"Are my methods unsound?" "I don't see any method at all, sir."
July 25, 2017 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Pence Breaks Tie as Senate Votes to Begin Debating Obamacare Repeal

Here's a summary (single Pod Save America FB link) of what comes next (basically, 20 hours of debate, during which amendments can be proposed. First vote is repeal and delay for Rand Paul. Won't pass. Second vote will be on BCRA, with $100bn extra for Portman. Likely won't pass. Anything beyond that is anyone's guess, though the Senate Parliamentarian isn't making things easy for them).
Helpful summary on all the GOP healthcare bills.
(twitter thread explainer on "motion to proceed")
John McCain Is the Perfect American Lie

In other news:
Trump is ripping Jeff Sessions a new one, but won't say if he'll fire him.
Jeff "i'm just here for the racism" Sessions not only refuses to quit but decides to double down on hurting people with civil asset forfeiture and a crackdown on sanctuary cities.
Trump gave a batshit speech to the Boy Scouts last night where he bragged about his electoral victory and attacked Hillary and Obama.

Over to Russia:
Kushner: “All of my actions were proper.” "Nothing to hide." lol
Despite this, Ivanka lawyering up.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is dropping Manafort's subpoena after he met with the Senate Intel Committee behind closed doors.
A little good news though: The house has overwhelmingly passed a Russia sanctions bill which gives Congress the power to block any effort by the White House to weaken sanctions on Russia. It now goes back to the Senate, where it will probably pass, before going to Trump to either sign or veto.
Oh yeah, Spicey has resigned because he hates the new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who has said he's going to deal with leaks by "firing everybody".

Special thanks to WTF Just Happened Today for many of the links, and also to kirkaracha for supplying the Apocalypse Now quote I used for the title in the last thread.
posted by triggerfinger (2935 comments total) 123 users marked this as a favorite
 


These threads are just about the only thing keeping me sane. Thank you from the bottom of my pointy little heart.
posted by piglord at 5:54 PM on July 25 [40 favorites]


Well done, triggerfinger, and thank you.
posted by spitbull at 5:56 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]




Bernie fucking Sanders was on CNN just now doing the praising McCain thing - it's a fucking sickness.
posted by Artw at 5:58 PM on July 25 [55 favorites]


When the Republicans meet their maker they will be asked what they did that his only Son, who He sent down to Earth to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, asked of them.

When he shows them the deliberate murder of hundreds of thousands they will be found wanting.

They better hope that said maker is a myth because vengeance will be his and he assures us that he will repay.
posted by Talez at 5:59 PM on July 25 [20 favorites]


Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals

Alternate headline: TRUMP INDEPENDENTLY REDISCOVERS THE CONCEPT OF COLONIALISM, THINKS HE'S BRILLIANT.
posted by yasaman at 6:00 PM on July 25 [120 favorites]


They're good rocks, Dan.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:01 PM on July 25 [37 favorites]


Everyone is giving McCain shit for voting for the motion to proceed, but he seems 100% positive that the debate is going to be a dumpster fire and nothing will pass.

I think there's an argument to be made for putting this thing out of its misery once and for all, and you're only going to do that by having an actual vote.
posted by empath at 6:03 PM on July 25 [10 favorites]


empath, where are you seeing that?
posted by spitbull at 6:05 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


he seems 100% positive that the debate is going to be a dumpster fire and nothing will pass.

That's McCainian for "I'm voting for this."
posted by Rykey at 6:06 PM on July 25 [126 favorites]


What happens right now? The Senate votes on a new version of the BCRA sometime in a half hour or so. They've made a bunch of significant changes, which nobody has read or analyzed because who knew this could be so complicated? There's some confusion, but there's a belief that it may require 60 votes because they haven't stripped the Byrdable stuff out nor have the amendments been scored, but nobody quite knows what shenanigans they're going to pull. Assuming that fails, onward to more amendments. Vox's flowchart is a good guide to the upcoming process.

Anyway, two folks spitting fire:

The Washington Post Editorial Board points out that there are bigger problems here than whether Jeff Sessions gets to keep his job: This is not okay
WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a tweet Tuesday for not aggressively investigating Hillary Clinton, most attention focused, understandably, on the implications for Mr. Sessions. Yet even more alarming than the president’s assault on his own attorney general is Mr. Trump’s return to the “lock her up” theme of his 2016 campaign. We need to recall, once again, what it means to live under the rule of law. Since his inauguration six months ago, so many comparisons have been made to “banana republics” that it is almost unfair to bananas. But there is a serious point to be made about the difference between the United States of America and a state ruled by personal whim.
Jack Shafer: I’d Like to Report a Scam Against the Elderly: "Fox News has been conning older viewers for two decades. Now, it’s ensnared a president."
The Ailes demographic wants to be told that the world is going to hell, a message that harmonizes with the declining status and health many of them experience. The Ailes demographic wants simple and reductionist viewpoints on America’s cultural and policy dilemmas—from crime to immigration to taxes to war and trade. The Ailes demographic seeks the restoration of the social mores it remembers from its youth, and if the past can’t be restored it wants modern mores castigated. And it wants to be frightened and outraged. Fox almost never disappoints them.

It was the network’s dumb luck that Trump aged into its core audience as he reached the White House. Like so many of his fellow senior citizens, Trump now spends his golden years huddled at the Fox hearth, shouting Amen as it voices his resentments and disappointments. Only the hearth is in the White House. As news, real and not, travels from Fox’s lips to Trump’s tweets, we have the chance to see media history in the making. Presidents have, from time-to-time courted publications to advance a White House agenda or steered the news by feeding tips to columnists and reporters, but never before has a president so consistently echoed an outlet’s message.
posted by zachlipton at 6:06 PM on July 25 [77 favorites]


Everyone is giving McCain shit for voting for the motion to proceed, but he seems 100% positive that the debate is going to be a dumpster fire and nothing will pass.

If McCain votes against it, I, friend, will eat my hat.
And apologize for doubting you.
Until then, I say "Bah!"
posted by greermahoney at 6:07 PM on July 25 [36 favorites]


I'm flashing back to what I thought on 11/9: "This is worse than 9/11. It sounds hyperbolic, but more people will die as a result of tonight. And it can't be blamed on just 19 people."

I guess in this case you can blame it on just 51.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:07 PM on July 25 [52 favorites]


I think there's an argument to be made for putting this thing out of its misery once and for all

Think we're going to need a serious change in the actual composition of Congress before "once and for all" is ever within reach. At the very least, we're going to need to get rid of McConnell.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:09 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


That's McCainian for "I'm voting for this."

Of course. He's voting for the process, the civility of having the debate even though the core idea is evil. Not cartoonishly. Not bad supervillian. Straight up fucking Satan whispering in their ear level of ignoring what JC taught us evil. The fact that the bill as written has you have to kill a few hundred thousand people over the next decade seems to be just incidental to him to the integrity of the Senatorial process.
posted by Talez at 6:09 PM on July 25 [12 favorites]


In case you missed lalex's comment last thread, the Dems have held New Hampshire Senate District 16. This is a crucial hold if the Dems are to flip the NH Senate in 2018.

Continuing the trend of Dems overperforming in these specials, Cavanaugh exceeded the '16 Dem by 8 points, and Clinton by 10 points.

Two more specials tonight, in MA and MS. Each should be an easy hold (D and R, respectively), but we shall see.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:10 PM on July 25 [30 favorites]


When did he start saying "hell" this much? This is a pretty profane speech

A not uncommon progression in senile dementia.
posted by JackFlash at 6:14 PM on July 25 [15 favorites]


"Hell" is a profanity babystep. He's using it to erode the norms of what he can and can't say in a stump speech until he gets to the holy grail of f-bombs and undisguised racial slurs.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:16 PM on July 25 [35 favorites]


If McCain votes against it, I, friend, will eat my hat.

Sorry friend, but the MeFi Parliamentarian has clearly ruled that you must decorate a cake with those words and eat that. Preferably carrot cake.
posted by notyou at 6:16 PM on July 25 [54 favorites]


Sorry friend, but the MeFi Parliamentarian has clearly ruled that you must decorate a cake with those words and eat that. Preferably carrot cake

Well, yes - but I was going to make it in the shape of a hat. I wasn't going to eat a real hat because I'm not crazy.
posted by greermahoney at 6:18 PM on July 25 [43 favorites]


In the wake of Kushner's second day of closed-door testimony, the one thing that's clear is that the June 16th meeting was KGB Tradecraft 101 in running an influence operation: How Jared Kushner Helped the Russians Get Inside Access to the Trump Campaign
Michael Hayden, the former head of the National Security Agency, told me that he was convinced the meeting was a classic “soft approach” by Russian intelligence. He cited a recent Washington Post article, by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, that argued that the meeting “is in line with what intelligence analysts would expect an overture in a Russian influence operation to look like,” and that it may have been the “green light Russia was looking for to launch a more aggressive phase of intervention in the U.S. election.”

Hayden told me, “My god, this is just such traditional tradecraft.” He said that he has talked to people in the intelligence community about Mowatt-Larssen’s theory and that “every case officer I’ve pushed on this” agreed with it. “This is how they do it.” {emphasis added}

Hayden explained that the Russians would have learned several things from the approach. “Would they take the meeting?” he said. “So, then you get the willingness. No. 2, would they report the meeting?” Hayden suggested that Russian intelligence was sophisticated enough to know whether the Trump campaign reported the meeting to the F.B.I., which it didn’t. So, while Kushner claimed that the meeting was irrelevant, from a Russian intelligence perspective it would have been seen as a clear signal. “At the end, they have established that these guys are willing,” Hayden said, pausing. “How do I put this? They did not reject a relationship.”
P.S. The new thread's title is giving me flashbacks to a comment of mine from last October.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:23 PM on July 25 [50 favorites]


he seems 100% positive that the debate is going to be a dumpster fire and nothing will pass.

I also am pretty sure the debate will be a dumpster fire and it will not pass, but I can't remember if I get delicious cake if I'm right or wrong and how I appease the talismanic gods to be right.
posted by corb at 6:23 PM on July 25 [8 favorites]


The 60 vote on BRCA + Cruz is happening now. Roll is being called.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:24 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Karzai gave the Lithium development to Japan, as I recall. Afghanistan has always been a source for Lapis Lazuli and many gems. Growing opium is a lot easier than mining, and low cost, high yield.
posted by Oyéah at 6:25 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals

yeah, the mineral is opium.
posted by sexyrobot at 6:25 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


I also am pretty sure the debate will be a dumpster fire and it will not pass, but I can't remember if I get delicious cake if I'm right or wrong and how I appease the talismanic gods to be right.
Just make and have a delicious cake either way

At this point it's at least something to look forward to
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:26 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


Regardless of what else happens, whatever they vote on will have been read. Because they are going to make the clerks read everything. Out loud. In full.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:26 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Growing opium is a lot easier than mining, and low cost, high yield.

And renewable.
posted by JackFlash at 6:26 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


This whole rigmarole is utterly infuriating as a nominal Anglican. I really don't like to get all preachy because the Old Testament has some really ugly shit in there and religious sectarianism is ugly but JC clearly gave us three things to do specific to today's vote:

1) Heal the sick:
Luke 9:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

9 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases,

2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Healing anyone who needs it is right up there with spreading the fucking gospel. You got that? You spread the gospel you help sick people get better. JC said so. Right there.

2) Help the poor:
Mark 10:21-22 New International Version (NIV)

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
We're not even asking for them to sell everything they have. Just a fucking pittance of investment profits.

3) Pay your god damn taxes:
Mark 12:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.
Render unto Caesar. Pay your taxes.

Party of God, Jesus, and Christianity my fucking ass. These people were dragged up to that high mountain, promised all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor and they couldn't get on their knees fast enough to worship the devil.

Even if I wanted to say the Lord's Prayer again I couldn't because there's a line in there:

"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Should I say that line any $deity that does exist would only ever exhibit contempt towards me because I cannot forgive what these people are doing, their sheer naked betrayal of the things JC taught us, and the nerve to try and claim His name in performing these evil acts.

God have mercy on their souls because I sure as hell wouldn't.
posted by Talez at 6:29 PM on July 25 [144 favorites]


People are going to have to pick one, here. Either McCain is sick enough that we should be 'respectful' and stop calling him a spineless republican turd, or he is well enough to bloviate around the Senate about his own strict jelly-like principles and how they justify voting to move ahead with destroying healthcare.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 6:30 PM on July 25 [22 favorites]


Two short things before I have to go back to work:

1. How can Jared Kushner's line actually be, "I didn't collude, I was just too stupid to notice it was happening across a conference room table from me?" Like, that's not actually better, brah.

2. Senate Republicans are craven immoral cowards (Sens Murkowski and Collins excepted).
posted by Snarl Furillo at 6:33 PM on July 25 [8 favorites]


I also am pretty sure the debate will be a dumpster fire and it will not pass, but I can't remember if I get delicious cake if I'm right or wrong

You eat cake if you're wrong. You're supposed to put your words on it first.
posted by diogenes at 6:33 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


The 60 vote on BRCA + Cruz is happening now. Roll is being called.

Well, here I am watching C-SPAN at work for the first time ever. Norms are well and gone.
posted by greermahoney at 6:34 PM on July 25 [14 favorites]


Senate Republicans are craven immoral cowards (Sens Murkowski and Collins excepted).

Murkowski and Collins don't get bravery badges for using the two available "No" votes. Save your respect for when and if they make a vote without McConnel's permission.
posted by diogenes at 6:35 PM on July 25 [50 favorites]


God have mercy on their souls because I sure as hell wouldn't.

Lyle Lovett has a wonderful song called "God Will," the chorus of which goes, referring to forgiveness, "God does, but I don't/God will, but I won't/and I guess that's the difference/between God and me." (superb live version)
posted by spitbull at 6:35 PM on July 25 [18 favorites]


MOTION FAILS
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:35 PM on July 25 [10 favorites]


Hey, remember how McCain gave that fiery speech where he said he was opposed to the bill but would vote to proceed anyway? Turns out he wasn't so opposed after all; he just voted to waive the Budget Act for BCRA 3.0. What a joke.

This isn't passing, as it requires 60 votes, but yeah, the handful of people who somehow still believed he meant a word of that speech should reconsider.
posted by zachlipton at 6:35 PM on July 25 [48 favorites]


No surprise. The only way they're getting 60 votes is if they have someone's kids.
posted by corb at 6:36 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Special election update #2: The Dems have held Massachusetts Senate 4th Middlesex. Not a surprise, as there was no GOP opposition. Final numbers in a bit (MA's election website is not the Platonic ideal).
posted by Chrysostom at 6:36 PM on July 25 [17 favorites]


According to the Vox flowchart, ORRA (repeal) comes before BCRA (repeal and replace) in the voting order. But this article in The Hill says:
Repeal and replace is being offered as a "secondary amendment" to an amendment on the 2015 repeal bill. Under Senate procedure, lawmakers need to vote on the repeal-and-replace proposal first, before then voting on the repeal-only amendment.
So is the latter what's actually happening? They seem to be doing BCRA(+Cruz) first, and then presumably ORRA? And then we go to the vote-a-rama, where virtually everything is voted down except for some sort of "skinny" bill that clears the reconciliation (deficit-lowering) criterion? And given that, does anyone know how the vote-a-rama will be ordered? Will the "skinny" option come last, after perhaps dozens of other amendments have been shot down? Does any known amendment from R or D have a chance of sticking?
posted by chortly at 6:37 PM on July 25


Why the fuck is anyone giving John Fucking McCain the tiniest fucking shred of a benefit of a doubt at this point?

Just ... stop.

Stop.
posted by tocts at 6:38 PM on July 25 [81 favorites]


This isn't passing, as it requires 60 votes, but yeah, the handful of people who somehow still believed he meant a word of that speech should reconsider.

Surprisingly, the Crooked Media guys (Lovett and Favreau) were in the "maybe McCain really meant it" camp this afternoon, and were giving people a hard time about being cynical and skeptical about it. Nice hot takes guys!
posted by diogenes at 6:38 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


Here's the thing: McCain could have easily sat this one out. He just had frickin' brain surgery at age 80 (!) in a city two-and-a-half time zones away. No one could or would say one cross word about it. But no. That's not what he did. What he did was drag his post-operative ass 2,000 miles from Phoenix to DC just to make sure this shit-show proceeded as planned. Great work, buddy.
posted by mhum at 6:40 PM on July 25 [126 favorites]


Is this a good place to drop a line that the Texas Senate just passed a trans discrimination bill? It has to pass the house, which right now is looking highly unlikely, owing mostly to the Republican Houser Speaker, Joe Strauss, who is making his stance very clear on this issue that the bill will NOT make it to the house floor for a vote (if he has his way it will never leave committee). So here's hoping Strauss can keep the Texas GOP at bay :-(
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:42 PM on July 25 [52 favorites]


Literally the best one can hope for from McCain at this point is that he is intending to Darth Vader-style throw the emperor down a hole with his dying breaths, as he finally realizes that in order to put country before party, he has to occasionally not act in complete lockstep with his party
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:43 PM on July 25 [12 favorites]


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me eleventy billion times, shame on John McCain.

That said, we're at least seven Republican votes down on BCRA 3.0 (Heller, Collins, Corker, Graham, Pual, Moran, Murkowski), which gives you a pretty good idea why we didn't just have a straight vote on it.
posted by zachlipton at 6:43 PM on July 25 [16 favorites]


I can't bring myself to favorite that, AC, but thanks for the update on its status.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:43 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing: McCain could have easily sat this one out. He just had frickin' brain surgery at age 80 (!) in a city two-and-a-half time zones away.

His passion for preening knows no bounds.
posted by diogenes at 6:44 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


2017: When we rely on Texas Republican legislative leaders to protect civil rights
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:44 PM on July 25 [10 favorites]


Graham and Corker...that's unexpected
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:48 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Can't get fooled again.

good times... so nice it was to have an only slightly malignant dofus president
posted by pjenks at 6:51 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


wait I"m sorry is this health care bill vote tomorrow?
posted by lalex at 6:53 PM on July 25


There is no way this process finds its way to 50 republican votes. It's not going to happen.
posted by empath at 6:56 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


When the Republicans meet their maker they will be asked what they did that his only Son, who He sent down to Earth to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, asked of them.

Do snarky MetaFilter comments count? I kinda went all in on those.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:57 PM on July 25 [8 favorites]


This weekend I finally got around to reading the big New Yorker article on Texas, which has a lot about Joe Strauss and the awful bathroom bill. Really interesting article, for anyone who hasn't read it.

Also, this is pretty awful: Tonight, the president told a graphic tale about sadistic illegal immigrants torturing beautiful teen girls:
posted by triggerfinger at 6:58 PM on July 25 [21 favorites]


Also, this is pretty awful: Tonight, the president told a graphic tale about sadistic illegal immigrants torturing beautiful teen girls:

I see in the comments people saying Trump probably just made it up, but I guarantee it's something he read on Breitbart or some other hate site. Probably half-remembered, but it's what fuels people like Trump.
posted by cell divide at 7:00 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


What the fuck do CNN keep Jeffery Lord around for? Surely they could just make a soundboard to do his job or something, it's so utterly rote. They think their going to catch him accidentally admitting something is batshit insane or something?
posted by Artw at 7:01 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


Just to be clear, there are going to be a lot of votes. They're all significant, but the only vote that actually counts is whatever McConnell drops at the very end of the vota-a-rama, which can wipe out everything and substitute it with whatever he wants. That's currently expected Friday, maybe, but the timing will depend on just how many amendments Democrats start offering and whether McConnell thinks he can pass anything at all.
posted by zachlipton at 7:01 PM on July 25 [23 favorites]


thank you zach! (may I call you "zach"? I feel like we've gotten pretty tight.)
posted by lalex at 7:03 PM on July 25 [14 favorites]


Do we know what the bribes and/or kompromat for the flipping R's are yet?

The thing about espionage is usually people who get caught at helping the adversary did it for so little.
posted by ctmf at 7:07 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Is there a link to anything about the votes to waive the Budget Act for BCRA?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:08 PM on July 25


There is no way this process finds its way to 50 republican votes. It's not going to happen.

I find your abundance of faith disturbing...
posted by XhaustedProphet at 7:08 PM on July 25 [32 favorites]


If McCain votes against it, I, friend, will eat my hat.

I will eat ten hats. I will wear a cake as a hat and then eat it. I will feed my own head to a cake-shaped carnivorous hat. I will do all of these things for that single shred of decency and sanity.
posted by Behemoth at 7:09 PM on July 25 [57 favorites]


There is no way this process finds its way to 50 republican votes. It's not going to happen.

They will. Watch them. The damage is done. The perception is there. The vulnerable Rs that wanted to avoid being labeled as murderers will now have to use some "I was for healthcare repeal before I was against it" bullshit to bamboozle the proles. McConnell at this point only need to vote-a-rama to settle some old debts and then send some zombie corpse of repeal to conference.

What comes out of conference will be truly horrifying. It cannot be filibustered and it will go straight to a floor vote in both houses. At that point we threaten Flake and Heller with a fury of a thousand suns (I intend to donate the full $2,700 to both their opponents in the midterms) and hope that Murkowski and Collins aren't going to flip for Flake and Heller.

If Collins flips on the final floor vote then in 2020 I will personally drive to Maine every weekend, doorknock against her, and I will loophole $5,400 into her opponent. I'm also going to send $2,700 to Gardner's opponent whoever they are.

I don't have unlimited resources to spend on quixotic Senate races but I'd love to send $2,700 to whoever goes up against Cruz if the polling looks good. This will not stand.
posted by Talez at 7:11 PM on July 25 [61 favorites]


Okay, the final in the Mass special is Dem 89.4%, Green-Rainbow 7.4%. No GOP opposition, so can't really draw direct conclusions (except insofar as no GOP candidate is something in itself).
posted by Chrysostom at 7:11 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Here's a link to Senate roll-call vote results. It's not updated live, but it's got the motion to proceed from this afternoon.

McConnell will have a big round-up manager's amendment at the end--but it'll need to come up with 50 votes, too.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:12 PM on July 25


Is there a link to anything about the votes to waive the Budget Act for BCRA?

Dylan Scott has you covered

thank you zach! (may I call you "zach"? I feel like we've gotten pretty tight.)

You can call me anything you'd like as long as you don't start a debate about gun control in my twitter mentions, because I think that finally, blessedly, just stopped.
posted by zachlipton at 7:12 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


And today I learned, after looking at that vote link, that there's an Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:15 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Also, this is pretty awful: Tonight, the president told a graphic tale about sadistic illegal immigrants torturing beautiful teen girls:

Also from Daniel Dale: Here's the transcript of Trump boasting about his election performance in the middle of a tribute to a military hero:
He served on the Tennessee for another four-and-a-half years, fighting in some of the greatest engagements in the Pacific Ocean.

After WW II, Bob and his wife Doris moved back to Ohio. Good choice, Bob. That is a good choice. I love this state. Remember at the beginning, they always said, there is no victory without Ohio. Right, Mr. Chairman? Boy, did we win Ohio, right? Remember? (Applause) And it wasn't like it was close. That was a -- that was a big one.
(Transcript of relevant section, a bit more of the speech at the tweet.)
posted by Room 641-A at 7:17 PM on July 25 [12 favorites]


Heller voted against BCRA with Cruz and the extra 200 billion put back into Medicaid. That's a good sign as it seems to be the "robust" repeal bill that was most likely to get his support. I think we're looking at Skinny Bill or nothing.
posted by Justinian at 7:19 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


(Note: Yes, it was a procedural vote and not a vote on the actual bill but if it fails the procedural vote it nevers comes to a full vote, so the BCRA vote was a proxy for the bill itself.)
posted by Justinian at 7:21 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]




Votes for the BCRA proxy: Capito and McCain. McCain claimed he opposed the bill not 6 hours ago. Fuck off, McCain.
posted by Justinian at 7:23 PM on July 25 [32 favorites]


Oh, it does come for a full vote but you need 60 votes to pass it now... I get it. *orders the Senate procedural book from Amazon*
posted by Justinian at 7:25 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Mr. Lipton if you're nasty.
posted by biogeo at 7:25 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


Heller's no vote is significant, but Capito voting for it is pretty significant too. If she bought into BCRA 3.0 on a meaningless symbolic vote, it seems pretty likely to me that she's up for voting for anything. I don't think we can count on her at all.
posted by zachlipton at 7:25 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


Also, this is pretty awful: Tonight, the president told a graphic tale about sadistic illegal immigrants torturing beautiful teen girls

I'm really hoping that someone out there is collecting soundbites like this, the pussy-grabbing one, the bleeding out of wherever... and is standing by ready to hack them onto the animatronic Trump at Disneyworld, if they ever actually build him.
posted by Mchelly at 7:26 PM on July 25 [12 favorites]


I agree, zach, Capito's YES vote was also significant. But we only need one of Heller or Capito.

I am in no way comfortable with a 1 vote margin on killing tens of thousands of people over the next decade.
posted by Justinian at 7:28 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


On the bright side McCain's immediate turnaround to vote for that shit comes soon enough for me to spit it at my deluded friends who still think he's "trying to kill it".
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:28 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


https://mobile.twitter.com/benwikler/status/890002518889115648
They're voting on BRCA tonight


Also from Ben Winkler:

And then remember—protests everywhere this Saturday. Find one or start one at (link: http://ourlivesontheline.org) ourlivesontheline.org. 14/
posted by Room 641-A at 7:29 PM on July 25 [11 favorites]


I am in no way comfortable with a 1 vote margin on killing tens of thousands of people over the next decade.

It's tens of thousands a year. Estimates for the decade run from low six figures to a quarter million.
posted by Talez at 7:30 PM on July 25 [26 favorites]


Just to be clear, there are going to be a lot of votes. They're all significant, but the only vote that actually counts is whatever McConnell drops at the very end of the vota-a-rama, which can wipe out everything and substitute it with whatever he wants.

The vote that actually counts comes after that and is the vote against the status quo. This is always the last (significant) vote.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:32 PM on July 25


No GOP opposition, so can't really draw direct conclusions (except insofar as no GOP candidate is something in itself).

If this were another state, that might be significant, but this is Massachusetts. Although there are actual Republican legislators (Worcester County is pretty pink these days, if not quite outright red), it's amazing how many seats basically go without a Republican candidate.
posted by adamg at 7:34 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Man, they'll change a font or some shit and McCain will jump right on board, toeing the party line as he has for 30 years, punctuated only by occasional hypocritical "maverick" grandstanding with zero substance behind it.

Very few senators have been as loyal to the GOP as McCain has, and that's that.

The Price of John McCain's Republican Loyalty
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:34 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


Oh, agreed in general. There hadn't been a GOP candidate in that district since 2012.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:35 PM on July 25


It's almost as if people can have multiple sides to their personalities. McCain can be a craven piece of trash who also happens to have a tragic cancer diagnosis and a history of being a big damn war hero. But let's be clear; actions are the only thing that matters, with the strongest weight given to recency. Voting for this garbage is a fitting epitaph for John McCain's career as a "maverick."

(Also, Bernie, stfu. You can just not lionize this asshole and just be quiet and respectful about his cancer diagnosis. That would be fine.)
posted by xyzzy at 7:36 PM on July 25 [32 favorites]



Tonight, the president told a graphic tale about sadistic illegal immigrants torturing beautiful teen girls


It's almost like he's completely batshit or something
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:37 PM on July 25 [15 favorites]


McCain flew 23 bombing missions; taking away your healthcare ain't shit to him.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:38 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]




Tonight, the president told a graphic tale about sadistic illegal immigrants torturing beautiful teen girls

It's almost like he's completely batshit or something

It's horrible, but my first thought was "I really didn't need to know how he jerks off."
posted by mrgoat at 7:40 PM on July 25 [14 favorites]


McCain flew 23 bombing missions; taking away your healthcare ain't shit to him.

John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Healthcare doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.
posted by Talez at 7:41 PM on July 25 [17 favorites]


Passage of the sanctions bill isn't "good news." It's going to lock in the sanctions, as well as US-Russia enmity, for a generation, like previous sanctions against Cuba and Iran (which, coincidently, are also being ratcheting up). Europe is now crafting legislative responses to protect the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from any impact of this legislation, and Russia is using the sanctions to develop domestic tech, manufacturing and agricultural production, as well as move even closer to China in military and economic realms. What good will expanding these sanctions and (effectively) making them permanent achieve?
posted by Auden at 7:41 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


It's almost like some people (on both sides?!) want the Cold War back.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:44 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


What good will expanding these sanctions and (effectively) making them permanent achieve?

It means Trump can't let Putin get away with his loot. Russia under Putin has not shown any sort of good faith to the West. There will be animosity and enmity, sanctions or not. When Putin is either deposed, buried, or decides to embrace the international community things can be revisited.
posted by Talez at 7:44 PM on July 25 [26 favorites]


In the year 2000, I was living in South Carolina. I voted in the Republican primaries that year, and cast exactly one vote, which was also the very first vote I ever cast for a Republican. I voted for John McCain over George W Bush in the primary because Bush ran a shocking, terrible, under-handed, racist campaign against McCain and I was so appalled that I wanted to do anything I could to help make sure he didn't get the nomination.

As history has proven, that was pointless.

I've voted for Republicans several times since, each time thinking that maybe this one would be different from all the others. Each time, without fail, I have been disappointed and ended up regretting it. But, for some reason, I never regretted that vote for McCain.

Today, the great American war hero John McCain rose up from his brain cancer deathbed, where he is receiving top notch medical care paid for by the American people, and voted in lock step with those who want to strip that very same health care from millions of Americans simply to provide a tax cut to the rich.

And tonight, for the first time, I regret that vote I cast a little over 17 years ago, as I do all the others.

Fuck John McCain. And fuck the whole Republican party.

That's all I'm saying tonight. All I have left after that is just sputtering, incoherent rage.
posted by jammer at 7:45 PM on July 25 [111 favorites]


Also, I still have my bet on a Trump controlled organization being the mysterious Rosneft minority owner.
posted by Talez at 7:46 PM on July 25 [20 favorites]


Matt Fuller, Senate whisperer, thinks they'll pass some sort of skinny repeal: Senate Republicans Vote Down BCRA, But Look Poised To Pass Something
But the GOP’s hopes of passing some bill ― any bill ― were alive and well Tuesday night, with a scaled-down version of repeal looking increasingly in good shape after leadership revealed their plan earlier in the day of passing a “skinny repeal” if lawmakers agreed to open debate.

At this point, the idea is for Republicans to just pass this smaller repeal ― which will likely get rid of the individual and employer mandates, as well as a medical devices tax ― and enter into a conference with the House so that Republicans can come up with some larger repeal-and-replace measure later.

At least that’s how Republican leaders have articulated the plan.

There’s an incredible amount of uncertainty over the legislation, which hasn’t technically even been written, and there’s a fair amount of bad faith. Senate Republican leaders kept their members, Senate Democrats, and the public in the dark about their plan to vote on a smaller version of repeal for weeks. There’s little reason to believe Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) isn’t working on alternative legislation now in case the skinny repeal runs into trouble ― or, conversely, if he sensed that a bigger deal were within reach.

Asked why Republicans were doing this smaller bill Tuesday, Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) made it clear that leadership was largely making up the plan as they go.

“Who knows what the final bill will look like?” Cornyn said Tuesday. “I’d be happy to have a comprehensive bill that 50-plus senators agree to, but if we can’t, then the idea would be to come up with a core of pieces that 50 of us agree on so we can get to a conference.
Note that the only criteria is "50 of us agree," rather than anything resembling a policy or something that is good for the country.
posted by zachlipton at 7:50 PM on July 25 [24 favorites]


I don't have unlimited resources to spend on quixotic Senate races but I'd love to send $2,700 to whoever goes up against Cruz if the polling looks good. This will not stand.

Beto O'Rourke. Can't post links to his campaign site, I'm on my phone. I'm pretty enthusiastically on Team Beto though.
posted by scalefree at 7:52 PM on July 25 [14 favorites]


Scaramucci has done his homework about interpreting Trump.

That's kind of breathtakingly banally evil. Fucking people.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:54 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Passage of the sanctions bill isn't "good news." It's going to lock in the sanctions, as well as US-Russia enmity, for a generation

Putin has already baked this in for a generation, or at least until his death, with his elections hijinks.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:54 PM on July 25 [25 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Trump was talking about this MS13 murder from a couple weeks ago (cbs link). Still a disgusting thing to tar all immigrants with, but a version of it did apparently happen (though not sure of any of the peoples immigration status, not going down the Fox News hole to find out).
posted by gatorae at 7:55 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I'm getting really sick of being accused of McCarthyism or bringing back the "Cold War" just for having some legitimate critiques of The Russian government and their meddling in our election/horrific anti-gay shit/what they've done in Ukraine. For one thing it diminishes the real victims of McCarthy. Sanctions may or may not work, but the idea that we should just let Russia get away with what they have done to our democracy is henious.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:57 PM on July 25 [62 favorites]


Beto O'Rourke.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:57 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


McCain's doctor has told him to get plenty of rest unless he wants to stay up until 5am depriving Americans of affordable health care
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:58 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


I'm getting really sick of being accused of McCarthyism

McCarthyism was based on a clash of ideologies. Today's Russian president and today's American president have the same ideology.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:00 PM on July 25 [27 favorites]


I never thought I'd say something positive about Mitch McConnell but watching McCain today makes me appreciate somebody who will (metaphorically) stab you in the FRONT.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:00 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


I get that we need to do something about the Russian government, but I mean, I'm just wondering when we're going to learn that sanctions don't work unless they are nearly total in scope and participation, as they were against apartheid-era South Africa. Like we ought to have learned long after Iraq, sanctions don't hurt authoritarians; they embolden them, while hurting ordinary people trying to live their lives, which more often than not just rallies them behind the regime in their Us v Them narrative. I have friends and loved ones who are Russian, who are hurting badly because of these sanctions. Putin and co are not. What are average Russians to do, protest? We've all seen how that plays out. We need to strike back against foreign intervention, to be sure, but sanctions are effectively targeting civilians while the elite they're intended to hurt are able to spin them to shore up their power further.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:01 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


noted without comment:

Bloomberg: "Rick Perry Got Punked in a Fake Interview With Russian Pranksters"
Energy Secretary Rick Perry thought he was talking about cyberhacking and a biofuel breakthrough in a call with Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman. Alas, the 22-minute phone call was actually conducted with Russian pranksters.[...]

In it they pitched Perry on a new fuel made from alcohol and manure and discussed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, according to a recording posted online.

They also wondered if Ukraine could get a cut-rate deal on U.S. coal exports.

Maybe, Perry said.

“Negotiation is always possible,” he told them.
posted by lalex at 8:02 PM on July 25 [17 favorites]


The other option would appear to be military action against an aggressive nuclear power, Aya Hirano. What else is there besides economic or military leverage?
posted by Justinian at 8:02 PM on July 25 [8 favorites]


If Collins flips on the final floor vote then in 2020 I will personally drive to Maine every weekend, doorknock against her, and I will loophole $5,400 into her opponent.

You can stay at my house.
posted by anastasiav at 8:02 PM on July 25 [19 favorites]


My understanding is that the sanctions are targeted to make it harder for people to move lots of money out of Russia -- the sort of thing that would be of deep concern to ultra-wealthy oligarchs and not really an issue for ordinary Russian citizens.

I don't know a ton about the specifics though so I'm happy to be corrected if this is inaccurate.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:07 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


^^^ Or mine.
posted by virago at 8:07 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Some wise words on avoiding in-fighting and the urge to criticize people’s activism from the Lesbian Avengers and ACT UP activists.

“Lessons from the Last Fight” in Harper’s Magazine’s “Trump: A Resister’s Guide” 
One of ACT UP’s most important principles was simultaneity of action. ACT UP never worked by consensus, never demanded the full agreement of all its members for any individual action to go forward. If you wanted to get arrested doing needle exchange as a way of bringing attention to the necessity of clean-needle programs, you could do that. If someone else wanted to interrupt mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in order to protest the Catholic Church’s campaign to keep condoms out of public schools, she could do that. As long as the gestures were concrete, members didn’t try to stop one another from addressing the crisis however they felt was right.

The Lesbian Avengers were equally focused on doing. The group aimed to empower a constituency who had spent their lives being grossly disrespected by and excluded from social institutions — often including their own families. We needed guidelines that would help people emerge from a position in which the only power they had was the power to refuse and into a position of vision and agency. For example, one rule was “If you have an idea, you have to carry it out.” No one could passively sit back and say, “Someone should … ” Second was the principle “If you disagree with something, propose a better solution.” We understood that criticism alone was unhelpful. These organizational frameworks supported us in taking responsibility for ourselves and solving problems. Nothing increases panic in the middle of an emergency like theoretical discussion without application — it is both paralyzing and polarizing. When you act directly, the Avengers liked to say, the theory emerges.
So I’m trying to walk the walk and will be organizing resistance events that scritch my itch for relationship-building, media-takeovering, and analysis-deepening instead of complaining that other people are not being activists in the way I want them to. But it feels like our 2017 go-to response to extra mega stinky shittiness has become “let’s hold a march! see you in the streets!” and I wish (suggest) that we also open up the repertoire of actions in our toolbox of outrage. I’ve been to three marches in 2017 and at least for me, their value as “omigod thank goodness there are a lot of people just as pissed as me and I really needed to be in this crowd and not endlessly reading MeFi at home” was really important. But as a community organizing strategy, a protest march has limited utility.
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:08 PM on July 25 [60 favorites]


What good will expanding these sanctions and (effectively) making them permanent achieve?

It's a step toward recognizing that we are back to another Cold War and treating it as such, as we should. Far as I'm concerned it doesn't go far enough, but it's a strike against both Putin and his puppet in the White House. If Republicans in Congress can recognize this is where we are, that doesn't fix the health care horror show or any of the other dumpster fires, but it puts them all on the right side of something, and that's better than nothing.

At this point, coming out of this mess will be something as momentous as the end of the first cold war. If the sanctions stay in place until then, so be it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:09 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


On preview:

Meant as follow-up to anastasiav's comment "You can stay at my house."
posted by virago at 8:09 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I'm starting to think Collins is solid No on anything. She's got her gubernatorial campaign to think of.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:13 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


You can stay at my house.

Thanks for the offers but I'm in Chelmsford MA right on the NH border. It's an hour and a half to Portland and less than an hour to Kittery. I'm close enough to leave 8am, come back 6pm.
posted by Talez at 8:14 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


It's almost like some people (on both sides?!) want the Cold War back.

It's almost like the far left wants to downplay the Russian influence on our election. The same way the far left has wanted to downplay Russian interference since the day the first Wikileaks email was released.

I don't 'want' the Cold War back. But -- if we define the Cold War as hostilities between the United States and Russia -- it *is* back. The Russians may very well have thrown the presidential election. There's serious circumstantial evidence that they have dirt on pretty much every Republican bigwig in our country. If you're calling for pacifism on ideological grounds, then go ahead and say that, but don't accuse those of us who want to see repercussion for hostilities against the heart of American democracy of somehow being warmongering McCarthyites.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:21 PM on July 25 [73 favorites]


This whole "skinny repeal" horseshit is sickening. By repealing the individual and employer mandates, they guarantee Obamacare fails.

They're basically saying that the GOP is incapable of passing anything better than the ACA, so the only recourse is to destroy it so that whatever they do in the future will look better, in comparison. They are counting on the country being willing to swallow whatever shit they serve up once we are all wretchedly sitting amidst the twisted wreckage of a sabotaged national health care program.

Also, fuck John McCain. I'm a cancer survivor, too, but you don't see me going around and voting to kick 30 million people off of their health care.
posted by darkstar at 8:22 PM on July 25 [74 favorites]


I've been thinking a lot about what a farce this entire health care bill thing is. I think what's most interesting about this whole debacle with the Republicans and health care is it's become a metaphor of sorts for the party itself: no one really knows what they're doing, because no one trusts each other enough to give them all the information they need, and so they sort of blindly stumble along, occasionally walking right into one another and tripping over chairs, and when the gavel falls they couldn't get their shit together enough to get anything done.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:23 PM on July 25 [8 favorites]


Yep, it's almost as if gaining office by pandering to a core of supporters who hate and mistrust government is destined to lead to seriously dysfunctional governance.
posted by darkstar at 8:26 PM on July 25 [26 favorites]


The clips of them celebrating their "win" are going to be sickening. Put John right up front, so he can die ashamed.
posted by ctmf at 8:27 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


The Ailes demographic wants to be told that the world is going to hell

The polar regions are melting and the United States is in full-on "decline of the Roman Empire" mode. At 500 days shy of 50, I'm not quite in the Ailes demographic but I'm pretty sure the world is going to hell.
posted by Slothrup at 8:28 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Jon Favreau‏ @jonfavs
Heller was a no until billionaire casino magnate Steve Wynn threatened him almost daily. What a sad, perfect example of money in politics.


Citizens United will one day go down in the history books with Dred Scott and McCleskey as one of the worst decisions SCOTUS ever made.
posted by Talez at 8:31 PM on July 25 [120 favorites]


From the link to the M13 murder as described by CBS: no girls (1 victim), no torture mentioned (but stabbed 13 times, probably related to the gang name M13) and no mention of illegal alien status. So, just a horrific gang murder.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:31 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


It's almost like some people (on both sides?!) want the Cold War back.

CNN: Videos suggest Russian government may be arming Taliban. (Note: "may" and "suggest" is typical headline language. The report is far more damning than that.)

CNBC: North Korea threatens 'merciless blow' to US as data shows Moscow aiding regime. As for Russia, some experts believe Moscow's economic support for North Korea is likely to continue as Russian President Vladimir Putin uses it as leverage to squeeze concessions from Washington on Ukraine, Syria and other hot spots.

You also see Ukraine. And Russian meddling in France's elections. And the horror show in Syria. And, oh yeah, here.

I don't "want" the Cold War back. I was a teen when it ended. But reality is reality, and I want people to recognize reality. I don't want the Cold War back, but it is already fucking here.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:31 PM on July 25 [65 favorites]


The sad part is Heller is so fucking stupid and spineless he doesn't even realize that Wynn can't protect him. The only strategy for Republicans to keep a tenuous hold over Nevada is to ditch Heller and run someone that didn't vote to murder a couple hundred thousand Americans.
posted by Talez at 8:32 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


So. If both of your senators are Democrats and you can't protest because you're suffering from the effects of too much thyroid replacement hormone, what are your options for the moment? The only person I know in government is in a firmly non-political position and my Republican MoC just got a cookie from me for voting no on a vile bill that would reduce rights for transgender people.

Also, I must admit that I'm boiling with rage because the former AG who threatened to take away my driver's license because I was paying back my cancer surgery to the state hospital too slowly just took a job in the Trump administration.
posted by xyzzy at 8:37 PM on July 25 [10 favorites]


Can anyone verify that this is the actual Rick Perry prank call recording?
posted by christopherious at 8:39 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I don't "want" the Cold War back. I was a teen when it ended. But reality is reality, and I want people to recognize reality. I don't want the Cold War back, but it is already fucking here.

The Cold War never ended, really, and it started long before the October Revolution. We're now living in an age where history is fairly transparent with regards to the things the US and Russia have done and are doing to one another, more often than not by proxy, at the cost of the lives of innocent people whose only crime was being born in one country or the other. We can continue that vicious cycle or we can end it. Personally, I'd rather we chose the latter. The Putin regime needs to end, but we'd be doing ourselves a great disservice if we didn't acknowledge that our old methods of retaliation by proxy fighting and economic pressures on civilians just isn't working at anything but miring us deeper.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:39 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


So. If both of your senators are Democrats and you can't protest because you're suffering from the effects of too much thyroid replacement hormone, what are your options for the moment?

Rest. There's not a lot we can do right now. There's two big votes left. The first is once the vote-o-rama finishes and McConnell tries to finagle his zombie corpse of repeal through the Senate. That will be a big call your Senator. Then the bill will be kicked to conference to have a backroom deal sorted out. Once it comes out of conference the shit really hits the fan. Speed dial your R MoC 24/7 because it'll go to a vote in both the House and the Senate.
posted by Talez at 8:42 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


In the final special election of the day, the GOP holds Mississippi House 108. Special in MS are technically non-partisan, but the clear Dem lost to two GOP candidates, 51-30-19. Last election for this district had been GOP 77-23.

Overall, good day for the Dems on the specials front. Two as expected in MA and MS, and one critical hold in NH. Next specials are in two weeks on Aug 8.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:43 PM on July 25 [15 favorites]


Ok but I'm pretty sure this latest round of sanctions is targeting the oligarchs and not the "innocent people". Making it more difficult for the super rich to move money around isn't targeting the little people.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:44 PM on July 25 [11 favorites]




In the last thread I wrote:
State Senate special election update: Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh has retained NH-8 for the Ds with 54.7% of the vote vs 44% for the Republican candidate (all precincts reporting).

In 2016 Clinton won the district by 0.3%, and (now deceased) Democratic State Senator Scott McGilvray won the district by 2%.
and now I see Manchester station WMUR calling it an upset:
The win was viewed as an upset because registration figures show 35 percent of the district’s voters are Republicans and 29 percent are Democrats, with undeclared voters the largest segment, at 36 percent. In addition, Boutin had held the seat from 2010 through 2016 and was better-known district-wide than Cavanaugh. [...]

Democrats credited Cavanaugh's win to an outpouring of enthusiasm from voters frustrated by the GOP legislative and congressional majorities at the State House and on Capitol Hill.

"This loss is a stunning repudiation of the reckless Trump-Sununu agenda," said state Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley. "It should serve as a huge wake-up call to New Hampshire Republicans, Governor (Chris) Sununu, and Mayor (Ted) Gatsas. They poured everything they had into this race and still came up short.
I hadn't realized that Boutin had previously held the seat.
posted by lalex at 8:50 PM on July 25 [10 favorites]


I. Will. Not. Vote. For. This. Bill. As. It. Is. Today.

THAT'S people's evidence McCain will be a no? NOBODY will be voting for the bill as it is today, because it's going to be morphed beyond recognition through the amendment process.

I mean, be an asshole if you must, McCain, but don't take us for being too stupid to see how disingenuous such a statement is.
posted by Rykey at 8:55 PM on July 25 [20 favorites]


Some suggestions on what to do if you have 2 Dem senators (me too!)

- Find out what healthcare bills were introduced at the state legislature and find out what advocacy groups are active at the state level (Here’s one on reproductive health privacy)

- Hold a public talk (panel discussion?) with the county health commissioner, a local doctor, health care activists. I bet public health students and faculty at the closest state university have been strategizing over the summer too. Invite the media.
- Hold a fundraiser for the local community health clinic that provides free or low-cost services to the uninsured and undocumented.

- Identify resources for health care education and advocacy at the state and county level. The Health subsection of the National Conference of State Legislatures is a good place to start researching what are major trends.
“Health costs account for about one-third of state budgets, ranging from financing Medicaid, to paying for state employees and other populations, such as prisoners. State legislatures make thousands of health policy decisions each year, including improving access to appropriate care, determining who should be immunized, licensing health professionals and facilities, and supporting or rejecting initiatives to keep people healthy.”

"The Health Innovations Database" online covers what state legislatures are enacting that changes Medicaid, private and commercial health insurance, access, health exchanges and other state action on health reforms. NCSL identifies more than 950 recently enacted laws and resolutions from 2015-17 in all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. 
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:59 PM on July 25 [17 favorites]


The Cold War never ended, really, and it started long before the October Revolution.

In 1918, during the Russian Civil War and before the end of World War I, the United States sent 13,000 troops to support anti-Bolshevik White forces in Russia. (Other allied countries including Estonia, Greece, and Japan also sent troops.)
posted by kirkaracha at 9:00 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


omg master troll Pete Souza strikes yet again.
posted by lalex at 9:02 PM on July 25 [33 favorites]


I guess I picked a good time to take a family vacation. After a blissful few days with only peripheral awareness of politics, I decided to take a quick peek at the last thread - and now, two hours later, I realize that I was showing my kids the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill at maybe the very moment that these assholes were in there, voting for "a win", without even knowing what that means.

For shame.

I've had a low opinion of John McCain from way back when he made that low-class nasty "joke" about Chelsea Clinton - the Sarah Palin selection was really no surprise to me after that peek into his character - but I'm still gob-smacked by his hypocrisy here, being treated for cancer on his government health insurance and showboating his complaints about the process by which this bill is being pushed through while voting in favor where it counts.

For fucking shame.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:05 PM on July 25 [16 favorites]


Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals

"What? Do you wanna see if I've got the minerals?"
posted by kirkaracha at 9:08 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Scaramucci: " I've seen [Trump] at Madison Square Garden with a top coat on, he's standing in the key and he's hitting foul shots and swishing them."

