Reacting swiftly, Mayor Quimby has declared Mob Rule.
August 18, 2017 1:49 PM   Subscribe

A busy week for the President: a Nazi uprising in Charlottesville, resulting in one dead and several wounded, received a slow response and alarming equivocation from Trump regarding which “side” was worse. Widespread public backlash at his Nazi apologia - across the political spectrum - led to the resignation of several industry and public sector leaders from various advisory councils. Charities began canceling Mar-a-Lago events. One Congressman begin steps to introduce Impeachment. A week into the debacle, key advisor Steve Bannon “resigns”, with possibly more to be purged. Undaunted, Trump is planning another campaign rally in Phoenix, making noises about pardoning convicted criminal ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
posted by darkstar (3108 comments total) 131 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sigh.
posted by zeoslap at 1:50 PM on August 18 [37 favorites]


I'm really happy about Bannon going. Trump is a moron but Bannon is smart and evil. He could do real damage, and unlike Trump he's an ideological zealot with an agenda. Not that the people remaining in Trump's inner circle are saints, but to me Bannon was always the most dangerous. There are even rumors of Breitbart gearing up for war with Tump, which would be about the best thing we could possibly hope for from this if true.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:51 PM on August 18 [45 favorites]


About the PCAH resignation - the first letter of each paragraph of their resignation letter spells "RESIST."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 1:52 PM on August 18 [95 favorites]


I'll be happy when he and Breitbart strike back. Until then he's just working from home as far as Im concerned and frankly I think Bannon would prefer telecommuting anyway since he'd no longer have to Febreze his crotch at 7 every morning.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:53 PM on August 18 [69 favorites]


The real question is: What job in the administration will Trump give to Arpaio? I hear there's a lot of turnover.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:54 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


Seriously, until I see evidence otherwise Bannon is as far as I'm concerned pulling a Lewandowski.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:54 PM on August 18 [34 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Bannon is gone from the White House, but he has already laid eggs in everything
Look at the news this week. If there were any doubts that eight months was plenty of time for Bannon to lay eggs in all the drapes (the ones with James B. Comey and the ones without) so that his work could continue without him when he flew back into his cave, Tuesday’s presidential news conference should dispel them. The president is springing to the defense of white supremacists and Nazis. Breitbart‘s work is done here.

Sure, as BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith notes, Bannon claims to be an “economic nationalist” and suggests that whenever a white nationalist is drawn to him or his work it comes to him as a total and unpleasant surprise, but this seems like a pretty fundamental error for a so-called strategic mastermind to have made every day for years and years and years. If all you serve are enormous cones full of red meat sprinkled with dog whistles, after a certain point you cannot keep pretending to be an ice cream truck. President Trump certainly seems confused on the subject, if his remarks this week are any indication.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:54 PM on August 18 [87 favorites]


The noises emerging from Beitbart suggest it may actually be a real split. Fingers crossed for heavy fighting between the admin and the far-right media.

Undaunted, Trump is planning another campaign rally in Phoenix, making noises about pardoning convicted criminal ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Oh god, he's totally going to do that, isn't he? So a real split, but not a big one.

Stupid nazi bastard.
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


Thanks for keeping me sane through this shitshow, MeFi.
posted by joedan at 1:55 PM on August 18 [82 favorites]


Trump is going to be super happy that he gave Breitbart pride of place in the White House press corps. That should turn out really well for him.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:56 PM on August 18 [11 favorites]


Bannon is OUT
Mallory is BACK on twitter
The Nib ran a comprehensive cartoon history of American socialism!
I'm ready to get tired of winning
posted by The Whelk at 1:56 PM on August 18 [53 favorites]


For those keeping track at home, we've gone from Hamilton quotes for the titles to Simpsons quotes. I'm not sure what that means. But I'm not sure what much of anything means anymore; I've tried my best to make sense of this year and failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
posted by nubs at 1:57 PM on August 18 [42 favorites]


The split is not about race or economics, but whether Steve Bannon can brag to reporters or wear shorts.
posted by AndrewInDC at 1:57 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


From the Post's article about Bannon's departure:
Trump, meanwhile, had been upset about Bannon’s participation in a book by Bloomberg News reporter Joshua Green, “Devil’s Bargain” — particularly a cover photo giving equal billing to Trump and his chief strategist. Every time Green was on CNN, where he is now contributor, Trump grew unhappy with his references to Bannon as a thinker and strategist — and upset that the conversation was not instead about Trump.

Bannon’s critics noticed that Trump hated this narrative and would casually mention the book whenever they could in private conversations, slowly building a case against Bannon as a self-promoter.
But I thought Trump never watches CNN because it's fake news?
posted by zachlipton at 1:58 PM on August 18 [45 favorites]


I really think what happened to Bannon signals that he actually will pardon Arpaio.

It fits the same exact pattern we saw with the Charlottesville statements. He can be arm-twisted into doing something politically necessary, but then he has this overwhelming urge to fling shit everywhere to get back at his political enemies. He wants to do something to beat the people who made him unhappy. He had to kick out one of his monsters, so he'll want another. A pardon for Arpaio seems more likely than ever now.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:58 PM on August 18 [45 favorites]


If you're brave enough to peek at the comments on Breitbart (I can barely stand to type the URL, but I took one for the team), they are absolutely turning on Trump, viciously and immediately.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:58 PM on August 18 [44 favorites]


This is [real]

@dominicholden Hey, @SeattlePD, I'm seeing vids of Alex Jones on Seattle streets yelling at folks. Is this under investigation, are there incident reports?

@SeattlePD (Verified): @dominicholden We haven't received any official reports. As far as we know that could be an actor playing Alex Jones.
posted by zachlipton at 1:59 PM on August 18 [144 favorites]


Any word on what how the Mercers are responding to Bannon's exit? (I mean, I assume they've known for a while, but what have they been up to?)
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:59 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Do presidents normally hold rallies once they are actually in power and not just candidates?
posted by KateViolet at 1:59 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster.
posted by Melismata at 2:00 PM on August 18 [52 favorites]


Wow, what a big news day. I can hardly keep up with all the very real, significant, kinda-unprecedented things happening. Seriously.

And yet...what's my local hometown news posting multiple headlines about? A state senator (not in our state) making a controversial anti-Trump Facebook post. They're calling to expel this senator over it. Can you guess the senator's race and/or gender, and whether the reaction would be the same if the answer was "white, male"?
posted by witchen at 2:00 PM on August 18 [17 favorites]


I think it's going to be a split like the one Richard Spencer was talking about between himself and the Nazis when he got punched i.e. they all believe in the same stuff but hate each other and have loud pointless online fights that change nothing.
posted by Copronymus at 2:00 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


Do presidents normally hold rallies once they are actually in power and not just candidates?

No.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 2:00 PM on August 18 [51 favorites]




Johnny Wallflower

That article seems to rest on the false premise that Trump isn't already himself a racist and needs Bannon to prod him into it.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:01 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Although it will be hilariously ironic when Trump starts tweeting out about Breitbart being fake news. He will, for once, be totally right! But his supporters won't believe him, and will believe whatever Breitbart publishes, and the mainstream media will go to town on the conflict while continuing to bring the hammer down every time Trump shows his ass.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:01 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


we've gone from Hamilton quotes for the titles to Simpsons quotes.

Hamilton quotes were for when it looked like we were moving into a new, exciting future. Simpson quotes are for when we're drearily fighting the same old battles over and over again. On FOX.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:01 PM on August 18 [193 favorites]


There are even rumors of Breitbart gearing up for war with Tump, which would be about the best thing we could possibly hope for from this if true.

The "#WAR" tweet by Joel Pollak isn't about Trump. It's about Matt Drudge and The Drudge Report that they're going to war with.
posted by Talez at 2:02 PM on August 18


Do presidents normally hold rallies once they are actually in power and not just candidates?

I mean I think there's a German precedent once...
posted by corb at 2:02 PM on August 18 [63 favorites]




@ReutersPolitics: JUST IN: Carl Icahn says in statement he would cease to act as special advisor to President Trump on issues relating to regulatory reform

So. Much. Winning.
posted by zachlipton at 2:04 PM on August 18 [73 favorites]


I'm waiting for the big upcoming push for tax cuts in Congress. Once Trump signs that, they have no use for him anymore.
posted by azpenguin at 2:04 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


Do presidents normally hold rallies once they are actually in power and not just candidates?

These guys seemed to.
posted by furnace.heart at 2:04 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


As noted above, Bannon's already laid eggs in Trump's empty head -- him "leaving" doesn't mean much without some real wounds being dealt between the Breitbart and Trump factions (if this is all not just for show).
posted by benzenedream at 2:05 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


I'm a little conflicted about how Jonah Spangenthal-Lee has been able to soften the image of the Seattle PD through its social media these last five years. Because Seattle PD is, as far as I can tell, about as bad as it's ever been. But dang if they don't have some good tweets and blotter posts now.
posted by hades at 2:06 PM on August 18 [19 favorites]


We've achieved the singularity: we have President* whose only competency is running for office.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:06 PM on August 18 [14 favorites]


I was just gonna ask if Alexandra Petri was our new Mallory Ortberg but then the Whelk said Mallory was back on Twitter so BRB HAVE TO RUN TO TWITTER *excited squeal*
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:06 PM on August 18 [13 favorites]


Bannon is Trump's Grima Wormtongue. Will Trump get better advisers, and reform his world view, or is his mind forever warped?
posted by Midnight Skulker at 2:08 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


Icahn is out!
posted by The Whelk at 2:08 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


Carl Icahn flee this nation-shaming clusterfuck with a shred of my dignity intact, am I right guys
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:08 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


Do presidents normally hold rallies once they are actually in power and not just candidates?

It's normal for presidents to hold rallies when they're running for re-election. Trump started running for re-election on Inauguration Day. That's not a metaphor or anything, he literally filed the paperwork on Inauguration Day which is absurd and unheard-of.

It is because he enjoys the adulation and the emoluments. The Emoldulations.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:08 PM on August 18 [74 favorites]


Upthread (in the many, many threads upthread) we have been doing a lot of handwringing about whether or not something new and dark has entered the U.S. and world political systems by way of Trump.

But to me, the last couple of weeks have really sealed it. There really and truly is something new, different, and dangerous going on, and this is what it is:

Trump does not simply consider the racists and the neo-Nazis a more-or-less fringe element of his supporter base that needs to be mollified and jollied along a bit and maybe thrown a bone or two here or there.

Rather, Trump considers the racists and Nazis to be the very center of his base--the most indispensable pillar of his support.

We see this going back to Trump's entry into presidential politics via birtherism, and then when he joined 2016 presidential race, with a big anti-immigrant/anti-Latino speech.

What he and his advisors (ie, family) saw when he did that was that these racist ploys brought him both attention and voters--voters that were there, waiting to be activated but which no other candidate had the temerity to directly court.

The result of this dynamic is the Trump really, truly considers the racists and the white supremacists to be the very core of the base of his support.

I think we know enough about human nature at this point in history to know that this element of human nature is always there, always lurking, always under the surface, and always waiting to be awakened.

But civilized societies make a special effort to keep this very negative, dangerous side of human nature in the background.

Trump has flipped that dynamic on its back and ridden it to the top.

And we have seen him declare that unequivocally to be so, this week.

This is a very dark and dangerous time in U.S. history. If we can figure out how to put this down now, we may emerge the stronger for it. When numerous Republican leaders come out in opposition to the President, that is a positive sign.

But then there is this reaction from the state GOP in my own state--empowered, I would guess, by the full knowledge that all-too-many racists are there among their members. Jumping on the Trump Train empowers that faction of their own state party, and the remainder are likely to just keep mum. Any criticism will come from the Democratic side, which only helps them further with their base.

All in all, I've been trying to put my finger on: Is there really something different and dangerous about Trump--and if so, what exactly is it?

This is it: The fact that he considers the racist white supremacist movement to be the center of his base.

And that he is not a "politician" who played to them at the start only to abandon them later--as so many have done. No, Trump will truly be loyal to his base to the end.
posted by flug at 2:09 PM on August 18 [93 favorites]


The reason to celebrate Bannon leaving is that Trump isn't an ideologue, he's a demagogue. He himself has no real agenda or vision beyond obtaining power. Those are supplied by people around Trump.

Whatever "eggs" Bannon laid before leaving, Trump will not be implementing Bannon's vision for dismantling the state without Bannon there in his inner circle, at least not nearly to the same extent he would if Bannon were there. Trump infamously is easily swayed by those around him, and now those around him are slightly less crazy and definitely less hell-bent on a singular ideology.

Whatever echoes Bannon has left will fade in time as the rest of Trump's advisors push him in various other ways.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:09 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


@SeattlePD (Verified): @dominicholden We haven't received any official reports. As far as we know that could be an actor playing Alex Jones.

So if at some point I want to commit a crime, I just need to say I'm an actor impersonating a celebrity ("celebrity"), and the police won't even investigate? Good to know Interesting.
posted by bibliowench at 2:09 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Bannon, backed by billionaire, prepares to go to war

Billionaire in question is Robert Mercer, who's already been funding all this shit, so whatever.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:10 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Does anyone recognize Bannon's lapel pin?
posted by jgirl at 2:13 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


We're averaging about one lost Trump administration figure every thread, let's hope this one is for Gorka or Stephen Miller.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:15 PM on August 18 [42 favorites]


It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster.

The counter's been stuck there for 210 days.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:15 PM on August 18 [26 favorites]


I think that's maybe one of those Secret Service "I have permission to be here" pins.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:15 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


Probably just one of many Secret Service lapel pins. It's pretty common for them to issue a variety of them to staff for different events, especially during the campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 2:15 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


Destroying that lapel pin prevents Bannon from re-forming after 1d10 days.
posted by darkstar at 2:17 PM on August 18 [132 favorites]


It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster.

The counter's been stuck there for 210 days.


thatsthejoke.gif
posted by Melismata at 2:18 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


So if at some point I want to commit a crime, I just need to say I'm an actor impersonating a celebrity ("celebrity"), and the police won't even investigate?

I mean, I think the police still at this point prefer that they be notified of things happening by means other than social media, or that was the vibe I was getting from that response. That if there's video on the internet but nobody has actually made a complaint, then that video might or might not represent things actually happening, and they aren't in a good position to manage that if people who're actually there haven't actually contacted the police?
posted by Sequence at 2:20 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


So if at some point I want to commit a crime, I just need to say I'm an actor impersonating a celebrity ("celebrity"), and the police won't even investigate? Good to know Interesting.

I think it is most likely a joke being made by the PD social media about the tendency of Mr. Jones to claim that everything that is reported by the mainstream media is fake, staged, a false flag operation, and so on.
posted by nubs at 2:20 PM on August 18 [45 favorites]


Bannon on the record to Joshua Green: "If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I'm leaving the White House to go to war for Trump against his opponents -- on Capital Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."

So basically Bannon vs The World.
posted by zachlipton at 2:22 PM on August 18 [28 favorites]


Trump started running for re-election on Inauguration Day. That's not a metaphor or anything, he literally filed the paperwork on Inauguration Day which is absurd and unheard-of.

It's a good thing we don't have a Parliamentary system, where Trump could call for a new election any time he felt like it. We would be having an election every day or so until he lost.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:23 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile, about an hour south of where I sit, the last home of Jefferson (we call him "Jeff," hereabouts) Davis, a nice estate-cum-museum in Biloxi called Beauvoir, is offering to home any displaced Confederate statues.
(I got my Associates Degree at Jeff Davis Junior College! Oddly, Mississippi's community college system is really fantastic. And that college is now "Gulf Coast Community College," so we were ahead on that.)
posted by thebrokedown at 2:24 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]




Bannon on the record to Joshua Green: "If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I'm leaving the White House to go to war for Trump against his opponents -- on Capital Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."

He's going to run an extremely hateful far-right blog!
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on August 18 [20 favorites]


My loathing for Joe Arpaio is worse than my loathing for Trump. I couldn't tell you by how much, it's more in the sense of hating the old corrupt guy vs hating the new corrupt guy, and no pity for either. But if Trump pardons Arpaio it will shed a national spotlight on Arpaio's crimes and malfeasance... you thought a confederate statue was racist? Wait til you read up on Arpaio's policies.
posted by Catblack at 2:26 PM on August 18 [13 favorites]


Yeah, trump is campaigning now for 2020. He seems to be banking on keeping his base happy with red meat for the next 3.5 years, and retaining the same razor thin margin of swing votes in OH and other states that gave him the EC victory. Plus some help from his handlers in Russia as well as from his voter fraud commission to put him over the edge.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:27 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


It's a good thing we don't have a Parliamentary system, where Trump could call for a new election any time he felt like it. We would be having an election every day or so until he lost.

No, the government would have lost the confidence of the House with the fail of the repeal and replace bill, Democrats would have come in with a solid majority and Prime Minister Hillary Clinton would have already gotten Medicare-For-All through Parliament by now.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:27 PM on August 18 [52 favorites]


this is what happens when you rely on systems built in the 1780s
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:28 PM on August 18 [19 favorites]


Will a pardon free Gov. Doug Ducey to appoint Joe Arpiao to finish McCain's term?
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:30 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


I honestly think the split is down to Bannon's comments on North Korea in his 'accidental' interview, and his over estimating Trump. Stick with me on this.

Bannon is an arsehole, but not a total idiot. He can see everything ratcheting up in terms of tension, and that Trump's painted himself into a bit of a corner by constantly increasing his threats when everyone knows North Korea won't respond how he wants.

So not being a total idiot, he figures he can release the tension and give Trump an easy out. Give an accidental interview, say what everyone knows anyhow ("of course we're not actually going to attack North Korea - half of Seoul would be dead in minutes"), Trump doesn't have to say anything or back down, just not start it again. World doesn't end, Trump doesn't lose face, everyone's good.

The key thing here is the fact that everyone knows that you can't attack North Korea without them inflicting horrific damage on South Korea. You all know this, I know this, anyone in the military knows this, Bannon knows this, Bannon doesn't even consider that Trump might not know this, because it's so basic.

Assume Trump doesn't. Bannon's given an interview which he doesn't see as giving him a deniable out from a problem everyone can see he's in, he sees it as Bannon publicly calling him an idiot.
posted by MattWPBS at 2:30 PM on August 18 [16 favorites]


Bannon on the record to Joshua Green: "If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I'm leaving the White House to go to war for Trump against his opponents -- on Capital Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."

Did... did Bannon just go full Rorschach? "I'm not locked up in here with you - you're locked up in here me?"
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:30 PM on August 18 [28 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: It's normal for presidents to hold rallies when they're running for re-election. Trump started running for re-election on Inauguration Day. That's not a metaphor or anything, he literally filed the paperwork on Inauguration Day which is absurd and unheard-of.

It is because he enjoys the adulation and the emoluments. The Emoldulations.


And to spend campaign money at Trump businesses. And to cover legal fees.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:31 PM on August 18 [28 favorites]


I think the more likely scenario, MattWPBS, is that Bannon knew he was out before he gave the interview and did it as a parting shot at the McMaster/Kelly faction.
posted by Justinian at 2:32 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


this is what happens when you rely on systems built in the 1780s

I mean I don't think this year's switch to systems built in the 1930s-40s was an improvement
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:32 PM on August 18 [66 favorites]


Bannon on the record to Joshua Green: "If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I'm leaving the White House to go to war for Trump against his opponents -- on Capital Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."

So this is really more of a "Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war" move than any indication that Kelly is actually gaining any control?
posted by nubs at 2:32 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


So Infrastructure Week was a resounding success, sounds like.

I, for one, am tired of all the winning.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:33 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


if at some point I want to commit a crime, I just need to say I'm an actor impersonating a celebrity ("celebrity"), and the police won't even investigate? Good to know Interesting.

Just tell them you're Bob Dylan. They'll believe you.
posted by spitbull at 2:34 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Bannon on the record to Joshua Green: "If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I'm leaving the White House to go to war for Trump against his opponents -- on Capital Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.

I mean, what else is he going to say? "I just got humiliated and kicked out by the guy I helped elect. I've just lost all actual power I worked my whole life to have, so now I have to yell on my blog."

"Actually I meant for this to happen, I'm not being fired I quit" is the lamest spin in the book.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:35 PM on August 18 [17 favorites]


So let me get this straight:

Bannon is going to wage war on, uh the world via Breitbart.
Gobs of white supremacy assholes have been booted from servers all over the place.
Would it not follow that Breitbart gets booted too?

Is that connecting too many dots? I mean, for me it all seems to be merged into one big black smudgey dot.
posted by yoga at 2:35 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


As previously discussed, but with some more analysis: In Contrast To Business Councils, Trump's Evangelical Advisers Stay Put (NPR, Aug. 18, 2017)
President Trump, this week, disbanded two business advisory councils and dissolved another before it even met. This came after some business leaders resigned because of Trump's remarks about the violence in Charlottesville. But the president's evangelical advisory council is sticking with him - no resignations, no criticism. Let's talk about that with NPR's Tom Gjelten, who covers religion.
...
[Why are the evangelicals sticking by him when business advisers quit?]

Well, one thing is that his official evangelical advisers were with Trump throughout the campaign. They were allied with him politically. That wasn't true for the business advisers. They weren't necessarily supporters. Their role was to share their views on business issues. You could also say that business and religious leaders see their responsibilities differently. Business leaders are sensitive to outside pressure. They have to worry about their customers, their stockholders. Keep in mind, David, how quick many companies are to respond to boycotts, for example.

...they say they see their role more as ministers, as counselors - at least that's what I've heard speaking to some of the evangelicals who have been close to Trump. You know, I pointed out that, of all people, you'd expect the president's religious advisers to have a pretty clear moral compass. So why hasn't a single one resigned in protest over Trump's objectionable comments on Charlottesville? Here's the response I got from one of the advisory council members, Dr. Johnnie Moore.

JOHNNIE MOORE: We believe it would be immoral to resign because, as faith leaders, we have been given an opportunity to speak directly to various members of the administration to provide not just policy counsel but personal counsel. We're personally involved in the lives of all these people, praying for all these people, answering their questions.
...
I went, one by one, through each of these advisory group members, what they'd had to say. And their comments fall into three categories. Some have said nothing at all. They've just kept quiet. Some have defended the president, saying he said all the right things. The others explicitly condemn the white supremacists in much sharper terms than the president used. But still, they stopped short of criticizing Trump himself.
Don't hold any hope for those so-called religious leaders to break rank.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:37 PM on August 18 [39 favorites]


Bannon May Be Out, But Nationalism Probably Isn’t
The administration may be less internally divided with Bannon gone, but it’s still a long way from being ideologically or politically united.

And ultimately, as this week showed, the Trump administration’s tendency toward chaos and its white nationalist rhetoric come from the president himself. Trump, not Bannon, is the architect of the administration’s nationalist policies. Trump, not Bannon, does the combative press conferences and tweets in defense of Confederate monuments. The chief strategist is gone, but the strategist-in-chief remains.

posted by T.D. Strange at 2:37 PM on August 18 [15 favorites]


Maybe he has the inside knowledge and enough sense to hit the bricks and preserve his media career before the indictments are handed down. "The Stephanopoulos Syndrome".
posted by Optamystic at 2:38 PM on August 18


Does anyone recognize Bannon's lapel pin?

Possibly one of his eight phylacteries (i.e. horcruxes) that he has to feed the soul of an innocent every day. As this one is six sided, he seems to be a fair way into his cycle this month already.
posted by bonehead at 2:39 PM on August 18 [19 favorites]


We're averaging about one lost Trump administration figure every thread, let's hope this one is for Gorka or Stephen Miller.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:15 PM on August 18 [5 favorites +] [!]


I'm kinda hoping for Donny Johnny...
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:40 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Is this the thread for screaming? I seem to remember a thread for screaming...
So is this all Trump's way of getting the attention off the Russia business? Remember Russia? Is that all still happening? I seem to remember Trump Jr handing launch codes to Natasha Fatale or something. Ring any bells? So we're starting a nuclear war with N Korea and race war at home? THESE THINGS ARE NOT BETTER MR PRESIDENT!! D:
posted by sexyrobot at 2:41 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


Silly sexy robot, cakes are for screaming.
posted by bonehead at 2:41 PM on August 18 [20 favorites]


To be perfectly honest, I still can't believe they gave Trump his own TV show.
Everything after that is way past comprehension.
posted by signal at 2:42 PM on August 18 [27 favorites]


*clears throat * This is the screaming thread.
posted by yoga at 2:43 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


Kal Penn on leaving his Obama-nominated position on the Presidential Committee on the Arts and the Humanities: Lol @realDonaldTrump you can't break up with us after we broke up with you LMFAO
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:43 PM on August 18 [38 favorites]


you'd think a savvy investor like carl icahn wouldn't be selling low like this
posted by murphy slaw at 2:45 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


How much longer will repub's keep supporting him?

2 more supreme justices.
posted by growabrain at 2:46 PM on August 18 [34 favorites]


Some people (his classmates from Yale) want Steve Mnuchin to resign:

Open Letter
posted by waitangi at 2:48 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


I mean, what else is he going to say? "I just got humiliated and kicked out by the guy I helped elect. I've just lost all actual power I worked my whole life to have, so now I have to yell on my blog."

Hopefully he'll help do another Clinton Cash, except this time with Paul Ryan etc. as the targets.
posted by Coventry at 2:49 PM on August 18


Has Sessions been fired for perjury yet?
posted by Yowser at 2:50 PM on August 18 [16 favorites]


CNN says Bannon was fired for his interview with the American Prospect, in which he said war with North Korea would be idiotic and called the Nazis "a collection of clowns."

Meaning, he was fired for not being awful enough for Trump.

Of course, who knows what was actually passing through Trump's mind. He's the little kid in "It's a Good Life"; getting near him will burn you whether he likes you or hates you.
posted by zompist at 2:50 PM on August 18 [22 favorites]


Kal Penn on leaving his Obama-nominated position on the Presidential Committee on the Arts and the Humanities: Lol @realDonaldTrump you can't break up with us after we broke up with you LMFAO

The resignation letter is an acrostic poem--the first letter of each paragraph spells R-E-S-I-S-T.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 2:51 PM on August 18 [15 favorites]


on the other hand, politico says he was fired for being an asshole that nobody liked and for whom gen. kelly couldn't identify a job function.

i have a feeling this termination was … multifaceted
posted by murphy slaw at 2:53 PM on August 18 [22 favorites]


It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster.

You're using the wrong scale; try hours, or perhaps minutes.
posted by acb at 2:53 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


Bannon, Jared and Russia What I do know is that long before most of us (I include myself) had much idea that Jared Kushner might end up being a key figure in the Russia probe, Steve Bannon seemed to know he would be. Indeed, way back when it briefly seemed that Trump might fire Bannon in the Spring, Bannon seemed to know that reports of Kushner consolidating power in the White House were greatly exaggerated and that he’d be fine. Why? Again, because of Russia. To paraphrase Roger Stone, he seemed to know that it would soon be Jared’s time in the barrel.

How did he know? I got no idea. But he did. I figure people in the close, close inner circle all knew. That’s just a surmise on my part. But if he knew that I bet he knows a lot more.


Bannon will surely be on Mueller's list of subpoenas.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:55 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


Still binge-watching the West Wing... Bannocks for breakfast tomorrow. Bollocks on the news. What a life...
posted by Namlit at 2:56 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Some people (his classmates from Yale) want Steve Mnuchin to resign:

That letter is good. Lotta signatures. Gives me an idea: can universities take away diplomas for, I dunno, being a racist, kleptocrat bag-o-dicks? Don't you need a degree to hold most of the higher-level jobs in the government?
posted by sexyrobot at 2:58 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


It's a good thing we don't have a Parliamentary system, where Trump could call for a new election any time he felt like it. We would be having an election every day or so until he lost.

I'm not getting the part where this is a good thing.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:58 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


you'd think a savvy investor like carl icahn wouldn't be selling low like this

a savvy investor like carl icahn understands the concept of a sunk cost
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:00 PM on August 18 [13 favorites]


Also, I finally figured it all out. Have you noticed how someone gets fired from the White House every week? Yeah. He still thinks he is filming the Apprentice.
posted by sexyrobot at 3:03 PM on August 18 [41 favorites]


No, the government would have lost the confidence of the House with the fail of the repeal and replace bill, Democrats would have come in with a solid majority and Prime Minister Hillary Clinton would have already gotten Medicare-For-All through Parliament by now.

It's true, a Parliamentary system can only produce good things, which is why the UK is currently a sterling, unimpeachable model of good governance and competence.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:04 PM on August 18 [35 favorites]


Why are the evangelicals sticking by him when business advisers quit?

Because they're waiting to support Pence's presidency.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:04 PM on August 18 [60 favorites]


Going around social media.

Your first name + your last name = Your Nazi-fighting name.
posted by chris24 at 3:05 PM on August 18 [154 favorites]


He seems to be banking on keeping his base happy with red meat for the next 3.5 years, and retaining the same razor thin margin of swing votes in OH and other states that gave him the EC victory.

He barely won with establishment Republican support ranging from grudging to full-throated. I think the Republican establishment attitude at this point ranges from dignity-wraithed to actively hostile. I'm not entirely certain he could win a primary, the way things are going.
posted by jackbishop at 3:06 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


They (the Evangelicals) could hasten a Pence-i-dency, and burnish their reputations, by bailing on Trump and reconvening when a true man of God occupies the Oval Office.
posted by notyou at 3:06 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Also, I finally figured it all out. Have you noticed how someone gets fired from the White House every week? Yeah. He still thinks he is filming the Apprentice.
posted by sexyrobot at 3:03 PM on August 18 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Just got this flash of sort of a reverse Truman Show deal, where everyone knows it's not a TV show except Trump, and they keep up the ruse because they can use it to get him to do ridiculous things that feather their own nests. Trump escapes to his own house periodically, because he thinks he's off-set then, and can let his hair down (heh). It would make great sit-com, with Jared and the kids wacky antics, betting each other what they can get Donny Johnny to do that's more outrageous than the last time. Bit by bit, they also get him to turn over his holdings by making him think the documents aren't real. Hence the winery he doesn't really own. Comedy gold, I tells ya.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:09 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


on the other hand, politico says he was fired for being an asshole that nobody liked and for whom gen. kelly couldn't identify a job function.

lol this is grounds to fire each individual in the entire administration
posted by poffin boffin at 3:11 PM on August 18 [22 favorites]


but guys remember when obama wore a tan suit
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:12 PM on August 18 [65 favorites]


on the other hand, politico says he was fired for being an asshole that nobody liked and for whom gen. kelly couldn't identify a job function.

i have a feeling this termination was … multifaceted


I think everyone else decided to gang up to manipulate 45 to fire Bannon because Bannon is an asshole and everybody hates him

I think 45 was vulnerable to that manipulation because Bannon gave an interview where he insulted Nazis

Worst of all timelines, as ever
posted by schadenfrau at 3:14 PM on August 18 [13 favorites]


So now both Scaramucci and Bannon have given unsolicited career-ending interviews. What's going on here? Why are people shooting themselves in the foot like this?

The Mooch was a buffoon but, as Kuttner notes in the American Prospect article, Bannon is "probably the most media-savvy person in America." It's simply not believable that Bannon, as he apparently claims, didn't know this was going to be on the record.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:15 PM on August 18 [11 favorites]


Details on the two counter protests in Boston tomorrow. Organizers of one of those protests, which will include a march from Roxbury to Boston Common, have more on their minds than just Nazis.

Mayor Walsh said at least 500 Boston cops will be patrolling the Common tomorrow. Transit Police, meanwhile, tweeted this out:
Those who attempt to engage in violence on the #MBTA will be dealt with swiftly by Transit Police officers. #PEACE
posted by adamg at 3:15 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


So is this all Trump's way of getting the attention off the Russia business? Remember Russia?

Yes. For me at least, on top of all the more obvious reaction that I share with all of you to this week's events, it has me saying, "Come on Mueller, hurry please."

I don't think there is much on this earth that could actually stop Mueller at this point and I'm sure he knows that this one has to be by-the-book. I have faith that he'll get it done and get it done right. I'm not sure if him getting fire would actually do anything to deter him.

If Trump is still in office after that's all done and out in the open then I don't know.

This last week has just added more stuff to the heap of impeachment worthy stuff, it hasn't replaced it.
posted by VTX at 3:16 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


My current theory on the Bannon interview is that he wanted to get his voice into a progressive publication. He knew the axe was coming, and he knew that after that, he was going to be "that ex-staffer on the bigot media network" - he only had one shot at getting his message out.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:17 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Prediction: BannonBart goes to war against Fox; the president is delighted that news outlets are FIGHTING FOR HIS LOVE; Fox becomes an ideologically-suspect fake news org (says Breitbart, gleefully) and BannonBart rakes in the market share as the real supporter of the administration, while pushing the Mercer line. Meanwhile, J. Murdoch leverages his million-dollar ADL donation into a network conversion story, drawing in a new and different fan base. Everybody wins! Except America.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:17 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Why are the evangelicals sticking by him when business advisers quit?

For one, it's possible that they just really like him, but I think they've painted themselves into a corner. They already gave Trump a pass on sexual harassment, violent rhetoric, and racist comments during the election, claiming that he was God's imperfect vehicle to bring justice on the moral issues that matter most to them. There's really nothing new that they could use as justification for changing that stance, and their own constituencies are Trump's most consistent supporters.

As a former evangelical who has deep respect for the members of that community who do try to live out the priorities of Jesus, this grieves me deeply. They sold their souls for a Justice Gorsuch, and ended whatever moral authority evangelicalism still had.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:19 PM on August 18 [65 favorites]


He still thinks he is filming the Apprentice.

In the world of reality television, people who are hate-watching are just as valuable as any other viewers.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:20 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


I can also believe that 45 thinks lots of drama and chaos will distract the investigation, because he's never in his life seen methodical work done by someone with extensive resources and a firm goal.

Bannon's leaving will create a memo of new things to investigate; it'll be added to the bottom of the stack and they'll get to it when they're done following the current money-trail.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:20 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


OMG! I know the Alex Ross Coffee Splasher too! Just slightly, but I do! I don't want to out him by name, but he is a really good guy, and his work has been mentioned on the Blue many times. Mr. Palmcorder and I had a protracted, mutual squee over it, which seriously confused the dog.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:22 PM on August 18 [19 favorites]


Evangelical Christians are, at the end of the day, authoritarian fascists strongly aligned with racists and with a patriarchal worldview that is basically medieval. We can dispense with the notion they have any morality at all beyond that. So it's a perfect fit, really - if they start to quit it's purely strategic/because they think Pence can do more to further their cause.
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on August 18 [91 favorites]


Susan Hennessey asks some tough questions about Bannon returning immediately to Breitbart:
Will Bannon be subject to prepublication review consistent with his obligations as someone who held a clearance?

Worth asking what plan is here. Will he be submitting everything to EOP for sign off? NSC? Including pieces by others he substantively edits

This can be a very complex area (trust me). Bannon was fired this afternoon, in ed meeting this evening. Not much time to implement a plan.
posted by zachlipton at 3:23 PM on August 18 [64 favorites]




"Per your request, "We Didn't Start the Fire" for 2017. As appropriate, I sacrificed strict chronology on the altar of poetic license." — @20002ist
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:24 PM on August 18 [19 favorites]


You know, in retrospect, it was a bad idea to put Toonces in charge of our nation.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:24 PM on August 18 [25 favorites]


Why are the evangelicals sticking by him when business advisers quit?

Because American evangelical Christians are very often completely and totally full of shit.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:26 PM on August 18 [46 favorites]


So is this all Trump's way of getting the attention off the Russia business? Remember Russia?

Mueller is not distracted.
posted by chris24 at 3:30 PM on August 18 [48 favorites]


Why are the evangelicals sticking by him when business advisers quit?

Because conservative evangelical Christianity is white supremacy with a tissue-paper-thin veneer of religious rhetoric.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:31 PM on August 18 [92 favorites]


Don't forget the patriarchy and military adventurism.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:32 PM on August 18 [16 favorites]




Because conservative evangelical Christianity is white supremacy with a tissue-paper-thin veneer of religious rhetoric.

This. Rightwing Christianity makes a lot more sense when you realize Jesus is the cover story.
posted by chris24 at 3:33 PM on August 18 [34 favorites]


Why are the evangelicals sticking by him when business advisers quit?

Because American evangelical Christians are very often completely and totally full of shit.


Well that too.

But I also know many sincere Christians and I can't fathom how they are stomaching the highjacking of their faith. I see a few standing up but there's a lot of silence out there right now. It breaks my heart - the church had a positive impact on my life (even though I'm not what you would call a true believer any longer).
posted by double bubble at 3:36 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


Matthew 7:15-23.

Actually, I feel like many a Conservative Evangelical could do with a close reading of the Gospel of Matthew.

For instance Chapter 6.
posted by anem0ne at 3:36 PM on August 18 [13 favorites]


Mueller is not distracted.

But he is taking notes...
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:36 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


In which Steve Bannon calls up the Weekly Standard: Bannon: 'The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over.'
“The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” Bannon said Friday, shortly after confirming his departure. “We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.”
...
“Now, it’s gonna be Trump,” Bannon said. “The path forward on things like economic nationalism and immigration, and his ability to kind of move freely … I just think his ability to get anything done – particularly the bigger things, like the wall, the bigger, broader things that we fought for, it’s just gonna be that much harder.”

Bannon assigns blame for the thwarting of his program on “the West Wing Democrats,” but holds special disdain for the Washington establishment – especially those Republicans who have, he believes, willfully failed to provide Trump with meaningful victories.

And, he believes, things are about to get worse for Trump. “There’s about to be a jailbreak of these moderate guys on the Hill” – a stream of Republican dissent, which could become a flood [pjb note: sorry to mix metaphors, but I can’t decide if ‘jail break’ is sufficiently self-explanatory].
...
“I think they’re going to try to moderate him,” he says. “I think he’ll sign a clean debt ceiling, I think you’ll see all this stuff. His natural tendency – and I think you saw it this week on Charlottesville – his actual default position is the position of his base, the position that got him elected. I think you’re going to see a lot of constraints on that. I think it’ll be much more conventional.
...
“I feel jacked up,” he says. “Now I’m free. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, ‘it’s Bannon the Barbarian.’ I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There’s no doubt. I built a fucking machine at Breitbart. And now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we’re about to rev that machine up. And rev it up we will do.”
This is the least of the issues here, but I can't tell if that note was intended to be in the final piece or was intended for the author's own editor only.
posted by zachlipton at 3:36 PM on August 18 [34 favorites]


Hmm. Bannon offered his resignation August 7?

Nothing super special in Trump's Tweets that day (it was Senator Richard Blumenthal Day, that day, remember that everyone?), although he was mad at the NYT and others for understating his many accomplishments so far and the size of his ... base ... and failing to report on the UN sanctions on DPRK. Then more Senator Blumenthal!

TrumpTwitterArchive: essential and searchable.
posted by notyou at 3:37 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


But I also know many sincere Christians and I can't fathom how they are stomaching the highjacking of their faith.

By their fruits you shall know them.

They bought it, they own it, it's no longer a hijacking of their faith; it is their faith. Evangelical Christianity no longer worships God, it worships Mammon.
posted by Justinian at 3:37 PM on August 18 [67 favorites]


Mueller is not distracted.

To expand on this, there's really nothing we can do about Russia right now. Mueller and investigative reporters are going to take care of that if there's any "that" there. We are spending our time doing exactly what we should be; fighting Nazis, protecting the vulnerable, resisting his agenda, etc. If Trump wants to implode to distract us from Russia, fine. It's actually focusing us on better uses of our energies at this time.
posted by chris24 at 3:39 PM on August 18 [33 favorites]


And to be clear - I never was part of the evangelical movement, but I really would have thought the overall Christian community would decry this insanity. This just isn't the religion I learned about in Sunday school.
posted by double bubble at 3:40 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


Seems fitting Justinian would have thoughts on Christianity. There's a word for that, isn't there?
posted by anem0ne at 3:40 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


'I feel jacked up,' he says.

Good for you, jagoff.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:40 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


We are spending our time doing exactly what we should be; fighting Nazis

For fuck's sake if you told me two years ago that in mid 2017 this sentence would not only make sense but be something with which I completely agreed I would think you were an insane person.

Now work in how Juggalos and Teen Vogue are staunch allies in the fight!
posted by Justinian at 3:41 PM on August 18 [137 favorites]


One thing I found interesting from the past week was Bannon dismissing white supremacists out of hand as if they were just patsies for his grander ambitions.

These people have zero loyalty, and will throw anyone under the bus if the moment is right.

With infinite buses...
posted by sutt at 3:42 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Candidate Trump Said He Would Take Down a Confederate Flag
When he was still running for president in June 2015, Trump was asked whether or not the Confederate flag flying above the South Carolina state house needed to be taken down. "I think it probably does, and I think they should put it in the museum," he replied. "Let it go. Respect whatever it is you have to respect because it was a point in time, and put it in a museum. But I would take it down, yes."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:42 PM on August 18 [38 favorites]


"Televangelists" were pioneering Fake TV long before Trump's first appearance on a WWE Fake Wrestling show. They're all part of the same Brotherhood of Kayfabe.

"I built a fucking machine at Breitbart. "
Which reminds me, how's the boycott of Breitbart advertisers going? That's one machine that should be running out of gas very quickly.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:43 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


Bannon: I built a fucking machine at Breitbart.

Ew. NSFW!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:43 PM on August 18 [82 favorites]


I can't help but feel like Bannon purposefully went on the record so he could get "fired" and now his publications and the Trump admin can be in a messaging lockstep. He will also be able to take hard racist stances Trump can only imply and profit cleanly from his WH connections/sources without fear of Meuller. This all seems way too obvious and deliberate too me. The so-called squabble wasn't even over anything debatable. Trump either knows the obvious military realty of South Korea or his dementia has progressed even more than any one has thought but it's impossible to conceive his generals are telling him anything other than that.
posted by cyphill at 3:44 PM on August 18 [15 favorites]


And to be clear - I never was part of the evangelical movement, but I really would have thought the overall Christian community would decry this insanity. This just isn't the religion I learned about in Sunday school.

There were lots of Christians there along with people of other faiths on Friday and Saturday. We in the Christian Left gave up on those in the Christian Right saying or doing anything as our allies a long time ago.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:47 PM on August 18 [37 favorites]


Icahn is out!

"I'm evil but I'm not THAT evil." [fake]
posted by srboisvert at 3:47 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


I really would have thought the overall Christian community would decry this insanity. This just isn't the religion I learned about in Sunday school.

I went to a Baptist Sunday school in a town in Arkansas with 500 people and 7 churches. This is exactly the religion they taught - everyone do what the powerful white men in charge tell you to, and take care of your family and close friends with whatever resources they leave to you.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:47 PM on August 18 [23 favorites]


chris24: "So is this all Trump's way of getting the attention off the Russia business? Remember Russia?

Mueller is not distracted.
"

I was going to say that. Trump can distract all he wants, Mueller and his grand juries are just going to keep chucking along with the investigation.
posted by octothorpe at 3:48 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


Now work in how Juggalos and Teen Vogue are staunch allies in the fight!

JOIN THE POPULAR FRONT
posted by The Whelk at 3:49 PM on August 18 [21 favorites]


Here's the first resignation from the Evangelical Advisory Board, from A.R. Bernard. Reads as some mild and mealy-mouthed shit to me, but I'm not Christian, so whatever.
posted by yasaman at 3:50 PM on August 18 [15 favorites]


"I'm evil but I'm not THAT evil." [fake]

Yeah normally I imagine the moderate Republicans like Lord Humongous trying to hold back that red mohawk guy who is the crazy wings. "Keep it systemic! Keep it systemic!"
posted by fleacircus at 3:51 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


Bannon assigns blame for the thwarting of his program on “the West Wing Democrats,”

Man, those Democrats are wily, thwarting Trump left and right despite no majorities in the legislature or positions in the White House. Unless he specifically means Jaren and Ivanka, which is ludicrous and stupid. Or unless he think President Bartlet is still hiding in there somewhere.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:53 PM on August 18 [14 favorites]


Joe Manchin ain't stupid. Rules out serving as energy secretary under Trump.
posted by spitbull at 3:53 PM on August 18 [23 favorites]


One thing I found interesting from the past week was Bannon dismissing white supremacists out of hand as if they were just patsies for his grander ambitions.

He's negging them, this is a dominance display and an opening salvo in his bid to reclaim alpha status in their pack. They are directionless clowns because they need Daddy Bannon to give them direction. Fascism is explicitly about the rank and file needing a firm hand to guide them.
posted by contraption at 3:53 PM on August 18 [20 favorites]


Lots of people of faith including Christians stood against the white supremacists in Charlottesville.
And Christian leaders are speaking out.
And yes we have to do more to root out the christian terrorists from our midst.
posted by SyraCarol at 3:55 PM on August 18 [21 favorites]


So that Carl Ichan resignation, not so much a resignation, per Patrick Radden Keefe.
I've been reporting on Carl Icahn's role as an adviser to Trump. Monday, in an email to me, the White House fired him. Today, he resigned.

So tonight, my piece posts early. Read all about it:
New Yorker: Carl Icahn’s Failed Raid on Washington: "Was President Trump’s richest adviser focussed on helping the country—or his own bottom line?"
posted by zachlipton at 3:55 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


wait wait guys I'm not done catching up in the last thread
posted by numaner at 3:57 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


We've achieved the singularity: we have President* whose only competency is running for office.

HE LOST THE POPULAR VO- oh what's the use.
posted by zarq at 3:59 PM on August 18 [22 favorites]


wait wait guys I'm not done catching up in the last thread

We survived another week.
posted by zarq at 3:59 PM on August 18 [24 favorites]


Bannon says that he once confidently believed in the prospect of success for that version of the Trump presidency he now says is over. Asked what the turning point was, he says, “It’s the Republican establishment. The Republican establishment has no interest in Trump’s success on this. They’re not populists, they’re not nationalists, they had no interest in his program. Zero. It was a half-hearted attempt at Obamacare reform, it was no interest really on the infrastructure, they’ll do a very standard Republican version of taxes.

You know, he's insane, but he's very savvy on some things. "Economic populism" or "economic nationalism" was never going to work in the Republican party. Republicans do not want to preserve the welfare state, not even for white people only, they want to end it and give all the money to rich people. They don't want infrastructure, they want to hand that money to the rich instead. They don't want the jobs to come back, they want rich people to have total control over economic futures. They don't want a wall, that's just government spending. The don't want tax reform, they want tax cuts for rich people. They certainly don't want a millionaires tax, or a trade war with China. Republican want tax cuts for rich people, and redistrubuting every last dollar of federal spending that's not spent on the rich, to be spent on the rich. That's pretty much it. Everything else is convincing the not-rich to put them in power by any means necessary to enact that plutocratic takeover agenda.

There was a real fear that Trump could crack that, take from the Democratic populism playbook and combine that with ethnonationalism to form a new coalition of white resentment, and rewarding that racial backlash with handouts on a even more racial dividing line. They're not going to be able to do that, and never were, because Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell want tax cuts for the rich more than they even want to stay in power. They're not willing to back off of never spending another dollar in federal money, even for direct handouts to their base voters. That was always going to be a problem with the Bannon "economic nationalism" plan. Republicans are fine with the ethnonationalist state, just not with spending any amount of money to create it.

But, even if Trump is out soon and Pence takes over, Trump exposed a new path to winning. America is racially primed for white backlash. A winning coalition of voters is willing to be bought off to sell out small d liberalism in favor of racial animus, if the price is right. They thought that's what they were voting for with Trump, and they're not going to be happy they didn't get the payoffs. Democrats will have the chance to buy them back, but the danger of a smarter Trumpism coalition behind a less insane, more competent, but just as authoritarian and racially motivated candidate is going to be there for forever going forward.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:04 PM on August 18 [46 favorites]


The front page of tomorrow's NY Daily News.

Alt-Ctrl-Deleted
posted by chris24 at 4:08 PM on August 18 [23 favorites]


Thank god for, uh, good (?) news. I've spent the last three days arguing back and forth with a friend of twelve years over his "what trump said wasn't that bad, and antifa are the real villains here" post on Facebook. It's been interesting, seeing both friends of mine who have no idea who he is, and friends of his, who similarly don't know me, jumping into the ongoing mess. It's been exhausting, with maybe the lone highlight being someone asking another friend what the hell they were thinking by "liking" the original post.

In other words, thanks for getting fired, Bannon. That was great news to wake up to. I mean, it's a goddamn shame you were ever there in the first place, and your continued existence is a stain upon the world, but hey, at least you're out of the White House.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:08 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


We survived another week.

Most of us.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:08 PM on August 18 [107 favorites]


“I built a fucking machine at Breitbart.”

Is it concave or convex, to fit either sex, and exceedingly easy to clean?
posted by acb at 4:13 PM on August 18 [17 favorites]


If Bannon/Breitbart truly go after Jivanka I will be thrilled.
posted by lalex at 4:16 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


I went to my first meeting last Saturday of YouCanVote which is a non-partisan, grass roots group registering people around the state. This was their first meeting in Wake County because they are still expanding. Tomorrow they will be registering people at the NCSU Packaplooza and they have other events in other counties. They will also be doing Fair Maps canvassing, educating people about the need for nonpartisan redistricting.

Tuesday the state will be holding public hearings on the topic of redistricting at 4:00 in Raleigh, Charlotte, Jamestown, Fayetteville, Weldon, and Hudson. People are urged to go and voice their concerns. There is also a phone banking event in Durham Monday, calling people to notify them about this public hearing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:16 PM on August 18 [24 favorites]


and ended whatever moral authority evangelicalism still had.

Evangelicals are the foundation of Christian fundamentalism in this country, which is deeply intolerant and disrespectful toward (and frankly dangerous to) women, gay people, trans people, racial and ethnic minorities, members of other religions and anyone else living outside their strict biblical worldview. They cloak themselves in hatred in order to oppress others and their hypocrisy regarding what they consider evil in other people vs. how they comport themselves would frankly be pathetic if so many of us weren't living in their cross hairs. Instead it's astonishing and shocking.

This incident didn't end their "moral authority." They never possessed even the tiniest shred of moral authority to begin with.
posted by zarq at 4:17 PM on August 18 [92 favorites]


Corey Robin:
All those people talking about civil war after Charlottesville were right. Only it's going to be within the Republican Party. We are in classic endgame mode here, with various factions of the ruling regime readying for an all-out war against each other, not realizing—consciously—the ground is falling away beneath them, yet realizing—dimly, unconsciously—that it is, and that this is their last chance to get what they can out of it. So you have the desperate race by the establishment to stack the judiciary, much like the Romanovs hoarding the family china as they prepare to flee Petograd, and the more violent assertions of white supremacy by the alt-right on the ground. And now it looks like they'll be fighting—and hopefully destroying—each other.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:19 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


There are as many different versions of Christianity as there are Christians. And the Republican party has been actively courting the religious Right for generations; it's part of their standard strategy.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:19 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]




Man, with all this going on and a weekend to brood and glower, Trump should be royally pissed by the time his Phoenix rally starts next Tuesday. What are the odds he triples and quadruples down on the flagrant white nationalism and does like an hour-long version of the Very Fine People presser?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:20 PM on August 18 [13 favorites]


I read the Mayor of Phoenix, asked him to postpone his rally. We can always cast a curse on the air conditioning system.
posted by Oyéah at 4:23 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


I fantasize about Jesus coming back and righteously smiting all the right-wing evangelical "Christians." Because they sure as hell aren't what the teachings of Jesus were about.

