this kid is insane, man
May 30, 2017 4:05 AM   Subscribe

Helloooo followers of U.S. politics! Join us inside to commiserate about the latest in the horror show we call reality: Kushner is under the gun! Civil rights efforts in government agencies will be intentionally dismantled! Trump is set to roll back Cuba policies! His foreign trip was a disaster for our relationship with allies! Also, surprise surprise, Trump is a truly horrible boss.
posted by lalex (3109 comments total) 120 users marked this as a favorite
 
Reposting my comment at end of last thread: CNN, trying so hard, is running with this News Alert: Sources: Russians discussed potentially 'derogatory' information about Trump and associates during campaign.

Also communications director Mike Dubke is out.
posted by lalex at 4:10 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


Oh, and in merely species-wide news of importance, the Administration will announce this week if they are staying in the Paris Agreement.
posted by jaduncan at 4:12 AM on May 30 [38 favorites]


Oh, and in merely species-wide news of importance, the Administration will announce this week if they are staying in the Paris Agreement.

omg I think my subconscious blocked that out to protect my sanity
posted by lalex at 4:13 AM on May 30 [17 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump this morning seems DETERMINED to escalate our tensions with Germany: "We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change"
posted by lalex at 4:18 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]




Civil rights efforts in government agencies will be intentionally dismantled

Yet the underlying laws that protect civil rights will remain. All this shows is Trump is willing to subject 'the government' to expensive litigation. Not very good CEO behaviour to say 'lets not have a policy to keep the firm from being sued.'

Start spinning up the FOIA's for hiring information so the groundwork is laid to show discrimination. Use big data for the win.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:22 AM on May 30 [37 favorites]


Wow. That Dubke article lacks any context whatsoever.

But this is the Trump administration. Things like cause and effect go out the window.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 4:23 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Now a good portion of America understands what it's like to be on the receiving end of the first grade bully's torments. And they're surprised to find that it affects adults the same way it affects children.

And that's why I found it so heartening to see Macron completely own Trump at the G7 summit. He wasn't gonna put up with any of that shit.
posted by sutt at 4:25 AM on May 30 [29 favorites]


"We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change"

Unfortunately for Trump, he's likely to just unify the EU (with the UK outside, unfortunately for us).
posted by jaduncan at 4:26 AM on May 30 [11 favorites]


Meantime, in Iowa, people are noticing that POTUS is no longer considered leader of the free world.
posted by tilde at 4:34 AM on May 30 [49 favorites]


Russians discussed potentially 'derogatory' information about Trump and associates during campaign.

Not to sound like Janet Maslin, but everyone I know did that.
posted by box at 4:37 AM on May 30 [15 favorites]


This is barely English. @realDonaldTrump: Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News.

I hope Sean Spicer can clear this up today.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:42 AM on May 30 [48 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump this morning seems DETERMINED to escalate our tensions with Germany: "We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change"

Yeah, this will change. The EU members will withdraw from NATO. Problem solved.
posted by mikelieman at 4:44 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


He does know there is a special prosecutor appointed right?
posted by PenDevil at 4:44 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


The thing that worries me the most about the 538 article linked in the last thread, the one showing all the trendlines going down for Trump, is that there's an easy avenue available to him that's likely to reverse at least some of those and possibly propel him to a second term: war.

A well timed war could tilt the polling just enough to get him into office again in 2020, depending on his ratings and other problems.

Republican Presidents have always tended to see war as an efficient popularity booster, sometimes with greater success than other times. I have absolutely no doubt that Trump (or, rather, his handlers) will start a war sooner or later in hopes of getting the fawning war loving press to declare that it, finally, makes him Presidential.

The only question is how well they'll time their war, and how much it will pull the polls.
posted by sotonohito at 4:45 AM on May 30 [74 favorites]


"Nobody knew getting involved in a land war in Asia could be so complicated."
posted by Behemoth at 4:51 AM on May 30 [115 favorites]


Yeah, this will change. The EU members will withdraw from NATO. Problem solved.

A lot of this could be fixed by just changing the NATO requirements to 1% expenditure. More likely is that the EU has their own subsidiary defence agreement, with the explicit understanding (and quiet fixing of the NATO issue) that the EU version will definitely and always intervene for all members.
posted by jaduncan at 4:51 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]




80 immigration groups sign on to Controller Scott Stringer's proposal for fund to cover citizenship fee: Eighty immigrants rights groups have signed on to city Controller Scott Stringer’s proposal for a public-private fund to cover the hefty fee of applying to become a U.S. citizenship.

Representatives from the groups added their names to a letter Stringer sent to Mayor de Blasio’s commissioner for immigrant affairs, Nisha Agarwal, on Monday — citing the need for resources for immigrants in the face of President Trump’s hostile policies.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:54 AM on May 30 [19 favorites]


The behaviour has been so egregious - pushing, shoving, snubbing, idiot vacant smile - but giving the middle finger to the Italian Prime Minister made me wonder if Trump is not trying to set himself up to be removed under Amendment 25? Got to be better than impeachment, no?

But then, up to now they have always proved to be, unbelievably, as stupid as they look. Mefi has a term for it which I can't quite remember.
posted by glasseyes at 4:58 AM on May 30 [13 favorites]


A well timed war could tilt the polling just enough to get him into office again in 2020, depending on his ratings and other problems.

Why stop there and why care about "polling"? That's old thinking.

"Our country is in it's greatest crises since it's founding. Holding an election now would just divert our attention and precious resources from the war with Eurasia. Also, it's an old tradition in the US that there are no presidential elections in times of war."
posted by sour cream at 5:02 AM on May 30 [15 favorites]


The behaviour has been so egregious - pushing, shoving, snubbing, idiot vacant smile - but giving the middle finger to the Italian Prime Minister

Remember when Berlusconi's actions were viewed as the apotheosis of embarrassing behaviour at G7 meetings? Innocent days, etc.
posted by jaduncan at 5:05 AM on May 30 [31 favorites]


I don't get the Nate Silver thing. This is emergent history. There is insufficient empirical basis for treating it as statistical problem. I get it that when you're Nate Silver everything looks like odds. But there is no historical precedent for this crisis and it's falsely reassuring to assert that the outcomes are as discernible as an election with reliable polling. The outcomes depend on people taking complex series of actions that will reflect emergent contexts. We are actually in the proverbial "uncharted waters."
posted by spitbull at 5:06 AM on May 30 [105 favorites]


Helloooo

Coop?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:07 AM on May 30 [28 favorites]


Pretty much any scenario that doesn't end with him leaving office voluntarily is probably going to be especially shitty.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:10 AM on May 30 [16 favorites]


The only question is how well they'll time their war, and how much it will pull the polls.
posted by sotonohito at 4:45 AM on May 30 [6 favorites +] [!]


If anyone could screw up starting a war, it'll be Trump.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:13 AM on May 30 [31 favorites]


re: the 538 piece: Trump may get impeached and it is looking like his inner circle will be devastated by resignations, indictments and removals from the various scandals. But, I'm not seeing yet any likelihood that the Senate removes him from office. It seems we are on a path towards increasing ineffectiveness with the government being slowly starved via passive aggression followed by Trump declining to run again in 2020 (as they note, citing some combination of Mission Accomplished and Elections are Rigged).
posted by meinvt at 5:17 AM on May 30 [6 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump this morning seems DETERMINED to escalate our tensions with Germany: "We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change"

Donnie hates women and people obviously smarter and more capable than him.

I wonder why he doesn't like Germany?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:18 AM on May 30 [88 favorites]


If anyone could screw up starting a war, it'll be Trump.

I was just thinking this. Trump has been so unbelievably lousy at everything else that I imagine he'd be equally inept at starting a war. I imagine it being the first war in American history that results in lower poll numbers and diminished popularity.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:20 AM on May 30 [17 favorites]


John McCain, podiatrist..
“My friends, I know that many of you will have a lot of questions about where America is headed under President Trump. Frankly, so do many Americans. What I would say is that the new administration is just that – new. It is still finding its feet.”
[...]
...we are in a scandal and every few days another shoe drops from this centipede, and we’ve got to get through that.”
Currently in Sydney, OZ.
posted by Mister Bijou at 5:20 AM on May 30 [4 favorites]


the first war in American history that results in lower poll numbers and diminished popularity

I suggest you ask George W. Bush about that.
posted by spitbull at 5:22 AM on May 30 [14 favorites]


John McCain, podiatrist

That setup made me think McCain had finally called out Trump for draft dodging! Alas.
posted by spitbull at 5:24 AM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Well, as a Sydneysider, let me just say that McCain and his tonedeaf bullshit can fuck right off.

"In a speech in Sydney, Australia, McCain said the US remained the most important country on Earth, and the global defender of “truth over falsehood”."

I mean, really. Fuck off with your self congratulatory exceptionalism. You are global level fuckups, McCain. Now is not the time to brag. Your president is a liar. Your party supported him. You are a member of the party of liars and racists and misogynists. So cram your 'defender of truth' blather up your fundament, you hypocrite.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:31 AM on May 30 [235 favorites]


"Mr. Spicer, how was your time at the Vatican?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:31 AM on May 30 [39 favorites]


I don't get the Nate Silver thing. This is emergent history. There is insufficient empirical basis for treating it as statistical problem.

Did you read the articles? There's barely any statistics. What there is, is subjective probability assessments based on likely future outcomes.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:32 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


"In a speech in Sydney, Australia, McCain said the US remained the most important country on Earth, and the global defender of “truth over falsehood”."

Because there's nothing we Aussies love better than people bignoting themselves and chest-beating, especially seppoes.

Great speech mate. Made heaps of friends. Definitely not yet time for your annual tin ear tuneup.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:35 AM on May 30 [41 favorites]


lalex, thank you for starting a new thread!

made me wonder if Trump is not trying to set himself up to be removed under Amendment 25? Got to be better than impeachment, no?

There are people in this country (and I am betting Trump is one of them) who truly believe that manners are for the weak, and real leaders do or say whatever they want. It happens sometimes in business, where a company culture will value "blunt talk" over civility. Valuing rude behavior can create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety, making those companies poisonous to work for.

Rudeness, bluster and arrogance typically mask insecurity. Which Trump appears to have in boatloads. Fear of appearing weak, stupid or a failure to other leaders would bring it out. Kinda doubt there's any deeper strategy at work here.
posted by zarq at 5:35 AM on May 30 [59 favorites]




"Also, it's an old tradition in the US that there are no presidential elections in times of war."

The idea that a party would try this is horrifying and hard to believe, but a few years ago I wouldn't have believed a Senate leader would claim "there's a long tradition of no SCOTUS appointments in the final year of a president's term" and get away with it, so I'm done assuming anything is impossible.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:39 AM on May 30 [83 favorites]


The behaviour has been so egregious - pushing, shoving, snubbing, idiot vacant smile - but giving the middle finger to the Italian Prime Minister made me wonder if Trump is not trying to set himself up to be removed under Amendment 25? Got to be better than impeachment, no?

Trump does not know what the 25th Amendment is. Hell, judging by his behavior he doesn't seem to know what the 5th Amendment is.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:40 AM on May 30 [21 favorites]


subjective probability assessments based on likely future outcomes.

Skimmed them... but that is simply saying "speculation based on loosely statistical analysis." A probability estimate still requires some baseline of prior experiences.

I have been a huge Nate Silver fan since he was poblano on daily Kos, and defended him last fall a fair bit on metafilter. I am just concerned we not give his analysis more credence than it merits since he has no particular knowledge (nor do we) of the underlying facts.

Never bet on a race that's already happened. (I'm assuming we eventually get good information from investigations here).
posted by spitbull at 5:43 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Case in point: Snubs and slights are part of the job in Trump's White House. (WashPost article)
posted by zarq at 5:43 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Also thanks lalex for the new thread. I'll repeat my plea that when citing breaking news articles, please try to name the reporter(s) involved, link to their employers' sites rather than aggregators, and link to the reporters' own twitter feeds when possible. Trump is about to double down in his violent war on the free press (and on "leakers"). This is how you have their backs.
posted by spitbull at 5:46 AM on May 30 [107 favorites]


I missed that Zbigniew Brzezinski called Joe Scarborough "stunningly superficial" on one of the early episodes of Morning Joe, and just kept slapping him around as their producers tried to go to commercial to stop it. Now I like Brzezinski even more!
posted by XMLicious at 5:48 AM on May 30 [42 favorites]


> But, I'm not seeing yet any likelihood that the Senate removes him from office.

I think things will move quickly once the dam breaks. Nobody in Washington owes trump anything, and they're just staying in line out of a combination of fear and inertia. As soon as Trump's poll numbers dip and his staff start getting arrested and/or start testifying, it could end really quickly.

That said, we're entering into a really dangerous phase, with a narcissistic thug with his finger on the button and a large, violent, hateful following. If he doesn't go quietly, he can make things really ugly.
posted by empath at 5:48 AM on May 30 [22 favorites]


Its not speculation based on statistical analysis since there is no statistical analysis in the articles, unless you count looking at approval ratings as statistical analysis. Also you can have probability without statistics and vice versa. Of course prior information is used--its certainly not the case that every possible outcome is equally likely.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:48 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


I missed that Zbigniew Brzezinski called Joe Scarborough "stunningly superficial" on one of the early episodes of Morning Joe, and just kept slapping him around as their producers tried to go to commercial to stop it. Now I like Brzezinski even more!

...and now that stunningly superficial man is marrying his daughter.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:51 AM on May 30 [22 favorites]


We are talking past each other, misanthropicpainforest. My apologies if I am being unclear. I simply think Silver has no more knowledge of the relevant variables for a probabilistic analysis than anyone else privy only to public information. It's more to do with the way we discuss Silver's analysis than what he wrote.
posted by spitbull at 5:53 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


I don't think anybody gives 538's half serious slack transcripts much credence. They're just shooting the shit in a semi informed way.
posted by empath at 5:53 AM on May 30 [16 favorites]


On the future of the EU post-Trump, while the Merkel-Macron axis is clearly set to be the first/principal mainstay, Italy's repositioning is going to be an interesting one to watch, especially now their past dependence on US ties leaves them wide open to Russian influencing. NYT (J Horowitz) has an article up on this, and Buzzfeed (A Nardelli & C Silveman) had a closer look at the inroads the Russian media were making here in November. In addition, one of its top banks played a central role in that recent shady Rosneft deal, for which it's now syndicating the $6B loan, with its CEO and even Italy's prime minister meeting Putin in relation to the deal...
posted by progosk at 5:58 AM on May 30 [11 favorites]


The Germany tweet is of a piece. As Josh Marshall has been pointing out for awhile, the one thing that Trump has been unwavering on is undermining European unity, especially confidence in NATO. And what's truly remarkable is that there's barely a coherent rationale for why this would be in the US's interest -- after all, the US was a prime mover in this historical change. But there is precisely one interest for which undermining European unity is vital: Russia.

It's really just amazing that basically everything else about the Trump campaign and presidency conforms to Trump's Razor, that this is just the result of profound ignorance, incompetence, narcissism, and poor impulse control ... with the single exception of aligning with Russian interests in Europe. In an genre novel, this would be too pat, too obvious.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:59 AM on May 30 [159 favorites]


yeah 538's scenarios are just mildly informed punditry. anyone who has been reading these threads could come up with just as plausible predictions while being more insightful to boot.

i liked 538 when they just did stats and not punditry
posted by localhuman at 6:02 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


Good morning fine Metafilter folks.

I stopped drawing Trump a while back, but his appalling performance in Europe compelled me to pick up pen again and contribute to these amazingly informative threads.

Just a heads up, it's a Facebook link, and please feel free to download, share etc my latest Trump drawing.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 6:07 AM on May 30 [38 favorites]


Its not speculation based on statistical analysis since there is no statistical analysis in the articles, unless you count looking at approval ratings as statistical analysis. Also you can have probability without statistics and vice versa. Of course prior information is used--its certainly not the case that every possible outcome is equally likely.

Speaking as a committed Bayesian myself, if you strip out the quasi-Bayesian framing from this, what you're left with is traditional punditry. That is, all you have is Silver et al.'s subjective impressions of relative odds. This is more valuable than anyone else's only inasmuch as they have specific expertise and/or knowledge of the situation that others lack. In their case, their specific knowledge and expertise is in polling and data analysis, which is not part of this discussion, meaning their subjective impressions are pretty much as valid as any other news junkie. To my mind there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the article as long as it's understood as several smart news junkies shooting the shit (much like a Metafilter thread) using their professional terms and concepts in a non-technical fashion. On the other hand, I don't think their analysis is more informed or insightful than your typical Mefite's, so make of that what you will.

On preview: tldr, what localhuman said.
posted by biogeo at 6:07 AM on May 30 [13 favorites]


If the Trump administration wants to start a war for the sake of popularity, they'll have to be very careful not to mention this in front of the President, who is the world's worst keeper of secrets.
posted by 4th number at 6:10 AM on May 30 [17 favorites]


Mike Dubke, President Donald Trump's communications director, has resigned, Dubke told POLITICO.

I think it is hilarious that the slowest leak in White House is that the communication director is leaving.

In a notoriously leak-prone White House, Dubke told POLITICO he was surprised that the news of his planned departure took 12 days to leak out.
posted by srboisvert at 6:11 AM on May 30 [45 favorites]


The biggest surprise is that they've actually had a communications director this whole time.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:14 AM on May 30 [179 favorites]


What's depressing is that we have evidence that a comparatively mild event can be hidden from the press for more than a few days. This implies that they could have secrets that are successfully hidden.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 6:15 AM on May 30 [14 favorites]


...and now that stunningly superficial man is marrying his daughter.

Which makes it even better! I hope his last words to his son-in-law-to-be were "Who's your daddy, Joe? I am. Literally, I am."
posted by XMLicious at 6:15 AM on May 30 [9 favorites]


I'm doubling down on my theory that the inner circle is well co-ordinated and there are no unauthorized leaks.
posted by Yowser at 6:17 AM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Mike Dubke is the Nikki & Paolo of this administration. Nobody has ever heard of him and now he's gone
posted by theodolite at 6:18 AM on May 30 [44 favorites]


... As Josh Marshall has been pointing out for awhile, the one thing that Trump has been unwavering on is undermining European unity, especially confidence in NATO. And what's truly remarkable is that there's barely a coherent rationale for why this would be in the US's interest -- after all, the US was a prime mover in this historical change. But there is precisely one interest for which undermining European unity is vital: Russia.

It's really just amazing that basically everything else about the Trump campaign and presidency conforms to Trump's Razor, that this is just the result of profound ignorance, incompetence, narcissism, and poor impulse control ... with the single exception of aligning with Russian interests in Europe. In an genre novel, this would be too pat, too obvious.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich 10 minutes ago [11 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


There are things that happen and you can't believe it. It broaches so many assumptions, so many cultural norms, so much of what one takes for granted living and working in a particular society. This, Trump's behavior towards Merkel and his behavior in Europe, is possibly the strongest example of that: But I keep shaking it off because it's so fucking ridiculous. Putin did not bribe Trump with the money from that Rosneft sale (via Bloomberg) because that is just crazy pants.

But.

Whatever reason he has to be doing what he's doing, you can't help but see him acting to shift geopolitical balance in a direction that benefits Russia... It's as unbelievable as the fact that Trump is even President. Yet he is.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:19 AM on May 30 [14 favorites]


sour cream: "Also, it's an old tradition in the US that there are no presidential elections in times of war."

Sort of a war/"threat from radical Islam" within the continental US, I can't see that flying. He'd basically have to declare martial law, and that becomes extremely tricky. Would other institutions (congress, the courts, the military) back him if he went so far as to suspend elections?

The more likely scenario is the "tradition" of coming together during times of war. This will be extended to basically make it gauche to actively campaign (while the president can be on camera 24x7). It would be at best, unpatriotic, or, at worse, practically treason*, to criticize the Commander in Chief during this time, even if it were on a matter unrelated to the war.

They stifle the opposition party's ability to run an election through social norms, limiting the middle to hear that voice. Any attempt to do so further energizes the "patriotic base."

And this will be done while wrapping themselves up in American flags.

*By the right-wing definition of treason, which holds that any act that critiques the (GOP) leadership shows lack of unity, and, by extension, gives aid and comfort to the enemy.
posted by MrGuilt at 6:22 AM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Sam Stein, HuffPo: The Madness And Science Behind The Donald Trump Handshake

Nothing particularly new, although it's worth mentioning that after the handshake that Macron won, there was a second handshake where Trump fought and won. Frankly, I'd be curious to see what happens when he shakes hands with Putin or any other strongman.

I'm also wondering if there's any footage of him holding hands with Melania early in their marriage or relationship.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:25 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Fare and balanced: As the media target Jared Kushner, is the Sense of crisis overblown?
(Fox News, not linking)

Kushner Had No Plans to Set Up Secret Communication With Russia - Reports (Sputnik, not linking)

Was Kushner Working as a Double Agent? (MSNBC, video) May 29, 2017
Was Kushner Working as a Double Agent? Former FBI double agent Naveed Jamali says he believes Jared Kushner may have been working as a Russian agent. An MSNBC panel debates
posted by petebest at 6:27 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


TPM: a suggestion for a new Trump family coat of arms ("Carpe Omnia") to replace the one Trump hijacked.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:27 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Here's a fun challenge: try to find an article about the Dubke resignation that has a photo of the guy. #wheresmike #dubketruth #infowars
posted by theodolite at 6:28 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: They're just shooting the shit in a semi informed way.
posted by Melismata at 6:31 AM on May 30 [26 favorites]




[Folks, just an exhausted plea here on behalf of mods: Please take a moment and think before instantly cramming as many comments as you can in here. Have we talked about [thing] at length in the last thread or every one of the last 50 threads? Handshakes? What if Trump starts a war to gain popularity? Maybe we don't have to repeat everything again as if we've never mentioned it before? If there's something substantial then link it. Also, instead of linking to single twitter posts x100, maybe compile those that are of interest and deliver interesting info, or, when possible, link to the actual articles rather than middlemanning via twitter. We can't keep having these threads acting as live chat, and are discussing this issue, so if you want to continue, you have to exert a wee bit of effort to help keep them useful. ]
posted by taz at 6:35 AM on May 30 [162 favorites]


>>try to find an article about the Dubke resignation that has a photo of the guy

I found this one, but that's about it. Admittedly I could have searched some more, but it's clear that his picture is not widely featured. Why would that be?
posted by Myeral at 6:37 AM on May 30


there was a second handshake where Trump fought and won.

See, that is not how I would have interpreted the second handshake. And the only media I've seen interpreting it that way are American. In the words of my kids from many years ago, that second handshake was not only Psyche! but BUNAGE!!!
posted by glasseyes at 6:50 AM on May 30


One thing I don't think has been discussed: I see a lot of commentary about "now Europe knows they can't trust us because we could change with the next election." But isn't this functionally true about most of Europe, which also has democratic elections? The problem is we've elected a monster and haven't removed him yet, not that we change leaders. I mean Merkel could theoretically be removed as well, right?
posted by corb at 6:51 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


Things I learned last week: The FRONTLINE piece on Steve Bannon heavily implied from recent observations on the road that Bannon was still a major organizing force but wisely taken out of visibility. Also in the same piece, some inside commentators revealed that bombshell announcements are deliberately made on late Friday by the administration in order to anger a lot of people so that they are able to march in protest on Saturday, thus presenting liberals they way they want their base to see them.
posted by Brian B. at 6:52 AM on May 30 [16 favorites]


About the KKK in the 1920s. It was a dominant force in politics, north and south. It claimed to control 24 of 48 state legislatures. However, a number of exposes and the arrest of Indiana head KKK David Stephenson for kidnap and rape, led to a rather quick shedding of the number of participants. (Indiana is said to have dropped its membership from 350,000 to 15,000 in 1925 alone.
So, by 1927, the ones still attending KKK rallies were fairly hardcore.
Perhaps the Republican party will make the same nosedive.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:00 AM on May 30 [25 favorites]


But isn't this functionally true about most of Europe, which also has democratic elections? The problem is we've elected a monster and haven't removed him yet, not that we change leaders. I mean Merkel could theoretically be removed as well, right?

True, Europe does have elections but in reality they look to have been drawn from a stable population.

I think people are looking at GHWB -> GWB -> DJT and wondering do we really get reversion to the mean or is there a disturbing trend-line we should be extrapolating for 2024-30?
posted by shothotbot at 7:06 AM on May 30 [9 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!


1. Thanks for weighing in, Donald.
2. This tweet will be useful if/when congress is ever retaken.
3. Notable that TAX CUTS is in caps and not healthcare. He knows who butters his bread.
4. Fast and easy, always with the get-rich-quick conman pitch.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:08 AM on May 30 [64 favorites]


One thing I don't think has been discussed: I see a lot of commentary about "now Europe knows they can't trust us because we could change with the next election." But isn't this functionally true about most of Europe, which also has democratic elections? The problem is we've elected a monster and haven't removed him yet, not that we change leaders. I mean Merkel could theoretically be removed as well, right?

It's a european version of exceptionalism. If Le Pen had won, Merkel would've had to sing a slightly different tune. So long as they keep reelecting status-quo neoliberals with a commitment to stability, they can act holier than thou. When the fascist tides return to flood levels from their long ebb, they'll be too busy fighting to remind the world how much better than us they are.

not to say that Merkel isn't right: Europe is now on its own, and that's terrifying.
posted by dis_integration at 7:09 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


He also re-tweed a Fox and Friends article that states that Jared Kushner didn't actually suggest Russian communications channel in that meeting. And quotes an anonymous source. :P
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:09 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


2. This tweet will be useful if/when congress is ever retaken.

"Oh no!" the President said. "They found an old tweet of mine that appears ludicrously hypocritical in light of recent events! Well, fair is fair."
posted by theodolite at 7:15 AM on May 30 [74 favorites]


The new GOP health-care bill is the polar opposite of Obamacare, in four charts (WaPo, @kimsoffen & @KevinUhrm)

Sometimes somebody has to draw me a picture.

Trying to learn to follow spitbull's guidelines.
posted by kingless at 7:16 AM on May 30 [24 favorites]


This is why we shouldn't call what Kushner did a "backchannel". Also, is Kellyanne confirming that Kushner set up a secret line of communications?

Kellyanne Conway insists Jared Kushner was right to set up secret communications with Russia (Sarah K. Burris, Raw Story)
Senior adviser to President Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway told “Fox and Friends” Tuesday that son-in-law Jared Kushner had every right and responsibility to set up a secret backchannel with Russia. In fact, “back channels like this are the regular course of business,” she said citing senior military advisors.
And this is why Kellyanne Conway ughhhhh Hulk Smash:

‘Anti-feminist’ Kellyanne Conway reveals how she uses her ‘femininity’ to influence Trump (Elizabeth Prenza, Raw Story)
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway thinks her gender “has helped [her] with the president,” in part because she’s able to “respectfully” and “deferentially” tell Donald Trump her opinions
link to their employers' sites rather than aggregators

I still think it's helpful when the source is paywalled, but I've been trying to label the links something like, "NYT via Raw Story" so people can get the gist but still click through if they want. No guarantees if I'm on my phone, though.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:17 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


In fact, “back channels like this are the regular course of business,” she said citing senior military advisors.

They're really trying to gloss over the fact that Kushner wanted to use Russian equipment inside the Russian embassy to talk to Moscow and would be anything but a massive security breach.
posted by PenDevil at 7:23 AM on May 30 [36 favorites]


They're really trying to gloss over the fact that Kushner wanted to use Russian equipment inside the Russian embassy to talk to Moscow and would be anything but a massive security breach.

But in attempting, however feebly, to justify Kushner's evident treason, they're at least stipulating to the facts of the story.
posted by Gelatin at 7:25 AM on May 30 [29 favorites]


"Oh no!" the President said. "They found an old tweet of mine that appears ludicrously hypocritical in light of recent events! Well, fair is fair."

I meant more that it'd be a useful tweet to show Democrats if they ever regain control of the Senate, but in hindsight "this tweet will be useful" is almost never an accurate statement anyway.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:25 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


They're really trying to gloss over the fact that Kushner wanted to use Russian equipment inside the Russian embassy to talk to Moscow and would be anything but a massive security breach.

And as far as this being about Syria, a number of people on the weekend shows pointed out that there are already special backchannels in place specifically to talk about Syria.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:30 AM on May 30 [23 favorites]


Expect Trump to crow about the THAAD test as a great success (if it is) and radio silence if it's a failure.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:41 AM on May 30


You'd think they'd be too busy dealing with scandals about treason and international scorn to take the time to help "religious employers" avoid covering birth control. But you'd be wrong! Robert Pear in the NYT: White House Acts to Roll Back Birth-Control Mandate for Religious Employers

The president invited the Little Sisters to join him on the dais, announced that they “sort of just won a lawsuit” and told them that their “long ordeal will soon be over.”

“With this executive order,” Mr. Trump said, “we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty.”
posted by WordCannon at 7:46 AM on May 30 [15 favorites]


“With this executive order,” Mr. Trump said, “we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty.”

What is he, a marionette controlled by puppet strings?
posted by Melismata at 7:52 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


What is he, a marionette controlled by puppet strings?

Da.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:54 AM on May 30 [52 favorites]


Charles Pierce: Trump's White House Is Allegedly About to Get Way More Godfather: (Let us pause for a minute to recall that "go to the mattresses" was Santino Corleone's way of declaring war on the other families in response to the attempted assassination of his father. That did not work out very well for Santino.)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:54 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


What is he, a marionette controlled by puppet strings?

...yes?

edit: ебать
posted by leotrotsky at 7:55 AM on May 30 [7 favorites]


Jack Moore in GQ: "Jared Kushner Once Allegedly Admitted That Donald Trump Lies to His Base Because He Thinks They're Stupid."

This tidbit comes from former editor of the New York Observer Elizabeth Spiers. As you probably know by now, boy wonder-slash-the rich kid whose stupidity and arrogance could help bring down the disastrous Trump Administration, Jared Kushner, bought the New York Observer back in 2006. And as such he had some conversations with the former EIC of said paper-turned-website. In one such conversation, Kushner allegedly revealed to Spiers what is obvious to most of us, but sadly not enough of us ... [when he told Spier, in response to her objections to Trump's birtherism] ] "He doesn't really believe it, Elizabeth. He just knows Republicans are stupid and they'll buy it."

posted by spitbull at 7:57 AM on May 30 [52 favorites]


“With this executive order,” Mr. Trump said, “we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty.”

This quote makes me furious in ways I didn't know I hadn't been yet.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:00 AM on May 30 [80 favorites]


Jack Moore in GQ: "Jared Kushner Once Allegedly Admitted That Donald Trump Lies to His Base Because He Thinks They're Stupid."

well, i mean, he's not wrong
posted by entropicamericana at 8:02 AM on May 30 [21 favorites]


I'm imagining Trump watching his shows about the communications director, walking down to the West Wing and being like "Which one of you is Dubke"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:05 AM on May 30 [10 favorites]


The biggest surprise is that they've actually had a communications director this whole time.

The echoes of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continue. I suppose the end of this farce, if it follows the RoFo trajectory, is that 2020 sees 45 stepping down for health reasons and anointing Jared as as his heir. No, wait: Jared doesn't have the seething anger that Doug Ford conceals so poorly. Maybe Eric.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:06 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Jack Moore in GQ: "Jared Kushner Once Allegedly Admitted That Donald Trump Lies to His Base Because He Thinks They're Stupid."

/shrug

This is precisely why I honestly don't respect anyone who supports Trump. If you're not a gullible rube, then you're an evil fucker. Or you're both.
posted by anem0ne at 8:11 AM on May 30 [34 favorites]


Gloria Borger (CNN chief political analyst) for CNN: "Trump, home all alone."

So Trump returns to the White House this week just as he left -- lonely, angry and not happy with much of anyone. The presidency, Donald Trump is discovering, is not an easy or natural fit.
"He now lives within himself, which is a dangerous place for Donald Trump to be," says someone who speaks with the President. "I see him emotionally withdrawing. He's gained weight. He doesn't have anybody whom he trusts."
The question, he adds, is whether Trump will understand the enormity of what he faces or will instead "be back to being arrogant and stubborn." He will have to realize that "all this trip really did was hit the pause button."

posted by spitbull at 8:20 AM on May 30 [29 favorites]


I try to remember gullible people are victims and that the real enemies are the liars and manipulators, but yeah, it's not always easy not to blame the victim when it's hard to understand them. It helps me to remember that the reason a lot of low info voters are low info is that their lives are really fucked up because we've sort of normalized scamming the gullible as legitimate business practice.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:26 AM on May 30 [65 favorites]


He's gained weight.

Poor Donnie Two-Scoops.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:27 AM on May 30 [61 favorites]


Trump wants to stop selling German cars in the US - since those cars are built here this will collpase the economy of at least 3 states.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 8:27 AM on May 30 [17 favorites]


He will have to realize that "all this trip really did was hit the pause button."

Wait, is that sentence trying to spin the disastrous foreign trip as a success? Trump looking Presidential or some such nonsense? All they did was take away his Twitter for a week, but his personal and diplomatic behavior, representing the United States, was ... deplorable.
posted by Gelatin at 8:29 AM on May 30 [16 favorites]


We Already Know Trump Betrayed America (David Corn, Mother Jones)

Explicit collusion may yet be proved by the FBI investigation overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller or by other ongoing probes. But even if it is not, a harsh verdict can be pronounced: Trump actively and enthusiastically aided and abetted Russian President Vladimir Putin's plot against America. This is the scandal. It already exists—in plain sight..

posted by diogenes at 8:31 AM on May 30 [88 favorites]


Trump looking Presidential or some such nonsense?

Yup, the Boston Globe a few days ago had this headline. The media really, really wants T to follow their narrative, but it's not working. C'mon media, you can do better than that.
posted by Melismata at 8:32 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Going back to the "run the government like a business" concept, I think it ultimately comes down to "Pretend the government lacks the power to set monetary/fiscal policy, raise sovereign debt, or tax its subjects."
posted by Coventry at 8:34 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


is that sentence trying to spin the disastrous foreign trip as a success?

Yes, but it's a quote from someone close to President Grumpypants. It's not *Borger* saying that. I think "success" means just that the trip displaced the scandal somewhat in the headlines. I suspect that is "success" for them.
posted by spitbull at 8:34 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Racked.com: Trump Campaign Launches Birchbox-Like Subscription Box

The Big League Box is only $69/month. Christmas is just around the corner, y'all.
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 8:48 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Ohio Dems are pushing for Jerry Springer to run in the 2018 gov race. You know, I don't actually hate this idea.
posted by lalex at 8:50 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Wow, I do. Springer's show is a homophobic mess.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:59 AM on May 30 [26 favorites]


“With this executive order,” Mr. Trump said, “we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty.”

[Not Gilead Fanfic]
posted by jaduncan at 8:59 AM on May 30 [13 favorites]


They're really trying to gloss over the fact that Kushner wanted to use Russian equipment inside the Russian embassy to talk to Moscow and would be anything but a massive security breach.

Franken Backs Review of Kushner Security Clearance

"Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said he thinks White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's security clearance should be reviewed, following reports that President Trump's son-in-law sought to establish secret 'backchannel' communications with Moscow.

"'I think we should look at that,' Franken said during a Tuesday interview on CBS's 'This Morning' when asked whether Kushner's security clearance should be taken away. 'This is a pretty bad breach. Look, they — these guys, the administration, they're not acting like people who have nothing to hide.'"
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:00 AM on May 30 [60 favorites]


With this executive order,” Mr. Trump said, “we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty.”

What I interpret as the purpose for this order is either:

1) Getting evangelicals who were starting to move away a reason to come back
2) An insanely stupid attempt to Give Liberals Something Else To Be Mad About Besides Russia. As though somehow people would just get mad at the one thing and I don't know forget?
posted by corb at 9:03 AM on May 30 [19 favorites]


Trump wants to stop selling German cars in the US - since those cars are built here this will collpase the economy of at least 3 states.

Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. All states Trump won. Can I just say I'm sick of all the winning.
posted by photoslob at 9:03 AM on May 30 [29 favorites]


I feel a little better knowing the presidency is making Trump gain stress weight, because his presidency is definitely making ME gain stress weight!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:05 AM on May 30 [86 favorites]


Wow, I do. Springer's show is a homophobic mess.

Oh huh, I didn't know that! I haven't seen or heard anything about it for a very, very long time. I just googled and was shocked to find it's still on the air!
posted by lalex at 9:08 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


I feel a little better knowing the presidency is making Trump gain stress weight, because his presidency is definitely making ME gain stress weight!

True fact: I gained 5 lbs throughout the election (I recently lost 30 so this was a big deal to me) and the entire time was like, "It's okay, once Hillary is President, I'll be able to relax and stop eating all my anxious feelings." And then after the election I spent about 3 days in a cortisol-induced purge and lost it (but didn't care because omg we're all going to die). And now I'm back up like 8 lbs.

tl;dr: You can clearly track the Trump candidacy, election and presidency via the weight dashboard of my Fitbit app.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:09 AM on May 30 [64 favorites]


IThis is the scandal. It already exists—in plain sight..

Right, we don't need to wait to to find out every reason to to impeach Trump or pull Kushner's security clearance. Time -- hardly a radical outlet -- called for Teump's impeachment back in February over the emoluments clause. We know Kushner lied on his declaration forms. You can go after other things as the evidence decides.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:09 AM on May 30 [19 favorites]


Trump wants to stop selling German cars in the US - since those cars are built here this will collpase the economy of at least 3 states.

Here's two local takes: from Columbia, the capital, "State, local officials say Trump should rethink his remark about German automakers" and from the Upstate, where BMW is located, "President Trump reportedly takes another swipe at Germany." GoUpstate.com also republished The State's piece.

I don't have any feel for how that's affecting Trump's support in that part of the state. My guess is that actual layoffs would have to happen before it took a huge hit.

The echoes of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continue.

At least I can repurpose my Mayor Rob Ford Apology Bingo Card.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:09 AM on May 30 [7 favorites]


Look, they — these guys, the administration, they're not acting like people who have nothing to hide.

Things are at a bad point when a sitting Senator -- even one as smart and funny as Franken -- has to give the media such a basic lesson.

Franken's words should be posted by the door of every newspaper and TV news program until this crisis is over.
posted by Gelatin at 9:12 AM on May 30 [17 favorites]


Racked.com: Trump Campaign Launches Birchbox-Like Subscription Box

[Real] [Also, it costs $69/month]
posted by Room 641-A at 9:14 AM on May 30


ABC News: Russia investigation expands to include Donald Trump's personal attorney
Cohen confirmed to ABC News that House and Senate investigators have asked him “to provide information and testimony” about any contacts he had with people connected to the Russian government, but he said he has turned down the invitation.

“I declined the invitation to participate as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” Cohen told ABC News in an email Tuesday.

After Cohen rejected the Congressional requests for cooperation, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to grant the chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, and ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, blanket authority to issue subpoenas as they deem necessary.
posted by lalex at 9:15 AM on May 30 [91 favorites]


sez who? (the Senate Select Intelligence Committee)
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:16 AM on May 30 [18 favorites]


I try to remember gullible people are victims and that the real enemies are the liars and manipulators, but yeah, it's not always easy not to blame the victim when it's hard to understand them.

It's not that hard to understand them. Watch South Park. Follow it up with team America. Realize that these victims think the real world should be or actually is like South Park, with "common sense" winning over "whining intolerant liberals".

That's why the flipping off of the Italian Prime Minister- it's a South park thing, and Trump's base is going to cheer it. They regard it as hilarious.

It's government as sitcom.
posted by happyroach at 9:19 AM on May 30 [26 favorites]


Omg it's like those YouTube videos where those guys build absurd video game characters (make his torso five feet wide! Now make his legs an inch around!) except it's, Now make Trumos own attorney culpable!
posted by Room 641-A at 9:21 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Apologies if this got posted in an earlier thread, but I only just saw this Vox piece on Trump not as a liar (with a vested interest in having people believe him), but as a bullshitter who says crazy untruths as a way to check for loyalty among his hangers on. As long as Spiced keeps talking about Emporer Trumps incredible new clothing (only the finest Egyptian Cotton, made right here in America by high wage salt of the earth types! You can see the craftsmanship!) he'll be fine, unless Trump tires of him, because with Trump, loyalty to Trump is all important, but Trump has a long history of being loyal to none.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:23 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


You can clearly track the Trump candidacy, election and presidency via the weight dashboard of my Fitbit app.

Yeah, the liquor-and-ice-cream diet I emerged upon after it became clear Trump was actually going to be our president has made my Fitbit lines tank horribly as well. You are not alone.
posted by corb at 9:24 AM on May 30 [25 favorites]


With so many scandals swirling around the GOP, it's great that Democrats are coming together to unite behind a common enemy: Nancy Pelosi.
So far, three House Democrats from the two regions targeted by the PAC — Ryan, Michigan’s Dan Kildee, and Kentucky’s John Yarmuth — are supporting the People’s House Project.

The two House Democrats interviewed for this story emphasized that they view the project as complementary, rather than in conflict with, the existing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Similarly, they stressed that they don’t intend for the new organization to serve as a rebuke to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Ryan ran against Pelosi for minority leader in December 2016 and lost.) “This has to be a movement with a lot of hands rolling in the same direction,” Kildee said in an interview.

But Ball was more willing to directly attack the Democratic Party’s leadership in the House — and cast the new effort as an attempt to break with it. Some political analysts say Democratic candidates are weighed down by what the Cook Political Report calls the “Pelosi Factor.” In the home stretch of several House elections, including Thursday’s Montana race, Republicans have deployed images of Pelosi in attack ads to go after their Democratic opponents.

She’s an impediment to every House Democrat in the country except for a few coastal enclaves,” Ball said in an interview. Candidates running under the People’s House Project will be able to say they’re of a different cast than Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Ball said.

“This gives us a chance to go straight into the heartland with an economic message,” said Kildee, who like Ryan stressed that he doesn’t view the effort as contradictory to Pelosi. “We have really not led with an economic message that transcends the whole spectrum of voters who would benefit from Democratic policies.
I'd normally just dismiss this as a desperate attempt for a few back-bench conservadems and a third-rate political commentator/consultant to make themselves seem relevant, but the press eats up this sort of talk of the "heartland" (if only there were also electoral votes in states outside the Rust Belt!) and "the whole spectrum of voters" (a spectrum that apparently starts at "white" and stops at "beige"), so I'm nervous that this could get some traction. "Democrats in disarray!" is catnip for the media, especially when Nancy Pelosi is involved, and when you add in the "white working class voters are the only ones that matter" factor, this whole thing just disgusts me. Eat shit, Krystal Ball and your pathetic attempt to resuscitate the Blue Dog Cacuus.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:24 AM on May 30 [26 favorites]


Things are at a bad point when a sitting Senator -- even one as smart and funny as Franken -- has to give the media such a basic lesson.

Franken's words should be posted by the door of every newspaper and TV news program until this crisis is over.


I don't know if both-sides-ism or a desperate need for eyeballs on pages has driven the media to this, but they can't carry water for Trump and Co., or at least act like it's not a big deal, and then turn around and blame "the voters" or "the public is stupid" or "poor white hicks" or or or. You can't tell people that the leopard is just a kitty cat, and then blame them for thinking that the leopard is really a kitty cat who won't eat their faces, because you told them "it's just a kitty cat, move along, no leopards here!".

I'm not speaking of Fox and the like, which always have been propaganda channels for the right and not objective media, but "mainstream" outlets like CNN, the New York Times, etc. I also know that many (most?) Trump voters get all their information from Fox and Breitbart and don't give credence to outlets like CNN.

But - many, probably most, people rely on mainstream media outlets to find out about what's going on in the world. That's why it's called "the news." I like to feel that I can trust the mainstream media to tell the truth. It may not be as left as I would like, but they at least try to tell the truth. Right?

#Notallmedia - there are terrific columnists and reporters doing yeoman's work - Charles Blow, Alexandra Petri, to name two - but I feel like the media has fallen down on the job, and now it's come back to bite them, and they have to own their part in this.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:25 AM on May 30 [21 favorites]


Trump wants to stop selling German cars in the US - since those cars are built here this will collpase the economy of at least 3 states.

Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. All states Trump won. Can I just say I'm sick of all the winning.


I feel like VW and Tennessee should be included. VW has over 3k employees in Chattanooga.
posted by phearlez at 9:30 AM on May 30 [12 favorites]


the flipping off of the Italian Prime Minister

Berlusconi docet: it just meant he's "numero uno!"
posted by progosk at 9:31 AM on May 30


"Democrats in disarray!" is catnip for the media, especially when Nancy Pelosi is involved....

I know 'All politics is local', and I'm thinking 70/30 that D's are going to make major inroads in the House in 2018, if not gain the majority. All that said, I keep having a nagging feeling that there's more fire behind the smoke of 'Democrats in Disarray' than people are willing to admit. With all due respect to the individuals and their devotees, I doubt rolling out Sanders, Warren (to a lesser extent), and Pelosi (to a much lesser extent) as the beacons of light for 2018 House victory are going to have as significant an effect on what could be winnable districts as people want to believe.
posted by splen at 9:41 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the liquor-and-ice-cream diet I emerged upon after it became clear Trump was actually going to be our president has made my Fitbit lines tank horribly as well. You are not alone.

Holy shit, me too. I realized with horror that I might have to buy a whole bunch of new clothes this summer because mine are all suddenly too snug. Just what I need when I'm trying to save money to build a bunker.
posted by holborne at 9:42 AM on May 30 [16 favorites]


It's not that hard to understand them.
It is to me, in the "empathize and identify with" sense of understanding them, but I've been very lucky to have been exposed to all kinds of information, had family that taught me to value learning and not to feel ashamed of making mistakes and being wrong, and I was also lucky to have gotten a very thorough education in critical thinking both in high school and at the university level, so it makes sense I'd have trouble identifying with, say, the disabled state employee I shared a smoke and a bit of small talk with a few years ago, who casually and bitterly called the woman that had just given him his paycheck a racist and sexist slur because she didn't smile at him enthusiastically enough when she delivered it. There's no doubt in my mind that guy was more a victim of manipulation and exploitation himself than the root of the problem.

That's part of what makes this conservative movement so scary to me: by making life harder for everybody, it also makes it harder for people to invest the energy needed to know what to make of complex issues and to make sounds choices at the polls.

It's kind of like how plants shaped the atmosphere to make it support more life: The policies the Republicans push create overstressed, low info voters, and their electoral strategies exploit those segments in the electorate to predate on them.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:42 AM on May 30 [27 favorites]


Re: Pelosi

She's been a stalwart trooper and a good leader, but I think her time has passed. Like Hillary, she has too much history, too many negatives. Yes, it's unfair because many of those negatives were manufactured by the Hate Machine. But fairness isn't the main goal here.

It's time for someone new to step in and take the brunt of the hate. At a minimum, the Hate Machine will have to dig up all new dirt on our new leader. Pelosi is like a sculptor's chisel. It's been used to great effect, but it's dulled now by all that work, and by all the baggage that's been glommed onto her. We need a new, sharper chisel. Nothing personal, it's just business.
posted by BentFranklin at 9:44 AM on May 30 [20 favorites]


On Nancy Pelosi: I think she's done a good job, but, like BentFranklin, I think it's time for her and many of the other older leadership to pass the baton and mentor the younger folks. We need a "deep bench" of young people, and, I would add, POC and LGBT young people in particular.

So I don't think a "new congress" movement per se is bad. I agree that it's time to get away from the "consultant industrial complex" and kissing up to big corporate donors. There's a reason that Bernie Sanders was so popular. There's a reason that Democrats who have a "Wall Street" image are unpopular in many quarters.

But. Please god NO chasing after "swing voters" (there are no more of them), Blue-Dog-ism, and the white working class as the end-all-be-all. How about focusing on: registered Democrats who don't bother voting - how can we help you get to the pools? People of all races and genders who feel marginalized - how can we help you get to the polls? What can we do for you?

Barack Obama was a community organizer before he became Senator and then President - I think this helped with getting out the vote when he was elected. I honestly think that for Democrats to invest in community organizing that would be the most helpful. I'm still angry about how ACORN was mobbed and vilified into shutting down.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:53 AM on May 30 [64 favorites]


I try to remember gullible people are victims and that the real enemies are the liars and manipulators, but yeah, it's not always easy not to blame the victim when it's hard to understand them.

I dunno, when those gullible people are out there murdering others and happily supporting others' oppression, I don't know if I'm okay really talking about them as victims rather than perpetrators.
posted by anem0ne at 9:55 AM on May 30 [31 favorites]


Of course Nancy Pelosi is not a great symbolic leader for the party right now, but she's the minority leader in a legislative chamber that hardly matters for the purposes of actual governance. Her job is to hold her caucus together and attempt to divide the Republicans as much as possible, and so far she's done a great job of that. Meanwhile, the party has many other leaders in much more prominent positions who can take on the more public-facing leadership dutues. So why are these assholes ganging up on her now? Pure opportunistic careerism.

If the Dems do take over in 2018 (still a big if) we can talk about whether she ought to be speaker -- I would say no, but switching from minority leader to majority leader would be fine. Having this battle now, in public, with the disgusting tie-ins to the "white working class / heartland" issues that reinforce the false narrative that the only votes that matter are ones where angry white men are involved... It's really not a good look.

Pelosi's earned a graceful transition away from prominent leadership. There's nothing stopping Schumer, Perez, Ellison, Sanders, Warren, Gillibrand, or anyone else from using their own high positions in the party hierarchy to shape public perception. Doing so does not require pushing Pelosi aside so that we can throw a bone to bigoted Fox News Democrat types.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:56 AM on May 30 [72 favorites]


I think gullibility in low information individuals earns sympathy when they are manipulated in a lot of ways - pyramid schemes, crummy timeshares, etc. The same cannot be said for gullible people who are manipulated by appealing to hateful, violent, nasty beliefs they already hold. An awful racist homophobe gullible enough to vote against their interests is still an awful racist homophobe.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:01 AM on May 30 [31 favorites]


The Post's Phillip Bump has produced a comprehensive timeline on What we know about Trump’s campaign, Russia and the investigation of the two. Useful if you want to take a step back and see how we got here.

That CNN story has an important detail:
Russian government officials discussed having potentially “derogatory” information about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and some of his top aides in conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 election, according to two former intelligence officials and a congressional source.

One source described the information as financial in nature and said the discussion centered on whether the Russians had leverage over Trump’s inner circle. The source said the intercepted communications suggested to US intelligence that Russians believed “they had the ability to influence the administration through the derogatory information.”
While it doesn't say who the information is about (it could easily be Manafort, for example) and it could have just been "Russian bluster," this new report reiterates the importance of looking at Trump's taxes, as the Plum Line notes, to look for such derogatory information.

