So long, and thanks for all the fish!
July 29, 2017 12:00 AM   Subscribe

A week of political high drama - with vulgar palace intrigues, the President dealt a spectacular legislative failure, venting to Boy Scouts, and endorsing Police violence - is capped off by the launch of a North Korean ICBM with enough range to reach most of the U.S.
posted by darkstar (3064 comments total) 125 users marked this as a favorite
 
I and my browser thank you, Darkstar.
posted by greermahoney at 12:07 AM on July 29 [27 favorites]


Martin Rowson is back from his vacation and gives us this stunningly realistic depiction of the current affairs.
posted by runcifex at 12:12 AM on July 29 [21 favorites]


Could someone link any discussion on the obamacare repeal fail? I can't find any in the old thread. I know John McCain was being dissed for allowing the debate to happen - what's the reaction to him now being part of the 3 rebel Republicans? Do you think this is some master plan of his?
posted by freethefeet at 12:20 AM on July 29


Well, there's this:

Trump Calls McCain A ‘Hero’ Now That He Will Return To DC For O’care Vote (TPM)

From July 25, before the vote.
posted by adept256 at 12:27 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


"Threadfall"! I just reread DRoP...
posted by mikelieman at 12:37 AM on July 29 [19 favorites]


The RogueWHStaff twitter account has just lost any chill it ever had and is in full screaming meltdown mode. Which is thoroughly enjoyable given the smug tone of that account throughout. More insider scandal about them not being able to find light switches pls and less exhortations to the unwashed masses to stand up to a guy you're criticizing via an anonymous twitter account.
posted by fshgrl at 12:41 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


I'm not sure if this has been linked before, but in the light of the recent North Korean missile tests, I think it's worth re-reading this NYT in-depth article:

Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles

It is obvious now that the sabotage has outlived its usefulness, and NK long-range missile is becoming a real thing, and Trump is doing nothing useful.

I mean, any other hypothetical US president would have been at least attempting to exert some real effort. Trump and his administration (specifically, Rex Tillerson, who is quitting) are uniquely disqualified for the job of preventing a nuclear annihilation.

Tillerson is impotently hollering to China and Russia. But if there's to be a way out, all the parties must drag their arses to the table and start the unpleasant but down-to-earth talks. The qualified people must show up.
posted by runcifex at 12:48 AM on July 29 [14 favorites]


Fshgrl, I'm assuming you mean RoguePotusStaff? RogueWHStaff appears to be parody, and not off the rails, currently.
posted by greermahoney at 1:01 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Blather - Reince - Repeal
posted by chavenet at 1:03 AM on July 29 [61 favorites]


North Korean ICBMs...great! Do they have any MIRVs to go with that? D:
posted by sexyrobot at 1:10 AM on July 29


I have zero faith in Trump's ability to negotiate his way out of nuclear war, so I'm thankful for my old friend, the Ohio class ballistic missile submarine. I'm thankful for the men and women I served with who are continuing to stand watch to ensure that any fucker that wants to take a swing at us had better be very, very sure about it. It's a small, cold comfort, but it's still a comfort when our lives are in his small, cold hands.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:24 AM on July 29 [28 favorites]


It's been a long time since I played Civ, but I recall there was a version where if you used a nuclear weapon, every other civilisation declared war on you, ally or not. It would be murder suicide, and I doubt they'll do that. The real danger is Trump having a temper tantrum and thereby giving DPRK nothing to lose.

If it comes to that, I hope there's a Stanislav Petrov that decides not to follow orders.
posted by adept256 at 1:33 AM on July 29 [35 favorites]


Could someone link any discussion on the obamacare repeal fail?
Look at the last thread - it was basically live blogged. Scroll down to around 10PM that night.
posted by floam at 1:43 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Could someone link any discussion on the obamacare repeal fail?

Look at the last thread - it was basically live blogged. Scroll down to around 10PM that night.


Oh I thought the poster was being sarcastic, as that was THE topic (if one can single out any from the shitstorm grabbag that was this week, and likely every other under this administration) of last Thread. There were literally about 500 comments in response to the vote, many of them re: McCain's role in the trio and speculation about the political calculus.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 2:13 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


"The real danger is Trump having a temper tantrum and thereby giving DPRK nothing to lose."

My impression is that not just Trump, but lots of folk don't understand how incredibly dangerous is the border between South and North Korea. It's only 150 miles in length, and there's almost two million soldiers positioned there. But it's even worse, as Seoul is just 35 miles from the border -- well within the range of artillery. There's supposedly something like 10K artillery pieces there, many or most aimed at Seoul. There's 10 million people in Seoul.

A conventional war would escalate immediately into an all-out confrontation, devastating both countries and killing, one way or another, millions. There is no military solution to this problem. All those millions of civilians are basically hostages to the status quo. The US simply cannot and would not risk Seoul with something like a tactical bombing of nuke facilities.

So the threat of the nukes and the missiles cannot be solved with force. But as long as those millions of troops are at that border, and the DPRK fears the US and South Korea, the DPRK has every incentive to complete both the nuke and ICBM programs to cement their "don't fuck with us" status.

I don't think that Trump understands any of this. He doesn't or didn't know the probability of escalation and civilian casualties from a military strike against the DPRK. If he knows now, he probably doesn't care. And he's inclined to believe that people will back down if he's belligerent enough. He is the worst possible president for dealing with this problem. If anyone has any fears of Trump instigating some terrible military calamity, it's not Iran or Yemen or Syria that we need to worry about, it's North Korea because it's the most delicately balanced situation with also the most risk.

But I can't even really think about that. The scale of the nightmare that is the Trump administration challenges my ability to comprehend it within the historical context of my lifetime. He is easily the most personally vile man to be President in at least a century. He and his administration are also corrupt, ignorant, and inept. I wrote early last year about how much I felt that Trump represented a viable right-wing populist threat, but what I had in mind was that he might be a cult of personality authoritarian -- well, I thought he might be good at it. But he's pretty terrible at it. Yes, he does have a intuitive grasp of being a controversial public figure. But he's actually incompetent about translating that into broader support on the right. He has no clue how to get anyone to do anything he wants.

And that, in a weird way, makes it worse for me. I don't understand how even a third of the GOP would support such a personally vile and basically inept person, much less the half or two-thirds who do. I would never have believed the American people could be so debased as to elect and support a blustering, braggart, clownish wannabe-strongman as the pissbucket that is Donald Trump.

So who knows. I half expect or hope that this administration will just continue to be a deteriorating shambolic clusterfuck, tearing itself apart from the inside-out, mostly neglecting any of the responsibilities of, you know, actually governing. What I fear is ... well, who knows? We're off the map, over the edge. I mostly just wish that Trump would sort of forget that North Korea exists.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:23 AM on July 29 [242 favorites]


If it comes to that, I hope there's a Stanislav Petrov that decides not to follow orders.

Yeah, about that, two things:

First, Stanislav Petrov didn't not follow an order that was given specifically to him by a superior. He just decided that the instruments indicating a US nuclear attack were incorrect, and recognized a false alarm. Not to downplay that, it's still very heroic what he did and he probably prevented a nuclear war, but given that it was a standing order, or protocol, to order a counterstrike in such cases, I think that "not following protocol" would be a more accurate desription than "not following orders", as would be the case when you are given a specific order by the commander in chief.

Second, the US military already made it clear that they would follow Trump's orders of a nuclear strike.

But I suppose that we can still hope for the sheer incompetence of Trump in doing what is probably a three-step process. Let's just hope that he doesn't call Bannon or Kelly to help him.
posted by sour cream at 2:28 AM on July 29 [15 favorites]


> Second, the US military already made it clear that they would follow Trump's orders of a nuclear strike.

Yeah, but when push comes to shove, you get one attempt, and you don't signal that in advance.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:30 AM on July 29 [32 favorites]


It's 4:30 am in Oklahoma with less than two dozen comments on the new thread... and I hope to goodness that I won't come back in a few hours to find several hundred comments on the blue about Trump's latest catastrophe. That feels so futile... it's always a crawl from crisis to crisis. Always.
This presidency is an ongoing disaster. And a large part of that is the number of people who Just. Don't. Get. It.
Thanks, MetaFilter.
posted by free f_ cat at 2:40 AM on July 29 [14 favorites]


Oh I thought the poster was being sarcastic, as that was THE (snip)
No, totally straight faced! I am in a non usa timezone, saw the news, wanted the mefi reaction and couldn't find anything at the bottom of the old thread, am also on mobile so scrolling around thread difficult, ctrl-f hard when you don't have a useful key word. I posted here because I finally caught the start of one of these threads! Sorry.
posted by freethefeet at 2:44 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Freethefeet, just ignore the 800 comments where everyone guarantees that McCain will vote yes. Then later on, you might as well ignore the 100-or-so comments where everyone disagrees about whether or not the yes vote (on the MTP) doomed the bill for the remainder of the fiscal year.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 2:48 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Second, the US military already made it clear that they would follow Trump's orders of a nuclear strike

I don't think that tells us anything, really. What else could Swift have possibly said without resigning his commission? I mean, it's terrifying that Trump has legal authority to order nuclear strikes, but a serving naval officer saying that they will follow orders is no more than an acknowledgement of that legal authority. Any decision to disobey would be made, as stonepharisee says, without prior signalling.
posted by howfar at 2:50 AM on July 29 [24 favorites]


the 800 comments where everyone guarantees that McCain will vote yes

It's a sort of triumph of despair over experience that leads us, again and again, to think that the idiots in the GOP have a plan for anything. But maybe the scary thing about the Trump presidency is that US national politics has become almost wholly unpredictable, making it almost comforting to imagine we live in a world where evil is at least competent and consistent.
posted by howfar at 2:57 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


Another plug for East Manitoba's Buzzfeed link from the last thread.

Many of the dead people investigated by the Buzzfeed team are Russian and British businessmen and lawyers. One of them is a British scientist from Public Health England who testified in the Litvinenko case.

One of my colleagues also testified in the Litvinenko enquiry, and when I heard they were 'scared of repercussions', I am embarrassed to say I snickered at the wry joke I thought it was.

The series of investigations (led by journalist Heidi Blake and her team), and primary sources they link to, are amazing if you like spy thrillers, and terrifying because this is real life.
posted by mgrrl at 3:32 AM on July 29 [53 favorites]


People keep saying 10 million.

It's not. It's a lot more. 25 million in the metro area, 10 million is just city proper.
posted by anem0ne at 3:35 AM on July 29 [27 favorites]


It's a city with the land area of maybe Chicago but 5 times as many in the city proper, with 12 times as many in the metro area. But then the entire country is only the size of Indiana, and that's 55 million people. Who have no land route to escape.
posted by anem0ne at 3:37 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


Since nothing has exploded yet here's Stephen Colbert and a nine-year-old girl Responding to the "Pickle" letter.
posted by mmoncur at 3:55 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


Somehow I enjoyed this short video of CNN's Zapruder-style analysis of McCain voting No.
posted by mmoncur at 4:04 AM on July 29 [44 favorites]


This set me off thinking about the word "vulgar," which means "of the common people," and all the classist assumptions contained by that as well as the disdainful connotations of my grandmother's use of "common." Then I digressed to "populist," which apparently means something similar and often plays out this way.

But I don't think it's vulgar what's going on, exactly. Yes, it's crude, and it's out in the street where everyone can see. Openness is not always a good idea. Part of the shock when Nixon's tapes were released was how banal his language was. Yes, I'm a language snob.

But though I'm distressed by the paucity of expression of our President, as well as by its open rudeness (the origin of "rude" is "uncultured," so once again a class word), I'm most disturbed by its incompetence, cruelty, corruption, and willful ignorance.
posted by Peach at 4:15 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


Oh, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church released a statement about the transgender ban.
posted by Peach at 4:16 AM on July 29 [18 favorites]


In his intro, Colbert described Huckabee Sanders as "the mother of the kid who bit your kid" which is wonderfully evocative.

One of the comments notes that previously Sessions was described as "the pixie who is excitedly watching you have sex in a forest", which is...just...*bows down*.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:33 AM on July 29 [109 favorites]


Trump: ‘Russia was against Trump in the 2016 election’ (The Hill)
President Trump on Saturday insisted Russia never wanted him to be president, a claim he says means Moscow did not collude to influence the 2016 election on his behalf.

He made the connection in a tweet about the firm behind a controversial dossier filled with salacious allegations about Trump. The firm, Fusion GPS, “also worked for Russia,” according to a news story Trump re-tweeted.

“In other words, Russia was against Trump in the 2016 election - and why not, I want strong military & low oil prices,” Trump commented.
Desperation is a stinky cologne, Mr. President.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:40 AM on July 29 [28 favorites]


I would like to post an excerpt of a speech given by Chief of the Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, Australian of the Year 2016.

By now I assume you know my attitude to this type of conduct. I have stated categorically, many times, that the Army has to be a inclusive organisation, in which every soldier, man and woman, is able to reach their full potential and is encouraged to do so. Those who think that it is ok to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues, have no place in this army. Our service has been engaged in continuous operations since 1999, and in it’s longest war ever in Afghanistan. On all operations, female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the BEST traditions of the Australian Army. They are vital to us, maintaining our capability now, and in to the future.

If that does not suit you….then get out!!

You may find another employer where your attitude and behaviour is acceptable, but I doubt it. The same goes to those who think toughness is built on humiliating others.

Every one of us is responsible for the culture and reputation of our army and the environment in which we work. If you become aware of any individual degrading another, then show moral courage and take a stand against it. No one has EVER explained to me how the exploitation or degradation of others, enhances capability, or honours the traditions of the Australian Army.

I will be ruthless in ridding the army of people who cannot live up to it’s values. And i need everyone of you to support me in achieving this. The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept. that goes for all of us, but especially those, who by their rank, have a leadership role.


David's a close friend of Group Captain Cate McGregor and supported her transition. She has commented about this recent ban, though I can't find a link.

If that does not suit you….then get out!! <------ THIS TIMES A MILLION! It's not the transgenders that don't belong in the army, and I have a good feeling David would feel exactly the same.
posted by adept256 at 4:43 AM on July 29 [76 favorites]


The cesspool's own Scott Adams was on Tucker Carlson's show to lend his expertise. On North Korea.
posted by lownote at 4:48 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


I suppose I could at least note that the escalating outrageousness from your White House has led me to become a more knowledgeable person; even the Canadian news is all Trump all the time, and now I listen to a growing number of podcasts instead of the radio while I work. I try to limit my exposure by sticking to these threads and Stephen Colbert, but I can't avoid the traffic of burning garbage trucks in my twitter feed (my USA knitters used to discuss sl1, k2tog, psso versus k3tog; now they worry about dying).

It's to the point where Himself pointed out the newest magazine cover of Justin, and my first remark was "oh great, now Trump is going to be all hissy with us, thanks Rolling Stone for torpedoing the NAFTA negotiations".
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 4:53 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


So, what you're saying is this was just another normal week here in Bizzaro America.
posted by tommasz at 4:55 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


OPLAN 5027 is the name of the official military plans for dealing with a North Korean invasion. Cutting to the chase: 500,000 South Korean civilians dead, and 50,000 US soldiers.

This is almost entirely due to (as mentioned upthread) roughly 10,000 artillery pieces being in range of tens of millions of people. There is no readily available solution to this, nor even a pie-in-the-sky theoretical one to the best of my knowledge.

Nukes, however, are a bit of a sideshow in this. North Korea got off a launch, yes, and hypothetically it may even have the range to hit the US. Launching is one thing, accurate targeting is another, and carrying a nuclear device that is capable of surviving reentry is very much another. Those steps take years. MIRVs are an additional several years R&D after that. For that and reasons of Assured Destruction ('Mutual' is out: it would be the greatest tragedy in US history if a major city got hit by a nuke, but the capital-D Destruction that followed would be very much one-sided), it's not worth having a protracted discussion about a nuclear exchange.

It is very much worth having a discussion about Trump vs. a potential humanitarian crisis on the hundreds-of-thousands-dead scale, which we seem to be careening towards.
posted by Ryvar at 5:06 AM on July 29 [15 favorites]


North Korean ICBMs...great! Do they have any MIRVs to go with that?

Definitely not. Yet. Miniaturizing nuclear weapons to the point of putting multiple warheads on a single launcher took the US twenty years of research and hundreds of tests. NK doesn't even have a single warhead small enough to go on an ICBM yet.
If Putin wants to stir up trouble he could give them aide in this. The Chinese find North Korea useful but probably would prefer no nukes.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:07 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


The cesspool's own Scott Adams was on Tucker Carlson's show to lend his expertise. On North Korea.

I know it's not true, but the longer I stare at that screenshot the more the thought comes to me: we must have done something to deserve this
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:09 AM on July 29 [28 favorites]


Yeah, I have to say, the North Korea thing has me really worried, especially after the "I am tweeting military policy" business. I just worry that the last thing I'll see is a tweet that says "After consultation with my generals I have decided to nuke North Korea".

I mean, leaving aside the millions of dead in North and South Korea and the incredibly physical and emotional devastation that would wreak, even if this didn't somehow turn into a global nuclear war, a small nuclear exchange would be terrible for the planet in ways that I don't think we fully understand yet.

The obvious thing to do with North Korea is give them stuff, and hope you can get the point where they will take agricultural and medical advisors so that some of it benefits ordinary people. The problem with North Korea is, fundamentally, that it's a bad and unjust regime that hurts its own people., not that the government seems to be a murder soap opera. If your neighbors are abusing their kids, your focus is on the wellbeing of the kids.
posted by Frowner at 5:10 AM on July 29 [35 favorites]




At least the US is on track to get another right wing dictatorship in its pockets. Pakistan 2018?
"American officials have been pressing Pakistan’s military leadership to be more aggressive in going after the Haqqanis. And Mr. Sharif’s exit means that General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Pakistani Army’s chief, assumes an even bigger role.

“This means even more power in the military’s hands because the military is truly the only institution in Pakistan that’s not in turmoil,” said Vikram J. Singh, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia. “But the fact is,” he added, “they already have all the power in the military. So it’s not that big a change.”
posted by rc3spencer at 5:16 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Second, the US military already made it clear that they would follow Trump's orders of a nuclear strike.

Do you think Petrov spent his entire military career saying "You know, comrades, in case our very clear protocols say that I am ordered to launch a strike, I'm pretty sure that I will ignore them and investigate further."? Of course not. Neither did U.S. Air Force Captain William Bassett when he received direct orders to launch.

Be worried, sure. Don't be fatalistic.
posted by Etrigan at 5:22 AM on July 29 [32 favorites]


North Korea may not have a small enough nuclear weapon to fit on to their ICBM, but they could put chemical or biological weapons on it now.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:23 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


[Australian member of parliament] Khalil Eideh, who was blocked from entering the United States while on an overseas study tour, has arrived home "exhausted, very, very disappointed [and] frustrated" by his treatment.

The Upper House MP, who was born in Lebanon, was part of a group of MPs examining the effectiveness of drug laws and regulations in Europe and North America.

But when he went to fly from Vancouver to Denver he was told his flight had been cancelled by the US.

"[They gave me] no explanation whatsoever, at first they couldn't find my name. When I gave them my itinerary they said 'ah yes, unfortunately it's blocked and we can't take you on the plane'," he said.

Mr Eideh said his family is from Syria, which is on the list of countries targeted by US President Donald Trump's travel restrictions, and he has joint Australian and Syrian citizenship.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:27 AM on July 29 [38 favorites]


This is almost entirely due to (as mentioned upthread) roughly 10,000 artillery pieces being in range of tens of millions of people. There is no readily available solution to this, nor even a pie-in-the-sky theoretical one to the best of my knowledge.

Nukes, however, are a bit of a sideshow in this. North Korea got off a launch, yes, and hypothetically it may even have the range to hit the US. Launching is one thing, accurate targeting is another, and carrying a nuclear device that is capable of surviving reentry is very much another.


Consider THIS:

The MGR-3 Little John was a free flight artillery rocket system designed and put into service by the U.S. Army during the 1950s and 1960s.
posted by mikelieman at 5:28 AM on July 29


Or even... Davy Crockett (nuclear device)
posted by mikelieman at 5:31 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


*looks for lead-lined raccoon hat*
posted by pyramid termite at 5:34 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


First, Stanislav Petrov didn't not follow an order that was given specifically to him by a superior. He just decided that the instruments indicating a US nuclear attack were incorrect, and recognized a false alarm. Not to downplay that, it's still very heroic what he did and he probably prevented a nuclear war, but given that it was a standing order, or protocol, to order a counterstrike in such cases, I think that "not following protocol" would be a more accurate desription than "not following orders", as would be the case when you are given a specific order by the commander in chief.

Second, the US military already made it clear that they would follow Trump's orders of a nuclear strike.


I'm going to continue to give credit to Stanislav for saving human civilisation, and I'd presume that if asked whether he'd follow orders beforehand, he'd also have said 'yes'.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:35 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


Mr Eideh said his family is from Syria, which is on the list of countries targeted by US President Donald Trump's travel restrictions, and he has joint Australian and Syrian citizenship.

Does he have joint citizenship? Several Australian MPs have been forced to resign in recent weeks because you're not allowed to serve in parliament if you're a dual citizen, per our constitution. I did hear he did support Assad back in 2006, but that was before he went genocidal. Anyhow, he's most certainly not a threat to the US and it's a bit insulting because he's an Australian representative.

They let in Fionna from the Sex Party.
posted by adept256 at 5:37 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


I'd like to mention the hypothetical Petrov could be Korean. You do need a couple of brain cells to bang together to launch a nuke. Surely enough to realise the consequences will not be good for you or anyone.
posted by adept256 at 5:42 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Khalil Eideh is actually a Victorian State MP, not a federal MP, which are the only ones to whom the idiocy that is Section 44 of the Australian Constitution applies AFAIK.
posted by flabdablet at 5:42 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


> They let in Fionna from the Sex Party.

Rrrright, and the point is that the Sex Party is somehow obviously as dodgy as supporting Al Assad's genocide?
posted by stonepharisee at 5:43 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


At least the US is on track to get another right wing dictatorship in its pockets. Pakistan 2018?

Don't forget Venezuela.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:51 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Second, the US military already made it clear that they would follow Trump's orders of a nuclear strike.

Those orders need to come from Trump via The Marine who carries "The Football"

I believe he has a sidearm, and orders from some 1960's - 1970's RAND Corporation ("dual") study of what we should do if the President is compromised by Russia.

At least, that's what lets me sleep at night...
posted by mikelieman at 5:53 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


In Pence's Republic of Gilead? Probably. As for Khalil, I heard he supported Assad in 2006, long before the Arab spring. If he still supports him, I'd rather he doesn't come back.
posted by adept256 at 5:54 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Eideh is a stupid and venal politician, but he's no more likely to threaten the US than any other random traveller. His exclusion was an insult to Australia and the opacity of the reasons behind it are a symptom of the USA's growing totalitarianism.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:56 AM on July 29 [19 favorites]


The British looked at using Davy Crockett and were planning a warhead for it called Wee Gwen. Because nothing says 'battlefield nuclear devastation' than an image of a tiny Scots granny.

Which all puts me in mind of the madness at the dawning of nuclear proliferation in the 1950s, which was - I think - somewhat held in balance by the fact that all the people involved had direct experience of global conflagration. They've all gone, and the Cold Warriors are dying out. Not a good environment for an unstable, paranoid state like NK to confront an unstable and grotesquely weak leader like 45.
posted by Devonian at 5:59 AM on July 29 [5 favorites]


This set me off thinking about the word "vulgar,"

The word I think the headline writers are looking for is "obscene". Scaramucci's rant wasn't vulgar (ie. rough, "common"), it was an obscenity.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:10 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


The Upper House MP, who was born in Lebanon, was part of a group of MPs examining the effectiveness of drug laws and regulations in Europe and North America.

So he missed out on the 'doing it wrong' part of the tour.
posted by srboisvert at 6:19 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Well, that was a nice hour long nap. I'm doing all the work this morning I should've done yesterday & the day before. Halp.
posted by yoga at 6:27 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


This means even more power in the military’s hands because the military is truly the only institution in Pakistan that’s not in turmoil,” said Vikram J. Singh, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia. “But the fact is,” he added, “they already have all the power in the military. So it’s not that big a change.”

Well, that's a load of bullshit. The Pakistani military is a very troubled and divided institution. It is, indeed, the most powerful institution and yesterday's court verdict almost certainly strengthens its hand. But to pretend that it isn't a mess, or even that it's less of a mess than most other institutions is misleading at best. But yeah, interfering with democratic process in other countries is obviously something the US has never had any qualms about.
posted by bardophile at 6:37 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


I have never been a reader of either National Review or The American Conservative. I clicked on robbyrob's link above about Trump being a salesman only of himself not knowing it would take me to a Rod Dreher editorial, but read it in its entirety.

So, as someone raised by a Kennedy Democrat and a Nixon-ish Republican (it was more tumultuous than you can probably imagine), and who will be probably be defined by future generations (if we have them) as an Obama Democrat, I am not the target reader for Dreher's musings. And, they honestly contained more self-criticism and reflection than I expected. Dreher excoriates the Republican Party for its failures with the Iraq War, Katrina and Wall Street.

But some of the asides really got to me. The asides showed the combination of intellectual laziness and superiority that is a huge part of the problem with right-wing ideology. Both of those traits were also in the service of an overall nihilistic viewpoint that, it can't be stated often enough, lead the American public to both Tmurp and the pointless quest to repeal the ACA.

Dreher basically gives a laundry list of institutions he no longer believes in: the Republican Party, American government, the Catholic Church. Then he starts tacking on other institutions with shakier and shakier justifications: the American education system and American newsrooms.

And y'know, sure, it's a jeremiad; he's depressed; arguably thirty years of American conservative movement politics have culminated in failure and the most rank, black satire of their ideas in the form of Tmurp.

But to just throw in the following: "I don't have faith in American universities anymore. I don't believe in general that they really know what education is." And then have that be the sum total of your argument against American universities in an editorial that otherwise has nothing to do with the American education system shows that the real lessons of thirty years of failure of conservatism's intellectual movement are still not being learned.

I recognize that this is a minor point amidst the larger chaos of the Tmurp/Republican administration. But, I am a professor. I point that out often responding to AskMefi questions about my field. I critique what we do as professors to my colleagues, but I do it with specific points, based on specific, verifiable observations and with the humility that I could be all wrong and should be ready to entertain whatever rebuttals I hear when I give my critiques. If I told my colleagues, in any workplace, I don't believe in general that we really know what [topic x that is central to the workplace] is, they would have almost no choice, but to think "welp, Slothrop's useless."

Absolutism, and a lack of doubt, can be a pitfall to any thinker anywhere, but it is obviously axiomatic to conservative ideology. Again, I fully recognize it's a fairly minor point and one that applies to me in a personal way, but I wanted to respond.
posted by Slothrop at 6:50 AM on July 29 [131 favorites]


I haven't seen much appreciation for how thoroughly and deliberately McCain ratfucked the GOP and the President. He didn't just vote no, he let everyone think he was going to vote yes for the whole week, all the while withstanding a torrent of invective ("leaving the hospital to deny people the care he's getting"). He could have corrected that impression at any time, but he didn't. And it's very likely he knew he would be casting the deciding vote. After all, that's why he was leaving the hospital to do this Very Important Thing.

And he let them think he was with them until the very last second, when it was far too late to save face by postponing or canceling the vote. The whole act was one part no more fucks to give and one part a dish served cold. You really have to wonder what the primary motivation was for it -- was it Trump mocking the fact that he was captured and held as POW?
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:52 AM on July 29 [125 favorites]


Of course Dreher expects his opinion to be taken as fact. One of the bedrock principles of movement conservatism is that there are no other viewpoints with any validity or credibility.
posted by delfin at 6:58 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


I don't know, and perhaps we never can truly know, why McCain took the path he did, whether it was a late decision or, if not, how far back that decision was made. But it is desperately tempting to compare it with Obama's merciless bating of 45 at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Was that the key factor in what happened next? Again, who can tell - but I'd bet a packet of Marlboro Reds that Obama would have chosen not to take that shot had he seen the future.

Any history of humankind that doesn't have a large chapter on embarrassment and spite as prime motivators is going to be deplorably incomplete.
posted by Devonian at 7:02 AM on July 29 [36 favorites]


I take McCain at his word - he voted No because the way they were going about it was wrong. He stood up for integrity in the process.
posted by double bubble at 7:02 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


So he finally found a time when integrity mattered to him?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:04 AM on July 29 [26 favorites]


Any history of humankind that doesn't have a large chapter on embarrassment and spite as prime motivators is going to be deplorably incomplete.

One of the only attacks on the US mainland in WW2 was the shelling of Ellwood beach:

A naval reserve officer, Nishino commanded a merchant ship which sailed through the Santa Barbara Channel before the war. His ship had once stopped at the Ellwood Oil Field to take on a cargo of oil. Unfortunately, while walking to a welcoming ceremony, Nishino tripped and fell into a patch of prickly pear cactus (now below Fairway 11 of the Sandpiper Golf Course). A group of oil workers saw the Japanese officer having cactus spines pulled from his backside and began to laugh.[...] As a result, Nishino chose the oil field as the target for his deck gun. Most of the damage he inflicted was within 300 m (980 ft) of the spot he had fallen.

The Cactus-To-The-Ass Effect should be at least as important to our understanding of human history as the Butterfly Effect.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:10 AM on July 29 [103 favorites]


Better late than never. I'll take anything if it can jolt the republicans out of this nasty spiral they are in. I don't have a problem with conservatives if they truly believe their positions are in the best interests of the country. We disagree on how to get there and where to go but let's at least do it for the right reasons. The GOP has been operating under the desire for political survival and revenge for far too long. Please please please get back to governing for the people.
posted by double bubble at 7:12 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


I take McCain at his word - he voted No because the way they were going about it was wrong. He stood up for integrity in the process.

If you read McCain's statement on why he voted no, he says some kind of dumb things about the ACA and he follows the GOP line that Democrats "rammed it through Congress on a strict-party line vote" which, of course, is due to Republican intransigence, not any unwillingness to compromise from the Democrats. But if you can look past those things, he also says (1) this bill wouldn't deliver affordable, quality healthcare, which is a more honest assessment than you'll get from most Republicans and (2) the Senate needs to go back to bipartisan committee hearings and regular process, which it absolutely does.

Overall, this is the best statement you're going to get from someone who is still a Republican, if he actually sticks with not voting for anything that doesn't improve health care and wasn't crafted in a healthy process, it's going to be hard for McConnell to blow up the system.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:14 AM on July 29 [21 favorites]


How about we stop talking about McCain and instead talk about Collins and Murkowski?

Two No Votes On Obamacare Repeal That Were Months In The Making, Tierney Sneed, TPM.
But the continued resistance of Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) illuminated the deep distrust that accrued over the Senate leadership’s secretive process, as well as the major substantive issues in the Republican health care bill that GOP never was fully ready to engage on.

From Day 1 the two veteran senators made clear what their top concerns were. They were shut out from a private group said to be working on a closed-door health care deal that was only the start of multiple norms busted and a unprecedented lack of transparency. And rather than meet their demands on the substance, Republicans attempted to cut side deals or even bully them, until they were just written off completely.
posted by medusa at 7:15 AM on July 29 [111 favorites]


How about we stop talking about McCain and instead talk about Collins and Murkowski?

Definitely! I will remember this as a day that gave me hope about so many things.

It probably won't last long - but it's a nice feeling.
posted by double bubble at 7:18 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


In retrospect, McCain left plenty of clues in plain sight, most particularly that speech he gave after his first "yes" vote to proceed. He spends the first few minutes praising the very characteristics of Senate life which have been visibly absent recently, then drops this bomb:
We're getting nothing done. All we've really done this year is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Our healthcare insurance system is a mess. We all know it, those who support Obamacare and those who oppose it. Something has to be done. We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven't found it yet, and I'm not sure we will. All we've managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn't very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.

I voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate to continue and amendments to be offered. I will not vote for the bill as it is today. It's a shell of a bill right now. We all know that. I have changes urged by my state's governor that will have to be included to earn my support for final passage of any bill. I know many of you will have to see the bill changed substantially for you to support it.
He put it right out there in front of our faces, and nobody heard it because everyone was so certain they knew what was going to happen. This was the real reason he quit his treatment and came to DC. He watched his Republican colleagues smile and clap each other on the back and use procedural tricks to humiliate the Democrats, all the while sharpening the knife he was readying to plunge into their backs. And he kept that knife hidden until the very last possible moment, to maximize its impact. He may have voted no because it was the right thing to do, but he executed the vote in a way calculated to maximally humiliate the GOP and the President. How sweet it must have been when Trump called him on the Senate floor as the vote was being held open and he told the Donald nyet in person.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:20 AM on July 29 [71 favorites]


Please please please get back to governing for the people.

Hard to "get back" to something they've never once done. Modern Republicans have only ever had the interests of some or the rich, white, people; and corporate people, in mind.

You have to go back to the 50s and 60s to find any semblance of any part of the Republican party that could credibly care about governing outcomes for more than that set of citizens. And all those people today identify as Democrats.

They're not going to govern for the people. That's not even remotely near their stated goals for the last 40+ years. It's tax cuts, always and forever. It's spending cuts, always and forever. It's regulations are bad, always and forever. It's god and guns for the true believers while the rich get to claim every last cent of productivity. Republicans are not capable of governing, only of destroying everything America has ever built and transforming it into a theocracy ruled by a feudal white supremacist over-class.

They're not going to govern, they came to pillage, not to build.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:22 AM on July 29 [73 favorites]


And not to minimize the role Collins and Murkowski played; their stands were principled and necessary, but they also let everyone know where they stood months in advance. I am really intensely curious as to whether they were in on what McCain intended to do.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:23 AM on July 29 [17 favorites]


From Reddit:
I'm not sure if it's really being appreciated just how comprehensively the Republicans were just fucked over.

See, the Republicans have been trying to pass these godawful healthcare bills through a process called budget reconciliation, which, among other things, protects the bill from being filibustered in the Senate and only requires a simple majority of 50 votes (rather than 60, which the Republicans don't have).

The thing is, the Senate can only consider one budget reconciliation bill per topic per year. Of course, if the bill dies in committee and never comes to an official vote, it doesn't count- which is why they've been able to keep hammering away at the issue.

This bill, though, was allowed to come to the Senate floor, because the Republicans thought they'd secured the votes. Collins, Murkowski and the Democrats would vote no, everyone else would vote yes, and Pence would break the tie. And then McCain completely fucked them. And it was almost certainly a calculated move; he voted to allow the bill to come to the floor. Had McCain allowed it to die in committee, McConnell could have come back with yet another repeal bill; but he let it come to a vote, and now they can't consider another budget reconciliation bill for the rest of the fiscal year. The Senate needs 60 votes to pass any kind of healthcare reform now.

So now they're caught between a rock and a hard place. Either they concede defeat on the issue and try again later (causing a big, unpopular stink that could damage elections if they try it before the midterms, or risking losing the slim majority they already have if they wait) or they actually sit down with the democrats like adults and write a halfway decent healthcare bill.

This is amazing.

...

Budget reconciliation wasn't actually meant to be used for healthcare bills, it's meant to be used for, well, budgetary concerns. They're forcing a square peg in a round hole by arguing that the funding and tax portions of the ACA fall under "budget legislation", so that makes things a bit weird. The ACA repeal bill would, I believe, affect the "spending" and "revenues" subjects; so they've now basically blown their chance at passing anything else through reconciliation this fiscal year.
posted by zarq at 7:25 AM on July 29 [104 favorites]


McCain's speech on Tuesday was about returning the Senate to its normal functioning rules of order. Looks like he took a step to do just that, and put a halt to McConnell and Ryan's shenanigans.
posted by zarq at 7:27 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


He may have voted no because it was the right thing to do, but he executed the vote in a way calculated to maximally humiliate the GOP and the President.

I see the calculated humiliation as part of the message. He didn't just vote no - he made sure he did it explosively. He made sure to drive his point home.
posted by double bubble at 7:31 AM on July 29 [14 favorites]


The point about allowing the bill to the floor to keep it from coming back again next week is a point I hadn't heard; lovely! I look forward to having this particular, narrow strain of nonsense settled for now.
posted by kaibutsu at 7:34 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


McCain's vote was likely heavily influenced by local Arizona politics, at least to some degree. The Obamacare repeal was polling in the single digits (!) here in the state. Our other Republican Senator (Flake), who voted for repeal, is already underwater in the polls and widely seen as vulnerable. Had repeal happened, I suspect Flake's goose would have been cooked in the next election.

And although the Governor and State Legislature are controlled by Republicans, the state is trending more purplish. Registered voters are about 1/3 Republican, 1/3 Democrat and 1/3 Independent. While the Independents tend to lean Republican (or Libertarian), they are shiftable. A massively unpopular repeal of Obamacare could well have mobilized enough voters to have major effect in state politics.

Well before McCain's dramatic vote, he had already said he would be guided by the Governor's wishes on the question of repeal. Governor Ducey was on the record opposing repeal. When it became clear that Paul Ryan might have just passed the Senate's bill, McCain probably felt he had to vote it down, or risk Arizona going blue across the board, just in time for the next re-districting.
posted by darkstar at 7:34 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Except it will be back, and he'll be voting for it.
posted by Artw at 7:36 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Republican Senate must get rid of 60 vote NOW! It is killing the R Party, allows 8 Dems to control country. 200 Bills sit in Senate. A JOKE!

@HolmesJosh (McConnell's former chief of staff):
Instead of searching for the leaker, search for the idiot who keeps putting the President on irrelevant and counterproductive crusades

@costareports:
A McConnell ally pings me and says the Maj. Leader *can't stand* this kind of process advice from down the street.

---

Trump being pissed and making McConnell's life miserable is a good way to start a Saturday.
posted by chris24 at 7:36 AM on July 29 [70 favorites]


Well, while we're here - my two cents... I'm cobbling some of this together from various sources I've been reading over the past few days (Topher Spiro, 538, WaPo, Politico, etc.). Please correct if there are things wrong. A big part of this comes from Adam Jentleson, an aide to former Democratic Senator Harry Reid. His recent tweetstorm on the topic of Senate leadership provides some of this information.

McCain's enemy, and the person he intended to humiliate, is McConnell. McConnell lead the legal charge to ruin McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. That was probably McCain's signature legislation and his fellow party member ruined it; really, really, really ruined it, when you consider the effect of Citizens United.

So, then he gives a speech about how the Senate should be a deliberative body with norms that encourage bipartisanship. I do think McCain truly believes in bipartisanship and process as much or more than he believes in outcomes. He was truly outsourcing his position on the bill to his Governor because he probably does not have much legislative staff dedicated to studying health policy. I don't think he was trying to pass the buck to Arizona's Governor; I think he was really asking "Well, what do you think will happen, because I don't study this." He's not interested in it and focuses on military policy and probably staffs his office accordingly.

McCain has to be cognizant of the person who has truly destroyed the process of the Senate and that's Mitch McConnell. Not enough has been reported on the truly radical transformation of Senate operations McConnell has effected, all so that he can be Majority Leader. Notice that Republican Senator Ron Johnson publicly complained about McConnell's leadership in pretty strong terms during the bill making process. According to Jentleson, that's a lot more shocking than the public realizes. McConnell has basically consolidated power to himself at the expense of other Senators in both parties. I think some Republican Senators are starting to wake up to that fact and don't like it. I don't think they are doing it in the best interests of the American people, but the competitive nature of the system itself (McConnell only serves at the pleasure of other Republican Senators assenting to him as leader) is probably the best we got.

TL/DR: (IMO) McCain wanted to screw McConnell, who for too long has been ruining an institution McCain loves. McCain was probably somewhat indifferent to the legislation itself.
posted by Slothrop at 7:40 AM on July 29 [78 favorites]


Every. Single. Time.

2013

@realDonaldTrump:
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Senate filibuster rule. Harry Reid & Obama killed it yesterday. Rule was in effect for over 200 years.
posted by chris24 at 7:42 AM on July 29 [65 favorites]


McCain was probably somewhat indifferent to the legislation itself.

He's issued a statement unambiguously stating he is in favor of it.
posted by Artw at 7:43 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


The problem is, though, is that there _are_ maybe 10, 20 current Republican Senators who are at all capable of functioning in a Normal Order environment. That's not to say that it's their first choice but that they are physically and emotionally capable of saying that yes, My Esteemed Colleague is not a potted plant and I can exchange ideas with him or her and work towards a bipartisan compromise. But they are not in a position to act as any kind of a bloc because they do not have the courage to act on this.

There are many other Republican Senators, and far more Republican Representatives in the House who are incapable of that largely because their base has been carefully trained to be incapable of condoning that. Movement Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed by RINOs, and the answer to a thoughtful, compromise-capable representative is to primary them with an angry bomb-thrower. McCain took the bullet because circumstances suggested that he could, and the McConnells of the world have no intention whatsoever to pay attention to his post-vote speech. What matters to them is not his ideals but his betrayal, and if McCain passes away or retires abruptly his replacement will toe the line and we'll be right back to Fiat By Turtle.
posted by delfin at 7:44 AM on July 29 [13 favorites]



Trump just delivered the most chilling speech of his presidency
The president of the United States is explicitly encouraging police violence.
posted by robbyrobs at 7:45 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Procedural things aside, it's been lovely to see McConnell humiliated.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:45 AM on July 29 [29 favorites]


The thing is, the Senate can only consider one budget reconciliation bill per topic per year ... Had McCain allowed it to die in committee, McConnell could have come back with yet another repeal bill; but he let it come to a vote, and now they can't consider another budget reconciliation bill for the rest of the fiscal year.
I wasn't even aware of this. That is some finely crafted knife-twisting right there.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:48 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


I believe the Reddit theory on why the bill cannot come back has been discredited.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on July 29 [15 favorites]


Aw hell. It was such a great theory. Do you have a link, artw?
posted by zarq at 7:53 AM on July 29


Yes it has been debunked. The twitter thread the below is part of has many more details.

@Taniel:
.@KDbyProxy helpfully provides the portion of the Senate* transcript relevant to reconciliation not being shut down: [screenshot]
posted by chris24 at 7:54 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


Vulgar Palace Intrigues is the name of my new doom metal band.
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:54 AM on July 29 [18 favorites]


I believe the Reddit theory on why the bill cannot come back has been discredited.

Yeah, I really tend to doubt these "there's no rule saying a dog can't play basketball!" sort of explanations of Senate procedure.
posted by jcreigh at 7:54 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


Artw: He's issued a statement unambiguously stating he is in favor of it.

Yes, he has. And he has blamed the Democrats for the lack of bipartisanship. I have no idea what his real thoughts are, nor do any of us. I was providing a sketch of his possible motivations based on the sources I named. Jentleson's tweet storm has some context here, for instance. The WaPo's front page has a story about the McCain-McConnell divide which I haven't read, but it's not in any way my original idea.

I am not, in any way, encouraging people to relax about healthcare. I have been calling my blockhead Senators multiple times a day each day, and they also have said really backwards, up-is-down type stuff about the whole thing.
posted by Slothrop at 7:56 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


So then, McCain's vote was probably a heady mix of factors: the opportunity to grandstand and self-aggrandize, and to take a principled stand for Senatorial normal order, and to kill a bill he didn't like (the Skinny Repeal), and to send a big F.U. to both Trump and McConnell, and to address the realities of local Arizona politics, and to maneuver for a better repeal-and-replace opportunity in the future, and possibly to achieve other Byzantine ends which have not yet been ascertained and may never be fully known.

In conclusion, John McCain is a land of contrasts.
posted by darkstar at 8:00 AM on July 29 [21 favorites]


Thanks chris24! A shame.
posted by zarq at 8:01 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Except it will be back, and he'll be voting for it.

And that's OK. I mean, it's absolutely NOT OK to me -- I think ACA repeal of any flavor would be a terrible, terrible thing for the nation and its people, and the sooner we can get to single payer, the better. (Basically, if we can nudge Medicaid, Medicare, and subsidies to keep gradually expanding, they should all run into each other relatively quickly, and then we'll be just about there.) Take my Cadillac plan and give me that sweet, sweet socialized medicine, brother, hallelujah!

But it's like Egg -- his ideology and positions and goals are anathema to me, but you cannot control or negate the fact that conservatives and others have widely divergent views about government and its role and specific issues. It's awful that some people think abortion should be limited or outlawed, but some people do think that, and if those folks and forces are numerous and influential enough, they will prevail. You're never going to get the McCains, McMuffins, and Collinses to believe what we believe and want what we want.

About all that can be done is to try and ensure that voting and elections and legislative bodies work in established ways according to agreed-upon values and norms and are as non-toxic as possible. We have a long way to go to improve that. But stuff like what McCain et al. did this week are teeny steps in that direction. We have to realize, though, that even if/when the system and processes are healthy and working properly and fairly, even if you took the billionaire donors etc. out of the mix, policies and legislation will still be enacted that are abhorrent or objectionable to us. For instance, during my entire lifetime, from JFK on, even the most far leftward politicians in the US who had any ability to affect these things have been hugely more bellicose than me when it comes to the military and foreign policy. That's not going to change anytime soon; one just has to cope with it and keep chipping away. Or move to Sweden or Madagascar.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:06 AM on July 29 [14 favorites]


WaPo: John Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff, ‘won’t suffer idiots and fools’

But...I mean...his boss is an idiot and a fool.
posted by zakur at 8:09 AM on July 29 [115 favorites]



How about we stop talking about McCain and instead talk about Collins and Murkowski?


especially every time someone says McCain may be terrible, but he's the best you can hope for from a Republican. no he isn't. Lisa Murkowski is. Is she good? No. Is she better than John McCain? Much better. did she need 80 years of general adulation and freedom to vent her spleen at all times plus a brain tumor to help her on her way? nope.

Anybody who remembers the passage of the Matthew Shepard hate crimes prevention act will also remember that of the 5 (five) Republicans in the Senate willing to support it, one was Lisa Murkowski. Two of the others were Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. None of them was John McCain.

that was way back nearly 10 years ago and is just a random example, but forgetting how people actually voted on all kinds of things is crucial to being nice and forgiving towards John McCain in his twilight years.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:12 AM on July 29 [125 favorites]


WaPo: John Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff, ‘won’t suffer idiots and fools’

So basically, it's just going to be him and Barron in the empty echoing White House then: Home Alone with a General.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:12 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


WaPo: John Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff, ‘won’t suffer idiots and fools’

I'm going to take that as meaning he's an asshole who is constantly flying off the handle at tiny shit. Should be fun.
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on July 29 [62 favorites]


I wonder if we'll ever get a report of that McCain/Trump call that kept him from voting until the "P"s. Did he just trail Trump along or did he give him a good lecture on policy and how being a self centered asshole is not the most effective approach to collaborating in government?
posted by sammyo at 8:17 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I really tend to doubt these "there's no rule saying a dog can't play basketball!" sort of explanations of Senate procedure.

What we need is a Schoolhouse Rock roughly the length of the uncut Heaven's Gate.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:17 AM on July 29 [18 favorites]


oh, I thought it was more of an "I don't suffer idiots, I enjoy every second of them" kind of deal.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:18 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Let's not forget, Kelly was the guy who told Trump upon receiving a ceremonial sword at a Coast Guard commencement speech: "You can use that on the press, sir."
posted by zakur at 8:21 AM on July 29 [25 favorites]


Now I'm trying to picture Gen. Won't Suffer Fools at his first staff meeting with: Scaramucci, Bannon, Miller, Kushner, Gorka, Conway. . . .
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:22 AM on July 29 [19 favorites]


Guys, what if Kelly is also a fool
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:23 AM on July 29 [64 favorites]


I'm hearing lots of well reasoned commentary that tossing a disciplined general used to competent soldiers into chaotic barrel of vipers may not be the most effective strategy. He certainly knows he cannot just give orders but when he lays out a reasoned plan and it's twisted out of shape and 'friends' just do what they want, there may be messes that can not be fixed. There may never be an effective clean up of this group until meltdown.
posted by sammyo at 8:24 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


When people say they don't suffer fools gladly it means they're just intolerant of views which don't exactly match their own.
posted by dng at 8:26 AM on July 29 [43 favorites]


I wonder if Bannon will be around much longer given Scaramucci's...colorful...assessment of him.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:26 AM on July 29


Bringer Tom: He put it right out there in front of our faces, and nobody heard it because everyone was so certain they knew what was going to happen.

Because McCain has a bad habit of saying something brave then backing the party line when it comes time to vote. 538 had an interesting analysis of McCain's vote history as an abstract, looking at an average of GOP votes and where the vocal conservative movement has gone, noting "Congress has become more polarized, but McCain has stayed put."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:30 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


Those orders need to come from Trump via The Marine who carries "The Football"

I believe he has a sidearm, and orders from some 1960's - 1970's RAND Corporation ("dual") study of what we should do if the President is compromised by Russia.

Oh, good then, nothing to worry about, it's not like any of those aides have shown poor judgement or an inability to say "No" to rich douchebags.

posted by NorthernLite at 8:31 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]



I have zero faith in Trump's ability to negotiate his way out of nuclear war, so I'm thankful for my old friend, the Ohio class ballistic missile submarine.


I don't think you can navigate a submarine into the White House living quarters even if you flood the metro tunnels with water to give it an access route for part of the way. give it a try though, sure, why not.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:31 AM on July 29 [25 favorites]


It was a little disappointing that McCain's shenanigans did not actually kill the healthcare changes, but I can imagine he thought it might. They won't want to try again in a hurry, anyway.

Speaking of Murkowski:
After her conference speech, Murkowski was approached by a teacher who said she would not be alive today without health care provided by the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

Speaking to reporters, Murkowski said she heard from another woman undergoing treatment for cancer.

“She needs to just focus on getting her body whole, but she’s got another series (of treatments) to come up, and she was saying, I can’t focus on myself … because I’m so worried that something’s going to happen to my health care and I will be labeled with a pre-existing condition and I’m never going to be able to get health care again,” Murkowski said. “It’s these types of stories that remind me that no, the importance of a timeline is not nearly as important as getting this right.”
There's a difference, I think, between Republicans who listen and Republicans who don't. The people who managed to talk to Murkowski and convince her there was a big problem with their approach are true American heroes.
posted by Merus at 8:32 AM on July 29 [129 favorites]


TL/DR: (IMO) McCain wanted to screw McConnell

This is the most believable thing, far more than all this blah blah actual principles horeseshit. McCain is notorious for being petty and vindictive and holding a grudge. Find someone in aviation who can better recall the story of his years-long fucking-over of someone (and by virtue, the organization he headed) who he didn't like.
posted by phearlez at 8:34 AM on July 29 [17 favorites]


When people say they don't suffer fools gladly it means they're just intolerant of views which don't exactly match their own.

Oh God yes...my reaction to a General rank officer that says they don't suffer fools would be "I bet you do when they outrank you". You don't usually rise that high in the military without playing the political game and occasionally swallowing your pride when a congresscritter or a superior officer says or does something stupid.

Basically, a General saying he doesn't suffer fools is simply a reaffirmation that there are privileges of rank to be able to marginalize or disregard subordinates when they say or do something you don't like.

So yeah, it'll be very interesting to see how that flies in the farce that is Trump's reality clownshow.
posted by darkstar at 8:37 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


While the carnival of fools that leaks to, shouts at, runs away from the press keeps us all entertained, I am extremely uneasy about the role the Bannon, Miller and Gorka play in all this, precisely because we do not see it in the press. The pres*dent does something obnoxious and we wonder what role they had, but we never get to know. They don't answer to the press and they don't even have real jobs or titles or responsibilities. They are mad as hatters and fucking evil to boot, with known fondness for ushering in the collapse of the civilized order, though they probably have three different goals there.
posted by stonepharisee at 8:37 AM on July 29 [15 favorites]


Just caught up on US politics after spending over three days avoiding, ignoring or missing it. Heck, a lot can happen in three days. Bits of it are even rationale, and occasionally positive.

I notice that Paddy Power are offering quite short odds of 4/9 on "FBI to explicitly confirm that they have evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the result of the 2016 US Presidential election. Charges must then be brought against members of the Trump campaign team for bet to be a winner. Closing December 31st 2017."
posted by Wordshore at 8:38 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


[Several comments deleted. Please reload folks. If you think a comment is offensive you can flag it. If you're outside the US, don't worry, you don't need to tell us Trump is bad.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:39 AM on July 29 [13 favorites]


Yeah, the big vote wasn't on final passage of the bill, it was on an amendment with the text they wanted to pass. The bill (House AHCA language) is still out there on the calendar, but they've taken it off the floor because they don't have the votes to pass it.

If they ever find language that would get 50 Senators, or if they want to do some other reconciliation bill, all they have to do is bring the bill back and write another substitute amendment to wipe out the current text and replace it with what they want. Not much debate time left, either, though unlimited amendment/vote-a-rama rules would still apply.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:46 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]




I don't think you can navigate a submarine into the White House living quarters even if you flood the metro tunnels with water to give it an access route for part of the way. give it a try though, sure, why not.

