"He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation"
October 16, 2017 3:32 PM   Subscribe

 
And the bomb? What's up with the bomb?
posted by infini at 3:34 PM on October 16 [4 favorites]


Low point:

Bannon threatens GOP primary challenges


...disagree.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:36 PM on October 16 [7 favorites]


270 days in?! We’re 3/4 of the way through the first 1/4!!!
posted by Drumhellz at 3:36 PM on October 16 [53 favorites]


(And thank you for the new thread!)
posted by schadenfrau at 3:36 PM on October 16 [13 favorites]


I'm noticing recently how my brain gets tired earlier in the day than it used to. My daily job schedule is easier on me than ever (work-at-home on my own pace), so it can't be that. Earlier today I was thinking about it: not enough sleep? Not drinking enough water? Need more exercise?

And then I saw this new thread and I'm like, "Oh yeah, it's 2017 and the world's a nightmare hellscape and there are people actually cheering it on. That's why I'm so tired by 3:30 in the afternoon."
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:37 PM on October 16 [166 favorites]


The bomb? It's set up.

(Love the minimalist decor of the place!)
posted by notyou at 3:37 PM on October 16 [9 favorites]


The way things are going right now, "Eminem Hard-Liners Nail Kid Rock's Hands to the Doors of Mar-a-Lago" does not seem like it would be an unrealistic headline in 2020.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:38 PM on October 16 [71 favorites]


Nice use of the "hellscape" tag.
posted by mosk at 3:38 PM on October 16 [10 favorites]


Because the alternative is too visually unsettling, all matters pertaining to Bannon are best observed under low light.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 3:39 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Only a few weeks to the anniversary of election day. Remembering putting together this FPP while thinking, repeatedly "No, he can't, Brexit was the low point of the year, surely".

Last day of the remnants of innocence, that was. I'll be spending the anniversary of election day very off the grid.
posted by Wordshore at 3:40 PM on October 16 [48 favorites]


270 days in?! We’re 3/4 of the way through the first 1/4!!!
Resetting country to defaults:
[|||||||||||||||||| 18% complete                                                 ]
posted by odinsdream at 3:41 PM on October 16 [70 favorites]


Part of me wants to call my mother to find out if she has recanted any of her eternal 100% support of Trump yet.

Part of me knows that I would end up making eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE noises into my phone and then smashing it.
posted by delfin at 3:45 PM on October 16 [53 favorites]


I don't know if I have enough in me to make it through three and a fourth more years of this. I already feel five to ten years older already.
posted by corb at 3:46 PM on October 16 [71 favorites]


Is Donald Trump Installing a Mole in the Mueller Probe?

In which the Patriot Act and Bush era Bybee memos allow Trump to directly access grand jury testimony through a designated DOJ lawyer not Rosenstien, without telling anyone.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:46 PM on October 16 [28 favorites]


Corker goes off

Corker pops off, surely.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:49 PM on October 16 [78 favorites]




Several months ago, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation, former chief strategist Steve Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment—the provision by which a majority of the Cabinet can vote to remove the president. When Bannon mentioned the 25th Amendment, Trump said, “What’s that?” According to a source, Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term. - Vanity Fair
posted by jim in austin at 3:51 PM on October 16 [6 favorites]


Shameless self-link - mods please delete if it's inappropriate:

I forget whose idea inspired this originally, but I went ahead and did a writeup on the Trump Markov chain thing for the Baffler: Stochastic Trumpery.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:52 PM on October 16 [19 favorites]


Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, echoed something I've been feeling for the last several months:

"Nobody else would trust any U.S. administration to engage in any long-term negotiation, because the length of any commitment, the duration of any commitment from now on with any U.S. administration would be the remainder of the term of that president."

(via John Oliver and Face the Nation)

What freaks me out the most about this presidency is how it now lends perpetual lack of a sense of object permanence to ANYTHING involving any administration going forward. The next time the democrats win, everything Trump did will be undone. Back and forth. Forever. All trust and faith in any administration will effectively be undermined. The notion of government itself is being undermined. That's fucking scary.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:54 PM on October 16 [197 favorites]


Boy that lie about past Presidents not calling the families of fallen soldiers is not going over very well.

NYTimes Trump Falsely Claims Obama Didn’t Contact Families of Fallen Soldiers
“This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser to Mr. Obama, posted on Twitter. “Also,” Mr. Rhodes added, “Obama never attacked a Gold Star family.”[...]

Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former senior aide to Mr. Obama, used even stronger language on Twitter, calling Mr. Trump’s statement a lie — along with an expletive — and describing him as a “deranged animal.”
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:54 PM on October 16 [115 favorites]


Lies. lies, etc. Krugman lists the lies about the GOP tax plan.
posted by Bee'sWing at 3:55 PM on October 16 [9 favorites]


So, our taxes will go down AND we'll have 10 times as many nukes? I feel richer AND safer!
posted by Marky at 4:00 PM on October 16 [10 favorites]


CNN President Trump's mysterious absence from conservative talk radio
If there were ever a medium built for Trump -- besides Twitter -- talk radio would be it. But in his first eight months as president, Trump did not do a single interview on talk radio. [...]

Yet, since being inaugurated as president, Trump has shied away from appearing on radio programs. After this week, he will have made two forays onto talk radio -- and both of them came almost immediately after CNN contacted the White House to ask why he hadn't been speaking on the platform.[...]

"When he needed us, he was appearing on our shows all the time," Joyce Kaufman, a conservative talk show host in south Florida who strongly supported Trump in the 2016 election, told CNN. "Then it sort of dried up."
One theory is that he watches TV but doesn't listen to radio. The other theory is that some radio hosts won't be as friendly as they were during the campaign now they have seen him in action so to speak. "We are the people that got him elected. And we are tired of being lied to."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:05 PM on October 16 [9 favorites]


Only 270.

sighs
posted by Fizz at 4:05 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


‘A Soulless Coward’: Coach Gregg Popovich Responds to Trump
Coach Pop called me up after hearing the President’s remarks explaining why he hadn’t mentioned the four US soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger. Trump said, “President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.” Maybe it was bald-faced nature of this lie. Maybe it is Pop’s own history in the military, but the Coach clearly had to vent. He said, “I want to say something and please just let me talk and please make sure this is on the record.”

Here is what he expressed:

I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.

At this point, Coach Pop paused, and I thought for a moment that perhaps he didn’t have the words and the conversation would end. Then he took a breath and said:

This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner–and to lie about how previous Presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers–is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.

Then he said, “Bye, Dave.” And that was it. Should be one hell of an NBA season.
posted by chris24 at 4:07 PM on October 16 [247 favorites]


The new Jane Mayer article in the New Yorker on Pence's rise is extraordinary, and she definitely does her trademark "Oh yeah, here is how deeply Koch has their claws inside this dude" thing. Well worth the read.
posted by mostly vowels at 4:12 PM on October 16 [28 favorites]


Then he said, “Bye, Dave.” And that was it. Should be one hell of an NBA season.

Hearing from people like Popovich is both uplifting and depressing. Uplifting, because non-political everyday folk with a platform are openly expressing their contempt for this President* and everything he says and does. Depressing, because there are so many, nearly 40% of, adults who still think he's a normal, competent POTUS. And, according to recent analyses by political analysts, this is all he needs to get reëlected.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:13 PM on October 16 [8 favorites]


I see your gangster-in-chief announced this is to be 'National Character Counts Week.' As a dotty old racist in decline, he's clearly forgotten anything he might have ever understood of morality or character, so maybe his aidesenablers misheard him banging on about getting bumped to the 280 limit on Twitter?
posted by MarchHare at 4:14 PM on October 16 [7 favorites]


Haw, MarchHare I had the same thought. Character counts?
posted by aspersioncast at 4:16 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Then he said, “Bye, Dave.” And that was it. Should be one hell of an NBA season.

Dammit, Pop. If this is your way of getting me to start liking the Spurs, it’s working.

For those who don’t know, Popovich has a long history of speaking out like this.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:21 PM on October 16 [11 favorites]




For those who don’t know, Popovich has a long history of speaking out like this.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:21 PM on October 16 [+] [!]


Well, I knew he was outspoken, but this was the first public comment I'd seen on politics. Maybe I'm just not paying enough attention.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:32 PM on October 16


The only positive thing, and it is anti-positive, yet, pulling the whites sheets off everyone, who had a prolonged tantrum over an African American president, we can see who they are, how many they are, and how they have hoodwinked our everything. Cowardice is the worst trait, of all. It creates monsters, armies of them. Now we can see them, but now they also can see themselves, echoed in extremist legislation, extremist acts, sickening hatred. Now they can see legions of us also seeing them. Maybe there will be change.
posted by Oyéah at 4:37 PM on October 16 [10 favorites]


Only 270.

sighs
*puts envelope to turban*
*rips open envelope*
*blows into the envelope*
*takes out the card*

"Hillary on election night"
posted by Talez at 4:46 PM on October 16 [38 favorites]


The correct answer is "How many teeth do the combined users of the freerepublic.com forums have"
posted by delfin at 4:48 PM on October 16 [4 favorites]


oh god too soon
posted by mrjohnmuller at 4:48 PM on October 16 [22 favorites]


Part of me wants to call my mother to find out if she has recanted any of her eternal 100% support of Trump yet.