Ooh swishing a foul shot! Is that good basketballing?
Barack Obama drains 3-point jumper on first try in Kuwait

Also, that's some bullshit, Mooch.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:14 PM on July 25 [14 favorites]


Yeah but can he shoot 38 under par?
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:22 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


I. Will. Not. Vote. For. This. Bill. As. It. Is. Today.

So they'll re-paginate or some other trivial shit and he'll line up as he always has for whatever cruelty-based bullshit the GOP tosses his way, no matter what he's said about his "principles" or who's publicly humiliated him. Nothing new here--just McCain as usual.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:27 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe, with good reason. The President's ball game on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched Jared Kushner glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like 33,000 emails. Time to deny.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:29 PM on July 25 [42 favorites]


The text of Bill Browder's testimony has been released ahead of his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. It gives a background on the brutal death of Sergei Magnitsky, the genesis of the Magnitsky Act, and how it targets the finances of Putin and his cronies. It also draws a direct line from Putin's efforts to repeal the Magnitsky Act, plus the retaliatory adoption ban, to Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, two of the Russians in the Donald Jr meeting. Browder indicates they were working on behalf of the Kremlin in the US without registering under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

There's no fireworks, but important background to understand the motives and methods of the Kremlin.
posted by peeedro at 9:30 PM on July 25 [47 favorites]


We can continue that vicious cycle or we can end it. Personally, I'd rather we chose the latter.

I'd be more up for turning the other cheek if Putin didn't seem on the verge of indirectly killing several hundred thousand Americans over the next several years.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:32 PM on July 25 [11 favorites]


Scaramucci: " I've seen [Trump] at Madison Square Garden with a top coat on, he's standing in the key and he's hitting foul shots and swishing them."

Teachers in North Korea the USA have been issued with a manual that requires them to instruct their charges that Kim Jong-un Trump was a prodigy who could drive at the age of 3 and was winning yachting races at just 9.

Totally normal.
posted by gatorae at 9:32 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


Trump's policy agenda makes more sense when you realize he's the Protoss Overmind from Starcraft:

1. We require more minerals!
2. We require more [vespine] gas!
3. Spawn more overlords!
4. We require more energy!
5. Nuclear launch detected!
posted by absalom at 9:36 PM on July 25 [15 favorites]


"I've seen Trump at Yankee Stadium with a suit of full body armor on, he's standing on the pitcher's mound and he's throwing strikes at 95 mph."
posted by perhapses at 9:37 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


We must construct the most beautiful pylons, and the Terrans will pay for them, believe me.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:39 PM on July 25 [23 favorites]


No matter what he says in public, in venues great or small, John McCain will ALWAYS vote against anything labelled "Obamacare." Just look back and remember.
posted by twsf at 9:42 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Make Aiur Great Again!
posted by biogeo at 9:42 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


lalex: "and now I see Manchester station WMUR calling it an upset"

Yeah, with the caveat that the Dems held the seat, it's pretty upset-ish. It had long been held by Rs, just flipped to Ds in 2016 by a slim margin, and the old incumbent was running. That's a pretty good result.

If Dems can flip 3 seats in 2018, they'll retake the NH Senate, and break the GOP trifecta.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:45 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


I'd be more up for turning the other cheek if Putin didn't seem on the verge of indirectly killing several hundred thousand Americans over the next several years.

What?
posted by Auden at 9:46 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Scaramucci's fawning reminds me of Franz Liebkind in "The Producers": "Hitler, there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon! Two coats!"
posted by valetta at 9:51 PM on July 25 [10 favorites]


Saw a comment on the NYT: "When the Vietnamese released John McCain they knew exactly what they were doing."
posted by runcifex at 9:51 PM on July 25 [20 favorites]


What?

Tens of millions of people might lose their health insurance because Clinton isn't there to veto their horseshit, in some part thanks to Putin. If so, it's going to kill hundreds of thousands of those people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:52 PM on July 25 [35 favorites]


That's absurd.
posted by Auden at 9:53 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


How is that absurd? Putin ordered interference into the election, this interference led to Trump becoming POTUS, Trump is the major reason the ACA is under threat. If Clinton was POTUS any bullshit the GOP came up with to take it would be vetoed. There'd be plenty of grandstanding, but this was a car they never thought they'd catch until Trump's election handed it to them.
posted by schroedinger at 9:59 PM on July 25 [33 favorites]


gatorae, dances_with_sneetches: The story is one click further in from that one. It's this one, in Brentwood on Long Island. It's a spree of vendettas and retaliations, not necessarily gang-related, but brutal and fatal so far to 11 mostly juvenile victims. Several of the killings were carried out with machetes. Per the US Attorney on the case, 10 of 13 persons charged are both gang members and in the country illegally.

It's clearly being taken up as a cause celebre by the administration, despite the fact that criminal aliens were targeted in the tens of thousands under the Obama administration. There is also the rarely highlighted dynamic that the gang preys upon a community that if undocumented fears the police because of their immigration status, and has plenty to fear from police violence otherwise, on top of retaliation for police cooperation. It's unlikely this is the part of the community that 45 will want to show off as thanking him.

zarq wrote a bit about the situation in the last thread. At this point further discussion is probably a derail, unless he actually goes there.
posted by dhartung at 10:03 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


Scaramucci: " I've seen [Trump] at Madison Square Garden with a top coat on, he's standing in the key and he's hitting foul shots and swishing them."

If he's standing "in the key" he isn't shooting a foul shot, or else he's guilty of a violation and his shot is an automatic miss. /basketballpedant
posted by Lyme Drop at 10:06 PM on July 25 [14 favorites]


I have enough room on The List for both Trump Voters and Putin&Co! I suspect everyone else does as well.
posted by Justinian at 10:13 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


[Folks, if you need a refresher on what everyone here thought about the 2016 election, it's all preserved here in glorious blue and white. We don't need to have that identical conversation again.]
posted by restless_nomad at 10:19 PM on July 25 [37 favorites]


there you go
posted by lalex at 10:21 PM on July 25


Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who has said he's going to deal with leaks by "firing everybody".

Sir? Who are we firing?

posted by Naberius at 10:49 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


If he's standing "in the key" he isn't shooting a foul shot, or else he's guilty of a violation and his shot is an automatic miss. /basketballpedant
Dude drove a golf cart onto the green. I think it's pretty safe to say he isn't too concerned about following the rules or conventions of sports.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:24 PM on July 25 [12 favorites]


I think it's pretty safe to say he isn't too concerned about following the rules or conventions of much.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:36 PM on July 25 [10 favorites]


I think it's pretty safe to say that he is not even remotely aware that there are rules or conventions of any sort that someone might think would ever have applied to him.
posted by Archelaus at 11:48 PM on July 25 [36 favorites]


One could even say he's a Maverick(tm), or in non-Republicanspeak, an asshole.
posted by benzenedream at 12:21 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Protoss have neither an Overmind, nor do they need to spawn more Overlords...
posted by Windopaene at 12:49 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Protoss have neither an Overmind, nor do they need to spawn more Overlords...

On the one hand, I noticed that too. On the other hand, it's still an apt metaphor for 2017, as Trump is playing with a hacked copy of the game that's allowing access to normally impossible and game breaking combos.
posted by mordax at 2:02 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Trump is playing somebody else's saved games of Zelda and using all of their guardian arrows on clay pots.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:05 AM on July 26 [64 favorites]


Okay, I needed that laugh today. Thanks, Joey. :)
posted by mordax at 2:07 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Trump mains Hanzo :(
posted by Justinian at 2:09 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


Frank Bruni, NYTimes: Donald Trump’s Dominatrix
Many political observers have noted Trump’s hyperconsciousness of Barack Obama, who was also mentioned in those remarks to the boy scouts, which were so inappropriately political and self-centered that parents actually lodged complaints.

But Clinton is more precious to him. While he merely itches to erase Obama from the history books, he’s desperate to keep her at the center of every page. Beneath all of his braggadocio about the genius of his campaign strategy and the potency of his connection to blue-collar Americans, he knows that he made it to the White House largely because many voters didn’t want her there and he was Door No. 2.
posted by mumimor at 3:08 AM on July 26 [19 favorites]


Putin has got Americans killing each other for the cost of a few investments in subpar Trump businesses. Whatever people on this site may think, Putin does not consider the Cold War to be a lost cause.

I think that the sanctions do hurt normal Russian people - you make it harder to do business for the upper class, the upper class pass the pain down. Also, the counter-sanctions are making food more expensive, and they were sometimes perceived to be essentially more western sanctions in my experience (by which I mean, Putin banning European food was not something he did to Russians, it's something the West did to Russia). Does that mean they should be lifted? Maybe? I don't know. I think there are options beyond military force and economic sanctions, particularly online/information. The only problem there is, we don't want to escalate propaganda warfare because everyone's grip on reality is shaky enough as it is.

And of course, Putin is old and will die and that will cause all kinds of fun and games. Hopefully it will be long enough after Trump that America will have a coherent response.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 3:34 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


"Guess we're not looking so bad these days..."


-Hanoi Hilton Prison Guards
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:44 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


So Bruni's assessment of the situation is that Hillary has all the power in this situation? Or that Trump is topping from the bottom? Neither of those? Then he's an idiot. People need to stop using the word "dominatrix" as a titillating shortcut for "powerful woman." it's a bullshit, uninformed equivalence and does no justice to anyone.
posted by xyzzy at 3:55 AM on July 26 [61 favorites]


I think Bruni's point is that it is all in Trump's head.
posted by mumimor at 4:00 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


I'm so tired of this John McCain is a hero crap. If he was a hero then all the people who were in Vietnamese prisoner of war camps were heroes HOWEVER I NOTE that none of the other people who were in prisoner of war camps are currently trying to kill millions of their fellow Americans so in conclusion fuck John McCain and fuck the idea of him being a hero.
posted by winna at 4:25 AM on July 26 [59 favorites]


My dad was in a prisoner of war camp. I can confirm that he is not trying to kill millions of Americans, and that Winna speaks the truth.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:30 AM on July 26 [72 favorites]


mumimor's link reminds me of despots and warlords enjoy adversarial epithets as part of their public names. Africanus. Germanicus. Malleus Scotorum. Boulgaroktonos. Nevsky. Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa.

Trump wants to be remembered as the Conqueror of Clinton and Slayer of Liberal Tyranny. Authoritarian rulers require the subjects to remember their past humiliation and danger (real or framed), and how the Great Leader gloriously saved them from their nightmare.

If you don't obey your parents, Hillary Clinton will eat you at night!
posted by runcifex at 4:38 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Baba Clinton, in her pantsuit-legged hut.
posted by um at 4:42 AM on July 26 [76 favorites]


I mean, if Clinton can't be president then there's worse fates than passing into folklore as an iron-toothed forest demon whose very name causes men to piss themselves with fear.
posted by um at 4:51 AM on July 26 [53 favorites]


yeah, the mineral is opium.

This. The goal is keep people addicted to something. First it was TV. Then it was consumerism and its many subsets (food, fitness equipment, anything branded). Now it's smartphones.

It follows that poppies are the new golden egg laying goose, perpetuating the most heinous addiction of all.

Fuckers.

Oh, hey! I'm back from like a 2 week break from reality. I highly, highly recommend it, my dear friends.
posted by yoga at 4:54 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


Scaramucci: "Trump? He's the president that made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. Bigly."
posted by rc3spencer at 5:00 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Oh, hey! I'm back from like a 2 week break from reality.

O boy where to begin? Well, first off we're still at war with Eurasia, just as we've always been.
posted by um at 5:16 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]




he knows that he made it to the White House largely because many voters didn’t want her there and he was Door No. 2

But many, many more voters--3 million of them!--did want her there.

Trump is a No. 2 though.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:24 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


From the Japan Times: Recent letters reveal that suspect in mass murder of 19 mentally disabled residents was influenced by the campaign speeches of Trump.
In an exchange of letters with Jiji Press, Satoshi Uematsu, 27, confesses that he “strongly felt” Trump was “talking about truth” when he reportedly said in a speech that there were many unhappy people in the world.

“I wished that I could change the world, where unhappiness is everywhere,” Uematsu said at the beginning of his first letter, while noting that severely disabled people “steal others’ happiness and spread unhappiness.”

“Many people are pressed with burdensome work of caring for (disabled people),” Uematsu said. “I don’t believe we can increase happiness by saving lives unconditionally.”. . .

In the pre-dawn hours of July 26, 2016, Uematsu broke into the care center armed with five knives. After tying up the staff, he killed 19 residents between the ages of 19 and 70 and wounded 26 others, including two of the workers.

posted by Gordion Knott at 5:53 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


@Donald Trump The crowd in Ohio was amazing last night - broke all records. We all had a great time in a great State. Will be back soon!

I was wondering about the crowd numbers. Has anyone seen any figures?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:04 AM on July 26



Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star said max capacity was 7000. It was pretty full. They had big screens set up outside for overflow and Trump supporters are saying thousands outside but pictures of the screens with the rally on so far are showing 0.

His tweet is all bullshit.
posted by Jalliah at 6:08 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Is he talking about the record for campaign rallies held 3 years from the vote, or the record for fascist pep rallies in the US?
posted by diogenes at 6:13 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


McCain gives me the creeps. I work with disabled veterans, and while I know that there are people who came out of the Vietnam War and went on with their lives, it's strange to see someone spend years as a POW and then run for office and bask in public attention. Most people who went through this would be drinking themselves to death, or getting a lot of therapy and having a very, very quiet life. McCain... it's in some ways great to see someone come through that and be able to function, but his lack of empathy not just for the average American but also for other veterans is appalling. I get that he doesn't use the VA system, but it probably hasn't escaped his notice that it's completely overloaded and many veterans functionally do not have access to care. Rather than showing concern for either his cohort or the country he served and suffered for, his actions say only I've got mine so fuck you.

Part of me wonders what he was like psychologically before he was captured.

The rest of me - well. I could wish I believed in hell, but it looks like we're headed there anyway.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:13 AM on July 26 [25 favorites]


guys i may have woken up in a marginally less dim timeline because i just heard npr's rachel martin pushing back pretty hard against mister morden newt gingrich on all things considered

npr! pushing back against bald-faced lies! what is the world coming to
posted by entropicamericana at 6:16 AM on July 26 [32 favorites]


Get ready for a total mifi db meltdown
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

posted by sammyo at 6:17 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Banning transgender people from the military. What the fucking fuck. WE JUST FINISHED THIS SHIT WITH GAY PEOPLE.
posted by Talez at 6:19 AM on July 26 [18 favorites]


Good piece by Harvard's Jeffery Frankel on Why the Republicans Can’t Reform Health Care
posted by shothotbot at 6:20 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Whelp.
posted by notyou at 6:20 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


HE'S A PIECE OF SHIT HUMAN.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:20 AM on July 26 [21 favorites]


FUCK TRUMP.
posted by defenestration at 6:21 AM on July 26 [12 favorites]


"[P]lease be advised": Oh, fuck *off*, Donald. You sound like the assistant manager of a suburban Kroger's, frantically scrambling to CYA with bogus legalese when you know you're about to make a braindead call on something.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:22 AM on July 26 [26 favorites]


Well they seem to have found their wedge issue for the next 4 years.
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:22 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


In the spirit of this week's murder vote the reason is because they don't want to have to pay for transitions.
posted by Talez at 6:22 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


I'm so tired of feeling like my insides are a pit of black helpless rage.
posted by something something at 6:23 AM on July 26 [19 favorites]


What a piece of shit.

I also suspect this is an intentional attempt to distract from healthcare by pulling Dems to an issue that Repubs think is most polarizing and least translatable to those not already persuaded.
posted by prefpara at 6:23 AM on July 26 [30 favorites]


That's a nice bloody bone he's throwing his base. Really though, I wouldn't be joining the military these days unless I wanted to die in a distant wasteland or be ordered to murder american citizens within a few years.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:25 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


MCCONNELL: We need something obscene to distract the public from what we're about to do to their healthcare.

TRUMP: Hold my taco bowl
posted by delfin at 6:26 AM on July 26 [34 favorites]


He's back to his Greatest Hits album: rallies fomenting hatred and gleefully oppressing folks. He probably feels really good this morning.

Get me off this fucking ride.
posted by lydhre at 6:26 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Please be advised that all trans persons will be accepted into my queer army of joyous rebellion, as we cannot afford the expense of victory without them.
posted by dis_integration at 6:27 AM on July 26 [85 favorites]


What the Hell has Happened at the Senate? (Slate) Isaac Chotiner interviews Norman Ornstein.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:28 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


> Really though, I wouldn't be joining the military these days unless I wanted to die in a distant wasteland

To be fair to Trump, this has always been the purpose of military recruitment; being sent somewhere to kill and die in order to further interests that are rarely directly aligned with your own.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:29 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


@SamSanders "It's estimated that more than 15,000 transgender people currently serve in the military. Is Donald Trump going to personally kick them out?"

15,000 figure from http://www.transequality.org/
posted by Buntix at 6:32 AM on July 26 [17 favorites]


Does anyone have a road map for what bills the senate will be considering today or over the next few days?
posted by shothotbot at 6:35 AM on July 26




Get me off this fucking ride.

In the final stretch of the 2016 election, I used to entertain a fantasy in which all the Trump supporters had to live in an alternate reality where Trump won and they wouldn't be allowed to come back to the real world, where Hillary won, until they had come to understand and acknowledge that they'd been wrong to vote for him.

I rather feel as though my fantasy came true, except that the rest of us got trapped in that alternate reality with them.
posted by orange swan at 6:36 AM on July 26 [25 favorites]


As a trans woman I fully expect the president to call for trans people to be murdered for the public good. That's where this is going. That's where it's already gone with immigrants. With black people. With queers.

Fuck everything. Fuck this hell world.
posted by odinsdream at 6:38 AM on July 26 [46 favorites]


This nation wants to drive out anyone brown, foreign, queer, poor, and/or just plain weird. Anyone who's not rich and white, GTFO.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:40 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Guys...Trump is Donkey Kong. Whenever we think we're closing in on him, he chucks a barrel at us. Russia investigation too hot? Pull out the paris accord. His family is being investigated? Make Spicer resign. Unfortunately the only thing he is qualified to do as president is know how to spin/distract the media, and he is a MASTER at it. He knows the news has become too fragmented (and batshit insane) to hold too many topics in focus at once, and he is nefariously using this to change the discourse, which sums up almost of all his tweets.

We have to remain on topic and determined; that despite the hundreds/thousands of "barrels" he can chuck at us, we are still coming at him with the Mueller investigation. As this administration really gets down to the final months/weeks/days, things will get totally crazy. He will say shit that even sounds absurd by trumpian standards. He will dish out whatever sort of red meat he can for his supporters; today's transgender announcement is a perfect example of that. Of course these "barrels" are not empty, they have real world consequences. We should recognize that but continue on our goal to hammering him with only the most serious of offenses. He needs to know the walls are closing in and that it is only a matter of time. That it is not in his destiny to serve a full term, and at some point he will have to go.

Because Trumpy Kong has so many barrels and is SO good at wielding them, we must never allow ourselves to become bogged down by a single new scandal. Let's stick to the most provable and illegal allegations, which seem to be related to family financial transactions. We know what makes him nervous and vulnerable; Mainstream Media, please hold his feet to the fire and don't allow the daily news-shit-fest to bog you down in the mire.
posted by andruwjones26 at 6:41 AM on July 26 [26 favorites]


This piece of fucking shit draft dodger just fired 15k of my people. My people who serve at way higher rates and with more distinction and passion than cis people. Fuck him so fucking much.
posted by odinsdream at 6:41 AM on July 26 [84 favorites]


Let's just give up the idea that he's a master at anything. He's not manipulating the media, not consciously, there are just TOO MANY SCANDALS. The media, and the public, can't follow any one thing because it's a constant barrage of incompetence, malice, potential crimes, and horrendous gaffes.

He's untouchable precisely because he is covered in shit.
posted by lydhre at 6:44 AM on July 26 [26 favorites]


This nation wants to drive out anyone brown, foreign, queer, poor, and/or just plain weird. Anyone who's not rich and white, GTFO.

The majority of the nation is brown, foreign, queer, poor, and/or just plain weird. Don't confuse it with the regime or its artificially overpowered voting base. They, not us, are the toxic foreign body lodged in the country's tissues.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:44 AM on July 26 [39 favorites]


What’s next for the Senate Republicans’ effort to repeal Obamacare, in one flowchart

That flowchart makes the bad assumption that the House will take up whatever the Senate shoves at them and that they'll automatically get 218 votes.

It'll most certainly go to conference because they will be able to do far more damage than the vote-a-rama shitshow that McConnell is currently engaged in.
posted by Talez at 6:45 AM on July 26


I can't believe that everyone has to find out about this fucked up decision via Twitter. Twitter. What a gutless piece of shit.
posted by honey-barbara at 6:45 AM on July 26 [43 favorites]


Here's a gif I made just now of the trump/scaramucchi body language supercut from monday night's Daily Show. So many questions. Did they go to the same public speaking class? Is it a New York thing? Is mooch mirroring him on purpose as a mind trick? It can't be coincidence.
posted by adept256 at 6:45 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Yet another reason the only time I'll ever visit the country of my birth is for my mother's memorial service (hopefully years away.) Even in my mid-50's, I'm still struggling surviving as a non-person. The damage being done by this shit stain of an orange mildew will last generations.
posted by michswiss at 6:45 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


I can't believe that everyone has to find out about this fucked up decision via Twitter. Twitter. What a gutless piece of shit.

@anamariecox
You don’t just declare policy. CNN reporting that no one in press office knew this was coming. This is dictatorial caprice. Fuck this guy.
posted by chris24 at 6:47 AM on July 26 [117 favorites]


The rest of me - well. I could wish I believed in hell, but it looks like we're headed there anyway.

I believe we are in an evil mirror universe.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:47 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


He's untouchable precisely because he is covered in shit.

I agree completely. What do you think today's news will more likely do; remove some of the stench or just pour more shit on him?

Of course this man is covered in shit; so is every offspring he spawns and every business/political associate he deals with. He KNOWS that he is so covered in shit that all he can do is pour more on him (in an attempt to distract from the really serious shit). My fear is that at least in the short term, this is working. Whether he is actually a master or not is irrelevant; I believe that each time he does something like this, he distracts temporarily from the true scandal and prolongs his time in office.

That is my main worry; that these people know they are so dirty they will purposely cover themselves with less smelly shit since that may distract from the actually-illegal shit. (I feel a little gross with all the poop metaphors but c'mon there's no better parallel to this administration)
posted by andruwjones26 at 6:49 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Well they seem to have found their wedge issue for the next 4 years.

It looks that way -- they're already counting on this issue hurting candidates in 2018: Jonathan Swan, Axios, quoting Trump admin
This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to take complete ownership of this issue. How will blue collars voters in these states respond when senators up for reelection in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaign?
I'm guessing that "blue collar voters" will have economic anxiety about whether or not trans men and women can serve their country.
posted by gladly at 6:50 AM on July 26 [27 favorites]


So the cure is to get a lot of trans people in day-time shows and generally on the media being themselves: normal.
Media-mefites, you have work to do!
posted by mumimor at 6:54 AM on July 26 [16 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got.......big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!

(1) I don't think the Trump-Sessions rift is kayfabe. He really wants to get rid of him.
(2) With this following the transgender purge, expect scoops later today.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:54 AM on July 26 [17 favorites]


I believe we are in an evil mirror universe.

But I don't even have a goatee.
posted by emjaybee at 6:54 AM on July 26 [24 favorites]


What's interesting to me is that the press corps knows exactly what we know and in greater detail: he's unstable, he's sociopathic, he's dirty as dirty dirt, he's an unhinged pig . . and yet they "have" to do this stiff, heavily regimented dance to both present an "unbiased" approach and to avoid recognizing and communicating how badly broken everything in this administration really is.

Jesus people, fuck that. GET HIM, YOU IDIOTS!
posted by petebest at 6:56 AM on July 26 [36 favorites]


Perhaps the Russian collusion is baseless and it's just a very effective false flag, tweets and all, to obfuscate something really nasty that's pretty well hidden.
posted by sammyo at 6:56 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


I believe that each time he does something like this, he distracts temporarily from the true scandal and prolongs his time in office.

Okay, but banning trans folk from serving in the military is a true scandal. Turning a Boy Scout jamboree into a Hilter Youth rally is a true scandal. Attacking the AG for not prosecuting his political opponent is a true scandal. And this is what, the last 48 hours? They are all true scandals and pretending otherwise is also dangerous and breeds complacency.
posted by lydhre at 6:57 AM on July 26 [151 favorites]


Here's what I think: I think these people are setting themselves up for an enormous series of defeats at every level. I think we're going to get Medicare for all fairly soon, I think trans people will be able to serve in the military in this generation and I think that most of these bad policies will be fought hard at the local level and turned around in a medium timeframe.

I mean, this sucks, but what's happening is that Trump/etc are basically creating conditions that will be experienced almost like the Great Depression or a war, and that are going to shake things up enormously. It won't be super easy in the short/medium term, and that's terrible and criminal, but they are being really dumb. I mean, I could do a better job being a supervillain than they are doing - they should be throwing real stuff to their broad base, not just tax breaks for a fraction of it and propaganda for the rest. Propaganda is very satisfying to a lot of people, but it doesn't do much on medical bills.

And you know what? I think banning trans people is not as politically sweet as they think it is. What I've observed around some fairly socially conservative people is that they seem to "get" transness in a way that they resist "getting" queerness. I don't think it's going to mobilize as much of their base as they think, and I think it's going to appear pointless and spiteful to a chunk of their base. That won't de-Republican them, of course, but it's not going to keep them in line when Mom needs to be in a nursing home and Medicaid is getting cut.

Basically, the Republicans are eating the seed corn right now. Medicaid and various social programs for disabled and sick people actually are what keeps lower middle class conservatives in line - they are class bribes (in addition to being good social programs that work and should be expanded, of course).

This sucks, it's garbage, but I think it's also monumentally stupid. We've got to work as much as possible on helping each other survive the next few years, but this is not the end.
posted by Frowner at 6:58 AM on July 26 [113 favorites]


So what is the best way to respond to this Donkey Kong barrel, then? Without minimizing trans allies/harm done to the military?

Didn't Sessions say something evil yesterday about military trans folks?

In general, the Rs/DJT will always say "Look over there! Someone you hate getting something they don't deserve!" It's not new. And yet we seldom seem to have an effective comeback to it.
posted by emjaybee at 6:58 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


So the cure is to get a lot of trans people in day-time shows and generally on the media being themselves: normal.
Media-mefites, you have work to do!


All respect, fuck that. No. Trans people deserve human rights even if you never see us. It's not my goddamn job to beg.
posted by odinsdream at 6:59 AM on July 26 [101 favorites]


Everyone is giving McCain shit for voting for the motion to proceed, but he seems 100% positive that the debate is going to be a dumpster fire and nothing will pass.

Interestingly, it turns out McCain has some control over this outcome, including such options as voting against whatever dumpster fire his fellow Republicans concoct (fat chance) or just staying in Arizona for "health reasons," thus concentrating the power of the so-called "moderate" Republicans.

But then, he could have done either of those with the MTP, too. It's mind-boggling that so many, especially in the press, credit McCain for his words and utterly ignore his repeated actions. The man is no hero.
posted by Gelatin at 7:00 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


This nation wants to drive out anyone brown, foreign, queer, poor, and/or just plain weird. Anyone who's not rich and white, GTFO.

The majority of the nation is brown, foreign, queer, poor, and/or just plain weird. Don't confuse it with the regime or its artificially overpowered voting base. They, not us, are the toxic foreign body lodged in the country's tissues.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:44 AM on July 26 [1 favorite +] [!]


We'd like to think so, I guess, but the entire history of this nation (founded on a a massive pile of black and Native American corpses) from Jamestown to now, says otherwise. Show me one single American decade where the "brown, foreign, queer, poor, and/or just plain weird" of this country were NOT regularly disenfranchised, exploited, or murdered. There hasn't ever been one.
posted by Chrischris at 7:00 AM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Whatever people on this site may think, Putin does not consider the Cold War to be a lost cause.

I think talk of a new or renewed Cold War is actually premature. Putin has a pretty specific motivation, I think, which is to see Russia a Superpower again, and the United States humiliated the way the Soviet Union was humiliated.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:00 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


What's really scaring me is that his argument is that trans people are a burden and interfering with our "overwhelming victory." That's some verbatim Aktion T4 shit
posted by theodolite at 7:01 AM on July 26 [26 favorites]


@JoshACLU: If you are a trans service member or reservist please contact me. If you know a trans service member or reservist tell them to contact me.
posted by zabuni at 7:01 AM on July 26 [54 favorites]


I am fucking incandescent with rage and taking on all comers on every military FB page I can load at once today. If anyone wants to MeMail me good dismissive responses (e.g., "You're not worth responding to. I hope you step on a Lego."), I could use a hand.
posted by Etrigan at 7:02 AM on July 26 [28 favorites]


Okay, what is the over/under of an official White House spokesperson claiming those tweets were "ironic", and that of course no such new rules are forthcoming?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 7:05 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]



So what is the best way to respond to this Donkey Kong barrel, then? Without minimizing trans allies/harm done to the military?


I don't have the answer to this, nor do I think we should minimize this at all. I just think Step One to getting out of this classic abuser-victim cycle we find ourselves in is recognizing the process he puts us through every time he wants to turn the page.

By all means, please fight trump as hard as you can on this awful announcement. I think this and the paris accord are some of the worst things he's thrown at us so far, precisely because of the harm AND the red meat thrown to his base, which they gobble up. He is doubling down on the awful shit and hugging his base even tighter, which means he'll never lose the 27% crazy-as-shit population.

So yes, we should fight him at each and every turn. I'm just sick of allowing him to set the day's tone (as we all are), so I'd like to see a CNN/MSNBC response such as "This blatantly illegal announcement will be met in court. In the meantime, let's continue to focus on the crimes the Trump campaign may have committed and investigate collusion." We are all victims and I want to take any step possible to break free of the abuser's pattern.
posted by andruwjones26 at 7:07 AM on July 26 [17 favorites]


The options for dysphoric children today means there will be many young adults that have taken care of transition before realising they want to join the Armed Forces. What about gender queer folks that have no desire to change their bodies but still want to serve? Costs taken care of, beyond the nominal cost of HRT if applicable. No different than BC.
posted by michswiss at 7:09 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


@MattBellassai
transgender people show more courage when they leave their fucking houses in the morning than donald trump has shown his entire life
posted by chris24 at 7:10 AM on July 26 [181 favorites]


So many questions. Did they go to the same public speaking class? Is it a New York thing? Is mooch mirroring him on purpose as a mind trick? It can't be coincidence.

Same puppet-master.
posted by um at 7:11 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


I feel like republicans thinking about the long term prospects for their party and policies should be really worried about how recent events, including health care and this trans policy, play to young people. It's more spinning up their shrinking base at the cost of making the republican brand increasingly repugnant to young people.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 7:15 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


NPR throws (print) shade: Democrats Want To Probe Trump Ties To Deutsche Bank. GOP Says, No Thanks
The House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday considered looking into President Trump's financial ties, particularly those linking him to a bank that had been involved with laundering Russian money.

But Republican members voted "nyet" on a straight party-line vote of 34-26.

They defeated a Democrat-sponsored request to order Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "provide certain documents ... relating to President Trump's financial connections to Russia, certain illegal financial schemes, and related information."

The committee, which deals with banking and money laundering, "will not be spending time and money" on an investigation that already is being touched upon by other congressional committees, said Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.
*Kisses fingers* Beautiful!

(And why are there so many committees if they're apparently able to do the same thing? Answer me that, Jeb.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:17 AM on July 26 [18 favorites]


Is mooch mirroring him on purpose as a mind trick?

Yes, Scaramucci is deliberately mirroring Trump to flatter him:
Mirroring can establish rapport with the individual who is being mirrored, as the similarities in nonverbal gestures allow the individual to feel more connected with the person exhibiting the mirrored behavior.[3] As the two individuals in the situation display similar nonverbal gestures, they may believe that they share similar attitudes and ideas as well. Mirror neurons react to and cause these movements, allowing the individuals to feel a greater sense of engagement and belonging within the situation.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:18 AM on July 26 [16 favorites]


I should add that mirroring is also a PUA move.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:20 AM on July 26 [44 favorites]


worried about how [...] this trans policy, play[s] to young people

If the general tone on Reddit is any indication (I know, I know), the only thing young people hate more than women is transgender people.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:21 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


That said, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is interested in the topic (NPR, July 25, 2017):
SCHIFF: I can't go into the scope of what we asked Mr. Kushner about, I certainly believe that the allegations of potential money laundering through The Trump Organization, the potential that Russian oligarchs invested money in Mr. Trump or that the Russians used a tactic they've used elsewhere of exerting financial leverage by virtue of transactions they've entered into is something the committee has to investigate and explore.

So...

SIEGEL: That's in bounds - that's in bounds for the committee.

SCHIFF: Yes. Yes, it is.

SIEGEL: And is it your understanding that Mr. Mueller is pursuing the same areas of inquiry?

SCHIFF: I can't speak to what Mr. Mueller is pursuing. But I think that is well within the scope of what he's been authorized to investigate. So I certainly would hope and expect that that would be an allegation that he would explore in particular because what ought to concern us the most is anything the Russians may have that they can hold over the head of this administration.

A lot of people, when they hear the term kompromat, they think of compromising information in the form of salacious videos or photographs. But you could have also a very powerful form of kompromat if the Russians are aware of either money laundering or financial transactions legitimate or illegitimate.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on July 26 [29 favorites]



It's clearly being taken up as a cause celebre by the administration, despite the fact that criminal aliens were targeted in the tens of thousands under the Obama administration. There is also the rarely highlighted dynamic that the gang preys upon a community that if undocumented fears the police because of their immigration status, and has plenty to fear from police violence otherwise, on top of retaliation for police cooperation. It's unlikely this is the part of the community that 45 will want to show off as thanking him.


Somerville, MA is a "sanctuary city" precisely because the SPD desperately needed illegal immigrants to be willing to call the police to report MS-13 activities.
posted by ocschwar at 7:22 AM on July 26 [26 favorites]


I should add that mirroring is also a PUA move.

Thanks. It makes perfect sense now.
posted by adept256 at 7:25 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


From the Guardian's story on transgender people in the military:

The president tweeted that the military ‘cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption’ of having transgender members.

[...] One study, by the RAND Corporation, estimated that medical care for individuals who transition would cost roughly $3 to $4m annually. Every year, the Pentagon spends approximately $6bn on medical care for members of the armed forces.


'Tremendous' medical costs. Three to four million in the annual budget of the United States Military. That's not even an accounting rounding error, that's a rounding error you discover by fluke and it's not worth your time to fix. Pick a better fig leaf for your bigotry, Donald.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:26 AM on July 26 [51 favorites]


Three to four million in the annual budget of the United States Military.

The Navy dumps about $15M a year worth of aviation fuel into the ocean practicing carrier operations.
posted by Etrigan at 7:27 AM on July 26 [53 favorites]


I am fucking incandescent with rage and taking on all comers on every military FB page I can load at once today.

Tag me in, battle. I just woke up and saw this shitshow. CiC or not, he can't just do this.
posted by corb at 7:32 AM on July 26 [60 favorites]


I am genuinely having a really hard time focusing on doing my job....I've got a major project in front of me, in fact, several....they require my full brain...I need to think, plan, have something on-point to say in meetings. But I'm terrified of looking away from the internet for sixty seconds because I don't know what's about to come through the gates of hell. The president of the United States is making it impossible to do my job. And it's making it impossible for lots of other people to do their jobs. What the fuck is going on when people can't work because the president is too out of control for people to concentrate?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:34 AM on July 26 [81 favorites]


It's a perfect fig leaf because it frames a vulnerable group as parasites and it can be easily repurposed to argue that trans people shouldn't be allowed federal jobs or health coverage at all. Whether it's true is irrelevant
posted by theodolite at 7:34 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


Three to four million in the annual budget of the United States Military.

The Navy dumps about $15M a year worth of aviation fuel into the ocean practicing carrier operations.


$4 million is 0.0006% of the pentagon's annual budget. It's a rounding error.
posted by dis_integration at 7:35 AM on July 26 [13 favorites]


What is the reaction on the Hill to this bullshit trans announcement?
posted by agregoli at 7:35 AM on July 26


I'm interested (read: Horrified) to see how Repubs cognitive dissonance will react to this. On the one hand the armed forces are part of their bread and butter. On the other hand, they hate Transgender people.
posted by Twain Device at 7:36 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Maggie Haberman mentioned on Twitter that Bannon summoned Ann Coulter to the White House to give Trump a lecture on reconnecting with his base. So we know who to thank for this latest round of red meat hate.
posted by neroli at 7:36 AM on July 26 [48 favorites]


Is this something he can just declare on his own? (I've been following these threads, but I will admit my knowledge of the scope of the ability of the president to just dictate things is lacking.)
posted by sperose at 7:37 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


We've got to work as much as possible on helping each other survive the next few years, but this is not the end.

Frowner, thank you so much for saying all that. Everything coming out of this administration in the last few weeks has worn me down and given me nightmares as much as anything so far, and I've never had the emotional resilience necessary to participate in these catch-all threads much. But your comment just now is truly inspiring to me and goes a long way towards alleviating some of the despair. Thank you.
posted by elsilnora at 7:38 AM on July 26 [12 favorites]




Today, July 26, is the anniversary of Truman desegregating the military. I don't think that's a coincidence.
posted by octothorpe at 7:41 AM on July 26 [78 favorites]


(I've been following these threads, but I will admit my knowledge of the scope of the ability of the president to just dictate things is lacking.)

I am not sure about this particular thing, but I think one of the things we've learned is that it's possible there's no law against the president pooping on the rug in the oval office and the only thing that has kept others from doing it is decorum and human dignity. We didn't think we needed a 'don't poop on the rug' rule. Trump has taught us that if someone poops on the oval office rug and says 'Yeah? What are you going to do about it?' we look in the rule book and go, for fuck's sake why do we suddenly need a No Pooping rule? And the answer is 'Donald Trump'.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:41 AM on July 26 [58 favorites]


....annnnnd I just spent my time typing out a comment about poop because I couldn't concentrate on work.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:43 AM on July 26 [11 favorites]


@omargp If you are (or know) a #trans member of the Armed Forced, Natl Guard, ROTC, or a veteran, contact me and @LambdaLegal. We are your lawyers.

> Is this something he can just declare on his own?

I was wondering that, it seems like he's just gone full-on far-right dictator.

What he's quite deliberately done is issue a presidential proclamation othering trans people as national policy. With full knowledge of how his 'base' is going to act.
posted by Buntix at 7:43 AM on July 26 [16 favorites]


My heart hurts. Fuck that piece of "VD was my Vietnam" pile of garbage man. Toss vulnerable people like me under the bus and run them over so you can blow up your own ego. What galls me the most is me the queer non-binary (and full of rage) atheist is more christian than any one of those fucking sinners. I have my own version of healing touch that I'd like to give that bastard but even wouldn't do that because I genuinely do not want to hurt people. These guys? Fuck these guys? My trans body is not a fucking political wedge to gain votes! /incoherent rage
posted by kanata at 7:45 AM on July 26 [13 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if LBJ had pissed on the corner of the Resolute Desk at some point, TBH, but he had the badassery to back it up
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:45 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Guys...Trump is Donkey Kong

My esteemed friends, I have to say that I know Donkey Kong. I've controlled Donkey Kong in a number of video games both Country and Land. Donkey Kong is an honorable gorilla who, yes, has some documented impulse control issues but is overall a good citizen of the Mushroom Kingdom. He does not deserve this slander.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:45 AM on July 26 [56 favorites]


So what is the best way to respond to this Donkey Kong barrel, then?

My immediate answer would be "a sledgehammer", but that only lasts for a few seconds.

Also, there might be awkward questions from the Secret Service afterwards.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:46 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Is this something he can just declare on his own?

Executive Orders are bound by the Constitution, and I suspect this violates the 14th Amendment. There are also probably some actual laws that are relevant here, and you just know that Trump has not consulted the OLC to make a determination, but instead decided this after a chat with Bannon and while watching some late-night/early-morning hate television. So I guess the answer here is: the ACLU will likely sue and the Supremes will decide and we know how Gorsuch will vote.
posted by dis_integration at 7:47 AM on July 26 [31 favorites]


Maggie Haberman mentioned on Twitter that Bannon summoned Ann Coulter to the White House to give Trump a lecture on reconnecting with his base. So we know who to thank for this latest round of red meat hate.

Maybe we can distract them both by taking away their seats on their next Delta flight.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:47 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


A Terrible Llama I am genuinely having a really hard time focusing on doing my job

You are definitely not alone. I've had a hard time doing my job since January 20th but the last few weeks have been especially difficult. My therapist says I need to live more in the moment and not think so much about the future, but I mean this is the moment.

I'm not really sure what to do about it, other than work head down as much as I can.
posted by zrail at 7:47 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Oh, and Etrigan, if you want to memail me any pages you're visiting I'd like to speak out too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


The Pentagon apparently doesn't know what Trump is talking about:

'Pentagon "didn't know anything about" POTUS transgender ban decision reports @barbarastarrcnn'
posted by tittergrrl at 7:48 AM on July 26 [60 favorites]


My therapist says I need to live more in the moment and not think so much about the future, but I mean this is the moment.

Yes! I am finding it impossible NOT to live in the moment.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:49 AM on July 26 [17 favorites]


That's even more cynical than I originally thought. Coming from Bannon/Coulter, they probably know that Trump's dictate won't survive a court challenge, but the administration can keep the issue as part of the midterm campaign. So, Trump and his henchmen are willing and eager to use trans bodies as red meat for the base. He can't rally his supporters with anything but hate for marginalized people.
posted by gladly at 7:49 AM on July 26 [20 favorites]


In general, I try to consume politics (Mefi thread and otherwise) in no more than 30 minute chunks then go do something else. Of course, when the Senate is voting/some other event is taking place, that's harder.

But yeah. Take breaks, ya'll.
posted by emjaybee at 7:50 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


There are a great many thing that Donald Trump is doing that you should need a rule for, and frankly if you needed a separate rule for every single one of them you'd be there all day.

What you need is a big ol' triple dissolution lever. If the government is not working, everyone loses their jobs. Senators. Representatives. President. Supreme Court justices. An immediate election for the two branches of government directly elected, and some mechanism for confirming new justices without being able to stack the branch. It works because it is very clearly the failsafe, the kind of thing that gets called a 'constitutional crisis' even though the constitution is explicitly allowing for it.

"But what if the failing government gets back in, Merus?" you ask. The trick is that a failing government probably isn't in the best shape to appeal to the voters already, and if the American voter is anything like most democracies, they really don't like having to go to the polls because their current government couldn't even make it to the end of the term.
posted by Merus at 7:50 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


but instead decided this after a chat with Bannon

THIS
posted by Melismata at 7:51 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


The Pentagon apparently doesn't know what Trump is talking about:

'Pentagon "didn't know anything about" POTUS transgender ban decision reports @barbarastarrcnn'



The Defense Dept policy allowing transgender service is still up on the DoD website.
posted by chris24 at 7:51 AM on July 26 [27 favorites]


Okay, but banning trans folk from serving in the military is a true scandal. Turning a Boy Scout jamboree into a Hilter Youth rally is a true scandal. Attacking the AG for not prosecuting his political opponent is a true scandal. And this is what, the last 48 hours? They are all true scandals and pretending otherwise is also dangerous and breeds complacency.

QFT. We need to be able to juggle multiple things.

Let me share my strategy. I was tear gassed for the first time when I was 17. I saw injustice everywhere. I wanted to change the world and help everyone. But I couldn't and you wouldn't expect me to. Here is what has worked for me for the past 30 years.

FOCUS. Focus on what you are passionate about. Are you passionate about reproductive health? climate change? refugees? Focus on that one thing. THEN (this is the important part) you must trust that other passionate people are focusing on what stirs their heart and allow them to do that. You cannot take on every challenge. There are a billion of them. But you can focus on your passion and do all you can so that others can focus on their issue and do all they can.

Do what you can today. Call your trans friends. Call your senators. Take a walk. Meditate. Care for your body, mind and soul. Reach out to someone if you need help. You are all important to me.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:54 AM on July 26 [72 favorites]


In re the Pentagon: My bet is that Trump isn't winning any friends there. "I will randomly declare that you are going to do a 180 on something that was very controversial and obviously required expending a lot of time, political capital and arm twisting ability in order to get a momentary spike of approval from my base" is not a winning move.

Now, I don't think this means we're going to have, like, an insurrection tomorrow, sadly, but I think that there are going to be - are already - a lot of fissures in the Republican party and the government over Trump, and that's going to weaken the party generally and make it much harder to get things done. It may even be that the Pentagon will walk this back. I have zero desire to stan for the military, but large bureaucracies have their own momentum.

What I'm noticing in Minnesota is fissures among Republicans between Trumpists and everyone else. They may be united at the federal level, but they're not united when it comes down to, eg, fucking up things that they personally control on the ground for the people they live among. This is one of the reasons I'm not so sure that we're seeing some kind of Triumph of the Trump here.
posted by Frowner at 7:55 AM on July 26 [19 favorites]


@JohnBerman
JUST NOW: GOP Sen.Richard Shelby responded to new transgender policy. He said (roughly) "I think everybody should be able to serve."
posted by chris24 at 7:56 AM on July 26 [57 favorites]


(Schiff:) A lot of people, when they hear the term kompromat, they think of compromising information in the form of salacious videos or photographs. But you could have also a very powerful form of kompromat if the Russians are aware of either money laundering or financial transactions legitimate or illegitimate.

Sheldon Whitehouse just asked about this in the Senate hearing.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:57 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]


JUST NOW: GOP Sen.Richard Shelby responded to new transgender policy. He said (roughly) "I think everybody should be able to serve."

I'm sure Sen. Shelby is very concerned and troubled by these events. Now please excuse him while he goes to vote in favor of all of Trump's hobby horses.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:58 AM on July 26 [25 favorites]


This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to take complete ownership of this issue. How will blue collars voters in these states respond when senators up for reelection in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaign?

How fucking cynical do you have to be. I mean at least have some courage in your convictions. There's no Leviticus here. This is just trans-baiting for the sheer fucking sake of it which is somehow even more disgusting than doing it because invisible sky guy you believe in supposedly tells you to.
posted by Talez at 7:59 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


The piece of shit who lied about heel spurs to dodge the draft wants to kick out people like this.

@NoahShachtman
Read this amazing story about Kristen Beck, who won a Puprle Heart and a Bronze Star... and transitioned. http://www.thedailybeast.com/yes-to-lgb-no-to-t-the-pentagon-still-has-a-transgender-ban
posted by chris24 at 8:00 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]


SecDef Mattis is on vacation this week. I guarantee you that A) Bannon knows this, and B) Trump does not.

(Not that Mattis has been real good on this issue, but he still wouldn't want policy in his department to be set like this.)
posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM on July 26 [25 favorites]


[Transgender surgery may cost] three to four million in the annual budget of the United States Military.

That got me to thinking... where else have I heard something about military spending lately... Hmm... Pentagon will be called to answer for wasting 28 million dollars on forest camo for the Afghan army that only works in 3% of Afghanistan's geography. (Emphasis mine, btw)

On Senator Shelby, that might be as good a response as you might expect from a Republican Senator at this stage.
posted by Slothrop at 8:02 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]




In 2013, Senator Shelby was one of 32 Senators who voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) The bill passed anyway, and ended decades of employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

He's no ally.
posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on July 26 [27 favorites]


And so it goes on: -
A gay rights opponent who once appeared in a campaign advert that was accused of being racist and who has claimed that refugees pose a threat to Europe has been named as Donald Trump’s choice for US ambassador to the Netherlands.
posted by adamvasco at 8:08 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]


Frowner, I favorited and flagged both your comments as fantastic. They are just what I needed to hear right now!

As far as this is concerned: This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to take complete ownership of this issue. How will blue collars voters in these states respond when senators up for reelection in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaign?: I've noted before that the swing voter is an almost extinct breed. I believe that almost all people who switched from D to R for culturally-conservative reasons (Bathrooms! Baybeez! etc.) have done so long ago - the 80's "Reagan Democrats" and later going R after 9/11 were the two big waves. The voters who don't want trans people in the military and who care deeply about the issue are already solid Republicans.

I worry more about some Democrats throwing trans people under the bus in the name of kissing "swing voter" butt. I think that will lose Dems far more votes, because Gutless Flip-Flopping Weasel is not a good look, and throwing allies under the bus in the name of opportunism will repel more voters than it wins over. I think every last Democrat should stand up, proudly and without apology, and say, "Trans people have served and are serving in our military with distinction. I will stand by all our military members, straight, gay, cis, trans, if you are willing and able to serve your country you are welcome to join our military."
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:10 AM on July 26 [28 favorites]


chris24: The Defense Dept policy allowing transgender service is still up on the DoD website.

With this administration, whatever is or isn't on their websites doesn't matter. Remember that Trump's own campaign website still touted his Muslim ban into March, and only disappeared after a reporter asked Sean Spicer about it.


chris24: JUST NOW: GOP Sen.Richard Shelby responded to new transgender policy. He said (roughly) "I think everybody should be able to serve."

There's a significant difference between being "able to serve" and supporting transgender people, including their potential medical costs. Whenever someone says "they should be able to serve," those people need to be pressed to clarify how trans individuals will be supported when they serve their country.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:10 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


> This is just trans-baiting for the sheer fucking sake of it which is somehow even more disgusting than doing it because invisible sky guy you believe in supposedly tells you to.