I'm gonna have a nice cold Nuka Cola and think on this plan.

posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:50 AM on July 29 [16 favorites]


Quick shout out to two of my favorite Anti-Trump voices lately:

Watergate special prosecutor* Jill Wine-Banks and former White House ethics lawyer for GWB, Richard Painter.

* Wikipedia: Wine-Volner received media attention during the trial for her lawyering and for wearing miniskirts. Of course it sucks that her clothes were ever an issue, but I like the fact that she was an early adopter of wearing miniskirts to court.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:53 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


There's a difference, I think, between Republicans who listen and Republicans who don't. The people who managed to talk to Murkowski and convince her there was a big problem with their approach are true American heroes.

This.
After the vote, I went to a bunch of the Republican senators Twitter pages to thank or insult them, as the case warrented. I thought, based on all of their speeches about how they have promised their constituents for 8 years they would repeal Obamacare, that their Twitter feeds would be full of pleas to vote yes and admonishments for those who voted no. I looked for 15 minutes and barely found a couple of tweets like that. Almost every one was people pleading to keep Obamacare and vote no. What bothers me is that the vast majority of the American people did not want this to pass, and yet it came down to one vote in the Senate. This is not ok. These people are not even pretending to represent their constituents. It's dismaying.
posted by greermahoney at 8:55 AM on July 29 [113 favorites]



I don't think you can navigate a submarine into the White House living quarters even if you flood the metro tunnels with water to give it an access route for part of the way. give it a try though, sure, why not.


I was thinking just drop it directly onto his head, or if that's too difficult you might be able to just roll it over him. If rolling is in fact your game, however, I would reccomend the much rounder Los Angeles class submarine instead.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:57 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


What fresh hell awaits us this week? Which aspect of reality will be denied using sophistry galling to both logic and common decency? Which societal norm is going to drop below the horizon behind us as we trudge towards outright autocracy? Which basic feature of civilization will be declared an enemy of the state? Who will ascend as this week's new lying amoral goblin and what will be their connection to Russia? What formerly unthinkable event will be declared as a chaotic distraction from an even worse revelation? Who will be served up as the traitorous super villain responsible for this week's controversy? Which cartoonishly evil figure will we find ourselves reluctantly repositioning as "not so bad?" How many times will we hear the new historians and experts in constitutional law confidently declare that Watergate took two years and that the President cannot pardon state crimes? What new federal crime will be placed at the feet of Robert Mueller to investigate? What preposterous chain events will we entertain as possible in order fight off abject despondency?

Find out this week on "Uncultured Barbarians Dismantling Civil Society."
posted by milarepa at 9:00 AM on July 29 [38 favorites]


Given how often "there's no rule saying a dog can't play basketball!" comes up in these threads, I wonder if they actually teach the Air Bud Theory in law schools. It seems like an instructive example.
posted by heathkit at 9:08 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


I think it's popular because the "Air Bud Theory" closely matches how a lot people imagine law works: a set of rigid precepts that can only be followed exactly as literally rendered and can be "beaten" if you find a magic loophole. The extreme end of this is the Sovereign Citizen people.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:12 AM on July 29 [60 favorites]


Daniel Hoffman, former chief of station for the CIA: The Russians Were Involved. But It Wasn’t About Collusion. [NYT]

Tl;dr: "This operation was meant to be discovered." Hoffman believes that the Kushner/DonJr-Veselnitskaya meeting was not about Team Trump establishing a Kremlin line. The meeting itself is kompromat.

[linking != endorsement]
posted by runcifex at 9:12 AM on July 29 [19 favorites]


So /r/the_donald is writing legislation now.

Margaret Sullivan, Mashable: H.Res.477, which was proposed on Wednesday, calls for an investigation into the alleged misconduct of Hillary Clinton and James Comey.

It turns out that a staffer in Gaetz's office by the name of Devin Murphy, under the thinly veiled reddit pseudonym of Devinm666, reportedly took to r/The_Donald for help writing the legislation. Murphy was eventually outed by three Twitter users [ ] after they noted Devinm666's frequent activity on the r/The_Donald subreddit and his insider knowledge of the legislative process. [...] The suggestions he received show up in the finished amendment.

When asked for comment by Wired, Rep. Gaetz responded via email: "It is the responsibility of our staff to gather as much information as possible when researching a subject and provide that information for consideration. We pride ourselves on seeking as much citizen input as possible."

posted by Rust Moranis at 9:13 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


Every. Single Time.

2012.

@realDonaldTrump

3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can't manage to pass his agenda.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 9:15 AM on July 29 [29 favorites]


No more need for political analogies on the healthcare vote, folks. We have a winner.

@sirosenbaum: McCain came thru like Gollum at Mt Doom
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:22 AM on July 29 [110 favorites]


Given how often "there's no rule saying a dog can't play basketball!" comes up in these threads, I wonder if they actually teach the Air Bud Theory in law schools. It seems like an instructive example.

I brought it up in Contracts but our professor was ... under-thused.

posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:23 AM on July 29 [12 favorites]


I think it's popular because the "Air Bud Theory" closely matches how a lot people imagine law works: a set of rigid precepts that can only be followed exactly as literally rendered and can be "beaten" if you find a magic loophole.

To be fair, there ought to be a "lawyer's disease" to go along with "engineer's disease", where lawyers expound on things on the internet as if the only thing required for a just society is a literal reading of the law. These people are surely also on the lookout for "one weird trick". I don't think this is strictly a "non-lawyers don't understand the law" thing.
posted by hoyland at 9:26 AM on July 29 [14 favorites]


Beyond the weirdness of often agreeing with Jennifer Rubin, is living in a world where Bill Kristol is now often right.

@BillKristol:
Trump knows Senate R's won't get rid of filibuster. So he's setting up a (fake) excuse for failure. Six months in, Trump expects to fail.
posted by chris24 at 9:27 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


Daniel Hoffman, former chief of station for the CIA: The Russians Were Involved. But It Wasn’t About Collusion. [NYT]

Tl;dr: "This operation was meant to be discovered." Hoffman believes that the Kushner/DonJr-Veselnitskaya meeting was not about Team Trump establishing a Kremlin line. The meeting itself is kompromat.


Even assuming this is true? The answer is the same: vote out of office, impeach, and prosecute. The minute Trump & the GOP do something worthy of their office, I'll stop calling for those solutions, but until then, it's all fuel for the engine to take them down.
posted by saysthis at 9:28 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Trump knows Senate R's won't get rid of filibuster. So he's setting up a (fake) excuse for failure. Six months in, Trump expects to fail.

Possibly so, but this theory suggests a degree of Trumpian strategic thinking, foresight and message discipline that so far is in little evidence.
posted by darkstar at 9:33 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


Oh I think he's great at making excuses and blaming others. That's not really 12th dimensional chess.
posted by chris24 at 9:36 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


> 3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can't manage to pass his agenda.

Maybe he was complaining that Obama was only averaging one chief of staff per year.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:38 AM on July 29 [21 favorites]


For those interested in a slightly deeper analysis of the DPRK's recent ICBM launches, I highly recommend two of the most recent episodes of the Arms Control Wonk podcast: first launch, second launch.

The second episode is less analysis and more "how take" since they did it so soon after the second launch, but still better than 95% of the news coverage I've seen on this issue.

The depressing conclusion the hosts come to (and I agree with), is that we simply have to accept that North Korea is now a nuclear power capable of holding the continental US at risk. And therefore, as much as we dislike that regime, we'll have to treat them as such, including what that implies about mutual deterrence of other military actions. Kim Jong Un is not going anywhere anytime soon.
posted by fencerjimmy at 9:39 AM on July 29 [12 favorites]


I have zero faith in Trump's ability to negotiate his way out of nuclear war, so I'm thankful for my old friend, the Ohio class ballistic missile submarine. I'm thankful for the men and women I served with who are continuing to stand watch to ensure that any fucker that wants to take a swing at us had better be very, very sure about it. It's a small, cold comfort, but it's still a comfort when our lives are in his small, cold hands.

Ugh, no. No, no, no. We don't need more of this "nuke that fucker" language. This is the kind of stuff that Fox & Friends says when they casually float the idea of preemptively nuking 20 million innocent North Koreans over their morning coffee like sociopaths.

With Trump, the danger isn't negotiating our way out of nuclear war, it's negotiating our way into nuclear war as a goal. Because he's been talking about using nukes in interviews since the 1980s. Because he talked about using them as a solution in the debates. Because he doesn't seem to believe in diplomacy or a strong State Department. Because he likes to play the tough guy to make up for all his Vietnam deferments. Because he doesn't seem to care about the well-being of other human beings in a normal way. Because he likely doesn't even understand the concept of radiation and nuclear fallout. Because his only week of relatively good press was when he bombed things in Syria. Honestly, is there any doubt that Trump would probably brag in one of his rallies about being the second president in history to use nukes?

"Well, at least we nuked them first" isn't a victory condition, at least in my book. It means we failed as a nation in every possible. We failed by electing Trump, we failed by putting him at the top of a nuclear launch chain with virtually no checks & balances, and we failed to force him to find a diplomatic solution instead of killing 20 million innocent North Koreans and 1 asshole. No, I would feel nothing but shame and horror if we solve these problems with a boomer.
posted by bluecore at 9:40 AM on July 29 [55 favorites]


the President is now threatening to destroy the insurance markets...and members of Congress?

@realdonaldtrump: "If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!"
posted by lalex at 9:42 AM on July 29 [24 favorites]


North Korea may not have a small enough nuclear weapon to fit on to their ICBM, but they could put chemical or biological weapons on it now.

It wouldn't be very practical. An ICBM flies into space, coming back it has so much speed (gravitation acceleration minus atmospheric friction) that energy imparted by the missile itself is equal to or greater than any conventional explosive it could carry. (Force (Newtons) = Mass (kg) x Velocity^2 (meters per second squared)). Chemical or biological agents aboard and ICBM would likely be engulfed in impact heat before they could be dispersed (unless the thing came down via parachute which would then make it an easier target). That is why nukes are wanted. People who know physics could probably explain this all better, but that is my basic understanding (and as always, I may be marvelously wrong).
posted by phoque at 9:45 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Nope, no chess-playing here, eleventh-dimensional or otherwise. It's an endless game of fail at tic-tac-toe, throw toddler tantrum, rip up paper, rinse and repeat.

I recall a picture of Trump's glum face on election night even as he was winning. I think he really didn't expect to win and was, and is, flummoxed at actually having to work and govern rather than be the shit-stirring opposition. I surmise he was counting on HRC winning and getting to sit back and bloviate all about what a winner he would have been, Crooked Hillary, Lock Her Up, etc. etc. and in general being King of the Reddits.

Likewise, I think most Republicans (probably not Collins, Murkowski, and a few others) were just settling in to be the Party of No, as they had been since Obama was elected. It was so easy for them to make political hay out of Whatever The Black Guy Wants We Said NO. It played well to the racist base. Now they're the party in power, they have to actually govern, make laws, and all that boring stuff, and they are lost. The Party of No can't transform itself into the Party of Can Do because their muscles have atrophied.

The Republicans, by and large, are now propped up by a combination of wealthy donors and white racism. It's becoming clear that this is about all that is sustaining them.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:45 AM on July 29 [75 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. No jokes about nuclear war. Not dark humor, not cynically snarky observations, please just don't.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:45 AM on July 29 [38 favorites]


3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can't manage to pass his agenda.
Maybe he was complaining that Obama was only averaging one chief of staff per year.


The citizens of South Carolina were warned: “We're going to win so much. You're going to get tired of winning" The staff change is just Winning! Like Charlie Sheen - Winning!

Metafilter: ‘Please Mr. President, I have a headache. Please, don't win so much. This is getting terrible.’
posted by rough ashlar at 9:48 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


>> I think it's popular because the "Air Bud Theory" closely matches how a lot people imagine law works: a set of rigid precepts that can only be followed exactly as literally rendered and can be "beaten" if you find a magic loophole.

> To be fair, there ought to be a "lawyer's disease" to go along with "engineer's disease", where lawyers expound on things on the internet as if the only thing required for a just society is a literal reading of the law. These people are surely also on the lookout for "one weird trick". I don't think this is strictly a "non-lawyers don't understand the law" thing.


The worst version of this comes from people who stand at the intersection of law and the tech industry. See (to take the most prominent example) Lawrence Lessig, the guy who genuinely thought that what the American public wanted in 2016 was a presidential candidate running as a personal referendum on campaign finance reform — he pledged that if elected he'd push through campaign finance reform and then resign — and who lost the biggest case of his career because:
  1. He had a too clever by half "one weird trick" argument, and
  2. despite all evidence to the contrary, he genuinely believed that the Supreme Court was an apolitical organization — he thought it would be unfair if the Supreme Court were political, that the law wouldn't mean anything without an apolitical foundation under it, and then based on those feelings "reasoned" that the Supreme Court therefore really was apolitical.
Engineers get engineer's disease because the social position and training of engineers teaches them to view themselves as the smartest people possible — which in turn leads them toward authoritarianism — and because it encourages them to view social problems as a subset of technical problems rather than viewing technical problems as a subset of social problems. This isn't an American issue, it's a longstanding worldwide one — recall that most of the high leadership of the Soviet Union were trained as engineers, and note how badly things turned out every time they tried a brute-force engineering solution to a social/political/economic problem.

Lawyers, on the other hand, get lawyer's disease — this is a great term, by the way, and I am totally going to steal it — because their social position and training encourages them toward liberalism, in the liberal-not-left sense: because they are trained to see formal processes as themselves potentially establishing justice, they often become convinced that formal processes really do establish justice. And then, as a sort of ego-defense measure used to justify their own participation in the system, they proceed to willfully ignore the clear evidence indicating otherwise.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:54 AM on July 29 [93 favorites]


Beyond the weirdness of often agreeing with Jennifer Rubin, is living in a world where Bill Kristol is now often right.

Whenever one of these two is on MSNBC (!) these days, they're pretty much completely indistinguishable from a sensible person, and I sit there and think: This is Bill Kristol! Satanic Bill Kristol the neocon of PNAC. PNAC FOR GOD'S SAKE. Bill Kristol, GW Bush, Charles Krauthammer, and George Effing Will are fellow travelers now. What the fucking fuck?
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:56 AM on July 29 [39 favorites]


Daniel Hoffman, former chief of station for the CIA: The evidence that has emerged from this meeting strongly suggests that this was not an effort to establish a secure back channel for collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign . . .

Well OK, but hello, Kushner allegedly made that effort himself when he met with Kislyak and explicitly suggested setting up a secure back channel using the Russian embassy's facilities.

If that story is false, then the Russian operation was definitely trying to paint a picture of collusion. If it's true, Kushner, while an idiot, was definitely in a collusion-adjacent neighborhood, trying to evade the U.S. national security apparatus and undermine the Obama administration's position on sanctions, Syria, or whatever else.
posted by mubba at 10:19 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


No more need for political analogies on the healthcare vote, folks. We have a winner.

@sirosenbaum: McCain came thru like Gollum at Mt Doom


I rather like @danwlin's LOTR analogy:
TRUMP: No man can stop the repeal bill

MURKOWSKI (removing helmet): I AM NO MAN
posted by zakur at 10:23 AM on July 29 [126 favorites]


We're going to win so much. You're going to get tired of winning

That was a typo. It should be "We're going to whine so much. You're going to get tired of whining."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:23 AM on July 29 [64 favorites]


I would add "white sexism" to "white racism" as propping up the Republicans. Homophobia and transphobia as well. They're the Party of 'Ist and 'Phobe. I read somewhere in comments on either Lawyers, Guns and Money or Love, Joy, Feminism that Republican politicians are trying to please donors (by dismantling the safety net and enriching the 1%) while fooling voters (by mouthing all the racist, sexist, bigoted shit that R voters eat up with a spoon, promising to put Scary Brown People and Uppity Women in their place and return the country to a mythical 1950's). And, so far, it's worked. But it looks like the wheels are starting to come off, especially when people don't want their healthcare taken away and politicians are pretty much blatantly telling their constituents, "I don't work for you and I won't listen to you. Go to hell."

I'm reading Robert Sapolsky's Behave (link goes to Guardian review). He notes that while being conservative or liberal is not correlated with intelligence, right wing authoritarians do have lower intelligence. Simple people want simple answers, and tend to fear anyone not like them. It's terribly easy to fool them and whip them up into a frenzy. It makes me wonder how many of them are going to Stand By Their Man when jobs don't materialize and their safety nets are threatened.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:26 AM on July 29 [45 favorites]


Given the news about North Korea, this would be a great time to start calling your senators about the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act. It was introduced way back in January and appears to be sitting in committee - the Foreign Relations Committee. The Senate just passed the Russia sanctions bill (which includes sanctions against Iran and North Korea, which I hadn't known). Ben Cardin, the committee's Ranking Member, says "The Congress of the United States has sent a clear message tonight to the governments of the Russian Federation, Iran and North Korea – there will be consequences for their dangerous, destabilizing activities against our country", so North Korea is clearly on their minds (as indeed it should be).

The Russia-North Korea-Iran sanctions bill passed the Senate with 98 votes. In the middle of a massive partisan fight, that's an incredible bipartisan effort. The Republican committee chair said "I hope the overwhelming support for this legislation can serve as an example for what can be accomplished when Congress works together and puts the interests of the American people first."

Call your senators. Call the heads of the committee, Senator Bob Corker and Senator Ben Cardin. If you still have time, go ahead and call the rest of the committee. You get the most mileage out of calling your own senators, but the committee members are working for all Americans, and there's no harm in calling them too.

Call, call, call. Fax. Email. We just had an amazing victory. Let's go for the next one.
posted by kristi at 10:32 AM on July 29 [22 favorites]


Talking Points Memo has a timeline of How the Hit Went Down on Reince:
What they show quite clearly is that Air Force One landed. The President waited for Priebus to get off the plane before tweeting that he was fired. He then waited for Priebus to be escorted away before leaving the plane himself. There’s even a Godfather-esque moment in how the SUVs were handled.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:40 AM on July 29 [52 favorites]


[ICBM-borne non-nuclear weapons] wouldn't be very practical.

ICBM-born conventional weapons are in (early) active development.

(Force (Newtons) = Mass (kg) x Velocity^2 (meters per second squared)).

This isn't a real equation: a newton is a kilogram-meter per second squared, so these units don't match. Maybe you were thinking of kinetic energy, which is 1/2 m v^2.
posted by lozierj at 10:43 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


JFC, what a fucking coward Trump is.
posted by zakur at 10:44 AM on July 29 [36 favorites]


Second, the US military already made it clear that they would follow Trump's orders of a nuclear strike.

The commanders don't and can't speak for the guys at the consoles. That's a bit like the police chiefs saying their force doesn't condone prisoner abuse. They hope that, they acknowledge that's what the rules are, they may even think it'll really happen that way, but they can't know that. Hell, even the guys at the consoles can't know it in advance until the moment comes.

Problem is, there are enough nukes where "some will, some won't" means some will.
posted by ctmf at 10:52 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


It's especially cowardly for someone whose finishing move is supposedly firing people. It's starting to dawn on me that he might be a fucking liar, you guys.
posted by lydhre at 10:54 AM on July 29 [57 favorites]


Second, the US military already made it clear that they would follow Trump's orders of a nuclear strike.

Of course it would be a literal military coup for them to say that they will not follow the President's orders.
posted by shothotbot at 11:09 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


It's especially cowardly for someone whose finishing move is supposedly firing people. It's starting to dawn on me that he might be a fucking liar, you guys.

COWARDICE IS COURAGE
posted by dng at 11:16 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Sigh.

Politico, 7/29: Senate Republicans to make another attempt at Obamacare repeal
Trump met with three Republican senators on Friday about a proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to block grant federal health care funding to the states and keep much of Obamacare’s tax regime. White House officials also met with House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), according to two sources familiar with the meeting...

In theory, the Senate could bring back up their party line budget “reconciliation” effort to gut Obamacare as soon as next week. Graham’s bill has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office and did not receive a test vote this week. It currently has a small group of supporters and will likely need major work to pass the Senate, like language defunding Planned Parenthood which would likely alienate a pair of moderate senators.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 11:17 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


If the President actually took us into nuclear war, a literal military coup might well be preferable.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:17 AM on July 29 [14 favorites]


And I mean, I'm not one of the people fantasizing about a military coup, but at some point you need to put species before country.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:18 AM on July 29 [45 favorites]


I've already decided how I'm going to explain this presidency to young people decades from now.

"How could you elect this asshole President?"
"We were drunk."
"Who was?"
"Everyone. The whole country went on a collassal bender and when we came to, Trump was president."
posted by jonmc at 11:20 AM on July 29 [19 favorites]


"Collassal bender" indeed.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 11:25 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


We should have all just voted for Deez Nuts like we wanted to. At least weed would be legal.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:31 AM on July 29 [19 favorites]


I've already decided how I'm going to explain this presidency to young people decades from now.

"How could you elect this asshole President?"
"We were drunk."


This lets assholes off way too easily and dismisses people who fought to prevent this clusterfuck. Drunk? No we weren't. Most of us were paying attention, but too many people were hateful bigots/non-thinkers/deplorables who didn't care what happened to the country or the world.

I Survived 2016 But My Sense of Humor Didn't
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 11:33 AM on July 29 [76 favorites]


From a bit up thread,

Bringer Tom: [McCain] may have voted no because it was the right thing to do, but he executed the vote in a way calculated to maximally humiliate the GOP and the President.

I didn't catch onto this while it was happening, but in all the recaps and videos of his vote I noticed that he didn't vote when his name was up on the roll call. Collins and Murkowski got their 'No's' in when their names were called, and McCain waited until Murkowski got her vote in. But as soon as she did he went to the front, got the clerk's attention, and put his 'no' vote down. As soon as he did, the vote was decided, and all of the GOP Senators from P through Z and anyone else waiting past their roll call voted 'Aye' on a bill that was already dead. Every single one of those Aye's is an attack ad for the primary challenger and the Dem opponent in those senators' next election. That's humiliation.
posted by carsonb at 11:33 AM on July 29 [23 favorites]


Neither did U.S. Air Force Captain William Bassett when he received direct orders to launch.

Two months after that original post, the linked article added a note that a refuting article had been published elsewhere. Spidey-sense quote:
"I'm the only one who has been cleared to talk about it," Bordne told Stars and Stripes.

Other missileers who dispute him are either lying about being on duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis or are jealous of not receiving Air Force approval to discuss the near-launch, he said.
posted by The arrows are too fast at 11:35 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


From far upthread, but

I know it's not true, but the longer I stare at that screenshot the more the thought comes to me: we must have done something to deserve this

We did. We were already skating on thin ice, what with our persistent demands for dignity and equality for all Americans, but then we did the unthinkable: we tried to get America to respect a black man and follow his leadership. For eight years. And then if that wasn't bad enough, we followed that up by trying to get America to respect and follow a woman. Everything that has happened since, up to and including the current Trump circus, can be traced back to those events.

We had the temerity to challenge the idea that America is run by, and exists primarily for the benefit of, rich old white men. And the rich old white men cannot and will not forgive us for that affront.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:37 AM on July 29 [75 favorites]


@Marshall_Cohen
7/21 Spicer quits
7//24 Kushner's Russia interview
7/25 BCRA fails
7/26 Repeal-only fails
7/28 Skinny repeal fails
7/28 Priebus fired

---

Add to this:

7/26 Trump tweets transgender ban
7/26 Trump's Boy Scout speech
7/26 Scaramucci tweets accusation to FBI and DOJ of Reince leaking a public disclosure
7/27 Scaramucci gives insane interview to New Yorker's Ryan Lizza saying Bannon fellates himself
7/28 Trump's speech advocating police brutality
7/28 Scaramucci's wife files for divorce

And I'm sure I'm missing things as well. American Heroes week was quite the week.
posted by chris24 at 11:41 AM on July 29 [37 favorites]


Metafilter: I Survived 2016 But My Sense of Humor Didn't
posted by deludingmyself at 11:41 AM on July 29 [59 favorites]


These people are not even pretending to represent their constituents. It's dismaying.

Yyyeah, but if I'm as charitable about other people's motivations as I can be, I can kind of see how that could happen. Members of Congress are representatives, yes, but also supposed to be leaders. Senate moreso than the chamber that literally has "representative" in the name. The leader's job is sometimes to do the right thing even if the followers don't recognize it yet. I think this is what those you're talking about are telling themselves at night?

Doesn't really excuse them, since a good leader who knows he or she is going against the followers would educate the followers to eliminate the conflict. And these people are hiding from angry crowds. But the "leader" rationalization, plus a bit of self-serving imagining of the "silent supporters" explains a lot that doesn't require total malice.
posted by ctmf at 11:43 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Nuclear weapons are not about the strike. They're about the threat of a strike. Nobody with a nuclear weapon wants to use a nuclear weapon. But for the deterrent effect to work, your enemies have to believe 100% that you would use the weapon. Commanders cannot say they wouldn't follow the order without damaging their deterrent power, making it more likely that they might actually have to make that decision someday.
posted by ctmf at 11:52 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


I am sure the good boy remembers to Rience his Priebus, and then wash his hands, before he says his prayers at night. Only then can he read his "comics" under the covers by flashlight.

What amazes me is a person like Priebus is educated, and should have, somewhere, somehow figured out what rough shape the world is in for about 65% of those who live in it. Then with his alleged Christianity, he could have used his energies and wherewithal to do something positive about the human condition, according to the exhortations of his alleged religion. But no, his effects are, over a lifetime, negative. I don't feel sorry for him, he isn't going home to a slum, he is going home to steak cooked right for a change.

The distracting "moral" issues that divert from real social uplift, like abortion, access to immoral birth control, free food for the lazy, he is on the side of wealthy scammers who depend on the pyramid of the poor walking them around, to maintain his place in the dark moral current, feeding on his allotment of fame, influence, and material comfort.

Again, the issue of the day is the death of the oil industry, and the other industries involved in harvest of free resources from the planet, and resale of what were the passive remains of ancient life, posing as for our ease, for our comfort, but really for the advancement of easy access to wealth, regardless if the whole world chokes on it.

This wretched personnel whirlygig at the White House, and the malefactor attempts to vacuum up any sort of security for the people of our nation, the amazing natural resources of our nation, is the thrashing fever dream of those who have had it for free, for too long. They are the early death throes of a self demolishing system. We should not let the militarization of our entire approach to life on Earth, eat us and the Earth, while we still live.

The average age of the eighteenth century factory worker at death was 17. Now we get to serve a lot longer. We didn't have a lot of choices to do things differently, but I maintain the pressure to go to the New World, had to do with a return to the normalcy of living on the world, rather than living at the pleasure of the well connected. Difficult as that was, I am sure it beat the hell out of what they had going, otherwise why would they have risked it all?

Mark my words Trump Hotel, Yosemite, Trump Hotel, Yellowstone. Where I live there is consensus to shrink Sequoia National Park, and to manage the timber sales, because we can't come up with the money to maintain it. This is an emergent hostage situation, with all the national resources. We are being served notice that the rich won't be taxed for maintenance of our infrastructure or wild lands, they will take the money, and the money from destroying, harvesting, reselling our wild spaces, under the guise of better management, and tax relief. What about infrastructure? Toll bridges everywhere, travel in the nation prohibitive in cost to low income families, privatized parks? No open lands? It is as if the well connected are saying, you will not tax our profits, you have to do with out a lawn, you can't afford those trees, we'll sell those, also for our benefit.

I don't feel bad for people that work the White House for this economic demagogue bully, serving robber demagogues. I feel bad about the threats to our national security because he is not emotionally competent to make good international diplomacy, and then to advocate for civil, and police violence inside our borders, that is the icing on the cake of duh. He knows not one thing about how a proper human behaves. Proof of this is a whole lot of people and organizations you would not have expected to do so, are taking a higher road, the states and cities supporting The Paris Accords, the military supporting their troops, including their trans troops. Anyway, I don't feel bad for anyone who willingly enters a relationship with someone like Trump, McConnell, or Ryan.
posted by Oyéah at 11:53 AM on July 29 [38 favorites]


The whole country went on a collassal bender and when we came to, Trump was president.

Systemic racism is a helluva drug.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 11:55 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


mikelieman, my demon hunter's name in WoW is Threadfall, and I was just in Discord explaining the reference to some guildies who have never had the pleasure of reading those books and tabbed over to see your comment and thought I was going crazy for a minute.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:57 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Politico, 7/29: Senate Republicans to make another attempt at Obamacare repeal

NO. BAD SENATE. Go back to your districts and think about what you've done!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:58 AM on July 29 [29 favorites]


The Democrats need to help the Republicans out with tax reform if we want this ACA repeal bullshit to die for more than five minutes. But they need to demand more than "we'll stop casting repeal Obamacare" In exchange for tax reform help, they need a "fix the ACA" bill that is fully funded by Twitler and Congress. This will mean that middle class folks will get shafted YET AGAIN, but lack of health care/insurance is more of an existential threat to most people than an unfair tax burden.
posted by xyzzy at 12:07 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


> The Democrats need to help the Republicans out with tax reform if we want this ACA repeal bullshit to die for more than five minutes.

On what basis do you believe that Democrats "helping the Republicans out with 'tax reform' [sic]" would prevent them from going back to the ACA repeal well? The state of play right now is that without Democrats conceding anything, the GOP has shown no ability to get to 51 votes. *If* McCain, Murkowski, or Collins were to suddenly change their tune, then maybe we could talk about cutting deals, but if the Republicans want to keep bringing up ACA repeal ideas that are doomed to fail, let them. There's no reason to pre-emptively surrender on the basis that they might get the votes. Make them show their cards first.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:11 PM on July 29 [35 favorites]


You're missing the fact that the Republicans are already killing the ACA non-legislatively by defunding it. It's the announced strategy. Unless the Democrats can get "fix and fund the ACA" done, the ACA is dead in a couple years without a single bill passed.
posted by xyzzy at 12:16 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Which is why it needs to be issue number 1 for 2018.
posted by Artw at 12:19 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Uppity Women in their place and return the country to a mythical 1950's

I was actually reading a really good book recently about how the myth of the family in the 1950s ignores the decades that have gone before it, and the forces that shape the 1950s themselves, in reaction to the 1930s and 1940s, when multigenerational family living was required because of economic necessity.

Essentially it's not just that people want to return to a mythical 1950s, it's that they want to return to a mythical combination of the best of the 1880s, 1920s, 1930s, and 1950s, but ignoring the bad stuff each of those decades had.

So if you want mothers sacrificing everything and gently guiding their children, you have the 1880s, but then husbands and wives are essentially strangers to each other. If you want wives focusing totally on their husbands, then you want the 1920s, but then there's not as much interaction with the children. If you want inter-generational family times, from the 1930s, you can have them, but they come with a lot of authoritarian shit and trouble with intergenerational standards of raising children. Even leaving the economic shit alone, the 1950s come with a lot of other baggage, as women were culturally and legally pushed to "do it all" - with institutionalizations for false schizophrenia if they didn't.
posted by corb at 12:21 PM on July 29 [92 favorites]


The Democrats need to help the Republicans out with tax reform

The only thing the Democrats need to help the Republicans with is wiping their asses.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:22 PM on July 29 [7 favorites]


This isn't a real equation: a newton is a kilogram-meter per second squared, so these units don't match. Maybe you were thinking of kinetic energy, which is 1/2 m v^2.

Yes, thank you lozierj. (Kinda knew I was totally wrong, looked it up after posting and felt like an idiot, but that is normal for me.)
posted by phoque at 12:22 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Which is why it needs to be issue number 1 for 2018.
So we can pass a bill in one house, have it fail the other, or even if it squeaks by, get vetoed by Trump/Pence/Ryan/Hatch? That doesn't actually fix things. This needs to be a bipartisan process.
posted by xyzzy at 12:23 PM on July 29


> You're missing the fact that the Republicans are already killing the ACA non-legislatively by defunding it.

I'm well aware of the ongoing efforts to undermine the ACA. However, Congressional Republicans are not honest negotiating partners, and there is very little they can do to tie Trump's hands on the executive action / inaction that he's using to attack the exchanges because he has a veto pen. The GOP will never provide enough votes to override a Trump veto just to keep a handshake agreement with Democrats. That simply will not happen unless the "tax reform" bill is so skewed toward upward redistribution that it does more harm than killing the ACA exchanges does.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:26 PM on July 29 [13 favorites]


This whole healthcare fiasco really drives home a point about American governance: it's almost impossible to accomplish anything important without at least tacit acceptance from your opponents. It's entirely possible to destroy things or block progress on your own, which is why conservatives can appear to be so successful while also being intransigent assholes, but to create something is an order of magnitude harder.

What Obama proved is that it's not necessary to have opposing party support. He showed through both Obamacare and Dodd-Frank that as long as you bring in the interest groups surrounding your legislation, insurance companies and banks, you can accomplish big things despite intense partisan opposition. Furthermore, these things will be durable and difficult to repeal. But Trump is proving that if you lack all of those things, attempting to do something with only partisan support will get nowhere.

But Trump is actually taking this a whole step further. At the end of Bush's Presidency we saw a President who lacked the ability to govern because no one, not Congress, not the People, not the Press, not the bureaucracy trusted his ability to govern effectively and truthfully. Institutions of American power were suspicious of Trump on Day 1. Since then they have been turned hostile to him at almost every level.

Let's take a look:
- One of MAGA's foundational points is to be at war with journalism. This might raise his popularity inside the base, but it turns the entire institution against him. Media outlets and important conservative leaders such as David Frum, Bill Kristol, and Joe Scarborough are actively working against him. Even Fox has had surprising moments of honesty because of Trump's craziness.

- The US Federal government is one of the largest employers in the world. Getting these people on your side, or at least neutral to you is an easy way to succeed as President. His first day in office he pissed off the bureaucracy by denigrating the park service over his crowd size and making that bizarre speech at the CIA, not to mention all the other ridiculous crap he's done since. By souring the federal bureaucracy the President cannot enact his agenda. Trump is attempting to counter this by only appointing loyalists to top level positions but there are only so many loyalists, these people are C-level employees (at best), and career bureaucrats will always maintain some level of independence from the President.

- When Trump's travel ban was blocked by the courts, he could have just allowed the process to continue normally to the Supreme Court where he was about to nominate the likely deciding vote. Instead he chose to lash out and personally attack Federal Judges. Judges, despite their protestations to the contrary, are politicians. And politicians will never allow other politicians to take away their power. When Trump attempted to subvert the normal court process by attacking those Federal Judges, every judge in the country saw that as an attack on the Judicial Branch's authority and independence, including the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roberts is very conservative, but if there is one thing he cares about above everything else it is safeguarding the independence, authority, and legitimacy of the court.

- During the Obamacare repeal fight, Republicans decided to write their bill in secret without any input whatsoever from experts. This led to a situation where lobbyists for doctors, nurses, hospitals, the AARP, and even insurance companies were vocally against the bill. Now, constructing legislation always entails trade offs and it's almost impossible to make everyone happy. But you could have gotten these groups to remain silent, at least. If you look at the rest of the business community, you can see that Trump started his term at least attempting to bring some interests close. But as time has gone on, it has become increasingly toxic for brands to be associated with him.

- By ignoring Republican governors' advice on the Paris Accords, Obamacare, Immigration, and recently this voting fraud initiative Trump has turned almost all 50 states against him. In American Federalism, state governments are where most of the power actually resides. The national government has the moral authority to lead and a fair amount of power to enact laws, but as we saw with Obamacare, if the states decide they don't want to go along the laws won't be enforced. You can also look at how States have decided to ignore Trump and work with foreign governments on the Paris Accords. Or how states have ignored DC for years on marijuana. Or how states are ignoring Trump on voter fraud. Pissing off states is dumb.

- This week, Trump has taken the absolutely bonkers decision to undermine his own cabinet officials. By attacking Jeff Sessions openly he not only weakens Sessions, but scares every other appointee. If Trump is willing to attack Jeff Sessions, his oldest and fiercest supporter, who is next? Why the hell should I stick my neck out for him?

- Trump also interfered in the Senate. Senators are politicians just like judges. Interfering with one Senator's independence will make all the other Senators nervous. When he threatened Heller and Flake so openly he torpedoed any chance of positive relations with Republicans. He also tried to use the federal government to threaten sitting Senators into voting for a bill by threatening their states. He then began a campaign to end the filibuster.

- Finally, he fired Reince Priebus who was Chairman of the RNC and one of the only RNC Chairmen to be reelected. Republican Congressmen, Senators, Governors, States Legislators, and activists like Reince Priebus. They trust him. By eliminating Priebus, not to mention Spicer, Trump has declared war on the Republican Party itself.
Governing is hard in a pluralistic nation of 300 million people. If we look back at the primaries, Trump never even had majority support of Republican primary voters. His true believers might - and this is being generous - be 10% of the population, or 20% of voters. He got elected because some powerful institutions backed him. But as he escalates his war against these institutions, his effectiveness will fall from it's current level of anemic to something much, much darker. If you want to be a successful President, try to ally yourself with institutions or at least sideline them as neutral actors.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:28 PM on July 29 [108 favorites]


The Democrats need to help the Republicans out with tax reform if we want this ACA repeal bullshit to die for more than five minutes.
Yeah, no. They needed to stop pretending that Republicans were honest brokers about eight years ago. You can't cut a deal with these people, because they don't play by any rules. You can just try to thwart them until we can elect a better congress.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:30 PM on July 29 [57 favorites]


And I'm sure I'm missing things as well. American Heroes week was quite the week.

7/26 Senator Orrin Hatch (UT - R) publicly rebukes transgender ban
7/26 Senator Richard Shelby (AL - R) publicly rebukes transgender ban
7/26 Armed Forces rebukes transgender ban
7/26 Former independent counselor during Clinton term, Ken Starr, rebukes Trump for not upholding his oath of office
7/28 Police Chiefs Association publicly rebukes Trump's call for increased police violence

I know there are many, many more.

Also, this sick burn:

Richard W. Painter @RWPUSA
Senator McCain helped defeat a truly awful bill. He also prefers presidents who weren't captured by the Russians.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:31 PM on July 29 [113 favorites]


Republicans are going to try as hard as possible to kill Americans until it turns out to have some kind of consequences for them. That'll be 2018. Maybe then Democrats can do some kind of bipartisan shit from a position of strength, but until then it would be simple capitulation and collaboration.
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


The time to do something bipartisan on ACA funding would be in the context of appropriations legislation, which has to get passed every year or the government shuts down. It's a natural fit since job 1 for the Democrats is making sure HHS spends the money it's supposed to.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:38 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


The time to do something bipartisan on ACA funding would be in the context of 2010-2016.

I mean, Jesus.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:03 PM on July 29 [18 favorites]


If you want to be a successful President, try to ally yourself with institutions or at least sideline them as neutral actors.

I don't think he wants to be a successful President. He wants to be the self-praising Trump. Which he has done for decades.
Money, bullying, luck, systemic privilege, and armies of lawyers and sycophants vying to advance themselves while participating in his cons. He was also awful, super awful by all accounts as a casino owner. Didn't matter, he's successfully relentless at lying and bullying until he can buy his way out of situations and continue another day.
posted by rc3spencer at 1:04 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I was actually reading a really good book recently about how the myth of the family in the 1950s ignores the decades that have gone before it, and the forces that shape the 1950s themselves, in reaction to the 1930s and 1940s, when multigenerational family living was required because of economic necessity.

Corb: would that be National Treasure Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were or its sequel The Way We Really Are?

I can't recommend Stephanie Coontz enough for a clear-eyed look at American history through a feminist lens. She has another book, Marriage, A History which takes an equally clear-eyed and feminist view of marriage and its history.

Coontz has a website and she also wrote an article for Vox on why (white) women voted for Trump.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:04 PM on July 29 [76 favorites]


Ship's sailed; compromise time is over. Going forward the Democrats should handle the health care funding crisis by:

1) Lay every fucking problem in the current system at the Republicans' and Trump's feet;

1b) Sue the shit out of this incompetent, traitorous Administration every time it even looks like they might have violated their duty to uphold the law. This is the strategy that hobbled Medicaid expansion and won stupid carveouts for religious organizations, plus it muddied the waters since a pathetically large segment of the population thought Obamacare was dead/dying/unconstitutional;

2) Put forward a positive, easy-to-understand and concrete set of solutions for fixing health care;

3) Take back the House in 2018, and the Senate and Presidency in 2020, on a strong plank of universal, affordable coverage;

4) Kill the fillibuster and all the stupid veto points so that we can implement a coherent plan to drag this country's health system into at least the 1970s.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:08 PM on July 29 [35 favorites]


This is all true, but even without control of any chambers the Dems still have leverage on the spending process and they should use it to stop the 71-year-old toddler president from cratering health insurance markets before 2019 in order to get back at John McCain for not giving him a binky.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:10 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


4 is kind of dangerous without 5, kill gerrymandering and vote suppression so Republicans can't take either house back.
posted by Artw at 1:11 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Oh yeah but that goes under the Democratic Reform plank. AND I HAVE IDEAS THERE AS WELL.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:12 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


7/27 Scaramucci gives insane interview to New Yorker's Ryan Lizza saying Bannon fellates himself

Ha!

@yashar
On CNN, @RyanLizza said he saved the audio file of his Scaramucci interview as "Insane Scaramucci Interview"
posted by chris24 at 1:13 PM on July 29 [43 favorites]


6) Make PR and DC states.
posted by chris24 at 1:14 PM on July 29 [53 favorites]


According to this DailyKos diary, McCain seems to have informed both Murkowski and numerous Democrats of his intention to vote no on the skinny repeal. The only people taken by surprise were the Republican leadership. Ouch!
posted by Bringer Tom at 1:19 PM on July 29 [36 favorites]


1) Federal elections and federal electoral districts get Federal oversight and federally-funded and -trained poll watchers, similar to the way the Census is run;

2) Congress passes clear legislation limiting the impact of Citizens United;

3) Clear, simple and low-cost or free national voter ID.

4) Mandatory show-up-at-the-poll law (you don't have to vote, but you at least have to sign in, with obvious health, etc. exceptions), combined with mandatory time off and subsidized poll rides for voters with mobility/transportation issues.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:20 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]


They needed to stop pretending that Republicans were honest brokers about eight years ago.

The Victory of ‘No’
The Republicans were pumped because they saw a path out of the political wilderness. They were convinced that even if Obama kept winning policy battles, they could win the broader messaging war simply by remaining unified and fighting him on everything.
The conference chairman was "a then-obscure Indiana conservative named Mike Pence."

The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama
[The excerpt] reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.”
...
What they said right from the get-go was, It doesn’t matter what the hell you do, we ain’t going to help you. We’re going to stand on the sidelines and bitch.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:23 PM on July 29 [52 favorites]


My point is, there's a lot of shit that can be done, even in two years, with a clear agenda and a majority in both houses + the presidency. The years 2008-2010 saw the only real forward movement we've had in this country all millennium -- they got a ton done even with the filibuster rules and with an understandable, but in retrospect painfully hobbling commitment to bipartisanship.

If Dems can put forward a coherent, simple-to-explain and popular agenda in 2018, win back the House and/or Senate (to block any stupid legislation from 2018-2020) and use that as the springboard to to really win back the government, they can build the foundation for a sane, modern nation from 2020...
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:25 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


Politico, 7/29: Senate Republicans to make another attempt at Obamacare repeal

McCain is going home indefinitely right? And Collins/Murkowski are not flipping. They don't have the votes for anything unless one of those things changes.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:29 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Or they can arm-twist a blue dog.
posted by ctmf at 1:32 PM on July 29


I was actually reading a really good book recently about how the myth of the family in the 1950s ignores the decades that have gone before it, and the forces that shape the 1950s themselves, in reaction to the 1930s and 1940s, when multigenerational family living was required because of economic necessity.

Corb: would that be National Treasure Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were or its sequel The Way We Really Are?


Thanks, both corb and Rosie M. Banks, I think we all need to fight back at that false memory of the fifties. I'm going to explore Coontz's website and books.

Just looking at my own family gives a whole other picture, and even though Europe was a lot poorer than America, the nostalgia for things that never were is as widespread here.
My paternal grandmother lost her husband during the war, and raised my dad on a meager correspondent's wage. Thanks to rent control and postwar urban flight they had a nice apartment, but the budget was tiny. Still she managed to care for some of my dad's friends who had far richer parents but less love. I know them, they still talk about it. My dad has passed away now, but he hated the fifties with a vengeance, even though in many ways he was the archetype of a person who might have fifties nostalgia.
My maternal grandparents were better off and managed to move to the suburbs and my gram was a stay at home mum. But their house was 119 m2 and they lived there as a family of five, at one time sharing the house with refugees from Hungary. My grandmother hated the restrictions and narrow-mindedness of it all, and her one ambition in life was for me to get a masters degree and get out into the world (after she'd given up on getting her daughters to do it).

Sorry about the derail, I'd love if someone more knowledgeable than me could make an FPP about the real fifties, but this always gets me riled up. And there is something in my mind about this is very relevant to any discussion of Trump and the trumpists that I can't quite write down yet, but it's on it's way. Something about lying of course.
posted by mumimor at 1:33 PM on July 29 [15 favorites]


Oh, of course. Remember when Scaramucci tweeted that Joe Paternon quote and everyone was like, WTF?

Scaramucci has been praising Joe Paterno from White House to hype tribute movie he’s producing (Tom Brigham, Raw Story)
Scaramucci’s financial disclosure reports reveal he is co-executive producer of a TV movie titled “Happy Valley” celebrating disgraced Penn State Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.
When Trump attempted to subvert the normal court process by attacking those Federal Judges, every judge in the country saw that as an attack on the Judicial Branch's authority and independence,

This is secondary to politics, but I used to be friendly with an LA County Superior Court Judge* and I once asked him what his one piece of advice would be if you ever go to court. Without thinking, he said, "Don't waste the judge's time."


*Appointed by Jerry Brown -- during Brown's first term!
posted by Room 641-A at 1:39 PM on July 29 [27 favorites]


tivalasvegas: 4) Mandatory show-up-at-the-poll law (you don't have to vote, but you at least have to sign in, with obvious health, etc. exceptions), combined with mandatory time off and subsidized poll rides for voters with mobility/transportation issues.

Or do like what we do up here in the People's Republic of Washington: universal vote-by-mail. Your ballot and a handy guide to the issues—with context-neutral descriptions and arguments in favor and against alongside rebuttals—are mailed straight to your door. Most of the urban counties have a feature where you can go online and print out your ballot to mail in. You can also go to a traditional polling place (there are fewer, but they still exist) and mark a ballot in person, if you like.
posted by fireoyster at 1:43 PM on July 29 [13 favorites]


Or they can arm-twist a blue dog.

Come on man, every single Democrat has been rock solid and heroic on this issue. I understand cynicism but let's give credit where it is due. There will be no Democrats flipping, blue dog or not, on anything resembling the bills under consideration.
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on July 29 [49 favorites]


Come on man, every single Democrat has been rock solid and heroic on this issue. I understand cynicism but let's give credit where it is due.

Yeah, honestly. We've paid a lot of (well-deserved) attention to the 3 Rs that crossed over, but there are plenty of Ds in extremely tough states - Heitcamp, Tester, Donnelly - who have stood strong.
posted by lalex at 1:52 PM on July 29 [38 favorites]


Re: Don't forget to thank the Dems
NYT: How Schumer Held Democrats Together Through a Health Care Maelstrom
In recent days, as Senate Republicans feverishly cobbled together their doomed health care bill, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, made several quiet visits to the hideaway office of John McCain, Republican of Arizona, on the first floor of the Capitol. Senator McCain, who recently received a brain cancer diagnosis, was nervous about the bill, which he thought would harm people in his state, and elegiac about members of his storied family, reminiscing about them at some length.

During those visits and in several phone calls, Mr. Schumer, who had led Democrats in a moment of prayer for Mr. McCain, assured him that they would have the 80-year-old senator’s back in his quest for bipartisan legislation should the health bill fail, including making sure Mr. McCain’s beloved defense bill was passed...

Those assurances, whether they pushed Mr. McCain to vote against the bill or not, say a great deal about Mr. Schumer, who has held the Democrats together even as he has promised to work with Republicans. Six months in as leader, Mr. Schumer has melded the blustery negotiating strategies of his predecessor, Harry Reid of Nevada, with the cagey tactics of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, who honed the art of obstruction as a weapon...

He has worked carefully — far more than Mr. Reid, many Democrats agreed — to be almost relentlessly inclusive, talking with them at all hours of the day, over every manner of Chinese noodle, on even tiny subjects, to make them feel included in strategy. Recently, as he sat in a dentist’s chair waiting for a root canal, he dialed up Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut to talk about a coming judiciary hearing concerning Donald Trump Jr.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 1:53 PM on July 29 [69 favorites]


Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!

45 really needs to put down the shovel...
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:55 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Yeah, honestly. We've paid a lot of (well-deserved) attention to the 3 Rs that crossed over, but there are plenty of Ds in extremely tough states - Heitcamp, Tester, Donnelly - who have stood strong.

I wonder how much, if any, pressure they are facing. Does this thing have any organic support whatsoever?
posted by Artw at 1:59 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Corb: would that be National Treasure Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were or its sequel The Way We Really Are?

The former, and I cannot recommend it enough to everyone!
posted by corb at 2:00 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


During those visits and in several phone calls, Mr. Schumer, who had led Democrats in a moment of prayer for Mr. McCain, assured him that they would have the 80-year-old senator’s back in his quest for bipartisan legislation should the health bill fail, including making sure Mr. McCain’s beloved defense bill was passed...

Rand Paul just blocked the defense bill, and John McCain is not happy about it
posted by Room 641-A at 2:04 PM on July 29 [10 favorites]


Or do like what we do up here in the People's Republic of Washington: universal vote-by-mail. Your ballot and a handy guide to the issues—with context-neutral descriptions and arguments in favor and against alongside rebuttals—are mailed straight to your door.

As was discussed during the election, this both doesn't do a whole lot for turnout (in contrast with same day registration or, IIRC, early voting) and leaves voters incredibly vulnerable to intimidation from abusive partners, employers, religious groups and so on, because it inadvertently destroys the secret ballot.
posted by hoyland at 2:05 PM on July 29 [18 favorites]


I'd rather just have Election Week instead of Election Day.
posted by BeginAgain at 2:08 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]


Trump threatens insurer payments — and health care enjoyed by Congress

Isn't he threatening the wrong house here?

Not even a competent thug.
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


I think that mail-in voting should be easy to opt into. There are people who don't vote because, for various reasons, it's difficult for them to get to the polls; not to mention voter intimidation while at the polls (or just running a gantlet of not-malicious-just-clueless poll workers).

Abusive partners/housemates I can see as a danger, but most employers don't have access to their employees' mail at home. Unless you post "I voted for Candidate X" on a public Facebook or Twitter, how will your employer know anything? I feel that voter intimidation is more a danger in person than by mail.

I am for making voting super-duper easy, no matter the format. Easier in-person voting and making Election Day a holiday would definitely help; but the option for mail-in voting is important.

I vote by mail. Luckily, I live alone so there is no-one to intimidate me except for my cats who want me to write in "Charlie the Tuna."
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:14 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


and leaves voters incredibly vulnerable to intimidation from abusive partners, employers, religious groups and so on, because it inadvertently destroys the secret ballot.

hoyland, do you have any evidence that this is an actual issue? It seems like we'd be seeing frequent problems with that in states like Oregon that do 100% vote by mail, and I'm interested to know why you think we're not if this is a real practical concern.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:19 PM on July 29 [7 favorites]


Yeah, honestly. We've paid a lot of (well-deserved) attention to the 3 Rs that crossed over, but there are plenty of Ds in extremely tough states - Heitcamp, Tester, Donnelly - who have stood strong.

So far, yes. I was responding to "they have to do A or B" with "there's a C", not saying it's likely. But it's 2017. Don't completely write off the unlikely.
posted by ctmf at 2:20 PM on July 29


Oh grodd can we please not go down the vote by mail/coercion road for the Nth time? Go read the old threads if you must.
posted by phearlez at 2:21 PM on July 29 [38 favorites]


Indeed, I deliberately took that can of worms and put it firmly in the back of the shelf when writing the above comment.

Vote-by-mail is a thing that can be hammered out with the Democratic majority we win in 2020 on the platform of a day off for voting. The point is that we want free and fair elections with as few barriers as possible.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:26 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Isn't he threatening the wrong house here?

What's threatening the Democrats gonna get him? He knows they're not going to suddenly feel warm fuzzies and start cooperating no matter what he does.
posted by Archelaus at 2:26 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Some good news:

Federal Judge Knocks Down Arkansas’ Stringent New Abortion Restrictions (Andrew De Millo, TPM)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has blocked Arkansas from enforcing four new abortion restrictions, including a ban on a common second trimester procedure and a fetal remains law that opponents say would effectively require a partner’s consent before a woman could get an abortion. [...]

