the Carl Vinson Strike Group incident. Nobody puts any faith in the White House's pronouncements, because we all know they'll probably reverse themselves anytime in the next five minutes or five months.

I want to stop for a moment and mention the one story hanging over all of this: Russia. Because that's the story that hangs over everything, and nobody is dealing with it. This paragraph doesn't belong here, tucked into this particular rant, and that's kind of the problem. How can you do a serious appraisal of the first 100 days without mentioning that the election was manipulated by a hostile foreign power, one currently doing the same thing in France? But that's what pretty much every 100 day story has done. I get it; it doesn't fit the narrative. That's why I'm shoving it into this randomly placed paragraph. But it's here, uncomfortably starring us in the face, and nobody is taking the initiative to press the issue.

99 days ago on Inauguration Day, which feels like eleventy billion years ago, I was pretty much numb to what was happening. I didn't quite acknowledge it internally until I tuned into the Broadway "Concert for America" stream later that afternoon (you know, a well-meaning effort of the same sort that didn't get Clinton elected). At the end, they sang "Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In from Hair," and that's when it really hit me. I wasn't alive for that particular time period, but "here we go again" is all I could think. I was wrong. That fight at least involved, on its better days, some element of a clash of beliefs, of policies, of ideologies; people were fighting the -isms they most cared about. Today, it's all just a battle between people who give a damn and people who don't, and the White House is the guy in the back of the class furiously trying to copy his neighbor's homework in the hope of a last-ditch C. He doesn't really care if he gets the C either, but they say mean things about him on cable TV if he doesn't, and that makes him sad, so here we are with the slapdash last-minute shots. And as for the Democrats who do give a damn, virtually every serious one is too busy fighting to save scraps of what we've got to be affirmatively trying to lead us anywhere, trying to offer anything resembling a vision rather than just, at best, some resistance.

I keep coming back to a line in Julie Pace (AP)'s interview with Trump. She asks him what part of his business background doesn't translate to the Presidency, and he seems to express surprise that you need to have heart in government, because "here, almost everything affects people...Here, everything, pretty much everything you do in government, involves heart, whereas in business, most things don't involve heart." We now live in a country where it is not particularly remarkable that the President just explained that he's discovered that giving a shit about other people is a basic part of the job and that this is something new for him. I don't know how much more clearly someone can announce that he has a severe personality disorder than a 70-year-old man telling a reporter that he's recently discovered that his actions affect other people.

I wish I had some kind of hopeful conclusion here. There really isn't one; everything is awful. On the bright side, we didn't all die in a nuclear war in the first 100 days, so go team "we are not yet dead." To the extent I can tease a better one out, it's that they really do seem to be discovering that this governing thing is more complicated than they thought, and the institutions I mentioned above are starting to close ranks to limit the damage. The destructive impulses are still there, but as their incompetence becomes more and more apparent and the failures stack up, the serious institutions are learning to ignore the Administration and do their own thing. If the White House keeps squandering every opportunity by simply not caring about their jobs, the grown-ups are going to keep replacing their wrecking balls with foam rubber mallets and hoping they don't notice. And while there's lots of damage they can still do with those things, at least some institutions will survive.

This is a guy who used to shout at the politicians on cable news, "any idiot could do a better job than these clowns." And now it must be starting to dawn on him that there just might be more to it. Who knew? As President Trump learns to open up his heart and let the sun shine in, he's discovering it really could be so complicated after all. That running a country really turns out to be a bunch of work. Maybe, just maybe, he'll increasingly find himself in a potemkin Presidency; one crafted to make him feel good about himself, letting him growl at a few targets while all the real levers of power are safely tucked away. Maybe then he'll get discouraged and find himself brokenhearted, sitting in a darkened Roosevelt Room recounting how many electoral votes he won as his staff still searches for the light switch. And then he'll press the red button on his desk, and order himself a Coke. Sad.

24 hours to a government shutdown.
posted by zachlipton at 9:00 PM on April 27 [197 favorites]


If/when all of this is eventually over, I want a constitutional amendment requiring presidents to have held at least elected office before.
If not, you know we'll get a former WWE champ in the White House. Because that's what (barely enough of) the people want.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:02 PM on April 27 [7 favorites]


How many [unintelligibles] in the reuters interview? Were they more honest than than the AP reporters who had to admit that the [unintelligible] in their transcript was one of trump's handlers who was coaching him and wouldn't agree to be on the record? j/k, mostly.

winna posted in the previous thread:

The Daniel Dale article explains that [unintelligible] comment we were puzzled about earlier: "Sixteen times during the interview, the AP recorded a Trump remark as “unintelligible,” a notation that is highly unusual for a one-on-one interview in a silent setting like the Oval Office.

Pace explained to the Star that one of Trump’s aides, who did not want his or her comments included in the transcript, kept talking at the same time as him. This is itself highly unusual."

So basically his puppetmaster was talking, trying to get President Mynah Bird to say the right gibberish. We really need to know who that was and their remarks should be in the transcript too.

posted by futz at 9:04 PM on April 27 [26 favorites]


President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House.

"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:05 PM on April 27 [30 favorites]


"This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."
Hey, man, you can always go right back. Just say the word!
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:09 PM on April 27 [27 favorites]




Chauncey DeVega (via Salon/Alternet): Are American voters actually just stupid? A new poll [from ABC News] suggests the answer may be “yes”

You don't say.

bashingownheadintobloodypulponkeyboard.gif
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:13 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]


You take the revenue currently being taken in on premiums, tweak it a little to take more from the top end earners, and add in Medicaid either in per-capita funding or a block grant clusterfuck, subtract the profits taken out and you have yourself working single payer funding. What am I missing here?

What you are missing, is that about half of people in California get their health insurance through their employer. The California single-payer proposal says that they will use the federal funds allocated to Medicaid (26% of people) and Obamacare (9% of people) but what about the half who currently have employer insurance? Employers currently choose from a variety of private insurance companies and choose to provide various percentages of premium payments for those plans. How do you transfer all of those people to government single-payer? Presumably they need to charge each employer some sort of premium for each employee they have but there is nothing in the proposal to indicate how that his done or how much to charge. Is is a flat rate for each employee? Is is a percentage of each employee's wages?

Not to say this can't be done. It works in each of the Canadian provinces. But there are a lot of details missing in the California proposal.
posted by JackFlash at 9:13 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."

Why did he think this? From TV shows? How can someone be SO DUMB? This is more than: Privileged White Man Surrounded by Sycophants [fill in the blank].

He is incurious, uneducated in every way. Loyalty is bought and not genuine. ALL of that aside, many men like him have an awareness of the world. This person does not. His awareness is himself. His convictions are based upon the last person he spoke to and this is why he is so dangerous.
posted by futz at 9:20 PM on April 27 [26 favorites]


Russia. Because that's the story that hangs over everything, and nobody is dealing with it.

E.J. Dionne, WaPo: Trump’s greatest single achievement almost never gets mentioned
In the outpouring of commentary on President Trump’s first 100 days in office, his greatest single achievement is almost never mentioned, which is itself a sign of what a major triumph it is: We are not talking much about whether Russia colluded with Trump’s campaign to help elect him.
[…]
And there is this core Trump principle: A lie is as good as the truth as long as you can get your base to believe it. And sure enough, the new Post-ABC News poll conducted last week found that 52 percent of Republicans believe that “the Obama administration intentionally spied on Trump and members of his campaign during the 2016 election campaign.” This should keep Trump going for a while.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:28 PM on April 27 [29 favorites]


What you are missing, is that about half of people in California get their health insurance through their employer. The California single-payer proposal says that they will use the federal funds allocated to Medicaid (26% of people) and Obamacare (9% of people) but what about the half who currently have employer insurance? Employers currently choose from a variety of private insurance companies and choose to provide various percentages of premium payments for those plans. How do you transfer all of those people to government single-payer? Presumably they need to charge each employer some sort of premium for each employee they have but there is nothing in the proposal to indicate how that his done or how much to charge. Is is a flat rate for each employee? Is is a percentage of each employee's wages?

The idea was to scrap the entire employer sponsored healthcare plan system and run it as an additional progressive tax on employers functioning as a sort of "premium".
posted by Talez at 9:30 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Healthy California Act proponent site
A payroll and income premium, which is higher for upper income earners, would replace insurance company premiums, co-pays and deductibles. No more double-digit premium increases.
posted by Talez at 9:32 PM on April 27 [7 favorites]


run it as an additional progressive tax on employers functioning as a sort of "premium".

Sort of? Sort of what? Don't you think that "sort of" is kind of important? What kind of plan is that?

A payroll and income premium, which is higher for upper income earners, would replace insurance company premiums, co-pays and deductibles. No more double-digit premium increases.

Point to where that is specified in the SB562.
posted by JackFlash at 9:41 PM on April 27


Molina Healthcare will "withdraw from the marketplace immediately" if the cost sharing reduction payments are not funded in the budget deal.

Molina provides plans to a million exchange enrollees, 9% of the total exchange participation could lose coverage as soon as May 31.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:44 PM on April 27 [7 favorites]




Molina Healthcare will "withdraw from the marketplace immediately" if the cost sharing reduction payments are not funded in the budget deal.

This is not surprising. Trump has a history of stiffing contractors and then saying "sue me." No sane company would continue to spend money providing healthcare on a vague suggestion that Trump might condescend to pay them later. This is going to cost a lot of people their healthcare.
posted by JackFlash at 9:54 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]


"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."

Why did he think this? From TV shows? How can someone be SO DUMB? This is more than: Privileged White Man Surrounded by Sycophants [fill in the blank].


He thought that the job looked so easy that a black guy could do it, so why not him? But the most recent president who actually won the popular vote didn't really make it look easy. Remember all those before and after photos of 'a skinny kid with a funny name' and a grizzled 8 year incumbent?

He looked at Obama's cable news clips and thought that was all there was to the job. Wave at cameras and say stuff? Why not? Of course! Nobody knew that you had to know stuff. Nobody could have known. Sad.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:02 PM on April 27 [35 favorites]


This would probably be a good time to introduce all of America to the Dunning Kruger effect.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:10 PM on April 27 [21 favorites]


...his greatest single achievement is almost never mentioned, which is itself a sign of what a major triumph it is: We are not talking much about whether Russia colluded with Trump’s campaign to help elect him.

But one of the biggest reasons we're not talking much about it is because U.S./Russia relations have actually gotten WORSE under Trump. Which some people consider proof there never was any deal with Russia, but more likely means that Trump, as he usually does, double-crossed whomever he was making a deal with.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:17 PM on April 27 [12 favorites]


“I kind of pooh-poohed the experience stuff when I first got here,” one White House official said of these early months. “But this shit is hard.”

Literally the only people who did not know this ended up in the whitehouse, somehow.
posted by Artw at 10:23 PM on April 27 [28 favorites]




Anti-Trump Aerobics. "We have created an aerobics routine comprised of Trump's most common gestures, comportments, and manners to block these entirely. Aerobics props of long, red neckties will be provided."
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:29 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


> “I kind of pooh-poohed the experience stuff when I first got here,” one White House official said of these early months. “But this shit is hard.”

I'm kind of waiting for The Onion headline: "Fake news site gives up and just starts running real news." with the quote "Reality has descended into self parody. We just can no longer compete with that."
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:34 PM on April 27 [17 favorites]


Riane Konc, New Yorker (from January 26, 2017): This American Carnage
Episode No. 1: Inauguration Day

From WBEZ, in Chicago, it’s “This American Carnage,” distributed by Public Radio International. I’m Ira Glass. Each week, of course, we choose a theme and invite writers and performers to take a whack at that theme. This week: Inauguration Day. Act One: The Audacity of Grope. Act Two: New Year’s Revolutions. Act Three: It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Tweeting). And Act Four: Schindler’s Listicle. Earlier today, our producer Sean Cole found the names of everyone here in the office written down with either “Jew,” “Gentile,” or “Not Sure, Leave a Dreidel on Their Desk and See What Happens” next to them. We’ll figure out what that’s all about. Stay with us.

Episode No. 14: Going Green

Hey, everybody. Ira here, with “This American Carnage,” where, each week, we take a meme, and bring you a variety of stories on that meme. Act One: Frog Out of Water. The newly appointed head of the Religious Science Cabinet (formerly the E.P.A.) has criminalized amphibians, claiming that “choosing to live both on land and in water constitutes gross promiscuity.” But what does this mean for working-class white people? Scott Carrier brings us that story. And Act Two: Pepe le Pew-Pew-Pew. New York’s reptiles have militarized. Now what? Etgar Keret reads what was originally intended as a short piece of fiction. Stay tuned.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:35 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Olivia Solon, Guardian: Facebook admits: governments exploited us to spread propaganda
Facebook has publicly acknowledged that its platform has been exploited by governments seeking to manipulate public opinion in other countries – including during the presidential elections in the US and France – and pledged to clamp down on such “information operations”.

In a white paper (PDF) authored by the company’s security team and published on Thursday, the company detailed well-funded and subtle techniques used by nations and other organizations to spread misleading information and falsehoods for geopolitical goals. These efforts go well beyond “fake news”, the company said, and include content seeding, targeted data collection and fake accounts that are used to amplify one particular view, sow distrust in political institutions and spread confusion.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:49 PM on April 27 [43 favorites]


I'm ashamed that my state has an asshole like this running for Governor.

Laura Vozzella, WaPo: Virginia gov’s race gets weird, as GOP candidate spars on Twitter with musician John Legend
Stewart’s comments prompted blowback from musician John Legend and many of his 9.2 million Twitter followers. Among those who chimed in was Lippman, who was born in Atlanta and raised in Baltimore.

“Darlin’ I’m a Southerner and happy to explain why those monuments are [messed] up,” Lippman wrote.

Someone tweeting as “Fashy Frog” shot back to Lippman: “Are you a Jew?”

Eventually Lippman’s husband, “Wire” creator Simon, jumped in with: “Are you a s---head? Sounds like it.”

And that’s where Stewart popped up again in the thread with this: “Just like a liberal: no argument, so attack the man.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:54 PM on April 27 [22 favorites]


Arkansas just executed another person, and it seems to have gone badly, but the state is claiming all was fine and there's nothing to investigate (description of execution follows):
Media witnesses to the execution reported irregularities, telling reporters at the Arkansas prison where the execution took place that Williams was "coughing, convulsing, lurching, jerking, with sound" during his execution. One witness reported that Williams took 20 breaths after having been injected with the midazolam.

"He was clearly trying to draw in air," a media witness said. Williams "attempted to draw breath until 10:59," according to a media witness — the state said Williams' time of death was 11:05 p.m. CT.
posted by zachlipton at 11:02 PM on April 27 [7 favorites]


"I thought being president would be easier": Trump's Reuters interview highlights

I asked my son today if he thought being President of America would be easy. He said yes. And you know what. That's fine. He's five years old, so he gets a pass on thinking that. Donald Trump, however, is 70 fucking years old. If he really thought this job was going to be easy, someone get this man a colouring book because that's the level of wisdom we're working with here.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:47 PM on April 27 [44 favorites]


I remember being 8 and thinking about being President. Got this terrible anxiety over naming cabinet members and Supreme Court Justices. Serious worry. As if being President was the assignment for the next day and I hadn't even gotten started. I didn't know enough people. I knew I could name my best friend and my other best friend. And my teacher and my pastor. Maybe my Mom would want to be on the Supreme Court. But I needed even more people to nominate and I was running out of names.

At any rate, there's no excuse for Trump. I knew it at age 8 and even had a couple of nervous nights about it.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:19 AM on April 28 [21 favorites]


If not, you know we'll get a former WWE champ in the White House. Because that's what (barely enough of) the people want.

I'm pretty confident Dwayne Johnson would be a far better President than Donald Trump.
posted by Justinian at 1:41 AM on April 28 [32 favorites]


First, She Survived a ‘Cult.’ Now She’s Running for Office.

Chelsea Savage, now 46, is (...) hoping voters in Virginia’s 73rd district will support her bid for the Democratic nomination for state delegate.
(...)
A Democratic victory would be a major feat, but for Savage — an openly gay single mother who grew up not just poor, but about as far from political pedigree as one can get — it would also be a personal triumph. A signal of how far she’s come.

posted by moody cow at 1:53 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


I wonder what HRC thinks everything time DJT bleats that nobody knew health care/North Korea/Syria/tax reform would be so complicated

I mean she's a tough lady and probably by now it's one of those things she finds hilarious in the darkest gallows sense, because she loves her country, but do you imagine the first time she heard it?

I kind of hope she broke a lot of shit and then drank a lot of whiskey.
posted by angrycat at 3:39 AM on April 28 [26 favorites]


This would probably be a good time to introduce all of America to the Dunning Kruger effect.

Nah, we're pretty sure we already understand it as well as the experts, if not better.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:55 AM on April 28 [92 favorites]


"Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers," the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. "It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us."

I never thought that I would be so profoundly disgusted by a President. The whole country is "us."
posted by heatvision at 4:04 AM on April 28 [54 favorites]


Why did he think this? From TV shows? How can someone be SO DUMB? This is more than: Privileged White Man Surrounded by Sycophants [fill in the blank].

What shocks me isn't that he's so stupid but that he doesn't even bother to try to hide that fact. I mean, it's one thing to realize that being president is harder than you thought but it's another to admit that fact to the press.
posted by octothorpe at 4:17 AM on April 28 [15 favorites]


"I thought being president would be easier": Trump's Reuters interview highlights

White dude watches black dude excel at something and assumes it must be easy.
posted by supercrayon at 4:41 AM on April 28 [75 favorites]


White dude watches black dude excel at something and assumes it must be easy.

But it's worse than that. White dude also refuses to acknowledge that black dude is excelling.
posted by bardophile at 4:50 AM on April 28 [34 favorites]


Angrycat, I had the same reaction: how infuriating it must be for HRC to read that Trump had no idea of what the job entailed and how difficult it is to govern the country. Who knew?

Zachlipton, your 12:00am comment should be an op-ed in the NYTimes so that more people could get the chance to read it. What a travesty this administration is, what a farce. Amazing how a great country like America could be brought so low by one senile old man with a massive, all-consuming ego.

There were a number of times during the election when I was sure he would drop out. I knew how difficult the job is and I also knew that he was not used to working that hard. Why would a pampered Billionaire want to make life so difficult for himself when at 70 he has so few years left? Obviously the power was the attraction but I reasoned that ultimately he would hate spending that much time sitting through boring briefings and being forced to think about things other than himself and his own businesses. What I forgot to factor in was his sheer ignorance.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:55 AM on April 28 [31 favorites]


> Amazing how a great country like America could be brought so low by one senile old man with a massive, all-consuming ego.

Trump is a symptom, not the cause.
posted by moody cow at 5:05 AM on April 28 [43 favorites]


CNBC: Pay attention to the man behind the curtain: Trump is no wizard of government: In the Oval Office, in fact, Trump looks less like Superman and more like Professor Marvel in that "Wizard of Oz" scene when Dorothy peers behind the curtain to see that Oz isn't so great and powerful after all. Trump is a talented salesman with the world's biggest microphone, but he has no experience making government work and precious few aides to help him learn how.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:11 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


Or, to put it another way:

@drgonzo123: There is no man behind the curtain, there is no curtain, heck, there isn’t even a man. There’s just raw, unrefined stupidity.
posted by Artw at 5:15 AM on April 28 [27 favorites]


If/when all of this is eventually over, I want a constitutional amendment requiring presidents to have held at least elected office before.

At a bare minimum they should be able to pass an eighth-grade civics final exam. Without an aide in the room to coach them through the answers.

I do think this should actually part of the cycle next time - some news organization should set up an event where they give the candidates such a test and publish the results.

AND IT SHOULD BE ESSAY, NOT MULTIPLE GUESS.
posted by winna at 5:27 AM on April 28 [31 favorites]


I love the detail that he keeps handing out copies of his electoral win map to reporters. Winning the election was the only thing that he's accomplished so it's the only thing he has to talk about.
posted by octothorpe at 5:28 AM on April 28 [12 favorites]


Trump is a talented salesman

Six casino/hotel bankruptcies, Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump magazine, Trump University, etc. etc. after getting the equivalent of of a $31m loan from his father to start, then inheriting hundreds of millions upon his death and managing to significantly underperform the S&P for decades would argue otherwise.
posted by chris24 at 5:29 AM on April 28 [55 favorites]


And yet an awful lot of Americans are _still buying all he's selling_. He knows his target audience pretty well.
posted by delfin at 5:35 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


Reporters should start handing back cartograms.
posted by nat at 5:36 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


Amazing how a great country like America could be brought so low by one senile old man with a massive, all-consuming ego.

The entire Republican party endorsed him, is pretending he's a normal president, is covering for his treason with Russia, works to actually implement whatever insanity he tweets, and is using him to pass worse policies than even Trump can dream up.

The problem is not Trump. It's always been Republicans.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:38 AM on April 28 [84 favorites]


Six casino/hotel bankruptcies, Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump magazine, Trump University, etc. etc. after getting the equivalent of of a $31m loan from his father to start, then inheriting hundreds of millions upon his death and managing to significantly underperform the S&P for decades would argue otherwise.

Yeah, let it never be forgotten that Trump is the epitome of a guy born on 3rd base who thinks he hit a triple. He started life privileged to a degree that even total failure could only have brought him down to the low state of being merely wealthy instead of obscenely so.
posted by tocts at 5:40 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


He started life privileged to a degree that even total failure could only have brought him down to the low state of being merely wealthy instead of obscenely so.

He would've been ruined but for a bailout by the Russian criminal underworld. The only thing he's ever been good at is pimping his name, and conning other people into giving him money for zero returns.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:46 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


Well, zero public returns. Who knows what quo pro Russia is getting now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:47 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Collusion

Collusion is an agreement between two or more parties, sometimes illegal and therefore secretive, to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair market advantage.

It is an agreement among firms or individuals to divide a market, set prices, limit production or limit opportunities. It can involve "wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between the colluding parties". In legal terms, all acts effected by collusion are considered void.
posted by petebest at 5:47 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


I've been slightly uncomfortable with some of the references to Trump suffering from Alzheimer's in some of these threads, but reading the transcript of that Toronto Star interview above made me think that he actually may be at the mercy of a gang of mercenary ideologues who are fully aware that he doesn't really understand what is going on in the world around him. It is of course utterly terrifying. Just this snippet, among many, for example:

'So the Republican Party has various groups, all great people. They’re great people. But some are moderate, some are very conservative. The Democrats don’t seem to have that nearly as much. You know the Democrats have, they don’t have that. The Republicans do have that. And I think it’s fine. But you know there’s a pretty vast area in there. And I have a great relationship with all of them. Now, we have government not closing. I think we’ll be in great shape on that. It’s going very well.'
posted by Myeral at 5:53 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


I think a lot of Americans wouldn't think that being president would be a hard job, because a lot of Americans don't believe in ambiguity or complexity, don't trust expertise or overthinking things, and think that all problems are best solved with a combination of decisiveness and common sense, both of which they believe are fundamentally white, masculine attributes. All that a proper white guy would need to do to be president would be to show up and follow his manly white dude instincts. We're a really anti-intellectual culture.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:00 AM on April 28 [53 favorites]


More ego injury for Donny.

Trump's 1st economic report card: Slowest growth in 3 years
The US economy started 2017 at a sluggish pace. It only grew at an annual pace of 0.7% in the first three months of the year, according to the Commerce Department's report on gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity. It was the slowest quarter of growth since the first quarter of 2014.

Weak consumer spending was the main culprit for the anemic growth, which has become routine for the US economy since the Great Recession ended in 2009. Since then, the US has averaged about 2% annual growth.

President Trump has promised to end the slow-growth narrative. Initially during his campaign he pledged to create 4% growth, something not seen since the late 1990s.
posted by chris24 at 6:05 AM on April 28 [12 favorites]


That's what pulling up the ladders does, yes.
posted by Artw at 6:07 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Yeah, let it never be forgotten that Trump is the epitome of a guy born on 3rd base who thinks he hit a triple.

Trump was born in the dugout, looked at the scoreboard to see the score was 4-0, and said "I hit a grand slam!"
posted by Etrigan at 6:08 AM on April 28 [53 favorites]


Yeah, let it never be forgotten that Trump is the epitome of a guy born on 3rd base who thinks he hit a triple.

Trump was born in the dugout, looked at the scoreboard to see the score was 4-0, and said "I hit a grand slam!"


Ha, was just gonna say Trump was born on third and yells "home run!"
posted by chris24 at 6:10 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


NYT: Justices Alarmed by Government’s Hard-Line Stance in Citizenship Case

I make a point of telling Americans precisely what I had to do to get residency because frankly they are clueless about what they put immigrants through. Particularly, how they treat spouses of visa holders.
posted by srboisvert at 6:14 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


Weak consumer spending was the main culprit for the anemic growth, which has become routine for the US economy since the Great Recession ended in 2009. Since then, the US has averaged about 2% annual growth.

And this despite liberals going full-survivalist and stocking up their bug out bags and putting 4 years of rations in their basements.
posted by srboisvert at 6:16 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


PPP Polls: Since polls of just Trump voters are a thing, here's a poll of just people who voted for the top vote getter: [pdf]
-Only 2% of Clinton voters think Trump has 'Made America Great Again,' 93% say he has not
-Only 8% of Clinton voters want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 82% say keep it and make fixes as necessary
-91% of Clinton voters think Trump is dishonest, only 6% think he's honest
-90% of Clinton voters think Trump should release his tax returns, only 6% don't think it's necessary for him to
-Only 5% of Clinton voters support the wall with Mexico, 92% are opposed to it
-65% of Clinton voters think Trump will get the US into World War III during his Presidency, 17% don't think he will
-69% of Clinton voters think Trump's team directly coordinated with Russia to sway the election in his favor
-And 84% want an independent investigation into Russia's involvement in the election, and ties to Trump aides
posted by melissasaurus at 6:27 AM on April 28 [67 favorites]


Trump hatched on third base, looked around him, declared himself the greatest point guard ever, big league, tried to buy the visiting dugout and put his name on its roof, demanded to be named quarterback, put on bowling shoes, then yelled that it's not fair that no one will let him score a touchdown with the hockey ball.

But he got by because he gets 17% of the Russian popcorn syndicate profits in the stadium.
posted by delfin at 6:29 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


Lewandowski’s firm appears to offer Trump meetings

It's not really possible to be more blatantly corrupt.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:31 AM on April 28 [23 favorites]


I want to talk to the 2% of Clinton voters who believe that Trump has done anything. Who are these people? I don't believe they exist, they just had to make it not 100%.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:33 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


Yeah, let it never be forgotten that Trump is the epitome of a guy born on 3rd base who thinks he hit a triple.

He underperformed the S&P. This is a man who was born on third, loudly proclaimed he'd hit a triple, then jogged back to second while the infield stared in disbelief. No one thought to throw him out at second because they don't coach you on what to do when you're playing against people who are head-trauma crazy.
posted by Mayor West at 6:34 AM on April 28 [45 favorites]


Lewandowski’s firm appears to offer Trump meetings

Ironically, Hillary appears to be the only one in Election 2016 who isn't actually crooked.
posted by chris24 at 6:36 AM on April 28 [16 favorites]


In this President are combined a child's sense of wonder, and the naïveté of a child. And the playful desire for mischief-making of a child. And a child's ignorance of domestic policy and of global affairs. A child's propensity for violent outbursts of rage. The lack of tethering to any ideological grounding or devotion to scientific truth or interlocutory coherence, of a child. The diet of a child. A child's love for big trucks, and for their horns that go honk, honk. One could say there is something... almost child-like about this President.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:36 AM on April 28 [44 favorites]


Something worthy of the title "plan" for something that impacts every person in the country ought to compare favorably in detail to a CVS receipt.

The tweet text:

ON LEFT: Trumps 1 page tax reform plan for our entire country

ON RIGHT: my CVS receipt for lightbulbs and a frozen pizza


Yes, in 2017 I will accept political commentary from someone clearly planning on cooking frozen pizza in an easy bake oven. It's a big tent!
posted by srboisvert at 6:37 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


"Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers," the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. "It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us."

He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room.


What - the Time magazines with him on the cover aren't good enough anymore?.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:38 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


No one thought to throw him out at second because they don't coach you on what to do when you're playing against people who are head-trauma crazy.

If this was true, no one would ever bat against Brian Wilson.
posted by delfin at 6:41 AM on April 28


One could say there is something... almost child-like about this President.

"Child-like", no. "Childish", on the other hand, seems very, very appropriate.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:48 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


lot of people seem to be saying that trump's first hundred days are a disappointment, but I look around and he has not yet fully catalyzed the destruction of the earth to smoldering ash so he knocked this one out of the park as far as I'm concerned
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:52 AM on April 28 [21 favorites]


Do other countries go through this type of thing? Where political parties are so at odds with each other (and their constituents) that they let the government literally shut down for a while?

In parlimentary systems it would result in a vote of non-confidence which dissolves the government and requires new elections.
posted by srboisvert at 6:53 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


yeah, we have our own special way of dissolving the government, so take that parliamentary systems!
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:59 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I hateread Andrew Sullivan so that you don't have to.

Maybe America Wasn’t Crazy to Elect Donald Trump

Article starts with "well, maybe being the ruling party will shock this authoritarian party back to their senses!' bullshit with lacings of UGH HILLZ AMIRITE nonsense, moves on to an inane analysis of the French election, and ends discussion of his feelings on camp/Feud/the Real Housewives franchise.

At least he didn't end this article with another racist-on-two-fronts-at-once conclusion about how America would stop being hating black people if only they acted more like Asians.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:00 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


The Wisconsin legislature has come up with an awesome plan to protect freedom of speech at state universities by expelling protesters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:06 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


Instead, we have a manifest and brutal exposure of the stark promises Trump made, and of the incoherence and shallowness of so much of the Republican agenda... if catastrophe doesn’t strike, it might even be better for the future health of our politics that Clinton is not president.

hey Sullivan do you know how I know your upperclass still-somehow-getting-work life won't be materially affected by the Gorsuch appointment
posted by Greg Nog at 7:10 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


reading the transcript of that Toronto Star interview above made me think that he actually may be at the mercy of a gang of mercenary ideologues who are fully aware that he doesn't really understand what is going on in the world around him.

I've said this before, but my mom has Alzheimer's and suffers from Dementia, and my only priority is keeping her safe, comfortable, and free from worry. The fact that his children are part of that gang of mercenaries is the worst indictment of their character. They are indefensible.

There’s just raw, unrefined stupidity.

To borrow a phrase from the TV show, Fargo, there's just "unfathomable pinhead-ery."
posted by Room 641-A at 7:13 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg: U.S. Can Afford Trump's Radical Tax Cut
The simplest way to think of an unfunded corporate tax cut is that the federal government has to borrow more money, say at rates in the range of 1 percent to 2 percent, while corporations have more money to invest. Estimates vary for the rate of return on private capital, but 5 percent to 10 percent is one plausible estimate. So in essence, society is borrowing money at 1 to 2 percent and may be receiving 5 to 10 percent in return. That is a net gain, not an economic cost.

In terms of distribution, the deal is more favorable than it might appear at first. The increase in borrowing will eventually be paid for, and the top 20 percent of Americans pay about 84 percent of all income taxes. The future payback therefore is likely to come from the well-off, not the poor. The new corporate investments will also create jobs and some valuable products as well, and that benefits more people than just the wealthy.

The pessimist might wonder whether companies would take their windfall and invest it at all. Many companies might simply hold the gain in money management accounts. In this scenario, the tax plan probably won’t be worth passing, as American companies would have nothing useful to do with the free resources, even when given a nudge to invest. That should induce a fairly panicky response, including radical deregulation of business and fiscal austerity on entitlements, but I don’t see critics of the tax plan following up on this view consistently.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:14 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


The Wisconsin legislature has come up with an awesome plan to protect freedom of speech at state universities by expelling protesters.

So we're clear:
-Raping another student: no discipline
-Advocating rape: "free speech"
-Protesting rape advocates: expulsion
posted by melissasaurus at 7:14 AM on April 28 [82 favorites]


Instead, we have a manifest and brutal exposure of the stark promises Trump made, and of the incoherence and shallowness of so much of the Republican agenda

Yeah, that seems like a solid plan. We didn't learn the lesson after we elected Reagan and he gutted the social safety net, and we didn't learn it after we elected Bush II and he started a bunch of hopeless wars and spent ten trillion dollars killing a bunch of brown people, but THIS time, we'll definitely sit up and take notice that we've put Toonces the Driving Cat behind the wheel, and it'll DEFINITELY spell the long-awaited demise of the Republican party.
posted by Mayor West at 7:15 AM on April 28 [23 favorites]


if catastrophe doesn’t strike, it might even be better for the future health of our politics that Clinton is not president.

Yes it is good to have Presidents who may cause catastrophe, because it will make people realize their policies are bad. Alex Jones / A Rabid Grizzly Bear 2020
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:20 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


Ephrat Livni, Quartz: An astrophysicist used NASA data to make an insanely detailed map of US racial diversity

(putting this here because it dovetails nicely with the discussion about rural vs. urban; someone else is welcome to make a FPP about this remarkable project)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:21 AM on April 28 [20 favorites]


Are Andrew Sullivan and Slavoj Žižek in agreement on something? Emphasize the contradiction!

You know, European peace really wasn't solid until a grand conflagration massacred a whole generation. Why don't we try that again, so we can reproduce the peace and prosperity of the post-war period?

Fucking edgelords.
posted by dis_integration at 7:24 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


LGBT Republicans defend Trump’s first 100 days with delusions: Speaking to the Washington Blade, LCR president Gregory T. Angelo shrugged off the so-called “non-troversies” about anti-LGBT actions the Trump administration has taken, calling them “fundraising ploys to rile up dejected LGBT liberals still reeling from Hillary Clinton’s loss.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:33 AM on April 28


Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg: U.S. Can Afford Trump's Radical Tax Cut

Something there tickled my memory, and sure enough... while Cowen has a good academic background, he's director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which is darn close to a wholly-owned subsidiary (details about halfway down) of the Koch brothers' empire.

I only had a couple of grad-school economics courses, but I call BS on the idea that it's just fine for the government to borrow money and run greater budget deficits just to cut taxes for the wealthy, even if (as he puts it) the rich will someday pay for that borrowing.

One, never underestimate the power of the wealthy and connected to shift tax burdens back onto everyone else. And two, Cowen conveniently stays in the realm of economic theory and overlooks recent real-world history on how politicians and governments behave. Confronted with budget deficits, politicians won't be content to sit back and let them accumulate. They'll slash spending on social services -- and it's not his heroic "top 20 percent of Americans" who will pay that cost.

grrrrrr. *blood boiling*
posted by martin q blank at 7:34 AM on April 28 [25 favorites]


The pessimist might wonder whether companies would take their windfall and invest it at all. Many companies might simply hold the gain in money management accounts. In this scenario, the tax plan probably won’t be worth passing, as American companies would have nothing useful to do with the free resources, even when given a nudge to invest. That should induce a fairly panicky response, including radical deregulation of business and fiscal austerity on entitlements, but I don’t see critics of the tax plan following up on this view consistently.

How are people supposed to buy shit if companies have all the money locked up in money market accounts? When the government taxes stuff the receipts don't sit there in an account. It goes straight back out to people causing direct economic activity.

Which do you prefer to happen?
posted by Talez at 7:36 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I have trouble buying an argument that boils down to, "corporate tax cuts are the same as government stimulus programs because if you give the money to corporations, they could use it to provide jobs too!".

Yeah. They could. They're not required to, though, and if history tells us anything it's far more likely to end up padding CEO salaries.
posted by tocts at 7:39 AM on April 28 [18 favorites]


MSNBC's make over to FOX News-lite continues, they're promoting Nicolle Wallace to her own show. When FOX goes under, never fear, MSNBC will be there to hire everyone who worked for FOX.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:41 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


Tyler Cowen is very smart and worth following on Twitter for his observational stuff but he also is in love with his own contrarian voice. He exists to be a polemicist. Occasionally he is even right.
posted by readery at 7:43 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Yeah. They could. They're not required to, though, and if history tells us anything it's far more likely to end up padding CEO salaries.

It's too bad we don't have thirty years of data on what the Reagan-era tax cuts do to tax revenues and corporate spending. Then we could know whether businesses are likely to use their tax savings to spur investment, or whether they will sit on their lucre like Smaug on his pile of gold, forcing interest rates up and locking the middle class out of borrowing.

Nope, totally unknowable.
posted by Mayor West at 7:45 AM on April 28 [50 favorites]


MSNBC's used to employ Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan and Tucker Carlson so it's not like being FOX-lite is new for them.
posted by octothorpe at 7:45 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


And, until very recently, MSNBC also employed Nicole Wallace.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:50 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


So, Cowan's main point is that 1% borrowing will more than pay for itself with 5-10% (hah!) growth? Wow, sounds great, sign me up.

Oh wait ... that's US borrowing, so that we can give money to the wealthy and corporate Americans. That's a little different, but surely they'll let some of it trickle down, right? Totally worth it!

But oh wait, we already tried that, and we know it doesn't work, right? No matter, it's ok for them because they'll get to become deficit hawks and trot out AUSTERITY again, so that we can all suffer the punishment of "our" greed.

It's a self-perpetuating cycle: unfunded tax cuts, money to the rich, deficit crisis, AUSTERITY, must need more tax cuts then ...
posted by Dashy at 7:52 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


Yeah. They could. They're not required to, though, and if history tells us anything it's far more likely to end up padding CEO salaries.

Recent history tells us the multinationals will shop for the country with the lowest and possibly zero corporate tax and move all their profits there. Then they will wait patiently for the inevitable tax amnesty deal - which at this point would probably involve actually paying them money in order to return the capital to the U.S.
posted by srboisvert at 8:00 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


As a counterpoint to that Cowen piece, here's the NYT summarizing Trump's non-plan:
The outline that Mr. Trump offered on Wednesday — less a tax overhaul plan than a list of costly cuts with no price tags attached, rushed out by a president staring down his 100-day mark in office — calls for tax reductions for individuals of every income level as well as businesses large and small.

But the vast majority of benefits would accrue to the highest earners and largest holders of wealth, according to economists and analysts, accounting for a lopsided portion of the proposal’s costs.

“The only Americans who are very clear winners under the new system are the wealthiest,” said Edward D. Kleinbard, a law professor at the University of Southern California and former chief of staff of Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, which estimates the revenue effects of tax proposals.

Repealing the estate tax, for example, would affect just 5,300 or so fortunes a year. For 2017, couples can shield up to $11 million of their estates from any taxation, leaving only the largest inheritances subject to taxation. Repealing the estate tax alone would cost an estimated $174.2 billion over a decade, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said.

Reducing the rate on capital gains, noncorporate business taxes and those in the highest bracket, as well as repealing the alternative minimum tax, would also ease the burden on wealthier Americans. So would the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent surtax on the investment income of high earners, put in place to subsidize health coverage for low-income Americans.

“These are all afflictions of the affluent,” Mr. Kleinbard said.

There is no way to know how the mathematics of the proposal would work, since the White House offered no cost estimates, no detail about which incomes would be taxed at what levels and no information about tax deductions or other breaks that might be eliminated to make up for the lost revenue.
Emphasis mine.

Cowen's piece mentions, and then ignores, the fact that Trump's plan is too light on details to really evaluate; he is substantially making an argument not about Trump's plan -- despite the headline and despite saying he's responding to critiques of Trump's plan -- but about some other hypothetical plan inspired by parts of, but not the whole of, the insubstantial non-plan we have from the Trump administration. Whether or not he's right is rather moot insofar as Trump's proposal is concerned, because that's not the proposal he's engaging with.
posted by cjelli at 8:02 AM on April 28 [19 favorites]


Group launches website to help women perform their own medication abortions.
posted by emjaybee at 8:21 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


WaPo: A noncriminal mother of four was deported. Now in Mexico, she fears for her safety. In the days since she was deported to her native Mexico, the 42-year-old Ohio mother said she has already received threats. She hardly eats, and has trouble sleeping, she told The Washington Post. The risks are all too real for her family in Mexico’s gang-ridden west coast state of Michoacán — both her father and her brother have been kidnapped in recent years, and her mother extorted.

But Trujillo’s concerns over the dangers in her new home pale in comparison with her worries about her four children, including her epileptic 3-year-old daughter, who are living without her, far north of the border. She spoke to The Washington Post on Thursday in her first interview since her deportation.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:30 AM on April 28 [10 favorites]


Via TPM:
There is a reported split in Trump’s administration between nationalists (Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller) and globalists (Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus). Asked about that split in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Thursday, Trump dismissed the idea.

“Hey, I’m a nationalist and a globalist,” [Trump] said. “I’m both. And I’m the only one who makes the decision, believe me.”
...
The terms are often situated opposite each other: nationalists favor protectionist measures like tariffs and border walls, both of which Trump has advocated. Globalists support the free movement of people and capital.
In conclusion, Trump is a land of contrasts.
posted by cjelli at 8:36 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


Fucking edgelords.

Apparently Brett Easton Ellis has recently discovered Milo Yiannopoulos lately and thinks he's fucking awesome, so there's that.
posted by Artw at 8:37 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


And, until very recently, MSNBC also employed Nicole Wallace.

Very recently = this week, in fact.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:39 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Oh I though Globalist was just what these fuckfaces say when they can't say "jew" in that certain way.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:47 AM on April 28 [19 favorites]


> Devonian: I can see what the Chief Justice is getting at, and of course I agree with his thrust, but I thought you only committed a criminal offence if a court finds you guilty? . . .

> So, if I'm asked on a form if I ever committed a criminal offence, I always answer no.


The question is very broad, and does not seem to contemplate the objections you are raising:

Have you EVER committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were NOT arrested?

Full naturalization form here on the USCIS web site.
posted by flug at 8:48 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Very recently = this week, in fact.

Heh. I stopped watching cable news on election night. I'm still figuring out that whole object permanence thing.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:50 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


The simplest way to think of an unfunded corporate tax cut is...

...as trickle-down economics. There, saved you guys some reading.

And while there IS a place for that in the economic tool-box, now is not the time to use that tool. There is plenty of capital out there chasing returns, to create jobs you need to stimulate the DEMAND for those jobs which means stimulating DEMAND for the products of those jobs.

This shit bugs me because I know a thing or two about economics so I know that they know it's bullshit. But it sure does sound nice as a rationalization for having their taxes lowered.
posted by VTX at 8:52 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


I’m a nationalist and a globalist

Some enterprising reporter should spend an entire interview with Trump just asking him for his definition of various words and basic ideas.
posted by diogenes at 8:53 AM on April 28 [41 favorites]


But I needed even more people to nominate and I was running out of names.