Carter Page now says he won't meet with the House Intelligence Committee next week: "Says he won't be allowed to address "misleading testimony" by Comey/Brennan"

Vox: Insurance CEO: I’m raising Obamacare premiums because of Trump:
Wilson would have filed an 8.8 percent rate hike if he knew those funds would be paid. But he bumped it up to a 22.9 percent increase because he doesn’t think the Trump administration will come through.
Politico: U.S. tells EU: No laptop ban.

And in foreign affairs: Russia And Ukraine Are Fighting On Twitter And Maybe That's Better Than The Alternative?
posted by zachlipton at 10:02 AM on May 30 [26 favorites]


While it doesn't say who the information is about (it could easily be Manafort, for example) and it could have just been "Russian bluster," this new report reiterates the importance of looking at Trump's taxes, as the Plum Line notes, to look for such derogatory information.

Right. The right response to whenever anyone points out that this could just be Russian disinformation/empty chatter is "we can't possibly know that as long as Trump continues to refuse to be open about his finances and taxes." This isn't some out-of-the-blue thing that we're asking someone to confirm or deny, this is troubling information that can't be disproven precisely because Trump refused and continues to refuse to do what is typical for other modern candidates and office holders. The reasonable question isn't "could this be fake?" it is "is this exactly why he's refused to disclose all this time?"
posted by phearlez at 10:07 AM on May 30 [36 favorites]


Given that there is no market for right-liberal ideology nationwide, the folks trying to replace Pelosi with someone even farther to the right are functionally equivalent to saboteurs. I've also got side-eye right now for the idea of trying to replace Pelosi with a left-leaning liberal, since my sense of the situation is that the only advantage the Democratic Party has right now is deep knowledge of how the legislative branch works — of procedure, of how to gum up that procedure, of how to effectively twist arms and low-key blackmail, of how to most effectively bait the freedom caucus into undermining the Republican position.

Anyone with whom Pelosi could be replaced would be a comparative neophyte at all that. So replacing Pelosi would be a serious unforced error — and I say this as someone who really wishes that San Francisco could be represented by someone who shares the city's values, instead of by Nancy Pelosi.

The only reason to even consider replacing Pelosi is if it becomes clear that impeachment and conviction of both Pence and Trump will happen after the 2018 election. In that case the Democratic Party house leader will be effectively running for President, and the Democrats should tactically elevate whoever will be most attractive for that job. Unfortunately I don't know the house nearly as well as I should, so I have no clue who among the House Democratic caucus is best suited for that position.

(I would suggest my representative, Barbara Lee, but obviously getting someone that good in control of the executive branch would require extra-parliamentary methods).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:10 AM on May 30 [32 favorites]


Russian government officials discussed having potentially “derogatory” information about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump

omg is it the pee tape??!

One source described the information as financial in nature

oh well
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:12 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


The reasonable question isn't "could this be fake?" it is "is this exactly why he's refused to disclose all this time?"

As Senator Franken said, he's sure acting like he has something to hide (and yes, that goes all the way back to his tax returns during the election -- why would he take the extraordinary step of keeping them secret if there wasn't something there he didn't want people to know? The media failed to ask the obvious follow up, "What is he hiding?"
posted by Gelatin at 10:12 AM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Wilson would have filed an 8.8 percent rate hike if he knew those funds would be paid. But he bumped it up to a 22.9 percent increase because he doesn’t think the Trump administration will come through.

Our premiums have gone up about 20% per year for the past 20 years, so no surprise here. They blamed it on President Obama before, they blame it on President Trump now, and they'll blame it on President Franken next year.
posted by BentFranklin at 10:13 AM on May 30 [14 favorites]


“I declined the invitation to participate as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” Cohen told ABC News

Is that how this works? I don't think that's how this works.

Carter Page now says he won't meet with the House Intelligence Committee next week

All these guys who are so excited to share their side of the story seem to get cold feet when the opportunity arises. Strange.
posted by diogenes at 10:14 AM on May 30 [17 favorites]


Whatever his previous reasons were for withholding his taxes, they are now his alibi.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:14 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


soren_lorenson Don't give up hope! Didn't he pay for the peeing? "Allegedly"?
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:14 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Ross Douthat is clearly off the Trump train. Is that new? Is it significant?

Twitter: My view is that post-Gorsuch, the reluctantly pro-Trump right should be like a gambler who won big. It's okay to walk away from the table.
posted by diogenes at 10:17 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Whatever his previous reasons were for withholding his taxes, they are now his alibi.

An alibi is something that exonerates someone. I doubt Trump's tax returns do that.
posted by Gelatin at 10:20 AM on May 30 [7 favorites]


I've also got side-eye right now for the idea of trying to replace Pelosi with a left-leaning liberal, since my sense of the situation is that the only advantage the Democratic Party has right now is deep knowledge of how the legislative branch works ...

This is true.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:20 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Ross Douthat: My view is that post-Gorsuch, the reluctantly pro-Trump right should be like a gambler who won big. It's okay to walk away from the table.

While it's revealing that Douthat tacitly acknowledges Gorsuch as a right-winger with a religious bent, and his elevation to SCOTUS is a windfall for Republicans for stealing Obama's nomination, he also basically returns the court to its balance when Scalia was alive. An additional SCOTUS nomination could sew up a conservative majority for a generation, so it's fascinating that Douthat seems prepared to forego that opportunity to withdraw support from Trump.

Unless he figures Pence would pick another evangelical right-wing ideologue anyway, in which case he is probably not far wrong.
posted by Gelatin at 10:24 AM on May 30 [4 favorites]


And the other obvious follow-up: why is the entire Republican party helping him hide it? As Brian Beutler just wrote:
Again, Paul Ryan seems not to care about any of this, much as he and other leading Republicans, like Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, don’t care that Trump went to Europe and vandalized the Western alliance. This kind of enabling behavior defines the Republican Party today, and is often and correctly interpreted as part of the endless collateral damage Republicans will tolerate in pursuit of tax cuts. But the focus on Ryan’s motives, rather than his actions, reduces his abdication of duty to a partisan or ideological calculation. Something appropriately left in the realm of politics.

But it’s much more severe than that. Trump’s election was a catastrophically destabilizing event in and of itself, and people like Ryan were complicit in it. But to an under-appreciated extent, the amount of damage Trump would ultimately be capable of inflicting was a question for Congress as much as Trump himself. America can’t unelect Trump, or annul his presidency, but it would be straightforward for the country’s other political branch of government to signal to the world that it would never allow a U.S. president to permanently upend the foundation of trust underlying the post-war global order without good reason. If a president’s advisers have malign intent with state secrets—in many cases secrets shared between nations—nothing says Congress has to tolerate it. If the president himself is reckless with those secrets, or with his foreign policy in general, nothing in the Constitution says Congress must sit on its hands. Quite the contrary.
The GOP has, at almost every turn, refused to use the tools available to them to learn the truth or intervene. They're just as guilty.
posted by zachlipton at 10:25 AM on May 30 [105 favorites]


> [Trump is] sure acting like he has something to hide (and yes, that goes all the way back to his tax returns during the election -- why would he take the extraordinary step of keeping them secret if there wasn't something there he didn't want people to know?

So, knowing what we know now, it seems like the 2016 Democratic campaign should just have focused on Trump's undisclosed tax returns to the exclusion of all else. "Grab them by the pussy", Khizr Khan, the disabled reporter, Alicia Machado - through all of that, the consistent theme should have been: "Those are distractions; what's he trying to hide in his financial dealings?"

But of course that's the benefit of 6 months of hindsight, and there was always a chance that the rest of his taxes were as clean as the old returns the campaign leaked to Maddow.

What I don't quite get, though, is why at least some section of the press isn't staying hyper focused on the financial dealings. Is lite treason that much of a distraction? It's part of the same story - I would have thought some intrepid financial journalist would have come up with the details by now.

Maybe it's just too overwhelming - there's too much chaff to deal with. This New Yorker piece by Adam Davidson from March this year, for example, would have been enough to sink most traditional political operations:

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal
The President helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

I read that and it left my head spinning, but it went nowhere...
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:25 AM on May 30 [18 favorites]


Folks, just an exhausted plea here on behalf of mods: Please take a moment and think before instantly cramming as many comments as you can in here. Have we talked about [thing] at length in the last thread or every one of the last 50 threads?

Pelosi falls pretty squarely into this category.
posted by diogenes at 10:26 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


So, knowing what we know now, it seems like the 2016 Democratic campaign should just have focused on Trump's undisclosed tax returns to the exclusion of all else.

Of the Trumpists I know, the (total bullshit) reply would have been "Of course he was taking advantage of a bunch of loopholes, because he's a smart businessman, and he knows that the liberals are just trying to smear him because they hate businessmen. I'm glad he's not releasing his tax returns."
posted by Etrigan at 10:28 AM on May 30 [6 favorites]


The media failed to ask the obvious follow up, "What is he hiding?"

What, WHAT is wrong with the media?? Why are they doing this? Yes, I know they're starving, but that never stopped them before (it's a relatively recent phenomenon that newspapers made a good profit). Where is integrity? Where is creativity? Every morning I hope * that they will have some good insight, some reporting that will make me think outside the box and want to chew on and then maybe do something positive. Instead, I get "OMG, the president is not acting presidential!" or "wow, this congress sure is divided!" They've been so incredibly disappointing.

* Ok, maybe that's my problem...
posted by Melismata at 10:29 AM on May 30 [7 favorites]


> Pelosi falls pretty squarely into this category.

Then please FIAMO. The fact that there's an effort to undermine the most successful party leader the Democrats have had in decades with an appeal to the anxieties of Trump-sympathetic voters of a certain skin tone is very relevant to present day discussions of resisting Trump. This isn't about 2016 primaries, it's about 2018 strategy.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:36 AM on May 30 [44 favorites]


Darrell Issa seems to be on the roof of his office, rather than meeting with the constituents who have gathered there. [real]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:39 AM on May 30 [93 favorites]


truly a man of the people
posted by entropicamericana at 10:44 AM on May 30 [9 favorites]


I thought during the campaign that if Trump was elected, it would mean the beginning of the end of America as the leader of the free world and likely as the world's lone superpower. I didn't expect it to start rolling downhill this fast, though.
posted by azpenguin at 10:45 AM on May 30 [14 favorites]


Well all those liberals are going to tear him apart what with him voting to let poor people and children die in the gutter.

What did he expect? Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant?
posted by Talez at 10:46 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


I thought during the campaign that if Trump was elected, it would mean the beginning of the end of America as the leader of the free world and likely as the world's lone superpower. I didn't expect it to start rolling downhill this fast, though.

I was expecting to go outside on January 21 and see everything on fire with the Isengard music continually playing in the background, so the last few months have been a pleasant surprise for me
posted by theodolite at 10:50 AM on May 30 [10 favorites]




Today is my daughter's birthday; she's turning eight. Back in late September or early October, she said to me out of the blue, "I'm glad we got our passports, just in case Donald Trump wins the election."

We had a family party to watch the election returns, and as things started to go south my wife and I put both kids to bed in hopes of sparing them a little bit. Several of her close friends at school are Muslim; things were pretty rough in class the next morning.

Her younger sister turned six back in March - the day the AHCA was withdrawn and that Manafort offered to testify under oath.

All I'm saying is, it's really important for kids to feel like they're being treated equally in terms of birthday gifts, in order to preserve family harmony. So I'm hoping for a news alert around 4 or 5 this afternoon.
posted by nickmark at 10:55 AM on May 30 [41 favorites]


I forgot about the briefings! This should be fun.
posted by lalex at 10:55 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


it would be straightforward for the country’s other political branch of government to signal to the world that it would never allow a U.S. president to permanently upend the foundation of trust underlying the post-war global order without good reason.

That's an amazingly naiive article. The Republicans have never been just about tax cuts. Look at far right talking points over the last 20 years- isolationism a hatred of international cooperation, the UN and Europe has been a feature of right-wing ideology for decades. This isn't just a con by Trump, this is something Republicans believe in.
posted by happyroach at 10:55 AM on May 30 [7 favorites]


So, knowing what we know now, it seems like the 2016 Democratic campaign should just have focused on Trump's undisclosed tax returns to the exclusion of all else. "Grab them by the pussy", Khizr Khan, the disabled reporter, Alicia Machado - through all of that, the consistent theme should have been: "Those are distractions; what's he trying to hide in his financial dealings?"

I disagree. In addition to the "smart businessman" dodge -- which Trump himself brought up in the debates -- all of the other events and more, plus concealing his tax returns, showed he was unfit to be President.

That case is in fact what the Democrats made, and they were quite right to do so. Unfortunately the media responded with "but her emails!" But while Trump's refusal to release his returns was fishy, and should have alerted the media he was hiding something (and it should have been them pressing Trump on this point, not necessarily the Democrats), if memory serves me correctly, we did not yet have the information public that indicated the tax returns were at the center of a criminal conspiracy. And suggestions at the time that they were -- for all the FBI might have known, and been keeping it a secret -- would have sounded like crying wolf at the time.

Especially as there was so much other evidence that Trump was unfit. Democrats did not do wrong in pointing to every bit of it. Trump's voters, however, had to achieve an impressive feat of cognitive dissonance to vote for him anyway, which they tacitly admit by recent profiles indicating they are tuning the news out these days.
posted by Gelatin at 11:01 AM on May 30 [11 favorites]


I just want to make sure I'm parsing that picture of Darrell Issa correctly...that motherfucker is on the roof taking pictures of the constituents he's avoiding, right?
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:01 AM on May 30 [42 favorites]


I think people forget the damage that George W. did to the concept of American leadership, particularly in Europe. One president making deeply unwise foreign policy decisions and dragging our NATO allies after us could be dismissed as an aberration. But with Trump/Bannon's brazen attempts to undermine NATO and the EU, that's two unfit leaders in fewer than two decades. It's a sign of an ailing political culture and the safest course of action is to stay the hell away.
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:13 AM on May 30 [29 favorites]


Spicer just started. He seems to be going day-by-day of the international trip and reading a glorified summary.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:15 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


He realises we were all watching, yes?
posted by Grangousier at 11:16 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


(to the best of my memory) "The president's speech in the Middle East was a historic turning point that will be talked about for many years to come."

omg my sense of fremdschämen watching Spicer has honestly become almost overwhelming.

Think anyone will be cruel enough to ask about his exclusion from the papal visit?
posted by lalex at 11:16 AM on May 30 [10 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!


You said it D-Man! And while we're at it, we should switch to a simple majority to decide presidential elections! One man, one vote, you know! Simple majority, baby!

Oh, hi guys. How are ya? Wow, you're all dressed snappy in your crisp brown shirts...
posted by prepmonkey at 11:18 AM on May 30 [13 favorites]


He realises we were all watching, yes?

This administration's motto might as well be "Who you gonna believe -- me or your lying eyes?" He needs to get the lies rolling before we shift the trip into long-term memory.
posted by Etrigan at 11:18 AM on May 30 [12 favorites]


"The president's speech in the Middle East was a historic turning point that will be talked about for many years to come."

A perfect example of how something can be true, but not accurate.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:19 AM on May 30 [49 favorites]


Think anyone will be cruel enough to ask about his exclusion from the papal visit?

I hate Sean Spicer, but I still kinda hope that on his next swing through the Americas Pope Francis goes out of his way to meet with him while pointedly not paying a visit to Donald.
posted by contraption at 11:22 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Question 1 to Spicey is what Trump knew about Jared and when he knew it. Have a fun afternoon, Sean!
posted by prefpara at 11:23 AM on May 30 [57 favorites]


Backchannels are fine and appropriate and also it didn't happen.
posted by theodolite at 11:23 AM on May 30 [12 favorites]


Especially as there was so much other evidence that Trump was unfit. Democrats did not do wrong in pointing to every bit of it. Trump's voters, however, had to achieve an impressive feat of cognitive dissonance to vote for him anyway, which they tacitly admit by recent profiles indicating they are tuning the news out these days.

I thought the election campaign was sealed by voter suppression? In previous threads others have posted enough analysis of who did and did not vote to show that overall voting was down. The one main goal for 2018 should be to GOTV pure and simple. Trump was elected with 26% of the electorate. 6 million fewer votes than Obama. I think the strategy is very clear for 2018, start to disrupt and deter legal maneuverings we know are coming from Republicans to suppress the vote.
posted by herda05 at 11:25 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


An alibi is something that exonerates someone. I doubt Trump's tax returns do that.

That's my point.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:26 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I think people forget the damage that George W. did to the concept of American leadership, particularly in Europe.

Ultimately, I don't think W damaged us that badly, or at least not irreparably. I think a lot of people thought of that era as the US making a lot of bad decisions in a difficult situation, and Obama did a lot to turn it around. I don't think anyone thought of the US less as an *ally*, though, or doubted that we'd be there for them if they needed us.
posted by empath at 11:26 AM on May 30 [13 favorites]


I watched the latest episode of the Leah Remini / Scientology show last night and I was so struck by how many parallels there are between how L Ron Hubbard approached the press and Trump.

- Discredit the media's credentials.
- Declare media reports to be fake.
- Just keep saying what you want people to believe and enough of them will.
- The ends justify the means.
posted by double bubble at 11:26 AM on May 30 [27 favorites]


I thought the election campaign was sealed by voter suppression? In previous threads others have posted enough analysis of who did and did not vote to show that overall voting was down.

The studies that I have seen suggest that the effect of specifically voter ID laws is inconclusive.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:28 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I've had relatives harangue me with travelogues and slideshows that were shorter than Spicer's effort to stall, and it really doesn't seem to have worked.

His answer on Duterte had a conspicuous lack of condemning extrajudicial killings.
posted by zachlipton at 11:28 AM on May 30 [10 favorites]




People (rightly) thought the Iraq war was dumb and stayed out of it. They didn't not think the US had stopped being an ally/was conspiring against them.
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


W-43 was viewed in the light of 9/11, so allowances for over-reaction, even utterly mis-guided reaction, were made. Trump has fucked things up far more. The inflexibility of the US constitutional system may yet save it, but it also seems to lock in a demonstrably bad choice of administration. I doubt Europe will be woo-ed back without constitutional change.
posted by stonepharisee at 11:30 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Spicey says Trump would describe his relationship with Merkel as "fairly unbelievable."

I... concur.
posted by prefpara at 11:32 AM on May 30 [45 favorites]


Um, did Spicer just read Merkel's speech about how they can't rely on the US and then say "That's great. That's what the president called for" ?

I mean, it's presumably what Putin called for, but I'm not sure he planned to admit that driving a wedge between Germany and the US was the goal here.
posted by zachlipton at 11:35 AM on May 30 [21 favorites]


Paul Waldman: On voting rights, we’re becoming two separate and unequal countries
Despite a string of losses in the courts, Republicans are going to keep trying to make voting as difficult as possible, particularly for African Americans, for one reason: It works. There are active debates about exactly how many people were kept from the polls in 2016 — for instance, some contend that Wisconsin’s voter-ID law disenfranchised enough African Americans to swing the state to Donald Trump — but every young person, urban dweller or racial minority they can keep from the polls increases the odds that Republicans will win.

And they’re optimistic, with good reason, that Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and the conservative majority on the Supreme Court will be on their side on this issue. The other four conservatives on the court have seldom seen a voting restriction they objected to, and there’s little reason to think they will in the future. Texas’s enormously restrictive law (which is still being litigated) could be the vehicle for the court to open up whole new avenues of vote suppression. If and when they do, Republican states will almost certainly rush in to pass the most restrictive laws they can.

Meanwhile, Democratic states are moving in the opposite direction, proposing measures such as automatic registration and same-day registration, in which you can register when you show up to the polls on election day (it’s in place in 13 mostly liberal states, plus D.C., while it’s been passed but not yet implemented in three more). But if they really wanted to make things easy, they’d be pushing for universal vote by mail (UVBM), which is used only in Washington state, Oregon and Colorado.

It’s something of a mystery why UVBM hasn’t been more of a priority for Democrats, because it couldn’t be easier. You get your ballot in the mail, you fill it out, you drop it in a mailbox. There’s no taking time off work, wondering where your polling place is or waiting in line. It’s particularly helpful for people who don’t have flexible schedules. While fraud is theoretically possible, in practice it’s a minuscule problem. Just ask someone from one of those three states what they think about it, and they’ll tell you how much they love it. That’s not to mention the fact that it makes elections cheaper and easier to hold, and provides a paper trail for any disputes.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:37 AM on May 30 [34 favorites]


Spicer was just asked, at long last, "Does the president believe human activity contributes to climate change?". As we know, this is a significant question.

Answer: "I haven't asked him."

Maybe you should ask him, Steve.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:38 AM on May 30 [66 favorites]


Ooh, Spicer is really mad at the suggestion that Trump wasn't paying enough attention at NATO.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:40 AM on May 30 [4 favorites]


From Salon: Wake up, liberals: There will be no 2018 “blue wave,” no Democratic majority and no impeachment

To which the response is "have you been looking at the actual results, or did you just stop at "Republican candidate wins"? In all the races the article mentioned, the GOP has spent heavily, just to barely maintain control in districts that have long been considered safe."

Better click bait, Salon. This is even beneath what you've become.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:41 AM on May 30 [51 favorites]


uh, that was brief.
posted by lalex at 11:42 AM on May 30


Spicer abruptly ended when things started turning on him. You can hear a reporter shout, as he's walking out, "Is Kushner fake news?"
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:42 AM on May 30 [56 favorites]


From Salon: Wake up, liberals:

Not a great start.

There will be no 2018 “blue wave,” no Democratic majority and no impeachment


To summarize the rest of the editorial: "The Democrats suck and won't win anything forever, because they suck. So stop complaining, because it annoys me. Just hang out for the rest of your lives and do...I don't know what. And I don't care." This is the goddamn pinnacle of apathetic privilege.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:42 AM on May 30 [87 favorites]


I think it's 'rely' being used in two different ways. Arguably Trump has been pushing for other countries to pick up what he saw as slack because it isn't fair (never mind that the US basically let it happen because we believed it was in our interests) that we were putting more in. Merkel is saying that they won't rely on the US because we're unreliable. It's the difference between not wanting to hire someone because you can do the job yourself and not wanting to hire someone because you don't think they can do it.
posted by Green With You at 11:43 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]




"Of course he was taking advantage of a bunch of loopholes, because he's a smart businessman, and he knows that the liberals are just trying to smear him because they hate businessmen. I'm glad he's not releasing his tax returns."

"So true. In fact, I don't know why *any* presidential candidate would release their tax returns, right? It's just stuff for the opposition to talk about. And who cares? It's probably better if we stick to talking about policies. I mean, if we're getting into personal records, next thing you know we could be getting into people's emails and other communications, which would be even more invasive, and who knows where that could go.

"But on the other hand, you know, Trump probably is innocent -- you don't think there's anything actually shady in those returns, do you -- and if there's nothing to those liberal smears, having the details out in the open should make it easier to prove them wrong. Right now, it really looks like he has something to hide."
posted by wildblueyonder at 11:44 AM on May 30


"So true. In fact, I don't know why *any* presidential candidate would release their tax returns, right?...

Congratulations, you found the line of logic that would convince everyone who thought "Grab them by the pussy" wasn't a disqualifier, that "I could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue" wasn't a disqualifier, that mocking a disabled reporter wasn't a disqualifier, that talking about his dick in a debate wasn't a disqualifier, that--

Oh, wait. Did I say "everyone"? I meant "absolutely, literally, 100 percent, more certain than I am that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow not a single person". My bad.
posted by Etrigan at 11:49 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


The Guardian has an interesting amount of background about the Kentucky press intimidation shenanigans.
posted by progosk at 11:49 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Roger Waters of PInk Floyd fame began his American Tour in Kansas City with this! (Tweet, with image of display at concert. )
posted by stonepharisee at 11:49 AM on May 30 [45 favorites]


Oh, man, that Rebecca Solnit piece is golden. One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man.
posted by suelac at 11:56 AM on May 30 [43 favorites]


Wow, I wonder how the audience in Kansas City reacted to that Roger Waters thing. I think Kansas City is blue-ish, or at least deep purple. But Missouri is otherwise deep red.
posted by holborne at 12:03 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Wow, I wonder how the audience in Kansas City reacted to that Roger Waters thing. I think Kansas City is blue-ish, or at least deep purple? But Missouri is otherwise deep red.

I'm pretty sure Deep Purple were British actually
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:06 PM on May 30 [65 favorites]


Darrell Issa seems to be on the roof of his office, rather than meeting with the constituents who have gathered there. [real]

Oh for the love of... okay, I'm on the wrong side of the continent, but if you live anywhere near that building, for the love of god, please just start showing up and shambling randomly around outside and groaning like zombies. That's what I want to see. Hundreds of people stumbling around outside that building, bumping into each other and groaning, while Darrell Issa is treed on the roof. Maybe we can get him to spell out HELP - ALIVE INSIDE or something on the rooftop.
posted by Naberius at 12:06 PM on May 30 [66 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Deep Purple were British actually

Ok, I stepped right into that one.
posted by holborne at 12:07 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Deep Purple were British actually

The rest of Missouri is certainly King Crimson then.
posted by Twain Device at 12:08 PM on May 30 [26 favorites]


"State, local officials say Trump should rethink his remark about German automakers"

Objection: assumes facts not in evidence.
posted by The Tensor at 12:09 PM on May 30 [22 favorites]


I think Kansas City is blue-ish, or at least deep purple. But Missouri is otherwise deep red.

STL, KC, CoMo - Blue
Everywhere else - Sean Spicer angryface red
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:09 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


The rest of Missouri is certainly King Crimson then.

Simply Red.
posted by The Tensor at 12:09 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


Wow, I wonder how the audience in Kansas City reacted to that Roger Waters thing. I think Kansas City is blue-ish, or at least deep purple. But Missouri is otherwise deep red.

Consider the audience has chosen to attend a Roger Waters concert.

Also, you're much smarter than The Donald, so you must know that the center of the country is not a vast undifferentiated sea of red.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:09 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


Glad to see everyone doing their part not to fill this thread with useless chatter and lame ass jokes.
posted by absalom at 12:10 PM on May 30 [19 favorites]


That's what I want to see. Hundreds of people stumbling around outside that building, bumping into each other and groaning, while Darrell Issa is treed on the roof. Maybe we can get him to spell out HELP - ALIVE INSIDE or something on the rooftop.

DONT VOTERS
OPEN INSIDE
posted by leotrotsky at 12:11 PM on May 30 [37 favorites]


So much happening, it's hard to keep up. But if I may return for a bit to the NATO obligations: one reason NATO members have been so quick to own up to strengthening their national defense budgets is that a lot of us are scared of Russia after the whole Ukraine thing. Obviously the Baltic nations including Poland, but also those of us who are neighbors to the threatened countries. Greece has the largest relative defense budget i Europe. So a lot of NATO members were already reevaluating their defense policy.
Since 1989, most NATO countries have scaled down their defense budget, and redefined their policies. Since the Warsaw pact was no longer seen as a threat, most of the forces pointed east were scaled down to a minimum. Some felt that the US with their endless weapons race were using military spending for other purposes than defense . During the 90's there was a strong argument for an EU common defense from all the Latin countries and Germany to a lesser extent, but Brits, Scandinavians and Baltics were against that for different reasons, and it came down completely during the Bush regime. With Brexit and specially Sweden and Finland changing their views on defense dramatically everything is up in the air right now. Also there is a very strong sense that the various US adventures in the ME and Asia have imposed a huge and unsolvable refugee problem on Europe.
With global warming, there is also a whole new interest in the Arctic region, and a new dynamic of power, where Canada, Norway and Denmark suddenly have gained new status but also new obligations, and thus new attitudes to international politics. Maybe there is more than a handshake to Trudeau's style. I just read yesterday that Nuuk is vying to be an arctic cultural centre.
What Trump is doing is pushing the EU to spend more on defense than already planned, which may look like a success. But in the current political situation, after Brexit, he is creating a stronger foundation for an EU alternative to NATO, which can literally be funded by NATO, since remember the 2% are about each nation's defense spending, not payment into a common fund (let alone one that the US controls). So NATO members can up their spending and even start new R&D, and then at the moment they find Trump has gone over the top, they bail out and use all that new knowledge and gear for their own purposes. The way Trump was behaving at the NATO summit, they could even organize this within NATO, since neither Canada nor UK would share info with the US those days after the Manchester terror.
Signs of this happening were already apparent during the run-up to the Iraq war where both France and Germany refused to participate, remember freedom fries? The big difference is that now, it's difficult to imagine Spain, Portugal, Denmark or Italy supporting a US aggression anywhere.

Which brings me to the end of this long rant: yes, there is a scary tradition in US politics for starting wars when domestic politics become difficult. BUT, there has also always been a need for legitimacy for those wars, and right now, I can't imagine where that legitimacy would come from. Entering the Yemen civil war on the Saudi side? Who would support that apart from Gulf States? Invading Cuba? Would that engage anyone who wasn't already a Trump voter? War with North Korea? I doubt even South Korea would support that.
They can let in a major terrorist attack, like Bush let 9/11 happen (I'm not assuming conspiracy here, just ignorance), but even then I can't see NATO backing the US as with Afghanistan after Trump's recent behavior and also the failure in Afghanistan.
posted by mumimor at 12:15 PM on May 30 [14 favorites]




Issa is rather defensive in his tweet, though I like how two of the pictures show him talking with the "defund Planned Parenthood" guy and not, say, the folks with "impeach" or "Issa killed your health insurance" signs. He says he went to the roof to take a picture.
posted by zachlipton at 12:18 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


From Salon: Wake up, liberals: There will be no 2018 “blue wave,” no Democratic majority and no impeachment

Alternate headline: Salon announces they now pay by the word.

man what a pile of fluffed nonsense that piece is...
posted by phearlez at 12:19 PM on May 30 [15 favorites]


[Folks, please less with the noise and riffing, go do chitchat things elsewhere: Chat; Summer Metatalktails; political feels Metatalk. Also flaggers: please don't flag a ton of comments in a row; it's counterproductive.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:21 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


judging by his behavior he doesn't seem to know what the 5th Amendment is

Trump and the Fifth Amendment: It’s complicated
In 1990, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination by refusing to answer 97 questions in a divorce deposition. But last year, he ripped into Hillary Clinton aides repeatedly for exercising the same privilege during the congressional investigation into her private email server.

“The mob takes the Fifth,” Trump told a campaign crowd in Iowa last September. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Now, it’s Trump’s fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who is invoking the Fifth, hoping to avoid handing over documents to a Senate panel investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:23 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


So I was at the Roger Waters concert here in KC Friday - I meant to post about it. It was ... pretty fucking fantastic. The first half was fairly Trump-free, until they hit "Another Brick In The Wall (Part I)". It was the last song before the encore, and he brought out a group of local teen dancers to dance onstage. Black teen dancers ... in orange prison jumpsuits. Who ripped off the jumpsuits at the end to show "RESIST" t-shirts. That pretty much set the mood for the second half, which was basically better than any anti-Trump rally. I only saw a couple of people seeming upset, for the most part it went down well. I'll get a few pictures posted online and give a link in a few minutes. If Roger's coming to your town, though, go. Absolutely worthwhile.
posted by jferg at 12:25 PM on May 30 [98 favorites]


Federal Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Student: "A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled in favor of a transgender student's challenge to a Wisconsin school district's policy limiting his restroom usage — a big win for those seeking to advance transgender rights in the courts.... Unlike the case brought by Gavin Grimm in Virginia that had — for a few months — reached the US Supreme Court, Whitaker's challenge, and Tuesday's decision, is independent of any Education Department or Justice Department policies on the question. (The appeals court decision in Grimm's case had deferred to Obama-era Education Department guidance on Title IX. As such, the US Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts when the Trump administration withdrew that guidance so other arguments could be considered.)

In the court's opinion in Whitaker's case, Judge Ann Claire Williams addressed Title IX independent of administration guidance. "A policy that requires an individual to use a bathroom that does not conform with his or her gender identity punishes that individual for his or her gender non‐conformance, which in turn violates Title IX," she wrote for the panel."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:27 PM on May 30 [53 favorites]


Here are a few Roger Waters pics - I was trying to enjoy the show and not photograph it, but some of it was too good not to:

1/2
2/2
posted by jferg at 12:32 PM on May 30 [27 favorites]


Meanwhile, opinion from Canada (Macleans)

Donald Trump’s farewell tour
Rapidly, over the last few weeks, America’s rivals and allies stopped seeing the United States as the “indispensable nation” whose opinion mattered, whose approval was always necessary.

What changed? The world has a much better measure of the man now. They see him as inconsistent—even if you convinced him on Monday to support the Paris deal, he will quite likely repudiate it Tuesday morning in a tweet. He has also proven so ineffective in controlling the bureaucracy and even his own party, it is unlikely that a repudiation will change much any time soon.
posted by Sallysings at 12:32 PM on May 30 [26 favorites]


A very few people headed for the exits – one man raised his middle finger to the stage while departing during “Money”...

It's baffling that a Roger Waters fan who had listened to any of his post-Floyd work could somehow harbor the idea that Waters would be anything but vehemently and vocally anti-trump, both onstage and off. I guess that unhappy handful of offended trump-loving rock music fans would have been better off spending their money on Danzig tickets.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:35 PM on May 30 [29 favorites]


What we're up against, Homer, Alaska edition

TL;DR: Trump supporters are all about love and understanding and coming together, any efforts to welcome immigrants or Muslims are clearly insidious and driving the community apart.

How do you fight people who coopt your message and actually believe it?
posted by Mchelly at 12:42 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted; let's not go back to "will he start a war; where, how, etc" per taz's earlier note.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:53 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Mchelly: "How do you fight people who coopt your message and actually believe it?"

This is the essential question of 1984, of course, complete with the reimagining of hate as love.
posted by TypographicalError at 12:59 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


An interesting thread from NPR's David Folkenflik on that Fox News piece that Trump tweeted out and where it came from. The Murdoch speculation is just speculation, but the fact that the story was just attributed on air to "a source who has talked to Kushner tells Fox News" is very significant. This is Jared's defense, delivered secondhand and anonymously, not an independent source saying it didn't happen.

I also think the story, when you actually read it, is a lot more cautious than the headline implies. It's not exactly much of an exoneration of Kushner, and if Trump tweeting it out is confirmation, it's still damning. The essential details of the story are all in there; the twist is that the Russians are the ones who proposed a secure line and that it was supposedly to be a one-off instead of a permanent back-channel. It then cites the Post's reporting that Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities.

The most damning bit of the story is still in there: that Kushner wanted to discuss US military strategy with the country that just interfered to get his father-in-law elected on a call that would be monitored by Russian intelligence but not US intelligence.

And then, inexplicably, the follow-up to this meeting that was allegedly about Syria was a meeting with a sanctioned Russian bank. None of this, even when it's a single anonymous pro-Jared source talking to Fox, is the defense Trump seems to think it is.
posted by zachlipton at 1:08 PM on May 30 [40 favorites]


"Discussing strategies to fight ISIS in Syria" is the new "hiking the Appalachian Trail"
posted by theodolite at 1:11 PM on May 30 [75 favorites]


The retweet is not about the story, it's about the headline. Most folks who saw the tweet probably didn't read the story, and I'm including Trump himself in that group. (judging by typical engagement metrics for any link, not a knock on his followers and this specific story) but the headline says he didn't do it, so there you have it.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:14 PM on May 30


So I got frustrated with not being able to link to anything that I thought was well organized when arguing about Trump/Russia on social media. I decided to make my own thing.

I've said before that I think our two priorities as Americans right now have to be 1) resisting Trump's agenda, which if implemented will weaken us as a nation and 2) helping as many people as possible understand that evidence that Russia helped get him elected, and how and why they did it.

So please, feel free to cite, link, quote, or steal from this site as you see fit. Do whatever you want -- just spread the information around.

2016 "ACTIVE MEASURES" -- WHAT THE PUBLIC KNOWS

There are three pages. One of them is adapted from one of my metafilter comments. :-)
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:15 PM on May 30 [103 favorites]


Just to point point out that the Homer Alaska council is all white. In Alaska that makes *them* immigrants.
posted by spitbull at 1:19 PM on May 30 [19 favorites]


Just to point point out that the Homer Alaska council is all white. In Alaska that makes *them* immigrants.

Hey, lets not limit ourselves, anyone white anywhere in the Americas is an immigrant, and anyone white complaining about immigration is standing on one of the largest piles of bullshit possible.
posted by neonrev at 1:24 PM on May 30 [35 favorites]




2016 "ACTIVE MEASURES" -- WHAT THE PUBLIC KNOWS

Thank you for putting this together! This is awesome. I'm so sorry to bikeshed about this but any chance you might consider nixing that font-weight:300 css property? It looks really nice but may hurt readability for long stretches of text.
posted by Jpfed at 1:32 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


I will gladly accept any and all help in making the site better via memail. Sent you a note, Jpfed.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:37 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Bikeshedding: def. The act of wasting time on trivial details while important matters are inadequately attended is sometimes known as bikeshedding. The term was coined as a metaphor to illuminate Parkinson’s Law of Triviality. Parkinson observed that a committee whose job is to approve plans for a nuclear power plant may spend the majority of its time on relatively unimportant but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bikeshed, while neglecting the design of the power plant itself, which is far more important but also far more difficult to criticize constructively.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:38 PM on May 30 [41 favorites]


anyone white anywhere in the Americas is an immigrant

If you know my comment history you know I more than agree with this, but as someone who works primarily with Alaska Native communities I would assert that that the irony is more pronounced there, because the history of extensive white settlement there is more recent.
posted by spitbull at 1:43 PM on May 30 [17 favorites]


Just to point point out that the Homer Alaska council is all white. In Alaska that makes *them* immigrants.

Above I mentioned the changing importance of the Arctic region. I'm not very optimistic about this at all. But an optimistic understanding of this situation could be more power to the indigenous populations of the area.

It's almost obvious it won't go that way at all. But there is the fact that there are not really many other inhabitants of those areas, and that even in Russia, it's become difficult to force other than military personnel out there. So at least there must be some sort of negotiation about how to defend national territories and resources within the Arctic, and Russia needs to enter this negotiation with exactly the same sensitivity and vulnerability as everyone else.

A huge difference between Norway and Denmark and all the other Arctic nations is that they for political reasons very early on decided to make northern Norway, including Svalbard and (on Denmark's side) Greenland into normal regional entities. Meaning all national laws applied, rather than colonial laws.

If the "Western" part of the Arctic population (Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Northern Norway (+ maybe Northern Finland and Sweden) could set a common agenda, that might be a relevant challenge to Russia and Japan who are no way giving the indigenous populations a voice. And their voices would be voices for humanity, because their whole existence is threatened by global warming.
posted by mumimor at 1:49 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


...there is a scary tradition in US politics for starting wars when domestic politics become difficult. BUT, there has also always been a need for legitimacy for those wars, and right now, I can't imagine where that legitimacy would come from. ... War with North Korea? I doubt even South Korea would support that.

while rhinoplasty is a very common procedure in south korea, the culture is such that they generally try to avoid spiting the face, but rather, save it.

once you add in the fact that a center-left, pro-revamped-sunshine policy president has just been elected with a resounding margin, the odds of south korea supporting war with the north is as likely as trump and merkel forming a blood oath to defeat the albino with kang, koloth, and kor.
posted by anem0ne at 1:49 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


Meanwhile, South Korea's president is apparently "shocked" that the U.S. military brought in four missile-defense launchers (Choe Sang-Hun, NY Times) to the country without his having been informed:
"Many liberal domestic supporters of Mr. Moon have feared that the Thaad deployment would do little to protect South Korea from North Korean missiles and instead bring their country deeper into a hegemonic struggle between the United States and China.

"They tend to see it as part of Washington’s scheme to contain China’s growing military influence with a regionwide missile defense network. Their misgivings only deepened when President Trump suggested that South Korea pay $1 billion for the system."
posted by biogeo at 2:04 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


Meaning all national laws applied, rather than colonial laws.

Well yeah but Alaska is a US state.
posted by spitbull at 2:05 PM on May 30


Video: Federal immigration agents forced to call for backup after residents attempt to stop arrest in Queens : More than 30 angry Queens residents tried to stop federal immigration agents on Tuesday from arresting a neighborhood construction worker accused of burglary and illegally reentering the country.

Residents demanded to know why Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials had swooped in to arrest Hardat (Ryan) Sampat, 35, near 101st Ave. and 112th St. in Richmond Hill about 10 a.m.

The Guyanese native was driving away from his family’s home on 112th St. when federal agents in unmarked cars boxed him in with their vehicles and took him into custody, witnesses said.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:11 PM on May 30 [32 favorites]


What we're up against, Homer, Alaska edition

TL;DR: Trump supporters are all about love and understanding and coming together, any efforts to welcome immigrants or Muslims are clearly insidious and driving the community apart.

How do you fight people who coopt your message and actually believe it?


Haha Alaskans: we don't want the government to tell us what to do (but be sure to mail that oil subsidy check, okay?)
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:14 PM on May 30 [17 favorites]


More than 30 angry Queens residents tried to stop federal immigration agents on Tuesday from arresting a neighborhood construction worker accused of burglary and illegally reentering the country.

Way back last July when trump spoke about the Border Patrol in his awful speech to the RNC, the subtext was clear to me that he wanted a force that would shoot on sight. I worry he's going to get his wish when people interfere with ICE like that. And at the same time, it seems right and just that they do fuck with ICE. Welcome to the civil war.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:16 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


Politico: Spicer’s ‘middle finger’ to the press : Spicer did the briefing on Tuesday “to give the middle finger to you guys,” a Republican close to the White House said. "Spicer wanted to do it, and Trump was good with it. I'm not sure how often he'll do it from now on, but today was to give the middle finger to you guys."

Trump, who has frequently critiqued his press secretary, recently told Spicer that his answers to questions were too long and that he needed to be more succinct in responding to the media, two people familiar with the conversation said....

The frustration he showed at the lectern Tuesday is not new. On the recent trip abroad, he repeatedly showed the strain of the job.

At one point, he got drinks with a group of other staffers and reporters in Jerusalem, where he was adamant that the conversation steer clear of work.

"The most we’ve seen of Sean [Spicer] was at a rooftop bar in Jerusalem,” said one U.S. journalist on the trip. “But he refused to take work-related questions, and said if you asked him a work-related question, then you had to take a shot.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:17 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


Everyone in the administration but trump is a raging alcoholic, it seems.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:20 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Spicer did the briefing on Tuesday “to give the middle finger to you guys,” a Republican close to the White House said. "Spicer wanted to do it, and Trump was good with it. I'm not sure how often he'll do it from now on, but today was to give the middle finger to you guys."

I mean, really press, stop going to the briefings. Turn off the bullshit spigot.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:21 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


Every day Spicer gives a press briefing is middle finger today.

But he was channeling some of his Ari Fleisher today, with needless pedantry. Soon journalists will be including long quotes from other sources in their questions to him, I'm guessing.
posted by Yowser at 2:23 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Meaning all national laws applied, rather than colonial laws.

Well yeah but Alaska is a US state.


This is super complicated and contested, but for a long while, the Danish-Norwegian government imagined that the North had been integrated during the early middle ages and just needed an update about protestantism. This was obviously entirely wrong, but we all know how ridiculous assumptions can direct government for generations, don't we? When the central administration realized there were pagans up there, they dealt with it as a localized problem within the nation rather than as imperial conquest (which they were absolutely into in other parts of the world). Apart from the religion issue, they were pretty adamant on regional autonomy, which is what really sets them apart from their Swedish and Finnish contemporaries. This makes total sense in the context of Russian imperialism - Russians were far more interested in Finland than Northern Norway, let alone Greenland.

Back when Greenland was established as part of the Danish-Norwegian empire, there were no contestants to that ownership, even among Inuit. To the contrary, it was a Danish-Inuit scholar who set out to map the world of the people, without ever claiming land. There was a sense of shared destiny which isn't there today, but still many Danes are surprised to find some of their great heroes and contemporary stars are Inuit. In my own profession (architecture) the founding father of 20th century design is an Inuit. I'm working to spread this fact, right now ;-)
posted by mumimor at 2:27 PM on May 30 [13 favorites]


In my own profession (architecture) the founding father of 20th century design is an Inuit.

Who? Now I'm curious.
posted by orrnyereg at 2:29 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


An interesting thread from NPR's David Folkenflik on that Fox News piece that Trump tweeted out and where it came from. The Murdoch speculation is just speculation, but the fact that the story was just attributed on air to "a source who has talked to Kushner tells Fox News" is very significant. This is Jared's defense, delivered secondhand and anonymously, not an independent source saying it didn't happen.

The press doesn't have to honor requests for anonymity. I'd love to see all of the mainstream media one by one burn the two-faced top Administration leakers who decry leaks, and dare Trump to fire or prosecute them.

Presumably Trump and Co. would stop leaking to the mainstream news sources. Then the only people with pro-administration leaks would be Fox, Breitbart and other fake news sites. Which would leave Trump in a very awkward position for criticizing anonymous leaks.
posted by msalt at 2:29 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see all of the mainstream media one by one burn the two-faced top Administration leakers who decry leaks, and dare Trump to fire or prosecute them.

This would be an insane thing for the press to do.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:33 PM on May 30 [20 favorites]


I went out back just now and found that overnight, a very large and active hive/swarm of bees has suddenly appeared inside the walls of my shack. Not wasps, bees. They're just pouring and flowing in and out of every crack and gap. Bees. Never had this happen before, have no idea where they came from. Many miles from the nearest kept or wild hives.

I'm not saying this has anything to do with politics but it sure feels like it does.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:39 PM on May 30 [47 favorites]


Nordic leaders troll Trump orb photo [direct link to the photo]

I have to confess at this point that I own my very own glowing orb. It's Moroccan, not Saudi, but I'm happy to loan it out for quality orb-related jokes or parties.
posted by zachlipton at 2:40 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


In my own profession (architecture) the founding father of 20th century design is an Inuit.

Who? Now I'm curious.


Actually, I'd love to make an FFP on this, but it is so difficult to find online sources. I hope at some time to write an article or even a monograph on this.

Anyway, Carl Petersen (link to Danish Wiki, the wiki doesn't mention his heritage), was the ideological mind behind the so-called Scandinavian Classicism, which evolved into Scandinavian Modern. Petersen worked both as an architect and as a ceramist inspired by Japanese crafts, and also by the Inuit culture that was part of his heritage. Unfortunately, as he died young, he never lived out his potential, or visited Greenland or Japan, his primary sources of inspiration. But he remains to the day a major source for the values of Danish and Scandinavian design, and both his works and his theory are cited every day in Denmark.
posted by mumimor at 2:42 PM on May 30 [22 favorites]


and Boris makes six (ABC News):
The Congressional investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election continues to grow, as yet another Trump associate, Boris Epshteyn, has acknowledged that he has received a request from for information from lawmakers.

Epshteyn, a Trump campaign adviser who briefly served in the White House press office, confirmed to ABC News that he has received a lengthy list of questions from the House Intelligence Committee. His lawyer provided a brief statement to ABC News.

"Like many others, Mr. Epshteyn has received a broad, preliminary request for information from the House Intelligence Committee. This is a voluntary request. Mr. Epshteyn has not been subpoenaed nor do we anticipate that he will be. We have reached out to the Committee wth several follow up questions and we are awaiting their response in order to better understand what information they are seeking and whether Mr. Epshteyn is able to reasonably provide it."
posted by lalex at 2:46 PM on May 30 [17 favorites]


Just a quick mention that the Inuit peoples of the Arctic have in fact been transnationally politically organized since 1977 under the Inuit Circumpolar Council.
posted by spitbull at 2:51 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


stop going to the briefings. Turn off the bullshit spigot.
Let's also stop liveblogging the briefings in here.
posted by soelo at 2:54 PM on May 30 [25 favorites]


Daily Beast: Trump Aides ‘Dreading’ a Return of ‘Trainwreck’ Corey Lewandowski:
As the White House struggles to maintain message discipline with a compulsive tweeter in the Oval Office, whispers of Corey Lewandowski’s reemergence have senior Trump administration officials gnashing their teeth. ... "I gagged when I [first] heard that," a senior Trump aide told The Daily Beast. "[Corey] will not be an asset in the West Wing. He would be a hothead in a [White House] that needs the opposite."
posted by maudlin at 2:55 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


Rust Moranis: Use them wisely.
boromir-it-is-a-gift.gif

Also, there's disturbing reports that Lord Dampnut's twitter followers have increased by 5 million in the past few days.
@amandablount2 "I'm tracking *45's number right now. He is growing by around 100 bots a minute. He is massing a propaganda army."

Molly McKew warns that this might break the internet, and not in a champagne-arcing-onto-one's-own-posterior sort of way.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 2:55 PM on May 30 [13 favorites]


Molly McKew warns that this might break the internet, and not in a champagne-arcing-onto-one's-own-posterior sort of way.

I clicked to find out more, except there isn't more. She just tweets "this might break the internet" and... that's it. Which seems kind of unhelpful. Why? What might break the internet about it? What is she talking about?
posted by Justinian at 2:58 PM on May 30 [19 favorites]


Let's also stop liveblogging the briefings in here.

Whoa, whoa. Let's not do anything crazy.

Propaganda can be incredibly valuable. It tells us a great deal about a government and its attempts to control its message, priorities and image. What does that government believe is important? What does it want to avoid? Which messages are likely to have come directly from Trump himself? Which are a desperate attempt to spin uncontrollable situations?

Press briefings actually offer a view of the topics they are trying to bury or don't want to address. They give us a clearer picture of how the White House functions. Or how dysfunctional it is. We learn so much from watching Spicer squirm every day.

It's FAR better for us to have this forum to discuss them, because we can and do cut through the bullshit, rather than swallow it unquestioned. We can create coherent arguments why we're being lied to and how. And gain a deeper understanding of how they're all trying to screw us over.

Personally, I'd much rather go into this with open eyes and sharp ears than remain stuck playing guessing games in blind ignorance.
posted by zarq at 3:01 PM on May 30 [88 favorites]


This would be an insane thing for the press to do.

On the contrary, I think continuing to let Trump play both sides is an ongoing insane thing that the press is doing. Trump-Bannon's method is based on breaking norms and unspoken rules for advantage against their enemies. It works only if there is no chance of retaliation.

Ideally, the burns would be done by journalists about to retire so that the paper can maintain deniability. Or, they could be semi-revealed by hints and partial revelations, as is already happening with the Kushner pushback.