I did this. Don't do this.
posted by zarq at 4:54 PM on October 16 [151 favorites]


We don't know how we're going to keep our business afloat if our health care costs balloon.
posted by doctornemo at 4:55 PM on October 16 [3 favorites]


On the plus side, it looks like Newt Gingrich finally had that stroke which led to a late contender for own of 2017
posted by R.F.Simpson at 4:56 PM on October 16 [50 favorites]


I did this. Don't do this.

co-signed.
posted by lalex at 5:03 PM on October 16 [21 favorites]


presideent trtump nneeds to bee impeed - with hookers if we have to
posted by pyramid termite at 5:04 PM on October 16 [5 favorites]


Is Donald Trump Installing a Mole in the Mueller Probe?

This is from Marcy "@emptywheel" Wheeler, an insightful nat sec legal analyst not given to hyperbole or paranoia, so when she raises a red flag on Brian Benczkowski, it's worth paying attention to. While the New Republic gave her decent column space, she had to use her blog to post this conclusion:
One thing didn’t make the cut, though it’s a key reason why I think it possible someone is trying to use this precedent to provide Trump with a mole on the investigation.

Viet Dinh was both the key author of the PATRIOT Act as well as the procedures implementing these sharing rules. Dinh is also the Kirkland & Ellis partner who asked Benczkowski to exercise the really poor judgment of overseeing an investigation for Alfa Bank while he was awaiting a likely DOJ appointment. “I’ve known Viet Dinh for twenty years,” Benczkowski explained during his confirmation hearing for why he represented Alfa Bank while potentially up for nomination to DOJ.

Benczkowski certainly said the right things about honoring Mueller’s work. But Dinh, a guy who had a key role in compromising Benczkowski with respect to the investigation just as he got nominated played a key role in the sharing rules that might make it possible.

As I say in the piece, we had better hope DOJ guards recusal concerns a lot more closely than they seem to have been doing.
Benczkowski was specifically helping Alfa-Bank with their lawsuit against Fusion GPS over the Steele Dossier, a legal manoeuvre that coincides with the pressure from Capitol Hill for Steele to reveal his sources and original client.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:05 PM on October 16 [29 favorites]


On the plus side, it looks like Newt Gingrich finally had that stroke which led to a late contender for own of 2017

oh my the replies:

Thickamaru Nara‏ @Aphrothighty
This joke will never ever get old

Andrew Reed‏ @reedrambles
And if it does, Newt will go find a younger one.
posted by numaner at 5:07 PM on October 16 [54 favorites]


Part of me wants to call my mother to find out if she has recanted any of her eternal 100% support of Trump yet.

While reading, take careful note of her sources. How many are friends of Trump. How many are profiting from this administration. How many have his ear. Consider the ways their selfish interests are better served by keeping him in office instead of Pence.

Now ask yourselves why they would happily give quotes to a reporter at a liberal-leaning magazine proclaiming how evil Pence is. How he's a pawn of the Kochs and a corporate shill. Stoking fears of a Right Wing fundamentalist President.

Everything they say may very well be true. But the messengers are devils quoting scripture.
posted by zarq at 5:08 PM on October 16 [20 favorites]


Politico, White House brushes off House investigators over aides' use of personal email
The White House brushed off a bipartisan request from House investigators for details of senior administration officials' use of private email and encrypted messaging apps for government work, including possible violations of federal record-keeping laws, a letter obtained by POLITICO shows.

In a terse letter to Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) — leaders of the House oversight committee — President Donald Trump's congressional liaison Marc Short declined to indicate whether any administration officials had used personal email accounts or messaging services, despite reports suggesting such communications were common in the West Wing.

"The White House and covered employees endeavor to comply with all relevant laws," Short wrote in a two-page reply delivered late last week and obtained Monday by POLITICO.
...
In a similarly brief letter, Short also declined to provide records in response to a separate inquiry by Gowdy and Cummings into the use of costly private air travel by top administration officials.
Well, as long as the White House "endeavor[s] to comply with all relevant laws," that should be good enough? Republicans were completely satisfied when Clinton said she tries to follow the law, right? BUT HER E—, whatever, noting matters.
posted by zachlipton at 5:08 PM on October 16 [44 favorites]


Politico, Renuka Rayasam, Undocumented pregnant girl in Texas tests Trump policy to stop abortions
The Trump administration is preventing an undocumented, pregnant teenager detained in a Brownsville refugee shelter from getting an abortion in a policy shift with big implications for hundreds of other pregnant, unaccompanied minors held in such shelters.

She is not the first to be stopped, according to advocates who work with undocumented teenagers.

For the last seven months, the Health and Human Services Department has intervened to prevent abortions sought by girls at federally funded shelters, even in cases of rape and incest and when the teen had a way to pay for the procedure. The agency has instead forced minors to visit crisis pregnancy centers, religiously affiliated groups that counsel women against having abortions, according to documents obtained by POLITICO, interviews with sources involved in the Brownsville case and those familiar with the agency’s policy.

In some cases, a senior HHS official has personally visited or called pregnant teens to try to talk them out of ending their pregnancies.
The ACLU is suing.
posted by zachlipton at 5:11 PM on October 16 [129 favorites]


I found this tweet from Delilia O'Malley particularly moving. Speaking truth to power.
.@realDonaldTrump When my brother was killed, Pres Bush listened while I screamed at him & then held me as I sobbed, you fat fucking liar.
Some of the replies demonstrate that there are those who have even less humanity than Trump.
posted by vac2003 at 5:14 PM on October 16 [169 favorites]


Ooo, is finally time for the "Dump Trump" bumpersticker?
posted by Mesaverdian at 5:14 PM on October 16 [3 favorites]


I guess we should be happy there are still US politics.
posted by mazola at 5:21 PM on October 16 [10 favorites]


Looking at the coverage of Bannon's speech, I can't help but think, "This was the problem with the Bene Gesserit plan all along: someone has got to get close enough to a scion of House Harkonnen to actually produce an heir while still keeping their lunch down."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:23 PM on October 16 [29 favorites]


.@realDonaldTrump When my brother was killed, Pres Bush listened while I screamed at him & then held me as I sobbed, you fat fucking liar.

Imagine where we would be right now if the GOP actually respected servicepeople, veterans, and their families even half as much as they claim to. Like it's too much to wrap the mind around the concept of the GOP actually caring about people of color or women or queer folks because they hardly even pretend otherwise. But they pretend real hard to care about the military.

Just imagine if they could actually own up to that in the face of this president. Because that one wedge alone should be enough to sink this entire administration. Just imagine it.

And when you're done, we return to the hellish reality of 2017 where the GOP plainly doesn't care.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:24 PM on October 16 [45 favorites]


Content warning

Two sources said that when the conversation turned to gay rights, Mr Trump motioned toward Mr Pence and joked: “Don’t ask that guy - he wants to hang them all!”

Stop stop stop.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 5:28 PM on October 16 [23 favorites]


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse raised a more specific concern

There's a Senator Whitehouse?? That guy has to run for president! He'd romp it in on name recognition alone!
posted by Coventry at 5:30 PM on October 16 [14 favorites]


Two sources said that when the conversation turned to gay rights, Mr Trump motioned toward Mr Pence and joked: “Don’t ask that guy - he wants to hang them all!”

Stop stop stop.


Every day there's a new thing that should stop this entire shitshow. Every day. Sometimes more than once a day. Half the things that should stop everything don't even go this far. Fucking horrifying.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:35 PM on October 16 [90 favorites]


Some of the replies demonstrate that there are those who have even less humanity than Trump.

It's almost as though a lot of his supporters are... what's the word I'm looking for... oh yeah deplorable.
posted by Justinian at 5:39 PM on October 16 [86 favorites]


There can be no sigh of relief when/if Trump is voted out in three years. Cruz is playing the long game, and he's both smarter and more disciplined. Then there's Paul Ryan. Don't forget Rubio. He's slick enough and charming enough to play the woulda/coulda/shoulda game with voters.
posted by Beholder at 5:44 PM on October 16 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Trump is just the symptom of a far greater threat to us all: sadboner, willfully-ignorant white nationalism in league with embarrassingly wealthy jerks.

But in the meantime it would be nice to get his ass out of there.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:49 PM on October 16 [13 favorites]


Cruz was Mercer's first choice.
posted by Coventry at 5:50 PM on October 16 [3 favorites]


Maybe there's a German word for that feeling, when you are toe-to-toe with your adversary and sorely pressed but thinking if you can just hold out long enough, you might make it through, and then you look up and see that behind your adversary is another one, and another, and another. (I mean, I can think of a word in English but I'm trying to avoid using it because it can be seen as performative.)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:02 PM on October 16 [7 favorites]


German word, "Lederhosenscheissung."
posted by Oyéah at 6:04 PM on October 16 [14 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. There's a thread about the sonic attacks on US diplomats in Cuba; go on over there if you want to noodle about that.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:06 PM on October 16 [3 favorites]


I actually had a modicum of respect for Fox News' John Roberts as a bit of a straight shooter until this:

@johnrobertsFox: We'll have to agree to disagree. As long as HRC operates as a "shadow President", what she says carries relevance and weight.