I'm not talking about individual Christians, or liberal Christian churches, just the right-wing fundagelicals who want to control society and remake it into Gilead.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:27 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


I'm preaching a children's sermon Sunday on the story of Jesus and the Canaanite woman from Matthew 15--the only place in the gospels where someone wins an argument with Jesus. We're going to talk about why you can't be racist and a Christian.
posted by EarBucket at 4:30 PM on August 18 [76 favorites]


Are Nazis as American as Apple Pie?
(Project Syndicate)

And Corey Robin's incisive commentary:
This is a good piece that shows how far the US is from Nazi Germany, by the guy who wrote that book everyone was praising that examines the connections between Jim Crow and Nazi race law. But I think there are two takeaways that I'd stress here, which get into the larger question why it's a mistake to frame Trump as "fascist" or "authoritarian."

The first is that those words—and whatever underlying analysis they may be accompanied by—tend to obscure the most toxic *long-term* threat and danger of Trump. Which is his court appointments. The rhetoric of authoritarianism and fascism tends to suggest a regime of lawlessness, that consolidates its power through its assaults on the rule of law. Trump is doing the opposite: consolidating the power of his regime through the most ordinary and legal and constitutional means possible. His rhetorical extravagance doesn't consolidate his power; it does just the opposite. His moves against prosecutors and the like: every time he does it, it generates an even greater backlash. Trump fired Comey; he got Mueller investigating him on an even wider and more potent front. He suggests he may fire Mueller, and Congress makes moves to make it almost impossible for him to do so. With the courts, it's different: there, through this tried and true American institution, he sees long-term and permanent gains. The problem here is not authoritarianism or fascism; it's constitutionally appointed judges who'll be with us for a very long time. Again, that's what the rhetoric obscures. [there's more]
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:30 PM on August 18 [17 favorites]


Men’s-Rights Activism Is the Gateway Drug for the Alt-Right

"Gee, what a surprise," said literally every woman everywhere.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:32 PM on August 18 [199 favorites]


Patty Nourse Culbertson (first-hand remarks on Charlottesville):
My daughter and I went to the rally on Saturday. I want to tell you a little about that. But first, I would like people to understand what it was like in the days leading up to the Alt Right Rally.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:33 PM on August 18 [20 favorites]


The problem here is not authoritarianism or fascism; it's constitutionally appointed judges who'll be with us for a very long time

As we learned in WWII, it's easy to dismiss or excuse threats when you're not really going to be directly affected by them.

Or even if you are.
posted by zarq at 4:33 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


Sky, Julius Goat:
Perhaps this will be hard to read. Laments often are.

It may bring you comfort, or it may make you angry. It may make you think more of me, or less. It may offend you. Rest assured, it offends me.

So be it.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:35 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


Are Nazis as American as Apple Pie?


Well Socialism is.
posted by The Whelk at 4:36 PM on August 18 [11 favorites]


The problem here is not authoritarianism or fascism; it's constitutionally appointed judges who'll be with us for a very long time

As we learned in WWII, it's easy to dismiss or excuse threats when you're not really going to be directly affected by them.


Honestly, fighting over which of the huge spectrum of threats we face from Trump is worst really only wastes a lot of air. The climate change stuff is terrifying, the nuclear war stuff is terrifying, the judicial system, the systematic threats to marginalized groups, the raging incompetence, the shit I'm not even listing because trying to get all of it would make this thread too freakin' long on day one. All of it is serious.

All of it is The Worst. All of it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:42 PM on August 18 [53 favorites]


Remember when Trump was going to hire 5,000 new CBP agents? lol (LA Times, Joseph Tanfani):
Five days after President Trump took office, he signed an executive order that promised a swift, sharp crackdown on illegal immigration — immediate construction of a massive border wall, quick hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and stepped-up deportation of undocumented migrants.

“Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” Trump declared at the Jan. 25 ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security, which controls federal immigration agencies.

Seven months later, construction of the wall has yet to begin, the number of Border Patrol officers has actually dropped by 220, and immigration agents are on track to deport 10,000 fewer people this year than in President Obama’s last year in office, the latest figures show.
Also, turns out being a brownshirt thug and/or la migra is low in job satisfaction:
In a 2016 survey of job satisfaction in federal agencies, Customs and Border Protection ranked 291 out of 305 agencies, even with a slight improvement in the scores. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the group that handles deportations, came in at 299.
posted by yasaman at 4:44 PM on August 18 [40 favorites]



Men’s-Rights Activism Is the Gateway Drug for the Alt-Right (The Cut)


I was attempting to explain this to my parents the other day. Trying to explain being "Red Pilled" to them was quite the treat. I finally just said 'look long story short an argument can be made that one of the main reasons we have Trump because a bunch of mostly white guys got pissed that they can't get women to do what they want when they want and ended up as white supremists. Drilled down, they can't get laid like they think they should and boom we got Trump.
posted by Jalliah at 4:44 PM on August 18 [69 favorites]


There is a theory, apparently borne out by statistics, that large populations of surplus, unmarriageable young men are a strong predictor of a country's likelihood of going to war. This and the MRA/red-pill thing makes one wonder how much historical misery stems from the large-scale effects of sexual frustration.
posted by acb at 4:48 PM on August 18 [36 favorites]


...they can't get laid like they think they should and boom we got Trump.
Who can get any woman anytime making him their perfect leader. For anyone who thought the "TMZ tape" of him talking about his conquests actually hurt his campaign... nah.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:50 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


Would it not follow that Breitbart gets booted too?

I very much doubt it. As much as they should be seen as equivalent, Breitbart and Stormer are very much not treated that way.

Which reminds me, how's the boycott of Breitbart advertisers going?

Sleeping Giants is awesome, but as long as Breitbart is bankrolled by fascist billionaires, there's only so much it can do.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:51 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


...how's the boycott of Breitbart advertisers going? That's one machine that should be running out of gas very quickly.

I assume that Mercer will continue to fund Breitbart for as long as he perceives it to serve his interests.
posted by Coventry at 4:53 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


> It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster.

You're using the wrong scale; try hours, or perhaps minutes.


.....Yeah, it's still going to be at _0_.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:55 PM on August 18 [11 favorites]



So Bannon is now saying he's going to crush all of Trumps opposition with his machine. My speculation skill is at an all time level of dysfunction. How much do people think he will actually be smart enough to do? I know he's not stupid but do people think he has enough of a handle on what is going on and ability to manipulate it to his own ends?
I'll admit my paranoia is running rampart that using his new found WH insider knowledge he'll be some evil genius or something. My perspective is shot.
posted by Jalliah at 4:56 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


I feel bad for the sleeping giants people, who don't seem to realize they the real source of funding for Breitbart and Rebel media isn't advertising, but wingnut welfare (and, for Rebel, donations)
posted by Yowser at 4:58 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


Did I miss this story being posted in one of the threads?

NYT: Neil Gorsuch Speech at Trump Hotel Raises Ethical Questions

I had a rant that I was going to write earlier in response to A Manitoba comment re: Trump starting his re-election campaign.

The gist:
I had forgotten it had literally started day one of his presidency. His first rally was before the Gorsuch nomination. IIRC, the Rs weaseling out of allowing a confirmation hearing for Garland was that Dems (Biden specifically?) had previously considered not doing hearings once campaigns had started, so the Americans should cast their vote first and then allow whoever wins to nominate.

Of course, Dems never followed through with that, and I still contend it was weaseling, in that it was really "Obama is a lame duck. We can't lose anything by pulling this move." If the SC position had been open 4 years prior, they would have lost a lot of face with that tactic.

Anyway, consistency should have had the Rs block Gorsuch nomination for either the filing of re-election paperwork or re-election rally. I can think of a dozen ways the Rs can defend the "difference", but I am still mad. I would say I can't believe the Dems have not gone after this at all, but I am sure the Repub party line on all the media would be "sour grapes".
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 4:58 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


If Bannon were actually able to crush all of Trump's opposition with his machine, surely he would have been doing it for the last seven months.
posted by zachlipton at 4:59 PM on August 18 [32 favorites]


I suspect a lot of Bannon's motivation is that he has been unable to make as much money in the White House than operating his own "machine". NEVER forget self-interest and individual greed as primary motivators for anybody in Trump's circle...
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:02 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Who can get any woman anytime making him their perfect leader. For anyone who thought the "TMZ tape" of him talking about his conquests actually hurt his campaign... nah.

Trump won white women, too.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:05 PM on August 18 [14 favorites]


Bannon had to know that interview was a direct challenge to those who wanted him gone. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that he knew he was toast at the time and this was a parting shot. But I think the key part of the interview was when Bannon said that he was going to get rid of some State Department officials. All Kelly had to do was point that out to Trump, "He's claiming your powers, Sir." That, and the fact that Bannon was credited as the political genius who elected a nobody, that got under Trump's skin. Does this take some heat off Tillerson? Who can say. Dissecting palace politics under despotism is really difficult.
posted by CCBC at 5:06 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


the real source of funding for Breitbart and Rebel media isn't advertising, but wingnut welfare (and, for Rebel, donations)

Wingnut welfare is a big problem. I wish there was a way to confiscate the Mercer wealth and redistribute it (which would solve much of the poverty in the US right there), or at least overturn Citizen's United. It's one of those hard-to-solve problems that are eating away at our democracy, like the Electoral College.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:06 PM on August 18 [31 favorites]


This and the MRA/red-pill thing makes one wonder how much historical misery stems from the large-scale effects of sexual frustration.

Can we please not do this? It's as gross as the "celibacy turns priests into pedophiles" canard. Many, many, many, many, many people whose personal lives don't work out as they hope somehow manage not to channel their disappointment into hate and violence, and actual sexual frustration is in most cases super easy to fix, 100% solo.

If adolescent boys and young men are disproportionately attracted to horrible extremism, that's more about the large-scale effects of their culturally reinforced ginormous sense of "world owes me awe" entitlement and fragility.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:10 PM on August 18 [184 favorites]


As soon as it looks like he's finally out of next-things to turn to, and he seems almost alone or possibly in danger of something significant happening that could take him out of office, that's when we're going to war.
posted by cashman at 5:11 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


What's this about sleeping giants? I picked a hell of a time to reread The Cthulhu Mythos [real].
posted by Burhanistan at 5:14 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


WaPo, Darryl Fears: National parks put a ban on bottled water to ease pollution. Trump just sided with the lobby that fought it. In which NPS reverses an Obama-era policy to not sell bottled water at some parks to reduce trash three weeks after a bottled water lobbyist is confirmed as deputy interior secretary.
posted by zachlipton at 5:16 PM on August 18 [61 favorites]


Sleeping Giants is a Twitter/Facebook account that encourages boycotts of advertisers on Breitbart etc.
posted by Etrigan at 5:20 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


It doesn't fix or resolve anything, but I'm still really fucking glad Bannon will no longer be an employee of the federal government. Every once in a while the thought that keeps me up at night is: what if Trump had actually turned out to be the populist demagogue he intermittently pretended to be while campaigning? The populist Bannon seemed to believe he could be? How much more damage would that version of Trump be able to do (which is not to diminish the catastrophic and deeply tragic damage he's currently doing)? And who will it be that next runs that playbook?
posted by penduluum at 5:29 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]




May I just repost this comment verbatim?

I was trying to explain conflict of interest 5yo style. I said imagine if the new mayor owned a water bottling factory and immediately got rid of all the water fountains in the park. You'd say the guy that sells water shouldn't be in charge of the water fountains. It's in the public interest to have water available freely, especially in places where people will be walking about in the sun. It's the water bottler's private interest to sell water. So it's a conflict of interest for the mayor to keep selling water. That's why Trump is an asshole.

Not exactly the same thing, but now I wonder what Trump has to do with Big Water.
posted by adept256 at 5:36 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]






It doesn't fix or resolve anything, but I'm still really fucking glad Bannon will no longer be an employee of the federal government.

Wait, ... Bannon ... Bannon. Oh right, that guy on the National Security Council. Why, what happened?
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:37 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


I feel bad for the sleeping giants people, who don't seem to realize they the real source of funding for Breitbart and Rebel media isn't advertising, but wingnut welfare (and, for Rebel, donations)

It is near certain they are aware of that, for this is one tactic of many to employ against such media, a diversity of tactics. Breitbart losing 90% of its ad revenue is significant. It is not a simple binary; targeting advertisers does not preclude the pursuit of alternate strategies of resistance.
posted by standardasparagus at 5:39 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


@blakehounshell: "Interesting thing about Bannon is so far he has been untouched by the Russia investigation. Never a whisper about him."

I've been curious about that myself. Is this true? I guess its not impossible, but it seems unlikely that he'd be clean.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:39 PM on August 18


Not if he has CA connections, those guys are deep in the dirt.
posted by Artw at 5:41 PM on August 18


I can believe Bannon has nothing to do with the Russia thing. Russia is about Trump's debt and financials, and Bannon has fuckall to do with that.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:44 PM on August 18 [29 favorites]


It doesn't fix or resolve anything, but I'm still really fucking glad Bannon will no longer be an employee of the federal government.

It's one less terrible person being paid with our taxes, and it's one more contribution to the disarray that derails and slows down the passing of godawful legislation. Not that the executive orders and cabinet assholes aren't harming people and dismantling important things, not that Gorsuch isn't dreadful even as a one-off, but when you think about how much worse things could be eight months in if this were a competent and efficient Republican White House and Congress. . . .
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:44 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Which, ironically, means Bannon is the one guy in all of this who might skate LOL.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:45 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


Bannon has not been publicly implicated in Russiagate, yet, but he was the official campaign manager on election day, and through Comey Letter II. If there was coordination like we all are pretty sure there was, with voter information passed to Russian intelligence and timed releases of stolen emails, he knew about it and more than likely directed some part of the coordination.

We don't know what Mueller has on anyone, but Bannon was there for the crunch of the campaign. It's almost impossible to believe he could've kept his hands clean with the level of treason suspected.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:46 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


I would honestly be surprised if Bannon knew nothing about the collusion. Dude seems to like to have his fingers in every damn thing, if for no other reason than to be in the loop with the cool kids.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:48 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


My gut feeling is that Bannon knew exactly what he was doing and he kept his distance from anything dirty. He always viewed this as a temp gig to advance his own agenda. That's not to say that he didn't know what was going on, especially when it came to bots amplifying the messages on Breitbart, but my hunch is that he stayed safely on the side of "not part of the conspiracy" with this day in mind.

What's really fascinating to me is how darn sure Bannon seems to be that Kushner is dirty though, and that he's willing to say that to all sorts of people. I posted last night about how that was buried in a BuzzFeed article, T.D. Strange posted Josh Marshall's take today, Joe Scarborough was talking in June about how Bannon kept saying he was going to take Kushner down because of Russia, etc...

Aside from the utter stupidity of the idea that you can take down the President's son-in-law for collusion without somehow hurting the President, why was Bannon so sure? What did he know, if anything?
posted by zachlipton at 5:50 PM on August 18 [21 favorites]


What did he know, if anything?

These people are stupid and indiscreet. Bannon probably knows everything.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:53 PM on August 18 [17 favorites]


Aside from the utter stupidity of the idea that you can take down the President's son-in-law for collusion without somehow hurting the President, why was Bannon so sure? What did he know, if anything?

Utter stupidity seems likely. I know Bannon has this reputation for being some kind of Anti-Obama playing 11th dimensional chess, but I am forever asking myself how he attained this status as Sinister Mastermind. Only thing dude managed to do was get nominated, which even a buffoon like Mooch was able to do. He has blundered his way through everything before or since. What am I missing here? To me he seems like a fool with all the intelligence of a YouTube comment but the self-importance of an elder statesman. Is it because he doesn't talk to the press much (well, until recently and spectacularly)?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:55 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


On the other hand, Bannon's ties to Cambridge Analytica could mean he's in over his head in collusion too.
posted by zachlipton at 5:55 PM on August 18 [28 favorites]


WaPo, Darryl Fears

You and the rest of us, Darryl.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:56 PM on August 18 [14 favorites]


One thing that has stuck in my head from the last couple of days was something said on a podcast. Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever was a guest on The Trump Scorecard and said she believed that Trump siding with the thugs in Charlottesville means we have entered a 2nd post-reconstruction period.
A period of retrenchment and terror for Black people and other people of color and Jewish people....DJT has unleashed the most vile elements of this country and told them they can do what they will. They know they have their man in office.
This coming on top of reports of casual conversations about the return of slavery was like a bucket of cold water. I had been getting a little too gleeful about what I saw as the downfall of DJT. But I am not a POC. So perhaps I have been blind and insensitive.

I'm just stunned. I cannot believe that anyone in this country could seriously think that the 13th amendment would be repealed and somehow Black people will once again become slaves. Or even second class citizens. Yes I know about the work the GOP is doing to try and infringe on their right to vote, and I know that POC as a group have a far more difficult time in all aspects of daily life but their rights as people are legally enshrined. We can do more, we can do better, but as MetaFilter is my witness I will do everything in my power to make sure that the USA does NOT return to the pre-Civil Rights Era even if it means taking to the streets with guns.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:57 PM on August 18 [25 favorites]


Gravy, FWIW there is no chance that the 13th will be repealed. That would require another Constitutional amendment, with all the difficulty that implies. And I don't see even these assholes openly petitioning for actual slavery to be reinstituted. We have much nicer euphemisms for it now, that don't imply an obligation on the part of the owner to care for his property even to the extent the slavery laws did.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:04 PM on August 18 [13 favorites]


Why reinstate slavery when you can just increase prison sentences for minor drug offenses and then lease out prisoners to do labor for private companies?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:06 PM on August 18 [179 favorites]


There already is legalized slavery- its called the prison industrial complex. Slavery never ended.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:10 PM on August 18 [84 favorites]


My kid's bestie lives across the street from Mercer's Wellington horse farm. Every single time I drive by I have.....urges. Then I remind myself that I have kids in the car and it's not great to get arrested in front of your kids.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 6:11 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


Yes, that is much more likely I think.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:11 PM on August 18


How Bannon Mattered
As Chait says, his crucial role was helping to create a media environment in which Hillary Clinton was portrayed as the corrupt and dishonest candidate in a race in which her opponent shattered any previous standard of corruption and dishonesty.
...
The unconscionable decision of the New York Times to partner with Breitbart to publish anti-Clinton propaganda was the beginning of the endless pursuit of inane snipe hunts that would ultimately put Trump into the White House. And the alt-right faction of the FBI was apparently a big fan of Clinton Cash, too. Bannon’s legacy will not be changing the direction of the Republican Party. Rather, his legacy will be playing a major role in electing Trump, which allowed for the advancement of orthodox Republican priorities

posted by T.D. Strange at 6:14 PM on August 18 [66 favorites]


New York Times can suck their own cock right off the nearest available cliff.
posted by yesster at 6:17 PM on August 18 [22 favorites]


Any journalistic standards that refer to the NYT as an exemplar need to be revised.
posted by yesster at 6:19 PM on August 18 [16 favorites]


New York Times can suck their own cock right off the nearest available cliff.

I see this being illustrated on oglaf.com by next week.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:26 PM on August 18 [19 favorites]


I hate agreeing with Chait or crediting him with some insight.
posted by notyou at 6:28 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


The Washington Post is also implicated, not just NYT. unless I'm misreading it?
posted by Yowser at 6:33 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo is horrendous. I mean, this is a picture they looked at and said "yes, I am pleased with this and think we should show it to the world?" It's like they're all making Pence's "outlaw the X-Men" face.
posted by zachlipton at 6:42 PM on August 18 [59 favorites]


Oh, so this week we hate the NYT & WaPo. Got it. Does anyone have an advance schedule so I can plan ahead?
posted by jferg at 6:43 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo is horrendous.

They have vry srs faces because they are vry srs people.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:43 PM on August 18 [18 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo is horrendous.

They all look like they realize this is the pic that will run in history books showing the collaborators.
posted by chris24 at 6:43 PM on August 18 [85 favorites]


These do not look like people who have my best interests in mind.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:45 PM on August 18 [47 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo

Wow what a diverse bunch.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:45 PM on August 18 [42 favorites]


Indeed. Di-longer they're there, di-verse it gets.
posted by mrgoat at 6:49 PM on August 18 [113 favorites]


Wow what a diverse bunch.

I reckon they thought they had enough color in the flags.
posted by anem0ne at 6:49 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


*tosses nearly empty glass carboy of ether over his shoulder with a resounding shatter, finds a tube of Nazi era methamphetamine pills on the ground, peering at it with mild shock and alarm*
posted by loquacious at 6:51 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


Does anyone have an advance schedule so I can plan ahead?

They shit their own beds at their own pace, not mine.
posted by yesster at 6:55 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


I finally just said 'look long story short an argument can be made that one of the main reasons we have Trump because a bunch of mostly white guys got pissed that they can't get women to do what they want when they want and ended up as white supremists. Drilled down, they can't get laid like they think they should and boom we got Trump.

Yes and it is part of the longer historical colonial narrative developed by colonizers. White male heterosexual able bodied Christians used rape as a tool of war against indigenous women. Created a first in time legal system to justify theft and colonization. And then expanded that legal system that benefited them and which was based on the control and regulation of bodies - "female" and "non-white." Everyone was legally regarded and viewed as an object that could be owned traded bartered or discarded by those same white men. Women were chattel. People of color were not human. And sexual violence was only a violation when it harmed a white man's property (which is why there was no such thing as marital rape or domestic violence.) People of color were unrapeable. Sex workers had no "chastity or virtue" to protect. White priviledge is no accident. It was an intentional goal. And rape culture and domestic violence were also part and parcel of the objectification of women. (Rape of men was a whole other can of horrible legal worms). The objectification of partners, the use of violence, patriarchy, homo and transphobia, ableism, all serve to protect white (and often male) power. And in many ways the criminal justice legal system was also developed and used for the same purpose. When people lose some of their unearned white privileged or right to control the bodies of partners under the law, they lash out using the power that remains and violence. Domestic violence is about seeking power and control and the objectification and dehumanizations of "victims." White power is unbelievably parallel. And their relationship is a long and intentional one.
posted by anya32 at 6:55 PM on August 18 [53 favorites]




>Trump's new Twitter banner photo is horrendous

It looks like a 'sunglasses off' shot from They Live.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:00 PM on August 18 [42 favorites]


My gut feeling is that Bannon knew exactly what he was doing and he kept his distance from anything dirty. He always viewed this as a temp gig to advance his own agenda. That's not to say that he didn't know what was going on, especially when it came to bots amplifying the messages on Breitbart, but my hunch is that he stayed safely on the side of "not part of the conspiracy" with this day in mind.

I completely agree with zach's take here.

Also, I don't think Bannon's some genius mastermind, but he is definitely smarter than a lot of people caught up in the Russia thing (Trump sons, I'm looking intently at you.)

I get the sense that he considers himself deeply principled in that way that many abhorrent people consider themselves deeply principled...like white nationalism is AOK because it's a political philosophy but there's no way he'd get involved in something as messy, vague, and complicated as Russian collusion.
posted by lalex at 7:00 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo is horrendous

This looks like a picture taken from the time where you had to sit stock still for 40 minutes so the emulsion could set.
posted by codacorolla at 7:03 PM on August 18 [24 favorites]


More updates from Palm Beach Daily News on organizations moving their galas -- currently, only five planned galas will remain at Mar-a-Largo, with sixteen moving to other locations, and three not responding in time for the article.

I'm not surprised the Palm Beach Police Foundation has not moved their event. I am a little disappointed that the Kravis Center isn't moving considering it happens to be a pretty nice venue itself.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:04 PM on August 18 [14 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo is horrendous

Jesus Christ, it looks like they're all trying desperately to hold onto their human form until the photographer's done.
posted by duffell at 7:07 PM on August 18 [61 favorites]


darth's version of the photo is pretty great, with bonus points for keeping Mnuchin's glasses and for the hands.
posted by zachlipton at 7:08 PM on August 18 [38 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo

So if we take this picture, you'll release the hostages?
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:13 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Trump looks like he's doing a parody of himself in that photo.
posted by double bubble at 7:16 PM on August 18 [19 favorites]


Interesting thing about Bannon is so far he has been untouched by the Russia investigation. Never a whisper about him.

To the contrary...
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:16 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo

i'm president, damnit
posted by pyramid termite at 7:20 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


Dude between Military Guy and The Lady has his Innsmouth Look starting to show.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:21 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


Is that his resignation letter he's signing?
posted by zakur at 7:22 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]




Trump looks like he's doing a parody of himself in that photo.

You should see his DoD photo.
posted by corb at 7:27 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


I feel bad for the sleeping giants people, who don't seem to realize they the real source of funding for Breitbart and Rebel media isn't advertising, but wingnut welfare (and, for Rebel, donations)

Losing advertisers helps deligitimize them. It also means they have no method of self-sustainment should the Mercer family get tired of their plaything.
posted by cj_ at 7:27 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


Trump looks like he's doing a parody of himself in that photo.

he looks like he's doing a number two
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:30 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


Also, pressuring these advertisers to drop establishd far-right propaganda websites like Breitbart has the addon effect of making them think twice about doing business with future upshot ones.
posted by cj_ at 7:30 PM on August 18 [23 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo

Isn't it odd that they are all available for a photo shoot? Anywhere I've worked that has wanted to get a staff photo hasn't been able to do it because people are just too busy. These people pop up all the time.

Whenever Trump makes some cockamamie announcement he lines up his cabinet, too. Don't these people have something to do? Tillerson should be busy, right? Hillary wasn't hanging around the White House, neither was Kerry. It's just another WTF in a long series of WTFs.
posted by readery at 7:31 PM on August 18 [22 favorites]


he looks like he's doing a number two

Are we shaming people for RBF now?
resting bathroom face
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:38 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo

Is it supposed to be a power move that Trump gets to sit and the rest of them have to stand behind him and do their best serious glaring at the camera? Cuz it doesn't read like that to me at all. 45 is below all of them and his posture is shitty with his slouched shoulders and forward head jut. It looks ridiculous to my eyes.
posted by danielleh at 7:39 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo

Ben Stiller as Zoolander as President, in my view.
posted by tavegyl at 7:43 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


He treats everything like a TV Guide photoshoot.
posted by rhizome at 7:46 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


He looks like that in the photos because he is sticking out his neck a bit to elongate/conceal jowls.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:49 PM on August 18 [15 favorites]




proud to be Nazi / ashamed of jowls
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:53 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


Ben Sasse can eat a bowl of dicks.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:02 PM on August 18 [20 favorites]


From Senator Sasse: "The Next Charlottesville"

Christ, what an asshole posing as a Serious Thinker.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:02 PM on August 18 [11 favorites]


Uttering the "right" words without action should be called McCaining. Has any member of the GOP done anything more than McCaining since Charlottesville?
posted by defenestration at 8:04 PM on August 18 [22 favorites]


Just read this thread on why Sen. Sasse is concern trolling instead. The man clearly understands why we have 20th Century Confederate monuments and that they're racist, explaining it himself, yet he immediately moves on to citing bad faith arguments (do we have to tear down a statue of Tom Osborne or the Washington Monument or abandon all states west of the Appalachian Trail?) instead of using his position to educate and answer these questions. When he says stuff like "Bizarrely, many on the center-left seem not to see that there is little that some on the President's team would love more than to transform this into a fight about historical monuments," he's trolling, not being our friend offering actual advice.
posted by zachlipton at 8:05 PM on August 18 [26 favorites]


My representative and personal hero.

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva calls for Trump's removal from presidency
Speaking on the Bill Buckmaster radio show, on KVOI 1030-AM, Grijalva said he agrees with U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, who said this week it's time for the 25th Amendment to be put to use to remove Trump.

Grijalva said the president's reaction to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend was essentially the last straw.

"There’s an accumulation of issues that bring into question this man’s ability to lead," Grijalva said.
posted by MrVisible at 8:07 PM on August 18 [34 favorites]


"Both-sides-ism is bad and wrong," says Ben Sasse, immediately before fanning the flames of social unrest by expressing utterly unfounded fears of "violence from the left" with no evidence.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:09 PM on August 18 [20 favorites]


From the Ben Sasse FB post:
2. America is first and foremost an Idea – that all people are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. [...]

3. White supremacy and racism are un-American, period.
Uhhh yeah, okay. I get the sentiment. But the inability to recognize or understand that white supremacy and racism are among the most American things seems to me kinda why things are the way they are right now. Yes, Sasse mentions the irony of a slave-owner writing out "All men are created equal" further down but somehow it feels pretty hollow considering the rest of his post.
posted by mhum at 8:11 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


Trump's new Twitter banner photo is horrendous.

I don't think anyone has mentioned the bright side. Won't it be fun in 2 weeks posting copies of this photo with little X's over various people's heads?
posted by mmoncur at 8:15 PM on August 18 [53 favorites]


I cannot even with Ben Sasse.

Also, are we going to take down this statue of Trump and Mitch McConnell?
posted by lalex at 8:16 PM on August 18 [37 favorites]


Ben Sasse waited almost a full week to say a word about Charlottesville, and then dressed up Trump's both sides statement, now he's the toast of journalism twitter. All hail our new McCain.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:26 PM on August 18 [21 favorites]


The path to "the next Charlottesville" will be paved by equivocating monsters like Ben Sasse. I guess #NeverTrump means #ForeverTrump now.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:30 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


‘Known racist and a nazi sympathizer’: Activist projects message onto Trump’s D.C. hotel
D.C.’s resident projection protest artist did not mince words Thursday night in his latest rebuke to President Trump.

Robin Bell drove his van to Trump International Hotel and projected several slides on the facade of the president’s eponymous hotel that said in all capital letters, “The president of the United States is a known racist and a nazi sympathizer.”

“This is not a drill,” the message continued. “We are all responsible to stand up and end white supremacy. #Resist.”
posted by peeedro at 8:33 PM on August 18 [72 favorites]


In this thread I'm starting a project I've been contemplating for a bit: in each new presidential politics thread I'll pick a They Might Be Giants theme song. FelliniBlank jumpstarted this in the last thread with Your Racist Friend.

This thread, in honor of Bannon the Barbarian, I bring you Bastard Wants to Hit Me.
posted by medusa at 8:51 PM on August 18 [10 favorites]


Trump's approval ratings are up since Tuesday's meltdown (FiveThirtyEight, Real Clear Politics). Granted, that's from record lows, but it's pretty clear that overt white supremacism is not going to hurt him. This is why they voted for him.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:53 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


In this thread I'm starting a project I've been contemplating for a bit: in each new presidential politics thread I'll pick a They Might Be Giants theme song.

*eagerly awaits a James K. Polk-related scandal*

Surely "You're on Fire" is the most fitting though.
posted by zachlipton at 8:56 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


Holy shit. Arnold with the three pointer:

I have a message to the Neo-Nazis, the white nationalists, and the Neo-Confederates. Let me be as blunt as possible: Your heroes are losers. You are supporting a lost cause. Believe me, I knew the original Nazis. I was born in Austria in 1947, shortly after the second world war. Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men, men who came home from a war filled with shrapnel and guilt, men who were misled into a losing ideology."

"And I can tell you: these ghosts you idolize spent the rest of their lives living in shame and right now, they're resting in hell."

posted by leotrotsky at 8:57 PM on August 18 [232 favorites]


Trump's approval ratings are up since Tuesday's meltdown

Yep, the 35% left supporting Trump are okay with white supremacy and neoNazis. That includes our nice but kinda racist grandmas and our gamergater sons and everyone in between. It's time to come to grips with that.
posted by Justinian at 9:04 PM on August 18 [76 favorites]


It showed me that in the last day, approval rose by .5% and DISapproval rose by .5%. The previously undecided are picking sides...
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:07 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


I would honestly be surprised if Bannon knew nothing about the collusion. Dude seems to like to have his fingers in every damn thing, if for no other reason than to be in the loop with the cool kids.

These people are stupid and indiscreet. Bannon probably knows everything.

In that backstabby of an environment you DO NOT allow meetings to happen without you without some kind of intel on what is happening.
posted by ctmf at 9:10 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


Superb New York Times op-ed by Frank Bruni: The Week When President Trump Resigned
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:10 PM on August 18 [30 favorites]


It showed me that in the last day, approval rose by .5% and DISapproval rose by .5%. The previously undecided are picking sides...

These are polls, 0.5% diffs don't mean much, let's wait a bit.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 9:17 PM on August 18 [13 favorites]


Ben Sasse is the intellectual forefront of the young Republcan party, I've heard. He strings lots of words together but he is intellectually dishonest as hell. You can't balance an eleventy-seven-teen point screed on a false equivalence between *actual Nazis* and people who, when punched or pepper sprayed or beaten with sticks, punch back. If one of his constituents did snivel that the non-Nazi resistance should back off because resisting the Nazis will necessarily cause the Nazis to do more violence, he should have gently explained that the Nazis are the bad guys. Instead, he made another obvious move toward his 2020 primary run.

"Ben Sasse: Make Facism Subtext Again then keep on doing the same Republican shit"
posted by SakuraK at 9:29 PM on August 18 [34 favorites]


"Both-sides-ism is bad and wrong," says Ben Sasse, immediately before fanning the flames of social unrest by expressing utterly unfounded fears of "violence from the left" with no evidence.

I think right now there's this thing that's really hard to draw a line between - where it's okay to say "One side is right, one side is wrong" but also acknowledge that some things do exist on both sides even if they're not equally justified. Like, yes, both sides may engage in "violence", but one side is engaging in pre-emptive strikes to stop the rise of Nazism, and the other side is engaging in joyful violence because they get off on beating people down and running riot.

So the idea that there's no evidence that 'violence from the left' exists is just weird to me. Especially as someone who's been at least a spectator in anarchist circles for the last ten years thanks to my partner, the idea that antifa would not be willing to engage in violence against fascists goes counter to the whole point of antifa. That's what is so great about them! They put their bodies on the front lines to confront fascists whenever they rear their ugly head. So yes, they brought bear mace, and clubs, and various other implements to fight the Nazis. We don't lose the moral high ground against Nazis by admitting that, because they're fucking Nazis.

And at the same time, it's completely normal and historically within parameters that people who are neither antifa nor Nazis - especailly in fucking Nebraska - would see the violence and be afraid. Because they are in no way likely to be in danger from the Nazis, but it is possible that they will be on the receiving end of antifa. Not likely, but possible. There's no Central Anarchist Authority that declares targets. Some antifa have been fighting local county Republicans, or Trump supporters, even if they're not proudly holding up a fasces. Everyone has a different standard for where the line you have to fight is.

We should be able to talk about that - about that as a problem, about that as a concern if they vote for "law and order policies" that will stop the "rioting". But the one thing we don't have to do in order to talk about that is insist that the entirety of the anti-fascist movement would never ever engage in violence, boy howdy. Both because it's not true, and because it's not necessary, because violence itself does not make someone wrong. The ugly hatred and monstrosity of Nazis makes someone wrong.
posted by corb at 9:30 PM on August 18 [63 favorites]


How's this for a consistent position: I am ok with advocating the punching of anyone advocating shooting or ramming a car into American citizens?
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:50 PM on August 18 [6 favorites]


what's next week's theme y'all? need to get prepared
posted by lalex at 9:50 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


Infrastructure Week was a complete success!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


We should be able to talk about that

We should be able to take recourse in the truth; in the pursuit of truth; in talk and debate and discourse and civil engagement as a means of furthering understanding.

What's frustrating, and intellectually dishonest, is for Ben Sasse to write a statement calling for us to 'teach,' but he does no little teaching here; he presents a set of concerns that was presented to him, and opines that
Every single place I've been this week, I've gotten a question like this:
**"Washington and Jefferson owned slaves; do we have to tear down their statues too?"
**"Explorer X didn't treat native Americans the way he should have; do we abandon states west of the Appalachian Trail?"
**"Even Tom Osborne isn't a saint; must we tear down the statute outside Lincoln's Memorial Stadium?"

The people asking these questions (over and over and over) are not racist. Rather they're perplexed by the elite indifference to their fair questions – about the "unnaming" movement now unfolding at Yale, for example. Most of these folks voted for Trump, to be sure, but many quietly admit to being dissatisfied with his leadership. But they have ZERO uncertainty about a choice between a Trump who would defend statues of Washington and Jefferson, and a national media elite who they assume would not defend monuments to Washington and Jefferson. That's the divide many here are seeing and hearing.
THIS IS AN IMAGINARY DIVIDE AND BEN SASSE SHOULD KNOW THIS IF HE WAS LISTENING TO HIS DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUENTS TOO.

Ahem.

I would pose back: should our elected representatives not answer the questions of fearful constituents with the truth -- that the complaint against confederate-memorializing statues is not, substantively, 'that they owned slaves,' and Trump's exhortations about a slippery slope were Trump's suggestion and not that of Democrats? That we (what??) aren't going to abandon western states (what????)?

He's posing this as a question of needing reasoned discourse but his own statement embracing the fundamentally untrue premise that Trump has as well; and he has, apparently, not listened at all to the people protesting -- or if he has, he doesn't seem to think that that message -- that reassuring message, that we aren't coming to drive the western states out of the union (what??) is worth actually relaying to his own Republican constituents. He makes no effort -- none -- to suggest that 'media elites...would not defend' is a Trumpian/Breitbartian fabrication. None. Instead, by passing along that as a reasonable complaint, he suggests that it is one. It isn't.

Maybe he's done that elsewhere. But it's ironic that he hasn't done so here. If he wants people to engage in thoughtful, reasoned debate -- if he wants us to think it's actually worth talking with him about anything -- he needs to start at home.

(This is also the Ben Sasse who voted for expedited consideration on the ACA repeal bill, since apparently we don't need to talk about healthcare! That can just get passed without measured debate.)
posted by cjelli at 9:55 PM on August 18 [43 favorites]


Infrastructure Week was a complete success!

second time's the charm!
posted by lalex at 9:58 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]


With the path of Monday's total eclipse passing directly over the continental United States from Salem to Charleston, I figure next weeks' theme is Apocalypse Week! Stock up on ammo and canned goods. Now, it may seem like every week in Trump's America is Apocalypse Week, but this one is special.
posted by Justinian at 9:59 PM on August 18 [11 favorites]


Pray for Boston, y'all.
posted by msalt at 10:03 PM on August 18 [9 favorites]


We used to be able to say violence is bad as such. Full stop.

Not anymore.

Thanks Republicans!
posted by notyou at 10:12 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


I hope that everyone in the media is real clear that the Democratic-Globalist White House comments are aimed squarely at 45's Jewish daughter and son-in-law. Polo shirts and tiki torches were too much and the backlash was larger than expected, so we are back to anti-Semitic dog whistles.
posted by xyzzy at 10:28 PM on August 18 [22 favorites]


tivalasvegas: "No, the government would have lost the confidence of the House with the fail of the repeal and replace bill, Democrats would have come in with a solid majority and Prime Minister Hillary Clinton would have already gotten Medicare-For-All through Parliament by now."

That wouldn't have been a confidence vote in most parliamentary systems and it's unlikely a non-minority government in a parliamentary system would have lost that vote anyways.
posted by Mitheral at 10:42 PM on August 18


And at the same time, it's completely normal and historically within parameters that people who are neither antifa nor Nazis - especailly in fucking Nebraska - would see the violence and be afraid. Because they are in no way likely to be in danger from the Nazis, but it is possible that they will be on the receiving end of antifa.

That fear of violent leftist unrest is really eerie to hear about, though, because there's not really an equivalence between the danger of maybe ending up in proximity to violence and the danger of being targeted for hate crimes personally (and hate crimes committed by a mass movement and with the govt's tacit approval, at that). I don't disagree that these people in Nebraska (and elsewhere in the US, too) are scared and just directing that fear at whatever target looks "stranger" or "softer" to them (meaning toward the left). But it is deeply terrifying to hear people say that they're scared and they think it'll be the VICTIMS of these Nazis and white supremacists who are likely to make things worse -- because that is exactly how scapegoating happens.

I'm also nervous hearing that Sasse's constituents in Nebraska are apparently assuming that more and more political violence is a done deal, that it's going to happen. If they think that the violence is going to just keep escalating, then I believe them. If for no other reason than that sounds like a possible self-fulfilling prophecy. But that assumption of continually escalating political violence (escalating from murder, apparently?!) is pretty shocking in and of itself, I think.

The possibly alarmist fear that that idea raises in me is of a Gulf of Tonkin kind of incident here on US soil. Fear-mongering, especially against a scapegoat, is such a tried-and-true way of seizing more executive power.

This is a frightening moment. I don't know how to read Bannon's exit, to be honest. But I guess we'll find out pretty soon what Bannon's angle is. And I do think he has an angle, I don't think this is the organic result of some squabbling at the White House. A true rift is not the feeling I get, because of how both Trump and Bannon have reacted. For what that's worth.
posted by rue72 at 10:44 PM on August 18 [24 favorites]


So the idea that there's no evidence that 'violence from the left' exists is just weird to me.

Sorry for being unclear, but the "violence from the left" Sasse was alluding to is organized violent attacks, like the Charlottesville Nazi shitshow was a planned, announced, premeditated violent attack/onslaught from the right. I would like you to point out instances of antifa or any other leftist organization in the current/recent US saying, "Hey, let's set up and advertise an event in some place for no real reason with the express purpose of inciting violence against the locals or whoever else shows up" or "I'm bored; I think I'll go mow down a bunch of people I hate in a church" and then acting on that. Leftists don't have 9 or 10 or 20 armed divisive violence-inciting rallies planned for the next few weeks. Leftists aren't in the habit of going from one college campus to another demanding platforms for incendiary "free speech" gatherings that, if allowed, would bankrupt universities' and municipal budgets financing the insane amount of law enforcement presence needed to ensure a reasonable level of public safety.

Nobody is claiming that all people who are socialists or anarchists or what have you are non-violent in all situations. But sure, go ahead anyway and pretend that is the claim so you-all can do the same old tired fucking intellectually dishonest hand-wringing "both sides, both sides" concern troll bullshit your entire party seems completely in love with. Sasse does his nutball constituents no favors by legitimizing and dignifying their lurid fantasies; it would be nice if at least some Republican somewhere would actually try to defuse them.

People in Nebraska or wherever have no reasonable basis whatsoever except for uninformed bias and paranoia stoked by the likes of Sasse to think armed antifa are going to march into Omaha willy-nilly and harm them the way Nazis descended on the people of Charlottesville and made their city into a damn war zone. And fears of BLM are just flat-out gross white supremacist bigotry, period. The only people who need to fear "violence from the left" are fucking Nazi white supremacists who stir shit and stage events to provoke and incite violent resistance, as well as other protesters and bystanders at those events, law enforcement, etc.

There is a significant difference between violence as a tactic -- and there is plenty of room for debate about when, if ever, and in what contexts it is or isn't an appropriate or useful tactic -- and violence as an inherent part of the philosophy, program, aims, and belief system of a person or group. The whole purpose and raison d'etre of white supremacist organizations is to do violence, to wield power and force to (at minimum) oppress and dispossess and disempower the people they want to dominate and exclude. And generally much worse than that.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:55 PM on August 18 [96 favorites]


zachlipton: This can be a very complex area (trust me). Bannon was fired this afternoon, in ed meeting this evening. Not much time to implement a plan.

Hahahahahahahahaha! ... Oh, you're serious? You think they have a plan in which to implement? Trump is so impatient that he tweeted the military trans ban because he was tired of people telling him they needed more time to plan. This administration is based on knee-jerk reactions and overturning everything that Obama did.


chris24: They all look like they realize this is the pic that will run in history books showing the collaborators.

Remember, this is the official President Trump portrait, so scowling is totally a presidential pose.

And TIL the photo still hasn't been given to the U.S. Government Publishing Office (at least, as of July 25, 2017).
Six months into President Donald Trump's tenure, pictures of him and his vice president are absent from the walls of federal courthouses.

In fact, the official portraits are not hanging in any federal buildings, according to Patrick Sclafani, regional spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration. The agency manages about 1,600 federal buildings.
Good news: if he leaves office sooner rather than later, GPO can be saved the trouble of printing and distributing those official portraits and just print ones of the next president.

And maybe that's why the official scowling photo isn't featured on Trump's Wikipedia page and other locations, and instead this smizing (or farting?) portrait is used instead.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:56 PM on August 18 [5 favorites]


I'm nervous about this, had no idea it was out there until today.

"When Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey goes on trial on federal corruption charges in less than three weeks, far more than his own fate hinges on the outcome.

If Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, is convicted and then expelled from the United States Senate by early January, his replacement would be picked by Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey and an ally of President Trump.

That scenario — where Mr. Menendez’s interim replacement would more than likely be a Republican — would have immediate and far-reaching implications: The Republicans would be gifted a crucial extra vote just as the party remains a single vote shy in the Senate of advancing its bill to dismantle President Obama’s signature health care law. Those potential consequences only heighten the drama around the first federal bribery charges leveled against a sitting senator in a generation."
posted by kemrocken at 11:05 PM on August 18 [38 favorites]


In fact, the official portraits are not hanging in any federal buildings, according to Patrick Sclafani, regional spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration. The agency manages about 1,600 federal buildings.

This is absolutely not true. There is a copy of the official portrait (ptuie) hanging in my office (which is in a federal building), next to the front door. It's an absolutely terrible portrait: looks like the man intends to fire everyone he sees, unlike Obama and Bush's portraits, which were anodyne images of a reasonably friendly bureaucrat. 45's portrait is a fucking nightmare.

But my point is: we have a portrait. However, there is no portrait in the lobby of the building. So it's possible that what we have is somewhat unofficial.
posted by suelac at 11:05 PM on August 18 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if this were a contentious exit, Hair Furor would have tweetstormed about it already. This was an agreed-upon deal.

Thank you rue72 for articulating Ben Sasse's scapegoat vibe. Who knows how factual his constituent stories are, but he certainly wants to promote the narrative that non-Nazis are to blame for any violence or distress caused by Nazis, even when Nazis hit or shoot first.
posted by SakuraK at 11:07 PM on August 18 [7 favorites]


If Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, is convicted and then expelled from the United States Senate by early January, his replacement would be picked by Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey and an ally of President Trump.

Bad, but not disastrous. My first thought was, "this is a proxy vote for ACA repeal, but with enough indirection that more senators might play stupid 'I believe in the forms and processes of blah blah blah' games".

But. From the same article: "Even a bribery conviction would not automatically force Mr. Menendez from office, under the Senate rules. He would either have to voluntarily resign his seat, or two-thirds of his Senate colleagues — including at least 15 Democrats — would have to vote to expel him."
posted by spaceman_spiff at 11:18 PM on August 18 [23 favorites]


The last time Christie had to fill a Senate seat he called a special election that cost millions and had record low turnout. So, yay for Sen. Booker, I guess, but the Democrats were still furious with Christie's decision because he did it to avoid sharing a ballot with odds on favorite Cory Booker. Who know what would happen now.
posted by xyzzy at 11:21 PM on August 18 [1 favorite]




I'm nervous about this, had no idea it was out there until today.

I'm nervous about it too, but it's not an inevitable thing. First, we don't know if Menendez will be found guilty. The standard for what constitutes bribery of an elected official has actually tightened quite a bit recently. That's not necessarily a good thing obviously but it does mean it's harder to convict Menendez. (If Menendez is corrupt he of course deserves to be convicted. I'm talking practicalities not morals.)

But that's not the end of the story. He does not lose his Senate seat if convicted. The Senate has to expel him, and that takes a 2/3 majority. So the Democrats can keep his seat even if he's convicted if they are willing to take the political hit until after Christie is replaced. My assumption is that they will do everything possible to delay until past Christie's use by date. If it comes to it I assume they will refuse to expel him until after a new governor of New Jersey is chosen. That will be politically damaging but may be necessary.
posted by Justinian at 11:25 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


There is a significant difference between violence as a tactic -- and there is plenty of room for debate about when, if ever, and in what contexts it is or isn't an appropriate or useful tactic -- and violence as an inherent part of the philosophy, program, aims, and belief system of a person or group.

And let me just clarify that if I had my druthers, these Nazi rallies would turn out to be 200 or however many dopey Nazis met with 10,000 totally non-violent members of the resistance laughing, picnicking, and generally enjoying themselves.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:26 PM on August 18 [12 favorites]


I see spiff said roughly the same thing. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it's not disastrous. The political hit from Democrats refusing to expel someone convicted of felony corruption would be significant. And that's how it should be! Not ejecting someone fairly convicted of political corruption is morally repugnant. But the alternative is letting Republicans strip health care, and thus kill, tens or hundreds of thousands. So they should probably take the hit even if it's sorta the wrong thing to do.

This is like exhibit A for why sometimes the lesser of two evils is necessary.
posted by Justinian at 11:30 PM on August 18 [11 favorites]


Polo shirts and tiki torches were too much and the backlash was larger than expected, so we are back to anti-Semitic dog whistles.

I don't think the backlash was larger than expected. I think it was actually smaller than expected, and they were pretty ecstatic over the lack of approbation -- especially from the White House.

The dog whistles are definitely there, but I think it's with a wink wink nudge nudge that's like a secret handshake between the Nazis in the White House and the Nazis in the street, meant to give Trump a little cover while still showing EVERYONE (including the left, and hell, probably including Javanka) what side he and his cronies are "really" on. If anything, I think throwing out these dog whistles are meant to keep stirring up trouble, keep working these [redacted] up slowly but surely into a lather.
posted by rue72 at 11:42 PM on August 18 [2 favorites]


a crucial extra vote just as the party remains a single vote shy in the Senate of advancing its bill to dismantle President Obama’s signature health care law

It did seem that at least a few more Republicans were only voting for the repeal bill because they knew it wouldn't pass, though. They got to look tough without having to account to their constituents for actually harming them.
posted by Coventry at 11:47 PM on August 18 [4 favorites]


this paragraph from the New Yorker article on Carl Icahn (linked above) really struck a nerve for me:
One recurring feature of the Trump Presidency has been an acute collective sensation, shared by a substantial portion of the electorate, of helpless witness. Dismayed Americans wait, like spectators at a game that has turned suddenly dangerous, for a referee to step in and cry foul. But one reason that Trumpism is so transfixing to watch is that it is about the upending of norms, the defiance of taboos, the destabilization of institutions. School’s out forever. What this means in practice is a serious deficit of accountability. Whom can you call when the authorities are the ones breaking the rules?
(emphasis mine)

"helpless witness" is as good a summation of the zeitgeist as i've heard
posted by murphy slaw at 11:48 PM on August 18 [113 favorites]


North of the Border in Vancouver, idiots are flying the Confederate flag and claiming various reasons ('It's for a dying African American friend who overcame a lot of obstacles' being the most mind-boggling). In response, one local newscast has started referring to the flag as 'the flag of slave-owners' and 'the symbol of slavery', as well as Charlottesville as a 'white supremacist uprising'. Somehow the claim that this is about driving 4x4s sounds like even more of a lie when the headline is 'symbol of slavery flies'.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:00 AM on August 19 [30 favorites]


rue72, I meant that Bannon and buddies were a bit taken aback by the strength of the media censure and the counter protest response, so they're sliding the hoods back on while bat signaling the base.
posted by xyzzy at 12:04 AM on August 19


How is it possible that Chris Christie of all people is positioned to throw the Senste for Trump? Why isn't Chris Christie too busy with his prison sentences for corruption to be a factor in this equation? Maybe some day I'll remember that IOKIAR and stop asking these repetitive questions.
posted by SakuraK at 12:16 AM on August 19 [10 favorites]


Could Christie just appoint a Democrat as a reverse-meatloaf move against Trump? I know that's almost certainly political daydreaming on my part, but on the other hand, Christie's political future is pretty much non-existent, so why not go out with a YOLO while flipping the double bird?
posted by dhens at 12:32 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


White supremacists who celebrated the death of Heather Heyer are holding a rally in Vancouver, BC tomorrow. Wish us luck with the counterprotest.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:39 AM on August 19 [51 favorites]


I blinked a little bit when the VICE news CVille report highlighted some Canadian alt-reichs. Time to read up on race relations in Canada, it seems. Good luck with your counter-protest and stay safe out there.
posted by xyzzy at 12:45 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


The BC rally is disgusting. Canada forbids entry of any person who has been convicted of what would be a felony by Canadian standards. That includes every misdemeanor plus domestic violence and DUI. How many of these white boys who want to match on BC are innocent? And will Candian immigration officers do their jobs when it's a bunch of white boys wanting exceptions?
posted by SakuraK at 1:10 AM on August 19 [6 favorites]


Was editing some fiction I wrote a couple of years ago and came across some dialogue where a character says, "believe me," at the end of the sentence, and you know when you're writing and you hear dialogue in your head? I was like this character, that character speaks, and suddenly it's Tim Kane mocking DJT at the gorgeously orchestrated DNC last year, and I am off on another weird tangent of grief that we are actually here at this moment.
posted by angrycat at 2:09 AM on August 19 [12 favorites]


"Explorer X didn't treat native Americans the way he should have; do we abandon states west of the Appalachian Trail?"