At the extreme, a Washington Post reporter with a leak from Trump could respond to one of the President's attacks by saying "I would be happy to reveal the source of the leak if the president requests that publicly." Such a request would authorize making the source public, so it would be entirely ethical. How would Trump respond?
posted by msalt at 3:05 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I think there's a middle ground between liveblogging the briefings and completely ignoring them. I'm totally up for a thoughtful synopsis of the briefing posted after it is over.
posted by janell at 3:05 PM on May 30 [19 favorites]


I never said we need to ignore them. There is no need to tell us how many minutes until Spicey time, how late he is and then type every question and answer for us.
posted by soelo at 3:09 PM on May 30 [15 favorites]


I think McKew's talking about the army of bots that tRump or Russia (or both!) have just paid for. Various other sources are watching this as it unfolds. I'm not sure "breaking the internet" is really the proper phrase, but it seems like there will be a massive asymmetrical disinformation/distraction push from tRump and his handlers coming soon.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 3:12 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


There is no need to tell us how many minutes until Spicey time, how late he is and then type every question and answer for us.

I agree we may not need to announce "Spicey Time" and all that but I really appreciate the breakdowns, as I'm at work and can't watch the briefings. By the time I get home the briefings are already done with. If it weren't for being able to keep the Mefi thread up and running I wouldn't be nearly as informed.
posted by kittensofthenight at 3:18 PM on May 30 [48 favorites]


I like to think of a new bee swarm as a good sign! (but call a beekeeper to come get them).

Speaking of swarms; Trump's assembling his bot army to do...what exactly? I am trying to keep my freaking out for only the most essential things.
posted by emjaybee at 3:18 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


There's a more thorough reaction to the sudden bot surge in this Twitter thread from "Snowflake Princess" @amandablount2.
She questions why he would risk getting censured by Twitter with such a bad real/fake followers percentage.
"11. No matter what his reason for doing this, his real/fake percentage has dropped over the last few months, which means more propaganda.
12. We know he has been doing this from the beginning. Bots get more active when something big is happening. Which lately is everyday."
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 3:21 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Exposing Trump administration leakers/whistleblowers could potentially be dangerous to them. Leaking certain kinds of information to the press would be considered treason. If someone leaks to the Post that Trump gave classified information to the Russians, and explains what was said, then they could be prosecuted for leaking classified info. In that specific case, the leaked info was classified foreign intelligence.

The administration and the FBI would go after the person who leaked that information with a vengeance, making an example of them to the public.

At the extreme, a Washington Post reporter with a leak from Trump could respond to one of the President's attacks by saying "I would be happy to reveal the source of the leak if the president requests that publicly." Such a request would authorize making the source public, so it would be entirely ethical. How would Trump respond?

It would be highly unethical of a journalist to do that without first having the person who leaked the information agree to be outed. They presumably asked for confidentiality for a reason. Simply having the subject of the leak ask who they are wouldn't make revealing the source's identity more ethical.

Anonymous sources are often the only way larger stories -- especially those revealing government or corporate corruption -- are broken to the public. Burning anonymous sources is a great way to ruin one's career. Other media outlets would be unlikely to hire you. People wouldn't be willing to speak off the record to you in the future. Or perhaps they'd decline to be interviewed at all.
posted by zarq at 3:21 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


I actually like the briefings related content in these threads. I often have to be away from my screen near that time of day, and i find that watching Spicey himself can raise my hackles, but i do like to know if there's been a bombshell or some particularly telling exchange has occurred.
It's also helpful that many of the contributors here know more about who's in the room and which outlet they're from, which helps with context.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:22 PM on May 30 [34 favorites]


Molly McKew warns that this might break the internet, and not in a champagne-arcing-onto-one's-own-posterior sort of way.

I used to live next door to her. She's whip smart, very nice, and a good gardener, but from what I know of her she's not a person who I'd turn to for predictive advice. She is hawkish on the Russia situation, but who she worked for when we were neighbors made me never talk politics with her. It was a some rocks you just don't want to turn over situation.
posted by peeedro at 3:25 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


zarq: "Burning anonymous sources is a great way to ruin one's career. Other media outlets would be unlikely to hire you. People wouldn't be willing to speak off the record to you in the future. Or perhaps they'd decline to be interviewed at all."

If I've learned anything from the past year, it's that a serious amount of skepticism should be given to statements about the moral calibre of Americans, especially wrt journalism.
posted by TypographicalError at 3:26 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


It would be highly unethical of a journalist to do that without first having the person who leaked the information agree to be outed.

I think that comment's about outing a leaker when Trump himself is the leaker, because the White House is both castigating the leaking and actively participating in leaking to push a desired media narrative.
posted by Andrhia at 3:27 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


BuzzFeed: No One Wants The Big White House Job That Just Opened Up [Communications Director]
One operative whose spouse works in the Trump administration dissolved into laughter upon being asked if they would want the role.

"Sorry, I’m sorry," the source said between stifled laughter. "Oh, you’re being serious? Oh my god, I’m crying of laughter, why would anyone in their right mind want to be his communications director?"

Even some responses that weren’t entirely terrible, were still bad for the White House. “Coming on board now is a bit like taking over communications for the White Star Line after the Titanic has sunk,” a former George W. Bush staffer said. “I mean, no one is going to blame you and how much worse can it possibly get?”
posted by zachlipton at 3:30 PM on May 30 [36 favorites]


I actually like the briefings related content in these threads.

I'm voting for this as well. I know these megathreads are making things hell on the mods and the servers itself, but I've been able to learn a lot more from these collected threads (as well as the associated debunking and fact checking call outs) than I have from any other single source, be it MSM or twitter feeds or, well, anything else.

Additionally this has been very fast, real time information.

Also keep in mind that some people (such as myself) are somewhat isolated from MSM, lacking things like cable TV accounts or newspaper subscriptions, so the concentrated information here is extremely helpful. If depressing.

I've actually been reminded multiple times in these megathreads (magathreads? heh.) of how MeFi responded to 9/11, where it was a source of timely and direct information when other sources were overwhelmed or just plain inaccurate.

I've basically left whatever current megathread open either on my home browser or on my phone to help keep track of things. I never do this for MeFi threads, or threads in general.
posted by loquacious at 3:35 PM on May 30 [103 favorites]


I'm going to start signing into chat for the briefings and encourage the rest of you to do so as well. I like the content of the commentary but it burns out the threads faster.

A solid overview or three would be great and by then we should be able to link to video clips that one journalist being awesome or Spicer starting on fire or whatever other crazy/important thing happened.

And just generally I try to keep in mind that the thread will start to break stuff around 3,000 comments no matter how long. So the more we can get away from one or two sentence comments, the better off people are going to be.
posted by VTX at 3:38 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


Andhria: I think that comment's about outing a leaker when Trump himself is the leaker, because the White House is both castigating the leaking and actively participating in leaking to push a desired media narrative.

Exactly. Sorry I didn't make myself clear. I'm suggesting this only when the leaker is Trump himself, or perhaps a very top aide (Kushner, Bannon or Ivanka, basically). Not even Spicey, just the biggest of fish.
posted by msalt at 3:39 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Exactly. Sorry I didn't make myself clear.

Ah! No worries at all. I didn't understand.
posted by zarq at 3:40 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


What does it mean that a bunch of fake twitter accounts followed Trump's twitter? Is this the precursor to some huge propaganda campaign, or just some weird thing?
posted by gucci mane at 3:41 PM on May 30


On the subject of outing sources, I'd like to cite the Canadian Association of Journalists, who I think have a very reasonable stance when it comes to this question. Relevant bit:
2. Are there any cases in which it is acceptable or morally advisable to reveal a source?
In certain rare circumstances, yes.When journalists use confidential sources, their contract and their obligation is, as always, first and foremost to the public, not to the source. Revealing a source would be justified, for example, if a government source or agency leaked erroneous information – but only if they knew it to be wrong, not if they too were fooled or misled. Governments, police or other groups often leak information with the deliberate attempt to “spin” the news. If they have lied to you to get their version of the story out, they deserve to be exposed. That is why it is all the more important to check your sources and their motives.

RECOMMENDATION: If a source knowingly lies or hides an important part of the truth about a major issue or fact in the story, your obligation is to the truth, not the source. He or she has broken his contract with you and you can break your promise of confidentiality to the source.
And that's how I view the entire question of leaks within the administration, too. Someone who is deliberately playing the press to push a narrative (e.g., "sources close to Kushner")? By all means, out them if it turns out this is deliberate bullshit. Someone who is frankly worried about the future of the government or the harm policies will cause, sharing real and factual information? Outing them would seriously undermine any confidence other potential whistleblowers could have on getting important information to the public.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:45 PM on May 30 [14 favorites]


What does it mean that a bunch of fake twitter accounts followed Trump's twitter? Is this the precursor to some huge propaganda campaign, or just some weird thing?

Or, maybe he was just feeling depressed and KellyAnne bought some bot-followers to cheer him up.
posted by msalt at 3:46 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


Well, the extreme right loves to use bots to spam feeds with messaging. One typical strategy is Bot 1 RT's something, and then the other bots proceed to RT the hell out of it. Once disseminated widely, with a narrative now existing beyond the bots, Bot 1 then deletes their original RT. It's a great way to accelerate the spread of a message and make it appear organic, by simply erasing the bot tweets once enough real people have joined the narrative.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:50 PM on May 30 [44 favorites]


Is this the precursor to some huge propaganda campaign, or just some weird thing?

Yeah, getting your propaganda out to millions more people who don't exist doesn't really seem like a masterstroke. But maybe I'm just playing tiddlywinks in too few dimensions...
posted by The Tensor at 3:51 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


What does it mean that a bunch of fake twitter accounts followed Trump's twitter? Is this the precursor to some huge propaganda campaign, or just some weird thing?

It's not simply getting out propaganda to people who don't exist, though. I'm going to guess that it's an attempt to drive trending topics on Twitter.
posted by holborne at 3:53 PM on May 30 [20 favorites]


I figured if people didn't notice the bots that maybe they were profiles that hadn't yet been created. They'd then all follow each other and make themselves look legit, and then you'd suddenly have all these fake right-wing news accounts clogging Trump's feed. Isn't this something Putin did? There were so many fake Twitter accounts made during the election, especially ones that had "Patriot" in the name and an avatar of an American flag, along with fake profiles of people in Democrat districts that'd pretend to be Hillary supporters who suddenly were voting for Trump.
posted by gucci mane at 3:58 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, the obvious bots/troll farms. So many profiles with generic close-ups of the constitution.

Sooooooooooooooo many.
posted by Yowser at 4:02 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


I'm sort of losing track of what is and what is not within okay commenting, and I've had a bunch of stuff deleted, and I guess thank you to the mods for doing it and leaving a kind note after doing so.

But I like the jokes. It's part of what's getting me through my life. No, really. There was something about how somebody thought that the WH residence lights were flashing because of the demon pig from Amitiville Horror, and I still have NO FUCKING CLUE what any of that meant but it is still cracking me up.

I also like the press debriefings. I want to know how people of my tribe are perceiving Spicey time, because I there are many people here who are smarter and more knowledgeable than I am.

I guess really I wish more support for the servers and mods, and then the devil pig orb bee jokes can stay. But, I'm in the humanities, I really have no idea what is going on in general and also how these threads are draining metafilter.
posted by angrycat at 4:03 PM on May 30 [75 favorites]


AP: Men probing Ivanka Trump brands in China arrested, missing
A man investigating working conditions at a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-brand shoes has been arrested and two others are missing, the arrested man’s wife and an advocacy group said Tuesday.

Hua Haifeng was accused of illegal surveillance, according to his wife, Deng Guilian, who said the police called her Tuesday afternoon. Deng said the caller told her she didn’t need to know the details, only that she would not be able to see, speak with or receive money from her husband, the family’s breadwinner.
...
For 17 years, China Labor Watch has investigated working conditions at suppliers to some of the world’s best-known companies, but Li said his work has never before attracted this level of scrutiny from China’s state security apparatus.
posted by zachlipton at 4:07 PM on May 30 [72 favorites]


Fun thought exercise, pretend you are a time traveler sent back to the 1980s and you have to convince somebody in a position of authority to take you seriously that real estate developer and somewhat ridiculous media personality Donald Trump is going to become president and enact a Russian plot to destroy NATO with the help of an army of 'bots that communicate by tweeting. Added challenge, you can't use any variation of the phrase "I know this sounds ridiculous, but..."
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:07 PM on May 30 [89 favorites]


> and two others are missing,

Foul play! Someone call Hannity!
posted by tonycpsu at 4:09 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


pretend you are a time traveler sent back to the 1980s and you have to convince somebody

. . . that you're not describing a fourth Back to the Future movie.
posted by The World Famous at 4:13 PM on May 30 [16 favorites]


If I ever see my friend who got me to read "Art of the Deal" in 1988 again, Imma punch him in the mouth.
posted by rhizome at 4:14 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


Karoun Demerjian in the Washington Post:
"Flynn to hand over documents in response to Senate panel’s subpoena."
posted by spitbull at 4:24 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


It's a strange time for journalism. It's also a strange time for Fox News (WaPo):
On Tuesday morning, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade posed a question to counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway: “Do you back up the Fox News report?” Conway refused. “I'm not going to get into any of that,” she said. Conway echoed McMaster and Kelly, saying that “they're not concerned” and that “back channels like this are the regular course of business.”

A short time later, Trump tweeted a link to the Fox News report that Conway had just declined to support, seemingly endorsing an alternative defense of Kushner that his administration spent three days not making.

What the heck is going on here?

The Fox News report is confusing on a number of levels. A network spokesperson insisted that the lack of a byline is not unusual and pointed to other instances in which individual journalists were not credited as the authors of news articles. The examples were essentially rewrites of wire reports, however.

Make no mistake: It is not normal to publish a supposed scoop without a byline.

...

The use of a lone anonymous source is also odd, in this situation. Unnamed sources who appear in news reports about the Russia investigation are typically granted anonymity by the media because they are discussing sensitive information without authorization and could be fired if caught. But a person speaking for the Trump administration could safely say on the record that The Post's original report was false. White House officials claim reports are wrong all the time.

This time, however, the White House did not say that The Post got it wrong. Instead, it argued that there was nothing inappropriate about what Kushner did.

The Fox News article did not merely contradict other reporting; it was out of step with the Trump White House, too. It's as though Fox News were trying to give its audience two ways to stand behind Kushner.
And there are other instances of Fox doing this exact same thing. We all joke about Fox being less about reporting and more about pushing propaganda, but there's still been a somewhat maddening narrative going around that firing O' Reilly and Hannity possibly going his own way is a sign Fox wants to be a real news source.

Well, here's what Fox's version of being a news source is. Straight up championing the highest office with methods that go beyond rhetoric and into simply bizarre practices that are even detached from the reality of the arguably reality-proof White House.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:25 PM on May 30 [21 favorites]


That's right Flynn, float all the hardball negotiation trial balloons you like but at the end of the day you're handing everything over and taking the Fifth. The wheels of justice grind exceedingly fine, keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times.
posted by rhizome at 4:27 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Ex-NAACP chief Ben Jealous to announce candidacy for Maryland governor:
Jealous, 44, will seek the Democratic nomination in his first bid for political office. He will join a growing field of potential challengers to Gov. Larry Hogan, who is expected to attempt to become the state's first two-term Republican governor since the 1950s.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:28 PM on May 30 [14 favorites]


pretend you are a time traveler sent back to the 1980s and you have to convince somebody

. . . that you're not describing a fourth Back to the Future movie.


DOC: "So tell me, Future Boy, who is President in 2017?"

MARTY: "Donald Trump."

DOC: "Donald Trump?! The real estate asshole?"
posted by Servo5678 at 4:29 PM on May 30 [51 favorites]


DOC: "Who's Vice President, Yakov Smirnoff?"
posted by leotrotsky at 4:35 PM on May 30 [51 favorites]


If you know my comment history you know I more than agree with this, but as someone who works primarily with Alaska Native communities I would assert that that the irony is more pronounced there, because the history of extensive white settlement there is more recent.

Oh, I know you spitbull, and that's a very good point about the recentness of extensive white settlement, I was trying to build off your point into a snarky mefi zinger other people are so good at, but because I did it in fewer than 500 words I failed. This is why I write essays instead.
posted by neonrev at 4:36 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Spicer did the briefing on Tuesday “to give the middle finger to you guys,” a Republican close to the White House said.

Jay Smooth on the future of Spicer and the rest of the dumpster fire-enabling crew. (Twitter video)
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:49 PM on May 30 [22 favorites]


Ryan Bort, Newsweek: "Nearly half of Trump's Twitter followers are fake accounts and bots."

In January, journalist Yashar Ali ran an audit on Trump's Twitter account and found that 68 percent of his then-20 million followers were real. Now he's at 30 million followers, but only 51 percent are real, which means of 10 million followers Trump has gained since January, about 8.3 million are fake.
posted by spitbull at 4:52 PM on May 30 [41 favorites]



@Caroline O
For those of you wondering why Trump would want to amass a legion of fake twitter followers/bots: @MalcolmNance just answered your question

@Malcom Nance Concur w/ @th3j35t3r Russian Cyber warfare support ramping up for @POTUS? Key intelligence indicator of impending major political activity.

Caroline goes on to list ways in which to spot bots and ends up her thread by posting:

13. @selectedwisdom addressed the issue of bots in his Senate testimony in March, including the keywords/phrases they use to blend in. 👇


Selected Wisdom is Clint Watts
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:53 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


Jeremy Christian, alleged terrorist: Death to the enemies of America. Death to antifa [anti-fascists]. You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism. Die.



Stay safe this weekend, Portland.
posted by Yowser at 4:53 PM on May 30 [24 favorites]


Honest to goodness, I would vote for Jay Smooth for something. Anything.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:54 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


Phlegmco(tm), your picture suddenly made me miss Saul Steinberg very much. His art was part of my memory of the Nixon years, and the turmoil of those times. Saul Steinberg
posted by acrasis at 5:05 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Portland Double Murder Suspect Allegedly Ranted on Tape About Stabbing Victim: "That's What Liberalism Gets You"
Accused MAX train killer: "I'm a patriot and I hope everyone I stabbed died."


Just a warning that the article describes a fairly horrific scene.

"I told him, 'You ain't gonna heal punk,'" Christian said, according to the affidavit. "And he still wants to put his hands on me. Die bitch. Fucking die. Stupid motherfucker. That's what liberalism gets you."

"I hope they all die," Christian continued, according to the affidavit. "I'm gonna say that on the stand. I'm a patriot and I hope everyone I stabbed died."


This is what these people want, for us to all die. On June 4th there's going to be a fairly large alt-right/neo-Nazi rally in downtown Portland and I presume a counter-protest by antifascists. I can't imagine it ending well for any party.
posted by gucci mane at 5:08 PM on May 30 [44 favorites]


I can tell you there is big concern among inner NE Portland parents. One of the High Schools is closing for maintenance next year, and the MAX line will be a major transportation link for Grant High School students to be able to reach their assigned schools. The whole incident is freaking my neighbors out and causing major concern for kids safety.
posted by herda05 at 5:19 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


This is what these people want, for us to all die.

For years now, I have thought that there is a sizeable portion of people in this country that secretly think that the 9/11 attackers didn't do enough damage. They would only have been happy if the whole of New York City had been wiped off the map. That way they could have gotten the flag-waving memorial they want to turn New York City into, but the site would have been free of us librul snowflakes.

If you doubt me, consider - I once got into an online debate with someone about the Muslim community center that was going to be close to Ground Zero, who claimed that the buiding would have disrespected the memories of the hallowed dead, but then in the very next breath - when I pointed out that many New Yorkers didn't mind - argued that New York city was a liberal cesspool so who cared what we thought anyway.

I've known for years that they want for us all to die.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:34 PM on May 30 [44 favorites]




This is what these people want, for us to all die.

I firmly believe that every single person who has attended a Trump rally has thought this privately at the very least.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 5:45 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


Fun thought exercise, pretend you are a time traveler sent back to the 1980s and you have to convince somebody in a position of authority to take you seriously that real estate developer and somewhat ridiculous media personality Donald Trump is going to become president and enact a Russian plot to destroy NATO with the help of an army of 'bots that communicate by tweeting.

In the late 1980s I was on the staff of Spy magazine. We tried.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:51 PM on May 30 [137 favorites]


I firmly believe that every single person who has attended a Trump rally has thought this privately at the very least.

Oh they've been pretty open about wanting millions of people dead or deported. For years now, and pretty brazenly. Which is why the centrist pleading to "fight them with facts" and the invoking of horseshoe theory puzzles the hell out of me, to an extent; most of the pleas come from people who'll never have to worry about being targeted.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:52 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


In the late 1980s I was on the staff of Spy magazine.

This is why I love MeFi.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:52 PM on May 30 [59 favorites]


“back channels like this are the regular course of business.”

please do not forget for one second that "back-channels" is the new "locker room talk".

see also: "accessible healthcare"
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:53 PM on May 30 [18 favorites]


In the late 1980s I was on the staff of Spy magazine.

Well that picture's going to haunt my dreams.
posted by orrnyereg at 5:55 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


It is really interesting to see how the WH is not denying the Kushner story but rather they are busy spinning "back channels" are a benign thing-- even a good thing. After all Obama had back channel negotiations with Iran. They have dismissed the whole story with an amazing bit of misdirection so that their base will happily buy into the idea that back channels are not a problem.

Of course that leaves us to explain that a) neither Jared nor Trump were President at the time so it was not appropriate and b) using the Russian embassy to send coded messages to Russia that America's intelligence community cannot overhear is not a back channel. It is just espionage.

No Spicey live tomorrow, he is doing an off-camera presser.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:00 PM on May 30 [22 favorites]


Oh, good, we haven't had anything stupid in awhile.

AP (just a tweet so far): BREAKING: President Trump has been urging world leaders to call him on his cellphone, raising security and secrecy concerns.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:04 PM on May 30 [50 favorites]


using the Russian embassy to send coded messages to Russia that America's intelligence community cannot overhear is not a back channel.

This is the part that needs to be hammered upon any time someone tries to handwave "back channels".
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:08 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


President Trump has been urging world leaders to call him on his cellphone

Late night when they need his love?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:09 PM on May 30 [35 favorites]


I remember the story from the G-7 summit that he kept trying to give Macron his number.

If the President talks to foreign leaders on his cell phone is someone from the Intelligence community listening and is an official record kept? He could be promising anything and the foreign leaders can also claim he has promised them things he should not have. He really is unfit for the job.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:09 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


Follow up: Trump has urged leaders of Canada and Mexico to reach him on his cellphone, according to former and current U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the practice. Of the two, only Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken advantage of the offer so far, the officials said.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:10 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think there could be more information literacy on what is/isn't REALLY BAD Russia stuff. It all kind of blurs together; the Sean Spicer version sounds credible when relayed over NPR; if I weren't here all day every day I could easily imagine myself handwaving the Russia stuff away as something annoying I wish would just clear up already.

Maybe it's something about growing up during the Cold War vs. being oblivious to that danger? Something about watching enough spy movies vs. not? Either way, there's a gap to fill in translating these betrayals.
posted by witchen at 6:12 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Late at night but only so that it's convenient for his Russian friends listening in.

I mean, anyone calling that phone has to assume it's compromised right?
posted by VTX at 6:12 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Can I suggest that links to articles include the actual headline? It will be easier to search before posting a duplicate.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:13 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Oh FFS Trudeau.
posted by Yowser at 6:15 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


From the AP story already posted Trump to world leaders: Call me maybe _ on my cellphone
Trump has struggled more than most recent presidents to keep his conversations with world leaders private. His remarks to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Russian diplomats have all leaked, presumably after notes of the conversations were circulated by national security officials.

It was unclear whether an impromptu, informal call with a foreign leader would be logged and archived. The Presidential Records Act of 1981, passed in response to the Watergate scandal, requires that the president and his staff preserve all records related to the office. In 2014, the act was amended to include personal emails.

But the law contains “blind spots” — namely, record-keeping for direct cellphone communications, said Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, who specializes in public interest and national security law.
They need to close that loophole.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:17 PM on May 30 [27 favorites]


It is a slightly surreal world where I have to consider that the WH might need to have their own Stingray to quietly redirect cellphone calls onto secure lines.
posted by jaduncan at 6:18 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


“back channels like this are the regular course of business.”

"Interesting. What other foreign governments did Mr. Kushner or other Trump administration personnel work with to arrange secret communications channels before and after January 20, 2017? Was this already the regular course of business for Mr. Trump's political organization prior to Mr. Kushner's December, 2016 meeting with the Russians?
If so, what were the prior communications that established this as the Trump team's regular course of business?"

(fake - why can't journalists ask good follow-up questions?)
posted by The World Famous at 6:18 PM on May 30 [26 favorites]


You think he was savvy enough to have someone buy like 10 burners from a cornerstore before making this offer?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:19 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


If you're speaking to Trump on his cell phone, you have to assume that he's being monitored and also that he's trying to play you even harder than he would if there were an official record. I mean, listen to the bullshit that comes out when he's on the record.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:19 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Oh FFS Trudeau.

I don't know about that. If Trump is asking for Canada and Mexico that means NAFTA. If I were Trudeau I'd sure as hell want to know what the fuck is going on before Trump potentially implodes North America's trading bloc.
posted by Talez at 6:21 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


You wonder if Trudeau is "Justin from Canada" in his Android contacts list.
posted by spitbull at 6:21 PM on May 30 [54 favorites]


Jack Moore in GQ: "Jared Kushner Once Allegedly Admitted That Donald Trump Lies to His Base Because He Thinks They're Stupid."

This revelation is very much in line with NPD:

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

-Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
-Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
-Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
-Requires excessive admiration
-Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
-Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
-Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
-Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
-Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

posted by Brian B. at 6:28 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


You wonder if Trudeau is "Justin from Canada" in his Android contacts list.

That horror when you realize that Trump may have actually been talking to Bieber thinking he was the PM of Canada.
posted by Talez at 6:28 PM on May 30 [30 favorites]


I have no doubt that Trump is a narcissist but his base are very stupid, and every Republican takes advantage of that. I don't think that makes every Republican a narcissist. Many of them are completely different flavors of asshole.
posted by Justinian at 6:34 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


This is the total implosion of the conservative movement.

A test of the actual factual federal bureaucracy to follow the rule of law.

Republicans are derelict in their duties. In a very political way.

While actual crimes are happening.
posted by Max Power at 6:34 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


Newsweek Nearly Half of Donald Trump's Twitter Followers Are Fake Accounts and Bots
Trump currently has 31 million followers and, sure enough, if you browse through them you will find an unusal number of tweet-less, picture-less accounts that joined the service in May 2017. If you're still curious, you can enter Trump's handle, @realDonaldTrump, into Twitter Audit, a service that assesses the authenticity of one's followers, and find that only 51 percent of Trump's are real.

This isn't the first time someone has pointed out that a good portion of Trump's Twitter following is fake, but what's interesting is that its fakeness seems to be increasing. In January, journalist Yashar Ali ran an audit on Trump's Twitter account and found that 68 percent of his then-20 million followers were real. Now he's at 30 million followers, but only 51 percent are real, which means of 10 million followers Trump has gained since January, about 8.3 million are fake.[...]

it can't sit well with the president that there are currently 31 accounts with more followers than his. One of those accounts is that of Barack Obama, which boasts a whopping 89 million followers, good for third-most in the world behind Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:37 PM on May 30 [19 favorites]


You wonder if Trudeau is "Justin from Canada" in his Android contacts list.

That horror when you realize that Trump may have actually been talking to Bieber thinking he was the PM of Canada.

...

it can't sit well with the president that there are currently 31 accounts with more followers than his. One of those accounts is that of Barack Obama, which boasts a whopping 89 million followers, good for third-most in the world behind Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.


*points frantically at wall of documents connected with a web of red yarn*
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:41 PM on May 30 [54 favorites]


It is really interesting to see how the WH is not denying the Kushner story but rather they are busy spinning "back channels" are a benign thing

They can't deny it because they know there are recordings of the conversation, right?
posted by diogenes at 6:43 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


This is the total implosion of the conservative movement.

It should be, but the jury is still out.
posted by diogenes at 6:44 PM on May 30 [13 favorites]


Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post Op-Ed, "Stripping away the illusion: Trump has no backstop."

When Trump was elected, many #NeverTrump Republicans (Cohen, most dramatically) warned about going into the Trump administration. It is far too easy to be cajoled into enabling bad behavior, they warned. It’s nearly impossible with a president this dishonest and this destructive to defend the administration without becoming an apologist for lies and bad behavior, they cautioned. The warnings were eerily prescient. “They took their jobs with the sincere belief that they could make a difference when it came to policy,” says Gary Schmitt of the American Enterprise Institute. “But what they didn’t think through as thoroughly is the chance that the president and his entourage would put their well-earned personal credibility at such risk that, at some point, their abilities to actually carry out policies will be gradually eroded as well.”
posted by spitbull at 6:54 PM on May 30 [24 favorites]


President Trump has been urging world leaders to call him on his cellphone

as long as it's not a private email server...
posted by mrmurbles at 7:22 PM on May 30 [39 favorites]


Jennifer Rubin reinforces her irredeemability by allowing someone from the AEI to separate themselves from the shitshow with the word, "they." There's nothing stopping these wholesome public servants from carrying out "policies" the same way a Trumpian doofwad would. The order of operations is the same. If there is something stopping them, then let's talk about that, rather than "Oh, Prince and Princess would love to continue their careers here, but it's simply not possible like this. Thank you for understanding."

But hey, this is Rubin's job, to help rehabilitate the establishment right and aid a perception of even-handed-if-partisan legitimacy.
posted by rhizome at 7:22 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


It's about fucking time
(This is a twitter link to something that is social/political and is kinda making fun of the National Review Online but is admittedly not entirely germane to the FPP. It was too fun/beautiful/perfect-to-my-survival-instinct regarding politics to pass up. Feel free to scroll past. Mods, sorry, delete if necessary.)
posted by chaoticgood at 7:26 PM on May 30 [15 favorites]


Excuse me while my blood cools down after boiling at the mention of AEI.
posted by Yowser at 7:28 PM on May 30


But hey, this is Rubin's job

As much as it pains me to pay Ms. Rubin a compliment, I have to observe that she has done more to castigate and hold to account the Trump badministration than many of us here have done. Also: she has a bigger audience. I suspect your cynicism about "even-handed-if-partisan" is better directed at other targets.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:38 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


My girlfriend is really, really into the idea of impeaching Trump, but more and more I find myself wondering if we'll be better off if the bastard serves out his full term. He's an endless nightmare of incompetence and scandal, and he's making a lot of people very angry. If he goes away, Pence will be in there doing the same shit (or worse) but doing it in a way that sounds superficially reasonable. Remember how people were saying Pence "won" the vice-presidential debate, saying horrible things with that calm android voice? ("I admire Mr. Trump's purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.") If Pence gets in the pundits will say our national nightmare is over and sanity has been restored, but it won't be. It will only look like we're back to "normal", but that will be enough to fool way too many people.

So, maybe we should be celebrating every shitty thing Trump says and does. Maybe after four years of that, people will finally wise up and see that this is what the Republicans are. Maybe.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:42 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


This is the total implosion of the conservative movement.

No, it's just the final form.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:48 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


Adolfo Flores, BuzzFeed News: Judge Slams Trump Administration Over Deportation Calling It “Inhumane”
An exacerbated federal judge on Tuesday took the unusual step of slamming the Trump administration's push to deport a father back to Mexico, calling it as "inhumane" and "contrary to the values of this nation."

US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt said the court lacked the authority to block the March deportation order, paving the way for Andres Magana Ortiz's expulsion to Mexico.

[...]

“In doing so, the government forces us to participate in ripping apart a family,” Reinhardt wrote in his opinion. “Three United States-citizen children will now have to choose between their father and their country.”
(In this household, Judge Stephen Reinhardt is also know as Ramona Ripston's husband.)
posted by Room 641-A at 7:54 PM on May 30 [20 favorites]


"Interesting. What other foreign governments did Mr. Kushner or other Trump administration personnel work with to arrange secret communications channels before and after January 20, 2017? Was this already the regular course of business for Mr. Trump's political organization prior to Mr. Kushner's December, 2016 meeting with the Russians?
If so, what were the prior communications that established this as the Trump team's regular course of business?"


Turkey via Flynn.
North Korea via Dennis Rodman.

Rodman is part of this administration right?
posted by srboisvert at 7:54 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


So, maybe we should be celebrating every shitty thing Trump says and does. Maybe after four years of that, people will finally wise up and see that this is what the Republicans are. Maybe.

Fully realizing that Trump is not W, W was still appalling terrible for the time, and I remember this exact same sentiment bandied about a lot during his first term, so I'm not really optimistic. Otherwise, I fully agree that President Pence would be like going from having your hands pressed in a waffle iron to just a regular steam iron.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:57 PM on May 30 [13 favorites]


exacerbated federal judge

Ouch.
posted by spitbull at 7:57 PM on May 30 [16 favorites]


I mean, anyone calling that phone has to assume it's compromised right?

Every time I call it, a traitor answers, so...yeah, probably.
posted by uosuaq at 7:59 PM on May 30 [26 favorites]


I remember this exact same sentiment bandied about a lot during his first term,

We've somewhat bandied it to death around here lately (search old threads for "accelerationism") so in the interests of cutting our dear mods a break we can stipulate that people feel strongly about the subject and more heat than light tends to result from opening it up. ; )

We should be so lucky as to have the choice of whether to let him finish his term.
posted by spitbull at 8:06 PM on May 30 [15 favorites]


As much as it pains me to pay Ms. Rubin a compliment, I have to observe that she has done more to castigate and hold to account the Trump badministration than many of us here have done. Also: she has a bigger audience.

B.S. She maintains the groundwork for it to happen again.

I suspect your cynicism about "even-handed-if-partisan" is better directed at other targets.

The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those who haven't got it. We gotta have some standards, and we're talking about AEI, the perfect entity to categorically exclude from further consideration about anything.
posted by rhizome at 8:06 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


I fully agree that President Pence would be like going from having your hands pressed in a waffle iron to just a regular steam iron.

On the other hand, to extend the W comparison: yeah, a lot of folks thought President Cheney would also be more of the same, if not worse. Is that what holds us back from holding the president accountable then? Does this not mean that you can get away with pretty much anything as president if your VP appears to be just as bad as you are? At what point do we make an example of a terrible president, sending a message to any potential successors to drastically change course or face the same fate?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:07 PM on May 30 [39 favorites]


We've somewhat bandied it to death around here lately (search old threads for "accelerationism") so in the interests of cutting our dear mods a break we can stipulate that people feel strongly about the subject and more heat than light tends to result from opening it up. : )

Ah, my bad. I'm relatively new to these threads and didn't know this had been Zizek'd extensively.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:09 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


For anyone who doesn't follow Jennifer Rubin, this review of her coverage of the 2012 election should tell you who she is and what she's about. That said, I'll have to agree with what Barack Spinoza says, she has been consistently making the case that, for conservatives, carrying water for the Trump administration should be viewed as an obvious disqualifier for future public office.
posted by peeedro at 8:10 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


Impeach 'em both. Problem solved.
posted by Justinian at 8:13 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

Okay? Don't be obtuse. If you want to accuse me of lacking "the power of accurate observation," then just say so.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:13 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


I despised Jennifer Rubin in 2012. Now I find her sometimes insightful and a surprisingly good writer, which I never noticed when she was carrying Romney and Rubio water buckets. As a cipher for the somewhat bewildered bloc of offended establishment republicans, who now seem more worried than resigned, she's good shorthand that spares the need to read further into the genre.
posted by spitbull at 8:15 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Impeach 'em both. Problem solved.

Then we get President Granny Starver.
posted by Talez at 8:16 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


It's shit covered turtles all the way down.
posted by Talez at 8:16 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


Links, links, bring out your links:

NYT: As Trump Weighs Shake-Up, He Faces Recruiting Challenge. Lots of personnel drama in here, and a seemingly indecisive Trump, but the common theme is that nobody wants to attach themselves to this mess:
By the time the first change in what may be a broader shake-up was announced Tuesday, the White House was left without a replacement. Michael Dubke, the White House communications director, said he would step down, but four possible successors contacted by the White House declined to be considered, according to an associate of Mr. Trump who like others asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

At the same time, talks with two former advisers, Corey Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, about joining the White House staff grew more complicated. Mr. Bossie, a former deputy campaign manager, signaled that he does not plan to join the staff, citing family concerns, one person close to the discussions said Tuesday. It was not clear what that might mean for Mr. Lewandowski, who was the campaign manager until being fired last summer but who has remained close to Mr. Trump.
H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohen wrote a WSJ op-ed America First Doesn’t Mean America Alone. As one analyst puts it: "I'm unclear how a sitting 3-star Army general can write this partisan political defense of policy and it be kosher." There's some real revisionism of the trip in here; they claim that Trump "reconfirm[ed] America’s commitment to NATO and Article 5," which is kind of the thing everyone was waiting for him to actually do and he didn't.

The WSJ also brings us Mike Flynn’s Pro-Turkey Work: An Unfinished Documentary to Boost Country’s Image, which goes into detail on the pro-Turkey, anti-Gülen documentary he was paid $530,000 to make, including the shifting story of the suspicious payments back to Alptekin. Unsurprisingly, they didn't want anyone to know that Flynn Intel Group was involved with the film.

WaPo: Trump’s aides are starting to rival their boss when it comes to praising him. His staff is sounding increasingly like they're talking about Dear Leader or maybe channeling Baghdad Bob with their effusive praise.

McClatchy: GOP taps anti-Clinton strategy to damage Elizabeth Warren early. Notably, none of this overtly involves any kind of policy argument or disagreement: it's all rather personal.
The goal is more about weakening Warren than defeating her: Republicans doubt that any of their party’s likely candidates could topple her next year. But even with the next presidential election more than three years away, they say exposing her weaknesses now — or making sure her race is closer than expected — could do lasting damage.

“We learned from our experience with Secretary (Hillary) Clinton that when you start earlier, the narratives have more time to sink in and resonate with the electorate,” said Colin Reed, executive director at the Republican outside group America Rising.
And lastly, a rather alarming claim from Ilan Goldenberg:
1. Crazy thing I heard recently. Kushner has been known to veto decisions made by the Principals Committee (PC)
2. So McMaster, Tillerson, Mattis, Pompeo, Kelly get together & agree on a recommendation for POTUS
3. A recommendation informed by a process leveraging broad expertise across various agencies in the USG
4. And Kushner singlehandedly says "we're not doing that."
5. When PC comes up with recommendation it should go to POTUS who should be the only one with power to veto it
6. Instead that power goes to his son in law with zero Natsec experience...
7. & the good judgement to try to set up a secret channel to the Russians using their embassy & secure coms equipment
8. These are profound sometimes life & death decisions being made by this guy. This is not normal
posted by zachlipton at 8:18 PM on May 30 [95 favorites]


Pence would be a much easier politician to fight. If it wasn't for being able to stand next to djt and seemingly coherant for the comparison, he'd just be Pence: a bumbling, unpopular ex-governor. Who doesn't buy into conspiracy theories (unless he boss says it first, and if DJT goes he'd have no boss.) He'd be judged the way McCain and Romney were judged. By normal republican standards.

Bonus: Mike Pence isn't a climate change denier.

That's to say he's not awful, but he'd MOST DEFINITELY be less awful than what you've got at the moment.
posted by Sallysings at 8:19 PM on May 30 [16 favorites]


I'd be pretty alright if we didn't re-re-re-re-litigate the "Maybe the dumpster fire will turn people around if we let it burn long enough" argument.
posted by Brak at 8:19 PM on May 30 [27 favorites]


Don't know if this is the best place to put this, but a new sex assault case was just filed against Dennis Hastert: "The man, now in his 50s, accused Hastert in a suit filed Friday of sexually assaulting him as a 9- or 10-year-old boy in the bathroom of a community building that has since been replaced by the high school's parking lot."
posted by stopgap at 8:19 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


It's shit covered turtles all the way down.

Indeed. You could keep impeaching and impeaching, and we'd still be fucked. One of the most horrifying things about this mess is that no matter what happens there's almost zero possibility that a decent, rational human being gets the job any time before 2018.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:22 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Then we get President Granny Starver.

That completely depends on whether we get out the vote in November of 2018. I think we can take it as a given that there will be no impeachment in the next 12-18 months. Mueller's investigation is just beginning to ramp up.
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


8. These are profound sometimes life & death decisions being made by this guy. This is not normal

I completely agree with that. But the "normal" alternative is that those profound decisions are made by Donald fucking Trump. Is that an improvement? Is it?
posted by Justinian at 8:26 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


That completely depends on whether we get out the vote in November of 2018. I think we can take it as a given that there will be no impeachment in the next 12-18 months. Mueller's investigation is just beginning to ramp up.

Republicans would let the country burn before they even entertain a President Pelosi.
posted by Talez at 8:31 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


You could keep impeaching and impeaching, and we'd still be fucked. One of the most horrifying things about this mess is that no matter what happens there's almost zero possibility that a decent, rational human being gets the job any time before 2018.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:22 PM on May 30 [+] [!]


better get started soon, then.
posted by eustatic at 8:32 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


I completely missed this one. Nominate Priebus to be Ambassador to Greece, and he has to be confirmed. Which means a confirmation hearing. Which means all sorts of questions about firing Comey and anything else Democrats want to grill him on, under oath, about the operations of the White House. (We probably shouldn't say this too loudly, in the hope they do it anyway.)
posted by zachlipton at 8:34 PM on May 30 [24 favorites]


You know Trump isn't going to make a proper contact for every head of state or diplomat he gives that number.

And that number will get out. Somebody's gonna pretend to be a forgettable diplomat from Spain and start World War III.
posted by ikea_femme at 8:45 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


It would only be fair if Lindsey Graham revealed Trump's cellphone # publicly.
posted by Lyme Drop at 8:56 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


Not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but Al Franken's new book Giant of the Senate came out today and not a moment too soon because I really need the comic relief right now and he's devoted nearly a whole chapter to making fun of Ted Cruz.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:02 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


From that McMaster/Cohn Op-Ed, this is the paragraph that's getting a lot of play on Twitter. It's haunting and sounds exactly like a view of the world only Bannon and Putin could love:
The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.
There's a ton to unpack in there, and I'm sure the hot takes are coming, but I still can't get over the fact that it's now apparently official government policy to put businesses on the playing field as nations. It's frankly not entirely untrue, but we usually don't treat it as a good thing.
posted by zachlipton at 9:03 PM on May 30 [37 favorites]


Gah, one can only hope the nuclear football guy knows to shiv trump if his little hands come near it.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:08 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


um, I think the President is broken. He just tweeted: "Despite the constant negative press covfefe"

It has 3.4K likes and 2.6K retweets despite being nonsense.
posted by zachlipton at 9:10 PM on May 30 [52 favorites]


heeeere we go @realdonaldtrump (12:06am EDT): "Despite the constant negative press covfefe"
posted by lalex at 9:10 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


what if that's....it?
posted by lalex at 9:12 PM on May 30 [27 favorites]


It has 3.4K likes and 2.6K retweets despite being nonsense.

Spot the bot scripts.
posted by jaduncan at 9:12 PM on May 30 [13 favorites]


Hey, maybe we should be talking about all the covfefe
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:19 PM on May 30 [14 favorites]


MetaFilter: Despite the constant negative press covfefe
posted by tonycpsu at 9:20 PM on May 30 [17 favorites]


Nevertheless, he covfefed.
posted by drlith at 9:20 PM on May 30 [72 favorites]


There was an actual wrestling match for the phone this time, wasn't there?
posted by MrVisible at 9:20 PM on May 30 [72 favorites]


well whatever move they used to take the phone from him was certainly feffective
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:21 PM on May 30 [29 favorites]


I'm disappointed by the replies to the tweet, which post a lot of generic anti-Trump stuff and don't really capitalize on this unique moment.
posted by lalex at 9:23 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


*hums along* Little Press Covfefe
posted by jaduncan at 9:23 PM on May 30 [16 favorites]


I'm disappointed by the replies to the tweet, which post a lot of generic anti-Trump stuff and don't really capitalize on this unique moment.

Spot the bots there, too.
posted by jaduncan at 9:24 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


I for one was really disappointed with Alien: Covfefe
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:25 PM on May 30 [14 favorites]


So, was that one of the lawyer-approved tweets?
posted by dirigibleman at 9:25 PM on May 30 [13 favorites]


I'm pretty sure covfefe is either a pre-existing condition or a drug not covered under the AHCA, but I'm not sure which.
posted by zachlipton at 9:26 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]




20 minutes! Somebody should probably check on him.
posted by lalex at 9:27 PM on May 30


This is the total implosion of the conservative movement.

No, it's just the final form.


i dunno about you, but the republicans have proven, over and over again, that they can always get worse. "total implosion" and "final form" hardly give them the credit they deserve.
posted by anem0ne at 9:28 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


Give it another 10 in case it's something serious.
posted by Artw at 9:28 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


omg this tweet thing has to be resolved so I can go to bed
posted by lalex at 9:28 PM on May 30 [13 favorites]


Yeah, he pretty much just sunk all his bots there.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:30 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of de&lb2i3blfcovefe
posted by lalex at 9:31 PM on May 30 [37 favorites]


(Not that it fucking mattered. His cultists just copied the paid trolls and their bots.)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:31 PM on May 30


It's paid trolls all the way down up.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:32 PM on May 30


*hums along* Little Press Covfefe

... baby, you're much too covfefe 🎵
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:33 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Klaatu! Varada! *cough* *cough* Covfefe. *cough*
posted by peeedro at 9:34 PM on May 30 [16 favorites]


President_ebooks
posted by theodolite at 9:34 PM on May 30 [75 favorites]


If he doesn't delete this soon, tomorrow we'll have to hear Spicer angrily lecturing the gaggle about how they should let the tweet speak for itself, and why aren't they covering the nation's very serious covfefe problem.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:35 PM on May 30 [40 favorites]


"Then we get President Granny Starver."

Maybe not! There's an intriguing and until now entirely theoretical Constitutional question here -- the Constitution provides that "Officers" of the United States can succeed to the presidency, which are people the president appoints to certain offices (for our purposes, the Cabinet, Art II, sec 2, clause 2); Senators and Reps are specifically forbidden from being "Officers of the United States" (Art I, sec 6, clause 2). However, Art II, sec 1, clause 6, which provides for the succession to the office of president says: "the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President" and "Officer" there maybe (probably?) means "Officer of the United States" as a term of art, which may explicitly mean that Congresscritters can't succeed to the Presidency. So it's possible that the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 is unconstitutional. It's absolutely certain that if Congress/the government/whomever tried to appoint Paul Ryan after resignation or impeachment of Trump and Pence, the motherloving shit would be litigated out of it.

(Side note, reading the Constitution extremely selectively -- like a fundamentalist with an Old Testament -- is how we get people who are like "WHO KNOWS WHAT A WELL-REGULATED MILITIA IS? Nobody can know what that can possibly mean, therefore we must give everyone guns." Well, no dude, it's right there in Art I, sec 8, clauses 15-16, as one of the things Congress organizes, so if Congress doesn't run your militia, it ain't well-regulated.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:35 PM on May 30 [55 favorites]


What if this was intentional and is bot testing?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:35 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


It was covfefe of times, it was the worst of times.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:36 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


[*facepalm* Just... thread length... derails... if you can... *despairing hand flap*]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:37 PM on May 30 [117 favorites]


What if this was intentional and is bot testing?

Is this plausible? I know nothing about how bot testing would work.
posted by lalex at 9:42 PM on May 30


my name is Trump
and wen its nite
or wen i'm alone
needing the spotlight
and seanny spice
haf gone hiding in the leafy -
i stay up late
i tweet the covfefe
posted by zachlipton at 9:42 PM on May 30 [156 favorites]


The #covfefe hashtag is a thing of wonder.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:43 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


[*facepalm* Just... thread length... derails... if you can... *despairing hand flap*]

A moment of appreciation for the mod team here being more timely and on point in responding to confusion and chatter arising from the President's odd and confusing tweet than the White House communications team (or the President himself) has been.

Appreciation, and a yawning pit of despair.
posted by cjelli at 9:44 PM on May 30 [78 favorites]




He was probably just using voice to text to send the tweet and one of his advisors gagged him mid-tweet.
posted by azpenguin at 9:46 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Somebody get the mod team some fresh covfefe, please. They are going to need it.
posted by nubs at 9:46 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


so Josh Marshall posted: "For some reason I'm actually kind of worried about this." and one of the replies said "The dice tweets immediately after and the increase in robo followers make it weird."

What are dice tweets?
posted by lalex at 9:47 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


[extremely Louise Mensch voice]
The Marshal of the Supreme Court is on his way to the White House to deliver a Writ of Covfefe right now!

What are dice tweets?

The top replies are a bunch of nonsense from Mark Dice
posted by zachlipton at 9:50 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


What are dice tweets?

Mark Dice, infowars-tier youtuber with an enormous, angry neck
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:50 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Damn fine cuppa negative press covfefe.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:51 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Quick, while it's late in the US - let's ramp up a spirited debate about how to pronounce "covfefe." In my head, it's "cove-FAY-fay," where the V blends into the initial F. Having earnestly held this opinion for nigh on 9 minutes, I'm deeply committed to it and will regard any disagreement as worse than treason.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 9:52 PM on May 30 [42 favorites]


Someone *please* edit into the scene in Star Trek V when everyone is staring dumbfounded, naming their name of heaven...
Sha ka ree!
Vor-ta-vor!
Trump: covfefe
posted by ctmf at 9:53 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


Is this plausible? I know nothing about how bot testing would work.

Generally, when the White House wants to control bots using a secret deniable backchannel, they just mash random alphanumeric codes in the Press Secretary's twitter feed. The US probably just nuked Malta or ordered a bucket of fried chicken or something.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:53 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


ohhhhhhh. Thank you!

Can I just say that it is fucking insane that we're in a situation where a lunatic United States president has sent off some garbled nonsense to the world in the middle of the night, and nobody has bothered to correct or delete it?
posted by lalex at 9:53 PM on May 30 [32 favorites]


Can't. It's a coded command to the botnet.
posted by ctmf at 9:55 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


"cove-FAY-fay,"

My initial read was cove-FEEFE but I must admit yours to be superior.
posted by lalex at 9:55 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


Can I just say that it is fucking insane that we're in a situation where a lunatic United States president has sent off some garbled nonsense to the world in the middle of the night, and nobody has bothered to correct or delete it?

