88 Lines About The 45th President
July 20, 2017 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Democratic lawmakers have filed a "no-confidence" resolution against Donald Trump, listing 88 reasons why he's not fit to be President. Speaking to the New York Times, Trump provides many additional reasons. And speaking of things that no one likes that refuse to go away, Senate Republicans are back to work on a putative health care bill.
posted by murphy slaw (2807 comments total) 145 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks for the new thread.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:45 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


-sighs-
-adds to activity-
posted by Dashy at 6:49 AM on July 20 [71 favorites]


I am never going to be productive again, am I?

(Fantastic thread title BTW)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:49 AM on July 20 [30 favorites]


Senate Republicans are back to work on a putative health care bill.

Putative or punitive, you decide!
posted by lydhre at 6:51 AM on July 20 [15 favorites]


New day, new thread, new lows for Trump to reach.
posted by azpenguin at 6:52 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


88?
posted by Artw at 6:54 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Only 88?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:54 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Adding or subtracting one might have been a good idea, this will just make nazis like him more.
posted by Artw at 6:57 AM on July 20 [35 favorites]


Only 88?

It's good to be succinct.
posted by lydhre at 6:57 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


There's an amendment that adds 14 more.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:57 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


So these aren't articles of impeachment, right? What does a no confidence motion achieve? I thought that was more of a Westminster thing?
posted by pompomtom at 6:59 AM on July 20


88?

Maybe Democrats are just really big on Li'l Dale?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:00 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


They've got 88 points, but cloture won't come.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:00 AM on July 20 [20 favorites]


(sorry, 'resolution'... force of habit...)
posted by pompomtom at 7:00 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


"Here's an itemized list of [what feels like] thirty years of disagreements."
posted by Westringia F. at 7:01 AM on July 20 [25 favorites]


So these aren't articles of impeachment, right? What does a no confidence motion achieve? I thought that was more of a Westminster thing?

It's purely symbolic. With Ryan as speaker, the chance of this even going to committee is roughly nil.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:01 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


So these aren't articles of impeachment, right? What does a no confidence motion achieve? I thought that was more of a Westminster thing?

It's a kind of toothless censure intended to provoke Trump into more histrionics and put GOP reps in a difficult position of denying the enumerated points, or finding some other reason not to vote for it. It's fodder for talk shows and the midterms, and pretty decent fodder too.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:02 AM on July 20 [64 favorites]


My favorite was in that NYTimes interview where he impersonates his granddaughter and Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking to each other and LITERALLY does the whole stereotypical "ching chong ching" shit. Unfuckingbelieveable, this guy.
posted by nushustu at 7:02 AM on July 20 [21 favorites]


Senate Republicans are back to work on a putative health care bill.

Putative or punitive, you decide!


Putrative.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:04 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


My favorite was in that NYTimes interview where he impersonates his granddaughter and Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking to each other and LITERALLY does the whole stereotypical "ching chong ching" shit. Unfuckingbelieveable, this guy.

uh, am i reading a different interview? because in the one i read his granddaughter arabella came in and actually said a few words in simple chinese, which the times transliterated.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:07 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


So regarding his comments on paying $15 per month (or per year, whatever lol) for health insurance, there's terrible and plausible speculation that he's just parroting these Alex Trebek "rate lock" life insurance ads that run regularly on Fox News.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:08 AM on July 20 [41 favorites]


Politico: Republicans lament an agenda in 'quicksand': GOP lawmakers’ mood is darkening as the August recess approaches and they’ve made little progress on their priorities.
Some lawmakers are even starting to blame Trump for his handling of the Russia probe, Twitter feuds and attacks on the media.

"I don't even pay any attention to what is going on with the administration because I don't care. They're a distraction. The family is a distraction, the president is a distraction," complained Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho). "At first, it was 'Well yeah, this is the guy we elected. He'll learn, he'll learn.' And you just don't see that happening."
posted by chris24 at 7:08 AM on July 20 [46 favorites]


A couple tweets from the NeverTrump crowd re: the Times interview and Mueller threat.

@TheRickWilson
His attacks on Mueller tell me a lot. He KNOWS how bad it is. His "warning" to Mueller tells me finally understands how bad it is.

@MaxBoot
The fact that he is willing to risk consequences of firing Mueller tells you how bad underlying offenses are.
posted by chris24 at 7:11 AM on July 20 [98 favorites]


I haven't seen this brought up previously, but it seems a large reason the Obamacare repeal is going so poorly is states ravaged by the opioid epidemic can do the math - $45 billion for opioid treatment is no substitute for taking away $800 billion from Medicade, a good portion of which goes towards opioid-related care to mllions.

nbcnews

And then, even the $45 billion proffered was taken off the table with more-recent "Repeal and Replace" attempt.

dailybeast; nytimes, (June 20th)
posted by fragmede at 7:11 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


I believe that this is supposed to be a sentence showing how far things have progressed: Some lawmakers are even starting to blame Trump for his handling of the Russia probe, Twitter feuds and attacks on the media.

But it's actually incredibly depression. "Some"?!? "Starting"?!?

I get he's their guy, and I'm pretty guilty of thinking about politics in a "team" based sort of way, but christ! If you can't see Trump as a problem then your head is way too far up your own ass.
posted by OmieWise at 7:12 AM on July 20 [17 favorites]


Putative or punitive, you decide!

Putative, from the Spanish.
posted by acb at 7:13 AM on July 20 [88 favorites]


From the previous thread:

Bob Menendez's corruption trial starts in September. If he's convicted and ousted from the Senate, Chris effing Christie can appoint a Republican replacement.

Can he appoint himself? Because that seems like the sort of thing that would happen now. With his disapproval rating I don't think he has a lot of other options for his career path.

(A (in normal times unlikely) plot twist would be then switching to the Democratic party just to get revenge on Trump.)
posted by mikepop at 7:13 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


My favorite was in that NYTimes interview where he impersonates his granddaughter and Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking to each other and LITERALLY does the whole stereotypical "ching chong ching" shit. Unfuckingbelieveable, this guy.

Unbelievably, inconcievably, there's even more than that. From the piece:

ARABELLA KUSHNER: [enters room] Hi, Grandpa.
TRUMP: My granddaughter Arabella, who speaks — say hello to them in Chinese.
KUSHNER: Ni hao.
[laughter]
TRUMP: This is Ivanka. You know Ivanka.
IVANKA TRUMP: [from doorway] Hi, how are you? See you later, just wanted to come say hi.
TRUMP: She’s great. She speaks fluent Chinese. She’s amazing.
BAKER: That’s very impressive.
TRUMP: She spoke with President Xi [Jinping of China]. Honey? Can you say a few words in Chinese? Say, like, “I love you, Grandpa” —
KUSHNER: Wo ai ni, Grandpa.
BAKER: That’s great.
TRUMP: She’s unbelievable, huh?
[crosstalk]
TRUMP: Good, smart genes.

My emphasis. He can't even give his fucking granddaughter credit for learning to speak Chinese. No, it's her "good, smart genes." The success is, at its heart, still his. This guy is truly one of the all-time assholes.
posted by penduluum at 7:14 AM on July 20 [203 favorites]


Putative, from the Spanish.

A picture from the Puto National Golf Club.
posted by peeedro at 7:17 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


uh, am i reading a different interview? because in the one i read his granddaughter arabella came in and actually said a few words in simple chinese, which the times transliterated.

I heard audio of the interview this morning, which includes some stuff not transcribed. It was in the Daily, which I think is part of the NYTimes' app.
posted by nushustu at 7:18 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


It's purely symbolic. With Ryan as speaker, the chance of this even going to committee is roughly nil.

Ultimately useless as it is, it's still meaningful and cathartic for me. It's on the record, unambiguous, and out there for the public (here and around the world) to see that at least somebody on Capitol Hill is saying the Emperor wears no clothes.
posted by Rykey at 7:19 AM on July 20 [22 favorites]


I haven't seen this brought up previously, but it seems a large reason the Obamacare repeal is going so poorly is states ravaged by the opioid epidemic can do the math - $45 billion for opioid treatment is no substitute for taking away $800 billion from Medicade, a good portion of which goes towards opioid-related care to mllions.

Yup, and it's worth remembering that the current opioid epidemic is affecting more Whites than minorities.
posted by OmieWise at 7:19 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


From Benjamin Wittes over at Lawfare: The President vs. Federal Law Enforcement: Trump Attacks Everyone.

"President Trump yesterday issued a stunning vote of no-confidence in basically everyone currently in a leadership position in the Justice Department, the FBI, or the special counsel’s office—in other words, not just some federal law enforcement, but all of it. The President’s rebuke comes in a lengthy interview with the New York Times yesterday, and it reaches everyone from the attorney general to staff attorneys hired by Robert Mueller—whose investigation he pointedly did not promise not to terminate. His complaint? They’re all, in different ways, not serving him. And serving him, he makes clear, is their real job."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:19 AM on July 20 [62 favorites]


He reminds me so much of my asshole, narcissist father that it gives me flashbacks sometimes. All my accomplishments were because of him and all my failures were because of me, defying him.

Fun times.
posted by lydhre at 7:19 AM on July 20 [113 favorites]


He reminds me so much of my asshole, narcissist father

Mother in my case but yeah, I think having a parent with that axis of personality disorder is the best inoculation to prevent one from falling for this shit. That's presuming that you haven't had your own personhood destroyed in the process, of course.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:25 AM on July 20 [71 favorites]


I heard audio of the interview this morning, which includes some stuff not transcribed. It was in the Daily, which I think is part of the NYTimes' app.

NYT Daily: Trump Interview Excerpts. Trump & Arabella talk at around 15:30. Trump makes some kind of noises relating the Jinping anecdote that sound like they're meant to approximate the cadence of Chinese but it's not exactly 'ching-chong'. And the interviewers reward him with laughter.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:26 AM on July 20 [13 favorites]


Putative or punitive, you decide!
Putative, from the Spanish.


Putintive, surely.
posted by Superplin at 7:31 AM on July 20 [65 favorites]


The fact that he is willing to risk consequences of firing Mueller tells you how bad underlying offenses are.

Thus far, the evidence shows that he's probably right about that risk assessment.
posted by Candleman at 7:32 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Trump makes some kind of noises relating the Jinping anecdote that sound like they're meant to approximate the cadence of Chinese but it's not exactly 'ching-chong'. And the interviewers reward him with laughter.

Not the first time he's done that. He did it on the campaign trail.
posted by anem0ne at 7:35 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


chris24: "At first, it was 'Well yeah, this is the guy we elected. He'll learn, he'll learn.' And you just don't see that happening."

Wait a moment, you have to back up a few months. It's not just "we elected this guy," it's "we backed this guy, or didn't do enough to punch his candidacy full of holes when he ran, and then when it was him vs Hillary, we smeared Hillary and McConnell didn't want Obama to publicize the fact we knew Trump was working with the Russians in some capacity, because we thought we could get our way, or at least make everyone hate Hillary when she became president. But then Donny won, and we were fucking ecstatic, because we had the House, Senate and White House, and he seems like the right kind of rube for us to mold and guide, but then oh shit, the asshole who was fond of making media waves instead of talking about policies and plans was still fond of making media waves instead of promoting policies or plans."

Fuck you, GOP, fuck you. You bought the sheets, ordered the bed, shit on the other bed so no one would want to go near it, then made your own bed. Fuck you, you didn't just happen to elect Donald J. Trump.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:35 AM on July 20 [206 favorites]


Thus far, the evidence shows that he's probably right about that risk assessment.

Even a stopped clock, &c.
posted by OmieWise at 7:35 AM on July 20


[garbled] [garbled] [garbled]
posted by sutureselves at 7:36 AM on July 20 [34 favorites]


Sessions/Rosenstein press conference:
Reporter: AG Sessions, how do you feel like you can effectively serve from here on out if you don't have the confidence of the president?

AG Sessions: [walks back to microphone, stalling for time, frantically searching for the perfect response] We're serving right now!
posted by pjenks at 7:37 AM on July 20 [15 favorites]


(Dammit, you guys, I'm almost at the end of my vacation, and reading a MeFi politics thread is NOT how I should spend my last full day!)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:38 AM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Sessions/Rosenstein press conference:

[real] ?!?!
posted by Twain Device at 7:41 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


This part stood out to me:

TRUMP: He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand.

HABERMAN: I’ve noticed.

TRUMP: People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes.

_________

TRUMP: I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 7:41 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


Steve Goldstein, Market Watch: Exxon fined $2 million for violating Russia sanctions when Tillerson ran company
Exxon Mobil XOM, +0.40% was fined $2 million by the Treasury Department for violating Ukraine-related sanctions - when the company's CEO was Rex Tillerson, now the U.S. secretary of state. The Office of Foreign Assets Control said the presidents of its U.S. subsidaries signed legal contracts with Igor Sechin, the president of Rosneft.
Emphasis mine, and hopefully, Mueller's.

(The story is still breaking, this is the full text of link.)
posted by Room 641-A at 7:41 AM on July 20 [51 favorites]


Trump has repeatedly made it clear that EVEN NOW, he doesn't know the difference between health insurance and life insurance, and he thinks you can get health insurance for $12 a year. What if he really thought he could solve healthcare by just doing whatever those $12 a year guys are doing, cos they've got it figured out.
posted by bakerybob at 7:44 AM on July 20 [19 favorites]


Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions

This article doesn't contain a lot of revelations about the kinds of things Mueller would investigate, but I'm curious about the timing. It's sourced to "a person familiar with the probe," and I don't know that we've gotten leaks from Mueller yet. I wonder if the leak is intentional to provoke Trump into firing Mueller?
posted by gladly at 7:45 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


"She spoke with Xi Jinping...she went up to him, and (imitating her but sounding like The Penguin) wenh, wenh, wenh, wenh"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:45 AM on July 20 [8 favorites]


People don’t realize he loves holding my hand.

he's just making sure you don't pick his pockets or grab his wife
posted by pyramid termite at 7:46 AM on July 20 [33 favorites]


[real] ?!?!

It's real. Including the repeated use of the royal We.

However, J. Beauregard is incorrect. In fact, We got Served.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:47 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


You can tell he went through his talking points very quickly at the beginning of that Times interview. He starts out sounding very reasonable, articulate and calm. He was defensive, but considering that initial topic (health care) and the person that's to be expected. His answers sound exactly as you'd expect someone who had been coached, trained or otherwise prepared in advance to go.

And then the interview just rambles on. Places he visited. Conversations he's had. Events he's attended. Tiny historical facts. All brought up to make himself and his administration look impressive. And then he gets into Russia (in all its twists and turns) and he sounds angry and petulant. Angry, defensive Presidents are dangerous.

The 'we beat Harry Truman in terms of accomplishments in our first few months in office' schtick is unreal. Truman was fighting World War II.

Trump would be smart to study Truman, though. Upon FDR's death, Truman was thrust into an office that he never wanted. His allies (Churchill in particular) disliked and distrusted him. His party thought he was a lightweight. His opponents disparaged him as corrupt and claimed he would never have succeeded without the Pendergast political machine in Kansas City. The media saw a shitkicking farmer succeed an urbane, well-educated politician they respected and wanted no part of him. However, once elected Truman took on the Presidency with humility and devotion. He worked his ass off, and spoke so plainly that the public didn't take him for a typical, lying politician.

If he ever bothered to read up on our 33rd President, Trump would probably be able to make a lot of comparisons to himself. A populist. Despised by the media and his opponents. Low approval ratings. Plainspoken. Saddled with a major conflict (and an aggressive North Korea!). Truman even had an executive order voided by the Supreme Court -- his attempted takeover of the steel industry during the Korean War.

And if he did read up on Truman, he'd learn why 33 was successful. Truman never stopped working. He treated the Presidency as a gift, not an entitlement. He studied hard and learned as much as he could, so he could function. He treated the press corps with respect. He understood why separation of powers was important. He was kind and friendly to his staff. He trusted his advisors and appointees -- often to a fault. And he had deep respect for the military and an innate understanding of that sacrifice, drawn from a soldier's experience during WWI.

When Truman left office, the media and the public gave him low approval ratings. Eisenhower took most of the states during the election. But hindsight allows a clearer perspective and Truman was a much more successful President than people gave him credit for at the time.

"I heard that Harry Truman was first, and then we beat him." The Presidency isn't a competition. It's not like running a company or a race. You don't lead the country by breaking records or trying to outdo your predecessors in numbers of EO's or anything else. Truman knew this. What's more, he had the utmost respect for his predecessors, even if he disagreed with their politics.

Trump is a raging narcissist who, for all our sakes, sorely needs to learn humility.
posted by zarq at 7:47 AM on July 20 [158 favorites]


Today is going to be one of those days, isn't it?
posted by diogenes at 7:47 AM on July 20 [17 favorites]


This part stood out to me:

TRUMP: He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand.

HABERMAN: I’ve noticed.

TRUMP: People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes.


I have always thought that the way Trump behaves around Putin is a lot like "a pre-teen girl with a crush".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on July 20 [8 favorites]


Today is going to be one of those days, isn't it?
posted by diogenes at 7:47 AM


Your turn in the barrel....
posted by thelonius at 7:50 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


Lemon, it's only Wednesday.
posted by Artw at 7:53 AM on July 20 [21 favorites]


In other news, as civilian deaths at record high in the 16-year war in Afghanistan, according to the UN, with reporting by Sune Engel Rasmussen in Kabul for the Guardian (Monday 17 July 2017), and Trump's promise of a new strategy and new troop levels needed to execute a more aggressive role in fighting the Taliban, which he told Congress would likely be ready by mid-July, is not done (so how's that plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days going, proud Trump supporters?) Trump aides recruited businessmen to devise options for Afghanistan (Mark Landler, Eric Schmitt and Michael R. Gordon for the New York Times, posted on July 10, 2017):
President Trump’s advisers recruited two businessmen who profited from military contracting to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, reflecting the Trump administration’s struggle to define its strategy for dealing with a war now 16 years old.

Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations.
As summarized on NPR this morning (audio only at the moment, transcript up later today), the benefits would be to cut costs and reduce the public attention on dead Americans returning in body bags in their military outfits, but the impacts would be war profiteering (not a phrase they used, but I did shout that at the radio while I drove to work, FWIW) and a lack of accountability. Oh, except Prince says the mercs would be held to account ... by President Trump (Erik D. Prince Op-Ed in WSJ, titled "The MacArthur Model for Afghanistan", paywalled).

Good news: Blackwater has experience in the Middle East. Bad news: Under Prince's watch, Blackwater military contractors opened fire in a city square in Baghdad, killing 17 civilians in one of the worst episodes of the Iraq war, a point made in The 'Blackwater 2.0' Plan for Afghanistan by Sean McFate for The Atlantic (July 17, 2017), also titled "Why Mercenaries Aren't Answer for Afghanistan."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:53 AM on July 20 [28 favorites]


Today is going to be one of those days, isn't it?

'This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. 'I never could get the hang of Thursdays.'

I suspect that today's Hitchhiker's Guide would begin with "OK, PANIC A LITTLE"
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:53 AM on July 20 [60 favorites]


TRUMP: I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.

We'll never know if he does or doesn't until you let go of it.
posted by scalefree at 7:55 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


What if he really thought he could solve healthcare by just doing whatever those $12 a year guys are doing, cos they've got it figured out.

Yeah, uhh... what if?
posted by tehgubner at 7:56 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Rust Moranis: I suspect that today's Hitchhiker's Guide would begin with "OK, PANIC A LITTLE"

I can imagine a tear-off-the-page daily calendar where that's the message every day being accurate for most, if not all of, 2017.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:56 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Lemon, it's only Wednesday.

For once, I have good news.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:56 AM on July 20 [34 favorites]


He reminds me so much of my asshole, narcissist father that it gives me flashbacks sometimes. All my accomplishments were because of him and all my failures were because of me, defying him.

There's a line from the Chvrches song Leave A Trace that runs through my head a lot, a pitch-perfect deadpan condemnation of a narcissist's posturing about blame and credit etc:

Somehow I have got away with everything
Everything you ever did was strictly by design

posted by cortex at 8:00 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


My panic level has been indistinguishable from pheochromocytoma for six months now.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:00 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


But happier news from Afghanistan (because we all need happy news, even/especially if it's not 100% on current politics): Afghanistan's Sesame Street brings in new puppet to teach respect of women (Associated Press in Kabul via The Guardian, July 15, 2017)
Last year, Afghanistan’s version of Sesame Street introduced a young, female character aimed at inspiring girls in the deeply conservative Muslim nation. Now a new puppet is joining the cast: her brother, who will show boys the importance of respecting women.
Thank you, Sesame Street/Garden, for making me tear up and have hope for humanity. I wish we didn't need to have a puppet to remind kids (and adults) to respect women, but I'm glad we have the long legacy of Jim Hensen to teach that message.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:00 AM on July 20 [50 favorites]


Today is going to be one of those days, isn't it?

There's been so much breaking news in the last few days I have to binge-watch it.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:01 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Bob Menendez's corruption trial starts in September. If he's convicted and ousted from the Senate, Chris effing Christie can appoint a Republican replacement.

Just to note that convicted and expelled are two different things and expulsion is not automatic. Even if he's convicted, he would still need to be expelled by a 2/3 vote of the Senate.

It seems unlikely to me that a corruption trial starting in September will be over with before there's a new governor on 16 January. Even more, it seems unlikely that it would be over with before 7 November when we'll know who the next governor is, and at that point all that 15 Democrats have to to is insist that Murphy should get to appoint the new Senator.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:02 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


88 Lines About The 45th President

This resolution doesn't even rhyme, this is bullshit, fuck, now I'm going to spend my afternoon trying to write a song parody aren't I? DAMMIT.
posted by maryr at 8:11 AM on July 20 [20 favorites]


I think, though, there is another way to read his comments on recusal and Sessions. I read it this way: "If I had known that Sessions would have to recuse himself, I would not have appointed him". I think the reading that Sessions following the rules is the problem is not fair; what Trump hates is the outcome, and if he had known the outcome, he would have selected differently. I actually think that is kinda fair. I mean, you put the guy in and he has to recuse himself right away because he has a conflict. Gotta piss you off.

OTOH, its what you get for putting a fucking asshole in the position (I mean sessions)
posted by Bovine Love at 8:12 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


CNN: President Trump's First Six Months: By the Numbers
•  38.3% job approval in recent polls, down from 50% in counties Trump won in 2016
•  5 campaign-style rallies, 1 news conference
•  42 bills signed into law, 0 pieces of major legislation
•  59 seconds total time shaking hands with French President Emmanuel Macron
•  991 tweets, including 46 tweets mentioning jobs, 22 tweets mentioning Hillary Clinton, 82 tweets mentioning fake news/fake media/fake stories
•  40 days total spent at Trump golf properties, 21 out of the first 26 weekend spent at Trump properties
Also, his re-election campaign and fundraising committees have raised $25.9 million—but have doubled spending on legal fees.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:14 AM on July 20 [43 favorites]


The success is, at its heart, still his. This guy is truly one of the all-time assholes.

I'm not going to be happy until Trump's dead and buried and his tombstone has THIS FUCKING GUY engraved on it and Americans visit it to throw garbage on the Tomb of the Fucking Guy.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:15 AM on July 20 [106 favorites]


So... the woman referred to in this comment from the last thread has a blogspot chronicling her life with her husband after the cancer diagnosis. It's fucking heartbreaking. She directly calls out arizona republicans in this post from 2010. Whatever else Mccain is, at least he's a consistent asshole. Fuck him.

I'm not trying to invade her privacy here, so feel free to delete this if it appears too personal, but this is what the republican healthcare system looks like for a lot of people.
posted by logicpunk at 8:16 AM on July 20 [34 favorites]


38.3% job approval in recent polls, down from 50% in counties Trump won in 2016

It's simultaneously 38.3% in the country as a whole, and 50% if you ask just people in counties he won.

I mention it because Breitbart made this same mistake (though in their case it was totally intentional) in reverse in one of their headlines. They claimed his approval was "up" to 50%
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:17 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]



I have always thought that the way Trump behaves around Putin is a lot like "a pre-teen girl with a crush".


You know what's weird? Lately Trump has been talking about himself like he's catnip to men, e.g., the President of France wants to hold his hand and the President of Omaha Steaks just wants to kiss him so much. He repeated both phrases several times. Huh.
posted by carmicha at 8:19 AM on July 20 [40 favorites]


Oh goddammit, my reading comprehension is clearly eroding under the strain of keeping up with the Trump news cycle.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:20 AM on July 20


I think the reading that Sessions following the rules is the problem is not fair

I disagree. Trump has made it abundantly, explicitly clear what kind of person he is and what he wants from the people working for him, namely unquestioning, unconditional loyalty. A reading that Trump cares anything about what kind of job Sessions is able to do beyond his acting to defend Trump's interests is in direct contradiction with literally everything Trump has said and done over the last year.
posted by biogeo at 8:20 AM on July 20 [15 favorites]


President of Omaha Steaks has been on Trump's wagon a loooong time.
posted by tilde at 8:21 AM on July 20


I feel like the Sessions kerfuffle is pretty straightforward.

Trump made Sessions AG because Sessions is complicit and Trump assumed that meant he could protect him. Now he's annoyed that it isn't working that way.
posted by diogenes at 8:21 AM on July 20 [55 favorites]


There's a line from the Chvrches song Leave A Trace that runs through my head a lot, a pitch-perfect deadpan condemnation of a narcissist's posturing about blame and credit:

Yeah, there's a lot of lines from Leave a Trace that apply to this.

And you had best believe
That you cannot build what I don't need
And I know I need to feel relief
And I know you'll never fold
But I believe nothing that I'm told
And I know I need to feel relief

I know I need to feel released
Take care to tell it just as it was
Take care to tell on me for the cause
I know I need to feel released
Take care to bury all that you can
Take care to leave a trace of a man


The thing that's getting me through the day is the possibility that Mueller might be the real deal, that he and his team are just behind Trump and they do intend to make him pay for his crime. (Thankfully, all I have to deal with is merely my own terrible government, not America's disastrous government.)
posted by Merus at 8:24 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Fact Check: Trump's Confusing Remarks To Senate Republicans On Health Care (NPR, July 20, 2017)

Or this could have been accurately re-titled "Trump's mostly false, often confusing remarks." Still, helpful to have his lies and trickery called out, point by point.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:26 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Bad news: Under Prince's watch, Blackwater military contractors opened fire in a city square in Baghdad, killing 17 civilians in one of the worst episodes of the Iraq war

And that was when they were providing diplomatic security, which is an explicitly defensive role. Imagine how well things will work out if they're tasked to perform large-scale offensive maneuvers.
posted by Etrigan at 8:28 AM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Even more, it seems unlikely that it would be over with before 7 November when we'll know who the next governor is, and at that point all that 15 Democrats have to to is insist that Murphy should get to appoint the new Senator.

They should also explicitly cite McConnell stealing Obama's SCOTUS pick as precedent.
posted by Gelatin at 8:29 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Daily Dana Watch Update: A Top Rohrabacher Aide Is Ousted After Russia Revelations
Paul Behrends, a top aide to Representative Dana Rohrabacher, has been ousted from his role as staff director for the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that Rohrabacher chairs, after stories appeared in the press highlighting his relationships with pro-Russia lobbyists.

“Paul Behrends no longer works at the committee,” a House Foreign Affairs Committee spokesperson said on Wednesday evening.

Behrends accompanied Rohrabacher on a 2016 trip to Moscow in which Rohrabacher said he received anti-Magnitsky Act materials from prosecutors. The Magnitsky Act is a 2012 bill that imposes sanctions on Russian officials associated with the 2009 death in prison of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who had been investigating tax fraud. Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney and lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower last year, reportedly brought up the Magintsky Act during the meeting.
posted by notyou at 8:30 AM on July 20 [29 favorites]


(I guess Watching Dana Rohrabacher is my new hobby now.)
posted by notyou at 8:31 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions

It might look like Mueller shining a spotlight is a reaction to Trump warning him not to go there, but it's probably the other way around -- Trump may have learned that Mueller's team was looking thru his personal finances.

I hope he feels like a rat in a trap.
posted by Gelatin at 8:34 AM on July 20 [46 favorites]


I hope he is fucking miserable, but I fear that he is incapable of feeling normal human emotions and is thus immune to misery. (Or he's been miserable his entire adult life and it's just the temperature of his water.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:37 AM on July 20 [23 favorites]


I hope he feels like a rat in a trap.

The world is a vampire, sent to drain
Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get, for my pain?
Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game
Napoleon finished a little bit bad
His one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night
Because he had extracurricular activities
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:38 AM on July 20 [21 favorites]


He reminds me so much of my asshole[...]

Let me stop you right there.
posted by greermahoney at 8:40 AM on July 20 [75 favorites]


I read the NYT transcript. I really shouldn't have, for the sake of my already frail wellbeing. Caudillo Trumpo gives me a mixture of panic attack and nausea, and I'm not even American.

This small, vicious, greedy guy has all the symptoms of a dysfunctional monarch, aided and abetted by the Monarchist Republicans controlling the rotten boroughs. Oh I mean gerrymandered districts.

The 88 Theses are cute. Maybe the Dems can pin it to the gate of Trump Tower. Meanwhile they better bave a plan of capturing those seats real fast. Otherwise this America thingy is over.
posted by runcifex at 8:41 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


I hope he is fucking miserable, but I fear that he is incapable of feeling normal human emotions and is thus immune to misery. (Or he's been miserable his entire adult life and it's just the temperature of his water.)

Between the many stories of him yelling at the unceasing tide of bad news on TV, his unhinged tweets, and his obvious appreciation of the momentary distraction of pretending to drive a big truck, I don't doubt Trump is not having a good time here. Good.
posted by Gelatin at 8:42 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


I hope he is fucking miserable, but I fear that he is incapable of feeling normal human emotions and is thus immune to misery.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are frequently miserable. I'm not diagnosing Trump from afar, but I wouldn't confuse bluster and grandiosity as lack of emotion. Now, lack of remorse, that's a different thing.
posted by OmieWise at 8:44 AM on July 20 [23 favorites]


The world is a vampire, sent to drain

Though besmirched and malaised, King Rat still gilds his cage.

--Cicero Corgan
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:45 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are frequently miserable.

My mother got no joy out of making everyone around her miserable, I concur. But she also didn't care if we were, because she was a narcissist. Our emotions were secondary to her fear, anxiety, and paranoia.

Which appears to be the situation here. 45 doesn't care if he scares the whole world with his bluster and ignorance: what's important is how he feels, and whether he's getting enough praise.
posted by suelac at 8:49 AM on July 20 [37 favorites]


I hope he is fucking miserable ...

Well, Junior is miserable, reportedly:
Donald Trump Jr. is reportedly "miserable" and can't wait for the next four years to end.

A friend of President Trump's two adult sons told People that Trump Jr. and Eric Trump "never wanted this."

“Don can’t do any deals, because he’ll be overly scrutinized. He just goes to work every day and is miserable," a source in their circle added.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:49 AM on July 20 [38 favorites]


"Don can’t do any deals, because he’ll be overly scrutinized."

TRANSLATION: Donny Junior can't do any deals because he's incapable of completing any transaction which abides by regulatory law
posted by mightygodking at 8:51 AM on July 20 [146 favorites]


Donald Trump Jr. is reportedly "miserable" and can't wait for the next four years to end.

I don't like that another person's misery gives me some pleasure. The stain of this presidency poisons everything.
posted by biogeo at 8:53 AM on July 20 [51 favorites]


Don can't do deals requires the sub-submolecular violin. Don can't do deals! How impoverished the world is now a not-too-bright shady fucker is having a hard time being shady.
posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on July 20 [34 favorites]


I hope nobody takes their eyes off these shits once their dad is dead/in prison/out of office/whatever.
posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


As it's a new thread, I'm going to make a plea many have asked for. Please search the thread (and the last, since it's new) for your link or news to share. I see each OMG-worthy story posted multiple times. Case in point, the Donny Jr being miserable thing has been posted probably 5 times now.

Please make these threads last longer and make our browser refreshing not so unbearable by using ctrl-f to be sure your news is actually new.
posted by greermahoney at 8:56 AM on July 20 [27 favorites]


Don can't do deals requires the sub-submolecular violin.

It uses Planck-length strings!
posted by cortex at 8:56 AM on July 20 [18 favorites]


"Don can’t do any deals, because he’ll be overly scrutinized."

Translation: The majority of the Trump Org's business was basically tied up in deals with Russian oligarchs since 2003 or so, and now serving as a vehicle for money laundering for foreign mobsters has become very problematic, what with this Russia thing and all. What's a boy to do?
posted by dis_integration at 8:57 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


If there were ever a time to pass along an old ballad--

Buonaparte is afar from his wars and his fighting;
He has gone to the place he can take no delight in.
He may sit there and tell of the stories he's seen of
While forlorn he doth mourn on the Isle of Saint Helena.

Nevermore in St. Cloud he'll be seen in such splendor,
Or go on with his wars like the great Alexander,
He looks on his victories and how fleeting they all were
They have caused him to die on the Isle of Saint Helena.

Louisa doth mourn for her husband's departing
She dreams when she sleeps and she wakes broken-hearted.
Not a friend to console her, in the past there were so many
But she mourns when she thinks on the Isle of Saint Helena.

Come all ye that have wealth, pray beware of ambition
For a small twist of fate it might change your condition
Be steadfast in time, for what's to come you know not
For your race it may end on the Isle of Saint Helena
posted by Richard Saunders at 8:57 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


I read a few days ago that, when investigating Enron, part of Mueller's opening salvo was charging the wife of Enron's CFO. Now I'm fantasizing that this time the first person charged is Ivanka, as a way of telling Muprt that he is Not. Fucking. Around.
posted by um at 8:58 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


They should also explicitly cite McConnell stealing Obama's SCOTUS pick as precedent.

Since Trump filed for re-election on Inauguration Day, we're already in the 2020 campaign, so longstanding precedence would prevent him from appointing any Supreme Court justices until January 2021.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:59 AM on July 20 [32 favorites]


I'm going to spend my afternoon trying to write a song parody aren't I? DAMMIT.

Wait. No. I can't do this. 88 Lines About 44 Women is twice as many lines as women, but 88 Lines About 45 would be one line per complaint and they're short lines and I don't think I can condense Whereas, on March 15, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in the state of Hawaii blocked implementation of President Trump’s revised executive order, noting that when Mr. Trump was asked during the presidential campaign if he was pulling back from a ‘‘Muslim ban,’’ Mr. Trump said, ‘‘I don’t think it’s a rollback. In fact, you could say it’s an expansion. I‘m looking now at territories. People were so upset when I used the word Muslim. Oh, you can’t use the word Muslim. Remember this. And I’m okay with that, because I’m talking about territory instead of Muslim.’’; into one 7-8 syllable line oh god I'm going to try anyway aren't I? somone please give me actual work to do.
posted by maryr at 9:00 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


It uses Planck-length strings!

Fitting music for a p-brane.
posted by biogeo at 9:00 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Yeah, so you know Trump saying that he was sitting next to two people who didn't speak English? One of them was Shinzo Abe's wife, and well, she definitely speaks English.

Spoiler alert, to save you the click: 10+ minute long video clip of Akie Abe delivering a keynote address in English to a conference on disaster response.

(Pedantry: yeah, yeah, I know, being able to deliver a prepared speech in English is not the same as being able to have a conversation in English fluently in a setting where a misunderstanding could cause an international incident, so she may have opted not to speak English, but STILL.

As an Asian-American woman who has clear, bitter memories of flinching whenever well-meaning Americans from a non-immigrant background complimented me on my English, I'm fucking CACKLING at the possibility that Trump's stereotypes about East Asians being used against him, so that she could stare at the wallpaper and poke her banquet steak in peace. How many times do you think she signalled for more wine?)
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:00 AM on July 20 [104 favorites]


Yesterday:
SCHMIDT: Last thing, if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line?

HABERMAN: Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is?

TRUMP: I would say yeah. I would say yes. By the way, I would say, I don’t — I don’t — I mean, it’s possible there’s a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? I don’t make money from Russia. In fact, I put out a letter saying that I don’t make — from one of the most highly respected law firms, accounting firms. I don’t have buildings in Russia. They said I own buildings in Russia. I don’t. They said I made money from Russia. I don’t. It’s not my thing. I don’t, I don’t do that. Over the years, I’ve looked at maybe doing a deal in Russia, but I never did one. Other than I held the Miss Universe pageant there eight, nine years...

SCHMIDT: But if he was outside that lane, would that mean he’d have to go?

TRUMP: No, I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia. So I think if he wants to go, my finances are extremely good, my company is an unbelievably successful company. And actually, when I do my filings, peoples say, “Man.” People have no idea how successful this is. It’s a great company. But I don’t even think about the company anymore. I think about this. ’Cause one thing, when you do this, companies seem very trivial. O.K.? I really mean that. They seem very trivial. But I have no income from Russia. I don’t do business with Russia. The gentleman that you mentioned, with his son, two nice people. But basically, they brought the Miss Universe pageant to Russia to open up, you know, one of their jobs. Perhaps the convention center where it was held. It was a nice evening, and I left. I left, you know, I left Moscow. It wasn’t Moscow, it was outside of Moscow.

HABERMAN: Would you fire Mueller if he went outside of certain parameters of what his charge is?

TRUMP: I can't, I can't answer that question because I don’t think it's going to happen.
Today: Bloomburg reports (linked above, see also the articles in the NYTimes and The Guardian, yesterday) that Trump's Deutsche Bank loans are being investigated by Mueller, and that:
The roots of Mueller’s follow-the-money investigation lie in a wide-ranging money laundering probe launched by then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last year, according to the person.
...
The Bharara probe was consolidated into Mueller’s inquiry, showing that the special counsel is taking an overarching approach to his mandated investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Potentially useful background information on the Preet Bharara probe from Rachel Maddow's March 13th show, just after Bharara was fired (transcript).

posted by pjenks at 9:00 AM on July 20 [33 favorites]




It's also very telling in the NYT interview that Trump consistently uses the word "reviews" when he talks about how others are talking about him. He may literally know that this President thing is not a show, but essentially for him there is not much difference.
posted by anothermug at 9:10 AM on July 20 [28 favorites]


what is the deal with these cretins and "doing deals" as the standard unit of business activity, sounds like fucking Vincent Adultman. do you even know what you fucking do for a so called living you absolute dumbfuck
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:13 AM on July 20 [101 favorites]


Can someone take a powerful laser to Chicago and realize my protest art concept? Thanks

The one plus from Trump's horrible mismangement of gov't that is likely to occur in the next 10-20 years is that the Trump name will become so anathema that the removal of the TRUMP logo from that already-ugly building in Chicago is inevitable, so one day it will no longer terrorize the citizens of Chicago as they ride the El from Wabash to Lake.

One day.
posted by dis_integration at 9:13 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


he does in fact not know what he does for a living.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:14 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


As an Asian-American woman who has clear, bitter memories of flinching whenever well-meaning Americans from a non-immigrant background complimented me on my English

Weird, that's the kind of uncouth behavior I usually expect to see from Americans of European immigrant background, not from people of Amerindian descent.

(To be clear, my remark is intended to support, not attack, your point about cultural assumptions of Whiteness being the American "default".)
posted by biogeo at 9:14 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]




guys guys guys i just realized this is not the first time that trump and the abe's have met

HE HOSTED THEM AT MAR-A-LAGO, FOR, LIKE, AN ENTIRE WEEKEND.

akie abe started pretending not to speak english then

continued the whole weekend

kept it up at the g-20

glad to know that east asian ladies, regardless of national origin or social class, take the same tactic employed by an auntie when, like, barbara pong makes the same dish as them for the third potluck in a row
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:15 AM on July 20 [88 favorites]


He doesn't do anything for a living. He has a living a thousand times over, with no effort, from birth. That's a fundamental aspect of the self-defining delusions of many very wealthy people; not all, there are certainly hella rich folks who whatever else aside are both aware that they don't lead normal lives and interested in pursuing some sort of meaningful beyond-themselves use of their time.

But if you fantasize that you deserve your wealth, you prop up that fantasy by telling yourself that you're working for it, that you're earning it, that you have to try too. You mumble lies to yourself around the silver spoon, you chase down a self-image where the fundamental defining aspect of your character is e.g. The Deals You Do rather than the fact that you were born into outrageous wealth. And because you were born into outrageous wealth, it's deeply unlikely that you'll ever fuck up so bad that you'll be forced to understand how full of shit your personal narrative is.
posted by cortex at 9:19 AM on July 20 [71 favorites]


Yeah, so you know Trump saying that he was sitting next to two people who didn't speak English?

Well, I can't find it now* but I'm positive someone on MSNBC said the reason Trump didn't use a Russian translator with Putin is because he (the US) brought a Japanese translator to the meeting (apparently indicating the plan was to spend significant time with Abe.)

*If you google the Japanese translator you get flooded with a viral story about how Trumo was oggling the translator's breasts.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:20 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Michael Wolff at the Hollywood Reporter: It was Ailes' tacit support of Trump that, in part, made his removal from Fox all the more urgent for the Murdochs. And it was not just the liberal sons who were agitated by Ailes' regard for Trump, but also the father, whose tabloid, the New York Post, helped create Trump, but who found him now, with great snobbery, not of "our" conservative class. ("When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?" Murdoch senior tweeted the day after Trump officially declared himself a candidate.) Murdoch instructed Ailes to tilt to anyone but Trump, Ailes confided to me before he was fired, even Hillary. (Ailes, for his part, characterized Murdoch's periodic efforts at interference as similar to Nixon's instructions to bomb this or that country — best ignored.)

Alas, if only Rupert Murdoch had more influence over American politics
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:22 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


If Trump fries Mueller, could the Whistleblower Law protect him? Ditto Rosenstein, or even God Forbid Sessions?
posted by msalt at 9:22 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Rod Rosenstein or his replacement can fire Mueller (setting aside possible obstruction of justice). It's profoundly unlikely that Trump can legally fire Mueller. If he did so, it's possible Mueller would just continue doing his job until the courts decide his fate.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:25 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


I just want to say OMG that title.
posted by hilaryjade at 9:25 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


From a bit upthread, but:
I get he's their guy, and I'm pretty guilty of thinking about politics in a "team" based sort of way, but christ! If you can't see Trump as a problem then your head is way too far up your own ass.

Thing is, even with a complete moron like Trump in the White House, in theory a party holding a majority in both houses of Congress should be able to get shit done. The media will let the GOP get away with blaming Trump for their failures in Congress, but really, it shouldn't be such a factor.

They're theoretically all adults. They have staffers who know how to write laws. They had seven years to come up with an alternative to the ACA (hell, longer, if you consider they never bothered to put up an alternative while the ACA was going through Congress).

The exposure of incompetence and plain stupidity goes far beyond "Oh we have a moron in the White House."
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:25 AM on July 20 [44 favorites]


Well, I can't find it now* but I'm positive someone on MSNBC said the reason Trump didn't use a Russian translator with Putin is because he (the US) brought a Japanese translator to the meeting (apparently indicating the plan was to spend significant time with Abe.)

Because, of course, the US can only bring one translator to an international summit of major world leaders. That's an excuse not even one's own grandmother would believe. Sheesh.
posted by Gelatin at 9:26 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


The media will let the GOP get away with blaming Trump for their failures in Congress anything

Fixed.
posted by Gelatin at 9:27 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


I just realized that if the popular vote was called the general vote Trump probably wouldn't care about it.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:27 AM on July 20 [25 favorites]


If Trump fries Mueller, could the Whistleblower Law protect him?

This assumes laws are actually going to be relevant at that point, of course. I'm still not seeing much evidence that this regime will care -- including the majority in Congress.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:27 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Rod Rosenstein or his replacement can fire Mueller (setting aside possible obstruction of justice).

Only with cause. And in his testimony in front of Congress Rosenstein said that he had no reason to have cause at that time. Obviously Trump will try to get them to have the investigation of his finances as out of scope as the cause but it's pretty clear from the scope of the the SC mandate that Mueller has the right to investigate his finances, even if possible money laundering ties to Russia wasn't a compromat on its own.
posted by chris24 at 9:28 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump Jr. is reportedly "miserable" and can't wait for the next four years to end.

To de-stress, he works out at world-class level.
posted by anothermug at 9:29 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better (they pay taxes). After reading first the Atlantic article about what the Republican congress are thinking, and then the NPR fact-check of the health-care lunch, I realized that so much of what is going on in the US only makes sense when you have a huge part of the population imagining that a functioning society can be sustained for free because of market magic. I'm not going to post it, but just this morning I read a Douthat column arguing for unfinanced tax relief. It was so stupid I scared my dog by laughing out loud.
What I realize, from reading these endless discussions, is that in the US it is really controversial to contest this absurdity. Single payer in California? But the taxes!!!! Functioning infrastructure? But the taxes!!!! Schools that educate children all week? But the taxes!!!!
This whole framing has been a huge succes for the Republican party, since Reagan. One might argue that it necessitates both the racism and the drift towards ever more ignorant leaders. The racism because in the beginning the framing was about not paying for "others", like (non-existent) welfare queens. The ignorance because the collapse of government effects more and more parts of society. The opiate epidemic is one thing, but even billionaires need functioning roads, airfields and universities. You need to pretend ignorance or to be ignorant to not acknowledge that this is not working.
Also (as indicated in the article), the myth of a society without taxes needs the myth of American exceptionalism. Any other nation might notice that the most expensive healthcare system with the highest infant mortality rate in the world cannot be "the best". Not so in America, where the religion of America trumps any and all contradicting facts. Any other nation would notice that other countries, even developing countries, have excellent public transportation, smart grids, new airports etc.
(Usual disclaimer: your political system and weird beliefs are putting the whole world in danger, not least my personal peaceful corner. There is a huge munitions depot less than a kilometer from here, and I expect that all my prudence regarding future climate developments will be brought to nothing if WWIII breaks out. I let out my despair and anger here because POTUS may get my entire country flattened out completely through his ignorance and narcissism, and he was elected after decades of Republican cynical manipulation and I hope some of you will do what you can to influence the American electorate).
posted by mumimor at 9:32 AM on July 20 [49 favorites]


If he did so, it's possible Mueller would just continue doing his job until the courts decide his fate.

Yeah, if Mueller's team of lawyers is half as good as they sound, they're prepping a package to file roughly 15 seconds after Trump formally tries to fire Mueller, including a request for a court to stay the firing and allow Mueller to continue doing his job.

Not even close to a litigator, but my God, that's a spicy drafting assignment.
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:32 AM on July 20 [27 favorites]


The CBO scored the most recent version of the BCRA (sans Cruz Amendment). +22 million uninsured. In short, they spent $120B more than the last version, but it still covers the same number of people, so some really great work being done here. Quality stuff.
posted by zachlipton at 9:33 AM on July 20 [33 favorites]


And because you were born into outrageous wealth, it's deeply unlikely that you'll ever fuck up so bad that you'll be forced to understand how full of shit your personal narrative is.

so what you're saying is, he'll never fail like common people, he'll never watch his life slide out of view
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:34 AM on July 20 [56 favorites]


Because, of course, the US can only bring one translator to an international summit of major world leaders. That's an excuse not even one's own grandmother would believe. Sheesh.

Oh! A CNN story I found earlier that wasn't specifically about this mentions that each country is allowed one translator: The White House, in a statement acknowledging the meeting, contended it was "brief" and said Trump spoke with Putin through Russia's translator. The US translator at the dinner -- each country was only allowed only one -- spoke Japanese, the White House said.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:34 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


On the translator issue: if CNN is to be believed, each country was only allowed to bring in one translator. That sounds plausible to me, as organizers likely would want to keep auxiliary staff to a minimum at a dinner of the principals. And if the Mango Mussolini was seated with the Japanese PM, then having a Japanese speaking translator would make sense (but it certainly indicates that his sauntering over to Putin was not a planned act (or not planned/shared with DJT's staff, at least).
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:35 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Jinx!
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:36 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Don can't do deals requires the sub-submolecular violin.

Well I've got a Planck Bass, baby
And it's such a shame
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:36 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


what is the deal with these cretins and "doing deals" as the standard unit of business activity, sounds like fucking Vincent Adultman.

I was recently on vacation with a friend who had to make some work related calls. It amused me to no end to ask if he just "did a business deal."
posted by diogenes at 9:36 AM on July 20 [13 favorites]


I realized that so much of what is going on in the US only makes sense when you have a huge part of the population imagining that a functioning society can be sustained for free because of market magic. I'm not going to post it, but just this morning I read a Douthat column arguing for unfinanced tax relief.

It's long past time for Democrats to refer to those who want the benefits of government without paying taxes as deadbeats, moochers, and free-riders.
posted by Gelatin at 9:36 AM on July 20 [59 favorites]


After the NYT story about Sessions and Mueller I have a feeling tomorrow/ this weekend could end up being the shit show we've all been waiting for. Especially considering Trump is headed off to play golf for the next two weeks.

I've stopped trying to make sense of the situation. The Buchanan post and the over-riding ideology at work in this country has made it crystal clear to me that the political process in this country is irretrievably broken and the democratic party doesn't have an answer.
posted by photoslob at 9:38 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if Mueller's team of lawyers is half as good as they sound, they're prepping a package to file roughly 15 seconds after Trump formally tries to fire Mueller, including a request for a court to stay the firing and allow Mueller to continue doing his job.

If they're ACTUALLY as good as they sound, their plan for how to deal with this eventuality has been in place since the very beginning--as in it quite possibly was complete before he actually took the job. I don't think he would have agreed to do this if he thought there was a legal way for the President to kill it.
posted by Sequence at 9:43 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


I'm curious, now living in this reality: What can be done when the government simply ignores the law or selectively enforces it? I mean, that's essentially a coup, isn't it? Practically, I mean.
posted by maxwelton at 9:52 AM on July 20 [18 favorites]


I assume that if Mueller believes he can only be legally fired by the Deputy AG, he'll continue doing his work until a court issues a TRO or injunction ordering him to stop. If Trump doesn't have the legal power to fire Mueller directly, then it's the same legal effect as a random person off the street trying to fire Mueller.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:52 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I just realized that if the popular vote was called the general vote Trump probably wouldn't care about it.

I'm 100% sure that it kills him he lost the popular vote, and I love it.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:55 AM on July 20 [20 favorites]


I assume that if Mueller believes he can only be legally fired by the Deputy AG, he'll continue doing his work until a court issues a TRO or injunction ordering him to stop.

Mueller is wealthy, and could certainly afford to work for free, but investigations are expensive, and many of his junior staff probably needs the salary to pay the rent. I don't know how his investigation is being funded, but cutting off the funding stream seems the only way of stopping him if he didn't want to be stopped.
posted by Gelatin at 9:55 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


The White House, in a statement acknowledging the meeting, contended it was "brief" and said Trump spoke with Putin through Russia's translator. The US translator at the dinner -- each country was only allowed only one -- spoke Japanese, the White House said.

