"It's fake news until it's old news"
May 8, 2017 10:11 PM   Subscribe

Day 109 of the Trump Administration was one of the strangest yet, with former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifying that she twice met with White House Counsel Donald McGahn to warn that Michael Flynn had lied about his contacts with Russian officials, leaving him vulnerable to blackmail [video]. Yates urged the White House to take action, because, "to state the obvious: You don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians." President Obama also personally warned President Trump about Fynn two days after the election. However, 18 days would elapse after Yates' warning before Flynn's false statements were publicly exposed and he was subsequently fired. Yates also explained her refusal to defend the travel ban executive order, while taking Sen. Ted Cruz down a few pegs, stating that she "believed that any argument that we would have to make in its defense would not be grounded in the truth."

Following the hearing, the President took to Twitter, emblazoning his view that Director Clapper's testimony exonerated him onto the header of his Twitter account, to much mockery (the header text would be removed a few hours later). However, Clapper said no such thing, as he testified to his lack of knowledge of the FBI's investigation. Furthermore, Clapper testified that European intelligence agencies passed along information about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians.

Even members of the Trump Transition raised concerns about Flynn's contacts with Ambassador Kislyak, as the Obama Administration held back information for fear it would be passed on to the Russians and/or handled improperly "after learning that highly sensitive documents from a secure room at the transition’s Washington headquarters were being copied and removed from the facility." But her emails, amirite?

Yates would not answer questions about Flynn's "underlying conduct" due to ongoing investigations, but said that it was "problematic in and of itself." While the coverup has garnered more attention, this focus on Flynn's conduct contradicts the White House's claims that Flynn did nothing wrong other than mislead Vice President Pence.

What else is going on?

ProPublica revealed that FBI Director James Comey gave inaccurate testimony about how Hillary Clinton's emails wound up on Anthony Weiner's laptop (Abedin did not manually forward "hundreds and thousands" of Clinton emails; she forwarded a handful and most were simply part of a backup). Despite Director Comey's past practice of immediately rushing to inform Congress of the mere potential that his testimony might need to be updated, regardless of whether he knew anything or any elections that might have been about to take place, the FBI has stayed silent, "with the bureau undecided about what to do."

With US policy in Afghanistan still vague and muddled, new details emerged about plans to expand US military efforts there, "effectively put[ting] the United States back on a war footing with the Taliban." The plans would involve several thousand additional troops to try to pressure the Taliban to enter into negotiations with the government.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard arguments in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, weighing how much heed to give to the President's statements during the campaign. Lawfare liveblogged the hearing, and you can read an opinionated set of tweets about the proceedings from Sarah Jeong. On a related note, the Muslim Ban page disappeared, along with other campaign statements, from the campaign website just a short time after Sean Spicer was asked by ABC News why the statement was still posted.

While the Senate (slowly) tries to decide what it wants to do to the healthcare system, the Trump administration is making Obamacare more expensive, with insurers raising prices significantly to accommodate uncertainty over whether the Administration will enforce the law or make premium payments.

In other news:
- Anonymous Canadian officials say that White House staff called Prime Minister Trudeau's office to encourage Trudeau to convince President Trump to preserve NAFTA, "approaching the head of a foreign government to influence your own boss."
- The #2 official at Immigration and Customs Enforcement is leaving to take a job at GEO Group, the nation's largest private prison company. GEO Group has contracts with ICE to operate immigration detention centers.
- With Net Neutrality under threat once again by Trump's FCC Chair Ajit Pai, John Oliver spoke out to defend an open internet. He's established the website http://gofccyourself.com, which will take you directly to the FCC's docket page to submit comments (click +Express).
- Rep. Rod Blum of Iowa sat down for an interview ahead of his angry town hall, but he quickly walked off [video], surrounded by a crowd of children.
- EPA Director Scott Pruitt dismissed half of the advisors on the agency's Board of Scientific Counselors, while the Interior Department suspended more than 200 advisory panels. Pruitt's spokesman said he will consider replacing the scientific advisors with representatives from polluting industries.
- Jared Kushner's family continues to seek investors in China for its (troubled!) real estate project using the EB-5 visa program just renewed by the appropriations measure President Trump signed last Friday.
- Bloomberg reports that President Trump is feuding with replacement National Security Advisor General McMaster. Guess who Trump is meeting with tomorrow morning?
- Martha Stewart sums up America, 2017.

Post title courtesy @nycsouthpaw
posted by zachlipton (3067 comments total) 168 users marked this as a favorite
 
(Truly, much appreciated!)
posted by notyou at 10:20 PM on May 8 [17 favorites]


Once again, thank you for rounding this stuff up. These posts really help me stay on top of what's going on. You do good work.
posted by greermahoney at 10:21 PM on May 8 [22 favorites]


These threads and What the fuck just happened today? are so helpful. Though I am trying to keep something from the most recent Lovett or Leave It in mind: "It's OK not to pay attention to every story."
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:26 PM on May 8 [17 favorites]


Well, one one hand, ctrl-F 'dildo' no results = sad. On the other hand, 'endlessscreaming' tag. I guess with potus45 the dildo is implied, anyway.

> taking Sen. Ted Cruz down a few pegs

In support of this agenda I offer this tidbit from my twitter feed:
@joshgondelman: Ted Cruz looks like a comedia dell'arte character who's always dropping his penis in the street and begging strangers to pick it up for him.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:27 PM on May 8 [82 favorites]


Wow, zachlipton, an amazing post. My phone, especially, salutes you.
posted by corb at 10:29 PM on May 8 [3 favorites]


Jimmy Kimmel responds to Newt Gingrich's criticism of late night hosts: "I wonder why we're so angry. Maybe it has something to do with, I don't know, you"
posted by zachlipton at 10:37 PM on May 8 [68 favorites]


The plans would involve several thousand additional troops to try to pressure the Taliban to enter into negotiations with the government.
The international force assisting the Afghans has about 13,000 troops, of whom about 8,400 are American.

American officials said that 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops, including hundreds of Special Operations forces, could be sent.
So that would raise US troop levels to a max of 13,400 and international troop levels to 18,000.

That's fewer troops than have been stationed in Afghanistan since 2004. The US had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan in 2010-2011. What could 13,400 troops possibly accomplish that 100,000 couldn't?
Even Trump's surges are smaller than Obama's.

The Taliban reports that it controls big chunks of Afghanistan, the highest since the US invasion in 2001; it's assessment is pretty accurate. They have been expanding areas they control.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:39 PM on May 8 [8 favorites]


I'm honestly tearing up a little bit right now, both at the lovely summary of this post, and also at how I am just way too exhausted to even comprehend what is happening here. Like, what the fuck is going on
posted by yueliang at 10:43 PM on May 8 [42 favorites]


The Taliban reports that it controls big chunks of Afghanistan, the highest since the US invasion in 2001

16 years. Afghanistan has been going on for 16 goddamn years. This is now pretty-much a multigenerational conflict. And it's still unwinnable and pointless. Sorry, but when I'm reminded of the dates Iraq and Afghanistan started, I'm always fucking gobsmacked. And still we don't learn.
posted by Jimbob at 10:56 PM on May 8 [82 favorites]


This is hilarious: ANY url you go to under /press-releases/ that wasn't a previously existing page (that has been wiped but not deleted) will take you to his health care plan...what does this mean? It means that you can create absolutely hilarious URLs that actually work:
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/my-plan-to-fuck-the-poor
posted by unliteral at 11:01 PM on May 8 [211 favorites]


I have to keep repeating it to myself because it's so hard to believe: the acting AG had to go tell the White House Counsel that the National Security Advisor could be compromised because he opened himself up to Russian blackmail, and the White House's response was to do nothing.

The more I say it, the harder it is to believe, but that's 2017 for you.
posted by zachlipton at 11:03 PM on May 8 [121 favorites]


I'm just hoping that the rumored RICO grand jury isn't just an Olbermann fever dream.
posted by xyzzy at 11:05 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


It'd be bizarre if Russia hasn't been attempting to interfere with foreign elections for generations, but I doubt they could have ever dreamt of such a profound success. And being so emboldened that they'll intensify their activities elsewhere. So when I heard about the leak from the centrist Macron campaign without a corresponding leak from the far-right, it all felt sickly familiar.

Gratefully it didn't seem to have the same result, and I'm beginning to think it's the kind of dirty trick you can only pull once before people get wise to your game. The German elections are next and they've been taking measures to tighten security and drafting anti-fake news laws.

As for Flynn and Comey? Whatever it was I hope it was worth it. *spit* Fucking traitors.
posted by adept256 at 11:06 PM on May 8 [17 favorites]


Some ancient Comey history from Michael Daly at The Daily Beast: “Young Jim Comey and the Wrong Ramsey Rapist”
Three nights before Halloween and nine days before Election Day in 1977, a gunman kicked in the door to 16-year-old James Comey’s home in suburban New Jersey.
The future director of the FBI was home alone with his younger brother, Peter, and police would later say that the gunman held his .38 caliber revolver to their heads. The gunman locked them in the bathroom and proceeded to ransack the house.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:07 PM on May 8 [10 favorites]


Another voice of appreciation to zachlipton for putting together a terrific roundup of what's taking place. Your editorial selection and summary rundowns are eminently understandable.
posted by Graygorey at 11:18 PM on May 8 [14 favorites]


This is hilarious: ANY url you go to under /press-releases/ that wasn't a previously existing page (that has been wiped but not deleted) will take you to his health care plan...what does this mean? It means that you can create absolutely hilarious URLs that actually work:
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/my-plan-to-fuck-the-poor
posted by unliteral at 11:01 PM on May 8


Holy WTF. Spread this far and wide before it's fixed! Great find!
posted by Room 641-A at 11:20 PM on May 8 [11 favorites]


I'm just hoping that the rumored RICO grand jury isn't just an Olbermann fever dream.

Until and unless you read about it somewhere credible I think its safe to say its probably an Olbermann fever dream. He's become the Louise Mensch of former MSNBC hosts.
posted by Justinian at 11:22 PM on May 8 [5 favorites]


Take care. You may be labelled a trrrst hckr if you try to access those "unauthorized" URLs.
posted by runcifex at 11:33 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


Who do you suppose was huddled around the speakerphone in that disused White House conference room, pleading with Trudeau to call Trump and talk him down on NAFTA? Not Bannon, surely. Preibus? Pence? Jared?
posted by Well I Was In The Neighbourhood at 11:45 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


I ask because on the one hand surely no one in the Trump inner circle gives a hoot about NAFTA, so there must have been someone from Congress involved, but on the other hand the plan of calling Trudeau just has this unmistakable whiff of sitcom dingbat to it that says "Trump family initiative".
posted by Well I Was In The Neighbourhood at 11:55 PM on May 8 [34 favorites]


It looks to me like Trump's main ideology is to be & do the exact opposite of Obama. If Obama was for giving healthcare to poor folks, then Trump is for taking it away. Obama was against nuclear prolifaration, so Drumps is for WW3. Obama tried to clean the air & water, so Trump just want to dirty it. Obama's wife was growing vegetables in the garden, then Trump is against vegetables. Obama was classy, Trump tries to be as vulgar as he can. Obama was a writer, Trump will close libraries. And of course, Obama was kind of black, so Trump supports white power. He doesn't know much 'bout history, so he probably asks 'What would Barack do', then he does the opposite.
posted by growabrain at 12:14 AM on May 9 [37 favorites]


Obama went for two terms.
posted by contraption at 12:16 AM on May 9 [127 favorites]


Who do you suppose was huddled around the speakerphone in that disused White House conference room, pleading with Trudeau to call Trump

He's so dreamy.
posted by adept256 at 12:24 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


I haven't read the last few threads and I'm very much debating starting this one, but I'm starting to feel out of touch and I don't know of anywhere else to follow along that isn't much more aggravating. Wish me luck, folks.
posted by flatluigi at 12:25 AM on May 9 [18 favorites]


> he probably asks 'What would Barack do', then he does the opposite.
Maybe we can play up the notion of how opposed Obama was to ingesting polonium? I mean.. it doesn't seem like anything that stupid could possibly work but yet how many things have we said that about in the past 12 months?
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:26 AM on May 9 [18 favorites]


@joshgondelman: Ted Cruz looks like a comedia dell'arte character who's always dropping his penis in the street and begging strangers to pick it up for him.,?

I started googling commedia dell'arte masks and it's distressing how much they all look like him.
posted by kafziel at 12:29 AM on May 9 [24 favorites]


16 years. Afghanistan has been going on for 16 goddamn years. This is now pretty-much a multigenerational conflict.

Ahem.

First Afghan War (1839-42)
Second Afghan War(1878-1880)
Third Afghan War (1919)

'Fourth Afghan War' used to be a sarcastic joke among British Army officers with a penchant for Imperial history. Senior military historians are now wondering if it's how 2001-2014 will end up being referred to over here.

[Yes, I know that strictly they're the Anglo-Afghan Wars, but it's a dubious perk of being one of the belligerents to refer to a war only in terms of the other side.]
posted by Major Clanger at 12:55 AM on May 9 [30 favorites]


Afghanistan has been going on for 16 goddamn years. This is now pretty-much a multigenerational conflict.

We would do well to learn more history than is directly US-related. I don't have much time here, so just a round-up Wiki link:
War in Afghanistan, 1978-present
The War in Afghanistan began on 27 April 1978, when the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) took power in a military coup, known as the Saur Revolution. Most of Afghanistan subsequently experienced uprisings against the PDPA government. The Soviet war in Afghanistan began in December 1979 to replace the existing communist government. Afghanistan's resistance forces, known as the mujahideen, fought against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Some factions received support by the United States, with the Pakistani ISI serving as the U.S. middleman, and Saudi Arabia. The Soviet Union had to withdraw its troops in February 1989. The Soviet-backed Afghan communist government survived for three more years until the fall of Kabul in 1992. [...]
Given Russia's meddling in the elections, I was sure from the get-go there would be something up the Trump administration's sleeve re: Afghanistan.
posted by fraula at 12:58 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


My solace is the aphorism if something can't go on forever, it won't. My sorrow is the corollary though it can't go on forever, it'll be longer than you expect.

But my worry is that though anomalies are extraordinary, they alter what we know to be possible. Reality shifts, the unthinkable becomes thinkable. Trump's is a mind-breaking, Lovecraftian nightmare of a Presidency that even were it to end well, portends ill.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:02 AM on May 9 [31 favorites]


Afghanistan has been going on for 16 goddamn years. This is now pretty-much a multigenerational conflict.

It's a lot more than that.

Recent history:

Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989)
Civil war in Afghanistan (1989–1992)
Civil war in Afghanistan (1992–1996)
Civil war in Afghanistan (1996–2001)
Western War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

To put it another way, there's been a pretty constant war since 1979. That broader war is now 38 years in, and various beligerents have come and gone.

Afghanistan's median age is 18.5 years for males, 18.6 for females.

Breaking it down, it's even more striking:

0-14 years: 41.03% (male 6,947,939/female 6,728,983)
15-24 years: 22.49% (male 3,816,369/female 3,678,657)
25-54 years: 30.01% (male 5,095,905/female 4,907,019)
55-64 years: 3.9% (male 640,813/female 660,121)
65 years and over: 2.57% (male 396,124/female 460,095) (2016 est.)

Given infant amnesia, the vast majority of the population (let's call it at least 80%) have known nothing but a long, long war that has stretched for their entire lives. If we are looking at adults who were old enough to understand peace when they somewhat had it, you can add maybe 17 years to that 36. That neatly puts us at around 6% of the population who have ever had a sophisticated understanding of a period of peace. The median age for childbirth is around 20, so for many it's also all their parents and grandparents have known as well. The very knowledge of what that peace in Afghanistan is like is dying off, and a cultural experience of all-but-constant civil-war levels of violence is now three generations in. If it doesn't stop within 10 years, peace really will be gone from almost all living memory.

With my peacekeeper/development hat on, I'm not exactly shocked that 16 years of low-level involvement hasn't really fixed things.
posted by jaduncan at 3:17 AM on May 9 [197 favorites]


Thanks Jaduncan, that was a really insightful comment.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:19 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


In the Sherlock Holmes books (Set in 1881) Doctor John Watson had just come home from the war in Afghanistan.
In the recent Sherlock TV show (Set in 2010) Doctor John Watson had just come home from the war in Afghanistan.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:42 AM on May 9 [131 favorites]


Fox News Report:
'Who Appointed You to the Supreme Court?': Senator Grills Yates For Defying #Trump Travel Ban

That's right, their main story on the hearings suggests Yates was taken to task by a Senator. They do have another story on the hearings that actually talks about Russian interference, although you'd have to read down ten paragraphs to get to this part: "Yates' account raises more questions about how Flynn stayed on for more than two more weeks following that notification." Rather than dealing with that point, Fox immediately posts Trump's rebuttal before veering off into the unmasking angle. They never raise the question of what Flynn had access to between the time of the Yates warning and his eventual dismissal.

Yates' account may raise questions, but Fox doesn't ask them.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:51 AM on May 9 [21 favorites]


'...16 years of low-level involvement hasn't really fixed things.'

The infant mortality rate in Afghanistan is estimated at 66/1,000 live births - compared to a world estimate of 32.

Female literacy in Afghanistan is estimated at 24.2% - against a world estimate of 82.7%

What we need to resolve these problems is of course more huge bombs and gangs of crazed young men running around armed to the teeth.
posted by Myeral at 4:05 AM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Perhaps if Fox continues with it's problems another network could merge, perhaps RT?
posted by sammyo at 4:07 AM on May 9


I'm kind of curious what happened with that Martha Stewart photo on Instagram. The more expressive version is easy to find but links to it from all over take one to a bowdlerized take that's kind of confusing. Was the first shot redirected? I didn't realize that was possible with Instagram.
posted by Songdog at 4:15 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


It looks to me like Trump's main ideology is to be & do the exact opposite of Obama.

I don't think he has an ideology. He's a profoundly ignorant extreme narcissist who tends to accept whatever notion his subordinates suggest to him. He's surrounded himself with a particularly nasty set of far-right idiots, so those are the notions he takes up. To call this an ideology gives it too much credit, and it's really only coincidentally related to Obama.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:26 AM on May 9 [30 favorites]


He's surrounded himself with a particularly nasty set of far-right idiots, so those are the notions he takes up. To call this an ideology gives it too much credit, and it's really only coincidentally related to Obama.

I think the positions of some of those far-right idiots are motivated at least in part by the idea that it's impossible a black man could be right about anything.
posted by hoyland at 4:35 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


It's more like a tropism -- like an unconscious response to a stimuli?
posted by wenestvedt at 4:40 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Saw a "Call Paul Ryan to thank him" ad today during the local news.
posted by drezdn at 4:49 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]




Perhaps there will come a time when Donald hates this unexpectedly challenging job to a sufficient degree that his ego would allow him to pull a Palin and retire to prime-time Fox News and a newly invigorated line of Trump Steaks, if not for his need to be in charge of the FBI and to maintain his executive immunity...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:17 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


- Rep. Rod Blum of Iowa sat down for an interview ahead of his angry town hall, but he quickly walked off [video], surrounded by a crowd of children.

I love that they pre-screened the attendees of the town hall but people still screamed at him.
posted by octothorpe at 5:17 AM on May 9 [43 favorites]


From NeverTrumper and professor at the US Naval War College Tom Nichols. Summary: never tweet.

@RadioFreeTom
I am often astonished at the President's tweets, and how he calls media in his own country as "fake news." But there's something else /1
I was a Sovietologist back in the day. I was constantly trying to unpack what I thought was happening behind the Kremlin's walls. /2
I would have given anything for Andropov or Gorbachev to give me a running narrative of their mood and inner thoughts in real time. /3
As an analyst, including my time years ago as a CIA consultant doing research in the 80s, I'd have considered that a gold mine. /4
And I wonder if, and or how, anyone is considering the fact that this is basically a raw feed of POTUS thoughts to foreign analysts. /5
Because while none of the matters are classified - at least AFAIK - tweets are pieces of the president's moods and thoughts that day. /6
This only occurred to me today as I realized how easily POTUS tweets were giving me a minute by minute image of his reactions to Yates. /7
This is the kind of instant leadership portrait that I wouldn't want a foreign nation to have when gaming out a crisis with us. /8
Americans might well appreciate the candor. But I thought Obama did too much thinking out loud in front of cameras. This is far more. /9
It is, from a foreign intel analyst's viewpoint, in some ways probably more valuable than classified memos. It's real and instant. /10
It shows how the President reacts under stress. It's something you never want the enemy to know. And yet it's all out there, every day. /11
It's also a window into how the President processes information - or how he doesn't process info he doesn't like. Solid gold info. /12
These are all things I would have given anything to know, even just a fraction of this, in an analysis of any Soviet or Russia leader. /13
It's not for me to tell the President how to communicate. But I find something hugely dangerous in revealing real-time POTUS reactions. /14x
posted by chris24 at 5:20 AM on May 9 [222 favorites]


Thanks for this; it's nice to have a post that doesn't crash every time on iPhone Safari.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:28 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Finally finished that Yates hearing. How exhausting. The poise and professionalism of that woman is just incredible.

Good grief Texans, can any of you explain how Ted Cruz possibly was elected to anything, let alone the actual Senate? WTF is this guy's possible appeal to anyone?
posted by aspersioncast at 5:33 AM on May 9 [17 favorites]


"if we don't elect him and send him to Washington D.C., he might stay here."
posted by delfin at 5:37 AM on May 9 [64 favorites]


Maybe we can play up the notion of how opposed Obama was to ingesting polonium?

9/10 climate scientists say arsenic is bad for your health.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:45 AM on May 9 [11 favorites]


WTF is this guy's possible appeal to anyone?

Cruz is a freshman senator from the Tea Party inebriation of the early '10s. He positioned himself as an unflinching strongman of tea party values, a political outsider (Cruz had not held elected office prior), and he was willing to burn it all down to push a hardline theocratic conservative agenda. He would probably be a really hard primary opponent because he has buckets of oil and Koch money backing him.
posted by Talez at 5:45 AM on May 9 [17 favorites]


While hardly the most shocking thing about the hearing, I'm still marvelling at the fact that Senator Chuck Grassley didn't seem to understand the concept of not discussing classified information in open court.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:46 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


"I am not a crook." — Richard Nixon, 1973. Was a crook.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." — Bill Clinton, 1998. Had sexual relations with Miss Lewinsky.

"[T]here is 'no evidence' of collusion w/ Russia and Trump." — Donald Trump, 2017
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:03 AM on May 9 [62 favorites]


ProPublica: FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found. On Monday, the FBI was said to be preparing to correct the record by sending a letter to Congress later this week. But that plan now appears on hold, with the bureau undecided about what to do.

this guy keeps knocking it out the park doesn't he
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:09 AM on May 9 [16 favorites]


He would probably be a really hard primary opponent because he has buckets of oil and Koch money backing him.

He also has name recognition from his Presidential bid. While you only have to pay attention for 5 minutes to realize he's a close relative of Vincent D'onofrio's character in Men in Black, most people only pay attention for 2-4 minutes, tops.
posted by dis_integration at 6:10 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


comey seems like the kind of guy who overthinks everything and always goes against his gut instinct, to hilarious result
posted by murphy slaw at 6:14 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Another day, another study showing it wasn't economic anxiety, but racism/misogyny. WWC with true economic anxiety overwhelmingly chose Clinton.

@YAppelbaum
1. What motivated white, working-class voters to back Trump—economic anxiety or cultural anxiety? We have numbers: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/white-working-class-trump-cultural-anxiety/525771/
2. With our partners at @PRRIpoll, we surveyed white, non-salaried voters without college degrees before and after the election.
3. That data lets us look for independently significant variables—what separated the 64% who voted Trump from the 32% backing Clinton.
4. Almost everything correlates; only four variables proved independently significant. One was Republican Party registration. Not shocking.
5. The 2nd was deportation. 87% of white working-class voters who want to deport undocumented immigrants voted Trump
6. Third? Higher education. WWC voters who think of college as a risky gamble, not an investment, went 2x for Trump
7. WWC voters who wanted to protect American way of life, or feel like strangers in their own country? 79% for Trump
8. Only one economic variable was independently predictive, and that only to 90% confidence level: Fair or poor financial condition.
9. We found economically distressed white, working class voters were 75% more likely to vote for Clinton—not Trump. [my bold]
10. Bottom line? White, working class Trump voters felt culturally displaced and resentful, not financially stressed
11. More data, and full analysis, here from the redoubtable @robertpjones and his crew at @PRRIpoll: https://www.prri.org/research/white-working-class-attitudes-economy-trade-immigration-election-donald-trump/
posted by chris24 at 6:17 AM on May 9 [116 favorites]


I've been saying that the Republicans sure aren't acting like economic anxiety is what motivates their base.
posted by Gelatin at 6:22 AM on May 9 [15 favorites]


They've been acting as if their base is motivated like economic anxiety for the rich.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:24 AM on May 9 [18 favorites]


The thing about Cruz is that he emits an aura at all times broadcasting I am doing everything I am doing for personal gain and power because God wants me to be King of the World. If it would benefit me in any way five seconds from now, I would gut you like a fish and sell your entrails to passing gypsies even while his mouth spews false platitudes. And he has no idea that it's that obvious.

Teabots love any guy who's screaming the loudest at what they hate.
posted by delfin at 6:25 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


comey seems like the kind of guy who overthinks everything and always goes against his gut instinct, to hilarious result

He seems like a Republican partisan operative.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:28 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]




FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated perjured himself regarding what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:33 AM on May 9 [15 favorites]


Deportation.

This matches the narrative of the This American Life episode that documents how Bannon et alia found the issue that galvanized right-wing voters. They used it to win in VA in 2014 with Brat, then made it a keystone of the Trump campaign.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:33 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Why the Macron Hacking Attack Landed With a Thud in France

In which the New York Times critically examines media coverage of leaked emails, unironically, apparently. In France.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:33 AM on May 9 [34 favorites]


Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz?
It just saves time.


That one still makes me chuckle.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:35 AM on May 9 [58 favorites]


Deportation.

This matches the narrative of the This American Life episode that documents how Bannon et alia found the issue that galvanized right-wing voters. They used it to win in VA in 2014 with Brat, then made it a keystone of the Trump campaign.


Yeah, it's a great dogwhistle/klaxon horn for racists and fascists/authoritarians. "We're gonna use the power of the state to punish and purge brown people!"
posted by chris24 at 6:38 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]




NYT shit the bed publishing an antichoice op-ed today too. Pretty much done with them right now.

Chris24's post upthread is really good, I hadn't thought about any of that. Trump is a danger to our national security in many terrible ways.
posted by emjaybee at 6:48 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


In response to Trump's tweet "Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel." Ted Lieu (D-CA) asks‏: "Did @POTUS violate 18 USC 1512{*}, which prevents "intimidation" of a witness to 'influence' testimony in 'official proceeding'? #SallyYates"

And yesterday, the GOP senators of course did precisely as Trump requsted and irrelevantly brought up leaks, which produced no revelations but did muddy the waters.

* 18 U.S. Code § 1512 - Tampering with a Witness, Victim, or an Informant? e.g. "(c) Whoever corruptly (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so".
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:51 AM on May 9 [26 favorites]


i think the thing to note is that the "cultural anxiety" euphemism encompasses both the "hard" racists who want to string up all the {slur}s and send them back to {continent} and the "soft" racists who just feel uncomfortable because they feel their cultural hegemony slipping away.

the trump campaign spoke directly to the latter, and the former heard the dogwhistles.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:52 AM on May 9 [26 favorites]


Can someone explain to me the purpose of newspaper op-eds in this day and age? I get that once upon a time Leading Thinkers of the Age needed a platform to inform the public of a variety of opinions, but we're drowning in opinions now because of the internet. Let's just stick to the news, mkay?
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:53 AM on May 9 [24 favorites]


Marie Claire: The Healthcare Bill Exposes Trump's Chilling Authoritarian Agenda
Since taking office, Trump has displayed the signature traits of an aspiring autocrat: disregard for the constitution, the installation of unqualified family members in high-level positions, the abuse of executive power to enhance personal wealth, the scapegoating of ethnic minorities, and ongoing threats to free speech, free media, and public protest. His rule has been a continual test of checks and balances, and his biggest check, arguably, has been women.

The healthcare law is not only a sadistic assault on the sick and vulnerable, but a gendered attack meant to render his most forceful opponents, American women, helpless. Autocracy and patriarchy often go hand in hand; the countries with the highest levels of political freedom in general tend to prioritize women's healthcare, education, and other basic rights.
Raw Story: Oklahoma Republicans pass bill requiring state officials to call abortion ‘murder’ in public statements
The bill’s author, Republican state Rep. Chuck Strohm, spoke after the bill’s passage claiming the high court violated “every act of decency and law” when it decided Roe v. Wade. He declared the founding documents of the United States were abused by “forcing the murder of unborn children on our society.”

He went on to tell his fellow officials that they took an oath to uphold the Constitution and “to exercise their authority as appropriate in their respective jurisdictions to stop the murder of innocent unborn children by abortion.”[...]

Oklahoma is suffering from a nearly $900 million budget shortfall for which the legislature has yet to pass a budget to fix.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:56 AM on May 9 [45 favorites]


i think editor's letters are useful when the paper wants to make explicit what is implicit in their regular coverage.

"columnist" as a profession can go the way of the buggy whip, tho.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:56 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me the purpose of newspaper op-eds in this day and age?

Paying salaries to failed and aspiring Republican politicians and party professionals under the cover of actually working.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:59 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I dunno, I find "expertise" columnists to be helpful in situations where I have a knowledge gap. Paul Krugman on the economy, for instance.
posted by xyzzy at 7:01 AM on May 9 [18 favorites]


flatluigi: I haven't read the last few threads and I'm very much debating starting this one, but I'm starting to feel out of touch and I don't know of anywhere else to follow along that isn't much more aggravating.

For your time and/or sanity, you can skim these mega-posts with yourcelf's GraphFi bookmarklet. Not only does it add a nice bar to the left of your screen that highlights popular (highly favorited) comments, but it also adds connections between comments. (Unfortunately, I don't know if or how it could work on a mobile device.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:09 AM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Vox America has a water crisis no one is talking about
According to a paper from researchers at Michigan State University, water prices will have to increase by 41 percent in the next five years to cover the costs of replacing aging water infrastructure and adapting to climate change. That will mean that nearly 41 million households — or a staggering third of all US households — may not be able to afford water for drinking, bathing, and cooking by 2020.

There is no law that guarantees water access for poor Americans. And most financial assistance is left to the discretion of individual water utilities. So customers who have fallen behind in payments can have their water services abruptly shut off.
TL;DR: The post-WWII infrastructure boom was great for the people who were alive at the time but it is 70 years on and a lot of that infrastructure is decaying and needs to be replaced.

These post-Reagenite years of massive tax cuts for the wealthy has meant an austerity regime that provides little money for infrastructure maintenance and now the poor and middle class will be paying that bill at a time when wages have stagnated for 20 years. It is pretty shocking that in a first world country the citizens don't have a guarantee to potable water. Think the UN will lend a hand by coming out and digging wells and passing out filtration units?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:12 AM on May 9 [78 favorites]




the trump campaign spoke directly to the latter, and the former heard the dogwhistles.

They were speaking directly to the former and the latter tagged along. See for example the final ad from the trump campaign, which may as well have been taken directly from the dang protocols of the elders of zion.
posted by winna at 7:21 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Fred Kaplan in Slate: On Jan. 28, President Trump ordered Secretary of Defense James Mattis to devise a plan, within 30 days, on how to defeat ISIS. Mattis turned in his report on Feb. 27, and, according to senior officials, it is still sitting in the White House. In the 70 days since it landed on his desk, Trump has not responded to it, modified it, or approved it as policy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:22 AM on May 9 [39 favorites]


i think the thing to note is that the "cultural anxiety" euphemism encompasses both the "hard" racists who want to string up all the {slur}s and send them back to {continent} and the "soft" racists who just feel uncomfortable because they feel their cultural hegemony slipping away.

Cultural anxiety has a past as an actually useful academic concept; it applies as much to situations such as the slow removal of language rights for Russians in Eastern Europe (and vice versa in Russia, of course) as it does in racism. Crucially, minorities can have *justified* cultural anxiety, because it isn't based in dominant power in the same way as racism is.

It will of course now irritatingly become a euphemism for white racism that is somewhat weaponised by making a false equivalence between the racism of the dominant and the fears of the less powerful.
posted by jaduncan at 7:22 AM on May 9 [16 favorites]


Fred Kaplan in Slate: On Jan. 28, President Trump ordered Secretary of Defense James Mattis to devise a plan, within 30 days, on how to defeat ISIS. Mattis turned in his report on Feb. 27, and, according to senior officials, it is still sitting in the White House. In the 70 days since it landed on his desk, Trump has not responded to it, modified it, or approved it as policy.

As relevant today as it was back when this was originally published (before the election): It’s almost like Donald Trump’s secret plan to defeat ISIS never actually existed
Donald Trump has long assured us that he has a very real — and very good — plan to defeat the Islamic State. But he couldn't share the details of it.

He has been talking about this secret plan, in fact, for more than a year. He has said it was "foolproof" and "absolute" in its effectiveness. But he had his reasons not to talk about it.

"I don’t want the enemy to know what I’m doing," Trump told Fox News in May 2015, the month before launching his presidential campaign. "Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to tell at some point, but there is a method of defeating them quickly and effectively and having total victory.”

He added: “All I can tell you it is a foolproof way of winning, and I’m not talking about what some people would say, but it is a foolproof way of winning the war with ISIS.
It's been two years since Trump mentioned his Secret Plan. One begins to wonder -- and I don't want to, heavens forfend, suggest that Trump was lying about having a secret plan, oh no -- but one does begin to wonder whether his obviously and clearly real and not made up Secret Plan was quite as foolproof as he thought.

Or maybe it was, and that's why he hasn't acted on Mattis's recommendations. Yes, surely that: he doesn't to enact this plan, because he prefers to stick to his secret, foolproof plan that definitely does exist, rather than switch to a new one. What other explanation could there be?
posted by cjelli at 7:29 AM on May 9 [15 favorites]


According to a paper from researchers at Michigan State University, water prices will have to increase by 41 percent in the next five years to cover the costs of replacing aging water infrastructure and adapting to climate change. That will mean that nearly 41 million households — or a staggering third of all US households — may not be able to afford water for drinking, bathing, and cooking by 2020.

Make America Dystopia Soon.
posted by dis_integration at 7:31 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


WaPo has the Comey story in a special "breaking news" banner at the top of the page now.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:34 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


What other explanation could there be?

I suspect the plan (and it isn't a bad one at this point) is for relevant staffers to distract and/or persuade Trump to let the Pentagon get on with the job in an example of truly benign neglect. ISIS is steadily going away and a Kurdish state is becoming somewhat more viable (see the US being willing to put troops on the ground near the Turkish border). I'm sure I'm not the only person with no desire at all for Trump to be messing that up.
posted by jaduncan at 7:35 AM on May 9


I wouldn't have thought there were any pegs left to take Ted Cruz down.

Also, something chilling about that video of Blum basically going, "Screw you guys, I'm taking my little pack of black kids and going home."
posted by Naberius at 7:36 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Make America Dystopia Soon.

Soon?

American civilization has already collapsed for tens of millions of people in this country and for tens of millions more it never existed at all. 1/3 of us without access to clean water is just a matter of dystopian degree.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:39 AM on May 9 [20 favorites]


Cruz can always go lower. It's the one way in which he can be said to have depth.
posted by delfin at 7:40 AM on May 9 [36 favorites]


Pretty much done with them right now.

If there were a Broadway / Disneyesque song about post-11/9 corporate news, this is what it should be titled.
posted by petebest at 7:41 AM on May 9


TL;DR: The post-WWII infrastructure boom was great for the people who were alive at the time but it is 70 years on and a lot of that infrastructure is decaying and needs to be replaced.

its certainly a good thing that we continue to subsidize expensive infrastructure to serve incredibly low densities because it appears it totally pays for itself and is for reals sustainable
posted by entropicamericana at 7:42 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


The bonus question answer to "What corporate news network does Disney own?" is ABC News. ABC News. "ESPN" is not sufficient.
posted by petebest at 7:46 AM on May 9


Trump's secret plan to defeat ISIS is very real, and he has dispatched a team of investigators to Hawaii to retrieve it
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:46 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy: America has a water crisis no one is talking about

Pay attention to local news and it'll come up: $80 million was set aside for water projects in New Mexico in 2014, and Samantha Bee recently highlighted that local news papers are the ones to break stories like Flint's water, and New Brunswick Water Utility that covered up water contamination in the town.

Water, like roads, are topics that are "unsexy" because they're just there. They're great and taken for granted because they generally work, until they don't, then people get upset and ask "why hasn't anything been done?" Because it's hard to get a lot of support to raise taxes or fees to overhaul dated infrastructure, especially when the infrastructure is a local issue, like water, wastewater, and local roads.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 AM on May 9 [24 favorites]


Mattis turned in his report on Feb. 27, and, according to senior officials, it is still sitting in the White House. In the 70 days since it landed on his desk, Trump has not responded to it, modified it, or approved it as policy.

People are still expecting him to act presidential, after all this time?
posted by Melismata at 7:47 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Justice Department and FBI officials are considering whether and how to clarify the misstatements

Calling them 'lies' would be a good start
posted by thelonius at 7:47 AM on May 9 [22 favorites]


Every time I start to think Comey might not be a weasel, he goes and does something weasily. He's now earned a permanent spot in my weasel category.

(I know I'm naive for being tempted to remove him from that category. I have to get rid of this habit of assuming it's possible for a Republican to try and do the right thing.)
posted by diogenes at 7:48 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Our current mayor is running for reelection (primary is next week and, like most cities, the Democratic primary is the real election) with mailers that state that safe, clean water is a human right because apparently this is up for debate now. 2017, folks.

(Pittsburgh is having its own Flint-light water crisis right now. Filters are being distributed starting this week.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:49 AM on May 9 [13 favorites]


For some aspirational politics from a few days back: Elizabeth Warren: 'I wonder if America will ever be ready for a male president again' (The Hill, May 4, 2017)
During her keynote address at a gala for EMILY’s List, a PAC that aims to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, Warren said there is nothing but “bad news” coming out of the White House.

"The news out of the White House just keeps on coming: Bad news, bad news, bad news,” she said. "The way that things are going, if the next three years and 261 days are like Donald Trump’s first 100 days, I wonder if America will ever be ready for male president again.”

"We're going to shatter the glass ceiling into so many pieces that the Donald Trumps and Mitch McConnells of the world will never be able to put it back together again," she added.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 AM on May 9 [66 favorites]


People are still expecting him to act presidential, after all this time?

I don't expect him to act presidential in a predictive sense, but I'm fighting hard to keep that from lowering my expectations or adjusting my baseline in a presidential-norms sense. I expect him to act Presidential, in the sense that he is the President, and that is what Presidents do. That is what America deserves. That is what the job requires. That Trump fails to meet that expectation, and appears to be unqualified for the job he holds, is a constant and recurring disappointment. But I'd rather he stay a surprising disappointment than shrug my shoulders and pretend like any of this is normal (it isn't).
posted by cjelli at 7:52 AM on May 9 [16 favorites]


According to a paper from researchers at Michigan State University, water prices will have to increase by 41 percent in the next five years

It's disappointing to see them fall into line with "market costs!". Water (and if I need to specify: fresh, clean, unpolluted) is a basic human need, and should fall under infrastructure spending.

Unfortunately, their interpretation is that costs must be immediately and directly passed onto the consumer, because FREE MARKET. Ugh.
posted by Dashy at 7:53 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Guys, his secret plan to defeat ISIS was "nuke them."
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:53 AM on May 9 [29 favorites]


"Water, like roads, are topics that are "unsexy" because they're just there."

They are also non-partisan hot-button issues that spur incredible, united voter reaction. The Daley machine was brought down in a week by roads left impassible after a snowstorm.
posted by klarck at 7:55 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Yes indeed, cjelli. But it seems like all the media can do is wring its hands and say "hmm, gee, why isn't he looking at the papers on his desk?" I so wish they'd go a step or two further and say "Y'know, he is actually SUPPOSED to look at the papers on his desk, what a dufus" or what have you.
posted by Melismata at 7:55 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


The Soviet war in Afghanistan began in December 1979 to replace the existing communist government.

Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski started aiding opponents of the pro-Soviet government in July 1979 to try to lure the Soviet Union into Afghanistan, partially as revenge for the Soviet Union supporting the Viet Cong and North Vietnam in the Vietnam War.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:57 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]




WaPo has the Comey story in a special "breaking news" banner at the top of the page now.

It's really unfortunate that the story does not actually specify the most important detail: that emails got onto the computer via backup. Without that detail, the entire story is fuzzy at best, and it's unclear what the problem with Comey's statement was. Still talks about 1000s of emails, where now "only a few" were actually forwarded.

But then, as the NYT editorial pointed out, it's just the 9999th detail that, overall, we needed to be covered a bit less breathlessly.

But her emails.
posted by Dashy at 7:59 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


If Net Neutrality is brought down, is there a way that its demise could lead to Twitter becoming unusable for the Donald?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:04 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


No. It just means that Twitter would become much faster than Mastodon.
posted by jaduncan at 8:06 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Still talks about 1000s of emails, where now "only a few" were actually forwarded.

And none of them were marked classified at the time.
posted by diogenes at 8:12 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


House Speaker Paul Ryan to visit charter school in Harlem: sources: The Wisconsin Republican will visit a Harlem Success Academy Charter School on W. 118th St., staffers who work in the building said.

Other sources who knew of the plans confirmed the pending visit.

The high-performing charter school operated by Eva Moskowitz is the same Success Academy that Ivanka Trump visited on Feb. 18. Reps for Ryan and Moskowitz didn't respond to requests for comment

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:14 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I still think Comey is ambiguously-maybe-bad, and hope this email snafu doesn't end up forcing him to resign so that Trump gets to appoint his successor, who will be surely-no-mistaking-it-bad.
posted by Jpfed at 8:16 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I think Comey made a mistake, enthusiastically, by latching onto a narrative that made it sound more urgent to send the letter to Congress which resulted in President Trump.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:18 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Politico: Who has Trump’s ear? Often rich, white, Republican men.
The people who have met with Donald Trump since he became president tend to have a lot in common, according to a database POLITICO compiled from public documents, media accounts and its own reporting: They’re mostly male, largely Republican and often rich.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:18 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


It did seem implausible unless the Abedin-Weiner household spends half their income on ink cartridges
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:19 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


The diseased political media's latest adventure in BothSidesDoIt-ism, courtesy of CNN's Senior Trolling Corresponent Chris Cillizza, in which liberals believing the false (and subsequently corrected) reports about the destination of a few cases of Bud Light is totally the same as believing in PizzaGate.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:19 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Outgoing Democratic administrations are just put on the Pay No Mind List no matter how serious or non-partisan the matter is.

Jan 2001-
Clinton: And listen, this Osama Bin Laden guy, he's...
Bush: Yeah, yeah.
Clinton: No, look, we've got real problems with this Al Q....
Bush: Blah blah blah don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out


Jan 2017 -
Obama: By the way, this Flynn guy, he's poison, so...
Trump: He's beautiful. Have some chocolate cake.
Obama: I just fired the SOB, he's in bed with the Russians...
Trump: It's going to be 'uge. Buh-bye now.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:19 AM on May 9 [63 favorites]


In my more charitable moments, I imagine Comey returning to his office every morning only to find a couple thousand more brooms carrying even more buckets of water to an already overflowing cauldron.
posted by klarck at 8:21 AM on May 9 [72 favorites]


It's disappointing to see them fall into line with "market costs!". Water (and if I need to specify: fresh, clean, unpolluted) is a basic human need, and should fall under infrastructure spending.

Martin Luther King Jr., "Where Do We Go From Here?"
I want to say to you as I move to my conclusion, as we talk about "Where do we go from here?" that we must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here, and one day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy.
...
And you see, my friends, when you deal with this you begin to ask the question, "Who owns the oil?" You begin to ask the question, "Who owns the iron ore?" You begin to ask the question, "Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that's two-thirds water?" These are words that must be said.
posted by indubitable at 8:23 AM on May 9 [50 favorites]


It shows how the President reacts under stress.

Hopefully the other nations of the world can see how badly he reacts, and temper their schemes accordingly

All responsible and non-Trumpian like
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:26 AM on May 9


House Speaker Paul Ryan to visit charter school in Harlem: sources: The Wisconsin Republican will visit a Harlem Success Academy Charter School on W. 118th St., staffers who work in the building said.

Looks like he's supposed to arrive soon. There's a small group of protestors assembled (chanting "die quick if you get sick" and "healthcare for all, not just for Paul"). Here's a livestream (currently chanting "greedy, cruel, and selfish too, Paul Ryan shame on you").
posted by melissasaurus at 8:31 AM on May 9 [34 favorites]


Hopefully the other nations of the world can see how badly he reacts, and temper their schemes accordingly

Oh, the world is watching, you can be sure of that.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:32 AM on May 9


John Atcheson, BillMoyers.com: Why Progressives Need a Long-term Strategy, Built on Values
Ever since Trump got elected, there’s been a lot of talk about resistance. As the country marked Trump’s first 100 days, it reached a crescendo. Then Republicans in the House passed Trump care — one of the cruelest Bills in recent memory. The reason they can screw so many people with relative impunity, is that they’ve invested decades in creating a mega-narrative that insulates them from consequences.

Certainly, we must resist Trump’s destructive agenda in every way we can. But if progressives are to recapture the hearts and minds of America it will take far more than just resisting. It will require that progressives develop a long-term strategy that addresses the needs of people, not plutocrats, that is based on values, not tactics.

And that has to start with reclaiming the Democratic Party from the neoliberals. The alternative is to continue to lose elections at all levels, as Democrats have been doing with increasing frequency since they abandoned the New Deal and adopted the raw deal.

...

While conservatives are playing political chess and thinking several moves ahead, Democrats are playing political checkers and focusing on short-term excuses for losing the election — like the Russian email hacks — which as Norman Soloman pointed out, gives them a pretext to continue to blame their defeat on the Russians, rather than the fact that they ran candidates who put Wall Street over Main Street.