Remember Trump refuses to nominate Democrats or NeverTrump Republicans, so his choices are severely limited. Most people with actual government experience are one or the other.
posted by corb at 8:55 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


I'm sure 45 can be a globalist at breakfast and a nationalist after lunch. He is a man unhindered by logic, consistency (that hobgoblin of small minds) or philosophy. So in that sense, he is being entirely truthful. That one statement - unless it was followed by some Zen twist showing how the contradiction is in fact supportive of a greater truth - proves it.

You may ask yourself how such a man is fit to discharge the duties of his office. In his mind, which is incapable of framing paradox, the question would never arise nor, if it did, have any merit. But in any context where the question does have merit, the answer is clearly - he doesn't.

Which means, I think, that the greatest underlying crime currently being committed is Congress refusing to address this fact. And that, while the GOP has some excuse for ignoring this - a terrible, terrible excuse, but they are terrible, terrible people - the Dems really should be going for impeachment or the 25th a lot harder than they are, even if it's at some price to themselves.

This isn't a game. You don't get credit for winning at cribbage in the lounge of the Titanic.
posted by Devonian at 8:56 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


It looks like the House has passed a CR. Haven't seen details yet, but it sounds like while it wasn't totally clean, there was nothing about THE WALL, and no stiffing of health care subsidies.

Another stunning victory for the Great Negotiator.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/28/politics/government-shutdown-vote/index.html
posted by jammer at 8:58 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


The question is very broad, and does not seem to contemplate the objections you are raising:

Have you EVER committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were NOT arrested?


I don't think people realize that immigrants that become citizens are literally the cream of the crop. Most of the shit on an N-400 that would get your application tossed would get 3/4 of the US disqualified for citizenship.
posted by Talez at 8:58 AM on April 28 [41 favorites]


I called that ICE hotline and told them some illegal aliens stole my basketball skills. Sadly they couldn't put me in touch with Michael Jordan.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:00 AM on April 28 [30 favorites]


The idea that corporate or top-tier tax cuts result in job growth is an outright scam. Its government proponents don't believe it. Business people don't believe it. Even the economists who came up with it don't believe it. But the masses do, and that's all that matters.

Let's say you run a company making widgets and there's a market demand of 10,000 widgets per month. Each worker can make 100 widgets per month so you hire 100 people and you meet demand and make a tidy profit for yourself and your shareholders. Now the government comes along and cuts your taxes. Do you hire more people with that money? No...why would you? Demand hasn't changed so any extra employees would be a waste. That extra profit is all yours, friend...go find yourself an offshore tax shelter to hide it in.

What the government really needs to do to grow jobs is try to increase demand, and it's not hard to do. There are millions of consumers out there bombarded by advertising who are convinced that they really want...no, NEED a new widget. The only thing stopping them is they can't afford it on their minimum-wage income. Put more money in their hands and they'll spend every penny of it on whatever widgets they can get their hands on.

You may need to add an extra shift just to keep up with that new demand.
posted by rocket88 at 9:10 AM on April 28 [39 favorites]




I don't think people realize that immigrants that become citizens are literally the cream of the crop. Most of the shit on an N-400 that would get your application tossed would get 3/4 of the US disqualified for citizenship.

I think it's closer to 100%. I know nobody who would pass this test if applied strictly, across their lifetime. There are a zillion small offences out there that don't matter most of the time, or are so obscure nobody cares about them, or are routinely ignored by most of the population. Think about your teenage years.

My grandfather was a priest, and in his retirement he lived in quite a rough neighbourhood. He used to sit outside his house playing tunes on his penny whistle, to amuse the local kids, and he was much loved and respected for it.

I doubt he complied with public performance ordnances or copyright legislation.
posted by Devonian at 9:12 AM on April 28 [16 favorites]


Playing to the base. Trump nominates anti-abortion leader Charmaine Yoest to assistant secretary of public affairs for Health and Human Services. She's the former president of Americans United for Life.
posted by kimdog at 9:15 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


while Cowen has a good academic background, he's director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which is darn close to a wholly-owned subsidiary (details about halfway down) of the Koch brothers' empire.

This is a slight tangent to mention that the Charles Koch Foundation is the single largest donor to George Mason University. The school has become a focus point for right wing groups as part of their integrated strategy(pdf) in which corporate-funded academic research is published to create policy at right wing think tanks and lobby groups. Along with the Marcatus Center it also hosts the Institute for Humane Studies which acts as a libertarian cleaning house, and of course there's the Antonin Scalia Law School. Their economics, law, and public policy schools are heavily funded by the Kochs and aligned groups, for example, Trump's new "regulatory czar" is the director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at the Scalia Law School (chew on that name for a minute).

In 2014 GMU student groups began asking if the funding was provided with any provisions that would jeopardize the school's academic integrity, as it had at Florida State. After being stonewalled, students recently filed suit against their school seeking records related to Koch donations.
posted by peeedro at 9:16 AM on April 28 [29 favorites]


Let's say you run a company making widgets and there's a market demand of 10,000 widgets per month. Each worker can make 100 widgets per month so you hire 100 people and you meet demand and make a tidy profit for yourself and your shareholders. Now the government comes along and cuts your taxes. Do you hire more people with that money? No...why would you? Demand hasn't changed so any extra employees would be a waste. That extra profit is all yours, friend...go find yourself an offshore tax shelter to hide it in.

Exactly. Who has ever heard a business owner say "I have some extra money I think I'll hire some new people"? No one. Because that'd be fucking stupid.

It's like when people say raising the minimum wage will cost jobs. You think a business owner gives out jobs for charity? They already have the minimal number of people covering for the work needed to be done. If I have two people working the late shift at a restaurant, one cooking, one working the counter/drive-through, hiking the minimum wage isn't going to make me fire one of them because I can't possibly fire either of them without sending the restaurant into an unworkable mess.
posted by Talez at 9:16 AM on April 28 [44 favorites]


(Ordinances, not ordnances. The neighbourhood wasn't THAT rough)
posted by Devonian at 9:20 AM on April 28 [27 favorites]


Have you EVER committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were NOT arrested?

Note, also, that it doesn't define what a "crime or offense" is. (Maybe this is elsewhere in relevant guidance?) But does that mean anything that the US government considers a crime or offense, or anything that was a crime or offense in the jurisdiction in which it occurred? Because the latter would mean a lot things like "was gay in a country that makes being gay illegal" or "was a woman who tried to enroll in school in a place where that was illegal" or "committed adultery in NYS."
posted by melissasaurus at 9:20 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


The Senate has now also passed a one week continuing resolution. It now goes to, I still can't believe I'm typing this, President Trump for signature.

7 whole days! Great work everyone.
posted by zachlipton at 9:21 AM on April 28 [12 favorites]


Exactly. Who has ever heard a business owner say "I have some extra money I think I'll hire some new people"? No one. Because that'd be fucking stupid.

The theory, of course, is that rational economic actors will reinvest windfall profits into expansion. But of course, why would they? I'd rather have an island villa in the Azores, myself.

It turns out, however that we know a much better way to incentivize businesses to invest their profits instead of pay them out in dividends and executive salaries. Tax them more. If you tax huge salaries and capital gains at exorbitant rates, executives will direct profits back into the business while settling for a large but not insane salary for themselves.
posted by dis_integration at 9:22 AM on April 28 [29 favorites]


Tyler Cowen is very smart and worth following on Twitter for his observational stuff but he also is in love with his own contrarian voice. He exists to be a polemicist. Occasionally he is even right.

I'm a bit fascinated by him because he is a voracious culture consumer - books, plays, movies and food - and yet he still manages to seem like an unfeeling and uncaring android.
posted by srboisvert at 9:23 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


Trump has indeed turned the government into a reality show. Every week there's a cliffhanger: will the whole thing get shut down? Tune in and see!
posted by emjaybee at 9:24 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


The theory, of course, is that rational economic actors will reinvest windfall profits into expansion.

If you think expanding your business will pay off in future profits then you should be doing it already. Interest rates are essentially zero. Borrow what you need.
posted by rocket88 at 9:26 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


It now goes to, I still can't believe I'm typing this, President Trump for signature.

On a Friday? They better hurry, it's almost time to get on the plane for golf weekend!
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:27 AM on April 28 [9 favorites]


Trump understands business like a salesman, not a manager. Demand is infinitely expandable through hype.
posted by spitbull at 9:30 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast -- man's laws, not God's.

They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop... ever, until we are dead.

I can't convey how tickled I am to have both a Man for All Seasons reference and a Terminator reference within the first 90 minutes worth of comments on this thread.
posted by phearlez at 9:35 AM on April 28 [21 favorites]


I had to listen to Stephen Moore speak earlier this year; his presentation consisted of showing incorrect charts and shouting "demand doesn't cause economic growth! it just doesn't! increasing demand is a ridiculous idea!"

Some of the folks on Trump's team are disingenuous about supporting supply-side econ; some actually believe it.

(He also made up a bunch of "facts" about tariffs, which the subject-matter-expert crowd called him on during the Q&A - it was hilarious.)
posted by melissasaurus at 9:38 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


Chas Freeman, American Conservative: America’s Misadventures in the Middle East
The United States is a secular democracy. It has no intrinsic interest in which theology rules hearts or dominates territory in the Middle East. It is not itself now dependent on energy imports from the Persian Gulf or the Maghreb. For most of the two-and-a-half centuries since their country was born, Americans kept a healthy distance from the region and were unharmed by events there. They extended their protection to specific nations in the Middle East as part of a global struggle against Soviet communism that is long past. What happens in the region no longer determines the global balance of power.

U.S. wars in the Middle East are—without exception—wars of choice. These wars have proven ruinously expensive and injurious to the civil liberties of Americans. They have poisoned American political culture with various manifestations of xenophobia. Islamophobia has transitioned naturally to anti-Semitism and other forms of racism and bigotry. In the region itself, American military interventions have produced more anarchy than order, more terror than tranquility, more oppression than democratization, and more blowback than pacification.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:39 AM on April 28 [15 favorites]


The theory, of course, is that rational economic actors will reinvest windfall profits into expansion.

To expand on this, it's really that rational economic actors will invest their funds to get the maximum available return for the minimal risk. Each company, as an investment, carries a certain amount of risk which creates an expectation for a certain return about in line with what other similarly risky investments would return. As an investor, if I've decided that I can tolerate a certain level of risk, I'm going to try and get the best return for that level of risk that I can.

So, from the corporation's perspective, it will seek to reinvest as much of it's profits back into the business as it can that will generate at least that rate of return. Let's say that the expected rate of return for my business is 8%. In theory, that means that I'm going to fund every capital expenditure on the table that will get me to that 8% overall. Some are riskier with higher returns, some safer with lower returns but it needs to help me get an aggregate return around that 8% without changing risks. I'll keep funding projects until I'm either out of projects or out of capital. If I run out of projects, I'll take the excess capital and return it to the investors by way of stock buy-backs and/or dividends.

It's basically the company saying, "I can't invest this money more efficiently than you can so you're better off with it than I am."

Helpfully, any gains you've made on that investment are taxed as capital gains rather than income. Gee, I wonder if that might have something to do with it?
posted by VTX at 9:40 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Wait, we funded the government for a week?

Congress is treating funding the government like getting a payday loan.
posted by sgranade at 9:40 AM on April 28 [20 favorites]


Jason Wilson, Guardian: Burst your bubble: conservative takes on Margaret Atwood and Marine Le Pen

Wilson reliably finds interesting articles so you don't have to slog through the conservative web yourself.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:42 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Wilson reliably finds interesting articles

I'm having a hard time reconciling that statement with the fact that the first article listed is written by Megan McArglebargleblender
posted by phearlez at 9:48 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


zachlipton: The Senate has now also passed a one week continuing resolution. It now goes to, I still can't believe I'm typing this, President Trump for signature.

It's kind of like postponing someone's exorbitant medical bill a week so you don't possibly bankrupt them on their birthday.

Congrats on not shutting down the government on day 100, but day 107!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:55 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


It's not really possible to be more blatantly corrupt.

You almost had me believing you. But then, Trump.
posted by scalefree at 10:02 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Rational economic actors are kind of like free markets - utterly fictitious.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on April 28 [17 favorites]


Imagine if he kicked it back with "I won't sign CR until healthcare is passed."
posted by Talez at 10:03 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Some enterprising reporter should spend an entire interview with Trump just asking him for his definition of various words and basic ideas.

This is going to be a long walk for this anecdote, but please go on the journey with me.

When I imagine Trump defining and explaining basic words like "nationalist" or "globalist", I immediately think of a movie called Angels Revenge from season 6 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It's a Charlie's Angels knock-off from the late 1970s. There's a scene where the team of vigilante women infiltrate a private beach to catch drug smugglers. One of the smugglers sees the women and struts over to them to kick them off the beach so they don't see his drug operation. "Can't you see this is a private beach?" he says in his best redneck drawl, "It's posted right here on this sign." He points to the nearby sign reading PRIVATE BEACH and spells out, "P-R-I... there you got your "pry"... V-A-T-E... there you got your "vit". OK, so they spelled it wrong, but you gotta [get out of here]."

So I imagine Trump trying to explain globalism. "Well, first you have your "globe". Very big, very tremendous globe. Some people say it's an important globe. Then you have your "alism" which, and this is bigly important, you can't have without the globe. Maybe people are just finding this out now, it's amazing."

In case you're wondering, in the movie, the women beat up the guy, steal his clothes, and use them to fool the other drug smugglers into thinking they made the clandestine drug drop to their buddy, not the vigilantes. This makes Jack Palance mad.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:06 AM on April 28 [32 favorites]


I'll keep funding projects until I'm either out of projects or out of capital. If I run out of projects, I'll take the excess capital and return it to the investors by way of stock buy-backs and/or dividends.

Alternately, you can back up dumptrucks full of that cash to your senior management's back doors, as rewards for squeezing an extra 1% profit out of the company this past quarter, even if it meant damaging the long-term viability of the corporation by, for example, undermining their own workforce or taking on an unsustainable debt load, or, or, or...
posted by darkstar at 10:07 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


I like Nicole Wallace. She doesn't like Trump and generally has a interesting perspective, based on seeing her on the Today show.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:08 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


This makes Jack Palance mad.

I may have to adopt that as my new go-to equivalent for "This kills the crab."
posted by darkstar at 10:11 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


Interesting drama at the Heritage Foundation—DeMint set to be ousted from Heritage Foundation:
The controversial president of the Heritage Foundation and former senator, Jim DeMint, may soon be out of a job, following a dispute with board members about the direction of far-right leaning think tank, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

Some Heritage board members believe that DeMint has brought in too many Senate allies and made the think tank too bombastic and political — to the detriment of its research and scholarly aims.
The vibe I'm getting here is that the kind of people who are on the board of the Heritage Foundation don't want to be seen as overseeing an increasingly Trumpy organization.
posted by zachlipton at 10:11 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


I would love for some wag to carve them up next time some horrible municipality wants a Ten Commandments monument.

Maybe if you can pick your religion's ten commandments out of the lineup provided, you can have them on a monument.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:12 AM on April 28


Here's a spot of hope for the future of the media: Competition Be Damned How reporters at the Washington Post, New York Times, ProPublica, and more self-organized to free trapped FEC data.

And here's the GitHub project that's the result.
posted by scalefree at 10:12 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


"increasingly Trumpy"

Not everybody likes the cloying flavor of DeMint.
posted by darkstar at 10:12 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


There actually is a term for a person who is both a nationalist and a globalist:

Imperialist.
posted by Rumple at 10:15 AM on April 28 [66 favorites]


The Times is portraying DeMint's exit a bit differently, blaming him for failing to push for a complete repeal of Obamacare, a Heritage priority for years.
posted by zachlipton at 10:17 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


So the NCGOP overrode Cooper's veto and reduced the number of judges on NC's Court of Appeals from 15 to 12. Apparently the legislature didn't like Cooper being able to appoint three justices as the current ones were approaching mandatory retirement.

An absolute travesty and it'll go completely unpunished by the (heavily gerrymandered) NC electorate.
posted by Talez at 10:18 AM on April 28 [17 favorites]


Apparently Brett Easton Ellis has recently discovered Milo Yiannopoulos lately and thinks he's fucking awesome, so there's that.

Why am I not surprised?
posted by octobersurprise at 10:18 AM on April 28


Some Heritage board members believe that DeMint has brought in too many Senate allies and made the think tank too bombastic and political — to the detriment of its research and scholarly aims.

As if Heritage had a great academic reputation for honesty and good faith before Demint came on board. It's always been a chop shop for fabricating pseudo-scientific "evidence" to support Republican policy choices post facto.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:19 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Neil Gabler (BillMoyers.com): The 100 Days That Turned America Upside Down
And, yes, you may think we can return to some sanity, some moral revivification, if and when Trump leaves the presidency. But consider this: It has taken us decades to make the progress we have made in stigmatizing racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, nativism and homophobia. Slow but steady. That progress led us to hope that three or four generations from now, perhaps, these might even vanish, the hatred in the American soul might be extirpated and we would be the country we purport to be.

This didn’t mean we had all undergone some miraculous transformation. It simply meant that social censure — yes, even that dreaded political correctness — compelled us to be better than we wanted to be until the day came when that compulsion would no longer be necessary. And therein lies a terrible sadness: Trump’s most heinous accomplishment in my estimation is that he has removed that social censure. Acts of hatred have spiked, and we don’t have to look very far to see why. Trump has normalized the very worst in us. He has inverted social censure so that hatred is not only acceptable; it is considered a form of honesty.

And that is the real tragedy and danger of these 100 days and of the 1,300 of his presidency to come. Trump didn’t change who many of us were. He revealed it. He showed that there were, indeed, millions of Americans for whom the flipping of sense and values took precedence over their own interests, and they will not give him up — even if, as he once famously said, he shot someone in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue. Can there be any more damning indictment of his supporters than that, any more damning indictment of the country he rules?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:25 AM on April 28 [59 favorites]


Chas Freeman, American Conservative: America’s Misadventures in the Middle East

I completely agree with this:
If “it’s going to be only America first,” this tradeoff calls out for systematic examination.

So, of course, do America’s wars in the region. They include the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, as well as the conflicts in the Sahel that escalating combat with a disorderly jumble of transnational Islamist movements has spawned. None of these military operations is authorized by a congressional declaration of war that justifies the commitment of U.S. forces, sets parameters and objectives for their uses of force, and establishes a legal state of war. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution requires such a declaration to make wars of choice legal. The Constitution’s assignment of the war power to the Congress is unequivocal and fundamental to the separation of powers.

Notwithstanding this, all current American wars are presidentially ordained, permitted but not forthrightly endorsed by Congress, and subject to no effective oversight by anyone other than the nation’s generals. Such is American militarism. None of these wars has a coherent purpose. In none is the United States now in a position to determine the outcome. In none is any end in sight.

Perhaps it’s time for the president to demand that the Congress step up to its responsibility under the Constitution and either declare war or, by failing to do so, make it clear that he must focus on extricating America from the unconstitutional forays into foreign quagmires he has inherited from his predecessors.
Crap, am I a conservative now?
posted by kirkaracha at 10:26 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


The Specter of Illegitimacy Haunts Trump’s First 100 Days
"Trump seems never to have considered the possibility of moving toward the center and working with Democrats on policy. Nor have Republicans shown any inclination to cooperate with Democratic demands to conduct basic oversight of Trump’s corruption and scandals. These two decisions, no oversight and no bipartisan legislation, seem linked. The implicit threat of exposing Trump to investigations is the lever Republicans in Congress have to ensure his fealty to conservative movement dogma rather than adopt more moderate and popular policies. This pact to maintain the Republican monopoly on power at all costs is a strategy shaped by the legitimacy crisis of the Trump presidency."
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:29 AM on April 28 [16 favorites]


Crap, am I a conservative now?

No. The few sensible and principled conservatives just overlap liberalism more than they like to admit.
posted by Talez at 10:29 AM on April 28 [14 favorites]


An absolute travesty and it'll go completely unpunished by the (heavily gerrymandered) NC electorate.

What do you propose we do about it?
posted by yoga at 10:30 AM on April 28


and values took precedence over their own interests, and they will not give him up — even if, as he once famously said, he shot someone in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue. Can there be any more damning indictment of his supporters than that, any more damning indictment of the country he rules?

This has always struck me as the defining moment in the Trump candidacy.

Aside from all of the corruption, incompetence, mismanagement and everything else we have seen since...when you say out loud that you could murder someone in front of the nation and your supporters would not leave you, you have said pretty much all there is to say about yourself and the values of those that support you.

It is a far more insulting and damning thing to say about his supporters than calling them a "basket of deplorables". And the saddest part is, it's absolutely true.
posted by darkstar at 10:31 AM on April 28 [69 favorites]


A friend has just - as in he informed me about five minutes ago - sold his company to a consortium. It was a decade in the making, took enormous amounts of work, came close to death a few times, and just this past year (for reasons he can't explain) took off. He's still in charge, but now there's a board who can boot him out.

He has made an undisclosed fuckton of money' this week. Which he richly deserves and whatever it actually is, given how much he's put on the line, is probably not that silly on an hours worked/risks involved/opportunity cost basis.

He's done none of this for the money. He wanted to build a company that succeeded. He likes the money, sure, and sees it as a valediction, and by golly he can use it for his family (on which a novel could be written).

He is a serial entrepreneur, and he does it because he is wired that way.

Which means, in the context of this discussion, the most important thing for a government to understand if it wants to manage a capitalist country well, is psychology. Tax rates, regulation, the fiscals - these are necessary mechanisms to understand, because these are the tools a government has, but they do nothing by themselves. If you really want to steer the place in the right direction, you need to understand the motivations of people like my friend, as well as those of the other economic players, from worker to corporate CEO. You can't think of them as rational economic actors. None of them are.

This lot has no idea of any of this. They are corporate CEOs, but ones that (like our friends in Uber) consider themselves unbound by regulation or law - and, alas, (unlike Uber) they are partially right. You could call them mob leaders and be just as right. The motivations they understand are those of fear and corruption.

To take them down, you have to treat them as such. Which means legalling them by all means possible (before it's too late) or becoming the mob across town. I'd try the first course.
posted by Devonian at 10:42 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Reuters has a picture of Trump with the electoral maps he handed out to the reporters. Also shows his red Coke button and a glass of, presumably, Coke on the desk.
posted by zachlipton at 10:42 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


What do you propose we do about it?

The essential problem is that independents and moderates in conservative parts of NC need to flip on a massive scale due to how densely packed the reliable D voters are. Plus NC's electorate on average is something like R+6 to R+9 to begin with. That's a serious structural deficit to overcome even before you get to gerrymandering. That being said, getting a super-majority is bullshit. At least when a state like Mass does super-majorities the state electorate is D+52. You shouldn't get a super-majority from 6 points in the popular vote.
posted by Talez at 10:43 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


One odd thing in that photo: photos of the Obama Oval Office seem to show two flags behind the desk, one US flag and one Presidential Seal flag.

Trump seems to have added two more. A second Presidential Seal flag, and a US Army flag (won't the other branches be jealous?). There appears to be something on the US Army flag too; it looks like banners from various military campaigns. I can make out "Chickamauga 1863, "France," and "Burma."

The flags seem to have been added recently from what I can tell.
posted by zachlipton at 10:48 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


If you want to watch an old piece of shit talk about how awesome it is to shoot people, C-SPAN has Wayne LaPierre opening for Trump at the NRA convention right now.

Right now he's talking about how academic elites, political elites, and media elites are poisoning the minds of our youth and how we really need to do something unspecified about it.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:50 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


you have said pretty much all there is to say about yourself and the values of those that support you.

I'm reminded of the person who inspired this question of mine. In the middle of playing the victim and trying to rules-lawyer his way out of consequences for behavior that was generally understood to not be appropriate (and was a knife's edge away from something that resulted in jail time for someone else), he said "I could have done $related_but_different_thing_with_known_external_consequences and people would be far less upset!"

Which was absurd on the face of it, but it was also an incredibly bizarre and frightening claim to jump to.

6-9 months after the original situation was all cleaned up, and he was upset about losing positions of trust because of behaviors he claimed had been signed off on, it came out that he actually had done $related_but_different_thing_with_known_external_consequences!

This was, of course, right about the time he left of his own volition and moved across the country.


Maybe we can all be so lucky with 45?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:50 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


One odd thing in that photo: photos of the Obama Oval Office seem to show two flags behind the desk, one US flag and one Presidential Seal flag.

The description in that link says it's of the Bush Oval Office, FYI.
posted by cjelli at 10:51 AM on April 28


Reuters has a picture of Trump with the electoral maps he handed out to the reporters.

LOL. No, really. LOL. Those maps are county level maps. You use those specifically to monstrously exaggerate the size of a Republican victory. Empty land doesn't vote!

I shouldn't be surprised. I shouldn't be. And yet I am.
posted by Justinian at 10:52 AM on April 28 [40 favorites]


"It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.

You know who feels the need to point this out? A man who recently had the significance of the colors explained to him.
posted by diogenes at 10:58 AM on April 28 [42 favorites]


The description in that link says it's of the Bush Oval Office, FYI.

Er, yeah it is. That said, I don't even see the two additional flags in Trump Oval Office photos from nine billion years ago a couple months ago, so it seems pretty new to my eye.

Anyway, they seem to be really going all in on the "blame Obama for Flynn" strategy. Here's Trump pulling that line in an interview. This, of course, ignores the fact that Obama literally fired the guy.
posted by zachlipton at 10:59 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Reuters has a picture of Trump with the electoral maps he handed out to the reporters.

The juxtaposition of those tiny hands with the normal desk is quite something.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:01 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Those maps are county level maps. You use those specifically to monstrously exaggerate the size of a Republican victory. Empty land doesn't vote!

Somebody should give him a bar chart with two bars that represent voters. There's a red bar and a bigger blue bar.
posted by diogenes at 11:04 AM on April 28 [24 favorites]


There appears to be something on the US Army flag too; it looks like banners from various military campaigns. I can make out "Chickamauga 1863, "France," and "Burma."

Yeah, those are campaign streamers. A unit gets one for each campaign it was in, so the Army flag gets all of them.
posted by Etrigan at 11:08 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


The juxtaposition of those tiny hands with the normal desk is quite something.

It's no small feat to look weak and pathetic while sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office.
posted by diogenes at 11:09 AM on April 28 [13 favorites]


This is a hell of a supercut from Alexander Towbridge (of the Late Show): I went back through cable coverage of every day since Trump's inauguration. Every. Single. Day... I did it for you.

It's been a really long 100 days.
posted by zachlipton at 11:10 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


For those of you keeping count/drinking along at home, Trump has spent the last few minutes talking about election day.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:12 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


This is such a humiliation for our country. Is he the most pathetic leader ever for a great power? Rob Ford was only mayor of a city.
posted by Justinian at 11:13 AM on April 28 [22 favorites]


Is he the most pathetic leader ever for a great power?

There were some pretty far-gone kings and emperors and the like back in the day, but at least they had divine right to fall back... oh, wait.
posted by Etrigan at 11:14 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Oh, I was sort of thinking in the modern democratic era where we installed this guy ourselves. At least the people of Rome didn't have to live with having voted Nero, Caligula, and Commodus into office. I'm sure that was a great comfort as they were crucified or whatever.
posted by Justinian at 11:17 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


God, I hope this is so...

Trump’s first 100 days destroyed the myth that government should be run like a business

Anyone who tries to sell that myth is a toxic moron who knows nothing about governments or businesses.
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on April 28 [53 favorites]


Is he the most pathetic leader ever for a great power?

tied with Charles II the Habsburg:

Toward the end of his life Charles' fragile health deteriorated and he became increasingly hypersensitive and strange, at one point demanding that the bodies of his family be exhumed so he could look upon the corpses. He officially retired when he had a nervous breakdown caused by the amount of pressure put on him to try to pull Spain out of the economic trouble it was going through. He lived a simple life from then on, playing games and other activities. He died in Madrid on 1 November 1700 (the 39th death anniversary of his immediate elder brother), five days before his 39th birthday. The physician who performed his autopsy stated that his body "did not contain a single drop of blood; his heart was the size of a peppercorn; his lungs corroded; his intestines rotten and gangrenous; he had a single testicle, black as coal, and his head was full of water."[12]
posted by Greg Nog at 11:22 AM on April 28 [13 favorites]


Apropos of . . . ? GHWBush in hospital with pneumonia, chronic bronchitis

So.
posted by petebest at 11:23 AM on April 28


Oh, I was sort of thinking in the modern democratic era where we installed this guy ourselves.

Well you know who else was kinda sorta democratically chosen
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:24 AM on April 28 [16 favorites]


next time some horrible municipality wants a Ten Commandments monument.

Ten Commandments I Have Followed One Is A Lie
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:25 AM on April 28 [31 favorites]


> This is such a humiliation for our country.

Yeah, I just can't get over it. This - this fractally stupid administration - they're destroying our credibility in the world in a way that is going to take decades to recover from. The rest of the world is now on notice, even if we elect someone sane in 2020, that at any given time we might be less than 4 years away from electing another clown shitshow like this one.

For problems with long time horizons, like climate change, or dealing with the coming refugee crisis as the tropics drown, or the massive loss of viable middle class jobs around the world as the machines take over, or nuclear brinkmanship in the Korean peninsula or in South Asia - no one can rely on or trust the word of the United States of America any longer. You might like or trust any given administration, but the next election is coming, and maybe we'll have something like ... like this towering testament to Dunning-Kruger.

The only thing that consoles me in this scenario is that if we are dealing with the long-term fallout, at least we will have survived the current crisis. I guess I'd be grateful for that.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:25 AM on April 28 [51 favorites]


In conspiratorial thought there is a common pattern:

"I'm smart and I can see the problem clearly. It is so easy to fix!"
"Why isn't anyone fixing the problem. It's so obvious!"
"If people aren't fixing this easy problem, there must be a reason..."
"The people in power are bad people - they won't fix the easy problem for reason X"
Reason X is the conspiracy.

This is Trump and the Trumpettes. They thought they were smart and the only reason Obama wasn't fixing things was Conspiracy X. Now they're in power and it's laughable. "It's harder than I thought..." A lesser ego would be calling for help by now.
posted by charred husk at 11:27 AM on April 28 [22 favorites]


Charles II the Habsburg:

"HAAAAAAAAAAAARGH - Oh, It feels good to laugh!"
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


This is Trump and the Trumpettes. They thought they were smart and the only reason Obama wasn't fixing things was Conspiracy X. Now they're in power and it's laughable. "It's harder than I thought..." A lesser ego would be calling for help by now.

I mean I guess it's better than going full Hitler and trying to put the conspiracy in camps.
posted by Artw at 11:28 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Trump to the NRA: "These are horrible times, for certain obvious reasons."

...because you're President?
posted by XMLicious at 11:35 AM on April 28 [45 favorites]


I mean I guess it's better than going full Hitler and trying to put the conspiracy in camps.

"Obama was a secretly a muslim" was part of Conspiracy X - camps aren't out of the question if he gets desperate and quadruples down.
posted by charred husk at 11:36 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


The California Insurance Commissioner has told insurers to file two sets of rates on Monday for 2018, "one assuming the ACA is enforced and the other assuming President Trump and House Republican leaders continue to undermine or repeal the law and cause unnecessary premium increases."

It's a stunt, but a damn good one.
posted by zachlipton at 11:37 AM on April 28 [60 favorites]


The essential problem is that independents and moderates in conservative parts of NC need to flip on a massive scale due to how densely packed the reliable D voters are. Plus NC's electorate on average is something like R+6 to R+9 to begin with. That's a serious structural deficit to overcome even before you get to gerrymandering. That being said, getting a super-majority is bullshit. At least when a state like Mass does super-majorities the state electorate is D+52. You shouldn't get a super-majority from 6 points in the popular vote.

Yes, we are quite aware of what the problem is. This still doesn't tell me any real steps to take to fix it. I'm 1 voter. With a full time job. And if the only opportunity to fix this bullshit is every 2 or 3 years, that is fucking discouraging as all hell. Especially when the NCGA pulls the rug out from under our D governor every goddamn week.

It's a huge problem, and in all honesty I've run out of energy to fight it. It doesn't really help when blanket statements like this

An absolute travesty and it'll go completely unpunished by the (heavily gerrymandered) NC electorate.

Are followed by paragraphs that telling us what we already know. Some of us do have brains in NC.
posted by yoga at 11:40 AM on April 28 [8 favorites]


Which means, in the context of this discussion, the most important thing for a government to understand if it wants to manage a capitalist country well, is psychology. Tax rates, regulation, the fiscals - these are necessary mechanisms to understand, because these are the tools a government has, but they do nothing by themselves. If you really want to steer the place in the right direction, you need to understand the motivations of people like my friend, as well as those of the other economic players, from worker to corporate CEO. You can't think of them as rational economic actors. None of them are.

I question that it even matters they understand. Go ahead and stipulate that there is a perfect understanding of the people currently making buckets of money. Stipulate that they're right at the edge, taxation-wise, of not wanting to earn any more money. If the current tax rate of X were to become X+1 they would lose interest in making another $1. They'll stick with current business scope. Won't open another restaurant. Won't buy the equipment to make more widgets. Whatever.

Hell, let's stipulate that they'll even contract their business.

As someone said in a parallel above when talking about wages, that doesn't change demand. So if that demand is there, in a country of 300M people it is a virtual certainty that there's someone else who will be willing to make that dollar even if it's taxed at X+1. In this nation full of temporarily disadvantaged millionaires there is unquestionably someone who will step up to take on that business.

Is there eventually a point at which someone won't take a gamble with money they already have in pursuit of more? Sure, probably, though I'm not entirely convinced you hit that point even at 90% taxation. If losses weren't deductible, sure, but the reality is that a company with healthy sales and a big war chest can take a swing and miss if the risks are relatively quantifiable. It's one of the reasons why the market shits itself way more over uncertainty than anything else.

If we really gave a shit about entrepreneurship we'd be taxing top profits more heavily and embracing basic safety net and health care stuff. During the time I ran my own business there was nothing else that made it harder than health care except perhaps the possibility of failing so badly I'd have to eat out of a dumpster. Which of course, as a white dude with a reasonably successful family was never really a danger; I always had people to fall back on if everything went completely pear-shaped. But of course we don't really care about that any more than we really care about undocumented immigrants taking farming or service jobs, else we'd actually get serious about mandating use of eVerify.
posted by phearlez at 11:40 AM on April 28 [12 favorites]


> If we really gave a shit about entrepreneurship we'd be taxing top profits more heavily and embracing basic safety net and health care stuff. During the time I ran my own business there was nothing else that made it harder than health care except perhaps the possibility of failing so badly I'd have to eat out of a dumpster.

If it wasn't for the fact that my kids depend on the (excellent) health insurance offered by my employer, I'd seriously consider dropping out and starting my own consulting or software development or heck, going into a glass and jewelry business with my wife. Employer-provided health care actively holds me back from considering entrepreneurship.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:47 AM on April 28 [37 favorites]


RedOrGreen: Same for me. I'm a graphic designer stuck in a boring corporate job for the health benefits. If the government provided health coverage, I would be free to seek out more interesting work without worrying about coverage.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:51 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


Ok, now I'm shocked
posted by infini at 11:51 AM on April 28 [54 favorites]


Employer-provided health care actively holds me back from considering entrepreneurship.

...or a life dedicating to running a non-profit, or otherwise volunteering more than a few hours a week.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:52 AM on April 28 [17 favorites]


HUD Purges Publications that Helped Shelters Keep Transgender People Safe: Sometime in the last two months, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) removed a half-dozen resource documents from its website that were aimed at helping emergency homeless shelters and other housing providers comply with HUD nondiscrimination rules and keep transgender people safe. These resources were published in 2016 based on consultation with numerous service providers and advocates around the country.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:53 AM on April 28 [13 favorites]


I think at this point if there's anything you find useful on a govt. website, you need to download it yourself. And then share it.

(and I hope someone did for those HUD documents)
posted by emjaybee at 11:56 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Ok, now I'm shocked

I mean, I was a military brat in the 80s and even then I remember a fair shake of strong anti-Reagan sentiment from the adults around me. And remember, by and large, nobody wants war less than the troops do.
posted by Andrhia at 11:57 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Ok, now I'm shocked

There was a lot of internal conflict in vets' groups about how to deal with Trump, and a lot of vets realized that they weren't really the only lefties who'd been in uniform, it just felt like it. VoteVets is the biggest, but there's a lot of new explicitly progressive veterans' groups out there.
posted by Etrigan at 12:04 PM on April 28 [34 favorites]


Ok, now I'm shocked.

Good for them! I'm really proud of some of the Vets out on the front lines recently. Those guys who went up to Standing Rock, vets protesting. It's incredibly meaningful.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:08 PM on April 28 [13 favorites]




One could say there is something... almost child-like about this President.

"You're a child. You have the mind and ego of an angry, spoiled, uneducated child. And that's what makes you so fucking scary."
posted by asteria at 12:11 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


That tweet was via ColdChef btw, meaning its not something I'd normally come across so seeing it put that bluntly for their own CinC was a bit of a shock.

Also,

The creeping influence of nepotism in Trump’s America
The US president’s family’s grip on power is unprecedented in western democracy

posted by infini at 12:13 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


I'd say galloping over creeping TBH. People decided conflicts of interest didn't matter anymore and they leapt all in.
posted by Artw at 12:16 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Our long national nightmare is over:

Trump: '8-year assault' on Second Amendment is over.

(lifetime assault on women: still proceeding as scheduled)
posted by tocts at 12:28 PM on April 28 [28 favorites]




I'd say galloping over creeping TBH.

That is the FT. Understatement is to be expected.
posted by infini at 12:29 PM on April 28


I'd say galloping over creeping TBH.

QWOPing, surely.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 12:30 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


Yes, the FT's one of the last remaining media houses I still keep up with. That and the Guardian. The Beebs gone over to the dark side, or, taken off their helmet.
posted by infini at 12:30 PM on April 28


> Yeah, I just can't get over it. This - this fractally stupid administration - they're destroying our credibility in the world in a way that is going to take decades to recover from. The rest of the world is now on notice, even if we elect someone sane in 2020, that at any given time we might be less than 4 years away from electing another clown shitshow like this one.

For problems with long time horizons, like climate change, or dealing with the coming refugee crisis as the tropics drown, or the massive loss of viable middle class jobs around the world as the machines take over, or nuclear brinkmanship in the Korean peninsula or in South Asia - no one can rely on or trust the word of the United States of America any longer. You might like or trust any given administration, but the next election is coming, and maybe we'll have something like ... like this towering testament to Dunning-Kruger.


So this is a relatively short comment in response to a relatively long and thoughtful analysis, but one thing that's helped me with the creeping horror of these feelings is to never, ever, ever personally identify with the United States of America. That organization is nominally in charge of the place where I live, but it's not "we," it's "them." It feels a little bit more sane to try to join the rest of the world in understanding the United States as (whether we like it or not) a problem that we have to deal with, rather than a thing we identify with.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:30 PM on April 28 [15 favorites]


White House eyeing Clarke for Homeland Security post

Guy kills a prisoner by dehydration, travels to Russia to met with one of Putin's deputies, the target of US sanctions, and lost a lawsuit for inviting people to proselytize at mandatory employee meetings, and they want to give him a job?

PPP did a poll of Milwaukee County voters in January, and the results were awful, so I guess he's looking for a quick exit.
posted by zachlipton at 12:32 PM on April 28 [13 favorites]


This is such a humiliation for our country. Is he the most pathetic leader ever for a great power? Rob Ford was only mayor of a city.

When Trump did his press conference next to King Abdullah II of Jordan, he was a leader selected as the single most meritorious individual among all eligible citizens of his nation, standing next to someone who wielded executive power purely based on his parents and the timing of his birth. You can guess which of the leaders seemed to be a thousand-times more capable.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:32 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Ahead of Trump's 100th day mark, Obama says Obamacare is more popular than Trump

Trolling level: Expert.
posted by chris24 at 12:37 PM on April 28 [53 favorites]


The few sensible and principled conservatives just overlap liberalism more than they like to admit.

It's not even that - it's that our country trying to force all the political spectrums of thought into effectively two huge parties rather than four. Sure, the Libertarians and Greens exist, but are largely jokes. In an ideal world, there would be a party that represented each of these actual wings, such that for example, supporting gun rights or lower taxes didn't automatically place you in the same party as people who think conversion therapy is a reasonable thing to enroll your children in.
posted by corb at 12:37 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


Employer-provided health care actively holds me back from considering entrepreneurship.

That is much less the case since Obamacare. Until your new company makes a profit, you and your family can get free or low cost healthcare from Obamacare. Also, no company can refuse to insure you or charge you higher rates because of pre-existing conditions if you leave your employer.

Obamacare has made it much easier for people to take the risk of creating their own businesses, which is another fact that so-called "business friendly" Republicans refuse to recognize.
posted by JackFlash at 12:40 PM on April 28 [32 favorites]


Obamacare has made it much easier for people to take the risk of creating their own businesses, which is another fact that so-called "business friendly" Republicans refuse to recognize.

When they say "business friendly", they mean their businesses. Not yours.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:42 PM on April 28 [20 favorites]



Guy kills a prisoner by dehydration, travels to Russia to met with one of Putin's deputies, the target of US sanctions, and lost a lawsuit for inviting people to proselytize at mandatory employee meetings, and they want to give him a job?


He also likes to whine on official social media pages. Birds of a feather, I suppose.


I'd welcome anyone taking him off our hands at this point, and while a federal post isn't great, it looks like he wouldn't directly be running anything? Maybe he can manage to get himself convicted for something first.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:43 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I don't think either the greens or the libertarians would stand much of a chance of being a major party even in a context where democracy existed. they're both unserious organizations with incoherent political analyses. my guess for what the party system in america would look like if america had democracy is something like:
  • at least one fascist party (most of the republican party plus a few stormfront types who don't overtly identify as republicans.)
  • a nominally non-fascist christian corporatist party (the left wing of the republican party plus the right wing of the democratic party)
  • a liberal party (containing the libertarians, the greens, and the center of the democrats)
  • various socialist parties, ranging from sandersite social democrats to tiny maoist formations
  • at least one anarchist/pirate organization that refuses to call itself a party
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:45 PM on April 28 [13 favorites]


What has President Trump said about your country in his first 100 days? (BBC, 27 April 2017) -- noting what he's said via meetings, phone calls and tweets, with an emoji face to summarize Trump's over-all stance on that country.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:53 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


New registration details Manafort's lobbying for pro-Russia party

Paul Manafort attended four lobbying meetings with members of Congress and Washington organizations while advising a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party, according to new disclosure forms filed to the Justice Department on Friday.