Putin speaks fluent German. Melania Trump speaks fluent German. Ms. Trump was seated next to Putin. There's no reason a Russian translator would be needed, as Ms. Trump could just translate for her husband, and needed no translator during the extended period of time when she was presumably receiving instructions from Mr. Putin as to the next steps in her mission.
posted by The World Famous at 9:55 AM on July 20 [20 favorites]


I assume that if Mueller believes he can only be legally fired by the Deputy AG, he'll continue doing his work until a court issues a TRO or injunction ordering him to stop

It leads to a Saturday Night Massacre scenario, in which Trump has to throw off all pretense of respect for the rule of law and fire Deputy AGs serially until one is willing to fire Mueller. We've already seen a dress rehearsal for that with the Yates firing over the immigration ban.

Which, given Bork's involvement as the patsy actually doing the firing and the later reprisal in his attempted SCOTUS confirmation, is weirdly a direct antecedent of today's situation.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:56 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


it's the same legal effect as a random person off the street trying to fire Mueller.

YOU FIRED!
posted by murphy slaw at 9:56 AM on July 20


I'm curious, now living in this reality: What can be done when the government simply ignores the law or selectively enforces it? I mean, that's essentially a coup, isn't it? Practically, I mean.

I guess the affected party/parties could ask the courts to force the government to act (IANAL). I can imagine this happening if the Administration follows through on its "maybe we will, maybe we won't" threats not to make the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, which are mandated by the ACA.

I said this in January and I'll say it again: at some point, the courts are going to tell Trump that he can't do something he really wants to do (or has to do something he doesn't want to do, in this case), and he'll do (not do) it anyway.

And then, what happens?
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:57 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


I'm 100% sure that Trump's perfect world would be one in which he won the popular vote but lost the electoral college, and he got to spend the following four years bullshitting on Fox News about how much more popular he was than Hillary and how much better he'd be doing if not for the very corrupt, very unfair politics that kept him out, and then taking the afternoon to cheat at golf without anyone bothering him with obnoxious things like "governance."
posted by biogeo at 9:59 AM on July 20 [112 favorites]


at some point, the courts are going to tell Trump that he can't do something he really wants to do (or has to do something he doesn't want to do, in this case), and he'll do (not do) it anyway.

Fortunately he doesn't know how to do anything.
posted by rc3spencer at 9:59 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


> If Trump fries Mueller, could the Whistleblower Law protect him? Ditto Rosenstein, or even God Forbid Sessions?

I don't think he'll fry him. I mean, I'm sure he'll try to kill him if he can't fire him, but likely the methodology's going to involve polonium rather than fire or electricity.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:11 AM on July 20 [13 favorites]


For laffs...

One year ago today on Metafilter - RNC Part II: Return of the Nominee (probably)

1708 comments about Donald Trump as Republican nominee for president.
posted by Caxton1476 at 10:12 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


For recalibration purposes, Wapo has a cute editorial imagining how a normal president with a basic grasp of ethics and governance would have replied to the Times's interview questions.
posted by theodolite at 10:13 AM on July 20 [19 favorites]


On the translator issue: if CNN is to be believed, each country was only allowed to bring in one translator. That sounds plausible to me, as organizers likely would want to keep auxiliary staff to a minimum at a dinner of the principals. And if the Mango Mussolini was seated with the Japanese PM, then having a Japanese speaking translator would make sense (but it certainly indicates that his sauntering over to Putin was not a planned act (or not planned/shared with DJT's staff, at least).

Actually, as far as I can read diplomatic styleguides, Trump was supposed to be having a conversation with the Argentine first lady, who definitely speaks English and several other languages. From my not-healthy hour-long scrutiny of the images and videos of the dinner, it seems that Ms. Abe was left alone by the Indonesian president on her right. So one might imagine Trump tried to do the polite thing (nah, probably not). It's more likely that the Argentine first lady was a bit too much for him and he felt lost. In a way, some of this falls back on the German organizers. Who'd imagine an Indonesian president would be all cool about entertaining a Japanese first lady all night? And who'd imagine Trump would be able to deal with any smart politically alert women for several hours? It seems Lagarde could have handled it, because Trump is clearly fascinated by her, but Merkel probably didn't want to ruin Lagarde's evening.

Regarding Melania Trump's conversation with Putin, it's clear from the images that the "translator" is taking notes.
posted by mumimor at 10:13 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Thread title shout-out to this 1981 hit: 88 Lines About 44 Women
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:16 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


I assume that if Mueller believes he can only be legally fired by the Deputy AG, he'll continue doing his work until a court issues a TRO or injunction ordering him to stop.

Mueller is wealthy, and could certainly afford to work for free, but investigations are expensive, and many of his junior staff probably needs the salary to pay the rent. I don't know how his investigation is being funded, but cutting off the funding stream seems the only way of stopping him if he didn't want to be stopped.


Oh god, being forced to GoFundMe these assholes out of power is so over-the-top that now I'm pretty sure it's exactly what we'll have to do.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:16 AM on July 20 [31 favorites]


Thread title shout-out to this 1981 hit: 88 Lines About 44 Women

I was riffing on that a decade ago!
posted by cortex at 10:17 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


From my not-healthy hour-long scrutiny of the images and videos of the dinner, it seems that Ms. Abe was left alone by the Indonesian president on her right. So one might imagine Trump tried to do the polite thing (nah, probably not).

Looks like Japan's First Lady pretended not to speak English for two hours to avoid talking to Trump
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:20 AM on July 20 [41 favorites]


I just feel sad that Ms. Abe will no longer be able to use her brilliant dodge to get out of talking to Trump.
posted by emjaybee at 10:22 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I just feel sad that Ms. Abe will no longer be able to use her brilliant dodge to get out of talking to Trump.

For this trick to not work again in the future would require Trump to learn things, an ability which he has yet to demonstrate.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:25 AM on July 20 [91 favorites]


I've been thinking about this in terms of a successful coup myself; a minority takes control in a country where income inequality makes the republic dangerously susceptible to a demagogue, while voter disenfranchisement/lack of civic engagement makes the system as a whole undemocratic.

Thinking of it as a coup helps me understand the people who want to drink liberal tears and are willing to overlook, say, pussy grabbing. Yeah, this is a Cold War, and Trump supporters are wiling to go with a flawed advocate for their interests because they have little empathy for their enemy and a great desire to obtain the power they've seen out of reach during their lifetimes.

It helps me understand how fuckers like Price like, fucking exist, let alone are heads of cabinets. It helps explain why Trump thinks that wandering over to Putin for a talk during a dinner of the G-20 is like, fine, because he is God Emperor Trump, holder of power, and his win proves to him in a narcissistic way that everything Obama signed off on needs to be destroyed as part of said coup.

And he's doing what he can to consolidate his power by appointing truly awful people to courts and exert his considerable control over matters related to immigration.

I mean, I guess this is totally naive and readers of this comment might be wondering how stoned angrycat is right now but it just strikes me how this is how winners of a coup behave. Not trying to work with the other side, of course not. But making the other side as miserable as possible.

ETA: people who THINK power has been outside of their reach because of Fox News or whateverthefuck
posted by angrycat at 10:27 AM on July 20 [27 favorites]


After reading that interview, I don't see how anyone, regardless of their level of fluency, could not honestly argue that they may speak English, but they are unable to understand anything Donald Trump is saying.
posted by zachlipton at 10:27 AM on July 20 [24 favorites]


Trump supporters are wiling to go with a flawed advocate for their interests

so flawed that he fails to actually advocate for their interests
posted by murphy slaw at 10:30 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


So regarding his comments on paying $15 per month (or per year, whatever lol) for health insurance, there's terrible and plausible speculation that he's just parroting these Alex Trebek "rate lock" life insurance ads that run regularly on Fox News.

Trebek is a Canadian deep cover agent sowing uncertainty via mandatory uptalk on Jeopardy.
posted by srboisvert at 10:32 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


deeply confused here: are the Dems attempting to tie Trump to white nationalists with the 88 thing? Are we riffing on neonazi signaling or an obscure tune from the 80s? Both? please halp
posted by Existential Dread at 10:34 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


He's already done a bang-up job of tying himself to white nationalists.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:36 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I'm seriously unable to get my head around this - he has actually said he wouldn't have appointed Sessions if he knew Sessions wouldn't be able to control an investigation into him?
posted by MattWPBS at 10:38 AM on July 20 [14 favorites]


88 Lines About 44 Women, for anybody wanting to know the 80s reference.
posted by joyceanmachine at 10:38 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


It seems impossible to read that NYT transcript and not come to the conclusion that Trump is suffering from serious cognitive deficits. He sounds like a Markov chain primed with whatever was on Fox and Friends yesterday plus a light retelling of his most recent vacation.

I wish the NYT had lobbed some softballs at him so we could experience the whiff of pure ignorance that would result. Why not just ask Trump: How will your plan cover more people for less money? How much should states pay for Medicaid versus the federal government? How do you feel about interest rates right now?
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:40 AM on July 20 [39 favorites]


And threatened the man investigating him...? I mean, how is that even vaguely acceptable, even in Trump's head?
posted by MattWPBS at 10:40 AM on July 20


Don't feel bad, Existential Dread: I thought the post title was some kind of Martin Luther reference.
posted by orrnyereg at 10:40 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


> I'm seriously unable to get my head around this - he has actually said he wouldn't have appointed Sessions if he knew Sessions wouldn't be able to control an investigation into him?

If I take into account everything President Trump has said about the AG, I genuinely believe that Trump believes that the AG is a presidential attorney whose primary job is to represent the needs and interest of the President.
posted by Tevin at 10:41 AM on July 20 [72 favorites]


TRUMP: I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.

Jesus Christ, the only thing missing is "NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT."
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:44 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


I genuinely believe that Trump believes that the AG is a presidential attorney whose primary job is to represent the needs and interest of the President.

That is EXACTLY what he thinks the AG is. When he was talking about the recusal being unfair to the president, he means disloyal. Sessions has failed his loyalty pledge.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:45 AM on July 20 [18 favorites]


carmicha: Lately Trump has been talking about himself like he's catnip to men

I think it's his alpha male dominance bullshit, and it also reminds me of this study about men who "girlwatch" (pp. 394-395): "'Patriarchy is as much about relations between man and man as it is about relations between men and women.' . . . heterosexual men . . . establish intimacy among themselves [with, eg, a repeated] dramatic performance played to other men . . . "

I see it as his way of creating (what his abyssal black hole of a consciousness perceives as) adulatory "intimacy," directed at himself, from the only people who, in his view, count -- other male business or government leaders.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:48 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


45 doesn't care if he scares the whole world with his bluster and ignorance: what's important is how he feels, and whether he's getting enough praise.

So, what's important is his inner three-year old.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:48 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


TRUMP: I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.

He's learned that Macron clued into his handshake dominance thing & was ready for it so he's trying to turn it back around to "Macron's handshake counter-tactic proves that he's gay for me."
posted by scalefree at 10:54 AM on July 20 [45 favorites]




I'm going to refuse to believe Jeff Stein for as long as humanly possible. Better skills indeed, Jesus.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:02 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


i am not a member of any organized political party. i am a democrat.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:04 AM on July 20 [23 favorites]


After the NYT interview that again brought up the "adoption" thing, I wanted to share an episode of the Planet Money podcast. I don't doubt that the Magnitsky Act has been discussed in these threads before, but for some reason listening to all of the pieces with human voices in an unexpected place (planet money?!) has kinda haunted me. It was more information on the human rights abuses and the ecomomic weight, and now I wince a little bit every time I hear them discuss "adoption" in such a sanitized way.
posted by monkeystronghold at 11:05 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


I thought the new Dem brand was "A Better Deal"

I must just be an unsophisticated Old because every time people start screaming about how terribad some PR the Dems do I'm like *shrug* that seems fine?
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:05 AM on July 20 [26 favorites]


From Jeff Stein of Vox: A member of Congress told me Democrats big 2018 slogan, which is set to be released Monday. It's: "Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages"

Well, that's ... terrible? It's terrible.


If it makes you feel any better, I can't remember where I saw it (google news?) but I saw a story that said "A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages". Which isn't so far off from what was being proposed right here a thread or two ago.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:08 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


He's learned that Macron clued into his handshakedominance thing & was ready for it so he's trying to turn it back around to "Macron's handshake counter-tactic proves that he's gay for me."

That's 100% plausible. I think you might have solved the mystery of what the fuck he was on about there.
posted by Mocata at 11:09 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


"A Better Deal" would have been one zillion jillion times better than "Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages" and I'm hoping that the latter will be its secondary title or some shit like AgentCorvid says. People aren't going to crowd the streets shouting "Better skills!" in unison.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:10 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


From Jeff Stein of Vox: A member of Congress told me Democrats big 2018 slogan, which is set to be released Monday. It's: "Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages"

Well, that's ... terrible? It's terrible.


Golden opportunity for:
"I can't believe it's not better!"
posted by anem0ne at 11:10 AM on July 20 [23 favorites]


"Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages"
This wasn't supposed to be taken as political advice....
posted by thelonius at 11:11 AM on July 20


Why is the word better everywhere? Can't we make implied comparisons?

A Better Deal:
Vote Democrat for Skills, Jobs and Wages!

Then campaign on how Republicans / Donald Trump take those things away.
posted by Glibpaxman at 11:12 AM on July 20


I'm 90% sure "Better Skills" was Napolean's campaign slogan for Pedro.
posted by BeginAgain at 11:13 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


"A Better Deal" would have been one zillion jillion times better than "Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages" and I'm hoping that the latter going to be its secondary title or some shit like AgentCorvid says. People aren't going to crowd the streets shouting "Better skills!" in unison.

'Better skills? That's BS!' practically writes itself as a counter-chant, so, yes, I hope the focus there is on the Better Deal part of that, if that's what they're going to go with.
posted by cjelli at 11:13 AM on July 20


vote democratic for nunchuk skills
posted by murphy slaw at 11:14 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]


frankly I'd really go for ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EVERY ONE OF THE FUCKERS at this point
posted by angrycat at 11:14 AM on July 20 [29 favorites]


Breaking: new MeFi brand is "Better Beans, Better Plates"
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:15 AM on July 20 [51 favorites]


Fuck "skills," that's some Third-Way, Bootstraps Lite BS. We can't "skills' our way out of this mess. The solutions must be systemic, not individual.

I want healthcare. I want to be able to retire without starving to death. I want my kid to be able to get an education.

A Better Deal: Healthcare, Education and Jobs would be workable.
posted by emjaybee at 11:16 AM on July 20 [121 favorites]


angrycat, I absolutely think of this as a coup. We're being "governed" such as it is by a hostile minority group intent on destroying the democratic state. And I am definitely not high.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:17 AM on July 20 [15 favorites]


I think LOCK THEM UP is catchy.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:17 AM on July 20 [21 favorites]


Oh cool so they want to loose another 20 seats then cool
posted by The Whelk at 11:17 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


If your slogan or the title of your thesis has a colon in it, throw it straight in the garbage.
posted by goHermGO at 11:17 AM on July 20 [27 favorites]


So, like, the focus here is on economic issues which is what everyone has been screaming about since apparently "stronger together" was not compelling enough to white people. Giving things to people who don't "deserve" it is what convinced a bunch of people who could really use some healthcare, education and jobs to vote R. Promising those things without the appropriate American overlay of "but we'll teach you to fish, not give you a fish" is what everyone has been freaking out about the Dems doing and thus losing the vaunted white working class.

So, which is it?
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:18 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Not to be screaming about anything, but: I guess it's not too bad if you assume that anybody a slogan would actually reach isn't already a solid Dem voter. Solid Dem voters, we're gonna pull the lever for whoever. The slogan doesn't matter.

But underlying that: PR matters. There's a historical moment here where Dems can reconfirm themselves as the party of equality, of the future, of taking care of each other. This is a time where people will reward (and history will recognize) making aggressive, risky moves to move the ball forward. They can be inspiring, organized, and they can take advantage of the huge amount of collective work we're all out in the streets doing on their behalf. "Better Jobs" is so fucking small. "Better Jobs" sounds terrible with 33 million uninsured people. "Better Jobs" sounds terrible when the earth gets hotter every fucking summer. "Better Jobs" is, like, a summary of a single party plank, not a slogan. Not a brand.

This could be the brand. This could be the brand. This could be the brand. And they're choosing some deep-capitalist third-way bullshit that immediately reads as insincere bullshit.

Like for real: people aren't their fucking JOBS. This shit out here matters more than WAGES. Fucking open your eyes and look around ... and okay I guess now I'm screaming so I'll stop.
posted by penduluum at 11:19 AM on July 20 [102 favorites]


Also, also: anybody who has managed to stay alive in this cruel system who isn't wealthy? Has lots of skills already. We have reached the limits of what having skills can do for you. At some point you have to stop telling people to be economic and career ninjas and ask why the fuck the country we live in is a deathtrap that requires ninja skills to survive and punishes the smallest misstake or bad luck.
posted by emjaybee at 11:19 AM on July 20 [68 favorites]


"skills" is a dogwhistle; it alludes to discredited ideas about what's driving unemployment. the implication is that unemployment happens because potential employees don't have the right skills and need to go back to school for them; in reality, structural unemployment is a tool used by the wealthy classes to keep wages down.

It's a bad slogan because people at the pointy end of this arrangement understand what's up, and reject the condescending patronization (not to say gaslighting) involved in blaming them as individuals for a structural phenomenon deliberately maintained by the folks who give big money to both major parties.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:19 AM on July 20 [120 favorites]


"Hmm healthcare as been at the forefront of massive political action and upheavals and every poll says it's extremely popular with members of all political affiliations so better to not mention it at all"

I swear if a single national democratic made even a basic motion to honor some of the new deal or great society promises they'd never leave office. Who the hell are these banker ghouls we have running?
posted by The Whelk at 11:21 AM on July 20 [54 favorites]


This was a bit upstream (these threads move FAST when I have to actually do things) but I can't believe that nobody mentioned this bit from the interview:

> And actually, when I do my filings, people say, “Man.”

I think this may actually be a truth that snuck in here.
posted by MysticMCJ at 11:21 AM on July 20 [8 favorites]


"democrats: we'll impeach the motherfucker twice, just to be sure"
posted by murphy slaw at 11:21 AM on July 20 [27 favorites]


"Better Deal" sounds broad and all-encompassing. "Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages" sounds like they're going to raise the minimum wage and send some people to learn how to be diesel mechanics. And those things are swell, even life-changing for some people, but I was hoping for more of a bigger vision, one that includes health care, the safety net, civil rights, voting rights, etc...
posted by zachlipton at 11:22 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


But the new slogan will convince the 37 remaining coal miners in this country, and that's what's important.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:22 AM on July 20 [29 favorites]


I don't ever want to hear the word "deal" in a political context ever again tbh
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:23 AM on July 20 [27 favorites]


There are like 600 people in the United States who don't recognize that Dems need to redefine themselves in 21st century terms, and 598 of them are apparently employed by the Democratic party
posted by penduluum at 11:24 AM on July 20 [45 favorites]




I don't ever want to hear the word "deal" in a political context ever again tbh

This I can cosign.

Actually I am kind of over slogans and mottos just generally
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:25 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Maybe this is a trial balloon slogan? Can we all tweet @thedemocrats our slogan ideas to fix it?

I don't know how anything works.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:26 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Democrats 2018: Let's Train You For A Slightly Better Job That Doesn't Actually Exist While Civilization Breathes Its Last, You Little Asshole
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:27 AM on July 20 [99 favorites]


Actually I am kind of over slogans and mottos just generally

Yeah, but the vast majority rubes who vote don't seem to be. They still really like #MAGA and shit.
posted by anem0ne at 11:27 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


this bike shed needs to be fucking perfect or we will never win an election again
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:28 AM on July 20 [74 favorites]


Someone saw the reaction on Twitter to the slogan stickers and decided to Cunningham's Law this round.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:29 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


It's an extremely disappointing bike shed.
posted by penduluum at 11:29 AM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Anybody else happy that Dems are explicitly branding themselves as the party of higher wages? Just me? Okay then.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:30 AM on July 20 [11 favorites]



KUSHNER: Ni hao.
....
Honey? Can you say a few words in Chinese? Say, like, “I love you, Grandpa” —
KUSHNER: Wo ai ni, Grandpa.

Being able to say "hello" and "I love you" /= "speaking" Chinese or any language.
posted by spitbull at 11:30 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


It's from much further up the thread, but all of our discussions about taxes and other nations' decisions to devote them to things we deem impossible luxuries, like health care and mass transit, need to look seriously at how much we spend on defense. There's the tax side--the military is over half of our discretionary (non-entitlement) spending--but there's also the economic impact of it: the extent to which we rely on defense spending (direct, indirect and induced to use economic impact nomenclature) for jobs, wages, taxes, etc. We fetishize the military, assume we have to be the world's policeman and blather about the need to "keep us safe," but we don't have realistic or nuanced national conversations about what our defense spending actually costs us and what we could have instead.
posted by carmicha at 11:31 AM on July 20 [21 favorites]


Slogans I would actually get behind:
Eat the Rich, Workers Unite!, Healthcare For All Now, Women Rise! Tax Weed Everywhere, Socialist Benefits for All, Not Just the Military, Democracia Real Ya! etc.

I know they won't happen, just putting them out there.
posted by rc3spencer at 11:32 AM on July 20 [33 favorites]


"Hmm healthcare as been at the forefront of massive political action and upheavals and every poll says it's extremely popular with members of all political affiliations so better to not mention it at all"

I fully expect the Democrats to respond to criticism about the exclusion of healthcare from their mission statement by eventually making a big announcement about their new-and-improved slogan:

Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Wellness Training
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:34 AM on July 20 [27 favorites]


I don't need a slogan to vote Democrat. The slogan is for the people who will be impacted by a slogan, and much as I can roll my eyes, I also know that they're persuaded by different things than I am, or they'd already be unwilling to even vaguely consider a Republican. I don't know that I have a ton of confidence in this, but I've heard a lot worse, too.
posted by Sequence at 11:35 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


how about this for a slogan?

democrats 2018: i bet neoliberalism sounds pretty fucking good to you now, doesn't it, you little shits?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:35 AM on July 20 [75 favorites]


Being able to say "hello" and "I love you" /= "speaking" Chinese or any language.

honestly, a lot of white americans seem to consider it sufficient, given how they'll say they know [any asian/foreign] language and then botch the few stock phrases they sorta memorized.
posted by anem0ne at 11:36 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Democrats 2018: Discarded Pizza Boxes Are An Inexpensive Source Of Cheese
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:36 AM on July 20 [54 favorites]


So, the dems, by & large get authors, poets, musicians, comedians, directors, actors, dancers; artists. The repubs get marketers. Seems like a fine state of affairs. Maybe, we could, I dunno.. use some tiny portion of our budget & hire an actual marketing firm to workshop a damn slogan for real? I'm as much against sloganeering as anyone else, but these things matter to some people & we need their votes, too.

If we're going to play the game, let's play the game. I hate watching my party do the "oh, my nephew is good with [x], let's get him to do it" thing when we agree it's lame & lambast our opponents for it. Mote, beam, eye, etc.
posted by narwhal at 11:37 AM on July 20 [8 favorites]


Maybe they keep hiring Republican marketers.
posted by LarsC at 11:41 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


KUSHNER: Ni hao.
....
Honey? Can you say a few words in Chinese? Say, like, “I love you, Grandpa” —
KUSHNER: Wo ai ni, Grandpa.


Is anybody else getting the vibe this whole interaction is staged? Like, the most powerful man in the country is giving an interview, which given his obsession with wanting positive coverage you think he would make a BIG DEAL. Wouldn't he have someone outside his office to say to anyone (including his family) "I'm sorry, the president is busy right now and would prefer not to be interrupted" so he wouldn't risk anyone else coming in? And of course it was Ivanka and her 'beautiful' daughter speaking Chinese (how smart!), not lunch meat Bannon or can-he-even-speak Kushner. I want to use Trump's razor and believe that since this easy to plan thing made them look positive, this incident was staged.

This administration has me making a conspiracy out of everything, and granted it's small beans, but this is the sort of thing that shows he really thinks it's only about PR.
posted by andruwjones26 at 11:41 AM on July 20 [31 favorites]


Is anybody else getting the vibe this whole interaction is staged?

I never thought otherwise. Also, Trump ordering his granddaughter to tell him that she loves him.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:43 AM on July 20 [72 favorites]


Hmm. "With Liberty And Justice For All" strikes the right tone for me, and seems to cover the bases, but the sentiment is a little extreme these days, I grant you.
posted by darkstar at 11:44 AM on July 20 [29 favorites]


folks, all of us here are the kind of people whose favorite thing to do on the internet is hang out on a community weblog designed in the late nineties where image posting is disabled. if the Democrats come up with a slogan that we like, that is probably the worst slogan for them to use.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:44 AM on July 20 [264 favorites]


Is anybody else getting the vibe this whole interaction is staged?

I'd think it was staged under just about any circumstances; happenstance humanizing slice-of-life moment in the President's day during an interview is pretty meat and potatoes stuff. The remarkable thing is Trump et al being such impressively shady fuckadoos that even this sort of bland fluff would get that kind of scrutiny.
posted by cortex at 11:44 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]


We were all boggling over the Trump interview here in the gamera household and my son said that his bit about health insurance sounded like the output of a neural net that's just trying to relate words to each other without any clue about their actual meaning.
posted by gamera at 11:45 AM on July 20 [33 favorites]


Concsues all over social media is that The Slogan Is Bad
posted by The Whelk at 11:46 AM on July 20 [5 favorites]




metafilter: all of us here are the kind of people whose favorite thing to do on the internet is hang out on a community weblog designed in the late nineties
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:48 AM on July 20 [52 favorites]


Vote For Us Or The Slogans Will Keep Coming
posted by uosuaq at 11:49 AM on July 20 [36 favorites]


WITH IMAGE POSTING DISABLED
posted by Melismata at 11:49 AM on July 20 [32 favorites]


I agree, cortex: this is the kind of thing that the D's probably use all the time to humanize their candidates (Tipper/Al Gore's 10 second kiss comes to mind.) It just feels more evil in the Trump white house, cause EVERYTHING is about deception. In a normal administration, I would accept this as meat-and-potatoes, but because this WH is about trying to control and alter every narrative while in fact being powerless, this feels more sinister.
posted by andruwjones26 at 11:50 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


No matter what the wonks come up with, this will be always the modern Democratic Party slogan:

Democrats: Unexciting Center-Right Policies with a Dash of Milquetoast Center-Left Posturing (but only when it doesn't have a chance of passing)

Rolls off the tongue, plus everyone already knows it by heart.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:50 AM on July 20 [21 favorites]


Metafilter: If your slogan or the title of your thesis has a colon in it, throw it straight in the garbage.
posted by emelenjr at 11:51 AM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Derail? Possibly. But I want to counterpoint the idea that if "we" like a slogan, it's terrible. I think it's possible that a slogan can be 1) effective with its target audience (slogan liking/influenced people) & 2) recognized as a decent slogan by people outside of that target audience (of whom, we be a slice). This list of slogans supports my thesis. I'm not a slogan guy, but I agree that many of these slogans "work." I'd like to see the DNC adopt a slogan that strives for this kind of appeal, rather than settling for mealy-mouthed mediocrity.
posted by narwhal at 11:53 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]



Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages = A Better Deal

Long form and short summary. It could work. Ever since a Better Deal was mentioned in the last thread it has stuck with me. It's a slogan that works on multiple levels.

One it is an overall summary of what Dems can stand for. 'Better'. It's simple and it's catchy.
Two it subverts and builds upon the opponents messaging. It's the same process that the Right does all of the time with it's messaging. The whole subversion and claiming of 'fake news' is the latest example of something that has worked really well for them.

Steal and subvert and change the power dynamic that these sorts of airy fairy ideas have.

It also works because it's taking a message and word that is already out there, that your opponent has put tons of time and energy to infiltrate the political culture and minds of people and builds on that work. There is no need to spend the time getting the 'new' words and phrase in. It co-opts and use that work to your advantage.

It also put the main messaging of your opponent into a more defensive position. 'You say you do good deals for America? Guess what our's is better.' Opponent then has to defend that position as being the 'better' which opens up a myriad of avenues to counter their messaging.

Better Deal is an emotionally based phrase. It means little until the details are talked about and that's okay. MAGA is a prime example of an emotionally based slogan that worked really well (unfortunately) because people got to decide what it meant for them. It ended up meaning horrible things of course but it's success was based on people own ideas of what it meant.

The whole of life is not about jobs, wages and skills. Seriously. Again MAGA worked like it did because it didn't focus on these specific areas. People may say in polls that these matter a lot and the do but there is more to political decisions then just those things.

I could say more but I'll stop now. Wages, skills, and jobs on it's own is stupid.
posted by Jalliah at 11:53 AM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Oh. My. God. It's 2017 and the president is selling the US to Russia while his bad hombre buddies loot the place, but let's everyone stop to watch OJ Simpson for a while.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:53 AM on July 20 [18 favorites]


Metafilter: If your slogan or the title of your thesis has a colon in it, throw it straight in the garbage.

I threw my colon in the garbage once and wouldn't recommend it.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:53 AM on July 20 [16 favorites]


I would be perfectly happy to argue about how whoever they're running in 2020 is also extremely disappointing but ultimately will still get my support and vote (sorry mods, j/k, I'll wait), but they're not putting a press release out about that on Monday. This is just the shitty disappointing thing they're doing right now.
posted by penduluum at 11:53 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


workshopping the slogan may be bikeshedding; recognizing that the slogan reflects ideas that are both discredited and unpopular is not bikeshedding.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:54 AM on July 20 [17 favorites]


Doktor Zed: CNN: President Trump's First Six Months: By the Numbers
...
* 5 campaign-style rallies, 1 news conference


Listen, CNN: those weren't "campaign-style rallies," those were re-election rallies. Why is this distinction important? This widely and deeply hated president kicked off the first month of his first term a re-election rally in Florida, with Air Force One as a backdrop, and by April, Mr. Trump’s campaign brought in $7.1 million during the first three months of 2017, on top of over $23 million raised with the Republican Party. CNBC reported on June 29 Trump rakes in $10 million at first re-election fundraiser, which is only different from prior re-election rallies in that he charged the limited audience of up to 300 guests $35,000 per head.

Why does it matter that he's trying to sheer his sheep this early? 1) He should be doing his damned job, not surrounding himself with rabid fans to raise his spirits and fill his coffers, 2) his "private" rallies allow him gather supporter contact information, control access the events and further boost his distorted message and tout his lies, and 3) the funding he raises now is being used as general purpose slush funds for things like paying Donald Jr's attorney fees.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:56 AM on July 20 [38 favorites]


I was surprised to see people referring to Blackwater, because I remembered them changing their name to Xe. I looked it up, and it seems they've changed it once again, to Academi.

I am, of course, very much in favor of continuing to refer to them as Blackwater, because shitty companies shouldn't be allowed to obscure their history by changing names. But I'm also in favor of mentioning the current name as well for the sake of clarity.
posted by shponglespore at 11:59 AM on July 20 [19 favorites]


The one plus from Trump's horrible mismangement of gov't that is likely to occur in the next 10-20 years is that the Trump name will become so anathema that the removal of the TRUMP logo from that already-ugly building in Chicago is inevitable, so one day it will no longer terrorize the citizens of Chicago as they ride the El from Wabash to Lake.

That's not enough. Once it all comes crashing down and the full extend of the metastasis is finally fully exposed, I want his name to become a common handle for things (and people) venal, corrupt, vile, and stupid. I want it to become so commonly recognized for that purpose that we cease to capitalize it, like quisling. More than that, I want it to become offensive; I want its use to be shunned in polite discourse. I want history classes to send home a note to parents warning that they're going to be teaching about the 45th president and some disturbing terms will be encountered, like my high school English classes did before we read Huckleberry Finn.I want bridge players to have to find a new term to avoid accidentally provoking discomfort among others. I want people who use the word to have to defend its use - "It's not a slur! It has a completely different etymology!" - and be unable to use it without at least the awareness that the very sound of that disgusting monosyllable makes their listeners squirm. I want referring to someone as "a t-word" to be as viscerally offensive and beyond the pale as it would be to call someone "a c-word."

Because I already get that gut-shock every time I hear that disgusting word - it feels like the radio announcer is referring to President Swearword - and I want my kids, and all students of history, to understand intuitively just how awful and dangerous he and the things that he stands for really are. His name is going to be burned into our history and, like slavery or the internment of Japanese-Americans, will be a source of enduring shame for generations. May future generations recoil instinctively from all that he represents, and let his mention at least serve as a warning, as a reminder that yes, it can happen here.
posted by nickmark at 11:59 AM on July 20 [82 favorites]


Democrats: Unexciting Center-Right Policies

Stahp! The Democrats are not center-right. I'm sooooo tired of this. Just no.
posted by Justinian at 12:01 PM on July 20 [30 favorites]


We're going to need new vocabulary for card games.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:01 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


I threw my colon in the garbage once and wouldn't recommend it.

I threw out my back once, but this sounds more serious.
posted by anothermug at 12:02 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


Orientation on a bipolar scale kind of depends on where you yourself are sitting. Though my experience here is that people do tend to forget that people do in fact sit in different places (or even multiple places simultaneously).
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:03 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


DEMOCRATS 2018: TOGETHER WE CAN CLOSE THE BARN DOOR
posted by ian1977 at 12:05 PM on July 20 [57 favorites]


Though my experience here is that people do tend to forget that people do in fact sit in different places (or even multiple places simultaneously).
posted by soren_lorensen


Well sure, if they're the kwisatz haderach.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 12:06 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


We're all kwisatz haderachs down here

(kwisatzes haderch?)
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:08 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Democrats 2018: a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:09 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]



Holy crap. So this slogan is apparently falling under an overarching slogan. - A Better Deal, according to Politico.
posted by Jalliah at 12:10 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Eric, we have Priebus-sign the likes of which God has never seen!
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:11 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Democrats: Don't get your hopes up
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:11 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages

Papa John's
posted by dirigibleman at 12:11 PM on July 20 [71 favorites]


I am, of course, very much in favor of continuing to refer to them as Blackwater, because shitty companies shouldn't be allowed to obscure their history by changing names.

Also Blackwater = possibility of Game of Thrones jokes.

Or Doobie Brothers.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:12 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I was going for KEEP EARTH HABITABLE because that one's high on my priority list, but apparently half the country just doesn't give a fuck about it.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:13 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


Democrats: We won't kill you!

I mean, you'd think that would be sufficient compared to the Republicans but obviously it isn't.
posted by Justinian at 12:14 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]




Trying to find the link but I'm reading on twitter that the Better Skills...etc is the tagline. That the big slogan IS 'A Better Deal.'
posted by Jalliah at 12:14 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


DEMOCRATS 2018: IMPEACHAPALOOZA/CATHARSIS
posted by saysthis at 12:14 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Stahp! The Democrats are not center-right. I'm sooooo tired of this. Just no.

Sorry, maybe that slogan would go better with a new logo. Here's a quick and dirty sketchup.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:15 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


People aren't going to crowd the streets shouting "Better skills!" in unison.

"Two, four, six, eight, Trump's crime was very great! Great meaning large or immense, we use it in the pejorative sense!"
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 12:16 PM on July 20 [116 favorites]


Let's play What If: Is Vladimir Putin’s big collapse coming soon? (Salon video with some text) Author Richard Lourie talks about how Putin's failure to wean Russia off oil will destroy the nation's economy.

A fooking brilliant reply to Russia hacking elections, as suggested by Lourie, is for everyone to push hard away from oil and gas, thus starving a large portion of the Russian economy. But Lourie phrases it like switching off of petrol is only a threat to Putin, but not a net benefit for the whole fooking planet. For an idea of how heavily Russia relies on oil and gas, petroleum products, natural gas and crude oil made up 68% of total exports in 2013. We don't have to suddenly switch off the pipelines, but decreasing demand for those products will stress Russia.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:17 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Leftism 2017: Stop Talking About How Bad The Other Guy Is And Focus On Class Issues. No, Not Like That. What About Healthcare? Why Aren't You Attacking Capitalism Directly?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:18 PM on July 20 [27 favorites]


No one's going to mention that they released some nonsense called MAGAnomics?
posted by Yowser at 12:18 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, over in HUD where no one is watching: "Under Trump Party Planner, HUD Abruptly Ends Obama's Battle Against Segregation in Westchester", (Slate, 7/19):
For eight years, Rob Astorino has led Westchester County, New York in its refusal to comply with the terms of a federal consent degree to hasten the integration of New York City’s racially stratified wealthy northern suburbs.

[...]

In April, a few weeks after HUD deemed the county’s latest effort “unacceptable," a federal appeals panel declared that Westchester—the swath of small towns and cities between the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound—was “engaging in total obstructionism” by failing to comply with the 2009 settlement. That agreement, signed by Astorino’s predecessor, was the result of a U.S. District Court ruling that Westchester had “utterly failed” to comply with the Fair Housing Act. The Anti-Discrimination Center sued Westchester in 2006 after the county accepted $52 million in HUD grants but falsely certified in the paperwork that it had conducted a proper fair housing analysis.

Then came Lynne Patton, Trump family party planner turned HUD administrator. In June, Patton took office as the head of HUD Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey.
Also, further down in the article there's this bit that's just so... well it's a lot:
In a 2015 editorial that his later statements on housing have convinced me he did not actually write, HUD Secretary Ben Carson called Obama HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s policies a “government-engineered attempt to legislate racial equality.”
posted by mhum at 12:19 PM on July 20 [21 favorites]


Why Aren't You Attacking Capitalism Directly?

From verything I've seen from the left about the slogan, I don't think they could be satisfied with anything the Democratic party could come up with besides a rousing version of the Internationale.
posted by zabuni at 12:22 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Leftism 2017: Stop Talking About How Bad The Other Guy Is And Focus On Class Issues. No, Not Like That. What About Healthcare? Why Aren't You Attacking Capitalism Directly?

I mean... if you think people wanting Democrats to put healthcare at the forefront of what the party should stand for is tantamount to Bernie-broism, then I really don't know what to tell you.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:23 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


I consider it impossible-to-please-ism when it's coming from the same people who have been lambasting mainstream Dems for not talking about the wage gap (correctly, in my opinion!) for years.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:24 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


He's learned that Macron clued into his handshake dominance thing & was ready for it so he's trying to turn it back around to "Macron's handshake counter-tactic proves that he's gay for me."

Now I am trying to imagine a gay subculture in France were suave Frenchmen lust after style-less chubby American schlubs. [it probably exists].
posted by srboisvert at 12:24 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Canada needs to let Trump ‘declare victory’ on NAFTA, ambassador to U.S. says:

Canada needs to allow U.S. President Donald Trump to “declare victory” on the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton said Thursday.

MacNaughton, taking questions alongside his Mexican counterpart at an event in Washington, said Canada is optimistic that the revised deal can be, as Vice-President Mike Pence said last week, a “win-win-win” for all three countries.

But asked if Canada can allow Trump to sell the revised deal to his base, MacNaughton said Canada must let the president tout the outcome as his own triumph.

“This was such a big part of the president’s campaign last year, and I think for any of us to think that we can sort of just ignore that would be crazy. We have to find ways where he can declare victory without it being seen in either Mexico or Canada as being a loss,” MacNaughton said.


So I guess North American trade discussions at this particular juncture consist of Trump in a high chair smearing mashed potatoes on himself while the adults at the dinner table sip their coffee and say "Pay no mind. Let him wear himself out."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:26 PM on July 20 [22 favorites]


Democrats 2018: This Land is Our Land...Motherfuckers
posted by ian1977 at 12:27 PM on July 20 [32 favorites]


Got a few links on the role of the rest of the Republican Party in The Russia Stuff.

James Kirchick for Politico: How the GOP Became the Party of Putin
It would be a mistake to attribute this shift solely to Trump and his odd solicitousness toward Moscow. Russia has been targeting the American right since at least 2013, the year Putin enacted a law targeting pro-gay rights organizing and delivered a state-of-the-nation address extolling Russia’s “traditional values” and assailing the West’s “genderless and infertile” liberalism. That same year, a Kremlin-connected think tank released a report entitled, “Putin: World Conservativism’s New Leader.” In 2015, Russia hosted a delegation from the National Rifle Association, one of America’s most influential conservative lobby groups, which included David Keene, then-president of the NRA and now editor of the Washington Times editorial page, which regularly features voices calling for a friendlier relationship with Moscow. (It should be noted here that Russia, a country run by its security services where the leader recently created a 400,000-strong praetorian guard, doesn’t exactly embrace the individual right to bear arms.) A recent investigation by Politico Magazine, meanwhile, revealed how Russian intelligence services have been using the internet and social networks to target another redoubt of American conservativism: the military community.
(This is a good companion piece to the Dec. 2016 piece by Peter Beinart in the Atlantic: Why Trump’s Republican Party Is Embracing Russia)

Ryan Goodman for the academic blog Just Security: Did Trump Campaign Collude with Russia to Defeat Republican Opponents in GOP Primary?
During a March 30, 2017 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Watts testified about how the Russian operation took shape once the primary got underway:

“Through the end of 2015 and start of 2016, the Russian influence system began pushing themes and messages seeking to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Russian’s overt media outlets and covert trolls sought to sideline opponents on both sides of the political spectrum with adversarial views towards the Kremlin. They were in full swing during both the Republican and Democratic primary season that may have helped sink the hopes of candidates more hostile to Russian interests long before the field narrowed.”
...
An important line in the U.S. intelligence report reads, “Russian intelligence services collected [information] against the US primary campaigns … they viewed as likely to shape future US policies.” In October 2016, NBC reported that Russian efforts to steal emails and other data got underway in 2015 and included “top Republicans and staffers for Republican candidates for president.”
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:27 PM on July 20 [30 favorites]


America is a revolutionary country. It's baked into our national history and mythology. Why can't the Democrats come up with a slogan that makes voting sound like a revolutionary act?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:27 PM on July 20 [12 favorites]


Guys, Zombie AHCA/BCRA/RAGFY is baaaaack!

TPM: Key Trumpcare Holdout Says He’s A Yes If Guaranteed A Vote On His Amendment

[KY Senator and noted ass Rand Paul] said he would relent and support a motion to proceed if GOP leaders guaranteed him a vote on an amendment that would swap in the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill.

(To be clear, that's the Repeal and GFY bill. And once it's Yes on a motion to proceed and they're actually debating repeal, I have to believe the moderates will cave as usual.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:28 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


my son said that his bit about health insurance sounded like the output of a neural net that's just trying to relate words to each other without any clue about their actual meaning.

The difference being that neural nets learn...

Now wondering if http://www.iflscience.com/technology/ai-trying-to-design-inspirational-posters-goes-horribly-and-hilariously-wrong/ may actually be an AI that's become sentient trying to learn how to talk Trump down to prevent the apocalypse.
posted by Buntix at 12:28 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


I mean the problem with the slogan is that it is completely anodyne and forgettable and you can tell it's been workshopped to death between the various centers of power in the party leadership.

The value of the New Deal, as a slogan or a logo, is that if you were a New Dealer you could point to several legitimately transformational policies that were a result of a transformational philosophy to the massive problems that faced society in the early twentieth century.

Raise your hand if you think any Dem politicians will even remember "A Better Deal" a year from now.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:28 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


No one's going to mention that they released some nonsense called MAGAnomics?

All I could find was a paywalled WSJ editorial by Mick Mulvaney. It looks like it was reposted on some blog so I skimmed it.

I saw no details beyond boilerplate conservative rhetoric. I could've written it myself with a few minutes of googling and a strong clothespin for my nose.

I went to the OMB site and saw nothing

I went to whitehouse.gov and found the aforementioned editorial excerpted.

So I guess, they released a plan, for certain definitions of 'released' and 'plan'...?

Seriously I probably did more work in researching MAGAnomics for this comment than anyone above the level of 'intern' did in producing it.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:30 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


I really really liked the slogan STRONGER TOGETHER but apparently people still voted for Jill fucking Stein in droves so what do I know?

If A BETTER DEAL gives those assholes cover to vote for a Democrat then hallelujah but I strongly suspect their issue with Democrats was less about mottos and more about their own, how to put this kindly, idiocy.

As far as I can tell, all the responsible people I know would vote D even if their slogan was STINKY FISH FOR CONGRESS or WE LIKE PINA COLADAS.
posted by lydhre at 12:30 PM on July 20 [48 favorites]


The Democrats:
One coupon for 10¢ off chicken in every pot; One coupon for a free car wash in every garage
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:33 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


WE LIKE PINA COLADAS

Actually "We're Not Into Healthfood" might win a few votes.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:34 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


I hope they find links between Stein and Russia. That would be hilarious and drive Glenn Greenwald insane.
posted by Justinian at 12:34 PM on July 20 [26 favorites]


I seriously don't feel like "be aware of the zeitgeist and strive to inspire" is an unrealistically high bar for a slogan to clear. In fact it kind of seems like it should be the first bullet point on the white board.

You can have a good slogan and still lose. Stronger Together is a pretty good one, actually. Change We Can Believe In was kind of eh. Yes We Can is fantastic. Nobody's saying it's the invincible silver bullet for victory, but it is important. "It's fine" shouldn't be the aim.
posted by penduluum at 12:35 PM on July 20 [20 favorites]


America is a revolutionary country. It's baked into our national history and mythology. Why can't the Democrats come up with a slogan that makes voting sound like a revolutionary act?

Paging Lin-Manuel Miranda...
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:36 PM on July 20 [31 favorites]


Is it too much to repeat the plea to call/fax/email/visit your senators to ask them to stop this healthcare insanity? It's exhausting and frustrating to keep fighting this damn thing, but please keep it up.
posted by mcduff at 12:36 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Inspirobot is bananas and came up with this gem that fits nicely into the bad slogans:
All you need to destroy democracy is a woman.
posted by jclarkin at 12:37 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


Actually "We're Not Into Healthfood" might win a few votes.

Like this guy's: Liberals can win again if they stop being so annoying and fix their 'hamburger problem'
This combination of facts has me thinking a lot about what I call "the hamburger problem." As I see it, Democrats' problem isn't that they're on the wrong side of policy issues. It's that they're too ready to bother too many ordinary people about too many of their personal choices, all the way down to the hamburgers they eat.

They don't always want to prohibit those choices. But they have become smug and condescending toward anyone who does not match the personal lifestyle choices of liberal elites. Why would the voters on the receiving end of that smug condescension trust such a movement to operate the government in their best interest?

The nice thing about the hamburger problem is that Democrats can fix it without moving substantially on policy. They just have to become less annoying.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:37 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Stronger Together is a pretty good one, actually. Change We Can Believe In was kind of eh. Yes We Can is fantastic. Nobody's saying it's the invincible silver bullet for victory, but it is important. "It's fine" shouldn't be the aim

Point of order: those are all presidential campaign slogans. This is not.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:38 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


DemSlogan single-payer suggestion, "FREE DRUGS".

DemSlogan earned benefits suggestion, "FREE MONEY".

DemSlogan impeach Trump suggestion, "FREE TRUMP".

DemSlogan net neutrality suggestion, "FREE PORN".

DemSlogan climate change suggestion, "FREE AIR CONDITIONING".

DemSlogan immigration reform suggestion, "FREE TRAVEL".

I'm not wrong.
posted by saysthis at 12:44 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


Believe in Better

Would be a slight at the religious right which I could go for.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:45 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


It's that they're too ready to bother too many ordinary people about too many of their personal choices, all the way down to the hamburgers they eat.

There goes my last even. There's just no way to bridge the divide between "I'm mad that liberals tell me not to eat meat" and "yeah but women and people of color are literally dying though."
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:46 PM on July 20 [37 favorites]


Democrats 2018: be aware of the zeitgeist and strive to inspire!

They don't always want to prohibit those choices. But they have become smug and condescending toward anyone who does not match the personal lifestyle choices of liberal elites. Why would the voters on the receiving end of that smug condescension trust such a movement to operate the government in their best interest?

Ah, one of those A Liberal Was Mean To Me So I'm Voting To Destroy The Earth For My Generation And All Those To Come voters. Plenty of those on the right and the left.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:47 PM on July 20 [50 favorites]


WE LIKE PINA COLADAS

"IF YOU HAVE HALF A BRAIN."
posted by octobersurprise at 12:47 PM on July 20 [30 favorites]


let's make this work
posted by mumimor at 12:48 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


My slogan suggestion:
You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Timequake
posted by night_train at 12:48 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


Oh god is that hamburger problem piece fucking obnoxious. It's yet another "the problem with the left is they want to outlaw fun" bit of intellectual wankery.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:49 PM on July 20 [19 favorites]


I've long thought we could have this net neutrality debate licked if someone just started a rumor that Comcast wants to charge $100/mb for porn.
posted by zachlipton at 12:49 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


There goes my last even. There's just no way to bridge the divide between "I'm mad that liberals tell me not to eat meat" and "yeah but women and people of color are literally dying though."

Welfare reform/minority poverty & nutrition programs = FREE MEAT
posted by saysthis at 12:50 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Also, the author of that piece is all about hamburger shaming.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:51 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


I think a common Democratic problem is overthinking how they present to the public. With that in mind, "Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages" should be fine. It doesn't appeal to me, personally, but it does give me an easy "in" to briefly explain to an undecided why a vote for a Democrat is a vote for their economic self interest.
posted by Tevin at 12:51 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


"I'm mad that liberals tell me not to eat meat"

As a vegetarian who has never told anyone else to not eat meat, you don't know "smug and condescending" until you've been a vegetarian around a bunch of conservatives. They can dish this shit out like whoa but have zero ability to take it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:51 PM on July 20 [115 favorites]


"Why won't Democrats promise to stop doing this thing that I made up five years ago so I could justify being mad at them?"
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:52 PM on July 20 [23 favorites]


I can't even find the 2014 slogan on the web, so I guess it's not that important. Maybe they could just lift one from a Coen brothers movie, like "I'LL SHOW YOU THE LIFE OF THE MIND!" or "Dude, at least it's an ethos."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:53 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Oh oh oh and slash military budgets to get all our money for free stuff which means military surplus gun auctions! Which means... FREE GUNS
posted by saysthis at 12:54 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Maybe they could just lift one from a Coen brothers movie

Democrats: When you fuck a stranger in the ass
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:55 PM on July 20 [22 favorites]


Like this guy's: Liberals can win again if they stop being so annoying and fix their 'hamburger problem'

Oh, please. "Smug and condescending" is a conservative trademark. It's just that they're losing the war of ideas, so don't really have an intellectual foundation for it.

But Barro is too busy implying that liberals mostly want to ban practices of which they disapprove -- they "don't always," he concedes -- and complaining to pay address his apparent annoyance that liberals are actually right about most of their issues, and have the data to prove it. He just doesn't like being told to eat his vegetables, or imagines that's the problem, even as he tacitly concedes they really are good for you.