It is precisely this embrace of neoliberalism that has caused the Democratic Party’s long, slow slide into irrelevance. Back in the 1960s, half the registered voters claimed to be Democrats; today, 29 percent do. Republicans have been hovering somewhere near 25 percent during the same period, while winning elections.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:35 AM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Wired: Anti-Vaxxers Brought Their War To Minnesota — And Then Came Measles
And they totally expected it. Over the last decade, anti-vaxxers have fortified this corner of Minneapolis into a bastion for pseudo-science. It all began with higher-than-normal rates of severe autism in the Somali community. And when state and university researchers failed to understand why the disorder hit so hard here, families went looking for answers elsewhere: friends, and the all-knowing internet. In came the anti-vax partisans, whose success with these frightened parents has turned the neighborhood into a beachhead for what should be a preventable disease.
I have the political equivalent of road rage.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:39 AM on May 9 [40 favorites]


Wired: Anti-Vaxxers Brought Their War To Minnesota — And Then Came Measles

Seems cynically strategic yet opportunistic.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:46 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Filthy Light Thief: Pay attention to local news and it'll come up

I was thinking about this Daily show segment: Brown in Town

What struck me was that the town of 3500 can not even bathe in their tap water, it is so toxic. The city manager laughed at the idea of having millions to replace the pipes, the county has not offered any help, the state of Texas won't help, and the Federal Government can't help. So these people pay their monthly water/sewage/trash bill of $120.00 and then spend another $120 a month to drink, give to pets, bathe, and wash dishes in. I suppose a hundred years ago a town would just not exist without a source of water like a river or wells or a lake but with ground water drying up and shared bodies of water being polluted it's easy for rural areas to find themselves without access to affordable, potable water.

Personal anecdote: all the old homes in my area had wells but at some point the town laid pipes and all those wells were filled in/sodded over/disappeared. The serious gardeners among us get together sometimes and fantasize about spending the thousands it would take to find those wells and make them operational so that when we have those three or four weeks during the summer when we have a drought we can save our trees/vegetables/ornamentals without racking up $300.00 water bills. I can't tell you how many hours I have spent on the weather page and scanning the doppler trying to figure out if I can hold off on watering.

Sure, recovering our wells may pay off in the future if our water bills sky rocket but so would putting in solar panels. And the truth is-- none of us really have a few thousand dollars to spare because we all have medical bills and houses that need a lot of TLC so they don't collapse around our ears.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:50 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Back in the 1960s, half the registered voters claimed to be Democrats; today, 29 percent do.

when the democrats can't capitalize on the real economic squeeze play that the middle and lower classes find themselves in, you know something has gone terribly wrong.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:52 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


If Donnie is still around in a year, every not-totally-right-wing politician is going to see the 2020 Democratic nomination as their route to the Presidency. There will be a hundred candidates. Debates will look like the Galactic Senate. But for now I am limited in my options and will have to support THE ROCK / ROQUE "ROCKY" DE LA FUENTE 2020
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:53 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Just on the heels of the Afghanistan war talk above: never forget that Barbara Lee was the SOLE vote in both houses of congress who wanted the US to slow down and think about other options before authorizing war. Beholden to the military-industrial complex, it will almost always be easier for politicians to vote for war rather than against it. Lee's rationale is worth remembering as politicians on both sides are now encouraging us to get more involved in Syria.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:55 AM on May 9 [52 favorites]


when the democrats can't capitalize on the real economic squeeze play that the middle and lower classes find themselves in, you know something has gone terribly wrong.

Taxes were turned into a racial thing instead of a class thing with the Southern Strategy. All of a sudden the racist elements of the WWC align themselves with management rather than giving all these newly enfranchised black people some sort of benefit from taxes.
posted by Talez at 8:56 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


It's like how when public schools were integrated white people went off and made their own private school system.
posted by Talez at 8:57 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Hi! I’m Congressman Steve Knight (R), and I Voted to Make People Die

Just one of SFWeekly's series of profiles of the seven California Republicans in blue-leaning districts who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Also, Steve Knight is a guy with kind of a punchable face.
posted by zakur at 8:57 AM on May 9 [35 favorites]


The diseased political media's latest adventure in BothSidesDoIt-ism, courtesy of CNN's Senior Trolling Corresponent Chris Cillizza, in which liberals believing the false (and subsequently corrected) reports about the destination of a few cases of Bud Light is totally the same as believing in PizzaGate.

If the media couldn't make false equivalences between liberals and conservatives, they couldn't make any equivalences at all, and then where would they be?

(Spoiler: In a position of actually having to do their job.)
posted by Gelatin at 8:57 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Back in the 1960s, half the registered voters claimed to be Democrats; today, 29 percent do

It doesn't help that there has been 30plus years of union busting and demonizing the word "liberal."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:58 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


to hell with "liberal", let's just reclaim "socialist"
posted by murphy slaw at 9:01 AM on May 9 [34 favorites]


Buzzfeed: These Federal Agencies Agreed To Conceal Some Of Their Communications From The Public
At least three federal government agencies have agreed to seemingly conceal official communications with a congressional committee from public information requests, following letters sent last month by the chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services.

Congressman Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas, sent letters in April to the heads of several federal agencies his committee oversees, declaring that communications and documents produced between the two offices will remain in the committee's control and will not be considered "agency records" — therefore exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests.

"The Committee expects that the [government agency] will decline to produce any such congressional records in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act or any other provision of law or agreement," the letter reads in part.
Wondering if this is spontaneous, or had been planned for a while.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:05 AM on May 9 [10 favorites]


let's just reclaim "socialist"

For the first time, I've been thinking recently about joining the DSA. It's time for us to start yanking the Overton Window really hard back to the left.
posted by jammer at 9:06 AM on May 9 [30 favorites]


Dashy It's disappointing to see them fall into line with "market costs!". Water (and if I need to specify: fresh, clean, unpolluted) is a basic human need, and should fall under infrastructure spending.

If we're going to start introducing "market costs" for water, how about we start with the mega farms? They're buying water from the Bureau of Reclamation (and sometimes the Army Corps of Engineers) that costs upwards of $100 per acre foot to get to them, but they're typically paying less than $10 per acre foot. The rest of the bill is paid by you and me.

Depending on how your municipality gets its water it could be paying easily upwards of $150 to $300 per acre foot (note: that's pre-treatment cost, after it's treated for human consumption it'll cost more). So we're already paying a lot for municipal water.

Keep your eye on the ball: agricultural use. If they're talking about increasing your cost for municipal water but they aren't talking about agriculture use they're trying to fuck you.
posted by sotonohito at 9:16 AM on May 9 [31 favorites]


While the Senate (slowly) tries to decide what it wants to do to the healthcare system, the Trump administration is making Obamacare more expensive, with insurers raising prices significantly to accommodate uncertainty over whether the Administration will enforce the law or make premium payments.

Obamacare has some safeguards in place to help, but it may be too late to prevent a death spiral.

Obamacare has a rule that requires health insurance companies to refund premiums if, at the end of the year, it turns out that their actual medical payouts are less than 80% of premiums charged. This means that if the insurers are overly pessimistic about their projected expenses and overcharge, they have to refund the difference to customers. This is an explicit rule to limit insurance company profits. This actually works. I received a premium refund check back in 2013 because of this rule.

Unfortunately this may not help in this case. Insurers are now setting premiums for the 2018 year. If they overcharge, customers will not see their refunds until six months after the end of that year, around June 2019. In the mean time, many customers will be discouraged from buying over-priced policies because they can't wait around for 18 months to get refunds. And meanwhile Republicans will have a talking point about the soaring cost of Obamacare premiums.
posted by JackFlash at 9:18 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy: Sure, recovering our wells may pay off in the future if our water bills sky rocket but so would putting in solar panels.

Unless wells are metered and managed regionally (by aquifer, ideally -- but that's often hard, as aquifers span local jurisdictions) excessive pumping can overdraw the groundwater "bank account" (USGS water education page; Archive.org copy, in case the current administration deems this information "false" or "counter-productive). In California, I dealt with moratoriums on new wells and expanded uses, even expanding of a restaurant, because seawater intrusion was already an issue in one community, while another agricultural region that had shifted from open-range cattle to vineyards had experienced land subsiding as underground aquifers were overdrawn.

In other words, water is something that requires a broad, regional if not national approach to address. That's not going to happen under the current administration, unless they fuck something up so badly that they're forced to address it.

Aquifers, as they are unseen resources, are the ultimate example of the tragedy of the commons.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:20 AM on May 9 [37 favorites]


The most clueless man in Washington.
The takeaway from Trump's first 100 days in office isn't a list of accomplishments or failures but rather a nugget of hard-won knowledge about the president himself: He is so comprehensively ignorant of policy and history, so thoroughly lacking in a core of settled beliefs or convictions, that the Oval Office might as well be unoccupied.
posted by scalefree at 9:22 AM on May 9 [46 favorites]


In the wake of pulling various statements off the Trump campaign website yesterday, the Trump Campaign rolled out an entirely new website today -- a site that foregrounds donating to the campaign and shopping for a variety of Trump-themed apparel over highlighting Trump's 2016 campaign promises. But there's room given over to touting Trump's First Hundred Days ('The Truth Mainstream Media Refuses To Tell'), and repeats at least one obviously false claim that the White House has made previously: that 'President Roosevelt signed 9 Executive Orders in his first 100 days,' fewer than Trump. Roosevelt signed ninety-nine, not nine. That's leaving aside the plain old typos on the front page.

As far as I can tell, everything from before Trump's inauguration -- every single promise and statement -- have been scrubbed from the website, and it's been turned fully over towards the 2020 campaign (and pushing merch sales).
posted by cjelli at 9:23 AM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Teen's election to Pearland school board turns heads
While school boards have had student representatives for decades, Floyd is the youngest person in recent memory elected to a school board in Texas.

His candidacy also reflects the increasing competitiveness of school board races in Houston's suburbs as the districts become more diverse, as well as the rising political engagement of millennials since Donald Trump's election in November.[...]

Much of Floyd's platform focused on making Pearland ISD's school board more transparent by live-streaming meetings and scheduling public-comment periods after traditional work hours. He also staked out a strong position on transgender issues, insisting that such students be able to use the restroom of their gender identify. That put him at odds with Superintendent John Kelly, who has been outspoken in arguing that students use the restroom that corresponds to their birth certificates.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:24 AM on May 9 [52 favorites]


It doesn't help that there has been 30plus years of union busting and demonizing the word "liberal."

Side note: I'm in a bunch of Facebook groups with left-wing people 18-25, and these days I more commonly see the word liberal as a pejorative from the left. I don't think it's an easily reclaimable word. Progressive is better.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:24 AM on May 9 [14 favorites]


I'm still utterly baffled by this belief that Comey is somehow an innocent who made a mistake.

He's a lifelong Republican. He had a personal grudge against the Clintons. Why start with the assumption that he was really a good guy who just somehow just made a horrible mistake? How about we apply Occam's Razor and start from the assumption that he was acting to achieve the result he got?

I can, very reluctantly, see the argument that Comey in charge for the FBI is better than whatever crazy far right person Trump would put in, but I'm not all that convinced. An open Trump partisan vs. the guy who threw the election to Trump? I can't say I see a whole lot of difference.

Either way, I'm still totally confused by why so many people seem to be going through such intense mental contortions to imagine that Comey is a good guy who just innocently made a horrible mistake. Is it just because Obama appointed him, or is there some evidence I'm missing?
posted by sotonohito at 9:25 AM on May 9 [28 favorites]


Either way, I'm still totally confused by why so many people seem to be going through such intense mental contortions to imagine that Comey is a good guy who just innocently made a horrible mistake. Is it just because Obama appointed him, or is there some evidence I'm missing?

60 years of movies and television centered on heroic G-Men?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:27 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I just don't think Comey is enjoying this outcome. When he said he was mildly nauseous about handing the Presidency to Cheeto Benito, I think that was an understatement. He isn't on a personal crusade, he is trying to appease a Republican Congress, as well as a powerful right-wing faction in the FBI. That doesn't mean he's innocent, it just means his motivations are pro-Comey rather than anti-Clinton.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:29 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


As far as I can tell, everything from before Trump's inauguration -- every single promise and statement -- have been scrubbed from the website, and it's been turned fully over towards the 2020 campaign (and pushing merch sales).

Caveat: I'm saying that based in part on the top-level link to 'news', which resolves to donaldjtrump.com/media/, and has a sidebar of archived posts that only go back to January 2017. Except that none of those archive links actually work (they just redirect back to /media), which feels, uh, broken. Right now, technically, they've scrubbed everything from before this week (in that it's inaccessible), but judging from the sidebar the intent was only to remove things from before January. Maybe it will look different in a week; the rollout feels a bit rushed...which might have something to do with pulling all those statements from the old website yesterday. Or it might not. I'm sure someone will leak a story on it soon.
posted by cjelli at 9:32 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


I just don't think Comey is enjoying this outcome. When he said he was mildly nauseous about handing the Presidency to Cheeto Benito, I think that was an understatement. He isn't on a personal crusade, he is trying to appease a Republican Congress. That doesn't mean he's innocent, it just means his motivations are pro-Comey rather than anti-Clinton.

This. If Clinton was elected I'm entirely sure that we'd be having never ending congressional investigations and if it came out (which it most certainly would have) that Comey held off on new information he would have been crucified.
posted by Talez at 9:32 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Considering his tremendous personal responsibility in handing the election to Trump, I hope his food is as ashes in his mouth for the rest of his natural life.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:33 AM on May 9 [35 favorites]


Aquifers, as they are unseen resources, are the ultimate example of the tragedy of the commons.

Man. That is deep.
posted by valkane at 9:34 AM on May 9 [23 favorites]


If Clinton was elected I'm entirely sure that we'd be having never ending congressional investigations and if it came out (which it most certainly would have) that Comey held off on new information he would have been crucified.

Comey's going to keep thinking he made the right call until the moment between the flash of light and the shockwave.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:35 AM on May 9 [21 favorites]




This. If Clinton was elected I'm entirely sure that we'd be having never ending congressional investigations and if it came out (which it most certainly would have) that Comey held off on new information he would have been crucified.


As opposed to now, where we have zero congressional investigations, a couple half-hearted senate investigations, and where it *has* come out that Comey DID hold off on new information (about Trump's campaign being investigated for contact with Russia), and so far nobody seems real fired up about assembling a crucifix.

I agree that if Clinton had won, the Republican engine for manufacturing dirt on her would have redoubled to an unbelievable degree, but that would still be preferable to actual Nazis, incompetents and cronies in the White House.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:38 AM on May 9 [15 favorites]


Comey's going to keep thinking he made the right call until the moment between the flash of light and the shockwave.

Truth be told, I was so sure of a Clinton victory at that point I probably would have done the same as him in his shoes. Seven years of being pulled in front of Congress every time you so much as sneeze is not a fun prospect for anyone.
posted by Talez at 9:39 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


He isn't on a personal crusade, he is trying to appease a Republican Congress. That doesn't mean he's innocent, it just means his motivations are pro-Comey rather than anti-Clinton.

It can be both. James Comey: Naive Idiot or Just Republican isn't really a productive distinction at this point. The results matter, and his stated motivations have been proven falsified. His specific intent is irrelevant.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:40 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


I can't think where else to put this little "I told you so," so I'll shoehorn it here.

Followup to this comment on Indonesia.

March: Governor Ahok: "Some people are out to get me"

April: Governor Ahok on trial for "blasphemy." Extremist elements chummy with Trump gain in strength.

But, April 20, Pence went there and things are just fine.

"That Pence should be saying this after the most divisive and sectarian election in Indonesian history is flabbergasting," says Australian National University associate professor Greg Fealy.

May 9: Ahok jailed.
Islamic hardliners (like Islamic Defenders’ Front (FPI) supporter and Santa hat hater, Fadli Zon and Hary Tanoe) gain in strength.

So yeah. In 1965 there was a (CIA assisted) coup in Indonesia. That's back when the CIA was in its heyday and things spun out of control into mass murder, torture and chaos.

Now?

One of their main foreign policy strategies is proxy war. General Gatot Nurmantyo spoke at a private Christian university last year and said if there was, say, a food shortage in China and they tried to enter Indonesia by sea "we would simply kill 10 cows and dump their carcasses into the waters to attract sharks. Then we would fire at their boats to sink them and all of them would be eaten by the sharks.”
Got a big round of applause.

We have to stop treating Trump (et. al) as a cause. He's a symptom. There's a lot of crazy floating around looking for something to latch on to and it kills indiscriminately.
And some people are trying to make a buck off of it by making it worse.

I don't think there's a political spectrum right now. Left, right, whatever. A thousand men can be swayed by their prejudices faster and easier than one man can be persuaded by reason. Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed (preamble to UNESCO constitution)

I think right now, any act or communication that is first dedicated to truth is an act of rebellion.

"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." - Abba Eban
posted by Smedleyman at 9:42 AM on May 9 [25 favorites]


it just means his motivations are pro-Comey rather than anti-Clinton.

As mentioned, it can be both. I think the best way to view Comey is (in order):

1) Pro-Comey
2) Anti-Clinton
3) Pro-Republicans
4) Agnostic/Mildly negative-Trump

So while he may not have been trying to elect Trump, he was definitely trying to cover his ass while hurting Clinton and helping Rs. And he was so blinded by #1-3/confident in polls, he didn't think through/care about the ramifications on #4.
posted by chris24 at 9:46 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


It's hard to square the Comey of today with the Comey who stopped Alberto Gonzalez from taking advantage of a hospitalized John Ashcroft to reauthorize Bush's domestic surveillance program, I think that's part of the tendency for people to keep hoping for better from him. But that episode was a long time ago, and while admirable, it's not like the Ashcroft DOJ was a good thing, it's just that Gonzalez was a worse actor in this incident. It was more a "the enemy of my enemy" situation.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:46 AM on May 9 [13 favorites]


Raul Labrador Announces Bid For Governor: Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) announced Tuesday that, instead of running for re-election in his safe Republican seat, he will run for governor of Idaho in 2018.

Labrador also made headlines last week when he said during a town hall that “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.” The comment was obviously wrong, and CNN rated Labrador as having the “worst week in Washington.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:48 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Politico: All the President’s Guests
Politico's Unauthorized White House Visitor Logs stand in for the official record, which the administration has decided not to release publicly.

To build a better, completely public visitor log, we compiled not just visits to the White House, but interactions that include in-person meetings with the president at Mar-a-Lago and other venues, appearances at events and documented phone calls with foreign leaders and other politicians.
..
This database is an evolving piece of journalism. We will continue to update it with the latest information, and will correct any errors in the data as soon as we become aware of them. If you see something wrong or missing, please let us know at trumpvisitors@politico.com.
And if you're wanting to do something with all that data, there's even an API.
posted by cjelli at 9:49 AM on May 9 [44 favorites]


Raul Labrador Announces Bid For Governor.

First press conference.
REPORTER: If elected governor, will you shut down all the hospitals in Idaho?
LABRADOR: What are you talking about?
REPORTER: You said that no one dies from lack of access to health care. So hospitals are unnecessary, right?

Second verse, same as the first.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:55 AM on May 9 [57 favorites]


That doesn't mean he's innocent, it just means his motivations are pro-Comey rather than anti-Clinton.

Comey's entire career has been in investigating the Clintons though. I don't know whether he was personally against Hillary Clinton being president, but it's pretty much impossible that he doesn't have anti-Clinton animus, he's spent almost my entire lifetime earning money for investigating the Clintons.

One of his first jobs was in the SDNY under Giuliani, he was a deputy special counsel on the Whitewater investigation in the 90s, he was a lead in the investigation into Clinton's pardons in 2002, there was a whole thing about Sandy Berger mishandling classified documents (while acting as B. Clinton's agent) in the mid-2000s that he was involved in, and of course the emails.

The guy is as anti-Clinton as the rest of them, he just talks less.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:56 AM on May 9 [15 favorites]


It's hard to square the Comey of today with the Comey who stopped Alberto Gonzalez from taking advantage of a hospitalized John Ashcroft to reauthorize Bush's domestic surveillance program, I think that's part of the tendency for people to keep hoping for better from him. But that episode was a long time ago...

Comey : Civil Servant : : McCain : Legislator
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:58 AM on May 9 [21 favorites]


Sean McElwee, Demos: Voter Suppression Works
Finally, Civis and Priorities compared turnout changes in counties in Wisconsin (which passed a strict ID law) and Minnesota (which did not, and has demographics similar to Wisconsin), by the percentage of African Americans in the county. As the chart shows, turnout in highly black counties declined dramatically more in Wisconsin than in Minnesota. Civis estimates that the turnout decline attributable to voter ID in Wisconsin was enough to swing the state from Clinton to Trump.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:04 AM on May 9 [51 favorites]


Senate Republicans just left their healthcare meeting -- they're ok with the Medicaid cuts. Hit the phones folks.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:08 AM on May 9 [30 favorites]


Sean McElwee, Demos: Voter Suppression Works

Remember, Republicans' vote suppression shenanigans are an overt admission that they can't win a popular vote.
posted by Gelatin at 10:10 AM on May 9 [36 favorites]


Senate Republicans just left their healthcare meeting -- they're ok with the Medicaid cuts.

From that, it seems that Toomey has continued to be awful:
Coming out of Republican health meeting Sen. Toomey (PA) says the AHCA's $840 billion Medicaid cut is not really a cut because Medicaid spending is higher than pre-Obamacare rates. And since Republicans promised to repeal Obamacare, it's just going back to normal.
That's some spectacularly spurious logic.
posted by cjelli at 10:20 AM on May 9 [13 favorites]


Was just quoting that myself, cjelli, to point out that it's fun what you can do when you just define the baseline where you want. On the other hand, the Bush tax cuts expiring was a tax increase because the taxes had been low!

I guess there's a hint of consistency there - the base is always the lowest level! Lowest ever spending on the needy? Proper baseline! Lowest contribution from the wealthiest? Proper baseline!

Let's apply that to "Toomey being in Congress." For most of history you weren't a Senator, clearly that's the proper baseline.
posted by phearlez at 10:23 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


The guy is as anti-Clinton as the rest of them, he just talks less.

and smiles more
posted by entropicamericana at 10:23 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Coming out of Republican health meeting Sen. Toomey (PA) says the AHCA's $840 billion Medicaid cut is not really a cut because Medicaid spending is higher than pre-Obamacare rates. And since Republicans promised to repeal Obamacare, it's just going back to normal.

And a tax increase to 91% on income above $200,000 isn't a tax hike. Since Ds have been saying they're going to raises taxes on the rich, it's just going back to normal when the US had the best growth post-WWII.
posted by chris24 at 10:24 AM on May 9 [33 favorites]


That's some spectacularly spurious logic.

Read it as "The periods from 1954-1968 and 2008-2016 were unfortunate aberrations from the Real American policy of white supremacy" and it makes more sense.

Making America Great (and sick, and controlled by the right people) Again.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:25 AM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Comey's entire career has been in investigating the Clintons though.

I keep thinking back to a comment I wrote months ago about Comey and Clinton. Comey knows where all the figurative bodies are buried when it comes to the Clinton's. He is either a partisan hack who helped influence the election for Trump (definitely possible) or there is something he knows about the Clinton's that caused him to act in the manner he did to thwart a Clinton 2.0 presidency. I'm trying to rationalize his behavior and in doing so I'm also treading deep into tinfoil-hat-conspiracy-theory territory. Problem is, every time I think the 2016 election and aftermath can't get any more fucked up something is revealed that breaks my brain yet again. I accept that we may never have a full accounting of what took place before the election and what is happening right now. I'm all but convinced that Trump is going to be with us for the duration and that if the elections of 2018 don't produce a bumper crop of freshman democratic congress critters committed to blocking the Republican agenda the U.S. will continue to stumble it's way towards marginalization and failed-state status.

JFC, I hope I'm wrong. I'll even bake a cake if I am.
posted by photoslob at 10:28 AM on May 9


Pat Fucking Toomey is and will always be terrible. I have zero hope of anything I say ever swaying him, at this point I'm only calling/writing/faxing his offices for the sheer vindictive pleasure of knowing I am taking up his staffers' time that they cannot therefore be using to do his evil bidding.
posted by Stacey at 10:28 AM on May 9 [11 favorites]


there was a whole thing about Sandy Berger mishandling classified documents

Every once and a while, I remember that Sandy Berger stuffed five copies of a classified report down his pants in an attempt to smuggle them out of the National Archives, and I truly hope I live long enough for that thing to be declassified so we can find out why the heck he found that necessary.

Anyhoo, Spicey Time.
posted by zachlipton at 10:28 AM on May 9 [11 favorites]


The White House is reportedly looking to get some women on the Senate working group for healthcare. Or, in the words of an SAO who could not be describe tokenism any better if he was literally holding a token: "you'll see those optics addressed."
posted by zachlipton at 10:31 AM on May 9 [37 favorites]


Comey doesn't have to be a crazy evil mastermind or a bumbling idiot to explain anything here. By far the simplest explanation is: he is a coward (much like most people, especially the current and recent residents of Washington DC) who believed that he could have his cake and eat it too. He thought that Clinton was a lock, so any "minor" malfeasance he did to please fascist friends was fine.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:32 AM on May 9 [18 favorites]


The White House should ask Mitt Romney if they can borrow his binders full of women.
posted by agregoli at 10:33 AM on May 9 [13 favorites]


he is a coward (much like most people, especially the current and recent residents of Washington DC)

There are well over a half a million residents of DC, which is also the only member of the Electoral College that has never once voted for a GOP candidate for President. There's no reason to lump them in with Congresspeople that are an almost entirely transient population, and certainly not with the ones who are and continue to be evil cowards.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:40 AM on May 9 [32 favorites]


he is a coward (much like most people, especially the current and recent residents of Washington DC)

Excuse me. Please do not equate the heavily minority residents of the District of Columbia, a district without representation in the halls of power, with the people the rest of the country elected to send here.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:41 AM on May 9 [29 favorites]


Rrrrrr Toomey you fucker
posted by angrycat at 10:41 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]




Meanwhile, in South Korea: Moon Jae-in Declares Victory in South Korea Presidential Election
Moon Jae-in, a human rights lawyer who favors dialogue with North Korea, declared victory in the South Korean presidential election on Tuesday, after his rivals appeared to concede defeat.

His victory would return the liberals to power after nearly a decade in the political wilderness and set up a potential rift with the United States over the North’s nuclear weapons program.
...
Mr. Moon, 64, a son of North Korean refugees, faces the challenge of enacting changes to limit the power of big business and address the abuses uncovered in his predecessor’s downfall, while balancing relations with the United States and China and following through on his promise of a new approach to North Korea.
...
Mr. Moon has argued that Washington’s reliance on sanctions and “maximum pressure” has been ineffective and that it is time to give engagement and dialogue with the North another chance, an approach favored by China. He has also called for a review of the Pentagon’s deployment of an antimissile defense system in South Korea that the Chinese government has denounced.
The election is, of course, important for a lot of reasons that have nothing at all to do with US/Korean relations, but in the context of American politics this will likely have some (as-yet-do-be-determined) impact.
posted by cjelli at 10:42 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


“Finally finished that Yates hearing. How exhausting. The poise and professionalism of that woman is just incredible.”

Had this in my head all day.

The White House should ask Mitt Romney if they can borrow his binders full of women.

Wouldn't want to leak unclassified information though.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:43 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Officials: Trump Approves Plan to Arm Syrian Kurds

Why does this matter? Obviously, it matters in terms of the war and the people caught in the middle and Trump's statement last month that we aren't getting involved in Syria, but it also links back to Flynn. As I've discussed here previously, the Obama Administration prepared a detailed plan to retake Raqqa, centered around arming Kurdish fighters. It's a rather touchy subject, because those fighters are more-or-less the same people Turkey considers a terrorist group and their greatest threat, and Turkey is still a member of NATO.

A few days before the inauguration, Obama's national security advisor handled over the plans to Trump's national security advisor, yep, Michael Flynn, who immediately slammed on the brakes. Obama viewed the issue as so important that he would discuss it with Trump on the way to the inauguration. Yet the plan was dead on arrival when Trump took office. Which—ok—there are a number of not at all unreasonable arguments against the plan, but it's a problem when the guy most responsible for killing it just wrapped up a career as a foreign agent for the Turkish government, one he failed to disclose.

So now Flynn is gone and the plan, or some variation of it, appears to be back on.
posted by zachlipton at 10:44 AM on May 9 [23 favorites]


Spicy is running late.

He's not late, he's just running on Spicey time.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:44 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


This is just gross: Trump team marks 6-month election anniversary by vowing to air video of Clinton campaign’s concession call
On Tuesday, Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, celebrated the six-month anniversary of the election by tweeting a screen grab of the late night phone call in which Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton called to concede to Republican candidate Donald Trump. Scavino promised to share video of the conversation, which he said came via a Nov. 9 phone call at 2:30 a.m. from longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin to Trump’s then-campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.
...
Scavino did not respond to an email asking when he plans to reveal the clip. He posted the message on his personal account rather than his official White House Twitter page. Scavino has previously been attacked by Democrats for using his personal account to call for the defeat of a congressman who criticized Trump. Ethics laws bar government officials from using their position to influence elections.
posted by cjelli at 10:45 AM on May 9 [13 favorites]




much like most people, especially the current and recent residents of Washington DC

Yeah for fuck's sake can we not do this again?

The District of Columbia is not the government, there are more people who live here than in the entire state of Wyoming, most of us are not connected in any specific way to the current administration, we are pretty-well represented on MeFi, we pay taxes and get told by these fuckers in Congress what we can and can't spend them on, and every time you (not specifically you) do this a whole bunch of us are mad and sad.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:51 AM on May 9 [27 favorites]


From the article on the most clueless man in Washington:

"When the man holding the office of the presidency gives a speech or an interview, or when he tweets, it's news. But the rest of us — even those of us paid to analyze these presidential statements and actions — can respond to them in the right way, as what they really are. And what they are is a thoroughgoing distraction, a sick joke, a novel, outlandish, and corrosive form of mass entertainment."

The phrase 'a novel, outlandish, and corrosive form of mass entertainment' is beautiful in its comprehensive summary of our current political situation.

I wish I could cross stitch so I could put it on a sampler with dead weeping trees all around it.
posted by winna at 10:55 AM on May 9 [10 favorites]


The Continuing Death of The New York Times, Part MCMXCVIII:

The New York Times allowed an anti-choice group to write a press release on the op-ed page
We can probably blame the paper’s both-sidesism for today’s piece. In April, it ran a column by Bryce Covert arguing that abortion access is indeed an economic issue. Perhaps that’s how Times management justified its decision to publish Szala. Covert’s piece, however, contained facts. Szala’s contains disturbing factual omissions: She neglects to note that, according to the best research available, 95 percent of women who get abortions don’t regret their decisions. Or that a full three-fourths of women who get abortions cite a lack of money to care for a child as one of their motivations.

Like her coworker’s previous effort, Szala simply rehashes old arguments against abortion access. And she frames these old arguments in the most hyperbolic language possible. “Parenting presents undeniable challenges, but no one argues that those challenges give parents the right to kill their children,” she asserts. This is not a sincere attempt to engage in an intellectual discussion about abortion access and economic justice. It doesn’t actually tell us anything new about pro-life beliefs. The Times could have reprinted the comment section of LifeSiteNews to largely the same effect.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:57 AM on May 9 [36 favorites]


Officials: Trump Approves Plan to Arm Syrian Kurds

So that must presumably involve the until-recently communist-led YPG? OMG I am going to love relating this to my conservative friends and acquaintances.
posted by XMLicious at 10:57 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


BRO. Really. I listened to it.

Journalists Are Nosy’: Trump Advisor Says It’s Totally Reasonable Not to Want Them Around

Cuomo: They wouldn’t let journalists into that meeting that they had in China. Why, Anthony?
Scaramucci: Because journalists are nosy and journalists throw the eggs.
Cuomo: Good thing. Good thing they are.
Scaramucci: Okay. I’m glad you’re throwing eggs, bro.
Cuomo: I’m not throwing eggs. I’m throwing facts. There’s a difference.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:59 AM on May 9 [16 favorites]


melissasaurus: Teen's election to Pearland school board turns heads
Mike Floyd wasn't surprised when the Dawson High School principal called him into the front office Monday. The 18-year-old senior had just been elected to Pearland ISD's Board of Trustees Saturday night, upsetting 6-year incumbent Rusty DeBorde. Floyd figured school leaders would want to go over details for the three days before graduation during which he would be both a high school student and a sworn-in trustee.

What he didn't expect was for the principal and a room full of assistant principals to break into applause as he walked in.

"That was pretty unusual," Floyd said, laughing before talking about the task at hand. "I think I'm up for the job, I can do it. I ran because I think I am qualified, and now's my chance to prove it."
...
He does have a big decision to make - should he sit with other trustees or with his fellow students at Dawson High's graduation?

"I have to think about it," Floyd said. "I've been with some of these same people for the past 13 years and want to graduate with them, but I want to show them this is what you can do: You can win public office."
Fook yah, Mike Floyd!

The article also mentions Run For Something, "a candidate-recruitment group created to encourage liberal-leaning candidates younger than 35 to run for public office, has seen a surge of interest since it was launched on Inauguration Day 2017."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 AM on May 9 [31 favorites]


Trump appoints Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne as regional HUD administrator: "As Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne's second mayoral term ends, the Republican known for speaking out against illegal immigration and Sharia begins overseeing housing and urban development for five states."

This would be the Islamophobe mayor who led a panic over Sharia law and ran around calling Ahmed Mohamed's clock "a hoax bomb" and sat by while he was called a terrorist.
posted by zachlipton at 11:00 AM on May 9 [25 favorites]


Spicey is on.
posted by prefpara at 11:08 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


It's just all so very very depressing. WTF is going to happen when there's
A) a major attack on/in the US
B) a major acute natural catastrophe (earthquake, fires, hurricanes, asteroid...)
C) unknown disruption on a nation/worldwide scale (M=Giant solar flare that takes out the grid)
D)????

These days I can barely find reasons to keep working, much less some game changer like any of the above coming into play.

Fuck.
posted by yoga at 11:08 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


This is just gross: Trump team marks 6-month election anniversary by vowing to air video of Clinton campaign’s concession call

Sometimes it’s fun to go back to your high-school and impress the current generation of students with how accomplished you are because now you can legally buy beer.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:09 AM on May 9 [29 favorites]


B) a major acute natural catastrophe (earthquake, fires, hurricanes, asteroid...)

Or, say, a massive structural collapse at the Hanford site.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:10 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Spicer's first question is about the 18 days on Flynn. Well done, reporters. Spicer is blaming Yates.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:12 AM on May 9 [12 favorites]


nice little sigh before you answered that first question re Flynn, Spicester
posted by angrycat at 11:12 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


"I'll never fire Spicer. He has great ratings! Everyone tunes in!"
posted by valkane at 11:14 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Spicer is saying that Yates isn't credible because she "wasn't exactly" a supporter of the POTUS agenda. Cites her refusal to defend the Muslim ban.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:15 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Spicer called Yates a "political opponent of the president"
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:15 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Spicer dismissed Yates' warning as "a heads up from a political opponent of the President".
posted by Justinian at 11:15 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Spicey is basically saying that Yates was such a partisan hack that the White House couldn't act on her information quickly. I hope all of his burps taste like cough syrup forever.
posted by prefpara at 11:15 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Spicer just described Trump's goal as "reducing the threat" from ISIS in Afghanistan. After some drama, he quickly realized that "eliminate" is the Trump-approved word he was looking for.
posted by zachlipton at 11:17 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Officials: Trump Approves Plan to Arm Syrian Kurds

if the Trump admin is so inept that they end up tripping over their own dick and arming the only openly socialist faction in the Syrian civil war, one so radically equal that it has its own divisions of women soldiers, then I'm not about to complain.

i do hope it doesn't scuttle whatever deal the Obama admin struck with Turkey that kept them from invading Syria to kill Kurds.
posted by indubitable at 11:17 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Whoah, does Sally Yates now have a case for defamation over that 'political opponent' comment?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:18 AM on May 9 [16 favorites]


Spicey doesn't know if Trump has talked to Erdogan about arming the Kurds. I guess that's a no.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:18 AM on May 9


roomthreeseventeen: Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) announced Tuesday that, instead of running for re-election in his safe Republican seat, he will run for governor of Idaho in 2018.

Interesting - the Wikipedia page on the Idaho gubernatorial election, 2018 currently states that
1) Clement Leroy "Butch" Otter [I'm biting my tongue so hard right now] isn't pursuing re-election, but
2) Brad Little, Lieutenant Governor of Idaho, is, alongside
3) Tommy Ahlquist, businessman and former emergency physician, and
4) Raúl “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care” Labrador is the fourth Republican to declare their intent to run for governor of Idaho.

The only Democrat who has yet declared is Troy Minton, who I am informed is homeless, per a Wikipedia citation of an article on laws targeting homeless people -- though that article doesn't mention that this Troy Minton is running for Governor, so it could be a different Troy Minton.

The 2014 Idaho gubernatorial race wasn't close, and Idaho hasn't had a Democratic governor since Cecil D. Andrus was handily voted in back in 1990.

Good luck, Idaho!
posted by filthy light thief at 11:19 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Note that they didn't just announce the plan to arm syrian kurds, spicey says he doesn't know if Trump has spoken about this plan with Turkey.
posted by Justinian at 11:19 AM on May 9


“I’ll never fire Spicer. He has great ratings! Everyone tunes in!”

The truest thing the President has ever said.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:20 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


When politicians complain about politics, you know you've found a vein.
posted by rhizome at 11:20 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


let's not pretend that trump knows what a Kurd is, let alone that he talked to erdogan about them
posted by murphy slaw at 11:21 AM on May 9 [21 favorites]


Spicer's new line on the 18 days before Flynn was fired: "we're not going to re-litigate the past."

Smooth. Real smooth.
posted by zachlipton at 11:22 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


he probably thinks there's some Rambo-like supersoldier named Kurt who's gonna take care of ISIS 80s-action-movie-style once they send him some cool guns
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:22 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


let’s not pretend that trump knows what a Kurd is, let alone that he talked to erdogan about them

“Why are all these curds in your whey? Terrible!”
posted by Going To Maine at 11:23 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


"we're not going to re-litigate the past."

What, does Spicey read metafilter?
posted by valkane at 11:23 AM on May 9 [15 favorites]


Damn, Sara Murray! "Can you tell us what the President is doing with his time lately?"
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:23 AM on May 9 [31 favorites]


Spicer's new line on the 18 days before Flynn was fired: "we're not going to re-litigate the past."

No, but if 2018 goes well, we'll hopefully prosecute the crimes.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:24 AM on May 9 [16 favorites]


he probably thinks there's some Rambo-like supersoldier named Kurt who's gonna take care of ISIS 80s-action-movie-style once they send him some cool guns

to be fair your average Kurd matches this description pretty closely
posted by murphy slaw at 11:24 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Spicer just rolled out the Clapper "no evidence" lie.
posted by diogenes at 11:25 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


The BIG LIE small hands administration.
posted by valkane at 11:26 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Spicer says it was "widely rumored" that Yates supported Clinton.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:27 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Wait, is Certified Mail really the gold standard of truth in Trump's world?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:27 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


C'mon White House Press Corp, you've gotta point out that Clapper didn't say that!
posted by diogenes at 11:27 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


we're not going to re-litigate the past."

Correct because that's what grand juries and prosecutors do.
posted by spitbull at 11:28 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Jack Posobiec is in the briefing. This is the guy who just spread #Macronleaks and was a prominent pizzagate figure, to the extent he went to the restaurant and Periscoped live, wandering uninvited into a child's birthday party in a private party room and being thrown out with the assistance of the police. This is the guy they credentialed.
posted by zachlipton at 11:28 AM on May 9 [63 favorites]


Spicer: Yates' decision not to enforce the original travel ban retroactively justifies the White House not sharing it with her before executing it. Or something.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:28 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Has Sally Yates ever talked about running for president?
posted by dilaudid at 11:29 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Also present in the pool is Lee Stranahan, who used to work for Breitbart until last month, when he left to work for Russian state outlet Sputnik.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:30 AM on May 9 [18 favorites]


More and more I'm surprised they actually fired Flynn. Leaving a blatant Russian spy in place then acting outraged when it is questioned is way more their style.

(Note that they're probably still riddled with Russian spies anyway and Trump remains a useful idiot.)
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I'd vote for her.
posted by valkane at 11:30 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


My girl Hallie is making him squirm over Yates' two visits to the WH GOOOOO HALLIE
posted by angrycat at 11:31 AM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Yates' decision not to enforce the original travel ban retroactively justifies the White House not sharing it with her before executing it. Or something.

And it also somehow retroactively justifies ignoring her when she warned them about Flynn...
posted by diogenes at 11:32 AM on May 9


Re the Afghanistan article about Zbiggy's lure,

In 1983 we returned to Kabul with Harvard Negotiation Project Director Roger Fisher for ABC’s Nightline. Our aim was to establish the credibility of the American claims. We discovered from high level Soviet officials that the Kremlin wanted desperately to abandon the war but the Reagan administration was dragging its feet.

From the moment they entered office, the Reagan administration demanded that the Soviets withdraw their forces, while at the same time keeping them pinned down through covert action so they couldn’t leave. Though lacking in facts and dripping in right wing ideology, this hypocritical campaign was embraced by the entire American political spectrum and continues to be willfully-unexamined by America’s mainstream media.


All roads of shit lead to Reagan.
posted by petebest at 11:32 AM on May 9 [7 favorites]


I don't understand Spicer's argument that Yates could not be trusted because she overruled other DOJ attorneys (duh, she was the Attorney General of the United States) and concluded that the travel ban was illegal. After all, the judiciary agreed with her and the White House drafted a new one rather than defend it.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:33 AM on May 9 [23 favorites]


I'd vote for her in a hot minute. We need good people doing good things, not bad people doing bad things. Why is this so hard? Grrrrrrr! Why are there more stupid people than smart people? It's like a conspiracy or something!
posted by valkane at 11:34 AM on May 9 [12 favorites]


I don't understand Spicer's argument that Yates could not be trusted because she overruled other DOJ attorneys

His argument doesn't make sense based on how the law works, and it doesn't make sense based on how time works.
posted by diogenes at 11:35 AM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Spicer is now basically saying that Yates was incompetent and unclear, because you "don't ask someone to come back" and explain themselves if you understood them the first time.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:35 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I don't understand Spicer's argument

It's not an intellectual position, Spicer is a dancing puppet to entertain the press. Jangling keys would work just as well or better as jangling keys don't lie as much.
posted by petebest at 11:36 AM on May 9 [35 favorites]


unfortunately, the best thing for sally yates to do is remain steadfastly non-partisan until the entire administration gets frog-marched out of the white house. and even after that, if she enters politics there will be folks that say it proves that the impeachment was a set-up.
posted by murphy slaw at 11:37 AM on May 9 [16 favorites]


More and more I'm surprised they actually fired Flynn. Leaving a blatant Russian spy in place then acting outraged when it is questioned is way more their style.

Look at the timeline. They didn't fire Flynn when they were told he was compromised. They didn't fire Flynn after the WH Counsel saw the evidence. They didn't fire Flynn after the "Flynn lied" story came out. The point when they finally fired Flynn was when the story came out that the White House knew Flynn lied for weeks and did nothing. And Trump was still defending him after he was fired.

He wasn't fired because of what he did; he was fired because they got caught covering it up. Cutting Flynn loose was their effort to end the drama without it spreading to everyone else involved in the coverup.

Remember that Trump was personally involved in that coverup. They've acknowledged that Trump was told about the situation after Yates met with McGahn.
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 AM on May 9 [77 favorites]


I don't understand Spicer's argument that Yates could not be trusted because she overruled other DOJ attorneys

The deeper problem with Spicer's line of reasoning is that it's a retroactive justification: Yates informed the White House about Flynn on January 26th; she was fired at the end of January, after refusing to enforce the travel EO. Flynn resigned the next month. So the idea that Yates couldn't be trusted on January 26th or 27th because of events that wouldn't happen for another three or four days is to reject the notion of linear time.

There are also a bunch of legal issues, obviously, but that's at least consistent with the White House's arguing (albeit badly) in court that they're wring and Yates (and various courts) were and are wrong.

The other real problem here is that Spicer keeps trying to paint a picture of Yates as an enemy of Trump and 'an Obama appointee' who 'expected a role in the Clinton White House'; that's nonsense. She's a career official who has served in multiple administrations; she didn't start in the Obama administration; and of fucking course she would expect a role in the Clinton White House -- just as she expected, and had, a role in the Obama White House and the Trump White House.
posted by cjelli at 11:39 AM on May 9 [25 favorites]


It sounds like Spicer is going with the Marion Barry defense here.
posted by peeedro at 11:39 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Still even then I'm surprised they fired him. These fuckers wander around with two cookie jars for hands forever and everybody lets them.
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


They've called him on the Clapper "no evidence" lie and Spicer's response is to blame the media. For... something. Damn that guy is difficult to follow.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:40 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


They've called him on the Clapper "no evidence" lie

Finally! Who was that?
posted by diogenes at 11:41 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


the idea that Yates couldn't be trusted on January 26th or 27th because of events that wouldn't happen for another three or four days is to reject the notion of linear time.

Who are you going to believe? Me or that lying space-time contiuum?
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:41 AM on May 9 [31 favorites]


Damn that guy is difficult to follow

That does seem to be his only actual qualification.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:42 AM on May 9 [14 favorites]


Who are you going to believe? Me or that lying space-time contiuum?

Can you prove Spicy doesn't have a wormhole?
posted by chris24 at 11:42 AM on May 9


Finally! Who was that?

I didn't catch his name -- the guy sitting next to John Roberts from Fox.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:44 AM on May 9


Finally! Who was that?

Major Garrett
posted by zachlipton at 11:44 AM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Me or that lying space-time continuum?

The space-time continuum is definitely taking a beating today. Spicer is still claiming that Flynn was fired only because he lied to Pence, and that also runs into issues with linear time.
posted by diogenes at 11:44 AM on May 9


Thanks zachlipton - that's him.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:46 AM on May 9


Can you prove Spicy doesn't have a wormhole?

"The worm is the Spicer. The Spicer is the worm."
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:47 AM on May 9 [16 favorites]


Finally! Who was that?