The meetings were revealed in an 87-page disclosure obtained by The Hill that was filed by public affairs firm Mercury. Those forms retroactively register the firm as a foreign agent for work it did years ago.

posted by futz at 12:56 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]




Another tidbit from The Hill article.

Vin Weber, a partner at Mercury and former Republican congressman, brought Manafort to meetings with members of Congress, including one with former Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, a board member at the International Republican Institute, in December 2012. He also brought Manafort to a meeting with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) in March 2013.

Doesn't Rep. Dana Rohrabacher keep popping up in odd places where Russia is concerned?
posted by futz at 1:04 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


I just want to put them in all in a machine that beams awareness of their stupidity and reckless endangerment of anything good that this country has into their heads so that they are overcome with shame.

I never really grokked the whole idea of the criminal is supposed to show remorse for his crimes and apologize to victims' families, really. It always struck me as sort of a Puritanical holdover.

But now I want an apology from these fuckers. I want to see Sessions crying with shame. I want to see Ivanka in the stocks. I am getting medieval with this shit.

And it's only the first one hundred days. Jesus.
posted by angrycat


Douglas Adams called it a Total Perspective Vortex.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:05 PM on April 28 [18 favorites]


To which the Trump-like protagonist displayed an unexpected, unique immunity.
posted by christopherious at 1:07 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


The Total You Should Shove Your Own Face Into Your Cereal Bowl Each Morning Until Decent People Can Look At You Without Triggering Their Gag Reflex Vortex was too wordy.
posted by delfin at 1:11 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Well, it was explicitly stated that Beeblebrox's brain would have been destroyed by the Total Perspective Vortex in the real universe. He only survived it because it was in an artificial universe explicitly designed around him.

Trump, sadly, is in the real universe.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:12 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Are we in the real universe? [real]
posted by localhuman at 1:14 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


> Trump, sadly, is in the real universe.

objection, begs the question.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:14 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Or are we in the fake universe? [fake]
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:15 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Oh god, what if Trump's solipsism is correct and we're all figments/NPCs?
posted by contraption at 1:15 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Hey, Beeblebrox was way more human than Trump.
posted by valkane at 1:16 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Guy kills a prisoner by dehydration, travels to Russia to met with one of Putin's deputies, the target of US sanctions, and lost a lawsuit for inviting people to proselytize at mandatory employee meetings, and they want to give him a job?

What? With those qualifications I'm only surprised he hasn't been hired already.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:17 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Another day, another published interview. This one is with the Washington Examiner but I warn you if you want to read it, put a pillow on your desk top first so you don't end up with a bloody forehead. Highlights:

--For DACA "I always knew we needed a special heart." But the wall is going to stop human trafficking and drugs.

--"there are so many jobs in Washington, we don't want so many jobs. You don't need all of those people"

--" you know, the numbers just came out on the GDP for last year which were abysmal. 1.6 percent. Which is the lowest in five years. And, you know, if China does 7 percent, they consider it terrible. You have big countries in this world, major countries in this world, if they do 7, 8 or 9 percent they're not very happy, and here we are, we're a country at one percent and people don't even write about it"

--" sanctuary cities have been very, very dangerous, very, very bad. And, you know, we've done a great job on law enforcement, we've done a great job at the border. And all of our most talented people say sanctuary cities are a disaster."

"I'm a tremendous believer in clean water, clean air, and I've won environmental awards. But it also has to be fair. It can't put you at an economic disadvantage, or a disadvantage in other ways."

--" insurance companies are on their last legs in terms of staying. They're going to leave. And so many other places. So you really don't have Obamacare, because you have insurance companies that are all pulling out. So when people talk about Obamacare, it's really fiction."

There is so, so much more but read it at your peril and check your sanity at the door.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:22 PM on April 28 [18 favorites]


Funniest part of Trump saying he thought presidenting would be easier is he's taken 9 vacations and played golf 20 times in 99 days in office and that's not easy enough for him.
posted by chris24 at 1:29 PM on April 28 [68 favorites]


WaPo Op-Ed response from James Gorelick, Ivanka Trump's personal lawyer:

Ivanka Trump is following the rules
[...] Our public dialogue should not be driven by suggestions of corruption that rest on innuendo and inconsistent standards rather than facts and law. We should instead anchor our discussion in the law to objectively assess the present and constructively discuss the future.
😁
posted by Room 641-A at 1:34 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


If Republicans Can’t Get This Lawmaker, Obamacare Repeal May Be Dead

Fred Upton says he's "not comfortable with" the AHCA. He's led the vote to repeal Obamacare a gazillion times, but now he says he's worried about high costs for people with pre-existing conditions.

If they can't get Upton, who do they have?
posted by zachlipton at 1:35 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


you know, the numbers just came out on the GDP for last year which were abysmal. 1.6 percent.

He always cites GDP as a percentage, not GDP growth! I honestly think he doesn't know the difference.
posted by jcreigh at 1:36 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


We should instead anchor our discussion in the law to objectively assess the present and constructively discuss the future.

Law =/= Ethics
posted by melissasaurus at 1:36 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Trump seems to believe Puerto Rico is helping to shut down the American government. I had kind of hoped he didn't know we existed.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:36 PM on April 28 [20 favorites]


> Our public dialogue should not be driven by suggestions of corruption that rest on innuendo and inconsistent standards rather than facts and law. We should instead anchor our discussion in the law to objectively assess the present and constructively discuss the future.

But her emails...

Lock her up! Lock her up!
Wiretapping!

posted by RedOrGreen at 1:37 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


Upton funks them up.
Upton funks them up.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:38 PM on April 28 [14 favorites]


White House Weighs Kicking Out Sebastian Gorka [by moving him somewhere farther away from them, but you know, still in the government]:
The Trump administration is actively exploring options to remove controversial national security aide Sebastian Gorka from the White House and place him at another federal agency, multiple sources tell The Daily Beast.

Two senior administration officials familiar with the situation say it is exploring a new role for Gorka elsewhere in the administration. Another said he has been entirely excluded from day-to-day policy-making at the National Security Council in the meantime.
Or as @emptywheel puts it: "BREAKING: Long-time Apprentice Reality TV Show star suddenly unable to say, "You're fired."
posted by zachlipton at 1:42 PM on April 28 [26 favorites]


Matthew Yglesias/Vox.com: Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been a moneymaking success story
From the day Trump announced his candidacy until the day he took the Oval Office, the smart take on him was that he was running on a lark, as a publicity stunt, or to lay the groundwork for some business endeavor.

Yet since his ascension to the White House, conventional wisdom has developed an odd tendency to describe his inability to make major legislative changes as an indication that his presidency is failing. It's certainly true that Paul Ryan’s speakership of the House is failing, arguable that Mitch McConnell’s tenure as majority leader of the Senate is failing, and indisputably true that the Koch brothers’ drive to infuse hardcore libertarian ideological zeal into the GOP is failing.

But Trump isn’t failing. He and his family appear to be making money hand over fist. It's a spectacle the likes of which we've never seen in the United States, and while it may end in disaster for the Trumps someday, for now it shows no real sign of failure.
Also, Vox is on top of their URL game.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:44 PM on April 28 [50 favorites]


Oh god, what if Trump's solipsism is correct and we're all figments/NPCs?

I worry the king is unwell.

There's a rumor that some of the king's advisors have been colluding with our enemies.

The king has been taking a suspicious number of vacations.

Watch out for trolls after dark.

Craig, who lives behind the convenience store, will sell you rare herbs.

It is dangerous to go alone. Take this: 🐈
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:46 PM on April 28 [23 favorites]


I used to be an adventurer like you but then I took an arrow to the knee and Trumpcare considers that a pre-existing condition. The knee, I mean.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:58 PM on April 28 [15 favorites]


Legit fucking LOL at this walkback:

Dallas Morning News:
President Donald Trump said on Friday that his long-desired wall on the U.S.-Mexico border will be in "certain areas." He said "you don't need" it where "you have these massive physical structures" or "you have certain big rivers."

Y'know, like maybe.... the Rio Grande?
posted by marshmallow peep at 1:58 PM on April 28 [19 favorites]


It turns out, however that we know a much better way to incentivize businesses to invest their profits instead of pay them out in dividends and executive salaries. Tax them more. If you tax huge salaries and capital gains at exorbitant rates, executives will direct profits back into the business while settling for a large but not insane salary for themselves.

This is so obvious, too, when you look at it. I worked in state-funded programs a lot. At the end of the fiscal year there was always an orgy of spending to use up all their annual funds, because if they didn't the state would take that money back and also reduce their budget for the next year. So we got new office chairs and TVs and computers (that we totally needed). When faced with either investing the money in the business or losing it, obviously people are going to invest it into making their employees happier and the work easier. While also injecting that money into the retail economy. But if the choice is invest it in their business or buy themselves a boat? Well...

It's been very interesting to watch the restaurant where my husband is a manager deal with the issue of wages recently. Their wages for kitchen workers was really, really low. And, hey, guess what, they couldn't keep staff. They attracted unskilled and inexperienced workers, people who were unreliable. Even their best cooks, who were all undocumented immigrants, could make better money working in other restaurants and so had another job they gave priority to.

So finally, faced with the whole place almost shutting down due to lack of staff, they've gotten permission to increase wages. So now they're advertising up to $15/hour and getting decent applicants. And giving raises to the people who deserve them, so they hopefully stick around. And all this is, I suppose, the market working in the way conservatives think it should. Even though it's taken far longer for wages to be increased than it should have, and took the specter of the restaurant having to close to do it.

But this is also in a small town. One of the big problems is that there simply isn't a large pool of labor here. There are only so many cooks in this town, or people willing to train to cook, especially for low wages. In an area with larger population this wouldn't be such a problem. The restaurant could rely on having a constant turnover of moderately skilled cooks coming and going, or always having a pool of undocumented immigrants willing to work for minimum wage. It probably wouldn't be a very well-run kitchen with that kind of turnover, but it would meet minimum standards of turning out food.

I don't know what my point is exactly, but the idea that businesses would just give out raises to their employees if they weren't forced to is fundamentally flawed. Maybe the occasional small business does that, when the owner is personally involved in the running. But most businesses are corporations. My husband, as kitchen manager, had no authority to give his cooks raises, even though he knew how much they deserved and needed them. He had to wait until things were dire enough that the regional manager approved wage increases. That only happens when the bottom line is being affected.
posted by threeturtles at 2:03 PM on April 28 [19 favorites]


> President Donald Trump said on Friday that his long-desired wall on the U.S.-Mexico border will be in "certain areas."

Why, you nincompoop! You incompetent half-wit! Did you really ... AAAAGH!

> Brain explodes <
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:03 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


MSNBC's make over to FOX News-lite continues,

It gets worse: Conservative Radio Host Hugh Hewitt in Talks for MSNBC Show, Sources Say
posted by zachlipton at 2:08 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Right, LMM owes us for jinxing this shit on SNL.

I would like an angry rap about DJT picking on PR, Mr. Miranda. I know you are an artist are free to do Mary Poppins or whatever the fuck, but I'm sure John Oliver would like to have you back.
posted by angrycat at 2:09 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Something really minor but stuck in my head all day was when Trump was complaining about how tough it was to be President in that Reuters interview, he said he really missed driving himself. I'm sure I read that he hasn't driven for many years--in fact there was a question as to whether he still had a license. So something he hasn't done for many years but he misses being able to do it now because he is President.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:09 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


(I'm just kidding about the jinxing LMM I LOVE YOU but a rap would be nice)
posted by angrycat at 2:10 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


> It gets worse: Conservative Radio Host Hugh Hewitt in Talks for MSNBC Show, Sources Say

FAIL FAIL FAIL. WTF are you doing, MSNBC?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:14 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]


Christ, Hugh Hewitt is a crank. Didn't he get so wingnut that neocon Lileks wouldn't go on his show anymore?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:14 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


I'm sure Donny will be completely rational and not jump at the opportunity to do something stupid before his 100 days is up.

Breaking: North Korea Test-Fires a Ballistic Missile
posted by chris24 at 2:21 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


WaPo Op-Ed response from James Gorelick, Ivanka Trump's personal lawyer:

Small point, but it's Jamie Gorelick, who's a woman.
posted by AwkwardPause at 2:22 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


I suspect it wasn't an accident that North Korea waited right up to Trump's 100 day mark to test a missile, passing over various recent key dates in their national and military history instead.
posted by zachlipton at 2:31 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


"I'm a tremendous believer in clean water, clean air, and I've won environmental awards. But it also has to be fair. It can't put you at an economic disadvantage, or a disadvantage in other ways."

He keeps repeating this lie! Here is a comment I made in January.

WaPo Fact Checker: Trump’s unsupported claim he has ‘received awards on the environment’

“I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment. I have received awards on the environment.”
— President Trump, remarks during a meeting with business leaders, Jan. 23

Are there any facts to support this claim to environmental fame?

-- The short answer is: No. Media outlets and environmental groups have tried to find evidence of this claim since 2011 but have come up short.

-- In fact, environmentalists have criticized many of Trump’s projects.

-- During the 2008 hearing, Trump said he didn’t read his environmental consultants’ advice because he didn’t need to. From the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the hearing:

“I would consider myself an environmentalist in the true sense of the word,” Mr. Trump said, a comment that drew so much laughter from the public gallery that the inquiry chairman had to call for order.

-- In 2010, environmentalists criticized Trump for chopping down more than 400 trees along the Potomac River during a renovation of his golf course in Loudoun County, Va.
posted by futz at 2:32 PM on April 28 [17 favorites]


This one time, he put his empty coke can in a recycle bin.
posted by emjaybee at 2:35 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


South Korea's military reportedly says this test failed too.
posted by zachlipton at 2:45 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Right-Wing German Soldier Disguised as a Refugee
A suspected right-wing extremist German army officer is thought to have been planning an attack. As part of his preparation, he registered as a refugee from Syria.
posted by XMLicious at 2:54 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Maybe he's received awards while standing on natural grass?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:57 PM on April 28




Trump was complaining about how tough it was to be President in that Reuters interview, he said he really missed driving himself. I'm sure I read that he hasn't driven for many years--in fact there was a question as to whether he still had a license.

I've been wondering about that myself, the most recent picture of Trump driving I've found is Feb 2014.
posted by peeedro at 3:10 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Ugh. He attacked 2 women with a machete.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:11 PM on April 28


Between the GOP passing legislation that allows motorists to run over protesters and the NRA signing people up for insurance in case they shoot someone, I'm starting to feel a little paranoid. This machete guy asked people's political affiliations before attacking and told Republicans they were safe. I think he might have gotten the (mistaken? subliminal?) message from Party leaders, including our President, that attacking liberals was perfectly acceptable.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:18 PM on April 28 [12 favorites]


I just realized the true nature of the executive order supposedly requiring that for every new regulation, two regulations be repealed. It actually says that the executive agency "shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed". As in, "by the way, here are two regulations which exist and which you could in theory repeal". Similarly, the agency shall identify two colors of unicorn to be willed into existence.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:18 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


> I think he might have gotten the (mistaken? subliminal?) message

Intended.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:19 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


the most recent picture of Trump driving I've found is Feb 2014.

Oh ye of little faith; this is from earlier this month
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:21 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Shades of the Garissa attack in Kenya, where they went through asking who was Muslim and who was Christian.
posted by XMLicious at 3:23 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


It actually says that the executive agency "shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed". As in, "by the way, here are two regulations which exist and which you could in theory repeal"

Most of his EOs are like that-- they seem more like photo-ops for the base than orders that actually accomplish anything. They suggest that meetings be held or inquiries be made. Exploratory EOs rather than concrete changes in government. The two travel bans that were more than just information gathering were struck down by the courts.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:27 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Ugh. This machete attack seems like a prelude to something much, much worse. Pay attention to who condemns the attack and what language they use, but also pay attention to who doesn't condemn it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:27 PM on April 28 [8 favorites]


Well, Trump won't, obviously.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


I think he might have gotten the (mistaken? subliminal?) message

Intended.


I am hoping that Republican leaders are not really egging their followers on to engage in violence against the opposition. (I mean I know Trump did at his rallies but he is a crazy person and thoughtless.) Because we would be in worse shape than I thought if that was the case.

What I think is happening at this moment is Republicans have been playing with fire, rousing their base, but don't expect full on warfare in the streets. A few people not right in the head may take them at their word but most Americans are not primed to commit murder for political differences.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:40 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


zachlipton: Trump seems to have added two more. A second Presidential Seal flag, and a US Army flag (won't the other branches be jealous?). There appears to be something on the US Army flag too; it looks like banners from various military campaigns. I can make out "Chickamauga 1863, "France," and "Burma."

The flags seem to have been added recently from what I can tell.


Previous US Presidents including JFK, LBJ, and Nixon have decorated the Oval Office with similar military flags (and perhaps the same flag?) during their administrations. See historical photos at Cote de Texas — President Trump's New Oval Office Decor, January 17, 2017.
posted by cenoxo at 3:40 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Ethics Chief: Some Trump Nominees Push Back On Ethics Rules With ‘Ferocity’

Some of the Trump administration’s nominees have pushed back against the government’s ethics requirements with “a ferocity we’ve not previously seen,” Walter Shaub, the director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, told a top White House lawyer in an email this week.

Shaub was responding to Reince Priebus, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, who, when asked on Fox News Wednesday why the White House has been slow to fill key positions, claimed that many nominees were “sitting and waiting for OGE.”

-- By April 25, 2009, OGE had received 100 percent of the nominee reports it needed from the Obama administration, compared to 46 percent from the Trump administration by April 25, 2017, according to the OGE document.

There are about 92 nominee reports that OGE has received but not finished going through. The office said it received 75 percent of those reports within the past 30 days.

-- ...But emails show that when OGE tried early on to make contact with the Trump transition team, aides were unresponsive.

-- But, he added, “the last thing we need for the morale of our nominee reviewers is to have the Chief of Staff to the President smearing them with false information.”

posted by futz at 3:44 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


So Congress passed a CR to kick the can down the road a week, but any word on whether Trump has signed it?
posted by jcreigh at 3:46 PM on April 28






Conservative political terrorist attacks Democrats with knife in Transylvania (University, in Kentucky)

Ugh. He attacked 2 women with a machete.


what the fuck is with young conservatives and attacking people with swords?
posted by anem0ne at 3:54 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Highly dimensional chess:
  1. Shittalk a little about a shutdown
  2. Let Congress pass a temporary spending resolution
  3. Do not sign it, a 7-day extension being less than the 10-day period for the pocket veto
  4. No one notices
  5. Gov't agencies continuing operating
  6. With no resolution, this is grossly unconstitutional tyranny
  7. A REAL SHUTDOWN
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 3:56 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


... do we need more Democrats with swords? I ask 'cause I -have- one, but I'm pretty sure even carrying it in public is illegal here.
posted by Archelaus at 3:56 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


The rest of the world is now on notice, even if we elect someone sane in 2020, that at any given time we might be less than 4 years away from electing another clown shitshow like this one.

Reagan, Harding, Taft, Shrub2...and I mean did you see that blowjob impeachment scandal in the 90's wtf was that.

They've always known. Historical lack of internet doesn't apply. Step back from the US and view it from the outside, and our shit is not sane. Like, slavery and the world's first modern democracy? Trump is a particularly bad episode, but watching it all proceed, watching satire come true time and time again, one thing is clear - we have always known, and we have always been sick. The US perseveres in spite of itself because decent people work their asses off to keep it afloat. The rest of the world knows that too. Chill out.
posted by saysthis at 3:59 PM on April 28 [17 favorites]


I just found out the other day that in Sweden when you earn your PhD it comes with a sword. Maybe we all need to go get our PhDs in Sweden. Or just buy a sword. That would probably be cheaper.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:59 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


So Congress passed a CR to kick the can down the road a week, but any word on whether Trump has signed it?

He doesn't need to. Unless he actively vetoes it, which is a small amount of work and so anathema, it just becomes law in a week.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:15 PM on April 28


So Congress passed a CR to kick the can down the road a week, but any word on whether Trump has signed it?

He doesn’t need to. Unless he actively vetoes it, which is a small amount of work and so anathema, it just becomes law in a week.

A week is too late in this instance, surely?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:19 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I just found out the other day that in Sweden when you earn your PhD it comes with a sword.

man they take defending your thesis really fucking seriously
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:22 PM on April 28 [62 favorites]


_What I think is happening at this moment is Republicans have been playing with fire, rousing their base, but don't expect full on warfare in the streets. A few people not right in the head may take them at their word but most Americans are not primed to commit murder for political differences.

I think, and this is uncomfortable to admit but I think must be said, that a lot of Republicans, including myself, thought we were talking to adults, that there were a lot more adults in the world than I now currently believe. That we assumed most people who shared our political persuasion were fundamentally like ourselves- people who learned civics at home and took it really seriously, and thought really hard about things. We saw the Democrats' uneducated members and thought they were the only ones who had a mob - that the people who weren't going to college were still reading about things at home from their parents.

Because if you're talking to people who read philosophy and think about it, then saying things like "the American people must be prepared for revolution if tyranny comes" comes with an automatic consideration of what, precisely, tyranny actually means, and if we are there or are likely to ever be there. It's much more a "break glass in case of tyranny" than a "yep, maybe next year folks!" When you say "we need to be ready in case the communists come", it's more of the sense of the adventurer whose father has kept a sword under his bed for thirty years, rather than the guy suspiciously eyeing everyone to see if they have read Marx.

And that's just not the case. The people who are thoughtful and involved in the party are not the same people going to Trump rallies with Spartan helmets. We have our own mob, and they are larger and angrier and more prone to violence than we thought, and they are nothing like us so we don't know how to disarm them. It's incredibly disheartening, and honestly I despair for our country overall. I don't know what to do with its uneducated portion.
posted by corb at 4:28 PM on April 28 [26 favorites]


Listing of the Campaigns of the U.S. Army Displayed on the Army Flag.
Weird. They have "Bull Run" for the battle in 1861 and "Manassas" for the 1862 sequel. "Manassas" is the Confederate name for the battle. Since it's a US Army flag it should say "1st Bull Run" and "2nd Bull Run."

posted by kirkaracha at 4:28 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Do not sign it, a 7-day extension being less than the 10-day period for the pocket veto

I forgot that the pocket veto was specifically​ limited in the Constitution - that's probably a useful talking point for constitutionally limiting the bullshit McConnell pulled with Garland, it's essentially the same thing. After 10 days, nominations should be forced to move to the floor for a vote.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:30 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Stephen A. Crockett Jr., TheRoot.com: 100 Days In: The Hate That Hate Created
It was clear during his run for the White House that Trump was out of his depth, but he appealed to a sect of America that hated former President Obama because he was a black man. Trump ran on a platform of hate, and those who agree with his brand of vitriol voted for him. Maybe all 59 million of those who voted for Trump weren’t racist, but they had no problem voting for a man who is, and to those voters, it doesn’t matter that he’s in bed with Russia, or that he won’t fulfill any of the promises he made while running for office. It doesn’t matter to them that he vacations almost as much as he’s in office, or that he’s costing taxpayers billions of dollars.

They are willing to ignore the continual lies that come from this administration, and the 100 days of proof that nothing he says means anything. Trump hates who racists hate, and in the eyes of Trump voters, they will continue to root for their brand of demagoguery and push for this sham of a president to stay in office because he hates the way they do, and they love that more than the lies he tells or the promises he can’t keep.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:32 PM on April 28 [31 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!

"Bad!" ?

We're all going to die.
posted by zachlipton at 4:33 PM on April 28 [12 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!

I really want to read the behind-the-scenes account of who got Trump to toe a totally different line with China and how they did it. I feel like somebody, maybe Xi, outlined in VERY specific detail how that trade war Donnie was barreling towards would have gone and it scared him shitless. He turned his China saber rattling around fast and he's not the kind of person who will easily stop saying and doing dumb shit.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:38 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Democrats build. Republicans demolish.
posted by yoga at 4:43 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


Turns out another thing is the matter with Kansas: Brownback wants $24 million to keep guns out of psychiatric hospitals

They passed a law there that says they have to allow concealed weapons at public hospitals and college campuses, starting July 1. There's an exception, but only if you have metal detectors, armed guards, maybe even secure storage for weapons. Now the state is on the hook for millions of dollars in costs because they don't want guns in state psychiatric facilities.
posted by zachlipton at 4:47 PM on April 28 [18 favorites]


I made a poorly made "Presidenting Hard" picture for your convenient sharing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:51 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


I just found out the other day that in Sweden when you earn your PhD it comes with a sword.

man they take defending your thesis really fucking seriously

Fittingly, they give you the sword after you no longer need to defend yourself.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:52 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


I really want to read the behind-the-scenes account of who got Trump to toe a totally different line with China

Wasn't there a story a month or 2 ago about how China was giving Trump the rights to the Trump brand name in China? I had just assumed that was what led Trump to a reversal on all things China.
posted by willnot at 4:53 PM on April 28 [11 favorites]


I feel like somebody, maybe Xi, outlined in VERY specific detail how that trade war Donnie was barreling towards would have gone and it scared him shitless.

I don't think he is swayed by, appreciates, or can understand and deal with specific details. I think Kushner or Favored Daughter or someone else he whatever-he-does-where-normal-humans-have-trust just said "Donnie, that would be bad. Then nobody would like you." And that was all it took.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:55 PM on April 28 [5 favorites]


WaPo: ICE data shows half of immigrants arrested in raids had traffic convictions or no record:
About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.
posted by zachlipton at 5:01 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I wish they hadn't constructed their story that way. People with no record or a not-reckless speeding ticket are Not The Same as people with a conviction for a serious and life-threatening offense like drunk driving.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:12 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]


Trump did sign the continuing resolution. Supposedly there's going to be a 2017 omnibus, but tune in next week viewers.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:18 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Lol. WaPo White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker told Chris Hayes that Trump asked him during their 100 day interview to run the election map on the front page of the Post with the story.
posted by chris24 at 5:20 PM on April 28 [23 favorites]


He knows that he didn't win legitimately, and that's why he can't shut up about it.
posted by valkane at 5:33 PM on April 28 [19 favorites]


I just got word that EPA is updating its website to "reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt." Oh boy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:33 PM on April 28


So, looking from the outside in, as we've been approaching the 100 day mark, I'm beginning to realise that I could get behind the idea of the US building a border wall, but do you think it could be extended right around the coastline and we could get a roof put on top too? You can leave the keys outside.
posted by walrus at 5:36 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


I'm still boggling over Trump's North Korea tweet. It's so weird that he frames it in terms of "disrespect[ing]" China and its President, but not us or anybody else. Like he views this solely as China's problem, and we're just the cheerleaders to provide encouragement? We've got ~30,000 troops stationed in South Korea, so it really doesn't work to just pretend we've not at all involved.
posted by zachlipton at 5:39 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


I think, and this is uncomfortable to admit but I think must be said, that a lot of Republicans, including myself, thought we were talking to adults, that there were a lot more adults in the world than I now currently believe. That we assumed most people who shared our political persuasion were fundamentally like ourselves- people who learned civics at home and took it really seriously, and thought really hard about things. We saw the Democrats' uneducated members and thought they were the only ones who had a mob - that the people who weren't going to college were still reading about things at home from their parents.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it." So said Tommy Lee Jones, and he was more of a prophet than he knew. I may not be a conservative or Republican, nor do I ever plan to be, but a thinking conservative is welcome in my house because he or she _is on our team_.

Ignorance in America is nothing new. Neither are class warfare, racial strife, sexual discrimination, religious bigotry or bought-and-paid-for politicians. Every decade in American history has its lowlights to which I could point, particularly when you consider that in much of America, LGBTs were considered legally mentally ill, blacks could be refused services or housing or schooling or marriage due to skin color, and women couldn't even get the ERA to the floor within the lifetimes of many people reading these words right now.

If you want to chart where America really hit the wall, where the "thinking American" idea collapsed, go back to the mid-eighties because that is where the conservative think tanks' strategy kicked into high gear. A well-educated populace is a lot harder to control than one fed by an echo chamber, trained to react how they're told, vote how they're told, protest how they're told. Political broadcasts were deregulated, media consolidation was deregulated, under Reagan way too fucking much of America was deregulated but THOSE are where the major damage started, because it led to what we have now.

Right now you can be a Republican who has a real interest, someone who reads, someone who wants to know more about our country and our world and our politics and _still_ be a dangerous shithead if you are caught up in the echo chamber. The whole goddamn AM radio dial, their own TV networks, their own newspapers, their own talking heads on 'mainstream' programs, and that's before you figure in email chains morphing into message boards, bloggers, Twitter and Facebook walls. It is so easy to believe utter bullshit when you hear it from multiple sources, read it in multiple places, see people you know repeating it on social media, watch it on the TV and are told that the OTHER side are the liars. Trump's FAKE NEWS! rants are just a gloriously inelegant way of presenting that, but that has been the driving force behind modern conservatism since the Reagan years. Truths that are inconvenient are meaningless if they're drowned out until your patsies _don't believe them_ or their sources any more.

And, no, this is not a completely uniquely conservative thing. There are left-wing dingbats too. But they're like a whisper being drowned out by a tsunami in terms of media penetration and effectiveness.

This is why, back when the RNC was going on and you were fighting the good fight on the floor, some of us were yelling that #NeverTrump was one thing but that it was an inherently doomed enterprise because what was the alternative? Ted Cruz with a puncher's chance at the White House? In a lot of ways that was SCARIER because Cruz is just as sociopathic but has some actual grasp of how to _use_ that power.

We're no longer liberal versus conservative, left versus right. We are thinkers, planners and patriots versus the corrupt leading the deluded, the misinformed, the mistaught and the uncaring. We are Reason versus Apathy, all the more difficult a battle to win because to join our side one must make a conscious decision to do so and consciousness isn't all that prized around here these days.

Batter up.
posted by delfin at 5:42 PM on April 28 [108 favorites]


When has Trump taken responsibility for anything except in retrospect for "wins" that he had nothing to do with?
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:43 PM on April 28


I'm still boggling over Trump's North Korea tweet. It's so weird that he frames it in terms of "disrespect[ing]" China and its President, but not us or anybody else.
The terrifying but completely plausible possibility is that this is the Master Negotiator trying to be clever and thinking that surely if he frames it like that the Chinese will have to Do Something About North Korea or else look weak.

I mean, are you gonna let that punk disrespect you, President Xi?
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:43 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


Guardian: Donald Trump tells NRA: 'I am going to come through for you'
Guns are allowed in most public places in Georgia, including the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta where the NRA meeting is taking place, but attendees were not allowed to bring firearms to the leadership forum where Trump spoke."
Come on, Donnie, what are you afraid of? Shouldn't you feel safe in front of a crowd of adoring people who are carrying? Give the Secret Service the day off, man; they've worked hard.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:45 PM on April 28 [14 favorites]


And that's just not the case. The people who are thoughtful and involved in the party are not the same people going to Trump rallies with Spartan helmets. We have our own mob, and they are larger and angrier and more prone to violence than we thought, and they are nothing like us so we don't know how to disarm them.

You're right.

Those "thoughtful and involved" people were cheering the mob on and inciting them for 40 years so they could get their tax cuts.

Don't act like the Republican party has clean hands here.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:46 PM on April 28 [25 favorites]


I know that it's all nonsense but can someone clue me in as to what the long 8-year-ordeal of the NRA actually boils down to when translated back from moon logic?

I mean, they weren't being actually fellated by the government the way they are now but neither do I remember any notable gun ownership setbacks during the Obama years. Is there any kernel of an actual grievance there or is it about pure crazification like not arming elementary school teachers after Sandy Hook?
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:50 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


do you think it could be extended right around the coastline and we could get a roof put on top too? You can leave the keys outside.

Look mate, as an American that remark about the keys really pisses me off. You think we don't have the technical know-how to make a digital keypad? JFC.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:52 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I know that it's all nonsense but can someone clue me in as to what the long 8-year-ordeal of the NRA actually boils down to when translated back from moon logic?

I think it was the horror of record breaking gun sale profits. They're still terrified of how much money they made selling Obama as a gun-grabbing boogie man.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:53 PM on April 28 [18 favorites]


He knows that he didn't win legitimately, and that's why he can’t shut up about it.

Alternately -or, perhaps, additionally, there are a few other points to remember:
  • It’s the only win he can really put on the board. There have been no other clear cut “victories”. What else is there to talk about?
  • His life has been built around expressions of dominance. That victory was an expression of dominance, and there haven’t been any others.
  • He doesn’t introspect, so he will never describe a loss.
  • He has always called everything he’s done a victory, and his bankruptcies have been “blips”.
  • It’s a win that feels good to him. It is, I think, important to remember the extent to which everyone imagined he would be crushed. We can talk about popular vote losses, but the country seemed to be expecting that we’d be handing the country to the Democrats for another few terms. That feels really big. (We could, with introspection, understand why such a victory was plausible than expected, but that kind of introspection is painful enough that plenty of people -myself included- will cling to that popular vote loss like a proof that everything was fine, fine fine.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:58 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


I can only imagine the NRA is happiest when the Dems are in charge, as sales thrive when their customers are scared of the nonexistent threat of gun control legislation.
posted by Atom Eyes at 6:05 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


We saw the Democrats' uneducated members and thought they were the only ones who had a mob - that the people who weren't going to college were still reading about things at home from their parents.

Can you clarify what you mean by mob here?
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:14 PM on April 28 [17 favorites]


UK was given details of alleged contacts between Trump campaign and Moscow

-- The UK government was given details last December of allegedly extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to court papers.

-- It was not previously known that the UK intelligence services had also received the dossier but Steele confirmed in a court filing earlier this month that he handed a memorandum compiled in December to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity, on a confidential basis in hard copy form”.

-- The December memo alleged that four Trump representatives travelled to Prague in August or September in 2016 for “secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers”, about how to pay hackers secretly for penetrating Democratic party computer systems and “contingency plans for covering up operations”.

-- Between March and September, the December memo alleges, the hackers used botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data online from Democratic party leadership. Two of the hackers had been “recruited under duress by the FSB” the memo said. The hackers were paid by the Trump organisation, but were under the control of Vladimir Putin’s presidential administration.

-- Since the memo became public in January, Steele had not spoken about his role in compiling it but he and his company, Orbis Business Intelligence Limited, have filed a defence in the high court of justice in London, in a defamation case brought by Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian venture capitalist and owner of a global computer technology company, XBT, and a Dallas-based subsidiary Webzilla.

Gubarev, who was named along with his company in the December memo as being involved in hacking operation, has denied any such involvement and is also suing Buzzfeed...


The fact that there is another updated memo is new. The part I bolded is new as far as I can tell. I knew about the Cohen Prague allegation but now 3 others also travelled to Prague at some point? And that the trump organization paid hackers is new also? Anyone here have a better memory than me?
posted by futz at 6:20 PM on April 28 [38 favorites]


kirkaracha: Weird. They have "Bull Run" for the battle in 1861 and "Manassas" for the 1862 sequel. "Manassas" is the Confederate name for the battle. Since it's a US Army flag it should say "1st Bull Run" and "2nd Bull Run."

Perhaps both, then. The National Park Service titles their respective park websites "The Battle of First Manassas (First Bull Run)" and "Battle of Second Manassas (Second Bull Run)"
.
posted by cenoxo at 6:28 PM on April 28


[Several deleted. Guys, this is a dumb derail. Drop it. Or FIAMO. Either way.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:28 PM on April 28


I think, and this is uncomfortable to admit but I think must be said, that a lot of Republicans, including myself, thought we were talking to adults, that there were a lot more adults in the world than I now currently believe. That we assumed most people who shared our political persuasion were fundamentally like ourselves- people who learned civics at home and took it really seriously, and thought really hard about things. We saw the Democrats' uneducated members and thought they were the only ones who had a mob - that the people who weren't going to college were still reading about things at home from their parents.

So... the huge number of white supremacists that have been the core of the Republican party since at least the 60s, these people are the "adults" that you're referring to? Where do all the millions of incidents of conservatives fighting to deny the rights of people of color and women and non-Christians and LGBT people fall in this group of "people who learned civics at home and took it really seriously"? The racialized assaults? The murders? The long campaigns of intimidation and economic violence? The George Zimmermans and Dylann Roofs and Adam Purintons? Again, these people are not outliers. The entirety of Stormfront is conservative. The police who murdered Eric Garner and Michael Brown and Tamir Rice and Eric Harris and William Chapman, are these your civic-minded adults? How about luminaries like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, serial abusers themselves as well as promulgators of the rhetoric that helped make many of those murders possible (and possible to get away with)? Or how about the similar epidemic of violence against LGBTQ people? Or, more recently, against Muslims? How about the anti-Semitism? Don't you think it's strange that violence motivated by race, religion, gender, or sexual identity is committed OVERWHELMINGLY by conservatives (and always defended by conservatives)? How are these the actions of "adults", while fighting against this kind of evil is the action of a "mob"?

There is no way to claim that you ever believed that the Republican party was mostly made of good people who just have different opinions than liberals unless you also believed that people of color and LGBTQ individuals have been making up DECADES of abuses, assaults, and more heinous crimes. Again, we're talking about CAMPAIGNS, not isolated incidents. You would have to be blind not only to the kinds of experiences that we talk about literally every day on this site, but also to the responses to those issues from conservative legislators and conservative voters.
posted by IAmUnaware at 6:39 PM on April 28 [49 favorites]


There has been a great deal of discourse here on Metafilter regarding whether or not to spend time trying to persuade Trumpistas/Republicans etc. There IS a way to persuade them...by making their lives difficult.

You know how some people/businesses refuse to make a cake because the customer is gay? Or how some officiants refuse to perform a marriage ceremony because the marrying couple is gay? You know the stories.

Lets start refusing service to republicans and people who support republicans. (Or at least calling them out and making and issue of it.)

I am not usually an "eye for an eye" kind of guy, but this is a dirty fight. It's time to call people out. On the street. In person. Fuck with them. Make them uncomfortable. Make them feel shame. It's dangerous for me, but I'm doing this now, every day.

I posted last Friday about starting a fuss at work. I did NOT get into any trouble. Today I gave a little spiel to the same people about the history of North Korea...they were all like, "Oh, yea, ok, Yea!" They totally got it, but they had to get it from somebody that they trusted.

Hang in there and keep up the good work!
posted by snsranch at 6:40 PM on April 28 [28 favorites]


The terrifying but completely plausible possibility is that this is the Master Negotiator trying to be clever and thinking that surely if he frames it like that the Chinese will have to Do Something About North Korea or else look weak.

See the thing is, Xi and the rest of the Chinese leadership know when to not let pride get in the way of the long game. Flatter the pusball. Give him his shitty little trademark on his name. It's not like the counterfeiters are going to respect it.

Xi is just looking for the moment to plunge the dagger that is a fully convertible yuan into the heart of the decadent United States and leave us holding the bag while the rest of the world rapidly conforms to the Pax Sinica. He knows that every dumb motherfucking thing that shitbag says brings the world ever closer to abandoning the post-Nixon Shock world order.
posted by Talez at 6:43 PM on April 28 [17 favorites]


Amy Davidson/New Yorker—The Global Effort to Flatter Ivanka:
The international project of flattering Ivanka Trump—which some of the world’s most notable women, from Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, to Queen Máxima, of the Netherlands, engaged in at a panel discussion during the W20 conference, in Berlin, this week—does not always run smoothly. There was, first, the achingly obvious oddity of deciding that Trump, whose experience on the public stage largely consists of marketing her clothing and jewelry lines, and her efforts to get her father, Donald Trump, elected, was qualified to sit between Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and Chrystia Freeland, the Foreign Minister of Canada. That was quickly followed by the dispiriting thought that Trump might actually have as much power over people’s lives as the other women, through the influence that she supposedly wields over her father. Why else would the head of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, have co-authored an op-ed in the Financial Times with her, on the importance of promoting female entrepreneurship? Their insights include this: “mentorship opportunities and access to networks bring learning opportunities and connections to capital and markets.” There are probably many people in the world who would like to mentor Trump and have access to her networks. It might even explain why Merkel invited her to Berlin, a move that the German press praised as “klug,” or clever, in terms of opening a route to President Trump—and why Merkel suggested, from the stage, that the World Bank look at ways to get funding to women entrepreneurs in the developing world, and then, at an event afterward, complimented Ivanka for supporting the idea. But that is also where it all got a little bit confusing, as things tend to with the Trumps.
posted by zachlipton at 6:45 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


The part I bolded is new as far as I can tell. I knew about the Cohen Prague allegation but now 3 others also travelled to Prague at some point? And that the trump organization paid hackers is new also? Anyone here have a better memory than me?

No, that stuff's pretty fuckin' new. If that checks out, just, holy crap people
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:55 PM on April 28 [18 favorites]


I called VOICE to report all the illegal Americans currently occupying the Kingdom of Hawai‘i.
posted by deadbilly at 6:55 PM on April 28 [42 favorites]


EPA website removes climate science site from public view after two decades:One of the websites that appeared to be gone had been cited to challenge statements made by the EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt. Another provided detailed information on the previous administration’s Clean Power Plan, including fact sheets about greenhouse gas emissions on the state and local levels and how different demographic groups were affected by such emissions.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:00 PM on April 28 [10 favorites]


His life has been built around expressions of dominance. That victory was an expression of dominance, and there haven’t been any others.

Except it wasn't an expression of dominance. A dominant win would've actually meant winning the popular vote, and winning the electoral college by a bigger margin than 46th in 58 elections (56.9%).

Obama won 51.1% of the popular vote and 61.7% of the electoral vote in 2012, and did even better in 2008. I'm sure it kills Trump that he didn't even come close to Obama's second-best win.

I bet what really kills him, though, is that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. And by three million votes. All he cares about is being popular, and he lost the popularity contest.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:32 PM on April 28 [12 favorites]


Trump: 'I couldn't care less about golf'

President Trump on Friday defended his frequent weekend trips to his luxury properties, saying he does not care about golfing as much as people might think he does.

"I have a lot of property. So if I go to my clubs like in New Jersey, they'll say, 'Oh he is going to play golf.' I am not going to play golf. I couldn't care less about golf," Trump said in an interview on Fox News.

"But I have a place there that costs almost nothing because its hundreds of acres and security and they don't have to close up streets," he added.

...Trump noted that he prefers to visit his other properties because they are not as expensive to secure but added that he does not want to be perceived as "lazy."

"It would be much better if people would understand that I could go other places that I have. But then they hit me for relaxing. And I don't want to be known as a person that relaxes because I am working hard and I am working hard for the people."