Baker’s ruling also halts a law that would impose new restrictions on the disposal of fetal tissue from abortions. The plaintiffs argued that it could also block access by requiring notification of a third party, such as the woman’s sexual partner or her parents, to determine what happens to the fetal remains. [...]

Baker also blocked part of a law set to take effect in January that would ban abortions based solely on the fetus’ sex. [...]

The judge also blocked a law that would expand a requirement that physicians performing abortions for patients under 14 take certain steps to preserve embryonic or fetal tissue and notify police where the minor resides.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:27 PM on July 29 [64 favorites]


More bits from that NYT Schumer link:
Mr. Schumer’s original plan after Mr. Trump was elected was to find a way to work with his fellow New Yorker on issues where he thought they might align, such as an infrastructure bill...

Fleeting dreams of using Mr. Trump’s populism to triangulate against a Republican-controlled Congress dissolved, he said, when Mr. Trump instead decided to move right away to repealing the Affordable Care Act. So Mr. Schumer turned to an opposition agenda, doing everything within his limited powers to slow, block or obviate Mr. Trump’s agenda....

For the fight, Mr. Schumer held together his disparate group of red state moderates, left-wing resistance fighters, hard-core policy wonks and everything in between, forming a partisan blast wall against Republican efforts to repeal the health care law, in part via maddening delays of basic Senate business...

Mr. Schumer’s central weapon is procedural tricks to slow Mr. Trump’s nominees, something that infuriates Mr. McConnell. “I don’t like it, and we are not going to do it as a practice,” Mr. Schumer said, but “when you’re choosing a cabinet nominee, especially a controversial one, it makes sense.’’

All told, he said, his relationship with Mr. McConnell is an improvement over Mr. McConnell’s with Mr. Reid. Mr. Schumer has repeatedly told Mr. McConnell that Democrats would ease up on their obstruction once health care was behind them...

Mr. Schumer committed one slight toward Mr. McConnell that baffled even his closest allies, voting against letting Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, become secretary of transportation.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 2:30 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


The fetus's sex? What's that about? So they would have to wait until the sex is known, but not too late?
posted by ctmf at 2:32 PM on July 29


No, that's entirely a tempest in a teapot. They think that specific cultures that they think don't value women will abort female babies based on their being female. Nobody in America is doing this.
posted by corb at 2:36 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Never mind, I was reading it wrong I think. You can't decide to get an abortion just because you didn't get the boy or girl you wanted. I don't know how that would be enforceable.
posted by ctmf at 2:38 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Well I guess we should applaud their sexism for being intersectional with their racism.
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM on July 29 [13 favorites]


Sex selection abortion happens in other countries, but IIRC by the time you can determine the fetus' sex via ultrasound you're looking at a pretty late term abortion, which is much more expensive and problematical in the US than it is in some other places.
posted by Bringer Tom at 2:40 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


The fetus's sex? What's that about?

Crap, sorry! I didn't copy the next part. It should have been

Baker also blocked part of a law set to take effect in January that would ban abortions based solely on the fetus’ sex. The groups are challenging the law’s requirement that a doctor performing the abortion first request records related to the entire pregnancy history of the woman. The plaintiffs say the requirement would violate a patient’s privacy and indefinitely delay a woman’s access to abortion.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:46 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


> Engineers get engineer's disease because the social position and training of engineers teaches them to view themselves as the smartest people possible — which in turn leads them toward authoritarianism — and because it encourages them to view social problems as a subset of technical problems rather than viewing technical problems as a subset of social problems.

Why Coase's Penguin didn't fly* - "In short – we need to distinguish between the rhetorical claims that technological change will bring openness along with it, and the (far more sustainable) claim that technology will probably only have openness enhancing benefits in a world where we are already dealing with the underlying power relations. The best recent account of this perspective that I've seen comes from Astra Taylor in The People's Platform: 'openness alone does not provide the blueprint for a more equitable social order, in part because the 'freedom' promoted by the tech community almost always turns out to be of the Darwinian variety. Openness in this context is ultimately about promoting competition, not protecting equality in any traditional sense; it has little to say about entrenched systems of economic privilege, labor rights, fairness, or economic redistribution. Despite enthusiastic commentators and their hosannas to democratization, inequality is not exclusive to closed systems. Networks reflect and exacerbate imbalances of power as much as they improve them.' "
posted by kliuless at 2:48 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]


greermahoney: What bothers me is that the vast majority of the American people did not want this to pass, and yet it came down to one vote in the Senate. This is not ok. These people are not even pretending to represent their constituents. It's dismaying.

So, when calling, faxing or emailing senators or representatives, the general rule is that you only contact people who directly represent you, right? Except if you're going to donate funds, which really gets to the crux of the issue.

But everyone pays some lip service to "their constituents," even if they cherry-pick the 10 examples of someone supporting their actions when they have hundreds to even thousands of people saying "for the love of everything I value, do not do this thing!"

I would now love to have a massively coordinated effort to call the offices of all senators and representatives at the same time with a similar script: "I'm representing [important sounding company, like Prestige Worldwide] and I've misplaced the donors phone number, I'll just ask you -- how can I donate $10k to [senator/representative]? [Wait for replay] Great, thanks! Now, is it a problem that we're based in (another state)? Would it be a problem if we made this donation in a month? Now, could we get a commitment that [senator/representative] [supports/denies something] now?"

The script needs some work, but I'd love recordings of both Republican and Democratic staff saying they'd take money from anyone, no matter where they're located (in the US - oversees is too much like a "Gotcha"), and that some significant donation would ensure some level of support for something, until the donation is dependent on that support, and that support will actually come at a later time.

Really, I want to make the case that "representing constituents" is by and large BS, especially when major donors are offering financial support for policy support. Everyone knows it's going on to some level, but getting a broad report across the board would be great, and could be used to push campaign finance reforms (or ensure that big-ticket donors only call the secret access lines or whatnot).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:50 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


Sex selection abortion happens in other countries, but IIRC by the time you can determine the fetus' sex via ultrasound you're looking at a pretty late term abortion, which is much more expensive and problematical in the US than it is in some other places.

Yes, this is a known issue in India, for example. In general, the way the law tries to prevent this is by banning abortions after the sex is determined (i.e. abortions are totally ok, sex-selective abortions are not). Still happens though, though probably much less than it otherwise would.
posted by peacheater at 2:52 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


> Not enough has been reported on the truly radical transformation of Senate operations McConnell has effected, all so that he can be Majority Leader.

here was an attempt, earlier: Mitch McConnell is breaking the Senate
posted by kliuless at 2:56 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Wow, the NY Post really has some big sharp knives out for Scaramucci. I find the gossipy details less interesting (although not uninteresting, I'm not gonna lie) than the fact that the Murdochs are green-lighting this.
posted by lalex at 2:58 PM on July 29 [22 favorites]


Rand Paul is actually right about the defense authorization bill. Congress has abdicated war-making power for a generation now under the GWOT AUMF. It is one of the most insidious consequences of the Bush regine's exploitation of "terrorism" as an existential threat from a non-state entity. Stopped clocks and all that but it's such an important point that never gets foregrounded in national politics.
posted by spitbull at 3:02 PM on July 29 [29 favorites]


There is no evidence that sex selection abortions occur in the US more than in rare, isolated cases, but that doesn't matter. Anti-choice zealots see it as a way to turn opinion. Because after all, they say, who would oppose murdering a baby for such a superficial reason? Even feminists!, they say, should be against people killing a baby just because it's a girl.

Any abortion restriction is a good abortion restriction. If people are going to accept that women shouldn't terminate a pregnancy solely because she doesn't want a boy or doesn't want a girl, then people are more likely to accept that a woman shouldn't terminate any pregnancy. It is all about making abortion non-existent, one step at a time. The anti-immigrant overtones is just the pickle on top of the patriarchal shitsandwich
posted by chaoticgood at 3:06 PM on July 29 [28 favorites]


#NotTheOnion2017

"Anyhow, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the same mistake that her predecessor, Sean Spicer, once did by wearing a green blouse to a briefing this week. Maybe she got used to Spicer’s policy of doing briefings off camera. Well, now it’s the Mooch Era and the cameras are back on." Link
posted by Evilspork at 3:07 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]


Sex selection abortion happens in other countries, but IIRC by the time you can determine the fetus' sex via ultrasound you're looking at a pretty late term abortion, which is much more expensive and problematical in the US than it is in some other places.

Yes, this is a known issue in India, for example.


No, it is a known thing that happens.
posted by phearlez at 3:11 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


I don't understand this "mistake of wearing green" thing. Chroma-keying is not limited to green. You can do this with any single flat color. (Really, you can do it on any region and MLB for one does it with ad spaces in stadiums, for example, but for non-flat non-rectangular moving stuff doing it by color is more practical.) Maybe some older hardware requires green or SHS wore a color that most stuff is already calibrated to, but really you can do anything.
posted by phearlez at 3:15 PM on July 29 [18 favorites]


It's a timehonored tradition, phearlez!
posted by Evilspork at 3:27 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


phearlez, you're right on the technicality of Chroma-keying being possible on any given flat color. What you're missing is the fact that it is traditionally been green in broadcasting. The tradition has been ingrained in video editors (of all stripes, professional and non-) minds, so the problem with wearing green in today's lulz-stained world is that it automatically signals every troll with a video editor at home to do something dumb like in the video at the nymag.com link above. They literally cannot resist the temptation presented by the traditional coloring. You can wave any color cape at a bull and it'll charge you eventually, but red works best.
posted by carsonb at 3:32 PM on July 29 [19 favorites]


....and this is the dumbest derail I've participated in lately.

Remember when the Executive Administration of the United States of America was being investigated for direct financial ties to Russian oligarchs who influenced the election last year?
posted by carsonb at 3:34 PM on July 29 [15 favorites]


You can wave any color cape at a bull and it'll charge you eventually, but red works best.

this is an ironic analogy because bulls are color-blind
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:34 PM on July 29 [17 favorites]


I don't understand this "mistake of wearing green" thing. Chroma-keying is not limited to green. You can do this with any single flat color. (Really, you can do it on any region and MLB for one does it with ad spaces in stadiums, for example, but for non-flat non-rectangular moving stuff doing it by color is more practical.) Maybe some older hardware requires green or SHS wore a color that most stuff is already calibrated to, but really you can do anything.

You can do it with any color but green gives the cleanest mattes because the Bayer filter over the CCD results in twice the resolution on the green channel as any other color. Plus when you're doing things for the lulz you have to work with compressed sources. Ever try to do chroma-keying with red from a H.264 source? Giant pain in the fucking ass because it basically throws away 99% of the red channel and turns it to fuzzy shit.

Green works because it's easiest to do it cleanly and convincingly. Nobody with any pride wants to put work out there that makes you look like a total amateur.
posted by Talez at 3:41 PM on July 29 [81 favorites]


Nobody with any pride wants to put work out there that makes you look like a total amateur.

This does explain the white house, I'll give you that.
posted by maxwelton at 3:44 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


filthy light thief: no one that you would call in a congress person's office is going to accept a large corporate-backed donation over the phone and they aren't going to talk about policy commitments in the same call anyway. It isn't their first rodeo and anyway you're going to get a staffer who doesn't have the authority to do either those things. There's no gotcha moment you're going to have on the phone. Of course they take money from anyone. Getting elected is expensive. That doesn't mean they actually represent folks outside their districts, at least not in the sense that congressional rules care about, and even if if in practice obviously congress people care about a lot of issues, some of which don't strongly or directly matter to people in their district.
posted by R343L at 4:24 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


[Deleted a bunch of arguing about abortion-the-issue that's not related to the news link above; part of the chromakey derail; and a short derail on an old article.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:39 PM on July 29 [15 favorites]


Can anyone clue me in on what the President of the United States is talking about in this tweet from a half hour ago:

I love reading about all of the "geniuses" who were so instrumental in my election success. Problem is, most don't exist. #Fake News! MAGA
posted by theodolite at 4:48 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


I think he's finally denying his own existence.
posted by dng at 4:51 PM on July 29 [21 favorites]


Can anyone clue me in on what the President of the United States is talking about in this tweet from a half hour ago

Malignant narcissists often refuse to accept that they were ever helped by anybody in success that is always theirs and theirs alone. A malignant narcissist with sociopathic tendencies will also not understand that saying this does not look great to many people, and that most human beings understand that there's no shame in being helped by people who are better at any particular thing than you, and that saying that no geniuses ever helped you makes you look like you're bragging about being dumb as dogshit.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:52 PM on July 29 [34 favorites]


Ohh I think he means Russian hackers
posted by theodolite at 4:54 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


What baited that?

Find out so we can do it more.

Dance little monkey, dance
posted by yesster at 4:56 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Anyway he's moved on to being mad at China for not helping the Kims conquer South Korea even though they sell us a ton of shit.
posted by theodolite at 4:57 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


The photo at the top of the NYT Schumer article has a nice detail: he's sitting beneath a portrait of FDR , and next to one of (I think, harder to tell) Teddy Roosevelt.
posted by nonasuch at 4:58 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]




nonasuch: The article mentions that his office is "festooned with portraits of his idols (Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson)," so perhaps it's Johnson?

This article also made me pause and realize that my politics/civics literacy is probably higher than ever before, even compared to when I had a politics-related job. Though I'm not familiar with all the nitty-gritty parliamentarian details, at least I'm more tuned in to who the people in government are, their voting record, which committees they're on, etc. I could probably rattle off half the Senate by name, and identify many more Congressmembers by name / photo / viral rant / public broadcast of hearings / infamous or inspiring deeds. Coverage like this article and the videos of the healthcare debates have "humanized" a lot of the politicians in the news--or at least the helpers, because coverage also has confirmed some to be the unhuman deplorables we thought they were.

And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. People are engaged in politics at an Unpresidented rate! Hopefully we can channel this into action and Unpresident this effing administration real soon.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 5:17 PM on July 29 [15 favorites]


from the NY Post article linked above: Another person close to Anthony claimed that he was actually the victim of his wife’s verbal abuse: “She would say, ‘You’re a grifter, you’re this.’ She would mock him for being a Trump sycophant.”

I went to one of the same shitty colleges as this woman and she is the first person loosely related to the Trump administration with whom I am not ashamed to share some tenuous and superficial connection.

this is the right way to deal with Trump-supporting relatives and especially husbands. especially Trump-supporting husbands who have friends with hilarious opinions about what abuse is. you just get out. good luck to her
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:18 PM on July 29 [79 favorites]


I'm not the puppet abuser, you're the abuser.
posted by Behemoth at 5:21 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


The script needs some work, but I'd love recordings of both Republican and Democratic staff saying they'd take money from anyone, no matter where they're located

It is legal to contribute to political campaigns across state lines -- certainly in federal-level campaigns. I am not certain what you would prove here; that political campaigns follow election law? In any case, many candidates love to highlight in-state/out-of-state donation ratios as it is, because this information is already public.

and that some significant donation would ensure some level of support for something

This is illegal, known as quid pro quo, and would probably get you reported to the FBI. See: Abscam, or Keating Five if you'd rather. Even under the most recent loosening of standards (McCutcheon v. FEC), it is understood that a specific offer of money in exchange for a specific type of political act remains illegal.

(Indeed, in the conviction of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the definition of a bribe wasn't even limited to money, something his attorneys continue to vigorously dispute.)

Really, this is the sort of stunt pioneered by James O'Keefe, and he barely escaped being a federal felon and has faced multiple lawsuits. In any case, if you were able to obtain such a recording, handing it over to the FBI yourself would be the only ethical choice. This is because it is not supposed to happen.

Everyone knows it's going on to some level, but getting a broad report across the board would be great, and could be used to push campaign finance reforms

Yeah, but they already know this sort of thing is illegal so doing it for random stunt activist over the phone is only going to catch a few dumb-ass low-level staffers, with either insufficient training or judgement, who will be immediately fired. The door you want is down this hallway. I understand you're bitter, but a lot of people have been fighting these money=speech shenanigans ever since the case law turned down this dark road, and the key isn't embarrassing politicians who are operating within norms, but getting the norms (laws) changed. There are a lot of orgs out there working on that already; last year we got a referendum on our local ballot thanks to Wisconsin United to Amend, for a total of 110 successful referenda in this state alone (1/7 of the national total, interestingly). I'm sure they'd love you to take up this particular necessary work in your locality, so do hook up with your state-level group on that.
posted by dhartung at 5:24 PM on July 29 [25 favorites]


my politics/civics literacy is probably higher than ever before, even compared to when I had a politics-related job.

I know, right? Had you told me this time last year that I watch CSPAN-2 more than Fox Sports Midwest during hockey season and that I'd be fangirling all over Senate Dems I would would have thought you stroked out.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:26 PM on July 29 [24 favorites]


Can anyone clue me in on what the President of the United States is talking about in this tweet from a half hour ago:

I love reading about all of the "geniuses" who were so instrumental in my election success. Problem is, most don't exist. #Fake News! MAGA


Maybe someone told him he shouldn't fire Sessions because of Sessions' work on the campaign and now he's all "Jeff who? It was all me."

Or else if he's just generally being dismissive of the people who did all the heavy lifting on his campaign, wow is that a bad move when the Feds are trying to flip a bunch of them.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:33 PM on July 29 [8 favorites]


I think he's trying to insist Reince doesn't exist. That's the only way I can parse it.

And that no longer seems like a particularly surprising thing for him to do.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:36 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


The first - and possibly only - major piece of legislation in this president's first year is going to be the Russia sanctions! This makes me so happy.

Trump must be miserable. He is trapped and has no way out.
posted by Justinian at 5:37 PM on July 29 [67 favorites]


That's the new JTML, for those playing the home game
posted by Windopaene at 5:39 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


I love that he hates presidenting.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:40 PM on July 29 [16 favorites]


Trump must be miserable. He is trapped and has no way out.
posted by Justinian at 9:37 AM on July 30 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Which means, I think, he'll sabotage healthcare any way he can, and ramp up state violence. I have no idea how to fight that.
posted by saysthis at 5:42 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


I love reading about all of the "geniuses" who were so instrumental in my election success. Problem is, most don't exist. #Fake News! MAGA

He's not wrong. "Most" don't exist because he won on racism, sexism, and Russians. The only "geniuses" were the Russians running interference for him. The rest definitely weren't geniuses...especially people who actually voted for him.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:44 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Oh hey also the head of embassy security resigned from the State Department, while Rex is taking a few days off.

From that article:

Tillerson is planning to bring on Michael Evanoff, who was the head of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s personal security detail when she led Foggy Bottom. Rice has been advising Tillerson and was part of the effort to persuade President Trump to choose him for secretary of state. Evanoff declined to comment.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:51 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


If anyone hasn't had enough minutiae for the week, I believe H.R.3364 is the text of the sanctions bill present to the President yesterday. Either Trump capitulates (as expected) this coming week or it becomes law anyway on either the 31st or the 1st of August. I'm not sure how the days are counted.

The bill is relatively long as sanctions are a complicated subject. I didn't read the entire thing but the sections limiting Trump's power are relatively clear. And there are other sections which change language from things like "the President is authorized and encouraged to" into "the President shall", which obviously is meant to force his hand. It's obvious this is a slap in Trump's face.

I like the faux-paper background they use for the bill on the web.
posted by Justinian at 5:53 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


1) Fuck Condoleeza Rice
2) Fuck typing on an ipad
posted by Room 641-A at 5:54 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


I want to know what Trump is reading -- which news outlet used the word "genius" to refer to any Trump-supporting Republican operative during the 2016 election? I mean, there were certainly some who could be called "shrewd", "experienced", or even "competent", but "genius"?

Seriously, I did a bunch of searches and the only person I've found who has been described in any recent article as "genius" related to Trump was... Vladimir Putin.

Maybe Trump is reading some kind of book? HA HA HA just kidding I can't believe I said that.
posted by mmoncur at 6:00 PM on July 29 [15 favorites]


kirkaracha- "We're going to whine so much. You're going to get tired of whining."
I've been trying to fit that line in for 2 weeks, but I'm always 200 comments too late.
posted by MtDewd at 6:03 PM on July 29 [21 favorites]


The guy is an attention-junky. Sooooo let's all keep giving him the attention he deserves.
posted by Twang at 6:15 PM on July 29


He's just a guy on MetaFilter. No big deal.

wait - which one were you talking about
posted by petebest at 6:27 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Trump is the monkey, while the organ grinder's accomplice picks your pocket.
posted by goutytophus at 6:37 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Speaking of the USS Condoleezza Rice the Sleepy-T Whisperer is on the board of dropbox, which is why all you app makers can forget it when they're your storage solution.

I was watching a local business ad yesterday when it occurred to me that the only thing I need to know is: do you now, or have you ever supported Trump? Real simple-like. "C'mon down to Unpainted Huffheinz where we've never supported Trump!" All I need to know, and you've got 25 more seconds to play video of a soothing waterfall. Win-win.
posted by petebest at 6:39 PM on July 29 [19 favorites]


Anyway he's moved on to being mad at China for not helping the Kims conquer South Korea even though they sell us a ton of shit.

Wait, what? Is this a take/real tag sitch?
posted by anem0ne at 6:39 PM on July 29


Wait, hold on, Scaramucci went to Tufts?? I'm gonna need to take a bath in some Lysol and I haven't even been back on campus in like six years. Ugh.
posted by lydhre at 6:43 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


Nobody with a nuclear weapon wants to use a nuclear weapon.

[citation needed]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:50 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


Trump is the monkey, while the organ grinder's accomplice picks your pocket.

Having your pockets picked is the least of your worries when the monkey's rabid and biting people at random in the crowd.
posted by dng at 6:54 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


Chimps go for the crotch first, FYI.
posted by rhizome at 7:03 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Or face, just like leopards.
posted by spitbull at 7:05 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


IIRC, chimps go for the crotch, face, and fingers, but I'm actually not sure how they prioritize them. Start with whatever's closest I'd guess.
posted by rhizome at 7:08 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


The main thing in that scenario is all parties want to rob and kill you.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:09 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I may spend most of my time lurking in these threads, but I too had to eat my cake.
posted by meese at 7:09 PM on July 29 [69 favorites]




Would you shop at a store called Unpainted Huffheins?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:29 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


I want to know what Pussy grabber is reading

hah, good one. He watches Fox News; they probably had some Brietbarter on who called Bannon a genius.
posted by carsonb at 7:33 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


As promised, since McCain voted "no" went and bought a box of Pinwheel cookies that I'd banned years ago from my house because I could not control my eating around them.

Am disappointed to report: they aren't that good. Either they changed the recipe or my tastebuds have become more discerning since then.

So, thanks for that, McCain? I guess that's a food I need no longer fear.
posted by emjaybee at 7:35 PM on July 29 [45 favorites]


Hmm. Graham warning against making Sessions DHS, which makes me wonder how likely it is that nightmare scenario comes to pass.
posted by angrycat at 7:35 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


@realDonaldTrump: Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!

@jaketapper:
I asked a Sr GOP Senate aide about this proposed strategy. His answer: "With Senator McCain changing his mind and becoming a no vote,..." 1/

2/ "...the votes aren't there right now. And new proposals will take weeks to get a score from CBO..." (congressional budget office)

3/ "...We aren't going to shut down for weeks while we wait for CBO--even if there was a proposal that had 50+ votes." -fin-
posted by chris24 at 7:38 PM on July 29 [8 favorites]


If anyone hasn't had enough minutiae for the week, I believe H.R.3364 is the text of the sanctions bill present to the President yesterday.

Correct.

Either Trump capitulates (as expected) this coming week or it becomes law anyway on either the 31st or the 1st of August. I'm not sure how the days are counted.

Provided they don't adjourn it's 10 days from the 28th - it passed on the 27th but the constituion says presented to him which was the following day.
If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

ARTICLE I, SECTION 7, CLAUSE 2
So, presumably, that's the 29th, 31st, 1st...5th, 7th, 8th, 9th makes 10. Text says "within" so I think that means he's got all of the 9th, so on the 10th it's passed by neglect.

But given the efforts to say we've always been at war with Eurasia via these claims that Trump had any input on this and has gotten it where he approves I imagine he's just going to sign in order to avoid the embarrassment of being overridden.
posted by phearlez at 7:42 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


It's almost comforting to see that nobody has bothered with the charade of this POTUS posting a summer reading list as in POTUSes past. Hell, W probably seems like a bookworm in comparison.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:42 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]


Like, if someone asked "what is the president reading?" and everyone on staff would just laugh.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:44 PM on July 29 [42 favorites]


Provided they don't adjourn it's 10 days from the 28th

I knew it was 10 days. Somehow.... somehow I lost a week? Trump makes things so surreal.
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Re: what Trump's talking about with the geniuses tweet.

@kevndriscoll:
Did someone print him out excerpts from @JoshuaGreen's new book?

---

The book is Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency.
posted by chris24 at 7:47 PM on July 29 [13 favorites]


So the Kaiser Foundation estimates that if Trump ends the cost sharing reduction payments it could end up costing the government more in increased patient subsidies than the reduction in spending on the CSRs.

So doing so is nothing but a "BLOW UP THE MARKET" button. I mean, we knew that already but its nice to see it in black and white.
posted by Justinian at 7:47 PM on July 29 [18 favorites]


Joshua Green and/or his publisher need to get a bot tweeting that book @realDonalTrump like yesterday.
posted by carsonb at 7:49 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


It's almost comforting to see that nobody has bothered with the charade of this POTUS posting a summer reading list as in POTUSes past.

Trump's summer reading list sneak preview
posted by dng at 7:49 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


10 days not including Sunday, anyway, making it a variable length of 11 to 12 days in reality. Wonder how they'd count it if it was "presented to him" on a Sunday?

Speaking of, the Congress page on all the vetoes up to now is pretty neat! Only 7 presidents have made it through their term(s) with no vetoes and as we know one of them was helped in that task by dying quickly. I wish the table had a column for how many items were presented to them for signature in total so we could more easily eyeball a percentage. (Wouldn't be hard to dig up but I'm too lazy to integrate the data)
posted by phearlez at 7:53 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Oops pressed save too soon - also interesting is the footnote about why the total count is different on this page from the numbered Presidential vetoes!
posted by phearlez at 7:55 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


"Am disappointed to report: they aren't that good. Either they changed the recipe or my tastebuds have become more discerning since then."

Did you last have them long enough ago that they've taken out the transfats? That's usually the source of my disappointment!

posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:06 PM on July 29 [10 favorites]


As promised, since McCain voted "no" went and bought a box of Pinwheel cookies...

Maybe have some Graham crackers instead? Sorry.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:09 PM on July 29 [7 favorites]


So one thing that's been bothering me that it seemed churlish to bring up a few days ago: it seems like many Americans use single-payer healthcare and universal healthcare interchangeably. Most of the benefits of single-payer over universal healthcare are pretty marginal process things - it simplifies costs for hospitals and closes off some for-profit healthcare avenues you may or may not want. Meanwhile, universal healthcare is massive - an automatic government-administered program that looks after basic needs and threatening illnesses available to all, automatically. You get the incomparable negotiating power, you get people not having to worry about hospital debt, you get people being able to go to the hospital and deal with small problems before they become big problems.

This might be an artifact of the way the debate's gone, like how left-wing Americans are 'progressive' because 'liberal' became an epithet. Is 'universal healthcare' like that e.g. it's come to mean something different and less good? Or could it be my understanding e.g. my country uses 'universal healthcare' and it means something different to what the rest of the world means?

It bothers me because my country, Australia, has universal but not single-payer healthcare, and I've always thought it was the most likely model for America - take Medicare, make it automatic and paid for through tax increases, but private insurers provide care over the top if you want to pay for it, and most don't.
posted by Merus at 8:22 PM on July 29 [17 favorites]


Joshua Green and/or his publisher need to get a bot tweeting that book @realDonalTrump like yesterday.

Maybe as an ironic trigger, but keep in mind these are the people doing the thing. Going "hah, this is what happened" would look to Trump and Bannon like a music journalist writing about The Beatles in 1963, saying, "this sounds nothing like Gene Pitney."
posted by rhizome at 8:26 PM on July 29


Merus, single-payer healthcare is precisely what we do have in Australia: the government pays providers (some of which are actually or effectively publicly-owned) to supply health services to the population.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:35 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal) wasn't the only person needing to reclaim their time from Sec. Mnuchin's contempt during the hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y) had to reclaim their time multiple times as well. Rep. David Scott (D-Georgia) asked a single question but was required to re-inject forcefully with throat clearing and multiple "thank you" and "I got your answer" to make Munchin quit talking over and past him.

Mnuchin appears to have a problem being asked questions by black people. He argues and interrupts them and is far more rude and condescending to them than any of the white people. He also seems to make them repeat their questions more, like he can't understand how they dare speak, it is a filibuster trick, but he seems to use it more as a power move (in a "just because I can make you repeat I will" way).

Another good give no fucks Maxine moment was after Mnuchin called into question what Ellison was knowledgeable about (called him stupid in politer terms but the intent was clear) ... Waters wasn't having it and immediately stuck up for Ellison, punched back with a call for an apology from Mnuchin, the Chair came to his rescue and gave him time to play the indignant and injured party. Waters still wasn't done and knowing it would be hammered down still took a final shot at both the Chair and Mnuchin by reminding him he was under oath.

(This was a shot at the Chair because he chose not to swear in Mnuchin. It is a formality because people like Mnuchin swore an oath upon taking their job and the oath can be considered to carry to committees (depending on committee rules))

I have a hard time deciding who I dislike most in this cabinet, but Mnuchin is continually near the top.
posted by phoque at 8:37 PM on July 29 [78 favorites]


My understanding is that "universal healthcare" just means some system that manages to provide healthcare to everyone. Some countries have single payer, which means that the government pays for everyone's healthcare, although the actual healthcare providers may or may not be run by the government. The other big system, which is basically what Obamacare was modeled off of, is a system in which the government mandates and subsidizes universal insurance, which can be provided by highly-regulated private companies. That works ok in a lot of countries, but it may not work so well in the US, because corporations have a lot of political power here and can probably effectively resist meaningful regulation.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:40 PM on July 29 [7 favorites]


Is 'universal healthcare' like that e.g. it's come to mean something different and less good?

For many conservatives, "universal healthcare" means "my hard-earned money gets taken away to pay for abortions and feelgood drugs for lazy sluts."

Many people who've grown up with full coverage through family insurance plans, and switched to their own when they got white-collar jobs, have no idea what "qualifying" for health insurance would mean, nor what kind of health problems arise from not having it. (See extreme example: a president who thinks health care costs a few dozen dollars a year.) They assume that everyone who has a decent work ethic can find a job that provides good coverage, so anyone who doesn't have healthcare must be either too lazy to work, or perhaps too criminal to have a job that provides health coverage. The idea that there are full-time long-term jobs that flat-out don't provide benefits (or sick leave, in many cases) never occurs to them - if they believe such jobs exist, they think they're intended as temp/part-time jobs for students who are covered under their parents' plans.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:41 PM on July 29 [31 favorites]


So, I have this idea for a constitutional amendment or act or two. I don't know what to call it. It needs something snappy, like Freedom and Prosperity through Perspective Act or something.

The idea is that we require all future Presidential candidates/elects and maybe all sworn in senators and however many other politicos at a certain level to spend a week in orbit.

I was also considering some other sub-clause to this that they would also need to be able to accomplish a set of every day tech tasks, like at least "hello world" in at least one modern language and/or defeat a web filter and configure a home router.

But I the astronaut requirement would effectively be enough, and it would have an array benefits.

One, it would ensure that our space program was top notch and very well funded. Two, it would force the "Overview Effect" on anyone who would lead our nation. Three, it would ensure that all candidates were mentally and physically fit regardless of age. Four, it would put science back into America.

And if you can't pass the astronaut physical and training, why do you get to handle the nuclear football and be CiC?

The other amendment I strongly propose is that these same candidates have to spend a year entirely penniless. They get dropped off in a strange city's Skid Road with no ID, no money and a bare minimum of weather appropriate clothes and must rely entirely on government aid to get back on their feet. Or the kindness of strangers, based on their own countenance. Or even the work of their own hands.

To really drive the point home they're not even allowed to ask for any official help or seek work at all for the first month so they get to experience a taste of hitting rock bottom and how crazy simply being dirty, hungry, homeless and unsafe can make someone no matter how well off they are.
posted by loquacious at 8:43 PM on July 29 [29 favorites]


I won't even argue the details, loq, because I really like where you're coming from there. Can you imagine such a world where that happens? It would be incredible.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:45 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


And if you can't pass the astronaut physical and training, why do you get to handle the nuclear football and be CiC?
Presidents in wheelchairs need not apply?
posted by xyzzy at 8:45 PM on July 29 [41 favorites]


loquacious, can we also have an amendment that says naturalized citizens can be president? Because I'm pretty sure Ted Lieu can already meet all those requirements.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:55 PM on July 29 [8 favorites]


I have a hard time deciding who I dislike most in this cabinet, but Mnuchin is continually near the top.

And that's before you remember he should've been thrown in jail over criminal robo-signed forgery of foreclosure documents as CEO of Indymac. Thanks, Obama and Eric Holder.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:56 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]


. They get dropped off in a strange city's Skid Road with no ID, no money and a bare minimum of weather appropriate clothes and must rely entirely on government aid to get back on their feet.

what a terrific way to make sure custodial parents of young children stay out of the public sphere! there are easier ways, some of them still in effect, but this one sounds more fun. plus of course it gives no unfair advantages to white people over everybody else, and by that I mean it gives a lot of them.


Presidents in wheelchairs need not apply?


That too. this has all the thrilling appeal of mandatory phys ed requirements at the post-secondary level. which I am sure some people, somewhere, are nostalgic for.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:02 PM on July 29 [31 favorites]


Merus, single-payer healthcare is precisely what we do have in Australia: the government pays providers (some of which are actually or effectively publicly-owned) to supply health services to the population.

It's not single payer because you have private health insurers and can run under the private system or public system as you choose. You can be a private patient in a public hospital if you want since some of the best hospitals are public. It allows people to skip the "queue" on minor elective surgeries that could take months under the public system.
posted by Talez at 9:06 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


It's rumored that Uncle Joe Biden called McCain in advance of the health care vote to lobby for a "no." (If you recall, VP Biden was on the verge of selling his house to pay for his adult son's brain cancer treatment, but Barack Obama stepped in to help him out financially so he wouldn't lose his home.) And, according to this tidbit from HuffPo, Joe Lieberman (!!) also called McCain to lobby for a no.
posted by xyzzy at 9:11 PM on July 29 [55 favorites]


I propose that we only allow cyborgs who can at least punch through 2cm thick steel plating to become president
posted by XMLicious at 9:26 PM on July 29 [29 favorites]


Pretty sure Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho could meet those requirements, loq.
posted by carsonb at 9:40 PM on July 29 [11 favorites]


It allows people to skip the "queue" on minor elective surgeries that could take months under the public system.

IME people with private insurance are widely believed in Australia to also get better treatment even for essential therapies like chemo. But I only have direct experience with one person, who had private coverage.
posted by Coventry at 9:41 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Can Congress cut off the president's travel budget, now that he's spent more in a year than Obama did in 7 years? Because that'd be pretty amusing.

(Also, can we make "istaphobe" a word? As in, "the GOP is the party of -ists and -phobes" collapsing to "istaphobes"? It seems like a good word!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:44 PM on July 29 [15 favorites]


Sounds like a medical condition

"My Istaphobia is actin' up"

"My amygdala is all sore and tender"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:52 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Not sure about "istaphobe". Sounds kind of unfair to istas.

And what we really need is for anyone elected to the Presidency (or, potentially Congress), to be automatically subjected to the most intrusive financial audit possible with the results made public and provided to the FBI, IRS and AG of every state in which he/she ever resided, all before inauguration. It would've prevented Donnie from ever even thinking about running.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:57 PM on July 29 [30 favorites]



And what we really need is for anyone elected to the Presidency (or, potentially Congress), to be automatically subjected to the most intrusive financial audit possible with the results made public and provided to the FBI, IRS and AG of every state in which he/she ever resided, all before inauguration.


Before election, surely. I'd want to know that info before voting.
posted by greermahoney at 10:00 PM on July 29 [16 favorites]


Well, I just didn't want all the primary contenders and all the minor party candidates needlessly subjected to this if it's going to be irrelevant to the ones who won't come anywhere near the Big Job.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:05 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I'm more than happy with it just being the names on the final ballot, and not for primaries. But I'd want it to be 3rd parties, too, and while we're at it, let's just do ranked choice voting.

Deal? Cool.
posted by greermahoney at 10:09 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


what we really need is for anyone elected to the Presidency (or, potentially Congress), to be automatically subjected to the most intrusive financial audit possible with the results made public

I'd be happy to include this for people running for primaries. Want to throw your hat in the presidential ring? Tell everyone where you get your money, first. Not comfortable letting the public know that much about your finances? Then you're not ready for the job.

Make the words, "I'm running for President" mean "I welcome public scrutiny into every part of my life that's not subject to legally privileged communication." There is no banker/client privilege.

Of course, that would be mean a bunch of candidates who didn't get elected, had their finances thrown wide open. And the downside of that would be...

I'm sure there are some, but I'm pretty sure I'd believe the public's right to know details about the person who wants to give orders to the military overrides those downsides.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:36 PM on July 29 [29 favorites]


I just didn't want all the primary contenders and all the minor party candidates needlessly subjected to this if it's going to be irrelevant to the ones who won't come anywhere near the Big Job.

Nah, might as well filter out the bullshit candidates early. Besides, it would need to be done by the parties as part of the primary / nomination process. You can't force these extra qualifications outside of party rules.
posted by ryanrs at 10:37 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


It occurs to me that while I hope John McCain pulls off a miracle and lives for years and years despite his prognosis (as with anyone who has cancer) realistically the governor of Arizona is going to be appointing a new Senator from Arizona some months before the midterms. Could be 2 months. Could be a year. And that Senator's vote will save or destroy Obamacare.

The pressure Ducey will be under is going to be insane.
posted by Justinian at 10:40 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Mental health experts say President is 'paranoid and delusional'. We've all known this for many months but the idea seems to be getting new traction.
posted by scalefree at 10:44 PM on July 29


Well, yes, but that article appears to be from April.
posted by Justinian at 10:47 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


No.

There is no upside to psychopathologizing Trump.

Please don't do that. Stop now.

Trump is a perfect example of shallow psychology. There is no depth there.

All we have to do is look at his behavior. His behavior shows he's a shitstain upon humanity's legacy.

His mind is irrelevant.

His behavior is important.

Stop.
posted by yesster at 10:50 PM on July 29 [11 favorites]


Yesterday's treat:

@TunaCatsup: [picture of "Kid Rock For Senate" banner] Oh man, @SherylCrow must be rolling in her grave right now...

@SherylCrow: Dude. I'm still alive.

(six hours later)

@SherylCrow: In the studio today & I saw I'd be "rolling in my grave" - inspired me to write a song "Dude, I'm Still Alive!" @JeffreyTrott @andrewpetroff [video]

@SherylCrow: ....with lyrics, if you would like to follow along. #dudeimstillalive [screenshot]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:51 PM on July 29 [57 favorites]


Well, yes, but that article appears to be from April.

Well so it is. But I have started seeing a new rash of mental health professionals standing up to say it.
posted by scalefree at 10:54 PM on July 29


There is no upside to psychopathologizing Trump.

It has predictive power for his behavior. There's any number of national & world leaders already taking advantage of that.
posted by scalefree at 10:57 PM on July 29 [27 favorites]


"Mental health experts say President is 'paranoid and delusional'." Isn't that what at least half of Trump supporters were voting for?

And the new news is: "Psychiatry group tells members they can ignore ‘Goldwater rule’ and comment on Trump’s mental health"
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:59 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


the general rule is that you only contact people who directly represent you, right? Except if you're going to donate funds, which really gets to the crux of the issue.

Is it legal to tell a lawmaker that you'll donate to them if they vote a certain way? I get that lobbying is basically exactly that, but do lobbyists have to do it behind some kind of fig leaf?
posted by Coventry at 11:00 PM on July 29


Well, another Trump thread and another drawing, though this time, in honour of his recent humiliation on the senate floor, I offer a rendering of human type fartstick Mitch McConnell.

Also, if anyone would like to suggest future not so flattering rendering projects concerning the Trump government, I'm all ears.

As per usual, an open Facebook link, and please feel free to share, download, what have you.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:04 PM on July 29 [40 favorites]


I have started seeing a new rash of mental health professionals [...]

No, the rash would be dermatologists. A group of psychologists is called a quirk.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:05 PM on July 29 [109 favorites]


Is it legal to tell a lawmaker that you'll donate to them if they vote a certain way?

No, it is not legal to bribe lawmakers. Not in such a direct way, at least.
posted by ryanrs at 11:09 PM on July 29


There is no upside to psychopathologizing Trump.

I consider it an important item of discussion because, if the right people start to believe it, it's one of the two ways he could be taken out of office before the next election.

I also think it's one of the ways that "Well, at least he's a Republican" Trump voters can be convinced not to vote for him again.
posted by mmoncur at 11:11 PM on July 29 [8 favorites]


I also think it's one of the ways that "Well, at least he's a Republican" Trump voters can be convinced not to vote for him again.

There are situations where othering can be useful & productive. This is one of them. If Republican voters (& politicians for that matter) are given the out of saying Trump isn't really one of them after all it's conceivable they'd take it if they can leave the rest of their worldview intact.
posted by scalefree at 11:20 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


suggest future not so flattering rendering projects

Mulvaney and Sessions oh please oh please oh please
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:25 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Scary-moochy needs a much less "pretty boy" rendering...

And I don't think using the words of "Mental health experts" would convince the Trumpists who are anti-science or just anti-expert. Maybe some of them if you got the support of Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:31 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


It occurs to me that while I hope John McCain pulls off a miracle and lives for years and years despite his prognosis (as with anyone who has cancer) realistically the governor of Arizona is going to be appointing a new Senator from Arizona some months before the midterms. Could be 2 months. Could be a year. And that Senator's vote will save or destroy Obamacare.

But thanks to the reconciliation rules, aren't we pretty much in the clear if we make it to 2018? Like they only get one per year right? And they can't do two at the same time. So if Republicans want to do something else, like Tax Reform, won't they have to close down Healthcare Reconciliation '17 and open Tax Reform Reconciliation '18? Senate rules are confusing.
posted by Glibpaxman at 11:32 PM on July 29


But thanks to the reconciliation rules, aren't we pretty much in the clear if we make it to 2018? Like they only get one per year right? And they can't do two at the same time. So if Republicans want to do something else, like Tax Reform, won't they have to close down Healthcare Reconciliation '17 and open Tax Reform Reconciliation '18? Senate rules are confusing.

Forget it, Jake. It's Calvinball.
posted by MrVisible at 11:36 PM on July 29 [38 favorites]


I'm an LCSW.


I specifically don't do psychotherapy but could, there are many discussions among my peers about how Trumps behavior really really messes with peoples minds, especially survivors of domestic violence and other types of power dynamic related violence in particular.

It's a fine line as a helping professional to do so in a way that isn't about me or my beliefs but about the benefit of the person. It's complicated to allow individuals who are trying to navigate figuring out what a healthy relationship could look like when politics come up. Some people really desperately need to hear the words the president are saying are not what one should expect in a workplace or in a home. Their litteral lives could depend on not falling in love/ not living with/getting away from/recognizing someone with similar behavior patterns.

I could care less if someone is a Republican or Democrat or wants single payer health care as a social worker or therapist. I do care about empowering people to make informed choices in their lives and live the way they want to live.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:45 PM on July 29 [38 favorites]


Also, back to McConnell. The lust for power, as people here have commented, is accurate, but I also get the sense that the mission to give the wealthiest people in the U.S. a massive break in taxes is also an over riding concern for him.

Anyone here knows who funds him and what they expect from the Jowl That Walks Like A Man?
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:51 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Well, another Trump thread and another drawing, though this time, in honour of his recent humiliation on the senate floor, I offer a rendering of human type fartstick Mitch McConnell.

It's the group of tiny Cheerios dangling from his undercarriage in a straight line that seals the deal.
posted by SakuraK at 12:00 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Scalefree: There are situations where othering can be useful & productive.

Like, when they're not on our side? Do you think calling Trump psychotic really helps? Attack the man's actions, his unstatesmanlike words, his contradictory public positions, but don't ever imagine that, by labelling him, you are doing something of value.
posted by CCBC at 12:04 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


I saw this comment on an NYT article about psychological well-being:
... I'm 70, and so far, so good. The dozens of goldfinches at my feeders are eating me out of house and home, and I rejoice at this (admittedly transactional) friendship. Some of them spend more time fighting off the others than actually eating, but 'twas ever thus. They are the Trumpists of their species, and don't seem to be enjoying themselves at all. Maybe someone should instruct them to meditate.
I don't know why, but I'm giggling contently while picturing this image of finches. I'm sure there's a factual explanation of their behaviour in the animal kingdom, but Trumpist finches are just ... the benign levity I'd occasionally allow my self, especially on Sunday.

[The article and comments are quite AskMefiesque.]
posted by runcifex at 12:05 AM on July 30 [9 favorites]


Well, Sunday's Doonesbury is appropriately Trump-centric, but a distracting detail (he's still ordering Priebus around) shows how these days even a few days lead time is too much. (Still, the Hollywood casting agent in the last panel is a timeless character in Doonesbury-land.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:16 AM on July 30 [9 favorites]


My point is that for some the psychopathology of Trump is an important topic, especially for vulnerable adults who have a hard time building supportive relationships .

But also without getting to much into diagnosis discussion derail, understanding his personality traits/profile really highlights the discufuction and explains what is going on in an academic way. Confoundingly, most people with these traits at this level of display end up in pretty bad places like jail or prision. Money and privilege are protective factors against that IMO, though some argue Trump can't be psychopathologized because he isn't experiencing functional difficulty. (I'd argue he is due to reports of how much reassurance he needs).
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:18 AM on July 30 [23 favorites]


most people with these traits at this level of display end up in pretty bad places like jail or prison

Fingers crossed.
posted by ryanrs at 12:25 AM on July 30 [6 favorites]


AlexiaSky: My point is that othering Trump serves no useful purpose and that using psychiatric labels this way turns mental illness into an accusation or an epithet.
posted by CCBC at 12:45 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


A not-officially-political comic by Darrin Bell today has a sadly accurate depiction of "MAGA Thinking".
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:08 AM on July 30 [6 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Please drop the "may people mention professional opinions of a possible Trump psychiatric issue" debate now. It's not verboten on the site, and major news organizations are covering it. That said, let's also be aware of the long history of using medical diagnoses as weapons and instruments of oppression against marginalized people, and not unthinkingly buoy that up. Please be thoughtful and careful.]
posted by taz at 1:32 AM on July 30 [30 favorites]


Phlegmco(tm), this one should wait until impeachment: a last supper style tableaux with him and all his enablers.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:56 AM on July 30 [5 favorites]


I mean, if we're doing wishlists for electoral reform:
  • Ranked choice voting
  • Electorates drawn either by an independent, non-partisan body, or by a computer algorithm if you can't plug the ratfuckery
  • Plugging the Citizens United hole
  • Public money for elections only (and yes, Bernie, taking donations from small donors still counts as private money)
  • Voting moved to a weekend, which is a public holiday
  • Presidential candidates may declare and primaries can start no more than four months before the election
  • Being on the electoral roll and attending the voting booth are both easy, and compulsory (I know Americans say this isn't democratic but a) it's my wishlist, not yours and b) Australia does it, and which between Australia and the United States looks the most like a functioning democracy right now?)
  • Replace the Electoral College (which is this weird formality that doesn't seem to have a purpose) with a point system - say, 10000 points, awarded proportionally based on the popular vote. (I think there's real risk that less populous states aren't able to get someone who speaks for them, so I think it's important the system lets them put their thumb on the scale a bit and get slightly more points than they would based purely on population, but their interests are better represented in the Senate.)
  • Let's get even wilder: double the size of the House. The new half's representatives are awarded to political parties so that the total makeup of the House is as close as possible to the country's popular vote in House elections. (New Zealand does this, and it's nuts and I love it. For instance, if 5% of Americans vote for the Green Party, they won't win any of the directly elected seats, but they'll be awarded seats in the House so that 5% of House reps are Green Party reps.)
posted by Merus at 4:02 AM on July 30 [18 favorites]


Ah, DJT Jr's emails. Good lord, that feels like forever ago.

Here's my hope: I hope that we're getting to the point where the clock has run out on ACA repeal in the Senate. Part of me says that they're going to ignore public opinion and try again. I mean, that seems to be life now. But the other part of me says that enough Senators have gotten the point that people don't want this and they don't want to spend the political capital on this. If we can get to next year without a repeal, I think it's going to survive (although Trump is working on sabotaging it.) Repeal is a vote that a lot of them don't want to take in an election year. But, as stated upthread, we're playing Calvinball right now. I do have even money on McConnell being bounced out as Majority Leader, though.
posted by azpenguin at 4:02 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I think long wish lists of policy changes we would like to see are at best a coping mechanism. There is a strange belief that has set in among progressives I know and read that apres le deluge, the left will get a chance to make sweeping major changes in elections and health care and criminal justice etc. That looks to me like a coping strategy and the lists of policy desiderata start to read like fever dreams.

We will be very lucky and hard put trying to crawl this country back to some sort of stability for years .... IF we survive as a democracy. We will not instantly have single payer health care and vote by mail elections. Ted Lieu won't be president. We will still be in a tactical dogfight for years with the white nationalist faction and their sympathizers. We will still be a racist and misogynistic country. Republicans will not be gone.

Psychologically people distance themselves from responsibility for crises they cause. The squishy white center that voted for Paul Ryan and Scott Walker won't engage in mass reeducation or admit they fucked America up even if it's really fucked up.

Assuming there is no nuclear conflict or massive natural disaster we are in for years of slow work getting this country back to where Pres. Obama left it in January. Making long lists of things we wish to see when this is all over is a good way to get through the turbulence but be clear that the light at the end of the tunnel is just normal old racist, sexist America coming back.

Or it's the Armageddon Special.
posted by spitbull at 4:42 AM on July 30 [24 favorites]


Electorates drawn either by an independent, non-partisan body, or by a computer algorithm if you can't plug the ratfuckery

awarded to political parties so that the total makeup of the House is as close as possible to the country's popular vote in House elections.

There is a bill in the House right now which would be a first step toward multi-member districts and proportional representation. You can call your reps and ask them to support it! Tell your friends to do the same!

It's going to take years to get traction, but at least there is concrete action you can take.

You can also support the National Popular Vote Compact in your state legislature.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:44 AM on July 30 [13 favorites]


Mark Summer at DailyKos coins "proctocracy:" government of, by, and for a bunch of assholes.
posted by spitbull at 5:03 AM on July 30 [39 favorites]


More rebukes from police departments. And while we know this is not representative of actual cops (or even, in practice, the people speaking out) it's still stunning to see traditional "tough on crime" sectors speaking out so publicly against a sitting Republican president. Add to the list:

New York police commissioner James P. O’Neill
Ben Tobias, a spokesman for the police department in Gainesville, Florida
LAPD
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans

The first three, at least, not known for their progressive policing.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:06 AM on July 30 [24 favorites]


"Proctocrat" indeed has a Menckenian ring attached to it.
posted by runcifex at 5:20 AM on July 30 [6 favorites]


#EuphemismsForLyingYourAssOff

"Regardless, it is not the norm that 21-year-olds pay that little [$12 or $15] each year, or each month, for insurance on the Obamacare market. Most Americans pay significantly more than that for health insurance, even young people."

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/20/trump-thinks-young-people-pay-12-for-health-insurance.html
posted by Evilspork at 5:25 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


I think long wish lists of policy changes we would like to see are at best a coping mechanism.
...
That looks to me like a coping strategy and the lists of policy desiderata start to read like fever dreams.
...
We will be very lucky and hard put trying to crawl this country back to some sort of stability for years .... IF we survive as a democracy.
...
We will still be in a tactical dogfight for years with the white nationalist faction and their sympathizers.