Major Garrett


He had a lot of good questions. I wish he's driven home the ramifications of getting Spicer to accept what Clapper actually said during the hearing (i.e. that Trump's "no evidence" claim is now factually indefensible).
posted by diogenes at 11:47 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


History will show that Sean Spicer took a job defending one of the worst presidents in US history. At least none of us have to face that. I mean, I've been depressed for a long while now, but at least I'm not Sean Spicer. That guys liver will most likely eat him.
posted by valkane at 11:47 AM on May 9 [15 favorites]


He doesn't have to face it. Nobody's stopping him from resigning.
posted by dilaudid at 11:48 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


sean spicer looks like a picture of sean spicer where they shrunk his face in photoshop
posted by murphy slaw at 11:48 AM on May 9 [22 favorites]


Last week I sent a quick note to my new Congressperson about his TERRIBLE vote in favor of AHCA (it's Dana Rohrabacher of CA 48!) (a month ago my Congressperson was Mark DeSaulnier of CA 11, whom I miss terribly). Anyway, Representative Rohrabacher wrote back!
Dear Mr. You:

Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

As you may know, H.R. 1628 was introduced by Representative Diane Black of Tennessee on March 20, 2017, and subsequently referred to the House Committee on Budget. If enacted, this bill would, among other things, significantly modify laws and regulations relating to health insurance in the United States by amending the budgetary portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, also known as “Obamacare”. These changes include, but are not limited to: (1) repeal of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, (2) repeal of the employer requirement to offer health insurance to employees if the company retains 50 employees or more, (3) repeal of the Medicaid expansion, which allowed states to consider individuals with income at 133% of the poverty line eligible for Medicaid, (4) repeal of cost-sharing subsidies, and (5) the establishment of a refundable tax credit to assist those affected by these changes with the purchase of health insurance.

Contrary to false claims by opponents of this legislation, this bill maintains protections for those with pre-existing conditions. It does allow state governments more flexibility to meet the needs of their residents by allowing them to apply for waivers from some of the ACA’s costliest mandates that will remain in place, including essential health benefits, age ratings, and community ratings. Nevertheless, states would only be eligible for these waivers if they have a program to assist those with pre-existing conditions, who will retain protection from the denial or ending of coverage based on their medical status. These waivers would only allow a state to modify the amount that insurers charge them for coverage, and only if the individual does not maintain consistent coverage by going 63 days without insurance. Even then, surcharges would be limited to one year of premiums and no more than a 30% increase.

Some have claimed that Congressional Republicans exempted themselves from the effects of the legislation they wish to enact. This is also a false narrative intended to enlist opposition to the bill. Senate rules prohibited the inclusion of a provision to undo the existing exemption, which was codified in the Public Health Service Act. This is important, because its inclusion would mean that 60 votes would be required to pass the AHCA in the Senate, rather than a simple majority. To address this problem, the House voted on a stand-alone piece of legislation to correct it. H.R. 2192, a bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to eliminate the non-application of certain state waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 429-0 just before the vote on the AHCA. It is now awaiting action in the Senate.

The ACA is a flawed law that has inflicted economic harm throughout the nation since its enactment in 2010. The 111th Congress, in an attempt to address the lack of health insurance coverage for a significant number of Americans, prescribed heavy-handed federal regulation, massive taxes, and onerous compliance mandates for businesses of all sizes. These and other provisions of the ACA have not worked for healthcare consumers and resulted in skyrocketing premiums, lost coverage, and the loss of the ability to choose plans that best fit their needs. Moreover, all across the nation, health insurance companies have pulled out of the ACA’s exchanges, leaving many states and counties with fewer, and in some cases zero options. This is unacceptable, and many of the promises that President Obama and congressional Democrats made have been broken. Knowing that this would ensue, I have voted to repeal the ACA each time the House of Representatives has considered legislation to do so. Accordingly, I voted in favor of H.R. 1628, which passed the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017, by a vote of 217-213, and it is now awaiting action in the Senate.

While I acknowledge the bill is not perfect, this is the first step among many to repeal and replace a failing law. We must act before the ACA completes the process of collapse it is currently undergoing. I believe the AHCA will better serve the American people by fostering a more patient-friendly, market-oriented health insurance market, and I look forward to working with the Senate on a bill that can be sent to the President’s desk for signature.

Again, thank you for giving me the benefit of your views. Please continue to keep me informed on any federal issue of importance to you.

Sincerely,

Dana Rohrabacher
Member of Congress
Later today maybe I'll take the time to rebut. Sharing here as the talking points regarding the nature of the state waiver are likely all from the same source (Crazy Dana sure couldn't have concocted them), and may be appearing in letters from your own MOCs.
posted by notyou at 11:48 AM on May 9 [13 favorites]


I didn't catch his name -- the guy sitting next to John Roberts from Fox.

As zachlipton said, it's Major Garrett, but he is formerly of Fox. He's now Chief WH Correspondent for CBS News.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:49 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


And.... Spicey out.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:49 AM on May 9


I just asked myself who would I most not want to be: Sean Spicer or the protagonist in Manchester by the Sea
posted by angrycat at 11:50 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Major Garrett? The Star Trek babe?
posted by valkane at 11:51 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Chelsea Manning on Impending Release: ‘Freedom Used to Be Something I Dreamed Of’: The ACLU, which represents Manning in an ongoing 2014 lawsuit against the Department of Defense over access to gender-related medical care, told NBC News they were unable to determine the exact day next week that Manning will go free. Earlier reports suggested May 17 as a likely release date.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:51 AM on May 9 [9 favorites]


While conservatives are playing political chess and thinking several moves ahead

I believe you are referring to the alternate timeline here.
posted by corb at 11:53 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: lacking in facts and dripping in right wing ideology
posted by kirkaracha at 11:53 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


My favorite was Spicey explaining that Trump has hired DC lawyers to send a certified lawyer to Lindsey Graham stating he has no financial ties to Russia.

To rip off A Few Good Men:
"A certified letter?" Is that how it's done? Hm? "Letter, your Congressman!" "Not good enough" "No, no. a certified letter." "Oh! A certified letter. Then I'll take some time and reconsider."

A certified letter means you paid the Post Office an extra $3.35. It's as certified as Paul Ryan's AHCA pitch was VERIFIED.
posted by zachlipton at 11:56 AM on May 9 [29 favorites]


My favorite was Spicey explaining that Trump has hired DC lawyers to send a certified lawyer to Lindsey Graham stating he has no financial ties to Russia.

Maybe they'll put the certified letter in a manila folder on a table next to a podium. That would make it really official.
posted by diogenes at 12:01 PM on May 9 [28 favorites]


We could all send certified letters to the White House stating we don't like him and hope he would resign. Certified!
posted by notyou at 12:02 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


Major Garrett? The Star Trek babe?

no, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent
posted by entropicamericana at 12:03 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Early splits appear as Senate Republicans confront Medicaid choice
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told reporters Tuesday that he supports eventually effectively rolling back the Medicaid expansion by ending the extra federal money for it, as long as there is a "soft landing."

But Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) told The Hill that she wants the expansion of coverage to remain, though she said it did not have to be in the same form.
Portman is backsliding, he previously was believed to want to preserve the Medicaid expansion.

If you are represented by any Republican Senators, now is a really really good time to call up their office and let them know that preserving the Medicaid expansion is important to you.
posted by zachlipton at 12:04 PM on May 9 [22 favorites]


Man, I don't know how many more times I can call Rob Portman and tell him that we believe in totally opposite things. It doesn't seem to be making a difference.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:09 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


A certified letter means you paid the Post Office an extra $3.35.

$3.35 for the letter and $30-60 for 6-12 minutes of some associate's time taking this down to the mailroom.
posted by Copronymus at 12:11 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Man, I don't know how many more times I can call Rob Portman and tell him that we believe in totally opposite things. It doesn't seem to be making a difference.

At the least your Portman calls keep you engaged with the issues and armed with arguments and counter-arguments for use elsewhere.
posted by notyou at 12:12 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


CNN delivers a handy visual aid. Maybe someone at the FBI could take a look at it.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:15 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Man, I don't know how many more times I can call Rob Portman and tell him that we believe in totally opposite things.

If they know your vote has been lost and cannot be regained, you are much less significant.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:16 PM on May 9


I mean, I suppose? Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I call, say my piece, ask the intern to repeat it back to me, and they promise to pass it on. And then he votes Republican. I don't feel engaged in the political process, I just feel like I'm banging my head against the wall and being ignored by my representatives. I guess it's better to be actively ignored by my representatives than passively ignored, but it's very frustrating.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:16 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


NYT F.B.I. to Clarify Comey’s Testimony on Clinton Emails
The F.B.I. plans to send a letter to Congress on Tuesday clarifying testimony last week by its director, James B. Comey, about how classified information ended up on the laptop of the disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, according to law enforcement officials.
...
The F.B.I. found that two emails that Ms. Abedin forwarded to Mr. Weiner contained classified information. Ten other emails that were backed up on Mr. Weiner’s laptop contained classified information.
Why do I suspect that this will just be used to start another round of screaming about emails containing classified information (they didn't bear markings indicating classification), while completely ignoring the Trump Transition's mishandling of classified documents?
posted by zachlipton at 12:18 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Listening to Spicer prompted me to look up an old Doonesbury:

Ron Ziegler: Okay, who'd like a press briefing?
Ziegler: ...in sum, then, the information available to me at this time does correspond to my knowledge at the time of my previous statement.
Reporter: That was beautiful, Ron.
Ziegler: Any other questions?
Hugh Sidey: Yes, I have one, Ron.
Ziegler: Yes, Mr. Sidey?
Sidey: Ron, sometimes I imagine you must get up in the morning, look in the mirror before you've shaven, and think to yourself, "Ron, you're about to begin another day of evasion and deceit." Here's my question Ron: What do you do after you've come to such a realization?
Ziegler: I shave.
posted by Killick at 12:18 PM on May 9 [59 favorites]


I guess it's better to be actively ignored by my representatives than passively ignored, but it's very frustrating.

I don't know if it's any worse or better to have a single lowly "shadow" representative who is totally on your side but whose vote doesn't actually count, but . . . I feel you.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:19 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


$3.35 for the letter and $30-60 for 6-12 minutes of some associate's time taking this down to the mailroom.

That means the billing rate is about $300 an hour. Pretty sure that you can't even get a first year associate at a DC firm of any repute to get out of bed for $300 an hour. And the partner who handles the matter and signs the letter is almost certainly in the $800-$1000 an hour range.

(Out of professional nosiness, I'm wildly curious which DC firm. Trump seems to use mostly niche boutiques, but apparently uses Morgan for his tax work.)
posted by joyceanmachine at 12:20 PM on May 9


Heh, Killick. Did you know that Doonesbury has been covering Trump for 30 years?
posted by Melismata at 12:21 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Pretty sure that you can't even get a first year associate at a DC firm of any repute to get out of bed for $300 an hour. And the partner who handles the matter and signs the letter is almost certainly in the $800-$1000 an hour range.

Never forget that these are bad people who in a just world would be eaten.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:22 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]




Never forget that these are bad people who in a just world would be eaten.

do you want prions? because that's how you get prions.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:25 PM on May 9 [50 favorites]


Out of professional nosiness, I'm wildly curious which DC firm.

I'm going to be disappointed if it's anyone other than Darth Vader's personal law firm, Covington & Burling.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:27 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Spicer says Trump has engaged a DC law firm to send a certified letter to Lindsey Graham stating that he has no Russian financial ties.

Media stunt idea: Coordinate Indivisible groups to show up en masse at local post offices across the country on the same day. Stand in line to send certified letters to the White House, each asserting that the sender is an individual concerned constituent and demanding that Trump release his tax returns as evidence that he does not have financial ties to Russian interests. Invite the press, talk to them about 1) what bullshit Trump's "certified mail" stunt was and 2) how important the tax return issue is in light of Trump's myriad conflicts of interest and apparent shady Russian dealings.
posted by contraption at 12:32 PM on May 9 [24 favorites]


Just on the heels of the Afghanistan war talk above: never forget that Barbara Lee was the SOLE vote in both houses of congress who wanted the US to slow down and think about other options before authorizing war.

Barbara Lee speaks for me.
posted by greermahoney at 12:36 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


If you really want it to count, just say it under oath.
posted by Jpfed at 12:38 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


ACLU issues travel warning for Texas over draconian immigration for t law

A small bright spot in this shitty new world: I have a pretty cool apartment management company, and every year around this time they send the tenants a general survey to fill out. Last year they included a gallon of water and earthquake safety/planning tips. They have a lot of tenants who are immigrants and non-white, and this year they included a wallet card with a notice for police/ICE that, if stopped, they will not answer any questions without a lawyer, and a few other things specific to the immigration ban bullshit.

I was talking someone there about an unrelated matter and mentioned how great the cards were, and she said they just didn't want their tenants to be afraid to leave their homes.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:39 PM on May 9 [62 favorites]


Oh man. This "certified letter" thing reminds me of nothing more than when Michael Scott declared bankruptcy. This is what happens when you have people who don't know what things are or how stuff works or what words mean in charge.
posted by mhum at 12:42 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Out of professional nosiness, I'm wildly curious which DC firm.

Sheri Dillon of Morgan Lewis is his tax attorney person who should be disbarred (she's the one who gestured at some manila folders and called it a valid legal argument).
posted by melissasaurus at 12:42 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Here's How Easy It Is to Get Trump Officials to Click on a Fake Link in Email: Some of the Trump Administration people completely ignored our email, the right move. But it appears that more than half the recipients clicked the link: Eight different unique devices visited the site, one of them multiple times. There’s no way to tell for sure if the recipients themselves did all the clicking (as opposed to, say, an IT specialist they’d forwarded it to), but seven of the connections occurred within 10 minutes of the emails being sent.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:46 PM on May 9 [24 favorites]


Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski started aiding opponents of the pro-Soviet government in July 1979 to try to lure the Soviet Union into Afghanistan, partially as revenge for the Soviet Union supporting the Viet Cong and North Vietnam in the Vietnam War.

We made a petard. It hoisted them!

How does this petard thing work? Oww! Maybe we did it wrong, let's try again. Oww! Okay maybe don't do that so much.

[regime change]

Hold my beer!
posted by srboisvert at 12:46 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Yeah I'm not entirely thrilled about Gizmodo trying to phish various government officials, but I am pleasantly quite surprised none of them actually put their password in. That's a lot better than I would have expected.
posted by zachlipton at 12:48 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Media stunt idea: Coordinate Indivisible groups to show up en masse at local post offices across the country on the same day.

OH lord the poor post office people get enough grief from the right without this.
posted by winna at 12:48 PM on May 9


Spicer says Trump has engaged a DC law firm to send a certified letter to Lindsey Graham stating that he has no Russian financial ties.

Under admiralty law that has to be sent by courier pigeon to have any legal bearing.
posted by srboisvert at 12:48 PM on May 9 [33 favorites]


Here's How Easy It Is to Get Trump Officials to Click on a Fake Link in Email

Damning evidence Russia/Wikileaks didn't release Trump emails because they're on the same side, not because these morons have good opsec practices.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:49 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Here are the 13 Republicans working on the Senate version of the AHCA.
  • Arkansas - Tom Cotton
  • Colorado - Cory Gardner
  • Kentucky - Mitch McConnell
  • Ohio - Rob Portman
  • Pennsylvania - Pat Toomey
  • South Dakota - John Thune
  • Tennessee - Lamar Alexander
  • Texas - John Cornyn
  • Texas - Ted Cruz
  • Utah - Orrin Hatch
  • Utah - Mike Lee
  • Wyoming - John Barrasso
  • Wyoming - Mike Enzi
If you live in any of the states listed above, you know what to do: Pick up the phone and call the offices of your AHCA-working-group-member senator(s). If you do not live in any of those states ... call the offices of your senators anyway.
posted by compartment at 12:49 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


Sheri Dillon of Morgan Lewis is his tax attorney person who should be disbarred (she's the one who gestured at some manila folders and called it a valid legal argument).

Just a data point: the only time I've ever had a law firm partner on the opposing side address me as "dear" during litigation was when opposing counsel was from, you guessed it, Morgan Lewis. A pox on them.
posted by holborne at 12:51 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Sessions weighs return to harsher punishments for low-level drug crimes
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing policy changes set in place by the Obama administration that eliminated harsh punishments for low-level drug crimes and could direct federal prosecutors to again charge drug offenders with crimes carrying the most severe penalties, according to U.S. officials.

The change, if adopted, would overturn a memo by then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. that instructed prosecutors to avoid charging low-level defendants with drug offenses that would trigger severe mandatory minimum sentences. Only defendants who met certain criteria, such as not belonging to a large-scale drug trafficking organization, a gang or a cartel, qualified for the lesser charges under Holder’s instructions.

If new charging instructions are implemented, it would mark the first significant move by the Trump administration to bring back the drug war’s toughest practices — methods that had fallen out of favor in recent years as critics pointed to damaging effects of mass incarceration.
Asshole.
posted by zachlipton at 12:51 PM on May 9 [41 favorites]


In addition to announcing a run for governor yesterday U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho and of Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care fame evidently released a statement yesterday:
"During ten hours of town halls, one of my answers about health care wasn't very elegant," Labrador said in the statement. "I was responding to a false notion that the Republican health care plan will cause people to die in the streets, which I completely reject."
I didn't come across a link to the statement itself.

What a scumbag, blatantly showing that he knows exactly what the criticism of his position is by clumsily bait-and-switching "nobody dies" to nobody is going to "die in the streets".

People will die in the streets as they finally decide, too late, to risk the expense of the emergency room, and die before they get there. Or on the ride between two emergency rooms, as Johnny Wallflower and JackFlash pointed out in the last political thread there is now a proliferation of non-EMTALA^ freestanding ERs which don't accept Medicare or Medicaid and can consequently throw you out if they don't find your ability to pay acceptable.
posted by XMLicious at 1:00 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


Here are the 13 Republicans working on the Senate version of the AHCA
I mean, seriously, look at the senators who we are trusting with health care. That doesn't look like the panel that protects women. That looks like the panel that says, "Well, she drowned, guess she wasn't a witch. Throw in another one!" Thirteen white guys and no women. Thirteen white guys and no women! In that group they were able to get two Mormons, but no women!
Michelle Wolf on the The Daily Show
posted by kirkaracha at 1:01 PM on May 9 [33 favorites]


Someone on MSNBC earlier pointed out that they could even have had Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina who is a man, a Republican, and has experience in the insurance industry, but is black.
posted by XMLicious at 1:05 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


I went to Senator Gardner's office in Colorado Springs this morning, as part of a local Indivisible group's regular Tuesday protests. I told the staffer that the AHCA as passed by the house is an terrible, immoral piece of legislation and ok, yes, the Senate is working to draft their own legislation, good, but it looks and IS awful that the working group is all men. Asked for the inclusion of women to the group, that they seek input from women and doctors. Senator Gardner signed on to the letter back in March about supporting the Medicaid expansion and his staffer said he still feels that way, but probably he'll find some other ways to be terrible. It feels sort of useless, for all that the staffer stands there and nods and makes notes and says that she'll pass our words along, but I still hope maybe it's not.
posted by danielleh at 1:05 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


People will die in the streets as they finally decide, too late, to risk the expense of the emergency room, and die before they get there.

Been seeing a lot of repostings of that picture of the guy with the "If I die of AIDS, leave my body in front of the White House" jacket, and I think we're all feeling that. Or have them send my ashes to my congressperson.
posted by emjaybee at 1:05 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho and of “Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care fame”

put this man on a death panel
posted by Going To Maine at 1:10 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


They're calling them "high risk pools" now.
posted by contraption at 1:11 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Major Garrett? The Star Trek babe?

No, you're thinking of Loretta Swit.
posted by petebest at 1:12 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Their latest strategy is to say the working group doesn't really exist and the entire Republican Caucus is working on it, therefore women are involved.

However, per Bloomberg, the group met today, and well: Senate GOP Plans Secret Health-Care Debate That May Take Months
Senate Republican leaders are starting what’s shaping up to be a secretive process to write their version of an Obamacare overhaul -- even after some GOP senators complained that the House devised sweeping health-care legislation behind closed doors.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky held a private meeting Tuesday of an all-male group of GOP senators who will help shape the chamber’s own version of an Affordable Care Act replacement. Among other changes, they’ll probably curb the House bill’s deep cuts to Medicaid and bolster protections for insurance customers who are older, poor or have pre-existing health conditions.

There’s already talk of sending the new measure directly to a vote in the full Senate without committee hearings -- if leaders can gather the 51 Republican votes needed to muscle it through.
And who counts in McConnell's eyes?
Asked by reporters Tuesday why no women were included in the working group, McConnell said, "The working group that counts is all 52 of us," referring to all Republican members of the Senate. "Nobody’s being excluded. Everybody’s at the table."
Democratic members do not count, apparently.
posted by zachlipton at 1:12 PM on May 9 [24 favorites]


Been seeing a lot of repostings of that picture of the guy with the "If I die of AIDS, leave my body in front of the White House" jacket

That is David Wojnarowicz, whom I learned about in a MetaFilter thread. I wouldn’t say his Close To The Knives is the best book -and he has a certain narrowness of vision and obsessions with sex that is contextually understandable but vexing- but it was a good read.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:14 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Party over Country. It's the McConnell Mullet.
posted by petebest at 1:15 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho and of “Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care fame”

put this man on a death panel

They're calling them “high risk pools” now.

No, no, no. I fundamentally disagree here. (Or maybe I’m wrong?) “Death panels” are government boards where an apathetic bureaucrat says you aren’t worthy of care, so you die.

A “high risk pool” is the exclusive club that, if you get into it, you survive because your expensive care gets subsidized. The membership is comically tiny because the pool will in practice be underfunded.

As such, death panels aren’t high risk pools - rather, death panels prevent you from being admitted into the pool because there isn’t enough money. They are the exclusive club of judges, and I think Rep. Labrador would like to be one of them.

Besides, it’s a good Republican term and I don’t intend to give it up.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:21 PM on May 9


Split the difference, we all go in the death pool.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I'm a 40 year old cancer survivor and I've been having such a hard time even making my brain think about the horror of what is happening. It's like my thoughts just slide right around it. But I know why - because right now, I'm trying to make myself go there and can feel slight hyperventilation kicking in.

It's unfathomably evil. What do they expect people to do? I am very financially comfortable and without insurance would have been ruined for the rest of my life, no matter how long or short that life would be. Almost no one can afford $700,000 worth of medical care a year. And it could happen to anyone, at any time. I don't like being in a position where I wish it would happen to other people, but that's where I am right now. Get cancer, Mitch McConnell.
posted by something something at 1:27 PM on May 9 [70 favorites]


It just hit me that the healthcare bills are like a version of a couple of use car sales tactics we called "cutting their ankles out and then putting them on the elevator".

First you promise to beat your competitor's price on an identical car to get the customer to leave that dealer and come to you. Because you're a shitty used car dealer (some ARE honest) you obviously have no intention of selling them the car for that price. So, when they show up, you need to put them on the elevator and start feeding them bullshit excuses about why they misunderstood the price you promised them (hint: they didn't misunderstand shit). What you CAN do is get pretty close to the price they could have gotten at the dealer they just left and now they have now desire to drive BACK to the 1st dealership to get the original deal. It's the same car and they're here now and they just want to be DONE. The first step keeps them from shopping around, the 2nd readjusts their expectations.

Here, they passed a the shittiest healthcare bill they could come up with to make us think that's what they're going for. Then, the senate writes it's own bill that will address some of the shortcomings of the house bill in an attempt to get close enough to what we* actually want that we'll agree to it just so we can be done talking about it.

*in this case "we" refers to whatever GOP reps consider their constituents these days.
posted by VTX at 1:29 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Did you know that Doonesbury has been covering Trump for 30 years?
And the book collecting Doonesbury's Trump comics, "Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump" is nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication. It's competing with "The Further Fattening Adventures of Pudge, Girl Blimp", "Hot Dog Taste Test", "Man, I Hate Cursive", and "Jughead" (by Chip Zdarsky, Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Derek Charm, an all-star team if I've ever seen one).

Of course, Garry (NO RELATION) Trudeau isn't the only cartoonist to have been ridiculing the Trumper for three decades...

But the best comics deconstruction of the Donald is still the 1989 one by R. Crumb.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:29 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Get cancer, Mitch McConnell.

I wouldn't wish Mitch McConnell on cancer. Cancer deserves better.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:29 PM on May 9 [25 favorites]


Almost no one can afford $700,000 worth of medical care a year.

Not even getting into the fact that it doesn't actually cost $700,000 a year.
posted by Melismata at 1:30 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


It does if that's what they bill you. I know what you mean, but $700,000 is the reality on the piece of paper.
posted by something something at 1:32 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Here are the 13 Republicans working on the Senate version of the AHCA

What's that again about all the city folk who want to control the interests of rural people whose interests they can't possibly understand?
posted by aspersioncast at 1:34 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Get cancer, Mitch McConnell.

I don’t want to have to pay for that.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:35 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Then, the senate writes it's own bill that will address some of the shortcomings of the house bill in an attempt to get close enough to what we* actually want that we'll agree to it just so we can be done talking about it.

I would not be at all surprised if they end up with something that's a lot like the AHCA but without the pre-existing conditions business, because that impacts more wealthy people, and the GOP will be satisfied enough if they can take $880 billion in healthcare away from poor people.
posted by zachlipton at 1:35 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Here, they passed a the shittiest healthcare bill they could come up with to make us think that's what they're going for. Then, the senate writes it's own bill that will address some of the shortcomings of the house bill in an attempt to get close enough to what we* actually want that we'll agree to it just so we can be done talking about it.

No doubt it will play out like that, but I doubt it will be by planning - they just had to placate some folk who sincerely want to hurt people.
posted by Artw at 1:39 PM on May 9


Man, I'd like to certify a letter. That'd be sweet. Especially in a manila envelope. Or arm a kurd. Or reject the notion of linear time. Or get a prion. Maybe with some lemonade, sportin' a bow tie and suspenders. Some brylcreem. Really shiny taupe shoes. Pretty sweet. Yeah.

Anyway, more snickerables: Carl Icahn.

They asked him "Dude, are your proposals to the White House to change the biofuels program self-serving insider trading?"
And he said: "No."
You know, like a liar.

Man, if the cognitive dissonance just affected the people who's perceptions it distorts that'd be one thing, but it's like it's not enough to just loot the treasury, they gotta hold a gun to people's heads by screwing with health care too.

I don't know what world anyone lives in where they think making people desperate somehow works out well for anybody.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:39 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]




 Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law Suppressed 200,000 Votes in 2016 (Trump Won by 22,748)
Prior to the 2016 election, Eddie Lee Holloway Jr., a 58-year-old African-American man, moved from Illinois to Wisconsin, which implemented a strict voter-ID law for the first time in 2016. He brought his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card to get a photo ID for voting in Wisconsin, but the DMV in Milwaukee rejected his application because the name on his birth certificate read “Eddie Junior Holloway,” the result of a clerical error when it was issued. Holloway ended up making seven trips to different public agencies in two states and spent over $200 in an attempt to correct his birth certificate, but he was never able to obtain a voter ID in Wisconsin. Before the election, his lawyer for the ACLU told me Holloway was so disgusted he left Wisconsin for Illinois.
posted by PenDevil at 1:45 PM on May 9 [41 favorites]




Maybe we should all take a lesson from J.G. Ballard and cut a deal where everyone gets covered but mean wealthy people can beat on poor folks with sticks every so often. That seems like an improvement.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:49 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


"During ten hours of town halls, one of my answers about health care wasn't very elegant," Labrador said in the statement. "I was responding to a false notion that the Republican health care plan will cause people to die in the streets, which I completely reject."

He doesn't dispute that they will still die though. Just the location.
posted by srboisvert at 1:49 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Lexicon entries we really shouldn't need: "Rape tables".
The Department of Homeland Security is investigating allegations that U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency officers at Newark Airport have been subjected to sexually abusive hazing by veteran officers, including the duct-taping of victims to a "rape table."

"I’m afraid for my life, my safety," CBP officer Diana Cifuentes told the NBC 4 New York I-Team in an exclusive interview about the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of fellow officers. "This is terrorizing. How is it that officers believe they’re free to do whatever they want to do?"
posted by tonycpsu at 1:51 PM on May 9 [20 favorites]


Room 641-A: I was talking someone there about an unrelated matter and mentioned how great the cards were, and she said they just didn't want their tenants to be afraid to leave their homes.

I've become cynical, because my first thought was "of course, because if they don't leave their apartments, how are they going to get to work and pay their rent?"

Damn you, 2017! DAMN YOU TRUMP!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:51 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


tonycpsu: How is it that officers believe they’re free to do whatever they want to do?

Two words: President Trump.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:52 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Maybe we should all take a lesson from J.G. Ballard

Was it you who mentioned the film version of High Rise last thread? Because

a. thanks - not sure how I missed that

and

b. yeah I'm not sure we aren't already living that reality.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:53 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Two things:

First, The New Yorker has this long form piece:
HOW TRUMP COULD GET FIRED
The Constitution offers two main paths for removing a President from office. How feasible are they?
And then Vox runs with this part of the story:
Donald Trump thinks exercise will kill you
In a remarkable New Yorker story this week about how Donald Trump could realistically be removed from the presidency, Evan Osnos writes: “Other than golf, he considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.”
On preview, I've become cynical, because my first thought was "of course, because if they don't leave their apartments, how are they going to get to work and pay their rent?"

No, they're cool.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:57 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


From the CNN article:

They are requesting Trump team financial information from "the federal agency that has been investigating allegations of foreign money-laundering through purchases of US real estate."

I like the sound of that!
posted by diogenes at 1:58 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


That New Yorker article is great, but I was sad to learn that invoking the 25th starts with the VP and requires the majority of the cabinet.
posted by diogenes at 1:59 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Somebody pay Trump's quack doc to tell him the Presidency is draining his batteries and if he doesn't quit he'll die in a week.
posted by emjaybee at 1:59 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


That New Yorker article is great, but I was sad to learn that invoking the 25th starts with the VP and requires the majority of the cabinet.

i never though i would miss alexander haig but here we are
posted by entropicamericana at 2:02 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Trump Will Decide If U.S. Should Withdraw From Climate Accord (NPR, May 9, 2017) -- President Trump may decide soon if he wants to withdraw the United States from an agreement on climate change. The Paris accord, as it's called, commits many nations to do what they can to reduce carbon emissions.

Spoiler: no one knows what he really wants to do, but if he harps on coal jobs again, everyone in this piece agrees that coal jobs are not coming back because of the price of natural gas, not regulations (but they don't touch on the Arbys Number, or in other words, the fact that the entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s)

Related, also from NPR this morning: There Must Be More Productive Ways To Talk About Climate Change -- calling someone a "climate [change] denier" shuts down conversations, so instead say that they are dismissive, the most extreme of the Global Warming’s Six Americas, a project from Yale's Climate Change Communication program. And to engage someone who is dismissive of climate change, discuss strategies to address specific issues, as identified in the Yale Climate Opinion Maps (U.S. 2016)
So you keep on going through these maps and they say, do you support funding research for renewable energy? Everybody does. Do you support requiring utilities to produce a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources? Yep, everybody does. Do you support limiting CO2 emissions from power plants? You know what? Most people actually do.
Get people to agree to solutions, and use that as your entry point to discuss climate change.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:04 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Was it you who mentioned the film version of High Rise last thread?

It was not me and I was thinking of Super-Cannes, but I suspect that all J.G. Ballard books are the same book.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:05 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


So you keep on going through these maps and they say, do you support funding research for renewable energy? Everybody does. Do you support requiring utilities to produce a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources? Yep, everybody does. Do you support limiting CO2 emissions from power plants? You know what? Most people actually do.

Yale researchers don't read a lot of Brietbart or listen to much hate radio, do they?
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:08 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]




The FBI sent a letter to the Senate "to clarify" Comey's testimony on Clinton emails, and try to clean up a Republican talking point that willfully misinterpreted Comey's testimony to make false claims about refugees as terrorists.

It's pretty weaksauce and comes from the Assistant Director of the FBI's Office of Congressional Affairs. Comey signed the October letter to Chaffetz himself.
posted by zachlipton at 2:08 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Germany, China and France - the defenders of the health of the world, or the best we can hope for at present.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:09 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


At Town Hall Meeting, Republican Lawmakers Get An Earful Over Health Care (NPR, May 9, 2017)
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are back in their home districts for a recess this week. After seeing the reception some of their colleagues got in previous town hall-style meetings following the election of Donald Trump, most House Republicans are skipping them.

But a handful are diving in headfirst.
And skilfully not answering the questions, but instead spouting talking points and half-truths. Rep. Elise Stefanik, 32, from Northern New York, held a town hall at a public television station, with a limited audience of 100. As reported by NPR, No one other than Stefanik had anything good to say about [AHCA]. Stefanik's summary of the night?
"I know there are certain areas where we're going to disagree, but it's my job to listen," she said. "And I think I did that tonight."
Your job is to listen? Not support and improve the lives of your constituents and those of this nation? Huh, color me surprised.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:12 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


They are requesting Trump team financial information from "the federal agency that has been investigating allegations of foreign money-laundering through purchases of US real estate."

On recommendation of a MeFite in another thread, I've been reading "The Laundrymen: Inside the World's Third Largest Business", which covers the Marcos, Norieaga, Saddam Hussein, and then goes on to Iran/Contra - Oliver North, etc...

And yeah, money laundering is pretty much the Republican M.O.
posted by mikelieman at 2:16 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


And in case you wanted to see a bar chart for which party asked which questions of Sally Yates, NPR has it:

Russia/Flynn/WH conduct
D: 142
R: 40

Leaks/unmasking
D: 0
R: 65

Travel ban
D: 6
R: 26
posted by filthy light thief at 2:17 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


Vox needs your help. They're trying to come up with a name for the Senate AHCA working group, since "Senate health care working group" is an annoying title. Submit your nominations here.

AHCAteam McAHCAteamface has already been done.
posted by zachlipton at 2:18 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Your job is to listen? Not support and improve the lives of your constituents and those of this nation? Huh, color me surprised.

Also in NY, Faso was defending his decision to decline an invitation to a town-hall meeting "because it was partisan"

I'm sick and tired of this lame excuse. ALL Politics is Partisan, and if you're so timid that you can't deal with the fact that you REPRESENT those constituents who have not supported you, and treat their concerns honestly and in good-faith...

Go fuck yourself.
posted by mikelieman at 2:18 PM on May 9 [30 favorites]


“Other than golf, he considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.”

Wh- what? How would that even - okay With his Trumphasia as a given pre-existing condition, this is "the toaster is laughing at me"-level bugfuck nuts.

It's going to get worse isn't it.
posted by petebest at 2:27 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


The FBI sent a letter to the Senate 'to clarify' Comey's testimony on Clinton emails

"I said Ms. Abedin forwarded hundreds of thousands of emails. I meant two."
[fake but accurate paraphrase]
posted by kirkaracha at 2:31 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


“Other than golf, he considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.”

This just...explains a lot in his choices in women.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:33 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Calling someone a "climate [change] denier" shuts down conversations, so instead say that they are dismissive, the most extreme of the Global Warming’s Six Americas, a project from Yale's Climate Change Communication program. And to engage someone who is dismissive of climate change, discuss strategies to address specific issues, as identified in the Yale Climate Opinion Maps (U.S. 2016)
So you keep on going through these maps and they say, do you support funding research for renewable energy? Everybody does. Do you support requiring utilities to produce a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources? Yep, everybody does. Do you support limiting CO2 emissions from power plants? You know what? Most people actually do.

Yale researchers don't read a lot of Brietbart or listen to much hate radio, do they?

The state of climate discourse in America: a play in two comments.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:34 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


(Alternate title: The state of science, three weeks after the march for science)
posted by Going To Maine at 2:35 PM on May 9


...also from NPR this morning: There Must Be More Productive Ways To Talk About Climate Change -- calling someone a "climate [change] denier" shuts down conversations, so instead say that they are dismissive, the most extreme of the Global Warming’s Six Americas, a project from Yale's Climate Change Communication program.

Whatever the optimal strategy is, we shouldn't let climate change "dismissives" derail or try to take over the conversation by acting aggrieved that they've been referred to as a "denier".

It definitely applies even in a direct parallel to Holocaust denial, and is perhaps even worse because they're engaging in denial even as the world-wide death of humans on a staggering scale is beginning, mostly in the developing world. It's more like claiming the trains are just taking people to wonderful rural places in Poland where they'll be leading fulfilling lives of hard work, while anyone who is paying attention knows that is not at all what's happening.

So like I said, say whatever is best for spreading awareness of the urgent need for action on climate to minimalize the casualties, and use whatever the best wording is in public statements, but apologizing to people whose fee-fees have been hurt because they've been called a climate change denier or even just because they theoretically could be called that needs to not become a thing.
posted by XMLicious at 2:38 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


> Been seeing a lot of repostings of that picture of the guy with the "If I die of AIDS, leave my body in front of the White House" jacket, and I think we're all feeling that. Or have them send my ashes to my congressperson.

The Ashes Action, Washington DC, October 1992. People dumped the ashes of their friends and lovers over the White House fence (about 24:20 in the video).
posted by rtha at 2:39 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


I mean, seriously, look at the senators who we are trusting with health care. That doesn't look like the panel that protects women. That looks like the panel that says, "Well, she drowned, guess she wasn't a witch. Throw in another one!" Thirteen white guys and no women. Thirteen white guys and no women! In that group they were able to get two Mormons, but no women!

Michelle Wolf on the The Daily Show


The real problem with the AHCA is there aren't enough women plotting to take away our health insurance. If Susan Collins told us all we had to die in the streets, it'd be totally chill.
posted by indubitable at 2:41 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Notably useless congressman Leonard Lance (R, NJ-7) is holding a telephone "town hall" right now. It's not unusual for him. I don't know how to connect, I just picked up the phone and had notably uselessCongressman Lance in my ear ...
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:42 PM on May 9


The Vice President held an event with military families, and it seems to have gone rather poorly once they took the bunny away, with one child trying to rip the Vice Presidential seal from the lectern and "a scuffle" breaking out between two boys as he spoke.
posted by zachlipton at 2:43 PM on May 9




Comey Axed
posted by PenDevil at 2:44 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Welp.
posted by Artw at 2:45 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Well. If we don't get an independent commission now he's getting away with everything.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:46 PM on May 9 [25 favorites]


Holy shit, it's starting.
posted by Justinian at 2:46 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


jeezum lord a-mercy
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:46 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Fine-tuned machine!
posted by tonycpsu at 2:47 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


What's starting, though? I am totally disoriented.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:47 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Yeah, these are some tea leaves I do NOT know how to read.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:47 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


somewhere, the ghost of archibald cox is making a big bowl of ghost corn and snickering "aww yeah, now shit is onnnnnn"
posted by murphy slaw at 2:48 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Dismantling any parts of government not under the direct control of the Trump regime, I would assume.
posted by Artw at 2:48 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


SURELY THIS WILL STOP DONALD TRUMP!!!!!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:48 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


OK my brain is broken(outrage fatigue, my beer is not cold yet, living in a red state etc. sry), is this good news or bad news?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:48 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Am I right in thinking that he's using the fig leaf of Comey's misleading/lying statements to Congress about Abedin to get himself an FBI director who won't investigate him at all?

So...from bad to worse?
posted by schadenfrau at 2:49 PM on May 9 [21 favorites]


If we don't get an independent commission now he's getting away with everything.

He will get away with everything until there is a new government. That may be more of an if rather than a when and might not happen by conventional means.
posted by Artw at 2:49 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Impeachment starts in the House of Representatives. If you have a Representative, CALL THEIR LOCAL OFFICES AND DEMAND THAT THEY INITIATE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:49 PM on May 9 [25 favorites]


The letter firing him.

Note that second paragraph: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau."
posted by zachlipton at 2:50 PM on May 9 [45 favorites]


I think there's no way to know if this is a good or bad thing yet in the long run, but...I think this is the pivot.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:50 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


To me it says the Trump camp started panicking over the investigation into collusion and they've axed Comey to try to get a Trumper in to lead the FBI and squelch the investigation.

Whether or not you think Comey was a Republican partisan it's clear he was not a Trumper.
posted by Justinian at 2:50 PM on May 9 [40 favorites]


NYT banner: A White House statement said he did so on Jeff Session's recommendation.

All righty then.
posted by Melismata at 2:50 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Are there any prominent nazis in the FBI or is he going to have to promote someone from outside of the organisation? Maybe he'll install Steve Bannon as head of secret police.
posted by Artw at 2:50 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I still think Comey is ambiguously-maybe-bad, and hope this email snafu doesn't end up forcing him to resign so that Trump gets to appoint his successor, who will be surely-no-mistaking-it-bad.

Shit! Sorry guys
posted by Jpfed at 2:51 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


Yeah this is the most terrifying development yet IMO.

What happens now matters.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:51 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


is this good news or bad news?

Bad news. Comey was the only person actually running any investigation in to Russian contacts, if you believe any of his justifications. Firing him ends that investigation in all likelihood, unless Republicans in Congress agree to appoint a real independent commission with congressional subpoena power, actual investigative staff, and a budget.

They won't.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:52 PM on May 9 [24 favorites]


Are there any prominent nazis in the FBI or is he going to have to promote someone from outside of the organisation?

Is Giuliani eligible?
posted by PenDevil at 2:52 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


OK, betting pool on him naming Giuliani to the spot?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:53 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Turning and turning in the narrowing gyre.
The falcon can now hear the falconer

posted by srboisvert at 2:53 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


So Trump, who was being investigated by the FBI for Russian ties fired Comey, who was doing the investigation, on the recommendation of Sessions, who has recused himself from the Russian investigation?
posted by IanMorr at 2:53 PM on May 9 [110 favorites]


So I suspect I speak for many when I say, "I'm away from media for a few hours, walk into the house, turn on MSNBC, and go HOLY FUCKING FUCK."

If you're too young to remember what it felt like in the nation when Nixon fired Archibald Cox and things suddenly looked very, very different, this does not feel entirely dissimilar to that.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:54 PM on May 9 [37 favorites]


Bad news.

But doesn't Comey have a lot of juicy secrets he could reveal?
posted by Melismata at 2:54 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Surely this.
posted by flatluigi at 2:54 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


OK, betting pool on him naming Giuliani to the spot?

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck

So does he get to just apoint someone or do the Republicans representatives have to rubberstamp it?
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on May 9


But doesn't Comey have a lot of juicy secrets he could reveal?

The man is utterly blind and stupid, so probably not.
posted by Artw at 2:55 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


But doesn't Comey have a lot of juicy secrets he could reveal?

All classified, and this administration is quite enamored with leakers.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:55 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


But doesn't Comey have a lot of juicy secrets he could reveal?

He surely has some of the juiciest. But he may or may not be willing to reveal anything classified, fired or no.
posted by Jpfed at 2:55 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


The only thing worse than James Comey as FBI Director is having a Trump appointee as FBI Director. And it's so incredibly inappropriate to bring up investigations of Trump in the letter. And WTF is "I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors?"

Here's the letter from the Deputy AG recommending Comey be fired. They had to go to the Deputy AG to find someone who hasn't recused themselves from Russia stuff.
posted by zachlipton at 2:55 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


Man, that mild nausea might start turning severe soon…
posted by Going To Maine at 2:56 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


The official reason for firing him is his press conference about the Hillary email investigation last summer. The hubris is amazing.
posted by stopgap at 2:56 PM on May 9 [30 favorites]


But doesn't Comey have a lot of juicy secrets he could reveal?
posted by Melismata at 16:54 on May 9 [2 favorites +] [!]


Yeah, now that he's a private citizen can he spill tea?

Ima just go ahead and drink my kind of cold beer. Idgaf.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:57 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Holy cow. Leave the thread for half-an-hour to do some work and the President fires the Director of the FBI.

"Never get out of the thread."
posted by notyou at 2:57 PM on May 9 [20 favorites]


You guys, I've been away from MeFi for a while because of life and things, and took a quick dive into the last catch-all not too long ago and thought, huh...they're not creating a new thread every couple of days, maybe things have finally slowed down a little bit.

But after today? Ahhh, hahahahaaha, nope.
posted by otenba at 2:57 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


So he's being punished for getting Trump elected.

You know, when people said "Irony is dead!" after 9/11 I was all "Nah."

But this might do it.
posted by emjaybee at 2:57 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


'But I never thought leopards would eat MY face,' sobs FBI director who tipped election for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party.
posted by Flitcraft at 2:58 PM on May 9 [175 favorites]


This is a shocking development but I'm excited about new FBI Director Michael Flynn.

The above statement is satirical in nature, I feel this disclaimer is warranted
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:58 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


i picked the wrong fuckin day to decide to take a break from political media
posted by murphy slaw at 2:58 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


So we're going to see that pee tape after all now?

Comey was trying to save his reputation. Now? Who knows.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:58 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Some of the talking heads on MSNBC are saying that they would put money on this getting us an independent counsel.
posted by Justinian at 2:58 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


So does he get to just apoint someone or do the Republicans representatives have to rubberstamp it?

The latter, except senators not representatives.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:59 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


The Deputy AG's letter says Comey was wrong to "usurp the Attorney General's authority" in July by giving the press conference about Hillary's emails. And it attacks him for criticizing Clinton when no charges were filed. Those are the attacks Trump repeated every damn day during the campaign. He's firing Comey for the same thing he praised Comey for during the campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 2:59 PM on May 9 [86 favorites]


What's the over/under on him putting Jared Kushner in the position? Surely he can handle that on top of all his other duties...
posted by palomar at 2:59 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Tuesday Night Massacre!
posted by asteria at 3:00 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Man, and after Comey did Trump that solid back in October. That's gratitude for ya.

Are they gonna spin this as "Comey misinformed Congress the other day about the Huma forwarding, and we just can't stand for that!!!" or some other lame-ass shit?
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:00 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


If it doesnt get us an independent counsel it's getting us a police state, so

One hopes
posted by schadenfrau at 3:00 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


i would put money on this getting us lindsey graham mouthing some pieties about getting an independent counsel but ultimately voting it down in a party-line vote
posted by murphy slaw at 3:00 PM on May 9 [22 favorites]


If they'd fired Comey on day one they'd have got away with it, right? This is not a very competent conspiracy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:00 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


The official reason for firing him is his press conference about the Hillary email investigation last summer. The hubris is amazing.

