It's day 162 with POTUS45, marking another helluva week in US news
June 30, 2017 8:00 AM   Subscribe

 
Hurrah! Thanks, flt!
posted by kingless at 8:02 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


My bet is that Trump's "big surprise" is like so much of what he says... something to say just to be saying something. My kids did that, but they grew out of it.
posted by Miss Cellania at 8:03 AM on June 30 [18 favorites]


A stat on the WTF site states that 11% of respondents are "excited" about how things are going in Washington.

What's that adage about how some people just want to watch the world burn?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:04 AM on June 30 [11 favorites]


"big surprise - the goat gland surgery has been a success and i am a MAN!!! - doctors say side fx won't be ongoing"

(fake)
posted by pyramid termite at 8:05 AM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Argh. I love you filthy light thief, but I can't believe even on MeFi we are not treating this story as a big enough deal to make it into a front page post...

Shane Harris for WSJ: GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn.

The article says there is evidence of "Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn."

It also says that a longtime Republican opposition researcher tried to find someone with access to e-mails stolen by Russian intelligence through online hacker forums. In doing so, he would say "I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this—if you find anything, can you let me know?"

This is evidence of collusion.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:05 AM on June 30 [159 favorites]


What Is Kate's law? The Bill Is Named After Kate Steinle, Who Was Shot By An Undocumented Immigrant

Kate's Law Would Intensify Penalties For Undocumented Immigrants Who Were Previously Convicted Of Crimes

posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:06 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]




Jonah Goldberg is as dishonest and one would expect the editor of National Review to be -- he's the clown who wrote a book suggesting that fascism is a liberal phenomenon -- but he recognizes that Trump is dangerous to the conservative brand. He was NPR this morning to discuss Trump's tweets.

He expressed amazement that no Republicans are defending the Senate health care bill (why aren't people talking about what's good about it? Because the only selling point is tax cuts for the rich, you dope!) and opined that McConnell isn't actually that enthusiastic about passing it, likening the effort to just "checking a box."
posted by Gelatin at 8:10 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Thanks so much, FLT. My humble addition is National Treasure Charlie Pierce's highly entertaining (aka, foaming at the mouth) and complete summary of the fraudulent voter fraud commission.
posted by martin q blank at 8:11 AM on June 30 [14 favorites]


We've gotten so used to the collusion that evidence of it just sort of bobs around doing nothing.
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on June 30 [25 favorites]


Let's also discuss Trump's using the National Enquirer to try and blackmail Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, amid reports of NE reporters harassing Brzezinski and her kids.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:15 AM on June 30 [38 favorites]


He really is the Gamergate president.
posted by Artw at 8:16 AM on June 30 [125 favorites]


So is the thought process on bypassing the conference committee that House members are going to be ignorant of what's in the Senate bill? Because it seems like ramming the Senate bill down the House's throat isn't a solution to the problems of keeping the Tea Party and moderate votes all on board unless they're ignorant of what's in it. Those problems have existed every step of the way and this doesn't change the dynamic. Plus probably throw in some House bitterness over Trump throwing the AHCA under the bus and treating the situation like the House messed up and now the Senate grown-ups need to clean up their mess (with a worse bill?), and even more time has passed for the public to get to know and loathe these GOP healthcare disasters.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:18 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Hey, all. I don't usually comment in these posts, but I wanted to pop in and say that I really appreciate both the posts and the comments. My media diet is getting leaner and leaner because I simply can't handle it - but the political posts here on Mefi are enough to keep me informed while offering commiseration and thoughtful commentary. So, thanks. Cheers!
posted by Elly Vortex at 8:19 AM on June 30 [107 favorites]


Thanks for the new thread, documenting our latest slide towards the apocalypse.
posted by zarq at 8:21 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Checking the box score from the last thread, we see that Congress can impeach whenever they want, for whatever they want.

It's sweet that talking heads are mad about "the facelift tweet" but let's get on with the tone of national dialogue:

He CAN be impeached
He SHOULD be impeached
He MUST be impeached

(Also stop the cruel healthcare bill, the cruel immigration actions, the fraudulent voter fraud fraud, respect the rule of law, respect the environment, unf#<% the State Department, and WH Press corps give back that steaming pile of relations; do good work!)
posted by petebest at 8:23 AM on June 30 [19 favorites]


Master Troll Pete Souza at it again: Respect for women

Once upon a time, women held serious positions, and could safely express real reactions during substantive conversation with the president. And no one commented on what they wore.

But this is 2017, and respect for women is no more.
posted by Dashy at 8:24 AM on June 30 [25 favorites]


Thanks everyone for the good information and commentary.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:25 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


My media diet is getting leaner and leaner because I simply can't handle it
Yeah, I'm not quite as active because a)I'm trying to disengage just a smidge for sanity reasons, b) WTFJHT.com is actually a really good snapshot/encapsulation of stuff, and c)I'm really trying to read more longform stuff - I've got a recc list that's getting out of hand, so it seemed to be a good time to step back.
posted by eclectist at 8:26 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]




Fox & Friends defends Trump's sexist Twitter tirade against MSNBC host
PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): If you spend 10 seconds watching [MSNBC's Morning Joe], you're going to see factless insults. It's unhinged. Blinded by Trump-hatred. They're happy to use him for ratings before the election. And then once he changes or they don't like what he does, they turn on him like a petulant child and insult, insult, insult. And then they wonder why the world's best counter-puncher says, "You know what, it's about time I punch back."

[...]

DOOCY: Absolutely. Look, when you're president of the United States you don't give up your First Amendment right.
I'm sure when the founders were kicking around ideas for the Bill of Rights and came up with this whole free speech thing, the idea of the President attacking a member of the media was first and foremost in their minds.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:26 AM on June 30 [59 favorites]


Thanks so much, FLT. My humble addition is National Treasure Charlie Pierce's highly entertaining (aka, foaming at the mouth) and complete summary of the fraudulent voter fraud commission.

And right on schedule, fellow voter suppression weasel and racist shithead Hans van Spakovsky was just officially appointed to Kobach's racist voter suppression shithead council.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:28 AM on June 30 [29 favorites]


Let's also discuss toddler's using the National Enquirer to try and blackmail Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, amid reports of NE reporters harassing Brzezinski and her kids.

The whole thing is nicely timed with this week's deep dive in the New Yorker by Jeffrey Toobin, on National Enquirer's sycophantic approach to the toddler in chief.
posted by Dashy at 8:28 AM on June 30 [19 favorites]


Why would they skip the conference committee? Just to speed up the process so they can get to tax reform before it's too late?

We know why they did it with ACA -- the Democrats lost their super-majority in the Senate and wouldn't be able to pass the bill ("conference report") that came out of conference committee.
posted by notyou at 8:29 AM on June 30


Ironically, the five days I spent in Washington DC last week were the most politics-free and news-free days I've had in almost a year. It was a nice break.
posted by rocket88 at 8:29 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Chris Hayes had a republican congressman on who sounded completely ignorant of even what the conference committee is: Twitvid
posted by zakur at 8:29 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


My media diet is getting leaner and leaner because I simply can't handle it

Yeah, I'm not quite as active because a)I'm trying to disengage just a smidge for sanity reasons, b) WTFJHT.com is actually a really good snapshot/encapsulation of stuff, and c)I'm really trying to read more longform stuff - I've got a recc list that's getting out of hand, so it seemed to be a good time to step back.


I'm partial to Vox Sentences myself.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:30 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to imagine what my reaction would have been if, say 15 years ago, someone told me that something called 'tweeting' would play such a big role in politics.
posted by jonmc at 8:31 AM on June 30 [13 favorites]


And then once he changes or they don't like what he does, they turn on him like a petulant child and insult, insult, insult. And then they wonder why the world's best counter-puncher says, "You know what, it's about time I punch back."

That leopard will never eat *my* face! I'm not like those other pundits!
posted by harriet vane at 8:32 AM on June 30 [13 favorites]


My lack of angst over this Kate's Law stuff is making me feel like a bad leftie. It seems mostly pointless and I cannot think of a single law named after a crime victim that wasn't useless at best and more likely harmful. But... eh. Looking at the bill text the only thing that jumps out at me as bothersome is that fact that it includes drug misdemeanors, which I for the most part wish didn't exist at all. But as a group, folks that have multiple violence offense convictions aren't who I'm really worrying about.
posted by phearlez at 8:32 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


DOOCY: Absolutely. Look, when you're president of the United States you don't give up your First Amendment right.

In fact, since Trump is the president, if he stopped himself from tweeting, that would be the government infringing on his free speech, a true first amendment violation. Maybe he (in his capacity as a private citizen) should file a claim against himself (in his capacity as president). Though, I'm not sure if he's exhausted all of his administrative remedies in the matter.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:34 AM on June 30 [17 favorites]


OnceUponATime: Argh. I love you filthy light thief, but I can't believe even on MeFi we are not treating this story as a big enough deal to make it into a front page post...

Thanks for bringing it back up in the beginning of this thread. There's just so much going on, still/always, so I included the WTFJHT link in the main post, to bring it (back) to people's attention as a place to get quick overview of holygodsbelow everything that is going on, day by day.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 AM on June 30 [5 favorites]


As XKCD quoted, "I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express."
posted by phearlez at 8:36 AM on June 30 [181 favorites]


From last thread, the framing of This is Normal (Alex Pareene/Salon) is that activities of the Trump Administration are normal for Republican administrations in general, not isolated wacky behavior that would totally go away with a different Republican president.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:37 AM on June 30 [12 favorites]


Excuse me politics thread, can I have a minor freakout in here? I put up a public facebook post about my family's medical experiences and Tammy Baldwin's staff got in touch with me and TAMMY BALDWIN IS COMING TO MY HOUSE to film some sort of ad aaaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAHHHHHHHHHHH

I'm feeling super calm about this
posted by gerstle at 8:40 AM on June 30 [292 favorites]


This is evidence of collusion.

I don't think Donald tried to purposely distract from this with the Mika and Joe thing. I think that many times he looks like he is but it's not in the way where someone sits down and thinks up a distraction in a mindful manner. Donald seems to be the type of person where something bad in one area happens, something that he has little control over and he looks somewhere else to vent his rage and aggression. Donald already has a grudge against them and all it took was him watching it, them saying something bad and boom he has his vent.

The thing that's wild about it is that there are indications that he, the wh and some allies knew what was coming as they've all been floating that 'so what is so bad about collusion huh? I mean Hilary Obama did it too line?'. The story comes out and bamn, nadda, everyone including the people who are supposed to be spinning it in Trumps favour are stuck spinning the Mika and Joe thing. So I'm not sure that it's totally bad that people aren't collusion, collusion, collusion omg that they would be if it was the only big story. Trump may have distracted from it but he's also distracted people from his own talking points and they lose out on the opportunity to set a narrative in the publics mind.

And the neat thing is that the collusion thing is going to stick around in the background no matter what Trump does because it's a legal issue not dependent on 'spin'. Mika and Joe will fade away in a few days. The collusion story is going to pop up, over and over so any respite that Trump and his people might be feeling is only an illusion.

Longer term this Mika and Joe thing is a bonus. It's shit like this, his personality, his character that set the stage for people putting more credence into the actual legal evidence of crap he's done.
posted by Jalliah at 8:40 AM on June 30 [42 favorites]


PBS Newshour link to the conference with the president of Korea. Supposed to begin any minute.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:42 AM on June 30


Looking at the bill text the only thing that jumps out at me as bothersome is that fact that it includes drug misdemeanors, which I for the most part wish didn't exist at all. But as a group, folks that have multiple violence offense convictions aren't who I'm really worrying about.

Perhaps consult the ACLU. [PDF]
posted by mykescipark at 8:44 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


This is Normal (Alex Pareene/Salon)

It's not normal.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:44 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Collusion is established, nobody is going to question it happened anymore, but it just doesn't matter. Which is incredible.
posted by Artw at 8:45 AM on June 30 [11 favorites]


nobody is going to question it happened anymore

This is not true.

You have only to dip the tiniest toe into right wing media and the comments sections thereof to see that it's not true.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:46 AM on June 30 [15 favorites]


It also says that a longtime Republican opposition researcher tried to find someone with access to e-mails stolen by Russian intelligence through online hacker forums. In doing so, he would say "I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this—if you find anything, can you let me know?"

The guy tasked with finding the Russian hackers, Eric York, deleted his Facebook account overnight. He's feeling the heat.
posted by scalefree at 8:46 AM on June 30 [7 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year! 3:48 AM - 30 Jun 2017

Chicago Tribune: As Chicago announces fed help to fight gun crimes, Trump tweets violence has reached 'epidemic proportions'
Twenty federal gun agents have been assigned to Chicago to join a newly formed task force aimed at cutting the flow of illegal guns into the city and cracking down on people repeatedly arrested on gun charges.

Hours after the Chicago police department sent out a press release about the task force, President Trump claimed credit for sending in the agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Politico: Trump says he's sending feds to Chicago to help with crime problem
While it was unclear exactly what Trump was referring to, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that about 20 more U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents have been sent to Chicago to combat gun violence.
posted by christopherious at 8:46 AM on June 30 [5 favorites]


Sorry, I guess I'm feeling kinda stroppy today. I'm gonna go take a walk.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:47 AM on June 30


So wrt Pence-Kobach led plan to get voter registration information, cross posting what I said on the Facebooks.

"Let me get this straight...Let me make sure I'm putting the pieces together.

Federal Commission led by Pence and an Arkansas governor want voter registration data from every state.

A growing number of states are telling them to go pound sound and saying they won't comply.

Lord Dampnut's followers (and presumably Donnie McSmallhands himself soon) are in an uproar because "States can't turn down the Federal Government Rabble Rabble"

YOUR ENTIRE PARTY'S PLATFORM IS BUILT ON STATES RIGHTS (and ya know, fuck the poor)

It's possible I woke up in a parallel universe where the Right WASN'T the party of States Rights, but all other signs point toward "still stuck in the Dumpster Fire made flesh" universe."
posted by Twain Device at 8:50 AM on June 30 [54 favorites]


Perhaps consult the ACLU. [PDF]

That's last year's version (and last year's letter), which included mandatory minimums. They've been removed; you can consult the bill text I linked above.

I'm not gonna call anyone to support this bill but if we were in a functioning bipartisan operation I'd find this year's variation on this an acceptable sop to the immigration freaks (if it took out the misdemeanor drug offenses). People who commit violence against others aren't folks I'm excited to share a society with. I agree it's a waste of money to imprison them but I guess at my age I'm more inured to that aspect of our government. Plus as an advocate for lifetime imprisonment over executions I'd feel a little hypocritical condemning imprisonment purely on financial grounds.
posted by phearlez at 8:51 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


In summary: zero sum attitude towards defense, a dig at Obama, and our trade with Korea is nothing but bad, unfair, deals.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:54 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Working in immigration law as I do, I've encountered lots of folks who have been put into deportation proceedings or come close to it based on their criminal records. Some of the crimes in question were moderately severe, like domestic violence or large-scale shoplifting, and it wouldn't have pained me to see them kicked out of the country. But the others...

I've seen a guy get in deep trouble over an arrest for marijuana possession, for which he was never convicted, nearly twenty years in the past.

I've seen an elderly man, a WWII veteran, risk his naturalization case because when he was in the U.S. Navy seventy years ago he (and his shipmates, of course) patronized some prostitutes at some foreign port of call.

I've seen a dude go before an immigration judge with a theft conviction on his record because he had stolen a pen. Accidentally. A drugstore clerk handed him the pen to sign his receipt, and instead of handing it back he absentmindedly put it in his pocket and walked out, whereupon a security guard tackled him in the parking lot and handed him over to the cops. His lawyer, who had no idea about the repercussions to his immigration status, told him to plead guilty.

And I've seen a man have his marriage case endangered because thirty years ago, he kissed his boyfriend in a national park and a ranger charged him with disturbing the peace.

Immigrating to the United States is hard enough. We don't need more bullshit like Kate's Law making it even tougher.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:54 AM on June 30 [185 favorites]


aimed at cutting the flow of illegal guns into the city

If only we could think of ways to reduce the number of guns out there. It's truly a mysterious problem. /s
posted by phearlez at 8:54 AM on June 30 [20 favorites]


This is Normal (Alex Pareene/Salon)

It's not normal.


I'm past giving a shit whether or not this is normal or not; more important is that none of this is right. Things are badly broken and no one appears to be doing anything.
posted by nubs at 8:57 AM on June 30 [16 favorites]


Perhaps you should shut down the sale of all guns for 90 days while you figure out what's going on?
posted by Devonian at 8:59 AM on June 30 [154 favorites]


Hans van Spakovsky

More evidence that the writers are getting lazy: the name practically telegraphs "villain".
posted by Slothrup at 8:59 AM on June 30 [21 favorites]


Let me get this straight...Let me make sure I'm putting the pieces together.

There's a major component of this that most people seem to be missing so far. DOJ asked states for complementary data on the same day. They're gearing up for a lawsuit against the states to force Voter ID, interstate crosscheck & other vote suppression schemes nationwide. Basically it's a Voting Rights Act in reverse.
posted by scalefree at 8:59 AM on June 30 [36 favorites]


I don't think Donald tried to purposely distract from this with the Mika and Joe thing.

I disagree, to a point. His social media director tweeted insults at Mika and Joe 30 minutes prior to Donnie Two-Scoops's tweets. This was a coordinated social media effort, for some unknown purpose. My gut feeling is that this was intentional; someone on his staff knew it would distract from the collusion evidence reveal, and rolled with it. It's not like Donnie wouldn't go along with the idea to get some attention by insulting a girl on twitter, y'know?
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:02 AM on June 30 [12 favorites]


Literally no one ever has ever cared about state's rights. people don't feel that way about implementation details of federal/multi-tier governing systems. When it appears that people feel that way about the implementation details of federal/multi-tier governing systems, it's because they have reason to believe that a specific level of government will implement their preferred policies in a specific case.

The only reason people — left, liberal, or hard-right — talk about these administrative details is because it's widely believed that if you discuss decision-making processes rather than specific decisions, you're thereby strengthening your argument — you're not saying "the government should implement this thing we want cause we want it," you're saying "the government should follow this particular procedure because in abstract terms that procedure is the most fair procedure oh and also it yields the result I prefer," which (provided you say the quiet part quiet enough) makes you come off as a disinterested, even-handed arbiter rather than as an actual participant in politics. It's a way of pretending that you'd be on the side you're on even if you didn't have material reason to be on that side.

It's a rhetorical move that's sometimes effective at moving the masses, but that should never be taken as a sincere statement of personal belief.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:04 AM on June 30 [83 favorites]


"State's Rights" as a slogan never once meant anything other than "we want to say white supremacy with some plausible deniability" and if you're baffled that right-wingers are a-okay using the federal government to trample the states, it's because you fucking fell for it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:10 AM on June 30 [62 favorites]


> The only reason people — left, liberal, or hard-right — talk about these administrative details is because it's widely believed that if you discuss decision-making processes rather than specific decisions, you're thereby strengthening your argument

No, actually, a lot of liberals believe in the concept of a strong federal government as a political objective in and of itself, irrespective of other political goals that may be hindered by that belief.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:13 AM on June 30 [16 favorites]


More Bob Vulfov, McSweeney's: MY NAME IS MITCH MCCONNELL AND I OWE THANATOS, THE GOD OF DEATH, 22 MILLION HUMAN SOULS
I wish there were another way, I really do. I’ve read many health care proposals from conservative think tanks that would provide a tax break to the wealthiest Americans while also providing coverage to those who need it. I could easily pass any of those bills with enough bipartisan support in the House and Senate. But, those bills won’t provide me with the death count I need to escape the grip of Thanatos and his sinister bargain. Boy, oh boy. What a pickle I am in.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:14 AM on June 30 [90 favorites]


needs [satire] tag.
posted by dragstroke at 9:17 AM on June 30 [12 favorites]


WOW gerstle! Let us know how it goes.
posted by yoga at 9:18 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


gerstle: Thank you for being willing to put your family's medical experiences out there to help fight Trumpcare.

It's these sorts of personal stories that turn the tide.
posted by mcduff at 9:18 AM on June 30 [26 favorites]


I disagree, to a point. His social media director tweeted insults at Mika and Joe 30 minutes prior to Donnie Two-Scoops's tweets. This was a coordinated social media effort, for some unknown purpose. My gut feeling is that this was intentional; someone on his staff knew it would distract from the collusion evidence reveal, and rolled with it. It's not like Donnie wouldn't go along with the idea to get some attention by insulting a girl on twitter, y'know?

That's just his social media guy leading him by the nose, not any kind of strategic plan by Trump himself. He has urges & follows them. When things get hot & uncomfortable in one aspect of his life he feels an increased urge to lash out at someone else, as much to distract himself as anyone else. Anything to fill the void at the place where his soul should be.
posted by scalefree at 9:19 AM on June 30 [8 favorites]




Meanwhile, in Maine....

Last night the legislature came to a compromise state budget agreement that everyone hates (adds new taxes on lodging, overturns the voter-approved tax surcharge earmarked for education funding and so vastly reduces the amount of money the state will provide to local districts to support public education), but that a bare majority of legislators will vote for.

Today, Paul LePage says he won't sign it, but he won't veto it either. Instead, he's going to simply sit on it for ten working days, meaning that the State will shut down for two weeks. 12,000+ state workers will be furloughed without pay. Essential workers (particularly the state police and state park staff) will work those two weeks without any pay. Local activists have a court hearing scheduled today at 1 pm to force the state to pay state benefits (particularly food assistance) during the shutdown. The last time the state shut down (in 1991) those benefits were not paid.

So, in summary, our Governor is a complete shithead who will cause suffering to tens of thousands of people to satisfy his own ego instead of doing his job.
posted by anastasiav at 9:23 AM on June 30 [80 favorites]


Narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury

Exactly. God I love the Internet sometimes. Mostly when it says I'm right.
posted by scalefree at 9:26 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]




So, in summary, our Governor is a complete shithead who will cause suffering to tens of thousands of people to satisfy his own ego instead of doing his job.

This describes the Governors of many states these days, unfortunately.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:27 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]




> So, in summary, our Governor is a complete shithead who will cause suffering to tens of thousands of people to satisfy his own ego instead of doing his job.

AKA "The 2020 GOP Presidential frontrunner."
posted by tonycpsu at 9:27 AM on June 30 [5 favorites]


three more years of this?
posted by infini at 9:28 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


It's only the end of June. It feels like it's been a few years since the inauguration. Damn, this is exhausting.
posted by azpenguin at 9:31 AM on June 30 [42 favorites]


I'm sorry, entire state of Maine. Christ what an asshole.
posted by greermahoney at 9:35 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


we desperately need a national consensus that if a state - or federal government, does not pass its budget by its appointed deadline, the government is dissolved, new elections are held and NONE of the office holders will be allowed to run in those elections
posted by pyramid termite at 9:37 AM on June 30 [58 favorites]


Today, Paul LePage says he won't sign it, but he won't veto it either.

From the article:
LePage said his major objections were the overall monetary total for the budget package, which is around $7.1 billion, and the fact that it proposes raising the state’s lodging tax from 9 percent to 10.5 percent.

“On June 30, they’re trying to put a gun to the governor’s head,” LePage said. “There will not be a signature on anything that increases taxes. There is plenty of money.”
One and a half percentage point increase in the lodging tax. Like, a few dollars on an average hotel night, mostly paid by people from out of state. But that's too much, because it contravenes the "only cut taxes" GOP dogma.

I guess if you literally only have one public policy idea, you have to stick to your guns on it.
posted by jcreigh at 9:40 AM on June 30 [30 favorites]


I guess if you literally only have one public policy idea, you have to stick to your guns on it.

Sticking to guns is Republicans' other only public policy idea.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:42 AM on June 30 [61 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: After the president’s tweet, I must withdraw my support for everything but his agenda
I stand with my colleagues in Congress to say: The president’s tweet is beneath the dignity of the office.

This is not making America great.

The president has at last done the unthinkable: He has insulted a morning television personality in crude and ghastly terms
and I must — in consequence of this hideous and vile breach of the dignity of the office — withdraw none of my support from his legislative agenda. (If you can call it a legislative agenda and not a ragtag collection of bad ideas quickly stapled together with a dead pigeon in the middle.)

His remark about Mika Brzezinski is absolutely shameful and I do not stand with him, except insofar as it is necessary to stand with him so that we can make sure infants get access to pesticides, as the Founders would have wished.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:42 AM on June 30 [153 favorites]


One and a half percentage point increase in the lodging tax. Like, a few dollars on an average hotel night, mostly paid by people from out of state. But that's too much, because it contravenes the "only cut taxes" GOP dogma.

So, here's the punchline to that: In LePage's original budget proposal, back in January, he proposed increasing the lodging tax from 9% to 10%. They literally did the thing he himself proposed, but now he's using it as an excuse not to sign.

Jesus wept.
posted by anastasiav at 9:43 AM on June 30 [54 favorites]


Oh hey the Texas Supreme Court is a piece of shit again.

Those the law refuses to protect owe it nothing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:44 AM on June 30 [13 favorites]


if a state - or federal government, does not pass its budget by its appointed deadline, the government is dissolved

So if Republicans want to destroy the government, all they'd have to do is obstruct a budget resolution?
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:46 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


I really didn't think the Morning Joe tweet would be the "surely this" that we were waiting for, but uh, okay?
posted by miratime at 9:47 AM on June 30 [14 favorites]


So if Republicans want to destroy the government, all they'd have to do is obstruct a budget resolution?

yes, but they'll have to find other people to run in the resulting election
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


He MUST be impeached

Count your votes, what no majority? Well get to work gerrymandering for your side, maybe fix the score by 2022?
posted by sammyo at 9:49 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Looks like Kushner was the "top admin official" orchestrating the Enquier/Morning Joe blackmail [NYMag]:
In mid-April, Scarborough texted with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner about the pending Enquirer story. Kushner told Scarborough that he would need to personally apologize to Trump in exchange for getting Enquirer owner David Pecker to stop the story. (A spokesperson for Kushner declined to comment). Scarborough says he refused, and the Enquirer published the story in print on June 5, headlined “Morning Joe Sleazy Cheating Scandal!”
posted by melissasaurus at 9:49 AM on June 30 [69 favorites]


I can't believe Maine Guy is going to shut down the state parks over the July 4th weekend. That's a recipe for a backlash.
posted by bq at 9:49 AM on June 30 [15 favorites]


Oh hey the Texas Supreme Court is a piece of shit again.

There possibly has never been a time it wasn't a piece of shit. They are currently all statewide elected Republican justices. It is often only when you find yourself directly downwind that you are rudely reminded of its inherent fecality...
posted by jim in austin at 9:51 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Guys, sorry for the delay on elections news. I'm under the weather. Will return anon.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:52 AM on June 30 [31 favorites]


I really didn't think the Morning Joe tweet would be the "surely this" that we were waiting for, but uh, okay?

I know but when you have the president basically publicly indicting himself as a co-conspirator in a blackmail case it gets kind of harder to ignore.
posted by Talez at 9:52 AM on June 30 [20 favorites]


> Looks like Kushner was the "top admin official" orchestrating the Enquier/Morning Joe blackmail [NYMag]:

Dang, he really is a wunderkind to be able to juggle blackmailing of media figures while also bringing peace to the Middle East, ending the opioid epidemic, and reforming the criminal justice system.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:53 AM on June 30 [54 favorites]


"Let me get this straight...Let me make sure I'm putting the pieces together.

Federal Commission led by Pence and an Arkansas governor want voter registration data from every state.


It's not particularly relevant to your larger point — Kobach is a garbage person no matter where he's from — but he's the Kansas Secretary of State, not governor of Arkansas.
posted by rewil at 9:53 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Have no fear, Massachusettsians and Quebecois (whom I assume make up the bulk of visitors to Maine this time of year): Our Boy Paul has declared state park workers "essential," so they have to report to work, even if they won't get paid.
posted by adamg at 9:53 AM on June 30 [14 favorites]


Federal Commission led by Pence and an Arkansas governor want voter registration data from every state.

Have they requested the data be encrypted? Because I'm seeing some concern about that on Twitter...
posted by suelac at 9:57 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Dang, he really is a wunderkind to be able to juggle blackmailing of media figures while also bringing peace to the Middle East, ending the opioid epidemic, and reforming the criminal justice system.

Wunderkind? I thought the word was spelled "consigliere".
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:59 AM on June 30 [14 favorites]


Okay so, collusion with Russia, blackmailing a media figure, and inarguably unstable and unfit to be Predisent.

Is it any wonder 80% of Republicans love the guy?
posted by petebest at 9:59 AM on June 30 [9 favorites]




I know but when you have the president basically publicly indicting himself as a co-conspirator in a blackmail case it gets kind of harder to ignore.

We've been here before. Nothing is going to touch the fucker.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on June 30 [16 favorites]


Federal Commission led by Pence and an Arkansas governor want voter registration data from every state.

Have they requested the data be encrypted? Because I'm seeing some concern about that on Twitter.


Yeah the letter just provided an email destination for the request (a secure FTP drop was the second fallback option listed) with no mention of any security. It's the usual clown show.
posted by phearlez at 10:02 AM on June 30 [9 favorites]


What's that adage about how some people just want to watch the world burn?

To be fair, if you've never seen a large ship sink, it really is pretty captivating.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:04 AM on June 30 [11 favorites]


Have they requested the data be encrypted?

I thought that they were just asking for data that are already publicly (or at least widely) available? (Which is still slightly confusing to me because then why do they need to ask for it in the first place?)
posted by ElKevbo at 10:07 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]




There's a huge failure of imagination involved in making the move from saying "the state needs enough authority and legitimacy and force of law behind it to enact public policy that can be taken seriously and do good" versus "Regulations and state power are always good things." Believe me, I've seen the law and regulations screw people unfairly enough to know it doesn't always or even often work as intended now, but the solution to that isn't to quit trying and fall back on beliefs and ways of doing things we already know don't work any better. Also, it's a huge mistake to think that just having a rule or policy means institutions and the legal system can run on autopilot without human judgement playing a role. You need the right system and people heavily invested and committed to making it work because no system of any kind humans build or conceive could ever be self policing and immune to mismanagement and abuse. That's not a private/public sector problem, but just an ordinary human fallibility + challenges of organizational complexity problem. The impulse to just throw the entire federal government into a wastebasket because it's been failing us pretty badly for a while now is a childish impulse that goes in exactly the wrong direction to bring real improvement to our lives. Like it or not, there's just no alternative to having democratic mechanisms for establishing and enforcing rules of fairplay and to look out for the general welfare of Americans other than to leave those kinds of concerns up to chance and the whims of whoever has enough material and economic power to set the rules when there's a power vacuum at the level of state authority. When the government didn't play an active role, people were actively oppressed and forced to live under the de facto law of whoever had the most monopoly power over economic resources. The trend for the last 30 years or so has been to increase that trend toward a reversal of democratic norms and political institutions responsive to the popular will and longer term public interest.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:08 AM on June 30 [11 favorites]


Talking points for your state's top election official (usually Sec. of State or Governor) to demand they withhold voter roles from Kris Kobach:
  • Expect official to withhold the information
  • Widespread voter fraud is not occurring
  • Expect them to publicly state that they will protect voter data from this predatory UnAmerican "commission"
  • Commission cannot be trusted because is headed by Kris Kobach, notorious for illegally disenfranchising eligible voters and lying in court about intending to illegally disenfranchise voters
  • Sensitive information will apparently be made public, include each voter's name, birth date, address, party affiliation, last 4 social security digits, and voting history
  • While some of these data are public, the confluence of them make them a ripe target for identity theft and for systematized harassment
  • The intent of the commission is disenfranchise voters and allow systematized harassment campaigns to be conducted against voters
For officials who seem to be inclined to comply:
  • Complying with this demand will make utterly clear that they are a rubber stamp for the agendas of Donald Trump, Kris Kobach, and D**id D*ke
  • Such compliance would show that they do not support one of our most treasured rights--the right to vote
  • Compliance ensure that you will campaign against them and make sure everyone you know will be told repeatedly of their weakness in the face of Trump's racist, UnAmerican agenda
For those who have resisted:
  • Thank them for protecting our voting rights and resisting the Trump agenda
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:13 AM on June 30 [47 favorites]


TPM's Josh Marshall with Questions To Consider About That WSJ Collusion Article:
Second, Smith wasn’t some random GOP operative with some time on his hands. He had been deep in the the ‘Arkansas Project’ back in the 90s, the money operation that brought us ‘troopergate’ back in the day and to a great extent brought us ‘Whitewater’. Smith had long histories with a lot of big GOP players who are still very active and a number of people who are now top people in the Trump world. [...]

Let’s also remember that this isn’t the first case of this. A month ago two other reporters from the Journal published a story about Aaron Nevins, a GOP political consultant in Florida who reached out to Guccifer 2.0 (now widely believed to have been a front of fictive personality used by Russian intelligence operatives) looking for more operational data for campaigns he was running last year. Shane Harris, the reporter on the new story, also contributed reporting to that story about Aaron Nevins. [...]

This seems to have been a widespread belief among the more adventurous run of GOP political operatives last year: if your interests align with Russian intelligence operatives, it’s not a problem.

I doubt this is the last or even the 10th from last story we’ll hear like this.


posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:20 AM on June 30 [44 favorites]


I thought that they were just asking for data that are already publicly (or at least widely) available?

They're going to be giving away names, addresses, registration status, party affiliation, and LAST FOUR SSN NUMBERS.

I barely trust my employer with this information, much less the aforesaid clown show. Think of the damage that is going to be done with that information, even ignoring the possibility of voter suppression. Before you can spit the script-kiddies in St. Petersburg will be going to town with it.
posted by suelac at 10:20 AM on June 30 [42 favorites]


> There's a huge failure of imagination involved in making the move from saying "the state needs enough authority and legitimacy and force of law behind it to enact public policy that can be taken seriously and do good" versus "Regulations and state power are always good things."

What argument are you responding to here? Because "regulations and state power are always good things" is a sentiment I don't think I've ever seen expressed with any sincerity on this site.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:26 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Add Tennessee to the list of states telling them to go pound sand on the voter registration:

Well bra-vo. Good to see my state doing something right for a change.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:29 AM on June 30 [8 favorites]


Smith had long histories with a lot of big GOP players who are still very active and a number of people who are now top people in the Trump world.

This is important to the narrative, not just because of the potential scope it implies, but also because it helps shut down one of the GOP's main talking points: "He's new at this; he's an outsider; don't blame us for Trump's actions; etc." This was a long-time GOP operative who did this, not some 20 year old gamergater who sells Trump Org timeshares. And it helps highlight that the GOP political strategy went full reactionary-Trumpist with B. Clinton's election in 92, not with H. Clinton's candidacy in 2016. It's not just Trump; it's all of them. This is who they are.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:32 AM on June 30 [37 favorites]




I feel like I am having a monkey's paw moment - I think that in a normal year, run by responsible people, having uniform voting standards and a state cross check to ensure no dual registrations would be amazing! But I fundamentally do not trust these people further than I can throw them, which is not particularly far.
posted by corb at 10:34 AM on June 30 [13 favorites]


we desperately need a national consensus that if a state - or federal government, does not pass its budget by its appointed deadline, the government is dissolved, new elections are held and NONE of the office holders will be allowed to run in those elections

I sympathize with your sentiment here—seriously, I'd love to see these fuckers lose their seats en masse—but there's no doubt in my mind this wouldn't just become the latest weaponization of administrative procedure. Politicians would just turn the fight over the budget into the fight to press the reset button in their own favor, after purposely not passing a budget by the deadline.
posted by Rykey at 10:35 AM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Jay Ashcroft is our SOS and considering the hard on he has for VoterID he has probably already sent the info to Kobach with an Edible Arrangement.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:37 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


> I feel like I am having a monkey's paw moment - I think that in a normal year, run by responsible people, having uniform voting standards and a state cross check to ensure no dual registrations would be amazing! But I fundamentally do not trust these people further than I can throw them, which is not particularly far.

I'm so old that I can remember arguments about how giving too much power to an administration you like was a bad idea, because administrations change and then the bad guy has the power.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:37 AM on June 30 [14 favorites]


A young Japanese student with a valid F-1 visa was interrogated for 12 hours at LAX and then denied entry to the US when they found a text on her phone about getting free entry to a night club, claiming she must've been working at the club illegally in order to get in for free.

FFS, this is madness! How is this making us any safer? Even by their own convoluted concept of safety, this is just dickishness for the sake of dickishness. The brain drain, the loss of tourism money, willfully abdicating our soft power-- it's so maddening to watch people break shit just because they can.
posted by bluecore at 10:39 AM on June 30 [135 favorites]


I thought that they were just asking for data that are already publicly (or at least widely) available?

Not everywhere and not to everyone. I addressed this in the last thread with regards to Virginia. In other states some of it is public and some not, which is why there's at least one official saying they'll provide the stuff that FOI law says they will provide to anyone and they're looking into the rest.
posted by phearlez at 10:40 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


The Michigan SOS reply, via Facebook:
Some people have asked about Michigan's policy of releasing voter information, especially as it relates to a possible request from the federal government.
At this point, the Michigan Department of State has not received a request, but if we do, we will review it.
People should know that voter lists in Michigan and across the country are public record under state law and have been for decades. The department has no authority not to provide voter data. It is common for political parties and candidates to obtain voter info.
The department will provide voter information consistent with state law and will not provide info protected by state law.
It's worth noting that even in states in which a secretary of state has said that voter info won’t be provided to the federal government, voter info is in fact readily available for a nominal fee.
posted by Etrigan at 10:45 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]




I feel like I am having a monkey's paw moment - I think that in a normal year, run by responsible people, having uniform voting standards and a state cross check to ensure no dual registrations would be amazing! But I fundamentally do not trust these people further than I can throw them, which is not particularly far.

My dad had a story he'd like to tell of meetings at the local Grange Hall where he grew up, presided over by a wily older gentleman who was well versed in Roberts Rules of Order & how to abuse them to get his way. For years Dad says he thought the way voting worked was like this:

WOG: I have a motion before the house. Do we have a second?
Random member: Second!
WOG: The motion has been seconded. All in favor say aye.
Many members: Aye!
WOG: Opposed & so voted.
posted by scalefree at 10:50 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Thanks for clarifications about the different statuses and availability of voter information. I should have known that there is immense variation among the different states and I appreciate being set straight with solid info!
posted by ElKevbo at 10:51 AM on June 30


Wait. So Kushner tries to blackmail Scarborough and Brzezinski, they don't bite, and the piece in question is published. Then they just sit on this for two months until Trump goes after them personally? They didn't think being blackmailed by the President's son-in-law was newsworthy on its own?

If there are text messages from Kushner, maybe show us them? You know, on the TV network you appear on five times a week? The one that exists ostensibly to talk about newsworthy things. Such as the President of the United States. Blackmailing you.
posted by zachlipton at 10:57 AM on June 30 [115 favorites]


They need to stop wasting money going around killing brown and black people the world over and start fixing shit like roads, ports, bridges, and education.
posted by infini at 10:58 AM on June 30 [8 favorites]


Oh look a policy statement from POTUS: If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!

As Greg Sargent at WaPo points out, this is just monstrous. If this doesn't demonstrate to anyone who can't pay six-figure medical bills in cash that Trump doesn't give a shit about them, nothing will. Bonus: it exposes the hypocrisy of every goddamned republican who blustered about wanting to repeal Obamacare on day 1. Now they realize they can't because people will actually start paying attention to their evil deeds if millions lose healthcare.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:59 AM on June 30 [38 favorites]


What's that adage about how some people just want to watch the world burn?

I believe it goes, "Some people just want to watch the world burn".
posted by qntm at 11:03 AM on June 30 [40 favorites]


If there are text messages from Kushner, maybe show us them?

"Put up or shut up" should apply to everyone involved in this covfefe.
Especially that fucking tick-tock guy.
And Trump extra-especially.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:05 AM on June 30 [8 favorites]


Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan for Axios: Trump overrules cabinet, plots global trade war.
With more than 20 top officials present, including Trump and Vice President Pence, the president and a small band of America First advisers made it clear they're hell-bent on imposing tariffs — potentially in the 20% range — on steel, and likely other imports.

The penalties could eventually extend to other imports. Among those that may be considered: aluminum, semiconductors, paper, and appliances like washing machines.

One official estimated the sentiment in the room as 22 against and 3 in favor — but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed.
[...]
The reason, we're told: Trump's base — which drives more and more decisions, as his popularity sinks — likes the idea, and will love the fight.

The problem, according to top officials who argued strenuously that the move is ill-advised: The trade war wouldn't just affect China. The collateral damage would include a slew of allies, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:05 AM on June 30 [51 favorites]


Wait. So Kushner tries to blackmail Scarborough and Brzezinski, they don't bite, and the piece in question is published. Then they just sit on this for two months until Trump goes after them personally? They didn't think being blackmailed by the President's son-in-law was newsworthy on its own?

Morning Joe has a lot to answer for; they certainly aren't winning any courage awards for their behavior in this election. But also, in this specific instance, Trump's people were stalking her children. Standing still rarely saves you from a narcissistic monster, but I can't blame her for trying it.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:05 AM on June 30 [27 favorites]


Especially that fucking tick-tock guy.

Wittes issued one "boom" for every "tick tick" he posted, and he's done posting them now.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:06 AM on June 30 [16 favorites]


Then they just sit on this for two months until Trump goes after them personally?

This is the whole problem, the sitting on it. I don't think they're alone, either - there have to be hundreds of people in Washington who have had fucked up interactions with President Trump and his minions since January and aren't going public with it, which is absolutely infuriating. I keep thinking that as soon as the dominoes start falling and it becomes undeniable that the whole Administration is collapsing, the process will be sped up by all these chickenshits who are too afraid to take a stand right now. But somebody has to be the first domino, and so far everyone still seems to think they can get away with not publicly standing up against this disgusting human being who is in the process of ineptly ruining every last bit of international prestige and strength America has left.

I guess we'll see what happens.
posted by something something at 11:07 AM on June 30 [28 favorites]


My question is whether or not the execs at NBC knew about this and asked them to sit on it "for now."

"Because we've got that big interview with [X] coming up."
"Because we don't want to lose access during the summit."
"Because we need to focus on [Y] as the issue of the day/week."
And on, and on, and on.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:10 AM on June 30 [10 favorites]


As Greg Sargent at WaPo points out, this is just monstrous. If this doesn't demonstrate to anyone who can't pay six-figure medical bills in cash that Trump doesn't give a shit about them, nothing will.

Narrator voice: Nothing will.

But, as has been said many times here - there's no point in going after them. Anyone still with Trump will always be with Trump. Trying to convince them he sucks is a waste of time. The right move is to be ourselves and promote things like medicare for all. Those who would sooner die in the gutter of a preventable disease than vote D... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ There are others who will vote their interest and, if there is no other choice, there are possible R candidates who will get on board.

Here the show don't tell should be showing what D candidates can offer, not telling these voters that what's being offered to them by Rs is crap.
posted by phearlez at 11:14 AM on June 30 [15 favorites]


Erik Wemple nails Joe Scarborough for trying to paint this as a recent change in Trump's behavior so the Morning Joe crew doesn't have to apologize for laughing it all up last year: ‘Morning Joe’ insists that Trump has changed. Yeah, right.
The claim that somehow Trump has gone from amiable jokester to baleful cretin in the course of two years marks the show’s latest defense for its early misdeeds. And it’s not going to fly in this space! Go ahead and scroll through Trump’s Twitter feed, the very instrument that he used to smear Brzezinski — who marveled at how many lies he’d fit into his Thursday tweets — as well as many other people going back years. The tweets he sends these days read a lot like the tweets he sent back when Scarborough claims he was “always in on the joke.” And beyond: “There is an absolute through line from his tweets of recent years going all the way back decades to the hand-scrawled notes to reporters — the same intemperate, impulsive language, the same insults, the same wit, the same search for just the right insult that has been a constant going back to the 1970s,” says Marc Fisher, who co-wrote a Post biography on Trump titled “Trump Revealed.”
I mean hell, even Ross Douthat is right on this one (about their WaPo op-ed): "A lot of words here, but "we helped Trump win the GOP nomination, and we're sorry" are strangely missing"

I'm glad Scarborough and Brzezinski are coming forward now, and I understand why they would have been reluctant to do so before, but they've treated this like a game since Trump launched his candidacy, and are now trying to pretend this is some kind of a shift so they don't have to take any responsibility for their previous praise of the guy. It is blatantly clear to any casual observer of the man that this is precisely how he's behaved for ages and not some kind of new low or sudden decline.
posted by zachlipton at 11:14 AM on June 30 [64 favorites]


I'm glad Scarborough and Brzezinski are coming forward now, and I understand why they would have been reluctant to do so before, but they've treated this like a game since Trump launched his candidacy, and are now trying to pretend this is some kind of a shift so they don't have to take any responsibility for their previous praise of the guy.

An awful lot of rhetoric, left and right, from 2015-2016 was predicated on a deep-down assurance that Donald Trump couldn't possibly win the Presidency.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:16 AM on June 30 [19 favorites]


Jason Stein/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin election commission to Trump panel: You want voter data? Pay for it. And apparently a lot of the data being asked for isn't available anyway under Wisconsin law.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:16 AM on June 30 [17 favorites]


But, as has been said many times here - there's no point in going after them. Anyone still with Trump will always be with Trump. Trying to convince them he sucks is a waste of time.

To run the numbers, 62 million people voted for Trump, 73 million voted against him, and 93 million eligible voters stayed home (and/or were prevented from voting). The goal should be to shift people into B from C, not from A.
posted by Etrigan at 11:20 AM on June 30 [55 favorites]


No, actually, a lot of liberals believe in the concept of a strong federal government as a political objective in and of itself, irrespective of other political goals that may be hindered by that belief.

Probably because a a lot of liberals live in cities that routinely get fucked over by their own state governments.
posted by srboisvert at 11:22 AM on June 30 [13 favorites]


Callum Borchers for WaPo: The feud between Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity is bigger than them
The Coulter faction's principal loyalty is to the ideas Trump embodied during the campaign. The Hannity group's primary allegiance is to Trump himself.
...
Tensions erupted on Wednesday when Coulter ripped Hannity for editing an interview that aired on his Fox News show last Thursday in which Coulter criticized Trump's inclusion of Goldman Sachs alumni such as chief economic adviser Gary Cohn in his administration.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:25 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Artw: Nothing is going to touch the fucker.

If that's what you believe, that's what you believe... and hey, whatever gets you through the night. But not all of us believe that, and none of us actually know.

So does it really need to be said, over and over?

Because some of us need other things to get us through the night than others do. And some of us find your method upsetting.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:31 AM on June 30 [17 favorites]


via @BraddJaffy: The Republican SoS from Indiana, citing Indiana law, will not give voter information to Kobach.
posted by lalex at 11:32 AM on June 30 [26 favorites]


infini: They need to stop wasting money going around killing brown and black people the world over and start fixing shit like roads, ports, bridges, and education.

But that's not the role of the Federal Government, because States and Locals will misuse those or other Federal funds for infrastructure. From the FAQ (PDF) for the re-branded INFRA Grant Program (it used to be the FASTLANE Grant):
Evidence has shown that, in the past, when some State and local governments receive and spend federal funding for infrastructure, they divert future funding away from key infrastructure needs towards other uses – leading to little or no net benefit to infrastructure. With nearly $9.8 billion in funding requested in FY 2016 for FASTLANE, we need to take steps to get more bang for the buck. By getting more of our partners to use federal funding as a supplement — not a substitute — we seek to increase the amount of overall funding that goes to infrastructure.
This is pretty much saying "some agencies got grant money, then took the funding that would have improved those facilities and used it elsewhere." Except this is money for transportation infrastructure, and I don't think any states have huge coffers of money for any project. It's already limited to transportation projects, it's not like a state or city is going to go off and build a golf course or tennis court for a political donor, or even a hospital or school.

Or perhaps someone who wrote this thought "states have enough money to fix their own roads, why are they always complaining?" I promise you, this was not written by someone who was in the U.S. DOT before January 20, 2017. This is not a FAQ, it's a political statement.

But it's a half-assed statement. Look at the notes after the table of the changes (PDF):

What stayed the same from previous FASTLANE competitions?
The eligible costs, project types, cost share, project sizes and other requirements defined by the
statute have not changed.

That's right, they changed the selection criteria (sort of*), but didn't change what kind of projects and costs are eligible.

* They added "accountability" as a criteria, which is a bullshit term until they define how they'll consider "accountability" differently than they do now. The Feds can decline to reimburse funds, or even ask for money back if they find an issue with a project after the fact.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:33 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


The United States has a terminal illness. I'm stuck between the images of wanting to save the patient and working my ass off vs. just putting it in hospice and saying my prayers.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:36 AM on June 30 [9 favorites]


Republicans keep saying "Run government like a business".

If Tim Cook tweeted mean things about Marissa Mayer's face and refused to apologize or stand down, he'd be fired.

So what are you waiting for, House GOP?
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:36 AM on June 30 [62 favorites]


No, actually, a lot of liberals believe in the concept of a strong federal government as a political objective in and of itself, irrespective of other political goals that may be hindered by that belief

Another reason is that in the past, the Federal government has been the way to force the states that lag behind the rest of the country to be fair and actually treat citizens according to the constitution. This was done with slavery, civil rights, voting rights, and most recently with marriage equality. The Feds can't always be relied on to do the right thing, but the very way our country is set us is that the Federal government and SCOTUS is the last line of defense for a citizen to challenge the state.
posted by teleri025 at 11:36 AM on June 30 [21 favorites]


It is blatantly clear to any casual observer of the man that this is precisely how he's behaved for ages and not some kind of new low or sudden decline.

For them it is a new low, because his behaviour has never been directed at them before. It's all abstract until it's personal.
posted by nubs at 11:37 AM on June 30 [34 favorites]


Trade tariffs on semiconductors?

What the hell do they think... oh, ok, never mind.
posted by Devonian at 11:37 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Talking points for your state's top election official (usually Sec. of State or Governor) to demand they withhold voter roles from Kris Kobach

What do you do when your Secretary of State is on the damn committee?
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:37 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


FYI, the Enquirer blackmail story reported that Mika and Joe were sleeping together before finalizing their divorces from previous spouses. (YAWN) It also revelas that this is what Trump tweeted about last year, threatening to reveal something. Here is a copy of the article on Magzter; I don't subscribe to them but it worked for me.
posted by msalt at 11:39 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


What do you do when your Secretary of State is on the damn committee?

Call your state legislators.
posted by Etrigan at 11:39 AM on June 30


This is pretty much the soundtrack to my life right now (I mean moreso than usual).

Thanks for that, elsietheeel. I've really been needing an alternative to this.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 11:40 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Continued thoughts on the re-branded INFRA Grant Program from above:

And as I mentioned in the prior thread, this new grant was dropped on States and other agencies out of the blue, in an email on Wednesday morning. Last year, U.S. DOT, FHWA and/or AASHTO would have been mentioning a new funding source or that they were going to change the rules of a grant for the next call, and list some dates for webinars to further discuss what the changes mean. Instead, webinars aren't mentioned on the initial email, and it's "TBD" on U.S. DOT's website, while the window to apply is only open until August 1, 2017.

Oh, and this is also a NOFO for Federal Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 funds. FYI, FFY 2017 ends on September 30. While Federal funds like these generally have three years past the year of encumbrance to be used, they're burning through that first year, and major construction projects are not fast. Stellar work, Team Trump.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:41 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


If that's what you believe, that's what you believe... and hey, whatever gets you through the night. But not all of us believe that, and none of us actually know.

So does it really need to be said, over and over?