He is a couldn't care less'er. He isn't lazy even though he is way behind on nominees and appointments and chooses to golf and hobnob with other nobbers on the regular. Not lazy says the Liar in Chief. Nope. At least he doesn't want to be perceived as so.
posted by futz at 8:01 PM on April 28 [7 favorites]


So much so that, instead of being seen doing these things he says he's doing, he locks the press in rooms with blacked-out windows, so they can't accidentally film anything that might give the impression he's slacking!

Which is a good strategy, because of... reasons.
posted by Archelaus at 8:09 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


There has been a great deal of discourse here on Metafilter regarding whether or not to spend time trying to persuade Trumpistas/Republicans etc. There IS a way to persuade them...by making their lives difficult.

I had a ragey post in the MRA Redpill NH legislator thread and thought better of it, but it was essentially this. The willfully ignorant are that way willfully, for whatever reason, and the fascism, conservativism, dominance, abuse, discrimination, and obliviousness to facts are all aspects of the same fundamental refusal to consider the basic needs of others, and often part and parcel of an organized effort to actively harm the basic needs of others. They must not and cannot be afforded the assumption that they will not harm you. They must be purged from your life, sometimes with fire and brimstone. I made my peace with the idea, and have done my purging.

We talk about extenuating circumstances, and I'm in a position where I can afford to be very absolutist about it, but it still comes back to this - it's about power, and they're trying to take it.

There was a Brexit voter who took over a chat group I modded, one for entertainment-ish networking. He started inviting marketers, Trump supporters, spammers, just...all manner of...ick...and there were Pepe stickers appearing. People in the group were complaining. This is in China, there were anti-Chinese sentiments starting to appear in chat. Older members were starting to get harassed. I tried gentle prodding, no dice, so I talked him into giving the group back on a different pretense, then kicked him out and said he could come back when he publicly apologized for laughing at Pepe and pro-Trump statements and shared a few anti-PUA articles. I also reported his behavior to his boss, who I know through different channels. He refused to apologize to me, but was transferred off public-facing work at his company.

In the past I wouldn't have done that, because who made me judge and jury? Now, fuck 'em. I wouldn't keep company with Don Corleone, so there's no reason to put up with this shit either.
posted by saysthis at 8:21 PM on April 28 [54 favorites]


Word from DC is that the House GOP is going to work all weekend trying to pressure moderate republicans to vote for zombie health care plan on Monday. Hard to believe they still beating this toxic dead horse and I can't imagine they can promise anything thing good enough to the moderates who would be putting their seats at risk for such a bad bill. I'm not going to be shocked if they pull this off. And I wouldn't count on the Senate to save the ACA. It sounds like Mitch has something up his sleeve.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:40 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


this is from a dozen comments back, but Queen Máxima is an awesome name
posted by ryanrs at 8:55 PM on April 28 [3 favorites]


777 former EPA officials signed a letter urging Congress to reject the Trump administration's 'climate denial policies'

In the letter, President Trump's climate policy was contrasted with those of other Republican presidents in the past, with examples including Republican President Richard Nixon’s Council on Environmental Quality and Republican President George H.W. Bush's agreeing to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"The President’s reckless disregard for the science and consequences of climate change stands in stark contrast to his predecessors’ respect for science and common sense," the former officials wrote in the letter.

posted by futz at 8:55 PM on April 28 [15 favorites]


I think this really sums up the situation better than most everything I've read lately. Max Boot/FP—America Is Getting Used to Trump’s Insanity:
The second trend is harder to discern, and it can’t be reduced to numbers, but I am convinced it is real. I refer to the country’s growing acceptance of the unacceptable.

People adjust to any situation, no matter how bizarre or abnormal. An alien landing on Earth would be “yuge” news, to use Trump’s favorite word, but alien landings every day would quickly become ho-hum. So it is with the outlandish occupant of the Oval Office — he is increasingly being treated as a normal president even though he is anything but.

What was once unthinkable is now unremarkable. There is now a tendency, even among many of my Never Trump friends, to shrug their shoulders at his latest shenanigans. It is simply too difficult to stay outraged nonstop for 100 days, much less for 1,461 days — the length of one presidential term. Trump continues to say and do things that are, by any reasonable standard, egregious, but we notice his offenses less and less because they are such a frequent occurrence.
...
Trump doesn’t have much support, it is true, but the failure among his many critics to mobilize and maintain a higher level of indignation is letting him get away with his offenses against good taste, sound policy, ethical norms, and possibly even the law itself.
posted by zachlipton at 8:56 PM on April 28 [39 favorites]


this is from a dozen comments back, but Queen Máxima is an awesome name

If a reporter makes a mistake in a story about her, they can just tell their editor mea Máxima culpa.
posted by zachlipton at 9:00 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Trump doesn’t have much support, it is true, but the failure among his many critics to mobilize and maintain a higher level of indignation is letting him get away with his offenses against good taste, sound policy, ethical norms, and possibly even the law itself.

Yea, that's not the problem. There's no way for "his critics" to do anything about it short of armed rebellion. Republicans are enabling and normalizing him to achieve their own policies. It has literally nothing to do with critics, because none of the critics have the power to do anything at all to stop it.

Trump has no Republican critics. Only co-conspirators.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:01 PM on April 28 [48 favorites]




Trump has no Republican critics. Only co-conspirators.

For the record, the author of that article is about as strong in that department as they come, whether you consider that enough. He was an establishment Republican to the extent they let him edit the Wall Street Journal op-ed page for some time, and he advised McCain, Romney, and Rubio. Last year, in response to Trump's nomination, he wrote The Republican Party is dead (in which he praises Paul Ryan as the leader of true Conservatism, don't get too excited here).

What Boot is trying to do in this article is wake Republicans who still think he's a smart guy up a little bit. I don't have any faith he'll succeed on any real level, but I'll take what I can get.

I also like David Remnick's 100 day take. The important thread in these articles is that they don't normalize this by doing the standard "what has he accomplished?" game you would play with any other President; they recognize this situation can't be analyzed in those terms and cut right to the lies, the destructive impulses, the sheer madness of it. Remnick links what is happening here to broader movements to dismantle liberal democracy around the world, the embrace of resentment, of vilifying "the Other." In other words, the question most 100 day articles are asking is "what has he done?" and then evaluating those things in quantity and quality. The real question is "what is he destroying?" and what are we losing as a result. As Remnick writes:
The clownish veneer of Trumpism conceals its true danger. Trump’s way of lying is not a joke; it is a strategy, a way of clouding our capacity to think, to live in a realm of truth. It is said that each epoch dreams the one to follow. The task now is not merely to recognize this Presidency for the emergency it is, and to resist its assault on the principles of reality and the values of liberal democracy, but to devise a future, to debate, to hear one another, to organize, to preserve and revive precious things.
posted by zachlipton at 9:17 PM on April 28 [26 favorites]


I'm fully aware of who Max Boot is, and the statement stands.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:22 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


The USDA Won’t Say Why It Hid Animal Welfare Records From The Public
BuzzFeed News asked the USDA for records about its decision to remove a database on animal welfare from the web. The department responded on Friday, with 1,771 pages that are completely blacked out..
posted by Room 641-A at 9:55 PM on April 28 [30 favorites]


That's just...

...it's...

Huh.

What's the word for two levels beyond "Orwellian"?

I know the next level is Kafkaesque, but then what?

(I'm just getting ready for what comes next.)
posted by darkstar at 10:39 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]




What's the word for two levels beyond "Orwellian"?

American?
posted by dis_integration at 10:51 PM on April 28 [9 favorites]




Gruber's take on the Nichols piece:
If you say “I voted for Trump because I want to say ‘Fuck you’ to everyone — my life’s in the toilet and I’d like to see the world burn”, OK, I get it. I don’t like you, but you made the right choice in Trump and I can see why you’re happy so far. But if you’re pleased with Trump because you think he’s running an effective administration and is accomplishing the things he promised to accomplish, you’re as disconnected from reality as he is.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:00 PM on April 28 [23 favorites]


Trump’s way of lying is not a joke; it is a strategy

It is neither. It is an errand boy. Sent by the grocer. To collect - y'know even Brando's psycho was more together than the actual fucking President.

He is unfit. He colluded with Russia to hack the opposing party in exchange for acts contrary to the common good and his administration is completely illegal and void because of it.

Just because they stole a SCOTUS seat and run all branches of government and place party loyalty way, way above country, we won't see justice for this particular crime against literally all Americans.

Dude, that is some fucked up shit right there. And he has a BUTTON for COKE. I mean - wow.
posted by petebest at 11:12 PM on April 28 [15 favorites]


But if you’re pleased with Trump because you think he’s running an effective administration and is accomplishing the things he promised to accomplish, you’re as disconnected from reality as he is.

I'm not fully convinced by this. Certainly, if you're evaluating his accomplishments by the normal conventional standards of legislation passed, well-planned initiatives put forth, crises managed, lives improved, etc..., then this absolutely holds true. And plenty of his voters really are disconnected from reality and will insist he's winning no matter how hard he fails; they're the same people who insisted President Obama was a secret Muslim from Kenya.

But I do think there's clearly a segment of his voters, people whose lives are clearly not in the toilet in any objective sense, who are just fine overlooking whether he's accomplishing any concrete promises like building the wall or repealing Obamacare as long as he's fulfilling the core promises of his campaign: bullying people who are different and delivering liberal tears. Because when we talk about voters who take Trump seriously but not literally, we're stripping away all the literal promises, and the hate and the racism and the bullying are all that's left. Those are the people who I'm least happy about sharing a country with, because they look at what he's doing, and when it comes to what they really care about, they see him doing exactly what he promised to accomplish.
posted by zachlipton at 11:31 PM on April 28 [44 favorites]


he's fulfilling the core promises of his campaign: bullying people who are different and delivering liberal tears.

I'm astounded how many otherwise intelligent Trump fans I know are motivated by pissing off liberals. They are literally willing to have objectively bad policies adopted just to upset liberals.

It's seems very sophomoric, and I mean high school sophomores, not college sophomores.
posted by msalt at 12:16 AM on April 29 [23 favorites]


I know the next level is Kafkaesque, but then what?

Nihilistic?
posted by Going To Maine at 12:19 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Or, perhaps, apathetic.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:19 AM on April 29


I mean, in Kafka, people care.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:20 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]


So CNN's headline right now says:

"Trump's public enemy No.1"

Turns out it's about criminal gangs or something but I have to wonder if they intended the double meaning.
posted by mmoncur at 1:44 AM on April 29 [19 favorites]


Once there were conservatives in the Republican party who were responsible, fair, interested in knowledge and dedicated to fiscal responsibility. That was way before you young people were born. I guess most people agree that the Southern Strategy was when they sat themselves on the slide down to idiocy, but I've thought a lot about when science and conservative thinking parted ways as well, maybe signified by the Club of Rome publication "Limits to Growth". The more actual research results have confirmed that fossil fuels, pesticides, factory farming, etc are damaging to the world, to individuals and to society, the more cynical Republican dealers such the Koch brothers have embraced American ignorance, whether it be dumbing down of the school system, fake news channels, or religious hypocrisy and idiocy. At this point, the manipulating class are even beginning to believe their own lies: see Trump and the Mercers.
posted by mumimor at 2:46 AM on April 29 [15 favorites]


...I have to wonder if they intended the double meaning.

Triple meaning, even, given that

public enemy ≅ hostis publicus ≅ enemy of the people.

It could be CNN's new motto like WaPo's is “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
posted by XMLicious at 2:52 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I'm astounded how many otherwise intelligent Trump fans I know are motivated by pissing off liberals. They are literally willing to have objectively bad policies adopted just to upset liberals.

It's seems very sophomoric, and I mean high school sophomores, not college sophomores.


I can only conclude that this is tribalism taken to its most absurd extreme…that these people have allowed their manichean worldview to override or expunge all other considerations, for whatever reason (though I am sure that the Limbaughs and O'Reillys are a large part of that reason).
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:23 AM on April 29 [12 favorites]


Because when we talk about voters who take Trump seriously but not literally, we're stripping away all the literal promises, and the hate and the racism and the bullying are all that's left. Those are the people who I'm least happy about sharing a country with, because they look at what he's doing, and when it comes to what they really care about, they see him doing exactly what he promised to accomplish.

The great service Trump has provided is revealing beyond a shadow of a doubt that the vast majority of Republicans are just awful awful people. Because there's really no way you can support him unless you're ignorant, idiotic, and/or horrible.
posted by chris24 at 5:49 AM on April 29 [52 favorites]


It's nature vs nurture. I don't think most Trumpists are innately horrible, horrible people, but they've grown up in an environment which nurtures that side of things. Any reformist movement will have to have that near the top of the shopping list of things to sort out.

And what a list that is, to be sure.
posted by Devonian at 6:13 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


Man arrested in Transy machete attack wrote that he was bullied for being Republican

When will moderate Republicans denounce terrorism?
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:14 AM on April 29 [50 favorites]


The military becomes a Russian pastime—an amusement park where the WWII storming of the Reichstag is re-enacted and a line of "Russian Army" clothing stores with pro-Assad t-shirts.
posted by XMLicious at 6:26 AM on April 29


I keep getting stuck on how angry I'd be if I were Christine Lagarde over being seated next to a nobody whose only achievement was being born to a man who was born wealthy.
posted by winna at 6:30 AM on April 29 [10 favorites]


But I do think there's clearly a segment of his voters, people whose lives are clearly not in the toilet in any objective sense, who are just fine overlooking whether he's accomplishing any concrete promises like building the wall or repealing Obamacare as long as he's fulfilling the core promises of his campaign: bullying people who are different and delivering liberal tears.

That's half of it. The other half have been weaned on the Reagan mantra -- big government can never help, big government is always the problem, get Washington out of the way and let the locals do things their way -- and "what is he destroying?" is a feature rather than a bug.

The details aren't important as long as The White^H^H^H^H^HRight People are back in charge.
posted by delfin at 6:39 AM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Conservatism has embraced and exploited toxic masculinity, and that's where much of its current working-class popularity comes from.
The progressive concepts of cooperation, compassion, inclusivity, and fairness are seen as weak and feminine. Conservatives prefer competition, rugged individualism, protecting their family with the biggest and baddest weapons, not having emotions, and driving big trucks. You know, man stuff.
They loved being called deplorable. The love supporting a pussy-grabber. And they'll keep voting for a tough-talking straight-shooter no matter how bad their lives get, because they're afraid to look weak. Their manhood is all they've got. And conservative/republican women have bought into the same narrative.
posted by rocket88 at 7:10 AM on April 29 [60 favorites]


Who Had the Better First 100 Days?: William Henry Harrison, who died on Day 31, or Donald Trump?
Week 8

Trump, March 10–16
The Congressional Budget Office analysis of Trump and Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act revealed that it would trigger massive premium increases for many Americans and estimated that it would cause as many as 24 million people to lose their insurance. A federal judge struck down the second travel ban.

Harrison, April 22–28, 1841
Dead.

Who had the better week? Quite clearly Harrison.
posted by chris24 at 7:17 AM on April 29 [56 favorites]


I don't care if he has a button for Coke or not. Sounds nice. But also, that and the gold curtains are not the worst things he could do.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:56 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]




rocket88: And they'll keep voting for a tough-talking straight-shooter no matter how bad their lives get, because they're afraid to look weak.

Not only that, but in a way things getting bad plays into their fantasies of dystopia/ post-apocalypse where their masculinity is imagined to be suddenly more valuable than a scientist or computer programmer or fill in the blank latte sippin' city job. We've had decades of movies and tv shows where the rugged manly man with the crossbow does rugged manly things and gets the girl. That's why they hit the "inner cities are war zones" so hard-- it validates their AR-15 fantasies. And that's why Mad Max: Fury Road upset them so much - it was a post-apocalyptic story about a strong woman saving other women. The man in the story was incidental, and saved by protagonist only because it served her purposes.
posted by bluecore at 8:07 AM on April 29 [37 favorites]


But I do think there's clearly a segment of his voters, people whose lives are clearly not in the toilet in any objective sense, who are just fine overlooking whether he's accomplishing any concrete promises like building the wall or repealing Obamacare as long as he's fulfilling the core promises of his campaign: bullying people who are different and delivering liberal tears.

That's half of it. The other half have been weaned on the Reagan mantra -- big government can never help, big government is always the problem, get Washington out of the way and let the locals do things their way -- and "what is he destroying?" is a feature rather than a bug.

The great service Trump has provided is revealing beyond a shadow of a doubt that the vast majority of Republicans are just awful awful people. Because there's really no way you can support him unless you're ignorant, idiotic, and/or horrible.

Once there were conservatives in the Republican party who were responsible, fair, interested in knowledge and dedicated to fiscal responsibility. That was way before you young people were born.

I'm astounded how many otherwise intelligent Trump fans I know are motivated by pissing off liberals. They are literally willing to have objectively bad policies adopted just to upset liberals.


So...all permutations of "fuck you, citizen". Also, their ideology and foremost thinkers have been forms of "fuck you, shut up, take the abuse" for pretty much ever. They are the party of Khorne and Tzeentch. They nourish themselves on each other's pain.

Who cares why they exist, they do. Take them away from the levers of power, any levers of power, posthaste, before they kill you by taking your healthcare, or drone, or police abuse, or poisoning your water, or just general grinding poverty. They will machete you, but if you don't get them out of government, they will defund functioning mental healthcare and prison systems and still machete you. More likely shoot you, actually, because you threaten their liberty to shoot you, skulls for the throne etc.
posted by saysthis at 8:21 AM on April 29 [8 favorites]


Small point, but it's Jamie Gorelick, who's a woman.

Oof, thanks for the correction.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:23 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


“I am not going to play golf. I couldn’t care less about golf.”

guys I want to give him the benefit of the doubt but I think our new president may have told a lie
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:24 AM on April 29 [37 favorites]


"I love New York, but going back is very expensive for the country"

yeah it's not like your wife and child are already there under perpetual secret service protection
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:26 AM on April 29 [16 favorites]


Bear in mind that yesterday he referred to "both" of his sons so he may have already forgotten Barron exists.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:32 AM on April 29 [43 favorites]


well... that is... one explanation...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:33 AM on April 29 [13 favorites]


But I do think there's clearly a segment of his voters, people whose lives are clearly not in the toilet in any objective sense, who are just fine overlooking whether he's accomplishing any concrete promises like building the wall or repealing Obamacare as long as he's fulfilling the core promises of his campaign: bullying people who are different and delivering liberal tears.

I think there's this thing that happens, where people are looking at a lot of these people and saying, "Their lives are clearly not in the toilet as I define it, so they must not be motivated by despair." And I just don't think that's accurate or useful. I don't think trying to measure people's misery - a purely subjective experience - by objective standards is helpful. It's not a helpful metric when other people do it to us, and it's not a helpful metric when we do it to them.

The Trump Voter that thinks their lives are in the toilet and just wants to burn the world down is a real phenomenon, and saying, "Well, they're making more than some other people, so they can't be hurting" isn't going to get us anywhere. Whether or not we feel they deserve to feel hopeless, many of them still do. They are doing worse than their parents did, worse than they ever expected to do. And we need to find out a way of dealing with this, because people can still burn the world down when they feel they have nothing to lose, even if we think they "shouldn't" feel upset.

For example: a lot of people feel like failures if their household can't survive on only the male (breadwinner) income - if the woman is forced by economic necessity and not choice to work outside the home. That's not going away - I don't think jobs enabling one person to fully and comfortably support a family, much less a large one, are ever coming back. But that doesn't make the social expectation go away. Their feelings of despair and anger are still real, and they will act on those feelings. It is only going to get worse. I don't even have an answer for how to alleviate that pain! But we need to find one, or this country is going to tear itself apart.
posted by corb at 8:41 AM on April 29 [10 favorites]


yeah it's not like your wife and child are already there under perpetual secret service protection

Yes but that's a minor inconvenience for a couple of blocks with a fairly cheap (in terms of NYC's GDP) secret service detail. For Trump to come back into New York would involve closing parts of I-278, Grand Central Parkway, Queens Blvd, the Queensboro Bridge, and 61st, 60th, 59th, 58th, 57th, and 56th streets all the way to 5th Avenue.

You would basically break New York for the better part of a day and a half. That's the real expensive part.
posted by Talez at 8:48 AM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Corb, how can we fix the problems you mentioned if they are voting into power the very people that are hurting them? And they have all the power right now too. How do WE solve that?
posted by JakeEXTREME at 8:53 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


But that doesn't make the social expectation go away. Their feelings of despair and anger are still real, and they will act on those feelings. It is only going to get worse. I don't even have an answer for how to alleviate that pain! But we need to find one, or this country is going to tear itself apart.

This. I have had deep red people who were once acquaintances threaten me with violence if they ever met me (they aren't acquaintances anymore obviously) because my wife is the primary breadwinner in our marriage and I either take care of the house or do casual work. This shit is real, it's pervasive, and it's toxic af.
posted by Talez at 8:54 AM on April 29 [45 favorites]




a lot of people feel like failures if their household can't survive on only the male (breadwinner) income

You are talking about a toxic patriarchal society. We don't need to coddle to that patriarchal toxicity. You are making the same argument as when people make excuses for a racist society. Those people have to change their patriarchal and racist ideas. We don't have to fix things so they don't suffer for their toxic ideas.
posted by JackFlash at 9:07 AM on April 29 [57 favorites]


The Trump Voter that thinks their lives are in the toilet and just wants to burn the world down is a real phenomenon, and saying, "Well, they're making more than some other people, so they can't be hurting" isn't going to get us anywhere. Whether or not we feel they deserve to feel hopeless, many of them still do. They are doing worse than their parents did, worse than they ever expected to do. And we need to find out a way of dealing with this, because people can still burn the world down when they feel they have nothing to lose, even if we think they "shouldn't" feel upset.

The issue isn't really how they feel, it's that their reaction to feeling it - justified or not, real or not - is to blame, attack, hate and discriminate against LGBT, muslims, PoC, liberals, immigrants, etc. I wouldn't care about the reality/depth of their supposed suffering if their way of dealing with it wasn't horrific.

TL;DR: There are a metric shit ton of people in the world whose lives are without question desperate and shitty and they haven't resorted to racist bigoted fascism. So I will judge the people who have against that standard.
posted by chris24 at 9:11 AM on April 29 [57 favorites]


That coke button feels like a cat toy I turn on when I need my kitten to stop walking all over my laptop and papers I'm grading
posted by angrycat at 9:25 AM on April 29 [6 favorites]


The Trump Voter that thinks their lives are in the toilet and just wants to burn the world down is a real phenomenon, and saying, "Well, they're making more than some other people, so they can't be hurting" isn't going to get us anywhere. Whether or not we feel they deserve to feel hopeless, many of them still do. They are doing worse than their parents did, worse than they ever expected to do. And we need to find out a way of dealing with this, because people can still burn the world down when they feel they have nothing to lose, even if we think they "shouldn't" feel upset.

Other demographic groups have reduced family size, accepted working spouses, accepted second/third jobs, and accepted overall lowered lifestyles. And the average Trump voter has been perfectly fine with that and continues to expect every one else to use bootstraps to pull themselves up. So my sympathy is a bit lacking for those who refuse to practice what they preach.
posted by beaning at 9:31 AM on April 29 [18 favorites]


["The pain of the Trump voter" is a topic that we've really gone over a whoooole lot in these threads. Minds aren't being changed, people are just saying the same things over and over every time, so let's call it good, on that?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:36 AM on April 29 [15 favorites]


Talez, are you saying considered the President receives greater protection than the First Lady or his children? That surprises me because I would have thought the threat regarding each would normally be approximately equal. Or maybe I've watched too much 24.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:06 AM on April 29


Tweet: Charmaine Yoest's website has tips for spotting women lying about rape. She's the new DHHS public affairs secretary.

Link goes to the Wayback Machine: Half of Rape Allegations are False: Seven Clues
1) Revenge Is the girl out to get even with a man or boyfriend?

2) Alibi Does the girl need an explanation for having sex?

3) Emotional Instability Does the girl have problems or a desire for attention?

4) Timeliness How long did she wait to report the crime? Some women take a year to file a police report.

5) Physical Evidence There may not be any.

6) Self Inflicted Wounds But never sensitive areas: no lips, eyes, gentialia, nipples.

7) Incapacitated Drunk or drugged remembering few details.
Another appointment making a mockery of the title, Health and Human Services.



I was listening to an interesting podcast this morning about the massive Trump support by White Evangelical voters which was at odds with the vote by POC Evangelicals. At this point the White Evangelicals seem to have given up on voting for Moral Values and now are voting for power. DJT is immoral in just about every way and certainly anti-thetical to Christian values as espoused by Christ himself. The podcast surmised that as POC Evangelicals continue to rise in numbers and then surpass the White Evangelicals we will see a real differentiation in the two groups.

This is the moment that the so-called "Silent majority" which became activated by political leaders under Reagan and morphed into the "Moral Majority" will pervert Christianity into an unrecognizable form. I think we are almost there. The Christianity that is practiced by Independent Baptists, for example, jettisons most of the New Testament lessons for hard-line Old Testament doctrine. It is more important to castigate gay people than to feed the poor. It is more important to condemn people than to tend to the sick. It is more important to place women beneath men and control them then it is to visit people in prison. Prosperity Gospel, Dominionism, Authoritarianism, and Calvinism are being stirred into a toxic broth of Old Testament Patriarchy with a sprinkling of White Nationalism on top.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:07 AM on April 29 [67 favorites]


From the Vox article linked way upthread about how de Trump profits from his position (urge everyone to read if you haven't already):
The Secret Service has, similarly, paid $64,000 for “elevator services” in Trump Tower. This is a fairly normal kind of expense for the agency, paying a building money to defray the inconvenience of taking elevators offline so they can be inspected for security purposes. But, again, there is nothing normal about the president personally profiting from the security
I imagine this sort of scrutiny would piss off some of his tenants and maybe he wants to avoid giving them more reasons to find a less disruptive place to work/live.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:23 AM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Trump having any shame whatsoever about wasting public money to line his pockets is a new one.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


Talez, are you saying considered the President receives greater protection than the First Lady or his children? That surprises me because I would have thought the threat regarding each would normally be approximately equal. Or maybe I've watched too much 24.

No I'm saying that transporting the President wrecks up the place that he goes. Once he's there they obviously don't have to keep all the roads closed but going from A to B is basically a massive motorcade clusterfuck that breaks whatever city it happens to. The more dense the city, the longer it breaks.
posted by Talez at 10:36 AM on April 29 [5 favorites]


I imagine this sort of scrutiny would piss off some of his tenants and maybe he wants to avoid giving them more reasons to find a less disruptive place to work/live.

Just the opposite. Trump Tower has raised rents and introduced new marketing.

“Fifth Avenue Buyers Interested in Secret Service Protection?” reads one ad.
“The New Aminity [sic] – The United States Secret Service.” reads another.

He started this advertising campaign a week after he won the election even before he took office.
posted by JackFlash at 11:13 AM on April 29 [32 favorites]


I feel like it should probably be illegal for a U.S. government employee to advertise and sell the services of a U.S. government agency for personal profit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by mrgoat at 11:19 AM on April 29 [62 favorites]


I think the general idea is that laws are suspended for the duration, because fuck you, and no consequences will be faced ever. Would very much like that last bit to turn out to not be true.
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on April 29 [13 favorites]


Via Buzzfeed:
Speaking in his ornate office in the Capitol building Friday as Washington assesses Trump’s first 100 days, [Senate minority leader Chuck] Schumer had nothing good to say about his former donor and constituent. The Trump Administration has been “a huge disappointment to most Americans” and demonstrated “sheer incompetence,” he said.
...
“When I talk to him, I try to talk to him about serious issues and he just changes the subject,” Schumer said. “I told him we want to work with him where we can work with him, we want to work with him on a big infrastructure bill — America needs to rebuild its infrastructure, haven’t gotten anywhere with him. I told him on North Korea, the way to deal with North Korea is to get China to be much tougher and to get China to be tougher is for us to be tougher with China on trade. Nothing. He listens to what I have to say on the important subject of the day and then he talks about what he wants to talk about.” Schumer won’t say what Trump wants to talk about — only that it’s typically “small things.”
posted by cjelli at 11:29 AM on April 29 [33 favorites]


FoxNews: Trump says trips to New York City cost the US too much

What's the opposite of poker face? Because that's what Trump's got here, transparently trying to sell the idea that he'd go to NY all the time if he could & it's not at all true that Melania's separated from him & nearing divorce. He's such an incredibly bad liar.
posted by scalefree at 11:30 AM on April 29 [4 favorites]


100 Words By 10 Writers On 100 Days: Eileen Myles

I don’t need my president good-looking but I do cringe at the pain that radiates from this unhappy swollen man. I imagine his father demanding he be a right-brained dominant venal money maker like himself. Instead the kid was a comedian who wanted to be loved. Who couldn’t try out for theater, or do standup at the college pub. Trump’s self-hate, his contempt for vulnerability, for women, and national parks brands him unerringly as the next great failed artist after Hitler. Can’t dance or play — Donald must rule. It’s hard to watch his masculine failure to become.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:43 AM on April 29 [22 favorites]


The Secret Service has, similarly, paid $64,000 for “elevator services” in Trump Tower. This is a fairly normal kind of expense for the agency, paying a building money to defray the inconvenience of taking elevators offline so they can be inspected for security purposes

I mean, at what point can we say "If having your life protected is so much of an inconvenience you have to be paid to do it, we'd rather not?" Like, if I had free bodyguards, I'd be like, "the couch is over here, stay as long as you like." Trump seems like the only one who's ever pulled "if you're going to stay on my couch you better be paying me rent."
posted by corb at 11:52 AM on April 29 [13 favorites]


Wow, Rm317, that is a perspective I hadn't considered in the Trump patriarchal dynamic, and it rings so very true to me. I've said it before, I feel sad for little mediocre Donnie Trump but enraged that the entire world is paying for the damage that the man Donald Trump has never processed.
posted by thebrokedown at 11:54 AM on April 29 [8 favorites]


>FoxNews: Trump says trips to New York City cost the US too much

Alternatively: what if this is true and that's exactly why Melania has chosen to stay there?
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:55 AM on April 29 [4 favorites]


What's the opposite of poker face? Because that's what Trump's got here, transparently trying to sell the idea that he'd go to NY all the time if he could & it's not at all true that Melania's separated from him & nearing divorce.

There's a real hunger out there to prove that the Trumps are in a doomed, loveless marriage. It remains weird and gross, and echoes the way that those in the right have tried to climb inside the Clinton and Obama marriages.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:58 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


Perhaps the true horror is that, at the end of all that failure to process anything, the President is okay with himself.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:00 PM on April 29 [9 favorites]


I kind of expected him to drop into NYC more, honestly. It would cost the city a shit-ton of money, piss off a lot of people who didn't vote for him, and make a profit at the same time. It would combine his two favorite things: being a petty, vindictive asshole, and making money.
posted by mrgoat at 12:04 PM on April 29 [16 favorites]


Like, I've of the word ironies of the man is that despite being a merit less void we can't stop trying to get into his head to find out what's there. We assume there is meaning in him because if there isn't then life is absurd.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:12 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


The tale of the dictator’s daughter and her prince by Sarah Kendzior
While novel to the US, the Trump family dynamic may be familiar for citizens of authoritarian kleptocracies. One has seen it in Central Asian states like Uzbekistan and in countless other countries where rulers consolidate power and strip the country’s resources for their personal benefit.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:12 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


WaPo Analysis: Trump is now talking about consolidating his power
President Trump has suggested that the judiciary doesn't have the authority to question him. He was a very early proponent of nuking the filibuster for Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. And he recently raised eyebrows by congratulating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the expansion of his presidential powers — echoing his previous admiration for strongman leaders.

Now Trump is talking about consolidating his own power.

In an interview with Fox News that aired Friday night, Trump dismissed the “archaic” rules of the House and Senate — using that word four times — and suggested they needed to be streamlined for the good of the country.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:17 PM on April 29 [16 favorites]


WSJ: Tillerson Proposes 2,300 Job Cuts From State Department
Mr. Tillerson’s proposal still demonstrates his belief that State has become bloated and inefficient. “We have undertaken a budget exercise to accommodate as best we can the president’s objective to reduce the cost of what we do over here at the State Department,” he said on Fox News this week.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:22 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


I wonder if he still thinks that Trump Tower is "wire tapped"? Or is it just that Trump Tower doesn't have enough fun things to do and spaces for him to invite other rich assholes to gawk at the trappings of his presidency?
posted by gladly at 12:22 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Josh Marshall has an editorial take at Talking Points Memo: "Thinking About Trump's 100 Day Fail"
When we consider the 100 day marker, it is not so much that Trump has accomplished virtually nothing of substance. It is that nothing of substance is really underway either. That’s the key thing.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:28 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


Or is it just that Trump Tower doesn't have enough fun things to do and spaces for him to invite other rich assholes to gawk at the trappings of his presidency?
I think it's that. There's no golf course at the Trump Tower.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:29 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


I kind of expected him to drop into NYC more, honestly.

I didn't. We fucking hate him, and New Yorkers aren't known for being shy. I know narcissists can thrive on negative attention, too, but you gotta imagine that the pull of adoring crowds would still win out.

On Trump consolidating power: I have no doubt he wants to. I don't think he's competent or popular enough to do anything like this, though.

For real, the only thing keeping me from having panic attacks about the rise of fascism is how bewilderingly inept they all are.

This does not help with the fear of a nuclear crisis or global pandemic, but I suppose you can't have everything.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:31 PM on April 29 [29 favorites]


And two more important stories from my Facebook feed that I don't think have shown up here yet...

Guardian Facebook admits: governments exploited us to spread propaganda
Facebook has publicly acknowledged that its platform has been exploited by governments seeking to manipulate public opinion in other countries – including during the presidential elections in the US and France – and pledged to clamp down on such “information operations”.

In a white paper authored by the company’s security team and published on Thursday, the company detailed well-funded and subtle techniques used by nations and other organizations to spread misleading information and falsehoods for geopolitical goals.
Inside Russia’s Fake News Playbook by Clint Watts for the Daily Beast
My remarks today will further expand on my previous testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence where I detailed the research Andrew Weisburd, J.M. Berger, and I published regarding Russian attempts to harm our democracy via social media influence.
Oh, and from my podcast feed, a really remarkable window into Russian politics on This American Life last week.

614: The Other Mr. President
Since Russia meddled in our election, there's been concern that the fake news and disinformation that's so prevalent there could be taking hold in this country. But is that hyperbole? This week we look at what it's actually like to live in the confusing information landscape that is Putin's Russia.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:33 PM on April 29 [14 favorites]


It seems like, given Syria, our bellicosity towards NK at the moment, and everything else, more State Department hands on deck are needed, Tillerson. You fucking child.
posted by angrycat at 12:33 PM on April 29 [9 favorites]


This morning he was claiming that his trips to Mar-A-Lago cost nothing. Everyone was confused by that because they cost the tax payers millions, so either he meant cost him, Trump, nothing or he was flat out lying.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:39 PM on April 29 [16 favorites]


Oh wait, sorry, there was this Vox link I wanted to share too because it's a genius idea, if we could actually implement it...

This voting reform solves 2 of America’s biggest political problems
We’ve gotten used to our winner-take-all approach to elections, but proportional representation needn’t be a pie-in-the-sky idea. A group called FairVote has proposed the Fair Representation Act, which would transform the patchwork of state-level congressional districts into a larger ones — typically with three to five members for each district. Members would be elected through a ranked-voting system —an additional reform that lets voters express their true preference while expressing a secondary preference for someone from among the more viable candidates.

FairVote’s proposal is constitutional — the Constitution offers states quite a bit of leeway in selecting representatives — but it would require national legislation to reverse existing law mandating single-member districts. The proposal has historical precedent, however: It would move us back to the multi-member districts that were once more common. There would still be 435 members of Congress.
Okay, link dump complete.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:41 PM on April 29 [17 favorites]


Tillerson doesn't actually do anything so he assumes everyone else is the same. Dude is even more of an empty chair than Trump.
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Guardian Facebook admits: governments exploited us to spread propaganda

Just as important than the Facebook report is Emptywheel's analysis of how weaksauce it is.
posted by rhizome at 12:42 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


It seems like, given Syria, our bellicosity towards NK at the moment, and everything else, more State Department hands on deck are needed, Tillerson. You fucking child.

How many people does it take to create a situation that requires the military to clean up?
posted by rhizome at 12:43 PM on April 29


How many people does it take to create a situation that requires the military to clean up?

Oooh! I know this one!

Two. Trump to fuck it up, and Bannon to drink 'till the room spins.

or am I thinking of a different joke?
posted by mrgoat at 12:47 PM on April 29 [10 favorites]


America Is Getting Used to Trump’s Insanity

I've noticed this, too. I've felt this, too. At this point, I'm worn out and it's just impossible to keep up with everything anymore. It is a drain on my well-being; but not paying attention is a direct threat to my survival. It's a maddening situation.

I think a large part of the problem is everyone's willingness to not directly combat Trump's shotgun strategy. He and those he is appointing to power have established a pattern of doing at least six impossible, outrageous, egregiously offensive, harmful and awful things before breakfast. About a third of those things are really big deals, but often many amount to petty personal grudges, Twitter fights and general nastiness. Even outlets that have done well to document the really important, scary threats-to-minorities-society-and-global-survival-of-the-species stuff trip over themselves to moon over the really stupid, vapid things. Guardian US' front page has been half great journalism into Trump's various trajectories for disaster and half Trump tabloid for months.

All this mirrors Putin's approach of blasting out a million awful things at once to sow confusion and mental exhaustion in opponents. The Republican party as a whole is adopting this approach more and more as well. We've seen numerous anti-trans and anti-LGB bills since Trump's ascent, and the attitude from liberals is still, "They always run these and they always get shot down." Yes, but this year they're running like seven redundant versions of the same bills per state in the hopes that one won't get shot down, and that strategy is working.

We really need a filter for all this; ways of better sorting Trump & Friends' actions according to affected domains and severity and what not. Otherwise, it's just going to continue breaking many of our brains struggling to swim upstream against a tidal wave of irradiated garbage. Another danger in this is too much fragmentation; I've joined a number of groups doing practical work to combat specific issues, but there is so much going on that it's impossible to juggle it all anymore.
posted by byanyothername at 1:02 PM on April 29 [48 favorites]


Francis Fukuyama, WaPo: Trump has already started building a legacy. It’s highly negative.
At the 100-day mark, it seems clear that the system is working properly and that Trump is more likely to go down in history as a weak and ineffective president than as an American tyrant. Apart from the appointment of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, he has failed to carry through on any of his major campaign promises such as stopping Muslim immigration or building his “big, beautiful” wall. His most abject failure was the effort to replace Obamacare with the American Health Care Act, which had to be withdrawn for lack of votes. This absence of winning (is it called “losing”?) unfolded even as the Republican Party controls both houses of Congress and the presidency.

There are multiple sources of this weakness.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:10 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Trump seems like the only one who's ever pulled "if you're going to stay on my couch you better be paying me rent."

No, the Secret Service always pays fair market rates wherever it operates.

But no previous president has owned the buildings he's demanding protection in.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:11 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


When discussing the zombie ACHA just remember folks, 425% surcharge for anyone who's given birth. FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT.

Why this isn't wall to wall on every talk show I don't know. I'm apparently the only one who can read a chart.
posted by threeturtles at 1:16 PM on April 29 [60 favorites]


This worries me in the longer term:

Sandhya Somashekhar, WaPo: Trump has galvanized activists on the left. Can they stay energized?
It is unclear whether this nascent Democratic movement can maintain enough momentum to create change as effectively as tea party conservatives did after Barack Obama’s election. […] Liberals seeking to build a similar power base face different challenges. They remain fractured after the election, some still identifying as supporters of Hillary Clinton or her foe in the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). They argue over ideological purity, such as whether there is space in the Democratic Party for opponents of abortion rights, for example.

Progressives have other structural challenges that make their task more difficult, particularly their concentration in big cities and university towns and their tendency to mobilize more for presidential elections than state and local ones.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:18 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Two. Trump to fuck it up, and Bannon to drink 'till the room spins.

Ah, then those 2300 State Department employees were indeed superfluous.
posted by rhizome at 1:24 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


Immigrant Defenders Law Center (FB link): Erik came to the US as an unaccompanied minor fleeing horrific violence and seeking refuge from death threats. After arriving to the US, Erik was placed in a children’s shelter while he fought his deportation case. He has an asylum application pending and is committed to fighting his case. Erik turns 18 years old today, but what would be a celebration for most kids, will be the beginning of a new nightmare for Erik. ICE came to his shelter this morning, placed him in shackles and detained him. He is currently in custody on his way to an adult ICE detention facility.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:26 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


So a couple hundred Midwestern factory jobs were a matter of intense national interest requiring intervention from the President of the United States (despite the fact that a lot of them got laid off anyway), but 2,300 State Department jobs are expendable?
posted by zachlipton at 1:27 PM on April 29 [22 favorites]


It looks like Milo Yiannapoulos is continuing to be a vile piece of shit.
posted by corb at 1:32 PM on April 29 [8 favorites]


I know we need to worry about today's problems before dealing with tomorrow's, but Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is doing little PR events that indicate a future run at politics and the presidency.

NBC Columbus: Ohio family surprised when Mark Zuckerberg comes to dinner [real]

They begged him to leave, but he wouldn’t. “This is happening,” he told them.
[fake]

Oh, just go away already.
posted by Servo5678 at 1:36 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]




But no previous president has owned the buildings he's demanding protection in.

No previous president has operated his properties as a for-profit landlord or club owner, but plenty of presidents have received Secret Service protection at vacation properties that they personally owned. GW Bush had his Crawford ranch, GHW Bush had his Kennebunkport compound, Reagan had Rancho del Cielo in Santa Barbara, Nixon owned a Western White House and a Southern White House, LBJ had his Stonewall, Texas ranch (which he donated to the National Park Service), and Kennedy had the Hyannis compound. They all received secret service protection while living, working, and vacationing at these places and were reimbursed by the USSS at a fair market rate for the use of facilities that they required.
posted by peeedro at 1:44 PM on April 29 [11 favorites]


I know we need to worry about today's problems before dealing with tomorrow's, but Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is doing little PR events that indicate a future run at politics and the presidency.

I still don't fully get what he's up to, because these trips sure as heck look like what you do when you want to run for office, but I've been informed by people in a position to know that this theory is hilariously wrong. Engineer's Disease taken to 11?
posted by zachlipton at 1:51 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


I still don't fully get what he's up to, because these trips sure as heck look like what you do when you want to run for office, but I've been informed by people in a position to know that this theory is hilariously wrong. Engineer's Disease taken to 11?