Comey has also apparently lied / misspoke to the Congress a few times? I mean, I’m not sure “digging your own grave” is the appropriate metaphor, but he certainly has certainly done some things that have left himself open. But then, that is missing the forest for the trees.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:01 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


The Deputy AG's letter says Comey was wrong to "usurp the Attorney General's authority" in July by giving the press conference about Hillary's emails. And it attacks him for criticizing Clinton when no charges were filed. Those are the attacks Trump repeated every damn day during the campaign. He's firing Comey for the same thing he praised Comey for during the campaign.

And on non-preview, it's even more fucking jaw-dropping chutzpah than I expected! These fucking guys!
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:01 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


The official reason for firing him is his press conference about the Hillary email investigation last summer.

"Chutzpah" is traditionally defined as a boy who murdered his parents pleading for mercy because he's an orphan. This is close.
posted by theodolite at 3:01 PM on May 9 [58 favorites]


What's the over/under on him putting Jared Kushner in the position? Surely he can handle that on top of all his other duties...
Maybe that's the real reason that Tiffany is moving to D.C.?

Rod Blum is having another town-hall tonight. Anyone want to take bets on whether he manages not to storm out?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:01 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I have been telling myself all day "eating entire pints of Ben n' Jerry's makes you feel better about politics but is not a healthy coping mechanism for the next four years," and now all I can think about is ice cream for dinner. Maybe with wine.

What pairs well with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor?
posted by emjaybee at 3:01 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


I wish there was a way to invest in hot takes, because tonight is is going to be one hell of a bull market.
posted by diogenes at 3:01 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


'But I never thought leopards would eat MY face,' sobs FBI director who tipped election for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

Man, and after Comey did Trump that solid back in October. That's gratitude for ya.

I hope we haven't forgotten how mentally ill the man seems to be...
posted by Melismata at 3:01 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Some of the talking heads on MSNBC are saying that they would put money on this getting us an independent counsel.

I would not.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:02 PM on May 9 [20 favorites]


Jeffrey Toobin on CNN saying that this is essentially what happens in a non-democracy and it's completely outside American legal norms
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:02 PM on May 9 [63 favorites]


no fan of comey but this is bad
posted by localhuman at 3:02 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


The Deputy AG's letter says Comey was wrong to "usurp the Attorney General's authority" in July by giving the press conference about Hillary's emails. And it attacks him for criticizing Clinton when no charges were filed.

They're just fucking with us now.
posted by diogenes at 3:03 PM on May 9 [27 favorites]


If they'd fired Comey on day one they'd have got away with it, right? This is not a very competent conspiracy.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:00 PM on May 9 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


18 days? hell, lets wait almost 4 months on the next one.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:03 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


I have been telling myself all day "eating entire pints of Ben n' Jerry's makes you feel better about politics but is not a healthy coping mechanism for the next four years,"

Have you tried Halo Top? It costs the fucking earth but is really unreasonably good for ice-cream-like substances that mostly run 250-350 calories per entire pint.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:04 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


I did once think Richard M. Daley was impressive for bulldozing Meigs Field. No longer.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:04 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


*nostalgicizing* Remember the time last night when the person in the previous thread was all, "So was today like an extra weird day even for this timeline, or what?" Haahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:04 PM on May 9 [51 favorites]


What the actual fuck is even happening
posted by corb at 3:05 PM on May 9 [94 favorites]


What are the chances that the executive branch, drunk off the apparent success of the health care bill in the house, has wildly misjudged their hand?
posted by schadenfrau at 3:05 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


What's the over/under on him putting Jared Kushner in the position?

I'm going for (what in a sane world would be) the long shot: Alex Jones (or possibly O'Reilly if Jones is busy with the custody thing).
posted by Buntix at 3:05 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


A “high risk pool” is the exclusive club that, if you get into it, you survive because your expensive care gets subsidized.

But with some caveats.

First, it is usual with High Risk Pools to make the insured person wait 3 to 6 months before the insurance kicks in to cover the pre-existing condition. Second, before ACA some states had lifetime caps. In Kentucky it was $2 million. If you are lucky enough to win the lottery and get into the high risk pool you undoubtedly have an expensive condition requiring a lot of medical care. Take transplants, for example. The transplant of a major organ might come close to a million and then you require the anti-rejection medication for the rest of your life. That runs around $200,000 a year just by itself-- so you can see how easily you could reach the end of your life time cap in a few years. And then? I guess you depend on charity to survive, hoping your doctors and your hospitals and your community feel sorry for you and a worthy cause.

But look at me talking about Healthcare when I should be screaming about cover-ups.

Take the House back in 18, fire up that investigation, and subpoena Comey's ass.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:06 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


So basically, this fucking guy has just put himself forward as Donald J. Trump, chivalrous and ethical defender of truth, justice, and Hillary Clinton.

I, too, need some wine.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:06 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


From @TheDailyShow: White House statement on the firing of FBI Director James Comey
posted by Going To Maine at 3:07 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]



It's going to get worse isn't it.
posted by petebest at 2:27 PM on May 9
[3 favorites +] [!]


WINNER!
posted by Sophie1 at 3:07 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


I mean, the Deputy AG isn't wrong. Comey did vastly overstep the bounds of his job and was wrong to hold a press conference to criticize Clinton while saying she broke no laws.

But the thing is, it's May. None of this is new. The conduct they criticize Comey for is the same conduct the same individuals involved praised last year.

Trump was wigging out on Twitter about Russia yesterday. Now we have this. It's really hard to see that they just randomly decided to do this today.
posted by zachlipton at 3:07 PM on May 9 [53 favorites]


Oh fuck, this dragged me right back into a political thread.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:08 PM on May 9 [47 favorites]


Have you tried Halo Top? It costs the fucking earth but is really unreasonably good for ice-cream-like substances that mostly run 250-350 calories per entire pint.

And it tastes like frozen mulched cardboard. I got a free pint and threw most of it away.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:08 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


So we start calling our congress people about getting an independent counsel? A special prosecutor? I mean, we have to try at least.
posted by Mister Cheese at 3:08 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Oh fuck, this dragged me right back into a political thread.

> EXITS ARE NOPE, AAAAAAH!, AND FRANCE
posted by Going To Maine at 3:09 PM on May 9 [32 favorites]


TL;DR: Donald Trump fired Comey because the Deputy AG says Comey got Donald Trump elected.
posted by zachlipton at 3:09 PM on May 9 [30 favorites]


i would put money on this getting us lindsey graham mouthing some pieties about getting an independent counsel but ultimately voting it down in a party-line vote

Sounds like he might just skip the pieties: "I know this was a difficult decision for all concerned. I appreciate Director Comey’s service to our nation in a variety of roles,” Graham said. “Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well. I encourage the President to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.
posted by contraption at 3:09 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


they're doing it all out in the open and they will get away with it all as long as the rest of the gop is complicit
posted by localhuman at 3:09 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Trump was wigging out on Twitter about Russia yesterday. Now we have this. It's really hard to see that they just randomly decided to do this today.

No way in hell, basically. Anyone who professes to be fooled on that front is a liar.
posted by Artw at 3:09 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


I encourage the President to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.

Sally Yates needs a job.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:10 PM on May 9 [64 favorites]


Justinian: Holy shit, it's starting.

Didn't we say that with the ousting of Flynn? And when Bannon was elbowed out? And they got rid of Carter? And wasn't there someone else, too?

"Look, we're cleaning house! Everything's better!"
(Until the next shoe drops)
"Oops, missed one! Now we're clean!"
(And another shoe)
....

It's a fooking centipede of incompetence. No, a millipede -- no end to the shoes that are yet to drop.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:10 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]






zachlipton: TL;DR: Donald Trump fired Comey because the Deputy AG says Comey got Donald Trump elected.

Not a puppet! Not a puppet! You're a puppet!
*Cuts two strings, lets the other 20 remain*
posted by filthy light thief at 3:11 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]



So Trump, who was being investigated by the FBI for Russian ties fired Comey, who was doing the investigation, on the recommendation of Sessions, who has recused himself from the Russian investigation?


This is pretty much how Nixon poured accelerant on a smoldering fire.
posted by srboisvert at 3:11 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


If there are ever history books after this then Nixon is going to be a footnote on mild corruption.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on May 9 [79 favorites]


I don't think justinian meant the end of the trump administration is starting. I think they meant the end of America as a nominally free country is starting
posted by schadenfrau at 3:11 PM on May 9 [29 favorites]


uh did lindsay graham get taken into a small room and shouted at or something
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:12 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Those of you with bets on "Trump fires Comey for handling the email investigation in exactly the way Trump wanted him to" please collect your 35:1 payout at the window.
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:12 PM on May 9 [28 favorites]


So this is going to Giuliani, right?
posted by asteria at 3:13 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Or, I mean, what do I know (sorry Justinian, didn't mean to speak for you)

I'm just simultaneously gobsmacked and terrified

It's a weird combination
posted by schadenfrau at 3:14 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


....and the GOP is all fine with this? In private, do you think some of them are at least concerned? Dude - wheres my country?
posted by H. Roark at 3:14 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


In October, Trump insinuated that Comey was corrupt because Clinton wasn't prosecuted. Today, he fires Comey because Comey went too far in criticizing Clinton. It doesn't add up.
posted by zachlipton at 3:14 PM on May 9 [21 favorites]


Van Hollen, Reed, and Blumenthal are already calling for an IC on twitter. I'm calling McCaskill's office in a minute.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:14 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Dems need to use procedural tools to shut down the Senate until an independent counsel is named.
posted by chris24 at 3:15 PM on May 9 [48 favorites]


uh did lindsay graham get taken into a small room and shouted at or something

No, he's always been a feckless toadie.
posted by Candleman at 3:15 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is on CNN doing his (D-WV) thing to make sure everyone calms down and doesn't get partisan about things like treason and obstruction of justice
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:15 PM on May 9 [38 favorites]


Hey Joe Manchin was on CNN making mildly surprised noises. It's like he's on sedatives. Hell, Wolf fed him a softball "was this a Saturday Night Massacre?" and Manchin was like... oh I wouldn't put it like that.

I actually think he doesn't know what the Saturday Night Massacre was.
posted by Justinian at 3:15 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


BRB shaking uncontrollably between fits of vomiting
posted by murphy slaw at 3:15 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


I sure hope this doesn't mean Comey goes down in history as some sort of hero. You can be a complete asshole AND get fired by Trump.

No one is talking about Yates testimony anymore. Timing is "odd".

I assume the Senate has to confirm whoever is put forward to replace him?
posted by Rumple at 3:16 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


A group of people from my company volunteer at the local food bank on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, so that's what I was doing on election night.

And what I'll be doing tonight.

2nd Tuesdays, man, they're cursed.
posted by jcreigh at 3:16 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I actually think he doesn't know what the Saturday Night Massacre was.

"I wouldn't say that Wolf, there wasn't any nightclub dancing involved"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:16 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


In October, Trump insinuated that Comey was corrupt because Clinton wasn't prosecuted. Today, he fires Comey because Comey went too far in criticizing Clinton. It doesn't add up.
posted by zachlipton at 17:14 on May 9 [1 favorite +] [!]


God I hope Kristen Welker throws this at Spicey.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:16 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]




Holy shit, it's starting.

So, in seriousness: this is also an opportunity. If you live in a place with an R, this is an opportunity to scream at your legislator that whoever gets sent up as a replacement needs to be competent. If you live anywhere, this is your opportunity to scream at your rep. about how the Russia investigation must not stop. Comey is one person, and his absence should not end a process. We already have President Marimow. We don’t need FBI Director Marimow.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:17 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


lifted from nyt comment - my thoughts exactly:

Apparently we must "restore public trust and confidence" in a "cherished and respected institution" by re-organizing it on the recommendations of a racist perjurer.
posted by H. Roark at 3:17 PM on May 9 [40 favorites]


surely this will cause Republicans to put country before party
posted by entropicamericana at 3:17 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Hooooooly shit. Turns out Trump can still surprise me!
posted by triggerfinger at 3:17 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


surely this will cause Republicans to put country before party

Maybe if Trump gets a blow job by an intern in the Oval Office they'll care.
posted by Talez at 3:18 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


I believe we have seen that Republicans absolutely do not and will not give a shit. They've seen an opportunity to end democracy with themselves as permanent winners and they are taking it.
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on May 9 [68 favorites]


Dems Citizens need to use procedural economic tools to shut down the Senate country until an independent counsel is named.
posted by contraption at 3:19 PM on May 9 [26 favorites]


If this doesn't cause a no confidence vote in Parliament, nothing will.



what?
posted by GuyZero at 3:19 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


> The official reason for firing him is his press conference about the Hillary email investigation last summer.

Does not compute.

Does not compute.

Literal definition of chutzpah encountered in real life.

Your democracy has encountered an exception and cannot proceed.
[A]bort, [R]etry, [F]ail?
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:19 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


If there was ever a time to start marching

It's now
posted by schadenfrau at 3:20 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Talez: a blow job by an intern in the Oval Office

... is OKIYAR, I'm sure.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:20 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


This is bad. And yeah. It will be Rudy, won't it. And if we still have history in 50 years people will look at his weasel face and wonder how nobody noticed he was such a criminal.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:21 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Paraphrasing Jeffrey Toobin: "Can we point out the Emperor has no clothes? The letter says that Comey was fired for being mean to Hillary Clinton. Last year. Does anyone believe that? ... They will put in a stooge who will shut down the investigation."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:21 PM on May 9 [54 favorites]


but her emails!
posted by entropicamericana at 3:22 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Somewhere in New Jersey, Chris Christie is so excited about the job that he's definitely going to get. Definitely. 100%. They've got to give this one to him! He's been so loyal, after all! It would be cruel for them to not give poor Chris Christie this job.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:22 PM on May 9 [38 favorites]


Jeffrey Toobin is practically speechless on CNN with how appalled and disgusted he is here. He's the only one pointing out the truth; Trump will put a political stooge in to kill the Russia investigation.
posted by Justinian at 3:22 PM on May 9 [21 favorites]


What pairs well with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor?

Southern Comfort. I buy it in the dysfunctional family size.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:22 PM on May 9 [42 favorites]


So we were talking earlier about how Comey's actions are consistent if you assume that he's first and foremost pro-Comey. He's also very interested in his legacy and the legacy of the FBI. I'm thinking that this dramatically changes his calculations about which actions are most effectively pro-Comey and pro-FBI legacy.

I don't know what that portends exactly, but it could be significant.
posted by diogenes at 3:23 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


I would bet now that the leaks are going to start coming fast and furious on Trump-Russia.
posted by azpenguin at 3:23 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Pete Williams on MSNBC points out that this firing has bipartisan support in the Senate.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:24 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Feinstein just put out the most bland, pathetic statement I can imagine. What is wrong with these people?
posted by Justinian at 3:24 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


If there was ever a time to start marching

It's now


March For Truth, June 3rd
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:24 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


New Hampshire news: state Rep. Robert Fisher who was exposed as the founder of the Reddit redpill forum was excoriated by fellow legislators and witness testimony today in a House hearing over whether to expel him. The recently-elected Republican governor and others have called for him to resign.
“Several years ago I made some injudicious statements regarding women and my frustrations with dating,” said Fisher, now in his second two-year term. “Some of the views that have been alleged here are certainly not reflective of what I stand for and what I have done in my time here in [state capital] Concord.”

...

He left after roughly an hour of testimony because he said he was already late for work.

Since the news came out last month, Fisher has made statements saying some comments were taken out of context, while defending others. He wrote in the Laconia Daily Sun he has “never taped a sexual encounter, though I have often considered that it may be the best, or only, form of protection for men to prevent false rape accusations.” Fisher said he and his girlfriend have faced harassment in wake of the Daily Beast article.

...

The issue of timing is important because the committee is only allowed to consider comments Fisher made in 2017, during the current legislative session.

Majority Leader Dick Hinch, who leads the committee, said he has to take Fisher “at his word” that he is not currently moderating and posting on the forum.

“He said under oath that he wasn’t this individual,” said Hinch, a Merrimack Republican. “I have no other proof to demonstrate otherwise.”

Any action the committee recommends needs a majority vote from the full House to pass.

...

The Republican-led House voted last week to add Democratic Rep. Sherry Frost to the inquiry over Tweets she sent that included profanity and characterized terrorists as “mostly white, Christian men.”
The state government is dominated by Republicans due to gerrymandering, but our entire delegation to the U.S. Congress is both Democratic and women.
posted by XMLicious at 3:24 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


To me it says the Trump camp started panicking over the investigation into collusion and they've axed Comey to try to get a Trumper in to lead the FBI and squelch the investigation.

And given Spicer's spin about Sally Yates, the probably plan to dismiss any damaging information Comey reveals as coming from a disgruntled fired employee.

Nice going, there, Comey.
posted by Gelatin at 3:25 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Kamala Harris 2020
"Like this guy, this congressman, you might as well say, 'People don’t starve because they don't have food.' What the fuck is that? What are you saying? How can you say that?" Harris stated.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:25 PM on May 9 [77 favorites]


release the pee tape, comey

also abolish the fbi
posted by Existential Dread at 3:25 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Comey has, undoubtedly, done great damage to the FBI's credibility. What's the only thing that could damage the agency's credibility worse? Firing the FBI Director in the middle of an investigation involving the Trump campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 3:27 PM on May 9 [20 favorites]


I guess now we find out if America is stronger than the craven party of traitors trying to kill it.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:27 PM on May 9 [28 favorites]


what's oliver north up to these days? he seems like someone they might appoint...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:28 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


"but he talked about her emails"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:28 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


you guys, it's gonna be Gorka
posted by indubitable at 3:29 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


My money's on Chris Christie by the way. Actually my sincere hope is that a stooge is not going to be confirmed by the Senate with only a 2-seat GOP majority. But who the fuck knows?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:29 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Pete Williams on MSNBC points out that this firing has bipartisan support in the Senate.

Feinstein just put out the most bland, pathetic statement I can imagine. What is wrong with these people?
  1. Yes, that’s pretty dang bland.
  2. It’s a good time to make your opinions felt, if she represents you.
  3. Coming out swinging to defend the man who put the current President in office is also not a great look.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:29 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Rep Ron Wyden - Comey should be immediately called to testify in an open hearing about the status of the Russia/Trump investigation at the time he was fired.

Speaking of which . . . he was supposed to testify in front of the Senate Intel Committee Thursday. Does that still happen? if yes what effect would his former-head status have on what he might/could/will say?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:30 PM on May 9 [29 favorites]


I believe we have seen that Republicans absolutely do not and will not give a shit.

If you are talking about registered Republicans, I think many of us are attempting to drink ourselves to death. If you are talking about Republican legislators, I am beginning to believe many of them are skinsuits filled with bees.
posted by corb at 3:30 PM on May 9 [81 favorites]


The rest of the statements out of Senate Democrats have been much more appropriate. Feinstein has clearly been in Washington too long. She has no idea.
posted by Justinian at 3:30 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I'd guess this is bullshit but I want to believe. The @jamescomey account has been suspended sooooooo
posted by Existential Dread at 3:30 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]




So Trump, who was being investigated by the FBI for Russian ties fired Comey, who was doing the investigation, on the recommendation of Sessions, who has recused himself from the Russian investigation?

Context has a liberal bias.
posted by Gelatin at 3:30 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


OK, I left a message at McCaskill's DC number. Now I have to call Roy Blunt. Pray for me.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:31 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


> My money's on Chris Christie by the way. Actually my sincere hope is that a stooge is not going to be confirmed by the Senate with only a 2-seat GOP majority. But who the fuck knows?

I am seriously going to wager that it will not be Chris Christie, but Chris Christie will be in the running, and I am seriously going to propose that the reason this will happen is because humiliating Chris Christie is the only game that Donald Trump enjoys more than golf.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:31 PM on May 9 [65 favorites]


if I'm wrong and Christie gets appointed, I will figure out how to make a vegetarian version of Nixon's submission meatloaf. And then I will eat it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:32 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


Comey was the leaker the whole time!
posted by Burhanistan at 3:32 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


"Like this guy, this congressman, you might as well say, 'People don’t starve because they don't have food.' What the fuck is that? What are you saying? How can you say that?" Harris stated.

I like this trend where “good at politics” and “has passion” is now equated with “swears”. That’s fun. (Harris is by no means the only democrat on this train - see also Perez, Ellison, and Gillibrand.)
posted by Going To Maine at 3:32 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Actually my sincere hope is that a stooge is not going to be confirmed by the Senate with only a 2-seat GOP majority

Welcome our timeline! Here on Earth-519 there is no hope and the GOP is a spineless bucket of wet filth that would gladly confirm Ivanka Trump to be FBI director.
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:33 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


From Michael Schmidt, NYT: "WH and DOJ had been working on firing Comey since at least last week. Sessions had been working to come up with reasons."
posted by zachlipton at 3:33 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


*put down phone, figure that's it for news for the day*
*pick phone back up a few hours hours later*
"Why are there over a hundred new comments?"
*refresh thread*
"Oh."
posted by cjelli at 3:33 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


In October, Trump insinuated that Comey was corrupt because Clinton wasn't prosecuted. Today, he fires Comey because Comey went too far in criticizing Clinton. It doesn't add up.

In Trump-logic, it kind of makes sense to me. The bottom line is, Trump wants absolute power, absolute control. Like the Trumper congressmen yesterday, his clique literally can't understand putting law or tradition or the constitution ahead of obedience to the president and AG.

In his testimony, Comey presented his twisted, self-aggrandizing self-portrait as a principled man of independence to any president. As inaccurate as that may be, it indicates he won't necessarily bend the knee to Trump or Jeff Sessions.

Therefore, he's unacceptable and they will try to get someone who will.
posted by msalt at 3:34 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


If Trump had fired Comey on January 20th, he would have got away with it. Why didn't he fire him? He thought Comey was his guy. Plain and simple. He has probably wanted to fire him for months while the investigation has continued, and has been held back from doing so because it would cause political Armageddon. Now we have political Armageddon!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:34 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Jeffrey Toobin is on fire. "That makes no sense. It's irrational". "It's just not possible."
posted by Justinian at 3:34 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


The rest of the statements out of Senate Democrats have been much more appropriate. Feinstein has clearly been in Washington too long. She has no idea.

I’d be interested to see some of the others, if there are links. How many folks have yet made statements? (Tim Kaine, for instance, hasn’t made one yet.)
posted by Going To Maine at 3:35 PM on May 9


How nauseas [sic] should the fact that the new acting director started his career in the NY Field Office make me?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:36 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Here's your acting director of the FBI.

LATimes: Assigned to the New York City office as a young agent, he [McCabe] helped build complex cases against Russian mobsters and helped take out a dangerous gang of Russian-speaking gangsters in one of his first big assignments.

Me: Buys popcorn
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:36 PM on May 9 [47 favorites]


I can't wait to hear Hillary's take, Donald Trump belatedly defending her honor.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:36 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Frankly, I thought Comey himself had wanted out since the election.
posted by rhizome at 3:37 PM on May 9


Southern Comfort. I buy it in the dysfunctional family size.

My favourite liquor store just dropped the price of a handle of Wild Turkey 101 to 39.95, tax included.
posted by mikelieman at 3:38 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]



Sessions had been working to come up with reasons

since at least last week


And this is what he came up with?

How fucking stupid is he?
posted by schadenfrau at 3:38 PM on May 9 [24 favorites]


I’d be interested to see some of the others, if there are links

Still catching up, but Bob Casey (D-PA): "This is Nixonian. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to continue the Trump/Russia investigation."
posted by cjelli at 3:39 PM on May 9 [50 favorites]


Why do people keep saying if he had done this sooner he would have gotten away with it? Are the Avengers coming?
posted by avalonian at 3:39 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


And this is what he came up with?

How fucking stupid is he?


They probably think it's really clever.
posted by Artw at 3:39 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Robert Hanssen has some good high-level experience at the FBI; maybe he's eligible for a work-release program?
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:39 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


To be clear since there was some question: My "holy shit, it's starting." was indeed not meant to imply I think this is the end of the Trump regime starting. It is, not the first, but the most blatant, public, and unjustifiable move by the Trump regime to consolidate their position and corrupt the only (imperfect as they may be) institutions left that can check their power.

This can't be allowed to stand. There must be an independent prosecutor. That can no longer be in question.

Democrats must refuse to participate in the functioning of the government until and unless that is the case.
posted by Justinian at 3:39 PM on May 9 [55 favorites]


Van Hollen, Reed, Blumenthal, Schatz, Feinsfein so far
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:39 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


From Michael Schmidt, NYT: “WH and DOJ had been working on firing Comey since at least last week. Sessions had been working to come up with reasons.”

Why am I trusting this reporter who judging by his profile pic is an actual baby? O, aging.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:40 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Jeffrey Toobin on CNN saying that this is essentially what happens in a non-democracy and it's completely outside American legal norms

After all this time, the media is only now noticing that the entire Trump crowd -- the entire Republican Party -- doesn't care about norms?

They were in violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause from day one. No one in the Republican Party cared. And that's on top of the campaign.

Feh.
posted by Gelatin at 3:40 PM on May 9 [29 favorites]


At this point I assume a history investigating Russian mobsters just means he actually is a Russian mobster.
posted by winna at 3:40 PM on May 9 [42 favorites]


How fucking stupid is he?

They probably think it's really clever.


Yeah, it's a "fuck you, try and stop us."
posted by diogenes at 3:40 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]




CNN is showing a clip of Trump praising Comey for the exact specific actions Trump just fired Comey for. Toobin: "We can come up with tortured justifications, but sometimes the truth is staring you in the face, and Director Comey was not fired for how he talked about Hillary Clinton eight months ago."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:41 PM on May 9 [90 favorites]


LATimes: Assigned to the New York City office as a young agent, he [McCabe] helped build complex cases against Russian mobsters and helped take out a dangerous gang of Russian-speaking gangsters in one of his first big assignments.

Well I guess there'll be a pressing reason why a less qualified replacement must be appointed in doubletime.
posted by Artw at 3:41 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


if I'm wrong and Christie gets appointed, I will figure out how to make a vegetarian version of Nixon's submission meatloaf. And then I will eat it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 17:32 on May 9 [5 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Seitan. I'll be over with a beautiful chocolate cake.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:41 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Video of Toobin at TPM: Toobin: Trump’s Firing Of Comey Is ‘A Grotesque Abuse Of Power’

“I have not seen anything like this since October 20, 1973, when President Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor.”

Yup. I just hope this ends the same way for Trump as it did for Nixon.
posted by homunculus at 3:42 PM on May 9 [34 favorites]


Senator Wyden (D-OR): “I have long been a critic [of Comey]… But Donald Trump’s decision to fire him now… is outrageous…a fully independent special counsel must be appointed.”

Now that’s a statement!
posted by Going To Maine at 3:42 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


God, I wish we'd built-in a provision for a snap-election.
posted by schmod at 3:42 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


CNN is not being very both-sidesey right now. I think the administration made a good call switching the FDA office TVs to Fox News.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:43 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


My money's on Chris Christie by the way. Actually my sincere hope is that a stooge is not going to be confirmed by the Senate with only a 2-seat GOP majority. But who the fuck knows?

Stooge? You've summoned The Nuge!
posted by srboisvert at 3:43 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Comey was set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. So that's interesting.
posted by zachlipton at 3:44 PM on May 9 [40 favorites]


I dunno, I'm watching CNN. Toobin is not having any of that both-sides bullshit and has been shutting down anyone who tries it.
posted by Justinian at 3:44 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I just logged on to this thread about 10 minutes before the story about Comey broke. Everyone up top is like "I just don't know what the fuck is going on anymore."

And I'm like, "Oh, just wait, Yueliang, just wait."
posted by staggering termagant at 3:44 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


In the end, grudges will sink The Donald.
posted by davebush at 3:44 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Comey was set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. So that's interesting.

To quote Tom Nichols, "this administration could make celebrating Christmas on December 25 look like suspicious timing".
posted by Talez at 3:45 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Man, Toobin's supply of incredulity seems inexhaustible, and so entertaining. They just showed Trump at a rally in October/November saying what a fantastic brave American hero Comey was for going after Hillary, and he was simultaneously goggling and giggling. All the news shows must currently be doing the same now pretty much weekly dance of cueing up every scrap of damning Oopsie, Trump, You Sure Look Even More Like a Crazy Dick Now footage in the vault.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:45 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Comey was set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. So that's interesting.

Is he now un-set to testify?
posted by Going To Maine at 3:45 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


Josh Marshall: I can only remember a few times in twenty years in this business that I heard genuinely stunning news. Obviously 9/11 was stunning; natural disasters are stunning. But I mean political developments which are totally unexpected and substantially shocking. This is shocking.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:46 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


Admittedly if he does its going to be much more interesting.
posted by Artw at 3:46 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


A week ago, "Trump said Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!" Today, he's firing him for being too critical of Clinton. Anybody who buys this is an idiot.
posted by zachlipton at 3:47 PM on May 9 [29 favorites]


Which works out because he markets primarily to idiots.
posted by contraption at 3:48 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


I can't wait to hear Hillary's take, Donald Trump belatedly defending her honor.

If she can work in the words "extremely careless," I will be happy.
posted by peeedro at 3:48 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Talking points on Comey for your senators:

* Completely inappropriate abuse of power by the executive
* Must be an independent, special prosecutor to investigate entire administration
* Expect the Senator to deny unanimous consent on all motions in the Senate
* Expect the Senator to use every possible tool to prevent business from being conducted in the Senate until independent special counsel is appointed
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 3:48 PM on May 9 [67 favorites]


Uhh. Small question. When exactly were the "three separate occasions" when Comey informed Trump that he is not under investigation?
posted by zachlipton at 3:48 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


It's Donald fucking Trump. He's lying.
posted by Justinian at 3:49 PM on May 9 [47 favorites]


But I mean political developments which are totally unexpected and substantially shocking. This is shocking.

Makes you wonder how much more shocking what Coomey was fired to cover up would be. Assuming that the Trump admin actually realised that firing him would be shocking, and not just something he gets to do, because Governance is pretty much just a reality TV show where countrywide participation is mandatory.
posted by Buntix at 3:50 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


When exactly were the "three separate occasions" when Comey informed Trump that he is not under investigation?

January 20th, 21st, 22nd
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:50 PM on May 9






Uhh. Small question. When exactly were the "three separate occasions" when Comey informed Trump that he is not under investigation?

Yeah, this thread is moving so fast we haven't even talked about that bonkers line yet.
posted by diogenes at 3:50 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Blumenthal is on CNN calling for a special prosecutor and saying there is a Constitutional crisis looming. He says he will be introducing legislation calling for a special prosecutor.
posted by Justinian at 3:52 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


uh did lindsay graham get taken into a small room and shouted at or something

No, he's always been a feckless toadie.


Who, let's not forget, lied under oath about his own Russian connections before the Senate committee confirming him for this very job.
posted by Gelatin at 3:52 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) will promote a bill to bring in an independent special prosecutor.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:52 PM on May 9 [26 favorites]


And the big thing to remember is that Yates's testimony yesterday made it 100% crystal clear that she was mostly or entirely NOT fired over the Muslim ban; it was largely just a convenient pretext. So now Trump has fired both an acting attorney general and the FBI director within hours or days of notably adverse events related to the Russian collusion investigation.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:53 PM on May 9 [68 favorites]


Someone on Twitter made an excellent point. The reason for the blatant lie about this being due to his statement on Hillary, is because that is the only conceivable reason that would justify Jeff Sessions' involvement, since he recused himself on anything to do with Russia.
posted by msalt at 3:54 PM on May 9 [62 favorites]


On the house side, Elijah Cummings calls for emergency hearings.

"It is mindboggling that the Attorney General -- who claimed to have recused himself -- was directly involved in the decision to fire Director Comey....Congress must...create a truly independent commission."
posted by cjelli at 3:54 PM on May 9 [90 favorites]


They're likely in Comeys office burning files as we speak.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:54 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


<3 Dick Blumenthal.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:54 PM on May 9


Josh Marshall: I can only remember a few times in twenty years in this business that I heard genuinely stunning news. Obviously 9/11 was stunning; natural disasters are stunning. But I mean political developments which are totally unexpected and substantially shocking. This is shocking.

Holy sweet fancy moses! That latter the president sent! Holy sweet good goddamn!

While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.

What kind of amateur hour cartoon villainy is this bullshit! What a fucking tell!
posted by Going To Maine at 3:54 PM on May 9 [40 favorites]


When exactly were the "three separate occasions" when Comey informed Trump that he is not under investigation?

It's a bit of a non-sequitur in a letter firing him for his actions in relation to Clinton.
posted by diogenes at 3:55 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


So now Trump has fired both an acting attorney general and the FBI director within hours or days of notably adverse events related to the Russian collusion investigation.

Don't forget the District Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The DA for SDNY is the big kahuna of DAs.
posted by Justinian at 3:55 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


I just read Comey was on the road and wasn't even there to get the letter. That scares me for the files.
posted by Brainy at 3:56 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Just wondering exactly how Linda Litzke fits into this.
posted by davebush at 3:57 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Trying this step back and think about what this means in broad terms, Comey's firing feels like the general situation has crossed the line from a need to find specific malfeasance to one in which the actions taken by Trump, Sessions, Pence, etc etc, are themselves sufficiently problematic -- to put it mildly -- to warrant investigation in and of themselves. Not that they weren't before, and not that there can't be some more flagrant line later. But: even if 'Russia' boiled down to nothing, this absolutely looks like the Director of the FBI was just fired on trumped-up charges. That's simply not okay, no matter what one thinks of Comey in particular.
posted by cjelli at 3:57 PM on May 9 [36 favorites]


Leahy: "This is nothing less than Nixonian." Calls for a Special Counsel
Cummings: Hold emergency hearings with Sessions, Deputy AG, and Comey. Create an independent commission.
Gillibrand: Calls for "independent special prosecutor."
Harris: Calls for special prosecutor

Feinstein: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by zachlipton at 3:57 PM on May 9 [65 favorites]


Don't forget the District Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The DA for SDNY is the big kahuna of DAs.

Trump fired oodles of DAs because that’s literally what all incoming administrations do so the only weird bit of that one is that he first told the DA he could stay on. Don’t bring a bird poop to a major shitshow
posted by Going To Maine at 3:57 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


I've been busy at work, and I haven't been following as closely as I should. We're assuming that the justification for firing Comey was that he was too hard on Hillary, but is it possible that Trump means that he was too soft? Is he going to appoint someone who will go after her, and we'll get show trials and whatnot?

I don't think it's going to be Giuliani, for what it's worth. My sense is that he isn't mentally all there and probably couldn't hide it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:58 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Uhh. Small question. When exactly were the "three separate occasions" when Comey informed Trump that he is not under investigation?

Yeah, this thread is moving so fast we haven't even talked about that bonkers line yet.


I know, right? That sentence is so contextless, so weird, so nonsensical, so "they were planning this for a week and they still couldn't produce anything better than that?" My guess is, the president is under investigation; and Lord Dampnut is getting this on the record now so when the investigation comes to light he can say: see, Comey lied to me; why would anyone trust him if he'd lie to the President of the United States? I was deceived, I say!
posted by Tsuga at 3:59 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


When exactly were the "three separate occasions" when Comey informed Trump that he is not under investigation?

It's a bit of a non-sequitur in a letter firing him for his actions in relation to Clinton.


It's just like Trump putting the (meaningless) Clapper comment he didn't really say in his Twitter header, only in a termination letter. He can't pass up any possible opportunity to proclaim, "Look! see! another person says I'm totally not a fucking traitor" in a highly non-suspicious and smooth manner.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:59 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


Trey Gowdy. I bet he wants Trey Gowdy.
posted by maudlin at 3:59 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I'm done with any Democrat who comes out with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ right now.
posted by diogenes at 4:00 PM on May 9 [29 favorites]


I confidently predict that the Republicans in the Senate will rubber stamp absolutely anyone Trump nominates. He could nominate Ivanka and they'd approve it. If you're hoping for the Senate Republicans to suddenly start acting like Senators instead of toadies it's an empty hope.

I really hated Comey, I thought (and still think) he was a Republican stooge who threw the election to Trump because he hated Clinton. And anyone Trump nominates to replace him is flat out guaranteed to be vastly worse.

That's the end of any Russia investigation too. There's no possible way the R's will approve a truly independent Congressional investigation.

The only real question has always been "is this bad enough that the Congressional Republicans will actually stop Trump", and the answer has always been no. Even if he wasn't doing everything they've always hoped to do, they'd be scared of his cult. Maybe a few, like Graham or McCain, will make a few speeches, but in the end they'll find the 51 votes to give Trump anything he asks for.
posted by sotonohito at 4:00 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


The firing of James Comey is another chapter in the long book of the Douche Canoe fucking over everyone who does business with him. If Comey thought he was making his life easier by going on a trumped-up Clinton hunt, well...I hope he regrets it. Comey screwed us all--so I guess he gets to reap what he hath sown.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:00 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Various Washington Post reporters are tweeting out this page with info for anyone who might want to get info or documents to their reporters anonymously.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:01 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]




Manchin promised the committee would bring Comey in for testimony and said he doesn't believe the firing would play any role in hindering the Senate committee's investigation.

Well sure, the Republicans already control the Senate's investigation. It's a sham.
posted by Justinian at 4:01 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Have you tried Halo Top? It costs the fucking earth but is really unreasonably good for ice-cream-like substances that mostly run 250-350 calories per entire pint.

My brain is so stunned right now that suggesting Halo Top, too, is the only contribution I can make. I really like the Red Velvet, it's not too sweet at all.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:02 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


This is also, I argue, why saying "I'm a Republican but I oppose Trump" is, at absolute best self deception.

Because what empowers Trump are all the other Republicans in office. Any vote for any Republican at any level of government is, when the dust settles, a vote to make Trump President for Life.
posted by sotonohito at 4:02 PM on May 9 [25 favorites]


I think it's the White House trying to say "see, we didn't do anything improper here like firing the guy in charge of investigating us because Trump isn't under investigation."

But this is what Comey said in March:
“I’ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Comey said in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. “That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
posted by zachlipton at 4:02 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


Aaaand first use of the word 'Nixonian' comes around 1:20 into the BBC radio midnight news.
posted by Devonian at 4:03 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Leahy:

There simply is no avoiding the compelling fact that this cascading situation demands the prompt appointment of an independent Special Counsel to pick up the pieces of these investigations.
posted by diogenes at 4:03 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


My sense is that he isn't mentally all there and probably couldn't hide it.

No, we certainly can't have that!
posted by Meatbomb at 4:03 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said a special investigator is now needed. "I don't think there is any alternative at this point...To have an active FBI investigation of the incumbent president's campaign and the president then terminate and remove that FBI director with no forewarning I do believe raises grave constitutional issues as to the accountability of the president and his responsibility over the Department of Justice."
posted by cjelli at 4:03 PM on May 9 [34 favorites]


I've seen enough mafia movies to know Comey was a goner back when this happened.
posted by peeedro at 4:04 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Here's your acting Director of the FBI

Shit. A Dukie.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:04 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Comey set to speak at FBI event in L.A. — hours after his firing by Trump
James Comey, who was fired today as FBI director by President Trump, was scheduled to attend an FBI recruiting event Tuesday in Hollywood.

Officials have not formally said whether Comey would still go forward with the program. But one law enforcement source said he likely would be there.
What? He's going to go to a recruiting event?

Maybe he thinks he can start again in the mailroom and work his way back up?
posted by zachlipton at 4:05 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


WARNER wants to hear from Comey in Senate Intel investigation, calls Trump's action "shocking"
posted by diogenes at 4:05 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Subpoena the President.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:06 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


I'm not reading the memorandum from Rosenstein as having anything to do with being too hard on Clinton. He states the disagrees with the conclusion on July 2016 and that it was announced to the press. Also in October it was that it was style, not substance. I wouldn't doubt that they believe Comey went too easy on her.
posted by readery at 4:07 PM on May 9


This is also, I argue, why saying "I'm a Republican but I oppose Trump" is, at absolute best self deception.

Never trust anyone throwing themselves a pity party over that, for sure. They have plenty of opportunities NOT to support a party entirely composed of nazis and Russian stooges, and yet they choose to do so.
posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Grassley and McCain already came out supporting Trump. There will be no independent investigation. They control congress and have a pet acting AG after Sessions "recused". From today's letter it looks to me like Sessions is still directing and Rosenberg is a public face.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:09 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


The letter to Comey was hand delivered by Trump's long-time bodyguard Keith Schiller.

Remember the guy wearing an Adidas track suit when sitting next to Jared Kushner when he was in Iraq meeting with Generals and Iraqi officials? Same guy.

And he's the one that forcibly threw Jorge Ramos out for asking a question at press conference that angered Trump.

And he's the one that smacked a protestor outside Trump Tower.

This speaks to a larger issue of him surrounding himself with guys loyal to him and no one else, which is worrisome.
posted by bluecore at 4:09 PM on May 9 [51 favorites]


This seems like a dumb move by Trump and Sessions:

- Firing Comey makes Trump look bad and continues focus on Russia (maybe it's time to move on from that?)

- FBI loyalists are going to leak and leak, and leak some more, until the cow comes home.

Sad and truly disgusting that the GOP will choose Trump over America, though.
posted by My Dad at 4:10 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Schumer is speaking live now. He sounds pissed. "Why now?" is his thesis.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:10 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


The White House says President Donald Trump is sending a certified letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham attesting that the president has no connections to Russia.

It's like when a student writes a letter purporting to be from their parents excusing them from school.
posted by dhens at 4:10 PM on May 9 [24 favorites]


Apparently this is why I follow Chuck Grassley on Facebook. His (deeply fucked up) statement, which he just posted:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley made the following statement following the termination of FBI Director James Comey:

“Over the course of the last several months, Director Comey's decisions on controversial matters have prompted concern from across the political spectrum and from career law enforcement experts.

“The handling of the Clinton email investigation is a clear example of how Comey's decisions have called into question the trust and political independence of the FBI. In my efforts to get answers, the FBI, under Comey's leadership, has been slow or failed to provide information that Comey himself pledged to provide.

“The effectiveness of the FBI depends upon the public trust and confidence. Unfortunately, this has clearly been lost.

“The FBI Director serves at the pleasure of the president. Under these circumstances, President Trump accepted the recommendation of the Justice Department that the Director lacked the confidence needed to carry out his important duties.”
I am going to call and leave a message just as soon as I can do so with out sputtering incoherently.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:10 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Fox News: James Comey Resigns

They don't give a fuck anymore. Reality is just what their followers are told.
posted by Talez at 4:11 PM on May 9 [81 favorites]


holy poop
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:11 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Why the end of the business day on a Tuesday and not at 11PM or Friday night? And Comey out of town? They guarantee wall to wall coverage.

Three not mutually exclusive options: 1) Comey was getting close or about to turn on Trump, or some other legal crisis was imminent (indictment?); 2) something else about to drop post-Yates and they needed to change the subject even if it was damaging (no one to bomb?); 3) Trump himself so freaked out and angry that he insisted on doing it now (hello crazy tweetstorm today?) and not waiting. Donald Trump is losing his shit.

Trump's Razor suggests number 3 is part of the story.
posted by spitbull at 4:12 PM on May 9 [27 favorites]


Senator Markey's statement:

President Trump’s firing of Director Comey sets a deeply alarming precedent as multiple investigations into possible Trump campaign or administration collusion with Russia remain ongoing, including an FBI investigation. This episode is disturbingly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre during the Watergate scandal and the national turmoil that it caused. We are careening ever closer to a Constitutional crisis, and this development only underscores why we must appoint a special prosecutor to fully investigate any dealings the Trump campaign or administration had with Russia.

posted by diogenes at 4:12 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


>>When exactly were the "three separate occasions" when Comey informed Trump that he is not under investigation?

>January 20th, 21st, 22nd


And on each of those occasions, Comey actually said that Trump is under investigation, but Trump--working in his usual businesslike manner--managed to understand the exact opposite of what was actually said . . .
posted by flug at 4:12 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Seriously holy shit
posted by schadenfrau at 4:12 PM on May 9




Schumer is not happy.

Is Feinstein the only Senate Democrat on the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ train? What is wrong with her?

I'm on board for donating to her opponent in 2018.
posted by Justinian at 4:13 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Maybe he thinks he can start again in the mailroom and work his way back up?

He's gonna pull a Secret of my Success
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:14 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


bluecore: The letter to Comey was hand delivered by Trump's long-time bodyguard Keith Schiller.

In the interest of fact checking myself, I'm not reading the letter was read to him over the phone because he's in Los Angeles. I don't know if it was read to him by the bodyguard or hand delivered to his office and read to him by his staff.
posted by bluecore at 4:14 PM on May 9


Senator Warren:

We need a real, independent prosecutor who @realDonaldTrump can't fire, Sessions can't intimidate, & Congress can't muzzle. We need it now.
posted by diogenes at 4:15 PM on May 9 [88 favorites]


So in less exciting news, McMaster got the kiss of death today:

Spicer: Trump Has ‘Utmost Confidence’ In Nat’l Security Adviser H.R. McMaster

So don't be surprised if he's gone pretty soon.
posted by sporkwort at 4:15 PM on May 9 [26 favorites]


Stop posting so fast! I wanna vote for Chaffetz to replace Comey.
posted by SpaceBass at 4:15 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


What happens if the Dems pull out all the stops to gum up then Senate until we get an independent prosecutor?

How many nuclear options are there?
posted by schadenfrau at 4:15 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


In light of the events of the last few hours I'd like to amend my suggestion; let's all flood the post offices to mail certified letters to Graham instead, demanding a Special Prosecutor.
posted by contraption at 4:15 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


A political cartoon from May 1 that elicits a different kind of laughter but eight days later

Ha ha.

But seriously, fuck that guy. This is one last disservice he's done us.
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]




As for possible Comey replacements, Devin Nunes isn't too busy at present, and he's a GREAT investigator.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:19 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Sen. Corker (R-Tenn) “[Comey's] removal at this particular time will raise questions...it is essential that ongoing investigations are free of political interference.

Doesn't suggest how that be accomplished, though, and stops short of directly criticizing the firing.
posted by cjelli at 4:19 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Too bad C. won't be able to spill the beans to the Senate about Russia, since this investigation is about to be no longer ongoing (and thus, golly, shutting up about it no longer qualifies as the worse choice in a horrible moral dilemma).

If the FBI wasn't solid Trump country, I'd say get ready for the mother of all leaks.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 4:20 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


If we don't get an independent prosecutor -- and even if we do -- my feeling is violence of some kind ('68 style maybe, or something to do with vote suppression and protests) in the run up to 2018.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:20 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


How many nuclear options are there?