Yes, please.
Signed, States West of the Appalachian Trail
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:26 AM on August 19 [11 favorites]


i'm very confused about something

i though christians weren't supposed to worship graven images
posted by pyramid termite at 2:32 AM on August 19 [6 favorites]


Yes, but craven images are apparently okay.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:40 AM on August 19 [25 favorites]


Here's what Trump is defending and Sasse is bothsidesing. From Jason Kessler, organizer of the Charlottesville March late last night:

@TheMadDimension:
Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.
https://dailystormer.lol/heather-heyer-woman-killed-in-road-rage-incident-was-a-fat-childless-32-year-old-slut/

---

Reminder that Kessler was also a regular contributor to thr Daily Caller and in fact covered the last Spencer march for them.
posted by chris24 at 2:49 AM on August 19 [18 favorites]


When Nazis like Kessler use inflated figures for the number of people "Communists" have killed, I always sense some jealousy...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:05 AM on August 19 [18 favorites]


Wow, I knew bad people fat shamed, but I didn't know childlessness was something to be pitied.
I mean, motherfuckers, I smoke weed and curse daily. Being childless is great. You just get cats and don't give a fuck.
posted by angrycat at 3:16 AM on August 19 [83 favorites]


Looks like TDS switched to a .lol domain. Heh.
posted by xyzzy at 3:22 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]


I found this Medium post by Danica Bornstein, a clinical social worker from Seattle, extremely moving and effective at articulating complicated nuance :
This intersection of privilege and terror that is being a white-skinned Jew is very complicated. I am struggling with it from the inside. I want people who care for me and for other Jews to struggle with it from the outside. I want you to try to understand us. I want you to know that we’re not just like regular white people, only louder and with more movement of hands. We’re a complicated and layered thing. To understand us you have to go both backward and forward in time. You have to understand that Jewish time is like geologic time, that 150 or 500 years between expulsions is not that long; it’s not long enough to forget, or to rest. Please fight to understand us, in all of our complexity.
posted by bardophile at 3:38 AM on August 19 [30 favorites]


This is not really a win, just extremist loonies shedding responsibility, rats leaving a sinking ship. They don't want to be tarnished by the imploding Trump, they want to come out clean and say, "we told you so, they're all corrupt, etc etc.".

Meanwhile, Trump will win big no matter what - whether he's impeached, steps down, government collapses, the markets take a dive, he buys, whoever gets in command, markets rebound.
posted by Laotic at 4:25 AM on August 19


Christie's term is up in January. If Menendez is convicted, Democrats must hold the line until then. Menendez can say he will resign, but the people of New Jersey deserve a say, so the new governor should choose.

Democrats have to start playing the same game as Republicans have been for 40 years. No one cares about process. Republicans stole a Supreme Court seat and were rewarded for it. If Menendez holds his seat as a convicted felon for two months, no one will remember by 2018.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:37 AM on August 19 [79 favorites]


35% Approval, huh? I guess we are at the point that the US is like a freshman going to their first college class in a dumb movie. Except this time the professor rightly says, "Look to your left, now look to your right. One of you is a Nazi."
posted by goHermGO at 4:49 AM on August 19 [23 favorites]


Good morning! Rise and shine, we got a scoop of news to go with y'all's breakfast this morning -

The Trumps have just announced they will withdraw from attending any of the Kennedy Center Honors celebrations this year, to "allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction."

This move, mind you, is coming in the wake of the honorees themselves declaring that they would be boycotting part of the festivities; everyone was going to be at the event itself, but honoree Norman Lear announced a couple weeks ago that he would not be attending the traditional reception at the White House to which honorees are also invited. Dancer Carmen de Lavallade, another honoree, withdrew from the White House reception earlier this week, and Lionel Richie was said to be on the fence; Gloria Estefan said she would only go long enough to persuade him to change his mind on immigrantion policy. L.L. Cool J. was the only confirmed attendee of the White House Reception.

It is not known whehter there will still be a reception at the White House without the Trumps.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:01 AM on August 19 [35 favorites]


Gloria Estefan said she would only go long enough to persuade him to change his mind on immigrantion policy.

She gonna be there a long-ass time then.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:03 AM on August 19 [26 favorites]


L.L. Cool J. was the only confirmed attendee of the White House Reception.

It is not known whether there will still be a reception at the White House without the Trumps.

Lonely, Lonely Cool J.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:04 AM on August 19 [30 favorites]


Kessler deleted his tweet, claims he was hacked.
*snerk*
posted by farlukar at 5:09 AM on August 19 [7 favorites]


I keep toying with doing an FPP about the Kennedy Center Honors; there've been some great moments from the CBS broadcast of the gala's highlights over the years. But some of my recent favorite moments have been clips of Michelle Obama rocking out (watch for her reacting to Snoop Dogg's performance at the tribute to Herbie Hancock, or to Bruno Mars's salute to Sting). I just plain can not picture Trump getting down like that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:11 AM on August 19 [13 favorites]


I haven't paid much attention to L. L. Cool J since Mama Said Knock You Out. Has he gone off the rails in any notable way over the past few decades?
posted by acb at 5:14 AM on August 19


Kessler deleted his tweet, claims he was hacked.

Well, he retweeted this right before the "hacked" one and it's still proudly up there.

@PeterBeinart
Yesterday my 9 year old saw some footage from Charlottesville. Then she asked me if there would be a second Holocaust.


Jason Kessler retweeted
@ramzpaul replied to Peter Beinart
Yesterday my 9 year old saw some footage of the Jewish reaction. Then she asked me if there would be another Red terror.
posted by chris24 at 5:16 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


I read the original Daily Stormer article on Heather Heyer and it was a weird combination of grossly offensive and oddly illogical. Like she was supposedly a drain on society because she was childless so obviously she must have had several abortions. The values of Nazis are really strange.

Still no word on whether DJT is going to Phoenix on Tuesday now that the Mayor has asked him not to. It's amazing that POTUS can come back after 17 days of vacation, spend one day in DC, then fly off to Arizona for a campaign rally. He really has nothing to do. In fact the tax payers are probably paying 10 or 20 people to babysit him and keep him happy. What a waste in every way. The only thing that keeps me happy is knowing he must dread coming back to DC and he'll have to wait at least 6 months before taking another vacation. Although now that I write that I realize there's nothing stopping him from talking another vacation in 2 months.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:16 AM on August 19 [14 favorites]


Like she was supposedly a drain on society because she was childless so obviously she must have had several abortions. The values of Nazis are really strange.

Remember that many of these Nazis got their start as Men's Rights Activists.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 5:19 AM on August 19 [72 favorites]


I haven't paid much attention to L. L. Cool J since Mama Said Knock You Out. Has he gone off the rails in any notable way over the past few decades?

He did kind of the same thing as Ice-T and transitioned into being an actor in TVs other crime-drama franchise.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:20 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


This is a pretty great political cartoon.
posted by chris24 at 5:21 AM on August 19 [33 favorites]


The small hands and long tie. *kisses fingers*
posted by like_neon at 5:27 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]


RE: Trump's Zoolander:
NYT 3/21/17: Toughness, more than any other attribute, is what Mr. Trump has sought to project during his short and successful political career — and he believes his behavior makes him look tougher, no matter what the press thinks.

As a presidential candidate, he wanted to look dour, and vetoed any campaign imagery that so much as hinted at weakness, aides said. Which is why every self-selected snapshot — down to the squinty-eyed scowl attached to his Twitter account — features a tough-guy sourpuss. “Like Churchill,” is what Mr. Trump would tell staffers when asked what look he was going for.
By "like Churchill" he means the famous Yousef Karsh portrait where Karsh plucked the cigar from Churchill's mouth to get the look he wanted.

Of course Trump doesn't look Churchillian. He looks bowel movementian.
posted by chris24 at 5:31 AM on August 19 [51 favorites]


Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie, and L.L. Cool J?

That's going in the remake of We Didn't Start the Fire, right?

"Holy Crap This Shit's on Fire"
MeFi Allstars
Casablanca Records

posted by petebest at 5:36 AM on August 19 [14 favorites]


RE: Trump's Zoolander

Blew steal?
posted by flabdablet at 5:50 AM on August 19 [9 favorites]


Steve Kornacki dug out some footage of Trump accusing Pat Buchanan of being a neo-Nazi racist back when they were both running for the Reform Party nom. He stated that Buchanan had divisive views on "Jews, blacks, gays, and Mexicans" that would tear the country apart. It was so bizarre, like through the looking glass level of dysphoria. I expected Trinity to burst through the sliding glass door and hand me a copy of the "Berenstein Bears."
posted by xyzzy at 5:53 AM on August 19 [68 favorites]


45 absolutely can't see anyone else except as a version of himself, hence all the zero-sum thinking and the mirroring, and why his aims and motivation are so simple. Those who are so different from him that this doesn't work are othered in a flash.

He is living in a world of clones and zombies. All that matters is to be king of the clones and defeater of the zombies. No wonder he's so miserable.
posted by Devonian at 6:00 AM on August 19 [11 favorites]


So now that Bannon is out Erik Prince has lost his bid to take over the war in Afghanistan.

Politico Sources: Pence, McMaster team up to push more troops in Afghanistan
The two sources — an administration official and a senior White House aide — also confirmed that Erik Prince, founder of the former Blackwater private security firm, had been scheduled to attend the session but that he was blocked at the last minute. The administration official said McMaster was the one who blocked Prince.
So another reason that Bannon out of the WH is a good thing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:05 AM on August 19 [47 favorites]


> 45's portrait is a fucking nightmare.

A few months ago, my sister's car got pulled over for a random search* when she was crossing the border at Port Huron, Michigan. She and her daughter (who is old enough to know who Donald Trump is and why she shouldn't like him, but probably not old enough to really understand politics) were in a waiting room which had a photo of Trump on the wall. My niece saw it and in that really loud little kid voice asked "WHY is there a picture of *DONALD TRUMP* on the wall?" well within earshot of all the border patrol people.

* everything was fine, they didn't get hassled beyond the search
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:11 AM on August 19 [20 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Sorry, but let's not continue on with extended debate re antifa and Nazi-punching, etc. It has been argued *a lot* already on the site, is the sort of thing that ends up eating up a ton of threadspace here (which should focus more on news and updates on 45, congress, and related), and probably works better in the Cville thread.]
posted by taz at 6:12 AM on August 19 [9 favorites]


45 absolutely can't see anyone else except as a version of himself, hence all the zero-sum thinking and the mirroring, and why his aims and motivation are so simple. Those who are so different from him that this doesn't work are othered in a flash.

He is living in a world of clones and zombies. No wonder he's so miserable.


Beneath the anger and frustration, the feeling Trump triggers in me is pity. It's just such a sad and small fucking way to live. The whole of human existence is reduced to displays of weakness and strength.

I wonder if he's ever actually been able to experience (let alone appreciate) simple human kindness. I suspect not.

I feel the same way about the Red Pill-ers. It's just fucking sad. Not just in the pathetic sense, but in the "you've taken the most profound aspects of human existence, labelled them weakness, and intentionally excised them from your life, you poor misguided bastards." Toxic masculinity is brutal.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:01 AM on August 19 [62 favorites]


173 TV Station Networks Are Defending Trump’s Indefensible Statements on Race and Nazism -- Are They in Your City?
The Sinclair Broadcasting Group is pushing unabashed propaganda across its 173 stations.
posted by adamvasco at 7:08 AM on August 19 [38 favorites]


I doubt there's much recognizably human in there to be sorry for, just rage and reaction to stimuli.
posted by Artw at 7:08 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Boris Epshteyn openly defending anti-semitism.

I say this a lot, but, he does know how it ends if he's successful at his job right?
posted by Yowser at 7:12 AM on August 19 [7 favorites]




My job is heavy travel, and this is one of the unexpected things I don't like about it: a month or so ago I was in West Virginia a few days before 45 visited there. Now it looks like he'll be in Phoenix the day after I'm there. I'd make a "quit following me" joke, but seriously it's such a pain to get hotel rooms and cars around when his entourage is traveling, plus it brings some of the worst locals out of the woodwork.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:19 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


I doubt there's much recognizably human in there to be sorry for, just rage and reaction to stimuli.

Let's not do that. Let's not deny his humanity. We're not them.

He's not just a monster wearing the face of a man. There's still a person in there, a deeply, probably irretrievably broken person. It's the same with every horror and atrocity that's been visited on this earth. There's a person behind it. One that possessed the capacity (deep within in some cases) for care, compassion, love, and kindness. Who chose this path of horrors instead. That fact doesn't excuse his behavior, I'd argue that it makes his behavior that more subject to condemnation.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:19 AM on August 19 [48 favorites]


These people are stupid and indiscreet. Bannon probably knows everything.

Did he get asked and not tell? If so, is that not obstruction and that is worth 10 years and a $250k fine?

Here's something for your fanfics - Bannon got flipped before day 1 of the Trump admistration and the suits+look he sported was to wear a wire.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:23 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


The Senate has to expel him, and that takes a 2/3 majority. So the Democrats can keep his seat even if he's convicted if they are willing to take the political hit until after Christie is replaced. My assumption is that they will do everything possible to delay until past Christie's use by date. If it comes to it I assume they will refuse to expel him until after a new governor of New Jersey is chosen. That will be politically damaging but may be necessary.

Politically damaging my ass. Christie's a lame duck governor. We now have precedent that lame duck executives can be flatly denied the right to make appointees. Thanks, Obama!
posted by xigxag at 7:29 AM on August 19 [23 favorites]


In sadder news Alex Jones probably wasn't scalded with hot coffee.
posted by Artw at 7:39 AM on August 19


In sadder news Alex Jones probably wasn't scalded with hot coffee.

The link on there to a little write up about the coffee thrower put me at ease because it puts the bizarre cackling in context. Keep Seattle weird and keep insulting Alex Jones
posted by dis_integration at 7:45 AM on August 19


Reading the whole A Jones link, it says a the bottom that it is satire. I was confused all the way down.
posted by puddledork at 7:45 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Fahrenthold reports on his tweeters that Mar-a-Lago holds 21-26 galas per season on average. This year? Nine after seven cancellations.
posted by xyzzy at 7:51 AM on August 19 [18 favorites]


Well, calling the guy a crisis actor and the stunt a false flag is satire I guess? He does very much appear to be an actor.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Every time I lose a bet at a bar (like, about the actor who played the goofy reporter in Tim Burton's Batman or whatever) I'm going to defend my incorrect answer by saying WELL OBVIOUSLY THAT WAS SATIRE.
posted by duffell at 7:55 AM on August 19 [24 favorites]


I'm sad because I feel that article, and the link, played heavily on my desire to see Alex Jones be discredited (definitively! once and for all! finally everyone can see it!) as a fraud and hypocrite.
posted by BentFranklin at 8:06 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


This should make for an excruciating round of Sunday morning punditry: ‘I hope Trump is assassinated’: A Missouri lawmaker faces mounting calls to resign after Facebook comment
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:06 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Posing as a therious sinker.
posted by Oyéah at 8:09 AM on August 19


173 TV Station Networks Are Defending Trump’s Indefensible Statements on Race and Nazism -- Are They in Your City?
The Sinclair Broadcasting Group is pushing unabashed propaganda across its 173 stations.


If you want to find out if you're in one of their regions, here's the Sinclair map, which includes contact information if you want to for complaining. And here's the FCC's page for complaints about broadcast journalism—if you want to submit a complaint ticket, it would have to fall under "indecency" since defending Trump's post-Charlottesville remarks is obscene.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:12 AM on August 19 [18 favorites]


This should make for an excruciating round of Sunday morning punditry: ‘I hope Trump is assassinated’: A Missouri lawmaker faces mounting calls to resign after Facebook comment

That was so profoundly stupid of her. A shame too. I've supported her in past elections, and she otherwise holds pretty good positions.
posted by jedicus at 8:15 AM on August 19 [10 favorites]


Anyone know if there will be any aerial photography of the Boston rallies? I would love to see proof of something like 30,000 lefties and 50 nazis (which is something I have heard but is probably just a rumor since the rallies haven't actually even started yet).

Drones! To the skies!
posted by BentFranklin at 8:19 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Agreed. No good has ever come to anyone who calls for the assassination of a sitting president, in a public broadcast of any kind. Social media, video, regular media--practically everyone who's done this has been excoriated and lost practically all their credibility and frequently their job. People in highly public positions should know better than to do this.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:22 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


This should make for an excruciating round of Sunday morning punditry: ‘I hope Trump is assassinated’

Ironically enough, a certain presidential candidate has lately eroded the norms that used to apply to such outbursts. I hope she refuses to resign.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:27 AM on August 19 [18 favorites]


Anyone know if there will be any aerial photography of the Boston rallies? I would love to see proof of something like 30,000 lefties and 50 nazis (which is something I have heard but is probably just a rumor since the rallies haven't actually even started yet).

The CNN/MSNBC livestream (YouTube) has aerial coverage of the whole march route, heading for the Common.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:28 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


I really don't want to accept Trump norms. I just read about Dana R's opponent in CA calling for an FBI investigation of him, this otherwise perfectly decent Democrat in MO calling for Trump's assassination, and in this very thread lists of tricks the Dems could play if a D Senator gets convicted of corruption.

Thanks, Donald! Thanks for fucking my party up (more), too.
posted by xyzzy at 8:31 AM on August 19 [7 favorites]


CNN: "dozens and dozens of counter-protestors" as hundreds of people walk by.
posted by Yowser at 8:33 AM on August 19 [6 favorites]


Local news says the mayor estimated 15k at this point. There's a very Women's March mood so far.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:36 AM on August 19 [17 favorites]


I really don't want to accept Trump norms.

The norms are already dead. Republicans killed them long before Trump. Either Democrats accept that that landscape has changed, and unilaterally disarming gets them nothing, or they resign themselves to being the token opposition party in a potemkin democracy. Because Republicans will continue their march to a de facto one party state, Trump or no Trump.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:36 AM on August 19 [22 favorites]


CNN:" Dueling Rallies descend"

Fair and Balanced; not just for Fox.
posted by Yowser at 8:41 AM on August 19 [8 favorites]


I can respect not wanting to violate norms out of principle, but then you must accept the consequences of taking the high road. If taking said high road will further entrench us in reactionary authoritarianism, then it's purely a symbolic gesture that makes things demonstrably worse for millions of people. If "playing tricks" prevents millions from losing health care, play the shit outta them.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:42 AM on August 19 [26 favorites]


Pastor Mark Burns on with Joy Reid just said that Trump was right in saying both sides, that he has to be the president for all people, not just one side, unless we want to change our constitution.

So there's that.

I missed the whole thing and just caught this end bit, but based on the faces of Joy and the other guest when I turned it on, his earlier comments were awful as well.
posted by chris24 at 8:45 AM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Oh I have no intention of complaining if our illustrious Minority Leader uses procedural voodoo to keep the Dems somewhat competitive in the Senate. But I will be annoyed as hell that such a thing is even necessary. I mean, how is it not a law in every single state that an appointed Senator must be of the same party of the departing/deceased Senator? Why does NJ have two different clauses addressing this situation that contradict each other? Why did the fucking bill that was introduced to fix this die in legislature? *primal scream*
posted by xyzzy at 8:50 AM on August 19 [10 favorites]


Sarah Kendzior, Fast Company: Steve Bannon May Be A Bigger Asset To Trump Outside The White House Than In It
Now it appears Bannon will return to Breitbart, but don’t think for one second that this is the result of some ideological rift between him and the president. There is no evidence that Trump–who on Tuesday equated neo-Nazis and Klansmen with those who protested them in Charlottesville–was suddenly so full of moral indignation that he fired Bannon, whose racist policies were blatantly promulgated in the White House for over six months and who Trump praised this week.

Instead, the two may very well be working, as they have for a year, in tandem.

[…]

Both Trump and Bannon remain financed by the Mercer family, ultra-conservative mega-donors who funded Trump’s campaign and share their desire to bring down the political establishment. One Mercer family colleague noted how Trump’s regime meshes with their philosophy: “Bob [Mercer] thinks the less government the better. He’s happy if people don’t trust the government. And if the President’s a bozo? He’s fine with that. He wants it to all fall down.” Another colleague notes that Bob Mercer’s fetish for destruction encompasses the belief that nuclear radiation is beneficial to one’s health.
Jesus, that last sentence…
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:54 AM on August 19 [38 favorites]


I don't know how anyone can watch CNN. For so-called experts at live events, they're awful.
posted by Yowser at 9:01 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Another colleague notes that Bob Mercer’s fetish for destruction encompasses the belief that nuclear radiation is beneficial to one’s health.

What the precious bodily fluids FUCK
posted by schadenfrau at 9:02 AM on August 19 [26 favorites]


Jesus, that last sentence…
So it's a Scientology takeover then...?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:02 AM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Bob Mercer’s fetish for destruction encompasses the belief that nuclear radiation is beneficial to one’s health.

A trip to the Chernobyl Medicinal Spa at once for you, Bob! You'll be in glowing health in no time...
posted by Devonian at 9:03 AM on August 19 [13 favorites]


Charlottesville Was a Preview of the Future of the Republican Party
This is the state of the GOP leadership pipeline. In a decade, state legislatures will start filling up with Gamergaters, MRAs, /pol/ posters, Anime Nazis, and Proud Boys. These are, as of now, the only people in their age cohort becoming more active in Republican politics in the Trump era. Everyone else is fleeing. This will be the legacy of Trumpism: It won’t be long before voters who reflexively check the box labeled “Republican” because their parents did, or because they think their property taxes are too high, or because Fox made them scared of terrorism, start electing Pepe racists to Congress.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:03 AM on August 19 [67 favorites]


Wait until you hear about his new philanthropic programme; it'll be (literally) a blast.
posted by acb at 9:04 AM on August 19


>‘I hope Trump is assassinated’: A Missouri lawmaker faces mounting calls to resign after Facebook comment

Wow... lending credence to all the people who want to talk about 'violent leftists'. Not that anybody who wants to talk about that cares about credence, but still--thanks for scoring against your own fucking team, that's just what we need.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:06 AM on August 19 [17 favorites]


> Another colleague notes that Bob Mercer’s fetish for destruction encompasses the belief that nuclear radiation is beneficial to one’s health.
Johnny Wallflower, we seriously need a [real] or [fake] tag here.
posted by runcifex at 9:19 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Kessler deleted his tweet, claims he was hacked.

This got even weirder. Weev took credit for hacking him, but now the claim that he was hacked is gone and has been replaced with tweets saying he repudiates the "heinous tweet" after he mixed benzos and alcohol and "sometimes wake up having done strange things I don't remember."
posted by zachlipton at 9:23 AM on August 19 [10 favorites]


TA-NEHISI COATES: It’s infuriating. I mean, it’s absolutely, absolutely infuriating. I mean, I just want to pick up where you just left off, and that is with Ferguson. And what one has to do to really understand the horror of the situation, you have to try to imagine black people in, say, Ferguson, showing up, some of them with guns, some of them dressed in militia outfits, some of them with shields, some of them with clubs. You have to try to imagine, and then having them brawl in the streets with counterprotesters. And you then have to try to imagine the police doing nothing. And I think that just fails the test. I just don’t think, you know, that there’s enough imagination to perceive that, you know, as a possibility.

I was watching those things in Charlottesville on Saturday, and I was amazed. I mean, I should not be amazed. I mean, it pretty much follows, you know, the basic theory. But it is just amazing to see, you know, the police absolutely do nothing, on the one hand, and then when you see all these other cases—you know, imagine if that was how black folks responded when Eric Garner had been choked to death. Imagine if that was how black folks responded to Tamir Rice, if we came out in guns and militia gear. I mean, does anyone think the police would just sort of stand back like that?
Ta-Nehisi Coates on Democracy Now

posted by standardasparagus at 9:23 AM on August 19 [159 favorites]


Super proud of my hometown today. #BostonStrong
posted by spitbull at 9:24 AM on August 19 [8 favorites]


T.D. Strange: This is the state of the GOP leadership pipeline. In a decade, state legislatures will start filling up with Gamergaters, MRAs, /pol/ posters, Anime Nazis, and Proud Boys. These are, as of now, the only people in their age cohort becoming more active in Republican politics in the Trump era. Everyone else is fleeing. This will be the legacy of Trumpism: It won’t be long before voters who reflexively check the box labeled “Republican” because their parents did, or because they think their property taxes are too high, or because Fox made them scared of terrorism, start electing Pepe racists to Congress.

That's really awful. So much for the future of the Republican Party! It's now irrevocably associated with Nazi-ism, neo-Confederacy, and other white and male supremacy groups.

I've been thinking about the "demographics will save us!" idea that some Democratic pundits and leaders have been tossing around, or at least were until the election. Yes, it's true that younger - meaning "Millennials" however they are defined - generations are much less white, less heterosexual, and less conventionally religious. On the other hand, the stereotype of younger people as more woke, less prejudiced, etc., took a beating when snake people from blue states showed up, torches and all, at a Nazi rally. Our Fyoocher, indeed.

Waiting for old people to die isn't going to cut it. Yes, more older (65+) folks voted Republican, and they are the primary audience for Fox news, but 1) many older people are actual POC and LGBT and other marginalized populations, 2) many older people are Democrats, and 3) we can wait for the oldsters to croak all we want but if the neo-Nazi pipeline is filling up with Gen X and snake people, we're going to have a loooooong wait.

This puts urgency into addressing gerrymandering and getting out the vote for Dems. We need to show up at the damn polls, absolutely every election, especially the local and state not-so-sexy but vital elections.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:24 AM on August 19 [41 favorites]


A trip to the Chernobyl Medicinal Spa at once for you, Bob! You'll be in glowing health in no time...

I don't care if he does it. Consenting adult, etc. Except we all know right wingers are mentally incapable of doing or believing a thing without forcing everyone in the country to do it with them.
posted by ctmf at 9:27 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]


All this blind spiteful undoing of Obama accomplishments - the next president is going to have to create a position just for Obama as Chief of Redoing All That. He can have Ivanka's office.
posted by ctmf at 9:33 AM on August 19 [20 favorites]


Pete Souza can be his admin. assistant.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:44 AM on August 19 [7 favorites]


David Graham, writer for The Atlantic, said that Charlottesville was about protesting against people who tear down statues, proving that his grasp on the way time works is tenuous.
posted by Yowser at 9:49 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


I'm late to the party, but:

I built a fucking machine at Breitbart.

This must have been before he perfected the skill of sucking his own cock.
posted by biogeo at 9:50 AM on August 19 [18 favorites]


Not sure what David Graham was really trying to say, but it was muddled.
posted by Yowser at 9:51 AM on August 19


Huh, Bob Mercer did work at an Air Force weapons laboratory in the late 60s or early 70s. We can assume he learned everything he knows about radiation from some archetype of J. Frank Parnell.
posted by mubba at 9:52 AM on August 19 [8 favorites]


He can have Ivanka's office.

Actually if I was next First Lady I would turn the entire East Wing into this 24/7.
posted by ctmf at 9:53 AM on August 19


"The Office for the Reëstablishment of Democracy and Democratic Norms and diacritical marks"
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:58 AM on August 19 [19 favorites]


Another thread, another drawing, this time of the very recently departed part time goon and fulltime intellectual fraud Steve Bannon, with apologies to Margaret Keane.
As always, thank you and please feel free to share, download, what have you.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:10 AM on August 19 [28 favorites]


So the Daily Stormer is back online. In an interview the man responsible spoke out of both sides of his mouth, claiming that he had no idea what type of content the Stormer posts but also that he was doing it because the controversy would be good publicity for his company.

Fuck him.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 10:15 AM on August 19 [14 favorites]


Another colleague notes that Bob Mercer’s fetish for destruction encompasses the belief that nuclear radiation is beneficial to one’s health.

Can someone please start sending him radium water?
posted by leotrotsky at 10:18 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


> "The Office for the Reëstablishment of Democracy and Democratic Norms and diacritical marks"
This is very New Yorkeresque.
posted by runcifex at 10:29 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


I hope Trump is assassinated

She's just calling for a Second Amendment solution like Trump did. According to Republicans that qualifies her for becoming president.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:32 AM on August 19 [57 favorites]


Guardian: Reader's Poems for Trump's America
posted by porn in the woods at 10:38 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


FBI and DHS Warned of Growing Threat From White Supremacists Months Ago
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in May warned that white supremacist groups had already carried out more attacks than any other domestic extremist group over the past 16 years and were likely to carry out more attacks over the next year, according to an intelligence bulletin obtained by Foreign Policy.
...
The FBI, on the other hand, has already concluded that white supremacists, including neo-Nazi supporters and members of the Ku Klux Klan, are in fact responsible for the lion’s share of violent attacks among domestic extremist groups. White supremacists “were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016 … more than any other domestic extremist movement,” reads the joint intelligence bulletin.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:39 AM on August 19 [55 favorites]


Johnny Wallflower, we seriously need a [real] or [fake] tag here.

It's sort of real. Second-hand anonymous claim in the New Yorker.
Another onetime senior employee at Renaissance recalls hearing Mercer downplay the dangers posed by nuclear war. Mercer, speaking of the atomic bombs that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, argued that, outside of the immediate blast zones, the radiation actually made Japanese citizens healthier. The National Academy of Sciences has found no evidence to support this notion. Nevertheless, according to the onetime employee, Mercer, who is a proponent of nuclear power, “was very excited about the idea, and felt that it meant nuclear accidents weren’t such a big deal.”
posted by Coventry at 10:54 AM on August 19 [11 favorites]


Here's a link to that interview that Chris24 mentioned above. The stunned looks on Joy Reid and AR Bernard's faces are perfect.
posted by vespabelle at 11:09 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Y'all, this is my cousin at the Boston counter-rally. I'm super-proud. (For anybody who doesn't live in the northeast or pay attention to baseball, it's the NY Yankees baseball team.)
posted by theora55 at 11:10 AM on August 19 [22 favorites]


It's sort of real.

Could have sworn I read something about it in Devil's Bargain too, but I can't find it now.
posted by Coventry at 11:10 AM on August 19


Looked at a dollar coin, saw Rutherford B Hayes on one side. Gasped at the implications, looked up the Presidential $1 Coin Program and found out the last president honored was Ronald Reagan. Further, the program was limited to honoring deceased former presidents. Congress would need to approve minting coins to honor other former presidents, alive or dead.

Hopefully this means that my fears of a Trump coin won't happen.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:11 AM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Hopefully this means that my fears of a Trump coin won't happen.

There should be Trump coins, but they should all be counterfeits, made of cheap alloys covered in gold spraypaint.
posted by acb at 11:15 AM on August 19 [27 favorites]


There should be Trump coins, but they should all be counterfeits, made of cheap alloys covered in gold spraypaint.

Necco wafers.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:18 AM on August 19 [14 favorites]


Trump coins would be made of rancid lard, painted with cheap fake gold.
posted by theora55 at 11:20 AM on August 19 [7 favorites]


Minted from melted down Robert E. Lee statues, coated with orange fake tan spray.
posted by BentFranklin at 11:23 AM on August 19 [28 favorites]


Rubles with a $ sign written in white out on them
posted by PenDevil at 11:36 AM on August 19 [23 favorites]


Tru-M-P Coins!

Only the strongest, best males on these True Male Power Coins! See Klan Male (camera pans to a coin of a frog mouthed bellowing face barely hidden beneath a too small Klan hood), Alternatively Powered Male (camera pans to a coin with a life-passed-him-by mid-20's face and the new Nazi haircut), and The-Only-Half-Of-The-Second-Amendment Male (camera pans to a coin depicting a a man in Raybans, covered in Tacti-cool garbage gear carrying a similarly over-bedecked assault rifle)!

Collect the whole set today!
posted by Slackermagee at 11:37 AM on August 19 [5 favorites]


Like she was supposedly a drain on society because she was childless so obviously she must have had several abortions. The values of Nazis are really strange.

I've read far too much about white supremacist movements in the past week... one thing they consistently emphasize is that women are useful for breeding only. Those weird slogans they have about futures for white babies - it's because they are hyper focused on populating the earth with their spawn. It's true that MRAs often become white supremacists, but it's also true that treating women as breeding animals has been core to white supremacy for hundreds of years.

I wonder sometimes if we could have taken some air out of the sails of this generation of white supremacists if we'd given them consequences when they started as Gamergators stalking women and trans people.
posted by SakuraK at 11:39 AM on August 19 [80 favorites]


>There should be Trump coins, but they should all be counterfeits, made of cheap alloys covered in gold spraypaint.

>Necco wafers.

Nah, we should just switch to using Circus Peanuts as currency. No spray paint needed; they're already exactly the right color.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:39 AM on August 19 [10 favorites]


Prediction: the Bureau of Engraving strikes a deal and while there will be no Trump coins, there will be a specially printed set of Garbage Pail Kids cards featuring the Trump Administration.
posted by duffell at 11:40 AM on August 19 [11 favorites]


"Garbage Pail Kids cards featuring the Trump Administration."
That's where I know Steve Bannon from! Thank you so much--that's really been bugging me.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:47 AM on August 19 [34 favorites]




Counter-protesters in Boston turned out in overwhelming numbers, and apparently the smattering of Nazis who planned to speak left without any speeches given.

Pretty much when I expected of Boston, but very, very proud of New England all the same.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:58 AM on August 19 [67 favorites]


And, as expected, the papers are focused solidly on the biffo.

Watching the CNN live stream showing streets filled with thousands of peaceful marchers while the talking head in charge kept on about "duelling rallies" and "hundreds" of counter-protestors, was also about exactly as galling as I thought it would be beforehand.
posted by flabdablet at 12:20 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Lovely photos in the Guardian of terrible violent left wing types face down in ziptie handcuffs. And plenty of pearl-clutching reportage for both-sidesists to chew on.

Fuck knows how bad the spin will be on Faux and Breinfart.

Those of you with unfortunate uncles on Facebook are in for another rough ride, I should think.
posted by flabdablet at 12:25 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Watching the CNN live stream showing streets filled with thousands of peaceful marchers while the talking head in charge kept on about "duelling rallies" and "hundreds" of counter-protestors, was also about exactly as galling as I thought it would be beforehand.

But the lawless counter-protestors littering and jaywalking. [fake]
posted by ctmf at 12:49 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Pretty much exactly like the inauguration coverage, with 75 journalists standing around 8-10 antifa-types burning one trashcan, while 500k+ marched peacefully the next day.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:04 PM on August 19 [20 favorites]


My favorite thing from the march footage so far.

@Mikel_Jollett
THIS is how you protest.
#TubasNotTorches

posted by Crystalinne at 1:06 PM on August 19 [21 favorites]


We arrived at the Common around 10:45, and the crowd was just starting to build. The heat and humidity got the better of my wife, so we left around 12:30 just as the marchers started streaming into the Common. ALL of the Nazis fit on the gazebo where they were set up to speak. Twenty minutes later, they gave up and slunk away under police protection and escaped in police vans.
posted by briank at 1:12 PM on August 19 [67 favorites]


My father used to take me on a lot of marches when I was a kid, but the first protest I attended on my own was in 1987 in DC, under the banner of "Mobilization for Justice & Peace in Central America & Southern Africa". This protest attracted all kinds of people, given the broad range of issues. I kind of wandered around and fell in with an anti-nuclear group called No Business As Usual. I don't know if anyone remembers this group, but they were to the left of your typical liberal demonstration attendee, and were best known at the time for their "die-ins".

In any event, I learned a lot of things from them that day, but the most valuable thing one of the older members impressed upon 15-year-old me: everyone has a part to play. Some people stay home but call their congressfolks, some people take part in a human shield between the marchers and reactionaries, some people peacefully march, some people distract the police, some people make performance art out of it, and so forth. He emphasised that not everyone agreed with the die-ins, just as they didn't agree with singing happy songs, but that was fine - we all wanted the same things, and our energy was better spent using our own praxis towards our common goal than brow-beating allies on their own praxis.

In my experience since this has proven absolutely true. When a common enemy has to deal with multiple fronts, they are more likely to be torn apart, and multiple praxes is also more inclusive, which increases your numbers. There's no definitive way to resist, in other words, and the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:26 PM on August 19 [120 favorites]


looked up the Presidential $1 Coin Program and found out the last president honored was Ronald Reagan

Why does LBJ's coin look like Bill O'Reilly?
posted by kirkaracha at 1:28 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


This tweet was posted, then immediately deleted, then re-posted an hour later without the spelling corrected [is it even a typo??????? Commence "heel" jokes]. This is real.

@realDonaldTrump
Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heel, & we will heel, & be stronger than ever before!

posted by Rust Moranis at 1:38 PM on August 19 [23 favorites]


We have another Trump tweet:
Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heel, & we will heel, & be stronger than ever before!

Worse yet, he tweeted it a few minutes ago, deleted it, corrected "decade to decades," and tweeted it again, leaving HEEL.
posted by zachlipton at 1:39 PM on August 19 [39 favorites]


I learned a lot of things from them that day, but the most valuable thing one of the older members impressed upon 15-year-old me: everyone has a part to play. . . . our energy was better spent using our own praxis towards our common goal than brow-beating allies on their own praxis.

I love that that's what you retain from the late, great No Business as Usual!
posted by mississippi at 1:39 PM on August 19


With regards to #TubasNotTorches, this is a local tradition. Boston (Somerville) has a fabulous festival called Honk! ("Reclaim the streets for horns and feet!"). It is a gathering of activist street bands and it is THE BEST. There are actually now several similar Honk festivals (Austin, San Francisco). I got to attend as a member of the Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble twice when I lived in Montreal. CIE accompanied many a protest and gay wedding there.
posted by tingting at 1:41 PM on August 19 [20 favorites]


Mark Burns has got some scary dead fish psychopath eyes!
posted by KateViolet at 1:42 PM on August 19


hmmmm @realdonaldtrump "I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!"

is that you, Ivanka? It's too late for the Trump brand.
posted by lalex at 1:44 PM on August 19 [23 favorites]


Worse yet, he tweeted it a few minutes ago, deleted it, corrected "decade to decades," and tweeted it again, leaving HEEL.

I've been spending too much time dog-training. I thought he meant, "bring the country to heel."
posted by suelac at 1:45 PM on August 19 [23 favorites]


Is it just me, or are we getting real close to "One people, one government, one leader" territory?
posted by Sphinx at 1:53 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


We are not heeling, as a nation, we never have.
posted by Oyéah at 1:56 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


Is it just me, or are we getting real close to "One people, one government, one leader" territory?

It was February 28th.

We are one people with one destiny

We all bleed the same blood

We all salute the same flag

And we are all made by the same God.

posted by Rust Moranis at 1:57 PM on August 19 [8 favorites]


hmmmm @realdonaldtrump "I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!"

n.b. He still won't use the word "Nazi" or the term "white supremacy". Until then, he could just as well be referring to "one folk, one realm" when he talks about coming together. The ambiguity is nothing if not intentional.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:00 PM on August 19 [13 favorites]


The last couple of days have been so intense, it is only now I got to read Southern Comfort by James M. McPherson, linked in a previous thread. I strongly recommend reading this ASAP, specially if you are dealing with racist uncles or teaching young people or you are a living person in the 21st century.
One quote:
The Confederate vice-president, Alexander H. Stephens, had said in a speech at Savannah on March 21, 1861, that slavery was “the immediate cause of the late rupture and the present revolution” of Southern independence. The United States, said Stephens, had been founded in 1776 on the false idea that all men are created equal. The Confederacy, by contrast,

is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based on this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.3
But there is so much more in that essay, well documented and plainly written. It's a bit long, but go there.
posted by mumimor at 2:00 PM on August 19 [39 favorites]


I have it on good authority, God bought Trump at a garage sale, with no guarantee, no returns. God said, "This is not my handiwork, I thought my nephew might like him for damning practice."
posted by Oyéah at 2:03 PM on August 19 [10 favorites]


‪The ambiguity is nothing if not intentional.

I bet he thinks it's super fucking clever.
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


In case Trump wasn't signalling exactly which side he was on regarding Boston regarding that "many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate" remark, he also tweeted "Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston. Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you."
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:05 PM on August 19 [8 favorites]


Guess he's come down on one side of the "are the police pro-fascist?" Argument.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


I can't believe Trump misspelled heil twice.
posted by perhapses at 2:24 PM on August 19 [74 favorites]


I've seen a few friends of friends on Facebook wondering about the prevalence of left-wing violence compared to right-wing violence, with some people even claiming the left is more violent and cherry-picking a bunch of news reports to support their claims. This report seems like it might be a good resource for dispelling misconceptions: Charlottesville underscores how homegrown hate is going unchecked
posted by shponglespore at 2:25 PM on August 19 [17 favorites]


Twitter: ian bremmer

My dearest Clara,

Morale is low. The men miss their videogames and we are badly outnumbered. However we must press on...

posted by porn in the woods at 2:32 PM on August 19 [93 favorites]


Twitter: ian bremmer

do click through for the photo
posted by lalex at 2:36 PM on August 19 [29 favorites]


The Mormon Church Condemned White Supremacists, and This Mormon White Supremacist Mom Is Very Mad About It (Slate)

She also wants to repeal voting rights for women. I know this shit has been going on for far longer than I've been alive, but the casually open bigotry is new for me.
posted by SakuraK at 2:38 PM on August 19 [20 favorites]


It needs saying that the massively successful counter-protest in Boston today was due mainly to the efforts of Black Lives Matter. The Cambridge and Boston chapters, with support from BLM National, worked really hard to pull this thing together.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:39 PM on August 19 [95 favorites]


I've seen a few friends of friends on Facebook wondering about the prevalence of left-wing violence compared to right-wing violence,

Right ring wing extremists killed 106 people between 2001 and 2016 (comparable to 119 by Islamist extremists.) Left wing extremists killed zero.

Not that left wing violence is impossible. Mao, Stalin, right now Maduro... But in America in the 21st century, it's not a thing.
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:39 PM on August 19 [38 favorites]


Greetings Metafilter! I have returned from the Boston counter protest, sunburned and a little bruised but otherwise not much worse for the wear. We had a lot of fun, yelled some horrible things at some Nazis, and then got roughed up by the cops a little for good measure. (Two friends and I stumbled over the exit the Nazis were using, just as they were being escorted out in paddy wagons. Somewhere north of 200 police officers in full body armor set up a wedge to force an opening big enough for cars, and the crowd didn't move fast enough for them. I was somehow in the front row to make the acquaintance of an unsmiling man with a baton)

By most accounts, counter protesters outnumbered nazis 200 to 1. I've seen estimates as high as 1000 to 1--50 protesters and 45+K counterprotesters. They turned tail and fled in the back of police vehicles before they even turned on the PA system. Boston straight up scared the shit out of these chucklefucks. I've rarely been prouder of my town.
posted by Mayor West at 2:41 PM on August 19 [190 favorites]


That photo wins the Internet today.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:41 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


The Mormon Church Condemned White Supremacists, and This Mormon White Supremacist Mom Is Very Mad About It

"LDS libs" now I've heard everything.
posted by rhizome at 2:43 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


I love that dirty water.
posted by spitbull at 2:49 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


n.b. He still won't use the word "Nazi" or the term "white supremacy".
I'm looking forward to that moment when he declares that "nazi" and "white supremacy" aren't magic words that will just defeat them forever.
posted by xyzzy at 2:50 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Exhilarating video (Twitter, sorry) really shows the scale of Boston's protest vs. the tiny band of Nazis.
posted by spitbull at 2:51 PM on August 19 [14 favorites]


Take note of silence from your conservative friends on social media.
If they had an opinion about Ferguson
If they had an opinion about freeway protests
If they had an opinion about Kaepernick
If they had an opinion about the marches the day after the inauguration
But they've been oddly silent since Charlottesville
Then you know where they stand. And it's nowhere good.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:51 PM on August 19 [80 favorites]


"There is no evidence that Trump–who on Tuesday equated neo-Nazis and Klansmen with those who protested them in Charlottesville–was suddenly so full of moral indignation that he fired Bannon, whose racist policies were blatantly promulgated in the White House for over six months and who Trump praised this week."

I think this analysis -- which I'm seeing frequently today -- is badly mistaken in two related respects.

It's absolutely correct that this doesn't reflect a move away from the white supremacist right by Trump -- but it's correct for the wrong reasons. Not that there's not a schism between Trump and Bannon, but it's not ideological. It's personal.

The chief evidence for this is that Breitbart has been attacking McMaster and Kelley and the other less-crazy people around Trump for awhile now and it's not them who've been fired. Also, Bannon has always been leaking to his own advantage and to Trump's detriment (when it served Bannon's personal interests), he likes to insinuate that he's pulling Trump's strings, he's arrogant as fuck, and he's not the type to be subservient.

I think Trump has admired but also felt threatened by Bannon all along, and Bannon hasn't actually done a good job managing that. Also, Bannon really is deeply ideological while Trump is more a bigoted asshole with less ideology than demagoguery.

I think Bannon would much prefer to be inside than out; and while Bannon is devious and sly, Trump is definitely not capable of two-dimensional chess, much less six, and much less in secret cooperation with someone else.

Trump would prefer Bannon and Flynn over Kelley and McMaster, that's the politics he will continue to prefer, but Breitbart will continue to criticize any moderation perceived in the administration, and implicitly Trump, now with Bannon's explicit imprintur, and this will annoy Trump.

Trump doesn't play well with others, and Bannon's departure is another example of this. But it absolutely won't mean any moderation in Trump.

Basically, I think Trump's going to bitterly feud with everyone he doesn't transform into a dignity wraith. This development is much better news than if Kelley or McMaster left because Trump's going to become more isolated rather than less.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:53 PM on August 19 [10 favorites]


My conservative social-media-friends are a lot of things, but silent is not one of those things.
posted by ctmf at 2:55 PM on August 19 [8 favorites]


From DonaldJTrump.com:
I’d Love for You to Join Me

I had my team put together a contest for you and a friend to fly out, join me for an incredible rally, and have our photo taken together.

Our rallies are truly something special. There’s no other energy like it.

Contribute now and you could join me at one of our HUGE rallies!
Always looking for ways to fleece people. Just like during his first campaign there are boxes you can check to make your donation of $35.00 up to $2,700 into a monthly donation.

I'm really surprised he hasn't started auctioning off memorabilia from the WH yet. "Own this hand towel that was used on AirForce One."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:00 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


I marched somewhere in the middle of the crowd, ran up some stairs midway and could not see either end, a four lane road & sidewalks totally filled with calm patient protesters with a huge variety of signs. 40k is probably a low estimate, it just kept growing in density. Festive, serious in message but generally calm.

There were a few folks wearing bandannas the entire day, I wandered over to a group of 20 or so and got no real answer to why they were wearing the mask, they seemed all pretty young with misplaced idealism.

The police plan was pretty good but downtown Boston is just small and dense and it's really hard to avoid a choke point without totally shutting down the entire city, the original protesters probably saw a feed of the truly immense crowd approaching and decided to bail early off schedule and didn't give the officials enough time to clear a path.
posted by sammyo at 3:01 PM on August 19 [15 favorites]


So the white supremacists were trolling with posters like "Black Lives Do Matter," don't get tripped up if some idiot falls for stupid nazi tricks.
posted by Yowser at 3:03 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


I think Trump fears Bannon for some reason. The exit was notable for its lack of attendant bananapants tweeting.

I say that with full cognizance of Trump's declining, ah, mental, decline. Which is sad. Whatever that fear may be it's likely entirely unspoken now whereas just a few years ago he'd have worked up some riff about it. Hell, just six months ago he'd have burbled up some subconscious distress yodeling.

And now just silence. Scowly-pouting at his wig in the mirror.
posted by petebest at 3:10 PM on August 19 [7 favorites]


It needs saying that the massively successful counter-protest in Boston today was due mainly to the efforts of Black Lives Matter. The Cambridge and Boston chapters, with support from BLM National, worked really hard to pull this thing together.
I marched with a couple of friends and some Crone Islanders in the BLM procession from Roxbury to The Boston Common and it was a fantastic party -- super positive, diverse, and lit with music ("We Shall Overcome", "Senzenina"). It felt really good to be part of that united crowd and for all of it to be peaceful.

There was a lot of talk on our social media networks the night before about whether it was going to be safe or not. Most of know about the city's earlier bussing riots and it's other problematic racist baggage. We all had doubts, and a lot of people chose not to attend because they didn't feel it would be safe, and none of us could blame them.

Honestly and weirdly, I think the first thing that made me feel safe were actually the cops. There was heavy police presence at Roxbury, and more importantly, the cops were in regular uniforms. No armor. No shields. No battle gear. They were there to watch and route crowds. They also had blocked off the parade route a block deep. And I feel terrible in thinking it, but that at least gave me some confidence that a car-ram would get shot by a cop before it got to a crowd.

But then after that it was just the usual scene. We've been doing this for six months now. There are familiar faces. Boston Metro's not that big of a city. Women's March, CAIR Rally, March for Science, the last BLM march, and then the one before that -- enough of us have shown up. We know the chants. We know the claps. It's a nice morning and BLM picked a pretty part of the city for us to march through, with Puerto Rican and Haitian flags poking out of apartment buildings to show that our neighbors were on our side.

We were expecting a riot. We got a party, and that's all to the good.
posted by bl1nk at 3:17 PM on August 19 [87 favorites]


@DustinGiebel: This photo is going around claiming violent Antifa had boards with nails in Boston. It's from a Dover 2015 protest.