I agree to an extent, but I actually find a lot of value in "lists of policy desiderata". One, because I don't always know what I want. I read those lists, and I know I'm not the only one. They help me cope and focus my energy. Two, because our ideological opponents seem intent on painting anyone left of center (whatever value of center you want) as Luigi Galleani, and there's a big difference between that and simply wanting better schools or less police brutality or something (or maybe you really do want to bomb police stations and dodge the draft (and I'm not implying that you do, just a general example), but if so, I think knowing the difference would also serve your cause). Third, we harangue the Dems and each other for not standing for something. Well? Policy wishlists are a direct answer to that accusation. Four, it's a much better coping mechanism than slathering graffiti on an immigrant's house, buying a new SUV, carrying a gun, or posting Pepe memes on non-political subreddits, which is what they do.
posted by saysthis at 5:28 AM on July 30 [19 favorites]


Ranked choice voting

Just so we're clear, ranked-choice voting does not guarantee proportionality. That's fine--proportionality is something you can choose to prioritise or not in a voting system--but usually people in advancing it as this magic alternative eliminating all flaws of FPTP assert it's proportional.
posted by hoyland at 5:30 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Ranked choice voting guarantees you can vote your conscience without accidentally empowering the greater of two evils. That is valuable in itself. But seriously everybody, that FairVote plan combines ranked choice with proprotionality and does not even require a constitutional ammendment. Go read about it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:56 AM on July 30 [17 favorites]


saysthis, yeah to be clear I'm not calling for a cessation or reduction of "policy desiderata" comments here or in public debate. I think it is important to describe ideals and offer solutions and I also don't mean to discount the value of "coping" strategies, including fantasy. But there is an analogy to debilitating dystopian fantasy projection to be made at the point where pragmatic concerns arise. In the end this is an argument for bipartisan incrementalism in response to existential threats, and it's why I think some of us were so heartened by Murkowski and Collins and McCain coming to the good side on health care and by signs of cracks in the GOP treason tolerance level edifice. We need utopians and bomb chuckers on our side too, of course. But in my view there will be a radical argument emerging for a bipartisan and centrist ideological configuration out of this, even though it will be unfair to the left as such things always are (Overton for the win). This is very dangerous for the Democratic Party but also an historic opportunity to turn meatloaf into delicious pie. It affects our framing of the midterms and the next presidential election, and certainly our candidate selection process. Go left? Go center? We've been there before and we haven't seemed to master the balance yet.

Now the whole thing is upended in ways that don't make either answer obvious. The psychology of the country -- including Trump voters -- is going to be that of an abused spouse that needs to be convinced there's a point in even trying to get out of the situation.

Obama was always right, there is no way forward that does not involve some effort to come together. Now we have the existential crisis to test our national character. The opportunity has been missed after Watergate, the end of the Cold War, 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, but the virtual certainty that at some point Trump's incompetence and insanity will collide with a real world disaster (war, climate change driven natural disaster, terrorism, actual civil conflict, economic collapse if US defaults, etc) means having a strong "President Morgan Freeman after the great apocalypse"- level rhetoric ready to unite and motivate a landslide level of support. Cede that ground to a moderate republican faction or a third party/vanity candidate and who knows what happens but it won't be good for any value of liberalism.

We don't have to trust republicans or concede on key issues of choice or racial or LGBTQ justice or education or climate change. But framing our options as if the dawn of a new socialist era was either demographically or gravitationally assured -- as I sometimes detect in activist left commentary lately, not specifically on metafilter -- strikes me as risky.
posted by spitbull at 6:11 AM on July 30 [12 favorites]


Jesus Christ. This is apparently Scaramucci's publicist, tweeting this morning:

"Hey @Reince45. Oops; @Reince - you're unemployed now. Keep pushing this crap & I'll start dropping oppo on you. Mistress much, 🦌?"

(The emoji that isn't rendering properly is...a reindeer.)
posted by lalex at 6:13 AM on July 30 [80 favorites]


Ho-lee-crap, lalex!
posted by Room 641-A at 6:19 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Wowsers - that is straight out of the Joe Goebbels playbook. Pitch perfect.
posted by Devonian at 6:23 AM on July 30


There's a big, obvious reason why much of my 'electoral reform' wishlist for America is drawn from how Australia and New Zealand does it! Here's a hint: I don't have reps to call, but Americans definitely should do so!

I think long wish lists of policy changes we would like to see are at best a coping mechanism.

Yeah, not always.

I mean, I can understand the impulse to question whether talking on the internet is any kind of substitute for actual political action. I strongly doubt that Twitter threads of analysis count as 'work' or 'helping the #Resistance'* anywhere near as much as showing up to rallies and calling senators and knocking on doors. But I think there's potentially some value in lists like this. There's a little bit of community building; there's an opportunity to genuinely bring up new ideas, as long as they're explained well; there's the potential to try and find ways to reframe and explain popular ideas so people who are doing the necessary work can try different approaches. I pointed out upthread that Murkowski got why Obamacare mattered to her constituents from a couple of different stories: one saying it made it possible to get insurance at all, another one fearing they'd be classified as having a pre-existing condition and losing their current insurance. Those people saying 'save Obamacare' won't be any more persuasive through sheer numbers; it's through sharing stories and finding different ways of saying the same thing that we'll be more persuasive. These kind of wishlists give people a chance to practice and to compare notes.

Just so we're clear, ranked-choice voting does not guarantee proportionality.

Let's start here: I think ranked choice is important because it makes your vote more valuable. You can make sure all the candidates you like benefit from your vote, and you can vote for a Libertarian or a Green without throwing your vote away or having them 'spoil' the election. It's not a complete solution on its own, as mentioned - if there's only one seat, there can still be only one winner and that is never a minor party despite them having some support - but it's still valuable on its own.

I'm also aware you can't really make a voting system that reflects the will of the electorate perfectly - there's always going to be circumstances where tactical voting better helps your preferences than just voting for them, or where someone wins who has less support. The more you try and fix it, the more complicated it becomes - but still, I think there's room to improve on the way America currently does it.

* I am definitely not subscribing to your Patreon
posted by Merus at 6:23 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Ho-lee-crap, lalex!

His whole twitter this morning is pretty nuts. I should note that he's insisting he's not Scaramucci's publicist, just a friend. He's also threatening Jake Tapper with...emails of some kind? Hard to follow.
posted by lalex at 6:25 AM on July 30 [12 favorites]


Lalex I was just reading about this! The first tweet is in response to:

@christina Wilkie Priebus warned Trump not to hire Scaramucci, saying SkyBridge Capital's buyers overpaid because he'd promised them special access to Trump.

To which Arthur Schwartz responds with the tweet about the mistress and: Hey @Reince. Remember when people told you that it was me that was trashing you in the press? They were right. Happy to start again, 🦌.

The stag emoji is in reference to Priebus' nickname, Prancer.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:32 AM on July 30 [23 favorites]


Mistress much?

Got extortion?
posted by spitbull at 6:36 AM on July 30 [12 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: ...they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!

Followed directly in the tweet stream

@realDonaldTrump: Don't give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace...and go to 51 votes (nuke option), get Cross State Lines & more.

So...call me crazy...but may not be the best idea to use the phrases "nuke option", "the world is watching", and "get cross state lines" when also tweeting about North Korea. You know - just in case. It wouldn't be very presidential to start a nuclear exchange because you get some words mixed in a tweet. Kthxbye.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:38 AM on July 30 [19 favorites]


And now trolls are demanding Jake Tapper should be confronted at Politicon using the hashtag #CNNisISIS. Unbelievable. We've gone from "lamestream media" to "fake news" to CNN is a terrorist group.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:39 AM on July 30 [22 favorites]


The Sanctimony and Sin of G.O.P. ‘Moderates’ (Paul Krugman, NYT)
I started with McCain because so many journalists still fall for his pose as an independent-minded maverick, ignoring the reality that he has almost always been a reliable partisan yes-man whenever it matters. Incredibly, some commentators actually praised his performance earlier this week, focusing on his noble-sounding words and ignoring his utterly craven actions.
(If you hit a paywall, try opening in incognito mode.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:44 AM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Surely there are more discrete ways to intimidate someone into silence than blackmailing them in a public forum? Every time I think this can't get more clownshow, it becomes more clownshow.

We've gone from "lamestream media" to "fake news" to CNN is a terrorist group.

The alt-right has latched onto the idea that saying mean things about them is literally a form of terror. It's a hell of a drug.
posted by Room 101 at 6:45 AM on July 30 [18 favorites]


Unbelievable. We've gone from "lamestream media" to "fake news" to CNN is a terrorist group.

Alex Jones/Infowars/Cernovich are openly paying bounties for viewers to display "CNN is ISIS" signs on TV. Monetization/gamification of this stuff is going to continue as long as people keep buying Jones' Super Male Vitality snake oil and Infowars-brand fluoride-free toothpaste.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:46 AM on July 30 [19 favorites]


It's all part of the normalization of the view of unsympathetic media as Lugenpresse.

For autocracy to thrive, all of the countervailing institutions - the independent judiciary, the free press, the universal voting franchise, etc. - must be suborned, demonized, or otherwise marginalized.

We're watching it happen in real time.
posted by darkstar at 6:48 AM on July 30 [57 favorites]


This on Trump/Scaramucci and toxic masculinity is getting love on political twitter: Death of a F***ing Salesman

These guys don’t want to see Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. What they want is to be Blake. They want to swagger, to curse, to insult, and to exercise power over men, exercising power over men being the classical means to the end of exercising power over women, which is of course what this, and nine-tenths of everything else in human affairs, is about. Blake is a specimen of that famous creature, the “alpha male,” and establishing and advertising one’s alpha creds is an obsession for some sexually unhappy contemporary men. There is a whole weird little ecosystem of websites (some of them very amusing) and pickup-artist manuals offering men tips on how to be more alpha, more dominant, more commanding, a literature that performs roughly the same function in the lives of these men that Cosmopolitan sex tips play in the lives of insecure women. Of course this advice ends up producing cartoonish, ridiculous behavior. If you’re wondering where Anthony Scaramucci learned to talk and behave like such a Scaramuccia, ask him how many times he’s seen Glengarry Glen Ross.

It's an accurate description of the New York douchebro mindset, but the conclusion is that of the entire Republican party:
So, listen up, Team Trump: “Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers only.”

Republican critics still are not turning on Trump and his team of clowns, even to the tiny extent that they are, out of any concern for good policy, that kicking millions of people off health care is evil, or persuasion that tax cuts maybe dont fix all things. No, they're upset because Trump isn't doing enough terrible things fast enough. They want him to close. Close Obamacare/Medicaid repeal. Close billionare tax cuts. Close pulling out of Paris. Close pulling out of the Iran deal. Close appointing 200+ Gorsuchs. Close reigniting the drug war. Close massive voter suppression. They're getting tired of his insanity stopping them from creating a white nationalist utopia along the model of Putin's Russia.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:58 AM on July 30 [50 favorites]


This on Trump/Scaramucci and toxic masculinity is getting love on political twitter

The fact that National Review is even publishing something that could be described as discussing toxic masculinity is notable.
posted by lalex at 7:07 AM on July 30 [24 favorites]


People are still discussing the President's tweet from yesterday:

If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!

because nobody seems to know what the "bailouts for members of Congress" means except it sounds like a threat. People are speculating that he means he won't pay the subsidies for their ACA plans although how that is in his control is confusing me.

This tweet about China also confuses me:

I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet...

"Allowed them to make hundreds of billions" wut? America is addicted to cheap imports. Is he saying previous Presidents should have limited imports? Taxed them? Forced China to swap merchandise for merchandise rather than money?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:10 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


As happens in all ethnic populist revolutions with initial elite support, suddenly the elites have realized they are sharing a room with a leopard and hurry to save face.
posted by spitbull at 7:11 AM on July 30 [21 favorites]


The fact that National Review is even publishing something that could be described as discussing toxic masculinity is notable.

That was my (and some people on twitter's) description though. The point of the NR writer seems to be that the false bravado is getting in the way of inflicting actual pain on millions of the most vulnerable. NR and people like Rick Wilson, Egg, Bill Kristol, etc, would happily trade the Trump/Mooch/Blake-from-Glengarry alpha male posturing ineffectiveness for Mike Pence's no less toxic brand of creepy-Jesus-Patriarch masculinity if it meant Obamacare repeal and tax cuts and every other parade of horrors could pass the Senate.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:13 AM on July 30 [10 favorites]


Being on the electoral roll and attending the voting booth are both easy, and compulsory (I know Americans say this isn't democratic but a) it's my wishlist, not yours and b) Australia does it, and which between Australia and the United States looks the most like a functioning democracy right now?)

An EMT friend of mine has told me they had to stop using 'who is the prime minister?' as a test for concussion, because in Australia we went from Howard->Rudd->Gillard->Abbot->Turnbull in the space of a single US presidential term.
posted by adept256 at 7:25 AM on July 30 [17 favorites]


because nobody seems to know what the "bailouts for members of Congress" means except it sounds like a threat

I expect he means that he'll tell OPM to stop kicking in for their health insurance. There seems to be conservative wharrgarbl about how this means that MCs aren't under Obamacare. Which is stupid, but, well.

MCs and some of their staff lost their federal health insurance under the ACA and have to either go on the exchanges, rely on a spouse's employer-provided coverage, or rely on old employer coverage if available. But the feds still pay what would have been the employer contribution towards a federal plan, just as a direct subsidy. This relies on OPM decisions of some sort that a sitting president could maybe reverse.

Maybe because if the feds paying is a result of formal rulemaking under the APA or similar, just the president saying so wouldn't make it happen. There would still have to be hearings or hearing-like events and opportunities for other public input and OPM would still have to make a decision supported by the data, input given at hearings, and other public input.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:27 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


because nobody seems to know what the "bailouts for members of Congress" means except it sounds like a threat. People are speculating that he means he won't pay the subsidies for their ACA plans although how that is in his control is confusing me.

When Obamacare passed, Grassley added an amendment that said Congress - including staffers - had to buy insurance through the exchanges. Basically forcing them off of employer provided insurance with its corresponding employer contribution to having to pay full freight on the exchanges. To fix this problem, the Obama administration ruled that the government, as employer, would help subsidize Obamacare for Congress and staffers up to 75% of the cost of a Gold Plan. Since this is an executive administration ruling regarding the law, it is absolutely something Trump can stop doing. If he did, all Congresscritters and staffers would see their insurance costs triple if they stay on Gold, or increase significantly with reduced benefits if they move to Silver or Bronze. Or lose insurance if they can't afford and elect to pay the fine.
posted by chris24 at 7:30 AM on July 30 [17 favorites]


I expect he means that he'll tell OPM to stop kicking in for their health insurance.

If I understand correctly, Mick Mulvaney essentially confirmed this to Jake Tapper this morning. (Discussion starts at beginning of clip.)
posted by lalex at 7:30 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


I don't think 45 is yet clear on the idea that Congress are not his employees and he cannot take away their salaries and benefits.

He's mostly just looking for some way to hurt/control people around him to get what he wants, so expect more nonsensical lashing out.

I like the lists of Ideal Fixes for Democracy because they often introduce me to new ideas. However at the moment I'd like a fix that involves making our voting booths secure, because at Defcon they broke into some decommissioned electronic voting machines in minutes without much effort. I'm about ready to go back to Scantron machines at this point.
posted by emjaybee at 7:31 AM on July 30 [13 favorites]


I'm about ready to go back to Scantron machines at this point.

That's on my wishlist.
posted by saysthis at 7:34 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Forget Breitbart: the White House has a new favorite rightwing media outlet.
And so the infighting continues.
Jared Kushner reportedly “struck a deal” with Sinclair during the campaign to “secure better media coverage” .
posted by adamvasco at 7:34 AM on July 30 [6 favorites]


Collins: Trump’s Threat Would Not Affect My Vote Against GOP O’Care Repeal Bill (Esme Cribb, TPM)
“I got off the plane and there was a large group of outbound passengers, none of whom I happened to know, and spontaneously some of them started applauding, and then virtually all of them started to applaud,” she said.

Collins said “it was just amazing.”

“I’ve never had that happen in the 20 years that I’ve been privileged to serve in the Senate, so it was very encouraging and affirming, especially arriving back home after a very difficult time,” she said. “It really was so extraordinary, heartwarming and affirming.”
I can't wait to see the reception the other senators get when they go home.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:38 AM on July 30 [136 favorites]


I expect he means that he'll tell OPM to stop kicking in for their health insurance.

Yeah, again with a CURRENT POLICY, when the premium payments stop coming in, the policy is CANCELLED. In other words, when Trump/Mulvaney try this bullshit, the INSURERS will just cancel thousands of policies. Easy Peasy. Of course there MAY be some political fallout from Congress and their staffs..
posted by mikelieman at 7:39 AM on July 30


I'm about ready to go back to Scantron machines at this point.

NYS has these. And when I watch them boot they're running Linux. Which is good. THEN the Java app starts up... Which is less-good...
posted by mikelieman at 7:41 AM on July 30 [7 favorites]


“I’ve never had that happen in the 20 years that I’ve been privileged to serve in the Senate, so it was very encouraging and affirming, especially arriving back home after a very difficult time,” she said. “It really was so extraordinary, heartwarming and affirming.”

She was also on SOTU with Jake Tapper on CNN this morning and made it very clear that all the calls and constituent action made a big difference. So congrats to all you who called and wrote and protested.

@Taniel
On Susan Collins's CNN interview this morning. She often mentions her contacts with anti-repeal Mainers; public outcry is having an impact.
posted by chris24 at 7:45 AM on July 30 [46 favorites]


Thank you for the explanation.

Threatening Congress is surely the best idea! After all, they have no power over him, right? (eyeroll)

Since you guys are on top of things maybe you clarify something else for me. Trump wants to rip up the Iran Deal and renegotiate. However, our two biggest bargaining chips have been played: returning their frozen assets and revoking UN sanctions allow them to trade with other countries. What we get in return is the chance to inspect their nuclear and Uranium-enrichment facilities. If Trump decides to annul the agreement, what does he think he could do better? I doubt the UN would be persuaded to go back to embargoes and trade sanctions so Trump would essentially be left with no threats to return to the bargaining table.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:46 AM on July 30 [5 favorites]


If I understand correctly, Mick Mulvaney essentially confirmed this to Jake Tapper this morning. (Discussion starts at beginning of clip.)

Can someone please introduce a bill forcing the OPM to make the payments and also defunding the USSS's Mar-a-Lago budget?
posted by Talez at 7:47 AM on July 30 [6 favorites]


If I understand correctly, Mick Mulvaney essentially confirmed this to Jake Tapper this morning. (Discussion starts at beginning of clip.)

Can someone please introduce a bill forcing the OPM to make the payments and also defunding the USSS's Mar-a-Lago budget?
posted by Talez at 11:47 PM on July 30 [+] [!]


Lawsuits could force feds to pay Obamacare insurers

Doesn't solve Mar-a-lago, but...
posted by saysthis at 7:50 AM on July 30 [5 favorites]


If Trump decides to annul the agreement, what does he think he could do better?

The Iran deal is not just between the US and Iran. It's between the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, China, UK, France), plus Germany and the EU, and Iran. The chances of him getting something better are very low, but the chances of getting everybody else to go along with him are even lower.
posted by chris24 at 7:51 AM on July 30 [12 favorites]




Arthur Schwartz
Had second thoughts
Was off his trolley
And now says sorry

I deleted my tweets re @Reince & apologized to him. Pretty sure he's not accepting my apology. Can't blame him. I'm ashamed of what I said.
3:43 PM - 30 Jul 2017

posted by Devonian at 7:54 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


"I deleted my tweets re @Reince & apologized to him. Pretty sure he's not accepting my apology. Can't blame him. I'm ashamed of what I said."

Translation: I've done the damage I intended, revealed he has a mistress, and will now pull the ripcord to try to pretend I'm not the raging asshole I've been shown to be.
posted by chris24 at 7:55 AM on July 30 [88 favorites]


seems to me that if trump cuts off the insurance for congress' employees that they'll just go find jobs elsewhere and it'll be harder to replace them

stupid
posted by pyramid termite at 7:56 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


hah - jinx... but still, what a switch from douchbro combative to penitent. Wonder who said what to whom.
posted by Devonian at 7:56 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Priebus' nickname, Prancer

What?!
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:57 AM on July 30 [16 favorites]


In light of the new focus on antitrust in the Democratic platform:

1. Ok, let's talk about the Democratic Party's deep state. Not the politicians, not the consultants, but BigLaw. That's where power lives. 2. Christine Varney, Obama's first attorney general for antitrust, was a key transition figure and extremely powerful in the administration. 3. Christine Varney is the reason the administration allowed airline mergers, and corporate concentration wasn't taken seriously. 4. She, with a group of private equity (James Rubin)/top level banker (Michael Froman), organized the Obama WH. 5. Varney promised to go after big ag. Did a listening tour. Didn't do anything. Now she works for Time Warner in the ATT-Time Warner merger 6. Here's Elizabeth Warren going after Christine Varney for revolving door corruption. But it's not just Varney. 7. Jon Leibowitz was the Obama FTC Chair who called off the investigation into Google. Immediately joins BigLaw. 8. Leibowitz's new firm Davis Polk represents Google. He also led a coalition to overturn FCC privacy rules. 9. It goes on. Obama antitrust lawyer Sharis A. Pozen joined Skadden, Arps. Joseph F. Wayland goes to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Etc. 10. Leibowitz now says those who want to protect privacy are engaged in "hyper-partisan hyperbole." This was Obama's point man on Google! 11. The real way that this works is through the American Bar Association and the Chamber of Commerce. 12. Leibowitz helped author the ABA Antitrust Transition Report for Trump. Calls for gutting CFPB, rejects populism. 13. Read this. It's literally GOP and Dem lawyers saying they reject the political platform of both parties. A power unto themselves. 14. Meanwhile, Obama antitrust chief Renata Hesse, who gave a great speech in 2016, now reps Amazon in its purchase of Whole Foods. 15. And Christine Varney is part of a group of lawyers writing a report for the Chamber of Commerce to eviscerate antitrust enforcement. 16. This report, which few noticed, is part of a move to kill antitrust by sticking it into trade agreements/WTO. 17. This isn't new. The corporate legal profession has always been opposed to democratic reach into the commercial sphere. 18. 1924 Dem Presidential candidate John W. Davis was a corporate attorney who fought bitterly against New Deal reforms. 19. The Dem Presidential candidates from 1920, 1924, and 1928 hated Roosevelt and the New Deal, with al Smith leading the big biz charge. 20. The Democratic elected leaders, by embracing antitrust, are building a real program. Their enemies, within the party, aren't elected. 21. Those who follow me know I think Obama was a bad President. One could make the excuse he was just following BigLaw. That is fair. 22. It is an ideological disagreement. To have a real democracy, we must recognize that the ABA - which scores judges for liberals - is bad. 23. We must have an agenda not just to change government, or business, but law schools and the legal profession. Right now it's toxic. 24. Incidentally, the National Lawyers Guild, which today stations lawyers at protests, was formed in opposition to the ABA.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:58 AM on July 30 [25 favorites]


I read this 3 days ago and it has haunted me ever since. I never gave any thought to the pregnant women caught up in the opioid addiction crisis.

HuffPo Getting An Abortion In Alabama Is Hard. The Opioid Crisis Is Making It Even Harder.

It boils down to opioid abusers have irregular periods which makes it harder for them to realize they are pregnant. This means that they often end-up requiring second trimester abortions which involve surgery (D & C.) However, having over-used opioids means the brain is no longer affected by opiate pain relievers so that means these women have to undergo surgery without pain relief. Not having an abortion, on the other hand, can mean being charged with child endangerment if they use drugs during pregnancy.

By the way, even though they have severe restrictions and lots of hoops to jump through (such as 48 hour wait in between first consult and the actual procedure) Alabama is one of the last Southern States to allow abortions up to 22 weeks which means they get desperate women crossing state lines.

I would say that combating the opioid crisis should include free birth control.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:00 AM on July 30 [67 favorites]


What they want is to be Blake. They want to swagger, to curse, to insult, and to exercise power over men ...
The other day I was curious to see how the "I'm not sucking my own cock" line played with the commenters on Free Republic. On one thread, it looked like it made about a third angry, another third doubted he'd said it at all, and a third were delighted by it and wanted more. Two men enter, one man leaves, indeed.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:03 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


One more sign Rs are getting sick of his shit?

@dandrezner
It's surprising to hear the panelists on @FoxNewsSunday speaking with such contempt about @POTUS: "Commander-in-Tweet," "Sir Tweets-a-Lot."
posted by chris24 at 8:04 AM on July 30 [21 favorites]


"I deleted my tweets re @Reince & apologized to him. Pretty sure he's not accepting my apology. Can't blame him. I'm ashamed of what I said."

Translation: I've done the damage I intended, revealed he has a mistress, and will now pull the ripcord to try to pretend I'm not the raging asshole I've been shown to be.


Pretty sure the deletion and apology came because a) he got an enraged call from Scaramucci, b) Jake Tapper explained libel law to him, and/or c) his attorney follows his Twitter.

And like The Mooch, this guy thinks you can erase things from the Internet. Man, you can't make this shit up. Always room on the bus for one more bozo.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:05 AM on July 30 [28 favorites]


Pretty sure the deletion and apology came because a) he got an enraged call from Scaramucci, b) Jake Tapper explained libel law to him, and/or c) his attorney follows his Twitter.

d) the coke wore off
posted by lalex at 8:06 AM on July 30 [80 favorites]


Rampant cocaine abuse among Trump and his circle of fools could explain so much, so simply. If Scaramucci isn't carrying it on his person at all times I will ... eat a cake. And friends, I was a rock musician in the 80s and I know what it looks like.
posted by spitbull at 8:15 AM on July 30 [47 favorites]


One of the major symptoms of Toxic Masculinity is an inability to recognize Glengarry Glen Ross as satire.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:18 AM on July 30 [41 favorites]


So the cocaine addict publicist has himself got a cocaine addiction publicist? Wow.
posted by Artw at 8:18 AM on July 30 [15 favorites]


It's coke addled publicists all the way down.
posted by LarsC at 8:22 AM on July 30 [54 favorites]


It's coke addled publicists all the way down.

And all the way up.
posted by diogenes at 8:23 AM on July 30 [25 favorites]


A future movie about the current White House communications team is going to look like a Behind the Music documentary, but without the music.
posted by diogenes at 8:29 AM on July 30 [28 favorites]


I guess it's called The White House for a reason.
posted by Artw at 8:32 AM on July 30 [24 favorites]


Yes, Schwartz worked as a high level exec for MWW, a major NYC corporate PR firm, until he resigned over the firm taking Anthony Weiner on as a client in 2015. Before that he was a staffer for Hank Greenberg, billionaire CEO turned republican fundraiser and activist.

Evidence says coke.
posted by spitbull at 8:33 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


So, I'm all for any kind of voting reform that gets us away from first-past-the-post, and ranked choice / instant runoff voting is definitely an improvement. But it still suffers from Arrow's Impossibility Theorem, so as long as we're still in the pipe dream phase of this discussion, I think it's important to bring up the fact that approval voting and score (aka range) voting exist and suffer from fewer flaws. Nicky Case's To Build A Better Ballot is an excellent demonstration of various voting systems and their strengths and weaknesses.

My personal preference is for a scantron-style ballot, with each voter getting to cast for each candidate "approve," "disapprove," or "no preference." This allows for fast and low-error machine tabulation with an automatic paper record in case of suspected hacks, a ballot which is easy to understand for most voters, and a low rate of spoiled ballots.

This is, of course, independent of the question of proportional representation, which is also a good idea.
posted by biogeo at 8:34 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Because no way a professional PR exec tweets something like that without a little Andean caffeine.
posted by spitbull at 8:34 AM on July 30 [5 favorites]


So, for American Heroes Week, Trump turned a Boy Scout gathering and a police gathering in to Trumpian rallies and announced he was arbitrarily kicking people out of the military.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:37 AM on July 30 [23 favorites]


Coke! Mistresses! Deep down, every Famblee Values Republican is secretly Robert Baratheon. Or, for you book-readers, Aegon the Unworthy.

The really sickening part about hypocrites in the Famblee Values And Jebus Party is that they would happily send poorer, browner people to jail for - wait for it! - drugs. They yammer on about Faaaaaaamily and want to throw money at "marriage enhancing programs" or whatever Save The Father Knows Best Family is called. They want to take marriage rights away from LGBT people and keep trans and gender-nonconforming people from peeing in peace.

And so-called "family values" "God-fearing" people love the sinners anyway, because they're not about God's love, they're all about the white supremacy and patriarchy.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:38 AM on July 30 [13 favorites]


I still don't know exactly how it happened. I just lost control. And the next thing I knew I was White House Communications Director.
posted by diogenes at 8:42 AM on July 30 [60 favorites]


The Father Knows Best Family is called

The Anderson family. Back when I was growing up and had cable we didn't have time delay for the west coast of Australia. I watched a *LOT* of Nick-at-Nite.
posted by Talez at 8:43 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


The Iran deal is not just between the US and Iran. It's between the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, China, UK, France), plus Germany and the EU, and Iran. The chances of him getting something better are very low, but the chances of getting everybody else to go along with him are even lower.

So on the one hand, yay for multilateral action stopping Trump from saber-rattling with Iran. On the other hand, this will fit perfectly into his narrative about America having to go it alone in the face of a global conspiracy to keep us weak... Which, of course, will amount to saber-rattling with Iran. With the bonus of getting his base more energized (i.e., dangerous).

I thought the "FUCK 2016" pin my friend gave me late last year was clever. It's gonna get less amusing every year I have to update it, though.
posted by Rykey at 8:49 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


An EMT friend of mine has told me they had to stop using 'who is the prime minister?' as a test for concussion, because in Australia we went from Howard->Rudd->Gillard->Abbot->Turnbull in the space of a single US presidential term.

Whereas EMTs here recently had to stop using "Who is the president" as the same test, because people would answer correctly and then have anxiety attacks.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:56 AM on July 30 [68 favorites]


[fake, but plausible]
posted by Golem XIV at 8:59 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Mnuchin appears to have a problem being asked questions by black people.

Just to revisit this for a second, here is the video of Ellison questioning Mnuchin, and yeah, Mnuchin is SUPER dickish, at one point telling Ellison "I don't think you know what robo-signing is." Anyone here who thinks Mnuchin would have said that to a white dude?

Bonus: Maxine Waters asking at the end if Mnuchin would like a little extra time to apologize to Ellison (spoiler: he didn't). Hopefully one of these days, white congresspeople will realize that when they see someone being disrespectful to their colleagues of color, that they too can jump in and say something!
posted by triggerfinger at 9:01 AM on July 30 [54 favorites]


Rut-roh, somebody's in the doghouse:
Ms. Collins said she was talking with Arizona Sen. John McCain, another “no” vote, when she felt a tap on her shoulder. It was Mr. Pence, who was at the U.S. Capitol to break a potential 50-50 tie vote.

“And he said to me, ‘boy, are you tough,’” Ms. Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But he softened that by putting his arm around me" [emphasis added].
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:06 AM on July 30 [25 favorites]


EMT: Who is the president?

Patient: A monster from beyond the veil. A pulpous and vile mass that knows of nothing but its own madness. The nightmares and sick fantasies of a nation, made flesh. The end of all good things and the forerunner of unimaginable atrocities to come.

EMT: OK you're fine
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:08 AM on July 30 [152 favorites]


> Priebus' nickname, Prancer

> What?!

Supposedly an Xmas photo went around with Reince wearing a sweater with a reindeer on it, and so, from there it's not hard to see Reinhold ~ Reindeer -> Priebus ~ Prancer. But according to Bill Kristol, the moniker/emoji is primarily used by Scaramucci and his allies. I mean, Reince already has a nickname. Reince.
posted by xigxag at 9:08 AM on July 30 [5 favorites]


In the last thread I mentioned that Trump and Zinke threatening Alaska federal funding as payback for Murkowski not supporting GOP healthcare was strongly and negatively received in Alaska, to Murkowski's significant political benefit. This could have real implications for other republicans considering reading the room ahead of 2018. Anyway a good op ed just came out in the Alaska Dispatch News making the case that Murkowski gained significantly at her fellow Alaska GOP senator Dan Sullivan's as well as Trump's expense.

Trump’s clumsy threats made Murkowski a political hero.

Charles Wohlforth


If there's anything Alaskans don't like, it's having Alaska threatened by Washington, D.C. That's why Sen. Lisa Murkowski came out of this historic political week with unique new stature and why Sen. Dan Sullivan hurt himself badly.
posted by spitbull at 9:08 AM on July 30 [45 favorites]


Of course we now know what should have been obvious all along, given the pubescent-boy psyches involved: Priebus's nickname among his West Wing enemies was, inevitably, "Rinse Penis."
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:10 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Runt's Penis, surely. Fucking amateurs.
posted by Rykey at 9:15 AM on July 30 [8 favorites]


when the people of the land of rebus hear what we've been saying about their beloved prince, they are going to be so mad.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:21 AM on July 30 [16 favorites]


FelliniBlank posted: Ms. Collins said she was talking with Arizona Sen. John McCain, another “no” vote, when she felt a tap on her shoulder. It was Mr. Pence, who was at the U.S. Capitol to break a potential 50-50 tie vote.

“And he said to me, ‘boy, are you tough,’” Ms. Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But he softened that by putting his arm around me"


a shoulder tap and a side hug? given what we know about Pence's weirdness around women, this may be the most disturbing thing I've read in this thread
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:27 AM on July 30 [29 favorites]


If Trump decides to annul the agreement, what does he think he could do better?

Whatever happened would be soooo muuuch whiter and 100\% less black.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:28 AM on July 30


Of course we now know what should have been obvious all along, given the pubescent-boy psyches involved: Priebus's nickname among his West Wing enemies was, inevitably, "Rinse Penis."


Very close, but you're giving them too much credit:

@SRuhle: Two additional sources confirm the last name & make a first name correction "Rancid"
posted by sporkwort at 9:32 AM on July 30 [10 favorites]


That Charles Wohlforth op-ed in ADN contained a quotable graf I forgot to tease:

My nephew in New Jersey sent me a text Thursday morning, "Time for some traffic problems in Anchorage."
posted by spitbull at 9:34 AM on July 30 [14 favorites]




Remember it was Priebus who stuck his head in on the Oval Office one on one between Trump and Comey, almost certainly trying to cut it short, as per Comey's notes.
posted by spitbull at 9:38 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


I would like the dems to run an anti-cyber bullying media push just using Trump tweets as negative examples.

Just a Trump tweet and a comment - "Be a better human than this." or "Don't build yourself up by tearing others down"
posted by srboisvert at 9:40 AM on July 30 [25 favorites]


This is from early July, but I don't recall seeing it.

'Democracy Vouchers' Aim to Amplify Low-Income Voices, to Conservative Ire (Josh Cohen, The Guardian)
If money amplifies the voices of wealthy Americans in politics, Seattle is trying something that aims to give low-income and middle-class voters a signal boost.

The city’s new “Democracy Voucher” program, the first of its kind in the US, provides every eligible Seattle resident with $100 in taxpayer-funded vouchers to donate to the candidates of their choice. The goal is to incentivize candidates to take heed of a broad range of residents – homeless people, minimum-wage workers, seniors on fixed incomes – as well as the big-dollar donors who often dictate the political conversation. [...]

Seattle candidates are not required to participate in the voucher program. But Jon Grant, a leftist city council candidate who previously led the Tenants Union of Washington, has made the vouchers a centerpiece of his campaign. He has pushed to collect vouchers from over 1,000 people, including those living in several homeless encampments.

Of the $145,933 in donations that Grant reported on the most recent campaign disclosure form, $128,800 is from vouchers.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:41 AM on July 30 [61 favorites]


EMT: Who is the president?

THERE IS NO PRESIDENT ONLY ZUUL
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:46 AM on July 30 [19 favorites]


I'm both giddy and extremely anxious about the fact that they seem to be floating more and more Pence trials balloons.

At some point it's just gonna roll into pure nausea.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:54 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I actually had a seizure in Vegas in 2009, and my dad was desperate to keep the EMT's from taking me the hospital to avoid all the ridiculous fees. I didn't have insurance. They asked me 3 questions.

EMT: What is your name?
Me: urrrrgggggg
EMT: What city are you in?
Me: Oregon?
Dad: You can't take him. We can't pay for any of this, he'll be fine.
EMT: You don't have a choice. If he doesn't answer the next question he's coming with us.
EMT: Who is the President?
Me: Barack Obama. Yes, we cannnnnnnnnnnnn.

I don't think I could have answered any other question in that moment. But my dad is a evangelical christian, rush limbaugh listening Republican. And I was excited to answer that question in 2009 with him standing over me.
posted by Glibpaxman at 9:56 AM on July 30 [150 favorites]


If money amplifies the voices of wealthy Americans in politics, Seattle is trying something that aims to give low-income and middle-class voters a signal boost.
Holy shit I literally fist pumped. Fuck yeah this is...at least in the right direction. Also I love love love the idea of taxing rich people to give to poor people who will then donate it to candidates likely to tax rich people. It tickles me right in the schadensprunger.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:57 AM on July 30 [53 favorites]


I actually had a seizure in Vegas in 2009, and my dad was desperate to keep the EMT's from taking me the hospital to avoid all the ridiculous fees. I didn't have insurance. They asked me 3 questions.

Anyone who says that the United States has the best health system in the world on the back of this evidence is either deluded or a fucking liar.
posted by Talez at 10:00 AM on July 30 [62 favorites]


Joshua Green, WaPo: Five myths about Steve Bannon
Stephen K. Bannon seemed to come out of nowhere in August 2016, taking over Donald Trump’s struggling campaign and leading it to the most shocking upset in U.S. presidential history. Few people, even in Washington, had heard of Bannon before then. And because he liked to cultivate an image of himself as a dark, nationalist political Svengali — a portrait the media mostly accepted — a number of myths have arisen about Bannon and his beliefs. Here are five of them.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:00 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Not to get us off the debate over how much cocaine exactly is being used in the White House, but I read an interesting article last month that came up again and still feels relevant: The Fate of the Democrats' Future May Lie in Georgia. The writer focuses almost exclusively on rural areas and so she definitely has that lens on when writing it. Pull quote:

And so there will be a big question as to what's the best way to win in Georgia. Is it merely to maximize turnout among African-Americans and transplants in the Atlanta area, or is it try to claw back the rural blue-collar voters that Democrats ancestrally had when they used to win in Georgia?

That is a serious, existential question for Democrat operatives as they look at winning back anything in the Trump Belt.


Thinking about this in a broader sense: the former strategy is very effective for winning the popular vote but is likely to leave in place the popular vote/electoral vote divide seen in the last election. The latter strategy may create a closer popular vote/electoral vote alignment.

A central focus of one candidate is a program former Governor Zell Miller put into place that grants scholarships to anyone who gets a B average or better. The other candidate voted to reduce spending on that scholarship. The writer notes that the scholarship has broad appeal among working-class voters, who based on her work pounding the pavement are still very interested in supporting public schools.

It's a short read but interesting when it comes to broader strategy.
posted by rednikki at 10:07 AM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Mnuchin is SUPER dickish

I went to see two movies I'd missed recently, Wonder Woman and Tully. In the end credits of the first, suddenly there's that name, Steve Mnuchin, up on the screen, as exec producer. My thought: huh, must be more common than I thought. Then, when he reappeared at the end of Tully, I couldn't resist googling, having seen his assholery vs M Waters shortly before. And know I know: All the movies you didn't know Steven Mnuchin produced.
Is there nothing these fuckers won't spoil?
posted by progosk at 10:14 AM on July 30 [13 favorites]


Producer credits can mean pretty much anything though. Mate of a mate of the guy who invested a bit of money, etc...
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


They're not sending their best.

@KFILE
On July 23rd, @ArthurSchwartz who is now denying he was Scaramucci's publicist tweeted a link saying he was. --> [screenshot]

@jaketapper
Source close to @reince says he never spoke with @Schwartz and has neither heard nor accepted any apology from him.
@ArthurSchwartz: I deleted my tweets re @Reince & apologized to him. Pretty sure he's not accepting my apology. Can't blame him. I'm ashamed of what I said.

.@Reince is a better man than me; he accepted my apology. I did something stupid and I'm embarrassed. Keep the hits coming - I deserve it.
posted by chris24 at 10:26 AM on July 30 [22 favorites]


When my mom had some sort of mental event before the election, her inability to name Barak Obama as the president alarmed me so badly I thought I might pass out. She wailed, "How can I not remember his name?! I LOVE that guy!"
posted by thebrokedown at 10:30 AM on July 30 [18 favorites]


You know, it occurs to me, here during this lovely central California summer morning, where it is nice and cool and I have to stop reading the internet to go and mow/edge my yard before the temp shoots up above 100 degrees because, well, we're trashing the Earth and so apparently summers are hot as hell now, that this whole #FakeNews and 'war on the media' thing is going to completely backfire on those pushing it, and will put us in a place--within the next 5-10 years, I expect--where a critical mass of people do not trust any news media at all.

To wit: I noticed at the grocery store yesterday that the card readers for payment say "Do Not Remove Your Card" while the transaction is processing (when using a chip card) and every single time I see that message appear on the little dot-matrix-y screen, I reflexively reach to pull my card out of the slot. And every time I think some version of 'dammit, did it again, why do I always want to do that? it says not to RIGHT THERE,' but of course it's because of how that instruction is phrased: it undermines itself, just like the message of 'THOSE people are FAKE NEWS but THESE people are supes trustworthy'; the human brain does not parse nuance in any essential way.

If you want someone to not pull their card from a slot while a transaction is processing, one of the worst things to do is to send them a message phrased as "Do NOT do X." We know (too lazy to look up and link an article, sorry, but the day is heating up and I got some lawn care to do) that the human brain will instinctively parse a message like that as "DO THE VERB" because brains evolved to follow instructions to do things to survive much more so than to not do things.* It catches me all. the. time. I see that message, do NOT remove card, and my arm reflexively moves a few millimeters toward the reader to yank out the card before my fore-brain can intervene and say 'no, stupid, it says do not do,' and then my lizard-brain kind of sheepishly goes 'oh yeah, of course, I saw that too, I was just getting in position for when we do need to take the card out,' and the fore-brain is all 'sure, right' and so then part of my brain is embarrassed by another part, because it evolved earlier and is often kind of stupid when responding to the world as it is today--which is to give it some credit really fucking confusing and counterintuitive a whole lot of the time--and has to work pretty hard every day to reconcile many of its instincts and urges with a world that needs it to adapt way more quickly than the typical 10,000-year tick of the evolutionary clock's second. But my point is not, poor brainstem ("I can pick up this pencil and tell you its name is Steve"), rather that we vastly overestimate our brains' abilities to parse any subtlety of meaning, when all evidence indicates that we're not super good at it, at least at the immediate, reflexive level and also--because our biggest ideas, beliefs, assumptions are rarely carefully examined--this happens with high-level ideas and perceptions, too.

So I kind of expect that this whole fake media, court-the-kids-with-Circa stuff is most likely to culminate in a populace who is cynical about all news media, because they realize that #FakeNews really means that everybody has an agenda, and you should be cynical about why anyone is telling you anything about anything. I have no idea where that will leave us, I can imagine better and worse outcomes from that, but I just don't see human brains parsing the difference between who is supposed to be fake news and who isn't; at some point, if your brain accepts the framing that much of the news is fake because someone has an agenda, it will not make distinctions well. Most people, I expect, will simply follow the verb in the instruction 'Do Not Remove Your Card' and pull their cards out of the readers.**

*(This is why, with dog training, the whole idea is to eliminate choices, so don't give your dogs a bunch of 'no' information--that's an open-ended, unlimited set. No dog is smart enough to remember all of the virtually unlimited numbers of things that they are not allowed to do, but are definitely smart enough to learn the specific, limited subset of things you'd like for them to do. So, for example, you'll never train a dog to do well with a leash, a leash is sort of an abstract concept they can't ken and there are so many things that you don't want them to do and etc., but you can very effectively train them how to orient to you and your body while out on walks with a leash, because that's a small set of acceptable behaviors that are easily conveyed and reinforced with consistent food reward and praise. They don't have to understand a leash, or safety, or 'don't run away from me for this reason or this reason or this reason or this reason' or on and on; they just have to learn 'stay next to me and walk alongside me this way.')

**(The way to avoid this, for those programming POP payment devices, is of course, as with dog training, to phrase in the affirmative: Leave Card In Reader or similar. That way the poor Old Brain Parts can more easily make sense of the world and respond appropriately.)

posted by LooseFilter at 10:32 AM on July 30 [44 favorites]


Erin Gloria Ryan has a thought experiment for us:

@kylegriffin1: "Per pool, Trump has arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, VA at 9:39AM. It is his 43rd day at a golf course as president."

@morninggloria: "Like imagine if we had a female president who spent 43 days going shopping"
posted by lalex at 10:36 AM on July 30 [100 favorites]


Anecdote!

My five-year-old daughter was showing her grandmother her favorite shirt given to her by her favorite friend.

Grandmother: "And who's your favorite Dad?"

Kid: "My dad!"

Grandmother: "And who's your favorite Mom?"

Kid: "Bernie Sanders!"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:36 AM on July 30 [39 favorites]


The whole affaire Schwartz is more diagnostic of a bunch of over-coked white blokes running amok in the rock smoke of their own egoistic delusions than the Bee Gee's Sergeant Pepper movie. I have little doubt that the chaos evinced by the arrival of Mooch in just a few short days will end in disaster for him and others quite soon, but like a radioactive isotope with a short half-life, you can't tell just when the atom's going to decay.

I guess it's called The White House for a reason.

But have you tried the house white? (Which was - perhaps still is - the nickname given to cocaine in Westminster in the 90s, due to its widespread and enthusiastic use.)
posted by Devonian at 10:40 AM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Jake Tapper went to Politicon? What an idiot. As someone put it, Politicon sounds like Twitter, but real life.
posted by Yowser at 10:44 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


"Forget it, Jake. It's Calvinball."

Calvinistball, Shirley?
posted by Evilspork at 10:46 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Calvinistball, cf. #1, #2, #3. What a fun image search!
posted by Evilspork at 10:49 AM on July 30 [7 favorites]


over-coked white blokes running amok in the rock smoke

Throw some Migos beats behind that brilliant formulation and you're halfway to a hit rekkid.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:51 AM on July 30 [22 favorites]


Jake Tapper went to Politicon? What an idiot

Joy Reid is there, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But so was Roger Stone, so.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:57 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


news via AFP: "#BREAKING 755 US diplomats must leave Russia, President Putin announces" (no article yet that I'm aware of)
posted by lalex at 11:04 AM on July 30 [8 favorites]


To which Arthur Schwartz responds with the tweet about the mistress and: Hey @Reince. Remember when people told you that it was me that was trashing you in the press? They were right. Happy to start again, 🦌.

So Anthony Scaramucci threatened felony prosecution and firing to anyone who leaks, right?
And now his publicist publicly admits being the source of leaks about Scary Mooch's mortal enemy Reince Preibus.

Interesting plot twist.
posted by msalt at 11:06 AM on July 30 [14 favorites]


Wow, so much since last night.

“I got off the plane and there was a large group of outbound passengers, none of whom I happened to know, and spontaneously some of them started applauding, and then virtually all of them started to applaud,” she said.

This is why it's important to acknowledge when e.g., McCain does a good thing (for once) and not just immediately move on to "oh yeah, but he's still a shitty person." I mean, it might be true, but positive reinforcement works too. (Little by little, not every time, not 100% all at once, let's not straw man this)

Coke! Mistresses! Deep down, every Famblee Values Republican is secretly Robert Baratheon.

There was a story on MeFi some time ago on the theory that the flawed ones do even better than the perfect ones. I can look at them and think, hey, we have the same values, Jeebus and all that. But ALSO, hey, that person understands. Has the same temptations, weaknesses, and challenges as I do. Doesn't think they're better than me. The perfect (seeming) ones just make (hypothetical) me feel bad about myself.

Seattle is trying something that aims to give low-income and middle-class voters a signal boost.

So we're just admitting now democracy is all about the money? Dollars get to vote, not people. I mean, I guess it's just facing reality. Ideally though, I'd like to solve the problem, not just accept it as given.

the card readers for payment say "Do Not Remove Your Card"

I see that every day, but I never thought about it like that! I was always trained in the military to avoid negative orders. You don't announce on the PA "do not secure the port turbine generator!" Instead you say "maintain the port turbine generator running!" or else you're very likely to hear a rushed "secure the port turbine generator AYE!" [boom] O shit.
posted by ctmf at 11:14 AM on July 30 [15 favorites]


Now, do we know for sure that this guy actually exists and isn't just The Mooch's cocaine tulpa?
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on July 30 [23 favorites]


So Anthony Scaramucci threatened felony prosecution and firing to anyone who leaks, right?
And now his publicist publicly admits being the source of leaks about Scary Mooch's mortal enemy Reince Preibus.


Yeah but to be fair he was gakked to the gills when he said that. Plus, words don't mean anything, documents are easily faked, Russian mobsters live here now and Commander Goldturd thinks he has game.

If it's not coke or some (shock: Russian) synthetic behind the throne I'll be disappoint.
posted by petebest at 11:16 AM on July 30 [6 favorites]


ctmf - concerns that McCain is not getting enough handjobs from the press may be severely misplaced.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


"Per pool, Trump has arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, VA at 9:39AM. It is his 43rd day at a golf course as president."

According to obamagolfcounter.com, which I presume has no interest in minimising Obama's golf numbers, Obama's 43rd round of golf as president was in July 2010, so an entire year longer than it took Trump.

Although, to be fair, I suppose that Trump's count is for 'days at a golf course' rather than rounds of golf. Conveniently, trumpgolfcount.com tells us that we have confirmed golf at 16 of 41 visits (when last updated), ahead of Obama's 11 at the same point in his presidency.
posted by knapah at 11:17 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Also, Johnny Wallflower, love ya man, but can we (as a group, this is just an example) not just copy clickbait onto mefi? What was the relevant takeaway from that article? Your favorite part? You just posted the teaser, no meat.
posted by ctmf at 11:19 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


The Five Myths About Steve Bannon thing? Worked for me, full article
posted by petebest at 11:24 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]




To be fair to McCain, he surely knew that most of the far right scorn would be heaped on him after this vote. Especially since they will see him as slightly backstabby and that he tricked them on purpose. He did a lot of shitty things but let's keep in mind if he was more liberal he would have been primaried in Arizona and wouldn't be there for this vote. I'm not suddenly a fan of McCain but this is precisely why I want to be especially careful not to discount a good act of someone I don't like.

The far right had long seen McCain as a pink commie traitor rino. They still voted for him in 08 because Obama.
posted by rainy at 11:46 AM on July 30 [8 favorites]


From TD STrange's posted tweestorm from Matt Stoller: 21. Those who follow me know I think Obama was a bad President.

Welp. I guess Neoliberals are the real enemy?
posted by Justinian at 11:47 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


The golf is so far down the list of horrible that I have to keep reminding myself why it matters - after all, I'd be very much in favour of a lazy but brilliant Prez who did good work for five days a week then kicked back for the weekend. Did I care that Obama played a lot of golf? I did not - and in any case, he put the hours in too.

It matters because it's symptomatic of the disjoint between 45's promises and his actions. I'd love to see a supercut of all the campaign blather interspersed with the news headlines that contradicts it. It would have to go on for some time, so it'd have to be pretty sharply edited and with a kicking audio track, and it'd probably have to be re-edited every week, but it'd be a fine, fine thing.
posted by Devonian at 11:48 AM on July 30 [9 favorites]


You call pullquote for lol-neoliberals, but the rest of the tweets were discussing entrenched opposition to a more populist 2018 platform, including from Obama alums.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:57 AM on July 30


Can someone explain this to me:

@Niels Lesniewski
You want a real crisis? Send Pence to preside over the Senate and recognize a senator not named McConnell first to set the agenda.

What does "recognize" mean in this context?



Also our UN ambassador is done with diplomacy, which is par for the course in this administration.

@Nikki Haley Done talking about NKorea.China is aware they must act.Japan & SKorea must inc pressure.Not only a US problem.It will req an intl solution.

I realize Haley took the post as ambassador to the UN as a way of buffing up her Foreign Policy experience but it would be nice to have someone at the UN who was actually interested in diplomatic relations with N. Korea, especially at this time.

Call me crazy but I don't think threatening them is the answer. They are a small, vulnerable nation that wants the nuclear weapon systems to use as a deterrent because they feel threatened by the US and others. They are isolated which means the Fascist Dictator in power has a lot more control. How about lifting the sanctions and opening up trade alliances. Also giving them food & medical supplies. We could even do the same sort of deal we did with Iran, giving them economic opportunities for inspections or something. Kim Jong-Un might like the chance to become obscenely wealthy and live a more lavish lifestyle.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:00 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


> From TD STrange's posted tweestorm from Matt Stoller: 21. Those who follow me know I think Obama was a bad President.

Welp. I guess Neoliberals are the real enemy?


It is possible to believe that neoliberalism is a bad thing and also that fascism is a bad thing, and also it's possible to believe that neoliberalism is a bad thing without also believing that neoliberalism is worse than fascism, and also it's possible to criticize neoliberalism while making cause with neoliberals against fascists (with the proviso that one must always understand that neoliberals, like most people, can be unreliable opponents of fascism).

basically I'm calling out that comment as pointlessly tendentious. is what I'm doing here.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:01 PM on July 30 [33 favorites]


@Niels Lesniewski You want a real crisis? Send Pence to preside over the Senate and recognize a senator not named McConnell first to set the agenda.