As far as I know, they can filibuster legislation and that's it.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:20 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


I suppose it's a good sign that I can't get through to Sen. Feinstein's office at least.
posted by zachlipton at 4:21 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Unconfirmed reporting (the TV bit, we do seem to know Comey was in LA): Source in the FBI field office in LA tells me Comey was in the LA office when his firing was announced and he found out by seeing it on TV. (no additional information in link)
posted by cjelli at 4:21 PM on May 9 [29 favorites]


Or, Congress isn't going to save us. Because nobody is going to save us.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:21 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


In other words, the deeper they dig themselves in, the higher the stakes for 2018. At this point, a Democratic House probably means criminal charges for many of them.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:22 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


> "The firing of James Comey is another chapter in the long book of the Douche Canoe fucking over everyone who does business with him."

I am reminded, for some reason, of a poem about a snake.
posted by kyrademon at 4:22 PM on May 9 [33 favorites]


> he found out by seeing it on TV

Classy
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 4:22 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Sen. Corker (R-Tenn) “[Comey's] removal at this particular time will raise questions...it is essential that ongoing investigations are free of political interference.”

You mean political interference like firing the person in charge of the investigation? That kind of political interference?
posted by diogenes at 4:23 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


The Nixon library subtweets Trump: "FUN FACT: President Nixon never fired the Director of the FBI #FBIDirector #notNixonian "

Sen. Schatz (D-HI)
: We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis.
posted by zachlipton at 4:23 PM on May 9 [82 favorites]


"Heck of a job, Comey!"
posted by drezdn at 4:24 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Oh, ha, watching the re-broadcast of PBS Newshour from tonight, while the story being read was about Trump launching a new campaign web site, the graphic they kept up the whole time was "COMEY TESTIMONY" with the photo of him before Congress. Ha, ha, ha. *cries*
posted by XMLicious at 4:25 PM on May 9


Broad picture question: what does this do to the AHCA bill in the Senate, or the planning on tax reform legislation for the fall? It feels like this might take up a bit of congressional time between now and then, and might make a few people less likely to want to work with Trump while this -- whatever this ends up being -- is ongoing.
posted by cjelli at 4:25 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis.

Maybe this is just my white knuckled Handmaid's Tale viewing, but is there any way to remove him without suspending the Constitution?
posted by corb at 4:25 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


2018/2020 Basically they must just be assuming that the normal tendency to ignore the crimes of the previous administration will be swept under the rug.

Either that or they are just looking for the short term payoff and giving up on retaining power.
posted by vuron at 4:25 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Maybe he thinks he can start again in the mailroom and work his way back up?

Oh my god, this would be a great movie.
INT. FBI HEADQUARTERS. SEVERAL SENIOR FIGURES ARE GATHERED. COMEY BURSTS INTO THE ROOM.

COMEY:
"Sir! Sir! Mr. Acting Director!"

ACTING DIRECTOR:
"What is it, Mailbox?"

[MAILBOX is Comey's cool new nickname. All the department heads called him that as a dis, but Comey stepped to the mic and owned it. Now he wears sunglasses, knee pads, and a green visor to work, like a skateboarding accountant. He is the first and only mailroom employee ever sponsored by Red Bull.]

COMEY:
"I've been doing some research on certified letters — you might want to sit down — the certification process is just a post office thing ... It has nothing to do with the factual accuracy of the letter itself!"

SOUND EFFECT: Record scratch. The ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR LETTER-RELATED CRIMES spits out his drink.
posted by compartment at 4:25 PM on May 9 [52 favorites]


Gosh, if Trump is now firing guys who gave him the election, I hope Putin has his resumé in order.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:26 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


It won't take any congressional time, Republicans won't do anything about it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:26 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I just hope this ends the same way for Trump as it did for Nixon.

Rehabilitated as an "elder statesman"?
posted by thelonius at 4:27 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


You know, if they had been more on the ball, they could have fired Comey a week and a half ago and been able to add 'Brought about Constitutional crisis' to the things they accomplished in the first 100 days.
posted by sporkwort at 4:28 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


GMA producer tweeted that Comey is planning to keep his scheduled speaking engagement this evening in LA, an FBI official tells ABC News. Is anyone in LA who might go? Is it your birthday?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:28 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Maybe this is just my white knuckled Handmaid's Tale viewing, but is there any way to remove him without suspending the Constitution?

It's impeachment or the 25th. Those are the only two options.
posted by diogenes at 4:28 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Maybe this is just my white knuckled Handmaid's Tale viewing, but is there any way to remove him without suspending the Constitution?

I wonder how many people are googling the 25th amendment right now
posted by schadenfrau at 4:28 PM on May 9


It's impeachment or the 25th. Those are the only two options.

The only legal ways, yes.
posted by Justinian at 4:29 PM on May 9 [31 favorites]


I just looked up Comey's event for tonight, it's being held at the Director's Guild of America building on Sunset... but it's only open to applicants who have made it past a certain stage in their applications.
posted by Aubergine at 4:30 PM on May 9


So when Christie gets to be FBI Director, does anyone else think he will go full Reek and turn on his master for all the embarrassing meatloaf that was forced down his throat?

I mean... eventually someone has to right?
posted by Glibpaxman at 4:30 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Damn, Trump getting dragged by the Richard Nixon Library.
posted by drezdn at 4:30 PM on May 9 [31 favorites]


The most frustrating thing about Trump firing Comey is that the media haven't automatically given the story a "Gate" suffix. Seriously. Nixon tried to fire Archibald Cox for investigating people associated with Watergate. Trump fired Comey who was investigating his ties to Russia. We get gate suffixes for Utes, dongles and iPhones but we can't get a fucking gate suffix for this, which would actually be totally appropriate for the first time since actual Watergate? C'mon!?!
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:30 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Maybe this is just my white knuckled Handmaid's Tale viewing, but is there any way to remove him without suspending the Constitution?

* Impeachment by a majority of the House and Conviction by 2/3rds of the Senate
* Removal by the 25th amendment
* Massive, daily protests nationally to get the whole lot of the executive branch to resign
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:30 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


something something tumbrel something something knitting
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:31 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


James and the Giant Impeachment
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:31 PM on May 9 [140 favorites]


is there any way to remove him without suspending the Constitution?

Republicans could start putting country over party.
posted by contraption at 4:31 PM on May 9 [47 favorites]


James and the Giant Impeachment

damn you
posted by Going To Maine at 4:32 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Comey-gate? Comeyghazi? Comeyargo?
posted by drezdn at 4:32 PM on May 9


Comey found out he was fired by seeing it on TV.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:32 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Fox News: James Comey Resigns

And he found out he'd resigned on TV.
posted by scalefree at 4:32 PM on May 9 [60 favorites]


Republicans could start putting country over party.

But seriously.
posted by drezdn at 4:32 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


The problem with “Lock him up!” as a campaign slogan is that I’m afraid it’s going to be hard to tell which him we’re talking about.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:33 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


So when Christie gets to be FBI Director, does anyone else think he will go full Reek and turn on his master for all the embarrassing meatloaf that was forced down his throat?

Trump is not hiring Christie to do nothin'. Which reminds me -- Dear Mitt Romney: If the President invites you to dinner sometime soon, DON'T GO, dude.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:33 PM on May 9


Republicans could start putting country over party.

At this point you can be a Republican or you can be in favour of the continuance of America but you sure as fuck can't be both.
posted by Artw at 4:33 PM on May 9 [50 favorites]


When exactly were the "three separate occasions" when Comey informed Trump that he is not under investigation?

The WH press release has John Barron's tiny little hands all over it. It sounds exactly like the pumped-up nonsense that Trump would add to a press release about The Apprentice or Trump Steaks. Trump understood that this WH press release would have a huge impact and be widely discussed and disseminated so why not add in a line of bullshit? Many people will see this Official White Press Release and swallow the whole thing like it was 100% verified truth.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:33 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


*frantically googles how to move to another country*

Ideally, I'd like to move to Ireland, but Canada would be fine. Australia will do in a pinch.
posted by SansPoint at 4:33 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Go back to the classics: The Trump Affair?
posted by drezdn at 4:33 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


The problem with “Lock him up!” as a campaign slogan is that I’m afraid it’s going to be hard to tell which him we’re talking about.

Really I don't think it will be.
posted by Artw at 4:33 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Trump doesn't enjoy this job. He should pardon himself and his family and his campaign and go back to the penthouse. Easy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:33 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Sen. Sanders: “Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey raises serious questions about what his administration is hiding...we need an independent investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia."
posted by cjelli at 4:33 PM on May 9 [28 favorites]


dumbassshennanigansgate.
posted by vrakatar at 4:34 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Comey-a-Lago.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:34 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


I propose a new constitutional amendment. it's a guillotine with "28TH AMENDMENT" painted on it.

I know it may seem a little radical amending the Constitution with an object rather than with a piece of text, but I think we're ready to take this step.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:34 PM on May 9 [34 favorites]


You mean political interference like firing the person in charge of the investigation? That kind of political interference?

Didn't we put some laws into place to deal with this shit, after Nixon fired Cox?
posted by Melismata at 4:35 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


dumbassshennanigansgate.

The Constitution needs a shenanigans clause.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:35 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Just got through to Sen. Feinstein's office after a long time on hold. Said I wanted to express my surprise that the Senator did not use the occasion to express any concern about Comey's firing or to call for an independent investigation into ties with Russia unlike many of her colleagues. There was a decent pause and the staffer finally said "yeah. I don't really know what's going on there either." He said he'd pass on the message.

So that was a little odd. I'd encourage you to call if you live in CA. If you get the voicemail thing, you can hang up and call back to keep trying.
posted by zachlipton at 4:35 PM on May 9 [105 favorites]


Sen. Lankford (R-OK): calls for "clarity" & says the American people "deserve an explanation" for FBI Director Comey's firing. No mention of an independent investigation; 'it is important that the Senate confirm the next FBI Director.'
posted by cjelli at 4:35 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


It's like Trump has figured out a cheat code for corruption. If you just do enough of it, so brazenly, while tossing a bone to your party, they'll let you run with it.
posted by drezdn at 4:36 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Being found guilty of a crime would presumably also result in a resignation if not dismissal.

Considering that several State AGs seem interested in investigating Trump I am not sure that Congress doing something is an absolute requirement. Definitely should happen and ethically needs to happen.

But you know party over country
posted by vuron at 4:36 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Employees fired by Trump:
Sally Yates
Preet Bharara
James Comey

Employees investigating Trump:
Sally Yates
Preet Bharara
James Comey— Maggie Jordan: (@MaggieJordanACN) May 9, 2017
posted by Fizz at 4:37 PM on May 9 [99 favorites]


Didn't we put some laws into place to deal with this shit, after Nixon fired Cox?

Laws aren't self-enforcing; one imagines that the situation right now would be very, very different if the Republicans didn't control both the House and the Senate.
posted by cjelli at 4:37 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Being found guilty of a crime would presumably also result in a resignation if not dismissal.

Traditionally. For Trump? No way in hell.
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


What are the mechanics of appointing special prosecutor? Who appoints one? The AG? Or does Congress? If Congress, is it the House, the Senate, or both?
posted by jcreigh at 4:38 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Has anyone posted "But her emails" today?
posted by drezdn at 4:38 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


> Trump doesn't enjoy this job. He should pardon himself and his family and his campaign and go back to the penthouse. Easy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:33 PM on May 9 [+] [!]


I just had a positive fantasy about Paul Ryan and it made me feel gross inside and so I've got to share it with you.

The fantasy is of Ryan, Priebus, Sessions, etc. getting together to convince Trump to resign, with all of them promising that he can pardon himself and get to live out a happy, prosperous retirement. I'm picturing them promising that foreign dignitaries will still be required to stay at Trump's DC hotel, that he'll still get to rent out a floor of trump tower to the secret service, that, in general, he'll keep getting to channel money to himself through the federal government, without being expected to do any of the tiresome work involved with actually heading the executive branch.

And the fantasy involves Trump gleefully taking this deal, and, while actually walking onto the helicopter to fly off into exile, having Paul Ryan casually tell him that his self-pardon doesn't make him immune to prosecution for all the state-level crimes he's committed. Trump, outraged, turns to Ryan and Trumps out some word salad along the lines of "we had a deal!"

At which point Ryan smiles a creepy-ass Paul Ryan smile and says "you knew I was a snake when you picked me up."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:39 PM on May 9 [53 favorites]


How many nuclear options are there?

As far as I know, they can filibuster legislation and that's it.


If memory serves me correctly, the Senate operates on the concept of unanimous consent -- the various parliamentary motions required to keep business going are more or less waived if no one objects (and why would they?).

Democrats in the Senate must end any cooperation with the Republicans whatsoever. Require a vote on every measure, and take advantage of every possible dilatory motion -- don't waive the reading of the bill, or the roll call vote of all 100 -- and they do have a quorum present, don't they? -- simply to adjourn.

Individual Senators have power. I suggest the Democrats start using it.
posted by Gelatin at 4:39 PM on May 9 [41 favorites]


Another real problem is that, beyond the how of removing a President, depending on the scope of the corruption, there’s no way to have a special election. The Constitution has no provision for it. (I believe Norm Ornstein was opining about this a little while back, though surely it has been a poli-sci issue for an age.) If the President is out, do you trust Pence? If Pence is out, do you trust Ryan? What about Orrin Hatch? These are all options for which I might settle, but it would seem that most of their integrity has been compromised at this point and will continue to be compromised further as the gyre widens.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:39 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Justin Amash (R-MI): "My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre."
posted by zachlipton at 4:39 PM on May 9 [102 favorites]


Has anyone posted "But her emails" today?

Just retweeted...
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Rep. Schiff (Democratic ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee): "Firing of Comey tainted by extraordinary conflict of interest. Independent prosecutor must be appointed to restore any public confidence." Full statement in picture form, because Twitter is awful at this sort of thing (and yet remains the easiest place to actually find these press statements quickly).
posted by cjelli at 4:40 PM on May 9 [20 favorites]


I wish this were the timeline where firing the guy who swung the election towards fascism with perfectly-timed misinformation and perjured himself to Congress was a good thing.
posted by ckape at 4:40 PM on May 9 [37 favorites]


With Graham and McCain already out of the running for a non-feckless response, which Republican senator is next in line to at least make some grandstanding noises in the right direction. Collins?
posted by diogenes at 4:40 PM on May 9


Has anyone posted "But her emails" today?

I included it in the FPP since I figured those words should be looking down at us from above every day.
posted by zachlipton at 4:40 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


I won't link to it but Claude Taylor — who I can't vouch for and frequently talks to Mensch — is saying hopeful things on Twitter if you need to read that. It...helps. It might be a fairy tale but if it is, it's a nice fairy tale.
posted by Brainy at 4:41 PM on May 9


The most frustrating thing about Trump firing Comey is that the media haven't automatically given the story a "Gate" suffix. Seriously

WTFgate.
posted by nubs at 4:41 PM on May 9 [26 favorites]


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
posted by entropicamericana at 4:42 PM on May 9 [34 favorites]


I won't link to it but Claude Taylor — who I can't vouch for and frequently talks to Mensch — is saying hopeful things on Twitter if you need to read that. It...helps. It might be a fairy tale but if it is, it's a nice fairy tale.

Not touching with a stick.
posted by Artw at 4:43 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


The most frustrating thing about Trump firing Comey is that the media haven't automatically given the story a "Gate" suffix. Seriously

Trumpgate. The man likes to have his name on things.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:43 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


entropicamericana - what is that, French?
posted by Artw at 4:43 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


The most frustrating thing about Trump firing Comey is that the media haven't automatically given the story a "Gate" suffix. Seriously.

I think I've said this before, but at this point we should just throw everything under 'Trumpgate.'
posted by cjelli at 4:43 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I won't link to it but Claude Taylor — who I can't vouch for and frequently talks to Mensch — is saying hopeful things on Twitter if you need to read that. It...helps. It might be a fairy tale but if it is, it's a nice fairy tale.

Ah yeah, that's the good stuff... There is no pain, you are receding...
posted by diogenes at 4:43 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Is Amish the real deal? I've seen him talk a big game about Trump, but that's true of McCain and he always falls in line and licks Trump's boots when it counts.
posted by Justinian at 4:44 PM on May 9


WTFgate

InvestiGate
posted by 23skidoo at 4:44 PM on May 9 [87 favorites]


Amash is the guy who just last week said he'd have to read the Trumpcare bill, and two hours later voted yes. He's a total fraud.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:45 PM on May 9 [28 favorites]


Ah yeah, that's the good stuff... There is no pain, you are receding...
That's exactly what I was fumbling around with. It could well be morphine.
posted by Brainy at 4:45 PM on May 9


My only real hope at this point is that some FBI loyalists drop a ton of documents into the NYT or WaPo dropboxes with a note attached reading simply "James Comey sends his regards."
posted by Justinian at 4:46 PM on May 9 [47 favorites]


it's funny; the first time I read that document I thought it was inspiring, but now I'm like "that Enlightenment twaddle is so naïve."

okay really what's going on though is that I can't read:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"
without expecting the next part to be:
"And when I meet Thomas Jefferson I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel! WORK!"
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:46 PM on May 9 [32 favorites]


entropicamericana - what is that, French?

we fought for these ideals; we shouldnt settle for less
these are wise words, enterprising men quote them
posted by entropicamericana at 4:46 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


If memory serves me correctly, the Senate operates on the concept of unanimous consent -- the various parliamentary motions required to keep business going are more or less waived if no one objects (and why would they?).

I believe our friends at the IWW call the idea you are obliquely suggesting a "slowdown", and other than sympathy strikes it's one of the more effective nonviolent tactics.
posted by corb at 4:47 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


If Trump nominates Sheriff Clarke for the FBI, I will lose my shit.
posted by drezdn at 4:47 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


This was mentioned in passing upthread, but sources [citation needed, yes, yes] are reporting that:
the President himself has been considering this, been thinking about this for at least a week. Did not necessarily have the rationale when they first started talking about this but then asked the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to look for that rationale and that explanation. And that is what we got this afternoon.
You have to wonder if Sessions, et al, kept any records as they debated how to best fire Comey; whether they sent any emails; and whether those records still exist.
posted by cjelli at 4:48 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


I took an afternoon nap. Every time I do take an afternoon nap I wake up to a Trump shitshow. But I like naps.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:48 PM on May 9 [21 favorites]


No more naps.
posted by notyou at 4:49 PM on May 9 [30 favorites]


If Trump nominates Sheriff Clarke for the FBI, I will lose my shit.

Try and hang on to your pee though, in case you get locked up without a source of water.
posted by Artw at 4:49 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


the President himself has been considering this, been thinking about this for at least a week.

Bullshit.
posted by dilaudid at 4:50 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


If memory serves me correctly, the Senate operates on the concept of unanimous consent -- the various parliamentary motions required to keep business going are more or less waived if no one objects (and why would they?).

I believe our friends at the IWW call the idea you are obliquely suggesting a "slowdown", and other than sympathy strikes it's one of the more effective nonviolent tactics.


Right, but this is why I asked about nuclear options. Can they just change the rules about how the Senate functions to remove the ability to fuck shit up?
posted by schadenfrau at 4:51 PM on May 9


So, what's the odds on Spicer having a full meltdown tomorrow?
posted by nubs at 4:51 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]




I doubt the President has ever thought about literally anything for at least a week.
posted by Justinian at 4:51 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


You can't make this shit up.
BREAKING: President Trump set to meet Russian Foreign Minister at White House tomorrow— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) May 9, 2017
posted by Fizz at 4:52 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


If Trump nominates Sheriff Clarke for the FBI, I will lose my shit.

Former AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio is currently unemployed and also available...
posted by mosk at 4:52 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Senator Burr (R-NC): “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Jim Comey’s termination...his dismissal is a loss for the nation." Doesn't mention need for independent prosecutor, but also doesn't mention any positive about this -- or about the 'need to confirm a new director,' which has been the line several R Seantors are taking.

Sen. Burr is the Chairman of United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, so his reaction matters more than some.
posted by cjelli at 4:52 PM on May 9 [22 favorites]


the President himself has been considering this, been thinking about this for at least a week.

Bullshit.

Why? Bureaucracies grind slowly. It takes time for deputy AGs to write up explanations. Simply because someone flips out, that doesn’t mean the paperwork gets filed right away.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:53 PM on May 9


I don't think the folks at Lawfare are particularly prone to shrillness, and they just posted an article titled "The Nightmare Scenario: Trump Fires Comey, the One Man Who Would Stand Up to Him."

It starts with "Make no mistake: The firing of James Comey as FBI director is a stunning event. It is a profoundly dangerous thing—a move that puts the Trump-Russia investigation in immediate jeopardy and removes from the investigative hierarchy the one senior official whom President Trump did not appoint..."
posted by diogenes at 4:53 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


So, um, guys: the Census Director resigned this afternoon.

Any bets on who will replace him? Oh, and ask Canada what happens when you fuck with the census.
posted by maudlin at 4:54 PM on May 9 [49 favorites]


I doubt the President has ever thought about literally anything for at least a week.

Fumed about, probably.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


A congressional Democrat with access to any of the classified material on the Russia investigation should really seriously think about taking one for the team and reading any information that won't compromise an investigation into the record with their protections under the Speech or Debate Clause. Existence of criminal indictments without names attached, verification of that grand jury rumor, something. Somebody in a safe blue seat who will be replaced by another Dem if removed from Congress - that's the only penalty they can face, they're immune from prosecution by the Executive for releasing classified info that way. Go tit for tat on this, Trump crossed a red line and it needs a response.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:54 PM on May 9 [88 favorites]


BREAKING: President Trump set to meet Russian Foreign Minister at White House tomorrow

Will they spirit him into a waiting submarine? Dose him with Polonium? Make his Praetorship official?
posted by contraption at 4:55 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Sen. Burr is the Chairman of United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, so his reaction matters more than some.

I would argue that Senator Burr's reaction matters more than literally anybody else at this point. The Senate investigation is the only thing left standing.
posted by diogenes at 4:55 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I doubt the President has ever thought about literally anything for at least a week.

The shitshow where a bunch of R's failed to ask Yates about Russia? Not expecting much.
posted by Artw at 4:55 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


It seems really unhelpful for Democrats to be screaming how "Nixonian" this is considering how many Republicans openly admire Tricky Dick. As long as the GOP gets what they want out of Trump -- the decimation of regulations and their big tax cuts, I think they will go along with Comey's firing. The entire GOP, including McCain, regardless of what he's saying now, will shut up and roll over because Trump will continue to "Make America Great Again" ... For Corporations.
posted by pjsky at 4:56 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


@DanaBashCNN: Source w knowledge of wh discussions tells me senior officials did not think firing james comey would be a big political explosion.

What? How? Are they stupid?

I don't think the folks at Lawfare are particularly prone to shrillness, and they just posted an article titled "The Nightmare Scenario: Trump Fires Comey, the One Man Who Would Stand Up to Him."

Benjamin Wittes, who co-authored that, is a good friend of Comey.
posted by zachlipton at 4:56 PM on May 9 [27 favorites]


If they bring in a "short census," hang em high.
posted by Yowser at 4:56 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


"What pairs well with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor?"

White russians.
posted by coust at 4:56 PM on May 9 [35 favorites]


I hate that I have to think like this, but truthfully the most effective messaging for getting an independent prosecutor might be literally be the chicken dance

Like if everyone on tv just started calling Trump a coward, maybe we'll get one

You know, like how you would manipulate a five year old
posted by schadenfrau at 4:57 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


> Oh, and ask Canada what happens when you fuck with the census.

You lose the next election?
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:57 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


> While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.

I have many thoughts about this sentence. But one of them is that it has a good chance of becoming almost as infamous as "I am not a crook".

I mean, I thought the Rs were supposed to be masters of framing. The very absolute last thing you do in politics is run around very loudly proclaiming that you are NOT something.

What this letter screams to even the most politically naive person is that the President of the United States is very, very, very worried about being investigated.

Why?

The fact that he himself has raised the question is more powerful than a thousand CNNs doing it . . .
posted by flug at 4:58 PM on May 9 [24 favorites]


I would argue that Senator Burr's reaction matters more than literally anybody else at this point.

However, it's not just a Hamilton reference to point out that Burr is the worst.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:58 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Se. Burr (who heads up the Senate committee on the Russian connections) has not gone on twitter but :

@Ali Watkins: Just in from Burr: “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Jim Comey’s termination."

It goes on to say "I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by our Committee. In my interactions with the director and the Bureau under his leadership, he and the FBI have always been straightforward with our Committee. Director Comey has been more forthcoming with information than any FBI Director I can recall in my tenure on the congressional intelligence committee. His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation."

I'm not sure what the origin of this is because the whole thing is in quotes as though he spoke to the press.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:58 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Oh, and ask Canada what happens when you fuck with the census.

You get Justin Trudeau.
posted by My Dad at 4:59 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


You lose the next election?

Assuming you have the equivalent of an Elections Canada drawing riding boundaries and running elections, yeah, sure ...
posted by maudlin at 4:59 PM on May 9


What? How? Are they stupid?

Stupid, Crazy, and Evil are individually weak forces but all three together can support the strongest stool. In all senses.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:00 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Oh, and ask Canada what happens when you fuck with the census.

You lose the next election?


Or you never lose another election again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:00 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


A congressional Democrat with access to any of the classified material on the Russia investigation

How about a Senator? I can think of one Dianne Feinstein who is on the verge of retirement (or primary,) has a lot of sins to atone for, and who emerged ashen-faced from a meeting with Comey in March.
posted by contraption at 5:00 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


What? How? Are they stupid?

Have you remembered nothing about Trump's Razor.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if they thought this would be a two-day story that would be a great way to overshadow the Yates testimony from yesterday.

I also wouldn't be surprised if they ended up being right, honestly.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:00 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


I don't know about the chicken dance, but if we can march for women and march for science, surely we can get a gazillion people in the streets to march for an independent investigation?
posted by zachlipton at 5:00 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


BREAKING: President Trump set to meet Russian Foreign Minister at White House tomorrow— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex)

Hand delivering the pee tape for services rendered?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:01 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


ack! I see that whole quote is from a series of tweets from Burr.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:01 PM on May 9


you mean the dianne feinstein that hasn't issued a statement about the comey firing? that dianne feinstein?
posted by entropicamericana at 5:01 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Because its going to be a rough evening/night for many of us. For all your social media and commenting needs, I provide you the following:

- picardfacepalm.gif
- infinitepicardfacepalm.gif
- louiefacepalm.gif
- brittafacepalm.gif
- kobebryantfacepalmheadscratch.gif
- wolverinefacepalm.gif
- batmanfacepalm.gif
- colbertfacepalms.gif
posted by Fizz at 5:01 PM on May 9 [36 favorites]


"I'm troubled by" is Republican for "but I'm not going to do anything about that thing you think I should do something about, so fuck off".
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:02 PM on May 9 [56 favorites]


So, the one silver lining is that this is pretty much confirmation that James Comey wasn't quite a straightforward Trump lackey but A Land of Contrasts. He wouldn't be out if he wasn't going after Trump.

Next steps: raise hell until we get a special prosecutor and they subpoena Comey. His testimony should be a hell of a thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:03 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


How about a Senator? I can think of one Dianne Feinstein who is on the verge of retirement (or primary,) has a lot of sins to atone for, and who emerged ashen-faced from a meeting with Comey in March.

I like it! She's been pretending to be useless to lure Trump into a false sense of complacency!
posted by diogenes at 5:03 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I also wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up being right, honestly.

I don’t believe that even the most partisan Senate could accept the nomination of -and vote to approve- a new FBI director in two days, or that this administration is competent enough to identify a new director in that amount of time. But I’ve been surprised by many things.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:03 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I have possibly cheering news -

I just tried to call both of my Representative's offices to leave a message demanding the House bring impeachment charges for obstruction of justice. Both offices had full mailboxes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:03 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


who emerged ashen-faced from a meeting with Comey in March.

Any reporter who judges what a politician is going to do based on that kind of subject facial expression reading needs a stern talking to.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:04 PM on May 9


Lauren Dobson-Hughes: "Turmoil erupts in the fractured state of America, as authoritarian new President dismisses the head of the investigative bureau. After an election marred by allegations of corruption, the new President quickly moved to fill key positions with his family members. It's not known whether this new firing will lead to sectarian violence in a fractured country where gun crime is rife. International observers have urged calm as the situation in the strife-ridden state of America escalates. The UN says it is watching closely. Neighbouring countries prepare interventions to de-escalate the constitutional crisis in this young state, before it engulfs the region."
posted by maudlin at 5:05 PM on May 9 [140 favorites]


Shit, we're living in the V for Vendetta timeline, aren't we...
posted by daq at 5:07 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


you mean the dianne feinstein that hasn't issued a statement about the comey firing? that dianne feinstein?

No, the one I'm talking about issued a mealy-mouthed "well, we on the Judiciary Committee will ensure that the new Director is independent and well-vetted" and needs to be hounded to issue a "clarification." I don't expect her to have a change of heart, I just like imagining the increasingly-fanciful scenarios under which she might be able to redeem herself as a representative of my state.
posted by contraption at 5:08 PM on May 9


As a North Carolinian I'm actually flabbergasted at Burr's response. That's the most semi-human thing I can remember him doing in ages.
posted by something something at 5:08 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Shit, we're living in the V for Vendetta timeline, aren't we...

Quick! Somebody check doesnatalieportmanstillhavehair.com!
posted by Talez at 5:08 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Just in: From a highly placed source. Comey (as former Director) is testifying tomorrow/Thursday before Senate Committee in closed session.

Claude Taylor tweet. Link.
posted by yoga at 5:09 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


you mean the dianne feinstein that hasn't issued a statement about the comey firing? that dianne feinstein?

Feinstein's statement
"President Trump called me at 5:30 p.m. and indicated he would be removing Director Comey, saying the FBI needed a change," Feinstein said in a statement. "The next FBI director must be strong and independent and will receive a fair hearing in the Judiciary Committee."
What a joke.
posted by Justinian at 5:09 PM on May 9 [36 favorites]


The utter lack of any consequences on the part of Congress is going to make me pine for the days of Watergate, when lawmakers actually cared about the Constitution.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:11 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


Whatever the dictionary word for accepting fascism out of an unreciprocated notion of "fairness" is, the actual entry is just a picture of her.
posted by Artw at 5:11 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Bad idea for Team Trump. Whenever the Chief throws his hardnose detective off the case, the detective doubles down and solves it.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:11 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


Trumpist commenters on other sites are suggesting that the new FBI replacement will be brought on to finally Lock Her Up, which would be one hell of a way to draw attention away from Russia et al.
posted by tau_ceti at 5:11 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


I need to update my comment.

This is just gross: Trump team marks 6-month election anniversary by vowing to air video of Clinton campaign’s concession call

Sometimes it’s fun to go back to your high-school and impress the current generation of students with how accomplished you are because now you can legally buy beer. by setting the building ablaze and cackling madly.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:12 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


@DanaBashCNN: Source w knowledge of wh discussions tells me senior officials did not think firing james comey would be a big political explosion.

More on this. Their strategy was that Democrats wouldn't be able to protest because they've criticized Comey before.

This is really bad strategy. Both parties have big criticisms of Comey. They really thought people just wouldn't say anything?
posted by zachlipton at 5:12 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


You have to wonder if Sessions, et al, kept any records as they debated how to best fire Comey; whether they sent any emails; and whether those records still exist.

Emails, you say?
posted by Gelatin at 5:12 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


The Chris Hayes Show just pointed out he's in LA and took the FBI plane there so it's not clear how he'll get back to DC as he no longer has permission to use the plane.
posted by bluecore at 5:13 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Senator Warren is going on MSNBC in a few minutes.
posted by diogenes at 5:13 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


They finally found out that Comey was responsible for killing the young KGB agent back in season 1.
posted by drezdn at 5:14 PM on May 9 [29 favorites]


You know, I was 9 years old when 9/11 happened. The most that I understood in the two years afterwards was, "Why did we invade Iraq? What about Afghanistan? And didn't the news keep saying they were from Saudi Arabia? How come wars don't happen on our soil? We keep attacking other countries." and I would keep seeing my Muslim and Sikh friends keep getting terrified.

It's occurred to me that I haven't really talked to any children and I'm not really in any contact with them, and I wonder what they think about all of this going on. It's utterly flabbergasting, scary, and confusing.
posted by yueliang at 5:15 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Trumpist commenters on other sites are suggesting that the new FBI replacement will be brought on to finally Lock Her Up, which would be one hell of a way to draw attention away from Russia et al.

Oh sweet jesus. THAT is the most terrifying thing I've read regarding this whole mess. It's so vile I have no doubt it's true.
posted by pjsky at 5:16 PM on May 9 [28 favorites]


The Chris Hayes Show just pointed out he's in LA and took the FBI plane there so it's not clear how he'll get back to DC as he no longer has permission to use the plane.

And so James Comey begins an epic adventure, hitch-hiking his way across the country on a journey to discover the real America and, perhaps, himself.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:16 PM on May 9 [188 favorites]


They are really far stupider than we can imagine.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:16 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


More on this. Their strategy was that Democrats wouldn't be able to protest because they've criticized Comey before.

Yeah they clearly chose their rationale with the idea that it would knock the wind out of any Democratic response. I mean, they allegedly fired him for reasons that I would've thought totally not-insane for Obama to use to fire Comey in November. So they can now say: "But we fired him because he hurt you, what are you complaining about?".
posted by dis_integration at 5:16 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


*finishes bag of chips, licks fingers*
Okay, because I like you, I'll give you hints as to who the next FBI director will be.

A white man. An old, white man. A crazy, old, white man who loudly proclaims loyalty to Il Toupeé.

He was also in a band with Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw called "Damn Yankees".
Whoops, you know what the music means.
posted by petebest at 5:17 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


There are so many great movies to be made about this administration, so many wondrous, fabtrabulous, fantastical romps. And I just know that the only one that will get made will be by Oliver Stone and it will miss the entire point.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:17 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


And so James Comey begins an epic adventure, hitch-hiking his way across the country on a journey to discover the real America and, perhaps, himself.

I was going to go with GoFundMe for a MegaBus ticket. Yours is much better.
posted by Talez at 5:18 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Let's play fantasy special prosecutor, who the hell could lead this? Every Senate Republican is totally compromised, and they'd never agree to a Democrat. It has to be someone out of politics, but respected enough to be independent and with an actual background in complex investigation.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:18 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Going after Hillary is my red line in the sand. That was the thing that I wrote down on November 9th.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:18 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


So they can now say: "But we fired him because he hurt you, what are you complaining about?"

Do they think nobody remembers that last week Comey testified about the FBI investigation of Trump's Russian connections?

I know this 100 days feels like 100 years, but seriously.

They are really horrifyingly, incorrigibly, stupid.
posted by suelac at 5:18 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


More on this. Their strategy was that Democrats wouldn't be able to protest because they've criticized Comey before.

Edward Snowden: "This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities. If I can oppose his firing, so can you."
posted by Buntix at 5:19 PM on May 9 [145 favorites]


There are so many great movies to be made about this administration, so many wondrous, fabtrabulous, fantastical romps. And I just know that the only one that will get made will be by Oliver Stone and it will miss the entire point.

I expect the reality to be some Trumpian variant of Sideshow Bob.
posted by Talez at 5:19 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


What am I supposed to do with all these puns that just Comey to me now?!?
posted by drezdn at 5:19 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


And so James Comey begins an epic adventure, hitch-hiking his way across the country on a journey to discover the real America and, perhaps, himself.

At some point he meets an alien

like from another planet, not mexico
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:19 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]




The Chris Hayes Show just pointed out he's in LA and took the FBI plane there so it's not clear how he'll get back to DC as he no longer has permission to use the plane.
Kayak has a flight leaving L.A. at 11:30 tonight and getting into BWI at 7 AM tomorrow. It's $284. Even as an unemployed person, I suspect that Comey can swing it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:20 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


NBC nat sec reporter Ken Dilanian: "Former senior FBI official tells me: 'I believe the intent here is to replace him with someone who will close' the Russia probe."

Or, more hyperbolically put,

Observer nat sec columnist John Schindler: "Trump has either BIGLY Saturday Night Massacred himself here...or he's consolidated power & is beyond any law.

"We'll know soon which it is."
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:20 PM on May 9 [34 favorites]


And so James Comey begins an epic adventure, hitch-hiking his way across the country on a journey to discover the real America and, perhaps, himself.

And he discovers the real impeachment scandal was the friendships he made along the way.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:21 PM on May 9 [65 favorites]


And so James Comey begins an epic adventure, hitch-hiking his way across the country on a journey to discover the real America and, perhaps, himself.

Is this an American Gods crossover? Does he get a job as chauffeur for Tyr?
posted by homunculus at 5:22 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Season 4 of Black Mirror is the most terrifying yet...
posted by Fizz at 5:22 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


More on this. Their strategy was that Democrats wouldn't be able to protest because they've criticized Comey before.

Yeah they clearly chose their rationale with the idea that it would knock the wind out of any Democratic response. I mean, they allegedly fired him for reasons that I would've thought totally not-insane for Obama to use to fire Comey in November. So they can now say: "But we fired him because he hurt you, what are you complaining about?".

I think there’s an argument to be made that had Yates not testified yesterday, the story would indeed have less weight. The Yates and Clapper testimony -to say nothing of that short-lived insane Twitter banner that is less than a footnote in all of this- got everyone super het up. If that testimony hadn’t happened there’d be anger, but it would feel very different. There’d be no sense -justified or not- of an immediate cause and effect. (We have people this thread who seem sure that this was due to the Yates testimony, nothing else.) We’re getting the benefit of Trump’s razor here. The President is helping people connect the dots in the ongoing damage to the republic.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:23 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Josh Marshall:

There is only one reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from the decision to fire Comey: that there is grave wrongdoing at the center of the Russia scandal and that it implicates the President. As I write this, I have a difficult time believing that last sentence myself. But sometimes you have to step back from your assumptions and simply look at what the available evidence is telling you. It’s speaking clearly: the only reasonable explanation is that the President has something immense to hide and needs someone in charge of the FBI who he believes is loyal. Like Jeff Sessions. Like Rod Rosenstein.

This is a very dark and perilous moment.

posted by diogenes at 5:23 PM on May 9 [87 favorites]


gotta be honest, i am teetering on the brink of outright despair. if they get away with this they can get away with anything, and they're capable of anything.

if this goes unpunished i expect a bomb to go off in a federal office building in DC in september 2018 and for the election to be delayed indefinitely. this could be the end.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:25 PM on May 9 [21 favorites]


Sorry, I 1/2 expected: Here's your acting Director of the FBI


Trying this step back and think about what this means in broad terms, Comey's firing feels like the general situation has crossed the line from a need to find specific malfeasance to one in which the actions taken by Trump, Sessions, Pence, etc etc, are themselves sufficiently problematic -- to put it mildly -- to warrant investigation in and of themselves

"Dollars! All their cares, hopes, joys, affections, virtues, and associations seemed to be melted down into dollars. Whatever the chance contributions that fell into the slow cauldron of their talk, they made the gruel thick and slab with dollars. Men were weighed by their dollars, measures were gauged by their dollars; life was auctioneered, appraised, put up, and knocked down for its dollars. The next respectable thing to dollars was any venture having their attainment for its end. The more of that worthless ballast, honour and fair-dealing, which any man cast overboard from the ship of his Good Nature and Good Intent, the more ample stowage-room he had for dollars. Make commerce one huge lie and mighty theft. Deface the banner of the nation for an idle rag; pollute it star by star; and cut out stripe by stripe as from the arm of a degraded soldier. Do anything for dollars! What is a flag to them!" - Charles Dickens
posted by Smedleyman at 5:25 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Because car chases are what LA does best, local news has a helicopter following his car on the 405 toward LAX. Points to him not speaking tonight.
posted by zachlipton at 5:25 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


Congressional statements on the firing of James Comey, complied and updated by Propublica.
posted by misskaz at 5:26 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Points to him not speaking tonight.

It does seem wise to not have a guy you just summarily fired give a talk to a bunch of people who want to join your organization.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:27 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Serious question: as an American citizen (and someone represented by Dems in both the House and Senate), what is the most effective form of action I can engage in right now to prevent the GOP and Trump White House from getting away with tanking a legitimate investigation?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:28 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


Okay, I think I figured out how we really got here. This is a doozy and maybe not fully baked, but here goes.

Donnie goes to Russia to party back in the day and digs the neo-fascist scene- when you own the cops, judges, and press you can do all sorts of sick shit. Vlad's operatives see this, and say "hey donnie we can help you run for prez, just let us launder our money thru all your shell companies (hence no tax returns), we'll unleash our hackers, you'll get a cut of the money, a ton of free press, and when you get beat we'll help launch Trump TV."

Donnie's like cool I get to call Hillary a bitch, be mr toughguy, whip people up, awesome I'm in. Trump TV will be just like wwe network, 9.99 a month and everyone gets a show- Alex Jones, KellyAnne, my kids, cool.

But he wins.

Vlad is like OH SHIT and has his team that worked on it whacked.

Donnie gets sworn in, things get terrible but the people protest and fight back and we are just about here, now. Along the way Donnie bombs Syria to let Vlad know he's nobody's bitch.
posted by vrakatar at 5:29 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Serious question: as an American citizen (and someone represented by Dems in both the House and Senate), what is the most effective form of action I can engage in right now to prevent the GOP and Trump White House from getting away with tanking a legitimate investigation?

Do what it takes to keep your fear from paralyzing you.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:30 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


From The Daily Beast:
The number two at the FBI, and Comey’s likely interim successor, is Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who came under fire after a Clinton ally gave nearly half a million dollars to his wife’s election campaign. McCabe would then later go on to help oversee the investigation into Clinton’s email use.

McCabe may have also violated Justice Department rules, which bar contacts between the FBI and WH officials, when he spoke to the president’s chief of staff about the ongoing investigation into Russia’s efforts to subvert the U.S. elections.

But even that leadership change could be short-lived. A well-wired federal law enforcement source told The Daily Beast rumors are also flying about McCabe’s potential resignation or firing. The source added that given current national security threats, it’s unlikely that would happen for the next few weeks.

posted by zachlipton at 5:30 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Points to him not speaking tonight.

Leak of Comey's prepared remarks: "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you...you're cool, fuck you, I'm out!"

fake
posted by peeedro at 5:31 PM on May 9 [28 favorites]


Serious question: as an American citizen (and someone represented by Dems in both the House and Senate), what is the most effective form of action I can engage in right now to prevent the GOP and Trump White House from getting away with tanking a legitimate investigation?

I just dropped letters -- real, physical letters -- in the mail asking Senators Klobuchar and Franken to withhold unanimous consent for al senate business until an independent special prosecutor is appointed. Essentially I asked them to stage a work to rule strike.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:32 PM on May 9 [41 favorites]


schadenfrau: At this point, a Democratic House probably means criminal charges for many of them.

Democrats need to give up this fantasy. We will never see a Democratic House in our lifetimes. Short of taking actions we are forbidden to speak of on Metafilter, there is 0% chance of defeating the gerrymandering that currently exists which completely prevents a Dem majority in the House. It is the most lost of lost causes.
posted by tzikeh at 5:32 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


It strikes me that Trump's excuse about Comey being unfair to Hillary is not even a lie. It's an act of aggression and bullying aimed at Republicans.

The meaning is simple. "I know this is untrue. You know it's untrue. If you accept this, then you have surrendered totally to me." He's pounding them in the face and demanding that they say "Uncle."

Any Republican who acquiesces to this is all in with Trump. Unless Trump is in full power, they are very likely to lose the election in 2 years. He's demanding that they declare all in, or out now, and counting on their cowardice to bind them closer. And I'm not confident that it won't work.
posted by msalt at 5:32 PM on May 9 [56 favorites]


They didn't know what a big deal this was. They don't have a plan. This wasn't strategy. They don't have a next step. This was panicked flailing.

Which will make it all the more dire if they get away with it.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:33 PM on May 9 [21 favorites]


Democrats need to give up this fantasy. We will never see a Democratic House in our lifetimes. Short of taking actions we are forbidden to speak of on Metafilter

Running moderate candidates who will support class-based economic progressivism in red states?
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:34 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Do what it takes to keep your fear from paralyzing you.

Let's assume (for the sake of this exercise) that my physician has suggested that I refrain from hard drugs and/or excessive drink.

posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:35 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


(We have people this thread who seem sure that this was due to the Yates testimony, nothing else.) We’re getting the benefit of Trump’s razor here. The President is helping people connect the dots in the ongoing damage to the republic.

Let's say for the sake of argument that Trump was honestly planning to fire Comey for a bit and this was in the works since last week or whenever. So then Yates and Clapper testify, and I, as the President about to fire the FBI director, spend a solid fucking day and night tweeting totally batshit stuff that makes me look about as guilty as Raskolnikov on steroids. And then I get up the next day and go ahead and fire Comey.

Seriously, crisis PR classes are going to be using this shit as case studies for millennia. They'll just anthologize it all in one big-ass textbook titled How to Step on Your Own Dick.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:35 PM on May 9 [34 favorites]


The Chris Hayes Show just pointed out he's in LA and took the FBI plane there so it's not clear how he'll get back to DC as he no longer has permission to use the plane.

Please bear in mind that with Trump, it's always about dominating and humiliating his opponents.

Here's a CNN article from last week that is all too timely: Trump at His Most Dangerous
Sometimes political change happens suddenly. You wake up, and a military junta has taken over your country, or some other kind of revolution has happened. But other times, the climate shifts little by little. A few big gestures of aggression, and then things settle down. Then the cycle repeats, until one day the tipping point is reached and you find your democracy has been transformed into an autocracy.

We're at serious risk of this happening in America.{...}

Authoritarians, however, are most dangerous at such moments, when they feel vulnerable. With the #TrumpRussia scandal widening, we can expect the White House to become much more aggressive in imposing its agendas.{...}

Political change announced itself formally with the blitz of executive orders that followed President Donald Trump's January 2017 inauguration. Kellyanne Conway's tweet from that period remains all too relevant. "Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact. Promises made, promises kept. Shock to the system. And he's just getting started."

We should get ready for another round of such "shocks": Trump's been sending signals that he's preparing to accelerate his consolidation of personal power. In an interview Friday with Fox News, Trump criticized the "archaic" rules of the House and Senate, saying "maybe at some point we are going to have to take these rules on, because for the good of the nation things are going to have to be different."
It's also a reminder of Masha Gessen's rules for surviving in an autocracy

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule #4: Be outraged.
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.
Rule #6: Remember the future.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:35 PM on May 9 [72 favorites]


TangoFoxGate
the whisk[e]y is implied
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 5:36 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


We will never see a Democratic House in our lifetimes. Short of taking actions we are forbidden to speak of on Metafilter.