Fox News was also whipping up a storm today over "New fears for
Hillary Clinton’s health" after she tripped in heels on the stairs. These people will simply never stop.
posted by zachlipton at 6:10 PM on October 16 [24 favorites]


But in the meantime it would be nice to get his ass out of there.

Yes, it would, whether that is by impeachment or 25th amendment or spontaneously combusting into a pile of smoldering orange goo. In the meantime, I've contented myself with renaming my Neko Atsume cat "Peaches" to "ImPeaches."
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:14 PM on October 16 [17 favorites]


I must be some kind of masochist because of late I've caught myself thinking COME ON 2018 MIDTERMS!
posted by vrakatar at 6:16 PM on October 16 [5 favorites]


As long as HRC operates as a "shadow President",

oh my god who do I have to pay for this to be true who tell me and I will do it
posted by lydhre at 6:18 PM on October 16 [95 favorites]


Well, I knew he was outspoken, but this was the first public comment I'd seen on politics. Maybe I'm just not paying enough attention.

6 times Gregg Popovich ripped 'embarrassing' Donald Trump's presidency (Includes the great video clip of Pop learning who won New Hampshire.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:19 PM on October 16 [12 favorites]


I must be some kind of masochist because of late I've caught myself thinking COME ON 2018 MIDTERMS!

Nah, you're no masochist. Look at it positively: you're optimistic enough to imagine there'll be a November 2018.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:20 PM on October 16 [23 favorites]


Part of me wants to call my mother to find out if she has recanted any of her eternal 100% support of Trump yet.

I did this. Don't do this.


in my mom's final year of decline, every time i was at her place she'd have fox news blaring fantastical white supremacist conspiracy theories. if she'd still been alive in 2016 i'm pretty sure her worthless shitstain boyfriend would've threatened her into voting for trump, in which case i would now be in prison for his murder. so thanks, mom, for letting go in 2010, when humanity still had hopes and dreams. thanks for keeping me out of prison.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:23 PM on October 16 [81 favorites]


As long as HRC operates as a "shadow President"

Wait...that's what they're going with, now? That Hilary is somehow controlling the "deep state" against Trump?

motherFUCKERS!

*smashes lamp*


Just got a new shipment in last week!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:25 PM on October 16 [20 favorites]


With you, poffin boffin. My dad died in 2011, and if the past 12 months makes me happy for anything, it's the fact that I didn't have to deal with dad voting for Trump. Sadly, I'm pretty sure he voted for Obama in 2008.
posted by mollweide at 6:28 PM on October 16 [5 favorites]


6 times Gregg Popovich ripped 'embarrassing' Donald Trump's presidency (Includes the great video clip of Pop learning who won New Hampshire.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:19 PM on October 16 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


Whoa! I clearly haven't been paying attention. Thanks for the schooling, Room.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:30 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I have enough in me to make it through three and a fourth more years of this

These days I've practically made that line from The Unnameable a personal mantra
" ... where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."
Part of me wants to call my mother to find out if she has recanted any of her eternal 100% support of Trump yet.

Once again, I'm so relieved that my family is solidly anti-Trump. My mother hates Trump; my brother hates Trump; his wife hates Trump; their children hate Trump. "I understand," Donnie would undoubtedly say, "we feel the same way about you."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:32 PM on October 16 [7 favorites]


...so thanks, mom, for letting go in 2010, when humanity still had hopes and dreams.

Mom is still alive, but Dad died in 2010. He always had Faux Nooz on the teevee (at very high volume due to his fervently denied deafness). Mom always stood by his political stances and I know he would have loved Donald Trump. Not back when he was a Bill Buckley conservative, but later after the Roger Ailes brainwashing had commenced. Without Dad's influence, Mom stated flatly that, although she couldn't vote for Hillary, she would not, could not vote for that man. I attribute this to my father's demise. Thanks, Dad, wherever you are.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:37 PM on October 16 [6 favorites]




Wait...that's what they're going with, now? That Hilary is somehow controlling the "deep state" against Trump?

Hillary, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Ayers, George Soros and Colin Kaepernick each take four-hour shifts.
posted by delfin at 6:40 PM on October 16 [75 favorites]


I must be some kind of masochist because of late I've caught myself thinking COME ON 2018 MIDTERMS!

No need to wait till 2018. In most states, there will be an election in three weeks. If you're registered, do not forget to go out and vote in the local elections on Tuesday, November 7. Let's make a difference.
posted by Loudmax at 6:42 PM on October 16 [21 favorites]


The big one I'm watching is the VA governor's race.
posted by Justinian at 6:43 PM on October 16 [3 favorites]


My mom died June 2, 2016. I am so fucking glad she is not witnessing this shit.

The Indy Star would not let any reference to voting against Trump go in her obit. I tried. They did allow asking for people to register to vote in the obit, though.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:45 PM on October 16 [28 favorites]


as low as it gets

Every day someone says that, and the next day proves them wrong. Which doesn't make the shit talk about Obama and dead military folk any less shocking and sickening.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:55 PM on October 16 [5 favorites]


Part of me wants to call my mother to find out if she has recanted any of her eternal 100% support of Trump yet.

I did this. Don't do this.


Buddy of mine who is basically a trust fund baby--and very, very aware of his privilege--held a Halloween party this weekend. He shared with several of us the pre-election conversation he had with his grandmother, who passed away recently at the age of 100. She had said, "I don't want you to be upset with me, but I'm voting for Trump. I just wish we could go back to a time where everyone knew their place."

I have an uncle whom I haven't spoken with since before the election, and I don't know how I could without shouting in his face. And the thing is, I know it won't do any good. But he's not elderly or anything. I have no idea how anyone could handle a situation like my friend faced.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:57 PM on October 16 [11 favorites]


The big one I'm watching is the VA governor's race.

Yes, that's a high profile election. There are hundreds of other low-profile elections of the sort that are routinely won by Republicans because Democrats don't bother with the small potatoes of local politics. There are elections for sheriffs, mayors, state representatives, school boards, and all of them matter. The outcomes of these elections won't make national news, but they will affect the lives of millions of people. Especially the poor, minorities, pregnant teenagers, undocumented immigrants, and those at the receiving end of the bigotry and ignorance of right wing policies.

If you're unhappy with Trump and the Republicans, don't wait until the midterms. We need to lay the groundwork to restore decency and democracy. In some states, early registration is already open. Vote now.
posted by Loudmax at 7:03 PM on October 16 [56 favorites]


I thank my lucky stars that I am not aware of any family members that voted for Trump. I have a hard enough time with those that voted third party in California where it didn't matter. How I would react to discovering a Trump Voter is not something I can bear thinking about.
posted by Justinian at 7:03 PM on October 16 [6 favorites]


It's nice to see you all here again. I am going to get down on one knee in the hope that Mike Pence leaves.
posted by adept256 at 7:03 PM on October 16 [15 favorites]


I'm just now seeing the Rose Garden video. Someone had meatloaf for lunch.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:10 PM on October 16 [4 favorites]


I thank my lucky stars that I am not aware of any family members that voted for Trump.

Trump is a dishonest coward, but plenty of people who voted for him are decent human beings, living in a hermetically sealed news bubble. We need to win them over and that won't happen if we shun them like lepers.
posted by Loudmax at 7:12 PM on October 16 [13 favorites]


This conversation about beloved family members eaten by the Fox News nightmaresphere, who passed before having a chance to reveal whether they would've in fact gone for Trump or whether this would have snapped them out of it... this conversation hits really close to home for me and thank you guys for saying it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:15 PM on October 16 [17 favorites]


We need to win them over and that won't happen if we shun them like lepers.

Oh I only talk about them behind their backs. Shhh. Don't tell.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:18 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]


[Also we don't need to have the hundred millionth repetition of the "we should try harder to be nice to Trump supporters" fight - Loudmax, you may not realize it but this is extremely painfully well-covered territory here. We're not doing that again right now.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:22 PM on October 16 [74 favorites]


I had an uncle that I hadn't seen in years, who showed up at last year's Thanksgiving and proceeded to crow that he'd helped keep out crooked Hilary. He died last month, and while I felt bad for his daughter, I felt a certain satisfaction in looking at his coffin during the service and thinking "Well at least you can't vote for him again, you old fucker."