Anyway, Republicans want to reinstate anti-sodomy laws and ban contraception, so I doubt "people don't like being told what to do" is really a thing that distinguishes the two sides.
posted by Gelatin at 12:56 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


Free guns, free meat, you won't die impoverished in the street.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:57 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


they would milquetoast it down to '2018: When you find a stranger in the Alps.'
posted by ian1977 at 12:58 PM on July 20 [21 favorites]


They don't always want to prohibit those choices. But they have become smug and condescending toward anyone who does not match the personal lifestyle choices of liberal elites. Why would the voters on the receiving end of that smug condescension trust such a movement to operate the government in their best interest?

I used to be completely perplexed by how much "smugness" and "elitism" come up as reasons people on the right give for their hatred of the left, but now think that this is at least in part a US-specific cultural issue that also relates to our anti-intellectualism. Simply put: there's a large proportion of americans who believe on a very deep level that the insult of being called wrong is worse than the harm done by being wrong, just as it's worse to be called a racist than to be a racist.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:58 PM on July 20 [88 favorites]


You people have any idea how much mental energy I've wasted praying this thread would just ignore Barro's stupid hamburger problem article? Weren't you happier living in blissful ignorance?
posted by zachlipton at 12:59 PM on July 20 [47 favorites]


Anyway, Republicans want to reinstate anti-sodomy laws and ban contraception,

FREE ASS

I'm drunk and I'm done now.
posted by saysthis at 12:59 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


Josh Barro is to liberal punditry as Matt Walsh is to conservative punditry.

That's probably one of the meanest things I could say about anyone, tbh.
posted by Tevin at 1:02 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Being able to say 'hello' and 'I love you' /= 'speaking' Chinese or any language.

Except for Morrisonian.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:02 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


ASS, CASH, AND GRASS
Everyone gets them for free!
posted by kirkaracha at 1:03 PM on July 20 [35 favorites]


It's that they're too ready to bother too many ordinary people about too many of their personal choices, all the way down to the hamburgers they eat.

Okay, rant time. What the fuck is Josh Barro talking about?

What? The fuck? Is Josh Barro talking about?

His cited example of this phenomenon is this:
Liberals want you to know that you should eat less meat so as to contribute less to global warming.
It's a link to an article where Obama said this:
When we think about issues like food security or climate change, ultimately politicians can help guide policy, but the energy to bring about change is going to come from what people do every day. It's going to come from parents who are concerned about the impact climate change may have on their child, from business people who say how we can use less energy or waste less resources in making our products. It's millions of decisions made individually that have the ability to make changes.
[...] Because food is so close to us and is part of our family and is part of what we do every single day, people, I think, are more resistant to the idea of government or bureaucrats telling them what to eat, how to eat and what to grow.
Literally, all Obama is saying is, choices have consequences. Choices have consequences. Isn't the idea of taking responsibility for the results of your actions supposedly the bedrock of conservative philosophy? We're just supposed to not mention that meat has terrible environmental consequences because that mere statement of fact will make people feel bad? I guess conservatives need a safe space where they don't hear about the consequences of their choices.

I hear all the time about vegans who are trying to shame people for eating meat, cyclists who are trying to ban cars, atheists who are shouting down churchgoers, liberals who want to make people feel bad for living outside the gay downtown. As far as I can tell these are all just fictional. Josh Barro just sort of believes these things do happen and links to articles that don't even describe the supposed behavior as evidence.

If I had $10 for every vegan who frowned at me eating a hamburger and -$1 for every time I heard about how much vegetarians like to shun meat eaters, I would be broke. This idea that liberals are always poo-pooing middle America behavior is just some bullshit meme that the right invented to shut down rational discourse. I normally think Barro smart enough to not fall for the obvious sham, so it's pretty disappointing to hear him take this hook, line, and sinker.

Once you start thinking liberals are being "smug" and "elitist" you can find evidence for it in the most milquetoast statements of fact. Oh, Obama said that individual choices matter, but what he meant was that you should whip yourself every time you eat anything but raw lentils. See, liberals are so smug! Boo!
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:04 PM on July 20 [67 favorites]


There goes my last even.

You must construct additional evens
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:04 PM on July 20 [34 favorites]


Buntix: Now wondering if AI Trying To Design Inspirational Posters Goes Horribly And Hilariously Wrong may actually be an AI that's become sentient trying to learn how to talk Trump down to prevent the apocalypse.

If nothing else, it produced this very topical pairing of text and image.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:04 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


ASS, CASH, AND GRASS
Everyone gets them for free!
posted by kirkaracha at 5:03 AM on July 21 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]

YOU HAVE MY VOTE.
posted by saysthis at 1:04 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


I still don't see how the BCRA passes but it sure sounds like they're going to get it to the floor.
posted by Justinian at 1:05 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Literally, all Obama is saying is, choices have consequences.

Which is another thing that it's apparently A-OK for conservatives to say when they justify taking away health care from someone who maybe ate a donut once.
posted by Gelatin at 1:06 PM on July 20 [28 favorites]


Democrats '18: More Evens
posted by notyou at 1:06 PM on July 20 [17 favorites]


ASS, CASH, AND GRASS
Everyone gets them for free!
posted by kirkaracha


Listen, pal, in this country we respect the Law of Conservation of Ass, Cash, and Grass
posted by the phlegmatic king at 1:07 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I like AlexiaSky's "Believe in Better." A lot. Both powerful words. Hopeful, idealistic, and kind of abstract, but also universally intimate and relevant—everybody knows what "believe" and "better" feel like, even if they're not always concrete. Cherry on top: it wrests Trump's stupid "Believe me!" away from him, and says no, believe in *better* than him.

As others have mentioned, motivated Ds are going to pull the lever for Ds no matter what the slogan, and motivated anti-Ds are gonna do the same for non-D candidates. Out of the people left over, the number of people who "believe in believing," or who want "better" after the current shitstorm, seems like an awful lot. And the slogan itself is an invitation: to believe, obvs, but to hitch that belief to another action (voting D).

I'm far from the target audience, and slogans are ultimately just slogans in a lot of ways, but yeah, I like this one. Maybe I just want to feel happy about something in American politics, and I'll take what I can get.
posted by Rykey at 1:08 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


A Better Deal
Better Healthcare, Better Jobs, Better Wages

I mean, I just don't understand how Democrats can't market the fact that Republicans wanted to fuck over the entire nation and we stopped (and continue to stop) them. We should be marketing the shit out of that. Fuck better skills. That's just lame.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:08 PM on July 20 [33 favorites]


As much as I'm enjoying this barrage of brilliant sloganeering, maybe we should cool it down for the sake of the mods and 3K+ comment threads being a real monster to load and navigate?
posted by Tevin at 1:09 PM on July 20 [20 favorites]


This idea that liberals are always poo-pooing middle America behavior is just some bullshit meme that the right invented to shut down rational discourse. I normally think Barro smart enough to not fall for the obvious sham, so it's pretty disappointing to hear him take this hook, line, and sinker.

I wouldn't want the national media to completely shun conservative websites, as it's sometimes useful to get an idea of what slogans they're passing around, but one really ought to check oneself when one thinks "say, these people have a point!"

(Though still, if I ran a newsroom, catching someone reading the Drudge Report would still be a firing offense.)
posted by Gelatin at 1:09 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Justinian: I still don't see how the BCRA passes but it sure sounds like they're going to get it to the floor.

To lower the McDuff panic level, can you spell out how it doesn't pass, please?
posted by mcduff at 1:09 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Literally, all Obama is saying is, choices have consequences.

Those people's choices have consequences. My choices have all either been perfectly rational, or totally understandable mistakes that I should immediately be forgiven for and get help rectifying.

(AKA IOKIYAR)
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:10 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


I still don't see how the BCRA passes but it sure sounds like they're going to get it to the floor.

Maybe they're planning to talk less, smile more?

(I don't think the MTP will succeed, but if it does, I am sure the moderates -- save for two golden tickets -- will find an excuse to cave. Keep those calls and letters coming, folks!)
posted by Gelatin at 1:10 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Susan Collins is a hard no. And Rand Paul's backpedaling was only about the Motion to Proceed, not the actual bill. So he is still currently a no. That's enough to kill the bill without McCain or replacement there.
posted by Justinian at 1:10 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I still don't see how the BCRA passes but it sure sounds like they're going to get it to the floor.

They're going to get something to the floor and then arm twist and amendment that into some kind of OmniShamble Care they can send to the House for a quick wind up. (They want to bypass conference because they are in a hurry to murder progressivity in the tax code, too.)
posted by notyou at 1:11 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Democrats 2018: Wolverines!
posted by misterpatrick at 1:11 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


$45 billion for opioid treatment is no substitute for taking away $800 billion from Medicaid

When the crack epidemic affected urban African Americans, Republicans were all "Lock 'em up!"

When the opioid epidemic affects rural whites, Republicans stumble all over themselves in a scramble to throw billions of dollars at them.

The rural white affinity for Republicans? It ain't economic anxiety.
posted by JackFlash at 1:12 PM on July 20 [48 favorites]


[KY Senator and noted ass Rand Paul] said he would relent and support a motion to proceed if GOP leaders guaranteed him a vote on an amendment that would swap in the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill.

I am really struggling with the notion that they could be preparing to literally enact their symbolic 2015 bill, which it seems is happening if we accept the "the moderates always cave" principle.

I mean, yes, it makes sense. They've been lying for years about how they're going to "replace" the ACA when obviously there is no way to genuinely improve (or even just keep) the ACA while staying within GOP orthodoxy, so after publicly failing for a few months to square that circle, they are just going to go ahead and do what they actually wanted all along and repeal it, poor and sick be damned.

But it is just so cruel and dumb, it's hard to make my brain accept it. I thought for sure they would at least come up with some bullshit figleaf of a bill to make it seem like they aren't monsters, but maybe it turns out you don't even need to do that?

2017: The year of no pretending.
posted by jcreigh at 1:14 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


"Liberty and Justice for All" works just fine in my opinion. Then the Republicans can use a picture of Trump captioned "UNDER GOD".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:14 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


IOKIYAR

It's 2017 and I swear sometime this year or next year a Republican will run an actual campaign with this slogan. To the letter. I guarantee it.

Now I'm really real super done.
posted by saysthis at 1:15 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


As a vegetarian who has never told anyone else to not eat meat, you don't know "smug and condescending" until you've been a vegetarian around a bunch of conservatives. They can dish this shit out like whoa but have zero ability to take it.

I mean, pretty much every complaint "conservatives" have of liberals is really a case of projection. Ask them about safe spaces and content warnings and pretty much anything else...
posted by anem0ne at 1:15 PM on July 20 [31 favorites]


Believe in Better

Great suggestion alexiasky. One, it gets the same alliterative punch that Make aMerica Great aGain does with the stress syllables. But more importantly, "believe in better" shifts the focus away from bothsidesism arguments over whether or not democrats are better than republicans and to an aspirational dream that we can have a better democracy. Which is exactly why "yes, we can" worked.
posted by Glibpaxman at 1:16 PM on July 20 [29 favorites]


I hear all the time about vegans who are trying to shame people for eating meat, cyclists who are trying to ban cars, atheists who are shouting down churchgoers, liberals who want to make people feel bad for living outside the gay downtown. As far as I can tell these are all just fictional.

Ehhh, they're there. Americans could cut X amount of greenhouse gas emissions if they would only bike/walk to work, despite most of the country being designed in a way that makes it impossible. Californians could solve the drought if only they (not me) would stop showering and flushing the toilet so often, despite 80% of water going toward multibillion-dollar agriculture operations growing food outside its habitat. Plebs would have better jobs if only they would move to cities, despite it being a damn-near impossible undertaking for anyone without significant savings and no need for a support system. And yes, you should eat less meat despite living in a food desert where fast food and shelf-stable bodega groceries are your only option without a trip.

I wouldn't say "elitist" but rather "out of touch". To me it is understandable that such messaging sticks in a person's craw.
posted by FakeFreyja at 1:16 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


Obnoxious, sanctimonious people exist in the world. That's not new news, and liberals are just as likely to point out the inherent stupidity of lecturing people in a food desert about eating more vegetables. But they are not in any way confined to a single political party, and there's really not that many of them.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:20 PM on July 20 [21 favorites]


More to the point, the issue is more this:

People resent being told they are stupid, and that their long-held values are silly and wrong.

There are a huge number of people in this country, in all parts but certainly more heavily concentrated in the middle, that believe in “traditional American values.” This is set of views that has gone largely unchallenged for most of their lives, and upon which they honestly believe this country is based. The key tenet is being “normal”:

-Christianity is normal, and so is quiet agnosticism. All the different kinds of Muslims (Muslim Muslims, Hindu Muslims, Sikh Muslims) are not normal and are maybe violent. Jews are not normal, but are smart and non-threatening, although you need to watch them. They have never actually met a Muslim or a Jew.

-They don’t believe they are racist at all. They judge people by how they act, not how they look. If all blacks dressed and acted like the ones in the Olive Garden commercials, they would be totally fine with them. But the saggy pants and all the jewelry and bright colors and filthy rap music and whatnot – that isn’t normal. If they want to be accepted, why don’t they just act normal? They don’t know any black people, beyond maybe someone they say “hi” to at work.

-They know some people are gay, but it isn’t normal. It’s fine if they want to do that, but they shouldn’t flaunt it in public and make everyone uncomfortable. And they shouldn’t be putting it on tv or movies like it is normal and just as good as regular relationships, because it isn’t. They know some gays, but they aren’t invited to the bbq this weekend because there are going to be kids there.

-They think the whole trans “debate” is the silliest thing they have ever heard. What, boys are girls now, or vice versa, or whatever they want? And that’s supposed to be normal? And my daughter is going to see some weirdo’s dick waggling out in the bathroom because he feels like he is a girl? Not normal. Not fucking ok.

Especially over the past decade or so, these people have increasingly been told that their deeply-held views are not only wrong, but make them bad people. And, being humans, their reaction isn’t to rethink their lifelong worldview and change their attitude, but rather to dig in and say “fuck you.” They know they are “supposed to say” that they are ok with gay marriage, and black lives matter, and all that, because if they don’t they are going to be called stupid, redneck racists by people on TV and in print media. So they have changed what they’ll say out loud, or at least to whom they will say it, but haven’t changed their beliefs. And Hillary and the democrats are exactly the kind of people that would judge them harshly for their views, and Donald Trump and the republicans are the kind of people who don’t. So they are voting republican, no matter how big of a clown Trump is, because at least those people don’t piss all over my fundamental sense of self.

posted by NoxAeternum at 1:23 PM on July 20 [107 favorites]


To lower the McDuff panic level, can you spell out how it doesn't pass, please?

BCRA is gone, we now have the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act, which is in fact a partial repeal due to the Byrd Rule. I know there's a rule that the Republican "moderates" always cave, but it's now impossible for them to vote for a bill that repeals Obamacare without replacement and throws millions of people off the health insurance rolls, after condemning the concept dozens of times, without doing irreparable damage to their careers. The idea that a replacement will be found in an orderly fashion after repeal doesn't work as a carrot because the Act itself would swiftly lead the individual markets into a death spiral, and the Republicans would be blamed. Enacting this bill after rejecting the previous one would be the greatest self-inflicted wound in modern politics.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:24 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


DemSlogan net neutrality suggestion, "FREE PORN".

If Democrats ran on "Faster Porn Downloads! Privacy Protected!" the majority of Republican men would mock and shame them like crazy and then vote Democrat down the line as soon as they were in the privacy of the voting booth. Then they'd act completely shocked that Democrats won and just be all aghast about it in church the following Sunday and shame everyone else for it while claiming they're "not into that shit."

Please let's not talk about what else they might do in that voting booth.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:25 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


Enacting this bill after rejecting the previous one would be the greatest self-inflicted wound in modern politics

Here, hold their beer.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:26 PM on July 20 [19 favorites]


I know we joke but I do think slogans are important, even if everyone with any sense would vote Dem. Not everyone is refreshing a politics megathread at work - some people aren't paying that much attention. Latching onto something they feel good about, as part of a larger campaign that centers their issues, is important when it comes to GOTV efforts.

Plus they're a way for us to relate to each other and reflect our shared values.

How many of us have said #sheresisted, for example? Stronger together and Yes we can meant a lot to me.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:27 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


people could save money on straw if they stopped constructing strawmen, etc
posted by entropicamericana at 1:27 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


To me the sanctimonious vegetarian / cyclist / liberal is simply at the level of self-reinforcing shared delusion.

It's like if it were just common knowledge that squirrels like to run off with your gas cap while you're fueling your car. I mean, I'm sure it's happened at least once, and I can easily imagine what that would look like, and I've seen squirrels steal other stuff, but I've never really seen this specific thing happen first-hand or know anyone it's happened to.

But every time you pull up to the gas station the guy next to you is like "You gotta watch out for those squirrels! Always trying to take gas caps dontcha know." and you're like "Yeah I know right? They're such thieves. Good thing they make that little plastic cord now so they don't run off with them so easily".
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:29 PM on July 20 [12 favorites]


Liberals can win again if they stop being so annoying and fix their 'hamburger problem'

Motherfucker, I'm as liberal as they come and I just bought a griddle insert for my gas grill so I can make as many goddamn smashburgers as I can fit in my stomach. And I'm gonna do it while watching football when the season starts.

This fucking guy, seriously.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:30 PM on July 20 [21 favorites]


Come to think of it, any of these Dem races in 2018 are probably going to do better just by virtue of not including Clinton. She was the magnet for opposition. So . . no slogan needed?
posted by rc3spencer at 1:30 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Liberals can win again if they stop being so annoying and fix their 'hamburger problem'

The picture in this article is of Trump pretending to eat McDonald's on plates on his motherfucking private airplane and we're the out-of-touch elitists?
posted by kirkaracha at 1:32 PM on July 20 [82 favorites]


are these threads an appropriate venue to discuss mistakes made by the Democratic Party leadership, or is that outside of the scope of discussion?

I can see cases for both sides of this question. It seems like most of the grar present on these threads concerns differing views on this question (though most often this grar erupts in the form of angry shouting about two people who I will not name, both of whom have little to do with the future of the Democratic Party).

It would be preferable if the decision on whether or not discussion of mistakes made by elected Democrats is admissible be made organically by the group as a whole, but a clear and unambiguous ruling on this question from the moderators would also work.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:34 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]




Remember Trump's tweet about forming an "impenetrable Cyber Security unit" with Russia? Well, Reuters is reporting that today Moscow is in talks with U.S. to create cyber security working group - RIA report
Moscow and Washington are in talks to create a joint cyber security working group, Russia's RIA news agency reported on Thursday, citing Andrey Krutskikh, a special presidential envoy on cyber security.

"The talks are underway ... different proposals are being exchanged, nobody denies the necessity of holding the talks and of having such contacts," Krutskikh said, according to RIA.{...}

However, intelligence and security officials in the U.S. and Europe told Reuters on Thursday they were not participating in the talks, which they said were confined to mid-level political officials.

One of the officials, who, like the others, spoke on condition of anonymity, said cooperation on cybersecurity was a "pipe dream" while Russia continues to deny that it hacked last year's U.S. presidential election, as three U.S. intelligence agencies concluded publicly in January.
And that news follows Tillerson's announced plans to shut the State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues. Once again, Team Trump is making plans to align the US closer to Russia on an issue while withdrawing from the rest of the world.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:34 PM on July 20 [29 favorites]


"From verything I've seen from the left about the slogan, I don't think they could be satisfied with anything the Democratic party could come up with besides a rousing version of the Internationale."

I just read the lyrics of that song and it's beautiful, why can't it be our song?
posted by Tarumba at 1:34 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Trump proves that its not really about a politician being out of touch for Republicans. It's just tribalism, they WON'T vote for a Democrat no matter who the fuck they are or what they say or brand themselves. The only hope is to have a secret moderate like Bloomberg or someone run as a Republican.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:35 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


I would also accept Bread and Roses.
posted by zachlipton at 1:37 PM on July 20 [18 favorites]


Trump pretending to eat McDonald's on plates on his motherfucking private airplane
I'm pretty sure his cult calls that 'living the dream'. Portions of this country are def out of touch with each other.
But then, they always have been. These divisions are what winners manipulate.
posted by rc3spencer at 1:37 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


rump pretending to eat McDonald's on plates on his motherfucking private airplane and we're the out-of-touch elitists?

Yep. Because we give him a hard time for eating nothing but fast food. We do. Because we think it's ridiculous. Why would you eat crap when you could afford something better, healthier, tastier?

But a lot of people like fast food and resent being told it is crap. For them, Trump eating McDonalds on a private plane sends the message "McDonalds is good enough for classy rich people like Trump. There is nothing wrong with you liking McDonalds."
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:37 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


not including Clinton. She was the magnet for opposition.

She was a goddamned cottage industry. Devil's Bargain reads like The Perfect Storm. Might have been easier to elect her in 2008. Hell, I went to a confererence adjacent to that cottage industry (long story) weeks before the 2016 election and they highlighted all of the URLs and books they had ready to release once she got elected about how she was destroying the economy.
posted by tilde at 1:39 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


I've been annoyed by sanctimonious cyclists online. There's always one, you know? They're easily defeated by just ignoring them. I know my life, I know what is and is not feasible for getting myself to where I need to go, this rando's opinion is not that important to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But let me tell you about bike lanes in this city. They have become this bizarre proxy war on progressivism that I do not understand even remotely. It's like a whole bunch of people ran into one obnoxious bike commuter (probably the same one, given this is Pittsburgh and everyone knows everyone) and their take-away from the encounter wasn't "huh, well, that guy was a dick" but "FUCK BIKES, FUCK PEOPLE WHO RIDE BIKES, FUCK THE GROUND THAT BIKES TRAVEL UPON, RID THE EARTH OF ALL BICYCLISTS, REQUIRE ALL CITIZENS TO PURCHASE A HUMMER IN ORDER TO PLACATE MY ANNOYANCE AT THIS SINGLE HUMAN".

Like, a little nuance up in here? Anyone?
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:40 PM on July 20 [46 favorites]


I like AlexiaSky's "Believe in Better." A lot. Both powerful words. Hopeful, idealistic, and kind of abstract, but also universally intimate and relevant—everybody knows what "believe" and "better" feel like, even if they're not always concrete. Cherry on top: it wrests Trump's stupid "Believe me!" away from him, and says no, believe in *better* than him.

If the new Dem slogan is A Better Deal, then it's easy enough for anyone working with that slogan to add on 'Believe in Better'. This is one of the reasons that I do thing 'A Better Deal' isn't horrible. Because it's so overarching it means it's can be easily used and molded to fit so many different contexts. It can mean what you want.

It is also very 21st social media friendly and I'm sure that is part of what went into the decision making process. How ideas, form, change and are used in that world has to be taken into consideration. There is tons of messaging that goes on in that context. I mentioned the subversion of 'fake news' that happened this past year. A large part of that subversion happened through social media and then Trump latched onto it and the subversion was finalized.

As much as it might bother people political discourse and the movement of ideas through the populace happens in spaces like twitter and FB. It still blows me away how fast it can happen.

Slogans need to be hashtag friendly because they aren't just something that sit at the top of some webpage or pamphlet anymore. In social media they are tools and even part of people's group identities. As much as I hate it I've spent months watching online discourse and how people use MAGA this way.
'Clinton emails, blarg blah' #MAGA. 'Trump is awesome' #MAGA. 'Get over it you lost. #MAGA' This is one of the reasons it became so powerful and stuck beyond Trump saying it all the time. A far as slogans go it has been very successful this way.

#Better, #betterdeal, #makeitbetter, #believeinbetter, #betterhealth,#b-deal, #betterbill, #betterfuture, #betterchoice, #betterbetter. There are so many ways that messaging based on
'we're the group that does things better' could happen.

Another thing I've been racking my brain over is how this type of slogan could be subverted by the right and Trump in particular. So far I'm not coming up with much that doesn't sound dumb and is catchy. #reallybetterdeal #noimthebetterdeal #trumpbetterdeal #nodealdems.
The only one that I think is a real risk is #baddeal. There's #worsedeal, but that doesn't sound catchy, isn't chant friendly and is weaker sounding.

In this day and age looking at what you're opponents can do with your messaging is vital because the right has shown over and over that they will do this and are pretty decent at doing it.
posted by Jalliah at 1:42 PM on July 20 [23 favorites]


>To lower the McDuff panic level, can you spell out how it doesn't pass, please?

>BCRA is gone, we now have the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act, which is in fact a partial repeal due to the Byrd Rule. I know there's a rule that the Republican "moderates" always cave, but it's now impossible for them to vote for a bill that repeals Obamacare


McConnell knows the rules better than anyone. Once he slips past the hurdle of a motion to proceed (Rand Paul now seems to be okay with it) then the doors are wide open. There can be unlimited amendments. So that means they can slap together literally anything, with buy offs to individual senators and bribes to individual states, to get something to pass. This battle is a long way from over and anyone who thinks so is in for a rude shock.
posted by JackFlash at 1:43 PM on July 20 [21 favorites]


Come to think of it, any of these Dem races in 2018 are probably going to do better just by virtue of not including Clinton. She was the magnet for opposition. So . . no slogan needed?

They were never going to stop at Clinton. Pelosi is said to be poisonous to our brand. Kamala Harris apparently didn't behave right at a hearing. Elizabeth Warren has this coming at her in 2018.

Republicans should never get to define who is and is not an acceptable Democrat. If you accept "well they just hated Hillary for reason X" pretty soon you find out every woman everywhere has their own Reason X. And every progressive champion. People were saying shit about John Lewis!
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:44 PM on July 20 [92 favorites]


But a lot of people like fast food and resent being told it is crap. For them, Trump eating McDonalds on a private plane sends the message "McDonalds is good enough for classy rich people like Trump. There is nothing wrong with you liking McDonalds."

Which is how "please stop killing yourselves and taking the whole rest of the world with you" became a political third rail.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:44 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


And I don't think most of the lifestyle shaming conservatives complain about happens in person or comes from politicians. I think they are reacting to stuff in the media. Social media and local news stories about how you should eat less meat or whatever. Which is not something the DNC has any control over.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:45 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


pretty soon you find out every woman everywhere has their own Reason X.

iseewhatyoudidthere.jpg
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:45 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


DEMOCRATS 2018: NEOLIBERALISM TODAY, NEOLIBERALISM FOREVER

DEMOCRATS 2018: NO SUDDEN MOVES

DEMOCRATS 2018: YOU'VE TRIED THE REST, NOW TRY US ALSO
posted by Existential Dread at 1:46 PM on July 20 [23 favorites]


But a lot of people like fast food and resent being told it is crap. For them, Trump eating McDonalds on a private plane sends the message "McDonalds is good enough for class rich people like Trump. There is nothing wrong with you liking McDonalds."

Y'know, this is kind of true, I mean the people who like McDonalds, but it's also really not. I've known a lot of different kinds of people in my day, from lots of different cultures and races, and I've met very few who thought of fast food as the pinnacle, as their absolute favorite food. I've been to a lot of different celebrations at different economic levels, and even when fast food made up a substantial portion of the table, it wasn't because it was some specific brand of fried chicken or mayonnaise salad, it was because it was that food and the other options (homemade, some better brand) were unaffordable. I actually think the "Americans like fast food" narrative is manufactured, it's an advertisement version of America. In my experience, once people are out of puberty, they eat fast food because it is fast and because it is good, but the foods they eat are ones they would rather eat in a different way if given the choice. People grill burgers, or pan fry them. They congregate with friends and relatives. I'm not sure people are as offended as all that.
posted by OmieWise at 1:49 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


iseewhatyoudidthere.jpg

Holy Zarquon, it wasn't purposeful. What did I do?
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:52 PM on July 20


It will turn out that "Reason X" is the lack of a Y chromosome (where cis women are concerned).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:54 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


Listen, pal, in this country we respect the Law of Conservation of Ass, Cash, and Grass
posted by the phlegmatic king at 4:07 PM on July 20 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


TANSTAFACG!
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:57 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


#takeasadsongandmakeitbetter
posted by kirkaracha at 1:57 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


[A few comments removed, please reload if need be; the use and cultural load of "white trash" as an in-group vs. out-group cultural signifier in the US is at best complicated as fuck and didn't enter the thread in a careful and clear enough way to make a discussion of it here and now make sense, please let it be.]
posted by cortex at 1:59 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


I just read the lyrics of that song and it's beautiful, why can't it be our song?

Much like the hammer and sickle, the track record of those who have used the song is not great. Seriously, fetishizing the symbols of a state capitalist totalitarian state that killed millions is not a good look. It didn't start out as the symbol, but the men with the jackboots had the symbol on their shoulders and the song on their lips.

A lot of the discussion we've had about the slogan for the Democratic party is about the message it sends to Americans. Like it or not, that song sends a pretty bad signal to a large portion of America.
posted by zabuni at 2:21 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


I think if I ever make a picket sign for Democrats, something like "FREE DENTAL" would probably get the message to more people than anything within the traditional discourse of the US Left.
posted by rhizome at 2:22 PM on July 20 [22 favorites]


"Lisa needs braces!"
posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:26 PM on July 20 [34 favorites]


BCRA is gone

I wouldn't say BCRA is gone. Here's what happens next procedurally. There's a vote on a motion to proceed (MTP). If that passes, with a simple majority, the Senate takes up the House bill (AHCA). That then starts a vote-a-rama in which anyone can offer amendments. An amendment can be anything from "add $37.72 to the HHS office supplies budget" to "delete the entire text of the bill and replace it with this," where 'this' can be anything, including the 2015 repeal-lite.

So at this point, McConnell's plan is to essentially promise everything to everyone by asking them to vote to proceed. People like Paul can vote for it because they think they're getting the 2015 repeal, while moderates can vote for it because they think they're getting, I don't know, they always cave so whatever. Then they start offering amendments that wipe out each other's bills. Is it blindingly irresponsible to vote to open debate on a bill when you have truly no idea what the bill is? Of course, but blinding irresponsibility has never stopped them before. Sen. Cornyn says it's a "luxury we don't have" to know what the bill is before the motion to proceed. Sen. Paul, who may have sort of been joking but sort of not, apparently suggested deciding the order of bills to vote on at random. That's how screwed up this is right now.

In short, if they can't agree on anything, try to get a vote to see if they agree on nothing, and then magic, maybe, happens from there. And apart from all the obvious reasons this is dumb and stupid, the real problem at the heart of this is that nationwide health care policy is not a menu you can pick and choose from; the individual pieces have to make sense together. You can't just throw out things you don't like, say the individual mandate, without something changing at the other end. There's a chance that McConnell's free-for-all will result in passage of a bill, but there's no chance that this mess of a process will result in a policy, or even something mathematically possible. We're to the point where they haven't just given up on having a good plan; they've given up on having a plan at all, because why make policy when a bunch of people with no clue about what they're doing can just grab a piece of humpty dumpty and hurl it at the wall?

Anyhoo, here's a fun Made In America Week story from Fahrenthold (with credit to BuzzFeed for noticing the applications first): During ‘Made in America Week,’ President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club applies to hire 70 foreign workers
posted by zachlipton at 2:28 PM on July 20 [40 favorites]


OK, I got through the first 32 paragraphs of the Democrats' "no-confidence" resolution and set it to the tune of 88 Lines for 44 Women, but now the work day is done so I'm going home. It would totally kill this thread in length, so I'll just link to a picture on Twitter, because I don't think anyone but me actually cares. (If anyone does care, encourage me and I'll keep going.)

Here's the start:
1. January Trump became
The brand new US President
2. Constitution tells us that
He can’t *take* an emolument
3. Trump refuses to divest,
won’t let go of old arrears
4. And we haven’t seen his taxes
disregarding 40 years

posted by maryr at 2:33 PM on July 20 [42 favorites]


The zombie bill that will never die. Is the entire next congressional season going to be occupied with seeing how close they can get to any vote, again and again and again and again, tiring us out (I'm tired, for one), and then seeing what they can eventually slip by in November after the 47th re-vote?

So, so frustrating. I guess it's better than whatever other harm they were going to do, but.
posted by Dashy at 2:37 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I actually think the "Americans like fast food" narrative is manufactured, it's an advertisement version of America.

I don't think Americans love fast food. I think Americans are, in large part, too tired to cook tonight, or at least several nights a week, and McDonald's is there. Americans know that the sugar isn't really good for them but also know that they feel slightly less worn out after drinking the Coke that came with the value meal. I'm fine with fast food as an in-moderation thing, but I think that culturally we eat fast food because we're exhausted and it's not super pleasing but it's the highest ratio of pleasure-to-dollars-and-time that you're going to manage on your commute home.

The bulk of the Trump voters I know are just totally disinterested in anything bigger than "social change is bad because I'm basically fine, but only barely, and any improvement of things for any other group will probably make me worse off". It's not that they overtly like McDonald's or that they overtly hate immigrants, but foreign people are not a regular part of their daily lives and McDonald's is and the status quo must persist because the biggest thing they feel capable of handling is their ongoing struggles with work deadlines and the neighbor's overly aggressive use of weed killer. I don't now how you convince those people they should care about other human beings if they just... don't. I think social change will happen either way, but in terms of politics, it will all happen faster if some of these people can be convinced that social change will be good for them personally and that nobody is going to force them to try to fix their problems with kale. Not that anybody HAS been trying to fix their problems with kale, but that doesn't mean they aren't kind of convinced that's a thing.

It's not about love for McDonald's, it's about the fact that capitalism gave us a very fragile middle class--both economically and in terms of people who lack the resilience to deal with their personal problems AND empathize with others. I think both of these states were created with some degree of intention by the rich, because a stable and compassionate middle class would be overtly dangerous to them.
posted by Sequence at 2:42 PM on July 20 [45 favorites]


Metafilter: if they can't agree on anything, try to get a vote to see if they agree on nothing, and then magic, maybe, happens from there.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:44 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


> I just read the lyrics of that song and it's beautiful, why can't it be our song?

> Much like the hammer and sickle, the track record of those who have used the song is not great. Seriously, fetishizing the symbols of a state capitalist totalitarian state that killed millions is not a good look. It didn't start out as the symbol, but the men with the jackboots had the symbol on their shoulders and the song on their lips.


The original Bolsheviks were not great; however, the Internationale was not the anthem of the Soviet Union during its state capitalist totalitarian phase — Stalin, as part of his retreat from internationalist revolutionary socialism to nationalist "socialism in one state," replaced the Internationale with the (nationalistic) State Anthem of the Soviet Union. (lyrics available at the wikipedia page.)

Also, though, if you're reading the lyrics of the Internationale in English you must take note that there are wildly varying translations. This is an effect of the original translation being perfectly wretched, full of archaic words and grammatical structures and nearly impossible to sing.

There's a good chance that you were reading the lyrics of the Billy Bragg version, which steps back from the militancy of the original, possibly too much. This is my second-favorite version of the song and the one that gets stuck in my head most often, but I don't admit that around legit commies cause they don't like how much he watered it down (and, to be fair, there's good reason to not like how much he watered it down). Here's Billy Bragg's version; here's Bragg explaining the story of how he ended up writing a translation of the Internationale.

My favorite version is Pete Seeger's: he sings each verse in French and then (seemingly on the fly) comes up with a witty, singable English gloss for the lyrics. Skip forward to 1:30 or so in that video to get to where he starts giving it in English, though you owe it to yourself to hear him singing the French.

L'Internationale is decidedly not a song of the "men with the jackboots" that you're referring to; it was a song that the jackboot boys distanced themselves from as quickly as they possibly could.

I agree that no version of the song is fitting for the Democratic Party as currently constituted, since the Democratic Party is (as Pelosi has reminded us) a capitalist party, and all versions of L'Internationale are at their heart anti-capitalist. Hopefully The Whelk and his DSA comrades are successful in making the Democratic Party over into an organization that could use L'Internationale... but, well, even in the best-case scenario that's going to take some time.

sidebar: The current Russian national anthem is a reworked version of the Stalin-era State Anthem; there's been a couple of controversies about Putin standing up in respect for performances of Stalin's version of the State Anthem. I would wager that Putin would never stand up for L'Internationale, not in a million years.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:45 PM on July 20 [36 favorites]


Much like the hammer and sickle, the track record of those who have used the song is not great. Seriously, fetishizing the symbols of a state capitalist totalitarian state that killed millions is not a good look. It didn't start out as the symbol, but the men with the jackboots had the symbol on their shoulders and the song on their lips.

Republicans are allowed to fetishize, emulate and cosplay Nazis and Confederates, but God forbid a Democrat do anything that even resembles something a Communist might have done.

I post Jim's Big Ego's "International" on Facebook every May 1.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:45 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Republicans are allowed to fetishize, emulate and cosplay Nazis

Uh I don't think that's a thing that is accepted anywhere.
posted by FakeFreyja at 2:48 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Jim's Big Ego's

Christ, that's a name I don't see around often. Saw 'em in college, probably hasn't been a month in the last 18 years that I don't get Ahead of the Curve or She's Dead stuck in my head.
posted by cortex at 2:49 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Nazism has been championed by Republicans currently in the goddamn White House. It most certainly is accepted by many.
posted by agregoli at 2:52 PM on July 20 [28 favorites]


Uh I don't think that's a thing that is accepted anywhere.

I'm not sure what else you'd call this, then.

Jim's Big Ego is one of my favorite bands. It started with "Stress" and "The Ballad of Barry Allen" and just went on from there.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:53 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Also, Trump ordering his granddaughter to tell him that she loves him.

What would be really neat is if you were the person in charge of teaching his granddaughter Chinese and you said to her "Okay now, '[Fuck You, in Chinese]' is how you say 'I love you, Grandpa.' Let me hear you say it." Granddaughter: "[Fuck You in Chinese], Grandpa!" "That's great! You're great! Now go tell Grandpa that you love him. Don't mind the reporters."

That's what would be really neat.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:55 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


MOM WHY CAN'T WE SING THE INTERNATIONALE

DICKY SPENCER'S MOM LET HIM HAVE A REICHSKRIEGSFLAGGE
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:56 PM on July 20 [35 favorites]


This is my second-favorite version of the song and the one that gets stuck in my head most often, but I don't admit that around legit commies

I want to go to this place where YCTAB is considered vaguely right-wing
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:56 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


I know that it's impolite to refer humorously to Dignified Ill White Men and the thread looks down upon most single-tweet links

But this is too fucking good.

Carry on
posted by delfin at 2:58 PM on July 20 [43 favorites]


> I want to go to this place where YCTAB is considered vaguely right-wing

Oakland's the best :)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:59 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


Ashley "send her the pee tape first, she's earned it" Feinberg: Trump's 2020 Campaign Has Already Paid Out $600K—to Trump
Even though Trump is, in fact, the current president, he only stopped running for a brief few hours on Inauguration Day. As soon as Trump filed for re-election, at 5:11 pm on January 20, his campaign officially sprang back into action. That means Trump can legally continue to funnel funds from donors back into his own businesses. According to the Trump campaign's self-reported FEC filings, this has amounted to about $600,000 spent at Trump-owned properties in just the first six months of his presidency.

Nearly $400,000 of that campaign money went to rent at Trump Tower, with $90,000 going to the The Trump Corporation for "legal consulting," nearly $60,000 to the Trump International Golf Club, $15,000 to the Trump International Hotel in DC, and about $1,700 to Trump-brand bottled water, among various payments. And that's just the money that went to businesses in which Trump has a personal role. The Trump campaign has spent a total of $10 million in the last six months; any shell companies and subsidiaries of other Trump-owned businesses that may have gotten a piece of that don't have to be disclosed.
posted by zachlipton at 3:09 PM on July 20 [50 favorites]


Leverage:
WSJ: Special Counsel Investigating Possible Money Laundering by Paul Manafort
  • The inquiry into the issue by Mr. Mueller and his team began several weeks ago.
That's about all the news in there, but they reference two previous stories, with these key points:
  • NYS Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney are also investigating Manafort's real-estate transactions.
  • The Manhattan district attorney's office has already subpoenaed records relating to $16 million in loans made to Manafort (after he resigned as campaign manager) by a bank run by a Trump advisor.
posted by pjenks at 3:11 PM on July 20 [12 favorites]


Republicans are allowed to fetishize, emulate and cosplay Nazis

Uh I don't think that's a thing that is accepted anywhere.


They fucking seig heiled on stage at their convention.
posted by Artw at 3:12 PM on July 20 [41 favorites]


Republicans are allowed to fetishize, emulate and cosplay Nazis

Steve King, who is still a Republican, still a sitting Representative, and still goes on TV to speak for the Republicans, literally paraphrased the fourteen words on Twitter, happily linking to Geert Wilders.
posted by anem0ne at 3:15 PM on July 20 [28 favorites]


Did someone say cosplay Nazis?
Presenting, the Gorka.
posted by rc3spencer at 3:20 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


And Hillary and the democrats are exactly the kind of people that would judge them harshly for their views, and Donald Trump and the republicans are the kind of people who don’t. So they are voting republican, no matter how big of a clown Trump is, because at least those people don’t piss all over my fundamental sense of self.

and of course, it's not a judgement of any kind when someone says someone else is going to hell for what they don't believe or who they sleep with or what they want to become, and it's no attack on a fundamental sense of self to tell someone they're communist dupes who hate our country and want to destroy it, or call them nasty names when it's just us "normal" folks around and they can't hear

no, it's those liberals that are the intolerant ones

what a bullshit place america is becoming
posted by pyramid termite at 3:21 PM on July 20 [69 favorites]


Did someone say cosplay Nazis?
Presenting, the Gorka.


Not technically cosplay, as it was neither a costume nor play.
posted by The World Famous at 3:23 PM on July 20 [12 favorites]


What would be really neat is if you were the person in charge of teaching his granddaughter Chinese and you said to her "Okay now, '[Fuck You, in Chinese]' is how you say 'I love you, Grandpa.' Let me hear you say it." Granddaughter: "[Fuck You in Chinese], Grandpa!" "That's great! You're great! Now go tell Grandpa that you love him. Don't mind the reporters."

That's what would be really neat.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:55 AM on July 21 [3 favorites +] [!]


Fun fact - "fuck you" in Chinese takes on various shades of relatives, you never say "肏你/cao ni", you say, “肏你妈/cao ni ma/fuck your mother” is most common, or if you want to make it really nasty, it's "肏你大爷/肏你老爷/肏你爷爷/cao ni daye/laoye/yeye/fuck your [relational marker] grandfather". "Fuck you" is kinda inseparable from a relative in Chinese.

"总之,肏她各种祖宗/Anyway, fuck all her ancestors".
posted by saysthis at 3:27 PM on July 20 [67 favorites]


Steve King, who is still a Republican, still a sitting Representative, and still goes on TV to speak for the Republicans, literally paraphrased the fourteen words on Twitter, happily linking to Geert Wilders.

He also had a confederate flag on his desk despite the fact the state he represents fought for the Union...
posted by PenDevil at 3:28 PM on July 20 [23 favorites]


You learn the darndest things on Metafilter
posted by Fleebnork at 3:28 PM on July 20 [30 favorites]


I hear all the time about vegans who are trying to shame people for eating meat, cyclists who are trying to ban cars, atheists who are shouting down churchgoers, liberals who want to make people feel bad for living outside the gay downtown. As far as I can tell these are all just fictional.

This made me laugh really loudly, thanks.

I can't speak to the gay downtown example but at least two of the other three (cyclists calling out cars as super eeeeeeevil and atheists arguing with churchgoers) have been a part of a few of the worst arguments this site has ever had. People literally have left in a huff over 'em.

Also, my vegetarian mom once got banned from ever again attending a relative's Passover Seder for loudly proclaiming in a really disgusted voice: "I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU CAN EAT THAT FLESH!" during the main course. That side of the family still grouses about it.
posted by zarq at 3:32 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


Hey so I know it's all the rage to compare Trump to supervillains. Personally I think that's pretty lame considering most supervillains are at least good at something. But just in case it ever comes up in your fantasy geek circles: No. Trump definitively could not hack it among the drow.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:37 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


"I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU CAN EAT THAT FLESH!"

That kind of thing is what really cracked me up about the Tucker Carlson rant about "Gypsies" beheading chickens. Straight from the PETA playbook, you take a perfectly normal activity like butchering a chicken but you describe it in the most loaded and revolting language possible. You'd think conservatives would celebrate self sufficiency, but they're immigrants so it's easier to play the role of radical reactionary.
posted by peeedro at 3:45 PM on July 20 [18 favorites]


Only in America: "How dare you wear a hammer&sickle or sing The Internationale?" screech several million people whose beloved political idol is an idiotic servile Renfield currently pimping out their nation to a veteran lieutenant colonel of the KGB.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:01 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


How the Left Can Win in the South by Paul Blest for The Nation

This is what my South is like. Come join us. Amazing things are happening.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:15 PM on July 20 [45 favorites]


Straight from the PETA playbook, you take a perfectly normal activity like butchering a chicken but you describe it in the most loaded and revolting language possible.

When the Viet Cong carried away their dead during the Vietnam War, they did it to hide their losses and confuse American forces.

When Americans carried away their dead, it was because they wouldn't abandon their brothers on the battlefield.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:18 PM on July 20 [45 favorites]


The Post dug deep on Akie Abe's knowledge of English and concluded it probably wasn't a snub of Trump so much as that she doesn't appear to be particularly comfortable with the language and likely didn't want to misspeak. She certainly doesn't speak absolutely no English as claimed during the interview though.
posted by zachlipton at 4:20 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I was raised by a narcissist and it is totally in character that Trump demands his granddaughter say "I love you, grandpa" in Chinese during the NYT interview. That performative display of "affection" on demand just makes my skin crawl.
posted by mcduff at 4:31 PM on July 20 [30 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Napoleon’s Extracurricular Activities (A Comprehensive List) (in its entirety).


French

Coding

Horseback Riding

Model Government

Modeling

Chess Club

Urban Designers (The Street Grid The Way They Work You Know The Spokes)

So Many Things Even Beyond

Height Is Nothing But A Number Club

Future Leaders

Mountain Climbing

Adopt A Highway By Force If Necessary

Semester Abroad

Euro Challenge

Egyptian Antiquities Club

Mathletes

Senior Retreat Leader
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:37 PM on July 20 [36 favorites]


That performative display of "affection" on demand just makes my skin crawl.

Absolutely. Remember, to a malignant narcissist one's family members are literal extensions or members of one's body. It's why he doesn't see anything wrong with saying that if Ivanka weren't his daughter he'd date her; in his mind it's no grosser than joking "I'd do me." It's also the reason why if he feels betrayed or threatened by one of his children he will not hesitate to lop them off like a gangrenous finger and discard them.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:38 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


I hate watching my party do the "oh, my nephew is good with [x], let's get him to do it" thing when we agree it's lame & lambast our opponents for it.

Well, we do have this guy. He's excellent at framing and Democrats need to pay attention to what he says. We have to stop talking to ourselves and widen our message by casting it in terms of the values of the voters we need to attract.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:39 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


loquacious: TURNIP FOR PRESIDENT 2020

Can a swede run for president?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:47 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


As far as living in the gay downtown goes - I'd love to, but I can't afford it. I don't think anyone - gay or not - can afford it these days unless they consist of two six-figure-income earners. LOL at the thought of the poors or even the middles affording the gay downtown.

I'm not convinced that the perfect slogan is going to make or break the Democratic party. Swing voters? What swing voters? They've pretty much ceased to exist. The parties are severely polarized.

If there's going to be a slogan, it should be "Vote, Dammit, Vote!" Democrats' problem isn't that they can't kiss the asses of the mythical Swing Voters skillfully enough. It's that Democrats, and potential Democrats, don't fucking vote. They especially don't vote in midterm and local elections.

I'd rather the Dem leadership hire community organizers and ask that donations be placed toward get-out-the-vote efforts, especially in communities of color. Do you vote? If no, what would induce you to vote? How can we help you vote? (Transportation? Child care? Someone to watch Grandma for an hour? Help with navigating the process? Information on mail-in voting? Etc.)

If the Democratic party leadership thinks that "all we need is the Bestest Slogan EVAH! And people will vote in droves!" then maybe we need new leadership.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:50 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


More tales of the intolerant left: noted ignorant racist bigot, PA state rep. Daryl Metcalfe is upset that a fellow legislator called him an ignorant racist bigot.
posted by octothorpe at 5:03 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


News Channel 5 White County Inmates Given Reduced Jail Time If They Get A Vasectomy
nmates in White County, Tennessee have been given credit for their jail time if they voluntarily agree to have a vasectomy or birth control implant, a popular new program that is being called “unconstitutional” by the ACLU.

On May 15, 2017 General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield signed a standing order that allows inmates to receive 30 days credit toward jail time if they undergo a birth control procedure.

Women who volunteer to participate in the program are given a free Nexplanon implant in their arm, the implant helps prevent pregnancies for up to four years. Men who volunteer to participate are given a vasectomy, free of charge, by the Tennessee Department of Health.
Hey here's an idea. Why not set up a clinic that gives away free birth control and don't try to attach it to the criminal justice system.

Daily Beast Congress Warns Donald Trump That It Will Be Toxic If He Fires Bob Mueller
“I think that maybe we could have a tweet-storm—a tweet-storm directed at the president that all of us, Democrats and Republicans, would tweet the same message to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and say: Mr. President, don’t you dare,” Carper said with a laugh.

Mueller enjoys bipartisan support on the Hill, where lawmakers expressed continued confidence in his ability to oversee the investigation. But as Heinrich noted, that investigation remains under the purview of the executive branch, which leaves it vulnerable to Trump’s whims. And that’s not a particularly secure place to be.
A tweetstorm. Yeah that'll do it.

I do not believe that anyone in congress is going to convince Trump of anything because he is under the mistaken impression that the US Gov't is his personal business and all government officials work for him. I know he is going to fire Mueller sooner or later because he has little impulse control and may eventually figure out that facing congress' "wrath" is nothing compared to the legal jeopardy that Mueller threatens.

I just hope that Mueller and his team have a back-up plan.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:04 PM on July 20 [27 favorites]


I think a commitment to impeach if Mueller is sacked without cause would be a better bet than a tweetstorm, somehow.
posted by Devonian at 5:09 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


As long as the tweets are sternly-worded I think they'd do the trick.
Or used poop emojis.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:11 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


my grandfather had a farm with chickens - guess what he used to do when they needed a good sunday chicken dinner?

i swear, do people think their chicken mcnuggets are magically shat out by ronald mcdonald?

my uncles used to stick the head in my mother's face and it would try to go bwalk bwalk and stare at her for a bit while the rest of the chicken ran around

farm life in the 30s ...

and now we're upset that roma behead chickens? how the hell else do you kill them?

we've lost a lot as a country ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:14 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


i swear, do people think their chicken mcnuggets are magically shat out by ronald mcdonald?

No. They're obviously Grimace's.
posted by Talez at 5:15 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


I thought 30 years of experience with panic disorder meant I'd be better equipped than most to manage my emotional response to this presidency. I just read that NYT interview from yesterday and it turns out that I was wrong.
posted by Lyme Drop at 5:19 PM on July 20 [38 favorites]


Not really a slogan guy, but I think 'A New Deal,' in 2018, would be pretty good.