How is re-litigating the primaries going to help?
posted by diogenes at 5:36 PM on May 9 [30 favorites]


> Wired: Anti-Vaxxers Brought Their War To Minnesota — And Then Came Measles

The Right Should Blame Trump’s Anti-Vaxxer Pals, Not Islam, for a Measles Outbreak in Minnesota
posted by homunculus at 5:37 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


betting window closes 8/31/17 at midnight...
i'm calling it now: emergency powers on or before 9/30/17. no midterm election in '18.

any takers?
posted by j_curiouser at 9:46 PM on December 9, 2016
posted by j_curiouser at 5:37 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


apologies to the mods for my last comment. this situation is making me genuinely psychologically unwell. i will refrain from commenting again until i find my poise or the situation resolves itself.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:39 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


The thing about despair is that we are all fine buying it in bulk because it’s so satisfying to consume. And yet it is never as fatally bad as despair entitles you to believe it. This isn’t Russia (yet?). This certainly isn’t Nazi Germany. This is a moment where the administration made a completely dumb-assed move that is very scary but at the same time the public sentiment on my side of the aisle that there is some shit none of us will eat.

And yet, here is despair, right here, that nothing will ever be better. It isn’t as bad for a white person in this country as it has been for a POC at any time during our history, and look at what those folks have successfully beaten out of us. So I don’t think despair that nothing can change is the sort of selfish attitude that we are allowed to have in the long-term.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:41 PM on May 9 [51 favorites]


It's like Trump is trying to pass some corruption Turing test.
posted by drezdn at 5:41 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Uh, so much for Collins maybe saying or doing the right thing:

Any suggestion that today’s announcement is somehow an effort to stop the FBI's investigation...is misplaced.

posted by diogenes at 5:41 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Seriously, crisis PR classes are going to be using this shit as case studies for millennia. They'll just anthologize it all in one big-ass textbook titled How to Step on Your Own Dick.

How to Step on Your Own Donald, I think.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:42 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Uh, so much for Collins maybe saying or doing the right thing:

Any suggestion that today’s announcement is somehow an effort to stop the FBI's investigation…is misplaced.

That, ma’am, is an invitation to be held to account.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:43 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


to the person above that asked about what to do, laugh and go hug a loved one. Immerse yourself in the power of positive emotions to give yourself hope, composure, and spine. Then use resistbot to pummel your congresscritters with demands that they shut down the legislative process using every procedural tool they can until a special prosecutor is appointed to investigate this BS.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 5:44 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Is it your birthday?

Yes, in fact it is, and this will do nicely, thank you!
posted by Dashy at 5:44 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule #4: Be outraged.
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.
Rule #6: Remember the future.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:35 PM on May 9 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


These are the shittiest rules

Nothing on what you should do besides be outraged and think about the future? It's like an recipe for powerlessness, despair, and trauma
posted by schadenfrau at 5:44 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Bets on Chaffetz for FBI, since he is already getting ready, to do something different. Well and since the President chided Comey about not prosecuting Hillary. Chaffetz has been persecuting Hillary for years. So.
posted by Oyéah at 5:45 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Comey thought he was being pranked. Jesus.
Comey heard the news while giving a speech

Mr. Comey was addressing a group of F.B.I. employees in Los Angeles when a television in the background flashed the news that he had been fired. In response, Mr. Comey laughed, saying he thought it was a fairly funny prank.

Then his staff started scurrying around in the background and told Mr. Comey that he should step into a nearby office. Mr. Comey stopped addressing the group. He proceeded to shake hands with the employees he had been speaking to. Then he stepped into a side office, where he confirmed that he had been fired. At that point, he had not heard from the White House.

Shortly thereafter, a letter from Mr. Trump was delivered to the F.B.I.’s headquarters, just seven blocks from the White House.

Mr. Comey’s day had begun in Florida, where he spoke to a group of police officers. He then flew to Los Angeles, where he was also scheduled to speak at a diversity meeting.
posted by maudlin at 5:46 PM on May 9 [69 favorites]


Going To Maine: "Uh, so much for Collins maybe saying or doing the right thing:"

Jeez. Even Susan Collins? Matt Yglesias observes that one of the key differences between the recent French and US elections was that the French conservative political establishment lined up pretty uniformly against LePen while their American equivalents lined up with Trump.
posted by mhum at 5:46 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


> Let's assume (for the sake of this exercise) that my physician has suggested that I refrain from hard drugs and/or excessive drink.

There is an implicit answer to your question given within this statement itself.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:47 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Ted Lieu @tedlieu
As a former prosecutor, I find Trump's firing of Comey SCREAMS consciousness of guilt and a cover up. We need a special prosecutor NOW.

And speaking of Ted Lieu, a few threads ago, on the topic of Ted Lieu's political future, I said to keep an eye on the meet-and-greets and follow the Hollywood money and supporters. I just saw this:

Congressman Ted Lieu, Actress Annette Bening, Self Help Graphics & Art, and E. Randol Schoenberg will be honored during the 10th Artistic License Awards. I am not familiar with this particular organization but Annette Bening is a good get.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:47 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


posted by Doktor Zed at 5:35 PM on May 9 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

These are the shittiest rules


ಠ_ಠ
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:47 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


And now we have the OJ Simpson-style helicopter shot of Comey's SUV rolling down the highway.

In LA, of course.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:48 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


and speaking up about those personally disempowering rules, I am reminded of Mario Savio's quote addressing the Berkley management in 1964:

we're the raw material! But we're a bunch of raw materials that don't mean to be—have any process upon us. Don't mean to be made into any product. Don't mean… Don't mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We're human beings!

There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

posted by thebotanyofsouls at 5:50 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule #4: Be outraged.
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.
Rule #6: Remember the future.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:35 PM on May 9 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

These are the shittiest rules

Nothing on what you should do besides be outraged and think about the future? It's like an recipe for powerlessness, despair, and trauma


Those rules are quite decontextualized when removed from the source article.

You can also turn to Timothy Snyder’s rules
posted by Going To Maine at 5:50 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


I think it is a huge and important question whether Comey will still testify Thursday in OPEN session. Has anyone heard anything?
posted by Justinian at 5:51 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


GOP lawmaker: Trump 'small potatoes compared to Nazi Germany'
Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Tuesday that Americans afraid of Donald Trump’s presidency should remember that the United States once defeated the Nazis in World War II.

“America has overcome amazing challenges that Donald Trump, as frightening as he is to some people, small potatoes compared to Nazi Germany,” Garrett told constituents at a church here in southwest Virginia, after he was asked by a constituent what it would take for him to lose confidence in Trump.

The comparison drew immediate jeers from a crowd packed with critics of the administration, prompting Garrett to respond, “So he’s worse?”
What is it with these people and bad Nazi comparisons?
posted by zachlipton at 5:51 PM on May 9 [22 favorites]


They'll just anthologize it all in one big-ass textbook titled How to Step on Your Own Dick.
Volume 1, ca. 1974.


How to Step on Your Own Donald, I think.
Volume 2, ca. 2017.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:52 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


“America has overcome amazing challenges that Donald Trump, as frightening as he is to some people, small potatoes compared to Nazi Germany,” Garrett told constituents at a church here in southwest Virginia, after he was asked by a constituent what it would take for him to lose confidence in Trump.

The comparison drew immediate jeers from a crowd packed with critics of the administration, prompting Garrett to respond, “So he’s worse?”


Trump 2020: Not Yet As Bad As Actual Hitler
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:52 PM on May 9 [63 favorites]




The comparison drew immediate jeers from a crowd packed with critics of the administration, prompting Garrett to respond, “So he’s worse?”

He's a couple of thousand miles closer and actually holding the office of President, jackass.
posted by Gelatin at 5:54 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


He is still on the FBI plane.

Am I missing the passenger manifest on that site?
posted by destructive cactus at 5:55 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


MSNBC showed him boarding the plane. There is actually a camera on the plane right now.
posted by johnpowell at 5:56 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Next director of the FBI? John Pistole.

Why?
1) Republican mouthpeice on FOX News mentioned the name.
2) The name. Ol' Chickenshit Donnie will hire him because his name is a gun.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:56 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


I'm taking a tiny shred of solace from the fact that the least feckless response from a Republican Senator came from the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. (I'm talking really, really tiny.)
posted by diogenes at 5:56 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


johnpowell: Don't worry people. He is still on the FBI plane.

Aww I was enjoying imagining him in the middle seat of a Jet Blue flight like Mr. Rooney riding the bus at the end of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Little kid: "I bet you've never smelled a real plane before."
posted by bluecore at 5:57 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


Why do we care where Comey is physically located?
posted by diogenes at 5:57 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Nothing on what you should do besides be outraged and think about the future? It's like an recipe for powerlessness, despair, and trauma

Welcome to life in an autocracy. The time to stop this was in November. It's too late, now.
posted by empath at 5:58 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Is Rep. Tom Garrett implying we ought to use the same techniques we used to defeat Nazi Germany to defeat Trump? That's a pretty bold stance, but I can get behind it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:58 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Josh Marshall is in a dark place:

Big picture: firing shows us country is resting on a time bomb. The truth is that bad.
posted by diogenes at 6:02 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Welcome to life in an autocracy. The time to stop this was in November. It's too late, now.

I'm not so sure that this kind of defeatism is warranted. Yet.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:02 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Bill Kristol: The Rosenstein memo is dated...today. So there was no real recommendation from DOJ. Trump wanted to do it, and they created a paper trail.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:02 PM on May 9 [57 favorites]


Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Tuesday that Americans afraid of Donald Trump’s presidency should remember that the United States once defeated the Nazis in World War II.

It might be instructive to Garrett to realize that the German people couldn't stop Hitler. They needed help.

Also, defunding science and blocking the immigration of highly educated people is a backwards strategy for winning a war if you have to engage in one. Let's take a minute to honor Einstein and Meitner and Turing. (And under my breath I'm whispering "stronger together".)
posted by puddledork at 6:03 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


Josh Marshall has been trying to put the most optimistic spin on this for months, and now reality has him right with the rest of us
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:04 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


@thomaswright08: On Fox, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy WH press secretary says time to let Russia investigation go.

In case there was any doubt what this is really about.
posted by zachlipton at 6:05 PM on May 9 [73 favorites]


In not-at-all-suspicious timing, Trump may meet top Russian diplomat in White House: "President Donald Trump could meet with Vladimir Putin’s top diplomat at the White House on Wednesday, a U.S. official and a person with knowledge of the plans said, describing what would be the highest level, face-to-face contact with Russia of the American leader’s young presidency."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:05 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I'm really glad I named my kitten, who replaces the two brave kitty souls who left in our time of national Trumpening, Mr. Dobbin.

Mr. Dobbin, the only heroic character in Vanity Fair! Who represents all that is good and decent and honorable in contrast to all the corruption around him.

I remember passing a stroller with twin baby boys, and the mom was introducing them saying, "This is Justice. This is Wisdom."

At the time I was like, visions of playground beatings to come, but now I kind of like it.

Let's name our puppies, kittens, and babies after things good and great and noble and true. If only to show that we value these things, even if our current leaders do not.

Sorry, I like to talk about my kitten when the Politics is Bad Again. Proceed.
posted by angrycat at 6:05 PM on May 9 [45 favorites]


schadenfrau: At this point, a Democratic House probably means criminal charges for many of them.

tzikeh: Democrats need to give up this fantasy. We will never see a Democratic House in our lifetimes. Short of taking actions we are forbidden to speak of on Metafilter, there is 0% chance of defeating the gerrymandering that currently exists which completely prevents a Dem majority in the House. It is the most lost of lost causes.


It depends on the time frame. Undoing gerrymandering overnight is unlikely, but having a long term plan to address gerrymandering through reestablishing control of state legislatures is very doable.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:06 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


@ShimonPro: BREAKING ON CNN: Grand jury subpoenas were recently issued relating to the FBI Russia probe seeking records from associates of Michael Flynn

So, uh, a lot of the FBI rank-and-file were fond of Comey. Firing him seems like a bad strategy if you don't want leaks. And here the leaks come.
posted by zachlipton at 6:08 PM on May 9 [91 favorites]


For me the most shocking thing about the Comney firing is that people are shocked that Donald fired him. I'm not being sarcastic. I've been watching some of the news coverage and reading a bit of the reaction and all I'm thinking is why are people so surprised by this.
This is Donald and minions modus operandi, they get rid of people that cause them problems and Comney is a problem because they're still investigating. The only thing I couldn't figure out is why he wasn't gone sooner. I suppose the answer to this is that they felt they needed a cover story for their base and for the Repubs that want to hand with him to blather about and they saw an opening. Regardless this firing was pretty much a foregone deal if the Russia thing is true and won't go away.

I'm fairly certain that Comney knew damn well that his time was limited and if he truly does give a crap about what Donald is up too (and it's all true) he has some sort of contingency plan for when this happened. I'm betting the 'files' have already been sent and that he isn't the only one party to whatever evidence the FBI has collected.
posted by Jalliah at 6:09 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Let's name our puppies, kittens, and babies after things good and great and noble and true. If only to show that we value these things, even if our current leaders do not.


Our cat's name is Gary. It was originally Virgil even though the 4 year old wanted to name him Odio. But then we spent time with him and decided he was more Gary than Virgil. His full name is now Gary Virgil Odio "The Cat" Rubenfield


Not that political.
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:09 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


25th Amendment, Section 4:
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Oh boy.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:09 PM on May 9


Josh Marshall has been trying to put the most optimistic spin on this for months, and now reality has him right with the rest of us.

I don't think he was being a pollyanna or anything. He was making a good-faith effort to consider scenarios that didn't involve Trump being a straight-up traitor. That's what makes his newfound certainty in the other direction so stark.
posted by diogenes at 6:10 PM on May 9 [36 favorites]


Grand jury subpoenas were recently issued

Heyo! Maybe I'll get to live in the Claude Taylor universe after all!
posted by diogenes at 6:11 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Your country will not exist long term.

While I wouldn't go quite that far I do agree that talking about long term plans to address gerrymandering through a focus on state legislatures right now is like talking about your plans for the family business once your cross-Atlantic voyage on the Titanic is completed. Like... that's an important discussion but its probably time to make sure you don't drown in the next few days.
posted by Justinian at 6:11 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Trump has either BIGLY Saturday Night Massacred himself here...or he's consolidated power & is beyond any law.

With this Congress? Above and beyond, I'm afraid.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:11 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Prediction: Trump will fire FBI director after FBI director until someone agrees to charge Clinton with crimes.
posted by dis_integration at 6:12 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]




Is leaking grand jury information -- of any kind -- as big a deal as I think it is?

On Fox, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy WH press secretary says time to let Russia investigation go. (Emphasis mine)

Yes, let us not forget she is the spawn of Mike Huckabee.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:12 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Your country will not exist long term.

That wasn't very nice.
posted by diogenes at 6:12 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Grand jury subpoenas were recently issued

Nailed it.
posted by spitbull at 6:14 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


David Gregory is fucking pissed and going after Ken Cuccinelli on CNN for repeating White House talking points and such.
posted by Justinian at 6:14 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Is Joe Scarborough calling for an independent prosecutor interesting or a nothingburger?
posted by diogenes at 6:15 PM on May 9


Your country will not exist long term.

I mean, you're right. In the long run, we've got the inevitable heat death of the universe to worry about, but I'm trying to compartmentalize, ya know?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:16 PM on May 9 [28 favorites]


Your country will not exist long term.

After climate change really kicks in, neither will yours. Unless you're already a crocodile living in Nunavut.

See, it doesn't feel nice does it?
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:16 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]




Here's that CNN story. CNN exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in FBI's Russia investigation
Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year's election, according to people familiar with the matter. CNN learned of the subpoenas hours before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI's broader investigation begun last July into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
The subpoenas issued in recent weeks by the US Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Virginia, were received by associates who worked with Flynn on contracts after he was forced out as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, according to the people familiar with the investigation.
...
Investigators have been looking into possible wrongdoing in how Flynn handled disclosures about payments from clients tied to foreign governments including Russia and Turkey, US officials briefed on the matter have told CNN.
posted by zachlipton at 6:17 PM on May 9 [21 favorites]


I wonder if Comey is going over his two-door story in his head again and again, and what his current level nausea is.
posted by zakur at 6:17 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Is Joe Scarborough calling for an independent prosecutor interesting or a nothingburger?

Nothingburger. He's been yelling about it for weeks.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:18 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I'm betting Collins walks back her milquetoast statement sometime soon. She's on the wrong side of her own committee.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:22 PM on May 9


Heyo! Maybe I'll get to live in the Claude Taylor universe after all!

Subpoenas not indictments. So we're not in Claude World yet.
posted by scalefree at 6:23 PM on May 9


Kellyanne Conway vs. Anderson Cooper (video)

I don't think I've ever seen Anderson Cooper do that many confused-dog-head-tilts in one single interview.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:26 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]




I'm betting Collins walks back her milquetoast statement sometime soon. She's on the wrong side of her own committee.

Compare/contrast with Sen. King's statement.

Many of us here in Maine are planning to call Sen. Collins tomorrow to remind her that Sen. Margaret Chase Smith stood with her country, not her party, at a dire time in US History. We will urge her to emulate Sen. Chase Smith's example, and stand up to her party and stand for America.

Collins idolizes Smith. We feel like its the best shot at flipping her for her staff to hear Margaret Chase Smith named again and again.
posted by anastasiav at 6:28 PM on May 9 [43 favorites]


Your country will not exist long term.

While I wouldn't go quite that far I do agree that talking about long term plans to address gerrymandering through a focus on state legislatures right now is like talking about your plans for the family business once your cross-Atlantic voyage on the Titanic is completed. Like... that's an important discussion but its probably time to make sure you don't drown in the next few days.


Agreed.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:28 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


upthread: the President himself has been considering this, been thinking about this for at least a week.

Bloomberg News: (via Spicer) Trump decided today.

I really, really hope that Spicer is ready to take questions tomorrow.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:29 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


I decided to go get a haircut and go to the grocery store. At least I have pizza and donuts for the rest of this evening's shitshow?

Srsly. Every single day is moar wtfbbq.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:30 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]




Democrats need to give up this fantasy. We will never see a Democratic House in our lifetimes. Short of taking actions we are forbidden to speak of on Metafilter, there is 0% chance of defeating the gerrymandering that currently exists which completely prevents a Dem majority in the House. It is the most lost of lost causes.
posted by tzikeh at 8:32 PM on May 9


I don't know if you really believe this or you are just indulging in some dark, dystopian fantasizing. You need to calm down. This is not the end of America, it is not the end of Democracy as we know it. There were some dire moments during Bush the younger's time in office when people thought that he would declare Martial Law and we would never have free elections again, and look what happened-- there was a Democratic sweep led by a black guy with a funny sounding name.

There are too many tough smart people out there to let this country be taken over by the pumpkin-headed monster and his evil, racist elf. I am not giving up on the truth coming out and I am for sure not giving up on fighting for control of the House in 2018.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:31 PM on May 9 [113 favorites]


on the same day that the public learns that federal grand jury subpoenas have been issued for his recently-fired National Security Adviser.

Sorry to be naive -- is the idea here that Trump didn't fire Comey before because Trump didn't think the FBI would actually do anything to investigate him?
posted by mrmurbles at 6:32 PM on May 9


Trump can just leave Comey's position vacant. It will paralyze the FBI. :)
posted by My Dad at 6:32 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


It was okay to think that this was going to be the end of America until we discovered that they sucked at everything.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:32 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Was firing Comey on Bannon's whiteboard list?
posted by yoga at 6:33 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I swear I'm not trying to be "is this something I'd have to have a TV to understand" guy, but I really weep for my country, which in the midst of all this evidently gives a shit what Joe Scarborough thinks about anything.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:34 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


ckape said: "I wish this were the timeline where firing the guy who swung the election towards fascism with perfectly-timed misinformation and perjured himself to Congress was a good thing."

Right? I was pulling out of the physical therapists parking lot with my son when I heard the news that Comey had been fired, and pulled back into a space, and parked so I could hear the whole story, or at least what was being reported at 5ish. After the report, I turned the radio off, and just sat there there for a sec before I said "Well. Fuck. This isn't good."

And Boy said "Why? Isn't Comey the "but her emails" guy? The one who has perjured himself a couple of times and then says 'oops?', I mean, getting rid of him is what you wanted, isn't it?

And I said "Well, yes...in an ideal world, where politicians were grownups who went into governance because they cared about truth, justice and the American way, but the last one of those got on a helicopter out of DC in January. Now, dude? I don't know what this means. I kinda want to get home and see what the hive mind thinks."

And he said, "Yeah, I get that metafilter is comforting to you, but ya know what would make me feel better? Passports and visas to somewhere in the first world."

You guys, Trump has made my 14 year old a cynic. Or a realist. Perhaps they are the same thing in 21st Century America.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:35 PM on May 9 [100 favorites]


Sorry to be naive -- is the idea here that Trump didn't fire Comey before because Trump didn't think the FBI would actually do anything to investigate him?

I can't speak for East Manitoba, but I think the idea is that he didn't fire Comey before today because he hadn't yet reached the sufficient level of desperation to interfere with the investigation.
posted by diogenes at 6:35 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


FOX should learn from Soviet TV. When a coup is in progress start playing Swan Lake on a continuous loop. Amateurs.

I was living in China when Oklahoma City happened. Since at first it wasn't clear what the actual fuck was going on there and whether America had just been attacked by a foreign power, Chinese TV played... a lot of Peking Opera. It's how you knew some shit was going down somewhere in the world. (I didn't actually learn about OKC until I got my hands on the Time International Edition a couple days later. Ah, life pre-internet.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:35 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


I swear I'm not trying to be "is this something I'd have to have a TV to understand" guy, but I really weep for my country, which in the midst of all this evidently gives a shit what Joe Scarborough thinks about anything

I asked because I don't really know where he fits on the political landscape. It would be a big deal if Tucker Carlson or Rush Limbaugh started calling for an independent prosecutor, right?
posted by diogenes at 6:38 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Picturing Hillary pretending to write a note on Jimmy Fallon's show: "Dear James Comey...how do you like me now?"
posted by Autumnheart at 6:40 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I want to apologize because that was in no way pointed at you and I did a shitty job of delivery there. I totally get why you asked, that was more of a general dispairing handwave at the culture.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:40 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


I am not giving up on the truth coming out and I am for sure not giving up on fighting for control of the House in 2018.

Same.

I think there's actually reason to be optimistic on this front. First, very aggressive gerrymandering makes for fragile margins of victory. If you're biasing your district to the right with fewer and fewer voters, it doesn't take much for changing circumstances to swing it the other direction. If that happens a LOT of republican districts could go democratic. Now, as we look forward to 2018, what circumstance might cause that? Well, large numbers of people enraged at 1) Trump 2) losing their health insurance 3) "It's been two years, why the hell hasn't the local factory reopened?"

So yeah, I wouldn't lose all hope yet, and certainly not for the long term.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 6:41 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


Bill Kristol: The Rosenstein memo is dated...today. So there was no real recommendation from DOJ. Trump wanted to do it, and they created a paper trail.

Good Ford, Bill Kristol has a point. Today truly is a strange day.
posted by Gelatin at 6:42 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


Hold your hat, Bill Kristol just made another good point:

One can be at once a critic of Comey and alarmed by what Trump has done and how he has done it.
posted by diogenes at 6:43 PM on May 9 [37 favorites]




Kristol has been the One NeverTrumper to Rule Them All. Granted, I think his second choice is still Ted Cruz, and he's never really disagreed with any of the actual policies, but at least on national security and, you know, continued rule of law and not being a Russian client state, he's been shockingly sharp and consistent.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:46 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I voted in a special town election today- actually rushed home from wormtown to do so. There were no contested seats, all incumbents running unopposed for library trustee, land bank commish, registrar of deeds, etc, but 3 ballot questions- one expanding liquor sales in town, and two non-binding on creating a housing bank and banning moped rentals (there is a lack of year-round affordable housing here, and gruesome moped accidents every summer).

On our way out, a mom and a small boy, maybe 9 or 10, passed by. She said "we just voted,, that means we have a say in things!"

Little boy said, "then why are we losing?"
posted by vrakatar at 6:46 PM on May 9 [50 favorites]


CNN says this about the grand jury scoop:

We have spent days working on this. As we were going to air with it we learned Comey had been fired.
posted by diogenes at 6:46 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


Bill Kristol: The Rosenstein memo is dated… today. So there was no real recommendation from DOJ. Trump wanted to do it, and they created a paper trail.

Well, so much for my belief that creating a paper trail would take time. My bad.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:47 PM on May 9


So Trump fired Comey because he was unfair to Crooked Hillary? Is that right? Because that's just crazy enough for this entire stupid, country to believe.
posted by klarck at 6:48 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I don't think the end is necessarily fucking nigh, but I am having uncomfortable thoughts of civil unrest.
posted by angrycat at 6:48 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


You don't beat Nazis by voting.
posted by Yowser at 6:49 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


*breathes slowly*

NYT editorial board is not soft-pedaling this:
This is a tense and uncertain time in the nation’s history. The president of the United States, who is no more above the law than any other citizen, has now decisively crippled the F.B.I.’s ability to carry out an investigation of him and his associates. There is no guarantee that Mr. Comey’s replacement, who will be chosen by Mr. Trump, will continue that investigation; in fact, there are already hints to the contrary.

The obvious historical parallel to Mr. Trump’s action was the so-called Saturday Night Massacre in October 1973, when President Richard Nixon ordered the firing of the special prosecutor investigating Watergate, prompting the principled resignations of the attorney general and his deputy. But now, there is no special prosecutor in place to determine whether the public trust has been violated, and whether the presidency was effectively stolen by a hostile foreign power. For that reason, the country has reached an even more perilous moment.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:49 PM on May 9 [80 favorites]




NYT editorial board is not soft-pedaling this:

If the President has lost the NYT, he’s lost mainstream-left Democrats.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:51 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


Stephen Colbert apparently learned about Comey's firing minutes before taping started, which was just enough time to work it into his monologue, make a video clip and tweet the clip.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:51 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


there is 0% chance of defeating the gerrymandering that currently exists which completely prevents a Dem majority in the House. It is the most lost of lost causes.

On top of the very good points that have been raised to this statement, I'll note that gerrymandering can be a double-edged sword. Republicans created their phony majority by drawing a lot of districts where they have a slim but reliable lead. The problem with that formula is that in the event of a Democratic wave election, with Republican voters staying home and a fired-up Dem contingent turning out, more districts than usual could flip.

Republicans have to be eyeing the recent high Democratic turnout in traditionally low-turnout special elections in red states and wondering how much they're willing to tie themselves to the Trump anchor.
posted by Gelatin at 6:52 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


How long until Trump nominates Admiral Piett to lead the FBI?
posted by Groundhog Week at 6:52 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, at the WSJ op-ed page we have “Comey’s Deserved Dismissal”
posted by Going To Maine at 6:52 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Van Jones on CNN says that Democrats in Congress have decided to block any appointment to head the FBI until and unless there is a special prosecutor. Feinstein must have been asleep for that meeting. Maybe she was watching Matlock or something.
posted by Justinian at 6:53 PM on May 9 [51 favorites]


. But now, there is no special prosecutor in place to determine whether the public trust has been violated, and whether the presidency was effectively stolen by a hostile foreign power. For that reason, the country has reached an even more perilous moment.

Even if there was, anyone speaking out will be deemed fake news.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:53 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


You guys, Trump has made my 14 year old a cynic. Or a realist. Perhaps they are the same thing in 21st Century America.

That actually made me tear up a little bit. I harden myself on these chaotic outcomes, but then I think about my daughter and...I'm just glad she's not yet old enough to understand it. Because there's a lot of explaining these days that I'm frankly not sure how to approach.
posted by Brak at 6:55 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


Van Jones on CNN says that Democrats in Congress have decided to block any appointment to head the FBI until and unless there is a special prosecutor.

How, after the filibuster for nominees was busted because of the Gorsuch hearing? Or am I misunderstanding something?
posted by dhens at 6:57 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Van Jones on CNN says that Democrats in Congress have decided to block any appointment to head the FBI until and unless there is a special prosecutor. Feinstein must have been asleep for that meeting.

They can't actually do that any more than they could block Gorsuch or Jeff Sessions in the first instance. Unless there's a change of heart by three Republican co-conspirators, whoever Trump appoints will be confirmed.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:57 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


How, after the filibuster for nominees was busted because of the Gorsuch hearing? Or am I misunderstanding something?

can they deny quorum by refusing to enter the senate chamber? (i don't know i'm asking)
posted by murphy slaw at 6:59 PM on May 9


No, they can't.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:59 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


I think the idea is that at least 2 Republicans senators would vote NO on the nominee. That may be a dumb idea, but hey its the Democrats.
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


GRAR The New York Times, in its otherwise excellent editorial, repeated a falsehood that has seemed to become conventional wisdom: ...and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself in March from the Russia inquiry after failing to disclose during his confirmation hearings that he had met twice during the campaign with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Sessions did not simply "fail to disclose" his meeting with the Russian Ambassador; he affirmatively denied any such meeting had taken place. On his own initiative. While under oath.

"Fail to disclose" doesn't cover it, NYT Editorial Board; he lied about it.

I'm sure y'all will notice a pattern.
posted by Gelatin at 7:00 PM on May 9 [54 favorites]


A quorum in the Senate is a majority. So no.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:00 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


So Trump fired Comey because he was unfair to Crooked Hillary? Is that right? Because that's just crazy enough for this entire stupid, country to believe.

Yeah, turns out we all just misheard the chant. It was actually "Hey, Jim Comey, stop trying to LOCK HER UP, LOCK HER UP, LOCK HER UP!"
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:01 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Allegra Kirkland at Talking Points Memo: “Meet The Longtime Federal Prosecutor At The Center Of Comey’s Firing”
First nominated in January, Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate only two weeks ago in a 94-6 vote.
Because Sessions’ close ties to the Trump campaign forced him to recuse himself from the investigation into Russia’s election meddling, Rosenstein will handle all Russia-related (or Trump campaign-related) matters in his role.
He was criticized by Democrats during his confirmation hearings for refusing to commit to appointing a special prosecutor to lead an independent investigation on Russia, saying he first needed to learn “the information that they know.”
posted by Going To Maine at 7:01 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I think the idea is that at least 2 Republicans senators would vote NO on the nominee. That may be a dumb idea, but hey its the Democrats.

3 actually. But if they can get those three to stop the nominee then they should already have what they need to open the investigation... right?
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:02 PM on May 9


New: White House did not expect political explosion from #Comey firing, source with knowledge tells @DanaBashCNN

I can believe this. They probably thought that Dems' predictable liberalness would cause them to just smile and nod, or at least inhibit them from criticizing. Hell, it worked with Clarence Thomas.
posted by msalt at 7:04 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Maggie Haberman and Rich Lowry are spreading the Trump talking points.

Just keeping on sucking, everyone at the NY times.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:07 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


I think the idea is that at least 2 Republicans senators would vote NO on the nominee. That may be a dumb idea, but hey its the Democrats.

3 actually. But if they can get those three to stop the nominee then they should already have what they need to open the investigation... right?

Charles P. Piece makes a small point that six Rs stood up during the Nixon days. It does’t take a lot of politicians to make a big noise, as long as you can get them on the right side of the aisle. That is the challenge.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:08 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


The handoff between The Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC is still going. Maddow and O'Donnell just kept talking to each other from their separate studios, discussing the Comey firing.
posted by XMLicious at 7:09 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


> he [Comey] found out by seeing it on TV

Classy


Well, that is how Trump prefers to find things out, so...

You must admit, it will make a great scene in a couple of award-winning films in the next decade.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:10 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


the republicans have a dilemma. they have a blank check in trump if they can only agree how big of a number to write on it. but they haven't managed to do that yet.

if trump goes down, he's going to take big names in the GOP with him (i don't think obvious anagram reince priebus is going to be able to claim ignorance, f'rexample).

i guess it's only a dilemma if they actually care about the rule of law more than dismantling the welfare state and slashing the top rate. welp.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:13 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Maggie Haberman and Rich Lowry are spreading the Trump talking points.

I mean, this tweet by Lowry is trollish, but also, I think quite true. Way back in the “backfire effect” thread people were looking for an example of the backfire left striking on the left. This, I would argue is it. It’s also a good demonstration of why taking facts out of context is dumb, and why a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:13 PM on May 9


i guess it's only a dilemma if they actually care about the rule of law more than dismantling the welfare state and slashing the top rate. welp.

Spoiler...
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:14 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


The story is now that White House officials weren't expecting such controversy over this. Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but don't buy it. This absurd claim comes in a package with the falsely claimed rationale for firing Comey: his cruel mistreatment of Hillary Clinton last year. Somebody has decided that the story the administration will stick to is that the President was simply compelled to fire Comey by his actions last year, and doing so is uncontroversial and common sense. The person making that decision is almost certainly Donald Trump.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:16 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


I would like to know more about Jeff Sessions's role in all of this.

Up to this point, I was of the opinion that, once the dust of history settled, the Sessions appointment to DOJ could possibly be the most damaging-to-America piece of the Trump administration. He, Sessions, has the power, ideology, and meanness to undo many of the social gains in justice and equality that we as a country have been reaching toward. His policies have an outsized ability to hurt people, especially those in vulnerable populations.

We already know he perjured himself at his appointment hearings. We already know he recused himself from the Russia inquiry. How much is he a stooge and/or how much is he a collaborator?

I WANNA KNOW HOW CORRUPT THIS MOTHAFUCKA IS
posted by chaoticgood at 7:17 PM on May 9 [32 favorites]


i think that the administration literally thinks that they are playing 11-dimensional chess with "but you said comey overstepped his bounds with Her Emails earlier! why u love him so much. u want marry him now? kissy kissy"
posted by murphy slaw at 7:17 PM on May 9 [36 favorites]


The reason why Trump didn't fire Comey on day one is that he genuinely believed Comey was his man. Remember when Trump visited the CIA on his second day in office? He brought along aides to applaud him and was convinced he received a standing ovation. He believes he is the salvation all law enforcement is waiting for. And he feels betrayed the moment he is faced with reality.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:19 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


The story is now that White House officials weren't expecting such controversy over this. Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but don't buy it. This absurd claim comes in a package with the falsely claimed rationale for firing Comey: his cruel mistreatment of Hillary Clinton last year. Somebody has decided that the story the administration will stick to is that the President was simply compelled to fire Comey by his actions last year, and doing so is uncontroversial and common sense. The person making that decision is almost certainly Donald Trump.

These things aren’t exclusive, though:
  • It’s entirely feasible that Trump wanted to fire Comey for some combination of reasons, not least of which was the investigation.
  • It’s entirely feasible that Comey’s shenanigans were a good argument for firing him (though not at this moment, or any moment when he’s investigating your administration.)
  • It’s entirely feasible that the President was dumb enough to think this would go unnoticed, just as they were dumb enough to think the Muslim ban would be fine, or the Yates firing would go okay, or that Health Care would be easy, or anything else.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:22 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]


I mean, this tweet by Lowry is trollish, but also, I think quite true.

The Trump cover story is he was fired for Hilary emails. Lowry is trolling to further the agenda, and Maggie Habermann, fresh off gleefully defending the Times' Clinton emails coverage and trolling liberals over the Clinton interview last week, is carrying the same water.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:22 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


I WANNA KNOW HOW CORRUPT THIS MOTHAFUCKA IS

I'm from Alabama and all I can say is "now it's everyone's turn". I'm so sorry.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:22 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


vuron 2018/2020 Basically they must just be assuming that the normal tendency to ignore the crimes of the previous administration will be swept under the rug.

Either that or they are just looking for the short term payoff and giving up on retaining power.


You left out option 3: They're planning on cheating at the elections and getting away with it. And I don't just mean little cheating like purging voters and voter ID, I mean big cheating. Cheating on the scale of simply faking results, or having Trump declare that due to illegal votes, or whatever other BS he can come up with, the election results from districts A, B, C, D, etc are null and the Republican gets the seat.

Sure, it'd be blatantly illegal and unconstitutional. What could possibly happen though? You think the Republicans would impeach him for breaking election law?

I don't think its especially likely, the obvious consiquence there is civil war (whether in the not so violent Egypt model, or whether we go War Between the States 2.0), and the nation is too closely divided for them to think they could pull off a successful civil war.

But I'm starting to worry, because so much of what they're doing seems like such obvious electoral suicide and yet they seem sublimely unconcerned. Are they really going for a final smash and grab before being booted out? Or are they planning on not leaving even if they lose?
posted by sotonohito at 7:23 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]




Phillip Bump is tracking Republican reactions to Comey's firing and ranking them on a scale from livid to enthusiastic.
posted by zachlipton at 7:26 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


We've seen it play out plenty of times in other developing nations. They decide that there's too much "unrest" around election time, declare martial law, say that the results were "faked" and that Trump/whoever stays in office until the issue is sorted, which somehow never happens. Any unrest that actually happens gets a tall glass of National Guard whoopass. Or US Army.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:28 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Phillip Bump is tracking Republican reactions to Comey's firing and ranking them on a scale from livid to enthusiastic.

I can't believe I am typing this, but I think Bump's rating is unfair to Justin Amash, who specifically called out the weird reference to Comey assuring Trump was not under investigation, and is calling for an independent investigation into the Russia connection.
posted by dhens at 7:29 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Yeah, there will be an election in 2018 or there will be all kinds of shit burning. No if ands or buts.
posted by Justinian at 7:29 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Justin Amash (R-MI): "My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre."

Fucking 2017, here I am crossing my fingers that the Freedom Caucus comes through. They have enough votes in their caucus in combination with the Dems to get this done in the House. I'm not holding my breath, but damn... if ever there's a time for them to surprise me, I'd appreciate this being it.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:32 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Well, they'll just post military units at the polls to "protect voters", which will conveniently be in Democratic districts and hassle everyone who looks like they might vote D. Followed by conveniently busted voting machines, lost paper ballots, and declarations by "sources" that Democrats can't be trusted to vote honestly.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:34 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Richard Hine @richardhine
Trump just literally blew a kiss to James Comey at a WH reception for law enforcement
1:04 PM - 22 Jan 2017

I know it was you, Comey, you broke my heart.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:34 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


Yeah, there will be an election in 2018 or there will be all kinds of shit burning. No if ands or buts.

Yup, tomorrow I'm going gun shopping.
posted by photoslob at 7:35 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


The Times is going bold on the front page. Puts the letter right there instead of a photo, gets "amid Russia inquiry" right into the main headline, and "echos of Watergate" into the second story.

This is the thing the White House thought wouldn't be a big deal politically?
posted by zachlipton at 7:35 PM on May 9 [47 favorites]


One detail that Rachel Maddow kept emphasizing is that there was an ongoing Inspector General's investigation into Comey's decision to send the letter to Congressional Republicans immediately before the election last fall.

So that fact completely impeaches any notion that Comey's firing today is related to that event, because if that were the case they'd have waited for the results of the Inspector General's investigation.
posted by XMLicious at 7:35 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Trump's schedule for tomorrow is out

Only event on it is a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister!

And Brave Sir Spicer is running away and making Sarah Huckabee Sanders do the press briefing.
posted by zachlipton at 7:36 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Has anyone mentioned that Trump has now hired a law firm to defend against allegations about his business ties to Russia?

This is fucking nuts.
posted by schroedinger at 7:37 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


The Hill on Republican Representative Amash and his bill to appoint a special prosecutor.

I'm pleased Amash is the token human in the House. Only a million more to go.

She says bitterly.
posted by corb at 7:39 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


This is the thing the White House thought wouldn't be a big deal politically?

At this point I'm presuming that they knew full well it would be a big deal, and are going with the 'who knew firing an FBI Director could be so complicated' line to soften the blow of it being a big deal, with also planting the seed of the idea that Democrats couldn't both criticize Comey and criticize his firing.

Either that, or sheer incompetence. Time will tell.
posted by cjelli at 7:39 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


All this talk of things burning and stocking up on guns is not making me re-think my decision to cut off all travel to the United States.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:40 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


I don't think Trump will actually cancel the elections or whatever. No need for that when you can just disenfranchise and gerrymander your way to victory.
posted by Justinian at 7:41 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Yeah, gunning up is not the answer. Organize. Protest. Apply pressure. We are still a good country, we can stop this asshole! Love is the law, love under will.
posted by vrakatar at 7:42 PM on May 9 [20 favorites]


Dean Heller with a fantastic Rubio impression: "I'm committed to protecting our democratic process from outside influence"
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:42 PM on May 9


Though it couldn't happen to a nicer guy, this firing of the man who did more than anyone outside Russia to make Donald Trump President, brings to mind the old quote about Austria's neutrality in the Crimean War (after Russia had saved the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in the Revolutions of 1848): "We shall stun the world with the depths of our ingratitude..."
posted by Captain l'escalier at 7:43 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


I keep typing and then erasing worst-case scenarios. I hate this shit.

Worst worst case: dead
Best worst case: pleading for refuge in Canada and hoping I won't get sent back
Worst best case: three more years of this shit
Best best case: We pry him and his buddies out and spend decades repairing the destruction
What I secretly wish for: Compassionate aliens arrive and immediately force us to stop being assholes
posted by emjaybee at 7:43 PM on May 9 [52 favorites]


It only makes sense the WH thought this would be NBD if one buys Trump's ridiculous cover story about Comey/HRC emails, a story propped up by Rosenstein's letter
posted by angrycat at 7:43 PM on May 9


Karen Finney, former Senior Advisor for the Hillary Clinton campaign, says Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein's letter on why FBI Director Comey was fired lifted quotes from a Clinton campaign document.

The Washington Post has the letter annotated to highlight the lifted passages and their sources.
posted by peeedro at 7:44 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


Schumer has called for all Senate Democrats to be in their seats on the Senate floor at 9:30am EST.

This is a big deal. I'm not sure what he's going to say but this is a rare event.
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on May 9 [81 favorites]


Yeah, gunning up is not the answer

Actually gunning up makes an immense amount of sense right now under nearly all models. Because people are stupid and think Trump is a "friend to guns", guns and ammunition are cheaper now than they have ever been in my lifetime.

If you think there's a real risk of political violence in the US, you'll be glad for them. And if you think this is a temporary situation and a Democratic president will soon re-take the White House, then it will have been a shrewd financial investment as all the panic buying starts and the prices spike astronomically.
posted by corb at 7:47 PM on May 9 [25 favorites]


sorry if this has been comprehensively discussed above (I did read every single comment!) and I know it is minor, but is it not very strange and weird that he fired him outright instead of doing the formality thing of asking for his resignation, like everybody always does all the time in cases like this? like even without the surprise aspect of making him find out from TV while in LA, even if the firing letter were delivered in person, it would be calculated to make news and be a very serious grave etc. etc. when done like this. no? like, you wouldn't do this unless the person had done something so bad and awful that you didn't want any doubt about whether he left voluntarily instead of being made an example of.

is the notion that Trump did that on purpose for inscrutable reasons, or because he wanted it to be as big a story as possible no matter what the White House says? or that he just doesn't know how these things are done? or was he scared that Comey might just say no, when asked to resign? or is the "resignation" not as 100 percent expected and conventional as I thought it was?
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:47 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Karen Finney, former Senior Advisor for the Hillary Clinton campaign, says Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein's letter on why FBI Director Comey was fired lifted quotes from a Clinton campaign document.

The Washington Post has the letter annotated to highlight the lifted passages and their sources.

This annotation seems to mostly be for the attributed sources. I’m not seeing any notes about plagiarized passages.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:49 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Reporter arrested at W.Va. Capitol during visit from Conway and Price

Nobody quite knows what happened and everyone is sort of panicking, but this is a big deal.

"Willful disruption of governmental processes" for a reporter shouting questions at public officials certainly sounds exactly like a bullshit charge.
posted by zachlipton at 7:51 PM on May 9 [43 favorites]


We will never see a Democratic House in our lifetimes.

Conservative voters were taught before they can remember to halt the spread of sin in the world through politics. The problem is that they now rely on half-committed voters who like to cuss and drink and get welfare, and who don't feel comfortable electing a clean-cut Bible salesman anymore. As a reflection of these changing times, they compromised on someone who still believes in the political mission of Christianity, but not the spiritual one; the guy with least character and lots of charisma. They knew it was a gamble, because they even kept their choice a secret from pollsters. The problem now is that their leader is burning down the tent with suspicious ties and influences and the shame is on them. They probably know by now they voted for a poser who doesn't share their loyalties. Some will stay in denial, but many will never trust a populist again. The point is that things will keep changing for greater rights, and those who resist change can't hope to revive a medieval religion using just politics. They will also realize that to try to secede from the union to re-live a fantasy serfdom will be a public relations disaster, because the swing states were never Confederate.
posted by Brian B. at 7:51 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]


Yeah, gunning up is not the answer

Actually gunning up makes an immense amount of sense right now under nearly all models. Because people are stupid and think Trump is a "friend to guns", guns and ammunition are cheaper now than they have ever been in my lifetime.

There is a truth to this, but it ignores the bigger picture problem that you will not be able to gun up enough to defeat the military or, likely, the police. So it’s more correct to say that gunning up is insufficient if you wish to go down the prepper route.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:53 PM on May 9 [11 favorites]




Even the "this is fine" dog is starting to get suspicious.
posted by drezdn at 7:54 PM on May 9 [33 favorites]


Remember when 'the official statement from the President on the subject' conjured up images of a measured response to whatever it was?
Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, "I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer." Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp

-- @realDonaldTrump
posted by flatluigi at 7:55 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


I assume they'll walk out if, as expected, McConnell says nothing of substance.
posted by Justinian at 7:55 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


guns and ammunition are cheaper now than they have ever been in my lifetime ... panic buying starts and the prices spike astronomically.

We can save Gander Mountain yet!
posted by LionIndex at 7:55 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Writing in The Atlantic:
The question has to be asked of all the rest of us: Perhaps the worst fears for the integrity of the U.S. government and U.S. institutions are being fulfilled. If this firing stands—and if Trump dares to announce a pliable replacement—the rule of law begins to shake and break. The law will answer to the president, not the president to the law.