I'm not saying I admire this side of myself, you understand. But I'm not gonna beat myself up about it either.
posted by emjaybee at 7:25 PM on October 16 [68 favorites]


My mother is trying to figure out how to navigate friends and family who voted for Trump. She's just sick at heart about it, but she thinks, and rightfully so, that saying what she feels would leave her with few friends and non-existent family relationships. She doesn't feel like she can start anew with better people. Watching her coping with this on top of the more than a year of severe mental illness is heartbreaking. I am so glad she's a sweet, kind lady, but my GOD am I happy I took after my big-mouthed, suffer-no-fools father.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:25 PM on October 16 [17 favorites]


Lawrence O'Donnell been straight up using the word 'lies'. He's been really consistent and emphatic about it.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:27 PM on October 16 [7 favorites]


I wish my mom were still around; she'd be out protesting Trump everyday. On the other hand, she did live to see Obama elected which made her so happy even if he wasn't Shirley Chisholm.
posted by octothorpe at 7:38 PM on October 16 [21 favorites]


There's normally not much reason to visit Belchertown, MA (although the Quabbin Reservoir visitor center is worth a detour on your way to Amherst or Northampton). But somebody who lives on the main road in the center of town (Rte. 202) has strung a large "IMPEACH" banner along the picket fence in front of their house.
posted by adamg at 7:41 PM on October 16 [15 favorites]


@johnrobertsFox: We'll have to agree to disagree. As long as HRC operates as a "shadow President", what she says carries relevance and weight.

They fear Hillary Clinton because she was one of the few people who called Trump out as the lying, incompetent, sociopathic slimeball that he is, to his face on national television.

None of them have had the balls to do that. Not Republicans in Congress. Not the @GOP. Not his cabinet nor his advisors. Not the speaker of the house. Not the media. Not Fox News' propaganda machine. They all took his shit and pretended the whiny, narcissistic emperor was sane.

Clinton's intelligence, wisdom, experience and relevance continues to haunt them. Good. She's a living, breathing stark contrast of what an adult looks like. And every day she says anything that sounds even slightly Presidential, that highlights the fact that the flag-bearing champion they've embraced is a self-centered moron.
posted by zarq at 7:51 PM on October 16 [145 favorites]


Between the horrifying 'joke' about hanging LGBTQ folks and the sadistic forced pregnancy of an underage undocumented girl - once again they are testing how far they can go by practicing on the most vulnerable of us.

This feels like another in a long line of watershed moments where Something Must Be Done and... I am so afraid nothing will happen.

FFS, hurry up Mueller.
posted by Space Kitty at 7:53 PM on October 16 [28 favorites]


John McCain today:
"To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history," McCain said, to applause.
posted by octothorpe at 7:54 PM on October 16 [91 favorites]


It's hard to tell if McCain is hinting at another run for the presidency, or if he knows he's dying, and is just going to spill all the tea.


I mean, yes- he hates Trump from another movie, but still...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:02 PM on October 16 [9 favorites]


I'm voting tea.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:06 PM on October 16 [9 favorites]


Oh, speaking of western Mass., a guy who runs a chain of stores that sells pet supplies and soda has learned that the Pioneer Valley is not the sort of place where people appreciate you posing for executive-order signings with the current president, regardless of your motivation.
Asked if he is a Dave’s customer, Northampton resident Eric Olsson, out walking his 8-month-old puppy, Mochi, said simply, “I was.”
posted by adamg at 8:06 PM on October 16 [46 favorites]


My mother is trying to figure out how to navigate friends and family who voted for Trump.

Oh god, this. My grandmother who I love was furious when I fought against Trump at the convention and we just made up and she started talking to me about Trump again and I legit did not know what to do. She's an immigrant! Her whole family are immigrants!

But she also buys those magazine subscriptions that come in the mail that tell you you have won something, and has started writing her address wrong. And sometimes she talks about how hard it is to get old and feel your body breaking down. And I wonder. But it's still fucking hard.
posted by corb at 8:17 PM on October 16 [23 favorites]


I caught up this weekend with the podcast What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law, which finally posted its Impeachment episode, and I'm...more resigned now that ever going that route will be longest of unlikely long shots.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:19 PM on October 16 [5 favorites]




First off, yes - almost everywhere has some kind of election in a few weeks. Make sure you educate yourself and vote!

Also, Cook Political on why the VA House of Delegates races may be more indicative for the 2018 House results than the VA governor race.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:33 PM on October 16 [6 favorites]


Hillary, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Ayers, George Soros and Colin Kaepernick each take four-hour shifts.

Except during the dog watches, when they're cur-tailed. #AubreyMaturinFanJoke
posted by Orlop at 8:36 PM on October 16 [23 favorites]


NYT: State election officials, worried about the integrity of their voting systems, are pressing to make them more secure ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:41 PM on October 16 [6 favorites]


Any of y'all MeFi old timers remember when the political posts would stop after the election?

You 6 digit user ID young folks here, you may not know it, but it's true, we used to go years at a stretch without megathread FPPs on US politics.

This asshole ruins everything, doesn't he?
posted by caution live frogs at 9:24 PM on October 16 [93 favorites]


Let me say something about McCain.

Several years ago my partner found that her skin cancer had metastasized. This was a week after we got together. We had an incredible loving and caring relationship for 5 months before she left her body. In the last month we discovered that she had brain tumors that were overlooked. She had seizures beginning the week before. And she went fast

When I tell people this story, the first thing that usually comes out of my mouth was that "because we intuitively knew that our time together was going to be short there was no margin for bullshit"

No one is going through the experience that McCain is going through. I am sure his walking is tenuous. That dizzy spells are common along with a host of other issues. And, against the desires of a man who questioned his service, he stood up to cast votes that, like him or not, we can all be grateful for. I think he knows that at this time in his life there is no margin for bullshit. He's got nothing to lose.

My father could be an enraged, hateful man. As he sunk deeper and deeper into Parkinson's Disease I saw my family treating him like a child (i.e.propping him up for photographs etc.) It made me angry as, for all his faults, I wanted him to be treated with dignity.

Soon before he died he came to me vividly in a dream and said, "Thank you for treating me like a king"

I am not intending for this to be a sermon. I just wish that everyone here would treat McCain with a little more dignity.
posted by goalyeehah at 9:29 PM on October 16 [77 favorites]


Cat Pie Hurts, "The notion of government itself is being undermined."

And that is exactly what the GOP has been running on for decades. "Well, you see, actually the government can't do anything right / fix this / take care of that, so that is why we have to take it away from Washington and give it to the states / oligarchs." has been the standard stump speech since Reagan. Never mind the annoying facts that it is usually the GOP that have fucked up what ever the government was doing.

1. Run against government.
2. Make sure government doesn't work as well as it should.
3. Run even harder and more successfully against government.
4. Privatize.
5. Profit!!!

We are so screwed.
posted by Gotanda at 9:37 PM on October 16 [35 favorites]


My dad almost died of throat cancer this year. By some miracle, the seven weeks of chemo-radiation resulted in full remission. But for more than half a year, we both thought he was going to die soon. He lives in the fox bubble. We used to argue about politics. While he was sick, I would make the 300 mile drive to the deep South where he lives about twice a month to see him. We talked about where he wants his ashes buried, We talked about his opiate addiction that had caused us to be estranged for the last few years. We talked about the past, the future, people, good times, joys, and regrets. We never mentioned Donald Trump. I hope we never do.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:37 PM on October 16 [20 favorites]


I just wish that everyone here would treat McCain with a little more dignity.

I treat him with every bit of dignity that he treated me and mine when he was still of sound mind and body.
posted by Candleman at 9:44 PM on October 16 [67 favorites]


Hey, Virginia. Popping my head back up to drop this link:

https://secure.ralphnortham.com/page/s/volunteer-today

Three weeks left. It's time for all hands on deck. Let's go, and all y'all pick up when I call you.
posted by dogheart at 9:51 PM on October 16 [13 favorites]


I'm just so confused. We're a year in and I still don't know an actual human being who claims to be a Trump supporter. I live in the Midwest and I'm not a shut-in, I hang out with people from many different social classes and backgrounds and I'm very active on social media. My rich friends hate Trump, my poor friends hate Trump, my Christian friends hate Trump (although they seem a little more defensive), even people who have said very conservative things in the past hate Trump. I take long walks for miles around my neighborhood, and I've seen a total of one Trump yard sign. Even during the Bush years I had friends from military backgrounds and such who were openly Republican. This time around it's like Trump supporters are just a completely different planet with no communication with my world.
posted by miyabo at 9:53 PM on October 16 [10 favorites]


We're a year in and I still don't know an actual human being who claims to be a Trump supporter.

A lot of them are lying to you.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:05 PM on October 16 [125 favorites]


Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former senior aide to Mr. Obama, used even stronger language on Twitter, calling Mr. Trump’s statement a lie — along with an expletive — and describing him as a “deranged animal.”

So that other people don't need to search for it:
Alyssa Mastromonaco‏ @AlyssaMastro44

that's a fucking lie. to say president obama (or past presidents) didn't call the family members of soldiers KIA - he's a deranged animal.
11:08 AM - 16 Oct 2017 from Manhattan, NY
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:16 PM on October 16 [34 favorites]


As the parent of a sweet, empathetic, only occasionally willful toddler -- I'm so happy we've moved past the "toddler" comparison stage.
posted by chortly at 10:21 PM on October 16 [9 favorites]


This asshole ruins everything, doesn't he?