Commenters are pointing out that the people in the photo are dressed for cold weather... and in Boston today it was 80F.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:18 PM on August 19 [14 favorites]


My small handful of conservative fb friends apparently feel that chiding reminders about the importance of free speech is the important thing to do right now, rather than USING their own personal free speech to loudly condemn white supremacists and give public, unequivocal support for their targets. I can't decide if I find this more or less awful than if they had just stayed silent.

Why do they think everybody needs a lecture on "The First Amendment: A Comprehensive Review" every time this shit happens? I haven't had time to forget about the First Amendment since the last time they opted to remind me it exists rather than put it to action themselves. And I'm deeply ashamed at myself, because this has opened my eyes to quiet bigotries in a few casual friends that I didn't even realize were present, because the topics that would have exposed them never previously came up. They should have come up. I will be proactive about bringing them up in the future.
posted by Ornate Rocksnail at 3:27 PM on August 19 [40 favorites]


Why do they think everybody needs a lecture on "The First Amendment: A Comprehensive Review" every time this shit happens?

Because it's a safe position to take, and conservatives also live in Bizarro World where the status quo of the white cis male is the *real* marginalized party because SJWs run the country now and all.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:31 PM on August 19 [28 favorites]


Right ring wing extremists killed 106 people between 2001 and 2016 (comparable to 119 by Islamist extremists.) Left wing extremists killed zero.

You gotta count 9/11. Move the start date to 1995 & you can include Oklahoma City but the number's still severely unbalanced against Islamists. It's not enough to sound good, it has to be true.
posted by scalefree at 3:31 PM on August 19 [9 favorites]


and also, as a friend that I marched with said, "Boston's the kind of city that has problems talking about love, unity, or peace, but if you want us to come out and yell at a bunch of idiots with one week's notice, then we will show the fuck up."
posted by bl1nk at 3:36 PM on August 19 [121 favorites]


We were expecting a riot. We got a party, and that's all to the good.

This!!!

Wish we'd had a mifi meetup in the middle. (although any meeting would have been a challenge, I kept my cell off mostly the circuits must have been slow). Really can not express being in the middle of a crowd of nice polite folks that stretched further than the eye could see in either direction!
posted by sammyo at 3:38 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


Why do they think everybody needs a lecture on "The First Amendment: A Comprehensive Review" every time this shit happens?

Apparently we also need to focus on building bridges. Why would anyone want to build bridges to nazis?
posted by snofoam at 3:38 PM on August 19 [12 favorites]


You have to wonder if the Nazis are like Allan from Freaks and Geeks and are just dicks cuz we never invited them to come to a Drag Brunch with us.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:40 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Why would anyone want to build bridges to nazis?

Well it's a lot easier than rowing across the river with the Nazi wolf, the Nazi chicken and the Nazi corn.
posted by mightygodking at 3:41 PM on August 19 [58 favorites]


the Nazi chicken

Worst disco craze ever
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:43 PM on August 19 [57 favorites]


I went to the Boston counterprotest for a couple of hours mid-afternoon, and am just now getting home. The energy was good, and there were a lot of people-- the radio said maybe 30,000 counterprotestors and 50 or so Nazi types. Despite fewer numbers, the common was about as full as it was during the Womens' March, because people weren't also spread out marching.

Many, many signs. The person next to me on the T on the way over was carrying a sign, as was I, so we started talking, and it turned out, completely coincidentally, that she is presently enrolled at the small liberal arts college my wife and I both went to, which is several states away. She had come up for the occasion. It was nice to have somebody there to have my back, since none of my family could make it.

We had been worried on the train about how things would go, but there were thorough barricades and we basically couldn't even see the actual Nazi types, let alone physically interact with them. Every so often one of them would break out a Confederate flag or something like that, at which point the police would immediately confiscate it. One of them got perp-walked away while I was there, but I didn't see what for. The police presence was huge and generally polite to us counterprotestors. I have to say, the sirens that bike cops use are among the silliest things I have heard in quite a while.

There was one dude wandering around shouting about how he wanted to [insert violence and sexual profanity] Trump and Trump's children, but everybody he came near was shouting at him to just shut up and go home. I couldn't tell his ethnicity beyond 'not white', but he was also wearing a hat with the Washington Racists' logo-- I mean their real logo-- and the crowd was not having with that either. So it was uncomfortable when he wandered by, but the crowd very clearly was not on his side and was not going to let him harass any individual people.

The most intense things got is that somebody set fire to a swastika flag, I think with a blowtorch. It burned very hot and fast, to intense cheers, and produced a lot of smoke, but I think it had gone out entirely by the time the cops arrived-- it had clearly been timed for when the bike patrol was circling around the other end of the Common. At any rate, I don't believe anyone was arrested in connection with that.

I am proud of my city today. A lot of people in the crowd were worried about violence, I was worried about violence, my train-met friend was worried, and that worry was explicitly why we had to be there. Because no. We refuse to give up when things get scary.

It was a good counterprotest.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 3:44 PM on August 19 [91 favorites]


A friend of mine posted my favorite of the many signs I saw from Boston: DISQUALIFIED
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:52 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Commenters are pointing out that the people in the photo are dressed for cold weather... and in Boston today it was 80F.

From the comments:

Rob#NotMyPresident @rhiles2760
People wearing jackets in Boston in August. Is it that cold there today?

Dinky @Dinky2112
There was a flurry of about 30 snowflakes.

Bwahahahahahaha!
posted by Autumnheart at 3:52 PM on August 19 [89 favorites]


After Charlottesville, Republicans remain stymied about what to do about Trump (Dan Balz, WaPo):
It’s clear that, as of now, many Republicans — lawmakers, leaders and strategists — have reached a pair of uncomfortable conclusions. First, whatever they and a majority of the public believe about the repugnancy of the president’s comments, they believe Trump was duly elected as president on the Republican ticket and that he retains a deeply loyal following within the party. They are reluctant to go against that Trump base.

Second, however personally upset they are by Trump’s remarks, many lawmakers believe they must maintain a working relationship with the president if they are to accomplish their legislative goals — including tax reform and even a health-care overhaul.

...

A GOP strategist working campaigns in red and purple states said that while support for Trump generally declined slightly since Charlottesville, support rose among his base, after a decline last month because of the failure on health care and revelations about the Russia investigation.

...

One strategist said he had just seen the numbers from a survey in a battleground state and that the president’s approval among GOP primary voters stood at a still-impressive 85 percent. For elected officials, political survival remains paramount, and they are reluctant to get crosswise with that base.

He added that Republican elected officials “either have to feel punished or be punished” before they will break significantly with the president. “There has to be some sense that there is a price to be paid for this,” he said.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:04 PM on August 19 [13 favorites]


We went to a black-organized march today that was located in a neighborhood near our local Google, but not overtly connecting itself to that (as far as I've heard, none of those whiners showed up there after "postponing" their little hissy fit). A few hundred folks there. The whole thing was an amazing effort pulled off in an insanely short turn-around. I hope all the organizers get some sleep tonight because I'm pretty sure they've been getting none.

On our way to the march we drove nearish Google and came across a group of wobblies who looked like they were deployed to monitor the roads running from Google to the black communities adjacent. I think the only people at Google were counter-protesters and antifa (some armed) anyway. There was a helicopter circling the entire area all afternoon.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:11 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


How can you tell when it's Trump writing his tweets? He misspells a word you learned in 3rd grade.
posted by scalefree at 4:16 PM on August 19 [13 favorites]




You gotta count 9/11

That was 16 years ago. At the time there was reason to fear it would be an ongoing threat, that attacks like that might become common in the future. The point of the GAO report isbthr they have not. Over the entire lifetime if kids who are now in high school, the threat level from right wing extremists has been just as bad as the threat level from Islamist.

And if you have got to include 9/11, why not go back further and include lynch mobs... or the civil war? Integrated over the whole history of the US, white supremacists are undoubtedly the bigger threat.

(I wish we could know how many innocent Muslim civilians n other countries have been needlessly killed by American white supremacists under cover of military action, because that feels to me like it should count in this moral calculus too, but of course we will never know. Those deaths cannot be separated from the genuine accidents caught in the crossfire.)

The right wing makes a big deal of the ongoing threat from Islamist extremists... But they themselves are just as big a threat.

And when they make a point of the supposed threat from left wing extremists, it is just too, too ironic.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:20 PM on August 19 [36 favorites]


Hey rhizome, there are a lot of very progressive folks in the LDS community! The Mormons I know are universally smart, caring, and would completely fit in with the anti-racist, feminist, LGBT pride, disability rights march of your choice. Not the majority, not yet, but times are a-changing all over the place.
posted by Andrhia at 4:23 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


That was 16 years ago.

Either you count 9/11 or you change the start date to 2002 & explain why.
posted by scalefree at 4:26 PM on August 19 [10 favorites]


OnceUponATime, the original quote was Right ring wing extremists killed 106 people between 2001 and 2016. 9/11 happened in 2001, so should have been included.
posted by bakerybob at 4:28 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


Police commissioner estimated 40,000 pro-democracy demonstrators in Boston. On Boylston, as the angry crowd awaited the Nazis coming out in prisoner-transport wagons ("Make them walk!" people yelled), some self-professed libertarian who'd wrapped himself in a "Don't Tread on Us" flag got into an argument with somebody else about the nature of democracy or something. Looked pretty certain he was about to get a beatdown, but just then a contingent of Veterans for Peace arrived, moved up front and started chanting "No violence! No violence!" and that seemed to calm everybody down, at least until the armored cops arrived and the Nazi-bearing wagons slowly drove out. The Nazis pulled out so early that they were gone from the bandstand by the time most of the marchers from Roxbury arrived.
posted by adamg at 4:30 PM on August 19 [20 favorites]


Either you count 9/11 or you change the start date to 2002 & explain why.

Again, the point of the report is to assess the threat SINCE 9/11. Take it up with the GAO if you have a problem with that, but I can't really can't understand why you would. No one has forgotten 9/11.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:30 PM on August 19 [19 favorites]


I think "since 9/11" is the whole point of the totaling. How has 9/11 changed our minds and made us focus too much on the wrong thing. And, looking at the pdf (which ended its count mid-2016), the Islamic extremist terrorism wouldn't have eked out its higher numbers (119 to 106) if it weren't for the last event on the list; 49 deaths in Orlando.
Not that it shouldn't be counted, but just saying the list happened to stop at a time to include the largest Islamic extremist death toll.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:31 PM on August 19 [11 favorites]


The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in May warned that white supremacist groups had already carried out more attacks than any other domestic extremist group over the past 16 years

Who could have forseen they would fly Donny Johnny Umptray into the White House?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:31 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


On re-reading the feedback I realize people have a problem with the way I cited the dates and not with the dates the GAO chose to look at. I admit that could have clearer. I guess I figured it was self evident that 9/11 was not included, but perhaps I should have made that explicit.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:37 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heel, & we will heel, & be stronger than ever before!


Sure hope it's as simple as a misspelling and not some dog whistle reference to a curb stomp à la American History X [Warning: extremely graphic and soul-stealing scene]

Insane either way.
posted by HyperBlue at 4:51 PM on August 19


He added that Republican elected officials “either have to feel punished or be punished” before they will break significantly with the president. “There has to be some sense that there is a price to be paid for this,” he said.

Indeed.

It's just a little slimy, it's still good! It's still good!
posted by petebest at 4:52 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


The moral cowardice on display in that WaPo article ("After Charlottesville, Republicans remain stymied about what to do about Trump") is fucking astounding. These slabs of shit don't even pretend to care about anything other than holding on to power. They continue to speak as if accusations of racism in the GOP are just political mudslinging from the left, after their electorate voted overwhelmingly for a brazen racist, and after they continue to support him overwhelmingly even as he makes it clearer every day that he's on the side of fucking white supremacists. And they speak of Charlottesville in purely political terms, without the slightest concern for the millions of PoC (and others) whose safety and place in society suddenly seem less secure than ever.

Fuck them. There isn't a scrap of the GOP that's worth salvaging. If you stand idly by while your country and party are consumed by literal fascism, because you don't think it would be politically expedient to stick your head out, then you are a fucking collaborator. Take your "grave concerns" and shove them up your fucking ass.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:56 PM on August 19 [77 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heel, & we will heel, & be stronger than ever before!


I fear for the sole of the nation.
posted by nubs at 4:57 PM on August 19 [138 favorites]


White supremacists who celebrated the death of Heather Heyer are holding a rally in Vancouver, BC tomorrow. Wish us luck with the counterprotest.

I think Vancouver did okay. A friend of mine who was present spotted a total of four "free speech" protesters, including one guy apparently caught on video surreptitiously removing a Nazi pin . The winning CBC reckons four thousand counter-protesters and "several" protesters. Looks like a street party.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:01 PM on August 19 [12 favorites]


Wait wait wait. Perhaps it's a reference to wrestling! Nah. He's not that clever.
posted by thebrokedown at 5:02 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


He means y'all better heel like a dog on a leash.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:02 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


To me, 9/11 was the greatest FAILURE of terrorism in history. They sent two airliners into buildings not known for their structural integrity (read about the construction of the WTC; they were perfect targets), containing 50,000-100,000 people in their offices (the variation is based on the attack occurring before everyone had arrived for work) and when it was all over, they had killed 3000 including almost 200 rescue workers who went INTO the buildings after the attacks. Oh, that also included those at the Pentagon, considered, by comparison, one of the hardest least-vulnerable targets and the one plane that went down in an empty field. If the Twin Towers hadn't been built to be easily demolished, the death toll would've been not much more than McVeigh's in OKC. A little study and I personally concluded that Al Queda wasn't competent enough to be a true terrorist threat.

Then again, comparing the toll from the London Bridge and Barcelona car-based attacks and the one in Charlotteville, the American Nazis aren't much better. MeFites are still far more likely to die from cancer or heart disease (I'm currently under treatment for the latter so that contributes to my anecdotal perspective). And much more likely to do so if a Republican "Health Care" Plan is implemented. The true Terrorists are the ones some of us have elected.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:05 PM on August 19 [10 favorites]


Right ring wing extremists killed 106 people between 2001 and 2016 (comparable to 119 by Islamist extremists.) Left wing extremists killed zero.

Not that left wing violence is impossible. Mao, Stalin, right now Maduro... But in America in the 21st century, it's not a thing.


Micah Johnson, a black man, killed 5 police officers in 2016 because he was angry about police killing black people. Considering the popularity of BLM with people on the left, and the popularity of "blue lives matter" as a slogan on the right, I think you have to squint pretty hard to see his actions as something other than politically motivated violence from someone on the left.

The article I linked makes it clear that right-wing violence is vastly more common and more deadly than left-wing violence. The facts are on our side no matter how they're spun. We gain nothing by refusing the acknowledge violent acts that many people justifiably ascribe to the left.
posted by shponglespore at 5:06 PM on August 19 [16 favorites]


Super proud of my hometown today. #BostonStrong

Yay Boston!

Having spent some time in your beautiful city the other year, I love the spirit of that place and stand beside y'all 100%.

(because I'm on the other side of the world, if anybody could grab a pastrami sandwich from Michael's deli at Cooldige Corner or some bagels from Kupel's on Harvard Avenue, then please enjoy them on my behalf)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:07 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Recommended future protest sign:
AMERICA WILL HEAL
BECAUSE WE WON'T
HEEL TO YOU

posted by oneswellfoop at 5:09 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


I fear for the sole of the nation.

we need to be instep with one another - until we all enjoy life, nike, and the pursuit of adidas
posted by pyramid termite at 5:15 PM on August 19 [8 favorites]


That song from the Vancouver counter-protest is actually kind of catchy... I'd love to know what it is.
posted by Yowser at 5:16 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Thats perfect but Id suggest only ital-ing "heal" and "heel"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:17 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]



we need to be instep with one another - until we all enjoy life, nike, and the pursuit of adidas


One pronation under Scholl
posted by nubs at 5:20 PM on August 19 [16 favorites]


Recommended future protest sign:
AMERICA WILL HEAL
BECAUSE WE WON'T
HEEL TO YOU


Clever, but I really don't think they'd get it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:20 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


On re-reading the feedback I realize people have a problem with the way I cited the dates and not with the dates the GAO chose to look at. I admit that could have clearer. I guess I figured it was self evident that 9/11 was not included, but perhaps I should have made that explicit.

The thing that made me jumpy about it was that yesterday somebody posted it to a FB thread but they decided to cut a corner by moving the start date to 2004. Naturally he was called out & didn't have a good answer. I agree it works best if you explicitly state that 9/11 was an outlier.

Sorry if I came across a bit snippy.
posted by scalefree at 5:22 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Toe the line, nubs. Toe the line.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:23 PM on August 19


(because I'm on the other side of the world, if anybody could grab a pastrami sandwich from Michael's deli at Cooldige Corner or some bagels from Kupel's on Harvard Avenue, then please enjoy them on my behalf)

Oh dear lord the poppyseed rolls at Kupel's.
posted by scalefree at 5:28 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Oh dear lord the poppyseed rolls at Kupel's.

I forgot those. *drools*
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:33 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Apologies if this was mentioned upthread. The white supremacists/alt-right are trying to spin the Boston rally into an event that seems to somehow be progressive, and "a ha"—the foolish "alt-left" suppressed their right to free speech. Here are a few of the alt-right/neo nazi placards from inside the rotunda in Boston. Slogans include "Black lives do matter", "No to GMO's: Stop Monsanto", and "Real Jobs, Real Health, Real Education". This was supposedly staged after their pathetic attempt of a rally, a pre planned response in the event of failure (which is inevitable). More examples of this spin can be seen here [twitter].
posted by standardasparagus at 5:38 PM on August 19 [8 favorites]


There are actually now several similar Honk festivals (Austin, San Francisco).

...Is there one in New York City? Because boogieing along behind a marching band is the way I want to spend my next protest. (For one anti-Iraq war march I teamed up with three college students to form a choir and sing Edwin Starr's "War (What Is It Good For)").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:48 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


You gotta count 9/11.

If you are counting 9/11 with the left I have to take issue with that, for many obvious reasons. To begin with, the left is for fighting terrorism too, just not with more terror.

Not to mention those were foreigners attacking America, not domestic terrorists.
posted by BentFranklin at 5:56 PM on August 19 [12 favorites]


Those "progressive" rally signs are for shiva4senatea
"shock candidate"
posted by stagewhisper at 5:56 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


I don't get the "Black lives do matter" poster... It's a good development that they're saying that, no? What's the downside?
posted by Coventry at 5:58 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]




There's a thing on Breitbart that says that Bannon's exit means Obama's third term and I was looking at it just---??? ??? !! ???? !!

I bring this up because I have been obsessed with the divergence of news streams since I read about it in The New Yorker as something of predictive value in terms of civil war or no. (They surveyed a bunch of historians and put the chances of civil war at only 35%, think of it this way, it means a 65% chance we'll endure as a nation to face the perils of climate change, plague, and nuclear proliferation!

But seriously, it took me way too long to figure out what that headline meant, and then I was way too surprised by the meaning when I did.
posted by angrycat at 6:04 PM on August 19


Micah Johnson, a black man, killed 5 police officers in 2016 because he was angry about police killing black people. Considering the popularity of BLM with people on the left, and the popularity of "blue lives matter" as a slogan on the right, I think you have to squint pretty hard to see his actions as something other than politically motivated violence from someone on the left.

Sure. But then we count an American citizen shooting up a gay Mexican dance club as violence from the right by very similar arguments. It is also perfectly reasonable to leave cases out that are harder to fit comfortably on the American political spectrum of left vs. right. There's always stuff that's going to be a judgement call.
posted by Zalzidrax at 6:05 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


I don't get the "Black lives do matter" poster..

Because it's trolling to try to make the left look bad. They announced that they're holding a rally with notorious right wing cranks speaking to bring out 40,000+ counter protesters and then show up and wave Black Lives Matter signs. It's creating the narrative that the left will shut down perfectly reasonable points of view.
posted by Candleman at 6:08 PM on August 19 [8 favorites]


But seriously, it took me way too long to figure out what that headline meant

I think I saw a quote from Breitbart, on the day the resignation or firing happened, to the effect that this means that there is now a "Democratic White House". So this seems to be the message they have settled on.
posted by thelonius at 6:08 PM on August 19


The thing with the Breitbart criticisms is he's going on to say he likes trump but claims the influence of others (like Obama, etc) has overtaken his presidency. Other outlets are only picking up on the first part of his claims that the trump presidency is finished without the extra qualifier. Now, I don't care if other media outlets (and the internet) is misinterpreting Bannon's garbage, but I do wonder if he intentionally is slanting that way because he knows what the focus will be on.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:08 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


The last couple of days have been so intense, it is only now I got to read Southern Comfort

That's funny, the last couple of months have been so intense I've been drinking Southern Comfort.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:10 PM on August 19 [23 favorites]


It's creating the narrative that the left will shut down perfectly reasonable points of view.

Yeah... This isn't anywhere near as effective as they seem to think. I'm pretty sure most people will not get it.
posted by greermahoney at 6:16 PM on August 19 [12 favorites]


Artw:
Israeli Minister: Relations with Trump Are More Important than Calling out Nazis


I think this says a lot about international politics in the era of Trump. Ayoub Kara is a Druse, a member of an ethno-religious group mostly located around the border regions of Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. Historically, the Druse survived by the Swiss model of being very tough fighters who kept to themselves up in the mountains. Nowadays that model doesn't work as well, so they are very careful to position themselves as loyal ethnic minorities within the various states in which they abide. E.g., Lebanese Druse are patriotically incensed against the "Zionist Entity"; Israeli ones serve (voluntarily) in the IDF; Syrian ones used to go on about how fantastic Assad was - I'm not sure what they do now. They did all this while maintaining strong familial and economic ties with each other, which is quite impressive.

Right now the three-state balance is collapsing and the Druse ate threatened as they haven't been for centuries. Israeli Druse are of course threatened to the extent Israel is threatened, but all of the Druse communities are vulnerable to Iran's plan to make a great Shi'ite crescent across the Middle East. Iran is more-or-less backed by Russia, and the only real obstacle it faces is the fact that Israel is theoretically backed by the USA. From Israel's perspective, it's really important that this (mostly-unwritten) understanding not be questioned, because who knows whether and to what extent the US would actually support Israel.

It isn't just Israel that has apparently adopted a no-criticism policy. There are lots of vulnerable countries that might be expected to have thoughts on the rise of the alt-Right in the USA, but we haven't heard from most of them and I don't expect we will. Trump is a vengeful idiot and literally millions of lives are at stake. It would be incredibly irresponsible for Israel or Finland or Ukraine or any other vulnerable country to risk losing the implicit assurance of US support.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:22 PM on August 19 [20 favorites]


Netanyahu spent the last four years masquerading as a Republican tea party Senator from the 51st red state of Israel, there's no reason to expect anything different from the Israeli government than say, Tom Cotton or Mike Lee. They went all in on hating Obama and Democrats, and now that their party is in the White House, they're behind him no matter what, and that includes his endorsement of Nazis. Go back to 2011 and explain that sentence to someone. 2017, where even Israel has a hard time condemning Nazism!
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:34 PM on August 19 [36 favorites]


> while support for Trump generally declined slightly since Charlottesville, support rose among his base, after a decline last month because of the failure on health care and revelations about the Russia investigation.
This is how civil wars would typically start.
posted by runcifex at 6:41 PM on August 19 [7 favorites]


It isn't just Israel that has apparently adopted a no-criticism policy.

uh, let me go ahead and post the full insane quote from Ayoub Kara, which goes well beyond trying not to ruffle feathers because a no-criticism policy is safer for Israel:
“Due to the terrific relations with the US, we need to put the declarations about the Nazis in the proper proportion,” Kara said. “We need to condemn antisemitism and any trace of Nazism, and I will do what I can as a minister to stop its spread. But Trump is the best US leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the prime minister of Israel are wonderful, and after enduring the terrible years of Obama, Trump is the unquestioned leader of the free world, and we must not accept anyone harming him.”

Kara praised Trump for having “a proven track record in opposing antisemitism and religious extremism.”
posted by lalex at 6:42 PM on August 19 [39 favorites]


Imagine if America declared war on the nazis. Sympathising and collaboration were treason with dire consequences for the guilty. Hundreds of thousands of anti-fascists were armed and sent to confront nazis. Yes, there would be violence on both sides.
posted by adept256 at 6:50 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


Remember, the alt-right/Trumpist/Liars have been complaining that Donald's ineffectiveness was because of interference from establishment/Democratic/goodpeople in the "Deep State". With "the Generals" in most of the powerful jobs, they can easily claim that "the Deep State has won and is now controlling the White House". The only political effect this will have is to threaten that the elected Republicans will lose support from "the base" but splitting the GOP is most likely to make the midterm Democratic wave tsunami-size, so I welcome Bannon's tack for the NotTooBrightbart.

And speaking of splits, putting Mercer money supporting different Republicans than Koch money in the primaries could reduce the war chests available when it's time to fight the Democrats. And this can only help to keep the GoldmanSachs money away from all the Republicans, helping the Ds without them having to make promises to the bankers...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:52 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


The Hill: New animated sitcom would chronicle crime-fighting Biden and Obama

When your fanfiction daydreams come true.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:55 PM on August 19 [17 favorites]


You're placing the moral burden of condemning Trump on people who didn't elect him but are highly vulnerable to his vindictive response. And you're not even distributing the burden equally: it's the Jewish State that has failed to denounce antisemitism in a way that satisfies you, not (e.g.) Poland or Ukraine or the Baltic states.

There is one country that has the moral duty of condemning Trump, and it's not Israel.

There are several countries with an historic responsibility for Nazism that might impose a moral duty to condemn its resurgence, but again: not Israel.

You're demanding that Israel take a stronger stand against Trump because of its vulnerability to antisemitism. You want its victims to be a good moral example to the feckless, racist, indolent mob in the USA. Can you not see how wrong this is?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:06 PM on August 19 [10 favorites]


Sure. But then we count an American citizen shooting up a gay Mexican dance club as violence from the right by very similar arguments. It is also perfectly reasonable to leave cases out that are harder to fit comfortably on the American political spectrum of left vs. right. There's always stuff that's going to be a judgement call.

Oh FFS. I assume you're talking about the Pulse massacre. It wasn't a Mexican club, and the shooter was a Muslim who claimed allegiance to ISIS.

But anyway, it's beside the point. The existence of widespread lethal violence from right-wing extremists is not in dispute. The conclusion is the same regardless of whether you claim the Pulse massacre as a right-wing incident, and saying it is just makes you sound silly, because nobody actually believes that. OTOH, lots of people consider the Dallas incident to be an example of left-wing violence. Saying (or implying) that it's not will just come off as disingenuous to those people.

You can argue that left-wing violence is relatively rare, or that it's rarely lethal, and you'd be absolutely correct. You could even argue that it's justified. But you cannot claim with any credibility that it doesn't exist, because it obviously does, and it obviously has a lot of support. Just look at all the videos of Richard Spencer getting punched.
posted by shponglespore at 7:07 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


I know it's Ben Wittes' usual Twitter tease and all but what the heel hell, its late on a Saturday night, perfect time for a beer and a shot.

Sweet dreams.
posted by spitbull at 7:08 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Hey guys, just got back from our week at the beach. I sure hope nothing has happened in the news since last Friday!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:09 PM on August 19 [18 favorites]


Is Ben Wittes' little cannon canon?
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:13 PM on August 19


If a Wittes' cannon is canon, is this a Bannon canon cannon or have we decided as a community that we're bannin' cannon?
posted by Freon at 7:16 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


This isn't anywhere near as effective as they seem to think. I'm pretty sure most people will not get it.

I think you're underestimating the media savvy of parts of the right wing propagandists. The "liberals suppress the good people too!" narrative spreads like wildfire in my parents' circles. I got many forwards of stuff like this until I finally blocked them.
posted by Candleman at 7:17 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Rick Wilson has also teased something coming in 2 weeks, but I don't trust him anymore.
posted by lalex at 7:17 PM on August 19


Wilson said his sources told him the President's post-Charlottesville numbers were "apocalyptic" when, so far, if anything they've improved. Obviously that could be the fault of his sources rather than he himself but it still doesn't inspire confidence.
posted by Justinian at 7:21 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


Apparently not satire:
Kennedy Center thanks Trump for 'gesture' of not attending annual honors
The chairman and president of the Kennedy Center said they were “grateful for this gesture” after it was announced President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump would not attend the Kennedy Center Honors in December.

“The Kennedy Center respects the decision made today by the office of the president of the United States,” chairman David M. Rubenstein and president Deborah F. Rutter said in a joint statement.

“In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities, the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees. We are grateful for this gesture," they said.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:41 PM on August 19 [90 favorites]


and "a ha"—the foolish "alt-left" suppressed their right to free speech.

Doesn't make much sense to say anyone suppressed their right to free speech when they had a stage, a PA, a police protection zone around them, an audience of 40,000, and all the media coverage including aerial shots, but then they left without speaking.
posted by ctmf at 7:45 PM on August 19 [54 favorites]


I mean, Jesus, what does 'not suppressed' even look like, do I have to move your mouth for you?
posted by ctmf at 7:47 PM on August 19 [21 favorites]


Just had to unfriend a FB person because she posted this long rant about how Trump is great, his kids are smart, and his wife is beautiful and no other POTUS in history is as attacked as much as Trump. his kids and his wife. This is the core of Trump's support. They're never gonna change. We elected a black man and now all must be fixed because of it.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:47 PM on August 19 [25 favorites]


You're demanding that Israel take a stronger stand against Trump because of its vulnerability to antisemitism.

As far as I can tell no one here is demanding anything, but it's not out of bounds to point out that Kara's quoted remarks are ridiculous, ridiculous enough that, as the article points out, other members of the Israeli government are condemning it.
posted by lalex at 7:51 PM on August 19 [13 favorites]


"Freedom of the Press Is Guaranteed Only to Those Who Own One"
In the Internet Age, it's more like "...Those Who Own a Domain", since, as noted here "If you're not paying for it, you're the product being sold."

But in another aspect, "Freedom of Speech usually only belongs to the loudest voice (or loudest amplifier)"

But I'm firmly of the belief that the First Amendment is abused as frequently as the Second, and often resulting in as much death and injury. Nothing like a few years working in the Mass Media to cure a belief in Free Speech Absolutism. (And anybody who isn't cured is either an idiot or playing to an audience of idiots)
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:59 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Doesn't make much sense to say anyone suppressed their right to free speech when they had a stage, a PA, a police protection zone around them, an audience of 40,000, and all the media coverage including aerial shots, but then they left without speaking.
well, actually, they did maybe one or two speeches and then walked off. A friend who was not present but trying to observe the Free Speech folks via Periscope said she listened to their speeches and they were reasonable sounding in the way that the James Damore's Anti Diversity Memo was reasonable sounding or "It's All About Ethics in Free Expression Journalism"

and they were surrounded by a crowd booing and chanting over their words. It's a bit disingenuous for me to interpret your exercise of free speech as your ability to move your meat lips and make sounds come out, if I also do my utmost best to drown out your sounds before they can be heard by their audience.

Not that I'm saying that they're at all in the right, but I think their complaints about having their free speech curtailed are somewhat merited. I just don't privilege their right to a free podium over any of our rights to feel safe in our own country.
posted by bl1nk at 7:59 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


No, their complaints have no merit. Free speech is not a one way street.

But these are people who see themselves as the only oppressed minority in the country so facts are useless against them anyway.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:05 PM on August 19 [18 favorites]


That's edging pretty close into demanding not that I let you speak, but that I DON'T speak back. They had a PA, no? Your friend could hear them? I'm not seeing the curtailment.
posted by ctmf at 8:08 PM on August 19 [25 favorites]


Their free speech was in no way curtailed in the slightest. They were allowed to assemble and were not punished by the government for what they said. Free speech does not mean "Nobody can disagree with me" or "People have to listen to what I say".

They expected attention and kudos and they didn't get them. They did get a taste of what it feels like to be overwhelmingly outnumbered by people who hate your guts and are standing only feet away. Good. I hope that feeling keeps them awake at night. That's exactly the feeling they want us to have, so I hope they got a good fucking dose of their own medicine.

It also bears remembering that it matters what these people wanted to say. To paraphrase the dude who rebutted the Google memo, not all ideas have merit and deserve a platform. Moreover, speech has consequences, protected by the Constitution or not. Just because you don't end up in jail doesn't mean 20,000 people will not show up to personally give you the finger and call you an asshole. They should be grateful that the left has a greater respect for the rule of law than they do.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:14 PM on August 19 [80 favorites]


1.) I have no obligation regarding free speech, I'm not the government.

2.) If 25,000 people sing to each other to avoid hearing me, that's not a constitutional issue.

(ETA: 3.) The government did their job re: free speech very well, imo.)
posted by Horkus at 8:15 PM on August 19 [27 favorites]


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

At what point did the government curtail the free speech rights of the white supremacists? They were allowed to have their event, they were protected by the police, they had a PA. Just because other people are also using their free speech rights at the same time doesn't mean that anyone's rights were infringed upon.
posted by Weeping_angel at 8:16 PM on August 19 [17 favorites]


standing only feet away.

More like 300 feet. Boston Police had a pretty large perimeter around the bandstand where they were.
posted by adamg at 8:18 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


The fact that the counter-protestors were kept so far away was more deference than the Nazis deserved, in my opinion. Yes, separate the sides for the sake of public order, but if you can only muster a gazebo of racists then you don't get to take over the whole area.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:19 PM on August 19 [15 favorites]


It's a bit disingenuous for me to interpret your exercise of free speech as your ability to move your meat lips and make sounds come out, if I also do my utmost best to drown out your sounds before they can be heard by their audience.

Wow that's just shockingly goddamned stupid. Freedom of speech doesn't mean "a right to an audience" or "a right to be heard". The city of Boston met their obligations regarding freedom of speech; those obligations apply to government, not to individuals or private entities.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:21 PM on August 19 [35 favorites]


Incidentally, neither Google nor DuckDuckGo found any earlier example of "gazebo of racists" used on the Web. So at long last I have contributed something to the English language.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:22 PM on August 19 [133 favorites]


this tweet with an image from The Sound of Music - "After today's hate rally in Boston, I think it's safe to assume Nazis love gazebos." - reminds me that I forgot to tell y'all when months ago I figured out that Sean Spicer is actually Rolf the Nazi.
posted by lalex at 8:25 PM on August 19 [9 favorites]


The question is, would you want the SI unit of racists to be small, so that you'd have to measure much larger gatherings in Megagazebos, or large so that this would only be like, a milliRepublicanParty of racists?
posted by ctmf at 8:26 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


please y'all witness this terrifying scene from the gazebo
posted by lalex at 8:27 PM on August 19 [23 favorites]


obviously, I'm doing a poor job of proxying for this argument, so I'm taking this moment to get some rest after a long day.
posted by bl1nk at 8:28 PM on August 19


TIL "gazebo" is the collective noun for Nazis.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:34 PM on August 19 [31 favorites]


Ah, there's the problem. Proxy for "someone else's" argument rarely goes well on MetaFilter.
posted by ctmf at 8:35 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


That argument doesn't need proxying. Too many people already don't know what "freedom of speech" actually means. There's no reason to perpetuate the lie by arguing falsely that the racists' rights were curtailed.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:36 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


TIL "gazebo" is the collective noun for Nazis.

I shoot the gazebo with my crossbow.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:39 PM on August 19 [47 favorites]


You have angered the gazebo. It eats the Nazis.
posted by The otter lady at 8:40 PM on August 19 [83 favorites]


That right there is a deep cut otter lady.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:43 PM on August 19 [12 favorites]


why would anyone want to build A bridge to nazis?
Building bridges to Nazis was a key part of winning WW2
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:57 PM on August 19 [7 favorites]


Just had to unfriend a FB person because she posted this long rant about how [...] no other POTUS in history is as attacked as much as Trump.

Suggested reading.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:00 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


So, I was in Boston. Some thoughts in no particular order:

- We attended one of the Black Lives Matter hosted non violent resistance trainings the week before the rally. A lot of middle-aged white ladies were there. Many got visibly nervous as the legal trainer went into intimate detail about what happens when you get arrested, what with the holding cell and the $40 cash and waiting potentially all weekend for bail - but they did show up. Maybe that's progress.

- We got there early and noted the huge, criss-crossing network of fences set up by Boston Police around the bandstand and the common. I was at the May 13th “Free Speech Rally,” and that was far less controlled: just a line of police on the road between the bandstand and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. This time, the BPD created a huge no man’s land around the bandstand, with a protected corridor leading to it. The bigots were essentially caged in for their own protection. The May 13th Free Speech rally had perhaps 150 attendees, who actually outnumbered the counter-protesters, who were at that time mostly Antifa. (Here's one of the "peaceful" alt-right ralliers I videotaped from that go-round).This version appeared vastly more poorly attended by the "free speech" side. I’ve heard the total turn-out for the “free speech” side was a whopping 48 people. You’ve likely seen the photographs of the dismal turnout for the “alt-right” side. As a friend : “How do you fill up a bandstand? Boston didn’t find out today.”

- The counter-protest grew and grew from 10:00 AM onwards, and had pretty much devolved into a large, rowdy summer block party by 11:00 AM. A huge swath of Boston humanity was represented, from some weird shirtless white guy doing one-handed pushups and growling FIGHT ME in the general direction of the Nazis to glittery pink drag queens to bandanna-wearing Antifa to a large and very discordant array of musical instruments and speakers blasting mid-2000s pop-punk music (for some reason). The Nazis served as hard-to-see entertainment - not that we could hear them, and I’m pretty sure they couldn’t hear us, beyond a distant, threatening roar. Perhaps this emboldened them. As an unnamed Boston police source said to the New York Daily News: “To tell you the truth, I think they were too stupid to be scared.”

- There were some skirmishes when a very small number of foolhardy MAGA’s and Trump supporters wandered the crowd attempting to rile people up, but rally marshals and Black Lives Matter did a good job of crowd control. I saw one skinhead looking guy on the ground after apparently being punched, while a counter-protesting black woman defended him and told other people not to attack anyone. People who were angling for a fight didn’t get one, although there was a lot shouting and anger at the white supremacists.

- I found myself running with my phone with a large group of people who were following a group of alt-righters (one wrapped in a Gadsen flag) who were being escorted out of the park on the road between the hill and the bandstand by police. People followed after them shouting “SHAME,” and eventually everyone broke into a run as we neared the edge of the park and the road, including the police. The police eventually hustled one of the alt-righters, who was wrapped in an American flag, into a paddy wagon - presumably for his own protection. Police were in riot gear with billy clubs and batons, despite Marty Walsh claiming Boston police don't use riot gear (or something along those lines). The police presence was huge and intimidating, and definitely had a very different vibe than the Women's March or the earlier "Free Speech Rally."

- The alt-righters/Nazis/what-have-you all left after only 40 (I think, I'm not great at estimating time) minutes, roughly at the same time as the wave of thousands of protesters from Roxbury showed up at the Commons. They did not walk out of the park: they apparently were loaded into paddy-wagons. A huge group of people waited at the exit where they’d be coming out at Tremont Street, chanting “Make them walk!” I saw and shot video of a black man getting knocked over and arrested - I overhead that he’d pushed a cop from people who saw what happened, but I didn’t witness this myself.

- After the alt-righters had scurried off (metaphorically) and we had had a few drinks with friends, we were walking back to the T when I saw a large group of police on Temple Street. The police were wearing full riot gear, as they had before when the alt-righters were extracted from the park, but this time, they had gas masks on. People were understandably growing nervous about this, afraid that Temple street would be kettled and that we'd all get tear-gassed. We eventually walked down Temple Street, where we saw a group of mostly non-white protesters, a line of police with billy clubs, and BPD Superintendent in Chief William Gross, who was hanging behind the line of cops. I spoke with and photographed a kid who’d been pepper-sprayed earlier by police in the initial clash, as had a number of other people - there was a lot of spilled milk lining the street, which people had brought with them expecting something like this to happen. I believe some people had been arrested before we made it there. People were shouting at the police: “It’s your job to protect us!” and “These are our streets!”

Gross eventually came forward and started talking to the crowd about how he understood how we were feeling and "just wanted everything to stay calm." He was complimentary: “You should be proud of yourselves, you all did this the right way.” He described how Martin Luther King spoke at the same bandstand back in the 1960s. “I’m sorry, I didn’t bring enough doughnuts for everyone,” he joked. One woman who’d previously been shouting at the police ended up hugging him. He was still glad-handing when we left, about 30 minutes later. Well, I guess the man has charisma.
posted by faineg at 9:11 PM on August 19 [86 favorites]


[Couple deleted. I'm a little unclear on exactly what argument is happening here, but we can probably have it without blanket statements that all lefties are "wussies," and probably with slightly more clear explication of points, if there are points to be made here, rather than glancing allusions.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:13 PM on August 19 [11 favorites]


Were there houseplants at this Gazebo Of Racists?
posted by halifix at 9:16 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Counter-protesters in Boston turned out in overwhelming numbers, and apparently the smattering of Nazis who planned to speak left without any speeches given.

I am so happy and relieved that Boston went so well! Just delighted. Seeing those images of the huge crowds surrounding that ridiculous gazebo of Nazis made my day.
posted by rue72 at 9:18 PM on August 19 [7 favorites]


I shoot the gazebo with my crossbow.

Regular or Game of Thrones style crossbow?
posted by Artw at 9:18 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


I used to be a gazebo like you, then I took an arrow in the knee steps.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:20 PM on August 19 [18 favorites]


The ravenous gazebo full of racists has made my evening.
posted by faineg at 9:24 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Could someone ease my pain by letting my in on the reference? All I can find about gazebos is what I already knew: bulbous bouffants, macadamias, etc.
posted by SakuraK at 9:25 PM on August 19 [9 favorites]


Thank you for going out there faineg. Seeing peaceful, organized resistance in such great numbers and on such short notice really gives me hope.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:27 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


I'm not certain whence came the pic of an idiot "confederate" getting the finger, but a few tweeters did a Ken Burns with it.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:29 PM on August 19 [14 favorites]


Right now I'm imagining future counter-protests, where people drown out white supremacist rallies by standing grimly and chanting "SHAME", led by the GoT shame nun.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:30 PM on August 19 [2 favorites]


Could someone ease my pain by letting my in on the reference? All I can find about gazebos is what I already knew: bulbous bouffants, macadamias, etc.

The few neo-Nazis at the Boston protests today somehow got themselves "trapped" in a gazebo, surrounded by people who believe equality is a fundamental human right and American value vicious and terrifying leftists.
posted by lalex at 9:30 PM on August 19 [8 favorites]


Now "gazebo full of racists" is the alt-right's "binders full of women".
posted by Autumnheart at 9:32 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


The deep cut is Eric and the Dread Gazebo.
posted by Freon at 9:36 PM on August 19 [14 favorites]


The gazebo reference.
posted by Candleman at 9:37 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


The gazebo references are also referencing an old D&D tale about a player who'd never heard of a gazebo before, so when the DM describes the characters as being near a gazebo, the player assumes its a monster and tries to attack it. Eventually DM gets annoyed at the dudes thickness and kills the player character with the now rabid gazebo.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:38 PM on August 19 [46 favorites]


Just had to unfriend a FB person because she posted this long rant about how Trump is great, his kids are smart, and his wife is beautiful

maybe this wasn't your friend's underlying meaning but at this point the constant talk on the right about how Melania is so beautiful and classy is just a total dogwhistle for me.
posted by lalex at 9:38 PM on August 19 [38 favorites]


I was personally worried that the houseplants of the Gazebo Of Racists may have been forcefully watered with Nazi tears
posted by halifix at 9:41 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Northern Lite: I'm not certain whence came the pic of an idiot "confederate" getting the finger, but a few tweeters did a Ken Burns with it.

It was a picture taken Tuesday or Wednesday in Charlottesville in front of the Lee Statue. The guy was a confederate-loving dude who took pains to let the media know he was a Confederate-Flag-Lover, but he was not a Nazi or a White Supremacist (he seemed to think that nuance would be respected, remembered, and believed), and he came to register his support for keeping the statue of a great hero. I think he was from North Carolina. He was treated to a stream of folks in groupings of 1, 2, or 3 who came to remonstrate with him, invite him to leave, curse at him, scream, reject his ideology, point out that he couldn't divorce himself from the Nazis, and treat him to a symphony of birds and double birds while he tried to play sentry and not react to the onslaught. I think he lasted at least 90 minutes.
posted by julen at 9:42 PM on August 19 [10 favorites]


Hahaha fake D&D there's no such thing as a Neutral Paladin :) Thanks to all who filled in my cultural gaps.
posted by SakuraK at 9:49 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Charlottesville organizers ask you to take these 8 actions (Solidarity C'Ville, Medium)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:01 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Hanging out in gazebos and waving tiki torches - the nazis hold the worst garden parties.
posted by dazed_one at 10:01 PM on August 19 [15 favorites]


One MAGA-hat wearer was arrested on gun charges on Boylston Street after getting into an argument with a counter protester. He also had a bulletproof vest on.
posted by adamg at 10:03 PM on August 19 [5 favorites]


Hahaha fake D&D there's no such thing as a Neutral Paladin

Now there is.
posted by Jalliah at 10:03 PM on August 19 [4 favorites]


Hahaha fake D&D there's no such thing as a Neutral Paladin

Google "paramander."

In D&D it's ALWAYS A THING. It doesn't matter what "it" is. It's a thing.
posted by mightygodking at 10:06 PM on August 19 [28 favorites]



I've been breaking down in fits of giggles for the past hour. I'm actually working on a D&D one- shot that has a gazebo in it. It is a take on that classic story. Now I'm imagining how I could put racists in the gazebo and have it make narrative sense. I'll figure out a way because waiting to see if my players pick up on not one but two cultural references would be amusing.
posted by Jalliah at 10:09 PM on August 19 [10 favorites]


mightygodking: "Google "paramander."

In D&D it's ALWAYS A THING. It doesn't matter what "it" is. It's a thing.
"

Or the multiple other alignment paladins introduced way back in Dragon #106 (Feb '86).
posted by Chrysostom at 10:15 PM on August 19 [6 favorites]


gazebo of racists

A failure of racists.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:24 PM on August 19 [15 favorites]


Ayoub Kara, which goes well beyond trying not to ruffle feathers because a no-criticism policy is safer for Israel:

That statement isn't just 'no criticism', it's beautifully engineered. It's designed to stroke every bit of Trump's ego.

He reads that, it'll justify everything he thinks about lugenpresse, etc.

Credit where due, their foreign policy in this is phenomenal.
posted by mikelieman at 10:31 PM on August 19


A cowarding of Nazis is what I saw on Twitter earlier

Also how fireproof are gazebos from tiki oil spills?
posted by mrzarquon at 10:32 PM on August 19 [3 favorites]


Take note of silence from your conservative friends on social media.
If they had an opinion about Ferguson
If they had an opinion about freeway protests
If they had an opinion about Kaepernick
If they had an opinion about the marches the day after the inauguration
But they've been oddly silent since Charlottesville
Then you know where they stand. And it's nowhere good.


I have had my faith in distant friends pleasantly reaffirmed, actually. One, in particular, who I know canvassed for Romney in 2012 ( posted about the need to respect the president who had been elected no matter how personally disappointed she was by the result). She'd not said anything about politics on Facebook in this election season or since. What I know about her integrity led me to believe that she couldn't possibly be a Trump supporter, but I did not know whether she was a loyal enough Republican to have voted for him anyway. I was too afraid to ask in private where she stood. After Charlottesville, she posted. Firmly against the march. In some detail about her own family history, with regard to the civil war and slavery. It was a great relief not to go through the personal disillusionment that I've seen so many experience these past two years.
posted by bardophile at 11:28 PM on August 19 [9 favorites]




That song from the Vancouver counter-protest is actually kind of catchy... I'd love to know what it is.

Yowser, I think it's Carnival Band.

Here is YouTube of them at the rally.

It is, indeed, catchy.
posted by chapps at 12:08 AM on August 20


Worst rap since Blondie, sadly.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:26 AM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Boston Police had a pretty large perimeter around the bandstand where they were.

You know, I know people (not you) are giving them shit for this, but it's kind of the police's job to stop violence. I think it was the smart move to keep them separate, to make it easier to prevent any altercations, especially after Charlottesville.
posted by corb at 12:29 AM on August 20 [26 favorites]


Hey rhizome, there are a lot of very progressive folks in the LDS community! The Mormons I know are universally smart, caring, and would completely fit in with the anti-racist, feminist, LGBT pride, disability rights march of your choice. Not the majority, not yet, but times are a-changing all over the place.
If they're still giving 10% of their income to the church, i don't give a shit what they do in their personal lives -- they aren't progressive. They're complicit in evil generally and white supremacy specifically.
posted by adrienneleigh at 1:09 AM on August 20 [18 favorites]


I don't know if we are still doing birthday wishes, but mine is a week from today and I'll be off camping all week. My birthday wish is that Trump resigns and then Mueller ends up building a case strong enough that he and all his cronies spend the rest of their days in prison. It's a big ask, but why not? Weirder things have been happening.
posted by gofargogo at 1:57 AM on August 20 [11 favorites]


Homo neanderthalensis: "The gazebo references are also referencing an old D&D tale about a player who'd never heard of a gazebo before, so when the DM describes the characters as being near a gazebo, the player assumes its a monster and tries to attack it. Eventually DM gets annoyed at the dudes thickness and kills the player character with the now rabid gazebo."

Considering that in AD&D you can get eaten by statues, armour, furniture, walls, floors, ceilings, bridges, stalactites, stalagmites, rocks, water, mushrooms, sand, flowers, tumbleweed, trees, tree stumps, coins, and swords; the guy who insisted on attacking the gazebo might actually have been the only sane person in the room.
posted by Mitheral at 2:26 AM on August 20 [45 favorites]


In England, “gazeboed” is in moderately common usage as a synonym for “very drunk”. (It originated, apparently, in a comedy routine where the comedian made the case that any noun in (British) English could be turned into an adjective for extreme inebriation, and asked the audience for one, getting “gazebo” and replying with something like “I got thoroughly gazeboed last night”)
posted by acb at 3:24 AM on August 20 [11 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, nothing that cool will happen for at least 4 years. The most we can hope for is Ted Nugent performing "Der Ring Des Niebelung"
posted by ambulocetus at 3:45 AM on August 20


So the DNC fundraising is in the toilet for July, scoring a record low in fundraising for the period in 10 years. It's previously set record low fundraising in April, May, and June. Progressives in the donor class aren't responding to Tom Perez because he isn't Ellison and the centrist donors aren't responding to Tom Perez because he's too progressive. Meanwhile, the Dems spent a metric fuckton of money on loser races that had no chance of succeeding as a signal of resistance. The DNC is in debt while the RNC carries a surplus.

This is disastrous.
posted by xyzzy at 4:39 AM on August 20 [43 favorites]


We need Ellison and Dean to take the reins, and quick. Obama needed to do a better job as the face of the party, too.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:42 AM on August 20 [9 favorites]


....The DNC has been trying to do fundraising?

I'm a registered Democrat and I haven't heard a THING about that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:43 AM on August 20 [35 favorites]


I suspect it has a lot to do with some high profile races earlier in the year. Five of them in the three months prior to July. That may have soaked up a lot of donor cash prior to July.