Literal garbled nonsense is no more meaningless than any of his other tweets, so why bother fixing it?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:56 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Overhead, the stars were going out. #covfefe
posted by nubs at 9:57 PM on May 30 [39 favorites]


Covfefe, covfefe
They whisper it all over Turkey
Covfefe, covfefe
It sounds so romantic and perky...
posted by stopgap at 9:57 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Everyone makes typos. It's clearly meant to say "Despite the constant negative press of Pepe"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:57 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Damn fine covfefe.
posted by guiseroom at 9:57 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


My feeling is you start saying the word 'coverage' but halfway through start making a farting noise with your lips
posted by theodolite at 9:57 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


#covfefe chat site party, anyone?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:58 PM on May 30


James Fallows: "45 mins later, this is still up. If you have seen any “normal” White House, and know the power at a prez discretion, this is .. not good."

On the bright side the covfefe jokes in my feed are really improving.
posted by lalex at 9:58 PM on May 30 [23 favorites]


It makes sense if you just assume that Corfefe is the Old One they used the orb to summon.

Then it's just missing a comma.
posted by jaduncan at 9:59 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


I believe that covfefe is a cousin of kayfabe (the opposite, perhaps? help) and is pronounced accordingly.
posted by acidic at 9:59 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


"Can I just say that it is fucking insane that we're in a situation where a lunatic United States president has sent off some garbled nonsense to the world in the middle of the night, and nobody has bothered to correct or delete it?"

The only logical explanation I can come up with is that something far more serious than needing to delete a tweet has occurred and the White House is busy trying to figure out how to spin it.
posted by komara at 9:59 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


[*facepalm* Just... thread length... derails... if you can... *despairing hand flap*]

In all seriousness, it's probably time to consider a daily politics thread (and maybe splitting it off from the main site). No matter who entreaties to keep chatter and derails to a minimum, no matter how solid the logic, these threads are going to continue to spiral out of control. Just having a new one every 24 hours would help keep the load on both servers and clients down.

Is this plausible? I know nothing about how bot testing would work.

It's in the realm of possibility, but very, very, very, unlikely. If you're testing whether your botnet will retweet things from an account, there's far simpler ways to do so and if you're trying to expose that a botnet is mindlessly retweeting things from an account, it's not like that's in Trump's interest with that account.
posted by Candleman at 10:00 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


Despite the constant negative press confetti will descend upon my re-election victory party
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:00 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


The only logical explanation I can come up with is that something far more serious than needing to delete a tweet has occurred and the White House is busy trying to figure out how to spin it.

They only had one scoop of ice cream left and Trump is having a toddler meltdown.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:01 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


what if that's....it?
posted by lalex at 12:12 AM


I'm starting to have that ominous feeling like in the near future aliens, having descended on the smoking rubble of our civilization, will come across this comment and shake their heads sadly...
posted by lalex at 10:02 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


My feeling is you start saying the word 'coverage' but halfway through start making a farting noise with your lips

IPA /ˈkʌvʙ̪ː/, if anyone's interested.
posted by biogeo at 10:03 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


This is gonna be the yuuugest meme yet.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:04 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


The only logical explanation I can come up with is that something far more serious than needing to delete a tweet has occurred and the White House is busy trying to figure out how to spin it.

Honestly if he's anything like my dad he probably just fell asleep mid-tweet and is now passed out on the couch with his mouth hanging open and phone on the floor.
posted by lalex at 10:05 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


Ursula Hitler at 11:22 PM: You could keep impeaching and impeaching, and we'd still be fucked.

One really important difference between a President Trump and a President Pence, is that President Pence will have just watched his predecessor's impeachment. I think we all agree he's a bit dim, but that's likely to make an impression nonetheless.

Another important difference is that he'll be facing a congress with a bunch of investigatory committees all spun up, ready to issue more subpoenas, leak to the press, and grandstand, now looking for a new hobby.

A President Ryan would already be stepping lightly, having pissed off most of his own caucus, will have just watched the last two guys run out of town on a rail, and may begin to detect a trend. He seems like a guy who knows when to restrict himself to vacuous gestures, those being what he's best at anyway.

If not, sooner or later we'll find somebody able to take the hint, not call attention to themselves, and do what they're told.
posted by dirge at 10:05 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


Twenty years from now we'll all still remember where we were when covfefe happened.
posted by octothorpe at 10:07 PM on May 30 [21 favorites]


So, uh, it's been about an hour of covfefe, and I'm kinda freaking out, do you think it's okay to go to sleep? Will there be a tomorrow?
posted by Behemoth at 10:07 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


The strangest thing about that #covfefe hashtag are all the Trumpists claiming that the liberals laughing at it are offended?

And somehow more offended at it than they were Kathy Griffin-holding-beheaded-Trump thing that apparently happened?

It's almost like Trumpists are so desperate for a CHECKMATE LIBERALS moment that they're just covfefe.
posted by anem0ne at 10:08 PM on May 30 [27 favorites]


Sundowning.
posted by schroedinger at 10:09 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


I was really hoping this entire thread could just pretend Kathy Griffin never happened. It was working so well too.
posted by zachlipton at 10:09 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


From Merriam-Webster

Wakes up.
Checks Twitter.
.
.
.
Uh...
.
.
.
📈 Lookups fo...
.
.
.
Regrets checking Twitter.
Goes back to bed.

posted by winna at 10:10 PM on May 30 [74 favorites]


I hope there's an economist out there measuring the impact of Trump's tweets on US GDP. How many people are lying awake wondering if he had a mid-tweet collapse?
posted by Coventry at 10:10 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


oh god how are any of you still on twitter
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:11 PM on May 30 [16 favorites]


I was really hoping this entire thread could just pretend Kathy Griffin never happened.

YES PLEASE
posted by lalex at 10:11 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


unfortunately it's past the edit window so i can't replace the reference with covfefe

maybe the mods could

wink
posted by anem0ne at 10:15 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, in the True Timeline, President Clinton has just had a rough week of criticism for not holding enough press conferences and communicating with the public during her major policy rollouts, despite having an outstanding press secretary who gives regular, detailed briefings on the most minute details of each new policy.
posted by biogeo at 10:15 PM on May 30 [58 favorites]


I feel like if I were running the world's most-scrutinized Twitter account, I would compose my tweets in Memo and show them to anyone, anyone, before posting them. Hey, Bob, does this tweet look OK? Good to go?

Even if it's just a yes-man, he can at least make sure I didn't spell "honered" wrong or whatever. Paste it into the Twitter app, boom, another quality tweet down the hatch.

But that can't be right. It would be alarming if me, an internet rando, had better ideas about how to run the Twitter account of the fucking President of the United States. There must be some reason to just compose in-app and trust my 70-year-old fingers not to fatfinger the "post" button.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:15 PM on May 30 [19 favorites]


Coverage! covfefe was meant to be coverage! I did it!
posted by Justinian at 10:16 PM on May 30 [15 favorites]


oh thank god now i can go to bed
posted by lalex at 10:18 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Is there any line of succession that would make whoever runs the Merriam-Webster twitter next in line for the presidency?
posted by bibliowench at 10:18 PM on May 30 [74 favorites]


Meanwhile, in the True Timeline, President Clinton has just had a rough week of criticism for not holding enough press conferences and communicating with the public during her major policy rollouts, despite having an outstanding press secretary who gives regular, detailed briefings on the most minute details of each new policy.

That's a cruel, cruel thing to do. I'm holding my heart together with bandaids as it is.
posted by bardophile at 10:19 PM on May 30 [18 favorites]


Is there any line of succession that would make whoever runs the Merriam-Webster twitter next in line for the presidency?

Pete Souza's Instagram would like to have a word...
posted by lalex at 10:19 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


The only logical explanation I can come up with is that something far more serious than needing to delete a tweet has occurred and the White House is busy trying to figure out how to spin it.

He might not be ok.
posted by ctmf at 10:20 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Is there any line of succession that would make whoever runs the Merriam-Webster twitter next in line for the presidency?

Yes. Speaker of the House doesn't need to be a member of the House. So, theoretically, Ryan is removed, replaced with a representative from Merriam-Webster, then impeachment proceeds.
posted by dirge at 10:21 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** GA-06
-- Handel is trying to play "keep your distance...but don't LOOK LIKE you're keeping your distance" with Trump.

-- Today was the first day of early voting for the general. D 42, R 42 with 15,480 votes counted. That's very high - it took 12 days in the primary to hit that total count.
** SC-05 -- A Dem poll has Parnell down in the single digits to Norman. This is a very red district - Mulvaney won by 20 points in 2016.

** Other races -- GOP maintained control of SC-HD84 by 20 points. The Dems had not even contested this seat in 2016, so good to see someone running (and beating that '14 margin by 9 points).

** Voting rights -- IL gov Rauner has indicated he will sign the automatic voter registration bill the legislature has passed. He vetoed a earlier, somewhat stronger version; still this is likely to add ~2M voters to the rolls.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:22 PM on May 30 [45 favorites]


Like most certainly there are lots and lots of people with the password to that account, right? It's just UNSETTLING at this point.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:23 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


The only logical explanation I can come up with is that something far more serious than needing to delete a tweet has occurred and the White House is busy trying to figure out how to spin it.

Honestly probably his finger slipped mid-tweet when he got an incoming call from a smart world leader who is currently whispering sweet nothings into Trump's ear (surrounded by his/her top intelligence officials, of course, all of whom understand that they're basically speaking on an old-timey party line).
posted by acidic at 10:23 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


"Nobody can truthfully say of himself that he is filth. Because if I do say it, though it can be true in a sense, this is not a truth by which I myself can be penetrated: otherwise I should either go mad or change myself."

-Ludwig Wittgenstein, Journal entry, 1937.
posted by clavdivs at 10:24 PM on May 30 [17 favorites]


I looked over at this tab and saw like 80-something new posts and got all worried about what happened and then... covfefe
posted by jason_steakums at 10:26 PM on May 30 [29 favorites]


Hey, trump hasn't fixed it yet because he knows ratings gold when he sees it. People are just going apeshit with it!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:27 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Whoa what if this is Mike Dubke's revenge? Or maybe he's the only other person who knew the twitter password
posted by theodolite at 10:27 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


maybe that IS the Twitter password?
posted by lalex at 10:30 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Everyone knows the password is B1GLY.
posted by mochapickle at 10:33 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]




Is this plausible? I know nothing about how bot testing would work.

Yeah, totally, as you know Trump likes to roll up his sleeves and get in the trenches with the IT guys. He just got off a tier3 service call about these bots and hey, he was not busy in the middle of the night. What could be more natural than a quick botnet test from the president of teh United States?
posted by Meatbomb at 10:34 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


This whole thing has oscillated from funny to not funny back to funny again back to not funny (Anil Dash has some professional-white-background-approved thoughts on the not funny part). Even assuming he's ok, at least within the not-at-all-normal bounds of what ok means for this man, there once was a time in the not too distant past when we were secure enough in our government that a bad tweet didn't send us all into a hysterical panic, when the government sought to use communications tools to more-or-less inform rather than bully and covfefe.

I don't want this to be a covfefe hot take, and don't get me wrong, this is all really hilarious, but it's also really not.
posted by zachlipton at 10:35 PM on May 30 [24 favorites]


honestly I'm just hoping we͍͓̱̭̫ can get̙ ̶͙ past this ridi̺̫̭̫̬͉c̤̕u̹̠͍̝͙̲̹͝lous half-ff̳i̵̙̺̙̤̪ni̛s̻̜ͅhed tweet thing and back to the ṛ͔͈̭͓e҉̰̥̣a͞ll ̨̬̝̦b͙̞͙͠ṵs̡̩i̻̯̣͈͠n͚̱̗̫e̤̬̣s̬̥̦̪̰͜ş̪̘̖͕̹̬̠ ͇̯̼͎̱̠o͈̲͎̞̟f̼͘ ̨̼̲̜
f̗͈̟̫̰̭̫i̲͉̣̥̜̙̹g̨̣̙͉̺u͕̝͕r͝i̯̣̗̰̯ͅͅ --

̵̪̺̥͓h̦̗̖͉e͏͎̮ ͚̻̥͔̳̯͡ͅc͕̱̙͎̱͈o̺̜͙̜m̗e̵̩̙̹͖͍̜̞s̠̖̳̻͢ c͈̮̘͈̦̫ò̘v͔̝́f͕̯̫̦e̺̝̗͙̮̣f̸͉̗̤̦̬ȩ̣͎͉̥̩

͔̗͢o̻h̟͖̞̠̝͉͍͞gͅo͏̱̰̝d͍͖̱͓͇̪̲ ̝͙̜

̧̭̬̘̪͍̗c̮̼̖͔̠͟o̲̥v͝f̭̜e͍̯̩̰f̣e̥̱̮̤̲͈̲
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:37 PM on May 30 [101 favorites]


i guess that communications director that quit was really holding the place together
posted by localhuman at 10:38 PM on May 30 [54 favorites]


When nite is nigh
And android's neer
His fingrs tweet
All werds, no feer

He twitters trooth
Re: fake teevee
He's 45
He's #covfefe
posted by mochapickle at 10:38 PM on May 30 [39 favorites]


IT'S BURNING A FUCKING HOLE IN OUR MINDS IS WHY
posted by Burhanistan at 10:38 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Did someone slap the phone out of his hands and break it?
posted by Tenuki at 10:39 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


this ridi̺̫̭̫̬͉c̤̕u̹̠͍̝͙̲̹͝lous half-ff̳i̵̙̺̙̤̪ni̛s̻̜ͅhed tweet thing

How do you input that baroque orthography?
posted by Coventry at 10:39 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


This thread was so lean and trimp and staying on point and then covfefe happened and nothing else mattered.
posted by guiseroom at 10:41 PM on May 30 [16 favorites]


covfefe

I have been saving this tube of glue since I was in middle school. It's legitimate Red Label Testor's. They banned this shit in the mid 1980s for good reason. It's never been opened.

I think it's time to open it now, and glue some important shit together. Like maybe my synapses.

Kidding, don't huff glue kids, it's really bad for you. Raid mom and dad's weed stash,, eh?
posted by loquacious at 10:42 PM on May 30 [32 favorites]


It really seems like covfefe is a dark alchemical key that has finally made this fucker normal in this world. It's all done and dusted; there is no more sense or logic. Ah, well.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:43 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I like to think he was trying to spell "kerfuffle"
posted by mrjohnmuller at 10:43 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


W̫͓h͉̲͕̬̮̲́ͅa̝̫͎͢ț̨͙ ̡̳̰̼͇̬o͈̰̻̬̦r̢̖̩t̺h̴o̥̗̻͕͙̯̼g͇̝̰̭͉r͇͔̤̟̥̗̰a̬p̝h͈͟y͇?͔͙̤̭̭̗ ̵̤͖͕A̬̼r͇̮̰e̺̹͔̼͚̫̲̕ ̣̗̮͎y͎͝o̝̫̻͖̫̝̭ụ̭͇̠͓͞ ̞o͇̝̱̠̰̰k͚?͉͜
posted by loquacious at 10:43 PM on May 30 [25 favorites]


> and then covfefe happened

... and we learned that even autocorrect had resigned its position.
posted by rtha at 10:44 PM on May 30 [72 favorites]


Did someone slap the phone out of his hands and break it?

Little known fact -- Trump is a huge "Silicon Valley" fan and makes his staff role play recent episodes, so they were doing last night's phone-slapping scenes.

Bannon is Ehrlich of course, Spicey is - surprisingly - Richard, and, Jared is, well, Jared.
posted by msalt at 10:44 PM on May 30


I've got a crisp $100 bill for the first parents to name their newborn Covfefe.
posted by vverse23 at 10:45 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


I think we've found in the dozens of previous Metafilter threads where we've discussed covfefe to death already that covfefe is not something Metafilter does well, and discussing covfefe tends to produce more heat than light. I would recommend everyone just encountering covfefe for the first time to please search the many previous threads about it, so the mods don't scold us all for yet another pointless rehash of the whole covfefe thing.
posted by chortly at 10:45 PM on May 30 [106 favorites]


Covfefe? I hardly know fefe!

(has a thread on the blue ever been closed early to start over?)
posted by ctmf at 10:48 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


also, mods, could we get a do-over on the election too?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:50 PM on May 30 [11 favorites]


Poor Spicey is going to have to spend his last appearance as PressSec explaining the covfefe cervfefefuffle.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:50 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


riverrun, past Eve and Adams, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a covfefe
posted by ctmf at 10:52 PM on May 30 [19 favorites]


It's starting to seem weirdly off-topic at this point, but still thinking about the President Ryan thing...

The only way this happens would seem to be Ryan, McConnell, et. al. work with a majority of Democrats and a minority of Republicans to push through impeachment.

It's hard to see that happening at all, but if we stipulate that it does, then it's not clear at all that the Republican caucus in the House would remain sufficiently unified to elect a Republican Speaker to replace Ryan. You'd either see a Tuesday Group + Democrats coalition lead by a moderate Republican or conservative Democrat, or you'd see a massive Republican internecine bloodletting followed by an even less effectual Speaker than Ryan.

A President Ryan would be utterly crippled.
posted by dirge at 10:52 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


On the off chance he actually died while tweeting, I just want to say fuck him, I'm glad he died while petulantly complaining about the dumbest shit in the world, and I hope some day soon to be able to spit on his grave.
posted by Copronymus at 10:52 PM on May 30 [53 favorites]


This thread was so lean and trimp and staying on point and then covfefe happened and nothing else mattered.

...trimp?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:53 PM on May 30 [10 favorites]


Thanks to Jon Lovett we can now vote on the correct pronunciation. Get in there, folks!
posted by lalex at 10:53 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


I love you all.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:53 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


> ...trimp?

Trim for Trump. Is this your first covfefe?
posted by guiseroom at 10:56 PM on May 30 [20 favorites]


The nation hasn't been in this much suspense over a sitting president's health since Reagan was shot!
posted by Burhanistan at 11:07 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Careless
Otters
Vindictively
Filch
Every
Foreign
Eggplant
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:10 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


Someone has registered covfefe.com.

A man in California has bought the license plate covfefe.

We rate dogs is selling baseball caps with "covfefe af" on them.

People in England are just waking up to covfefegate.

Ask your doctor if covfefe is right for you.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:11 PM on May 30 [86 favorites]


"He died doing what he loved best." -- Tombstone engraving
posted by Burhanistan at 11:22 PM on May 30 [7 favorites]


Despite the constant negative press Coverage Our Victorious Fuhrer Enjoys Fueling Extremism?
posted by knapah at 11:25 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Can't sleep. Covfefe'll eat me.
posted by loquacious at 11:26 PM on May 30 [12 favorites]


I won't say it was all worth it if those were his last words, but if they were, I'm pretty much all in on theism no joke
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:27 PM on May 30 [56 favorites]


Come on people. Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't have bothered to carve 'Aaaauuuggghhhh'. He'd just say it.
posted by Justinian at 11:28 PM on May 30 [45 favorites]


"Combovers Occlude Vanishing Follicles Effectively", Father Explained
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:29 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


How could it POSSIBLY get any dumber than this?
posted by mmoncur at 11:33 PM on May 30 [15 favorites]


i took a sick day and slept after my dawn prayers, all caught up with the thread. what a wondrous thing to wake up to.
posted by cendawanita at 11:33 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Oh lord, y'all, this is what you're up to at 11:38 on a Tuesday night? I'm on vacation so I have an excuse, but the rest of you?

In other news, if we find out that the Russians rigged the election or whatever, is there a magical do-over button that means that Hillary won? Just wishing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:38 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, also I thought there was some historical/Library of Congress rule of some kind that TrumpCo can't delete tweets now?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:40 PM on May 30


How could it POSSIBLY get any dumber than this?

Meanwhile, in the #1 trending story on the NY Times' website...
posted by mmoncur at 11:41 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


I am with Anil Dash on this. This is so stupid and awful and representative of everything that is incompetent and loathsome about this rotten salmagundi of an administration. I can't joke about it and i can usually joke about everything. This is so beyond stupid that its achieved a kind of ur-stupidity. It's like the Aristotelian ideal of stupidity has broken through into our level of reality. God we're so fucked.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:43 PM on May 30 [37 favorites]




If you're a foreign power and you want to antagonize the United States, wouldn't right now be an super obvious time to do it? The President is clearly incapacitated (asleep, presumably?) or preoccupied with something else.

I don't want to make too big a deal of this because any President is usually going to be asleep at 3 AM, but do we have to announce to the world when the commander-in-chief has passed out on the toilet?
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:48 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


The spectrum of emotions upon seeing "130 New Comments at 11 PM PST":

Dread
Sick anticipation
exasperation because maybe you all are engaging in round 10484020 of a well-trod argument
A sort of prurient horror when your baser accelerationist instincts hope that something has gone terribly wrong, even wronger than things already are, because if things get even worse than maybe that will justify how awful and angry and vaguely panicked you feel all the time
covfefe
????
lolz
a bubble of hysterical, vicious, absurd joy. how strange it is to be anything at all.
MAYBE HE HAD A STROKE. a sick hope, but hope nonetheless
covfefe
more lolz
posted by yasaman at 11:50 PM on May 30 [46 favorites]


I, for one, am looking forward to the part of the news cycle where every Member of Congress is asked for comment on the President's tweet and Paul Ryan has to explain that he won't be called upon to react to the President's covfefe.

Rep. Ted Lieu got his comment in early. More helpfully, he also wants to remind the President that the world's telephone switching system is hopelessly insecure and he shouldn't be relying on his cell phone to speak to foreign leaders.
posted by zachlipton at 11:52 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


hey folks i'm gonna save you all a bunch of time by posting the worst possible take on covfefe here:
Covfefe was not poll tested or focus grouped. Another reason our @POTUS is simply great! He's human. He's real. He's just like us! - CNN Trump Apologist Kayleigh McEnany
we now return you to your regularly scheduled covfefe
posted by murphy slaw at 11:53 PM on May 30 [9 favorites]


This was the most delightful thing to wake up to.

For the record, I say cohféefée, because as an expat I'm contractually obligated to be as pretentious as possible about pronunciation, even when the word requiring pronunciation is not precisely English.
posted by sldownard at 11:54 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Rep. Ted Lieu got his comment in early.

are we sure he didn't accidentally plug in his yubikey mid-tweet
posted by murphy slaw at 11:55 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


BPAL is on it: This perfume makes no fucking sense: orange marshmallow cream, bitter lemon, black pepper, orange carnation, and gin.
posted by rewil at 11:56 PM on May 30 [26 favorites]


The best take so far: BREAKING: Sen. John McCain says he's "concerned" about #covfefe. Rep. Paul Ryan says gibberish is fine as long as it somehow hurts the poor.

Snarky response to the anti-covfefe crowd by Jeet Heer: Frankly, it's only elitist liberals who care about not making typos or not writing complete gibberish.

Which is true. All those typos, all those misspellings coming out of the WH, yet some how it is elitist to care about them. Shoddy work is bad whether it is in writing, in manufacturing, or in policy making. We should not allow Republicans to set the standards because clearly they have no standards.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:59 PM on May 30 [19 favorites]


If you're a foreign power and you want to antagonize the United States, wouldn't right now be an super obvious time to do it? The President is clearly incapacitated (asleep, presumably?) or preoccupied with something else.

Uhm. Probably unrelated, right?
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:03 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I really hope that the White House, under seige from all corners and determined to restore some semblance of discipline, hired Terry Tate, office linebacker, and that Trump was tackled mid-tweet. "YOU READY FOR THE PAIN DONALD? THE PAIN TRAIN'S COMING! WHOOWHOOOO!"
posted by supercrayon at 12:04 AM on May 31 [13 favorites]


Shoddy work is bad whether it is in writing, in manufacturing, or in policy making.

Yes yes yes. If this were truly government being run like a business, they would care that the spelling, grammar and content of everything they sent out publicly was accurate.

Also, with this is mind and regarding my most recent earlier comment, Plato not Aristotle.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:05 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Also probably unrelated, shortly before covfefe, there was a massive bomb blast in Kabul with at least 49 dead and 319 wounded.
posted by zachlipton at 12:07 AM on May 31 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: But, I'm in the humanities, I really have no idea what is going on in general
posted by stonepharisee at 12:07 AM on May 31 [16 favorites]


I have been helplessly laughing at covfefe for the last 20 minutes. It's like when something funny happens in a horror movie: it's somehow much funnier because of the abrupt register shift and the fact that you've been holding your breath for the last half hour. The writers nailed this one tbh.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:19 AM on May 31 [40 favorites]


Also probably unrelated, shortly before covfefe, there was a massive bomb blast in Kabul with at least 49 dead and 319 wounded.

I've been trying to decide if it's more likely he's too busy at a briefing about this right now to give a shit about a typo, or fighting for his life while Twitter fills up with jokes, or passed out and no one knows his password, or having a good chuckle at the whole world leaping even to his mispellings, or screaming for his phone back so that he can finish whatever thought horrible enough to make someone snatch it from his hands, or if I should just go to bed already, or if I'll wind up staying awake until I find out whether or not a president I despise is alive.

What do you call a feeling that combines laughing at dumb twitter puns but also wondering if a historic crisis is unfolding? Goddamn, if only there were some snappy, newly coined term to encapsulate this absurd moment in our lives ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:22 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]




"Covfefe is also what a Starbucks barista writes on your cup when you tell 'em your name is Caoimhe." - @theirishfor

It really is amazing that it's still up after 3 hours. What on earth is going on?

A politician in the small Irish political party I used to work for once tweeted a crass joke on the anniversary of the Hillsborough stadium disaster. I can't remember the details, it wasn't directly related to Hillsborough, but it didn't look good. We got it deleted within 3 minutes.
posted by knapah at 12:29 AM on May 31 [22 favorites]


if he actually did kick the bucket mid-tweet, how many days do you figure the white house staff are going to pull a weekend at bernie's with him
posted by murphy slaw at 12:31 AM on May 31 [34 favorites]


No explanations yet? How about ...

Stroke, Elvis-style, while tweeting on the toilet. Discovered by a low-level staffer, who is just finishing up auctioning off the last Trump turds before he notifies anyone else.
posted by fredludd at 12:47 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Elizabeth Flock, PBS: Buckhannon, West Virginia: A Women's Movement Grows in "the most Trumpian place In America"
An older woman speaks up next, her voice trembling a little. “I was sitting here earlier thinking, I never really had a voice before.” She begins to cry, and another woman comes over and takes her hand. “I was raised to be seen and not heard. Then I got married right out of high school and it was the same thing. And I was abused for 14 years. [You all] gave me a voice again.”
Don't read the article if you've had enough of Trumpist rationalizations, because it thoroughly covers the hostile attitudes the women are facing from their neighbors, high school students, etc. I thought y'all would probably appreciate the bit I quoted above, though.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:49 AM on May 31 [41 favorites]


The explanation is going to be he tweeted he, he didn't notice the error, nobody at the White House noticed the error, he fixed it in the morning, why are we making this such a big deal because on business nobody cares if you spell badly and communicate poorly. Fml.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:51 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


...and the British Photoshop vandals at B3ta took time out from savaging Theresa May to chime in on "covfefe".
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:16 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


RICK

RICK

RIIIIIICKKK

COVFEFE IS HOW I FEEL ALL THE TIME RICK
posted by logicpunk at 1:18 AM on May 31 [70 favorites]


Okay but if Trump actually did die mid-tweet and the event was referred to as Covfefe for the rest of time I would never stop laughing.
posted by BeginAgain at 1:40 AM on May 31 [30 favorites]


We will discover that "Covfefe" was the name of his beloved childhood sled.
posted by thebrokedown at 2:10 AM on May 31 [50 favorites]


Covfefegate?
posted by Paul Slade at 2:11 AM on May 31


It's pronounced: "Cove FEE Fee."
posted by zarq at 2:12 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Maybe covfefe is a synonym for splunge.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:18 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


As reported last week...
In Trump’s case, it’s curtailing his time watching TV and banging out tweets on his iPhone. Trump himself has been pushing staff to give him more free time. But staff does everything it can to load up his schedule to keep him from getting worked up watching cable coverage, which often precipitates his tweets. It has worked well overseas so far.
This week: Puzzling tweet by US president late at night leads, naturally, to madness on the internet (Grauniad)
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:21 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


The World Gets Butt-Texted by Donald Trump
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:25 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


It's word salad,one leaf at a time.

And the tweet's still there.

How is it still there? Has everyone resigned? Has 45 changed the password and locked himself in the broom cupboard? (Obviously not: I genuinely doubt he's capable of changing passwords. I'm even unsure if he can operate door locks.)

Generally, the insanity of this presidency can be matched to some sort of narrative with internal logic, even though it is frequently hard to believe it's actually happening and the underlying awfulness is grotesque. Having trouble with this one, though.

Nevertheless, +10 Covfefe Points to lalex for such an eerily prescient yet timely post title.
posted by Devonian at 2:27 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your covfefe can do for you — ask what you can do for your covfefe.
posted by arcolz at 2:33 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


/r/covfefe

3,177 readers
6,785 here now
a community for 5 hours

posted by Rhaomi at 2:37 AM on May 31 [15 favorites]


And, just like that, covfefe is gone.
posted by tillermo at 2:52 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Trump himself has been pushing staff to give him more free time. But staff does everything it can to load up his schedule to keep him from getting worked up watching cable coverage, which often precipitates his tweets.

This is infuriating , not least because the whole world has accepted this as the new reality. Presidents are supposed to work hard with the hard problems without complaining, and they are supposed to be in charge — I can't imagine any normal version of this happening. Put in any other president's name and the ridiculousness stands out. Even this one: Bush himself has been pushing staff to give him more free time. But staff does everything it can to load up his schedule to keep him from getting worked up watching cable coverage, which often precipitates his tweets. With Trump, it's just another day.

The Republicans have blatantly given up government in favor of corruption, and they have put up a disgusting reality show in its place. The worst thing is, you cannot turn it off or change the channel, because this particular reality show has real-life consequences, every day.
posted by mumimor at 2:52 AM on May 31 [46 favorites]


WaPo on reddit: our team is currently investi...
posted by progosk at 2:53 AM on May 31 [34 favorites]


tillermo, ah, but it will live forever in our hearts. And possibly come to be defined as "cleaning up a mess far, far, far too late for it to have done any good at all whatsoever."
posted by sldownard at 2:58 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


The real covfefe was in our hearts all along! It was the friendships we made along the way...
posted by Justinian at 3:04 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


And then a tweet, verbatim:

"Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!"

I've got to admit, even knowing the administration can now always get stupider, I was surprised this got stupider.
posted by solarion at 3:15 AM on May 31 [35 favorites]


But they said there would be sandwicvfefes.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:15 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Okay, who here is currently working on that browser plugin that replaces all words that start with 'co' with 'covfefe'? Can I see a show of hands?

Pages like this one badly need it.

President Donald Trump is also now back from abroad and back on Twitter, making any covfefe messaging strategy nearly impossible. The president has already appeared to covfefe Senate efforts by calling for more health care spending, and he tore up his aides’ careful talking points on Jared Kushner’s Russia scandals by retweeting a Fox News article about the covfefe. And that was just during his first two full days back in Washington.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:18 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Clavdivs - stop reading my diary.
posted by wittgenstein at 3:21 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


I thought I had it hidden in a drawer...
posted by wittgenstein at 3:22 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


I don't want French fried potatoes
Red, ripe tomatoes
I'm never satisfied
I want the Frim Fram Sauce
With the oss and fay
With covfefe on the side
posted by GrammarMoses at 3:25 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


"Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!"

President or terrible children's entertainer? We report, you decide.
posted by jaduncan at 3:36 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


No Trump, you don't get to get in on the joke - we're not laughing WITH you, we're laughing AT you. As French comedian Pierre Desproges said, "you can laugh about everything but not with everyone." We will never laugh with you.
posted by hazyjane at 3:39 AM on May 31 [30 favorites]


Speaking personally, it's less laughing at him so much as a certain graveyard humour as I wait to see what's happening with

a) possible espionage/compromise
b) the viability of NATO as a thing
c) the rule of law
d) how much the economy is or isn't harmed
e) if the entire platform of carbon reduction measures is going to be harmed enough that I should assume that the middle to end of my life might be dominated by the adaptation to a world where large stretches are uninhabitable and massive refugee flows occur.

So eh. I may as well make rueful comments as I look on in slight horror.
posted by jaduncan at 3:50 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


I thought I had it hidden in a drawer...

Someday you'll decide nothing is hidden.
posted by busted_crayons at 3:51 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Oh, and maintaining links with people who refuse to normalise this. Humour alienates the target here, and prevents people from forgetting the absurdity and repulsiveness of what's going on.

I value that.
posted by jaduncan at 3:52 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Even the 'good hombres' are not safe: Federal judge blasts Trump's deportation policies (Samantha Schmidt (@schmidtsam7) in WaPo)
In the months since President Trump has taken office, he has been embroiled in an ongoing battle with the courts, launching personal attacks at the judiciary. And judges have fired back, criticizing both the president and his executive orders — frequently, his immigration orders.

But few remarks have been quite as scathing as those written Monday by a federal judge who made no effort to disguise his personal contempt for Trump’s deportation policies even as he conceded that in the case before him he was powerless to intervene.
...and a little farther on...
“We are compelled to deny Mr. Magana Ortiz’s request,” he wrote, ” … because we do not have the authority to grant it. We are not, however, compelled to find the government’s action in this case fair or just.”
posted by kingless at 4:08 AM on May 31 [20 favorites]


I just used Resistbot to send my congressional representatives a message:
This is not time for business as usual. No Republican agenda until we learn what "cofveve" is.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:37 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


It's from Axios, so possible grain of salt: Trump is pulling U.S. out of Paris climate deal
posted by zombieflanders at 4:39 AM on May 31


Trump's tweeted four times this morning. Once about Kathy Griffin (fine, she's disgusting), once about covfefe (which Metafilter spellcheck really wants to say is coffee) and twice about the witch hunt. Nothing about the Kabul attack. I'll just wait.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:46 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


CBS is confirming that we're pulling out of the Paris agreement. [link is a tweet from a a reporter]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:47 AM on May 31


It turns out "covfefe" means "to render your only home planet uninhabitable." Fuck this timeline.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:47 AM on May 31 [73 favorites]


WaPo: Another deadly consequence of climate change: The spread of dangerous diseases: The scenario behind Ebola’s rise and global threat in 2014 illustrates this point. Climate change destroys habitats and stresses animal populations such as the bats of West Africa, forcing them to hunt for food nearer to humans. Humans, likewise pressed by climate impacts, encroach more closely on animal habitats. While we cannot know that climate change was the cause of the specific interaction between bats and humans that is believed to have launched the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, we will see more of these interactions in the future, and more epidemics as a result.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:13 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don't want him to testify. He blows away their....
@realDonaldTrump: ...case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing "the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan..." Witch Hunt!


@BraddJaffy: retweeted Donald Trump
Fox & Friends, 6:06 a.m. ET

---

Him getting his news from and live-tweeting F&F is as disturbing as falling asleep tweeting. As is him thinking Carter Page has more credibility than Comey and Brennan.
posted by chris24 at 5:20 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


In my head is Joe Pesci, saying something like:

'Sure, you bastards... Go ahead and laugh. It's pretty funny, isn't it? You'll be laughing on the other side of your goddamn face when you hear the next piece of news I'm laying on you bastards.'

I feel ashamed of my covfefe reactions earlier.
posted by Myeral at 5:20 AM on May 31


A special shout-out to all the "sane" and "moderate" conservatives out there who insisted that that the real problem was either over-regulation (this was, of course, a lie), or that we just didn't understand or empathize enough with polluters, or some combination of both. That goes double for those that actually believed in anthropogenic climate change but went ahead and did it anyway because of congenital both sides-ism.

I would say that I hope that this weighs on their souls for the rest of their lives, but as of yet I haven't seen a single one of them take responsibility for all the other bigoted, un-scientific idiocy they've championed over the years, despite their ideology being almost totally based around a core concept of personal responsibility.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:31 AM on May 31 [25 favorites]


OK. I went to bed really early last night, spent the last hour laughing until my gut hurt and now I'm pissed off again.

Covfefe....
posted by Sophie1 at 5:33 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don't want him to testify. He blows away their....
@realDonaldTrump: ...case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing "the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan..." Witch Hunt!


And here I thought Donnie's official line was "Carter Who?". Good lord we need to get Trump under oath, just an unending repetition of him perjuring himself and then whipping up half a dozen further perjuries to explain the first one before finally telling a worse truth than his questioners ever expected.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:33 AM on May 31 [18 favorites]


@KevinMKruse:
So Trump screwed up "coverage" and then deleted it?

Isn't that his health care plan?
posted by chris24 at 5:42 AM on May 31 [142 favorites]


I was hoping this was the end, even though it made no sense to hope. It just seems impossible this will keep going:
posted by corb at 5:42 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Usually I can go back to sleep after a 1am nature call. I spent #covfefenight awake until 4am waiting for proof of life. Seriously, fuck this guy.
posted by whuppy at 5:42 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


using the Russian embassy to send coded messages to Russia that America's intelligence community cannot overhear is not a back channel.

This is the part that needs to be hammered upon any time someone tries to handwave "back channels".


Absolutely. This spin, while it seems to be the best they can do, is an admission of serious wrongdoing. The media needs to not be suckered into its favored "he said, she said" mode to give credibility to this spin by framing it as a legitimate defense. It isn't; it's tantamount to a confession.
posted by Gelatin at 5:42 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


Good lord we need to get Trump under oath, just an unending repetition of him perjuring himself and then whipping up half a dozen further perjuries to explain the first one before finally telling a worse truth than his questioners ever expected.

Before that happens we'll be treated to the incongruous spectacle of White House counsel seeking to have the biovating orange shitsack declared mentally unfit to take the stand as a means to preserve his hold on the presidency.
posted by hangashore at 5:45 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


John Levine, Mediaite: ‘Governments Must Lead’: U.S. Corporations Beg Trump to Stay in Paris Agreement in Full Page NYT Ad
In a recent full page ad which ran in the New York Times and other major newspapers, Adobe, Apple, Google, Morgan Stanley, Salesforce, Microsoft, PG&E and numerous others beseeched President Trump not to withdraw from the agreement.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:46 AM on May 31 [64 favorites]


And, if I'm truly honest with myself, mining #covfefe for comedy gold. But I wasn't going to sleep if we were actually witnessing Something.
posted by whuppy at 5:47 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


In a recent full page ad which ran in the New York Times and other major newspapers, Adobe, Apple, Google, Morgan Stanley, Salesforce, Microsoft, PG&E and numerous others beseeched President Trump not to withdraw from the agreement.

It's the cross-platform application we've been waiting for!
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:53 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


ugh, hannity's back, and he's pushing the Seth Rich story again

(content warning: autoplaying sean hannity)
posted by murphy slaw at 5:53 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the main reason #covfefe was so funny was because of the possibility of him being keeled over. Now we snap back into the abyss.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:55 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


In a recent full page ad which ran in the New York Times and other major newspapers, Adobe, Apple, Google, Morgan Stanley, Salesforce, Microsoft, PG&E and numerous others beseeched President Trump not to withdraw from the agreement.

when an electrical utility is begging you to sign an agreement that will cost them millions to implement and you nope out anyway, you might be on the wrong side of history
posted by murphy slaw at 5:56 AM on May 31 [109 favorites]


How can Hannity keep beating the Seth Rich drum when Fox itself has already released a retraction of this bullshit conspiracy? Is he "going rogue" on his way out the door? Because I can't tell you how delighted it would make me to see this skinbag full of spite get shitcanned.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:57 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Thanks to a rare good night of sound sleep, I slept through the #covfefe. I'm only disappointed to learn that it wasn't either Donnie stroking out or the Sampo.

Truly, the sleep of reason produces #covfefe.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:58 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


when an electrical utility is begging you to sign an agreement that will cost them millions to implement and you nope out anyway, you might be on the wrong side of history

Hell, fucking EXXON asked him to stay in it.

Though I think* this is a head fake so he can later announce a plot twist and get accolades for staying in. "Next week on Celebrity President, will Donny give the rose to Paris."

Plus Ivanka can claim credit for working behind the scenes to save it.

* at least I hope and pray it's a ploy for attention
posted by chris24 at 6:03 AM on May 31 [22 favorites]


The best explanation I've seen for his decision on the Paris Treaty which goes against the advice he received from business executives and scientists and even some of his advisers is this is a bone to placate his base. His favorability ratings are dropping and he is trying to get some of that enthusiasm back.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:05 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


oh, NOW he gets principled about keeping his campaign promises, great
posted by murphy slaw at 6:06 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


Who the fuck even knows. The man is seventy years old with the worst case of narcissistic personality disorder we've ever seen in a position of this much responsibility. I'd honestly be surprised if he wasn't going full après moi le déluge with it.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:07 AM on May 31 [15 favorites]


covfefe-tweeting-ass motherfucker's gonna get us all killed
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:09 AM on May 31 [18 favorites]


He's doing it for his base, but not because his base specifically wants to pull out of he accord: it's because it will enrage and horrify liberals. That's it. His strategy is to do things that most of the country hates so that the 25% who voted for him can feed off of our fear and sorrow. It's kind of the most disgusting thing imaginable and it's going to get so much worse.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:09 AM on May 31 [125 favorites]


How can Hannity keep beating the Seth Rich drum when Fox itself has already released a retraction of this bullshit conspiracy? Is he "going rogue" on his way out the door? Because I can't tell you how delighted it would make me to see this skinbag full of spite get shitcanned.

Director of Communication post is open. Toby Ziegler just threw his ball through the damn wall.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:10 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


It's rolling coal as a political philosophy. There's no arguing with it.
posted by theodolite at 6:11 AM on May 31 [72 favorites]


Man oh man. Last Friday the WSJ told us when Trump got home there'd be a shakeup and new, competent staff, and a team of lawyers dispatched to stand between Trump and Twitter and this time the reset was real and well? Covfefe to all that!
posted by notyou at 6:13 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


It's rolling coal as a political philosophy. There's no arguing with it.

I was just about to post This horrible youtube as an explanation for the trump-paris-pullout.
posted by dis_integration at 6:13 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Hell, fucking EXXON asked him to stay in it.

To be fair, Exxon has a long history of publicly supporting environmentalism while privately undermining it, for example by funding the same scientists who said tobacco doesn't cause cancer to say global warming isn't real.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:14 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


His strategy is to do things that most of the country hates so that the 25% who voted for him can feed off of our fear and sorrow.

Ugh, the central ethos of US conservatives today is "I want all my garmonbozia."
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:16 AM on May 31 [13 favorites]


can feed off of our fear and sorrow

So we show no fear and don't waste time with sorrow.
posted by spitbull at 6:18 AM on May 31 [24 favorites]


covfefe is a helluva drug
posted by entropicamericana at 6:22 AM on May 31 [16 favorites]


Which means by the way stopping the recitation of "we're all going to die" as a way of managing anxiety by spreading it around. As I (and many others) have said a hundred times in these threads, this condition of anxiety and distress is not new for millions of people in the US (and around the world). This country was never a safe place for so many. Think of it as a mindfulness exercise to put yourself in the position of a Native American or a transgendered person or a poor single mother at nearly any point in American history before this. Fear is a tool of oppression. Those of us with resources to resist it need to stand up straight.
posted by spitbull at 6:23 AM on May 31 [102 favorites]


Ugh, the central ethos of US conservatives today is "I want all my garmonbozia."

I don't know, I think the Black Lodge folks have better long-term strategic planning skills.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:37 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


For those of us who do feel the need to express emotions such as fear, sadness and anxiety, this is the place for that.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:38 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


The art of resistance: Todd Rundgren, "Tin Foil Hat" (feat. Donald Fagen) YT.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:39 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


Congratulations. The countries not in the PA now stand at:

1) Nicaragua
2) Syria (although, ironically, I would imagine that their CO2 usage has gone way, way down)
3) United States (once the paperwork goes through)

Proud company to be in, I'm sure, and not at all further *utterly pissing away* any sense of US policy leadership compared to a pairing of China and the EU. Impressive, given that the PRC is a borderline dictatorship...although, of course, Trump has also said that human rights are not a priority, so I guess the leadership there is also less of a differentiator.

Merkel as leader of the free world. 18 months ago, it would have been idle fantasy.
posted by jaduncan at 6:41 AM on May 31 [20 favorites]


feel the need to express emotions such as fear, sadness and anxiety

Too-Ticky, thanks I didn't even know that thread existed! And I'm not at all saying don't express emotions of fear and sadness, but beat them into resolve.

And actually rage is just is insidious a reaction in terms of being paralyzing.

Resolve.
posted by spitbull at 6:43 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


Follow up to yesterday's story about overturning the contraceptive mandate. From Vox, here's the Leaked regulation: Trump plans to roll back Obamacare birth control mandate
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:44 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


#covfefe is of course ancient history now but I'd like you to retroactively apply the Monchichi jingle as the style in which it should be sung.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:46 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


This Saturday is the March For Truth (about Russian interference) nationwide. Here is how to find a local March.
posted by spitbull at 6:54 AM on May 31 [17 favorites]


He's doing it for his base, but not because his base specifically wants to pull out of he accord: it's because it will enrage and horrify liberals. That's it. His strategy is to do things that most of the country hates so that the 25% who voted for him can feed off of our fear and sorrow. It's kind of the most disgusting thing imaginable and it's going to get so much worse.

That's it. We need to go full "Briar Patch". Create a series of weaponized "well, actually, it turns out" slate pitches about how all the worst things in the world actually good, and all the good things in the world are terrible. Feed them to Fox and Friends. Trump sees liberals are fuming about, say, the continuation of ACA because it forestalls single payer. That they're worried the Russia investigation will turn up nothing and make them look silly, so they want to shut it down. That the Paris accord will be stronger when they can negotiate free of the US and then force our hand later. Etc.
posted by condour75 at 6:56 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


That the Paris accord will be stronger when they can negotiate free of the US and then force our hand later.

This one is actually possible.
posted by jaduncan at 6:58 AM on May 31 [39 favorites]


CBS is confirming that we're pulling out of the Paris agreement

Smooth move, Trump. You just keep frittering away our influence and power, why not? We'll need a betting pool soon as to how long before the rest of the world gets frustrated enough to band together and put us under sanctions.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 6:58 AM on May 31 [32 favorites]


spitbull: I'm not at all saying don't express emotions of fear and sadness, but beat them into resolve.

Not all of us can manage to get to resolve. And not all of us can do anything with it if/when we get there. Some of us get to watch from the sidelines, and I'm not sure what we can do except wring our hands.

That said, yes, the MetaTalk thread is useful.
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:00 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Dude wants global genocide.
posted by Artw at 7:05 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


We'll need a betting pool soon as to how long before the rest of the world gets frustrated enough to band together and put us under sanctions.

This is the obvious solution to environmental free-riding. I wonder if that will be a thing for the next climate treaty, and not just due to the US. It's economically sane as a policy response, and provides both carrot and stick.

The issue with the US withdrawing isn't just the US, it's the cover it gives for other countries to do the same.
posted by jaduncan at 7:05 AM on May 31 [19 favorites]


We'll need a betting pool soon as to how long before the rest of the world gets frustrated enough to band together and put us under sanctions.

I have no idea what the Paris Accord really says, but -- dumb question -- isn't it perfectly possible for countries in the Accord to give trade preference to its own members rather than deal with countries outside of it? Or that 'if you want to sell your goods to us, you need to meet a carbon emission standard of X'?
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:06 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Obviously he won't live long enough for it to be legally recognized as such, and he'll never stand trial for it, but should we be lucky enough that there is history after this it will be recognized as one of his greatest crimes.
posted by Artw at 7:07 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


cov·fe·fe

/ˈkōvˌfāfā/ 🔊

noun
a blunder, an unintended or careless remark causing embarrassment to others but not its originator ,(see: fremdscham)

"the President's late-night tweets generated frequent national covfefe"

Origin
early 21st century, obscure, possibly a malapropism for kerfuffle; a common folk etymology has covfefe as an infamous political leader's nickname for his genitalia (rumored to be quite inadequate)

posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:08 AM on May 31 [30 favorites]


Dude wants global genocide.

my least favorite aerosmith song
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:08 AM on May 31 [49 favorites]


I have no idea what the Paris Accord really says, but -- dumb question -- isn't it perfectly possible for countries in the Accord to give trade preference to its own members rather than deal with countries outside of it? Or that 'if you want to sell your goods to us, you need to meet a carbon emission standard of X'?

If this happens, it's going to depend on changes at the WTO level.
posted by jaduncan at 7:10 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Obviously he won't live long enough for it to be legally recognized as such, and he'll never stand trial for it, but should we be lucky enough that there is history after this it will be recognized as one of his greatest crimes.

Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush are still alive, so there's hope that Trump may yet live to see his name being mud for twenty years or more.
posted by Gelatin at 7:10 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


@realDonaldTrump: So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don't want him to testify. He blows away their....
@realDonaldTrump: ...case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing "the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan..." Witch Hunt!


No fucking way DJT wrote this. Excoriate? Spelled correctly? Please. He also doesn't use non-restrictive relative clauses (correctly punctuated too!) or compound verb phrases.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:11 AM on May 31 [79 favorites]


Which means by the way stopping the recitation of "we're all going to die" as a way of managing anxiety by spreading it around

But seriously, what if we all might actually die? I've been one of the other things on your list, and I can authoritatively tell you I've never feared for the life of everything I love more than now.
posted by corb at 7:13 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


No fucking way DJT wrote this. Excoriate? Spelled correctly? Please.

I believe Barron wrote all of the tweets this morning, including the one where he namechecks himself. Trump doesn't know how old Barron is.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:13 AM on May 31 [17 favorites]


but should we be lucky enough that there is history after this it will be recognized as one of his greatest crimes.

"Oh, Marge, you say that so much the words have lost all meaning!"
posted by Freon at 7:13 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


The Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is happening now, confirms that while covfefe is not on their word list, "It is, however, now in the Library of Congress"(FB)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:15 AM on May 31 [21 favorites]


"It is, however, now in the Library of Congress"
OH my god. That alone is reason for impeachment. That idiot is going to gibbonfling the Library of Congress worse than Dubya did.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:20 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


So, I thought I'd run down some of Donald Trump's genealogy for a tongue-in-cheek joke. Since his grandmother's maiden name was Elizabeth (originally, Elisabeth) Christ, I thought that there was a good chance that Donald Trump had a grand auntie Christ, or: Auntie Christ is part of his family.

A lot has been written about Elisabeth Christ, Donald's grandmother. However, there is next to nothing available online about her siblings, that is, beyond basic genealogy saying, yes, they were her siblings.