So true. Recently, one of Obama's former press secretaries spoke out. I stared at the guy's name, and at first didn't remember him at all. One of the nice things about having Obama in charge was I had the luxury of not following politics at all for months at a time. I don't remember all the press secretaries. I'd probably have to peek at Wikipedia to be reminded of who the chief of staff was at any given time after Rahm quit.

With Trump, as with Bush, I'll remember every press secretary. Every chief of staff. I'll remember the gist of all the tweets and the blathering. I couldn't tell you much about any specific Obama speech outside of the conventions, but I'll remember Trump's. I miss taking a break from politics during the off-seasons. I miss having the option of forgetting.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:55 PM on October 16 [33 favorites]


This time around it's like Trump supporters are just a completely different planet with no communication with my world.

Part of that is that they really do live on an island to themselves which functions as an echo chamber.

Look at the isolated tumor that are Trump twitter supporters.
posted by Justinian at 11:08 PM on October 16 [33 favorites]


It's literally a red-hot ball of rage.
posted by mochapickle at 11:14 PM on October 16 [11 favorites]


You know, this division and isolation is a problem - it's like, you have a sibling who is drinking too much and if you talk to them when their drinking they tell you to go fuck yourself so you have to get them when they're sober but you don't know when that is anymore, and then there's their 'friend' Joey who keeps buying them drinks, and you wanna keep positive but last night your sibling stole your car and crashed it into a preschool and when the police arrived gave them your name, which the press ran with and... just...
but divided we fall. Who's behind that? The Mercers? Koch? Addelstein? That's the disease, the rest is symptom.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:25 PM on October 16 [9 favorites]


There was a time when i chided friends and colleagues who made 1930s Germany analogies, now I'm studying a foreign language so that i can be a refugee from either a civil war or a dictatorship come Nov 2018.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 11:38 PM on October 16 [12 favorites]


It's literally a red-hot ball of rage.

I figured that Onion story was a joke, but... no, that's clearly a red hot ball of rage, right there on Twitter.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:39 PM on October 16 [13 favorites]


(Anyone interested in more stuff like the "isolated tumor" should check out truthy.indiana.edu, AKA the Obervatory on Social Media.)
posted by xyzzy at 12:16 AM on October 17 [8 favorites]


I'm so happy we've moved past the "toddler" comparison stage.

I've been going with "drunk baby".
posted by Paul Slade at 12:19 AM on October 17


I’ve been going with “mean old bastard”
posted by chappell, ambrose at 12:41 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


RBC in Russia has an amazing investigative piece on Russia's internet operations, one of the most detailed such stories I've seen: Investigation of RBC: how the "troll factory" worked in the US elections (via Google Translate, which is pretty readable; if you happen to speak Russian: the original. I expect various Moscow bureaus will write about this in English tomorrow). It goes into detail on key leaders of the effort, the number of personnel, the costs of the operation, and their focus on creating division over social issues or even just defending Kellyanne Conway for how she sat on the couch. They analyzed 120 accounts that were blocked after social networking sites cracked down on suspected Russian operations, concluding that they had more than 6 million subscribers, with Facebook posts at their maximum viewership receiving over 70 million views/week.

The hook is compelling: a 2015 operation where they lured people to Times Square with the false promise of a free hot dog, watching via webcams to test how feasible it was to remotely organize events in the US.

Most interesting is the bit toward the end about Russian efforts to involve US activists. Micah White of Occupy Wall Street fame did a suspicious interview for the BlackMattersUS site, as did several other prominent activists. They then worked to involve the activists in local protests and events.

They also sponsored free self-defense classes in Lansing, LA, Tampa, and New York through the social media page "BlackFist." I don't know what the hell to make of that. In total, they spent around $3500 for flights and expenses for local organizers.

The article says they still have about 55 people in the "American Department" with a "total audience of 1-1.5 million." The kicker is a touch mangled in translation, but no less haunting:
Source close to the leadership of "factory", insisting: "Could we influence the outcome of elections .. No, of course?. Could inclined to doubt the states on the side of Trump? .. Maybe, but we are stunned by the results. Why do we need all this? .. Pure fan
posted by zachlipton at 12:44 AM on October 17 [35 favorites]


I’ve been going with “mean old bastard”

"Racist, Senile Old Man."
posted by mikelieman at 1:09 AM on October 17 [5 favorites]


RBC's new owner is seen as being a Putin pal, so that report could just be Putin bragging via the media about how weak the US electoral system is to outside influence.
posted by PenDevil at 1:14 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


I still maintain Fox News works like a human botnet. How to dismantle a botnet (tldr; infiltrate the administration and gain control of the c&c structure)
posted by benzenedream at 1:19 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


It has been well noted that Donald Trump has been a minor-character/subject/punchline of Doonesbury since the 1980s, and it's scary how prescient some of Trudeau's storylines have been. For example, the Doonesbury Reruns on gocomics.com are currently replaying a story arc from 1989 about "Trump, the Game Show", complete with his signature objectification of women. As I've said before, how could we NOT have seen him coming???
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:26 AM on October 17 [8 favorites]


As I've said before, how could we NOT have seen him coming???

Most did, but as has been noted the Conservative Christian GOP base would vote for an ill tempered goose that has an"I will ban abortion!" cardboard sign hanging around it's neck than an actual human more interested in not starting nuclear wars.
posted by PenDevil at 1:37 AM on October 17 [54 favorites]


I don't know if I have enough in me to make it through three and a fourth more years of this.

I've been catching up on old comic books.

...for some reason it helps. I dunno.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:05 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]




I've been catching up on old comic books.

...for some reason it helps. I dunno.
As I so very nearly noted to a friend of a friend on Facebook, who tried to defend Donald Trump as "not a cartoon villain," one major difference is that villains in fiction always have at least one moment that humanizes them to the audience, while Donald Trump has never done so to my knowledge.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:18 AM on October 17 [17 favorites]


Related to Korea's 'balloon-bombs', here's an interactive piece on "Where can North Korea’s missiles reach?"
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:42 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


Propaganda ‘balloon-bombs’ have burst over Seoul, distributing leaflets lambasting President Trump
Hm. Where could one obtain such delightful ephemera? Asking for a friend.

For real, though, the one with all the bombs pointed at the Capitol building and the tattered American flag is like a visual representation of how I feel. I think the only reason I'm not panicking is because I grew up in the cortisol bath of the Cold War.
posted by xyzzy at 3:27 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


"We are the people that got him elected. And we are tired of being lied to."

Were they fucking unconscious when they were getting him elected? Did they really not know that he lies about everything, to everyone, all the time>
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:31 AM on October 17 [32 favorites]


This time around it's like Trump supporters are just a completely different planet with no communication with my world.

Can I move to your world? It sounds nice.
posted by octothorpe at 3:38 AM on October 17 [7 favorites]


Were they fucking unconscious when they were getting him elected? Did they really not know that he lies about everything, to everyone, all the time

An anti-Trump evangelical Christian just wrote a book about that. I haven't read it yet, but he was recently on an atheist podcast (!) to talk about it.
posted by Rykey at 4:01 AM on October 17 [5 favorites]


Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. And unusual for them to involve themselves with anything political.

@Martin_Dempsey
POTUS 43 & 44 and first ladies cared deeply, worked tirelessly for the serving, the fallen, and their families. Not politics. Sacred Trust.

---

And former Republican congressman David Jolly (FL) said last night on Lawrence O'Donnell that the Republic might be "better off" if "Democrats take the House in 2018" because the GOP isn't checking Trump.

VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 4:04 AM on October 17 [34 favorites]


There was a time when i chided friends and colleagues who made 1930s Germany analogies

I was terrified watching the republican convention last year. Hairs on the back of my neck standing up, cold adrenaline sweats terrified.

People who don't study history are doomed to repeat it while the people who did study it are gobbling handfuls of Ativan on the sidelines screaming WE TOLD YOU SO.

Also for anyone who says they don't know anyone who supports Trump, at least some of those people are lying because their social circles don't let them be open with their bigotry. Trump is a symptom, not the disease.
posted by winna at 4:49 AM on October 17 [84 favorites]


the goddamned Trump supporter across the street has, like he does with his crew cut and his closely shorn lawn, been busily been tending to election stuff. Nothing exciting, just city council members, school whatever, ballot measure x y and z.

His lawn is festooned with neatly placed signs. Nobody else's house is, around here.

I both hate him and point at his house like SEE SEE SEE those fucking bastards vote. I'd have to say he's one of the most engaged people in the community. And, he's evil.

And I'm like, 'I gotta do that' but although I will vote, there are things in my life like going to a day of meetings today after having a night with a migraine that was the projectile vomiting/wish I was dead stage and I have no time or energy to figure out I could get a dozen obscure signs about a dozen obscure issues.