Maybe he's built a Genesis Ark and is looking for worthy people to populate it.
posted by Servo5678 at 1:56 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


I know we need to worry about today's problems before dealing with tomorrow's, but Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is doing little PR events that indicate a future run at politics and the presidency.

I can't think of anyone more likely to lose to Trump, again. This needs to be stamped out immediately. Get on it, California.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:14 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Wtf is wrong with people who are like "oh I'm good at X so I obviously can run for the highest elected office in the country with no previous political or government experience"?! Like sure I'd hold my nose and vote for Zuckerberg against Trump if it came to that. But it would be messed up and insulting to the many many more competent and experienced people.
posted by R343L at 2:19 PM on April 29 [12 favorites]


I mean, assuming he's really and truly not thinking of running for anything, I sort of do get it, flippant comments about engineer's disease aside. (Though I do not understand the hiring of photographers and videographers and turning this into such a public thing.) He's running a $440 billion company that depends on understanding its users at a pretty deep level if it's going to deliver anywhere near the kind of profit that valuation calls for. And right now, from the perspective of, say, a Facebook employee, there's a huge chunk of this country, by far their most profitable market, that seems vexingly hard to understand. So I understand the impulse to get out and try to improve that situation a little bit.

What I don't understand if that's the case is the self-promotion Zuckerberg has attached to it, because that's the part that looks an awful lot like a political campaign, and if the idea of him running for office is as misguided as people say, it's unclear why he's acting in a way that obviously gives that impression.
posted by zachlipton at 2:36 PM on April 29


[Couple deleted. Let's skip having a proxy Clinton fight about whether it's ok to abstain from voting for someone who isn't even running for office yet.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:47 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


We really need a filter for all this; ways of better sorting Trump & Friends' actions according to affected domains and severity and what not. Otherwise, it's just going to continue breaking many of our brains struggling to swim upstream against a tidal wave of irradiated garbage.

I've noticed that if Trump or anyone connected to the White House mentions MLK, Hitler, or 9/11, it's like hitting media and social media in the knee with a rubber hammer. There's twitching and gasping and a reliably extensive squawking that moves attention away from more criminal offenses. Not sure if it's a planned strategy, but Bannon's not as simple as Trump, so it could be.
posted by puddledork at 3:05 PM on April 29


National Treasure Alexandra Petri is preparing for her big assignment: What not to do at the White House correspondents' dinner (WaPo).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:05 PM on April 29 [11 favorites]


On the Comey grand jury front: I'm seeing two strains of commenting on this on Twitter. One is " the grand jury is for Hillary's emails." The other is "Comey isn't a US attorney and can't convene a grand jury! Unpossible fake news!" How long does a grand jury convene for? Could this be something Yates kicked off, or that began under the Obama administration? Or is it likely all wishful thinking?

And would Chaffetz know about the progress of said grand juries? 'Cuz dude sure seems spooked about something.
posted by Andrhia at 3:15 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


when i see rumors that THE ADMINISTRATION IS GOING DOWN ANY MINUTE NOW, the best thing for my sanity is to assume that no one is working to save us. which has proven correct so far and saved me many broken hearts.
posted by murphy slaw at 3:30 PM on April 29 [31 favorites]


Sometimes good things happen.

People Across This State Put On Tutus In A Show Of Love, Tolerance, & Acceptance
A photo says a thousand words, so the saying goes. Then what do a thousand photos of people wearing tutus in bars say? In Wyoming, those photos say tolerance, acceptance, and love.
...

The hashtag #LiveAndLetTutu signaled a protest from people who believe that Wyoming's State Motto, Live And Let Live, extends to everyone. Patrick Harrington and Mike Vanata, two of the protest organizers, live in Laramie, the hometown of the late Matthew Shepard, a gay teen who was brutally murdered. "I’m really upset that Wyoming kind of lives in this dark shadow of a myth that we’re just a completely gay-hating state or something,” Vanata told Wyoming Public Media. “And I think from this action, we’re correcting that.”
The slideshow of images is well worth a gander.
posted by chris24 at 3:40 PM on April 29 [35 favorites]


Metfilter: [pterodactyl noise]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:43 PM on April 29 [12 favorites]




They're still chanting "lock her up" at the Trump rally (waiting for him to arrive). In case you thought anything had changed or whatever.
posted by zachlipton at 4:02 PM on April 29 [27 favorites]


Economic anxiety.
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on April 29 [19 favorites]


“[A] range of media critics, political operatives, historians and more” provide a list of thirteen bullet point “lessons” about the President to Politico Magazine that “the media” has yet to learn: “What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump”:
  1. We forget what has always driven Trump.
  2. Trump. Won’t. Change.
  3. We still trust the polls too much.
  4. ‘Trump is crazy’ has become a cliché.
  5. We’re not only stuck in bubbles—social media is making them worse.
  6. We’re still ignoring the people who elected Trump.
  7. We’re falling for the ‘Trump exceptionalism’ trap.
  8. We should take Trump’s tweets more seriously.
  9. The media’s priorities are all wrong.
  10. We haven’t nailed the biggest story.
  11. The press is still biased against Trump.
  12. Trump’s success depends just as much on what happens outside Washington.
  13. Most people don’t care about Trump’s lies.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:12 PM on April 29 [9 favorites]


14. The media hasn't and won't accept its role in creating Trump.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:45 PM on April 29 [29 favorites]


At least one problem with the above takes, I should note, is that the media is thirteen different things to thirteen people
posted by Going To Maine at 4:50 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


But then, the idea that the media is both one thing and also a million things is beyond tired and had been an accepted fact of life for more than a hundred years, so whatever.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:56 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


How can anyone watch this rally, complete with Trump decrying CNN and MSNBC as "fake news" as the crowd boos the press, and conclude that he's changed one bit from the campaign?
posted by zachlipton at 4:58 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


When does Sam Bee's gig start?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:01 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


10pm Eastern on TBS, 11pm streaming. There's a "red carpet" at 9pm too.

And for your simultaneous viewing needs, the Correspondents' Association Dinner starts at 9:30, streaming here.
posted by zachlipton at 5:04 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


14. The media hasn't and won't accept its role in creating Trump.

QFT. And despite staring into the contorted orange maw of this travesty every day, is incapable of using the words "unfit", "lie", or "collusion" ever - excepting within the confines of a tepid-and-therefore-self-defeating "some say" construct.

Why is anyone giving the corporate news media full privileges and immunities anymore? I would remind ever-so-contrite and reformed MSNBC and CNN amongst many others, YOU. GOT. US. HERE. Fix It! Go!

Occasional NYT Opinion section, I appreciate it but maybe just take a walk for a little while, get some fresh air, see your families or something. You're not doing the most good up there.
posted by petebest at 5:08 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


TruthHawk: "The Meme That Is Normalizing Trump"

I just discovered that site right now and I am still not sure what it is, that article was framed in a very clickbait way, but I'll give them a pass for a moment because their article about the neurotic nature of internet forums seems pretty spot-on and covers a phenomenon that isn't talked about often. Regarding the Trump meme, it sounds pretty catastrophic and weak, but there does seem to be an unconscious trend towards normalization of Trump from "he's a fascist" to "he's just incompetent" and if anything this past year has shown, it's that times can shift so drastically that formerly denounced-as-war-criminal George Bush is now seen (by some) as an honorary member of #theResistance simply for mildly criticizing Trump. This meme might not be the best example of the current shift on Trump, but it's worth considering.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:18 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


He almost said China was going to help us stop North Dakota a minute ago
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:23 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


All the shit about bubbles and really most of the rest of the list are all about doubling down on 14 as well.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


Well it's been a while, but he's legit doing The Snake. The President of the United States is reading The Snake.
posted by zachlipton at 5:36 PM on April 29 [8 favorites]


Well it's been a while, but he's legit doing The Snake. The President of the United States is reading The Snake.

It's extra fuckin' creepy this time, too
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:38 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


Every super villain need his theme song.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:39 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


if trump did irony, "The Snake" would be him mocking us. as it is, it's just dramatic irony because he's not in on the joke.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:41 PM on April 29 [9 favorites]


Are you seeing this shit? It's like Air Force One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:41 PM on April 29 [50 favorites]


"Mr President, if I could give you one piece of advice tonight it's this: be sure to read a long poem that makes it sound like you're a snake sexually harassing a woman"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:44 PM on April 29 [23 favorites]


They're now playing classic hit You Can't Always Get What You Want Due To The Electoral College
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:48 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


I was reading this essay about how this writer was updating a dictionary of Ancient Greek and is puzzling over a word that means something along the lines of "to run one's sword along one's head" and the translator is basically like what the fuck does this mean; we don't have enough cultural clues to figure out what this is supposed to mean.

I just imagine an alien culture coming upon our ruins a hundred thousand years from now, and some alien dude will be trying to figure out how English works, and comes across the phrase, "The President of the United States is reading The Snake" and I wonder how long it would take Mr. Alien to figure out just what the fuck went on here.
posted by angrycat at 5:48 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


And exit to "You Can't Always Get What You Want." Are we absolutely positively sure he's not just really really damn good at irony?
posted by zachlipton at 5:49 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


Trump lumbering around to You Can't Always Get What You Want while slack jawed yokels scream their approvals sums up the 100 days pretty well.
posted by angrybear at 5:52 PM on April 29 [22 favorites]


There's a real hunger out there to prove that the Trumps are in a doomed, loveless marriage. It remains weird and gross, and echoes the way that those in the right have tried to climb inside the Clinton and Obama marriages.

I get what you're saying & agree that there is some of the mirror image of the Right's cartoonish attacks going on but this isn't that. All the experts are saying Trump is a malignant narcissist which would make him actually incapable of emotions like love at all. But even if he's just your lower grade basic NPD case any love he could feel would be self-serving & shallow. I stand ready to be corrected by anyone with training but that's my layman's understanding of it.
posted by scalefree at 5:52 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


What the hell is THE SNAKE?
posted by vrakatar at 5:53 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I don't think there's anything doomed about their loveless marriage, pretty sure she'll stick it out for the length of the contract.
posted by Artw at 5:55 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]




There's a real hunger out there to prove that the Trumps are in a doomed, loveless marriage. It remains weird and gross, and echoes the way that those in the right have tried to climb inside the Clinton and Obama marriages.

It is the most reasonable thing in the world to speculate about someone's relationship based on how they interact with their SO in view of other people. I did it about the Clintons and the Obamas just like I do it about literally every single couple I look at and you can be goshdarn sure the Trumps are no exception to that
posted by Greg Nog at 6:06 PM on April 29 [10 favorites]


WaPo:
President Trump: In my first 100 days, I kept my promise to Americans

of course, if donald trump was actually involved in the production of this piece, i am marie of roumania
posted by murphy slaw at 6:07 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


What the hell is THE SNAKE?

It sure as hell isn't THE JACKAL.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:08 PM on April 29 [12 favorites]


He kept his promise
Please keep your distance

Don't cry for him, 'Mericana
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:09 PM on April 29 [15 favorites]


the truth is, I never left my portfolio of holdings
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:19 PM on April 29 [29 favorites]


What spin does he put on "The Snake" that makes it favorable to him? That's just bizarre.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:11 PM on April 29


That it's about letting refugees in. The fear of the other is the invariable element in the liturgy of a Trump rally.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:13 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


the truth is, I never left my portfolio of holdings

When you saw that interest rates dropped, it was then that I modified your asset mix.
posted by rhizome at 7:16 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


We hear it as an admission of guilt by Trump but it works equally well as a disgusting racist anthem with refugees & migrants in the role of the snake.
posted by scalefree at 7:38 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Oh..he actually recited the snake poem. I thought people were being metaphorical or something.

So bizarre.
posted by angrybear at 8:08 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


@arappeport: Trump invites Duterte to White House, says Philippines is "fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs."

(WH statement)

Something, something about being out of evens here; I don't even have the heart to come up with something to say.
posted by zachlipton at 8:11 PM on April 29 [24 favorites]




There's certainly nothing disconcerting about this, nothing at all

Instead of total mystery meat links could people add a bit of a description? Not everyone has a super fast connection or unlimited data plus it helps folks who are searching by keyword to see if something has been posted already. thank you:)
posted by futz at 8:34 PM on April 29 [36 favorites]


There's certainly nothing disconcerting about this, nothing at all

Wayne LaPierre at the NRA convention yesterday, "It's up to us to speak up against the three most dangerous voices in America: academic elites, political elites, and media elites. These are America's greatest domestic threats."
posted by petebest at 8:40 PM on April 29 [9 favorites]


Oh, my guess was Nazis at the rally.
posted by Artw at 8:50 PM on April 29


Apparently Trump has named May Day Loyalty Day.
Trump called on Americans to observe this day with ceremonies in schools and other public places, including reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
posted by corb at 8:53 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Loyalty Day has been happening for decades thanks to the Red Scare. However, as that article points out, different Presidents have highlighted different things in their proclamations, and Trump's emphasis on how "our Nation perseveres in the face of those who would seek to harm it" is rather ominous.
posted by zachlipton at 8:59 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


LaPierre was of course referring to Bannon.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:23 PM on April 29


Jesus, zachlipton. What a thing to read before bed.

Trump's praise for Duterte and invitation to the White House come five days after "a Philippine lawyer filed a complaint at the ICC [...] against Duterte and senior officials of mass murder. The 77-page filing said Duterte "repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously" committed crimes against humanity." (source)

Sarah Kendzior:
Over last two weeks, Trump:
* invites murderer Duterte
* boosts fascist LePen
* congratulates Erdogan on dictatorship
* praises Kim Jong Un

posted by galaxy rise at 9:34 PM on April 29 [36 favorites]


I mean, Trump ran for office bragging about how he could kill people and wouldn't lose voters, so why wouldn't he invite a President who admitted committing at least three murders?
posted by zachlipton at 9:37 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Oh, my guess was Nazis at the rally.

Well, there was that too. Literal skinhead Nazis at the rally.
posted by chris24 at 9:45 PM on April 29 [14 favorites]


If you want to feel a bit of hope, these hero kids came down all on their own to protest the Trump rally.
posted by schroedinger at 9:56 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Also, from my hometown paper, the Boston Globe: Can white-power groups get past old differences and build lasting alliances?

Who needs sleep when you can run on pure outrage.
posted by galaxy rise at 10:01 PM on April 29 [8 favorites]


It's cute, all you people learning of Trump doing 'the snake' for the first time. It's a classic of his. It's been over a year, surely, since I first saw him read it aloud at a rally. How short our memories are.
posted by dis_integration at 10:20 PM on April 29 [11 favorites]


Loyalty Day has been happening for decades thanks to the Red Scare

The Manchurian President proclaiming Loyalty Day in opposition to the threat of communism when his entire party won office through collusion with Russia intelligence is....something.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:31 PM on April 29 [13 favorites]


The Manchurian President proclaiming Loyalty Day in opposition to the threat of communism when his entire party won office through collusion with Russia intelligence is....something.

Russia hasn't been communist for over a quarter of a century though.
posted by Talez at 10:33 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


True, and the US has been an oligarchy for at least as long. If it was ever anything else.

It's still striking that our oligarchy is still clinging to the trappings of opposition to their more overt and brutal oligarchy while the head of our government attempts to emulate and reproduce the most brutal parts, to the cheers of 46% of the nation and 100% of the institutional party that at one time defined itself in opposition to the underlying philosophy that birthed the ostensible opposition superpower.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:02 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


You know, if the White House Press Corps had taken my advice to postpone their dinner once Trump announced his rally for the same day, they would have been able to cap on Trump for having his party on the 25th Anniversary of Rodney King's beating by the LAPD. But no, it's just the battle of the dinners.
posted by rhizome at 11:13 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Worst of all, he's going to say he tried to follow his agenda through legit means, but those horrible courts, et al., forced him to rely on other means.
posted by allthinky at 5:47 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


From yesterday's AM Joy, with MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle, Democratic strategist Karine Jean-Pierre and comedian Judy Gold:

Ivanka watches father butcher women’s rights
Ivanka Trump claims that supporting women is her central issue, but Joy Reid and her guests highlight her silence as her father dismantles programs benefiting women.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:05 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


Trump’s Alternative Reality Rally: In a less surreal time, the president of the United States would be at the dinner, which supports the White House Correspondents’ Association. He would endure a stand-up routine at his expense, and then he would deliver his own comedic monologue. Trump has attended this affair in the past — most memorably in 2011, when Barack Obama, having just released his birth certificate following a months-long campaign by Trump to imply that he was not born in America and thus was not a legitimate president, roasted him, a night some say was the impetus for his 2016 campaign.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:05 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Nothing like holding a rally full of white supremacists in the middle of a city that's 75% minority. I'm guessing that there weren't too many actual residents of Harrisburg in attendance.
posted by octothorpe at 7:22 AM on April 30 [10 favorites]


Donald Trump on if he could start nuclear war with North Korea: 'I don't know. I mean, we'll see': In an interview with CBS' “Face the Nation,” - to be aired on Sunday - Mr Trump said he won't be happy if North Korea conducts a nuclear test and that he believes Chinese President Xi Jinping won't be happy, either.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:52 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]




Where the hell does he get off calling the Dems obstructionist - and then use the SCOTUS appointment as his example??
posted by robstercraw at 7:59 AM on April 30 [7 favorites]


Another interview with a major news outlet. If this were a drinking game we'd all be dead.
posted by notyou at 7:59 AM on April 30 [11 favorites]


> "It is the most reasonable thing in the world to speculate about someone's relationship based on how they interact with their SO in view of other people."

It's not like I can stop you and it's not a hill I want to die on or anything, but this kind of speculation actually seems pretty weird and creepy to me.
posted by kyrademon at 8:04 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Me: OK, you've spent a week or two disengaged from politics, maybe it's time to catch up.

Donald Trump on if he could start nuclear war with North Korea: 'I don't know. I mean, we'll see'

Me: [backs slowly into bushes and disappears]
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:04 AM on April 30 [60 favorites]


God, the whole exchange is too long to excerpt, but this bit here:
JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about health care -- Tucker Carlson interviewed you about six weeks ago when you were in the middle of health care negotiations. And you agreed with him that the health care bill wasn't going to help your supporters. That those who lived in rural areas, the older, were going to get hurt by that bill. And you told him--

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me, the health care bill is going to help my supporters.

JOHN DICKERSON: Well, hold on. Let me just finish the question, if I may, sir--

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Otherwise, I'm not going to sign it. I'm not going to do it.

JOHN DICKERSON: Well, this is why I wanted to ask you. You said to Tucker, "We will take care of our people, or I am not signing it." You said you were going to negotiate.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, that's what I just said.

JOHN DICKERSON: So tell me what in the bill you've been negotiating to get--

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But let me--

JOHN DICKERSON: --in that helps your supporters. I'm just trying to get the details of how your people--

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Let me just tell you.

JOHN DICKERSON: --will be helped.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I just watched another network than yours, and they were saying, "Pre-existing is not covered." Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, "Has to be."

JOHN DICKERSON: So--

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have, we're going to have lower premiums. And before you start there, let me just tell you something. Obamacare is dead. Obamacare right now, all the insurance companies are fleeing. Places like Tennessee have already lost half of their state with the insurance companies. They're all going. Obamacare, John, is dead. Okay, because we're being -- we're being compared to Obamacare. Just, so. Obamacare doesn't work--

JOHN DICKERSON: I just want to compare you to your own.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: One thing. No, no, it's important. I've got to compare it.

JOHN DICKERSON: No, no, but I want--

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But you were saying about Obamacare.

JOHN DICKERSON: No, but I'm not. I'm asking what--

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: With Obamacare--

JOHN DICKERSON: --you're going to do.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: --the premiums are too high. The deductibles are through the roof, so you never get to use it. But more importantly, it's dead.

JOHN DICKERSON: So but in the bill, as it was analyzed, there were two problems. One, and you talked about this with Congressman Robert Aderholt, who brought you the example of the 64-year-old who under Obamacare the premiums--

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But that was a long time ago, John.

JOHN DICKERSON: But has that been fixed?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Totally fixed.

JOHN DICKERSON: How?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: How? We've made many changes to the bill. You know, this bill is--
Dude has not read the bill, has no idea what is in it, and has not "mandated" anything.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:33 AM on April 30 [74 favorites]


Dude does not read. Or listen.
posted by Artw at 8:39 AM on April 30 [23 favorites]


"We'll see" about nuclear freaking war. So that's today's answer to my first thought every morning: "What fresh hell is this?"
posted by thebrokedown at 8:48 AM on April 30 [10 favorites]


I mean, at least when he says "we'll see" you know he has no real plans or knowledge of the situation. "At least".
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on April 30 [7 favorites]


Where the hell does he get off calling the Dems obstructionist - and then use the SCOTUS appointment as his example??

>>"Dude has not read the bill, has no idea what is in it, and has not "mandated" anything."


Just as there are Trump's Mirror, and Trump's Razor, there is MetaFilter's Headdesk.

MetaFilter's Headdesk (a.k.a. MeFi's Own Don Music) is the attempt to use logic or reason in analyzing this president's statements. There is no point to it, it is doomed to fail, the man is legally and medically unfit to "serve" as President.

Now let's do this Article 25 thing and get back to the culture wars proper.
posted by petebest at 9:02 AM on April 30 [7 favorites]


I honestly don't know what the point is anymore in news that contains "the president says." Trump says all kinds of stuff. He promises things that are impossible, demonstrably untrue in actual legislation, or things that are contradictory with stuff he said not long ago - sometimes even in the last day. Perhaps the press cannot stop reporting on the claims of a person in power, no matter how empty, but why should any of the rest of us pay attention? It's not spin or bluster we need to hold someone accountable on. It's impossible to hold someone accountable when their statements all add up to covering every possible condition.
posted by phearlez at 9:04 AM on April 30 [14 favorites]


The Secret Service has, similarly, paid $64,000 for “elevator services” in Trump Tower. This is a fairly normal kind of expense for the agency, paying a building money to defray the inconvenience of taking elevators offline so they can be inspected for security purposes. But, again, there is nothing normal about the president personally profiting from the security.

I appreciate the nuance of this situation, and that arguably it's not even that crazy a situation.

BUT: this is a perfect issue for a political hit ad. Trump (and other Republicans) murdered Hillary Clinton on ads where they ignored nuance and went for the gut hit. Hell, people are doing it to Obama now for his paid speech. Nothing actually wrong with it, common practice and an unfair standard sure, but the "optics" are bad.

It's fine to know intellectually that it might be a cheap shot to use something like this against Trump. But goddmannit, USE IT ANYWAY. Trump charging the Secret Service to ride his friggin' elevators? That is political attack GOLD.

Yeah, he can even explain the situation away, sort of. Every second he does that he's losing. Dems gotta get serious with stuff like this.
posted by msalt at 9:05 AM on April 30 [32 favorites]


While the real WH correspondents dinner and the alternate reality Samantha Bee version deserve their own FPP, from the latter, Sam brought back West Wing's CJ to tell it like it is.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:10 AM on April 30 [13 favorites]


It's fine to know intellectually that it might be a cheap shot to use something like this against Trump. But goddmannit, USE IT ANYWAY. Trump charging the Secret Service to ride his friggin' elevators? That is political attack GOLD.

And people are going to have the CTJ moment on that one in contrast to Trump admitting to sexual assault, his promotion of racism, nationalist, fascism, his ignorance of the job, his disdain of the constitution and its system of checks and balances?

The guy is reality TV Reagan. People either abhor him or think he's bigger than Jesus. His support among Rs has barely nudged. The only hope we have is to twist every arm and convince, cajole, drag everyone to the left of Joe Manchin out to vote in 2018 and 2020.
posted by Talez at 9:15 AM on April 30 [8 favorites]


Sam brought back West Wing's CJ to tell it like it is

Man, that made me cry. I guess I need a break from all this.
posted by mumimor at 9:23 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


Trump: Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, "Has to be."

There is an important distinction here that he is eliding -- not because he is clever, but simply because he is too ignorant to understand.

Coverage of pre-existing conditions is meaningless alone without "community rating." Community rating means that everyone of the same age pays the same premium, regardless of their health status.

The new Republican bill eliminates community rating. This means that, sure, an insurance company will cover your pre-existing condition, but they can charge you a $5000 a month premium. Coverage of pre-existing conditions without community rating is worthless. But Trump gets his "pre-existing condition" talking point.
posted by JackFlash at 9:23 AM on April 30 [49 favorites]


The transcript excerpted above is an indicator of how normalized some aspects of this not-normal presidency have become. Dickerson is trying to pin down Trump on whether the proposed bill will hurt his supporters. Never, anywhere in the interview, is there any question about whether it would be a bad thing if this bill hurts people who live in blue states or who do not support Trump.
posted by compartment at 9:27 AM on April 30 [57 favorites]


I honestly don't know what the point is anymore in news that contains "the president says." Trump says all kinds of stuff. He promises things that are impossible, demonstrably untrue in actual legislation, or things that are contradictory

It's the Trump Uncertainty Principle in action. We can either know his position on an issue or the amount of bullshit spewed on an issue, but not both. Now, I suspect he has no positions, so all we are left with is an infinite amount of bullshit.
posted by nubs at 9:30 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


Trump: Obamacare is dead. Obamacare right now, all the insurance companies are fleeing. Places like Tennessee have already lost half of their state with the insurance companies. They're all going. Obamacare, John, is dead.

What many people don't understand is that Obamacare has nothing to do with the insurance market in each state. Obamacare only provides the framework for the exchange to sell the plans. Which plans are on the exchange, which insurance companies participate, what benefits and deductibles they provide, and what premiums they charge are entirely in the hands of your state insurance commissioner and other state officials. The federal government has nothing to do with the plans offered in your state.

If you live in a state with terrible insurance choices like Tennessee, it is because your state officials intentionally designed it that way. If your state officials want Obamacare to fail, they can create those conditions and there is nothing the Feds can do about it. That isn't a failure of Obamacare. That is a failure of your state elected officials.

Obamacare is doing great in the Blue states that have worked to make Obamacare a success. If you are in a Red state with poor insurance choices, well, sucks to be you, but it isn't the fault of Obamacare.
posted by JackFlash at 9:41 AM on April 30 [68 favorites]


phearlez: Perhaps the press cannot stop reporting on the claims of a person in power, no matter how empty, but why should any of the rest of us pay attention?

Because nukes.
posted by bluecore at 9:42 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


and you talked about this with Congressman Robert Aderholt,

In a better timeline, Trump has been talking to Dennis Aderholt, Oleg hands the dossier and pee tape over to Stan, and Elizabeth and Phillip help the Trump Boys with their suitcases.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:14 AM on April 30 [6 favorites]


Obamacare is doing great in the Blue states that have worked to make Obamacare a success. If you are in a Red state with poor insurance choices, well, sucks to be you, but it isn't the fault of Obamacare.

This is among the clearest, quickest demonstrations I've seen of the Democrat refusal to accept that Obamacare is an incredibly bad way to get citizens healthcare.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:22 AM on April 30 [10 favorites]


This is among the clearest, quickest demonstrations I've seen of the Democrat refusal to accept that Obamacare is an incredibly bad way to get citizens healthcare.

Compared to what existed before Obamacare? I'm assuming that you are one of those people who has been privileged to get your insurance through your employer your whole life. Obamacare is directed toward people who didn't have that privilege and it is a vast improvement over the previous individual insurance market.

As has been explained many times, Joe Lieberman held the 60th vote and refused to support any sort of public option for insurance.
posted by JackFlash at 10:35 AM on April 30 [47 favorites]


This is among the clearest, quickest demonstrations I've seen of the Democrat refusal to accept that Obamacare is an incredibly bad way to get citizens healthcare.

it's an incredibly republican way to get people healthcare, but they wouldn't touch it because it had obama cooties and now all they can offer is something much worse.

it's a pretty great way to corner republicans into looking like bigger assholes than usual, and it's better than the status quo ante, but it's much more of a political victory than a policy one.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:36 AM on April 30 [4 favorites]


The best defense I can muster of that nonsense is that when the law was under debate everybody underestimated how entrenched the GOP opposition to all things Democrats like would become -- for instance, there was a genuine expectation that the federal exchange would barely matter because no state would dare opt out for fear of the backlash from denying its own citizens cheap healthcare out of spite. Whoops!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:36 AM on April 30 [15 favorites]


The point to the interviews is to get this guy on the record. If they manage to get zombie health care passed, we now have video of the President saying that he made sure "pre-existing conditions" are in the bill. The attack ads in 2020 will have those soundbites with the reality of TrumpCare. He won't be able to deny that he didn't know what was in the bill and he was just a helpless bystander.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:36 AM on April 30 [8 favorites]


Compared to what existed before Obamacare? I'm assuming that you are one of those people who has been privileged to get your insurance through your employer your whole life. Obamacare is directed toward people who didn't have that privilege and it is a vast improvement over the previous individual insurance market.

So you hate eating poo -- I suppose you want to go back to eating poo with GLASS IN IT??? These are the two main options in this wacky poo-eating world of ours
posted by Greg Nog at 10:44 AM on April 30 [5 favorites]


These are the two main options in this wacky poo-eating world of ours

Oh for crying out loud. After everything that's happened, you still don't see that those really ARE the two options, and that people who held out for no poo are partially responsible for us having to eat this poo with glass in it now? Thanks a lot for the glass!

It's worth working toward a better world, where there are better options on the menu. But you do that work at the local level and the grass roots and in the primaries. At the national level right now, where you have to take into account that you are sharing power with Republicans, I am HAPPY when I can get poo without glass in it. And I am ANGERY at everyone who put the glass in my poo right now, including the people who claim that it makes no difference whether poo had glass in it or not because poo is poo. It makes a big difference to me!
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:59 AM on April 30 [26 favorites]


"We'll see" is how I've approached every day since Jan 20th. The recent economic numbers are IMO just the beginning of a full scale economic implosion. I hope I'm wrong but I guess "we'll see."
posted by photoslob at 11:07 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


*goes on hunger strike*
posted by pyramid termite at 11:08 AM on April 30 [4 favorites]


One of the most Democratic things about Obamacare is that was built with the assumption that Republicans wouldn't sabotage it out of spite, yes. Their general assumption that Republicans are alright people who just happen to have a different point of view is cute but not borne out by reality and absolutely has to be dropped.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on April 30 [48 favorites]


kayfabe. this is a particularly insightful piece by tom sullivan over at digby. illustrates why the left needs to abandon *understanding* and reaching out to trumpies. their psychology is calcified and more intractable than 'racism' and 'economic insecurity'. this read is worth your time.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:26 AM on April 30 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I can forgive that fallacy being baked into the ACA because it was the first major, partisan policy Dems were able to put in place since the Clinton years, but standing by it now after two Obama terms full of evidence to the contrary is indefensible.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:29 AM on April 30


it's a pretty great way to corner republicans into looking like bigger assholes than usual, and it's better than the status quo ante, but it's much more of a political victory than a policy one.

Yeah! Fuck incremental policy improvements! Who cares about the millions of people the law has helped? We gotta think of Obamacare as a purely cynical political exercise because god forbid we didn't do a perfect job in a bad situation!
posted by Talez at 11:49 AM on April 30 [29 favorites]


> > Trump charging the Secret Service to ride his friggin' elevators? That is political attack GOLD.

> And people are going to have the CTJ moment on that one in contrast to Trump admitting to sexual assault, his promotion of racism, nationalist, fascism, his ignorance of the job, his disdain of the constitution and its system of checks and balances?

Yeah, if anything grifting the government is practically aspirational for Trump's base.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:49 AM on April 30 [5 favorites]


is there a nobel prize for petty revenge? because i swear trump is gunning for it:

Buenos Aires Herald: Trump vetoes Carter tribute
The Mauricio Macri administration reverted a decision to award former US president Jimmy Carter the Order of the Liberator General San Martín — the maximum distinction that the country can give to a foreign personality —, under the pressure from US President Donald Trump’s administration, CNN web site reported this week.

The official tribute, which had already been approved by the foreign ministry and was published in the Official Gazette, was cancelled after receiving a specific request by the US government, which would have suggested it would be better to delay it. Carter was to be given the award for his work in promoting human rights during Argentina’s last military dictatorship.

After being informed about the decision, the foreign ministry had again requested that President Macri give the award in spite of the rejection by Trump’s government since it had been made official, according to an anonymous foreign ministry official consulted by CNN’s David Cox.
posted by murphy slaw at 11:57 AM on April 30 [42 favorites]


@kylegriffin1: Q: Is POTUS considering a constitutional amendment to change press laws?

PRIEBUS: "I think it's something that we've looked at."

It's highly concerning to me that these folks have figured out precisely one trick that seems to be working for them: publicly embrace authoritarian strongmen and policies so they can deliver the promised liberal tears to their supporters.
posted by zachlipton at 12:19 PM on April 30 [22 favorites]


Trump vetoes Carter tribute

I know I should be over it by now but holy crow is Trump a petty SOB.
posted by Lyme Drop at 1:04 PM on April 30 [42 favorites]




Dr Gorka v Nazi out of the WH (but some lucky agency's going to get him...)
posted by Devonian at 1:44 PM on April 30 [6 favorites]


With regard to the Duterte invitation:
Now, administration officials are bracing for an avalanche of criticism from human rights groups. Two officials said they expected the State Department and the National Security Council, both of which were caught off guard by the invitation, to raise objections internally.

The White House disclosed the news on a day when Mr. Trump whipped up ardent backers at a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, Pa. The timing of the announcement — after a speech that was an angry, grievance-filled jeremiad — encapsulated this president after 100 days in office: still ready to say and do things that leave people, even on his staff, slack-jawed.
He also spent 4.5 hours at another one of his golf clubs today. The White House has no comment on whether he played golf.
posted by zachlipton at 1:59 PM on April 30 [13 favorites]


Another interesting article for the to-read pile:

A Dangerous New Americanism?
All of these factors are now at play in the consideration of American identity, and that should worry everyone. “American” is an identity collective, like any other. Identifying as part of a collective is not inherently bad. In many ways, it’s normal and healthy. People who live in communities seek definition, whether as a neighborhood or as a nation. But when the health of the in-group can only be obtained at the expense of an out-group, identity takes on sinister and destructive overtones.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:18 PM on April 30 [6 favorites]


Dr Gorka v Nazi out of the WH (but some lucky agency's going to get him...)

Is there another empty office at the Selective Service agency?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:39 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Josh Marshall thinks through Priebus' 1st-amendment comments and correctly finds them to be outrageous.

(from the article: "The plain meaning of the words, on the record, is that abridging or abolishing the 1st Amendment is something the Trump White House is currently considering. Big deal.")

Except...it's hard to say how big of deal it is, because everything the Trump White House says exists in this weird superposition of fascism and trolling. I think Trump sincerely would, if he could, carve out an exception to the 1st amendment for himself, so that the big bad NYT stops hurting his feelings. So it's a big deal in the sense that it's sincere on some level.

But the nominal grownups in the White House know there's no chance in hell of a constitutional amendment, and yet this gets thrown out there anyway, because it's red meat for the base which has been drinking the "liberal media are biased" haterade for decades.

So is it a big deal because they mean it? Or is it not a big deal because (as has been noted upthread) it's also a cynical ploy to produce outrage in the "right people"? Do we keep pointing out how deeply wrong what the White House is saying is, or by doing so are we feeding the trolls?

I don't fucking know anymore, and when I consider that the folks who drilled into me the dangers of "moral relativism" and "postmodernism" for my entire childhood are basically the same ones who have created this fact-free political system, I can only shake my head and laugh joylessly. (No literal tears yet, I wonder what that would take. Hard to say, because pre-Trump, I would have told you I had already reached 100% disillusionment with conservative Christians, but they managed to surprise me.)
posted by jcreigh at 2:41 PM on April 30 [52 favorites]


If your state officials want Obamacare to fail, they can create those conditions and there is nothing the Feds can do about it. That isn't a failure of Obamacare. That is a failure of your state elected officials.

I agree and wish it could become common knowledge, but I can't think of any way to facilitate that.
posted by petebest at 2:46 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


Holy crap, murphy slaw. The closest I could see to a fig leaf of a justification was

the decision not to give Carter an official award was to “avoid conflicts” and so they can speak about issues of mutual interest shared between Trump’s and Macri’s administration.

It's also described as a "delay" which is similarly bereft of any elaboration.

So I guess I can see some more reasonable interpretation, like "oh it was really just delayed for an hour because of a scheduling issue" -- but I actually think it's justified to infer the foulest intent possible, because this level of opaque bullshittery and disdain for public disclosure is just as foul.
posted by bjrubble at 3:01 PM on April 30


From the kayfabe article linked above:
Although the etymology of the word is a matter of debate, for at least 50 years “kayfabe” has referred to the unspoken contract between wrestlers and spectators: We’ll present you something clearly fake under the insistence that it’s real, and you will experience genuine emotion. Neither party acknowledges the bargain, or else the magic is ruined.

Do corporate news executives get to vote? Because 100 days is enough time to call out the bullshit and ruin this dark-ass fucking magic. Or else let's understand they are complicit.

What, Jon Stewart is the only person capable of rhetorically snapping Sean Spicer's neck? Bullshit WH press corps, we'd better see you giving Spicey the business end of a press room full of folding chairs, starting yesterday, seriously. Democracy dies in darkness - fuuck. DOES THIS LOOK LIKE LIGHT TO YOU?!

"Can someone check me on this, am I losing my mind?" - David St. Hubbins
posted by petebest at 3:03 PM on April 30 [14 favorites]


What if we gave the president TEN pinocchios. Then he'd HAVE to resign
posted by theodolite at 3:09 PM on April 30 [9 favorites]


Washington Examiner: The source said Gorka's only known duties included speaking on television about counterterrism, as well as "giving White House tours and peeling out in his Mustang,"

Sebastian Gorka, walking midlife crisis only in the White House. And with Nazis.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:19 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Reminder: Gorka is the one who proclaimed "The alpha males are back" (directing a Korean tour group past the Rose Garden).
posted by PenDevil at 3:24 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


So is it a big deal because they mean it? Or is it not a big deal because (as has been noted upthread) it's also a cynical ploy to produce outrage in the "right people"? Do we keep pointing out how deeply wrong what the White House is saying is, or by doing so are we feeding the trolls?

Option A: Protest loudly, preventing the normalization of authoritarianism, causing various Twitter users with mostly frog and egg avatars to proclaim "LOL liberal tears."

Option B: Don't protest, thereby allowing the normalization and possible implementation of authoritarian ideas. Right-wing Twitter trolls continue to proclaim "LOL liberal tears" anyway.

Never forget that the president does not respect the rule of law, he does not respect democratic norms, he does not respect democratic institutions, and he does not respect logic, reason, science, self-reflection, or even the meaning of words. He may or may not respect himself, but he respects his self-interests.

Never forget that the president of the United States has divorced himself from reality. He believes, without any evidentiary basis, that Obama personally ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower. He believes that climate change is Chinese hoax. He believes that he knows more than generals who have spent their entire working life learning how to wage war effectively, and he believes that he knows more than scientists who have spent their entire careers devoted to understanding their respective fields of study.

After standing on a stage and requesting that the intelligence services of a foreign government release his opponent's stolen emails, he now denies any election meddling by the same foreign government whose assistance he personally and publicly requested.

The mindset of the current president of the United States is not grounded in reality. Do not ever forget this.

Here's why this is important: It makes it impossible to know with certainty whether he intends his or his surrogates' statements seriously or as a means of trolling his opponents. At some point, it no longer matters. It's like "ironic" racism. Regardless of the speaker's intent, it advances the values embodied by the literal meaning of the statement.

When the former RNC chairman and the current White House chief of staff says that the Republican Party's standard bearer has considered amending the Constitution to curtail freedom of the press, take it seriously. Left unopposed, the mere statement alone advances authoritarian values.

Monday morning, get on the phone, call your members of Congress, and tell them that their most important job from now through impeachment or resignation is to oppose Trump. Call, write, protest. Make as much noise as you can for as long as is needed.
posted by compartment at 3:30 PM on April 30 [82 favorites]


Politico: Congressional leaders near agreement on spending deal
Congressional leaders were near an agreement Sunday on a massive spending deal that would deliver both parties funding for key priorities, according to four congressional aides from both political parties.

If clinched, the deal would deliver President Donald Trump billions in new defense spending to combat terrorism and $1.5 billion for enhanced border security, though it would deny him any money for a physical border wall, the sources said. It would fund the government through September and contain key bipartisan priorities: $2 billion in new funds for the National Institutes of Health and former President Barack Obama's cancer moonshot, as well as a long-term extension of miners' health insurance that expires on Friday.
There's still a hold-up over Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico, among other issues. It also bears pretty much no resemblance to Trump's budget request.
posted by zachlipton at 4:03 PM on April 30 [7 favorites]


Amazingly, no shots were fired in Pikeville, KY, where three armed groups converged on Saturday (Guardian).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:37 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Q: Is POTUS considering a constitutional amendment to change press laws?

PRIEBUS: "I think it's something that we've looked at." Of course not. The president swore to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the First Amendment protects some of most essential rights.
[fake]
posted by kirkaracha at 4:41 PM on April 30 [15 favorites]


I'm getting pretty nervous about this terrible ACA replacement bill. Can I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to ask everyone to call and leave a message on your congressional reps' voicemails? High-risk pools were a nightmare in the past, and there's no reason to believe they'd be better this time.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:53 PM on April 30 [16 favorites]


Johnny Wallflower, that article is insane. They brought a literal fasces! Like what the actual fuck?
posted by corb at 4:56 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


No sense of irony would be my guess.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:07 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


compartment, I used the last few paragraphs of your excellent comment in faxes and tweets to my reps. Thanks.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:09 PM on April 30 [4 favorites]


A few minutes later, more than 100 neo-Nazis marched into town (...) Asked why the group was late, one leader said something about car trouble.

no one wanted to sit in the back seat?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:10 PM on April 30


In between speeches, the neo-Nazis waved flags, saluted and chanted the names of their leaders.

Don't be coy, were they chanting "Trump, Trump, Trump"?
posted by peeedro at 5:15 PM on April 30 [6 favorites]


Dem candidate recruitment continues to soar:
Already 408 Democrats have thrown their hats into the ring [for House seats], a 58 percent increase over the 259 who had declared by this point in the run-up to the 2014 midterms.

A spokesperson for the [DCCC] told VICE News that the committee is in serious talks with more than 300 prospective candidates in about 70 Republican-held and open districts around the country.
===

In a major opportunity for a House pickup, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [FL-27] will not be running again. This seat went for HRC by 20 points; it should move from Likely GOP to Leans Dem.