You could probably borrow a good chunk of FDR's stuff: banking reform, emergency relief, fair labor, infrastructure, jobs, expanding Social Security, civilian conservation... they want to take it back to the '30s, let's take it back to the goddamn '30s. MAGA.
posted by box at 5:21 PM on July 20 [55 favorites]


I thought 30 years of experience with panic disorder meant I'd be better equipped than most to manage my emotional response to this presidency. I just read that NYT interview from yesterday and it turns out that I was wrong.
You know, he can talk tough all he wants, in the meantime he talked tough to North Korea. And he didn’t actually. He didn’t talk tough to North Korea. You know, we have a big problem with North Korea. Big. Big, big. You look at all of the things, you look at the line in the sand. The red line in the sand in Syria. He didn’t do the shot. I did the shot. Had he done that shot, he wouldn’t have had — had he done something dramatic, because if you remember, they had a tremendous gas attack after he made that statement. Much bigger than the one they had with me.
I have 34 years of experience with the English language and I can't even parse that word salad.
posted by Talez at 5:21 PM on July 20 [17 favorites]


Dems 2018: NOT TRUMP
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:33 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Honestly, the Democrats should come up with a slogan that essentially says "We're the party of effective government." Appeals to the middle, true, and a stark contrast to the shenanigans going on now.
posted by Ostara at 5:33 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Effective? Try Functional.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:35 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


'A New Deal for a New Century'
posted by leotrotsky at 5:36 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


this discussion about slogans is not about slogans; probably it would be best for everyone's sanity if we either explicitly turned to discussing the ideas behind the proposed slogans (rather than the slogans themselves), or else just returned to discussing the events of the day.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:36 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Did you say "the events of the day? *taps mike* Politico: Sessions won't resign for now, but gets Trump's message
One person close to Sessions said he has no interest in resigning, although he previously offered to do so in late May, following several outbursts by Trump over his recusal.

While the resignation attempt was previously reported, this person told POLITICO that Trump had demanded that Sessions submit a resignation letter. By the time Sessions did so the following day, Trump had cooled down and rejected the offer.
At press time, it was unconfirmed whether the demand to submit a resignation letter came with a side of meatloaf.
posted by zachlipton at 5:43 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


A New New Deal, just so we can have #NUNU instead of #MAGA. It's much more fun to say.
posted by mcdoublewide at 5:43 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


What if it's like, "A Nude Eel" and then there's just a picture of an eel because ALL EELS ARE ALREADY NUDE but you never thought of that so mind = blown and you're like "I'm totally voting for these people, they have the dankest memes"?

Does anyone read the slogans down here?
posted by uosuaq at 5:45 PM on July 20 [38 favorites]


A New New Deal, just so we can have #NUNU instead of #MAGA. It's much more fun to say.

The yeti knows the way.
posted by Talez at 5:45 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


To eliminate any confusion, we should just go with #ANUSTART
posted by Freon at 5:45 PM on July 20 [77 favorites]


I've thought for years that a massive New Deal style investment in infrastructure and education would be a great way to help ease the transition into a more automated economy, and keep people employed while we figure out how it's going to work when we just don't need full employment to keep everyone fed and comfortable. The fact that we have a shit president who touts himself as a dealmaker just makes the language that much more resonant. We tried his deal, it's an awful deal.
posted by contraption at 5:45 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


If there's going to be a slogan, it should be "Vote, Dammit, Vote!" Democrats' problem isn't that they can't kiss the asses of the mythical Swing Voters skillfully enough. It's that Democrats, and potential Democrats, don't fucking vote. They especially don't vote in midterm and local elections.

Good point. In a lot of ways, increasing political participation for the Democratic Party is much less about hearts-and-minds and content/ideology and more of a community behavioral/compliance project, like achieving a high rate of seatbelt use, etc. Which is partly why a lot of traditional canvassing/GOTV techniques should be scrapped, particularly the ones using old, annoying, and avoidable technologies.

There are hordes of people who are vaguely OK with and naturally drawn to Democratic views (especially when presented without that branding), and then there's the somewhat smaller group who are inherently hostile to those views and probably always will be. All you really have to do is to get that first group up off their asses using methods that don't make them say "FUCK YOU; leave me alone" in the process.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:49 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Oh, don't sell yourself short Tales. You can do it!

"That black Obama, he doesn't know what it means to be a Real Man. Bad guys like North Korea could never take him seriously. Plus he blinked in Syria, the pansy. I would've done it better. No one'll fuck with us now that white men real Americans are in charge again.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:49 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Hopefully The Whelk and his DSA comrades are successful in making the Democratic Party over into an organization that could use L'Internationale... but, well, even in the best-case scenario that's going to take some time.

24,000 national members as of yesterday.

*shines red pin*
posted by The Whelk at 5:49 PM on July 20 [21 favorites]


I've thought for years that a massive New Deal style investment in infrastructure and education would be a great way to help ease the transition into a more automated economy

So did Obama. So did Clinton. The Republicans won't do it.
posted by Justinian at 5:49 PM on July 20 [26 favorites]


(probably the same one, given this is Pittsburgh and everyone knows everyone) and their take-away from the encounter wasn't "huh, well, that guy was a dick" but "FUCK BIKES, FUCK PEOPLE WHO RIDE BIKES, FUCK THE GROUND THAT BIKES TRAVEL UPON, RID THE EARTH OF ALL BICYCLISTS, REQUIRE ALL CITIZENS TO PURCHASE A HUMMER IN ORDER TO PLACATE MY ANNOYANCE AT THIS SINGLE HUMAN".

:s/Pittsburgh/St. Louis
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:51 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


All you really have to do is to get that first group up off their asses using methods that don't make them say "FUCK YOU; leave me alone" in the process.

Which, along with gross bigotry, is a big reason why the GOP is all about suppression and barriers to access.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:52 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I actually think the "Americans like fast food" narrative is manufactured, it's an advertisement version of America. In my experience, once people are out of puberty, they eat fast food because it is fast and because it is good, but the foods they eat are ones they would rather eat in a different way if given the choice.

Yeah, I might have agreed with you from my place growing up middle class-upper middle class. I grew up with a lot of fast food, because my mom was working and getting her PhD.

But then I see my husband's working class white family, where fast food is a splurge, what you get when you "eat out." I honestly never, ever saw them go out to a sit-down restaurant once. It was "tonight is cheap large pizza night" or "two for 1 burgers at Sonic" or whatever. That was the weekly treat.

It was even more the case in the poor families of color I worked with as a social worker. A bucket of fried chicken or a pizza was a HUGE deal for the family, a major Occasion. The kids would react like it was Christmas.

So when we talk about fast food being cheap, I think you have to understand that for a lot of people, it ISN'T. Food in general has been going up and up in price while wages stay the same. And no matter what, you can find a way to feed a family at home that's cheaper than pretty much any fast food.

So yeah, when you sneer at people for liking fast food, talking about how much better a good steak or organically raised salad is, yeah it feels like a slap in the face. Because why don't you just suggest they drive a solid gold helicopter to work to avoid traffic, already.
posted by threeturtles at 5:56 PM on July 20 [75 favorites]


The Hill: DeVos tells ALEC that protests against her are "a badge of honor". Let us hope she receives many additional plaudits in future.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:56 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


"Healthcare. You deserve better."
"Job Security. You deserve better."
"Leadership. You deserve better."
"You deserve better. Vote Democrat."
posted by CCBC at 6:05 PM on July 20 [43 favorites]


"You Deserve Better. Believe in Better. Vote for a Better Deal. Vote for ____."
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:08 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


Hey here's an idea. Why not set up a clinic that gives away free birth control and don't try to attach it to the criminal justice system

That is not "birth control", that's eugenics. "Keep the unfit from breeding." Theodore Roosevelt would approve: "I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilised and feeble-minded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them".

It's certainly much worse than unconstitutional.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 6:11 PM on July 20 [29 favorites]


"Healthcare. You deserve better."
"Job Security. You deserve better."
"Leadership. You deserve better."
"You deserve better. Vote Democrat."


The last you should become a We
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:11 PM on July 20 [21 favorites]



Michael S. Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Matt Apuzzo, NYT; Trump Aides, Seeking Leverage, Investigate Mueller’s Investigators
President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort.

The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:16 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Trumps lawyers seek to undercut Muellers Russia investigation
(WaPo) by By Carol D. Leonnig,, Ashley Parker,, Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger
Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Trump’s legal team declined to comment on the issue. But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:17 PM on July 20 [23 favorites]


I 'm already visualizing the ad.

You deserve better healthcare.
You deserve better job opportunities.
You deserve better leadership.

Believe in Better. Vote Democrat.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:21 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


The last you should become a We

Every you should become America.

AMERICA DESERVES BETTER
posted by The World Famous at 6:22 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


The good thing about all these slogans is that we can use our favorite ones ourselves, even if the DNC picks a lousy one.

Use them in conversations with your family. Get together with your Indivisible friends and rent a billboard off your local highway exit. Go into the comments on viral Facebook posts and use your slogan there. Make a meme and post it all over reddit. Make a sign or a T shirt with your slogan on it and go to a march.

"The Democrats" are us. We can do whatever we want.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:23 PM on July 20 [73 favorites]


I hope Trump starts pardoning people. People who are pardoned can no longer plead the Fifth when subpoenaed, and (barring executive privilege) must tell the whole truth or perjure themselves. (Or else be pardoned again.) (Which would hopefully speed up any looming possibility of impeachment.)

I care relatively little whether people go to jail. I care about having the truth revealed, and most of all I care about Trump leaving office as soon as possible.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:28 PM on July 20 [18 favorites]


Everyone hold onto your underpants, Trump is about to take the bull in a china shop approach to make the investigation go away.

Please proceed!
posted by lydhre at 6:30 PM on July 20


But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding

Given that Trump has, apparently, failed to express any curiosity about how exactly health insurance works either during his campaign or in his presidential term to date, I think that's...unlikely.

(It is probably an outright lie, but in the absence of proof of that: seriously, when has Trump ever been curious about understanding anything?)
posted by cjelli at 6:30 PM on July 20 [19 favorites]


But a lot of people like fast food and resent being told it is crap. For them, Trump eating McDonalds on a private plane sends the message "McDonalds is good enough for class rich people like Trump. There is nothing wrong with you liking McDonalds."

I think the issue with this argument and with all these arguments is that while I'm sure a huge number of conservatives feel that their food choices or their language or their dress or their weight or whatever has been dumped on by liberals, that is categorically not the case.

It might be that hipsters in Brooklyn do have strong feelings about Iowans eating at McDonalds. But they don't go to Iowa and express them.

What actually happens is that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh spend a great deal of time talking to conservatives who've never seen a hipster from Brooklyn about how much hipsters from Brooklyn and college professors and the contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race like to sit around making fun of conservative yokels.

There's literally no amount of accomodating you could do for steak-ketchupers or Big Mac mackers that would actually reach them. Because you weren't making fun of them in a way that they could see anyway (unless DJT's hanging out in these threads looking for our commentary on his condiments).
posted by TheProfessor at 6:31 PM on July 20 [31 favorites]


But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority,

Asking for a friend.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:32 PM on July 20 [45 favorites]


Six months to the day. He made it six months before having to inquire into the extent of his pardon powers (possibly relating to family members and/or himself).

Just. Six. Months.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:33 PM on July 20 [56 favorites]


I wonder if a presidential pardon for an alleged federal crime can serve as probable cause for an investigation of a related state crime...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:33 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


From the NYT article, the paper where a republican can never be criticized without an equal criticism of a democrat, no matter how bat shit crazy the republican in question is:
By building files on Mr. Mueller’s team, the Trump administration is following in the footsteps of the Clinton White House, which openly challenged Mr. Starr and criticized what Mr. Clinton’s aides saw as a political witch hunt.
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:36 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


It just occurred to me that Mad Max Fury Road was merely a peek, from the innocent days of 2015, into the near future. Way too near, as it turns out. Hopefully we'll get the happy ending.
posted by maxwelton at 6:39 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


By building files on Mr. Mueller’s team, the Trump administration is following in the footsteps of the Clinton White House, which openly challenged Mr. Starr and criticized what Mr. Clinton’s aides saw as a political witch hunt.

I'm sure Trump will love being compared to Hillary.
posted by The World Famous at 6:40 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Just. Six. Months.

I would've been asking about my pardon powers on day one if I were him. (But also if I weren't him. You get a pardon, you get a pardon, everybody gets a pardon! would basically be my campaign platform)
posted by dis_integration at 6:44 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Getting a blowjob and working with a foreign adversarial government are totally the same, people!
posted by Talez at 6:49 PM on July 20 [38 favorites]


Is the blue at the point where one can say:

88 lines? Surely this.....

Or does the blue have to wait till midterms are over?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:55 PM on July 20


Ahem.
posted by vrakatar at 6:56 PM on July 20


hmmmmm

@NoahSchachtman (Daily Beast):

"BTW, the night's crazy Trump-Russia news ain't done yet.
This one is ... unexpected"
posted by lalex at 7:02 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I hope Trump starts pardoning people. People who are pardoned can no longer plead the Fifth when subpoenaed, and (barring executive privilege) must tell the whole truth or perjure themselves. (Or else be pardoned again.) (Which would hopefully speed up any looming possibility of impeachment.)

Again, Republicans will never impeach Trump. Never. Ever. Ever. The only way to get impeachment is to win back the House. That's it. Maybe a big enough Democratic wave would instill enough fear in Senate Republicans to consider a removal vote in the Senate, but I have my doubts even still. But the only way it's even concieveable is if Democrats have the House. Nearly every Republican would applaud him pardoning the entire administration, and the few that didn't would have "some concerns".
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:07 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Noah Schachtman loves making people watch prestige TV shows he's already seen and telling them this next part is just so crazy
posted by theodolite at 7:07 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]




I'm not surprised at all the Trump et al have had discussions about his pardon powers. I would be shocked if they didn't. I'm surprised that people who know about these discussions decided to let the outside world know about them. By now I shouldn't be surprised because people have consistently been blabbing about what is going inside to such an extent that it's almost a base assumption that we're going to find out these things. It is not normal though.

Thankfully this is set of norms that this admin has decided to stomp all over that ends up being a good thing in the end.

So thanks Trump I guess...
posted by Jalliah at 7:10 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Noah Schachtman loves making people watch prestige TV shows he's already seen and telling them this next part is just so crazy

@DylanDevenyi
Replying to @NoahShachtman
What do you know you tick tick ticking codswallop
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:12 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


I think it might be this one, lalex...

Damian Paletta and Carol Morello, WaPo; The strange legal battle that is pitting Trump’s secretaries of the Treasury and State against each other
Two of President Trump’s most senior cabinet members became embroiled Thursday in an unusual legal battle over whether ExxonMobil under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s leadership violated U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Treasury officials fined ExxonMobil $2 million Thursday morning for signing eight business agreements in 2014 with Igor Sechin, the chief executive of Rosneft, an energy giant partially owned by the Russian government. The business agreements came less than a month after the United States banned companies from doing business with him.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:14 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Come on guys I'm sure the Republican congresspeople will say tomorrow that they are "concerned" and "troubled" about these reports.
posted by gatorae at 7:14 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


No, it's this article about Microsoft using the courts to shut down Russian hacker urls. Not exactly the Red Wedding, Noah
posted by theodolite at 7:16 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


The only way to get impeachment is to win back the House. That's it.

Just wait. 2018 will come around, and the Dems will eke out a narrow margin in one of the branches of Congress, and they'll be all "Well, we CAN'T do anything that might JEOPARDIZE 2020!"
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:17 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Trump is aiming to turn the federal government into a much more militaristic and paramilitary policing organization.
No major news organization has reported on the three-page directive from Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
posted by adamvasco at 7:18 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


But a lot of people like fast food and resent being told it is crap. For them, Trump eating McDonalds on a private plane sends the message "McDonalds is good enough for class rich people like Trump. There is nothing wrong with you liking McDonalds."

Also don't forget how Obama's smoking completely shielded him from the criticism. Almost like a super power.
posted by srboisvert at 7:21 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


If Trump fries Mueller, could the Whistleblower Law protect him?

Why would a "law" no one seems to care about and a class of people no one cares about suddenly become relevant?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:21 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Honestly, the Democrats should come up with a slogan that essentially says "We're the party of effective elected government." Appeals to the middle, true, and a stark contrast to the shenanigans going on now.

FTFY.
posted by nickmark at 7:23 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


We... already spend a huge chunk of our budget on military and paramilitary operations?

But yeah, I'm sure it's going to get worse
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:24 PM on July 20


The Microsoft story is pretty interesting though.
Since August, Microsoft has used the lawsuit to wrest control of 70 different command-and-control points from Fancy Bear. The company’s approach is indirect, but effective. Rather than getting physical custody of the servers, which Fancy Bear rents from data centers around the world, Microsoft has been taking over the Internet domain names that route to them. These are addresses like “livemicrosoft[.]net” or “rsshotmail[.]com” that Fancy Bear registers under aliases for about $10 each. Once under Microsoft’s control, the domains get redirected from Russia’s servers to the company’s, cutting off the hackers from their victims, and giving Microsoft a omniscient view of that servers’ network of automated spies.

“In other words,” Microsoft outside counsel Sten Jenson explained in a court filing last year, “any time an infected computer attempts to contact a command-and-control server through one of the domains, it will instead be connected to a Microsoft-controlled, secure server.”
Save us...Microsoft?
posted by triggerfinger at 7:27 PM on July 20 [53 favorites]


There are multiple reports that Mark Corallo, spokesman for Trump’s legal team, has resigned after two months. According to Josh Dawsey writing in Politico:
Mark Corallo, the spokesman, had grown frustrated with the operation and the warring factions and lawyers, these people said. Corallo also was concerned about whether he was being told the truth about various matters, one of these people said.
...
Corallo had told an associate that the dynamics in the White House were untenable and that there was "too much fighting all the time," in the words of one person who spoke to him.
Why anyone would sign up to work for Trump is utterly beyond me.
posted by vac2003 at 7:29 PM on July 20 [17 favorites]


Mother Jones: Trump is curious about his pardoning power

It quotes a few different news agencies but I'm having a hard time copying and pasting with my phone rn
posted by gucci mane at 7:30 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Responding to a very old comment:

Trump is a raging narcissist who, for all our sakes, sorely needs to learn humility.

I see comments like this all the time. And articles. "WHAT TRUMP NEEDS TO LEARN."

It's important to remember something here: Raging Narcissists DO NOT LEARN THINGS. They already think they know everything, they're smarter than everyone else, and there is no human being on earth who can teach them anything.

Trump might "discover" something every now and then ("Nobody knew healthcare was so complicated.") but he's not going to learn humility. He's not going to learn to be polite, or to be presidential, or to listen to advisors.

STOP TRYING TO TEACH TRUMP TO BE A HUMAN BEING and just get him out of there.
posted by mmoncur at 7:32 PM on July 20 [64 favorites]


No major news organization has reported on the three-page directive from Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

[Googles "mulvaney july budget memo"]

AP story on 7/7: "Trump’s next budget hopes to eliminate some federal agencies"

This is why I don't get my news from AlterNet.
posted by neroli at 7:32 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Corallo also was concerned about whether he was being told the truth about various matters

Ron Howard: He wasn't.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:33 PM on July 20 [21 favorites]


The time for any Republicans who haven't sold their souls to speak is now. One of the leakers is almost certainly Trump himself, if anything we know about him holds true to form. He's probing the response to preemptive pardons. He wants to see how far he can really go. Silence from Repunlcisns signals their assent and agreement. If we see no push back tomorrow and this weekend (stop laughing), just mortgage your house and everything you own, fly to Vegas and put it all on Trump firing Mueller and pardoning everyone including himself.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:33 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Honestly, the Democrats should come up with a slogan that essentially says "We're the party of effective government."

How about "Government that Works" or "Government that works for you"?

I still think "America Deserves Better" is the winner here though.
posted by mmoncur at 7:34 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I sort of like "We Work for You"
posted by lalex at 7:35 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


From the post article about he pardoning:

Some Republicans in frequent touch with the White House said they viewed the president’s decision to publicly air his disappointment with Sessions as a warning sign that the attorney general’s days were numbered. Several senior aides were described as “stunned” when Sessions announced Thursday morning he would stay on at the Justice Department.


Translation: We sent Trump to the interview knowing he was going to do this because we want the guy to resign and we can't fire him right now cause of how it will look. Fuck it didn't work. *grumble grumble* And we're talking all sneaky like to the press now about how we are 'stunned' in order to really let Sessions (and whoever is part of his faction) know that this faction is out to get him and more importantly that at this particular point in time we're the one that has Trump's ear.
- signed B, S and/or K, possibly a lawyer or lawyer spox.

Result:
Sessions comes back with a fuck you. I know how this works, you think I don't know how this guy works? I helped make him run you dipshits. I am calling your bluff. Screw off.
Hey Mister President can we have a chat?
Trump after this convo: I lurvs you Jeff of course i need you to stick around.

A while later after the 'stunned' people chat with Trump.
'Fuck you Jeff I hate you'.

Rinse and repeat.
posted by Jalliah at 7:35 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]




I still think "America Deserves Better" is the winner here though.

I guess the talk of the l'internationale is over but I'm sticking with "arise ye wretched of the earth" for 2020
posted by dis_integration at 7:38 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


"skills" is a dogwhistle;

I've met many members of humanity. Some of 'em are as dumb as a wet rock and "skills" are not something they are able to have. The job they have is the best they are ever gonna get.

Tech may replace half of all low-skilled jobs in the U.S.. Lets say for the sake of argument that you can "better skill" every one of these 'displaced' workers. Doesn't that mean the proxy for 'low skill' is, say, $8 an hour workers will suddenly be an option for the, say $25 an hour higher skilled person? This influx of 'better skills' - what is that gonna do to the rate paid for a 'higher skilled' person? Won't that push the $25 an hour job down?

Automation/AI is gonna be a bloodbath. This "better skills" idea is just gonna translate to 4 years of "the donald". Perhaps 8. Better start getting comfortable in that ever warming handbasket.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:39 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


He has to fire Rosenstein first. I have a cake riding on this.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:39 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


I guess the talk of the l'internationale is over but I'm sticking with "arise ye wretched of the earth" for 2020

How about "ye are many, they are few"?
posted by Frowner at 7:39 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Rise like lions after slumber, shake your chains to earth like dew
That in sleep had fallen on you - ye are many, they are few!

Like beautiful maggots inside rotten apples, spitting out the juices of Kings and big-arsed Barons...Take from the rich and give to the poor, take from the rich and give to the poor
posted by Frowner at 7:43 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]



Question for those that know US history and constitutional wonkery more than I do. Why was/is the position of the President, and other positions like a governor, given the power to pardon without what looks to me like a whole lot of checks on it being used for nefarious reasons.

Where did this idea come from?
posted by Jalliah at 7:46 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


18th century monarchism
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:47 PM on July 20 [12 favorites]


Oh great. @maggienyt: Scaramucci expected to be named comms director in coming days - open question whether Priebus tries to stop it.

Reports of fandango are unconfirmed.
posted by zachlipton at 7:48 PM on July 20 [33 favorites]


So does that mean Bacon Cheeseburger won't be doing off camera briefings and we'll get on camera Spicer again?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:51 PM on July 20


We clearly need to prepare ourselves for the eventuality that Trump fires Mueller AND pardons himself and everyone else and Republicans in Congress do absolutely nothing about it. Nothing at all. Sigh of relief. Move past it. Get back to "leading" and "America" or whatever.

Seriously, we're going to have South Korea-style protests where nobody leaves the streets until shit actually changes, right?

Right?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:52 PM on July 20 [39 favorites]


How long is it going to take to clear all this shit up?

Trump Nominates Climate-Denying, Conservative Talk Show Host as USDA's Top Scientist.

Clovis appears to have no published scientific or academic work to his name.
posted by adamvasco at 7:52 PM on July 20 [34 favorites]


Putin's failure to wean Russia off oil will destroy the nation's economy.

Oil isn't somehow important? Or won't be? Is that why theoildrum.com closed years ago?

Lets say oil doesn't matter. Russia has alot of land. Energy and processed goods via energy will still be of value and Russia controls a whole lotta surface to gather solar to convert to electricity and food. The not-lit-up-by-the-sun parts translate into goods once processed.

How much of the Russian economy relies of the Ruble being the international means of exchange? What happens if your "money" stops being the way trading between nations gets settled?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:53 PM on July 20


If we protest in the streets then we'll probably be charged with terrorism and then have our assets taken away by Sessions in civil forfeiture.
posted by gatorae at 7:58 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


In case your rage wasn't white-hot and mouth-foaming enough already, Team Trump plans to start their big beautiful wall by plowing through the "crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system."

excellent work by Melissa del Bosque of the terrific Texas Observer.
posted by martin q blank at 7:58 PM on July 20 [41 favorites]


Several senior aides were described as “stunned” when Sessions announced Thursday morning he would stay on at the Justice Department.

@johncole: "Anyone surprised Sessions did not resign doesn't understand how important this is for the Klan and future GOP voter suppression"
posted by lalex at 8:07 PM on July 20 [45 favorites]


We’re on the Brink of an Authoritarian Crisis
Republicans have given every indication over the course of the past several months that no malfeasance, no matter how naked and severe, will impel them to rein in Trump or impeach him. ...
If this crisis unfolds as depicted here, the country’s final hope for avoiding a terminal slide into authoritarianism would be the midterm election, contesting control of a historically gerrymandered House of Representatives. That election is 16 months away. Over that time, Trump’s DOJ and his sham election-integrity commission will seek to disenfranchise as many Democratic voters as possible, while the president himself beseeches further foreign interference aimed at Democratic candidates. Absent the necessary sweep, everything Trump will have done to degrade our system for his own enrichment and protection will have been ratified, and a point of no return will have been crossed.

posted by T.D. Strange at 8:16 PM on July 20 [32 favorites]


Question for those that know US history and constitutional wonkery more than I do. Why was/is the position of the President, and other positions like a governor, given the power to pardon without what looks to me like a whole lot of checks on it being used for nefarious reasons.

It derives from the Royal Prerogative.

The way I see the current constitutional framework is that each coequal branch of government has certain powers which are legally unquestionable. The executive branch has the unquestioned ability to pardon federal crimes. The legislative branch has the unquestioned ability to impeach and remove federal officials, including the President or Chief Justice. And the judicial branch has the unquestioned ability to interpret the law. In this sense, any abusive actions by one branch can in theory be fixed by the unquestionable powers of another branch. In theory.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:22 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


dis_integration: Trouble is people who are already upset at being called "Deplorable" are unlikely to cotton to being "Wretched". And they are currently opposed to "the wretched refuse" that yearns to be free, so...

Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson and chickens: "What's this? Some bow-tie pencil-neck telling me that he won't eat chicken? He doesn't eat the nuggets with the head on, does he? Maybe he's a Vegemite or something. You know, maybe he thinks people should eat McDonald's off a plate!"
posted by CCBC at 8:24 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Wow, Kasowitz is out. (Link to tweet from Major Garrett, no print piece yet.)
posted by lalex at 8:27 PM on July 20 [16 favorites]


I'm glad he's keeping Sekulow. There is no odious manifestly self-contradictory charity-fraudster piece of shit more appropriate to represent our President.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:30 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


Come on guys I'm sure the Republican congresspeople will say tomorrow that they are "concerned" and "troubled" about these reports.

Concerned and troubled about the reports getting into the news, that is...
posted by SisterHavana at 8:32 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Any bets on how long Cobb will last? He told the Monster from the Id on Monday in no uncertain terms to shut his fucking piehole because it's time to impose some strict discipline, yata yata, so Trump trots right out and does the polar opposite with the NYT yesterday.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:34 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


A lot of Ok-to-great sloganeering above, but really, stop pulling your punches. And if you're doing the [Title]: [Subtitle] thing, you can and should cycle through multiple variations.

Democrats 2018:
- A Better Deal: Hospitals, Schools, Roads
- A Better Deal: Education, Jobs, Retirement
- A Better Deal: Food, Water, Shelter
- A Better Deal: Community, Equality, Democracy
- A Better Deal: Mom, America, Apple Pie
- A Better Deal: Honor, Dignity, Respect
- A Better Deal: Impeachment, Indictment, Incarceration

Stop thinking so hard about it. It's just "Democrats: Stuff You Like." And that's not even dishonest, because that's what the party's trying to do.

I guess there's also "Democrats: A bunch of wonkish technocratic bikeshedding," which is an important thing to get out there for the narrow but influential demographic that cares about it, and also important in the sense that you'll need more than a sentence fragment to implement a successful policy. Still, not what you lead with.

Side note... The problem with "skills, jobs, wages" is definitely the "skills" bit, as it highlights the idea that people without jobs are somehow inadequate, and need step up their game if they're to expect a place in society. This is both true and unfair, which is the worst possible combination. It's a "take your medicine" thing, which is another thing you don't lead with.
posted by dirge at 8:35 PM on July 20 [29 favorites]


I've long thought we could have this net neutrality debate licked if someone just started a rumor that Comcast wants to charge $100/mb for porn.

If we're starting rumors, I like "civil forfeiture is how the government plans to take your guns"
posted by ctmf at 8:37 PM on July 20 [65 favorites]


the real problem at the heart of this is that nationwide health care policy is not a menu you can pick and choose from;

When I was young you could not get a price quote from a car repair place. "Oh we don't know how much this will cost".

Yet, somehow, today when I ask for a quote to fix a problem on a car I can get a 'costs this much' quote. How did that happen? Oh yea, a law was passed that ordered fixed price quoting.

But hey, if you are worried about your health care costs go ahead....ask for a quote before the "labor" is done on your healthcare. I can't seem to get a fixed quote in my market - how about you? (how are you gonna get that iPhone eh?)

Hell, that contract they want you to sign where you agree to pay the rate per the 'quotebook' (or whatever the hell they call it) ASK TO SEE THAT BOOK the day you are ask to sign it. I know damned well when I asked it was not provided. And I know damned well when I went to record the interaction for "proof" I was told I could not because "HIPPA".
posted by rough ashlar at 8:37 PM on July 20 [12 favorites]


I feel like you could trim down "A Better Deal" to "Better".

Democrats 2018: Better.

And then you use it to describe every one of your policies: the Republicans say they have a great healthcare deal. We have a better one. Obamacare's not working, they say? We'll make it better.

Also kind of difficult for Republicans to attack because either they have to define 'better than what', which they won't do because that would involve substance, or it can be turned around to say 'well better than Reagan, look how bad he was at this'.

May not help the perception of Democrats as being smug but compared to the Republicans how could you not be
posted by Merus at 8:38 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


From way upthread, but THIS rankles and hard. We, white straight men, are dying in greater numbers and in greater proportion than gay men during the AIDS crisis, and Republican leaders don't care in similar proportion, as the dying are working or middle class. The hell of it is it's not a simple thing like "Don't do drugs!" - people who have never touched a drop or an ounce or a pill are still suiciding at an epidemic rate. No one cares. Not the Allies we've been fighting for on the left. Not the Kommisars we've been voting for in lockstep on the right. We deserve to die as we are worthless is the message we're getting, and believe me, it's come in loud and clear.

The first one to fix this wins. Empathy is not a zero sum game. It's the opposite.

Yup, and it's worth remembering that the current opioid epidemic is affecting more Whites than minorities.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:40 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Some Republicans in frequent touch with the White House said they viewed the president’s decision to publicly air his disappointment with Sessions as a warning sign that the attorney general’s days were numbered.

Why does anyone still think this? Trump doesn't humiliate and trash his minions to get rid of them or as a prelude to canning them, necessarily. It's just part of every Trump employee's job description: to be publicly debased anytime he's in the mood or feels the need to unload randomly on someone. Just ask Spicey. Nixon meatloaf is the White House blue plate special every day.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:42 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Wow, Kasowitz is out.

We won't see you. We promise. Bro.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:43 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]



Wow, Kasowitz is out.


So Sessions gets fired and it's Kasowitz for new AG?

Kidding. Sort of.
posted by Jalliah at 8:44 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


I've thought for years that a massive New Deal style investment in infrastructure .... The Republicans won't do it.

The version of "why vote for Trump" from Trump-supports was he was gonna work to get the infrastructure up to snuff? That was why these supporters thought Webster Tarpley and his infrastructure upgrade position was all wrong about the donald.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:53 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I've long thought we could have this net neutrality debate licked if someone just started a rumor that Comcast wants to charge $100/mb for porn.

If we're starting rumors, I like "civil forfeiture is how the government plans to take your guns"


Lot of folks who have never cared about Dr. Who before are suddenly very concerned. Maybe we should announce that climate change is a woman.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:59 PM on July 20 [37 favorites]


They were like "Doctor who???"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:01 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


The hell of it is it's not a simple thing like "Don't do drugs!" - people who have never touched a drop or an ounce or a pill are still suiciding at an epidemic rate. No one cares. Not the Allies we've been fighting for on the left. Not the Kommisars we've been voting for in lockstep on the right. We deserve to die as we are worthless is the message we're getting, and believe me, it's come in loud and clear.

What are you talking about?
posted by runcibleshaw at 9:05 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


AMERICA DESERVES BETTER

Does it?

Does it deserve better because no human should be subjected to such? (and somehow this other choice will be beyond-measurement better)

Does it deserve better because the nation has been such a force for good overall that the present situation is unworthy of the overall greatness?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:07 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Well, if we're still doing sloganeering:

Democrats 2018: That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Democrats 2018: America is better than this.

Democrats 2018: If you like your Obamacare, you can keep it!

Democrats 2018: Somos todos Americanos!
posted by biogeo at 9:07 PM on July 20


I love the armchair campaign-crafting, but instead of talking about what the Democrats should do, please just do it. We are the Democrats (to the extent we have any hope of electoral victory) and rather than wait and wish for them to get things right, just make some photomemes and hashtags and start using them. Let it bubble up from below - that's how everything good starts anyway.

Heck, that's how Yes We Can started. It didn't come out of the Democrats. It came out of the individual agitators in the United Farm Workers.

Don't sit back and hope the official party notices and adopts the good ideas. We have to be the ones we've been waiting for. Get designing!
posted by Miko at 9:11 PM on July 20 [77 favorites]


We, white straight men, are dying in greater numbers and in greater proportion than gay men during the AIDS crisis,

Citation?
posted by Miko at 9:13 PM on July 20 [17 favorites]


And yet, he persisted:

Drew Griffin, CNN: Exclusive: Jared Kushner's White House connection still being used to lure Chinese investors (emphasis mine)
Jared Kushner's status as a top aide to President Donald Trump was used to lure Chinese investors to his family's New Jersey development, even after his family's company apologized for mentioning his name during a sales pitch in May, CNN has found.

References to Kushner are part of online promotions by two businesses that are working with Kushner Companies to find Chinese investors willing to invest in the 1 Journal Square development in exchange for a US visa.

The promotions are posted in Chinese and refer to Kushner Companies as "real estate heavyweights," going on to mention "the celebrity of the family is 30-something 'Mr. Perfect' Jared Kushner, who once served as CEO of Kushner Companies."
(Years ago Drew Griffin was one of the more serious local anchors here in L.A. Good for him!)
posted by Room 641-A at 9:27 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


I know a lot about health care. [garbled]

this could be a good Trump quote for a memorial plaque
posted by salix at 9:29 PM on July 20 [17 favorites]


Good grief, people, this thread has 513 new comments. How am I going to get any sleep?

Also, if Trump and co. implode or otherwise are removed from office will Pence be tainted, too?
*crosses fingers*
Of course I wish this to happen after Democrats re-take the house in '18. Although that means at least two full years of this insanity.
*sigh*
posted by Gadgetenvy at 9:30 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


the celebrity of the family is 30-something 'Mr. Perfect' Jared Kushner

Is "Mr. Perfect" the shitty masked vigilante alter-ego that he dons to go to parties where Ozymandias refuses to look him in the eye and he ends up having to talking to Rorschach about how nice guys always end up friendzoned
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:32 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Good grief, people, this thread has 513 new comments. How am I going to get any sleep?

It's mostly just arguing about slogans.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:33 PM on July 20 [23 favorites]




SOLUTIONS NOT SLOGANS!

(That's my slogan)
posted by The World Famous at 9:40 PM on July 20 [10 favorites]


"They don't always want to prohibit those choices. But they have become smug and condescending toward anyone who does not match the personal lifestyle choices of liberal elites. Why would the voters on the receiving end of that smug condescension trust such a movement to operate the government in their best interest?"

You know what's so much better? Billionaire Republicans pretending to be just regular folk, because that's not condescending at all! You know what I fucking love? I fucking love it when my billionaire Republican governor from fucking DEERFIELD who went to fucking DARTMOUTH comes downstate and and starts droppin' the letter G and talkin' all folksy when he uses perfectly standard and correct English in Chicago and the suburbs because as everyone knows we're all dumb fucking hicks downstate and also have no TVs or radios because that electricity hasn't gotten to us down here so clearly we have no idea he talks proper when he talks to his wealthy white peers in Chicago and he pretends like his mother wouldn't have washed his mouth out with fucking soap for dropping his Gs in fucking Deerfield.

I'm pretty clear on which party is condescending to me, and it's not that one where people are like "oooh, I love Brie, can we serve it at the campaign dinner?" It's definitely the one where they're like, "I may have a billion dollars but I wear Carhartts for my manly manual labor that I totally definitely do, and definitely have never heard of Brie, what do you mean there are photos of me eating Brie while mocking poor people?"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:41 PM on July 20 [105 favorites]


Does anyone know when Mueller is ready to present his rock solid case against Trump, who-how-where does he present it and how-who does anything about it?
posted by perhapses at 9:47 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Even Bostonians who absolutely loathe Howie Carr need to watch this car wreck of an interview with Shiva Ayyadurai, the guy who says he invented e-mail when he was 14 and who has taken to calling himself the "real Indian" who will take down Elizabeth Warren next year. Ayyadurai learns why maybe you shouldn't talk trash about Carr (like calling him a Never Trumper) if you have a domestic A&B arrest on your record, because, of course, Carr is going to dig up the records. Basically goes south at 2:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySAKR1CRFPA
posted by adamg at 9:54 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: It's mostly just arguing about slogans.
posted by rifflesby at 9:56 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Does anyone know when Mueller is ready to present his rock solid case against Trump, who-how-where does he present it and how-who does anything about it?

The Special Counsel has the full power of a US Attorney within the scope of the appointment. So Mueller himself can bring indictments against anyone relating to the Russia investigation, with the likely exception of Trump himself, but that's deeply in the constitutional disputed territory, no one really knows. In all likelihood Mueller cannot directly prosecute Trump, that would have to be the Republican Congress (stop laughing), but can exercise the full authority of the Justice Department against anyone else. There shouldn't be a "Mueller Report" released to anyone, it should be criminal indictments, or an all clear.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:03 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


Although thinking it through, if Mueller wanted to indict Trump, and decided he could not for constitutional reasons, we could see a "Mueller Report", either pubicly or to Congress, or both, which would essentially be laying out the case for impeachment because Mueller felt he could not act alone. But that would be in addition to criminal actions against whoever else caught up in Russiagate, not the only result of the investigation.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:07 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


I'm 100% sure that Trump's perfect world would be one in which he won the popular vote but lost the electoral college...

So from Trump's perspective, Hillary won. Maybe that's why he just can't quit her.
posted by carmicha at 10:11 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


Was this the Trumpbot requesting new seed data during the interview?

"I mean, how do you think that? But when you say that — and think about this for a second. I don’t think — you could give me a whole string of new information. I don’t think I could really have — there’s only so much. You know, you can only say many things. After that it gets boring, O.K.?"
posted by salix at 10:13 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


Thanks, T.D. Strange. I just can't imagine how that will unfold when it is time.
posted by perhapses at 10:13 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know when Mueller is ready to present his rock solid case against Trump, who-how-where does he present it and how-who does anything about it?

Mueller does this from a podium on 5th Ave at 57th. Then trump will shoot him.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:18 PM on July 20 [15 favorites]


Even Bostonians who absolutely loathe Howie Carr need to watch this car wreck of an interview with Shiva Ayyadurai, the guy who says he invented e-mail when he was 14 and who has taken to calling himself the "real Indian" who will take down Elizabeth Warren next year.

Why does it seem like every Indian-American Republican politician in this country (as well as those running for office as a Republican) is a self-hating, pathological basket case — in other words, typical Republican, but turned up to 11 — while the Indian-American Democrats/left-leaning independents (which are the majority of Indian-American politicians in the US, thankfully) are, like . . . your average, everyday neighbor? And why are the Republican ones so goddamn outspoken, so as to pull more attention to themselves and make the rest of us look bad?

(Hi. Indian-American here, should anyone be wondering.)

I'm 42, so I'm more or less around the same age as the majority of the Indian-American politicians in office today. Meaning I grew up in the same generation, among other Indian-Americans who were children of immigrants (and it's safe to say some 90-ish percent of the Indians in American politics are US-born, but children of immigrants — as am I). So I feel like I personally know each of these personality types, and more specifically, how each of these personality types were when they were children and teenagers.

Suffice it to say that the well-adjusted, just-happen-to-be-left-leaning ones seemed fairly well adjusted in their childhood and teen years, while the ones who turned out to be Republicans had serious self-hatred complexes. I'm reminded of a guy from high school who actually said to his white friends that he felt Indian people are "puny" and "weak" and downplayed his "otherness" at every turn.

He embraced Republican politics. And thanks to Facebook, I now know he's a cosmetic surgeon in the Miami area. And probably still a Republican. I'm just waiting for him to run for office.

Ugh. Not that this should surprise me, but clearly, we're just as fucked up as everyone else.
posted by CommonSense at 10:24 PM on July 20 [28 favorites]


Josh Marshall: The President at War [with the rule of law]
We are far, far past the point where there is any credible reason to doubt that President Trump is hiding major and broad-ranging wrongdoing. No mix of ego, inexperience, embarrassment or anything else can explain his behavior. It just can’t. He’s hiding bad acts. And the country is likely heading toward a major constitutional and political crisis because Trump is signaling that he will not allow the normal course of the law to apply to him – a challenge which puts the entire edifice of democratic government under threat.

And this point is key, Trump is firing Mueller. Laws won't stop him and neither will the ostensible presence of Rosenstein, who is at best a wet noodle and at worst a lickspittle. It's going to happen. Today was an overt omission and they've been comically inept and heavy handed in trying to lay the groundwork:

3. Relatedly, the President and his legal team are attempting to prescribe a narrow ambit for Mueller’s probe. Basically anything outside the four walls of the 2016 election is off limits, according to Trump, including his family’s business operations, perhaps even during the 2016 election. This isn’t remotely how these kinds of investigations work. In this specific case, Rod Rosenstein gave Mueller a broad mandate to go where the facts lead him. This is not an argument that would convince any lawyer or judge. It is a political argument which lays the groundwork for Mueller’s dismissal.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:29 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


I love the armchair campaign-crafting, but instead of talking about what the Democrats should do, please just do it

This is good political advice. We, the people, do not need permissom to fight for what we want.
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 PM on July 20 [39 favorites]


Was this the Trumpbot requesting new seed data during the interview?

"I mean, how do you think that? But when you say that — and think about this for a second. I don’t think — you could give me a whole string of new information. I don’t think I could really have — there’s only so much. You know, you can only say many things. After that it gets boring, O.K.?"
posted by salix at 10:13 PM on July 20 [1 favorite +] [!]


This is what AI looks like when it loses ground truth and begs for intervention. In the movie version of this timeline, this is followed by a cut to black and then the credits.
posted by SakuraK at 10:45 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


> This is what AI looks like when it loses ground truth and begs for intervention. In the movie version of this timeline, this is followed by a cut to black and then the credits.

In the midst of all the horrible awfulness, terror, fear, and despair, the thing my brain has decided to really fixate on is how much I miss Obama and (Bill) Clinton in the White House because of their ability to speak clearly about complex issues, completely off-the-cuff - no notes, no teleprompter, no memorized bullet points.
posted by rtha at 10:53 PM on July 20 [24 favorites]


Can Trump Pardon Himself?
So what would happen if Trump attempted a self-pardon? First, some pardon fundamentals: Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution gives the president the power to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” Pardons thus can only cover federal criminal offenses and cannot thwart an impeachment (which technically is not a criminal prosecution anyway).
...
There are two questions on the table. First, might Trump pardon himself? It is far too early to speculate about him facing criminal liability, but he certainly acts like someone who wouldn’t hesitate to deliver himself such a plum.

Second, if Trump did it, what would happen? This question is easier to answer. If he weren’t already on his way out of office, a self-pardon would bring nearer that day. Any prosecutor who was already pursuing him would not roll over and assume that the self-pardon was valid. Instead, the prosecutor would press forward and force the courts — and surely the Supreme Court, eventually — to decide the issue. The court could potentially rule either way. But one would hope it would rule in favor of justice and the rule of law and not in favor of unaccountable presidential plunder.
Could Trump issue himself a pardon?
The short answer is that no one really knows. The longer answer is that the reasons he might want to are more complex than we might usually assume.
...
If Trump were to pardon himself, and if the courts were to sign off — ultimately meaning the Supreme Court, most likely — there’s not anything anyone could do about it. He’d be pardoned from prosecution for federal crimes under whatever limits he applied to his pardon, up until the point at which the pardon was granted.
Two other points:

1) Pardons cover criminal offenses; impeachment is a political issue. So issuing pardons wouldn't prevent him from being impeached.

2) If someone is pardoned they can't claim the 5th Amendment right to refuse to testify, since they would be immune from consequences of the offenses they've been pardoned for.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:57 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Sure they could refuse to testify. They'd be held in contempt and Trump would pardon them for contempt.
posted by Justinian at 11:00 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]




Alternatively they could lie their asses off and Trump could pardon them for perjury.

The possibilities are endless. There is simply no remedy for a lawless presidency save impeachment. Institutions won't save us.
posted by Justinian at 11:04 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


Democrats 2018: vote #1 quidnunc kid!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:05 PM on July 20 [13 favorites]


Pardons cover criminal offenses
Specifically, Presidential pardons cover federal criminal offenses. NYS could still technically throw his ass in jail after he's impeached or leaves office for other reasons. (Preferably after losing the next election, but baby steps.)
Sure they could refuse to testify. They'd be held in contempt and Trump would pardon them for contempt.
There's some interesting opining on this question by former Supreme Court Justice (and President) Howard Taft, who proclaimed that Contempt of Congress is separate from judicial (criminal) contempt and its own civil power, and therefore is not covered by Presidential pardoning power.
posted by xyzzy at 11:09 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


I'm so glad we have a Presidency that may end up testing all sorts of stuff that has never been tested in court.
posted by Justinian at 11:12 PM on July 20 [24 favorites]


white straight men, are dying in greater numbers and in greater proportion than gay men during the AIDS crisis,

I'd like to see a source for this. From the CDC mortality data, the mortality rate from AIDS in 1990, near the peak of the crisis, was about 18.5 per 100,000 per year in men. I can't find a direct source for the mortality rate among gay men, but about 80% of HIV/AIDS cases in men were from men who have sex with men. Since this group makes up only about 5% of the male population, this would suggest a group-specific mortality rate of approximately 18.5 × .80 ÷ .05 ≈ 260 per 100,000 per year.

In comparison, the mortality rate due to drug overdose among white men was 23.3 per 100,000 per year in 2015, and the suicide rate for white men was 23.6 per 100,000 per year, totaling about 50 per 100,000 per year for those two causes. It is definitely noteworthy that white men seem to be at greater risk for death by either drug overdose or suicide than any other group, but other groups have their own unique risks. Black men, for instance, have a death rate by homicide at 35.4 per 100,000 per year, a number that dwarfs all other groups for that category.

So by my best estimate, it's not even close to being true that white straight men are dying due to suicide and drug overdose in greater proportion than gay men during the AIDS crisis, at least according to this dataset. Perhaps factoring low socioeconomic status would change these calculations, but probably not by a factor of 5. Which isn't to say that it isn't a problem that white men are at elevated risk for suicide and drug overdose. Of course it is! But I don't think hyperbole helps anyone. If you've got a source showing my understanding of these figures is wrong, I'm interested to see it.

The implication that no one on the left cares about these health risks in white men is also just patently false. Reforming drug policy to address the opioid epidemic was a major plank in the Democratic platform last year, including a specific commitment to the idea that drug addiction is a medical, not criminal, matter. Expanding access to mental health resources was also a major plank in the platform. These are ideas that were endorsed and fought for by our non-white, non-straight, and non-male allies on the left within the party.
posted by biogeo at 11:14 PM on July 20 [117 favorites]


On The 11th Hour, Chris Collins informed the world that no one in his district (NY 27th, 59.7% Trump) is at all upset by anything going on with the Trump administration. They're just thrilled to death with his extremely competent Cabinet choices, are eagerly awaiting the impending repeal of Obamacare, are thoroughly enjoying the massive economic gains due to Trump's ascendance to the throne, and are just tickled pink that Trump has signed more bills in his Presidency than either Obama or Bush did in their first six months! He knows everyone is this thrilled Because Magic, since he refuses to hold town halls.

Zero pushback on the "signed more bills" statement, which is patently false. Williams teased him a little over not holding town halls, but at the end of the interview he delivered his usual fawning praise while thanking him for his appearance.
posted by xyzzy at 11:45 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Couple of election slogan thoughts:
GOP 2016 - Hold Our Beer!

RNC 2020 - Pass The Joint
posted by Gadgetenvy at 11:53 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Some tangentially relevant developments:

- US senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are proposing a bipartisan bill to reform excessive bail. This could be as wide as you can get across the political spectrum in the Senate...

- The Polish right-wing majority party, "Law and Order", has passed its bill to render the judiciary dependent on the executive in the lower chamber, awaiting the senate reading and enaction by President Andrzej Duda. The Law and Order party has seen Trump's visit and speech as a boost to its agenda, while Donald Tusk, president of the EU council from Poland, expresses his worries of "bleak outcomes".
posted by runcifex at 1:07 AM on July 21 [12 favorites]


We, the people, do not need permissom to fight for what we want.

With the exception of a few states you can not approach a Grand Jury with your criminal charges per the code AND how they have decided to operate Grand Juries in that state. Claims are made some citizens have been able to submit directly in Texas and California. (Claims are also made Grand Juries just are not held in other states to avoid a direct submission issue.)

And my understanding is one used to be able to do this on a federal level 'till a policy rewrite in 1946.

By 1946 vets who had time in the returning ships to talk with others. About how crappy things were gonna be when they got back home. And some of the fellow vets mentioned how you have rights and a way to enforce them - write up the complaint to the Grand Jury and submit it. My gut tells me after a few people did this some were "inspired" to make a policy change. In the same way there became "inspiration" about gun control laws because a few people walked around with rifles in public while Regan was governor of California.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:19 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I just can't believe these fuckers are going after health care again. I mean, I believe it but it's just getting surreal.