I wonder how that Nazi across the street gets his energy. I drink a lot of espresso, but that's just to get through the fucking absolutely essential parts of the day.
posted by angrycat at 4:51 AM on October 17 [26 favorites]


He gets his energy because he enjoys it. Reasonable people would rather not march. Reasonable people would rather stay home or go for a walk or hang out with a friend than be politically active, because politics and activism are work, often a grind. Assholes seem indefatigable because they get off on this. They get off on hurting people. This is what they do instead of reading a nice book.
posted by middleclasstool at 4:59 AM on October 17 [74 favorites]


As I've said before, how could we NOT have seen him coming???

There are parts of the country where people act reflexively to "piss off liberals." We say pollution is bad, they "roll coal." We say Trump is a fraud, they rally behind him. It's frightening how quickly they'll cut off their own noses to spite us.
posted by explosion at 5:00 AM on October 17 [55 favorites]


Oh my god, yes. My friend likes to point out that Trump was elected by people who’d let him shit in their mouth if a liberal had to smell it
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:02 AM on October 17 [116 favorites]


There are parts of the country where people act reflexively to "piss off liberals."

There's a strong streak of anti elitism in general, but the expression of such varies widely.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:05 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Moscow correspondent for The Guardian, Shaun Walker, highlights this RBC article on Twitter today:
@shaunwalker7: A big @ru_rbc investigation here on Russian troll operations with loads of new details on electoral campaign (RUS). Among the claims here is that Russians posing as Americans helped fund US activists' travel around the country during electoral campaign (!)
I don't think there is an english version, but chrome can translate.
posted by pjenks at 5:06 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


Jared Kushner’s Family Is Screwed, and It’s All Boy Wonder’s Fault
Given his track record, however, it’s unclear whether Kushner is even qualified to work as a White House intern—his only two professional achievements of note have been buying and running a newspaper into the ground and running his family’s real-estate business while his father was in prison, striking a deal that a decade later is still haunting his family.
posted by PenDevil at 5:07 AM on October 17 [44 favorites]


"To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history," McCain said, to applause said John McCain, the man who gave Sarah Palin a national platform and elevated her particular brand of hateful, proudly ignorant racist nationalism.

FTFY, ABCnews.
posted by duffell at 5:12 AM on October 17 [45 favorites]


To be fair, Kushner is also working to “solve the opioid crisis, overhaul the government’s I.T. infrastructure, and “reinvent the entire government.” Anyone would be hard-pressed to concentrate on business with that much on their plate.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:15 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


Jared Kushner’s Family Is Screwed, and It’s All Boy Wonder’s Fault

I remember seeing ads for a short-lived TV show called "666 Park Ave" a few years ago and thinking that the title was way too over-the-top. Once again reality has worse writers than TV.
posted by octothorpe at 5:16 AM on October 17 [10 favorites]


Could you imagine the if someone high up in a democratic administration owned a property with that address?
posted by drezdn at 5:19 AM on October 17 [13 favorites]


Oh, and bringing peace to the Middle East! Although that’s probably just sort of a hobby he dabbles away at when he’s got a spare evening.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:19 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


And former Republican congressman David Jolly (FL) said last night on Lawrence O'Donnell that the Republic might be "better off" if "Democrats take the House in 2018" because the GOP isn't checking Trump.

Is he friends with Robert Reich?
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:23 AM on October 17 [7 favorites]


oh god DAMN IT DAVE
I've relied on his canned wet food for years; it's good-quality and affordable stuff. I was prepared to grumble like hell and see if I could afford switching to Weruva, but having read the linked article, he does kind of sound like a hapless actor in this situation. But god damn it, Dave.
posted by halation at 5:32 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


I am terrified that the United States is letting Iran make much more substantial moves in Iraq and allowing the reaming of the Kurds so that they can use it as an additional pretext to attack Iran.
posted by srboisvert at 5:50 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


oh god DAMN IT DAVE

My dog has been eating his kibble since we adopted her. We live in RI, but adopted her from a shelter in Springfield who partners with Dave. I don't know about the hapless actor thing. He was deleting all the negative FB comments, it took at least three versions of his explanation post before he got around to saying that he disagreed with most of the bill and was duped, and his story kept changing the more people complained. It was... not good.
posted by Ruki at 5:51 AM on October 17 [19 favorites]


Also,

If you're unhappy with Trump and the Republicans, don't wait until the midterms. We need to lay the groundwork to restore decency and democracy. In some states, early registration is already open. Vote now.

So much this. So, so much this. I'm super hesitant to go all "eggs-in-one-basket" due to my already fragile mental and emotional state, but the upcoming NOVEMBER 7, 2017 ELECTIONS are extremely fucking important.

If Republicans around the country--and especially in Virginia--are shellacked in next month's state and local elections, it may very well trigger another round of resignations / "I'm not running again" announcements from prominent Republicans in Congress. If the Republicans do surprisingly well, they will double down on their worst instincts. If the status quo holds, I expect nothing much will change and we'll be in the same grim situation we are now.

Vote, tell your friends and neighbors to vote, make some calls, write some postcards, give some money, whatever you've got to do. November 7 matters.
posted by duffell at 5:53 AM on October 17 [48 favorites]


So Trump’s former WH Communications Director thinks this is worth questioning.

@ScaramucciPost:
How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust?
- Less than 1 million
- Between 1-2 million
- Between 2-3 million
- More than 5 million
posted by chris24 at 5:58 AM on October 17 [19 favorites]


To paraphrase Sarah Silverman, I hope the answer isn't "More than 5 million." Because THAT would be unforgivable.
posted by Rykey at 6:06 AM on October 17 [24 favorites]


McConnell and Trump are like a very, very deranged version of the Tortoise and the Hare.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:09 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


The ScaramucciPost was removed and replaced with:
The intent of the poll was to highlight ignorance of the basic facts of the Holocaust. I take full responsibility for it.
and
This poll was put up by @lancelaifer without consulting @Scaramucci who is traveling in London.
The poll has been taken down.
posted by mmascolino at 6:09 AM on October 17


what is that scarmucci twitter post? holocaust denial?

edit: explanation was added while i was typing.
posted by sio42 at 6:10 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Wow, and right after posting this poll, they retweeted the ADL commenting on the pulling of a Anne Frank Halloween costume and asking for thoughts on it. A new land speed record from zero to Nazi.

@ADL_National:
Hard to see how this offensive idea made it this far, but thankfully this costume has been removed from the market: Company says sorry over ‘Anne Frank costume’ for Halloween

@ScaramucciPost: retweeted ADL
Thoughts? #SPthoughts
posted by chris24 at 6:10 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


oh god DAMN IT DAVE

This is all I want from my local Internet: A local-business Trump supporter yes/no flag. Like grabyourwallet.org but specific to MyTown, USA. Is the owner of the {insert franchise here} in MyTown a Trumpet? If so - we're done there.
posted by petebest at 6:13 AM on October 17 [25 favorites]


The intent of the poll was to highlight ignorance of the basic facts of the Holocaust. I take full responsibility for it.

and

This poll was put up by @lancelaifer without consulting @Scaramucci who is traveling in London.
The poll has been taken down.


A more perfect demonstration of the Republican concept of "full responsibility," I have never seen.
posted by duffell at 6:14 AM on October 17 [28 favorites]


CNN: Marino out at DEA.
posted by jackbishop at 6:21 AM on October 17 [15 favorites]


@ScaramucciPost: retweeted ADL
Thoughts? #SPthoughts


i think you're an asshole. any more questions?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:21 AM on October 17 [29 favorites]


NPR News: Tom Marino, Trump's Pick As Drug Czar, Withdraws After Damaging Opioid Report
Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., has withdrawn his name from consideration as America's drug czar, President Trump said Tuesday. Marino is stepping back days after reports that a bill he sponsored hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration in its fight against the U.S. opioid crisis.

A joint report by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes found that Marino's bill "helped pump more painkillers into parts of the country that were already in the middle of the opioid crisis," as NPR's Kelly McEvers said earlier this week. The bill was opposed by the DEA and embraced by companies in the drug industry.
posted by mmascolino at 6:22 AM on October 17 [21 favorites]


goalyeehah On the one hand I can sort of see where you're coming from. On the other, no.

McCain has not yet earned dignity or respect. He has not even apologized for his prior evils, much less outlined a clear path towards redemption for himself.

It is unfortunate that any person is suffering terminal illness, but simply because an awful person is suffering doesn't mean we should forgive their entire past history of awfulness. Darth Vader wasn't redeemed by his single act of saving Luke's life. John McCain was not redeemed by his single vote to save the ACA.

I'm going to quote, of all bizarre things, the webcomic Order of the Stick:
Redemption requires more than simply the execution of your duty, even if you follow that duty to the end.

True redemption demands that you seek forgiveness for your past misdeeds. That you atone for the actions that caused the Twelve Gods to turn away from you.

That you even acknowledge that you could, in fact, be wrong.
McCain has done none of those things, he has not earned redemption, and he has not earned forgiveness or respect. He sold his dignity for scraps, I can't give that back to him.