Because some of us need other things to get us through the night than others do. And some of us find your method upsetting.


I’m sorry my expression of shock and dismay alarms you. Let me qualify:
Absolutely nothing is going to touch the fucker short of democrat wins in 2018 and 2020, which will be heavily resisted and will be a minor miracle of people power over coming dirty tricks if they happen. Or possibly violent revolution.

Trump suffering any consequence of his actions before that? Not going to happen. The media will endlessly disappoint you, the democrats can’t do shit and republicans may make frown faces but actually actively approve of his evil.

We’re in a bad way, sorry.
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on June 30 [21 favorites]


Artw, you can say that as often as you want, but that doesn't make it true. The truth is that no one knows what's going to happen.
Yes, y'all are in a bad way, and I'm sorry. And it influences the rest of us, too. But we still don't know when and how that will change.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:50 AM on June 30 [14 favorites]


This is pretty much the soundtrack to my life right now (I mean moreso than usual).

My soundtrack is "Gimme Shelter" on permanent loop.
For best results, set volume to maximum.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:50 AM on June 30 [10 favorites]


via @BraddJaffy: The Republican SoS from Indiana, citing Indiana law, will not give voter information to Kobach.

Said Secretary of State is apparently also on the panel.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:51 AM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Merry Clayton's voice cracking is how I feel inside every day
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:52 AM on June 30 [13 favorites]


Why regulations matter and libertarian oh the market will fix it beliefs are somewhere between naive and horseshit, part one million.
America’s retail giants have spent a decade ignoring signs of labor abuse in their supply chains, sometimes fighting government efforts to crack down, even as thousands of truckers were driven into debt and poverty, a USA TODAY Network investigation has found.

Target, Costco, Hewlett-Packard and many others have benefited from California port trucking companies that forced their drivers into debt, made them work up to 20 hours a day and sometimes paid them pennies per hour.

Retailers and manufacturers rarely hire the truckers directly. Instead, they rely on a maze of subcontractors to move their goods and have paid little attention to who their direct vendors hire.

In the 1990s, similar abuses in overseas manufacturing operations led to a widespread crackdown by U.S. brands, which now scour through their production operations to weed out child labor abuses, forced overtime and debt-driven schemes that exploit workers.
posted by phearlez at 11:52 AM on June 30 [28 favorites]


Let's not relitigate the "totally fucked" vs. "not totally fucked" primary every single day.
posted by Behemoth at 11:53 AM on June 30 [33 favorites]


What do you do when your Secretary of State is on the damn committee?

Mine, too. Although he's a Dem and he says in the article "If you're not at the table, you're on it." which I think is damn pragmatic of him.
posted by anastasiav at 11:55 AM on June 30 [8 favorites]


Let's not relitigate the "totally fucked" vs. "not totally fucked" primary every single day.

Hmm. What if the musical we're stuck in isn't Hamilton, it's "Totally Fucked" from Spring Awakening?
posted by zachlipton at 11:56 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


[Folks, deep breaths and charity toward one another and etc.]
posted by cortex at 11:59 AM on June 30 [16 favorites]


This is my soundtrack.

David Byrne is my patronus.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:02 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Anyone else consistently imagine Jonah Ryan (Jonah Ryan) when they hear Jonah Goldberg speak?
posted by From Bklyn at 12:03 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I'm in Pennsylvania and just called my governor's office to ask if they are going to release voter lists. The staffer said that Gov. Wolf hasn't made a statement yet but the staffer emphasized that he has been regularly standing up to Trump (he has! and I'm so thankful for it!) -- he said this in a way that made it seem likely that they aren't going to release the voter lists.

If you are in PA, you might want to call Wolf and tell him what you think. 717-787-2500
posted by mcduff at 12:05 PM on June 30 [17 favorites]


filthy light thief: ... the window to apply [for INFRA Grants] is only open until August 1, 2017.

Self-correction: the NOFO states "The Grants.gov “Apply” function will be open by August 1, 2017." I am still unsure when the 120 window opened and closes.

Anyway, here's one final pull-quote to reiterate that this administration isn't interested in investments for the public good, but throwing money towards private companies who might do some good with it:
“The President and the Department are committed to revitalizing, repairing and rebuilding America’s aging infrastructure,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “By ensuring the right incentives, projects selected under this program will be better able to make significant, long-term improvements to America’s transportation infrastructure.”
Because we wouldn't want to be offering "hand-outs" to states and local governments, but instead give "incentives" to businesses.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:06 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


The "repeal, then replace", I could actually see as much more generous than the ACHA, because they wouldn't be bound by reconciliation rules to save money, plus Dems would be under a lot more pressure to vote yes for generous benefits. However, for our purposes that would not actually be good, because it would mean the fascists had learned how to make populism work for them, and we would be in danger of him actually getting re elected, and continuing a lot of other really harmful policies.
posted by corb at 12:09 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


What do you do when your Secretary of State is on the damn committee?

In defense of participation here, in addition to the comments noted above by anastasiav about Maine's SoS Dunlap being a Dem serving in a monitoring, if not moderating,role, I present you with the statement from Indiana SoS who is a Republican and also on the commission but issued a statement today that she and the state of IN wont be providing the requested information.

It seems obvious that the commission doesn't really exist in any functional form - if it did perhaps they would have resolved legal impediments (let alone philosophical ones) about the types of information that could/would be shared with the feds by the states. You know, by consulting the membership of their own group.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:10 PM on June 30 [20 favorites]


Repeal and replace would actually just be repeal and therefore bad for anyone who needs healthcare of any form.
posted by Artw at 12:15 PM on June 30 [16 favorites]


So, in summary, our Governor is a complete shithead who will cause suffering to tens of thousands of people to satisfy his own ego instead of doing his job.


My governor is worse.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 12:18 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


it would mean the fascists had learned how to make populism work for them

This, at least, does not seem to be happening and Trump appears to be incapable of any steps that would make it happen - and if he goes what populist support they do have goes with him.

So that at least is a tiny light in the darkness.
posted by Artw at 12:20 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


Vanity Fair: Exclusive: Mika Speaks! A Day After Trump’s Horrific Tweet, Brzezinski Reveals How It All Went Down. The most alarming bit:
[Brzezinski] said that she had told Melania Trump about the procedure when the couple stopped by Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve. “The irony of it all is that Donald kept saying, ‘That’s incredible. You can’t even tell. Who did it? Who did it?’ He kept asking for the name of the doctor. He literally asked 10 times. ‘Is he down here? Who is he?’” Scarborough recalled. (A spokesman from the White House declined to comment.)
Also:
It wasn’t the first time the co-hosts and their staff had to react to being on the other end of the president’s ire. Last summer, he tweeted that Brzezinski was “a neurotic and not very bright mess!” and threatened to “tell the real story” about their relationship.

Afterward, they said that the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, brokered a meeting with the four of them. Brzezinski said she explained that the tweet had caused a lot of hurt to her children and family. Trump, she said, apologized.

“Jared said we should end the meeting right then and there, because it was one of the only times he had heard him apologize,” Scarborough said. (A White House spokesman had no comment about this meeting and the apology.)
Turns out Brzezinski had a card to play of her own. Of all the things she could say to fight back, the one that's going to hurt Trump the most is telling the world Trump apologized to her last summer. And she just did it.
posted by zachlipton at 12:20 PM on June 30 [101 favorites]


The "repeal, then replace", I could actually see as much more generous than the ACHA, because they wouldn't be bound by reconciliation rules to save money, plus Dems would be under a lot more pressure to vote yes for generous benefits.

This presumes that (a) the Republican congress would be willing in any way to spend (which means either raising taxes or increasing deficits), (2) that there's a plan the Republican congress would support when the current Heritage Foundation penned one is unacceptable to them and (iii) that there's any significant reluctance to overcome among the Dems to vote for generous benefits. I see no support for any of these three things in observable reality.
posted by phearlez at 12:22 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


The "repeal, then replace", I could actually see as much more generous than the ACHA, because they wouldn't be bound by reconciliation rules to save money, plus Dems would be under a lot more pressure to vote yes for generous benefits.


That doesn't really make sense, I think; you've got your causation backwards. If they wanted to try and pull Democratic votes on board by offering generous benefits, thereby making Democratic 'no' votes look bad, they could do that with a concurrent repeal & replace bill. There's no reason the AHCA needs to be terrible except that that is what Republican representatives wanted the bill to be. Remember that the more conservative wing of the House complained the AHCA as first proposed WAS TOO GENEROUS. The same dynamic is currently playing out in the Senate: more conservative Senators want the ACA repealed, and then, substantively, not actually replaced at all.

They chose to go the reconciliation route because it was the only way to pass the bill that the Republican congress wanted to pass; they weren't forced by reconciliation to pass that particular bill, nor were they forced to attempt to use reconciliation at all. They bound themselves by reconciliation: you can't start at presuming reconciliation as the ground floor and then work from there. You need to start at what the Republican congress -- as opposed, I would note, to Republican voters -- want to see happen.

The AHCA is what they wanted. They're not going to, en masse, propose something else, repeal or not.
posted by cjelli at 12:22 PM on June 30 [21 favorites]


Repeal, Then Replace (tm): Because J. Wellington Wimpy is totally going to pay you for your hamburger on Tuesday.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:24 PM on June 30 [26 favorites]


Annnnnd today I got a letter from my health insurer (IU Health) that they are pulling out of the exchange come Jan. 1. They "uncertainties and volatility". Guess IU Health shouldn't have spent money on Republican candidates if they don't like "uncertainties and volatility."

Why should Congress even bother with a repeal plan if these fucking insurers keep dropping out? The insurers are de facto repealing on their own. I won't have insurance come Jan.1, I'm afraid. I can barely afford what I have now.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:25 PM on June 30 [45 favorites]


The AHCA is what they wanted.

And to not abuse the edit window: to be very clear, that also means that the Republican congress did not actually want anything crueler than the AHCA -- they did not want, in sufficient numbers, to actually repeal the ACA. 'Repeal, then replace' was never going to viable because Republicans, broadly, actually like a lot of the ACA, and all the talk about repealing it in the last eight years has been just that -- talk. There's a contingent of Republicans who do really want it repealed, yes, but they're neither the whole nor even the majority of the party.
posted by cjelli at 12:28 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Twenty federal gun agents have been assigned to Chicago to join a newly formed task force aimed at cutting the flow of illegal guns into the city and cracking down on people repeatedly arrested on gun charges.

The huge majority of guns flowing into Chicago are from the republican stronghold of Indiana.
posted by srboisvert at 12:28 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


The huge majority of guns flowing into Chicago are from the republican stronghold of Indiana.

A plurality of guns from out of state come from Indiana, but pretty near half come from Illinois itself, with most of those coming from adjacent cities and towns.
posted by Etrigan at 12:34 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Yeah but Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about crime in Chicago during the off-camera press briefing, and:

@GlennThrush: Crime in Chicago 'is probably driven by morality more than anything else,' Sarah says when asked if easy access to guns is a problem.

I'll just let @darth take the commentary on this one: "is that what drives constantly lying in public as well sarah"
posted by zachlipton at 12:35 PM on June 30 [28 favorites]


Meanwhile, the Russians have set up a radio station in D.C. because why should the FCC care?
posted by Devonian at 12:41 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Want to know who works for the White House and how much they all get paid? It's that time of year.
posted by zachlipton at 12:42 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


As someone pointed out in the last thread, you know POTUS makes fun of SHS's looks/weight, behind her back and probably to her face as well. And yet she's so outraged on his behalf! Girl, you need to love yourself.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:42 PM on June 30 [10 favorites]


Mark Remy, New Yorker: Fox News 9-1-1
Thank you for calling 9-1-1, a division of Fox News. Your emergencies are important to us. Please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed.

To continue in English, just keep listening—everything here is in English, because, the last time we checked, this was ​America​, goddammit.

[Whispered] ​This call may be monitored or recorded.

If this is not an emergency, please hang up and stop being such a snowflake. If this is an emergency, please stay on the line and a pundit will be with you shortly. You may also tweet us @FoxNews, using the hashtag #fear.

If you are a white Christian male and you’re being persecuted, say or type “real minority.” If you are being harassed by a paid protester, say or type “Soros.”

If you are choking on your own rage, say or type “apoplexy.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:45 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


@GlennThrush: Crime in Chicago 'is probably driven by morality more than anything else,' Sarah says when asked if easy access to guns is a problem.

All the kids in Springfield are little S.O.B's.

Meanwhile, the Russians have set up a radio station in D.C. because why should the FCC care?

So the Russians are beating the Republicans much more than the Democrats? Food for thought. (NOT PRIMARYIST)
posted by petebest at 12:46 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


A plurality of guns from out of state come from Indiana, but pretty near half come from Illinois itself, with most of those coming from adjacent cities and towns.

And most of Illinois outside of Chicago, including the suburbs, is also a Republican stronghold.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:46 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]




CAIR has released a free civil rights app for reporting bias incidents, learning about your rights, and having quick contact info for CAIR's chapters and national HQ. Considering the increasing likelihood of non-Muslims witnessing anti-Muslim incidents, it'd be handy to have this.

Breitbart has an article about the app, claiming that spikes in anti-Muslim incidents are hoaxes (citing Breitbart articles for proof, of course). Some commenters are gleefully encouraging each other to download the app to report Muslim gatherings and "anti-white" incidents.

Speaking of abusers claiming victimhood, cryingoutforjustice.com has some decent posts about possible ways to spot and/or point it out: "Abusers evidence a mentality of superiority and certainty," and "don't take responsibility for their behavior." Caveat: abusers can be temporarily great at mimicking humility and "taking responsibility." (Uh, that site is seriously Christian to the point of disavowing Lundy Bancroft's Peak Living program because it's not any flavor of Christian and he thinks same-sex relationships are fine, but it's good that they call out believers who use Christianity to shield abuse, and they do endorse Bancroft's books.)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:52 PM on June 30 [11 favorites]


If they wanted to try and pull Democratic votes on board by offering generous benefits, thereby making Democratic 'no' votes look bad, they could do that with a concurrent repeal & replace bill

So you have to understand, I'm actually working from a place of extreme cynicism here, and assuming that the vast majority of congressmen are actually in it for their own self interest or could be influenced to act as such. So when I say "generous benefits", what I mean is "generous benefits for the section of the population likely to vote Republican", because that's the evil way populism works. Better for some is never better for all, which is the chilling nature of this sort of plan. There are many different ways they could do this, from felony convictions taking all your healthcare subsidy, to increasing subsidies for those more than 10 miles from hospital, probably a host of other ways.

By removing or lowering subsidies from high density cities, they could achieve the populist goal of punishing the urbanites Trump voters are so angry at, and also of saving money, by removing the subsidies for the poorest urbanites, which it's a good chunk of the population

Then they would only need to pick up the Democratic legislators from low density states- and instead of starting from the position that any bill must be better than the ACA, they would be starting from the negotiating position of any bill being better than no bill at all.

I think they could get the votes in that circumstance, if Trump ginned up his base, and they bribed Ted Cruz to deliver the conservative evangelicals again.

But fortunately they seem to be incompetent at both evil and populism, so we may all survive.
posted by corb at 12:52 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Want to know who works for the White House and how much they all get paid? It's that time of year.Yes, I've been reading it. Lots of interesting tidbits.

The inner circle makes the most: $179,700 which includes S. Bannon, S. Miller, K, McFarland, Priebus, Spicer, some lawyers, First Lady's chief of staff, and Omarosa!

Next tier is Seb Gorka And Sara H. Sanders at $165,000

Kushner is listed at $0.00

The Chief Calligrapher makes $102,212

Patrick P. McDonnell, research assistant and executive assistant (so maybe gofer) makes $40,000
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:53 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Hah.. Even Kobach isn't going to fulfill Kobach's request.

Kobach now says Kansas won't be sharing the last 4 social.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:55 PM on June 30 [48 favorites]


Came back to share that same link Xyanthilous P Harrierstick.

In my earlier comment I suggested that this whole thing was a rushed sham and Kobach and Pence hadn't had time/interest in consulting with the other members of their commission. Im thinking maybe incompetence not malice explains this better.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:58 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


When you knowingly take on a job that affects millions of people, is there a distinction between incompetence & malice?
posted by narwhal at 1:03 PM on June 30 [15 favorites]


Also in the $179 700 is Hope Hicks.
posted by phoque at 1:06 PM on June 30


I thought $40,000 was as low as you could go but there is some guy named Liddle (Assistant to the President for strategic Initiatives) makes $30,000. Is he the guy that brings in the Diet Coke when Donnie Two Scoops pushes the red button?

Add Hope Hicks to the elite list pulling in $179,700

Ivanka* is also listed at $0 (listed as First Daughter and Advisor) as well as someone named Reed Cordish, Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental and Technology Initiatives

There are a small handful of people listed as "detailee" instead of employee. One of those is Mark S. House, Senior Policy advisor. He makes more than anybody else: $187,100

*Kushner's job is listed as Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:07 PM on June 30


In my earlier comment I suggested that this whole thing was a rushed sham and Kobach and Pence hadn't had time/interest in consulting with the other members of their commission. Im thinking maybe incompetence not malice explains this better.

Agreed. There was a suggestion that data be emailed back to the commission, which strikes me as incredibly open to tampering.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:08 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Europe: Marine Le Pen charged over EU funding scandal: lawyer

The charge is basically that they claimed fake EU aides and used the money to pay party staff in France during the election.
posted by msalt at 1:10 PM on June 30 [10 favorites]


The voter fraud committee reads like the setup to a bad joke: How many Republican Secretaries of State can you get to all agree that voter fraud is rampant in every state except their own?
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:11 PM on June 30 [54 favorites]


America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president. We have our doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show.

This is a superb double bind.
posted by lastobelus at 1:13 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


thank you McDuff for the reminder; I will make thanking Gov Wolf a priority and urge that he hold his ground.
posted by angrycat at 1:14 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Jared's assistant makes $115,000. Bannon's assistant makes $40,000.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:20 PM on June 30 [10 favorites]


I wonder.....in the last thread, I learned that the NC House is beginning impeachment against the NC Sec. State, for allegedly letting immigrants improperly become notaries....is that a pretext for trying to replace her with someone who will cough up our (my!) voter data?

And a shooting in a hospital is obscene....for me, the second-worst thing about the Va Tech shooting was that it happened in what, to me, is a semi-sacred space of tolerance and learning, what's supposed to be a safe place. (The worst was that a friend of mine died there). This makes me feel the same way.
posted by thelonius at 1:21 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


Bannon's assistant makes $40,000.

Yikes. I'll keep this in mind for my next ~gratitude meditation~
posted by witchen at 1:24 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


thank you McDuff for the reminder; I will make thanking Gov Wolf a priority and urge that he hold his ground.

Just as I faxed his office, his official Twitter account posted this Tweetstorm:
You can add PA to that list. We will not participate in this systematic effort to suppress the vote. I have serious reservations given historical suppression of voting rights and the Trump admin's false statements on the integrity of voting. During the campaign, then-candidate Trump repeatedly suggested wide-spread voter fraud in Pennsylvania without evidence. Even worse, after the election the President-elect said millions of votes in U.S. had been cast illegally while providing no evidence. These attacks on Pennsylvania and the country’s most important democratic institution - voting - remain unproven. I also have grave concerns that this is the precipitous pretext for pursuing restrictions on the fundamental right of citizens to vote. Here in PA, a court of law has already struck down a voter identification program for putting undo burden on this fundamental right. I have no interest in contributing to any effort to suppress the right to vote or create unnecessary or unfair burdens on voters. I would be more interested in hearing from the White House how they are protecting our elections from illegal and international influence. And I would support any effort to invest more federal funding in protecting our voter systems and improving voting technology. The right to vote is absolute and I have no confidence that you seek to bolster - not hinder – it. Voter suppression is undemocratic. I will not allow PA to participate in furthering the trend of suppression seen across the country.
It took until the end of the day before the holiday weekend for that press release, but it's worth it.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:26 PM on June 30 [78 favorites]


Bannon's assistant makes $40,000.

The correct term is "familiar"
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:28 PM on June 30 [88 favorites]


Presidential Commission Demands Massive Amounts of State Voter Data (Jessica Huseman, ProPublica)

The letter asked state officials to deliver the data within two weeks, and says that all information turned over to the commission will be made public. The letter does not explain what the commission plans to do with voter roll data . . .

“You’d think there would want to be a lot of thought behind security and access protocols for a national voter file, before you up and created one,” said Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola University School of Law and former Department of Justice civil rights official. “This is asking to create a national voter file in two weeks.”

David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, also expressed serious concerns about the request. “It’s probably a good idea not to make publicly available the name, address and military status of the people who are serving our armed forces to anyone who requests it,” he said.


Blah blah logic, reason, sanity.

Kobach also runs the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, a proprietary piece of software started by Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh in 2005.

There we go! Naked corruption right there in full view of everybody. Sure. Because TrumpWorld.
posted by petebest at 1:34 PM on June 30 [21 favorites]


The Business Inisder story by Natasha Bertrand citing WSJ's reporting is nice because it is unpaywalled and provides more context... And doesn't bury the lede. Russian hackers reportedly discussed how to steal Clinton's emails and transfer them to Michael Flynn
Hackers believed to be Russian discussed how to steal Hillary Clinton's emails from her private server and transfer them to Michael Flynn via an intermediary, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
...
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, is also being scrutinized over his conversations with a hacker linked to Russian military intelligence, Guccifer 2.0. Stone exchanged private messages with the self-described hacker in August, and his tweets in the days after raised questions about whether he knew in advance that emails from Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, would be imminently published by WikiLeaks.
...
Russian officials bragged about their close relationship to Flynn last year, according to intercepted communications described to CNN, and boasted that they could use him to influence Trump. The way the Russians were talking about Flynn "was a five-alarm fire from early on," a former Obama administration official said.
Evidence. Of. Collusion.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:37 PM on June 30 [54 favorites]


I thought $40,000 was as low as you could go but there is some guy named Liddle (Assistant to the President for strategic Initiatives) makes $30,000. Is he the guy that brings in the Diet Coke when Donnie Two Scoops pushes the red button?

That would Chris Liddle, former CFO of Microsoft, and General Motors. He is from New Zealand - which is why his name rang a bell for me. I was embarrassed when I heard he was working for Trump.
posted by vac2003 at 1:56 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


@ariberman: 22 states now won't hand over voter info to Kobach: CA, CT, IN, KY, MA, MN, NC, NM, ND, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:56 PM on June 30 [57 favorites]


Collusion is established, nobody is going to question it happened anymore, but it just doesn't matter. Which is incredible.

Count your votes, what no majority? Well get to work gerrymandering for your side, maybe fix the score by 2022?

Absolutely nothing is going to touch the fucker short of democrat wins in 2018 and 2020, which will be heavily resisted and will be a minor miracle of people power over coming dirty tricks if they happen.


This is what I was yelling about towards the end of the last thread. There is something missing from each of these statements and that is

We can build political support for impeachment.

There are conditions that could happen that could lead to impeachment, specifically:
- angry crowds yelling at Republican congresspeople about Trump
- poll numbers indicating close to 70% support for impeachment and less than 40% opposed

That is the condition that could make Republicans shift with the wind. It might not. But it's the only condition that could.

The way we get there is to convince people to support impeachment. The way we convince people is to talk about impeachment in public over and over again. Get it on TV as a subject of discussion, get it into the national consciousness, talk about it as if it's a thing that could possibly happen.

It's true that Mueller's investigation is not going to impeach Trump, because that was never in Mueller's power to begin with. What's required for impeachment is political will. Nothing more and nothing less.

The investigation and all the evidence of collusion is still important - primarily because we deserve to know. But more importantly it can be useful to convince people, and to lay out an argument that Republicans could potentially adopt as a reason to oppose Trump.

I hate to say "people should do what I think is important" but I think we need to remember that the investigation, in particular, is the one thing we bystanders have no influence over. And the political wave is something that only we can create. The FBI can't make political waves - they're doing as much as they can by leaking all these juicy tidbits. We can't touch the investigation, but we can do politics. The FBI has their job - we have ours.

If we keep talking about impeachment like it's politically impossible, then that's what it will be. If we talk about it like it is possible, then it's possible the field will shift.

Also in the last thread, petebest offered a first draft of reasons the president should be impeached, so here is my draft, in no particular order

- He's being bribed through his properties and refuses to stop
- He asked Russia to interfere in the election to help him
- Russia did in fact help him, there is evidence of this
- He's obstructed justice by firing and trying to intimidate the head of the FBI who was investigating Russian activity
- He's leaked intelligence to Russian agents
- He has no understanding of the Constitution and is ridiculously unqualified to lead
- He is destroying our power on the world stage - our diplomatic power, military power, and covert intelligence power - making him detrimental to our national security
- He lies constantly and we cannot trust him in any way for anything
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 1:57 PM on June 30 [92 favorites]


1) Collusion with a hostile foreign power to influence federal elections
2) Admitted extortionist (as of today, so yay)
3) Clear pattern of harassment and abuse
4) Bribery (emoluments), corruption (nepotism), and (hosing kids-with-cancer-charity) fraud.

Since we're not talking about legal requirements (there are none), and since these are all clear and documented "misdemeanors" relating to the Office of the President . . let's crank up the Impeachment Machine. Any objections?

This will take cycles away from the individual fights, yes. We can do it all.

Edit: High-five Rainbo Vagrant
posted by petebest at 1:59 PM on June 30 [34 favorites]


Not to abuse the edit function, I want to add that talking like this will not pay off until we get to some tipping point - until we get some really substantive smoking-gun evidence, or until we hit 70% support, or something like that. So it will probably feel pointless and absurd until we get there. But if we ever get that smoking gun, we will need this groundwork in place in order to use it.

The investigation is the tip of the spear, but we have to drive it in.

(high five right back)
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:03 PM on June 30 [14 favorites]


Mississippi's Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, on not releasing voter information to Kobach:

They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from. Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”
posted by lalex at 2:13 PM on June 30 [52 favorites]


Okay, Rainbo Vagrant, here's the version I just shared on my Facebook Page and in my Indivisible Group...
Since Trump took office I have believed that impeachment was possible (on the grounds that he is flagrantly violating the emoluments clause) and would be good for the country.

But this new evidence of collusion, published by the Wall Street Journal, has moved me into the camp of people who believe it is not only possible and good but actually NECESSARY for national security.

Here is a draft list of charges:

- He's is violating the emoluments clause, and as a result is receiving bribes from foreign powers.

- There is evidence that his campaign colluded with Russia to spread false propaganda, hack into state elections databases, and sabotage his political opponents by stealing and publishing their private communications.

- He's obstructed justice by firing and trying to intimidate the head of the FBI who was investigating Russian activity

- He is undermining our national security by leaking intelligence to Russian agents, refusing to take responsibility for military engagements, and neglecting diplomacy

- He has no understanding of the Constitution and is ridiculously unqualified to lead

- He lies constantly and undermines trust in the US government
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:13 PM on June 30 [45 favorites]


The Business Insider story by Natasha Bertrand citing WSJ's reporting is nice because it is unpaywalled and provides more context... And doesn't bury the lede.

Russian hackers reportedly discussed how to steal Clinton's emails and transfer them to Michael Flynn


That should have been the headline of the WSJ article.
posted by diogenes at 2:17 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Here is a draft list of charges:

Great - let's get it in the format used to present it to the House and get this done.
posted by petebest at 2:21 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Thank you so much for posting that, OnceUponATime. (i have so many feelings about this)

I don't havfe much of a presence on facebook but I just posted something like that too.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:30 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


19 states so far, and it's not even July 4th yet. The Kobach commission is dead in the water.

You can add PA to that list. We will not participate in this systematic effort to suppress the vote.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:36 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


Content Warning: The Following is Satire and is Not Intended to Accurately Represent the Good People of The South. Southern Discretion is Advised.

GA SoS KEMP: Caw'm geet mir brr voduh imp *spit* ain'h glibp haerrr anx. VO' fawt! Mmm hmmm.
*squeaky fart*
*chuckle*

(Translation: Georgia will be emailing its complete voter database to the Kobach fraud factory. Reportedly over a 14.4 modem, repeatedly, and without initial success.)
posted by petebest at 2:42 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


My comment in the last thread was really discouraged but the responses by the states to the voter fraud letter is really, really encouraging.
posted by Brainy at 2:43 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


With the addition of MS, there are now, it seems 23 states saying they wont fully comply with the kobackwards commissions data request. (Ari Berman has been posting periodic updates and had 22 states an hour ago and added Mississippi about 20 minutes after that).

while I was writing this he tweeted again updating his full count to 23.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:51 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


perhaps worth noting that included in the 23 are the home states of both the commissions vice-chairmen, IN and KS.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:52 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile, New Hampshire's Secretary of State (who is, as I said earlier, on the damn commission), will gladly hand over our records. But he might... charge a fee. Way to take a stand, pal.
posted by schoolgirl report at 2:56 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


I don't want to get too far down this hopeful path without some critical thought about what providing/not providing the voter registration info means. The link above about NH SoS Gardner saying he will provide publicly available info to the administration is describing an action that is consistent with what some of the 23 "wont provide" folks are being credited with. I spent too much of today reading the various statements probably but for example the Indiana SoS's statement says she/the state wont be complying with the request for SSNs birthdates, party affiliation or voting history, but that state law only allows her to share names, address, and congressional district.

Despite having posted several updates with the counts of states saying they wont be complying, I think this is going to be substantially more complicated and impossible to distill into a single number representing how many states are resisting or facilitating this charade.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:03 PM on June 30 [14 favorites]


This is doubly sucking for me because in addition to not being senator, Jason Kander is no longer our secretary of state.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:13 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Trump to the President of South Korea earlier today:
The United States has trade deficits with many, many countries, and we cannot allow that to continue ... with South Korea right now, but we cannot allow that to continue. This is really a statement that I make about all trade: For many, many years the United States has suffered through massive trade deficits; that’s why we have $20 trillion in debt.
The President of the United States does not appear to know the difference between the national debt and a trade deficit. Happy Friday!
posted by zachlipton at 3:24 PM on June 30 [101 favorites]


A McClatchy investigation reveals that Trump ventured more aggressively into the former Soviet empire from 2005 to 2015 than has previously been known, even seeking to have his name atop a massive shimmering glass tower in Astana, the post-Soviet capital of Kazakhstan.
And Trump sought a trademark in Iran, a country he has sought to isolate as president, that would reserve use of his name among other things for real estate and hotels.
None of this is revealed in Trump’s financial disclosure statements. And since he hasn’t released his tax returns, these sorts of relationships are not apparent.
posted by adamvasco at 3:27 PM on June 30 [36 favorites]


The fact that this choade is named Kris Kobach and he's from Kansas is what pushes me towards the "we're in a simulation and the writers are fucking with us" camp.
posted by emjaybee at 3:31 PM on June 30 [38 favorites]


Republicans keep saying "Run government like a business".

If Tim Cook tweeted mean things about Marissa Mayer's face and refused to apologize or stand down, he'd be fired.


Was it in the Baffler, the article that outlined how more and more, typical US business practices are precisely aligned with the sort of amoral, fascistic intent that the current administration is making its own? The point being: running businesses all too often resembles exactly the kind of craven, bullying shenanigans that we're now seeing in government. So, in a perverse kind of way, they're not wrong when they repeat that mantra...
posted by progosk at 3:32 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


You literally couldn't make this stuff up.

Rachel Kurzius, DCist; Russian-Funded News Station Replaces Bluegrass on 105.5 FM
Those who've become accustomed to hearing bluegrass music when they turn the dial to 105.5 FM are in for a surprise—the bandwidth now broadcasts Sputnik, a “global wire, radio and digital news service" funded by the Russian government.

"It's radio that brings you the views that you don't get from other stations," says Mindia Gavasheli, the editor in chief of Sputnik U.S.

Indeed, Sputnik is surely the only media outlet in D.C. where a former Breitbart investigative reporter shares an office with a Green Party candidate for city council. Launched in 2014, it operates out of an office on K Street NW by Farragut North.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 3:34 PM on June 30 [24 favorites]


I can't wait until Trumpmenbashi (dir George Clooney) premieres in 2030 !!! [self. fake]
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:35 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Vox: New poll shows health care bill could crush GOP Senators
The poll numbers for Senate Republican candidates take an approximately 30-point hit when voters learn they’re supporting their party’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to a poll set to be released on Friday. The poll found that, in a vacuum, voters in 10 battleground states are split almost evenly about Republican senate candidates — with 21 percent of voters viewing them favorably and 20 percent viewing them unfavorably. [...]

The numbers are even more dramatic when the polling is mixed in with attacks on the GOP health bill. “After hearing criticisms of the Republican plan, voters in these Senate battlegrounds went from leaning toward voting the Democrat in 2018 by a healthy 48-38 margin, to leaning toward the Democrat by an even more robust 56-35 margin — an 11-point jump,” the poll stated.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:54 PM on June 30 [71 favorites]


The Hill GOP bill would ease enforcement of political activity by churches
House Republicans added a provision to a spending bill that would bar funds for the IRS to enforce the law prohibiting churches and other nonprofits from endorsing political candidates.

The House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved the spending measure, which funds the Treasury Department, Judiciary and other agencies, on Thursday.

"None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Internal Revenue Service to make a determination that a church, an integrated auxiliary of a church, or a convention or association of churches is not exempt from taxation for participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office unless," the provision reads.
It always strikes me as odd that the most immoral party is the one trying to jam religion into politics. I mean I know very well that white evangelicals is one of the strongest parts of the Republican coalition, yet it still seems strange. You think DJT or Steve Mnuchin gives a shit about what churches do?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:00 PM on June 30 [15 favorites]


Raw Story: Busy Putin will ‘try’ to make time for Trump: Kremlin
The Kremlin has underlined that the planned meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, will have to hinge on Putin’s busy schedule.[...]According to Yuri Ushakov, a senior aide of Putin’s and a former Russian ambassador to the U.S., as far as scheduling goes, Putin’s concrete commitments at the G20 take priority.

“We will give the Americans the schedule of our president’s trip to Hamburg, we will tell them about the meetings which we have agreed already and we will try to pencil into this complicated enough schedule, a very important and needed meeting,” Ushakov told state news agency Itar-Tass on Friday.[my bold]

We'll try to pencil him in...priceless! I'm sure DJT loves being on the receiving end of a domination move. Speaking of which, I hope their first handshake is filmed-- it should be an interesting moment.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:09 PM on June 30 [72 favorites]


"House Republicans added a provision to a spending bill that would bar funds for the IRS to enforce the law prohibiting churches and other nonprofits from endorsing political candidates."

I'm a bit "eh" on this one because those provisions haven't been taken seriously in years. I can think of two local situations just in my county in the last five years that were in CLEAR contravention of very SIMPLE parts of the law (not even the more borderline stuff where a preacher's hellfire sermon about some candidate or issue is likely protected by free speech, but clear use of church funds and facilities to support particular candidates and campaigns). It happens everywhere, all the time, and the IRS basically doesn't do anything about it -- partly because they have other priorities, partly because it's a really toxic area for them to act.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:13 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


Busy Putin will ‘try’ to make time for Trump: Kremlin

Trump is not nearly as good at dominance games as he thinks he is, but he's drawn to them like a moth to halogen porch light. This will not end well.
posted by msalt at 4:15 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


It always strikes me as odd that the most immoral party is the one trying to jam religion into politics

White people's religion.

This is also the party that, in states with early voting, seeks to restrict or eliminate Sunday voting in an effort to dampen turnout from "Souls to the Polls" events where church congregations march to the voting booths.

This is unacceptable to Republicans because the effort is primarily spearheaded by African-American churches. They are only interested in giving white churches more power.
posted by lalex at 4:15 PM on June 30 [43 favorites]


Mediaite, JOE BILELLO: President Trump Deserves Credit For Taking On Bullies Like Mika Brzezinski
In case people aren’t aware by now, when Donald Trump is attacked, he fights back, even when he probably shouldn’t.

Whether it’s a war hero like John McCain, the parents of a war hero like Humayun Khan, or just some morning talk show hosts, Mr. Trump feels the need to retaliate for criticism against him because the criticism against him is almost never benign.

And whether he is right or wrong, lets not pretend that he is always the aggressor. In fact, President Trump may deserve some credit for virtually never attacking anyone without provocation. Dare I say, Donald Trump may be the most civil politician in history. Ok, that’s a stretch. But as ruthless and vulgar as his attacks may be, he is almost always the counter-puncher.[...]

Republicans have been the victims of bullying for years. They are bullied by the press. They are bullied by the entertainment industry. They are bullied by other politicians. And they have always taken the high road. They have always backed down.

But in Trump, for the first time in history, Republicans may have an individual who has decided to refuse to back down. He has refused to turn the other cheek. The press is the bully and Donald Trump is punching them straight in the nose.
I don't know who Bilello is but I read this entire op ed with my jaw on the floor. At first I thought it was tongue in cheek satire but the further I read the more I was convinced this guy is serious.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:17 PM on June 30 [12 favorites]


For those arguing that the Mika/Joe twitter battle is a trivial distraction:

Harvard law professor: If the White House threatened 'Morning Joe' hosts with a National Enquirer story, it's a crime (by Allan Smith at Business Insider)
posted by msalt at 4:23 PM on June 30 [69 favorites]


Raw Story: Busy Putin will ‘try’ to make time for Trump: Kremlin

"I had my personal chef make this dish special for you, Donald. I believe in America, you call it 'meatloaf'."
posted by jason_steakums at 4:24 PM on June 30 [22 favorites]


Hey, Donnie Two Scoops....I got bad news for you. The chef ran out of ice cream and chocolate cake before he got yours dished up. Excuse me while I go ahead and tuck in before the ice cream melts. MMMMMM goood.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:27 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


That Bilelo guy is serious and not worth our time.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:35 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


I mean the core of this whole thing is basically:

Mika: LOL UR A SMALLDICK
Donald: LOL UR PLASTIC SURGERY FACE
Mika: NO UR A SMALLDICK

I see some buffoons having a clownish shitfight, ain't no one looks good, but there's just no license for the hyperbolic puling. Considering all parties seem to be operating at this schoolyard level, Mika started this one! And now we have days of this garbage rather than anything of substance.

Journalism is increasingly a goddamn human centipede ouroboros - how much of the news is just about ... other news, these days? Mika got insulted! So-and-so moved from X channel/paper to Y channel/paper! Trump is depriving the White House Press Corps of their precious time in front of the camera! This other news is fake!

I think this is not solely or even primarily due to Trump, but it's something he pushes. Reality TV is his domain.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:47 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Considering all parties seem to be operating at this schoolyard level, Mika started this one!

What are you talking about? Also, is "she was asking for it!" really where we're at when a man starts abusing a woman on twitter?
posted by Justinian at 4:50 PM on June 30 [26 favorites]


I mean, there is the part where the White House tried to blackmail two media critics of the President into supporting him again
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:51 PM on June 30 [51 favorites]


What are you talking about?

The show Trump got pissed at had Mika making the very prevalent small hands -> small dick joke.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:52 PM on June 30


*muzzles self before anger eruption*
posted by Justinian at 4:54 PM on June 30 [21 favorites]


>"House Republicans added a provision to a spending bill that would bar funds for the IRS to enforce the law prohibiting churches and other nonprofits from endorsing political candidates."

>I'm a bit "eh" on this one because those provisions haven't been taken seriously in years.


The problem is the slippery slope of ignoring these provisions. Pretty soon, you have the Koch brothers and others making millions of dollars of tax deductible donations to churches and using them as tax deductible political superPACs.
posted by JackFlash at 5:03 PM on June 30 [17 favorites]


Considering all parties seem to be operating at this schoolyard level, Mika started this one!

Last I looked, all signs pointed to coverage of Trump's fake Time covers as the instigation of this most recent round. It's small potatoes compared to treason, incompetence, and policy horrors, but it's something worth a segment at least.

Aside from that I have to agree with Justinian re: victim blaming and RW,LD on that petty little thing about blackmail.

You don't have to ignore the other horrors and you don't have to love Scarborough or Brzezinski to realize this is some serious shit.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:04 PM on June 30 [22 favorites]



I mean the core of this whole thing is basically:

Mika: LOL UR A SMALLDICK
Donald: LOL UR PLASTIC SURGERY FACE
Mika: NO UR A SMALLDICK


He sent a tabloid to harass her children.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:05 PM on June 30 [58 favorites]


I think Scarborough and Brzezinski have far from clean hands here, that their attempts to paint this as a sudden change in Trump's behavior so they don't have to admit they were wrong before is absurd, and that their failure to speak up sooner and release the text messages pose serious concerns about their credibility.

But with all that said, one of them is the co-host of a TV show watched on the average day by ~0.3% of the country, and the other one is President of the United States who commands an arsenal of nuclear weapons. And his attacks fit perfectly into a pattern of how he's treated everyone, especially every woman, who has ever said no to him, a pattern that some people went to pretty great lengths to warn us about during the election. It doesn't matter what Brzezinski said; blackmail and public attacks are not an appropriate way for a grown-ass adult to respond.

There's real news and real journalism going on out there. Don't belittle the whole concept because of this.
posted by zachlipton at 5:06 PM on June 30 [72 favorites]


A man once said that alcohol brings out the asshole in everybody. I used to say the same wa true of politics, but now I belive it about the internet. Me included.
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


There was a great episode of The West Wing called A Proportional Response, where President Bartlet had to temper his emotions to authorize a reaction that was appropriate to the provocation.

President Obama was called a Kenyan Muslim when he wasn't, and was subjected to a disgusting array of racial slurs throughout his presidency. He was hung and burned in effigy. He kept his cool under so much provocation that it was a joke to imagine him losing his temper.

President Trump had a fake Time magazine cover in one of his country clubs, and when Mika Brzezinski made fun of him he flew off the handle and said horrible things about her. One of these things is not like the other.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:15 PM on June 30 [89 favorites]


The President of the United States, the Leader of the Greatest Economic, Military and Cultural Power in the History of Creation is always, always punching down.

Comes with the job, man. You have options if you don't like it.
posted by notyou at 5:23 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


To be fair The White House staff tried to explain to Trump how the office is supposed to have a quiet dignity about it but Trump didn't understand the word "quiet" or "dignity".
posted by Talez at 5:27 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


i really don't give a fuck about joe and mika. as far as i can see, and someone pointed this out in last thread, those fuckers and the networks have basically put his deranged behavior in front of the country for 2 years, effectively normalizing it. and for years prior during his birther circus. the so-called 'liberal' media are a root cause of trump. fuck them all. with trump's itty bitty dick.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:30 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


An all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan has been denied entry to the US to compete in an international competition.
posted by Hypatia at 5:32 PM on June 30 [39 favorites]


I declare the era of the nation state as officially over. Presidents are now functional, as are kings, queens, priests, popes and pharaohs. Trump is Zaphod Beeblebrox stealing the Heart Of Gold.

Don't Panic.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:33 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I think we should add Francis Buxton to the long list of movie villains that are on par with Trump.
posted by peeedro at 5:38 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


fuck them all. with trump's itty bitty dick

fuck them all. with trump's itty bitty (cis man, hetero) dick.

Because itty bitty trans gay lady dick is the best dick.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:38 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


The motherfucking election commission! Motherfucking voter fraud! And of course these people don't give a flying fuck at a rolling donut about vote tampering, esp. in state/local elections. I just read one of Jimmy Carter's memoirs where he was talking about coming up in politics, and how Georgia's elections were notoriously corrupt, and how he lost, and he lost for nakedly, obviously crooked reasons, and he took that shit up and fought it up to the state legislature, and I thought to myself: how many non-Jimmy Carter-ass motherfuckers are discouraged out of politics by similar kinds of chicanery? How the fuck can people with some degree of ethics not want to fix that shit? About then "lol America is racist as hell" kicked in but the election commission bullshit hits me in a particular way, it's of particular vexation to me when unethical people wrap themselves up in a smarmy blanket of Concerns when going about their nasty business, especially since disenfranchisement and election tampering are real problems that harm the democratic process.
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 5:39 PM on June 30 [9 favorites]


An all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan has been denied entry to the US to compete in an international competition.

That is a perfect client for legal action, ACLU. GO!

I mean, how is that any different from someone having a connection with the US by being admitted to a college, which the Supreme Court explicitly said was enough of a connection to enjoin enforcement of this provision? Not only is this wrong, but it's good evidence of the Administration's bad faith which should help get the right decision in October when they hear this case.
posted by msalt at 5:47 PM on June 30 [18 favorites]


Some links:

Stephen Fry: Happy Birthday, America. One Small Suggestion ..., in which it is argued we should have a monarchy.

Harold Pollack in Slate: Trumpcare Will Probably Kill Thousands Each Year: And it is neither alarmist nor uncivil to say so.

Denied: Afghanistan's All-Girl Robotics Team Can't Get Visas To The US. The author of curl (the unix command line tool) was denied boarding to the US, where he was going to attend the Mozilla allhands meeting, for no particular reason this week too.

Phillip Bump/WaPo: The White House had a coordinated message this month. Trump didn’t.. In which Trump's tweets are compared to the theme the White House is supposed to be emphasizing. During Infrastructure Week, he was off-message 80.6% of the time, while Tech Week set a record with this tweets not being about technology 100% of the time. In total, 12/163 of his weekday tweets during the themed weeks have been about the theme, and that includes two Twitter ads about infrastructure his staff placed.

CBS News: Science division of White House office left empty as last staffers depart
The science division of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was unstaffed as of Friday as the three remaining employees departed this week, sources tell CBS News.

All three employees were holdovers from the Obama administration. The departures from the division -- one of four subdivisions within the OSTP -- highlights the different commitment to scientific research under Presidents Obama and Trump.
On her way out, Elle Celeste tweeted: "science division out. mic drop."

Roll Call: Health Care Ads Running This Recess. The DSCC is launching a six-figure digital ad buy over the holiday weekend, including ads about the health care bill geo and keyword targeted around 4th of July parades where key Republicans will be appearing.

Rucker-Parker/WaPo: Why some inside the White House see Trump’s media feud as ‘winning’
Sure, Trump’s health-care push stalled on Capitol Hill, his “energy week” went largely unnoticed and the president faced almost universal condemnation for an unpresidential attack on MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski.

But to many inside the White House, as well as outside allies, what looked like a public relations debacle amounted to an abundance of “winning” — a Trumpian catchphrase playfully repeated Friday by some West Wing officials, even as they were discomfited by the Brzezinski broadside.

A rather deep exchange between Trump and Buzz Aldrin at the signing of the Executive Order on the National Space Council today...🚀:
(The order is signed.)

COLONEL ALDRIN: Infinity and beyond. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something -- but it could be infinity, right?

Okay. (Applause.)

END
I hope everyone had a great Energy Week!
posted by zachlipton at 5:49 PM on June 30 [56 favorites]




Also, from eight thread years ago

Ivanka* is also listed at $0 (listed as First Daughter and Advisor) as well as someone named Reed Cordish, Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental and Technology Initiatives

He's married to a college friend of Ivanka Trump.
posted by Ruki at 5:53 PM on June 30 [12 favorites]


That is a perfect client for legal action, ACLU. GO! I mean, how is that any different from someone having a connection with the US by being admitted to a college, which the Supreme Court explicitly said was enough of a connection to enjoin enforcement of this provision?

Afghanistan isn't one of the travel ban countries, so the court order isn't relevant here. This sounds like a straight-up visitor visa denial, which, as I understand it, is almost impossible to challenge in court. Very few B-1/B-2 visas get issued out of Afghanistan, because to get one, they presume you're going to overstay and live in the US, and it's up to you to convince them that you really will come back to Afghanistan. For most people, that's a hard sell.

They should get visas and get to go to the robotics competition, but this isn't new and is quite typical.
posted by zachlipton at 5:57 PM on June 30 [9 favorites]


Oregon Republicans are deputising Oathkeepers, if you were wondering when they would officially become part of the coup.
posted by Artw at 6:07 PM on June 30 [49 favorites]


Re: that link to Rep Raskin's tweet - he appears to have a plan in mind:

Rep. Jamie Raskin (Maryland) introduced a bill that would create an “oversight” commission that could declare the president incapacitated, leading to his removal from office under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

https://twitter.com/i/moments/880800335710887936

It has no chance of advancing, unfortunately, but I agree that it's a swell idea.
posted by mosk at 6:07 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


President Trump had a fake Time magazine cover in one of his country clubs,

Per @Fahrenthold and the WaPo, it was at least eight of his clubs. (The posters seem to be on their way down the memory hole now.)

Not that it matters. Nothing matters, anymore.
posted by Guy Smiley at 6:20 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Oregon Republicans are deputising Oathkeepers

No word on whether brown shirts will be part of the approved uniform.
posted by darkstar at 6:22 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


For a second there I had Oath Keepers and Promise Keepers confused and now I'm wondering what the Venn of those two groups looks like.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:28 PM on June 30 [21 favorites]


Oregon Republicans are deputising Oathkeepers

That's not accurate, and it's not said anywhere in the linked article.

Republicans are not in charge of anything in Multnomah County, so they have no power to deputise anyone. This is the crackpot leader of a tiny minority party: as of March 2016, Republicans constitute 13.8% of Multnomah County voters.

What the article says is that Republicans (or at least their leader, Mr. Buchal) will accept the volunteer offer of Oathkeepers and 3%ers to provide security at their rallies, much as the Altamont rock festival accepted the volunteer services of Hell's Angels. (True, but my analogy, not his)
posted by msalt at 6:32 PM on June 30 [40 favorites]


I'm wondering what the Venn of those two groups looks like.

Add in a circle for Crypt Keepers and you get the scariest intersection
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:34 PM on June 30 [15 favorites]


Oh my god, that Oathkeepers story is freaking me out.

From the Wikipedia article on the history of the S.S. in Germany...

"It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz (Hall-Protection) made up of NSDAP volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich."

From Timothy Snyder's book "On Tyranny":

Chapter 6: Be wary of paramilitaries
When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching with torches and pictures of a leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the end has come.
...
People and parties who wish to undermine the rule of law create and fund violent organizations that involve themselves in politics. Such groups can take the form of the paramilitary wing of a political party, the personal bodyguard of a particular politician -- or apparently spontaneous citizens' initiatives, which usually turn out to have been organized by a party or its leader.
...
These first challenge the police and the military, then penetrate the police and the military, and then finally transform the police and the military."
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:36 PM on June 30 [49 favorites]


Listen to msalt. This is the REPUBLICAN PARTY in MULTNOMAH COUNTY. While this is weird and dismaying, the ongoing collusion between Three Percent Brain Activity et al and rural sheriffs is way more disturbing in a politics way. Please trust us as actual people who live here.

I am a little concerned that this will escalate tensions in town more. Gibson and the hell shaking preachers are apparently holding another dumb-ass rally today.
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 6:43 PM on June 30 [21 favorites]


Via Benjamin Wittes, the WSJ has a sort of...follow-up piece? GOP Activist Who Sought Clinton Emails Cited Trump Campaign Officials:
WASHINGTON—A longtime Republican activist who led an operation hoping to obtain Hillary Clinton emails from hackers listed senior members of the Trump campaign, including some who now serve as top aides in the White House, in a recruitment document for his effort.

The activist, Peter W. Smith, named the officials in a section of the document marked “Trump Campaign.” The document was dated Sept. 7, 2016. [...]

Officials identified in the document include Steve Bannon, now chief strategist for President Donald Trump; Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager and now White House counselor; Sam Clovis, a policy adviser to the Trump campaign and now a senior adviser at the Agriculture Department; and retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who was a campaign adviser and briefly was national security adviser in the Trump administration.
Someone now tell me how important this is.
posted by lalex at 6:48 PM on June 30 [32 favorites]


If anything is important it's hugely important, I'd have thought - smoking gun, holed under the waterline important.