Will you accept that?
Oh god, it's happening. I'm agreeing with David Frum.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:56 PM on May 9 [40 favorites]


Trump seemed to have a child-like view of the presidency from the get-go. Appropriately, it's looking like he will eventually be removed from the White House, kicking and screaming.
posted by davebush at 7:56 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


So I don’t think despair that nothing can change is the sort of selfish attitude that we are allowed to have in the long-term.

Despair is a psychological coping mechanism. It's a way to get yourself out of feeling like you are responsible for doing something. Despair allows you to wash your hands of everything and go back to whatever you find most soothing in order to assuage your despair.

Follow the advice of that fantastic article posted here a few days ago and practice Radical Acceptance instead of despair. Accept things are bad, really bad, and accept that the only thing you can control is your own response to it.

From the article:
Pessimism is not helpful either. Both optimism and pessimism require future-oriented thinking. They exist in the hypothetical, the imaginary. Mindfulness involves shifting our attention — repeatedly, resolutely — back to the present moment. We do not know the future. We cannot fully know the impact of any particular action. We must focus on what we can do, right here and right now. Bring the mind back from its runaway worries and future predictions. Focus that energy on concrete action, and the rewards will feed your soul.
posted by threeturtles at 7:56 PM on May 9 [60 favorites]


reading from a prepared statement, president trump stated "i know you are, but what am i?"
[fake]
posted by murphy slaw at 7:56 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Trump doesn't understand that people don't think like him. He thought Democrats hated Comey so much because of the Hillary stuff that they'd welcome this news, because that's what he'd have done.
posted by theodolite at 8:00 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


A thought just popped into my head: who does Trump bomb to get the positive news coverage back?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:03 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


guns and ammunition are cheaper now than they have ever been in my lifetime

This does actually make me want to experiment with inventing a gun that shoots smaller guns.
posted by XMLicious at 8:04 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


The French?
posted by Captain l'escalier at 8:04 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Oh god, it's happening. I'm agreeing with David Frum.

Perhaps one should take heart that there truly are some points of commonality, some points of cross-party rhetoric left in the country. (One should also take this with a grain of salt, since the conservative established turned on Frum ages ago, and the official WSJ line about this is that there’s nothing to see.)
posted by Going To Maine at 8:05 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]




Trump doesn't understand that people don't think like him.

He doesn't understand because he doesn't have to understand. He never has. What's the upside?
posted by rhizome at 8:06 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


who does Trump bomb to get the positive news coverage back?

Depends where the spinner lands, but I'm guessing North Korea.
posted by drezdn at 8:06 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


This speaks to a larger issue of him surrounding himself with guys loyal to him and no one else, which is worrisome.

Don't worry, that could never lead to trouble.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:10 PM on May 9


Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, "I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer." Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp

-- @realDonaldTrump


Android or iPhone? I think that one might be iPhone. It doesn't feel crazy enough. And Trump doesn't know the word "indignant." He confuses it with "indigenous."
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:10 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


is the notion that Trump did that on purpose for inscrutable reasons, or because he wanted it to be as big a story as possible no matter what the White House says? or that he just doesn't know how these things are done? or was he scared that Comey might just say no, when asked to resign? or is the "resignation" not as 100 percent expected and conventional as I thought it was?

I think you're giving Trump too much credit. He's famously thin-skinned and vindictive. I doubt he was thinking about anything save the best way to tell Comey "fuck you".

The firing came only hours after the announcement that the FBI was issuing subpoenas. This is almost certainly why he mentioned the bit about Comey saying he wasn't being investigated--he's a baby having a screaming little tantrum and wants Comey to know exactly why he's angry.
posted by schroedinger at 8:12 PM on May 9 [29 favorites]


Yeah, gunning up is not the answer. Organize. Protest. Apply pressure. We are still a good country, we can stop this asshole! Love is the law, love under will.

I've been doing that as well but seeing as I counted at least 5 Trump stickers on my bike ride tonight here in sunny Florida I believe it's prudent to plan for every outcome.

Also, I kinda, sorta called this Comey thing this morning with my comment that at the time seemed a little hysterical but now is just the obvious outcome of where we find ourselves. We are literally staring into the abyss at this very moment. I'm so far beyond despair that I've come around to just accepting that things are going to go sideways for the forseeable future. I'll keep fighting but there's only so much that can be done if elections are suspended and martial law declared. And why wouldn't that happen? Everything else that I believed couldn't happen has already come to pass.
posted by photoslob at 8:13 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


who does Trump bomb to get the positive news coverage back?

Why not domestics?
Step one appoint a Sessions buddy who will vigorously enforce the war on drugs in states violating the federal ban on marijuana use. Lots of jobs for fascists to bust hippy ass!
Step two, bulk prosecute all people on the rolls of dispenseries.
Step three, all those liberal or colored folks can no longer vote, hold office, etc as felons.

You know...just like Nixon did by making pot illegal 40 years ago.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:13 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


I don't think it's going to be Giuliani, for what it's worth. My sense is that he isn't mentally all there and probably couldn't hide it.

yeah but we've been saying that about trump for a looong time.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:14 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


>So here's a gif of Anderson Cooper eyerolling at Kellyanne Conway

It's just his eyes, though--doesn't show up anywhere else on him. The man's got an impressive game face.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:15 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


It doesn't feel crazy enough.

That tweet? That tweet from the FUCKING PRESIDENT? Isn't... crazy enough?

Heeeheeeheeheeeeee eee elp
posted by Behemoth at 8:15 PM on May 9 [40 favorites]


I’ll keep fighting but there's only so much that can be done if elections are suspended and martial law declared. And why wouldn’t that happen?

Because voter ID laws and gerrymandering have done the job of securing power just fine, and quite a few police departments already possess significant armaments and firepower, and are generally sympathetic towards law-and-order arguments?

Look, if you will, at Putin’s Russia. There’s no martial law, and many people like the government, but it’s still an autocracy. That is the fate you’ll be resisting, and it’s a much softer and squirmier thing.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:26 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]




As I was just reminded, I remind you all: Circus Peanut calls Schumer "Cryin' Chuck" because he thinks he was faking it when tearing up about the Holocaust.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:28 PM on May 9 [64 favorites]


dang, i wish i could find a transcript because this is crazy-go-nuts:
On CNN, @KellyannePolls says she can name many people around Trump who are not currently under investigation for colluding with Russia
-- Jim Sciutto, CNN
"i would direct you to the many lovely buildings in this neighborhood which are NOT on fire"
posted by murphy slaw at 8:30 PM on May 9 [134 favorites]


@frankthorp Schumer has asked Senate Dems to be on the Senate floor at 9:30am to hear what McConnell says when opening the floor about Comey's firing.

Oh boy! Could tomorrow be the day something leaves McConnell's mouth that indicates fidelity to any truth or principle beyond partisan victory and sacred service to mighty mammon and the holy oligarchs that are their blessed avatar above all other things?

Why yes, I will be surprised, but then again, a certain degree naked self-interest is a factor in the risk-reward manifold Republicans are wildly straddling right now.
posted by wildblueyonder at 8:31 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


I actually do think that firing Comey was an overreach. They got greedy and it's going to explode in their hands.

We've got an opening, a small one, in the administration's flank. We need to finish it and we need to finish it now.
posted by lydhre at 8:33 PM on May 9 [14 favorites]


Spicer says he has Navy duty again tomorrow so he can't do the briefing. He also says he's disappointed in Olivia Nuzzi for tweeting about it.

Here's a letter from someone else in Navy public affairs:
What do many career U.S. Navy PAOs think of Commander Spicer?

In a word, they’re embarrassed.

Like me, many of them watch in horror as he fumbles and stumbles through press briefings, seemingly unable to respond coherently to even the most straightforward questions. Just about every day now I see an email or two from my wide network of retired PAOs, more often than not criticizing Spicer’s troubled White House tenure – and expressing deep concern about its impact on the efficacy of the Navy’s public affairs program. Spicer’s lack of professionalism threatens the credibility of an entire community of PAOs who work hard to build trust with the media, the public, elected officials and others.
posted by zachlipton at 8:34 PM on May 9 [18 favorites]


Wait, that's supposed to be a real job?
posted by Artw at 8:36 PM on May 9


I actually do think that firing Comey was an overreach. They got greedy and it’s going to explode in their hands.

It is perhaps useful to remember that the “they” here is a very small group of people, very small, and one that doesn’t likely include many of the actual elected representatives. This is not a vast, powerful conspiracy. It is a small number of very bad people who have likely done very bad things and who are being abetted by a number of bad people who are happy to go along and a number of spineless cowards.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:37 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


So, here's the thing, there's no longer an independent prosecutor statute, that authority was folded into DOJ after the Clinton impeachment. So there's two avenues other than Congress passing a new statute, either Rothstein can appoint a DOJ prosecutor (lol, no, he's a fucking pawn) or the Senate could form a select committee, which I believe would take a Senate majority, BUT would also require McConnell to bring a motion to the floor.

So. Unless I'm wrong here, McConnell can block the formation of an independent commission, alone. And in the Senate, there's no equivalent of a discharge petition to force a floor vote like there is in the House.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:39 PM on May 9 [22 favorites]


Fuck. McConnell will never do it. He's riding the Trump train all the way off the end of the rails into the canyon.
posted by suelac at 8:43 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


The shark has been Trumped.
posted by bz at 8:45 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]




Not if the tide turns. Not if the Republicans smell blood in the water; they will tear the Trump administration apart like piranhas. If there's anything these ratfuckers aren't it's loyal. Once the Trump ship starts sinking they will be off it faster than you can say "It's time to put country over party".

So it's up to us to make that happen. Resist, protest, keep leaking.
posted by lydhre at 8:51 PM on May 9 [17 favorites]


is the idea here that Trump didn't fire Comey before because Trump didn't think the FBI would actually do anything to investigate him?

With Trump, everything is transactional. Trump believed that because Comey played along with the Republican Congress and helped Trump win the election, he would be a reliable ally. And, certainly not worth the effort and drama of firing him and confirming a replacement.

Things have turned out differently. His confidence was misplaced. His optimism was too yuge. The investigation keeps failing to go away; instead it is growing. Trump has run out of patience and demanded a rationale for firing Comey. The rationale he selected, that Comey was mean to Hillary Clinton last year, shows how little Trump cares not just about being truthful, but about being plausible. It's a power move, not-so-truthful hyperbole, the art of the deal. While attempting to protect himself and his family from investigation, Trump is showing what happens when your loyalty wavers. He may be ignorant and he may be a clown, but he remains very good at remembering when he is personally slighted.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:53 PM on May 9 [30 favorites]


We are still a good country

...to which I reply, in a favorite blast from the past:
Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

The answer, of course, being no. The answer has always been no.
posted by aramaic at 8:54 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


Yeah, there will be an election in 2018 or there will be all kinds of shit burning. No if ands or buts.


The states each organize their own elections, do they not?
posted by Rumple at 8:54 PM on May 9


They're not going to "tear the Trump administration apart like piranhas". They'll just continue to ignore all his ethical breaches, and use their majority to proceed with dismantling our democracy and infrastructure, just like they've been doing for the last 4 months. This is what they've been working toward since Bill was elected, and now they have it--a president who isn't afraid to ignore the Constitution, a media network to spin it, and a reason to normalize an autocracy.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:55 PM on May 9 [32 favorites]


President Trump set to meet Russian Foreign Minister at White House tomorrow

Per Seth Abramson, this is not just any envoy, it's "the Russian (Lavrov) who, per ex-MI6 Steele, *ran* Putin's election-hacking operation." (Twitter thread)
posted by zennie at 8:56 PM on May 9 [33 favorites]


The problem with 'Lock him up!' as a campaign slogan is that I’m afraid it’s going to be hard to tell which him we’re talking about.

Lock them up!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:00 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Trump loyalists are going to say that Trump opponents are hypocrites because they have previously called for Comey to be fired.

The problem is not that Comey was fired. He could have been fired day one. The problem is that Trump kept Comey on board, praised his actions, and ONLY when Comey's investigation didn't go the way Trump liked, used those very same actions as a false basis on which to fire him. The problem is abuse of power.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:01 PM on May 9 [42 favorites]


MetaFilter: It's like a recipe for powerlessness, despair, and trauma.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:01 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


i think that the administration literally thinks that they are playing 11-dimensional chess with "but you said comey overstepped his bounds with Her Emails earlier! why u love him so much. u want marry him now? kissy kissy"

That's definitely the tone the deplorables and Russian bots are taking in the comments threads I'm seeing, yeah.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:01 PM on May 9


"The rationale he selected, that Comey was mean to Hillary Clinton..."

People keep saying this. This is not true. What they are saying (without actually stating it, because they know that leaving it ambiguous is useful) is "he didn't recommend charges to put Hillary in jail."

That has been the operating narrative. Watch, instead of an independent investigation into Russian connections, there will be an independent investigation.... of Hillary Clinton. And they'll just push more and more and more bullshit and all kinds of "leaks" will keep flowing out of everywhere and they will use it to gish-gallop the media.

That's their plan.
posted by daq at 9:03 PM on May 9 [21 favorites]


That and repeated insistence that there's "no evidence" of Russian ties.

Some people will believe anything.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:03 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


If Donald Trump fired a fashion model for doing a bad job, that would be fair. If Donald Trump fired a fashion model for rejecting his sexual advances, for failing to bend to his every whim, that would be unlawful retribution, worthy of judicial punishment.

Of course, that's an absurd analogy!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:09 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


These are not pretty pictures.

WaPo: President Trump fires FBI Director Comey
Several current and former officials said the relationship between the White House and the FBI had been strained for months, in part because administration officials were pressuring Comey to more aggressively pursue leak investigations over disclosures that embarrassed the White House and raised questions about ties with Russia.

That pressure was described as conversational challenges to FBI leadership to pursue the source of leaks seen as damaging to the administration, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Although the FBI is investigating disclosures of classified information, the bureau has resisted calls to prioritize leak investigations over the Russia matter, or probe matters that did not involve leaks of classified or otherwise sensitive information, the officials said.

“The administration has been putting pressure on the FBI to focus more on the leaks and weren’t satisfied with the results,’’ said a former senior U.S. official familiar with the matter. A current official said administration figures have been “very aggressive’’ in pressuring the FBI.

WSJ: Before James Comey’s Dismissal, a Growing Frustration at White House
:
The more James Comey showed up on television discussing the FBI’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the more the White House bristled, according to aides to President Donald Trump.

Frustration was growing among top associates of the president that Mr. Comey, in a series of appearances before a Senate panel, wouldn’t publicly tamp down questions about possible collusion with Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race. A person with knowledge of recent conversations said they wanted Mr. Comey to “say those three little words: ‘There’s no ties.’”

In the months before his decision to dismiss Mr. Comey as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Trump grew unhappy that the media spotlight kept shining on the director. He viewed Mr. Comey as eager to step in front of TV cameras and questioned whether his expanding media profile was warping his view of the Russia investigation, the officials said.

One White House aide, speaking after Mr. Comey’s dismissal, described him as a show horse.
posted by zachlipton at 9:10 PM on May 9 [26 favorites]


I posted to FB that Comey had been fired (just a one-sentence statement of the fact). One of my brothers, a Tom-Clancy-loving Soviet-hating NeverTrumper who became an EventuallyTrumper, replied way too fast with both of these lines ("no evidence of collusion" and crowing about Democratic inconsistency). It's disconcerting to me because he clearly has a self-image of being an intellectually honest, independent thinker, but for all that, he reacted in the prescribed way with precision.
posted by Jpfed at 9:13 PM on May 9 [19 favorites]


So how did the night of long knives go?
posted by runcifex at 9:13 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Er, one more. Politico: Behind Comey’s firing: An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia (emphasis added)
President Donald Trump weighed firing his FBI director for more than a week. When he finally pulled the trigger Tuesday afternoon, he didn't call James Comey. He sent his longtime private security guard to deliver the termination letter in a manila folder to FBI headquarters.

He had grown enraged by the Russia investigation, two advisers said, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia. He repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn’t disappear and demanded they speak out for him. He would sometimes scream at television clips about the probe, one adviser said.
Why would someone who works for him possibly tell this to a reporter?
posted by zachlipton at 9:14 PM on May 9 [76 favorites]


the knives were big league, just really tremendous knives
posted by murphy slaw at 9:14 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


He would sometimes scream at television clips about the probe

Turns out we have something in common after all.
posted by acidic at 9:16 PM on May 9 [53 favorites]


I was sitting at a packed bar at J. Alexander's having a drink when the news of Comey’s firing broke on the Fox News Box. Everyone cheered and celebrated. This terrible woman sitting next to me said, “Trump needs fire everyone Obama hired. When this is over he [Obama] will either be in prison or executed.” I then proceeded to have a panic attack.
posted by guiseroom at 9:18 PM on May 9 [64 favorites]


It would be cool if someone had the resources to create a fake (low quality) pee tape and "leak" it. I bet DJT would immediately get to Twitter and say something like, "Fake news. The hotel room had 2 queens, not a king."
posted by perhapses at 9:21 PM on May 9 [20 favorites]


I was sitting at a packed bar at J. Alexander's having a drink when the news of Comey’s firing broke on the Fox News Box. Everyone cheered and celebrated. This terrible woman sitting next to me said, “Trump needs fire everyone Obama hired. When this is over he [Obama] will either be in prison or executed.” I then proceeded to have a panic attack.

My worst fear is that there's enough people who think in that way that they can just not impeach Trump and still win elections. At that point, all bets are off. In addition to that, having Congress control the ability to impeach looks utterly obselete.
posted by jaduncan at 9:26 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


crowing about Democratic inconsistency

I'm seeing this everywhere and it's enraging. Democrats protesting when someone they dislike is fired for sinister and likely unethical reasons isn't inconsistent, it's principled.

But it's a principle other than "fuck you, got mine" so I can see why Republicans might be confused.
posted by galaxy rise at 9:29 PM on May 9 [58 favorites]


redditors in /r/politics:
> Trump speedrunning the Nixon Presidency

If you tweet enough times you clip through the oval office floor and fall under the map, spawning you right at the impeachment hearing.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:31 PM on May 9 [125 favorites]


We've seen it play out plenty of times in other developing nations. They decide that there's too much "unrest" around election time, declare martial law, say that the results were "faked" and that Trump/whoever stays in office until the issue is sorted, which somehow never happens. Any unrest that actually happens gets a tall glass of National Guard whoopass. Or US Army.

We're not a developing nation, though. We're nearly 400 million people organized into interconnected states, many of which have the economy and population to make up its own developed nation. The National Guard is drawn from the states, under dual control from the feds and the states. Do you think Trump could order the California national guard to oppress its own citizens en masse? Or Colorado? Or New York?

I wonder if there isn't some way for an enterprising state AG to initiate investigations into the Russian mess. The entire Federal Govt appears compromised at the moment, with Congress complicit. Let's get some states sniffing around.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:37 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


Yep. This is the last few moments of the rule of law and not dictators. Exactly why Washington and Madison feared political parties.

Republicans are proving the worst fears of Federalist 10 entirely accurate, and even understated:

The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose. On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.

Republicans have both reduced the entirety of our democracy to their own narrow faction, and proven to be infinitely poorer representatives than even Madison's dimmest imagination could've envisioned.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:38 PM on May 9 [30 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** GA-06
-- McClatchy: GOP nervous. "Republicans in Washington and Georgia acknowledge that a GOP loss in the special election runoff between Karen Handel (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) is a distinct possibility."
-- New pro-Handel ad from Congressional Leadership Fund really lays the hippy bashing on thick.
** Midterms
-- Charlie Cook: Looks like a wave is shaping up. NB: Cook has been doing this since the 80s, and is temperamentally cautious.
-- DCCC says fundraising in 2017 to date has already exceeded the full year take in 2015.
-- AP: GOP got a good candidate in WV, but still struggling to recruit Senate candidates elsewhere.
** Other elections
-- OK State House-28 had a special election today. District went GOP 67/33 in 2016 (and 73-23 Trump). GOP won...50-48. A 56 vote margin! May go to recount.
-- As mentioned above, Rep. Raúl Labrador [ID-1] will be retiring to run for governor. Labrador is a pond scum AND is considered unlikely to win the nomination (he's burned a lot of bridges locally), so this could turn out nicely.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:40 PM on May 9 [35 favorites]


> crowing about Democratic inconsistency

I'm seeing this everywhere and it's enraging.

The thing to say is “If there's a nuclear war—and, y'know, there may be one, because you installed into office a guy who said ‘I love war’ and talked about nuclear weapons all the time going back to the 1980s—lots and lots of people I don't like may die, in fact all of them may die. But that doesn't make it ‘inconsistent’ of me to not want Trump to start a nuclear war.”
posted by XMLicious at 9:45 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


We've seen it play out plenty of times in other developing nations. They decide that there's too much "unrest" around election time, declare martial law, say that the results were "faked" and that Trump/whoever stays in office until the issue is sorted, which somehow never happens. Any unrest that actually happens gets a tall glass of National Guard whoopass. Or US Army.

We’re not a developing nation, though. We're nearly 400 million people organized into interconnected states, many of which have the economy and population to make up its own developed nation. The National Guard is drawn from the states, under dual control from the feds and the states. Do you think Trump could order the California national guard to oppress its own citizens en masse? Or Colorado? Or New York?

I linked to this in an ancient political thread, but it seems worth returning to. A blog post recommended by a Brown Poli-Sci prof as a short guide to how democracy ended in Nicaragua: “Daniel Ortega Shows Us How to Dismantle a Democracy, 21st-Century Style”, by Jay Ulfelder:
So, folks, that’s how it’s done in 2011. Don’t cancel elections or fake the vote count unless you absolutely must, and for God’s sake, don’t send in the tanks. Relax, take your time. Stack the watchdogs with your friends; pepper your rivals with lawsuits; sic the cops on their campaign rallies; buy up or shut down unfriendly media outlets; and tap the administrative and judicial resources at your fingertips to reward the people who play along and punish the ones who don’t. The outcome is the same, but it’s harder for your critics to slap a “dictator” tag on you because they can’t quite put their fingers on that moment when democracy finally died.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:50 PM on May 9 [56 favorites]


> Charlie Cook: Looks like a wave is shaping up.


IT'S HAPPENING*

[image of Sen. Warren waving her hands in front of a laser light show]

*BUT ONLY IF PEOPLE VOLUNTEER, DONATE, AND VOTE


posted by tonycpsu at 9:53 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]


Many of us here in Maine are planning to call Sen. Collins tomorrow to remind her that Sen. Margaret Chase Smith stood with her country, not her party, at a dire time in US History. We will urge her to emulate Sen. Chase Smith's example...

I tried that back in January, when writing her about what a bad idea if would be if Sessions became attorney general. After noting “my concerns," she wrote back, "I have known him for 20 years, and I have never witnessed anything to suggest that Senator Sessions is other than a fair-minded, dedicated public servant and a decent man... I know him to be honest and principled. He is an individual who works hard, believes in public service, and acts with integrity."

Which soon brought us to, as Gelatin notes above: Sessions did not simply "fail to disclose" his meeting with the Russian Ambassador; he affirmatively denied any such meeting had taken place. On his own initiative. While under oath. "Fail to disclose" doesn't cover it, NYT Editorial Board; he lied about it.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:56 PM on May 9 [7 favorites]


We're not a developing nation, though. We're nearly 400 million people organized into interconnected states, many of which have the economy and population to make up its own developed nation. The National Guard is drawn from the states, under dual control from the feds and the states. Do you think Trump could order the California national guard to oppress its own citizens en masse? Or Colorado? Or New York?

Yes. Next question?
posted by tzikeh at 10:00 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


Another wave is shaping up. Pinochet memes are now a thing among the alt-reich since Macron won. Literal anti-democratic sentiment with that sweet scent of eliminationist totalitarianism. "Helicopter Rides, free for liberals and globalists! Yay!" means they want to drop you and yours into the ocean, bound hand and foot, from a helicopter, Pinochet style. They demand, right now, a French Pinochet. Memes are magic, and now they are coming for you and yours.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:04 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


I have no doubt that there is a faction of people in this county just waiting for the signal that it's OK to start killing liberals.
posted by guiseroom at 10:07 PM on May 9 [36 favorites]


Yes. Next question?

As a resident of CA let me say I don't think the CA national guard would follow such an order.
posted by Justinian at 10:15 PM on May 9 [8 favorites]


Do you think Trump could order the California national guard to oppress its own citizens en masse? Or Colorado? Or New York?

No, of course not.
They'd federalize 'em and send, e.g. the Texas ANG to "restore order" in NY, the FL to CA, etc. Etc.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:17 PM on May 9 [10 favorites]


Yes. Next question?

As a resident of CA let me say I don't think the CA national guard would follow such an order.


I think the fear is that we could see a reverse Orval Faubus situation: The governor and the state National Guard on the side of decency and the federal government playing the role of the rights-crusher.
posted by dhens at 10:18 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I have no doubt that there is a faction of people in this county just waiting for the signal that it's OK to start killing liberals.

This is a country with a history of widespread terrorism caused by the KKK, a country that had a civil war over slavery, a country that has had periodic terrorist attacks by anti-abortionist, right-wing militia types, and other things. While that observation sounds terrifying, it is, I think, a note that is actually pretty darn ordinary. There is always a block of people looking for the chance to kill the people they think they hate, and being aware of that is perhaps a good way to understand the long distance we have to walk to be human.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:19 PM on May 9 [63 favorites]


Re National Guard, I refer you to Kent State.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:36 PM on May 9 [15 favorites]


Sure, but 2017 California is not 1970 Ohio.
posted by Justinian at 10:40 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Is there any thinner gruel than "maybe if we're lucky some of us in deep blue states won't have the jackboots on our necks right away?"
posted by tonycpsu at 10:42 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


Guys there's enough shitty weird stuff going on, can we not with the "what if ALSO we get dropped out of helicopters or shot by the national guard" stuff?
posted by supercrayon at 10:46 PM on May 9 [58 favorites]


what if we get bitten by wolves, but also the wolves are on fire
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:47 PM on May 9 [137 favorites]


National Guard reports to the Governor, not the federal military. Jerry's not sending in the NG. Also..the entire US military couldn't hold Iraq. The West Coast is considerably larger and the generals at least aren't stupid.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:50 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


what if we get bitten by wolves, but also the wolves are on fire
ummmm 🤔
posted by supercrayon at 10:52 PM on May 9


[Let's not go down the worst-case-scenario path. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 10:58 PM on May 9 [20 favorites]


As usual, I think Birdsrightsactivist sums up the zeitgeist best.
posted by fshgrl at 11:01 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


Hmm. Any ideas about calling Flake and McCain? They both put out statements mildly against this, but I expect they won't take action (as per usual). "Thank you for your statement, now *DO SOMETHING*?"
posted by nat at 11:14 PM on May 9


où sont les ellsbergs d'antan?
posted by j_curiouser at 11:19 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


I was just sure we'd still be talking about Yates' excellent testimony today.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:26 PM on May 9 [9 favorites]


Trump can't let a woman have the spotlight.
posted by Rumple at 11:31 PM on May 9 [61 favorites]


I have no doubt that there is a faction of people in this county just waiting for the signal that it's OK to start killing liberals.

This is a country with a history of widespread terrorism caused by the KKK, a country that had a civil war over slavery, a country that has had periodic terrorist attacks by anti-abortionist, right-wing militia types, and other things. While that observation sounds terrifying, it is, I think, a note that is actually pretty darn ordinary. There is always a block of people looking for the chance to kill the people they think they hate, and being aware of that is perhaps a good way to understand the long distance we have to walk to be human.

Just to clarify my previous comment, since I think it was ambiguous: I’m leery of the notion that the make-up of the world has magically reworked itself since the election. The President is still massively unpopular. Roughly a quarter of the population voted for him, and he still lost the popular vote. It’s a scary moment, but nothing has really happened to indicate that the country’s people have changed. The upending was the election, and everything that has come from that. As much as it’s useful and good to read the President as an exception to the norm and to learn from autocracies past, it’s also useful to look at some of the cynical attitudes of POC who seem to have known we had this in us all along. This is the people of the country as usual, if not the government of the country as usual, so now is a good time to remind others of that.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:31 PM on May 9 [23 favorites]


McConnell and Ryan do not even care if they are reelected. They will get loads of money from their oligarch backers regardless, as long as they deliver tax cuts. They will both have to have their necks in the guillotine before they consider turning on Trump. These comforting dreams of impeachment are magical thinking. We need to work at building the metaphorical guillotine for these clowns and put their necks in it.
posted by benzenedream at 11:35 PM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Barbara Comstock’s statement was stronger than Feinstein’s. Man.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:39 PM on May 9


The long knives may still be at work....

Behind the scenes of James Comey's epic firing
The decision came at an uneasy moment for the Justice Department, which has been at the center of controversy since Trump assumed office in January. Officials described tensions that have festered over the past several months between Justice Department leadership and senior staff at the FBI over the handling of the Clinton investigation and how Comey was running the agency, according to multiple officials.

Meanwhile, the White House and Sessions have pushed the FBI to pursue leaks of classified information to the media, according to one Justice Department official, urging the agency to prioritize the probe over other matters, including the investigation into Russian election meddling.

One Justice official suggested there could be more changes coming at the FBI beyond Comey's removal.

"There is a lot of cleaning house that needs to be done," one official said.
posted by Buntix at 11:48 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


McConnell and Ryan do not even care if they are reelected.

Mitch McConnell is in his sixth term, and is the longest serving senator in Kentucky’s history (per Wikipedia). He is the most powerful man in the senate, a chief wheeler-dealer, and a man who has built his career on always doing the most politically expedient thing. This is his life. He absolutely cares about re-election and maintaining his grip on power. That is all he has ever done. The idea that he doesn’t want to be re-elected is just, like, no. Paul Ryan, I think, wants to be President. That doesn’t mean he has to keep his job, but it certainly won’t look great on his resume if he loses it.

The idea that they won’t turn on the President unless they really have to is true because they’re catering to a clientele that quite likes him. If the attitudes of that population changes, they will change. That, however remains unlikely.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:49 PM on May 9 [13 favorites]


Josh Meyer and Darren Samuelsohn at Politico: “FBI agents in tears as news of Comey's firing spread”
Rank-and-file agents were immediately suspicious of the timing of Tuesday’s decision, questioning whether the ongoing investigations into Trump associates’ contacts with Russian government officials was the precipitating factor, even as the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited Comey’s misstatements this week in congressional testimony about Hillary Clinton’s emails.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:52 PM on May 9 [16 favorites]


“FBI agents in tears as news of Comey's firing spread”

2017 is going to be an interesting year for OPM's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
posted by peeedro at 12:21 AM on May 10 [14 favorites]


National Guard reports to the Governor, not the federal military. Jerry's not sending in the NG. Also..the entire US military couldn't hold Iraq. The West Coast is considerably larger and the generals at least aren't stupid.

This is flatly untrue. The President has always been able to federalize the National Guard for a state of emergency, and as of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2007, can take complete and indefinite control of the National Guard, disregarding the governor entirely, to "take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress" pretty much any group activity they care to declare is hindering the execution of any federal or state laws.
posted by kafziel at 12:39 AM on May 10 [16 favorites]


Mitch McConnell is in his sixth term, and is the longest serving senator in Kentucky’s history (per Wikipedia). He is the most powerful man in the senate, a chief wheeler-dealer, and a man who has built his career on always doing the most politically expedient thing. This is his life. He absolutely cares about re-election and maintaining his grip on power. That is all he has ever done. The idea that he doesn’t want to be re-elected is just, like, no. Paul Ryan, I think, wants to be President. That doesn’t mean he has to keep his job, but it certainly won’t look great on his resume if he loses it.

The idea that they won’t turn on the President unless they really have to is true because they’re catering to a clientele that quite likes him. If the attitudes of that population changes, they will change. That, however remains unlikely.


I agree that Paul Ryan wants to be President, but consider how he might go about it. Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House. He's next in line for the Presidency after Mike Pence. If both Trump and Pence go down at the same time, in the same impeachment, we get President Ryan. I think he's perfectly willing, even eager, to turn on Trump, and to shovel out as much unpalatable garbage that people will pin heavily on Trump (like the AHCA) as possible in the meantime.
posted by kafziel at 12:43 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


i guess that even in a constitutional crisis there's still time for levity so, WaPo:
"Another Tuesday at the White House," Sarah Huckabee Sanders quipped as she finished speaking on Fox News from its outdoor set, as the voice of Kellyanne Conway continued to banter with CNN's Anderson Cooper from the next booth over.

After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the bushes behind these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.

"Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off," he ordered. "We'll take care of this... Can you just turn that light off?"

Spicer got his wish and was soon standing in near darkness between two tall scrubs, with more than a dozen reporters closely gathered around him. For 10 minutes, he responded to a flurry of questions, vacillating between light-hearted asides and clear frustration with getting the same questions over and over again.
emphasis on plant life mine.

navy duty. uh huh.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:52 AM on May 10 [35 favorites]


And now he's stealing from Zach Galifianakis' "Between Two Ferns" podcast???
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:58 AM on May 10 [14 favorites]


Roger Stone encouraged Trump to fire FBI Director Comey.

...but it wasn't just in "recent weeks"


[twitter thread with evidence that Stone has been pushing to have Comey removed and be his replacement since 2015].
posted by Buntix at 1:01 AM on May 10


Der Spiegel interview published last Friday:
'It Is Soul-Crushing!' Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta on President Trump
posted by XMLicious at 1:42 AM on May 10


Spicer got his wish and was soon standing in near darkness between two tall scrubs

Someone should tell him that he doesn't get to be Deep Throat this time around.
posted by jaduncan at 2:09 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Good Ford, Bill Kristol has a point. Today truly is a strange day.
Oh god, it's happening. I'm agreeing with David Frum.

I've been reading both of their Twitter feeds on and off over the past couple of months. They've both been very sensible about Trump the whole time. And then every now and again they comment on a non-Trump matter and I'm reminded that they are conservatives.
posted by nnethercote at 2:37 AM on May 10 [11 favorites]


I literally met my spouse at the door singing "Trump fired Comey! Trump fired Comey!" The toddler thought it was even more amusing than we did, so we ended up having a dance party in the kitchen.

Lord, I don't ask for much. Mostly because I don't believe in you. But if you could see fit to letting this be the kid's first memory, I'll try to ramp up the feeding-the-poor stuff that your kid was always on about.
posted by Etrigan at 2:59 AM on May 10 [17 favorites]


Democrats need to start training poll observers stat.
posted by PenDevil at 3:02 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


Yesterday I thought that this has the twilight quality of being in my twenties and being in bad relationships and then I'd wake up one day with the knowledge that I had to get out to save my sanity.

What kind of scares me about that particularly was that in my twenties let's say certainly through my mid-thirties, I wasn't a stable person. I didn't calmly end the relationship. No, there was High! Drama! of every kind.

What scares me most in my day-to-day with people now is High Drama. I want none of it (my students sometimes curse me out but that's different). And if a situation starts to become Highly Dramatic like 50% of my brain is occupied with being Reasonable, because I hope to hell I am not so crazy any more.

Anyhoo, on this fine American morning, I want a divorce from this country. And it scares the shit out of me because I just don't see what is the Sane and Reasonable approach. I mean yes, I know 2018 and all that, faxes, etc, but the Sane and Reasonable approach doesn't seem like it's really fundamentally reasonable when how much longer can things go before they get crazy.
posted by angrycat at 3:32 AM on May 10 [9 favorites]


Josh Meyer and Darren Samuelsohn at Politico: “FBI agents in tears as news of Comey's firing spread”
Rank-and-file agents were immediately suspicious of the timing of Tuesday’s decision, questioning whether the ongoing investigations into Trump associates’ contacts with Russian government officials was the precipitating factor, even as the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited Comey’s misstatements this week in congressional testimony about Hillary Clinton’s emails.


Zero quotes from Giuliani's anti-Clinton squad at the NY FBI office....
posted by srboisvert at 3:47 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


On a side note, because the Texas Legislature is not done with leading the way in horrid proposed laws, the protesting Handmaids are back (links direct to Facebook live video) in the Austin capital. I love these women so much. Their numbers are growing.

Be LOUD everyone. In whatever way works for you.
posted by dog food sugar at 4:01 AM on May 10 [12 favorites]


Just woke up, and so from way upthread:

It's occurred to me that I haven't really talked to any children and I'm not really in any contact with them, and I wonder what they think about all of this going on.

My hunch is that most kids are ignoring it because they don't get it. Think of the visual that they would see on the news - all that's really happening is that stern or angry-looking people are talking. Men in suits, or crowds of people holding signs - all that's happening is people are talking or yelling. The only reason it scares us is because we understand what those people are yelling about; for kids, especially younger kids, they don't understand what the angry grownups are talking about, so they're probably getting bored and not paying attention. (I envy them a little.)

Serious question: as an American citizen (and someone represented by Dems in both the House and Senate), what is the most effective form of action I can engage in right now to prevent the GOP and Trump White House from getting away with tanking a legitimate investigation?

Ask for impeachment on the grounds of obstruction of justice. And keep asking until it happens.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:20 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


I love that Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Embassy is meeting Trump today.

Per Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy I expect his first words to be: 'What is our cover story in case we are disturbed? Where shall we regroup? What is our fallback? Have you anything on you that you would prefer me to be carrying during our talk, bearing in mind that I have diplomatic immunity?'
posted by Mocata at 4:23 AM on May 10 [14 favorites]


The Times is going bold on the front page. Puts the letter right there instead of a photo, gets "amid Russia inquiry" right into the main headline, and "echos of Watergate" into the second story.

Meanwhile, in their 7 am headlines and the intro to their lead story on the firing, NPR asserted that Democrats are criticizing Trump's action.

Way to turn Trump's crossing yet another line into another partisan he-said, she-said, you pack of feckless cowards. It isn't even true -- not a few Republicans have gone on record at least criticizing the firing. They interviewed Republican (of course) former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and while he was cautious in his criticism, even he couldn't deny it looks like Trump is trying to interfere with the election.
posted by Gelatin at 4:30 AM on May 10 [12 favorites]


A commenter on TPM cracked me up with this nickname for KAC: "Pinocchio Rose."
posted by spitbull at 4:32 AM on May 10 [33 favorites]


I don't think that's at all true. I think immigrant children, black children, Muslim children, are afraid for their safety. I have friends with kids who are asking when they will be deported. I know there are kids experiencing more racism than they did before, and hearing rhetoric from family members. I don't think we should underestimate how potentially scary this is for kids, especially from marginalized communities, who are seeing their parents stressed and scared in a way they haven't before. And how potentially damaging it is for the children of Trump supporters to live surrounded by normalized hate and xenophobia. Kids are good at picking up on things and soaking in their environment. "I wonder what will seem normal to the children of America by the end of the next four years."
posted by ChuraChura at 4:33 AM on May 10 [71 favorites]


A protest is brewing for today in front of the White House.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:36 AM on May 10 [20 favorites]


Churachura - you're right; however, I think that the children of families on the downside of advantage would have already been afraid, sadly; they would be picking up on their fear from their parents, not the news, is what I mean.

But you're right, and I should have qualified my comment.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:39 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Guliani was at Trump Hotel last night. It's going to be him, it almost has to be.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:53 AM on May 10 [11 favorites]


Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited Comey’s misstatements this week in congressional testimony [as part of the grounds for Comey's ouster].

OK, let's just think about that particular statement for a minute.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:55 AM on May 10 [39 favorites]


welp, Giuliani or Clarke, we're really fucked, that's for darn tootin'
been waiting for those fuckers to show up. they've been probably been hiding like bedbugs under the putrid mattress of this administration all along
posted by angrycat at 4:58 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Care Page won't shut up.
posted by PenDevil at 5:06 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Is there a (free) means of watching, live, whatever Schumer is doing today at 9:30 E.T.? I just tried the C-SPAN website but apparently I have to be a cable subscriber. (I'm perfectly content to follow a live summary firehose in this thread if that's the only/best option.) Kiiiiiinda feel like this is the Democrats' last chance to save American democracy.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:07 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Wait.... Carter Page, an ex-adviser of Trump... Claims he never met Trump ?
posted by Pendragon at 5:09 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Democrats need to start training poll observers stat.

My election inspector training is May 28th.
posted by mikelieman at 5:12 AM on May 10 [32 favorites]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders on MSNBC this morning (video), misquotes Joe Scarborough…. to Joe Scarborough. This does not go well, but is pretty entertaining.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:13 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Is there a (free) means of watching, live, whatever Schumer is doing today at 9:30 E.T.? I just tried the C-SPAN website but apparently I have to be a cable subscriber.

You only need a login for C-SPAN's original programming. All of it's non-original programming (eg, press conferences, daily briefings, Congressional coverage) you can watch without one. You should see a link when 9:30 gets closer to an actual video stream from the Senate which you can start.

At least, that's how these usually work.
posted by jammer at 5:18 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Giuliani won't be can't be head of the FBI due to the health issue/ dementia.
At least that's what I'm telling myself. As often as I have to.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:18 AM on May 10 [12 favorites]


galaxy rise: Democrats protesting when someone they dislike is fired for sinister and likely unethical reasons isn't inconsistent, it's principled.

Every Democrat responding to the firing should be saying this, not only to point out the principled nature of their objection but to reinforce the point that Comey was fired for sinister and unethical reasons.
posted by Gelatin at 5:19 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]


To avoid edit-window abuse, I'll share this in a follow-on post.

This is probably the link you'll want to follow at 9:30.
posted by jammer at 5:19 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


the link you'll want to follow at 9:30.

14:30 BST, 15:30 CEST, muh fellow old worlders.
posted by Devonian at 5:27 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


If he gets away with appointing Giuliani we might as well call it and get ready for the inevitable Reich. There is brazenly corrupt and then there is brazenly corrupt.
posted by lydhre at 5:28 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


14:30 BST, 15:30 CEST, muh fellow old worlders.

1330 UTC, for that matter!
posted by jammer at 5:30 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


This is the people of the country as usual, if not the government of the country as usual, so now is a good time to remind others of that.

It's worth noting that there's a significant difference in people's behavior when they think law rules, and when they think it's effectively Purge Night For Racists.
posted by corb at 5:42 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


I did not know how much I love my country until the Trump Administration began undermining it from within the White House.
posted by carmicha at 5:45 AM on May 10 [67 favorites]


I just want you to know, good luck, we're all counting on you.
posted by delfin at 5:46 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]



Giuliani won't be can't be head of the FBI due to the health issue/ dementia.

Um, have you seen the President?
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:48 AM on May 10 [38 favorites]


After Giuliani helped dismantle the Muslim ban, it might be sort of magical to see how much damage he can do to Trump as FBI director. I can see him now at a press conference: "So, when the President was telling me how to slant this investigation his way, he said, 'Fuck due process and lawful search and seizure, Rudy.'"
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:52 AM on May 10 [26 favorites]


If he got rid of Comey in part because too much press spotlight was taken away from him, there's no way in hell he'll appoint Rudy Giuliani.

Also it's so medieval-king that it probably is one of the reasons.
posted by corb at 5:56 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders on MSNBC this morning (video), misquotes Joe Scarborough…. to Joe Scarborough. This does not go well, but is pretty entertaining.

Mika's sad head shake while Joe is going nuts is the best.
posted by photoslob at 5:59 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


Maybe this is just my white knuckled Handmaid's Tale viewing, but is there any way to remove him without suspending the Constitution?

I hope that we can all agree that if something as drastic as the constitution being suspended happens, no matter the context, it's time for some seriously drastic action, of the 1776 variety.

That still remains a very remote possibility but Comey's firing makes a little more likely.
posted by VTX at 6:00 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


This whole thing -- not just this news, but the entire media climate right now -- is just so through-the-looking-glass weird.

About 15 minutes ago, CNN was reporting that they'd learned that Roger Stone was a "key voice" in the firing. That he'd made the recommendation to do it and the president acted in part on that.

10 minutes after that, the male anchor said that the President was watching them this morning, and had in fact just tweeted that "The Roger Stone report on @CNN is false - Fake news.". He then directly addressed the president to say that it is now incumbent upon him to appoint a special prosecutor who will carry on the investigation.

Just... news network makes report, President responds on twitter, news network responds to that and addresses the President directly...

What the fuck is even happening any more?
posted by jammer at 6:05 AM on May 10 [142 favorites]




What the fuck is even happening any more?

The 24-hour news cycle has collapsed into a 140-character news cycle.
posted by Etrigan at 6:08 AM on May 10 [50 favorites]


Jesus, even the Russians think this was a bit much...

Maybe that's the reason for the visit today.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:10 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


It's worth noting that there's a significant difference in people's behavior when they think law rules, and when they think it's effectively Purge Night For Racists.


And then there's when the racists are both the law and the state.

"The rest of America don't mean a damn thing, you are in Mississippi [also the rest of America] now.

... Burning
posted by Buntix at 6:11 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Here are this mornings tweets:
Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke. "Richie" devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history. For....

years, as a pol in Connecticut, Blumenthal would talk of his great bravery and conquests in Vietnam - except he was never there. When....

caught, he cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness...and now he is judge & jury. He should be the one who is investigated for his acts.

The Roger Stone report on @CNN is false - Fake News. Have not spoken to Roger in a long time - had nothing to do with my decision.
"He was never there" ... Neither was DJT.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:11 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


The real story is (((Schumer))) and (((Blumenthal)))
posted by theodolite at 6:13 AM on May 10 [16 favorites]


Knowing our luck, Trump will appoint Robert Hanssen as head of the FBI.
posted by drezdn at 6:13 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]




The sole comfort when it comes to considering potential Trumpennachts is that armchair revolutionists yell loudly but are almost always "let's you and him fight" at heart. Even the diehards grasp that actually shooting people is a line that cannot be uncrossed. The Venn diagram for (crazy enough to do it) U (stable enough to plan and execute it) is super small.

This is, of course, no comfort when a lone nut decides THE REVOLUTION BEGINS AT MY LOCAL WALGREEN'S and you pick a bad day to pick up a prescription. Or, you know, have a cup of coffee and a guy with a machete shows up. So do keep your eyes open.
posted by delfin at 6:15 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


"cried like a baby"?
Sweet Jesus
posted by angrycat at 6:16 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Trump was too busy taking incoming on Chlamydia Ridge to go to Vietnam.
posted by spitbull at 6:16 AM on May 10 [46 favorites]


Since we live on the brink of dystopia anyway, I really hope the Handmaid's garb and iconography is embraced as shorthand for "fuck your fucking patriarchal bullshit, we see you" for the rest of time.
posted by lydhre at 6:18 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


Let us begin the careful microexpression analysis of the top Russian diplomat apparently finding out Comey got fired just now?
posted by Andrhia at 6:18 AM on May 10 [22 favorites]


While we're awaiting the morning Showdown at the Senate Corral, this from David Leonhardt at the NYTimes.