What does "recognize" mean in this context?


"The majority leader has the right to be called upon first if several senators are seeking recognition by the presiding officer, which enables him to offer motions or amendments before any other senator." (much more history of the role, rules and development of Majority/Minority leaders at link.)

As Senate Majority Leader, McConnell runs the Senate and is recognized first to determine/say what the Senate acts on. However, Senate Majority Leader is not a constitutional office. It's merely a norm, created over time by Senate rules. Pence/Trump could try to stir up shit by ignoring Senate rules.
posted by chris24 at 12:05 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Also our UN ambassador is done with diplomacy, which is par for the course in this administration.

Ambassadors gonna ambassad-- oh wait. It's 2017 and all official communication between world leaders et al. happens via twitter.

(Note to myself circa 2008: it's true. This is all true.)
posted by lydhre at 12:07 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


He did a lot of shitty things but let's keep in mind if he was more liberal he would have been primaried in Arizona and wouldn't be there for this vote

He literally was just primaried from the right in Arizona by a moronic, ghoulish lunatic. It wasn't close.

Re: Obama and BigLaw and the Banks

Um...yeah. That is a goddamn problem. I don't think it's the kind of thing that can be dealt with in a term or a Presidency. It's going to take concerted popular effort over the space of a generation to remove the damaging influence of BigLawCorpBank in the body politic without killing the patient. We're like one of those sedentary cautionary tales who have grown into their couch. We're gonna have to go slow.

Might as well start now.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:08 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


@Niels Lesniewski You want a real crisis? Send Pence to preside over the Senate and recognize a senator not named McConnell first to set the agenda.

That doesn't seem crisis-ey to me? McConnell would just raise a point of order, Pence would say it's invalid, the Senate would vote that it is valid and that McConnell should have been recognized, and the Senate would take steps to further curb the power of the VP to actually preside.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:14 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Pence might show up with three or four Trumpist votes in hand? I suppose the idea would be to prevent the Senate from moving forward on anything until they give the President his repeal and replace.
posted by notyou at 12:21 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Pence might show up with three or four Trumpist votes in hand? I suppose the idea would be to prevent the Senate from moving forward on anything until they give the President his repeal and replace.
posted by notyou at 4:21 AM on July 31 [+] [!]

I wonder how quick Congress would pull a double impeachment if that happened. I know that would get us President Ryan, but...I don't know if Congress would accept having their hands tied.
posted by saysthis at 12:27 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


You might think Pence could just hang out in the chair and try to impose his will on the Senate, but in this instance the Senators would fall back on their natural defense, which is to be more boring than you can possibly imagine. Pence would tap out after a few hours (or, as they call it in the Senate, "half a speech").
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:29 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


news via AFP: "#BREAKING 755 US diplomats must leave Russia, President Putin announces" (no article yet that I'm aware of)
posted by lalex at 11:04 AM on July 30


Articles coming out now. E.g.:
WaPo: Putin orders cut of 755 personnel at U.S. missions
The Hill: Putin expels 755 US diplomats from Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 755 U.S. diplomatic mission staff to leave the country in a Sunday interview with a Russian television station.

The diplomats must leave the country by Sept. 1, The New York Times reported.

In an interview [with] Rossiya-1, Putin said he was capping the number of American personnel at 455 — the same as the number of Russian diplomatic and technical staff in the United States, according to the Washington Post.

The expulsion comes in response to legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress last week that would increase sanctions against Russia and blocks President Trump from being able to lift the measures.

The staff reduction is dramatic, the Post said, involving the main embassy in Moscow and missions in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.

The Russian government will also seize two diplomatic properties in Moscow, retaliation for an Obama administration decision to take over two Russian mansions in the U.S., the Post added.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 12:31 PM on July 30 [11 favorites]


Oh, surely. The House impeaches... could a motivated White House wedge and finagle a way to prevent or delay that?
posted by notyou at 12:31 PM on July 30


Joe Biden still wants to be president. Can his family endure one last campaign? [WaPo]

Joe, honey, I love you, but sit down.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:36 PM on July 30 [68 favorites]


I wonder how quick Congress would pull a double impeachment if that happened. I know that would get us President Ryan, but...I don't know if Congress would accept having their hands tied.

Nixon 2.0

1. Muller indicts Pence.

2. Failing President Trump appoints $SOMEBODY_ELSE to VP

3. Failing President Trump resigns rather than be impeached/indicted

4. $SOMEBODY_ELSE becomes President.

Who's the money on whom $SOMEBODY_ELSE is going to end up being.
posted by mikelieman at 12:37 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Pence might show up with three or four Trumpist votes in hand?

Then the vote to overrule Pence is 97-3 or 96-4 instead of 100-0?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:39 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


You're probably right that the Senate would remain loyal to the Senate, first.

What if Pence recognized someone like Schumer?
posted by notyou at 12:44 PM on July 30


Then the vote to overrule Pence is 97-3 or 96-4 instead of 100-0?

Assuming the Democrats want to help McConnell save face. Not going to happen.
posted by Talez at 12:45 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Who's the money on whom $SOMEBODY_ELSE is going to end up being.
posted by mikelieman at 4:37 AM on July 31 [1 favorite +] [!]


Joe Exotic/Vermin Supreme 2018
posted by saysthis at 12:45 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Amb. McFaul says we don't even have 755 American diplomats in Russia, so presumably they're forcing us to fire Russian local staff too?
posted by zachlipton at 12:56 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


Assuming the Democrats want to help McConnell save face.

No, assuming that Senators want the Senate to be the Senate and not just an appendage of the white house.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:02 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


This is how they sneak more spies back here!
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Maybe that 755 number includes all the US spies that Trump told Putin about at the G20 dinner.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:02 PM on July 30 [38 favorites]


Maybe that 755 number includes all the US spies that Trump told Putin about at the G20 dinner.

Well, they don't usually just expel people at random, just like we didn't take that compound away just because it was Russia's. It's a perfect opportunity to say "I know what you were doing here" by the names you choose, and to choose precisely the people whose unfinished business or lost capability would hurt the most. And without having to prove anything or even make any explicit accusations.
posted by ctmf at 1:10 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Between Flynn, Trump and Tillerson they probably do have a nice annotated list - them just letting those people go would be a bit of a surprise though.
posted by Artw at 1:17 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


So y'all, I was making a hat cake. So as to eat my hat because McCain voted no. And it was gonna be a cowboy hat, cause maverick, and pink, because women's march, and I wanted to try a new red paste, but I swear before God, I have spent three hours rescuing a Swiss meringue buttercream that turned to soup, and now that I've finally got that fixed, I do not have the spoons to sculpt a cake, so...I'm having deconstructed maverick strawberry cake with Swiss meringue blobs, and fresh strawberries, and I'm calling it a win for cake and maverick both. Now, who wants to come help me eat all this damn cake?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:28 PM on July 30 [76 favorites]


A couple of actuaries put together an analysis of what could happen if Trump stops paying CSR payments to insurance companies.. It would cost the government a lot, and result in a rather strange situation in the exchanges:
Because subsidies in 2018 will be based on the cost of the second lowest-cost silver plan, any increase in those premium rates will cause subsidies to increase in parallel.

In fact, according to our projections, subsidies could increase to the extent that they would actually exceed the cost of a bronze plan for many lower-income enrollees. A substantial portion of the nearly 7 million marketplace enrollees eligible for CSR could receive a bronze-level plan for no cost, or upgrade to a gold-level plan at very low premiums.
Raising premiums like this is also going to chase off those with incomes too high to qualify for subsidies.
posted by zachlipton at 1:30 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


“But he softened that by putting his arm around me"

So I guess now we know why Mike Pence isn't allowed to be alone with women other than his wife.
posted by jackbishop at 1:31 PM on July 30 [34 favorites]


Alaska Dispatch News has a lovely photo essay:

After healthcare vote, supporters rally in Anchorage to thank Murkowski.

Author: Devin Kelly
posted by spitbull at 1:41 PM on July 30 [26 favorites]


Raising premiums like this is also going to chase off those with incomes too high to qualify for subsidies.

I'm sure the dozens of people in this position will be crushed.
posted by Talez at 1:42 PM on July 30


The Arthur Schwartz / Reince Priebus thing: So, according to Schwartz, Trump crew apparently have "oppo research" on their own guys ... in case they step out of line or just out of favor? Which he knows because friend of, definitely not publicist or representative of, Scaramucci?

Maybe I'm behind on the new way of doing things, but that term, "oppo research" seems an awful lot like "blackmail material" when used this way, because, I mean -- you're talking about your own dudes. That's not "oppo," that's just control and coercion. Right? Am I missing something?

Interesting. Is anyone in the media following this up, because I would be interested in hearing more about this "oppo on our own guys" thing.
posted by taz at 1:44 PM on July 30 [46 favorites]


Maxine Water's "Reclaiming My Time" remix single will brighten your day.
posted by emjaybee at 1:44 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


I'm sure the dozens of people in this position will be crushed.

I get the snark, but there are plenty of people who make more than $48,000 a year but less than whatever amount makes paying a sixth to a quarter of your entire income in health insurance costs something laughable.

Raising premiums like this is also going to chase off those with incomes too high to qualify for subsidies.

Since the CSRs apply only to silver plans, would cutting off CSRs affect the premiums for Bronze or Gold plans?
posted by Justinian at 1:46 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Maybe I'm behind on the new way of doing things, but that term, "oppo research" seems an awful lot like "blackmail material" when used this way, because, I mean -- you're talking about your own dudes. That's not "oppo," that's just control and coercion. Right? Am I missing something?

They're Republicans and therefore it's important to be accurate.
posted by Talez at 1:46 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


I get the snark, but there are plenty of people who make more than $48,000 a year but less than whatever amount makes paying a sixth to a quarter of your entire income in health insurance costs something laughable.

The subsidies go up to 400% FPL at 9% of income so your typical family of four is going to be making over a hundred grand and not have employer provided insurance before you get kicked into this edge case.

Like I said, dozens.
posted by Talez at 1:50 PM on July 30


Maybe I'm behind on the new way of doing things

It's been SOP since, oh, the Babylonian courts. If you're in charge of disciplining your troops in government, you absolutely must have a black book of your charges' misdemeanours, because blackmail and fear are perfectly cromulent tools for whipping your lot into line.

I think an ex-Chief Whip of the Tory party put it something like 'little boys, backhanders, blow, booze... it all goes in the book, and stays there if they do what I tell them'.

What you don't do is spunk it out on Twitter. That would be very stupid.
posted by Devonian at 1:51 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


I made cupcakes. Cause that way I can have a tiny victory cake every day for a bunch of days.
posted by supercrayon at 1:52 PM on July 30 [30 favorites]


Mark Summer at DailyKos coins "proctocracy:" government of, by, and for a bunch of assholes.

I've actually been using pluto-klepto-proctocracy for a while: government by rich, thieving assholes.
posted by zeri at 1:56 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


The subsidies go up to 400% FPL at 9% of income so your typical family of four

And 400% FPL for a single person is $48,000. You really think that making $50k is incredibly uncommon? You live in Boston (AFAIK) for crissake! And I'm sure you must have been to, like, LA or NYC or basically any major city.
posted by Justinian at 1:58 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


FWIW, the number of people you're talking about is roughly 10,000,000. Not dozens. That's according to the CBO. But keep on keepin' on.
posted by Justinian at 2:00 PM on July 30 [22 favorites]


Breaking News: President Trump has announced the new Ambassador to Russia, Robert Mueller, who will depart immediately
[fake]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:01 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


I'm sure the dozens of people in this position will be crushed.

Well, hi! I'm one of those "dozens." I buy my health insurance through the ACA marketplace. I don't get subsidies. Please remember that the ACA made a huge difference for people pretty much across all demographics.

I'm self-employed. While I make enough that I could afford to buy insurance before the ACA became law, I lived in fear that the insurance companies could suddenly declare me uninsurable so I never used insurance to pay for any mental health care (even when my policy covered it). I never changed plans once I had one because to do so would require me to remember and list every single time I visited a doctor in the past 5 (or was it 10?) years. If I were to forget just one appointment or prescription, the company would be able to uninsure me at any point.

The ACA isn't just about subsidies or Medicaid (although both are so important and I am delighted that my taxes support them). It is also about ensuring consumer protections for everyone who buys health insurance.
posted by mcduff at 2:03 PM on July 30 [108 favorites]


From the previous thread:

Reminder, the president told the NYT you can get coverage for 12.00/yr and Sarah Huckabee Sanders was supposed to follow up and no one has called her out on that.
I was going to say people should start sending $12 to the WH and ask them to send insurance but then it might go into 45's "reelection campaign".

Also, for $reasons my Facebook thinks I was born in 1924 so I get ads for AARP now, sign up for only $12 a year.
posted by tilde at 2:07 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


I admit I was shocked the number of people who don't receive subsidies for Obamacare plans is as high as NPR reports. I thought the number was in the 2million range! Not that 2million is "dozens" either, but still. 10m is quite surprising.
posted by Justinian at 2:07 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


I don't believe gold plans can cost less than silver plans, though I'm not positive on that. If the price of silver plans increase to make up for the lack of CSR payments, the actuaries seem to think they'll approach the price of gold plans. The off-exchange plans might help make up for this, but the intent was never for the marketplace to be useless to you if you made over 400% FPL, and Republican sabotage may create just that situation.

And yes, people making around 400% FPL (not all of whom are families of four living large in low cost-of-living areas) need to be able to buy health insurance. There are plenty of single people in major cities making $50K/year who don't have employer-provided insurance, including people who are self-employed. I personally know well more than a dozen people in such a situation, thank you very much. This group includes self-employed plumbers and electricians and such who finally had a path to health insurance under the ACA. They will have to drop coverage if their premiums go through the roof. It's great to be more concerned with people who are less well off (and per the analysis I linked, those people can come out of this great, with free bronze plans), but the subsides already help protect those with lower incomes from premium increases.
posted by zachlipton at 2:08 PM on July 30 [14 favorites]


You know, I'm actually tempted to believe that NPR is wrong and are misreporting. 10,000,000 just seems too high as a % of people buying obamacare plans. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
posted by Justinian at 2:10 PM on July 30


> Maybe I'm behind on the new way of doing things, but that term, "oppo research" seems an awful lot like "blackmail material" when used this way, because, I mean -- you're talking about your own dudes. That's not "oppo," that's just control and coercion. Right? Am I missing something?

It would seem to fit NY's second degree coercion.

Which would be a factor if the rule of law was still a thing that applied to the disciples of the MAGA.
posted by Buntix at 2:14 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


I don't know - if I were still living in California, is be pretty tempted to forego coverage provided by my employer for getting a silver or bronze version of Kaiser. It might cost more, but my employer plans were always junk and changed every year.
posted by LionIndex at 2:14 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I believe NPR is including off-exchange plans in that 10 million figure. Charles Gaba puts it at about 7.7 million people buying off-exchange.

The good news is that the ACA requires such plans to follow all the new rules, so they have to cover pre-existing conditions and all the essential benefits and everything. And off-exchange plans are often cheaper than on-exchange ones if you don't qualify for subsidies.
posted by zachlipton at 2:15 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


It's great to be more concerned with people who are less well off (and per the analysis I linked, those people can come out of this great, with free bronze plans)

Right, every analysis I've read indicates that the people at the forefront of marketplaces spiralling out of control are not the poor, who will either qualify for Medicaid or for subsidies which limit their costs as a % of income but the middle-income types who make modestly over 400% FPL and do not qualify for either Medicaid or subsidies.
posted by Justinian at 2:16 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Thanks, zach! That makes sense. Like I said my impression had been that something around 2million people were buying obamacare plans without subsidies, and so it would put the number right around 10million when including off-exchange plans. (Now I'm surprised so many people are on off-exchange plans but that's not really relevant to the discussion.)
posted by Justinian at 2:18 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Also not all subsidies are particularly meaningful. I went on an IBX plan through Obamacare and while any reduction was better than no reduction, it wasn't much.
posted by delfin at 2:29 PM on July 30


Right, every analysis I've read indicates that the people at the forefront of marketplaces spiralling out of control are not the poor, who will either qualify for Medicaid or for subsidies which limit their costs as a % of income but the middle-income types who make modestly over 400% FPL and do not qualify for either Medicaid or subsidies.

If this didn't involve the health and financial security of millions of actual real people, it would be deeply ironic that these are exactly the same people who Trump and Republicans declare to be "Obamacare victims." For those under 400% FPL, the effects of the sabotage are much more limited (albeit not on the federal budget), but they're directly felt by the people Republicans keep claiming they care about.
posted by zachlipton at 2:33 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Which would be a factor if the rule of law was still a thing that applied to the disciples of the MAGA.

It'll happen all at once or not at all, and if it does happen I hope it is utterly pitiless.
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


ctmf: You just posted the teaser, no meat.

As I always do, especially when I know the denizens of this thread are aware of the reporter's other work. Excerpts are not meant to substitute for the full article.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:45 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Presidents in wheelchairs need not apply?

what a terrific way to make sure custodial parents of young children stay out of the public sphere! there are easier ways, some of them still in effect, but this one sounds more fun. plus of course it gives no unfair advantages to white people over everybody else, and by that I mean it gives a lot of them.

Pretty sure Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho could meet those requirements, loq.


Ouch! Points taken. Yeah, I knew that these requirements would also be a little too ubermenschy.

That obviuously wasn't my goal. My goal is just to instill perspective and empathy in people who seem to have none. I'm actually curious to know if you took an acute narcissist and/or sociopath and put them on orbit for a while for a dose of the overview effect, would they come away humbled like so many astronauts have, or would they come away broken and terrified, or would they just naturally see the whole world and think it would perfectly fine and just to own it all and have it rotate obediently around them?

And I have no idea how to make something like this happen. Actually, I'll transcribe the image text, because I've been meaning to type this up for a while and it'll be just a moment:
I want a dyke for president. I want a person with aids for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn't have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn't the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to aids, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air conditioning, a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office and has been unemployed and layed off and sexually harrassed and gaybashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a Black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn't possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown; always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker, always a thief and never caught.

-unknown author and source
posted by loquacious at 2:54 PM on July 30 [27 favorites]


Yeah, I regret naming you specifically, it's just a thing I wish we could all do less of. (and belongs in MeTa, tbh) No worries.
posted by ctmf at 2:56 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


"President Trump has announced the new Ambassador to Russia" Jon Huntsman. Real news.
posted by Oyéah at 3:07 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


-unknown author and source

Zoe Leonard, ""I Want a President," 1992
posted by neroli at 3:13 PM on July 30 [30 favorites]


Good summary of the CSR issue from Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare, Medicaid and ACA for Obama.

@ASlavitt
Trump plans to sabotage the ACA this week. If everyone handles it right, it won't work. More on this later today. Follow if interested.
2- Trump's single greatest bullet in his gun to disrupt ACA is to not make CSR payments what he calls bailouts.
3- Trump has been threatening it & I am hearing he will announce this Tuesday he won't pay. His aide...👇 Kellyanne Conway says President Trump will decide ‘this week’ whether to cut off insurance payments
4- There is a well documented record that this is political & violates the law. Well documented by Trump that is. But more importantly...
5- States & insurers by refilling can make this a neutral 2 positive 4 consumers & the only one to pay the price of this sabotage- Trump...
6- Here's how. This is technical, but Oliver Wyman explains it here: http://health.oliverwyman.com/transform-care/2017/05/impact_defunding_CSR_payments.html
7- Now I will try to explain. Skip next few tweets if you don't want these details. It begins with states allowing states to file w no CSRs.
8- When states re-file, there are 3 types of consumers: 1- those w max subsidies 2- those w some subsidies 3- those w none. All can be ok/btr
9- With max subsidies, consumers are protected against all rate increases. They don't pay a penny more.
10- For consumers w some subsidies, benchmark silver plan is higher so they actually get MORE of a subsidy
11- People with no subsidy will be the same if plans file a comparable off market silver plan.
12- Technical part is over. What this means is insurers make it the exact same in 2018 and beyond. Consumers same in better. But...
13- If Trump eliminates CSR payments, entire increase in burden could be born by the Federal Treasury. Trump would be sabotaging himself.
14- If trump pulls the trigger this could end up looking like the very foolish decision it is if no one blinks. And here's what happens...
15- Here's what happens next.
-Gets sued for remaining 2017 payments.
-2018 & beyond (per Oliver Wyman, tweet 6)
Worse for him...
16- If Trump pulls the trigger on CSRs, he loses what leverage he may have to push Congress for a deal.
17- This is a little but like Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord and states & companies saying "we won't change our emission standards."
posted by chris24 at 3:13 PM on July 30 [34 favorites]


Joe Biden still wants to be president. Can his family endure one last campaign? [WaPo]

FFS, he should get out of the way of people who might actually bring together an effective Democratic coalition. That probably means someone black, someone female, and someone without a lot of voter-hostile legislation to their name.
posted by Coventry at 3:19 PM on July 30 [19 favorites]


Holy shit, Schwartz thought he apologized to Reince because he sent it to the wrong email address (because of course he did) and some prankster fucked with him. The best people.

@jaketapper
Retweeted EMAIL PRANKSTER
This was the email that fooled @arthurschwartz into thinking he had apologized to @Reince

@SINON_REBORN - EMAIL PRANKSTER
I accepted @ArthurSchwartz apology. It seemed the gentlemanly thing to do [screenshot]

@SINON_REBORN
@jaketapper will reveal all tomorrow. There's a few more who have fell for my parlour tricks. Hope none of them are based in the White House

@jaketapper
Retweeted EMAIL PRANKSTER
Watch #TheLead at 4 pm ET Monday, folks!

---

I think Schwartz is gonna regret going after Jake this morning and siccing the trolls on him.
posted by chris24 at 3:20 PM on July 30 [49 favorites]


The dream dies hard.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:20 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


If I were still living in California, is be pretty tempted to forego coverage provided by my employer for getting a silver or bronze version of Kaiser.

This is what I did for a year or so; I was unemployed/working temp gigs, and got on Kaiser through Covered California (without subsidies). When I got a full-time offer, the insurance was BC/BS of Virginia, and the prospect of finding a GP, a GYN, an audiologist, and all the other specialists I needed just looked too intimidating. So I took the financial hit and stayed on CC, waiving my employer's coverage. Probably cost me rather a lot, but I love being in Kaiser and it seemed worth it to me.
posted by suelac at 3:29 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


Zoe Leonard, ""I Want a President," 1992

Thank you, I've always wanted to know the source. I just found that image years ago and always wondered about where it came from.
posted by loquacious at 3:33 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


FFS, he should get out of the way of people who might actually bring together an effective Democratic coalition. That probably means someone black, someone female, and someone without a lot of voter-hostile legislation to their name.

Someone under the age of 70.
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:33 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


Very, very ready for the age of Boomer politics to be over.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on July 30 [79 favorites]


FFS, he should get out of the way of people who might actually bring together an effective Democratic coalition. That probably means someone black, someone female, and someone without a lot of voter-hostile legislation to their name.

Let's not confuse what we want the world to be like with what it actually is like.

It's absurd to argue -- especially after the last election -- that a white man would be less effective at putting together a Democratic coalition than a Black woman. We all agree that the U.S. is racist, right? That's why. It's a sad reality but it's a real truth. Even totally badass women such as Maxine Waters or Barbara Lee would face a significant additional disadvantage on top of all the gerrymandering, voter suppression efforts, unlimited right wing money, Fox & Sinclair propaganda, Russian manipulation, etc. There's a reason an old white man like Bernie Sanders did surprisingly well against Hillary, and it wasn't all socialism.
posted by msalt at 3:36 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


I think Biden is too old and would prefer someone younger but dude would win in a walk. He may be the single most electable Democrat in the country, save for his age. The coalition he could put together would be very solid.
posted by Justinian at 3:40 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


The Christie descent is not over yet.

@BennyHutch
At #Cubs #Brewers game. #ChrisChristie was getting razzed by fans, so he got in the face of one of them. 5:30 on @WISN12News

VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 3:41 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


It's a sad reality but it's a real truth. Even totally badass women such as Maxine Waters or Barbara Lee would face a significant additional disadvantage...

Same reason that Hollywood films starring women or minority actors will never do well at the box office, huh?
posted by clawsoon at 3:41 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Clearly minorities and women face additional discrimination in every single aspect of American life save for running for President?
posted by Justinian at 3:43 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


> There's a reason an old white man like Bernie Sanders did surprisingly well against Hillary, and it wasn't all socialism.

This logic only holds if we assume that the only voters that are allowed to show up in 2020 are the ones who showed up in 2016. A women and/or a person of color at the top of the ticket would create a much different coalition that could win in places that neither Hillary nor Trump did particularly well. This could change the electoral college equation in ways that favor Democrats. It makes no sense to use the outcome of one very weird election to justify playing it safe with Yet Another Old White Guy in 2020.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:46 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


It's absurd to argue -- especially after the last election -- that a white man would be less effective at putting together a Democratic coalition than a Black woman.

I don't think the last election is a good test of whether women can put together a solid coalition. Fair or not (it's not) there is a yawning chasm separating "women" from "women who are Hillary Clinton" in the eyes of the American people.

I think a Klobochar or a Gillibrand or maybe a Kamala Harris (I don't know as much about her yet) would do just fine.
posted by lalex at 3:47 PM on July 30 [15 favorites]


I love Joe Biden. I would love to have dinner with him. I think he's better sidecoaching and doing Biden Foundation stuff, though.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:48 PM on July 30 [14 favorites]


Biden for Vice Pre...oh wait
posted by lalex at 3:49 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Kamala Harris is our next president, let's just all accept it now.
posted by BeginAgain at 3:50 PM on July 30 [17 favorites]


As usual, I'd vote for her if she were the nominee but I am so done with prosecutors.
posted by Justinian at 3:50 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Sergei Ryabkov is another smug Russian asshole who maybe shouldn't talk so much shit to US reporters. I hate him even more because he and fuckers like him are instilling patriotic feelings in me, and I don't like partisanship. Fucking Russians.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:53 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


LAist has a piece about Politicon. Worth it for the Kellyanne Cosplay.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:55 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Hate to disappoint you, but it's not about 'putting together a coalition' or being progressive enough or 'running a great campaign' .....

All of those stupid euphemisms fail in the face of a second x chromosome.
posted by Dashy at 4:07 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]




Tom Price explains that when Trump promised to fire Tom Price if the healthcare vote failed, it was a joke.

Everything Trump says is a joke. Until it's serious. He is Schrödinger's Comedian.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:10 PM on July 30 [32 favorites]


John Delaney is the... the... dude who was governor of... Rhode Island? Who ran in 2016? Of 2020.

You can tell how much of an impact he made. I'm completely blanking on his name. I could google it trivially but I think this makes the point more effectively.
posted by Justinian at 4:26 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


[ENOUGH REHASHING OF THE PRIMARIES, just because Biden likes running for office and somoene wrote an article about it doesn't mean we must RIGHT THIS MINUTE BATTLEDOME THE 2020 PRIMARY. AND I SWEAR BY MY SHINY METAL ASS IF PREHASHING 2020 BECOMES A THING WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:27 PM on July 30 [114 favorites]


Maybe we could work on a list of banned subjects for the catch-all threads? [serious]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:28 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


Okay, this didn't hit me until today, and maybe it was mentioned by others, but the Scar-Moocher calling up a reporter in the middle of the night, and not wanting his name used and expecting to speak off-the-record and trashing Priebus is virtually the definition of a leaker and one who is tearing apart the administration. Which of course he declared he wanted to crack down on.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:31 PM on July 30 [17 favorites]


Maybe we could work on a list of banned subjects for the catch-all threads? [serious]


THIS IS STALINISM [goes on like that for sixteen hours]
posted by gerryblog at 4:33 PM on July 30 [15 favorites]


lol fuck off Ivanka

Politico: Ivanka and Jared find their limits in Trump's White House
She has told allies that she wants to be held accountable solely on those issues she is actively working on — uphill battles that will count as major victories if she is successful — and the success of a World Bank fund she helped start, geared at helping female entrepreneurs gain access to capital. She has also said she wants to make ending human trafficking a White House priority.[...]

Ivanka Trump has explained to critics that she doesn’t want to ruin her credibility with Republicans, whose support she will need, by being perceived as what she sometimes refers to as a “super-lib” and expressing her personal disagreement with the administration’s most conservative policies.

Meanwhile, she desperately wants to lower expectations of what she can achieve in an administration where she views herself as one person on a large team — even though other White House officials said she still has access to the president whenever she desires it. Allies have bucked up her spirits by telling her that her legacy will look better in hindsight if she is successful in moving the needle on her stated issues. And as she navigates the unique role of working-daughter-in-the-White House, she is reading Eleanor Roosevelt’s biography for guidance and inspiration.
posted by lalex at 4:48 PM on July 30 [26 favorites]


Ha ha. "her legacy".
posted by Artw at 4:51 PM on July 30 [24 favorites]


she is reading Eleanor Roosevelt’s biography for guidance and inspiration.

If it wasn't so awful, this would be excellent satire.
posted by suelac at 4:52 PM on July 30 [41 favorites]


well, now we know whose "inspirational quotes" will be dotting her next vapid book about how to succeed as an extremely wealthy white woman with total job security.
posted by lalex at 4:54 PM on July 30 [22 favorites]


lol fuck off Ivanka

+1. She chose not to spend her "political capital" advocating for the LGBTQ community to whom she promised to be an ally. Even judged on the tiny portfolio she claims to be "actively working on" she's a fraud just like her grifter daddy.
posted by SakuraK at 4:54 PM on July 30 [46 favorites]


The fact that I can Ctrl+F this thread and find no mention of William Browder is extremely alarming, considering people on reddit think Trump and Scaramucci's recent antics are specifically designed to distract from Browder's testimony (text / video). This stuff is damning.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 4:55 PM on July 30 [63 favorites]


So for my McCain cake, I made a dewberry cake using the frozen wild dewberries from my yard that I'd been saving up for just such a cake. My husband isn't helping me eat it, though, so I don't know what to do with all this cake.

Today my husband came home from the grocery store with a package of mini cupcakes. Which normally I love and would be a treat, but I just looked at him and went "you bought me CAKE?"

So I'm kinda rolling in freaking cake over here. Guess it's time to go eat cake for dinner...
posted by threeturtles at 4:58 PM on July 30 [25 favorites]


I hope her reading list progression goes Eleanor Roosevelt > Susan B Anthony > Mother Jones > Rosa Luxemburg > Emma Goldman. If nothing else it'll be a helluva fun time during those White House family photo ops.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:58 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


The thing about claiming to be a beast tamer/whisperer is, beasts don't always tame, or listen to you, or sometimes just plain scratch or kill you. The beast is a beast and it's gonna do whatever it fucking wants. It only listens to you sometimes when it's in the fucking mood to. We all remember Roy and his tiger.

This is pretty much the Ivanka problem here. If anyone could tame a beast, she and/or Jared are the most well liked by Trump that anyone can tell--and they still can't make much or any difference.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:04 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


If you have not heard Browder's testimony, you don't have a fucking clue what's going on.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:04 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


If you have not heard Browder's testimony, you don't have a fucking clue what's going on.

A grossly incompetent president is wrecking the country and his election is the result of collusion with Russians? Also oil money pay offs?
posted by Artw at 5:08 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


The last post is full of Browder stuff.

This thread is only 500 comments or, like, 40 minutes old
posted by orange ball at 5:10 PM on July 30 [19 favorites]


We're distracted by still having health insurance.
posted by notyou at 5:13 PM on July 30 [45 favorites]


btw I was so engulfed in rage that I missed this delightful burn:
Her old circles are skeptical. When asked what her view was on Ivanka Trump, the fashion designer Charlotte Ronson wrote in an email: “Fortunately, I don’t know her well enough to give any good accounts.”
Will Jivanka want to move back to NYC when this is all over? idk if that's a great idea for them.
posted by lalex at 5:15 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]




That's a bit problematic, because IIRC the Russians lied about the extent of the disabilities of the Russian orphans, and many parents (and overburdened school systems) were duped. Let's not go there.
posted by Melismata at 5:19 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Jonathan Swan, Axios: Trump's purple crayon
NYT's Maggie Haberman told the "Longform Podcast" last week that President Trump is "some version of Harold [and] the Purple Crayon." It's a children's book about a boy named Harold who has a purple crayon and the power to create his own world by drawing it.
"[Trump] is drawing his own reality and he wants you to kind of follow him down that path," Haberman says. "In his view, all reality is subjective and it can be kind of twisted and played with."
It's one of the most insightful observations I've heard about Trump. And I thought of it while reading the July 24 edition of the National Enquirer
The Hill: Mulvaney: It's White House policy Senate keeps focus on healthcare
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that it’s official White House policy that nothing else gets a vote in Congress before healthcare.

"Yes," it's official policy that the Senate stay focused on ObamaCare reform before voting on anything else, Mulvaney told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union.
I'm sure the Senate will be thrilled to know that the White House is dictating their agenda, and all of us will be thrilled that raising the debt ceiling is a secondary concern. And, um, is the White House that keeps complaining about the pace of confirmations now insisting that all confirmations must stop?
posted by zachlipton at 5:19 PM on July 30 [23 favorites]


"Yes," it's official policy that the Senate stay focused on ObamaCare reform before voting on anything else, Mulvaney told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union.

This is prolly the funniest thing that happened all day. You'd think a former congressman would know that's not how this works.
posted by lalex at 5:22 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


Anyone that compares Trump to Harold and the Purple Crayon does not understand Harold and the Purple Crayon. This seriously pisses me off.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:22 PM on July 30 [33 favorites]


> nothing else gets a vote in Congress before healthcare.

I thought they had a vote on healthcare, and that vote said "no changes."

"Keep voting until you get the answer you want" is not how a democracy works. Neither is "vote again until the president is happy with the results," or we'd have had a very different November 9th last year.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:24 PM on July 30 [38 favorites]


Now, do we know for sure that this guy actually exists and isn't just The Mooch's cocaine tulpa?

Having recently seen Kuso it's just as possible that he's a talking blowjob-giving boil on Mooch's neck.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:26 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Even while there is no doubt adoption is being used as political leverage and even code right now, there is also a real reason Russians and others are skeptical of American adoptions: U.S. Mother Who 'Returned' Her Adopted Son To Russia Ordered To Pay Child Support. I've chosen Forbes as the source for this story because both sides etc. but I can assure you all that when the case was on every single not American media was horrified by the blatant inhumanity of the American system. This was the case that made "adoptions" an easy target for Russian propaganda later on and now. I'd guess that a lot of people in Russia, Europe and Asia who don't follow politics will remember this story and feel Russia is doing the right thing.
posted by mumimor at 5:32 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


"Cocaine tulpa" made me literally lol out loud
posted by SakuraK at 5:33 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


We're distracted by still having health insurance.


Today, anyway. I srsly quit my job and went freelance a couple of weeks before election day because Hillz was in.

/em warms up resistbot
posted by tilde at 5:36 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


Wow Maginsky died a bad death. And so Putin carried this grudge against this guy, tortured him, denied him medical help when he was dying of pancreatic cancer, beat him to death, because, what, Putin was a beneficiary of the tax rip-off that Maginsky was trying to expose?

It seems rather Trumpian.
posted by angrycat at 5:40 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


I'd guess that a lot of people in Russia, Europe and Asia who don't follow politics will remember this story and feel Russia is doing the right thing.

Wait. You'd guess that a lot of people would think cancelling an entire adoption program because of one (admittedly awful) situation is the right thing?? It's one woman. If the US had some sort of habit of doing this, that would be one thing. But an isolated incident makes you think it's reasonable to trash the whole program? I mean, maybe I might think, they should see where this one went wrong and see if they need to adjust their methods. But I don't see many people saying "Oh yeah, I remember that news story. I guess those Americans just shouldn't raise kids."
posted by greermahoney at 5:53 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Right now, "not the worst Trump" looks like Ivanka's best shot at a legacy. And for that she'll have to fight Barron and Tiffany.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:53 PM on July 30 [19 favorites]


fine.

MetaFilter: pointlessly tendentious.
posted by petebest at 5:53 PM on July 30


In other Russia news: https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/30/russian-censorship-law-bans-proxies-and-vpns/ - It's also requiring that you link your phone number to chat apps.


This really isn't the sort of 80's nostalgia I enjoy.

Quite curious to see if anything happens with the Russian troll farm support for Trump, presumably they'll still be bulking up the global alt-right, but it could be an indication whether Putin's on the out with Trump, or just U.S. America.
posted by Buntix at 5:55 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


because, what, Putin was a beneficiary of the tax rip-off that Maginsky was trying to expose?

Putin benefits financially, yes, but the bigger picture is that Putin builds his political power through overseeing and enforcing the kleptocracy. Money is stolen from the Russian economy and it goes to the people of Putin's choosing. He creates loyalty and consolidates political power by having well-fed lieutenants.

The Magnitsky Act throws a wrench in that, money can no longer flow from the Russian economy to Putin and his henchmen in their outside-of-Russia personal accounts. They've been keeping their money in the US and EU because the rule of law is so weak in Russia that if the money can be stolen once there's no guarantee that it won't be stolen again. With the Magnitsky Act in place those already stolen assets are now stranded and newly embezzled funds have no safe haven, Putin's mechanism of exercising political power has been directly undermined.
posted by peeedro at 5:56 PM on July 30 [40 favorites]


Molly Ball, Atlantic: The Final Humiliation of Reince Priebus: "Like his party, the former White House chief of staff swallowed his principles in the name of power. He was repaid in savage indignity." A really good look at how Priebus found himself in this position. Oh, and Michael Steele still bears a grudge all right:
Ironically, Priebus’s own career in national politics began with an act of disloyalty. In 2011, he was serving as the Republican National Committee’s general counsel under then-chairman Michael Steele. Despite big wins in the 2010 midterm elections, party activists had become dissatisfied with what they viewed as Steele’s mismanagement and penchant for gaffes. Steele knew he would have challengers when he sought another term as chairman—but he didn’t expect a challenge from Priebus, whom he considered a teammate.

“This is the bed Reince has been making for himself since he was my general counsel,” Steele told me. “He’s a guy who’s always positioning himself for the next thing. Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?”
One of the most interesting parts of the Priebus story is his role in bringing all of this about; he had spent years working to cultivate Trump as a party donor before he ran, apparently not getting the memo that Trump prefers if other people write the checks. He saw a loudmouth birther and saw dollar-signs. As Trump kept talking about running for office, Priebus humored him because he wanted his money. And here we are.

Roger Cohen, NYT op-ed: The Desperation of Our Diplomats
Still, that shove captured the rudeness and remoteness that have undermined trust at Foggy Bottom. Stephenson began to understand the many distressed people coming to her “asking if their service is still valued.” The lack of communication between the secretary and the rest of the building has been deeply disturbing.

An exodus is underway. Those who have departed include Nancy McEldowney, the director of the Foreign Service Institute until she retired last month, who described to me “a toxic, troubled environment and organization”; Dana Shell Smith, the former ambassador to Qatar, who said what was most striking was the “complete and utter disdain for our expertise”; and Jake Walles, a former ambassador to Tunisia with some 35 years of experience. “There’s just a slow unraveling of the institution,” he told me.

The 8,000 Foreign Service officers are not sure how to defend American values under a president who has entertained the idea of torture, shown contempt for the Constitution, and never met an autocrat who failed to elicit his sympathy. Trump seems determined to hollow out the State Department in a strange act of national self-amputation.
posted by zachlipton at 5:58 PM on July 30 [61 favorites]


Charlie Warzel, in this week's Infowarzel, leads off with this tidbit:

The real effect of Trump's anti-media twitter rants: What happens when a president uses his office to constantly undermine coverage he doesn't like as "fake news?" And what is the lasting effect of a relentless anti-MSM pro-Trump media that trumpets messages like #CNNIsISIS? One example is this headline which I couldn't get out of my brain this week:

"Poll: Republicans Think Courts Should Be Able To Shut Down Media That’s “Biased Or Inaccurate,” 45/20"

It's just one poll, I know, but...HOO BOY! As Allahpundit notes:

"45/20, tantalizingly close to a clear majority for torching the First Amendment. Nothing says “small government” like telling judges to close down newspapers for having too much of a point of view."

[…]

Oh, and it's not just Republicans (though they're the most in favor, according to the poll). As Allahpundit notes:

"Among 25 demographics measured, not a single one has a majority opposed to the idea of court-ordered shutterings of certain media. The groups most strongly opposed are Clinton voters and “other” voters last fall at just 42 percent apiece. Overall, a plurality of 43 percent of the population “hasn’t heard enough” to form an opinion yet about whether the state should be allowed to target news outlets for closure."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:59 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


"Poll: Republicans Think Courts Should Be Able To Shut Down Media That’s “Biased Or Inaccurate,” 45/20"

Oh wow how different things would have looked if this was around in 2009.
posted by Talez at 6:01 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Maybe that 755 number includes all the US spies that Trump told Putin about at the G20 dinner.

read + write + execute for owner, and read + execute for group and others. Putin is making linux file permission jokes now.
posted by srboisvert at 6:01 PM on July 30 [26 favorites]


read + write + execute for owner, and read + execute for group and others. Putin is making linux file permission jokes now.

#MAKEEXTGREATAGAIN
posted by Talez at 6:07 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


Where narcissists are concerned, the more golden you are as the golden child, the worse your treatment when you inevitably fail to live up to the standards set for you.

That's something Christie doesn't seem yet to have learned. He keeps trying to regain his status as favored child, not realizing that Trump has moved on to other favorites. For now. Not that their position is anything to envy, just look at Priebus. No doubt Scaramucci's turn on the wheel will be spectacular. Probably throw the guy in jail.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:09 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


So, listen up, Team Trump: “Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers only.”

How did we all miss such a straight pitch to setup this joke?

@JerryDunleavy: "Covfefe is for closers"
posted by zachlipton at 6:12 PM on July 30 [31 favorites]


The most interesting section of the Infowarzel piece (the "meat," as it were ;)):
The Platform Wars And What It Means For The Pro-Trump Media: Three similar events transpired over the last two weeks that stuck with me. A week ago, Bill Mitchell tweeted that Facebook blocked — without warning, he says — his 'Your Voice Radio' content. And Alt-Right (honestly, I'm actually a little unsure where she lands on the political spectrum these days) personality Lauren Southern tweeted at length that her Patreon crowdfunding account was deleted. And finally, this weekend, the alt-right vlogger and Twitter personality, Baked Alaska, had his GoFundMe account suspended as he was trying to raise money for a #UniteTheRight meetup in Charlottesville, VA in August.

To the pro-Trump media, these are flagrant signs of censorship and punishment for their viewpoints. But as an outside observer it also highlights the importance of mainstream technology platforms in the pro-Trump media.

The far-right has put together a number of bespoke crowdfunding sites but for the most part there's a huge tech deficit on the far right. The major social distribution platforms —where the pro-Trump media largely have risen from and have indoctrinated and gained their followers — are touted as inclusive and as open to nearly all viewpoints but are generally thought of as part of a progressive culture and (generalizing here...but) most have pretty liberal workforces. It sets up a pretty interesting dynamic. Especially when you consider that none of these platforms are required — as self-governed corporate entities — to be equal opportunity spaces or even to uphold basic tenets of free speech (though, for the most part, they try to).

When the pro-Trump media is banned from a major platform — take Milo and Twitter — there are very real consequences for those individuals. Mostly that's because these platforms are a) how they grow their audiences and b) where they can cross over and get the attention of the MSM. Again, take Milo and his Twitter megaphone. He's still in the news cycle, sure, but his voice — and reach — is drastically turned down as a result.

In recent months there've been some valiant efforts to create pro-Trump tech communities like Gab.ai (an almost carbon copy of Twitter with a near-anything goes speech policy). Gab may have a growing user base and some cash on hand and even dedicated fans but the one thing Gab doesn't have is liberals to troll and trigger. Twitter does. Twitter is the crossover portal between the MSM and the pro-Trump "Upside Down." That makes it vital to the pro-Trump operation. Just like YouTube is "red-pill" ground zero (where the pro-Trump media) can indoctrinate new followers, Twitter is where they can break through. What happens if some or any of that goes away?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:14 PM on July 30 [31 favorites]


BTW if you're wondering what the GanerGate assholes are up to now when they are not being the "alt-right", I'm pretty sure this Is them.
posted by Artw at 6:27 PM on July 30 [14 favorites]


That Chris Christie on a fan reminds me of:

Max What now?
Leo You're going to jump on me.
Max What?
Leo You're going to jump on me. I know you're gonna jump on me and squash me like a bug. Please don't jump on me.
Max I'm not gonna jump on you. I'm not gonna jump on you! Will you please get a hold of yourself?
Leo Leave me alone, and don't touch me please, don't touch me!
Max What is your problem?
Leo I'm hysterical, I'm having hysterics. When I get like this, I can't stop.
Max Will you stop that, and don't panic please.
Leo I'm hysterical, I'm having hysterics. I'm still panicking, and I can't stop.
Max Hold on I'm coming (throws water on Leo)
Leo I'M WET!!! I'M WET!!! Cause, I'm hysterical!!! (Max slaps him) I'M IN PAIN!!! I'M IN PAIN!!! And I'm wet and Cause, I'm still hysterical!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:33 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Ha ha. "her legacy."

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:45 PM on July 30 [28 favorites]


Gab may have a growing user base and some cash on hand and even dedicated fans but the one thing Gab doesn't have is liberals to troll and trigger.
Gab doesn't have enough cash on hand to pay market salaries for the people it already employs, of course, much less to do the new hiring it would have to do to scale. I wish people who report on this would actually pay attention to the numbers they're talking about--what they've raised has already supposedly lasted them about a year and if it lasts them another year, it's because they've suckered their labor into working for options. The numbers look big, but not for a company that needs to pay salaries and an accountant and hosting costs. They haven't raised an amount that could lead anybody to take seriously that they're capable of scaling even if they had enough people coming in and regularly using the service to need to.

So, yeah, there's way more than "one thing" they don't have.
posted by Sequence at 6:54 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


I could believe the recent over-the-top shenanigans are, in part, camouflage for Browder's testimony. What I don't get, is what good that's supposed to do.

It's a complex situation with a lot of history; it doesn't condense nicely into tweets; and most important, the people charged with investigating and doing something about it aren't getting their info from Facebook, so it really doesn't matter if the internet is exploding with POTUS45's newest bigotry or musical-chairs staffing arrangements.

If I were charged with downplaying that testimony to the public, I'd be making sure every news outlet got a copy of the testimony and were encouraged to make it immediate, breaking news. Each one would pick a different soundbite, probably most commonly the graphic horror details of prison torture - and gliding over the money-laundering issues. The general public reaction would be "ooh, Russian prison is terrible, someone should stop them from being so awful," and then they'd go back to their celebrity tweetfeed.

Ignoring at hoping it'll go away isn't likely to work; instead, it lets journalists and pundits dig through the complexities and try to find the single bright-line story that can be outlined in a handful of tweets - before the whole thing is "old news," which is what would happen if it were solidly reported and then ignored for a few days.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 7:02 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


I could believe the recent over-the-top shenanigans are, in part, camouflage for Browder's testimony.

I honestly think it's time to dispel this fiction that Trump knows exactly what he's doing. He doesn't know what he's doing. He's a malignant sociopath, a narcissist, a reckless, hot-tempered bully, a person who is wildly incurious and doesn't know anything about government or governing. This is how such people act. He's not playing 11-dimensional chess here. He doesn't know what he's doing.
posted by lalex at 7:13 PM on July 30 [81 favorites]


So this is encouraging, right? Trump’s Base Sticks With Him — Except in the South

Pres. Trump Net Approval (Gallup)

WV +25
ND +23
WY +20
OH -1
IA -4
GA -7
AZ -9
TX -9

WI -9
PA -9
MI -10

Those are devastating #s for traditionally deep red states...
posted by zakur at 7:21 PM on July 30 [26 favorites]


Unless they are willing to vote Democratic his approval could be -30. I'll believe it when I see it.
posted by Justinian at 7:22 PM on July 30 [26 favorites]


The fact that I can Ctrl+F this thread and find no mention of William Browder is extremely alarming

I freaked out about all that stuff weeks ago. Browder was on every political podcast five minutes after Junior started tweeting about the "adoptions" meeting.
posted by diogenes at 7:25 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


It's insane that the favorability numbers for historically bluish-purple Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania are right there alongside Texas and Georgia.

I'm not sure how to interpret what that means for 2018, but it's certainly something that wouldn't have been expected two years ago.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:28 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


I think perhaps this is more a situation where Texas and Georgia are surprisingly right there alongside MI, PA, and WI - as in, those numbers are not so surprising in the bluish-purple states, but they are quite surprising in the red ones.
posted by marlys at 7:36 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** Elections integrity:
-- Hackers were able to break into voting machine software in short order at DEF CON. [The Hill]

-- After winning the case against EPIC, the Kobach commission has renewed its voter data request. Most states expected not to change their original stance.
** AL Sen special election -- In the GOP primary, two polls (Strategy Research, Cygnal) have appointed Sen Luther Strange up a few points on Roy "the Ten Commandments judge guy" Moore, with House Freedom Caucus Rep Mo Brooks trailing in 3rd.

** 2018 Senate:
-- Trafalgar Group (a GOP pollster) has Kid Rock up 49-46 on Stabenow. Um, I'll believe this one when I see it.

-- No surprise, but Manchin formally announced his re-election bid in WV.
** 2018 House -- General overview from Sabato, plus rating changes (12 Dem favorable, 1 GOP favorable).

** Odds & ends -- Nice writeup on that NH state Senate seat the Dems held.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:37 PM on July 30 [30 favorites]


I wouldn't worry about Browder's testimony (which is well worth watching for many reasons) being somehow kicked out of the news cycle. It's not news, and was never in the cycle. There are no revelations, there is no new possible path to the prize. What it is, is a bunch of decent people getting important evidence into the right context, so it can be used to illuminate other things.

What Browder says is all known already. It's not news. But because of who he is and the direct experiences he's had, he knows he's an important primary source for the investigation, and he needs to tell them directly. So this testimony has multiple purposes: to let the Judiciary committee know from the horse's mouth about the modus operandi of the Russians, to demonstrate publically that these claims are sourced, and to show that the committee is working properly.

None of this is news: all of it is necessary. It's a feature, not a story.

Enjoy the Moocharama in good conscience.
posted by Devonian at 7:39 PM on July 30 [19 favorites]


WV +25

I'm not even slightly surprised by that number but it's just so frustrating to see it.
posted by octothorpe at 7:47 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


I'm not even slightly surprised by that number but it's just so frustrating to see it.

Choosing between a job and clean air and water for your kids is a hell of a Sophie's Choice for these people and I struggle to blame them solely for it.
posted by Talez at 7:49 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Something new? Maybe? Politico: Centrist lawmakers plot bipartisan health care stabilization bill
A coalition of roughly 40 House Republicans and Democrats plan to unveil a slate of Obamacare fixes Monday they hope will gain traction after the Senate’s effort to repeal the law imploded.

The Problem Solvers caucus, led by Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), is fronting the effort to stabilize the ACA markets, according to multiple sources. But other centrist members, including Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and several other lawmakers from the New Democrat Coalition and the GOP’s moderate Tuesday Group are also involved.

Their plan focuses on immediately stabilizing the insurance market and then pushing for Obamacare changes that have received bipartisan backing in the past.

The most significant proposal is funding for Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies. Insurers rely on these payments – estimated to be $7 billion this year — to reduce out-of-pocket costs for their poorest Obamacare customers.
I wouldn't trust Tom Reed to reliably tell me if the building we were both in was on fire, so I'm skeptical, but actually appropriating the CSR funds would be progress. They also, of course, want to end the medical device tax, because that's one thing lobbyists will not ever let die.
posted by zachlipton at 7:50 PM on July 30 [15 favorites]


Calling that a choice implies there’s any indication the job will materialize.
posted by phearlez at 7:50 PM on July 30 [25 favorites]


Calling that a choice implies there’s any indication the job will materialize.

Whatever. Call it punishing the people who cost them their job and punishing the people that turned their water to yellow sludge. Either way they go they can't vote their way out of the shit.
posted by Talez at 7:55 PM on July 30


I mean, seriously, when we were drawing up the Loan Guarantee Program for REEE projects did we not think to put a string in there that if they commercialize their tech they pick an area ravaged by energy policy changes for manufacturing?

Instead we had a brand new Tesla manufacturing plant in freaking Fremont in one of the lowest unemployment areas in the freaking world.