There is some speculation that it's to buy backing/votes from other republicans. Cruz certainly has form on the matter.

It's quite the juxtaposition the day after this from the international brigades fighting against ISIS.

@IRPGF: "These Faggots Kill Fascists! We shoot back! The Black & Pink and Rainbow flag fly in Raqqa. #Queers smashing the Caliphate. #TQILA #YPJ #YPG"

Perhaps Bannon et al saw it and started getting worried that they might start coming for the white fascists as well.
posted by Buntix at 8:12 AM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Tag me in, battle. I just woke up and saw this shitshow. CiC or not, he can't just do this.

Should have thought of that before people pushed to defy federal law and put Gen. Mad Dog Mattis in charge of the Defense Department. It was Mad Dog who announced last month that he was personally putting a hold on the policy that had already been reviewed and approved by the Defense Department under Obama over a year ago.

"We need Mattis to protect us from Trump's worst impulses" people said. Seems he is feeding those worst impulses.
posted by JackFlash at 8:13 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


I've noted before that the swing voter is an almost extinct breed. I believe that almost all people who switched from D to R for culturally-conservative reasons (Bathrooms! Baybeez! etc.) have done so long ago - the 80's "Reagan Democrats" and later going R after 9/11 were the two big waves. The voters who don't want trans people in the military and who care deeply about the issue are already solid Republicans.

Yeah, the idea here is to gin up the base who might otherwise stay home in a midterm elections where their side is already in charge (and therefore there's no "throw the bums out" impulse to get them to the polls). It doesn't matter what noises Democrats make on this -- it's not going to change people's minds on who they vote for nearly as much as on whether loyal-but-lazy R voters actually cast a ballot.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:17 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


On the one hand I don't understand why anyone would serve in this country's military. I know a lot of vets, I know there are several vets in here, I support you as human beings but I don't understand your motivations.

On the other hand why the fuck would you ever for any reason deny someone who wants to do it (and it's still voluntary, last I checked) the right to do so?
posted by aspersioncast at 8:17 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


So, Trump and his henchmen are willing and eager to use trans bodies as red meat for the base. He can't rally his supporters with anything but hate for marginalized people.

or, The Republican Party rallies supporters with hate.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:18 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


@Atul_Gawande
"Skinny repeal" is a known disaster.
1995: WA state repealed mandate; kept guaranteed issue
1999: no insurers left
Dismantling of state’s health reforms in 1993 may offer lessons for Obamacare repeal
As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Washington state’s experience in 1990s with health-care reform may offer a lesson. Repealing unpopular parts of the state’s health-care law led to the collapse of the insurance market. - Jan '17
posted by chris24 at 8:18 AM on July 26 [24 favorites]


So, does anybody know what is going on with the amendment to defund PP? I think what I understand from TPM is that at 11:30 EST there's going to be some procedural action that will involve determining whether the defund PP can go forward under reconciliation?
posted by angrycat at 8:22 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Washington state’s experience in 1990s with health-care reform may offer a lesson.

Does German have a word for "something offered even though you know damn well it won't be taken"?
posted by Etrigan at 8:24 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


So, does anybody know what is going on with the amendment to defund PP? I think what I understand from TPM is that at 11:30 EST there's going to be some procedural action that will involve determining whether the defund PP can go forward under reconciliation?

I'm going to guess that Democratic senators are objecting to the amendment under the Byrd rule and the Presiding Officer and Senate Parliamentarian are going to rule that because it's lowering outlays it technically qualifies for reconciliation under the Byrd Rule.

The whole "it ain't illegal if the people in charge don't care" theme of 2017 keeps on giving.
posted by Talez at 8:30 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


Relevant to today from the Longform Maggie Haberman interview
MAGGIE HABERMAN: There's a degree to which I think these folks don't get that they're playing with live ammo and people's lives.

MAX LINSKY: You don't think that's settled in yet?

MH: No.

ML: How do you know that, what's the evidence for that?

MH: Just the way that they talk about this stuff --- not all of them, but some of them --- it's not about, you know, enacting policy or doing what's best for the country, it's about winning. Winning their little corner of power.

ML: Do you think that in part that's because the stakes are so high? They can't see clearly...

MH: No [laughing] I don't think it's that

ML: You think it's just that's how they're wired and it's just a game?

MH: For some of them yeah. Not all of them. I think a lot of them went in there to serve their country, but I think there is a cadre of them for whom this is a game.
posted by pjenks at 8:32 AM on July 26 [17 favorites]


JackFlash: "We need Mattis to protect us from Trump's worst impulses" people said. Seems he is feeding those worst impulses.

When you're hoping a guy nicknamed "Mad Dog" will protect you from an infantile narcissistic, you know you're in a bad place.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 AM on July 26 [16 favorites]


"I really think we would want transgender people in our military, because if these are not brave as hell individuals, then I just don't know who is." - a friend

"Executive Order 9981 was an executive order issued on July 26, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman. It abolished racial discrimination in the United States Armed Forces and eventually led to the end of segregation in the services."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_9981
posted by Evilspork at 8:35 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


OK I see what's going on now. So last week the Senate Parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, did fuck the GOP putting anything they want into reconciliation. The Senate Parliamentarian serves at the pleasure of the Senate Majority Leader.

I'm going to take a stab and say they're about to fire Elizabeth MacDonough and put a Republican sycophant into the position.
posted by Talez at 8:36 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


there is a cadre of them for whom this is a game.

I'm shocked.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:36 AM on July 26


> ML: You think it's just that's how they're wired and it's just a game?

MH: For some of them yeah. Not all of them. I think a lot of them went in there to serve their country, but I think there is a cadre of them for whom this is a game.


god if only there were a currently popular cultural phenomenon devoted to illustrating the disasters that inevitably result when people who sit on thrones treat power as a game.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:37 AM on July 26 [68 favorites]


I think there is a cadre of them for whom this is a game.
So name them.
posted by piglord at 8:38 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Executive Orders are bound by the Constitution, and I suspect this violates the 14th Amendment. There are also probably some actual laws that are relevant here, and you just know that Trump has not consulted the OLC to make a determination, but instead decided this after a chat with Bannon and while watching some late-night/early-morning hate television.

I misread Bannon as Barron here, and was honestly not that surprised that an 11-year-old was influencing defense policy. Fucking 2017, y'all.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:38 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


So name them.

They're helpfully identified with the "R-" proceeding their state.
posted by Talez at 8:39 AM on July 26 [30 favorites]


You Can't Tip a Buick: god if only there were a currently popular cultural phenomenon devoted to illustrating the disasters that inevitably result when people who sit on thrones treat power as a game.

"See, I'm a big fan of Game, but if I were there, I could totally be a kick-ass king," said an unnamed GOP source. "I've read all the books and Sun Tzu, I would win that game, and I could totally win this one!" [fake, for now]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


I just got back from attending part of an impromptu Center City protest that the Tuesdays with Toomey e-mailed about, and it was -- okay.

Attendance was low, energy was so-so, and maybe they shifted after I left, but it was more of a general insurance-companies-are-evil thing, rather than focused anger/message-spreading about ACA repeal fuckery. It didn't capitalize on anti-Trump anger. It didn't turn heads. It made very few passers-by stop and listen, even though this was a very high foot-traffic area right at the start of corporate lunchtime. In fact, I think there were more press and security than protestors, with one guy whose everything screamed corporate security taking photos to make sure none of us were employees or people applying for jobs.

I'm trying to reframe it in my head as highlighting just how good actual Tuesdays with Toomey protests are.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:41 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Remember when our biggest fear was that a Republican President Cuckoo-Bananas was going to drag the United States into yet another middle eastern shitfight?

I miss those days.
posted by Talez at 8:42 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


god if only there were a currently popular cultural phenomenon devoted to illustrating the disasters that inevitably result when people who sit on thrones treat power as a game.

White puppetmasters with frozen hearts and legions of mindless zombie followers are what got us into this mess.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:43 AM on July 26 [14 favorites]


I'm just reminded of that Dave Letterman interview a while back where he mentioned something about trans rights that just conveyed a sort of basic humanity, and am totally heartbroken that I'm pretty sure David Fucking Letterman would make a better president than literally anyone who ran on the Republican platform.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:43 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


I miss those days.

And during that time, we were all like OMG I can't believe I miss Watergate!
posted by Melismata at 8:44 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


There really no reason not to become the most radical political partisan you can think of anymore.
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on July 26 [29 favorites]


Matt Fuller: There’s an incredible amount of uncertainty over the legislation, which hasn’t technically even been written, and there’s a fair amount of bad faith. (emphasis mine)

You can say that again. I can understand that Democrats perceive it as unhelpful to complain about unfairness in the media, but given that much of the media still fetishizes "bipartisanship" -- defined as "do what the Republicans want" -- it's a mystery why Democrats don't point out repeatedly that Republicans are simply not bargaining in good faith. "You wouldn't want to buy a used car from these people" could be a common refrain.
posted by Gelatin at 8:48 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


"You wouldn't want to buy a used car from these people" could be a common refrain.

The thing is, the Republican faithful would absolutely line up to do it. The well off ones would then insist that sawdust in the transmission is a legitimate way to fix said transmission and that if car manufacturers didn't want their odometers wound backwards they should have made them work one way only. The dirt poor ones that would depend on that car to get to work would be heartbroken that the car is shit but they would still blame the Democrats for having regulations about catalytic converters.
posted by Talez at 8:53 AM on July 26 [16 favorites]


Sidebar: I want to thank the mods for their EXTRA-hard work, and I want to thank each and every MeFite for providing a much needed touch-stone of rationality in a very irrational world.

/sidebar
posted by mikelieman at 8:55 AM on July 26 [52 favorites]


"See, I'm a big fan of Game, but if I were there, I could totally be a kick-ass king," said an unnamed GOP source. "I've read all the books and Sun Tzu, I would win that game, and I could totally win this one!" [fake, for now]

Well, obviously. Reading a book? Please.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:57 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


There really no reason not to become the most radical political partisan you can think of anymore.

Seriously. I've moved from Bernie skeptic and Clinton voter to a regular listener of Discourse Collective and am contemplating making the leap to DSA member. There's no reason to even attempt to be center anything anymore; we're so far to the right that centrism has no meaning.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:00 AM on July 26 [11 favorites]


...So I can say that I expect much positivity in the news when I wake up, but this morning's pathetic Twitter proclamation were an especial kick in the guts for me, a trans woman. I wouldn't want to be in the military; I don't really approve of how various politicians have used the military. With that said, though, I believe that the military has an obligation to allow trans people to be employed in that field, if they so choose. We trans people, as a group, are so fucking brave in our daily lives that the military should be begging us to teach others how we do it.

So here's my periodic reminder of the 2015 US Trans Survey (CW: discussions of physical/sexual assault, suicide, discrimination, and more). The full report and the executive summary are both available gratis. If you are a cisgender ally and haven't yet, please do consider reading through the executive summary: it will give you a much better idea of the challenges and difficulties our community faces.

For 8 glorious years, we had a chief executive who did things to help our community. Now, we have a an insecure, petty, spiteful jerk who has to direct hate at us for having the temerity to exist. Is it any wonder that
[a] staggering 39% of respondents experienced serious psychological distress in the month prior to completing the survey, compared with only 5% of the U.S. population. Among the starkest findings is that 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their lifetime—nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population (4.6%).
These hateful comments serve no purpose other than as a way to give permission to chronically insecure people an excuse to continue to assault and discriminate against us. I knew that this man would be a bad deal for us given the people around him, but it's especially galling that he was up there promising to be a friend to LGBTQ+ people.

Also notable is how silent Caitlyn Jenner is on Twitter this morning, seeing as she seemed so convinced that the Jerkoff would be so good for us. There's quite a bit of well, wtf girl, you done with him yet, being directed at her, though (CW: Some gross transphobic stuff).
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:01 AM on July 26 [61 favorites]


"See, I'm a big fan of The Americans, and if I were in it, I would totally be a kick-ass deep-cover agent," said an unnamed GOP source before entering a Russian embassy and asking to use their secret spy phone.
posted by Iridic at 9:02 AM on July 26 [22 favorites]


"We need Mattis to protect us from Trump's worst impulses" people said. Seems he is feeding those worst impulses.

The cult of personality surrounding Mattis is second only to that around Trump.

Also notable is how silent Caitlyn Jenner is on Twitter this morning, seeing as she seemed so convinced that the Jerkoff would be so good for us.

Caitlyn Jenner is a Republican who is not in the military. The ban has no effect on her, so she has no problem with it.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:09 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


actually, this poisonous sack of shit and his eel vomit party of flunkies have already supplied us with a solution: burn it all down. scorched earth until not a single DNA strand belonging to any of this weeping pustulence of deranged "government" exists.

there. i feel marginally better now.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:10 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


A retired Navy SEAL Team 6 hero who is transgender had a message for President Donald Trump after he announced the US military would bar transgender people from serving.

"Let's meet face to face and you tell me I'm not worthy," Kristin Beck, a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, told Business Insider on Wednesday. "Transgender doesn't matter. Do your service."
posted by chris24 at 9:13 AM on July 26 [108 favorites]


burn it all down. scorched earth until not a single DNA strand belonging to any of this weeping pustulence of deranged "government" exists.

What does this mean in concrete terms? I'm having a hard time parsing exactly how literally people mean to be taken when they say things like this.
posted by Jpfed at 9:14 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


"This will serve as a wedge issue in Wisconsin" seems to ill-fit with "Wisconsin elected the first out senator." Who, incidentally, got more votes than Trump in WI.

Also, interesting response from Orrin Hatch's office.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:16 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


What does this mean in concrete terms?

it means i'm pissed and needed to blow off some steam. nothing more should be inferred.

*cough*
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:16 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


I feel like republicans thinking about the long term prospects for their party and policies should be really worried about how recent events, including health care and this trans policy, play to young people. It's more spinning up their shrinking base at the cost of making the republican brand increasingly repugnant to young people.

Perhaps they are not concerned with winning fair elections anymore.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:17 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]


The cost of medical care related to tobacco usage among US military personnel comes to over $500 million per year.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:19 AM on July 26 [31 favorites]


@EricBoehlert:
far-right GOP Sen. Shelby Tues: I stand w/ Sessions

far-right GOP Sen. Shelby Weds: transgenders should be able to serve
posted by chris24 at 9:20 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Caitlyn Jenner is a Republican who is not in the military. The ban has no effect on her, so she has no problem with it.

I don't know that she doesn't have a problem with it--she faces quite a bit of transmisogyny herself. However, her actions of support Cruz, then the Douche Canoe, have helped to provide a fig-leaf of cover for people who actively work to keep our community from safe public participation. All I want from her at this point is to revoke any support of politicians who do not support recognition of trans rights.

Most of my frustrating with her is that she's done so so so little to educate herself about the real issues people in the trans community face or how Republican policies and actions lead quite directly to problems endemic within our community. As a community, I think we were excited to welcome her with open arms, but her actions since coming out have not been especially helpful. It's very upsetting to have one of your own just not get it and keep making excuses for those who keep harming us on purpose.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:26 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]




Executive Orders are bound by the Constitution, and I suspect this violates the 14th Amendment.

If I may play Devil's Advocate for a moment, the Pentagon only recently lifted the ban on women serving in combat, not because they were forced to by the 14th Amendment but because they made a policy decision. Sadly it suggests the Commander-in-Chief's ability to select or fire military personnel is not constrained by the need to provide "equal protection" to those individuals, regardless of how bigoted and malevolent the rationale for his decision is.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:28 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


chris24: "@EricBoehlert:
far-right GOP Sen. Shelby Tues: I stand w/ Sessions

far-right GOP Sen. Shelby Weds: transgenders should be able to serve
"

Well, yes? I don't see any conflict in believing that a) transgendered people should be eligible to serve in the military, and that b) the Attorney General should be able to act free of political pressure from the president.

Now, I know Shelby is also saying he's a fan of Sessions's horrific ideas on policy, but he's right that Trump's trying to strongarm him is flat out wrong.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:29 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I can't speak for others, but I do think we need a massive purge after we dump Trump in 2020.

And in concrete terms I mean firing or if necessary impeaching literally every single person he appointed from Gorsuch all the way down to the lowliest Presidential appointed position that exists.

In concrete terms that means firing most people hired directly by Trump appointees. He put his cronies into the various Executive Branch jobs and they're trying to pack those agencies with people hellbent on destroying the agencies from within. I won't say that we should automatically fire anyone hired by DeVos or whoever, but I will say that every single new hire made under the Trump administration needs to be fully vetted and verified as actually deserving and being competent to do their nominal job rather than being a saboteur hired for the damage they can cause.

If the Republicans were even slightly sane, reasonable, honorable, or patriotic, I'd say it should be handled by a bipartisan commission headed by a Democrat but accepting input from the Republican members.

But given the way the Republicans have gone full bore traitor, I don't think including them in the post-Trump cleanup/purge would be a good idea.

Regrettably, this is just a pipe dream. Whoever is elected in 2020 will almost certainly repeat Obama's look forward not back mantra and allow all the Trump Cultists in the government to keep their jobs.

Oh well, they just stole a Supreme Court seat from us, not to mention hundreds of lesser court appointments. It would be horribly partisan and rude to respond with anything but (at most) a sternly worded letter.
posted by sotonohito at 9:30 AM on July 26 [27 favorites]


And you know what? I think banning trans people is not as politically sweet as they think it is. What I've observed around some fairly socially conservative people is that they seem to "get" transness in a way that they resist "getting" queerness. I don't think it's going to mobilize as much of their base as they think, and I think it's going to appear pointless and spiteful to a chunk of their base. That won't de-Republican them, of course, but it's not going to keep them in line when Mom needs to be in a nursing home and Medicaid is getting cut.

It definitely backfired in NC, anyway - the bathroom bill absolutely wound up making the few-thousand-vote difference between reelecting the Republican governor and electing the Democrat. (Not that ol' Coop has fulfilled all my wildest dreams, but he's no McCrory.)

Despite the fact that trans people have very often been marginalized and pushed aside by the LGBT community, both historically and to this day, I honestly do think that lumping together 'LGBT' back in the 90s is paying dividends for trans people now. For the majority of those people who changed their minds about gay rights over the past 30 years, the link between gay rights and trans rights just sort of is, and even people I've met who have a very regressive understanding of what it actually means to be trans (like of the "you go to the clinic a man and walk out a woman" variety) seem to have similar political feelings about trans and gay issues.

Clearly the culture warriors have simply seized on trans people as the Convenient New Other now that they lost the gay marriage fight, but I think they have miscalculated. As a cis queer person who's been plugged into trans issues for a few years longer than most other cis people I know, I would never have believed ten years ago that I'd live to see this level of public outcry in favor of trans rights.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:30 AM on July 26 [37 favorites]


I think there is a cadre of them for whom this is a game.
So name them.


What Are Their Names?
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:34 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Well, it took six months, but DJT finally made me cry. I'm normally quite stoic, but the transgender military thing was the thing that finally did it. I'm not transgender, but I know intimately what it's like to see hard-fought progress ripped away like a barely healed scab and it's fucking devastating. I'm so angry and sorry and sad.
posted by xyzzy at 9:34 AM on July 26 [41 favorites]


$4 million is 0.0006% of the pentagon's annual budget. It's a rounding error.

For anyone who needs help visualizing or communicating this, here's an analogy:

Imagine you have a one and a half (US standard) cups of ordinary dry beach sand. That represents the total US military budget.

Take two and a half tablespoons of that out. That represents the total healthcare spending fraction of the US military budget.

From that two and a half tablespoons, take a single grain of sand. That represents the $4 million being spent on trans healthcare.

(Please feel free to copy/paste without attribution if it helps convince anyone that this is insane.)
posted by biogeo at 9:36 AM on July 26 [53 favorites]


It definitely backfired in NC, anyway - the bathroom bill absolutely wound up making the few-thousand-vote difference between reelecting the Republican governor and electing the Democrat. (Not that ol' Coop has fulfilled all my wildest dreams, but he's no McCrory.)

I'll say he kinda is. McCrory Cooper signed a "compromise" "bi-partisan" bill that essentially changed a few words but enshrined the policy set forth in HB2.
posted by anem0ne at 9:36 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Something tells me the ACLU is going to have a field day with this. At least I hope so. But nothing makes sense anymore and no one knows how the hell a judge would see things.
posted by azpenguin at 9:37 AM on July 26


Seriously, guys. What can we do about this? The same as usual? Call and march?
I'm fucking livid, and don't know how to constructively use this energy.
posted by greermahoney at 9:40 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Caitlyn Jenner is a Republican who is not in the military. The ban has no effect on her, so she has no problem with it.

I disagree that it has no effect. The effect of today's Twitter announcement is to single out trans people as the "other", to say they are a burden on society, not worthy of serving the military, and "too expensive" for the Government to care about them. It is purposefully further marginalizing an already vulnerable group.
posted by cell divide at 9:40 AM on July 26 [21 favorites]


I don't know that she doesn't have a problem with it--she faces quite a bit of transmisogyny herself.

Does she? No doubt plenty of transphobia/hate is directed at her but I question how much she ever really faces from within the money bubble. She likely faced some initial shrinking of her social circle as the most egregious bigots noped out but beyond that? This person killed someone with her car and suffered no consequences, why would she not be similarly insulated by station from this negative attention from randos?

It's McCain and the tumor in another form. Yeah that stuff sucks, folks, guess you'd better decide to be rich so it won't fuck you up.
posted by phearlez at 9:41 AM on July 26 [14 favorites]


I was upset about the vote to open debate on the ACA repeal, but I am so angry about today's announcement banning transgender people in the military. My sister is not in the military, but she is transgender, and her life is fucking hard enough without having to face procedural discrimination by her own government.

“It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.”
― Anaïs Nin

(h/t to Swiss-Miss.com for the quote)
posted by samthemander at 9:42 AM on July 26 [28 favorites]


I'm having trouble understanding the supposed outcome of this. Does it mean you can't transition while in the military without getting kicked out? Do they want some medical records purge of people who have transitioned previously? Can you enlist if you've gotten your sex on your birth certificate, etc changed? Do they even fucking know these answers?
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:43 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Does German have a word for "something offered even though you know damn well it won't be taken"?

This may be one of those instances when it’s helpful that the German word for “Poison” is “Gift.”
posted by miles per flower at 9:44 AM on July 26 [11 favorites]


I suspect trump is going to have to walk back that statement. A twitter thread isn't an executive order, and there's a process for implementing policy changes.
posted by empath at 9:44 AM on July 26 [11 favorites]


This CNN article has a box diagram that shows the miniscule scale of this "tremendous" expenditure vs. the DoD budget, for folks who want to visualize it.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:45 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


Do they even fucking know these answers?

I mean, of course not.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:45 AM on July 26 [21 favorites]


I'm having trouble understanding the supposed outcome of this. Does it mean you can't transition while in the military without getting kicked out? Do they want some medical records purge of people who have transitioned previously? Can you enlist if you've gotten your sex on your birth certificate, etc changed? Do they even fucking know these answers?

The only outcomes that matter is that Trump's hateful base gives him the adulation he craves. He's a junkie and he will burn the world down to get that fix if he has to.
posted by emjaybee at 9:45 AM on July 26 [20 favorites]


Is this just a tweet? Does he think tweeting is policy?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:46 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


honestly, I think the people making shitty memes on /r/the_donald put more thought and effort into their, uh, work than the actual Donald does when he shits out an Executive Twitter Order
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:47 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


It seems Supreme Military Advisor General Pence was a primary instigator [Daily Beast]
posted by Buntix at 9:47 AM on July 26 [19 favorites]


I agree that Trump(ists) misfired.

What they wanted:

- To throw red meat at #MAGA followers
- To cause grief and injury to transgender people and the leftists in general
- To distract from the continuous crises in the Congress and the WH
- To amputate another part of Obama's legacy
- To (possibly?) split the Progressives

What they achieved:

- Combined with his politicking in the USS Ford speech, Trump's approaches clearly showed he doesn't give a damn about this role as leader of the armed forces.
- His (ab)use of Twitter as dictatorial "announcement" platform clearly demonstrated his capricious and autocratic ways.
- Even Republicans are hesitating in showing their support.
- The crises in the Congress and WH are still in meltdown mode and people are getting better in spotting his distractions.
- He's desperate and he couldn't hide it.
posted by runcifex at 9:47 AM on July 26 [30 favorites]


I suspect trump is going to have to walk back that statement. A twitter thread isn't an executive order, and there's a process for implementing policy changes.

This reminds me of the initial announcement of the travel ban which was: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States". Absurd, offensive, unworkable, unilateral, formed without consulting anyone who knows anything about the subject matter. Evil.

Of course, that was before he became the most powerful person in the world.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:47 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


> Executive Twitter Ordure
There, fixed that for you.
posted by runcifex at 9:49 AM on July 26 [14 favorites]


Senator McCain demands a return to regular ordure
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:50 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


I'm having trouble understanding the supposed outcome of this. Does it mean you can't transition while in the military without getting kicked out?

If this ban follows the rules of the previous one, then yes. Trans soldiers were not allowed to serve openly. If they came out, then they were subject to honorable discharge.

Do they want some medical records purge of people who have transitioned previously?

The military requests medical history for enlistees, including previous surgeries, hospitalizations, etc. If someone is on hormone replacement therapy, they will ask why as part of the physical assessment. That information could be extremely important for them to know in the event that a soldier is injured and needs medical treatment.

Can you enlist if you've gotten your sex on your birth certificate, etc changed?

Don't know. But if someone is caught lying on their enlistment forms, they can be subject to dishonorable discharge.
posted by zarq at 9:51 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


I didn't fully understand how much this could effect trans service members if they were to be discharged under Trump's tweet.

Saundra Mitchell (served under Don't Ask, Don't Tell) twitter thread on how this ban could effect current trans service members, "They gave you a general discharge (instead of an honorable one,) usually on a Section 8: "mentally unfit for service." This meant you never qualified for veteran benefits of any kind: no VA service, no grants or scholarships as a veteran, no veteran housing assistance, nothing. And it was on your transcripts forever: GENERAL DISCHARGE, MENTALLY UNFIT FOR SERVICE. Imagine what that does when you have to apply for civilian employment. So you joined the military because you were patriotic, or because you wanted to learn a career, or you were poor and wanted to get the GI Bill, or because you truly, genuinely believed that you were working in service to the American people and to the ideals of creating a more perfect union. But if you were queer, they sectioned you out and stained you for life."
posted by gladly at 9:52 AM on July 26 [88 favorites]


whereas if someone else is caught lying on their forms, they get . . . how many do-overs?
posted by aspersioncast at 9:53 AM on July 26 [30 favorites]


From that Daily Beast article:
The more socially liberal factions of Trump’s inner circle—including his family members and staffers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner—have been opposed to all the anti-LGBT initiatives of this administration. However, they quickly determined that their “political capital be spent elsewhere,” as one senior White House official characterized it, given that their advice on LGBT issues has been routinely overruled, if not overlooked, by this administration and President Trump.
Oh hi. We're just over here opposing all the things you oppose too, but, meh, I'm sure there's something more important we could be doing. --Jared and Ivanka

Is there ever one thing they've "opposed" that they've supposedly "won" on?
posted by zachlipton at 9:53 AM on July 26 [26 favorites]


Tom Perez (@TomPerez):

To the members of the transgender community: You are not a "burden." Do not let this president shake you. We support you, we stand with you.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:53 AM on July 26 [52 favorites]


I think the statements from Sens Shelby and Hatch are important. Not as a message of allyship, but as an Anti-Trump message.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:53 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Is there even one thing they've "opposed" that they've supposedly "won" on?

Kushner has made great strides on the subject of Kushner Not Losing His Security Clearance
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:54 AM on July 26 [41 favorites]


Here's what I think: I think these people are setting themselves up for an enormous series of defeats at every level. I think we're going to get Medicare for all fairly soon, I think trans people will be able to serve in the military in this generation and I think that most of these bad policies will be fought hard at the local level and turned around in a medium timeframe.

I agree with Frowner. Much of the flailing the Republicans are doing over health care legislation has to do with their mouths writing checks their butts couldn't cash. Which they have to do -- and gerrymander, and suppress voters -- because their agenda is not popular, and what's more, they know it.

That's why they can gleefully act in such an anti-democratic manner. Complaints of unfairness are music to their ears, because they don't care; to the contrary, it means that at least for now, their strategy is working.

Democrats will take power again -- possibly one house in 2018, and the whole shebang in less than four years. And I hope none of our elected Democratic representatives listen for a moment to Republican whining as they merrily enact an agenda that's more in line with promoting the general welfare and ensuring the blessings of liberty, no matter what the talk radio crowd says.
posted by Gelatin at 9:54 AM on July 26 [19 favorites]


I am honestly pleasantly...shocked? by the Orrin Hatch (R-Utah, 82 years old) statement, which was mentioned above but here it is in full:
I don't think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them. I look forward to getting much more information and clarity from our military leaders about the policy the President tweeted today.
(I like to think there's a little shade there about the practice of randomly tweeting out new policies.)
posted by lalex at 9:56 AM on July 26 [46 favorites]


I suspect trump is going to have to walk back that statement. A twitter thread isn't an executive order, and there's a process for implementing policy changes.

There is a process. The policy was reviewed and approved by the military. Guidelines were issued. It was posted on the Defense Department site. The required one-year delay had expired.

Mad Dog Mattis simply needed to do nothing. Everything was in place. But a month ago, Mattis put his foot down and put a stop to it. Not on his watch, as they say. As Secretary of Defense, he has the authority to do so, overruling the military commanders. Trump just made it official.
posted by JackFlash at 9:56 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


WP: Rep. Scalise discharged from hospital weeks after shooting, beginning rehabilitation
posted by Chrysostom at 9:56 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


They gave you a general discharge (instead of an honorable one,) usually on a Section 8: "mentally unfit for service." This meant you never qualified for veteran benefits of any kind: no VA service, no grants or scholarships as a veteran, no veteran housingassistance, nothing. And it was on your transcripts forever: GENERAL DISCHARGE, MENTALLY UNFIT FOR SERVICE. Imagine what that does when you have to apply for civilian employment. So you joined the military because you were patriotic, or because you wanted to learn a career, or you were poor and wanted to get the GI Bill, or because you truly, genuinely believed that you were working in service to the American people and to the ideals of creating a more perfect union. But if you were queer, they sectioned you out and stained you for life."

I have a friend who was an Army Captain that was honorably discharged in the early 2000's thanks to DADT after he was outed by several fellow officers. I don't know the exact circumstances or if that discharge status was unusual.
posted by zarq at 9:57 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


How's this for depressing: Despite its incredible shittiness and horrific real-world impacts (both direct and second-order) I'm a little bit heartened by the rationale for the transgender service ban because it's based on the premise that the White House expects midterm elections next November.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:58 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


In general, the Rs/DJT will always say "Look over there! Someone you hate getting something they don't deserve!" It's not new. And yet we seldom seem to have an effective comeback to it.

"What part of 'We, the People' don't you get? We all deserve it."
posted by Gelatin at 9:58 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


I'm sure Sen. Shelby is very concerned and troubled by these events.

So I saw someone on Reddit coin the web "McCaining" to mean "Claim to be very troubled by something you actually supported," thus a specific form of hypocrisy.

Thus: "Sen. Shelby was McCaining this morning."

It would be awesome if that could become a widespread internet usage before the old sailor shuffles off this mortal coil. Rather like "Santorum."

Caitlyn Jenner

Leopard meet face.
posted by spitbull at 9:58 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]




Is this just a tweet? Does he think tweeting is policy?

Yes; yes; everything is awful
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:01 AM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Yes; yes; everything is awful

Something something new Democratic Party slogan.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:05 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Rep. Scalise discharged from hospital weeks after shooting, beginning rehabilitation

Good. The number of Americans killed since 2001 in left-wing terrorist attacks remains zero. The number killed in right-wing terrorist attacks is more than 106.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:06 AM on July 26 [22 favorites]


Just a quick scheduling note on what's happening in the Senate. A vote series is expected around 3:30 on ORRA (the 2015 repeal-lite bill). There will be a couple of procedural votes first, as Democrats will object that the abortion restrictions in the bill are unacceptable under the Byrd Rule. Then they'll vote on the bill itself.

Again, the only bill that really matters is the one McConnell slaps down at the end of the vote-a-rama on Friday.

Also not a great sign: Heller appears to be backing "skinny repeal." That doesn't actually, you know, exist—it's more of a way to pass something, anything, and kick the can down the road to a fight with the House about what the bill is actually supposed to be, but there's been a lot of can kicking going on.
posted by zachlipton at 10:07 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


If anyone wants to MeMail me good dismissive responses (e.g., "You're not worth responding to. I hope you step on a Lego."), I could use a hand.

"Everyone you've ever loved thinks you are a burden and a disappointment. You will die alone."
posted by poffin boffin at 10:08 AM on July 26 [103 favorites]


I'll re-propose my Obama Repeal Act:

All instances of the term "Obamacare" in the Laws of the United States shall be amended and replaced with "American Care Act."

Simple, does the job. You're welcome, GOP
posted by ocschwar at 10:08 AM on July 26 [13 favorites]


OMG it's poffin boffin!! I've really missed your comments.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:09 AM on July 26 [63 favorites]


I expect the "skinny repeal" to pass, which is bad, but not a total disaster. It will certainly force premiums up and thus force people out of the insurance market because the whole point of the invidual mandate is to ensure that there is a huge pool of insured to carry the weight for the expensive (old and sick). But I think the skinny repeal won't touch the subsidies, or medicaid/care, or planned parenthood, so if it passes, well, at least it's not the most evil thing they've conceived.
posted by dis_integration at 10:11 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


>> Is this just a tweet? Does he think tweeting is policy?

> Yes; yes; everything is awful


The Daily Beast article kinda nailed it etymology-wise with 'edict'. And as a bonus, King Trump is a pre-nomial pretty much everyone could agree on, even if most of us parse it as 'king Trump.

Another good phrase, @Greg_Palast: "No shame, McCain? You got fixed in a hospital covered by gov’t insurance—just so you could vote against other Americans getting #healthcare?"
posted by Buntix at 10:11 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Gut reaction here, but I think what we've witnessed in the last few days with the healthcare vote (McCain flew back after brain surgery), the trans ban, the Boy Scouts Jamboree, the new sanctuary cities policy, the Sessions-Trump rivalry, and the Spicer ouster has been coordinated on some level.

There were 6 months of flailing and bumbling before these events, and shit would dribble out at what you might call a regular pace, but this is the first real...for lack of a better term...counterpunch from the Trump/GOP regime...is what I feel like? I don't know if that's true, but it feels like they spent the first six months trying to be horrible and looking for where battle lines would firm up, but now they have a better idea of how to be horrible effectively.

This wasn't the first time I felt like this. The travel ban, something egregious, public, and terribly disruptive to remind us who's in charge, even if it failed, was the first punch. The country reeled, found its footing, shoved back, and gave Trump a massive slug in the gut (remember the first speech to Congress where they all said he was "presidential", and almost immediately more Russia leaks came out?), and the last few months of summer have been calmer than the first few months as we all kind of wait around in suspense for Mueller to figure something out, for more horribleness to come down, for the next lie...and then, in the last 7 days or so, LOTS.

It feels timed and coordinated on some level to me. Either because one thing emboldened them to do the rest, or because there was an evil stagemaster (I'm convinced McConnell had that MTP vote timed out a few days ahead of time), probably some combination of the two, but...

I think this is what we can expect the next year or two to feel like. Lots of suspense and regular shit-dribble punctuated by weeks like this and the last where they're on the offensive.

I'm not mad, actually. We know what they are and what they'll do. They come after everything sacred. What's maddening is not knowing what they'll come after next.
posted by saysthis at 10:12 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


There really no reason not to become the most radical political partisan you can think of anymore.

i'm tired of waking up in the middle of the night screaming DIRECT ACTION DIRECT ACTION DIRECT ACTION though
posted by poffin boffin at 10:13 AM on July 26 [29 favorites]


Something I've been wondering this morning, but haven't been able to find and answer on: does anyone know if they be able to do 'skinny repeal' through reconciliation? Has it been scored by the CBO or is it immune from that somehow?
posted by sporkwort at 10:14 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]




Skinny repeal is basically a financially unsurportable policy that will destroy the markets and rob people of healthcare that way instead, so it's not better, no.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


It's also really fucking dumb and the product of people with no grasp of economics whatsoever. When it comes to money republicans have no fucking clue.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


They're like the dumb babies in that study who shoved the marshmallows into their mouths immediately and then cried for more instead of saving them for later and also getting more.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:17 AM on July 26 [17 favorites]


I suspect the "skinny repeal" to pass, which is bad, but not a total disaster.

Skinny repeal is not a real bill. It is just a placeholder, a procedural trick, so that they can move on to the Senate/House conference committee that will write the real repeal, removing subsidies and providing tax cuts for the rich.

Once the conference committee reports, the bill goes for a simple majority up or down vote in both houses. There is no filibuster.

Skinny repeal is a disaster because it means real repeal stays alive.
posted by JackFlash at 10:17 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Excommunicated Cardinal: "OMG it's poffin boffin!! I've really missed your comments."

Yes, yes, yes! One good thing has come about today.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:19 AM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Skinny repeal is also a placeholder for conferencing with the House, who really really want to dismantle Medicaid (see: Paul Ryan's frat party fantasies), so I don't see how it's anything but a Frankenstein policy of all their worst ideas, combined.
posted by Superplin at 10:19 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


But I think the skinny repeal won't touch the subsidies, or medicaid/care, or planned parenthood, so if it passes, well, at least it's not the most evil thing they've conceived.

I think they will add those things in after it passes the Senate. They didn't come this far not to cut Medicaid and destroy more lives. The House certainly isn't going for skinny repeal on its own. I don't see skinny repeal as the actual set of things they're going to do so much as the vehicle by which they will advance the process forward yet again. They'll pass something, and then they can turn it into whatever horrorshow they want.

Something I've been wondering this morning, but haven't been able to find and answer on: does anyone know if they be able to do 'skinny repeal' through reconciliation? Has it been scored by the CBO or is it immune from that somehow?

It depends what's in it, but that would certainly be the plan (there is zero point in proceeding with a bill that will take 60 votes to pass). It hasn't been scored by the CBO (though the last time the CBO scored repealing the mandate, they called it -15 million insured), but I've seen theories that they could just proceed without a score and score the final bill that emerges from conference, or even more ridiculously, have Sen. Enzi (Budget Committee) declare a score all by himself. Once it comes back from conference, it would pass on 50 votes straight up or down, that's it, and the pressure to pass whatever it is will be enormous because it will be the end of the line.
posted by zachlipton at 10:20 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Trump hit Murkowski on Twitter this morning, she's not having it:
I am in a position where I’m not looking to reelection until 2022. And quite honestly, I don’t think it’s wise to be operating on a daily basis thinking about what a statement or a response that causes you to be fearful of your electoral prospects.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:23 AM on July 26 [56 favorites]


For some breaths of hope, numerous, numerous vet orgs are coming out against Trump's statements.
posted by corb at 10:25 AM on July 26 [30 favorites]


While we continue to fight on every othet front today, perhaps it's worth each of us making a public social media statement in support of trans people deserving the same rights and respect as every other human.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:25 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


Does [Caitlyn Jenner face transphobia] though? No doubt plenty of transphobia/hate is directed at her but I question how much she ever really faces from within the money bubble.

Uhh yeah, she does. People in her own political party call her (and the rest of us) sick and disturbed. People are routinely insulting about her physical appearance and refuse to believe her account of her own lived experience of gender identity. It can be traumatizing to experience these things (ask me how I know)--so traumatizing that that one waits until their mid-60s to do something about it. I am glad she has spoken out against these tweets and hope she will educate herself more.

Her money may insulate her from some of it, but all it takes is one entitled, raged out, radicalized rightwinger to shoot or beat us to severe injury or death because of our gender identity. Similarly, any policies that negatively affect poor transpeople can eventually flow up hill to affect rich transpeople.

Not going to spend too much more time addressing this though--40% of my community have tried to kill themselves and hate is being reinstituted as official government policy, 20% of black trans women are managing HIV, and 70% of can't get official identification that reflects our gender identity.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:26 AM on July 26 [32 favorites]


Sen Joni Ernst [R-IA]: "Americans who are qualified & can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity.” [DMR]
posted by Chrysostom at 10:28 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Briefing is on camera today. Scheduled for about 25 minutes from now. Who actually knows when she'll show up.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:32 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


Is this just a tweet? Does he think tweeting is policy?

This is my question as well. Everyone's fired up against it, but I'm seeing other tweets from reporters saying the Pentagon's reaction has been "huh? wtf? we don't know anything about this." So I'm not sure he's done anything (yet) resulting in enforceable policy.
posted by dnash at 10:34 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Rep. Ken Buck [R-CO]: “America needs a military comprised of patriots willing to sacrifice for this country. Any American who is physically and emotionally qualified should be allowed to serve.” [Denver Post]

Guys...I'm starting to think this may not have been the political slam dunk the White House thought it was.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:36 AM on July 26 [54 favorites]


One thing I'm wholly unclear on -- most administrative agencies have to go through a strictly regimented rulemaking process to do anything on the order of this transgender ban, but as "commander in chief," does Trump get to make personnel decisions like this on a whim? I could imagine it going either way and so am very confused about whether this tweet can constitute a new policy on its own.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:37 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


I mean, if you set out to create a campaign problem for Democrats in the midterms and you end up with daylight on the issue between the White House and Orrin Hatch, yeah, you'd probably be better off getting your political advice from a Magic 8-Ball.
posted by zachlipton at 10:38 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]


Uhh yeah, she does.

Thank you for explaining, EC. Can't speak for anyone else here, but I tend to think of Jenner as being quite privileged and insulated against transphobia. It's helpful to have a greater awareness that she's had to deal with the same awfulness.
posted by zarq at 10:39 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]




Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: "One thing I'm wholly unclear on -- most administrative agencies have to go through a strictly regimented rulemaking process to do anything on the order of this transgender ban, but as "commander in chief," does Trump get to make personnel decisions like this on a whim? I could imagine it going either way and so am very confused about whether this tweet can constitute a new policy on its own."

ACLU says no, nothing happens until proper regs issued.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:41 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


This is my question as well. Everyone's fired up against it, but I'm seeing other tweets from reporters saying the Pentagon's reaction has been "huh? wtf? we don't know anything about this." So I'm not sure he's done anything (yet) resulting in enforceable policy.

I completely get this from a technical legal analysis perspective, but the fact remains his words currently have immense power, simply by virtue and quirk of our system of government. This isn't new. No, this isn't a DoD policy, but he is the CiC by definition, and making such statements has an actual impact which will have to be fought out in court now. Guess who controls the courts.
posted by odinsdream at 10:41 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


um hey yall the President is tweeting again and it looks like he got his caps lock stuck
IN AMERICA WE DON'T WORSHIP GOVERNMENT - WE WORSHIP GOD!
also he forgot about the separation of church and state again

also the link he posted is broken
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:41 AM on July 26 [41 favorites]


He wants to replace Sessions with an equally hateful cretin though. Guiliani was bad enough with mayoral power.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:43 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


zachlipton: "I mean, if you set out to create a campaign problem for Democrats in the midterms and you end up with daylight on the issue between the White House and Orrin Hatch, yeah, you'd probably be better off getting your political advice from a Magic 8-Ball."

Hatch is kind of interesting here. He's clearly come out against it - fuller statement here. He's also old, has made at least some noises about not running in 2018, and if he did run, would have to be nominated by a convention (which tend to be more extremist than primaries). I wonder if this is a signal.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:44 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Okay, between the "WE WORSHIP GOD" tweet and the uncharacteristic spelling and grammar correctness in this morning's nightmare announcement, is it possible that Trump had a heart attack last night and what we're seeing now is Pence holed up with his phone hoping nobody figures it out until he's already renamed the country Jesustopia?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:45 AM on July 26 [56 favorites]


you'd probably be better off getting your political advice from a Magic 8-Ball

Is that what we're calling Bannon now?
posted by Etrigan at 10:45 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


It feels timed and coordinated on some level to me.

possible, but also it all feels indistinguishable from the outcome of some red-faced human myocardial event drenched in flop sweat and reeking of failure stomping around his office screaming I NEED A WIN, GET ME A WIN, WHY AM I SURROUNDED BY BACKSTABBERS AND LOSERS etc
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:45 AM on July 26 [34 favorites]


I sincerely wanted to ask if his Twitter account got hacked. But perhaps sufficiently deranged tweeting is indistinguishable from that.
posted by runcifex at 10:45 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Told y'all a few threads back that Murkowski was alright. She's certainly as much or more than we have any reason to expect from an Alaska senator. I've followed her a few years and met her once and know many people she has directly helped with her excellent constituent s service operation. There a reason she won on a writein vote. In fact she's the senator whose office I've been writing/calling all this time about health care, since I live in NY but I can name drop people she knows as supporters on the North Slope as my friends. Alaska is really that small a population.
posted by spitbull at 10:45 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Gut reaction here, but I think what we've witnessed in the last few days with the healthcare vote (McCain flew back after brain surgery), the trans ban, the Boy Scouts Jamboree, the new sanctuary cities policy, the Sessions-Trump rivalry, and the Spicer ouster has been coordinated on some level.

I've linked her before, but Alexandra Erin on Twitter has been doing hypothetical deep dives into Trumps psyche and her conclusions all seems to make sense. She theorizes this is due to Scarammuci coming in and encouraging Trump to go for his base, to rile everybody up, accelerationism as a form of governance, that Trump got sick of all the "no men" around him and found some "yes men" and this is what happens.
posted by Brainy at 10:48 AM on July 26 [56 favorites]


lalex: I am honestly pleasantly...shocked? by the Orrin Hatch (R-Utah, 82 years old) statement, which was mentioned above but here it is in full:
I don't think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them. I look forward to getting much more information and clarity from our military leaders about the policy the President tweeted today.
Dear Mr. Hatch, please expand on "the best" that you are trying to do for transgender people, and people in general. Your support of reducing health care in this country to tax rich people less seems pretty antithetical to any general idea of "the best" that you could give people.


tivalasvegas: um hey yall the President is tweeting again and it looks like he got his caps lock stuck

He's in full "flail in all directions, rile up my base, try to distract people from items of substance that are happening" mode, right? Or did someone say "we worship the government" and he's replying to them?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:48 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Trump got sick of all the "no men" around him and found some "yes men" and this is what happens.

That makes sense, thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:49 AM on July 26


Might be worth it re: ' . .WARSHIP GAWD!' tweet, to check Fox in the last hour. He seems to consistently get the most riled up after shouting at the tv first.
posted by rc3spencer at 10:52 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Mueller better slam down whatever he's got fucking today and be ready with people with the power to arrest who are loyal to our country.

It is beyond time to remove these fuckers from positions of power. We may already be beyond the point of any possibility of recovery.
posted by odinsdream at 10:52 AM on July 26 [20 favorites]


This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to take complete ownership of this issue. How will blue collars voters in these states respond when senators up for reelection in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaign?

Man, it's not that hard. Off the top of my head: "I am here to fight for all people. When I see injustice happen to anyone, I will stand up to it. When I see proud and brave members of our military being disrespected and insulted I will stand up for them. That means I'll also stand up for trans people, for gay people, for immigrants, for women, for children; and when they come for you, be it through slashing your Medicare, destroying your livelihoods by giving your jobs to overseas workers, age discrimination or whatever else, I'll stand up for you. They may not have come for you yet but if and when they do, I will be here and I will fight for you."

Democrats have been saying stuff like this for awhile. But now we have a real opportunity, because Trump is actually coming for the blue-collar voters and they're going to feel it too.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:52 AM on July 26 [22 favorites]


It feels timed and coordinated on some level to me.

possible, but also it all feels indistinguishable from the outcome of some red-faced human myocardial event drenched in flop sweat and reeking of failure stomping around his office screaming I NEED A WIN, GET ME A WIN, WHY AM I SURROUNDED BY BACKSTABBERS AND LOSERS etc
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:45 AM on July 27 [5 favorites +] [!]


I'll take that as a point of origin.
posted by saysthis at 10:53 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


You'd probably be better off getting your political advice from a Magic 8-Ball

Is that what we're calling Bannon now?


I'm thinking Bannon's 8-ball is more of the pharmaceutical variety.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:55 AM on July 26 [23 favorites]


Jesus Christ it is so terrible how good a military coup seems right now.
posted by angrycat at 10:55 AM on July 26 [24 favorites]


Oh, his link works now. Maybe Instagram choked or maybe my computer just refused to load the stupidity the first couple times but I guess he is just taking a stroll down memory lane to the good old days when he got to jet around the country saying stupid things to cheering crowds of white people and no one was making him go to long complicated meetings or making him try to convince Republican congresspersons to do stuff.