Donald Trump is Lying Again

This is the one-stop shop for everything about the firing and Trump's record of mendacity. It would be a hell of a Metafilter FPP all by itself.

(minor disclosure - I know Leonhardt a bit and think he's the smartest guy at the NYT, non-Krugman division. Would post regardless.)
posted by martin q blank at 6:20 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]


Is there a point at which he stopped lying?
posted by INFJ at 6:21 AM on May 10 [11 favorites]


Is there a point at which he stopped lying?

Ha. (Maybe just to eat or breathe?) According to this column, apparently not.
posted by martin q blank at 6:23 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


He has to draw breath every now and then. He doesn't have Kenny G's circular breathing trick down yet.
posted by Etrigan at 6:24 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


wow, that live cnn snip Andrhia linked...2 seconds of visible gears in russian dude's facial & physical expression
posted by yoga at 6:28 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]


it was obviously sarcasm
posted by entropicamericana at 6:29 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


tillerson's gloss it over smile is pricelessly disgusting as well
posted by yoga at 6:29 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I'm confused. That can't be a live clip, can it? It's timestamped 8:36 AM ET, but surely Lavrov would have heard about it before this morning, right?
posted by biogeo at 6:33 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I genuinely don't think it's sarcasm. When he first hears the question, his eyes go wide, his head goes back, he looks bewildered. That's a lousy poker face for a career diplomat. It looks to me like he really didn't know, though I admit I don't have a plausible idea for how he could have not found out almost immediately.
posted by Andrhia at 6:35 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


I'm confused. That can't be a live clip, can it? It's timestamped 8:36 AM ET, but surely Lavrov would have heard about it before this morning, right?

I dunno, maybe he was busy, disconnected from devices, took an early nap. Or maybe he was on an overseas flight from Mother Russia?
posted by dis_integration at 6:35 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


what is the more logical explanation: a poorly executed attempt at sarcasm filtered through a different culture and a second language or a russian diplomat is not even remotely informed about what is likely the most important aspect of his job?
posted by entropicamericana at 6:37 AM on May 10 [19 favorites]


My reading of it is that it was pure sarcasm. Of course he knew. The dogs in the street know.
posted by stonepharisee at 6:37 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


But the firing hit the news around 5:30 PM yesterday, you'd think an aide or something would have clued him in sometime within the last 12 hours.
posted by biogeo at 6:37 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


turtle spewing out the usual talking points about obamacare.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:38 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


McConnell has the floor, so far only reading headlines and repeating the standard talking points about what a failure the ACA is.
posted by jammer at 6:39 AM on May 10


He shakes his head and snorts. He's obviously joking.
posted by gerryblog at 6:39 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Just a reminder that Lavrov is accused of running Putin's election hacking operation in the Steele Dossier.
posted by PenDevil at 6:39 AM on May 10 [20 favorites]


+1 I think Lavrov was trying to be goofy
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:39 AM on May 10


I am watching McConnell blow smoke about healthcare instead of getting to work on time. Therapy has failed me.
posted by prefpara at 6:39 AM on May 10 [13 favorites]


what is the more logical explanation: a poorly executed attempt at sarcasm filtered through a different culture and a second language or a russian diplomat is not even remotely informed about what is likely the most important aspect of his job?

I mean, obviously the former (though those facial expressions don't say sarcasm in any language to me), which given that this is 2017 makes me think the latter.
posted by biogeo at 6:40 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


It is the middle of the night in russia now, I'd assume if I were Russia handling a diplomat from Russia when accusations are flying widely that the US will make sure he knows before being put in front of the press.

But this is trump.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:40 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


I was livid at hearing Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-TX) say that he was sick of hearing about the Russian Ties Investigation on NPR this morning. It's seems to be a talking point. "Oh, aren't you just sick of this? Can't we focus on more important things?" I really want no one in America to buy that lame deflection.

To put things into perspective, Benghazi happened in September 2012, an FBI investigation started a few days later. Hillary Clinton testified for a second time before a congressional committee a full three years after that.

It's been just six months and we are no where near the bottom of this.
posted by Alison at 6:41 AM on May 10 [46 favorites]


In case you didn't see the Russian diplomatic video, you missed out on the moment when Russia took over the United States officially.
posted by Yowser at 6:41 AM on May 10 [20 favorites]


I don't think it's surprise from Lavrov, nor exactly sarcasm. It's contempt. Lavrov thinks (probably accurately) that the american free press is at worst a minor irritant that will soon be silenced, controlled or further sidelined, and isn't afraid to roll his eyes at it. It's minor annoyance at the gurgling of a soon-to-be-excised vestigial organ.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:41 AM on May 10 [57 favorites]


Now going to the "but the democrats said Comey's bad why are they complaining now" line.
posted by jammer at 6:41 AM on May 10


mcconnell is speaking on the senate floor and i swear to god he had to pause and take a drink to wash out his mouth after saying the word "integrity"
posted by murphy slaw at 6:42 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]




"If there was ever a time when circumstances required a special prosecutor it is now", says Schumer. Calls upon Rosenstein repeatedly to do so.
posted by jammer at 6:46 AM on May 10 [12 favorites]


(so no special prosecutor or committee)

This is my shocked face.
posted by biogeo at 6:49 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


Schumer calls for the majority leader to convene a closed and if need be classified all-senators briefing with the AG and deputy AG separately to determine the status of the investigation and find out the truth about how the firing went down.
posted by jammer at 6:49 AM on May 10 [25 favorites]


Schumer's staff had obviously burned the midnight oil putting this together.

A++++ Would vote for him again.
posted by mikelieman at 6:49 AM on May 10 [31 favorites]


Schumer: "I yield the floor"

(like a boss!)
posted by mikelieman at 6:51 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


"Oh, aren't you just sick of this? Can't we focus on more important things?"

Just how long did you all blather on about a fucking email server?
posted by dinty_moore at 6:51 AM on May 10 [15 favorites]


I am profoundly disappointed in Schumer. All he did was ask for there to be a special prosecutor and a special session. What I wanted him to do was say that no Dem senator will be agreeing to unanimous consent until that happens. Set fire to the building, Chuck! If not now, when? For what are you keeping your powder dry?
posted by prefpara at 6:52 AM on May 10 [41 favorites]


JUST NOW: McConnell says new investigation will only impede current work on Russia investigations.

An independent prosecutor will really get in the way of our obstruction of justice!
posted by dis_integration at 6:54 AM on May 10 [15 favorites]


(so no special prosecutor or committee)

I'm really pissed that my next couple of weekends are booked because we need to take to the fucking streets right now.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:56 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Schumer should also ask for a flying car and a team of Swedish masseuses, as he is more likely to get those.
posted by delfin at 6:57 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


I am profoundly disappointed in Schumer. All he did was ask for there to be a special prosecutor and a special session. What I wanted him to do was say that no Dem senator will be agreeing to unanimous consent until that happens. Set fire to the building, Chuck! If not now, when? For what are you keeping your powder dry?

I don't think you SAY THAT on CSPAN-2. I think you say that on the treadmill in the Senate gym at 7:30 in the morning.
posted by mikelieman at 6:59 AM on May 10 [18 favorites]


Once again, the Weimar Republic delivers a super-stern verbal admonishment with extra frownies. The GOP must be quaking in its booties.

Honestly, one of the reasons I hope America comes through this reasonably intact is for Mitch McConnell's name to be shat on for generations as one of the vilest traitors to American ideals in history. I hope to see that pus-filled turtle in the dictionary next to quisling.
posted by Behemoth at 7:00 AM on May 10 [40 favorites]


Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) has put out a new statement (just before the Senate opened today?) on Trump's firing of Comey:
"The real question we face today is whether Director Comey was fired...because of the FBI's investigation of Trump connections to Russia. [If so,] and the timing of this action makes that a real possibility, that simply can't be allowed to happen...I plan to work closely with Sen. Blumenthal on the appointment of an independent prosecutor. I will also support Deputy AG Rosentstein in the appointment of a special counsel...I can't yet say whether what the president told me is all tehre is to this, but I can say [that] the Russia investigation was broad and far underway, and it must be allowed to continue."
It looks like she listened to all the complaints about her initial public response.
posted by cjelli at 7:00 AM on May 10 [54 favorites]


Do we know anything about the mechanics of the Comey firing? Like, does he get a box of the stuff that was in his office? Given how inept and slapdash this process seems to have been, it wouldn't surprise me if he still has, like, email access or something.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:01 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


I don't think it's surprise from Lavrov, nor exactly sarcasm. It's contempt.

1000% this. Contemptuous disgust. The disgust is probably mostly due to the knowledge that not even one of the journalists challenging is going to be shot in the back of the head on the way back home.
posted by Buntix at 7:02 AM on May 10 [20 favorites]


Do we know anything about the mechanics of the Comey firing?...it wouldn't surprise me if he still has, like, email access or something.

He's still listed as the Director on the FBI website, so signs do point to 'haphazard.'
posted by cjelli at 7:03 AM on May 10 [31 favorites]


The only thing worse than the surprise firing of the FBI Director would be an "I was only kidding" unfiring when it turns out to be a big deal.
posted by fragmede at 7:08 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


So Chuck rolled all the Democrats out of bed early to ask nicely if the Republicans would please reconsider supporting treason.

That's the kind of leadership we need! Maybe they'll stop murdering democracy if we bake them cookies and make them feel loved!
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:10 AM on May 10 [17 favorites]


itym "its just a prank bro"
posted by entropicamericana at 7:10 AM on May 10


Spicey has taken to actually hiding in the bushes. Maybe he'll say he was scoping out Easter Egg hiding places when he reprises his WH Easter Bunny role.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:14 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


It's increasingly clear that the checks and balances for which our system of government has been praised largely functioned because of custom, praxis, and/or unspoken mores. In the absence of good faith from a majority in any deliberative body, the whole thing does seem to be a house of cards. Good grief.

The Senate plaza is apparently shut down.
I'm not getting a lot of context yet. Was planning to head down there at lunch; maybe that's a bad idea.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:16 AM on May 10 [13 favorites]


my (admittedly pessimistic) gut tells me that nothing is going to happen without round-the-clock protests that bring DC to a halt.

and even then, "something" might be militarized mass arrests.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:16 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]




The Senate plaza is apparently shut down.

There was some twitter buzz about the Secret Service shutting down Pennsylvania Avenue to prevent protests, I'll see if I can find confirmation.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:18 AM on May 10


I guess the alternative to protesting around federal property would be to protest around Trump property, but that would just be more unearned advertising.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:22 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


NEW: @SenFeinstein says Dems will invoke two-hour rule to shut down Judiciary hearing this morning in response to Comey fallout

This isn't new, though, they did it with Sessions at least before.
posted by corb at 7:23 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


US Secret Service is now "randomly" closing Pennsylvania Avenue to protestors. "Routine," one agent says. #Comey -- @Rubin_Josh
Tweet is from last night. Tweeter is "Former @JohnKerry staffer @StateDept. Obama 2012 & Yale alum."
posted by murphy slaw at 7:24 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


*EC is confuzzled*

Uh, so could anyone explain again what the "two-hour rule" is that would shut down a Judiciary hearing?
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 7:24 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


> It's increasingly clear that the checks and balances for which our system of government has been praised largely functioned because of custom, praxis, and/or unspoken mores. In the absence of good faith from a majority in any deliberative body, the whole thing does seem to be a house of cards. Good grief.

Yet another similarity to the Rob Ford saga up here in Toronto; the Brothers Ford just ignored political (and sometimes legal) conventions they found inconvenient and it quickly became apparent that there was very little anyone could do to stop them. The damage they inflicted upon the city was only limited by their stupidity (as dumb as Trump is, he's still a genius compared to Rob Ford), Toronto's "weak mayor" system that required compromise and consensus-building far beyond their abilities and their lack of command over armed forces and/or a nuclear arsenal.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:24 AM on May 10 [10 favorites]


Me: [backs slowly into bushes and disappears]
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:04 AM on April 30


Me: god damn it why is sean spicer here
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:27 AM on May 10 [69 favorites]


Uh, so could anyone explain again what the "two-hour rule" is that would shut down a Judiciary hearing?

Basically, there's a rule saying they can't hold committee meetings past the first two hours of the session without unanimous consent (i.e., all 100 senators agree). It's a way to slow down the business of the Senate. It's not enough on its own (I think a majority of the Senate can override the rule), but it's a start.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:28 AM on May 10 [12 favorites]


Me: god damn it why is sean spicer here

AV Club beat ya to it
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:30 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Durbin just objected to unanimous consent. Maybe theyre going to finally do this thing
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:32 AM on May 10 [37 favorites]


It's a small comfort to know that whenever Ted Cruz describes someone as a friend, it's actually someone who can't stand him, because no one can stand him.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:32 AM on May 10 [14 favorites]


jammer: Schumer calls for the majority leader to convene a closed and if need be classified all-senators briefing with the AG and deputy AG separately to determine the status of the investigation and find out the truth about how the firing went down.

But wait, if it comes to light that this was in any way related to coordination between Trump's team and Russia, does AG Sessions have to recuse himself from that discussion? I know, I know, that would mean people are actually acting with any consistency and care for decorum and the appearance of professional conduct.

Fuck, this is a mess.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:33 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Was curious about Mitch McConnell's teeth. A search turned up this Vox article from the beginning of 2017: Mitch McConnell’s entire career has been about gaining power. What happens now that he has it?
A few things are curiously missing from the Mitch McConnell–Elaine Chao Archives at the University of Louisville. At an exhibit designed to celebrate the Senate majority leader and his wife, there’s almost no mention of any bills McConnell has authored in his 32 years in the Senate. There’s virtually nothing about the people he’s helped, nothing to highlight courageous speeches made on the Senate floor.

Instead, McConnell's exhibit almost entirely pays homage to the elections he’s won — for high school student government; for Louisville county executive; for his first election to the Kentucky Senate; for his reelection bids to the US Senate.
Interesting insights into his character and convictions, strong and weak.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:34 AM on May 10 [20 favorites]


So Chuck rolled all the Democrats out of bed early to ask nicely if the Republicans would please reconsider supporting treason.

I mean, 9:30am is well within the standard start-of-workday time. I know it didn't have a meaningful impact on the situation on capitol hill, but It's always nice to see our democratic leadership unified. Symbolic, if nothing else. We don't know where this wild ride is going yet.

I don't think we should stop demanding that our congresspeople do everything in their power to ensure the security of our democracy and government; but throwing shade isn't going to do that.

I don't know, I listened to Senator Schumer's statement right after the news about Comey's firing took place.. and felt heartened. He said everything that we're all thinking and said it plainly as to leave no doubt as to his meaning. If he wants his fellow senators to bare witness to the inanity of the republicans (I could only stand to listen to 5 minutes of this morning's statements by McConnell) and reiterate his comments before, I'm behind that.

He might not have lived up to some expectations with his request that all democrat senators be in attendance this morning - but who set those expectations? (hint: it was the media)
posted by INFJ at 7:36 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Mitch McConnell’s entire career has been about gaining power. What happens now that he has it?

We make him watch as we take it away.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:36 AM on May 10 [35 favorites]


Here's something that might not mean much but that I found interesting:

This is the last week that Congress can use the Congressional Review Act to pass filibuster-exempt resolutions that strike down Obama-era regulations. Today, the Senate was set to consider one on methane emission from natural gas drilling. It waited this long because it's a dicey one, but they finally got to 50 expected votes, and Pence was en route to the Senate floor to cast the tiebreaker.

Except it only got 49 votes. John McCain -- who called for a special commission on Russia last night and just sat through McConnell saying "lol fuck that, blatant corruption 4EVA," was a surprise "no." Interesting timing for giving your party's leader a middle finger....
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:36 AM on May 10 [125 favorites]


Do we know anything about the mechanics of the Comey firing? Like, does he get a box of the stuff that was in his office? Given how inept and slapdash this process seems to have been, it wouldn't surprise me if he still has, like, email access or something.

cjelli: He's still listed as the Director on the FBI website, so signs do point to 'haphazard.'

Reminder: Just after ABC News’s Cecilia Vega asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer Monday about Donald Trump’s campaign proposal of a ban on Muslim people traveling to the United States, many went looking for the statement on Trump’s website—and they came up empty-handed. (Talking Points Memo, March 8,
2017
) -- Those statements were up on Trump's campaign website after two versions of the "temporary travel ban" were published, and may have been online 100 days into his presidency.

"Haphazard" is being polite. "Fooking shit-show" is more appropriate.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:38 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


if john mccain's spine grows three sizes today, then i've really seen everything and will eat a cake in the shape of a hat
posted by murphy slaw at 7:38 AM on May 10 [82 favorites]


Wait, McCain actually did something maverick-y? We truly live in the strangest timeline.
posted by lydhre at 7:39 AM on May 10 [18 favorites]


In more easily missed horrifying abuse of power, journalist Dan Heyman was arrested and charged with "willful destruction of state government processes" for approaching Price and Conway in the West Virginia state capitol.
posted by jackbishop at 7:39 AM on May 10 [38 favorites]


RIGHT?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:40 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Recently joined metafilter and this is the first thread i've found and i'm seriously impressed! Great read and summary of everything that's going on.

Trump's reign has only just begun and a hell of a lot has happened already. This won't be the end of his situation with the FBI. Everything is a mess!
posted by EdwardLynch1966 at 7:40 AM on May 10 [31 favorites]


Remember that 45 is still playing Celebrity Apprentice. Just US taxpayer money instead of NBC.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:41 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


I don't think it's surprise from Lavrov, nor exactly sarcasm. It's contempt.

Yep. And no small part of that contempt was because the journalist asking the question was a woman. And specifically, because it was Andrea Mitchell.
posted by Killick at 7:41 AM on May 10 [13 favorites]


"willful destruction of state government processes"

That feeling when you first see the name of the crime for which you will eventually be disappeared.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:43 AM on May 10 [57 favorites]


Jennifer Rubin has an excellent column in the Washington Post today:
If Trump fired Comey over Russia, he must go
If this is true — that Sessions was charged by President Trump (no one else would have the authority) to figure out reasons to fire Comey — then the question hanging over the presidency is: What was the real reason? If the reason was not that Trump, after all that talk about “locking up” Hillary Clinton and praise last October for Comey’s letter reintroducing the Clinton email investigation into the campaign, suddenly realized Comey had behaved improperly under Justice Department rules, then the rationale is a lie. The letters from Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein are therefore part of a pretext for firing the FBI director engaged in an investigation of the president and his campaign’s conduct. [...]

However, in the constitutional sense, a scheme to mislead the American people and prevent discovery of his possible misconduct violates his oath of office. If he is engaged in such conduct, he is no longer acting to enforce and execute the laws of the United States.

What is critical here is why the president fired Comey and whether he cooked up a cover story to conceal his motivation. The inquiry into what the president, Sessions and Rosenstein were up to cannot be conducted by the executive branch. Either Congress interrogates them, or a prosecutor who cannot be fired by the president or the Justice Department is needed.
As I've noted before, I've been very impressed with Rubin's columns that put country above party, and this one is no different (so I wrote to thank her this morning). She calls for all Republicans to support a fully independent prosecutor and notes that a critical issue for 2018 may be whether elected representatives will vote for impeachment and conviction. Seriously worth a read.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 7:44 AM on May 10 [56 favorites]



Mitch McConnell’s entire career has been about gaining power. What happens now that he has it?

We make him watch as we take it away.


And then make him watch as we slowly run the process to give him the fate justice dictates for traitors. quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?
posted by ocschwar at 7:46 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


1000% this. Contemptuous disgust. The disgust is probably mostly due to the knowledge that not even one of the journalists challenging is going to be shot in the back of the head on the way back home.

And Rex "Russian Order of Friendship" Tillerson smiles weakly like the empty suit he is. The man is so out of his depth he doesn't even know how out of his depth he is.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:48 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


The man is so out of his depth he doesn't even know how out of his depth he is.

Is there anybody in the admin about whom this can't be said?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:50 AM on May 10 [11 favorites]


WaPo front page: "Sean Spicer had wanted to announce the news in an emailed statement but it was not transmitting quickly enough."

Wait, what? Are they using a 1200 baud modem?
posted by Melismata at 7:51 AM on May 10 [39 favorites]


John McCain -- who called for a special commission on Russia last night and just sat through McConnell saying "lol fuck that, blatant corruption 4EVA," was a surprise "no." Interesting timing for giving your party's leader a middle finger....

It would only take 3 to get an independent prosecutor, right?
posted by corb at 7:51 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]


No reception in the bush.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:51 AM on May 10 [20 favorites]


WaPo front page: "Sean Spicer had wanted to announce the news in an emailed statement but it was not transmitting quickly enough."

Translation: nobody told him until he saw it on TV.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:53 AM on May 10 [17 favorites]


It takes extra time to email it to Russia and get it approved.
posted by emjaybee at 7:54 AM on May 10 [21 favorites]


EdwardLynch1966: Trump's reign has only just begun and a hell of a lot has happened already. This won't be the end of his situation with the FBI. Everything is a mess!

Welcome to to the MeFi quagmires, EdwardLynch1966 -- in this current hyper-active US political reality, someone makes a new thread once the "new" thread has around 3,000 comments, which can take a few days to more than a week. Just when it felt like we were reaching a new normal for Trump and these threads were slowing down, here we are with Comey being fired, 3 years into his 10 year term.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


David Corn: Senator Burr says he is "troubled" by Comey firing but had a "pleasant call" with Trump today.

I'm running out of places to pin my hope...
posted by diogenes at 7:55 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


I think my hope is now pinned to John McCain, god help me.
posted by diogenes at 7:57 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


Don't do it, diogenes.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:57 AM on May 10 [88 favorites]


It would only take 3 to get an independent prosecutor, right?

Technically, but the majority leader can just refuse to bring the motion to the floor for a vote. As long as McConnell is dedicated to the cause, as far as I can see the only way for a Gang of Three to make the difference would be if they cast the deciding votes to replace him.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:57 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]


> Senator Burr says he is "troubled" by Comey firing but had a "pleasant call" with Trump today.

"Well, you're rich and white, I don't see a problem with it."
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:58 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


David Corn: Senator Burr says he is "troubled" by Comey firing but had a "pleasant call" with Trump today.

you are zee worst, burr
posted by entropicamericana at 7:59 AM on May 10 [38 favorites]


"I'm troubled by" Russian ties now is the same as Republicans and Republican voters "sending thoughts and prayers" after a school shooting, knowing they'll do nothing about it whatsoever.

Troubles have the same value as prayer. Zero.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:59 AM on May 10 [46 favorites]


And Rex "Russian Order of Friendship" Tillerson smiles weakly like the empty suit he is. The man is so out of his depth he doesn't even know how out of his depth he is.

"...he was so far out of his depth that the fish had lights on their noses " -- Terry Pratchett, Fifth Elephant
posted by mikelieman at 7:59 AM on May 10 [31 favorites]


Haven't seen this elsewhere. From former Politico chief Mike Allen's daily email to Axios subscribers, quoting the very astute Matt Miller (emphasis mine):

Matt Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman under President Obama, said everyone he talked to at Main Justice last night was in shock. Miller said it was clear internally that the White House didn't trust Comey, and couldn't control him.

"This makes no sense in the short term," Miller said. "But if the long-term threat is the survival of the administration itself, then you take the short-term risk."
posted by martin q blank at 8:01 AM on May 10 [21 favorites]


I'm running out of places to pin my hope...
posted by diogenes at 10:55 AM on May 10


Pinning your hopes on Richard Burr is one step away from hoping you get rounded up into a camp with decent shade.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:01 AM on May 10 [9 favorites]


Glad to see we're pinning the hopes of the US on the Cold War era anti-Commie resentment in McCain's subconscious.
posted by PenDevil at 8:02 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]


corb Yes, just three. And that's why it'll never, ever, happen until the Republicans lose the Senate.

There are not three Republican Senators who are willing to vote for an independent prosecutor.

In the House its worse, it'd take 120. Thanks to the Pedophille Hastert Rule, named after infamous Republican pedophile Denny Hastert, when the Republicans control the House only bills that are supported by a majority of the majority party can be voted on. In other words, a coalition of 119 Republicans and every single Democrat trying to get an independent investigation would fail because it wouldn't quality for a vote while the Republicans hold the majority.

Again we're back to the unpalatable truth: any vote for any Republican at any level of government is a vote to make Donald J. Trump President for Life. Unless and until the Republicans lose their majorities in the House and Senate Trump is protected from everything.

Likewise until and unless the Republicans lose their majorities in the various state governments those state governments will be employed to cheat on federal elections to keep the Republican majority in the House and Senate.

There are only two paths forward, either accept that Trump is President for Life and nothing can or will ever hurt him, or vote Democrat in every single election.
posted by sotonohito at 8:03 AM on May 10 [51 favorites]


However, in the constitutional sense, a scheme to mislead the American people and prevent discovery of his possible misconduct violates his oath of office. If he is engaged in such conduct, he is no longer acting to enforce and execute the laws of the United States.

This is the key thing, to me, after Comey's firing yesterday: we're past the point where there needs to have been actual wrongdoing on Trump's part re: Russia -- even if it turns out that all of the myriad allegations against Trump & his campaign cohorts were entirely baseless, Trump has now taken steps, it appears, as President, to obstruct investigation of the possibility of wrongdoing. That is, in and of itself, worth investigating; and it's worth, it true, impeaching him over, because he fundamentally cannot be trusted to carry out his oath of office in other circumstances if he would violate it here.

In reading this, I'm sure some of you are thinking 'but Russia still matters!' -- it does; but it is no longer necessary to build a case, in the court of public opinion, against Trump. (In a legal court, I'll let someone else weigh in). And you may be thinking 'I didn't trust him before this, what does this change' -- neither did I, but a lot of civic process is based on the idea that we can distrust a governmental official and yet also trust that there are mostly-impartial backstops in place to confirm or deny whether that distrust is truly warranted. They can take time, and they work imperfectly, but they're there; the standards of evidence for me to distrust Trump, as a private person, is different than the standards for him to be impeached. Trump just removed one of those checks, and apparently lied about why he was doing so. Every Senator, every representative, who was able to use ongoing FBI investigation as a fig leaf for not investigating Trump themselves -- that's going to be a harder argument to make now. It would be an unreasonable argument to make, now.

This is why the obstruction of justice is a crime: we cannot incentivize cover-ups. And it's hard to parse Comey's firing -- no matter whether or not it was deserved, and no matter whether or not there's any substance to the various allegations against Trump -- as anything other than an attempted cover-up.
posted by cjelli at 8:03 AM on May 10 [85 favorites]


It would only take 3 to get an independent prosecutor, right?

Technically, but the majority leader can just refuse to bring the motion to the floor for a vote. As long as McConnell is dedicated to the cause, as far as I can see the only way for a Gang of Three to make the difference would be if they cast the deciding votes to replace him.


Theoretically 51 (48D + 3R) Senators could just stop the Senate from conducting any business whatsoever until McConnell allowed the bill.
posted by Glibpaxman at 8:04 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


Republicans are only interested in making money and killing as many Americans as possible, I would not pin hopes on any one of them whatsoever.
posted by Artw at 8:05 AM on May 10 [13 favorites]


It's a small comfort to know that whenever Ted Cruz describes someone as a friend, it's actually someone who can't stand him, because no one can stand him.

This makes us all friends of Ted Cruz and now I hate you for pointing that out.

Also, I leave the internet for two goddamned days.....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:07 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


I would not pin hopes on any one of them whatsoever.

It's definitely irrational and against all prior evidence to hope some Republicans do something, but my brain seems to want to avoid hopelessness.
posted by diogenes at 8:08 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Which 3? Sasse, Murkowski, and McCain?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:09 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


So does this mean that the entire republican party is in collusion with Russia? Directly or indirectly? WTF?
posted by snsranch at 8:11 AM on May 10 [13 favorites]


According to various comments on various articles, Trump supporters don't see what the big deal is. They've been calling liberals "communists" since the 1960s, but actual collusion with actual Russia is nbd.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:16 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


So does this mean that the entire republican party is in collusion with Russia?

Well, those hacked Republican emails aren't going to stay buried on a hard drive in Putin's desk drawer all by themselves.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:17 AM on May 10 [21 favorites]


According to various comments on various articles, Trump supporters don't see what the big deal is. They've been calling liberals "communists" since the 1960s, but actual collusion with actual Russia is nbd.

Yeahbut, Russia isn't communist any more, it's an ethnonationalist authoritarian dictatorship, which they voted to create the weirdly packaged off brand that tastes similar but kind of has a funny aftertaste of already.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:18 AM on May 10 [15 favorites]


That feeling when you first see the name of the crime for which you will eventually be disappeared.

Yes. It's like being there when they passed the law delineating the distinction between "counterrevolutionary agitation" and "counterrevolutionary Trotskyist agitation."
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:19 AM on May 10 [9 favorites]


The man is so out of his depth he doesn't even know how out of his depth he is.

Is there anybody in the admin about whom this can't be said?


McMaster seems competent and not cartoonishly evil. I don't like him, but I dislike him in the way I dislike typical Republican appointees, in the "this dude is not really my favorite but there is nothing obviously wrong with him" way.

Actually, Elaine Chao fits that profile too. Not that Chao is particularly visible or relevant inside the administration.
posted by jackbishop at 8:19 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


I think it means that as long as they get to keep power the entire Republican Party is OK with collusion with Russia.

And yes, many of the Republican voters are totally, 100%, no holds barred, OK with collusion with Russia. Now that they're no longer Communist, a great many Republican voters see Russia as the hope for Christian theocracy, white supremacy, and oppressing LGBT people and women. There are a large number of Republicans who are openly, cheerfully, embracing Putin and say that every indication that Trump is close to Putin makes them happy.

A lot of the Republican rank and file likes "strong" leaders, meaning bullying white guys who flaunt democratic norms and rule in a dictatorial fashion.

The elected Republicans either are OK with Trump's Russian ties, or dislike those ties but not enough to risk losing the power Trump brings.

Remember, they're getting their wish list enacted. Literally the only thing holding them back is their own infighting. On issues where the Tea Party isn't blocking them, they're getting everything they ever wanted and more. The government is being demolished, starting with their most hated agencies, they've got another Scalia type in the Court and the good chance of getting one or two more before Trump's term expires.

Even the Republicans who aren't fans of Trump don't want to rock the boat too much, they might not really be happy with the Russian collusion, but at worst they view it as a minor annoyance not as a major issue. As evidenced by how they votted.
posted by sotonohito at 8:21 AM on May 10 [42 favorites]


Someone should tell him that he doesn't get to be Deep Throat this time around.

Follow the money.

Oh, wait, it just goes right from Russia to Trump.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:21 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


So does this mean that the entire republican party is in collusion with Russia? Directly or indirectly? WTF?

I have a suspicion that the Russian money laundering is going to be the key here. I would not be surprised to learn that the GOP has been (wittingly or unwittingly) taking Russian money for a while (to the extent that it constitutes kompromat for the whole party apparatus).
posted by melissasaurus at 8:21 AM on May 10 [28 favorites]


Actually, Elaine Chao fits that profile too. Not that Chao is particularly visible or relevant inside the administration.

This is Mrs. Mitch McConnell
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:22 AM on May 10 [10 favorites]




I mean this very sincerely: if sanity does not prevail and Trump manages to steamroll this country for the next four years, The Rock may be our only hope. Either we get a Reublican president in 2020 who will surely be an upgrade or he splits the vote and the Dems get one last chance to save the union.

GQ: Dwayne Johnson for President!
So, after all that consideration, Johnson doesn't hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. “I think that it's a real possibility,” he says solemnly.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:24 AM on May 10 [10 favorites]


(as dumb as Trump is, he's still a genius compared to Rob Ford)

Ford was dumber than Trump is, yes (although not by much), but he was also multitudes nicer (and bear in mind I say this of a man who was almost certainly a domestic abuser, because that's how bad Trump is) and genuinely had a passion for the concept of public service, albeit filtered through his personal lens of being a spoiled rich boy.

Ford was terrible, but he was vastly superior to Trump in virtually every aspect of governance worth discussing.
posted by mightygodking at 8:26 AM on May 10 [10 favorites]


I know that this has been mentioned several times in this thread already, but I still feel like we should be talking about it more.

The Justice Department has issued subpoenas.

Sally Yates JUST testified. And she said that she warned Trump that Michael Flynn was compromised by Russia, and that Trump did NOTHING about it for 18 days, until the news leaked to the public. Then he fired Sally Yates.

The Justice Department issued subpoenas. Then he fired Jim Comey.

Trump has fired both an acting attorney general and an FBI director.

The Justice Department has issued subpoenas.

I find it impossible to to entertain "innocent" explanations anymore.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:32 AM on May 10 [94 favorites]


While on drugs.

Let that sink in.
posted by delfin at 8:33 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Okay so I know the 'Nixonian' comparisons are already flying fast and furious, but Trump is literally meeting with Kissinger in the Oval Office right now.
posted by cjelli at 8:34 AM on May 10 [40 favorites]


Okay so I know the 'Nixonian' comparisons are already flying fast and furious, but Trump is literally meeting with Kissinger in the Oval Office right now.

I just sputtered. I didn't know I could actually do that.
posted by MrVisible at 8:36 AM on May 10 [12 favorites]


While on drugs.

Let that sink in.


I've been letting it sink in while on drugs for the last year already.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:36 AM on May 10 [27 favorites]


TPM: Comey Will No Longer Give Scheduled Testimony Before Senate Intel Committee
Former FBI Director James Comey will not testify in an open session of the Senate Intelligence Committee that was scheduled for Thursday.

“Comey was terminated last night,” the panel’s chair Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) told reporters on Wednesday. “The chair will be filled by the acting director of the FBI [Andrew G. McCabe].”
[real, distressing]
posted by cjelli at 8:37 AM on May 10 [76 favorites]


hey everyone, no matter what you do don't think of the nixon administration

damnit
posted by murphy slaw at 8:39 AM on May 10 [12 favorites]


Well, fuck.
posted by Artw at 8:41 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


It's probably a coincidence but the Law & Order episode on UK TV right now (S9E24) is all about Russian money laundering.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:42 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


Photos are emerging of Trump and his BFF, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

If the Russians are unhappy that Trump fired Comey, this guy sure doesn't seem like it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:43 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


I am reminded of an old Marvel comic in which Fred Hembeck was interviewing Captain America. Hembeck brought up how Cap was rescued from being frozen in an ice floe for many years, then showed off his _own_ ice floe offstage, stating that when the world got to be too much, he was comforted knowing that he could put himself on ice the same way.

Cap pretty much went "Um..."

At the end of the talk show, things went awry and Hembeck stormed out, yelling GET MY ICEBERG READY!

I am iceberg-ready. Except that climate change will melt it before the world has a chance to make sense again.
posted by delfin at 8:43 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]




It's probably a coincidence but the Law & Order episode on UK TV right now (S9E24) is all about Russian money laundering.

There are no more coincidences. We live in a kooky political thriller you'd buy at an airport.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 8:44 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


David Frum - This is Not a Drill
Now comes the hour of testing. Will the American system resist? Or will it be suborned?

The question has to be asked searchingly of the Republican members of Congress: Will you allow a president of your party to attack the integrity of the FBI? You impeached Bill Clinton for lying about sex. Will you now condone and protect a Republican administration lying about espionage?

Where are you? Who are you?
I know we don't like Frum for a lot of good reasons, but it's nice to see someone from the other side raising questions about integrity at a time when too many in power seem feckless at best.
posted by nubs at 8:45 AM on May 10 [56 favorites]


The chair will be filled by the acting director of the FBI [Andrew G. McCabe].”

Can Comey be recalled as a witness, just as the former director of the FBI? I guess that's a technical, as well as practical, question.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:45 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


NYT: Days Before He Was Fired, Comey Asked for Money for Russia Investigation
Days before he was fired, James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, asked the Justice Department for a significant increase in money and personnel for the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election, according to three officials with knowledge of his request.

Mr. Comey asked for the resources during a meeting last week with Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who wrote the Justice Department’s memo that was used to justify the firing of the F.B.I. director this week.

Mr. Comey then briefed members of Congress on the meeting in recent days.
Remember: it's been reported that last week is when Trump started asking Sessions to find a justification for firing Comey. And now it turns out that Comey was asking, last week, for more money to investigation Russian interference. It's unclear on exactly how that timeline works out -- whether Trump's request came before Comey's, or vice versa -- but, well. 'Suspicious timing' would be putting this so mildly that it would win first place at a mildness competition.
posted by cjelli at 8:46 AM on May 10 [53 favorites]


GQ: Dwayne Johnson for President!
So, after all that consideration, Johnson doesn't hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. “I think that it's a real possibility,” he says solemnly.


The world's cod fisheries will completely collapse before that could ever happen.
posted by srboisvert at 8:47 AM on May 10 [19 favorites]


So does this mean that the entire republican party is in collusion with Russia? Directly or indirectly? WTF?

At this point, I'd say that the highest elected members of the Republican Party are either in collusion or actively refusing to connect the dots...which, in terms of their results, are nearly the same.

In this particular case, I think why they don't want to know is two-fold. First, unified control of the branches of government is rare, and they want someone who will do the horrible things they want, while preserving the fig-leaf of legitimacy as long as possible. Second, and more importantly, looking into the rabbit hole of the Kremlin Klan would mean that some high-ranking, career Republicans might be implicated. As Josh Marshall has noted before, sometimes cover-ups happen because the folks on the periphery don't know how deep the rabbit hole goes, and crucially, do not want to know.

From The Gravity is Strong:
Why are there so many unforced errors? Why conceal this meeting? Frankly, why lie about it? As I said, big, big scandals work like this. People who don’t even appear to be that close to the action keep getting pulled under for what seem like needless deceptions. The answer is usually that the stuff at the center of the scandal is so big that it requires concealment, even about things distant from the main action, things that it would seem much better and less damaging simply to admit.
From The Gravity is Strong #3:
Michael Ellis previously worked for [House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin]Nunes as a lawyer on the House Intelligence Committee. His role in this caper was apparently to brief Nunes on the information Cohen-Watnick et al. had found when Nunes visited the White House. That makes sense since Ellis and Nunes clearly had a pre-existing relationship. Let’s stop right there and note that what these three men did was at least highly improper and quite likely illegal, as Bart Gellman explains here.
At this point, I think this disgraceful scandal goes all the way to the top of the executive, and to look too closely would implicate some career Republicans in criminal activity, obstruction of justice, and willful blindness to the corruption of their own party which could hurt their electoral chances.

In short, whether or not collusion is or has been witting, the Republican party is carrying water for the Kremlin. Admitting that would be extremely damaging to their careers and agendas. They want to consolidate their power--not do right by the American People.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:49 AM on May 10 [20 favorites]


The Rock is fun and all, but.....fuck him.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:49 AM on May 10 [10 favorites]


I've always been partial to The Scissors.
posted by guiseroom at 8:52 AM on May 10 [12 favorites]


More photos of Trump, Kislyak, and Lavrov being chummy in the WH this morning. Apparently the meeting was closed to US press but not Russian press; the pics are all from Russian state media.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:52 AM on May 10 [54 favorites]


All great points, plus there's also the possibility that the Russians have assorted Kompromat that has been filed away for just such an occasion.

The Rock is fun and all, but.....fuck him.

No, not if he can stop Trump's second term.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:53 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


The Rock is fun and all, but.....fuck him.

I've always been partial to The Scissors.


*rolls eyes* Papers, please...
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:54 AM on May 10 [52 favorites]


I've always been partial to The Scissors.

The ideals are there but listen, in polls vs. The Rock and The Paper, Paper always wins.
posted by Andrhia at 8:54 AM on May 10 [5 favorites]


Barring the adoption of policy points that are completely unhinged (like spending $8 billion to build a colony in the earth's core—though, if anyone could do that, it would be Dwayne Johnson), there's much to suggest Johnson could chart a fast and furious ride to the White House.

See, this is why I don't work for GQ. My editor would have received a 20,000-word essay titled "Drilling Down to Details with Dwayne Johnson: The Rock Makes His Case for Core Colony One."
posted by compartment at 8:54 AM on May 10 [7 favorites]


Looking exactly like a fascist coup is probably a poor PR move, on the other hand it's probably a pretty good fascist coup.

Are we calling time on Democracy yet?
posted by Artw at 8:55 AM on May 10 [9 favorites]


In AHCA news: CBO score, contrary to reports that it might be out this week, is now expected on May 22nd.
posted by cjelli at 8:55 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


This is the key thing, to me, after Comey's firing yesterday: we're past the point where there needs to have been actual wrongdoing on Trump's part re: Russia -- even if it turns out that all of the myriad allegations against Trump & his campaign cohorts were entirely baseless, Trump has now taken steps, it appears, as President, to obstruct investigation of the possibility of wrongdoing. That is, in and of itself, worth investigating; and it's worth, it true, impeaching him over, because he fundamentally cannot be trusted to carry out his oath of office in other circumstances if he would violate it here.

I agree, and I'd add that, as Josh Marshall keeps pointing out, the very pattern of obstructing the possibility of wrongdoing suggests that there may be quite a major wrongdoing at the heart of Trump's candidacy and presidency. So much so that they're constantly compelled to cover up rather than reveal what they did.
posted by Gelatin at 8:56 AM on May 10 [34 favorites]


And I hope it's obvious I'm not suggesting Dems vote for Dawyne Johnson.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:56 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


The Paper is pretty awesome, actually.
posted by kyrademon at 8:56 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


I know this is gonna be a big ask, but can we at least keep a semblance of focus?

Yes, this is a big, fast thread. Adding to the mire by posting derail after derail isn't helping anyone.
posted by Sphinx at 8:57 AM on May 10 [10 favorites]


That's actually not terrible, cjelli, we don't necessarily want the Comey story and the AHCA CBO score competing for airspace.
posted by Justinian at 8:57 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Barring the adoption of policy points that are completely unhinged (like spending $8 billion to build a colony in the earth's core—

Well, why the frac not?
posted by nubs at 8:58 AM on May 10


i, for one, can smell what the rock is cookin'
posted by entropicamericana at 8:59 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


For sure: I'm happy about the CBO delay, in a partisan sense, both for airspace reasons and also because its absence will slow down Senate consideration.
posted by cjelli at 9:00 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


Looking exactly like a fascist coup is probably a poor PR move, on the other hand it's probably a pretty good fascist coup.

Are we calling time on Democracy yet?


All this chumminess with the Russians the day after the Comey firing seems like an intentional move on someone's part (earlier in the thread, someone suggested Bannon) to test the waters. Like, if this gets a pass, then then there is not really anything that they have to be worried about anymore.
posted by dhens at 9:00 AM on May 10 [24 favorites]


The ideals are there but listen, in polls vs. The Rock and The Paper, Paper always wins.

That paper? The US Constitution.
posted by asteria at 9:01 AM on May 10 [9 favorites]


Like, if this gets a pass, then then there is not really anything that they have to be worried about anymore.

That's what they said about the last few things he did. Like firing Yates. And appointing Sessions. And releasing classified information at Mar-a-Lago. And ... and...
posted by Melismata at 9:03 AM on May 10 [9 favorites]


Everyone relax. I'm still lying on the floor on the night of November 8 hallucinating all of this
posted by theodolite at 9:05 AM on May 10 [148 favorites]


Can Comey be recalled as a witness, just as the former director of the FBI? I guess that's a technical, as well as practical, question.

Yeah, is this just a technicality because they called the position and not the person, or are they actually just not going to have him testify?

More photos of Trump, Kislyak, and Lavrov being chummy in the WH this morning. Apparently the meeting was closed to US press but not Russian press; the pics are all from Russian state media.

Surely this?
posted by aspersioncast at 9:06 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


They're going to push the boundaries every day that they don't get called on it. If nothing happens now, next week Laprov and Kislyak will be staying in the Lincoln bed room, and eventually Spicer will be replaced with a Kremlin mouthpiece.

Trump and the Republcians have ceded our sovereignty to Putin. This is them slowly getting us used to the new normal.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:07 AM on May 10 [20 favorites]


I presume Comey lost his security clearance the moment he was fired, and his authority to communicate classified information if he deems it important, so I guess when/if he testifies it's going to be under very different rules than if he was still director.
posted by Devonian at 9:09 AM on May 10 [4 favorites]


This was an open hearing, so he already couldn't communicate classified information.
posted by cjelli at 9:12 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]


I just spent a pleasant few minutes fantasizing that this was the worst salvia trip ever, so, thanks for that, fellow commenters
posted by schadenfrau at 9:13 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


This is why the obstruction of justice is a crime: we cannot incentivize cover-ups. And it's hard to parse Comey's firing -- no matter whether or not it was deserved, and no matter whether or not there's any substance to the various allegations against Trump -- as anything other than an attempted cover-up.

Well, if nothing else, it certainly puts the Banana into Republican.
posted by y2karl at 9:14 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


This seems more like a horrifying report of a datura trip.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:14 AM on May 10 [6 favorites]


Trump lost his first legislative vote today (to repeal methane emission regulations), partially thanks to John McCain.
posted by Jpfed at 9:16 AM on May 10 [27 favorites]


Man, I don't know what these people are waiting for. The person (in either party) who can bring down Trump is going to be a strong, strong contender for POTUS in 2020. There's nothing to lose, chaps.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:18 AM on May 10 [47 favorites]


I presume Comey lost his security clearance the moment he was fired

This isn't actually true! I mean it could have been true under a competent President, but your security clearance attaches to you, not the position, and must be revoked separately.
posted by corb at 9:18 AM on May 10 [51 favorites]


I presume Comey lost his security clearance the moment he was fired

This isn't actually true! I mean it could have been true under a competent President, but your security clearance attaches to you, not the position, and must be revoked separately.


Also, clearance is not access. Regardless of how high a person's security clearance is, if they don't have a legitimate need to know classified information, it is not only possible to deny access, but you will get into almost as much trouble if you show it to them.
posted by Etrigan at 9:22 AM on May 10 [8 favorites]


I've said this before but it's more clear now. Some Republicans need to break away with a new conservative party. Call it the Independent Republicans, say. If you get 5 Senators, you control the balanc