There were ADAPT folks in front of Senator Toomey's Philly office from 5:30 AM on last Tuesday, most if not all in wheelchairs, in the heat and growing humidity, some of whom got arrested. You have to really be fucking invested in a cause to be doing that.

It makes me so angry. I receive Medicare so I'm not in as much near-term danger as those on Medicaid, but if I'd just broke my back before rather than after I worked some, I'd be receiving Medicaid. If my insurance lapsed the first thing to go would be my anti-seizure medication, and I'd have to go to the hospital.

People are not in disgusting Philly weather getting arrested because it's romantic, Jesus.
posted by angrycat at 2:37 AM on July 21 [44 favorites]


Paul Krugman about GOP sabotage of health care if you were tired of feeling briefly victorious about the failure of the BHCA
posted by angrycat at 4:02 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


In the same way there became "inspiration" about gun control laws because a few people walked around with rifles in public while Regan was governor of California.

The Black Panthers were not merely "a few people."
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:12 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


And the Federal Grand Jury lost its civil investigative function not due to some shadowy conspiracy but because the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were instituted in 1946.

Previously the Federal Grand Jury had theoretical autonomous civil investigative powers that would have permitted it watchdog governmental corruption on its own initiative, but practically speaking it hadn't really served that purpose since the closure of the frontier and the establishment of state governments in the west (vastly reducing the areas locally administered by Federal officials). So that function had fallen into disuse and was simply left out when the rules were codified.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:23 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


The Black Panthers were not merely "a few people."

But what part of the group inspired the change in the law? Militancy with long guns? Males with long guns? A political party with long guns?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:23 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I'm going to hazard a guess that it was the Black part.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:24 AM on July 21 [41 favorites]


In case anyone wanted confirmation that pardoned individuals can be compelled to testify, Laurence Tribe who argued Bush v Gore. etc.:

@tribelaw
Memo to Trump: Anyone you pardon can be compelled to testify without any grant of immunity, and that testimony could undo you.
posted by chris24 at 4:31 AM on July 21 [33 favorites]


Lavrov's straight-up trolling us.

Trump and Putin May Have Met More Times Says Russia's Sergei Lavrov

“They might have met even much more than just three times,” he told NBC News’ Keir Simmons in an exclusive interview, dismissing speculation about the leaders' meetings. Asked whether the two presidents had other conversations or met in the corridors of the G-20 meeting, Lavrov used the analogy of children mingling at a kindergarten.

“When you are bought by your parents to a kindergarten do you mix with the people who are waiting in the same room to start going to a classroom?” he asked. He added: "I remember when I was in that position I did spend five or ten minutes in the kindergarten before they brought us to the classroom.”
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:44 AM on July 21 [10 favorites]


Previously the Federal Grand Jury had theoretical autonomous civil investigative powers

The only references I've spotted in the 'founding' documents are along the lines of 'yup, gonna have these' with no guidance on how one gets papers in front of 'em. Someone's has to have done a dissertation on use of a federal grand jury before 1946 by citizens and I'd guess if such existed a different one would exist outlining racial differences in how the law is applied. If there was an upswing even after adjustment for population - could that be correlated to the rise of mass-media radio and one of the 'preachers' of the day mentioning it to their listeners?

If citizens could approach a federal grand jury with papers and a ham sandwich or 2 - would that "solve" the "Trump problem" or just be the latest version of "solving" the "Obama/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Regan/Carter/...." problem? If one can't 'go after' a sitting president or public official - doesn't that just prove Nixon right?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:44 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


If there was an upswing even after adjustment for population - could that be correlated to the rise of mass-media radio and one of the 'preachers' of the day mentioning it to their listeners?

Those sorts of questions are interesting, but are sort of historical curiosities. Historiography of that sort isn't all that popular in legal scholarship (at least not currently) -- it might be of more interest to government/pol sci types. My guess is that the kinds of social changes you're pointing to might have encouraged the retirement of Federal grand juries as governmental watchdogs had they still been in use for that purpose then (as happened with state grand juries), but the evidence suggests that the function was already mostly abandoned in the late 1800s.

If one can't 'go after' a sitting president or public official - doesn't that just prove Nixon right?

Nixon left office in disgrace and his name remains anathema. If Nixon is proven right it won't be by a failure of law but by a failure of political will to hew to and enforce the law. Which, arguably, we are seeing right now.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:57 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


"I mean, how do you think that? But when you say that — and think about this for a second. I don’t think — you could give me a whole string of new information. I don’t think I could really have — there’s only so much. You know, you can only say many things. After that it gets boring, O.K.?"

Samuel Beckett, Endgame (1957)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:57 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


Man now I have to make one of those online quizzes
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:58 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


@tribelaw
Memo to Trump: Anyone you pardon can be compelled to testify without any grant of immunity, and that testimony could undo you.


They'll just fucking lie! Why does everybody act like Trump pardoning his cronies thereby forcing them to be compelled to testify is some "oh ho ho you fell into our brilliantly conceived trap" shit? Compel those people to testify and they'll just keep fucking lying. Bring them up on perjury and they'll just get pardoned again. They don't think the law applies to them, and up to now they've been right. They're not going to have some road-to-Damascus conversion where they suddenly believe that some law does apply to them, that this specific lie is just too much. Like Justinian said: there is no remedy for a lawless presidency within our political and legal framework.

It's like an old cowboy movie where if the bank robbers reach the border of the next state over, they're free. We're sheriffs standing on this side of the border, shouting out at them, "don't you know bank robbing is illegal?" Turning to each other and tutting, "I can't wait until they ride back over here so we can arrest them!"
posted by penduluum at 5:09 AM on July 21 [65 favorites]


there is no remedy for a lawless presidency within our political and legal framework.

There is -- impeachment. There's no remedy for a lawless presidency when the intended remedy is withheld by an equally corrupt or merely spineless Congressional majority.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:14 AM on July 21 [29 favorites]


thomas jefferson disagrees
posted by entropicamericana at 5:20 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


But impeachment also exists outside the legal framework. Congress can decide to begin impeachment proceedings whether or not he pardons anybody, whether or not anybody is compelled to testify, what they do once they're compelled to testify ... none of that is relevant. All that matters to impeachment is the calculus of whether Congress, taken in aggregate at any instant in time, likes the President enough to hold back. Today, impeachment is impossible with a Republican majority, mandatory (one hopes) with a Democratic majority, so the facts that bring it about don't matter.

The only reason Trump would care about being impeached is if it makes him feel unpopular, and the operating word there isn't "unpopular," it's "feel." He doesn't care about actually passing legislation. He doesn't care about damaging his party's reputation. He doesn't care about actually having the job. And he's already spent decades building up an approval apparatus that gives him the praise and adulation he needs without reference to the real, outside world. He likes being powerful, not because he wants to necessarily do anything with that power, but because he needs to be worshipped. Impeachment assumes powerful individuals want to wield that power. Impeachment is no threat to somebody who doesn't care whether he's president.
posted by penduluum at 5:27 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Mueller has a remit to investigate Trump's business transactions with Russia. But these transactions are likely conducted through baroque shell companies. How does Mueller know whether they are connected to Russia? He investigates them. If he finds criminal activity unrelated to Russia, does he ignore it? No. It becomes part of the investigation. It is CONSUMED BY OMNIGATE.

Mueller will be looking through many years of Trump's tax returns and financial dealings. He could find federal crimes. He will present his evidence. The President could be pardoned. But the evidence could also point to related state crimes. Those can only pardoned by the state governors.

And this is why Trump is going to end up living in Gorky Park.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:43 AM on July 21 [27 favorites]


Dems 2018: How's that "Great Again" workin' out for ya?
posted by spitbull at 5:58 AM on July 21 [12 favorites]


how's that "gropey ragey" thing workin' out for ya?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:00 AM on July 21 [19 favorites]


The Post dug deep on Akie Abe's knowledge of English and concluded it probably wasn't a snub of Trump so much as that she doesn't appear to be particularly comfortable with the language and likely didn't want to misspeak.

Stuff and nonsense. I traveled to Japan a month or so ago, and nearly everyone I met could at least say "hello," "goodbye," and "thank you;" she may not have been comfortable with fluent conversation, but she could have at least given Trump a greeting and then apologized for her poor English -- it would, incidentally, be the polite thing to do -- and yet according to Trump himself, she didn't address him in English at all, to the point where he thought she didn't speak the language. Even I, who know barely a dozen phrases of Japanese, did my best to use them when I could. "Not speaking the language well" != "not speaking it at all."

I realize it's embarrassing for people close to world leaders to entirely snub the sitting US president, but there's also no reason at all to flail about for excuses, especially such feeble ones.
posted by Gelatin at 6:19 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Impeachment is no threat to somebody who doesn't care whether he's president.

Great! Sounds like a plan. The world can be rid of President Trump and he can pretend not to give a shit.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:24 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


according to Trump himself

I think I see the problem here.
posted by Etrigan at 6:26 AM on July 21 [11 favorites]


Kate Zernike and Abby Goodnough, NYT, These Americans Hated the Health Law. Until the Idea of Repeal Sank In.
"If I had to pay a penalty, it’s still less than I have to pay for having health care all year,” Ms. McMahon said. At 52, she has diabetes and says the strips to test her blood sugar are so expensive that sometimes she tests once a month rather than daily. She has not looked into whether she might qualify for the Medicaid expansion; she was not aware Pennsylvania had expanded the program
*MUFFLED SCREAMING*
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:28 AM on July 21 [66 favorites]


>She has not looked into whether she might qualify for the Medicaid

My Mother Who Voted for Donald Trump Even Though She Believes He is the Literal Anti-Christ uses Ohio Medicaid but goes out of her way to talk about the health care she receives (and likes!) as a secret company she discovered and not a public service she's entitled to access.
posted by Tevin at 6:36 AM on July 21 [55 favorites]


Even I, who know barely a dozen phrases of Japanese, did my best to use them when I could. "Not speaking the language well" != "not speaking it at all."

The problem is though, when someone is at Trump's level of incoherence, were even we go "Did he just say that?" regularly, parsing what he says is just too damned hard, and being an idiot, it's not worth the effort.
posted by mikelieman at 6:38 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


If new amendments are applied to the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act, will a new CBO score be issued before a final vote?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:39 AM on July 21


I'm pretty clear on which party is condescending to me, and it's not that one where people are like "oooh, I love Brie, can we serve it at the campaign dinner?" It's definitely the one where they're like, "I may have a billion dollars but I wear Carhartts for my manly manual labor that I totally definitely do, and definitely have never heard of Brie, what do you mean there are photos of me eating Brie while mocking poor people?"

Brie being the symbol of elite status is one of the saddest declarations of Americain provincialism possible.
posted by srboisvert at 6:41 AM on July 21 [32 favorites]


No, they're not even going to score the Cruz amendment before a vote next week. McConnell is trying to buy off enough holdouts as possible with promises to get past the motion to proceed, at which point they will have no clue what the final bill will actually contain, but apparently will be voting on it anyway. No scores, no hearings, nothing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:44 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Just so long as they can kill people they're happy.
posted by Artw at 6:46 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


As for the BCRA, or Obamacare Repeal Act or whatever they're calling it this week, I still remain convinced that they'll pass something and it will be awful.

They're really stuck, and they need to focus on the short term or they're doubly fucked.

Coming out of the 2016 elections the Republicans were feeling very good, the Democrats had gotten a serious drubbing, not only did they not retake the House or Senate, but the creeping Republican takeover of state governments continued apace and they got the extra bonus of a Republican President.

It's barely 8 months later and they're not feeling so good anymore because it turns out that actually doing something is exposing the significant rifts in their Party and putting serious strain on their deserved fame for Party unity. So far its holding together, but as we get closer and closer to a 2018 election where Trump is a massive penalty and individual Republican congresspeople are seeing looming electoral defeat the leadership knows that their Party unity will eventually break under the pressure.

So they have to repeal Obamacare. Yes, they look like schmucks for fucking up three times in a row now, but McConnel and Ryan aren't total idiots even if they aren't as smart as they think they are, and they know they absolutely **MUST** deliver an Obamacare repeal or they'll pay a huge price in 2018.

Repealing Obamacare has been the keystone of the Republican Party since it passed. Repealing Obamacare is a bigger deal than overturning Roe or re-criminalizing abortion. It is fair to say that repealing Obamacare is the current core of the Republican Party. A failure to do so when they have all the power is going to result in massive electoral consequences.

McConnell is going to burn every scrap of political capital he has to get his Obamacare Repeal Act out of committee and to the floor, and then I think he's going to make it a very generic repeal plus whatever bribes he has to come up with bill. And the key feature is that it won't actually enact a repeal until 2019 or even 2021.

Kicking the can down the road serves several critical functions:

First, and most important, it puts off all the messy, ugly, Party splitting, debate over what exactly to replace Obamacare with. Instead it lets them claim a quick victory on their key policy position and strut, and brag, and crow about how that evil Obamacare that was hurting you so much is now a thing of the past thanks to the Bold White Republicans!

Second, the delay will normalize the supposed "absence" of Obamacare to people. They'll brag about the repeal, FOX will endlessly talk about the repeal, and a huge number of Americans will notice that everything is still working ok and the sky didn't fall, and decide that the Democrats were just fear mongering about the consequences of repealing Obamacare. Trump's "maybe we'll pay, maybe we won't" act will vanish and the Republicans will be very careful to never, ever, bring up the fact that the reason the sky hasn't fallen is because Obamacare is still in place and there's a massive, looming, healthcare crisis coming due as soon as their repeal really kicks in.

Naturally whatever bribes they paid out to get the Obamacare repeal passed will kick in instantly, not in 2019 or 2021 or whatever they chose for the real date of Obamacare repeal

Thirdly, it buys time that is obviously needed for some serious backroom deal making and horse trading to figure out WTF to actually replace Obamacare with. There may not be anything they can work out, but McConnell and Ryan probably have a high enough opinion of themselves as political organizers that they believe they can work something out provided they've got enough time, a lack of pressure, and not so much public scrutiny of what they're doing.

And finally, most importantly, it will provide a big boost for them in 2018. Yes, the Democrats will try to run attack ads about how once the ACA really is gone people will die, but the R's will paint that as crying wolf and fold it into their ads about delicious liberal tears from repealing Obamacare.

It's nice to think that a repeal without a replacement will hurt them electorally, and if it was an instant repeal it would. But if they kick the can down the road (as I am 100% sure they will) Democratic warnings about future danger versus their ability for instant bragging seems like a net gain for the Republicans. It's all about the 2018 elections right now.

I just finished a cake, but I'll bake a new one if I'm wrong. I do firmly expect that the "clean" (ignoring all the bribes the bill includes) Obamacare repeal set to not actually take effect for 2 to 4 years will go through.
posted by sotonohito at 6:48 AM on July 21 [44 favorites]


In the interview, Trump was using the claim that Ms Abe didn't speak English as an excuse for moving over to Melania and Putin. He didn't mention the multi-lingual Arab, Muslim (and very glamorous) Argentine first lady on his left hand whom he was actually supposed to be talking with.
The more we know, the more it seems he was just plain lying about Ms. Abe, probably figuring the Japanese government wouldn't call him out on it. All in all, it's a typical example of the way he does his BS - always constructing a little half-lie that frames the bigger lie and distracts from the huge untruth. It's like the friend he has who used to go to Paris, or the one with the plant in Mexico. Or the claim that he is a successful businessman. All lies covering bullshit covering fraud and worse.
posted by mumimor at 6:50 AM on July 21 [33 favorites]


I went to see what was on Fox & Friends this morning, just to know what Trump is (notably) not tweeting out this morning1, and saw this from KellyAnn Conway (1:35)
The President said to the New York Times less than two days ago: We don't make money in Russia. We don't have hotels in Russia. He had the Miss Universe Pageant there 8 or 9 years ago.
She's right, that is what he said to the NYTimes. But the Miss Universe Pageant was in November 2013! That's 3.7 years ago, for the mathematicians.

But I guess that's the job: Repeat, verbatim, the lies and you can hide behind the quotation marks.

1 - I imagine him holding it all in for a late afternoon storm that will have far-reaching consequences.
posted by pjenks at 6:51 AM on July 21 [14 favorites]


The only problem is a repeal and delay will instantly destroy the individual insurance markets too. The CBO score for repeal and delay has premiums doubling overnight, plus 18 million people losing coverage *before* 2018. I agree they're going to pass something, then put it off long enough to try another round of blaming the Democrats for the consequences of Republican actions, but insurance companies have a longer time horizon than 18 months, and they won't be fooled.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:53 AM on July 21 [36 favorites]


This is a line of thought trodden again and again, but you don't win on the manifesto of "we're not them" or "the other guy is failing."

The Dems need to look at Britain's Labour party. They didn't win the majority, but they did win enough seats to dispel the myth of Tory invincibility and sending them into disarray. Labour winning Canterbury is like Dems snatching a dyed in the wool red Georgia district and there will be shock and awe. They did this by laying on the table a manifesto unseen in more than a decade. They did this by not merely being non-Tory but by stopping pretending that they're better Tories than the Tories. Their manifesto is apocalyptic in the literal sense, "uncovering." Their approach is evangelical in the literal sense, "good-news-heralding." This is how you make a last stand. You don't make a last stand by planning to get away with it.

Stop mucking with this "Better Deal" cutie thingy. Be more like Franklin Badass Delano Roosevelt and Abraham Asskicker Lincoln (yes I know he was a Republican). It's either a new birth of freedom or the cruel torture and death of everything as you know it. Stop being ashamed and in denial of yourself!
posted by runcifex at 6:57 AM on July 21 [21 favorites]


The only problem is a repeal and delay will instantly destroy the individual insurance markets too.

Especially since they have to use reconciliation to do it and can only repeal the budget related Obamacare items, but not things like pre existing conditions, staying on parents coverage, or defining what insurance is. Insurance companies have been screaming at full volume about how this will absolutely destroy the individual market as soon as it passes. No insurance company is gonna wait around for armageddon. They'll leave ASAP.

This is probably how the US ends up with single payer.
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:58 AM on July 21 [11 favorites]


This is a line of thought trodden again and again, but you don't win on the manifesto of "we're not them" or "the other guy is failing."

That's funny, I thought Trump won using exactly those lines.
posted by mmoncur at 7:07 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


The Daily Dana: Ed Royce stopped Dana Rohrabacher from going to Russia last spring
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has made several trips to Moscow during his 15 terms in Congress.

But the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats canceled a publicly announced trip to meet with the Russian parliament last spring with little notice.

Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) told the Times on Wednesday that he decided not to go because he was worried the national focus on Russia would make it difficult to have serious conversations with Russian officials.

"In the middle of a chaotic, public brouhaha, you're not going to be able to get the serious job done that you need to get done," he said.

But a senior House GOP aide who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to reporters said Thursday it was House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) who declined Rohrabacher’s request to travel to Moscow shortly after President Trump's inauguration. The aide said such a trip would have been inappropriate.

At the time, Congress was just beginning its investigations into Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.
posted by notyou at 7:13 AM on July 21 [12 favorites]


My mother, who brought a MAGA drink cozy to her son-in-law's funeral, reacted like she had been shot at when I mentioned that a change of employment meant that my next health insurance would come via the ACA exchanges. She literally yelled "OH, GOD, NO!"

No more than five minutes later in the same conversation, we discussed her husband's recovery from early-stage cancer and she remarked how pleasantly surprised she was at how well Medicare had covered his expenses and provided comprehensive coverage.

It is considered rude to smack your mother in the mouth, especially at a family Xmas gathering, but the impulse was difficult to suppress.
posted by delfin at 7:16 AM on July 21 [86 favorites]


Anyway. How lucky is Rex Tillerson? As head of Exxon he flouted the Magnitsky Act's prohibition against dealing with certain Russian individuals and companies which in any other consensus reality environment would be a blockbuster, but in Trumpland it's a flicker across the screen: Wait? Was that? Musta been my imagination.
posted by notyou at 7:20 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


The Dem "liberal elites" are nothing but. Elite means the chosen ones, those chosen to do the impossible and die fulfilling this obligation that binds one to another. I hate aristocracy as much as the next guy but now the Dems, or Opposition, or whatever, can benefit from a dose of nobility. Really you don't win by being nice. You win by calling everybody to arms.

How do you get this armed crowd? Trump won because he had the temerity to say they're going to build a wall and expel all Muslims and grab pussy. It's possible to appeal to the most irresponsible emotions and wildest dreams, especially with a lot of "help" from your "friends". It's also possible to do the opposite. To stake the honour and credibility on the front line and getting ready to die trying. This is nobility. This is how you gain loyalty.
posted by runcifex at 7:22 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


That's funny, I thought Trump won using exactly those lines.

Exactly those lines, plus racism, plus some pseudo-socialist populist claptrap about spending and building and jobs and infrastructure, all of which are never going to happen.

Actually popular actually socialist policies that actually help people and build things seem like they would be a good counter to this.
posted by Artw at 7:23 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


angrycat: I just can't believe these fuckers are going after health care again. I mean, I believe it but it's just getting surreal.

It's because healthcare isn't just about healthcare: GOP lawmakers fear that the failure of the Obamacare repeal measures makes it more difficult to push tax reform on the scale that they hoped because of the fiscal arithmetic involved. (Joseph Lawler, Washington Examiner, March 24, 2017)
"Yes, this does make tax reform more difficult," House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged in a press conference Friday. "But it doesn't in any way make it impossible."

The key consideration is that the Obamacare replacement measure would have cut tax revenues by roughly $1 trillion over 10 years. Lowering the baseline for tax revenues would mean that Republicans, seeking to cut tax rates without adding to the deficit, would have to cut fewer tax breaks to make up the lost revenue.

"This was really important, especially for setting up tax reform," Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., said in the moments after the healthcare bill was pulled. "Remember, this would have lowered the baseline for tax reform by a trillion dollars." The bill's failure, he said, "makes tax reform harder."
Emphasis mine. The GOP only cares about healthcare because it's a major expense that they're more than happy to slash and hack. For 2016, Medicare was $588 billion, Medicaid was $368 billion, while Defense was $584 billion. Instead of "right-sizing" the military, Trump wanted to increase the Pentagon’s base budget by roughly 10% (New York Times team reporting on the The Key Spending Cuts and Increases in Trump’s Budget, May 22, 2017).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 AM on July 21 [27 favorites]


Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Of course, Trump's power to pardon does not extend to state charges -- say, in his native New York.

What it does do is prevent those he pardons from taking the Fifth.
posted by Gelatin at 7:25 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


She's right, that is what he said to the NYTimes. But the Miss Universe Pageant was in November 2013! That's 3.7 years ago, for the mathematicians.

Hmmm... I wonder what DID happen "8 or 9 years ago"? Muller... Muller... Muller...
posted by mikelieman at 7:30 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: The summer bucket list of a 75-year-old Senate majority leader
This was discovered all the way across town from the Senate, crumpled up under a big stack of visual aids (?) used for off-camera briefings (?!?!). With apologies to the Hip Teen whose bucket list was discovered, and the 35-year-old.

Mitch McConnell’s summer bucket list:

Deny one person health-care coverage.

Meet a crab.

Rose Garden Bud Light party to celebrate bill signing!!!

Repeal something, doesn’t matter what.

Deny 32 million people health-care coverage.

Remember just for a few seconds what joy is.

Get someone to call him a “master tactician,” but they’re being sincere and not cruel or ironic.

Get a filibuster-proof majority on something, anything.

Seersucker Thursday!

Go one night without having the nightmare.

[…]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:30 AM on July 21 [29 favorites]


WikiPenis says... "In 2007, Drinks Americas signed a deal to export 50,000 cases of Trump Vodka annually to Russia..."
posted by mikelieman at 7:34 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has made several trips to Moscow during his 15 terms in Congress... But the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats...

That's not what Rohrabacher calls it. Fun times on Samantha Bee. Rohrbacher at 45 sec, but pls stick around for Louie Gohmert saying people enter the military so they can have their sex organs cut off and replaced for free. And so much more. (probably NSFW, lots of naughty words.)

(Fun bonus flashback: Remember Rohrabacher is one of the two people on Putin's payroll. )
posted by martin q blank at 7:40 AM on July 21 [18 favorites]


Donald thought that graft was simple,
turn it on and turn it off.
Manafort was complicated,
like some Russian film-maker's plot.
KellyAnne was the perfect lady,
always kept her falsehoods straight.
Jared was a rich daddy's boy,
silver spoon and a Senate date.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:44 AM on July 21 [28 favorites]


That Samantha Bee segment... Jee-hee-hee-zuss. I've seen those guys deliver some zingers, but that needs to go on the Greatest Hits playlist.

TFW you want to know what kind of people live in the districts that look at Gohmert and King and say "Yeah, they seem legit"... and yet you *don't* want to know.
posted by Rykey at 7:54 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Stopped Clock Jennifer Rubin, WaPo, leads this morning's Two Minutes Hate: Don’t waste your sympathy on Sessions
Republicans are rallying around Sessions, whispering that he has been humiliated and suggesting that Trump is undeserving of such a loyal adviser. Sorry, but this is a pair who deserve one another. Sessions knew exactly what he was getting into when he teamed up with a candidate who insulted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and POWs and attacked a federal court judge on the grounds that his ethnicity prevented him from doing his job. Sessions apparently didn’t think anything was amiss when Trump invited the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. Session was willing to stick by him after the “Access Hollywood” tape revelation. Once in office, Sessions did not flinch when Trump impugned our intelligence services, gave code-word classified information to the Russian foreign minister and fired the FBI director. Sessions violated the broad language of his recusal to participate in James B. Comey’s firing and incorporated by reference Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s absurd, pretextual memo saying that Comey treated Clinton unfairly. Sessions isn’t motivated to quit or sound the alarm bell when Trump threatens Comey, lies about tapes or attempts to intimidate the special counsel.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:56 AM on July 21 [50 favorites]


STOP TRYING TO TEACH TRUMP TO BE A HUMAN BEING

I was comparing two Presidents, not teaching Trump anything.

....and just get him out of there.

Man, wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy.

Trump's not getting impeached in the next two years. Republicans won't vote to impeach him.

The Republicans have spent decades putting party over country. Decades. This will not change in the near future. They have an agenda and would pretty much only impeach a President from their own party if he did everything in his power to stop them from fulfilling it. And let's face it, they probably wouldn't impeach even then. He'd have to nuke New Jersey or something. Their party now has a majority in all three branches of federal government and has a firm grip on a large number of state governments, (legislative, courts and governorships.) They are in power, and impeaching Trump would jeopardize that. Besides, his approval rating within their base is very high.

Judging by the utter disarray and incompetence of the Democratic Party as well as their obvious disdain for Progressives, I have difficulty believing they'll re-take all of Congress in '18. It's possible, tho. The party of the President usually loses votes in the House during midterms when a President's approval rating dips below 50% close to election day. Trump's is currently in the high 30's. But those midterms are still over a year away.

Currently, there is no realistic way to "just get him out of there". I wish there were.

But even if we did, the next names on the line of succession are Pence, Ryan and Orrin Hatch.

Since getting "him out of there" is not an immediate option, in my not-so-humble opinion the most important things we can do now are:
1) Mitigate the damage he and Congress are doing
2) Work to support Congressional candidates who are likely to win against Republican incumbents
3) Educate people about their rights and what Trump and Congress are doing.
4) Support GOTV efforts.
posted by zarq at 8:14 AM on July 21 [28 favorites]


Are we still doing 2018 campaign slogans?

Vote Democratic: It's Time for Leadership.
posted by Rykey at 8:19 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


And to zarq's eminently sensible list, add:

5) Keep faxing, calling, etcetera'ing Congress to keep up the pressure.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:22 AM on July 21 [11 favorites]


From the Washington Post's editorial board:
“There is a danger that Americans become so inured to President Trump’s indifference to rule of law that they forget how a president who respected public service and the Constitution — and had nothing to hide — would speak and behave. In the interest of jogging memories, we have matched a few of Mr. Trump’s Wednesday comments to The New York Times with imagined quotations of what an ethical president might say.

posted by zarq at 8:25 AM on July 21 [23 favorites]


mmoncur That's funny, I thought Trump won using exactly those lines.

You're justified in thinking that, but it's wrong.

Yes, Trump talked a lot about the horrors of the Democrats and how much better he was than they are.

But, and more importantly, he spent a lot of time talking (lying) about all the stuff he was going to do. If you listen to his stump speeches they're filled with his promises of improving things (for a Trumpian value of improving). Build the wall. Renegotiate trade deals. Save American jobs. Make America Christian again. Fix the inner cities. End terrorism in 30 days. Repair and undo all the horrible, horrible, harm the Democrats had inflicted on America. Deport 30 million illegal aliens. Bring back manufacturing from China. Give everyone super great paying jobs that Mexico stole. Make Mexico pay for the wall. Deport all the Muslims. Shut down immigration by Muslims until we "figure out what's going on". Make Europe pay for NATO. End all foreign aid. Get rid of Obamacare and get everyone (understood in this context to mean everyone who deserves it) cheap healthcare. Cut taxes! Spend more on the military!

Trump had a huge, constantly changing, utterly incoherent, agenda filled with promises to do just about everything his base wanted, often changing radically from audience to audience as something that played well with one didn't play so well with another.

He didn't shy away from going negative, but he did offer a program (incoherent, random, bullshit, lies) of his own. To think that Trump's entire campaign was just him saying he wasn't Hillary is to deeply misunderstand what he did.
posted by sotonohito at 8:27 AM on July 21 [29 favorites]


Rubin's catalog of Trump's offenses is one of many such, and I find them all compelling, especially when they're attached to a specific person's endorsement of Trump, whether implicit or explicit.

A Trumpist can be:
1. Fine with all those acts on their own merits (but really only when committed by someone in the right demographic)
2. Fine with them because they get something in exchange (whether it's something they actively want or simply staying out of Trump and his followers' crosshairs)
3. Both (e.g. Sessions)

The only way, ever, that a Trumpist will rescind endorsement is if Trump, personally and unambiguously, acts to deny them whatever they hoped for in that exchange. Which of course he will do. But in most cases the blame will fall on some other party.

My dumb slogan:
Democrats 2018: Honor, Community, Strength
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:28 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Perhaps you'll recall Rick Perry ordering a study of the US electrical grid, with the goal of demonstrating that policies favoring renewables are eroding needed coal plants. Well, a draft finally leaked, demonstrating that the culprit is actually natural gas (surprise, surprise!) and weak demand, undermining Perry's stated political goals.
"Costly environmental regulations and subsidized renewable generation have exacerbated base-load power plant retirements," the draft says. "However, those factors played minor roles compared to the long-standing drop in electricity demand relative to previous expectation and years of low electric prices driven by high natural gas availability."

A separate, six-page draft outline prepared by Energy Department staff in May and also obtained by Bloomberg says that the aging coal and nuclear fleet is under stress from competitive electricity markets, weak demand and rising maintenance costs.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:28 AM on July 21 [29 favorites]


Democrats 2018: Had Enough of This Shit Yet?
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:30 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Democrats 2018: Honesty. Loyalty. Kindness. Generosity. Laughter. Magic!
posted by SPrintF at 8:32 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


a draft finally leaked, demonstrating that the culprit is actually natural gas (surprise, surprise!) and weak demand, undermining Perry's stated political goals.

Guess he got fracked on that one.

'Oops.'
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:34 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo: Sorry. Trump’s Attacks Aren’t Remotely Like Clinton and Starr

President Trump through the totality of his actions, demands and threats has made it crystal clear that he will not accept any investigation of himself, his campaign or his family. He won’t even let it start. No President, not even Nixon, ever suggested such a thing.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:34 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo: Sorry. Trump’s Attacks Aren’t Remotely Like Clinton and Starr

Someone tell Maggie Haberman
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:36 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


I can't resist participating.

Democrats 2018: because your health matters.
Democrats 2018: because your rights matter.
Democrats 2018: because your education matters.
Democrats 2018: because character matters.

etc.
posted by prefpara at 8:37 AM on July 21 [12 favorites]


In all seriousness how about

Democrats 2018: Liberty, equality, justice.
posted by sotonohito at 8:39 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


Exclusive: Mueller asks WH staff to preserve all documents relating to June 2016 meeting (Dana Bash, CNN)

Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House to preserve all documents relating to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort had with a Russian lawyer and others, according to a source who has seen the letter.

Mueller sent a notice, called a document preservation request, asking White House staff to save "any subjects discussed in the course of the June 2016 meeting" and also "any decisions made regarding the recent disclosures about the June 2016 meeting," according to the source, who read portions of the letter to CNN.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:40 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


Democrats 2018: To your health!
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:40 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House to preserve all documents relating to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower...

So the black smoke rising from the White House just means a new Pope hasn't been chosen yet, right?
posted by jammer at 8:42 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


Democrats 2018: Liberty, equality, justice.
Why stop there?
posted by pxe2000 at 8:42 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Does anybody else think the slogan conversation has run its course?
posted by diogenes at 8:43 AM on July 21 [73 favorites]


Democrats 2018: To your health!

Democrats 2018: Skål!
posted by Existential Dread at 8:43 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Mueller asks WH staff to preserve all documents relating to June 2016 meeting

Presumably Manafort and the Trump Organization will be getting the same request?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:43 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: Does anybody else think the slogan conversation has run its course?
posted by nubs at 8:46 AM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Metafilter: Too Good to Need a Slogan!
posted by SPrintF at 8:48 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Does anybody else think the slogan conversation has run its course?

That's a paddlin'!
posted by diogenes at 8:49 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Democrats 2018: because elections matter.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:50 AM on July 21


Democrats 2018: That's a paddlin'!
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:50 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Democrats 2018: utterly utopian full gay space communism fantasy.
but yes probably

posted by aspersioncast at 8:52 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


What it does do is prevent those he pardons from taking the Fifth.

Yes yes we keep repeating that like it's a magic incantation. These are professional liars. Facing no consequences for further lying is a hell of a drug. "Not taking the fifth" /= "telling the truth."

It's "I can't recall" all the way down.
posted by spitbull at 8:53 AM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Sean Hannity will no longer receive the Media Research Center’s William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence at the group’s September gala.
Sources familiar with the situation said it is because Buckley’s son, Christopher Buckley, was unhappy with the decision and expressed his views to MRC head Brent Bozell, who is also Buckley’s nephew. But Hannity and the MRC are claiming it’s a “scheduling conflict.”
A source familiar with the situation tells CNN that Christopher Buckley said of the concocted scheduling excuse: "perhaps Mr. Hannity has been offered the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Award on the same evening and had decided to leverage upwards."

Oh, snap!
posted by zakur at 8:53 AM on July 21 [18 favorites]


Watching Season 4 of Arrested Development. "This may be something more treason-adjacent."

"This is the story of one nation whose healthcare was canceled slowly and painfully, and how one Pinnocchio President had to try to keep his grift together for the sake of the poor healthcare companies and medical-loan organizations."

Have we nothing on Pence yet?

I'm going to have to step out of the madness and just start daily faxing my representatives. Rubio and Nelson. Bat-boy governor Scott is also toying with challenging Nelson ... sigh. How did we not elect Alex Sink?
posted by tilde at 8:53 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


> My mother, who brought a MAGA drink cozy to her son-in-law's funeral, reacted like she had been shot at when I mentioned that a change of employment meant that my next health insurance would come via the ACA exchanges. She literally yelled "OH, GOD, NO!"

I'm not sure I understand the problem here. It's not inherently contradictory to hold the views that, a) Obamacare exchange plans are bad health plans, but b) Medicare is good. Between the constant stream of news that Aetna or Blue Cross or whoever are exiting state marketplaces here and there, and the occasional horror stories about high-premium plans that don't cover much of anything, it's not an unreasonable position, even though it might be an uninformed one.

If anything, that sounds like an opening to get your mother on board with Medicare for All, regardless of party affiliation.
posted by creampuff at 8:54 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I'll never forget the time I had to not win a Nobel Prize because I had a dentist appointment.
posted by cortex at 8:54 AM on July 21 [43 favorites]


Democrats 2018: utterly utopian full gay space communism fantasy

Paddlin' for all!
posted by nubs at 8:55 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


If anything, that sounds like an opening to get your mother on board with Medicare for All, regardless of party affiliation.

This was exactly how my Australian friend presented their healthcare system to my in-laws, who were struggling with the idea of a robust social safety net.

"Medicare for all" is a totally appealing policy position, and it's fucking absurd that an entire political party managed to create the current levels of resistance to it.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:58 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]




ed: What he said ^^
posted by Buntix at 8:59 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


NYTimes just alerted me that Spicey is OUT. Totally resigned.
posted by Brainy at 8:59 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Cue Simon and Garfunkel, "America".
posted by jferg at 8:59 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


The Spice Must Flounce
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:00 AM on July 21 [31 favorites]




There goes the internet...
posted by Melismata at 9:01 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Spicey resigned!

Look, I know we're all worried, but Melissa McCarthy is an incredibly talented actress, I'm sure she'll keep getting work.
posted by mrgoat at 9:02 AM on July 21 [121 favorites]


Spicer should set up a tour of medium-size venues across the country. In each location he can just stand on stage and let people laugh at him. He'll make a million dollars.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:03 AM on July 21 [14 favorites]


The stories are saying that Spicer resigned because he "vigorously disagrees with the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director."
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:03 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


Spicey resigning doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Huckabee Sanders was always the more polished liar.
posted by diogenes at 9:04 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning, telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the job at 10 a.m. The president requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to person with direct knowledge of the exchange.


"Scaramucci? Scaramucci? I must do the fandango..."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:04 AM on July 21 [15 favorites]


if you're worried about how Spicey is going to pay the bills, don't worry: he has a hedge fund
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:05 AM on July 21 [42 favorites]


So is he going to actually tell us anything useful now?
posted by Artw at 9:05 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Spicey's gotta go bye-bye right now.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:06 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


So is he going to actually tell us anything useful now?

I'm excited to learn if he signed an NDA, which he should be able to tell us, unless it's in the NDA
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:07 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


I guess I'll miss the comic relief of Spicey, but it sounds like the Mooch comes with his own fun baggage (twitter thread by Tim Miller, former Jeb! staffer)
posted by gladly at 9:08 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


This is only one rat getting off the ship, but I get the sense the captain (a) foolishly thinks he can navigate around -- i.e., through -- the Mueller iceberg and (b) just appointed a crewmate so dangerous to the mission that even Spicer decided it was time to hit the lifeboats.

Interesting.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:08 AM on July 21 [10 favorites]


He'll always have his delicious chocolate eggs.
posted by Yowser at 9:08 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Spicey was no doubt the source of many leaks. He can't lie quite as well as Sanders on audio but she simply cannot keep her face from contorting as she lies. They also probably hated each other. What a pile of puke.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:08 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Spicer was fine with all the lawlessness, the attacks on democracy, the treason, the war on the very idea of American government, but a demotion in the communications hierarchy was too much for him.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:12 AM on July 21 [42 favorites]


Spicer now departing in his Buick, all other seats occupied by pallets of cinnamon gum
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:12 AM on July 21 [24 favorites]


Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake

Well, if Spicey told you something, anything... would you believe him?
posted by azpenguin at 9:13 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


So is he going to actually tell us anything useful now?

@morninggloria: "Can't wait to read Sean Spicer's tell all book, 500 pages of blank tear stained paper"

Could make for an interesting early AM session from the poop-tweeter in chief...
posted by Buntix at 9:13 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


but a demotion in the communications hierarchy was too much for him.

Except, he was demoted before without (apparent) incident. This is either personal beef with Scaramucci and/or Spicer reading the wall-writing writ large.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:14 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


"Mr Spicer, I looked over your resume and I'm wondering about the gap in your employment history for this year?"
"I think the resume speaks for itself."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:14 AM on July 21 [54 favorites]


Lee Drutman, Vox: Congressional Republicans are at the World's Worst Dinner Party
If you’ve ever been at a dinner party, you’ll understand the following dynamic: It’s late. The conversation is deadly dull. Dessert still hasn’t been served. You’re bored and exhausted and want nothing more than to go home and go to bed. But you don’t want to be the first person to leave.

Eventually, somebody decides it’s grown late enough. She makes an excuse to leave. Now there’s safety in numbers. You can leave because other people are leaving. And the dinner party ends. Suddenly.
Sean Spicer just decided it was time to leave the party. Sessions offered to leave in May. Trump has been treating everyone around him like dog shit with very little to show for it other than a Mueller led investigation. How long until everyone suddenly gets up and leaves, en masse?
posted by Glibpaxman at 9:14 AM on July 21 [31 favorites]


(I get and share your point, though, T.D. Strange)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:15 AM on July 21


Spicer was fine with all the lawlessness, the attacks on democracy, the treason, the war on the very idea of American government, but a demotion in the communications hierarchy was too much for him.

Or else this is just an opportunistic excuse to jump ship while saving face (to a degree); I'm not sure why we should take his rationale for resigning at face value, given how often he's said things that shouldn't be taken at face value.

It's a high-stress job with, historically, a decent amount of turnover; Spicer was most likely going to leave sometime, even if everything was going well (perhaps especially then), for some other position with better hours or better pay.
posted by cjelli at 9:16 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


That's face it, at that level, you don't resign, you're resigfired.
posted by Yowser at 9:16 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Man, just as I'm about to go up into a place where I probably won't be getting Internet or cell reception!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:17 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Thomas Frank, Guardian: The media's war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can't it see that?
The truth is that the unanimous anti-Trumpness of the respectable press is just one facet of a larger homogeneity. As it happens, the surviving press in this country is unanimous about all sorts of things.

There are their views on trade. Or their views on what they call “populism”. Or their views on what they call “bipartisanship”. Or their views on just about anything having to do with the decline of manufacturing (sad but inevitable) and the rise of the “creative” white-collar professions (the smart ones, so meritorious).

This is one of the factors that explains the many monstrous journalism failures of the last few decades: the dot-com bubble, which was actively cheered on by the business press; the Iraq war, which was abetted by journalism’s greatest sages; the almost complete failure to notice the epidemic of professional misconduct that made possible the 2008 financial crisis and the rise of Donald Trump, which (despite the media’s morbid fascination with the man) caught nearly everyone flatfooted.

Everything they do, they do as a herd – even when it’s running headlong over a cliff.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:17 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


I like to think this morning's convo went something like this:

Spicey: I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want.

Donnie: So tell me what you want, what you really really want?

Spicey: I don't wanna, wanna, don't wanna, wanna, really really really don't wanna Scaramucci.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:20 AM on July 21 [21 favorites]


Spicey wasn't forced out, he's leaving to spend more time with his gum bezoar
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:22 AM on July 21 [42 favorites]


God, it's so fucking hard to keep track of everything that I honestly thought Spicer quit a while back, or that he'd been replaced by Sarah Huckabee Sanders but kept on just so Trump could heap abuse on him as part of his daily routine.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:23 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


It's a high-stress job with, historically, a decent amount of turnover; Spicer was most likely going to leave sometime, even if everything was going well (perhaps especially then), for some other position with better hours or better pay.

Sean Spicer’s tenure as White House press secretary was historically short
The 30 press secretaries who preceded Spicer served an average of 1,062 days — almost three years.

As can be seen from the chart below, Spicer is an extreme outlier, especially when you consider that the cause of his departure is not the end of a presidency, an assassination attempt or Watergate.

posted by T.D. Strange at 9:26 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


Scaramucci Scaramucci, can you do the fandango?
Spicey bolts and lying, very very trying, whee!
posted by aspersioncast at 9:30 AM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Spicey: I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want.

Of course, I can only hear the Weird Al polka version which makes it even better.

Also: it has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster.
posted by Melismata at 9:31 AM on July 21 [10 favorites]


They'll just fucking lie!

And what is the actual downside risk of lying in a court? There is a theoretical downside, but how often does that downside actually happen?

ABA (American Bar Association) of 1986 - The Lies Have It points out that perjury is seldom prosecuted.

Do any of the 'professional' class tied to law/lawmaking ACT like lying has a consequence?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:35 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Is there anything out there about why so many people in the White House are flipping out over Scaramucci's appointment? Is it just that his only qualification for the job is that he's been a Trump surrogate on the news or is there more to it?
posted by vathek at 9:35 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Fareed Zakaria, WaPo: Donald Trump’s lost opportunity is notable only for the mention of American Affairs, a journal run by seemingly non-insane Trumpists. Their policy agenda is interesting.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:36 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Perjury is more likely to be prosecuted if there comes a time when half the country and more than half of Congress are demanding that it be prosecuted.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:36 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure I understand the problem here. It's not inherently contradictory to hold the views that, a) Obamacare exchange plans are bad health plans, but b) Medicare is good. Between the constant stream of news that Aetna or Blue Cross or whoever are exiting state marketplaces here and there, and the occasional horror stories about high-premium plans that don't cover much of anything, it's not an unreasonable position, even though it might be an uninformed one.

To clarify, her major objections to Obamacare revolved around (a) anything connected with Big Government fails and is inherently bad, (b) anything Democratic doubly so, and (c) the free market is obviously the only valid choice. Like a fabled cat, her internal monologue is always in all caps.

She also asked me if I thought the then-Preznit Obama would pardon Hillary for her crimes before leaving office. I asked if he wouldn't want to, y'know, find some actual crimes that she had committed first and received an uncomprehending stare back.
posted by delfin at 9:37 AM on July 21 [14 favorites]


The President obviously dislikes and distrusts Priebus. I sincerely doubt the President feels that Priebus has delivered good results for him over the course of this year. Is he going to keep Priebus around?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:43 AM on July 21


The President obviously dislikes and distrusts almost everyone on Earth.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:44 AM on July 21 [15 favorites]


I'm going to have to step out of the madness and just start daily faxing my representatives. Rubio and Nelson. Bat-boy governor Scott is also toying with challenging Nelson ... sigh. How did we not elect Alex Sink?

I mean, Florida seems to have been a HUGE target of the Russian active measures campaign. It's hard to believe it had no effect. (Edit- Wikipedia tells me Alex Sink lost to Scott in 2010, so I'm not sure the hacking stuff is as relevant as I had thought to the question you actually asked. Still I think it is interesting seeing these links together)...
Alexandra Berzon and Rob Barry for WSJ:
DCCC documents sent to [Republican operative] Mr. Nevins [by Guccifer2.0] analyzed specific Florida districts, showing how many people were dependable Democratic voters, how many were likely Democratic voters but needed a nudge, how many were frequent voters but not committed, and how many were core Republican voters—the kind of data strategists use in planning ad buys and other tactics.
Eric Lipton and Scott Shane for NYT:
South Florida has long been a laboratory for some of the nation’s roughest politics, with techniques like phantom candidates created by political rivals to siphon off votes from their opponents, or so-called boleteras hired to illegally fill out stacks of absentee ballots on behalf of elderly or disabled voters.

But there was never anything quite like the 2016 election campaign, when a handful of Democratic House candidates became targets of a Russian influence operation that made thousands of pages of documents stolen by hackers from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington available to Florida reporters and bloggers.
Peter W. Stevenson for the Independent
Senator Marco Rubio (Republican-Florida) just revealed that hackers targeted his presidential campaign staffers in July, just as he was announcing his bid for reelection to the Senate — and yesterday, too.
...
“In July of 2016, shortly after I announced that I would seek reelection to the United States Senate, former members of my presidential campaign team, who had access to the internal information of my presidential campaign, were targeted by IP addresses with an unknown location within Russia. That effort was unsuccessful.”
...
“I'd also inform the committee,” the Intelligence Committee member went on, “that within the last 24 hours, at 10:45am yesterday, a second attempt was made, again against former members of my presidential campaign team, who had access to our internal information, again targeted from an IP address from an unknown location in Russia, and that effort was also unsuccessful.”
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:44 AM on July 21 [15 favorites]


Two thoughts on scaramucci (or one thought and an observation): what is the appeal to the president*? he was a fundraiser for Obama, feeds the narrative of hiring Goldman Sachs alums, initially endorsed scott walker and then Jeb! like, seriously for a guy who seems to value loyalty, he sure didn't pick a true believer.

separately - someone is having fun with his Wikipedia page - a fb friend posted a screenshot from a few minutes ago with the opening line "Anthony Scaramucci (born J 6, 1964) is an American entrepreneur, financier, creepy guy, political figure . . . "

someone then changed "guy" in the above to "Turkeydiddler" though it now seems to have been entirely removed . ..
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:45 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


She has not looked into whether she might qualify for the Medicaid expansion; she was not aware Pennsylvania had expanded the program *MUFFLED SCREAMING*

As I understand medicaid is they feature a clawback. So if your parents died and left you something medicaid can ask for that something to be used to recover the cost of the medicaid services. Or you won that $200 Million powerball.

Medicare does not have a clawback. Nor does regular health insurance.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:46 AM on July 21


I saw one WH reporter say explicitly that Spicer had declared explicitly he would not work with Scaramucci .
posted by sammyo at 9:49 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


I mean, Florida seems to have been a HUGE target of the Russian active measures campaign. It's hard to believe it had no effect.
Yep. Intense strange activity, effort on a handful of counties in Florida last election. I feel this will come back into the press eventually.
posted by rc3spencer at 9:50 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


scaramucci - what is the appeal to the president*?

Scaramucci has appeared on TV defending Trump, frequently. Trump must have watched him and liked the performance. That is the beginning and the end of his required qualifications, because we have a TV president.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:52 AM on July 21 [23 favorites]


As I understand medicaid is they feature a clawback. So if your parents died and left you something medicaid can ask for that something to be used to recover the cost of the medicaid services. Or you won that $200 Million powerball.

Only some states, only when you're 55 or older and almost exclusively when you enter long term care.
posted by zrail at 9:53 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Kasowitz's departure from the Trump legal team seems to have been rephrased to "Marc Kasowitz, who has been the lead lawyer on the Russia investigation, will see his role recede."
posted by XMLicious at 9:53 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


In related news, the Library of Congress will now be managed by the President's Tivo.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:53 AM on July 21 [10 favorites]


If Spicer had the nerve he should practice all summer and lobby for a SNL skit set in Stars Hollow where he does a huge Sookie in the kitchen fixing a special soup for the surprise visit by POTUS. Hilarity ensues.
posted by sammyo at 9:54 AM on July 21 [21 favorites]


Thomas Frank, Guardian: The media's war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can't it see that?

Thomas Frank has been recycling the same article for at least the last year. Why can't the media see that?

I mean, it's probably true that communication between cultural/political groups is important for changing the discourse, but all Frank does is bang the "liberal elites, cosmopolitan fops, ivory tower academics" drum. He shows no genuine interest in analysing the problem as a whole, or offering solutions to it; he seems more interested in castigating liberals.
posted by howfar at 9:56 AM on July 21 [11 favorites]


Scaramucci has appeared on TV defending Trump, frequently. Trump must have watched him and liked the performance. That is the beginning and the end of his required qualifications, because we have a TV president.

Scaramucci will be able to make any mistake he wants so long as he's forceful and doesn't ever question the president.