Frankly I, too, hate long meetings and talking to Republicans but I took that into consideration before making a decision on running for President, so I don't have a ton of sympathy there.*

*also I can't run for President because discrimination against immigrants
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:55 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Michelle Obama, appearing last night at an event for Women’s Foundation of Colorado, reaffirmed that she, and Barack, weren't going anywhere and are still dedicated to public service. She also spoke candidly about the racist and sexist attacks on her as First Lady and about acknowledging their hurtfulness in order not to excuse the attackers. “Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut. We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”

She concluded on a note of hope for her audience: “Don’t be afraid of the country you live in. The folks here are good.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:58 AM on July 26 [59 favorites]


I wonder if Mueller is setting up contingencies to be able to resume the investigation where they left off if he gets fired and then re-hired by Congress.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:58 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Jesus Christ it is so terrible how good a military coup seems right now.


I know, right. They storm in and arrest him. Or just remove him. Thing is, once the military gets in charge...they tend not to like to leave. And they have guns.

If he were a drunk in a bar we could take his keys away before he drove anywhere. Instead, we can't do shit about the fact that the president is a raving lunatic.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:00 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


I... I mean, I love you Michelle but those two statements are not easily reconciled.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:01 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


WORSHIP GOD

Huh, didn't know that Trump was fond of mid-90s Martin/Broadrick industrial. Finally, a tweet I can relate to!
posted by Existential Dread at 11:02 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Trump: "WE WORSHIP GOD"

Jesus: I think you have the wrong number. Have you tried 1-800-$MAMMON?
posted by BentFranklin at 11:03 AM on July 26 [14 favorites]


Oh, his link works now. Maybe Instagram choked or maybe my computer just refused to load the stupidity the first couple times

Instagram has had intermittent outages since about 10am Eastern.
posted by zarq at 11:03 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


I've linked her before, but Alexandra Erin on Twitter has been doing hypothetical deep dives into Trumps psyche and her conclusions all seems to make sense. She theorizes this is due to Scarammuci coming in and encouraging Trump to go for his base, to rile everybody up, accelerationism as a form of governance, that Trump got sick of all the "no men" around him and found some "yes men" and this is what happens.

Trump also just did a big Deplorables rally in PA last night -- maybe he's riffing off stuff from that crowd. It's been a while since he has hung out with his core scummy supporters, hasn't it?
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:03 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


i assume every day is a great struggle for michelle not to command us to man the barricades and storm the capitol
posted by poffin boffin at 11:04 AM on July 26 [52 favorites]


I wish she would already
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:05 AM on July 26 [33 favorites]




Guys...I'm starting to think this may not have been the political slam dunk the White House thought it was.

I don't think any of this proves otherwise. Trump's interest is Trump. If this harms other party members he couldn't give less of a fuck. So other R pols with vulnerability or ethics will disavow and maybe even be harmed, but what does Trump care? In the short term he wants the adulation he can get by lashing out and in the long term he wants the votes to show up again. Everything in the last six months has been about only serving and appealing to His People.

This almost certainly comes from someone other than just Trump because it might actually resemble strategy. Folks who hate him are already energized. There's no harm to him in winding them up. This tries to sop the people he needs to remain energized to show up to vote for him. We've already seen what the result is when folks who hate Trump's schtick show up to vote against him and folks who love it show up to vote for him. Why wouldn't he want to engage under those same conditions again?
posted by phearlez at 11:06 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


If you're trying to make sense of "skinny repeal" and what could happen in conference, you should read Dylan Scott's attempt to figure it out: Republicans face a monumental choice on Obamacare repeal: go big or go skinny. He's more optimistic than I am that skinny repeal could be the end result in and of itself, rather than just a mechanism to move forward with more later.

I could also see them adding more non-byrdable stuff in conference only to have it stripped out again, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by zachlipton at 11:06 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


According to Scaramucci, DJT wants to make healthcare more like commercial air travel.

I mean everyone loves the flying experience what could possibly go wrong
posted by Superplin at 11:06 AM on July 26 [61 favorites]


The only thing that means in trumps world is he gets his own plane (wit his name on it!) and that's just all right by him.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:08 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


United Basic Economy Healthcare, for when you absolutely need it, but can't afford anything else.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:09 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Oh, his link works now.

Paging Pete Souza. Pete Souza to the front desk.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:09 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


So what you're saying is that I'll have to take my fucking shoes off when I pick up a prescription?
posted by delfin at 11:09 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got ...
...big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!


And here we have the President of the United States publicly castigating his own hand-picked Attorney General for not choosing to do something which the President himself is capable of doing immediately and unilaterally, while also declining to fire said Attorney General.

I thought I knew the real Donald Trump, but I didn't expect he would be so reluctant to tell people there were fired.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:09 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


According to Scaramucci, DJT wants to make healthcare more like commercial air travel.

I.e., a horrifying, dehumanizing disaster ever since the Republicans deregulated it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:10 AM on July 26 [34 favorites]


Once the conference committee reports, the bill goes for a simple majority up or down vote in both houses. There is no filibuster.

Yeah, conference reports are usually able to be filibustered but those pertaining to reconciliation bills can't be. It does mean, however, that anything in the final bill must still pass a Byrd Bath so they can't slip something like Planned Parenthood defunding back in during conference and then pass it with 50. Assuming, as expected, PP defunding is disallowed by the Parliamentarian.
posted by Justinian at 11:10 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Oh hey also the head of embassy security resigned from the State Department, while Rex is taking a few days off.

Completely unrelated memory: Benghazi.
posted by Superplin at 11:10 AM on July 26 [28 favorites]


So what you're saying is that I'll have to take my fucking shoes off when I pick up a prescription?

*snaps rubber glove* I've got good news and I've got bad news....
posted by zrail at 11:10 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Spirit/Allegient Healthcare: "Oh you wanted CLEAN bedsheets, Mr. La-Di-Da? That's $30 extra"
posted by splen at 11:10 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


According to Scaramucci, DJT wants to make healthcare more like commercial air travel.

So they will tell you someone more important needs your hospital bed and violently drag you out into the street
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:12 AM on July 26 [39 favorites]


Jesus Christ it is so terrible how good a military coup seems right now.

...is what is usually thought by a lot of people before their country descends into authoritarianism because of military coups.
posted by Justinian at 11:12 AM on July 26 [17 favorites]


Trumpcare: Fly the friendly scalpels
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:13 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I thought I knew the real Donald Trump, but I didn't expect he would be so reluctant to tell people there were fired.

Seems totally predictable to me: Mr. Hard Guy Tough Businessman My Way or the Highway is too much of a fucking whiny craven baby to tell someone to their face that he's letting them go. He probably has Meredith do it. Shit, look at how he handled the Comey firing.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:14 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


*looks sideways at the tube of glue, throws it aside, breaks open the carboy of ether*
posted by loquacious at 11:15 AM on July 26 [12 favorites]


Plus after the Comey backlash, I'm sure he's moronic enough to believe that if he publicly hounds these guys out of office, that won't count as firing them and won't add more counts of obstruction.

Also, aforementioned rally was in Ohio. Sorry, Pennsylvania.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:17 AM on July 26


I think there is a cadre of them for whom this is a game.
So name them.


Oh, but that's against the rules of her game.
posted by Gelatin at 11:18 AM on July 26


anything in the final bill must still pass a Byrd Bath so they can't slip something like Planned Parenthood defunding back in during conference and then pass it with 50.

Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
posted by JackFlash at 11:19 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


According to Scaramucci, DJT wants to make healthcare more like commercial air travel.

I... I mean... Is there a worse thing you could want to make healthcare like? Gladiatorial Combat? Roulette? The Electoral College?
posted by Rock Steady at 11:20 AM on July 26 [61 favorites]


ok captain buzzkill, they can't do it without effectively permanently rendering the legislative filibuster null and void.
posted by Justinian at 11:21 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


I... I mean... Is there a worse thing you could want to make healthcare like? Gladiatorial Combat? Roulette? The Electoral College?

Postal service? Shopping for swimsuits?
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:23 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Oops, you just used that word again.
posted by JackFlash at 11:23 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


At least gladiatorial combat would be cheaper & involves less standing on line
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:23 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


It feels timed and coordinated on some level to me.

Today's transphobic bullshit feels the opposite of that to me. Looking at where he is -- crying constantly about Sessions and the Russia Investigation -- makes me think he feels increasingly powerless. Then yesterday, on the heels of the healthcare vote in the Senate, the House passed their side of the Russia sanctions (which explicitly ties his hands in a new way). And both houses passed that bill with giant veto-proof "Fuck You" margins.

He can't control a key person in his cabinet on an issue that makes him extremely vulnerable. And now Congress is going to slap him with something he absolutely want and can't stop.

He needs to feel powerful. He needs to do something to show he's in control. He wants to hit back, and he wants to hit someone he believes (wrongly) can't fight back. So now there's this.

The downward spiral continues. The question is how much damage he'll do and how many people he'll hurt on his way down.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:27 AM on July 26 [57 favorites]


Faint of Butt: "I.e., a horrifying, dehumanizing disaster ever since the Republicans deregulated it."

Pedantry: The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 was introduced as a bill by Howard Cannon [D-NV], was passed overwhelmingly by the Democratically-controlled House and the Democratically-controlled Senate, and signed by president Jimmy Carter, whom you will recall was a Democrat.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:27 AM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Okay, between the "WE WORSHIP GOD" tweet and the uncharacteristic spelling and grammar correctness in this morning's nightmare announcement, is it possible that Trump had a heart attack last night and what we're seeing now is Pence holed up with his phone hoping nobody figures it out until he's already renamed the country Jesustopia?

As shit starts to fall apart, he needs a solid, reliable, dumbshit base

This is what he thinks will appeal to evangelicals

He's probably right

I think it's an indicator investigators are sniffing around in his finances
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:28 AM on July 26 [21 favorites]


Pedantry: The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 was introduced as a bill by Howard Cannon [D-NV], was passed overwhelmingly by the Democratically-controlled House and the Democratically-controlled Senate, and signed by president Jimmy Carter, whom you will recall was a Democrat.

::shrug:: Fake news.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:29 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


burn it all down. scorched earth until not a single DNA strand belonging to any of this weeping pustulence of deranged "government" exists.

What does this mean in concrete terms? I'm having a hard time parsing exactly how literally people mean to be taken when they say things like this.


I've been giving the matter some thought, and for one thing, Democrats are going to have to go after Republican power centers the way Republicans have been attacking the likes of unions, teachers, immigrants, and trial lawyers. For starters, Democrats should raise taxes the wealthy, especially capital gains, by a lot. Clearly what the rich did with all that money Reagan handed them was buy even more political power so, hey, let's take it away, and, better still, spend it on the general welfare.

The advantage of this approach is that not only does it diminish the power of a -- no, the -- key Republican base, it also, unlike the Republican measures, serves the public good.

Democrats also need to abandon their illusions of "bipartisanship" and "comity" and recognize that the Republicans have created a parliamentary system. The party out of power has no power, so it's essential that Democrats do everything legal to minimize the ability of Republicans to exercise influence over the national agenda.

There's less the Democrats can to do influence the media directly, but they need to work the refs the way the Republicans did when they convinced the media that "liberal media bias" was a problem. Democrats should advocate for objectivity, which means not giving a platform to people the reporter knows are telling lies.
posted by Gelatin at 11:29 AM on July 26 [36 favorites]


I thought I knew the real Donald Trump, but I didn't expect he would be so reluctant to tell people there were fired.

In real life, Trump has always had trouble firing people himself (seriously).
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:29 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


> Seems totally predictable to me: Mr. Hard Guy Tough Businessman My Way or the Highway is too much of a fucking whiny craven baby

I do suspect as far as direct action goes his business empire is his weak spot (both in terms what he actually cares about, and potential solvency issues [it could be the liquidators going through his books that brings him down in the end, or just him totally losing his shit and posting all his emails on twitter when his shiny status symbols go bust]).

In other picking-fights-with-ex-squaddies news: @eternalkerri: "Seriously.

Trump can suck the Iraqi sand off my transgender veteran cock."
posted by Buntix at 11:30 AM on July 26 [25 favorites]


Politco: Inside Trump’s snap decision to ban transgender troops. The GOP just wanted Trump to settle a dispute within the party over the House spending bill, where a couple of reps were holding up the bill because they wanted to ban funding for transgender health care in the military, and even GOP leadership wouldn't do that. They sure as hell weren't talking about banning all trans troops either, but the bill also had wall funding and other stuff Trump wants. They went to Mattis, who "refused to immediately upend the policy," and so they went over his head to Trump, who...just tweeted it out.
posted by zachlipton at 11:30 AM on July 26 [93 favorites]


Approaching 40 minutes late on the press conference.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:33 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


The administration really, really wants to make Healthcare like that prizes for poor bin in South Park where Kenny goes into the bin, the door is locked, a jet of air is pumped from below so as to make Kenny and the prize tickets spin inside the bin like corn in the popcorn popper; if Kenny is lucky he emerges with a random prize ticket in his hand.

Come to think of it, it already sounds a bit like the healthcare experience in the US except for the top flight insurance plans for Fortune 50 white collar office workers and mid / upper management.
posted by rainy at 11:34 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


They went to Mattis, who "refused to immediately upend the policy," and so they went over his head to Trump, who...just tweeted it out.

That story is remarkable. And nothing will be done, right? All of this is fine. All of this is fine. All of this is fine. All of this is fine. All of this is fine. All of this is fine. .
posted by pjenks at 11:35 AM on July 26 [11 favorites]


Hey, how 'bout that socially progressive "moderating influence," Ivanka Trump, everybody? Heckuva job. About the only tiny ray of light today is that I'm pretty sure her entire NY & DC social circle just unfriended her en masse.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:35 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


This is what he thinks will appeal to evangelicals

It's a crude and stupid parody of religiosity with frightening cult like overtones, so he is probably spot on.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on July 26 [16 favorites]


Rob Portman's office phone lines are still busy, and have been since at least last Friday with full voicemail. Let me tell you, there are some discontented constituents in Ohio today.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:37 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Trumps have friends? Seems unlikely.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on July 26


Huckabee is just such a ray of sunshine.
posted by H. Roark at 11:40 AM on July 26


Don't laugh at Huckabee's jokes, press corps. Just glare.
posted by vverse23 at 11:41 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Why does she look like she's been crying, or about to cry?
posted by mefireader at 11:42 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Trumps have friends? Seems unlikely.

Well, you know, "friends." Air-kiss friends. Dinner party friends. Parents of other kids at the Country Day that you organize playdates with friends.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:42 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Aw, Sarah.
posted by all about eevee at 11:42 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Hey, how 'bout that socially progressive "moderating influence," Ivanka Trump, everybody? Heckuva job. About the only tiny ray of light today is that I'm pretty sure her entire NY & DC social circle just unfriended her en masse.

Nobody who was willing to be their friend three weeks ago is unwilling to be their friend now.
posted by phearlez at 11:42 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Oh fuck, we're still doing this ritual? Just walk away, press people, it's just a bunch of dull lies.
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Well, you know, "friends." Air-kiss friends. Dinner party friends. Parents of other kids at the Country Day that you organize playdates with friends.

Seems like they'd have to pay those too.
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Well, that was actually sort of cute.
posted by all about eevee at 11:43 AM on July 26


Politco: Inside Trump’s snap decision to ban transgender troops.

Several GOP reps are named in the article -- although it doesn't directly refer to them as the "couple of reps [...] holding up the bill," the implication is there. One is Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, who earlier this morning was on Twitter saying we must have space-based missle defense to shield the US from North Korean cruise missiles; another is Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama, who this morning posted a picture of himself meeting with the dude from Pawn Stars. And then of course there's Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, whose idea to defund gender confirmation surgeries is what put the idea in Trump's head in the first place -- her Twitter prominently features her recent and worshipful tour of West Point.

So they're all fucking miserable, shit-for-brains clowns, is what I'm saying.
posted by penduluum at 11:44 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


FelliniBlank: "
I... I mean... Is there a worse thing you could want to make healthcare like? Gladiatorial Combat? Roulette? The Electoral College?
Postal service?
"

Healthcare wishes it was as effective and cheap as the postal service.
posted by Mitheral at 11:44 AM on July 26 [57 favorites]


[Reminder, please no contextless reactions - if you're liveblogging, include context for people who aren't watching what you're watching.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:45 AM on July 26 [34 favorites]


For anyone who is bound to get into arguments with lots of stupid questions from people re: transgender servicepeople, I wanted to offer the following exchange in case this approach helps:

Rando: A man who is transgending to a women [sic], does he follow the male or female PT standards? Do they bunk and shower in the male or female area?

Me: There are reasonable answers to these questions. You can find them if you want to look them up. I recommend starting with Google. You might want to include ".mil" in your search terms so you get information from military sources.

Don't exhaust yourself arguing with people who only want to believe Fox News. Point them at legit sources and walk away. They'll either look if they actually care, or they won't, in which case they really aren't worth your time.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:45 AM on July 26 [25 favorites]


SHS: fucking "military readiness and cohesion" is back.
posted by pjenks at 11:46 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


In other picking-fights-with-ex-squaddies news: @eternalkerri: "Seriously.

Trump can suck the Iraqi sand off my transgender veteran cock."


The replies in that tweet thread* are restoring my soul

*I still don't know what to call those
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:47 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Obama personally read and responded to a selection of letters so he could hear from people. Trump has his staff use letters for his public aggrandizement.
posted by zachlipton at 11:48 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


scaryblackdeath, I've been going with "Just because you're too fucking thick to think of an answer doesn't mean that everyone else is too fucking thick to think of an answer," but yeah, I gave up on educating the ones who don't want it.
posted by Etrigan at 11:49 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


some red-faced human myocardial event drenched in flop sweat and reeking of failure stomping around his office screaming I NEED A WIN, GET ME A WIN, WHY AM I SURROUNDED BY BACKSTABBERS AND LOSERS etc

I agree that this is what is going on, not some coordinated effort or kayfabe or eleventy-dimensional chess or anything like that. Cheeto has been shown incapable of plotting or keeping a secret. Every thought goes from his tiny brain to his wee little hands and thus to Twitter.

Cheeto is incapable of playing tic-tac-toe without ripping up the paper and throwing a huge manbaby tantrum. He's trying desperately to think of something that will give him a Win, but neither he nor his clown car of "advisors" can convincingly pull one off. And this time he's drastically misjudged what most Americans (even Orrin Hatch ffs!) think is OK to do.

On that note, I think it's time for all the witches who are casting binding spells on the gibbering orange fuckup start going after McConnell, who is capable of plotting and coordination and chess moves, and has the potential to do as much damage.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:50 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


According to Scaramucci, DJT wants to make healthcare more like commercial air travel.

Actually there's a real opportunity for corporate synergy here: you don't need legroom after your legs have been amputated due to your poorly treated diabetes. Everybody saves!
posted by contraption at 11:51 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


from Politco: Inside Trump’s snap decision to ban transgender troops.

"Military service is a privilege, not a right." -- Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.)

Needs to be spread far and wide. I'm not a fan of elevating all military service to some sort of heroism and I think we should embrace "that's the job" in response to a lot of varied claims - including some of these things we supposedly can't do because of "morale." But we're not doing people some sort of fucking favor when they enlist. They're signing up for a potentially life-ending gig and they deserve proper respect and compensation.

With their every word and action these fucking people demonstrate that they want serfs.
posted by phearlez at 11:51 AM on July 26 [33 favorites]


Jesus Christ it is so terrible how good a military coup seems right now.

Jim Bakker is here to help with his new “Staying Alive” survival food buckets! Their 30 year shelf life will be crucial for surviving the End Times, the Spawn of Trump, or the rule of Zod!

Everything is terrible.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:52 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


SHS seems like something has consumed 89% of her will to live
posted by angrycat at 11:55 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


You know things are bad when Mr. "Kneel to Zod" would be a better president.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:56 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Per Buzzfeed, the Pentagon was so in the dark on this morning's horrorshow that when the first tweet went out ("After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......") there were serious concerns that the next words would be about going to war with North Korea to stop them from building nuclear missiles.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:57 AM on July 26 [73 favorites]


On that note, I think it's time for all the witches who are casting binding spells on the gibbering orange fuckup start going after McConnell, who is capable of plotting and coordination and chess moves, and has the potential to do as much damage.

Gotcha. Lughnasadh is this coming Monday. I'll set something up ASAP.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:57 AM on July 26 [25 favorites]


I hate that T is making unhinged tweets about trans people in the military. I (almost) hate more that the press is wasting time trying to figure out why he did it, time better spent saying that OMG THIS IS A CRAZY GUY WHO HAS TO GO.

Seriously. The Boston Glove is all now gee, I wonder if he's just trying to annoy Democrats...HE'S NOT THAT SMART PEOPLE
posted by Melismata at 11:57 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Am I right in interpreting the SHS smirk as a wink to my bigot countrymen? Who is she laughing with?
posted by H. Roark at 11:59 AM on July 26


It's like every time SHS looks down for a moment she's rearranging the words of her Press Secretary Poetry Magnet set.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:59 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]


Oh god, Trump's speaking to another kids' gathering today. Heaven help us all.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:00 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


After consultation with my Generals

Whose generals?
posted by BentFranklin at 12:03 PM on July 26 [71 favorites]


In addition to being disgusted by his gleefully tweeting about persecuting a marginalized group, I'm also deeply bothered by his phrasing of "my generals." [emphasis added]

That's some 3rd world dictator shit right there. And it's so obvious that he cannot conceive of other humans having value and purpose outside of serving him in some way. You're either "his" with absolute loyalty and submissiveness or you're one of the "losers" who's blocking him from accumulating wealth and adoration or whom he doesn't find attractive, and therefore you deserve to suffer.

What a vile person he is.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:03 PM on July 26 [66 favorites]


Politico article gives me the opportunity to get to know a new (to me) absolutely abominable Republican representative: Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
“I'm glad the president will be changing this costly and damaging policy,” Hartzler said after the Trump's announcement. “Military service is a privilege, not a right.''
posted by pjenks at 12:06 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


That's some 3rd world dictator shit right there.

Our dictators are all 100% 1st world. Trust me. We have the best dictators. Really outstanding dictators.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:08 PM on July 26 [27 favorites]


It sounds like Heller is going to vote for the Skinny Repeal bullshit. Profile in Cowardice.
posted by Justinian at 12:09 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


Politico article gives me the opportunity to get to know a new (to me) absolutely abominable Republican representative: Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)

Hartzler's going to be running on those tweets for the rest of her career, for good or ill.
posted by Etrigan at 12:10 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


In case this key detail from the Politico article has been overlooked by anyone, here's the tl;dr
@gabrielsherman Trump banned transgender service members to secure funding to build border wall
posted by pjenks at 12:10 PM on July 26 [30 favorites]




"My generals" is a pretty ambiguous phrase, given Trump's infatuation with the rank and appointment of many. This could mean:

- General Mattis (apparently not)
- General Flynn? quite possibly
- General McMaster apparently not
- General John Kelly (Homeland Security) quite possibly
- General Sessions (would be quite a plot twist)
- Ret. General Jack Keane, who Trump interviewed for a job -- possibly
- General David Petraeus (doubt he's be on board with this)
- Donald McGahn, general counsel for the Trump transition (more likely)
posted by msalt at 12:12 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


The White House sound people being unable to get their equipment working right is warming my heart a little.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:13 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


A roundup of other politicized US news from Ars Technica:
- Democrat asks FCC chair if anything can stop net neutrality rollback (Jon Brodkin) -- US Rep. Michael Doyle (D-Penn.) yesterday accused Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai of pursuing an agenda that harms both consumers and small businesses.
- And Net neutrality faceoff: Congress summons ISPs and websites to hearing (Jon Brodkin) -- Lawmaker schedules hearing with goal of replacing FCC's net neutrality rules.

- Whistleblower calls out problems with military drone accuracy and ethics (Annalee Newitz) -- Lisa Ling talked at Ars Live about her experiences as a military drone technician.

- US Energy Secretary takes 22-minute prank call from “Ukrainian Prime Minister” (Megan Geuss) -- Perry defended Paris Agreement withdrawal, entertained pig manure biofuel idea ... from the Jerky Boys of Russia, per Ari Natter at Bloomberg

- Democrats slam EPA head, want to understand his climate inquiry (John Timmer)
Lamar Smith, head of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has a penchant for releasing letters in which he complains about issues related to climate change. He has targeted everyone from state attorneys general who are investigating fossil fuel companies to NOAA scientists (and their e-mails).

But Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the ranking Democrat on the committee, has released a letter or two herself, including one in which she sharply questioned whether Smith was appropriately overseeing scientific research. Now, Johnson and two other Democrats on the committee have turned their attention to Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The subject? Pruitt's plan to have the EPA engage in a show debate over our understanding of climate science.

For the letter, Johnson was joined by Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), fellow members of the Science Committee. The letter cites a Reuters report about Pruitt's idea of creating a "red team" with the goal of poking holes in our current scientific understanding of climate change. The letter notes that Pruitt has claimed that "there are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered" about climate change, though he hasn't clearly specified what those are.
Thank you, Reps Johnson, Beyer and Bonamici!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 PM on July 26 [18 favorites]


And we are now back to televising everything Trump does (currently, speaking to a group of kids), because of the certainty that Trump will say something batshit insane, but which actually just rewards him with his face being on TV all goddamn day long.
posted by gatorae at 12:14 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Don't forget General Mills and that General guy from the car insurance ads. Possibly also the General Lee car from Dukes of Hazzard.
posted by emjaybee at 12:14 PM on July 26 [19 favorites]


Pretty sure he gets his advice from General Beauregard Lee.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:15 PM on July 26


He's building a wall against decency. And he's making the soul of our country pay for it. Make America Disgraceful Again. Congratulations craven Republican leaders. You've earned your spots on the roll call of all-time assholes.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:17 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


>>According to Scaramucci, DJT wants to make healthcare more like commercial air travel.
>I.e., a horrifying, dehumanizing disaster ever since the Republicans deregulated it.


That's an absurd oversimplification, beyond the fact that Democrats were on board with deregulation. Air travel was ridiculously expensive before deregulation, not even really an option for standard middle class travel much less for anyone poorer.

Which is not to say that airlines aren't assholes, or that the experience wasn't more pleasant under the old system. But air travel was basically all business class (and priced accordingly) before the change. Would you really want to go back to that?
posted by msalt at 12:20 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


New Abortion Restrictions Head To Missouri Governor's Office (Bill Chappell for NPR, July 26, 2017)
Missouri already has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country. Now it's looking to place new requirements on the procedure, including having doctors meet with women seeking abortions before formal consent can be given and requiring the health department to hold unannounced annual inspections of abortion clinics.

Missouri's Senate approved the measure, 22-9, on Tuesday, endorsing ideas such as empowering the state attorney general to take on abortion cases by giving the office original jurisdiction that will allow it to pursue cases regardless of whether local or circuit prosecutors have taken up a case.

Gov. Eric Greitens is expected to sign the legislation into law.

The requirement for doctors has to do with the three-day waiting period that must precede an abortion. While existing law allows for either a physician or a "qualified professional" to meet with women to discuss medical risks and other factors, the new legislation would require either the referring doctor or the physician who will perform or induce the abortion to hold the conference.
Missouri, I'm so sorry that you're a test-bed for cruelty to women.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:22 PM on July 26 [31 favorites]


Frail cis white women have been told that trans people are threats to them in the bathroom. So they're tough enough to take women and children in public places but not tough enough to serve? Is that what they're saying?

I truly wish our side would point out how fucking illogical the other side is consistently.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:22 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Perhaps the Russian collusion is baseless and it's just a very effective false flag, tweets and all, to obfuscate something really nasty that's pretty well hidden.

The whole "Russian thing" reaction is interesting from a POV of 1950's Iran, various South American governments, in light of the GLADIO operation, and even the still being written histories of the 'color revolutions'.

Elements of the US government have worked to interfere in the election process of other nations. If the world is a nasty place where dirty deeds are done - the US of A got a taste of what it has been doing for some time. Rather than a revelation and deciding to 'take the high road' the decision is to instead complain that someone hit back.

(And would you rather see other nations taking a swing back or a straight up shunning via nations deciding to no longer accept US Dollars for settlement of obligations?)
posted by rough ashlar at 12:24 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


FYI there is only ONE abortion clinic in Missouri. Also, it's not a secret that Eric Greitens fucking hates St. Louis.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:24 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Labor Dept. seeking public input as it eyes controversial overtime rule (Lydia Wheeler for The Hill, July 25, 2017)
The Labor Department will ask for public input as it seeks to revise a controversial overtime rule that was finalized under former President Obama.

The agency said a Request for Information (RFI) to be published on Wednesday is an “opportunity for the public to provide information that will aid the department in formulating a proposal to revise these regulations which define and delimit exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements for certain employees.”

The rule more than doubled the FLSA's annual wage threshold for who can qualify for overtime, from $23,660 to $47,476. It was blocked from taking effect last December by a Texas district court order.

The Trump administration is defending its right in court to set the salary limits for who qualifies for overtime pay, but it’s decided not to defend the limit set under Obama.
Remember folks, the Trump administration really is concerned about the working folks ... not being overly burdensome for their employers.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:27 PM on July 26 [18 favorites]


ON @MSNBC, @RepBuddyCarter just said on @lisamurkowski: "Somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass."

Honestly, I'm not quite sure what that means, but I'm pretty sure it's the send time in as many days a male House Republican has threatened a woman in the Senate.
posted by zachlipton at 12:27 PM on July 26 [37 favorites]


someone needs to take buddy behind the woodshed and teach him some fucking manners. i nominate kristin beck
posted by entropicamericana at 12:29 PM on July 26 [21 favorites]


It means give them a beating. As in beat them up.
posted by zarq at 12:30 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


The whole "Russian thing" reaction is interesting from a POV of 1950's Iran, various South American governments, in light of the GLADIO operation, and even the still being written histories of the 'color revolutions'.

In every one of those instances there were locals collaborating with the United States and benefiting from that collaboration. I'm not mad at the Russians. I am fucking furious with the gang of right-wing assholes here in the US that might have benefited from Russia's interference in the election though.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 12:32 PM on July 26 [13 favorites]


I'm pretty sure it's the send time in as many days a male House Republican has threatened a woman in the Senate.

The Republican Speaker of the House doesn't know what that means, didn't hear it or watch it, and wants to get back to the business of something something America.

John McCain and Lindsay Graham are, of course, troubled.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:32 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


I thought women weren't fully human enough to beat up? Wasn't that the House Republican line yesterday?
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:33 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Trump banned transgender service members to secure funding to build border wall

Although I do wonder if his knee-jerk 'sure yeah kick 'em out' overreach was at least in part sparked by him furiously observing Chelsea Manning being sparkling and popular on Twitter. It has a vindictive "I'll show them" feel to it.

+1 to the recommendation for Alexandra Erin's tweetstorms: today's touches a lot on the Scaramucci Stragem:
When Anthony Scaramucci came on board, he said he was going to "let the president be the president". This was a refrain in the campaign in the form of "let Trump be Trump", and many of Trump's mouthpieces have repeated his belief that he is his own best messenger/advocate. Scaramucci ramped that up to 11, which has the effect of making him an instant favorite of Trump, and dangerously accelerates everything. The Scaramucci Stratagem is to not just unleash Trump, but egg him on. Give us pure, unfiltered Trump in a high-pressure stream.

[..] Trump right now is both happier and angrier than he's been for a while. He's had three Big Crowd Events in a short span of time, he honestly had a blast in front of the Boy Scouts, and most importantly where before he was surrounded by people telling him, "You can't do that. You shouldn't do that. That's not a good idea.", he now has Anthony Scaramucci, the angelic devil perched on his left shoulder, whispering, "You're the best, baby. You're the tops. You're golden. Every idea you have is great. Everything you say sounds smart. Let it all out. Punish the disloyal. They'll love you for it."

And he's been doing it! Laying out his naked id for the world to see. Castigating Sessions harder the more Sessions tries to appease him. Telling Boy Scouts about drunken yacht sex parties. Telling a crowd of voters lurid anti-immigrant torture/snuff porn. He's in his element, and he's happier than he's been... but he's also angrier, because his venting doesn't release pressure. It works him up.

Donald Trump at his core has no core. He knows nothing to be a fact. He believes nothing to be true. He is the void embodied. So the more he screams that someone is disloyal or useless or weak or against him, even if he's screaming it as a pose, a posture, the more convinced he is that it must be true. This is so of the media, the Democrats, Jefferson No-Regard Sessions III, and his Senators. He is happy, but he is not *satisfied*, because nothing satisfies him. The more he has, the more convinced he is that he deserves it *all*.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:33 PM on July 26 [54 favorites]


Eh it's moreso a spanking, which is kind of worse since a man telling a woman she needs a spanking is... problematic.
posted by gatorae at 12:33 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


It means give them a beating. As in beat them up.

Eh, more like a spanking. My grandfather would say "jerk a knot in your tail" when threatening punishment, which was a spanking.
posted by Fleebnork at 12:33 PM on July 26


Remember, the Republican party is the party that as little as 2 decades ago had as its highest ranking member a literal pedophile.
posted by Justinian at 12:34 PM on July 26 [30 favorites]


- General Mattis (apparently not)
- General Flynn? quite possibly
- General McMaster apparently not
- General John Kelly (Homeland Security) quite possibly
- General Sessions (would be quite a plot twist)
- Ret. General Jack Keane, who Trump interviewed for a job -- possibly
- General David Petraeus (doubt he's be on board with this)
- Donald McGahn, general counsel for the Trump transition (more likely)


I am 5000% certain he didn't ask any of those people. "My Generals and military experts" is like "Lots of people" and "Jim" i.e. random eddies in the shrieking chaos inside his skull
posted by theodolite at 12:35 PM on July 26 [31 favorites]


If the world is a nasty place where dirty deeds are done - the US of A got a taste of what it has been doing for some time.

And other places rightfully complain when we do it to them, just like we're complaining. I fail to see any level of hypocrisy.
posted by Etrigan at 12:35 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


Oh, sorry, I meant one decade ago. My bad.
posted by Justinian at 12:35 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]




Somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass.

I'm assuming he said that with a southern drawl and then spit tobacco juice into a spittoon.
posted by diogenes at 12:36 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


I know MeFi is not the John McCain fan club, but some of you guys might like this statement on his Facebook page.
The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.

The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are.

The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military. I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to follow closely and conduct oversight on the issue of transgender individuals serving in the military.
Emphasis mine. Could be a stronger statement, but at least is says no one will be drummed out.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:36 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Oh god, Trump's speaking to another kids' gathering today. Heaven help us all.

An advance speech excerpt has been leaked to the WH Press Corps:

"Oh, the places I'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things I can do with that ball
I'm the winning-est winner of all!
Fame! I'm as famous as famous can be,
Not even Abe Lincoln's as famous as me!
and the whole wide world's watching me win on TV!
Oh, the places I'll go! Get me hookers and blow!"
posted by zarq at 12:38 PM on July 26 [12 favorites]


I know MeFi is not the John McCain fan club, but some of you guys might like this statement on his Facebook page.

I'm trans, and I've read McCain's statement. My reaction: Fucking resign or die, or both. I'm tired of your goddamn words.
posted by odinsdream at 12:39 PM on July 26 [95 favorites]


Could be a stronger statement, but

I bet this looks better in Latin on the McCain family crest.
posted by Etrigan at 12:40 PM on July 26 [59 favorites]


I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress.

He sounds troubled and concerned. Is he actually doing anything though? /rhetorical
posted by mikepop at 12:40 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


I see no reason, after yesterday, to judge McCain based on what he says (since it is so frequently at odds with what he does). His critique that the twitter announcement was unclear misses the point that it is resoundingly bigoted and counterfactual - it uses flimsy and disproven logic to make a point which is clearly prejudiced in its origin (and the president*s flacks even said as much right away).

on preview - what everyone else already said.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:41 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Why the Rust Belt gave Trump a hero's welcome. This is a worthwhile read; it may also be a very uncomfortable read. One quote: “Yes, of course we need to look into things, but I am tired of the information being delivered in a way that says to me the only reason you voted for Donald Trump was because the Russians interfered,” she said. “That is so far from true. I had made my mind up on my own, not by any misleading internet ads.”

There's a lot of indicators in there and the following article that the more the media focuses on the fake news element of the Russia story, the more ardent Trump fans become - because the underlying message of the "fake news" part is "you voted for him because you're stupid and gullible." And now when they see Russia they hear "fake news."

It was interesting to read in addition to this: Where Trump is seen as saviour. Notable section:

People have got used to things being bad, says Mayor Cross. "The biggest challenge is the negative mentality of many residents."

The mayor is adamant things are looking up, with several local businesses taking on staff recently.

"Three or four other businesses have added 75 to 100 jobs to the local economy," he says, a significant amount for an economically active population of about 10,000.


I found this interesting in light of today's Seth Godin post about the placebo effect. Trump hasn't really put any economic policies in place yet that affect this town, but an air of optimism appears to be having a positive effect on the local economy. (That and retirees moving there for the ultra-low tax rates.) If the upswing fails will they blame Trump or someone else?

According to recent surveys consumer confidence is at a 16-year high; however most articles bury the fact that consumer spending has dropped for the second straight month. If people are so confident why is spending going down?

The article notes that home value is going up in urban areas which is making up for the drop in retail spending. 62.9% of Americans own their own homes but I can't get a sense as to how many of these are in areas where home value is going up. (The numbers they crunch on home values going up are only for the Top 20 cities.)
posted by rednikki at 12:44 PM on July 26 [15 favorites]


"Trump banned transgender service members to secure funding to build border wall"

We're going to build the most beautiful wall, and [currently serving American troops] will pay for it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:44 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Orrin Hatch: "Transgender people are people," discrimination has no place in our military.

John McCain: I'm concerned this discrimination wasn't enacted through the proper procedures.

Yeah, McCain gets zero concern points for this one. When you're trailing a guy who has (R-UT) after his name on the proper response to anti-LGBT discrimination, you're in the wrong.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:44 PM on July 26 [59 favorites]


@ZekeJMiller: FWIW, White House official tells me admin is thrilled media is focusing on transgender servicemember issue
@maggieNYT: Yes. They liked that briefing.
posted by pjenks at 12:44 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


OnceUponATime: The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.

Sorry, McCain, "transphobic policies should get fully vetted through appropriately hateful channels" is not what I thought when I read Trump's tweet. I thought "this is another example of why this man has no place as the Oresident of the United States." Good try though. Just kidding, why not quit now and spend the rest of your life with your family?

Then again, that's my message for all Republicans.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:45 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


"My main concern is that I don't like twitter, and I'm gonna reserve judgment on whether trans people are useless burdens until some fucking study is complete" - a cool guy
posted by theodolite at 12:45 PM on July 26 [16 favorites]


It would be nice to see action from Congressional Republicans in response to Trump's incompetency and abuses of power, but I would settle for words, the words in question being "The President is unfit for office and should resign".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:47 PM on July 26 [20 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: "Trump banned transgender service members to secure funding to build border wall"

We're going to build the most beautiful wall, and [currently serving American troops] will pay for it.


That Politico writeup could be edited for clarity:
House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked with his campaign promises, including money to build his border wall with Mexico.

But an internal House Republican fight over transgender troops was threatening to blow up the bill. And House GOP insiders feared they might not have the votes to pass the legislation because defense hawks transphobic Representatives wanted a ban on Pentagon-funded sex reassignment operations — something GOP leaders wouldn’t give them.
I'm not sure what being a defense hawk has to do with banning sex reassignment operations that use less funds than that of Viagra. Oh right, old white dudes ....
posted by filthy light thief at 12:48 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


> there were serious concerns that the next words would be about going to war with North Korea to stop them from building nuclear missiles.

Now imagine if we were bellicose with an adversary that actually possessed 1st strike capability.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:48 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]




The Senate is voting on ORRA (essentially a straight repeal in two years, we think anyway since nobody posted the bill text and it was just revised). It's going down, with at least three Republicans voting no (Capito, Collins, and Heller), assuming those votes hold. You can see how everyone is voting thanks to the Times vote tracker.
posted by zachlipton at 12:52 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


Yep, Repeal-And-Go-Fuck-Yourself is dead.

It's Skinny Repeal and conference.
posted by Justinian at 12:53 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


There's a lot of indicators in there and the following article that the more the media focuses on the fake news element of the Russia story, the more ardent Trump fans become - because the underlying message of the "fake news" part is "you voted for him because you're stupid and gullible." And now when they see Russia they hear "fake news."

I think I've said this in most of the megathreads so far: Excuse, not a reason.

I mean, even beyond the fact that the underlying message of the actual fucking truth about the Trump candidacy is that you had to be stupid and gullible to fall for it, Trumpism and Republicanism are tribal nowadays. The vast majority of Republican voters don't vote for Republicans because they took a look at the policies and positions of each party and weighed them soberly and decided that they prefer the most likely outcomes of the ones on the right; they vote for Republicans because they're Republicans. It is as much a part of their identity as their marriage, their job, their sports teams.

And so anyone saying that voting for any particular Republican was a bad idea must mean that their being a Republican makes them Bad People, Stupid People, Gullible People. There is literally no story that shows them that-and-why a Republican policy is bad for them personally that will not be turned into "You, personally, who voted for a Republican, are a fucking moron" in their own heads, because they need that excuse to make the person telling them that story the bad guy.

So... fuck 'em. We can't make it any softer than "This policy is a bad idea." I'm tired of trying.
posted by Etrigan at 12:53 PM on July 26 [36 favorites]


More on Net Neutrality: Repealing Net Neutrality is Easy. Replacing It Will Be Hard (Klint Finley for Wired)
THE AFFORDABLE CARE Act isn't the only Obama-era regulation Republicans aim to repeal and replace. Net neutrality, which Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) once famously called "Obamacare for the internet," is on the agenda as well.

The Federal Communications Commission is well on its way towards repealing its existing net neutrality rules, which ban internet service providers from blocking legal content, slowing down specific connections, or charging tolls for so-called "fast lanes" on the internet. But the "replace" half will fall to Congress. And that's going to be much harder.

This week House Committee on Energy and Commerce chair Greg Walden (R-OR) reportedly sent letters asking several companies to testify before Congress about net neutrality on September 7 of this year. Walden invited broadband internet providers like Verizon and Comcast as well as content companies like Facebook to share their ideas about how Congress should go about replacing the FCC's rules. But it will take more than just a hearing on Capitol Hill to work out a compromise.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:54 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


at least three Republicans voting no (Capito, Collins, and Heller)

No McCain?
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on July 26


No McCain?

He hasn't voted yet.

Edit: oops, yes he has. He is a no.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:55 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


whut
posted by rc3spencer at 12:55 PM on July 26


Senator Manchin has now voted NO on every phase of this process. If he were replaced with a Republican, Obamacare and tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans would now be dead. Just FYI.
posted by Justinian at 12:56 PM on July 26 [72 favorites]


@ZekeJMiller: FWIW, White House official tells me admin is thrilled media is focusing on transgender servicemember issue
@maggieNYT: Yes. They liked that briefing.


Wow. Just wow. I'm really glad they're enjoying themselves. Meanwhile, there are active duty military personnel all over the world who have no idea if they're going to be discharged or how or when. Just pull the rug right the fuck out from under 15,000 people whose lives have been plagued by insecure and second-class status in this fucked-up country but chose to enter military service anyhow.

There is no "policy" here. As Huckabee Sanders made clear, there was no discussion or plan or thought about this. This fucking asshole just decided spontaneously to blab out this nonsense as a smokescreen for his own wrongdoing and disarray.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:56 PM on July 26 [26 favorites]


McCain joined Capito, Collins, and Heller in voting No.
posted by notpace at 12:56 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


McCain voted NO! Did he misclick?
posted by Justinian at 12:56 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


God I love that block of No's on the Democrat side. Stronger together and all that. I wish they did this more often.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:58 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


McCain voted NO! Did he misclick?

He mistakenly thought he was voting on the Do You Plan to Do Anything Remotely Useful in the Rest of Your Senate Term, John McCain? resolution.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:58 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


Portman is also a no. Just waiting on Moran and Murkowski. Symbolic only since that's already 5 no votes but it's an important symbol.
posted by Justinian at 1:01 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Senator Manchin has now voted NO on every phase of this process. If he were replaced with a Republican, Obamacare and tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans would now be dead.

Imagine if he were replaced by a Democat!
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on July 26 [25 favorites]


They're thrilled because they're "controlling" the day's news cycle. All it took was three tweets announcing a sudden, unhinged, and cruel policy change.

Hang on to your hats.
posted by notyou at 1:01 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


The vote that matters is the last one after McConnells final amendment. The rest of this is theatrics. McCain will be voting yes when McConnell is watching, we know that with 100% certainty.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:02 PM on July 26 [33 favorites]


Murkowski's a no.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:03 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I think they all "matter" since symbols are important, but certainly the last vote is the key vote that determines where we go from here.

Looks like the final vote will be 55-45 NO with the Republican NOs coming from Collins, Heller, Murkowski, Alexander, Capito, McCain, and Portman. A bunch of those voted YES on the BCRA proxy vote while a bunch of the people who voted NO on that one went YES here. Interesting coalitions.
posted by Justinian at 1:05 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


They're thrilled because they're "controlling" the day's news cycle.

Their thrill comes in part from the control of the cycle and the distraction, but primarily it's simple cruelty. They trolled us good, lib tears are flowing from the press corp and much of the country, and that's victory enough for the Bannonite wing and most of the GOP base. Lulz For The Lul God.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:05 PM on July 26 [20 favorites]


The vote that matters is the last one after McConnells final amendment. The rest of this is theatrics. McCain will be voting yes when McConnell is watching, we know that with 100% certainty.

Absolutely. They'll pass that meaningless skinny thing to get to conference, which is just like voting for some flavor of the AHCA.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:05 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


White House official tells me admin is thrilled media is focusing on transgender servicemember issue

Of course. No one is talking about the Senate Intelligence hearing (the one Manafort was originally subpoened for) on Russia from this morning.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:06 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Murkowski, Heller, and Collins are the only 3 people who have voted NO on all the repeal votes so far. And Heller is going to cave on the Skinny Repeal, leaving as predicted long ago Murkowski and Collins as the 2 allowed NO votes with Pence breaking a tie.
posted by Justinian at 1:07 PM on July 26 [11 favorites]


Meanwhile, there are active duty military personnel all over the world who have no idea if they're going to be discharged or how or when. Just pull the rug right the fuck out from under 15,000 people whose lives have been plagued by insecure and second-class status in this fucked-up country but chose to enter military service anyhow.

Similarly, if he cared about the troops under his command he would have consulted with someone before pulling out Twitter and accusing the host nation of the largest American base in the Middle East of funding terrorism. In 2017, "pro-military" means "anti-Trump".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:08 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Looks like the final vote will be 55-45 NO with the Republican NOs coming from Collins, Heller, Murkowski, Alexander, Capito, McCain, and Portman. A bunch of those voted YES on the BCRA proxy vote while a bunch of the people who voted NO on that one went YES here. Interesting coalitions.

Probably just taking turns, some of them. McConnell is letting everybody who needs to go back home and show a (sham) No vote to their constituents vote against one version he doesn't care about. Political cover.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:09 PM on July 26 [15 favorites]


If only we had our own Nevada Billionaire to threaten Heller and make him dance like a monkey as Wynn did over the last week. Clearly that's the only thing he cares about.
posted by Justinian at 1:09 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Yup, these votes are free votes with no significance.
posted by diogenes at 1:10 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Just stop with the McCain hagiography.

McCain says: "The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military."

Bullshit. The military completed the study on cost and readiness over a year ago.

Costs were minimal. The study predicted that service members would not seek to transition if the procedures not covered by the Pentagon, and that they would likely have higher rates of substance abuse and suicide as a result. In other words, would cost more if they didn't support trans-gender procedures.

And just stop with the hagiography of Mad Dog Mattis:

A year after Mr. Carter (Obama's Defense Secretary) lifted the Pentagon’s ban, Mr. Trump’s defense secretary, Jim Mattis, delayed a plan to allow transgender recruits to join the military.

According to a Pentagon spokeswoman, the delay would allow service leaders to “review their accession plans and provide input” as they consider the impact of transgender recruits on “the readiness and lethality of our forces.”

The study was completed a year ago. Mr. Carter gave approval a year ago. No reason for delay. They say in adoring terms that Mattis is a "military scholar", which seems to be euphemism for "educated bigot."
posted by JackFlash at 1:14 PM on July 26 [45 favorites]


I expect the "skinny repeal" to pass, which is bad, but not a total disaster. It will certainly force premiums up and thus force people out of the insurance market because the whole point of the in[di]vidual mandate is to ensure that there is a huge pool of insured to carry the weight for the expensive (old and sick). But I think the skinny repeal won't touch the subsidies, or medicaid/care, or planned parenthood, so if it passes, well, at least it's not the most evil thing they've conceived.
posted by dis_integration at 10:11 AM on July 26 [1 favorite +] [!]


The problem is that without the healthier pool, the subsidies will have to be a lot larger, and the GOP is not going to increase them.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:16 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Considering the tenor of the comments here has been just short of "I hope that fucker dies today on the floor of the Senate," you must have a different definition of hagiography than I do.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:16 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


The problem is that without the healthier pool, the subsidies will have to be a lot larger, and the GOP is not going to increase them.