So probably worth a news cycle.
posted by Artw at 6:55 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed at the lack of Dunning-Krueger Sundae Carter Page in that list but I wonder, did Smith think Page was too dumb?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:57 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


[WITTES WARNING] Wittes, in response to the new WSJ piece, tweeted "More is coming, people" and then separately tweeted that he's publishing an important piece on Lawfare tonight.
posted by lalex at 7:00 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


If the distraction theory is true then Trump will have to get up in the morning and tell Wolf Blitzer to go fuck a dog or something.
posted by Artw at 7:03 PM on June 30 [21 favorites]


From the CBS article about the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) having no remaining employees:

Under Mr. Obama, the science division was staffed with nine employees who led the charge on policy issues such as STEM education, biotechnology and crisis response.

Every voter has watched a movie where the scientist rushes into the Oval Office to warn the President about a catastrophe. Now there are no scientists to do that, because the President is Shitty. This should be a Huge Fucking Story, no?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:04 PM on June 30 [48 favorites]


Harvard law professor: If the White House threatened 'Morning Joe' hosts with a National Enquirer story, it's a crime

IF? He admitted it!

Trump's response to the allegation on Friday morning appeared to confirm that such conversations took place.

"Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time," Trump tweeted. "FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show."


It's in your own article, Allan Smith at Business Insider! Howabout "Trump apparrently concedes extortion"? "Did Trump Extort an Apology From Joe and Mika? Trump says Yes".

"He called me to stop a National Enquirer article . . I said I had nothing to do with it"
"He called me to stop a National Enquirer article . . I said, Whattaya mean"
"He called me to stop a National Enquirer article . . I said, of course I'll help!"
"He called me to stop a National Enquirer article . . I said, You Suck"

- all fine. "I said 'no'" . . . . No, that's admission. You knew about it. YOU JUST ADMITTED IT. Moran!
posted by petebest at 7:06 PM on June 30 [15 favorites]


How do the mods feel about pasting entire WSJ articles in here? If we turn them into hyperlinks to the Dramatic Chipmunk video, they are parody fair use
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:07 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Pasting WSJ headlines into Google and clicking the link often gets you around the paywall, but pasting the headline into Twitter search and clicking a link from there is quite reliable.
posted by zachlipton at 7:09 PM on June 30 [11 favorites]


There's a lot of speculation that Trump's mental health is already poor and perhaps deteriorating. His father had Alzheimer's. Some people wonder if Trump is in the early stages, as the oldest person to be elected president. Don't count on the media to alert us to any relevant parallels.
posted by Brian B. at 7:09 PM on June 30 [8 favorites]


With the addition of MS, there are now, it seems 23 states saying they wont fully comply ...
perhaps worth noting that included in the 23 are the home states of both the commissions vice-chairmen, IN and KS


Didn't I JUST hear Kobach on NPR implying that states who wouldn't comply must have something to hide?
posted by ctmf at 7:13 PM on June 30


Guys, I don't want to rain on this follow-up bomb, but it's not explicitly saying they're involved. In fact, it seems rather confused as to why they are mentioned.

"Mr. Smith’s purpose in listing the officials isn’t clear. There is no indication in the document that he sought or received any coordination from the campaign officials or the campaign in general."
posted by greermahoney at 7:17 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]




Hey, who cries at weddings, hah? Yeah? Oh yeah me too that's why you'll love these pics from Goldman Sachs fraudster forclosure monster Treasury Fall G- Secretary Steven Mnuchin!

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, 54, married his 36-year-old fiancée Louise Linton on Saturday in front of a stunning list of Washington insiders and Wall Street elite.!

It is Mnuchin's third marriage and Linton's second. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, met Linton, a Scottish actress, at a wedding in 2013, and the two got engaged in 2015.
!

See who was there in these photos from the star-studded event:!!

And star-studded it was, red carpet fans! Everybody turned out to light the night, from HUD Secretary Ben Carson (!) To amateur bush-talker Sean Spicer (!!) to hunky Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin!! There was also a serial sex predator but let's get to the important things - The LOOKS!

OMG! The first lady wore a Gilles Mendel silk chiffon gown with Manolo Blahnik pumps.!!

Did you want more fireworks?! Well, KA-POW!!
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, waved from a limo en route to the ceremony.!
Yes, that's a REAL limo, ladies, but don't wave at Vice President Pence too much, he's already married! And it makes him quite uncomfortable.

Pence then officiated the wedding.!! OMG Dreams do come true, Steven! Third time's the charm, and it couldn't happen to a . . . guy.

Linton reportedly wore a pile of jewelry, including a tiara, a diamond necklace, pearl drop earrings, multiple diamond rings, diamond bracelets, and, of course, her giant, oval diamond engagement ring.!!

You guys, they are SO goddamned rich, it's *snf* Oh! I said I wasn't going to curse but *snf*

Also reportedly in attendance: national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York, and Jim Donovan, a Goldman Sachs banker who withdrew his name from consideration as Mnuchin's deputy secretary.!!!

Wow, you guys it's like the guest list was dreamed up by the White House themselves! *sigh*. Now that's autocratic magic™!!
posted by petebest at 7:42 PM on June 30 [18 favorites]




It's up. The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians

Ok, so here's what I think? is the important piece of this:
Then, a few weeks into my interactions with Smith, he sent me a document, ostensibly a cover page for a dossier of opposition research to be compiled by Smith’s group, and which purported to clear up who was involved. The document was entitled “A Demonstrative Pedagogical Summary to be Developed and Released Prior to November 8, 2016,” and dated September 7. It detailed a company Smith and his colleagues had set up as a vehicle to conduct the research: “KLS Research”, set up as a Delaware LLC “to avoid campaign reporting,” and listing four groups who were involved in one way or another.

[details of groups listed]

My perception then was that the inclusion of Trump campaign officials on this document was not merely a name-dropping exercise. This document was about establishing a company to conduct opposition research on behalf of the campaign, but operating at a distance so as to avoid campaign reporting. Indeed, the document says as much in black and white.

The combination of Smith’s deep knowledge of the inner workings of the campaign, this document naming him in the “Trump campaign” group, and the multiple references to needing to avoid campaign reporting suggested to me that the group was formed with the blessing of the Trump campaign. In the Journal’s story this evening, several of the individuals named in the document denied any connection to Smith, and it’s certainly possible that he was a big name-dropper and never really represented anyone other than himself. If that’s the case, Smith talked a very good game.
posted by lalex at 7:59 PM on June 30 [22 favorites]


I was involved in the events that reporter Shane Harris described, and I was an unnamed source for the initial story. What’s more, I was named in, and provided the documents to Harris that formed the basis of, this evening’s follow-up story, which reported that “A longtime Republican activist who led an operation hoping to obtain Hillary Clinton emails from hackers listed senior members of the Trump campaign, including some who now serve as top aides in the White House, in a recruitment document for his effort”

If "But her emails" turns out to the torpedo that finally sinks the Bismark, I shall officially almost start to prepare to consider forgiving 2016.

(It won't, but at least my irony meter appears to be EMP hardened by now)
posted by Devonian at 8:05 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


From the Lawfare piece: "The document was entitled “A Demonstrative Pedagogical Summary to be Developed and Released Prior to November 8, 2016,” and dated September 7."

@RVAwonk:
The document from the (now-dead) Peter W. Smith is dated Sept. 7, 2016. You know what happened the next day...? 1/2

Next day: Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Kislyak in his DC office. Here's a whole thread on that meeting...2/2

[from the older thread] Then, on Sept. 8 - the day of the #Sessions/Kislyak meeting - Trump told a Russian TV network he didn't think Russia was behind the hack.
posted by lalex at 8:06 PM on June 30 [37 favorites]


BoooomShakalaka! It's Cake o'clock!
posted by petebest at 8:08 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


Well, not sure if it's Trump-shattering, but it's a kaboom for sure.
posted by SakuraK at 8:08 PM on June 30


Trump's Enquirer tweet can plausibly be read as a denial of extortion; Scarborough claimed Trump or associates threatened Scarborough with the story. Trump is denying that piece (no collusion with the Enquirer in advance) and suggesting Scarborough called Trump to ask him to intervene with the Enquirer to scotch the story.

You could read it that way if you were inclined to be charitable to Trump, which I know.
posted by notyou at 8:09 PM on June 30


In short:

US intelligence: Russian officials say they were trying to get hacked emails to Flynn and the Trump campaign through an intermediary
People in contact with Smith: This guy said he was talking to people who were probably Russian operatives abut getting hacked emails, he was completely indifferent to warnings that he's talking to Russian intelligence, and at least professed to multiple people to be in contact with the campaign about this
Smith: I was talking to people I thought were affiliated with the Russian government about obtaining hacked emails

What more do you need?
posted by zachlipton at 8:09 PM on June 30 [38 favorites]


Is that rhetorical? I assume so. Nothing more is needed for us to make a personal judgment. But if I were on a jury I'd want to see some evidence of actual coordination between Smith and Trump officials, not just a third party talking about trying to arrange such a thing.
posted by Justinian at 8:14 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


As this whole thing gets more tangled, my growing concern is that Omnigate is so complex as to be unable to be articulated to the public. In order to make a case for impeachment, it has to be pretty clear what happened. The amount of fucked up relationships has taken hundreds of articles' worth of reporting by now to describe.
posted by Room 101 at 8:15 PM on June 30 [11 favorites]


(to be clear, Smith's testimony would be such evidence... sadly he's dead.)
posted by Justinian at 8:15 PM on June 30


I cannot fucking believe he's dead.
posted by lalex at 8:17 PM on June 30 [7 favorites]


So... A few people IRL have implied Smith was killed ala KGB style. Is this realistic? Could he really have been killed?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:19 PM on June 30


If a democratic operative who was reportedly working as a go-between of the Clinton campaign and a foreign adversary died 10 days after giving evidence to the press of such a thing I'm sure the right wing would totally accept it as a coincidence.
posted by Justinian at 8:19 PM on June 30 [65 favorites]


Hn: Could? Sure. Anything could be true. But there's no evidence whatsoever of such a thing and, therefore, we should conclude he was just an old guy who died inconveniently.
posted by Justinian at 8:20 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Well, not sure if it's Trump-shattering, but it's a kaboom for sure.

If the "tick tick" has been retired then can we replace the boom with the Law and Order sound effect? Because really, at this point it feels more like we're watching a police procedural unfold from the POV of the investigators and prosecutors and I'd like to have some optimism that justice will prevail, eventually.
posted by peeedro at 8:20 PM on June 30 [15 favorites]


I'm curious if we can get any kind of explanation for why Smith talked to the WSJ. I realize we can't ask him, but perhaps the reporters he talked to have some idea about his motives? The tone of the article doesn't imply it's a dying confession so much as him continuing to not think there's anything wrong with chatting with Russian intelligence in an effort to influence an election, but there are some questions about his motives here.
posted by zachlipton at 8:21 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


But if I were on a jury I'd want to see some evidence of actual coordination between Smith and Trump officials, not just a third party talking about trying to arrange such a thing.

I mean, there was that time Trump stood up on stage and encouraged Russian officials to do basically the exact thing we're talking about here.

I do find the theory that Smith was just surrounded by randoms online trying to rip him off to be highly compelling, since it's the stupidest possible explanation and that's really been the right way to go for anything that happened in 2016.
posted by zachlipton at 8:24 PM on June 30 [14 favorites]


So... A few people IRL have implied Smith was killed ala KGB style. Is this realistic? Could he really have been killed?

He was 81, so natural causes are hard to rule out.

I'm curious if we can get any kind of explanation for why Smith talked to the WSJ.

Just spitballing here, but perhaps he knew he was soon to die and his conscience troubled him, and/or he was pissed off at Bannon or Trump or somebody so FUCK HIM, nothing to lose.
posted by msalt at 8:28 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


If the "tick tick" has been retired then can we replace the boom with the Law and Order sound effect?
EXT. CITY STREET – DAY

*Picks up trash can*
"Yeah, I saw him. Fat fella, orange rat's nest for hair and a bad tan."
*Dumps trash in garbage truck*
"Talking to some Russki, really eager-like. Name was Kissy-yak, or something like that."
*Puts down trash can, climbs into truck*
"Look, I got 6 more blocks until lunch break, I gotta go."
posted by leotrotsky at 8:28 PM on June 30 [49 favorites]


Politico says Tillerson argued with a second White House aide
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued with senior White House aide Stephen Miller over immigration issues last week in a second recent clash with the White House.

Miller pushed Tillerson and the State Department to be tougher on immigration and make changes to the programs they control, according to four people familiar with the conversation in the West Wing. John Kelly, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, was also present.

Two of these people described the conversation as tense, though there wasn't the “yelling” that Tillerson reserved for Johnny DeStefano, the head of presidential personnel, in a different argument at the White House the same day, according to one of these people.

Tillerson made it “quite clear” to Miller that he wanted autonomy over his department, one of these people said.
...
Tillerson has grown increasingly frustrated at the White House and chafed at taking direction from younger Trump aides and not being able to implement State Department policies and offices like he would like, people familiar with his thinking say.
There's been an effort within the White House to try to move Consular Affairs from State to DHS. Right now, the State Department issues visas and plays a key part in the refugee admission process, while DHS decides who actually gets into the country at the border. Moving this would be a total mess, and would not be a good thing if you don't want Trump's DHS doing visa interviews.
posted by zachlipton at 8:37 PM on June 30 [17 favorites]




If the "tick tick" has been retired then can we replace the boom with the Law and Order sound effect?
Or maybe the CSI:Miami "YEEAAAAAHHH"

Could he really have been killed?
I realized that I have fallen into a Conspiracy Theory hole when it was pointed out that one of the first parodies of Trump was on Saturday Night Live and was done by Phil Hartman and I pondered whether the fantastic Phil may have been the first casualty of crossing The Donald.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:47 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


As this whole thing gets more tangled, my growing concern is that Omnigate is so complex as to be unable to be articulated to the public. In order to make a case for impeachment, it has to be pretty clear what happened.

On the other hand, felony obstruction of justice is very simple. Trump asks Comey to close Flynn investigation, Comey says no. Trump asks everyone else to leave the room and then asks Comey for loyalty. Trump fires Comey and then goes on TV and said he did it because he wanted to stop the Russia investigation. Trump tells THE RUSSIANS IN THE OVAL OFFICE that firing Comey has reduced pressure on him.

This is all really easy to understand, provable with publicly available evidence, and constitutes a felony worthy of impeachment. Regardless of the remainder of OMNIGATE.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:49 PM on June 30 [26 favorites]


The upside to Omnigate being such an unbounded mess of bubbling stew in the cauldron is that nobody can put a lid on it. Not that there's anyone out there who has a handle on that lid. Who do you think is at the controls?

Two of the four estates are still functioning: the law and the press. The legislature and the executive are railing against both, but it takes a long time to turn around the oil tanker of the courts. The press is a hot mess of its own accord, but we're still quoting the WSJ and the NYT and WaPo, so that's still up and running. And with hundreds of hacks trying to make their name, believe me that one of them will create a narrative clear enough for everyone to understand.

There's enough institutional inertia for the mechanisms of state to shut the madness down, especially because the nutters who've found themselves running half of it have no idea what they're doing.
posted by Devonian at 8:57 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Domestic violence/harassment---> mass shooting, this is my surprised face.

Everybody's worried about ISIS instead of our all-American homegrown misogynist assholes with guns.
posted by emjaybee at 8:58 PM on June 30 [61 favorites]


So... A few people IRL have implied Smith was killed ala KGB style. Is this realistic? Could he really have been killed?

FWIW, I get approximately 1/754 for the probability that a random US 75-84 year-old dies in a random 10-day stretch, based on Fig 2-3 of this census report. Death rates increase steeply with age, so it might be a bit higher for an 81 year-old. So dying of regular causes shortly after he talked is not outrageously unlikely... but unlikely.
posted by Coventry at 8:58 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


> So the doctor who shot up that hospital in the Bronx was a pussy-grabber. "Dr. Bello was arrested and charged with sex abuse and unlawful imprisonment after a 23-year-old woman told officers he had grabbed her crotch"

Fixed link: NYT: Doctor Opens Fire at Bronx Hospital, Killing Woman and Wounding 6 Others
posted by christopherious at 9:06 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


The ADAPT members who held the sit-in at Sen. Gardner's office in Denver are still in custody more than 24 hours after their arrest.
posted by zachlipton at 9:08 PM on June 30 [14 favorites]


Domestic violence/harassment---> mass shooting

Or to make it more accurate, "Domestic violence/harassment---> punishment---> mass shooting". An anecdotal data point that any attempts to reduce the worst of misogyny may sometimes have tragic results. Elliot Rodger redux. Because Garbage Person males are damned dangerous.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:10 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Trump’s Obama Obsession, Charles Blow, New York Times
Trump’s racial ideas were apparently a selling point among his supporters. Recent research has dispensed with the myth of “economic anxiety” and shone a light instead on the central importance race played in Trump’s march to the White House. As the researchers Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel reported in The Nation in March:

“In short, our analysis indicates that Donald Trump successfully leveraged existing resentment towards African Americans in combination with emerging fears of increased racial diversity in America to reshape the presidential electorate, strongly attracting nativists towards Trump and pushing some more affluent and highly educated people with more cosmopolitan views to support Hillary Clinton. Racial identity and attitudes have further displaced class as the central battleground of American politics.”

Trump was sent to Washington to strip it of all traces of Obama, to treat the Obama legacy as a historical oddity. Trump’s entire campaign was about undoing what Obama had done.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 PM on June 30 [65 favorites]


FYI, Maine state government is now officially shut down. Senate has passed the budget three times tonight with only one nay, and it has passed in the House twice, but they can't get the House to the 2/3 needed for it to implement without Gov. LePage having to sign. LePage refuses to sign what was passed, pulled house leadership into an 11 pm meeting for 'compromise' in which the Dem House speaker learned that LePage actually doesn't have some alternate proposal ready but might have one Monday.

They're currently trying again in the House but not much is likely to change. House Speaker characterized her meeting with LePage as ending with him having "a tantrum" and said he abruptly left the meeting with "shut it down" as his parting words.

(All this via multiple Maine press folks on Twitter, but I can't link easily on mobile.)
posted by anastasiav at 9:14 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


This is all really easy to understand, provable with publicly available evidence, and constitutes a felony worthy of impeachment.

It is. It's good, it might even clear legal requirements. But . . we don' need no steenkin legal requirements. Just this fully armed and operational US Constitution! Turn on the lights!

Time to start the drumbeat. Drum it in.

For some reason This popped into my head. As good as any!
posted by petebest at 9:32 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I continue to believe that the Republican Congress will not impeach Trump for any reason. Republicans on the Hill seem to believe either that supporting (or at least not actively opposing) Trump isn't politically risky or that losing the House in 2018 is a foregone conclusion so why not ram some agenda through to a President who will sign anything. It's not like losing a congressional election ends in homelessness; these people all have shiny futures in the private sector or as Governors or future Presidential candidates.
posted by xyzzy at 10:08 PM on June 30 [12 favorites]


Didn't I JUST hear Kobach on NPR implying that states who wouldn't comply must have something to hide?

From the Wichita Eagle, 2015: Wichita State mathematician says Kansas voting machines need audit:
Beth Clarkson, a certified quality engineer with a doctorate in statistics, said her calculations from the November election showed enough patterns to suspect that “some voting systems were being sabotaged.” [...] She filed a lawsuit against the Sedgwick County Election Office and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach earlier this year, asking for access to the paper records that voting machines record each time someone votes.
(Unfortunately, she lost her court case in 2016.)
posted by donatella at 10:17 PM on June 30 [19 favorites]


They're currently trying again in the House but not much is likely to change. House Speaker characterized her meeting with LePage as ending with him having "a tantrum" and said he abruptly left the meeting with "shut it down" as his parting words.

How the fuck do people like LePage win elections.
posted by Talez at 10:20 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


When women challenge Trump politically, he insults them physically.
Viscerally, Trump likely understands what the research shows: that focusing people’s attention on a woman’s appearance makes them value her abilities less. For a 2009 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Nathan Heflick and Jamie Goldenberg asked one group of college students to write about Sarah Palin’s appearance and another to write about her “human essence.” Then both groups were asked a series of questions about her. The students who had written about her appearance rated her as less competent. In a different study, participants told to focus on Michelle Obama’s looks deemed her less competent, too.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:20 PM on June 30 [28 favorites]


Trump was sent to Washington to strip it of all traces of Obama, to treat the Obama legacy as a historical oddity. Trump’s entire campaign was about undoing what Obama had done.

And it'll go down in history as a shameful backlash to the progress in race relations represented by Obama's election, too. History won't be kind (assuming we're still around to write history when this is over.) It's stunning how Republicans either can't see that or don't care.

Trump would absolutely resurrect bin Laden if he could, just to spite Obama.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:28 PM on June 30 [27 favorites]




I've been following these threads religiously for months and who the heck is Smith? #cliffhanger
posted by notyou at 10:52 PM on June 30


Peter W. Smith first appeared on MetaFilter in the previous POTUS thread. Edit: Christ that sounded condescending.
posted by christopherious at 10:58 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Sadly, he was already dead. (Damn it, too late for the edit window, but probably for the best.)
posted by christopherious at 11:06 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Looking at Peter Smith's history of anti-Clinton activities there's this about funding the Paula Jones scandal which led to Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinski. Among the attorneys? George Conway, now husband of Kellyanne.

It's almost like it's a... vast right wing conspiracy!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 11:18 PM on June 30 [37 favorites]


Politico says Tillerson argued with a second White House aide

Looks like Tillerson is loosing it — and well so would anyone with a boss like his:
With Provocative Moves, U.S. Risks Unraveling Gains With China
and
Trump Takes More Aggressive Stance With U.S. Friends and Foes in Asia
Both NYTimes.
No matter what State does, Trump is only talking to his base. And BTW, that makes a lot of sense, if Trump wants to remain president he needs to have a firm hold on his base, regardless of everything else.
There's no reason to feel sorry for Tillerson, or to imagine he could run a foreign policy competently if Trump would let him. But Trump is literally forcing US allies to find new partnerships which run against the interests of the US.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and feel stupid for asking, but why is it the US (and the UK) have these huge trade deficits? Last I looked there were plenty western, high wage countries that don't run huge trade deficits, including places like Germany and Italy who both need a lot of steel and oil they don't produce locally.
posted by mumimor at 12:26 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


I've been thinking about this for a while, and feel stupid for asking, but why is it the US (and the UK) have these huge trade deficits?

Because we import tons of stuff. I realize that's tautological so I'll try to expand. The US (and UK) are really rich countries. It's expensive to manufacture things here. It's much cheaper to make cars and clothes and TVs and phones and microchips and stuff elsewhere and then buy them from wherever makes them while we do other things in the USA. But keep in mind that, contrary to what Donald Trump would tell you, a trade deficit is not necessarily a bad thing. Consider; do you think Trump is right about literally anything else? If not, then why would he be right about this?

Running a trade deficit means you have excess capital. It's an investment surplus. Like if a shirt made in Minnesota would cost $60 and a shirt made in China costs $30, you can buy the shirt from China and still have $30. Which can be used to buy other things or invest or whatever.

It's more complicated than that, obviously, because you have to have jobs doing things besides making those clothes you just bought from China. Otherwise it doesn't matter that the shirt cost $30 instead of $60 'cause you don't have $30. But historically we do tend to have jobs doing other things. Over the last 30-40 years real incomes have fallen as wages are depressed... but that's not the result of trade deficits, it's the result of evil suboptimal Republican tax, fiscal, and regulatory policy which is deliberately designed to extract wealth from the bottom 95% and give it to the top 5% with the lions share of that going to the top 1% and particularly 0.1%.

tl;dr So we have a big trade deficit because we generate a ton of wealth and its cheaper to build things elsewhere and import them.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 AM on July 1 [78 favorites]


(This is also one of the arguments in favor of trade pacts like NAFTA or TPP. Opposition to those treaties on the basis of trade deficits are wrongheaded. However, there may well be other arguments against them which are relevant like environmental, worker-welfare, or regulatory concerns.)
posted by Justinian at 1:46 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


tl;dr So we have a big trade deficit because we generate a ton of wealth and its cheaper to build things elsewhere and import them.

Yes, but this is what is confusing me: countries like Germany and Italy are really rich as well, and they don't seem to have huge trade deficits. I'm thinking that the problem with the deficit is that it pushes jobs from manufacturing into service, lower paid jobs. Or not?

Regarding trade pacts — as an EU citizen I have long since learnt that in the long term, the EU (which was originally a trade pact) has been very good for the environment, worker welfare and regulation/consumer safety. But of course that has a lot to do with the fact that it is the core EU policy area, so whatever little public awareness there is of whatever EU does is about those basic protections. For me the big wake-up call was when the German forests were dying during the 80's and 90's, and it became apparent that it couldn't be treated as a German national problem.
I get that there is less trust in an American administration using trade agreements for the good, even if that administration is Democratic, but in principle, trade agreements are the only way to stop the abuse going on in some countries.
posted by mumimor at 2:19 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


I recommend Shaun Donnan of the Financial Times as someone who has a realistic grasp on the implications of trade policy. I'd link but it's paywalled.
posted by infini at 2:38 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


There is the view of many economists that at least a chunk of the US trade deficit is a direct result of the dollar's status as the global reserve currency (the "Triffin dilemma" is broadly what you want to search on for debate and commentary on this). The logic here, as badly explained at 2:50am by someone without any real knowledge of economics, so, uh, take this for what it's worth, is that people in other countries want to have US dollars because they're good and useful things to hold onto and exchange around the world, even if they're not trading them for goods and services from the US. That raises the value of the dollar, which makes it more expensive for everyone to buy goods manufactured in the US, which causes higher trade deficits and fewer manufacturing jobs.

But, and this is a big but, the fact that so many people around the world want dollars is really convenient if you happen to be the country that owns the printing press that makes them. And hey, that's us. If I'm overseas and sitting on a pile of dollars, I'm going to be investing that money in things priced in dollars, which means things like US Treasuries, stocks, and bonds. Keeping the dollar in high demand helps attract foreign investment and maintain low interest rates on the national debt, and if we were smart, we'd take advantage of those low interest rates to build infrastructure that can eventually pay for itself.

Trump could well resolve this problem by doing enough damage to the country's reputation that people decide that they'd be safer holding onto something besides dollars, but that wouldn't really be such a great thing, at least if you're not manufacturing goods for export. Anyway, you now know more than the President of the United States, who called Mike Flynn, a guy who very likely doesn't know any more about economics than I do, at 3am to ask if a strong dollar or a weak dollar was better for the economy, as it if was some kind of obvious binary choice; Flynn told him to go ask an economist. And conveniently enough, that's what time it is here now.
posted by zachlipton at 2:57 AM on July 1 [56 favorites]


I'm thinking that the problem with the deficit is that it pushes jobs from manufacturing into service, lower paid jobs. Or not?

It moves people from certain types of manufacturing into other jobs, yes, but there's nothing intrinsic to the process that requires those jobs be lower paid. If Trump wasn't set on destroying the US and possibly the world they could be green energy jobs, for instance.
posted by Justinian at 3:16 AM on July 1 [11 favorites]


How the fuck do people like LePage win elections.

Glad you asked! LePage won the governorship twice with less than 50% of the vote, because the non-terrible vote was split between a Democrat and Eliot Cutler the Independent. If there had been a run-off system in place, he surely would never have been governor. Good news: a Maine ballot initiative has instituted ranked voting! Bad news: the Maine Supreme Court indicates it's unconstitutional and will require a constitutional amendment! What's going to happen? No-one knows!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:24 AM on July 1 [26 favorites]


How the fuck do people like LePage win elections.

You ever been anywhere in Maine other than a vacation spot or Portland? It's basically a lobster-flavored Arkansas.
posted by spitbull at 3:25 AM on July 1 [25 favorites]


But is LePage influenced by Le Pen?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:25 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I know someone from a large Catholic Acadian family in northern Maine. I also know lots of people in the Ozarks. What my friend describes about growing up in Aroostook County, Maine blew my mind. It made the rural Ozarks seem cosmopolitan.
posted by spitbull at 3:28 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I'm reading the diary of this dude writing in 1880, and one of his insults to art he didn't like is, 'T'would be better [that the artist] had a child of the bowels than of the brain.'

Please feel free to use for all of your old-timey insult needs. I know I need something better than shrieking 'GO AWAY' every time I see Trump's face.
posted by angrycat at 4:13 AM on July 1 [20 favorites]


As this whole thing gets more tangled, my growing concern is that Omnigate is so complex as to be unable to be articulated to the public.

I find it's gotten easier, actually, as the news stories have become less hints and clues and more bombshell revelations and patterns of behavior.

For the latest WSJ stuff, I think you could just say "Russians were trying to get documents to Flynn, and some guy who said he was working with Flynn said he'd gotten some of them."

I think the significance of that is pretty easy to understand!

And as long as you link to the source, you don't need to get into the details about "exactly how do we know this, and how sure are we, and what DON'T we know for sure, and what are we just reasonably surmising..." Good reporters will clarify all of that in the article, so you can just point the relatively small fraction of people who care about that stuff at the article. (Incidentally this is a pretty reliable way to tell real news from fake news. Don't cite sources that DON'T include those details!)

I find that it is important to add some context, though, when you are trying to educate people. So when I added the fact about Smith seeking hacked emails from Russians on behalf of Flynn to my site, I made sure to also mention that Roger Stone was in contact with Russian hackers as well, and seemed to have advance knowledge of some of the leaks. And that a Republican operative who was talking to Stone got a big chunk of data hacked from the DNC servers and used it to help target campaign activities in Florida. See the pattern?

But not TOO much context or people will get lost. Three facts is a good number for establishing a pattern while still being brief. Don't be afraid to leave stuff out! Just pick the three strongest pieces of evidence you've got, even if there are actually a thousand pieces of evidence you could cite.

And then I go ahead and draw the conclusion that these facts are pointing to. Yes, the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia.

And that's what people will actually grab onto a remember. Fact fact fact conclusion.

(..and here's a ink for more details.)

They won't remember the facts, but they'll remember that there were facts supporting that conclusion. (Very few wiil click the link for more details!)

I think reporters need to be careful not to draw broader conclusions in their investigative pieces (Though "Analysis," pieces and "Explainers" as well as opinion pieces can and should do so... ) But for those of us who are trying to educate the public, it's almost required.

And then you have to go up even one level higher. You have to show how those conclusions fit into a narrative. "He wanted X but he was faced with obstacle Y so he did Z."

If you've provided evidence for X, Y, and Z, the narrative is the most compelling way to get those conclusions to stick with people!

(I think Putin is actually the protagonist of the narrative we currently find ourselves in since the rest of us are mostly just reacting to his actions, and that's how I personally tend to tell this story, from Putin's POV... That's how it makes the most sense. He wanted to undermine American democracy but had no constituency or political power in America, so he ingratiated himself with a faction in a party which did have some power and was desperate to hang onto it ... and then tried to help them win.)

For more complicated sets of facts like ALL of Trump's financial connections to Russia, we fortunately now have interactive infographics. When information gets complicated and can't easily be threaded into a narrative, go graphical!

You can tell I've been thinking about this a lot, maybe.

I also want to add that for low information voters the only thing that matters is the narrative. Many people won't even bother to look at any level below that. But if they hear the same narrative over and over again from people in their peer group (which does not include people they think are hostile to them!), they will start to buy it, because that is how human beings work. (High information voters also work this way but hear more competing narratives and have to choose among them somehow.)

To sum up...

1. Fact fact fact conclusion citation
2. When the going gets complicated, go graphical.
3. ..."Which shows he wanted X but was blocked by Y so he did Z. "

4. Repeat the narrative! Get as many people as possible to repeat it with you (without being hostile to their listeners). Have the conclusions, facts, and citations ready, but start with the narrative and then end with it again after you explain.

Good luck! We are all middle school history textbook writers now!)

(And I think I still need to work on revising my site to better follow my own advice )
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:44 AM on July 1 [78 favorites]


My thinking about the importance of narratives is why I chose my MeFi username, by the way. So my last comment might be kinda eponysterical, but it's not really a coincidence!
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:50 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


But, and this is a big but, the fact that so many people around the world want dollars is really convenient if you happen to be the country that owns the printing press that makes them.

Now, this is a problem but perhaps there's no pattern, I'm sure we're all friends here
posted by infini at 4:56 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Ever since I picked up Yanis Varoufakis' And the Weak Suffer What they Must?' I feel edumacated on the financialization of everything
posted by infini at 4:59 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


Don't ruin taking a dump for me, angrycat
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:35 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


every time I see Trump's face...

Luther (and his insulting machine) is always helpful: "I can with good conscience consider you a fart-ass and an enemy of God."
posted by honestcoyote at 5:45 AM on July 1 [17 favorites]


It made the rural Ozarks seem cosmopolitan

I went to upstate NY for a friend's wedding over a decade ago and was stunned to discover rednecks up there. At one point I literally saw a dude with (1) a goatee wearing (2) a Confederate flag t-shirt and (3) camo cutoffs climbing into (4) a jacked-up (5) pickup truck blasting (6) Toby Keith. Literally the only thing they didn't get right was the barbecue.

Since then I've learned from friends in Montana, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maine, and even way the hell up in Alaska that yep, they've got 'em too. I still don't quite get it, culturally, beyond the obvious "white supremacy is everywhere" answer.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:15 AM on July 1 [9 favorites]


Perhaps a bit overly flattering to today's FBI, but still an interesting read: How Donald Trump Misunderstood the F.B.I.
posted by Slothrup at 6:17 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Two of the four estates are still functioning:

And that ain't bad!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:42 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Gideon Lichfield, Quartz: It’s time to start ignoring the president of the United States
A normal US president is like a creature in the middle of a lake, his every move creating far-reaching ripples. This one is like a rock in a stream; he creates turbulence and is to be avoided, but everything flows on around him.

OK, he has nuclear codes. You don’t ignore a man with nuclear codes. But you don’t have to lavish attention on him either. Actually, attention is what gets him riled up.

It’s time to stop being outraged. It isn’t even really outrage—it’s gloatrage, when you’re secretly thrilled that he’s proving himself to be just as bad as you thought. (Admit it.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:44 AM on July 1 [12 favorites]


That is not quite how I would describe the terror and instability he generates, no.
posted by Artw at 6:49 AM on July 1 [26 favorites]


> It’s time to stop being outraged. It isn’t even really outrage—it’s gloatrage, when you’re secretly thrilled that he’s proving himself to be just as bad as you thought. (Admit it.)

No, Gideon Lichfield, that's offensive bullshit and you should be ashamed of yourself for writing it.

Back here in the real world, we don't have the luxury of "ignoring" the President. Many people need to keep tabs on what he's doing to know when it's time to stop resisting and start retreating. People are terrified of what this man is capable of with the apparatus of the state behind him. He's harming real people with his actions, and if somehow people did engage in a mass movement of "ignoring him", he'd keep harming them, whether through action or inaction. His mere presence in our government is catastrophic. Describing it like some imaginary problem that people can solve by just wishing it away is completely ridiculous.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:52 AM on July 1 [76 favorites]


Luther (and his insulting machine) is always helpful:
You are the head of all the worst scoundrels on earth, a vicar of the devil, an enemy of God, an adversary of Christ, a destroyer of Christ's churches; a teacher of lies, blasphemies, and idolatries; an arch-thief and robber; a murderer of kings and inciter to all kinds of bloodshed; a brothel-keeper over all brothel-keepers and all vermin, even that which cannot be named; an Antichrist, a person of sin and child of perdition; a true werewolf.
It's a little long to fit on a protest sign, but I like it!
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:57 AM on July 1 [25 favorites]


we don't have the luxury of "ignoring" the President

But on the other hand he is a narcissist who thrives on being the center of attention. There is nothing he hates more than being ignored.

Certainly I wish we could all stop quoting his tweets to each other. Why do we help him spread his narrative that way? I refuse to link to or comment on his tweets, in general.

I think "pay attention to what he does, not what he says" is probably a good rule of thumb.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:58 AM on July 1 [14 favorites]


"Ignore the orange beast" is a good way to maintain one's mental health, but not so good as a political strategy. Scott Fitzgerald once said that the mark of genius was the capacity to hold two conflicting ideas in one's mind at once. At this moment in history, I think we're all called upon to be geniuses.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:14 AM on July 1 [14 favorites]



Certainly I wish we could all stop quoting his tweets to each other. Why do we help him spread his narrative that way?

There are so much in his tweets beyond his narrative. They are a goldmine of information.
His narrative and the pushing of it is integral to understanding what is going on. Part of the larger narrative is him being wide open on twitter.

His tweets are an indication of his head space which unlike any other President matters because his policy (if you can call it that) is based on his moods and what week it is. Like last weekend, they also point to what is brewing behind the scenes, we could tell that there was something more concrete coming out on the collusion front and oh look it did. The guy can't keep quiet and unlike past Presidents who have rudementary understanding of how information works in politics his little tweet talks reveal more then he likely realizes he does. He thinks he's being smart by trying to shape the narrative but it only works for his base.

He admits to shady and likely illegal activity in tweets. If investigators aren't already on it his narrative says 'oh if you haven't already look over here.'
posted by Jalliah at 7:17 AM on July 1 [15 favorites]


But on the other hand he is a narcissist who thrives on being the center of attention. There is nothing he hates more than being ignored.

We can pay attention to what he's doing, record it, object to it, protect those most hurt by it and not kowtow to his need for narcissistic supply. IME, recognizing the narcissist as a roadblock you must route around is more infuriating to the narcissist than straight-up ignoring. Pretending you don't notice things that upset you is how the narcissist deals with their emotions; they can process you ignoring them within a framework they understand. But perceiving the narcissist as they are -- weak, small, hurt, and incapable of giving you what you need -- that is something the narcissist cannot understand or tolerate. It's not ignoring so much as moving beyond -- I'm aware of the violence that he is capable of, but I know that there is no action I can take that will impact whether he chooses to engage in that violence; spending time or energy pretending we can impact his decision to act on his violent instincts is a waste (and that waste of our life force is his narcissistic supply). We have to prepare to protect people from his violence and work to make sure the number of people his violence may impact is ever decreasing. This work involves paying very close attention to what he and his cronies are doing; but we center the potential and actual victims of his behavior in that narrative.

His violence is like a hurricane - you can predict it within a range, but you don't know exactly where it will land or how bad it will be; we should be prepared to protect the most vulnerable in the worst possible predicted scenario. This involves studying the hurricane, understanding how hurricanes work, the history of this particular hurricane's movements, and frequent monitoring of the hurricane. Ignoring the hurricane, placating the hurricane, threatening the hurricane - none of these things work, because the hurricane doesn't have the capacity to care about things, it only has the capacity for destruction.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:30 AM on July 1 [115 favorites]


When the history of this shitshow gets written in fifty years time the authors will surely have a better understanding of what mattered and what didn't than we do. For us, today, there is an overload of data. We have only the barest ability to separate signal from noise. It feels like living in a dream inasmuch as cause and effect have parted company and this avalanche of ever-more-insane situations is just accepted as the natural state. The people who insist they have an idea of what is going to happen next are likely to be no better at forecasting than a flipped coin. I wonder if this is how those monks felt during the Dark Ages, watching civilization collapse in slow-motion, not knowing what to do but survive and write it all down.
posted by um at 7:42 AM on July 1 [24 favorites]


There are so much in his tweets beyond his narrative. They are a goldmine of information.

Seriously. No, seriously.

It's not necessary to link to Trump's tweet from this morning in which he continues to lash out at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski (supposedly against the wishes of his staff), but his harangue puts his state of mind on display for everyone to read into. Foreign intelligence will take note of how agitated he is during a crisis, how vengeful he is when slighted, and how egocentric he is in his thinking. Journalists will take note of his attacks on a previously favored media figures and may decide either to report on him more vigorously or to acquiesce to his ideas of positive coverage, if only unconsciously.

More ominously, though, before that he tweeted, "Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?" That tells us what kind of narrative Trump is trying to establish, at least among his supporters, for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity's real purpose of furthering voter suppression.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:56 AM on July 1 [36 favorites]


I wonder if there is any movement to urge Twitter to stop allowing the Trump personal account to post, given that he is engaged in cyber-bullying.

Can you imagine the impotent rage being cut off might create in the Lincoln Bathroom?
posted by spitbull at 8:10 AM on July 1 [11 favorites]


He's always got the POTUS account for official business.
posted by Artw at 8:29 AM on July 1


If he finds any.
posted by Etrigan at 8:33 AM on July 1 [20 favorites]


So Anne Gearan and Karen DeYoung from the WaPo have an article with more context from Trump's meeting with Netanyahu; apparently he watched a film that was designed to personally discredit Abbas before their meeting:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used an intimate May 22 meeting with Trump to show him an Israeli-compiled video of what Netanyahu called anti-Israel incitement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel’s would-be partner in any peace deal.

Trump met with Abbas the next day and surprised him with a fusillade of accusations about terrorism and Palestinian attitudes toward Israel that Trump said would thwart a deal, U.S. and other officials familiar with the meeting said.

Trump bellowed, “You tricked me!” at a shaken Abbas, a U.S. official told Israel’s Channel 2.
...
Some U.S. officials concluded that by showing Trump the video, which included snippets of Abbas appearing to incite Palestinians to violence, Netanyahu was intent on killing any possibility of peace talks before they even began. Trump’s viewing of the video has not been previously reported.
The article includes a not credible rebuttal from the White House and the analysis that the process is now focusing on diversion, distraction, and the blame game.
posted by peeedro at 8:34 AM on July 1 [53 favorites]


That there is a budget crisis in Illinois wasn't even on my radar, but wow, have you seen the video put out by Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza a couple of days ago? I've never seen anything like it.

And here's a Bloomberg article. They failed to pass a budget yesterday.
Illinois legislators failed to enact a budget by the end of Friday, the last day of the budget year. While negotiations continued and lawmakers planned to meet over the weekend, the failure marked a continuation of the unprecedented impasse that’s left Illinois without a full-year budget since mid-2015. Without a deal around July 1, S&P Global Ratings has warned that the nation’s fifth-most-populous state will likely get downgraded again, losing its investment-grade status.
posted by kprincehouse at 8:39 AM on July 1 [19 favorites]


tl;dr So we have a big trade deficit because we generate a ton of wealth and its cheaper to build things elsewhere and import them.

That sounds sustainable, but I don't think it is:
https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/intinv/2017/intinv416.htm

Creditor nations -- aka nations that can pay their way in the world -- seem to have their act together.

If things continue as they are, I suspect what will happen this century is the US middle class standard of living will join the level enjoyed by the middle class of Asia.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:46 AM on July 1


The thought occurred to me: Why aren't there a million people marching in DC protesting to save PPACA right now?
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:50 AM on July 1


The thought occurred to me: Why aren't there a million people marching in DC protesting to save PPACA right now?

a) Because that's what you do when shit gets truly desperate.
b) The battle lines are clearly drawn, the object is to scare the living shit out of the Republican senators who are in marginal states and are greatly at risk in a wave. A national march is too easy to write off as coastal liberal elites having a hissy fit.
posted by Talez at 8:53 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Just leaving this here, Pat Bagley, the best political cartoonist in the business, works for the Salt Lake Tribune, of all places. This is his take on the scene today.
posted by Oyéah at 8:56 AM on July 1 [41 favorites]


I love Pat Bagley. He has exactly the steel backbone you need to do what he does in the place he does it in and gives every appearance of giving exactly zero shits.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:01 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


I went to upstate NY for a friend's wedding over a decade ago and was stunned to discover rednecks up there.

Since then I've learned from friends in Montana, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maine, and even way the hell up in Alaska that yep, they've got 'em too. I still don't quite get it, culturally, beyond the obvious "white supremacy is everywhere" answer.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:15 AM on July 1 [4 favorites +] [!]


Eponysterkal.
posted by Rykey at 9:02 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Without actually coming out and saying so, State and aid have joined epa and the parks service. quality of data has gone through the roof in little known websites focused on the price of eggs in remote African villages.
posted by infini at 9:04 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


Pat Bagley; I once wrote him a fan letter because of one of his cartoons, and he sent me the sketch with a lovely note. Just saying, he's a pretty froopy dude.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:07 AM on July 1 [18 favorites]


It's a long digression I will henceforth drop, but I'd like to recommend Clifford Murphy's (really wonderful) book "Yankee Twang" on the history of country music in New England for anyone surprised by affinities between Yankee and Southern culture and political identity. There were people dressing up in cowboy hats and yodeling about Dixie (yes it has always been confusing) on radio/stage barn dance shows in New England in the 1930s, just slightly after the explosion of barn dance radio in the south and Midwest. Many of the early New England country musicians were Acadian or Celtic but some were Eastern and Southern European immigrants.
posted by spitbull at 9:09 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


The deadline for Qatar to meet Saudi Arabia's ridiculous demands is tomorrow. And while the USA is paralyzed by Tweets, others are taking over business (link to Al-Jazeera live feed)
Very short summary: Russia and Turkey are talking business, with Turkey sending troops.
posted by mumimor at 9:14 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


My schoolfriend's wife worked for both somewhere in Africa over ten years ago, and from what I hear tell, this thing on twitter has made diplomat's jobs 10 times harder than it already is. How can they bring themselves to speak on corruption and nepotism in tinpot African dictatorships when the hypocrisy of their words is obvious to all. What do they do? Go silent? Not do their long trained job being part of the foreign service that builds bridges, creates understanding, and aims for peace? gwb made it hard but now it's ridiculous.

has fired all foreign US ambassadors with nobody to replace them

but they were empty before they were emptied

this is current as of thursday - netherlands, norway, australia, denmark, the EU, Finland, France, Monaco, WTF is this kind of vacant?
posted by infini at 9:15 AM on July 1 [30 favorites]


That there is a budget crisis in Illinois wasn't even on my radar, but wow, have you seen the video put out by Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza a couple of days ago? I've never seen anything like it.

And here's a Bloomberg article. They failed to pass a budget yesterday.

Illinois legislators failed to enact a budget by the end of Friday, the last day of the budget year. While negotiations continued and lawmakers planned to meet over the weekend, the failure marked a continuation of the unprecedented impasse that’s left Illinois without a full-year budget since mid-2015. Without a deal around July 1, S&P Global Ratings has warned that the nation’s fifth-most-populous state will likely get downgraded again, losing its investment-grade status.
posted by kprincehouse at 12:39 AM on July 2 [+] [!]


Jaw on floor. Is there a way forward? How does this not eventually require a federal bailout?
posted by saysthis at 9:15 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


this is current as of thursday

No ambassador to Qatar, no ambassador to Saudi Arabia…
posted by mumimor at 9:23 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


Jaw on floor. Is there a way forward? How does this not eventually require a federal bailout?

States can't go bankrupt. Essentially you just stop paying for shit, furlough everyone, and hope that things don't descend into chaos.

The whole thing is basically what happens when you put strict Republicans in charge of traditionally Democratic states and they don't have a supermajority. Baker for instance needs to toe a more liberal line because Democrats can just override him on whatever they want. It provides a certain... incentive... for him to work with the legislature.

Rauner on the other hand is a Republican private equity guy. He wants his taxes cut and if Illinois burns while he plays chicken with the legislature he'll pick up himself up and move to another state if necessary. There's no leverage for the speaker and Rauner's probably figured it out.
posted by Talez at 9:24 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


mumimor

but we have TWEETS!!!
posted by infini at 9:24 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Germany has no US ambassador to talk to and in one week's time there's the G20 and protocol is waving their tophats, while tap dancing and doing jazz hands with spiffy white gloves and long tailed coats. <----direct quote
posted by infini at 9:30 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


In place of cake, I'm baking a Pastilla for today's news. I hope it will bring some good
posted by mumimor at 9:35 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Germany has no US ambassador to talk to

The US ambassador to Germany is a patronage position. We have a career diplomat, Kent Logsdon, the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, performing all the actual foreign service work with his staff. Emerson was a pretty hands on patronage ambassador but they still rely on career diplomatic staff to do the "real" work. The US having no ambassador means we have nobody to show up to nice parties, have lunches with business bigwigs, and cut ribbons on bilateral projects. That's about it.
posted by Talez at 9:38 AM on July 1 [14 favorites]


*phew*
posted by infini at 9:42 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


The US having no ambassador means we have nobody to show up to nice parties, have lunches with business bigwigs, and cut ribbons on bilateral projects. That's about it.

Across most of Europe. What message does that send?
posted by infini at 9:43 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


Across most of Europe. What message does that send?

Yeah. They already worked out that our administration is staffed by a bunch of greedy and incompetent boobs.
posted by Talez at 9:46 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Like mumimor, sitting here in europe wondering what next
posted by infini at 9:52 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Seriously. Most ambassadorships to countries that aren't dirt poor are patronage.

OK Saudi Arabia has Christopher Henzel:
Mr. Henzel has spent most of his career specializing in the Arab and Muslim worlds. He studied Arabic in Tunisia.
Qatar has Ryan Gilha:
Previously, Ryan served as Director of the London Regional Media Hub and Arabic Language Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Public Affairs. Ryan has also served in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and twice in Lebanon. Ryan speaks Arabic, French, Uzbek, and Persian.
Career diplomatic staff are more qualified than the ambassadors we send to conduct diplomacy. The fact that we don't have Trump's flunkies further embarrassing us around the world should be relieving.
posted by Talez at 9:57 AM on July 1 [23 favorites]


Gosh, in case no one has noticed, they are dismantling our country. The Republicans are too greedy, with their eyes on some fucking prize in an empty box, with shiny wrapping, in which they can worship themselves, they can't even see the reflection of the big, sinking ship of state, that is surely pulling the cloth off their table too.

Look, everyone needs a big bowl of mixed metaphors for Saturday breakfast, no? I take mine with soy milk in cold coffee.
posted by Oyéah at 9:59 AM on July 1 [13 favorites]


I know the soundtrack to this mess discussion is so 200 comments ago, but this one has been on repeat lately and it's totally prescient and perfect:

Apocalypse
posted by carsonb at 10:04 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Stumbled across a great analysis/takedown of the NRA's latest propaganda hit. It's on Facebook, but it's public so I don't think you have to log in to see it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:11 AM on July 1 [18 favorites]


Speaking of vacancies...

Politico White House releases salary info for Trump's aides
The Trump White House’s inaugural salary disclosures also show that it has nearly 100 fewer staffers than President Barack Obama had in 2016. Obama’s White House had 473 aides, with 19 assistants to the president. Nine Obama aides earned top salaries of $176,461, and only one staffer, consultant Susan Davies, went unpaid. And Obama’s body man, Brian Mosteller, took home $60,000 less than Trump’s long-serving body guard, Keith Schiller.
[my bold]

It's a combination of DGAF, plus only hiring people who have never criticized Trump, plus not knowing many people in government. I wonder if DJT is unaware of the services provided by unstaffed positions or uncomfortable with having that many employees. It is strange that he has shut down, under-hired, and failed to nominate so many positions affecting all areas of the Executive Branch.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:33 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


I swear to God he is breaking me....

Politico The other treaty on the chopping block
A fierce debate is brewing inside the Trump administration over whether to withdraw from another international treaty — this one a cornerstone disarmament pact with Russia banning an entire class of nuclear missiles.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:38 AM on July 1 [14 favorites]


Back during the transition there was a story about the Trump team visiting the WH and standing agape at the number of staffers. Kushner was said to have asked about how many were staying on and then having been stunned by the answer of "none."

We all read that as haha look at the naifs, they have no idea what they're in for.