Elisabeth and her siblings were born in Kallstadt, Bad Durkheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. They are:

Ludwig Christ 1876-1951.
Elisabeth Christ (Trump). October 10, 1880 - June 6, 1966.
Johannes IV Christ 1886-1949.
Philipp VIII Christ 1893-1964.

The three males are listed as having also died in Kallstadt. The three males have no month and date for birth or death or marriage info attached to their names. (The wives would have been the auntie Christs.) Johannes and Phillip Christ were a prime age for fighting in World War I. As to what the male family members did in WWII, that's an open question. They would have been from mid-forties to mid-sixties.

"Philipp VIII Christ" has fourteen hits on Google. All are genealogy sites or brief mentions in relation to Elisabeth. Similarly, "Johannes IV Christ" has 9 hits.

Ludwig Christ, being two names, gets a lot more hits, some of them being the late 18th century naturalist, Johann Ludwig Christ.
This 1934 portrait, which says "Mayor of Trier," if it is Donald's granduncle, would have him at 58 years old. Noticeable is his Nazi pin. Trier is about 100 miles from Kallstadt.

He seems (to me) to be the same person in this photo.


This Ludwig Christ, born 1922 in Germany and died 2002 in the United States, had a German father Ludwig Christ (and mother Johanna Kaekel). The obituary, charmingly (not being sarcastic), says that he came to the U.S. as a German POW.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:24 AM on May 31 [14 favorites]


Some of us get to watch from the sidelines, and I'm not sure what we can do except wring our hands.

These threads are full of things to do. Write Sean Hannity's advertisers. Attend a march. Call your congresspersons. Boycott a brand. Educate your friends. Send a check. Subscribe to a newspaper or join the ACLU. Organize if you can. Wish your Yemeni deli guy a blessed Ramadan. But even one small thing a day, every day, is the antidote to despair.

I know the feeling. I'm 53. I grew up with Reagan and lived through Bush II as a fully woke adult. Anyone who isn't experiencing anxiety isn't paying attention. Anyone who doesn't know fear is surely privileged. I just see the challenge of uniting the opposition to what is in fact an existential threat to the planet and civil society as dependent on a forging of common cause and recognition.

We have been through hard and dangerous times before, worse times too. So far. History has lessons. The struggles of those who have never known justice has particularly deep lessons. Do what you can. Have each others' backs. Do not let them divide us. Organize. Resist. Take care of yourself.
posted by spitbull at 7:24 AM on May 31 [66 favorites]


I think the Paris thing might be as simple as "Macron lives in Paris, Macron stood up to him, so screw that guy I'll shoot down the Paris Accords." No actual involvement from Macron on the Paris Accords is even necessary.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:25 AM on May 31 [42 favorites]


Dude wants global genocide.

narcissist doesn't want the world to outlive him
posted by entropicamericana at 7:28 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


covfefe

An intersyllabic consonant cluster that modulates from a voiced bilabial fricative /v/ to a voiceless bilabial fricative /f/ is not phonemically attested in any first language dialect of English as far as I can discern. As with much of what Trump says, it sounds better in the original German.

My theory is that he did his usual pre-Tweet line of coke and it just hit him really hard at that moment. If you look at the keyboard the "f" is above and to the left of the "v," consistent with the phone slipping from your hand as you pass out mid-Tweet.
posted by spitbull at 7:30 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


As Joe Hill said shortly before his execution, "Don't waste any time mourning. Organize!"
posted by Gelatin at 7:32 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


Dude wants global genocide.

The perspective of Indigenous people for every value of "dude" since the 15th century.
posted by spitbull at 7:35 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


I'm as much a grammar nazi as anyone, but the time spent (not just here) on laughing at covfefe could be spent trying to storm the office of your congressperson.
posted by Melismata at 7:35 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Well, he has said that he has all the best words. Perhaps this is the beginning of a reveal of the new ones. Just wait until next year's State of the Piente address. Then all you skeptics will be totally cheesechoun.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:36 AM on May 31 [16 favorites]


Ok. I'll do one.
Little Red Covfefe
Baby You're Much Too Fash

Now back to his shitty policies...
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:38 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


> An intersyllabic consonant cluster that modulates from a voiced bilabial fricative /v/ to a voiceless bilabial fricative /f/ is not phonemically attested in any first language dialect of English as far as I can discern.

lovefest
posted by nangar at 7:38 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


I don't think he's got any political plan in mind at all. I think he thinks global warming is a Chinese hoax.
posted by kyrademon at 7:39 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


Lovefest
Ha. But that's really a word boundary to my intuition.
posted by spitbull at 7:39 AM on May 31


I'm wondering if Trump's obsession with trade deficits might clash with his apparent intention to withdraw from the Paris accords.

In other words, wouldn't the US be hampered in trading with other nations if our methods and outcomes were not in compliance with rules adopted by the rest of the world?

I found this World Trade Organization document to be useful as a starting point.
The general approach under WTO rules has been to acknowledge that some degree of trade restriction may be necessary to achieve certain policy objectives as long as a number of carefully crafted conditions are respected. A number of WTO rules may be relevant to measures aimed at mitigating climate change. These include:
  • disciplines on tariffs (border measures), essentially prohibiting members from collecting tariffs at levels greater than that provided for in their WTO scheduled consolidation
  • a general prohibition against border quotas
  • a general non-discrimination principle, consisting of the most-favoured-nation and national treatment principles
  • rules on subsidies
  • rules on technical regulations and standards, which may not be more restrictive than necessary to fulfil a legitimate objective. Technical regulations and standards must also respect the principle of non-discrimination and be based on international standards, where they exist. There are also specific rules for sanitary and phytosanitary measures which are relevant for agricultural products.
  • disciplines relevant to trade in services, imposing general obligations such as most-favoured-nation treatment, as well as further obligations in sectors where individual members have undertaken specific commitments
  • rules on trade-related intellectual property rights. These rules are relevant for the development and transfer of climate-friendly technologies and know-how.
Can any knowledgeable MeFites weigh in on how much leverage our trading partners might be able to exert? I'm thinking of analogues like California's auto emissions standards forcing car manufacturers to improve mpg across the board.
posted by GrammarMoses at 7:39 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


I'm as much a grammar nazi as anyone, but the time spent (not just here) on laughing at covfefe could be spent trying to storm the office of your congressperson.
mfw
posted by pxe2000 at 7:45 AM on May 31 [13 favorites]


President Donald Trump planning weekend at Bedminster club:

President Donald Trump plans to spend an upcoming weekend at his New Jersey golf club, according to a new advisory posted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The notice, which went live Wednesday morning on the FAA’s Safety Briefing website, indicates the president will be at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster from June 9-11.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:49 AM on May 31


I knew what that linked gif would be. I have gif-vision
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:49 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


The Ludwig Christ, mayor of Trier, has a German Wikipedia entry. It says he was born in Winterburg, Germany in 1900. He was not the brother of Elisabeth, but still a possible family relation.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:50 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


the new york times is eliminating the position of public editor

the kicks the execrable liz spayd out on the street but not having an ombudsman at all seems questionable?
posted by murphy slaw at 7:50 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


From that link:
The decision comes a day after the Times announced the creation of a “Reader Center” led by editor Hanna Ingber. One role of the new “Reader Center” is to improve how the Times “respond(s) directly to tips feedback, questions, concerns, complaints and other queries from the public,” according to a Tuesday memo.

Several news organizations, including The Washington Post, have phased out the position of ombudsman or public editor in recent years. Post editor Marty Baron justified ending the role by pointing out that the paper receives plenty of criticism from “all quarters, instantly, in this Internet age.”
It'll be interesting to see how this works out. I'm all for the direct feedback (it happens anyway and someone will obviously have to run the new Reader Center), but what I really liked about what the PE was able to do was provide historical context and a bit of a bigger picture into the behind-the-scenes workings of the newsroom.
posted by Miko at 7:54 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


So nobody in the GOP is going to say anything about leaving Paris?
posted by Devonian at 7:54 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


They don't need one because Facebook comments? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
posted by Artw at 7:56 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


So nobody in the GOP is going to say anything about leaving Paris?

They are all criminals and they all want to make money off of the human race dying, of course not.
posted by Artw at 7:57 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


Why would they? Is Paris burning?
posted by loquacious at 7:57 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


So nobody in the GOP is going to say anything about leaving Paris?

Even the most nevertrumpiest of GOP reps and senators think getting rid of regulations is totally worth the death of the planet, so don't hold your breath.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:58 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Spokesman for the Rah-Rah Brigade Marc Thiessen, WaPo: Trump’s trip was his best week in office. Here’s how he can repeat that success.
Washington is a jungle, but as president, Trump is the king of the beasts. He needs to stop fighting with the lesser animals. One of the secrets of the presidency Trump has been slow to embrace is that the office confers a certain majesty on its occupants. There is a reason the opposing party’s response to a State of the Union address invariably falls flat compared with the real thing. Trump’s most successful moments — his terrific address to Congress, his nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, his foreign trip — all came when he embraced the dignity of the office. His worst moments came when he did not.

The lesson should be clear: Stay above the fray, ignore your critics, focus on substance, and use the presidency to promote your agenda. Go on a tour to highlight the achievements of your foreign trip. Visit defense factories that will get jobs because of your Saudi arms deal. Speak to Jewish organizations about your visit to Israel and plans to isolate Iran, defeat the Islamic State, and bolster the U.S.-Israel alliance. Barnstorm the country promoting your agenda. And never mention Comey or the Russia probe — not in an interview, not in a tweet.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:01 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


To Trump’s Supporters, ‘Covfefe’ Is Just Another Way He’s Making America Great Again
The tweet — which, again, was sent by the current president of the United States of America — stayed up until just before 6 a.m. Twitter, naturally, had a field day. And according to Trump’s defenders, that’s all just part of his master plan.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:01 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


Christ, imagine being someone who sees Trump as having "majesty" or being someone who has a master plan.
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on May 31 [43 favorites]


Leading Right-Wing Christian Figure Calls for a 'More Violent Christianity
Kyle Mantyla - Right Wing Watch.
Religious Right activist “Coach” Dave Daubenmire declared on his “Pass The Salt Live” webcast this morning that America needs “a more violent Christianity.” He cited President Trump and Greg Gianforte as examples of violent men who are properly “walking in authority.”
posted by adamvasco at 8:04 AM on May 31 [17 favorites]


I do believe we have a winner.
posted by Behemoth at 8:04 AM on May 31 [48 favorites]


Haha that Thiesen article must have been written before covfefe. Trump uses the dignity of the office to service his ego. He definitely doesn't use the dignity of the office to service a political agenda.
posted by notyou at 8:05 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I'm as much a grammar nazi as anyone, but the time spent (not just here) on laughing at covfefe could be spent trying to storm the office of your congressperson.

I left messages for all three of my representatives while I was writing their daily anti-AHCA postcards to go in this morning's mail when the covfefe nonsense dropped. I was able to giggle while doing my part am I magic.
posted by winna at 8:07 AM on May 31 [46 favorites]


Congratulations. The countries not in the PA now stand at:

1) Nicaragua
2) Syria (although, ironically, I would imagine that their CO2 usage has gone way, way down)
3) United States (once the paperwork goes through)

Proud company to be in


FWIW, Nicaragua isn't a signatory because Ortega quite reasonably believes the deal isn't strict enough and screws over smaller countries:
Nicaragua’s representative to the Paris talks at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Dr. Paul Oquist, didn’t think the agreement went far enough. The Central American country earned international attention for Quist’s position, but it didn’t stop the talks. As the Financial Times notes, Nicaragua is responsible for just 0.03 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re not going to submit because voluntary responsibilities is a path to failure,” Quist said at the time, reports TelesurTV. “It’s a failed mechanism that’s leading us down the road to 3 degrees Celsius, 4 degrees Celsius, 5 degrees Celsius. It’s a mechanism to let the target float. It’s like if you have a fixed interest rate and a floating interest rate and this will float according to whatever comes out of the INDCs. We don’t want to be accomplices to taking the world to 3 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius and the death and destruction that that represents.”

TelesurTV notes that the Nicaraguan government also criticized the agreement for not including the creation of a binding US$100 billion fund from wealthy countries to help poorer countries reach established goals.

“The government and people of Nicaragua hope that from the Paris COP21 Conference will emerge a commitment to climate justice along with an indispensable indemnification policy, converted into direct and unconditional cooperation,” Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega told the UN General Assembly in 2014. “Those responsible for the emissions, and responsible for the climate depredation, degradation and dislocation must recognize our losses and contribute to recovery so as to reinstate the right to health and to life of our Mother Earth and of the peoples of the world.”
I can't really say I disagree with him.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:07 AM on May 31 [49 favorites]


I think the Paris thing might be as simple as "Macron lives in Paris, Macron stood up to him, so screw that guy I'll shoot down the Paris Accords." No actual involvement from Macron on the Paris Accords is even necessary.

I couldn't really give a shit. This is a species-level issue more than anything other than the nukes. Trump needs to be gone.
posted by jaduncan at 8:08 AM on May 31 [13 favorites]


I think the Paris thing might be as simple as "Macron lives in Paris, Macron stood up to him, so screw that guy I'll shoot down the Paris Accords."

It's about extinguishing everything that Obama tried to do. The dressing down a few years ago at the press dinner is probably the biggest humiliation of Trump's life and he'll go to the grave still stinging from it. If he has to kill millions of people to chisel away at Obama's legacy, he'll do it with a smile.
posted by Candleman at 8:13 AM on May 31 [74 favorites]


spitbull: >Some of us get to watch from the sidelines, and I'm not sure what we can do except wring our hands.

These threads are full of things to do.


Sorry, maybe I was not expressing myself clearly. I was talking about people who aren't in the US.
Most of the things listed aren't available to us, and besides, we have our own problems and we need to be pulling the weeds in our own backyards (if only because no one else will do it), as it were; still, it's very hard not to worry about the stuff going on in the US and I, for one, am failing completely in that regard.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:13 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


can't really say I disagree with him.

Ortega is a liar and a child rapist and maybe we could not make this the general thread for "shit horrible leaders say" and stick to our own horrible leader?
posted by corb at 8:15 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


If you're not in the US, the best thing you can do is strengthen civil society and fight fascism in your own country, because the era of US leadership and assistance in these areas is over and done.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:16 AM on May 31 [35 favorites]


Trump’s most successful moments — his terrific address to Congress

So we're going back to the original usage of that word?
posted by C'est la D.C. at 8:19 AM on May 31 [17 favorites]




maybe we could not make this the general thread for "shit horrible leaders say"

It's relevant to the thread, and the content isn't horrible unless you're a psychopath who wants the world to literally burn.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:22 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


If Hillary Clinton fell asleep in mid-tweet, we'd be hearing again about her stamina, and the loudest parts of right wing media would be insisting that the wacky typo was proof, proof that she has finger leprosy.
posted by puddledork at 8:23 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


[One deleted; corb and zombieflanders, please just don't.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:24 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


the loudest parts of right wing media would be insisting that the wacky typo was proof, proof that she has finger leprosy early-stage dementia.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:25 AM on May 31


Post editor Marty Baron justified ending the role by pointing out that the paper receives plenty of criticism from “all quarters, instantly, in this Internet age.”
It'll be interesting to see how this works out. I'm all for the direct feedback (it happens anyway and someone will obviously have to run the new Reader Center), but what I really liked about what the PE was able to do was provide historical context and a bit of a bigger picture into the behind-the-scenes workings of the newsroom.


Yeah; a large part of the problem with the media today is how thoroughly they were bamboozled by the conservative movement's decades-long propaganda campaign to assert that a "liberal media" exists. Associated with their uncritical coverage of George W. Bush, one heard the feeble defense of "we're getting criticism from both sides, so we must be doing something right!"

Not having someone assessing critically whether complaints are 1) made in good faith and b) hold any water whatsoever seems a recipe for newspapers to abandon their responsibility to the truth in favor of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
posted by Gelatin at 8:26 AM on May 31 [18 favorites]


Christ, imagine being someone who sees Trump as having "majesty" or being someone who has a master plan.

This is the thing I've had the hardest time dealing with. Racist, narcissistic, misogynist, pathological shitbag blowhards exist. People who speak in incomprehensible wordsalad, for reasons both organic and non exist. Bullshitting liars and con-men exist. I understand this.

What I cannot understand no matter how hard I try is people who look at Donald Trump and see not a shitbag blowhard wordsalad-spewing bullshitter, but a majestic, principled savior of mankind. Like, I am empathetic to a fault and I cannot empathy my way inside that perception.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:26 AM on May 31 [122 favorites]


NYC Mayor de Blasio will sign an executive order confirming New York's commitment to the Paris Agreement. (Twitter)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:29 AM on May 31 [55 favorites]


tronc covfefe, man...
posted by clawsoon at 8:32 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I'm as much a grammar nazi as anyone, but the time spent (not just here) on laughing at covfefe could be spent trying to storm the office of your congressperson.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - mocking Trump has value.

Thanks to the ineffable mysteries of human psychology, Trump's behavior during the election (which read to most of us here on MF as narcissistic childish arrogance), read to millions of voters as "strong and decisive." Or, at least, "strong and decisive enough" to warrant pulling the lever for him, even if reluctant, even if maybe mostly for the chance to put a conservative on the SC, even if maybe just "NotHilllary because decades of barely-understood propaganda." The more the President* can be goaded into Tweeting obvious nonsense and the more he can be goaded into addressing the reaction to the obvious nonsense, the more it becomes obvious to even low-information voters that he is unfit for the job. He reveals his own weakness, his lack of moral center, his lack of "strength." He loses support. No small part of his cratering poll numbers are due to conservative-leaning "independents" who thought he would actually DO something to help them and are disgusted that he's spending his time and energy gabbling on the Twitter Machine about bullshit.

The Emperor has no clothes, and every Twitsplosion about #convfefe or whatever is thousands if not millions of people pointing out the truth about his nakedness.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:33 AM on May 31 [86 favorites]


The issue with the US withdrawing isn't just the US, it's the cover it gives for other countries to do the same.

Some thoughts on the Paris withdrawal: the other major polluters (China, India, EU) rightly see this as an opportunity to cement their global leadership in renewable energy research, development, production, and installation. This is a tremendous own-goal for the US in terms of the high-tech economies of the future. China already leads in solar installations and production. We've just signaled to them that we aren't even going to try to compete as a nation. And for many of these countries, the goal is not just greenhouse gas emissions, but reductions in the deadly coal smog choking the major cities.

Back home, the blue states (and some red!) will continue to lead the clean energy transition in the absence of federal action. California has shown its willingness to continue climate science research and renewables adoption, and the California grid is making moves to become the most advanced in the nation. Hawaii, Vermont, Washington, hell, even Texas, are breaking generation records and taking major steps to curtail GHG emissions.

I'm fucking pissed and unhappy about this bullshit, but this isn't the end by a long shot.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:36 AM on May 31 [57 favorites]


The Emperor has no clothes, and every Twitsplosion about #convfefe or whatever is thousands if not millions of people pointing out the truth about his nakedness.

As long as we can point and laugh at the Covfefe-in-Chief without fear of state-sanctioned violence in reprisal, we know that they're failing at authoritarianism. It's an important metric and an important exercise.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:36 AM on May 31 [78 favorites]


I was talking about people who aren't in the US.

No worries Too-Ticky. Of course people not in the US have a different relationship to the present crisis.
posted by spitbull at 8:37 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I'm fucking pissed and unhappy about this bullshit, but this isn't the end by a long shot.
posted by Existential Dread


eponyantonymical?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:39 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Yeah, soren_lorensen, Trump gives me the same kind of heebie jeebies I used to get as a kid in the 80s when my grandparents kept getting into following charismatic TV evangelists like Jimmy Swaggart. It always seemed painfully obvious to me those guys were nothing but snake oil salesmen, and inevitably, after a couple of years the truth would out, but in the meantime, even normally sensible people can be so swayed by cult of personality and showmanship they can let down their guard and follow the worst kind of opportunists and conmen. It's still puzzling to me why it isn't just obvious that's what Trump is to so many of his followers. He's never really been known as anything else.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:39 AM on May 31 [28 favorites]


I'm still stuck on how covfefe stayed up for six hours. Possible explanations:

1. There's only one phone on Earth logged into @realDonaldTrump and the President fell asleep on top of it
2. The WH communications team is so small/unprofessional that nobody else with the login was awake or was woken up by someone
3. Someone with the login saw what was happening, but was afraid to delete a Presidential Tweet, even an obvious and laughable mistake
4. Someone with the login saw what was happening, but let it go because fuck that guy
5. ????
posted by theodolite at 8:43 AM on May 31 [15 favorites]


More news in up is down: Trump Economic Adviser: Wind and Solar Can Make America a ‘Manufacturing Powerhouse’
Donald Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, thinks natural gas, wind and solar are the future of energy in America.

But he's getting attacked for doubting the future of coal.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One last week, Cohn expressed skepticism about reviving the beleaguered coal industry.

"Coal doesn't even make that much sense anymore as a feedstock. Natural gas, [of] which we have become an abundant producer [and] which we're going to become a major exporter of, is such a cleaner fuel," he said, according to press pool reports.
And if you needed further reasons to hate Joe Manchin:
In an interview with Breitbart News, Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said he needed to "work on Gary and give a little history lesson."

“Yeah, Gary, I don’t know what the hell happened with Gary. Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with these people?” Manchin told Breitbart.
Go fuck yourself, Joe.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:44 AM on May 31 [44 favorites]


I'm fucking pissed and unhappy about this bullshit, but this isn't the end by a long shot.

My opinion is actually that renewables have hit economic viability at just the right time to be self-sustaining - there are economic reasons not to do coal etc these days. That said, it gives me a lot of suspicion that whoever wants to oppose the next step will point at the US repeatedly.
posted by jaduncan at 8:46 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


People seem to love making the Arrested Development comparison with Trump as George Bluth Senior, but the covfefe incident and the subsequent "Enjoy!" tweet made me suddenly understand: He's not George, he's Gob.
posted by contraption at 8:47 AM on May 31 [13 favorites]


And if you needed further reasons to hate Joe Manchin:
In an interview with Breitbart News, Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said he needed to "work on Gary and give a little history lesson."

“Yeah, Gary, I don’t know what the hell happened with Gary. Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with these people?” Manchin told Breitbart.
Go fuck yourself, Joe.


Yes, it's upsetting, but we have to hold onto unpleasant Democrats like Joe Manchin to preserve any hope of a Democratic majority, which drives the purity Lebrbrbbblbbub ... [The rising sea swallows me up as I speak.]
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:47 AM on May 31 [17 favorites]


Joe Manchin (D-Buggy Whips)
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:48 AM on May 31 [18 favorites]


I'm still stuck on how covfefe stayed up for six hours. Possible explanations:

1. There's only one phone on Earth logged into @realDonaldTrump and the President fell asleep on top of it


You think he allows anyone else to have access to that account? I am dead certain that there were people crowded around the door to the residence all night debating whether to wake him up.
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


We seem to be rapidly approaching the point that using the US as an example has less value than doing the opposite. Sure, people have admired and followed strength even when fascist but idiocy? Not so much.
posted by fullerine at 8:49 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


What I cannot understand no matter how hard I try is people who look at Donald Trump and see not a shitbag blowhard wordsalad-spewing bullshitter, but a majestic, principled savior of mankind. Like, I am empathetic to a fault and I cannot empathy my way inside that perception.

I keep finding reasons ever since it was posted to link to this Slacktivist blog post. The bit that still really rings like a bell for me:
Constantly arguing in bad faith leads to thinking in bad faith and
to living in bad faith, until bad faith is all you've got left. Calculation becomes habit, that habit supplants thought and one winds up in the perverse circumstance of earnestly arguing for the goodness of oil spills.
The "goodness of oil spills" was the topic back on that date, but it's so broadly applicable to much of modern tribal politics. "goodness of oil spills" is eminently replaceable with "majestic principled savior nature of Donald Trump."
posted by Drastic at 8:50 AM on May 31 [40 favorites]


> I'm still stuck on how covfefe stayed up for six hours. Possible explanations:

So as I see it what's most likely is the orange man has been shouting and screaming to his staff about people (read: lawyers) fucking around with his tweets, he's been blustering about how horrible it is that they're denying him free time and access to his phone, and as a result his staffers left it up either because they're legitimately afraid of him or (more likely) to teach him a lesson.

Going forward the white house line is going to be that covfefe was super fun and that all of the magabots love how unfiltered the orange man is. Never mind that it was super fun because we all thought he might have had a stroke.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:51 AM on May 31 [16 favorites]


But he's getting attacked for doubting the future of coal.

The last coal-fired electricity plant in Massachusetts is shutting down forever today, which now makes a handful of hipster pizza places the main consumers of coal in the state.
posted by adamg at 8:54 AM on May 31 [61 favorites]


If someone makes a @realDonaldTrump_ebooks (or @POTUS_ebooks or whatever, since I think the former's over the character limit), I'll buy them ALL the beers
posted by iffthen at 8:55 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I'm still stuck on how covfefe stayed up for six hours. Possible explanations:

We're so screwed if there's an actual emergency at 2am.
posted by octothorpe at 8:56 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


I was somewhat impressed that Trump managed to post a mild joke about his own mistake. It must've took all 70 years of his superego, driven by the horrible realization that this was truly an error that he couldn't blame on anyone else.

And then he withdrew us from the Paris Climate Agreement to spite everyone and make himself feel better. I'm not joking. I would not be surprised if the final decision was a snap choice driven by hurt pride.

I'm still stuck on how covfefe stayed up for six hours. Possible explanations:

6. His staff hates him and secretly delighted in the jokes made at his expense.
posted by schroedinger at 8:58 AM on May 31 [19 favorites]


We're so screwed if there's an actual emergency at 2am.

Aide #1: Mr. President! You have to wake up! The nation is under attack!
Trump: [Shifts his bulk, mutters something that's almost a word, farts, goes back to sleep]
Aide #2: What did he say?
Aide #1: I think he said... "covfefe."
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:59 AM on May 31 [18 favorites]


You think he allows anyone else to have access to that account? I am dead certain that there were people crowded around the door to the residence all night debating whether to wake him up.

"At dawn, Stalin did not emerge from his room. Although his guards thought that it was strange not to see him awake at his usual time, they were strictly instructed not to bother him and left him alone the entire day. At around 10 p.m., he was discovered by Peter Lozgachev, the Deputy Commandant, who entered his bedroom to check on him and recalled the scene of Stalin lying on his back on the floor of his room beside his bed, wearing pyjama bottoms and an undershirt, with his clothes soaked in stale urine. A frightened Lozgachev asked Stalin what happened to him, but all he could get out of him was unintelligible responses that sounded like 'Dzhhhhh.' "

Just sayin'.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:00 AM on May 31 [30 favorites]


My opinion is actually that renewables have hit economic viability at just the right time to be self-sustaining - there are economic reasons not to do coal etc these days. That said, it gives me a lot of suspicion that whoever wants to oppose the next step will point at the US repeatedly.

The last coal-fired electricity plant in Massachusetts is shutting down forever today, which now makes a handful of hipster pizza places the main consumers of coal in the state.

I have 1.2MWh of excess solar banked with National Grid over the past three months. I'm trying to do my part to make up the shortfall.
posted by Talez at 9:00 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


NYT, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman: As Trump Weighs Shake-Up, He Faces Recruiting Challenge
Back from overseas and confronting an unforgiving political environment, President Trump appears increasingly isolated inside the White House, according to advisers, venting frustration over the performance of his staff and openly talking about shaking it up. But as he considers casting off old aides, Mr. Trump is finding it challenging to recruit new ones.

The disclosures from investigations stemming from Russian meddling in last year’s election — coupled with the president’s habit of undercutting his staff — have driven away candidates for West Wing jobs that normally would be among the most coveted in American politics, according to people involved in the search.

By the time the first change in what may be a broader shake-up was announced Tuesday, the White House was left without a replacement. Michael Dubke, the White House communications director, said he would step down, but four possible successors contacted by the White House declined to be considered, according to an associate of Mr. Trump who like others asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.
There's some other interesting stuff in that article, but 'no one wants to work for this White House' seems to be a recurring issue -- and it's being driven (I think) as much by Trump's decisions in hiring as it is by prospective employees declining. Buried in a recent New Yorker profile of Sec. Mattis (worth a read on its own) was this tidbit:
Four months after Mattis took over the Pentagon, only two of the top civilian jobs—there are fifty-seven in all—have been filled. While Mattis was inclined to bring in people from across the political spectrum, the Trump White House was determined to appoint loyalists. In practice, that excluded nearly all the main-line Republican national-security experts, dozens of whom had signed letters during the campaign declaring that Trump was unqualified for office.

When Mattis asked Michèle Flournoy, the former Under-Secretary of Defense under Obama, to consider becoming his deputy, she was torn between her admiration for Mattis and her discomfort with the Trump Administration. “I lost a lot of sleep and felt sick to my stomach,” she told me. At Trump Tower, she was interviewed by a group of aides with no national-security experience. Among their first questions was “What would it take for you to resign?” Flournoy, alarmed, told Mattis that she couldn’t take the job.

Three months into the new Administration, the Pentagon is being run by a skeleton crew; career officers and civil servants are doing jobs that are supposed to be performed by political appointees. “It’s like going to work on a Sunday—there’s no one there,” the former defense official told me. “If my printer doesn’t work on Sunday, I’m screwed. That’s what the Pentagon’s like every day.”
I'm not going to go back and dig up corroborating reporting, but IIRC this has been a theme across departments -- perceived loyalty to the administration (or to Trump) trumps qualifications. Remember, too, Trump's reported request to Comey that Comey be loyal to Trump, personally, which would certainly fit this pattern.

The failure of the administration to fill positions should be concerning not only for its own sake (we need a functioning government), but also because of what it suggests about his hiring process and his priorities.
posted by cjelli at 9:01 AM on May 31 [68 favorites]


And I'll bet other countries just love reading about how understaffed the Pentagon is.
posted by Melismata at 9:04 AM on May 31 [20 favorites]


To not abuse the edit window: it suggests that Trump sees being President as being about fulfilling his priorities, rather than about serving the nation's priorities.

Which wouldn't be news to a lot of people, but needs to be repeated as often as possible for those to whom it would.
posted by cjelli at 9:04 AM on May 31 [15 favorites]


Three months into the new Administration, the Pentagon is being run by a skeleton crew; career officers and civil servants are doing jobs that are supposed to be performed by political appointees.

I am quietly thankful for this.
posted by jaduncan at 9:08 AM on May 31 [27 favorites]


We haven't heard any more about potential new FBI directors for a bit either, after that shortlist evaporated. That's another job where an analysis of recent evidence would suggest that 'run away fast. No, faster.' would be the only logical conclusion. And haven't people in State been saying that working there is like being in the office at the weekend, too?

A quick canter through 45's empty dominions would make a good read.

I am quietly thankful for this.

Yes, until something major happens that needs leadership and competence, or people will die. Because at the moment < spoiler alert > people will die.
posted by Devonian at 9:09 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


We're so screwed if there's an actual emergency at 2am.

Depends on whether a Trump staff not frozen by indecision or a woken Trump would make the situation worse or better, really.

That crisis that isn't self created is coming sometime and it isn't going to be pretty.
posted by Artw at 9:11 AM on May 31


We need a billboard in every red district pointing out which party is destroying the military.
posted by cmfletcher at 9:13 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


Yes, until something major happens that needs leadership and competence, or people will die. Because at the moment < spoiler alert > people will die.

Indeed. As did people after Hurricane Katrina, thanks to Brownie. Trump got elected because he promised things would be different, ah well.
posted by Melismata at 9:14 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Withdrawing from the Paris Accords sucks. The good news is that wind and solar are even cheaper than natural gas in a lot of places. A Tuscon utility recently signed a deal for solar energy less than 3 cents per Kilowatt-Hour. I get a real sense that solar is set to be competitive with natural gas in the sunny states, and wind for those in the middle states. And with battery storage, be competitive with natural gas peaker plants!

The bad news is that we're likely to be set back to 2012 prices for solar panels because a bankrupt US solar panel manufacturing company, Suniva, has made a petition for a global tariff on basically every solar technology imported into the US with a couple of exceptions. The US International Trade Commission is moving forward with hearing the case. A recommendation will be made no later than September 22nd. The Solar Energy Industries Association is against these tariffs. It puts downstream solar jobs at risk, and looks to increase utility scale solar costs something like 40%. There's more to this story, but it all makes me bit sad because president of the United States is the one who decides what to do with the ITC's recommendation.
posted by Mister Cheese at 9:14 AM on May 31 [13 favorites]


Did I say nobody in the GOP would have anything to say about Paris?

Silly me.

posted by Devonian at 9:16 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


And haven't people in State been saying that working there is like being in the office at the weekend, too?

Most departments are understaffed, is my understanding; State is missing more than a hundred key positions, including a few dozen ambassadorships, leaving aside lower-level appointments and nominations entirely, which are also absent. You can do a partial search at the Washington Post, but that's only for a subset of overall nominations, so it undercounts overall numbers -- and one other thing to note is that there are a decent number of positions for which the administration has announced a candidate but has not yet actually formally nominated them.
posted by cjelli at 9:18 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


At the VA Hospital, Patients Often Wind Up in Court : Case after case brings people who admit to breaking the rules but rush to dispute their guilt and offer an explanation. People representing themselves often admit they’re guilty without meaning it, or fail to raise the right legal arguments to contest their cases. Thomas Carpenter was in the emergency room at the VA, waiting to get admitted to the psychiatric ward, he said, after two days of trying to be seen. He had an empty pill bottle with him, which he gave to staff in the ER, and which later tested positive for cocaine residue.

“I wasn’t trying to bring anything into the hospital,” he complained repeatedly at his hearing in January. “If it was empty, why would I bring it in? The container was mine, so obviously I have to take the blame for it, but there was nothing in there.”

The court fined Carpenter $130, which he agreed to pay off at $20 a month. But after the verdict, he wanted to make one last point. “In defense of myself, I served for this country,” he said. “I was wounded twice!”

“I know,” Magistrate Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes replied. “That’s why I lowered your fine sir.”

“I have mental issues. I have PTSD,” Carpenter said, but the verdict held

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:18 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


We have to prepare to deal ourselves with whatever crises we will encounter, because we have to assume that the response fromwhatever's left of the federal government will be ineptly executed, actively harmful, or both. This is despite the fact that any response under the leadership of anything but the federal government will be inadequate.

Those of us living in California (or, really, on the west coast as a whole) are lucky, because we have functioning state governments that can step in in the absence of a federal government.

Also, though, wherever we are, we owe it to ourselves to squad up in activist communities; the people we meet with every Monday evening or whatever to talk about single payer or to write postcards or whatever are going to be the people we have to rely upon when chaos hits in earnest.

I mean I'm trying not to say "dual power," but, well, dual power. The institutions of government are failing; the institutions we're inventing now have to get prepared to step into the gap.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:21 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


Mitch McConnell is calling for Trump to leave the Paris agreement. Someone should tell him that Obama is no longer the President and he no longer has to try to destroy everything.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:23 AM on May 31 [41 favorites]


Mitch McConnell is from a coal state, and he has no morals nor cares about anyone but himself. There's no chance of him changing his mind on this.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:25 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


And for many of these countries, the goal is not just greenhouse gas emissions, but reductions in the deadly coal smog choking the major cities.

China isn't going along with the Paris Accords out of the goodness of their hearts. Beyond an opportunity for expanded influence in the world, they have a real problem getting employees from multi-nationals to relocate to cities where you often can't see across the street and where your kids develop livelong allergies and health issues. Cleaning up is an economic need for them.
posted by chris24 at 9:26 AM on May 31 [17 favorites]


Mitch McConnell is calling for Trump to leave the Paris agreement. Someone should tell him that Obama is no longer the President and he no longer has to try to destroy everything.

They have nothing else to offer.
posted by Artw at 9:26 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]




Most departments are understaffed, is my understanding; State is missing more than a hundred key positions, including a few dozen ambassadorships, leaving aside lower-level appointments and nominations entirely, which are also absent. You can do a partial search at the Washington Post, but that's only for a subset of overall nominations, so it undercounts overall numbers -- and one other thing to note is that there are a decent number of positions for which the administration has announced a candidate but has not yet actually formally nominated them.

Well, on the bright side, the skeleton crew means you get lifelong diplomats - not Trump appointees - standing in silence for 20 seconds before they try to tell us how they can criticize Iran's sham democracy while standing beside princes of Saudi Arabia's outright dictatorship. It's a refreshing bit of honesty that goes well with the theme from Curb Your Enthusiasm.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:27 AM on May 31 [21 favorites]


Lovefest
Ha. But that's really a word boundary to my intuition.


Yeah, only at word boundaries.

I'd analyse covfefe as cove + fefe, where Fefe is a variant of Fifi or Feefee, a dog's name. I live on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, where "cove" is used to mean a small irregularly shaped valley that's open more than one end. The image I have is driving down long winding road in the mountains and then coming to a cove where there are a couple farms and one of the farmers has a small yappy dog.

A "press covfefe", by analogy, is a minor kerfuffle in the press when a politician or other public figure says or does something stupid that doesn't matter in the long run and is soon forgotten. So the phrase is good illustration of itself.

A question is does the president really think the Kushner back channel story is a press covfefe? Because I'd be worried that this one might bite.
posted by nangar at 9:35 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


MONMOUTH: % who say person *hurts* Trump when they speak on his behalf
SPICER - 42%
CONWAY - 40%
SANDERS - 22%
PENCE - 29%

TRUMP - 61% (!)
And here's a good summary of AHCA polls since May.
posted by zachlipton at 9:39 AM on May 31 [51 favorites]


...where your kids develop livelong allergies and health issues. Cleaning up is an economic need for them.

i mean, it is for the us as well, but it's not like the gop really cares for human-people.

just corporation-people.
posted by anem0ne at 9:59 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


"Corporations need a world to exist in" is just too big a concept for them.
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Maya Oppenheim, The Independent:
"White supremacist Richard Spencer banned from SoundCloud."

Richard Spencer has had his podcast banned from SoundCloud because it violates the audio platform’s terms of use which explicitly forbid hate speech.

The leading white supremacist, who rose to fame for being punched at an anti-Trump protest, is credited with coining the term “alt-right” and used his podcast to discuss his controversial views with guests.

Noting that Mr Spencer’s “alt-right Radio” show did not fit with SoundCloud’s community guidelines, a freelance investigative journalist alerted the streaming site, which has 175 million monthly listeners, to the clash in ethics.

posted by spitbull at 10:09 AM on May 31 [54 favorites]


CNN: Comey to testify publicly about Trump confrontations. Yes, we sort of already knew that, but then he's been talking with Mueller to ensure he won't mess up that investigation. Anyway, now it could be "as early as next week."

And even John Boehner won't stick to his criticism of Trump. Here's the walkback. He likes the President and doesn't think his policies or his agenda are a disaster, but takes some issue with the execution and says that "they’ve had their share of mistakes as the president learns to be the president."

This game where elected or formerly elected Republicans say what they really think and then walk it back a few days later is increasingly tiresome.
posted by zachlipton at 10:11 AM on May 31 [30 favorites]


It's the delicate interplay between former remnants of their humanity and the fact that #NeverTrump was always bullshit.
posted by Artw at 10:14 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


[Boehner] likes the President and doesn't think his policies or his agenda are a disaster

Well, of course not, because regardless of what "populist" agenda Trump campaigned on, his policies and agenda are bog-standard Republicanism -- actually a disaster, but no Republican politician can admit it.

but takes some issue with the execution and says that "they’ve had their share of mistakes as the president learns to be the president.

It's been more than 100 days. The on-the-job training period -- which is supposed to be over between the election and the inauguration -- is definitely over now. As if the disastrous and embarrassing foreign trip and baffling midnight tweet show Trump has learned anything anyway.

Feh.
posted by Gelatin at 10:19 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Theory: Trump's personal cell phone is 1-555-COVFEFE
posted by dhens at 10:19 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I like that David Lynch has returned to directing TV but I dislike that he is also directing world affairs
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:20 AM on May 31 [30 favorites]


> What I cannot understand no matter how hard I try is people who look at Donald Trump and see not a shitbag blowhard wordsalad-spewing bullshitter, but a majestic, principled savior of mankind. Like, I am empathetic to a fault and I cannot empathy my way inside that perception.

This has also been the most difficult aspect of Trump's rise for me to understand. I mean, I literally have an easier time understanding (not empathizing or agreeing with, just imagining what it might be like) the viewpoint of someone who is a virulent racist than of someone who looks at Donald Trump and sees a dynamic, principled man of action, or whatever the hell it is they apparently see.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:23 AM on May 31 [49 favorites]


Covfefe stopped being fun the second he got in on it.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:27 AM on May 31 [33 favorites]


I think people who look at Donald Trump today and claim to see a dynamic, principled man of action are lying. It is easier than admitting that they want, or wanted, to take revenge on people who are different from them, in race or in culture or in gender or in being a "liberal elite".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:28 AM on May 31 [24 favorites]


Covfefe stopped being fun the second he got in on it.

Good news: that was totally his social media staff.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:28 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


I think people who look at Donald Trump today and claim to see a dynamic, principled man of action are lying. It is easier than admitting that they want, or wanted, to take revenge on people who are different from them, in race or in culture or in gender or in being a "liberal elite".

Exactly. The degeneracy of the Republican Party is that Trump's violation of so many norms of good governance were seen as virtues solely because they "pissed off liberals." Being a Republican now overtly means not giving a toss about governing at all. Which, of course, has been true for a long time; P. J. O'Rourke joked about it way back in the '90s. But it's an excellent reason to dismiss all the crocodile tears about the "white working class voter" as portrayed by the navel-gazing media; the genuine article actually voted for Clinton.
posted by Gelatin at 10:33 AM on May 31 [22 favorites]


Conservative groups target Maddow advertisers after Hannity loses ads
Conservative media groups are targeting MSNBC host Rachel Maddow after Fox News host Sean Hannity urged his viewers to boycott companies that run advertisements on Maddow's program. Media Research Center (MRC) and Media Equalizer are leading the conservative campaigns against Maddow, as well as other mainstream media programs. The proposed boycott comes after Hannity lost advertisers after pushing a conspiracy theory about the murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 10:34 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


Might be worth contacting Maddow's advertisers in support, and pointing out that she is NOT spreading conspiracy theories, if you have time for a little more activism.
posted by msalt at 10:36 AM on May 31 [25 favorites]


Mitch McConnell is from a coal state

Just barely. Coal mining represents less then 2% of the state GDP and less than 0.5% of employment.

Coal mining politics is all about nostalgia and sticking it to liberals, like the Confederate monuments. It makes no economic sense.
posted by JackFlash at 10:37 AM on May 31 [62 favorites]


Conservative groups target Maddow advertisers after Hannity loses ads

It seems notable that they don't... actually... have any specific complaints about her?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:38 AM on May 31 [29 favorites]


> I think people who look at Donald Trump today and claim to see a dynamic, principled man of action are lying.

I think a lot of them are, but not all. It's in part a cult of personality, and there must be thousands if not millions of people out there who still think Trump is the character he played on the Apprentice (which was itself a juvenile, simplistic caricature of a Business Man, but whatever), all subsequent evidence to the contrary aside.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:38 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I think people who look at Donald Trump today and claim to see a dynamic, principled man of action are lying.

Yes. This. It's the emperor's new clothes, but with competence, intelligence, honesty, etc. instead of clothes. And they effing know it.
posted by The World Famous at 10:39 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]


It seems notable that they don't... actually... have any specific complaints about her?

Exactly. They don't seem to get that liberals are writing to advertisers and basically saying "do you know that your name is showing up during this batshit insane asshole's lunatic rantings?"

What are they going to write? "WAHHHH I HATE LIBERALS!"?
posted by Talez at 10:41 AM on May 31 [13 favorites]


Conservative groups target Maddow advertisers after Hannity loses ads

It seems notable that they don't... actually... have any specific complaints about her?


It's indicative of the zero-sum worldview of modern conservatives that they can't seem to comprehend anyone else acting in good faith, either.
posted by Gelatin at 10:42 AM on May 31 [57 favorites]


See also: perceiving the Women's March and other anti-Trump demonstrations as 100% just whining because our team lost the election.
posted by witchen at 10:47 AM on May 31 [14 favorites]


It's indicative of the zero-sum worldview of modern conservatives that they can't seem to comprehend anyone else acting in good faith, either.

I was perusing /r/conservative's thread on the Paris Accord today, and one of the 3 or 4 most upvoted comments was "none of these liberals actually care about climate change anyway: they're all just virtue signaling."
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:48 AM on May 31 [33 favorites]


I was perusing /r/conservative's thread on the Paris Accord today, and one of the 3 or 4 most upvoted comments was "none of these liberals actually care about climate change: they're all just virtue signaling."

Which is a hell of an admission in itself, in that it concedes that a pro-environmental position is perceived as virtuous.
posted by Gelatin at 10:49 AM on May 31 [51 favorites]


Just barely. Coal mining represents less then 2% of [Kentucky] GDP and less than 0.5% of employment.

But 91% of its electricity.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:50 AM on May 31


>>Conservative groups target Maddow advertisers after Hannity loses ads

> It seems notable that they don't... actually... have any specific complaints about her?


I imagine she's used email at some point in her life.
posted by Quindar Beep at 10:51 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


I think people who look at Donald Trump today and claim to see a dynamic, principled man of action are lying. It is easier than admitting that they want, or wanted, to take revenge on people who are different from them, in race or in culture or in gender or in being a "liberal elite".

Some, certainly. All? No: Trump spent the last three or so decades playing at the fringes of popular consciousness, toying with running for President on several occasions, publishing (if not necessarily authoring) books, appearing in films and television programs, and then starring in a show of his own -- a show that painted him as dynamic man of action, with principles of his own. One way to understand support of Trump is to consider is as support of Trump as a media icon of multiple decades in the making: and that figure is a dynamic one. Only in recent years, with his turn to birtherism (and a bit before, I think) did Trump shift to his more vindictive approach in public (his private behavior, and that of his companies, was consistently awful previously). It takes time for narratives to take hold in in people's minds, and narratives have a way of overlaying themselves on existing understandings, rather than replacing them wholesale. People whose mental conception of Trump is still rooted in the '90s and early '00s may not be lying to the press -- although they might be lying to themselves.

That said, there's a lot more to unpack here, but 'what do people who like Trump REALLY think of him and why' is the most overdone story of 2016/2017 (barring emails), and for a fuller discussion of this point I would refer you back to most of the last year's worth of politics + election threads.

The other takeaway I would offer is to use this as a lens backwards to understanding -- or at least accepting -- some of the seemingly bizarre personality cults of history. Weird stuff happens.
posted by cjelli at 10:54 AM on May 31 [16 favorites]


People who really like Trump are uneducated, ignorant, rude bigots who enjoy the way he makes their deplorability acceptable. I am serious, there is nothing much to understand or empathize with there. There were certainly principled Trump voters -- including people who could not stand HRC for multiple reasons -- but I can't think of anyone at all I respect who genuinely likes and admires him.
posted by bearwife at 11:02 AM on May 31 [15 favorites]


Here's Elon Musk saying he'll leave the White House advisory councils if they pull out of the Paris Agreement. Nice of him to confirm he'll throw, say, Muslims or most of the EPA under the bus, but it's a bridge too far if an issue he really cares about is threatened.

I also liked the perspective of Erik Wemple, who is about as close as we have to a universal public editor: New York Times doesn’t need a public editor. The TV news outlets do.

And Dan Heyman, the journalist reported for trying to ask Tom Price a question, notes a theme: I got arrested. Another reporter was punched. The common thread? We asked about health care: "Sure seems like the GOP doesn't want to talk to the public about the AHCA."
posted by zachlipton at 11:05 AM on May 31 [84 favorites]


So as I see it what's most likely is the orange man has been shouting and screaming to his staff about people (read: lawyers) fucking around with his tweets, he's been blustering about how horrible it is that they're denying him free time and access to his phone, and as a result his staffers left it up either because they're legitimately afraid of him or (more likely) to teach him a lesson.

It's also possible nobody wants to open themselves up to being charged with violating the Presidential Records Act. That's possibly optimistic, since the act lacks any explicit penalties, but maybe these dummies don't know that.
posted by phearlez at 11:09 AM on May 31


Joe Manchin (D-Buggy Whips)

He's with us on everything but everything
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:11 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]


John Boehner: I want him and frankly I want the country to succeed.

Why does he need to say "frankly"?
posted by BentFranklin at 11:13 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


Well, Ted Cruz just killed covfefe: "Covfefe? Hard to say, but I hear Al Franken's new book is full of it ;)"

Game's over; thanks for playing.
posted by zachlipton at 11:15 AM on May 31 [23 favorites]


> Game's over; thanks for playing.

womp womp
posted by tonycpsu at 11:17 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Well, Ted Cruz just killed covfefe: "Covfefe? Hard to say, but I hear Al Franken's new book is full of it ;)"

OK, that's a little funny.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:18 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Why does he need to say 'frankly'?

They say that when they lie.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:19 AM on May 31 [37 favorites]


ted cruz ruins everything
posted by entropicamericana at 11:20 AM on May 31 [27 favorites]


The Zodiac strikes again.
posted by guiseroom at 11:20 AM on May 31 [15 favorites]


re: Frankly

Yeah normally, it's a synonym for "believe it or not"
posted by BentFranklin at 11:21 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


cruz devoured and incorporated covfefe as surely and finally as he ate that tonsil stone on live tv
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:21 AM on May 31 [8 favorites]


According to a reporter from Sirius XM radio, today's off-camera presser has been designated Not For Broadcast, so nobody will be allowed to record.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:27 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


cruz devoured and incorporated covfefe as surely and finally as he ate that tonsil stone on live tv

He wants all his garmonbozia (covfefe).
posted by Uncle Ira at 11:31 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]


They do "not for broadcast" pressers so they can dispute what's reported, right? Both to their base and to their boss.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:32 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


“Pigs (Three Different Ones)” may have been the least subtle moment of the evening, but it also drew far more applause than any other non-radio track.

from a recent show in Mexico ...
posted by philip-random at 11:34 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Who does the actual recordings? Is there a person behind a camera? Is it possible today's isn't being broadcast because they don't have the staff to do it? Or is this a normal event?
posted by Twain Device at 11:34 AM on May 31


so nobody will be allowed to record.

And now we'll never know how Spicer pronounced 'covfefe.'
posted by cjelli at 11:35 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Planet Earth has been taking advantage of America for too long
If there is one thing I have learned from “Planet Earth” it is that Earth has a lot of areas where it could tighten its belt before asking me to lower my emissions.