I'm not sure he's got enough time left to earn redemption even if he started genuinely working to atone for his sins, and he has not.

Redemption is not for everyone. We'd like it to be, we'd like to imagine that the most evil among us can seek some sort of deathbed conversion and redemption like we see in so many movies, but that's not the way it works in real life. A person cannot serve evil their entire life and at the end say "sorry" and simply have their record wiped clean.

So far John McCain hasn't even found the moral courage to apologize for his past evils, and he has not truly denounced the effort to kill the ACA.

I'm glad he voted no, don't get me wrong. But now he has one good vote against thousands, tens of thousands, of bad votes, that's not enough.
posted by sotonohito at 6:23 AM on October 17 [36 favorites]


The great people of Nambia (aka the USA) are pushing their leaders into a massive limbo contest. How low can you go?!?!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:28 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


And that is exactly what the GOP has been running on for decades. "Well, you see, actually the government can't do anything right / fix this / take care of that, so that is why we have to take it away from Washington and give it to the states / oligarchs." has been the standard stump speech since Reagan. Never mind the annoying facts that it is usually the GOP that have fucked up what ever the government was doing.

This is my regular reminder that P.J. O'Rourke wrote that Republicans are the party that says that government doesn't work and then gets elected and proves it back in 1991.

During the election, O'Rourke declared that he couldn't vote for Trump and was voting for Clinton, so good on him for that.
posted by Gelatin at 6:28 AM on October 17 [31 favorites]


We're a year in and I still don't know an actual human being who claims to be a Trump supporter. I live in the Midwest and I'm not a shut-in

I live in Cincinnati, OH. My family is from the midwest and south. I have PLENTY of family who not only voted for Trump but who are still vocally supporting him. My dad, for one. My uncles (who were both died-in-the-wool Democrats until Obama was elected...hello, never before seen racism), several of my cousins, my aunts, too.

My rich friends hate Trump,

My brother-in-law is rich. He voted for Trump. We had a large disagreement over it because, I guess, I dared to post anti-Trump stuff on Facebook? Anyway, my sister and I were *just* beginning to have a real relationship and now I don't feel like I can visit her because he'll be there and I just can't even.

my poor friends hate Trump,

My poorest relatives are the ones who are really vocally FOR Trump. They only watch Fox News, they're all racist (sadly, it's true), and they LOVE him.

my Christian friends hate Trump (although they seem a little more defensive),


My middle brother is a born-again Evangelist. He preaches every Sunday in a non-traditional church in the suburbs of Chicago. He loves Jesus. But he also hates abortion. He is a one issue voter and no matter how many times I try to make him see that conservatives don't stand for anything Jesus taught, he votes conservative because abortion is the only thing that matters to him.

I take long walks for miles around my neighborhood, and I've seen a total of one Trump yard sign.

I don't have to go far from my house this very day to find a HUGE Tump sign on someone's fence. I see Trump bumper stickers every single day on my way to and from work and when I run errands on the weekend. The neighbors catty-corner from us had a sign during the 2012 election that read "A Village In Kenya Is Missing Its Idiot" and the elderly couple who live there always seemed so nice and kind and lovely; they had a Trump sign this time around, surprise surprise.

This time around it's like Trump supporters are just a completely different planet with no communication with my world.

I would like to live in your world for a little while because I love my family and it is SO HARD to reconcile the fact that I am of them and they are of me with the fact that some of them supported and still support Trump. My entire sense of family has been upended and it hurts so damned much and I'm so confused and I hate it.
posted by cooker girl at 6:29 AM on October 17 [80 favorites]


I would argue that by keeping McCain's feet to the fire and remembering all his past actions is giving him dignity; we're still treating him as a full, complete person, unlike those who are already ready to write his posthumous hagiography or those already ready to ooze into his seat by hook and crook.
posted by anem0ne at 6:34 AM on October 17 [36 favorites]


An anti-Trump evangelical Christian just wrote a book about that. I haven't read it yet, but he was recently on an atheist podcast (!) to talk about it.

If there is a transcript I could read instead of listening to the podcast, I'd love to.

And on the "don't know anyone who supported Trump" train - I believe that some of my relatives did, although a couple may have held their noses to do so. And here in New York City, and also in upstate New York, I frequently see Trump bumper stickers, promotional signs, and such.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:34 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Krugman lists the lies about the GOP tax plan.

Oh, man. Living in blood-red Indiana, and having an anomalous Democratic senator (Donnely), I've been seeing a lot of the advertising the right is pushing out about "not letting your senator stand in the way of a fair, simple tax plan." The ad up-front lies about how the Republican tax plan cuts-out the wealthy, the well-connected, and the politicians. It's insane.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:41 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah, this isn’t an apology. And why wasn’t it offensive to you?

@ScaramucciPost:
This is @lancelaifer and I apologize if anyone was offended by the Holocaust poll.
posted by chris24 at 6:41 AM on October 17 [8 favorites]


Another day, another catalog of how Rex Tillerson has destroyed the State Department and all of American foreign policy in 9 months: Rex Tillerson and the Unraveling of the State Department
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:42 AM on October 17 [17 favorites]


I feel like the McCain thing may be pretty well-trodden territory at this point?

Redemption is a frustrating idea. Sure, everyone makes mistakes, and forgiveness is a pretty healthy move. But one of the less palatable Christian fundamentals for me is that you can be a horrible shit your whole life, accept the lord on your deathbed, and all is forgiven. Fuck that. Try to be a better person every day.

I still think everyone seeking public office should have to take the Hippocratic Oath.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:42 AM on October 17 [10 favorites]


My neighbor (in Jersey City) has a huge MAGA banner... but it's in his garage, which is kept closed most of the time. Your own metaphor may vary.
posted by armacy at 6:44 AM on October 17 [7 favorites]


I'm in Cincinnati too (hi cooker girl) and I don't regularly run into Trump but I know of them. I did have a very contentious business dinner last winter that not only featured an unapologetic Trump supporter but also a proud Englishman who voted for Brexit.

As for outward support, my house is about a half mile off of one the main north/south roads in the city/county (Montgomery Road) and prior to 2016 in election years the mixture of Republican to Democrat signs in people's yards were roughly 50-50. For the 2016, there was zero Republican signs of any sort save for one for Senator Portman. Today in the neighborhood the only signs that make an impression are the ones for welcoming refugees and a few hand scrawled "RESIST" signs.

I certainly know where I could go to see Trump signs...hell, a few miles north of me I found a guy last December that still had a "Dr Ben Carson for President" sign in his yard.
posted by mmascolino at 6:46 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


I live in a liberal social bubble in San Antonio, one of the bluer parts of Texas, and I know several ardent Trump supporters.

Most are middle class, a rather horrifying number are Latinx or Hispanic. Many are self identified Evangelical Christians.

I'd say "even after" all the latest Trump BS they're supporters, but for a lot of them it's "especially after". Many of the white Trumpites have told me that Puerto Rico was being lazy and needed tough love instead of handouts.

So yes, they're out there even today.
posted by sotonohito at 6:47 AM on October 17 [9 favorites]


"Dr Ben Carson for President"

That would be so much better than this.
posted by thelonius at 6:47 AM on October 17 [7 favorites]


"Dr Ben Carson for President"

That would be so much better than this.


Señor Cardgage from Homestar Runner would be better than this.

*suddenly realizes Ben Carson is a real-life Señor Cardgage*
posted by duffell at 6:50 AM on October 17 [28 favorites]


I just wish that everyone here would treat McCain with a little more dignity.

I have profound empathy for what he's dealing with. A few years ago, a friend died a very slow and terrible death from brain cancer. Multiple surgeries to remove those tumors as well as chemotherapy took her from us bit by bit. She was in her 30's and 40's. He's much older, and I assume his battle will be more difficult.

McCain's political career is filled with contradictions. Throughout his time in office, he's been conservative on some issues. Moderate on others. An aggressive war hawk. But he's also changed positions on various issues over time (most notably tax cuts) and his rhetoric hasn't always matched his voting record. He has said he's against discrimination and for equal pay, but has voted the opposite way on both issues on more than one occasion. He fought against torture of prisoners and then for it. He ran in 2008 on a relatively moderate platform and gave speeches and town halls as if he were a moderate, reasonable Republican. But when it came time to choose advisors and a running mate, he picked far right extremists.

In his case, actions really have spoken louder than words. In my not-so-humble opinion, it's more respectful to look at the whole person, and not just their disease.

I do hope he gets through this and that his family doesn't have to watch him decline slowly, which is in and of itself an awful thing. But the odds aren't good. Survival rate for brain cancer is lower than 30% for men.
posted by zarq at 6:57 AM on October 17 [14 favorites]


T.D. Strange I can't help but suspect that the destruction of the State Department, in addition to simply helping the Trump criminal empire, is part of the general hatred of competent government by Republicans.