Also, many of the progressives I know are simply shifting to donate directly to specific campaigns (or through aggregators like ActBlue), so the donations are happening, but they're just not using DNC as the middleman/broker for their donations.

Of course, the reason for doing this is because of dissatisfaction with the DNC, but that's been growing for years.

It's week 30 of 208 of the Trumpocalypse. Trump continues to damage himself and the Republican brand. We're still here and more energized than ever.

Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Assuming we don't all die, that is.
posted by darkstar at 4:54 AM on August 20 [25 favorites]


They also got a free ride in city vehicles.

The last ride I got in a city vehicle cost me $800 for a .2 mile ride to a hospital and that was without security and they left my stuff like my bicycle and messenger bag behind.
posted by srboisvert at 5:30 AM on August 20 [7 favorites]


gazebo of racists

We should put a brass plaque on it and declare it a neo-conderate memorial.
posted by srboisvert at 5:32 AM on August 20 [11 favorites]


My meeting with Donald Trump: A damaged, pathetic personality — whose obvious impairment has only gotten worse
In campaigns, we candidates do most of the talking; because we like to, and because people ask us lots of questions. Not this time. Not by a long shot.

Trump talked very rapidly and virtually nonstop for nearly an hour; not of my campaign or even of politics, but only of himself, and almost always in the third person. He’d given himself a nickname: “the Trumpster,” as in “everybody wants to know what the Trumpster’s gonna do,” a claim he made more than once.

He mostly told stories. Some were about his business deals; others about trips he’d taken or things he owned. All were unrelated to the alleged point of our meeting, and to one another. That he seldom even attempted segues made each tale seem more disconnected from reality than the last. It was funny at first, then pathetic, and finally deeply unsettling.

On the drive home, we all burst out laughing, then grew quiet. What the hell just happened? My first theory, that Trump was high on cocaine, didn’t feel quite right, but he was clearly emotionally impaired: in constant need of approbation; lacking impulse control, self-awareness or awareness of others. We’d heard tales of his monumental vanity, but were still shocked by the sad spectacle of him.
At this point, I think most people don't care wether Trump is demented or he was always this way, but this article is a strong argument for the latter. There are some very nice observations in there.
posted by mumimor at 5:40 AM on August 20 [53 favorites]


What if he has a gland in his brain that secretes cocaine?
posted by acb at 5:43 AM on August 20 [10 favorites]


@qwrrty
Y'all should hear about my experience with BLM at the Boston Anti-Nazi Rally. 1/
- First, BPD did an outstanding job of managing conflicts. 2/
- Police escorted Nazis to and from the rally. Did not prevent interactions but stood close by to prevent rioting. 3/
- BLM also escorted Nazis. Surrounded them to prevent fights. 4/
- I want that to be crystal clear. BLM marshals were *preventing* fights from breaking out. 5/
- BLM organizers have said over and over again: if a rally turns violent, POC will be targeted. Don't start none. 6/
- At one point they were escorting a Nazi out of the rally near where I was standing. 7/
- Nazi dropped his flag. I snatched for it. He picked it up. I yanked at it. 8/
- The BLM marshal next to me whupped the back of my head. "DON'T!" 9/
- At that moment he stopped me from possibly sparking a riot. 10/
- I was stupid. I was ready to escalate. BLM *stopped* me. 11/
- This is no surprise to anyone who has actually been to a BLM event or worked with them. 12/
- But the "BLM are terrorists" narrative persists. 13/
- I want everyone to understand just how bullshit this narrative is. 14/
- BLM is not starting riots. They're stopping them. 15/15
posted by chris24 at 5:53 AM on August 20 [169 favorites]


Looks like the "apocalyptic" poll numbers are out (NBC/Marist). The key ones are, as I suspected, looking at 2018:

Preference for a Dem / Rep controlled Congress:
Michigan 48 D / 35 R
Wisconsin 46 D / 38 R
Pennsylvania 47 D / 37 R
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:13 AM on August 20 [19 favorites]


And one of the BLM escorts:

@steveannear (Boston Globe)
This is Imani, from CT. She just escorted Trump supporters through a crowd as a situation escalated. Here's why in her words: [PIC] [STATEMENT]
"I know people are heated but I think its better to have them on that side of the fence." She said of why she guided several Trump supporters through a swelling crowd where they were getting yelled at and in one case spit on.

"It's the right thing to do at the end of the day. We're all part of the same country. It's unfortunate what's happening but the response we should have is to be nonviolent. You know I don't believe in this right wing narrative of alt left and how we are crazed and looking to get violent. What better way to show that they are wrong?" (Than helping them through the crowd)

"I couldn't get through a KKK rally with the same treatment. But we shouldn't be like them."
posted by chris24 at 6:13 AM on August 20 [61 favorites]


Preference for a Dem / Rep controlled Congress:
Michigan 48 D / 35 R


Have fun with that Senate campaign, Kid Rock.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:15 AM on August 20 [15 favorites]


the reason for doing this is because of dissatisfaction with the DNC

Given the results of political parties at the moment - perhaps that model is dead? The Republicans sure have the smell of death about them.

But money-is-speech....so how's the money gonna flow if not via a party?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:18 AM on August 20 [2 favorites]


You realize, of course, this . . . means cake.

A gazebo cake with fondant nazis messily devoured in a spirit of peaceful cooperation.

I'd like the links here by Friday, and hey - let's have fun out there.
posted by petebest at 6:27 AM on August 20 [9 favorites]


We should put a brass plaque on it and declare it a neo-conderate memorial.

Don't even think it. That Boston Common bandstand has a lot of good history to it. Like the time Martin Luther King spoke from it (after a march from Roxbury).
posted by adamg at 6:50 AM on August 20 [6 favorites]


Looks like the "apocalyptic" poll numbers are out (NBC/Marist).

MI: 36% approve - 55% disapprove
PA: 35% approve - 54% disapprove
WI: 34% approve - 56% disapprove

MI: 64% embarrassed - 28% proud
PA: 63% embarrassed - 25% proud
WI: 64% embarrassed - 25% proud

The proud numbers are basically at the crazification factor.
posted by chris24 at 7:07 AM on August 20 [35 favorites]


Looks like the "apocalyptic" poll numbers are out (NBC/Marist).

@yashar (MoJo) Retweeted Mark Murray
For those of you who have been wondering what will get Republicans to speak out against Trump it's numbers like this
@mmurraypolitics: Congressional preference in the new NBC/Marist polls:
MI: D+13 among reg voters
PA: D+10
WI: D+8
(Aug 13-17, MOE +/- 3.5%)
posted by chris24 at 7:12 AM on August 20 [15 favorites]


Either you count 9/11 or you change the start date to 2002 & explain why.

Again, the point of the report is to assess the threat SINCE 9/11. Take it up with the GAO if you have a problem with that, but I can't really can't understand why you would. No one has forgotten 9/11.


the obvious reason to study "since 9/11" is to analyze policy changes that happened after 9/11. it would be better to put 9/11 in a study with the polices running at the time, which were developed since, fopr example, the airplane hijackings in the 70's, or what have you, other cold war era policies, because that's the context in which 9/11 was allowed to happen.
posted by eustatic at 7:16 AM on August 20 [4 favorites]


I mean yay, that's good. But also I'm sort of like...huh. So 25-30% of the country are straight up Nazis, and another 10-15% are Nazi-curious.

We will beat them. We have to beat them. But sweet Jesus, what are we going to do about all these Nazis?
posted by schadenfrau at 7:19 AM on August 20 [68 favorites]


Axios: Why top White House officials won't quit Trump
We talked to a half dozen senior administration officials, who range from dismayed but certain to stay, to disgusted and likely soon to leave. They all work closely with Trump and his senior team so, of course, wouldn't talk on the record. Instead, they agreed to let us distill their thinking/rationale:

"You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill": The most common response centers on the urgent importance of having smart, sane people around Trump to fight his worst impulses. If they weren't there, they say, we would have a trade war with China, massive deportations, and a government shutdown to force construction of a Southern wall.

"General Mattis needs us": Many talk about their reluctance to bolt on their friends and colleagues who are fighting the good fight to force better Trump behavior/decisions. They rightly point out that together, they have learned how to ignore Trump's rhetoric and, at times, collectively steer him to more conventional policy responses.

"Trump's not as evil as portrayed": All of them talk up the president as more reasonable off Twitter and TV than on it. This gives them hope (though almost all increasingly say it's fleeting hope) he will listen to his better angels, or at least the pleas of Ivanka.

"We like the power": Well, no one comes out and say it this blatantly. But working in the White House, even this one, is intoxicating and ego-stroking. They have enormous say over regulations and rules, invites and implementation, government jobs and access to the Oval. They also know they are one step away from an even bigger job in government, so it's hard to just walk away.
posted by chris24 at 7:21 AM on August 20 [24 favorites]


"You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill" and "General Mattis needs us" = I either don't like being a bad person or at least want to avoid the appearance of being one
"Trump's not as evil as portrayed" and "We like the power" = I like being a bad person
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:26 AM on August 20 [28 favorites]


99.9% of Congress was *crickets* or vague "Nazi bad" for the past week. Then the shitty 2018 poll numbers come out, and they're gonna be like, "Oh, NOW we mind that Trump is a white power cheerleader"? "Having given it much contemplation during the entire August recess, I have finally come to the conclusion that this is outrageous"? You kinda missed your moment, assholes.

I'm a pretty cynical person, but the fact that anybody anywhere would need to do political calculus to figure out how to respond to a President doing PR for Nazis makes me want to vomit. Doesn't matter, though, because most people won't care or remember. When it comes down to it, those who vote Republican will persuade themselves to vote Republican no matter what Republicans do.

Plus I just don't believe the GOP Congress is going to turn on Trump, numbers notwithstanding. The crazification factor base may be small, but it includes all their damn donors. Therein lies their problem.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:29 AM on August 20 [58 favorites]


I fear for the sole of the nation.

all the marching takes a toll
posted by entropicamericana at 7:52 AM on August 20 [7 favorites]


We should put a brass plaque on it and declare it a neo-conderate memorial.

Don't even think it. That Boston Common bandstand has a lot of good history to it. Like the time Martin Luther King spoke from it (after a march from Roxbury).


I meant it as a commemoration of their crushing defeat & retreat in this particular battle of Civil War II. Something like The Skedaddle of Boston Common.
posted by srboisvert at 7:53 AM on August 20 [8 favorites]


LA Times Editorial Board.

Enough is Enough
These are not normal times. The man in the White House is reckless and unmanageable, a danger to the Constitution, a threat to our democratic institutions.

Last week some of his worst qualities were on display: his moral vacuity and his disregard for the truth, as well as his stubborn resistance to sensible advice. As ever, he lashed out at imaginary enemies and scapegoated others for his own failings. Most important, his reluctance to offer a simple and decisive condemnation of racism and Nazism astounded and appalled observers around the world.

With such a glaring failure of moral leadership at the top, it is desperately important that others stand up and speak out to defend American principles and values. This is no time for neutrality, equivocation or silence. Leaders across America — and especially those in the president’s own party — must summon their reserves of political courage to challenge President Trump publicly, loudly and unambiguously.
posted by chris24 at 7:56 AM on August 20 [52 favorites]


Yeah, they ran through the briars
And they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes
Where the rabbit couldn't go
They ran so fast
That the hounds couldn't catch 'em
On down the red states to Mar-a-Lago
posted by kirkaracha at 7:58 AM on August 20 [49 favorites]


zachlipton: "Trump's new Twitter banner photo is horrendous. I mean, this is a picture they looked at and said "yes, I am pleased with this and think we should show it to the world?" It's like they're all making Pence's "outlaw the X-Men" face."

Just catching up but I'm just so astounded at how bad the photography is with this administration. I mean that just a terrible picture from at least a dozen different criteria. The version you posted is a little cropped, here's the full version where you can see how badly composed and lit it is. Why are they in some low ceilinged bunker with that weird 30% roofline on the right that forces the flags to be all clumped over to the left. Who left conference phone half there in the foreground? Didn't they have a flash setup? There's no light on anyone's face. Those ugly light fixture totally pull your eye away from the people and make you notice that they're not quite centered over Trump. And who posed this? The people on the left are all turned into the center with their right shoulders toward the front so that they fit in better but the guys on the right are all facing more forward which forced the third guy on the right to be behind everyone else. If you look at the ceiling next to that ugly inset light, it's been repainted with mis-matching paint; ten minutes with photoshop could have cleaned that up along with removing the phone, the smoke detector and brightening up the faces a bit. Ugh.

Compare with a shot of Obama's cabinet which is just so open and airy and simultaniously relaxed but meticulously composed. Sorry, I know that this is trivial compared with every other horror coming from this administration but it's just so encapsulates their lazy half-assed approach to everything.
posted by octothorpe at 8:13 AM on August 20 [114 favorites]


yeah that Salon piece on how Trump is a wrong guy and crazy-go-nuts as well, it's all fine and obvious except

The infantilization of the American male is a phenomenon we have been slow to recognize


who the fuck is "we," Bill Curry?
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:14 AM on August 20 [33 favorites]


The road to hate (SLWaPo).

There's a lot in this article, but on a second read it a lot of it seems like noise covering the one basic truth we're all crushingly familiar with already: young white men become enraged when their inflated sense of entitlement clashes with reality.

Most of these guys seem already isolated, in at least two cases because of violent criminal records, all of them alienated and purposeless. And now they've found a purpose.

Is there anything more toxic to civil society than the entitlement of disappointed white men?
posted by schadenfrau at 8:18 AM on August 20 [48 favorites]


The Battle of the Bandshell

We shouted "White Pride!" and the Liberals kept on comin'
Thirty thousand more there was a while ago.
We shouted "Hail Trump!" and they began to runnin'
down the Boston Common to the Nazi Gazebo

posted by spitbull at 8:20 AM on August 20 [18 favorites]


Compare with a shot of Obama's cabinet

"Hi, we're your government, is there something you want to talk about?"

"Trump's new Twitter banner photo

"What the hell do you want? Go away."
posted by pyramid termite at 8:23 AM on August 20 [33 favorites]


In 2017 we took a little hate
along with lots of Nazis down the interstate
We took our MAGA hats but we couldn't take our guns
So the liberals kicked our asses and now we're on the run

posted by spitbull at 8:28 AM on August 20 [11 favorites]


Private dick's Drumpf opposition research looking for bombshells (Via politico)
posted by growabrain at 8:52 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


"Trump's not as evil as portrayed": All of them talk up the president as more reasonable off Twitter and TV than on it. This gives them hope (though almost all increasingly say it's fleeting hope) he will listen to his better angels, or at least the pleas of Ivanka.

That is inconsistent with what other people say about Trump's attitude toward humanity. Also, there is no "portrayed" for a man who lives his life out loud on Twitter, we can read that well enough by ourselves.
posted by SakuraK at 8:58 AM on August 20 [15 favorites]


I meant it as a commemoration of their crushing defeat & retreat in this particular battle of Civil War II. Something like The Skedaddle of Boston Common
Our neighbors, my wife, and I have taken to calling yesterday the Special Traveling Exhibit of the Troll Zoo.
posted by bl1nk at 9:01 AM on August 20 [3 favorites]


From that RAGEPATH link:

How do I get out of this alternate reality and return to the real world where "President Trump" was just a harmless joke?
If you want to pierce the veil of the multiverse, you're going to need some mad skills in advanced mathematics and a deep understanding of physics. Let us know if you figure it out. Though do remember, if you discover an escape route out of this nightmare, you will introduce a host of new problems. Countless realities where Hillary Clinton is serving as President (and presumably warding off Republican impeachment efforts) will be swamped and destabilized by waves of transdimensional refugees fleeing the Trump regime. You might be more helpful working to mitigate the damage facing this reality.

posted by jenfullmoon at 9:03 AM on August 20 [9 favorites]


It always felt like to me that trump was as racist as the last person he talked to, which causes this kind of dissonance between articles/interviews/perspectives.

Democratic nominee for governor in Connecticut? Yes, melanin doesn't impact your humanity, I totally agree.

Bannon purveyor of death and racist Keebler elf? Nazis have some solid points.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 9:03 AM on August 20 [5 favorites]


If they weren't there, they say, we would have a trade war with China, massive deportations, and a government shutdown to force construction of a Southern wall.

Well, 1/3 is good in baseball.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:05 AM on August 20 [2 favorites]


How do I get out of this alternate reality and return to the real world where "President Trump" was just a harmless joke?

That world never existed either. Candidate trump was dangerous and while many people laughed it was never a joke. Not to me and not to hundreds of thousands, if not millionions of Americans. I was terrified from the moment he announced, as we're many others. Additionally, millions of Americans longed for a trump presidency.

That anyone treated him as a joke boggles my mind and also explains how we got here. Especially given how much he hates to be laughed at. It was like gasoline for his garbage fire.
posted by bilabial at 9:11 AM on August 20 [37 favorites]


Didn't they have a flash setup? There's no light on anyone's face.

Looks like bad on-camera flash, check out the glare on the light fixture and the shadow behind it.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:13 AM on August 20 [2 favorites]


octothorpe: There's no light on anyone's face.

And neither is there any happiness to be there, or even the general will to live.

(And Donald looks old. Like, 90, frail, in a nursing home and wearing a bad wig old.)
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:18 AM on August 20 [19 favorites]


Private dick's Drumpf opposition research looking for bombshells (Via politico)
The subreddit wiki mentioned in that article is something I've considered linking at MeFi before. I initially dismissed this person as a crackpot because their focus was on verifying the Steele Dossier, which seems fairly impossible to do as an average citizen with presumably no intel connections. Now they're more focused on documenting as many Trump-Russia connections as possible using sources for each entry. It's a bit daunting to look at and I can't imagine being patient enough to construct it.
posted by xyzzy at 9:23 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


It can't be as simple as white male entitlement solely fueling the rise of Trump as white women in the last election also broke for Trump. Unless like me, you don't trust the election results. Most of the real life Trump supporters I've met that are women seem to have a lot of self loathing but that's a shallow observation that might be a projection of my own biases. But it's not only entitled white men who have and continue to support Trump and the new radical conservatism, and examining and arriving at a more complete understanding of what motivates the support of those who don't fit the stereotype needs more emphasis in forming a successful opposition strategy than it gets, in my opinion.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:31 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


The presidency usually takes a year or two to age someone as dramatically as he's aged in eight months.

I want to go further back than his early candidacy. I want to go back to when his name was used in the context of trying to vaguely recall which Home Alone movie he was in. But we're here.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:33 AM on August 20 [3 favorites]


....The DNC has been trying to do fundraising?

I'm a registered Democrat and I haven't heard a THING about that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:43 PM on August 20 [16 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


I heard a lot about it.

From you. Here. Just now.
posted by saysthis at 9:47 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


"I couldn't get through a KKK rally with the same treatment. But we shouldn't be like them."

I'm so glad that the "punch nazis" rhetoric is losing currency.
posted by Coventry at 9:48 AM on August 20 [4 favorites]


It can't be as simple as white male entitlement solely fueling the rise of Trump as white women in the last election also broke for Trump.

Literally nothing is simple about any of this, but it is not middle aged white women who are pushing the Overton window into Nazi territory. Or if it is, I haven't seen any reported evidence of this; in fact I've only seen the opposite: that the radicalized far right base is demographically the same as Isis's base, pissed off young men. That doesn't mean no women ever, but given the way that misogyny, patriarchy, and heterosexual relationship norms intersect in this fucking hellmouth of a timeline, the story of middle aged white women's support for this fuckery is going to be different than the story of the support (and radicalization) of young white men.

If you can find evidence of white women radicalizing and organizing around this shit in the same numbers as white men, go ahead and cite it. (No, seriously, I want to see anything like this, because I want to figure out what the fuck to do about white women, and I want to know how misogyny and racism interact there.) But I think it's unlikely, given that these radicalized white supremacist/Nazi communities seem to have been fed directly from the MRA-Red Pill gateway bigot communities.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:54 AM on August 20 [31 favorites]


If they weren't there, they say, we would have... a government shutdown to force construction of a Southern wall.

I know this doesn't have to make sense, but... how is a government shutdown likely to force construction of the wall?
posted by Coventry at 9:55 AM on August 20 [2 favorites]


For a spot of humor, last night's Lovett or Leave It podcast has a great, funny discussion of the Bannon outage and C-ville events. Guest panel was Larry Wilmore, Gaby Dunn, and Langston Kerman (from Insecure).
posted by freecellwizard at 9:55 AM on August 20 [2 favorites]


I know this doesn't have to make sense, but... how is a government shutdown likely to force construction of the wall?

"Unless the budget includes funding for the wall, I will refuse to sign it."
posted by Candleman at 10:08 AM on August 20 [6 favorites]


The road to hate (SLWaPo).

There's a lot in this article, but on a second read it a lot of it seems like noise covering the one basic truth we're all crushingly familiar with already: young white men become enraged when their inflated sense of entitlement clashes with reality.

Most of these guys seem already isolated, in at least two cases because of violent criminal records, all of them alienated and purposeless. And now they've found a purpose.

Is there anything more toxic to civil society than the entitlement of disappointed white men?
posted by schadenfrau at 12:18 AM on August 21 [19 favorites +] [!]


And if I may, folks, I'm a pissed off young man. I'm pissed. Oh and I'm white. And I was told my whole life things wouldn't suck. I was told Hillary would win.

I read the article, and yep. I would have ironically commented my way through the next 4 years if not for the fact that Those People are taking What's Mine. I used to like South Park, as recently as 10 months ago. I also used to think it was actually kind of funny (not appropriate but not like evil to joke about) to say feminazis are what's ruining America.

I want revenge forever and someone is paying for this and that someone is my Navy uncle who used to dominate the family emails with Republican stuff. No motherfucker, now I'm your racist uncle, and I'm liberal as all hell, and not racist or your uncle, and I know the email address of every one of the three kids dude got in high school, and all his other kids, and this post times a thousand in my safe space. It's Vox and Alexandra Petri o'clock for your children, actual racist uncle, and I'm the family member who quit the army before Iraq 2.0, unlike their actual father.

Young white male privilege is a privilege every human in America, and moreso on earth, should be able to enjoy. Decry it, but also, respect the promise of it. Things shouldn't suck, and yet they do, and fuck that.
posted by saysthis at 10:17 AM on August 20 [13 favorites]


It can't be as simple as white male entitlement solely fueling the rise of Trump

It's not; it's white racial anxiety over the USA's changing demographics. Here's a politician saying the things they think! He's going to build a wall on the Mexican border! He's going to get tough on the (mostly imaginary) "epidemic of crime" in "inner cities"!

I saw an interesting study on the issue of ethnic anxiety; psychologists did some fieldwork, got people to give their opinions on immigration, and such, and then had paid Latinx volunteers ride the same train the study subjects did for their commute to work, every day for a month...and then they interviewed the subjects again with the same questions. The finding? Exposure to just two additional Latinx/Hispanic people in the course of their day made people stastistically significantly more likely to endorse a harder line on immigration policy and more likely to vote Republican. (And this was in Massachusetts, if I remember correctly; sorry I don't have a link, but it's something I read a few days ago.)
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:20 AM on August 20 [26 favorites]


Literally nothing is simple about any of this, but it is not middle aged white women who are pushing the Overton window into Nazi territory. Or if it is, I haven't seen any reported evidence of this;

Much as the popular sentiment is to shit on baby boomers and middle-aged people in general as The Worst Generation, Hurry Up and Die Already! and young people as the Woke Hope Of The Future - I don't see this happening.

Lots of snake people are showing up with Nazi and Confederate flags and torches. While there are a lot of racist, older Trump voters in smaller towns and rural areas, the beating heart of the new Nazi movement seems to be young, white men. And yes, there are women alt-righters, but they are doing the whole "kitchen and children and stand by your man" thing, acting as support, because that is where nature intends them to be.

Women neo-Nazis are not nearly as numerous as the men - but the ones who are skew young. The Rise of the Valkyries (Seyward Darby, Harper's: may be paywalled). The article profiles one woman in particular, Ayla Stewart (who just had to be named for one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite series, dammit) - a pretty, young, white mother of a large family.

And there's the key. Women who are white, young, slender, conventionally attractive, and either married mothers or who aspire to be - those are the only women permitted in the neo-Nazi movement. Older, fatter, childless, and/or not white women can GTFO.

I think a lot of women become radicalized as they get older and don't get the crumbs of approval from the patriarchy that they used to. That is one reason why you see so many middle-aged and older women forming the backbone of the new resistance.

Of course the new Nazis are mostly men because, as has been pointed out, the MRA/Red Pill/GamerGate/etc. movement has served as a gateway. There isn't really that kind of gateway for women unless it's being married to or in a relationship with a neo-Nazi (ewwwww).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:21 AM on August 20 [40 favorites]


Plenty of the disaffected youth - who feel they are drowning in student debt, that they won't ever be able to attain the same basic stuff their parents were able to attain, and that they are inheriting a dying world polluted by generations before them - put their efforts behind liberal and progressive candidates like Sanders and Clinton. The millenial portion of the support behind Trump has everything to do with racism. This is wild conjecture on my part, because I have no evidence for this assertion, but I do think nostalgia for an America That Never Was plays a big part in this.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:22 AM on August 20 [8 favorites]


The infantilization of the American male is a phenomenon we have been slow to recognize

This implies that the American male has been infantilized. The whole paragraph talks about "narrowing economic horizons" and gives a general sense that men are infantilized because they have fewer opportunities than they did in the past. But...they don't. The rise of the tech sector is as exclusive and congratulatory to men as manufacturing ever was. They're still being paid more than everyone else, still being promoted ahead of everyone else, still handed the lion's share of opportunities and credit as ever.

I just have zero sympathy for the idea that [white] men feel compelled to throw a national tantrum because they're being outperformed by some women and/or POC despite their monumental head start. *Every* single time I see someone whining about the downfall of white men in the US, it is invariably about how some other demographic is focusing on *their* own problems and solutions instead of on white men's. Mention that white men are more than welcome to organize around issues like education or toxic masculinity or domestic violence and you get crickets every time. Instead, they waste everyone's time painting organizations and individuals as selfish for working on themselves, instead of on the poor neglected white man who has no mommy to wipe his ass anymore.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:23 AM on August 20 [77 favorites]


You're placing the moral burden of condemning Trump on people who didn't elect him but are highly vulnerable to his vindictive response. And you're not even distributing the burden equally: it's the Jewish State that has failed to denounce antisemitism in a way that satisfies you, not (e.g.) Poland or Ukraine or the Baltic states.

So now conflating the government of Israel with the state itself isn't anti-Semitic, it's actually the right thing to do? After all, the link Artw posted specifically referred to Netanyahu and members of his government, which you have lectured us many times on not lumping in with the country as a whole.

In any event, Netanyahu's response was milder than that of some of the most racist American politicians, so you're damn straight that it's unsatisfying. In fact, it's downright dangerous, as in the past he's been perfectly happy jumping in hours after an attack in other countries to condemn the perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence in the strongest terms possible, while clearly making the point that the targets were more than welcome to come to Israel. The difference between his response to incidents elsewhere versus Charlottesville, from the timing all the way down to the most petty shit that he can think of, should be condemned without dragging the rest of the country into the argument as you did. His response, and the fact that at least one of his ministers is specifically saying it's because we should trust someone with demonstrated anti-Semitic sympathies while simultaneously condemning his predecessor who did not, is a giant flashing "fuck you" neon sign to Jewish Americans, and especially the large majority of them that oppose Netanyahu and his policies.

There is one country that has the moral duty of condemning Trump, and it's not Israel.

Again, you're the one making this about Israel the country, while others are talking about Netanyahu and his ministers. And yes, Netanyahu sure as hell has the moral duty of condemning Trump. We know that he would have done it had Obama said the same thing, especially as Kara specifically calls out how "horrible" things were for Israel under Obama.

There are several countries with an historic responsibility for Nazism that might impose a moral duty to condemn its resurgence, but again: not Israel.

And again: no one is demanding that Israel itself do this. It's frustration with the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

You're demanding that Israel take a stronger stand against Trump because of its vulnerability to antisemitism. You want its victims to be a good moral example to the feckless, racist, indolent mob in the USA. Can you not see how wrong this is?

Let's be perfectly clear yet again, if Obama or Clinton or even any Jewish politician to the left of Ted Cruz had done the same thing Trump had, this would . So no, this isn't some sort of wrong-headed tsk-tsking of Israel's duty. It's noting that Netanyahu and members of his cabinet have made it perfectly clear that leftist Jewish Americans, by dint of opposing him and his policies, can go fuck themselves. After all, Netanyahu took a stronger stance discussing anti-Semitism with a fascist thug like Orban than he did with Trump, if only to take Orban's side and join in the bashing of George Soros, which many if not most Jewish Americans consider as having strong overtones of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Netanyahu is a thin-skinned thug with autocratic tendencies, embroiled in scandals, who comes up with racist and Islamophobic conspiracy theories to promote stuff like voter suppression. He is like Trump in many ways, if not even worse, if only because he seems to be in a safer position politically. So, no I don't think he should be held up as a moral example for anyone. But the fact that his response makes people like Ted fucking Cruz--a man whose attitude towards Israel is informed by embroiling it in a holy war so that Jesus can return and convert Jews at gunpoint en masse--seem bold and comforting to Jewish Americans by comparison, absolutely deserves criticism.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:23 AM on August 20 [48 favorites]


Yes, white youth might have larger student debt burdens than in the past, but they're not hurting for jobs! Who are hurting for jobs? Black Americans. The African-American unemployment rate is twice that of whites.

I would love to see a new Works Progress Administration program that offered a job to anyone who wants one. The robots may be coming eventually, but they're not here yet, and even with robots, there's enough to do with repairing our infrastructure, teaching our children, caring for our sick, and getting the addicted clean and sober that we potentially have jobs coming out our ears. Here a job, there a job, everywhere a jobby job! We could have a zero unemployment rate if we wanted that!

But until we get a new WPA, whites in general still have the highest incomes and lowest unemployment, and white men still have the lion's share of the high-paying jobs. Goddamn those neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates need to quit their whining.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:30 AM on August 20 [31 favorites]


Trumps cabinet picture reminds me that I like the current Canadian cabinet picture.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:34 AM on August 20 [10 favorites]


"There's no light on anyone's face." Everyone is shooting in High Dynamic Range now, and a lot of phone cameras offer panorama or High Dynamic Range as the only shooting options. So the light is averaged across everything, and the photograph is equally lit. That is a simple explanation. It is the source of the horrific landscape photography that is a plague just now, where there is no contrast, everything has the same weight visually, no center of focus.

Someone probably took those pictures with a phone, yup. Or a highly paid professional took those pictures, and they still look just like someone took them with a phone. HDR is fine if you are at a picnic with lots of kids running around, or a Saturday market, to catch everything. Not executive photography, however. If no one is the focus of a photograph, then they all look like flat faced, seething, apparatchiks, planning your demise.
posted by Oyéah at 10:37 AM on August 20 [19 favorites]


But until we get a new WPA, whites in general still have the highest incomes and lowest unemployment, and white men still have the lion's share of the high-paying jobs. Goddamn those neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates need to quit their whining.

Exactly this. If one lurks where the young Nazis like to hang out online, they're not saying fuck all about the economy. They do, though, go on and on about feminists, Muslims, Black people, and communists. The core of it is they were brought up to believe that the Cis Straight White Male is the default human being, but now that's changing, and so having to share the human narrative with other people throws them into conniptions.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:40 AM on August 20 [60 favorites]


I would love to see a new Works Progress Administration program that offered a job to anyone who wants one.

I really wanted this when Obama came into office in 2009.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:46 AM on August 20 [16 favorites]




Another piece here, vis a vis young white alt-right men, is enjoyment. It's fun.

You saw that video of the young blond guy who stripped off his polo shirt the minute the antifa threatened to actually hit him? He said himself that he was just there for fun. They think it's fun. It's fun to believe that others are evil and inferior - as long as they can't really hurt you. The minute that they are actually dangerous, then it's scary and you either throw down or strip off, as it were. Alt-right hate women, Black people, other POC, queer people, Jewish people, the fat and the disabled not because they feel threatened but precisely because they do not. If they were scared, they'd act different.

This is why I'm absolutely for breaking up their communication and financial networks - if they can't amuse themselves fantasizing about violence and they can't support a fantasy lifestyle based on fulminating for money on the internet, a lot of them will drift away.

Also? You know how they'd practiced group tactics for Charlottesville? I'll bet you dollars to donuts that they'd made a lot of their connections and a lot of their tactical decisions based on gaming - those same guys who are super racist and hateful while gaming, I bet that's them, and I bet half their "practice" was, like, WoW.

Honestly, I think that for lots of these guys, it's not that they're losing opportunities or feeling downtrodden - it's that they're spoiled. They're bored. They're coddled everywhere they go, and they never have to understand that others are fully human. That's why they're so fucking gobsmacked when women have opinions, or when an antifa actually hits them - it's like their paper dolls came to life and bit them, and they can't get their heads around it.
posted by Frowner at 10:53 AM on August 20 [205 favorites]


I am watching how the computer would like to program my grandson. Youtube is a complete menu of every niche fascination ever, people who eat poisonous things, abusive baby sitters, those slow trance talking ladies filing their nails, or combing their hair. There is a whole world of twenty something white guys with seemingly nothing to do but laugh like hyenas and make a giant mess, of every kind. Then we get to the war games, shoot em games, and games in general. I have noticed some games are rigged to be maximally frustrating to him, he becomes enraged, and I tell him if that game pisses you off then don't play it, they are manipulating your basic well being, and sense of self. It is as if you had a horrid experience today, but you are just sitting here, having a snack. There is a whole world of kids, specifically better off kids who can sit in front of a computer with little supervision, and be programmed by whomever.

These mind and soul miners, are a horrible worry for our nation, since they can quietly do massive social work, of whatever kind, or ultimate goal, and it will go unnoticed, unless you sit with the kid and talk through some of it. This is not going to happen, in most cases. I am sure this discussion has been had, but, the alt right is after, the alone boy, whose mom is working, whose parents are working. Teens and young men are targets, for every kind of predator. It didn't get better for them, all that stuff they see in media, it isn't theirs, all the girls, the women, the cars, the trucks, all that stuff is not available yet, but hate is freely available to assuage feelings of fear, isolation, the seeming futility of living.

OK, you come home, your kid has to have this item they have been sold, by the web. OK, but you come home, and your kid hates you for working, your kid hates the neighbors, or your kid has become a stranger, or wants to buy a gun, yeah. It's a worry. They are not spoiled, but they are being programmed for someone's purpose. Any nation state can work on our kids. It has to be a multi-billion dollar effort. Imagine if you could destroy the empathy and basic emotional well being of a nation's children by remote communication? A no-brainer. The alt right works against everything that serves the people of this country, who does that serve, who created that mindset?
posted by Oyéah at 11:02 AM on August 20 [27 favorites]


Trump Is Going to Resign Soon, President's 'Art of the Deal' Writer Predicts:
"Trump's presidency is effectively over. Would be amazed if he survives till end of the year. More likely resigns by fall, if not sooner."
Schwartz warned that they have to keep up the pressure if they want the billionaire to resign. "Trump must be isolated. Resistance every day. The end is near but must keep pressure high," he tweeted.
Brace for President Pence; the activism style will need to change for that. Hope that Mueller has some serious dirt on him, too, or we're going to see Pence in 2020 campaigning, supported by all those who were so happy when things went "back to normal," which is to say, the president stops calling neo-nazis "us" and doesn't tweet about his "enemies."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:10 AM on August 20 [5 favorites]


The whole paragraph talks about "narrowing economic horizons" and gives a general sense that men are infantilized because they have fewer opportunities than they did in the past. But...they don't.

Has anybody studied the phenomenon of genderedness in helicopter and apron-string parenting?, because I very anecdotally see a major skew toward "mothers (and some fathers) infantilizing menchildren" at the college level these days. And it makes sense because we already know from the emotional labor monster-thread what the gender dynamics of emotional labor look like in American families -- helicopter parenting just amps up those same Women Serve Men and Children patterns.

I mean, I have an otherwise rational univ. faculty colleague whose son did his first year at another university and decided to transfer "back home" to ours. So he's like 19, 20 years old. And she did his entire transfer and class registration and working with an advisor process FOR HIM (not with him) this summer because poor lil Booboo has a full-time summer job. This is not at all unusual in my experience with orientation, program coordination, advising, admin. and makes me want to shake these parents until their brains rattle. It's no fucking wonder SnowflakeBoys have an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and fragility and can't cope with any dent in it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:12 AM on August 20 [31 favorites]


Notes from yesterday's Vancouver Stand Up to Racism Protest:

Good turnout, about 4000 people of all ages, ethnicities and religions. (shout out to the strong unitarian contingent) The event was led by women, with women of colour in the most prominent leadership positions; I don't think I heard a man speak until the mayor took a turn at the microphone. People were definitely afraid going in (my favorite sign was "I was afraid to be here, so I came") but being shoulder to shoulder with my neighbours was encouraging. Very quickly, the spirit of the event became joyful celebration of community and shared values. (the carnival band helped)

I suppose I should mention the white supremacists, although the event was so successful that they were completely marginalized. They cancelled their event in the face of our overwhelming opposition and fielded no organized presence. I was sorry to hear that a few straggler bigots did show up one by one (a sig heiler, a MAGA, etc.) but they were so efficiently repelled by peaceful protesters and so quickly removed by police that it was often hard to notice that one of them had been there.

And will Canadian immigration officers do their jobs when it's a bunch of white boys wanting exceptions?

Canadian racism is homegrown and deeply entrenched. Musqueam activist Melanie Point did a good job of reminding us that opposing literal nazis is barely minimal effort against racism; that white people have an obligation to tear down white supremacy as it exists in Canada in many forms.

This was definitely protesting on easy mode, with support from the police and from all levels of government (even tepid, after the fact praise from Trudeau). Still, it felt good to win a victory so absolute. The racists will be back - they'll never quite go away - but it was good to see them chased back under the rocks they came from.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:16 AM on August 20 [16 favorites]


They think it's fun. It's fun to believe that others are evil and inferior - as long as they can't really hurt you. The minute that they are actually dangerous, then it's scary and you either throw down or strip off, as it were.

We're really talking about a catastrophic failure to develop empathy here, and there are so many interrelated causes for that. Technologically mediated communication, interaction, and entertainment are obviously implicated significantly.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:18 AM on August 20 [18 favorites]


Trump Is Going to Resign Soon, President's 'Art of the Deal' Writer Predicts

I'm not willing to hold my breath for this outcome. But of all the "Trump leaves office early" scenarios, I think this one is ideal. I like the idea of the criminal hammer (and/or impeachment) coming down on him, but I fear the violence that will ensue if that comes to pass. If he simply quits, his base will still feel aggrieved, but I'd imagine they'll be less likely to feel that a literal injustice has occurred, and put the insurrection on the back burner.

2017, man. What's the best way to get rid of the President that doesn't incur terrorism and civil war. Sheesh.
posted by Brak at 11:34 AM on August 20 [6 favorites]


how is a government shutdown likely to force construction of the wall?

It wouldn't, of course, but Trump's the kind of hostage-taker who would murder all the hostages to prove he's serious, then make demands and be baffled when it doesn't work.
posted by mrgoat at 11:47 AM on August 20 [27 favorites]


Trump, instead of resigning outright, will first use the idea as the lever to whip up his core supporters against centrist republicans. He will say:

"I've tried, and my supporters know how much I've tried, no other president in modern history has tried as much to right this country. But if I don't get much needed support from republican elected officials (who prefer to take the democrat's side every time!), I will consider resigning and continuing the fight outside of the white house. Call your reps! JOBS!"

Using it as a threat may cost him little and he still would retain the pardon powers.
posted by rainy at 11:48 AM on August 20 [10 favorites]


Right, I suppose he thinks he can force funding for his wall by threatening to veto spending bills?
posted by thelonius at 11:49 AM on August 20 [2 favorites]


"You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill"

It's like how the Homeland Security and intel services are all, "Dude, you really really really don't want to know the type and amount of terrorist attacks that have been foiled without anyone in the public ever being aware of them, because if you were, you'd never sleep again."

Not that I feel one whit of sympathy for any WH staffer, but hearing Trump's random day-to-day brainstorms must be like staring into the abyss.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:58 AM on August 20 [15 favorites]


Here's what I'd like to see happen to Trump: everyone in the White House, or anyone he encounters regularly, becomes totally unafraid of him, and, when he throws rage fits in his bunker, people just humor him and are visibly unconcerned that they need to take him seriously. He'd be insane within three days.
posted by thelonius at 12:00 PM on August 20 [14 favorites]


You saw that video of the young blond guy who stripped off his polo shirt the minute the antifa threatened to actually hit him? He said himself that he was just there for fun. [...] If they were scared, they'd act different.

The thing that grossed me out most about that video is, he didn't even think he was in danger. It was like being tagged out in baseball or caught in a vigorous game of kick-the-can. All right, ya got me! Good job, good game. I'll just run back now.

That kind of smugness and privilege, to be able to treat this like a game, almost makes me want to see a kid like that get the tar beaten out of him publicly to make it real for the others.

But it wouldn't work, it would just give them something else to feel victimized about.
posted by ctmf at 12:01 PM on August 20 [30 favorites]


Here's how opting he gets IDed and fired like the rest. No outs for "irony".
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on August 20 [6 favorites]


Frowner: You saw that video of the young blond guy who stripped off his polo shirt the minute the antifa threatened to actually hit him?

No. Link plz?
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:09 PM on August 20


Okay, I found it, never mind.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:14 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Ooof. In it for the lulz IRL. What the hell?
posted by lkc at 12:28 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Watching that again, it's too bad that encounter wasn't in a more conducive atmosphere to talk. The guy questioning him was right on the edge of something there for a second. At the "I was in jail" remark - "what for" was the worst follow-up. (not blaming the "interviewer", he didn't know this was going to happen and doesn't seem like a pro journalist). The kid seemed ready to let it all out, maybe have a moment of enlightenment. "And what about your time in jail, what did you experience?" "I'm super interested in your story, can I buy you a beer and talk a bit?" Might have resulted in a pretty insightful story.

Optimistic, maybe. Shrug.
posted by ctmf at 12:47 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Trump is totally the type of person who will threaten with leaving if things don't go his way. This points back to his real estate background as much as his spoilt-child-narcissistic personality, as the investor he has probably been successful with threatening to leave several times. So when he does (maybe he already did?), we just need the Republican leadership to call him on it. The hard part is to get them to develop that much of a spine, I guess, but lets see what he does next.

Has anybody studied the phenomenon of genderedness in helicopter and apron-string parenting?, because I very anecdotally see a major skew toward "mothers (and some fathers) infantilizing menchildren" at the college level these days.

I've seen that for the last decade or so. It's weird. When I started teaching, there would regularly be young women from conservative families who had been infantilized by their parents/family. Today they are almost extinct, but now it's the young men who are "cute" and immature.
posted by mumimor at 12:54 PM on August 20 [13 favorites]


Alt-right hate women, Black people, other POC, queer people, Jewish people, the fat and the disabled not because they feel threatened but precisely because they do not. If they were scared, they'd act different.

I have thought and said this in some form or another since I was very young. That white Nazi lady who tried to keep my 7-year old self from going into Hawley Road Elementary School in 1976 wasn't afraid of anybody—and came after us all specifically because we were children, none of us older than 12. Teachers had to hold her back from striking us, so she settled for screaming the n-word in rage at us, and sputtering at me that I was a "half-breed" and an "abomination". Then she got angry at the white teachers helping us and called them "traitors" (the cops were conveniently across the street when there should have been a phalanx lined up on either side of the school bus door and up the steps to the school to keep the Nazis away from us).

These boils have been festering and erupting since the end of the Civil War, so while I'm not shocked by these ridiculous white supremacists, I don't understand why these boils can't be lanced. I ask myself, whom does all these -isms and chaos serve?

It goes past Trump, Bannon, and these Nazis in the US. The very structure of Western civilization is built upon the premise that Europeans are the best people of all time, and are superior; not just superior, but that they are conquerors! If they managed to overrun your country and strip its resources for themselves, or steal your people to be enslaved, raped, and murdered, well, that's tough and your people must be weaklings who don't deserve to live.

I've heard that exact argument back in Wisconsin as a teenager in the 80s from white boys in my classes, who also had no problem saying this to black boys at school in the hope that the black boys would hit them and then get in trouble—yet again thinking that black people were too stupid to see what they were up to. And here we are now, not isolated as such, but better organized thanks to the internet.

So no, if they were actually scared of anyone, they wouldn't even show their faces in public, but they're not scared, they're angry; angry like a 2 year old being forced to share toys. That's why they're out here acting like they are.
posted by droplet at 1:05 PM on August 20 [160 favorites]


Trump is totally the type of person who will threaten with leaving if things don't go his way.
Stacy: You don't like it? Fine. You know Wayne, if you're not careful, you're going to lose me.

Wayne: I lost you two months ago. Are you mental?
posted by kirkaracha at 1:12 PM on August 20 [8 favorites]


My acupuncturist told me that Nazism is like Harry Potter for white people, and I started laughing really hard, because ouch, I love Harry Potter, and also I guess I see his point about these man boys wanting to be the chosen one, and also the acupuncturist was sticking needles in me at the time and he couldn't do it while I was guffawing, and anytime I try to stop guffawing when I am guffawing it becomes these intense squelched giggles and so my acupuncturist was just kneeling in front of me with needles, waiting for to stop, for like three minutes.
posted by angrycat at 1:17 PM on August 20 [28 favorites]


But I had my own Harry Potter moment (Harry Potter for disabled people) when I was on 52nd and Market in Philly and I met a member of ADAPT who had been one of the people arrested in DC over the health care bill and dragged from his chair.

I told him my experience of going to a DCCC training with stairs where they were like, 'what we really need people to do is canvasing' which involves things like climbing stairs, which is not in my skill set.

So the ADAPT hero guy, upon hearing this, said, "They think that we can't do anything to help--but they're so wrong. Here's my name and phone number and I'll get you involved."

And it was truly a moment like Hagrid coming to get Harry from his family.
posted by angrycat at 1:26 PM on August 20 [122 favorites]


We're really talking about a catastrophic failure to develop empathy here, and there are so many interrelated causes for that. Technologically mediated communication, interaction, and entertainment are obviously implicated significantly.

The real nazis were produced in the 1930s and 1940s. The tech may play some role but it is really very minor compared to the much more major roles of human nature and authority based social structures.
posted by srboisvert at 2:04 PM on August 20 [19 favorites]


The real nazis were produced in the 1930s and 1940s. The tech may play some role but it is really very minor compared to the much more major roles of human nature and authority based social structures.

Well sure, but I wasn't talking about what makes people Nazis, just the "anything for the lulz" factor.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:30 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Indeed, the defining communications technology of the Third Reich was radio broadcasts; the government handed out free radio receivers to every household so that they could hear Hitler's speeches in their own homes. If you weren't Hitler, getting your own hateful ranting heard would have been considerably more difficult.
posted by acb at 2:32 PM on August 20 [6 favorites]


On the "for the lulz" factor, there's that quote from Sartre on "anti-semites" that, uh
Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.
A parallel concept, I think, is Schrödinger's Douchebag or Schrödinger's Racist - someone who says something shitty and then decides whether or not they were joking or not based on the reactions of the people around them. (Parallel in that they're both types of insincerity)
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:40 PM on August 20 [111 favorites]


This is quite diverting - claims that somebody is hiring POC actors (twitter) to hold up signs and act enthusiastically at 45's Phoenix rally. Is it the Committee to Relect the President? Is it Soros? Is it the Northampton Glee Club and Choral Society? Who knows.

It is impossible to grade this from 'true happening' to 'complete fabrication', with many possible levels between. But if it is a hoax, it's a good 'un; if someone really did leave that ad in bona fide expectation of hiring people for this, it's even more so.

If real, then $10/hr seems a low offer indeed for the various kinds of nastiness that may accrue, at the time or thereafter.
posted by Devonian at 2:47 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


When you want a profile of somebody who's been in it "for the lulz" long before the Internet did its current enabling, the perfect example is Herr Trump himself.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:47 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


NBC News is reporting, “President Trump will address the nation tomorrow on U.S. engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia.”

I’ve read conflicting reports in the last few days about the direction he might take. Anyone have any idea what he might say?
posted by _Mona_ at 2:47 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


He's handing the whole mess over to Blackwater/Xe, I believe.
posted by Artw at 2:51 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


There's no way we're going the East India Company route. It can't possibly be.
posted by Justinian at 2:56 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


This is quite diverting - claims that somebody is hiring POC actors (twitter) to hold up signs and act enthusiastically at 45's Phoenix rally. Is it the Committee to Relect the President? Is it Soros? Is it the Northampton Glee Club and Choral Society? Who knows.

Trump's campaign offered actors $50 to cheer for him at his presidential announcement, so it's entirely possible it's real.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:56 PM on August 20 [8 favorites]


South . . . Asia?

Like India? Qatar?
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:58 PM on August 20


That's just his way of saying, "not you, NK".
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:00 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Wait, does he think Venezuela is in Asia?
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:04 PM on August 20


A prime time address to the nation is usually reserved for very major policy announcements, like "we're pulling 100% of our forces out" or "we're adding 100k soldiers to Afghanistan." But with Trump he could be announcing the building of a new Trump Tower in Mumbai. That's where we're at now.
posted by Justinian at 3:06 PM on August 20 [24 favorites]


Why are they in some low ceilinged bunker with that weird 30% roofline on the right that forces the flags to be all clumped over to the left. Who left conference phone half there in the foreground?

FYI, that's the conference room at Camp David -- recently seen with matching lighting for the GCC summit, but still recognizably the same table as the Bush era complete with a porthole or something for the conferencing phone.

It may not have been the best site for a formal senior staff/cabinet photo [by itself that's a weird grouping, though], but the place has a long history of deliberately casual usage -- here's Clinton (W.J.) with his own cabinet -- so I'm not sure this is something to overly psychologize.

Looks like bad on-camera flash

Now here we can pile on. This photographer is no Pete Souza. His successor, Shealah Craighead, has been criticized by peers and journalists, but also seems to be sidelined by her boss on more than one occasion. Overall the current WH is taking a notable break from the open, humane warmth established by the last one. In short, there are a lot of inexplicable choices that have led to some awkward imagery getting out, like the (press) photo of Kellyanne Conway, cell phone in hand, in her stockinged feet on an Oval Office sofa -- and at the same time in the shot being taken by the official photographer.

You gotta count 9/11. Move the start date to 1995 & you can include Oklahoma City but the number's still severely unbalanced against Islamists.

I dunno, I think it's such an impossibly outsized number that it would overshadow anything else (which seems to be your point). It would be like counting (while it's sort of on topic) "Northerner elites murdering Southerner populists" while including the casualty figures from the Civil War. At some point you have to make distinctions and determine cutoff dates.