Spicer seems to have a sense of shame, that's why things like reporters bringing up logical points on how this shit don't add up got to him.

Scaramucci will probably go in with that sarcastic Brooklyn accent and imply the reporter's mental faculties are challenged.
posted by Talez at 9:58 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Today's press conference will be without cameras, or audio; a group of blind monks will carve their reminiscences of the conference into a series of haiku on the antler of a stag; reporters will be permitted to describe the musty odor of said antler
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:58 AM on July 21 [102 favorites]


Thomas Frank, Guardian: The media's war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can't it see that?

The nut of Frank's argument is the final few graphs:
These things seem innocent and fun, of course. But there is an unwritten purpose to these daily honor rolls of journo/political friendship and that is to define the limits of what is acceptable.

Like the guestlist at Lally Weymouth’s party in the Hamptons, which was described so salaciously in Playbook a little while ago, a tiny handful of people and publications and ideas are in; everyone else is out.

It’s about legitimacy, of course, and what’s left of the respectable press is utterly captivated by the theme. It completely defines their war on Trump, for example. They know what a politician is supposed to look like and act like and sound like; they know that Trump does not conform to those rules; and they react to him as a kind of foreign object jammed rudely into their creamy world, a Rodney Dangerfield defiling the fancy country club.

I believe that the news media needs to win its war with Trump, and urgently so. But as long as they understand that war as a crusade to reestablish the old rules of legitimacy, they are going to continue to fail. Until the day they get it right, the world will burn while the in-crowd parties obliviously on.
posted by scalefree at 10:00 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Today's press conference will be on camera, for a change.
posted by creampuff at 10:01 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the correction @creampuff
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:01 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


If only he wasn't a complete stiff with likely terrible comedic instincts, I'd say Spicer should host the premier of the next season of SNL, (although by then we'll all be dead). He should definitely make a cameo appearance with Melissa McCarthy. It's the only thing that would work to improve his image besides a legit tell-all book about how terrible everything was and how he regrets it all and it was the biggest mistake of his life, etc.

Man I am gonna miss Spicey-Time, though.
posted by dis_integration at 10:03 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Today's briefing will be a Fathom Events simulcast in IMAX 3D available in AMC theaters nationwide
posted by theodolite at 10:04 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Although I would definitely prefer the antler-blind-monk-haiku-chanting scenario, or the Fathom event, tbh! Huckabee is just going to do that "I will check and get back to you" thing she's been relying on more and more often lately.
posted by creampuff at 10:05 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Like the guestlist at Lally Weymouth’s party in the Hamptons, which was described so salaciously in Playbook a little while ago

You can make a cultural reference like that and then accuse other people of elitism?!
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:06 AM on July 21 [18 favorites]


In related news, the Library of Congress will now be managed by the President's Tivo.

I work there, please please don't joke about that because it might become true oh gods
posted by numaner at 10:07 AM on July 21 [20 favorites]




Love the TMZ headline: "Spicer BAILS on Trump!" heh, that's one way of putting it...
posted by Melismata at 10:09 AM on July 21


Spicer is not resigning by citing a need to spend more time with his family; he's resigning by loudly, publicly condeming a staffing decision by the President.

The President must be livid with fury.

Who knows how he will unleash that anger in coming hours and days?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:12 AM on July 21 [39 favorites]


Today (well, yesterday) in "look at how intolerant liberals are, this is a real problem that we should be talking about":

Nearly half of liberals can't even stand to be around Trump supporters.

Well, fucking DUH.
posted by Gaz Errant at 10:14 AM on July 21 [53 favorites]


Thomas Frank, Guardian: The media's war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can't it see that?

What most unhelpful about these kinds of pieces is the way the authors get so wrapped up in their own metaphors that it's nearly impossible to grasp any point other than that they are against something. In this case, while I can see the outlines of an argument, I don't even know what the "media's war on Trump" is; what "failure" or "victory" would be; or why such a thing is "destined."

More matter; less wit.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:15 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


The saddest thing about this whole affair is that Spicer never had a chance to ask the President whether he believed in anthropogenic climate change...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:15 AM on July 21 [79 favorites]


Politico: Spicer resigns as White House press secretary
Scaramucci's expected appointment has caused great upheaval in the West Wing, with chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon — along with Spicer — expressing opposition to him getting the high-profile job.

"This was a murdering of Reince and Bannon. They said Anthony would get this job over their dead bodies," said one top White House official.

The official added that Scaramucci had the backing of Trump son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell.
...
"Just hiring Anthony is telling Reince beat it, go find another job," said the source, who cited the tense relationship between the two.
An unusual twist on Politico's normal stream of "Jared and Ivanka are the good guys" leaks.

Daily Beast having fun with headlines: Spicey Bails, White House Flails, As Mooch Prevails
Two White House officials confirmed the news to The Daily Beast, with one bluntly noting that they were “surprised it took this long.”
...
According to three senior officials with knowledge of the situation, they and other top aides worried that the Scaramucci hiring would perpetuate the notion of “amateur hour” in the West Wing. White House officials who opposed Scaramucci’s planned rise in Trump’s ranks have referred to the incoming new addition as a “joke” and as a Trump-world “hanger-on” who isn’t qualified for the job and is unprepared to handle the near-constant communications crisis dogging President Trump, senior White House aides noted.
...
Spicer did not answer calls seeking comment on Friday. His cell phone rang once, then went to voicemail.
With Scaramucci showing up, CNN really needs to say more about the Scaramucci-Russia hedge fund story they retracted. They never said it was untrue, but said it "did not meet CNN's editorial standards" and the reporters, three prominent investigative journalists, apologized and resigned. Which would all be an interesting footnote, and there are reports that Trump hired the guy in part because he managed to get a retraction from CNN, but if he's going to be Communications Director, we actually need to know if the Senate Intelligence Committee is really investigating him or not.

Oh, and if you want a really good reason to hate Scaramucci, he said Jared Kushner was "like Alexander Hamilton" a few months back. He's the worst.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch—@byrdinator: "Lisa Murkowski says she's meeting with CMS to go over Alaska-specific numbers on health care later today." So call your Senators, please.
posted by zachlipton at 10:16 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


For the plebs among us who don't get Frank's totally non-elitist references, Lally Weymouth. Per Wiki, she's a writer, but also y'know, the daughter of the guy who bought the Washington Post after stepping down as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and whose brother and daughter each did stints as the publisher of the Washington Post.

Apparently, her annual summer party is a fixture of Hamptons life!

/hamburger
posted by joyceanmachine at 10:16 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


jesus fucking christ I leave the internet for two hours and come back to find everyone grieving Melissa McCarthy's SNL run
posted by lalex at 10:17 AM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Spicer is not resigning by citing a need to spend more time with his family; he's resigning by loudly, publicly condeming a staffing decision by the President.

Has Spicer actually been quoted with this? Gone on camera to say it? If not, there's still room to cry "fake news" and deny it all.

Granted, if he actually told Trump all this to his face, Trump would know the truth of it, but Trump is vastly more concerned with the appearances and what is said in public than the truth. If those words don't come out of Spicer's mouth in some direct, "yes I own what I said" way, Trump will care fairly little.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:18 AM on July 21




Spicer was not the only one opposed to Scaramucci’s hiring. His deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was as well. So, too, was chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, who vocally opposed Trump’s decision, two senior Trump administration officials told The Daily Beast.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:19 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


I suppose the slogan talk is stale and I'm sorry to be late. But it strikes me that a slogan is first and foremost a symbol to rally behind. That is to say, a slogan gets its meaning from the way people rally behind it as much as the other way around. It's not the lyrics that matter, but the belting out together.
posted by dmh at 10:19 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


This was a murdering of Reince and Bannon. They said Anthony would get this job over their dead bodies," said one top White House official.

*Salacious Crumb cackle*
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:21 AM on July 21 [21 favorites]


Erg, I made a mistake in my Tillerson comment. Tillerson and Exxon Mobil didn't run afoul of Magnitsky Act sanctions. They flouted sanctions associated with Russia's incursion/annexation of Ukraine/Crimea .
posted by notyou at 10:22 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


The President obviously dislikes and distrusts almost everyone on Earth.

It's mutual.
posted by Foosnark at 10:22 AM on July 21 [61 favorites]


For brevity's sake, Lally Wentworth is the daughter of (the late) Katherine Graham.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:24 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


The Daily Beast article says "Spicer has, for months, been on the White House chopping block, with the president consistently displeased with his now former press secretary’s performance." Such decisive leadership from President "You're Fired!"
posted by kirkaracha at 10:25 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon: less self respect than Sean Spicer.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:25 AM on July 21 [15 favorites]


Tillerson and Exxon Mobil didn't run afoul of Magnitsky Act sanctions. They flouted sanctions associated with Russia's incursion/annexation of Ukraine/Crimea .

In any normal administration, Tillerson would already have been forced to resign. Now it seems beyond hope that congressional Republicans will even express disapproval. But we still have to ask them...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:26 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


>"The truth is that the unanimous anti-Trumpness of the respectable press is just one facet of a larger homogeneity. As it happens, the surviving press in this country is unanimous about all sorts of things."

Note that where people generally agree with Republicans, it's a "mandate", and not a failure of Our Media Institutions.

If you ask people if it's a good idea to run back into a burning building to retrieve your favorite sweater, you will pretty unanimously be told 'no'. This does not reflect bias or a lack of fairness in reporting. It's just clearly a stupid thing to do, and trying to make the opposing viewpoint sound equally reasonable in the name of 'balance' is also stupid.

If everybody thinks you're an asshole, it's not necessarily a problem with the press. You might just be an asshole.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 10:26 AM on July 21 [20 favorites]


Per Wiki, she's a writer, but also y'know, the daughter of the guy who bought the Washington Post after stepping down as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and whose brother and daughter each did stints as the publisher of the Washington Post.

And Talking Head Tina Weymouth's ex-sister-in-law.

CNBC's Eamon Javers tweets:
A source close to the WH press office just emailed me: "This is a joke. Trump wanted Scaramucchi on television as a surrogate."
One wonders if the "source" is Spicey.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:26 AM on July 21 [13 favorites]


I'm not finished. I'm on a roll. If any of the speakers want to invoke the cloture they can and I'll follow the procedures.

But I'm not going to be sloganeering. I really want to go to your country and help you but I can't. If I do that it's election fraud.

The Dems, or Opposition, look like they've been hoarding the good stuff, the one weird trick, the nuclear option, and not willing to use them too early. Saving for a rainy day. Now is a rainy day. It's raining big league, tremendously. A storm is raging. You're not heading to a constitutional crisis, you're drowning in it.

The Opposition can survive this and it's not just about surviving. There must be a shining beacon into the posterity testifying what humans can achieve. At this hour, if you don't aim this high, you will likely end up falling low.

The Dems are not weak. They must find their strength. America is full of it and I can see it and hear it from afar. This strength is not just powerful but also therapeutic. Find it, wield it, and stop pretending. Stop saying "we're just like this, you see, but please vote for us anyway." Say "This is who we are and what we are. We're proud of ourselves and we're proud of you." Start standing for the things that cannot be killed and forgotten even if you fail. Stop waiting for Trump to implode, because what comes next may be even worse. You people deserve better and you can get it. You people have many allies, living or dead.

To win a majority is first and foremost a battle of hearts and ideas. To do this you need to combine reason, emotion, and character. It says something about this "character" stuff when you lose to Trump, but we all make terrible mistakes. We're all flawed beings. Character, ethos, is about having some goal worthy of all your reasons and emotions. It's about the ability to bring out our good, kindness, strength, wisdom, and justice that can never be separated from us inside, no matter how little there is, just as we can't totally dispensed with our weaknesses and dark sides. Trumps & co. can exploit the latter and you can totally appeal to the former.

Maybe it's tempting to say you've already tried all that and everything. Wrong. Not even close.
posted by runcifex at 10:28 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


> The prevalent belief on the left that Trump isn't just a bad president or person, but is also racist, xenophobic and misogynistic is undoubtedly at play here too.

Yeah, that miiiiiight have something to do with it. I've got friends up here in Canada who are significantly more conservative than I am, and we talk about politics and have our disagreements about things, which is all well and good...but there are certainly lines they could cross past which I would have a hard time maintaining my respect for them, and support for Donald Trump and his policies would be one of them.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:28 AM on July 21 [38 favorites]


Today (well, yesterday) in "look at how intolerant liberals are, this is a real problem that we should be talking about":

Nearly half of liberals can't even stand to be around Trump supporters.

Well, fucking DUH.
posted by Gaz Errant at 10:14 AM on July 21 [2 favorites +] [!]


Yes, it truly is shocking that knowing that a person would willingly support someone who has destroyed my chance at a PhD, threatens to severely impact my retired parents' health care and pensions, and possibly would love to deport my mother regardless of her actual citizenship would put a strain on my interactions with them. But somehow as a liberal I'm the one with a problem. Do these people even listen to the words coming out of their mouth?

Actually, the most shocking thing in there was the number of non-white responses saying there would be no strain. I can only surmise a lack of friendships there to begin with.
posted by ultranos at 10:29 AM on July 21 [86 favorites]


Joseph Goebbels resigned today, expressing anger at the Führer's decision to promote Reichstag outsider Leni Riefenstahl
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:30 AM on July 21 [10 favorites]


Yeah, that miiiiiight have something to do with it. I've got friends up here in Canada who are significantly more conservative than I am, and we talk about politics and have our disagreements about things, which is all well and good...but there are certainly lines they could cross past which I would have a hard time maintaining my respect for them, and support for Donald Trump and his policies would be one of them.

I'm pretty sure if I had supported Donald Trump during the election I would be a divorcé right now.

Never has being a lifelong supporter of social liberalism (and by extension, finding Trump abhorrent) been worth more to me.
posted by Talez at 10:31 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


Frank is hit-or-miss with me, and this piece didn't resonate. I mean, I agree that the mainstream press is ultimately beholden to—and shares the elitist values of—many of the same business interests as the people they criticize. But I can understand that and still appreciate when they get something right—and going after Trump is a no-brainer. You could even say he's so bad even the mainstream news isn't compromising their own interests by allowing its staff to go after him.

To put it another way: the mainstream press does a shitty job handling a lot of issues (like the ones Frank cites), often because of class loyalties—but how does it necessarily follow that their "obsessive" coverage of Trump is doomed to fail (whatever that means)? Would we want them not reporting on it, however imperfectly?

Like octobersurprise, I just didn't grasp Frank's point in this article. I'd be interested in a different takeaway if anybody has one.
posted by Rykey at 10:31 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


More will be revealed! FOX News reporting that Spicer is on tonight's Hannity!
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:32 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


"This was a murdering of Reince and Bannon. They said Anthony would get this job over their dead bodies," said one top White House official.

The official added that Scaramucci had the backing of Trump son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell.
...
"Just hiring Anthony is telling Reince beat it, go find another job," said the source, who cited the tense relationship between the two.


It's going to be pretty funny if it turns out that the one thing that saves this country is everyone in Trump's administration working in their own enlightened self-interest.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:33 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Nearly half of liberals can't even stand to be around Trump supporters.

He bragged about sexual assault. He doesn't pay his workers and he doesn't give a fuck about understanding anything. He mocked a disabled reporter for his disability. He talks like a tough guy when it's other people's lives on the line after dodging the draft (repeatedly). He explicitly wants to ban people from entering the US based on their religion. He literally campaigned on war crimes. And oh, yes, he clearly sold us out to Putin.

Yes. I can't stand being around people who think any of that is okay. And by the definition of "liberal" by a lot of other "liberals," I'm probably not very liberal myself.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:33 AM on July 21 [102 favorites]


It's completely typical and also really funny that the only thing about his presidency that Trump has any actual opinions about is that his press secretary look and act a certain way. Has he actively fought for anything else over the objections of his staff?

I swear, Trump is completely ripe for a Salazar-style coup where you tell him that he's totally still in power and making Very Important Decisions that no one follows if you just set up a fake TV network for him where he can watch his press secretary call reporters idiots. As long as said press secretary is a white guy with a big tie and a full head of hair, I can't imagine anything would make Trump happier. You'd maybe also want to rope the Fox & Friends people into doing a second daily show about how wonderful President Trump is. That's kind of it, though. It's not like he knows or cares about anything that's actually happening.
posted by Copronymus at 10:33 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Eamonn Javers' following tweets certainly support the theory that Mystery Guest Close To Press Office is, indeed, Spicer.

Surprising to me someone close to White House is calling this a "joke" + "there was simply no understanding by the president of this job, that the communications director title comes with lots of responsibilities, not just going on television

posted by Devonian at 10:34 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Is he still close to the Press Office? Traffic must be bad.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:34 AM on July 21 [18 favorites]


I just didn't grasp Frank's point in this article. I'd be interested in a different takeaway if anybody has one.

My takeaway is he wrote the article because he didn't get invited to a party in the Hamptons.
posted by rocket88 at 10:34 AM on July 21 [22 favorites]


"This is a joke. Trump wanted Scaramucchi on television as a surrogate."

Can someone explain this one to me? What do they mean by "joke" in this context? Has Trump not wanted Spicey and Huckabee-Sanders to also be surrogates (and for that matter, have either of them resisted that role?)
posted by R a c h e l at 10:35 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


zachlipton: According to three senior officials with knowledge of the situation, they and other top aides worried that the Scaramucci hiring would perpetuate the notion of “amateur hour” in the West Wing.

Unfortunately, to shake "the of 'amateur hour' in the West Wing," they'd have to hire a ton of compitent people, and that ain't gonna happen as long as Trump demands loyalty and gives none back (Seth Meyers's closer look: Trump Turns on Sessions Amid Russia Probe). When key positions of your administration are staffed by your family, you're not fit to be President of the United States. Maybe president of a local chapter of the Emperor Norton fan club is more your speed.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:36 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


The "joke" is that the job of White House Communications Director is vastly more complex and demanding than being a talking head spouting talking points on Fox News.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:37 AM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Ok, I think I get it. I guess I wasn't thinking much about the role of the press secretary outside of the daily briefings (shame on me, I've seen my West Wing...)
posted by R a c h e l at 10:37 AM on July 21


Boycott Sean Spicer
now that he’s resigned, he shouldn’t be allowed to escape his identity as Trump’s most loyal propagandist: a man who saw it as his job to mistreat the press and lie to the public, in service of the president’s efforts to enrich himself and impoverish the country.

Working in the Trump administration should be a career ender. No network other than FOX should book Spicer. No law firm should ever hire Rosenstein. Whenever this is over, agreeing to serve as a Trump appointee has to mark the end of your professional career.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:38 AM on July 21 [47 favorites]


Sorry, jinx, yep. I guess I just thought that was already obviously what Trump wanted so not a revelation in any way.
posted by R a c h e l at 10:38 AM on July 21


Can someone explain this one to me? What do they mean by "joke" in this context?

I'm reading it as a contemptuous declaration that Scaramucci is an unserious candidate for the complex and demanding role of Press Sec. Unlike, y'know, a seasoned pro like Sean Spicer.
posted by cortex at 10:38 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Ben Terris, who wrote the definitive profile on Spicer, says he just talked to him and that Spicer is going to be "sticking around for a couple of weeks" and after that will "continue to advance the president's agenda." Also: "It's been an unbelievable honor and privilege," Spicer said. "This is something you dream of. I can't thank the president enough."

Blech.

Brian Beutler notes that all should Boycott Sean Spicer. He'll get wingnut welfare of course, but anyone legitimate should stay far, far away:
To be clear, not wanting to work under Anthony Scaramucci is the most human thing Spicer has done since getting sad that Trump denied him an audience with the Pope. But it is also one of the least elevated justifications Spicer could have cited for his decision to quit. Spicer could have left the White House for any number of high-minded reasons, and he could have used this occasion as an opportunity to make it harder for Trump to do something bad, like smear or fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

He went with naked careerism instead. Even in quitting he owned himself.
posted by zachlipton at 10:38 AM on July 21 [23 favorites]


Press Secretary and Communications Director are normally two different people. Sean Spicer was doing both because the old Communications Director quit in June.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:38 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Republicans Won't Prevent a Constitutional Crisis Because They Don't Think It'll be a Crisis
The problem isn't that Republicans lack the imagination to foresee an all-out Trump attack on the rule of law. It's that they can't imagine what would be so terrible about that -- it wouldn't have an obvious direct impact on them. It wouldn't take money out of the pockets of their donors. Their voters would cheer. [...]

Elected Republicans seem incapable of taking seriously any concern that doesn't personally touch them, their donors, or their base. Torture? The only Republican who seems at all troubled by it is John McCain -- because he was tortured. Same-sex marriage? Rob Portman is a rare Republican who came around on this issue -- because his son is gay.

So how can we expect them to care about the rule of law? Will its erosion hurt them personally? Will it hurt the Koch brothers? Will it hurt the retirees in the diner in their district who still wear their Make America Great Again hats? No? Then none of it matters.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:40 AM on July 21 [42 favorites]


Press Secretary and Communications Director are normally two different people. Sean Spicer was doing both because the old Communications Director quit in June.

It was May (though the second to last day of May).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:42 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


casual reminder that in the midst of this whole fucking shitshow, the republicans are still planning to meet and vote on stripping health care from roughly 20 million americans on Tuesday.

call your senators.

just now, toomey's philly office sent me on, like, a five minute loop of having my call forwarded and forwarded again and being told multiple times that senator toomey cares about my message before being asked to leave a voicemail.

office numbers for good ol' coward pat.
posted by joyceanmachine at 10:44 AM on July 21 [21 favorites]


SCARAMUCCI FANDAGOS PRESS SECY
Spicer: "I'm just a poor boy, nobody likes me"
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:45 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


HE'S JUST A POOR BOY FROM A RICH FAMILY
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:47 AM on July 21 [24 favorites]


Today's press conference will be on camera, for a change.

We should live stream it just to be sure the "official" one released matches reality*.

Yeah, South Florida, man. It's a right mess down here, and I've worked as a poll judge (I know that's not the right term but it's been a loooong time ... the guy who is the ref on people making decisions as I'm usually registered NPA).

Another reason to tie voter registration and selective service registration for everyone at age 18 (and at 27 the selective service part drops off). Heck, the Selective Service name even still works.

andheck yeah, boycott Spicer. He shouldn't be on TV unless it's clips from C-Span testimony and never as a talking head. I'll take perp walks too (hahahahahahaaaahhhh).

*reality: subjective
posted by tilde at 10:48 AM on July 21


It's completely typical and also really funny that the only thing about his presidency that Trump has any actual opinions about is that his press secretary look and act a certain way.

It's the same reason that Jay Sekulow will be the face of the Trump legal team now. If Trump only consumes news through the TV, he'll only care about who looks good and sounds good on TV. Spicey was a disaster and Sanders is unexciting. Sekulow contradicts himself in the same interview, but he sounds confident doing it, so Trump loves him.
posted by gladly at 10:52 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


A work colleague added the (anecdotal) report that Spicer is a very devout Catholic who was almost deliberately excluded from being part of the entourage when Trump met Pope Francis and may have also been bitter about that. This may be a last-straw situation.

Also, I'm surprised that no one playing with the slogan has done this yet -
DEMOCRATS 2018: Metafilter
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:53 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


It's going to be pretty funny if it turns out that the one thing that saves this country is everyone in Trump's administration working in their own enlightened self-interest.

I was counting on that but I would have thought that would have kicked in a while ago. So now I am skeptical.

I just called Al Franken's office to thank him for supporting the ACA and I tacked on "and I hope he's doing everything in his power to remove Trump from office". His staffer paused a moment like he was surprised and then emphatically said "Yes ma'am I can guarantee that he is."
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:54 AM on July 21 [47 favorites]


Spicer now says he's sticking around through August. I mean how is that possible? How can you publicly say you're quitting rather than work for someone, then just decide you'll stick around for over a month? I mean, obviously the office is already awkward as hell, but does everyone just stop talking and stare at you when you go to get a cup of coffee from now until August?
posted by zachlipton at 10:56 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


@PressSec: It's been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:56 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Spicer now says he's sticking around through August. I mean how is that possible? How can you publicly say you're quitting rather than work for someone, then just decide you'll stick around for over a month? I mean, obviously the office is already awkward as hell, but does everyone just stop talking and stare at you when you go to get a cup of coffee from now until August?

My boss at my last job gave a "one-month notice" when he quit instead of two weeks. Maybe this is the same thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


@PressSec: It's been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August


You don't have to stay, Sean. Losing your health insurance by quitting your job counts as a "qualifying event" so you can get coverage through the exchange or on your spouse's insurance plan, even if it isn't open enrollment.
posted by tilde at 10:59 AM on July 21 [50 favorites]


I mean how is that possible? How can you publicly say you're quitting rather than work for someone, then just decide you'll stick around for over a month?

He's going to pull a Constanza and pretend it never happened on Monday.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:59 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


C-SPAN: White House Press Briefing. Stream is live and it's scheduled to start now, but who the heck knows when she'll actually bother to show up.
posted by zachlipton at 11:00 AM on July 21


@PressSec: It's been an honor & a privilege to serve @POTUS @realDonaldTrump & this amazing country. I will continue my service through August

Which amazing country will he be serving after August?

Heh.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:00 AM on July 21 [10 favorites]


A work colleague added the (anecdotal) report that Spicer is a very devout Catholic who was almost deliberately excluded from being part of the entourage when Trump met Pope Francis

He wanted to be told he was going to hell in person.
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Which country will he be serving after August?

It's actually a typo, should be @realDonaldTrump and his amazing country. That one never changes.
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on July 21


When Spicer becomes a private citizen, maybe he can expand the small group of people who know exactly what "covfefe" means
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:03 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


One of my fave go-tos to keep things in perspective.
Did not vote was the true vox populi, again. More voters were disgusted, apathetic, suppressed, barred or miscellaneous-ly deterred (life) about even expressing a choice last year.
posted by rc3spencer at 11:06 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


National Treasure @JohnDingell:

Wishing Sean Spicer the best of luck in all future endeavors.

We'll always have those six months of you lying to us every single day.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:08 AM on July 21 [59 favorites]


Regarding Gaz Errant's link to the Nearly half of liberals don’t even like to be around Trump supporters piece, all I have to say is: No Fuckin' Shit.

One of the subtexts of this article seemed to be: zomg guys, look how intolerant liberals are, all the while discounting the context of what might lead someone to feel that way.

Consider this passage:
Despite that, it's noteworthy just how many people think supporting the nominee of a major American political party reflects poorly upon the people they know. Fully 46 percent of Americans who voted for president chose Trump, and that isn't really an acceptable position for a friend to take for half of liberal Democrats.
This observation completely ignores the history of the so-called Republican Party since approximately 1964. Since the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the mid-1960s, this party has:
  • Openly and gleefully welcomed racist Confederates like Strom Thurmond and opportunistic racists like Ronald Reagan with wide-open arms.
  • Has actively worked to embrace the Lee Atwater strategy of dogwhistle racism as a campaign practice.
  • Actively worked to poison the well of public discourse by embrace radical media personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, Michael Savage, and Fox News, who all spread lies and bullshit with reckless abandon.
  • Actively supported voter suppression of marginalized communities.
  • Actively engaged in a war on women's freedom.
  • Viciously attempted to suppress the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Worked to gut every possible environmental protection or social safety net program.
  • Undermined public perceptions of the scientific method, resulting in mass delusion about species-endangering effects of anthropogenic climate change.
  • The list goes on and on and on.
  • Started two unwinnable, destabalizing wars in the Middle East.
In addition to this nausea-inducing history, this party's most recent Presidential candidate put the shit frosting on this -8 cake of shittiness. The candidate:
  • Has obviously colluded with a hostile foreign power to interfere in our electoral process.
  • Has openly admitted to obstructing justice in investigations about his dealings, by firing the FBI director.
  • Betrayed some of the most secret intelligence the United States has to a hostile foreign nation.
  • Actively worked to drum up hate against immigrants and refugees.
  • Supported a horrible, racist conspiracy theory about the last legitimate President's birth.
  • Openly condoned politically motivated violence against peaceful protesters.
  • Encouraged "2nd amendment people" to shoot/kill the Presidential candidate of the other major political party.
  • Suggested that a federal judge from Indiana could not fairly adjudicate a case about his ridiculous wall because of his Mexican heritage.
  • Has stocked his executive branch with open antisemites, racists, charlatans, ignorami, and hate group members.
  • Admitted to sexually assaulting women.
  • Actively worked to undermine any efforts at addressing climate change.
  • Trashed a multitude of long-standing alliances and diplomatic relationships.
  • Allowed his pet Confederate trash the limited protections LGBTQ+ people achieved during the last administration.
  • Allowed said pet Confederate work to suppress minority voting rights and investigations into police homicides.
  • Openly worked to undermine faith in our democratic institutions.
  • Repeatedly expressed admiration for some of the most appalling autocrats around the world.
  • Abandoned even the pretense of promoting universal human rights around the globe.
  • And this this list goes on to 2,340,384.
Pieces like this one deliberately ignore these histories, and treat voting Republican as if its some mild difference of opinion over whether the highest marginal tax bracket should start at 39% or 41%.

For someone's morality to be so degenerate as to vote for Donald Trump is an absolute affront to anything good that this country has ever done. If I'm paid, I'll deal with you courteously, professionally, and distantly, and fulfill any legal obligations that I have to you. However, I will not be party to such relationships in my personal life, where I'm asked to treat someone's dehumanization of my existence as some milquetoast difference of opinion. We cannot be friends; we cannot be family. Why? Because you have failed the easiest civics test ever to exist and do not value the lives of marginalized people at all. Maybe if you work to undo the horrible damage you have done and we don't all die in a nuclear holocaust, I might be able to some day forgive you.

So yeah, fuck the precious hand-wringing about why a whole bunch of us find the idea of friendship with the Deplorables simple unacceptable.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:08 AM on July 21 [209 favorites]


I just didn't grasp Frank's point in this article. I'd be interested in a different takeaway if anybody has one.

Not sure it's his point but it's at least tangential to it. The Trump/Russia campaign exploited vulnerabilities in our (new) social media but also in the already broken & failing (old) traditional media. If we want to stop the bleeding of our democracy that's resulted & prevent such things happening again we need to fix both sets of vulnerabilities.
posted by scalefree at 11:09 AM on July 21


Spicer now says he's sticking around through August. I mean how is that possible?

He got to Washington Circle and decided he didn't want to run away after all?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:09 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


I've only spoken to two Trump supporters so far, thankfully, and I felt very, extremely uncomfortable both times. One was an Uber driver and another was a friend of a friend. I'm very non-confrontational and I can't imagine finding the right words to tell a person that they're insane and irrational and unethical. Where does a conversation go from there? I could absolutely argue and even enjoy arguing with a McCain, Palin, or Romney supporter, but I'm really at a loss with a Trump guy or gal.
posted by rainy at 11:09 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Rick Wilson on CNN: "There is no-one on this planet who can say with a straight face that the White House Communications Office is working well."

False. There are several people, and they all work for the White House Communications Office.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:09 AM on July 21 [19 favorites]


Sean Spicer's first post-resignation interview airing on Fox News, "According to a Fox News producer, the interview will also include White House chief of staff Reince Preibus and newly hired White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. The exclusive interview will air at 10 p.m. Spicer's first interview about his resignation is highly anticipated because reports indicate he criticized President Trump's decision to hire Scaramucci."

I think Spicey's had a nice plateful of meatloaf, and he'll exit just how the administration tells him to. Maybe he's getting the Ireland ambassador post after all.
posted by gladly at 11:10 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


The "joke" is that the job of White House Communications Director is vastly more complex and demanding than being a talking head spouting talking points on Fox News.

The Trumpist view is that difficult, complex jobs need not be performed by specialists with extensive experience with that specific kind of job or with specialized knowledge and skill sets, but that, instead, the most qualified people for literally any job at all are those who have already risen to the level of leadership of a lucrative business of some kind. The assumption is that, if you are a) rich, and b) at the top of a lucrative business, those are indicators that you are also better at every job in the world than anyone who is not rich and at the top of a lucrative business. It's a world view that would contend that the conductor of an orchestra must logically also be a better player of every instrument in the orchestra than all her orchestra's members - that the owner of a racing team is logically a better driver than even the best drivers in the world - that the CEO of a computer company is a better programmer than anyone else in the world.

It is a common delusion among corporate leadership and business management that their having reached a management position is proof positive that they are more qualified and have greater merit than any and all of their subordinates - that their skills, judgment, and acumen is clearly and obviously better than that of everyone else, as evidenced by the fact that they are where they are. This is the president of a roofing company who screams at the roofers that he could do their job a hundred times better than them, the CEO of a car company who berates the engineers and assembly line workers because they're idiots who can't do a simple job, and then uses a red pen to change a design or manufacturing process at the end of its development without having any clue as to why it was that way - then blames the engineers or designers for failures down the road caused by his own arrogance.

There is zero consideration of the possibility that different jobs require different skill sets and that the skill set required to do any given job might be different than the skill set that results in someone being rich and in management.

It's like Putin riding the horse or wrestling a bear or whatever - the idea that success in one area implies competence and even inevitable success in every other area.

It happens with most cults of personality - We want to think people we admire are good at other things, too. But Trump and his ilk actually believe it's true. And we often think that the failures of leaders we don't like in areas irrelevant to their leadership are indicative of their lack of merit as leaders, too. When Trump is bad at eating pizza and orders steak well done with ketchup, we pretend it has some bearing on his qualifications to be President. When George W. Bush chokes on a pretzel or crashes his mountain bike, it becomes evidence of his general incompetence. When Hillary is bad at the Macarena, her enemies play the video over and over. When Obama wears dad jeans, it's bad. When he's good at basketball or has a great physique or has really cool concerts at the White House, yay!

Most people recognize that playing up a politician's unrelated strengths or emphasizing their unrelated weaknesses is an effective PR move, but ultimately doesn't matter when it comes to their qualifications for the job. Chris Christie is fat, but that's unrelated to his competence in his job - but his being fat hurt his presidential run far more than his corruption did, for example.

But the Trumpists don't recognize that. When Trump mocks someone for something that has no bearing on their job or competence, he actually believes that unrelated thing is relevant. When he calls Rubio "Little Marco," it's because Trump actually believes a person's physical stature is a reflection of their merit and qualifications for a job (and go to court sometime and take a visual inventory of the height of the most high-profile litigators - it's no coincidence that Comey is super tall, nor is it a coincidence that Trump is scared of him). So he gives the Communications Director to a guy who has zero experience or skill applicable to the job. Why? Well, he's famous and he's rich, so he must be good at everything. Betsy DeVos is not only shockingly unqualified for her position, but she is the most qualified person ever for the position, because look how rich she is - she must be more qualified than anyone else.

Scaramucci is worth $80 million or whatever, and has a full, thick head of hair and an expensive suit. Clearly, he is more qualified than anyone else for any job in the White House, no matter what that job is. The only way anyone could be more qualified than him is if they were richer than him. Experience? Qualifications? Skills? Those are for little people. All Trump needs to know is a) are you rich? b) are you famous? c) are you the leader of a company? d) are you tall?
posted by The World Famous at 11:11 AM on July 21 [66 favorites]


Mooch better get to deletin':

@Scaramucci: You can take steps to combat climate change without crippling the economy. The fact many people still believe CC is a hoax is disheartening
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:11 AM on July 21 [47 favorites]


MeFites might be interested in this idea...
Host a Mueller Firing Rapid Response Event
New revelations of Russia's meddling in our elections are increasing the odds that Donald Trump will try to block the investigation of his Administration's potential collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice.

Experts believe that there is a good possibility that Trump will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

If Trump fires Mueller, we want to be ready to take the streets to protest within hours - to demand that Congress respond quickly and forcefully – to protect our democracy and justice system.
You're supposed to identify a congressional office or a court house in your area, put together a list of people you can ask to show up on short notice, and a list of press outlets you can contact to get greater visibility for the protest. Then be ready to show up at the designated rally times on the day Trump fires Mueller. (If Trump fires Mueller prior to 2 p.m. Eastern, rallies will occur at 5 p.m. local time that day; If Trump fires Mueller after 2 p.m. Eastern Time, rallies will occur at Noon local time the following day.)
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:13 AM on July 21 [47 favorites]


Maybe he's getting the Ireland ambassador post after all.

US Embassy relocated to a pair of bushes at the end of the rainbow
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:13 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Spicer is despised on the left, he can't afford to also be despised on the right so he'll make it look like amicable departure, he also may be hoping Scaramucci falls on his face so hard and so often within a month that Trump will come crawling back on his knees, smearing tears over his face and ask him to be the new new Comms director.
posted by rainy at 11:14 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]




One of my fave go-tos to keep things in perspective.

FTA: Only 8 states + Washington DC, had high enough voter turnouts where one of the actual candidates won more votes than people who did not bother to vote. Iowa and Wisconsin for Trump and Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and DC for Clinton.

Yet Delaware is blue and DC is brown. I'm wary of any "Brilliant Maps" that confuse DC and DE (this is not a dig at you, rc3spencer! That's just a pretty significant mistake for that person to make).
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:15 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Here’s the new WH comms director talking about what a shitty president Trump would be

Also, I read an article earlier today about Scaramucci that had a quote from a "WH source" that was something along the lines of "Scaramucci will be great. He's a comms guy. It's what he does."

Followed by an Arrested Developmentesque statement from the reporter - "Scaramucci doesn't appear to have any professional communications experience."
posted by zakur at 11:16 AM on July 21 [18 favorites]


John McCain experiencing some kind of nearness-of-death induced spine growth?

Doubtful. He's just troubled. Concerned. Asking questions with a furrowed brow. Don't expect him to actually do anything about it.
posted by Roommate at 11:17 AM on July 21 [16 favorites]


Anthony Scaramucci rails against Donald Trump, August 2015
I'll tell you who he's gonna be president of,--you can tell Donald I said this--the Queens County Bullies Association. You gotta cut it out now, stop spinning all this crazy rhetoric.
...
Are you a Democratic plan for Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren?
...
This nonsense is gonna end and I predict it's gonna end before Thanksgiving.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:18 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


To build on joyceanmachine said earlier:
Today is my birthday. I'm asking everyone I know to give me the gift of calling their senators to oppose Trumpcare today.
posted by mcduff at 11:19 AM on July 21 [16 favorites]


John McCain experiencing some kind of nearness-of-death induced spine growth?

Cancer has a clarifying power. Maybe he'll use his remaining days to leave the world a better place like he sometimes seem to want to do.
posted by dis_integration at 11:20 AM on July 21 [10 favorites]


During ‘Made in America Week,’ President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club applies to hire 70 foreign workers
President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has asked permission to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House's “Made in America Week” — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers.

I'll bet they get some really qualified candidates! "So, Mr. Zhang, it says here you graduated top of your class with a Bachelor's in International Relations from PLA National Defense University, then got a Master's researching Signal Processing from PLA Information Engineering University and were just last week awarded the Second Class Order of Heroic Exemplar medal for your skill in housekeeping. I think we can definitely find a spot for you on the team. Oh, good, I see you speak fluent Russian as well, that'll help you communicate with your supervisor, Sergei. He also said marksmanship was his hobby; you'll get along great!"
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:21 AM on July 21 [19 favorites]


Started Pulitzer winning David Cay Johnston's The Making of Donald Trump last night.
Juicy af.
Within the first two chapters, his characterization of T as a PT Barnum meets Scrooge rings pretty true. His grandfather who rolled various brothels and realty scams across the Pacific Northwest while escaping enlistment in Germany's turn of the century army campaigns, his father who ripped off the FHA for millions (and got caught) in Eisenhower's era with shoddy military housing, and NY low quality real estate, into Trump's own dis-inheritance scams on his cerebral-palsied nephew, while said nephew was an infant and depending on finances for support to even live.
I mean I kind of knew, but . . but obv I didn't know. A true monster.
posted by rc3spencer at 11:21 AM on July 21 [19 favorites]


SPICEY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE!

Wow, if this was an actual resignation rather than a forcing-out, fleeing that vipers' nest makes Spicer the smartest person in the White House. Go fucking figure.

Gosh, remember when he came out that first time in his godawful suit looking like an uber-hostile type-A Tweety Bird, yellin' at all the reporters, with visual aids!, lying through his teeth, and making things generally worse for Trump? Little did we know this would be a metaphor for the entire administration.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:23 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Thomas Frank: [The media] know what a politician is supposed to look like and act like and sound like; they know that Trump does not conform to those rules; and they react to him as a kind of foreign object jammed rudely into their creamy world, a Rodney Dangerfield defiling the fancy country club.

Frank just described the media's reaction to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and all we got out of that was a phony impeachment and a media vendetta that helped Hillary lose the election.

The media is entirely correct to recognize not just that Trump is illegitimate but document the ways in which he is so. That's a much more worthwhile pastime than parroting conservative sterotypes of liberals.
posted by Gelatin at 11:25 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Sarah Sanders starts with a "slow news day" crack. The complete lack of laughter warms my heart. Then she reminds us this is the last day of Made In America Week, and I must say, the White House has really been on message with this.
posted by zachlipton at 11:25 AM on July 21 [19 favorites]


Scaramucci reminds me of every interim C level exec all of my jobs have brought in after a mass layoff.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:28 AM on July 21 [17 favorites]


Scaramucci thanking his predecessor, Spicer: "and I hope he makes a lot of money."

Fuck this guy.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:28 AM on July 21 [25 favorites]


about 8 claps for the announcement that sarah Huckabee sanders is taking over as press sec . . . which is maybe 8 too many.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:29 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Sarah Sanders to be press secretary, Trump's statement about Spicer's resignation cites his "great television ratings," while Scaramucci hopes Spicer "makes a tremendous amount of money."

These people are odious.
posted by zachlipton at 11:29 AM on July 21 [23 favorites]


Oh great. We get Sarah Sanders now.
posted by all about eevee at 11:29 AM on July 21


She's just as incompetent as Spicer.

They could have hired someone competent, but instead went with the nepotism again.

BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE!
posted by Yowser at 11:31 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


And Talking Head Tina Weymouth's ex-sister-in-law.
For a split second I thought Tina had divorced Chris. DON'T DO THAT TO ME.

posted by pxe2000 at 11:31 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Scaramucci seems like the sort of guy who has a collection of human skulls... that he hunted.
posted by Yowser at 11:32 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Oh brother, even by Trumpian Horseshit standards, this is some impressively happy horseshit. Everyone but the press loves our Dear Leader. He's succeeding like crazy; it's just not reported.

But the fun part is Scaramucci's vow that he intends to let Trump be himself and "express the full range of his personality and character." Not like those mean, mean lawyers who keep harshing his mellow by telling him not to act like a fucking corrupt conscienceless felon and traitor.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:33 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


"Scaramucci? Scaramucci? I must do the fandango..."

when i made an almost identical comment a few threads back it was immediately deleted. i'll just be over there in the corner pouting.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:34 AM on July 21 [14 favorites]


How the hell is Scaramucci's hair so black at age 53? Coloring? Special rich TV guy laser hair treatment?
posted by raysmj at 11:35 AM on July 21


Reuters is live streaming the outside of Spicey's house. It's just a house. The media's war against Spicey's house is destined to fail. And this is why.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:35 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Real gallop of chatter from Scaramucci; obvious contrast in his motormouth comfort with Spicer and Huckabee Sanders there. A couple odd bits that I've caught: he regrets not being able to serve in the military, a thing he could have just...chosen to do at any time without being drafted. He also notes that he's willing to get rid of his assets in order to serve in the admin because he loves his country, which seems like a needless contrast to throw out there regarding your boss.
posted by cortex at 11:35 AM on July 21 [15 favorites]


He has said he loves the President like 27 times in the past 10 minutes. It's creeping me out.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:35 AM on July 21 [12 favorites]


Yeah, Scar is bullshitting his way though everything. He's perfect for the job.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:36 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


"The President has really good karma".
posted by rc3spencer at 11:37 AM on July 21


Punted on the question about keeping these on camera. Fuck this guy.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:37 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


"He is a genuinely wonderful human being."
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:37 AM on July 21


did he just say Trump has good karma?
posted by angrycat at 11:37 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


"..the best president in history, maybe ever"
posted by sammyo at 11:38 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Why does he start every other sentence with "as an entrepreneur" or "I'm a business person" and talk about "opportunity cost?" He can't turn the hedge fund bro talk off.

Someone should ask him about the inauguration crowd size. That's how we started the relationship with Spicer and we should know where our new Communications Director stands.
posted by zachlipton at 11:39 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


Reuters is live streaming the outside of Spicey's house.

I'm just going to sit here and imagine Spicey walking into a Penzeys, taking off his coat, crawling into a little jar, being placed in a rack, and sitting there untouched for several months until he becomes all caked up and unusable
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:39 AM on July 21 [11 favorites]


Scaramouch is a winnah
posted by sammyo at 11:39 AM on July 21


That was one extremely unexpected Dave Eggers ref
posted by theodolite at 11:39 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Spicer is not resigning by citing a need to spend more time with his family; he's resigning by loudly, publicly condeming a staffing decision by the President.

The President must be livid with fury.


And Spicer would know perfectly well, and in advance, that'd be his reaction, too.
posted by Gelatin at 11:40 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


"..the best president in history, maybe ever"

Please don't forget your [real] or [fake] for those of us who can't watch!
posted by gladly at 11:40 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Is there a more sophisticated concept of karma where he doesn't have barely enough to maybe come back as a genital wart?
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Man, Scaramucci is like who Don Jr. would be if Don Jr. weren't an incompetent idiot but equally sleazy and amoral.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:40 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Oh, great. Now we get to learn and obsess over all the little manic verbal ticks of a new briefer lying to us every day instead of the fact that they're still lying to us every day.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:40 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


In case we haven't taken down that puerile Aaron Blake hot take enough yet, these lines:

"liberals tend to live in more homogeneous places and don't even associate with conservatives"
"Democrats tend to be more insulated from dissenting political voices"

Fill me with much annoyance. Motherfucking excuse me?
posted by aspersioncast at 11:41 AM on July 21 [33 favorites]


I was half-listening -- did this dude just make some kind of creepy North-Korean-esque assertion that Trump is some supernaturally great athlete?
posted by Rhaomi at 11:42 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Nah, I think Huckabee Sanders will still be doing the briefings.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:42 AM on July 21


Perpetuation of the 'fake news' thing. Also, feels sorry for journalists because sometimes 'they get their stories wrong'. Fuck this guy.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:42 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


However, I will not be party to such relationships in my personal life, where I'm asked to treat someone's dehumanization of my existence as some milquetoast difference of opinion. We cannot be friends; we cannot be family. Why? Because you have failed the easiest civics test ever to exist and do not value the lives of marginalized people at all. Maybe if you work to undo the horrible damage you have done and we don't all die in a nuclear holocaust, I might be able to some day forgive you.

This is exactly where I am. I said as much publicly (on FB, before I left) the day after the election: that I might someday be able to forgive a Trump voter, but that I would never forget. To be honest, regarding someone who's still supporting Trump NOW? I don't know if I'll ever even be able to forgive.

My wife's stepmother is a Trumpist (she was posting Infowars to FB a couple weeks ago), and she is raising my wife's half-brother as a wee little Trumpist, and it is KILLING both of us. To have to stand by and watch the corruption of an innocent mind into that is a horror that is hard to put into words.
posted by Gaz Errant at 11:43 AM on July 21 [25 favorites]


Whatever else you could say about this, Scaramucci is giving a really good press conference to the specific TV audience of Donald J. Trump. Loves him. Respects him. Is loyal to him. Awed by his athletic prowess. Convinced he's not capable of being under siege. Believes Trump's a winner.
posted by cortex at 11:43 AM on July 21 [22 favorites]


Scaramucci on Trump: "He sinks three-foot puts" and he throws "a dead spiral through a tire."

This guy is the new CEO who talks all smooth when he greets the staff and then goes off and announces a new policy where the only key to the bathroom will be chained to a milk crate kept at his desk.
posted by zachlipton at 11:43 AM on July 21 [39 favorites]


Why does he start every other sentence with "as an entrepreneur" or "I'm a business person" ...

Hi there! What do we have to do to get you into a President today?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:44 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


I was half-listening -- did this dude just make some kind of creepy North-Korean-esque assertion that Trump is some supernaturally great athlete?

Yeah. He threw a football through a tire. [real- according to Mooch]
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:44 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I was half-listening -- did this dude just make some kind of creepy North-Korean-esque assertion that Trump is some supernaturally great athlete?
Yes, yes he did. It's praise-porn. Trump's fave.
posted by rc3spencer at 11:44 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Wow this guy is a lot better at this than Sean Spicer. And by "this" I mean thoroughly debasing himself while looking like he believes every word and considers it a privilege.
posted by gatorae at 11:46 AM on July 21 [9 favorites]


"I look forward to serving him."

I guess we know he isn't going to be serving any of us. How can I place a small side bet on Scaramucci getting tied in to the Russian financial scandal portion of the Mar-a-Russia? I'm convinced the CNN story was true, and he's got $10B of shady dealings.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:46 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Man this guy is already a front runner for Dead-Eyed Wall Street Fuck of the Year
posted by theodolite at 11:46 AM on July 21 [15 favorites]


"liberals tend to live in more homogeneous places and don't even associate with conservatives"
"Democrats tend to be more insulated from dissenting political voices"

Fill me with much annoyance. Motherfucking excuse me?


I think that's true, actually. You'll find more liberals in rural areas than you'll find conservatives in dense urban areas of a similar population. It's a problem, because the fact that Democrats are crammed together more densely means that more of them are sharing a single House rep amongst themselves, while there are a bunch of Republican representatives to represent the same number of Republicans -- because those Republicans are spread out over more districts.

It's like a naturally occuring form of gerrymandering, and it's the reason we need multi-member districts.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:47 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


How can I place a small side bet on Scaramucci getting tied in to the Russian financial scandal portion of the Mar-a-Russia?

Trump probably can not stop Mueller but I bet he's asking if they can relocate the investigators offices to Guantanamo Bay. There's openings.
posted by sammyo at 11:49 AM on July 21


This guy is extremely smooth at two things: praising his audience of one and praising himself. I have no reason to believe he knows how to do anything else whatsoever, but I'm also not convinced he needs to.
posted by zachlipton at 11:49 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Just received an email from Think Progress of Spicey's top 5 moments entitled, "Sean, but not forgotten."
posted by Sophie1 at 11:50 AM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Scaramucci looks like he just came down from Central Casting in response to an ad for "generic mob lawyer".
posted by Justinian at 11:51 AM on July 21 [21 favorites]


Other notes:

- Calls Trump, in passing, "a great communicator", which feels like a reference that won't even land with Trump but it doesn't matter since as just basic praise it still does the job.

- Refuses to answer a question about whether he'd be willing to tell Trump he's wrong if (a) WH puts out a careful message in the evening and then (b) Trump tweets something that contradicts it in the morning. Because it's totally hypothetical. Law school taught him not to answer such questions, but, look, the Pres is great at social media and Scaramucci loves him.