Who honestly can blame these people for thinking "what the fuck, Democrats?"
posted by Talez at 7:58 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Instead we had a brand new Tesla manufacturing plant in freaking Fremont

Isn't the Fremont plant an older GM plant?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:05 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Yes. Tesla plant is older GM plant that became a Japanese car company plant with GM. Been there since 60's.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:07 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Yep, you can read about the history of NUMMI. And re-opening a shuttered car factory to build electric cars doesn't seem like such a bad plan to me, even if you might wish that factory was located somewhere else.
posted by zachlipton at 8:17 PM on July 30 [13 favorites]


On thursday McMaster fired
Derek Harvey, an Iran hawk hired by Michael Flynn.
Is McMaster on his way as well?
posted by adamvasco at 8:17 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


WV +25
I'm not even slightly surprised by that number but it's just so frustrating to see it.


Yeah I'm not sure the solution in WV is to nominate a liberal democrat for Senate judging from this number.
posted by Justinian at 8:18 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Democrats Can Abandon the Center — Because the Center Doesn’t Exist
Those who subscribe to the spatial model acknowledge that this prediction doesn’t bear out: Real-life political parties are beholden to interest groups, donors, and hyperpartisan activists who inhibit their capacity to court the median voter. Still, the model dictates that whichever party can best neutralize those constraints and capture the center, wins.

But, as Achen and Bartels argue in their book, the problem with this theory is that none of its premises are true.

First, very few voters have uniformly liberal or conservative ideological views. Which is to say: Public opinion varies across more than one ideological dimension. There are a good number of people in America who support increasing Social Security benefits and banning Muslims from immigrating to the United States. Which shouldn’t be surprising, given that there is no inherent contradiction between those two beliefs. In fact, a recent study of the 2016 electorate by political scientist Lee Drutman found that most social/racial conservatives in the United States have broadly liberal economic views.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:22 PM on July 30 [27 favorites]


Ike Barinholtz (via Twitter): Anthony Scaramucci looks like an extra in the Wolf of Wall Street that they had to fire because he kept trying to talk to Leo

(that's from the last thread)

Um. That was supposed to be a joke, and yet. Today's Daily Beast, Marlow Stern: How Anthony Scaramucci Made It Into ‘Wall Street 2’—And Donald Trump Got Cut
Scaramucci, who goes by the nickname “The Mooch,” pops up briefly in two interstitial scenes of Money Never Sleeps as an unnamed short seller working for Churchill Schwartz, the investment firm run by Brolin’s villain.

In both of the scenes, presented in split-screen, Scaramucci is talking to clients by phone, and in the later one, at around the film’s 40-minute mark, he even appears to channel his new boss, using one of Trump’s favorite made-up words.

“Churchill Schwartz has a yuge position in this thing and I want to get you in that stock,” he says.

The Mooch’s brief cameos, which amount to less than fifteen total seconds of screen time, didn’t come cheap. According to sources close to the production, in exchange for the cameos—and the SkyBridge Capital logo being displayed prominently during a charity gala sequence in the film—Scaramucci ponied up around $100,000. Former president George W. Bush didn’t nickname him “Gucci Scaramucci” for nothing.

That, of course, is more screen time than Donald Trump received.
We previously discussed Trump's deleted scene and his list of demands for what camera angles could be used and that nobody was allowed to touch his hair.

As Christman says: "Jokes are over. No more jokes."
posted by zachlipton at 8:25 PM on July 30 [26 favorites]


I wouldn't trust Tom Reed to reliably tell me if the building we were both in was on fire, so I'm skeptical

I share your skepticism of (my rep., alas) Tom Reed. But FWIW, he has not been awful on climate change or on bipartisan efforts: he is, at least, a member of the House's bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.
posted by marlys at 8:27 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Centrist lawmakers plot bipartisan health care stabilization bill

Oh great, just what we need in these trying times: finding the middle point between absolute cruelty and moderate cruelty. There's a winning strategy for all of us.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:39 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


[As William Shatner is not involved in US politics, we are not going to have a flamewar over whether stupid shit he says on Twitter is adequate to call a Jewish man a Nazi so that 47 people can ragequit over a gigantic derail.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:45 PM on July 30 [49 favorites]


Can we at least all unite in agreement that this gospel version of Rep. Maxine Waters' Reclaiming My Time by Twitter's @mykalkilgore is what we truly all need right now?
posted by zachlipton at 8:54 PM on July 30 [68 favorites]


Re: NUMMI
For me, one of the most memorable episodes of This American Life was the one on NUMMI (links: the 2015 episode, an update to the original 2010 episode).

Interesting case study of an industry's creative problem-solving, job creation/improvement, contrasting cultural approaches...I especially appreciated the interviews with the workers who compared before-NUMMI and during/after-NUMMI experiences.

Contrast with the isolationist rhetoric of today.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 8:56 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


My six-year-old was sitting next to me on the couch when I watched that Maxine Waters clip originally and now whenever his brother pisses him off and tries to talk over him, he starts shouting, "RECLAIMING MY TIME! RECLAIMING MY TIME! RECLAIMING MY TIME!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:56 PM on July 30 [186 favorites]


Literally every single woman who's being interrupted should be yelling that out.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:07 PM on July 30 [69 favorites]




Waters was being stonewalled, and yet she persisted in reclaiming her time.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:12 PM on July 30 [17 favorites]


I'm just waiting for some woman to bring a giant loud buzzer or horn or something to smack every time a guy talks over her.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:37 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Perhaps the DNC gavel?
posted by bardophile at 9:45 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Okay, I just listened to that gospel version 4 times in a row. It's CATCHY.
posted by nonasuch at 9:48 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole Mnuchin is. He basically told her that he wasn't going to respond to her letter, that she could ask other committee members he felt like talking to.
posted by msalt at 11:00 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


I honestly think it's time to dispel this fiction that Trump knows exactly what he's doing. He doesn't know what he's doing.... He's not playing 11-dimensional chess here.

This whole idea of 11th dimensional chess is crap anyway. Look at the last person who the citizens were told 'oh don't worry - he's just playing 11th dimensional chess' didn't get done the things that he was supposedly playing 11th dimensional chess on and therefore would get things done.

These people are not Xanatos from Gargoyles. They are human beings who have direct access to the levers of power and are using them for either their own purpose or for the purpose of a class of others who would rather not be seen using the levers of power.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:03 AM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Wait. You'd guess that a lot of people would think cancelling an entire adoption program because of one (admittedly awful) situation is the right thing?? It's one woman. If the US had some sort of habit of doing this, that would be one thing. But an isolated incident makes you think it's reasonable to trash the whole program? I mean, maybe I might think, they should see where this one went wrong and see if they need to adjust their methods. But I don't see many people saying "Oh yeah, I remember that news story. I guess those Americans just shouldn't raise kids."

Way up there, but I feel I ought to reply. The comment was not about what I think, but about public perception. The way this story was presented in our media, it did seem "the US had some habit of doing this". That was of course deeply unfair, but adoption is a very complicated thing and there are anti-adoption activists out there ready to blow every single case up while even the so-called mainstream media loves a scandal.
posted by mumimor at 1:36 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Trump makes US seem a 'kleptocracy', says ex-ethics chief Walter Shaub

Shaub, who quit job at head of Office of Government Ethics this month, describes ‘embarrassment’ of Trump’s business ties as president
(...)
“We can’t know whether his decisions are motivated by his policy aims or his financial interests,” he said, “and that uncertainty alone creates the problem because, whatever his intent, people having to ask undermines the faith in governmental decision-making and puts a cloud over everything the government does.”
posted by moody cow at 3:32 AM on July 31 [39 favorites]


Rather shocked no one link to The Observer called The Observer view on Donald Trump’s unfitness for office exists. Donald - please stop winning.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:35 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]



Rather shocked no one link to The Observer called The Observer view on Donald Trump’s unfitness for office exists. Donald - please stop winning.

In a way, what is happening now is so far beyond the pale that people have forgotten how things were before, if that makes sense. It's good someone is reminding us all. But it is terrifying that we are here
posted by mumimor at 4:53 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Reclaiming My Time (Gospel Mix) (Non-f***ingTwitter version) is indeed the perfect way to start the day and an important part of this nutritious breakfast.
posted by petebest at 4:59 AM on July 31 [28 favorites]


In a way, what is happening now is so far beyond the pale that people have forgotten how things were before, if that makes sense.

And I'd stake out a different position: Any individual set of malfeasance has a historical parallel, adjusting for the technology used in the malfeasance. That parallel may be in lower-level offices and on rare occasions outside the direct political history of the US of A, but I'd say it exists.

Trump has seen/heard of event X happening to Y and seen no punishment OR he's done X(1) in the past. Now he went unchallenged on X(1) or may have gotten called on it, and either paid off the counterparty, bullied his way out, or actually "won" in a court battle.

The only 2 differences are:
1) How 'concentrated' the doubling down on the stupid is.
2) The ability of the historic media function is now distributed to the people information is.

"The system" has let Trump and people like Trump get away with things and the man and the people around him are just doing what they understand has worked or observed has worked.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:39 AM on July 31 [9 favorites]


WBUR: Vietnam Veteran First To Receive Medal Of Honor From President Trump

Scheduled for today. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:02 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Any news on when the Russian Sanction bill gets signed?
posted by mikelieman at 6:07 AM on July 31


Vietnam Veteran First To Receive Medal Of Honor From President Trump

It's weird how much headline writers and article writers are leaning on Trump in this (and other similar military decoration-awarding stories). Maybe I'm just noticing it more, but I don't remember quite so much emphasis on Obama in similar stories eight years ago.
posted by Etrigan at 6:10 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Any news on when the Russian Sanction bill gets signed?

He's only got ten days from when it is sent from the Capitol so he's gotta sign it soon. Or he could just not sign it and let it become law anyway, I guess, which would be the next best signal besides vetoing it that he's still all-in with his Russian pals.
posted by dis_integration at 6:12 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Maybe I'm just noticing it more, but I don't remember quite so much emphasis on Obama in similar stories eight years ago.

Because no one expected Obama to say something stupid. (ok, ok. Some thought policy X was stupid and then would call him stupid but lets say that is just normal politics.) Read off the teleprompter - sure. But there was a low-level "what stupid thing will he say" angle to Bush the second.

There is gonna be a train wreck and we are all around the dumpster fire with campfire jiffy pop so we have something to eat while watching the train wreck of the week. In this case it will be the train wreck to END the month and we'll all get a new wrecks NEXT month.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:19 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


A procedural query: why does Maxine Waters get tp be successfully be all IN YOUR FACE with the rules but Elizabeth Warren gets shut down? Is there only a 'reclaiming my time' rule in certain legislative proceedings?
posted by angrycat at 6:20 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Any news on when the Russian Sanction bill gets signed?

For what it's worth, NPR reported this morning that Trump will sign the bill, though it was in the news summary so no details on how they knew that.
posted by Gelatin at 6:22 AM on July 31


A senate floor debate has different parliamentary rules than a house committee hearing.
posted by spitbull at 6:22 AM on July 31 [23 favorites]


Vietnam Veteran First To Receive Medal Of Honor From President Trump

It's also another thing that Obama took care of that Trump looks to take to credit for:
In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter recommended McCloughan for the Medal of Honor. But since the medal must be awarded within five years of the recipient's actions, Congress needed to pass a bill waiving the time limit. President Barack Obama signed the measure in late 2016, but he didn't get the opportunity to recognize McCloughan with the medal before his term ended this year.
posted by peeedro at 6:27 AM on July 31 [40 favorites]


"The system" has let Trump and people like Trump get away with things and the man and the people around him are just doing what they understand has worked or observed has worked.

I've thought about this idea for a while now too. It's kind of depressing to wonder how much American governance in the past has been by people like him, with the only differences being what you note above, plus the fact that properly seasoned politicians have been socialized into how to at least *look* like they value concepts like democracy and dignity.
posted by Rykey at 6:27 AM on July 31 [12 favorites]


I've thought about this idea for a while now too. It's kind of depressing to wonder how much American governance in the past has been by people like him, with the only differences being what you note above, plus the fact that properly seasoned politicians have been socialized into how to at least *look* like they value concepts like democracy and dignity.

Ha ha, a lot of it. Maybe most! Picture a time when you've been in the room with people who have fancier jobs than you and/or more money, and how obvious it usually is that they think you're a stupid peasant who is too ignorant to identify what is important for their own life, much less have opinions about the big stuff. (If you're working class, there will be many times like that.) Then picture people like that - but richer and more powerful, and they grew up with constant deference from, like, actual servants - running the world.

Inequality and rule by elites - even rule by a political class - are bad things and produce bad results. We're seeing that in letters of fire right now, and I still have some hope that the post-Trump shake-out will improve things a bit, but the real improvement would be some system where high marginal tax rates, term limits and some kind of much more representative mechanism (althings for all!) minimized the tendency toward rule by an entrenched class of wealthy people who are all basically friends even when they pretend to oppose each other.
posted by Frowner at 6:39 AM on July 31 [30 favorites]


I mean, if there were constant hot mikes, Washington would be razed by angry mobs within a week, because we'd have incontrovertible evidence of their contempt for working people.
posted by Frowner at 6:40 AM on July 31 [15 favorites]


politicians have been socialized into how to at least *look* like they value concepts like democracy

When was the last time a politician said "My esteemed colleague here has said that we are a democracy and the reality is we are a Republic and for good reason" and then go into how, just on national security issues, the elected reps get information the public does not and therefore a leap of faith is sometimes needed when the public believes one way VS the way a vote goes down.

The citizens have a WHOLE bunch of obligations - follow more laws that can be counted, be on the hook for a whole bunch of debt, and follow the instructions of local enforcement bodies. To get 'em to go along with all of that crap - ya gotta try to sell 'em that "of course you'll be listen to" when it sure seems obvious the citizens are not.

Trump exists as president because a large enough section of the population felt he was gonna change things. And, yea, he SURE is changing things.

Saying "lets go back to what we had" is going to have pushback. Actual accountability for public officials for getting America into its mess its now in would be a way out of Trump but ALSO be something that hasn't existed for some time. Why not try THAT eh?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:43 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


I know a guy (not me) who hates Trump - haaaaaaates him, but voted 3rd party. Naturally I said, well you bought it - enjoy! And his response was that he felt that as bad as Trump is, at least it wasn't business as usual, in all of its negative context. That was a few months ago.

Trump is utter chaos and each day is a new trial from which we have so far barely emerged intact, but I still took his meaning in that under HRC we'd get competent, even progressive, leadership, but the Banks would not be reined in, the big money would do what it does, etc. "Business as usual", lobbyists run DC, we can't expect congress to change, every election is Coke vs. Pepsi. As under Obama. Just, beyond powerless in his role as voter.

I think not voting Clinton was straight up unsanity, but his point was something like "people are so tired of that they're willing to go along with this yutz just to do something, anything different". And yes it was a white, straight, fiscally conservative male so. The downside probably seemed weather-able at the time, and he hates Trump and HRC so he didn't vote for either major party. I'm hoping he learned? I guess?
posted by petebest at 7:13 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Agreed Frowner and Rough. Although I do think Trump is in his own class (heh) in this regard. Perhaps inevitably, though.
posted by Rykey at 7:15 AM on July 31


> not a single one has a majority opposed to the idea of court-ordered shutterings of certain media

For this, I wonder about the exact phrasing of the question, which isn't included in the article.
it asked Americans if they support or oppose letting courts shut down news media outlets for publishing stories that are “biased or inaccurate.”
I think Fox's "info-tainment" approach to news should be prosecuted as fraud. I think deliberately attempting to persuade people of things that are not true, for the purpose of (1) selling ads/newspapers/hit counts, or (2) getting votes for a particular candidate, is a crime - and as such, should be subject to not only fines and jail time for the people directly involved, but the potential of injunctions that shut down the venue.

If a bar regularly sold tickets for bands that didn't show up, but somehow convinced the customers that it was their fault so there were no refunds, they'd not only be subject to fines; the courts might shut the place down, revoke their business licenses, and so on.

A strong belief in the first amendment doesn't mean "no court should ever step in to prevent any kind of speech," which is what the article implied.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 7:19 AM on July 31 [25 favorites]


....marching on to war. This October, Trump Will Try to Start a War with Iran. (Links in the article to Foreign Policy and NYT can be opened in incognito tab if registration required ) According to the Foreign Policy article a source with intimate knowledge of that meeting said Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist, and Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, were particularly vocal, repeatedly asking Tillerson to explain the U.S. national security benefits of certification. “They repeatedly questioned Rex about why recertifying would be good for U.S. national security, and Rex was unable to answer,” the source said.
posted by adamvasco at 7:21 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Along the lines of how politicians are socialized to behave, and probably already touched on in the 45 threads, but I was thinking today how, to the extent that Trump even has any ideology, the core of it feels like a more truthful display of the subconscious id beneath modern conservatism.

Rather than focusing as most GOP members do on stimulating the economy through tax cuts and trickle down, which has not aged well since Reagan anyways, he's simply dividing America back up into haves and have-nots. The have-not minorities are to be exploited, oppressed, and used for the haves to succeed, and also as scapegoats for the haves to blame their social and political failures on. He can't quite sell this in such explicit terms, but it's clear when you add up all the MAGA talk, nationalism, xenophobia, and green-lighting violent policing. We can all "win more" be redefining "we" to a smaller subset, then exploiting or oppressing everyone else.

Trump loves Andrew Jackson almost as much as Putin, presumably for displacing and killing Native Americans to take their land, but probably also for Jackson's belief in the spoils system over the merit system. This fits right in with his comments about how we "should have taken their oil."

Modern conservatism has basically been promoting these same principles, but at least before Trump, less directly or slightly watered down as simply tax-cuts, deregulation, or "war-on-[something minorities do]" type law enforcement. Trump's complete, and utter disinterest and/or inability to obfuscate the underlying greed and malevolence has been a sight to behold, topped perhaps only by the fact that so many are following him down this dark path.
posted by p3t3 at 7:25 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


I mean, if there were constant hot mikes, Washington would be razed by angry mobs within a week, because we'd have incontrovertible evidence of their contempt for working people.

Haha, absolutely not, but many would die from extreme spinal torsion while trying to justify the soundbites.
posted by Behemoth at 7:26 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


petebest, that's exactly how I felt about HRC and how it would be business as usual if she would be elected. And I voted for her. But I'll bet that's why a lot of people voted for Trump. (I live in a bleeding liberal bubble, and I enjoy making people squirm by saying "people voted for Trump because they were angry!".)
posted by Melismata at 7:34 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Yeah, Behemoth, tribalism is a hell of a drug. This really came into focus for me after 9/11, and it ramped way up after the Tea Party came along (in response to Obama's election and egged on by FOX News and right-wing radio, natch). But now it's gone bonkers with Trump. Before all this I thought people's ideas determined which tribe to belong to, but it's more often the reverse. And as the right wing has figured out, a tribe tells you what to want to believe, and nothing is as powerful as what people want to believe.
posted by Rykey at 7:39 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


"The President waited for Priebus to get off the plane before tweeting that he was fired."

I wonder if The Apprentice was just trump's way of enacting his fantasy of assertively firing people, because in real life he's too much of a coward.
posted by Tarumba at 7:40 AM on July 31 [63 favorites]


people voted for Trump because they were angry

People do a lot of stupid things when we're angry. Flip tables, beat each other up and so forth. It's hard to remain rational when the amygdala has gone full grar.

But understanding why people's terrible behaviour is what it is is no reason to excuse it, and reacting to an election campaign run by an obvious shonk obviously shonkier than the most obviously shonky Nigerian email scammer in the entire history of ever by voting to put him in charge of the world's most powerful military is inexcusable.
posted by flabdablet at 7:43 AM on July 31 [42 favorites]


Very, very ready for the age of Boomer politics to be over.

Being a boomer, I am, too. I was so glad to see Obama in the White House, because although he is a technically a boomer by three years, his story and outlook is post-boomer. I hope the Dems can get back to that thread.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:53 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Loved the gospel Reclaiming My Time, and appreciated the YouTube link. But then I looked down and the first related video was the original video from the hearing, titled something like "Mad Maxine Waters Won't Stop Saying 'Reclaiming my Time!'". Ugh.
posted by mabelstreet at 7:57 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


I still took his meaning in that under HRC we'd get competent, even progressive, leadership, but the Banks would not be reined in, the big money would do what it does, etc. "Business as usual", lobbyists run DC, we can't expect congress to change, every election is Coke vs. Pepsi. As under Obama. Just, beyond powerless in his role as voter.


I understand and sympathize with the sentiment, but it drives me crazy: I can't sympathize with the reactionary need to plunge ahead with the sentiment and steadfastly ignore the contradiction in the consequences. Because if you're tired of a big-business-run government, you don't help elect someone who, in both words and actions, embraces the idea that only money matters and that this is a winners-eat-losers world an order of magnitude more than any other candidate before. You also don't help strengthen the party that works the hardest not only to eliminate any regulations on business, but to ingrain in the public and in the culture the idea that business is holy and to restrain it in any way amounts to an attack on freedom. It's like picking an ICBM over a cannon because you're sick of death and violence and hey, space is an exciting idea. Maybe voting doesn't give any of us great power, but it still comes with great responsibility, and orders of magnitude matter even when both options are bad.
posted by trig at 7:59 AM on July 31 [38 favorites]


I don't think the last election is a good test of whether women can put together a solid coalition. Fair or not (it's not) there is a yawning chasm separating "women" from "women who are Hillary Clinton" in the eyes of the American people.

Well, we do know Hillary put together a coalition that won the popular vote by a large margin. We still don't know if losing the Electoral College was a result of Russian interference through selective hacking of voter registration, targeted fake news, or both. I will withhold judgement, but it's clear she won a majority of voters.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:01 AM on July 31 [46 favorites]


if you're tired of a big-business-run government

Those on the Right with whom I was in frequent dispute in the lead-up to the Trump calamity were not so much tired of a big-business-run government as tired of a big-business-run government.

Any attempt to steer the conversation toward anything to do with structural power imbalances would quickly get derailed by huge towers of apparently sound reasoning built on the implicit premise that Terrible Unacceptable Coercion is exclusively a property of Government while Wonderful Laudable Free Exchange is exclusively a property of Business.

I know of no way short of subjecting its holder to endless literal facepunching by jowly old men in expensive suits to shift that belief once established.
posted by flabdablet at 8:12 AM on July 31 [12 favorites]


Although I do think Trump is in his own class (heh) in this regard. Perhaps inevitably, though.

I'm listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg9VCf5einY 168 Clinton street, the audio 41:52 in....there is a short story to be written that the events here are in support of re-awaking that which sleeps in r'lyeh is why things are they way they are. Perhaps instead of a nuke war, a return of the microbes that the old ones spawned via the overdue global plagues for the ACA kabuki tie in? The folder pile no one saw the contents of is because of the non Euclidean binding non-disclosure contracts within. John McCain still gets to be a horrible old one, just one that doesn't want dread Cthulhu back.

Heck, people can start playing flute music all around whatever is The Donald's "stuff". I'm sure someone will create an app for smartphones that plays random flute music but listens if another version of the app is playing so it can eerily sync up. (ultra sound or bluetooth could work)

Random flute music at a low level from phones as protest.....why the heck not?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:14 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


> I know of no way short of subjecting its holder to endless literal facepunching by jowly old men in expensive suits to shift that belief once established.

And that seems to be more or less what we are all forced to endure in 2017, regardless of voting behaviour.
posted by stonepharisee at 8:16 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


haves and have-nots. [...] MAGA talk, nationalism, xenophobia, and green-lighting violent policing. We can all "win more" be redefining "we" to a smaller subset, then exploiting or oppressing everyone else. [...] Andrew Jackson [...] displacing and killing Native Americans to take their land [...] spoils system [...] "should have taken their oil."

I would sum all of this up as "might makes right." And yes, Trump pretty much says it outright, but other Republicans have long hinted at it.

And I get so frustrated with people who see that the current system is unfair (true) and think a good solution to that is to blow up the system entirely, rather than trying to fix it.

Because "might makes right" is what happens when you don't have a system. You may briefly have "anarchy" but the power vacuum is quickly filled by warlords, strongmen, organized crime and gangs... It's not the case that "no government" is better than "bad government" because "no government" is not sustainable. The strong will take the opportunity to impose their wills.

(And that's exactly what Putin wants, of course. To destroy the international system imposed after WWII and take the opportunity to impose his will.)

Might makes right. That's the alternative to process-focused, lawyerly working-within the system... If people get sick of the system being rigged against them and decide to blow it up, they better hope they have the most impregnable fortresses and the biggest guns, because whoever does is going to make the new rules. A lot of heavily armed right wingers are well aware of that and okay with it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:21 AM on July 31 [30 favorites]


On yesterday's Pod Save America Joy Reid expounded on the idea that the African-American community was not embarrassed to admit they voted for Obama because he was Black but women--especially white liberal women--were afraid or embarrassed to say they were voting for Hillary because she was a woman. It's like that always has to be hedged by declarations about her competence & inclusive policies.

I DO want to break up monopolies, reign in the banks, & tax the rich until they scream but I think my greatest desire is a President with empathy for all. Someone who has the imagination to see how legislation & policies can make life a little better a little easier for the masses rather than the few.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:21 AM on July 31 [38 favorites]


they better hope they have the most impregnable fortresses and the biggest guns

We have the BEST guns! So many guns! Believe me.

weeps
posted by flabdablet at 8:22 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


spitbull: Rampant cocaine abuse among Trump and his circle of fools could explain so much, so simply. If Scaramucci isn't carrying it on his person at all times I will ... eat a cake. And friends, I was a rock musician in the 80s and I know what it looks like.

I want to hear more of your life as a cake-loving 80s rock musician.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:25 AM on July 31 [40 favorites]


If there's anything Alaskans don't like, it's having Alaska threatened by Washington, D.C.

I find that amusing. During part of my time in D.C., AK senator Ted Stevens was chair of the Committee on Governmental Affairs.
A lot of us did not appreciate his behavior regarding the District.
posted by MtDewd at 8:25 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


We have the BEST guns! So many guns!

All gotten on credit. Say, can we just default or declare bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is brilliant and smart after all. Just not paying bills is best.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:26 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


life as a cake-loving 80s rock musician

obligatory cake
posted by flabdablet at 8:33 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I think I've come up with a fair prequalification for running for higher office. The candidate must play SimCity using their prospective platform as a model and, after fifty in-game years (during which at least two disasters must strike the city), the sim society must be thriving and happy. Their progress will be recorded and available for voters to watch. I'd recommend at least SimCity 3000 or SimCity 4 for this, as earlier versions are not complex enough. Public funding shall provide a loaner computer and the game if necessary.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:36 AM on July 31 [18 favorites]


Trump is the guy who played the original SimCity by typing "FUND" over and over until disaster struck, never spending any of the money on anything in the game, and wondering why none of the money ever showed up in any of his real-life shell corporations.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:40 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


I DO want to break up monopolies, reign in the banks, & tax the rich until they scream but I think my greatest desire is a President with empathy for all. Someone who has the imagination to see how legislation & policies can make life a little better a little easier for the masses rather than the few.

This really upsets me about Clinton's loss. Remember the stories about how good a listener she was? How she took notes during her meetings and organized them went over them afterwards? I want a listener president. It's part of the foundation of empathy. More likely with a woman, sadly.
posted by Mister Cheese at 8:41 AM on July 31 [41 favorites]


Choosing between false promises of a job and clean air and water for your kids...
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:48 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


On yesterday's Pod Save America Joy Reid expounded on the idea that the African-American community was not embarrassed to admit they voted for Obama because he was Black but women--especially white liberal women--were afraid or embarrassed to say they were voting for Hillary because she was a woman. It's like that always has to be hedged by declarations about her competence & inclusive policies.

This is because we as a culture do everything in our power to delegitimize solidarity by members of dispossessed classes. Some of these groups reject the message because they know it's the only way they get a voice at the table, but others buy into it for a number of reasons.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:50 AM on July 31 [18 favorites]


Trump is utter chaos and each day is a new trial from which we have so far barely emerged intact, but I still took his meaning in that under HRC we'd get competent, even progressive, leadership, but the Banks would not be reined in, the big money would do what it does, etc. "Business as usual", lobbyists run DC, we can't expect congress to change, every election is Coke vs. Pepsi. As under Obama. Just, beyond powerless in his role as voter.

Does your voter friend see any indication at all that in addition to the utter Trump chaos -- and the burbling authoritarianism that's come with it -- the banks are being reined in, big money doesn't do what it wants -- accept tax breaks and then lay off workers anyway, for example -- lobbyists running DC, etc? Thrump's antics might be a distraction from how much business as usual Washington is in terms of the power elites being serviced, but the evidence is there. Does your voter friend care to look?
posted by Gelatin at 8:51 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


I dunno, we talk less. Now.
posted by petebest at 9:00 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Dem campaign chief vows no litmus test on abortion

Republican light and standing for nothing all the way, sigh...
posted by Artw at 9:02 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Joy Reid expounded on the idea that the African-American community was not embarrassed to admit they voted for Obama because he was Black but women--especially white liberal women--were afraid or embarrassed to say they were voting for Hillary because she was a woman.

That is so powerfully insightful.

Plus, We don't doubt and discount a brown man's basic competence and intelligence, the way we do any woman's.
posted by Dashy at 9:03 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Alex Isenstadt/Politico : McConnell wages war down South
The Senate leader is being pilloried in an Alabama special election [to replace Jeff Sessions in the Senate] as the hated symbol of the establishment — and he's responding in force.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:03 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Tim Alberta/Politico : Without Priebus, Trump Is a Man Without a Party
...[after Priebus' dismissal,] Of Trump’s closest advisers, only Mike Pence has any association with the Republican Party.

This no longer seems accidental. Trump has, since taking office, consistently referred to Republicans as though he is not one himself—it's invariably “they” or “them.” Unlike past presidents of his party, Trump entered the White House with few personal relationships with prominent Republicans: donors, lobbyists, party activists, politicians. This liberated him to say whatever he pleased as a candidate, and, by firing Priebus, Trump might feel similarly liberated. The fear now, among Republicans in his administration and on Capitol Hill, is that Trump will turn against the party, waging rhetorical warfare against a straw-man GOP whom he blames for the legislative failures and swamp-stained inertia that has bedeviled his young presidency. It would represent a new, harsher type of triangulation, turning his base against the politicians of his own party that they elected.

Things have not yet escalated to that point. But some, including officials in his own administration, took the dismissal of Priebus as a signal that Trump is willing to go rogue against the GOP. ...
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:12 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


I presume the party follows Trump wherever he goes. Hence Scaramucci. Idiot in front, party in back.
posted by spitbull at 9:15 AM on July 31 [30 favorites]


lalex: She has also said she wants to make ending human trafficking a White House priority.

I skimmed this and read "She also said she wants to make human trafficking a White House priority" and I was all "oho a bit too on the nose, Politico."

Because Trump's skeezy connection to skeezy modeling agencies. That's the joke.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:17 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Plus, We don't doubt and discount a brown man's basic competence and intelligence, the way we do any woman's.

Dashy, I'm not so sure I'd agree with you on this. As a white woman, I certainly see men of color's competence and intelligence questioned all the time.
posted by mcduff at 9:20 AM on July 31 [18 favorites]


“They repeatedly questioned Rex about why recertifying would be good for U.S. national security, and Rex was unable to answer,” the source said.

I have almost no knowledge of the Iran deal, but I'd like to think I could come up with a somewhat cogent argument for how it would be good for national security. Sheesh.
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:21 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Because "might makes right" is what happens when you don't have a system. You may briefly have "anarchy" but the power vacuum is quickly filled by warlords, strongmen, organized crime and gangs... It's not the case that "no government" is better than "bad government" because "no government" is not sustainable. The strong will take the opportunity to impose their wills.

I've mentioned it before, but Thomas Hobbes was no one's liberal, and he had that one figured out back in 1651. The astounding ignorance of modern movement conservatives of not only Enlightenment but also pre-Enlightenment political philosophy never ceases to amaze.
posted by Gelatin at 9:22 AM on July 31 [16 favorites]


What the conservative movement clearly needs is some kind of Reformation.
posted by flabdablet at 9:24 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


I presume the party follows Trump wherever he goes. Hence Scaramucci. Idiot in front, party in back.

I think they'll follow the money. Even in a best case scenario, all Trump can offer is more of this, whereas staying in the good graces of the Mercers, Kochs, Adelson, etc. basically means your entire family gets can feed at the trough in perpetuity.

For now, there hasn't really been a major break between the Republican billionaires and Trump, but if there is, I don't see the party sticking with him that long.
posted by Copronymus at 9:25 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Those on the Right with whom I was in frequent dispute in the lead-up to the Trump calamity were not so much tired of a big-business-run government as tired of a big-business-run government.

I think this is a fair part of how people voted for (and still support) Trump, while thinking he's nothing but disruptive: 30 years of conditioning by extreme right-wing talk radio and Fox News has led large chunks of at least two generations of Americans to believe that "the government" is some sort of separate thing, with its own nefarious interests, run by shadowy people who just want to interfere with our lives and take our stuff. There no longer seems to be much sense or awareness of the reality that there is no such thing as "the government," separate from us; the government is us, administering ourselves, as those in democracies are supposed to do. That thing is us.

But if you accept the otherization of democratic government, then you also likely believe that there is some ongoing, monolithic mechanism that preserves the status quo. So if you don't realize that Donald Trump and the people he appoints/hires are the literal embodiment and current manifestation of "the government," you probably feel safe voting for a president whom you know will be disruptive and incompetent, because you think that all the stuff government does will somehow magically keep happening because you believe that it's some entity or force unto itself, rather than us just doing the work every day. I think a lot of Trump voters will be genuinely surprised if he manages to really fuck up the world in some specific way (start a war with Iran, nuke NK, etc.), and their shock will be expressed as "why didn't somebody in the government stop him??"
posted by LooseFilter at 9:27 AM on July 31 [31 favorites]


Trump’s latest attempt to gut Obamacare could backfire spectacularly
Trump apparently believes that cutting off these payments will help “implode” Obamacare. Yet, if Trump should stop the payments, that could have the unintended effect of expanding access to health insurance, even potentially making some health plans free for many families of modest means.
...
As actuaries Dianna Welch and Kurt Giesa note in an analysis of what would happen if the CSR payments are cut off, “CSR are only available under silver-level exchange plans.” Thus, if Trump does cut off these payments, it is likely that premiums for bronze, gold, and platinum health plans would remain fairly constant. After all, shutting down CSR payments has no immediate impact on the cost of insuring a bronze, gold, or platinum health consumer.
Now here’s the part where things get weird. Recall that the value of the tax credits paid out to help people afford their premiums are tied to the cost of the second-least expensive silver plan — so those tax credits gain value as silver-level premiums rise.
So even as premiums in the bronze, gold, and platinum markets stay more or less the same, the amount the government will pay to help cover those premiums will spike in a world without CSR. The result, according to Welch and Giesa, is that many people will be able to obtain bronze plans for no cost at all — or, alternatively, they will be able to purchase much more generous gold plans for barely more than the cost of a silver plan.

posted by T.D. Strange at 9:29 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]




> "Idiot in front, party in back."

It's like a mullet for politics.
posted by kyrademon at 9:33 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Trump wears his mullet backwards.

That's the twist.
posted by flabdablet at 9:37 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Oh it;s this idiot...

Moore, who rose to national fame after he refused to obey a federal order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama judicial building, made his feelings clear about the leader in a lengthy fundraising appeal with the subject line, “You & Me vs Mitch McConnell.”

Unless there are multiples of that idiot, which is highly likely. Didn't his stupid ass ten commandments get knocked over by a truck?
posted by Artw at 9:38 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


So even as premiums in the bronze, gold, and platinum markets stay more or less the same, the amount the government will pay to help cover those premiums will spike in a world without CSR. The result, according to Welch and Giesa, is that many people will be able to obtain bronze plans for no cost at all — or, alternatively, they will be able to purchase much more generous gold plans for barely more than the cost of a silver plan.

Oh my g_d, if Trump helped us back into Medicare for all through failed attempts at fucking everything up I will laugh and laugh and laugh and embrace our glorious social democratic future
posted by Existential Dread at 9:38 AM on July 31 [26 favorites]


Republican light and standing for nothing all the way, sigh...

I've rewritten this comment about a dozen times because any reply to this is a trap. I mean the choices Schumer has here are spend more time in the wilderness hoping the Republican electorate grows a conscience or basically tell prospective candidates that it's ok to not consider a woman's bodily autonomy as absolute.

Talk about your Kobayashi Marus.

I dunno. We've partnered with truly awful people before to push progressive agendas through in this country. We'll probably have to work with what we consider to be shitty people but not as bad as the really shitty people again.

Can someone who's not white, male, and straight (no sleight against you, Artw) please give me a hand on how to empathize and reconcile the reality of the politics with wanting desperately to form a coalition that can even try to begin to fix things. I have no real sacrifice to make or indignity to face so saying it's something we need to just bite the bullet on just feels wrong to me in so many ways.
posted by Talez at 9:39 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Rampant cocaine abuse among Trump and his circle of fools could explain so much, so simply. If Scaramucci isn't carrying it on his person at all times I will ... eat a cake. And friends, I was a rock musician in the 80s and I know what it looks like.

I want to hear more of your life as a cake-loving 80s rock musician.


Just listen to the Beatles' Savoy Truffle, that should cover it.
posted by rainy at 9:41 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


On a lighter note, John Oliver's report on Alex Jones—"the Walter Cronkite of shrieking batshit gorilla clowns"—is not to be missed. Watch it. It's more fun than massaging your taint with a tactical assault wipe.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:54 AM on July 31 [28 favorites]


Can someone who's not white, male, and straight (no sleight against you, Artw) please give me a hand on how to empathize and reconcile the reality of the politics with wanting desperately to form a coalition that can even try to begin to fix things.

I'm white, straight, and female. Personally I think ideological purity tests are great when you are winning, but they are a luxury you don't have when you are losing. I'll team up with anyone who wants to save democracy right now, and we'll sort out our differences later.

When Karl Rove and George W. Bush trash Trump in public I cheer, even though I was out in the streets protesting those guys in 2003. Right now I'm hoping Jeff Sessions doesn't get fired. I basically think Jeff Sessions is the devil -- I think he's morally wrong on every single issue and smarter and more dangerous than the rest of the Trump administration -- but I don't want him fired because then Trump would fired Mueller and that could be the end of the rule of law in America.

Save us... FBI? Save us... Catholic leadership? Save us... Tech bros? Save us... Neocons? We've found ourselves saying all of that this year, to our collective shock, I think. But those people really have helped stand between us and the end of American democracy so far.

Roosevelt teamed up with Stalin to stop Hitler. When there's a threat, you have to take the allies you can get, even if they are horrible people. You can go back to being enemies later.

I keep reaching for some Hunger Games metaphors here, but I can't seem to do it without spoilers, so if you're familiar with the books/movies, fill in your own Hunger Games metaphors at this point.

So can I tolerate a pro-life Democrat in a district that is not my own? Who will vote for a Democratic Speaker of the House? When the alternative is a Republican? Yes.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:56 AM on July 31 [57 favorites]


Rampant cocaine abuse among Trump and his circle of fools could explain so much, so simply.
Koka Kola advertising and kokaine
Strolling down the Broadway in the rain
Neon light sign says it
I read it in the paper, they're crazy!
Suit your life, maybe so
In the White House, I know
All over Berlin (they've been doin' it for years)
And in Manhattan!
posted by kirkaracha at 10:01 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Things have not yet escalated to that point. But some, including officials in his own administration, took the dismissal of Priebus as a signal that Trump is willing to go rogue against the GOP

One universal constant among my conservative friends is nearly total disdain for the GOP. And this faction difference is really the thing that has submarined the GOP for the past ~10 years. The schism between the torch throwing TP GOP and the Establishment GOP has never been greater.

There exists a similar schism in the dems, thought it isn't felt quite as severely. But enthusiasm for establishment democrats is also pretty low - and after decades of dems more or less totally ignoring their base (I was for the war before I was against it, the "uncomfortable" WI protests, etc.), it isn't hard to see why.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:04 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


One universal constant among my conservative friends is nearly total disdain for the GOP. And this faction difference is really the thing that has submarined the GOP for the past ~10 years. The schism between the torch throwing TP GOP and the Establishment GOP has never been greater.

Republicans - just like us!

(only fucking idiots, obvs)
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


@GrimKim
Dems: Okay, so. Abortion is maybe bad. Do you love us now?
Republicans: lol fuck off
Dem voters: Fuck OFF
Millennials: FUCK OFF
Dems: oh no

posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on July 31 [69 favorites]


Trans people have been left behind numerous times by these so-called liberals. Gains have been won at our expense. It's not "a difference of opinion," it's people's lives. Differences of opinions are for stuff like "should we invest in bike lanes" or "should we save this historic building" not "should we give this group civil rights or not?"
posted by AFABulous at 10:10 AM on July 31 [65 favorites]


OnceUponATime: And I get so frustrated with people who see that the current system is unfair (true) and think a good solution to that is to blow up the system entirely, rather than trying to fix it.

Who knew fixing things could be so complicated?

Seriously, breaking things (and profiting from contracts to manage the mess) is a lot easier than working together and fixing things.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:10 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


and that could be the end of the rule of law in America.

End?

When Black Lives Matter members and Edward Snowden are all saying 'you can't get a fair trial', when a neologism of "Testalying" exists while people cheer on 'cops rought 'em up' - perhaps the "rule of law" is in more trouble than a couple of people getting fired?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:16 AM on July 31 [14 favorites]


I wonder if the Monster Raving Loony Party is ready to expand to the US. Because, I swear before the FSM, that if the Dems throw women under the bus, I will stop volunteering and funding them, and I will rise like a Texas Honey Badger and begin my reign of surreal politics. The garden where I have grown my fucks has been barren for awhile, and I have none left to give.

I will outweird kinky Friedman, I will outsmoke Willy Nelson, and I will outliberal the Sainted Anne Richards. I am a short, fat, brownish lady, and I have fucking had enough of this shit. I stand zero chance of getting elected, but I will be goddamned if I'm gonna let the Dems assume they have my vote just because the republicans are worse.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:16 AM on July 31 [56 favorites]


So can I tolerate a pro-life Democrat in a district that is not my own? Who will vote for a Democratic Speaker of the House? When the alternative is a Republican? Yes.

Should you tolerate chasing mythical swing centrist voters when the ones on the far left are telling us, over and over again, in word and deed, that they are staying the fuck home rather than voting for beige can't-we-all-just-get-along Democrats?

Should you tolerate making deals with people who keep lying and saying they'd be willing to vote for a Democrat who just agreed with them on a couple of Republican issues that go to the base of what we want the Democratic party to be (e.g., respect for women's bodily autonomy and the role of government in people's intensely personal lives and decisions) in favor of people who don't get to vote because of structural discrimination and out-and-out voter suppression?

Should you sit idly by while people in other districts elect representatives who will rise in power and influence to the point that you don't even recognize your party anymore when you have an example right across the aisle as to what happens to the party then?

No.
posted by Etrigan at 10:18 AM on July 31 [32 favorites]


I am a cis queer woman of colour and I think this is a garbage move. "Form a coalition with assholes and sort your shit out later" always has costs, and that cost is everyone driven out by said assholes. The power structures that form in these sorts of devil's bargains always seem to replicate the exact same power structures that led to us being in this mess in the first place, in which any attempt at progressive policies is somehow seen as divisive and unproductive, and miraculously it's always women and queer people and trans people and people of colour who have to sit down and wait for their rights.

Media outlets are still falling all over themselves feeling sorry for the maligned Trump voter in San Francisco who feels alienated by the fact that their friends hate their politics, and never seems to cover the progressive living in a red state who lives surrounded by people who don't believe in their humanity. I refuse to believe that the only way forward is to go backwards.

Democrats are hell bent on this dumb plan of assuming their base will always be their base, and they have to go chasing after people who don't like them, instead of serving their base first and foremost and trusting that passion to be contagious. That's why Republicans win, among any number of underhanded tactics - they prioritize their base, not people who can barely tolerate their presence.

There are millions of felons who are disenfranchised for simple pot possession charges. There are millions of poor people and people of colour who can't vote because of voter suppression laws. Go fix that, instead of flipping a giant middle finger to the people who have tirelessly pushed the party forward because you take them for granted.
posted by Phire at 10:19 AM on July 31 [102 favorites]


And for your daily bit of yelling at Florida: New Florida Law Lets Residents Challenge School Textbooks (Greg Allen on NPR, July 31, 2017)
Keith Flaugh is a retired IBM executive living in Naples, Fla., and a man with a mission. He describes it as "getting the school boards to recognize ... the garbage that's in our textbooks."

Flaugh helped found Florida Citizens' Alliance, a conservative group that fought unsuccessfully to stop Florida from signing on to Common Core educational standards.

More recently, the group has turned its attention to the books being used in Florida's schools. A new state law, developed and pushed through by Flaugh's group, allows parents, and any residents, to challenge the use of textbooks and instructional materials they find objectionable via an independent hearing.

Flaugh finds many objections with the books used by Florida students. Two years ago, members of the alliance did what he calls a "deep dive" into 60 textbooks (PDF).

"We found them to be full of political indoctrination, religious indoctrination, revisionist history and distorting our founding values and principles, even a significant quantity of pornography," he says.

The pornography, Flaugh says, was in literature and novels such as Angela's Ashes, A Clockwork Orange and books by author Toni Morrison, which were in school libraries or on summer reading lists.
First, if you think of any scene in A Clockwork Orange is pornography, I'm concerned about what you find arousing. Second, this is all about denying climate change (PDF) and evolution (PDF), with concerns about how the constitution is taught being a lesser concern, along with the depiction of Cubans as happy people.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:21 AM on July 31 [16 favorites]


Go fix that

By what means besides having a majority in state and national Congresses?
posted by zabuni at 10:21 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Also, Democrats are terrible at enforcing party compliance. If you don't think conservatives know they can win races by running as Democrats and then vote with Republicans anyway, you're deluded.
posted by Phire at 10:22 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


You can bet the same people keen on not applying this "litmus test" would absolutely keep support from a candidate if they were too keen on single payer or a decent minimum wage, both things that are actually popular with people likely to vote dem.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]




By what means besides having a majority in state and national Congresses?

Republicans didn't get here overnight. Recruit and support good progressive candidates at all levels of the democracy, people whose policies actually advance your ideals. You won't win every race, but you'll win some, and the more people you field and run the better your chances are. Throw your support behind the Nikkita Olivers of the world, who can have real impacts on wages, sanctuary policies, police reform, civic engagement outreach and support. Try something other than what's been failing for decades. No single person will save us if we won't save ourselves.
posted by Phire at 10:27 AM on July 31 [15 favorites]


People who stand for something or appear to stand for something win elections. People who don't... don't. It's not magic.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


It's not "a difference of opinion," it's people's lives.

I didn't say "difference of opinion."

I went with a "teaming up with Stalin" metaphor. Stalin almost certainly killed more people than Hitler -- the Holodomor took longer than the Holocaust, but it was more deadly -- and those were real "people's lives" too. Stalin was not a good guy, not at all, not even compared to Hitler.

But Stalin working with us to defeat Hitler was a better outcome for the world than Stalin staying in power AND Hitler winning the war, and that was the likely other alternative.

Trump will destroy the lives of trans people and women if he stays in power (among other vulnerable groups.) So kicking all the people who are insufficiently supportive of vulnerable groups out of the Democratic party is a pretty empty "win" if the result is that the Democratic party is too small to fight back against Trump. If Trump wins, trans people lose, women lose, refugees lose, black people lose... everybody loses. Let's all resist him together and then we can figure out how to run our country more fairly once we are confident we will still have a country.

"Form a coalition with assholes and sort your shit out later" always has costs, and that cost is everyone driven out by said assholes.

Sadly -- the people who will be driven out are people in districts we already win by large margins. The assholes we might win are in districts we lost last time and MUST win if we hope to regain power.

You can bet the same people keen on not applying this "litmus test" would absolutely keep support from a candidate if they were too keen on single payer

Oh come on. Plenty of Democrats who are keen on single payer get financial support from the party for their run -- which is what this story was about. And Bernie Sanders is mentioned in your link as being "keen on not applying" this kind of litmus test -- probably because he protested very loudly against litmus tests being applied against HIM.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:28 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Because, I swear before the FSM, that if the Dems throw women under the bus, I will stop volunteering and funding them, and I will rise like a Texas Honey Badger and begin my reign of surreal politics.

Fucking this. Fundamental human rights for women are not some ducking policy question that reasonable people can disagree over.

I am a lifelong registered Democrat. I give to the party. Women are the party's base.

I will set everything I can fucking find on metaphorical fire if they sell us out, and I will never look back. After what happened in 2016, we are fucking DONE. We can only be pushed so far. I really hope the Democrats aren't determined to find out what happens when they push a little more.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:29 AM on July 31 [41 favorites]


And for those who didn't click the link, the story is "Democrats will not withhold financial support for candidates who oppose abortion rights, the chairman of the party’s campaign arm in the House said in an interview with The Hill."

So it's not like the question is whether the platform will suddenly become anti-abortion. It's whether the party leadership will impose this political belief as a condition of getting funding.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:31 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Cis white woman here: While I agree that a certain amount of coalition and compromise is necessary, I think that Democrats have more to lose rather than gain by being, as Etrigan put it, beige. The Third Way is dead.

The much-vaunted, ass-kissed swing voter is as dead as the dodo. I would say that almost all of the people who want to Save The Pweshus Unborn Baybeez have gone Republican. Ditto people who want to Save Our Pure Daughters by keeping those icky trans people out of public bathrooms. I think we are wasting our time by coalitioning with those particular "socially conservative" people.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - we need to get out our vote, not kiss white bigot butt. I want to see every damn person who can vote to show up at the polls or mail in their ballots. Democrats do not have a problem with voters fleeing to the Republicans because Baybeez and Bathrooms; they have a problem with people not showing up in the first place.

We Dems also have a problem that is much, much harder to solve and that is a distribution problem. Remember the woman who won the popular vote for President? The Democrat? Too bad those Democratic voters were mostly clustered in cities. We also have a Faux News problem. People, mostly older white people, have been brainwashed by Fox News and its kind, especially in areas where it's hard to get an internet connection and listen to podcasts or streaming news.

We do have problems and some of them are hard to fix, but catering to bigots won't solve them. Obviously a Democrat in a red state like Montana is not going to be as far left as one from California but we need to stand with each other.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:32 AM on July 31 [53 favorites]


As actuaries Dianna Welch and Kurt Giesa note in an analysis of what would happen if the CSR payments are cut off, “CSR are only available under silver-level exchange plans.” Thus, if Trump does cut off these payments, it is likely that premiums for bronze, gold, and platinum health plans would remain fairly constant. After all, shutting down CSR payments has no immediate impact on the cost of insuring a bronze, gold, or platinum health consumer.

This analysis assumes that the insurance companies wouldn't raise all premiums in a giddy rush of consumer-gouging. That assumption in the face of what insurance companies actually do is ludicrous and naive.
posted by winna at 10:33 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


So it's not like the question is whether the platform will suddenly become anti-abortion. It's whether the party leadership will impose this political belief as a condition of getting funding.

And if not, what the fuck even is a political party?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:33 AM on July 31 [18 favorites]


So it's not like the question is whether the platform will suddenly become anti-abortion. It's whether the party leadership will impose this political belief as a condition of getting funding.

This is some mealy mouthed bullshit.

Honestly, as much as I hate the NRA, maybe it's time to take a look at their playbook. It shouldn't be safe for a Democrat to be pro-forced birth. Not sure where we'd find funding analogous to the gun manufacturers, but Jesus Christ, it shouldn't be impossible to use scorched earth tactics in service of, you know, actual good.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:35 AM on July 31 [26 favorites]


Can someone who's not white, male, and straight (no sleight against you, Artw) please give me a hand on how to empathize and reconcile the reality of the politics with wanting desperately to form a coalition that can even try to begin to fix things.

I personally have a red line on several issues, abortion being one of them -- I will not support, donate to, campaign for, or vote for a candidate unless they support safe, legal, on demand abortion for any person who wants one regardless of financial ability. That said, if the alternative candidate is equally or more anti-abortion, I won't campaign against the less-shitty-on-abortion candidate, I'll just direct my attention to other battles. If the person is already in office, I'm ok with working with them on other issues where we might agree, and I'll continue to push them to change their voting behavior on abortion (and, in the absence of that, to just shut the hell up about their personal opinions on abortion).