I think maybe we had that backward and Kushner's response was relief that they wouldn't have to fire everyone. Who needs a bunch of serious career minded folks hanging around and getting in the way of the grift?
posted by notyou at 10:40 AM on July 1 [16 favorites]


Funny that you don't really hear him blathering on about how many employees he managed and gave jobs to now that he oversees an organization that actually has a sizable amount employees.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:42 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


It's a combination of DGAF, plus only hiring people who have never criticized Trump, plus not knowing many people in government.

Don't forget the age-old business adages of doing more with less and addressing 'unresolved personnel issues' to cut costs. Gotta wonder if the left's swamp (career politicians more beholden to corporate donors than constituents) wasn't the swamp Trump was talking about. Maybe his swamp was over 100 'unnecessary' WH staffers?

Ugh.
posted by carsonb at 10:43 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I think it's just due to Bannon being in charge.
posted by BeginAgain at 10:51 AM on July 1


Staffing the government serves the end of making sure the government works properly. That is not a concern for this administration.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:54 AM on July 1 [15 favorites]


Since then I've learned from friends in Montana, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maine, and even way the hell up in Alaska that yep, they've got 'em too. I still don't quite get it, culturally, beyond the obvious "white supremacy is everywhere" answer.

As Spitbull noted, country music is a prime disseminator of conservative ideology and identity around the US. Outside of big cities and even in suburbs across the US, you find people with the same Southern drawl (now conceived of as a country drawl) that was never part of their region historically.

Liberals have had great success disseminating their ideology through rock music, movies and most standup. Conservatives counter with talk radio, "blue collar comedy," religion and country music. In many ways, with the materialism and misogyny, hip-hop is a surprisingly mixed bag.
posted by msalt at 10:54 AM on July 1 [16 favorites]


Well from what I've seen coming out of the WH what they could really use is some professional copy editors. Maybe some proof readers.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:56 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know if there is any coordinated effort to get grocery stores and department stores to stop selling the National Enquirer at the checkout?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:57 AM on July 1 [8 favorites]


Omg, you guys. I love Nederland. My ancestry is Dutch, even if one of my ancestors was boiled by his townspeople. These things happen. I'm totally going to apply to be the ambassador.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:06 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]


I don't think trying to stonewall Kobach is going to work. Then he gets to make up whatever "facts" he wants and opponents are stuck trying to prove a negative. A smarter plan might be to compete with him with the same data. Any data he gets, also goes to anyone who wants it.

That way when he asserts he's found evidence of whatever, fifty states and a hundred independent orgs can immediately say "the data (the SAME data you have) shows the opposite, in fact." He can't play "I know something you don't know."
posted by ctmf at 11:07 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Funny that you don't really hear him blathering on about how many employees he managed and gave jobs to now that he oversees an organization that actually has a sizable amount employees.

Haha, didn't think of that. He could be a job creator today just by assigning people to open positions he actually has. How's that working out?
posted by ctmf at 11:09 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


Career diplomatic staff are more qualified than the ambassadors we send to conduct diplomacy. The fact that we don't have Trump's flunkies further embarrassing us around the world should be relieving.

Thanks, that is really relieving, though it also reminded me of another thing I've been thinking of and maybe already mentioned in another thread.

If I see that some American diplomat or journalist or researcher is an expert on culture or languages, I am not always relieved. Because where did they get that knowledge, those skills? Sometimes, since I began looking at it a couple of decades ago, I have been deeply confounded by US international policies. Like, why Saudi Arabia? Why Pakistan? It makes no sense (don't focus on these two specifics, there are tons more). And it transcends party politics. I know, Obama did deals with Iran and Cuba, but not without turning around seven times and spitting over his shoulder. But still it's the same: France is weird (though they helped during the revolutionary war), on the positive there's the special relationship with the UK regardless of how ridiculous their government is, and China are stealing your jobs, etc.
The thought I had is that for many reasons, the USA, like every other country is dependent on information from other countries, "friends". And if those "friends" are unreliable, the US gets unreliable information. Ask Pakistan for information about it's neighbors; China, India, Afghanistan what will you get? Where else would you go for information if everyone knows you're in bed with Pakistan? I've been to Syria, and obviously I don't like its government, but if your main source of information on Syria is Israel, you may well be missing stuff.
Very few Americans can move unnoticed in other countries and gather information independently, even in the UK or Australia, and people who are in exile in the US are not reliable informants either, even if their cause may be worthy.
With strong and intelligent administrations, who know this might be the case, American foreign policy is strange and seems stupid to many onlookers but disasters are mostly contained. With ignorant and arrogant administrations, it becomes a disaster. Back when Bush started the Iraq war and most of congress applauded, remember the flat out rejection from France and Germany? What if they had more knowledge, based on better information, supporting what the UN inspection was saying: there are no weapons of mass destruction and anyhow this will lead to disruption in the Middle East that no one can handle. Instead both sides in the US listened to people like Ahmed Chalabi, while renaming French fries.

Now, that sword dance video made me sick. They were hopping around, literally dancing to the tune of a corrupt, terrorist funding dictatorship. What can be worse?
Even a stoned teenager in Europe or in the Middle East or North Africa or Central Asia can see that depending on Saudi Arabia for fighting terrorists is really dumb. Also - those regions are the hardest hit by Islamic terror, often funded by or inspired by Saudi Wahabists. Yet Trump and his buddies dance on.
posted by mumimor at 11:10 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


That way when he asserts he's found evidence of whatever, fifty states and a hundred independent orgs can immediately say "the data (the SAME data you have) shows the opposite, in fact." He can't play "I know something you don't know."

It's hard because it doesn't seem like their agenda is to only manipulate the data per se. Publishing names, addresses, DOBs, partial SSNs, party affiliation, and voting history is about doxxing on an unfathomable scale.
posted by gerryblog at 11:10 AM on July 1 [36 favorites]


I feel like even the better news outfits have a sick symbiotic relationship with Trump and his minions. They've documented each one's evil agenda but the only one actually out of a job is Flynn, the stupidest traitor. Meanwhile, Bannon is happily dismantling the United States for his Breitbart brethren, Kushner continues to line his pockets, Vanky still simpers about feminism for rich white conservative ladies, and even proven Nazi Sebastian Gorka draws a paycheck from us. I know WaPo doesn't have the power to hire and fire, but they couid put the spotlight back on some of these nightcrawlers. If nothing else it temporarily disarms them because Trump gets jealous of the attention.
posted by SakuraK at 11:13 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


By invoking a rarely used law from the cold war era, Trump could limit imports of goods deemed critical to national defence and satisfy his ‘America first’ policy.
Thus risking a global trade war.
posted by adamvasco at 11:19 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


If I see that some American diplomat or journalist or researcher is an expert on culture or languages, I am not always relieved. Because where did they get that knowledge, those skills? Sometimes, since I began looking at it a couple of decades ago, I have been deeply confounded by US international policies. Like, why Saudi Arabia? Why Pakistan? It makes no sense (don't focus on these two specifics, there are tons more). And it transcends party politics. I know, Obama did deals with Iran and Cuba, but not without turning around seven times and spitting over his shoulder. But still it's the same: France is weird (though they helped during the revolutionary war), on the positive there's the special relationship with the UK regardless of how ridiculous their government is, and China are stealing your jobs, etc.

US diplomacy is strange because it's a combination of many people and many forces trying to pull the interests of the United States in a specific direction.

Most of the career diplomats have spent their college years studying a particular area and language then go on to junior careers in that region. I have an old acquaintance from Alexandria who's father is a career diplomat, and he's following in the family business. He started in the Air Force, got into GWU with the GI bill, is studying Arabic and the Middle East, and is probably heading into a diplomatic career once he's finished his masters and taken the requisite public service exams. People literally spend years preparing to just enter this career track.

In the case of specific policies, there are usually historical reason. For Saudia Arabia the main reason was probably uniting in the fight against communism, for the US the worry was the subversion of democracy, for the Sauds it was being deposed a'la the Shah. Pakistan was Nixon trying to contain the spread of communism to Afghanistan by partnering up with Pakistan and (a bit) later on to enable to the Mujahideen. You don't really start throwing away allies once you've gone to the trouble to make them unless they are particularly troublesome.

Britain we have a "special relationship" with because we have trade going back hundreds of years. The two countries are so interwoven it would take out a noticeable fraction of each country's economy should they not want to continue with said relationship. The other thing is that while the US can't (easily) spy (directly) on her own citizens, it's perfectly willing (and is legal to) let other allies spy on US citizens that those allies deem worthy of investigating and that information being backchanneled to US intelligence. Losing that relationship would be losing a ridiculously useful tool in the arsenal of US intelligence services.
posted by Talez at 11:25 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren action figure ad (youtube 1min49sec). Includes time lapse /fast forward footage of sculpting process and it is worth watching to end for a fun little punch.
posted by phoque at 11:39 AM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Ugh. As if on cue, WaPo's latest puff piece: When dad’s the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump’s complicated world

It's about how thankful Vanky is that she can influence the world via her daddy's presidency, sourced entirely from people close to her and offering no critical viewpoint. Choice quote about why Ms. Feminism-for-me-not-you has been absent every time Trump has a misogyny outbreak:

“Where are Jared and Ivanka right now?” Politico demanded.

Ivanka was discussing policy.


Said policies are some mumbling about access to capital markets and other things that only rich white conservative women benefit from. Ivanka, sweetie, the only policy we need from you is to remove yourself and your sick father back to the reality TV hellhole that spawned you. Also, the most pressing issue most women face isn't a lack of access to capital, it's abusive rapey men who hurt them personally and professionally. Men like your daddy. Who you enable. Maybe spend less time on policy and more time reading a dictionary so you can finally learn what "complicit" means.
posted by SakuraK at 11:41 AM on July 1 [23 favorites]


Publishing names, addresses, DOBs, partial SSNs, party affiliation, and voting history is about doxxing on an unfathomable scale.

Nevertheless, having to be reactive to whatever Kobach makes up, without data in hand, is not going to work. Maybe states need to start making their own commissions and sharing between each other - it doesn't have to be general public. SOMEONE or someones trustworthy need to be able to proactively analyze what he's known or likely to have and rapidly peer-review (as it were) his analysis.
posted by ctmf at 11:50 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Also, the most pressing issue most women face isn't a lack of access to capital, it's abusive rapey men who hurt them personally and professionally.

Or, as we're discovering, losing access to capital because of abusive rapey men.
posted by infini at 11:51 AM on July 1 [20 favorites]


...Trump could limit imports of goods deemed critical to national defence and satisfy his ‘America first’ policy.

This is the sort of thing I really dread. Not necessarily this specifically, but that Trump will do something truly drastic to make a splash, shake things up, and look decisive. Maybe economic, maybe another war, maybe the torpedoing of an alliance, maybe some domestic law-enforcement horror. Maybe if the AHCA is defeated he'll take even further executive actions to demolish the ACA (like has already been doing). Something that will have dramatic, awful consequences for the country.

And beyond that, I dread how so many of his supporters will look on the consequences of that action--including the consequences to them, like lost jobs or no healthcare or a war--and they'll just be even pissier that Trump "had" to do that because liberals. Hell, his approval numbers are still sky-high among his supporters. It doesn't fucking matter to them how awful he is.

...and we'll still have people trying to figure out how to sway those voters rather than focusing on increasing more viable support from elsewhere.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:55 AM on July 1 [7 favorites]


"Do you think Trump is right about literally anything else? If not, then why would he be right about this?" posted by Justinian at 1:42 AM on July 1

I need this on a t-shirt.
posted by free f_ cat at 11:59 AM on July 1 [26 favorites]


Talez, I sort of understand your point, and I certainly appreciate that there are many very accomplished American diplomats, what I don't understand it that there are few apparent or even no efforts to remedy the bias of the information that tradition or history might lead to. If all of your knowledge of Cuba comes from Cubans in exile, there is no way you can ever have a dialogue with the Cuban government. It wouldn't make any sense. That isn't exactly what is happening when it comes to Cuba, but the further you go away from the US, the more it is.

Maybe this is easier to discuss with historical examples: back during the cold war, the US got a lot of it's information about the Warsaw Pact nations from European Intelligence. This carried a lot of issues. Both British and German secret services were famously infiltrated by spies from East Germany and the Sovjet Union. But even the legit intelligence was biased, because the people working with it were heavily biased. I grew up in fear of the terrible Red Army, and when the wall came down I went with friends for a trip along the Frankfurter Strasse heading out east of Berlin. We came upon a large Sovjet barrack and went in to see the skinny and very young East Asian soldiers who were selling off their hats and watches among the totally run down buildings and trucks. I laughed and laughed and laughed. As a military brat, I could compare with what I had been used to across Western Europe and there was just no way these starved little boys with their rusty equipment could have matched Western forces.
This complex we were visiting would have been reported as a huge force, holding Berlin. It wasn't, there was no threat, we had been scared of a ghost. I don't think the European spies were lying - I think they were scared and that their fear colored their perception and I think that their very choice to become spies was a reflection of their politics. In addition to that, the CIA had their own network of informants across Europe, and these were if anything quite a bit more unhinged than the people working in European services. Working for a foreign intelligence agency is treason, even if that agency belongs to an ally, and people who choose treason are very rarely reliable.

Diplomats have another set of biases and intelligence traps to deal with, but at the end of the day, it's just really difficult to find out what is real out there. And seen from abroad, the US is failing more than anyone else at it. Which leads to a lot of world leaders thinking Americans are stupid and making assumptions based on that, which is in itself really stupid, but hey, everyone can be stupid! (I'm looking at you Macron, you'd better know what you are up to)
posted by mumimor at 12:06 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


Publishing names, addresses, DOBs, partial SSNs, party affiliation, and voting history is about doxxing on an unfathomable scale.

That kind of works to his advantage in another way, too. He gets to be in a unique position where every state has a piece of the data but only he has it all. Since nobody else has the aggregate, he can claim it shows whatever he wants. THEN, he can claim he won't prove it, because privacy.

While the burden of proof should be on him, it won't work that way in practice.
posted by ctmf at 12:19 PM on July 1 [17 favorites]


That goes to stonewalling, to me. Every state should refuse, every civil rights organization should be suing to block this, to whatever extent we're able.
posted by gerryblog at 12:25 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Since nobody else has the aggregate

Except Putin.
posted by spitbull at 12:26 PM on July 1 [8 favorites]


Huh? Doesn't virtually everyone have the aggregate already? Partial SSNs are usually an exception, but most states can't release that under state law anyway. This data floats around between parties, campaigns, and outside groups all the damn time, and a massive amount of it, including sentiment analysis, just leaked because an RNC vendor failed to put a password on their downloads directory.

It's frightening, because the data can be used to do harm and stalk people, and the more available it is the more likely it is for that to happen, but don't go around thinking this is some kind of massive trove of previously unseen data they want to release; it's mainly all the same data that campaigns have been using for years.
posted by zachlipton at 12:35 PM on July 1 [10 favorites]


> Since nobody else has the aggregate

Except Putin.


Well, him and Robert Mercer.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:40 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


So, as Trump ranted about, Greta Van Susteren got was abruptly canned at MSNBC and will be replaced by Ari Melber, who is much more liberal. I guess MSNBC finally got the memo. Van Susteren's show was a giant pit of suck in a solid lineup.
posted by Justinian at 12:49 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


By invoking a rarely used law from the cold war era, Trump could limit imports of goods deemed critical to national defence and satisfy his ‘America first’ policy.

That story is nuts:
“One official estimated the sentiment in the room as 22 against and 3 in favor – but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed,” Axios reported. “Everyone else in the room, more than 75% of those present, were adamantly opposed, arguing it was bad economics and bad global politics. At one point, Trump was told his almost entire cabinet thought this was a bad idea. But everyone left the room believing the country is headed toward a major trade confrontation.”
Why bother having a cabinet?

It's also worth pointing out that if this idea is intended or sold as a measure to curb anti-competitive behavior from China, less than 2% of US steel imports and 5% of aluminum come from China.
posted by peeedro at 12:56 PM on July 1 [19 favorites]


Watching another cable TV debate about the health care system where the conservative participants repeat the "Obamacare is exploding! And also the sky is falling!" line my question has been:

There was that Republican-championed effort to require all members of Congress to get their health insurance through Obamacare. So if it's in a "death spiral", why aren't we hearing any personal stories from Congresspeople who have lost access to health care due to the supposed collapse of Obamacare? Or at least stories from their families?

I mean in theory they should be evenly geographically distributed across the country. So if there are allegedly-huge parts of the country impacted by the "catastrophe" of Obamacare's collapse there should be many members of Congress impacted by it. Or even if they personally are getting to buy insurance from a location geographically associated with Washington, D.C., or something like that we should be hearing stories about what the awful scourge of Obamacare is doing to their extended families back home.

It sounds like beyond just having both the general populace and Congress required to buy insurance through Obamacare together, the general populace needs to be able to buy insurance both in their own county where they live and also in whatever location their elected representatives and their families have been able to buy insurance which coincidentally hasn't been affected at all by the terrible, terrible, supposed implosion of Obamacare.

Not "buying insurance across state lines", of course, but an option in a federally-regulated district like Washington, D.C.: a "public option", dare I say. President Trump has been clamoring for Democratic cooperation in reforming Obamacare and whaddaya know, Democrats just so happen to have pre-cooperated and pre-proposed this and many other reforms eight years ago. They sure love to play edited video clips of Obama talking about measures like this which didn't actually become part of Obamacare, and claim they're things he promised.
posted by XMLicious at 12:59 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


Julie Turkewitz, NYT: ‘I Want This to Get Over’: After Congressional Shooting, Complex Grief for a Gunman’s Widow
Neighbors have urged her not to mow the lawn, for fear she’ll be attacked in her yard. A friend takes out her trash, dispersing it around town to evade snoops. When she ventured to the Shop ’N Save alone recently, a white-haired woman — a stranger — approached her in the parking lot and slapped her across the face.

“That was O.K.,” Ms. Hodgkinson said. “Get it out, lady. Just don’t pick up a gun and shoot somebody.”

She cried all the way home.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:05 PM on July 1 [35 favorites]


They call that "complex grief?"
posted by rhizome at 1:10 PM on July 1


Why bother having a cabinet?

Governor William J. Le Petomane: I didn't get a "harrumph" out of that guy!
Hedley Lamarr: Give the governor "harrumph"!
Staff member: Harrumph!
Governor William J. Le Petomane: You watch your ass.
posted by Devonian at 1:15 PM on July 1 [10 favorites]


It's also worth pointing out that if this idea is intended or sold as a measure to curb anti-competitive behavior from China, less than 2% of US steel imports

Also, according to the final table in that PDF "U.S. Trade Remedies in Effect Against Steel Mill Imports" China already has the highest number of trade remedies in effect against it, with nearly twice the number of any other country. (Admittedly, "number of trade remedies" seems like a rather unspecific metric.)
posted by XMLicious at 1:20 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Isn't voter data already in the wild now?
posted by Stu-Pendous at 1:25 PM on July 1


Also, according to the final table in that PDF "U.S. Trade Remedies in Effect Against Steel Mill Imports" China already has the highest number of trade remedies in effect against it, with nearly twice the number of any other country.

Yeah, the WTO, it works. You can't kneecap China's steel or aluminum industries at the US borders, this tariff idea is laughable.

Also, this picture made me laugh but not in a good way, the White House rolled out the red carpet for Donald and Melania to stand on while they greet South Korean President Moon Jae-In and First Lady Kim Jung-sook.
posted by peeedro at 1:35 PM on July 1 [10 favorites]


That picture is so obnoxious. I guess it's just part of the general humiliation he was performing.

But Kim Jung-sook's dress is to die for.
posted by mumimor at 1:41 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Not "buying insurance across state lines", of course, but an option in a federally-regulated district like Washington, D.C.: a "public option", dare I say. President Trump has been clamoring for Democratic cooperation in reforming Obamacare and whaddaya know, Democrats just so happen to have pre-cooperated and pre-proposed this and many other reforms eight years ago. They sure love to play edited video clips of Obama talking about measures like this which didn't actually become part of Obamacare, and claim they're things he promised.

That's the thing- Obamacare wouldn't be failing at all if it weren't for the changes republicans insisted on, like no public option and no reinsurance plan to protect insurance companies from big losses. It would be nice if we could just add those back in, but the horse had left the barn. Insurance companies are pulling out because they are losing money. The public option should be added back in, but that would be both popular and socialist, God forbid.

I buy Obamacare through the exchange, and there's only one company serving my county now. But I can't cover my kids in college. Well, I could technically, but they would never find an in-network provider if they got sick or injured since they live in different states, so it's useless. Try talking to someone at the exchange about having a dependent living in a different state, and they have no idea what I'm walking about. "You can't claim a dependent who doesn't live with you!" Yes, I can, I have for years. "You better call the IRS about that." No, maybe you should.
posted by Miss Cellania at 1:45 PM on July 1 [21 favorites]


like no public option

That was exclusively Lieberman's fault and at that time he was still a Democrat.
posted by Talez at 1:50 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


"Exclusively Lieberman" because they couldn't get Republican votes.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 1:56 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


Why bother having a cabinet?

First, it's customary and more or less obligatory.

Second, it's for the sake of having a shit-ton of people to praise him, as recently happened when they went around the room and almost everyone took a turn kissing his ass. The despot-placating praise had the added benefit of coming from people with big, formerly respectable titles, which creates the illusion of pageantry.

When you have a worthless empty suit like Ben Carson praise you, that's just Ben Carson being a dipshit. When you can refer to him as a cabinet secretary, though, hey, you just got praised by a cabinet secretary!
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:58 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Damn, Talez, you're right. That was too close a vote.
posted by Miss Cellania at 1:59 PM on July 1


Third, it packs the line of presidential succession full of morons so that if we ever succeed in impeaching Trump, then Pence, then Ryan, we'll still have a dozen more corrupt idiots before we get near a competent and non-sociopathic leader.
posted by SakuraK at 2:01 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


"Exclusively Lieberman" because they couldn't get Republican votes.

I can't blame a Republican for being Republican or a strong opposition.

I can blame a Democrat for stabbing the party in the back at the most inopportune time.
posted by Talez at 2:06 PM on July 1 [15 favorites]


I can blame a Democrat for stabbing the party in the back at the most inopportune time.

I see you've met Joe Lieberman.
posted by mosk at 2:10 PM on July 1 [17 favorites]


Stumbled across a great analysis/takedown of the NRA's latest propaganda hit. It's on Facebook, but it's public so I don't think you have to log in to see it

Mr. Feeny taught him well. (Rider Strong was the troubled best friend on Boy Meets World.)
posted by waitingtoderail at 2:37 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I can't blame a Republican for being Republican or a strong opposition.

Why not? Similar logic would excuse most any wicked behavior so long as it was done regularly and intentionally. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you can hardly blame my client for killing Mrs. Smith. After all, my client is a serial killer: what did you expect?"
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:38 PM on July 1 [30 favorites]


Publishing names, addresses, DOBs, partial SSNs, party affiliation, and voting history is about doxxing on an unfathomable scale.

Haven't been following this story... isn't that data freely available from most state Boards of Election? Apart from the SSNs? I know it was in Ohio.
posted by Coventry at 2:43 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know if there is any coordinated effort to get grocery stores and department stores to stop selling the National Enquirer at the checkout?

If there isn't, let's start one. It's just pure pro-Trump propaganda any more, and it's especially offensive to display it in cities. If we can't get stores to stop selling it, at least demand that they not shove it in your face at checkout stands.
posted by msalt at 2:51 PM on July 1 [13 favorites]


isn't that data freely available

Yes, but the point is that just like doxxing, it's about the compilation and made-convenient nature of even scattered public information. It doesn't matter what's "out there" if YOU don't have it and can't compile it in a reasonably short enough time frame to refute his bullshit before the damage is done.
posted by ctmf at 2:52 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


That was exclusively Lieberman's fault and at that time he was still a Democrat.

No, at the time Lieberman was an Independent. He defeated Democrat Ned Lamont in 2006. He campaigned for McCain and Palin in 2008. The Obamacare vote was in 2010.
posted by JackFlash at 3:07 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


It's hard because it doesn't seem like their agenda is to only manipulate the data per se. Publishing names, addresses, DOBs, partial SSNs, party affiliation, and voting history is about doxxing on an unfathomable scale.

Yes. And remember that whatever that "very distinguished" flaming bag of dogshit panel decides, the ONLY remedy is vigorous and unilateral use of voting software from Kobach's own corruption factory.

GOP "wins" again.
posted by petebest at 3:14 PM on July 1 [8 favorites]


If there isn't, let's start one. It's just pure pro-Trump propaganda any more, and it's especially offensive to display it in cities. If we can't get stores to stop selling it, at least demand that they not shove it in your face at checkout stands.

Agreed. I sent an email to my local grocery store this morning saying that I would like them to stop stocking and selling it and that I thought about shopping elsewhere every time I saw it in the checkout line. But I wondered afterward if anyone had already organized such a protest. Do you know if there are grocery stores that already do not sell the Enquirer so that one could plausibly threaten to shop at such a place?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 3:14 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


I have less of a problem with them selling it than with the prominent position it gets. I'd be just happy if the put it with all the other magazines and gave the space at the checkout counter to something less offensive.

I suspect that would also be less susceptible to cries of censorship as well.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:27 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


Jonathan Livengood,

Aldi does not sell magazines.
posted by Miss Cellania at 3:35 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


Let us briefly close our eyes and imagine if President Barack Obama went on an irrelevant, hatefully abusive multi-day Twitter spree, when he was supposed to be governing. Most people would be calling on him to resign, including many Democrats. With our president Donald Trump, it appears that some people have low standards. Mariana Trench low standards.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:49 PM on July 1 [66 favorites]


Why.

@realDonaldTrump
My use of social media is not Presidential - it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!

posted by Rust Moranis at 4:12 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]


How does he have time for this? The President's time is usually scheduled to the minute, all day, every day.
posted by Justinian at 4:16 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


How does he have time for this?

I'm beginning to suspect that he's not actually doing his job.
posted by mrgoat at 4:18 PM on July 1 [148 favorites]


> I can't blame a Republican for being Republican or a strong opposition.

Why not? Similar logic would excuse most any wicked behavior so long as it was done regularly and intentionally. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you can hardly blame my client for killing Mrs. Smith. After all, my client is a serial killer: what did you expect?"


As the frog said to the scorpion, "it's in my nature". Or, - you knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.
posted by wilko at 4:20 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Fox News, so no attribution from me: 'Patriot' shoots himself in leg at Gettysburg

Dude accidentally shot himself over imaginary Antifa. Imagine the oopsies when the (seemingly inevitable) actual confrontation/incident comes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:22 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


And there will be no statement forthcoming from the NRA or Loesch regarding this, after their incitement.
posted by anem0ne at 4:25 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.

...The modern period being only about 200 years old. Well done, you trailblazer you.
posted by Rykey at 4:30 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


How does he have time for this? The President's time is usually scheduled to the minute, all day, every day.

He's tweeted through a security briefing before, so I don't think a little thing like "scheduling" is going to stop him.
posted by dilaudid at 4:31 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


> Fox News, so no attribution from me: 'Patriot' shoots himself in leg at Gettysburg
A self-described "patriot" who went to Gettysburg National Military Park on Saturday following rumors that members of an alt-left group would be there to desecrate Confederal memorials, shot himself in the leg with his own revolver.
LOL
posted by tonycpsu at 4:32 PM on July 1 [19 favorites]


I'd say anyone shot post that stupid ad has a right to sue the NRA, and I'd be generous and include this jackass on that.
posted by Artw at 4:44 PM on July 1 [6 favorites]


'Patriot' shoots himself in leg at Gettysburg

It's like 1863 all over again.
posted by peeedro at 4:45 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


THE PRESIDENT: This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something -- but it could be infinity, right?

Oh god, the look on Aldren's face.
posted by octothorpe at 5:08 PM on July 1 [14 favorites]


to desecrate Confederal memorials

...to gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, and so forth.

or rather, you can vandalize those things and I dare say you shouldn't, it isn't nice. wouldn't want any angry ghost battalions haunting the imaginary "alt-left" clubhouse. but you can't desecrate them. that's only for sacred things. I should like to explain this to that gentleman just to see if I could do it in such a way as to make him angry enough to shoot his other leg in a fine spirit of indignation.

that isn't nice either.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:41 PM on July 1 [20 favorites]


Do you know if there are grocery stores that already do not sell the Enquirer so that one could plausibly threaten to shop at such a place?

- It looks like Whole Foods does not carry the National Enquirer

- some online commenters (but not journalists) say that American Media actually pays stores to carry and position the rag

- Publix at least temporarily put the NE behind the white porn-obscurers after complaints last fall. They indicated that the volume of complaints on either side would drive their long-term decision.

- Some people accidentally take out a NE or other magazine and accidentally put it back in front of NEs (backwards) so as to hide their covers

- a Berkeley op-ed says a Safeway there removed Nat'l Enquirer after complaints (anecdata)

- there is a petition on change.org that only has 253 signatures for Kroger and Safeway to remove them

- that petition lists the customer service # for Safeway as 1 (877) 258-2799

- Kroger Co Customer Service (incl Fred Meyer's), 1 (877) 258-2799
posted by msalt at 5:44 PM on July 1 [14 favorites]


I shop at a Winco several times a month and saw its weekly parade of Clinton hit-pieces last summer.

Clinton lost 3 of the "Blue Wall" states -- 46 EVs -- by 77,000 votes, which means if 39,000 Trump voters had voted for Clinton in these 3 states, Clinton would have won the EC.

I fully believe the continual NE attacks posted at damn near every hoi-polloi checkstand in the USA put Trump in the WH.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 5:56 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Heywood Mogroot III: I fully believe the continual NE attacks posted at damn near every hoi-polloi checkstand in the USA put Trump in the WH.

And if supermarket tabloids aren't your style, TMZ on TV and the web has it covered:

The inside story of how TMZ quietly became America’s most potent pro-Trump media outlet
posted by bluecore at 6:07 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Oh boy... President Vicente Fox of Mexico is back with a video with some advice for Trump before he starts a war. I laughed my ass off.
posted by spitbull at 6:10 PM on July 1 [30 favorites]


TMZ is of course part of Time Warner, the same company as CNN. And Fox News is part of the same Murdoch empire as the Wall Street Journal, currently doing some heavy lifting on investigating high crimes and misdemeanors. Interesting times!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:14 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


The FB page of that PA "patriot" includes a bunch of wingnut government=tyranny meme postings. Of course after he shot himself his life was saved by government employees. 20 bucks says he's constitutionally incapable of seeing the irony.
posted by Lyme Drop at 6:22 PM on July 1 [17 favorites]


Do you have a dog? One that poops? Like, from its butt? If so, you might be interested in Donald Trump poop bags.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:28 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]


Update. McCaskill's schedule is out. 10 town halls in 2 days.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:56 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


Hey, listen, insisting that retail outlets don't sell particular newspapers is not a strong idea.

The message is good or it is not good--we have a better message and are stronger than them or we are not, but it is a weak look to insist that magazines nearly everyone recognizes are trivial should be pulled out of supermarket lanes. I don't even care if they're not trivial.

That is censorship. If you are cool with it--great, I guess, but own it. Censorship is a binary proposition: Yes, I'm in, or No, thanks.

Make sure you're on the side you want to be on.

This is a very clear free speech deal.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:02 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


We're not an arm of the government, it's not a free speech deal. It's using market forces same as any other boycott. I don't think it will be in any way effective but that's a different argument.

You're essentially arguing against the very concept of boycotts.
posted by Justinian at 7:05 PM on July 1 [92 favorites]


That is censorship.
What? No. It's a boycott.
posted by xyzzy at 7:08 PM on July 1 [32 favorites]


Nthing the declaration that a boycott it NOT censorship. Of course, there are places I can shop that are Enquirer-free; but also, let me know who advertises in the National Enquirer so I can boycott THEM.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:10 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


It's only fair that supermarkets stop selling The Nation and Mother Jones at checkout lines too.

Oh wait.😉
posted by spitbull at 7:13 PM on July 1 [12 favorites]


What? No. It's a boycott.


I'm clear on the difference between commercial pressure and legal pressure.

I am operating on an ethical sense of 'how do I, personally, feel about obscuring the repellent beliefs of others' and for myself, personally, I do not want to obscure the repellent beliefs of others.

I want their repellent beliefs to die in the sun.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:18 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


I want their repellent beliefs to die in the sun.
One way to make repellent beliefs die in the sun is to expose them to the world and then refuse to host them by not advertising in their content, selling their content, or teaching their content. Which is basically what a boycott is. I mean, sign me up for anything anyone is doing to break the stranglehold Texas has on science education nationwide or to drown Breitbart in a sea of profit loss statements.
posted by xyzzy at 7:23 PM on July 1 [31 favorites]


You're essentially arguing against the very concept of boycotts.


Noooooo. I'm talking about the press.

I guess: ok, I'll boycott, let's say, Chick Fil A (or whatever it is), because I think they are a bunch of homophobes. But I think that's different than boycotting Barnes and Noble because they carry the Enquirer. Or Google because they return Brietbart. Or whatever.

I'm sorry, I'm a little depleted right now for a variety of reasons and I'd otherwise be a little stronger on the argument and I genuinely apologize for not backing it up in a stronger fashion. Please accept my weak ass argument as sincere.

To sum up, I think that fierce arguments made by smart people ultimately win and those arguments look meager if you take down weak arguments climbing the summit.

For a variety of reasons I intimately know the difference between censorship and private impulses and I apologize for my initial post which conflated them. Censorship is a function of the powerful.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:29 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


No platforming/boycotts is the only way to keep marginalized people safe from these repellent beliefs, because as we've learned by the rise of the alt-kiddies from 4-chan, giving people places to share these kinds of believes leads to recruitment and innocent people getting hurt. Sunshine doesn't work on this kind of rancid hate. Think about how many more woman would be safer from swatting and rape threats if a long time ago someone somehow had led a successful boycott of 4-chan or 8-chan? The entire concept of the alt-right might not exist!

No platforming/boycotting IS NOT censorship.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:31 PM on July 1 [18 favorites]


Iiiiii'm not sure I'd call the National Enquirer "the press" to be honest.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:33 PM on July 1 [23 favorites]


Just because someone has a right to free speech does not mean that I, a store owner or service provider, needs to provide them the means to carry that speech.

What of my right, in such a circumstance?

Additionally, there is precedent in WalMart and Blockbuster being... Choosy in whose speech they provided a platform to.
posted by anem0ne at 7:35 PM on July 1 [18 favorites]


Think about how many more woman would be safer from swatting and rape threats if a long time ago someone somehow had led a successful boycott of 4-chan or 8-chan?

I'm not digging down on this argument but what 4chan boycott do you imagine made a financial difference to 4chan? Toyota pulled the sponsorship? If they pay their server costs month to month I bet it's a Yay.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:43 PM on July 1


I want their repellent beliefs to die in the sun.

Their beliefs aren't on sale at the supermarket. Lies in service of those beliefs are on sale at the supermarket. Allowing that deceit to go unchallenged doesn't really do anything to expose the underlying beliefs.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:44 PM on July 1 [11 favorites]


Falling to market forces when a number of shoppers significant enough to be influential on a merchant's decisions decide to protest your anachronistic rag *is* "dying in the sun."
posted by spitbull at 7:45 PM on July 1 [20 favorites]


Allowing that deceit to go unchallenged doesn't really do anything to expose the underlying beliefs.


Then we are here to challenge them, and it is our purpose to expose them.

Things that are unspoken, unsaid, unheard, have enormous power.

Undermining that shit is our highest calling at this moment.

I do not think undermining it happens in the shadows.

I acknowledge that I should not have used the word 'censorship' which has a bureaucratic implication.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:51 PM on July 1


Also, I do just want to say that while these are my opinions, I'm not jazzed about fighting about them and consider the people here on the side of Things That Are Right while we may disagree about this particular thing.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:56 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


That is censorship. If you are cool with it--great, I guess, but own it. Censorship is a binary proposition: Yes, I'm in, or No, thanks.

I struggled with this, but it clicked for me (like a lot of things, thanks to metafilter) when I figured out the difference between speech and platforming. What follows is my own moral guideline for this issue, but it's one that helps me deal with issues like this.

- Censorship is when I attempt to punish you for an opinion in a way entirely unrelated to you having thoughts. That's when I jail you for insulting the king. I punish you in a way that fundamentally harms your ability to function as a member of society. Free speech rights, I believe, are meant to guarantee this. I am fundamentally against laws like Germany's banning of Nazi symbolism because I believe this.
- De-/Platforming is when I give you an amplifier or attempt to take it away. That's when I ask the ISP to shut down your website as incitement, or I donate to your political campaign, etc. I believe part of my right to free speech is to think a certain viewpoint is harmful and shouldn't be repeated, and that I have the right to let others know that belief. Doing so en masse is not censorship.

You have the right to speak without fear of being punished, not to be guaranteed an audience. Platforming or deplatforming certain beliefs is absolutely an issue of public safety and welfare, and government absolutely needs to be involved in regulating it, because it can be weaponized and used to hurt people.
posted by saysthis at 7:59 PM on July 1 [22 favorites]


I shared this Wired story about the disastrous Alex Jones interview before. One of the points it makes is that there is evidence that repeating lies, even to debunk them, propagates the lies. Thus, sunlight doesn't reveal the truth - it just makes sure the lie is more brightly lit.

There is a difference between unpopular speech ("the 9/11 pilots were not cowards") and lies (recent NE headline: "Hillary Flees Country"). Lies deserve no coverage and no visibility. If you champion the truth, see yourself against those that traffic in lies by fighting to make sure that lies remain as unseen and unheard as possible.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:03 PM on July 1 [48 favorites]


Hit send too soon.

So while "I am fundamentally against laws like Germany's banning of Nazi symbolism," I am also fundamentally FOR a regulatory mechanism and private editorial policies that allow me to say, "This speech is harmful and should be removed from platforms of a certain size/influence."

Also, Citizens United is about platforming, not free speech, and the Supreme Court is therefore super dumb. Thank you and goodnight.
posted by saysthis at 8:05 PM on July 1 [6 favorites]


Look. I appreciate this commitment to "free speech" you have and this insistence in that sunlight will kill the black mold that is lies and hate speech.

I disagree. I think the brogressive notion that free speech is absolute, that all ideas should be exposed and platformed, is a twisted notion that comes from unreflected privilege and delusional optimism.

People are fucking stupid shitheads. It's why they believe in antivax lies, because there's a platform for them, and no matter how much sunlight you shine, that particular rot will continue to fester and kill children. The hate speech that comprises modern Republican dogma is no different. There have been years of sunlight, and yet half the country still cheers on a nativist, anti anything not white mentality that literally murders black men and lets white "lone wolves" be captured alive, among other things.

So, no, I disagree on a fundamental, visceral level. Objecting to white supremacist bullshit being noplatfomed, being removed by private organizations refusing to sell them? It means you're okay with, complicit with, minority voices being silenced, being unplatformed, because they understand that free speech isn't meant for them.

Go see how Facebook perpetuates this shit. It's no different from what you're supporting.
posted by anem0ne at 8:10 PM on July 1 [42 favorites]


Lawrence Douglas and Alexander George, Guardian: A modest proposal on healthcare: abolish it completely
What are the practical consequences of our proposal? The astute reader will no doubt ask whether this proposal means that those who are not wealthy will sicken and perish from treatable diseases. The answer is clearly, yes. And yet much will depend on the choices that our fellow citizens make.

We expect that even less-affluent Americans will choose to treat potentially life-threatening bacterial infections with antibiotics, a highly effective and generally affordable remedy. When it comes to more expensive treatments – such as dialysis for those suffering from kidney failure – many families will no doubt conclude that the cost is simply too great and exceeds the anticipated benefit. A perfectly rational choice in our minds.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:19 PM on July 1 [6 favorites]


Eric Geller and Cory Bennett, Politico: Trump voter-fraud panel’s data request a gold mine for hackers, experts warn
Digital security experts say the commission’s request would centralize and lay bare a valuable cache of information that cyber criminals could use for identity theft scams — or that foreign spies could leverage for disinformation schemes.

“It is beyond stupid,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

“The bigger the purse, the more effort folks would spend to get at it,” said Joe Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a digital advocacy group. “And in this case, this is such a high-profile and not-so-competent tech operation that we're likely to see the hacktivists and pranksters take shots at it.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:24 PM on July 1 [15 favorites]


Trump voter-fraud panel’s data request a gold mine for hackers, experts warn

Experts? The very fact that they recommended emailing the data - if one had no idea who these fuckers were - is recognizably stupid shit to anyone this side of remembering what a modem sounded like.

Not to mention that besides the obvious boondoggle of Kobach's shitty software they'll inevitably recommend, the fact that they *want* to publish everybody's voting history and personal data is dropping the flag on personal attacks. You just know this was their first and only idea.
posted by petebest at 8:33 PM on July 1 [11 favorites]


In a previous thread, somebody posted this Nina Burleigh Newsweek article, Trump Effect Inspires Radical Christians In Military, which discusses how fundamentalist Christian military personnel are harassing colleagues of different faiths and, also, of Christian beliefs that aren't Dominionist Christian enough. I subscribed to Newsweek and donated to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the org that's fighting for the harassment victims.

Now Jay Sekulow is going after the MRFF founder, Mikey Weinstein, for what Sekulow considers to be anti-Christian, unconstitutional, anti-"religious freedom" attacks (by "religious freedom" he means, of course, the unlimited freedom of his idea of "Christians" to trample on everybody else's rights).
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:50 PM on July 1 [21 favorites]


[Deleted several; I feel like we've covered the ground on censorship vs. boycotts, and drunk posting is definitely not needed in politics threads.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:18 PM on July 1 [21 favorites]


I just finished Gundam 00. JFC it seems rather apt for this year in America.
posted by Talez at 9:21 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Lawrence Douglas and Alexander George, Guardian: A modest proposal on healthcare: abolish it completely

Oh good I RTFA and it's satire.

From the description I thought The Guardian went flat out fucking bonkers.
posted by Talez at 9:26 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


“Since the signing of the declaration of independence 241 years ago, America always affirmed that liberty comes from our creator. Our rights are given to us by God, and no earthly force can ever take those rights away” [via The Guardian]
Rallies and statements like this as well as the attacks on the MRFF seem like the factional battle lines have been being drawn. It feels more like when they'll mobilise than if.
posted by michswiss at 9:29 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


Oh good I RTFA and it's satire.

Well yes.
posted by Pink Frost at 10:00 PM on July 1 [3 favorites]


It's the Immodest Proposals you have to take seriously.

That's why Trump cannot be satirized. No modesty.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:06 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


How the fuck do people like LePage win elections... Glad you asked! LePage won the governorship twice with less than 50% of the vote...

The first time he didn't even get 38% of the vote, with not one but two Independent candidates in the race. Forget about the Democrat – if the Independent candidates had combined their total LePage would have lost by about 19,000 votes.

Only twice in the last 11 elections (going back 40+ years), by the way, has a Maine governor gotten more than 50% of the vote. Both of those were re-election campaigns, including the 1998 re-election of Governor (now U.S. Senator) Angus King, who in his first try did even worse than LePage, winning with only 35.4%of the vote. In that 1994 contest, King (an Independent) took advantage of votes being split four ways, including for a Green Party candidate. The Republican hopeful that year, who came in third, currently is Maine's other U.S. Senator, Susan Collins.

p.s. Colin Woodard at Politico in 2014: "How did America's Craziest Governor Get Re-Elected?"
posted by LeLiLo at 10:21 PM on July 1 [8 favorites]


I read an article a few months ago that complicated my thinking about boycotts, Fragmented State, Pluralist Society: How Liberal Institutions Promote Fear. Here's the most relevant bit:
"Consider the following statistics. In the Red Scare of 1919-20, the American government put some ten thousand men and women into jails and detention centers and deported about six hundred. During the McCarthy years, by contrast, liberal limitations upon the state ensured that no more than two hundred people spent time behind bars, and only a very few were deported. Yet McCarthyism lasted longer, affected more individuals, inflicted more permanent damage, and was in the long run a greater influence on American politics. Why? Many factors were at work—not least of which, the Cold War—but one of them was the greater involvement of civil society, particularly the workplace, during McCarthyism. For though the government directly penalized only a small number of individuals, anywhere from one to two of every five American workers was subject to a loyalty investigation at work."
There then follows an interesting but rather lengthy description of how blacklisting during the McCarthy era worked. It talks about Red Channels, a magazine put out by former FBI officials naming alleged communists. A prominent NY grocer by the name of Johnson lead a group of grocers who threatened to label products in their stores as communist-supporting, if they advertised on radio shows associated with people named as communists by Red Channels. "So powerful was the combined force of Red Channels and Johnson that one talent agent in the radio industry claimed, 'I never hear about the FBI or the Attorney General—all I ever hear about is Red Channels and this Johnson of Syracuse and the other characters who have made a business out of this thing.'"

I'm still generally pro-boycott, especially as a way to show solidarity with unions, but I think it's important to recognize that like most tools they can be used effectively for regressive as well as progressive purposes.

(Mods, feel free to delete this if it's too close to rehashing the earlier boycotting debate.)
posted by galaxy rise at 10:32 PM on July 1 [8 favorites]


I haven't been to an improv show in months. I used to go all the time, and then the election happened and I stay home nights reading news incessantly and hating everyone. But I spent all day shopping out of town and was returning around the time the shows start, and it was on my way home, so I went.

(Bonus: I found out where certain college alumni from my school have a "massage parlor" that isn't one!)

At one moment, two guys are sitting there silently doing a dinner scene. One of them is glaring at the audience and giving side-eye glare to the other guy. He forcefully takes bites of food in his partner's face. He forcefully takes a drink in his partner's face, glaring the whole time. The other one just sat there uncomfortable and fidgeting.

And then someone comes in and says, "Uh, Mr. President, Madam First Lady?" And SCENE.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:03 AM on July 2 [18 favorites]


The Declaration of Independence never specifies who the creator is supposed to be, or even if everyone gets the same one.

The closest it comes is by referring to Nature's God. Sounds pretty hippy dippy to me.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:45 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Oh good I RTFA and it's satire.

From the description I thought The Guardian went flat out fucking bonkers.


They publish some downright weird stuff under Comment is Free.
posted by Artw at 1:11 AM on July 2


Tweet from Neal Lindsay:

You're at a switch track.

Someone dies if you pull the switch.

But if you *don't*, a wealthy person will have the same taxes as last year.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:20 AM on July 2 [128 favorites]


Boston Globe surprisingly takes digs at Trump: Trump’s wounded, distracted presidency has created a leadership void in Washington

Then they go back to their founding values: "Everyone agrees the tax code is too complicated."

There are nibs and nobs in tax laws for proles, true, but when someone who has never done their own taxes complains about the complexity of taxes, what they really mean is that they don't want to pay taxes for us, but they still want us to pay taxes for them.
posted by SakuraK at 4:03 AM on July 2 [12 favorites]


Maryland still hasn't refused to hand over the voter data. On Monday I'm going to call Larry Hogan's office and say that if (when!) criminals use the data for identity theft, he's going to find himself a defendant in a class action suit.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:16 AM on July 2 [13 favorites]


I think it's clear that what Maine desperately needs is a runoff system if no one gets over 50%.

michswiss Rallies and statements like this as well as the attacks on the MRFF seem like the factional battle lines have been being drawn. It feels more like when they'll mobilise than if.

That too.

But I also keep noticing that they use the same language to talk about freedom and rights that they use to talk about the climate. It's all controlled by God, it all came from God. I don't think it's really paranoid at this point to think that they'll start attacking rights using some variation on the "God will protect the environment" line they use when attacking the environment.

What are you some filthy Commie liberal who wants Big Government "protecting" your rights? Rights come from God, if anyone tries to take them away God will take care of it. So don't worry about us abolishing the 1st Amendment, k?
posted by sotonohito at 5:23 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


I think it's clear that what Maine desperately needs is a runoff system if no one gets over 50%.

We passed a law in November to move to ranked choice voting for Governor (as well as a number of other offices).

Following a court challenge, the Maine Supreme Court declared in May that ranked choice violates the Maine Constitution.

So then the legislature tried to repeal the law, but couldn't get the votes for repeal.

Yesterday, the Maine Republican's budget proposal (the so called LePage demand list) included repeal of ranked choice voting as a condition for him to sign any budget passed (even though its not a budget item), but they later took it out.

So, what needs to happen is that we need a Constitutional change to make ranked choice a thing in Maine, which should be straightforward, except it won't be. The Dems hold the House and will refuse to repeal it, the R's hold the Senate and will continue to block Constitutional changes from there. Which will, I'm sure, lead to court challenges if nobody gets 50% in 2018.
posted by anastasiav at 5:55 AM on July 2 [10 favorites]


Callum Borchers, WaPo: The White House is playing a game of chicken with the media
It seems clear, at this point, that the White House would prefer not to hold regular press briefings. But President Trump and his aides do not want to be the ones to pull the plug. They want journalists to do it.

The White House is playing a game of chicken with the media, making the briefing situation so untenable that reporters might bail first. If successful, Team Trump will achieve its desired outcome while avoiding the blame.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:04 AM on July 2 [24 favorites]


About that Texas Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage rights:

The case — and link to the actual opinion — is Pidgeon v. Turner, No. 15-0688 (Tex. March 1, 2017).

(Journalists: please always cite and link the original source of whatever legal / scientific / etc thing you're writing about. It's really annoying when you just describe it and I have to hunt it down to find out how badly you mischaracterized.)


The article linked by OP, in my opinion, seriously mischaracterizes the ruling. So here's my own summary. (Page numbers are to original PDF linked above.)


Background

From 2001–2005, both Houston and Texas passed laws making it illegal to give benefits to same-sex couples. (In particular as relevant here, this means health insurance for employees' same-sex spouse, like they do for employees' opposite-sex spouses.)

In 2013, SCOTUS ruled in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013) that same sex couples have various due process rights. (That case was about taxes for a same-sex widow.) On the basis of Windsor, Houston's attorney and mayor (Turner) started same-sex couple insurance benefits.

Pidgeon (a Houston taxpayer/voter) promptly sued to stop this, because it violates city & state law. p. 5. The trial court agreed with Pidgeon, and issued a temporary injunction prohibiting Houston from continuing to give such benefits. p. 7.

The mayor/city made an immediate ("interlocutory") appeal (to the state appeals court). p. 7.

In June 2015, while the appeal was pending, SCOTUS ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015) that same sex couples are entitled to marriage. In July 2015, the 5th Circuit (which includes Texas) ruled similarly in De Leon v. Abbott, 791 F.3d 619 (5th Cir. 2015).

Both sides gave supplemental briefs to the appeals court. In late July 2015, the appeals court agreed with Houston, and vacated the temporary injunction, permitting the city to continue giving same-sex couple insurance benefits, on the basis of Obergefell and De Leon, and told the trial court to continue the case "consistent with" De Leon and Obergefell. p. 8–9.

Hodges promptly appealed that to the Texas Supreme Court. p. 9.


Ruling

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that:

1. 5th Circuit decisions aren't binding on the trial court (reason is too technical for tl;dr), so the appeals court shouldn't have told it to be "consistent with" De Leon, but only to take it as informative advice. p. 12–14.

2. While Pidgeon apparently wants Houston to "claw back" the money it spent on same-sex couples' insurance (i.e. make the recipients pay back the city for the cost), that's not what the trial court ruled, it wasn't on appeal, so it'll have to be dealt with by the trial court on remand. Also, that it's questionable whether Pidgeon even has standing to ask for this, but they're not ruling on that either until the trial court hears it. p. 15–17.