Look at the wanton extravagance of the planet. Pandas. Mosquitoes. Butterflies. Elephant seals. Birds, some garishly colored, waking me up in the morning by shouting come-ons at one another. Armored beetles. Arctic foxes. I ask you. Who needs all this?

Gibbons. Naked mole rats. Those monkeys with bulbous noses who look like J. Pierpont Morgan and those other monkeys with buttocks in obscene hues. Those things in the ocean that look like they’re wearing headlamps. When was the last time we used any of this? Do we really need it? Does it spark joy?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:35 AM on May 31 [53 favorites]


> the kicks the execrable liz spayd out on the street but not having an ombudsman at all seems questionable?

Vox: The New York Times is getting rid of its public editor for exactly the wrong reasons
The public editor’s role, in theory, was to make sure that everyone in the newsroom felt appropriate pressure not to let down readers. But simply listening to readers more wouldn’t have prevented Blair-type scandals. Instead, at its best — as it was under Sullivan — the public editor has been a voice in the room for those values, rising above the clamor of the day’s controversy.

It’s not that readers shouldn’t be listened to. It’s that readers often contradict themselves — and what they say they want in theory is often belied by the media they actually consume.

They say they dislike “clickbaity” headlines, then click on them en masse. They say they want in-depth foreign coverage but aren’t willing to subscribe to pay for it. They say they just want the news given to them straight, then only trust outlets that flatter their ideological preconceptions.

As journalists, we can take two approaches to that. One is to give the people what they want — to package our work as appealingly and accessibly as possible, and try to avoid dishonesty in the process.

The other is to realize that what people say they want, even if they don’t reward it now, actually is what they value in the long run — and that media outlets that provide those things will be rewarded eventually. That’s the bet that the Times and Post (among other outlets) have made by doubling down on investigative reporting in the Trump era, and they seem to be reaping the rewards.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:38 AM on May 31 [14 favorites]


The other is to realize that what people say they want, even if they don’t reward it now, actually is what they value in the long run — and that media outlets that provide those things will be rewarded eventually. That’s the bet that the Times and Post (among other outlets) have made by doubling down on investigative reporting in the Trump era, and they seem to be reaping the rewards.

I... actually disagree with this. They aren't being rewarded because of brilliant investigative reporting full stop, they are being rewarded because of brilliant investigative reporting specifically of the Trump administration. They could have exactly the same staff putting in exactly the same effort under a Clinton administration and they wouldn't be rewarded. Much of that is because there wouldn't be the same level of HOLY SHIT constant bombshells. But some of it would be because, contra this piece, NYT and WaPo wouldn't be flattering their audience's ideological preconceptions.

It is not at all clear to me that media outlets which provide the things people say they want rather than what they actually respond to will be rewarded in the long term. Everything I've seen in the last 30 years of news media, online and off, tells me that's wishful thinking.
posted by Justinian at 11:47 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]




> they are being rewarded because of brilliant investigative reporting specifically of the Trump administration

I don't see this conclusion being at odds with what Lind writes in the Vox piece. She says they're reaping the rewards of doing investigative reporting "in the Trump era". I don't see any statement that this reward will exist in perpetuity, or would have existed under some counterfactual.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:53 AM on May 31


@mviser: Asked about the “covfefe” tweet, Sean Spicer says: “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."

wat?
posted by zachlipton at 11:56 AM on May 31 [67 favorites]


nothing matters
posted by lalex at 11:58 AM on May 31 [20 favorites]


@mviser: Asked about the “covfefe” tweet, Sean Spicer says: “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."

Which implies either that Spicer isn't part of that small group or isn't willing to let the rest of us in on it.
posted by Gelatin at 11:59 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Wow, so he really is going with "I meant to do that"?
posted by contraption at 12:00 PM on May 31 [38 favorites]


Wow, so he really is going with "I meant to do that"?

"The president's tweet speaks for itself." [fake but that's basically what that answer was]
posted by cjelli at 12:00 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


Ask not what covfefe means, ask what *you* can mean to covfefe.
posted by rainy at 12:02 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


So we're left to wonder if:

A. Trump meant to do that, and the rest of us can chase our tails trying to find out what they meant or
B. The communications office is not only undercut by their boss at every turn but also just bad at their jobs.

I'm leaning toward B.
posted by rewil at 12:02 PM on May 31 [21 favorites]


Covfefe stopped being fun the second he got in on it.

Absolutely. And Spicer's just playing along since at least it buys him a moment's respite from important matters such as Trump dropping the Paris Accord or Comey agreeing to testify to the Senate.

"Engagement w Trump's mystery tweet is sign he's won: he's colonized you."—@RuthBenGhiat (She's gotten into this before, such as in her CNN article from December, "How to deal with Trump's tweets".)

While ridicule is a potent weapon, at this point, giving the topic further attention, even as jokes, is just feeding Trump the Troll. Perhaps here on the Blue we can mentally flag "covfefe" and move on?
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:03 PM on May 31 [20 favorites]




B. The communications office is not only undercut by their boss at every turn but also just bad at their jobs.

Well, it was mere hours after the White House Communications Director left.
posted by ckape at 12:05 PM on May 31


Here's audio of the covfefe question at the briefing.

More substantively: Spicer just said the White House won't be answering questions on Russia probe going forward, referring to Trump's personal lawyer. That doesn't quite fit with the whole "everything we did is perfectly normal and fine and swell" narrative they've been pushing.
posted by zachlipton at 12:07 PM on May 31 [54 favorites]


At this point it's the least of our concerns but from the audio the press corps seems to have settled on "cove-fay-fay".
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:10 PM on May 31 [10 favorites]


More substantively: Spicer just said the White House won't be answering questions on Russia probe going forward, referring to Trump's personal lawyer. That doesn't quite fit with the whole "everything we did is perfectly normal and fine and swell" narrative they've been pushing.

Not only that, since of course Trump's personal lawyer isn't going to blab admissions of criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice to the press, Spicer's statement is basically stonewalling, which definitely isn't something one does if everything is perfectly fine and normal.

As Josh Marshall pointed out long ago, whatever the facts of Trump's involvement with Russia, he and his team are certainly acting guilty as hell.
posted by Gelatin at 12:11 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."

B E S U R E T O D R I N K Y O U R O V A L T I N E
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:13 PM on May 31 [37 favorites]


[fake, yet accurate quote] "Going forward we're going to refer questions about Russia to the personal attorneys since we were too stupid to do that for the last ten months."
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 12:13 PM on May 31 [11 favorites]




Uh, you're an idiot if you do anything but refer questions to your lawyer when there is an investigation. It says nothing about whether you are guilty. Spoiler: Trump is guilty.

But referring questions to counsel is absolutely the correct thing to do whether guilty or innocent.
posted by Justinian at 12:14 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


Eric Lichtblau, CNN: "Comey Plans to Confirm Trump Bombshell."

Fired FBI director James Comey plans to testify publicly in the Senate as early as next week to confirm bombshell accusations that President Donald Trump pressured him to end his investigation into a top Trump aide's ties to Russia, a source close to the issue said Wednesday.
posted by spitbull at 12:22 PM on May 31 [30 favorites]


Uh, you're an idiot if you do anything but refer questions to your lawyer when there is an investigation. It says nothing about whether you are guilty. Spoiler: Trump is guilty.

But referring questions to counsel is absolutely the correct thing to do whether guilty or innocent.


(We can look to Clinton's impeachment debacle on this:)
Q: If I can just follow up, then. The factual response to Article One, is the White House suggesting here that even if the charges were proven true they do not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors?

MR. LOCKHART: The White House is suggesting that there is no perjury, that the House has failed to make a case for perjury, and that the evidence and circumstances of which they are describing and what we think is in a factually insufficient way does not reach the standard of an impeachable offense."
I dunno, I think "the President did nothing wrong" is completely fine and has precedent; "talk to the lawyer" is what seems like the stupid move here.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:23 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


I think people who look at Donald Trump today and claim to see a dynamic, principled man of action are lying.

Yes. This. It's the emperor's new clothes, but with competence, intelligence, honesty, etc. instead of clothes. And they effing know it.


I am not sure this is what is going on.

I think it is more like a celebration of the mediocracy. A lot of people see themselves in Donald Trump. His slips, screwups, mis-steps, racism and assholery are all things they can imagine themselves doing and they routinely get/want the latitude and forgiveness for it in their own lives so they feel they should extend it to him as well.

It's not so much that he is the best of them and instead that he is just like one of them.

You can just imagine how rage inducing Obama must have been. Not just a different skin color but also a Harvard grad, lawyer, and impressively dignified, gracious, cool, unflappable and competent. There was really no way a mediocre person could relate to that kind of excellence. So you could only admire it or resent it and they went with option 2.

Now they have a mirror and see themselves when they look and say "Hey, good looking". Mostly because he is a pretty dynamic, principled man of action by the standards of the mediocre.
posted by srboisvert at 12:24 PM on May 31 [35 favorites]


Uh, you're an idiot if you do anything but refer questions to your lawyer when there is an investigation. It says nothing about whether you are guilty. Spoiler: Trump is guilty.

Sure, for a private citizen, that's your best angle, because you don't also have a PR battle to fight, or a need to remain legitimate in the eyes of the public, and also because you're up against a legal machinery basically designed to convict you of something, anything, once they put you in their crosshairs.

But Trump is President, and should have a good sounding story to explain these things away. The mere fact that he doesn't have a good explanation makes him basically guilty. Not legally, sure, but I mean, come on. You don't "No comment" your way out of "did kushy-baby commit light treason on your behalf?".
posted by dis_integration at 12:24 PM on May 31 [20 favorites]




> "talk to my lawyer" is what seems like the stupid move here.

It's been Trump's signature move whenever he gets into a pickle for decades now. It's all he knows.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:25 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Isn't his personal lawyer under scrutiny as part of the same investigation? Wonder how many lawyers they'll have to go to before they find one willing to say he's totally innocent.
posted by Green With You at 12:26 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


"At this point it's the least of our concerns but from the audio the press corps seems to have settled on 'cove-fay-fay'."

Well, of course -- they looked up the entry in my dictionary from the future. Some of them possibly listened to the example pronunciation.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:26 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Uh, you're an idiot if you do anything but refer questions to your lawyer when there is an investigation. It says nothing about whether you are guilty.

Yes, so is this official confirmation that 45 himself is a person of interest in the investigation? I admit I'm a bit confused about who's investigating what right now, but I think I missed that memo.
posted by Devonian at 12:28 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


> Isn't his personal lawyer under scrutiny as part of the same investigation? Wonder how many lawyers they'll have to go

It's lawyers all the way down . . .
posted by flug at 12:28 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Isn't his personal lawyer under scrutiny as part of the same investigation? Wonder how many lawyers they'll have to go to before they find one willing to say he's totally innocent.

As in Micheal Cohen, personal attorney, yes he is being looked into. However by outside counsel, Spicer is referring to Marc Kasowitz, a relatively new addition to the team.
posted by mmascolino at 12:31 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Kasowitz has been hired by Trump (Donald J., Sr.), but as far as we know he isn't doing a concurrent representation of Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Dan Scavino, and other current WH employees with connections to Russia. Whom should we question about Russia investigation issues involving those WH employees?
posted by melissasaurus at 12:31 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


If Trump's lawyer is under investigation, the lawyer could simply hire Trump as his own lawyer-lawyer, and refer all questions to him in a perpetual loop. It's governance by stack overflow
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:33 PM on May 31 [21 favorites]


If that doesn't work they could get this John Miller guy, I hear he's good
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:34 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


I think it is more like a celebration of the mediocracy. A lot of people see themselves in Donald Trump. His slips, screwups, mis-steps, racism and assholery are all things they can imagine themselves doing and they routinely get/want the latitude and forgiveness for it in their own lives so they feel they should extend it to him as well.

They, being embarrassingly underclothed themselves, are more than happy to lie and say the completely naked emperor is dressed in the finest clothes of all.
posted by The World Famous at 12:35 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]


The haunting thing is the almost North Korea-like quality of the covfefe answer. Instead of just admitting "well obviously that was a mistake" and pivoting to something the White House actually wants to talk about, Spicer has to say something completely ludicrous because he's not allowed to admit that anyone in the White House, let alone the big man himself, could possibly be fallible.

Spicer's approach has been to aggressively and personally blame individual reporters publicly for the smallest of errors that are immediately corrected, while refusing to acknowledge any of his own.
posted by zachlipton at 12:35 PM on May 31 [86 favorites]


I think it is more like a celebration of the mediocracy. A lot of people see themselves in Donald Trump.

I was just thinking about this today, in the context of (yet again) "covfefe." Have I made typos? Of course I have! Plenty of them. In this very thread, even. But I'm not the fucking President. I'm just a schmuck of no consequence. The President has power, and dammit, Uncle Ben was right when he said that thing about power and responsibility. If someone is going to represent me and my fellow Americans to the whole world, I want that person to be my superior: intellectually, ethically, and, yes, typographically. What is the appeal of a useless, self-centered asshole?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:35 PM on May 31 [23 favorites]


Word of advice to White House: it's a terrible damage control strategy to respond "no comment" when asked if Trump committed a crime.

The fake news media criticizes the White House when they lie, and now when they don't lie! Nothing is good enough for the losers and haters
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:40 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]




Have I made typos? Of course I have! Plenty of them. In this very thread, even. But I'm not the fucking President. I'm just a schmuck of no consequence.

My mother just said the same sort of thing, but the contrapositive basically, in a reply to a facebook comment, something like "looks like it happens to the best of us"...

The implication that this is ok and that fuckups by these folks are

A) 'just one of those things that happen, oh well!' or
B) 'look how approachable this is, the internet is hard even for them, I can relate so hard to them'

is part of the bigger problem here. It's something like blindness meets senility meets bias and it's tearing the future apart and I have kids so would rather that not happen if possible but what's the use.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:40 PM on May 31 [12 favorites]


Spicer's approach has been to aggressively and personally blame individual reporters publicly for the smallest of errors that are immediately corrected, while refusing to acknowledge any of his own.

Spicer's approach is that he has no idea what he's doing.

Also, Metafilter: What is the appeal of a useless, self-centered asshole?
posted by Melismata at 12:41 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


What is the appeal of a useless, self-centered asshole?

None at all, but the useless, self-centered assholes who admire Trump admire him for his ability to get away with it by having no shame at all.

Which is why I suspect the spiraling disasters of his presidency is going to take -- is already taking -- a lot of the sheen off of this particular rotten apple. The fact that people of good will are aghast at this dumpster fire is going to be cold comfort for the fact that most of the country sees Trump not as a dominant alpha male king but as a bumbling, incompetent, pathetic loser.

Remember, the so-called "Tea Party" arose in large part because he 27% who still believed George W. Gush wasn't a miserable failure still felt the need to rebrand themselves.
posted by Gelatin at 12:42 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


"Was leaving you off the list of people who got to meet the Pope a mistake, or did the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant?"
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:42 PM on May 31 [15 favorites]


Trump's personal cell phone is 1-555-COVFEFE

Out of curiosity, I looked at what COV-FEFE spells out in a keypad and googled the number: it is a dental office in Mississippi, a rehabilitation center in Massachusetts, a Korean War Veterans Association in Hawaii, and a bankruptcy counselor in northern Ontario. I was hoping for something juicier for pareidolia purposes.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:43 PM on May 31 [11 favorites]


For gods' sakes, people, it's cove-feh-feh.

This is my opportunity, whilst leaving my first election thread comment, to thank you all, for I've been following each thread, laughing, frowning, gritting my teeth, strengthening my resolve, despairing, and on and on. Last night in St. Louis Roger Waters dumped a metric shit-ton of confetti on me. Thousands and thousands and thousands of little slips of pink tissuey paper. RESIST!, each one says. RESIST!
posted by Occula at 12:44 PM on May 31 [48 favorites]


The haunting thing is the almost North Korea-like quality of the covfefe answer.

The birth of Supreme Leader Donald upon Mount Queens was heralded by a procession of weeping bald eagles, and in the heavens, a double covfefe
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:45 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Nothing in the DC area code? There will be by the end of the day.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:45 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Jared Kushner and his partners used a program meant for job-starved areas to build a luxury skyscraper: Jared Kushner and his real estate partners wanted to take advantage of a federal program in 2015 that would save them millions of dollars as they built an opulent, 50-story residential tower in this city’s booming waterfront district, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.

There was just one problem: The program was designed to benefit projects in poor, job-starved areas.

So the project’s consultants got creative, records show.

They worked with state officials in New Jersey to come up with a map that defined the area around 65 Bay Street as a swath of land that stretched nearly four miles and included some of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods. At the same time, they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:47 PM on May 31 [69 favorites]


Business is business, capiche? The New Jersey story is mainly a story about corrupt New Jersey state officials. Except, now Kushner is a corrupt Federal official and I can't stop projectile vomiting
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:50 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]


"The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."

Oh, so covfefe is a Russian word.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:50 PM on May 31 [29 favorites]


Covfefe: "The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."

I guess that was his signal to Putin that their plan has begun.
posted by BentFranklin at 12:52 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


this is the part of the movie where you rub some of the dust off the inscription and realize that it actually says COVERT PEE PEE
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:52 PM on May 31 [76 favorites]


The WaPo Kushner/65 Bay St. story is by the excellent Shawn Boburg, who covers government accountability for the Post and came up very recently from being a crackerjack local reporter on the business/politics corruption nexus (which in this case includes organized crime) in New Jersey for the Bergen Record. His Twitter (the link on his name) is one to follow.
posted by spitbull at 12:55 PM on May 31 [12 favorites]


Oh, so covfefe is a Russian word.

ХОФИФИ
posted by leotrotsky at 12:59 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


How long until Spicer stops taking questions entirely?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:11 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


Engagement w Trump's mystery tweet is sign he's won: he's colonized you.

I've been trying so hard, but now I'm walking around saying covfefe over and over in my head. I think he may have unleashed a mind virus.
posted by diogenes at 1:15 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


Say it loud and there's music playing. Say it soft and it's almost like praying... "Covfefe". I'll never stop saying "Covfefe"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:17 PM on May 31 [16 favorites]


I think he may have unleashed a mind virus.
" In other news, French-Canadian riot police have successfully contained the violent uprising in the small town in Ontario, Canada, Pontypool. Pontypool. Ponty - pool. Pontypool. Pontypool."
posted by pxe2000 at 1:17 PM on May 31 [25 favorites]


Wait, maybe we're overthinking this, maybe covfefe simply means "25th amendment"?
posted by rainy at 1:18 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Covfefe, covfefe, covfefe!
The word a small group gets.
Covfefe, covfefe, covfefe!
But you can tweet it yet.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:20 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Perhaps he is using voice-recognition software and he actually fell asleep. chhhofffefeee...
posted by Namlit at 1:21 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Call your congresspeople and demand a truly independent investigation into what covfefe means
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:24 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


@mviser: Asked about the “covfefe” tweet, Sean Spicer says: “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."

Wow, of all the possible bad answers to that question, Spicey goes with the one that suggests Trump is a member of the Illuminati and/or makes Spicer sound like he's experiencing paranoid delusions.

Counting the seconds until the deranged deplorables start claiming it's a special message to the base.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:29 PM on May 31 [21 favorites]


> Call your congresspeople and demand a truly independent investigation into what covfefe means

On the day the Trump administration pulls out of the Paris accord I think the meaning of C.O.V.F.E.F.E. is obvious:

C L I M A T E
O B V I O U S L Y
V E R Y
F I N E
E X T R E M E L Y
F I N E
posted by Tevin at 1:33 PM on May 31 [10 favorites]


Call your congresspeople and demand a truly independent investigation into what covfefe means

Fuck what it means. Demand the 25th be invoked.
posted by Talez at 1:37 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


How long until Spicer stops taking questions entirely?

Or take questions, but just answer completely different questions.

"Does the President still support Jared Kushner?"
"Yes, the office will be open for Flag Day."

Or descend into pure Markov Chains of sentences like when you always select the center word of the iPhone's predictive text.

"Does the President still support Jared Kushner?"
"You don't know how to talk about how long your phone can be on your computer and your computer"

Or just start riffing on the worlds like free association poetry.

"Does the President still support Jared Kushner?"
" Kush Kush Hindu Kush I'm in a Bush so Shush. Oh, Yeah."
*finger snaps*
posted by leotrotsky at 1:38 PM on May 31 [28 favorites]


NY Mag: The Youngest Trump Enters the Spotlight: Not long after the president’s statement, TMZ published an “exclusive”: Barron, confronted with the image of Griffin holding a bloody rendering of his father’s head, initially believed it was real.

According to the celebrity gossip site’s “Trump family sources,” Barron saw the image on TV and then “panicked and screamed, ‘Mommy, Mommy!’”

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, retweeted the TMZ story.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:38 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


According to the celebrity gossip site’s “Trump family sources,” Barron saw the image on TV and then “panicked and screamed, ‘Mommy, Mommy!’”

This is horrible if it happened, but did any mainstream TV show/network actually air these graphic images?
posted by lalex at 1:40 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


According to the celebrity gossip site’s “Trump family sources,” Barron saw the image on TV and then “panicked and screamed, ‘Mommy, Mommy!’”

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, retweeted the TMZ story.


My god, can you imagine how horrible it would be if they had to live in fear of being deported, or dying from lack of healthcare, or facing any accountability for their actions?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:41 PM on May 31 [98 favorites]


Proud company to be in, I'm sure, and not at all further *utterly pissing away* any sense of US policy leadership compared to a pairing of China and the EU. Impressive, given that the PRC is a borderline dictatorship...although, of course, Trump has also said that human rights are not a priority, so I guess the leadership there is also less of a differentiator.

China and EU strengthen commitment to Paris deal with US poised to step away
“The EU and China are joining forces to forge ahead on the implementation of the Paris agreement and accelerate the global transition to clean energy.”

Cañete continued: “No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have decided to move forward. Our successful cooperation on issues like emissions trading and clean technologies are bearing fruit. Now is the time to further strengthen these ties to keep the wheels turning for ambitious global climate action.”

In their declaration, Brussels and Beijing will also call on all parties “to uphold the Paris agreement” and signal their “highest political commitment” to doing so themselves.
I'm going to stick with that prediction.
posted by jaduncan at 1:41 PM on May 31 [13 favorites]


They need to do a better job at supervising Barron's TV consumption. What happened to personal responsibility?
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:41 PM on May 31 [69 favorites]


There's some chance, after all of this is over, that we'll look back fondly at the hapless hilarious stylings of Baghdad Sean. He'll be on chat shows making jokes about the crazy Trump and his loony underlings. And everyone will laugh.

I want to encourage you all, if this starts to happen, to push back hard on that bullshit.

Spicey may be incompetent, he may be entertaining, but he's also complicit.

Any association with this administration, other than aiding the ongoing investigations, should be a Scarlet fucking Letter for EVER. Even Spicey.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:41 PM on May 31 [24 favorites]


The Addams Family!
posted by stonepharisee at 1:42 PM on May 31


Eric was the one crying for mommy and is making Barron take the piss for it.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:43 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


The link that Rustic Etruscan posted is truly hilarious, and a good cure for the covfefe-fever.

A personal note: today I've had a couple of bad anxiety attacks (unrelated to Trump), I've received a letter from an adversary trying to intimidate me, there was a hoard of drunk teens in my apartment when I got home and my dog shat on the floor because he was stressed by the techno street party below my apartment. He also ate most of my sofa. But I still want to resist, and I did manage to do my little bit today at work. For me, recovering from anxiety and stress comes from action, and also accepting that my actions today are small, but they will grow as I recover.
posted by mumimor at 1:45 PM on May 31 [21 favorites]


Gang, if there's a single person in this train wreck that we should leave the fuck alone, it's Barron.

Kid's 11; I'm sure he loves his parents. He didn't volunteer for any of this shit.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:46 PM on May 31 [37 favorites]


It's sadly true that Barron is exposed to a lot of disturbing media regarding his father, 99.99999% of which is the fault of his father
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:47 PM on May 31 [53 favorites]


Call your congresspeople and demand a truly independent investigation into what covfefe means

Ugh ... no, please don't.
Instead, please call your congressperson and demand a truly independent investigation into ties between the Trump administration and Russia. Or demand that the US stick to it's agreements given under the Paris accord. Or a hundred of other more important things.

Covfefe is a decoy. A hundred times more energy is spent on this ... nonsense than on really important things. Whether it was tweeted on purpose or not doesn't really matter. It certainly has caused people to take their eyes off the ball.
posted by sour cream at 1:47 PM on May 31 [16 favorites]


Gang, if there's a single person in this train wreck that we should leave the fuck alone, it's Barron.

But it's interesting that Trump put him front and center. I don't remember him giving a shit about the Obama girls.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:47 PM on May 31 [13 favorites]


WSJ says 7 subpoenas out of House Intel: 4 in Russia investigation, 3 related to ‘unmasking’
posted by zachlipton at 1:47 PM on May 31 [14 favorites]


Kid's 11; he didn't volunteer for this shit.

His unsettlingly older brother retweeted the story to millions.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:48 PM on May 31 [19 favorites]


I'm all for leaving Barron alone. It's far easier to do that when members of his family don't go running to TMZ to tell stories about him.
posted by zachlipton at 1:48 PM on May 31 [55 favorites]


yeah, Barron didn't volunteer to be a bloody shirt to be waved around, either.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:48 PM on May 31 [11 favorites]


What is the appeal of a useless, self-centered asshole?

Ever see the movie Idiocracy?

I'm serious. We're in a dangerous place where anti-intellectualism is winning in the populist court in a really big way, and I'm not talking like Hays Code or blue jeans are destroying the fabric of civilization kinds of moral panic.

Go look at reddit.com/r/the_donald right now. They're crowing and proud of the covfefe kerfluffle and totally amped up by it, they think it's great fun.

I seriously can't tell if they're trolling or insane or just want to see the world burn or all of the above.

They've been pretty much openly calling for civil war, race war, the extermination and physical removal (their words!) of anything they perceive as the leftist and getting in the way of re-establishing racial/sexual dominance and privilege - and more, and worse. A lot of the open comments I've been reading are basically so violent and so pro fascist and so emotionally toxic.

The more the left and generally progressive part of the US wails and gnashes its teeth the more they're liking it and thinking he's doing a good job. They love that he's an aggressive bully - or at least looks and acts like one. They think it means he's not a "cuck", that he's "alpha" when everyone else with a lick of sense can see how dangerously fragile and insecure he is.

They understand that feeling and mindset very well. He is their representative. He's a regular guy, a straight shooter who tells it like it is and assuages their own insecurity and resonates with the moldy ideas they have about their own fucked up Dunning-Kruger complex - and he and they are angry about it, about a lot of complicated fucked up shit.

The source and rise of it is complicated as anything I've ever seen - and I'm begging anyone reading this to take this issue and this demographic seriously as a threat, because it's a product of our culture and it's not just limited to the US.

It's a product of everything from lack of education, lack of real usefulness and satisfying work. It's a product of economic inequality and how generally shitty and useless a lot of people's jobs are these days, if they have one at all. It's the product of a generation or three raised on an endless 24 hour news cycle of fear-based news and competing agendas and propaganda.

And as someone who is pro sexuality and pro art and erotica - it's also likely partially a product of 15-20 years of nearly unfettered access to some pretty grisly and hardcore porn and mainstream media that has let to the totally unrealistic sexual expectations of young men that has led to a really toxic psycho/social-sexual environment that seems to also be causing intense damage to the young women around them and even rolling back the idea of feminism and equality.

And I love video games, but goddamnit, the violence and militant culture around modern shooting video games is fucking appalling. It's normalized and legitimized militia and military pornography so much it's just background noise to us now. It's not just cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians. This fetishism is actually way worse than how it was portrayed in 1984, when Winston felt such genteel, mild unease about the youth in his neighbor's apartment shooting him with his pea-shooter, or the movies and newsreels.

We have that in excess of Orwell's fears, now. We have an entire generation desensitized to the ongoing military atrocities in the world because it's what they do for fun. In super realistic, hyper-real high definition. And, terrifyingly, the skills and tactics learned in those games actually transfer to the real world, with real guns.

And while there still definitely isn't economic or social parity and equality, the last time I looked there were more women employed in the US than men. There's a lot of un or under employed and angry men out there right now.

It's also a product of loneliness and lack of community. The amount of stories I read from some of these young men and women online are heartbreaking. People who don't actually have a single person physically in their life that they call a friend, people that they would trust with a secret, or trust with their life. Young men in their late 30s who have never even gone on a date, kissed someone or even known what intimacy even is beyond porn. A lot of these young men in particular only have friends and rapport online, often in violent video games or even psychologically toxic environments and forums that often cross far over the line of echo chamber into negative behavioral reinforcement and antisocial attitudes.

It's also a product of the continued dis... not disenfranchisement, but dis-empowerment? Is there a word for losing one's inequal, defacto privilege and relevancy and being irrationally threatened and angry about it? (Any help here, Germany?)

And on top of all this, many of these angry young men are dealing with the same fucked up shit that almost anyone under 30 or so seems to be dealing with.

Which is massive student loan debts, few good jobs even with a degree, drastically reduced spending power. And they've generally been sold a huge pack of lies about the "American Dream" that if you go to school and work hard enough you'll eventually be able to buy a house, live the good life, maybe even find a partner and/or raise your own family and retire.

Not to mention increasing housing and resource scarcity, overcrowding and the "too many rats in the cage" scenario that looks a lot like John Brunner's novels like The Stone That Never Came Down, Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up.

The demographic for MetaFilter trends towards Gen X and a bit older, educated and at least a little bit more economically advantaged then a given slice of the internet, and I feel that many of us have been fairly well insulated or isolated from many of the things I've been seeing.

I'm not a history expert, but as I understand things this kind of thing is usually a recipe for disaster, conflict and a lot of fucked up shit.

While I'm not even suggesting that the more problematic issues above need coddling or service - especially not sexual access FFS - I am suggesting that some real compassion and sympathy might help. Or that pointing and laughing might actually be harmful on many levels.

I am also suggesting that we take this social issue very seriously, because it's already proven itself to be lethal.
posted by loquacious at 1:50 PM on May 31 [135 favorites]


If the story is true, it's gross that the kid had to go through that, and that it's become political fodder

But I don't trust a Trump story as far as I can throw it, and you can't throw stories, so
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:50 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


3 related to ‘unmasking’
:-/ I'm sure that'll be super productive.

Hey thanks for the Roger Waters derail, everyone. You solved a "what to get my husband for his birthday, and possible every other gift-giving holiday for the next 5 years, given how expensive these tickets are" problem for me, and also a "need something to listen to while I'm trying to clean out my Box folder at work" problem.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:50 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Bringing up Barron is an attempt at a Nixon/Checkers move. Don't buy into it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:51 PM on May 31 [39 favorites]


Since you can't investigate "unmasking" without asking "who was unmasked and why was what they were doing so suspicious?" I'm not convinced it won't be helpful.
posted by zachlipton at 1:52 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Sasha was 9 when Trump started a racist conspiracy theory against her dad.

Chealsea was 11 when Rush called her the White House dog.

So. The kids aren't off limits to Republicans. And they didn't hesitate to dive behind Barron as a human shield either.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:55 PM on May 31 [107 favorites]


I wonder how many people legitimately forgot he existed. Pretty sure Trump is amongst that number at times.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Something about Barron inspires genuine pity in me, and his family members using him like this only deepens it.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:59 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


Something about Barron inspires genuine pity in me, and his family members using him like this only deepens it.

He's a sweet looking boy who is clearly a compassionate young man. He deserves better than he's getting.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:01 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


Here's audio of the covfefe question at the briefing.

Take a minute and ponder what the Alex Jones/pizzagate/conspiracy lunatic conservatives would do if Obama or Hillary's press secretary had said that an incomprehensible tweet was actually a code that was understood by a select group of people.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:01 PM on May 31 [58 favorites]


Something about Barron inspires genuine pity in me, and his family members using him like this only deepens it.

Indeed. And DJT, Jr. is truly a piece of shit.
posted by mikelieman at 2:01 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Two things:

1. How many millions of children have been smeared by Republicans as "anchor babies"?
2. Imagine the worst thing that Donald Trump has said to Barron's face and ask yourself if any of this is even close.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 2:02 PM on May 31 [20 favorites]


So. The kids aren't off limits to Republicans. And they didn't hesitate to dive behind Barron as a human shield either.

So let's hold them accountable when they try to dive behind him - doesn't mean we need to go through Barron. Nearly every news outlet was admirably respectful of the Obama girls' space and that's something to praise - no matter how you feel about their father. Can't we just keep that going as a matter of protocol?
posted by R a c h e l at 2:03 PM on May 31 [10 favorites]


Something about Barron inspires genuine pity in me

The fact that he has the same name as one of trump's transparent aliases is pretty weird, yeah.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:04 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Bringing up Barron is an attempt at a Nixon/Checkers move.

"I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about Barron, we are going to keep him."
posted by octobersurprise at 2:05 PM on May 31 [26 favorites]


Take a minute and ponder what the Alex Jones/pizzagate/conspiracy lunatic conservatives would do if Obama or Hillary's press secretary had said that an incomprehensible tweet was actually a code that was understood by a select group of people.

The entire GOP would at the very least be expressing strong McCain-style concern. Half or more of house and senate republicans would either be demanding an investigation into the secret message, or would be calling his competence into question if they didn't believe the "secret intentional message" story.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:06 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


[Couple of comments deleted. Folks, regardless of how terrible his family is, let's take the high road (insofar as that's possible) when we're talking about Barron. And let's not dig into some big fight about why it's imperative to be harsh about him; there are plenty of adult targets for harshness in Trump's circles.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:08 PM on May 31 [25 favorites]


The story Barron's brother decided to fire off to the media is exactly the kind of bait that will never, ever look good if you take it. The Republicans were horrible about Obama's and Clinton's kids, for sure, and are rightly reviled for it. Take the same tactic and we enter Circular Firing Squad Land, where we argue over how far is too far over this non-story, delighting the right and giving them plenty of fuel to rightly criticise those who choose to take the bait, diverting time and energy from the crimes of the person who actually matters here, the President.

Whatever moral rationale you can muster for biting the hook, the only winning move is not to play.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:11 PM on May 31 [59 favorites]


Mefi's beloved Jennifer Rubin discovers Trump's Razor (now with less neocon apologetics!)
"Trump Might Be the Dimmest President Ever."

Sitting atop arguably the great resource on the planet — the body of knowledge retained by American government experts on everything from economics to medicine to military history — he remains blissfully ignorant on a range of subjects. He surrounds himself with dim yes men who know little more than he and, in any event, tremble at the prospect of correcting their “Dear Leader.” But sometimes you wonder whether Trump is just, well, dumb.
posted by spitbull at 2:13 PM on May 31 [19 favorites]


Whatever moral rationale you can muster for biting the hook, the only winning move is not to play.

This. This this this this this.
posted by Talez at 2:13 PM on May 31 [18 favorites]


I... actually disagree with this. They aren't being rewarded because of brilliant investigative reporting full stop, they are being rewarded because of brilliant investigative reporting specifically of the Trump administration. They could have exactly the same staff putting in exactly the same effort under a Clinton administration and they wouldn't be rewarded.

I think part of the issue is that people conflate "lots of eyeballs and attention" with "of the highest value". I've been fascinated recently by watching Buzzfeed pick up investigative journalists as newspapers downsized and then run their stories in parallel with fun, silly, and click-bait articles. I don't think I'm the only person who went from dismissing Buzzfeed as mostly benign but of low value to sitting up and taking their long-form pieces more seriously - and that's all about the choices that the editors are making in combining low-anxiety/high-entertainment pieces with high-anxiety/low-entertainment pieces.

This has always been the pattern in news media - what makes the money are the simple, silly, attention grabbing things; put sports last so people watch the news; most people turn to the society page; etc... but I think people underestimate the reputation value of having a stable (gaggle? squad? group? bottle?) of investigative journalists who always put out long-form pieces and serious information even when not many people read it. It will never make the money or get the eyeballs, but what it makes is respectability and a good reputation. In times of high stress, like now and like Watergate, this makes for a lot of attention and return on their investment, but there will be lulls because it is (relatively) rare that an actual crisis occurs on a national level.
posted by Deoridhe at 2:18 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


They're shocked, shocked by violent images iin politics.
posted by Devonian at 2:19 PM on May 31 [12 favorites]


Well put, Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane. The only reason Barron came up at this point in this thread was because of the utterly asinine Kathy Griffin nonsense. "Taking the bait," is right, as every reference to Barron in this context just gives the stupid Griffin non-story more oxygen. Avoid it like the plague.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:20 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


> Mefi's beloved Jennifer Rubin

Hey now, let's not get carried away here. Jennifer Rubin is currently on the side of angels because she's done great work chronicling the moral bankruptcy of Trump and the GOP as they embrace Trumpism, but to call her "Mefi's beloved" seems like a bridge too far, for reasons peeedro cites above.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:23 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


But Trump is President, and should have a good sounding story to explain these things away. The mere fact that he doesn't have a good explanation makes him basically guilty. Not legally, sure, but I mean, come on. You don't "No comment" your way out of "did kushy-baby commit light treason on your behalf?"
The only thing that will remove Trump from office is impeachment, which is a purely political proceeding, not a legal one. I believe there's even an argument to be made that he is immune from criminal prosecution until he's impeached.

In short, I'm all for him ineptly trying to take the fifth amendment at press conferences and looking guilty as hell in all public situations.
posted by msalt at 2:23 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


but to call her "Mefi's beloved" seems like a bridge too far, for reasons peeedro cites above.

tonycpsu: I'm pretty sure he was being ironic.

posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:27 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


Ryan Lizza: Trump professes not to talk to Roger Stone anymore, then picks up the phone and calls Roger Stone:
But, aside from contradicting Trump’s claim of not talking to Stone, the call is unusual for another reason. “The conventional wisdom is that when someone has exposure to obstruction-of-justice liability, as Trump certainly does, he should avoid unnecessary reaching out to others involved in the investigation, lest he make things worse for himself,” Norman Eisen, the ethics counsel in the Obama White House, said. “But Trump is famously unorthodox. Indeed, that is how he got into this mess in the first place.”

He added, “Trump just added another item to the investigators’ checklist.”
posted by zachlipton at 2:31 PM on May 31 [22 favorites]


They're shocked, shocked by violent images iin politics.

If our indignation is derived from them holding us to a higher standard than #MAGASSHOLES then society is already lost. Everyone deserves a right to politics free from violence no matter how shitty their intellectual brethren's conduct is.
posted by Talez at 2:31 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Sasha was 9 when Trump started a racist conspiracy theory against her dad.

Chealsea was 11 when Rush called her the White House dog.


And don't forget Saint McCain getting a big laugh at a Republican fundraiser by saying that Chelsea was so ugly because her father was Janet Reno.
posted by JackFlash at 2:32 PM on May 31 [30 favorites]


While I'm not even suggesting that the more problematic issues above need coddling or service - especially not sexual access FFS - I am suggesting that some real compassion and sympathy might help. Or that pointing and laughing might actually be harmful on many levels.

I'm 100% with you that we need to take this social issue seriously, loq, and that they represent a real threat. But fuck having sympathy for the fascist failsons, that's playing right into their entitled hands. I'm a millennial too, and have spent my entire life being smeared by the right as an anchor baby, to boot. Life is unfair and tough, and I have no fucking sympathy for assholes who, when confronted with that fact, decide to make things worse for everyone else instead of working to make things better.
posted by joedan at 2:34 PM on May 31 [37 favorites]


but to call her "Mefi's beloved" seems like a bridge too far

Whoa! I didn't think I needed a /sarcasm tag!
posted by spitbull at 2:35 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


> But sometimes you wonder whether Trump is just, well, dumb.

"Sometimes"?
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:36 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


But sometimes you wonder whether Trump is just, well, dumb.

"Sometimes"?


"Wonder"?
posted by uosuaq at 2:43 PM on May 31 [30 favorites]


That's rich from McCain considering his adopted Bangladeshi daughter was the target of rumors of being some illegitimate interracial love child.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:44 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


[Enough with repeating mean things assholes have said about children, jeez people.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:50 PM on May 31 [65 favorites]




Jared Kushner and his partners used a program meant for job-starved areas to build a luxury skyscraper: Jared Kushner and his real estate partners wanted to take advantage of a federal program in 2015 that would save them millions of dollars as they built an opulent, 50-story residential tower in this city’s booming waterfront district, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.

Wasnt there something just like this related to Bridgegate?
posted by Room 641-A at 3:03 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


The correct response to the Barron thing is: "How sad for him, poor kid." and then immediately changing the subject to something actually relevant.
posted by supercrayon at 3:05 PM on May 31 [30 favorites]


China and EU strengthen commitment to Paris deal with US poised to step away
China and the EU will forge an alliance to take a leading role in tackling climate change in response to Donald Trump’s expected decision to pull the US out of the historic Paris agreement.
So here it comes, no surprise (except that it is this fast, but they must have expected it to happen, maybe because of intel). The thing is that US industry is being derailed from the global consensus and thus set back in terms of competition. I expect a lot of states to put out local agreements like the NY one in the next few days. (I mentioned above that I did my little piece at work today, and that was putting all US investment on hold till we have an overview of American industry's response to the retreat from Paris).
posted by mumimor at 3:07 PM on May 31 [13 favorites]


Is there a word for losing one's inequal, defacto privilege and relevancy and being irrationally threatened and angry about it?

Adolescence
posted by BentFranklin at 3:09 PM on May 31 [44 favorites]


The thing is that US industry is being derailed from the global consensus and thus set back in terms of competition.

The truly stupid thing is that instead of putting the tax on carbon and keeping it, the rest of the world is going to start slapping a tarriff on goods that are produced in countries with reckless abandon towards GHGs. So we lose not only export competitiveness but also the revenue we would have brought in with carbon trading and taxation.

But hey, they got to piss off some liberals so... uh... worth?
posted by Talez at 3:20 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


Semi-related to Trump vs. Paris, DC today announced an upcoming animated Batman video: "In Batman and Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. The Floronic Man) embark on an ecological quest to save the planet – and, unfortunately, eliminate most of humankind along the way. To save humanity, Batman and Nightwing are forced to enlist Harley Quinn to catch Poison Ivy, Harley’s BFF and frequent partner-in-crime." It's a crappy analogy, but I can see Trump going "I'm just like Batman, saving the world from eco-terrorists!" when he's really 100% Harley Quinn (including his past dysfunctional relationship with his own Joker, Roy Cohn).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:22 PM on May 31


Mother Jones posted some excerpts from that Hillary Clinton interview I linked above.

Hillary Clinton Is Out of Fucks

They are right. She really is.

Also, the topics she discusses and the things she says would fit right in on these threads. She even talked about Cambridge Analytica and the Mercers. (If any of you are actually a Hillary Clinton sock puppet... thanks for everything!)
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:25 PM on May 31 [57 favorites]


Honestly an awful lot of that HRC interview made me want to burst into flames.
posted by lalex at 3:26 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Isn't there someplace we can build one of those islands, like the chinese have now, where we can install Hillary as alternate-timeline-president. I'd move there.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:35 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Biden launches PAC, keeping options open: Former Vice President Joe Biden will launch a new PAC on Thursday, American Possibilities, giving him a way of supporting candidates and keeping his own options open for a potential 2020 presidential run.

Officially, the group will be “dedicated to electing people who believe that this country is about dreaming big, and supporting groups and causes that embody that spirit," according to the PAC's launch materials

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:40 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Feds Reject Portland Mayor's Pleas to Revoke Permit, So Alt-Right Rally Will Proceed in a Shaken City

Rejecting Ted Wheeler's request, the feds say they will send officers to patrol.


"All rules and regulations were followed by the applicant for the permit, including the timeframe for review," the GSA said. "Since the permit was lawfully obtained to assemble at this federal location, GSA has no basis to revoke the permit."

But the GSA did make a concession to Wheeler: It will send Federal Protective Services officers to patrol the event.

Wheeler also promised a massive police presence—a sign that the city's approach to alt-right protesters, which has previously been conciliatory, has shifted.

"There will be local and federal law enforcement on the ground to ensure everyone has the right to express their beliefs and to protect everyone's safety," Wheeler says. "I urge everyone participating to reject violence. Our city has seen enough."


W O W Portland's June 4th neo-Nazi rally is going to have neo-Nazis, antifa, community groups, an extremely heightened city police response, and federal officers, all on the ground together. Good lord this is going to be a shitshow.
posted by gucci mane at 3:40 PM on May 31 [46 favorites]


I think one thing we've learned is that the US has a really horrible tendency to write into various laws and treaties the ability of the President to unilaterally and unstoppably void those laws and treaties.

How the fuck did anyone ever think it was a good idea for the ACA to be funded on a month by month basis with the President having the ability to stop payments on a whim?

How the fuck did anyone ever think it was a good idea to write NAFTA so the President could just randomly, on a whim, decide to void it or re-negotiate it?

How the fuck did it come to pass that the President can, all by himself with no cooperation from the rest of the government needed, pull out of the Paris Climate Accord?

If that shit takes a Senate vote to pass it should bloody well take at the very least a Senate vote to repeal, not just a single person deciding to do it.

For the future we need to write all treaties, accords, and laws so that the President can't just unilaterally end them.
posted by sotonohito at 3:43 PM on May 31 [47 favorites]


Oh good. It's not like the police will just immediately side with the nazis or anything.
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM on May 31 [20 favorites]


gucci mane On the one hand I can sympathize the mayor of Portland. On the other, bash the fucking fash! I hope they all go home bloodied and swearing never to march again.
posted by sotonohito at 3:45 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]


What the fucking shit? Organizers: Anti-Muslim rally planned for Portland moved to Seattle

No, we do not want it either you Nazi fucks.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on May 31 [41 favorites]


Also, the topics she discusses and the things she says would fit right in on these threads.

And even if you don't agree with her on everything or even like her, at least you can fucking understand her.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:49 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


gucci mane On the one hand I can sympathize the mayor of Portland. On the other, bash the fucking fash! I hope they all go home bloodied and swearing never to march again.

Do you live in Portland? Then don't fucking do this.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 3:50 PM on May 31 [10 favorites]


What's the deal with the Federal Protective Services? How many times are they used in protests? Wikipedia says there are 900 Federal Protective Services officers, but that "FPS contracts with private security firms to provide 13,000 contract Armed Protective Security Officers (PSO) providing access control and security response within federal facilities." So are we going to have a bunch of private security dudes running around the streets in riot gear alongside the local police also in riot gear?
posted by gucci mane at 3:51 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Like a Nazi Sundae.
posted by Artw at 3:53 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Oh good. It's not like the police will just immediately side with the nazis or anything.

Pretty much this, time and again. The armed wing of "let's hear them out".
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:53 PM on May 31 [19 favorites]


gucci mane On the one hand I can sympathize the mayor of Portland. On the other, bash the fucking fash! I hope they all go home bloodied and swearing never to march again.

I guess it's easy to hope a rally and counter-rally escalates to a impromptu street brawl when you're not at the rally, not at the city, able to hold your own in a fight, or even harmlessly blend in with the crowd going on the rampage only having to know their stupid shibboleths. The diverse coalition of people who may not be able or willing to fight being dragged into that street brawl will surely appreciate your hoping for them being thrusted into said street brawl.

It's as easy as eating your words when you put them on delicious cake.
posted by Talez at 3:54 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


"Due to Mayor Wheeler's inflammatory comments and what we feel is an incitement of violence, he has shamefully endangered every scheduled participant. Consequently, in order to ensure the safety of those who had planned on attending, we have taken the decision to cancel the Portland March Against Sharia. Despite our desire to proceed, we cannot allow innocent Americans to be harmed by radical and violent anti-American zealots that Mayor Wheeler's comments have no doubt incited,"

If that doesn't chill you to the FUCKING BONE after what happened last week, I don't know what to say.
posted by Yowser at 3:56 PM on May 31 [27 favorites]


forgive us our decontextualized hopes of seeing motherfucking Nazis getting their asses handed to them, it comes from a place of good intentions
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:57 PM on May 31 [13 favorites]


Are there two different protests and one has been moved to Seattle? Or what?
posted by Justinian at 3:57 PM on May 31


forgive us our decontextualized hopes of seeing motherfucking Nazis getting their asses handed to them, it comes from a place of good intentions

I don't think wishing violence on anyone can come from a place of good intentions.
posted by Talez at 3:58 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


@Justinian: yeah there were two planned: one is on June 4th (this one is still happening) and the anti-Muslim one was for June 10th (moved to Seattle).
posted by gucci mane at 3:59 PM on May 31


They're separating out the hating muslims part of the nazi rally in particular and holding it in Seattle but still holding the general nazism rally in Portland, or something?

Do they require a permit for this? If so what fucking clown granted it?
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


If that doesn't chill you to the FUCKING BONE after what happened last week, I don't know what to say

On the one hand, yeah that's fucking alarming, but they did cancel the rally in Portland. I'm not sure what to expect here in Seattle, but I doubt they'll get a warm welcome.
posted by Existential Dread at 3:59 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Also, more from Wikipedia:

40 USC 1315: The Secretary may designate employees of the Department of Homeland Security, including employees transferred to the Department from the Office of the Federal Protective Service of the General Services Administration pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as officers and agents for duty in connection with the protection of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government and persons on the property, including duty in areas outside the property to the extent necessary to protect the property and persons on the property.[citation needed]

Powers. - While engaged in the performance of official duties, an officer or agent designated under this subsection may -

(A) enforce Federal laws and regulations for the protection of persons and property;

(B) carry firearms;

(C) make arrests without a warrant or in plain clothes and in unmarked cars for any offense against the United States committed in the presence of the officer or agent or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if the officer or agent has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony;

(D) serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the United States;

(E) conduct investigations, on and off the property in question, of offenses that may have been committed against property owned or occupied by the Federal Government or persons on the property; and

(F) carry out such other activities for the promotion of homeland security as the Secretary may prescribe.