For example: I hope Joe Manchin changes his policy stance on abortion, and in theory I support a primary challenger who is more progressive on the issue of forced childbirth (being pro-abortion is necessary for my support, but not sufficient). If no such challenger exists, then I will restrict my WV-Senate-race involvement to helping Manchin understand why supporting forced childbirth is barbaric, unChristian, and wrong. In the general election, obviously Manchin's GOP challenger will be a forced birther as well, so my preferred policy outcome will not benefit from opposing Manchin at that stage (but, again, I personally will not be providing my time or money to Manchin in that race). To the extent I had a personal connection with someone in WV, I'd probably explain my view and, depending on their specific circumstances, ask them to vote for Manchin anyway so that we can have a Dem majority, but I would make sure to acknowledge that that vote may come with an emotional cost or personal sacrifice (i.e., she may be voting for someone who supports enacting a policy that would result in her death). It's not a small ask and we shouldn't couch it in terms of said person having an unreasonable "purity" test, and we shouldn't chastise people for refusing to vote for their own deaths in order to serve the "greater good."
posted by melissasaurus at 10:35 AM on July 31 [39 favorites]


What even is the point of not leaving all of the anti-abortion candidates for the Republicans to sweep up, is it just to show a "D" next to someone's name on a Chyron? Maybe anti-abortion "Democrats" simply should not be supported as candidates by anybody.
posted by rhizome at 10:38 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


And Bernie Sanders is mentioned in your link as being "keen on not applying" this kind of litmus test -- probably because he protested very loudly against litmus tests being applied against HIM.

To which the proper response is to tell him to get fucked, because a) he has no problem applying tests to others, and b) if he wants Democratic support, he can fucking uphold Democratic positions.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:48 AM on July 31 [35 favorites]


I've said it before and I'll say it again - we need to get out our vote, not kiss white bigot butt. I want to see every damn person who can vote to show up at the polls or mail in their ballots. Democrats do not have a problem with voters fleeing to the Republicans because Baybeez and Bathrooms; they have a problem with people not showing up in the first place.

We Dems also have a problem that is much, much harder to solve and that is a distribution problem. Remember the woman who won the popular vote for President? The Democrat? Too bad those Democratic voters were mostly clustered in cities. We also have a Faux News problem. People, mostly older white people, have been brainwashed by Fox News and its kind, especially in areas where it's hard to get an internet connection and listen to podcasts or streaming news.


Which is why Third Way-style accomodationism is ultimately counterproductive (did it keep George W. Bush out of the White House, for example?). Once they regain power, and as they gain power, Democrats need to not so much reach out to Republican power bases as do as much as they can to reduce their actual power -- starting by increasing taxes on the wealthy a lot. That's certainly look different to the "both sides are just the same" crowd, I bet.

One endgame of accumulating enough power should be getting enough votes to impeach Gorsuch as the fruit of a poisoned tree. Republicans know their agenda is not popular, which is why they have this insecurity about feeling like losers. So rather than accommodating them, let's make 'em lose.
posted by Gelatin at 10:51 AM on July 31 [12 favorites]


And Bernie Sanders is mentioned in your link as being "keen on not applying" this kind of litmus test -- probably because he protested very loudly against litmus tests being applied against HIM.

Bernie Sanders is correct about a lot of things, but there are a lot of people who wish he would be a little more conscious of non-class-based issues, including whether they are worthy of litmus tests.
posted by Etrigan at 10:52 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


With the new branding, "A Better Deal", the only litmus test they should be considering is, "Does our policy offer a better deal than theirs?"

You go down the party platform, and if you don't have a "Better Deal" to offer on say, Access to Abortion than the republicans, you're not on our team...
posted by mikelieman at 10:53 AM on July 31 [14 favorites]


What even is the point of not leaving all of the anti-abortion candidates for the Republicans to sweep up, is it just to show a "D" next to someone's name on a Chyron?

Your comment is right below this one:
For example: I hope Joe Manchin changes his policy stance on abortion, and in theory I support a primary challenger who is more progressive on the issue of forced childbirth
The point of accepting individual anti-choice dems is that the party as a whole is pro-choice and individual representatives who vote for democratic leadership may be the difference between the majority and the minority. If we had another Capito from WV, rather than Manchin, the Senate would have passed ACA repeal - including its attack on Planned Parenthood - last week.

One can argue that this end doesn't justify the means, but it's pretty clearly the point.
posted by galaxy rise at 10:54 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


What even is the point of not leaving all of the anti-abortion candidates for the Republicans to sweep up, is it just to show a "D" next to someone's name on a Chyron? Maybe anti-abortion "Democrats" simply should not be supported as candidates by anybody.

The argument has been made that were e.g. Joe Manchin accepted as a D, his vote in the Senate would have been replaced by an R and we would currently be navigating a post-ACA-repeal world today. I can understand that argument, even if I don't like it. I give Schumer credit for keeping his caucus organized against the repeal.

I think it's clear that there are gains to be made in mobilizing passionate left voters, based on the widespread popularity of single payer or Medicare-for-all, but Dem leadership has an antiquated view that more votes are available by positioning themselves to appeal to centrists. This is a serious problem, based on the reaction to Nancy Pelosi's ill-advised "Single payer is off the table" gaffe back in March. There's a lot recommend certain members of the Democratic leadership-I give Pelosi a ton of credit for the passage of the spending bill earlier this year-but a centrist strategy that accepts positions like pro-forced birth and rolling back LGTBQ rights will continue to backfire in elections, particularly when combined with increased voter suppression.

We need Dems to run on single payer and automatic voter registration, and to stop with all the goddamn Bernie-Hillary sniping.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:55 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


What the conservative movement clearly needs is some kind of Reformation.


The 95 Tweets
posted by tilde at 10:55 AM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Plus, We don't doubt and discount a brown man's basic competence and intelligence, the way we do any woman's.

May I refer you to:

"You speak so well!"
"He's so articulate!"
"Affirmative action."
posted by anem0ne at 10:56 AM on July 31 [35 favorites]


There doesn't seem to be an open thread about Venezuela to drop this Financial Times ~16min video into but the interplay between political forces, paramilitaries, and criminal gangs is interesting. Hopefully less relevant to the US than it seemed it might soon be a short time ago.

(And hopefully things will get much better for Venezuelans soon, of course.)
posted by XMLicious at 10:57 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


"Unless there are multiples of that idiot, which is highly likely. Didn't his stupid ass ten commandments get knocked over by a truck?"
That was a different monument (Arkansas, not Alabama, but I can understand the confusion.)

Roy Moore is a piece of work -- he's been booted from the Alabama State Supreme Court twice for letting his particular brand of Christian fundamentalism take precedent over the rule of law. For Moore, "separation of church and state" is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Imagine Jeff Sessions raised to the power of Pat Robertson -- that's Roy Moore.
posted by TwoToneRow at 10:58 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I think this is a fair part of how people voted for (and still support) Trump, while thinking he's nothing but disruptive: 30 years of conditioning by extreme right-wing talk radio and Fox News has led large chunks of at least two generations of Americans to believe that "the government" is some sort of separate thing, with its own nefarious interests, run by shadowy people who just want to interfere with our lives and take our stuff. There no longer seems to be much sense or awareness of the reality that there is no such thing as "the government," separate from us; the government is us, administering ourselves, as those in democracies are supposed to do. That thing is us.

"We gotta get rid of big government!"

"Do you pay taxes?"

"Yup. Too goddamned many."

"Do you buy stuff at WalMart and McDonalds and use electricty and non-well water?"

"Somma those."

"Ever had to call the fire department or the police, or go to public school?"

"Well, sure, who hasn't?"

"How's your local library, and park, and hospital?"

"Uh, okay, I guess."

"That's goverment. You're government. We're all part of it."

just spun off the top of my noggin ... there's prolly a better way to put it ... and the usual caveat that, you know, lots of peple don't really want to change their minds about things.
posted by tilde at 11:01 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


This sounds like a great way to discourage actual Democrats from donating to the Democratic Party.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:04 AM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Something else: the Overton window has to move on "pro-choice." It doesn't mean "forced abortions for everyone every day and twice on Sunday!" It means, "whether to have an abortion or not is up to the person with the uterus and no-one else." You know, choice.

"I would never ever have an abortion but I don't care what other women do" is pro-choice. "I support women's right to choose, and I also want to strengthen the societal safety net so that more women can choose to keep their babies" is also pro-choice.

If more people owned their pro-choice stance instead of hiding behind mealy-mouthed "abortion should be rare/a last resort" type platitudes maybe we could move the Overton window at least a bit.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:05 AM on July 31 [96 favorites]


It was maddening to have a Blue Dog Democrat as our rep here in western North Carolina. He consistently voted against the Obama agenda, and people like him were why single payer was off the table to start with.

But it is so much MORE frustrating to have been redistricted such that we are now represented by a deep-red Republican who dismisses anything we city folk have to say and skips out on town hall meetings.

I'm not saying we should have to compromise on forced birth, but in certain regions the best we can hope for is a representative who disagrees with us but does not actually hold us in contempt. I hated the Blue Dogs like hell when we had 'em, but goddamn do I miss them these days.
posted by rikschell at 11:06 AM on July 31 [20 favorites]


If the democratic party isn't going to support democratic voters, then maybe it's time to replace the party.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:06 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Not to abuse the edit window, but what I'm trying to say is that I believe it's time to scrap the two party system all the way around. We are too diverse a territory and people to have just two parties. This monopoly on national office holders has to end. Less two state, more parliament.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:09 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


That involves substantial rewriting of the Constitution.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:11 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Maybe I'm a weirdo, but to be "A better deal" it just has to be overall better, not better in every particular.

Every candidate has (conceptually) a big vector of positions-on-issues. I project that down to a single score that's weighted by what I care about, then (for each election) choose which of the two most electable candidates has a higher score. (Of course none of this is explicitly numeric as it's happening in my head; I'm trying here to represent a judgment that's mostly based on feelings using the language that I have). The point is that I strive for making these judgments using continuous, linear (in an "additive" rather than "sequential" sense) reasoning; I think using litmus tests means you leave some utility on the table.

Ugh, I'm expressing myself so badly here, but I think it's kind of important, so I'm hoping someone similarly-minded can pick up the ball and explain it better.
posted by Jpfed at 11:12 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


In principle, yes, it's totally time to scrap the two-party system.

In practice, Republicans have seen that their one greatest strength is unity while liberals see the Republican agenda as the scorched-earth shitshow horror of incompetence and hate that it actually is. The last thing liberals should do is encourage any dilution of their own side.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:12 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Plus, We don't doubt and discount a brown man's basic competence and intelligence, the way we do any woman's.

May I refer you to:

"You speak so well!"
"He's so articulate!"
"Affirmative action."


In basketball it's "he's a heady player who really knows the game."

In football Black NFL QBs are a fairly recent phenomenon because the position is for "heady field generals."
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:12 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


it's time to scrap the two party system all the way around

Yes it is! But while it lasts we must take its effects into account!

That involves substantial rewriting of the Constitution.

No it doesn't!
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:15 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Joe Manchin is of course in his 70s, highlighting our other big problem.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I have come to the conclusion that there is one political belief that is universally agreed upon by every single person not just in the United States, but in the entire world, and it is this:

"The most ideal, perfect form of government is an immortal dictator who agrees with me."
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:22 AM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Should you tolerate chasing mythical swing centrist voters when the ones on the far left are telling us, over and over again, in word and deed, that they are staying the fuck home rather than voting for beige can't-we-all-just-get-along Democrats?

I'll see your mythical swing voters and raise you a completely fictional candidate. Seriously, the DNC thinks there are potential presidential candidates existing in reality (let alone viable ones) whose positions are entirely compatible with liberal and/or progressive ideology (including domestic/social, economic, and foreign policy) EXCEPT that they're anti-abortion? Note: I don't mean their individual feelings or personal beliefs/actions. I mean they have a professional political campaign position in favor of outlawing abortion.

I'm gonna straight up say such a creature is nothing but a figment of Tom Perez's (or whoever's) imagination. We might as well say we'll allow chupacabras on the Democratic ticket.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:24 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


Lady Chupacabra is my new Monster Raving Loony Party name. Fear me, and my estrogenical tyranny.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:27 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


Seriously, the DNC thinks there are potential presidential candidates existing in reality (let alone viable ones) whose positions are entirely compatible with liberal and/or progressive ideology (including domestic/social, economic, and foreign policy) EXCEPT that they're anti-abortion?

What makes you think that was about presidential candidates?
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:27 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


What makes you think that was about presidential candidates .

Misreading, I guess? although I'd say it's overwhelmingly likely to be the case down at the school board and dogcatcher level as well.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:30 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I interrupt today's discussion of the stupid dumb hurtful thing the party has done to bring good news. Joe Arpaio has been found guilty of criminal contempt of court for his refusal to stop racial profiling in immigration sweeps when he was Sheriff.
posted by zachlipton at 11:34 AM on July 31 [151 favorites]


WTF? @GlennThrush: Mooch out as comms director per sources
posted by zachlipton at 11:36 AM on July 31 [65 favorites]


Hoowee, and me with a fridge full of leftover cake and a nearly full bottle of Pimms.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:37 AM on July 31 [19 favorites]


Now I'm just waiting for it to filter onto MSNBC so I can see Katie Tur's spit-take.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:38 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]




Seems like the Times had a heads-up again and had the story ready. Trump Removes Anthony Scaramucci From Communications Director Role
President Trump has decided to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position as communications director, three people close to the decision said Monday, relieving him just days after Mr. Scaramucci unloaded a crude verbal tirade against other senior members of the president’s senior staff.
...
The decision to remove Mr. Scaramucci, who had boasted about reporting directly to the president not the chief of staff, John F. Kelly, came at Mr. Kelly’s request, the people said. Mr. Kelly made clear to members of the White House staff at a meeting Monday morning that he is in charge.

It was not clear whether Mr. Scaramucci will remain employed at the White House in another position or will leave altogether.
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 AM on July 31 [20 favorites]


Cocaine futures in freefall!
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on July 31 [80 favorites]


It's really inconceivable to think that there might be a Joe Biden who wants to apply his "private" abortion position to the public sphere? No one can imagine that hard?

I don't want to get all Thomas Friedman here, but if you went to middle America you would find a lot of people who claim to believe that abortion is murder, but otherwise align more with Democrats than Republicans and spend a lot of time retconning their support of GOP policies they don't like just so that they can vote for pro-life candidates.
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:39 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


The schadenfreude on journalism Twitter is...amazing.

And everywhere else, for that matter.
posted by mynameisluka at 11:39 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Scaramucci has resigned! This is hilarious. What a joke.
posted by Justinian at 11:39 AM on July 31 [21 favorites]


Strong and Stable

(oops wrong thread)
posted by Yowser at 11:39 AM on July 31 [14 favorites]


The entire MSNBC set is cracking up, and Katie's trying to keep a straight face and not say "what the fuck?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:39 AM on July 31 [16 favorites]


zachlipton: It was not clear whether Mr. Scaramucci will remain employed at the White House in another position or will leave altogether.

Drain the swamp? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Breaking News: President Trump has decided to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position as communications director

Well, Scaramucci was getting a lot of attention in the role.
posted by Gelatin at 11:40 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Katie Tur's spit-take

How I learned the news. There was laughter in the newsroom behind her too.
posted by spitbull at 11:40 AM on July 31 [19 favorites]


"Hmm, I've been off MeFi all day today, I wonder if anything is happening in politcal land, I'll dip into The Thread for minute..."

>WTF? @GlennThrush: Mooch out as comms director per sources

"Oh."

I think I'll stay off The Thread every day and check in at 2:40 EST in the off chance it leads to a White House senior staffer getting fired.
posted by Tevin at 11:41 AM on July 31 [17 favorites]


...and not to abuse the edit window, I wonder if Scaramucci's wife will now go thru with the divorce.
posted by Gelatin at 11:41 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


The argument has been made that were e.g. Joe Manchin accepted as a D, his vote in the Senate would have been replaced by an R and we would currently be navigating a post-ACA-repeal world today. I can understand that argument, even if I don't like it.

When you say you don't like it, do you mean you don't think it's true or that you don't like the reality that makes it true? I'm having troubling parsing it.

Because the last few weeks make it self-evident to me. How could it not be true unless people think that a Democratic candidate indistinguishable from, say, a California Democrat could win in West Virginia, a state where Trump's approval is still sky high?
posted by Justinian at 11:42 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Scaramucchi has resigned.--CNN [real]
lol
posted by sylvanshine at 11:42 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


....so is Spicer coming back, since he sort of never left?


(Who's running this show, anyway? /rhetorical)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:42 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Who knew the fandango could be this hard?
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:43 AM on July 31 [35 favorites]


So. Much. Winning.

I wonder if the Skybridge deal goes through now? To see Scaramucci rendered unemployed, broke, divorced, and a national punchline in one week ... couldn't happen to a more self-serving asshole except one.
posted by spitbull at 11:43 AM on July 31 [67 favorites]


I wonder if Scaramucci's wife will now go thru with the divorce.

Marriage is for closers!
posted by Servo5678 at 11:44 AM on July 31 [19 favorites]


10 days of winning.

Meanwhile, CNN's got a scoop. EXCLUSIVE: Kelly called Comey to express anger over firing, sources say
New White House chief of staff John Kelly was so upset with how President Donald Trump handled the firing of FBI Director James Comey that Kelly called Comey afterward and said he was considering resigning, according to two sources familiar with a conversation between Kelly and Comey.

Both sources cautioned that it was unclear how serious Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security, was about resigning himself.

"John was angry and hurt by what he saw and the way (Comey) was treated," one of the sources said.
Of course, he didn't resign and agreed to become Chief of Staff, so not exactly reassured here.

Ok this is brutal. @timothypmurphy: well it definitely wasn't to spend more time with his family
posted by zachlipton at 11:44 AM on July 31 [93 favorites]


Arrivederci, Scaramucci!
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:44 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I interrupt today's discussion of the stupid dumb hurtful thing the party has done to bring good news. Joe Arpaio has been found guilty of criminal contempt of court for his refusal to stop racial profiling in immigration sweeps when he was Sheriff.

It be pretty sweet if they put him on one his chain gangs before they get rid of them.
posted by srboisvert at 11:45 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Joe Arpaio has been found guilty of criminal contempt of court

Isn't he
Pretty in pink
posted by flabdablet at 11:46 AM on July 31 [35 favorites]


Whoever blocked Scaramucci's hiring for six months deserves a promotion.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 11:46 AM on July 31 [27 favorites]


"Mr. Kelly made clear to members of the White House staff at a meeting Monday morning that he is in charge."

Can you imagine the sheer amount of jumping up and down, angry hooting, chest-beating, and feces-flinging every meeting must be in there?

Those poor janitors.
posted by Drastic at 11:46 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


What do you mean you didn't bring more coke, Tony?
posted by spitbull at 11:46 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


He barely made it 10 days? LOL LOL LOL.

But seriously, I'm almost disappointed. How many destructive coke fueled tantrums have we been denied?
posted by lydhre at 11:46 AM on July 31 [24 favorites]


lydhre: if anything this should trigger more of them
posted by cybertaur1 at 11:48 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


It's really inconceivable to think that there might be a Joe Biden who wants to apply his "private" abortion position to the public sphere? No one can imagine that hard?

Joe Biden's principle of keeping his "private" position on abortion separate from his public actions as an elected official would be the defining attribute of a Democrat. A reversal of that would not be hard to imagine so much as it would be a betrayal of a fundamental position of the party.

Lots of people are uncomfortable with abortions. Super uncomfortable. Including pro-choice people. The distinction lies in the recognition that they should not make that choice for others.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:48 AM on July 31 [58 favorites]


Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?
posted by flabdablet at 11:48 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Lost a job, getting a divorce--The Mooch ought to have plenty of time to take up a new hobby.

You know who might have some good advice about that? Steve Bannon.
posted by box at 11:49 AM on July 31 [16 favorites]


It's really inconceivable to think that there might be a Joe Biden who wants to apply his "private" abortion position to the public sphere? No one can imagine that hard?

I can imagine someone maybe wanting or considering such a thing and then promptly realizing their whole career would instantly be over.

But the reason people like Joe Biden and others with strong private views or reservations don't do that is the "making these beliefs law and imposing them on millions upon millions of others" part. It's not that there aren't abortion-hating Democratic-leaners out there; it's that this one thing is unlikely to be a single line item. People who actively want to overturn Roe v. Wade enough to make that part of their profession tend to have a bunch of other philosophical and ideological dealies that, as a whole, make them incompatible with or insufficiently appealing to Democratic voters or at least the base.

Not that there's a perfect Democrat or anything, though.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:49 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Trump a bolt of lightning, very very frightening me
posted by flabdablet at 11:50 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Easy come, easy go...
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:50 AM on July 31 [21 favorites]


But seriously, I'm almost disappointed. How many destructive coke fueled tantrums have we been denied?

Are you kidding? If he doesn't show up as a regular on Fox, CNN is bound to hire him.
posted by Gelatin at 11:51 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


I'm just sitting here cackling into my Lean Cuisine like Trump causes the complete devastation of everyone who comes into his orbit but it's never been this fast or this complete before.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:51 AM on July 31 [47 favorites]


I wonder if the Skybridge deal goes through now?

It should definitely receive scrutiny, if even members of the uber-corrupt Trump administration thought it was an overpay designed to curry influence!
posted by cell divide at 11:51 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


They're going to have to have a Dancing with the Stars special just to decide which former White House staffer gets to be on the real show.
posted by zachlipton at 11:51 AM on July 31 [26 favorites]


The dispute over whether or not the Democratic Party should support overtly antifeminist / anti-woman candidates who might be useful for them on other issues is at its core a dispute over whether the role of a political party is to correctly measure the temperature of the electorate and then provide a candidate that matches that electorate, or if it is to instead move the electorate as a whole toward the party's preferred positions — to stake out a clear platform, and to mobilize people in defense of that platform.

If the answer is the latter, providing support for advocates for misogyny is a way to sabotage the party as a whole; if the party is willing to throw 51% of the population under the bus, it becomes significantly harder to mobilize people in defense of the rest of the platform, since it puts the lie to claims that the party is for people. Obviously, I believe that the role of the party is to move the electorate, not measure it, and that attempting to sculpt the party around the extant desires of the electorate requires fetishizing electoral victories at the expense of political movement-building more generally.

If this position is correct, transformative candidates running on clearly stated transformative platforms will tend to outperform compromise candidates, all else being equal.

But all else is never equal.

In the absence of clear evidence for the electoral superiority of transformative candidates over compromise candidates — though likewise in the absence of clear evidence for the electoral superiority of compromise candidates over transformative candidates — I am left simply appealing to the (non-empirically-verifiable) idea that electoral politics is, although important, not the end-all be-all of politics more generally, and that moreover focusing on winning elections over doing politics is a way to do long-term electoral damage to the party. Well, and also I'm compelled to point to the specific damage that antichoicers do while in government; throwing 51% of the population under the bus is a bad look, certainly, but it also does direct material harm to real people.

And that's why I think the Democratic Party needs to not back antichoicers and other misogynists.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:51 AM on July 31 [27 favorites]


Easy come, easy go...

Little high, little low.
posted by Gelatin at 11:51 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


well it definitely wasn't to spend more time with his family

That's gonna leave a mark.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:52 AM on July 31 [17 favorites]


is Spicer coming back, since he sort of never left?

No! We will not let you go!
posted by flabdablet at 11:52 AM on July 31 [25 favorites]


Easy come, easy go...

Little high, little low.


Mostly high, though.
posted by lydhre at 11:52 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Suggested NY Post headline: Scaramucci Can Do Fandango!

On edit: fladlabet FTW, too obvious.
posted by spitbull at 11:52 AM on July 31


Aw, we've lost so many good people lately. Please tell me there's a redemption island/battle-back episode coming up soon!!
posted by acidic at 11:54 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


From an uninformed perspective, it seems like once more the Dems think the path to victory is to become more like Republicans.
posted by cell divide at 11:54 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


I have to say, this turn of events is a big relief if for no other reason than not having Bohemian fucking Rhapsody stuck in my head every single day.
posted by something something at 11:55 AM on July 31 [54 favorites]


Jim Wright, @Stonekettle:

Scaramucci lost his job.
Lost his president.
Lost his wife.
Lost his home.

Bet he wishes he could suck his own cock NOW.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:55 AM on July 31 [104 favorites]


Why do parts keep falling off this well-oiled, finely-tuned machine?
posted by zakur at 11:55 AM on July 31 [23 favorites]


acidic: Aw, we've lost so many good people lately. Please tell me there's a redemption island/battle-back episode coming up soon!!

I'm looking forward to the Reunion Episode. It's gonna be really ugly.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:55 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


zakur: Why do parts keep falling off this well-oiled, finely-tuned machine?

Too much oil, too much pressure.

Not enough precision German engineering, which might actually be a good thing. (Sorry/not sorry)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:56 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Now he'll be able to focus on finding the real leakers.
posted by drezdn at 11:56 AM on July 31 [19 favorites]


Any way the wind blows...
posted by nubs at 11:57 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


I'm mostly surprised that there is a bar that's not as low as possible in the WH. Interesting.
posted by rc3spencer at 11:57 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Suggested NY Post headline: Scaramucci Can Do Fandango!

"Easy come, easy go, little high, little low"
posted by octobersurprise at 11:58 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


The Time article notes that they had three unnamed sources that spilled the beans about Kelly requesting Saramucci's removal. I'd be shocked if Kelly will be able to stop the various staffers and (senior) advisors from talking to the press. I don't really think it's in any of their interests to stop, and no one in the upper echelons of this clown show inspire true loyalty..
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:58 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Mooch strikes me as the sort who would lash out at someone who would fire him.
posted by drezdn at 11:59 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


It's well oiled, but it's still a Lada.
posted by contraption at 11:59 AM on July 31 [14 favorites]


Sorrs, missed it, was doing a line.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:59 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


it's still a Lada

I was thinking Trabi, but whatevs.
posted by flabdablet at 12:00 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."

-- Sean Spicer

From Ivanka's twitter
posted by orange ball at 12:00 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


*raising a glass and fork to dear departed Tony to the tune of actual Queen*
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:01 PM on July 31


So Baghdad Bob lasted longer as press spokesperson during the 2003 Gulf War than Scaramucci did ....just dropping that for the LOLz.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 12:01 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


the mooch
the mooch
the mooch has been fired
we don't need no water let the motherfucker burn
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:01 PM on July 31 [55 favorites]


Vamoose the Mooch
posted by uosuaq at 12:01 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


> I was thinking Trabi, but whatevs.

WASH YOUR MOUTH OUT WITH SOAP. trabants are humble and adorable. scaramucci is flashy and disgusting.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:02 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


From Ivanka's twitter

[citation needed]
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:03 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Make America Humble And Adorable Again
posted by flabdablet at 12:03 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


The Time article notes that they had three unnamed sources that spilled the beans about Kelly requesting Saramucci's removal.

So apparently Kelly doesn't suffer either fools OR tools.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:04 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


So long, and thanks for all the fish, indeed!.

#PrescientTitleAward
posted by tilde at 12:04 PM on July 31 [20 favorites]


Uh, so did the Mooch already diversify his assets by this point? Like, if he accepted the job for tax purposes, then actually keeping the job might seem more trouble than it's worth.
posted by RobotHero at 12:04 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


What if canning the mooch was just a move to distract us from the democratic party's fundamentally illogical abandonment of viewing pregnant folks as fully human/ pro-choice views as a basic requirements.

am I doing that right?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:04 PM on July 31 [22 favorites]


The Time article notes that they had three unnamed sources that spilled the beans about Kelly requesting Saramucci's removal.

The press has been doing this sort of thing since at least the beginning of Trump's presidency, and I love it. It both signals that their sources are more likely to be solid, and tweaks Trump's nose by remind him that multiple people in the White House leak to the press.
posted by Gelatin at 12:04 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


The Executive Branch of the United States of America is the world's premier Speedrunning community, including:
- Richard Nixon Speedrunning
- Dignity Wraith Speedrunning
- William Gibson Speedrunning
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:04 PM on July 31 [26 favorites]


You know, I'm not excited to see clownshow characters voted off the island. The one thing that could turn Trump's inept attempted fascist takeover of democracy into an actual fascist takeover of democracy would be competent managers helping him execute it. Like former 4 star generals with violent authoritarian fantasies. John Kelly coming in and consolidating power is not a good development. Dysfunction is stopping this from getting, far, far worse. We should be rooting for dysfunction and incompetence.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:04 PM on July 31 [93 favorites]


I tweeted @Scaramucci a link to the Fandango careers page. Just trying to help.
posted by emelenjr at 12:05 PM on July 31 [33 favorites]


Lydia Polgreen (huffpo editor) on twitter 30 mintes ago: If only you could hear the laughter in my newsroom right now.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:05 PM on July 31 [21 favorites]


The amazing thing is just how efficiently and thoroughly Trump destroys the lives of people who come in contact with him. Priebus had a perfectly swell life as a party functionary, six months later, he's getting abandoned in an SUV by Dan Scavino. Scaramucci was your standard hedge fund bro who wrecked his marriage and missed the birth of his child in exchange for the last 10 days. Anybody who isn't family is promptly destroyed.

Anyway, American Dreams week is shaping up to be pretty great. (I love how the only way I know what White House theme week it is comes from mocking it when this stuff happens.)
posted by zachlipton at 12:06 PM on July 31 [35 favorites]


"In a statement, Scaramucci explained that he was leaving the position to spend more time learning how to suck his own cock" [fake?]
posted by donatella at 12:06 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


He hired the General to fire the Mooch...
He hired the Mooch to fire the Spicer...
He hired the Spicer to tell the lies...
I don't know why he told us the lies.
I hope he dies.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:07 PM on July 31 [164 favorites]


Is July network sweeps month? Because that makes sense if you replace the idea of Trump being in office for days, with the idea that each day is an episode.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:07 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Next logical step is Kelly goes on a massive cocaine binge.
posted by Artw at 12:08 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


the Nixon presidency except every time someone says "Nixon" it goes faster
posted by nonasuch at 12:08 PM on July 31 [143 favorites]


Uh, so did the Mooch already diversify his assets by this point? Like, if he accepted the job for tax purposes, then actually keeping the job might seem more trouble than it's worth.

He entered into the sale agreement for SkyBridge in January, but since he didn't take an official position in the administration until now (or, maybe never, since his official start date was to be 8/15?), there was a question of whether the sale qualified for the preferential tax deferral (warning: autoplay).
posted by melissasaurus at 12:08 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I have to say, this turn of events is a big relief if for no other reason than not having Bohemian fucking Rhapsody stuck in my head every single day.]

BREAKING: The White House announced its new comms director, Galileo Figaro [fake]
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:08 PM on July 31 [39 favorites]


12:02 Local Time: "There, I've finally caught up with the Thread."
12:04 Local Time: ~83 new comments~
"Oh sweet Jesus on a Ritz cracker what is it n- oh. HAAAAAAAAAA"
12:08 Local Time: "AAAAAHAHAHAAAAHAHAHHAAAHA"
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:09 PM on July 31 [104 favorites]


Also, Democrats are terrible at enforcing party compliance. If you don't think conservatives know they can win races by running as Democrats and then vote with Republicans anyway, you're deluded.

In Illinois it is hard to find Republicans with the courage to even put their party on their signs or TV commercials. The governor pretends he is not a Republican. He is pretty much a mini-Trump/Bush Jr. hybrid and about as competent at government so get ready for him to move on to the national stage!
posted by srboisvert at 12:09 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I'm just so glad it's already over. I was sick of the Bohemian Rhapsody references from the moment that dude turned up on the news.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:10 PM on July 31 [21 favorites]


Upon learning of his termination, Scaramucci was heard to respond "Oh, fiddlesticks."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:10 PM on July 31 [41 favorites]


We should be rooting for dysfunction and incompetence.

We're getting that anyway.
posted by Gelatin at 12:10 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


For the statistically-minded among us, Scaramucci's ten-day tenure is a new record for shortest stint as Communications Director. He narrowly beat the 11-day run of Jack Koehler (Reagan's fifth comms director) who resigned when it became public that he had been active in Deutsches Jungvolk, a Nazi government youth division, when he was a kid back in the fatherland.

Say what you will of the the Mooch, but he was merely an asshole and not a Nazi.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:11 PM on July 31 [35 favorites]




Look fast before it's gone: The Federalist, "Why Anthony Scaramucci Is The Man Trump And America Need."
posted by octobersurprise at 12:13 PM on July 31 [33 favorites]


To be fair, that's a strongly anti-Trump article.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:14 PM on July 31


For those following at home, the Mooch is Lucky Contestant Number Ten in this week's installment of Who's Quiting Or Being Fired From The White House This Time.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:14 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


When I said yesterday - yesterday! - that I have little doubt that the chaos evinced by the arrival of Mooch in just a few short days will end in disaster for him and others quite soon, but like a radioactive isotope with a short half-life, you can't tell just when the atom's going to decay, I really didn't expect the experimental determination of λ to be so low.

We know 45's administration is radioactive. It's good to start getting some data on its characteristics.
posted by Devonian at 12:15 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


David Marcus‏ (who wrote the Mooch Federalist piece referenced above) @BlueBoxDave Guess I filed that piece just in the nick of time...
posted by notyou at 12:16 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Donald Trump hires the best people. He hires so many of the best people that he needs to fire the old ones to make room. It's a rapidly shrinking cycle of excellence, a maelstrom, always twirling, twirling, twirling towards making America great again.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:18 PM on July 31 [32 favorites]


They're going to have to have a Dancing with the Stars special just to decide which former White House staffer gets to be on the real show.

At this rate, they'll be able to have DWTS: White House Edition
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:18 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


@EsotericCD:
Scaramucci's *official start date* as WH Communications Director was August 15th.

It's July 31st.

That's gotta be some kind of record.
posted by harujion at 12:19 PM on July 31 [88 favorites]


"Mr Scaramucci, please explain the gap of negative 15 days in your work history"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:20 PM on July 31 [118 favorites]


Scaramucci's *official start date* as WH Communications Director was August 15th.

See how shrewd Drump is? He got all the publicity of hiring the Mooch but now doesn't have to pay him a cent in salary!
posted by dnash at 12:20 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Now that Scaramucci is leaving, I need to take my very last opportunity to tell you that the Romanian word "muci" (pronounced "mooch") means "snot." And in doing this, I hope that you enjoy the same juvenile little laugh every time this moron calls himself "The Snot."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:21 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


And the Mooch needs to pay 15 days of severance to the gummint, instead of receiving it.
posted by storybored at 12:21 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I don't want to get all Thomas Friedman here, but if you went to middle America you would find a lot of people who claim to believe that abortion is murder, but otherwise align more with Democrats than Republicans and spend a lot of time retconning their support of GOP policies they don't like just so that they can vote for pro-life candidates.

No, you won't. The anti-choice vote is pretty thoroughly in the right wing camp.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:21 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


With a career flameout like this, I suppose we can look forward to him being a candidate on the next Celebrity Apprentice?
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:22 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


For the statistically-minded among us, Scaramucci's ten-day tenure is a new record for shortest stint as Communications Director.

As a side note, 45 has already surpassed poor doomed William Henry Harrison's 31-day stint in the presidency, but he can still come in under Garfield's time if he is gone by next Monday.

I believe in Donald. He can do it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:22 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Say what you will of the the Mooch, but he was merely an asshole and not a Nazi.

[citation needed]
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:23 PM on July 31 [23 favorites]


Why do parts keep falling off this well-oiled, finely-tuned machine?

Its the winning, winning SO much that you are saying Donald, this is terrible.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:23 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


*goes away for 1/2 hour* Can't I even leave you guys alone for one minute???
posted by Melismata at 12:23 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


I hope the stench of failure follows everyone who was stupid, opportunistic, or craven enough to take a job in Trump's White House, and I hope that stench lingers even beyond the grave.

I think we need an additional alignment system for this administration as well. Lawful-Chaotic on the x-axis, Incompetent-Talented on the y-axis, and Good-Evil on the z-axis. The Mooch is clearly in the same mold as the President himself: chaotic incompetent evil.
posted by duffell at 12:23 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


12:02 Local Time: "There, I've finally caught up with the Thread."
12:04 Local Time: ~83 new comments~
"Oh sweet Jesus on a Ritz cracker what is it n- oh. HAAAAAAAAAA"
12:08 Local Time: "AAAAAHAHAHAAAAHAHAHHAAAHA"


I was just thinking this morning how kind the universe was to give us the weekend off to rest up and recover after the trainwreck of last week. Now I know why.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:24 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


"The loss of Mooch is devasting [sic] for reasons I can't go into. He was going to run next generation media strategy. No way to spin, this is bad." — @Cernovich
He must've promised to instruct Mike in the mystic arts of autofellatio.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:24 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]


You know, I'm not excited to see clownshow characters voted off the island. The one thing that could turn Trump's inept attempted fascist takeover of democracy into an actual fascist takeover of democracy would be competent managers helping him execute it. Like former 4 star generals with violent authoritarian fantasies. John Kelly coming in and consolidating power is not a good development. Dysfunction is stopping this from getting, far, far worse. We should be rooting for dysfunction and incompetence.

Yup. The one part of this government that has been working with ruthless efficiency since Trump took office is ICE. Kelly is the guy who has been enabling that to happen, his portfolio got a whole lot bigger last week, and now he's making moves.
posted by joedan at 12:24 PM on July 31 [21 favorites]


in this week's installment of Who's Quiting Or Being Fired From The White House This Time

Who's next?

Now so long, Kellyanne
It's time that we began
To laugh
And cry
And cry
And laugh about it all again

Come ON. A man can dream.
posted by flabdablet at 12:24 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Scaramucci has now fallen on his feet and been hired as a Fox News analyst... sorry, I'm now reading he's been fired for sexual harassment, receiving a golden parachute of $20 million... and now he's died of old age. Requiescat In Pace old friend
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:25 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]


Look, I don’t normally have sympathy with my fellow Brits who get all pearl-clutchy about Americanisms, but: ‘ouster’ clearly ought to mean ‘someone who ousts’. I’ve been finding a lot of headlines very confusing recently, please just cut it out. Thank you.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:25 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Was it boneitis?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:26 PM on July 31 [35 favorites]


From Ivanka's twitter

[citation needed]


Sorry, I forgot.

[Fake]
posted by orange ball at 12:27 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]




Say what you will of the the Mooch, but he was merely an asshole and not a Nazi.

[citation needed]


At this point, he is Schroedinger's Nazi: his fascism eigenstate will have to remain unresolved.

Hey, when he HBO series of this presidency gets made, who will be brought in for a single episode to play Scaramucci?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:27 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


The press has been doing this sort of thing since at least the beginning of Trump's presidency, and I love it. It both signals that their sources are more likely to be solid, and tweaks Trump's nose by remind him that multiple people in the White House leak to the press.

One by one he'll eliminate them, like in an Agatha Christie novel, only to find himself alone finally with Ivanka, who picks up her phone "to check on the kids" every day shortly before the Daily Beast post deadline.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:27 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


‘ouster’ clearly ought to mean ‘someone who ousts’.

Nope, sorry.

oust·er
ˈoustər/Submit
noun
1.
NORTH AMERICAN
dismissal or expulsion from a position.
"a showdown that may lead to his ouster as leader of the party"
2.
LAW
ejection from a freehold or other possession; deprivation of an inheritance.
posted by cooker girl at 12:27 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


From Twitter:

An exclusive statement from Scaramucci on leaving the WH Position. (fake, and yet another Bohemian Rhapsody joke)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:28 PM on July 31


Did i just get loss.jpged
posted by Yowser at 12:28 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of impressed by how incredibly unlikable The Mooch is, even in a sea of the worst people in America like the Trump administration. He threw the entire White House into turmoil just by showing up because of how much people hated him, and less than 24 hours in, Kelly seems to have said, "this asshole has to go" as basically his first official act. How abrasive do you have to be that people who deal with Bannon, Miller, and Gorka on a regular basis find you to be too much of an asshole?
posted by Copronymus at 12:28 PM on July 31 [34 favorites]


Billy Eichner: "OMG he's gonna replace Scaramucci with OJ"
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:30 PM on July 31 [17 favorites]


Looks like that 'doesn't suffer fools' tag for Kelly may be accurate.

In which case, he's going to get awful lonely in there.
posted by Devonian at 12:30 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Not to launch a linguistic derail, but ouster is a pretty old English legal term for removing or ejecting someone from land. It's never meant the person doing the ousting.
posted by Aravis76 at 12:30 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


saeed jones

Scaramucci: So fucking stoked about my new job at wh—

Karma: RECLAIMING MY TIME.

Lol.
posted by mgrrl at 12:31 PM on July 31 [130 favorites]


WaPo: Anthony Scaramucci erroneously listed as dead in the new Harvard Law alumni directory
Pity poor Anthony Scaramucci: reportedly getting divorced, sacked from his job after a mere 10 days — and now there’s an erroneous report that he’s dead.

The blink-and-you-missed him former White House communications director is listed as deceased in the new Harvard Law School alumni directory, which arrived in alums’ mailboxes the very week that “The Mooch” became the most talked-about guy in all of politics. An asterisk by the 1989 graduate’s name indicates that he was reported dead since the last directory, which was published in 2011.
posted by zachlipton at 12:31 PM on July 31 [56 favorites]


So is it now more or less likely that Ryan Lizza posts Insane_Scaramucci_Interview.wav
posted by theodolite at 12:31 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


How long until Scott Adams is considered for the Comm Director post?
posted by drezdn at 12:33 PM on July 31 [29 favorites]


April Ryan reporting, per unnamed source, that Mooch told newly minted CoS Kelly "I don't report to you" and Kelly said "youre gone" [and he was]
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:33 PM on July 31 [50 favorites]


Fine, "ousterer."
posted by rhizome at 12:34 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


oustest
posted by neroli at 12:35 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


...and now there’s an erroneous report that he’s dead.


Maybe he stumbled over one of his Horcruxes on the way out. Every day a tiny bit of us dies within us, like.
posted by Namlit at 12:35 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


tweaks Trump's nose by remind him that multiple people in the White House leak to the press

and nobody really knows who keeps pushing the prez's every little brain fart straight out on twitter
posted by flabdablet at 12:35 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Is there no one here with the least little bit of decency?

We let Mario Cantone get his hopes up, and now... :(
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:36 PM on July 31 [18 favorites]


April Ryan reporting, per unnamed source, that Mooch told newly minted CoS Kelly "I don't report to you" and Kelly said "youre gone" [and he was]

Kelly is running around the White House shouting about how he's not locked up with you, you're locked up with me.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:36 PM on July 31 [48 favorites]


On the other hand, Scaramucci probably wasn't there long enough to commit indictable crimes...
posted by mikelieman at 12:37 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I know this is probably not a great attitude, but I can't help feeling pleased right now that I got to live through the ten days of Scaramucci. That New Yorker interview is going to exist forever. Forever! And we got to see it happen!
posted by something something at 12:37 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]




Sam Stein has a sad: In all seriousness, this is a sad story. Not a laugher. Guy sold his company, divorced his wife, didn’t see his kid's birth, for…. this.
posted by octothorpe at 12:37 PM on July 31


Let's not have an ouster cult on the blue, eh?

Seriously doubt this will be the last plank-walk we see this week, though, if 45 is going to defer to a sane man in hiring and firing decisions.
posted by Devonian at 12:38 PM on July 31 [20 favorites]


Ron Howard voice: It's a laugher
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:38 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


Ousterizer
posted by wabbittwax at 12:38 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Tragedy is comedy + time. In this case, shortly under ten days.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:39 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


Sara Huckabee Sanders is giving an on camera briefing in 10 minutes (or whenever she shows up)

I am super stoked


SHS: I gotcher hair and makeup right here [rude gesture], motherfucker. Sorry, Jesus. [fake]
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:39 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


In all seriousness, this is a sad story. Not a laugher. Guy sold his company, divorced his wife, didn’t see his kid's birth, for [neo-fascism]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:39 PM on July 31 [21 favorites]


Sam Stein has a sad

I thought Scaramucci's wife divorced him. It's odd how a woman's agency gets removed from this engrossing story about men winning.
posted by kariebookish at 12:39 PM on July 31 [104 favorites]


Are SNL going to do recaps of what could have been?
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


I am going with Ousterman Weekend, myself.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:40 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Joe Biden's principle of keeping his "private" position on abortion separate from his public actions as an elected official would be the defining attribute of a Democrat. A reversal of that would not be hard to imagine so much as it would be a betrayal of a fundamental position of the party.

Lots of people are uncomfortable with abortions. Super uncomfortable. Including pro-choice people. The distinction lies in the recognition that they should not make that choice for others.


This.

Plus the defining feature of Democratic Party members is that they work to make abortions less necessary rather than less available and or legal.

Someone with a personal anti-abortion stance should work for sex education, pre-natal and post-natal health care, day care, a social safety net, equal pay for women before they even consider outlawing abortion and criminalizing women who make different choices.

Republicans on the other hand ensure that unwanted and unsupported pregnancies will occur and do their damnedest to prevent women from avoiding them and try to criminalize those that do.

You can be a pro-life democrat but you've got to bring the whole pro-life package rather than just the after it is too late angry spanking asshole dad part.
posted by srboisvert at 12:40 PM on July 31 [45 favorites]


>Let's not have an ouster cult on the blue, eh?

a.. Blue Ouster Cult ...d'ya mean?
posted by The_Auditor at 12:40 PM on July 31 [34 favorites]


Not to launch a linguistic derail, but ouster is a pretty old English legal term for removing or ejecting someone from land. It's never meant the person doing the ousting.

I was joking, I wasn’t suggesting it was actually an incorrect usage, just a confusing one for those of us who aren’t used to it, but: I’m fascinated to learn it’s odd-looking because it’s French. Thanks!
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:41 PM on July 31


SNL will now need a mini-series length premiere episode.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:41 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


Weekend at Ouster's II
posted by rhizome at 12:42 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


if 45 is going to defer

no, that's his real hair
posted by flabdablet at 12:43 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


SNL should do an entire show made up of cold opens that could have been.
posted by spitbull at 12:43 PM on July 31 [34 favorites]


I have the BBC news app on my iPad, and everyone around me is now trained to ask me "what happened" when they hear the app's alert noise. It's gone off twice this hour, and the reaction has varied wildly to each one, depending on the circumstances.

Instance 1: "Scaramucci was just fired."

"What????....Holy shit....Unbelievable!" (followed by several minutes' discussion)



Instance 2: "We just imposed sanctions on Venezuela."

"...Oh. ...Yeah, I saw that coming." (everyone immediately goes back to work)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:44 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


yeah it's probably a good sign actually when public support of fascism gets your life ruined in exchange. that is pretty much the appropriate way for society to react to someone being like "you know what I'm going to be the spokesman for? fascism!"
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:44 PM on July 31 [23 favorites]


Seriously doubt this will be the last plank-walk we see this week, though, if 45 is going to defer to a sane man in hiring and firing decisions.

Someone in the Trump court is trying to shiv the new grand vizier: Kelly Called Comey to Express Anger Over Firing, Steve Bannon Sources Say.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:44 PM on July 31 [26 favorites]


Seriously, though, much as I hate Huckabee Sanders, I hope she comes out with her regular hair again instead of her recent Mooch Makeover hair. Fucking sexist dick.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:45 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


a.. Blue Ouster Cult ...d'ya mean?

Don't Fear the Trumper
posted by nubs at 12:45 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Yeah I'm not surprised. Seems like the fix was in for Venezuela. Steady stream of propaganda all weekend.
posted by Yowser at 12:46 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


SNL will have plenty of fresh and shiny new news to lampoon upon their return and will not have the bandwidth to recycle antiquated stuff like the mooch's brief, vulgar tenure or that time Chief of Staff Kushner hired r_thedonald to set civil rights policy.
posted by notyou at 12:46 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Someone with a personal anti-abortion stance should work for sex education, pre-natal and post-natal health care, day care, a social safety net, equal pay for women before they even consider outlawing abortion and criminalizing women who make different choices.

I mean, we can take a step back and appreciate this from the standpoint of a member of Congress who happens to be a Jehovah's Witness or Christian Scientist. "Look, part of a democracy is being open to a discussion of whether blood transfusions should be illegal." In that light, abortion looks like a soft-pedaled policy in that very few people ever have them, but if someone's personal politics is going to become national (or a state's) law, then it's easy to blow the whole thing up. So there's a question for the DNC: where do you draw the line?
posted by rhizome at 12:46 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Don't Fear the Trumper

This Ain't the Summer of Love
posted by Golem XIV at 12:47 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I thought Scaramucci's wife divorced him. It's odd how a woman's agency gets removed from this engrossing story about men winning.


Seriously. Honestly, if Scaramucci's wife pulled the trigger on the divorce because of his actions post-White House gig, it was perhaps the first good thing that this administration has done for somebody not named Trump.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:47 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Who ousters the ousters?
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:47 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Maybe now Scaramucci can focus his attention on sucking his own cock.
posted by chrchr at 12:49 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I'm just worried he'll weedle his way back in.
posted by drezdn at 12:49 PM on July 31


Maybe now Scaramucci can focus his attention on sucking his own cock.
posted by chrchr at 15:49 on July 31 [+] [!]

I'm just worried he'll weedle his way back in.
posted by drezdn at 15:49 on July 31 [+] [!]


Perfect.
posted by duffell at 12:50 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


The joke I've been waiting for while everyone's been stuck on Bohemian Rhapsody:

Death to (S)mooch(y)
posted by Existential Dread at 12:50 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


The (Comey related) Washington Post subhead "In ouster, anxiety over investigation into meddling” was particularly opaque.

/end of derail
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:50 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Hey, has anyone done a health check on Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and others? The doubling over in laughter and side splitting at this point may need emergency attention.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:52 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]




Hey, when he HBO series of this presidency gets made, who will be brought in for a single episode to play Scaramucci?

Ken Marino. The answer is Ken Marino, leaning hard into "Aaaaaay I'm Italian".
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:54 PM on July 31 [25 favorites]


The joke I've been waiting for while everyone's been stuck on Bohemian Rhapsody:

Another one bites the dust?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:54 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]




Jared and Ivanka were reported as supporting Scaramucci's hiring and now as supporting his firing.

Is there anyone who still believes these people actually do anything?
posted by zachlipton at 12:55 PM on July 31 [55 favorites]


I scanned back on CNN's website to see Brooke Baldwin breaking the news. She very clearly whispers "shit" and laughs and is on the verge of cracking up for several minutes.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:55 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


"Ouster" is one of those words I've only seen in news headlines, kinda like "amid." Matter of fact, I'll bet ten Yankee dollars that some copy editor out there went with "amid ouster" for a Comey firing explainer at some point this spring.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:56 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


(East: Could you give a link re Brooke Baldwin? I gotta see this.)
posted by XtinaS at 12:56 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Naturally, the BBC phrasing was, "Anthony Scaramucci sacked as Trump media chief."

In other words: "The man responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked has been sacked."
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:57 PM on July 31 [61 favorites]


I doubt Clinton et al are laughing very much. It is amusing to see someone as transparently awful as Mooch get humiliated in so dramatic a fashion, and I enjoy it as much as anyone, but in reality all this shitstormery is leaving the country in an extremely vulnerable and unstable state. It's actively dangerous.


If there aren't discussions going on right now in the GOP about confronting the unthinkable - the final ouster (da-da-DAH-dah, dah-da-dah-da-DAAAH), I'm made of felt and cheese.
posted by Devonian at 12:58 PM on July 31 [49 favorites]


"The man responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked has been sacked."

BREAKING: Trump taps new Comms Director 40 SPECIALLY TRAINED ECUADORIAN MOUNTAIN LLAMAS
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:00 PM on July 31 [25 favorites]




Wait, found it.
posted by XtinaS at 1:03 PM on July 31


Oh boy, Mnuchin's there. I'll pay any reporter $500 cash money to reclaim their time.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:03 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


If there aren't discussions going on right now in the GOP about confronting the unthinkable - the final ouster

Possibly, maybe probably if the Marine General can't effect The Pivot or at least reduce the madness back to April 2017 levels.
posted by notyou at 1:03 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


So Venezuela bad, Turkey good? Just to make sure I've got this right from the press briefing?
posted by Yowser at 1:04 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


@SarcasticRover: Mars is so far away from Earth that we only just heard about Scaramucci getting hired as Communication Director.

Congrats, @Scaramucci!

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:04 PM on July 31 [81 favorites]


Briefing has started. H. R. McMaster and Steve Mnuchin will be giving remarks first.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:04 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


A Møøch once bit my sister....no realli!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:05 PM on July 31 [48 favorites]


"The man responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked has been sacked."

Mynd you, Møøch bites Kan be pretti nasti.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:05 PM on July 31 [42 favorites]


f there aren't discussions going on right now in the GOP about confronting the unthinkable - the final ouster (da-da-DAH-dah, dah-da-dah-da-DAAAH), I'm made of felt and cheese.

Except, no - they are probably all breathing a sigh of relief and hoping the WH quiets down now so they can continue to ignore the larger problem.
posted by double bubble at 1:05 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Wow. Tough on Venezuela. Wonder what time Trump's going to sign the Russian Sanctions Bill?
posted by mikelieman at 1:06 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Wow they were quick with freezing Venezuela assets.