3. The court of appeals was wrong to decide the issue in light of intervening precedent (Obergefell and De Leon) when the trial court had never been briefed on that. p. 18–21. The court of appeals decision doesn't preclude Pidgeon from re-arguing the issue. p. 14–15. (Technicalities re reversal vs. vacatur omitted.)

4. tl;dr: All of the trial court's orders (i.e. including the injunction), and the court of appeals' ruling, go away. Everyone has to go back to the trial court, and have that court decide the issue over again based on intervening precedent.

It's back to the status it was in before Pidgeon sued, i.e. the city is not enjoined from continuing to give benefits same-sex spouses, but the legality of doing so is not decided.


IMHO

I think the Texas Supreme Court ruled correctly on this.

(I'm ignoring its dicta talking about how same-sex marriage is new and maybe not a good idea and so forth; just talking about the actual holding. For the record, I'm queer, my long-term boyfriend's gay, and I support same-sex marriage. This is my opinion about the legalities of the case, not about the immediate policy impact.)

Appeals courts should not be ruling on issues that the lower courts didn't have a chance to rule on. The correct course of action for the appeals court would have been to simply vacate the injunction (without a decision on its merits) and remand for further proceedings in light of intervening precedent.

Once the parties argue it out in the trial court, and it makes a decision, then the appeals court has something to review.

I would guess that the trial court will have to rule in favor of Turner / Houston, and hold the city & state laws prohibiting same-sex spousal benefits unconstitutional, given Obergefell.

However, it's not a 100% obvious conclusion. I can see ways to interpret Obergefell as making a more limited ruling which still allows states leeway to discriminate in how they deal with "extra" benefits like this that go beyond just being married per se. (I don't agree with them; I just think they're not absolutely precluded by the current case law.)


tl;dr: chill out. The Texas Supreme Court did not rule that it's OK to discriminate against same-sex couples. It did not say Hodges is right about the merits. It's a fairly limited, technical decision about appellate procedure.

It just said, basically, "the law has changed since this got appealed, so we're going to make it as if the injunction and appeal never happened; go back to the trial court and argue it over again".


Watch the case, to see what happens on remand.


PS Here's my legal resume, for credibility. But really, I strongly recommend you go actually read the Texas Supreme Court's opinion and decide for yourself. Most journalists are, sadly, really bad about accurately portraying issues in law and science with any degree of nuance; IMHO, the OP link is an example of that.
posted by saizai at 6:28 AM on July 2 [43 favorites]


The president just tweeted an animated gif of himself body-slamming and beating Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania, with CNN's logo superimposed over Vince's head. Yes, really.

Call it trolling or a joke or unserious if you want, but he's actively promoting violence against the media.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:28 AM on July 2 [73 favorites]


On Monday I'm going to call Larry Hogan's office and say that if (when!) criminals use the data for identity theft, he's going to find himself a defendant in a class action suit.

Sadly I think that qualified immunity is just as useful for protecting bad data choices as it is trigger happy cops.
posted by phearlez at 6:32 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


But I also keep noticing that they use the same language to talk about freedom and rights that they use to talk about the climate. It's all controlled by God, it all came from God.

let's test that theory of theirs out

find "god" - results - 0
posted by pyramid termite at 6:39 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


In light of the recent real life body slamming of a reporter by a fellow party member, I can't see how posting that gif could be passed off as just a joke or defended by anyone in their right mind. America has a fucking internet troll for a president.
posted by p3t3 at 6:40 AM on July 2 [64 favorites]


The Declaration of Independence never specifies who the creator is supposed to be, or even if everyone gets the same one.

The closest it comes is by referring to Nature's God. Sounds pretty hippy dippy to me.


MY creator was my Mom. ( XKCD #54 FTW! )
posted by mikelieman at 6:52 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


America has a fucking internet troll for a president.

Whom we should ignore.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:52 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


(Please maybe not start the "we should ignore him" vs. "we need to pay attention to what's going on" thing again? Please?)
posted by agregoli at 6:56 AM on July 2 [26 favorites]


you know, i was doing just fine having the time of my life ignoring donald trump until he ran for and became the president of the united states

you can't ignore trolls when they're the fucking president
posted by pyramid termite at 7:04 AM on July 2 [69 favorites]


Yes the "internet troll" analogy is flawed as most trolls don't have nukes.
posted by spitbull at 7:04 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Most journalists are, sadly, really bad about accurately portraying issues in law and science with any degree of nuance

And also are more than happy to report on bog standard procedural things as if they mean anything. "Attorneys for man found holding machete while soaking in bathtub of blood filed a motion to dismiss today despite preponderance of evidence." Well, yes.
posted by phearlez at 7:07 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


That said it's always a mordant chuckle to revisit (with a horrified shudder) a post title seen on Reddit's trumpian underside on the day after the election at times like these: "OMG we did it guys, we elected a meme."
posted by spitbull at 7:07 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


You can't ignore the president. He's setting policy and driving the political direction of our country. It's a stupid suggestion.

The best way to combat narcissism is to disempower it. The best way to disempower it is to expose it and frame it in its negative, crazy glory, so that people understand how negative and crazy it is. Additionally, a vocal voice of reason with real solutions will exacerbate this process because it provides an explicit contrast between normal and crazy.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:07 AM on July 2 [12 favorites]


heh, spitbull - you never took part in the great meow/hell flame club/hipcrime war of usenet - hipcrime NUKED usenet for months
posted by pyramid termite at 7:07 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Making it all the more ironic to think of DARPA coming up with TCP/IP as a way to have a network survive a nuclear first strike.
posted by spitbull at 7:10 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Rust Moranis: "The president just tweeted an animated gif of himself body-slamming and beating Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania, with CNN's logo superimposed over Vince's head. Yes, really.

Call it trolling or a joke or unserious if you want, but he's actively promoting violence against the media.
"

No matter how horrible, venal and stupid I think he is, he manages to be even worse. He's literally breaking my brain as it tries and fails to understand how we managed to elect such complete idiot.
posted by octothorpe at 7:16 AM on July 2 [38 favorites]


You can't ignore the president.

TFA says ignore his antics and instead pay attention to what those around him are doing. Seems like good advice to me. /done
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:24 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


phearlez: And also are more than happy to report on bog standard procedural things as if they mean anything.

Ugh, yes. I've even seen articles that did not understand that a proposed order is not, in fact, an act of the court, but just part of the motion. (Most courts require it to be submitted for their convenience & as a "give me a tl;dr of what will make you happy".) Result: news sources breathlessly reporting that a court had granted a crazy subpoena that would affect a lot of people, when it was just a request. (One that was later denied.)
posted by saizai at 7:29 AM on July 2


People are welcome to ignore the President in posts that aren't tagged "POTUS45" imho
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:39 AM on July 2 [55 favorites]


From Friday's New York Times editorial: Can the etiquette of professional wrestling and reality television truly pass as acceptable for the Oval Office?

guess we'll find out huh
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:50 AM on July 2 [7 favorites]


Does the President make his own GIFs for tweeting, or does his son-in-law do that, too?
posted by notyou at 7:52 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Apparently this one came from /r/The_Donald member, HanAssholeSolo
posted by p3t3 at 7:55 AM on July 2 [6 favorites]


America has a fucking internet troll for a president.

A troll who definitely would rather we talk about anything other than those Wall Street Journal articles about Mike Flynn's alleged ties to a GOP oppo researcher who tried to contact Russian hackers over Hillary Clinton's lost e-mails.

Meanwhile, a House bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic support. The proposed Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity now has over two dozen House members backing it. The bill's sponsor believes that the 25th Amendment explicitly authorizes a body with the legal authority to declare the President unfit and promote the Vice President to Acting President.

The Madness of King Donald, anyone?
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:56 AM on July 2 [35 favorites]


guys i finally igured out who trump reminds me of

space moose
posted by entropicamericana at 7:56 AM on July 2 [9 favorites]


this gif and the mika / joe thing have been a great distraction from the most damning news of the last week and the media has taken the bait.
posted by localhuman at 7:56 AM on July 2 [15 favorites]


Does the President make his own GIFs for tweeting, or does his son-in-law do that, too?

@GideonResnick: "The president tweeted a video that appears to have been made by someone called HanAssholeSolo"
posted by lalex at 7:56 AM on July 2 [9 favorites]


guys i finally igured out who trump reminds me of

space moose


Clobberin' Time has come for us all
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:58 AM on July 2


The pressed ham with gravy was modern day presidential.
posted by peeedro at 8:00 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


A troll who definitely would rather we talk about anything other than those Wall Street Journal articles about Mike Flynn's alleged ties to a GOP oppo researcher who tried to contact Russian hackers
Trump has brilliantly changed the subject from “Is he a Russian intelligence asset” to “Is he a dangerously violent lunatic?"
— @davidfrum
posted by octobersurprise at 8:04 AM on July 2 [72 favorites]


Putting in my obligatory statement that it's better/more interesting to focus on the actions of people and organizations opposed to the current nominal head of the executive branch, rather than hand-wringing about what a piece of shit he is. Whatshisname in the oval office has chosen to focus on performing amateur psyops and running a propaganda campaign rather than on the tasks conventionally associated with the job he's holding; as such his actions can only be interpreted as attempts to inspire his side and demoralize ours. If, like me, you find exposure to his propaganda genuinely demoralizing, look away. Read serious analysis if you find that inspiring (I do), read our side's propaganda if you find that inspiring (I do), call your senators and representatives, go to protest actions, and organize small groups to plot further acts of resistance.

If you've figured out a way to turn reading their propaganda into a real act of resistance (say, you're good at messaging and can effectively repackage their propaganda into a format that's inspirational for us and demoralizing for them), read their propaganda. Otherwise, it is wiser to ignore it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:14 AM on July 2 [8 favorites]


Trump has brilliantly changed the subject from “Is he a Russian intelligence asset” to “Is he a dangerously violent lunatic?"


No reason he can't be both.
posted by darkstar at 8:17 AM on July 2 [17 favorites]


Here's to hoping the media and public embrace "why not both?" and talk about the dangerously violent lunatic working as a Russian asset designed to sew chaos.

The trolling is distracting, but I'm not sure it's working in his favor. It's creating a visceral reaction which even Republicans can't ignore. While the drips of the leaks, and slow-ish pace of the investigation, doesn't produce the same horror in the public.

If Trump could just keep his head down, they could get stuff done and possibly even survive the investigation. But being consistently unhinged means when the investigation blows open (if it ever does) then it will hit much harder. And being so chaotic means there could be a successful attempt to kick him out even if the investigation doesn't prove fatal.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:19 AM on July 2 [16 favorites]


Some version of "why not both" occurs in each of the hundreds of tweets below Frum's quip.

That is a failure to grasp the rhetorical trope Frum is using, which precisely says "why not both?" by mocking the pretense that he could somehow help himself by setting the house on fire to hide the termite damage.
posted by spitbull at 8:20 AM on July 2 [26 favorites]


p3t3: "Apparently this one came from /r/The_Donald member, HanAssholeSolo"

Tomorrow Trump nominates HanAssholeSolo as Ambassador to Germany and the Senate furrows their brows, mumbles something about "it being a troubling development" but approves him anyway.
posted by octothorpe at 8:20 AM on July 2 [19 favorites]


"How did we end up with a dangerously violent lunatic? Russia!"

(And a multitude of failings of the American character magnified my a multitude of failings in American political and media systems, but Russia is in there too)
posted by Artw at 8:21 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


I'm still mildly bemused that people are losing their shit over the Flynn/Russia email story. Not that it isn't completely damning and in any plausible timeline would have already dislodged 45, but the man himself asked Russia to do it on live television.

So, yeah. What's left?
posted by Devonian at 8:21 AM on July 2 [14 favorites]


That is a failure to grasp the rhetorical trope

Failure to grasp a subtle rhetorical trope? On Twitter?

I may have just shattered my monocle.
posted by box at 8:22 AM on July 2 [8 favorites]


Except not that subtle. The trope is simple
Irony. /poeticsnerd
posted by spitbull at 8:25 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


I'm still mildly bemused that people are losing their shit over the Flynn/Russia email story

Asian doing something or expecting something to happen? I dunno - we figured out Noscow Mike's deal way before the election, and as you say it's not like any of this isn't blatantly obvious, and yet...
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on July 2


Y'down wit OCPC?
Ya you know me

Capacity
posted by petebest at 8:42 AM on July 2


today is the day Donald Trump became President. shitposting is legal precedent now. President Harris will not have the mandate to launch the nuclear strike on Russia in 2025 until she tweets a gif of her giving David Frum a noogie
posted by indubitable at 8:47 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


Any chance Trump is now trying to be removed? He'll never quit voluntarily, but getting kicked out makes him the victim, which is a comfortable place for Trump to blather in righteous indignation, stage comebacks and retain his followers. Maybe all of this pandering to the base (e.g., ignoring the cabinet's advice re:trade wars, etc.) is simply to preserve the audience for the original plan to launch TrumpTV.
posted by carmicha at 9:11 AM on July 2 [6 favorites]



Topher Spiro "1: ALERT: McConnell just sent a revised bill to CBO. They’re close to a deal. This is CODE RED."
2: Vote expected in mid-July. Republican staff reportedly told lobbyists “The store is open”—meaning they think they can buy off moderates.
3: If these moderates don’t feel the heat over recess, guess what? They’ll cave in no time. Remember how weak Cassidy was?
4: This revised bill is probably McConnell’s last shot. He has no time for CBO to score one after this. EVERYTHING RIDES ON THIS.
5: Happy Fourth! Protesting Trumpcare this week is the pinnacle of democracy and patriotism 🇺🇸

Links to Catlin Owens, Axios; Senate asks for CBO score with, without Cruz proposal
Senate Republicans have asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze Sen. Ted Cruz's proposal for further health insurance deregulation, and they've asked for one estimate of a health care bill that includes his changes and one that doesn't, according to a GOP aide familiar with the discussions.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:14 AM on July 2 [45 favorites]


> Any chance Trump is now trying to be removed?

Zero.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:15 AM on July 2 [12 favorites]


but when someone who has never done their own taxes complains about the complexity of taxes,

They don't mean doing their taxes. They mean they have to jump through a bunch of annoying hoops, all this structuring and offshore accounts and learning the right fictional stories to avoid taxes, then remembering to stick to those stories, defending against investigations...

They want to simplify that. All this pretense of rich people paying taxes is wasted time and money. And do you know how much investigating tax fraud costs? Just make it ok to not pay anything. Problem solved. /s
posted by ctmf at 9:35 AM on July 2 [16 favorites]


I mean, if you start with "Rich People Are Not Going To Pay Taxes, One Way Or Another" as an axiom not to be questioned, then making the law align with that makes a certain perverse sense.
posted by ctmf at 9:38 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


I mean, if you start with "Rich People Are Not Going To Pay Taxes, One Way Or Another" as an axiom not to be questioned, then making the law align with that makes a certain perverse sense.

if rich people are going to flout the intention of the law no matter what, then it would follow that there should be no more rich people...
posted by indubitable at 9:45 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


I took a lot of hallucinogens this weekend and came back to Earth just in time to see this WWE video?
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 9:52 AM on July 2 [13 favorites]


You've barely dropped your bean and have yet to peak, Donald Trump Sex Nightmare.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:57 AM on July 2 [10 favorites]


Any chance Trump is now trying to be removed?

Put every other aspect of this aside and ask "is this a strategy that looks at consequences more than 72 hours into the future?" If the answer is yes then it's not likely something Trump is doing on purpose.
posted by phearlez at 9:58 AM on July 2 [23 favorites]


Trump's trying to distract with his media-figure squabbles for sure, but he's also doing another thing - setting up so that any negative media reporting on him can be characterized as petty retaliation. Oh, the Flynn stuff, the media hates me, says all kinds of nasty things, whattaya gonna do? shrug. Pay them no mind. [next inflammatory thing]

I realize most people here know this, but it seems like most people, aren't getting this incredibly obvious thing. The power of not seeing things you don't want too see, I guess.
posted by ctmf at 9:59 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


I mean, if you start with "Rich People Are Not Going To Pay Taxes, One Way Or Another"

Which is almost the same defeatist strategy as "criminal are always going to have guns (so just give them the guns)"
posted by ctmf at 10:03 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


They start there too, yes.
posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on July 2


He deleted the tweet.... or his lawyers did.
posted by spitbull at 10:16 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Anyone who thinks Trump's social media strategy is some eleven-dimensional chess shit should note that the current White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President is Dan Scavino, the guy who used to be General Manager of one of Trump's golf courses.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:19 AM on July 2 [33 favorites]


It seems the WWE video was a direct answer to the NYTimes editorial linked above
Which means, again a direct call to the base. Trump knows the base is what keeps him up these days and he is getting more and more desperate. I'm guessing that if several prominent R's are tweeting and speaking publicly against the Mika tweet, 10 times as many are trying to quiet him down in private. And while he is not having it, he is also feeling the heat.

The NYTimes is on to something (as are others out there): taunting him works. If the task is to get everyone beyond the crazyfication 27% to unlike him, this is a relatively safe way to go.
posted by mumimor at 10:20 AM on July 2 [6 favorites]


He deleted the tweet.... or his lawyers did.

Which ironically might be illegal.
posted by ctmf at 10:20 AM on July 2 [16 favorites]


He deleted the tweet

Aha! Presidential Records Act! IMPEEEAAACH!!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:20 AM on July 2 [8 favorites]


Just your daily reminder that the Congressional NeverTrumpers are just a bunch of pathetic lickspittles who aren't really doing anything NeverTrumpish.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:21 AM on July 2 [12 favorites]


he deleted the tweet? - i just checked and it's still there in all its kayfabe glory
posted by pyramid termite at 10:22 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


Anyone who thinks Trump's social media strategy is some eleven-dimensional chess shit

I don't think anyone believes anyone in Trump's ceremonial court up there does anything. The only question is whether Trump himself has some innate, reflexive, subconscious talent for 11-dimensonal social media savvy and orders them to do it or not.
posted by ctmf at 10:25 AM on July 2


he deleted the tweet? - i just checked and it's still there in all its kayfabe glory

It's gone for me, along with four others that I reported as targeted harassment (of CNN).
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:26 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Gone for me as well. I had also reported it.
posted by spitbull at 10:27 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Maybe WWE sent a takedown notice. Ruining their brand.
posted by spitbull at 10:28 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


well, i didn't report it and i still see it

hmm - isn't that interesting?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:28 AM on July 2 [9 favorites]


Well that would be interesting - does TWTR the company have an obligation with respect to governmental record keeping and freedom of information? Can they even delete abusive official communications (if that's what they are)?
posted by ctmf at 10:29 AM on July 2


It's still up.
posted by BeginAgain at 10:30 AM on July 2


It's most likely Twitter hides abusive tweets for users who report those tweets, right? Facebook does the same thing, although there's a note saying the comment is hidden.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:31 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


That's probably the policy for dealing with harassing tweets now, just hide them from anybody who gets offended. Choose-your- own-reality style, like everything else stupid these days.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:31 AM on July 2 [36 favorites]


Ok I just checked on a non-logged in browser and it was there. WTF?
posted by spitbull at 10:31 AM on July 2


Just your daily reminder that the Congressional NeverTrumpers are just a bunch of pathetic lickspittles who aren't really doing anything NeverTrumpish.

To be fair, he's saying it like it is, in politician speak. This is crazy, but I can't do anything about it because I need his base
posted by mumimor at 10:32 AM on July 2


Wonder what the head of Small Business Administration is thinking this morning.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:32 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


He deleted the tweet

Here it is still there.
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:32 AM on July 2


It's gone for me, along with four others that I reported as targeted harassment (of CNN).

i'm not sure if you can harass a brand
posted by indubitable at 10:33 AM on July 2


Ok I just checked on a non-logged in browser and it was there. WTF?

Yup.. It's there in an incognito window for me as well.. I guess they just hide them from complainers.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:33 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


There's a funny bit in the WaPo's coverage:
A White House spokeswoman with the traveling press corps hotel here in Bridgewater, N.J., a few miles from Trump's golf club, declined to address questions about the tweet.
You can tell it's just a macho tough guy act when the president needs the press corps sequestered to the next township.
posted by peeedro at 10:34 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


Sorry about false alarm re: deleting. I have reported tweets before without them disappearing though, I'm pretty sure.

I wonder what an effective boycott of Twitter would look like.
posted by spitbull at 10:35 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


I don't think immediately hiding allegedly-offensive tweets pending investigation is a terrible bridging strategy. As long as they do continue the investigation process in parallel and don't call that good enough.

I'm sure "deleting the president's tweet" is going to take some unusual discussion and approval not readily handled at the first-line staffer level within a few minutes.
posted by ctmf at 10:40 AM on July 2


On a Holiday Sunday. I empathize with the (imaginary) poor staffer at Twitter who's holding down the fort and can't reach a manager or Legal by phone right away.
posted by ctmf at 10:46 AM on July 2


As long as they do continue the investigation process in parallel and don't call that good enough.

Yeah, sorry, but I'm pretty sure the Twitter version of a homicide detective is someone who shows up and covers the corpse with a decorative throw blanket. If you arrest any murderers, the investors might get jittery.
posted by Behemoth at 10:47 AM on July 2 [12 favorites]


I'm continually baffled by the right's characterization of CNN as somehow being a leader of liberal thought or at least important to the American left. I mean if you asked me what CNN means to me, if anything I'd say something about Balloon Boy or that missing plane in the Indian Ocean. I doubt that too many in the left care one way or another about CNN so it's weird that it's continually being held up as the anti-Fox News.
posted by octothorpe at 10:53 AM on July 2 [48 favorites]


They'd have to actually read to understand the real influential media of the left.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:58 AM on July 2 [12 favorites]


CNN = Jane Fonda in far right mythology
posted by ctmf at 11:00 AM on July 2 [7 favorites]


If Twitter doesn't have a 24/7 on-call legal team (and a reaction plan) ready for the Trump meltdown moment I would be amazed. Everyone knows it's coming.
posted by spitbull at 11:02 AM on July 2 [8 favorites]


I'm continually baffled by the right's characterization of CNN as somehow being a leader of liberal thought or at least important to the American left. I mean if you asked me what CNN means to me, if anything I'd say something about Balloon Boy or that missing plane in the Indian Ocean. I doubt that too many in the left care one way or another about CNN so it's weird that it's continually being held up as the anti-Fox News.

I think it's because CNN is the channel some old time Republicans still might look at for news. At least the ones I know do. So they have to demonize it and fight it. It wouldn't work with the people I know because they don't pay attention.

Right now and here, I think Trump's handlers are just trying to move him away from attacking Morning Joe, because that it obviously insane, even with the 27%. It's as if he has acknowledged as much in his later tweets saying that they aren't bad even though they are stupid (eyes rolling so they are almost falling out)
posted by mumimor at 11:02 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


> The NYTimes is on to something (as are others out there): taunting him works.

Dollars to donuts, the NYT ed board limited that op-ed to 247 words so Trump could read it.
posted by klarck at 11:09 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


I'm continually baffled by the right's characterization of CNN as somehow being a leader of liberal thought or at least important to the American left.

That's exactly why they do it. Because they know that CNN is just a boring centrist mainstream news outlet. Demonizing that as "liberal leftist propaganda" means that they get to define the new center as farther right. They don't believe their own pap. Or at least the smart ones don't. Trump does.
posted by Etrigan at 11:11 AM on July 2 [51 favorites]


spitbull: "If Twitter doesn't have a 24/7 on-call legal team (and a reaction plan) ready for the Trump meltdown moment I would be amazed. Everyone knows it's coming."

What are they going to do? Ban him? Can you imagine the reaction? He'd probably send the national guard to SF to arrest the CEO.
posted by octothorpe at 11:24 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


wow I'd never seen the r/donald before today.

I feel dirty and angry and sad
posted by angrycat at 11:26 AM on July 2 [8 favorites]


I feel dirty and angry and sad

I read the Youtube comments on the Illinois Comptroller's statement
posted by thelonius at 11:30 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Don't despair, angrycat. There's always r/Eyebleach.
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:32 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Anyone who thinks Trump's social media strategy is some eleven-dimensional chess shit

No. tic-tac-toe, if anything. 3D tic-tac-toe, if I'm feeling charitable.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:34 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


3D tic-tac-toe

That is two more D than I'd give him.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:38 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]


More about that Trump tower server.
Tea Pain’s working theory is that Russia created a voter targeting database with information gleaned from hacked DNC data rolls and other data rolls ‘acquired’ from other states to feed this growing contact database. That database originated at Russian Intelligence which was in turn replicated to Russia’s Alfa Bank. This is where the ‘data laundering’ takes place, Alfa Bank is the pivot point where the FSB’s data fingerprints are wiped clean.”
Analysis- Jared's stealth data machine
posted by adamvasco at 11:39 AM on July 2 [20 favorites]


"Hey, everyone, look over here!" is not 11 dimension chess. It's something a grade school bully might do as a part of a prank, so I'm pretty sure Trump is capable of it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:42 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Seems like a good time to instigate a military/territorial incident with China. (annoying auto-play video, but also text)

To be fair, it needs doing sometime, and it's never the BEST time.
posted by ctmf at 11:47 AM on July 2


Oh my, just look at those RTs rolling in
posted by infini at 11:51 AM on July 2




wow I'd never seen the r/donald before today.

I feel dirty and angry and sad


They're the alt-right's own cringeanarchy but with better quality of art in the political cartoons.
posted by Talez at 12:03 PM on July 2


Oh yeah, just another rancid cherry on the the shit sundae, Trump has proposed eliminating federal heating aid.
President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating heating aid for low-income Americans, claiming it’s no longer necessary and rife with fraud. People needn’t worry about being left in the cold, he says, because utilities cannot cut off customers in the dead of winter.

But he is wrong on all counts.

The heating program provides a critical lifeline for people like Perkins, and officials close to the program don’t see any widespread fraud. Guidelines for winter shutoffs by utilities vary from state to state and don’t apply to heating oil, a key energy source in the brittle New England winter.
I say Trump but this has Mulvaney's stench rubbed all over it. That evil fucking bastard is not going to be happy until the poor have been killed off by a harsh winter.
posted by Talez at 12:08 PM on July 2 [56 favorites]


Stephanie McCrummen (Washington Post) writes a piece called Love Thy Neighbor? that does a really good job of profiling the contradictory morass that it is to be a Muslim in Trump territory. It's about a doctor in small - town Minnesota. Doesn't try to tie it all up in a neat bow. Well worth your time.
posted by bardophile at 12:10 PM on July 2 [25 favorites]


Another wrestling GIF he could post

I was expecting the Shockmaster, but that will work too.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:11 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


But I also keep noticing that they use the same language to talk about freedom and rights that they use to talk about the climate. It's all controlled by God, it all came from God.

let's test that theory of theirs out

find "god" - results - 0
posted by pyramid termite at 6:39 AM on July 2 [+] [!]


In light of the recent real life body slamming of a reporter by a fellow party member, I can't see how posting that gif could be passed off as just a joke or defended by anyone in their right mind. America has a fucking internet troll for a president.
posted by p3t3 at 6:40 AM on July 2 [+] [!]


And the Valley houses their gods?
posted by infini at 12:15 PM on July 2


Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic: "Donald Trump is Testing Twitter's Harassment Policy."

But Trump’s Twitter conduct also raises a question about what Twitter is, and what it should be. Often, the service is treated as a new kind of public square, a place for the unfiltered exchange of ideas (and, clearly, hurling of insults). Silicon Valley has rarely stepped in to correct the persistent cultural conflation between the actual right to free speech—that is, the constitutionally protected right that says the government cannot make a law that inhibits people’s freedom of expression—and the idea that people should get to say whatever they want wherever they want to without consequence. (Complicating things further, Twitter must answer to its shareholders, and having the president use its service so routinely—and so bombastically—certainly keeps the service relevant.)

In reality, though, Twitter is a media company. Just like CNN and The New York Times are media companies. Except, unlike in a traditional model where publishers and readers are distinct groups, everyone can be both on Twitter. So what’s a company like Twitter to do when one of its users—who is also the president of the United States, by the way—incessantly publishes attacks against individuals? Nothing, apparently. At least nothing yet. The thornier question is: What should it do? Only rarely would any news organization turn down the opportunity to exclusively print or broadcast a message from the president. (U.S. senators and presidential candidates, however, are another story.) Though it’s not like the president doesn’t have plenty of opportunities for his voice to be amplified. He has said he likes Twitter because it’s a direct channel to the American people, but he has his own website where he could be live-streaming or blogging, for instance. He is also a constant subject of media attention; his press conferences—when the White House permits it—are broadcast over cable and network television.
...
If Twitter were to suspend or even outright ban Trump, his most fervent left-wing critics would surely rejoice. His supporters would likely boycott Twitter. Their outrage could help him keep their support. And in Trump’s worldview, this may well look like a win.

posted by spitbull at 12:44 PM on July 2 [8 favorites]


Oh yeah, just another rancid cherry on the the shit sundae, Trump has proposed eliminating federal heating aid.

Anyone would know this had they read the Republican policy paper:
"At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge, ... it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."
"Are there no prisons?"
"Plenty of prisons..."
"And the Union workhouses." demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"Both very busy, sir..."
"Those who are badly off must go there."
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
posted by nathan_teske at 12:55 PM on July 2 [36 favorites]


Oh yeah, just another rancid cherry on the the shit sundae, Trump has proposed eliminating federal heating aid.

I once played a little video game, it was kind of like Papers Please but without the depth and stories, where you played a worker at a TSA checkpoint. And every minute or two, they'd make some increasingly absurd announcement about a new rule you had to enforce: "no pants are allowed through the checkpoint or "goldfish must be removed from all bags and searched separately" and you had to work quickly to keep up with the ever-changing stupidity coming your way.

Anyway, every day with Trump and his people feels like living in that game.
posted by zachlipton at 1:41 PM on July 2 [13 favorites]


For some reason, since the past few hours, if I log into twitter while logged in to metafilter, something breaks in mefi's script because I can't favourite here anymore. Imma gonna corral twitter to a different browser for a while and see what happens
posted by infini at 1:50 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Trump has taken the Gish gallop to a whole new level. As originally employed, it merely served to prevent a debate opponent from responding adequately by spewing as many falsehoods as could be crammed into the allotted time, leaving the opposition with time to address only a few of them and the impression that the bulk are unchallenged as to their veracity.

Trump has deployed that concept by producing so many outrageous, immoral, and illegal acts that his opponents have neither the time nor the resources to go after them all and are left a) trying to keep up with the latest and b) unable to set priorities as they dither and reprioritize about which is the most egregious and so should be first addressed. Coupled with a GOP Congressional majority that is slowly being inured to any wrong-doing by this administration, it is a very successful strategy and I see no evidence that any political solution is in the offing. My only hope is that the independent investigation and the courts can rectify our democracy, and that depends upon Gorsuch et al. finding their tiny little consciences floating around in the sea of ideological bullshit that seems to occupy most of their mental space.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:02 PM on July 2 [35 favorites]


And while Trump is galloping, the one competent guy he hired is trashing the environment.

Coral Davenport, NYT: Counseled by Industry, Not Staff, E.P.A. Chief Is Off to a Blazing Start
In the four months since he took office as the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt has moved to undo, delay or otherwise block more than 30 environmental rules, a regulatory rollback larger in scope than any other over so short a time in the agency’s 47-year history, according to experts in environmental law.

Mr. Pruitt’s supporters, including President Trump, have hailed his moves as an uprooting of the administrative state and a clearing of onerous regulations that have stymied American business. Environmental advocates have watched in horror as Mr. Pruitt has worked to disable the authority of the agency charged with protecting the nation’s air, water and public health.

But both sides agree: While much of Mr. Trump’s policy agenda is mired in legal and legislative delays, hampered by poor execution and overshadowed by the Russia investigations, the E.P.A. is acting. Mr. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who built a career out of suing the agency he now leads, is moving effectively to dismantle the regulations and international agreements that stood as a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s legacy.
Eyes on the prize, y'all.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:11 PM on July 2 [36 favorites]


Trump has deployed that concept by producing so many outrageous, immoral, and illegal acts that his opponents have neither the time nor the resources to go after them all

they only have to impeach and convict him once - not that the current congress is likely to do that

pick one thing - hang him with it

it's that simple if they have the will
posted by pyramid termite at 2:15 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Trump has deployed that concept by producing so many outrageous, immoral, and illegal acts that his opponents have neither the time nor the resources to go after them all

c.f. Brandolini's Law, a.k.a. the Bullshit Asymmetry Principle: "The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:15 PM on July 2 [48 favorites]


I just realized the Gish gallop is what spreading was back in cross-x debate back in high school.

I hated that fucking shit.
posted by angrycat at 2:22 PM on July 2 [14 favorites]


I wonder if Trump will retweet this other work by the dude who made the wrestling gif?
posted by PenDevil at 2:26 PM on July 2 [10 favorites]


For those disinclined to hit PenDevil's mystery meat (about that, see this meta), it's a Twitter link to a shocking image, reposted by someone named Jared Yates Sexton as a critique, showing CNN on air staff in a mug shot gallery with Stars of David over each one. It is breathtakingly anti-Semitic. It was made by the same dickwad who made the wrestling video meme.

Paying attention to his tweets now seems a bit less frivolous. He is retweeting an anti-Semite as president of the US.
posted by spitbull at 2:36 PM on July 2 [68 favorites]


And really not just "retweeting," but representing that anti-Semite's work as his own.
posted by spitbull at 2:42 PM on July 2 [29 favorites]


Nero fiddling
posted by infini at 2:45 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Nero had an infrastructure plan
posted by thelonius at 2:47 PM on July 2 [39 favorites]


In this ongoing omnishambles situation a variation on the expression "You broke it, you bought it" comes to mind:

They Bought It.......He Broke It.
posted by lalochezia at 2:49 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


Thread from Dan Diamond (Politico): "Many GOP senators, home for recess, woke up today to front-page stories about the local damage their health bill would cause."

The rest of the thread features front page images from local newspapers in various states represented by Republican senators. Headlines include: "LA faces major losses under health bill", "Disabled kids caught in Medicaid debate", and "Few places would lose more than Kentucky under Senate health bill, studies say".
posted by lalex at 3:02 PM on July 2 [69 favorites]


He retweeted anti Semites multiple times throughout the election.

Whenever he does something like this, my shock at what he did is vastly outstripped by my shock at everyone else's shock.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:13 PM on July 2 [22 favorites]


Amy Held, NPR: Injured Bald Eagle Found In Nation's Capital

The eagle was unable to fly, seemed lethargic and had labored breathing, the Humane Rescue Alliance posted to Facebook. The cause of the eagle's injury is unclear. [...T]he bird's condition appears to be stable and its prognosis "guarded," meaning it may recover but with lasting complications.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:20 PM on July 2 [25 favorites]


Considering Trump's Mirror (that everything he accuses others of is something he is himself guilty of), he couldn't have tweeted the bogus claim of Mika "bleeding from plastic surgery" unless he had experienced it himself; the surgery and the unsightly bleeding.

And the CNN Body Slam means he privately considers himself down for the count in a fake fight.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:30 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


my shock at what he did is vastly outstripped by my shock at everyone else's shock.

I'm not shocked in the sense of surprised, and to be clear Trump didn't retweet the explicitly anti-Semitic image PenDevil linked to, just another work of fart by the same reddit troll. So there is an arm's length separation between Trump and the Star of David-bedecked CNN roster (although note both images attack CNN).

But it is appropriate to express shock rather than the ennui of having seen it coming. We must not let this drift toward being normal. Surprised no, shocked nonetheless.
posted by spitbull at 3:34 PM on July 2 [8 favorites]


he couldn't have tweeted the bogus claim of Mika "bleeding from plastic surgery" unless he had experienced it himself

Vanity Fair has just posted a brief recap of Donald Trump’s own alleged plastic surgery. And then there was the time he assaulted and raped his then-wife Ivanna after "a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot". We should never forget for a minute that Trump is a monster.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:39 PM on July 2 [22 favorites]


Amy Held, NPR: Injured Bald Eagle Found In Nation's Capital
[...T]he bird's condition appears to be stable and its prognosis "guarded," meaning it may recover but with lasting complications.


[note to scriptwriter: REDO THIS, TOO ON THE NOSE]
posted by entropicamericana at 3:39 PM on July 2 [63 favorites]


The cause of the eagle's injury is unclear.

Yikes. Sounds like metaphor poisoning.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 3:40 PM on July 2 [32 favorites]


There's ever any great degree of separation between any given nazi and Russia these days either, so there's a Frummian bothness to the thing.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


I think to find the cause of the eagle's injury you'd have to go at least as far back as the Bird Southern Strategy. Probably all the way back to Beakonstruction.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:47 PM on July 2 [17 favorites]


Whenever he does something like this, my shock at what he did is vastly outstripped by my shock at everyone else's shock.

I don't feel shock, but given the office he occupies, the absurdity of his abysmalness needs to be spoken loudly each day, lest we become apathetic. If a person in a pot of gradually boiling water is informed of their situation with enough enthusiasm, they might leap out.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:49 PM on July 2 [10 favorites]


Oh, for sure. I wasn't really referring to the reactions of anyone here, which usually mirror my own, but in the politiverse just generally.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:55 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


We should never forget for a minute that Trump is a monster

Let's be clear, though: Trump is the president; his scalp is Trump's monster.
posted by rhizome at 4:14 PM on July 2 [14 favorites]


So apparently Donald Trump lost his mind today
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:17 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Yeah he's crazy - crazy like a FOX viewer.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:26 PM on July 2 [8 favorites]


So apparently Donald Trump lost his mind today

But that's every day!
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:49 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


International Business Times Justice Department's Corporate Crime Watchdog Resigns, Saying Trump Makes It Impossible To Do Job
Hui Chen -- a former Pfizer and Microsoft lawyer who also was a federal prosecutor -- had been the department’s compliance counsel. She left the department in June and broke her silence about her move in a recent LinkedIn post that sounded an alarm about the Trump administration’s behavior.

“Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome," Chen wrote. “To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic. Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts. Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it.”
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:50 PM on July 2 [96 favorites]


VOX The Trump University case isn’t over. An attorney on the case explains what’s next.
Because everyone (Trump, the lawyers, and the court) was in a big hurry to get the case settled after the election, they cut some corners. The main problem is that, as I mentioned earlier, they reneged on their promise to opt out or, in the words of the official notice, “to be excluded from any settlement.”[...]

The Ninth Circuit will have to decide if it’s okay, under the due process clause of the US Constitution and the federal class-action rules, to do what the settlement did here: promise people you’re going to let them opt out of any settlement and then later renege on that promise. That’s the main issue. We also argue that class members should be able to see the terms of any settlement before they have to give up their claims forever.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:59 PM on July 2 [8 favorites]


If Twitter were to suspend or even outright ban Trump, his most fervent left-wing critics would surely rejoice. His supporters would likely boycott Twitter. Their outrage could help him keep their support. And in Trump’s worldview, this may well look like a win.


Can't they just ghost the creep?
posted by srboisvert at 5:00 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


New Jersey Dot Com PHOTOS: Christie, family soak up sun on N.J. beach he closed to public
At a Sunday news conference on the shutdown, Christie was asked if he got any sun today.

"I didn't," he said. "I didn't get any sun today."

When later told of the photo, Brian Murray, the governor's spokesman, said:

"Yes, the governor was on the beach briefly today talking to his wife and family before heading into the office. He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on."

Christie, who first disclosed his weekend plans on Monday, said Sunday he was taking the state helicopter to go back and forth between Island Beach State Park and Trenton.

"I traveled there and I traveled back and I'll travel back again," Christie said. "That's where my family is sleeping, so that's where I'll sleep tonight. When I have a choice between sleeping with my family, and sleeping alone, I generally like to sleep where my family is."
This whole story is nuts. Truly a man who has given up any appearance of governing well. To shut down the state beach on 4th of July weekend but then go hang out there with his family is just rubbing salt in the face of the tax payers. But the cherry on top of this fuck-you sundae is when he was asked if this was fair he replied: "Run for governor, and you can have a residence there."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:07 PM on July 2 [85 favorites]


^Un. fucking. believable.
posted by yoga at 5:18 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Last time I checked Christie had a 15% approval rating in NJ and he's not running again so he's just going to be as big of a dick as he can.
posted by octothorpe at 5:18 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


Last time I checked Christie had a 15% approval rating in NJ and he's not running again so he's just going to be as big of a dick as he can.

His dickishness is approaching "let them eat cake" levels. Which, you know, is another way to shorten your political career beyond just not running again.
posted by nubs at 5:26 PM on July 2 [10 favorites]


"They are using the summer beach house provided by the state"

"Christie, who first disclosed his weekend plans on Monday, said Sunday he was taking the state helicopter"

"Christie told reporters Saturday that the the beach house is separate from the park and that his family will not ask for any state services."

Well, Chris, aside from the "rules don't apply to me" assholery, we'll be seeing your check for the pro-rated house payment and the helicopter maintenance and fuel, right? Who's paying the helicopter pilot? Does the house have paid housekeeping staff?
posted by ctmf at 5:31 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


I'm sure Chris Christie is like the Michael Jordan of the vacuum cleaner.
posted by spitbull at 5:37 PM on July 2


Which, you know, is another way to shorten your political career beyond just not running again.

To be fair, he has no political career left at all. When someone can't even get a job in the Trump Administration then that someone should just give it up. Because they'll hire anyone.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:55 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


But he ate the meatloaf...
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:59 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


To be fair, he has no political career left at all. When someone can't even get a job in the Trump Administration then that someone should just give it up. Because they'll hire anyone.

Apparently sending the President's son-in-law's father to prison was the line.
posted by Talez at 6:01 PM on July 2 [9 favorites]


I'm sure Chris Christie is like the Michael Jordan of the vacuum cleaner.

He uses his tongue a lot?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:02 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


I got my ass handed to me today at work. In the weeds from open to getting out of there, so I did not see a bunch of the news. But I caught the bit about the tweet with the wrasslin footage and I worry now that this may be an assault on reality itself.
posted by vrakatar at 6:07 PM on July 2 [8 favorites]


So, I'm just curious here - what happens if a few thousand good citizens of NJ show up tomorrow to enjoy the beach with Chris?
posted by nubs at 6:12 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


So, I'm just curious here - what happens if a few thousand good citizens of NJ show up tomorrow to enjoy the beach with Chris?

The police blockade will turn them away. Yes. There's a budget shutdown and state cops are being paid to enforce the shutdown of public facilities.
posted by Talez at 6:18 PM on July 2 [21 favorites]


So right now there are three state governments in full or partial shutdown: Illinois, Maine, and New Jersey.

What do those states all have in common I wonder? The correct answer is the letter n in their names. But I bet your brains went straight to "spiteful fucks of Republican governors" didn't it?
posted by Talez at 6:22 PM on July 2 [46 favorites]


damn it! i'm sick and tired of being a scarecrow! the republican party says they can give me a real body, all right - i'll gamble an election and i'll be the one to kick sand in everyone's faces!!!
posted by pyramid termite at 6:27 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


I will never stop loving the NYPost headline/cover department
posted by lalex at 6:27 PM on July 2 [10 favorites]


I will never stop loving the NYPost headline/cover department

Their editorial board is also on point.
posted by Talez at 6:34 PM on July 2 [12 favorites]


@ditzkoff: A scene from my remake of Brewster's Millions, where a NJ governor is given a 70% approval rating and told he has to lose it all in 5 years
posted by tonycpsu at 6:34 PM on July 2 [43 favorites]


I will never stop loving the NYPost headline/cover department

Their editorial board is also on point.


What in the hell? Has it gotten so bad that even the New York FREAKIN Post has abandoned Lil' Donny? Maybe I'm missing something, but I figured they were the house print organ of the (insipidly named) Trump Organization.

And on another note, I'm surprised Maryland isn't one of the normally-blue-but-temporarily-hijacked-by-a-Republican-governor states that's shut down. I guess ours isn't as batshit insane. (He still hasn't told Kobach to fuck himself, so he's still scum to me.)
posted by CommonSense at 7:28 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


The police blockade will turn them away. Yes. There's a budget shutdown and state cops are being paid to enforce the shutdown of public facilities.

Have they blockaded the sea approaches to that beach and is Janene Garofalo available to lead the amphibious landing?
posted by notyou at 7:29 PM on July 2 [20 favorites]


NY Post has been against Trump from the beginning, right? They may be a shitty tabloid, but they occasionally hate the right people. New York in general hates Trump, though.
posted by threeturtles at 7:46 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


If Twitter were to suspend or even outright ban Trump, his most fervent left-wing critics would surely rejoice. His supporters would likely boycott Twitter. Their outrage could help him keep their support. And in Trump’s worldview, this may well look like a win.
Soooo ... win/win for everyone?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:46 PM on July 2 [7 favorites]


The Post runs columnists that are apologists for donnie shitstain, but their editorial board has been vaguely sane since the conventions, and I'm not defending them here, but I pick that rag up every other week and recall stern editorials since before the election.
posted by vrakatar at 7:46 PM on July 2


The NY Post almost certainly has a deeper institutional understanding of Donald than any other newspaper in the world.
posted by lalex at 7:54 PM on July 2 [22 favorites]




Democratic Superdelegate, in Room Full of Health Insurance Executives, Laughs Off Prospect of Single Payer

He's such a Walter.
posted by Talez at 8:47 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


Gephardt would be a great way for the US Left to activate for the elimination of the Electoral College. The Right won't be able to cross over and defend Gephardt, so the Left can work out a plan by themselves.
posted by rhizome at 8:56 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Twitter headquarters tonight features the projections "Ban Trump" and "Honor Your Policies."
posted by zachlipton at 9:21 PM on July 2 [48 favorites]


This may not seem on-thread, but it couldn't be more apt - China is opening its $10tn bond market to foreign investors.
posted by Devonian at 10:41 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Democratic Superdelegate, in Room Full of Health Insurance Executives, Laughs Off Prospect of Single Payer

I guessed this was from The Intercept solely based on the headline emphasizing "Democratic Superdelegate!"
posted by Justinian at 10:54 PM on July 2 [40 favorites]


Justinian: "I guessed this was from The Intercept solely based on the headline emphasizing "Democratic Superdelegate!""

Geez, and it's not like it was, say, some random state chairperson or obscure representative. They're talking about former minority leader Dick Gephardt. But, I guess they know their audience.
posted by mhum at 11:28 PM on July 2 [6 favorites]


Justinian: "I guessed this was from The Intercept solely based on the headline emphasizing "Democratic Superdelegate!""

Geez, and it's not like it was, say, some random state chairperson or obscure representative. They're talking about former minority leader Dick Gephardt. But, I guess they know their audience.
posted by mhum at 11:28 PM on July 2 [1 favorite +] [!]


Gephardt is a dumb-butt on single-payer health care because he is cozy with big insurance companies who don't want that (and he made his remarks to a room full of insurance company execs). He should retire before he does more damage to the generations that will inherit his corruption. But I agree that the Intercept isn't a reliable primary source for anything happening in the US. Greenwald has gone full WikiLeaks.
posted by SakuraK at 2:23 AM on July 3 [10 favorites]


Gephardt is a dumb-butt on single-payer health care because he is cozy with big insurance companies who don't want that (and he made his remarks to a room full of insurance company execs). He should retire before he does more damage to the generations that will inherit his corruption.

It's too bad he's so cozy with insurance companies. A lot of union activists in Ohio had a lot of respect for him, from what I gathered in conversations during the 2004 primary season.
posted by bardophile at 3:51 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


New Jersey Dot Com PHOTOS: Christie, family soak up sun on N.J. beach he closed to public

"Fuck you, got mine."
-motto of the today's GOP.
posted by Spumante at 4:51 AM on July 3 [22 favorites]


Yesterday, I learned that New Jersey is the only state that does not have a state song.

Christie could probably proclaim 'Born to Run' or 'Livin' on a Prayer' and instantly boost his approval rating twenty percent.
posted by box at 5:22 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


They tried to proclaim Born to Run as the "state youth anthem" in 1980 but then the legislatures read the lyrics.
posted by octothorpe at 5:28 AM on July 3 [19 favorites]


...3 state governments in full or partial shutdown: Illinois, Maine, and New Jersey.

What do those states all have in common I wonder?


Powerball? Do I remember correctly that lottery winners are also on the hate roster of republicans? Serious question.

Yes I know lots of other states have Powerball & it's easy to drive across state lines etc etc etc
posted by yoga at 5:35 AM on July 3


hey, what about palisades park by freddy "boom boom" cannon?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:43 AM on July 3 [4 favorites]


"Jersey Girl" by Tom Waits. It is The Best Song.
posted by spitbull at 6:11 AM on July 3 [6 favorites]


About that beating up CNN tweet:
In the original, Trump beats up wrestling promoter Vince McMahon.

Except, he really doesn't. It's all just an act. Both guys are in on it and possibly even rehearsed the whole thing. They are both playing a role in what is known as "kayfabe" in wrestling circles. They both profit from it. And the audience knows it's an act and still loves it.

Actually, I think it is quite fitting to replace McMahon with CNN. Notice the similarities:
- It's all just an act.
- Both parties profit handsomely from the arrangement.
- The audience loves it.

So, if this was meant as some sort of meta commentary about the relationship between politics and media, then it is nothing short of brilliant. Of course, I don't think for a second that the Twitler in chief put that much thought into it. He probably just saw it somewhere and retweeted it just for the heck of it.

Of course, the whole thing is just a distraction from the real issue: The US president is a narcisstic psychopath and the Republicans keep defending him and make sure he stays in office. The first thing won't change before the second one does.
posted by sour cream at 6:24 AM on July 3 [7 favorites]


I don't think yesterday's NYTimes piece on "Trump's personal lawyer", Michael Cohen, has made it in here yet. There is basically zero news in the piece, whose main thrust is: Michael Cohen doesn't seem to be in the inner circle any more. Perhaps that's why it was dropped on Sunday afternoon of a 4-day weekend. Maybe it's a fizzled investigative report. That said, here are a few tidbits:

His ascension to Ivanka's old office in Trump Tower came in 2006 after he aided Trump in a dispute with the condo board of "Trump World Tower," but what he actually does is unclear:
The scope of Mr. Cohen’s job with Mr. Trump is not clear. After a decade of working for the Trump Organization, he has left little public record of his accomplishments. An effort to develop Trump-branded golf communities in New Jersey and in Fresno, Calif., floundered, along with a mixed martial arts venture with a Russian fighter as the headliner. Mr. Cohen did some scouting and groundwork for possible Trump condominium towers in the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Kazakhstan, but those deals never materialized.
He expected but didn't get a job in the Trump administration, and while the role of "Trump's personal lawyer" seems to have been taken over by Marc E. Kasowitz, he still claims it
“Clearly my life has changed since Trump became POTUS and I accepted the role as personal attorney to the president,” Mr. Cohen wrote in a text message in response to a question from a New York Times reporter last week. “This change has come with both many pros and cons.”
But it looks like he'll have a soft landing
He has recently been spending time in Washington ... and Washington lobbying powerhouse Squire Patton Boggs formed a “strategic alliance” with Mr. Cohen’s law practice.

Several people with knowledge of Mr. Cohen’s involvement with Squire Patton Boggs said he had been brought on as a sort of rainmaker because of his business contacts in the United States and abroad. He will operate out of the firm’s New York office and will be able to take advantage of its global reach to help his own clients.
(perhaps one "business contact" in particular).