- Nobody works for Scaramucci; people work with him. Including Reince with whom everybody's gonna be shocked and please with the closeness of their relationship.

- If the Pres says he didn't lose the popular vote, let me do some research on that because maybe there's some truth to it.
posted by cortex at 11:51 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


You see, the definition of "no-quit competitive guy" is having the dedication to practice one small part of an overall skill set (the part that is the least effort)—compare mastering the game of football versus throwing a spiral—and then convincing yourself that you would be great at all the rest of the skills, too, then walking away and calling yourself master of the universe. These guys live in a world of fantasy and rentier capitalism supports their cognitive models, as their passive money flows convince them that they're doing something right while the rest of the world isn't.
posted by sylvanshine at 11:51 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


I thought this was Made in America Week, but it has clearly morphed into Mooch and Donnie, Sittin' in a Tree Week.

"I love the President. I love his firm yet silken thighs, his encyclopedic knowledge of birdcalls, and his affinity for cake. I want him to adopt me and change my name to Tony Trump. I would crawl a mile over broken glass and shit just to drink his dirty bathwater and masturbate in his shadow." [fake]
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:51 AM on July 21 [14 favorites]


"The President has really good karma"
He's probably talking about the kind on reddit
/u/the-realDonaldTrump
24,674 post karma
32,326 comment karma
posted by metaphorever at 11:56 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Nobody works for Scaramucci; people work with him. Including Reince with whom everybody's gonna be shocked and please with the closeness of their relationship.

And maybe I misheard, but wasn't the "people don't work for me, they work with me" in answer to a reporter asking if Scaramucci reported to Reince or 45 directly?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:56 AM on July 21


Polls are wrong, Trump is loved by the American people. [real]
posted by gatorae at 11:56 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


And oh, yes, he clearly sold us out to Putin.

I wonder if "He sold us out to Putin" would resonate more with Trump's supporters than "collusion with the Russians," as they amount to the same thing.
posted by Gelatin at 11:57 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


- Nobody works for Scaramucci; people work with him. Including Reince with whom everybody's gonna be shocked and please with the closeness of their relationship.

This is what you say about someone who you plan to ignore and go over their head at every possible opportunity. It's a total humiliation for Reince.

The people who pull the "nobody works for me" gambit always seem to change their tune when they're firing people though.
posted by zachlipton at 11:59 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


First day on the job and Scaramucci already knows when to hit the Goyal eject button. Nice.
posted by whitewall at 12:01 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


"I'm not going to speak on behalf of the president." um isn't that literally your job
posted by gatorae at 12:01 PM on July 21 [51 favorites]


Wow. That Scaramucci speech was dripping with toxic masculinity.

How he and Reince Priebus pick at each other because they're "like brothers" and brothers pick at each other and that's totally fine and normal. The "boys will be boys" type mentality.

Then, how amazing the president is. How he's a "winner" because he's supposedly good at sports ball? Can make baskets, toss a football, and hit a golf ball? Therefore the idea that (supposedly) good at sports = good as a human and without an ability to be bad at anything or to anyone. It's the same rhetoric as the (unfortunately) cliche football player accused of rape or violence who faces no consequences. He has more value because of some sort of physical skill.

Not to mention the "president has great karma" bit. The whole idea that he may be the best president in history. The smartest political mind. Etc.

Does anyone have a count on how many times he said "I love the president"?
posted by Crystalinne at 12:02 PM on July 21 [20 favorites]


He also notes that he's willing to get rid of his assets in order to serve in the admin because he loves his country.

He's not giving up his assets. He is the beneficiary of a tax loophole allowing him to diversify and keep his new assets tax-free.

Guys like Scaramucci often have risky, undiversified portfolios consisting primarily of their own company stock. Think Enron and the risk of losing it all. They would like to cash out and invest in a less risky diversified portfolio but would have to pay hefty capital gains taxes to do so.

Serving a few months in government is a tax-free way to diversify using the ethics loophole that allows them to sell assets without paying taxes. Although they may eventually have to pay the taxes if they later sell their newly safe and diversified assets, that could be decades in the future or even after they die.

The loophole is a wonderful perk, quite contrary to the lying spin Scaramucci puts on it implying a sacrifice. Hey, lying on his first day on the job. What else would you expect?
posted by JackFlash at 12:02 PM on July 21 [62 favorites]


His karma is good, his chakras are giving off positive energy, and the color of his aura is orange.
posted by raysmj at 12:03 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Whoa, Sanders suddenly seems charming and genuine by contrast
posted by theodolite at 12:03 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I feel like Scaramucci probably idolizes Martin Shkreli, just based on appearances alone.
posted by jferg at 12:03 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Reuters is live streaming the outside of Spicey's house.

i can't stop watching this. it was difficult to change tabs so i could post this. i should stay away, but the blood of spicer compels me...
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:04 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


After hearing Scaramucci repeat that phrase "I love the President" so many times, I have an Eddie Rabbitt earworm now.
posted by rc3spencer at 12:05 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Takeaways: He's a smooth-talking hedge fund bro who sure knows how to make the President's heart swell while promoting himself, and he'll put that ahead of any semblance of honesty and integrity every single time. But he'll be praised for speaking in complete sentences and not rambling on about "Holocaust centers." Reince is screwed and was just completely undermined on national TV by someone who just walked in the door.
posted by zachlipton at 12:09 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


What inspires a person to become such an unctuous toady, lickspittle, or wormtongue

Is there a tiny prick of humiliation with each debasement, soothed over by the promise of filthy lucre?
posted by Existential Dread at 12:09 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


I thought this was Made in America Week,

made man in America week?

rimshotjustarimshot
posted by sammyo at 12:09 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


I was half expecting him to use the word "bubee," like Ellis from "Die Hard."
posted by raysmj at 12:10 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


So Trump is gonna replace his entire staff with hedge fund bros, isn't he?
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:12 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Scaramucci looks like he just came down from Central Casting in response to an ad for "generic mob lawyer".

That's Tony the Smooch. One half Ron Ziegler; one half Smoove B.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:12 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Wow. That Scaramucci speech was dripping with toxic masculinity.

The whole Trump thing has basically just been Toxic Masculinity: The Movie from the very beginning.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:13 PM on July 21 [24 favorites]


There's not a lot of room from that press conference to referring to Trump as the Dear Leader.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:14 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


There's not a lot of room from that press conference to referring to Trump as the Dear Leader.

Or talking about the time he golfed an 18 and then invented the Super Bowl.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:15 PM on July 21 [17 favorites]


I might someday be able to forgive a Trump voter, but that I would never forget.

Same. And if they want to get anywhere close to forgiveness, they better be calling THEIR senators and representatives every day to beg for crumbs, just like I am. Guess what? They're not. They're not even fucking trying. At least the ones in my life.

Mar-a-Russia
I thought it was Russialago.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:16 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


So nobody had July in the Spicey Finally Resigns pool, right? I mean, I thought that since it hadn't happened months ago Spicer actually enjoyed the humiliation and would stick around until the WH had to pry him off of their collective shoe like used cinnamon gum.
posted by lydhre at 12:19 PM on July 21


His whole thing about dodging some of the reporter's questions because it's "speculation" and his law school trial advocacy class taught him to never speculate on the witness stand... dude, you aren't on fucking trial. (YET.) Completely absurd. He spent half the time touting his education, business, etc. experience to make himself sound impressive. Probably trying to counter the alleged reason for Spicer quitting, i.e. that he is utterly unqualified.
posted by gatorae at 12:20 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


The Southern Kremlin
posted by cmfletcher at 12:20 PM on July 21 [12 favorites]


Frankly, there was precisely two questions in that entire briefing that served a useful function, which was getting him to completely undermine Reince's authority and asking Scaramucci about claims of 3-5 million illegal votes. The response: "If the president says it … probably some level of truth." And that tells you really everything you need to know about that guy.

If the hit rate is going to be that low, hard to even see the point of pushing for televised briefings.
posted by zachlipton at 12:22 PM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Grrrrr. Press conferences like that make me wish I was still a reporter. Here's what I would have asked:

In August 2015, on Fox, you called Donald Trump a "hack politician" who was probably going to "make Elizabeth Warren his vice presidential nominee." You said "I don't like the way he talks about women and I don't like the way he talks about our friend Megan Kelly," and you suggested he was a "Democratic plant." So my question is, were you lying then, or are you lying now, and in either case, why should anyone believe you?

probably the last time I'd ever get called on, but so what. time to call out these SOBs.

(thanks kirkaracha for the link. that's the sort of homework reporters should do (but rarely do) before any interview.)
posted by martin q blank at 12:23 PM on July 21 [77 favorites]


I'm struggling to find it on playback, but I believe Scaramucci was asked whether he could assure us that there would be no further major resignations, and his response was that he can't answer that but that he "respects General McMaster greatly". Anyone help? Because... that is... significant...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:25 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


How about "Government that Works" or "Government that works for you"?

I like the latter. Repunctuate to

"Government that Works...For YOU!"
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:26 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I like how Scaramucci said he regrets that he didn't serve in the military because of his generation, even though he signed up for Selective Service and everything. Poor angel.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:35 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


The McMaster question is a little less dramatic than I thought, but still, promising:

Q: There have been reports about General McMaster having disagreements on policy over Russia. Can you say that there will be no other high profile resignations or exits from the White House staff?

Scaramucci: OK, again another hypothetical; I honestly cannot answer that one way or the other, although I have an enormous amount of respect for General McMaster, I just don't know the situation. I'm not going to answer it because I don't know.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:36 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


What really grinds my gears about Sarah Huckabee Sanders is that you know if she were a Democrat she would catch all kinds of shit about being a big ol' Feminist using her maiden name in any capacity still. But since her daddy is a famous Republican..... girl power, or something.
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:37 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Scaramucci's conference had a target audience of one. He's currently doing a great job as the White House Internal Communications Director.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:38 PM on July 21 [19 favorites]


If you are touched by Scaramucci, you must receive a Cure Disease spell from a 12th or higher level cleric within 6 turns or be transformed into an ooze elemental.
posted by delfin at 12:38 PM on July 21 [28 favorites]


Farewell, Sean Spicer, we hardly knew what the hell ye were doing
Sean Spicer, who for months delighted audiences as the bumbling comic foil of Donald Trump’s White House, resigned today, according to the Associated Press, a decision that comes as a disappointment to all who have appreciated the way his bungling antics animated the bureaucratic banality of evil.
Remembering Sean Spicer as a guy who didn’t do words good
...with Spicer’s time in the spotlight coming to a close and his myriad gaffes still fresh in our minds, let’s remember Sean Spicer for who he really was: A guy who couldn’t talk good despite that being his entire job.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:40 PM on July 21 [15 favorites]


Burr continues to at least appear to side with the good guys..

Allegra Kirkland, TPM: Senate Intel Chair: ‘The Unmasking Thing Was All Created By Devin Nunes

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) on Friday accused his counterpart in the House, Rep. Devin Nunes (R- [nocturnal human-opossum-hybrid] CA), of creating a false narrative about Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice.

Speaking to CNN after Rice was interviewed by the panel in closed session, Burr said he asked no questions about whether she improperly requested and revealed the identities of U.S. individuals swept up in intelligence reports—an accusation Nunes has made repeatedly.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:42 PM on July 21 [21 favorites]




Meanwhile Alex Jones is on it—reporting that Spicey was actually an agent of the Deep State.

If you are touched by Scaramucci, you must receive a Cure Disease spell from a 12th or higher level cleric within 6 turns or be transformed into an ooze elemental.

The much sought after Hand of Smooch provides a +4 CHA but only against Bugbears and Beltway journalists.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:47 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


I wonder what Ty Cobb, Trump's new discipline lawyer, thinks about Scaramucci wanting to unleash Trump to let him more fully express himself. (Obligatory).

When I'm president I want Stephanie Rhule to be my press secretary.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:49 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Margaret Sullivan: Don’t cry for Spicer. His tenure was a disaster from Day One and he should have quit immediately, in which she does not let the inauguration lies go. And she shouldn't, because those lies set the stage for every lie that came out of the White House.
As the lights go out on Sean Spicer’s unforgettably awful tenure, we can only wish — for his sake — that he had seen this moment coming and saved himself months of humiliation.

Instead, likable as he is said to be, Spicer goes down in history as a joke: The president’s spokesman who couldn’t speak for the president.
Daniel Dale: Relentless liar Sean Spicer was the perfect spokesman for Donald Trump: Analysis
In truth, Spicer was always an odd fit for Trump: stammering for a president who cherishes smooth, rumpled where the president prefers suave, a loyal party man for an outsider president suspicious of his party.

What he did have was a willingness to lie. About virtually everything.
...
“The Navy SEALs will tell you,” Scaramucci said in pledging progress, “that if you want to eat an elephant you gotta eat it one bite at a time.”

Everybody in the room was confused for a moment, and it was like Sean Spicer never left.
Alexandra Petri: Sean Spicer is free!
Certainly you do not expect me to believe he stayed there of his own free will, and it was the appointment of a man named Anthony Scaramucci as communications director that pushed him over the edge? That Trump’s apparent total disregard for facts, precedents and democratic norms were not enough to do it, but bringing on a man named “Mooch” would be the deciding factor?

Never! He would not have stayed there all that time and said all those things if he could at any time have gotten up and walked away. Especially not looking so miserable. He has more character than that.

He did not bring this suffering on himself. How could he have? Who would do such a thing? It is far more likely that it was an enchantment, and therefore we should pity him.

No, congratulations to Sean Spicer for finally breaking the enchantment.

There can be no other explanation for why he remained.
posted by zachlipton at 12:50 PM on July 21 [21 favorites]


@phranqueigh: I feel like every time a Trump employee quits, Oompa Loompas should appear & sing a song to teach us about the perils of gluttony & greed.
posted by numaner at 12:51 PM on July 21 [137 favorites]


Meanwhile Alex Jones is on it—reporting that Spicey was actually an agent of the Deep State.

It's....? Crikey. Does that guy only see the world through false flag glasses?

We're falling deeper and deeper into Thomas Pynchon's door-stop novel of the post-Obama era, I just know it.
posted by notyou at 12:53 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Trump would never sing a song like that.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:53 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


To quote myself from five months ago,
The only thing that I look forward to about the Trump administration is watching a hapless procession of press secretaries being destroyed before our eyes, one by one.
posted by MrVisible at 12:59 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


Burr continues to at least appear to side with the good guys.

Yeah, I doubt Burr is leading the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation with passion and vigor, but there's no indication that he's actively trying to undermine it. That might make him the most noble Republican in Congress (a very low bar to wiggle under).
posted by diogenes at 12:59 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Trumpa Lumpa doopity doo
Here's an important message for you
Trumpa Lumpa doopity dee
Stop telling lies when you go on TV
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:00 PM on July 21 [85 favorites]


I like how Scaramucci said he regrets that he didn't serve in the military because of his generation, even though he signed up for Selective Service and everything.

He makes notice of the fact that he signed up for the Selective Service? He deserves brownie points for minimally complying with federal law the same as every other male in the U.S? That's the low bar the Trump administration has set for ethics.
posted by JackFlash at 1:02 PM on July 21 [27 favorites]


Excommunicated Cardinal: So yeah, fuck the precious hand-wringing about why a whole bunch of us find the idea of friendship with the Deplorables simple unacceptable.

Fixed that for me - the idea that you personally celebrate being or supporting racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia to the point that you are throwing DeploraBalls and celebrating your hatred of others is enough to make me not want to talk to you in most circumstances.

Part of me wants to sit down and talk with you why you think it's OK to publicly proclaim your hatred of others (just as part of me wants to ask the jackass with the bumper sticker "those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't" if they really mean that they'd prefer to be thugs who force others to work for them at sword-point, because they can't work for themselves, or if they're really that scared of the world), but another part of me wants to shout "Fuck Your Hate!" .... which wouldn't make anything better.

So back to saying nothing and just silently scowling at people and their hats, shirts and bumper stickers that proclaim their fear of and hatred for others.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:03 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


Oompa Loompa Trumpety Doo
I've got another hot tip for you
Oompa Loompa Trumpety Dee
If you are smart you'll stay out of DC.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:06 PM on July 21 [22 favorites]


“The Navy SEALs will tell you,” Scaramucci said in pledging progress, “that if you want to eat an elephant you gotta eat it one bite at a time.”

I think from now on I'm going to credit every nugget of inane folk wisdom I repeat to the Navy SEALs, in order to convey to people what a manly badass I am
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:07 PM on July 21 [72 favorites]


He makes notice of the fact that he signed up for the Selective Service? He deserves brownie points for minimally complying with federal law the same as every other male in the U.S? That's the low bar the Trump administration has set for ethics.

When the POTUS said that dating and the possibility of getting STDs was "like Vietnam, sort of. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave solider," he ripped out all the bars that were set to measure decency and started digging a fucking hole.

The sad and shocking thing was that he didn't actually bury himself in that hole, but made it his new base of operations. Behold, our subterranean overlord.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:07 PM on July 21 [27 favorites]


The Navy SEALs will tell you: a dollar makes me holler.
posted by cortex at 1:08 PM on July 21 [24 favorites]


To quote myself from five months ago,
The only thing that I look forward to about the Trump administration is watching a hapless procession of press secretaries being destroyed before our eyes, one by one.


Yup, there was never any doubt that Trump would burn through press secretaries. I'm finding it hard to muster any interest in the process. What difference does it make who they trot out to evade questions and lie to the press corps?
posted by diogenes at 1:08 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


From the end of Sorry. Trump’s Attacks Aren’t Remotely Like Clinton and Starr (Josh Marshall/TPM):
Let me add one final point. The major papers are leading the charge on the Trump probe, week after week and day after day, publishing critical new information. Still though there is sometimes the desire to suggest symmetries and equations where they simply do not exist. Superficial structural similarities are not substantive similarities, it can be easy to pretend that they are when discussing them with people who do not know the details. We rely on the news media to recognize these distinctions even when it requires them to grant that some things simply are not the same, even as the desire for balance might make us wish that they were.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:08 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


The Navy SEALs will tell you: don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:09 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


@phranqueigh: I feel like every time a Trump employee quits, Oompa Loompas should appear & sing a song to teach us about the perils of gluttony & greed

Except instead of seeing Violet turn violet and get rolled away, Spicey just stepped back into the bushes and went about getting paid for ... something, I guess. It's like the Oompa Loompas pretended he wasn't there, which is probably just how he'd like it.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:09 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


What do you do when you estimate crowds?
Try to not shout obvious falsehoods out loud.
What do you say when your boss makes typos?
Try to not claim it's a secret code.
(Please stop lying all the time...)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:09 PM on July 21 [27 favorites]


The Navy SEALs will tell you: Never go south of the the river when the Old Kent Road’s in a mess.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:10 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Spicer made a Faustian bargain when he signed up to lie morning, noon and night for Trump. The Devil called in his debt and gave Spicer's soul to Melissa McCarthy. She will forever own him; no-one will ever think of Spicer without also thinking of her.
posted by vac2003 at 1:11 PM on July 21 [10 favorites]


Oompa Loompa Trumpety Doo
It was like being the brave and the few.
Oompa Loompa Trumpety Dee
Trump's Vietnam was an STD!
posted by Sophie1 at 1:14 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: The Navy SEALs will tell you: Democrats 2018
posted by mazola at 1:14 PM on July 21 [39 favorites]


The box for the VHS tape of Navy SEALs will tell you: "Charlie Sheen, Michael Biehn, and Bill Paxton team up as three of America's finest Naval commandoes in this pulse-pounding adventure that brings out the heavy artillery for explosive action and breathtaking suspense."
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:14 PM on July 21 [16 favorites]


We're going to need separate threads for the Oompa-Loompa lyrics and the Navy Seals jokes, I'm afraid.
posted by yhbc at 1:15 PM on July 21 [13 favorites]


He doesn't just credit inane folk wisdom to Navy SEALS, he credits all kinds of folk wisdom to the wrong people. @nycsouthpaw has been doing some fine twitter searching on this.

Here he attributes the same quote to Lincoln and Churchill in different tweets. He claims Mark Twain said "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth." which doesn't even sound like anything Twain could have possibly written. And does "The best way to predict the future is to create it" possibly sound like something Lincoln said?

Is there a page-a-day calendar full of inspirational quotes for the hedge fund set he gets these from?

He also voted for Bill Clinton and Obama, and in 2012, wanted Hillary Clinton to be President (he's going on a tweet deleting spree), so yeah.
posted by zachlipton at 1:15 PM on July 21 [34 favorites]


"liberals tend to live in more homogeneous places and don't even associate with conservatives"
"Democrats tend to be more insulated from dissenting political voices"

I think that's true, actually


I don't think that's remotely true, because liberals don't isolate themselves in rural areas and get 100% of their information from a church pulpit, deliberately avoiding places of learning and higher education in general specifically because it contradicts their pre-determined viewpoint, deliberately lauding ignorance and homogeneity as superior to integrating themselves with other religions, genders and races.

Conservatives insulate themselves from reality, and in fact their current political agenda is about systematically denying and destroying reality.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:18 PM on July 21 [42 favorites]


I visited the Navy Seal Museum in Fort Pierce FL. It was actually fascinating and inspiring, all until the last moment when I visited the gift shop and there in the back were hats with the sole word "Infidel" on them. I complained to the manager there but he didn't even understand my concern.

But let's not turn on the Seals just because some asshat mentioned them. They are our friends.
posted by BentFranklin at 1:18 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


I don't think that's remotely true, because liberals don't isolate themselves in rural areas and get 100% of their information from a church pulpit, deliberately avoiding places of learning and higher education in general specifically because it contradicts their pre-determined viewpoint, deliberately lauding ignorance and homogeneity as superior to integrating themselves with other religions, genders and races.

Most conservatives don't live in rural places either, they live in suburbs built and maintained by white supremacy.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:21 PM on July 21 [49 favorites]


my opinion of non-military garbage people who name check the Navy SEALs just to give the impression that they're totally in the same headspace as Navy SEALs and therefore are more Navy SEALsesque than soft-handed effete betas who don't constantly make gratuitous references to the Navy SEALs has no bearing on my opinion of actual Navy SEALs
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:22 PM on July 21 [19 favorites]


As the Navy Seals say, he who smelt it, dealt it
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:23 PM on July 21 [12 favorites]


Most conservatives don't live in rural places either, they live in suburbs built and maintained by white supremacy.

Thiiiis. I don't know how often people need to point this out before it sinks in. There aren't enough people in truly rural areas to significantly swing a vote. This call is coming from juuuust outside the house.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:24 PM on July 21 [55 favorites]


From WSJ:
Mr. Scaramucci leaned in to hug Mr. Spicer, who awkwardly put his arms around Mr. Scaramucci without touching him, said two people who witnessed the exchange. Messrs. Scaramucci and Priebus also shared a handshake, the people said.
And from Politico:
Two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said that Scaramucci is being primed to eventually take on the position of chief of staff.

One person close to White House said there is potential for mass exodus in press office.

Priebus has told people he is determined to stay with the job for one year, mainly to prove the naysayers wrong, but it looks increasingly difficult. That person said that Priebus has been concerned about his reputation and thinks leaving any time short of a year would be seen as a failure.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Trump Administration communications: BuzzFeed–At Least Sean Spicer Held Briefings. His Pentagon Counterpart Hasn't:
The Pentagon press secretary has yet to hold an official briefing, three months after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ assistant for public affairs, Dana W. White, was sworn in. Mattis and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, have held only two on-camera briefings in the six months of the Trump administration; their predecessors in previous administrations regularly provided public briefings. Top commanders of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, weekly on-camera briefers in previous administrations, no longer regularly appear behind the Pentagon’s once-familiar wooden podium with its light blue curtain and building logo background; they’ve dispatched their spokesmen instead.
Looks like the Mooch is bailing on Hannity tonight: just Spicey and Reince.

Oh, and the Mooch thinks the Entourage movie should be considered a classic, if you needed another reason to find him a ridiculous human.
posted by zachlipton at 1:25 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


As the Navy SEALs say: when you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:25 PM on July 21 [18 favorites]


"liberals tend to live in more homogeneous places and don't even associate with conservatives"
"Democrats tend to be more insulated from dissenting political voices"

I'll make sure to let all my Fox-news watching republican friends know that when I see them on a 60 mile bike ride in the morning. If ONLY I didn't know any republicans....
posted by photoslob at 1:27 PM on July 21


ClickHole scoop: Heartbreaking: Steve Bannon Is The Only One Who Signed Sean Spicer’s Goodbye Card And He Pretty Clearly Thought It Was The Lunch Order
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:27 PM on July 21 [16 favorites]


As the Navy SEALs say: when you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.

Can somebody ask the Navy SEALs why I'm wearing watermelons on my feet?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:30 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Priebus has told people he is determined to stay with the job for one year, mainly to prove the naysayers wrong, but it looks increasingly difficult. That person said that Priebus has been concerned about his reputation and thinks leaving any time short of a year would be seen as a failure.

ha ha delightful, this is like the guy crying and covered in his own vomit at the hot dog eating contest he has already lost insisting that if he doesn't choke down six more hot dogs, he will be seen as a failure
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:31 PM on July 21 [33 favorites]


Priebus has told people he is determined to stay with the job for one year, mainly to prove the naysayers wrong, but it looks increasingly difficult. That person said that Priebus has been concerned about his reputation and thinks leaving any time short of a year would be seen as a failure.

Like haven't these people learned that they are dignity wraiths and that the first step to restoring their reputations is to quit and spill tea? Even other republicans won't respect these people later. How could they?
posted by dis_integration at 1:31 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


I think that's true, actually. You'll find more liberals in rural areas than you'll find conservatives in dense urban areas of a similar population.

Per capita, really? Does that count cities like Indianapolis and Colorado Springs?

But dude provided no evidence or nuance to back up either claim. Homogeneous how exactly? "More insulated from dissenting political voices" how?

Anecdotally, I know more conservatives here in Washington DC than I do back in CO or WY (although I don't think I met a single admitted Republican the whole time I lived in Oakland).

I was born in what was once the most diverse city in the West, and my overall impression of cities outside the Bay Area is that diversity of cultures creates a diversity of politics that break down along complicated, not always predictable lines. Purely anecdata, I know.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:32 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I wonder if "He sold us out to Putin" would resonate more with Trump's supporters than "collusion with the Russians," as they amount to the same thing.

nah, the base gop base loves putin these days
posted by anem0ne at 1:32 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


No-one knows what the future holds for Sean Spicer. But I have faith in one thing: he will not sink to using chemical weapons
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:33 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


As the Navy Seals say, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer; and shoot them.
posted by rainy at 1:34 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I apologize profusely for contributing to yet another "city mouse / country mouse / white suburbanites are the true Trumpkins" derail.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:34 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Daniel Nexon writes at Lawyers, Guns and Money: Reflections on the Current Crisis
What does this all mean? It means that the crises of American institutions is grave indeed. It’s been here for some time, and it came to an immediate head with the election of a demagogue. Trump is weaponizing partisanship—and the underlying loss of faith in democratic institutions—in the service of his narrow interests: status, wealth, and, it seems increasingly clear, avoiding criminal and civil culpability for his business practices. I say “weaponizing” because the right-wing feedback loop ensures that each norm he breaks and each line his crosses is instantly rendered legitimate to 30-40% of the American electorate. It becomes evidence that he’s a fighter, that he doesn’t pull his punches, that the establishment is out to get him. The GOP, whose interest in voter disenfranchisement as a partisan power play dates way back, is, as Damon Linker notes, at risk of going full authoritarian.
I appreciate that he namechecks specific, identifiable Republican politicians and correctly identifies how their actions to increase their own political support has helped get us all into this mess.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:35 PM on July 21 [31 favorites]


Dunno who decided to do it when they did, but someone on the Trump team has a few brains anyway.

They dropped the Spicy bomb perfectly so innane BS about the change up in Trump's court will dominate the weekend news cycle and Russia, Trump's threats to fire the investigators, Trump's threat to the investigators that they'd better stay away from his shady business dealings, will be swept aside and forgotten for a time.

It's evil, but I do have to say that either it was masterful timing or an incredible piece of luck for the courtiers at Trump's palace.
posted by sotonohito at 1:38 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


I keep reading "Mooch" as "Moloch". I guess it wouldn't surprise me?
posted by hades at 1:39 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


I wouldn't assume there won't be another scandal supplanting it in the next 24 hours.
posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


I do have to say that either it was masterful timing or an incredible piece of luck

I feel like there are new Omnigate revelations every other day; it would be notable if this debacle didn't overlap with some of them...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:42 PM on July 21 [12 favorites]


15 minutes left on a Friday afternoon. Mueller fired yet?
posted by ocschwar at 1:44 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


If Scaramucci manages to raise his profile with Trump and forces Priebus and Bannon out, then the core of the executive will be comprised of Mooch, Ivanka, Jared, and Donny himself...all of whom were either registered or self-identified as Democrats as recently as the last ten years.
I'm surprised this isn't more of an issue with longtime Republicans.
posted by rocket88 at 1:50 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


It's okay, they are all thoroughly compromised self serving garbage who don't care if we live or die, they can all hang out under a big tent together.
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Has anyone asked the White House whether the President believes he has the legal authority to fire Mueller himself?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:58 PM on July 21


I believe their position is that he does. But I can't provide a link for it offhand.
posted by Justinian at 2:00 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


From Murphy's Laws: Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are dangerous.

If you're looking for a military aphorism which sums up the current administration.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:00 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Also, I'm surprised that no one playing with the slogan has done this yet -
DEMOCRATS 2018: Metafilter


Why do you hate the mods so?

(The hate that would attract....You think the POTUS threads are long now?)
posted by rough ashlar at 2:01 PM on July 21


Can somebody ask the Navy SEALs why I'm wearing watermelons on my feet?

The Navy SEALs don't recall asking you to do that.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:02 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Casey Tolan(Politics reporter for @MercNews/@EastBayTimes) @caseytolan

Just asked Nancy Pelosi about Spicer resignation. "I don't even care," she says.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:03 PM on July 21 [80 favorites]


If Scaramucci manages to raise his profile with Trump and forces Priebus and Bannon out, then the core of the executive will be comprised of Mooch, Ivanka, Jared, and Donny himself...all of whom were either registered or self-identified as Democrats as recently as the last ten years.
I'm surprised this isn't more of an issue with longtime Republicans.


You mean Alex Jones has fingered the wrong guy (Spicer) as the Deep State mole?
posted by notyou at 2:04 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Spicer from June 20th:
Q: Following on that, last week Sarah told us that the President has no intention of firing Rosenstein as the Deputy Attorney General, but he has the right to do so. Rosenstein testified that only — I'm sorry, right to fire Rob Mueller, the special counsel. Rosenstein testified that the regulations give him that power. So how is the White House concluding that the President has the right to fire the special counsel?

MR. SPICER: I mean, I think the broader point here is that everyone who serves the President serves at the pleasure of the President. It may take — I get there may be a technicality as to whom reports to whom. But the bottom line is, is that everybody who is in a status of that serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

Q: Even though the regulation says that —

MR. SPICER: Again, I understand your question that, on an org. chart, the FBI goes to the Deputy Attorney General. But at the end of the day, that person then reports to the President. So, ultimately, everybody who is a political appointee of some sort reports to the President, right?

Q: Sure. I'm just wondering if you think that the regulation enjoins the President —

MR. SPICER: Again, I'm not here to argue the HR component of this. I do know that, again, if you look at the org. chart, the Deputy Attorney General, who is appointed by the President, the FBI director reports to him.

Q: The special counsel.

MR. SPICER: The special counsel — I apologize. So yeah — so, I mean, that's how —


So I think he's not saying anything particularly specific there; he's saying that either Trump can fire Mueller or he can get Rosenstein or his umpteenth replacement to fire Mueller, it matters not.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:06 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Democrats '18: Twenty dollars, same as in town.

Vote D and Move On?
posted by notyou at 2:06 PM on July 21


What actor does Scaramucci look like? It's on the tip of my brain and driving me crazy.
posted by HotToddy at 2:06 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


His picture here has kind of a Jack Nicholson in the Shining vibe.
posted by diogenes at 2:08 PM on July 21




Matt Bomer?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:09 PM on July 21


Scaramucci is Ferris Bueller and Charlie Sheen's character in Ferris Bueller somehow having a terrible baby together and they put him in a reed basket and it floats downriver where Gordon Gekko discovers it and raises him and eventually he escapes the world of the movies to enter our world and become a real boy, a real shitty boy
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:12 PM on July 21 [23 favorites]


Chris Kattan?
posted by Clustercuss at 2:22 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Mark Wahlberg?
posted by mazola at 2:25 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


The good thing about all these slogans is that we can use our favorite ones ourselves, even if the DNC picks a lousy one.

"The Democrats" are us. We can do whatever we want.


I love the armchair campaign-crafting, but instead of talking about what the Democrats should do, please just do it.


It's all consumer culture now. Your job is to sit back and judge what's being sold with a critical eye and decide if it's worthy of your participation. The irony being the jackass faction of the far Left doing it the most. If everything is not to your liking about the product take your business elsewhere and refuse to pay. That will show them. The customer is always right.

After all that has happened if a slogan makes any difference in people voting for Dem's, as a great lady once said, "then we're stupid and we'll die".
posted by bongo_x at 2:27 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


The closest I can come is Benjamin Bratt but that's not it. It's some Hispanic guy in a cop role. Harder face than Bratt. I don't even know who Chris Kattan is but that's a pretty hilarious resemblance!
posted by HotToddy at 2:27 PM on July 21


Two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said that Scaramucci is being primed to eventually take on the position of chief of staff.

Oh sweet Jesus, please let this happen because it will be a glorious trainwreck. I mean, even now, this guy is unbelievably, monumentally unqualified for the position he's being hired for. WH Comms Director was Toby Ziegler's job, for god's sake. This walking example of an aging Ax body spray ad character is not being hired to to develop, coordinate, and implement WH messaging strategy in conjunction with the folks developing policy positions and initiatives; manage and deploy spokespeople; hire and direct the activities of writers, photographers, etc.

He got hired so that Trump can produce and watch his very own in-house version of Fox and Friends starring his favorite foxy friend. The guy just swore a personal loyalty oath on live TV.

Which means WH communications will be even more chaotic, disjointed, self-contradictory and incoherent than they already have been. The only person in that office with any background in this area at all was Spicer, and he was pretty piss-poor at it, especially since nobody can control Trump and Trump uses language solely for purposes of attention acquisition, self-aggrandizement, and deflection of blame. He doesn't live in a world where words impart information or mean things that persist beyond a moment.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:28 PM on July 21 [32 favorites]


The Navy SEALs will tell you:
Hooyah!
I compare you to a kiss from arrows on the sea
Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah
Now that arrows is in boom
A light hits the gloom on the sea
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:29 PM on July 21 [13 favorites]


What actor does Scaramucci look like? It's on the tip of my brain and driving me crazy.

Adrian Pasdar after getting hit by the ugly stick
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:30 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


as a great lady once said, "then we're stupid and we'll die".

actually, I believe it was the Navy SEALs who said that
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:30 PM on July 21 [18 favorites]


What actor does Scaramucci look like? It's on the tip of my brain and driving me crazy.

I'm really old, so he reminds me of Thomas Calabro, who played the cheating asshole doctor on Melrose Place.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:34 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Spicer should totally bring everything from his White House stint together in one tent and set it up at Burning Man.
posted by ocschwar at 2:37 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


I suppose this means Spicer's going be on the next Dancing with the Stars?
posted by orrnyereg at 2:39 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Dominic West
posted by glasseyes at 2:45 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


The Senate Parliamentarian has determined, unsurprisingly enough, that various BCRA provisions violate the Byrd Rule and would require 60 votes to be enacted. These include defunding Planned Parenthood and the abortion restrictions, the six month waiting period for noncontinuous coverage, and the removal of the essential health benefits for Medicaid.
posted by zachlipton at 2:45 PM on July 21 [63 favorites]


Spicer is going to get picked up by any potentially 2018 vulnerable R senator. Maybe Dean Heller.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:46 PM on July 21


In case anyone was wondering whether the articles of impeachment will come up for a vote: Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) chose not to introduce it as a "privileged" motion regarding the dignity of the House, so Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was able to refer the bill to the Judiciary Committee, where Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) will undoubtedly sit on the bill until hell freezes over.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:49 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


So, what happens when the Senate continues anyway, in spite of the Parliamentarian?
posted by yesster at 2:51 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Sean Spicer
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Anthony Scaramucci
Ted Nugent
Alex Jones
"Mr. Shadow"
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:52 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


If Pence/McConnell overrules the parliamentarian and a Senate majority votes in agreement, it will set a precedent ending the Byrd Rule and allowing any legislation to be passed under reconciliation with 51 votes; in other words, an effective end to the legislative filibuster. All indications I've seen are that the majority of the Senate is unwilling to do this, because of the immense power the legislative filibuster provides to each individual senator.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:55 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


The whole Trump thing has basically just been Toxic Masculinity: The Movie from the very beginning.

It's worse even than that, Trump is trying to make the US the Men Going Their Own Way of countries.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 3:02 PM on July 21 [12 favorites]


Absolutely. It's really hard for me to see how a majority of the House and Senate vote for a bill without the abortion restrictions though. Or how insurance companies offer individual coverage without a mandate or a lockout period or any kind of continuous coverage requirement at all (I'm actually slightly less convinced of the complete and total unworkability here, as opposed to just somewhat higher costs, since you still only have open enrollment once a year, but they think it makes a difference, and that matters more than my gut feelings).
posted by zachlipton at 3:05 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


The closest I can come is Benjamin Bratt but that's not it. It's some Hispanic guy in a cop role. Harder face than Bratt. I don't even know who Chris Kattan is but that's a pretty hilarious resemblance!

Danny Pino?
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:10 PM on July 21


What actor does Scaramucci look like? It's on the tip of my brain and driving me crazy.

Adrian Pasdar after getting hit by the ugly stick

-posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon

Scaramucci is Ferris Bueller and Charlie Sheen's character in Ferris Bueller somehow having a terrible baby together and they put him in a reed basket and it floats downriver where Gordon Gekko discovers it and raises him and eventually he escapes the world of the movies to enter our world and become a real boy, a real shitty boy
-posted by prize bull octorok

Sorry to break it to you, but they already made this show
posted by runcibleshaw at 3:11 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]



I mean, Florida seems to have been a HUGE target of the Russian active measures campaign. It's hard to believe it had no effect.
Yep. Intense strange activity, effort on a handful of counties in Florida last election. I feel this will come back into the press eventually.


I'd really like to know more details about this. I just installed a security plugin on my site from Russian IP address and I see dozens of login attempts a day. I'd be interested to know exactly how these hacks into political offices compares to the number of attacks your average blog sees on a daily basis. How targeted are they?
posted by runcibleshaw at 3:21 PM on July 21


Priebus has been concerned about his reputation

guy was head of RNC. what the fuck kinda reputation could be worse?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 3:31 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]




I've got this hazy idea of a site. Simple. Data driven as much as possible. "What the GOP costs you".

Options like health insurance. Medicare. Medicaid. Jobs. Clean water. Busted bridges.

You type in your zip code and your age. You see decrepit infrastructure near you. You see polluted sites or corporate welfare sites (Walmart) near you. If you drill to insurance you can see the changes from ACA and the likely effect The shit vote of the week will get you.

How funding coal shit instead of green energy increases pollution and the likely hood you and yours get sick.
It's fuzzy. I've been noodling it since that pro publica story about dead mothers. Esp the heart failure lady who just gave up and died because her Medicaid coverage was going away (FU rick Scott for turning down Medicaid expansion )
posted by tilde at 3:37 PM on July 21 [57 favorites]


At least 5 Florida counties baited by Russian election hack
It turned out to be unnecessary... or totally successful in other counties...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:40 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


"What the GOP costs you".

Increased fees for services such as vehicle registration, as States cut taxes and turn to fees, and penalties to make up some of the difference. Increased public university tuition as funding is cut.
posted by thelonius at 3:42 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


epic year for legislative dick-tripping
posted by murphy slaw at 3:45 PM on July 21


[Scaramucci] claims Mark Twain said "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth."

omfg i cannot imagine any sequence of words that Mark Twain would be less likely to say

YOU PICKED THE LEAST POSSIBLE THING HE COULD EVER SAY
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 3:46 PM on July 21 [91 favorites]


"What the GOP costs you"

And toggles for expanding Medicaid for all or a $15 minimum wage, and the jobs created fixing that infrastructure...
posted by tilde at 3:46 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


"Eat. Pray. Love." - Friedrich Nietzsche
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:47 PM on July 21 [101 favorites]


"I do not like this Anthony Scaramucci guy. I mean, he even loved the Entourage movie. Who does that?" --Mark Twain [fake]
posted by zachlipton at 3:47 PM on July 21 [10 favorites]


Ashley Feinberg: Trump’s New Comms Director Hates Most of Trump's Policies. A detailed tweet-by-tweet exploration.
posted by zachlipton at 3:51 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


People talk as if somebody joining Team Trump after having mocked him should be disqualifying. I've come to understand what Josh Marshall means by "dignity wraiths": someone who's proven their loyalty by directly contradicting their previous attacks. It's a dominance ritual where they publicly submit to him in exchange for access to his power, much like Tolkein's Ring Wraiths, 9 mortal men doomed to die & serve Sauron in death.
posted by scalefree at 3:52 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company, Arby's for the meats." - Mark Twain
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:55 PM on July 21 [37 favorites]


Has anyone created Russia hacking memes using Boris from Goldeneye? Bc I think I'm onto something
posted by gucci mane at 3:55 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


It's Scoop o'Clock!

The Washington Post: Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of the April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:57 PM on July 21 [72 favorites]


In all the excitement about Scaramucci's First Class Ass Kissing skillz, you guys missed another great moment in the North Koreanization of America:

FOX Nation Varney: Six Months In and Trump Already Made America $4 Trillion Richer
Look at this: since his election win, the Trump rally has added $4.1 trillion to the nation's wealth. Anyone with a 401k, an IRA, college savings, retirement savings, mutual funds. Anyone with a dime in the market has taken a piece of that $4 trillion.

Also, during this presidency, 5 American companies have emerged as global technology leaders. You know their names: Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook. It’s a technology world, and American companies have seized the future.
Just think, those tiny little start-ups were just the twinkle in Donnie's eye in December 2016 and with hard work and a lot of golf only 6 months into his presidency they are now great companies! Known round the world. So take a bow, Donald J. Trump, you are amazing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:57 PM on July 21 [30 favorites]


One might imagine it hard to defend an Attorney General after his own President claims he should never have been appointed, but who knows...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:59 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


So we have to trust anonymous US intelligence officials, Jeff Sessions, or Sergey Kislyak. This timeline sucks.
posted by zachlipton at 4:00 PM on July 21 [10 favorites]




Since this is based only on Kislyak's intercepted claims, we might have to give Sessions the benefit of the doubt... were he not to have repeatedly denied the existence of any meetings, including in sworn testimony.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:03 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


The Atlantic The Fox-Newsification of the White House
Spicer’s fall and Scaramuccci’s rise are the latest—and perhaps most significant—signs that the Trump White House has abandoned whatever vision it once had of trying to shape press coverage through diplomacy and dealmaking, and has chosen instead to go all in with its made-for-cable-news culture war against the Fourth Estate.

Spicer’s brief tenure as press secretary will probably be remembered for his most spectacular, high-profile humiliations—the inaugural lie about the Inauguration crowd size; the “holocaust centers” meltdown—and for Melissa McCarthy’s withering impression of him. But the core failures of the Spicer-era communications shop were shaped by Trump himself.

Because the president demanded North Korean levels of message discipline, Spicer was frequently forced to make easily debunked, sky-is-green statements during White House press briefings, and then fiercely defend them against a barrage of Are you serious? pushback from reporters. The press corps expects a certain degree of spin and misdirection from press secretaries, of course—but this Orwellian display was so outlandish that Spicer’s credibility couldn’t survive it. Having lost the press corps’ trust, Spicer’s briefings became largely irrelevant beyond providing fodder for Twitter ridicule.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:04 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


"A Republican source on seeing the story wondered aloud if Trump WH purposely confirmed the story to get at Sessions."

Maybe after the Comey thing, Trump assumes he'll get in trouble for firing Sessions? Mr President, you will not get in trouble for firing Sessions. Not this time. I promise.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:04 PM on July 21


Guys, firing Sessions is a double-edged sword.

Sessions' replacement would not be recused from the Russia investigation and thus could fire Mueller instead of Rosenstein. Of course he or she would have to be confirmed through the Senate. Imagine the battle over that nomination!
posted by Justinian at 4:05 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Now the NYT has to come out with an equally explosive scoop tonight. IT'S THE LAW.
posted by lalex at 4:08 PM on July 21 [15 favorites]


That wouldn't be much of a game changer: I see no indication that Trump would be unwilling to fire Rosenstein or any of his successors if he wanted to have Mueller removed.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:09 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


"A Republican source on seeing the story wondered aloud if Trump WH purposely confirmed the story to get at Sessions."

Seems totally plausible, but only if the rift between Trump and Sessions is legit and not, as has been suggested, a smokescreen. It's not like Trump has fired any of these people he has "splits" with.

My thought was somebody was sitting on this waiting for a potential rift between Trump & Sessions, and put it out now in hopes it would push Sessions toward flipping on Trump.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:10 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Ray Wise
posted by Room 641-A at 4:12 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Reality shows are based on made-up conflicts to promote drama and increase ratings.

Trump's white house is based on made-up conflicts to promote drama and increase ratings.

There seems to be some connection here.
posted by BentFranklin at 4:13 PM on July 21 [21 favorites]


Everybody they fire from investigating them just makes it that much easier to show obstruction of justice, while also serving as continuing mounting evidence to the GOP that there is no reciprocity for loyalty to Trump.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:14 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Byrd Bath for the repeal.

The parliamentarian fucked the Republicans pretty hard.
posted by Justinian at 4:16 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Remember how Senator Ron Wyden really laid into the Confederate Jefferson Sessions during his pathetic testimony in front of the Intelligence Committee (video)?

As a refresher, Wyden wanted to know what matters were problematic in terms of Sessions leading an investigation into the collusion of the Trump/Pence Campaign and the Russian government to influence the election. Sessions defensively and angrily replied, "There are none, Senator Wyden! There are none!"

I got the distinct impression that Wyden had some very specific stuff in mind, and I think we just found out about why the good Senator noted that the Confederate's answer "did not pass the smell test".

Sessions is party to this entire rotten enterprise.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:17 PM on July 21 [53 favorites]


"There are tapes of Russian Ambassador bragging about his collusion with the campaign" is a hell of a first day for the Mooch.
posted by zachlipton at 4:17 PM on July 21 [30 favorites]


I see Zach posted that link earlier today. Sorry! So fast moving.
posted by Justinian at 4:18 PM on July 21


Let's hear 'em!
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:18 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Let's hear 'em!

*cough* narc *cough*
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:20 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Mooch looks a bit like Gary Graham from the short-lived Alien Nation TV series to me. My better half says he looks like Lou Reed's evil younger brother.
posted by jocelmeow at 4:23 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


WTF is happening with this latest Sessions business?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:23 PM on July 21


I realize this pales in comparison to treason, but Michael Bender has a Sean Spicer story:
Less than a month into his new job, White House press secretary Sean Spicer needed to keep his food and drink cold. He wanted a mini-fridge.

He dispatched a top aide to a nearby executive office building where junior research employees are crammed into a room, surviving on Lean Cuisine frozen lunches. Mr. Spicer wants your icebox, the aide said, according to people familiar with the incident. They refused to give it up.

So Mr. Spicer waited until sundown—after his young staffers had left—to take matters into his own hands. He was spotted by a fellow White House official lugging the icebox down the White House driveway after 8 p.m.

From the very start, Mr. Spicer faced myriad challenges in his role as President Donald Trump’s chief spokesman, a job he quit on Friday. And each obstacle—from defending a president who often contradicted him, to securing a fridge for his own office—seemed to be a struggle.
posted by zachlipton at 4:23 PM on July 21 [38 favorites]


He was spotted by a fellow White House official lugging the icebox down the White House driveway after 8 p.m.

My dude has his own fucking hedge fund, and he has to steal a decrepit old minifridge from junior research staff?
posted by Existential Dread at 4:26 PM on July 21 [49 favorites]


Oh, so he's your dude.
posted by bongo_x at 4:27 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


Guys, firing Sessions is a double-edged sword.

No. Getting that racist, sexist, xenophobic, authoritarian shitfuck out of the office of the nation's head prosecutor is only a net gain for The Republic.
posted by Talez at 4:27 PM on July 21 [31 favorites]


And that's Made in America Week! Good job everyone
posted by theodolite at 4:29 PM on July 21 [68 favorites]


No. Getting that racist, sexist, xenophobic, authoritarian shitfuck out of the office of the nation's head prosecutor is only a net gain for The Republic.

That depends on who replaces him, doesn't it? Can you really not imagine Trump installing someone even worse?
posted by Justinian at 4:30 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


No. Getting that racist, sexist, xenophobic, authoritarian shitfuck out of the office of the nation's head prosecutor is only a net gain for The Republic.

Out of the AG's office and out of the Senate! Win fucking win!
posted by Existential Dread at 4:31 PM on July 21 [12 favorites]


So Mr. Spicer waited until sundown—after his young staffers had left—to take matters into his own hands. He was spotted by a fellow White House official lugging the icebox down the White House driveway after 8 p.m.

If you've been horrified by Spicer's tenure as press secretary, let me remind you all this dude is also a Commander in the Navy Reserve. That's five steps up on the officer ladder. Next step up is Captain, and then Admiral.

This dude steals a mini-fridge from underpaid junior staffers stuck in a tiny office rather than buying his own fucking icebox. He steals it after they've gone home, knowing full well they will know he did that. And you've seen his press briefings. You've seen him suck up to this regime.

Think about that. Now think about how many poor souls have salute this dude and call him "sir" and follow his orders because he's a fucking officer.

Fuck HP Lovecraft. That right there is horror.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:32 PM on July 21 [95 favorites]


One last proffer, the newscaster on Murphy Brown, Charles Kimbrough (only younger).
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:33 PM on July 21


Sessions is party to this entire rotten enterprise.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 7:17 PM on July 21

According to the author of the Devil's Bargain it was Bannon and Sessions working together who put Trump in the Oval Office so not only is he party to this rotten enterprise, he is a co-founder of this rotten enterprise.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:33 PM on July 21 [16 favorites]


Can you really not imagine Trump installing someone even worse?

Sure, it can always get worse. But you've still got to fucking cut bait with the devil you know, over and over again, as many times as it takes, or the devil wins every goddamned time.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:33 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


That depends on who replaces him, doesn't it? Can you really not imagine Trump installing someone even worse?

Who else among NYC's corrupt real estate/entrepreneur/banking B team does he know?
posted by notyou at 4:34 PM on July 21


Oh, so he's your dude.