How's the Russia thing going, Trumpy boy? You're putin everything you can into it?
posted by Yowser at 1:06 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


- high fives Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish -
posted by lord_wolf at 1:07 PM on July 31


Mnuchin: "This represents a rupture in $COUNTRY_NAME's democratic and constitutional order"

sorry that should be Venezuela
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:07 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Did Mnuchin just say "repernuctions" ?
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:08 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Why is Tillerson not giving this briefing?
posted by mfu at 1:09 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Mnuchin on now about Venezuela sanctions: Since when do these fuckers care a whit about democracy? This is the most I've heard anybody in this administration even use the word "democracy."

Also, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Philippines, Russia.
posted by Rykey at 1:10 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Why is Tillerson not giving this briefing?

He's having a powernap for eight hours
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:10 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


> Why is Tillerson not giving this briefing?

Because he's taking some time off.
posted by Tevin at 1:11 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


"How is this differen from... Turkey? ... President Trump congratulated the President of Turkey on that"

"The difference is we see the end of the constitution in Venezuela"


OK THEN.
posted by Yowser at 1:11 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


The thing is, Trump may like the idea of this Kelly-style "runs a tight ship" crap in theory or when it's happening over at DHS, but it's hard to imagine him functioning in that kind of environment himself. He's going to be undermining Kelly's orderly setup and countermanding instructions and generally fucking things up just to be a disruptive bastard every chance he gets. He loves shitty morale and division and staff members being at each other's throats; I can't imagine him tolerating change well at all.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:11 PM on July 31 [30 favorites]


Place your bets on the new comms director! Perhaps this guy: Ummmm outside the White House a man is wheeling a skeleton right now (To clarify, I mean the skeleton as the new comms director. Can't be worse than the Mooch, right?)
posted by yasaman at 1:13 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]



Why is Tillerson not giving this briefing?

He's having a powernap for eight hours


When he wakes up, he'll need to be told that Scaramucci has been both hired and fired.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:14 PM on July 31 [29 favorites]


I want to punch Mr. Secretary in the face.
posted by mikelieman at 1:14 PM on July 31


The inevitable coup question...

"We are focused on the democratic process"

(and you're imposing sanctions why then? What exactly does democracy mean anymore?)
posted by Yowser at 1:15 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


The Huckster is having a BAD day.
posted by Yowser at 1:15 PM on July 31


Welp, Trump is down to 39% approval... ON RASMUSSEN!
posted by chris24 at 1:15 PM on July 31 [41 favorites]


Oh, so the Venezuela sanctions are just against Maduro. Well that's a relief. For a moment there I was-

Acording to Reuters, the US is still considering broader sanctions against Venezuela’s oil industry, which could prove devastating for a country which is already in a state of economic free fall.

We had to destroy the country in order to save it?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:15 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


SHS: "You guys wasted all your questions on asking the same one over and over. Just kidding... tough crowd." [real]
posted by Rykey at 1:16 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


The thing is, Trump may like the idea of this Kelly-style "runs a tight ship" crap in theory or when it's happening over at DHS, but it's hard to imagine him functioning in that kind of environment himself.

Yup. DHS is not DOD, but it's still an agency with a very clear chain-of-command and lot of military or quasi-military staff. Kelly's term at DHS was relatively non-scandalous because he was put in charge of an agency where people are accustomed to following orders. (And because a certain subset of the agency is really happy about the opportunity to bust heads. Sigh.)

But the White House is a much flatter organization: basically it's a medieval court, with dozens of people simultaneously jockeying for Trump's attention and validation. Neither the current denizens nor Trump himself are going to be willing to go through Kelly for everything. Or even most things.

I sort of respect the guy for trying, but I also kind of hope he fails, badly, because I don't want the White House to be competent at their malice and corruption.
posted by suelac at 1:16 PM on July 31 [33 favorites]


a.. Blue Ouster Cult ...d'ya mean?

Don't Fear the Trumper


Creeper, surely?
posted by spitbull at 1:16 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


night of the schlong imbibes
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:17 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


We're going to sell coal to Ukraine, which Sarah Huckabee Sanders just called an "alternative fuel"
posted by TheProfessor at 1:17 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


And in unison, the press cries, "What happened, Sarah? What happened?" [real]
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:17 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


An energy deal with Ukraine...

I'm out, I can't deal with it anymore. My God I'd forgotten how bad these briefings are.
posted by Yowser at 1:17 PM on July 31


We had to destroy the country in order to save it?

Well, how else are Blackwater Xe Academi and Halliburton gonna make their numbers next year?
posted by anem0ne at 1:17 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


"What happened, Sarah?"
posted by leotrotsky at 1:18 PM on July 31


"What matters most to us is not who's employed in the White House."

That's been pretty obvious, Sarah.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:19 PM on July 31 [55 favorites]


From the previous thread:

Notyou's wife on hearing the news about Priebus: "You know what? I'm not even gonna learn their names anymore."

After Mooch's firing it's probably better to call all new incoming WH staff by Red Shirt #1, Red Shirt #2...
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 1:19 PM on July 31 [33 favorites]




This is the first time I've actually watched her and by George she has an unpleasant demeanor. (That's me trying to be nice)
Talking about Huckabee Sanders here.
posted by ramix at 1:20 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


"Don't Fear the Trumper"

I went to a Blue Oyster Cult show a couple of months ago in a rather small town in Virginia, and at some point the vocalist made a super subtle disapproving reference to "our president", and some drunk douchebro in the audience yelled WE LIKE OUR PRESIDENT. I was in one of the front rows and it was so fucking embarrassing but my husband and I couldn't publicly disagree because this is literally the town where they filmed that neonazi movie with Daniel Radcliffe, so yeah.

Tldr: For as long as they could remember my face (a few minutes maybe), the band members of the Blue Oyster Cult thought I was a trump supporter.
posted by Tarumba at 1:20 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Why is Tillerson not giving this briefing?

He's having a powernap for eight hours


Someone has to wake him from the Lazarus Pit.
posted by drezdn at 1:22 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


SHuckS just favorably compared the White House to a house full of pre-schoolers. Damned with faint praise.
posted by mikelieman at 1:23 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


Press: So who actually made the decision vis a vis The Mooch?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders: I think I've been pretty clear. [WORD SALAD]

Press: So uh who actually made the decision vis a vis The Mooch?

ad nauseum
posted by TheProfessor at 1:23 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Hucks is being quite definite that everything and everyone now goes through Kelly, presumably a condition he demanded to take the job.

So that's going to be fun for all the family...
posted by Devonian at 1:25 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Looks like someone didn't go quietly into that good night...

What's the bet the first thing Kelly did when he arrived at the White House was to walk into the Oval Office and say "fire that little cocksucker Scaramucci, Mr President you dumb fuck"?
posted by Talez at 1:25 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Looks like someone didn't go quietly into that good night...

Nearly 200 days and not one frogmarch yet! Come on already!
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:26 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


We're going to sell coal to Ukraine, which Sarah Huckabee Sanders just called an "alternative fuel"

So....Ukraine's working their asses off to get off of Russian gas, so this directly undermines some of Putin's leverage there, which is fun from a geopolitical perspective. Ukraine has also had a number of renewables projects they've been trying to get off the ground, but understandable the conflict there has been an issue. This is going to be real unpredictable, assuming it actually happens.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:26 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Can't keep watching.

(Spoiler: The Huckster almost broke out in a laugh when someone asked whether the President endorses police brutality)
posted by Yowser at 1:26 PM on July 31




Hey, when he HBO series of this presidency gets made, who will be brought in for a single episode to play Scaramucci?


It's going to be a 25 second cameo of some voice actor primarly talking about Steve Bannon. Heck, just use the real audio.

The Donald Sr: "We should bring in The Mooch. That'll fix things."

[Shot of TV Chyron of Mooch Ramblings over pic of tape recorder] VO of the actual Mooch: "as for Bannon, he's just ..."

Ron Howard V.O. "It didn't."

[Shot of Mooch being escorted out of the White House]
posted by tilde at 1:28 PM on July 31 [22 favorites]


We're going to sell coal to Ukraine, which Sarah Huckabee Sanders just called an "alternative fuel"

So....Ukraine's working their asses off to get off of Russian gas, so this directly undermines some of Putin's leverage there, which is fun from a geopolitical perspective. Ukraine has also had a number of renewables projects they've been trying to get off the ground, but understandable the conflict there has been an issue. This is going to be real unpredictable, assuming it actually happens.
posted by Existential Dread at 3:26 PM on July 31 [+] [!]



Yeah, I mean getting together with Ukraine on getting off of Gazprom is all to the good. But, like, actual renewables, right? Not helping them to build a coal infrastructure. Course she called it "thermal coal," which...nope, on investigation, that's regular old coal.
posted by TheProfessor at 1:28 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Trump's Mirror, February 2016: Wow was Ted Cruz disloyal to his very capable director of communication. He used him as a scape goat-fired like a dog! Ted panicked.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:29 PM on July 31 [38 favorites]


I didn't know Scaramucci was 53 years old! Holy cats! Dude looks great. Especially next to, who else with similarly high blood pressure...Alex Jones?
posted by witchen at 1:30 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


The Atlantic, David Graham: The Spectacular Self-Destruction of Anthony Scaramucci. We'll just jump to the last paragraph:
Speaking to CNN on Thursday morning, Scaramucci acknowledged that while he had said he was like a brother to Priebus, some brothers had relationships like the one between the biblical brothers Cain and Abel, the former of whom slew the elder. Scaramucci did not say whether it was he or Priebus who represented Cain in that situation, but by Friday evening it appeared clear that Priebus was Abel. With the benefit of a few more days, it’s now clear that the better analogy comes not from the Bible but from Sophocles’ Antigone, and the cases of Eteocles and Polyneices—mutual fratricides, killed on the battlefield of a civil war.
posted by zachlipton at 1:31 PM on July 31 [25 favorites]


From now on whenever I want to get out a conversation I'll just say "we're cutting it a little close on time" and immediately run away.
posted by theodolite at 1:32 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]


Alex Jones is 10 years younger than Scaramucci.
posted by Tuba Toothpaste at 1:32 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]




But, like, actual renewables, right?

Yep, actual renewables. Of course, Russia would like to disrupt that as much as possible.
Already, Ukraine has reduced its reliance on Russian fossil fuels, cutting consumption of natural gas by about one-third since 2013.

But the economic environment is less favourable, Gielen says. Electricity demand has declined in the years since the conflict with Russia escalated, and is mostly met by existing nuclear and fossil-fuel sources. More-over, the exceedingly high cost of investment in the politically unstable country might discourage potential backers. As the first phase of implementing the 2014 action plan, Ukraine is scheduled to build 51 solar-power and 15 wind-power projects — an endeavour that will cost an estimated $7 billion.

“Financing renewables in Ukraine is comparable to investing in parts of Africa,” Gielen says. “Investors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development might still be interested, but the Chernobyl solar plant certainly can’t be a purely commercial project.”
posted by Existential Dread at 1:33 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]




Scaramucci belongs to a social circle that prioritizes appearance and probably has had plastic surgery, certainly has had major cosmetic dental work, gets his hair styled daily, wears expensive suits, and -- look closely -- is always covered in shit-tons of makeup and bronzer on TV and in pictures. If he gets to hot it all melts and underneath he looks like he owns a body shop in Massapequa. It's like when you shampoo a very hairy dog and it turns out to be much smaller than you thought.
posted by spitbull at 1:42 PM on July 31 [41 favorites]


ABC reporter Jonathan Karl is on Charlie Rose (pre-recorded, pre-Mooch-firing) talking about Kelly taking over for Priebus and he points out that no one in the White House or Congress came to Priebus' defense when Scaramucci started his tirade a week ago.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:42 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


The (Comey related) Washington Post subhead "In ouster, anxiety over investigation into meddling” was particularly opaque.

That reads like a cryptic crossword clue.
posted by rocket88 at 1:42 PM on July 31 [37 favorites]


> On today's episode of #TimeTravelTrump: Wow was Ted Cruz disloyal to his very capable director of communication. He used him as a scape goat-fired like a dog! Ted panicked.

I try to not contribute to the noise in these threads but yeezy creezy what does Donald Trump think a dog is and how do you fire one?!
posted by Tevin at 1:43 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


I try to not contribute to the noise in these threads but yeezy creezy what does Donald Trump think a dog is and how do you fire one?!

Trump doesn't have a dog. Even Adolph Hitler had a dog.
posted by mikelieman at 1:44 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


> I try to not contribute to the noise in these threads but yeezy creezy what does Donald Trump think a dog is and how do you fire one?!

I don't know what Trump thinks a dog is. However, I think he thinks you fire one by looking the other way while people put the dog in a van and drive off with it and then after that everyone pretends the dog never existed.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:45 PM on July 31 [33 favorites]


Trump has fired many dogs. Any time he sees a dog, he mentally says "you're fired".
posted by cell divide at 1:46 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


"We decided to take Scaramucci to a nice farm upstate where he'll have plenty of room to run around."
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:46 PM on July 31 [41 favorites]


yeezy creezy what does Donald Trump think a dog is and how do you fire one?!

Nick Wing, HuffPost, February 2016: Donald Trump Clearly Doesn’t Understand How Dogs Work
Phillip Bump, WaPo, March 2016: Note to Mr. Trump: Dogs don’t even have jobs, man
posted by zachlipton at 1:47 PM on July 31 [26 favorites]


So lemme see if I have this straight:

-Spicer quit because of the Mooch
-Mooch takes down Preibus
-Preibus replaced by Kelly
-Kelly gets rid of the Mooch

If Spicer now gets rid of Kelly, the cycle will be complete and the Portal shall open...
posted by nubs at 1:48 PM on July 31 [63 favorites]


I'm pretty sure "dog" is Trumpspeak for "bitch," but he'll tell you he's too nice to use that language. But it's what he means.
posted by emelenjr at 1:51 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


We apologise for the fault in the
administration. Reince Priebus has been
sacked.
Mynd you, Møøch bites Kan be pretty nasti...
We apologise again for the fault in the
administration. Those responsible for sacking
the people who have just been sacked,
have been sacked.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:52 PM on July 31 [36 favorites]


There's no way anyone in the white house could have nice hair with all the doors swinging there no wonder there are flies
posted by yoga at 1:53 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]




On today's episode of #TimeTravelTrump

Prediction: Trump's timeline is working in reverse through his tweets and his impeachment will come when it converges to the present day.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 1:53 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


That don't impress me, Mooch
posted by porn in the woods at 1:56 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


So lemme see if I have this straight:

-Spicer quit because of the Mooch
-Mooch takes down Preibus
-Preibus replaced by Kelly
-Kelly gets rid of the Mooch


-God creates dinosaurs
-God kills dinosaurs
-God creates man
-Man kills God
-Man creates dinosaurs
-Dinosaurs eat man
-Woman inherits the earth
posted by chrchr at 1:57 PM on July 31 [26 favorites]


> Trump doesn't have a dog. Even Adolph Hitler had a dog.
The rarely seen reverse-Godwin in which we shoot upwards.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:03 PM on July 31 [70 favorites]


According to a recent twitter infographic (not found, and trying to cram those end-of-the-month hours in to get them invoiced, it's probably somewhere here) Trump is the first U.S. president in 150 years not to have any pet whatsoever.
posted by Buntix at 2:04 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


@theferocity
Scaramucci: So fucking stoked about my new job at wh—

Karma: RECLAIMING MY TIME.
posted by chris24 at 2:06 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]


his pets keep running away - even the goldfish
posted by pyramid termite at 2:06 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


No pet would have him
posted by agregoli at 2:06 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


I try to not contribute to the noise in these threads but yeezy creezy what does Donald Trump think a dog is and how do you fire one?!

You have the Department of Defense to build you a comically huge circus cannon. You pop the canine in, light the sparkly fuse, and FIRE! A shower of confetti later and Nova Scotia now has more dogs than natural fauna, like moose, or Tom Selleck.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:07 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


When he wakes up, he'll need to be told that Scaramucci has been both hired and fired.

It occurred to me that I have had a vacation in Bali longer than Scaramucci's term lasted. I have been bedridden from a virus for a longer stretch. I spent more time (albeit not in a single continuous stretch) in airplanes most years this century than he did in his job. I had a torrid fling where neither of us put clothes on that lasted longer. I have fasted longer than this. I read the entirety of The Lord of the Rings twice in a shorter time.

I think this should be an AskMe.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:07 PM on July 31 [25 favorites]


Instead of a dog Trump's Checkers speech is going going to be about some sycophant intern named Dylan.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:08 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Acording to Reuters, the US is still considering broader sanctions against Venezuela’s oil industry, which could prove devastating for a country which is already in a state of economic free fall.

We had to destroy the country in order to save it?


This, fwiw, would follow the general pattern of White House "distractions": it's incompetent and hamfisted and stupid, and it possibly "distracts" from whatever embarrassment is dominating the news cycle, and it does real harm to real people so calling it a "distraction" is still shitty.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:09 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Trump is the first U.S. president in 150 years not to have any pet whatsoever.

ooh! ooh! this is where i get to wax rhapsodic about calvin coolidge's pet raccoon rebecca.
posted by murphy slaw at 2:09 PM on July 31 [35 favorites]


Pickles' letter was his Checkers speech.
posted by tilde at 2:09 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Let's not give Trump & Co any ideas that he should be getting a dog. Dogs deserve so much better than him. I shudder to think of how he would treat the poor animal.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:10 PM on July 31 [34 favorites]


Ryan Lizza (yes, that Ryan Lizza), New Yorker: Anthony Scaramucci’s Ouster May Show That John Kelly Has the Rare Ability to Rein In Trump
A hint of Kelly’s potential influence on Trump emerged two weeks ago, in Aspen, Colorado, when Kelly made a startling revelation. According to several sources who attended a private briefing that included some of the nation’s most senior current and former national-security officials, Kelly sought to ease their minds about one of the most controversial and famous Trump proposals: the border wall with Mexico. Many of the current and former officials were deeply skeptical of Trump, and surprised that Kelly, a respected Marine Corps general, would even take a job working for him.

Kelly explained that he had spent a great deal of time talking through the issue with Trump, and he believed he had convinced the President that he didn’t actually need to build a physical wall along the entire nineteen-hundred-mile-long border between the United States and Mexico. Instead, the use of sophisticated monitoring technology, air surveillance, and fencing could secure the border with what Trump could start calling a “barrier.”

To the officials in the room, it was a fascinating admission. Kelly seemed to be suggesting that he was one of the few people who might be able to tame Trump and get him to back off some of his most cartoonish policy ideas, even the ones that were core campaign promises. Kelly did not seem delusional. After impressing the group with the anecdote, Kelly added a caveat that was paraphrased for me as something to the effect of, “But you never know: one tweet, and that could all change.”
Oh, and:
On Wednesday night, Scaramucci told me, “What I’m going to do is I’m going to eliminate everyone on the comms team and we’ll start over.” He did not know how prescient he was.
posted by zachlipton at 2:10 PM on July 31 [32 favorites]


Paul Krugman in The New York Times: Who Ate Republicans' Brains?

As many people have pointed out, when it came to health care Republicans were basically caught in their own web of lies. They fought against the idea of universal coverage, then denounced the Affordable Care Act for failing to cover enough people; they made “skin in the game,” i.e., high out-of-pocket costs, the centerpiece of their health care ideology, then denounced the act for high deductibles. When they finally got their chance at repeal, the contrast between what they had promised and their actual proposals produced widespread and justified public revulsion.

But the stark dishonesty of the Republican jihad against Obamacare itself demands an explanation. For it went well beyond normal political spin: for seven years a whole party kept insisting that black was white and up was down.

And that kind of behavior doesn’t come out of nowhere. The Republican health care debacle was the culmination of a process of intellectual and moral deterioration that began four decades ago, at the very dawn of modern movement conservatism — that is, during the very era anti-Trump conservatives now point to as the golden age of conservative thought.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:12 PM on July 31 [32 favorites]


@Allure_magazine: Retweet if you've had a period that lasted longer than Scaramucci
posted by bibliowench at 2:13 PM on July 31 [83 favorites]




Well if Scaramucci does get vindictive and decides he wants his old Tweets back, it's hard to imagine he'll have trouble finding backup screen caps.
posted by jacy at 2:15 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]




Is Kelly the beginning of the military coup we've all been hoping for?

Maybe.
posted by jamjam at 2:19 PM on July 31




Trump is the first U.S. president in 150 years not to have any pet whatsoever.

Hey, no fair. Chris Christie counts as a pet!
posted by mmoncur at 2:20 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Kelly seemed to be suggesting that he was one of the few people who might be able to tame Trump...

These people. Will. Just. Never. Learn.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:21 PM on July 31 [55 favorites]


Dr. Chuck Tingle: "TONY SCARYMOOCHY was not buckaroo but also not devil just classic scoundrel. only trompman to understand way of kissing your own weiner. RIP"
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:21 PM on July 31 [26 favorites]


Kelly has presided over ICE, which is the locus for the Trump administration's worst humanitarian abuses and that time it looked like we were going to get a full-blown constitutional crisis where the White House would ignore court orders, so if Kelly takes over it's not going to be in order to restore any kind of constitutional order. It just means we get a junta instead of a kleptocracy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:21 PM on July 31 [36 favorites]


Kelly seemed to be suggesting that he was one of the few people who might be able to tame Trump and get him to back off some of his most cartoonish policy ideas,

good thing saying a thing like that in front of people who will repeat it to the press isn't something that would ever make Trump angry enough to fire a person.
posted by queenofbithynia at 2:21 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Donald Trump is the first American president without a pet in nearly 150 years

What do you think Stephen Miller is?

He's got to be fed regularly, otherwise he unhinges his jaw and starts consuming interns.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:21 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


@Allure_magazine: Retweet if you've had a period that lasted longer than Scaramucci
posted by bibliowench

That is one multi-purpose burn, I tell you what.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:22 PM on July 31 [25 favorites]


So lemme see if I have this straight:

-Spicer quit because of the Mooch
-Mooch takes down Preibus
-Preibus replaced by Kelly
-Kelly gets rid of the Mooch

If Spicer now gets rid of Kelly, the cycle will be complete and the Portal shall open...


It's an administrative ouroboros! Or autofellatio, if you prefer. I just hope no one breaks their neck.
posted by TedW at 2:23 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


The one thing that could turn Trump's inept attempted fascist takeover of democracy into an actual fascist takeover of democracy would be competent managers helping him execute it.

When you start with Spicer and ditch him for someone publicly nicknamed "The Mooch," your next move is unlikely to nod toward competence in anything.
posted by Bringer Tom at 2:23 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


> Paul Krugman in The New York Times: Who Ate Republicans' Brains?

My question these days is who ate Krugman's brain? He knows damned well the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a lot more than just the insurance exchanges, most importantly the Medicaid Expansion. Yet in this piece, and in his recent blog post on the subject, he conflates "the ACA" and "the Heritage plan." I was going to complain about this earlier but then Mooch-a-palooza broke out, but helpfully Scott Lemieux has a post summarizing the many reasons Krugman is wrong on this.

I'm not saying we should take away Krugman's Nobel prize here, but he's certainly setting back the cause by defining the ACA down. It was a major progressive achievement, albeit not nearly the bill any of us wanted. Whatever argument is being advanced with this sleight-of-hand isn't worth the risk of leaving people with the impression that losing the ACA would be no big deal because the Republicans basically wanted the same thing 20+ years ago.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:24 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Anthony Scaramucci’s Ouster May Show That John Kelly Has the Rare Ability to Rein In Trump

Right!

Naw...in a week Trump will be all "Hey, Army Boy, go pick me up a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and drop my underwear off at the laundry."

*Kif Sigh*
Yes Sir.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:26 PM on July 31 [18 favorites]


From Reddit:

PSA: If you bought milk on the day Scaramucci was hired, it is still fresh.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:26 PM on July 31 [86 favorites]


Lizza is nuts if he thinks Kelly's ability to get Trump to go along once means jack shit. I worked for a dude who shares a lot of the asshole and chaos impulses of Trump. He was forever hiring people to come in and supposedly right the ship and completely unwilling to accept that almost all the chaos was a result of his actions. Every time one of these dudes - and of course they were always dudes - would come in there'd be this period of adjustment where we'd all have to adjust to their idea of order and the big cheese would kinda sorta stay out of their way and let them do their thing.

He'd still fuck around with stuff unnecessarily and I think every one of these dudes would start to have this tickle in the back of their minds as he's make them change a few things and expect them to justify some measures that nobody rational would need an explanation for. But they'd soldier on and make some sorts of progress and feel pretty good about themselves as they got all us front-liners to go along without anywhere near as much trouble as they were lead to believe it would be.

Then, inevitably, lord high nutter would fuck it all up by disregarding schedules and requirements and retasking people without informing the new director. There'd be some surprise and maybe the first few times the fresh meat would go talk to the boss about how he was fucking up all the schedules and deliverables. One of them was supposed to get us to CMMI certification, which was hugely comic. I don't think he was two weeks into that effort before it became brutally clear to him that the only thing that was sure-fire going to prevent that was the company owner.

Amusingly, one of these fellows was at USDA last I looked. I have pondered sending him a message asking if he sees the similarity but it's not impossible he, as a conservative sort of fellow, could be a Trump supporter. And I'd rather not know if that's the case.

Anyway, Kelly might be in a honeymoon period (probably best counted in hours) where he's getting some cooperation but it won't last. At least our company president wasn't tweeting insane bullshit that undermined our mission. On the other hand, he didn't have access to nuclear weaponry.
posted by phearlez at 2:27 PM on July 31 [39 favorites]


Oompa Loompa dippity daramucci ...
posted by kyrademon at 2:29 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


ooh! ooh! this is where i get to wax rhapsodic about calvin coolidge's pet raccoon rebecca.

how society has changed

She was sent from Mississippi to be part of the White House Thanksgiving meal in 1926, but the Coolidge family found her to be friendly and docile and decided to keep her as a pet instead.
posted by sammyo at 2:29 PM on July 31 [24 favorites]


Anthony Scaramucci’s Ouster May Show That John Kelly Has the Rare Ability to Rein In Trump

If you are worried that Kelly may actually be effective at imposing order on the White House so that it can be more efficiently evil, the way to prevent that would be to keep talking about how Trump does everything Kelly says and is totally under Kelly's thumb.

"Kelly seemed to be suggesting that he was one of the few people who might be able to tame Trump and get him to back off some of his most cartoonish policy ideas, even the ones that were core campaign promises."

This is perfect. Yes, let's all tell this story of how Kelly told Trump he was wrong about the wall! And then Trump basically apologized for being wrong because Kelly told him to, right?

Yeah, Trump has basically just turned all of "President Bannon's" responsibilities over to "President Kelly" it seems...
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:33 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


So Kelly is being media fluffed as some kind of Trump Whisperer?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:34 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]



Lizza is nuts if he thinks Kelly's ability to get Trump to go along once means jack shit.


Lizza is making a nice start at doing to Kelly what he did to Scaramucci. The raw material needs a little more refining, so he will get a little journalism practice along the way. but just look at the quotes he's using, he's obviously neither nuts nor somehow less aware of what he's writing than everyone here reading it. he's just supercilious is all. but useful.
posted by queenofbithynia at 2:36 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


"Kelly seemed to be suggesting that he was one of the few people who might be able to tame Trump and get him to back off some of his most cartoonish policy ideas, even the ones that were core campaign promises."

This is perfect. Yes, let's all tell this story of how Kelly told Trump he was wrong about the wall! And then Trump basically apologized for being wrong because Kelly told him to, right?


Don't forget how he called Comey to tell him his firing was a shitty deal. Quick, somebody, dig up a quote of Kelly saying Sessions's recusal was "absolutely the right thing to do."
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:36 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


This thread moves so fast.

Lots of people are uncomfortable with abortions. Super uncomfortable. Including pro-choice people. The distinction lies in the recognition that they should not make that choice for others.

I think it was a comment here (years ago) that got me thinking about how disingenuous the term "pro-life" is, and how much it shapes the debate. I find myself wishing Democrats would start talking in terms of being pro-freedom (of choice) rather than pro-(freedom of) choice, and really curious as to how that would play out. Because "Freedom" has long been the magic rallying slogan for the right: Big Government wants to steal your freedom, Republicans fight to keep you free. I'd like to see Democrats taking back that word a lot more forcefully, and I'd really like to see it more prominent in any discussion about abortion. If people's brains are going to just automatically click into position the moment they hear the word "freedom," then I want the position statement to be "I'm pro-FREEDOM" and "I'm for a woman's FREEDOM to choose." (And if all that does is make the word less of an unquestioned sledgehammer, then that's pretty vital too.)
posted by trig at 2:42 PM on July 31 [51 favorites]


She was sent from Mississippi to be part of the White House Thanksgiving meal in 1926, but the Coolidge family found her to be friendly and docile and decided to keep her as a pet instead.

Wait, are we talking about Chris Christie again?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:42 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


Kelly will last two months.

Unless there's a war.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:43 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Unless there's a war.

That's the scariest part of all of this-- Trump's running out of non-war options to get the respect and popularity he craves.
posted by cell divide at 2:46 PM on July 31 [45 favorites]


Kelly will last two months.

AKA six mooches.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:47 PM on July 31 [47 favorites]


Kelly will last two months.
I though it was last in first out now? He should already be gone.
posted by Namlit at 2:49 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Oompa Loompa Dippity Dooch
We have advice for the one they call Mooch
Oompa Loompa Dippity Dong
Talking bout a coworker's schlong is wrong
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:49 PM on July 31 [19 favorites]


Report: Kushner called Trump campaign too disorganized to collude with Russia
posted by PenDevil at 2:49 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


Banning has been doing a disturbingly good job of staying out of the news, which makes him all the more dangerous.
posted by Rumple at 2:50 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


It's so cute to watch the interns learn to leak for the first time. Kushner did his talk for the Congressional interns (and I presume most of them have far more knowledge of government than he does), complete with a warning about leaking, and someone sent their notes to Foreign Policy. He says they couldn't have colluded because they were too incompetent for that.
“They thought we colluded, but we couldn’t even collude with our local offices,” Kushner told congressional interns during a private talk at the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium on Monday afternoon.
posted by zachlipton at 2:52 PM on July 31 [41 favorites]


I beseech you, remember the real/fake tags. That Kushner story is actually real, ye gods.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:52 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Kushner called

They misspelled "Management and cybernetics expert..."
posted by rhizome at 2:53 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Joon Lee on Twitter: Anthony Scaramucci getting fired by the White House is basically the same as Jean Ralphio's rendezvous in accounting.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 2:53 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]


Checking in on the moral compass of Trump's White House:

Robert Costa (@costareports): "sources also say POTUS & fam did not appreciate how A.S. comments linked them to vulgarity. Like to play rough but not be laughed at/embrsd"

NBC New York (@NBCNewYork): "Source also says women in admin, including Ivanka and Melania Trump, were 'disgusted' by Scaramucci's language."

Take note, future Trumpists: References to autofellatio are frowned upon, but those about grabbing women's genitals are A-OK.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:54 PM on July 31 [91 favorites]


Yeah, I never associated the Trumps with vulgarity until Scaramucci came along!
posted by mmoncur at 2:57 PM on July 31 [88 favorites]


The Kakistocrats!
posted by chris24 at 3:01 PM on July 31 [20 favorites]


zachlipton: Kelly seemed to be suggesting that he was one of the few people who might be able to tame Trump and get him to back off some of his most cartoonish policy ideas, even the ones that were core campaign promises. Kelly did not seem delusional. After impressing the group with the anecdote, Kelly added a caveat that was paraphrased for me as something to the effect of, “But you never know: one tweet, and that could all change.”

"I don't mean to brag, but I totally know how to deal with Trump. Unless he has access to his phone."

Yeah, about that ....
posted by filthy light thief at 3:05 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


"We were too incompetent to collude but we definitely should be the most powerful people in the world" is a really great position to take I hope they stick with it.
posted by dis_integration at 3:05 PM on July 31 [40 favorites]


Take note, future Trumpists: References to autofellatio are frowned upon, but those about grabbing women's genitals are A-OK.

No, no, see Trump and all the boys being boys around him are fine with all that locker room talk, but they have to protect their womenfolk from such crudeness.
posted by bibliowench at 3:06 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Found the new Surely this!

IT HAS BEEN _0_ DAYS SINCE THE LAST TRUMP DISASTER
posted by petebest at 3:09 PM on July 31 [20 favorites]


From @alv9n, via 538 chat:
Shortest terms as comms director, ranked:
1. Mooch
2. Guy who was part of Hitler Youth
3. Spicer
posted by Rhaomi at 3:13 PM on July 31 [42 favorites]






My question these days is who ate Krugman's brain? He knows damned well the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a lot more than just the insurance exchanges, most importantly the Medicaid Expansion. Yet in this piece, and in his recent blog post on the subject, he conflates "the ACA" and "the Heritage plan." I was going to complain about this earlier but then Mooch-a-palooza broke out, but helpfully Scott Lemieux has a post summarizing the many reasons Krugman is wrong on this.

I'm not saying we should take away Krugman's Nobel prize here, but he's certainly setting back the cause by defining the ACA down. It was a major progressive achievement, albeit not nearly the bill any of us wanted. Whatever argument is being advanced with this sleight-of-hand isn't worth the risk of leaving people with the impression that losing the ACA would be no big deal because the Republicans basically wanted the same thing 20+ years ago.


Lemieux's post I think is a little overselling the case; everybody understands that ACA wasn't a photocopy of a 15 year old Heritage Foundation white paper. He dismisses the important areas that they are strongly similar as "self-evident truths" while elaborating on all the differences. The ACA is closer to the Heritage design than, for example, any other developed country's health care system.

And while I think there is political benefit in casting the ACA as a major progressive achievement, there is also political benefit in showing it as being based in conservative ideology, showing that Republicans opposing it are doing so for opposition's sake, not because there exists a competing conservative plan. It is also, I think, a more useful way of understanding the corner that Republicans are painted into on the issue - the only substantive, popular ways to change the ACA move it to the left.

I think that, based on the activism of the past months, the progressive community gets that the ACA is a major progressive achievement, and people who don't view it through that lens by now are not going to be sold it on the merits of its progressivism. Maybe I'm not in the right circles, but how big is the overlap between "has the impression that losing the ACA would be no big deal" and "reads Paul Krugman on a regular basis - but not the parts where he points out that losing the ACA would take health care away from millions of Americans, including the first paragraph of his most recent column"?
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:19 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Hey folks. You might want to reconsider the "oompa loompa" jokes and comments. Here's a good overview explaining why they are offensive.
posted by mcduff at 3:19 PM on July 31 [38 favorites]


LOLZ: @realDonaldTrump: "A great day at the White House!"

[that's what he has to say, in its entirety]
posted by zachlipton at 3:22 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]


What else is left? Augustus's glandular problem is off limits, as is Violet's OCD, Veruca's spiritual heir is President and Mike Teevee grew up to be on Fox and Friends.
posted by delfin at 3:24 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


FOUR OLD PEOPLE IN ONE BED, THAT'S WHAT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE GETS YOU
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:26 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]


Kinkshamer.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:29 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


FOUR OLD PEOPLE IN ONE BED, THAT'S WHAT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE GETS YOU

Cialis and tequila can have the same effect.
posted by MrVisible at 3:30 PM on July 31 [18 favorites]


Grandpa Joe clearly faking disability.
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]




You know, I don't mean to sound like a pessimist, but I'm getting the feeling this administration might not know what they're doing.
posted by saysthis at 3:34 PM on July 31 [48 favorites]


Hey, now that Scaramucci is free, maybe he and Don Jr can form Dooch Enterprises.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:35 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


didn't realize that it would be the dwarfism of the oompa loompas that would get people mad, rather than the veiled racism of Wonka having saved them from their savage lives to slave away in his modern factory.
posted by anem0ne at 3:36 PM on July 31 [56 favorites]


I'm about to take a vacation soon, and I'm like actually afraid to look away from the internet in case the world is essentially on fire in five days. Stuff happens way too quickly in this "administration".
posted by corb at 3:36 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Brutal piece from Jeff Flake (R-AZ):
But we conservatives mocked Barack Obama’s failure to deliver on his pledge to change the tone in Washington even as we worked to assist with that failure. It was we conservatives who, upon Obama’s election, stated that our No. 1 priority was not advancing a conservative policy agenda but making Obama a one-term president—the corollary to this binary thinking being that his failure would be our success and the fortunes of the citizenry would presumably be sorted out in the meantime. It was we conservatives who were largely silent when the most egregious and sustained attacks on Obama’s legitimacy were leveled by marginal figures who would later be embraced and legitimized by far too many of us. It was we conservatives who rightly and robustly asserted our constitutional prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government when a Democrat was in the White House but who, despite solemn vows to do the same in the event of a Trump presidency, have maintained an unnerving silence as instability has ensued. To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial.

I’ve been sympathetic to this impulse to denial, as one doesn’t ever want to believe that the government of the United States has been made dysfunctional at the highest levels, especially by the actions of one’s own party. Michael Gerson, a con­servative columnist and former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, wrote, four months into the new presidency, “The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased,” and conservative institutions “with the blessings of a president … have abandoned the normal constraints of reason and compassion.”

For a conservative, that’s an awfully bitter pill to swallow. So as I layered in my defense mechanisms, I even found myself saying things like, “If I took the time to respond to every presiden­tial tweet, there would be little time for anything else.” Given the volume and velocity of tweets from both the Trump campaign and then the White House, this was certainly true. But it was also a monumental dodge. It would be like Noah saying, “If I spent all my time obsessing about the coming flood, there would be little time for anything else.” At a certain point, if one is being honest, the flood becomes the thing that is most worthy of attention. At a certain point, it might be time to build an ark.
posted by lalex at 3:37 PM on July 31 [171 favorites]


Oompa Loompas
“In the version first published, [the Oompa-Loompas were] a tribe of 3,000 amiable black pygmies who have been imported by Mr. Willy Wonka from ‘the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had been before.’ Mr. Wonka keeps them in the factory, where they have replaced the sacked white workers. Wonka’s little slaves are delighted with their new circumstances, and particularly with their diet of chocolate. Before they lived on green caterpillars, beetles, eucalyptus leaves, ‘and the bark of the bong-bong tree.'”
Of course it was rewritten after the first edition. Ten years after. In 1972.

Please to note MetaFilter link in the link.
posted by petebest at 3:39 PM on July 31 [34 favorites]


That Jeff Flake piece feels like a massive crack in the dam. Holy hell.
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:40 PM on July 31 [32 favorites]


So as I layered in my defense mechanisms, I even found myself saying things like, “If I took the time to respond to every presiden­tial tweet, there would be little time for anything else.”

I find it difficult to take his contrition seriously when just four days ago he voted to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

Fuck his penitence.
posted by suelac at 3:41 PM on July 31 [38 favorites]


[Enough with the Oompa Loompas, suffice to say there are plenty of problems, folks can seek more info outside this thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:41 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


At a certain point, it might be time to build an ark.

Now would be a good point to start building this metaphorical ark of impeachment.
posted by diogenes at 3:41 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


From National Treasure Alexandra Petri:
And now the curse of President Trump has fallen upon Scaramucci, and he has been made a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth. He is of no further use to Jared nor unto Ivanka, and so his iniquities cry out against him, and his loyalty is regarded not at all. And also the general, John Kelly, did not like his deeds, not one bit, and John Kelly has big braids on his shoulders and his burnt offerings to the homeland have received Trump’s favor.

So he has been cursed forth from Trump’s presence and he must wander the earth and lament until the end of his days.

He was escorted from the White House grounds, crying piteously to his maker, “Do not cast me out! For I have sold my business and destroyed my relationships, and if I must be hidden from your face, I must surely die.”
posted by yasaman at 3:42 PM on July 31 [47 favorites]


Brutal piece from Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Tl;dr: concerned, troubled
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:42 PM on July 31 [20 favorites]


Didn't somebody else in the Trump administration (or maybe it was the right-wing media) already trot out the "too stupid too collude" excuse?
posted by diogenes at 3:43 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


That Jeff Flake piece feels like a massive crack in the dam. Holy hell.

I realize this is a case of very low expectations, exceeded, but the part I really...appreciated isn't the right word, but anyway the part where he acknowledged conservative silence in the face of attacks on Obama's very legitimacy.
posted by lalex at 3:45 PM on July 31 [58 favorites]


Tl;dr: concerned, troubled

Probably, but McCain's patented "concerns" recently resulted in real action, so maybe it's the start of a new trend!
posted by diogenes at 3:45 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


It was we conservatives who

This is what it sounds like when you not only sow the seeds of authoritarianism but also repeatedly drive the manure spreader over the field, put up a fence around it, brag to anyone who will listen about how great the harvest is going to be, and then it finally grows out of the ground as a much more ugly and toxic crop than you could have imagined.

Do you think he'd be saying any of these things if Trump were more "statesmanlike"? If Trump were able to push through his policies, many of them lifted straight from the far right of the Republican party, with finesse and clever politicking? If he even tweeted less? I seriously doubt it. I think what bothers conservatives the most about Trump isn't that he's trying to pull the country way far to the right; it's that he's bad at doing that.

You'll forgive me if I have a really hard time believing all these Republican legislators, who have next year's midterms to consider and spent years building up to a president like Trump, suddenly had some Road to Damascus moment and realized what a monster he is. They've been pushing for an autotheocracy since Reagan. They're just disappointed the guy leading the charge is so awful at being able to lead. But hell, if that means the party caves from within, so be it.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:48 PM on July 31 [38 favorites]


Probably, but McCain's patented "concerns" recently resulted in real action, so maybe it's the start of a new trend!

Well, according to the article, the things Flake is concerned about are the very urgent, crisis issues of free trade and the legislative filibuster rather than, you know, the fitness of the President to remain in office, so I ain't holding my breath.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:48 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Tl;dr: concerned, troubled

Probably, but McCain's patented "concerns" recently resulted in real action, so maybe it's the start of a new trend!
posted by diogenes at 7:45 AM on August 1 [1 favorite +] [!]


A new trend of not emmiserating the poor to make the rich richer, gaslighting, persecuting minorities, respecting women's rights, acknowledging science, following the law, and not preaching exactly the wrong thing all the time?
posted by saysthis at 3:49 PM on July 31


If only the Flake thing didn't happen today, it might have made the front page news. Maybe.
posted by mmoncur at 3:50 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Brutal piece from Jeff Flake (R-AZ):

Yeah. I don't give a fuck what Jeff Flake has to say. He's voted with Trump 95.5% of the time, and it's outright journalistic malpractice to publish his op-ed (so he can hawk his upcoming book) without a picture of him with a giant "95.5% Trump Supporter" stamp over his face.

He declares us to be Noah before the flood and asks why his own party is doing nothing about it, yet when it comes time for him to actually say what should be done, his grand ideas are to maybe say something when Trump might damage the party (not the nation or people of color or LGBT people mind you, just if he could be hurting the Republican Party), say they're still for free trade, and not end the filibuster. That's bloody it? That's your policy prescription? You get all riled up about how it's time to build an ark and how Article I means Congress is there to act, and yet what you actually meant was "continue to send the occasional tweet that's vaguely critical but continue to vote to enable everything Trump wants?"

This op-ed and the Senate who wrote it are a complete waste of space and time.
posted by zachlipton at 3:52 PM on July 31 [42 favorites]


sorry!
posted by lalex at 3:53 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


I'd just like to point out Trump's three last tweets:

Donald J. Trump: Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!
Retweeted Fox & Friends story about a county sheriff thinking he's doing a good job
[Mooch quits/fired here]

Donald J. Trump‏: A great day at the White House!
posted by MattWPBS at 3:54 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Unless you're Jeff Flake, you don't have to apologize :)
posted by zachlipton at 3:55 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I realize this is a case of very low expectations, exceeded, but the part I really...appreciated isn't the right word, but anyway the part where he acknowledged conservative silence in the face of attacks on Obama's very legitimacy.

That caught my attention too. And when he admitted that the obstructionism against Obama led us to Trump. It's something we all know, but hearing it from a Republican Senator? Well, I think Flake is pretty fucked in 2018 no matter what. If by some miracle of Lucifer Trump gets popular, Flake will be offed by a primary challenger. And no matter how centrist he tries to go, he's an unpopular first term Senator running while his party's extremely unpopular President is in the WH.

The best part is that as Senators like Flake or Heller squirm to the center and say truthful but inflammatory things like this, it will only ignite the GOP civil war that we all know is coming. Grab your popcorn.
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:56 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


;)
posted by lalex at 3:56 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Flake does almost sound like a normal rational human being who is aware of what is going on there though... I assume he's for the chop now, since that's beyond the pale in Republican politics.
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


While there are elements of that Flake piece that are...in the direction of positive, it is still frustrating. First, opening with 'but liberals!" regarding the extremism undertaken by his own majority leader rings extremely hollow. Nothing undertaken by Democratic Congressional Cauci in the last 25 years has been anywhere close as awful to the Gingrich/McConnell Methodology. Second, acknowledging that it was wrong to say 'Papers Please!' to President Obama is too little, too late to have a meaningful effect--you're lead by the Birther King himself. Third, their whole platform is a racist, inhuman, anti-woman, anti-poor nightmare, grounded in zealotry, hate, lies, and bullshit.

If this piece is a prelude to a major change in Jeff Flake's behavior--i.e., working to respond to climate change, support for women's freedom to not give birth, voter enfranchisement, and so forth--then, great! I'd then be more inclined to support him, but until then, this piece reads like him trying to get ahead of negative stories for his 2018th re-election campaign and nothing more :-/.

Thanks for posting it, lalex--can be good to see what the opposition are saying.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:00 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Meanwhile, back in the White House, those remaining notice that yet another figurine of an Indian has been broken off the dining room centerpiece.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:01 PM on July 31 [43 favorites]


Didn't somebody else in the Trump administration (or maybe it was the right-wing media) already trot out the "too stupid too collude" excuse?

I believe Lindsey Graham had a zinger along those lines.
posted by orange ball at 4:01 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


The Occasional Dana: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher faces hostile crowd during panel about Russia and Trump at Politicon
Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) said he appreciated being able to speak with people "who obviously don't like me" on the topic, one from which he has not backed down even as he's been in the headlines for his pro-Russia positions.

The crowd wasn't having it. They heckled him. "Shame on you!" they shouted. They called for “town hall meetings” in his district, 50 miles from the convention. They called him "paranoid." They hissed and they laughed.

[...]

Rohrabacher went after familiar targets, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. A man in the crowd shouted, “Fox News talking point!”

When it came to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe into Russia's meddling in the U.S. elections, Rohrabacher questioned the intelligence unearthed in the investigation and brought the conversation back to Clinton's controversial campaign emails. "They were not making up emails," he said. "All they were doing was releasing information that was accurate."

The congressman said he's learned not to trust American intelligence until he can verify it, and cited the reports of weapons of mass destruction during the Iraq confict to back up his point.
He's got (half*) a point there. Too bad he learned it too late: Rohrabacher voted Aye on the 2002 Iraq AUMF.


-------------
*stovepiping! disagreement among members of the IC!
posted by notyou at 4:02 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


How will the movie about this disaster show trump tweeting? Will it be house of cards style on screen displays? Even the movie is gonna suck
posted by dis_integration at 4:03 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Like with Peggy Noonan's column I'm less concerned about the hypocrisy and many manifest policy and morality problems with the man and column than I am with what it reflects about Republicans' mindset toward Trump. People are openly defying Trump and calling out him and the Party. Recognizing that this represents a pretty big chink in the armor doesn't mean you're excusing or forgetting Flake's awfulness and hypocrisy. This is a R senator up for election 2018 who's publicly running as fast as possible away from Trump and the Party.
posted by chris24 at 4:03 PM on July 31 [38 favorites]


Dear Concerned Republicans:

You broke it. You own it.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:03 PM on July 31 [21 favorites]


How will the movie about this disaster show trump tweeting?

smash cut to Donald, ankles bepantsed, hunched atop a toilet in a dingy bathroom, his face lit up by the glow of the screen, slowly reading the tweet to himself as he furiously types it out. same bathroom, same posture, same everything, every time
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:06 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Chris Christie basically argued Trump, Jr. was too dumb to collude.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:07 PM on July 31


Trump's method is based on forcibly imposing a synthetic reality in place of the actual one -- as was the Cheney/Bush Jr. regime. Who can forget this classic quote?
We create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . .
It's amazing Republicans didn't conclude from the disaster that was George W. Bush's presidency that this idea was flawed, but Trump & Co. clearly doubled down and the Rebublican base ate it up. Their continued embrace of reality-from-will and the reality that Trump is projecting is the president's main remaining source of strength.

So when a Jeff Flake admits to aspects of consensus/objective reality, and notes that Trump's approach isn't working, that is very significant IMHO even if he doesn't vote the right way.
posted by msalt at 4:10 PM on July 31 [18 favorites]


"You own it."

No, it's all going wrong because of Democrap interference and Dear Leader is doing the best job, terrific ones, with huge... "tracts of land", and blackjack and hookers, big league, much believe, very me, wow. Mediocre!
posted by Evilspork at 4:11 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I like the idea of Flake talking explicitly in terms of an ark/lifeboat. If that idea starts to gain currency there could well be a rush to get onboard to avoid being swept away in a righteous flood of accountability at the hands of wrathful voters.
posted by contraption at 4:11 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


That Jeff Flake piece feels like a massive crack in the dam.

Rather poor taste for Flake to claim the mantle as Arizona's useless concern troll before McCain is even in the grave.
posted by JackFlash at 4:15 PM on July 31 [57 favorites]


folks I think it went a little something like this

RUSSIAN SPY: let us collude

DON JR: WHERE ARE THE HILLARY EMAILS WHY DO YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT ADOPTION THIS IS DUMB

RUSSIAN SPY: ok plan B we'll just say the fact that you took this meeting is kompromat
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:16 PM on July 31 [73 favorites]



I like the idea of Flake talking explicitly in terms of an ark/lifeboat. If that idea starts to gain currency there could well be a rush to get onboard to avoid being swept away in a righteous flood of accountability at the hands of wrathful voters.


Or like rats desperate to flee the sinking, burning ship. I believe that Republican officials thought they could ride the Trump train to the magical Land of White Christian Free-Market 'Murka, with a woman in every kitchen and a gun in every man's hand.

But Trump is so out of control and his brand proving to be so toxic that many mainstream Republicans are going to start thinking in terms of saving their own skins/re-election chances/ places at the wingnut welfare trough.

I want the Trump toxicity to stick to all his Republican allies and former allies just like the pitch stuck to the bratty lazy daughter in Frau Holle.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:20 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


How will the movie about this disaster show trump tweeting?

At first in a wide shot, Trump typing on his device artfully, fingers almost dancing, cut to a variety of individuals reading on various devices, chuckling, beaming, showing to friends. Occasional Russians / Macedonian fake newsers spliced in. As campaign gains power, these individual responses will be intermixed with cheering crowds, images of skirmishes and campaign rally violence.

After his election, the loud cheering crowds fade to ominous silence. Trump, alone, in big empty White House looking around like a paranoid owl. He picks his Android tentatively, in the filmic shorthand we recognize from a thousand movies about alcoholism, and starts to tweet frenetically.

The camera gets closer and closer as the pace accelerates- his fingers, an eye and arched brow, mixed responses from followers, some aggro Proud Boys cheering, others wincing, a quick shot of him passed out with covfefe on screen, then the rhythm quickening, fragments of single letters filling the screen until the frenzy explodes into ... {not sure, we haven't got there yet.}
posted by msalt at 4:20 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post: Does the GOP deserve to survive?
An accountability project (maybe not quite at the level of reconciliation processes in the wake of fallen regimes in South Africa or Chile) certainly is needed; a turnover in leadership is essential. The party must repudiate Trump and the Trump era to go forward. Those intent on turning away from the Trump era will require visible symbols underscoring the party’s repudiation of Trumpism, including perhaps a name change. (The New Republican Party? The Modern Republican Party?)

Second, is such a dramatic break really needed? Yes, if, as #NeverTrump and #NoLongerTrump Republicans believe, the Trump problem is of an entirely different magnitude than, say, Watergate, and has resulted in much more serious, permanent damage to our democracy, then it is not enough to simply shuffle the presidential candidates, make some speeches and keep the platform and leadership essentially unchanged. And yes, most of the Republicans currently in the House and Senate need to go. They’ve put party over country, not lived up to their oaths of office and contributed to the polarization of our politics and erosion of our democratic norms. A clean, dramatic break is mandatory. [...]

Third, both the specific agenda (a creaky facade left over from the 1980s) and the central values of the party are in need of revamping. Its positions on tax, budget, environmental, law enforcement and immigration policy are outmoded, counterproductive and in many cases not based on reality. [...]

Fourth, Trump’s presidency should prompt center-right voters and leaders to re-define the purpose, foundational beliefs and role of the party. Civic character and dedication to democratic norms (as opposed to positions on a laundry list of issues) must be elevated in importance.
I may never really get over how weird it is to agree with Rubin this frequently--I used to think she was a total hack--, but I think she's making a whole lot of sens