===

Although I share the disappointment over KS-04, and the possibility of not picking up GA-06 and MT-AL, it's important to remember that even over-performing in a loss has the impacts we see above. More Dems are encouraged to run, GOP potential candidates stay out, GOP borderline incumbents decide to pursue other interests.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:10 PM on April 30 [35 favorites]


Wall Street Journal Balancing Lost Tax Revenue the Reagan Way: Gradually increasing the Social Security eligibility age can offset revenue loss from Trump’s tax cuts.
Repeating the Reagan reform by gradually raising the age for full benefits from 67 to 70 for those now under the age of 55 would reduce the annual cost of Social Security by about 15%, or 1% of GDP. Together with reforms of federal health-care spending, that should be enough to close the budget gap created by tax reform and increased defense outlays.
Obviously this is awful on a whole bunch of levels. But I'm stuck on what a betrayal it would be of his base.

If Trump wants more jobs available to currently unemployed people, he should make it easier, not harder, for older people to retire. Raising the retirement age would directly undercut his "jobs" promises as well as his "not messing with social security" promises. Also... manual labor messes up your body. His working class fans can't stay in their manual labor jobs until they are seventy.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:29 PM on April 30 [31 favorites]


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to retire from Congress
Her unexpected retirement marks the end of a storied career in which Ros-Lehtinen repeatedly broke political ground as a Cuban-American woman -- and gives Democrats an opportunity to pick up a South Florida congressional seat in 2018.

Ros-Lehtinen, 64, was elected last November to Florida’s redrawn 27th district, a stretch of Southeast Miami-Dade County that leans so Democratic that Hillary Clinton won it over Donald Trump by 20 percentage points. It was Clinton's biggest margin of any Republican-held seat in the country.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 6:29 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


They brought a literal fasces! Like what the actual fuck?
...
No sense of irony would be my guess.


They really want fascism. Actual, full-on, white-supremacist fascism. "National Socialist" on their banners fascism.

Some of these folks, just a week ago, claimed that their little dinner in honor of Hitler's Birthday was somehow not a fascist thing, and that leftists were just overreacting.

You can't have it both ways, fellas.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:55 PM on April 30 [11 favorites]


Repeating the Reagan reform by gradually raising the age for full benefits from 67 to 70 for those now under the age of 55 would reduce the annual cost of Social Security by about 15%, or 1% of GDP

And for 2017 only the first $127,500 of earnings is subject to Social Security. What is there any ceiling?
Increasing Payroll Taxes Would Strengthen Social Security

Of course also to take in to account is Trump's bullet point tax plan It's unclear but it seem like high income individuals will have the option of taking earnings as an S-Corp pass thru as corporate earnings at a lower rate, thereby not paying in to social Security or Medicare at all.
posted by readery at 6:59 PM on April 30 [11 favorites]


Of course also to take in to account is Trump's bullet point tax plan It's unclear but it seem like high income individuals will have the option of taking earnings as an S-Corp pass thru as corporate earnings at a lower rate, thereby not paying in to social Security or Medicare at all.

Yeah. When that bullet point came up my eyebrow raised a few inches. If you're looking to create a massive tax dodge for the upper class, turning Joe CEO into Joe CEO Inc. and giving them a lower tax rate is absolutely the first thing I would go for.
posted by Talez at 7:03 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


My daughter just turned 22. We were talking the other day about politics, and I was saying how the republicans wanted to get rid of medicare, and social security.

"Oh, I just figured we would never have that," she said.

Welcome to the wasteland.
posted by valkane at 7:19 PM on April 30 [17 favorites]






The entire AP article: "Congressional Republicans, Democrats reach agreement on $1T measure to fund government until Oct. 1."

Thank you, Associated Press.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:37 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Welcome to the wasteland.

I'm in my early thirties. I find it darkly funny when people who are older than me are offended when I say that no one my age expects to receive Social Security.

It's like people in their 60s remember a time when the welfare state wasn't under constant attack.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 7:39 PM on April 30 [38 favorites]


No indication whether it includes payments to insurance companies for Obamacare cost sharing reductions. Democrats should refuse to go along with a deal that doesn't include that. Otherwise they just leave the hostages to the Republicans.
posted by JackFlash at 7:40 PM on April 30


I'm in my 40s and I've sort of always assumed there wouldn't be social security waiting for me at the end of the line.
posted by Andrhia at 7:47 PM on April 30 [18 favorites]


Yeah, I'm 35, and literally no one has ever told me to think social security would even exist by the time I would be eligible.

It feels like a republican long-game propaganda thing. If you can convince younger folks that they'll never get social security, they won't want to pay into it, which helps ensure the end of social security.
posted by mrgoat at 7:47 PM on April 30 [31 favorites]


Fox News: Trump invites controversial Philippines leader Duterte to White House
Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sunday the friendlier ties are needed due to the military threat posed by North Korea.

"The purpose of this call is all about North Korea," Priebus told ABC's "This Week." "It doesn't mean that human rights don't matter."
[…]
Duterte suggested in a news conference Saturday that the Trump administration should back away from an intensifying standoff with North Korea, not in surrender, but to avoid risking a nuclear holocaust that could smother Asia.

"It would be good for America to just restrain a little bit and if I were President Trump, I'll just back out, not really in surrender and retreat, but just to let the guy realize that, 'Ah, please do not do it,'" Duterte said.
When a murderous dictator tells you to cool your jets, maybe you should rethink your life choices.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:55 PM on April 30 [31 favorites]


I'm 34 and also have literally never once seriously thought social security would be there for me. This also probably factors into a lot of distaste people my age have with paying into it (I don't share this view, mind).
posted by odinsdream at 7:56 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


literally no one has ever told me to think social security would even exist by the time I would be eligible.

Nobody? Literally? Have you ever gone to SSA.GOV? They have calculators that will show you your expected benefits under current law. You haven't listened to speeches by Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or many others? Nobody?
posted by JackFlash at 7:57 PM on April 30 [24 favorites]


"Yeah, I'm 35, and literally no one has ever told me to think social security would even exist by the time I would be eligible.

It feels like a republican long-game propaganda thing. If you can convince younger folks that they'll never get social security, they won't want to pay into it, which helps ensure the end of social security."


Ding-ding-ding! You win the prize! That's exactly it. THAT is why it pisses me off mightily when people my age (51) or younger say "we don't expect we'll ever get Social Security." Well, you won't if you fucking roll over and die instead of fighting back!

Don't play the role they want you to play. Insist that you are going to get the services you've been paying into, and that every other civilized country has, at a reasonable age. Don't take no for an answer! Assume that the system we were promised will be there for you and take steps to ensure it happens rather than being fatalistic.

Yes, this is a hot-button issue for me ... right at an age where I am likely to get hosed really badly if SocSec falls apart. But I want it there for everyone younger than I, too.

RAISE THE GODDAMNED INCOME CAP. The obvious answer, unless you're rich and selfish.
posted by litlnemo at 8:00 PM on April 30 [76 favorites]


When everyone is all "ooooh, there will be no social security", we should pause a moment - most Americans do not have enough to retire on and would not end up with enough to retire on even if they paid no social security taxes but instead invested the money. And most Americans are going to get too old to work full time - most of us are not going to be strong and vigorous until the very moment that we drop over dead. And you know, that will be a huge social problem - the transition from "old people get social security and retire when they get too old to work" to "old people either die on the street or are supported 100% by relatives". Now, I know the official line is we're all living in Fascist Utopia and no act of evil is too large and they'll just machine gun us if we get old and try to demand social services, but I'm just not sure that I really see an effective way to go from social security to zero social security without a huge political cost.

Trump's tax plan is terrible and dangerous, and if there's a way to sink social security it is definitely to make it an appropriations thing so that it can be cut and cut and cut, but I still have my doubts. Moving from a society where there is a major public benefit that solves a major public problem affecting the overwhelming majority of Americans to a society where that does not happen isn't as easy as the Republicans would like us to believe.

You guys, seriously, believe in social security. Clap for tinkerbell. Retirement programs are not in fact that left wing or anything - they've existed since the Iron Chancellor himself, Bismark as ever was, started them in Prussia.

The Republicans are evil but they're not magic.
posted by Frowner at 8:02 PM on April 30 [47 favorites]


SS is not a welfare program. It is money I have already paid, and I damn well expect to get it back, with interest. I am 44.
posted by Dashy at 8:03 PM on April 30 [39 favorites]


I apologize. Figuratively, used as an emphatic term, no one has ever told me to think social security would exist when I would be eligible. Literally, no one has, in person, ever told me to think so. I have certainly seen or heard claims to the contrary in political speeches and from the government agency whose existence depends on it still being there.
posted by mrgoat at 8:03 PM on April 30 [4 favorites]


Dude, I'm just exhausted and being honest with you. I'm very much in favor of social security existing, but at this point I'm not even confident I'll have clean water to drink at "retirement" age.
posted by odinsdream at 8:04 PM on April 30 [22 favorites]


Sam Levine, HuffPo: Georgia Is Trying To Block Newly Registered Voters From Taking Part In Fierce Runoff Election
Georgia election officials contend that the June runoff is simply a continuation of the special election this week, so they don’t have to allow newly registered voters to participate. The registration deadline for Tuesday’s election was March 20, and officials say anybody who registers after that day is not eligible to vote in the June runoff.

Ezra Rosenberg, co-director of the voting rights project at the Lawyers’ Committee, argues that under the federal law, Georgia can’t set the registration deadline for the June 20 runoff any earlier than 30 days before that election ― that is, May 22.
There's a reason I have a keyboard shortcut for the tag #FuckingRepublicans.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:04 PM on April 30 [41 favorites]


Of course, I still want social security and consider it a great thing. I vote accordingly, and am happy to pay into it. But if I'm to think about my own financial security, I can't count on republicans not fucking me out of it no matter what I do.

I'm gonna stop on this topic, it's getting derail-y and I think we're pretty much all on the same side here.
posted by mrgoat at 8:12 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


I should clarify that in my rant, when I said "you" I meant a general "you," not you specifically, mrgoat. :)
posted by litlnemo at 8:17 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


(In other words, there was no need for you to apologize.)
posted by litlnemo at 8:20 PM on April 30


If young people had once in their life seen the Democratic party like, actually fight for safety-net programs, then they might expect to get them
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:27 PM on April 30 [11 favorites]


Well, there is that. But, dammit, Dems like me have been trying to get them to fight for our whole lives.
posted by litlnemo at 8:33 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


No indication whether the deal includes payments to insurance companies for Obamacare cost sharing reductions.

Answering my own question, it seems that Democrats are holding to the legal position that the payments are not required to annually authorized in the budget because they are permanently encoded into the ACA. So to ask for budget authorization would be to weaken their legal position and put the payments up for hostage each year.

Instead they are asking for a verbal agreement from Trump to make the payments as currently required by the ACA law. Trump seems to have given in, but his promises are untrustworthy. Kind of a risky strategy, but probably the best Democrats can do right now until the current lawsuits are resolved by the Supreme Court. Democrats are hoping that the Supreme Court will agree that the payments are non-negotiable under current law.
posted by JackFlash at 8:54 PM on April 30 [12 favorites]


Trying to.

And thanks, people who aren't Millenials, for illustrating my point. I'm also setting up an appointment to talk about sterilization, because I am assuming abortion will be illegal within a few years. I don't want it to be, but that's not the question. The rage you're exhibiting is silly and misguided, but it's also telling. Treating us like we're the enemy just makes it harder for me to take your argument seriously.

Retirement in the US works on layers of grandfather clauses. Pensions are available to people who were in a job prior to a certain time. Ditto for 401K matches. Ditto -- one might easily reason -- for Social Security. I wish it weren't the case. But that's not the question.

If your plans involve believing in fairies or in me fighting for your right to access something that your generation is gleefully taking away from mine, you need to reconsider them.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 9:00 PM on April 30 [20 favorites]


Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sunday the friendlier ties are needed due to the military threat posed by North Korea.

Well, that's just good sense, that is. It's not like the combined military power of the US, ROK, and PRC would be sufficient to deter Kim from doing something monumentally dipshitted. And only a fool would think that the combined forces of the ROK and US would be sufficient to defeat a North Korean attack. No, obviously, the idea of defending the Korean peninsula only becomes a really credible idea if we bring the Filipino armed forces into the mix.

I look forward to Priebus's post-hoc rationalization for our inevitable make-out session with Erdogan. Only he can save us from the KISS Army?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:04 PM on April 30 [4 favorites]


steady-state strawberry, the rage is not at you or Millennials. The rage is at folks who are "fuck you, got mine" to younger generations. And that (younger generation) includes us Gen-Xers, for the most part, because proposed changes all exclude us (notice how it's usually people over 55 who are promised that SocSec or Medicare won't change for them? The oldest Gen-Xers, depending on your definition, are in their early 50s right now). But I do think that giving up and just letting them screw us over without a fight is unproductive (and also what the FYGM people want us to do), and I have been ranting about this for the last 25 years or so.

Giving up and assuming you'll just have to find another way to deal with old age is not specifically a Millennial thing. Gen-X has been doing it too and it's frustrating because for some of us, SocSec is going to have to be a major part of our retirement. You know when pensions started going away, unions disappeared, college prices started going up rapidly? Right about the time the oldest Gen-Xers hit the job market. Yeah, you've got it way worse, and that's wrong and should not be happening, but damn, we are scared of our future too, and they are going to pull the blanket out from under us almost as hard if we let them.

You know how many middle-aged people have no pension, and no or very little 401k/IRA etc.? It's a terrifyingly high number. (I didn't have a penny of retirement saved after my divorce. Luckily I have managed to mitigate that since but it really was luck and not merit that I was able to. I honestly live in terror of having to eat roadkill as an older person.)

We are NOT (well, at least, I am not) treating you as an enemy. You are absolutely on the same side. I want the US to stop screwing over Millennials. I fight for policies to that end. But one way I want that to happen is for the social safety net to exist for you and following generations. And I firmly believe that being fatalistic about it and assuming that it just won't be there is one way to ensure it won't.)

(N.b. this does NOT mean you shouldn't prepare for it not to exist. Just fight for it, that's all. Don't let them just take it away, while they laugh their way to the bank. Fight for you and for us and for everyone getting hosed by FYGM policies.)

Please do not read my comments as rage at you and your generational cohort. That's a rather uncharitable reading.
posted by litlnemo at 9:28 PM on April 30 [36 favorites]


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: "If young people had once in their life seen the Democratic party like, actually fight for safety-net programs, then they might expect to get them"

The GOP made a pretty big effort to kill SS under W, and the Dems stopped them.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:33 PM on April 30 [32 favorites]


Damn, never thought of it like that. Thanks for the sage advice.
posted by codacorolla at 9:35 PM on April 30


Really important note here: as the Social Security Trustee's Report confirms every year, the only reason to feel any apprehension at all is that rich people don't pay the same Social Security taxes everyone else does. Simply requiring them to do so, and giving them benefits proportional to their contributions like everyone else, takes care of any solvency issues all the way out to 2070. (As in, it makes 2070 the year when it might be necessary to dial benefits for everyone down below 100%, if we did absolutely nothing else during the next half-century.)

Or even if we can't muster the political will to touch the special low-tax status of the rich, a 2.9% bump in the current SS payroll tax resolves solvency issues all the way beyond the current horizon of estimates.

But there's really no reason to exempt wealthy people from investing in the security of society along with the rest of us. They probably benefit far more than anyone else from having a vastly expanded supply of labor to draw on compared to pre-Social-Security-Act circumstances where the elderly needed to be directly supported by their families. And of course a vastly expanded labor supply has helped to keep wages and salaries lower. (For all of us who remember being directly exhorted by George W. Bush to go out and spend, spend, spend to support the war effort, the wealthy are also leeching off of the layers of our consumerism-driven economy buoyed by those SS benefits as they're being spent.)

So any sky-is-falling talk about the imminent end of Social Security, or fables about SS being impossible to maintain as a result of demographic changes, or asking why should anyone have to pay SS taxes if it's going to be gone so soon? is like so many other things in politics an illusory fata Morgana issuing from the desperate desire and machinations of rich people to avoid paying taxes.

The Social Security program has been under attack like this since before it was even established—in 1961 Ronald Reagan released a vinyl record about how Social Security and Medicare would mean the end of freedom and if they were enacted the government would choose where everyone worked for them. But then of course when he ran for president it turned out he'd been talking about completely different legislation that didn't pass out of Congress and SS and Medicare were just fine; the fact that none of his apocalyptic predictions had come to pass did not indicate that he was full of shit.

The above links are from the 2015 version of the Social Security Trustee's Report, part of a longer list of possible payroll tax related solvency measures and an even longer list of solvency provisions using other approaches. Not-yet-permalinked 2016 numbers are available too: , , , , which seem to forecast slightly better outcomes but still basically say the same thing it does every year. Hopefully those will be replaced in a few months with the 2017 report...
posted by XMLicious at 11:32 PM on April 30 [67 favorites]


NYT: Under the Trump Tax Plan, We Might All Want to Become Corporations

Three paragraphs in the author explains why we can't solve this by turning ourselves into corporations: we become even more vulnerable to Republican health care shenanigans. Those of us who are not high-earning corporations would literally live or die by the whims of Paul Ryan (who has health care for life by birthright of his father, who was also in Congress.) Why is my corporation not entitled to the same benefits as his corporation? It turns out that in the Republican view, some corporations are more equal than other corporations.
posted by SakuraK at 12:14 AM on May 1 [5 favorites]


Sebastian Gorka to leave White House amid accusations of links to far-right

Ha HA! Wonderful news to wake up to on May Day. Please keep fucking off, Nazi punks.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 12:28 AM on May 1 [28 favorites]


Here in Denmark, one of this weekend's big stories was about a millionaire and entrepreneur who moved to the US and then did the calculations and found out that it would be cheaper and better for him to live in Denmark in spite of the Danish "high taxes". In the article he says that many Danes think the grass is greener in the US because taxes are lower, but they are mistaken and don't count in the cost of insurances, education and childcare.
Unfortunately, I can't access the actual article because of a paywall, here is the summary I read (in Danish for your translate experiments).
I have long suspected that would be the case, and that there are several reasons. The biggest reason is probably that US healthcare is so extremely expensive and inefficient, and for that to change you would need a huge bipartisan political effort — something like what the ACA was originally meant to be, but on a much larger scale.

Maybe solving this state for state would be simpler? Any state that went single payer would have huge leverage over the providers. Or they could do a German/Swiss version where the insurance companies still manage the payments but they are very strictly regulated so no-one pays more than about 2/3 of todays prices (because that is the international high level). If enough states proved it can be done, the argument against universal care would be weaker nationally.

As this election has demonstrated with nightmarish clarity, it means a lot to the world how Americans are doing. If you get a proto-fascist madman for president, it will affect our wellbeing in many ways. (This is my excuse for being meddlesome).
posted by mumimor at 12:30 AM on May 1 [35 favorites]


This is among the clearest, quickest demonstrations I've seen of the Democrat refusal to accept that Obamacare is an incredibly bad way to get citizens healthcare.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:22 AM on April 30 [9 favorites +] [!]


Does anybody believe that Obamacare is what Obama or any other Democrat envisioned as the ideal plan? It's the best they could force the Republican Sith Lords to accept, and they are still paying the political price for getting us that much. Democrats wanted true state-funded health care like every other first world nation has. We can thank the then Republican Congressional majority for never putting that option on the table.

But given the choice between Obamacare and the Republican health plan, which as far as I can tell is "if you're not a high-earning corporation, please go off into a clearing somewhere and quietly die", I will dig my heels in to defend Obamacare. It's not perfect but we don't retreat from the first stepping stone just because it isn't the destination.
posted by SakuraK at 12:45 AM on May 1 [21 favorites]


Simply requiring them to do so, and giving them benefits proportional to their contributions like everyone else,

Is there a really clear calculator somewhere that shows how things change when you tinker with it? I went to google about this and found social security payouts seem more complicated and less useful, especially for women, than I thought. Unless I'm reading it wrong, they average out your earnings over 35 years, including the years you don't work, which I guess just get a factor of zero? So if you've worked only some years, it doesn't seem like such a great guarantee. Unless I'm reading it wrong, which I totally could be.
posted by corb at 1:06 AM on May 1


The Trump campaign, and I still can't believe that's a thing, is claiming that they're spending $1.5 million to air this ad about the 100 day message the fake news won't let you see.
posted by zachlipton at 2:09 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


Is there a really clear calculator somewhere that shows how things change when you tinker with it? [snip] ...if you've worked only some years, it doesn't seem like such a great guarantee.

I think any calculator you'll to find is going to calculate based upon current rules rather than the varying ones in these alternative solvency scenarios.

Maybe you could provide an example of something you'd consider a great guarantee? The point of the system is that it is a guarantee, for everyone in society (when women who didn't work were relegated to spousal benefits that was an issue, yeah, but everyone's been forced out into the labor supply now; anyone who's still left out at this point certainly should be included) rather than a risk-mediated investment product that can evaporate when the wealthiest people fuck around and do things like cause the 2008 global financial crisis.

If wealthy people don't regard it as "useful" that such a backstop exists, and that therefore there's a small chunk of the economy set aside where it can't be used as the ante in a gamble remixed as derivatives nine different ways, too fucking bad. They shouldn't have spent the entire history of the country causing economic catastrophes with various forms of speculation and ways of shunting business and financial risk onto the rest of society.

They've been accumulating profits from the economy-wide and society-wide benefits of Social Security I mentioned above for more than half a century now while their relative contributions become vanishingly small as you move further up the income scale, and while more and more of total wealth and income has been moving into the richest hands and thereby been excluded from the cash flow supporting Social Security. It's time for them to have some real skin in the game too.

If they can afford to collectively plunk down the trillon-dollar chips on things like credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, they can afford to take part in making sure that people can at least get by if entire extended families live together during the parts of the cycle where it all goes to shit.
posted by XMLicious at 2:13 AM on May 1 [18 favorites]


when women who didn't work were relegated to spousal benefits that was an issue, yeah, but everyone's been forced out into the labor supply now; anyone who's still left out at this point certainly should be included

I was actually thinking about this specifically. Even 20 years ago it was super common that women didn't work outside the home, and even now I'd say there's a healthy portion of women who don't or who only started doing so in the last ten years. But if they go back 35 years and average them, then it doesn't matter if a woman started working in the last ten years, if she didn't work for the 25 before that it still looks like she's sunk. I mean none of this is new, exactly, I was just really surprised by it.
posted by corb at 2:35 AM on May 1 [7 favorites]


I would definitely be in favor of an altered calculation method that could do something like attribute part of a working person's contribution to non-working partners who are parenting children full-time and similar situations, so that those periods count more equally for each partner even if the relationship doesn't persist.

(I mean, the complexities involved kind of point to why people are enthusiastic about Universal Basic Income ideas I think, but since we're working with what we've got...)
posted by XMLicious at 2:47 AM on May 1 [7 favorites]


It's the best they could force the Republican Sith Lords to accept, and they are still paying the political price for getting us that much.

Not a single Republican in the Senate or the House voted for the ACA, and the House GOP immediately introduced a repeal bill.

It was the "blue dog " Democrats that had to be convinced, not the GOP.
posted by kewb at 3:15 AM on May 1 [10 favorites]


It was the "blue dog " Democrats that had to be convinced, not the GOP.

Not even that. There was one person who held out on the public option: Joe Lieberman.

After that act of betrayal he should have had every committee position stripped from him along with his Homeland Security chairmanship and he should have had to go beg Republicans for scraps.
posted by Talez at 3:52 AM on May 1 [49 favorites]


I can't find the piece in question, but in one of his exit interviews Obama mentioned the people he persuaded to pass the ACA knowing that doing so would get them booted out of office. The politics behind getting the bill into law were complex indeed, and it squeaked through - absolutely the art of the possible in practice. The idea that its flaws are the Democrat's fault, and something far finer could have been passed if Obama had the political will, rather than this being the best that could be done in the face of prolonged and angry opposition, just doesn't ring true from over here.

(Talking of the art of the possible, if you're not following along the latest on the nascent Brexit negotiations is that Europe is rather stunned by the degree of fantasy and off-planet - nay, off-galaxy - thinking in the UK's position. We'll have to see how it goes, but evidence is mounting that you can't wish unicorns into being no matter how hard you spit.)
posted by Devonian at 3:57 AM on May 1 [47 favorites]


It's sort of amazing that on one weekend the president was like, hey, maybe we'll have a nuclear war AND his CoS went after the First Amendment and this country is not like that scene in Airplane! where people are panicking and crying and rending their garments and suddenly a giant pair of boobs pops into the frame.

Honestly, my hot take on all this is that DJT and those enabling him are whipping up a nationalist sentiment that is going to be hard to put back in its box unless there's another OKC but then why would there be, Trump's in office. So even if Trump is like fuck it and quits and then Pence glowers his way through a failed presidency, you still have these fuckers thinking that hey, POTUS grabbed 'em by the pussy, that's a fine life ethos!
posted by angrycat at 4:05 AM on May 1 [8 favorites]


I don't know about another OKC but a guy in San Diego just shot 8 non-whites and committed suicide by cop.
posted by Talez at 4:25 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


It was the "blue dog " Democrats that had to be convinced, not the GOP.

But really it was Republican-leaning voters in the Blue Dog Democrats' districts who were standing in the way of a robust public option. Right? Because 1) they elected those Blue Dog Democrats and 2) They credibly threatened to elect a Republican instead if the Blue Dog Democrats voted for something too socialist, so that whatever their personal views, many of those Blue Dog Democrats demanded the concessions they did because they feared losing their seats.

When I say "We have to share power with Republicans at the national level" I don't just mean Republican politicians. I mean Republican voters too, even in Democratic districts. I feel like leftists a lot of times don't really believe that Republican (and conservative leaning Democratic) voters exist. They think "The people" want socialist programs and corrupt politicians are standing in their way. But whether it makes sense or not many of "the people" (especially in over-represented rural areas) want no such thing, and it is their preferences which represent the limits of what is politically possible. Not just poiticians' personal ideologies.

In other words - don't blame Joe Liberman or the Democratic party. Blame the people who elected Joe Liberman because they WANTED a Republican-lite.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:31 AM on May 1 [8 favorites]


And in this timeline Ross Douthat uses his column in the NYT to endorse Marine Le Pen as President of France over her opponent, whom he calls " a callow creature of a failed consensus".
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:33 AM on May 1 [13 favorites]


I don't know about another OKC but a guy in San Diego just shot 8 non-whites and committed suicide by cop.

One victim is dead. And don't read the comments on the articles unless you want to endlessly hear how "We don't know what his motivation was".
posted by mikelieman at 4:58 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


Does anybody believe that Obamacare is what Obama or any other Democrat envisioned as the ideal plan? It's the best they could force the Republican Sith Lords to accept

And the Republican Supreme Court sabotaged even that, the Medicaid expansion would've covered 14million more people in Republican states before the Roberts Court invented the doctrine of the coercive dormant commerce clause.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:08 AM on May 1 [5 favorites]


That Supreme Court decision is now being cited as precedent for why the government can't withold funding from "Sanctuary cities" though...

Given how over-represented conservatives are at the federal level, Democrats might find themselves leaning more and more on those "States rights" precedents to be allowed to rule themselves as they like in California and New York. Ironically.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:24 AM on May 1 [5 favorites]


Even 20 years ago it was super common that women didn't work outside the home

Maybe if you only count white women it was super common.
posted by winna at 5:36 AM on May 1 [35 favorites]


Happy Monday. Donald Trump thinks that Andrew Jackson was very mad about the Civil War, and also wants to know why we had a civil war. (Andrew Jackson died in 1845)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:39 AM on May 1 [45 favorites]


Even 20 years ago it was super common that women didn't work outside the home

Maybe if you only count white women it was super common.

I'm specifically not mentioning this to support or refute anyone's point in the larger conversation; what constitutes "super common" is subjective. Just looking at the facts, by 1997 overall workforce participation for women in the U.S. was 59%, which is very close to what it is today. The racial mix of the workplace was also very similar to what it is today, with white women at 58% and black women at 61%.

Tl;dr 1997 wasn't that long ago. Women were mostly done entering the workforce at their current rate by the late 1980s.
posted by Jpfed at 5:55 AM on May 1 [27 favorites]


It's not like we need more proof that he is extremely racist and stupid, but Jesus...
posted by Artw at 5:57 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm 35, and literally no one has ever told me to think social security would even exist by the time I would be eligible.

XMLicious beat me to saying everything I usually do when this come up. But I wanted to highlight two other things beyond what they said.

The Chief Actuary has two recent scores of the competing "philosophies" of Social Security "Reform". Republican Sam Johnson released an apocalyptic plan to "balance" the trust funds entirely through benefit cuts. The Republican plan to "save" Social Security is to preemptively end it. Johnson is the longtime ranking Republican on the House Social Security sub-committee, so he's not some newbie back bencher.

Meanwhile, John Larson of Connecticut offered an alternative plan slightly raising benefits, raising the income caps, and merging all of the trust funds together into one.

Both plans achieve actuarial balance across all time horizons to 75-years. One plan "saves" Social Security. The other saves it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:04 AM on May 1 [24 favorites]


Even 20 years ago it was super common that women didn't work outside the home

Maybe if you only count white women it was super common.


Also, historical data on women's employment is skewed because it was based on self-reporting and many women either (a) did not answer truthfully (due to stigma/toxic masculinity) or (b) did not meet the definition of "employed" at the time (e.g., they worked for compensation but didn't have an "occupation" or they worked on farms owned by their families or they were enslaved).
posted by melissasaurus at 6:06 AM on May 1 [19 favorites]


And in this timeline Ross Douthat uses his column in the NYT to endorse Marine Le Pen as President of France over her opponent, whom he calls " a callow creature of a failed consensus".

For those who don't want to waste their mental energy on Douchehat, apparently he has no problem with neo-Fascist xenophobia per se, he just doesn't like incompetent neo-Fascist xenophobics, like Trump. Le Pen knows what she's doing, so she's totally A-OK.
posted by dis_integration at 6:16 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


Trump: "People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War?"

OK, I know he doesn't read books, but I at least imagined he acknowledges their existence.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:17 AM on May 1 [39 favorites]


Someone should write a book where the South wins the Civil War. Very interesting!
posted by thelonius at 6:22 AM on May 1 [11 favorites]


this fucking guy
posted by localhuman at 6:28 AM on May 1 [18 favorites]


Even 20 years ago it was super common that women didn't work outside the home


I'm 59 and most of the women I know have worked a combination of not working outside the home, full time employment, and part time. In my case it was always working around husband number 1 and husband number 2's schedules. So for example, when I had my daughter I stopped working at all outside the home and then went part time when she started school so that I would always be home or available when she needed me. Now in hindsight it would have been smarter for me to work full time always but I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. If I outlive husband number 2 and his pension stops with his death I will be screwed but there we are. I expect I am not that uncommon.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:31 AM on May 1 [9 favorites]


Donald Trump thinks that Andrew Jackson was very mad about the Civil War, and also wants to know why we had a civil war.

He asserts Jackson could have prevented the Civil War, but Jackson himself predicted it and punted. After the Nullification Crisis, in which South Carolina threatened de facto succession over high agricultural tariffs, Jackson wrote, "the tariff was only the pretext, and disunion and southern confederacy the real object. The next pretext will be the negro, or slavery question." Jackson, without the advantage of hindsight, more accurately described the cause of the Civil War than our current president.
posted by peeedro at 6:33 AM on May 1 [52 favorites]


Why was there a Civil War....let me think...or maybe I could ask a 10 year old.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:38 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


He doesn't even realize that he's saying that a Democrat would have done a better job than a Republican, does he.
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


Civil War, boy, I don't know...
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:41 AM on May 1 [17 favorites]


never thought I'd see the captain of america marvel at civil war
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:47 AM on May 1 [25 favorites]


On Obama wiretapping claims: " 'I don't stand by anything. I just -- you can take it the way you want. I think our side's been proven very strongly. And everybody's talking about it. And frankly it should be discussed,' Trump said. 'That is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think it's a very big topic. And it's a topic that should be number one. And we should find out what the hell is going on.' "

"When Dickerson pressed Trump for further details, the president replied that 'you don’t have to ask me' because 'I have my own opinions. You can have your own opinions.' Dickerson followed up that he wanted Trump’s opinion as president, prompting Trump to say 'Okay, it's enough. Thank you,' and abruptly end the interview."

It's been said before, but he's a Chinese Room with a personality disorder.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:50 AM on May 1 [31 favorites]


The NYT is really killing it lately with "Facism: eh maybe not so bad!" and "let's all say something nice about Trump!" [real] this week.
posted by emjaybee at 6:52 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


He asserts Jackson could have prevented the Civil War, but Jackson himself predicted it and punted.

God have mercy on my soul for defending Andrew Jackson, but he didn't punt on it. He answered South Carolina's secessionist talk by pushing Congress to pass the Force Act, empowering the President to collect tariffs with the US Army if necessary.

Andrew Jackson was a Grade-A piece of shit, but he answered Calhoun's secessionist talk immediately and decisively at every turn: "Our federal Union - it must be preserved!"
posted by absalom at 6:52 AM on May 1 [30 favorites]


"let's all say something nice about Trump!" [real]

Literally the most comfortable person who has ever lived, and they can't bring themselves to afflict him. Can we revoke past Pulitzers as punishment?
posted by Etrigan at 6:54 AM on May 1 [17 favorites]


Why could that one not have been worked out?

Because the South wanted war. Congress passed the Corwin Amendment on March 2, 1861:
No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.
Lincoln endorsed the Corwin Amendment in his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861 and said:
I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.
The South attacked Fort Sumter on April 12.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:59 AM on May 1 [9 favorites]


Donald Trump thinks that Andrew Jackson was very mad about the Civil War, and also wants to know why we had a civil war.

HA HA HA we're all going to fucking die
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:00 AM on May 1 [11 favorites]


Lincoln endorsed the Corwin Amendment in his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861...

By which time, let us recall, Jefferson Davis had already been President of the CSA for sixteen days. They didn't even wait for Lincoln to be the President.
posted by Etrigan at 7:02 AM on May 1 [5 favorites]


HA HA HA we're all going to fucking die

"We'll see!" ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by photoslob at 7:04 AM on May 1 [19 favorites]


Republicans are marching ahead with a mammoth 593-page bill to deregulate Wall Street
Spearheaded by House Finance Chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the Choice Act begins by throwing out much of the banking oversight passed under President Obama’s administration, mostly through the Dodd-Frank act signed in 2010. But it goes further than that, rolling back oversight in a way that could dramatically exacerbate the likelihood of another financial crisis, according to experts in financial regulation.

“It’s a little hard to get your mind around everything this bill does, because there’s almost no area of financial regulation it doesn’t touch,” says Marcus Stanley, policy director for Americans for Financial Reform. “There’s a bunch of very radical stuff in this bill, and it goes way beyond repealing Dodd-Frank.”

posted by T.D. Strange at 7:05 AM on May 1 [16 favorites]


Trump: "People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War?"

Please, let's not pretend he was actually interested in a question. What he meant was, "I'm a bigly President and no Civil Wars are going on under me right now."

Unfit.
posted by petebest at 7:05 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


Paul Ryan (who has health care for life by birthright of his father, who was also in Congress.)

So this or similar things keep popping up, and can we not ground our arguments with alternative facts from facebook memes?

Members of Congress used to get the same health insurance options as any other federal employee (plus the option to get outpatient care at DC-area military facilities). Now they get the same health insurance options as any other obamacare participant, though the feds kick in the same subsidy they would towards the federal health care plans.

Similarly, MCs participate in one of the standard federal retirement plans, though they're off on a weird branch with IIRC Secret Service agents and some other groups that don't typically work a full 20-65 career with the feds.

No lifetime health care, even though the meme said so. No getting their salary for life, even though the meme said so. Your first assumption should be that MCs get the same benefits as other federal workers, since that's what's normally the case.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:05 AM on May 1 [16 favorites]


WaPo: Guns and religion: How American conservatives grew closer to Putin’s Russia
But the apparent increase in contacts in recent years, as well as the participation of officials from the Russian government and the influential Russian Orthodox church, leads some analysts to conclude that the Russian government probably promoted the efforts in an attempt to expand Putin’s power.

“Is it possible that these are just well-meaning people who are reaching out to Americans with shared interests? It is possible,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired from the CIA in 2015 after managing Russia operations for 30 years. “Is it likely? I don’t think it’s likely at all. . . . My assessment is that it’s definitely part of something bigger.”
Bonus - an account of a meeting between Putin and Franklin Graham.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:05 AM on May 1 [7 favorites]


Adding again to the very long list of things an AP high school student understands with far more nuance than the sitting president of the US.

The fact that Southern boys like Gowdy, who presumably had every last detail about every minor skirmish in the War of Northern Aggression hammered into his microcephalic noggin, have to sit and listen to this drivel is both just desserts and evidence of their craven complicity.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:08 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


Paul Ryan (who has health care for life by birthright of his father, who was also in Congress.)

Aside from the "health care for life" thing that ROU_X talked about, I think perhaps you meant Rand Paul there.
posted by Etrigan at 7:09 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


The fact that there is another updated memo is new. The part I bolded is new as far as I can tell. I knew about the Cohen Prague allegation but now 3 others also travelled to Prague at some point? And that the trump organization paid hackers is new also? Anyone here have a better memory than me?

This article seems to be about the original Steele dossier. Both of the allegations you mention are on page 34 of the version that Buzzfeed posted.
posted by diogenes at 7:12 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Starting to think Trump is practically challenging Sarah Vowell to write an Andrew Jackson book at this point.
posted by drezdn at 7:15 AM on May 1 [9 favorites]


Another interesting WaPo story today: Why did Trump win? New research by Democrats offers a worrisome answer.

Probably best to go straight to the study's findings (pdf hosted on Post site), then read the Post story, which, to its credit, isn't just a rehash of the results but includes an interview with the group's director.

A couple of caveats: iirc from my journalism days, Priorities USA is about as progressive-wing as it gets; not that that's a bad thing, but I'd expect it to influence any focus group results. Also usual warnings to not get too angry about findings on leopards/face-eating voters and look instead at the findings on Obama voters who dropped out.

tl;dr: Democratic Party needs to beat people over the head that it will push economic policies that help lower- and middle-class voters. Other interesting stuff in there, too, though.
posted by martin q blank at 7:16 AM on May 1 [14 favorites]


One of the things people never seem to bring up when they talk about our huge, beautiful president is that he is such a great question-asker. This is a great example. No one has ever before asked "Why Was There a Civil War?"

It seems like that would be a topic about which someone would have asked that question, does it not? "Why was there a Civil War?" So fundamental, and yet, so elusive.

Just think though, if there had been a body of literature, history, 30 Hour Ken Burns Documentaries, tv shows, and books about the Civil War, from which to derive an answer to that ethereal question. Yet I doubt there is even a simple Infowars link explaining Why was there a Civil War? I checked out Stormfront, and they had no mention of the Civil War, though many members were concerned about the concurrently occurring and apparently better-known War of Northern Aggression.

Thankfully, however, our huge, beautiful President has at least come up with a solution to the Civil War: Andrew Jackson. Sure, Ol' Mass Murderer (as he was affectionately known) died more than two decades before the Civil War. No matter. He would have fixed it better than that Lincoln fellow with the funny hat. "I like Presidents who don't get shot in the head," Trump will say later today. And he'll be right. He'll be right.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:18 AM on May 1 [38 favorites]




But what is civil war? It's a difficult question because civil war is impossible to describe. One might ask the same about birds. What are birds? We just don't know.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:24 AM on May 1 [38 favorites]


tl;dr: Democratic Party needs to beat people over the head that it will push economic policies that help lower- and middle-class voters. Other interesting stuff in there, too, though.

Bailing out banks with zero consequences while doing nothing for foreclosed homeowners is the gift that will never stop giving.

But that takeaway burys the real lead:
A sizable chunk of Obama-Trump voters — 30 percent — said their vote for Trump was more a vote against Clinton than a vote for Trump. Remember, these voters backed Obama four years earlier.

So. Misogyny. Clinton rules. Biden would've won with the same message. There's nothing new here. Everything is the reason, but mostly the misogyny and Clinton's long history in the public eye and as the focus of a 30 year Republican negativity campaign against her that no other candidate will ever have again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:27 AM on May 1 [40 favorites]


But what is civil war? It's a difficult question because civil war is impossible to describe. One might ask the same about birds. What are birds? We just don't know.

What is a horse shoe? What does a horse shoe do? Are there any horse socks? Is anybody listening to me?
posted by diogenes at 7:28 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


From the Priorities/WaPo focus group:
Do you think Congressional Republicans' economic policies will favor the wealthy?
Obama-Trump voters: 40%

Do you think Congressional Democrats' economic policies will favor the wealthy?
Obama-Trump voters: 42%
Wow. I mean, the difference probably isn't statistically significant. But we're living in different realities, here. It shouldn't even be a contest.
posted by Jpfed at 7:31 AM on May 1 [5 favorites]




tl;dr: Democratic Party needs to beat people over the head that it will push economic policies that help lower- and middle-class voters.

"Medicare For All"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:34 AM on May 1 [16 favorites]


Do you think Congressional Democrats' economic policies will favor the wealthy?

I think this question is badly phrased. Surely it's much more important whether the policies will help the middle or working class. It's not a zero-sum game after all.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:35 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


The House won't let zombiecare die; Pence is leaning hard on the moderates and there is noise that they think they can get the votes. Call your Reps!
posted by emjaybee at 7:35 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


So much of this is the US and the rest of the world being taken on Donald's, narcissistic voyage of discovering (or being forced to discover) so much of the world he has had no interest in whatsoever.

All of this 'nobody knew' and 'people don't realize....civil' war is this narcissist telling us what he is learning about and what people are telling him. He has to transpose into 'nobody knew and people don't realize' because his brain won't let him function under the premise that if he didn't know this, or question this before then obviously no one else has done much with it. He has the best brain yadda yadda. This is narcissism.

Besides it being absolutely horrifying to watch in real time the attempt at educating a narcissistic dolt who has the power to wipe out humanity he is also providing and open window on everything he is being told and since he changes his tune day by day it's possible to track different conversations in almost real time. And depending on the words and phrases he uses it's also possible to make good guesses as to who is actually talking through his mouth at any given time.

I regularly switch from hide under the covers horrified and being totally fascinated by how much insight into what is going on behind the scenes that Donald's great and wonderful brain is letting the whole world in on.

Mostly though I have to just hide under the covers because holy hell it's surreal.
posted by Jalliah at 7:36 AM on May 1 [56 favorites]


NYT: Rodrigo Duterte Says He May Be Too Busy for White House Visit

Duterte reported to need to wash his hair tonight, sorry [/fake].