The real point of people bringing up "terrorism deaths" is not the actual numbers or risks, which are relatively small -- compared to things like heart disease, or jaywalking -- but to make the unstated point that they are undeserved. In other words, it's another form of white/Western privilege. The actual numbers, then, are largely irrelevant and any competing numbers or framing are likely to be rejected perforce.

authority based social structures

I've been giving a lot of thought to this. The infamous Tumblr image seemed to be more predictive of all this than any scientific poll. I don't think the tech is entirely blameless as I don't see any of these trendlines fitting a traditionally designed reactionary, RW, racist lashback but here we are. The question has always been whether this very individualistic, solipsistic, "for the lulz", "what about the memes" masturbatory self-entertainment -- literal wankery if there ever could be such a thing -- could merge with, or at least mesh with, the more predictable and well-established anti-establishmentarianism of the existing white nationalism, white supremacy, neo-Nazi structures. I don't think Charlottesville or Boston have yet really answered that.

the government handed out free radio receivers to every household

Well, there was a great tweet about carrying the President's brain around in your pocket. But despite his loathsome comments, and his coterie of dead-eyed fascists, there doesn't seem to be an immediate hunger to build on this in the top-down sense, so that's ... a point in our favor. Still, the Breitbarf pivot to a sort of chaos-fomentation again sort of indicates that if we get closer to fascism, it's going to look more like Putinism than anything we're familiar with from the 1930s. Back then there was a hunger -- across ideological lines -- for wide-scale social regimentation. Uniforms, marches, the whole thing. I don't think the polo-khaki thing quite qualifies, at least at the current stage. And I think the current backlash against Confederate statues means that for the time being, both a) the Charlottesville effect is net negative, but b) they probably still seem to feel they scored some hits.

This isn't to minimize how dangerous this movement is, but I feel we still haven't seen it coalesce into the scale of a mass movement that would be necessary to be existential to the republic, regardless of dangers to life and limb POC and other targeted groups might face. That inflection point isn't here yet, even if it feels like it might be close. As of now, I'm slightly confident that we can keep it from doing that, even if it now seems certain we're going to be dealing with (scarily dangerous) tiny little gazebos-worth here and there for some time to come.

(If anything this may simply be down to the administration's failure to fulfill some expectations that they would pursue a more nakedly populist agenda, instead of basically playing referee to the same-old GOP health-care and taxes song-and-dance.)
posted by dhartung at 3:14 PM on August 20 [11 favorites]


9:00 Monday night is the Paul Ryan town hall that CNN has been promoting so hard.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:22 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


>Optimistic, maybe. Shrug.

Optimistic, sure, but I think right on the nose, actually. What I'm seeing in the past couple of weeks, with so much first-person, primary source material forthcoming from these events, is that the white supremacists/neo-Nazis/alt-right/terrible people appear mostly to be emotionally wounded and completely lacking in the skill set to understand, contextualize and process their emotions and feelings--as they're happening or afterward--and a general lack of emotional intelligence. I have no idea how to engage such a person or population of persons in active empathy and listening, other than several thousand (million?) one-on-one conversations, pursued as opportunities arise (like the one you mention).

>This isn't to minimize how dangerous this movement is, but I feel we still haven't seen it coalesce into the scale of a mass movement that would be necessary to be existential to the republic[...]

Folks in Boston have strongly reinforced my sense that this is hyperreality meeting empirical reality, and the nazis are learning that they are far more fearsome online, in a mediated reality that is epistemically secure. Vastly more of us have been educated in and embraced liberal, tolerant social values than are rejecting them, according to the real-world evidence we've seen in the past few weeks. These faux-nazis may be the tip of a spear, or they may be a giant, gross paper tiger--given the extraordinary saturation of our individual daily experiences in mediated reality/ies, either is possible. Thus far, evidence indicates paper tiger. I hope this pattern persists.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:29 PM on August 20 [24 favorites]


9:00 Monday night is the Paul Ryan town hall that CNN has been promoting so hard.

Oh. So Trump could just be using this as an opportunity to screw over "fake news" CNN. "I'm just here so I don't get fined to lower CNN's ratings" repeated over and over.
posted by Justinian at 3:32 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


What White Nationalism Gets Right About American History
I was raised by the leaders of the white nationalist movement with a model of American history that described a vigorous white supremacist past and once again I find myself observing events in which I once might have participated before I rejected the white nationalist cause several years ago. After the dramatic, horrible and rightly unnerving events in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, I had to make separate calls: one to make sure no one in my family who might have attended the rally got hurt, and a second to see if any friends at the University of Virginia had been injured in the crowd of counterprotesters.
posted by mumimor at 3:34 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


I have no idea how to engage such a person or population of persons in active empathy and listening,
I suspect people like these have had a strong support system of other people like these, which recently turned from reassurance that they are the top of the food chain to an echo chamber of "OMG the OTHERS are out to get us!" It probably started with Obama's election and should have taken a step back with Their Hero Donald becoming President, but every time he looks (1) vulnerable, (2) stupid or (3) a failure, their Great White Hope is crushed. Yes, even some of them can see how badly he's doing, but most of those are blaming sabotage by cucks/RINOs/DeepState/Soros...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:38 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


So it turns out there was a Quebec white supremacy rally, that wasn't on my radar. It was a decisive victory and they marched near the Plains of Abraham.

One of the Counter protests was poorly done, to say the least. Im not sure if this was due to a lack of people, or... (police in at least some cities in the province of Quebec have shown that they're willing to be agent provocateurs(Montreal police are on the record admitting it))


That this happened in Quebec doesn't surprise me, however.
posted by Yowser at 3:44 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


There's that, but I think there's also an increasing cloud of vague anxiety about the state of the world itself. Resources everyone always thought were so abundant they were effectively free, not so. Housing. Water. Hope for a prosperous, comfortable life. (Obviously, this is a position of privilege in the first place). Unspoken conclusion: there isn't enough for everyone in the world. Pick a team or be left out when the circle gets too small.
posted by ctmf at 3:48 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Thus far, evidence indicates paper tiger.

They're moving the Overton window. Nazis will remain a tiny fringe, but they'll become increasingly mainstream. TV news will routinely interview Nazis and they'll hold regular rallies in major cities. As they get normalized as part of American discourse, it will become more and more common for people to be openly racist -- not hiring minorities for jobs, passing discriminatory laws, criticizing anyone who makes any tiny effort at equality as an extreme liberal. Republicans have been doing this for decades -- remember how 10 years ago, a Muslim ban would have been a sad joke? But 10 years of people saying incomprehensible and horrible things about Muslims on TV later, and it seems like a relatively reasonable policy to many voters. The right is very good at playing the long game to get what they want.
posted by miyabo at 3:52 PM on August 20 [50 favorites]


Also: the term “extreme liberal” will stop sounding oxymoronic. Perhaps afterwards, they'll go for the extreme moderates...
posted by acb at 4:04 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


In other way-too-appropriate news, a corpse flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden has bloomed and TWO more are about to open up and stink up the place...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:07 PM on August 20 [15 favorites]


criticizing anyone who makes any tiny effort at equality as an extreme liberal.

Oh noez, not a LIBERAL! What could be worse than being called a liberal? Being called a Nazi maybe?

We liberals have got to get to the point where we can stand up and say, "Yes, I'm a liberal, and I'm proud of it." I don't think that's a problem here on MeFi, but it seems to be a sticking point in many other places.

"Yes, I'm a liberal, and if you don't believe in equal rights for all citizens, you're a bigot. An un-American bigot."
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:11 PM on August 20 [29 favorites]


Perhaps afterwards, they'll go for the extreme moderates...

What makes a man turn neutral anyway?

Rallying cry already picked out.
posted by mrgoat at 4:11 PM on August 20 [10 favorites]


This isn't to minimize how dangerous this movement is, but I feel we still haven't seen it coalesce into the scale of a mass movement that would be necessary to be existential to the republic, regardless of dangers to life and limb POC and other targeted groups might face.

You're too blasé about the threat from the Twitler Youth. They're effectively the youth wing of the Republican party; what happens when they rise into the ranks of officialdom, or when the police and other officers start working with them? They don't need to take over the government if they're already inside it.

The horrible thing is, I don't think they're the worst threat. I think they're just a manifestation of the same forces that allowed Trump to be elected. Unlike our enemies, we haven't yet come to terms with the leveling effect of the internet. The gatekeepers of public opinion used to be the press, but traditional media is collapsing in the face of sponsored and fake news. The party system used to be another safeguard, but omnipresent media means that people are more influenced by their Facebook feed than by personal approaches. We can see the effects in action: politicians who will sit on their hands rather than confirm vital appointments or pass budgets, but will literally vote for other legislation sight unseen. There's a gaping void at the heart of the political system: it reaches from the bottom to the top; and it's an existential threat to both the republic and the entire world.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:16 PM on August 20 [33 favorites]


9:00 Monday night is the Paul Ryan town hall that CNN has been promoting so hard.
And wasn't the timeslot for The Apprentice for at least one season?
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:26 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


They're moving the Overton window.

Very true, but I think it's more accurate to say that they're trying to continue to move the Overton window. While that's met with success thus far, the difference in degree can produce hugely different results.

I think of it like a quantum tipping point, where they'll persist in their pattern, move things along one more click, but some small degree of movement--slightly more overt and open messages, actions, so on--will eventually be the proverbial straw, and the large, majority critical mass of the rest of us will stand up and say no more, all of this shit has to go. (I imagine that would look something like 30,000 people showing up to tell a couple dozen racists to shut the fuck up.)

I guess I'm just saying that things will not persist as they always have, change does occur, and reality--despite Karl Rove's cocky assurances to the contrary--will always assert itself. If the reality is that the United States is populated by millions of virulently racist people, then, well, it's horrifying to have that flower bloom (and this is not the place I thought it was at all). But if the reality is that the alt-right is mostly an anger-and-anxiety-fueled internet circle-jerk, then when it comes time to show up and actually do things out in the world, they will be outnumbered by orders of magnitude.

You're too blasé about the threat from the Twitler Youth. They're effectively the youth wing of the Republican party; what happens when they rise into the ranks of officialdom, or when the police and other officers start working with them? They don't need to take over the government if they're already inside it.

A reasonable concern, but we still don't have evidence that the "Twitler Youth" aren't, like, 65% bots or Russian disinformation officers or whatever. For my part, I simply refuse to buy into any version of fatalism (i.e., the traditional media may have collapsed, but the Washington Post (to name one) is experiencing enormous growth in subscribers and are adapting substantive reporting and commentary to new media quite well (IMHO), new media outlets are rapidly growing up and producing work of real substance, etc.) or powerlessness (like, they can keep trying to do this shit, but it's not literally unstoppable; we just haven't figured out how to yet). If most people in any town, city, state, country or continent were fundamentally hateful and angry, the world really would be on fire. That it isn't, to me, speaks the overwhelmingly peaceful basic nature of human beings at present.
posted by LooseFilter at 4:35 PM on August 20 [11 favorites]


Shaun King--the photographer who took pictures of the men who brutally tried to kill Deandre Harris has finally been contacted by the FBI.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:41 PM on August 20 [35 favorites]




They're effectively the youth wing of the Republican party; what happens when they rise into the ranks of officialdom, or when the police and other officers start working with them? They don't need to take over the government if they're already inside it.

No, I'm sorry, that is actually the worst of it. The "forces" that allowed Trump to come to power were a groundswell of populism that neither the Republicans nor Democrats acknowledged - the Goopers got a populist, and it turned out he was a Nazi-sympathizer Randroid Accelerationist as well as a populist.

Bernie clearly wasn't the right populist to represent the party, as much as I like the man and his policies, but all other contenders were stifled, either not developed inside the party, or strong-armed into sitting this one out. It was a tactical mistake that musn't be repeated. I am trusting for the moment it won't be. In stand-up comedy jargon - READ THE GODDAMN ROOM. (This opinion is null and void if evidence comes out the actual vote tally was tampered with, in the primaries or general.)

What is worse is the gleeful sadism in the service of humor that has infected the political right. Rush Lindbaugh is a funny, charming man, and he punches DOWN with verve and panache... as does Anne Coulter, Tomi Iomi I mean Lehrer, Glen Beck, Alex Jones - these are all comedians. Their comedy is vile. It makes people laugh and come closer to them, feel like they're a part of something, not realizing or caring they're becoming vile themselves or the something they're a part of is loathsome and UnAmerican.

This is our fight, now.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:45 PM on August 20 [10 favorites]




Specifically: Breaking: Destroyer USS John S. McCain involved in collision with merchant ship east of Singapore and Strait of Malacca - 7th Fleet

The USS John S. McCain? Go home writers. You're drunk.
posted by zachlipton at 5:00 PM on August 20 [44 favorites]


USS John S. McCain

Per reports the captain expressed grave concern as he ordered the ship full speed ahead.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 5:01 PM on August 20 [119 favorites]


That's not anywhere near the Gulf of Tonkin by chance, is it?
posted by Rykey at 5:01 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Are we sure the ships actually collided? I heard our ship just delivered a strong rebuke to the other ship.
posted by snofoam at 5:02 PM on August 20 [15 favorites]


Is it like last time,where they were just too stubborn to admit they didn't have right of way?
posted by Yowser at 5:02 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


It looks like Breitbart is already unloading with both barrels on Jared and Ivanka.
posted by Talez at 5:03 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Too bad. The Ivanka and Jared takedowns were so delightful; now that disinformation from Breitbart (not Nazis but #1 with Nazis) is in the mix, it won't be as fun.
posted by Yowser at 5:05 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


Also, I prefer ships that weren't in maritime accidents. Also, steady hand on the tiller.
posted by snofoam at 5:07 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


It looks like Breitbart is already unloading with both barrels on Jared and Ivanka.

We approach the event horizon of the Horrid Singularity.
posted by nubs at 5:10 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Slap*Happy: Tomi Iomi I mean Lehrer

What?
posted by CCBC at 5:14 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


They mean Tomi Lahren. She had an appearance on The Daily Show.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 5:16 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Slap*Happy: Tomi Iomi I mean Lehrer

What?


Black Sabbath joke, I think.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 5:18 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]



....The DNC has been trying to do fundraising?

I'm a registered Democrat and I haven't heard a THING about that.


I am not a registered Democrat and I had to ask them to stop calling me at random times and random days from some random number. And then I told them to stop fucking calling me altogether from unlisted numbers and then just blocked those.
posted by anem0ne at 5:31 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


People are beginning to speculate about a hack job on the guidance systems, 2 collisions in less than 6 mos is very strange.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:36 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Randomly..... it seems to me that all operatives and politicians and spokespeople for the Democratic party would do well to instil message discipline in a single, simple manner: always, but always refer to the Republican party as "The Trump Republican party" in every situation until DJT has resigned or is impeached.
posted by peacay at 5:40 PM on August 20 [27 favorites]


Thanks, Rainbo Vagrant. Tomi Lahren, not Tommi Iommi. I sort of have it now.
posted by CCBC at 5:43 PM on August 20


Isn't the "Harry Potter for white people" just Harry Potter? Am confused.
posted by Grangousier at 5:54 PM on August 20 [19 favorites]


Yup. I was just listening to a podcast(one of the crooked media ones I think) where there was a never Trumper talking about the Charlottesville just absolutely denied that the Republican party could possibly be racist.

Which is just, nonsense. The entire feeder system of College Republicans going back to at least the early 80s is filled to the brim with bonafide white supremacists, for one thing.

If calling it the Trump Republican party is the way to stick racism to them permanently , do it.

If it means losing racist Democratic Party members, then so be it.
posted by Yowser at 5:56 PM on August 20 [8 favorites]


a never Trumper talking about the Charlottesville just absolutely denied that the Republican party could possibly be racist.

I'm so sick of this framing. I was able to semi-turn someone grar'ing about libtards on Twitter by reversing the question: How many of these white supremacists voted Republican? Why are so many of them Republicans?" You can sidestep the entire No True Scotsman angle by removing the standard defense, that generalizations break down upon examination (Not All Republicans, All Lives Matter, etc.). So, don't start with the generalization, start with the specific: the racists and what they do with their politics.

When you focus on the traits of the subculture and why they align one way or another, it opens up the question of what Republicans share with racists such that their votes are reliable. That is, you can agree that not all Republicans are racist, but why are all racists Republican?
posted by rhizome at 6:06 PM on August 20 [39 favorites]


MetaFilter: mostly an anger-and-anxiety-fueled internet circle-jerk
posted by kirkaracha at 6:12 PM on August 20 [13 favorites]


I'm sure that for a narcissist whose main goal in life is putting his name on things, he'd consider the "Trump Republican Party" to be the ultimate honor, no matter what anybody else thinks.

And I've said before that I have expected for some time that the Republicans would ultimately put a fascist, pseudo-populist with an extreme public persona into the White House but I ranked several FoxNoozers, Radio Shock Jocks and Fake Wrestlers above this UnRealityTV Star for likelihood. But now I'm kind of relieved that we ended up with an incompetent buffoon who can't take advice or direction, because his failure is pretty much assured and the damage to the party will be massive.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:15 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Oh noez, not a LIBERAL! What could be worse than being called a liberal? Being called a Nazi maybe?
Santos: It's true, Republicans have tried to turn 'liberal' into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.

Vinick: A Republican president ended slavery.

Santos: Yes, a liberal Republican. What happened to them? They got run out of your party. What did liberals do that was so offensive to the Republican party? I'll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed every one of those programs. Every one. So when you try to hurl the word 'liberal' at my feet, as if it were dirty, something to run away from, something that I should be ashamed of, it won't work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and wear it as a badge of honor.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:15 PM on August 20 [182 favorites]


The USS John S. McCain was named after both the grandfather and father of Senator McCain (both Navy admirals), not after the senator himself.

The boat it hit, Alnic MC, is a large tanker, with (if loaded) roughly five times the displacement of an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. This is gonna be bad if it was more than a glancing hit.
posted by spitbull at 6:16 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


People are beginning to speculate about a hack job on the guidance systems, 2 collisions in less than 6 mos is very strange.

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action." –Auric Goldfinger
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:16 PM on August 20 [8 favorites]


The Navy has already disciplined the captain and bridge crew of the last incident. I doubt there's been a hack of the guidance systems. Would be easily discovered and be an offensive act of war. Whose gonna do that?
posted by spitbull at 6:19 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


I'd have said the same thing about hacking elections.
posted by ryanrs at 6:20 PM on August 20 [13 favorites]


A hack job would not have resulted in firing the CO, XO, and CMC of FITZ, plus a dozen or so administrative actions for the bridge and CIC watches. We don't know what happened to McCain yet, but hacked "guidance systems" (what, radar? binoculars, ffs?) is just fantasy fiction at this point.
posted by ctmf at 6:22 PM on August 20 [6 favorites]


hacking elections
Nah, it's not the same even if it should be. Any nation state that hacked a US destroyer's guidance system would face immediate and severe retaliation. For what? They didn't sink the first one. And after partial investigation the Navy busted the captain of the Fitzgerald and the on duty bridge crew. That satisfies me that there was egregious human error.

The Alnic is smaller than the boat that was hit by the Fitzgerald, though. So that's good news.
posted by spitbull at 6:24 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


(I don't actually think the guidance systems were hacked. My point was more about retaliation.)
posted by ryanrs at 6:29 PM on August 20


Seems like several reports that the McCain crew is ok with only minor injuries and the ship is sailing under its own power.
posted by spitbull at 6:30 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Vanity Fair, Gabe Sherman, Steve Bannon Readies His Revenge: The war on Jared Kushner is about to go nuclear.
Recently, according to several sources, Bannon has told friends he wants Priebus to give his account of the James Comey firing to special prosecutor Robert Mueller. According to a source close to Priebus, the former chief of staff believes that the decision was made during an early May weekend in Bedminster, where Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Stephen Miller were with the president. Trump returned to the Oval Office on Monday, May 8 and told other aides he intended to fire Comey.
So essentially Bannon wants Priebus to testify that Kushner should take the fall for Comey's firing. That could get interesting. He also wants a war with Fox.
posted by zachlipton at 6:32 PM on August 20 [20 favorites]


Something stinks, that's two military collisions with commercial ships in recent memory.
posted by rhizome at 6:34 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Hahahaha I just came into post that Sherman piece with the exact same pullquote, which I think is the most interesting bit of the article. Here's a related bit:
In his feud with Kushner, Bannon may have a powerful ally: Reince Priebus, also recently departed from the White House with a quiver of grudges.
A quiver of grudges! Reince's revenge? Man, this could get so good.
posted by lalex at 6:35 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


So I guess that's the full on "war" on "liberals" he promised? Good luck old chum.
posted by Artw at 6:35 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Spitbull, I agree it could be not as bad as Fitz, except now twitter is reporting (unconfirmed) two berthings and shaft alley flooded, (separately) 10 missing, 5 hurt.

Flooding a berthing at 5-something am is never going to be good.
posted by ctmf at 6:37 PM on August 20 [6 favorites]


Something stinks, that's two military collisions with commercial ships in recent memory.

Possibly this is a sign that there are too many warships around? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:37 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


Newish NYT Haberman/Peters piece: Bannon Was Set for a Graceful Exit. Then Came Charlottesville.
Mr. Bannon openly complained to White House colleagues that he resented how Ms. Trump would try to undo some of the major policy initiatives that he and Mr. Trump agreed were important to the president’s economic nationalist agenda, like withdrawing from the Paris climate accords. In this sense, he was relieved when Mr. Kelly took over and put in place a structure that kept other aides from freelancing.

“Those days are over when Ivanka can run in and lay her head on the desk and cry,” he told multiple people.
OUCH.
posted by lalex at 6:38 PM on August 20 [34 favorites]


A gazebo of Nazis, a quiver of grudges...

Time for a Trump-themed edition of An Exaltation of Larks.
posted by zachlipton at 6:40 PM on August 20 [10 favorites]


"In his feud with Kushner, Bannon may have a powerful ally: Reince Priebus, also recently departed from the White House with a quiver of grudges."

The enemy of my enemy is not my friend, but I'm not going to claim I'm not excited about their circular firing squad ...
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:43 PM on August 20 [30 favorites]


So essentially Bannon wants Priebus to testify that Kushner should take the fall for Comey's firing. That could get interesting. He also wants a war with Fox.

Good. Let them all take each other down with their petty backstabbing. Mueller can pound the nails in the coffins.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:43 PM on August 20 [19 favorites]


ctmf, you're seeing newer reports. That's bad. Good thoughts.

Trump will need to address this tomorrow night if lives are lost or sailors are still missing. Or risk looking completely clueless.
posted by spitbull at 6:43 PM on August 20


Possibly this is a sign that there are too many warships around? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sure, but a nice chunk of the crew of the other one just got relieved of duty and reassigned, so...I dunno what kind of strategy the crashes are accomplishing. Note in that article that the Fitzgerald was apparently "on its way to an emergency," which...ha.
posted by rhizome at 6:45 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


“Those days are over when Ivanka can run in and lay her head on the desk and cry,” he told multiple people.

And I know that Trump and Bannon are rumored to still be working together or whatever, but I have to wonder how many times he can unload the cannons on Trump's favorite child before Trump gets pissed. I mean, he was apoplectic at Nordstrom for not stocking her stuff anymore due to poor sales; Bannon is straight up directly insulting her.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:48 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


Um, on another note does anyone know what the theme for this week is? Because I need to calculate the proper popcorn-to-existential-horror ratios.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:50 PM on August 20 [11 favorites]


Fox beat @USNavy to the punch, but only barely. I'd take "missing" numbers with a grain of salt - it took Fitz hours to come up with a solid number, what with everyone actively fighting flooding, electrical problems, and whatever else from the impact shock. You don't really stop what you're doing to do a man-overboard muster, even though that's important too.
posted by ctmf at 6:59 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Trump? "That's too bad." [about the collision] per Haberman. Smooth.
posted by ctmf at 7:02 PM on August 20 [8 favorites]


This Daily Beast article is just utterly hilarious. I mean even the headline is making me laugh out loud. Melania Trump Is Starting to Step Into the Void Left by Ivanka and Jared

Void? Jared and Ivanka are, um, still there. But obviously Melania's publicist doesn't care what Javanka's publicist thinks.

Can you imagine the Obama White House if every staffer had their own publicists running around reminding people how great they are? That Kelly hasn't made these idiots fire all the publicists is nuts.
posted by zachlipton at 7:02 PM on August 20 [28 favorites]


Republicans really the party of the troops there.
posted by Artw at 7:04 PM on August 20


METAFILTER:: Because I need to calculate the proper popcorn-to-existential-horror ratios
posted by philip-random at 7:05 PM on August 20 [19 favorites]


It is interesting the father of two of the young men, who participated in the Barcelona van attack, was interviewed, he said many of the things I said about bad actors from the web coming for our young men. He said they were so young, and so nice. He just wanted to protect them from drugs, drinking, smoking, so he sent them to Mosque. The Qurans were in Arabic so they could not read them, and they listened to what they were told. The father said, someone used them, because they were young. They were used by adults. It is everywhere, I realized when writing about the alt right, that those sentiments could apply to any recruiting agency, looking for soldiers, followers, converts, believers, doers, chumps, victims, you name it. The father was aggrieved over the loss of his sons, when all he wanted to do basically, was send them to church for their own good.
posted by Oyéah at 7:31 PM on August 20 [21 favorites]


Hmm, "political molestation" has a certain ring to it.
posted by rhizome at 7:41 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


> Compare with a shot of Obama's cabinet which is just so open and airy and simultaniously relaxed but meticulously composed.

That wistful longing for a time that didn't suck so much...

Since dhartung recognized that the Trump photo is from Camp David, I'll point out that Obama's photo is taken in the East Room of the White House. It's appropriate because it's used as the WH's public reception space, so the photo is that administration introducing themselves to the nation so to speak. The composition is great too, of course it's nice to pose in front of Washington and Teddy Roosevelt, but there's so much history and symbolism you can read into those portraits. The portrait of Washington is a replica of the Lansdowne portrait that survived the British burning the WH in 1814. The portrait's history was not lost on Obama, he later invited the descendants of Paul Jennings to the White House to honor the enslaved man who helped to rescue it. And Teddy oversaw the renovations to the East Room transforming it from a victorian acid trip to the stately beaux-arts style of today. Even after Truman had to completely gut the White House, it was rebuilt so that Roosevelt would recognize it (he used the room for judo demonstrations).

And the chandelier that's peeking into the top right of the Obama photo, people who work in the WH love those chandeliers. They are gorgeous in a way that doesn't photograph well enough. I know a guy who used to work in the residential staff so I've had a few behind the scenes tours, every time those chandeliers were a big topic. Last time I got a tour was in the GWB days, the East Room chandeliers had just been cleaned for the first time in a few years because the legendary glass cleaner had retired and it took that long to hire a replacement. People were legit excited that the chandeliers were polished up again.

> so I'm not sure this is something to overly psychologize.

Yeah, probably, and back to the point I was going to make, it's been striking to me how little Trump engages with the rich history and symbolism that he's now surrounded by. Maybe he's just dumb and his brain can't make metaphorical comparisons, or maybe the narcissism won't let him acknowledge that there were other presidents except when he needs to blame someone for the "mess" he's inherited, or maybe he'd rather promote his golf courses and hotels, or maybe it's just his really poor taste, but anyhow, Trump is now neck deep in the trappings of the richest symbolic and historical office of the country and all he's done is hang a portrait of Andrew Jackson in the Oval Office.

Even when he does engage with history to burnish his legitimacy he's done it in the most clumsy, cargo-culty way. For instance, in his recreation of the situation room photo he clearly didn't get what made Obama's compelling, but he got to show he's tough, squinty, and scowly. He tried to use Air Force One at a campaign rally, but mostly backed away from that. He launched missiles at Syria, but took that as an opportunity to tell us how beautiful the chocolate cake was. Before the presidency, from his stolen family crest to his "River of Blood" plaque, they're such cheap imitations of actual historical importance that he's getting close to stolen valor territory; they're cheap lies about the past, bad ones at that, to lend a false dignity.

He doesn't seem to get that he could really boost his image just by briefly controlling his worst impulses and rearranging some of the props his office affords him access to, I guess we're lucky for that.
posted by peeedro at 7:51 PM on August 20 [50 favorites]


Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, thrice is enemy action. If it happens again in the next few months, we can be assured automated shipping and the tools and processes in place to protect USN vessels from them have both been compromised by a state actor. I don't expect it to turn out this way, but I would demand our national leadership to plan for it to turn out that way.

Also, Harry Potter is literally the stand-in for every oppressed kid ever. J.K. Rowling would nod with vigorous approval at Harry Potter being depicted as Jamaican, at him being Harriet Potter, at her being Harriet Potter.

Unwanted kid being the one who saves us all is the deal. The Nazis have a problem with "us all", so they don't get to be Harry Potter.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:58 PM on August 20 [12 favorites]


"A quiver of grudges" sounds like a fundamentalist dog whistle.
posted by Horkus at 8:01 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** Alabama senate special -- In case you missed it last week, incumbent appointed Senator Luther Strange and Roy "that Ten Commandments judge" Moore advanced to a runoff for the GOP nomination for the former Jeff Sessions Senate seat. And a new JMC Analytics poll has Moore in the lead 51-32.

I have to say I am surprised on this one. Strange is the nominal incumbent, has won previous statewide office, has had a ton of Mitch McConnell cash dumped in for him, and has the explicit endorsement of Trump. Both candidates have bent over backwards to deify Trump, but this might be an indicator that his endorsements in primaries may not mean much.

** 2018 House:
-- Dems are thinking big gains for the House next year. Real big. [NBC]

-- 538: Number of Dems running is a good sign, there's a historic positive correlation to election outcomes.
** Odds & ends:
-- Mentioned upstream, but that Marist poll of PA/MI/WI is really worth taking a look at. Trump approval in mid-30s, with majority of whites w/o college disapproving in general, and seeing him as failing on his job promises, in particular. Strongly disapproves greatly outnumber strongly approves. Generic House preferences of about 10 points for the Dems. Standard disclaimer that it's one poll, etc., but these are quite bad numbers for the GOP.

Of specific interest in PA, Sen. Casey is +11 favorable, as is Gov. Wolf, both of whom are up in 2018. Wolf is especially important, because he'd prevent a partisan gerrymander out of the GOP-controlled legislature at the 2020 redistricting; it's estimated that fair districts would mean a 2-3 seat Dem pickup.

Also, we note that WI Sen. Baldwin is +5, and MI Sen. Stabenow has +7. Possible MI Senate candidate (sigh) Kid Rock is +6, but I have an idea there *may* be some possible material in his background for negative ads.

-- Progressives mounting under the radar campaigns at local and municipal offices, even in conservative states. [WP]

-- Courts have ruled yet again that 2 Texas congressional districts are illegally gerrymandered. The state is appealing to the SC. [Texas Tribune]
posted by Chrysostom at 8:09 PM on August 20 [48 favorites]


Trump just disbanded the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment.

The charter for the 15-person Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment — which includes academics as well as local officials and corporate representatives — expires Sunday. On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s acting administrator, Ben Friedman, informed the committee’s chair that the agency would not renew the panel. [...]

While many state and local officials have pressed the federal government for more concrete guidance on how to factor climate change into future infrastructure, President Trump has moved in the opposite direction. Last week, the president signed an executive order on infrastructure that included language overturning a federal requirement that projects built in coastal floodplains and receiving federal aid take projected sea-level rise into account.


"[Chair Richard] Moss said members of the group intend to keep working on their report, which is due out next spring, even though it now will lack the official imprimatur of the federal government. 'It won’t have the same weight as if we were issuing it as a federal advisory committee,' he said."

I just do not get it - is it rapture that helps people feel ok about the destruction of the planet and the deaths of countless people and animals? They will not be here for it? As far as I know, climate change is an equal opportunity disaster.
posted by anya32 at 8:11 PM on August 20 [26 favorites]


Before the presidency, from his stolen family crest to his "River of Blood" plaque, they're such cheap imitations of actual historical importance that he's getting close to stolen valor territory; they're cheap lies about the past, bad ones at that, to lend a false dignity.

It's almost like the entire Trump family are a bunch of cheap hucksters who've been grafting their gold-plated way through life for generations, and not one of them possesses the intelligence or curiosity to give a shit about what came before.
posted by SakuraK at 8:14 PM on August 20 [42 favorites]


GOP denialism on climate change has snowballed to the point where they have to pretend that it's not happening at all if they want to keep their jobs, because they've sold "it's all a hoax" too well to their base. It's not enough to say "we don't know if changes are caused by GHGs" (even though we totally do know) -- anybody who acknowledges in any meaningful way that sea levels or temperatures are rising, regardless of the cause, is a heretic who must be destroyed. So we get this idiocy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:18 PM on August 20 [23 favorites]


peeedro: "For instance, in his recreation of the situation room photo he clearly didn't get what made Obama's compelling, but he got to show he's tough, squinty, and scowly."

Huh, I don't think I've seen this before. What were they supposed to be doing or looking at in this picture? Could it have been that important if Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross are there? Also, it's funny how the angle makes it looks like Jared and Rex Tillerson are staring daggers at each other. Or, who knows, maybe they really were glaring at each other.
posted by mhum at 8:26 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


I was watching CNN today and came to a conclusion that should have been obvious to me but until now had somehow escaped my grasp: the Democrats want Trump to stay in power.

I don't remember which Dem was being interviewed, but Jake Tapper started asking the guy about whether it was time to invoke the 25th and get rid of Trump. The Dem avoided the answer and started going off about how it was more important to get more Democrats in the House and Senate during the next set of elections.

What he didn't explicitly say, but was obvious in the way it wasn't said, was that he figured the chances of getting more Dems elected goes up if Trump is still in power. They can hold him up as the bogey man and say, "look at the bad man, elect us to keep the bad man in check."

I guess they figure as long as Trump is making media waves saying things that should rile up liberal-types, they're got their built in advertising and campaign slogans. "Look, we're not him. We're not Nazis."

If Pence were to somehow replace Trump, that would immediately go out the window. Then they'd be back to politics as usual, with silent dog whistles and the Republicans working together to destroy healthcare, up military spending, cut taxes, etc., and the odds are much better those types of things would actually get done much more efficiently than they are now, allowing the undecided who are swayed by a promised one or two per cent tax cut to jump immediately on the Republican bandwagon without a thought about aligning themselves with the alt-right neo-Nazis.
posted by sardonyx at 8:27 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


Also, re: Luther Strange and Roy Moore, that poll is prime evidence of just how much the GOP rank-and-file demands Trump-level craziness. POTUS' endorsement might have swung a race between two nobodies, but Roy Moore has been defying the Constitution, the Supreme Court (state and federal!) and basic decency in the name of pissing off liberals for over a decade now, and the voters know it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:28 PM on August 20 [6 favorites]


On climate change it really is the GOP versus the survival of humanity. You'd think that would sway more people to not-all-dying but apparently not.
posted by Artw at 8:31 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


I've suspected that Trump wants just enough sea level rise in his lifetime to make Mar-a-Lago a beachfront property, and after he's dead, it's all irrelevant.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:35 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


"I just do not get it - is it rapture that helps people feel ok about the destruction of the planet and the deaths of countless people and animals? They will not be here for it? As far as I know, climate change is an equal opportunity disaster."

In Trump's case, it's just straight-up cussedness. People he dislikes (because he thinks they think they're better than him, which they probably do, because really, come on) say it's real, so he's going to insist it's fake. There's nothing more to it than that. He's sticking it to those jerks who say he's a tacky, jumped-up, dumb-as-a-rock wastrel of a wealthy man's son and nothing more. Like everything, it's entirely about his ego and avenging perceived slights. He literally doesn't care if all of humanity dies, as long as his ego's boo-boo feels better for five minutes.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:40 PM on August 20 [45 favorites]


sardonyx, that was Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking dem on house intel.

He specifically demurred about the 25th amendment process, which has never been invoked and could be a total shitshow if it got rolling. There are good reasons to prefer an orderly investigation and impeachment that likely weigh on the mind of someone who knows as much dirt as Schiff likely does.

I don't think it means he wants Trump to stay in power.
posted by spitbull at 8:40 PM on August 20 [53 favorites]


As far as I know, climate change is an equal opportunity disaster.

In the long term, perhaps, but the brunt of the immediate effects are going to be felt worst by the poor. Think back to Katrina, how many rich people had to camp out in the Superdome?
posted by radwolf76 at 8:41 PM on August 20 [13 favorites]


Sardonyx, I think you're right. I've been conflicted about impeaching Trump all along (and it's been discussed in previous threads, so I won't go into detail). In short, the best scenario I see: Trump remains in office until 2020, continuing to be incompetent and polarizing, while destroying the Republican brand and energizing the left, yet somehow not causing further loss of life along the way.

The probability of that best case scenario is greatly diminishing, though.
posted by darkstar at 8:42 PM on August 20


Here's Schiff on the 25th.
posted by spitbull at 8:43 PM on August 20 [1 favorite]


I would also happily accept an indictment of Trump that so destabilizes and undermines Pence that he's not able to achieve anything of note once he's sworn in.
posted by darkstar at 8:45 PM on August 20 [10 favorites]


@sardonyx, I agree that the Democratic Party has better odds fighting fascism with the dull clod who can't get anything done vs. the radical Christian zealot VP or the granny-starving Speaker of the House. The line of succession isn't pretty if you're not a Randian white supremacist right now. Put a non-Nazi in that line in 2018 then ITMFA.
posted by SakuraK at 8:45 PM on August 20 [7 favorites]


I take it back: Sakura has the right idea. Speaker Pelosi, followed by impeachment/indictment of both Trump and Pence.

That is my new best case scenario.
posted by darkstar at 8:47 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


You're right, spitbull, it was Schiff. I just forgot his name as I started typing up the response.

Believe me, I can understand invoking the 25th would be an unprecedented mess. I'm sure at this point, Schiff is hoping there are enough official investigation irons in the fire heating up that something will turn up to make Trump impeachable.

I stand by my revelation, however, that the Democrats believe they can gain more seats in opposition to Trump than to Pence. Even if Trump should be impeached, the Republicans can just point to Pence and say, "see, here's a Real Republican acting the way a Real Republican should. Vote in some more Real Republicans to ensure that happens," leaving the Democrats to counter with the same ineffective strategies they've been using for the last number of years.
posted by sardonyx at 8:49 PM on August 20 [5 favorites]


Vanity Fair, Gabe Sherman, Steve Bannon Readies His Revenge: The war on Jared Kushner is about to go nuclear.

popcorn.gif
posted by standardasparagus at 8:55 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


Huh, I don't think I've seen this before. What were they supposed to be doing or looking at in this picture?

It was a briefing after the Syria missile strike. The BBC has a pretty good breakdown.
posted by peeedro at 8:59 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, there's a truly BatShitCrazy element in the Republican Party for whom Trump is The Messiah, and they will have zero enthusiasm for Pence and the "Real Republicans" if their hero is kicked out... and with Bannon leading the Breitbart cheering section, it'll definitely be a factor. Right now, there are two distinctly different strategies the Democrats could take, With Trump and Without Trump, and until it gets closer to the midterms and The Donald's status becomes more clear, it's not really worth doing serious strategizing now.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:05 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


Frances Robles interviews Richard Spencer for the New York Times Race/Related feature.

"Donald Trump and the so-called ‘alt-right’ are both symptoms of the same cause,” Mr. Spencer said, “the demographic displacement of white people. The dispossession of whites."

and

“I recognize that this is going to be a struggle and we have to understand it in those terms,” he said. “I don’t care about fairness. Who cares?”
posted by jgirl at 9:15 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


Before anyone gets too angry about Democrats not seriously pushing for the 25th, impeachment, etc: remember they're only going to get to try shit like this once. A failed shot will weaken their chances for further attempts at extreme remedies. They will have less credibility and it will only bolster Trump.

I want him gone, but I want him gone for sure. I want the remedy to work, not just see a gesture for the sake of making me feel better that someone is trying. Right now the best things to do are to put pressure on Republicans and to let Mueller do his thing.

Per Omar Little, when you come at the king, you best not miss.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:20 PM on August 20 [102 favorites]


Adam Schiff also has no power to invoke the 25th amendment, so i'm not sure why we would expect him to talk about it. He may not have thoight about it much. And it's not like he goes on TV for the fun of it. He's gonna talk about what he wants to talk about, whatever his talking point is today.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:21 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]


That came out wrong. I mean, the 25th amendment is literally not his department.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:23 PM on August 20 [2 favorites]




Timeless virtues like treason and racism. I just strained my eyeball muscles.
posted by SakuraK at 9:29 PM on August 20 [55 favorites]


Here's the link to the actual article instead of a tweet highlighting insanity in the article.

The highlighted bit:
From a historical point of view, it’s almost convincing, even though what American blacks suffered under segregation was nothing compared to what liberalism has inflicted on them since the 1950s, as it destroyed their families, their schools, and their young men and women’s lives through drugs and guns and the gangster-rap culture “lifestyle,” which is really a death style.
So, uh. That was written.
posted by xyzzy at 9:31 PM on August 20 [68 favorites]


Since most people don't click through, the NR piece is so much worse than you'd think from that headline. And given the headline that's saying something.
posted by Justinian at 9:31 PM on August 20 [21 favorites]


> And here we are now, not isolated as such, but better organized thanks to the internet.

> The question has always been whether this very individualistic, solipsistic, "for the lulz", "what about the memes" masturbatory self-entertainment -- literal wankery if there ever could be such a thing -- could merge with, or at least mesh with, the more predictable and well-established anti-establishmentarianism of the existing white nationalism, white supremacy, neo-Nazi structures.

> The right is very good at playing the long game to get what they want.

Explaining White Nationalism's Anti-statist Bedfellows
The appeal of white nationalism to libertarian anti-statists should not be surprising. After all, nationalist and revanchist movements have historically represented powerful tools for mobilizing secession and other forms of political resistance to “the state.” Their common cause is all the stronger in multicultural, liberal democracies where ethnic grievances can be called upon to portray “the state” less as a political compact between competing groups, and more as tyrannical sovereign infringing on some sub-group’s right to self-determination.

The influential anarcho-capitalist and “enemy of the state” himself, Murray Rothbard, spelled out the paleo-libertarian strategy of “right-wing populism” with perfect candor — more than two decades before the Trump presidential campaign executed it with astonishing success. By harnessing the white working class, Rothbard argued, a Pat Buchanan-style nominee could potentially “short-circuit the dominant media and intellectual elites,” “marginalize Bush conservatives” and create an opening to steal the Republican nomination. Once in power, Rothbard’s crypto-libertarian would then take to “dismantling the existing areas of State and elite rule” by slashing taxes, abolishing welfare, reversing the civil rights act, “unleashing” local police on crooks and vagrants, and enacting an “America First” foreign policy. Sound familiar?
posted by kliuless at 9:33 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


Per Omar Little, when you come at the king, you best not miss.

And just look at Edrogan's Turkey right now for the consequences of missing. We're not all that far from that here.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:37 PM on August 20 [32 favorites]


Something stinks, that's two military collisions with commercial ships in recent memory.

I can recall at least three fishing trawlers being dragged by British submarines in the last five years OTOH, what's your point?
posted by walrus at 9:41 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


I think this is the first thing I sort of agree with Trump about: if all confederate statues all come down, Washington, Madison, Jefferson will be the next topics of this conversation. It's true that confederates rebelled to preserve slavery; but: the founding fathers mentioned above established a slave-holding union and most of them did not push back against slavery and did not consider it morally corrupt. It's not unlikely that if other people came for their slaves, some founding fathers would try to secede in order to keep their property.

The real difference is that it was different time and different mood in the country and a lot more abolitionists in the 1850s, and I hope, though I cannot be certain, that most founding fathers would come down on the right side of the conflict.

I'm white and if PoC asked me to defend slave owning founding fathers, I don't think I could. It hasn't been a focal point so far, but I can see that it may become in a generation or sooner.

So Trump's argument makes some sense: he is calling out to republicans and moderates and centrists who hate the Confederates but are uncomfortable with the idea that Washington et al will come under fire in not too distant future.

At times there is method to his madness.
posted by rainy at 9:48 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


There are so many brain exploding things in the NR article that teasing any one out is like picking the grossest maggot but - I like that the article both tries blame "liberalism" for gangster-rap culture (hahahahaha HOW), and that the author considers this among other things to be on any kind of a par with segregation, and that the right continues to reference gangster-rap culture as if it has any relevance for black people in 2017. Like, hey it's cool that NWA scared the shit out of you crusty old fuckers 30 years ago but maybe update your hip-hop scapegoats. I know we all love 90s hip-hop, but right wing please click another playlist on spotify. You might wind up liking Future, who knows.
posted by supercrayon at 9:49 PM on August 20 [63 favorites]


I like that the article both tries blame "liberalism" for gangster-rap culture (hahahahaha HOW), and that the author considers this among other things to be on any kind of a par with segregation

National Review is basically at the "white men good, two legs bad" phase. They hope that if they repeat it often enough, people will believe it
posted by SakuraK at 10:01 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


Something stinks, that's two military collisions with commercial ships in recent memory.

It's not good. But now that I've seen some pictures of what it's supposedly like in that area it adds some perspective. Here's a picture.

That stresses me out just looking at it. If this is the common level of traffic that's nutz. Still with technology they shouldn't be hitting each other but it's easier to see how little room there is for mistakes.
posted by Jalliah at 10:04 PM on August 20 [11 favorites]


"These monuments were dedicated to memorialize the courage and sacrifice that these Southern men and, in some cases, women (one of the sculptures in Baltimore pulled down earlier this week was dedicated “to the Confederate women of Maryland”) brought to a cause that they believed at the time deserved the same “last full measure of devotion” that their Northern counterparts brought to theirs. Of course, some of those who paid for and erected these statues also believed that cause had been right, not wrong. (I’ll say more about that in a minute.) But in the final analysis, they are monuments to timeless virtues, not to individuals."

So that's basically an argument for putting up Osama bin Laden and suicide bomber statues, right? It doesn't matter that they were devoted to an evil cause, just that they displayed courage and sacrifice and gave their "last full measure of devotion."

"This is a personal issue for me. My great-great-grandfather fought for the Union in that war and was severely wounded at the Battle of Stone’s River."

Buttface, how is it a personal issue for you? That is literally the definition of an impersonal issue: someone I never met, one of my 16 great-great-grandparents, fought in a war that mobilized literally 1/3 of the population. Is it more personal to you than to the descendants of slaves who would like the names changed? Are Genghis Khan memorials personal to you because you're probably descended from him too?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:04 PM on August 20 [87 favorites]


I'm white and if PoC asked me to defend slave owning founding fathers, I don't think I could

For all of their flaws, the Founding Fathers created a system that was robust enough to end slavery and give everyone the vote.

The secessionists sought to tear that apart in a bid to make slavery and white supremacy a permanent fixture. I just don't see how a "no monuments to traitors" policy is such a difficult standard to grasp.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:09 PM on August 20 [56 favorites]


Eh, collisions don't happen every day, but I wouldn't say they're UNcommon. Popular Mechanics has a list (that references a list from NYT) and I can think of at least 2 off the top of my head that aren't on either list.

Yeah, the Strait of Malacca is pretty busy.
posted by ctmf at 10:10 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


It's not that there aren't problematic aspects to the Founding Fathers (as there are with a great many historical figures) it's that there are nothing but bad reasons to maintain statues to Confederates. "Sure, they wanted to maintain a system of chattel slavery into the forseeable future but at least they were traitors too!" Huh?
posted by Justinian at 10:13 PM on August 20 [56 favorites]


It's not that there aren't problematic aspects to the Founding Fathers (as there are with a great many historical figures) it's that there are nothing but bad reasons to maintain statues to Confederates.

Right, the ONLY reason we know Jefferson Davis' name is because he was a traitor in defense of slavery. Versus Washington led the Continental Army and then became President, establishing many of the traditions of the US that (until the garbage fire that currently occupies the role) continue to this day. We don't respect Washington for his slave-holding, but despite it.
posted by suelac at 10:20 PM on August 20 [53 favorites]


Jalliah's picture is of ships at anchor. While they are packed in tight, they are not under way.

To get a picture of how busy those waterways are, this is the live AIS tracker for the Malacca Strait.

Without wishing to continue this derail, there seems to be an issue with basic seamanship skills in the US Navy. Collisions with merchant vessels should never, ever happen.
posted by Combat Wombat at 10:23 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


I'm willing to knock down any statue, rename any road, any city as long as we start with the Confederate ones. "New York is named after a slave trader!" Um, okay, rename it. Just tear down all that Confederate nonsense too.
posted by great_radio at 10:24 PM on August 20 [14 favorites]


I guess I just see Confederacy's slavery a much much bigger issue than secessionism in itself. And on that bigger issue the line between them and founding fathers isn't that clear. Founding fathers surely didn't leave a clear blessing to eventual end to slavery. They created a robust but slave-owning system that was not, at that time, certain to will have ended the slavery. In 1776 a whole lot of people would have expected slavery to continue into 2776.

I'm not coming to one or the other side of the argument, I just think that realistically speaking, idolization of founding fathers was something very important in creating the self-affirming mythology of the new-born country (compared to the old nations of Europe). I just have to say I can see how in 20 or 30 years a whole lot of people will suddenly say, hey, our capital is named after a self-satisfied slave owner?
posted by rainy at 10:29 PM on August 20 [9 favorites]


In 1776 a whole lot of people would have expected slavery to continue into 2776.

I'm not a historian, but I thought most people back then thought slavery was going to just die out. I mean even in the period between 1776 to 1860, slavery itself changed due to the prohibition of importing slaves in 1808 and stuff the Founding Fathers could not foresee like the growth of the textile manufacturing and the invention of the cotton gin.

I guess also people in 1776 who believed slavery to continue to 2776 might be onto something, since it's 2017 and technically the world is still not entirely free from slave labor.
posted by FJT at 10:45 PM on August 20 [12 favorites]


I guess also people in 1776 who believed slavery to continue to 2776 might be onto something, since it's 2017 and technically the world is still not entirely free from slave labor.
Not only that but the US is still not free of slave labor. People keep overlooking this, seriously, what the fuck does it take to get people to remember that prison slavery is 100% legal in the USA and practiced on an extremely large scale?
posted by adrienneleigh at 11:23 PM on August 20 [86 favorites]


Black Sabbath joke, I think.

some of my best friends are Black Sabbath.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:29 PM on August 20 [3 favorites]


seriously, what the fuck does it take to get people to remember that prison slavery is 100% legal in the USA and practiced on an extremely large scale?
posted by adrienneleigh at 3:23 PM on August 21 [6 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Former elected officials in prison?
posted by saysthis at 11:34 PM on August 20 [18 favorites]


If you own a hotel in Dubai, you own slaves. You can bet on that, or you employ a slave owner who runs the slaves in your business. If you own a large hotel in Dubai, you run sex slaves. Slavery is more than rare, and going strong in the US. Part of getting rid of low cost, or no cost health care is enslavement, making people benefits slaves, or outright denying people the care they need to prosper, so their children can flourish and compete in this society.

Maybe the Navy needs to remeasure the area of the oceans, to better track their vessels. They must be on some big network that has not compensated for sea rise, and an increase in lateral area.
posted by Oyéah at 11:55 PM on August 20 [4 favorites]


It's especially freaky that these two collisions have involved Arleigh Burke class destroyers, which are equipped with the Aegis Combat System -- basically full-spectrum radar, combined with sonar and other threat information, funnelled through an advanced command and control computer system. Even if one assumes that in peacetime and in civilian traffic areas the military stuff should not be at hair-trigger alert level*, Aegis is basically the eyes and ears for a ship and every Carrier Battle Group is accompanied by up to two Aegis-equipped Ticonderoga-class cruisers as the decision point for threat assessment in air, surface, and below-surface spaces.