Yes, were Skinny Repeal alone signed in to law it would send the individual markets into death spirals.
posted by Justinian at 1:17 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Why did Cassidy promise Jimmy Kimmel he wouldn't vote for a bill that took away coverage for pre-existing conditions and then he did just that by voting to go back to 2009 law? Maybe Jimmy Kimmel should ask him.
posted by zachlipton at 1:17 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Don't the subsidies increase automatically?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:17 PM on July 26


Looks like the final vote will be 55-45 NO with the Republican NOs coming from Collins, Heller, Murkowski, Alexander, Capito, McCain, and Portman. A bunch of those voted YES on the BCRA proxy vote while a bunch of the people who voted NO on that one went YES here. Interesting coalitions.

It's so they can use some John Kerry "I was for it before I was against it" bullshit and when their time comes to be accountable to the electorate they can point to where they finally voted no to avoid murdering hundreds of thousands of people. In return they probably expect the electorate should give them a fucking cookie and reelect them or some shit.

I don't fucking know anymore. It all doesn't matter anyway. There is no reality. Nothing makes sense anymore. We can only hope people with brains and empathy outnumber spiteful, hateful ignoramuses but I'm sure as fuck not resting my hope on that one.
posted by Talez at 1:17 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Wouldn't you want the bravest people in the world in your military?

(a friend of a friend on Facebook)
posted by shothotbot at 1:21 PM on July 26 [11 favorites]




Why did Cassidy promise Jimmy Kimmel he wouldn't vote for a bill that took away coverage for pre-existing conditions and then he did just that by voting to go back to 2009 law? Maybe Jimmy Kimmel should ask him.

Because right now the object is to just get the turd into conference. Then Ryan and McConnell can sequester the respective committees in a locked room with a week's worth of food and water and tell them they're not getting out until they can fuck poor people in a way that won't risk Congressional Republicans losing Congress in 2018 and 2020.
posted by Talez at 1:24 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


I don't fucking know anymore. It all doesn't matter anyway. There is no reality. Nothing makes sense anymore. We can only hope people with brains and empathy outnumber spiteful, hateful ignoramuses but I'm sure as fuck not resting my hope on that one.

Sometimes, when I'm very tired and Even Worse News pops up on my phone, I find myself hoping for things that make me feel ashamed. Never thought I'd be here.

I have no benefit of the doubt or forgiveness left for those who pushed me to this point. Maybe I will after we've won and history records them for who they are. But for now I've at least got the strength to fight a few more rounds.
posted by middleclasstool at 1:27 PM on July 26 [11 favorites]


uhhhhh.....what makes an executive order an executive order? I mean, when he Tweeted that trans people couldn't serve in the military, was that an act of formal governance? Doesn't he have to like, sign something? Give out commemorative pens to rest of his ghouls?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:29 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


This seems to be the letter they read at the press conference today and it...doesn't look authentic at all?

Some call outs I've seen: no crease but they said it was mailed, sloppy handwriting that aligns perfectly to the lines on the paper
posted by Brainy at 1:29 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Don't the subsidies increase automatically?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:17 PM on July 26 [+] [!]


Not that I'm aware of. I believe Congress or the Executive needs to allocate money. Anyone else know of an automatic increase mechanism for the insurance subsidies?
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:31 PM on July 26


Sometimes, when I'm very tired and Even Worse News pops up on my phone, I find myself hoping for things that make me feel ashamed. Never thought I'd be here.

Same here. I don't think I've ever found myself wishing true, hateful malice upon people as much as I have in the past 6 months. I try, try hard, to stay grounded and make sure I'm not dehumanizing and vilifying my enemies.

But, nope, they seem to be doing a great job of dehumanizing and vilifying themselves.

Still doesn't not make me feel bad when I think about and wish for things that we're not allowed to discuss here. And I hate that. But here we are.
posted by jammer at 1:32 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


uhhhhh.....what makes an executive order an executive order? I mean, when he Tweeted that trans people couldn't serve in the military, was that an act of formal governance

No, it was not. At the very least, they have to do an Executive Order (for issues that address only the functioning of executive agencies), and they may have to do a rule-making, which requires an open decision-making process complying with the Administrative Procedures Act. That slows everything down.
posted by suelac at 1:32 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


This seems to be the letter they read at the press conference today and it...doesn't look authentic at all?

I have a nine year old. I read nine year old handwriting all the time. That is not typical nine year old handwriting.

I mean, all kinds of people can have all kinds of writing. I have a friend whose writing still closely resembles that. But that's not..typical.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:32 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


I'd say they've landed a few years south of 9, but then again he's supposed to be a Trump supporter.
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


At the very least, they have to do an Executive Order (for issues that address only the functioning of executive agencies), and they may have to do a rule-making, which requires an open decision-making process complying with the Administrative Procedures Act. That slows everything down.

He'll probably get distracted trying to ban women from the workforce.

Ironically, I'm a woman and he sure has distracted the fuck out of my workday.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:34 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


We used to pretend our dog had a blog, and that was actually kind of similar to how our dog wrote.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:36 PM on July 26 [25 favorites]


Yes, the premium subsidies increase with the premium cost of a benchmark plan. But that doesn't help people not eligible for premium tax credits (the cutoff is 400% of the poverty line, or about 48K for a single person with no dependents, 60K for married couples). Additionally, if the standards for plans are reduced (the projected percent of total costs that insurers pay out, basically), then deductibles and copays will continue to rise. And there's no point paying for a plan that you almost certainly won't hit the deductible on and which doesn't cover anything before deductible.

Hence a death spiral unless the replacement for the ACA is carefully (ha!) calibrated (bahaha) to balance affordability, market forces, federal mandates, (oh god I can't even finish this sentence)
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:37 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Homosexual activist demonstrators may well become violent.

fingers crossed, amirite fundies
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:38 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


I saw a 8-9 year old kid in a Trump hat today so who knows, 2017 is a land of infinite possibility
posted by theodolite at 1:38 PM on July 26


[A few deletions along these lines, and I'll repeat my comment from yesterday -- please skip the deathwish/terrible grisly things you wish would happen to people comments. ]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:39 PM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Most of them probably still aren't paying attention. They won't pay attention until they wake up one day and realize they don't have healthcare. Then they'll blame the Democrats.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:39 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


This seems to be the letter they read at the press conference today and it...doesn't look authentic at all?

looollllll holy shit of course that letter is fake, no human child conceived or wrote that, Scaramucci probably tossed it off last night and it looks like he hasn't communicated with an actual nine year old in quite some time
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:39 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


So the options were BCRA (failed), 2015 repeal-and-delay (failed), and the upcoming "skinny repeal." (TBD)

Do I have it right that nobody in the Senate seriously considered voting on the House bill as-is?
posted by jcreigh at 1:40 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Also, sorry Dylan, Donnie is only friends with Russian dictators
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:40 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Good fucking Christ the president of the United States had a letter faked from a nine-year-old.

(I ran out of evens and replaced them with the words 'fuck' 'fucked' and 'fucking'.)

Please someone take the computer from beneath my hands and fling it out the window. Please. Someone.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:42 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


More legislative questions: So if the skinny bill goes to conference and they add a bunch of stuff, it has to be re-passed by the Senate (and House). My understanding is that it continues under the reconciliation umbrella, with a 51-vote threshold. But who decides whether the stuff they add still meets the Byrd criteria? Does it require a ruling by the parliamentarian, or a CBO score? Or do we just assume whatever they add will clearly meet the Byrd criteria without any controversial ambiguity?
posted by chortly at 1:43 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Letter to President Obama from a 9 year old girl
Children come in all forms and shapes and send all sorts of letters to the President and Santa etc. The interesting part is which letters the White House chooses to publish.
posted by mumimor at 1:43 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Trump wrote the letter to himself. Everyone knows it.
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


That letter... 9 is third to fourth grade here in the US. If your child has handwriting like that in third grade (and, also, "My name Dylan"?), you should probably not be supporting the current administration and their plans for education.
posted by hanov3r at 1:43 PM on July 26 [19 favorites]


Don't the subsidies increase automatically?

Yes, the subsidies are tied to a formula that ensures that people eligible for subsidies don't pay more than a pre-defined percentage of their income for premiums. That's great for people eligible for subsidies. But for families that are above the 400% of poverty cut-off for subsidies, premiums will skyrocket. They will be truly screwed. Many of these are the well-off Trump voters who complained about premiums costs of Obamacare who don't get subsidies.
posted by JackFlash at 1:43 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


My understanding is that the tax credits are like an entitlement in that they're mandated to be paid to eligible ACA enrollees according to the prescribed formula which takes into account the specific cost for the benchmark plan for the enrollee. So I do not believe that the Administration can unilaterally refuse to provide these tax credits.

However I didn't think that they could not make the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers either and they've repeatedly threatened to do THAT so, in conclusion, the law is whatever the government is politically able to get away with.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:44 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I could believe that letter is from a Trump supporter, but not that's it's from a nine year-old.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:45 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


This seems to be the letter they read at the press conference today and it...doesn't look authentic at all?

Fake docs and papers as props for press conferences is an old Roy Cohn trick.
posted by rc3spencer at 1:45 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]


I'm so sorry I just heard the news this morning. I was immediately reminded of Cate McGregor. I'd just like to share a little of her story.

Australian of the Year 2016 finalist Catherine McGregor to leave military to shine light on transgender issues

The spectacle of gruff men in suits hugging a fellow commuter in an airport lounge might raise the odd eyebrow.

When that commuter is Catherine McGregor, the world's most senior transgender military officer, it is nothing short of profound.

"I walked into the Qantas airport lounge in my female uniform and there was a bunch of guys there in suits ... and this group of men started applauding," recalls McGregor, outgoing group captain in the Royal Australian Air Force.


I remember seeing an interview with Cate when she told what happened when she offered her resignation, on the basis that her transition would cause problems for the army. Her CO, who I think was David Morrison, told her to get back to work, and if anyone had a problem with her they'd have a problem with him.

I think I've found that interview:

clip
Full program (30mins)

It makes me crazy that we can have this brilliant example of a trans woman reaching the highest ranks in the military, and being offered one of Australia's greatest honours... it just makes me crazy how fucking retrograde the trumpists are. Are they going to bring back DADT next?
posted by adept256 at 1:45 PM on July 26 [21 favorites]


Same here. I don't think I've ever found myself wishing true, hateful malice upon people as much as I have in the past 6 months. I try, try hard, to stay grounded and make sure I'm not dehumanizing and vilifying my enemies.

This. I try really hard not to dehumanize the other side. I'm not good at it but I try to at least see things from their point of view. Like for instance this week is probably how Republicans (people not congressional) felt as Obama was dragging the United States kicking and screaming towards liberalism. Did they really think we did what we did to spite them though? We voted so that everyone could get a fairer shot, that people down on the knees looking for a medical miracle could afford the help that might procure one. We did it with the best intentions and to the best ability that we could.

Then I look at the spiteful and hateful and fearful and hysterical comments on some of these stories, on some of the places where our othersiders congregate and all I can ask myself is why. Did the perception of your loss of hegemony really cause you so much harm that you will let some truly evil people do what they want to punish us? What could some random person struggling to make ends meet have possibly ever done to you to make you hate them so that you cheer their loss of life saving care. Like I'm trying to understand but I just can't fathom it.

Every day it gets harder to remind myself that on the other side there are human beings and that they are scared and they're being fed a lot of falsehoods and hysteria to make us seem like the ultimate enemy or even antichrist. Every day it gets harder not to throw my hands in the air and tell these people to go fuck themselves and they deserve everything they voted for. If not for the millions of people who are going to have their lives shortened and hundreds of thousands who are are going to die unnecessarily and don't deserve it and didn't vote for it perhaps I might have already.

I don't like the person that I become when I get tired of trying to make sense of it all. Because then I'd just fucking be like their worst. A soulless unempathetic husk lurching from spitefulness to spitefulness and I don't know if I want to live feeling like that.
posted by Talez at 1:46 PM on July 26 [24 favorites]


We know trump didn't write the letter because, despite its many and suspicious errors, it makes sense.
posted by orange ball at 1:47 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


and it's funny cause if you've ever talked to a narcissist about kids you have probably noticed that they have a real hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that kids' emotional/intellectual maturity continues to grow beyond the age of five or so, the handwriting and content of the, ahem, "letter" from "Dylan" fits rather neatly with that

I mean I don't think Trump personally wrote the letter but I can see him rejecting a draft, insisting that "kids don't sound like that! and make some of the letters backwards!"
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:47 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


My friend Pickle used to go to Paris every summer after school got out. "Oh, Paris, Paris, city of light, " he used to say. I ran into Pickle a few months ago and asked him about his new big boy bike and his latest trip to Paris. "I don't go there. Paris isn't Paris anymore. Also, girls have cooties, yuck."
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:47 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Fake docs and papers as props for press conferences is an old Roy Cohn trick.

Also an old Trump trick
posted by theodolite at 1:48 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Fake docs and papers as props for press conferences is an old Roy Cohn trick.

*cough*
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:48 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Are they going to bring back DADT next?

No, next is bringing back the scold's bridle. Please Ask N' Tell (PANT) will have to wait another few weeks.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:48 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


They are voting on a bunch of amendments now (currently: a Dem amendment to not allow cuts to Medicaid). When amendments fail, they fall back to the base House bill. If an amendment ever actually passes, it becomes the new baseline for all future debate/amendments.

Bills and amendments have to pass reconciliation rules or they take 60 votes to overrule. One of the rules is you have to have a CBO score (for deficit effects, not necessarily for how many people lose insurance). This also applies to the conference bill.

Things that don't affect the budget will take 60 votes to stay in, if there's a point of order raised (and there usually will be).
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:48 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


if trump personally wrote the letter it would have mentioned the size of his electoral college victory
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:48 PM on July 26 [39 favorites]


/shakes fist at theodolite
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:49 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I mean I don't think Trump personally wrote the letter but I can see him rejecting a draft

I would bet a pitcher of beer on the letter having been drafted by WH staff as a way of cheering up the president*. Their job is not to draft and convey policy, but to keep the president happy, after all.
posted by suelac at 1:50 PM on July 26 [17 favorites]


Dear Mr. President,
thank you for being our president!!! This is my dog, Sugar. I have visions of your bloated corpse that never leave my mind

Dear President Trump:
Do you believe in God? You are are proof He does not exist



And more in The Onion's Trump Documents' Children's Letters To President Trump
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:53 PM on July 26 [54 favorites]


All of these votes exist to prove to Sens. Cruz, Lee, Paul and company that this really is the best deal they're possibly going to get, and even if skinny repeal (god I hate that term, there's nothing skinny about it) doesn't satisfy their purity tests, they have to vote for it anyway or they're voting to keep Obamacare.

The bit that is entirely unpredictable at this point is what happens after the Senate passes a skinny repeal. Rep. Meadows and the Freedom Caucus folks are already signaling they won't accept just skinny repeal and will be adding back in stuff they like, like Medicaid cuts and abortion restrictions and deregulation. Senate GOP leadership is kinda hoping there is no conference and the House just passes it as is and everyone can move on from this nightmare having declared they're done. I'm not sure that's realistic—there are a lot of House members who aren't voting for this unless it has abortion restrictions they can't have—but I also wonder if they think they can get Medicaid cuts more sneakily another time and they'll just kill Obamacare by a thousand cuts.

This also sounds a lot like McConnell talking out of both sides of his ass again (yes, I am aware the tweet I am citing says "mouth"), trying to tell conservatives they can still get their Medicaid cuts later while telling moderates skinny repeal will be it so they can vote for it.

Anyway, Democrats are filing hundreds of amendments for the vote-a-rama, so it's going to be quite the process.

But who decides whether the stuff they add still meets the Byrd criteria? Does it require a ruling by the parliamentarian, or a CBO score? Or do we just assume whatever they add will clearly meet the Byrd criteria without any controversial ambiguity?

It requires a ruling by the parliamentarian and a score, unless they go nuclear and pull shenanigans. Some of the stuff the House wants to add clearly won't be byrdable, and the Senate is trying to signal that they need to back off. If the House puts non-byrdable stuff in there in conference, they would need 60 votes to actually pass it in the Senate, assuming they follow the Budget Control Act.
posted by zachlipton at 1:55 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


The latest from TPM's Josh Marshall: Understanding the Trump-Russia Money Channel
This is the critical, central issue, what did Trump, his family and campaign do with the Russians during their 2016 subversion campaign? But it’s far from the only question. And to make sense of that central question we have to go back further, to the money channel between Trump and the countries of the former Soviet Union which stretches back at least a decade earlier and quite possibly to the 1990s.

Here’s why this is important.

If there’s a there there in the Trump-Russia story, it didn’t come out of nowhere. It almost certainly began in the money channel I described above. The existence of such a channel is neither inherently illegal or subject to any dispute. We know from voluminous reporting that such a channel existed. Money from the countries of the former Soviet Union was key to funding numerous Trump building projects. Russians and nationals from other FSU countries bought up numerous individual apartment units in Trump-branded buildings. A number of Trump’s key business partners and rainmakers were either emigres from the former Soviet Union or Americans who were conduits for money from the same countries. Through these various threads of the story money laundering, organized crime and various kinds of criminal behavior are persistent and ubiquitous. None of this is really up for debate. It’s all been demonstrated by voluminous reporting.

Since I wrote this post a year ago, this has led me to the following cardinal assumption. If there was a quid pro quo between the Trump entourage and Russia during the 2016 election, if there were payoffs, collusive relationships or blackmail those almost certainly grew out of relationships and business dealings that originated in that money channel. Therefore understanding that channel, how it came into existence, what was transacted across it and really everything about it becomes critical to understanding the whole story.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 1:56 PM on July 26 [22 favorites]


First Slate had the Impeach-o-meter; now it has the Brag tracker.
posted by Melismata at 1:57 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


We probably should've had a second constitutional convention post civil war to really draw up a new government not beholden to a bunch of compromises with slave states.

Maybe nows a good time to think about that.
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on July 26 [52 favorites]


Given the bullshit the GOP has pulled lately, I'm wondering what's stopping them from just getting rid of the Byrd Rule outright. It's not like they can be shamed by any further deviations from normal order.

I mean, after the gross insult to constitutional democracy that was the Gorsuch nomination, undermining Reconciliation criteria seems like small potatoes.
posted by darkstar at 2:09 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


What was the context for them reading the obviously fake letter during the press briefing, anyway?
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:10 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


DOJ: Ex-Manafort Associate Firtash Is Top-Tier Comrade of Russian Mobsters (Tom Winter, NBC News)
The Department of Justice has identified a former business associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as an "upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime."

The declaration came in a 115-page filing as part of the government's case against Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who was once involved in a failed multimillion-dollar deal to buy New York's Drake Hotel with Manafort, and an important player in the Ukrainian political party for which Manafort worked.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:12 PM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Given the bullshit the GOP has pulled lately, I'm wondering what's stopping them from just getting rid of the Byrd Rule outright. It's not like they can be shamed by any further deviations from normal order.

Because it's a law that's part of the United States Code not a home grown Senate rule.
posted by Talez at 2:14 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]




How many 9-year-olds write on college-ruled paper?
posted by stopgap at 2:17 PM on July 26


Yeah the time periods 1864-1868 and 1964-1968 are probably the only windows in which we could've had a constitutional convention that didn't go fully pear shaped.

Guess we gotta hang on for another 47 years
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:18 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Because it's a law that's part of the United States Code not a home grown Senate rule.

It's a constitutional principle that the Senate sets its own rules of procedure. If Pence/McConnell decided to set a precedent by making a point of order overruling the Senate Parliamentarian and ignoring the Byrd Rule, and 50 Senators voted in agreement, it would no longer apply, even though it would still be enshrined in United States Code. Fortunately, there aren't currently enough Senators who would vote in favor.

Essentially, the Byrd Rule would still exist as a law, and the Senators would be able to agree to pretend that any given bill would be eligible under the Byrd Rule.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:18 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


McCain says: "The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military."

Sure (obligatory West Wing).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:19 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Brainy: This seems to be the letter they read at the press conference today and it...doesn't look authentic at all?

Here's the letter at the Washington Times (an old, conservative paper, FYI), if you can't follow the twitter link from Brainy. That's some fake kid writing. [And some conservative clickbait articles, you've been warned]

But even if it's a real kid, it's another fine example of anecdotes replacing more statistics. "Look, this one kid likes Trump!" doesn't outweigh however many kids have had their families split by ICE thugs at the direction of Trump, whose families stay inside their homes because to go outside means they could be deported. How many other kids have been terrorized by other kids because they're Muslim, or they just look different enough to be considered a "bad guy" by the current racist, xenophobic "leadership" in this country.

Also, it's another bit of chaff to divert the discussion from items of real importance. Ignore it and move on, stop trying to find the truth in who wrote it, or they'll write more letters in support of Trump's policies, and we'll debate whether the President is smarter than a 5th grader or some other distracting bullshit.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:21 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


VoteVets on Twitter: .@POTUS, can you my spot the transgender troops in this photo? They're there, I promise.

Note that VoteVets had to @ POTUS because @realDonaldTrump blocks them.
posted by gwint at 2:24 PM on July 26 [55 favorites]


I cannot ignore this bigoted and hateful policy, but I'd like to focus on the process that got us here for a moment, because I think it's a particularly important case study.

The House was working on a spending bill, including some money for a border wall and other stuff Trump likes. A bunch of conservative Republicans wanted to tack on an amendment to ban the military from paying for transgender health care, and a sufficient number of moderate Republicans joined forces with Democrats to defeat it, either because they believed such a policy to be wrong and hateful, or simply because they thought it was a stupid fight to have right now. Either way, our elected representatives voted that this shouldn't be in the bill.

But the conservative wing of the party wouldn't take no for an answer and were threatening to torpedo the entire spending bill over this. They were trying to tuck the amendment in anyway, and moderates were crying foul. Ryan and company were not particularly interested in seeing their spending bill go up in flames over this fight and tried to get them to drop it, so the conservatives decided to try their luck in a different branch instead. Mattis wouldn't act unilaterally and abruptly, but Trump would, so they got Bannon to whisper in his ear, promising wall funding.

And then, without any thought as to how this would impact the lives of thousands of transgender service members, the "readiness and cohesion" of their units, not to mention every trans person outside the military, he ...just tweeted it out. And what he tweeted went far beyond the bill they couldn't get through Congress; that was just about funding for health care expenses, while his tweet seems to be throwing people out of the military.

And yet, there's vague complaints from Republicans about process, but no outrage about the executive usurping the legislature and doing this unilaterally despite a vote indicating Congress didn't want to. This is how our democracy works now. You can't get the votes to ruin people's lives in Congress, so you go to the President and get him to do it over Twitter.

To be fair, Trump is certainly not the first President to take executive action on something Congress wouldn't do, but the speed at which this happened is shocking, and it's not remotely normal to take executive action for something your own party couldn't summon up the votes for. And then, having proclaimed this policy on a whim over Twitter, the White House is getting angry and threatening to storm out of press briefings when people ask basic questions about how it will be implemented and what it means for people's lives. And is this going to be what happens every time the most right wing members of the Republican party can't get their way, they go crying to Trump to fix it? What's the point in having the rest of the party if Trump overrules them on everything?
posted by zachlipton at 2:25 PM on July 26 [86 favorites]


They have been observing the Byrd rule so far; they sustained a point of order (43 voting for a motion requiring a 60-vote override) on the first "BRCA amendment". There doesn't seem to be much appetite for that level of shenanigans yet, in part because they can't write a bill that enough Senators actually like.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:28 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


>Given the bullshit the GOP has pulled lately, I'm wondering what's stopping them from just getting rid of the Byrd Rule outright. It's not like they can be shamed by any further deviations from normal order.

>Because it's a law that's part of the United States Code not a home grown Senate rule.


And the Byrd Rule is whatever the Presiding Officer says it is. The Parliamentarian can advise, but the Presiding Officer decides and can overrule the Parliamentarian as to what is compliant with the Byrd Rule. The Presiding Officer is the vice-president (Pence), or in his absence, the president-pro tem (Hatch), or in his absence, the Supreme Court Justice (Roberts). The Senate Majority Leader (McConnell) can replace the Parliamentarian at his whim.

So this confidence that the Byrd Rule is going to save Obamacare is misplaced. If it comes down to it, either Pence will overrule the Parliamentarian or McConnell will simply replace the Parliamentarian with someone more amenable. Folks who say this can't happen have not been paying attention the last few months.
posted by JackFlash at 2:33 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


And is this going to be what happens every time the most right wing members of the Republican party can't get their way, they go crying to Trump to fix it?

Definitely concerning. I'm concerned (process wise) about two things: first that Trump learns that he can drive the news by tweaking libruls, othering vulnerable communities, threatening adversaries, just generally blowing shit up; second that this evolves into a practice of policy by Tweet, completely bypassing the usual policy development apparatus and sowing chaos throughout the org as staff tries to sort out what they're supposed to do, as we've seen today. (And as we saw with the first Muslim Ban rollout.) The government can't operate that way -- no organization can.
posted by notyou at 2:39 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


The Republicans absolutely can scrap the legislative filibuster and pass everything with 50 votes, but a lot of Republican senators foresee being in the Senate for many years and want their individual vote to be frequently crucial in passing legislation, so they have the power to force bills to be transformed to their liking.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:43 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


Man do I not give a shit whether Dylan the Pickle is a from-cloth fabrication of Trump or an actual bless-his-heart 9 year old with shitty taste in presidents or some expedient blend of the two. Worth noting:

1. Even if it's a totally really real letter from an actual kid, it's a weird fucking thing for a flailing White House to try and lean on and totally in Trump's character as a narcissist driving a bus full of shady sycophants.

2. Going all CSI Grade School on the letter is a dumb use of energy because setting aside the foolhardiness of "a nine-year-old would never do x" (nine-year-olds are bizarre proto-humans who defy categorization, never say never), it doesn't fucking matter because see point 1 above.

Don't waste time making the argument about Pickle instead of about the fucking idiocy of the actual adults in power and on television. Nobody's gonna subpeona Pickle.
posted by cortex at 2:43 PM on July 26 [102 favorites]


If Pence/McConnell decided to set a precedent by making a point of order overruling the Senate Parliamentarian and ignoring the Byrd Rule, and 50 Senators voted in agreement, it would no longer apply

This is incorrect. A Democrat would raise a point of order, invoking the Byrd Rule, regarding some item. Pence makes a ruling. He doesn't have to agree with the Parliamentarian. Pence's ruling stands unless overruled by 60 votes. So if 41 Republicans agree with Pence, the ruling stands and the item is approved according to the Byrd Rule.
posted by JackFlash at 2:45 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Ewwww -- At the giveaway of wisconson to Foxconn Whitehouse event, Trump introduced Steve Winn. Creepy so so creepy.
posted by sammyo at 2:46 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


About the human beings on the other side, I was reading Where Trump is seen as savior, posted by rednikki, and it struck me how these people remind me of the inhabitants of Lönneberga, where Emil lived. The problem with them was that they weren't really happy with sharing anything, and they didn't really think the poor deserved aid and care. When you are child, listening to the stories, you just laugh at all his crazy pranks, and cry when he saves Alfred. But when you are the grown-up reading the stories, you notice how narrow-minded and self-preserving many of the adults are, and then on the other hand when Emil does great things, they are truly proud of him and are embarrassed by their own failures. And he does end up as the head of the local council. (And real Sweden become a welfare state).
I guess what I am trying to say is that people are people, and you can appeal to their mean spirits or their good faith. For the last many years, the Republican party and Fox News have been building the fear and the hate and many people are completely carried away. Trump was just the last step into the muck. I guess the whole Emil derail was because there is a happy ending to that story, and there will be to this one as well. Go back and find the old ACA debates here on MetaFilter, and see how far everyone, including conservatives has moved since then. Everyone is still moving. But it would be nice if we had an Emil to expose the hypocrisy of the right.
posted by mumimor at 2:46 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


2. Going all CSI Grade School on the letter is a dumb use of energy

lol is this your first time on metafilter

posted by cortex at 2:43 PM on July 26 [9 favorites +] [!]


welp
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:48 PM on July 26 [123 favorites]


Famously, the mathematician Kurt Gödel interrupted his U.S. citizenship hearing share his discovery that there exist contradictions present within the United States Constitution that allow for a fascist leader to, entirely legally, seize absolute power and establish a dictatorship. Luckily, the examiner was patient, and Einstein, who was somewhat more politically canny than Gödel, was there to help steer Gödel back toward giving the expected answers to questions (here is a page discussing the event.)

No one is exactly sure what specific exploit Gödel identified. Nevertheless, I am inevitably reminded of this story whenever I read a statement like "The Byrd Rule is whatever the Presiding Officer says it is."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:49 PM on July 26 [74 favorites]


Atom Eyes, the context seems to be this: Sarah Huckabee Sanders began the briefing by telling reporters a bit of her backstory and saying that the press office wanted to start a new tradition so to speak by occasionally reading a letter or email which the administration received. She proceeded to read this "letter," answering the questions the author asked along the way. Just in in case the author was watching, I suppose. Nothing was said about answering the letter in kind.

When she finished that charade, she opened the briefing to questions.
posted by Silverstone at 2:53 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


the money channel between Trump and the countries of the former Soviet Union which stretches back at least a decade earlier and quite possibly to the 1990s.

Exactly, which is why I laugh every time I see some Trumpist comment that "There's nothing to this Russia stuff... they've looked into it, and come up with nothing." Pretty sure the former head of the frickin' FBI is going to do a thorough job—one that might take a little longer than the running time of the last Mission Impossible movie.

Wait, did I say "I laugh?" Cry and claw at the air, sorry. I cry and claw at the air when I read comments like those.
posted by Rykey at 2:56 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Cry and claw at the air

I call it havin' a craw
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:03 PM on July 26 [12 favorites]


Re Trump taking on Lisa Murkowski, her father was an Alaskan governor and senator. She's spent her whole life immersed in government. She knows more about how it works and what to worry about than Trump has in his little finger.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:06 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Dean Heller is giving a speech for his amendement, a resolution of "symbolic" support of Medicaid.

I'm not sure anything has ever captured "moderate" Republicans better than a show of symbolic support right before voting to actually cut something that keeps millions of people alive.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:09 PM on July 26 [17 favorites]


A friend just linked me to McCain's statement on trans servicepeople, I think trying to convince me the man isn't pure evil. My response was "Well sure. It's McCain. He talks pretty. He votes shitty."

I'm rather proud of that one.
posted by greermahoney at 3:14 PM on July 26 [49 favorites]


...a resolution of "symbolic" support of Medicaid.

About 'Sense of Congress' Resolutions
tl;dr Finally, no matter how momentous or threatening the language used in "sense of" resolutions may be, remember that they are little more than political or diplomatic tactic and create no laws whatsoever.
posted by zakur at 3:16 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


So it's basically "Our thoughts and prayers are with Medicaid during this difficult time." Got it.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:20 PM on July 26 [39 favorites]


Small victories... I used the link from this comment to change someone's mind on Facebook. They went from "I don't the military should pay for elective surgery" to thinking about the mental health ramifications of being denied said "elective" surgery.
posted by Ruki at 3:21 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Nobody's gonna subpeona Pickle.

Slept through the whole Clinton Presidency, did you?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:33 PM on July 26 [20 favorites]


Hey guys, it's really late over here and the reason I'm still up is that I got a CNN alert 2 hours ago that Trump was about to make an announcement at 5 PM about jobs. It's not that I'm waiting to hear Trump talk about jobs, it's that it didn't happen.
Maybe things are happening?
This seems biggish:
DOJ: Ex-Manafort Associate Firtash Is Top-Tier Comrade of Russian Mobsters (Tom Winter, NBC News)
The Department of Justice has identified a former business associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as an "upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime."

The declaration came in a 115-page filing as part of the government's case against Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who was once involved in a failed multimillion-dollar deal to buy New York's Drake Hotel with Manafort, and an important player in the Ukrainian political party for which Manafort worked.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:12 PM on July 26 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

posted by mumimor at 3:34 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


From a hundred years ago, or possibly the day before yesterday: That Viral Photo Of My Trans Son Crying? Here's What's Really Going On

A thing that really stands out to me about conservatives is that they'll make a big deal about family, but they really know fuck all about kids, or compassion, or anything beyond bullying and hate really. We shoudl really claim that whole family thing back.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on July 26 [25 favorites]


TSA is going to require separate screening for any electronics "larger than a cellphone". I'm going to interpret that cellphone as being from 1985
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:36 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Here you go, mumimor. Now you can go to bed.

Trump announces Foxconn $10B investment in US 
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:37 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Why Did Jared Kushner Download an Encrypted, Disappearing Message App? ( Splinter*' Kashmir Hill)
There could be, however, a blank spot in Kushner’s communications. Splinter has confirmed that Kushner downloaded an encrypted messaging application that permits users to send disappearing messages. The app, Signal, is one of a set of secure apps that have become popular among journalists and political operatives hoping to communicate securely and confidentially—and, if they choose, without a trace. The use of the app by White House officials has the potential to undermine the Presidential Records Act.

In February, according to Politico, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer ordered staffers to hand over their phones for a spot check aimed at cracking down on leaks to reporters. During the phone check, Spicer reportedly warned staffers not to use encrypted texting apps. While the presence of confidential texting apps on a staffer’s phone presumably raised suspicions about exactly what he or she was trying to hide, and from whom, Spicer specifically warned that using Signal was a violation of the act.

But a phone number belonging to Kushner is registered in Signal (the app permits users to see which numbers in their contacts also use it). So is a phone number for Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who doesn’t work for the White House but remains in contact with Trump and his staff.
*Splinter was formerly Fusion
posted by Room 641-A at 3:39 PM on July 26 [32 favorites]


: "“I'm glad the president will be changing this costly and damaging policy,” Hartzler said after the Trump's announcement. “Military service is a privilege, not a right.''"

The US still has selective service registration right? Enforced by denying jobs, funding, driver's licenses and other government services to people who don't register?

stopgap: "How many 9-year-olds write on college-ruled paper?"

All the ones whose parents (or who go to a school where parents who have donated such essential supplies) have that sort of paper on hand. It's not like most 9 year olds are making the paper purchasing decisions for their household.
posted by Mitheral at 3:39 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]




I think we know more than enough about Kushner's illegal activities without condemning the use of encryption. Encryption is for everyone, even if it can theoretically be misused.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:48 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


Hell, Signal is my default messaging app. I installed it when Trump was elected, too, so I have something in common with Kushner, I guess.
posted by greermahoney at 3:51 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


The use of the app by White House officials has the potential to undermine the Presidential Records Act.

The issue is not encryption, but that as a member of the administration, Kushner could be violating the records act. Which I mean, of course he was.
posted by aiglet at 3:52 PM on July 26 [21 favorites]




The issue with Kushner and Signal isn't encryption. It's the use of an app that disappears messages, making it impossible for those messages to be vetted by the Archivist of the United States before they go into a black hole (and, incidentally, making those messages "impossible" to provide in response to a subpoena or FOIA request).
posted by hanov3r at 3:55 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


I think we know more than enough about Kushner's illegal activities without condemning the use of encryption. Encryption is for everyone, even if it can theoretically be misused.

Yes, very much so. The last time I heard someone refer to Signal as "that app drug dealers use" I got a flashback to the 90s and pagers.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:55 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


aiglet: jinx!
posted by hanov3r at 3:56 PM on July 26


As always, context matters though, and Kushner just having Signal does raise eyebrows. Kind of puts that whole "she used a private email server!!!" thing in perspective.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:58 PM on July 26 [25 favorites]


Kind of amazing we STILL hear about that from the bleeting gasbag.
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on July 26


BUT HIS TEXT MESSAGES!!

(I can dream, right?)
posted by greermahoney at 4:05 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


Nobody's gonna subpeona Pickle.

Cortex, I'd like to introduce you to the year 2017.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:06 PM on July 26 [20 favorites]


A Republican Congressman once questioned the fact that the White House was replying to letters addressed to Socks the cat. Subpoenaing Pickle sounds downright sane in comparsion.
posted by zachlipton at 4:10 PM on July 26 [15 favorites]


What's up? It's Pickles. Leave a message...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:15 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


In 2020 no one will bat an eye at the fact that Pickle Truthers are a major voting bloc
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:26 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]


In 2020 no one will bat an eye at the fact that Pickle Truthers are a major voting bloc

Were Tommy and Dil really brothers?!? Nickelodeon wants you to think so but I have photographic PROOF that Didi isn't as innocent as she seems.
posted by Talez at 4:31 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


I, too, believe that fruit punch pickles are part of a vile conspiracy.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 4:32 PM on July 26


Subpoenaing Pickle sounds downright sane in comparsion

It also sounds like the title of a terrible no-budget indie romcom from the 90s, perhaps starring Steve Zahn and Samantha Mathis.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:32 PM on July 26 [11 favorites]


I'm just glad I'm not the only one who has been trying to come up with a Dil Pickles/Rugrats joke all day.
posted by zachlipton at 4:33 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Don't waste time making the argument about Pickle instead of about the fucking idiocy of the actual adults in power and on television.

Nobody is going to make me (most of us, but I don't want to speak for anyone) forget about the crimes of the administration or lose sight of what is most important. It's the sense of unreality that is undermining everything. Is this real? Am I real? The notion that that the president of the United States could do X, Y, or Z (all from today, let's not even get to yesterday) makes everything seem...dreamlike and disturbing.

In short, people can be 'are you fucking kidding me they made up a child???' and still be horrified and active against the actual crimes. A made-up kid isn't a crime but is the sort of thing that makes you ask the person next to you, 'Did you see that? That couldn't have been real, right?'
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:34 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]


Didn't the White House shut down its public-facing phone line and petitioning system? Regardless of the existence of a Pickles, are they expecting me to believe they're a) reading mail that comes to the White House, and b) doing it efficiently enough to surface a twee piece of adoration such as this and push it upstairs?

That would demonstrate a level of competence and attention to detail that I don't see prior evidence of.
posted by Andrhia at 4:35 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]


Also...from one minute to the next, you don't know if the dude is going to take away women's right to vote or fart in an Olive Garden. Either is plausible.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:36 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]




Good news, Kansas! Brownback is leaving. Bad new for the world (via Daniel Dale): Trump is making him Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. Screen cap of announcement here.
posted by maudlin at 4:39 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]




National Treasure Alexandra Petri: Ivanka and Jared are very sorry that they can’t speak up yet, their statement on their need to hoard their political capital:
It will be a great shame when all meetings with the media are canceled for good and the announcement comes that the State Department is a nonsense relic of a bygone time or the entire Justice Department is purged and replaced with a cardboard figurine of Eric waving alluringly. We will regret that enormously, but holding our peace while all of that transpires will give us UNTHINKABLE POWER on the day — that bold and glorious day — when finally we are able to use all the capital that we have so carefully saved.

On that day our voices will ring across the land. We will be so loud that everyone will know and see our courage. Then our friends will be glad, and our allies will know that we are their allies (as we have of course always been, of course.)

In the mean time, we must do our duty. We must watch our capital grow and grow and grow. Silently. For decades. We must wait for a time when it is really necessary. That time has not already come and passed, and passed again. No. We will know when that time comes. We will know because it will affect us directly.
Gov. Sam Brownback's tenure in Kansas is ending early: Trump is making him Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

Governor to Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom is not ordinarily considered a promotion in any not-crazy parts of the world.
posted by zachlipton at 4:40 PM on July 26 [29 favorites]


In the year of our lord 2017, we have to do this...

The Justice Department Just Argued Against Gay Rights In A Major Federal Case
The US Justice Department on Wednesday argued in a major federal lawsuit that a 1964 civil rights law doesn’t protect gay workers from discrimination, thereby diverging from a separate, autonomous federal agency that had supported the gay plaintiff’s case.
So, They've gone after L, G, and T today.... Heads up, B...
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 4:45 PM on July 26 [46 favorites]


Governor to Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom is not ordinarily considered a promotion in any not-crazy parts of the world.

Given what Brownback turned Kansas into it is in fact a promotion.
posted by Talez at 4:45 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

Then Trump's going to promote law and order by sending Charles Manson on a speaking tour
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:48 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


@Jennifer Bendery CBO just scored the “skinny repeal” bill. 16M Americans would lose insurance + 20% spike in premiums, per senior Dem aide

What is the biggest complaint people had about Obamacare?! Oh yeah, their premiums were too high. So looks like the Senate took that under careful consideration.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:48 PM on July 26 [33 favorites]


So, They've gone after L, G, and T today.... Heads up, B...

Ha! I won't hold my breath. Typical bi erasure. Everyone else gets their rights stomped on, but no one even thinks of us.
posted by greermahoney at 4:49 PM on July 26 [84 favorites]


Sarah: ugh this transgender thing is not going to go over well out there. I wish Trump didn't have the impulse control of a 9 year old. I'm in a real pickle now.
Mooch: ...! I got this. Do you have a sheet of paper I can borrow?
posted by gatorae at 4:53 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


@Jennifer Bendery CBO just scored the “skinny repeal” bill. 16M Americans would lose insurance + 20% spike in premiums, per senior Dem aide

To be technically correct (the best kind of correct), the CBO didn't really score the skinny repeal bill because nobody has actually seen text of it. What happened is that Democrats asked the CBO to score the impact of repealing the mandates, because the current rumor is that's what skinny repeal will do (plus repeal the medical device tax), then they told everyone that's what the bill is.

Which isn't completely 100% honest, but it's about 95% honest and is frankly a demonstration of more cunning trickery than Dems ordinarily pull off, and it seems to have worked, so bravo.

Turns out that if you fail to deliver a bill, people will invent one for you and talk smack about that one instead.
posted by zachlipton at 4:54 PM on July 26 [70 favorites]


I have a suggestion for the Republicans; repeal the medical device tax and declare victory!
posted by Justinian at 4:58 PM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Anyone want to bet that Republicans will claim simultaneously that the CBO score on this hypothetical bill counts for the purposes of legislation but doesn't count in terms of how many people their bill will deny healthcare?

This timeline is the stupidest.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 5:01 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


@Anthony Scaramucci .@SHSanders45 killing it from the podium! Hair and make up is on me going forward as long as you don't take all my hairspray!

Right, because that's what's really important. Not if she could answer questions about this new agenda from the President.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:07 PM on July 26 [18 favorites]


Gov. Sam Brownback's tenure in Kansas is ending early: Trump is making him Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

This entire bonkers day has had a suspiciously fundie-friendly theme. Was there some Evangelical Liberation special on Fox today, or what? Did last night's rally include a prominent glassy-eyed fanatic fringe group? Trump is not thinking of this shit himself -- what's the origin of the specious?
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:07 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Sarah: ugh this transgender thing is not going to go over well out there. I wish Trump didn't have the impulse control of a 9 year old. I'm in a real pickle now.
Mooch: ...! I got this. Do you have a sheet of paper I can borrow?


There's a legendary conservative politician in Iceland who once bragged in an interview of using a tactic he called the smjörklípa. It literally means "a pat of butter", and as per the story, this politician's grandmother or mother used to put a little butter in her cat's fur when it was running around the house causing trouble. The cat would spend so much time trying to clean the butter out of its fur that it would forget about wrecking the house. In political talk, a smjörklípa then is some minor but alarming detail that you can present to your opponents to distract them from or pull their energy away from larger, more important things you're doing so you can get some relief from criticism and get on with destroying the country. I don't doubt we'll still be paying attention to everything the White House is doing here, but real or contrived, the presentation of this letter is undoubtedly intended to be Trump's smjörklípa.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:08 PM on July 26 [71 favorites]


What if Trumpers IS a pat of butter?
posted by rc3spencer at 5:15 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Comments from John Barrowman (video) on Trumps tweets today.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:16 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


What if Trumpers IS a pat of butter?

It would suitably explain his colour.
posted by Talez at 5:17 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy, I agree that hair & makeup tweet is sort of distasteful, but less so when you see the full context. Here is some additional context from an AP story reported by Jill Colvin about Sanders' briefing today:

Sanders’ also offered a shout-out to her new boss, communications director Anthony Scaramucci.

“Now I know Anthony’s probably a little bit disappointed that he’s not up here today. But since he did some TV this morning he was able to go ahead and get his hair and makeup done, so I think he’ll be OK,” she said.

Scaramucci tweeted his approval: “@SHSanders45 killing it from the podium! Hair and make up is on me going forward as long as you don’t take all my hairspray!”

posted by samthemander at 5:17 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I keep thinking about what life is going to be like if & when we get through all this and some sort of sane government is reestablished. I realize that seems far-fetched right now with good reason. But think about returning to a world where waking up doesn't mean checking to see What Fucking Hateful Insane Shit Is Happening Now? A world where we aren't constantly glued to the news and waiting for the next thing we have to go protest -- or feeling guilty or frustrated that we aren't all out there marching right goddamn now. Or feeling like we've gotta call our senators and reps every goddamn day. (Or checking in on MeFi.)

It's been six months of this shit, plus the transition garbage fire. And Russia investigation or not, miracle impeachment or not, we're not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel yet. We've still got so far to go.

I still believe we'll get through this. We will. But when I think about adjusting once it's over, that seems like it'll be its own challenge. We're all gonna need therapy. Like, everyone.

Christ I hope we all have health insurance that'll cover therapy.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:18 PM on July 26 [22 favorites]


i can't believe it's not trumper!!
posted by pyramid termite at 5:18 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Sandoval has come out against "Skinny Repeal". So Heller caving would be even more cowardly. So I expect him to do it and then ask, "Thank you sir, may I have another?"
posted by Justinian at 5:19 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Buzzfeed: At the Pentagon, the first of the three tweets raised fears that the president was getting ready to announce strikes on North Korea or some other military action. Many said they were left in suspense for nine minutes, the time between the first and second tweet. Only after the second tweet did military officials receive the news the president was announcing a personnel change on Twitter.

They were really worried he was going to declare war on Twitter.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:23 PM on July 26 [54 favorites]


From the What Separation of Church and State Dept:

Think Progress: Republicans Are Quietly Trying to Turn Churches Into Dark Money Havens

Which plays nicely into my theory that NC is the testing ground for this shit: Check out this colossal new Catholic facility in Raleigh.
posted by yoga at 5:28 PM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Am I missing something about the cathedral? It just looks like they spent a lot of money on a building from that article. Is there some weird hidden hate shit?
posted by corb at 5:30 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Well, he probably will one day, right?

Kind of shocked he hasn't yet.
posted by drezdn at 5:30 PM on July 26


WaPo: Trump talks privately about the idea of a recess appointment to replace Sessions
President Trump has discussed with confidants and advisers in recent days the possibility of installing a new attorney general through a recess appointment if Jeff Sessions leaves the job, but has been warned not to move to push him out because of the political and legal ramifications, according to people briefed on the conversations.

Still raging over Sessions’s recusal from the Justice Department’s escalating Russia investigation, Trump has been talking privately about how he might replace Sessions and possibly sidestep Senate oversight, four people familiar with the issue said.

Two of those people, however, described Trump as musing about the idea rather than outlining a plan of action, and a senior White House official said no action is imminent. Several people familiar with the discussions said Trump’s fury peaked over the weekend and that he and Sessions now seem to be heading toward an uneasy detente.

When asked Wednesday about the president’s discussions of a recess appointment, the White House released a one-sentence denial from Trump: “More fake news from the Amazon Washington Post.” The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com.
This bit does not inspire confidence in his legal skills:
But several lawyers have told Trump that his comments send a signal to Mueller that the president is trying to shut down or curtail the investigation, as if he does have something to hide.

Trump has largely shrugged off these concerns. “In his mind, he is his own best advocate, his own best lawyer,” one adviser said. “He’s not willing to let the Mueller probe and other events unfold without taking action himself. ”
In contrast, Sen. Grassley just tweeted something that's a little chaotic as per his usual style, but he's not interested in a new Attorney General: "Everybody in D.C. Shld b warned that the agenda for the judiciary Comm is set for rest of 2017. Judges first subcabinet 2nd / AG no way"
posted by zachlipton at 5:32 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Pretty sure we are experiencing smjörklípa inception, where Trump puts butter on his butter on his butter on his butter forever. Today, Pickle distracts from transgender ban distracts from Sessions distracts from healthcare distracts from Russia.
posted by gatorae at 5:36 PM on July 26 [29 favorites]


In an earlier thread someone recommended an episode of the Rational Security Podcast, co-hosted by Benjamin Wittes, best known here for his divisive 'tick tick tick' announcements on Twitter. Here is a partial transcript from the recommended episode. This interaction takes place around 39:30:
Person who I presume is Benjamin Wittes: "It's probably not an overstatement to say that Jared Kushner is effectively acting as the secretary of state at least in, you know, operating a number of very important relationships that we do have with other world powers, one of which is undoubtedly Saudi Arabia. That can't be divorced from the context of all of this, I think, and there's going to be a lot of interesting information I think coming out about the nature of the relationship between this White House and the Saudi court, which will raise a lot questions too about the President's statements around Qatar and things that may have preceded this upheaval in the region. That's, I'll just say that's a space to watch."