Get with the kid speak. "My dude" is like... "Hey idiot."
posted by greermahoney at 4:35 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]



This dude steals a mini-fridge from underpaid junior staffers stuck in a tiny office rather than buying his own fucking icebox. He steals it after they've gone home, knowing full well they will know he did that.


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by jferg at 4:37 PM on July 21 [12 favorites]


Oh look, another story: Jared Kushner Discloses Dozens More Assets in Revised Financial Filing
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, on Friday released a revised version of his personal financial disclosure showing his initial filing omitted dozens of assets, including commercial real estate, bonds issued by the New York water and sewer authority, a personal art collection and a New Jersey liquor license.

According to the disclosure, 77 assets were “inadvertently omitted” from Mr. Kushner’s earlier form and were added during what the form’s footnotes describe as the “ordinary review” process with the government ethics office. The updated form also provides additional information about 77 other assets, offering more detail about the structure of Mr. Kushner’s real estate assets. Mr. Kushner’s initial disclosure, released in March, hadn’t then been certified by the Office of Government Ethics.
This is also an important detail:
Ms. Trump received $2.5 million in “salary and severance” from her father’s business operations, according to Friday’s disclosure. She also received a $787,500 advance for her book, “Women Who Work.”

According to the form, she is at least a part owner of T International Realty LLC, TTT Consulting LLC and TTTT Venture LLC, assets she valued at between $11 million and $55 million in total. Those entities are affiliated with the Trump Organization through which Ms. Trump and her siblings receive consulting and management fees, the lawyer said.

Instead of getting those fees, Ms. Trump now has an agreement with those entities to get guaranteed annual payments totaling $1.5 million, which means that the income is tied less directly to the success of the family business.
Trump paid her severance? WTF? And she still gets paid annual payments from Trump businesses?
posted by zachlipton at 4:38 PM on July 21 [22 favorites]


Can you really not imagine Trump installing someone even worse?

By that metric why try to get rid of any of them?

Even though the wise Navy SEAL says better the devil you know, this particular devil can't slither back into the darkness fast enough. Get fucked, Jefferson.
posted by lydhre at 4:39 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Joke's on him. That's the fridge I was keeping my "samples" in.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:39 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


How did a guy with such a terrible memory and shitty attention to detail get the nickname Mr. Perfect, anyhow?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:39 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]




77 assets worth over... 100 million dollars. /Doctor Evil
posted by chris24 at 4:42 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


That depends on who replaces him, doesn't it? Can you really not imagine Trump installing someone even worse?

There's not many people who would be that much worse than Sessions and I'm pretty sure the list of people willing to show up for this administration are shrinking by the day.

Maybe Paxton fresh off beating his felony charges? Kobach might earn a promotion? Jeff Landry is both in the pocket of the oil and gas industries and is willing to crawl over broken glass to stab his own gay brother in the front.

I mean they all have shades of Sessions but they're all the "I can't believe it's not Sessions" brand of shitheel.
posted by Talez at 4:42 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Reality shows are based on made-up conflicts to promote drama and increase ratings.
Trump's white house is based on made-up conflicts to promote drama and increase ratings.


Trump learned everything he knows about being President from starring on The Apprentice. But being unable to bring Mark Burnett in as Chief of Staff severely disabled him.

No. Getting that racist, sexist, xenophobic, authoritarian shitfuck out of the office of the nation's head prosecutor is only a net gain for The Republic.
Can you really not imagine Trump installing someone even worse?


Every indication is that there IS nobody even worse. Putting Sessions' so-far successful campaign to transform the Federal Judiciary into a Confederate Star Chamber on hold for a few months then bringing in someone who may be less dedicated to turning American history back a few decades would be an improvement. Someone "among NYC's corrupt real estate/entrepreneur/banking B team" would indeed be better.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:44 PM on July 21 [16 favorites]


If Trump replaced Sessions at this point, I feel he'd prioritize a candidate's willingness to shut down any investigations of Trump over all of Sessions' racist pet priorities like voter disenfranchisement, the drug war, civil asset forfeiture... Trump has no ideology more important than "what's best for Trump" so that will be the deciding factor. Probably someone picked on his legal team's advice, this is like a dream come true scenario for his team - hey, the cops are onto our client, but we can replace the top cop! Too good of an opportunity to pass up for them.

So while we may come out of a Sessions firing better on balance, it will be kind of an out of the frying pan, into the fire situation.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:45 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


OK YOU HAVE CONVINCED ME.

I think Sessions is toast.
posted by Justinian at 4:47 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


He should just save us all time and replace Sessions with Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:48 PM on July 21 [17 favorites]


This is pretty big, makes the hurdle for passage much higher as they'd have to replace the parliamentarian to have a shot at changing her decision, which would be very big move. Senate parliamentarian finds major parts of GOP health bill require 60 votes, including defunding Planned Parenthood.
posted by scalefree at 4:48 PM on July 21 [34 favorites]


Out of the AG's office and out of the Senate!

And Joe Manchin gets a do-over.

T International Realty LLC, TTT Consulting LLC and TTTT Venture LLC,

The lack of imagination and ability to look past themselves is staggering.

Scott Wolf
Michael Ian Black
posted by Room 641-A at 4:49 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Hugh Hewitt just dropped J. Michael Luttig's name three times as who could be a good AG, so I guess they decided he's up for America's Next Top AG?
posted by armacy at 4:50 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


According to Twitter, dumping Sessions gives them a window to fire Mueller. I think otherwise they'd keep Sessions, because he's utterly loyal and all in for the goals of the regime (such as they can be identified: shaft the poor, minorities, disabled, immigrants, etc.). But they're more afraid of what Mueller's going to find than anything else, so Sessions has to go so they can get someone to fire Mueller.

That's the read, anyway. I buy it.

My real fear is that 45 will fire Mueller and... nothing will happen. No consequences, because there's nobody to hold him accountable.
posted by suelac at 4:54 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


That depends on who replaces him, doesn't it? Can you really not imagine Trump installing someone even worse?

I doubt- short of choosing a serial murderer- you could find anyone more evil but there are plenty that would be less suitable: Eric Trump, Judge Jeanine, Sarah Palin, Alex Jones.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:54 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Another possible upside to Sessions getting the boot would be another round of terrible publicity for the regime and very nasty confirmation hearing. Given all the fuckery around The Douche Canoe, the open admissions of obstruction of justice, and the fury among the constituents of many Democratic Senators, I can't believe that the regime would be too eager for another one. There would be many very pointed, uncomfortable questions.

It's been a righteous pain-in-the-ass to fill positions needing confirmation and having to replace an AG 6 months into the term would be a terrible, terrible look--not that any of them would give a fuck.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:56 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


This is just to say

I have stolen
the icebox
that contained
your plums

and which
you were clearly
using
for storage.

Forgive me
if you don't want
to be out
of a job
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:57 PM on July 21 [82 favorites]


Rudy, Rudy, Rudy.

Chris Wray may put a word in for his old boss, too.
posted by notyou at 4:58 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Firing Sessions would be an implicit acceptance of the scandal, which has NOT been Trump's strategy so far. Ironically the more guilty someone looks, the more job security they have in Trumpland. It gives El Twittler the chance to scream fake news to his adoring fans.
posted by Glibpaxman at 4:58 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I would hope that the Dems would ask:

-- What will you say to DJT if he asks you to pledge your loyalty to him?
-- Do you pledge to leave Mueller's Investigation alone?
-- Have you ever had any interactions, meetings, or ties including financial with Russians?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:59 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


-- Do you have your own mini fridge?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:01 PM on July 21 [41 favorites]


According to Twitter, dumping Sessions gives them a window to fire Mueller.

I don't get this. Rachel Maddow was talking last night (?) about how that's the grand plan: (a) Fire Sessions, (b) Appoint stooge (c) Get stooge to fire Mueller.

But (b) would be a long drawn out shitshow in the Senate, right? If they want to fire Mueller, why don't they just do it. Chop heads until you reach someone who wants to keep their head (and a fancy new title of DAG).
posted by pjenks at 5:01 PM on July 21


I remember thinking Alberto Gonzalez was about as bad as the AG could get. I admire the optimism that no one worse than Seasions could be installed, but I'm convinced that history is a nightmare factory with no bottom to the ghouls it manufactures.
posted by milarepa at 5:02 PM on July 21 [24 favorites]


Yeah, maybe Harriet Miers is around to take the job?
posted by pjenks at 5:03 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


I still have enough faith in the basic self-interest of the members of the United States Senate that, now a Special Counsel has been appointed, they will not find 51 votes to confirm someone likely to fire the Special Counsel without cause.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:03 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Ali Watkins:
Coats, at #AspenSecurity: We have to keep coming back to main points during intel briefings because Trump won't focus.

Said they're often good questions but briefings run way, way long because he interrupts and asks questions or asks for info on other topics
I still can't get over how often senior officials talk about the President like he's a poorly behaved toddler. I mean, here you have the Director of National Intelligence, who briefs the President most days, openly announcing on the record that the President can't focus on important topics. It seems like Daily Beast has a story pretty much daily where anonymous senior officials are talking about how he's yelling at the TV or they arrange events to try to distract him.
posted by zachlipton at 5:04 PM on July 21 [23 favorites]


He should just save us all time and replace Sessions with Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak.

Never heard of him.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:04 PM on July 21 [36 favorites]


I don't. These are Republicans we're talking about.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:04 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


According to that WaPo article: "Kushner's financial disclosure has been updated 39 times since his first filing in March."

This is IN-FUCKIN-Sane. There are no consequences for these people.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:06 PM on July 21 [79 favorites]


As stupid and shortsighted as the WH is, I don't believe they leaked it. Replacing the AG at the six month mark just to put someone in place, who first has to go through the confirmation process, in time to fire Mueller before his investigation's dirt comes out is just... crazy. This is an IC leak. And if Sessions is fired, he will squeal like a pig.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:06 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


I can't remember who it was, but a recent guest on Pod Save America seemed to think there was a strong chance that Trump Saturday Night Massacreing Mueller would just lead to Congress setting up an independent commission legislatively, and choosing Robert Mueller to head it. Typing that out it seems to reek of misplaced optimism, but maybe it could happen?
posted by contraption at 5:06 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Also Trump can count on Manchin and Donnelly's votes again, at the minimum. We just saw total Democratic abdication over Wray. He doesn't even need 51 Republicans.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:06 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Actor David James Elliott, JAG-Scaramucci. I think that is the resemblance, that is complimenting Mooch.
posted by Oyéah at 5:06 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I don't see Sessions going anywhere. Trump's not going to fire him because that would indicate that he believes the report and disapproves of cozying up to Russia. Sessions ain't going to quit because he's fucking shameless. He's gonna give a smirky little smile and say, "I don't recall what we talked about but I'm certain it wasn't the campaign, y'all" and act all offended that anyone would say otherwise.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:06 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


So, every time Kushner submits his updated form, someone has to read it and judge whether it should impact his security clearance. Do we know who that person is? Do we know what their recommendations have been? Do we know if they have been overruled, and by whom?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:14 PM on July 21 [10 favorites]


But (b) would be a long drawn out shitshow in the Senate, right?

Two words; recess appointment.
posted by Justinian at 5:16 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I finally figured out which actor Scaramucci resembles: Trump's hand-picked replacement for the role of Obsequious Firstbornson.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:16 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Sorry, what do the meatloaf references in this thread refer to? I checked the Election Thread Reference FAQ and the meatloaf hasn't been documented there yet.
posted by ejs at 5:16 PM on July 21


I don't get this. Rachel Maddow was talking last night (?) about how that's the grand plan: (a) Fire Sessions, (b) Appoint stooge (c) Get stooge to fire Mueller.

The thing is, they don't need to get a fucking stooge in order to fire Mueller. First, they already have a semi-stooge in Rosenstein. Trump can order him to fire Mueller. If he refuses, Trump can fire him and go on to the next in line, and the next, if necessary, Watergate-style. Shouldn't take him too long to get to someone craven or sycophantic enough to do it. All while he gets to keep Sessions. There's no sign the GOP Congress would be inclined to stop him.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:17 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


So every time Kushner submits his updated form

After committing perjury 38 times, I am certain that this one is truthful!
posted by mikelieman at 5:17 PM on July 21 [27 favorites]


It's not perjury if you mean for me to believe it when you say it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:21 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


Look, if he wants to fire Mueller he's going to fire Mueller. Firing Sessions to fire Mueller just screams RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA, which may or may not stop him, but certainly bolsters the investigation's narrative further.

I don't think Mueller is in any more jeopardy than he was 5 hours ago. This is not a cunning way to do it, anymore than firing Rosenstein et eventual underlings would be. If he fires Sessions I'll rejoice because there's one fewer asshole fucking us over and keep on worrying about Mueller as usual.
posted by lydhre at 5:22 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]




So, every time Kushner submits his updated form, someone has to read it and judge whether it should impact his security clearance. Do we know who that person is? Do we know what their recommendations have been? Do we know if they have been overruled, and by whom?

Just to clarify, THIS form he lied on 364 times is his financial disclosure form, which goes to the ethics office people. The security clearance app is the OTHER form he completely inadvertently left 100+ foreign contacts off of and had to revise four times, so far.

I just hope Forgetful Jared isn't the guy the WH staff sends out to the drive-thru with everybody's lunch orders, because that really wouldn't end well.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:23 PM on July 21 [17 favorites]


ejs: It's from a story when Chris Christie had lunch with Trump.
posted by rhizome at 5:23 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


It's not perjury if you mean for me to believe it when you say it.

Fine. 38 counts of 18 USC 1001 then!
posted by mikelieman at 5:23 PM on July 21


Hopeless sycophant Chris Christie had dinner with Trump. Trump ordered Christie meatloaf in front of everyone. Still won't give him a job. See also Mitt Romney.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:23 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Sorry, what do the meatloaf references in this thread refer to? I checked the Election Thread Reference FAQ and the meatloaf hasn't been documented there yet.

Yeah we kind of stopped updating that after the election, which is probably a mistake. It's refering to this incident, in which Trump made Chris Christie order meatloaf to eat. Thereafter known as Trump's humiliation meatloaf, the food of choice for dignity wraiths.
posted by zachlipton at 5:25 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Is the implication in Ioffe's tweet that Nunes leaked it to Trump?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:26 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


We just saw total Democratic abdication over Wray.
Are Democrats supposed to oppose just for the sake of opposition? I didn't see anything particularly objectionable about Wray. He was Chris Christie's lawyer, had a couple of Russian clients, but acquitted himself respectably during his confirmation hearing and I didn't see any indication that he'd bent the knee. What'd I miss?
posted by xyzzy at 5:27 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Not JUST meatloaf. Nixon's Submission Meatloaf!

(Pat Nixon's recipe. You can Google it)
posted by mikelieman at 5:27 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Also, Trump called the meatloaf "fabulous," and there were stories about how Richard Nixon also loved meatloaf when he was President and how no one is sure whether the White House still uses Pat Nixon's recipe.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:28 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Yeah we kind of stopped updating that after the election, which is probably a mistake.

What?

So many lost bon mots, like tears in rain.

bons mot?
posted by notyou at 5:28 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Trump's not going to fire him because that would indicate that he believes the report and disapproves of cozying up to Russia.

haha if I were the writer of this insane movie I'd script it so Sessions leaked this info to make it impossible for Trump to fire him.
posted by lalex at 5:28 PM on July 21 [17 favorites]


also dying to know how much Trump, Inc. paid Ivanka in comparison to dumb and dumber her brothers.
posted by lalex at 5:30 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Whose demented Friday-night newsdump of a birthday cake is this?!?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:31 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


also dying to know how much Trump, Inc. paid Ivanka in comparison to dumb and dumber her brothers.


79%, same as in the rest of 'Merica.
posted by tilde at 5:32 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't assume there won't be another scandal supplanting it in the next 24 hours.

Do I need to eat a cake or something?
posted by Artw at 5:32 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]




Whose demented Friday-night newsdump of a birthday cake is this?!?

It's my birthday! Is this all for me?! Yay!
posted by mcduff at 5:33 PM on July 21 [25 favorites]


Are Democrats supposed to oppose just for the sake of opposition? I didn't see anything particularly objectionable about Wray.

Yes. Wray was nominated by an illegitimate president and was therefore an illegitimate candidate.
posted by Lyme Drop at 5:34 PM on July 21 [12 favorites]


But (b) would be a long drawn out shitshow in the Senate, right?

Two words; recess appointment.


I thought they had to stay and fix Healthcare during Donnies hols?
posted by Artw at 5:35 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Sessions looks like a monkey
And the White House is a zoo
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:36 PM on July 21 [15 favorites]


also dying to know how much Trump, Inc. paid Ivanka in comparison to dumb and dumber her brothers.

Oh my god, I bet DonToo and Eric are hearing about Ivanka's $2.5 mil "salary and severance" for the first time today, ha ha ha ha. Yep, boys, just another humiliating public reminder that you're not Daddy's Best Girl.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:36 PM on July 21 [12 favorites]


Man, this being at the core a good old money laundering case where Trump provided real estate to sink dirty Russian cash means to me, it's pretty much all over but filling the indictments...
posted by mikelieman at 5:37 PM on July 21


Kushner is also the person 45 says can broker a new peace deal in the Middle East.

How's that going, Jared?

Hope his data updating skills extend to adding 'intifada' to his phone's spellcheck.
posted by Devonian at 5:37 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]




Yes. Wray was nominated by an illegitimate president and was therefore an illegitimate candidate.
Yeah, I'm not going to push for pure obstructionism just because it's technically moral. Republicans are the party of "no." I'd like to be in the party of "get shit done for the people."
posted by xyzzy at 5:38 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


Just to clarify, THIS form he lied on 364 times is his financial disclosure form, which goes to the ethics office people. The security clearance app is the OTHER form he completely inadvertently left 100+ foreign contacts off of and had to revise four times, so far.

I'm sure these are handled by totally different offices and I know the OPM hack caused a lot of upheavals and delays, but I can't help but feel miffed at this shit since my PR is more than a year overdue now and one of my references has literally died in the interim.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:38 PM on July 21


Don't hold your breath Mikelieman.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:39 PM on July 21


haha if I were the writer of this insane movie I'd script it so Sessions leaked this info to make it impossible for Trump to fire him.

I love that this 24-style, mid-season plot twist is totally believable at this point, and by love I, of course, mean weep gently in the bathroom as I mourn the death of reality.
posted by milarepa at 5:39 PM on July 21 [14 favorites]


Are Democrats supposed to oppose just for the sake of opposition? I didn't see anything particularly objectionable about Wray. He was Chris Christie's lawyer, had a couple of Russian clients, but acquitted himself respectably during his confirmation hearing and I didn't see any indication that he'd bent the knee. What'd I miss?

Fucking yes they are. You missed that Trump fired Comey to obstruct the Russia treason investigation. NO Democratic vote for a Trump nominated successor is acceptable, PERIOD. HE OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE.

Democrats are acting like this is just a normal president doing normal president things, not the fucking survival of democracy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:40 PM on July 21 [59 favorites]


So Jr. and Manafort aren't testifying next week.

On account of how they are too obviously guilty or something?
posted by Artw at 5:40 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Step one of Get Shit Done for the People is to resist this illegitimate, incompetent, corrupt, white-nationalist government.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:40 PM on July 21 [10 favorites]


HE OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE.
Ah, yes. We should abolish the EPA immediately, then. Nixon did do criminal things while President, therefore no executive action he undertook is valid.
posted by xyzzy at 5:43 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


The only acceptable nomination was Andrew McCabe, who was there for the entire investigation along side Comey. They should've insisted on McCabe staying, or a nominee picked a bipartisan panel of Senators. Anyone else nominated by Trump is irretrievably tainted just from the fact of being Trump's choice. It's the fruit of the poisonous tree, and Democrats gobbled it up and said "Thank you Mr. Trump may we please have another?"
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:44 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


The thing about money laundering for Russian oligarchs for 20 years is that there is concrete, objective evidence of it out there. This is not going to be about opinions. This is not going to be about feelings. This is not going to be about who said what at a meeting. This is not going to be about treason which, as we know, the Republicans are currently okay with. All those things matter, and all those things should be screamed from the rooftops, but this investigation is going to be about one single thing.

This is going to be about a pile of dirty fucking money.
posted by lydhre at 5:45 PM on July 21 [48 favorites]


We should abolish the EPA immediately, then. Nixon did do criminal things while President, therefore no executive action he undertook is valid.

No appointee he could've picked after firing Elliot Richardson would have been valid. Come the fuck on.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:45 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Also Trump can count on Manchin and Donnelly's votes again, at the minimum. We just saw total Democratic abdication over Wray. He doesn't even need 51 Republicans.

The bar on large parts of the bill just got a lot higher, 60 votes. So says the Senate Parliamentarian. Being a Senate Democrat just became a lot more valuable to them. Not hard since it was 0 until now, but it'll be interesting to see their offers. And responses.
posted by scalefree at 5:46 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


So a coupla quick personal notes.
I sent off my postcards this morning to my Senators, Congressman, Speaker of the House, and Senate Majority Leader asking them to think about what they will do when Trump scatters pardons around like confetti and fires Mueller. Then I begged them to preserve the Justice system and the Rule of Law adding that I loved my country and was fearful of the coming days.
I left my White House Postcard blank. It is still sitting here on my desk. I just....

Also I happened to have recent conversations with two Trump voting family members. Responding to my question on their feelings about Trump now, they both responded the same way, "I don't watch the news. So I don't really know what's going on."

Now I can forgive my nearly 80 year old mother who finds the news stressful but my SIL the nurse? The one with the Heroin addict son who needs rehab? I wanted to shake her by the shoulders until her eyeballs rattled. I asked what they were saying at the hospital about the Obamacare replacement and she said the topic never comes up. I explained as concisely as possible what was on the line with the Senate proposals and she said, "Oh they wouldn't do that. That are not going to take people's Medicare away. That doesn't make sense."

I try not to think too much about all of those Trump/Republican voters who aren't fans and who can't be bothered to know what is going on.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:47 PM on July 21 [29 favorites]


I thought they had to stay and fix Healthcare during Donnies hols?

I would love to see what would happen if the Senators really did cancel their August plans to stay and work on this bill while the President blithely went away for two weeks to golf. There's got to be some resentment building up already that he has been so useless yet so pushy.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:50 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


The bar on large parts of the bill just got a lot higher, 60 votes. So says the Senate Parliamentarian. Being a Senate Democrat just became a lot more valuable to them. Not hard since it was 0 until now, but it'll be interesting to see their offers. And responses.

Manchin and Donnelly voted to confirm Sessions, that was what I was referring to, and after the Wray performance I expect him to get somewhere north of 65 or 70 votes. I highly doubt Democrats would present an effective opposition to a Sessions replacement.

It is good news on the health care front though to have the Senate parlimentarian ruling. Although Republicans have fired parlimentarians before to get around reconciliation rulings, and we're talking about Mitch McConnell. They can still overruling this and break the Senate still further.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:56 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


For those of us outside the bubble: National Enquirer cover-
"Hillary Framed Trump Family" (seen today)
posted by wittgenstein at 5:59 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Come the fuck on.
Trust me. I get the anger. I get the desire to see Democrats do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to resist Twitler. My friends are also on the side of pure obstructionism and resistance to anything suggested by a Republican, most especially the President himself. But I don't think it's reasonable or wise to object to ideas just because of who suggested them. I'm open to objections to Wray as an FBI director, but the idea of just not having an FBI director for 3+ years because the President probably illegally fired the last one just doesn't sit well with me. Bannon and Trump are already drastically reducing the size of government by avoiding designating new appointees and converting the remainder to loyal devotees through attrition; I am not interested in furthering this plan to decimate the machinery to serve some apocalyptic vision of the future.

I'll see myself out.
posted by xyzzy at 6:00 PM on July 21 [14 favorites]


I have a little more faith in the Democrats, T.D. Strange, if nothing else because Sessions will be fired explicitly for one of two stated reasons: for failing to help Trump obstruct justice with regards to the Russian investigation OR because the WH believes that Sessions had incriminating conversations with the Russians on behalf of the campaign.
posted by lydhre at 6:02 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Trump is not going to nominate anyone for any role who is not likewise a criminal.
posted by Artw at 6:04 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


My theory for a while now has been that Putin wanted to undermine democracy by promoting anti-government forces and separatists in rhe US as he does in the countries. So he asked his colleague Paul Manafort, who said "Sure, one of my old buddies is a leader of the Ersatz Confederacy." Then he said "Hey Jeff, you know how white people are soon going to be a minority and democracy will then destroy white hegemony? What if we could help you with that democracy problem?"

Sessions said "I love it." He recruited a core team which included Bannon. They brought Trump in as the perfect figurehead (celebrity "businessman" who had a long history of looking the other way from Russian money laundering) but were careful not to tell him too much. Because he is an idiot who cannot keep his mouth shut. They told him it was totally normal to meet with Russian lawyers and anyone in Washington would have taken that meeting. Trump believed them.

Now it is all blowing up. Sessions got him into this mess. Sessions told him it would be great. Sessions says "make me AG. No one will be able to touch you."

Then he recuses himself??? Sessions told him to fire Comey! Now Trump is the one being blamed for "obstruction of justice"?

He keeps getting in trouble for doing stuff Sessions told him to do. Not fair!

So yeah, I can see him leaking this to be like "See? Sessions is the colluder, not me. Sessions made me do it!"
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:08 PM on July 21 [28 favorites]


The thing about money laundering for Russian oligarchs for 20 years is that there is concrete, objective evidence of it out there.

Which NOBODY, no State AG and no Federal Dept. of Justice under a Democratic President ever bothered to investigate, let alone prosecute. And before the Russians, he was laundering money for Good Old American mobsters. Isn't it obvious why he believes he is Above The Law? He is the Living Embodiment of the Failure of American Justice (not to mention our economic system). Which, I guess makes him a Prefect President.

National Enquirer cover- "Hillary Framed Trump Family" (seen today)

Another "American Institution" that should have been prosecuted and/or sued out of existence years before it could have had an influence on American politics. Is there nobody organizing a BOYCOTT EVERY ENQUIRER ADVERTISER AND EVERY STORE SELLING IT campaign?

America is reaping the harvest of a long history of tolerating absolute evil. Am I an intolerant Liberal? Hell, yeah.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:12 PM on July 21 [18 favorites]


Politico's Josh Dawsey: Inside the 24 hours that broke Sean Spicer
The president had watched Scaramucci act as a surrogate for him on TV and heaped lavish praise on him to advisers. Two people who spoke to Trump said he particularly relished that Scaramucci forced CNN to issue a retraction on a story about the businessman's Russian ties — and considered him almost a "white knight" for it, one of these people said. When Scaramucci visited the Oval Office two weeks ago, Trump reminded others repeatedly of the retraction, one senior official said.
...
Spicer was soon being bombarded Thursday evening with media reports that he was getting a new boss in title — even though he didn't know exactly what to say. There were efforts from Priebus and Bannon to slow or block the move. Administration officials and advisers said they had various reasons for their opposition, including fears that Scaramucci lacked the political or communications experience necessary for the high-profile job, and personal tensions between Priebus and Scaramucci.

After he found out about Scaramucci’s appointment, Bannon had a very "aggressive" confrontation with Trump that some in the West Wing viewed as remarkable, people with direct knowledge of the encounter said. Another person familiar with the encounter said Bannon's behavior was "embarrassing."
...
Spicer saw it as a personal affront to work for Scaramucci and told the president that it couldn't work. Spicer had expected to evolve into more of a full-time communications director role because he was essentially no longer the public-facing press secretary, having turned over the podium.
When you put it this way, it's a little more clear why Spicer viewed this as a personal humiliation as opposed to his previous ongoing debasement for Trump. This is the equivalent of stepping aside from your job to do your bosses job, then walking in one day and being asked by reporters if you'll be reporting to some hedge fund bro with no experience. He hasn't briefed the press in a month, so what the hell would his job possibly be if he's not doing briefings and not Communications Director?
posted by zachlipton at 6:13 PM on July 21 [21 favorites]


Good.
posted by Artw at 6:16 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile: Trump Assigns White House Team to Target Iran Nuclear Deal, Sidelining State Department (FP)
After a contentious meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week, President Donald Trump instructed a group of trusted White House staffers to make the potential case for withholding certification of Iran at the next 90-day review of the nuclear deal. The goal was to give Trump what he felt the State Department had failed to do: the option to declare that Tehran was not in compliance with the contentious agreement.

“The president assigned White House staffers with the task of preparing for the possibility of decertification for the 90-day review period that ends in October — a task he had previously given to Secretary Tillerson and the State Department,” a source close to the White House told Foreign Policy.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:17 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


Which NOBODY, no State AG and no Federal Dept. of Justice under a Democratic President ever bothered to investigate, let alone prosecute.


Preet Bharara did, and he got fired for it, then Sessions settled the case for pennies...

The civil forfeiture case was filed in 2013 by Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York — who was fired by Trump in March. The case alleged that 11 companies were involved in a tax fraud in Russia and then laundered a portion of the $230 million they got into Manhattan real estate.
posted by mikelieman at 6:19 PM on July 21 [54 favorites]


My theory for a while now has been that Putin wanted to undermine democracy by promoting anti-government forces and separatists in rhe US as he does in the countries.

Notable and currently relevant points from Foundations of Geopolitics by Aleksandr Dugin, a book which has "had a large influence within the Russian military, police, and foreign policy elites":
Russia should use its special services within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism, for instance, provoke "Afro-American racists". Russia should "introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics."

The United Kingdom should be cut off from Europe.

Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because "Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning [...] without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics". Ukraine should not be allowed to remain independent, unless it is cordon sanitaire, which would be inadmissible

Georgia should be dismembered. Abkhazia and "United Ossetia" (which includes Georgia's South Ossetia) will be incorporated into Russia. Georgia's independent policies are unacceptable.
posted by lalex at 6:21 PM on July 21 [38 favorites]


We wouldn't have not had an FBI director. Wray would've been confirmed with Republican votes. Democrats could've acknowledged the serious irregularity and criminality of the situation and withheld support for anything other than a compromise nominee, or the man already in place. They didn't. Instead they gave Trump a patheticly deferential confirmation hearing after he obstructed justice, and alleged Democratic leader like Feinstein immediately signaled they would ratify his obstruction. This is not what effective opposition looks like. It's what complicity looks like.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:22 PM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Preet Bharara did...
Weak sauce. Should have prosecuted Donnie personally. Didn't Jared's father go to jail for less? Oh yeah, he's Jewish.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:26 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Have you been watching the health care votes? The Democrats are the only thing standing between us and hundreds of thousands of dead Americans. They are not complicit, they're fighting the good fight, and I'm proud of them.
posted by Justinian at 6:26 PM on July 21 [61 favorites]


To that I would add that a bunch of anonymous budget committee staffers fighting quietly for abortion rights with the Senate Parliamentarian isn't sexy work, but it's damn important work, and Democrats deserve credit for it.
posted by zachlipton at 6:29 PM on July 21 [51 favorites]


i wouldn't trust them on that if they weren't getting a barrage calls just the same as the Repubs. Fuckers will bipartisan over anything and require constant watching.
posted by Artw at 6:30 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


i wouldn't trust them on that if they weren't getting a barrage calls just the same as the Repubs. Fuckers will bipartisan over anything and require constant watching.

This. The only thing stopping them from agreeing to repeal Medicaid is activism. I wish we could mobilize similar levels for Omnigate, and Democratic performance during the Wray hearings is proof of the difference pressure makes.

Remember when Democrats started off by voting nearly unanimously for Trump's nominees until the grassroots lost their minds? We did that. We deserve credit. They don't deserve shit until we beat them into voting the minimally acceptable way, because if we don't, they won't. If the calls and pressure lets up for a week, they'll roll over on everything. Never forget these are the same people that tried time and time again to sell out the safety net in Obama's myriad "grand bargains". That's what they want to do, the only thing making them doing anything different is us.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:38 PM on July 21 [27 favorites]


So yeah, I can see him leaking this to be like "See? Sessions is the colluder, not me. Sessions made me do it!"

Do we believe that Trump, on his own, is capable of successfully leaking anything without leaving a massive trail?
posted by Artw at 6:39 PM on July 21


Do we believe that Trump, on his own, is capable

The only person Trump has even been associated with who I would describe as "capable" is Putin. He doesn't even know how to hire capable.
posted by ctmf at 6:43 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Weak sauce. Should have prosecuted Donnie personally. Didn't Jared's father go to jail for less? Oh yeah, he's Jewish.

I imagine that Preet Bharara has had to walk a fine line. On one hand, IF he had an actual case at the time against Trump, I'm sure he would have. I think the real tell here is when Trump left him in the gig after his inauguration was a carrot. Then when Trump tried to reach out to him to see if he could be counted on as loyal, and found out that he wasn't playing ball, fired him. And then of course, Sessions settled the case involving the lawyer in the June meeting....

I have this image of Preet sending Bob a USB drive full of evidence that he didn't drill down into, but when Muller does, it's going to need another edition of "The Laundrymen"
posted by mikelieman at 6:43 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


The Democrats are the only thing standing between us and hundreds of thousands of dead Americans. They are not complicit, they're fighting the good fight, and I'm proud of them.

DEMOCRATS 2018: What Jesus WOULD DO!
posted by mikelieman at 6:44 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Jesus had skillz.
posted by Artw at 6:45 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Did we already cover that the Kislyak/Sessions leak probably came from the White House?
posted by scalefree at 6:45 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


He hasn't briefed the press in a month, so what the hell would his job possibly be if he's not doing briefings and not Communications Director?

Doing all the actual work of a communications director (or as close as one would get in the Trump White House) while Scaramucci gets the title and really is just #1 Suck-up Surrogate on tv.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:47 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I know nothing makes any sense anymore, but the White House leaking that the campaign collided with Russia really makes no sense whatsoever.
posted by zachlipton at 6:51 PM on July 21 [17 favorites]


Oh, and a Post reporter said they've known about the story since June, which throws a lot of cold water on the "the White House leaked it" theory.
posted by zachlipton at 6:54 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Why can't we just fricking add election do overs to the constantly growing list of extraconstitutional political practices we tolerate (like the party system and lobbying) and just be done with this unholy clown show already?
posted by saulgoodman at 7:06 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Oh, and a Post reporter said they've known about the story since June, which throws a lot of cold water on the "the White House leaked it" theory.

I agree, but I'd note that "the White House" doesn't seem to be a singular noun of unified motive at the moment.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:06 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


the White House leaking that the campaign collided with Russia really makes no sense whatsoever.

Unless we are in that phase where the criminals know the gig is up and all start pointing fingers at each other. I would like to believe we are already there, but maybe that is just wishful thinking still.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:07 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


the White House leaking that the campaign collided with Russia really makes no sense whatsoever.

I don't know if this is a super-accurate motivation metric to apply to this particular White House.
posted by lalex at 7:09 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


WTF I'm watching CNN they got Sessions dead to rights? I should be freaked out and happy big time at the same time? HIVE MIND SUMMARIZE THE LAST 12 HOURS FOR ME PLEEZE.
posted by vrakatar at 7:11 PM on July 21 [3 favorites]


To temper our mutual engorgement at the idea that Preet had the raw data on the dirty money trail that led to 45, and all Mueller has to do is write the right spreadsheet, these sort of cases are phenomenally hard to prove to jury standards, Even when a regulator, investigator or in fact everyone just knows that massive shenanigans have taken place, the paper trail can be extraordinarily hard to connect between points A and B.

Where millions or billions are involved, then it becomes a question of whether the best minds and resources that the criminals can deploy can better the best minds and resources that the state can muster, and the dice is loaded for the former - presumption of innocence, financial dealings that are hard for the highly trained to follow, let alone the jury, and global financial systems that are symbiotic with money and antagonistic to regulation and oversight.

Which is why Mueller is assembling a phalanx of very good domain lawyers and taking his time - not because there's any doubt about what happened, but because demonstrating it well enough to win a case is extremely hard. I doubt there's anyone on the planet who's able to read and cares to actively look who doesn't believe that 45 is an habitual financial criminal and who is currently engaged in the biggest scam of his life. Of course he is, and the stakes really couldn't be higher - no Bond movie ever dared to posit that the evil mastermind had taken over two of the four estates, and was busily working on the others. But proving it? Both of the remaining estates are trying very hard: it's a helluva fight.

The one thing that gives me hope, and it is quite a good hope, is that the evil genius is actually a petulant manchild who is quite possibly falling apart by the day. Imagine a chimera of 45's populism and Obama's acuity - then we'd be reporting to the re-education amps for the crime of having metafilter.com in our browser histories.

But it's just 45, and he's losing it. Which is very bad, yet imagine him on the stand and... well, may it come quickly, but no quicker than it should.
posted by Devonian at 7:13 PM on July 21 [31 favorites]


I know nothing makes any sense anymore, but the White House leaking that the campaign collided with Russia really makes no sense whatsoever.

They want Sessions to resign so they can appoint a successor to fire Mueller.

Yes, they're actually that stupid/desperate.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:20 PM on July 21 [15 favorites]


What actor does Scaramucci look like?

Maybe not a match, but a resemblance.
posted by rochrobbb at 7:22 PM on July 21


There's no strategy, there's only satisfying urges & grudges. This is who he is.
posted by scalefree at 7:23 PM on July 21 [13 favorites]


The only person in that clowncar of fuckups with the capability to strategize is maaaaybe Bannon. Whenever anyone's Big Unifying Theory of Omnishamblesgate involves Trump employing any kind of forethought, strategy, intelligence or understanding of the anything beyond the howling Lovecraftian void inside his own skull, I know I can immediately file it away in the Louise Mensch pile.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:28 PM on July 21 [19 favorites]


David Brooks, on NPR, actually fronted the Dementia excuse today. THIS is the toadie who would fawn over Dubbya's every move... actual quote: "This President is capable of many things, guile is not one of them." Then he went on to note the Trump of today is not the trump of fifteen years ago, in terms of his speech patterns.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:34 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


David brooks can go jump in a lake. Anything to absolve the GOP.
posted by tilde at 7:42 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Twitter partisans of all hues are writhing over the Sessions story. Nobody knows whether to defend or decry him.

Nothing is true, and everything is possible.
posted by Devonian at 7:50 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Never forget these are the same people that tried time and time again to sell out the safety net in Obama's myriad "grand bargains". That's what they want to do, the only thing making them doing anything different is us.

Funny, my memory is that when Barack Obama was elected, he said something like
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President. And we know the government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand. What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.
and then the Americans who voted him into office went home and stopped agitating for change, and didn't keep up pressure to reform and improve the social safety net, and didn't bother to show up to the polls in 2010, and so the Democrats never quite managed to get the political capital and support they needed to continue pushing after the painful work of recovering from the Great Recession and passing the ACA before the Republicans took over state houses across the country and used their power to redraw electoral maps to make a naked power grab that ultimately gave them all three branches of federal government, forcing the Dems to fight a constant rearguard action to preserve the gains they'd made.

It's almost like he was trying to tell us that elected Democrats really need the political pressure of normal citizens calling them with their support and leftward pressure in order to have sufficient political capital to make effective change. Almost.
posted by biogeo at 7:52 PM on July 21 [80 favorites]


and this is the 423rd time I have thought to myself "Trump is fucked now".
posted by yhbc at 7:53 PM on July 21 [17 favorites]


A little bit of an update from the front: I went to a small protest march about the woman who was shot by a cop last weekend in Minneapolis. It took place on short notice in a very white part of town, and was overwhelmingly white and middle class, although called by New North, CAIR, BLM and other POC-led groups. What I noticed was that pretty much every one of those people cheered when one of the speakers said that the problem was the capitalist system which created cops to protect the rich and divide POC from whites. The level of speech-making was also really high. I've been going to these things for literally twenty years at this point, and this was different.

You know what? I think that they - the rich, the right, the Trumps and the blue dogs - have overplayed their hand. I think they think we're beat down, and today I really felt strongly that they're wrong. I'm seeing a lot of little things I've never seen before among liberals and center leftists, and I'm seeing a lot of move to the left. I really think there's blood in the water and all those rich rightists had better watch out - a change is gonna come, I am sure of it.
posted by Frowner at 8:03 PM on July 21 [115 favorites]


I say this everyday, and everyday I also say I won't say this again, but today was fuckin' bonkers.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:06 PM on July 21 [29 favorites]


the Trump of today is not the trump of fifteen years ago, in terms of his speech patterns.

Where the hell do people get this notion? I've been listening to the asshat bloviate for nearly 40 years, and he sounded the same then as he does now, with the added dismissiveness of 15 years' more unquestioned power and the sense that he's some sort of patriarch. He doesn't need to care any more, and he doesn't curry favor. But nothing about his speech is different.
posted by Miko at 8:14 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


I hope Mueller and his team have a fail-closed switch that dumps their case-to-date and evidence in full to the world if one of them doesn't complete a daily check-in. I fear they are doing things so by the book that tomorrow's clearly telegraphed Saturday Night Massacre will successfully nip their investigations in the bud, and that will be that.
posted by SakuraK at 8:14 PM on July 21 [10 favorites]


WAY outside the edit window but I need to broaden this
Watching Season 4 of Arrested Development. "This may be something more treason-adjacent."

"This is the story of one nation whose democratic republic of laws and society were ground to dust slowly and bloodily, and how one Pinnocchio President had to try to keep his grift together for the sake of the poor healthcare insurance companies, oil companies, banks, and his best buddy Vladimir."

Have we nothing on Pence yet?

posted by tilde at 8:16 PM on July 21


If only there was a former Republican Secretary of State who was an expert on Russia who could go to Capitol hill and knock some sense into a few key people. They could even send a memo: "Putin determined to strike in US"
posted by Room 641-A at 8:17 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Have we nothing on Pence yet?

There's always Mother in the Banana Stand!
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:18 PM on July 21 [17 favorites]


It's almost like he was trying to tell us that elected Democrats really need the political pressure of normal citizens calling them with their support and leftward pressure in order to have sufficient political capital to make effective change. Almost.

Almost. But not clear enough. Too wordy. Too calm. So easy to take as "okay, we can relax now; our guy's in charge". But things were so much more complicated and, ironically, needed to be more simplified to motivate the masses. If Obama had been more of a fire-breathing orator, he might have scared too many (white) people to get elected. But ironically, that fire-breathing was what he lacked, and needed, to build upon his personal victory. (And what made Keegan Michael-Kay's 'Obama's Anger Translator' the most perfect bit of satire of his presidency)
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:20 PM on July 21 [10 favorites]


I'm just woefully ignorant of the workings of journalism, clearly, but why does this stuff always come out eod Friday?

(Seriously, the best part of my week is always, always, a stress-inducing nightmare now.)
posted by greermahoney at 8:24 PM on July 21


why does this stuff always come out eod Friday?

It really didn't used to.. Friday was "Take out the trash day".. News dump day. The day you release things you want people to forget about.

Now? Now it's stuff you want to control the news cycle for the entire weekend.

Up is down.
Black is white.
Freedom is slavery.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:27 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Foundations of Geopolitics by Aleksandr Dugin

We're going right down the list, bullet point by bullet point
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:32 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


T International Realty LLC, TTT Consulting LLC and TTTT Venture LLC ... The lack of imagination and ability to look past themselves is staggering.

This is because they arrange their businesses as as collection of independent grifts. Donald has over 500 separate LLCs. Ivanka and Jared have dozens of LLCs. They have so many, they just run out of names.

This allows them to squeeze as many dollars as they can out of each grift and they don't care if the business fails, goes bankrupt, they get sued or their contractors go unpaid for services. They simply walk away and never look back, and legally can't be touched.

This is not the way "normal" billionaires arrange their business affairs. They may have some LLCs but not hundreds. This is the classic operating procedure for professional grifters.
posted by JackFlash at 8:35 PM on July 21 [54 favorites]


Have we nothing on Pence yet?

First, we're not going to know anything about what evidence Mueller has until he announces, at the end of the investigation.

Second, my Pence theory -- and I'm not a scholar -- is that the Pence-Flynn lie about Flynn's Turkey work was a harbinger, and put him (Pence) on the radar early on.
posted by rhizome at 8:38 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I can't believe this but, I'm so lost as to what happened today and in what order, I think I need to go back to the top of the thread and start over. Damn work, getting in the way of my mefi-reading.
posted by greermahoney at 8:51 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


STATUS REPORT
METHOD OF GOVERNMENT: FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY
JUDICIAL BRANCH STATUS: UNKNOWN
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH STATUS: UNKNOWN
EXECUTIVE BRANCH STATUS: SOME DICKHOLE
THE FOURTH ESTATE FT SPECIAL COUNSEL MUELLER: ONLINE
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:55 PM on July 21 [20 favorites]


I can't believe this but, I'm so lost as to what happened today

Lunch is no longer Spicey. It's now a Bacon Cheeseburger.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:55 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


So the opposite of Luther the Anger Translator this administration is Maggie Haberman. Great.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:58 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


The people replying to @Scaramucci 's old tweets are doing the lord's work.
posted by chaoticgood at 8:59 PM on July 21 [35 favorites]


Biff Tannen has dumped the Nerd Henchman and hired the Jock Henchman
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:00 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday is a good way to get caught up, though if I had to to pick just one story from today that concerns me the most for the long-term, it's actually the one about Trump doing an end run around the State Department to kill the Iran nuclear deal. The whole point of the deal is that the State Department is supposed to be certifying Iran's compliance with the conditions. Ordering White House officials to come up with a reason Iran isn't complying feels an awful lot like ordering intelligence agencies to come up with reasons there are WMDs in Iraq.
posted by zachlipton at 9:05 PM on July 21 [67 favorites]


I've been stewing in my rage today trying to figure out what would piss off Trump voters the most in 2020. I think I have it.

Keith Ellison / Laverne Cox 2020.

Let's make it happen.
posted by Justinian at 9:11 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


> I've been stewing in my rage today trying to figure out what would piss off Trump voters the most in 2020. I think I have it.

Keith Ellison / Laverne Cox 2020.


That's quite good, but to avoid confusion, I would list the President's name first.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:15 PM on July 21 [47 favorites]


Something I don't understand. Sessions would totally fire Mueller, right? He's recused himself, sure, but when do consequences matter. What if he does it to get back in Trump's good graces. Session says whoops needed to be done. Trump says hey it was that guy, not me, let's move on. Republicans are vaguely concerned. We are outraged. Another week passes.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 9:16 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


omg I just came across this Spicer! related comment in an old thread, posted right after the covfefe (what is this red underline, how has this very real word not been added to Chrome's dictionary yet) tweet:
If he doesn't delete this soon, tomorrow we'll have to hear Spicer angrily lecturing the gaggle about how they should let the tweet speak for itself, and why aren't they covering the nation's very serious covfefe problem.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:35 AM on May 31
and thought about how what Spicer! actually said in reality was WORSE.
posted by lalex at 9:23 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


the Trump of today is not the trump of fifteen years ago, in terms of his speech patterns.

Where the hell do people get this notion? I've been listening to the asshat bloviate for nearly 40 years, and he sounded the same then as he does now


I mean, as someone who was trained to spot this stuff professionally, if you can't see a difference I have to ask what you think speech patterns means. Because from what I can tell there's a marked difference in number of different words used, length and complexity of words used, ability to complete a sentence, grammatical structure, topic shifts...

But don't take my word for it. STAT therefore asked experts in neurolinguistics and cognitive assessment, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists, to compare Trump’s speech from decades ago to that in 2017; they all agreed there had been a deterioration, and some said it could reflect changes in the health of Trump’s brain.
posted by threeturtles at 9:25 PM on July 21 [62 favorites]


Ugh. I hate to rain on the mockery parade, but please think about maybe not making fun of people's names? Not because these people aren't complete asshats who entirely deserve all the derision we can muster, but because it normalizes making fun of unusual or foreign-sounding names, which is unfair to all the lovely non-asshats not ruining our country who have unusual or foreign-sounding names. It's an othering technique I cringe to see us continue in our wonderful community. Pretty please?
posted by greermahoney at 10:01 PM on July 21 [39 favorites]


Thank you, zachlipton. That story was the one I'd given the least time to, so thanks for pointing out its importance.
posted by greermahoney at 10:03 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


today is so fucked up that both Talking Points Memo and whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday are completely full of the day's events and neither of them has yet said a peep about the Sessions bombshell
posted by murphy slaw at 10:27 PM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Trump personally scuttling the Iran nuclear deal tells me he's either faking the dementia and is an active agent against US interests, or (more likely) he's long gone and someone has their hand so far up his ass they can operate his mouth like a puppet. Who has that level of access to Trump and a vested personal or financial interest in sabotaging US interests? The list is long, Republican, and undistinguished.
posted by SakuraK at 10:28 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


It's been pretty clear for some time that Trump really doesn't have an agenda and is just fulfilling wishes of his circle of deplorables. A lot of what he does is driven by Bannon, some by Putin or his minions, and some by his various evil cabinet. He just reacts to the last person he listens to.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:36 PM on July 21 [13 favorites]


I bet there's just a 'record' button in Trump's right wrist. Putin "shakes hands" and then gives his orders for an hour. When Trump gets home, his Russian handler(s) debrief him by pressing the wrist button again and Putin's voice issues forth from Trump's butthole. And thus is US foreign policy born. And so is Trump's infantile fascination with shaking men's hands.
posted by SakuraK at 10:55 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Eww

why does it have to be the butthole
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:29 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


With 2nd/3rd Generation Rich Guys like The Donald, it's ALWAYS the butthole.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:33 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Heh, Adam Schiff is trying to overturn Citizen's United again. I like that guy. He's tenacious.
posted by xyzzy at 11:36 PM on July 21 [35 favorites]


why does it have to be the butthole
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:29 PM on July 21 [1 favorite +] [!]


I'm sorry it's just the acoustics couldn't find a more resonant chamber
posted by SakuraK at 11:47 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


...some day all this is going to make for a hell of a chapter. Sitting in it is fucking crazy though.

More than anything I want one clear voice to guide us to the way out.

Sessions' meeting has made the German media now and denying Russian involvement seems more and more and more untenable - yet I'm sure they'll try... and throughout if just one voice could consistently find purchase and say, aloud, "this ain't right..." maybe we'd finally start swaying people back to the land of rational thinking
posted by From Bklyn at 12:17 AM on July 22 [1 favorite]




Which actor does Anthony Scaramucci resemble?

Now I've never seen the Mooch in full motion, but to me the answer is obvious.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:34 AM on July 22


Elections have consequences: tens of thousands gathered for a candle-lit vigil against the Polish government's judiciary "reform" (read: undermining) bill, as the Senate passed its reading and sent the bill to the President for signing into law. According to a TV poll, 55% supports President Duda vetoing the bill, while 29% supports its enactment. The President is expected to toe the party line.
"The United States, Poland's most important ally in NATO, issued a statement urging Poland to ensure any changes respect the constitution."
[dry_cough.gif]
posted by