Josh Marshall of TPM has done more reporting/speculating on Cohen, specifically about the Russian-Ukrainian "peace plan" that he was supposed to hand-deliver to Michael Flynn in February. And Buzzfeed had an article in June reporting on Cohen's sketchy ties in Ukraine. Of course Cohen played a starring role in the Steele Dossier, which he called "totally fake, totally inaccurate."
posted by pjenks at 6:30 AM on July 3 [2 favorites]


A couple of fun stories via No One Knows Anything podcast

Mashable: Journalists scramble to figure out the mysterious case of a Trump portrait
In which oil paintings of Melania and Donald end upo in the Vice President's office.

Quartz All the “wellness” products Americans love to buy are sold on both Infowars and Goop

A side by side comparison of the products hawked by Gwyneth Paltrow and Alex Jones which not only turn out to be the same but are comparable to GNC wellness products but considerably more expensive. Yet who can resist "activated cashews"?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:33 AM on July 3 [12 favorites]


Other works by the artist of the Trump portrait.
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 AM on July 3


Yet who can resist "activated cashews"?

Oh c'mon, that's nuts.

This may not seem on-thread, but it couldn't be more apt - China is opening its $10tn bond market to foreign investors.

Debt ceiling fight within the next three months (did someone say gummit shutdown?), Russia and Turkey helping Qatar join the Eastern financial bloc, and billions being drained from the US in the form of tax cuts to the rich, plus the bonus cretinous mismanagement such as malcompetent trade wars and retrograde energy and environmental policies.

G!O!P! G!O!P! G!O!P!
posted by petebest at 6:43 AM on July 3 [13 favorites]


Seriously. Most ambassadorships to countries that aren't dirt poor are patronage.

The ambassador to Canada, the United States largest trading partner, under Obama was a campaign bundling lawyer from Chicago. Pure patronage. Though unlike a lot of recent Republican patronage I am sure he was actually at least a bit competent. The people who do the actual work are not the ambassadors.
posted by srboisvert at 6:43 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


America, the diminished: What Trump has wrought (Ezra Klein, Vox)
A list like this can go on. It is a measure of our diminishment how much is left off it — how many outrages and disappointments have already faded from memory. Six months into his term, Trump’s policy achievements are few and thin, but he has coarsened our politics, shown the power of shamelessness, undermined our faith in each other and ourselves, modeled behavior we would punish children for exhibiting, and implicated all of us in the running fiasco of his presidency. He has diminished the country he promised to make great.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:47 AM on July 3 [33 favorites]


Do I remember correctly that lottery winners are also on the hate roster of republicans? Serious question.

Yep. The reasons are somewhere between "an easy target to whip up support of the rest of the bill" and "a way to dump people off of Medicaid who ever, for even one single day, rise above the wealth threshold."
posted by Etrigan at 6:51 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


The numbers are ... bad. Actually, they’re worse than bad.

Pew asked people in 37 countries if they had favorable views of the United States and if they had confidence in the American president to do the right thing in world affairs. These questions were put to people when Barack Obama was still president, and then asked again after Trump took office.

The contrast is stunning.

In all but two countries, perceptions of American leadership have fallen precipitously. It’s especially pronounced among our allies in countries like Canada (-61), France (-70), the UK (-57), and Germany (-75). The only exceptions are Israel and Russia. In Israel, confidence in the American president has climbed 7 points; in Russia, it has surged 42 points.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering that this means in concrete terms. Does it matter if people around the world don’t like America or don’t trust American leadership? What does it mean for America’s ability to get things done? Does this compromise our security in any way?
People around the world don't like or trust Trump. Here's why that matters. (Sean Illing)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:16 AM on July 3 [22 favorites]


Don't call it the Trump administration. Call it a regime. Guardian opinion piece by Carol Anderson.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:17 AM on July 3 [10 favorites]


Other works by the artist of the Trump portrait.

From the "the artist" link:
“If I painted Mrs. Clinton or if I painted former President Barak Obama, I would never paint them in a way that was ugly. I don’t feel like that’s being American.”
You misspelled Nobama, dude.
posted by peeedro at 7:22 AM on July 3 [2 favorites]


I would never paint them in a way that was ugly. I don’t feel like that’s being American.

In other news, the painting of 45 looks like he has 6 fingers on his right hand. [real, larger picture here]
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:32 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


The economy President Trump loves looks a lot like the one candidate Trump hated
And overall, the economy Trump is overseeing as president looks a lot like the one he lambasted as a candidate: a slow, largely steady grind that has chipped away at the damage done by the 2008-2009 recession but that has been insufficient to usher in a new era of prosperity.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:33 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


The economy President Trump loves looks a lot like the one candidate Trump hated

The economy that candidate Trump loved at the beginning of any given speech looked a lot like the one that candidate Trump hated by the end of that speech.
posted by Etrigan at 7:39 AM on July 3 [12 favorites]


Trump has brilliantly changed the subject from “Is he a Russian intelligence asset” to “Is he a dangerously violent lunatic?"
— @davidfrum


More importantly, Trump obviously prefers people talk about him being a dangerously violent lunatic than discuss his being a Russian intelligence asset. It follows that he's probably desperate to hide the fact that he is.
posted by Gelatin at 7:45 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


DOJ Corporate Watchdog Quits, Saying It’s Impossible To Work Under Trump (Alice Ollstein / TPM)
In a scathing post on LinkedIn, Justice Department compliance counsel Hui Chen announced her decision to resign last month, saying it was impossible to go after corporate fraud and corruption when President Donald Trump himself was engaging in such practices.

“Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome,” she wrote.

...

“Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts,” she wrote. “Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it.”
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:51 AM on July 3 [23 favorites]


In other news, the painting of 45 looks like he has 6 fingers on his right hand.

I want Obama back, you son of a bitch.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:55 AM on July 3 [128 favorites]


In other news, the painting of 45 looks like he has 6 fingers on his right hand.

The Secret Service is keeping a vigilant watch for a spunky Spaniard with a chip on his shoulder.
posted by azpenguin at 8:03 AM on July 3 [16 favorites]


As the dialogue has been swirling about the paintings, Wingard too has been preparing himself for personal attacks and is hoping it won’t result in loss of clients.

Well my dude free speech (or free painting) doesn't mean free of consequences. If you want to give away paint-by-numbers looking portraits of the most hated man on earth then that is all on you.
posted by winna at 8:05 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


Let's see, the 2017 G20 Hamburg summit takes place 7-8 July 2017. Then there's that Bastille Day Paris invite for 14 July. What to do between one and the other?

Protesters vow to take to streets as UK braces for snap Trump visit (Grauniad)
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:21 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


And a right-wing nationalist was just charged with plotting to assassinate Emmanuel Macron on Bastille Day.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:29 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Another fun fact: "The parade takes place on the Champs-Élysees, which has been the site of two recent attacks targeting police. Last month a man drove a car laden with weapons and gas canisters into a police van on the avenue. In April, a known extremist shot dead a police officer on the Champs-Élysees days before the first round of the presidential election."
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:36 AM on July 3


Protesters vow to take to streets as UK braces for snap Trump visit (Grauniad)

A "snap" visit?

snap
/snap/

verb
1.
break suddenly and completely, typically with a sharp cracking sound.
"guitar strings kept snapping"
synonyms: break, break in/into two, fracture, splinter, separate, come apart, part, split, crack; informal bust
"the safety rope snapped and Davis was sucked under the water"
2.
(of an animal) make a sudden audible bite.
"a dog was snapping at his heels"
synonyms: bite, gnash its teeth;

noun
1.
a sudden, sharp cracking sound or movement.
"she closed her purse with a snap"
synonyms: click, crack, pop, clink, tick, report, smack, whack, crackle
"she closed her purse with a snap"
2.
a hurried, irritable tone or manner.
"‘I'm still waiting,’ he said with a snap"



On further thought, maybe "snap" is supposed to modify "Trump": A "snap Trump" visit.
posted by sour cream at 8:40 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


FYI: Congressional offices are open today. I just got straight through to staffers at both of my senators' DC office. Don't let them think that we have forgotten what they are trying to do. The senate switchboard is (202) 224-3121 -- it will forward your to your senators' offices.
posted by mcduff at 8:48 AM on July 3 [15 favorites]


One of the many uses of "snap" in Brit English

snap adjective [ before noun ] uk ​ /snæp/ us ​ /snæp/

done suddenly without allowing time for careful thought or preparation:

He always makes snap decisions and never thinks about their consequences.
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:55 AM on July 3 [7 favorites]


Longread from The Baffler, "Reflections on Violence in the United States."

"These reflections on domestic violence—that is, violence occurring within the United States—first appeared as the introduction to American Violence: A Documentary History, edited by Richard Hofstadter and Michael Wallace and published in 1970. We have deleted the footnotes, added subheads, and abridged here and there, but we have resisted the temptation to update this parade of riots, brandings, lynchings, shootings, and tar-and-feathering parties with examples from our own time. “The primary precedent and the primary rationale for violence comes from the established order itself,” Hofstadter writes. “Violence is, so to speak, an official reality.” No doubt, further examples and incidents in the line of these all-too contemporary reflections will spring to your mind. —Eds."
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:56 AM on July 3 [16 favorites]


On further thought, maybe "snap" is supposed to modify "Trump": A "snap Trump" visit.

Or perhaps it's an AW SNAP visit, where Trump spends the whole time insulting everyone's mom.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:35 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


On the calls for Twitter to ban Trump, if it ever happens, I'm trying to prepare myself for having to read about a million comments lacking any self-awareness or hint of irony responding to a private company de-platforms the head of the government and his supporters scream about censorship, free speech and the 1st amendment.
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:48 AM on July 3 [9 favorites]


[Comment removed; huge piles of quotes are kinda cumbersome, better to link and summarize at that point.]
posted by cortex at 9:50 AM on July 3


This might seem a bit lateral, and it's long, but I think there's much to treasure, as antidotes to the current timeline onslaught, in this piece/talk by artist J. Odell: how to do nothing.
(Crossposting from panic's recent FPP; it's very profound - and truly pretty impossible to select quotes from, without committing first-degree wall-o-text...)
posted by progosk at 10:00 AM on July 3 [7 favorites]


Dylan Matthews, Vox: What’s the point of an anti-immigrant left?
It’s normal in the wake of a crushing political defeat for the losing party to rethink things, and The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart’s latest piece is an important entry in Democrats’ attempt to understand what happened in 2016 and try to shape a left-of-center coalition that can win given American political realities.

It’s also a genuinely terrifying vision of what could happen to American liberalism if the Democratic coalition learns the wrong lessons from losing to Donald Trump. [...]
posted by tonycpsu at 10:31 AM on July 3 [6 favorites]


What’s the point of an anti-immigrant left?

Putting the "socialism" in, well.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:35 AM on July 3 [7 favorites]


GOP Senators Are Trying To Work The Refs As Obamacare Repeal Bill Stalls

As usual, Republican policy cannot be defended on the merits, so they resort to lying and changing the rules of math.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:35 AM on July 3 [25 favorites]


And that's what people will actually grab onto a remember. Fact fact fact conclusion.

Unfortunately it seems what a lot of people are actually grabbing on to and remembering is fact fact fact conclusion.

Maybe some proof readers.

What does a proof reader do when working for those who don't proof?
posted by juiceCake at 10:58 AM on July 3


Oh geez. Peter Beinart. It's another opportunity to buff his contrarian/centrist/ sensible Lib credibility (hey guys, we totally are morally and politically obligated to invade Iraq!) and to take a few swipes at the progressive social media left (can you believe what they're calling microaggressions these days!)

Feh.
posted by notyou at 10:58 AM on July 3 [4 favorites]


I respectfully submit that the Democrat's main problem in elections is not the message but the communications thereof.

Discussing the message/platform is well and good, but IMHO, irrelevant. To say "Trump had no message", or "The GOP's base doesn't care what the message is" is true and the opposite should NOT be the focus of the DNC/DCCC. We can't play it like the GOP and every effort to. Do so will fail.

In short, we're doing it wrong. And have been for a very, very long time. The GOP failed up despite frantic attempts to steer and develop a message. (Now that they run everything, yeah, that's a problem. The Dems wouldn't have very much of this chaos, their positions are governance ready for the most part. Believing in the role of government helps there.)
posted by petebest at 11:07 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


NY Post has been against Trump from the beginning, right? They may be a shitty tabloid, but they occasionally hate the right people. New York in general hates Trump, though.

The NY Post is maybe the only U.S. paper that has consistently sided with and apologized for Trump. You might be thinking of the aesthetically-similar NY Daily News, which has been very much against him from the beginning.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:18 AM on July 3 [17 favorites]


Maryland still hasn't refused to hand over the voter data. On Monday I'm going to call Larry Hogan's office and say that if (when!) criminals use the data for identity theft, he's going to find himself a defendant in a class action suit.

It looks as if it was because they were putting some vinegar into it:
@BraddJaffy: Maryland AG: “repugnant—it appears designed only to intimidate voters and to indulge President Trump’s fantasy that he won the popular vote”
posted by zombieflanders at 11:28 AM on July 3 [58 favorites]


Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Monday had a simple response to the Trump administration's request for voter registration data: Jump in a lake.

"When they ask for private voter info, time to tell the 'Election Integrity' Commission to GO JUMP IN A LAKE!" Klobuchar tweeted on Monday.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:34 AM on July 3 [15 favorites]


@BraddJaffy: Maryland AG: “repugnant—it appears designed only to intimidate voters and to indulge President Trump’s fantasy that he won the popular vote”

Mmmmm, that's some tasty shade right there. Now, that was worth the wait for this Baltimoron.

Meanwhile, this letter is the more formal, to-the-point rejection of the request. I actually like this one quite a bit, too!
posted by CommonSense at 11:38 AM on July 3 [9 favorites]


A pro immigration Left should be talking about how immigrants need to work under the same labor protections and rules that citizens enjoy so that undocumented laborers aren't cheaper to employ. Under the status quo, undocumented workers can be paid less than minimum wage and put downward pressure on wages for all of us, to the advantage of business. If we had sensible immigration policy, everyone would potentially enjoy better working conditions and pay.
posted by chrchr at 11:47 AM on July 3 [51 favorites]


Miranda Green for CNN: Haley cheers cuts to UN peacekeeping: 'We're only getting started'
"The figures presented would simply make it impossible for the UN to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in a statement.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:11 PM on July 3 [7 favorites]


This is what Trump was referring to in his #CharlieGard tweet: Trump vows to help Charlie Gard, the terminally ill infant at center of British legal battle (Lindsey Bever, WaPo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:13 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Republican governor notwithstanding, I am quite satisfied with Maryland's actions in aid of the resistance.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:14 PM on July 3


Trump’s Tweets Are Not a Distraction: They Demonstrate a New Level of Instability (Frank Rich / NYMag)
Meanwhile, the news value of last week’s tweets should not be underestimated. There’s nothing new in Trump letting loose with a nasty misogynistic blow like the one he landed on Brzezinski. What is new is the back story of an alleged blackmail effort by Trump and/or Jared Kushner to use the threat of a National Enquirer expose on Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough as a cudgel to win favorable Trump coverage on “Morning Joe.” Scarborough has tweeted that he has phone records and texts from Trump’s “top aides” to prove this. It is incumbent on him and MSNBC to release that evidence now, particularly given the prominent role “Morning Joe” played in boosting Trump’s candidacy when it counted most, in the early stages of the campaign.

As for the Trump tweet of his “wrestling” CNN to the ground, it is not news that he hates the press, hates CNN in particular, and has called for violence against his critics. Nor is it a novelty that the imagery in a Trump tweet was lifted from a post by an alt-right thug known for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and homophobia. But the new level of Trump mental instability dramatized by this tweet is notable. The escalating violence of his tweets at a time when his and the GOP’s entire agenda is on life-support makes you wonder if a complete breakdown is arriving sooner than I and others have thought. The wrestling tweet is batshit crazy, comparable to a drunk Nixon talking to the pictures on the White House walls during his final meltdown.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:18 PM on July 3 [40 favorites]


My usual contribution to these thoughtful and useful threads; another drawing of Trump.
God Emperor Baby Trump, Lord of All He Surveys.
As per usual, feel free to share, download, or what have you and thanks to everyone who contributes here.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:28 PM on July 3 [24 favorites]


Katherine Kreuger/Fusion: None of the Republicans Leading the Healthcare Disaster Would Tell Us Where Voters Can Find Them This July 4

Lots of inquiries to Senator's offices, and relatively few responses.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:50 PM on July 3 [28 favorites]


Just learning about the Charlie Gard situation. Am I right in assuming that if the parents themselves funded transportation of the child to a foreign country, they would be entitled to do so?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:59 PM on July 3


Charlie Gard judgment:
They have very publicly raised funds. What parents would not do the same? But I have to say, having heard the evidence, that this case has never been about affordability, but about whether there is anything to be done for Charlie... There is unanimity among the experts from whom I have heard that nucleoside therapy cannot reverse structural brain damage... But if Charlie’s damaged brain function cannot be improved, as all seem to agree, then how can he be any better off than he is now, which is in a condition that his parents believe should not be sustained?

It is with the heaviest of hearts but with complete conviction for Charlie’s best interests that I find that it is in Charlie’s best interests that I accede to these applications and rule that Great Ormond Street Hospital may lawfully withdraw all treatment, save for palliative care, to permit Charlie to die with dignity.
posted by Jpfed at 1:33 PM on July 3 [15 favorites]


From the ruling: The duty with which I am now charged is to decide, according to well laid down legal principles, what is in Charlie’s best interests. Some people may ask why the court has any function in this process, why can the parents not just make the decision for themselves? The answer is that, although the parents have parental responsibility, overriding control is by law vested in the court exercising its independent and objective judgment in the child’s best interests. The Great Ormond Street Hospital has made an application and it is my duty to rule on it, given that the parents and the hospital cannot agree on the best way forward.

I understand why the hospital would withdraw life support, but preventing the parents from choosing to fund transportation of the child elsewhere seems inappropriate, since the alternative is the immediate death of the child.

Of course, I have zero confidence that Donald Trump will treat this matter with the restraint and respect it deserves.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:43 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


I wonder if its too early to request a UN peacekeeping force, say from Sudan and Cambodia, to come in and monitor our elections.
posted by happyroach at 1:47 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


This is what Trump was referring to in his #CharlieGard tweet: Trump vows to help Charlie Gard, the terminally ill infant at center of British legal battle (Lindsey Bever, WaPo)

He's not going to help Charlie. He's going to use Charlie to attempt to put a bullet in the support for single payer in the US. Government deciding your child has to die? JFC you could not tailor a situation more perfect for conservatives in the US to use to club liberals with intellectually.
posted by Talez at 1:54 PM on July 3 [47 favorites]


Charlie can maybe help Trump, but Trump cannot help Charlie as Charlie is effectively dead.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on July 3 [7 favorites]


Under UK law, when the patient lacks the capacity to consent to treatment due to age the court (with consideration of the parents' views) is the one who ultimately has the power to grant consent for treatment. The court must apply a "best interests of the child" test, as applied in a previous precedent. The doctor who would do the proposed procedure (which "has not even reached the experimental stage on mice") in the US has never done it on a person with the same ailment and has no idea if it will work and cannot say whether the kid will be in pain during it. Even the parents' own expert witness didn't support the "treatment."
posted by melissasaurus at 1:57 PM on July 3 [22 favorites]


I am certain of two things regarding the Charlie Gard judgment:

1) There is a great deal of pertinent information about this situation I do not know, and I am thus unqualified to form any sort of informed opinion about it.
2) Donald Trump does not know any more about this situation than I do.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:58 PM on July 3 [52 favorites]


Quick, someone thaw out Bill Frist so he can dust off his Terri Schiavo speeches about the sanctity of life. *jerk-off motion*
posted by tonycpsu at 1:59 PM on July 3 [18 favorites]


Needless to say there are plenty of kids in his own country he could actually help and won't.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on July 3 [55 favorites]


Quick, someone thaw out Bill Frist so he can dust off his Terri Schiavo speeches about the sanctity of life. *jerk-off motion*

My thought was that Trump would be bringing back Janet Reno. She's an expert at kidnapping kids and sending them to despotic regimes.
posted by Talez at 2:01 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


> Quick, someone thaw out Bill Frist!

Exactly the person I was thinking of!

Healthcare for the ones among us least able to advocate for themselves - unless, you know, they need Medicaid[*], in which case they need to be sacrificed on the altar of tax cuts for "job creators".

[*] Medicaid is the backstop for most disabled kids in the US - you know, Trump's own country - except when the wait lists are so long that the kids die before they get on Medicaid, which is a situation that fills me with rage and shame in equal measures.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:02 PM on July 3 [6 favorites]


He's going to use Charlie to attempt to put a bullet in the support for single payer in the US. Government deciding your child has to die? JFC you could not tailor a situation more perfect for conservatives in the US to use to club liberals with intellectually.

-Wouldn't happen in the US because our parental consent laws are different.

-I thought the conservative problem with single payer is that it would force doctors to treat people against the doctor's will ("slavery" per Rand Paul)

-I don't think dragging your terminally ill child to another country to perform an experiment that we don't even know works on mice yet is the moral thing to do. People can disagree; but I'm personally not concerned about conservatives winning some kind of moral upper hand here.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:03 PM on July 3 [5 favorites]


-I thought the conservative problem with single payer is that it would force doctors to treat people against the doctor's will ("slavery" per Rand Paul)

You seriously don't remember "death panels"?
posted by Talez at 2:04 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Trump are would of course help this kid becaus... nope, no it wouldn't. I guess it might help extract more money from the parents before letting the kid die anyway?

I'm sure a senator could weigh in on this if any could be found.
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on July 3


Tell me again how Republicans want to keep government out of medical decisionmaking in outlier cases.

Nothing is consistent, and it's not just Trump. It's always been Republicans. It's smaller government only when government can be blamed for killing a child, but if that same government can be abused to "save" a Republican talking point, the Republican President himself is happy to bring down the jackboots.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:06 PM on July 3 [14 favorites]


You seriously don't remember "death panels"?

Yes, of course. I just meant recently. (I was being facetious in any case -- they'll use whatever argument suits their needs at the time.)
posted by melissasaurus at 2:07 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


I'm sure a senator could weigh in on this if any could be found.

Just mix a squirt of dish washing detergent into a 5 gallon pail and pour over their lawns. They'll surface within a few minutes.
posted by Talez at 2:07 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Jared Yates Sexton, the journalist who tracked down the CNN head video's source, posted a Twitter thread about the response he's gotten. It's not pretty. Here's the original thread on Twitter & here's the full text, just reformatted:
"I'd like to give a little insight into what it's like being a journalist in 2017 and why Trump's rhetoric is incredibly dangerous. Yesterday I broke the news that the guy who made Trump's CNN gif also created an antisemitic meme and was obviously racist. In the wake of that, I received numerous threats. I was told people wanted to shoot, strangle me, hang me, throw me out of a helicopter. Some assumed I was Jewish because I spoke out against antisemitism, others said I was a race-traitor. Got it on both sides.

Now articles are showing up on Neo-Nazi websites, there are videos spliced with Goebbels telling me not to test his patience. That one also has footage from Natural Born Killers of a journalist being executed by shotgun. On forums, under my tweets, there's a list of excerpts from newspaper articles about journalists being slaughter, the details gory. Meanwhile, people are claiming I'm making up the threats and then immediately threatening me. In the same message.

Over on Facebook I'm getting messages from strangers about "goyim" and talking about what happened to Jews in the 40's. This environment is the creation of the man in the White House. There are valid criticisms of the media, many on point, this isn't that. When you start calling a group of people enemies of the country, this is what happens. When you call them scum, this happens. This is what happens when you have Alex Jones calling mainstream media pedophiles and Satan worshippers, and threatening to crush them.

This environment we have right now is volatile. Some of these threats are empty, but people who are unwell consume this stuff. Even as I'm typing this I'm getting antisemitic memes and messages. It's happening in realtime. And everyone keeps bringing up the shooting in Virginia. In a way, they're right. That's what happens in this environment. This shouldn't be a country where these violent instincts are cultivated and encouraged. We're at a real tipping point right now. But make no mistake, there's something growing in this country, and it is very, very ugly."
posted by scalefree at 2:18 PM on July 3 [161 favorites]


Any time you realize you're tying yourself into knots trying to wrap your mind around inconsistent logic between Republican(TM) viewpoints, remember:

Republicans(TM) are not intellectually honest, nor are they good scientists.

The scientific method works outward: identify core principles, devise experiments to test or extend those principles, adjust the principles in light of evidence, etc.

The Republican(TM) method (like Intelligent Design & other spurious methods) works backward: identify a desirable outcome (stop Democrat-sponsored legislation, lower taxes on wealthy, cut social services, etc.), conjure up a justification for this instance, pretend the argument extends forwards from the justification rather than backwards from the goal, etc.

The scientific method is harmonious: any discovery is beneficial to all science as it helps to inform the big picture. Data from one set of experiments is not only valid, but especially important where it overlaps with other disciplines.

The Republican(TM) method is idiosyncratic: each argument is made for itself & itself alone. There is no crossover between arguments. There is no need (or even desire) for consistency.

Thus, you get combinations like "pro-life" + cuts to child welfare + draconian policies towards women. If one were arguing outward, there would be maddening hypocrisy. But because all argumentation flows backwards from the desired outcome, the Republican(TM) method yields no unfortunate cognitive dissonance.

"I'm pro-life because I care about the unborn child"
"I'm for cutting child welfare because the nanny state harms more than it hurts"
"I'm for retrograde policies against women because the gov't shouldn't make me pay for services I'll never use"

Each of these arguments "works" because it is atomic. It allows the Republican(TM) to want what he (she?) wants and to have a "credible" defense teed up.

It is, as with most things Republican(TM) these days, all posturing & no content.

And now, we can carry on with today's round of "I'm so shocked & saddened by our president's recent behavior that I have no choice but to vigorously pursue his agenda."
posted by narwhal at 2:40 PM on July 3 [81 favorites]


Postscript: I use the term Republican(TM) to identify positions of party leadership vs. those of rank & file voters. I think that many/most Republican voters are reachable; they only parrot these lines of reasoning. The leadership, however, knows exactly what game they're playing and I will lump all of them into one handy basket.
posted by narwhal at 2:42 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


I use the term Republican(TM) to identify positions of party leadership vs. those of rank & file voters. I think that many/most Republican voters are reachable

I don't. We just had an election where the contrast could not have been clearer and nearly every Republican voter came home behind the guy with the R. Trump today polls at 85+ among Republicans. Listen to this field report from a Trump rally last week where they proudly proclaim they have no regrets whatsoever. Look at their newfound support for Vladimir Putin just because Trump won by selling out our sovereignty to him. Read every fucking "Meet a Trump voter" and "Do Trump Voters Still Support Trump" piece that we're treated to every single day from the NYT.

These people are not reachable. Some independents and blue collar former Democrats who voted O-O-T probably are. But the self-identified Republicans? No. There's no difference whatsoever from the "rank and file" to the worst of leadership and the FOX pundit class, except who is getting rich doing it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:52 PM on July 3 [31 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Dow hit a new intraday all-time high! I wonder whether or not the Fake News Media will so report?

1. Uh... yes I expect they will so report.
2. If the Fake News Media report it it must be false, correct? Why is the President lying about the Dow hitting a new intraday all-time high?
3. Remember last year when Trump attributed the stock market rally not to President Obama but to investors predicting that Trump would win the election? I say we go ahead and attribute this year's rally to Elizabeth Warren
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:15 PM on July 3 [9 favorites]


My thought was that Trump would be bringing back Janet Reno. She's an expert at kidnapping kids and sending them to despotic regimes.

You misspelled reuniting a child with his lone living parent.

Also, Reno is dead so unable to take a position in the Trump administration even if that means she'd be more competent than at least half his cabinet.

While I think her management was mediocre - the failure to simply grab up Koresh while he was out jogging by himself on a public road was just unbelievable - the only reason reuniting Elian Gonzales with his father was even a topic of discussion was because of the US's moronic communism-panic relationship with Cuba.
posted by phearlez at 3:18 PM on July 3 [27 favorites]


4. The Dow hits intraday all-time highs pretty often. This is the 23rd time it's happened this year.
5. In Obama's first year in office, the 23rd Dow intraday all-time high happened on May 28.
posted by box at 3:25 PM on July 3 [38 favorites]


JFC you could not tailor a situation more perfect for conservatives in the US to use to club liberals with intellectually.

JFC you could not tailor a situation more perfect for conservatives in the US to use to club liberals with emotionally.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:34 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


"I'm pro-life because I care about the unborn child"
"I'm for cutting child welfare because the nanny state harms more than it hurts"
"I'm for retrograde policies against women because the gov't shouldn't make me pay for services I'll never use"


As far as I can tell the current GOP thinking is now:

1) Closing PP & cutting Medicaid & removing BC as essential benefit so that poor women have no access to affordable BC*

2) Denying access to abortions by closing PP & other clinics

3) Cutting Medicaid so that maternal and newborn coverage become rare or extinct.

So "we're not going to help you not get pregnant but we also don't want to help you if you do get pregnant."

*Leaving condoms as the only cheap(ish) BC method and the one not controlled by the woman.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:41 PM on July 3 [12 favorites]


Trump considering lawyer for White House Russia role: sources (Karen Freifeld and Jeff Mason / Reuters)
President Donald Trump is considering adding a veteran Washington lawyer to the White House counsel's office to deal with Russia-related issues, people familiar with the matter said.

Ty Cobb, a white-collar defense lawyer with the firm of Hogan Lovells and a former federal prosecutor, met with Trump about a week ago, another person said.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:42 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


⚾️?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:43 PM on July 3 [19 favorites]


I'd rather look at the people I know who voted R and remind myself that by & large they are decent people. There have been many fruitful discussions in these threads about things like "hot" vs. "cold" racism or the nature of identity-driven politics, etc. tl;dr: the set of R voters contains multitudes.

Some reasons my friends & family voted R: They didn't trust Hillary. They worried about a liberal supreme court. They worried about the deficit/debt spinning out of control. They worried about healthcare getting more & more expensive.

These are not positions that anyone comes up with for themselves. These are engineered positions that are propagated from leadership downward. I blame the people disseminating the message, not the people who tune into their team's station & believe what they're told is honest reporting.

I see the Republican(TM) machine & its outlets twisting the minds of people who aren't "under" informed so much as "maliciously" informed. They have a lot of information, but it's not necessarily good or even resembling reality.

It doesn't seem worthwhile to blame the people who are misled by those in power for the same crimes as those who know better.

Most people (both R & D) are born into their team's fanbase. Sure, some of us are Ds in spite of our upbringing. And I'm sure some number of Rs switched in order to resist their own "home" team. I would posit that very few people (relatively) have the depth & breadth of political thought we evidence in these threads. Very few people are as (well) informed as we are.

For most folks, R or D, their own personal tie to their party is akin to their attachment to the proverbial home sporting team. If you're tying to reach an R voter & coming at their team, then you're right: they aren't reachable.

However, if you talk to the person & not the R voter, there are plenty of things you'll find that you agree on. Most people value the same things. Working from a position where both you & this other person agree that sick people should be taken care of or that no amount of bad luck should force people out onto the street, etc., it becomes pretty clear that there is a big difference between what the R voter wants and what the Republican(TM) machine wants.

It seems crucial to our humanity that we remember this distinction. That's why I took pains to indicate that I meant Republican(TM) vs. R voter republican. What's the old saying I just made up? "You don't blame the parrot for its filthy mouth."
posted by narwhal at 3:44 PM on July 3 [33 favorites]


Ty Cobb, a white-collar defense lawyer

cool it's been a few days since some improbably named character was introduced, I almost forgot we were living in a buggy simulation with poor random number seeding for a while there
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:49 PM on July 3 [79 favorites]


The Telegraph: Pentagon considers scrapping programme that recruits highly skilled immigrants to US armed forces
The Pentagon is considering ending a programme that allows immigrants with sought-after skills to join the American armed forces in return for an accelerated path to US citizenship, according to several reports.

The programme was set up in 2009 to try to find additional numbers of recruits with language and medical skills, particularly Arabic speakers and surgeons.

However, concerns were first raised last year when it emerged that some recruits had falsified university degrees prompting the Pentagon to order fresh security checks.

Dismantling the pathway altogether would leave around 1000 foreign-born recruits at risk of deportation.[...]Lt Col Margaret Stock, its founder, said: “If you were a bad guy who wanted to infiltrate the Army, you wouldn't risk the many levels of vetting required in this programme.”
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:50 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


Press Herold LePage says he’s going on vacation, as shutdown and budget talks continue
Amid intense budget negotiations and a state shutdown, Governor Paul LePage has told lawmakers he’s taking a 10-day vacation.

“He called the Senate president (Michael Thibodeau) and Sen. (Roger) Katz this morning to say he was leaving the state to go on vacation,” Thibodeau’s spokeswoman Krysta West said Monday afternoon.

West said Thibodeau, R-Winterport, told her about the call. LePage did not tell him whether he was still in the state, when he planned to leave or where he was going.
Is this normal behavior for a Governor to tell the legislative body, "I'm leaving and don't bother trying to get in touch with me"? I swear LePage and Christie are battling it out for the biggest jerks in America. Of course they can't surpass the master jerk himself.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:55 PM on July 3 [25 favorites]


Is this normal behavior for a Governor to tell the legislative body, "I'm leaving and don't bother trying to get in touch with me"?

He's term limited, can't be recalled, and the Republicans wouldn't dare impeach. He's untouchable with nothing to lose. We're seeing a wholesale breakdown of norms in responsible governance. Sadly, shutting down government services is no longer the nuclear option but a typical bargaining chip at the table.
posted by Talez at 4:05 PM on July 3 [17 favorites]


For those of you like myself previously not fully immersed in the cesspit that is Republican popular politics some of the past Jared Yates Sexton writings should make us less surprised about the level of hate and ignorance that is flying right now.
I suppose it's only a case now of when and not if for the murder of a journalist.
posted by adamvasco at 4:09 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Chris Matthews is showing a retrospective of his Trump interviews over the years, and though Trump has always been a bombastic asshole, he at least is speaking in complete sentences.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:21 PM on July 3


It seems crucial to our humanity that we remember this distinction. That's why I took pains to indicate that I meant Republican(TM) vs. R voter republican. What's the old saying I just made up? "You don't blame the parrot for its filthy mouth."

i am not convinced the the rank and file are parrots when they fundamentally deny the humanity i have as a queer male, when they eagerly try to talk to me about how i'm one of the good minorities, not like the other ones...

i will extend them no grace when they refuse me basic humanity.
posted by anem0ne at 4:31 PM on July 3 [41 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Dow hit a new intraday all-time high! I wonder whether or not the Fake News Media will so report?

I'm not all that much disappointed in the Republicans staying on Trump's side right now (in my mind, it's still early in the political process), but I'm very disappointed in Wall Street acting like the dog in the "This Is Fine" meme. The only businesses he's helping right now are those that are doing grossly illegal things and wishing to avoid responsibility for them. Which up until now I didn't realize how much of Corporate America that was.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:37 PM on July 3 [8 favorites]


Presidents have historically avoided taking too much personal credit for the stock market's successes (at least letting their surrogates gush on about it instead of doing it themselves) because they'd rather not be held personally responsible when it eventually drops and would prefer not to foster an illusion that they are capable of controlling the market's strings. This administration doesn't think that far enough ahead.
posted by zachlipton at 4:50 PM on July 3 [20 favorites]


Most people value the same things. Working from a position where both you & this other person agree that sick people should be taken care of or that no amount of bad luck should force people out onto the street, etc.

Faulty premise. Many, many people in the US (and to be fair, not just people who vote Republican) absolutely do not agree with us about those points.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:00 PM on July 3 [27 favorites]


...and I thought this would be the one company most supportive of Trumpononomics, and it's not even on the stock market: "How Koch Industries Does Business". Note that this is mostly about Koch's only major consumer-facing division, so if you want to boycott the Brothers, you just need to avoid paper products branded AngelSoft, Brawny, Dixie, Northern, Sparkle and VanityFair.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:12 PM on July 3 [8 favorites]


It's also a good idea to take a look at the components of the Dow Jones before relying on it as any kind of bellwether of economic health. Just because extraction industries, large employers who pay poverty wages, and businesses with effective monopolies are doing well, doesn't mean your future is looking bright. In fact, fair wages and functional government oversight would likely depress most of these companies' stock prices.
posted by Anoplura at 5:22 PM on July 3 [11 favorites]


Republicans famously cheered letting the uninsured die on the streets during the debates.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:31 PM on July 3 [12 favorites]


If it's not too early for some Fourth of July silliness, here in Virginia the republican candidate for governor Ed Gillespie has unveiled his plans to create "thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues": to allow the sale of better fireworks, upgrading our options from "rinky-dink" to "full-blown". Seriously [youtube, cringeworthy].

The spokesperson for his opponent Ralph Northam responded with, "Dr. Northam likes fireworks as much as anyone, but he also wants to make sure you can afford health care in case you accidentally blow your hand off with one," as a way of pointing out that Gillespie has yet to offer a substantial position on the republican healthcare plan. And of course the internet does its thing.

Also, on the subject of fireworks, here is Harry Truman preparing for July 4th celebrations. Wile E. Coyote was unavailable to comment.
posted by peeedro at 5:35 PM on July 3 [14 favorites]


So "we're not going to help you not get pregnant but we also don't want to help you if you do get pregnant."

I feel like their stance is pretty consistent, actually. It is a puritan "Do not have sex, except to procreate".

It's not reality-based, but I think a huge chunk of the religious right thinks that any support of birth control equates directly to supporting sex for fun, and quite probably *gasp* outside of marriage. Can't teach kids about sex because then they'll start having it. Don't support unwed mothers because they shouldn't have been having sex. Can't abort babies because BABIES but also because shouldn't have had sex in the first place.
posted by graventy at 5:35 PM on July 3 [29 favorites]


-I don't think dragging your terminally ill child to another country to perform an experiment that we don't even know works on mice yet is the moral thing to do. People can disagree; but I'm personally not concerned about conservatives winning some kind of moral upper hand here.

I believe this is what happened with Jesse Koochin. IIRC the parents were going to take him to Mexico for naturopathy.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:35 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Can't teach kids about sex because then they'll start having it. Don't support unwed mothers because they shouldn't have been having sex. Can't abort babies because BABIES but also because shouldn't have had sex in the first place.

And certainly can't support those babies with health care or opportunity once they're born. Because that'd take taxes, and those mothers shouldn't have had sex if they couldn't afford millions for neonatal ICU care.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:41 PM on July 3 [11 favorites]


As a Canadian there have always been varying degrees of fear and dread mixed in with the more positive emotions I've felt towards the United States, but nowadays it actually feels *justified* for the first time and not just the usual Canadian antipathy. It really seems like a lot of different, troubling things that have been developing in the U.S. for my entire adult life are coming to a head all at once, and historically that often leads to very bad outcomes. And it's all so short-sighted and preventable.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:42 PM on July 3 [12 favorites]


Trump's Fake Press Enemies would weep and rend their garments over any large drop in the Dow Jones, just as they always have. I've worked for a couple companies that were closely dependent on 'market values' (including one critically wounded by the 1987 Black Monday crash) but mostly ones that were not (in one case, the Dot Com Crash only affected the 401Ks of employees foolish enough to put their money in The Market while I smiled with my 90% interest-bearing mix). But then, my longest period of unemployment was during a 'boom' period and my shortest during a Recession. I'm just a human counter-indicator.

Charlie Gard is truly the Poster Boy for 21st Century Republican Health Care Policy. As long as his parents can afford to, throw any and all unproven - and DISproven - treatment at him. Forget that you can keep a full Childrens' Ward operational for a month with those resources. I expect that Alex Jones and Gwyneth Paltrow should be meeting the family at the airport with pills to shove down the unfortunate child's throat.

And the same male 'Christians' who fear that any support of birth control would be supporting sex (shudder) 'for fun' are not raising a finger against men's Boner Pills.

Can we just agree that Everything in America is Awful and not only does it not NEED Donald Trump to be Awful but he's kind of the perfect mascot for Awful America?
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:44 PM on July 3 [8 favorites]


Now batting for Pedro BorbonTy Cobb… Manny MotaReality Winner... Winner...
posted by Brak at 5:45 PM on July 3 [6 favorites]


The problem with it being labelled as "preventable" is that the guys with the actual power to prevent it (who are not voters, but Congress) have no interest in doing so.

Or at least, enough of them do that no solution can be enacted. (Indeed, some of them are instead choosing to profit on the chaos)

This is not a tenable situation, but I think all of them assume it won't explode on their watch, so why not just profit?
posted by Archelaus at 5:46 PM on July 3




National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: The Founders definitely anticipated this
The Founders, in their infinite wisdom, definitely anticipated all the events of recent weeks. Excerpts from James Madison’s redacted notes during the Constitutional Convention follow below.

JOURNAL OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1787

Monday, May 28

Discussion progressed apace. The Virginia Plan was accepted as a basis for debate.

We were making great strides in regards to the responsibilities of the executive until Benjamin Franklin entered very agitated and with the following proposals, vis.
  • that provision must be made in the event that the chief executive wished to spend the majority of his time engaged in striking balls with clubs and endeavoring to make them fall into small holes at variable distances from the initial striking point
  • that provision must be made in the event that said executive wished to conduct all his business from a place where he had access to such a diversion
  • that if the chief executive wished continually to make derogatory remarks about women provision ought to be made for that lest it detract from the running of affairs of state
  • that …
At this point Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania arose from his desk and escorted Mr. Franklin home to bed, as his brain was evidently addled with strong drink.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:11 PM on July 3 [26 favorites]


The Christie on the Beach (pace Philip Glass) story seems to be taking on allegorical proportions quickly. The photos are just so rich and his defense so tone deaf.

But this gave me a nice chuckle: Beachgoers cheer as banner plane telling Gov. Christie to "get the hell off the beach" passes by. (Twitter video from @JSHurricaneNews).
posted by spitbull at 6:26 PM on July 3 [35 favorites]


The Christie on the Beach (pace Philip Glass) story seems to be taking on allegorical proportions quickly. The photos are just so rich and his defense so tone deaf.

This entire election cycle has us talking like Tamarians from TNG. "Chris Christie on the beach, his meatloaf cold..."
posted by nathan_teske at 6:32 PM on July 3 [34 favorites]


Something, something, "sand in his meatloaf"...
posted by Anoplura at 6:39 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


his meatloaf cold.
Not in those shorts it wasn't.
posted by bibliowench at 6:41 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


I feel like their stance is pretty consistent, actually. It is a puritan "Do not have sex, except to procreate".

It's not reality-based, but I think a huge chunk of the religious right thinks that any support of birth control equates directly to supporting sex for fun, and quite probably *gasp* outside of marriage. Can't teach kids about sex because then they'll start having it. Don't support unwed mothers because they shouldn't have been having sex. Can't abort babies because BABIES but also because shouldn't have had sex in the first place.

It's really not at all consistent, though. There are at least half as many miscarriages as abortions and nobody is shooting up clinics to ensure that pregnant women receive pre-natal care.

Similarly, it turned out that many of the organizations which object to any medical treatment that can also serve as birth control had never objected to boner pills until they were called on it.

Also, of course, electing President Pussy-grabber the Twice-divorced is not exactly puritanical, any more than was blithely accepting that it was totally a complete accident when St. Ronnie legalized abortion in California as the governor.
posted by XMLicious at 6:49 PM on July 3 [15 favorites]


That's pretty consistent with their approach to healthcare, which seems to be mostly morality based. If you are sick it must be your fault somehow. Why should I pay for your bad decisions re: food/job/etc. Oh, you lost the baby? Should've prayed more.

None of this applies to their good friend Jim who has brain cancer (oh the whole town showed up for his benefit everyone loves Jim) or their sister Mary who had an abortion because reasons for care like that only happen to people they know and love. It's an extension of fuck you, got mine.
posted by graventy at 6:58 PM on July 3 [25 favorites]


By threatening anti-Trump protesters with decades in prison, the state is attempting to criminalize civil disobedience.
posted by adamvasco at 7:08 PM on July 3 [20 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea.....
....and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!


Where do I recognize that wording from? Hope China has a few tic-tacs.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:26 PM on July 3 [4 favorites]


None of this applies to their good friend Jim who has brain cancer [...] or their sister Mary

I guess I feel as though a laundry list of exceptions to the rules and special situations where licentiousness is permissible takes quite a bit of redefinition of terms to refer to as "consistent" and "puritan".
posted by XMLicious at 7:27 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


He's going to use Charlie to attempt to put a bullet in the support for single payer in the US. Government deciding your child has to die? JFC you could not tailor a situation more perfect for conservatives in the US to use to club liberals with intellectually.

I first saw this story a few days ago, when FB showed me my brother arguing about how Charlie Gard's outcome is the inevitable result of socialized medicine. Either there is already some messaging to this effect or this argument follows simply enough to people that are fully jacked in to the conservative mindset.
posted by Jpfed at 7:31 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


Inevitable result, yeah. Without socialized medicine that poor child would have been deceased months ago.
posted by notyou at 7:51 PM on July 3 [22 favorites]


Chris Matthews is showing a retrospective of his Trump interviews over the years, and though Trump has always been a bombastic asshole, he at least is speaking in complete sentences.

His thinking has definitely gotten less organized over the years. He's always been a narcissist & conman but he did used to be able to speak actual English not just an English flavored word salad like he does now. And the constant proximity of one of the family inner circle suggests the need for a handler to smooth over his discontinuities. If it hasn't happened yet, being the conspiratorial family they are it's inevitable that of course they'll go into damage control mode to protect him much, much longer than they should. It'll be very interesting in a pathological way to watch the palace intrigue as they protect his failing faculties & simultaneously wrestle each other to be the true power behind the throne. I wonder how long before something is ordered in his name that he had nothing to do with, and which member of the clan it'll be.
posted by scalefree at 8:41 PM on July 3 [19 favorites]


That's me, Mr Sunshine!
posted by scalefree at 8:43 PM on July 3 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah, just another rancid cherry on the the shit sundae, Trump has proposed eliminating federal heating aid.

Where will the outrage be when people freeze to death?
posted by indubitable at 8:58 PM on July 3


Freeze to death? So you're admitting that Global Warming isn't real? (The stupidities and cruelties all dovetail together)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:03 PM on July 3 [2 favorites]


Apropos of nothing in particular, my WaPo pushed cover has ivankas sneering mug, with some headline that leaves a poor little princess taste, and I have loaded up all sorts of games and books so as to push the WaPo way back in the carousel, because I just cannot with the stories about 45s complicit handlers and their insatiable appetite for attention.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:13 PM on July 3


Can't win 'em all, Scotty, you evil bastard: Federal court blocks Trump EPA on air pollution
An appeals court Monday struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s 90-day suspension of new emission standards on oil and gas wells, a decision that could set back the Trump administration’s broad legal strategy for rolling back Obama-era rules.

[…]

Monday’s court ruling was sharply worded at points, with the judges dismissing “the flimsiness” of the EPA’s “claim that regulated entities had no opportunity to comment” on one aspect of the methane rule.

“The administrative record thus makes clear that industry groups had ample opportunity to comment on all four issues on which EPA granted reconsideration, and indeed, that in several instances the agency incorporated those comments directly into the final rule,” the judges wrote.
Maybe your boss shouldn't trash-talk judges so much eh.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:15 PM on July 3 [36 favorites]


Thanks for the Truman image, peedro. . I just finished watching the city fireworks display a few blocks from Truman's home and his presidential library - it gave me a bit of happiness.
posted by jferg at 9:17 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Laura Rosenberger, former Foreign Policy Advisor for Hillary Clinton, posted this tweetstorm on Trump's Twitter-based brinksmanship with North Korea:
Lots of problems with Trump’s tweets tonight on North Korea, but to highlight a few: North Korea will parse every word to understand what it means. They will look for clear signal of intention. North Korea uses its propaganda mouthpieces in an intricate way to clearly signal their thinking. When I worked North Korea in government, we spent hours pouring over North Korean statements to understand their thinking. They absolutely do the same with us. And that means they may well read much more in to Trump’s tweets than he intended. Problem is, Trump has no idea what his intentions are, and is sending signals without anything to back them. Deterrence is based on credibility and capability. And credibility requires clear signaling of intentions. Reassurance to our allies like Japan and ROK is likewise based on clear and credible assurances and capability to back it. Trump’s words represent neither, and will undermine our both our deterrence and our reassurance – which we have spent decades building. But perhaps most dangerously, Kim Jong Un will wonder what the comment about “this guy” means. After all, just a few months ago, Trump said he was open to meeting with him. Picking a twitter fight with a nuclear-armed dictator is not wise – this is not reality TV anymore. Trump is playing with fire here – nuclear fire. He could literally get us in to a war with his tweets. Time to drop the pretense that his tweets can ever be considered anything other than official statements. Because our allies and adversaries may just calculate decisions of nuclear war based on what Trump tweets.
Not exactly the most encouraging note on which to go into a fireworks-based holiday.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:23 PM on July 3 [54 favorites]


graventy's comment above mostly jives with my feeling, having grown up in a strict catholic household.

But I'd also say that for some who see health problems as moral justice or punishment, it's a little different than "Fuck you, I got mine." Because they'd happily take the misfortune if it happened to them too. That's like the ultimate christian self-sacrifice for them, and a sort of dark masochistic side of catholicism.

So for those folks, I'd say it's less "Fuck you, I got mine," and more "Fuck all of us, we deserve it. (until we pray really hard and God has mercy on us)."
posted by p3t3 at 9:26 PM on July 3 [8 favorites]


Breitbart's lead story is a piece by Kris Kobach entitled "Why States Need to Assist the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity," in which he lies about the letter:
The hyperventilating on the Left about this request is particularly strange since the Commission only requested information that is already publicly available. Any person on the street can walk into a county election office and obtain a publicly-available copy of that state’s voter rolls—which usually includes voter name, address, date of birth, and the recent elections in which the voter participated. During any campaign season, there are literally hundreds of candidates and campaign workers in every state who possess these same voter rolls. Voter rolls are also frequently obtained by journalists seeking to do election-related research.

Although private information like the last four numbers of a voter’s social security number is sometimes included in a state’s voter database, that information is usually not publicly available. The Commission didn’t request that information. Thus, there is no threat that the Commission’s work might compromise anyone’s privacy.
Emphasis mine, because he fucking well did demand that.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:39 PM on July 3 [35 favorites]


So for those folks, I'd say it's less "Fuck you, I got mine," and more "Fuck all of us, we deserve it. (until we pray really hard and God has mercy on us)."
posted by p3t3 at 1:26 PM on July 4 [+] [!]


It's so easy to tweak that - "Fuck all of us, we deserve it. (until we work really hard doing practical things together to prevent badness and earn God's mercy, which is what we were put here to do, dammit)."
posted by saysthis at 9:39 PM on July 3 [5 favorites]


A 2018 Anthony Kennedy Retirement Would Light Up a Fiery Battle for the Senate
Last week rumors reached a fever pitch that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy might announce his retirement as the current SCOTUS term ended. But he didn’t. Then a few days later, Kennedy himself supplied evidence he is considering retirement next year, probably just before the October 2018 term of the Court begins. Is this “story” anything more than a back-and-forth guess-a-ganza that won’t matter until Kennedy retires — or doesn’t?
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. We have a long-standing tradition of waiting until the next presidential election is over before picking a new Supreme Court justice. Trump's already started his 2020 campaign, so this won't be an issue until January 2021, right?
posted by kirkaracha at 10:22 PM on July 3 [34 favorites]


From the UK court decision dated 2017-4-11 concerning Charlie Gard linked to by Jpfed above, a few details about the condition and the treatment sought in the U.S. by the parents:
20 Charlie suffers from the RRM2B mutation of MDDS. No one in the world has ever treated this form of MDDS with nucleoside therapy, although patients with a different strain, TK2, have received nucleoside therapy with some recorded benefit. In mouse models, the benefit to TK2 patients was put at about 4% of life expectancy. There is no evidence that nucleoside therapy can cross the blood/brain barrier which it must do to treat RRM2B, although the US doctor expressed the hope that it might cross that barrier.