A different person who I presume is not Benjamin Wittes, or maybe this person is Wittes and the other guy isn't, or maybe nobody is Wittes and it's just two guys joking about Wittes' Twitter catchphrase: "You might even say tick tick tick"

First person again: "You might even. You might even."
As you can tell, I do not know what Benjamin Wittes' voice sounds like. Also, the Qatar thing: been a while since we thought about that, huh?
posted by compartment at 5:43 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


corb it's probably the biggest church ever built in NC. And a good convenient hiding place for $$$.
posted by yoga at 5:48 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


“More fake news from the Amazon Washington Post.”

I don't get this reference, which I keep seeing and am sure is supposed to be an insult. I know Bezos bought the Post, and according to a cursory search he's supposed to be a real bastard to work for, but...? Are people supposed to believe a Bezos company is worse than any other media corporation (Kushner's, for example) just on Trump's say-so? Or does he just have some kind of dogwhistle notoriety a la George Soros or Jane Fonda or whatever?

I dunno, I get all the stuff I order from Amazon pretty much as described and on time, and Prime's worked out pretty well so far. I just can't get that worked up over the fact that another supposed asshole in the world owns a media corporation Trump doesn't like. Not the target audience, I guess.
posted by Rykey at 5:49 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Comments from John Barrowman (video)

Oh, now he cares? Less than a week ago he was dancing around in a dress as the "transgender TARDIS" and two years ago he was unapologetic about the use of the t-slur when called out on it. W/E.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:50 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


So as not to abuse the Edit function, I guess what I'm asking is, is an "Amazon Washington Post" any worse than a "General Electric NBC" or a "Trump Presidency", for example?
posted by Rykey at 5:52 PM on July 26


I don't want a Pickle.
posted by uosuaq at 5:54 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on July 26, 2017. - U.S. Department of State

Reuters
Tillerson 'not going anywhere' as Qatar comes under the microscope
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday (July 26) he was "not going anywhere," denying news reports that he was considering leaving his post. "I'm not going anywhere," Tillerson told reporters at the State Department. Asked how long he would stay on, Tillerson turned and smiled, saying, "As long as the president lets me." Asked about his relationship with President Donald Trump, Tillerson said simply, "Good." The comments came as he shook hands with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani as the House Foreign Relations Committee examined the U.S. relationship with Qatar as several Arab nations accuse the tiny country of supporting terrorism and allying with Iran, which Doha denies. The experts testified that Qatar, which hosts the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East, has also established relationships with groups the U.S. considers terrorist groups and has sometimes used that relationship to mediate between U.S. allies and adversaries. The experts pushed the members of Congress to urge Washington to leverage the air base and the current disagreement among Arab states to demand Doha expel a few dozen people on suspected terror lists that are currently in Qatar.
Asked about his relationship with President Donald Trump, Tillerson said simply, "Good." Smooth talker, our Rex. Just the kind of guy you want as Secretary of State.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:56 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY
posted by zachlipton at 5:57 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Sorry, I guess I didn't explain too well that NC being the spawning ground for rolling out corrupt gubmint shit by republicans, starting with outfits like Blackwater and other private militia nut groups. Call me paranoid and or crazy* but since when is Catholicism a major presence in this state?

*or just really fucking tired of the shitstream, like everyone else
posted by yoga at 5:58 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Fake News just means any news outlet that doesn't love DJT and think he is the greatest President who ever lived.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:58 PM on July 26


Would the Saudis cozy up to the Russians if they thought that their interests were aligned as to their goals as a regional power vis-a-vis the loosening of Iran sanctions? I'm just trying to get a grip on how the kingdom is treating the larger global stage now that they've figured out that we have a pliant figurehead as president and a largely floundering ruling party. Iran's got oil, but that wouldn't help the Saudis as the price has tanked unless the Iranians were willing to use it as an offensive weapon to flood the market to help them in influencing the shaky Iraqi state.

Jesus - too many moving pieces. Things were hard to keep track of before, but now too much is moving too fast for me to make sense of.
posted by eclectist at 5:59 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


The extra identifier just makes trumpets a little extra suspicious. "Amazon" Washington Post? Why isn't it just plain old Washington Post? Something ain't right here. The God Emperor, master of 101-dimensional chess that he is, would not have mentioned it otherwise. Could the Rotschilds be involved?
posted by Behemoth at 6:00 PM on July 26


He's not trying to insult the Washington Post by associating it with Amazon; he's trying to insult Amazon by associating it with the Washington Post... i.e., don't buy your MAGA hat there (even though you can, and Amazon is on the Boycott Trump app's list). Bezos is hopefully regretting participating in any of his tech events.

And it's no longer "General Electric NBC", it's "Comcast NBC". So, as long as he doesn't use "Time Warner CNN", you know he's still going to make its merger with AT&T easy peasy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:01 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


it's probably the biggest church ever built in NC. And a good convenient hiding place for $$$.

Um, per the article it's because the previous diocesan cathedral was tiny, seating only 350. And the area is gaining population, including Catholics, so they raised money (the nefarious papists!) for a new building.

I am as big a critic as anyone on the corruption of the Church (both Roman and Protestant) by neo-fascism. But let's not jump to utterly unwarranted conclusions, particularly about a group (Roman Catholics) that historically has been discriminated against in the US.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:02 PM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Journal Sentinel Foxconn announces $10 billion investment in Wisconsin and up to 13,000 jobs
Foxconn Technology Group on Wednesday pledged to invest $10 billion to build a display panel plant in Wisconsin that could employ up to 13,000 workers and draw up to $3 billion in subsidies from state taxpayers — a deal that could ripple through the economy and 2018 elections.
13,000 workers for $3,000,000,000 in subsidies equals $200,000 a job. Tell me again who the Welfare Queens are?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:06 PM on July 26 [39 favorites]


Bezos is a big time Democratic donor, although not exclusively. And the Post has shed some of the reflexive Republican tilt it had before Bezos took over, although they still employ Fred Hiatt and Krauthammer and Ignasius and Thessien, who all suck. Most of the new hires have been younger and much more liberal leaning techie types. That's pretty much the entire story.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:09 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


"Could employ." Someday. Maybe. In the fullness of time. It's 3,000 workers initially.
posted by zachlipton at 6:10 PM on July 26 [12 favorites]


The description sounds really risky to me. I would be very nervous if I was a Wisconsinite. This could be a disaster. An expensive disaster.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:13 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


I think "Amazon WaPo" is Trump is signaling to the Pepe squad that Bezos will be picking up the tab on all our checks when Soros croaks.
posted by gatorae at 6:14 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog: "Cantor comes clean, admits he didn’t believe his own ACA rhetoric"

Eric Cantor straight out admits that they led people to believe that GOP could repeal Obamacare in order to drum up votes. Not, of course, that this actually helped Cantor himself, who was primaried by someone even more anti-ACA.
posted by dhens at 6:17 PM on July 26 [19 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

I gotta be honest, this healthcare shit has been pretty distracting. But a couple links of interest:

** Judge upholds fine on Kobach for making shit up in court.

** Nancy Pelosi and VA gov Terry McCauliffe have been working over donors and organizations in order to get more focus on state and local races, especially given the redistricting looming.

** AL Sen race continues to baffle as Mo Brooks says they should all leave the race so Sessions could return to the Senate. Okay.

** Pew poll has interest up among all groups in politics, but more so for women than men, and more Dems than Reps.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:17 PM on July 26 [35 favorites]


The extra identifier just makes trumpets a little extra suspicious. "Amazon" Washington Post? Why isn't it just plain old Washington Post?

I think this is part of the "say things close together to make them true" gambit, like Bush with the Iraq War. He said "9/11" and "Iraq" and "Afghanistan" close-ish together in speech to create an association in people's minds as a psychological gambit, even if it didn't make any sense. It's salesmanship 101. Trump never says "Hillary", he always says "Crooked Hillary". Or "Failing New York Times" instead of "New York Times, which is -whatever-". You say things close together consistently enough and people sort of start to believe it.

I think that's why failing Trump loves to always include an adjective in front of nouns in an attempt to associate the noun with his adjective. It's not because failing President Trump is mentally ill, or because failing Trump is a narcissist that can't handle rejection, it's because failing Trump is a bargain-basement, shitty salesman who gets his gambits out of a psych-101 textbook. So failing Trump says things like "Amazon Washington Post" it's because he thinks that somehow, "Amazon" will taint the Washington Post's reputation, and people won't even recognize what failing Trump is doing.
posted by mrgoat at 6:18 PM on July 26 [34 favorites]


GOP Senator forces Dems to vote on single payer
The legislation from Daines appears to be the same language as the Medicare for All bill in the House sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

But single-payer isn’t a unifying message among Democrats.

“It’ll tend to be an issue that more left-leaning Democrats are willing to embrace,” said Dan Mendelson, president of consulting firm Avalere Health, told The Hill earlier this month.

“In order to embrace that concept, you’ll have to be willing to defend the efficiency and effectiveness of a fully run government system, and there are many Democrats who are not going to do that and there are some who are.”
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:19 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


What Trump's missing is how vital Amazon is to the life of many Millennials (and older people with stock portfolios). The linkage just gives the Post more credibility.
posted by msalt at 6:21 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


My read on the Amazon Washington Post thing is that it's less an attack on the Post's credibility and more of an attempt to hit Bezos in the wallet. The Post is very unpopular with Trumpists, after all. He's often coupled his recent attacks with talk about how Amazon lobbies against sales tax on internet sales, as if he actually gives a shit about that issue. It's part of an implied threat - you keep covering me like this and I'm going to make sure your main business suffers.

Of course, Bezos is by all accounts (including - disclosure - my partner, who works for the Post) a very hands-off owner who doesn't tell the newsroom or the editorial department how to do their jobs. There are lots of things that one can fault Bezos and Amazon for, but as a newspaper owner he's pretty much been the ideal. Trump surely thinks that it operates in the same sleazy way that the Observer did, where Jared would call up the editors and tell them to dig up dirt about developers he had conflicts with.
posted by vathek at 6:21 PM on July 26 [18 favorites]


This is a dumb question, but can someone remind me what caused Trump to turn on Sessions? Sessions recused himself months ago and it seems like Trump really only started attacking him about it a week or so ago. What precipitated this? It seems like at least 100 other major scandals have happened since and I can't keep track of all of them.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:21 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


omfg the conservative terrible person on CNN right now just said something like "There's only one transgender soldier that people are aware of, and that's the traitor Chelsea Manning. You have to ask yourself, maybe if this hadn't happened would we be having a different conversation?"

*BURSTS INTO FLAMES*
posted by lalex at 6:21 PM on July 26 [18 favorites]


Democrats aren't always idiots, so they can just say "we don't think we should revamp the entire health care system without a single hearing" and vote against it.
posted by zachlipton at 6:22 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


I think Amazon is just metonymy for Coastal Elite Tech Snobs
posted by theodolite at 6:24 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


There's a legendary conservative politician in Iceland who once bragged in an interview of using a tactic he called the smjörklípa. It literally means "a pat of butter", and as per the story, this politician's grandmother or mother used to put a little butter in her cat's fur when it was running around the house causing trouble. The cat would spend so much time trying to clean the butter out of its fur that it would forget about wrecking the house.

Brb need to go put some butter on my cat.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:25 PM on July 26 [54 favorites]


Sessions recused himself months ago and it seems like Trump really only started attacking him about it a week or so ago. What precipitated this?

He's a confused old man who gets mad, then displaces that anger at whatever's around. Sessions was around. I saw this when my Grandmother was losing her faculties. Sessions is going to fight it though, because he has a long-standing agenda of white supremacy and he probably sees it as too important to let failing Trump screw it up for him.
posted by mrgoat at 6:26 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


This is a dumb question, but can someone remind me what caused Trump to turn on Sessions?

There is a theory that asked Sessions to fire Mueller and/or investigate Hillary and Sessions refused. We don't know for sure.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:29 PM on July 26 [11 favorites]


I Can't Believe It's Not Smjörklípa.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:34 PM on July 26 [22 favorites]


This is a dumb question, but can someone remind me what caused Trump to turn on Sessions?

He's starting to piss himself over the Mueller news, and not in that nice Moscow hotel kind of way. He's angry at his pet racist elf for failing to protect him, and he wants a different mythical creature who will make the bad FBI man go away, perhaps a goblin of some kind.

I can only pray this is enough of a distraction to disrupt or at least delay some of Sessions' unholy work. I feel like he can do the most damage that cannot be easily undone, at least internally.
posted by Behemoth at 6:34 PM on July 26 [8 favorites]


Don't waste time making the argument about Pickle instead of about the fucking idiocy of the actual adults in power and on television.

I'm not going to argue that somehow making a big deal of the Pickle Problem is a good use of one's time or that it could be politically effective to do so, but I will note that, bullshit as it is, Dan Rather lost his career over similar kinds of bullshit nick picking and that the gigantically bullshit Birther controversy is permanently attached to Obama's terms, even if it's recognized as a bullshit controversy. Now I don't care to read a lot of Pickle analysis here on metafilter, but there are a lot of people in the world and if a few of them want to look for Pickles long form birth certificate, I'm not going to try to stop them. Even bullshit sticks if enough of it is thrown hard enough.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:35 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Ivanka can't soothe him from bad press forever. Beauregard 's recusal and Jared going in front of Senate Intel is bad for him, and he isn't going after Jared.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:36 PM on July 26


We interrupt this news with a tiny bit of levity to give everyone a break, and caution you about the perils of buttering your cat.

You may resume.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 PM on July 26 [32 favorites]


Sandoval has come out against "Skinny Repeal". So Heller caving would be even more cowardly. So I expect him to do it and then ask, "Thank you sir, may I have another?"

Steve Wynn is calling Heller daily, nightly, and ever so rightly.
posted by Talez at 6:38 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Jeff Stein/Vox: A Democratic senator shares his 120 amendments for the GOP health bill
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has prepared 120 amendments to Senate Republicans’ health care bill to force the GOP to take wildly unpopular votes if they want to advance their plan to repeal Obamacare.
The article has links to the amendments. They're all short.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:39 PM on July 26 [62 favorites]


He's a confused old man who gets mad, then displaces that anger at whatever's around

My guess exactly fwiw; as far as I can tell, most of Donnie's outbursts are motivated by fear, spite, or rage. Since he's never had many goals beyond the display of rage, it's easy to read as premeditated or as evidence of a plan. But I think the screaming comes first, the plans come later.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:49 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Did Merkley include opioid addiction?
posted by mabelstreet at 6:50 PM on July 26


Metafilter: the screaming comes first, the plans come later
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:55 PM on July 26 [18 favorites]


Did Merkley include opioid addiction?

Not that I could tell.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:56 PM on July 26


Merkley printed out templates of recommit motions, directing them to tailor the Medicaid cuts to not hurt ______________.

Then he filled in the blanks in pen, for a bunch of different motions. (Vietnam vets, kids with cancer, pregnant women, etc.)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:56 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Manchin probably got to do the opioid amendment.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:00 PM on July 26


smjörklípa inception is the name of my new food network pitch.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:00 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Merkley's amendments list is like a shooting script for a whole bunch of campaign commercials.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:02 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]




Bipartisan group of governors call on GOP to reject "skinny repeal" (The Hill)

Silly governors. Always thinking about their constituents, the poor, and the vulnerable. What about all those Republican congresscritters that every day have to go into Congress to rule over us and face the knowledge that a black guy helped the American people more than they ever could.
posted by Talez at 7:11 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


I'm only partway through, but I like that Merkley put separate motions in for "People with Cancer", "Children with Cancer" (because, can we actually trust at this point that Republicans think children are people? I wouldn't.) and then a whole bunch of motions clarifying "People with -some specific type of cancer- ". Wouldn't want any loopholes, eh?
posted by mrgoat at 7:23 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


GOP Senator forces Dems to vote on single payer

I gotta say, this fills me with a strange nostalgia. The good old days, when Republicans merely strategized over clever wedges to split the left, and we descended into meta-arguments about circular firing squads, pragmatism vs idealism, and all the thousand verboten topics MF shall not abide. Sure, we do get the occasional outburst of infighting, but it's really not like the old days, not when we all can see the White Walkers on the ramparts, and the current extent of their scheming is not clever wedges but simple annihilation. I miss the days of political -- as opposed to existential -- combat.
posted by chortly at 7:27 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


So what's Merkley doing here. Are these real amendments or is he basically doing a DOS attack on the Republicans to waste time? Or do they have to vote on each one of these and he's hoping for future campaign commercials on "Republicans voted to hurt X people"?
posted by mmoncur at 7:29 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


I like that Merkley put separate motions in for "People with Cancer", "Children with Cancer"

It feels like some kind of ethics questionnaire interview gone off the rails, doesn't it?

People with cancer. Really? Okay, how about children with cancer? Wow, okay, I did not expect that answer. People with brain cancer, at least? Huh, at least you're consistent.... Children with brain cancer? No no, you're right, screw 'em.
posted by Paragon at 7:31 PM on July 26 [21 favorites]


None of the amendments save the very last one from McConnell are real. They're all a way to make campaign commercials. And to take up time too.
posted by Justinian at 7:32 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


They're also probing to see what McConnell thinks he can pass, because they have no Fucking clue what they're doing and policy has no bearing on whatever the duck is going on right now. It's just about finding 50 votes for the color of shit on the sandwich.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:35 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Did he put one for Arizona Senators with brain cancer?
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:36 PM on July 26 [11 favorites]


It feels like some kind of ethics questionnaire interview gone off the rails, doesn't it?

More like some national Voight-Kampf test.

Max Boot got it right on Lawrence O'Donnell just now: "Every crazy thing Trump does is an attempt to distract us from every other crazy thing he's already done."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:38 PM on July 26 [12 favorites]


Bernie (and Dems) are not biting on your troll single-payer amendment.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:39 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which has some quality fiscal people, is flagging that a skinny repeal that just repeals the mandates and ends the medical device tax doesn't actually save enough money to be passed with 50 votes under reconciliation. They're $55 billion in cuts short. And they're talking about adding billions in opioid funding to the skinny repeal (it's becoming less skinny by the minute, huh?), which would make the problem worse. So that's a bit of a snag for them.

For his part, Schumer says Democrats won't be offering amendments until McConnell shows up with a bill, since there's no point in amending nothing.

On the bright side, the House amendment to defund the CBO seems to be going down, with Democrats united against it and Republicans around evenly split. A number of GOP committee chairs came out with statements saying this was nuts.

Bernie (and Dems) are not biting on your troll single-payer amendment.

Thank you Bernie! I was legitimately worried he was going to make this a thing, and getting trolled by Steve Daines would suck.
posted by zachlipton at 7:41 PM on July 26 [21 favorites]


What are the formal limits on the length of this vote-a-rama? I am guessing it's not possible for Merkley (or whoever) to genuinely run a DOS attack against the Senate by presenting an arbitrarily long series of algorithmically generated amendments? If that is the case, what is the limiting factor — i.e. is there a fixed amount of time during which nonsense amendments can be presented, after which McConnell calls for a vote on the real amendment and regular work resumes?

Apologies if this is something that's already been answered in the thread...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:42 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


So, because we somehow got on the subject: when my youngest brother was a toddler, he was hell to pay on our cat (a 15ish lb tom). Among other goofy kid antics, he once brushed the cat's teeth, and also had a phase where he went around buttering things (including his rocking horse, which he then attempted to ride, with predictable results).

Naturally the buttering phase included the cat.

It turns out cats are not terrible amenable to this sort of treatment, and so the cat would lurk in doorways to puff up, hiss, and spit and prevent young Martin from going around the house as he pleased.

So yeah. PSA: don't butter your cat.
posted by Archelaus at 7:48 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]


What are the formal limits on the length of this vote-a-rama? I am guessing it's not possible for Merkley (or whoever) to genuinely run a DOS attack against the Senate by presenting an arbitrarily long series of algorithmically generated amendments?

Senate leaders plan to rush a health-care bill to a vote, and there’s nothing Democrats can do about it
"In reality, that’s not going to happen,” she said. What was more likely, she said, is that someone would make a point of order that the Democrats were being “dilatory” — that is, slowing down the process unnecessarily. The presiding officer — the Republican senator on duty to manage floor debate — would be asked to rule on whether that was the case and would likely agree. Democrats could appeal the decision, but a majority vote would end the process.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:49 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]




It really is the night of the long sporks. Awesome, for certain terrifying values of the word "awesome".
posted by maudlin at 7:52 PM on July 26 [18 favorites]


So yeah. PSA: don't butter your cat.

Spoilsport.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:54 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Night of the Long Sporks is now my favorite political term. Also, Popeye's Cajun Rice is the only acceptable use of a spork, apart from bonking Rinse Precious on the back of the head in a stunning act of betrayal he may not even notice.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:56 PM on July 26 [12 favorites]


Did Scaramanga just invite the FBI into the White House to poke around and look for crime? Because this could end up being the biggest Own Goal in history, and hilarious to boot.
posted by Freon at 7:56 PM on July 26 [68 favorites]


Breitbart with the anti-Semitic headline tonight (no link, because Breitbart): 4 Gary 🌎 Cohn 🌎 Scandals That Could Kill His Nomination to Run the Federal Reserve

Did they think ((( ))) was too subtle?
posted by zachlipton at 7:56 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


(what does Reince have to do with this?!)

Didn't you hear, @'ing someone is the new J'accuse.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:57 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


(what does Reince have to do with this?!)

He's the chief of staff but it might be an accusation. We'll know more soon I guess.
posted by Talez at 7:57 PM on July 26


I'm not taking credit for "Night of the Long Sporks", BTW: it's straight from a White House source.
posted by maudlin at 7:58 PM on July 26 [17 favorites]


Sweet Gott im Himmel, how has the Thread missed this spork thing?
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:04 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


BTW: it's straight from a White House source.

Sometimes you get a genuinely funny statement from an anonymous WH source and it baffles me that wit can privately come from what in public appears to be a dismal carnival of oafish CHUDs. Bannon's the only one who owns up to a sense of humor as far as I can tell (claiming Spicer's departure from the camera was because he got too fat will always have a special place in my heart) and the Nazi reference only adds to my suspicion that he's the source in this case.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:06 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]


Did Scaramanga just invite the FBI into the White House to poke around and look for crime? Because this could end up being the biggest Own Goal in history, and hilarious to boot.

See now he's fucked because his options are letting the FBI in to take a look-see or be all "jay kays guys no crime here" which is just going to raise more questions than it answers.
posted by Talez at 8:07 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


@Reince45 is either a shot across the bow or an interoffice memo tweet, who knows anymore.
posted by gatorae at 8:11 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


I love that the mooch is essentially sending out engraved invitations for more federal investigations. YES, LOOK EVEN CLOSER FED FRENS!

(Cat PSA: Butter on a paw of your cat is a pretty useful hairball remedy.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:12 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]




"these staggering number of leaks"

This is the grammar of a government agency spokesperson? < facepalm >
posted by zakur at 8:19 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


This is the grammar of a government agency spokesperson? < facepalm >

The dude has sports fantasies about Donald J. Trump. Where he fucks up basic sports terminology trying to make Franco American seem awesome, no less.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:23 PM on July 26




I cannot understand how this WH wants more investigation into it's own staff.


(Note that, as someone with a cat who has an affinity to butter, if you ever want a non tounge streeked soft butter log in your home again introducing your cat to butter may be unwise. )
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:28 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


Ryan Lizza: In case there's any ambiguity in his tweet I can confirm that Scaramucci wants the FBI to investigate Reince for leaking. Someone in the thread points out that the disclosure is available on request via the White House site. I'm not sure if just anyone -- say, the average MeFi member -- could request and get Scaramucci's disclosure.

Checking the fine print, there are limits to what you can do with the info:
I am aware that pursuant to section 105(c) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended and 5 C.F.R. § 2634.603(f) of the implementing OGE regulations, it is unlawful for any person to obtain or use a report: (1) for any unlawful purpose; (2) for any commercial purpose, other than by news and communications media for dissemination to the general public; (3) for determining or establishing the credit rating of any individual; or (4) for use, directly or indirectly, in the solicitation of money for any political, charitable, or other purpose. The Attorney General may bring a civil action against any person who obtains or uses a report for any such prohibited purpose as set forth above. The court may assess against such a person a penalty in any amount not to exceed $19,246. Such remedy shall be in addition to any other remedy available under statutory or common law.
posted by maudlin at 8:28 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


I'm starting to suspect that Scaramucci is a Secret Accelerationist.
posted by Freon at 8:28 PM on July 26 [18 favorites]


This is amateur hour, every hour. Unbelievable.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:31 PM on July 26 [17 favorites]


By the way, this is the story Scaramucci wants the FBI to investigate Priebus over, from Politico: Scaramucci still stands to profit from SkyBridge from the White House. Hell of a first week move to ask the FBI to investigate the Chief of Staff. Also a significant ethics problem with his holdings. And this business where he took a job at the Export-Import Bank in June and immediately went on unpaid leave his first day is shady as hell:
Scaramucci, a Trump fundraiser and frequent campaign surrogate whose appointment to an administration post was delayed in part because of the complicated nature of the SkyBridge sale, joined Ex-Im in June.

Ex-Im was seen as a "very temporary move," a way to get the Trump loyalist to Washington until a higher-level position could be found, according to one White House adviser.

The bank is across the street from the White House, where Scaramucci was free to come and go thanks to security credentials that gave him 24-hour access. That allowed him to elude the detection of senior White House staffers, including chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Scaramucci has been on unpaid leave from Ex-Im since the day he started there, June 19, a bank spokeswoman said, forgoing his $172,100 salary as chief strategy officer.
You all should also read Brian Beutler on "skinny repeal"—The Republicans’ Real, Deceitful Endgame to Repeal Obamacare
As I argued here, the moniker “skinny repeal” is a devilish piece of spin, because while it accurately describes the breadth and ambitions of the plan, it completely misdescribes the consequences of repealing the mandate, which would be severe. According to recent Congressional Budget Office findings, repealing the individual mandate alone would lead many healthy people to drop their coverage, precipitating an increase in insurance premiums that would drive sicker people out of the market reluctantly. Combining these interlocking effects, the CBO forecasts the coverage loss would amount to 15 million people.

While “skinny” isn’t a particularly honest word for a bill that would ravage insurance markets in this way, it is a great device for allowing Republican senators to pretend their vote isn’t particularly meaningful—that it’s a placeholder allowing the congressional health care debate to continue. But just as it is unwise to take Senate Republicans at their word when they say they will vote against a bill, it is also unwise to assume that the not-so-skinny repeal bill would just move the legislative process into its next, penultimate phase: the conference committee, where House and Senate Republicans would hash out a final bill.

It is just as likely, if not more, that the real endgame is to repeal the mandate, sabotage the insurance markets, and then return at a later date to inflict more damage on the health care system. It is safer, in many ways, to assume you are being lied to again, rather than to believe that Republicans senators weighing “skinny repeal” are trying to be constructive.
posted by zachlipton at 8:31 PM on July 26 [25 favorites]


Hell of a first week move to ask the FBI to investigate the Chief of Staff.

Understatement of the week!
posted by Chrysostom at 8:35 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Anthony Scaramucci: "In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45"

Oh, I see. You're going to call the Justice Department, the place where Sessions, Rosenstein, and McCabe work. I'm sure they'll RUSH to take your call and look into your concerns and not in any way indicate that the White House can go fuck itself while playing in traffic.

About Sessions, the always insightful Jeremy Bash said on MSNBC just now that because Sessions is a witness in both the "campaign meetings with Russians" (the whole reason he had to recuse himself) and the "firing of Comey" prongs of the Mueller investigation, Trump's intimidation routine and implied threats can be construed as witness tampering -- which may be part of the motivation, more than trying to get Sessions to quit.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:41 PM on July 26 [20 favorites]


Maybe Scaramucci sees this as his big opportunity to come in and make a name for himself by blowing the whole thing open before Mueller gets his chance. He knows how to play Donnie. It might be the epic battle of the narcissists.
posted by perhapses at 8:42 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


I think that's why failing Trump loves to always include an adjective in front of nouns in an attempt to associate the noun with his adjective.

That's been a Republican/Fox News thing since forever. Like, whenever a pundit says the word "regulations" first they say "job-killing". Job-killing regulations. That's the only example I can think of right now but not the only one they do by any means.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 8:43 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I think this makes it clear beyond a doubt that Scaramucci is Trump's mini-me.

(I've also seen it expressed as Scaramucci is the guy Trump thinks he sees when he looks in the mirror.)
posted by zachlipton at 8:45 PM on July 26 [13 favorites]


zachlipton's comment and link about "skinny repeal" is right on. A Skinny Repeal bill would be far worse for the individual market than the other non-skinny bills. It wouldn't include the Medicaid cuts, and thats good, but it would destroy the individual markets in ways the other bills possibly would not.
posted by Justinian at 8:48 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


I have friends and loved ones who are Russian, who are hurting badly because of these sanctions.

Weren't the 2012 Magnitsky sanctions put in place to target specific individuals? And at the same time ended general economic trade sanctions? AFAIK, this isn't Cuba level blockading, so I don't know how this is affecting those you love?
posted by pwnguin at 8:50 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


So Trump had dinner with Hannity and Scaramucci before the twitter accusations. Presumably true believer Hannity helped push Trump towards this madness?

Are they hoping the DoJ will do their bidding on this to get back in Trump's favor after the Sessions attacks? Or are they seeing it as a win-win-- if Sessions doesn't see a crime here then Trump fires him for this (even though it's really about Russia.)

Is this a public palace intrigue spat, or does this end with Reince ousted in an attempt to fully convert/dominate establishment Republicans to Trumpism?
posted by bluecore at 8:51 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


I actually don't think the method the other repeal bills were trying to use to keep healthy people in the individual markets would be effective, so my guess is that they would fail anyway... but the skinny repeal doesn't even try!

This Scaramucci/Preibus thing is fucking bonkers. And that's by the standards of these all-bonkers-all-the-time last few weeks. How is this real life? We have the Communications Director calling for FBI investigation of the Chief of Staff. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
posted by Justinian at 8:54 PM on July 26 [13 favorites]


Why isn't Jefferson Beauregard already pulling a Rudolf Hess?
posted by runcifex at 8:54 PM on July 26


JUST IN: DOJ releases statements on leaks after @Scaramucci says he will contact FBI over his leaked financial docs.

From the DOJ spokesperson in that link:
"...we will aggressively pursue leak cases wherever they may lead."
Including, one presumes, Moscow hotel rooms.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:56 PM on July 26 [15 favorites]


I think Scaramucci is trying to accelerate his appearance on Dancing With The Stars.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:57 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]


The Skinny Repeal is getting complicated. They are trying to add the opioid funding back in. But it already has a problem that it doesn't save enough money to qualify for passage under reconciliation. So they have to add cuts back in as well, above and beyond any opioid funding amount!

Crazy.
posted by Justinian at 8:58 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


NOT BAD CELSIUS1414. NOT BAD AT ALL.
posted by lalex at 8:58 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Phil Rucker says visual aids are being deployed to help Trump understand: Some in White House are trying to build a case that Priebus is a leaker — “a diagram” charting leaks, per senior official — to show Trump.

You know, given that the we started the day with the President firing thousands of troops via Twitter and are ending it with the Communications Director accusing the Chief of Staff of a felony over Twitter (for something that appears to be not illegal), maybe Twitter is bad?
posted by zachlipton at 8:58 PM on July 26 [26 favorites]


So this ain't the end, I saw you again, today
I had to turn my heart away
Smiled like the sun, kisses for everyone
And tales, it never fails

You lying so low in the weeds
I bet you gonna ambush me
You'd have me down, down, down on my knees
Now wouldn't you, Scaramucci?

Back over time we were all trying for free
You met the Donald and me
No right, no wrong you're selling a song, a name
Whisper game

If the real thing don't do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick
Oooo, Scaramucci.

"Sell me, sell you" the Donald said
Dive down deep to save my head
You, I think you got the blues too

All that night and all the next
Smiled without looking back
Made for the press pools, silly, silly fools

If the real thing don't do the trick, no
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn it to the wick
Oooo, Scara-Scaramucci.
(reference)
posted by perhapses at 8:59 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


This is so 8 hours ago.... but the idea that the Pickle letter is fake certainly explains why the press briefing started almost an hour late.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 9:00 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


You know, given that the we started the day with the President firing thousands of troops via Twitter

I cannot believe that was just this morning.
posted by lalex at 9:01 PM on July 26 [24 favorites]


Oh my god, next they're going to hunt down Pickle (or some child actor to play him), aren't they?, and force him to stand onstage at a rally while Trump rambles on about immigrants cutting up 15 year old girls and racist yacht orgies. Aaaaaargh.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:05 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


This Scaramucci/Preibus thing is fucking bonkers

If this doesn't end in a brawl in the Rose Garden, I will be surprised.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:06 PM on July 26 [9 favorites]


The Darkness and the Rot (Josh Marshall, TPM)
What is difficult to understand, what requires some explanation is the way Trump is able to destroy those around him. [...]

This may be unremarkable with the toadies and acolytes. But Trump is able to take people of some apparent substance and attainment and destroy them as well. The key though is that he doesn’t destroy them. In his orbit, under some kind of spell, he makes them destroy themselves. It is always a self-destruction. He’s like a black hole. But for this there’s no ready explanation. Because what is the power? The force?

I puzzled over this for some time. Eventually I sensed that Trump wasn’t inducing people’s self-destruction so much as he was acting like a divining rod, revealing rot that existed already but was not apparent. It may seem like an odd comparison. But I’m reminded of the effect in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series where the cursed pirates appear to be flesh and blood bodies. But the moonlight reveals them as desiccated skeletons, animated but undead. The rot was there but hidden. Trump is the moonlight. Perhaps better to say, to invert our metaphor, Trump is the darkness.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:08 PM on July 26 [61 favorites]


I think Scaramucci is trying to accelerate his appearance on Dancing With The Stars.

This wouldn't be anywhere close to the craziest thing to come out of this administration. I can see the Mooch doing it and I can see the base loving it. It's unlikely to happen because Trump would hate having that kind of a spotlight on somebody not Trump. I guess that the craziest thing is that this has somehow become our reality.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:09 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Some random 9 year old with a D in their name is going to get dragged on stage and mocked for their penmanship for the rest of their lives, aren't they?
posted by Artw at 9:10 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


I mean...I can maybe see this kind of shit happening in a chaotic past WH - the Reagan WH was a nest of vipers. But it would have been done QUIETLY. They wouldn't have called the Post about it!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:14 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


"Trump is the darkness"

Well, good night everybody, sleep tight
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:16 PM on July 26 [38 favorites]


Only a matter of days before Sanders displays a piece of toast with Trump's likeness on it that was sent to her from a grandma in Ohio.
posted by perhapses at 9:16 PM on July 26 [22 favorites]


From the DOJ spokesperson in that link:
"...we will aggressively pursue leak cases wherever they may lead."


Does Trump even realize that he just handed Sessions a loaded gun, after attacking him?

The AG already has a green light, nay a demand, from an administration that cares not for individual rights to track leaks down, whatever it takes. Every single person in the West Wing is probably leaking -- we know Scary Mooch and Trump are, does anyone doubt Bannon and Kushner leak as well?

If Trump goes down, Sessions will undoubtedly keep his job under President Pence, so he has nothing to lose. And the president just gave him his choice of which internal enemies he wants to prosecute for legit felonies. Even the President's sainted daughter.
posted by msalt at 9:23 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


Whew, thank heaven PR genius Anthony Scaramucci is on the scene to professionalize the WH brand and messaging.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:24 PM on July 26 [10 favorites]


I'm not taking credit for "Night of the Long Sporks", BTW: it's straight from a White House source.

Okay, first as a history teacher/nerd I want to say that while I still despise every Trump aide, that is fucking amazing.

And second: Damn. They're straight-up making Nazi references on themselves. Should I be glad they're so self-aware?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:30 PM on July 26 [19 favorites]


ZeusHumms: "The article has links to the amendments. They're all short."

Vox couldn't take 6 minutes to type the hand written bits?
Mr. Merkley moves to commit the bill HR 1628 to the Committee on Finanace with instructions to report the same back to the Senate within 3 days with chnges that are within the jurisdiction of such Committe to strike provisions in the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 that could have the effect of eliminating Medicaid coverage for _________________.
  • people with Ovarian Cancer
  • people with pancreatic cancer
  • people with prostate cancer
  • people with breast cancer
  • people with diabetes
  • people with asthma
  • people with Alzheimer's Disease
  • people with Cerebral Palsy
  • people with cystic fibrosis
  • people with Crohn's Disease
  • people with Ulcerative colitis
  • people with Lupus
  • people with Rheumatoid arthritis
  • people with AIDs
  • people with HIV
  • people with multiple sclerosis
  • people with muscular Dystrophy
  • people with parkinsons Disease
  • people with Lou Gherig's Disease (ALS)
  • people with autism
  • children ages 3 to 10 yeasrs old
  • parents of infants
  • Korean War Veterans
  • Vietnam War Veterans
  • Veterans of the wars in Afghanistan
  • Veterans of the wars in Iraq
  • World War II Veterans
  • Social Security recipients
  • Medicare beneficiaries
  • individuals with pre-existing conditions
  • people with cancer
  • children with cancer
  • people with brain cancer
  • people with Leukemia
  • people with cervical cancer
  • people with colorectral cancer
  • people with Lymphoma
  • people with lung cancer
  • people with melanoma
  • people with ovarian cancer
  • pregnant women
Not 120 but the extent of the motions on the Vox page.
posted by Mitheral at 9:31 PM on July 26 [21 favorites]


Re the Pickle letter—do any of the numbnuts behind it not realize that within a fucking hour of a real letter being read on the air, the kid who wrote it would be in the news? "Local Kid Happy President Got His Letter" would easily make his hometown news, which would then easily be found online. At which point the Administration would be citing the story as proof that the letter is real. Hell, Pickle'd probably get his own mention in a presidential tweet.

I have to admit, I'm envious. Why are these idiots allowed to be so much richer than me?
posted by Rykey at 9:32 PM on July 26 [19 favorites]


Figure it's worth the share. Y'know that lack of a meaningful apology or reaction from the Boy Scouts of America? Turns out the President of the BSA is Randall Stephenson...president of AT&T. And he needs the DOJ's approval for the Time/Warner merger, which Trump has already dumped on.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:34 PM on July 26 [12 favorites]


"Local Kid Embarrassed Parents Made Him Write Letter to Trump, Refuses to Come Out of Room."
posted by perhapses at 9:39 PM on July 26 [20 favorites]


Dang. Leave the thread for a sec and the Scarramucvi Priebus thing erupts. We're going back to early 2017 when it was not safe to exit the thread.

Fuckers are moving faster and faster toward Dog knows what.
posted by notyou at 9:53 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


So, everywhere I look for that data about the military spending more on viagra points to a Washington Free Beacon article, and all of them quote the Defense Health Agency, but I can't find the data itself anywhere. Does anyone know where to find it?
posted by gucci mane at 9:59 PM on July 26


Clinton book to double down on Russia, Comey message (The Hill):
Hillary Clinton's upcoming book will double down on Russia’s interference and James Comey’s involvement in her stunning election defeat, according to sources familiar with the memoir.

Privately, Clinton has told friends and longtime associates that she “wants the whole story out there” as she rushes to tweak and put the finishing touches on the book due out in September.

“She really believes that’s why she lost, and she wants to explain why in no uncertain terms,” one longtime ally said. “She wants the whole story out there from her own perspective. I think a lot of people are going to be really surprised by how much she reveals.”
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:00 PM on July 26 [23 favorites]


Um. @Scaramucci: "Wrong! Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks. @Reince45"

Have we considered the possibility this man may be extraordinarily bad at his job?

Also, the White House is having the Interior Secretary threaten Murkowski and the State of Alaska after she voted no:
Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.

The response follows Trump's no-holds-barred style of governing, even when it comes to his own party. It is his first strike of retaliation against Murkowski, however, despite her tendency to stray from the party line and the president's priorities.

Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said the call from Zinke heralded a "troubling message."
Murkowski chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, so it would be normal to avoid making an enemy out of her, but that's not how this Administration works I guess.
posted by zachlipton at 10:01 PM on July 26 [44 favorites]


Mooch also deleted the original tweet because that makes it go away forever and no one will talk about it anymore. A+ comms.
posted by lalex at 10:04 PM on July 26 [35 favorites]


I've been thinking a lot about the Pickle letter (SORRY CORTEX) and I have come to believe that the artifice is meant to be noticed, that the letter is intended as a sort of trap: Look at all the mean liberals making up Fake News about little Dylan Pickle, is the message they intend to send to the sorts of people whose reaction to "will you be my fwend" in a wavering scrawl is a warmed heart rather than a risen gorge. Look at how they hate children and try to attack anything sweet and innocent.

Of course, the final phase of this psyops plan is just "SUCK IT, LIBERALS," so, like, by all means continue with the fake Picklechild letters on Twitter, some of them are quite funny
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:04 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


So, who's up next after trump fires Moochie (via tweet)?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:04 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


So, everywhere I look for that data about the military spending more on viagra points to a Washington Free Beacon article, and all of them quote the Defense Health Agency, but I can't find the data itself anywhere. Does anyone know where to find it?

The Post article cites this 2015 Military Times article, which appears to have better numbers than the Free Beacon story, based on their own analysis. It also points out that less than 10% of the ED drugs were for active duty troops
posted by zachlipton at 10:04 PM on July 26 [6 favorites]


It's turtles all the way down, but each subsequent turtle is dumber than the one before it.
posted by rainy at 10:06 PM on July 26 [11 favorites]


@zachlipton: yeah I've looked at that Military Times article and it mentions a "report" repeatedly but I can't seem to find the report itself. Am I just missing something?
posted by gucci mane at 10:13 PM on July 26


New press secretary "a glass of flint drinking water" will do well.
posted by Artw at 10:13 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


NYT is explaining why he really deleted the tweet here:
Still, it was not at all clear that it was actually a leak in the first place, much less an illegal one.

Mr. Scaramucci filed the disclosure form in connection with his previous, short-lived job with the Trump administration at the Export-Import Bank. Under federal law, anyone can request such a report on a government website 30 days after its receipt.

Mr. Scaramucci’s report says it was filed on June 23, which means it could be publicly released by the bank on July 23, or last Sunday. Politico did not indicate whether it obtained the report through such a regular request.

Asked why he thought the report had been leaked illegally, Mr. Scaramucci responded by text: “They aren’t in process yet.” But when told his form could be released on July 23, he did not respond further.
This man is, in fact, bad at communications.
posted by zachlipton at 10:14 PM on July 26 [67 favorites]




> This man is, in fact, bad at communications.

Someone in the T administration is bad at something? What? Never!
posted by rtha at 10:18 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


He also seems bad at backstabbing his colleagues.

I wonder what the morning will bring.
posted by notyou at 10:19 PM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Someone in the T administration is bad at something? What? Never!

I'll bet he often gets sick at sea too!
posted by zachlipton at 10:20 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Hardly never...
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:21 PM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Top insurance CEOs openly blaming Trump sabotage for rate hikes and empty markets (Daily Kos)
Insurance giant Anthem, which has already withdrawn from the Obamacare marketplaces in three states, will pull out of more if the federal government doesn’t take action soon to stabilize the market, CEO Joseph Swedish told investors Wednesday. [...]

“If we aren’t able to gain certainty on some of these items quickly, we do expect that we will need to revise our rate filings to further narrow our level of participation,” Swedish said on a call to discuss the company’s second quarter earnings.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:32 PM on July 26 [14 favorites]


, Trump's intimidation routine and implied threats can be construed as witness tampering

Inatead of wondering if all this shit is impeachable I'm going to start thinking of it all as possible ammo for Mueller.

Are the Rs going to stand up for Reince like they are for Sessions?

I like the theory I saw on Twitter, that Dylan is "Jim's" son.

What the hell will I wake up to?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:39 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray to God the Prez will keep
His grubby paws off all the things
And won't make all his croneys kings

If I should die before I wake
I pray the Prez won't try to take
My stiffened corpse against my will
To reimburse my healthcare bill
posted by MrVisible at 10:59 PM on July 26 [68 favorites]


This administration is Veep*. A new guy comes in, dashing and full of confidence. For about five minutes it seems like maybe he's semi-competent, if awful as an actual human. Soon it is revealed he is just as mind-screamingly dumb as everyone else (remembering "everyone else" includes the guy who said Hitler never gassed anyone).

Also, a giant lumbering idiot brags about sex in front of children.


*Except they suck at profanity and they can kill us all.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:19 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Guys, I'll happily delete this if this is fake news, but this just came across my feed:

BREAKING: Trump-Pence Administration Asserts Civil Rights Laws Won’t Apply to LGBTQ People


Anyone know anything about this? Is this part of the move to be able to kick trans people out of the military, and they figured why not fuck over all LGBTQ people at the same time?

I swear to God, I left the internet FOR 4 HOURS to put an elliptical machine together and I come back to this??
posted by greermahoney at 11:26 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Oh honey that was like 12 hours ago.
posted by rhizome at 11:28 PM on July 26 [15 favorites]


I swear to God I was following this feed ALL DAY.

And I searched for title VII.

Goddammit.
posted by greermahoney at 11:33 PM on July 26 [7 favorites]


It is just as likely, if not more, that the real endgame is to repeal the mandate, sabotage the insurance markets, and then return at a later date to inflict more damage on the health care system.

That is precisely what I've been thinking. Gut the mandate, which sends individual markets into a tailspin, crippling the ACA. And then Mitch "Ratfucker" McConnell will come back with a straight face and lament the "inevitable demise of the fundamentally broken ACA", and push the point that Congress simply has to start over with health care. Bonus points if he can line the death knell up with an election cycle, and blame Democrats for failed healthcare. Again.

The script writes itself with these malevolent bastards.
posted by Brak at 11:36 PM on July 26 [3 favorites]


I still think western/eastern states have to join up and secede, there's no other way they're getting back the influence they ought to have in a real democracy. Mend the country back together after from a better position.

"you voted for him because you're stupid and gullible."

Was there any other reason? ... Other than 'you're evil'.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 12:07 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Also, the White House is having the Interior Secretary threaten Murkowski and the State of Alaska after she voted no:
Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.


The way Trump and his allies bully, threaten and intimidate people is infuriating. I think it is the thing that gets me the most of all their incompetence and evil. But isn't it also making him vulnerable? Already, a lot of senators see him as a fool. If he gives them reason to fight back at him, what is protecting him against impeachment? Murkowski already reminded everyone she isn't up for election before -22, she can be cool and begin to figure out what she wants from the next president in return for her support, specially if that is president Pence.
posted by mumimor at 12:39 AM on July 27 [6 favorites]


> I still think western/eastern states have to join up and secede, there's no other way they're getting back the influence they ought to have in a real democracy. Mend the country back together after from a better position.

Secession without bloodshed is a pipe dream. If you are proposing secession without indicating that you've thought through what would happen in the subsequent war, and without considering which military organizations would be on which side, you probably shouldn't even be typing the word "secede."

For my part, I have no particular investment in the governments of the western states, even though the west coast of the united states is the largest geographical area that I feel anything like patriotism about. I don't think they're worth fighting a war over. I don't think they could win that war, and even if they could I don't think they could or should serve as the nucleus for anything like a national government. I mean, look, I totally enjoy fantasies about radical changes in the mode of government... but only when they're worthwhile fantasies, or at least interesting ones.

Probably it's best to put all ideas of formal secession in a box, mark it "Russia funded" — recall that calexit, the least nonsense of the nonsense secession proposals, was devised by a dude living in Yekaterinburg — and then light that box on fire and forget it ever existed.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:59 AM on July 27 [30 favorites]


Dear Premident Trunk

I literally guffawed when I got to the end
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:04 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


Getting back to this for a moment:

Gov. Sam Brownback's tenure in Kansas is ending early: Trump is making him Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

First, a little background: During the last election cycle, my dear friend Patsy Terrell worked her ass off and defeated a 25-year incumbent to win the right to represent our district in the Kansas House of Representatives. She loved this job and — despite how cliche it sounded — considered it an honor. Her last action was to vote to override Brownback's veto of the desperately needed income tax increase. She was jubilant about having helped steer Kansas back toward fiscal sanity after Brownback's lunacy. The next morning, she was dead of natural causes.

A couple of months before she died, Patsy and I had dinner together, as we often did (and as she often did with many friends). The Brownback appointment was in the air even then. And while no one will be sorry to see that jackass leave the governor's mansion, Patsy told me that there were grim possibilities afoot. A prevailing theory about the vacancy in the governor's job goes like this: Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer will assume the governorship as soon as Brownback leaves, as provided for by law. Colyer doesn't want to be governor. There is a distinct possibility that he will appoint Kansas Secretary of State and General Asshole Kris Kobach as his lieutenant governor. Shortly thereafter, Colyer will resign, leaving Kobach as governor. He'll have two years to run riot as Brownback did, and he'll have the benefit of incumbency at the next election.

Sometimes, it really is better the devil you know. And as good as Patsy's successor is (she practically hand-picked him from the great beyond), I wish she were going to be here in the event this nightmare scenario plays out.
posted by bryon at 1:05 AM on July 27 [62 favorites]


"you voted for him because you're stupid and gullible."

Does calling that demographic "ill-informed and ignorant" help any?