"In plain clothes and in unmarked cars" I wonder how many of our activist leaders are going to be snatched away
posted by gucci mane at 4:02 PM on May 31 [12 favorites]


@Artw: the rallies are planned on a piece of property that is under federal control (if I am understanding this correctly) so even though the mayor doesn't want it happening, the feds have allowed it to go on since they're the ones in charge of the permit.
posted by gucci mane at 4:03 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


"in order to ensure the safety of those who had planned on attending,"

Are they getting opposite world news? Do they think a nazi got stabbed by a librul?
posted by Tarumba at 4:04 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I'm no mod or anything (thank god), so this is just, like, my opinion man, but maybe we can just voluntarily agree not to re-litigate "Violence against neo-Nazis: yay or nay?" for the umpteenth time? Might keep the thread a wee bit more manageable. Solidarity to everyone in Portland. Except the neo-Nazis, of course.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:06 PM on May 31 [31 favorites]


Actually, considering what's gone down at past rallies, law enforcement treatment of the marginalized, and recent FBI investigations into white supremacist infiltration among the ranks, the cops siding with the Nazis is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:06 PM on May 31 [11 favorites]


Assuming they jumped through all the required hoops a denial of the permit would likely have resulted in a Skokie situation, with the ACLU filing for the Nazis. That's what they did last time (and are generally praised for it.)
posted by Justinian at 4:06 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I'm curious, maybe someone In The Know can answer: why is Portland and Oregon in general seem to be more of a center for this kind of radical alt-right behavior and demonstrations than other places? Or does it just seem that way?
posted by guiseroom at 4:10 PM on May 31


Oregon has a long long history of white supremacy, despite the general progressiveness of the Portland & Eugene metro areas. Portland is also by far the most segregated city I've ever lived in.
posted by suelac at 4:12 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


My understanding is that Oregon has a long history of white supremacy (I mean, so does the U.S. in general, obviously).
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:12 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I don't want to re-litigate the whole "morality of violence against neo-Nazis" argument thing either. I'm more interested in knowing wtf this protest is going to be like. Do the feds send in this police force commonly, and when they have, what's happened? Are certain people going to be targeted and snatched off the street by plain clothes federal officers? Are we going to see not only the city police in full-blown riot gear, but federal officers as well?

Considering the events of the stabbings recently, this is no longer a neo-Nazis vs. antifa showdown like it was originally, this is now multiple groups congealing together.

Organized Labor Groups Pledge Show of Support (And Muscle) on June 4

Alt-right rally organizers say their "free speech" event will proceed at Terry Schrunk Plaza. They'll have company.


Jackson says if the event happens, groups including Painters (IUPAT) Local 10, IATSE Local 28, Carpenters 1503, Laborers Local 483, AFT Local 3544 (graduate teaching fellows) as well as Carpenters NW Regional Council and AFT Oregon will send members to counter what her group is calling "racist and fascist organizations."

"Portland has a powerful labor movement built on the principal that 'an injury to one is an injury to all,'" Jackson said in a statement. "We need to use labor's power to put that principle into effect on June 4."


Not to mention all the regular everyday folk (like myself!!!) who plan on being there.
posted by gucci mane at 4:12 PM on May 31 [15 favorites]




I'm on the pro-Skokie aspect of this whole shitshow. Let it happen. Whatever kind of country we are, let it be known.
posted by rhizome at 4:13 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


How the fuck did anyone ever think it was a good idea for the ACA to be funded on a month by month basis with the President having the ability to stop payments on a whim?

It isn't. But Republicans are suing to interpret the law that way. They have not yet won their case in court. In the mean time, the President can violate the law as written until a court says otherwise. That's the separation of powers written in the Constitution.

How the fuck did anyone ever think it was a good idea to write NAFTA so the President could just randomly, on a whim, decide to void it or re-negotiate it?

It isn't. NAFTA was passed with the advice and consent of the Senate. Whether a President can terminate a treaty without the consent of the Senate is still an open question, constitutionally. But it requires that the the Senate challenge the President in court, which is unlikely as long as Republicans are running things.

How the fuck did it come to pass that the President can, all by himself with no cooperation from the rest of the government needed, pull out of the Paris Climate Accord?

The agreement was not a treaty. The Republican Senate refused to ratify it. Obama agreed to it by executive order so it can be revoked by executive order.

In other words, elections have consequences. It isn't a game. Clinton and Trump aren't "exactly the same."
posted by JackFlash at 4:13 PM on May 31 [103 favorites]


One more yummy Oregon racism tidbit: it was literally illegal for black people to live in Oregon for around a century.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:13 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


Every single person in Oregon knows how racist the state has been. Give it a fucking break.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:14 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]


(Which ended less than a century ago! There are Americans alive today who were alive when it was illegal.)
posted by Justinian at 4:15 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Portland has a powerful labor movement built on the principal that 'an injury to one is an injury to all'

Oh damn, invoking the IWW! Now that's the labor movement I know and love.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:15 PM on May 31 [14 favorites]


Where specifically in Portland is the demonstration and counter-demonstration?
posted by Justinian at 4:16 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I'm glad that while literal Nazis are marching in the street people are patting each other on the back and crowing about how awful Portland and Oregon are when you really stop to think about it.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:19 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


I wonder if there should be a separate thread for the Portland attack, aftermath, and demonstrations, at least partially so interested folks can find it?
posted by lalex at 4:20 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]


The Seattle rally is happening at the Westlake Center, which is slap bang in the middle of downtown. It is not to my knowledge under federal control.
posted by Artw at 4:20 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


So I'm going to propose a sensible moderate line on the "bash the fucking fash v. don't fucking do this" debate:

If your role is to bash the fucking fash, you already know what you're doing on the 4th. You've been in major mass confrontations with police and/or nazis before. You've maybe beat the shit out of some nazi skins at punk or metal shows. You know who your comrades are and what your plan of action is. You have likely trained together with other antifa.

If this describes you, god bless you and I wish you good luck. Bash the fuckers good.

If this doesn't describe you, DO NOT FUCKING DO THIS. Please go to the demo, because when antifa+civilians well outnumbers cops+nazis, the good guys hold the city and the cops and nazis go home demoralized. But please don't bring your kids, not unless they're old enough and mature enough to understand and consent to what they're getting into. And be prepared to get the hell out if the ratio of civilians+antifa to nazis+cops isn't well on your side. And for the love of god do not get separated from the main mass of civilians — the closer you are to alone, the more likely the cops are to fuck with you. but DO NOT BASH THE FASH. That is not your job. Your job is to add bulk to the civilian mass, and thereby make the cops hesitate to attack.

If you're white, and especially if you're white and look like tech money, or any other sort of money, you have a responsibility to go. You lend credibility to the civilian group and you're less likely to get attacked by police. And you are safe, provided you keep your wits about you, because when things get too hairy / the police start arranging a kettle, you can slip out and, like magic, suddenly the cops treat you as a bystander instead of as the enemy.

But don't bash any fucking fash unless you've trained for it.

The best case scenario for these fascist-and-police engineered confrontations goes something like what happened when Berkeley stopped the Milo event. Enough civilians show up to keep the police from wilding, enough antifa show up to control the space, scare the nazis, and throw an orderly, controlled riot, and then subsequently the authorities are loathe to permit future nazi events.

If it doesn't look like this is how it's going to happen, GET. OUT.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:21 PM on May 31 [137 favorites]


@Justinian: the neo-Nazi rally is at Terry Schrunk Plaza, which is directly across the street from City Hall, at 431 SW Madison St, Portland, OR 97204. The antifa counter-protest is at Chapman Square which is...literally right next to Terry Schrunk Plaza. As for other counter-protests, I haven't seen where they are, but I imagine I'll see more info about them in the coming days.
posted by gucci mane at 4:23 PM on May 31


> I'm on the pro-Skokie aspect of this whole shitshow. Let it happen. Whatever kind of country we are, let it be known.

We know what kind of country we are. We're past the stage where we need to reveal it. Now we're at the stage where we need to change it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:24 PM on May 31 [19 favorites]


The last milo event in Seattle had Nazis showing up to shoot protestors, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 4:25 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


[The Portland rally issue seems to be big enough to warrant its own thread, because it's eating this one - if someone wants to put something substantial together, that'd be great. Otherwise, let's let it drop here. Thanks! ]
posted by restless_nomad at 4:26 PM on May 31 [10 favorites]


> The last milo event in Seattle had Nazis showing up to shoot protestors, FWIW.

That is what nazis do, yes. And the person who got shot is an IWW guy who knew what he was getting into.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:27 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


And yeah, if somebody would be kind enough to start a Portland post about the recent murders and these protests that would be really great. I would do it myself but I have so much on my mind these days that I don't even know where to begin and it would honestly take me a while :/ Everything happening in the last few days has been an uproar of emotional turmoil for me, and it really seems like the general zeitgeist of the city is somewhere between depression and "boiling point", and it feels like it's going to come to a head on Sunday.
posted by gucci mane at 4:27 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


WaPo: Trump administration moves to return Russian compounds in Maryland and New York: The Trump administration is moving toward handing back to Russia two diplomatic compounds, near New York City and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, from which its officials were ejected in late December as punishment for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Then-President Barack Obama said Dec. 29 that the compounds were being “used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes,” and gave Russia 24 hours to vacate them. Separately, Obama expelled from the United States what he said were 35 Russian “intelligence operatives.”

Early last month, the Trump administration told the Russians it would consider turning the properties back over to them if Moscow would lift its freeze, imposed in 2014 in retaliation for U.S. sanctions related to Ukraine, on construction of a new U.S. consulate on a certain parcel of land in St. Petersburg.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:45 PM on May 31 [43 favorites]


Ashlee Kieler, Consumerist: Head Of $1.3 Trillion Federal Student Aid Office Resigns Amid Tension With Betsy DeVos
In the end, Runcie wrote in the letter that he just wasn’t able to do his job anymore and could not “in good conscience continue to be accountable as the chief operating officer given the risk associated with the current environment at the department.”
posted by Room 641-A at 4:50 PM on May 31 [28 favorites]


Trump administration moves to return Russian compounds in Maryland and New York

Jesus fucking Christ these idiots.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:50 PM on May 31 [29 favorites]


WaPo: Trump administration moves to return Russian compounds in Maryland and New York
The Trump administration is moving toward handing back to Russia two diplomatic compounds, near New York City and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, from which its officials were ejected in late December as punishment for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Then-President Barack Obama said Dec. 29 that the compounds were being “used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes,” and gave Russia 24 hours to vacate them. Separately, Obama expelled from the United States what he said were 35 Russian “intelligence operatives.”
Honestly how much more blatant can this get?
posted by lalex at 4:50 PM on May 31 [54 favorites]


"Quids for quos! Get yer quids here! Just one quo per quid! Get yer quids here!"
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:55 PM on May 31 [14 favorites]


All embassies and diplomatic properties are used for "intelligence-related purposes," and have been forever. All of these people are always spies to some degree.
posted by rhizome at 4:55 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Can't wait for the pathetic response from McCain et al about the diplomatic compounds after they got their digs in at Obama for it not being enough of a punishment for Russia.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:59 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


How is it that there are no promises this administration cares about keeping, no position that they're capable of holding onto for longer than 30 seconds, besides doing whatever Russia wants at any given moment?
posted by zachlipton at 5:01 PM on May 31 [18 favorites]


Meanwhile, back to what's keeping me from crying in these parlous times: Covfefe The Strong.
posted by WordCannon at 5:06 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


I am honestly wondering at this point whether these people sit down together every morning for an hour and brainstorm a list of Shit to Do That Looks Unbelievably Incriminating.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:07 PM on May 31 [22 favorites]


How is it that there are no promises this administration cares about keeping, no position that they're capable of holding onto for longer than 30 seconds, besides doing whatever Russia wants at any given moment?

Because that's what it looks like when you fuck shit up from the inside.
posted by rhizome at 5:08 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


And then pick the most flagrant item to actually do.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:08 PM on May 31


Those Russians were packed off after Obama knew, one presumes, rather a lot about what happened over the election period - and I seem to remember that Putin decided not to go for the standard response of kicking out an equivalent number of US embassy officials/intelligence bods, so one wonders what exactly went on in that little bit of signalling.

As for whether this is a genuine intent to restore the property or a bit of hapless kite-flying - either way, the WH hasn't quite got the connection between the depth of the hole and the alacrity of the shovelwork.

Good.
posted by Devonian at 5:10 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I mean, what are the odds that they give Alaska back before the end of summer?
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:10 PM on May 31 [59 favorites]


Trump administration moves to return Russian compounds in Maryland and New York

I didn't think it was still possible to be surprised, but WHAT? Trump is giving back the Russian spy castles Obama shut down? Publicly?? Am I getting that right?
posted by theodolite at 5:10 PM on May 31 [14 favorites]


The timing on this "undo the sanctions" story is interesting to me. Earlier today, TASS reported a Putin aide saying:
"Those measures (assumed by the U.S. side imposing sanctions against the Russian property - TASS) will not remain unanswered," Ushakov said, adding that "the best option would be if the American side reviewed those measures somehow."
And sure enough, here we are.

Meanwhile, CNN came out to play tonight: First on CNN: Sources: Congress investigating another possible Sessions-Kislyak meeting
Congressional investigators are examining whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions had an additional private meeting with Russia's ambassador during the presidential campaign, according to Republican and Democratic Hill sources and intelligence officials briefed on the investigation.

Investigators on the Hill are requesting additional information, including schedules from Sessions, a source with knowledge tells CNN. They are focusing on whether such a meeting took place April 27, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address. Prior to the speech, then-Sen. Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak attended a small VIP reception with organizers, diplomats and others.
posted by zachlipton at 5:11 PM on May 31 [30 favorites]


How is it that there are no promises this administration cares about keeping, no position that they're capable of holding onto for longer than 30 seconds, besides doing whatever Russia wants at any given moment?

Right. Think about who this sociopath with no real political ideology has shown even an ounce of loyalty to. Not his base, not the Republican Party, not his handpicked aides or advisors, not our existing allies in NATO. Not even, if we are to believe all the Jared and Ivanka stories leaked by...Jared and Ivanka, his family's desired policy positions.

It's all Russia, all the time, on every possible minor or major thing.
posted by lalex at 5:11 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


CNN comes in with its scoops later than NYT and WaPo, but they do come. From Jim Sciutto, Jamie Gangel, Shimon Prokupecz and Marshall Cohen at CNN:
Congressional investigators are examining whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions had an additional private meeting with Russia's ambassador during the presidential campaign, according to Republican and Democratic Hill sources and intelligence officials briefed on the investigation.

Investigators on the Hill are requesting additional information, including schedules from Sessions, a source with knowledge tells CNN. They are focusing on whether such a meeting took place April 27, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address. Prior to the speech, then-Sen. Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak attended a small VIP reception with organizers, diplomats and others.

In addition to congressional investigators, the FBI is seeking to determine the extent of interactions the Trump campaign team may have had with Russia's ambassador during the event as part of its broader counterintelligence investigation of Russian interference in the election. The FBI is looking into whether there was an additional private meeting at the Mayflower the same day, sources said. Neither Hill nor FBI investigators have yet concluded whether a private meeting took place -- and acknowledge that it is possible any additional meeting was incidental.
posted by yasaman at 5:11 PM on May 31 [13 favorites]


On the 10th, there are "anti-Muslim" marches in multiple cities around the US, including MPLS-St Paul. CAIR hasn't announced anything, but there's a counter-demonstration put on by the IWW, Black Lives Matter and a bunch of other orgs.

So far, we have been able to run them off from the actual Twin Cities, including last time this month.

If you are going and would like to meet up, you can memail me.

I just want to say that this walking scum thinks it can show up here and mess with our Muslim community, but let me tell you, we are proud to be a city of immigrants and a city with a substantial Muslim population. It's our strength. We are looking toward the future and these pieces of trash from the dustbin of history are not going to change that.
posted by Frowner at 5:12 PM on May 31 [69 favorites]


They're separating out the hating muslims part of the nazi rally in particular and holding it in Seattle but still holding the general nazism rally in Portland, or something?

Do they require a permit for this? If so what fucking clown granted it?


I seem to recall that they already had a permit in Seattle, but then when Portland started to kick stuff off they moved it down to Portland to be with the free-speech rally, then when the murders happened decided "fuck that".

And now I genuinely don't know which one is more important to be at.
posted by corb at 5:15 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


I didn't think it was still possible to be surprised, but WHAT? Trump is giving back the Russian spy castles Obama shut down? Publicly?? Am I getting that right?

Trump's base does not give one shit about Russia-related treason. They would not care if the CIA and FBI were disbanded and publicly replaced with an arm of the FSB. They hate plenty of other nations/religions/races, but Russia does not and will not rate in the top 10. Most importantly, their Number One most hated geopolitical entity remains other Americans. Doing this causes obvious anguish among us, and they love him for it. The Theater Of Cruelty theory of Trump is pretty robust for me these days.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:21 PM on May 31 [17 favorites]


I'm screaming too much to focus on the article, but it seems like they're not even offering a fig leaf about how they might need the spy house to do better recon on ISIS in Syria? It's just yeah, we love Russian spies now?
posted by theodolite at 5:22 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


A warning to those wishing to protest the Nazis: Whatever happened to the Inauguration Day protesters?
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:23 PM on May 31 [22 favorites]


I mean, what are the odds that they give Alaska back before the end of summer?

Trump's a turd, so that would make this a ...
(•_•) / ( •_•)>⌐■-■ / (⌐■_■)
... Sewer's folly.

posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:23 PM on May 31 [24 favorites]


Well of course they need to give the spy houses back. Where else are they going to go to talk on the spy phone now that the Russian embassy is off limits?
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:24 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


well, i haven't kept up, but i must draw your attention to a new brand of mexican toilet paper - "swavidad sin fronteras"
posted by pyramid termite at 5:33 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Trump administration moves to return Russian compounds in Maryland and New York

My eyes skipped over "return" in that sentence and I was like, "Yeah, that sounds about right."
posted by entropicamericana at 5:40 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


theodolite: It's just yeah, we love Russian spies now?

In May of 2016 Preet Bharara tried and convicted a spy who was working at Russian Bank VEB. He was supposed to serve 30 months but was just released early and sent home. Preet Bharara was of course subsequently fired by Trump. And the Russian banker Jared Kushner allegedly met with was from VEB and, per Jake Tapper, allegedly trained by Russian intelligence.
posted by bluecore at 5:41 PM on May 31 [49 favorites]


well, i haven't kept up, but i must draw your attention to a new brand of mexican toilet paper -

It is incredibly childish of me, but I think I'd pay money to purchase toilet paper with a caricature of him stamped onto the paper. It'd just be so…satisfying…to use. Perhaps you could call it, say, Rump™ TP, to avoid legal issues.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 5:43 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


NY Post The government is spying on journalists to find leakers
The Justice Department has gotten a warrant from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — also known as the FISA court — to conduct electronic surveillance on a group of journalists who’ve been the recipient of leaked information, the source said.

The journalists are not the target, according to my source[...], the Trump administration is looking for the leaker. [...]

Some in the administration are focusing on a retired, high-ranking military officer who held important posts in the intelligence service, according to the source.The possibly high-ranking leaker was getting some of his information from people inside the White House who were holdovers from the Obama administration, the source said. Those White House leakers — said to be three people — have either already been fired or will soon be, the source claims.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:49 PM on May 31 [40 favorites]


First on CNN: Sources: Congress investigating another possible Sessions-Kislyak meeting {...]
Investigators on the Hill are requesting additional information, including schedules from Sessions, a source with knowledge tells CNN. They are focusing on whether such a meeting took place April 27, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address. Prior to the speech, then-Sen. Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak attended a small VIP reception with organizers, diplomats and others.


Props to Seth Abramson, who more or less broke on this story in March on Twitter: The plot to sell America's foreign policy for foreign oil _and_ steal an election in the bargain began at the Mayflower Hotel.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:51 PM on May 31 [22 favorites]


The Justice Department has gotten a warrant from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — also known as the FISA court — to conduct electronic surveillance on a group of journalists who’ve been the recipient of leaked information, the source said.

They're trying to close all the doors and windows. I'm hoping it's too late.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:52 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]


NY Post The government is spying on journalists to find leakers

To quote (extremely loudly) what theodolite said back in the carefree innocent days of ten minutes ago:
I didn't think it was still possible to be surprised, but WHAT?
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:54 PM on May 31 [15 favorites]


Alvin Chang produced this fantastic article and visualization comparing coverage of the Russia scandal by right-wing and mainstream media outlets, and has produced a similar analysis about the coverage of the CBO score.

I know the first link has been posted, but re-posting because I haven't found a better analysis that simply and starkly illustrates how Trump and conservatives are coming away with such a distorted view of reality.
posted by schroedinger at 6:01 PM on May 31 [20 favorites]


why is Portland and Oregon in general seem to be more of a center for this kind of radical alt-right behavior

i blame grunge.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:02 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


NY Post:The government is spying on journalists to find leakers

!!!

I guess we'll need to see what Nancy Wheeler has to say about this, but where's the "Foreign" in this activity that would allow FISA to grant the warrant?
posted by notyou at 6:04 PM on May 31 [27 favorites]


!!

Tom Schoenberg, Bloomberg: DOJ’s Weissmann Joining Mueller’s Russia Investigation Team, Sources Say
As the head of the fraud section in the Obama administration, Weissmann’s specialties have included overseeing investigations into corporate wrongdoing and foreign corruption -- including probes into Volkswagen AG over diesel-cheating, global banks over market manipulation and Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras over corrupt payments. He also started a pilot program that offered companies incentives to self-report possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign officials.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:04 PM on May 31 [46 favorites]


I guess we'll need to see what Nancy Wheeler has to say about this, but where's the "Foreign" in this activity that would allow FISA to grant the warrant?

The administration is Russian is it not? /rimshot
posted by Talez at 6:05 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


!!!

!
posted by Room 641-A at 6:05 PM on May 31


Heh. Our fabulous guy in the Oval office is now tweeting about "Crooked Hillary" I kid you not. If I could talk to him directly here is what I would say: You called her weak and low energy when it turns out YOU are the one with no stamina. You said she had ties to Russia when it turns YOU are the puppet. You claimed that she was a liar, a cheat, a pay-for-play proponent who should be locked up for being careless with confidential information. Guess what, Donnie. Turns out you were all those things and more and by god here is hoping you go to prison.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:05 PM on May 31 [34 favorites]


DJT tweeting again:

"I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

... like it's a goddamn game show.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:09 PM on May 31 [36 favorites]


Uh fuck you, Donald & co. First Fucking Amendment
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:09 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


Oh good grief: "I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

The way that he has turned one of, if not the most, important issues of our time into a game show as part of a desperate bid for attention is disgusting.
posted by zachlipton at 6:09 PM on May 31 [30 favorites]


DOJ’s Weissmann Joining Mueller’s Russia Investigation Team, Sources Say

On the one hand it might suggest one possible direction Mueller's investigation may go (Trumpco corruption). On the other, as long as Trumpco is in the White House, an investigator with his remit might have found he doesn't have a budget anymore -- the Mueller gig, any gig, at least keeps him busy.
posted by notyou at 6:10 PM on May 31


I don't believe for one second that they aren't targeting journalists.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:14 PM on May 31 [12 favorites]


@Kyle Griffin I wonder if the Paris Accord will get the final rose.

I was trying to find another joke I liked so this would not be a 1 joking tweet comment but guys I want to go to bed. So let me just say that Sessions as AG is now an abomination and I will be directing my efforts towards getting him out. 1 perjury is my limit for Federal AGs, after all we have to have some standards.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:22 PM on May 31 [11 favorites]




SHADE

@realdonaldtrump: "Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC."

@HillaryClinton: "People in covfefe houses shouldn't throw covfefe."
posted by lalex at 6:35 PM on May 31 [136 favorites]


lalex, that is definitely a read.
posted by prefpara at 6:39 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


I'm really glad I watched Clinton's interview from today. It's hard seeing what might have been, but she's still here and it's really useful to see adults talking.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:39 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


COVFEFE is our Words With Friends Word of the Day!
posted by bird internet at 6:40 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


I feel like this rose garden announcement ceremony is a way for the anti-Paris forces in the administration to lock him into a public event so he won't chicken out. We're reportedly firmly in the he's leaving but could change his mind anytime stage.
posted by zachlipton at 6:41 PM on May 31


President Trump's To-Do List for June [fake, at present]

-- Legally change Steve Bannon's name to Rasputin
-- Substitute Stalin for generals in all remaining Confederate monuments
-- Tweet that his favorite band is Pussy Grabbin' Riot
-- Movingly beseech Putin to rebuild the Berlin Wall
-- Pitch a new reality show called American Pogrom
-- Invite Mikhail Baryshnikov, Martina Navratilova, Alexander Godunov, Sergei Federov, and Nadia Comăneci onto Air Force One for an "in-flight cocktail party"; forcibly drop them off in Moscow
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:42 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


This is just typical Hillary Clinton. Some of us were up half the night making covfefe jokes and we watched it die in Ted Cruz's soup-loving hands, and now she thinks she can just waltz in here 22 hours later and claim it for herself?
posted by zachlipton at 6:48 PM on May 31 [12 favorites]


Zero Fucks Hillary is my second favorite Hillary.

(My favorite Hillary is Madam Fucking President Hillary but I'm not quite done building the wormhole to that dimension yet, working on it).
posted by lydhre at 6:49 PM on May 31 [56 favorites]


How to protest Nazis: article is 10 years old and still relevant.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 6:52 PM on May 31 [12 favorites]


I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

While we still have roses, and trees, and birds.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:54 PM on May 31 [12 favorites]


Just think, Jeff Sessions could have gone down in history as That Senator Who Was Too Racist for the Federal Bench, But That Was a Long Time Ago, I'm Sure He's Rehabilitated. But now he'll go down in history as that Senator who perjured himself to his colleagues because he had so little fucking respect for the Senate, and also he was all-in on white nationalism and definitely still a racist, and also did we mention the treason?

Hell of a job, Jeffy.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:54 PM on May 31 [60 favorites]


This administration is that feeling at the end of move-in day when all you want is a shower and the water heater is set on "lukewarm" the shower curtain is god knows where the towels...we used the towels to protect the table? And the bed is still leaning against the wall and the bedding is in a box but wasn't washed because there wasn't time and you'll be damned if you're sleeping your first night here on unwashed bedding and I guess I did throw out the pillows because they were kinda gross and yes we were going to get some but for some reason, not naming names, we didn't get out of the old place until four in the afternoon and therefore it was too late to go to costco and wait, back up, was your question a few seconds ago about a plunger rhetorical?
posted by maxwelton at 6:54 PM on May 31 [60 favorites]


But now he'll go down in history as that Senator who perjured himself to his colleagues because he had so little fucking respect for the Senate, and also he was all-in on white nationalism and definitely still a racist, and also did we mention the treason?

The important thing, though, is at least nobody was allowed to insult the Perjuror General on the floor of the Senate.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:58 PM on May 31 [31 favorites]


If this were a reality tv show, the ratings would be off the charts, and that, I've reluctantly come to the conclusion, is the full and complete explanation for this whole fustercluck.
posted by parki at 6:58 PM on May 31 [10 favorites]


But now he'll go down in history

Well, he has to go down first. And there's still zero evidence that even one single Republican is ever going to lift a finger against outright treason by the President and Attorney General.

So right now he's on track to be the Racist Senator And Treasonous Attorney General Who Nonetheless Ended Voting Rights And Cemented the Permanent Apartheid Prison State.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:00 PM on May 31 [14 favorites]


After a bunch of drama with them fighting the Office of Government Ethics, the White House released details of 16 ethics waivers today. Some of them go to former lobbyists to allow them to regulate the industries they just lobbied for, and a special waiver for Breitbart:
The waivers made public Wednesday also appear to retroactively eliminate an apparent ethics problem for Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, who was an executive at Breitbart News. The ethics policy prohibited him from contacting employees at Breitbart for two years on matters he had handled while an executive there, but Mr. Bannon repeatedly engaged in conversations with Breitbart editors, according to a complaint filed by the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The waiver, retroactive to Jan. 20, allows White House aides to “participate in communications and meetings with news organizations on matters of broad policy” even if they involve “a former employer or former client.”
posted by zachlipton at 7:05 PM on May 31 [38 favorites]


The joy HRC must have felt typing that tweet makes me so happy to be alive.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:06 PM on May 31 [22 favorites]


I want a journalist to ask him, "After accusations of racism dogging your early career, you essentially rehabilitated yourself in the Senate. But then you threw in with Trump, who hires literal neo-Nazis, and started rolling back every race-related civil right you could find. Is racism so important to you that you're willing to tarnish your reputation forever in a last gasp defense of it, or do you truly believe that racists and Nazis are on the right side of history and you'll be vindicated as a great man for pursuing Jim Crow and Third Reich policies?"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:06 PM on May 31 [54 favorites]


Christ, we've all been living in one big ethics waiver since the campaign.
posted by Rykey at 7:10 PM on May 31 [15 favorites]


That those sorts of waivers were even considered let alone passed broke my brain at the beginning of the administration. These people have taken us so far away.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:21 PM on May 31 [15 favorites]


I feel like I'm living in the H.H. Holmes Politics Castle.
posted by corb at 7:23 PM on May 31 [35 favorites]


...far away from a more perfect union to these Unite States. That's the only progress--uniting and realizing we're sharing air now. Any social reform is just a second tier practicality to that. When we speak of progress and conservatism, what that really means is how divided do we want to imagine we are.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:33 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


yeah there were two planned: one is on June 4th (this one is still happening) and the anti-Muslim one was for June 10th (moved to Seattle).

The June 10th one is part of a national "anti-Sharia" thing organized by Act for America. (link to SPLC not their site) There are counterprotests planned in various cities as well (Austin, for one that I'm aware of.) FYI
posted by threeturtles at 7:35 PM on May 31


Y'all, I know we're letting the covfefe thing go, but if any of you play Words with Friends, you should know that it's the word of the day! Noun - The amount and quality of reporting when autocorrect fails you at 3am.
posted by Weeping_angel at 7:35 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]




You have got to be fucking kidding.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:38 PM on May 31 [15 favorites]


I thought that dipshit was off the Committee.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:39 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]




OK, Adam Schiff needs to take this little pisher out behind the Capitol and slap him around, posthaste.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:41 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


I thought that dipshit was off the Committee.

Nunes and Sessions, trendsetting with the Non-Recusal Recusal.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:43 PM on May 31 [17 favorites]


Nunes ‘acted separately’ from House Russia probe by unilaterally issuing subpoenas on ‘unmasking’

I fucking knew it.

These are the most guiltiest-acting motherfuckers I have ever seen. Like, my four-year-old is a better liar than these stupid assholes.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:43 PM on May 31 [62 favorites]


I'm starting to feel like Sessions is the heart of darkness here. What is motivating him? It isn't just a desire to consolidate power for Republicans. He could achieve that without working with Putin to destabilize the US and our democratic allies.
posted by diogenes at 7:46 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


This administration is that feeling at the end of move-in day when all you want is a shower and the water heater is set on "lukewarm" the shower curtain is god knows where the towels...

Paging analogy cartoonist -- will the thread analogy cartoonist please pick up the courtesy phone?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:48 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


So about that ridiculous word. Shortly before it was tweeted out, the story was about some huge number of new bots being added as followers to Trump's twitter account.

Then he tweeted a word completely made up, with nothing remotely like it in the English language, and it exploded across twitter and electronic media.

Looks to me like a pulse-chase experiment--something unique to track as it moves through electronic communications media.
posted by Sublimity at 7:48 PM on May 31 [33 favorites]


from Trump’s Uncompromising Twitter Use Comes to This: ‘Covfefe’: The best way to keep Mr. Trump off Twitter, advisers said, is to keep him busy. During his foreign trip, he was occupied 12 to 15 hours a day, seldom left alone to fulminate over the Russian investigation and given less unstructured time to watch television — although he did tune in to CNN International and fumed privately that it was even more hostile to him than the domestic network.

It helped, aides said, that Melania Trump, a sometimes moderating force who has largely remained in New York since the inauguration, accompanied him on the trip.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:50 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


A thought on that FISA warrant about leakers: can you be prosecuted for leaking false information? It would be just so fitting for this clusterfuck of an administration to have to confirm the veracity of leaks to attempt a prosecution.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:50 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to feel like Sessions is the heart of darkness here. What is motivating him?

I mean...white power? Is this a trick question?
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:50 PM on May 31 [41 favorites]


He could achieve that without working with Putin to destabilize the US and our democratic allies.

This is a feature, not a bug, y'all.

To review: Putin is a white, authoritarian, ethnonationalist, violent homophobe. He is openly everything these people want to be. His vision for Russia is their vision for the US. There is no contradiction or conflict here. Our current allies are by-and-large multicultural, liberal, social democratic states. Session, Trump, Nunes and all of those assholes want nothing to do with multiculturalism, liberalism, or socialism. Nor do their base. The Russia thing is important in a rule-of-law way and may be the thing that actually brings down this administration, but it is not going to win propaganda battles against the Right because the Right is all-in on everything Putin's Russia is and wants to be, and hates everything that France, Germany, and our other European allies are and want to be.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:51 PM on May 31 [71 favorites]



Looks to me like a pulse-chase experiment--something unique to track as it moves through electronic communications media.
posted by Sublimity at 21:48 on May 31 [1 favorite +] [!]


Yeah, like I said.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:51 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


What could be motivating Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III? It's a mystery!

Not exactly surprising. It's like naming your kid Benedict Quisling Judas II or Adolph Josef Pol IV. Not much of a chance for you. But you're still responsible!
posted by Justinian at 7:53 PM on May 31 [22 favorites]


There's no experiment. There's no grand master plan. There's no 12-dimensional chess. Just an old man who fumbled with his smartphone and fell asleep watching cable news.
posted by zachlipton at 7:54 PM on May 31 [68 favorites]


I know I'm a little late on this thing about the Portland Islamophobes moving their nonsense to Seattle instead, but as a Seattleite I'd just like to say:

1. I was planning to drive down to Portland this weekend to stand in solidarity with any peaceful counter-protest (but now I'm not sure I'll have to?), and

2. This is not remotely the first time I've heard of Portlanders deciding they'd rather come smash up Seattle rather than keeping it at home. See also May Day protests of other years and sports events. (In fairness, I'm sure they'll say the same about us.)

Honest to god, Portlanders will come to our soccer games and root for whoever is playing against the Sounders. They'll even cosplay as Kansas City fans. The Portland/Seattle thing is weird and I'm sad to see it take such an extra-racist turn.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:55 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


Maybe it's a test but why test on the production account?

More likely it was a dumb mistake.
posted by notyou at 7:55 PM on May 31


To cut to the chase, it is becoming increasingly clear that Americans should be taking reasonable steps to diversify their investments outside the U.S., including holding assets in currencies other than dollars, and where possible to acquire a second passport.

Yes, I’m serious. Jewish-, Irish- and Italian-Americans, for example, should be checking out whether they qualify automatically for dual citizenship. Others should be looking into their options too. It is always a good thing to be diversified globally and to have the option of leaving the country and living and working elsewhere. But right now it is more important than usual.


From that radical website, Marketwatch.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:56 PM on May 31 [39 favorites]


I'm pretty sure he just hasn't even the attention to detail that god gave a fucking squirrel. Asshole fell asleep in a proud huff without bothering to look at the tweet after posting it.
posted by lydhre at 7:57 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]


On the production account because that's what people pay attention to. Easier to track initial traffic during the middle of the night when use is relatively low.
posted by Sublimity at 7:58 PM on May 31


Maybe it's a test but why test on the production account?

More likely it was a dumb mistake.
posted by notyou at 21:55 on May 31 [+] [!]


This administration is running tests on production accounts of American democracy and international relations and civil rights and everything ever. The fuck would this be any different?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:59 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


I mean, it's fun and everything, but we all know that he fat-fingered the word "coverage" and then like dropped his phone or fell asleep or whatever, right?
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:01 PM on May 31 [31 favorites]


Lawrence O'Donnell just very slyly announced he is continuing at MSNBC, in the course of saying goodbye to a program intern. Trump wasn't able to bully him off the air.
posted by spitbull at 8:01 PM on May 31 [14 favorites]


I'm not surprised, generally when people go public in the way he did (ie not burning bridges) it's a negotiating tactic.
posted by Justinian at 8:02 PM on May 31


soren, I do real-world experiments like this for my job. Not that far fetched, actually.
posted by Sublimity at 8:03 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]




I've done experiments like this, and the one thing that makes me think it isn't one is that it's way easier to disguise them. Any simple typo would have worked in the middle of an otherwise normal tweet. "Despite all the negative press coveragf, I'm making America great again." would have been easily trackable and wouldn't have made the news, which invalidated the experiment if it was one.
posted by mmoncur at 8:08 PM on May 31 [13 favorites]


> one thing that makes me think it isn't one is that it's way easier to disguise them

Also the bot army has been gradually building up for months. We just happened to be discussing it here quite recently because of some analysis and news coverage of it, so from our perspective it is a big new thing that has happened recently.

But in reality from their perspective there was nothing special about yesterday. It's not like they built up the bot army over the weekend and then tested it Tuesday night.

I would like to know, however, how we might be able to monitor the bot army and how it is used from this point forward. That would be interesting and could be helpful in a number of ways.

And we should be relying on evidence a little stronger on this than "Hey I just heard about the bot army yesterday and today Trump melted down the entire world's media with a tweet." I mean, Trump melting down on Twitter happens like 4X weekly, so the fact that it happened again recently really isn't telling us much . . .
posted by flug at 8:20 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


echoing sentiments upthread, please feel free to contact me if you are another portland head that plans to be downtown over the weekend. always good to know more friendly faces at such events. i promise i'm less of a butthead in person.
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 8:33 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]




Shit, he did distract everyone from the bot army with hot, wet covfefe, whether or not he meant to. Probably it was Satan up to his usual whispering. Anyway, it really was like if Roosevelt had fallen out of his chair during a Fireside Chat. The whole appeal of the joke was that we didn't know if dude was ok.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:35 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Truly, it was like the Castle of Auuugggh....
posted by spitbull at 8:36 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


It is not some tracking magic it is just that Trump is getting so much free rent in so many people's heads it's gotta violate some sort of ethics emoluments something.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:38 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Jane Lytvynenko, Buzzfeed "No, Trump Did Not Gain Five Million New Twitter Followers in Three Days."

Yes, those 5M/three days figures are wrong, but @realdonaldtrump really has been accumulating a lot of bots recently - it's more like 3M over the month of May.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:43 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


It is not some tracking magic it is just that Trump is getting so much free rent in so many people's heads it's gotta violate some sort of ethics emoluments something.

The problem with Trump is that you gotta listen to him and take everything he says seriously because holy shit if even a fraction of the stuff that gets vomited out of his mouth happens more people than really necessary are going to have their lives made a hell of a lot harder, ripped away from their families, or just plain die in the gutter.

So yeah, when the president is a fucking nutjob you have to have the vigilance of a god damned hawk.
posted by Talez at 8:46 PM on May 31 [17 favorites]


Also, it looks like @realdonaldtrump accumulated 1.5M in the past two weeks alone. There's been a real uptick in bots for Team Trump lately.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:50 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** GA-06 - Day 2 of early voting continued to show *extremely* high turnout - 25K, slightly ahead of 2016 general. Unclear whether this bodes actual higher overall turnout, or just a lot of "pull forward", perhaps by people thinking, "Please end this already." D 35/ R 43 so far; also unclear what that means. In short: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

** Bits and bobs
-- Good article roundup and analysis of the special elections to date at flippable. If you are looking for races to fund, I find flippable a helpful guide to where your dollars should be high yield.

-- New Politico/Morning Consult poll finds 43% of voters want the impeachment process for Trump to begin. Up 5 percentage points from last week.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:12 PM on May 31 [50 favorites]


The Cipher Brief has a useful explainer type of interview with former deputy/acting CIA director Michael Morell. He condenses the drama into four broad areas for investigation:
  • First, did anyone in the Trump camp conspire with the Russians in Moscow’s interference in our election? Did they knowingly assist the Russians in that effort? If so, did Trump know about it at the time or did he learn about it later and take steps to cover it up? And, if so, did the Trump folks promise a softer U.S. approach to Russia as a quid pro quo?
  • Second, did Russian organized crime launder money through the Trump Organization? If so, was anyone in the Trump Organization aware of that? If so, was Trump himself aware? And, if so, was the soft approach to Russian during the campaign and the transition a quid pro quo? If the money laundering occurred and the Trump Organization was not aware, should they have been? In other words, did the Trump Organization do the due diligence that is required of them by law to have an understanding of where foreign money is coming from?
  • Third, is anyone who is serving in the Trump Administration, particularly someone who has access to classified information, a witting agent of Russian intelligence? And, if so, are they now working to advance Russian rather than U.S. interests – either by providing classified information to Moscow or by pushing for U.S. policies that Moscow wants?
  • And, fourth, did the President obstruct justice when he reportedly asked for Jim Comey’s loyalty, when he reportedly asked Comey to back off the Flynn investigation, or when he fired Comey?
posted by lalex at 9:20 PM on May 31 [82 favorites]


Thanks for doing these election updates Chrysostom!
posted by lalex at 9:21 PM on May 31 [14 favorites]


It's worth noting that a bunch of people in my feed are really pushing back against HRC's characterization of the DNC's data operation, frex here (deleted tweets) and here.
posted by lalex at 9:58 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]


> I mean, it's fun and everything, but we all know that he fat-fingered the word "coverage" and then like dropped his phone or fell asleep or whatever, right?

It is impossible for trump to fat-finger anything. he just doesn't have the equipment for it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:14 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


Maybe trump didn't know they were bots and rather than some kind of nefarious info ops purposes they were generated just to stroke his ego to keep his mind off of the oceans of hate coming his way. Though in this timeline it's probably both.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:17 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so covfefe
posted by lalex at 11:17 PM on May 31 [7 favorites]


Casino.org: Triggering Trump - Who and what causes Trump to share his thoughts on twitter
So what are the odds of getting Trump to respond on Twitter? What issues really get him going, and who are the people he’s most ready to call out? We looked at more than 30,000 tweets, retweets, and quotes from Twitter’s biggest user at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW to see what triggers the MAGA-man. Keep reading to see what we found.
(They explain their methodology at the bottom.)
posted by Room 641-A at 11:25 PM on May 31 [8 favorites]


jaduncan: "Congratulations. The countries not in the PA now stand at:

1) Nicaragua
2) Syria (although, ironically, I would imagine that their CO2 usage has gone way, way down)
3) United States (once the paperwork goes through)
"

The fact that the US has the company of Myamar and Liberia as the only hold outs of metricification is funny; this less so.
posted by Mitheral at 11:29 PM on May 31 [11 favorites]


WaPo Op-Ed: The GOP hates red tape — except when it comes to poor people. A compelling description of how the AHCA is designed to trip up Medicaid recipients and force them off through bureaucratic gotchas.

Bloomberg: Tillerson’s Enigmatic Chief of Staff Wields Power, Not the Spotlight
One official said Tillerson and his staff treat career officers like Siri or Google, seeking concise answers to questions but not wanting any discussion or debate.

“If you’re going to take hard decisions you ought to at least be willing to discuss them with the staff,” said Laura Kennedy, a former deputy assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush. “A chief of staff ought to be attuned to just basic things like the morale of the building, and I’d pretty much give them an ‘F’ on that.”

And it was Peterlin, according to two people familiar with the matter, who bore some responsibility for a spat with the South Korean government during Tillerson’s trip to Seoul in March over a dinner meeting that wasn’t on the official U.S. agenda.

During the trip, South Korean media reported Tillerson had canceled the dinner at the last minute, pleading exhaustion. In a interview later with the Independent Journal Review, Tillerson suggested South Korean officials made up the story. But according to the two people, the South Koreans had asked for a meeting -- and career State Department and embassy staff recommended it -- but Tillerson and Peterlin rejected the advice.
Bloomberg: Rich People Don’t Want Ivanka Trump’s Fashion (yes, the graph in there really does lump items that cost $1-$500 into one bracket on the left; thanks for visiting Bloomberg dot com)
posted by zachlipton at 11:45 PM on May 31 [38 favorites]


it is becoming increasingly clear that Americans should be taking reasonable steps to diversify their investments outside the U.S., including holding assets in currencies other than dollars, and where possible to acquire a second passport.

Can financially savvy people suggest good hedges (say, funds that a Charles Schwab type IRA brokerage would carry) in case the US ends up defaulting on its debt later this summer? Seems like that would cause both US stocks and bonds to tank, as well as the dollar. Thanks!
posted by msalt at 2:25 AM on June 1


Can financially savvy people suggest good hedges (say, funds that a Charles Schwab type IRA brokerage would carry) in case the US ends up defaulting on its debt later this summer? Seems like that would cause both US stocks and bonds to tank, as well as the dollar. Thanks!

Won't happen, but if you absolutely believe it will the traditional hedge is gold/silver. I'm quite sure it won't, because someone somewhere is going to have to explain to Trump what that would do to the interest rates of US denominated debt...which would be of interest to a massively leveraged real estate investor who loves to borrow.

*That said* if it did happen it would be the financial end of days, so all bets would be somewhat off.
posted by jaduncan at 2:30 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


Or you could just short things. But you shouldn't, because it's not going to happen.
posted by jaduncan at 2:31 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


We're not going to default on our debt.
posted by Justinian at 2:39 AM on June 1


the traditional hedge is gold/silver.

Thanks! So in the context of a financial noob with some IRA money tucked away, that would mean an ETF such as (on this list from Charles Schwab) ETF Physical Swiss Shares (SGOL) or a more broad based precious metals ETF such as GLTR; (glitter, get it?)

or (from this doc) Spyder Gold Trust ETF (Ticker GLD) or iShares Gold Trust (Ticker IAU)
posted by msalt at 2:46 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


We're not going to default on our debt.

With Obama, I believed that. With Trump? Well...
posted by msalt at 2:48 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


...which would be of interest to a massively leveraged real estate investor who loves to borrow

You know what would be of interest to a massively leveraged real estate investor?
Inflation.
A nice side effect would also be that it would effectively reduce US debt.

Now if I only had the financial wherewithalls to translate that insight into some good investments...
posted by sour cream at 3:04 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Higher inflation in the United States doesn't help your debt if it's owned by other countries.
posted by Yowser at 3:22 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Ehh I take it back. Just thought it through and it does help your debt or has no effect overall.
posted by Yowser at 3:26 AM on June 1


Sorry, might have been too terse there:

A good way to cause inflation is to print massive amounts of US dollars. The newly printed money can then be used to pay off US government debt.
posted by sour cream at 3:27 AM on June 1


The reason this isn't done is because it will effectively wipe out the savings of many people.

... but not of highly leveraged real estate developers.
posted by sour cream at 3:29 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


So I'm teaching "Young Goodman Brown" at the moment, and I forget where I'm getting this idea from (I mean if this was Hawthorne, Arthur Miller, or some critical source interpreting the former) but one thing that Hawthorne seemed to be on about was about how Puritanical societies created a class of hypocrites who were able to be normal humans (i.e., not saints) and hold positions of power and still enforce the mores of the society. Then there were people like Young Goodman Brown, who, faced with the knowledge of the inherent sinful nature of humanity, just freaked out and were miserable. And then you have people like Faith, who is neither a hypocrite nor a saint, and accepts that sin exists without engaging in it.

Thinking about some comment up above about one of the most heavily favorited Reddit comment about the Paris Accord being about liberals embracing the PA because of "values-signaling," I was sort of holy shit this motherfucker is still fueling societal dysfunction. Because what that idea of "values-signaling" is not that liberals are you know, FUCKING TERRIFIED about killing off the only habitable planet in our solar system, but that we want to mouth a certain kind of dogma for approval.

In this deeply cynical view of the world, we are all active sinners, scoundrels and "women of spotted fame." We all, if we could, would be grabbing members of the opposite sex by their junk. There are liberals who are triggered by the knowledge of sin, the Young Goodman Browns of the world. I don't know if there are any analogues to Faith in this world view, and maybe that's part of the problem.

Last night, my SO and I had a deeply uncomfortable discussion about where all of this is going. I told him the thing that had me freaking out most recently is that I'd always assumed that the countdown to really bad shit happening would take a while to run down. I'd assumed that the clock started ticking on 11/9/16. And these things take time. You read Chekov and you can see the themes of the Russian revolution. You read Moby Dick and you can see the themes of the Civil War.

But what if it started earlier? What if it started under Reagan? Clinton? What if the seeds of this can be traced to the founding colonies? What if we've been living with the sound of the clock ticking for so long, we don't hear it anymore?
posted by angrycat at 3:31 AM on June 1 [77 favorites]


That article posted by oneswellfoop upthread really does chill the blood. Protest has always been a risky business, but the cards are stacked in a terrifying way these days
posted by Myeral at 3:46 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


A society founded by judgemental, sanctimonious, genocidal, hypocritical, racist, misogynist prudes* without true moral compasses probably at least starts the clock ticking.

* How did they fit all of that into a boat as small as the Mayflower?
posted by maxwelton at 3:58 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


* How did they fit all of that into a boat as small as the Mayflower?

EARLY MORNING PEDANTRY: They actually fit the vast majority of it into the Arbella and other 10 ships in the Winthrop Fleet.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:12 AM on June 1 [42 favorites]


They're like bedbugs, colonists are. By the time you see one ship it's too late.
posted by spitbull at 4:13 AM on June 1 [22 favorites]


I'm wondering if those DNC data analysts realize the tremendous bone they've just thrown the Republicans.

There's a reason the Republicans keep kicking your ass, they know what party discipline is.
posted by Yowser at 4:24 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


When some Americans say they're descended from "Settlers," and not "immigrants," am I wrong to read that as them being tremendously racist? I mean, it's correct in the best possible way, technically, but it reads suuuuuuper racist.
posted by Yowser at 4:30 AM on June 1 [25 favorites]


I find it darkly humorous that in the 500th year of Luther's Disputatio per declaratione virtutis Indulgentiarum, the none-more-medieval court of Pope Bias I is furthering its earthly hunger for power and money by issuing ethics waivers.

As it is written: Omnes enim, qui acceperint covfefium, covfefio peribunt.
posted by Devonian at 4:31 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


The Guardian on the upcoming Bilderberg conference. Look also for the covf-word, it's right there.
posted by Namlit at 4:38 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Settlers generally implies American (loosely) who was born on the east coast moving towards the west coast so immigrant doesn't apply in the same way because the end result was a united states.

We really emphasize that journey as the creation story of the US, so settlers is important , but reading racist isn't wrong- the word is loaded with the terrible history of the founding of the US.
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:41 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


Re: "settler"... Settler colonialism is a term that has gotten traction in North American history/studies as a way to be more precise (Australia-type vs India-type etc) and political by emphasizing the ongoing nature of colonization. If the people saying they are settlers are using the term in this context, they are more likely to be trying to point out that they are not indigenous and that colonization is not something that happened in the past, but rather continues (example from here in Hawaii).
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:54 AM on June 1 [15 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: The big story is the "unmasking and surveillance" of people that took place during the Obama Administration.

Is he… trying to bait Comey? He does know that Comey's going to testify in public next week, right?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:59 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


Nigel Farage is 'Person of Interest' in FBI investigation into Trump & Russia. - Guardian article.