[...]

103 Dr. I said that he had treated four patients directly and that he had been indirectly involved with fourteen others. He said that there were no published case studies, although he did have a manuscript. Of the four that had been treated, none were infants the time when the therapy started. Of the other fourteen, he believed that one or two were infants. None of the fourteen had encephalopathy or seizures and fewer than 10% of them had brain involvement, so he agreed that it was not in any way a reliable statistic.

[...]

127 Dr. I, who has not had the opportunity of examining Charlie, and who operates in what has been referred to as a slightly different culture in the United States where anything would be tried, offers the tiniest chance of some remotely possible improvement based on a treatment which has been administered to patients with a different condition. I repeat that nucleoside therapy has not even been tried on a mouse model with RRM2B.
posted by XMLicious at 10:25 PM on July 3 [9 favorites]




Supposedly North Korea is about to announce they have an ICBM. We could be on the cusp of Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0. Here's hoping the adults wrestle the phone away from him before he escalates things. And FFS that Fox morning shit show better not pitch another pre-emptive nuke strike.
posted by bluecore at 11:41 PM on July 3 [5 favorites]


For Trump, Buzz should've just reworded it "to Insanity and Beyond"...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:41 PM on July 3 [6 favorites]


Didn't Buzz once straight up deck a moon-denier? He must have been making that face journey to distract himself so he didn't just punch Trump. He must have been tempted.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:44 PM on July 3 [15 favorites]




ELECTIONS NEWS

** Kobach commision & data request:
-- CNN - Nice summary of each state's current status. 41 states have pushed back completely or in part. Lots of strong quotes from GOP SOSs, which should help favorably shape the narrative.

-- Politico - Data would be a hacker's gold mine.

-- Rich Hasen - Kobach's commission is so incompetent and egregious, it will undermine the administration's efforts to hurt voting. Worth noting that I've seen some, "Actually, Kobach is playing 17th-dimensional chess" analysis (such as from Julian Sanchez), but I am skeptical: Kobach has lost 4 suits by the ACLU, and was just sanctioned for lying in court.

-- Justin Levitt - Request likely violates the 1974 Privacy Act.

-- A legal complaint has been filed against Kobach for a Hatch Act violation (basically that he's using service on the commission as part of his Kansas governor campaign)
** ACHA/BCRA -- Catalist poll conducted post-Senate CBO score has keep/fix ACA at 75% vs 18% repeal. Among Trump voters, 53 / 40.

** 2018 midterms:
-- WI-01 (2018) -- Progressive veterans' org VoteVets has endorsed Randy Bryce (you know, the ad guy with the moustache) for the Dem nomination against Paul Ryan.

-- San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer has decided not to run for CA governor. The GOP may have no major candidate for governor, which means that GOP turnout will be depressed in the primary, which means that under CA's top two primary, both candidates in the general will be Dems. CA has seven GOP-held districts that went Hillary, so this could be a big impact.
** 2018 Senate:
-- GOP recruitment woes continue, as top potential candidate Ann Wagner has opted not to challenge Claire McCaskill in MO.

-- In the past few decades, it has been *extremely* challenging to beat an incumbent in a midterm when your party controls the WH. Knock wood, but the real challenge for the Dems is the map makes a 3rd flip very challenging - Heller, maybe Flake, but where else?
** NJ gov:
-- The budget standoff has ended in NJ, but obviously the whole BeachGate thing is a headache for GOP candidate Kim Guadagno, who has a day job as Lt. Gov. She attacked Christie on Twitter, but clearly he's a huge anchor.
-- Christie's 15% approval puts him at about 4th lowest in the postwar era, basically only ahead of guys who were indicted in office.
** Odds & ends:
-- Suffolk poll finds 75% alarmed or uneasy about developments in Washington.

-- 538 (Harry Enten): Where should Dems compete in 2018 House races? (tl;dr: Throw everything at the wall, and see what sticks).

-- Nina Turner is taking over Bernie Sanders' group One Revolution from Jeff Weaver. Notable both for moving from a white man to an African-American woman, and for Turner's criticism of the Democratic party during the 2016 campaign. She's starting off her new gig critical, too.

-- By 2040, 70% of Americans will live in the largest 15 states...meaning 30% of citizens will control 70% of the Senate.

-- Rhode Island's legislature has passed Automatic Voter Registration, and the governor is expected to sign.

-- WaPo (O'Keefe & Weigel): Dem officeholders being driven by the Resistance.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:48 PM on July 3 [68 favorites]


It's Sarah Palin sneering about "death panels" all over again. The advantage of the Republican approach to health care is that there are no hard decisions to make. Are you rich? You should see a doctor. Are you not-rich? Please spare your betters any inconvenience by not making much noise and then crawling off to the designated death pits at the right time, and by the way we're going to bankrupt your surviving family to punish you more. See, no tough moral decisions if you simply accept their value system: money is virtue irrespective of how you acquired it.
posted by SakuraK at 11:53 PM on July 3 [12 favorites]


Christie's 15% approval puts him at about 4th lowest in the postwar era, basically only ahead of guys who were indicted in office.
There's still time..
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:36 AM on July 4 [6 favorites]


God I hate Twitter. I can barely parse the argument here, and there's none of the nuance about sourcing and the limits of certainty that signals "real news" for me.

But Andy Slavitt on Twitter is saying "NEW: The Senate is quietly pushing a subtle change in the health care bill: not just to gut Medicaid, but to allow states to eliminate it."
The new state waiver process in the Senate bill already allows Medicaid to be replaced by giving ppl a subsidy. The requirements of the waiver explicitly say that governors can do without legislature & that all waivers must be permanent changes. All it would take is 1 conservative governor ever to eliminate Medicaid for a state. A pitch the Koch Bros could hit. The Federal taxpayer money currently going to Medicaid can be used for any purpose-- does not need to be used w low income/disability/etc. Rather than plussing up Medicaid, Senate is selling conservatives that plussing up tax credits will allow Medicaid to be replaced. As @ThePlumLineGS points out, this "plussing up" would be woefully inadequate, meeting 22% of the need.
But far as I can tell that Plum Line piece does not actually say that. It says that leaving the investment tax in place would restore 22% of the funding Republicans are otherwise planning to cut -- nothing about what funding level is actually needed. There are no editors on Twitter.

Anyway, he seems like probably a credible person, but Twitter is such a terrible medium I can't make out the truth here. Is there really a possibility of a single conservative governor in a state abolishing Medicaid forever under this bill? If so, why has no one else noticed that yet?
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:37 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]


If the reported 40 minute flight time of the DPRK's missile is roughly accurate that's a full fledged ICBM not an intermediate range missile. As a resident of Los Angeles, let me be the first to say that this is just fine and we're all fine.
posted by Justinian at 3:52 AM on July 4 [16 favorites]


Andy Slavitt along with Topher Spiro are the policy guys for health care on Twitter and IRL. If he's saying it, I'd believe it.

Slavitt was Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under Obama. Then Obama put him in charge of fixing ACA after the website rollout debacle.
posted by chris24 at 4:06 AM on July 4 [9 favorites]


Why does it not gall all the so called patriots on team MAGA that Trump and the Republicans basic argument is America can't possibly be competent enough at running its own affairs to give its people the same benefits our allies in the rest of the world have given their own people? FFS, Germany manages to afford giving everybody there a stipend to go on vacation every year.

Americans have completely bought the argument America is exceptional all right. We seem to believe we're exceptionally bad at running our own country and so the Republicans want us to just give up and let oil money run the nation instead.

Why is it not offensive to voters the Republican platform is basically that Americans are just so uniquely awful, we could never hope to be able to trust and stand each other well enough to do better at governing ourselves so we should just shutter up the state completely? It's insulting when they claim we're not capable of making our own government work better for us. Those claims should offend everyone, but we hate ourselves too much.

It's so easy to tweak that - "Fuck all of us, we deserve it. (until we work really hard doing practical things together to prevent badness and earn God's mercy, which is what we were put here to do, dammit)."

That kind of engagement with religious ideas would require having some respect and tolerance for the legitimacy of religious faith in any form, and hell, let's face it: even many of our atheists have become so puritanical now, they can't see the wisdom in respecting, tolerating, and building bridges even with those who practice the more benevolent forms of American Christianity, unlike almost every previous generation of secular humanists and scientific thinkers, who made tolerance for benign religious traditions a core part of their thinking and rhetoric back in the heyday of American secular humanism, when during the civil rights era, churches played a major role in liberalizing American attitudes on race and social policy.

I'm pretty sure the whole faith based initiative Bush II pushed was a power grab, in recognition that liberalism had made such great strides in previous decades because the churches were on their side. It was a bribe to try to remedy that earlier strategic failure and gain influence over the power of the pulpit for their agenda of dismantling the Republic and selling it off to foreign investors for scraps, private equity style, under the guise of strengthening it.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:11 AM on July 4 [23 favorites]


I'm deeply preoccupied with what Mattis might be thinking this morning.
posted by angrycat at 5:22 AM on July 4 [5 favorites]


There are many flying buttresses of mythology which serve to hold back reality on the right but I think a major one that distorts all perspective on budget is the myth that taxes are terribly, onerously high, whereas in reality we're always near the bottom of OECD rankings for "Tax revenue as % of GDP".
posted by XMLicious at 5:42 AM on July 4 [18 favorites]


Nice subtweet Mitt, but your legacy was cooked when you groveled for his endorsement in 2012 and appeared with him, legitimizing a birther.

@MittRomney:
Celebrating independent speech, worship, and association; independence from autocracy; these defining rights and more won at great cost.
posted by chris24 at 5:52 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]


The "is America exceptionally bad" argument has been in use for years to address the question of why we imprison so much of our population. Are Americans so much worse than the citizens of other countries? Why do we put more people in prison than any other country?

That argument never works with the Right. I suspect that it would work just as well for the healthcare debate. For one thing they cling to the insane belief that anyone who really needs care will get it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:06 AM on July 4 [3 favorites]


It's so easy to tweak that - "Fuck all of us, we deserve it. (until we work really hard doing practical things together to prevent badness and earn God's mercy, which is what we were put here to do, dammit)."

Except that it isn't.. A lot of the evangelicals are literally part of an apocalyptic death cult. They want to hasten the rapture.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:10 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]


Nice subtweet Mitt, but your legacy was cooked when you groveled for his endorsement in 2012 and appeared with him, legitimizing a birther.

Romney's legacy, now and forever. Mitt done goofed.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:11 AM on July 4 [44 favorites]


Wow, Rust Moranis, what a photo.
posted by taz at 6:13 AM on July 4


Yeah, the photo of Mitt and DJT is truly one of the saddest documents of this early century.

Mitt, proud Presidential-runner-up-who-was-not-black-like-Obama-not-that-any-of-the-people-who-voted-for-him-are-racist-because-they-totally-aren't-they're-just-conservative-and-Obama-was-a-secret-socialist-who-wanted-to-national-the-means-of-production-it's-there-in-the-speeches-if-you-know-where-to-look-seriously-it's-not-'cause-he-was-black-though-he-uh-you-know-his-inexperience-was-pretty-embarrassing-I-mean-to-though-of-us-who-think-government-should-be-run-like-a-business-I-mean...

So Mitt, proud presidential nominee... screw it, he got what he deserved. But fuck was it a wicked sting.

At that moment Trump was truly just what he is and nothing more - not a conservative, not a republican, just a power-hungry psycho who had talked himself into a position where he could pull off stunts like this. That Mitt didn't see it coming is testament to how different the game Trump is playing. He's not fucking around, he's throwing convention out the window in a way that is exhilarating but also probably gonna crash the fuck out of the government.

Like, damn has it been a fucked up nine months and a bit.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:28 AM on July 4 [14 favorites]


> Here's hoping the adults wrestle the phone away from him before he escalates things. And FFS that Fox morning shit show better not pitch another pre-emptive nuke strike.

Happy 4th of July, everyone.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:29 AM on July 4 [4 favorites]


A member of my local Indivisible group posted this PDF: Presidential Commission requests for Voter Data ‐ State Responses as of 7/4/2017
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:34 AM on July 4 [11 favorites]


That Mitt didn't see it coming is testament to how different the game Trump is playing.

Nah. It's a testimony to the fact that Romney has never been at the wrong end of a structural power disparity and has never bothered to truly listen to those who have.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:35 AM on July 4 [53 favorites]


If the reported 40 minute flight time of the DPRK's missile is roughly accurate that's a full fledged ICBM not an intermediate range missile. As a resident of Los Angeles, let me be the first to say that this is just fine and we're all fine.

This is a good reminder that Los Angeles is full of good people that do not deserve to disappear in a ball of nuclear flame. While taking out most Dodger fans is tempting, it's not worth it.
posted by delfin at 6:37 AM on July 4 [4 favorites]


Why do we put more people in prison than any other country?
I think that argument works just fine if they're in a space where they can be honest about the reason they'd like to give. Hint: it starts with B and ends with lack people. The U.S. has more of those people than other developed western countries, rendering the solutions other countries employ null and void because we'd have to apply them here equally (dang equal protection clause).
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:53 AM on July 4 [6 favorites]


CNN says 41 states not complying with the voter data requests (Liz Stark and Grace Hauck, CNN)
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:10 AM on July 4 [13 favorites]


Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea

Does...does Trump think all of this is pro wrestling, not just that CNN GIF?

"BAH GAWD, HERE COMES XI JINPING WITH A FOLDING CHAIR! SOMEBODY STOP THE MATCH!"
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:14 AM on July 4 [16 favorites]


Here's hoping the adults wrestle the phone away from him before he escalates things. And FFS that Fox morning shit show better not pitch another pre-emptive nuke strike.

Ah, no worries. He's busy golfing for the 36th time as prez. 22% of his presidency. Not like there's important matters to attend to.
posted by chris24 at 7:19 AM on July 4 [12 favorites]


If you want a primer on the NK ICBM situation, this is a good one.

TL,DR:
1) Yes, it's an ICBM.

2) It probably could reach Alaska but not San Francisco or LA.

3) All previous policy has been trying to prevent this line from being crossed. It's been crossed.

4) The unknown: Trump has to form a new policy - what will it be? Re-engagement? Containment? Escalation?

4) The danger: many Republican elected officials (McCain, Lindsay Graham) have previously urged pre-emptive strikes or a "war over there" if NK reaches this capability, so there probably wouldn't be political pushback if Trump escalates.
posted by bluecore at 7:35 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]


Remember, every moment he golfs, he's not getting up to any other trouble. We should encourage the golfing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:35 AM on July 4 [15 favorites]


Ah, no worries. He's busy golfing for the 36th time as prez. 22% of his presidency. Not like there's important matters to attend to.

Truly, it staggers the imagination that we have a POTUS who is so wildly unsuited for the position that Americans cheer when he doesn't try to POTUS and instead plays golf.

Another rant, if I may:

* could you imagine anyone applying for a job having no idea of its duties
* doubling down on their ignorance by saying they don't actually care what their duties are because they have no intention of fulfilling those duties
* make it clear that instead of doing their job they're going to watch TV and attack people on social media
* actively work to undermine and destroy the workplace (workplace=USA)
* take that a step further and devote themselves to literally making the entire world unsafe because they can

I mean, what the FUCK?
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 7:41 AM on July 4 [47 favorites]


US: KIM JONG UN COULD NUKE US AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
SK: 대체 무슨 소리 야?
JP: 多分それはアメリカの例外的主義ですか? 彼らは、それが問題になることをあなたが裸になる危険にさらされている時を知っています。
CN: 闭嘴你白痴只是继续给橙色的商标和奉承
posted by Talez at 7:42 AM on July 4 [16 favorites]


And FFS that Fox morning shit show better not pitch another pre-emptive nuke strike.

History book of the future:

While many disparate events created the conditions for the Great War of the 21st Century, there is a general consensus among historians that its ignition can be traced to one man: Steve Doocey.
posted by pjenks at 7:44 AM on July 4 [3 favorites]


While many disparate events created the conditions for the Great War of the 21st Century, there is a general consensus among historians that its ignition can be traced to one man: Steve Doocey.

[picture of Taran Killam]
posted by Etrigan at 7:51 AM on July 4 [3 favorites]


* could you imagine anyone applying for a job having no idea of its duties
* doubling down on their ignorance by saying they don't actually care what their duties are because they have no intention of fulfilling those duties
* make it clear that instead of doing their job they're going to watch TV and attack people on social media
* actively work to undermine and destroy the workplace (workplace=USA)
* take that a step further and devote themselves to literally making the entire world unsafe because they can


And that millions of people wanted this in a "leader."
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:54 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]


And that millions of people wanted this in a "leader."

Millions of people want competent governance that can give them jobs with decent wages and healthcare. But since that's not an option on the table they just vote to piss off the liberals and punch down.
posted by Talez at 7:58 AM on July 4 [8 favorites]


They are both playing a role in what is known as "kayfabe" in wrestling circles

Wikipedia:

In professional wrestling, kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true," specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind. Kayfabe has also evolved to become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public.

Trump: "Despite the constant negative press covfefe"

Maybe "kayfabe" was the word he was trying to remember how to spell. Because in that context, it would actually make sense.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:01 AM on July 4 [30 favorites]


could you imagine anyone applying for a job...

Americans are taught from a young age that anybody can be President. They don't say that about TV stars, so anybody who's been able to achieve that -- what not everyone else can -- is more than qualified to be President, no matter how they act in the job. After all, they're just one of us now, and wouldn't you like a job where you get to X (golf or whatever) whenever you want?

Besides, Pence is the one currently doing the most damage.
posted by rhizome at 8:02 AM on July 4




Why do we put more people in prison than any other country?
I think that argument works just fine if they're in a space where they can be honest about the reason they'd like to give. Hint: it starts with B and ends with lack people. The U.S. has more of those people than other developed western countries, rendering the solutions other countries employ null and void because we'd have to apply them here equally (dang equal protection clause).


I've heard people put out that argument publicly more than once. Just has to be the right public.
posted by mumimor at 8:11 AM on July 4


A bit of an odd question here. Besides all the other horrible stuff the Trump administration does, there is its inability to actually operate the government . A big part of this is the 100s of positions in government that are still not filled yet; such as ambassadors, directors of government agencies, etc. Is there a list somewhere that tabulates this incompetency, a list perhaps of positions that still need filling?
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 8:26 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]


Those positions will not be filled unless absolutely, headliningly, necessary. It's what "shrinking the government" looks like: fewer government workers.
posted by rhizome at 8:32 AM on July 4 [5 favorites]


I can't help but hear John Geilgud spit in cod-Shakespeare:

Christie on the beach, his meatloaf cold
And shrivelled like his soul upon the plate,
Doth mock the people, and the common weal.
And claims the moral void as his estate

This empty husk, this bulbous bag of space
Yet still a mascot true of all his party's ways
A signifier of how time for them is late
A sure and sober sign. The ending of their days
posted by Devonian at 8:37 AM on July 4 [56 favorites]


The U.S. has more of those people than other developed western countries

I'm embarrassed to say that at 33 years old, it only just now occurred to me that this is what is actually meant by the argument against Scandanavian-style social democracy in the U.S. that "in our much more heterogeneous society, it would never work." I've heard this argument all my life, even from left-leaning people. As a teenager I assumed it referred to the urban-rural divide and that there must be something to it if educated people were claiming it. In my 20s I decided it was a weak excuse not to try. Only just now have I realized it originated as light code for "we'd have to give services to black people."

Happy fucking Independence Day.
posted by biogeo at 8:49 AM on July 4 [119 favorites]


Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman are launching a new group to rethink the Democratic PartyIt’s called Win the Future, and Pincus is even courting potential WTF candidates like the frontman of ’90s rock band Third Eye Blind.
WTF is also eyeing more audacious efforts: Initially, Pincus had planned to solicit feedback at launch on recruiting a potential challenger to Democrats’ leader in the House, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, in a primary election. That idea is on hold — for now — but Pincus and Hoffman are still trying to solicit candidates to run elsewhere as so-called “WTF Democrats.” For Pincus, one of his early targets: Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind. The two have met in recent months, in fact. [...]

Also on Pincus’s potential target list: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who he derided as a “career politician.” Feinstein also isn’t an introductory target for WTF, but Pincus said he’s already had conversations with folks like Jenkins, the frontman of Third Eye Blind, about someday challenging her. Hoffman plans to have his own conversations with potential candidates, but declined to name any of his ideal recruits during an interview.
WTF, indeed.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:17 AM on July 4 [11 favorites]


Pence is the one currently doing the most damage.

Ima stop you right there: Trump's alarming environmental rollback: what's been scrapped so far (Oliver Milman, Guardian)
While every new administration reviews or even reshapes inherited regulations – especially those enacted in the dying days of a prior presidency – the scale of the current rollback is unprecedented, according to Whitman.

“We looked at 60 or 70 rules and we upheld them all, whereas this administration seems to think everything done in the last administration was bad,” she said. “This is the president’s agenda. Scott Pruitt absolutely believes in that agenda, but this is coming from the president.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:20 AM on July 4 [12 favorites]


Christie on the beach, his meatloaf cold
And shrivelled like his soul upon the plate,
Doth mock the people, and the common weal.
And claims the moral void as his estate

This empty husk, this bulbous bag of space
Yet still a mascot true of all his party's ways
A signifier of how time for them is late
A sure and sober sign. The ending of their days


Did you just write that? It deserves a longer life than a MetaFilter megathread. Maybe send it to Calvin Trillin. Who knows, he might just be looking for a guest poet once in a while.
posted by BentFranklin at 9:21 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]


"in our much more heterogeneous society, it would never work."

I do sometimes see people mixing up those saying the above with those saying "in our society that is both more racially heterogeneous and incredibly racist, it will never be politically tenable" which are two different statements. One is extremely racist, the other is acknowledging extreme racism as or current reality, but in this culture where pointing out racism often gets you called racist, well, you know.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:25 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]


This is the president’s agenda. Scott Pruitt absolutely believes in that agenda, but this is coming from the president.”

Pfft, until it's not. Think about who we're talking about here.

And fuck Mark Pincus. That guy is not a Good Politics guy.
posted by rhizome at 9:30 AM on July 4


Is there a list somewhere that tabulates this incompetency, a list perhaps of positions that still need filling?

Tracking how many key positions Trump has filled so far
Of 564 key positions requiring Senate confirmation …
384 No nominee
4 Awaiting nomination
130 Formally nominated
46 Confirmed
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:31 AM on July 4 [10 favorites]


The big reason I don't take much comfort in Trump's incompetence is that, without providing competent executive leadership, none of the existing environmental and regulatory policies stand any chance of being enforced. The state isn't automated and it doesn't just keep running itself when there's a leadership vacuum. Even under Bush II, without explicitly rolling back environmental regs, there was evidence all over the place they were deliberately sandbagging and blunting the effectiveness of the existing policies. Under Trump, it's a given they're doing an even better job of looking the other way and acting against the public interest by passive aggressive inaction, since that's pretty much the narcissist's preferred form of social violence anyway.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:39 AM on July 4 [5 favorites]


X, "4th of July"
posted by kirkaracha at 9:39 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]


Of 564 key positions requiring Senate confirmation …
384 No nominee
...
46 Confirmed

I believe there is a very simple explanation for that: Trump has only so many family members and cronies who are willing to swear blind loyalty to him. Like Gorsuch. Or Tillerson. Or Mattis.
posted by sour cream at 9:44 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]


Or they simply don't want them filled.
posted by rhizome at 9:53 AM on July 4 [8 favorites]


[R]ecruiting a potential challenger to Democrats’ leader in the House, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, in a primary election... For Pincus, one of his early targets: Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind.

I wish you would step back
From that ledge my friend
You could cut ties with all the lies
That you've been living in
posted by carmicha at 9:54 AM on July 4 [7 favorites]


Republicans have a backup plan for killing the individual mandate to get a "better" CBO score
CBO is required to base its estimates on current law. If Republicans do away with the mandate, that’s the baseline CBO has to use. So if Republicans fail this year but re-introduce a health care fill next year, CBO will compare it to a baseline in which the mandate doesn’t exist. This is a win-win for Republicans. If they fail to repeal Obamacare this year and decide to pack it in, killing the mandate is still good politics. But if they decide not to give up, it means their next bill will automatically get a much better score. Compared to a world where the mandate is already gone, their bill won’t take away insurance from 24 million, it will take it away from 12 million or so. Fiddle around with Medicaid funding and maybe you get that down to 5 million.

To you and me, that’s still a lot. But in newspaper headlines it’s far less dramatic. Bottom line: even if Republicans fail this year, Obamacare isn’t safe. Republicans can spend the next year sabotaging Obamacare¹ and giving some real thought to a new replacement bill. They’ve learned a lot about how CBO scores things, and that will allow them to craft a bill that’s carefully tailored to get the best possible score while still reducing taxes the maximum amount. No matter what happens with Trumpcare this year, the fat lady has definitely not sung.


When they can't win against math, they change math to say what they want it to.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:06 AM on July 4 [48 favorites]


Thanks T.D. Strange
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:09 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]


Trump has ruined my sex life. Last night I went on a first date with a nice enough guy who, it turns out, is from New York and voted against Hillary Clinton when she ran for senate. And then he "couldn't bring" himself to vote in the presidential election. Besides, he said, we're in California so it doesn't matter. When I got home, I texted my next date to ask if he had voted in the presidential election. Nope, he did not, because he doesn't believe in "lesser evil voting" and the Democratic leadership "elected Trump, not the people who couldn't stomach voting for an elitist warmonger." For fuck's sake, people!

And I've had it with the Washington Post. The fabulous David Fahrenthold cannot make up for the regular bullshit the newspaper still runs, including stupid-ass "analysis" pieces that just feed our current political dysfunction. The latest example is an article by Philip Bump called, "If Clinton had won, would her poll numbers be any better than Trump’s?" WTF???!!!

I'm not linking to that ridiculous article because I don't want to promote such malarky. Happy fucking fourth of July. Grrrr!
posted by Bella Donna at 10:16 AM on July 4 [80 favorites]




Unlike the people I'm dating, I have sway over the WaPo: I have a subscription.

As for my love life, my new rule is that I don't date people who didn't vote for Clinton. It lowers my dating pool, but it's well worth it.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 10:42 AM on July 4 [46 favorites]


As for my love life, my new rule is that I don't date people who didn't vote for Clinton. It lowers my dating pool, but it's well worth it.

Yeah. I gotta agree with you there. I mean I get that politics is a nuanced thing where many factors go into a decision on who to support, and I don't mind those people who say "we don't let politics get in the way of our relationship/marriage" but JFC, as a woman, knowing your SO or potential SO supports someone and a party that doesn't treat you as a human being, that must be the world's shittiest feeling to feel.
posted by Talez at 10:57 AM on July 4 [26 favorites]


Trump has ruined my sex life. Last night I went on a first date with a nice enough guy who, it turns out, is from New York and voted against Hillary Clinton when she ran for senate. And then he "couldn't bring" himself to vote in the presidential election.

I humbly suggest you look at dating people from the nearly 100 countries, 4 of which are the most populous on Earth, of which 3 are democracies, where they've already had female heads of state or government. Not only is it a nifty workaround to Trump, it lets you stick it squarely to every retrograde USian caveman (who are actually a minority of men on Earth) too insecure to have a woman in charge! Right in the libido! And it vastly expands your dating pool! By the numbers, most human males are fine with it.

And just in case some odious American troglodyte mentions something about American women being different (oh if you haven't heard it yet, it's a matter of time), tell them that no, actually, there is an entire other country out there that elected an American woman as president. She was even a socialist! Read that, and come to grips with just how medieval, sexist, and wrong these shitheads are.

I know that's a gross oversimplification, but no, you're not wrong for disincluding Trump voters from your dating life, and you're not exactly hurting your odds, globally speaking.
posted by saysthis at 11:03 AM on July 4 [24 favorites]


The idea that a sleazeball like Mark Pincus is going to put the Democratic Party on the right path -- by turning to dim bulbs like Stephan Jenkins, no less -- is just hilarious. SMFH again, Silicon Valley.

Also, here's Dave Alvin's version of 4th of July. Happy Independence Day, y'all.
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:10 AM on July 4 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm super skeptical that tech bros are going to save us. Thus far there's little evidence that they can grok the needs and hopes of anyone unlike themselves.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:14 AM on July 4 [28 favorites]


Remember, every moment he golfs, he's not getting up to any other trouble. We should encourage the golfing.

I suspect that Trump golfs so as to hold meetings and made decisions without people "wiretapping him" or taking memos or transcribing words said on their laptops. It's cold war era spycraft and totally fits his social class, the men making deals with a handshake outside of the official channels.
posted by msalt at 11:15 AM on July 4 [16 favorites]


> ...voted against Hillary Clinton when she ran for senate. And then he "couldn't bring" himself to vote in the presidential election. Besides, he said, we're in California so it doesn't matter. When I got home, I texted my next date... he doesn't believe in "lesser evil voting" and the Democratic leadership "elected Trump, not the people who couldn't stomach voting for an elitist warmonger." For fuck's sake, people!

I think THESE GUYS are actually Trump's base, and I have more contempt for them than any deplorable. THESE GUYS were this cycle's "undecideds". In 4 years, they'll never admit to having voted for Trump.
posted by klarck at 11:20 AM on July 4 [23 favorites]


In "The origin of the specious", The Economist dives into the Reddit swamp known as The Donald for its daily chart.

Users on “The Donald” have a vocabulary of their own. The most commonly used words are obvious ones like “Trump” (315,000 mentions) and “Hillary” (115,000), but others are more surprising. “Centipedes” (“pedes” for short), a nickname for fellow Trump enthusiasts, gets 26,100 mentions. Pepe, a cartoon frog popular with the alt-right, is mentioned 13,000 times. Also popular are variations on the word “cuck” (some 28,000 mentions), a shortened form of “cuckservative”. (This word is a portmanteau of “cuckold” and “conservative”, and is a derogatory term for a conservative who has sold out to the left. The implication is that such people are weak and emasculated.) Some 10,000 posts have been devoted to Seth Rich, a Democratic Party staffer killed in a botched robbery, who alt-right conspiracists have suggested without evidence was connected to the leak of emails pilfered from the Democratic National Committee.

Such people are now providing the raw material for a president’s tweets. Happy birthday, America.

posted by Bella Donna at 11:26 AM on July 4 [12 favorites]


Last night some neighbors invited a bunch of us to an evening of barbecue. beer and bonfire with a side order of distant fireworks. It was lovely, until "Born in the USA" began to play and I learned that yet another one of my neighbors is an idiot.

Jerk: I used to love Bruce Springsteen. What happened to him? When did he switch sides?

Me: ???

Jerk: Born in the USA is such a great patriotic song; it's practically the national anthem for mid-50s guys like me. But now Bruce won't shut up about his politics and for some reason he supported Hillary. I guess it's because Obummer gave him a Medal of Freedom. I had no idea Bruce could be so easily bought.

Me, not knowing where to begin: I think you need to listen closer to Born in the USA. Here: read the lyrics on my phone.

Jerk: ???

We were rescued by dessert. But it's tough being the only liberal people in the vicinity.
posted by carmicha at 11:31 AM on July 4 [121 favorites]


Well the "sent off to a foreign land to go and kill the yellow man" line does seem to form the basis of most of Trump's current foreign policy goals. Maybe your friend thought it was an endorsement.
posted by dng at 11:36 AM on July 4 [6 favorites]


If I could ever wrap my head around how to properly date (or really make myself want to), I'd be onboard with a Trump voter boycott, but then again, how would I know? These alt-right types have been less than straightforward about their real allegiances. I think it's part of their whole "trolling as a way of life" culture. They seem to think keeping secrets and tricking people makes them intellectually superior or something (or at least proves those "libtards aren't as smart as they think," or something along those lines).
posted by saulgoodman at 11:38 AM on July 4 [6 favorites]


* could you imagine anyone applying for a job having no idea of its duties
* doubling down on their ignorance by saying they don't actually care what their duties are because they have no intention of fulfilling those duties
* make it clear that instead of doing their job they're going to watch TV and attack people on social media
* actively work to undermine and destroy the workplace (workplace=USA)
* take that a step further and devote themselves to literally making the entire world unsafe because they can


Having watched It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, yes.

...that's Charlie work.
posted by delfin at 11:38 AM on July 4 [8 favorites]


California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who he derided as a “career politician.” Feinstein also isn’t an introductory target for WTF, but Pincus said he’s already had conversations with folks like Jenkins, the frontman of Third Eye Blind, about someday challenging her...

How novel, a completely inexperienced man who assumes he could do a much better job than a woman at the job she's been doing all her life
posted by the turtle's teeth at 11:39 AM on July 4 [108 favorites]


Well the "sent off to a foreign land to go and kill the yellow man" line does seem to form the basis of most of Trump's current foreign policy goals.

I desperately wanted to ask this guy what he made of lyrics like that or if he had just heard them all in his differently ('scuse me, while I kiss this guy), but it was not to be. Mr. Carmicha's theory is that the guy really didn't know the Springsteen oeuvre and had, in his youth, used Born in the USA to signify bro-hood, probably biding time through each verse until it was time to drunkenly belt out the chorus.
posted by carmicha at 11:42 AM on July 4 [9 favorites]


As a native Californian, I will note that I think Feinstein would be an excellent senator for, say, Ohio. Which has been noted in these threads. I call her office weekly in an attempt to keep pushing her to the left rather than her much-more-centrist default. That said, I favourited your comment, TTT, because yes, that's exactly right. See, I want Feinstein replaced by Representative Barbara Lee. Because she knows politics and she's been the most progressive voice in Congress her entire career.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:43 AM on July 4 [20 favorites]


people who say "we don't let politics get in the way of our relationship/marriage"

Good for them and all, I agree on that point. But for me, politics has veered so far into identity in this country at this point that I see ever-decreasing middle ground for personal relations.

From my perspective, the future of our species is under attack by the ignorant and apathetic, in equal parts. And while I will continue to hold my nose, take deep breaths, and jump back into the fray of trying to reach those people for humanity's sake, I can't fathom applying the same principle in the quest for intimacy. No thanks.
posted by Brak at 11:44 AM on July 4 [6 favorites]


If I could ever wrap my head around how to properly date (or really make myself want to), I'd be onboard with a Trump voter boycott, but then again, how would I know?

Ahem: Users on “The Donald” have a vocabulary of their own.

It's pretty easy to pick up on alt-right language, and similarly on themes derived from the FOX-iverse. First mention of Benghazi, voter fraud, Pepe or "cucks" = date over immediately. May not be a perfect screen, but seems like a close enough proxy. And alt-right trolls are worth avoiding on their own anyway, regardless of whether they bothered to vote.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:45 AM on July 4 [8 favorites]


The scariest thing about the the dismantling of regulations that's going full steam ahead (see also: Trump Repeals Regulation Protecting Workers From Wage Theft, HuffPo) is you know they aren't picking these things at random. They haven't been sitting around offended on principle since the rules were enacted.

You know it's Trump or a buddy that wants to break this rule right now. This rule is inconveniencing someone and they want it to go away so they can do exactly what it prohibits. So that HuffPo piece makes me start looking around for a government contractor with an egregious labor violation history. I bet I'll see one shortly.
posted by ctmf at 11:48 AM on July 4 [38 favorites]


/anything speaking to white men right now is to be scrutinized with a laser beam
posted by infini at 11:59 AM on July 4 [8 favorites]




It's pretty easy to pick up on alt-right language, and similarly on themes derived from the FOX-iverse. First mention of Benghazi, voter fraud, Pepe or "cucks" = date over immediately.


I have a few Canadian flags as well as these ones. I also have a climate denial hoax flag. Last one, and thankfully it happened before a date was planned was `gawd carbon tax, just a scheme Al Gore made up to make himself richer.` Now I`m not sure how in the hell a carbon tax in Ontario is going to get to Al Gore but I don`t have any motivation to find out. It was amazing how immediate the loss of attraction was. Instantaneous.
posted by Jalliah at 12:02 PM on July 4 [21 favorites]


I once broke off a dating relationship years ago because the young woman casually dropped a comment about not being able to stand those n-words on our third date. Supporting a guy who wants everybody to hate everybody else just to give himself cover for ripping everybody off feels like less of a moral dilemma than that. I felt like maybe I'd failed in my responsibility for responding to white racism by just dropping her without explanation instead of trying to persuade her to rethink her attitudes, but dammit, maybe there's really just no point in trying with these people anymore.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:10 PM on July 4 [9 favorites]


The sad part is that they've whipped themselves up into a emotion driven frenzy (using all behavioural design knowledge of the very best masters) and thus, now, are beyond reason.
posted by infini at 12:24 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


I'm not really even much of a Springsteen fan, and even I know he constantly spoke out against Reagan back in the day. I don't think he's ever been a Republican, despite his White All-American Guy image, but I suppose that might be possible to miss if all you know about him is the songs they play over and over and over again on classic rock radio.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:28 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


Having watched It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, yes.

...that's Charlie work.


Strenuous disagreement. Trump isn't a Charlie, he's a Dennis. This whole nightmare has followed the D.E.N.N.I.S. system pretty closely even.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:29 PM on July 4 [21 favorites]


One can make an argument that Feinstein is no longer a good representative for California for any number of policy and engagement reasons. I'm okay with that. But one offering her being a "career politician" as a reason is just saying that one does not value experience and dedication. This is part of what got us Trump: republican primary voters decided that Trump's lack of those qualities wasn't important (enough). It's time honored populist BS. Being a good elected official is hard and takes practice. Failing previous elected experience, it requires talent, related skills (which required practice!) and excellent advisors.
posted by R343L at 12:29 PM on July 4 [50 favorites]


And oh God, I could never date anyone who voted for Trump or tried to pull that "both sides suck" or "but her emails!" shit*. I don't know that I could even be friends with them, especially now that he's had six months to demonstrate that he is in fact exactly the sort of President anyone with a lick of sense could see he was going to be.

* I'm Canadian and married, but still
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:35 PM on July 4 [21 favorites]


... I should totally join Tinder and just have my pic be me wearing a Hillary 2016 shirt...
posted by Justinian at 12:39 PM on July 4 [45 favorites]


A few years ago I went out a few times with a guy who, on our third date, announced that he thought education was pointless and tried to make me guess how much he earned (among other egregious WTFery). It has now occurred to me that he almost certainly voted for Trump.

I already knew I'd dodged a serious bullet by dumping him after that night, but I'm appreciative all over again now.
posted by Superplin at 12:41 PM on July 4 [18 favorites]


... I should totally join Tinder and just have my pic be me wearing a Hillary 2016 shirt...

Would we receive reports on the Justinian Current Swiping Level?
posted by zachlipton at 12:48 PM on July 4 [38 favorites]


Hell it was Springsteen coming out against Reagan that made me listen to his music with fresh ears in the 80s.

Weird coincidence, but Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl" (which I mentioned earlier in this thread) released in 1980 on Heart Attack and Vine) was the B side of Springsteen's major first single off Born In the USA, "Dancing in the Dark," in 1984 (it hit #2). Hearing his live cover of the Waits song on that release led to my discovery of Tom Waits, and left me impressed that Springsteen would cover the work of an even better songwriter who wasn't dead or retired (and do so convincingly, it's a great version, really different from Waits' own).
posted by spitbull at 12:56 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


... I should totally join Tinder and just have my pic be me wearing a Hillary 2016 shirt...

I won't do this since I'm married. But, if younger / single, I'd be tempted to A/B test Hillary shirt vs. Bernie shirt. It'd be the primaries all over again, only sexier.
posted by honestcoyote at 12:56 PM on July 4 [6 favorites]


Talking Points Memo has a fun investigation into the source of Trump's recent retweet, Jacob Wohl, who is also a con-artist and general Proto-Trump.

We know this president gained his position through fraud, hatred and making false claims. There will now be a whole new generation trying to do the same thing. They grow up so fast.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:57 PM on July 4 [8 favorites]


You know it's Trump or a buddy that wants to break this rule right now.

Either that or he's just going down a list of everything Obama did and undoing it one by one without even knowing what it is. Pretty soon he's going to run out of regulations and have to start taking back Presidential Medals of Freedom. Speaking of Springsteen.
posted by ctmf at 1:02 PM on July 4 [8 favorites]


Would there be a better way to say "Fuck You" to Chris Christie?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:14 PM on July 4 [2 favorites]


Try the simple "fuck you Chris Christie you fucking fuck." I find that one satisfying.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:26 PM on July 4 [9 favorites]


That's actually just how I order meatloaf now.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:30 PM on July 4 [51 favorites]


I'm deeply preoccupied with what Mattis might be thinking this morning.
posted by angrycat at 5:22 AM on July 4 [5 favorites +] [!]


Me too. I feel extremely vulnerable living in a West Coast city that is both an obvious target for an NK first strike and which is hated by Trump because we didn't vote for him and we don't bow to him. I don't trust this administration to protect us effectively.
posted by SakuraK at 1:45 PM on July 4 [12 favorites]


Chris Christie, after all his torturous manoeuvrings and swallowing of pride which pretty much destroyed his political career, will forever be associated with meatloaf. Well done, sir, well done.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 1:47 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


The thing about "Born in the USA" is that in fact it's that song that a GOP presidential nominee (I want to say Reagan but I could be wrong) was using during his rallies, until Springsteen complained. Talk about not listening to the lyrics! Springsteen has always been anti-authoritarian, pro-working man.

But a lot of his fans do not actually listen to the lyrics, they just want to wave their arms and jump around to the anthems.
posted by suelac at 1:47 PM on July 4 [12 favorites]


We know this president gained his position through fraud, hatred and making false claims. There will now be a whole new generation trying to do the same thing.

They're leaving out Step 1, though: Inherit enough money to insulate yourself from consequences.
posted by Etrigan at 1:48 PM on July 4 [26 favorites]


My day has been made significantly better by this Twitter thread:

@NoTotally: NYT has a whole-ass genre of sad white people staring pensively out window in darkened room stories
posted by bibliowench at 2:06 PM on July 4 [47 favorites]


Why Conservative Intellectuals Are Pledging Loyalty to General Trump
Trump, then, is justified with the argument that politics is war, and that liberals are not just folks with a different political opinion, but an enemy to be destroyed. Such anti-liberalism brought Trump to power, but now the partisan need to defend Trump helps bolster anti-liberalism, not to mention anti–Never Trumpism. After all, if your animating mission in life isn’t to destroy liberalism, you might start asking questions about Trump’s competence and worry about the manifest disarray of his administration.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:18 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


Did you just write that?

I was channelling dear, dear Larry, so it was more taking dictation.

I don't use anything I say on MeFi outside, so anyone's free to do with whatever, whatever. But I've had bits of the Shakespeare Play About Trump floating around in my head for a bit, because All This is every bit as subtle and overblown as any Elizabethan or Stuart - the characters, the clash of kingdoms, the unbelievable plots, humanity being so blastedly human... I do hope someone has a go at it.
posted by Devonian at 2:18 PM on July 4 [11 favorites]


people who say "we don't let politics get in the way of our relationship/marriage"

Good for them and all, I agree on that point. But for me, politics has veered so far into identity in this country at this point that I see ever-decreasing middle ground for personal relations.


Yeah, at this point, it's like saying "let's ignore the fact that our worldviews are diametrically opposed and we don't agree on the fundamentals of what separates right from wrong."
posted by diogenes at 2:22 PM on July 4 [45 favorites]


a GOP presidential nominee (I want to say Reagan but I could be wrong) was using during his rallies

It was Reagan. He wasn't the only Republican to misunderstand the music of the kids these days.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:25 PM on July 4 [12 favorites]


When we go see the fireworks in downtown Indianapolis tonight, at least one, probably several, people will play Q95's insipid medley of patriotic songs simulcasted with the show. I will watch with a mixture of complex and conflicted feelings about my faded patriotism, the terrible plight of this country I love, and the long fight ahead to take it back from the forces of evil. At one point during the patriotic medley, the truly awful "Proud to be an American" will give way to "Born in the USA" (I don't think they've changed the medley in at least 10 years.) Then I will again grimly chuckle to myself. Idiots.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:24 PM on July 4 [20 favorites]


the truly awful "Proud to be an American"

that is an odd way to spell "unfathomably execrable"
posted by thelonius at 3:33 PM on July 4 [7 favorites]


I totally get and understand that a golf-playing Trump means he is not creating havoc and turmoil within America, but a less than fully engaged Trump regime in the wider world is having real, long-lasting, and damaging consequences for America and its national interests. While he plays golf, the adults in the real world see massive opportunities to advance their own interests and agendas.
For example, take this article by Simon Tisdall in The Guardian, entitled, China-Russia diplomatic double act exposes Trump's crudeness.
The leaders of China and Russia have vowed to work together to peacefully defuse the deepening crisis over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes – a diplomatic double act that contrasts sharply with Donald Trump’s crude threats and pressure tactics.

The joint declaration reflected a broader, ongoing strategic Sino-Russian alignment that has passed largely unremarked in the west. It has been encouraged by Trump’s often erratic, unfocused behaviour, and the resulting opportunities and dangers arising from weakened American global leadership.[emphasis mine]
I don't see how a strong Sino-Russian axis is good for America. Putin knew exactly what he was doing by interfering in, and undermining, the American electoral system so the Trump could become President.
posted by vac2003 at 3:48 PM on July 4 [38 favorites]


I don't see how a strong Sino-Russian axis is good for America.
I don't see how anything "good for America" right now is good for humanity. America has been less "The Good Guys" than the "Not As Bad Guys" for my entire lifetime (and I'm older than most MeFites). And I've said before that a 'Trump-like' President has been inevitable for some time, and his image as a 'safe to laugh at' public figure rather than a criminal evildoer put him at the top of the category. And when you look at the truths behind the fabricated American History we have been taught (the current East St. Louis pogrom thread is a true public service), we see that Donald Trump is the Most Truly American President.

Doonesbury's syndicated rerun strips are doing a story arc right now from 1989 about the cast's resident artist getting a commission to paint murals in the bathrooms of Trump's massive yacht...
"He's looking for scenes of epic grandeur. In the master bath, he wants the parting of the Red Sea. In his wife's boudoir, the coronation of Catherine the Great..." "What's that scene over the tub?" "Um... I believe that's the 1981 eviction of his rent control tenants."
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:08 PM on July 4 [29 favorites]


I don't see how a strong Sino-Russian axis is good for America. Putin knew exactly what he was doing by interfering in, and undermining, the American electoral system so the Trump could become President.

Longterm it's not good for America and likely the rest of the world. Short-term Trump's flakiness and this alliance it may save us all from nuclear anniliation. That's the crux of it. Trump regardless of who or what got him in office is not in anyway capable of dealing with NK. He's more likely to make the whole situation worse. He has no understanding of politics or diplomacy beyond bully level big stick threats.
America as an international actor is not what it was a year ago unfortunately and is more dangerous then helpful right now. The more he stays out of this the better. Maybe there are those in his admin or government who are capable and can do something but not with Trump involved.

This in now a world where hearing that China and Russia have been talking about how to deal with NK makes me feel some relief. And then I head shake because holy hell if you had told me last year I'd be thinking this I wouldn't have believed it.
posted by Jalliah at 4:15 PM on July 4 [18 favorites]


Putin knew exactly what he was doing by interfering in, and undermining, the American electoral system so the Trump could become President.

Putin won WW3 while 50% of America cheered him on. Trump is not capable of doing anything "good for America", and that was the whole point of Putin's interference.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:22 PM on July 4 [15 favorites]


I liked this Slate article on how the cabinet confirmation process has changed because of this administration, perhaps permanently: Confirmation, Inc.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:24 PM on July 4 [8 favorites]






Or as one headline I saw had it, "Trump literally outclassed by HanAssholeSolo."

Link contains full text of apology.
posted by spitbull at 4:37 PM on July 4 [39 favorites]


Because friends have benefits: U.S. no longer a 'friend' in Merkel election program
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:49 PM on July 4


Of course the theory on Reddit, where HanAssholeSolo has gone dark and removed all his posts, is that this is a pre-emptive apology in fear of being doxxed.

I sometimes wonder how many anonymous Trump-loving cretins online have real jobs or reputations that might be at risk if their neighbors or bosses knew they stayed up nights making racist memes.
posted by spitbull at 4:51 PM on July 4 [16 favorites]


If he were to be doxxed, it's pretty likely it would have been one of his erstwhile comrades what done it. Now it's even more likely, of course.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:09 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


Every time some douchelord gets outed as a heinous troll it's always some random Joe Cubicle with a wife and kids who had no idea their loved one's hobby was being a reddit/chan shitposter.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:20 PM on July 4 [24 favorites]


This in now a world where hearing that China and Russia have been talking about how to deal with NK makes me feel some relief.

I was reading all this stuff and found myself thinking, "Jesus Christ, we may need Putin to rein Trump in." And then the cognitive dissonance hit me so hard I thought I was going to have a seizure.
posted by worldswalker at 5:23 PM on July 4 [13 favorites]


Why is it "Han Assholesolo," why isn't it "Han Asshole-o," how could he try for that and not get it? he ruined the dumb pun in his own stupid jokename with an extra "sol" for no reason and now he's an internationally famed representative of the USA. When do we find bottom with this stupid American fuckery? Is there nothing too dumb for us to do? Canada and Mexico should invent a giant jigsaw and saw us off at the borders and shove us out to sea.
posted by Don Pepino at 5:35 PM on July 4 [55 favorites]


Every time some douchelord gets outed as a heinous troll it's always some random Joe Cubicle with a wife and kids who had no idea their loved one's hobby was being a reddit/chan shitposter.

"It was a prank, nothing more," claimed area man Joseph "HanAssholeSolo" Schmoe.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:38 PM on July 4 [7 favorites]


The douchery is coming from inside the house.
posted by emjaybee at 5:39 PM on July 4 [8 favorites]


it's always some random Joe Cubicle with a wife and kids

Or, you know, a New Hampshire State Representative.

#doxxallthetrolls
posted by spitbull at 5:41 PM on July 4 [6 favorites]


Why is it "Han Assholesolo," why isn't it "Han Asshole-o"

To be fair, he probably wasn't thinking he'd be retweeted by the president when he came up with that. He's just an asshole.
posted by spitbull at 5:45 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


truly awful "Proud to be an American"

You've just reminded me that for reasons lost to history (it's been almost sixteen years, after all), I was in attendance at some kind of performance thing a few months after September 11th, 2001 in Aurora, Colorado.

The only act I remember all these years later was a number of people in American-flag cowboy shirts and cowboy hats performing a stiff, awkward synchronized American flag waving routine to the tune of "Proud to be an American".

I just watched quietly and didn't say anything the rest of the night--let them deal with things their own way, you know? But oh my god, how I cringed on the inside.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:46 PM on July 4 [8 favorites]


To be fair, he probably wasn't thinking he'd be retweeted by the president when he came up with that. He's just an asshole.

How many assholes we got on this ship anyhow?
posted by tocts at 5:48 PM on July 4 [20 favorites]


That apology was somewhat sincere but very complicated. And a little like a recent story arc on South Park. Fella needs help.
posted by vrakatar at 5:50 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


Another video making the rounds on Twitter this evening shows Trump apparently confused about where his limo is as he deplanes from AF1 and walks by his limo literally right at the bottom of the stairs. (Link to @dcpoll for Fox News video.)
posted by spitbull at 6:04 PM on July 4 [33 favorites]


So Merkel has changed the wording from "most important friend" to "most important partner"? Isn't she aware of Trump's long-held reputation of screwing over his business partners?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:15 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]


"Oh, *that* limo! The one right in front of the plane. With the Presidential Seal on the door. Huh!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:23 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


I just wanted to go on record this Fourth of July as saying Donald Trump sucks
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:32 PM on July 4 [70 favorites]


I have been pondering, this day, over the aphorism "You get the government you deserve."