I would kind of like to message that they "have been lied to, maliciously and systematically, and used."

But I'm demonstrably no politician.
posted by porpoise at 1:29 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


Secession without bloodshed is a pipe dream.

Plus low-level internecine violence is much more likely than a secession crisis. Not likely but more likely.
posted by Justinian at 2:09 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Does calling that demographic "ill-informed and ignorant" help any?

No, and it reinforces perceptions that liberals are "coastal elites" and "condescending." I'm not claiming those perceptions are correct, mind you, but they exist.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:30 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Daily Beast: Chinese Man’s $18 Billion Donation to New York Charity Raises Eyebrows

The donation to Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation, which runs a variety of anti-poverty programs, has renewed questions about the ownership structure of HNA, the biggest Chinese investor in the U.S. last year. The company has had ties severed with at least one U.S. bank over its lack of transparency. White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, however, has previously hailed HNA as “one of the more magnificent conglomerates coming out of China,” The New York Times reports. Scaramucci announced in January that he would sell his stake in SkyBridge to a consortium led by RON Transatlantic and HNA Capital, an arm of HNA Group, according to the Times.
posted by mumimor at 2:38 AM on July 27


$18 Billion Donation

lmao wtf
posted by edeezy at 2:46 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


Charles Blow, NYT:
This has come as a great shock and demoralizer to many Americans, not necessarily because they didn’t think Trump was capable of such depravity, but because they simply were unprepared for the daily reality of living a nightmare.

There is an enduring expectation, particularly among American liberals, that progress in this society should move inexorably toward more openness, honesty and equality. But even the historical record doesn’t support that expectation.

In reality, America regularly experiences bouts of regression, but fortunately, it is in those regressive periods that some of our greatest movements and greatest voices had found their footing.
He goes on to list several.
posted by salix at 3:22 AM on July 27 [34 favorites]


Scaramucci fast accruing power in White House (Easley and Fabian, The Hill)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:35 AM on July 27


I'm concerned that introduction of a new character means that 2017 has been renewed for a second season
posted by thelonius at 3:38 AM on July 27 [110 favorites]


Amendment to replace every second letter of the bill with crying catface emoji

Amendment to trebuchet children without health insurance into Canada

Amendment to replace Pat Toomey with a meerkat

Amendment to put a big bowl of seashells in every doctor’s reception area

Just a few suggestions from this Full Frontal post on Medium
posted by salix at 3:39 AM on July 27 [24 favorites]


"it is in those regressive periods that some of our greatest movements and greatest voices had found their footing."

I believe it. I am convinced that one key reason America was able to take the bold step of electing Barack Hussein Obama was that we had just been through eight years of the aggressive malfeasance and incompetence of the Dubya administration.

My fear and loathing at the ugliness that is the Trump Experience is diluted, if only barely, by the hope and expectation that it will lead to an enormous, progressive back-correction in 2020.

Of course, we still have to make it through these next few years alive and unbroken, which isn't guaranteed.
posted by darkstar at 3:42 AM on July 27 [14 favorites]


I'm concerned that introduction of a new character means that 2017 has been renewed for a second season

Unless the Mooch is Trump's Cousin Oliver...
posted by darkstar at 3:44 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


Note: Moochie died on the way back to his home planet.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:46 AM on July 27 [37 favorites]


That moment a political organization realizes they're actually terrible at what they do:

One Day Before Trump Banned Trans Soldiers, Log Cabin Republicans Called President Trump a 'Quiet Ally' and a 'Do No Harm Guy'
posted by darkstar at 3:57 AM on July 27 [39 favorites]


If they haven't turned on him before they're not going to do it now.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:03 AM on July 27 [11 favorites]


Top insurance CEOs openly blaming Trump sabotage for rate hikes and empty markets

During the election I thought Trump was going to alienate the Rs corporate masters enough that he would lose significant support. I guess they thought they were safe, but I'm cautiously heartened that whichever direction they try to pivot, unexpected voices are starting to cock-block him. (The "cock" being Trump himslef, obvs.)

$18 Billion Donation

lmao wtf


I come from the non-profit world and this is totally normal. How do you think the ACLU built that Moon chapter?
posted by Room 641-A at 4:17 AM on July 27 [20 favorites]


porpoise: I would kind of like to message that they "have been lied to, maliciously and systematically, and used."

^THIS times a billion!

Forget arguing about any other aspect of this issue. Right here is the only message that matters.

If I may:
THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

Republicans need to stop letting themselves be maliciously and systematically lied to, and used as pawns.
posted by mikelieman at 4:18 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]


Scaramucci is live on CNN right now, and it's a mess. Such a transparent hack and bullshitter. Of course Trump would ignore practically everyone's advice to hire this guy. Scaramucci's big mouth is going to get his boss in (deeper) trouble.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:26 AM on July 27 [6 favorites]


Spicey: I am the most incompetent ineffectual WH communicator in history.

Moochie: Hold my hair product.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:27 AM on July 27 [40 favorites]


Predictably, Trump is bullying Republican Senators.
posted by zarq at 4:32 AM on July 27


A bit more on the secretive Chinese foundation, from Financial Times China’s HNA to be held by little-known charities. Nothing about Scaramucci in there, though. Are the Chinese trying to get in on the game? It doesn't seem like HNA are popular with the Chinese government, but who knows at this point?
posted by mumimor at 4:32 AM on July 27


Republicans need to stop letting themselves be maliciously and systematically lied to, and used as pawns.

People dislike being told they're passive suckers as much as (or more than) they dislike being called stupid. For the jillionth time, Democrats get elected by getting Democrat-sympathetic voters to vote, not by trying to win over dull-witted assholes who will vote for literally the worst person alive sooner than vote Democratic, even if it hurts their own situation.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:33 AM on July 27 [65 favorites]


I still think it's worth appealing to any who aren't wholly irrational. Maybe I'm naïve? Yeah, I'll cop to being naïve.
posted by mikelieman at 4:42 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Fair enough tivalasvegas. Guess I'm just channeling my inner atheist (yeah, no discrimination of that group in the US) on the general chains (all interpretations thereof) of religion. /end derail
posted by yoga at 4:46 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Not that it comes as a surprise, but:
The Justice Department filed an amicus brief Wednesday saying that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover employment "discrimination based on sexual orientation."

...Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

...The American Civil Liberties Union blasted the DOJ's position as a "gratuitous and extraordinary attack on LGBT people's civil rights."

"Fortunately, courts will decide whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT people, not an Attorney General and a White House that are hell-bent on playing politics with people's lives," said James Esseks, director of the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project, in a statement. "We are confident that the courts will side with equality and the people."
The progressive argument is basically that it is the sex/gender of an individual that determines whether their sexual orientation is deemed gay or straight and thus gender is the basis for the discrimination. For example, a man with sexual attraction to other men has lost his job due to discrimination because he was male, since a woman with similar attraction to men would not have been subject to that discrimination.

The lower federal courts are split on the matter of whether the sex (gender) basis of the prohibition of discrimination applies to sexual orientation, so this will surely head to the SCOTUS for resolution. Neither Scalia, nor his replacement Gorsuch, would be expected to side with civil rights for LGBT. Again, it seems to hinge on Kennedy who has been a more favorable voice.
posted by darkstar at 4:48 AM on July 27 [20 favorites]


Amendment to put a big bowl of seashells in every doctor’s reception area

Ok that made me laugh out loud.
posted by yoga at 4:51 AM on July 27 [10 favorites]


The Justice Department filed an amicus brief Wednesday saying that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover employment "discrimination based on sexual orientation."

It obviously, self-evidently does! It's the simplest thing!

If we say "Men may attend college, but women may not," that's obviously discrimination based on gender, right?

So if we say "Men may marry women, but women may not," how is that any different? You're restricting people's rights based on their gender, and that's a no-go! It's easy, people!
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:53 AM on July 27 [37 favorites]


Predictably, Trump is bullying Republican Senators.

And just as predictably, they're complaining mildly and anonymously, then complimenting the form of his slaps.
posted by Etrigan at 4:58 AM on July 27 [23 favorites]


Anyone of us who has been following these threads for over 18 months now could have predicted a Scaramucci-like person would weasel their way into the circle of power. The President is a weak person who doesn't know anything about governing and doesn't want to bother to learn. He lives for flattery and is happy to shrug off his responsibilities. So a confident, powerful (that is someone with a lot of money) person makes an active show of blindly supporting Trump and having gotten Trump's ear, promises, praises, promotes, and poisons.

The outsider promises that Trump will get what Trump wants--probably adulation and respect from more people. He praises Trump for everything Trump is most insecure about. He promotes his ideas and his agenda and himself as the one true Trump fan. And finally he poisons the reputation of anyone he sees as a threat.

This is how palace intrigue works when the Monarch is stupid and weak-willed. The amazing thing is that Scaramucci has had such an open field with little competition. I think it's because this is such odd circumstances in American politics that most people haven't figured out what's going on yet. Give it time and we may see more jostling by outsiders to capture the attention of the King.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:09 AM on July 27 [70 favorites]


The amazing thing is that Scaramucci has had such an open field with little competition.

he's that magic combination: he's clever enough to use PUA tactics to ingratiate himself with trump, but too stupid to realize that joining the administration at this point is jumping on a shitgrenade
posted by murphy slaw at 5:16 AM on July 27 [29 favorites]


What's gonna kill Scaramucci is the fact that his mini-me antics garner attention that rightfully belongs to Trump.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:24 AM on July 27 [32 favorites]


Everyone is missing a key flaw in the Trumpist argument that Mueller's biased because his staff donated more to Hillary.

Trump didn't want donations. He funded himself because he was so rich and independent, remember?
posted by msalt at 5:51 AM on July 27


Trump didn't want donations.
Well . .except for all the begging for them internationally last year.
posted by rc3spencer at 5:53 AM on July 27 [6 favorites]


I knew going to bed was a mistake. Can Metafilter grow a 'Previously, on the West Wing' button?

But I am heartened that the new Communications Director has wasted absolutely no time in communicating the one very important fact that true to form, 45 has indeed hired a new schmuck with the skill set of a slime mold.
posted by Devonian at 5:54 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]




"He may decide to veto the sanctions and be tougher on the Russians than Congress."

Lol lol lol. LOL.
posted by lydhre at 6:02 AM on July 27 [53 favorites]


HAHAHAHAHA
posted by mumimor at 6:10 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


What's gonna kill Scaramucci is the fact that his mini-me antics garner attention that rightfully belongs to Trump.

For precedent, see the saga of Rudy Giuliani and his police commissioner.
posted by adamg at 6:11 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


"He may decide to veto the sanctions and be tougher on the Russians than Congress."

Lol lol lol. LOL.
posted by lydhre at 10:02 PM on July 27 [2 favorites +] [!]


Don't laugh. The only effective check on the president's power is an independent Congress, and I for one am glad they're choosing to exercise it. Trump's hands need to be tied so the legislature can function as a balance to the executive branch, which is currently controlled by a shrewd, cunning extremist member of an opposition party who has proven he will stoop to anything to get his way. Of course I'm referring to the executive branch controlled by Putin.

I just want Trump's hands tied out of spite.
posted by saysthis at 6:12 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


I'd settle for Twitter being taken out of Trump's hands .
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:16 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


I laugh for three reasons:

1) They will override his veto.
2) He claims to want to be tougher on the Russians. Lol.
3) He has no idea how any of this works.
posted by lydhre at 6:16 AM on July 27 [38 favorites]


I knew going to bed was a mistake. Can Metafilter grow a 'Previously, on the West Wing' button?

[West Wing] tags?
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:19 AM on July 27


I enjoyed how in less than a week on the job, all of Scara-mouch's metaphors and analogies to the state of the WH were already icebergs, ships, disasters, and rats.
But even that was ham-handed. As the CNN interviewer this am pointed out to him, in Scary's illustration, Scary claims to be smart because he is sailing the admin AT the iceberg, just to prove that rats are on the ship. LOL
posted by rc3spencer at 6:22 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


That whole thread of Scaramucci's appearance on CNN is totally bonkers. Not that you needed proof but this certainly is proof has as much message discipline as his boss.
posted by mmascolino at 6:28 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


What's gonna kill Scaramucci is the fact that his mini-me antics garner attention that rightfully belongs to Trump.

Agreed. The closest we ever got to ousting Steve Bannon was when we were all calling him President Bannon and the media had decided he was the real power behind the throne. He fell out of Trump's good graces, but unfortunately was able to save himself because the left has absolutely no understanding of media tactics and as soon as he appeared to no longer be a threat they immediately switched their attention to something else.

But Bannon prefers and thrives in the shadows, while Scaramucci loves the spotlight. Perhaps he won't wise up before it's too late? It helps that he is perceived as more physically attractive, charming, and clever than Trump, and has been praised as such thus far into his short tenure.
posted by schroedinger at 6:29 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


somewhere I read an analysis that said that Spicer's one redeeming quality was that he was a bad liar. I don't know that Scarmucci is a good liar, but he seems very comfortable with the truth being oh like two million miles from where he's at
posted by angrycat at 6:30 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Scaramucci later deleted the tweet.

Holy shit Scaramoosh deleted his @Reince45 insanity? Presidential Records anyone? Also this is amazing. Trump hates Sessions, Trump calls out Sessions in public basically begging him to resign. Moosh hates Priebus, does the same. It's like he's jacked directly into a fun-house Trump mirror.
posted by dis_integration at 6:31 AM on July 27 [6 favorites]


Perhapses you think you're all that but I think I've got you beat:
I see a little silhouetto of Trump’s hands,
Scaramucci, Scaramucci, will you call the FBI?
Leaking is a felony,
Very, very frightening me
(Reince Priebuss) Reince Priebus
(Reince Priebus) Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus leaked what the press knows
He’s gotta go-o-o-o-o

I'm just a rich boy, who does nobody love me
He's just a rich boy made his money screwing familes
Spare him his tax from the SkyBridge monstrosity

Easy come, easy go, will you let me lie?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you lie (under oath!)
Bismillah! We will not let you lie (under oath!)
Bismillah! We will not let you lie (under oath!)
Will not let you liie (under oath!)
FBI asks you questions under oath
Senate asks you questions under oath
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh, give me pardon give me pardon (give him a pardon, lied under oath)
Beelzebub what should healthcare repeal be?
Repeal be?
Repeal beeeeeeeeeee?
posted by Talez at 6:31 AM on July 27 [30 favorites]


Murkowski is also the chair of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies subcommittee. They oversee budgeting for Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife and National Parks which report to Ryan Zinke. I was holding out some hope for this guy because Tester supported him, but Christ, what an asshole.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:37 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


I have literally been singing Bohemian Rhapsody in my head (and sometimes out loud, much to my dog's chagrin) ever since Scaramucci was appointed. I hope that one day I can read about him and not have instant earworm.
posted by Fritzle at 6:38 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


somewhere I read an analysis that said that Spicer's one redeeming quality was that he was a bad liar. I don't know that Scarmucci is a good liar, but he seems very comfortable with the truth being oh like two million miles from where he's at

Spicer was a failed and broken human being, which is why his lies were distinguishable from his pleas, moans etc.; Scaramucci's just a sociopathic vomit machine whose noises are beyond truths and lies. Apples and oranges.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:38 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


And in honor of his deletion:
So you think you can accuse Reince and call the FBI? (Yeah!)
So you think you can delete a tweet and and the matter will die?
Oh, Moochy, Presidential Records Act, Moochy
They’re gonna find crime, find more crime than you think you have here
But Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to him
Any way Fox and Friends blows
posted by Talez at 6:38 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]


Weren't the 2012 Magnitsky sanctions put in place to target specific individuals? And at the same time ended general economic trade sanctions? AFAIK, this isn't Cuba level blockading, so I don't know how this is affecting those you love?

Yeah OK I'm not bullshitting here. There are a slew of US sanctions against Russia right now, many if not most of them related to trade and the energy sector, on top of the current EU trade sanctions against Russia. And this has a rippling effect on the rest of the economy. People at the top of the pyramid are going to find ways to get theirs, at the expense of everyone else. So this is how it's affecting people I love.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:56 AM on July 27


From zarq's article above:
Trump’s pointed criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was the only senator to endorse Trump for much of last year’s presidential campaign, has shocked many GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill

...

What bothers lawmakers the most is that Trump seems to want to embarrass his targets.

Some note that Sessions resigned from his safe Senate seat to join the executive branch and work for Trump.

Guys, this is a good time to just ask that we all temper our own complaints about the Administration with some compassion and perspective. Can you imagine what it's like to be an old rich powerful white man right now?
posted by Rykey at 6:59 AM on July 27 [10 favorites]


I think Scaramucci is trying to accelerate his appearance on Dancing With The Stars

More like Dancing with the Tsars, amirite?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:01 AM on July 27 [55 favorites]




Can you imagine what it's like to be an old rich powerful white man right now?

Having to take two Ambien because a single one stopped working? They have it hard.
posted by Talez at 7:03 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


So, are we still talking about the transgender-military issue? Not so much? Oh, so it appears that yesterday was just a typical one-off stunt in the Trump administration; a troll doing what he does best. Making an awful announcement that has no basis in reality and will never be effectively enforced, only to be swept under the rug by another day of blitzkrieg news.

I'm sorry if I'm on a soap box here, but it drains me when we spend the whole day discussing some new proclamation that is clearly an attempt to troll and trick us. If he actually signed an executive order or took some significant action, then our outrage is necessary to immediately fight this. But a tweet? He cooked this whole thing up with Bannon/Miller et al to do exactly this to us; piss us off so much (because the whole thing is ARGHH!!!!) and know that our emotional response would overwhelm. To those who would counter "Trump is an idiot and not playing multiple-dimensional chess" you're correct; however an idiot can still turn on the news and see how the discourse has been altered by his imbecilic actions. Think back to the missle strike. This guy is stupid but he knows how to play us unfortunately (he wouldn't still be in his position otherwise.)

Trump has no idea how to actually wield power, he's like the muscled drunk guy at the bar who knows he has force but can't get his shit together enough to use it. Sessions and the DOJ, however....as much as I didn't want JS to resign to honor Trump's wishes, if the Justice department is going down this road with sexual orientation/civil rights he needs to be gone yesterday. The house cleaning is long overdue.

Anyway, I want us to keep fighting. I'm not saying we can't be upset with when this shit happens, of course we can't normalize it. I just hate seeing people I agree with getting so bogged down by this and other obvious distractions. The reports yesterday that T and company were thrilled the media was discussing transgender/military...we have to stop playing into their hands. They think we're idiots and we need to prove the opposite is true.
posted by andruwjones26 at 7:03 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


Everyone is missing a key flaw in the Trumpist argument that Mueller's biased because his staff donated more to Hillary.

Money is speech. Why does failing President Trump hate Free Speech?
posted by mikelieman at 7:05 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


THE RIGHTS OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE NOT A DISTRACTION
posted by winna at 7:05 AM on July 27 [110 favorites]


This morning from @realdonaldtrump
"One of the things that has been lost in the politics of this situation is that the Russians collected and spread negative information about then candidate Trump." Catherine Herridge @FoxNews. So why doesn't Fake News report this? Witch Hunt! Purposely phony reporting.
Great, thanks! Finally we can agree: The June 2016 Guccifer 2.0 dump of the hacked DNC files, which included the Democrat's oppo on Trump along with DNC donor records, and which was dangled in front of your little boy one week earlier, was a Kremlin-led operation!
posted by pjenks at 7:07 AM on July 27 [20 favorites]


I'm sorry if I'm on a soap box here, but it drains me when we spend the whole day discussing some new proclamation that is clearly an attempt to troll and trick us.

Imagine someone gives a monkey a gun. Every time said monkey points the gun in your direction you still have to duck because you're going to look so stupid if the monkey accidentally manages to fire it and you didn't duck.
posted by Talez at 7:08 AM on July 27 [55 favorites]


zachlipton: Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.

"You tell them that if they're not nicer to me" Trump was overheard saying, "I'll just give the damned state to Putin." [fake, for now]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:09 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


OF COURSE THE RIGHTS OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE NOT A DISTRACTION. But how can you not see the evidence that what Trump did was intentional to troll us? How can we respond with outrage over and over again that only fractures us with each new scandal? As much as we all want to believe we can walk and chew gum at the same time, the current MSM narrative makes me think otherwise.

I don't want to fight amongst us, so I'll leave this alone. I can only see the same thing over and over again so many times before I lose my mind. And if I lose my mind everytime this A-hole tweets, they'll be nothing left in a few weeks.
posted by andruwjones26 at 7:09 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


> I'm not saying we can't be upset with when this shit happens, of course we can't normalize it. I just hate seeing people I agree with getting so bogged down by this and other obvious distractions.

Here's the thing. Let's assume arguendo that this really is a troll job, and that Trump has no intention of pursuing a policy change. Let's do this despite the credible reports that this was the direct result of horse-trading in Congress where members of the House wanted to secure a ban on trans service members in a spending bill. Even if you think it's a troll job, what do you think the net effect is if Trump puts out those tweets and the response is crickets? Don't you think that will embolden those who do actually want to take away rights from marginalized people?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:09 AM on July 27 [24 favorites]


My outrage doesn't fracture; I'm capable of near infinite levels of outrage. I can call out the bullshit tweet attacks on trans rights *and* still contact my Senators about the bullshit health care votes! In the same day, even!
posted by Roommate at 7:12 AM on July 27 [47 favorites]


I was holding out some hope for this guy because Tester supported him, but Christ, what an asshole.

This was actually a shrewd bit of politics on Tester's part. The GOP gameplan was going to be to have Zinke run against him next year, which would have been a tough match up for Tester. But his move to Interior fucked that up, and plan B died from a bodyslam. The result is that now the GOP has to go to the drawing board for someone to run against him, and they don't exactly have a strong bench.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:12 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


The rights of transgender people are not a distraction, just like the rights of Muslims were not a distraction or a "headfake" earlier in the year. Let's not get bogged down in conspiracy theories and eleventy-dimensional chess. These people don't have the intelligence or strategy skills to pull it off. They're bigoted, stupid, fascist wanna-be's who love to shoot their mouths off.

There's enough of Us (that is, Democrats, progressives, liberals, NeverTrumpers, etc.) that we can all keep our (collective) eyes on all the balls in the air. We're paying attention - to health care, transgender rights, police violence, all the numerous issues that are at play.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:13 AM on July 27 [18 favorites]


Can't you see that he only nuked Portland to distract us from Don Jr's armed standoff with the FBI
posted by theodolite at 7:13 AM on July 27 [29 favorites]


Imagine someone gives a monkey a gun. Every time said monkey points the gun in your direction you still have to duck because you're going to look so stupid if the monkey accidentally manages to fire it and you didn't duck.

This is our every day now. ^
Meanwhile there's a bank robbery going on across the street, but the bank robbers can't manage to get things done from all the ducking they have to do. Due to the monkey-with-a-gun idea they agreed on as a distraction from the robbery. America.
posted by rc3spencer at 7:14 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]


Just because they love to drink liberal tears doesn't mean we should stop crying. It'd be satisfying to be crying while simultaneously administering the wicker man but because we don't have the bees in place doesn't mean we should stop crying.
posted by angrycat at 7:15 AM on July 27 [14 favorites]


States Have Already Tried Versions Of 'Skinny Repeal.' It Didn't Go Well (Julie Appleby for NPR, July 27, 2017)
Senate Republicans are eyeing a "skinny repeal" that would roll back an unpopular portion of the federal health law. But health policy analysts warn that the idea has been tried before, and with little success.

Senators are reportedly considering a narrow bill that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act's "individual mandate," which assesses a tax on Americans who don't have insurance. The bill would also eliminate the ACA's penalties for some businesses – those that have 50 or more workers and fail to offer their employees health coverage.
...
Considering the parallels

By the late 1990s, states such as Washington, Kentucky and Massachusetts felt a backlash when some of the coverage requirement rules they'd previously put on the individual market were lifted. "Things went badly," said Mark Hall, director of the health law and policy program at Wake Forest University.

Premiums rose and insurers fled these states, leaving consumers who buy their own coverage (usually because they don't get it through their jobs) with fewer choices and higher prices.

That's because — like the Senate plan — the states generally kept popular parts of their laws, including protections for people with preexisting conditions. At the same time, they didn't include mandates that consumers carry coverage.

That goes to a basic concept about any kind insurance: People who don't file claims in any given year subsidize those who do. Also, those healthy people are less likely to sign up, insurers said, and that leaves insurance companies with only the more costly policyholders.

Bottom line: Insurers end up "less willing to participate in the market," said Hall.
In case you weren't certain before.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 AM on July 27 [20 favorites]


3) He has no idea how any of this works.

"That's not how that works! That's not how any of this works!"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:20 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


tonycpsu, i am not saying respond with crickets. Respond with outrage, respond with indignation, but should we focus on it the whole day? I look at my friends who were posting about this all day yesterday, and now today they're back to talking about Scaramucci/the next scandal. When does the ability of this administration to introduce a million new distractions end?

(AND I AM NOT SAYING THE RIGHTS OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE A DISTRACTION. Please do not attack me on this.) But the administration does this all the time using a new group. What about the outrage for immigrants? As much as people here say we can walk and chew gum...were we or the media displaying outrage for the continued ICE raids yesterday? Something that is currently happening? How do we pick our battles? Please do not tell me everyone has time to fight all these things; maybe you do and I wish you luck, but myself and others cannot focus on that. I'm sticking to calling my reps about health care since that feels more actionable than spewing outrage on the internet.
posted by andruwjones26 at 7:21 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Look, we keep being told one of his reasons for tweeting is to float trial balloons. You cannot expect us to know for sure what is an intentional distraction and what is a trial balloon. You can't know for sure at the time and hindsight is better, of course. I'm tired of being told I'm an idiot for paying attention to what he's doing and saying. I will continue to stand up to the shitty things he says, even while working on the rest.
posted by greermahoney at 7:22 AM on July 27 [25 favorites]


Advocates Say Agents Are Unlawfully Turning Away Asylum Seekers At The Border (Richard Gonzales, NPR, July 26, 2017)
Human rights groups have complained for months that border agents are wrongfully turning away people seeking asylum in the U.S. Many are fleeing gang violence and persecution in Mexico and Central America.

Border officials say they are following policy. But activists say the problem has gotten worse under President Trump. They recently sued, alleging violations of U.S. and international law.
In short: agents said refugee seekers had to register and apply in Mexico first, which isn't part of any law or regulation, and only after the Honduran family's advocates pushed the point for 20 minutes and talked to two supervisors did the second one relent. "We're going to process them," she says, "how about that? All right?"

Maybe the Statue of Liberty should have her welcoming statement amended to read "... but first register in Mexico."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:23 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]


I'm sticking to calling my reps about health care since that feels more actionable than spewing outrage on the internet.

Good for you. I'm ok with the level of attention we brought to his shitty treatment of the trans community.
posted by greermahoney at 7:24 AM on July 27 [14 favorites]


Tester supported Zinke because Zinke was otherwise going to run against Tester in 2018. Zinke is a hard right asshole, climate denier, and slavering supporter of all things oil.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:24 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


EMRE Publishing, LLC will be creating a new anthology of stories about an “Our Gang-type” group of kids who get into trouble and learn lots of lessons in the spaciously luxurious confines of the Mar-a-Lago Country Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

From the Fucked-Up Files of President Donald J. Pudknocker
posted by kirkaracha at 7:24 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


I think we're going to lose the ACA. When we do, it will be the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the history of this country. There is tremendous bullying going on now against the No votes is the Senate, especially the women, from Rump, his funders, and conservative PACs. Defense of the ACA is coming from doctors, hospitals, nuns - people with compassion but no power. As filthy light thief said, the "skinny" proposal will hasten the program's demise by removing coverage mandates that even out the risk pool between the healthy and the sick. The ACA reduced the ranks of the uninsured, saved lives, and protected American families from bankruptcy. If you have any strength left, PROTEST. Write or call or both. KEEP FIGHTING.
posted by tizzie at 7:25 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]


By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.

Right, so in addition to picking a fight with Murkowski -- who is several weight classes above him -- he's also going to take on e whole state of Alaska? I'd be interested to hear what spitbull and others from/in Alaska think of this? And let's see what Sarah Palin has to say, hmm?

Also, re the CNN interview this morning, he also said that when he said he and Reince were like brothers, he meant Cain and Abel. In addition to this being a huge whiplash pivot, we know it's not true because, lol, no one in this adminstration is able.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:25 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


I know this happened hours ago, but this morning's CNN call-in from Scaramucci is really incredible. See this @yashar twitter thread for the play-by-play highlights.

It starts with 30 seconds of an overheard conversation between Scaramucci and Ryan Lizza, where it's not at all clear that Scaramucci realizes he's speaking live on the air.

Really A+ #1 Comms work.
posted by pjenks at 7:25 AM on July 27 [25 favorites]


I agree with all of you in sentiment, we all have our different ways of communicating and as long as we respect each other we should keep up the fight. Best wishes to everyone out there fighting today. May this fucker be gone before we see 2018.
posted by andruwjones26 at 7:26 AM on July 27 [6 favorites]


As Cost Of U.S. Health Care Skyrockets, So Does Pay Of Health Care CEOs (Robert Siegel and Courtney Columbus, NPR, July 26, 2017)
In the seven years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, CEOs of U.S. health care companies have made a lot of money.

Their compensation far outstrips the wage growth of nearly all Americans, according to reporter Bob Herman, who published an analysis this week of "the sky-high pay of health care CEOs" for the online news site, Axios.

Based on corporate financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Herman did research on 113 heads of 70 of the largest U.S. health care companies in the last seven years. Cumulatively, he says, these CEOs have earned $9.8 billion since the ACA was first enacted. Only four of the 113 CEOs were women, he notes, and only two are right now in charge of major health care companies.
Poor, poor health care company CEOs. I'm so sad that Obamacare is doing so poorly for you. Sad.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:28 AM on July 27 [23 favorites]


Why is anyone expecting Scaramucci to be anything other than a white guy who looks good enough for TV and supports everything Trump says and does? That's why he was promoted, right? Trump doesn't value clear or logical statements, why would he want to hire anyone who's better or smarter at something than him? It would make him look inferior by comparison, and then people might ask "why isn't that person our president instead of Trump?" Same thing for Pence - zero presence, perfect VP for Trump, who can take all the air in any public event where they might actually share a stage.

(Another reason why I miss Obama, who had amazing people in top positions in his terms.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:33 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


It's been a while, but weren't Spicer and Priebus supposed to be Trump's concession to a bit of oversight by the R establishment? So what's happened to those guys since Mooch came on the scene?
posted by klarck at 7:33 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


im pretty sure trump doesn't know congress can override vetoes; can you imagine the tweetstorm when somebody tells him
posted by entropicamericana at 7:33 AM on July 27 [12 favorites]


Am I missing something about the cathedral? It just looks like they spent a lot of money on a building from that article. Is there some weird hidden hate shit?

I'm torn about this because my dad is Catholic and lives in Raleigh but I'm an atheist. I'm all for freedom of religion, but it's huge and not mentioned upthread is that it directly adjoins the NC State Centennial Engineering Campus which houses a ton of amazing university tech innovation as well as corporate tech buildings. I used to work there and I would describe the new building as "looming over" the campus. I know we have lots of older schools where we have religious buildings right in the campus (like the lovely Duke Chapel) but choosing to build a new sectarian hub right there with all the students from the Middle East, India, China etc. wandering around in its shadow leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As far as the growth, it's from Central/South America and the Yankee lands. The latter are coming down here for the cheap(er) housing and tech and healthcare industries.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:34 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


Right, so in addition to picking a fight with Murkowski -- who is several weight classes above him -- he's also going to take on e whole state of Alaska? I'd be interested to hear what spitbull and others from/in Alaska think of this? And let's see what Sarah Palin has to say, hmm?

Oh come on. We all know what's going to happen. Reasonable people will be pissed that Trump is de facto threatening to fuck the state. Palin and all the other R apologists and sycophants will blame the senators for forcing Trump's hand.

Nothing will change. Alaska will still be deep red because they think city queers want to take their guns away.
posted by Talez at 7:35 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


I'm sticking to calling my reps about health care since that feels more actionable than spewing outrage on the internet.

Maybe you're right. Calling reps is good! You do you. Let a thousand flowers bloom! There are many, many fronts to fight on here. But what I don't get about "Don't feed the troll" as a political strategy is what the alternative being suggested is? I get, too, that so much of this is just exhausting and draining. There's nothing wrong with trying not to feel outraged every day. But that's gotta be an individual choice. Meta arguments about how others should feel or what others should focus on are even more futile than futile outrage.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:36 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]


I puzzled over this for some time. Eventually I sensed that Trump wasn’t inducing people’s self-destruction so much as he was acting like a divining rod, revealing rot that existed already but was not apparent. It may seem like an odd comparison. But I’m reminded of the effect in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series where the cursed pirates appear to be flesh and blood bodies. But the moonlight reveals them as desiccated skeletons, animated but undead. The rot was there but hidden. Trump is the moonlight. Perhaps better to say, to invert our metaphor, Trump is the darkness.

I've been saying this for months now. Trump is a Scumbag Forge.

It's really terrifying (if not particularly surprising) how many of the Republican party fail that test of basic human decency.

It's also nice, on occasion, to be pleasantly surprised. I mean, Bill Fucking Kristol is on the side of the angels? Jonah Goldberg? Jennifer Rubin?

...and I guarantee you it's not a coincidence that they're all Jewish. The Jews have see this shit play out before.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:37 AM on July 27 [33 favorites]


Nothing will change. Alaska will still be deep red because they think city queers want to take their guns away.

Based on what I know about Alaska (not much), I wouldn't be averse to allowing Alaska to have more lenient gun laws than the rest of the country. Maybe that's a concession we can make to get them on board with the other stuff?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:39 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Why is anyone expecting Scaramucci to be anything other than a white guy who looks good enough for TV and supports everything Trump says and does?

But he's so much less than that!

(Also probably running the government now)
posted by Artw at 7:40 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


But what I don't get about "Don't feed the troll" as a political strategy is what the alternative being suggested is?

Good question. One alternative is to have the mainstream media stop saying "gosh, darn, why isn't he acting more presidential?" But other than that, yeah, it's a problem. But andruwjones26 is right, freaking out for an entire day isn't the answer either. It keeps us from hugging our puppies.
posted by Melismata at 7:42 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Proof that we really are through the looking glass:
@margbrennan: Members of the band Journey were just spotted in the White House briefing room. That is all.
Don't stop deceivin'.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:43 AM on July 27 [25 favorites]


Because it's been making me shake my head all morning:

The guy Trump brings in to be his new Communications Director, the guy that's supposed to right the foundering ship, accuses one of his fellow senior staffers of a felony - suggesting he would have been hanged for the offense in bygone days - and hair on fire threatens to alert the FBI, all because a public disclosure form that the dude wrote himself is now legally, publicly available.

When this is brought to his attention, he deletes the original accusation and acts like he never made it. The Communications Director dude is doing this.

Heckuva job there, Moochie.
posted by darkstar at 7:43 AM on July 27 [34 favorites]


Sure, why the hell not compare your father-in-law the president to an autocrat.

@aylajean
Jared Kushner tells Turkish newspaper: "Like Trump, Erdogan is working to make his country great again." [link in Turkish]
posted by chris24 at 7:44 AM on July 27 [36 favorites]


> "When this is brought to his attention, he deletes the original accusation and acts like he never made it. The Communications Director dude is doing this."

So he's fitting right in, is what you're saying.
posted by kyrademon at 7:45 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Based on what I know about Alaska (not much), I wouldn't be averse to allowing Alaska to have more lenient gun laws than the rest of the country. Maybe that's a concession we can make to get them on board with the other stuff?

Nobody with any sort of political clout has ever suggested taking guns away from rural Alaskans leaving them defenseless against wolves and bears. It has never stopped them from voting R down the line from president to dog catcher.
posted by Talez at 7:45 AM on July 27


Well, for once I agree with the Kush: Trump and Erdogan are similarly engaged in transforming their respective nations toward a common cause.
posted by darkstar at 7:46 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


I'm sorry, but I have a huge issue with people saying it's a distraction for us to spend a day responding to an unbelievably shitty thing he said and promised to do to vulnerable community members, but yet we can spend unchecked time hashing out slogans for the DNC (they're clearly not asking us for our opinion) and riffing on Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics.
posted by greermahoney at 7:46 AM on July 27 [69 favorites]


It's been a while, but weren't Spicer and Priebus supposed to be Trump's concession to a bit of oversight by the R establishment? So what's happened to those guys since Mooch came on the scene?

A few of the assembled have noted that we're watching Trumpism unhinging its jaw to consume (what's left of) Republicanism.
posted by notyou at 7:47 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Listened to local radio this AM which runs conservative; in the news on the hour they described Trumps Trans Tweet as actual policy and used Huckabee-Sanders audio as way of confirmation.

It's all normalized as quickly as the White House hate turns it out.
posted by armacy at 7:48 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


Well, for once I agree with the Kush: Trump and Ergogan are similarly engaged in transforming their respective nations toward a common cause.

They're making their countries great again. The whole acting like a despot? It's just a branding issue. What they need is a new slogan. Something punchy and catchy. You know, like "Autocracy: You'll learn to love it!"
posted by Talez at 7:48 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


I don't really know if it's completely appropriate to put this here, so feel free to delete, but I just did an Ask about my personal inability to focus on my project right now so those of you who are also struggling with this may find some help in there.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:49 AM on July 27 [18 favorites]


Right, so in addition to picking a fight with Murkowski -- who is several weight classes above him -- he's also going to take on the whole state of Alaska?

Not the whole state, just one-fourth of it. Zinke as Secretary of the Interior Department and BLM directly manages and regulates 75 million acres, over one-fourth of the land in Alaska.
posted by JackFlash at 7:51 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Nobody with any sort of political clout has ever suggested taking guns away from rural Alaskans leaving them defenseless against wolves and bears. It has never stopped them from voting R down the line from president to dog catcher.

But has any president used his office to force the Interior Dept to withHold federal funds because their very popular Senator voted against ("against") the president and in their own expressed interests? Via tweet?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:52 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Listened to local radio this AM which runs conservative; in the news on the hour they described Trumps Trans Tweet as actual policy and used Huckabee-Sanders audio as way of confirmation.

It's all normalized as quickly as the White House hate turns it out.
posted by armacy at 11:48 PM on July 27 [+] [!]


And THAT is why it's important to spend a day reacting to it. Other than "not feeding the troll", an important tactic in resisting them is pointing and saying, "That's a troll, and what he says is outside the parameters of acceptable behavior in our house, here's why, and here's how he's a bloviating fool and not making threats he can back up."
posted by saysthis at 7:53 AM on July 27 [25 favorites]


It's all normalized as quickly as the White House hate turns it out.

This is what gives me nightmares. The slow march towards normalization that then expands the ability of Trumpster to push us even further away from human decency and norms.

Well this and the "shock and awe" method of fing everything up at the same time so that our flight/fright/freeze (trigger warning - links to Professor Campbell talking about the neurobiology of trauma in sexual violence cases, where it is clear that "freeze" is a perfectly normal, human response) instincts kick in and we either cannot act, feel overwhelmed or have too many fights to fight at one time, even though we are resisting.
posted by anya32 at 7:53 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


Again, I keep thinking of Trump as an abusive relationship. Instead of wringing my hands and saying OMG look, he hit me again this morning, oh, wait, look at that, he just did it again, I need to focus on getting the fuck out of there. And just when I think yes, today is the day I'm going to leave ... he says something like "here is X thing that you did that makes it your fault," which makes me doubt myself, which is a distraction, a terrible distraction of course, but still a distraction, and I need to redirect my energy on getting the fuck out. Everyone is still focusing on the distractions, but not enough on how the fuck do we get him out of there. Especially the media, because his rants sell papers.

This is not very coherent, but I hope people get the idea that we're in a pattern that repeats itself again and again.
posted by Melismata at 7:54 AM on July 27 [15 favorites]


Fro the Reuter's Foreign Policy Correspondent.

@idreesali114
EXCLUSIVE: US Joint Chiefs of Staff tells military there will be no modification to transgender policy until direction received from Pres
posted by chris24 at 7:55 AM on July 27 [28 favorites]


EXCLUSIVE: US Joint Chiefs of Staff tells military there will be no modification to transgender policy until direction received from Pres

So, in two weeks then. (two weeks = Trump promised event horizon)
posted by nubs at 7:57 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


I wish the media spent more time making the point that the trans tweet and all of the other shit is meant as a deliberate distraction from Russiagate without dimishing the impact of this stuff.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:58 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


OK, I understand we can't manage people's emotions and speech. People are going to speak up about what they want how they want, and they should. Especially here. I do not want to censor anyone, or tell you how to feel. (and i was not a fan of the DNC slogans, but that was a time to keep my mouth shut. no advantage to fighting there.)

But this is the type of game they're playing with us. They have observed how we respond to certain stimuli, and apparently, they are ok with that reaction. No, we don't know their intentions all of the time. We can only go on past empirical evidence of statements and actions. And all this evidence indicates T is a con man, a huckster with no fixed ideology, and that he will say anything at a given point to change the narrative. And when our focus is shifted, they will hit us again. We have to realize that SOMETHING like this is happening, even if it's not intentional in every aspect. And perhaps for some out there, you have the ability to focus on 8-35 issues at a given time. But when it is evident that the american public, CNN, the NYtimes etc do not have that ability, something has to give. Or we continue to be stuck in this loop.

I would love if somebody had a timeline comparing major damning stories coming out followed by a provocative (and TOTALLY UNRELATED) tweets the next morning. This doesn't mean the response is "don't get outraged by the new things, focus on the old." FOCUS ON IT ALL. But if this transgender/military issue ends up being swept under the rug, can you at least concede that there MAY be a pattern here? I don't have the answers, but let's get to the root of the problem. So maybe in time we can develop a better response, rather than continuously reacting in a way that by various media reports was enjoyed by the white house.
posted by andruwjones26 at 7:58 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


From CNN's Senior Congressional Reporter Manu Raju.

@mkraju
GRAHAM: Skeptical Don Jr mtg was only one w Russians; says "holy hell" to pay if Sessions is fired; Trump turning "democracy upside down"

@mkraju
Lindsey Graham also says he is drafting legislation to insulate the special counsel from WH pressure
posted by chris24 at 7:59 AM on July 27 [41 favorites]


We can't ignore stunts like the trans ban because Trump actually does many of them, at least the ones not requiring congressional approval.

This isn't Trump going "hey, look! An antelope!" It's a cornered criminal taking a hostage at gunpoint. Even if police think the perp is full of shit, one thing they never do is say "Go ahead! Shoot her. I know you don't have the guts."
posted by msalt at 7:59 AM on July 27 [54 favorites]


Again, I keep thinking of Trump as an abusive relationship. Instead of wringing my hands and saying OMG look, he hit me again this morning, oh, wait, look at that, he just did it again, I need to focus on getting the fuck out of there.

What does "getting the fuck out of there" look like in this context? Not calling you out, I genuinely want to know. Emigrating to another developed nation is more or less impossible unless you are an experienced doctor or tech person.

How do I get out of here? How do I get off this ride??
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:03 AM on July 27 [15 favorites]


Putting a target on the back of trans people isn't a distraction even if nothing comes of it through the actual ban. It's a hate crime coming from the highest office of the land and no amount of rug sweeping makes that go away. Trump's motives for doing so aren't meaningless but they are truly unimportant in the grand scheme of things unless you think of politics and government as a game rather than the life-or-death struggle it has become for a lot more people these days.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:03 AM on July 27 [83 favorites]


GRAHAM: Skeptical Don Jr mtg was only one w Russians; says "holy hell" to pay if Sessions is fired; Trump turning "democracy upside down

He also said that during Mueller would be "the beginning of the downfall* of the Trump presidency." but I've only found the first half that quote online.

*He might have said the beginning of the end
posted by Room 641-A at 8:06 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


It's a hate crime coming from the highest office of the land and no amount of rug sweeping makes that go away.

I want to quote this for truth. You know what those tweets did, in pure isolation, even if Trump says nothing on this issue ever again? They tell every basher in the military that their Commander-in-Chief has their back when they make up some bullshit trans panic defense at court-martial. He has exerted undue command influence over every such case for the remainder of his administration by saying that every trans person in the military doesn't deserve to be there. Every general who oversees such a case will know that their next star will ride on whether they rise to the defense of one of Those People.
posted by Etrigan at 8:10 AM on July 27 [88 favorites]


I'm mortified by the turn this thread has taken. It's not enough we have to defend the importance of trans people to the President, but we have to do it here, too?

I'm taking a break so I don't say something that gets deleted anyway. But please, if your position is "stop spending energy on the trans thing" - please think about what you're saying to the trans community here.
posted by greermahoney at 8:11 AM on July 27 [64 favorites]


But when it is evident that the american public, CNN, the NYtimes etc do not have that ability, something has to give. Or we continue to be stuck in this loop.

Some kind of Growth of the Poison Tree app that has multiple vertical vines that process down the page for each variety of terrible thing (hate crimes/general misconduct in office, Russia, Emoluments clause violations, etc) and the leaves are links to What-Terrible-Thing-Happened-Today.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:11 AM on July 27


One more thing on my media wishlist/distraction tactics hobby horse, and then I'm done with this topic:

We already have a template for how to punch through the distraction tactics - comedy! Here's the Daily Show from yesterday. Shreds McCain and names exactly what they're doing. We have people pointing the finger already! We have them! Here's Seth Meyers! Why aren't they on CNN/MSNBC/whatever? If it's "fake news", if news has a "liberal bias", let's go there.
posted by saysthis at 8:12 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


He also said that during Mueller would be "the beginning of the downfall* of the Trump presidency." but I've only found the first half that quote online.

*He might have said the beginning of the end


@NPRinskeep
Graham: "Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency."

---

@RosieGray Retweeted Steve Inskeep
this is one of the first instances of congressional R's actually outlining boundaries:
posted by chris24 at 8:12 AM on July 27 [16 favorites]


Good question. One alternative is to have the mainstream media stop saying "gosh, darn, why isn't he acting more presidential?"

Oh, I agree! But "How should the media cover Trump?" or "What should journalists focus on?" and "How should we, as individuals, react?" are all different questions. I don't think there's any good answer to that last one, frankly.

But this is the type of game they're playing with us.

Maybe it is! But even if it is, it isn't clear to me what you think the response should be, aside from—I don't know, ignore it, not talk about it? I'm genuinely confused. Here, metafilter, is nothing but a conversational space; there's nothing to do but ruminate, provide info, etc. Again, I think there's confusion here between what we wish professional journalists would do and what's being expected of individuals.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:15 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


My position is NOT stop spending energy on the trans thing. My position is "The media is saying 'oh look, he said something controversial via tweet without going through proper channels,' when it should be 'WHY THE FUCK DID HE SAY THAT?', and we should pay attention to the difference."
posted by Melismata at 8:16 AM on July 27 [6 favorites]


Almost every day reminds me of Jess McIntosh's Feb 2016 "monkey with a gun" analogy about the likelihood of beating Trump the candidate.
It's a little like running against a monkey with a gun. Like, yeah, you're a person so you're probably going to beat the monkey. But the monkey's got a gun and you have no idea what it's going to do with it. So any confidence that this is going to be easy is misplaced.
Except now he's got the "bully pulpit" (never a better descriptor), the entire federal government, the largest military in the world, a congress that will do his bidding, a general public that has already granted him power while knowing exactly who he is, and a system of ethics constraints that are almost entirely conventional rather than legal.

He's still a monkey but he's got much more than a gun now. I worry about how we can possibly win.
posted by pjenks at 8:16 AM on July 27


> I'm sticking to calling my reps about health care since that feels more actionable than spewing outrage on the internet.

You know that while you're on the phone telling them to not take away your health care, you can also tell them you want them to stand up for the rights of trans people everywhere, including in the military, right? You can do both. And more. Practically everyone I know who is calling/texting/writing/sending carrier pigeons to their reps is addressing them on a LOT of issues.
posted by rtha at 8:17 AM on July 27 [27 favorites]


says "holy hell" to pay if Sessions is fired

Lindsey Graham is friends* with Sessions, so he might actually follow through on his troubling concerns this time.

*Other friends of Jeff Sessions: Jim DeMint, Boss Hogg, the animated skeleton of John C. Calhoun, assorted good ol' boy demons summoned from the Ars Goetia, Newt Gingrich
posted by Iridic at 8:17 AM on July 27 [18 favorites]


Also, people hollering on the internet are not necessarily only hollering on the internet. Again, multitasking!
posted by rtha at 8:17 AM on July 27 [12 favorites]


Buckle up! The Skinny Repeal is expected by tonight.