Seriously though, Trump is so radioactive that brutal murderous strongmen are like, "I can't make time for you" ?
posted by dis_integration at 7:44 AM on May 1 [19 favorites]


I feel like we are overestimating the reason for his Civil War comments by ascribing them to his ignorance instead of seeing them as a dogwhistle to racists.
posted by bootlegpop at 7:49 AM on May 1 [32 favorites]


I expect politicians to really drive an economic wedge between younger and older voters, because the pressing economic concerns of the groups are so different. And the resentment is strong. So, it would be smart for the Dems to make a big play for younger voters, even if they have to spite Baby Boomers like me very visibly to do it. Hey DNC, be less traditional and more smart, k? (I can't even imagine a world so bad that woke younger voters would embrace Trump on social issues. Really don't want that to be the scenario.)
posted by puddledork at 7:52 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


I feel like we are overestimating the reason for his Civil War comments by ascribing them to his ignorance instead of seeing them as a dogwhistle to racists.

If this were a prepared speech, I'd agree with you, but in the battle between dumb and evil in Trump's head, always bet on dumb.
posted by Etrigan at 7:52 AM on May 1 [23 favorites]


T.D. Strange, thanks for making that point. I agree wholeheartedly that misogyny was real and significant, and it made the 30-year smear campaign all the more potent.

I think the authors were arguing that the vote against Clinton was because the Dems didn't clearly and sufficiently make themselves the party of economic change. (the results Jpfed cited.)

Now, would the voters have gotten that message if Bernie or Biden or whatever generic male was the nominee instead of a woman? Possibly, even probably, but the focus groups don't go there (despite the capability to break out opinions by gender) -- as I said, because Priorities USA has, well, its priorities, which are pushing support for progressive economic policies and social programs. So it's a little disappointing. I posted mostly because a) I'm kind of a policy wonk due to grad school and b) I appreciated the breakout and comparison of Obama-to-Trump voters vs. dropout Obama voters, which I hadn't seen before.
posted by martin q blank at 7:53 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


I think the authors were arguing that the vote against Clinton was because the Dems didn't clearly and sufficiently make themselves the party of economic change. ... as I said, because Priorities USA has, well, its priorities, which are pushing support for progressive economic policies and social programs.

Has anyone with a pet cause come out and said, "I thought it would be my thing that was the real reason Clinton lost, but then I looked at the numbers and, huh, I guess not."?
posted by Etrigan at 7:55 AM on May 1 [21 favorites]


One nice wrinkle to the whole Republican talking point about how the Civil War was actually about "states' rights" is that it's true in the exact opposite sense than they intend.

What were the crises facing the South? Well, long term they had a demographic problem; the Midwest and West weren't exactly prime plantation territory, and slavery was increasingly a marginal institution inside the US. That wasn't going to kill them immediately, though. What was going to give them grief short-term was Northern recalcitrance in providing the necessary assistance to keep their increasingly rebellious slaves at bay. All the Fugitive Slave Laws and Dred Scott decisions in the world wouldn't stop Northerners from shrugging and mounting a half-assed search when your personal slave runs away during a summer up north. All the fiery denunciations in the world wouldn't stop Northern politicians from exercising their freedom of speech to declare John Brown a hero. Both of these are states' rights issues, alright, but the rights in question are the rights of theNorthern states to manage their affairs the way they see fit.

Shoving slavery into a states' rights mold is, AFAICT, a latter-20th-century development caused by assuming that since desegregation was a Federal mandate, abolitionism must've been too.
posted by jackbishop at 7:57 AM on May 1 [24 favorites]


How can anyone question the cause of the Civil War? Marvel just made a whole movie about it last year!

In conclusion, Tony Stark is a land of contrasts.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:01 AM on May 1 [18 favorites]


What is a horse shoe ? What does a horse shoe do? Are there any horse socks? Is anybody listening to me?

You fools had your chance to elect Lincoln Chafee
posted by thelonius at 8:02 AM on May 1 [13 favorites]


One of the things people never seem to bring up when they talk about our huge, beautiful president is that he is such a great question-asker.

To be fair, it's hard to top "is our children learning?"
posted by entropicamericana at 8:04 AM on May 1 [9 favorites]


I feel like we are overestimating the reason for his Civil War comments by ascribing them to his ignorance instead of seeing them as a dogwhistle to racists.

It's both. Call it an accidental dogwhistle. This isn't Trump speaking this is him recalling some conversation he had about the 'civil war' likely with one of the hardcore racists he has advising him or has appointed. They were 'questioning', they were trying to explain something to him or they were directly working at getting their racist views into his brain. I guarantee that if he had had a different conversation about the Civil War from a non racist dogwhistling viewpoint he would not have said what he said. It wouldn't even be a question in his mind in the first place.
posted by Jalliah at 8:04 AM on May 1 [34 favorites]


Seriously though, Trump is so radioactive that brutal murderous strongmen are like, "I can't make time for you" ?

It's probably more likely that he is worried about getting turned over to a international court once he is out of his country or that he fears a coup while out of town.
posted by srboisvert at 8:10 AM on May 1 [13 favorites]


“It’s a little hard to get your mind around everything this bill does, because there’s almost no area of financial regulation it doesn’t touch,” says Marcus Stanley, policy director for Americans for Financial Reform. “There’s a bunch of very radical stuff in this bill, and it goes way beyond repealing Dodd-Frank.”

It will be interesting to see how some multinational banks react. There are an awful lot of large Canadian-US banks these days that have Canada's serious sober regulation on one side of the border and will soon have an even less regulated situation on the US side.

It will be pretty telling if they decide to pull back or to roll the dice.
posted by srboisvert at 8:16 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


chris24: People Across This State Put On Tutus In A Show Of Love, Tolerance, & Acceptance

For a bit more context, here's a new post I made about (former*) Wyoming resident Larry "Sissy" Goodwin, a Vietnam veteran, retired professor and well-known crossdresser, who was referenced by Republican Sen. Mike Enzi when asked about LGBTQ rights in Wyoming at a high school Q&A session. Enzi thought it was a good idea to share an anecdote about a man being surprised at the fact that he gets beat up for “wearing a tutu to the bar.”

* Former only because Goodwin and his wife moved to Oregon back in 2015 - Sissy is still alive, and he received an apology from Enzi after Mike got national attention for that victim-blaming comment.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:31 AM on May 1 [7 favorites]


Joey Michaels: Every super villain need his theme song.

Don't you besmirch Al Wilson's northern soul song like that!

Seriously, fuck Trump for taking a trite and tired poem and making it into xenophobic hate-speech.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


POLL: The Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

□ Confederate flag clearly aesthetically superior
□ President Jackson too dead to do anything but be really angry
□ Rarely was the question asked, is our peoples warring?
□ Lack of presidential Twitter account
□ Unknown but it's probably something to do with our nation's inner cities
□ Jared Kushner not yet invented
□ President Davis clearly desperate to get something done in first 100 days
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:37 AM on May 1 [53 favorites]


One nice wrinkle to the whole Republican talking point about how the Civil War was actually about 'states' rights' is that it's true in the exact opposite sense than they intend.

You already mentioned the Fugitive Slave Act, which allowed the Federal government to capture runaway slaves in free states and return them to the South, overriding the free states' personal liberty laws. So yeah, the exact opposite of "states rights."
Several states cited non-enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act as a reason for seceding.

Also, new Confederate states had to allow slavery under the Confederate Constitution. They wouldn't have the right to be free states.
The Confederates also inserted references to God and cut off funding to the Post Office in their Constitution. The past is never dead. It's not even past.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:49 AM on May 1 [51 favorites]


Donald Trump blames constitution for chaos of his first 100 days (The Guardian, April 30, 2017) -- The president is learning the limits of power
In an interview with Fox News to mark the 100-day mark, he declared himself “disappointed” with congressional Republicans, despite his many “great relationships” with them.

He blamed the constitutional checks and balances built in to US governance. “It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.
WUT.

From Trumpiteers proclaiming that "Finally, a president upholds his oath and defends the Constitution against its enemies, domestic as well as foreign," (American Greatness, January 22nd, 2017), to almost sorta working at being presidential for nearly 100 days and he says "fuck that old shit, burn it up and make me god-emperor!"

Or is he going to cross out out the parts of the constitution he doesn't like, like the personal Bible of a Cafeteria Christian who doesn't want to turn the other cheek, or treat their neighbor as themselves?

Also, this is the dude who HAS THE DECK STACKED IN HIS FAVOR. Republican control of House, Senate and the fooking White House, what else does he want? Oh, now the great deal-maker is getting tired of winning making deals where he can't bully the other party? Boo hoo.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:58 AM on May 1 [50 favorites]


People don't ask that question, but why is there a constitution?
posted by diogenes at 9:02 AM on May 1 [18 favorites]


Confederate flag clearly aesthetically superior

Which Confederate flag?
What you're probably thinking of as "the Confederate flag" was never a flag of the Confederacy.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:03 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


The percentage of Republicans who see Russia as an unfriendly state has fallen from 82% in 2014 to 41% now, according to a CNN/ORC poll.

This echoes 2010 and the sudden drop in Miami Heat fans thinking that LeBron James is overrated
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:06 AM on May 1 [7 favorites]


The Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

I started to write a satirical comment about how no doubt he was wondering why James Buchanan's 1861 Peace Conference / the Crittendon Compromise did not succeed, but then I started bitterly laughing when I remembered this man is in charge of nuclear weapons and could not continue.
posted by corb at 9:08 AM on May 1 [14 favorites]


CBS News thing in the local noon news just said Congress' budget bill would be "Trump's biggest accomplishment to date."

The media is worse than useless.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:08 AM on May 1 [18 favorites]


Really, would it be so bad if he were a dictator? American Greatness says no. I think.
To be sure, Trump manipulated the media in much the same way savvy dictators do. Also, he is loud and he loves gold. And he doesn’t tolerate nonsense from the “lying press.” Where I was raised, though, what Trump has been doing with the media is called standing up for yourself. To the media, however, a Republican that stands up for himself is “dangerous.”
...
The Ninth Circuit demanded of Trump that parts of his executive order be rewritten. Rather than waste more time and energy challenging the ruling, the Trump Administration took its licks, and made the necessary changes. I can’t seem to remember Mao turning to his lawyer, rather than his gun, when his enemies successfully opposed him. Then again, my mind is soup after years of watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
...
In 100 days, President Trump has returned more power to the people and their elected representatives in government than has any president in the last 70 years. Because of Trump’s unwillingness to ignore the bizarre court rulings against his executive order on immigration; thanks to Trump’s respect for the legislative branch (when, frankly, none should be given to Congress); and thanks to Trump’s willingness to buck his own supporters in the name of doing what’s right in foreign policy, he is helping us make America Great Again.
Yeah, you may want to stop there, it's not going to get any better or more coherent.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:10 AM on May 1 [5 favorites]


Why are we quoting American Greatness here again? Isn't that an astroturf party of the Trump campaign written by a Guiliani speechwriter? Is 'Trump Campaign Supports Trump' a thing we should care about?
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:22 AM on May 1 [9 favorites]


And the rest of the masthead consists of wingnut welfare full timers.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:26 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


In 100 days, President Trump has returned more power to the people and their elected representatives in government than has any president in the last 70 years.

I've figured it out. There is no Donald Trump, and there never was. There is only what we want him to be, the projection of our collective psychosis onto some kind of empty orange matrix.

Also, the real treasure was friendship.
posted by Behemoth at 9:30 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


As this election has demonstrated with nightmarish clarity, it means a lot to the world how Americans are doing. If you get a proto-fascist madman for president, it will affect our wellbeing in many ways. (This is my excuse for being meddlesome).

Without reading any of the rest of the thread after this, 1) DUH! and 2) I'm sorry about this president and 3) Americans, DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR. It's more than just you or the country. If we lose and things suck, it hurts a lot more people than us.

If they can afford to collectively plunk down the trillon-dollar chips on things like credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, they can afford to take part in making sure that people can at least get by if entire extended families live together during the parts of the cycle where it all goes to shit.

I like how people keep talking as if the Republicans and the rich aren't bloodthirsty death cult whose only joy is pain, yours, theirs, all pain, gaping maw of misery and mayhem until all is a boot stomping on a human face forever and ever and ever down here we float etc. Seriously we had the Roman Empire then the Dark Ages we had Pax Mongolica then the centuries of illiterate nomadism adcross their realms we had the industrial and computer revolution...do you think we reigned in the hellish death worship because we didn't. Yawning maw of death.

I don't know about another OKC but a guy in San Diego just shot 8 non-whites and committed suicide by cop.

we float

It's been said before, but he's a Chinese Room with a personality disorder.

and float

Republicans are marching ahead with a mammoth 593-page bill to deregulate Wall Street
Spearheaded by House Finance Chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the Choice Act begins by throwing out much of the banking oversight passed under President Obama’s administration, mostly through the Dodd-Frank act signed in 2010. But it goes further than that, rolling back oversight in a way that could dramatically exacerbate the likelihood of another financial crisis, according to experts in financial regulation.

“It’s a little hard to get your mind around everything this bill does, because there’s almost no area of financial regulation it doesn’t touch,” says Marcus Stanley, policy director for Americans for Financial Reform. “There’s a bunch of very radical stuff in this bill, and it goes way beyond repealing Dodd-Frank.”
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:05 PM on May 1 [5 favorites +] [!]


Yeah they wait until outrage fatigue for this FLOAT WE FLOAT

From the American Greatness article upthread: "After 100 days of the dreaded dictator what can we Trump supporters say to our fellow Americans? Do we apologize? Do we hang our heads in shame? No! We turn to our Leftist friends and say, “you’re welcome.”...Rather than acting the part of a dictator, Trump is the ultimate democrat. In a way, Trump is like Napoleon in reverse. When Napoleon rose to power, he legitimized his coronation by crowning himself emperor as the Pope looked on. Thus, Napoleon stood above all. In Trump—the Left’s newest fascist bogeyman—we have a leader who has taken the vast powers of his office and slowly started returning it to where it belongs. Trump is taking the imperial crown from atop his head, cutting it into equal parts, and handing each component to the other two branches of government—all while standing eye-to-eye with the legislative and judicial branches.

Some tyrant.

To my Leftist friends, I say this: If Trump is truly a tyrant as you believe, he’s not very good at it. So, please, quit whining and focus on the future.


WE FLOAT
posted by saysthis at 9:30 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Why are we quoting American Greatness here again?

I was hoping to find that they had some issue with Trump getting upset at being limited by the Constitution. Instead, I found that convoluted mess.

Sorry about pulling that in here.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:31 AM on May 1


The new FY2017 budget bill is seriously the best news of the past 102 days!

WaPo: Eight ways Trump got rolled in his first budget negotiation

Highlights include:
  • Explicit restrictions against using appropriations to build a border wall;
  • Big boosts for biomedical & energy research: NIH up by $2B, ARPA-E up by $15M;
  • Only a small trim (1%) to EPA, with no staff cuts;
  • Planned Parenthood funding preserved at current levels.
The WaPo article explicitly mentions the Dem and Republican congresscritters who helped make this happen (eg, on NIH: "Republican appropriators who care about biomedical research, including Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), delivered."). If these are your represntatives/senators, be sure to call and thank them.
posted by Westringia F. at 9:38 AM on May 1 [60 favorites]


Evan Osnos has a piece in the New Yorker discussing the ways in which Trump could be removed from office. We've gone over this material again and again, but it's good to see it discussed in depth in a major publication.

How Trump Could Get Fired
posted by Surely This at 9:42 AM on May 1 [9 favorites]


For those who don't want to waste their mental energy on Douchehat, apparently he has no problem with neo-Fascist xenophobia per se, he just doesn't like incompetent neo-Fascist xenophobics, like Trump. Le Pen knows what she's doing, so she's totally A-OK.

So he's saying she can make the trains run on time.
posted by JackFlash at 9:43 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


Also, good news: Trump: Slash the health research budget. Congress: No.

Lawmakers increased the agency’s budget by $2 billion for the second year in a row.

Cthulu is trying to devour the government, but it's choking. We are bigger than the deathlords.
posted by saysthis at 9:45 AM on May 1 [10 favorites]


So he's saying she can make the trains run on time.

It's France. The best you can do is make sure the rail worker strikes start on time.
posted by uosuaq at 9:49 AM on May 1 [16 favorites]


FB Live link to sit-in in Tx. Gov. Abbot's office to demand he not sign the anti-sanctuary bill. I assume all these folks will be hustled out and/or arrested eventually, but I'm proud of them.
posted by emjaybee at 9:51 AM on May 1 [17 favorites]


Even 20 years ago it was super common that women didn't work outside the home, and even now I'd say there's a healthy portion of women who don't or who only started doing so in the last ten years. But if they go back 35 years and average them, then it doesn't matter if a woman started working in the last ten years, if she didn't work for the 25 before that it still looks like she's sunk.

What you are missing is that Social Security provides spousal benefits. Even if one spouse never worked a day in their life, they receive an additional 50% of the working spouse's benefit in their own name. So together, the two spouses receive 150% of the working spouse's benefit, even if one never worked.

If the working spouse dies first, then the non-working spouse's benefit increases to 100% for their remaining life.

If one spouse only works part-time, then they will receive either 100% of their own earned benefit or else 50% of their full-time spouse's benefit, whichever is larger.
posted by JackFlash at 9:52 AM on May 1 [18 favorites]


Rodrigo Duterte Says He May Be Too Busy for White House Visit

He's washing his hair that day
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:03 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


Trump Knows Jack about Andrew Jackson. SAD!
Today we hear ‘nationalism’ used as a byword for xenophobia, racism and militarism. Jackson had his mix of each. But Jackson thought the crisis, what Calhoun was doing could not have been more important. He actually wanted to march an army down to South Carolina and hang Calhoun. To the extent Jackson knew about the Civil War and was “really angry” about it, he was really angry at the Southern planter aristocrats who would later start the Civil War. He was ready to go to war in 1832-33 to vindicate the union and popular democracy – two concepts that to him were basically inseparable. In other words, if we take Trump’s comments on their own terms he’s completely wrong. Jackson thought the issue couldn’t be more important and he was ready to go to war and crush the nullifiers.
...
Trump’s claim in this interview that the Civil War didn’t need to happen and could have been worked out is rooted in Southern pro-slavery revisionism (and its descendent, contemporary neo-Confederacy) and more recently in the intellectuals who were and are the seedbed of what we now call the alt-right. Both Jackson and Calhoun were slaveholders. But slavery and Southern sectionalism were Calhoun’s guidestars. The crisis of the early 1830s was his effort to draw a line, a bastardized constitutional line to protect slavery and Southern power in what he accurately believed was an inevitable conflict. On this front, in addition to his narrow misunderstanding of Jackson’s feelings ‘about the Civil War’, Trump is far more in the Calhounite tradition than the Jacksonian one. Indeed, it’s from the descendants of Calhounism that Trump draws his greatest political punch.

posted by T.D. Strange at 10:04 AM on May 1 [13 favorites]


Happy to report that the federal budget also includes:
  • Full funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (up by $1 million, see pg. 55-56 here)
  • A $2 million increase to both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities endowment (source)
  • Full funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (source)
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:05 AM on May 1 [55 favorites]


The Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

Also, people had been trying to "work that out" since 1820, if not since the very fucking beginning
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:08 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


Planned Parenthood funding preserved at current levels.

Although it should be noted that last month Congress passed a law allowing states to divert Planned Parenthood federal funds to other organizations. Fifteen (Republican) states have done this so far. The funds generally go to conservative forced birth organizations.

The law passed the Senate 51-50, requiring Mike Pence to step in as tie-breaker.
posted by JackFlash at 10:08 AM on May 1 [30 favorites]


Producers IMG Original Content and Carole Shorenstein Hays (Fences, Caroline or Change, Doubt, Take Me Out, Fun Home, A Doll's House, Part 2) announced today that Academy Award-winning filmmaker, best-selling author, and political icon, Michael Moore will bring his thought-provoking, controversial fare to Broadway in The Terms of My Surrender, his theatrical debut. Directed by Tony Award-winner, Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot, Hedwig and the Angry Inch), the limited 12-week engagement will begin previews at Broadway's Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street) on Friday, July 28, 2017 with an official opening night set for Thursday, August 10, 2017.

So, the question is posed: "Can a Broadway show take down a sitting President?"

Well, it's time to find out. (press release)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:13 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


I'm finding it a bit odd to keep reading comments about "now the rest of the world will not respect us any longerto Lead The Way!" From a European perspective, we never did. I cannot remember a time in my life when "American" wasn't a shorthand for boorish, aggressive, shortsighted, and egocentric. American Exceptionalism has always been distasteful, deluded and off-putting. Trump is just confirming what we knew all along was lurking under the surface, and damn right we're not going to forget it.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 10:14 AM on May 1 [11 favorites]


> So, the question is posed: "Can a Broadway show take down a sitting President?"

Trick question -- John Oliver EVISCERATED said President quite some time ago, so he's not sitting, he's lying on the floor of the Oval Office surrounded by his entrails.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:16 AM on May 1 [12 favorites]


Bloomberg: Trump Says He’d Meet With Kim Jong Un Under Right Circumstances
“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”
...
“Most political people would never say that,” Trump said of his willingness to meet with the reclusive Kim, “but I’m telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him. We have breaking news.”
...
Kim has never met with a foreign leader since taking charge after his father’s death in 2011 and hasn’t left his isolated country.
...
Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was the last top U.S. official to meet with a North Korean leader. She discussed the country’s nuclear program with Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, in 2000. At the time, she was the most senior official to visit the Stalinist state in the 50 years since the Korean War.
posted by cjelli at 10:17 AM on May 1


NYT: Rodrigo Duterte Says He May Be Too Busy for White House Visit

Duterte reported to need to wash his hair tonight, sorry [/fake].

Seriously though, Trump is so radioactive that brutal murderous strongmen are like, "I can't make time for you" ?


Dang it, you preemptively stole my joke

And I read the damn thread, too
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:17 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


CNN: Trump administration ending Michelle Obama's girls education program
The "Let Girls Learn" program, which she and President Barack Obama started in 2015 to facilitate educational opportunities for adolescent girls in developing countries, will cease operation immediately, according to an internal document obtained by CNN.

While aspects of the initiative's programming will continue, employees have been told to stop using the "Let Girls Learn" name and were told that, as a program unto itself, "Let Girls Learn" was ending.
Let's have a big round of applause for Ivanka's advocacy of women's empowerment here. This is the most petty, spiteful administration.
posted by zachlipton at 10:23 AM on May 1 [92 favorites]


Another interesting WaPo story today: Why did Trump win? New research by Democrats offers a worrisome answer.

Probably best to go straight to the study's findings (pdf hosted on Post site), then read the Post story, which, to its credit, isn't just a rehash of the results but includes an interview with the group's director.
(posted by martin q blank)

What really stands out in that survey is how incredibly stupid those voters are. Excuse my language, but really? A plurality of these people believed that Trump would:
Protect Social Security for senior citizens
Protect Medicare for senior citizens
Create good paying jobs for American workers
Make sure that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance
Clean up corruption in gov't
Crack down on the outsourcing of American jobs
Make sure that wealthy pay their fair share of taxes
Keep Wall Street in check

Really?

I know that good manners and saintly examples say we should forgive these people that they are ignorant for they know not what they are doing, but karma law says they deserve to be stripped of their healthcare and Social Security and have their homes taken away by unregulated bankers. And be reborn as worms when they die.
posted by mumimor at 10:26 AM on May 1 [27 favorites]


I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart.

Yep, ol' Big Heart Jackson. That's why it was called the Trail of Lollipops!
posted by kirkaracha at 10:27 AM on May 1 [17 favorites]


So, the question is posed: "Can a Broadway show take down a sitting President?"

is Ford's Theater technically part of broadway
posted by Greg Nog at 10:27 AM on May 1 [45 favorites]


Let's have a big round of applause for Ivanka's advocacy of women's empowerment here. This is the most petty, spiteful administration.

#thanksivanka
posted by galaxy rise at 10:28 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with [Kim Jong Un], I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”

Contrast that with Reince Preibus, also today:
Anchor: Can you imagine a scenario where President Trump and Kim Jong Un sit face-to-face and have a conversation?
Prieubs: Not right now.
Anchor. Can you see that?
Priebus: I can't, but right now...unless [he] was willing to disarm...but you know, so, the question, I think the answer is probably not and I don't see that happening.
Or to Trump in 2016:
Mr. Trump, who last month said he would be open to negotiating directly with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, went further on Wednesday in his commitment to being open to talk to anyone.

“I wouldn’t go there, that I can tell you,” Mr. Trump said of North Korea. “If he came here, I’d accept him, but we wouldn’t have a state dinner like we do for China and all these other people who rip us off.”
posted by cjelli at 10:29 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


After reading way too many "Why Democrats lost" and "Why people voted for Trump" articles I've unfortunately come to the conclusion that far too many Americans are racists and even more are deeply ignorant and/or stupid. I don't know how you deal with that. A deeply ignorant populace is a grave danger to the health of a democracy.
posted by Justinian at 10:31 AM on May 1 [40 favorites]


FFS, NYT is just going to keep running these "Inside the Mind of the White Male Trump Voter" pieces forever, aren't they?

Dear NYT: I live in Western PA, and I run into these suburban/rural Western PA jagoffs you're interviewing all of the time. But did you know that there are also electoral votes in other parts of Pennsylvania, including the cities? Not only that, but there are also other states outside of Pennsylvania, and even ones outside of the Rust Belt, and -- get this! -- there are electoral votes in those places, too!

No need to thank me for this scorching hot tip -- just do your fucking job.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:33 AM on May 1 [36 favorites]


Trump is just confirming what we knew all along was lurking under the surface, and damn right we're not going to forget it.

C'mon, there's no way you knew it was this bad!
posted by diogenes at 10:33 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


Plus given all the brain-drain to the coasts the dumber you are the more likely you are to live somewhere where the effect of your vote gets magnified.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


USA Today OpEd: Trump is a nightmare negotiating partner: Jill Lawrence
The only constants with Trump are unpredictability and expediency. These are not, suffice it to say, the traditional cornerstones of getting to yes in politics. The real pillars are trust and discretion. Can you rely on your negotiating partner to be consistent, to not leak or tweet or make counterproductive headlines, to be truly interested in a win-win outcome and understand what that will take?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:35 AM on May 1 [6 favorites]


I've heard three different NPR interviews with John Kasich promoting his new book, People Should Be Nice To Each Other Instead Of Mean
posted by theodolite at 10:36 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


Already linked in the thread here - that's why I read it - but I wanted to call out the article in Teen Vogue again:

... even the worst possible scandals are met with resigned exasperation. And when there are multiple emergencies every week, emergencies start to seem ordinary. It’s crucial we gain clarity from this manufactured benchmark, and the way it has changed us. The New York Times declared Trump’s 100 days “the worst on record.” The New Yorker called him “democracy’s most reckless caretaker.” Perhaps the most condemning diagnosis of all is simply that perpetual chaos has become the standard. There are no alarms left to sound.

Teen Vogue is killing it with their coverage. The bit I quoted is followed by helpful lists: things to read; things to do. Well done.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:38 AM on May 1 [74 favorites]


Teen Vogue: Shield of Democracy?
posted by Justinian at 10:40 AM on May 1 [8 favorites]




Fucking baby.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM on May 1 [17 favorites]


Bloomberg: Trump Defends Invite to Philippines' Duterte Amid Drug War Toll
“The Philippines is very important to me strategically and militarily,” Trump said Monday in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News, two days after he invited the Philippines leader to Washington. “I look forward to meeting him. If he comes to the White House that’s fine.”
...
“He’s been very very tough on that drug problem, but he has a massive drug problem,” Trump said.
...
In the interview Monday, Trump emphasized public support for Duterte despite the condemnations over the drug conflict.

“You know he’s very popular in the Philippines,” Trump said. “He has a very high approval rating in the Philippines.
posted by cjelli at 10:47 AM on May 1 [7 favorites]


JackFlash, my experience with Social Security benefits dates from last fall. I, as a part-time employee for my work life, chose to take advantage of the spousal benefit offered in order to receive my husband's higher benefit upon his unfortunate demise.

I had already retired and was drawing my benefit; he was still working but had begun drawing on his benefit. The way it worked in my case is that I essentially gave up my own benefit and took his benefit in its place (though in the paperwork, I receive my benefit and enough of his benefit to equal 100% of his benefit).

Others' experiences may vary; I confess to not studying the issue more than minimally.

His pension worked differently: when he started drawing on it, we deliberately set that up as a benefit with survivor's option: the result is that I receive 50% of that benefit as the survivor. The cost on that to us was a reduced monthly benefit overall. Again, mileage varies on pensions and how they pay out.

I don't know if this information will add to the Social Security discussion, but I hope so.
posted by Silverstone at 10:49 AM on May 1 [6 favorites]


He pulled the same "he's very popular" bit about Putin in another interview, even after the interviewer reminded him that Putin has people killed.

It's also clear that he says he's "considering" a proposal if it's something he's never heard of and has no clue what it means.
posted by zachlipton at 10:50 AM on May 1 [18 favorites]


Plus given all the brain-drain to the coasts the dumber you are the more likely you are to live somewhere where the effect of your vote gets magnified.

I think this is key, and, unfortunately, not easily fixable. I had dinner with two good friends who are moving out to Cali from Texas, because, among other reasons, they want to flee their red state for beautiful blue California. And I can't blame them one bit!

People who are more open-minded, more intellectually curious, who have more ability to compete in the high-tech economy or get jobs that serve the high-techies, are flocking to cities and college towns. That's not a bad thing in and of itself, but the way the voting system is set up, the people left behind in dying towns and rural areas - disproportionately older and less well-educated and capable - have influence in elections out of proportions to their numbers.

These are the people who have what one New Yorker article called "Terribly Sad Life Syndrome," and cocoon themselves in Fox and Jebus and substance abuse and scapegoating black and brown people for all the bad things going on in their lives. (Yes, many rural people ARE POC, but they're not Trump voters, and if anything are disenfranchised out of the political system altogether.)

Addressing the rural/urban imbalance and increasing the influence of the "liberal archipelago" in cities and college towns is a lot harder, and might not be possible with the limits of our system, than begging The Elusive Angry Trumpist to pretty please change his mind.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:55 AM on May 1 [24 favorites]


The Trump campaign, and I still can't believe that's a thing, is claiming that they're spending $1.5 million to air this ad

Update: they already had to recut the ad because it showed McMaster in uniform, which violates prohibitions against using members of the military in campaign ads.
posted by zachlipton at 10:59 AM on May 1 [19 favorites]






Two-by-Four McArdle has decided to waffle defensively in the direction of Trump's comment on the Civil War. Right-libertarianism is a good way to give yourself brain worms.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:00 AM on May 1 [6 favorites]


NYTimes: Trump Abruptly Ends CBS Interview After Wiretap Question
Brave Sir Domhnall ran away
Bravely ran away away

When danger reared its ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled

Yes, brave Sir Domhnall turned about
And gallantly he chickened out

Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat

Bravest of the brave, Sir Domhnall!
posted by XMLicious at 11:05 AM on May 1 [7 favorites]


(((Megan McArdle))) @asymmetricinfo
What interests me is "Why was the north willing to invade another country over slavery?" Mobilizing a huge population for altruism is rare.
Asking this without addressing the threat to US sovereignty posed by the annexation of Fort Sumter is very strange.
posted by Coventry at 11:05 AM on May 1 [29 favorites]


Forget it, MetaFilter, it's McArdleTown.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:06 AM on May 1 [13 favorites]


The way it worked in my case is that I essentially gave up my own benefit and took his benefit in its place (though in the paperwork, I receive my benefit and enough of his benefit to equal 100% of his benefit).

Yes, that is the way Social Security works for spousal benefits. When one spouse dies, you can either continue to collect your own earned benefit or else collect 100% of your spouse's benefit, whichever of the two options is greater. In your case, your spouse's benefit was higher than your own so you switched over to your spouse's benefit which you will receive for the rest of your life.
posted by JackFlash at 11:08 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


megan mcardle has somehow managed to parley weaponized misunderstanding into a career
posted by murphy slaw at 11:10 AM on May 1 [14 favorites]


my favorite discussion of the civil war with a libertarian "lincoln was a TYRANT" type ended when he tried to claim that the war was unnecessary because other countries had ended slavery nonviolently, you know, like haiti!

haiti, where the revolution started as a slave revolt and they fucking executed most of the slave owners

at that point i realized that the argument had become pointless and i just started laughing at him.

posted by murphy slaw at 11:15 AM on May 1 [30 favorites]


Fucking baby.

I dunno. I have a 20-day-old infant at home right now. Much like Trump, he is loud and blusterous without a clearly-defined purpose, and spends his existence lurching from one incident of self-defecation to another. Unlike SCROTUS, however, this tiny human has yet to try to abridge the rights of anyone else, shows no preference for gender and/or ethnicity, and seems very interested in women's health care outcomes. Now that his eyes can focus, he also seems to show far more attention to detail than #45. Get this kid a pen and the hand-eye coordination to grip it, and I bet he shows better judgment at signing bills sent over by the Senate, too.
posted by Mayor West at 11:16 AM on May 1 [41 favorites]


It really comes down to those perfidious walls of Fort Sumter, who mercilessly assaulted the friendly Confederate cannonballs that were merely gently floating by to give a hearty and cheerful "good day" to the soldiers.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:20 AM on May 1 [18 favorites]


Oh, so that's what begging the question / assuming the consequent looks like.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:22 AM on May 1


NYTimes: Trump Abruptly Ends CBS Interview After Wiretap Question

Watching the video really drives him how cognitively unfit Trump is. (Pull quote: "I don't stand by anything. I have my own opinions. You can have your opinions.")

In the followup, CBS's talking heads treat this bizarre behavior with ingrained deference when he was pressed on his utterly unsubstantiated claims about Obama wiretapping him. From the original video, you can see him walk straight into a line of questioning he's unable to extricate himself from, becoming more and more flustered and confused, until he breaks off and sulkily retreats in silence to his desk.

This is an Amendment 25-level crisis in the making.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:24 AM on May 1 [48 favorites]


So Pat Buchanan's The American Conservative is a land of contrasts (and sometimes a land of advocating for ethnic cleansing.) But within that land of contrasts are opinions like these, which I find kind of fascinating...

The End of Trump’s Revolution?
By rigidly endorsing orthodox conservative thinking and frustrating Trumpian populism, Republicans risk a major electoral backlash.
[...]
From Abraham Lincoln to Ike Eisenhower, the GOP often used the power of the state to defend Main Street from Wall Street, fight for the rights of African-Americans, and protect America’s vital interests in the world. Rather than being a doctrinaire exponent of “anti-government conservatism”, the Republican Party was a pragmatic force for “good-government conservatism.”
[...]
This can be accomplished only by rejecting orthodox conservatism’s commitment to Wall Street, atomistic individualism, and Wilsonian foreign policy.
11 Suggestions for a Populist Agenda: Here is how the administration can keep faith with those who elected it.
1. Completely relieve workers under the age of 25 of payroll taxation [...]
2. Revive the Civilian Conservation Corps, a cause promoted only by Sen. Bernie Sanders
3. Make the services of the United States Employment Service [...] available to all workers under the age of 25
4. Provide tax credits [...] to encourage the installation of second kitchens [as a way of] generating new low-cost small units
5. Give limited incentives [...] to foster the creation of cooperative old-age clubs [...] to assist the elderly in remaining in their own homes
6. Promote model state and local legislation [...] to foster private redevelopment of blighted urban and inner-suburban areas
7. Support a revived TEAM Act providing for the organization of single-plant works councils, with the authority to negotiate local pay and productivity deals
8. Support an orderly decriminalization of marijuana
9. Make an effort to revive depressed downtown areas in small towns and cities with incentives for the creation of Business Improvement Districts
10. Provide relief for credit unions and community banks from the more oppressive Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank regulations without holding them hostage to secure unjustified deregulation for larger banks.
11. Grant work permits to undocumented workers [...with] large ($5,000) application fees, the proceeds to be dedicated to a fund for law enforcement, housing, and nurse-practitioner programs addressing migration in its source countries.
Democrats could probably get behind most of that. Sounds like the platform Democratic candidates should be running on if they want to pick up those rural votes.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:24 AM on May 1 [19 favorites]


Flavorwire: "To really understand Trump’s obsession with his victory, we have to look at one of the less-discussed areas of his pre-2016 biography: his involvement in beauty pageants. And what, exactly, does being Miss USA or Miss Universe entail? You travel across the country/world, speak at events, crown other pageant winners, and promote your brand. Your position is ceremonial and your achievement is being a winner – and the fact that you won this contest is your defining characteristic. Trump obviously saw President of the United States as the same kind of ceremonial position."
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:26 AM on May 1 [61 favorites]


In the followup yt , CBS's talking heads treat this bizarre behavior with ingrained deference when he was pressed on his utterly unsubstantiated claims about Obama wiretapping him.

CBS' morning news crew have just appalled me since the election, with their utter, utter inability to acknowledge the fact that this isn't just another president doing president stuff. It's straight-up journalistic malpractice.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 11:27 AM on May 1 [17 favorites]


Glenn Thrush lays out Trump's praise of Kim Jong-un, Duterte, Putin, Erdoğan, etc... and asks "does the President have a thing about these totalitarian leaders?" Spicer does not take the opportunity to condemn dictators.
posted by zachlipton at 11:28 AM on May 1 [17 favorites]


Watching the video really drives him how cognitively unfit Trump is. (Pull quote: "I don't stand by anything. I have my own opinions. You can have your opinions."


This is *completely insane*.

I think most people don't watch these encounter videos and probably don't get it. It's ludicrously bad.
posted by odinsdream at 11:32 AM on May 1 [33 favorites]


McArgleBargle: Just to be crystal clear: this is not a defense of the slave state

This never goes well:
I'm not a racist, but ...
I'm not defending slavery, but ...
I'm not against abortion, but ...
I'm not defending the Nazis but ...
posted by JackFlash at 11:34 AM on May 1 [10 favorites]


I'm not in favor of burning children as sacrifices to Moloch, but.....
posted by thelonius at 11:36 AM on May 1 [5 favorites]


Some guy in the briefing room is yelling at the press about why they won't demand Democrats denounce violence or something after Spicer left. I heard one reporter ask "who the hell are you?"
posted by zachlipton at 11:36 AM on May 1 [32 favorites]


“If You Keep Fucking With Mr. Trump We Know Where You Live”
Trump’s casino business went bankrupt, and then a lawyer representing investors told police he got a menacing call from a man who said “we’re going to your house for your wife and kids” if he didn’t stop “fucking with Mr. Trump.” The FBI determined the call came from a phone booth across the street from the theater where Trump was appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman.
How I Got The Facts The FBI Really Didn’t Want Me To Have
A lawyer reported getting a threatening call: “If you keep fucking with Mr. Trump we know where you live.” But who made the call? And why? The FBI’s files blacked out all the good details. That was just the beginning of the hunt.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:41 AM on May 1 [43 favorites]


Asking this without addressing the threat to US sovereignty posed by the annexation of Fort Sumter is very strange.

Nope.

Asking this without addressing the threat to US sovereignty posed by the annexation of Fort Sumter is very strange. representative of being a dope.

That's really all it is. I don't even think not knowing much about this necessarily makes you actually stupid. It's a big world with lots of stuff in it and I'm sure I have forgotten more details I was taught in school than I remember; I think I'd do better than McArgleBargle but I'm aware of my weaknesses in recall. It's the fact that I am capable of being aware of those weaknesses and she apparently is not that makes me, in my obviously not at all humble opinion, less of a dope than her.

But, ya know, being that flavor of dope is her job and see oft repeated quote about people'e ability to now know stuff when it's in their continued employment interest.
posted by phearlez at 11:50 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


I'm not in favor of burning children as sacrifices to Moloch, but.....

GOOGLE 𐤒𐤓𐤁 𐤋𐤏𐤁𐤍𐤇
posted by zombieflanders at 11:54 AM on May 1 [6 favorites]




No! We turn to our Leftist friends and say, “you’re welcome.”


Psh, Brandon J. Weichert has no friends, and his enemies don't like him either. God I'm sad I read that. Good news about the budget tho.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:00 PM on May 1


“If You Keep Fucking With Mr. Trump We Know Where You Live”

This is one hell of a story and not to be missed. It's really not too hard to believe that a man who has been obsessed with telephones his whole life, has a record of calling up people under assumed names, and has a history of threatening people who jeopardize his business dealings might have been involved in an effort to make threatening calls to people who jeopardized his business dealings.
posted by zachlipton at 12:02 PM on May 1 [21 favorites]


This is one hell of a story and not to be missed. It's really not too hard to believe that a man who has been obsessed with telephones his whole life, has a record of calling up people under assumed names, and has a history of threatening people who jeopardize his business dealings might have been involved in an effort to make threatening calls to people who jeopardized his business dealings.

This sort of thing makes me wonder how much he was assuming he could just secretly call NK and whisper about nukes and they'd back off.
posted by Brainy at 12:05 PM on May 1 [9 favorites]


@BillinPortland: Hey there, @TheDemocrats! Howzabout a tweet informing coal country that YOU just got permanent healthcare for miners added to the budget?

We are so damn bad at taking credit for our victories. It shouldn't just be a tweet of course, but that message should be everywhere.
posted by zachlipton at 12:09 PM on May 1 [57 favorites]


“I have my own opinions,” Mr. Trump continued, as Mr. Dickerson tried in vain to ask him for an explanation. “You can have your own opinions.”

This is a classic (and powerful) rhetorical strategy. I believe the next level for a verbal tactician such as Trump is the famous rubber/glue rebuttal.
posted by diogenes at 12:10 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


I just remembered another winning argument that Trump could deploy. There's a youtube video where two kids are arguing about whether it's "raining" or "sprinkling." At one point, one of the kids says "You're not real. I'm real!" I'd like to see Mr. Dickerson field that one.
posted by diogenes at 12:14 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


“I have my own opinions,” Mr. Trump continued, as Mr. Dickerson tried in vain to ask him for an explanation. “You can have your own opinions.”

Don't stop there, Mr. Trump! Go for the (heh) trump card! Play the First Amendment defense! They can't stop you from voicing your opinion, because it's enshrined right there in their beloved constitution.