*(Sadly, it was the cruiser Vincennes that had its Aegis system activated when Iran Air 655 flew over the vessel's path amid alert over Iranian helicopter harassment; Vincennes fired two surface-to-air missiles, one of which destroyed the airliner.)

I mean, if anything should be able to figure out that there's an oil tanker in its way, it would be an Aegis-equipped ship. Last year, in one of the few combat activations in the system's history, it intercepted a missile shot from Yemen at the USS Mason. So what the heck? It's like a seeing-eye dog bolted into traffic.
posted by dhartung at 12:23 AM on August 21 [12 favorites]


It's especially freaky that these two collisions have involved Arleigh Burke class destroyers, which are equipped with the Aegis Combat System -- basically full-spectrum radar, combined with sonar and other threat information, funnelled through an advanced command and control computer system.

Hopefully they don't still run on Windows NT.
posted by scalefree at 12:43 AM on August 21 [7 favorites]


beat me to it scalefree!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:07 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


On the issue of Confederate memorials, someone on social media put it in a way I found helpful : There's a difference between celebrating a flawed individual and celebrating an individual's flaws.
posted by bardophile at 1:32 AM on August 21 [62 favorites]


In 1776 a whole lot of people would have expected slavery to continue into 2776.

This isn't true.

American Slavery prior to the Revolutionary War produced a surprisingly diverse range of agricultural goods, but there really wasn't a cash-crop. Long Staple Cotton was produced in the coastal areas of the American south, but was geographically limited. Short Staple Cotton, which could be grown throughout the South, wasn't viable because it was so difficult to process. The Cotton Gin made that possible, and Western settlement and expansion provided a constant supply of fresh soil because cotton farming is relatively resource expensive, exhausting the dirt that it's grown in. Couple with industrial textile production in England and the growth of transportation and finance in the American North and you cement slave labor in the American economy.

A number of people legitimately did think slavery would die out simply from being unprofitable.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:28 AM on August 21 [14 favorites]


[Folks, I don't think this thread can handle a full-fledged discussion/debate of the American (and global) history of slavery. Once again, this is meant to be a space to discuss news of current presidency and directly related, and not a free-form Discuss/Argue All The Things Go Nuts Area. If there isn't something exciting enough happening right now, maybe time to take a short break; I'm sure things will pick up.]
posted by taz at 2:57 AM on August 21 [21 favorites]


those jerks who say he's a tacky, jumped-up, dumb-as-a-rock wastrel of a wealthy man's son and nothing more

must have caught an accidental glimpse of the lobby of Trump Tower.

And Jobs said Microsoft had no taste.
posted by flabdablet at 3:25 AM on August 21


Well well, look what got people expelled from the Senate
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:53 AM on August 21




U.S. scales back visa services in Russia after Putin cuts its staff
The U.S. embassy in Russia said on Monday the move had forced it to rethink its visa operations and that it was suspending all non-immigrant visa operations across Russia on Aug. 23.

It said services would be resumed on Sept. 1, but would be offered "on a greatly reduced scale." It would be cancelling an unspecified number of scheduled appointments and asking applicants to reschedule, it said in a statement.
posted by prefpara at 4:40 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


> This is difficult stuff to agree with, even for Theresa May, whose mouth spouts so much horseshit you’d think her anus gobbled oats.

*awed silence*
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:41 AM on August 21 [139 favorites]


From a historical point of view, it’s almost convincing, even though what American blacks suffered under segregation was nothing compared to what liberalism has inflicted on them since the 1950s.

Oh boy. So that's the tack they're going with: "black people had it so much better back then." This helps explain why Rick [ugh] Santorum was on some Sunday show with another guy, whitesplaining to the other, incidentally black, panelists that there is no such thing as systemic racism. It's just a figment! Like the whole Nazi thing just gave them yet another chance to up the volume on all the standard mainstream GOP white supremacy.

Man, I thought I'd be able to go the rest of my life without ever again seeing Rick [ugh] Santorum on TV. Fuck you, 2017.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:49 AM on August 21 [15 favorites]


That's the problem with Santorum. You think you've cleared up the problem completely, but there's always one more blotch just out of reach.
posted by delfin at 4:58 AM on August 21 [37 favorites]


That's the problem with Santorum. You think you've cleared up the problem completely, but there's always one more blotch just out of reach.

It's like you're wiping a permanent marker.
posted by Talez at 5:59 AM on August 21 [5 favorites]


Secret Service depletes funds to pay agents because of Trump's frequent travel, large family

The USSS is going broke funneling money into Trump's coffers.

Could you imagine if Obama did this?
posted by Talez at 6:02 AM on August 21 [97 favorites]


I can recall at least three fishing trawlers being dragged by British submarines in the last five years OTOH, what's your point?

Don't point to the British Navy as a competence comparison. They have had nuke subs run aground and also had an active shooter situation onboard. They make the recent US navy screwups seem incredibly minor.

The real issues seems to be that there is an across the world degredation in competence for some reason.
posted by srboisvert at 6:05 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


I've been following this USSS story closely because I don't know how the US Government is getting away with this. How the hell can they not pay people for their work!? How is this legal? Talk about unfunded mandates.
posted by xyzzy at 6:08 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


The USSS problems go back several years now, the Trump situation just pushed the wreck over the cliff. Bad leadership, understaffed, many agents fleeing the agency, no money.
posted by rc3spencer at 6:13 AM on August 21 [6 favorites]


> The Secret Service has spent some $60,000 on golf cart rentals alone this year to protect Trump at both Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster.

So Trump's getting paid for the use of the golf carts, but the people actually using the golf carts while doing their duty to protect him aren't, in part because the money that would otherwise be used to pay them is going to Trump in the form of golf cart rentals. Not even the shitty owner of the shitty burger joint I worked at when I was in school would have tried to pull shitty shit like that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:17 AM on August 21 [85 favorites]


Judge Smails might've.
posted by delfin at 6:22 AM on August 21 [5 favorites]


How many do they need at a time and why are they renting them? They don't get their cars from Avis. Golf carts cost around $5K.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:32 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


Since most people don't click through, the NR piece is so much worse than you'd think from that headline. And given the headline that's saying something.

However, in a switch from the usual state of things, the comments aren't bad.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:32 AM on August 21


Golf carts cost you $5k. Can you imagine if Boeing got the contract? Stealth-equipped supercarts with nuclear generators are not cheap.
posted by spitbull at 6:34 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Why is the secret service protecting the spawn of 45? Reagan's adult kids didn't get SS protection, in fact, I don't think any president has had this many auxiliary family protection, especially for shit like animal murder trips and trips to enrich the sitting president. Fuck the extended family.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:41 AM on August 21 [13 favorites]


the money that would otherwise be used to pay them is going to Trump in the form of golf cart rentals

That's not exactly it in this situation, it seems. According to TFA the problem is the Federal employee pay cap (which is a matter of law -- I'm not sure if it's agency specific or linked to GS levels or what): the USSS has become such a fucked up mess that they're having trouble retaining agents and hiring agents and so too few people are facing a need for more agent-hours. They've hit the pay/overtime limit and need Congress to authorize exceeding the cap to pay those people for the time they've worked -- and will need to continue to work -- until they can find more people.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:43 AM on August 21 [5 favorites]


I'm gonna do zero research on this and just guess that this is one of those "discretions" that we assumed was controlled by some actual regulation, but in fact ended up being one of those "don't be a total asshole, use good judgement" things that we all just assumed was written down somewhere. I'd bet Trump himself just told them to protect tons of his favorites.
posted by odinsdream at 6:44 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


Why is the secret service protecting the spawn of 45? Reagan's adult kids didn't get SS protection

They did, except for Ron during the second term.
posted by Etrigan at 6:46 AM on August 21 [6 favorites]


No, there's a law. The USSS offers protection to the President's immediate family.
posted by xyzzy at 6:47 AM on August 21 [13 favorites]


It's the entire administration pulling this security detail scam, see DeVos' and Pruitt's unprecedented usage of security details. They're bullies that are afraid of even the slightest bit of confrontation, and have no qualms about using tax dollars to wall themselves off from the public that they should be serving.
posted by strange chain at 6:49 AM on August 21 [25 favorites]




There is a law. However, as codified it's an authorization - not a mandate. There are no 'shalls.'

On the other hand, who's the ultimate boss of the USSS (part of DHS) in deciding how much of the authorized protection to offer?

Yep.

18 U.S. Code § 3056 - Powers, authorities, and duties of United States Secret Service
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:00 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Yes. That's why I said "offered." It's an offer that can be declined. (There might be an exception if there's a known, specific threat, but I'm not positive about that.)
posted by xyzzy at 7:09 AM on August 21


History tells us that neglecting and/or disrespecting one's Praetorian Guard isn't a super great idea.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:09 AM on August 21 [41 favorites]


As an LEO agency, I strongly suspect that the USSS is about 60-70% in the tank for Trump.
posted by xyzzy at 7:12 AM on August 21 [11 favorites]


I'd be super curious to hear about the conflict between trump's private security goons and the Secret Service guys. That's gotta be a fun command structure there.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:13 AM on August 21 [24 favorites]


That's why I said "offered." It's an offer that can be declined.

Right. But -- as worded -- it would appear that the head of DHS (and ultimately the President) determines who, of the authorized recipients, gets the offer of protection.

So in theory more golf cart rental money could be made available, and agent-hour demand reduced, by stripping protection from say......the Clintons. Or foreign delegations whose countries lack Trump hotel projects.

I think that's probably a goose-step too far even for this gazebo of scumbags, but who knows.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:30 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


"Clinton treated USSS agents like friends. Bush treated them w great respect. Obama, like family. Trump treats them like servants."

Conservatives can be expected to have a more hierarchical model of social relations. However, even then, they often leaven it with norms of politeness, that serve to mask the Hobbesian truth of power and hierarchy. Trump doesn't even bother with this: anything over a brutish mobster's view of “respect” and “loyalty” is the most superficial of tat; a layer of gold plating, or a plaque commemorating a fake historical event.
posted by acb at 7:31 AM on August 21 [6 favorites]


The good news is that job satisfaction for USSS employees can only get better, the agency ranked 305th out of 305 in the 2016 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
posted by peeedro at 7:33 AM on August 21 [20 favorites]


President Tweeter has complained about the Fake News several times this am already. We've had Lyin' Ted and Crooked Hillary. What about Whining Donny?
posted by kerf at 7:39 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Daniel W. Drezner, WaPo: I'll believe that Trump is growing into the presidency when his staff stops talking about him like a toddler.

Drezner has been tweeting that line, along with sourced examples, since April. Because they're difficult to find on Twitter, he is now updating this story. There are 71 entries to date.
For those of you eager to contribute to the Toddler-in-Chief thread, here are my stringent criteria for inclusion:
  1. The example has to be sourced from an ally of Trump. It doesn’t matter if Democrats or pundits describe the president as having the emotional maturity of a toddler. That’s just partisan politics or conventional wisdom. No, what makes these stories stand out is that these descriptions are coming from fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill in the cabinet or loyal treaty allies or — most often — from within Trump’s own White House staff. The point is, this is how Trump’s most trusted advisers view Trump.

  2. The example has to come from a mainstream media news source. No Infowars or RT here, thank you very much.

  3. Keep repeats to a minimum. Sometimes there’s a big enough event such that multiple tick-tocks appear, and sometimes they offer up the same anecdote or description. I have tried not to add echoes to a single story onto the thread, although sometimes enough new information appears to merit inclusion.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:41 AM on August 21 [27 favorites]


David Corn: Trump Official Once Praised a Defender of Holocaust Deniers
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump appointed Teresa Manning, a leading anti-abortion activist, to be a deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. The pick was controversial because Manning, formerly a legislative analyst at the conservative Family Research Council and a lobbyist for the National Right to Life Committee, would be in charge of family planning policy, even though she has questioned the efficacy of contraception in preventing pregnancy and has said government should not play a role in family planning. But there was one item in her résumé that did not receive attention: She had once praised a defender of Holocaust deniers.
[...]
In her flattering introduction of [Joe] Sobran, Manning neglected to mention that a few months earlier, in June 2002, he was a speaker at the 14th annual convention of the Institute for Historical Review. This is how the Southern Poverty Law Center has described the group: “Founded in 1978 by Willis Carto, a longtime anti-Semite, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) is a pseudo-academic organization that claims to seek ‘truth and accuracy in history,’ but whose real purpose is to promote Holocaust denial and defend Nazism.”
posted by zombieflanders at 7:41 AM on August 21 [7 favorites]


Is Lyin', Crooked, Whining Donny too much?
posted by Rykey at 7:42 AM on August 21 [3 favorites]


He is too much, yes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:44 AM on August 21 [6 favorites]


Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush are still 'but Clinton was worse'-ing on Twitter. Keep bothsidesing, journalists, because history will judge you just as responsible.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:51 AM on August 21 [14 favorites]


chris24: Pastor Mark Burns on with Joy Reid just said that Trump was right in saying both sides, that he has to be the president for all people, not just one side, unless we want to change our constitution.

So there's that.


And here's this, a dark reminder: The Fairness Doctrine lasted from 1949 to 1987, under Ronald Reagan's presidency. Yet so many news outlets that Trump gleefully calls Fake strive so fucking hard to present a "fair and balanced" take on topics that they spread terrible ideas as semi-normal.

They have no obligation to give airtime to these assholes, but they do. Trump is an extension of the ratings game, or the need for "balance" or whatever bullshit reasoning that news orgs have for airing and publishing people who are happily shifting the scope of "normal" hard to the right.

Meanwhile, Fox News and other conservative outlets feel no such obligation. So which way does the country slide? Hmm...
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 AM on August 21 [35 favorites]


He is too much, yes.

Too little, you mean?
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:53 AM on August 21


I'll believe that Trump is growing into the presidency

I realize there's an adjustment period for every new president, but for Trump it's less like growing into the lead role in a movie as a seasoned actor, and more like growing into 40-inch-waist pants as a baby.
posted by Rykey at 7:56 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Maggie Haberman is taking on all comers now defending the NYT emails coverage, so, remember that next time she gets the great Trump scoop. She's not in the journalism business, she's in the Maggie Haberman self absolving and promotion business.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:01 AM on August 21 [26 favorites]


Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush are still 'but Clinton was worse'-ing on Twitter. Keep bothsidesing, journalists, because history will judge you just as responsible.

Yeah, I used to follow them both on Twitter and despite some of the good work they've put out this year I had to unfollow them. The reflexive bothsidesism, Clinton hate, and inability to even consider that they might have done anything at all to lead to Trump's win, much less take any smidge of responsibility for it, was too much.

Aww, so sorry you're so bitter and defensive that you'll go down as one of the ones partly responsible for this disaster. Deal with it. Everybody else has to.
posted by chris24 at 8:02 AM on August 21 [23 favorites]


what American blacks suffered under segregation was nothing compared to what liberalism has inflicted on them since the 1950s, as it destroyed their families

My wife watches genealogy shows like Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots, and nearly every time a black person is on they can follow their genealogy back a couple of generations until slavery and then they have no way to follow their lineage further because so many families were shattered and separated.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:04 AM on August 21 [61 favorites]


Teresa Manning, a leading anti-abortion activist

I misread that as "a leading anti-abolition activist" and thought fuck, it's 2017, I guess we have those.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:04 AM on August 21 [17 favorites]


With this recent attack on birth control, someone should be featured on news shows who can do the deadpan of Buck Henry and declare they are happy with the birth control ban because it promotes homosexuality.

Homosexuality: the natural, one hundred percent effective way of preventing pregnancy.

(Back in the 60s Buck Henry got on TV shows pretending to be part of a conservative group promoting clothes on animals because they were disgusted by naked animals.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:11 AM on August 21 [9 favorites]


When you focus on the traits of the subculture and why they align one way or another, it opens up the question of what Republicans share with racists such that their votes are reliable. That is, you can agree that not all Republicans are racist, but why are all racists Republican?
posted by rhizome at 9:06 PM on August 20 [27 favorites +] [!]

I've been trying to forget about this since it posted last night. I have been hoping someone else would say something. I have been telling myself to breathe deeply and not be shrill or pushy. I can't. I can't forget it and I can't be quiet about this. And I can't pretend that the word 'racist' was meant as a shorthand for violent anti-Semitic, anti Black fascists.

Racists are not all republicans. In fact, lots of racist people show up at counter protests. Racism isn't an all or nothing thing. Racism includes unexamined implicit bias. Racism also includes more obvious thoughts like, 'of course people of color shouldn't be discriminated against but they're not as motivated/I don't want my daughter to date a black man/Asians are taking all the spots at good schools/I assume anyone who speaks Spanish is from Mexico.'

A lot of liberal people would say some or all of those things aren't racist.

A lot of progressives say they want 'a better world for everyone' and mean 'keep the distance between us...make things at least that much easier for me too.'

This is hard to admit and painful to discuss. White peoples benefit from systemic racism and as Chris Newman, a farmer in Charlottesvillesaid in MAY after a protest there there “It isn’t Richard Spencer calling the cops on me for farming while Black,” Newman wrote. “It’s nervous White women in yoga pants with ‘I’m with her’ and ‘Coexist’ stickers on their German SUVs.” He made a whole Facebook post about his experience living and working in Charlottesville. He owns a farm there. This impacts his choices about where to lease land. He passes up good soil and reasonable rents to avoid unnecessary interactions with the police.

White people of all political stripes are still making assumptions about which bodies belong in which spaces. The difference, to my eyes, is that the far right racists vocally support a large scale state solution, death and deportation. White ladies in yoga pants quietly call the police and don't acknowledge themselves to be invoking the state. The far right wants people removed from the country. White ladies in yoga pants 'just' want people out of the neighborhood. They 'just' want black peoples hair to 'look professional.' They 'just' want to send their kids to a school that 'feels safe.'

That doesn't feel very different to me when it's written out like this. Sure, it's a difference of degree. But that doesn't make policing other people's hair/job choice/school accessibility/pedestrian route not racist. And to be clear, I'm not saying we have to take our attention away from Richard Spencer's cowardly antics. I AM saying we have to look at ourselves. So many people treated trump as a joke, crowed that Hillary had it in the bag, and denied the hugeness of the problem of American exceptionalism and racism in shaping the election. Discounting 'those people' as racists and bigots and uneducated and too far gone to save, a lot of energy was spent ignoring racist folks who could vote for a black president (that old saw about 'some of my best friends are black') but were galled to imagine/see that while their own wages were stagnating or declining and their health insurance premiums were increasing, the lives of some people of color were improving. So they stayed home on Election Day, or voted for trump who was often not even bothering to dog whistle while promising to make things better for white folks.

Not all racists are republicans. If we are white we are likely, very very likely, to have unexamined biases that are racist. We have to fight this within ourselves and we have to figure out how to keep white ladies in yoga pants from using their (our, I'm a white cis woman) power to comfort ourselves when we see people who 'aren't like us' or 'don't fit in here.' We have to say loudly that we don't want this done in our names.
posted by bilabial at 8:12 AM on August 21 [100 favorites]


Latest out of the 2017 writers' room:

March: New Interior head lifts lead ammunition ban in nod to hunters

August: Kiski the bald eagle, who aided recovery of species in Pa., succumbs to lead poisoning

The lead ammo ban was only in place on federal lands, so it's not like Trump literally killed this bird himself, but the symbolic value is just too perfect to go unnoticed.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:13 AM on August 21 [62 favorites]


Which was also done admirably by Sam the Eagle on the Muppet Show, who was embarrassed that he was naked on camera.
posted by Melismata at 8:13 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


I had also unfollowed Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush for the same reasons a while back but I've since followed them again. It's been a while since they've done one of these 'butter email hate mail rebuttal' threads. It's infuriating and I don't think they'll ever get it.
posted by TwoWordReview at 8:39 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Charlottesville Was a Preview of the Future of the Republican Party
This is the state of the GOP leadership pipeline.


Horrifying, except Charlottesville also saw a lot of them revealed as horrible people, just like the New Hampshire "red pill" founding Republican, who resigned when he came under public scrutiny. The article even touches on some of that:
Among those white nationalists was James Allsup, a speaker at the rally, who was also the president of the Washington State University College Republicans, until his resignation this week.
Oh, I know another one - Jason Kessler, "Unite the Right" organizer, was chased off from a press event by protesters and hecklers, and Christopher "ready for violence" Cantwell was scared about possible prison time after Charlottesville. See a pattern? Yes, if gamergate/MRA type assholes can hide well enough to avoid broad public scrutiny, they're safe. But if you expose them as the deplorable individuals they are, the good people of the world overwhelm them and they run away. They had to come together from all around the country to rally and kill in Charlottesville, but in Boston they were overwhelmed by counter-protesters.

The future of the GOP? Not if they can't keep their true, hateful ideas off the public internet.

Anyway, those assholes are already in power in local politics, and they are being booted just as fast as they're being identified. Doña Ana Republican Party Chairman Roman Jimenez is now the former chairman after his awful Facebook posts were more widely published. Bonus facts: the former New Mexico State trooper (!) who served on NM governor Susana Martinez’ security detail (!!) and apparently now works for a private security firm (!!!) , International Protection Services, inc. That firm is a part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ICE “IMAGE” partners, standing for: “ICE Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers.” (!!!!)

No word if he's still employed by IPS, or works with ICE.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:57 AM on August 21 [28 favorites]


Some Liberty University Grads Are Returning Their Diplomas To Protest Trump (NPR, Aug. 20, 2017)
A group of alumni from one of the country's most influential evangelical Christian universities is condemning their school's president for his continued alignment with President Trump.

A small but growing number of Liberty University graduates are preparing to return diplomas to their school. The graduates are protesting university President Jerry Falwell Jr.'s ongoing support for Trump. They began organizing after Trump's divisive remarks about the deadly white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Va.

Chris Gaumer, a former Student Government Association president and 2006 graduate, said it was a simple decision.

"I'm sending my diploma back because the president of the United States is defending Nazis and white supremacists," Gaumer said. "And in defending the president's comments, Jerry Falwell Jr. is making himself and, it seems to me, the university he represents, complicit."
It's awful that someone had to be killed protesting a white power rally to make it clear for people Trump is an awful, deplorable person and wholly unfit to be president of the United States, but I'm glad the outrage hasn't died down and that people continue to act, react, and publicize their actions, intentions and messages.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:02 AM on August 21 [36 favorites]


Black farmer calls out liberal racism

“There’s a difference between confronting racists and confronting racism.”

Not a bad point.
posted by jgirl at 9:03 AM on August 21 [33 favorites]


So Trump's getting paid for the use of the golf carts, but the people actually using the golf carts while doing their duty to protect him aren't, in part because the money that would otherwise be used to pay them is going to Trump in the form of golf cart rentals.

I distribute my plum tomatoes in markets all over Pianosa under an assumed name so that Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn can buy them up from me under their assumed names at four cents apiece and sell them back to me the next day at five cents apiece. They make a profit of one cent apiece, I make a profit of three and a half cents apiece, and everybody comes out ahead.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:18 AM on August 21 [9 favorites]


I'd be fine with flipping it back to "not all racists are Republicans, but all Republicans are racist." Denying that racism exists outside the GOP, and that it can be just as insidious coming from the left as it is coming from the right, is wrong-headed. It should be confronted, and it should be challenged, just as we would in any other situation.

The difference is that the current GOP platform is almost entirely built on racism and racist foundations (where it's not built on misogyny, anti-LGBTQ violence, Islamophobia, and other forms of bigotry), if not outright white supremacy. Their economic policies are racist and perpetuate white supremacy, their social and cultural policies are racist and perpetuate white supremacy, etc. Hell, large parts of the conservative movement and ideology in general are in the same boat, no matter the political party affiliation or lack thereof. I know that might give some people the sads, but it's the truth.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:18 AM on August 21 [28 favorites]


Kelli Ward's SuperPAC received 300 grand from the Mercers.

They're going to throw everything and the kitchen sink at Flake for the primary.
posted by Talez at 9:32 AM on August 21 [6 favorites]


it's not like Trump literally killed this bird himself

god knows he's not one to hold a grudge
posted by flabdablet at 9:33 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Of course as awful shit gets normalised they are less likely to resign as a result of it being exposed, and as Trump shows just going with it actually works quite well for them.

The base loves nazi shit, the "moderates" will tolerate it and the media will go out of its way to cover it up.
posted by Artw at 9:33 AM on August 21 [5 favorites]


CNN's K-File: Trump nominee Sam Clovis: 'As far as we know' homosexuality's a choice, 'logical' LGBT protections could lead to legalization of pedophilia
Clovis made the comments between 2012 and 2014 in his capacity as a talk radio host, political activist, and briefly as a candidate for US Senate in Iowa. His nomination has drawn criticism from Senate Democrats, who argue his lack of scientific background makes him unqualified for the USDA post overseeing science.

Clovis has repeatedly argued that the science on homosexuality is unsettled and that "LGBT behavior" is a choice. The American Psychological Association has said that while there is no scientific consensus on the causes of sexual orientation, "most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."
[...]
Clovis, whose background and views are strongly rooted in the politics of conservative talk radio, made most of his remarks in the context of discussing his belief LGBT people should not be given protections under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. He says he believed that if LGBT people got such protections, pastors wouldn't be allowed to preach against the "aberration" that "alternative lifestyles" were to church doctrine.

Writing in an op-ed for the local conservative blog Iowa Republican in April 2011, Clovis argued science of being LGBT was unsettled and if being gay was genetic, then other people genetically-disposed like left-handed people should receive constitutional protections as well.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:50 AM on August 21 [13 favorites]


“There’s a difference between confronting racists and confronting racism.”
Yeah. I don't live in CVille but I visit VA quite a bit, and the last time I was in CVille my queer companion got called a "fa**ot" by some rando in the street. I was taken aback and said, "Uh, wtf." My companion said, "Nice, huh? Not the first time, won't be the last." So I was not terribly convinced by the lovely candlelit unity rally around the statue of Thomas Jefferson at UVA and all the "this isn't us" rhetoric. If you can't wear a smart outfit without being called a slur in the street in broad daylight in the middle of CVille, I'm not at all surprised to hear that farming while black might be difficult in Albemarle County.
posted by xyzzy at 10:00 AM on August 21 [23 favorites]


He says he believed that if LGBT people got such protections, pastors wouldn't be allowed to preach against the "aberration" that "alternative lifestyles" were to church doctrine.

Yeah, well. They shouldn't be preaching that anyway, so, score.

Clovis argued science of being LGBT was unsettled and if being gay was genetic, then other people genetically-disposed like left-handed people should receive constitutional protections as well.

Okay, cool, they should have. What's the problem there? I mean, to my knowledge, it's not nearly as big an issue of discrimination, and that's why it's not in the limelight, but why would it be such a problem to grant them protection if they are being discriminated against?
posted by Imperfect at 10:18 AM on August 21 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I'm pretty sure if people were getting denied jobs because they write with the "wrong" hand, or had government employees refuse to recognize their marriages, or got fucking murdered because somebody saw them pick up a pen, we would consider that a problem.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:22 AM on August 21 [69 favorites]


A must read eulogy by General Kelly, just 4 days after his son was killed in action

This was tweeted last night by Maggie Haberman (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know ...) who suggested reading it and then rewatching Kelly's body language at the Tuesday presser.

Replies to the tweet generally felt that Kelly saw himself as the two Marines and Trump as the truck. I'm not convinced, but I'd like to think that. Replies also pointed out that he had no problem with deportations and the Muslim ban. And that as a soldier who does his duty, he's not going to resign.

Others ripped on him in their replies for the "use [the sword] on the press" remark. I was a comms staffer and a reporter, and that didn't really get to me. Standard D.C. har-har, at best. Key words: At best.
posted by jgirl at 10:22 AM on August 21 [7 favorites]


This afternoon I'm throwing in a bit of a non sequitur, but I think it's a timely example of how so many people in general only skim the surface, and don't educate themselves in more detail on anything. Because I wish I could somehow earn $100 for every person in Michigan today who, in a couple hours from this posting, will say, "Well THAT (eclipse) wasn't that big a deal."

They do not understand we are not in the path of the totality. They've only seen whatever idiot TV station or newspaper they follow get all excited about it. (Sound familiar?)

And I wish I could joke it's tRump voters. Except here's another example of being awfully ill-informed on the Left: Over the weekend I saw a post on twitter referring to a statue of Lincoln "who freed the slaves" having been desecrated. Some people rightly jumped in to discuss Lincoln's complex attitudes towards black people, and the varied reasons for the Civil War.

But others - and I wish I could say they were Russbots trying to make the Left look laughable - responded with, "No, the slaves freed themselves through rebellions," and "But HE OWNED SLAVES." (When there's so much misinformation out there then you start doubting yourself - is there some gap in my education WRT to there being slaves at the WH or something?)
posted by NorthernLite at 10:31 AM on August 21 [8 favorites]


> the money that would otherwise be used to pay them is going to Trump in the form of golf cart rentals

That's not exactly it in this situation, it seems.


Thanks for the clarification. One way or another, though, there's enough money to pay the boss, but not enough to adequately pay the workers. Seems indicative of larger issues in a way I can't quite put my finger on...
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:45 AM on August 21 [9 favorites]


I think it was Jeet Heer on Twitter this weekend who was pointing out that Dinesh D'Souza and other conservative thought leaders cut their teeth in the pro-Apartheid movement among college Republicans. We will be seeing these Nazis for decades.
posted by OmieWise at 11:03 AM on August 21 [36 favorites]


He says he believed that if LGBT people got such protections, pastors wouldn't be allowed to preach against the "aberration" that "alternative lifestyles" were to church doctrine.

Okay, hold it right there for a moment.

Does the 14th Amendment prevent private groups, including churches, from declaring that women are inherently inferior? Or people of color? Or people who hold nonconcordant beliefs to their own? Or left-handed Eskimo albino lesbian midgets? Of course it fucking doesn't. If it did _we wouldn't be dealing with Nazi rallies right now_.

Does it allow them to openly discriminate against these groups in the public square? ...in practice, it depends on the public square. Which is more than a little shameful. But the answer should be no -- you are American first and religious second -under the law-. Your private beliefs/actions and your citizenship/rights/obligations are on different paths.

So when the 14th says:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

There it is. "My religion says that this person ISN'T A REAL PERSON and therefore I should not be obligated to treat him/her as human like me." That's what it boils down to; my God gets to decide who is socially and legally allowable _even for those who don't believe in him_. It's the year 2017 and we are _still_ fighting this mentality.
posted by delfin at 11:15 AM on August 21 [39 favorites]


The Card Cheat: One way or another, though, there's enough money to pay the boss, but not enough to adequately pay the workers.

Except the boss chose to play so much golf and have so many outings in unsecure locations as to stress the budget of the Secret Service, just as he chose to allow his kids to travel around the world on business trips where security personnel are used as a backdrop to look important, and he chose to allow his family to have another vacation, where 100 agents escorted the family on a ski trip.

These are the choices he made, to exceed the budget for the secret service half way through the year. He's a terrible businessman for the presidency, in that he has fun spending other people's money, namely the funds of the tax payers, his "clients" if you will.

I only wish we could reject this invoice and request that his work tasks align with the contract that he signed to take on this job. /public servant who has many gripes about consultant services
posted by filthy light thief at 11:21 AM on August 21 [60 favorites]


He says he believed that if LGBT people got such protections, pastors wouldn't be allowed to preach against the "aberration" that "alternative lifestyles" were to church doctrine.


Is he one of the 'you must respect history' mob? Because if so, let's have a look at church history back through the ages, and let's find what 'aberrations' got preached against - and much, much worse - that would now get a pastor in the hottest of hot water.

Church doctrine is only above the law of the land in a theocracy. If he wants a theocracy, then he should be honest about it, not falsely represent his beliefs in bad logic and worse evidence.

I hate the bigotry and the smug self-satisfaction and the demeaning superiority, and I hate the traduction of noble ideals even more but above everything else I hate the hypocrisy.

Jesus had a hell of a lot more to say about hypocrisy than homosexuality. He knew what an aberration looks like.
posted by Devonian at 11:26 AM on August 21 [20 favorites]


It's the year 2017 and we are _still_ fighting this mentality.

There are some minor wins and progress. In this whole CVille dumpster fire - who's trotting out "but the Bible says this about slaves" and then joins that to justify their actions?

Metafilter: Of the outrages that happen daily, THAT has not been one of 'em.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:35 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Our President, folks. Looking straight at the fucking eclipse like a total goddamn moron. As he did this, someone in a crowd of aides below shouted "Don't look." Here's video.
posted by yasaman at 12:00 PM on August 21 [79 favorites]


Trump is a moron, sure, but it's not like you go instantly blind when you look at the sun.
posted by Justinian at 12:04 PM on August 21 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised he hasn't rage tweeted the moon. It's getting an awful lot of unearned attention today.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:04 PM on August 21 [12 favorites]


Looking straight at the fucking eclipse like a total goddamn moron.

On the upside, this is the first time anything about that man has made me laugh.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:04 PM on August 21 [19 favorites]


Because OF COURSE he did.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:05 PM on August 21 [17 favorites]


Now I have The Streak in my head.

DON'T LOOK, ETHEL... Too late.
posted by delfin at 12:05 PM on August 21 [16 favorites]


It's funny that he chooses left handedness as the stupid counter example... I suppose he forgets that the Church relatively recently was happy to teach that to be left handed was to be in league with Satan. My Aunt was forced to write with her right hand by Nuns who quite literally tied her left hand behind her back.
posted by cirhosis at 12:07 PM on August 21 [48 favorites]


Total Eclipse of the Brain
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:12 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


I looked for 1/2 second. I can still see my compupd a,mkpmn
posted by BentFranklin at 12:13 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


Bah, you'll just have a slight headache. Ask me how I know.
posted by Justinian at 12:13 PM on August 21 [13 favorites]




Yeah, a glimpse of a second or two is harmless. Must have done it a hundred times in my life, and I have excellent vision.
posted by Coventry at 12:16 PM on August 21


About the stupid statues, if these fuckers are so obsessed with history and heritage and admiring folks/eras that other people find upsetting and painful, we should just put a statue of General Sherman holding a lighter on every street corner in the South, see how they like that.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:16 PM on August 21 [32 favorites]


yasaman: Our President, folks. Looking straight at the fucking eclipse like a total goddamn moron.

Well, that 'blind trust' thing may be happening after all!
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:17 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


Well, that 'blind trust' thing may be happening after all!

It'll lower the shit out of his personal income taxes
posted by infinitewindow at 12:22 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


I think "blind trust" refers to the rationale for the 25-30% floor in his polls.
posted by darkstar at 12:25 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Here's video

The worst thing about that video is that he never interacts with Barron, like, at all. Never touches him. Never looks at him. Never acknowledges him. I contrast that with the many, many families I see in our local park enjoying the eclipse together, parents anxious to share the moment with their children.

In summary: Christ, what an asshole.
posted by anastasiav at 12:27 PM on August 21 [106 favorites]


He must know that Tintin book about the eclipse. Tintin also looks right up, pretending that he is arguing with the gods. Which confirms what I always thought, that he thinks he's a cartoon character.
posted by Namlit at 12:28 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


Damn, it's too bad he didn't announce his intention to look directly at the eclipse because screw what those eggheads say before it happened, all the working towards the fuhrer types would have followed right along complete with YouTube videos where they try to look as long as possible as a fuck you to all us liberal pansies.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:28 PM on August 21 [9 favorites]


Our President, folks. Looking straight at the fucking eclipse like a total goddamn moron. As he did this, someone in a crowd of aides below shouted "Don't look."

سود‏ @NasMaraj
No one should look directly at the eclipse with their bare eyes except for our great leader Trump. He deserves to see it in its full glory.
posted by standardasparagus at 12:33 PM on August 21 [30 favorites]


I don't know what he's hinting at, but Shaun King has something big happening in about an hour.
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 12:37 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


"Would Obama look directly at the eclipse?"
"No sir, Mr. President."
"Well ok then!"
posted by mrjohnmuller at 12:37 PM on August 21 [17 favorites]


Our President, folks. Looking straight at the fucking eclipse like a total goddamn moron. As he did this, someone in a crowd of aides below shouted "Don't look."

When there was a solar eclipse in '79, us kiddies were all locked in the kindergarten room with the curtains drawn tight, because they knew they couldn't trust us not to do that one thing we were told not to do.

The Oval Office could use my old kindergarten teachers is what I guess I'm saying.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:38 PM on August 21 [24 favorites]



I don't know what he's hinting at, but Shaun King has something big happening in about an hour.


He earlier posted a picture of Gary Webb, so maybe something to do with his work on the CIA/cocaine connection. My experience in the past when a popular journalist teases a big story on Twitter is that it's usually somewhat underwhelming.
posted by cell divide at 12:41 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


So this speech tonight is going to have to be incredibly angry bluster, right? More than usual I mean. He's got no policy besides, reportedly, a few thousand more troops, a reversal of basically his only consistent foreign policy position. And it's going to come after he spends the afternoon watching people mock him on cable news for looking at the sun (is this where I say I just looked at the sun too? During totality. And it was awesome. /bragging). He's going to be miserable and all he's got to make up for the lack of anything real to say, as always, is his absolute worst impulses. And when the subject involves Muslims...

Bonus thought: I bet Joe Biden has incredibly cool custom-made eclipse glasses.
posted by zachlipton at 12:42 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]



When there was a solar eclipse in '79, us kiddies were all locked in the kindergarten room with the curtains drawn tight, because they knew they couldn't trust us not to do that one thing we were told not to do.


If they were clever, they would have allowed a single pinhole of light, that way the entire room would become a camera obscura, and you could all watch the eclipse in safety.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:42 PM on August 21 [21 favorites]


Someone on the side of the street was kind enough to let me take a look through their camera obscura box at the height of the eclipse. It was cool. I must have seen over a hundred people with them while I was walking.
posted by Coventry at 12:47 PM on August 21


سود‏ @NasMaraj
No one should look directly at the eclipse with their bare eyes except for our great leader Trump. He deserves to see it in its full glory.


"Even though he's from Hawaii, Obama has never had the courage to jump into Mauna Loa, Mr. President."
posted by leotrotsky at 12:47 PM on August 21 [33 favorites]


If they were clever, they would have allowed a single pinhole of light, that way the entire room would become a camera obscura, and you could all watch the eclipse in safety.

I walked out of my office @ 2:30 Eastern Time, rummaged through the recycling bin until I found some newspaper. Poked a hole through one sheet. Focused it on the 2nd sheet, and watched our 65% occlusion, then tossed it back in the recycling bin, and commuted home.

XKCD #54 FTW!
posted by mikelieman at 12:49 PM on August 21 [21 favorites]


I can't believe I'm about to say "in his defense" about our President, but...it's real easy to get caught up in the "omigod this is cool" vibe and forget everything you've been told about not looking directly at it. I had a set of glasses with me and I sstill was having a hard time remembering to put them on because I was caught up in "something cool is happening right over my head I wanna loooooooook".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:51 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


To be fair to Donald Trump, pee tape
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:59 PM on August 21 [9 favorites]


I mean, cool eclipse
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:59 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


It'd be more accurate if the Republican Party suddenly announced that looking at an eclipse is great for your eyes, that science disagrees about whether it's bad, and claiming that it's bad is just liberal fake news.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:00 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


.it's real easy to get caught up in the "omigod this is cool"

I'm not disagreeing with the principle but I don't think he's ever once thought "omigod this is cool" about anything. I don't think he has the capacity. He just felt like doing it so he did, like sometimes my cat doesn't put her tongue back in her mouth.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:01 PM on August 21 [39 favorites]


We know perfectly well that he thought sitting in the big truck was cool. They took photos!
posted by Autumnheart at 1:02 PM on August 21 [13 favorites]


It'd be more accurate if the Republican Party suddenly announced that looking at an eclipse is great for your eyes, that science disagrees about whether it's bad, and claiming that it's bad is just liberal fake news.

The strong, calloused retinas of a Real American
posted by jason_steakums at 1:05 PM on August 21 [16 favorites]


We know perfectly well that he thought sitting in the big truck was cool. They took photos!

That's true; we bought the book from Buzzfeed. It's still too painful to look at it but maybe it will be funny in forty years.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:06 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


I don't know what he's hinting at, but Shaun King has something big happening in about an hour.

Perhaps he's found her emails?
posted by Devonian at 1:06 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


I don't think he's ever once thought "omigod this is cool" about anything.

Pee tape.
posted by scalefree at 1:09 PM on August 21 [5 favorites]


No one should look directly at the eclipse with their bare eyes except for our great leader Trump. He deserves to see it in its full glory.

But mama, that's where the fun is.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:12 PM on August 21 [22 favorites]


if these fuckers are so obsessed with history and heritage and admiring folks/eras that other people find upsetting and painful, we should just put a statue of General Sherman holding a lighter on every street corner in the South, see how they like that
I'm a descendent of General William Tecumseh Sherman, so I've done quite a bit of reading on him. He was a madman with a lust for total war and not even close to being an abolitionist. There's a decent equestrian statue of him in D.C. that I've visited and it never occurred to me that it's a bit odd that we're venerating a guy who vowed to "make Georgia howl." Putting a copy of that in the middle of Atlanta would make Georgia howl once more, I guarantee it. I literally don't tell Southerners I know that I'm related to that dude.
posted by xyzzy at 1:12 PM on August 21 [18 favorites]


Sherman turned his total war ideas towards the Native Americans after the Civil War, it wouldn't be worth the statement it might make to the neo-Confederates.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:18 PM on August 21 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I don't particularly think that the Sherman statue belongs in D.C. to be honest. He wasn't that great of a commander from a tactical standpoint and his views on Native and African Americans were vile.
posted by xyzzy at 1:27 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]




Huh. Even with the optics of the past week involving the new Nazi uniform, those people living in the White House still went out on that balcony and made a public appearance while letting their kid wear a white polo shirt. It's just dogwhistles all the way down, I suppose.
posted by palomar at 1:30 PM on August 21 [7 favorites]


National Treasure @petridishes

it wasn't an eclipse
the sun was facepalming
posted by zakur at 1:34 PM on August 21 [31 favorites]


An 11-year-old wearing a white polo shirt before Labor Day is a dogwhistle now? Jesus.
posted by creampuff at 1:35 PM on August 21 [19 favorites]


It will be seen that way. But we're so far into Bizarro World.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:38 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


An 11-year-old wearing a white polo shirt before Labor Day is a dogwhistle now? Jesus.

I know, right? And I can't believe people are giving them a hard time for holding tiki torches during the day: they clearly were prepared to light their way if the eclipse made it too dark out. Also Gorka was definitely just chanting about juice.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:41 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Perhaps it was his favourite shirt. Kids, eh?

I'd... not see it as a material event that hastens the downfall of liberal democracy.
posted by Devonian at 1:42 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]




we bought the book from Buzzfeed

I did too, but I had it shipped to the President of the United States at the White House.
I also sent him the U.S. Constitution For Dummies . "Hi Donny, Can't wait until you get impeached!"
When I get disappeared this might be why.

posted by kirkaracha at 1:42 PM on August 21 [14 favorites]


@brianklaas
Trump back down to 35% approval today & below 40% approval for 43 straight days. Obama never had even a week averaging below 40% in 8 years.
posted by chris24 at 1:47 PM on August 21 [33 favorites]


You know, maybe we could keep the sun at one-quarter eclipse and solve global warming. Something for sci-fi writers to ponder. And because this is a Trump thread, just to add: yecch, Trump.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:49 PM on August 21


those people living in the White House still went out on that balcony and made a public appearance while letting their kid wear a white polo shirt. It's just dogwhistles all the way down, I suppose.

oh ffs
posted by lalex at 1:52 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


I don't think they blinded the kid, so that's good.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on August 21


Is he back in school? Could be he hadn't changed out of his uniform/school clothes.
posted by asteria at 1:54 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


> You know, maybe we could keep the sun at one-quarter eclipse and solve global warming. Something for sci-fi writers to ponder. And because this is a Trump thread, just to add: yecch, Trump.

The idea is called a sunshade. Not cheap, but hey, maybe 45 can sell it as a large infrastructure project. Maybe convince him that he can bill the UN for fixing climate change.
posted by papercrane at 1:55 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]




Tim Squirrell, Quartz: Linguistic data analysis of 3 billion Reddit comments shows the alt-right is getting stronger
The_Donald and other alt-right spaces are acting as meeting places for disaffected white men from all walks of life to share a communal hatred. They start out in different corners of the internet with different interests and different lexicons. They remain separate when they’re outside of The_Donald, but the more time they spend in there, the more pernicious views of the world they are likely to pick up by osmosis. They are forming a coherent group identity, represented in the language they have begun to speak, which coalesces around their common hatred of liberalism and their love of Donald Trump.

We’re witnessing the radicalization of young white men through the medium of frog memes. In order to see it, all you need to do is look at the words coming out of their mouths. The alt-right isn’t yet united, but it soon will be.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:05 PM on August 21 [53 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Great American Eclipse: Winners and Losers
Q: Did the sun go away because we did something wrong?

Hobgoblin: The real question is why the sun came back. I think I speak for millions of Americans when I say that I favor a world shrouded in darkness where we can raise our young peaceably in hivelike structures.

Woman Who Gets Shouted Over: (shaking head furiously) I don’t want that.

Hairpiece With Bookcase: The moon was right to send its path of totality over only those states where real Americans live. Except Oregon.

Guy With Glasses: The moon was playing to its base. The moon-base, if you will.

Woman Who Gets Shouted Over: I won’t.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:13 PM on August 21 [22 favorites]


Chait, NYMag: That Russian Guy Who Attended the Trump Tower Meeting Is Almost Definitely a Spy.
...Akhmetshin’s résumé contains gaping voids:

A trained biochemist who speaks four languages, he described himself on one official document as a “househusband. ” He identified himself as the head of a Washington think tank for years after it was officially dissolved.
This is the guy who happened to be lunching with the Veselnitskaya when she was supposedly all, "Hey, off to Trump tower to talk about adoption, wanna tag along?"

And apparently, e-mail hacking is his thing.
The first hacking case, which has not previously been reported, began when Mr. Akhmetshin served an alliance of businessmen led by Suleiman Kerimov — a financier close to Mr. Putin in a commercial and political dispute with a Russian competitor, Ashot Egiazaryan.

In early 2011, two London lawyers on Mr. Egiazaryan’s team separately received suspicious emails and hired forensic experts to scrutinize them, according to people involved in a Scotland Yard investigation. The experts found that the messages concealed spyware meant to infiltrate their computers, and they fed traceable documents into the spyware that were then opened by computers registered at the Moscow office park of one of Mr. Kerimov’s companies.
posted by xyzzy at 2:16 PM on August 21 [31 favorites]


Another former Trumpeteer realizes "oh shit, the critics were right all along" -- Julius Krein: 'I Voted For Trump. And I Sorely Regret It' (NPR, Aug. 21, 2017) -- Ailsa Chang talks to Julius Krein, of American Affairs Journal, one of the lone voices speaking out for an intellectual movement for President Trump. Now he says he wishes he hadn't voted for him.
Krein: I've always been very interested in his critique of the prevailing policy consensus that he raised during the campaign. And even though I thought he was always an imperfect vehicle for that, I thought he might be a sort of adequate one. But after Charlottesville, his just refusal to state the facts and condemn the groups responsible - and in this case, you know, there was no claiming that it was a faulty earpiece or a misstatement or anything because he just kept re-emphasizing the same comments - it became clear that what he really cared about all along, exactly as his critics said, was the sort of worse parts of his campaign and clearly has no interest in or ability to execute the better agenda that he faintly gestured at. And so I felt it was time to state my opposition to this president.
In short: Trumpian dude-bro was totes OK with all the other noxious bullshit that Trump spouted up until now, and really hoped Trump would fake an apology or even an excuse (Krein again says "It wasn't a misstatement. It wasn't a faulty earpiece. It wasn't just..." as if hoping he could wave it all away and say "look, he has a half-decent excuse, who among us hasn't been accidentally racist because of technical malfunctions?) to get on the right side of history, as the world keeps splitting into sharp divides between White Supremacists and Everyone Else, where the Everyone Else party is clearly a party (see: Boston), and the WS are a few, scared/angry white men. Hey, at least he's adding his voice to the Correct Side of History Party, there on NPR and in a New York Times op-ed ("I Voted for Trump. And I Sorely Regret It." [Now please don't dox me and call me a racist in now or in the future -- fake, my own addition])

Former Trump fanboys and apologists, good news! Welcome to the party of decency and humanity, we call it the Democratic Party. We're a big tent, but not big enough for racists and bigots, so if you have such thoughts, please try to learn that they're awful thoughts, and keep them to yourself. But we're moving beyond "fixing Obamacare" and other weak-sauce efforts to court Republicans, and we're going whole socialist in some areas, starting with heath care. Because when you write things like
Far from making America great again, Mr. Trump has betrayed the foundations of our common citizenship. And his actions are jeopardizing any prospect of enacting an agenda that might restore the promise of American life.
I see "American life" and imagine Medicare-for-All, which Bernie Sanders points out in Fortune, is actually good for business, just like Trump's immigration plan will cost 4.6 million jobs. You can't just say "I don't like Trump because he repeatedly sided with Nazis," you have to realize that his policies are just as racist, sexist, Islamophobic and xenophobic as his recent, brief news-clippable comments.

Minority rights are human rights. Immigrant lives are American lives. There is no "other" in this country, just "us."
posted by filthy light thief at 2:17 PM on August 21 [52 favorites]


Of course he looked straight at the eclipse. He's an alpha male—indeed, the nation's supreme alpha male, at the very apex of the national pyramid of dominance—and he'll look at what he goddam wants to, however he goddamn likes. Besides, glasses are for beta losers who just aren't tough enough to face it.
posted by acb at 2:20 PM on August 21 [6 favorites]


It's always disturbing to see where the so-called "red line" is for conservatives is. Live boy or dead girl, indeed.
posted by Yowser at 2:24 PM on August 21 [9 favorites]


Maybe some of the Top Men from the Smithsonian should offer him a tour of their warehouse space and a chance to interact with some of the more obscure finds... He does have a taste for things covered in gold, after all...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:25 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


Linguistic data analysis of 3 billion Reddit comments shows the alt-right is getting stronger

Here's a related report Mapping the Alt-Right: The US Alternative Right across the Atlantic, part of the Alt-Right Open Intelligence Initiative project of the Digital Methods Initiative.
posted by scalefree at 2:25 PM on August 21 [9 favorites]


You know, maybe we could keep the sun at one-quarter eclipse and solve global warming. Something for sci-fi writers to ponder.