Republicans to write the law at lunch today and pass it this evening. The CBO won't have time to score it, so the GOP will score it themselves.
posted by darkstar at 8:17 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Because the media is the only thing between us and T, octobersurprise. If we can't listen to the media, who can we listen to. But you're absolutely right; I'm confused too!
posted by Melismata at 8:18 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


BTW, appropriately enough: "The Skinny Repeal" sounds like one of those classic cons, like The Fiddle Game or The Badger Game or The Spanish Prisoner.
posted by darkstar at 8:20 AM on July 27 [24 favorites]


Other friends of Jeff Sessions:

Foghorn Leghorn knows, ah say, he knows what he did.
posted by Etrigan at 8:20 AM on July 27 [6 favorites]


Could it be that the sight of the leopard applying ketchup to Sessions' face has finally pushed the rest of the GOP into the realisation that they'd be a mere amuse bouche if he felt like it?
posted by Devonian at 8:20 AM on July 27 [14 favorites]


I'm sticking to calling my reps about health care since that feels more actionable than spewing outrage on the internet.

well, trump is spewing outrage on the internet and it sure as hell seems to be getting him somewhere

all hail to the colander in chief
posted by pyramid termite at 8:22 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Members of the band Journey were just spotted in the White House briefing room. That is all.

They just came to pass on to Trump some marching orders from Tony Soprano. Hey, not all his mob ties are Russian.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:24 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


I think the 'distraction' issue is a poor way of looking at it, because what it implies is that the Trump administration thinks they can limit the impact of any of the shit they've pulled that has been referred to as a 'distraction'. It's really more of a Gish Gallop: it's all as sincere as each other, all of it is terrible, and they are planning on fighting for none of it. The goal is to wear us down with bullshit.
posted by Merus at 8:24 AM on July 27 [18 favorites]


Is it just me, or has this week been an extra level of B-A-N-A-N-A-S crazy?

- Trump's NYT Interview Word Salad Delux
- Trump bullies Sessions in quitting, but lacks the balls to fire him
- Republican Senators, Breitbart, Fox defend Sessions, Trump continues anyway
- Sessions refuses to quit, wants Trump to fire him apparently
- Scaramucci enters, Spicer leaves
- Scaramucci accumulates power, begins purge of White House
- Congress nearly unanimously passes Russia sanctions over the explicit objections of Trump
- McCain returns from cancer to vote for MTP, decries process he just voted for
- Republicans cannot agree on healthcare bill, multiple failures this week
- Trump is threatening not just the Senators but their states (Murkowski, Alaska)
- Scaramucci claims Priebus is the leaker and asks FBI to investigate him
- Trump tweets ban on trans service members without notifying military or having official EO
- Sen Graham claims to be writing legislation to protect Mueller

Any one of those things would be a week worth of crazy, even for 2017! WTF?
posted by Glibpaxman at 8:30 AM on July 27 [69 favorites]


It's not a distraction. It's one more piece of evidence to add to the ever-increasing pile which shows exactly how venal and poisonous this Administration is. One day, hopefully soon, all this evidence will lead to the utter collapse and vilification of the name 'Trump'.
posted by h00py at 8:33 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Any one of those things would be a week worth of crazy, even for 2017! WTF?

You could also add that two Republican Senators said on a hot mic that the president might be crazy and they are worried.
posted by diogenes at 8:33 AM on July 27 [36 favorites]


Other friends of Jeff Sessions: Jim DeMint, Boss Hogg, the animated skeleton of John C. Calhoun, assorted good ol' boy demons summoned from the Ars Goetia, Newt Gingrich

Bullshit. Newt Gingrich doesn't have any friends.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:34 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


I know, I'm Australian, it's not my country but oh. You guys. It's not just you, it's here too and I just hate it so much. We're supposed to get better as time progresses and yes yes, regressions are a thing, but it just seems so stupid and pointless and wrong to deny people the right to a good life for the sake of tax cuts and political games and so on.
posted by h00py at 8:41 AM on July 27 [17 favorites]


If Trump announces that Journey are being loaded onto a one-way Mars rocket, even I might have to donate to the cause.
posted by delfin at 8:42 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


In 1934, Jews were banned from serving in the German military.

In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were passed. They deprived Jews of German citizenship and the right to vote, prohibited Jewish households from having German maids under the age of 45, prohibited any non-Jewish German from marrying a Jew and outlawed sexual relations between Jews and Germans.

In 1935 and '36, Jews were banned by law from parks, restaurants and swimming pools. They were no longer allowed to use electrical/optical equipment, bicycles, typewriters or records. Their passports were restricted. Many Jewish students were removed from German schools and universities.

Here's a timeline.

Banning trans Americans from serving in the military is not a distraction. It is a first step toward separating and ostracizing them in modern society. We shouldn't need to be reminded of what can happen next.
posted by zarq at 8:43 AM on July 27 [167 favorites]


Since the tide of bat excrement engulfing the White House appears now to be rising exponentially, we should consider the unlikely but possible invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment Section Four.

Invocation of the amendment would only be successful with some terrible Triggering Event or group of Events involving our president’s behavior. The more terrible, the more likely the amendment is to be invoked and to succeed. I am not going to pretend to be able to predict what maniacal shit President Trump is going to pull next, so let’s leave it at that.

Why might Mike Pence choose to usurp the President? It’s possible, don’t quote me on this, that Mike Pence would like to be President of the United States. Now the debacle of Trump premiership has become clear, he may see this (or Trump’s impeachment) as his only chance.

It's increasingly apparent that many "principal officers of the executive departments", the majority of whom would be required to collude with Pence to replace the President, are very, very unhappy. Some of the most amenable in my opinion: Sessions, Mattis, Shulkin, Kelly, Tillerson. Depending on the severity of the Triggering Event(s) and the perceived likelihood of success, a majority could be reached.

Support for Trump among Republican voters remains high. But, Mike Pence is the person most capable of changing this. After invoking the amendment and becoming Acting President, Pence would address the nation on TV. He would talk about what a wonderful man Trump is, and how proud he was to join him in winning the election and serving his bold agenda. Then he would talk about a deterioration in President Trump. He would begin to state a long list of things which have been manifestly obvious about Trump from the start of the campaign: his rage, his incoherence, his bizarre and cruel treatment of those around him, his inability to focus on meetings of national importance or comprehend their contents. He would pretend that these things are new and surprising and that the very sensible Trump voters should share his sadness that Trump can no longer perform the job they sent him to do. He would talk about the importance of preventing Trump from obstructing investigations, even if those investigations find nothing. He would discuss the Triggering Event(s) in detail. He would then make a beautiful statement about national unity and appear to be the most presidential person ever, except of course for Lincoln who was bigly presidential.

Opinions of Donald Trump in the United States Congress range from thinking he’s an unreliable jerk to despising him with the nuclear fury of ten-thousand suns. Once Acting President Pence tells the nation the sad story of exactly why Donald Trump is no longer capable of being an effective president, it will suddenly become obvious to many members of Congress that this is indeed the case. Alas.

It will be very unpleasant for Republican politicians to argue that a man they despise should be president when he is not currently president, and when the man who is currently president has explained in excruciating and accurate detail why the no-longer-president is incapable of being president.

At this point, Trump is unlikely to be on his best behavior. He will likely behave in a way that reinforces everything Pence has claimed. It is possible that Congress would side forcefully with the new Acting President and keep Trump from regaining office.

Eventually one or more investigations will conclude and hopefully provide Congress the opportunity to impeach Trump and make Pence the definitive president.

It's all very unlikely. The President making incoherent and furious attacks on his own Attorney General on Twitter is also very unlikely. We live in unlikely times.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:44 AM on July 27 [20 favorites]


Agreed, zarq. But outrage on the internet isn't working. What should we do instead?
posted by Melismata at 8:44 AM on July 27


One year ago today:

Russia, if you're listening...
posted by chris24 at 8:45 AM on July 27 [10 favorites]


Members of the band Journey were just spotted in the White House briefing room. That is all.

Bet Donnie woke up this morning wanting to hear "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:47 AM on July 27


What should we do instead?

Donate to Trans Lifeline and the ACLU. Call your trans and non-binary friends and make sure they're taking care of themselves and see if they need any support. Call your local LGBT center and see if they're having extra support groups or rallies or counselors on call. Ask them to do so if they're not. Get out on the street with a sign. Call your reps and senators and tell them how much this hurts you and those you love.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:49 AM on July 27 [20 favorites]


I know, I'm Australian, it's not my country but oh. You guys. It's not just you, it's here too and I just hate it so much. We're supposed to get better as time progresses and yes yes, regressions are a thing, but it just seems so stupid and pointless and wrong to deny people the right to a good life for the sake of tax cuts and political games and so on.

At least the predominant media myth is the Aussie Battler™ which makes it many orders of magnitude harder to strip welfare. Let's face it, when your biggest "what the fuck" in Australia politics is Turnbull giving Dutton a massive security ministry and de facto control of Australia's national security apparatu...

I mean, yeah, that's pretty fucking bad but we get two of those a day, one usually before breakfast.
posted by Talez at 8:49 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Bet Donnie woke up this morning wanting to hear "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'."

Loyalty oaths weren't working anymore, he needed to hear "I'm forever yours ... faithfully" a few times.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:51 AM on July 27


Agreed, zarq. But outrage on the internet isn't working. What should we do instead?

Off the top of my head?

Support groups that fight for trans rights. There are 15 listed at that link. Speak out. Spread the word everywhere online and off. etc.

Email and call your representatives. Which I think most of us are already doing.

It can't hurt to also reach out to journalists on Twitter (and other ways) and express the importance of them continuing to cover this story.
posted by zarq at 8:51 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]




but it drains me when we spend the whole day discussing some new proclamation that is clearly an attempt to troll and trick us

The whole reason these rolling threads exist is to follow the overwhelming amount of things emanating from this White House. If yesterday had been a slow news day (as if they exist anymore) the thread would not have returned to talking about [other issue] from a few days ago. In fact, the mods have explicitly pleaded with everyone not to just keep talking in thread if there ever were to be a news slowdown. I read/skim these threads in an attempt to keep up with everything so I find the collection of reactions to everything as it happens useful. I have other groups online and offline where we stay focused on particular issues because that is what those groups are for.

Also, nothing is clearly a troll or trick as it happens. And everything is interconnected. The ban yesterday is interwoven with ICE/immigration issues because they are both designed to marginalize/endanger/eliminate others. And as others have noted, even is this turns into just floating an idea on Twitter without any actual change in policy it is not a "trick". They are marching orders; a signal to his followers that the administration is ready to back up any attacks on this latest group.
posted by mikepop at 8:54 AM on July 27 [10 favorites]


On second thought, the word "distraction" is not a good choice, I apologize. What I wish is that the media would point out that the timing and/or announcements of Awful Thing may be a deliberate attempt to control the news coverage, and while we're talking about Awful Thing don't forget the Other Awful Things we would be talking about.

I say this because I didn't see a single report about the Senate Intelligence hearing yesterday. (I guess because Manafort wasn't there, so it wasn't a circus.)

But this is directed only at the media, not at how people respond to Awful Thing.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:55 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Also, I honestly believe that "outrage on the internet" does have an effect. The larger media outlets pay attention to trending topics, the emotional tenor of what people are posting and whether it is sustained over time or not. This helps dictate both what they cover and how they report it.
posted by zarq at 8:57 AM on July 27 [11 favorites]


But outrage on the internet isn't working. What should we do instead?

It hasn't fixed things, but I think we've done more than we realize. We're playing defense and have denied them lots of goals. No way did they think they would have to work this hard to get their wealthcare bill through. They wanted to get that done by July 4, remember?

Obviously taking action financially and otherwise to support every group under attack is important. But just because the political fight is a slog doesn't mean it's fruitless. Stay strong, friends.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:58 AM on July 27 [15 favorites]


Hahahaha! My fucking god, the insanity and insecurity.

@MattNegrin
Scaramucci: Trump "sinks 3-foot putts."
White House transcript revises: "He sinks 30-foot putts." [screenshot]
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/07/21/press-briefing-white-house-principal-deputy-press-secretary-sarah
posted by chris24 at 8:58 AM on July 27 [49 favorites]


I think we're going to lose the ACA. When we do, it will be the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the history of this country.

Democrats absolutely need to use this framing, and all the time, but that it's actually a transfer from from the American people to the rich.
posted by Gelatin at 9:00 AM on July 27 [16 favorites]


Browder testifying to Judiciary Committee on Russia meddling now

Not sure what that youtube livestream is, but I think that hearing ended an hour ago. The full Browder testimony to the SJC is available on C-span.
posted by pjenks at 9:06 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Also... gay men and women were banned from military service until 2010. Those bans are a way the federal government normalizes sexism and discrimination. Just the same way that banning people from the military (or segregating them by law in society) based on the color of their skin was the government's normalization of discrimination and racism.
posted by zarq at 9:06 AM on July 27 [10 favorites]


Democrats absolutely need to use this framing, and all the time, but that it's actually a transfer from from the American people to the rich.

Mmmh, ... that's just one word away from "the global rich".
posted by sour cream at 9:09 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Can you imagine how awkward it must be when Trump yanks a two-foot putt and the rest of his group has to pretend it didn't happen? Oh, who I am kidding, he probably takes a gimme on everything under 15 feet.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:10 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


But outrage on the internet isn't working. What should we do instead?

Start focusing the outrage. Complain to businesses advertising on Twitter, complain to vendors working on behalf of Trump properties.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:12 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


but it drains me when we spend the whole day discussing some new proclamation that is clearly an attempt to troll and trick us

It's not a trick; even if nothing comes from it in terms of policy, it's still an attack and threat against a vulnerable group. Vulnerable groups need support and defending.

It's part of an insidious strategy, one that is aimed at making people feel overwhelmed, isolated, and alone. They want people feeling upset that "too much" was wasted over that statement, to encourage them to give up, to feel like other people aren't fighting the important fights. The truth is, there's a lot of fights out there right now. They're all important. They are all part of the same thing. Trust that the people fighting a different one from you know what they are doing, and believe that they are trusting you to keep focusing on the ones you see as important. Keep going.
posted by nubs at 9:12 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


The Hill: Joint Chiefs: No change in transgender policy until Trump sends Pentagon direction

Notably, the statement includes no words of support for the President's decision.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:12 AM on July 27 [11 favorites]


Also, nothing is clearly a troll or trick as it happens. And everything is interconnected. The ban yesterday is interwoven with ICE/immigration issues because they are both designed to marginalize/endanger/eliminate others.

I wish the media would pick up this framing. The administration was instantly ready to trade the lives of 15,000 active trans service members to get a budget passed. That's not *just* hating trans people; it's disposing of their safety and even using it to score political points. What wouldn't Trump trade to get what he wanted? Or, what has he already traded away? The administration doesn't value anything or anyone except as it serves their leader.
posted by gladly at 9:15 AM on July 27 [14 favorites]


Scaramucci: Trump "sinks 3-foot putts."
White House transcript revises: "He sinks 30-foot putts."


Putzgate
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:16 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]


#puzzagate
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:18 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


It's a quiet dignity.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:18 AM on July 27


Is it just me, or has this week been an extra level of B-A-N-A-N-A-S crazy?

BREAKING: Banana Republicans Slip On Skinny Repeal!
posted by eclectist at 9:18 AM on July 27 [23 favorites]


IMO it is important we respond to each "trolling" with absolute outrage as even if it is just a flailing distraction the words are out there. The law doesn't have to pass for trans people to start to feel like we aren't wanted alive in the world. When 40% of trans people attempt suicide every sentence spoken against us is another weight added to the feeling that everyone just wants us dead and we'll never be accepted. Also with the history of telling trans people to just wait. Wait until gay marriage, etc and then we'll get our rights it is hard to not take advice to ignore this as yet again "just be quiet, and hide and one day we will decide you are human".

I'm not even American but the ban tweet and the now brief against gay rights not being a civil rights had a direct impact on me and various trans/gay people. Normalizing hatred towards trans and vulnerable people costs lives. So does being told that our lives are a mere distraction from the real issues.
posted by kanata at 9:21 AM on July 27 [39 favorites]


Absolutely mind-boggling article from Talking Points Memo in which a series of Republican senators explain their reluctant embrace of Skinny Repeal on the basis that it won't become law, hopefully.

If you hope something won't become a law, do not vote for the thing imho
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:21 AM on July 27 [54 favorites]


Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) floated the idea of Republicans just passing the skinny repeal into law and calling it a day Wednesday afternoon, telling reporters, “The House could take up the Senate bill and pass that or they could amend it and send it back.”

“I would vote for a skinny plan to get into conference to come up with a replacement. If I thought that was all the conference was going to do I wouldn’t vote for it,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told TPM during a Wednesday afternoon scrum.

When told of Cornyn’s comment later in the evening, Graham responded: “Well then I won’t vote for that. I think that would be a joke, that would be a punt.”

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:21 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


that's just one word away from "the global rich"

I understand the implied dog-whistle, but if the unchecked transnational accumulation of wealth into the hands of the already fabulously rich isn't the goal, WHAT COULD IT BE? It sure as hell isn't actual health care. Just shitting on people, period?
posted by aspersioncast at 9:22 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


So does being told that our lives are a mere distraction from the real issues.

Well, I'm not trans, but it's my life too. I'm totally affected by health care policies; my mother could die if things change. These things ARE the real issues, but by only focusing on one at a time we're missing the big picture.
posted by Melismata at 9:23 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to say that I've never been a fan of the word 'skinny' and now I hate it even more. May skinny, fake, failing, crooked and all the other bullshit dogwhistle idioms die in a chasm of ridicule and scorn.
posted by h00py at 9:25 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


only focusing on one at a time we're missing the big picture.

Just out of curiosity, how many people have to point out the various ways that they and other people are doing a bunch of other things in addition to focusing on this particular violation of human rights and dignity that smacks of 1930s Germany before you accept that people are capable of being mad about more than one thing?
posted by Etrigan at 9:27 AM on July 27 [16 favorites]


I don't think it's possible to focus on one thing at a time when there's multitudes of shit being thrown on a daily basis. Gather it together and present it on a platter of steaming incontrovertibility.
posted by h00py at 9:29 AM on July 27


Is it just me, or has this week been an extra level of B-A-N-A-N-A-S crazy?

And you forgot the Hitler Light Youth Rally
posted by standardasparagus at 9:29 AM on July 27 [19 favorites]


Here's the great thing. It all connects. Trans people need health insurance too. Just like non-trans people. It's a fact! You can phone and protest the health care crap and also stand up for trans people.
posted by kanata at 9:29 AM on July 27 [12 favorites]


@MichaelCBender (WSJ): Reince & Mooch sat on same couch Tues. during WSJ's POTUS interview. Photog TJ Kirkpatrick snapped this at the end:
[Oval Office photograph of Reince and Scaramucci shooting daggars sporks at each other.]
posted by pjenks at 9:34 AM on July 27 [16 favorites]


I understand the implied dog-whistle, but if the unchecked transnational accumulation of wealth into the hands of the already fabulously rich isn't the goal, WHAT COULD IT BE?

The Republicans haven't been making much of a secret that repealing all or part of the ACA is a necessary predicate to their plan to cut taxes on the rich, to say nothing of the tax cuts that are part of the House plan. I hope no one is implying that an accurate description of the Republican agenda is tantamount to some quasi-anti-Semitic slur.
posted by Gelatin at 9:34 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Can we just spread a rumor that "if skinny repeal passes, George Soros makes eleventy billion dollars" and watch Teabots melt down the telephone wires demanding its defeat?
posted by delfin at 9:37 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Can we just spread a rumor that "if skinny repeal passes, George Soros makes eleventy billion dollars" and watch Teabots melt down the telephone wires demanding its defeat?

Let's not take up antisemitic talking points, please. When that lot invoke Soros' name they using as a placeholder for "Jews".
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:40 AM on July 27 [35 favorites]


More on Graham's "holy hell to pay" stance.

I'm waiting for the plot twist wherein CNN reveals that he has no backbone to find.
posted by zarq at 9:46 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


I have to say, the bitter rivalry of Priebus and Scaramucci is one of my favorite commedia dell'arte storylines
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:48 AM on July 27 [50 favorites]


From the CBC - 'By God, we're good soldiers': What these transgender veterans think about Trump's U.S. trans troop ban

My friend Vivian is one of the people profiled here - she has been doing a lot of press in the past two days! She's a long-time activist for trans rights because she's kind of a perfect spokesperson: she's an Iraq vet with a Southern accent who is currently in seminary to become a preacher. I really admire her for using her unique position as a trans person who ticks a lot of 'real America' boxes to speak up for other people - if I were her, I'm not sure I wouldn't just keep my damn head down and try to avoid attracting the attention of trolls.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:56 AM on July 27 [52 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: A moderate speaks: By God, won’t someone else take a stand?
I have no idea what is passing and what is being debated. Everything around me is chaos. Out of the wreckage of the parliamentary procedure rides Mitch McConnell on a pale horse sowing destruction in his wake. I think we just agreed to push all wheelchairs, occupied or not, over a cliff somewhere, but honestly I have no idea.

Will you just stand by and let this happen? You must not, because I will.

Where are the courageous three or four people who are willing to stand alone with me against this? I can’t do it without the cover of a courageous three or four people, and those people are nowhere to be found.

By God, what has become of the Senate? What has become of the nation’s greatest deliberative body? It is time that someone else took a stand. This legislation we are throwing frantically up for a vote is a disgrace to the country, it is cruel, and we arrived at it the wrong way, and so I will not vote for it more than once.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:59 AM on July 27 [53 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. Y'all let's really not get into a sidebar on anti-semitic dog-whistles vs. criticism of wealth-serving-the-wealthy here like it's a thing where only one or the other can be an issue. Being critical of both is super doable and more to the point it's very very possible to be starkly critical of accumulated and self-perpetuating wealth and financial inequality while also taking care to avoid wandering into needless echoing of shit anti-semites say.]
posted by cortex at 10:00 AM on July 27 [12 favorites]


From the CBC - 'By God, we're good soldiers': What these transgender veterans think about Trump's U.S. trans troop ban

Media doing the right thing for once.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Photog TJ Kirkpatrick snapped this at the end:

Scaramucci is doing the long necktie thing too. I kind of admire the guy in a sick way.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:01 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


(It's like when Spicer tried out the spray tan in his first week, but didn't have the heart to keep it up.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:02 AM on July 27 [13 favorites]


So if this "Skinny Repeal" goes through, you won't have to purchase health insurance, but insurers will still have to cover pre-existing conditions, right? So everyone can just cancel their health insurance and then buy it when they get sick? Surely that's not the plan...
posted by joecacti at 10:05 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Scaramucci is doing the long necktie thing too. I kind of admire the guy in a sick way.

It's like Single White President or Dumb Ringers.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:08 AM on July 27 [17 favorites]


There is no plan only Zuul
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:09 AM on July 27 [15 favorites]


The real plan was the friends we made along the way.
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:11 AM on July 27 [14 favorites]


Moochie's tears are going to be so tasty when trump eventually turns on him.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:11 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


So everyone can just cancel their health insurance and then buy it when they get sick? Surely that's not the plan...

If it winds up working out this way, you can be sure that premiums and deductibles will skyrocket on everyone. That simply too much risk (and not nearly enough profit) for the insurance companies to tolerate. And by skyrocket, I mean double, triple, or more...and by everyone I mean employer insurance plans as well as private plans.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:11 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Actually, that Joint Chiefs statement is amazingly fucking encouraging and isn't just "we wait on the president".
There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president’s direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance
To me, that reads like "Nice job, asshole, but we take our orders from the tower" (SecDef)
posted by corb at 10:11 AM on July 27 [50 favorites]


Surely that's not the plan...

How many times have we heard from Republicans, Trump included, that if they can't repeal & replace they'll just have to "let" Obamacare fail? The plan is absolutely to sabotage the ACA in every way possible and say "I told you it wouldn't work" when the insurance market is decimated. This isn't a secret n-dimensional-chess scheme, this is what they've told us they are going to do.
posted by skymt at 10:13 AM on July 27 [21 favorites]


If it winds up working out this way, you can be sure that premiums and deductibles will skyrocket on everyone. That simply too much risk (and not nearly enough profit) for the insurance companies to tolerate. And by skyrocket, I mean double, triple, or more...and by everyone I mean employer insurance plans as well as private plans.

Somebody on Twitter was speculating that the plan may be to make insurance horrifically unaffordable while keeping Medicaid around in order to stoke class hatred against the poor- "You can't afford health insurance but these good for nothing moochers lie around all day getting their healthcare paid for!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:13 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]




I propose a Skinny Tie Repeal and everyone goes back to wide Watergate-era ties.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:15 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Profiles In Brilliance: Asked if "skinny repeal" could become law or is just a way to get to conference, Sen. Roy Blunt says "I haven't thought it through."
posted by Chrysostom at 10:15 AM on July 27 [18 favorites]


If you're tired of being angry about healthcare and the attack on trans people, here's what's up with ICE - arresting people as they go in for marriage interviews for green cards:

https://twitter.com/hannahdreier/status/890586759234539520

If I find more info (looks like a ThinkProgress reporter is working on a story) I'll post it.
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:17 AM on July 27 [14 favorites]


If you're having trouble dealing with the range and variety of attacks on America, humanity, and the earth committed by the current administration, it may be useful to try "sticking to your lane" — picking a policy area that's important and that you're informed about, and specifically seeking out news on that policy area in the interest of finding means of resistance in that sub-area.

And then sharing the info and tactics you find to this thread.

No one person can be informed about every detail of the United States government, not even during ordinary times. If you try to "keep up" with the news generally, you end up wasting your life obsessing over breaking news on the internet. But if you focus on specific areas (police violence, the attacks on healthcare, the attacks on LGBTQ folks, the attacks on the environment, attacks on refugees, attacks on immigrants, attacks on Muslims, treason in the defense of Putin, and so forth — whatever administration crime you know the most about and can most effectively oppose) you can keep your wits about you and also contribute to resistance to trumpism and the Republican Party.

Yes, when the orange man's administration launches a new attack on another specific group of us, the thread will end up focusing on that for a little while. If responses to those attacks are distracting you from getting work done in your lane, leave the thread for a bit and go do some research on what we can also do to resist the attacks that are also happening in your lane. But don't think of the attacks themselves as a "distraction." No, no one individual can pay attention to every attack the Republicans make; but if we trust that we're all in it together, and that we all know that an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, we can trust that the community as a whole can collectively, effectively respond to all attacks.

And good lord whatever you do, don't watch cable news, since of the key problems with cable news on the whole is that it inculcates the useless idea that we must always be paying attention to the One! Big! Issue! of the day.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:19 AM on July 27 [124 favorites]


So if this "Skinny Repeal" goes through, you won't have to purchase health insurance, but insurers will still have to cover pre-existing conditions, right? So everyone can just cancel their health insurance and then buy it when they get sick? Surely that's not the plan...

It sure is. Though once healthy people drop off AND insurance companies still have to pay for comparatively expensive disorders and treatments, the cost of even rudimentary insurance will skyrocket. So when you do get sick, the sticker shock of insurance premiums may be worse than the disease.

It works perfectly if the goal is to use it as a stratagem for enabling tax cuts. Not so much for actual healthcare management, but that was never among their goals.

Also, don't call me Shirley.
posted by delfin at 10:19 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


This is why AHIP opposes skinny repeal.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:21 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


that the letter is intended as a sort of trap:

Of course it is. The 1st version of 'it's a trap!' is the White House got the letter, vetted it, and understand Dylan is a mainlined special needs child.

The 2nd version of 'it's a trap' is the letter was sent by some pranksters, there is no Dylan, and the 'taken for real but actually fake' will get a news cycle about fake things.

The 'Trump is a great leader' version is the letter is from pranksters, the White House vetted it with the quality displayed by the Trump organization and the resulting flailing around will give the pranksters a laugh all the way to the charges from the DOJ for some crime.

The "real news" people shouldn't spend any time on the issue - let the weaponized ADHD of the internet figure it out and THEN go with a story of how many man hours were spent looking into pickle by "the internet".
posted by rough ashlar at 10:24 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Thank you, You Can't Tip a Buick. That is excellent advice.
posted by greermahoney at 10:24 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]




I can't help but wonder if the anti-trans tweet, in addition to being bigoted fuel for Trump's cultists and just a generally shitty and evil thing for its own sake, wasn't planned as a sort of trial balloon by someone (Bannon maybe?)

They could have had Trump issue an Executive Order and do all the other formal stuff that is required for an actual exercise of Presidential power, instead whoever told Trump to do this had him do it as a tweet.

And I can't help but wonder if they were using this to test whether or not they could actually get compliance from a Presidential dictate issued via tweet. To a would be autocrat that sort of breakdown in the norms of how executive power is exercised would be a great advantage. If the leaders of the US military had complied with the tweet rather than (as they seem to be doing) saying that they won't make a change until the orders go through the proper forms and chains of command it would definitely have been a big push towards Trump ruling via tweet. Instead, thankfully, there's pushback and it looks like his trans ban won't go through this way. [1]

It's hard reading any real meaning into Trump's actions since he has no plan, no purpose, and no intent beyond his own self aggrandizement. But some people in his camp do have plans, and the more paranoid part of me wonders if the tweet wasn't part of a probing at boundaries to see what they could get away with.

[1] Though, of course, it will have a chilling effect on trans rights in the military and encourage every bigoted officer to abuse trans solders as much as possible.
posted by sotonohito at 10:25 AM on July 27 [15 favorites]


As mooted above, here's why this week hasn't been like any other week:

Donald Trump just had his most dishonest week as president:7 days, 34 false claims
The Star’s running tally of every false thing the president of the United States of America has said, 447 so fa
r.
posted by Devonian at 10:26 AM on July 27 [20 favorites]




Lisa Murkowski, who happens to be the chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has delayed a hearing to confirm six of Zinke's nominations. From the Hill:
The committee led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski postponed a vote on six Trump administration nominees the same day a Cabinet secretary allegedly threatened retribution against the Alaska Republican over her healthcare vote.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee publicized the postponement of the vote, which included three Department of the Interior nominees, shortly after 3 p.m. on Wednesday.[...]

In addition to leading the committee that oversees nearly all of Interior and confirms its nominees, Murkowski is chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee subpanel that oversees its funding.
Welp, that's quite a coincidence.
posted by lalex at 10:32 AM on July 27 [66 favorites]


[Watanabe]: Let them fight
posted by Existential Dread at 10:35 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


I feel like my head is exploding:
Sen Rounds says he's asked for a guarantee house won't pass skinny befor conference or a delay in implementation if it passes
So...we're going to pass this bill on the sole condition that it won't become law.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:36 AM on July 27 [26 favorites]


"it's okay you can trust me" -scorpion house republicans
posted by entropicamericana at 10:38 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


The committee led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski postponed a vote on six Trump administration nominees the same day a Cabinet secretary allegedly threatened retribution against the Alaska Republican over her healthcare vote.

She's already lost a Republican primary and then won the general election as a write-in candidate, you pillock. You think you're going to put her on an ice floe?
posted by Etrigan at 10:39 AM on July 27 [65 favorites]


Lately, I've been dreaming of some Democrat or journalist thinking to her or himself "This is going to cost me my career, but it needs to be done for the good of the world," and, on live television, in reaction to some odious Trump statement or move, going full on Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker in In the Loop on his punk ass, with all of the wonderfully artful swearing, anger, and outrage that character brought to bear on fools.

A wolf can still dream, can't he?
posted by lord_wolf at 10:40 AM on July 27 [10 favorites]


> So...we're going to pass this bill on the sole condition that it won't become law.

What reason do we have to believe that Rounds and the rest of the supposed moderates aren't willing participants in the misdirection here? All most of them seem to want (with the possible exception of Murkowski and maybe Collins?) is some sort of protection from the political consequences of passage. As long as they put up a credible (to the rubes who will vote for them) kayfabe where they appear to be taking McConnell and other GOP leadership at their word, they can claim they didn't want to kill the ACA. McConnell's lie happens to be more helpful to them than the truth, so they're willing to believe it. (Related: Republicans’ Obamacare repeal drive has revealed a political system where words have no meaning)
posted by tonycpsu at 10:41 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


That Boy Scout apology was as mealy-mouthed as it is possible to be but it will still enrage Trump if anyone tells him about it.
posted by winna at 10:41 AM on July 27 [17 favorites]


And as if all of this wasn’t scary enough, there’s this from Admiral Scott Swift today who acknowledged that if President Trump ordered a nuclear strike on China, he’d have to follow orders.

What's also truly scary is the Pentagon apparently thought it was totally possible that Trump would announce a military strike via Twitter.
posted by martin q blank at 10:43 AM on July 27 [27 favorites]


NYTimes reporter is embedded in MeFi:
nickconfessore Bonus for WH: it has liberals arguing whether it's anti-trans to opine that Trump's announcement is a distraction.
posted by pjenks at 10:44 AM on July 27 [40 favorites]


(Related: Republicans’ Obamacare repeal drive has revealed a political system where words have no meaning)

Revealed?! Klein was blogging during Bush's presidency, to say nothing of all the lies Republicans told about Obamacare for the previous seven years. Republicans using obfuscation to advance an unpopular agenda is nothing new, and he should know that.
posted by Gelatin at 10:45 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


It's hard reading any real meaning into Trump's actions since he has no plan, no purpose, and no intent beyond his own self aggrandizement. But some people in his camp do have plans, and the more paranoid part of me wonders if the tweet wasn't part of a probing at boundaries to see what they could get away with.
TBH, I don't think they are thinking as far ahead as you imagine, but there's no doubt in my mind that someone else wrote those tweets - maybe Banner, maybe Miller, and that they imagine they have some sort of a plan.

Yesterday there was sort of a theme of appealing strongly to the Christian fundamentalists as well as pushing at Sessions, both of which "tactics" I think are a response to a real fear in the WH because the investigations are getting closer. I don't see this so much as distractions created by a demoniacal schemer as it is shooting in all directions by a bunch of idiots who are in far deeper than they can reach.
posted by mumimor at 10:45 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


NYTimes reporter is embedded in MeFi

poor bastard
posted by entropicamericana at 10:45 AM on July 27 [23 favorites]


NYTimes reporter is embedded in MeFi

FWIW this is definitely not the only online space where this is being argued.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:47 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


Sen Rounds says he's asked for a guarantee house won't pass skinny befor conference or a delay in implementation if it passes

Do you want sequestration? Because that's how you get sequestration. [archer.gif]
posted by jcreigh at 10:49 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Non-apology apology. Only apologizing to the offended people, rather than taking ownership for doing something wrong.
posted by emelenjr at 10:50 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


NYTimes reporter is embedded in MeFi

ah, so that was that screaming blue face I saw in the background when I was scrolling down
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:50 AM on July 27 [14 favorites]


nickconfessore Bonus for WH: it has liberals arguing whether it's anti-trans to opine that Trump's announcement is a distraction.

This is something I've been trying to point out wherever I've been discussing it. Calling shit like this a distraction is a real great way to tell those targeted that their lives aren't important.

When a "distraction" threatens to destroy (or end) lives, it still has to be fought. It still has to be taken seriously. We're going to have to get used to fighting multiple battles on multiple fronts at the same time.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:51 AM on July 27 [11 favorites]


Asked if "skinny repeal" could become law or is just a way to get to conference, Sen. Roy Blunt says "I haven't thought it through."

JFC, that's the perfect slogan of the modern Republican Party - We Haven't Thought It Through.
posted by zakur at 10:52 AM on July 27 [21 favorites]


Here is the admiral's (cited above) full response.

“The answer would be yes,” Swift said. “Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as the commander in chief appointed over us.”

Admiral, the president of the US is an enemy domestic, and you would be defending the Constitution by defying him.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:56 AM on July 27 [18 favorites]


nickconfessore Bonus for WH: it has liberals arguing whether it's anti-trans to opine that Trump's announcement is a distraction.

It's both. It's a distraction to overload the media sphere because it's literally their only tactic, and it's anti-trans to abandon our trans brothers and sisters from their fight to be treated like human fucking beings.

I've been reading a lot of the "smarter" never Trumper Republicans and they point out that, yeah, we are reacting to every squirrel but the squirrels they keep releasing are shit like denigrate members of our communities, murder hundreds of thousands of our poorest and most vulnerable countryfolk, and possibly sell out the United States Government to foreign interest for profit and/or quid pro quo. How can we fucking not? Any of these scandals would sink any normal presidency under normal operating conditions of a healthy democracy. I could ignore the travel ban, I could ignore the trans ban, because there's literally nothing I can do. They'll work their way through the courts and the judiciary will have their stab at it. But I just can't sit there and say "This is fine".

And that's our weakness. It's always been a weakness. We seem to give a shit. We seem to give a shit that everyone gets a fair shot, we seem to give a shit to have functioning government working for us, we seem to give a shit on democracy not sliding into autocracy. Everyone who's in on this "game" knows it and will continue to hold the fucking gun to Columbia's head until we acquiesce out of sheer attrition.
posted by Talez at 10:57 AM on July 27 [12 favorites]


FiveThirtyEight helpfully provides some bad news for later this evening:
FiveThirtyEight Reconciliation bills that make it to conference tend to become law.

[table of data 1980-present]
posted by pjenks at 10:58 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


NYTimes reporter is embedded in MeFi

ah, so that was that screaming blue face I saw in the background when I was scrolling down


Our very own Josie Packard.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:59 AM on July 27 [9 favorites]


That Boy Scout apology: We're sorry about all the politics, did we mention we have ziplines?
posted by bibliowench at 11:01 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


> Admiral, the president of the US is an enemy domestic, and you would be defending the Constitution by defying him.

Yeah, except as soon as he telegraphs his willingness to participate in a military coup, he's out of a job, to be replaced by someone who will probably do whatever the chain of command wants. There is no benefit to the Admiral or any other military leader announcing exactly which orders they'd refuse. You get one shot at that -- you don't want to use it up by talking about it with the press.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:01 AM on July 27 [19 favorites]


And that's our weakness. It's always been a weakness. We seem to give a shit.

General Zod: This . . . Superman is nothing of the kind! I've discovered his weakness.
Ursa: Yes.
General Zod: He cares. He actually cares for these Earth people.


(Ron Howard voice): It was not a weakness.


This moment brought to you by a lifelong hardcore Marvel partisan. If I can suck it up and quote Superman II like this, we can all come together when it counts, I promise you.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:02 AM on July 27 [33 favorites]


tonycpsu: "What reason do we have to believe that Rounds and the rest of the supposed moderates aren't willing participants in the misdirection here?

I think you're being too clever by half here. You're not going to be able to explain conference committees to John Q. Voter (see: Kerry, John). "Rounds voted for the bill that screwed up everyone's insurance," is what the ads will say, regardless.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:02 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree.

It's better than I'd expected, which was complete radio silence.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:02 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree.
posted by adamg at 10:25 AM on July 27 [6 favorites +] [!]


The BSA president wants us to believe he didn't know who Trump was when he invited him. Vetting his speech before he gave it was imperative, as was a kill switch on the mic.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:03 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


That Boy Scout apology was as mealy-mouthed as it is possible to be but it will still enrage Trump if anyone tells him about it.

You notice how it's signed from the Chief Scout Executive? And not the national president of the BSA? Maybe you're wondering why.

The national president of the BSA happens to be Randall Stephenson, chairman of AT&T. And goodness, why might the chairman of AT&T be looking to suck up to the Administration?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:03 AM on July 27 [22 favorites]


NYTimes reporter is embedded in MeFi

ah, so that was that screaming blue face I saw in the background when I was scrolling down

Our very own Josie Packard.


She shares a doorknob with Paphnuty.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:04 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Sen Rounds says he's asked for a guarantee house won't pass skinny befor conference or a delay in implementation if it passes

Mark Meadows is making threats that the House won't pass it, which is really even more scary because it gives cover to the Senate to vote for it on the basis that the House won't. The theme of this entire mess has been kicking the can down the road, and the more the Senate thinks they aren't firing real bullets, the more likely they are to pull the trigger.

And I'm not convinced Meadows means it. When push comes to shove, is passing it really better than doing nothing for him? Does he really want to be "the guy who voted to keep the mandates?"

But yes, this game of "we'll only vote for this if it won't become law" is crazy, especially when your party controls the legislature.

The BSA president wants us to believe he didn't know who Trump was when he invited him.

Should have known he was a snake before they took him in.
posted by zachlipton at 11:04 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


> I think you're being too clever by half here. You're not going to be able to explain conference committees to John Q. Voter (see: Kerry, John). "Rounds voted for the bill that screwed up everyone's insurance," is what the ads will say, regardless.

Mike Rounds is the junior senator from South Dakota, who won his last election 50.7% - 29.7%. He has more to fear from his right flank in a primary than he does in a general election where that kind of ad would hurt him. The ads that will hurt him when he's next up in 2020 will be the ones that say he didn't work hard enough to repeal the ACA.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:06 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


From David Cay Johnston's Making of Donald Trump:
"Donald Trump relies on two core strategies to manage the public image he has spent decades creating, polishing, and selling. In the first, he exploits a common weakness of news reporting: the recitation of “facts” without analysis of that which goes unsaid. Trump often threatens to sue journalists, ensuring caution from publishers and broadcasters who want to avoid a costly lawsuit—even one Trump cannot win. This tends to discourage investigation beyond the official talking points. Trump spent two years suing author Tim O’Brien and his publisher for writing that his net worth was probably not in the billions, but rather the hundreds of millions. After a court dismissed the case, Trump made it clear that he merely wanted to harass O’Brien, not necessarily win damages. “I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees and they spent a whole lot more. I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about,” Trump bragged. It was a comment that fit cozily within his philosophy of revenge.
In his second core strategy, Trump distorts information, contradicts himself, and blocks inquiries into his conduct by journalists, law enforcement, business regulators, and other people’s lawyers. Again, the record shows decades of Trump’s skill in pursuing this strategy successfully."
posted by rc3spencer at 11:06 AM on July 27 [12 favorites]


She's already lost a Republican primary and then won the general election as a write-in candidate, you pillock. You think you're going to put her on an ice floe?

you come at the queen, you best not miss
posted by lalex at 11:08 AM on July 27 [17 favorites]


Here is the admiral's (cited above) full response.

“The answer would be yes,” Swift said. “Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as the commander in chief appointed over us.”


Funny thing there, admiral -- you're wrong:
I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
posted by Etrigan at 11:09 AM on July 27 [39 favorites]


You notice how it's signed from the Chief Scout Executive? And not the national president of the BSA? Maybe you're wondering why.

Trump truly is Billy Mumy in The Twilight Zone.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:13 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


@ddale8: The Trump administration, McConnell and Ryan have jointly announced that they've dumped the idea of a border adjustment tax.

Well, at least we won't have a trade war to go along with our three on-going military conflicts
posted by Existential Dread at 11:13 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: We're sorry about all the politics, did we mention we have ziplines?
posted by Melismata at 11:14 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


Jonathan Capehart, WaPo: Let me thank Trump for his tweets about transgender personnel
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) is the one I most want to applaud. Tracked down by MSNBC on Wednesday for his reaction to the substance of Trump’s transgender tweets, Hatch was unequivocal.
Look, people who are transgender, they don’t choose to be transgender. They’re born that way. And why should we hold that against them? And they’re human beings, and many of them are extremely talented human beings.
What Hatch said is what should come naturally but rarely does. He affirmed the humanity of transgender Americans while defending their right to continue to serve their nation. He said flat out that people who are transgender are “born that way,” thus laying waste to the bigoted assertions masquerading as fact fogging the so-called bathroom debate around the country. In a tweet, he added, “I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone.” In a message to military brass on Thursday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote, “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:14 AM on July 27 [40 favorites]


I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree

That's some weak-ass apologizing right there. Rather than strongly confirming that the Scouts are an apolitical organization, and that partisan politics have no place there it basically is telling people who were offended "hey, sorry you got politics in your face."
posted by nubs at 11:14 AM on July 27 [6 favorites]


@ddale8: The Trump administration, McConnell and Ryan have jointly announced that they've dumped the idea of a border adjustment tax.

I look forward to the MAGA Mental Gymnastics World Championship that will surely accompany this announcement.
posted by Talez at 11:15 AM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Mental gymnastics? IT WUZ THE DEMS is much less effort.
posted by Rykey at 11:17 AM on July 27


And with the view from the fever swamp, Ed Rogers, WaPo: The quest to prove collusion is crumbling
While everyone is fixated on President Trump’s unbecoming and inexplicable assault on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the media has been trying to sneak away from the “Russian collusion” story. That’s right. For all the breathless hype, the on-air furrowed brows and the not-so-veiled hopes that this could be Watergate, Jared Kushner’s statement and testimony before Congress have made Democrats and many in the media come to the realization that the collusion they were counting on just isn’t there.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:17 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Just want to remind everyone to please please call this TRUMPCARE not "skinny repeal." So far media and many of us here have bought into the bullshitty talking point name "skinny." let's stop propagating that now. TRUMPCARE TRUMPCARE TRUMPCARE
posted by Captain Chesapeake at 11:18 AM on July 27 [12 favorites]


Trumpcare: It's like Trump University except hundreds of thousands of people will die unnecessarily.
posted by Talez at 11:19 AM on July 27 [7 favorites]


And that's our weakness. It's always been a weakness. We seem to give a shit. We seem to give a shit that everyone gets a fair shot, we seem to give a shit to have functioning government working for us, we seem to give a shit on democracy not sliding into autocracy. Everyone who's in on this "game" knows it and will continue to hold the fucking gun to Columbia's head until we acquiesce out of sheer attrition.

So true. Or, we can be like the lunch counter sit-in protesters who recognized that nothing would happen unless they were willing to put their lives on the line. We're not at that point. We may or may not be in the future.

Your comments are very insightful, Talez, thank you!
posted by Melismata at 11:19 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Jared Kushner tells Turkish newspaper: "Like Trump, Erdogan is working to make his country great again." [link in Turkish]

Daily Caller (and despite problems with that source and the framing of this article, Chuck Ross does good work) talked to the Turkish reporter and is saying he admitted it didn't quite go down as he said:
“He [Atalay] approached Jared for a selfie but is not quoted accurately,” a White House official told TheDC. “It’s made up.”
...
When asked over Twitter direct message about the White House pushback, Atalay initially refused to address the claim that he made up a quote.

“That was not an interview. I didn’t get any permit from Kushner’s office or Ivanka’s office or White House. As I mentioned in the report it was a very quick conversation with him (1-2 min.),” Atalay said.

When pressed further on whether the Kushner quote was accurate, Atalay said, “He did not say that. I asked him, ‘Do you think, Erdogan is making Turkey great again, like Trump’ and he only said, ‘Yeah, I think so.'”

A native Turkish speaker who reviewed Atalay’s article said that the reporter has a history of making bombastic claims about the Trump administration’s view of Erdogan and the Turkish government.
This is yet another situation where it would help the White House deny things that didn't happen if they hadn't squandered every shred of their credibility on stupid shit, but it sounds like this guy asked Kushner for a selfie, asked him questions, and made up the actual quote.
posted by zachlipton at 11:20 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


And with the view from the fever swamp, Ed Rogers, WaPo

To be clear, Rogers is a right-wing columnist, not a reporter for the Post:
"Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush White Houses and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour in 1991."
posted by msalt at 11:24 AM on July 27 [16 favorites]


The BSA president wants us to believe he didn't know who Trump was when he invited him. Vetting his speech before he gave it was imperative, as was a kill switch on the mic.

Vetting wouldn't have helped, as Trump famously goes off on tangents in which he aggrandizes himself. The mic kill switch, though, is an idea. "Sorry, scouts, due to technical difficulties we can not bring you the rest of the President's speech. Let's give him a big hand!"
posted by Gelatin at 11:27 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


adamg: I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. (A message from Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America)

An Open Letter To Chief Scout Executive Michael B. Surbaugh from Travis and Tyler McCann on HuffPost
The Scout Law states that, “A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.” There is no person in American society today who less embodies the laws of Scouting than President Donald J. Trump, and so we were unsurprised that the President chose to deliver a speech that was xenophobic, jingoistic, riddled with petty political attacks, and which violated, over forty rambling minutes, every tenet of the Scout Law.

To Mr. Trump ― is it trustworthy to continue to reference the size of your Inauguration Day crowds relative to President Obama’s, despite the fact that your repeated claims are demonstrably false? Did it demonstrate loyalty for you to threaten to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price if he can’t get the votes to overturn the Affordable Care Act? Do you feel brave or courteous attacking Hillary Clinton so many months after the election has ended? Is it reverent to tell Muslim or Jewish scouts that “under the Trump administration you’ll be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again”? Is it the obedience of a mob crowd that you seek when you encouraged the gathered Scouts to boo Ms. Clinton or President Obama? Is it cheerful, kind, courteous, or friendly to repeatedly solicit jeers from a crowd of impressionable young men?

To adult Boy Scout leaders from across America, shame on you. The boos and jeers from the crowd Monday were not reflective of the Scouting we grew up with. Allowing your Scouts to participate in Monday’s farcical and disturbing demonstration, and in some cases, to participate in it yourself, are a stain on Scouting.

Prior to the event, Mr. Surbaugh sent out a message to volunteer adults and employees of Scouting, stating that “chants of certain phrases heard during the campaign (e.g. ‘build the wall,’ ‘lock her up’) are considered divisive by many members of our audience, and may cause unnecessary friction between individuals and units.” These tacit suggestions never indicate that these phrases are considered divisive by the Boy Scouts of America.

But by acknowledging the divisive nature of Donald Trump’s presidency,