You know your argument is solid gold when the best defense you can muster for it is literally "it is not so bad that it is illegal."
posted by Mayor West at 12:15 PM on May 1


I really think it wouldn't matter if Trump mentioned offhandedly in an interview that he had some people killed back in the 80s
posted by theodolite at 12:16 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


Fox News co-president Bill Shine has resigned, Rupert Murdoch says in email to employees.
"I know Bill was respected and liked by everybody at Fox News."
APPARENTLY NOT.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:17 PM on May 1 [17 favorites]


Another thing that the Congressional budget includes that the Trump "budget" did not: an additional 2,500 visas for Afghan interpreters who worked for the US government and now risk being killed, in an attempt to alleviate a massive backlog of more than 13,000 applications for the special visa program. (Buzzfeed, May 1, 2017)
The State Department recently told BuzzFeed News that approximately 15,000 Afghans had applied for the visa program but that only 1,437 visas remained. Those figures do not include interpreters' families, who may also eligible for the program.

The State Department stopped scheduling new interviews for the program on March 1, citing a lack of visas. Afghans interpreters and their families have faced everything from death threats to torture and murder, often as their applications to move to the US languished.

The deal to provide 2,500 more visas — a number supporters thought was realistic, given some Republican opposition — is part of a much larger agreement on a funding bill that will prevent the government from shutting down at midnight Friday. It comes after Congress approved another 1,500 visas in a defense bill in November. The new funding bill now awaits a vote in the House and Senate.
My take-away: the number could have been higher, if not for fear that a bigger number would get shot down by Republicans.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM on May 1 [27 favorites]




I know y'all aren´t really busy so here is a rabbit hole
140 Paths to Putin.
I now have to go outside for a bit to unscramble my brain.
posted by adamvasco at 12:31 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


I still don't for the life of me understand why there is any cap on the number of special visas for people who risked their lives working for the US Government in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely the proper number is "however many people meet the criteria?"
posted by zachlipton at 12:31 PM on May 1 [52 favorites]


Trump's pick for to oversee Title X doesn't believe contraception works.
posted by emjaybee at 12:32 PM on May 1 [14 favorites]


The deal to provide 2,500 more visas — a number supporters thought was realistic, given some Republican opposition — is part of a much larger agreement on a funding bill that will prevent the government from shutting down at midnight Friday. It comes after Congress approved another 1,500 visas in a defense bill in November. The new funding bill now awaits a vote in the House and Senate.

My take-away: the number could have been higher, if not for fear that a bigger number would get shot down by Republicans.


Democratic Party :"Risk your lives to help us in the war and we will give you Visas"
Republican Party: "Risk your lives to help us in the war and we will enter you in a lottery"
Democratic Party: "Okay lets do it!"
Republican Party: "Woah now! Those odds are too good"
posted by srboisvert at 12:36 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


Trump's pick for to oversee Title X doesn't believe contraception works.

Since 1980, Title X has helped women avoid almost 20 million pregnancies, and has provided key reproductive health services to millions of women. (2001, Guttmacher Inst.)

Fuuuuuuuck.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:37 PM on May 1 [14 favorites]


Who am I kidding?

Democratic Party: "I would have done better but I am anticipating how awful the Republicans are likely to be and meeting them there"
posted by srboisvert at 12:38 PM on May 1 [6 favorites]


Charles M. Blow, NYT Op-Ed: Trump’s Degradation of the Language
Here is the great danger: Many people expect a political lie to sound slick, to be delivered by intellectual elites spouting $5 words. A clumsy, folksy lie delivered by a shyster using broken English reads as truth.
I think most people don't watch these encounter videos and probably don't get it.

The lack of eye contact is strange, and the way he's positioned it almost seems like he's looking into a camera, except there's no camera there. (Like when someone on a live, multicamera show like a news broadcast looks into the wrong camera.)
posted by Room 641-A at 12:40 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


Seven in 10 women obtaining contraceptive care at a safety-net center receive those services from a Title X–supported site. The Title X network serves 4.7 million contraceptive clients annually, or one-quarter of women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services. Sixty-nine percent of these clients have incomes at or below the federal poverty level, and 64% are uninsured. (2013, Guttmacher Inst.)
posted by Sophie1 at 12:41 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


I'm going to be 40 this year, and I just subscribed to Teen Vogue. Strange, the things one has to do for insightful political coverage!
posted by orrnyereg at 12:42 PM on May 1 [32 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: An atmosphere of doubtlessnessness
It is important to have balance on these pages.

The Post for too long has limited its opinion spread to people who have at least some slight inkling of what they are talking about. I am here to shake up that consensus and broaden our horizons so that we may compete.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:43 PM on May 1 [24 favorites]


Bets on when spousal consent for contraception legislation gets introduced? I know it won't go anywhere because of Eisenstadt v Baird, but YOU KNOW someone's drafting that. I say July ish.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:47 PM on May 1 [9 favorites]


This American Life covers events that led to Trump's election in "The Beginning of Now."

Takeaways: When Brat wanted to primary Eric Cantor from the Right, his campaign went to gun shows to collect signatures in support. They raised pretty much every Right-wing talking point: Cantor is for gun control, he wants to raise taxes, etc. People literally told them "I don't care about any of that stuff. I won't sign." As soon as they mentioned their man opposing amnesty and paths-to-citizenship for undocumented immigrants, people signed.

Pat Buchanan (*spit*) admits that he believes immigration is bad because it's just his "preference" not to have immigrants around. It makes him "more comfortable" to only see white people.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:50 PM on May 1 [13 favorites]


Bloomberg is reporting that theyre back at the drawing boards on the health care bill . . . trying to find a way to put actual pre-existing condition protections into the thing . . . since they said they would.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:50 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


I'm going to be 40 this year, and I just subscribed to Teen Vogue.

Teen Fogey
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:50 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


"spousal consent for contraception" is a idea that originates in a concept of marriage that looks so little like my own that it might as well be called "blurgleflarb"

on the other hand i have no illusions that these blurgleflarbs don't exist, so we have to keep fighting this nonsense even though it MAKES NO SENSE
posted by murphy slaw at 12:52 PM on May 1 [14 favorites]


Pat Buchanan (*spit*) admits that he believes immigration is bad because it's just his "preference" not to have immigrants around. It makes him "more comfortable" to only see white people.

I was listening to this on my run today and literally said, out loud, while running down the trail in the park, "What. A. Dick."
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:54 PM on May 1 [13 favorites]


Bloomberg is reporting that theyre back at the drawing boards on the health care bill . . . trying to find a way to put actual pre-existing condition protections into the thing . . . since they said they would.

okay folks, i know there's been some confusion, so please put this down on your calendar this time

it's monday, so today we alienate the Freedom Caucus
we'll be back to alienating the moderates on wednesday
friday the president will announce that the new bill is nearly perfect

repeat until the bill is passed
posted by murphy slaw at 12:54 PM on May 1 [9 favorites]


Bloomberg is reporting that theyre back at the drawing boards on the health care bill

Sure, keep smashing your head against that wall, guys. You're bound to break through eventually!
posted by jackbishop at 12:55 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


I say July ish.

I think you're right on, with how town halls have been going lately that's exactly the kind of horrific culture-war bullshit that some R will use so he can focus on how he's PROTECTING FAMILIES from the menace of women's control of their own genitals during the August recess rather than the fact that he repeatedly voted for the deaths of his own constituents.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:56 PM on May 1 [5 favorites]


Consensus I'm seeing on the AHCA is that NBC, CQ, The Hill whip counts all show 20 firm no votes. The magic number is about 22 to kill the bill; the number is a little weird because Chaffetz—yeah remember him? supposed to be out for weeks?—is supposedly rushing back to DC tomorrow after his foot surgery. Which seems like the kind of thing that would happen if the vote was close and they were trying to get over the edge.

Meanwhile, Pence is headed to the hlll to talk about healthcare again, which seems like the kind of thing that would happen if they didn't have the votes yet.

My hunch on the Bloomberg interview is that the House just ignores Trump on preexisting conditions, just as they've ignored him on everything else. Their main priority is getting this crap off their desks and handing the flaming mess to the Senate, where most of this is a nonstarter. It's really hard for me to imagine the House making any major changes for Trump.
posted by zachlipton at 12:56 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


No one has yet introduced a spousal consent bill, to be clear. These threads get confusing.

And the persistent question floating in my head about this woman: is she married? How many kids does she have? Cause either she's got a lot, she's infertile, they have separate beds, or she's a hypocrite. And when it comes to Republican lawmakers who preach about sex, I usually bet on "hypocrite."

"But emjaybee," you say, "isn't it gross and inappropriate for you to speculate on the a. sexual relationships b. fertility c. reproductive decisions of another woman??"

Sure is! But if the prolifers can do it to me, by god, I will do it right back.
posted by emjaybee at 12:57 PM on May 1 [11 favorites]


> > Trump charging the Secret Service to ride his friggin' elevators? That is political attack GOLD.

> And people are going to have the CTJ moment on that one in contrast to Trump admitting to sexual assault, his promotion of racism, nationalist, fascism, his ignorance of the job, his disdain of the constitution and its system of checks and balances?

Actually yes. You're making the common Democratic mistake of assuming that reason, facts, spreadsheets and appeals to enlightened morality are going to carry the politcal argument. They never have and never will, for significant chunks of the population. By acting "above" gut punching tactics, Dems have ceded huge numbers of votes since the 1980s continuously.

Take this example. You can make a logical and arguably fair argument that it's not that terrible for Trump to profit off charging SS to ride his elevators. But the attack is brutally effective and ultimately fair both on the shallow and deeper levels.

On the shallow level, it sucks for Trump to take MY GODDAMN TAX DOLLARS so cleancut cops can risk their lives to protect him. Fuck him. What you're missing is that the pain is happening to ME, the uninformed voter, not some Other in a different state who's probably a minority or a skinny bitch single woman living a carefree fabulous life while I try to keep a trailer clean.

On the deeper level, even a non-rich president would be horribly selfish to not refuse the money on principle, and it illustrates a constant and horrific pattern of seeking personal profit through conflicts of interest at every opportunity.
posted by msalt at 12:59 PM on May 1 [5 favorites]


I'd intended to put aside my hate for the NYT and buy a subscription. Instead I just subscribed to Teen Vogue, they have better political coverage and they **AREN'T** hiring climate denialists to write op ed pieces.
posted by sotonohito at 1:03 PM on May 1 [20 favorites]


Politico: Trump starts dismantling his shadow Cabinet
The White House is quietly starting to pull the plug on its shadow Cabinet of Trump loyalists who had been dispatched to federal agencies to serve as the president’s eyes and ears.

These White House-installed chaperones have often clashed with the Cabinet secretaries they were assigned to monitor, according to sources across the agencies, with the secretaries expressing frustration that the so-called “senior White House advisers” are mostly young Trump campaign aides with little experience in government.

The tensions have escalated for weeks, prompting a recent meeting among Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and other administration officials, according to two sources familiar with the meeting. Now, some of the advisers are being reassigned or simply eased out, the sources said, even though many of them had expected to be central players at their agencies for the long haul.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:03 PM on May 1 [17 favorites]


Oh, another note on the episode of This American Life I mentioned above: someone casually mentions the Daily Stormer as a "news source" without challenge.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:06 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


ZeusHumms: Trump starts dismantling his shadow Cabinet

Why build a shadow cabinet, when you can pick actual monsters from the shadows? Today's example:

Sophie1: Trump's pick for to oversee Title X doesn't believe contraception works.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:16 PM on May 1 [7 favorites]


I want to give Kevin Drum credit. He really called this one.

Obamacare Repeal Is Doomed
Kevin Drum DEC. 5, 2016
It's fairly easy to explain why repealing Obamacare but leaving in place the pre-existing-conditions ban would destroy the individual insurance market and leave tens of millions of people with no way to buy insurance.
...
It would be political suicide to make this happen, and this means that Democrats have tremendous leverage if they're willing to use it. It all depends on how well they play their hand.
Trump's latest pre-existing condition tweets really pin Republicans between this rock and this hard place. Try to find a way to mandate (very expensive) coverage for people with pre-existing conditions which doesn't drive insurance companies out of business or else require some kind of mandate, or else require the government to shell out some funding from tax revenues. There isn't one.

None of which should stop you from calling your reps, of course. Call them. They could always decide to dump coverage for pre-existing conditions anyway and just lie and say they didn't (I think that's Paul Ryan's basic plan.) But I just want to give Kevin Drum credit where credit is due. He predicted this fine mess that Republicans have gotten themselves into. Kinda funny that Paul Ryan couldn't predict it. He should probably read Keven Drum's column.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:21 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


I think Paul Ryan probably did predict it, but he's desperate to keep polishing the turd that is his Speakership, so you do what you can.

I'm sure by now he knows all too well exactly why Boehner left.
posted by darkstar at 1:23 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


TPM: The Cuck Stops Here
Trump presented himself as the consummate alpha-male ball buster, someone who speaks and embodies the ethos of domination his most ardent supporters instinctively crave and believe in. In practice, he’s repeatedly adopted what might be termed the preemptive fail, not only talking tough but failing to achieve his aims but actually jumping ahead of the process and unilaterally backing down or saying a metaphorical ‘nevermind’ before the supposed confrontation even arrives. As the Mexicans seem to have concluded Trump is less a threat than a bullshit artist who caves easily and is best either ignored or treated with a stern, disciplined and unafraid response.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:26 PM on May 1 [27 favorites]


Boehner seemed like he couldn't get the hell out of there fast enough. You know he's watching what's unfolding out of the corner of his eye and just thinking, "Sucks to be you."
posted by azpenguin at 1:27 PM on May 1 [6 favorites]


I'm sure by now he knows all too well exactly why Boehner left.

He knew when it happened, too. He just thought he was smarter or stronger or both.
posted by Etrigan at 1:29 PM on May 1 [7 favorites]


Hey, did anybody see that video with DJT and J. Dickerson and think, huh, Jesus, they're standing close together.

Because it feels like an Alpha move, crowding in on somebody's body space. As much as I enjoyed seeing John Dickerson push the point, I have a built-in fondness for the man because of my years of listening to the Slate podcast. I really don't know enough to say if he's been good or bad on Trump when it comes to his TV gig.

And thus, it felt like my lizard brain was shouting, "Run away, John!"

I don't know. Maybe I just really hate Trump. That's true, too.
posted by angrycat at 1:29 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


I'm sure by now he knows all too well exactly why Boehner left.

He knew at the time, as did everyone else, which is why every single person with party standing that might have otherwise taken that job scattered like a bunch of cockroaches when the lights turn on and Paul Ryan was left standing there with his big sad eyes saying, "Welll okaaaay, I guess I'll do it, if the Party really needs me but you guys have to double pinky-swear that you'll be nice to me, okay? I mean it! For real, guys!"
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:30 PM on May 1 [9 favorites]


Maybe it's just that they are close enough for Trump to lean in for a kiss.
posted by angrycat at 1:32 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


What interests me is "Why was the north willing to invade another country over slavery?" Mobilizing a huge population for altruism is rare.

Another country huh
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:32 PM on May 1 [54 favorites]


He predicted this fine mess that Republicans have gotten themselves into. Kinda funny that Paul Ryan couldn't predict it. He should probably read Keven Drum's column.

Well, Kevin Drum is pretty much spot-on in that article, but it's not some miraculous prognostication (n.b. -- I have no particular opinion on Kevin Drum generally).

Anyone who has looked at health policy and who has half a brain understood this long before last December. There is no workable plan for replacing the ACA with a more free-market alternative, short of completely returning to the pre-ACA landscape with 40 million-plus uninsured people and medical bankruptcies and deferred care and people dying in the street because they didn't get their treatable condition treated before it became untreatable. And as much as a majority of the GOP reps are totally okay with that, or are willing to deal with it if it means lower taxes -- enough of them are scared of their constituents (or, potentially, have some ethical soul-shreds remaining) that they haven't been willing to pull the trigger (yet).
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:33 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


All of that said about Paul Ryan, I don't think I could have resisted the offer to become one of the most powerful politicians in the country, even if it were handed to me on a silver platter without my having really done anything noteworthy at all to warrant the offer.

I might have paused to think about how difficult it might be to achieve a workable consensus on some key issues, but the other opportunities it would have opened up to me probably would have made it too sweet a morsel to pass up.

The siren song of power is strong.
posted by darkstar at 1:34 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Another country huh

Yeah and that's exactly the point at which I closed the tab
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:34 PM on May 1 [8 favorites]


Asking this without addressing the threat to US sovereignty posed by the annexation of Fort Sumter is very strange.

And here I was thinking that a libertarian questioning altruism was the height of cognitive dissonance.
posted by Talez at 1:36 PM on May 1


Trump's latest pre-existing condition tweets really pin Republicans between this rock and this hard place. Try to find a way to mandate (very expensive) coverage for people with pre-existing conditions which doesn't drive insurance companies out of business or else require some kind of mandate, or else require the government to shell out some funding from tax revenues. There isn't one.

I disagree with this optimistic view. Republicans are proposing that pre-existing conditions be covered but that those people will be removed from the pool and shifted to the "high-risk" pool. Now, the high risk pool will be inadequately funded so those people won't be able to afford coverage, but the Republicans will be able to claim with a straight face that they offer coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Or else they will issue waivers that allow insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions premiums as high as they want. So, yes, they will cover your pre-existing condition but it will be too expensive to afford.

Obamacare is at a very dangerous moment. Do not rely on the Senate to save it, because that's not the way it works.

If the House passes a bill, any bill at all, the Senate is not likely to pass the same bill. But once the House has a passed bill, that frees up McConnell and the Senate to pass their own version of a "moderate" bill. It won't be as horrible as the House bill but it will still be horrible. And then the two bills go to a conference committee to find a compromise between very horrible and horrible. And that's the end of Obamacare.

So the only real way to ensure that Obamacare survives is to prevent any bill at all from passing the House. I'm not so sure they won't be able to do it since at this point everyone realizes it is just an opening salvo. The real dirty work will be done in the Senate.
posted by JackFlash at 1:39 PM on May 1 [28 favorites]


So this is weird. Remember when Spicer was first getting started lo these many days ago, he accidentally posted his password to Twitter (twice)? Turns out it wasn't his password, it was a pair of bitcoin ID confirmation codes. The full story's still unraveling so stay tuned.
posted by scalefree at 1:41 PM on May 1 [50 favorites]


Time for your regularly scheduled reminder that the AHCA will cut off all tax credits for people to buy insurance in states like California and New York that require plans to cover abortion. This isn't something widely known, but some of the CA and NY lawmakers have figured it out, and even some of those inclined to support it aren't on board with something that leaves their constituents with nothing.

California's insurance commissioner now says he'll sue if this becomes law.
posted by zachlipton at 1:42 PM on May 1 [22 favorites]


Republicans are proposing that pre-existing conditions be covered but [...]

I consider both underfunded high risk pools and waivers for community rating to be examples of "dumping coverage for pre-existing conditions anyway and just lying and saying they didn't," so yeah, again, call your reps. Let them know you are not fooled.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:46 PM on May 1 [6 favorites]


Turns out it wasn't his password, it was a pair of bitcoin ID confirmation codes. The full story's still unraveling so stay tuned.

Is there any evidence that this isn't a coincidence and/or something not from Louise Mensch and associates? Because I can't come up with any credible reason why, even in the unlikely event Spicer was up to some sort of secret Bitcoin transaction, he would advertise that fact publicly from his well-known official twitter account.
posted by zachlipton at 1:47 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


Turns out it wasn't his password, it was a pair of bitcoin ID confirmation codes.

Huh. That's....huh. I know nothing about Bitcoin so I look forward to any and all debunking/bunking of this. (If it's a coincidence, it's one hell of a coincidence. Random string of letters and numbers matching a transaction posted the same day the tweet was tweeted? That can't be a coincidence, right? Was Spicy just buying a pack of black market gum or what?)
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:49 PM on May 1


Please stop with the fake news conspiracy nonsense.
posted by Justinian at 1:50 PM on May 1 [6 favorites]


zachlipton: "Because I can't come up with any credible reason why, even in the unlikely event Spicer was up to some sort of secret Bitcoin transaction, he would advertise that fact publicly from his well-known official twitter account."

I think the governing assumption is that he tweeted it by accident (probably because he's incompetent, stupid, and/or a total doofus).
posted by mhum at 1:50 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


The article insinuates that he had to establish that it was legitimately a transaction from him, seemingly in a way that didn't directly communicate with the recipient (so a public tweet from his verified account).

Seems unlikely to me that they wouldn't have been able to figure out another way to communicate this.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:51 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Wait. What?

If You Keep Fucking With Mr. Trump We Know Where You Live”
A similar incident, which has never previously been reported, occurred back in 1982, when Trump was embroiled in a high-profile legal fight to win a $20 million tax abatement for the construction of Trump Tower. The abatement would have greatly reduced or entirely eliminated the taxes Trump had to pay on the new project, but New York City Housing Commissioner Anthony Gliedman declined to grant it, and Trump sued him personally.
[...]

A year after Gliedman received the threatening phone call, a State Supreme Court Justice ordered New York City to grant Trump the tax abatement. In 1986, Gliedman resigned as commissioner and went to work for Trump. He died in 2002. (emphasis mine)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:53 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


Some guy in the briefing room is yelling at the press about why they won't demand Democrats denounce violence or something after Spicer left. I heard one reporter ask "who the hell are you?"

So it turns out that was Mike Cernovich, who they let in to the press briefing, and he showed up to yell at the press. Seems like everyone is just pretending it never happened to avoid giving him attention; the only actual article I've seen on it comes, I am not making this up, from Sputnik News.

We could also ask why the White House is credentialing a rape apologist and pizzagate fanatic.
posted by zachlipton at 1:56 PM on May 1 [28 favorites]


tivalasvegas: "The article insinuates that he had to establish that it was legitimately a transaction from him"

Oh wait, I think I missed that on first read-through. You're right that the article does insinuate that by calling it an "identity confirmation code". This does have a somewhat more conspiratorial tone.
posted by mhum at 1:57 PM on May 1


If it turns out he sold a jetski for bitcoin or something, this is not going to be a good road to push on. Doing a nefarious transaction on the blockchain with a public twitter handle is stupid even for this crew, and the right is generally full of bitcoin fetishists. Sean just doing legit business in BTC would be both ideologically consistent and a loyalty signal to the black-helicopters-taxes-are-theft crowd.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:57 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


I had dinner with two good friends who are moving out to Cali from Texas, because, among other reasons, they want to flee their red state for beautiful blue California. And I can't blame them one bit!

They'll be back, most likely. I've had three friends move from Texas to California, only to return due to a combination of cost of living and their opinion that California was way more racist than Texas. They encountered blatant racism much more often in CA than TX.
posted by threeturtles at 2:01 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


It would be weird for his twitter password to be the same as two bitcoin ID's though, wouldn't it? I mean, I really can't tell anymore, but it seems weird.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:02 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


If it turns out he sold a jetski for bitcoin or something, this is not going to be a good road to push on. Doing a nefarious transaction on the blockchain with a public twitter handle is stupid even for this crew, and the right is generally full of bitcoin fetishists. Sean just doing legit business in BTC would be both ideologically consistent and a loyalty signal to the black-helicopters-taxes-are-theft crowd.

Government officials pawing around in anonymous cryptocurrency should be an immediate cause for anyone's concern. Any government official using it should be assumed to be trying to get around disclosure requirements.
posted by Talez at 2:09 PM on May 1 [27 favorites]


Doktor Zed: This is an Amendment 25-level crisis in the making.

In the making? I think you mean "ready and set to go, if only someone would take the lead." Otherwise, it's another round in the fun game of "Surely, this ...."
posted by filthy light thief at 2:10 PM on May 1 [11 favorites]


The 'we know where you live' phone call is, regrettably, par for the course if you're close to embarrassing somebody or something very powerful. It's cheap and it works.

But you don't do it from payphones next to a gig you're playing. That would mean you were stupid, and you shouldn't do that sort of thing if you're stupid.

Why this sorry excuse for a gangster isn't in jail already, I do not know. Oh yes, he has lots of (other people's, doesn't matter) money.
posted by Devonian at 2:11 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]




Sean Hannity Eyes Fox News Exit, Insiders Say

Paging MSNBC
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:25 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


> Daily Beast: Sean Hannity Eyes Fox News Exit, Insiders Say

Christ, I'm half-expecting "Fox News Hires Maddow, Harris-Perry, and Goodman" next in this game of musical chairs.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:26 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


I'm worried that e.g. the LA Times referred to the budget as "something of an embarrassment to the White House," when honestly it's the least embarrassing thing this "administration" has "done" so far.

They're disappointed there's not going to be a big freakout and shutdown, and that in fact most things in this budget look like they might proceed as before?

DeVos is an embarrassment. Sessions is an embarrassment. Nearly all of the appointments and executive orders and military adventures and press interviews are frankly embarrassments.

I'm concerned that the press might just blow the whole deal when the Idiot sees a bunch of FAKE SAD news talking about how the Republicans caved. I don't even know what he could do to blow the whole deal.
posted by aspersioncast at 2:36 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


They encountered blatant racism much more often in CA than TX.

Having lived in both northern and southern states, it has been my experience that you only encounter blatant racism from rural rednecks in the South. City folk are much more likely to speak in dogwhistles or more subtle, casual racism. "Oh I'm not racist but you know THOSE PEOPLE"
posted by Fleebnork at 2:42 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Turns out it wasn't his password, it was a pair of bitcoin ID confirmation codes.

From the article:
What Mr. Spicer tweeted was actually an “identity confirmation code”
That's not actually a thing.

n9y25ah7 is not an address, it's just the text value associated with a transaction.

The original tweet was at ~8:42AM if I'm reading the screenshots correctly. The bitcoin transaction was at 21:57:19UTC. Someone doing something with a string that many people were talking about that day is not necessarily significant.

There's nothing about the Aqenbpuu string in the article.

Maybe there's a story here but I doubt it based on the problems with the article. Let's be careful what signals we choose to amplify. There's enough fake news out there already that we don't need to be adding to it.
posted by Candleman at 2:50 PM on May 1 [15 favorites]


Because it feels like an Alpha move, crowding in on somebody's body space.

I keep hoping that one of these times Trump does that asshole pull-the-arm handshake bullshit that he pulls the other person TOTALLY ACCIDENTALLY off balance and ends up catching a TOTALLY ACCIDENTAL NOBODY DO THIS ON PURPOSE THAT WOULD BE WRONG knee right in the balls.

I'm a simple man.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:03 PM on May 1 [9 favorites]


Candleman: "The original tweet was at ~8:42AM if I'm reading the screenshots correctly. The bitcoin transaction was at 21:57:19UTC."

Oh yeah, that pretty much seals it. If the tweet came after the transaction, then there'd be something to talk about. But since the transaction came after the tweet, then it seems like nothing more than extremely tenuous speculation.
posted by mhum at 3:04 PM on May 1 [6 favorites]


A Yale historian talks about Trump's civil war comments.

Is it bad when historians end their comments about Trump with "God help us."? That sounds bad.
posted by Justinian at 3:05 PM on May 1 [29 favorites]


Agreed with candleman. That reads like the most unsubstantiated garbage (and I am a BTC user).

On the topic of the legitimate news, I am so excited to see Gorka gone and this shadow cabinet being dismantled. May all the fascists get fired, and then live short hateful lives supported by the welfare state they tried to demolish.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 3:05 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


On the topic of the legitimate news, I am so excited to see Gorka gone and this shadow cabinet being dismantled. May all the fascists get fired, and then live short hateful lives supported by the welfare state they tried to demolish.

The most competent and dangerous of all the fascists is still Attorney General.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:10 PM on May 1 [24 favorites]


Here's a depressing HuffPo piece about where this turn toward wingnuttery at MSNBC is coming from:
From outside, it might seem odd to see the premier liberal network veering right, even as liberals around the country are fired up to resist the administration of President Donald Trump.

But from inside, the news about Wallace and Hewitt was seen as just two more steps toward the full execution of the vision of Andy Lack, the NBC News executive who oversees MSNBC. He has made quite clear his plan to move the cable news network away from its bedrock liberalism and toward a more centrist approach personified by Brian Williams — or even in a conservative bent, as typified by hosts like Megyn Kelly or Greta Van Susteren, who Lack brought over from Fox News.

Noah Oppenheim, Lack’s new deputy who has a long history of provocative right-wing journalism, is shepherding in the changes — which have coincidentally made MSNBC look much whiter. But Lack, in seeking to make this vision a reality, has an unusual problem for a TV executive: sky-high ratings. [...]

Every hour that Andy has not touched are the strongest hours on the network. Everything he has touched is lower rated,” said another well-placed insider.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:10 PM on May 1 [33 favorites]


Once the rest of the lineup is FOX rejects and retreads, they'll come for Maddow and Lawrence and Hayes too.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:13 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


A Yale historian talks about Trump's civil war comments.

As soon as I saw the link and the reference to Yale, I was hoping it would be David Blight unloading.

In this one small, tiny thing, I have not been disappointed.
posted by joyceanmachine at 3:13 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


> I'm worried that e.g. the LA Times referred to the budget as "something of an embarrassment to the White House," when honestly it's the least embarrassing thing this "administration" has "done" so far.

The reason it's being called an embarrassment to the WH is precisely that the WH didn't do it. In fact, the congressional budget contravened everything the WH said they would do. None of Trump's stated priorities -- building the wall, slashing EPA and ARPA-E, gutting the NEA/NEH, pulling all funding for sanctuary cities, &c. -- were achieved with this budget bill, despite the fact that the Republicans control both houses. The great "deal maker" is such a lousy negotiator that he couldn't even get his own henchmen to carry out his nefarious plans. Weak! Sad!

It's really the most delicious, well-funded schadenfreude I've ever experienced.
posted by Westringia F. at 3:17 PM on May 1 [31 favorites]


Donald Trump does not stand by anything, not even the principle of not standing by things
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:18 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


Politico: GOP suffers surprise defection on Obamacare repeal

Not only did they lose Billy Long, despite a personal plea from Trump, but his statement as to why he's a no is damning:
“I have always stated that one of the few good things about Obamacare is that people with pre-existing conditions would be covered," Long said in a statement. "The MacArthur amendment strips away any guarantee that pre-existing conditions would be covered and affordable,” Long said in a statement, referring to the last-ditch compromise between conservatives and House moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.).
They're damn close, but it's really not clear to me that they're going to get the votes this week.
posted by zachlipton at 3:20 PM on May 1 [13 favorites]


Trump will tell his marks that this budget is the greatest budget in the history of money, and they'll believe their God Emperor and anyone in the conservative media who tries to tell them differently will be labelled a cuck or whatever.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:21 PM on May 1




On the topic of the legitimate news, I am so excited to see Gorka gone and this shadow cabinet being dismantled.

Weirdly, Sean Spicer said at the briefing today that Gorka was still on the White House staff and that he didn't know anything about his removal. I assume he's lying or misinformed, but who the fuck knows?
posted by theodolite at 3:24 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]




Has anyone with a pet cause come out and said, "I thought it would be my thing that was the real reason Clinton lost, but then I looked at the numbers and, huh, I guess not."?

I always thought she would tank during the cookie bake-off.
posted by um at 3:27 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


That's not actually a thing. n9y25ah7 is not an address [...] Someone doing something with a string that many people were talking about that day is not necessarily significant.

Yeah - I've been fooling around with bitcoin for 5 years (don't look at me like that, I'm just a poor computer geek looking to make a buck) and I've never heard of any "bitcoin ID confirmation code" like that. Besides, if it is something anyone can look up in a public database, then knowing it wouldn't prove anything. If you wanted to prove you were the owner of an account, you would need to sign a message using the account's secret key.

Looking over the website they link to, it is just a site for saving messages onto the blockchain by making a miniscule payment, and they code the message into the transaction. That address that handled lots of money might even belong to the message-sending website itself as part of its function.

I wonder how much this blogger knows about bitcoin, and maybe even if they got played here.
posted by CyberSlug Labs at 3:30 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Both strings do appear in the blockchain, apparently put there using BitSig, a service for adding arbitrary text to the blockchain. But the timing of the first string going on the blockchain looks to be later in the day that Spicer posted his first tweet. And the other string was only added today. So yes, the tweets came first.
posted by scalefree at 3:32 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


So you're saying the USS Sebastian Gorka is currently engaging in joint exercises with the Australian Navy.
posted by theodolite at 3:34 PM on May 1 [5 favorites]


> Trump will tell his marks that this budget is the greatest budget in the history of money, and they'll believe their God Emperor

Yeah, probably, but if that's what it takes to keep the NIH/NSF/DOE/NEA/NEH/EPA/&c funded, he can stick that feather in his cap and call it macaroni for all I care.

But my standards are low. I have been horribly sick for days & am running a tremendous fever, and I keep worrying that the budget is some febrile delirium. I'm a little terrified I'll wake up tomorrow and discover that the increases are actually deep cuts.
posted by Westringia F. at 3:35 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]




All that's precisely why I'm worried about how the press is reporting it; the base are idiots who get all their news from RT and Breitbart Facebook reposts, but the Prez watches a lot of TV and hates looking weak. If there's there anything he can do to fuck this up, this seems like a great way to get him to do it.

OTOH he's an incompetent nincompoop, and it's a pretty big story that the budget as it stands appears to be fairly reasonable. So it's not like I'm expecting the newspapers to do anything different, just fretting incoherently into the void.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:43 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: fretting incoherently into the void
posted by theodolite at 3:49 PM on May 1 [21 favorites]


I want him to get so fed up he quits. That is what I want. Just quit, Donny. You won't have any trouble finding that it's someone else's fault. You can do nothing but rallies and golf for the rest of your life, insist that people call you Mr. President, bitch about how much better a job you would do than Pence, and never have to go to another cabinet meeting. Say you miss being able to run your businesses, say whatever you like. Truth doesn't matter to you.

Just quit.
posted by emjaybee at 3:50 PM on May 1 [46 favorites]


Ah, I get you now, aspersioncast. I have similar worries about the FY2018 bill, not so much because of Trump himself, but because I wonder what exactly the Dems promised in order to get bipartisan support for a FY2017 budget that looks almost too good to be true....
posted by Westringia F. at 3:51 PM on May 1


I don't see why the Dems would've had to promise anything (or why they should feel particularly inclined to keep some secret promise). If the budget doesn't pass, it's a political disaster for the Republicans, and the Trumpists and Congressional GOP leadership will be dragging each other through the mud. No?
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:55 PM on May 1 [6 favorites]


Here's the thing about cutting domestic spending. Government jobs are real. Lots of people in "real America" rely on government spending. Contractors, farmers, manufacturers, scientists. Millions more people rely on second order effects of those people's jobs. Almost every dollar of government spending is a dollar that doesn't have a direct replacement if it's eliminated. When you start talking about cutting 30% of 1.1 trillion, you're talking about putting millions of people out of work. Even most Republicans understand the realities here.

Not the Freedom Caucus or any part of the wingnut media, but we're seeing right now that the Republican fantasy agenda largely can't survive contact with reality. Passing Trump's budget would result in an instant Democratic wave like we've never seen, and nothing is really going to change that reality by this September either.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:07 PM on May 1 [45 favorites]


Trump will tell his marks that this budget is the greatest budget in the history of money, and they'll believe their God Emperor

I don't think they'll believe him, but they'll be glad that he's making liberals upset with his claims and that will be enough.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:11 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


Republicans: "If you get sick, it's your fault"
[fake quote] but the real one is just as bad:

“My understanding is that it will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool,” Brooks said. “That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now those are the people—who’ve done things the right way—that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:15 PM on May 1 [9 favorites]


Well, God doesn't give you more than you can handle, and if He does that means you were a bad person in the first place and deserve to be punished. It's just common sense.
posted by contraption at 4:17 PM on May 1 [12 favorites]


Well, God doesn't give you more than you can handle, and if He does that means you were a bad person in the first place and deserve to be punished. It's just common sense.

I had an evangelical student say this in class once and another student said "What about people who commit suicide?" and the evangelical student had literally never considered it.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:23 PM on May 1 [13 favorites]


Yeah, that's been all over Twitter for me, which makes me wonder whether people outside my little political bubble are also seeing it. The just world fallacy is a powerful drug, but I think that's going to seem pretty hateful to most people.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:25 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


That's pretty annoying considering Jesus Christ himself explicitly refutes the just world fallacy in the Gospels.
posted by TwoWordReview at 4:28 PM on May 1 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: T̨̰͕̺͔͖ͣͩͧ̚͝Ḧ̖̳̪́ͮ̍Ḛ̶͓̑̿̇́͋̽͢͡ ̝̜͉̻̭̔͌̇ͯV͖͙̭͎̞̰̣͋̄ͬ̈́̂ͥ́̈́ͨ͠͠O̰͖͉̝͎̩̦̫̎͊ͨ̌I̘̖͈̼̳̖͓̬̘̒ͩ̎̍̆̌̾̌͂͟D̸̢͖̪̆ͦ̎͗ͫ͊̽
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:30 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


I think that's going to seem pretty hateful to most people.

And so very, very dumb.
posted by diogenes at 4:31 PM on May 1


Jesus Christ himself explicitly refutes the just world fallacy in the Gospels.

sure, but it's not like those who support the gop really know what's in their Bible outside of hating the children of Ham and a few stray lines in Leviticus.

and if they actually knew those in context, well, they wouldn't be hateful shits now, would they?
posted by anem0ne at 4:39 PM on May 1 [7 favorites]


This might be the most important march yet. The March for Truth.
Across the country, peaceful demonstrations will be arranged on Saturday, June 3rd.

Our goals are simple:

Congressional investigations should be properly resourced and pursued free of partisan interests, or an independent investigation must be established;

As much information should be made available to the public as possible, and as soon as possible;

Donald Trump should release his tax returns to clarify his business interests and obligations to any foreign entity;

If crimes were committed or if collusion is discovered, it must be prosecuted.
I really believe the future of democracy itself is at stake. Propaganda is a weapon which is much more powerful against a democracy which values free speech than against a dictatorship which controls the media. Putin exploited our freedom, used it against us. We need a real investigation to figure out what happened, and how we can stop foreign influences from spreading disinformation without abridging the rights of citizens to speak their own minds. Otherwise the propaganda wars will continue to escalate, and democracy may become an unsustainable form of government.

We need a real investigation, also, because we need to know if Trump participated in this campaign to undermine our system of government. The circumstances strongly suggest he did -- his calls for Russia to hack Clinton's e-mails even as he denied, in the face of all the evidence, that they hacked the DNC, his quoting of Wikileaks in his campaign speeches, his staff's frequent communications with Russian officials, his professed admiration of Putin and support for his policies, his financial links to Russian investors... If Trump is in any way complicit in this influence campaign, his disloyalty makes him unfit for office, and he needs to be impeached.

I've just filled out a form at the site there to volunteer to help organize a march locally. I hope the turnout is HUGE. We need to prove to our elected officials that we as Americans do still care about our democracy.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:40 PM on May 1 [55 favorites]


Government jobs are real. Lots of people in "real America" rely on government spending.

That's the most infuriating part of all the coal miners and wildcatters fetish for me, in a nutshell.
posted by aspersioncast at 4:41 PM on May 1 [11 favorites]


It's also clear that he says he's "considering" a proposal if it's something he's never heard of and has no clue what it means.

@Timodc
Q: One proposal is to exterminate all the rats & pigeons and use their fur and feathers to warm the homeless.
Trump: We're looking at that

@daveweigel
Q: What if, one day a year, all crime was legal?
TRUMP: We're looking into that, and a lot of people like it a lot.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:45 PM on May 1 [21 favorites]


What do you think it would take to get Trump to pick a fight with Mavis Beacon?

"I just think that, if she's such a great typist, y'know? Why go into teaching?"
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 4:54 PM on May 1 [8 favorites]


A double dose of National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: 'Donald Trump’s Civil War' by Ken Burns
Narrator: The Civil War, if you think about it, why?

Sad fiddle music begins to play.

(A series of clips: troops walking ashore on D-Day, an engraving of the Boston Massacre, Fort Sumter with “You’re Fired” on it.)

Jeff Sessions: (long silence) Well, there is one thing we know about the Civil War, and that is: A lot of people don’t approve of it. But it is where I got two of my middle names, so that is good at least.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:05 PM on May 1 [32 favorites]


The main reason the Trump agenda is failing is that the reactionary right has always depended on people not being interested enough in government. The wildly self-promoting Trump is essentially a shock jock. He gets people to pay attention.
This works for the short term, but it will kill him in terms of getting Democrats involved and revealing the deep stupidity of his plans. The border wall while portrayed as a moral evil is also deeply stupid.
Trump is going to discover he won the presidency the same way in which Napoleon took Moscow.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:23 PM on May 1 [16 favorites]


But yet my heart fondly wishes that Andrew Jackson could have done a deal.

Nary a day goes by that I don't think this very thought.
posted by diogenes at 5:26 PM on May 1


BUSTED: Trump’s Army Secretary nominee caught on tape attacking evolution and theory of relativity
Evolution wasn’t the only scientific theory that Green questioned in his speech.

“The theory of relativity is a theory and some people accept it, but that requires somewhat of a degree of faith,” Dr. Green suggested.
CW: he also holds horribly shitty LGBT views
posted by Room 641-A at 5:40 PM on May 1 [23 favorites]


Have you felt deprived of Bannon-related insanity in the past few days? Here, go read about his rap musical based on Coriolanus and set during the LA riots.
posted by jackbishop at 5:42 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


“The theory of relativity is a theory and some people accept it, but that requires somewhat of a degree of faith,” Dr. Green suggested.

I would absolutely looooove to hear him explain the theory of relativity to us, so we know what he thinks it is.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 5:44 PM on May 1 [20 favorites]


I wouldn't. I get enough crackpot emails "disproving Einstein" as it is, ugh.
posted by nat at 5:45 PM on May 1 [6 favorites]


“The theory of relativity is a theory and some people accept it, but that requires somewhat of a degree of faith,” Dr. Green suggested.

I find that the phrase "dumb motherfucker" is very useful to have on hand in any assessment of, oh, pretty much any member of this administration.
posted by CommonSense at 5:50 PM on May 1 [12 favorites]


Well, God doesn't give you more than you can handle ...

What about the buffet at Golden Corral? What about that, smart guy?
posted by octobersurprise at 5:57 PM on May 1 [30 favorites]


“The theory of relativity is a theory and some people accept it, but that requires somewhat of a degree of faith,” Dr. Green suggested.

Wellllll we have kind of proven it exists so it's a little more than faith but self-evident through observation and internally consistent.
posted by Talez at 6:04 PM on May 1 [6 favorites]


Cue Angry Andrew Jackson Tweet:

@realDonaldTrump: President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!

Can it really be our reality that the President of the United States goes to his bedroom alone, watches cable news, and demands an aide tell him how long it was between Jackson's death and the Civil War so he can subtweet the TV and praise a deeply problematic President?

In other news, the NYT is running its