It's been done. Though he posited artificial satellites, not the moon.
posted by Coventry at 2:44 PM on August 21


Happy George Washington Statue Removal Week!
posted by kirkaracha at 3:03 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


Worth noting that BLM Cambridge is pushing back on the @qwrrty tweet that chris24 linked to above, regarding his reporting on Sunday's march in Boston. BLMC's tweet starts off: 1) His tweets went viral with a false narrative from a white lense. Overshadowing every tweet from actual Black organizers.
posted by terooot at 3:04 PM on August 21 [17 favorites]


So, I was telling someone about Trump looking at the eclipse sans shades, and a guy in line at the store called me a liar. So I said, I can show you the (several!) pictures, and I did. And he said--are you ready??--"Oh, that was after it was over." Oh ok. That's better, I guess. He was staring at the sun for no reason, then. This is what we are dealing with.
posted by thebrokedown at 3:09 PM on August 21 [130 favorites]


...how did he know it was after if he didn't know the pics existed before you ment--

You know what? I'm going to have some wine.
posted by asteria at 3:27 PM on August 21 [64 favorites]


Bannon's exit interviews sound like Charlie Sheen's 'tiger blood' phase.
posted by srboisvert at 3:30 PM on August 21 [11 favorites]


He could have had anybody from NASA visit, he could have had custom-fit eclipse glasses, but Nope, just look at the sun and don't bother to get eclipse glasses for your kid. Is there an alt-douche tag?
posted by theora55 at 3:30 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


... except staring at the sun *after* the eclipse will destroy your eyes even faster.
posted by tavella at 3:34 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: Like rage tweeting the moon.
posted by Oyéah at 3:40 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


He could have had anybody from NASA visit, he could have had custom-fit eclipse glasses, but Nope, just look at the sun and don't bother to get eclipse glasses for your kid.

Anti-intellectualism signalling. There's no way he'd be seen demonstrating concern over what some liberal egghead scientist might think. You concede solar eclipses to them, next thing you know, they have you acknowledging global warming or something.
posted by acb at 3:41 PM on August 21 [20 favorites]


"Too dumb to know not to look into the sun" is marginally preferable to "demonstrably racist" and "eager for nuclear Armageddon." I'm going to say that this was the pivot.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:46 PM on August 21 [37 favorites]


Of course, if the eclipse did fry his retinas and he ends up partially or entirely blind, that'll just add one impairment his courtiers have to hide from the world and make excuses for. They're already doing so for one or more cognitive impairments as they handle him like a temperamental toddler, trying to stop him from breaking things and hopefully manouvre him into fulfilling strategic plans. If his public appearances start being orchestrated to eliminate any need for him to walk in public without someone discretely guiding him, that could be why.

Not that there are no upsides for his handlers; for one, if he's unable to read, getting him to sign arbitrary things might be even easier.
posted by acb at 3:47 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


Everyone is stupid. It's just morons all the way down.
posted by prefpara at 3:56 PM on August 21 [24 favorites]


white youth might have larger student debt burdens than in the past, but they're not hurting for jobs!

I know it's really tempting to be like "fuck you, you racist fuckers, everything you say is a lie", but we have to remember not to let it blind us to facts and actual happenings. They're not wrong that white people - LIKE OTHER PEOPLE- are hurting for jobs, or at least good jobs, compared to twenty or thirty years ago. It is harder for ALL people to get a job, harder to keep a job, harder to get benefits from said job, and harder to get a decent wage than it has been before. Where they are wrong is where they say "And that's why we need to [x awful thing] the [y nationality]!"

This isn't just important to acknowledge for moral, the-truth-will-set-us-free reasons, but also for practical reasons. If people are hurting for jobs, and one group says, "Yes you are, and here is why," that is ALWAYS going to be more attractive than the group saying, "Oh, get over it, you big baby, other people have it worse!" And we cannot afford for only the racists to be hearing those needs. We just can't. If the racists are the only ones promising change, we're fucked.
posted by corb at 3:58 PM on August 21 [19 favorites]


please let sun-staring become a ritual of the alt-right, like chugging milk or whatever

buncha blind idiots with the milk shits. master race confirmed
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:00 PM on August 21 [45 favorites]


it's quiet. too quiet. can tonight be a scoop o'clock night?
posted by lalex at 4:08 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


No, tonight is the "I'm completely reversing myself and sending more troops to Afghanistan" night. Thank god Warhawk Hillary isn't president.
posted by Justinian at 4:08 PM on August 21 [35 favorites]


There's a picture with Melania, POTUS, and Barron all with their glasses on so they did get the kid glasses.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:09 PM on August 21 [6 favorites]


Josh Marshall (TPM): Trump Is Killing McConnell In Kentucky
The number that caught my eye was that McConnell has an astonishing 74% disapproval rating with just 18% approving of his performance in office. A hypothetical Democrat beats him by 7 percentage points. But that only tells part of the story.

McConnell is down at 18% approval. But Trump has a 60% approval rating in the state. If voters are upset with McConnell’s dogged efforts to repeal Obamacare, why is Trump doing so well? Or is it that McConnell failed to repeal Obamacare? And Good Lord, how can Mitch McConnell have a 74% disapproval rating? Congressional leaders always have low approval. See Boehner, Pelosi, Gingrich, et al. But that’s nationally. They almost always maintain strong support in their own states or districts. After all, that’s how they keep getting reelected. This is just a snapshot long before McConnell will face reelection in 2020. But for now the poll shows McConnell trailing a Democratic opponent 37% to 44%. [...]

This seems like an object lesson in the challenges facing many Republicans under Trump, especially when legislation fails and things get rough. McConnell appears to be getting hit badly on multiple fronts. He’s clearly taking a hit from those who opposed the effort to get rid of Kynect/Obamacare, a group which includes a lot of Republicans. But he’s also taking a big hit as the guy who failed to deliver repeal for Trump and the GOP. He’s getting it from both sides. The latter is intensified greatly by the fact that Trump has been repeatedly attacking McConnell and suggesting he should be replaced.
These results are astonishing. Opportunistic fools like Mitch McConnell have hitched their horse to a shitwagon. Too bad they insisted on hitching the rest of us to it, too.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:12 PM on August 21 [76 favorites]


It's hard to be happy during any thought you have about Mitch McConnell, but the arc of his story culminating in this humiliation does tempt you to believe in justice again.
posted by TypographicalError at 4:34 PM on August 21 [9 favorites]


I have a feeling this week's theme is going to end up being Blue Lives Matter. (FPP -- direct link to Shaun King's article.)
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:38 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]




Unfortunately the most obvious reason for Kentucky skewing 18% McConnell approval/60% Trump approval is that Kentucky voters blame McConnell for thwarting Trump, just like Trump has wanted them to.
posted by spitbull at 4:44 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Johnny Wallflower, that piece on the linguistic (and political) convergence of all stripes of haterdom in The_Donald is super interesting and horrifying.
Bored teenagers and gamers are becoming indoctrinated into hard-line anti-globalism, conspiracy theories, and Islamophobia, and it’s happening right before our eyes, on a publicly accessible forum.

...

The_Donald and other alt-right spaces are acting as meeting places for disaffected white men from all walks of life to share a communal hatred. They start out in different corners of the internet with different interests and different lexicons. They remain separate when they’re outside of The_Donald, but the more time they spend in there, the more pernicious views of the world they are likely to pick up by osmosis. They are forming a coherent group identity, represented in the language they have begun to speak, which coalesces around their common hatred of liberalism and their love of Donald Trump.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:46 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


As Josh Marshall points out, the political situation in Kentucky might be a bit more complicated than that -- specifically, the smashingly successful state branded-ACA program (Kynect) was dismantled by the incoming Republican governor. So Kentuckians have gotten to see firsthand how the Republicans' repeal-and-replace scheme has hurt them.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:47 PM on August 21 [14 favorites]


Our President, folks. Looking straight at the fucking eclipse like a total goddamn moron.

Me and My Baby President View the Eclipse
posted by kirkaracha at 4:51 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]




From the WaPo article:
Within the White House, Bannon’s opposition to sending more troops to Afghanistan helped fuel strife with other Trump aides
I'm a little surprised that Bannon was opposed to this, given his virulently anti-Islamist views.
posted by Coventry at 4:58 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]






"You can go to other people's media and say this, but not to us."

I don't... think? this has been linked to yet (URL search says no), but it's pretty funny watching two financial journalists rip a member of the Donald Trump for President advisory board to shreds on MSNBC: Trump Supporter Tries to Lie About Economy
posted by Rykey at 5:09 PM on August 21 [18 favorites]


I'm a little surprised that Bannon was opposed to this, given his virulently anti-Islamist views.

He's not against blowing up Muslims. He just wants to use mercenaries hired by Education Secretary Elizabeth Vos's brother Erik Prince to do it. Lots less rules plus Prince was slotted to be named Viceroy of Afghanistan or some such nonsense.
posted by scalefree at 5:16 PM on August 21 [9 favorites]


elshi pointed out to him that the number of jobs created since Trump took office was lower than the rate at which they were being created in the last six months of the Obama administration. So if Trump is going to get credit, does he also give credit to Obama? Of course not. “Right now, the commander in chief is Donald J. Trump,” he said. “And what we’re seeing now is job creation. Donald Trump has created over one million jobs.”

Goddamnit, again: the President is not "commander in chief" of anything but the armed forces. It's a job description item, not a title. He is not my "commander in chief"; I am not the armed forces.
posted by thelonius at 5:17 PM on August 21 [54 favorites]


I'm a little surprised that Bannon was opposed to this, given his virulently anti-Islamist views.

He's also an anti-globalist isolationist economic nationalist.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:36 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


So Kentuckians have gotten to see firsthand how the Republicans' repeal-and-replace scheme has hurt them.

Yeah, but Trump is at 60% approval, so that isn't sticking to him. Haven't seen Bevins' numbers lately, but that would be interesting to triangulate.
posted by spitbull at 5:41 PM on August 21


maybe this is just normal for 2017, but the POTUS is retweeting Drudge Report headlines about a self-professed cannibal who has tired of eating human flesh and thus turned himself into police.
posted by angrycat at 5:48 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


I'm a little surprised that Bannon was opposed to this, given his virulently anti-Islamist views.

You can hate and not want to pick a fight or create reasons to inspire people to want to come to where you are and take a swing at you.

Just think, over 1/2 way to it being dubbed 'a 30 year war'. Old Europe, represent!
posted by rough ashlar at 5:50 PM on August 21


maybe this is just normal for 2017, but the POTUS is retweeting Drudge Report headlines about a self-professed cannibal who has tired of eating human flesh and thus turned himself into police.

friendly reminder about fake tags!
posted by lalex at 5:51 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


maybe this is just normal for 2017, but the POTUS is retweeting Drudge Report headlines about a self-professed cannibal who has tired of eating human flesh and thus turned himself into police.

I see the original post about this on the Drudge Report Twitter feed, but not on POTUS's feed...
posted by dhens at 5:52 PM on August 21


Yeah, but Trump is at 60% approval, so that isn't sticking to him. Haven't seen Bevins' numbers lately, but that would be interesting to triangulate.

Well Trump's healthcare plan is repeal and *magic wishes* and somehow healthcare is amazing. Like, he has no plan at all and doesn't care. So he can just backseat drive and complain about everyone else's plans, basically take the Republicans under Obama role, and it's red meat for his base whether he's throwing shit at Democrats or Republicans. So maybe that's keeping him afloat, because you can fool some of the people all of the time.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:54 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


@JoePerticone: "Tucker [Carlson] says Trump looking at the eclipse without glasses 'perhaps the most impressive thing any president has done'"

I watched the whole clip. This seems...real? JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
posted by lalex at 5:56 PM on August 21 [50 favorites]


TEDDY ROOSEVELT EXISTED, TUCKER CARLSON. TEDDY ROOSEVELT DID PROBABLY 1058392101 MORE PHYSICALLY IMPRESSIVE THINGS THAN BLINDING HIMSELF FOR NO REASON, TUCKER.
posted by yasaman at 5:58 PM on August 21 [65 favorites]


I think he's trolling you.
posted by Coventry at 5:59 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


IT WAS VERY EFFECTIVE
posted by lalex at 6:00 PM on August 21 [83 favorites]


Doing stupid shit without adequate safety equipment is considered manly by the type of people who like Trump. I assumed this was how it would be spun. I also assume we'll have a lot more people blinded in the next eclipse.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:01 PM on August 21 [12 favorites]


Streaming link for Trump's speech. He's got a live military band there and the cabinet and everything.
posted by zachlipton at 6:02 PM on August 21


Tucker Carlson: "But in a move that was not a complete surprise, the President looked directly at the sun..."

Agree that it sounds like trolling.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:03 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Economic Nationalist: "Yeah, I don't see race. I mean, I'm still racist, but ever since the 2021 eclipse ..."
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:05 PM on August 21 [21 favorites]


Re: Trump looking at the sun, I would not expect any less from a person who does not believe in science. His narcissism has turned him into a Copernicus-ian - except it's the sun and all of us that revolve around him and not just the Earth. I'm not a mean person generally but I hope the sun bit back - I know when I watched the eclipse it reminded me of how small and powerless we are. Trump could use more than a touch of that humility.
posted by anya32 at 6:06 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


oh wait I'm looking at what's appearing in Trump's feed or whatever that WaPo Trump Twitter bot is doing. sorry.
posted by angrycat at 6:08 PM on August 21 [6 favorites]


Anyway, looking briefly at the sun like that is painful, but it's not going to cause long-term harm in itself.

Decades ago I saw a TV article about a cult in Australia decades ago whose adherents would stare at the sun. It took much longer for them to suffer retinal damage. They would stare at it for minutes, claiming it caused trippy visual effects.
posted by Coventry at 6:09 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


i'll give you a hint what caused the trippy visual effects
posted by edeezy at 6:13 PM on August 21 [14 favorites]


Yeah, they were nuts. Some of them suffered permanent damage to their vision. But the point is, it took a while for that to happen.
posted by Coventry at 6:15 PM on August 21


Terrorists are "losers." Got it.

This is so awful. 4,000 more troops doing the same stuff we've been doing, but he's going to claim it's an all new strategy. Well if it's his strategy, he owns it now. It's all on him.

But now maybe the Taliban can have political power after we're done attacking them? Huh?
posted by zachlipton at 6:18 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


I was busy and I missed his bullshit speech. Can you sum it up for me? Is Afghanistan Obama's fault, or everyone except Trump's fault?
posted by Justinian at 6:19 PM on August 21


omg shut up about the stupid eclipse

vi 4eva
posted by um at 6:22 PM on August 21 [20 favorites]


Oh, he's still going. He sounds slightly more coherent than usual. I assume it's because it's pure teleprompter!
posted by Justinian at 6:23 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


It's still going on, but apparently we're going to be tougher on Pakistan while asking India to do economic development in Afghanistan. So that's going to be interesting.
posted by zachlipton at 6:24 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]




while asking India to do economic development in Afghanistan

Yeah, good luck with that, fuckface.

(Meaning dipshit-in-chief, not you, zachlipton.)
posted by CommonSense at 6:28 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Oh , wait... where's Paul Ryan's town hall??

I'm so disgusted.
posted by kiwi-epitome at 6:28 PM on August 21


He sounds slightly more coherent than usual.

His speech is more coherent, but the policy is an incoherent mess of Trump bombast and threats, Obama's surge only less, and forcing Pakistan and India to step up and fix it. And pay more. Kind like he wants NATO to pay more for protection. And kinda like how he *forced* China to fix North Korea. And we know how well that's working.
posted by chris24 at 6:28 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


Come on you guys are being harsh, 17th times the charm.
posted by Justinian at 6:30 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]




What can be said about Donald Trump's approval numbers that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan?
posted by darkstar at 6:32 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


@PhilipRucker: Tonight is a new President Trump: Acknowledging a flip-flop and talking about gravity of office, history & substance. [ratio watch: 2000 replies, 102 retweets, 464 likes]

@Olivianuzzi: Tonight is a new President Trump: If you forgot to take your head out of your cereal box after the eclipse
posted by zachlipton at 6:32 PM on August 21 [55 favorites]


Some of the other responses to Rucker's tweet:

"Phil."

"Seriously, Phil."

"Come on Phil."

(Lucy and Football .gif)

"Jesus, Phil."

and my favorite,

"God, you're an easy lay."
posted by Justinian at 6:35 PM on August 21 [55 favorites]


omfg I JUST put together that Steve Mnuchin's wife Louise Linton, who is currently being Twitter-dragged for this Instagram post (don't miss her comment!) is the same person who wrote this lunatic "memoir" about her "nightmare" gap year in Zambia.
posted by lalex at 6:37 PM on August 21 [45 favorites]


What can be said about Donald Trump's approval numbers that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan?

That they're the graveyard of empires?

Wait. What?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:38 PM on August 21 [10 favorites]


A giant thunderstorm came right as the speech started, cutting off my hotel's satellite feed. I think it's a sign.

A few key quotes:
It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace.
Calling Pakistan, essentially, uncivilized is, yuck.
As the prime minister of Afghanistan has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us.
I believe this is a fancy way of saying, "we're taking their minerals."
They are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust, and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other. The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon on a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt.

And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate. The young men and women we sent to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.

As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas, and we will always win, let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Let us make a simple promise to the men and women we ask to fight in our name, that when they return home from battle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one.
I am amazed he didn't break off from the teleprompter here and berate everyone for not showing him proper deference in wartime.

Anyway, the real question is what he says tomorrow when he says whatever he wants instead of reading the prompter. And how mad he is about tonight's TV ratings.
posted by zachlipton at 6:44 PM on August 21 [13 favorites]


She's not mad
posted by Yowser at 6:45 PM on August 21


Mrs. Mnuchin, it's sheetcaking, not let them eat caking.
posted by Yowser at 6:46 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Steve Mnuchin's wife Louise Linton ... is the same person who wrote this lunatic "memoir" about her "nightmare" gap year in Zambia.

Well holy shit. Instead of Romney's binders of women, this administration has binders of the worst people ever.
posted by mcduff at 6:47 PM on August 21 [17 favorites]


this administration has binders of the worst people ever.

I was literally just typing this to my brother. HOW can they ALL be so terrible? Just rotten to the core.
posted by lalex at 6:50 PM on August 21 [28 favorites]


Goddamnit, again: the President is not "commander in chief" of anything but the armed forces. It's a job description item, not a title. He is not my "commander in chief"; I am not the armed forces.

I have had a conversation that included this almost verbatim, but in my case I felt compelled to add, "Jesus Christ, Paul, you remember that we are both Canadian, right?"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:52 PM on August 21 [48 favorites]




The entire Trump apparatus is filled with the worst people. From top to bottom it's just stupid and incompetent. At some point we will find out they just hired everyone with a craigslist ad.
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:57 PM on August 21 [7 favorites]


I believe it's a random assortment of people who Fox calls up for opinions and people that Breitbart has praised, plus the odd gangster or Russian spy.
posted by Artw at 6:59 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Grift is the defining characteristic above all other things, possibly even more so than being a shit-ass Nazi, though the two are often coincident.
posted by Artw at 7:00 PM on August 21 [7 favorites]


A Craigslist ad would pull at least a FEW decent people by accident.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:00 PM on August 21 [30 favorites]


The entire Trump apparatus is filled with the worst people. From top to bottom it's just stupid and incompetent.

I am amazed every day that he still hasn't nominated someone who was physically in jail or prison at the moment of the announcement.
posted by Etrigan at 7:14 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


OMG some politicians, journalists, and ordinary citizens really do have an abused spouse mentality towards Trump, it is so awful and creepy. "He read off a teleprompter! He's changed!"
posted by supercrayon at 7:14 PM on August 21 [26 favorites]


Zachlipton: I believe this is a fancy way of saying, "we're taking their minerals."

Worse. It's going to be colonial resource extraction with US/Pakistani mines backed by US military forces, and the people of Pakistan themselves will have no say in it. The only question is whether it's going to be more like the East India Company or more like the Belgian Congo:
As the prime minister of Afghanistan has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us. [...] But we will no longer use American military might to construct democracies in faraway lands or try to rebuild other countries in our own image. Those days are now over. Instead, we will work with allies and partners to protect our shared interests.


The "allies and partners" are the officially-recognised government that authorises the resource extraction; the "shared interests" are the mines and (very possibly) opium fields.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:16 PM on August 21 [10 favorites]


OMG some politicians, journalists, and ordinary citizens really do have an abused spouse mentality towards Trump, it is so awful and creepy. "He read off a teleprompter! He's changed!"

I am not sure if I would put it in those terms, but I do think that many media personalities simply cannot handle -- personally or professionally -- that someone who so blatantly rips up social and political norms is president, nor the fact that he was elected by a substantial minority of the citizens of the Republic. So they need to try to make things "normal."
posted by dhens at 7:18 PM on August 21 [17 favorites]


Oops, I meant to write "US/Afghan", sorry. Not that I wouldn't expect the same thing to happen in Pakistan, eventually. It's an old colonial tactic: let your surrogates set up a joint venture or otherwise local business, and then send your gunboats in to "protect" it. It's how Britain ended up with Hong Kong, for instance.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:22 PM on August 21 [3 favorites]


Trump administration officials have told the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to halt a review of the increased public health risks faced by Appalachian residents who live near mountaintop removal coal-mining sites, the academies revealed in a statement issued Monday.

So, um, does the Cabinet actually have any say over the National Academies beyond how much money to give them? Aren't they NGOs? Can't they get funding elsewhere? Shall we expect a written reply with the first letters of each paragraph spelling out "GO FUCK YOURSELF"?

But we will no longer use American military might to construct democracies in faraway lands or try to rebuild other countries in our own image. [Footage not found.] Those days are now over. Instead, we will work with allies and partners to protect our shared interests. smash the place up and bill them for it.

That's got to be a war crime, right? I mean ... right???
posted by Sys Rq at 7:27 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Jon Cooper‏ @joncoopertweets
BREAKING: After alt-right organizers saw huge counter-protests in Boston, they've canceled 67 "America First Rallies" scheduled in 36 states
6:24 PM - 21 Aug 2017
posted by standardasparagus at 7:29 PM on August 21 [142 favorites]


What would look different if the GOP had secret, incontrovertible evidence that the world was ending in 10 years?
posted by ctmf at 7:33 PM on August 21 [18 favorites]


NYT, Abby Goodnough, Getting People to Enroll in Health Plans While Trump Attacks Them
An even more crucial question is whether administration officials who openly detest the law will lead a vigorous nationwide push to persuade the uninsured to buy policies sold under its banner, and existing customers to keep their coverage, when open enrollment for next year starts on Nov. 1.

The evidence so far suggests they won’t. The administration recently ended $23 million worth of contracts with two companies that helped people sign up for coverage. It also is cutting the enrollment period in half in most states, to 45 days. A number of advocacy groups that worked closely with the Obama administration to get the word out about open enrollment have heard nothing from the Trump administration about re-upping the partnerships this year.
...
Mr. Slonaker also said that at a conference that C.M.S. held for navigators in June, employees of the agency said the federal government would not run any ads to promote open enrollment this year. A spokeswoman for the agency would not confirm whether that was true or answer other questions about the administration’s plans.

Other open questions include whether the Trump administration will automatically re-enroll people who did not actively cancel or change their plan, as Mr. Obama’s did, and whether it will increase staffing at call centers that help people sign up, given the compressed enrollment time frame.
They're continuing to sabotage the hell out of Obamacare out of spite. @SeanMcElwee had a brilliant tweet this morning:
If you're frantically trying to buy eclipse glasses right now, you'll understand why 30 day registration deadlines reduce voter turnout.
It applies to voting, of course, but it also fits for Obamacare. Intentionally making it harder for people to sign up for health insurance just drives up costs and will leave millions uninsured, all so they can say the law is failed.
posted by zachlipton at 7:33 PM on August 21 [29 favorites]


Indignation, socially a most productive emotion, cannot be directed against the conditions alone, since this would totally depersonalize the conditions, denude them of human participation and treat them as out of reach and no longer alterable.
—Brecht, 11/24/42
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:36 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Btw, despite Ryan and Price's lies about bare counties where there are no insurers on the Obamacare exchanges, new insurers have already stepped into fill the gaps in every single case except for a single county, Paulding, Ohio and its 334 enrollees.

And while I hope those 334 people get health insurance next year, if you want to argue the whole system is broken because of 334 people in one county, maybe spend a fraction of the time that has gone into lying about the ACA on the people of Flint; a lot more than 334 people are involved.
posted by zachlipton at 7:40 PM on August 21 [41 favorites]


What would look different if the GOP had secret, incontrovertible evidence that the world was ending in 10 years?

Doesn't count if they're also the ones bringing about that fate.
posted by Candleman at 7:48 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


I do think that many media personalities simply cannot handle -- personally or professionally -- that someone who so blatantly rips up social and political norms is president, nor the fact that he was elected by a substantial minority of the citizens of the Republic. So they need to try to make things "normal."

I think it's because they perceive their own roles as being these lofty and prestigious chroniclers of the Wise Doings of Great People and don't want to cop to the fact that the presence of a wildly ignorant and unqualified President in the White House makes their profundity seem wildly out of touch. They will keep bending over backwards to make him right: it makes them right by association.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 7:57 PM on August 21 [18 favorites]


@Lindsey Graham: Between Afghanistan and Syria @realDonaldTrump is showing the WILL to stand up to Radical Islam...

....unlike President Obama.

@KevinMKruse: "We now go to Osama Bin Laden for comment."
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:02 PM on August 21 [84 favorites]


Yep, Donald Trump's Will is definitely going to be victorious in Afghanistan. One might even say Triumphant.
posted by Justinian at 8:08 PM on August 21 [9 favorites]


The story* mentioned by mandolin conspiracy also has this (emphasis mine):
Michael Hendryx, a former WVU researcher who co-authored most of the significant scientific papers on the issue, said Monday that the move by the OSM shouldn’t come as a surprise. Hendryx noted that another Interior agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, had, in February 2013 — under the Obama administration — pulled funding for scientific work on mountaintop removal’s potential health effects.

“I’d like to think this is a temporary suspension of the project for a routine review and that it will soon re-continue, but I have my doubts,” said Hendryx, who is now at Indiana University in Bloomington. “We know the current administration is anti-science and pro-coal, so you have to wonder if it is politically motivated.”
*Ken Ward, Jr., Charleston Gazette-Mail
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:27 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Afghanistan isn't ours, their minerals, their lithium, their cultural norms, they are not ours. We had better not be victorious with regard to taking their stuff, and destroying their culture.
posted by Oyéah at 8:27 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


Calling Pakistan, essentially, uncivilized is, yuck.

Ya think?
posted by bardophile at 8:33 PM on August 21 [5 favorites]


But we will no longer use American military might to construct democracies in faraway lands or try to rebuild other countries in our own image. Those days are now over. Instead, we will work with allies and partners to protect our shared interests.

I didn't read or watch his speech, but... man. At least the pretext of American military involvement throughout the world was always promoting democracy. This fucker's saying "Don't expect me to care about even nominally supporting democracy where our military goes. Not giving a fuck about the populations on the receiving end of the US military is now stated policy."

Coupled with the other stuff people quoted about "defraying costs," this is super fucked up. Does anybody know if this is a function of Trump's letting the generals run the game, or is this Trump being Trump despite what the generals want?
posted by Rykey at 8:37 PM on August 21 [7 favorites]


Nathan Heller in the New Yorker: Is there any point to protesting?

Skeptics suggest that “folk politics”—marches, protests, and the like—are a distraction from the challenges of real change.
posted by medusa at 8:39 PM on August 21


Hmm. We now know where the weird heel/heal congratulations to the anti-bigots in Boston tweet came from yesterday. They were working on the speech.
posted by notyou at 8:39 PM on August 21


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 Senate -- GOP not loving Trump getting involved in the Arizona GOP primary.

** Electoral integrity -- New suit to force Kobach commission to make records public.

** Odds & ends:
-- Further on that eye-popping Kentucky PPP poll (worst approval number for any public official in a PPP poll ever!): only 27% approved of Trumpcare.

-- The DCCC outraised the NRCC in July $6.2M to $3.8M. This is the third straight month the Dems have led. This is something to keep in mind when considering yesterday's garment rending over the DNC trailing the RNC - the DCCC is who is relevant for 2018 House, the DNC is largely about the presidential.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:47 PM on August 21 [41 favorites]


> Nathan Heller in the New Yorker: Is there any point to protesting?

Ask the dickweasels who were planning those alt-right rallies.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:48 PM on August 21 [21 favorites]


This has Stephen Miller all over it.
posted by odinsdream at 8:48 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


Well, Bannon continues on his winning streak: Breitbart Forced To Apologize For Using Picture of German Soccer Star Lukas Podolski in Human Trafficking Story. “A previous version of this story included an image of Lukas Podolski on a jet ski. This image appeared as an illustration of a person on a jet ski. Breitbart London wishes to apologise to Mr. Podolski,” Breitbart London wrote. “There is no evidence Mr. Podolski is either a migrant gang member, nor being human trafficked. We wish Mr. Podolski well in his recently announced international retirement.” Nassim Touihri, Podolski’s manager, told a German newspaper that the situation was “a mess.”
“Lukas distances himself from it and won’t let himself be exploited. Our lawyer is already involved,” Touihri said, according to The Guardian.

posted by TwoStride at 8:49 PM on August 21 [11 favorites]


More seriously, the US - Pakistan relationship is tough, even if one only looks at terrorism emanating from TTP, Daesh, and their affiliates. Things are further complicated by the US discomfort with our seemingly imminent change of fealty from Uncle Sam to China (Hello, CPEC and OBOR!) and the Pakistani establishment's eagerness to use military aid and anti - terror legislation to stifle activism (violent and non-violent). The combination of those two has kept a squadron of US helicopter gunships, flown by Pakistani ex-military pilots, surveilling all of Balochistan. Ostensibly, the squadron is supposed to be for monitoring and combating Islamist militants. If that were really what they were being used for, their flight area would be roughly in the region of and around the western border. Instead, they are flying in the areas where Balochi separatists and China-Pakistan mineral and logistical projects are to be found. This deviation from stated mission has been true since the squadron was established several years ago, with a wink and a nudge from both governments. That's just one example.

Somehow, I am skeptical that the Tillerson/Trump State Department will be better at doing these complicated diplomatic dance figures than the Clinton /Obama or Kerry /Obama State Departments.
posted by bardophile at 9:03 PM on August 21 [31 favorites]


Isn't there a scheduled dig of gold and copper in Baluchistan near the Afghan border? These greedy fuckers want to get their hands on everything.
posted by nikitabot at 9:27 PM on August 21


They're not wrong that white people - LIKE OTHER PEOPLE- are hurting for jobs, or at least good jobs, compared to twenty or thirty years ago. It is harder for ALL people to get a job, harder to keep a job, harder to get benefits from said job, and harder to get a decent wage than it has been before. Where they are wrong is where they say "And that's why we need to [x awful thing] the [y nationality]!"
This isn't just important to acknowledge for moral, the-truth-will-set-us-free reasons, but also for practical reasons. If people are hurting for jobs, and one group says, "Yes you are, and here is why," that is ALWAYS going to be more attractive than the group saying, "Oh, get over it, you big baby, other people have it worse!" And we cannot afford for only the racists to be hearing those needs. We just can't. If the racists are the only ones promising change, we're fucked.


Yup. These people are deeply unhappy--and a lot of people when they are unhappy (a) want someone to blame, and (b) want someone to take it out on. If we can't make everyone safe and well funded and content, this crap continues and we're fucked. (So we're fucked.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:33 PM on August 21 [7 favorites]


The only question is whether it's going to be more like the East India Company or more like the Belgian Congo

Didn't the Bush administration try this in Iraq? Did the US get any significant mining done from that? (Serious questions)
posted by Coventry at 9:42 PM on August 21


Boston went well, hoping all in/around Phoenix stay safe: Phoenix Prepares For Possible Unrest As Trump Holds Campaign Style Rally (NPR, Aug. 21, 2017)
Last week, the mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton, asked President Trump not to visit the city, but the administration is moving forward with the event and planning trips elsewhere, including Yuma, Ariz., and later Reno, Nev. In a prerecorded statement, Mayor Stanton said he's disappointed President Trump is holding this rally while the nation is still healing from the violence that erupted this month in Charlottesville.

GREG STANTON: If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to inflame emotions and further divide our nation.
That really would be a fucking slap in the face of the country. But don't worry, there's a pro-Trump biker group offering protection for President Trump's visit, to ensure those who support Trump and want to hear him speak won't be shoved aside by anti-Trump protesters.

Also, pro-Trump AZ Gov. Doug Ducey won't be attending. Hmm, why not show your support at this time when the nation needs to heal and come together?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:05 PM on August 21 [13 favorites]


And on the issue of charging the US for secret service to rent golf carts while at Trump properties, and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in hotel bills, including at Trump properties, which is a huge issue of conflicts, secret service are being overworked, so even if more overtime pay is offered, there's not more people to do the work and do it well.
The Department of Homeland Security had commissioned a report in which an independent reviewer found that the workload could not be sustained over a period of years.
(NPR, Aug. 21, 2017)

I'm not sure what that report is, but in December 2015, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a bipartisan report that "highlighted serious leadership and staffing concerns, along with details surrounding employee misconduct and security breach incidents." The Oversight Committee leaders "expressed concern" and noted that "USSS simply cannot hire enough personnel to keep pace with historic attrition rates…"

In June of this year, USSS Director Randolph Alles provided written testimony for a House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security hearing titled “How Can the United States Secret Service Evolve to Meet the Challenges Ahead?” and stated:
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the Secret Service realized a 38 percent increase in total protective stops compared to FY 2015, as well as a 32 percent increase in campaign-related stops over FY 2008 (the last presidential campaign without an incumbent). More recently, the Secret Service secured several large-scale events, to include the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group Spring Meeting, and an eleven-day Vice Presidential foreign trip throughout Southeast Asia and Australia. In addition, the Secret Service successfully secured a number of protective stops during the President’s recent eight-day foreign trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium, and Italy.

Even as protection has been and remains our primary mission focus, the investigative mission of the Secret Service is critically important and noteworthy. We have prioritized our limited resources to effectively further the investigative mission. In FY 2016, in the midst of a demanding presidential campaign year, our field personnel closed 3,592 criminal cases resulting in 2,125 arrests. Our cyber investigations prevented $558 million in potential loss and $124.5 million in actual loss in FY 2016. The agency remains committed to advancing its capabilities to protect America’s financial infrastructure to stop cyber criminals as they develop advanced malware to compromise the computer networks of U.S. financial institutions and businesses. In fact, to better support these investigations, we have updated our training curriculum to include basic cyber training for all new incoming Special Agents.
With recent efforts, Secret Service has "the highest total employee population we have had since 2012," but that's still not enough to secure the President and his extended family as they travel around the world, particularly for non-official business.

Again, it's the choices made by the President that aren't related to his presidency that are taxing the Secret Service. Maybe he should start paying for security details while on vacation?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:19 PM on August 21 [36 favorites]


That's just a convenient reason for him to contract security (to his own companies, natch). Let the USSS prioritize their limited resources on the investigative mission.
posted by ctmf at 10:36 PM on August 21 [5 favorites]


GREG STANTON: If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to inflame emotions and further divide our nation.

Of course he is. He needs the release that comes from regaining the dominance he lost when he was forced to speak against the Nazis. Pardoning Arpaio fits that need perfectly, he can rub it in our faces & show us who's boss.
posted by scalefree at 10:37 PM on August 21 [7 favorites]


Let the USSS prioritize their limited resources on the investigative mission.

(Which, to be more clear, I think is a terrible, terrible idea.)
posted by ctmf at 10:38 PM on August 21


The Eclipsing of Steve Bannon (The Baffler, Sam Kriss):
He does not look well, but did he ever? Steve Bannon’s eyes seep, weep, and rheum between their heavy folding triple-parenthesis bags, blinking labiae, lonely dunes of flaking skin. His nose dimples out like some peak of rubble in the crags of a bomb-blasted city. His lips vanish into the puffy slit-scar of his mouth. His cheeks blotch and billow; you could pinch one of them out, mold it like plasticine between your fingertips, and when you let go it would take half a day for his flesh to squelch back to its ordinary shape. His forehead is unspeakable. His hair flops like dead reeds after an oil spill. His neck is like a frog’s. His breasts pucker. His pale belly aches. His hams scrawn, greased pistons, spiky with little hairs they shiver. His feet are bleeding. He has come to this hilltop. Around him the scraggly grass, and the senseless tinfoil trees, and the darkening sky. Like everyone else, he has come to watch the eclipse.

Steve Bannon is alone now, waiting for the black sun, trapped on a planet with one billion Chinese.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:40 PM on August 21 [19 favorites]


Here's Slate on why Trump's Afghanistan policy is a mess. Basically: a few thousand more troops can't do what 100,000 didn't do. And you can't defeat an insurgency with a corrupt government.

And wow, playing the heavy on Pakistan can backfire in a thousand ways. Pakistan has already paid a high price for this war. But Trump doesn't seem to understand the concept of allies anyway.
posted by zompist at 10:47 PM on August 21 [14 favorites]


Phoenix Prepares For Possible Unrest As Trump Holds Campaign Style Rally

It's not a "campaign style rally," it's a campaign rally. Trump launched his 2020 reelection campaign on Inauguration Day.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:56 PM on August 21 [29 favorites]




Haven't clicked on the link yet, but let me help you out. """"didn't know was an HBCU""""
posted by Yowser at 11:08 PM on August 21 [21 favorites]


He is not my "commander in chief"; I am not the armed forces.

Thank you. This drove me crazy at a job I had in the Bush the Lesser years. One of the right-wingers who worked in my office kept saying "He's our commander in chief", and it took every ounce of restraint I had to not say "DO YOU SEE A FUCKING UNIFORM ON ME?".

Okay, yes, it was a federal job and technically he was our ultimate boss (ugh), but still. Not my commander.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:09 PM on August 21 [18 favorites]


I just had to look up what HBCU stood for, and even I knew that Howard was an HBCU.
posted by lkc at 11:12 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


How is the Afghanistan policy anything other than trying to change the subject from the President being a Nazi? 4000 more troops doing the same thing as the 8500 we still have left there is not a policy. He literally just wanted to get on TV and give a Big Serious Speech to show everyone he's The Real President, and get CNN talking about anything other than how much he loves Nazis.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:28 PM on August 21 [42 favorites]


So, he managed to be good and stay on TelePrompTer and not say anything too offensive tonight? Important question for Phoenix... Has he ever managed to do that two days in a row?
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:31 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Hey, it worked for Bush...
posted by Coventry at 11:31 PM on August 21


Hey, it worked for Bush...

Bush was Cheney's sock puppet. Cheney is 100% fucking Lawful Evil. Competent, and with a FUCKING ROBOT HEART where his human one used to be...
posted by mikelieman at 11:35 PM on August 21 [8 favorites]


It fits the same exact pattern we saw with the Charlottesville statements. He can be arm-twisted into doing something politically necessary, but then he has this overwhelming urge to fling shit everywhere to get back at his political enemies. He wants to do something to beat the people who made him unhappy. He had to kick out one of his monsters, so he'll want another. A pardon for Arpaio seems more likely than ever now.

In other words we can use the "Trump's Outhouse" principle to intuit what he's going to do in this sort of scenario.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:46 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


HBCU = Historically Black College or University

filthy light thief: "And on the issue of charging the US for secret service to rent golf carts while at Trump properties, and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in hotel bills, including at Trump properties, which is a huge issue of conflicts, secret service are being overworked, so even if more overtime pay is offered, there's not more people to do the work and do it well. "

Man I am going to laugh my ass off if the Cheeto gets assassinated because his constant golfing on his insecure properties meant the SS staff tasked to protect him were off their game because of overwork. It would be such a multilevel/multifaceted example of what is wrong with running a government like a business rolled up into one neat little package. I might ROTF if it's a neo-nazi with an assault weapon.
posted by Mitheral at 12:19 AM on August 22 [10 favorites]


Man I am going to laugh my ass off if the Cheeto gets assassinated because his constant golfing on his insecure properties meant the SS staff tasked to protect him were off their game because of overwork. It would be such a multilevel/multifaceted example of what is wrong with running a government like a business rolled up into one neat little package. I might ROTF if it's a neo-nazi with an assault weapon.

I've got 5 bucks on it being an oil tanker: "Dudes, I only got 3 hours last night, and it didn't look like it was coming towards us."
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:51 AM on August 22 [2 favorites]


I am going to laugh my ass off if the Cheeto gets assassinated

Quite glad I don't live in a country where there's a TLA with nothing better to do than comb through terabytes of seized data for remarks of that ilk.
posted by flabdablet at 1:36 AM on August 22


[There's a bit of a conflict here when we are talking about understaffed / underfunded Secret Service and contemplating possible problems that could arise from that ... and our site standard that we do not fill these threads with gross death (etc.) fantasy stuff, so I'm going to ask that folks try to negotiate this line intelligently and avoid us looking like any random horrifying youtube comment thread. Thank you.]
posted by taz at 1:53 AM on August 22 [66 favorites]


But Trump doesn't seem to understand the concept of allies anyway.

Trump doesn't seem to understand anything.
posted by Melismata at 5:02 AM on August 22 [12 favorites]


This whole speech about Afghanistan is fucking terrifying. Talk about warhawks. What a nightmare.
posted by h00py at 5:39 AM on August 22 [3 favorites]


I am absolutely shocked by it. This is a massive declaration that the USA, as governed by this gormless, evil fuckwit, is prepared to unleash war at the slightest provocation. Spending billions more on the military while telling everyone at home to pull it together for the soldiers, because there's going to be a fuckload more of them and they're doing it all for you, so no more of this pesky, unimportant bickering about injustice. Oh my fucking god.
posted by h00py at 5:55 AM on August 22 [33 favorites]


Which they didn't didn't know was an HBCU.

Alternately, they're just lying little shits.

Does Howard have an ongoing problem with white high-school girls wandering on their campus looking for lunch?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:57 AM on August 22 [22 favorites]


If people are hurting for jobs, and one group says, "Yes you are, and here is why," that is ALWAYS going to be more attractive than the group saying, "Oh, get over it, you big baby, other people have it worse!" And we cannot afford for only the racists to be hearing those needs.

My perception is that Democrats have been saying "yes you are, and here's why [insert well-researched but boring economic analysis followed by complex but workable solution to complex problem] while Republicans have been, and are, the ones saying "get over it you big baby -- let's cut taxes and slash regulations, surely this time the jobs will appear!"
posted by Gelatin at 6:03 AM on August 22 [34 favorites]


Here's Slate on why Trump's Afghanistan policy is a mess. Basically: a few thousand more troops can't do what 100,000 didn't do. And you can't defeat an insurgency with a corrupt government.

I'm afraid you have to specify which corrupt government you are talking about.
posted by srboisvert at 6:25 AM on August 22 [20 favorites]


Bush was Cheney's sock puppet. Cheney is 100% fucking Lawful Evil. Competent, and with a FUCKING ROBOT HEART where his human one used to be...

He got another human heart

I mean, how we probably don't want to know, but he got one
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:26 AM on August 22 [5 favorites]


My first reaction to the Howard story was Rex Cramer, Danger Seeker. Also my second reaction.

(The uninitiated should not play that YouTube clip at work.)
posted by delfin at 6:32 AM on August 22 [3 favorites]


I am absolutely shocked by it. This is a massive declaration that the USA, as governed by this gormless, evil fuckwit, is prepared to unleash war at the slightest provocation. Spending billions more on the military while telling everyone at home to pull it together for the soldiers, because there's going to be a fuckload more of them and they're doing it all for you, so no more of this pesky, unimportant bickering about injustice. Oh my fucking god.

I think that if Trump wants military action, the unified Democratic response should be to demand a draft or all men and women under 26. No exceptions. If you're physically unable to perform combat, there's plenty of desk jobs that need filling.
posted by mikelieman at 6:32 AM on August 22 [2 favorites]


That'll fire the kids up!
posted by h00py at 6:36 AM on August 22 [1 favorite]


*sob*
posted by h00py at 6:37 AM on August 22


I think that if Trump wants military action, the unified Democratic response should be to demand a draft or all men and women under 26.

no

that's a deal breaker - i won't support a party that does such a thing
posted by pyramid termite at 6:47 AM on August 22 [12 favorites]


From Just Security, a brief round-up of coverage on the Afghanistan speech.

The call to put national security ahead of any other considerations and the announced neutrality toward how countries run their governments makes me fear for the future of human rights--under this administration, they will cease to have any legitimacy or weight. Any response to the speech from the Russian government yet?
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:48 AM on August 22 [5 favorites]


What exactly is the goal in Afghanistan now? "Kill terrorists"? Which includes, what, everyone there?
posted by thelonius at 6:48 AM on August 22 [3 favorites]


Compulsory service (which is done well in many peace loving nations) could be a hugely positive change from the quasi-mercenary military the US has now.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:50 AM on August 22 [29 favorites]


I think that if Trump wants military action, the unified Democratic response should be to demand a draft or all men and women under 26. No exceptions

Citizens: If this is the course the Republican majority wants the fiscally responsible position is to stop borrow and spending for the American Military. One of the reasons the United States won WWII was to tax the top earners at 90%. We, this rump section of Democrats therefore demand the Republicans to join us in the new 90% tax rate to not only pay for the military but also pay down the debt.


Signed - a couple of people who have D's associated with their name who never want to be re-elected.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:51 AM on August 22 [14 favorites]


that's a deal breaker - i won't support a party that does such a thing

It's unfair to expect an "All Volunteer Army" to shoulder the burden.
posted by mikelieman at 6:51 AM on August 22 [6 favorites]


"We will win" does sort of imply a definable win condition for the exercise, yes. Maybe someone will mention one at some point.

If we do get a new draft, can we at least put Buffalo Springfield back together for the duration?

Stop, children
What's that sound
Everybody look, an orange clown

posted by delfin at 6:53 AM on August 22 [32 favorites]


Can we not immediately convene the circular firing squad?
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:53 AM on August 22 [14 favorites]


Skeptics suggest that “folk politics” ...are a distraction

That's ok, we are going electric this fall.

Steve Bannon’s eyes seep, weep, and rheum between their heavy folding triple-parenthesis bags, blinking labiae, lonely dunes of flaking skin.

Sam Kriss, whoever that is, can fucking write. That triple parentheses dig is how you stuff a dog-whistle up the original whistler's coke-damaged nose.

ETA I looked up Kriss and of course he's a Brit, masters of the poison pen on a different level.
posted by spitbull at 6:54 AM on August 22 [32 favorites]


Anyone who runs is a terrorist. Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined terrorist.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:54 AM on August 22 [5 favorites]


Debating the issues of compulsory service versus volunteer is not a circular firing squad. A derail, maybe.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:55 AM on August 22


Yeah we have had the draft debate here a few hundred times, and it tends to be polarizing.
posted by spitbull at 6:57 AM on August 22 [4 favorites]


it's not just the merits of compulsory service vs volunteer - it's also empire vs democracy, a fight democracy has been losing
posted by pyramid termite at 6:57 AM on August 22 [4 favorites]


Although "a circular firing squad of progressives" has a nice ring to it, like "gazebo of nazis."
posted by spitbull at 6:58 AM on August 22 [1 favorite]


It's literally gobsmacking that this is a thing. I mean, I literally feel like someone's smacked me in the gob, my jaw is hanging so low. I'm not American so I guess my perspective is maybe different but my country will follow yours along like the slavish little lapdog it is so this is something that's going to affect my world too. This *thing* that Tr*mp is proposing is monstrous.
posted by h00py at 6:59 AM on August 22 [2 favorites]


The only service that I even kind of want to be compulsory would be community service (not punitive, more like Americorps), so that the service gives back to the community. Either that or expand the availability of government jobs, which would fulfill civil service requirements.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:00 AM on August 22 [4 favorites]


I'm not talking about the hypothetical draft, by the way.
posted by h00py at 7:02 AM on August 22 [1 favorite]


So of course the one guy arrested for carrying a gun and tactical gear at the Boston anti-fascist march turns out to be a member (and founder) of the "Liberty State Militia," one Nathan Mizrahi.

His girlfriend is quoted in the Boston Globe article, by Jan Ransom:

“It’s crap,” said Holly Blake, 47, who traveled four hours from New York to attend his arraignment. “He wasn’t there to cause a fight.”

Blake said she and Mizrahi are cofounders of the Liberty State Militia and that he attended the rally to protect speaker Tammy Lee, a member of the American Freedom Keepers. That group seeks to “uphold the constitutional protection of all American’s right to free speech,” according to the group’s Facebook page.

posted by spitbull at 7:05 AM on August 22 [6 favorites]


anya32: I just do not get it - is it rapture that helps people feel ok about the destruction of the planet and the deaths of countless people and animals? They will not be here for it? As far as I know, climate change is an equal opportunity disaster.

On this point, the latest episode of On The Media podcast, particularly the segment "How The Environment Got Political," in which William Ruckelshaus is interviewed about his role as the first head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970 under Nixon, and his return from 1983 through 1985 he returned as EPA Administrator under Ronald Reagan. The piece gives a good history of the EPA and how the environmental movement in the US started as a strong bipartisan effort, and continued that way with some pendulum swings back and forth, predominantly because of public outcry. I think it was Ruckleshaus who had a great line about Nixon deciding to get in front of the angry mob heading towards him to demand he address the environment and pretended it was (or turned it into) a parade with him leading the way.

Reagan fucked up and tried to hamper the EPA, but memories of people dying because of terrible air quality and burning rivers were strong enough that people demanded a change, so he got rid of Anne Gorsuch (yes, the mother of Neil Gorsuch) and put Ruckelshaus back in charge, and he brought back public trust in the EPA, which in turn brought back public trust in US companies.

The Dems overcorrected for Reagan's roll-backs, and George Bush was the last Republican President to promote environmental care. He lost his re-election bid to Clinton and Gore, and Gore was the strong environmentalist. Democrats were champions for the environment so much so that the GOP realized they couldn't be more environmental than the Dems, so instead chose to be anti-environmental and court businesses who would profit off of that direction (that wasn't said, but that's what I took away, when they said that environmental stewardship had strong bipartisan support). Enter the politicization of the environment.

And because major visible, tangible, deadly pollution hadn't been an issue for decades, and because climate change is 1) too big for some people to fathom, 2) can be aligned with religious beliefs (in the end of the world? Unclear from that segment), and/or 3) it's still intangible except as extreme weather (which, as a later segment points out, now can generally be directly attributed to human influences, but that's another topic).

In summary: climate change is still treated as "natural" (or even "the will of God) and it's not extreme enough to make people really freak out and demand that something be done, plus environmental issues have been politicized due in part to how the parties pursued (and promoted) environmental policies in past years. Plus, the media is culpable for the way the stories have been told.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:21 AM on August 22 [44 favorites]


I just got an email from Hilary Clinton introducing her new organization Onward Together, which appears to assist and promote other political groups like Indivisible et al. I'm all for it.

I also had the a chance to see Wonder Woman finally, and it was just as inspirational as I'd suspected a movie about a strong, powerful woman in a fight to save the world from international disaster would be.

STOP MAKING ME CRY, HILLARY. SOB.
posted by lydhre at 7:23 AM on August 22 [42 favorites]


spitbull: “He wasn’t there to cause a fight.”

Words matter - if you bring a gun and tactical armor, you're not there because you expect a calm debate, you're expecting a fight. You can say you're not there to "cause" a fight, so instead you're there to fight back, right?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 AM on August 22 [20 favorites]


I don't know about a draft, but there is a problem with the all-volunteer military becoming a class apart from mainstream America. I think it makes it easier to accept war, because the people actually going to fight are some nebulous "them" who "we" can thank for their service and nebulously "support" while having no skin in the game.

I took a friend of mine to the Summer of Love exhibit at the De Young for her birthday - and she pointed out that the anti-war protests and sentiment got such a strong foothold because of the draft. Being sent off