I am prepared to go on record and say that aphorism's an ass.
posted by darkstar at 6:52 PM on July 4 [12 favorites]


vrakatar: That apology was somewhat sincere but very complicated. And a little like a recent story arc on South Park. Fella needs help.

Apparently the apology came *after* CNN identified the real identity of HanAssholeSolo and reached out to him for comment. There's an upcoming story and interview. So it seems like 100% damage control.
posted by bluecore at 6:56 PM on July 4 [24 favorites]


Area man is surprised internet is real life. Film at 11.
posted by zachlipton at 6:59 PM on July 4 [23 favorites]


From the Twitter comments:

"Made this apology in under 12 parsecs."
posted by darkstar at 7:02 PM on July 4 [12 favorites]


Many people get the government they deserve, but the rest of us get it too.
posted by uosuaq at 7:03 PM on July 4 [20 favorites]


Wow, that limo video. He has really lost his mind.
posted by great_radio at 7:05 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


Another video making the rounds on Twitter this evening shows Trump apparently confused about where his limo is [...]

But it also shows him going down the stairs all by himself, which is kind of Presidential, at least for 2017.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:06 PM on July 4 [7 favorites]


Yep, CNN (Andrew Kaczynski, aka "KFile") up with a story now about "How CNN Found" HanAssholeSolo's identity. Which by the way they declined to publicize.

The apology came after CNN's KFile identified the man behind "HanA**holeSolo." Using identifying information that "HanA**holeSolo" posted on Reddit, KFile was able to determine key biographical details, to find the man's name using a Facebook search and ultimately corroborate details he had made available on Reddit.

So now who can make a GIF of CNN pulling a reverse double throttle corkscrew slam on Trump's ass?
posted by spitbull at 7:11 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


That apology sounds 100% "ohshitshitshitshit what can I say to make this disappear forever?" You do not post on T_D for months and respond to Dolt 45 retweeting you with glee and then in under 48 hours suddenly sprout a rainbow coalition of best friends and sincere remorse for your behavior.

Nope. I will take Insincere Fauxpologies for $1000, Alex.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:13 PM on July 4 [46 favorites]


I would like to second the motion of Ray Walston, Luck Dragon. I'd do it by favorite, but Trump has stolen that from some of us. (Windows Firefox users, maybe? We probably all voted for Hillary.) My anecdota is that my neighbors' fireworks displays are muted. So conflicted.
posted by maxwelton at 7:15 PM on July 4


Another tasty lick from the CNN article about HanAssholeSolo (I can't believe I just wrote that):

CNN is not publishing "HanA**holeSolo's" name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.

CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.


Downright Trumpian in its implied threat. I approve.
posted by spitbull at 7:18 PM on July 4 [43 favorites]


I actually dislike that!!! If naming him is newsworthy then do it. If not, then don't. It's not up to CNN to enforce good behavior on Reddit.
posted by great_radio at 7:20 PM on July 4 [16 favorites]


The completely not veiled threat was my favorite part, too.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:21 PM on July 4 [6 favorites]


Typical fake media with their unnamed sources.
posted by uosuaq at 7:21 PM on July 4 [6 favorites]


I celebrated the 4th by eating Mexican food with a large, hilarious, diverse group of friends, as one does. No mention of it being the 4th the whole time but a few great "fuck Trump" themed witticisms. Best possible 4th under the present circumstances.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:22 PM on July 4 [11 favorites]


It looked to me like he thought he was going to a podium to give a speech or something, but someone said, no, the car. You get in the car now.
posted by ctmf at 7:26 PM on July 4 [2 favorites]


If CNN had not directly been the target of both the wrestling GIf and the much more despicable anti-Semitic one that came to light on Reddit, I'd have a problem with their stance as journalism. But if you saw the latter image you could totally understand a little humiliating aggression toward the Solo asshole.

Of course someone else will likely doxx him anyway. CNN gets to appear magnanimous.
posted by spitbull at 7:33 PM on July 4 [2 favorites]


I actually dislike that!!! If naming him is newsworthy then do it. If not, then don't. It's not up to CNN to enforce good behavior on Reddit.

Usually the power of the press is mostly imaginary. This may be one of those rare exceptions. It may not be up to CNN to enforce good behaviour on Reddit but I am beyond thrilled that this one time CNN has an opportunity to encourage an asshole to stop acting like an asshole and to stop leading by bad example on Reddit. I love that, and I am all for that.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:35 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** Kobach data request -- States declining in part or whole to comply with the Kobach voter info request is now up to 44.

** AHCA/BCRA -- Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds 55% unfavorable views of Senate plan, 30% favorable. In fact, more have "very unfavorable" at 38%, than total favorable.

** Odds & ends:
-- 2016 factoids: 96.7% of House incumbents seeking re-election won; 93.1% of Senators, 95.2% of statehouse reps.

-- Kamala Harris is aggressively fundraising for 2018 candidates, including McCaskill, Tester, and Warren.

-- SurveyMonkey poll: Americans trust CNN over Trump 50-42. But giant party discrepancy: Dems are 91-5, GOP 9-89.

-- Three NH state House reps have switched their party affiliation to Libertarian this year (two from GOP, one from Dem). They are the only Libertarian state reps in the country. Note that this is the New Hampshire House, which by virtue of being absolutely enormous and paying basically nothing, tends to attract...colorful folks.

-- One of Texas's largest counties is moving back to all paper voting.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:35 PM on July 4 [42 favorites]


That apology sounds 100% "ohshitshitshitshit what can I say to make this disappear forever?" You do not post on T_D for months and respond to Dolt 45 retweeting you with glee and then in under 48 hours suddenly sprout a rainbow coalition of best friends and sincere remorse for your behavior.

No indeed. HanAssholeSolo has deleted his Reddit account, but the ADL has posted a representative selection of his longstanding racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia, and bigotry. He's been shitposting hatred on /r/TheDonald for a year and a half now but has a crisis of conscience only when he's about to be revealed as a hate-monger to the general public. His apology is about as sincere as his fellow (literal) journalist-basher Greg Gianforte.

Meanwhile, the journalist who exposed the racist creator of Trump’s CNN tweet gets death threats.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:40 PM on July 4 [37 favorites]


I'm willing to believe that a white male shitposting online had no clue that consequences exist or that online is real life. But equating trolling to an addiction is the part where he is not actually taking personal responsibility for his behavior, therefore his apology is invalid. As such, CNN should have identified him so that his online persona as a white nationalist is forever associated with his "real" life.
posted by xyzzy at 7:49 PM on July 4 [9 favorites]


I would've respected them more for outing him than threatening to do so. Trump made him news. Perfectly legitimate to identify him. If that caused him to lose his job or suffer some other consequences, who the fuck cares. The internet is real life.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:54 PM on July 4 [37 favorites]


Let's stop calling these assholes "white nationalists", it makes them sound like a bake sale. Call them nazis or racists. One day the word "trumpist" will enter the dictionary meaning "an angry inbred uneducated white male racist who also hates women and immigrants."
posted by phliar at 7:55 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


Consequences of supporting and amplifying Trump's hatred should carry over to individuals just like the campaigns against Brietbart's advertisers. Maybe if there start being real consequences to getting your hate-meme picked up by Trump's Twitter it'll eventually have a deterrent effect.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:56 PM on July 4 [8 favorites]


Here is a feel good story of a cowardly Congressman getting his comeuppance...

Esme Murphy for WCCO: Protestors Take Rep. Paulsen’s Parade Spot After No-Show
“Our congressman didn’t show, so we are here instead,” said Clara Severson, who said she lives in Paulsen’s district.

She added: “He never has town halls, he didn’t show up to this, so we decided to take his place.”

Swon called the protesters “parade crashers” and said they should not have taken the congressman’s spot.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:56 PM on July 4 [18 favorites]


The lesson for all the other trolls is that they can wave off years of hateful shit with an apology and suffer zero consequences.
posted by Behemoth at 7:57 PM on July 4 [10 favorites]


They'll probably copy and paste the same apology (with 100 percent insincerity).
posted by puddledork at 8:03 PM on July 4


Pretty sure T_D are now highly motivated to doxx him now so it's one a matter of time.
posted by SakuraK at 8:04 PM on July 4 [1 favorite]




Alexandra Petri Is The Only Op-Ed Columnist America Needs Right Now
I spend many mornings screaming at my radio while NPR tries to lull me back into business as usual with its warm and soothing commuter-friendly tones. I don’t want All Things Considered, I want Some Things Rejected Outright.

If mainstream media is, by definition, not up to the task of heightened alarm, who is left to give voice to our anger and frustration? The task usually falls to blogs like Deadspin and Jezebel—the reincarnation of Gawker in all but name—sites like Reductress and The Onion, and television hosts like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, and Trevor Noah. But the opinion pages have their own specialized form of satire, skewering the authority of the op-ed writer who, as Nolan writes, “has more job security than the Supreme Court.” And the best of them all is Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:16 PM on July 4 [71 favorites]


I spend many mornings screaming at my radio while NPR tries to lull me back into business as usual with its warm and soothing commuter-friendly tones. I don’t want All Things Considered, I want Some Things Rejected Outright.

THANK you.
posted by darkstar at 8:22 PM on July 4 [78 favorites]


" I've heard this argument all my life, even from left-leaning people. As a teenager I assumed it referred to the urban-rural divide and that there must be something to it if educated people were claiming it. In my 20s I decided it was a weak excuse not to try. Only just now have I realized it originated as light code for "we'd have to give services to black people.""

People say it in two ways, though. One way is as code for "we'd have to give services to black people." The other way is by people familiar with the comparative government scholarship, often who are on the front lines of fighting for the expansion of the welfare state in the US, who ruefully say, "We can't just be Sweden because we're a very large and very diverse country." Because all the scholarship does show that the larger a country is, and the more diverse (racially, but also economically, regionally, etc.) it is, the harder it is to get a comprehensive social safety net in place. Basically all 10 million Swedes feel they have a lot in common (and they do!); but 320 million Americans live in a wild diversity of places, cultures, backgrounds, races, etc. I mean there's close to 13 million people in Illinois and plenty of people in Chicago and the suburbs can't even IMAGINE what it's like to live downstate (even in the cities!), and reject adequate downstate school funding because if those of us south of I-80 had made appropriate life choices, we'd live in the suburbs and have better jobs and not need school funding equalization; it's a sign of laziness and backwardsness to live downstate. And all kinds of downstaters who are convinced you get shot as soon as you cross the city limits into Chicago and refuse to bail out Chicago because the only people who live there are criminals and con men who have made terrible life choices to scam us hardworkin' downstate folk.

A lot of lefties saying that are describing a simple and common barrier that confounds even state-level attempts to promote greater equity in the US, not approving of the barrier. People ALL THE TIME are like "Let's make a school system like Finland!" but one of the big reasons we can't is that there's 5 million people in Finland who by and large share the same cultural background and social expectations. In the US, you have to build a way, way, way more diverse coalition, which requires a much larger variety of arguments to get different groups on board, and you have to serve much more diverse populations (who need different things from schools, for example), so you can't "one-size-fits-all" it as much as you can in Finland or Sweden.

Some of this is totally just being such a big country -- if you're a school reformer in Illinois, you need plans for Chicago (third largest district in the country); the suburbs; small urban areas downstate (Rockford, Peoria); small suburban areas downstate; small rural; and MICRO rural where the whole county may have 2400 people in it. And then you're going to need plans for English-speaking students and ESL students, some of whom will be children of high-skilled migrants (Indian doctors, Chinese programmers), but others of whom will be children of migratory agricultural laborers. And you're going to need plans to deal with kids from extremely scholastically demanding backgrounds, and kids from backgrounds where school is devalued, and kids from backgrounds where school is respected but women aren't allowed to be in charge of men or boys and all the teachers are female and parents are telling their sons they don't have to do homework because a woman assigned it. And then you're going to have to do that for all 50 states. So it's hard to put a reform through that everyone sees as beneficial because it's hard to serve all groups adequately.

But yeah a bunch of it is definitely people who are like, "Fuck you, city-dwellers/rural-people/black people/immigrants/people who are not like me, I will never vote for welfare/school funding/Medicaid because some of THOSE PEOPLE will get it and only MY PEOPLE deserve it."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:40 PM on July 4 [67 favorites]


That apology was somewhat sincere but very complicated. And a little like a recent story arc on South Park. Fella needs help.

I have a bridge for sale, in case you'd like to buy it.
posted by anem0ne at 8:42 PM on July 4 [4 favorites]


People ALL THE TIME are like "Let's make a school system like Finland!" but one of the big reasons we can't is that there's 5 million people in Finland who by and large share the same cultural background and social expectations.

Then again, there's Massachusetts, which, yes, is actually a pretty small place, but which certainly has plenty of challenges related to diverse student populations, at least in its cities. The problem is you probably can't replicate Massachusetts in most other states, because it would take both a commitment to public schools and the willingness to put more money into them.
posted by adamg at 8:48 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


Federal Agents Just Paid a Visit to Kathy Griffin — And Grilled Her for Over an Hour

I know it's a blip on the radar with everything else going on, but I'm disturbed that Trump sent his goons to intimidate her (and apparently the investigation is still open). Especially since she apologized/clarified, I don't see how anyone could legally assert that her plastic doll head photos constituted an actual threat, or incitement to violence.
posted by prosopagnosia at 8:48 PM on July 4 [28 favorites]


The problem is you probably can't replicate Massachusetts

I'll be in my lab.
posted by vrakatar at 8:53 PM on July 4 [10 favorites]


I'm disturbed that Trump sent his goons to intimidate her (and apparently the investigation is still open.

I'm disturbed that Obama didn't have enough goons to make it through the long list of "economically anxious" white racists who said far worse about him.
posted by SakuraK at 8:58 PM on July 4 [12 favorites]


The first thing I thought of when I saw that limo video was the way we first knew for sure my father, who had Alzheimer's, had something seriously wrong with him: he went to answer the doorbell and couldn't remember where the front door was. But after remembering how the Right dragged Clinton after her incident at the 9/11 ceremony, I've been watching the video and trying to come up with some reasonable explanation, other than dementia, for 45's behavior. I can't. I mean, I guess it's theoretically possible that he legitimately thought he needed to get into a different car, but I don't see how.
posted by holborne at 9:03 PM on July 4 [8 favorites]


I'll be in my lab.

They actually have cloned Massachusetts, but it ended up this weird place that drinks this stuff called coffee milk.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:05 PM on July 4 [18 favorites]


Federal Agents Just Paid a Visit to Kathy Griffin — And Grilled Her for Over an Hour

What really? That was like 6 months ago in Trump time. It took them that long? I guess when you put "harass celebrity woman for fun" on your todo list it often gets pushed back behind more important tasks, like not prosecuting cops and ignoring financial crimes.
posted by dis_integration at 9:15 PM on July 4 [7 favorites]


The first thing I thought of when I saw that limo video was the way we first knew for sure my father, who had Alzheimer's, had something seriously wrong with him: he went to answer the doorbell and couldn't remember where the front door was. But after remembering how the Right dragged Clinton after her incident at the 9/11 ceremony, I've been watching the video and trying to come up with some reasonable explanation, other than dementia, for 45's behavior. I can't. I mean, I guess it's theoretically possible that he legitimately thought he needed to get into a different car, but I don't see how.

A few explanation I've read so far seem somewhat plausible but still are problematic.

One is that he thought he was supposed to go speak with someone or thought he was speaking and was looking for the podium. I have know idea if there's a reason I might think that. Has speaking when getting off a plane done before? Regardless even if it was that he was still confused because he wasn't supposed to speak and there was no podium.

Another is that one of his people told him he was supposed to do something else besides getting in the car and they were the ones that were wrong.

Weird regardless.
posted by Jalliah at 9:17 PM on July 4


I'm not really even much of a Springsteen fan, and even I know he constantly spoke out against Reagan back in the day. I don't think he's ever been a Republican, despite his White All-American Guy image, but I suppose that might be possible to miss if all you know about him is the songs they play over and over and over again on classic rock radio.

i just dunno. listening with even 1/2 an ear reveals Springsteen is all about American Exceptionalism. As in how exceptionally fucked up America is.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:48 PM on July 4 [15 favorites]


Much as I loathe doing anything that might be seen as defending that asshole: I can't count the number of times I've done something so simply boneheaded as his limo mistake 'cause I wasn't paying attention. I once came home from a day of teaching, went through the kitchen, completely missed the brand new giant barbecue grill my girlfriend had just bought me & set out right in the middle of said kitchen, and walked out with a soda in my hand. She had to point it out to me. I was maybe 34.

This is only troubling if it's part of a pattern of clueless behavior showing a lack of mental acuity and...

...oh. Huh.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:53 PM on July 4 [24 favorites]


Especially since she apologized/clarified, I don't see how anyone could legally assert that her plastic doll head photos constituted an actual threat, or incitement to violence.
Eh, I'm actually fine with the egalitarian nature of how the USSS deals with threats to the President. Famous, anonymous, white, black, rich, poor, powerful, inconsequential; if you threaten the President, you get a visit. This was also true of the USSS speaking with 45 and his security team over his subtle incitements to violence against a presidential candidate who was/is nonetheless a USSS protectee.
posted by xyzzy at 10:41 PM on July 4 [4 favorites]


I would hope Griffin has an attorney on call for the next time they decide to interview her, if they do decide to do that again. Aside from the need for legal help her, an attorney would likely mean the end of the "investigation." Basically, it would be her saying she's done fucking around with them and they can either charge her (with...what exactly that won't get laughed out of court) or leave her alone.
posted by azpenguin at 10:43 PM on July 4


charge her (with...what exactly ...]

Lying to investigators would be the usual FBI and USSS m.o. She already talked to them once without an attorney, chances of not saying anything they could pursue if they felt like being dicks is near zero even if there's no underlying crime.
posted by ctmf at 10:52 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


xyzzy: Famous, anonymous, white, black, rich, poor, powerful, inconsequential; if you threaten the President, you get a visit.

Did all the people who hung or burned an effigy of Obama get such a visit? If not, what's the difference?
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:53 PM on July 4 [19 favorites]


Back in the 90s, you know, when we had the most deadly terror attack on American soil prior to 9/11, you could buy matching Bill and Hilary Clinton targets at every gun shop. So no, the USSS does not investigate every questionable work of art in an egalitarian fashion.
posted by stet at 10:55 PM on July 4 [48 favorites]


Brooke Seipel, The Hill: Auschwitz Memorial condemns GOP rep who filmed video in gas chambers

Here's the selfie-video from Rep. Clay Higgins (R - LA), in which he misrepresents and mispronounces his way through a personal tour of Auschwitz, complete with schmaltzy string accompaniment. Ugly stuff. Quote: "This is why Homeland Security must be squared away. Why our military must be invincible."

No better way to cap off this darkest 4th of July than to watch the disrespectful exploitation of the site of your ancestors' murder for cheap political points, all in the support and service of a new fascist regime.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:55 PM on July 4 [55 favorites]


Did all the people who hung or burned an effigy of Obama get such a visit? If not, what's the difference?
The USSS visits many, many people, including people who are making obviously political statements protected by free speech rights. One of the goals of these visits is to evaluate whether the person making the threats is mentally ill. But yeah, the USSS was extremely busy during Obama's presidency.
posted by xyzzy at 10:56 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]




I celebrated the 4th by eating Mexican food with a large, hilarious, diverse group of friends, as one does. No mention of it being the 4th the whole time but a few great "fuck Trump" themed witticisms. Best possible 4th under the present circumstances.

Yeah, more or less the same here. Had some friends/co-workers over for a BBQ up on the roof (sorry, Baltimore city code; I know grilling up on the roof is illegal, but feel free to get to me after you arrest the other several thousand people doing the same). All hyper-progressive and not really into the circle-jerk that is July 4, but always up for some drinks and good food.

We laugh to avoid crying. Or worse.
posted by CommonSense at 11:46 PM on July 4 [2 favorites]


The first episode of the new season of Huang's World, set in Washington, D.C. is awesome. The inauguration, interviews at Comet Pizza and immigrant-founded and other restaurants around the city, and a tense interview with white nationalist Jared Taylor. And it includes excerpts of a speech Huang gave at the beginning of the year, summarized elsewhere like so:
He talked about how his dad ran a steak house when Eddie was young—because Chinese food was too cheap to make a profit from—but that he always offered coupons for the prime rib because, as his dad explained, “no one is going to pay full price to buy steak from Chinese people. We have to compete on price…

“Eddie,” he went on, “immigrants can’t sell anything for full price in America.”

Twenty-something years later, the wildly successful son stood in a ballroom full of immigrants and those who support them and said, “My name is Eddie Huang. I was born in America, my ancestors are from China, and my parents were born in Taiwan. I sell Taiwanese guo bao for full fucking price.”
He relates the same story in his autobiographical book Fresh Off The Boat and the television show based on it. (previously)
posted by XMLicious at 12:40 AM on July 5 [32 favorites]


The last few days I got stuck on the terrifying thought that the more unpopular Trump gets, the more he's going to turn to his base, and I am just going tharn Watership Down style staring into the headlight-like implications of that.
posted by angrycat at 2:10 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


I spent yesterday playing board games, including one of my favorites, Betrayal at House on the Hill. [game spoilers ahead] Purely by chance, the haunt scenario was "Make America Disintegrate Again," written by Zoë Quinn, about a presidential candidate who turns out to be an eldritch abomination trying to destroy the Earth.

We beat him.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:12 AM on July 5 [32 favorites]


Robert Leonard op-ed for NYT: Want to Get Rid of Trump? Only Fox News Can Do It
They [ordinary Iowa Republicans] bend over backward to justify everything Mr. Trump does, largely because they don’t believe what anyone in the news media is telling them, except for maybe Fox News.

A prominent businessman here, for example, views the “whole fake Russian story” as “a coup attempt by the media.”
...
Fox News is always on the TV in diners and other restaurants. In bars, if there isn’t a game on, Fox News is there. If there are a couple of televisions or more, one will most likely be tuned to Fox. And it’s not only TV. It’s radio. Our big “blow torch” conservative radio station out of Des Moines blasts conservative indignation and self-righteousness for hours a day and serves up Sean Hannity for hours every night.
...
Mr. Hannity and other Fox hosts could provide cover for congressional Republicans to consider impeachment. If you believe that impeachment is a political and not a legal question, they need that cover. Right now, Mr. Hannity might have more power over an impeachment process than Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell.

Even if the investigation turns up clear evidence of presidential misconduct, I believe it would be impossible for the party to consider impeachment without Fox’s support. The first Republicans to even mention impeachment would probably be vilified by Fox and find themselves facing an angry constituency and a primary opponent next election. Yet if Fox turns, it’s inevitable. For reasons I do not understand, that network has that kind of power among most of the conservative rural voters I know."
Fox News started as the media arm of the Republican party. Now it runs the Republican party -- Republican politicians dare not cross Fox.

It hardly even matters what we protesters do or even what Trump does if most Republican voters lived in a world controlled in an almost Truman-show way by Fox News. They see only what Fox wants them to see.

I wonder to what extent it is intentional political strategy by Fox, vs just a side effect of Fox's attempts to make money exploiting the lowest common denominator.

Intentionally or by accident, Fox News is controlling our country now, by controlling the entire view of the world seen by rural and older voters.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:17 AM on July 5 [74 favorites]


"For reasons I do not understand, that network has that kind of power among most of the conservative rural voters I know."

Because it tells them they're not the racist, fascist bigots the rest of the world accurately sees them as. They'd rather be lied to than acknowledge the truth.
posted by chris24 at 4:27 AM on July 5 [27 favorites]


Watching the Reddit Trumpies freak out over CNN "blackmailing" HanAssholeSolo is rich fun. They are convinced it is illegal to doxx someone and CNN is being a bully for holding the threat of identity revelation over Asshole guy. These are guys who made a well publicized enemies list of liberal activists for your doxxing convenience a couple of months back and who cheered Trump using the National Enquirer as a club to shut Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski up. They call liberals special snowflakes. But the second one of their own stands to (perfectly legally) lose the anonymity behind which he hid his racist hate speech they are wailing and moaning about being "bullied" by CNN.

Just so sweet.
posted by spitbull at 4:31 AM on July 5 [51 favorites]


Watching the Reddit Trumpies freak out over CNN "blackmailing" HanAssholeSolo is rich fun.

Not just Redditors. Even supposedly "serious" people like James Taranto, head of the WSJ OpEd page.

@jamestaranto
Any other examples of a news organization explaining a grant of anonymity then threatening in the next breath to burn the source?

----

Uh, he wasn't a source, he was the subject of the article/investigation. And as such they could've revealed who he was and didn't.
posted by chris24 at 4:40 AM on July 5 [42 favorites]


So NPR has done a reading of the Declaration of Independence every Fourth of July for the past twenty-nine years. It apparently didn't go over well with Trump supporters this year.
posted by Rykey at 4:40 AM on July 5 [38 favorites]


It really suggests to me the usefulness of liberal activists actually trying harder to doxx alt right trolls making racist memes and hate speech posts. Yoy have to wonder how many of them would fade away in fear of embarrassment and shaming and losing their jobs. The impunity of anonymity is behind a lot of what's so wrong about internet "free speech" anyway. And right wing trolls have deployed doxxing as a weapon countless times, usually with the goals of directing targeted hate speech and harassment. I have not been aware of any serious counter-effort at online vigilantism from the left, with the possible exception of Anonymous' efforts against KKK members, which seem to have ceased anyway.

How many auto salesmen, home repair contractors, dog groomers, middle managers for major corporations, pillars of their church, etc get out on Reddit or Twitter every night to spin tales of Pepe and Jewish bankers?

Maybe a concerted movement to shake the trees and see what falls out wearing a name tag is in order. Hanassholesolo seems to have made it fairly easy. Given how most of them don't seem all that bright IRL, there have to be thousands more like him who would cringe and delete everything and go to ground if they knew their mom or kids might find out what they do at that computer in the basement all night.
posted by spitbull at 4:42 AM on July 5 [47 favorites]


President Cheeto: Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!

Well northern hemisphere folks, been good knowing you. Would appreciate it if you could constrain yourselves to those low yield nukes so the fallout doesn't make it too far below the equator.
posted by PenDevil at 5:02 AM on July 5 [7 favorites]


Fox News started as the media arm of the Republican party. Now it runs the Republican party -- Republican politicians dare not cross Fox.

Remember when James Bond movie plots were rocket-landing-in-volcano fantasy and not oh-god-they-really-did-model-carver-after-murdoch reality?
posted by PenDevil at 5:06 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


The First Amendment guarantees the right of free expression to all American citizens. It does not exempt anyone from the consequences arising from what they choose to express.
posted by Sublimity at 5:08 AM on July 5 [49 favorites]


The First Amendment guarantees the right of free expression to all American citizens. It does not exempt anyone from the consequences arising from what they choose to express.

In the way that lots of people think that "But X is what I believe" makes X above criticism, they think "But I said X and I have Freedom of Speech!" works the same way.
posted by thelonius at 5:37 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


There are lots of proximate causes for the Republican victory in 2016. (Russia, Comey, Fox, voter suppression, misogyny, tactical errors by Clinton, Republican lies about health care, Citizens United, the Koch brothers, talk radio and the end of the Fairness Doctrine, perception that the Democratic platform was "more of the same" as the middle class is dying while Trump ran on "change and against "elites", Democratic infighting, gerrymandering, the constitutional under representation of large states and the increasing percentage of Americans who live in them, low voter turn out, complacency, media "horse race"/reality show style coverage, I could go on...)

But the Atlantic really gets into the historical forces I think are underlying the larger trends... the reason Trump was close enough in the first place for those factors to collectively tip the balance...

Robert P Jones: Trump Can't Reverse the Decline of White Christian America
Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of Trump voters, compared to only 22 percent of Clinton voters, agreed that “the 2016 election represented the last chance to stop America’s decline.”
...
Over the last eight years, the percentage of Americans who identify as white and Christian fell 11 percentage points, and support for same-sex marriage jumped 18 percentage points.
...
White evangelicals went from being overrepresented by five percentage points at the ballot box in 2008 to being overrepresented by nine percentage points in 2016. 
...
Donald Trump’s campaign painted a bleak portrait of America’s present, set against a bright, if monochromatic, vision of 1950s America restored. Hillary Clinton’ campaign, by contrast, sought to replace the first African American president with the first female president and embraced the multicultural future of 2050, the year the Census Bureau originally projected the United States would become a majority nonwhite nation. “Make American Great Again” and “Stronger Together,” the two campaigns’ competing slogans, became proxies for an epic battle over the changing face of America.
...
And...

In a New York Times op-ed shortly after the election, Isummarized the results of the election this way: “The waning numbers of white Christians in the country today may not have time on their side, but as the sun is slowly setting on the cultural world of White Christian America, they’ve managed, at least in this election, to rage against the dying of the light.”
I personally would add "rural" to "White and Christian" there (those three tend to be highly correlated anyway) in describing the disappearing demographic and way of life, but I really think this is the trend driving almost all of our politics right now (even a lot of anti reproductive choice stuff can be understood as an attempt to slow the decline of the white/Christian/rural population) and these are the terms in which historians will explain this period in our history.

Well okay maybe that combined with the soaring wealth inequality... But the latter is driving anger against politicians in both parties, while the demographic thing clearly was driving turn out for Trump only.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:38 AM on July 5 [44 favorites]


Judging from the mass Reddit freakout, they've all suddenly realized how long it would take for their managers to walk them out after reading their comment histories.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:44 AM on July 5 [60 favorites]


The First Amendment guarantees the right of free expression to all American citizens. It does not exempt anyone from the consequences arising from what they choose to express.

Well . . . at least until 1798. John Adams and the Federalists' Alien and Sedition Acts took down freedom of speech pronto, and also was the beginning of a rough handling of the political problem of immigrants and citizenship. It also made the Federalists feel better about our first illegal war, a naval middle finger to France (the 'Quasi War' 1798-1800) who we had decided not to pay our debts to. The more things change . . .
posted by rc3spencer at 5:48 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


POTUS left half an hour ago for his trip to Warsaw, Poland. On the plane with him: Melania, Gary Cohn, Hope Hicks, Keith Schiller. Also: H.R. McMaster, Jared Kushner, Dina Powell, Wilbur Ross, Steve Mnuchin, Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Michael Anton, Josh Raffel. The country of Poland has promised Trump cheering crowds to greet him and people are being bussed in for that purpose.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:55 AM on July 5 [7 favorites]


people are being bussed in for that purpose

from where? Florida?
posted by thelonius at 6:00 AM on July 5 [23 favorites]


The country of Poland has promised Trump cheering crowds to greet him and people are being bussed in for that purpose.

Just like the old days...
posted by Devonian at 6:01 AM on July 5 [37 favorites]


Rural areas of Poland,

Interestingly, Poland, Hungary and Austria are the only EU countries to refuse to accept any refugees which gives them common ground with Trump.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:05 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


He needs an emergency infusion of cheering crowds, stat!
posted by Artw at 6:10 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


He needs an emergency infusion of cheering crowds, stat!

No! An emergency infusion of cheering crowds will kill him. He needs protests to live.
posted by Twain Device at 6:12 AM on July 5 [19 favorites]


The Quasi War with France began *after* French privateers captured many US merchant ships trading with Britain and after the so-called XYZ Affair. The Alien and Sedition Acts were very bad news, but the response to *French* aggression was entirely justified. Hardly an illegal war.
posted by haiku warrior at 6:12 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


"Poland’s courting of Trump is a few supporters short of a picnic " from Remi Adekoya, The Guardian:

In what has to be acknowledged as wily diplomacy, the Law and Justice (PiS) government is appealing to the US president’s achilles heel: his vanity, reportedly luring him with promises of adoring crowds, in contrast to the chillier receptions he can expect in western Europe.

The ruling party is bussing in its supporters from all over Poland, encouraging them to take part in a “great patriotic picnic” on the occasion of Trump’s visit. The idea is to make the big man feel as good about himself as possible, which will hopefully benefit Poland in some way, such as a more categorical assertion that Nato would – under US leadership – protect Poland from any aggression from Moscow.

PiS is working hard to tickle Trump’s ego. The party’s leader and Poland’s most important politician, Jarosław Kaczyński, described Trump’s decision to visit Warsaw as a “new success” for Poland. “[Others] envy it, the British are attacking us because of it.”


Side note: the journalist is described as Nigerian/Polish, and there are a growing number of bi racial Nigerian/East Europeans, due to the 70/80/90s thing of African students gaining scholarships to study medicine in particular, in the Eastern Bloc. There's a well-healed area of Lagos now nicknamed Little Russia where lots of wives and families of Nigerian/Russian/East European origin live.
posted by glasseyes at 6:18 AM on July 5 [22 favorites]


Some remarks about the appropriateness of the ruling party's acronym with regard to Trumpish affairs in the comments to that article.
posted by glasseyes at 6:22 AM on July 5 [7 favorites]


Hardly an illegal war.
Well, undeclared war for sure.
French aggression occurred after we declared 'neutrality' in it's conflict with Great Britain . . but signed the Jay Treaty (1795, another political move by the Federalists) getting some wonderful big payments from Britain, gaining back some forts and trading on 'most-favored-nation' status, and continuing to permit the British navy to impress sailors from us.
It was a Federalist power move against the Jeffersonians, and a middle finger to the new France.
posted by rc3spencer at 6:23 AM on July 5


Poland in some way, such as a more categorical assertion that Nato would – under US leadership – protect Poland from any aggression from Moscow.

I'm just waiting for the impending "Why isn't Poland just part of Russia anyway" DJT tweet. After all, his GOP brethren have started doubting the sovereignty of other countries already.
posted by PenDevil at 6:24 AM on July 5 [6 favorites]


It's so easy to tweak that - "Fuck all of us, we deserve it.

Unfortunately rather than tweaking it to "unless we work hard", they usually tweak it to "and **ESPECIALLY** fuck Frank, cuz he's gay, and Mary cuz she's uppity, and Bob 'cuz he's black".
posted by sotonohito at 6:28 AM on July 5 [6 favorites]


undeclared war

Metafilter pays off again. Reaching a 1790s American war from current politics cheers me up, unaccountably.
posted by kingless at 6:39 AM on July 5 [10 favorites]


After all, his GOP brethren have started doubting the sovereignty of other countries already.

Jesus, is Russia paying that guy to lobby for regional instability or what?
posted by Artw at 6:42 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Does Trump not read these stories about how everyone is treating him like a spoiled toddler who needs to be pacified so he won't have a meltdown? Or do his handlers keep them away from him, or spin them as proof that everyone is impressed and intimidated by his awesome awesomeness?
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:47 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]


Does Trump not read these stories about how everyone is treating him like a spoiled toddler who needs to be pacified so he won't have a meltdown? Or do his handlers keep them away from him, or spin them as proof that everyone is impressed and intimidated by his awesome awesomeness?

He doesn't believe any story that casts him in a bad light. That's been a pretty consistent motif of his.
posted by Etrigan at 6:53 AM on July 5 [6 favorites]


So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!

That's rich, considering Trump has no clue what a functional version of "working with us" and "giving it a try" would look like (hint: you'd have to actually make a plan, probably involving boring long meetings with the Chinese, and your timeline would need to be a little longer than one financial quarter). His base will faithfully repeat it, though.
posted by Rykey at 6:55 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: don't even get me started on the damn Whiskey Rebellion, bro.
posted by spitbull at 6:58 AM on July 5 [29 favorites]


Just adding an infuriating addendum to my infuriating post from last night about Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA)'s Auschwitz video, in which he films himself standing in the gas chambers in order to promote his own all-American fascism.

Remember the congressman who demanded the murder of "radicalized Islamic suspects" just last month? It was him.

Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.

[...]

“They’re religious zealots,” Higgins said, referring to terrorists. “They’re twisted, mad religious fanatics. They’re not going to stop because we’re holding up signs or being nice to them. We have to identify them and kill them.” He added: “That’s what happens in war.”

[...]

In his last role, Higgins’s unscripted speech propelled him to fame before it forced him out of his job. He resigned after he appeared in a viral video calling a group of predominantly black gang members “thugs,” “heathens” and “animals.” [...] Months later, he was elected to Congress.

This Nazi motherfucker should never have been allowed onto the grounds of Auschwitz in the first place. Sickening.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:07 AM on July 5 [51 favorites]


Does Trump not read these stories about how everyone is treating him like a spoiled toddler who needs to be pacified so he won't have a meltdown? Or do his handlers keep them away from him, or spin them as proof that everyone is impressed and intimidated by his awesome awesomeness?

Answer: No, he does not.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:07 AM on July 5 [23 favorites]


Heather Timmons, Quartz: The office of the US president has too much power, and Congress is finally moving to limit it
Constitutional experts who railed against Obama’s liberal use of executive orders during his presidency, and Bush’s before that, say the concern over Trump’s powers illustrates that the presidency has been too strong for some time now. “To all my newly-fervent defenders of the Constitution from the left: Welcome back,” Michael Munger, a professor of political science at Duke University wrote at Quartz. “Perhaps it’s time to accept that limiting executive power is a cause we should all fight for—no matter what side we’re on.”
The colloidal-silver lining of this turd-filled punchbowl is that we might finally get some long-needed restraints on Executive power.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:10 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


There is an interesting subplot emerging where HanAssholeSolo's (it never gets old or easier) original wrestling GIF was edited in the version Trump tweeted, and yet it can be found nowhere else online (before he tweeted) but r/the_donald. So either Trump scours Reddit and edits his own gifs for retweeting or someone on his team prepped that for him, or a supporter privately sent him the edited version.

So weird.
posted by spitbull at 7:12 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]



I don't know enough about China's relations with NK to analyse whether an increase in trade is good or bad. I do know is that it isn't necessarily bad in general because trade and stronger economic ties can be legit (though longer term) strategies for dealing with problem states because it open up avenues of power and leverage. It wouldn't surprise me if China was pursuing these sort of soft power strategies with NK. On many levels it's in their interest to do so. No idea how successful soft power strategies would be in this case.

Trump has little understanding and/or no use for soft power politics. China could lay out their NK strategy in crayon and he wouldn't get it.
posted by Jalliah at 7:14 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


What's the Vegas odds of someone on his media team actually being a mod on the_donald?
posted by PenDevil at 7:15 AM on July 5 [34 favorites]



There is an interesting subplot emerging where HanAssholeSolo's (it never gets old or easier) original wrestling GIF was edited in the version Trump tweeted, and yet it can be found nowhere else online (before he tweeted) but r/the_donald. So either Trump scours Reddit and edits his own gifs for retweeting or someone on his team prepped that for him, or a supporter privately sent him the edited version.

So weird.


You think Trump would be capable of not reading something called The Donald?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:16 AM on July 5 [6 favorites]


There is an interesting subplot emerging where HanAssholeSolo's (it never gets old or easier) original wrestling GIF was edited in the version Trump tweeted, and yet it can be found nowhere else online (before he tweeted) but r/the_donald. So either Trump scours Reddit and edits his own gifs for retweeting or someone on his team prepped that for him, or a supporter privately sent him the edited version.

It was someone on his team. There's no way Trump knows how to edit a gif this way. He may have seen it first and someone agreed to make it better but it wasn't him.
posted by Jalliah at 7:20 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


> “Perhaps it’s time to accept that limiting executive power is a cause we should all fight for—no matter what side we’re on.”

Sure. While we're at it, though, could we end gerrymandering, get rid of first past the post, eliminate the Electoral College, ensure guaranteed voting rights for all citizens, and remove the imposter from the Supreme Court?
posted by kyrademon at 7:22 AM on July 5 [38 favorites]


The claim from that Quartz article linked above -- "Obama’s liberal use of executive orders during his presidency, and Bush’s before that" -- is just FALSE.
posted by neroli at 7:23 AM on July 5 [21 favorites]


My bets for how Trump got his tiny hands on the gif are spread evenly across:

Dan Scavino
Donald Trump Jr.
Steven Miller

My dude is not reading Reddit. He couldn't define the term "URL" if you held a gun to his head. He knows how to use the Twitter app (kind of) and that's it.

We're basically watching Don Jr blossom into an internet troll in his own right, before our very eyes, so I would not be at all surprised if he reads T_D on the regular. And I'm sure Scavino does.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:30 AM on July 5 [20 favorites]


I honestly think Scavino is the one writing most of Trumps tweets anyway.
posted by PenDevil at 7:33 AM on July 5


"Hello friends from the left... now that we've unleashed the sum of all your fears on the country, don't you understand how we felt when we peddled utter and complete bullshit we made up about Obama? I look forward to working with you. Your pal, Hypokrites Von Gaslight."
posted by Behemoth at 7:33 AM on July 5 [62 favorites]


My dude is not reading Reddit.

I agree that he's not reading anything, but I'll bet he really likes animated GIFs.
posted by diogenes at 7:38 AM on July 5 [9 favorites]


Osita Nwanevu: Primary Colors: On Democratic Presidential Politics, Neoliberalism, and the White Working Class (via)

This is a long post on the history of the Democratic party's attempts over the years to reach out to non college-educated / working class whites. Very much worth reading in its entirety.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:49 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]


The epistemic closure / "two Americas" angle on the CNN coverage of the wrestling gif story is unsettling. It's already being covered in some corners as CNN threatening to doxx an innocent teenager [sic]:

CNN slammed for threat to reveal identity of Trump 'wrestling' CNN creator (The Hill)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:49 AM on July 5



The CNN solo story is fascinating to watch morph into what looks like is going to be the (false) narrative that alt-right peeps are going to hold to no matter what. 'CNN blackmailed a 15 year old'.
He's not 15, he's a grown man with a kid and he apparently apologized before CNN actually said anything to him. It looks like they tried to contact him, didn't get hold of him, guy freaked and apologized and then he contacted CNN.

I don't doubt that the guy felt the heat of being found out and acted accordingly but there was no 'we're going to out you unless you comply' event.
posted by Jalliah at 7:52 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]


They literally published a story that read CNN reserves the right to publish the user's identity should his behavior not suit their requests. Like verbatim.

Like the situation or not, but yes there was a very blatant "we're going to out you unless you comply".
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:54 AM on July 5 [7 favorites]


Where comply = "not issue any more anti-semetic threats to our staff", please keep in mind.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:56 AM on July 5 [46 favorites]


Actually I took their statement as "Normally we would just tell you who this guy is but because he asked so nicely and promised not to do it again we said ok."

Lots of commentary on Twitter from folks of color about how they're treating a white guy with kid gloves, but probably wouldn't do the same to a nonwhite person.
posted by emjaybee at 7:57 AM on July 5 [27 favorites]


Primary Colors: On Democratic Presidential Politics, Neoliberalism, and the White Working Class


It's quite L, I do recommend that you R, but in case tl;Dr
The white working class is far from being entirely to blame for the immersion of the party and its leaders in rentier politics. This intellectual evolution of the party’s elites took place largely out of the public eye and voters can’t be held responsible for the concentration of economic power and influence over the party that followed. But it remains an inescapable fact that the white working class, largely over race and social issues, has, for decades, helped sink progressive candidates that may have stalled or prevented the party’s full capture by neoliberal centrism and the moneyed interests their move to the center has benefited. In doing so, they’ve not only voted against their interests, as the cliche goes, but also voted against the interests of those worse off than themselves—poorer whites hurt even more acutely by the cuts to programs and middling policy solutions pushed forward by the Republican and conservative Democratic politicians the white working class has taken a shine to, as well as minorities doubly impacted by regressive economic policy and racism.

This isn’t a call for pessimism. It’s not 1988 anymore, and it’s plausible that Jesse Jackson’s model of engaging disenfranchised whites without relinquishing identity politics would work substantially better now. But the success of Donald Trump’s xenophobia-driven campaign suggests this isn’t a given. We ought to give Jackson’s approach another real try anyway—again, shifting the party’s margins with working class whites even slightly would have a significant electoral impact. The case for a new liberal agenda, though, does not ultimately rest upon whether it improves the party’s prospects with them.
/////
I've become less enamored of the "voting against their interests" phrasing of late. I firmly believe that people are not always good judges of their own internal thought processes and motivations, and also that systems of power are not mere psycho-social feelgood security blankets. Also, people are nevertheless better judges of their own interests than states, who see unclearly. herrenvolk democracy / white supremacy ( in the US) is a totalizing economic and social system as well that promise full civic and economic participation. To ensure that the structures of power look and think like you, that you can vote and petition and will be regarded, and will be judged by a jury of your peers, that you're protected from the full rapaciousness of the enclose-and-extract systems that so recently are being used against the great reservoirs of wealth that are the middle classes and municipalities.

In fact we can almost think of the Catastrophe as a recognition of this, an attempt to reassert the old system of wealth extraction by turning against the old targets (failed, because simply not lucrative enough anymore), instead of destroying or dismantling it.

"Not me! Julia! Not me!"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:59 AM on July 5 [9 favorites]


They literally published a story that read CNN reserves the right to publish the user's identity should his behavior not suit their requests. Like verbatim.

Giving CNN the benefit of the doubt for the moment, I can understand why they would say they've agreed not to publish his name on his request, but reserve the right to do so in the future. I mean, the guy could write a post on Reddit tomorrow saying his apology was a farce or something. In that event, I'd expect CNN to continue their reporting.

Where they messed up was, as you say, tying their agreement to his "behavior".
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:00 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


Like the situation or not, but yes there was a very blatant "we're going to out you unless you comply".

Not in the timeline that their narrative is. Yes they said that. I never said they didn't. The alt-right narrative is that the guy apologized and ran scared because they threatened him before he did what he did.

They didn't. He took that action before he even talked to them.


And yeah as soren_lorensen said CNN has every right to deal with anti-semetic threats towards their staff that this guy posted by saying don't do it anymore or we'll do what we gotta do. The wrestling gif thing could be considered amusing satire. The outing of all of their Jewish staff? That is no joke. It's dangerous. He should count himself lucky that they decided not to publish his name. They were well within their right too.
posted by Jalliah at 8:04 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]



Where they messed up was, as you say, tying their agreement to his "behavior".

They should have just said, "We looked into it, turns out this guy is just a private citizen exercising his right to free speech, so his identity is not newsworthy at this time. If it turns out he was a Russian agent or something, we'll get back to you."
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 8:05 AM on July 5


On non-preview, I missed the part about threatening the Jewish staff.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 8:07 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


The guy posted some vile shit, but this whole situation makes me nervous. People I like following who previously decried aggressors doxxing their targets - rightfully calling it threatening and harassing - are now gleefully calling for blood now that it's someone they don't like.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:08 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


"it's okay when its done to people we disagree with" –people, everywhere, since time immemorial
posted by entropicamericana at 8:10 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


When you make a photographic hitlist of the Jews at CNN, you are no longer just some dude who shouldn't get doxxed
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:11 AM on July 5 [103 favorites]


Depends on whether you think someone who, say, complains anonymously about a culture of sexual harassment at work, should be in the same category of protection as an anonymous peddler of violence-tinged hate speech.
posted by Behemoth at 8:13 AM on July 5 [20 favorites]


We are talking about someone whose grotesquely anti-Semitic gifs came to light after his work was reposted by the president of the United States for millions to see and discuss. This isn't gamergate in reverse.
posted by spitbull at 8:14 AM on July 5 [73 favorites]


On the expansion of executive powers, and now that the shoe is on the other foot it's starting to pinch: This Mike Munger article in Quartz has an interesting quote: But when Obama was president, they made excuses for his decrees on immigration and health care. “Congress is gridlocked!” they’d point out, noting that Republicans had blocked, and vowed to continue to block, Democratic legislation. “We have to get things done, and this is the only way.”

I remember hearing a lot of this from Democrats back in the day, as well as "Why doesn't Obama do mooooooorrrre? He needs to get tough with Congress like Lyndon Johnson/ be decisive like Franklin Roosevelt blah blah fishcakes." Never mind that both Roosevelt and Johnson had Congressional majorities on their side, and maybe Obama was being overly faithful in the good nature of the Republicans, but there never seemed any reflection on what if the situations were reversed and there was a Republican president with lots of power...well that came true in a much worse way than anyone expected.

If a powerful President is the only way to cut through Congressional gridlock and get things done... maybe the thing to do is look at the gridlock, and that is a much harder problem to solve, I think.

Barbara Lee, btw, is another national treasure. She used to be my Congressperson when I lived in Oakland, when 9/11 happened, and she was the only Congressperson to speak out against the Iraq War. I remember all of us at my workplace (a very liberal one staffed by women) wore "Barbara Lee Speaks For Me" badges. Even though I'm no longer in her district, Barbara Lee still speaks for me!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:15 AM on July 5 [15 favorites]


The Near-Exposure of HanAssholeSolo's Identity is Very Upsetting to James O'Keefe Fans
I think it's your right as an American to be an anonymous sleazebag bigot online. Overt threats, even threats that you don't intend to carry out, are another matter. The HanAssholeSolo Reddit posts I examined over the weekend weren't threats. The wrestling video was mild, and wasn't much of a weapon until the White House weaponized it.

On the other hand, it's hard to feel sorry for a guy who believes that the best part of his day is when he's posting some Photoshop that portrays blacks, Muslims, and Jews as subhuman -- especially when he later insists that he was just having a bit of innocent fun. [...]

No, dude, it's the not "the media" that's portraying you as a bigot. You're portraying yourself as a bigot. If you're not a bigot, don't say bigoted shit.

And this is "a controversy that should never have happened" to Reddit and /The_Donald? No, this is a controversy that absolutely should have happened. We can argue the morality of threatening to expose HanAssholeSolo's real identity -- I'm on the fence -- but the racist nature of influential Trump fan communities should be exposed. Too much of the public thinks Trump fandom is about nothing more than tragic Springsteenian despair after the factory closed. [...]

News organizations should be trying to dox online terrorists of this kind. It would be news. It would be a public service. And I wouldn't shed a tear for any such thug who was exposed.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:16 AM on July 5 [55 favorites]





For anyone else playing catch-up, the CNN threatening thing is highlighted in the ADL blog post, and is from just last month:

June 2017: HanAssholeSolo posted an image of CNN journalists and employees with a Star of David next to them writing, “Something strange about CNN...can't quite put my finger on it...” [above]

I'm okay with an employer contacting someone who did that, and suggesting that they not do that anymore or risk further legal action.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 8:18 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: blah blah fishcakes.
posted by Melismata at 8:23 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


People I like following who previously decried aggressors doxxing their targets - rightfully calling it threatening and harassing - are now gleefully calling for blood now that it's someone they don't like.

The aggressors here were HanAssholeSolo and Trump, who were threatening violent suppression of a free press, and the targeting of CNN employees who were supposedly Jewish. Both have histories of promising violent retribution against both the press and marginalized groups. That's what we should be rightfully calling threats and harassment, not an organization contacting them to discuss said threats and harassment. Meanwhile, Jared Yates Sexton, who has been covering the violent rhetoric targeting Jews and other groups from Trump and his supporters, has been getting constant death threats. No complaints about what's happening to him?
posted by zombieflanders at 8:23 AM on July 5 [44 favorites]


I've become less enamored of the "voting against their interests" phrasing of late.

Ditto. Aside from being patronizing, it's minimizing their decisions. Oh those poor deluded fools, if only they had known. Fuck that, they made a choic