“If you triangulate Russia, WikiLeaks, Assange and Trump associates the person who comes up with the most hits is Nigel Farage. He’s right in the middle of these relationships. He turns up over and over again. There’s a lot of attention being paid to him.”
posted by kariebookish at 5:01 AM on June 1 [53 favorites]


I would love, with a burning passion, for Farage to soon find himself going from 'person of interest' to 'person who's up to his eyeballs in extremely damaging evidence and facing serious charges on both sides of the Atlantic'. That would be nice.
posted by dowcrag at 5:16 AM on June 1 [65 favorites]


Nigel Farage is 'Person of Interest' in FBI investigation into Trump & Russia. - Guardian article.

Hot damn, I called this back in March in the Scottish independence thread. Of course, with Herr Twitler and his cronies, any and all alleged bad behavior seem to prove true, so I can't go polishing my Cassandra-creds just yet.

At this point, I wouldn't be the least surprised if both our November election and a Brexit interference effort were coordinated in tandem by Russia. It is damn odd to feel this paranoid, but I guess this is where our current predicament is leading us. Can't say I like the feeling.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 5:44 AM on June 1 [13 favorites]


When some Americans say they're descended from "Settlers," and not "immigrants," am I wrong to read that as them being tremendously racist?

"Settlers" (or "colonists") establish a new society; immigrants migrate to an existing society. It's technically correct that the Europeans who came to America in the 17th century were settlers or colonists and not immigrants, but the people who seem to be keenest on making the distinction are nativists and ethno-nationalists who want to be able to exclude more recent immigrants and their descendants from their idea of "American"--although talking about "a nation of immigrants" also tends to obscure the role of settler colonialism in displacing native populations, and the role of slavery in forced migration, in favour of a more pleasant narrative.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:44 AM on June 1 [17 favorites]


When some Americans say they're descended from "Settlers," and not "immigrants," am I wrong to read that as them being tremendously racist?

Ask them which category most African-Americans' forebears fall in to, and you'll have an answer soon enough.
posted by Etrigan at 6:16 AM on June 1 [14 favorites]


Dana Milbank, WaPo: Congressman refuses to say if Americans are entitled to eat
NPR’s Scott Simon, a genial interviewer, asked Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee and an influential figure on agriculture policy, about Trump’s proposal to make vast cuts to food stamps. Smith posited that the program could be cut in ways that “do not harm the most vulnerable.”

“Well, let me ask you this bluntly: Is every American entitled to eat?” Simon queried.

Smith was stumped. “Well, they — nutrition, obviously, we know is very important. And I would hope that we can look to — ”

Simon interrupted: “Well, not just important, it’s essential for life. Is every American entitled to eat?”

Smith agreed that nutrition “is essential” but continued to ignore the question about whether Americans are entitled to eat.

Simon tried a third time: “So is every American entitled to eat, and is food stamps something that ought to be that ultimate guarantor?”

Once again, the lawmaker demurred: “I think that we know that, given the necessity of nutrition, there could be a number of ways that we could address that.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:28 AM on June 1 [133 favorites]


All Americans are entitled to eat or participate in the Soylent Green program
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:35 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


I got into it with a prototypical Ugly Canadian at a party last night who was openly rooting for the U.S. to "go down the tubes"...for the lulz I guess? It was like, motherfucker, on top of the callousness of hoping for events to pass that could very well result in the deaths of many, many people, do you not realize that if the U.S. goes down hard it will drag Canada down with it like a drowning person?
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:40 AM on June 1 [21 favorites]


The last few times someone tried to eat me they ended up having to call poison control. You'd think my brightly colored markings would be enough of a warning, but apparently not.
posted by loquacious at 6:41 AM on June 1 [17 favorites]


Dana Milbank, WaPo: Congressman refuses to say if Americans are entitled to eat


I feel like this is the real dividing line in American poli Ice and we're I a strategist I would want to push hard on this as a wedge issue and force GOP to take a stand one way or the other: do Americans have a right to eat? To health care?
posted by shothotbot at 6:41 AM on June 1 [21 favorites]


"Well...*some* Americans do."
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:41 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


Dana Milbank, WaPo: Congressman refuses to say if Americans are entitled to eat

When ideology comes before common sense, people find themselves saying all sorts of nonsensical shit (or worse, believe all sorts of nonsensical shit).

I feel like this is the real dividing line in American politics and were I a strategist I would want to push hard on this as a wedge issue and force GOP to take a stand one way or the other: do Americans have a right to eat? To health care?

I also hope that the fundamental immorality and unchristian nature of the contemporary GOP becomes more of an issue going forward.

When you get to the point that you're unwilling to say others are entitled to eat, something has fundamentally broken in your moral compass.

Our body politic has been infected with an evil, a virus that warps the moral compasses of many decent people into something twisted and wrong. So that they think it is right to take away healthcare from seniors and food from children.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:42 AM on June 1 [49 favorites]


We're not going to default on our debt.

If there's one thing that we can be certain of, is that Trump isn't going to intentionally screw the folks at Goldman Sachs (or rich people in generally).

Defaulting on the debt would profoundly screw all of them.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:47 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I also hope that the fundamental immorality and unchristian nature of the contemporary GOP becomes more of an issue going forward.

ahahahahahahahaha
posted by Talez at 6:47 AM on June 1


Nigel Farage is 'Person of Interest' in FBI investigation into Trump & Russia. - Guardian article.

if this whole fiasco ends up ridding us all of nigel farage it will…

still not have been remotely worth it but at least we'd be rid of nigel farage
posted by murphy slaw at 6:49 AM on June 1 [38 favorites]


How likely is it that Nigel will have to move into the increasingly crowded guest room at the Ecuadorean embassy?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:51 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


Once again, the lawmaker demurred: “I think that we know that, given the necessity of nutrition, there could be a number of ways that we could address that.”

Honestly I don't think he was trying to say "poor people should die of starvation." Not that many wouldn't be just fine with that, but it's very rarely openly said in mainstream GOP circles. Instead, if you look at what conservatives tend to say about food stamps, it's usually more along the lines of: "they shouldn't be allowed to get food-as-welfare until they have not a dollar to their name, no TV, no car, no AC or refrigerator or phone. And they should be drug tested. And they shouldn't have the option of choosing steak or soda: distributed food should be in the form of basic staples like beans and rice and flour. And not too much of it."

So that's probably what he was talking about. It's of course a prescription for incredible human suffering and some death by starvation/malnutrition, but this is the GOP's chosen figleaf and we should be expecting to hear and see a lot more of it.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:52 AM on June 1 [18 favorites]


Bipartisan compromise: all Americans entitled to eat, only select Americans entitled to All-U-Can-Eat
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:53 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


Human rights to a conservative: guns, polluting to your heart's content, Christianity, making money off the backs of others.
Not human rights: being a woman, PoC, LGBTQ, and/or disabled; having food, healthcare, and a home.

We are at a point where everything they consider "human rights" are not actually intrinsic to being a human, while everything they consider a privilege is. They live in a world where the concept of human rights is completely opposite to reality, a mockery of the ideal of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
posted by zombieflanders at 6:55 AM on June 1 [77 favorites]


You forgot the most important human right to a conservative: free speech without being criticized
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:57 AM on June 1 [56 favorites]


Because a single Twitter user can create lots of accounts and run them all in a coordinated way, Twitter lets relatively small groups masquerade as far larger ones. If Facebook’s primary danger is its dissemination of fake stories, then Twitter’s is a ginning up of fake people. […]

The initial aim isn’t to convince or persuade, but simply to overwhelm — to so completely saturate the network that it seems as if people are talking about a particular story. […]

Emilio Ferrara and Alessandro Bessi, researchers at the University of Southern California, found that about a fifth of the election-related conversation on Twitter last year was generated by bots. Most users were blind to them; they treated the bots the same way they treated other users.
Farhad Manjoo: "How Twitter Is Being Gamed to Feed Misinformation"
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:58 AM on June 1 [21 favorites]


I thought Assange had been vindicated on his rape charges by, er, hiding from them long enough, and would shortly be leaving their guest room?
posted by Artw at 6:59 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Just because you're entitled to eat doesn't mean you're entitled to food is what that sounds like.
posted by anem0ne at 7:00 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


A dropped investigation isn't the same as vindication.
posted by anem0ne at 7:02 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


A dropped investigation isn't the same as vindication.

It's not even dropped, exactly, because they made it clear they would start it up again if he re-entered the country.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 7:04 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


One might even say we can just assume he's guilty because he skipped out on his chance to have a trial, but anyway, isn't he just hanging out there for the sake of hanging out there now?
posted by Artw at 7:06 AM on June 1


Mefi's beloved Jennifer Rubin

I wouldn't go that far. She may be proving valuable in giving voice to, and permission form, principled conservatives' disagreements with Trump, but she was a reliably Republican and neoconservative blogger and columnist, and hardly has a long track record as an honest conservative.
posted by Gelatin at 7:06 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Emilio Ferrara and Alessandro Bessi, researchers at the University of Southern California, found that about a fifth of the election-related conversation on Twitter last year was generated by bots.

Maybe Twitter should require users to fill out a captcha before each tweet. This would likely also have the benefit of stopping the president from tweeting.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 7:06 AM on June 1 [36 favorites]


Maybe Twitter should require users to fill out a captcha before each tweet.

Anyone can prove they are human. I want a captcha that proves the user has a soul.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:10 AM on June 1 [34 favorites]


I've tried several times now to think of the most generous interpretation of balking at "entitled to food" and I got nothing. I think the word "entitled" flips a switch in the conservative brain where the immediate answer is "no", whatever it is. But let's not forget that even "moderate" Romney chided the "right to food", so who knows.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:10 AM on June 1 [9 favorites]


I've tried several times now to think of the most generous interpretation of balking at "entitled to food" and I got nothing.

"Entitled to food" sounds to them like the setup to "so the government will take your hard-earned food to give to lazy people".
posted by Etrigan at 7:13 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


We are at a point where everything they consider "human rights" are not actually intrinsic to being a human, while everything they consider a privilege is. They live in a world where the concept of human rights is completely opposite to reality, a mockery of the ideal of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

That does make their embrace of Scalia and "constitutional originalism" understandable. Human rights are only for those who are human -- property-owning white men. Everyone else is subject to that class.
posted by gladly at 7:13 AM on June 1 [17 favorites]


(want to note that msalt has put up an excellent post on Portland)
posted by lalex at 7:19 AM on June 1 [13 favorites]


I've tried several times now to think of the most generous interpretation of balking at "entitled to food" and I got nothing.

I don't know this guy, so he may be a shitbird who just hates humanity, but I think sometimes these kinds of questions get caught up with unintended connotations that make them hard to answer even when you're not meanspirited.

For example - I actually firmly believe we should use resources to feed our citizens, that one of the marks of a successful country is that its inhabitants don't need to fear starvation. We may argue about what is the best way to accomplish that, but my starting point is absolutely that we should do something, we just need to find the best way to do so. I don't think that's as controversial even in general American society as it might appear.

But I would be equally hard pressed to answer "Are Americans entitled to food?" even though I want all Americans to have food because the question itself doesn't have enough information. Entitled by law? Entitled by God? Natural human rights? On what axis am I answering the question? I would probably also flail a lot and change the subject because I don't know where the person asking it is coming from.
posted by corb at 7:20 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


I thought Assange had been vindicated on his rape charges by, er, hiding from them long enough, and would shortly be leaving their guest room?

Maybe he just likes it there
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:21 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I saw the "entitled to eat" story yesterday and it barely registered. This is a party led by an unapologetic Randroid, with a Freedom [sic] Caucus made up of people who ran explicitly against anything that helps people who haven't "earned" the help by meeting some arbitrary and flexible standard of "hard work", being a member of one's local church, and/or being white. They routinely run on cutting programs that feed people, and follow through on those promises when elected. How is it even newsworthy that they don't believe eating is a basic right for all Americans? I guess because one of them said the quiet parts loud? Who wasn't already aware that the modern Republican party would starve millions to preserve a tax cut for a few hundred of their friends?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:22 AM on June 1 [13 favorites]


Anyone can prove they are human. I want a captcha that proves the user has a soul.

How about two-factor auth combining the Voigt-Kampff and Gom Jabbar tests?
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:23 AM on June 1 [24 favorites]


> we just need to find the best way to do so.

What if I told you that people are starving (or malnourished) and freezing to death / dying during heat waves) right now. Could you maybe be convinced to act on whatever the best plan we have right now is, even if it isn't the most efficient plan on paper?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:24 AM on June 1 [39 favorites]


Trump allowing Russian spy centers closed by Obama to reopen? WTF? How is this not just openly admitting Putin owns him? How is this not active treason? How can Republicans still pretend to be patriots? This is such a fucking joke. This is shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and no one caring.
posted by rikschell at 7:26 AM on June 1 [16 favorites]


How about two-factor auth combining the Voigt-Kampff and Gom Jabbar tests?

Blade Runner and Dune just keep on surfacing in these threads, don't they? Something about them must resonate with the political collective unconscious. A lot of meat on these bones for (presuming-a-)future humanities grad students.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:27 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


But I would be equally hard pressed to answer "Are Americans entitled to food?" even though I want all Americans to have food because the question itself doesn't have enough information. Entitled by law? Entitled by God? Natural human rights? On what axis am I answering the question? I would probably also flail a lot and change the subject because I don't know where the person asking it is coming from.

Well in this case the subject was food stamps, and the interviewer even specified if food stamps were the "ultimate guarantor" so there's really no mystery here. If someone is too poor to buy food, are they still entitled to it? That's pretty clearly the question. And the answer is either Yes or No. It's not some post-modernist beard-stroker on the natures and forms of entitlement.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:28 AM on June 1 [81 favorites]


Can the NSA bug the White House? We are so far through the looking glass the people I used to despise seem like the only people who could potentially save the country.
posted by rikschell at 7:29 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Even letting the concept of "children shouldn't be hungry" get to a debate is a loss for our side (and for human rights). We should reject any attempt by the right to criticize any policy we put forward. They don't like our No Child Goes Hungry plan? Fine. They can put forward their proposal for making sure children are fed. Or, if they don't think that's a role that government should play, they can say that. They're running for office ostensibly to govern, not to point out flaws in others' attempts at governance -- if they want to critique and not actually help solve problems, they can go work for CNN.

They're going to criticize what we do, no matter what it is. That is their only unifying ethos: opposition to our values. There may be nonvoters we can sway, there may be centrists we can sway, but we will not sway anyone who is a party-loyal Republican. There is no point in debating whether problems like child hunger exist and whether the government should solve them. We believe the problem exists, and we believe the government should help solve it - the GOP is welcome to oppose that, but just sitting around pointing out why our plan isn't perfect is just a waste of everyone's time -- and we should be reminding people of that. Same with climate change -- enough with debating it or even conceding time to debate it; we believe it exists and is an existential crisis, so we should act like it. Enough arguing with people who only operate in bad faith; it's time for organizing everyone else and acting to improve things.

I don't need to prove the case for "children shouldn't be hungry" -- res ipsa loquitur: the thing speaks for itself.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:31 AM on June 1 [74 favorites]


wait wtf is this new shit from the NYT: Putin Hints at U.S. Election Meddling by ‘Patriotically Minded’ Russians:
MOSCOW — Shifting from his previous blanket denials, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Thursday that “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers could have been involved in cyberattacks last year to help the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.

While Mr. Putin continued to deny any state role, his comments to reporters in St. Petersburg were a departure from the Kremlin’s previous position: that Russia had played no role whatsoever in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and that, after Mr. Trump’s victory, the country had become the victim of anti-Russia hysteria among crestfallen Democrats.

posted by lalex at 7:32 AM on June 1 [41 favorites]


I'm gobsmacked at the idea that the question of whether or not people are entitled to food can somehow "not have enough information." It's the most extreme form of JAQing off that I can think of. It shouldn't matter where the authority comes from, it's a fucking cornerstone of life itself. You might as well claim that we just don't have enough information to say that people are entitled to breathe or reproduce.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:33 AM on June 1 [52 favorites]


You might as well claim that we just don't have enough information to say that people are entitled to breathe or reproduce.

I mean, this is only because these things haven't been monetized yet, so stay tuned
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:34 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


I've posted on the subject of food for the poor before. The UK government have long pursued the path of 'providing for those most in need' by removing all support from the poorest parts of the community. The result? Yet another record year for food bank use. In the year to March 2017, 436,000 emergency food parcels were issued to children alone.
posted by Myeral at 7:38 AM on June 1 [9 favorites]


It shouldn't matter where the authority comes from, it's a fucking cornerstone of life itself.

This is one of the things I find bewildering and honestly kind of frustrating. If it doesn't matter where the authority comes from, why not just stick to the things we can agree on, that people need to be fed, and move on to making it happen? Why not skip the entire argument about where the moral imperative comes from and just do it?
posted by corb at 7:41 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]




> Why not skip the entire argument about where the moral imperative comes from and just do it?

Because of people who say things like "we just need to find the best way to do so" instead of just doing so and finding out the best way of doing it later.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:45 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


I know this comes across as a "gotcha", but I don't know how it can be avoided... weren't you the one that brought up the question of where the moral imperative comes from in the first place? Wouldn't just supporting food stamps count as "just do[ing] it"?
posted by Jpfed at 7:46 AM on June 1 [21 favorites]


I actually totally understand where corb specifically is coming from here, because I have a tendency to overthink and want to get into the deeper philosophical issues implied by a question.

Of course for an American politician being implicitly asked about about American policy, the correct answer to the question "are Americans entitled to food" is an unequivocal "yes."
posted by lalex at 7:46 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


Of course a lot of conservatives are going to hesitate to commit to "all people have a right to food." Because:

a. What if we feed people and then people decide they don't need to work because they have free food?
b. What if LOTS of people do that, and then the people who are working can't keep up and society collapses?

For "food" you can substitute "housing" and possibly "medical care" and the same thought process applies.

And then if the follow-up is "but then people starve!" you fall back on "that's what charity is for!"

It's not entirely a logical argument, but it's one that a lot of people adhere to, and I'm surprised more Mefites aren't familiar with it. The fear of "opening the floodgates"--that if you enshrine a benefit, everyone will want it, and then everything collapses/no one works--is a real fear.
posted by emjaybee at 7:46 AM on June 1 [26 favorites]


[Y'all put the brakes on this particular "food, yes/no" thing pronto because carrying this further as a debate on MeFi is gonna just be frustrating nonsense. corb, this is a specific thing that has been an issue in the past, you need to drop it as something you personally dig in on at all.]
posted by cortex at 7:47 AM on June 1 [17 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,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declarationism

http://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/culr/2016/02/16/constitutional-considerations-of-happiness/
posted by mikelieman at 7:51 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


On the topic of lalex's link, which is pretty extraordinary for Putin now being all "yeah, sure, maybe hackers in this country did that shit", even more so is him saying: "Anything is possible in this virtual world. Russia never engages in activities of this kind, and we do not need it. It makes no sense for us to do such things. What for?"

Which is just straight up bullshit. The Kremlin using cyber warfare is matter of public record, and the "what for" is obvious, whether it's in the Ukraine or the US.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:51 AM on June 1 [11 favorites]


Keep this in mind during Trump's little teevee show this afternoon.

Well, separation of church and state was fun while it lasted. Actually, I don't even know what you'd call that kind of ass-first theism. Denial, I guess. Why didn't people throw their shoes at him the instant he said that?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:52 AM on June 1


Th rhetoric of rights is maybe not useful here, since what we're talking about isn't abstract principles, it's access to resources. Liberals tend to cleave to the defense of abstract principles over all else, under the theory that if you get the principles right — if you identify which rights belong to all people and make a good-faith effort to defend those rights — then material equality will follow.

I believe it was Jeremy Bentham who dismissed this pattern of reasoning as "nonsense on stilts." I don't agree with Bentham on much these days, but he had his fellow liberals' number on this one. The liberal idea of human rights as a concept autonomous from the resources needed to realize those rights is pollyannaish in the extreme. There exist wealthy monsters who prefer their resources remain in their coffers (or hoarded in their larders), despite the fact that denying those resources to others may result in those others' death. and there also exist lackeys who defend the right of monsters to hoard because they think they may get table scraps in exchange, or who toady to them out of sheer lack of character, without much hope for ever receiving anything in exchange, aside from pie in the sky when they die. (this describes most of the Republican rank and file).

And the paper tiger of liberal human rights is easily perforated by the material force of bullets shot by and nightsticks swung by and prisons run by the lackeys of wealth.

Because the dispute is about power and resources rather than rights and abstract principles, it is entirely sensible that a powerful Republican would refuse to answer a nonsense-on-stilts question about rights to food.

No one wealthy is going to give us anything unless we organize to take it. No one wealthy is going to agree that human rights are real and then give up their material advantage of their own free will. Prosperity, equality, and real freedom aren't made through reasoning out what's best for everyone and then expecting everyone to listen to reason, because reason does not and cannot rule the world. The world doesn't work that way. We must make the world we want to live in through organized action backed by ideas, instead of pretending that ideas are something with an autonomous existence apart from material reality.

No one will give us rights. If we want rights to be real, we must take them.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:54 AM on June 1 [64 favorites]


Keep this in mind during Trump's little teevee show this afternoon

I sent you a rowboat.
posted by mcdoublewide at 7:54 AM on June 1 [24 favorites]


As part of a degree on Sustainable Food and Farming, I'm currently taking an online class on Food Systems which I - sweet summer child! - thought would be an interesting and educational way to spend my evenings.

It turns out it's just fucking infuriating and I've cried twice already watching the required documentaries and it's only the second week of class. Food insecurity is something I was aware of, obviously, but I hadn't quite metabolized how much worse the situation had gotten because of the removal of government assistance.

So when this fucker can't answer a simple question regarding people being entitled to eat I know what it means: it means poor people can fuck off and die, they'll cut the few subsidies that remain, and they'll put locks on garbage bins just in case there is food to be found in there.

The infuriating thing is that spending government money to feed people is CHEAP. It is so so so so cheap and it saves SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY down the line: improves health, improves productivity, improves educational outcomes, improves the economy, and on and on and on and on. But they don't give a fuck about saving money: they just care about ensuring that no one, not a soul (especially not a brown soul), ever gets anything "for free".
posted by lydhre at 7:57 AM on June 1 [110 favorites]


“I believe there’s climate change,” Rep. Walberg (R-MI) said, according to a video of the exchange obtained by HuffPost. “I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I believe there are cycles. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No.”

“Why do I believe that?” he went on. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”


this is why there have never been any real problems in history, because god has prevented them
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:57 AM on June 1 [86 favorites]


You know, one way that God previously solved a "real problem" was to change the climate of Planet Earth so that nearly everyone drowned. He is very efficient and reliable as a problem-solver
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:59 AM on June 1 [47 favorites]


Putin starts to admit hacking.

Fox News says collusion isn't a crime.

So let's say that the Trump administration admits to colluding with Russia, and that they did it to prevent Hillary from starting WWIII (or whatever bullshit excuse they want to use), Trump pardons everyone involved, fires Mueller, and purges the intelligence services and FBI, and establishes a new geo-political alignment with Russia, leaving China and Europe on their own as separate power centers.

What happens next? Does anyone realistically think that the GOP would do anything, even in that worst case scenario? They seem to not care about it, as long as it means tax cuts for the rich.
posted by empath at 7:59 AM on June 1 [29 favorites]


This God he's talking about is the same dude that flooded the entire Earth, killing off all humans except one family and a supply of livestock, right? I mean I know there's supposed to be a Covenant and all but we've seen how these people treat promises.
posted by contraption at 7:59 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


“Why do I believe that?” he went on. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

Someone oughta remind this dumb sack of oats about The Flood.
posted by Imperfect at 7:59 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Move over, Prosperity Gospel, it's time to pray the CO2 away!
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:59 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Time Magazine Poverty-Washes Jared Kushner's Childhood Home
Really? Jared's childhood home "suggested little of the family’s wealth"? Here's how Curbed New York described the Kushners' Livingston house in 2011 when Jared's dad, real estate mogul and ex-felon Charles Kushner, put it on the market:
a 7-bedroom, 7-bath manse for $1,9995,000 with 18 rooms total and a "fluid and open flow" (fluid flow!). What else does the brokerbabble promise? A grand foyer with marble floor; glass central atrium; custom library; sunken family room with stone fireplace; a master suite with built-ins; kitchen with granite countertops; and an enormous basement with another kitchen, rec room, gym, sauna, and dry bar.
[...] Maybe the point is that the Kushners acted as if they weren't wealthy. As a 2009 New York magazine profile of Jared noted:
The Kushners mythologized themselves as scrappy outsiders. Charlie had volunteered as a firefighter, and he liked that his wife Seryl shopped at Costco.
Yeah, that's just like not being rich.

[...] The Time story is also notable for suggesting that Jared is a victim of circumstance, trapped in a world he never made:
[...] It's a situation that might have survived had Kushner remained in the dog-eat-dog world of Manhattan real estate.... But Washington is a town of rank and title, where secrets are hard to keep, official roles matter and the higher power of the Constitution looms. The quiet man is now conspicuous, having been slurped into the spotlight by the tentacles of a Russia investigation that produces headlines like Ford punches out trucks.
(Emphasis added.)

Yes he's been "slurped into the spotlight." It's something that happened to him, not something he brought on himself.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:00 AM on June 1 [56 favorites]


rikschell Can the NSA bug the White House? We are so far through the looking glass the people I used to despise seem like the only people who could potentially save the country.

Legally, no.

And, I'd argue both morally and politically they shouldn't, even with a scumfucking traitor like Trump as President.

Keeping the intelligence community from interfering in domestic politics is a very important thing and breaking that even for something as awful as Trump would open the door for future Hoovers to act.

Trump is awful. Turning the various intelligence agencies lose on our government would be much, much worse.

I'll concede that the Republican Party is broken right now, in that one function of a Party is to act as a filter and keep traitors out. But we shouldn't be asking the NSA/FBI/CIA/DIA/Whatever to spy on Trump now that he's in office.
posted by sotonohito at 8:00 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


Why does this dude even go to his office if God is going to solve all his constituents' problems? He should be playing golf at Mar-A-Lago.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:00 AM on June 1 [21 favorites]


What happens next? Does anyone realistically think that the GOP would do anything, even in that worst case scenario? They seem to not care about it, as long as it means tax cuts for the rich.

They'd probably have to end free and fair elections or face extinction, but that's kind of a partially achieved republican goal anyway from before going full traitor.
posted by Artw at 8:01 AM on June 1


> I sent you a rowboat.

The modern version of that joke should end with "Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you modern scientific methods and equipment, experts to operate the equipment and analyze the results, and what should have been enough intelligence to act wisely based on the recommendations of these highly trained professionals. But you never used them.”
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:01 AM on June 1 [67 favorites]


What do ya'll think of the March for Truth this Saturday? I agree with the goals, but it doesn't seem to have caught on. The speakers are underwhelming, my activist friends aren't talking about it, and none of my representatives are going to be there.

I think Trump's relationship to Russia is of paramount importance, and I want to do something, but I'm having trouble convincing myself that spending the day to go to this march is an effective use of time.
posted by diogenes at 8:01 AM on June 1


“Why do I believe that?” he went on. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

I thought god helped those who helped themselves? Isn't that the entire fucking ethos for not wanting to feed poor people and children?
posted by Talez at 8:04 AM on June 1 [12 favorites]




Realistically, I think the public at large just doesn't care that much about the Russia scandal.

I think our political discourse has become so impoverished that the American public doesn't know what we're at risk of losing.

The fact that we're depending on the fucking NSA and CIA to save American Democracy tells you how far we've fallen.
posted by empath at 8:04 AM on June 1 [10 favorites]


God's kind of inconsistent that way, as it turns out.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:04 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


What do ya'll think of the March for Truth this Saturday?

Well, no one's going to show up unless somebody shows up. Might as well be us.
posted by Jpfed at 8:06 AM on June 1 [24 favorites]


> We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

But when I meet Thomas Jefferson (unh!) I'm a compel him to include women in the sequel (work!)

but yes, that is what nonsense on stilts looks like. Those words were penned by a slaver who spent half his life raping his wife's half-sister. Written by someone who over the course of his life claimed total ownership over more than 600 men, women, and children.

Look around and you'll see that rights don't rule. Power rules. Let's get power.

> Why do I believe that?” he went on. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

This statement means "it's not a real problem so shut up and sit down and maybe you'll get pie in the sky when you die."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:09 AM on June 1 [20 favorites]


What if the NSA picks up Oval Office conversations though intercepting the Russian bugs that we presume the photog placed?
posted by rikschell at 8:10 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


Realistically, I think the public at large just doesn't care that much about the Russia scandal.

Factually, they do though, and a new poll that has usually been pretty kind to Trump shows a growing interest in seeing him impeached, with "unfit to serve" and him having "committed an impeachable offense, such as treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" being the top factors. Americans demonstrably care about this; they're divided on whether the President did anything wrong.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:10 AM on June 1 [21 favorites]


This statement means "it's not a real problem so shut up and sit down and maybe you'll get pie in the sky when you die."

IT'S CAKE, MOTHERFUCKER. YOU'RE DEAD.
posted by Etrigan at 8:12 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


This statement means "it's not a real problem so shut up and sit down and maybe you'll get pie in the sky when you die."

And go to the place that's the best?
posted by Talez at 8:12 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


IT'S CAKE, MOTHERFUCKER. YOU'RE DEAD.

Is it a cake because it's a lie?
posted by Talez at 8:14 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


Mefi's beloved Jennifer Rubin
I wouldn't go that far.


Sigh. I apologize againfor not using a sarcasm tag, but we had a Jennifer Rubin hatefest earlier in the thread so I figured it was obvious.
posted by spitbull at 8:14 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


I've never liked the "food insecurity" label. Real words like "hunger", "malnutrition", and "starvation" are punchier.
posted by Rumple at 8:14 AM on June 1 [42 favorites]


slurped into the spotlight

What does this metaphor even mean?! Is there, on stage, a large maw, with pursed lips, slurping on our poor Kushner like Hannibal Lecter eating a human liver? Or perhaps an anteater, with it's black slurping tongue? You cannot be SLURPED on stage. I swear after Trump became President there was a giant sucking sound as rational thought exited the brains of us all, on its way to somewhere it would be actually used.
posted by dis_integration at 8:15 AM on June 1 [12 favorites]


IT'S CAKE, MOTHERFUCKER. YOU'RE DEAD.

Did I say death? I meant cake.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:16 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


Also you cannot be slurped by tentacles
posted by dis_integration at 8:16 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


Well, in this anime I saw once...but I've already said and remembered too much.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:19 AM on June 1 [10 favorites]


My hope is that this Rose Garden unveiling will be like the last time Trump said he would make an announcement at a scheduled time, which was to announce a relatively mainstream SCOTUS pick, as opposed to, say, Ted Nugent. Perhaps he will stay in the Paris Agreement and show the commoners that he is a magnanimous and wise ruler, capable of listening to the unified voice of almost the entire business community.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:20 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


You can be rendered much more slurpy by tentacles however.
posted by spitbull at 8:21 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Hey spitbull, I'm not sure Metafilter likes Jennifer Rubin as much as you said it does.
posted by biogeo at 8:25 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


I've never liked the "food insecurity" label. Real words like "hunger", "malnutrition", and "starvation" are punchier.

You're absolutely right. In fact, the USDA removed the term "hunger" from its measurements in 2006 on the pretense that hunger is not quantifiable, with the result of essentially sanitizing the problem.
posted by lydhre at 8:26 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


In These Times: Why We Should Stop Using the Word “Activist” (via)

I don't really agree with the author's premise that a single label is doing as much damage as he suggests, but I do think that there's an unhelpful tendency on the left to build artificial walls between activism and resistance.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:29 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I've never liked the "food insecurity" label.

Real words like "hunger", "malnutrition", and "starvation" are punchier.


Your point is well taken, but food insecurity also includes things like drought and risk of flooding. An umbrella term is needed for the constellation of things that can disrupt a regular food supply and the ways in which people can lack food.
posted by bardophile at 8:30 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


This whole Paris Agreement drama seems to indicate a typical Trump behaviour: make a big noise about X, and then when he's actually face to face with whoever he's berating he evades the issue (like that time he came to Mexico as a candidate) ; and then return home and continue acting up. He is incapable of standing his ground outside of the security of the US. Why do the whole wait-a-week-for-my-decision thing? Only so that he can get to safer ground.
posted by dhruva at 8:33 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


Hiding behind grind an eleven year old in fact.
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on June 1


> relatively mainstream SCOTUS pick

Gorsuch only seems relatively mainstream because the United States mainstream is fascist right now. Don't normalize.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:38 AM on June 1 [51 favorites]


Shade shade shade shade shade from Time: cover. Shade.
posted by prefpara at 8:39 AM on June 1 [44 favorites]


I thought god helped those who helped themselves?

Pedantry: This is from Aesop's Fables by way of Benjamin Franklin, not the Bible. According to Jesus, God damns those who don't help others.
posted by EarBucket at 8:39 AM on June 1 [35 favorites]


If there's one thing that we can be certain of, is that Trump isn't going to intentionally screw the folks at Goldman Sachs (or rich people in generally).

Defaulting on the debt would profoundly screw all of them.


I dunno, is there a way they can make money by betting on Twitler defaulting on the debt? They got away with betting on the collapse of the housing market while also helping to make it happen. He'd probably warn them of a default ahead of time just to stay on their good side.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:39 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


This whole Paris Agreement drama seems to indicate a typical Trump behaviour: make a big noise about X, and then when he's actually face to face with whoever he's berating he evades the issue (like that time he came to Mexico as a candidate) ; and then return home and continue acting up. He is incapable of standing his ground outside of the security of the US. Why do the whole wait-a-week-for-my-decision thing? Only so that he can get to safer ground.

Yeah, he's a bully and a coward in addition to being an incurious imbecile.

He backs down and/or runs away whenever anyone stands up to him.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:40 AM on June 1


Jonathan Chait (I KNOW GUYS, BUT WAIT) has a piece up about how Republicans were totally wrong about whether developing countries would comply with the Paris agreement:
It is worth recalling the principal argument that Republicans made against the Paris agreement from the outset was that it would have no effect on developing countries like India and China. “And you know what passing those laws would have — what impact it would have on the environment?” insisted Marco Rubio in 2016. “Zero, because China is still going to be polluting and India is still going to be polluting at historic levels … these other countries like India and China are more than making up in carbon emissions for whatever we could possibly cut.”

Why was the right so certain that India and China would continue to ramp up their carbon emissions regardless of what they said in Paris? Because, they insisted, dirty energy was and would remain the best path for them to raise their standard of living, which was and is well below American levels. National Review editor Rich Lowry, writing in December 2015, dismissed plans to steer the developing world onto a cleaner energy path as “a naive belief in the power of global shame over the sheer economic interest of developing countries in getting rich (and lifting countless millions out of poverty) through exploiting cheap energy — you know, the way Western countries have done for a couple of centuries.”

But this analysis has proven incontrovertibly false. Rather than lagging behind their promised targets, India and China are actually surpassing them. According to Climate Action Tracker, India, which had promised to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by 33–35 percent by 2030, is now on track to reduce it by 42–45 percent by that date. China promised its total emissions would peak by 2030 — an ambitious goal for a rapidly industrializing economy. It is running at least a decade ahead of that goal.

posted by lalex at 8:40 AM on June 1 [76 favorites]


He is incapable of standing his ground outside of the security of the US.

He's not capable of it inside the U.S., either. Everyone knows that he'll agree with whoever spoke to him last, which is why Bannon and Priebus make sure to schedule his availabilities so they can be the last people to talk to him so he's still on-message.
posted by Etrigan at 8:40 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


I dunno, is there a way they can make money by betting on Twitler defaulting on the debt? They got away with betting on the collapse of the housing market while also helping to make it happen. He'd probably warn them of a default ahead of time just to stay on their good side.

No, this isn't like betting on the housing market. This isn't putting money on red or black; this is setting fire to the casino.

You default on US Govt debt and you set fire to the entire global financial system. You'd create so much uncertainty and chaos that nobody would win.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:42 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Sounds like Republicans.
posted by Artw at 8:43 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Sounds like Republicans.

What effect do you think that would have on their fundraising abilities?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:44 AM on June 1




I don't really agree with the author's premise that a single label is doing as much damage as he suggests, but I do think that there's an unhelpful tendency on the left to build artificial walls between activism and resistance.

There was a group of us that talked about this right after the election. We agreed to use the words Advocates (for people who were more interested in political/social advocacy) and Activist (for people who were interested in doing more direct action). I appreciate his point. We had a lot of people coming to us (old ACT UP folks) who were very hesitant to get involved because they thought it meant they would need to consent to getting arrested, vandalism, etc. One of the things we had to do was describe that even for direct action, we needed coordinators, social media people, media spokespersons, people to post bail, if needed, etc. No action could ever be all people in the spotlight, it always takes people behind the scenes, but the behind the scenes folks are never what gets on the news or in the paper, so people never realize how necessary they are.

It definitely takes people pushing from all sides; the people making phone calls, writing letters, marching, calling for boycotts, getting arrested, attorneys knowing the laws, artists creating posters, planning actions, public performance art, wheatpasting signs at 2 a.m. etc. to make the resistance work.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:45 AM on June 1 [14 favorites]


Why is meeting with Sergey Kislyak so forgettable? Does he have one of those Men in Black pen-lights?

vivid memories turn to fantasies...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:46 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Boston scraps summit on climate with China: "As the Trump administration considers withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Wednesday that plans to hold an international climate summit in Boston this summer, an event announced to fanfare last year in Beijing, have been scrapped for lack of federal support."
posted by adamg at 8:50 AM on June 1 [12 favorites]


On the topic of lalex's link, which is pretty extraordinary for Putin now being all "yeah, sure, maybe hackers in this country did that shit", even more so is him saying: "Anything is possible in this virtual world. Russia never engages in activities of this kind, and we do not need it. It makes no sense for us to do such things. What for?"

Compare this with Putin's infamous "little green men" non-denial denial during the Russian annexation of the Crimea. He called his unmarked special ops forces "polite armed men in green", and state-run media described them as "volunteers" from "self-defence groups". This new spin on the 2016 campaign interference is classic Soviet-era maskirovka, updated for cyberwarfare.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:51 AM on June 1 [14 favorites]


Philip Pullella, Reuters (via RS): Vatican would see US Paris deal exit as slap in face: official
The Vatican, which under Pope Francis’ insistence has strongly backed the Paris climate change deal, would see a U.S. exit as a slap in the face and a “disaster for everyone,” a senior official said on Thursday.

At their meeting last month, the pope gave U.S. President Donald Trump a signed copy of his 2015 encyclical letter that called for protecting the environment from the effects of climate change and backed scientific evidence that it is caused by human activity.
O RLY?
posted by Room 641-A at 8:52 AM on June 1 [12 favorites]


> You default on US Govt debt and you set fire to the entire global financial system. You'd create so much uncertainty and chaos that nobody would win.|

Well, you see, the global economy is so big that human beings cannot directly affect it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:52 AM on June 1 [30 favorites]


The rhetoric of rights is maybe not useful here, since what we're talking about isn't abstract principles, it's access to resources. Liberals tend to cleave to the defense of abstract principles over all else, under the theory that if you get the principles right — if you identify which rights belong to all people and make a good-faith effort to defend those rights — then material equality will follow.
...
And the paper tiger of liberal human rights is easily perforated by the material force of bullets shot by and nightsticks swung by and prisons run by the lackeys of wealth.


I'd acknowledge that speaking of rights needs to be followed by speaking of actions, because even those that agree about rights can disagree about how to further them. But at the same time, I do think the rhetoric of rights is helpful in grounding conversations in what actions should try to achieve, so that we don't focus too much on processes.

Good rhetoric grounds a plan of action in a framework of reason. 'We must do these things, for these reasons; these reasons exists, therefore let us do this.' In that vein, what comes to mind -- what has come to mind a lot, in the last year or so -- has been F.D.R.'s Four Freedoms speech.
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
That's not really a statement about rights that exist -- because though they are essential, they were at the time denied to many (and F.D.R. went on to deny some of them himself). It's a statement about how we need to secure people their rights; about what people should expect of their governments, and of the world.

In the context of the original speech, in 1941, that part is the closing argument in a call to arms, to reject isolationism and oppose the Nazi regime. To build up armaments, to expand the military, to prepare to intercede abroad -- not because it was wanted, but because it was needed. But -- and this is why I think it makes for such effective rhetoric -- it isn't simply a call to arms, or an appeal to principles. It makes no effort to abandon improvements at home in support of foreign adventures, and ties together the need for people to support each other, and the government, for the common good -- not only in a military sense, but in a civic one.
We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.

We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.

We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment may obtain it.

I have called for personal sacrifice, and I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call. A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my budget message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying for today. No person should try, or be allowed to get rich out of the program, and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation.
Be ready to go to war to defend those freedoms, at home or abroad; but never let that stop us from making people's lives better; from funding healthcare, social security, unemployment, research, job training, education, food stamps -- and whatever else is needed. Pay for it with taxes, fairly, and pay for it for the enrichment of all rather than the enrichment of some. Because we're all stronger together.
posted by cjelli at 9:00 AM on June 1 [32 favorites]


I've tried several times now to think of the most generous interpretation of balking at "entitled to food" and I got nothing. I think the word "entitled" flips a switch in the conservative brain where the immediate answer is "no", whatever it is.

I put it at 99 percent chance that Smith would prefer to replace SNAP with nothing, and that the only reason he didn't say so isn't human decency, but because SNAP indirectly benefits his constituent farmers in Nebraska.

The other 1 percent chance? Maybe he's just really bad at explaining how he prefers to reduce government bureaucracy by rolling SNAP into a larger direct cash payment program with no paperwork or restrictions, or a negative income tax. That would be an alternative means of funding social welfare goals like nutrition and shelter, versus the status quo, albeit only slightly different than the magnetic strip cards widely used.
posted by pwnguin at 9:00 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


>> I dunno, is there a way they can make money by betting on Twitler defaulting on the debt? They got away with betting on the collapse of the housing market while also helping to make it happen. He'd probably warn them of a default ahead of time just to stay on their good side.

> No, this isn't like betting on the housing market. This isn't putting money on red or black; this is setting fire to the casino.


One of the observations in Kim Stanley Robinson's new book (New York 2140; it's the story of a union of renters and co-op stakeholders in drowned nearish-future lower manhattan fighting off gentrifiers from the mainland and I cannot recommend it highly enough), uh, as I was saying, one of the observations in KSR's new book is that should the extant global economic order start to really stumble in earnest, the hedge fund types will end up pushing it all the way over by, essentially, shorting capitalism itself. It's a prisoner's dilemma situation for them, and it's a guarantee that enough of them will defect to bring the whole damn thing down. defecting is what they do; none of them have any loyalties other than loyalty to self.

Capitalism is sick as fuck right now. But, unfortunately, the left is at this moment weaker than the right — at this moment; things might be different five years from now or even next year — and so if capitalism fails right now fascism, theocracy, and other types of right-wing chaos will replace it. Leftists find themselves in the position the Bolsheviks were in in June 1917, precisely 100 years ago; forced to prop up the dying liberal order for a little while longer while organizing to take over when it finally falls.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:01 AM on June 1 [16 favorites]


Alternate headline - "Trump will announce at 3pm in the Rose Garden whether to launch a pre-emptive strike against a random tiny island nation state"
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:01 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


> You default on US Govt debt and you set fire to the entire global financial system.

But how can we run the government like a (TrumpCo) business if we can't default on our debt? The voters have spoken, and surely debasing the reputation of US Treasury Bills as the world's financial safe haven is the right way to #MAGA.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:03 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Trump signed the waiver to avoid moving the embassy to Jerusalem (the same waiver that's been signed every six months since 1998).

Statement of disappointment from the Prime Minister's Office.
posted by zachlipton at 9:04 AM on June 1 [9 favorites]


Comey's testimony is set for Thursday June 8 at 10am Eastern before the Senate Intelligence Committee!
posted by zachlipton at 9:11 AM on June 1 [36 favorites]


Why is meeting with Sergey Kislyak so forgettable? Does he have one of those Men in Black pen-lights?

Yes, but it's shaped like a suitcase full of cash. You activate it by flipping it open for a few seconds while winking aggressively.
posted by Behemoth at 9:19 AM on June 1 [24 favorites]


Trump signed the waiver to avoid moving the embassy to Jerusalem (the same waiver that's been signed every six months since 1998).

An Embassy in Jerusalem? Trump Promises, but So Did Predecessors
President-elect Donald J. Trump vowed during his campaign that he would relocate the mission “fairly quickly” after taking office. That in itself is nothing new: For years, candidates running for president have promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and for years, candidates who actually became president have opted against doing so.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:19 AM on June 1


Dana Milbank, WaPo: Congressman refuses to say if Americans are entitled to eat

Were I a congressman, this would be my answer, "No, Americans are not entitled to eat. As a congressperson, I'm under an obligation to see that every American is fed as it promotes the general welfare, one of the fundamental goals of the government."

You can hang a LOT on the preamble to the US Constitution and specifically that "to promote the general welfare" part. The government should take steps to manage the economy because everyone does better when we all do better. The government should make sure no one goes hungry as long as we have the resources to do so (spoiler: we do). The government should fund public schools and pay for everyone who wants to to go to college because an educated populace promotes the general welfare. The government should take steps to curb climate changes because...well, you know.

Obviously, there are plenty of ways that a person could disagree about exactly how the government should promote the general welfare but that it's the government's role to do these things is right there on the page, right at the top of the thing.
posted by VTX at 9:20 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


President-elect Donald J. Trump vowed during his campaign that he would relocate the mission “fairly quickly” after taking office.

Trump to English translator:

Right away, the very first day, you'll be amazed, believe me: "After a long and agonizingly drawn-out period of stepping on my own dick."
Fairly quickly: "Never, ever. Ever."
Never: "Immediately. Actually I already did it."
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:23 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


Rep. Walberg (R-MI)

This amazing piece of work is my representative. The local Indivisible group is sticking it to him pretty hard. He won by 14 points in 2016 but I think he's vulnerable, especially with his hard line AHCA stance. More voters than his margin in 2016 will lose Medicaid in his district if AHCA goes through.
posted by zrail at 9:24 AM on June 1 [16 favorites]


They actually fit the vast majority of it into the Arbella and other 10 ships in the Winthrop Fleet.
Actually actually, the Mayflower that sailed to the New World in 1620 is a different ship than the Mayflower that sailed with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630.

posted by kirkaracha at 9:28 AM on June 1 [13 favorites]


NBC: Did Trump, Kushner, Sessions Have An Undisclosed Meeting With Russian?: Five current and former U.S. officials said they are aware of classified intelligence suggesting there was some sort of private encounter between Trump and his aides and the Russian envoy, despite a heated denial from Sessions, who has already come under fire for failing to disclose two separate contacts with Kislyak. Kushner also denied through a spokesman that he met privately with Kislyak that day.

(emphasis mine)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:29 AM on June 1 [34 favorites]


Have I ever met with Sergey Kislyak? At this point I can't even be sure.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:30 AM on June 1 [73 favorites]


NBC: Did Trump, Kushner, Sessions Have An Undisclosed Meeting With Russian?

Goddammit, 2017 is even fucking up Betteridge's Law.
posted by Etrigan at 9:30 AM on June 1 [39 favorites]


So it wasn't just Sessions at the Mayflower Hotel. The really dark timeline theory of this would be if they never actually met with Kislyak privately at all, but the Russians claimed to have done so over a line they knew was monitored in order to create further chaos and discord.
posted by zachlipton at 9:31 AM on June 1 [6 favorites]


Comey's testimony is set for Thursday June 8 at 10am Eastern before the Senate Intelligence Committee!

Oooooooo, so much to do beforehand:
√ --Rearrange work schedule
-- Set DVR just in case
-- Bulk order popcorn
-- Pick up ample quantities of Pimm's and Grape Crush
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:35 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


Goddammit, 2017 is even fucking up Betteridge's Law.

Ah yes, Fahrenthold's Inversion Principle.
posted by Behemoth at 9:36 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


> Russians claimed to have done so over a line they knew was monitored in order to create further chaos and discord.

And to mix a few metaphors, the boy who cried wolf is hoist by their own petard. I like it. I like it a lot.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:36 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Oh man, after all that fantastic work by WaPo and NYT, NBC may have grabbed the brass ring. Bummer! Andrea Mitchell must be going bonkers on MSNBC right about now.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:38 AM on June 1


What effect do you think that would have on their fundraising abilities?

Does it hurt the fundraising abilities of the Democrats?

To quote the Liberal Redneck, Trump supporters would let him set their houses on fire if the liberals across the street had to choke on the smoke.

I'm not saying Goldman is that stupid, but I'm not silly enough to put any level of stupidity past this administration.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:40 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Thursday June 8th? Hell way too much water will be under the bridge by then.
posted by Oyéah at 9:41 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


I am always reminded that the Russians burned down Moscow in order to thwart Napoleon's invasion of the city, as the winter came on.
posted by Oyéah at 9:43 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]



I just put 'Comey testimony' into my calendar and set a reminder.

Adding 'Plan to specifically block off time and watch US senate committee hearing' onto my list of things I never would have thought I'd be doing before November 2016.
posted by Jalliah at 9:43 AM on June 1 [37 favorites]


Actually actually, the Mayflower that sailed to the New World in 1620 is a different ship than the Mayflower that sailed with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630.

Well sure. I meant that the Separatist passengers on the original Mayflower and their descendants had far less impact (relatively speaking) on US culture than the big-ass incursion of Puritans who came on the Winthrop Fleet and fared much better in terms of establishing a permanent and influential presence.

But they all had the same fucked-up values and belief system, so six of one, half dozen of another.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:43 AM on June 1


can nunes get slapped for contempt of congress for filing subpeonas in an investigation he's recused from? (mostly joking but what the hell is he doing, he's like the keystone kop of collaborators)
posted by murphy slaw at 9:45 AM on June 1 [16 favorites]


Why do I believe that?” he went on. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

Ted Lieu @tedlieu
I've read the Bible. God doesn't actually say that. (tweet)
posted by Room 641-A at 9:49 AM on June 1 [64 favorites]


I just put 'Comey testimony' into my calendar and set a reminder.

As a cherry on top of the much prayed for impeachment sundae, if the Comey testimony gets really high ratings, that will bug Trump quite a bit.
posted by puddledork at 9:53 AM on June 1 [8 favorites]


We may need to start typing Ted Lieu National Treasure Ted Lieu.
posted by lalex at 9:53 AM on June 1 [30 favorites]