Until Trump came into power the State Department was one of those examples of the US government being very good indeed. Not that other departments didn't do well, but State always had a reputation for quality, efficiency, and competency that (to my outsider eyes anyway) seemed well deserved.

Tillerson seems to be taking the O'Rourke line as a prescription, not an indictment. From the very first he has always found time to dismantle the machinery of the State Department, despite being "too tired" to actually do his theoretical job as Secretary of State.

Assuming we get a Democrat in office by 2020 the damage will doubtless take several presidential administrations to rebuild.

And the damage to America's reputation is irreparable. Already the world knows that America's word is simply no good. We now have the same reputation that Trump personally has, a reputation as a dishonest, dishonorable, polity that will abandon any treaty, any agreement, any deal not just if it seems even mildly inconvenient, but also just seemingly at random.

Junior did a pretty good job of that when he broke faith on the deal Clinton brokered with the DPRK. That deal wasn't exactly great, but it was working. The world was, foolishly, willing to see that as an aberration. Now, with Trump, there's no denying it: America's word is no good.

And even more than demoting, firing, and driving out, the skilled, motivated, and qualified, people over at State, that's going to give a hypothetically repaired future State Department an impossible task. How can you do diplomacy if nothing you say is taken seriously and all promises you make are known to be lies?
posted by sotonohito at 7:00 AM on October 17 [29 favorites]


How can you do diplomacy if nothing you say is taken seriously and all promises you make are known to be lies?

Obviously, you sit back and let Russia take the world's reigns. I mean, that's the actual plan behind burning down the State Dept., isn't it?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:04 AM on October 17 [17 favorites]


Donny gets caught lying, Donny is gonna double down:

Kaitlin Collins(CNN): Trump on his claim other presidents didn’t call the families of fallen soldiers: "You could ask General Kelly if he got a call from Obama."
posted by PenDevil at 7:18 AM on October 17 [16 favorites]


Junior did a pretty good job of that when he broke faith on the deal Clinton brokered with the DPRK. That deal wasn't exactly great, but it was working. The world was, foolishly, willing to see that as an aberration. Now, with Trump, there's no denying it: America's word is no good.

The good news (if we can call it that) is that Trump's rise to power has been mirrored by a rise in similar anti-immigrant, racist, anti-intellectual, self-destructive and isolationist movements in other countries. Most notably the UK, but also in France and several other countries, including Brazil and South Africa. While Marcon decisively defeated Le Pen, Trump actually lost the popular vote to a sane and steady candidate and was only elected because of an outdated electoral system. Brexit passed by only 4%, and there was an outpouring of "OH SHIT" that followed from UK voters. Le Pen's party, the National Front, did very well in prior elections -- and repeated surveys of French citizens showed that they favored the party's goals, even if they weren't enamored by its leaders. In Germany, their right-wing nationalist party, "Alternative for Germany" has been steadily gaining power as well. They're anti-Merkel, anti-Muslim, anti-EU, anti-refugee and anti-immigrant and won 12.6% of the vote last month.

So, Trump is part of a larger movement. As with George W. Bush, his extreme lack of popularity will be noted by the rest of the world as will protests by American citizens against his policies and incompetence. And perhaps that our election result was heavily influenced by Russian machinations.

When Obama was elected, the world celebrated the return of America as a sane, stable player on global stage. Hopefully that will happen again after Trump and his corrupt cronies have been shown the door.
posted by zarq at 7:19 AM on October 17 [10 favorites]


Señor Cardgage from Homestar Runner would be better than this.

I'll take it. "Avoidin' unclear war with Chick Corea? No probalo!"
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:22 AM on October 17 [33 favorites]


Obviously, you sit back and let Russia take the world's reigns. I mean, that's the actual plan behind burning down the State Dept., isn't it?

Yes. It's not just standard issue 'Republicans hate government' put into practice, because Republicans don't hate the State Department traditionally. They may prefer to use the military more than Democrats and diminish State's influence relative to a Democratic administration, but there's an entire wing of the party and long tradition of Republican diplomats and policy. Tillerson is a Russian mole. He's been Putin's man from the beginning. That's why he got the job. This is a Russian client state administration taking orders directly from Moscow, and the first order was to tear down American soft power for forever. Tillerson is doing a fantastic job at the job he was brought in to do, subjugate America's international interests to Russia's.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:24 AM on October 17 [43 favorites]


It wouldn't be the first time that the world overreacted like that. If Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize largely for Not Being Dubya, the next Dem President will be given worldwide ticker-tape parades, the title of Jesus Jr. and an endless supply of their choice of nubile sex partners.

But actions speak louder than elections. And America's actions and global relations and stability will not change dramatically until America itself has a profound sea change and drives enough of the reactionary yahoos out of Congress.
posted by delfin at 7:28 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


Kaitlin Collins(CNN): Trump on his claim other presidents didn’t call the families of fallen soldiers: "You could ask General Kelly if he got a call from Obama."

JFC, you're using your Chief of Staff's dead son to defend your bullshit? What a piece of scum. Zero shame.

Trump's the guy in the movie who shoves the kid out of the way to get the life raft first (and then is subsequently eaten by the shark).
posted by leotrotsky at 7:29 AM on October 17 [45 favorites]


Trump on his claim other presidents didn’t call the families of fallen soldiers: "You could ask General Kelly if he got a call from Obama."

I mean, just, WHY? If your entire political philosophy seems to consist of "Fuck Obama," and you actually believe your own horseshit about Obama not calling soldiers' families, WHY wouldn't your strategy be to show Obama up by calling the families on your own watch? Fuck Obama, right?

Oh, wait. The only thing less reliable than Trump's competence is his political philosophy, and he has the morals of a starving vulture. Carry on.
posted by Rykey at 7:32 AM on October 17 [10 favorites]


I took that as an indictment of Trump, not a defense. That, like, he’s either unaware that Kelly’s son died, or he knew and was being totally disrespectful. I’m in a tamale coma though, so I may have misread it.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:33 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Y'all. I was completely off the grid for 6 days. No computer, no phone service, no wifi, no Twitter. It was a total hellscape because I was at a retreat for survivors of child sexual abuse, but it was also kind of glorious. No one even mentioned trump.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:33 AM on October 17 [45 favorites]


Trump on his claim other presidents didn’t call the families of fallen soldiers: "You could ask General Kelly if he got a call from Obama."

Fuck you Donald J. Trump. Fuck You.

Obama’s Sacred Duty: Visiting the Wounded at Walter Reed

By GARDINER HARRISNOV. 29, 2016

posted by mikelieman at 7:37 AM on October 17 [24 favorites]


be the tycoon-eating shark you'd like to see in the world.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:40 AM on October 17 [22 favorites]


he has the morals of a starving vulture.

Hey now. Vultures are a vital part of a functioning ecology. Trump could never aspire to be as useful as a vulture.
posted by emjaybee at 7:40 AM on October 17 [75 favorites]


The average went up, Trump went down bigly. And ultimately this is pretty meaningless, except for the fact that he cares about it so much and it will bother him bigly.

Trump's net worth drops $600 million on Forbes' rich list, falls 92 spots
posted by chris24 at 7:49 AM on October 17 [37 favorites]


Oh, wait, that Kelly quote was from Trump? I thought was a comment to Trump. Never mind. I blame the tamales.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:52 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't surprise me a bit if Kelly didn't get a call because President Obama visited him in person.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 7:56 AM on October 17 [13 favorites]


McConnell and Trump are like a very, very deranged version of the Tortoise and the Hare.

... racing down the Highway to Hell, dragging us along for the ride.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:58 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


At this point I side-eye any media product/outlet that Trump watches that doesn't address itself to the audience of one. These media outlets have real power; what they say, he believes.

Trump cares intensely about the Forbes rankings. The most moral way for them to use their influence is to bang together some bullshit argument that Trump's net worth has been very, very badly impacted by him assuming the Presidency — they could make up any reason, because the audience of one is stupid — and likewise that his net worth will rebound the second he resigns. Again, the reasoning doesn't have to be sound. Tell the moron that he'll be a trillionaire if he resigns tomorrow, and he'll resign tomorrow.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:00 AM on October 17 [41 favorites]


Trump should ask his chief of staff whether invoking Kelly's slain son to make a political attack and puff up a President's ego is honorable and appropriate.

From 2011: "Their struggle is your struggle," he told the ballroom crowd of former Marines and local business people. "If anyone thinks you can somehow thank them for their service and not support the cause for which they fight - our country - these people are lying to themselves. . . . More important, they are slighting our warriors and mocking their commitment to this nation."
......
Kelly has largely shunned public attention since his speech and his son's death. He discussed his speech and his son to provide insight into the lives and the burdens of military families.

"We are only one of 5,500 American families who have suffered the loss of a child in this war," he said in an e-mail. "The death of my boy simply cannot be made to seem any more tragic than the others."

posted by zarq at 8:04 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


Or it could be that Obama didn’t call when Kelly’s son was killed and Trump’s narrow, shitty point holds; families of service people killed in service don’t always get calls from the President.
posted by notyou at 8:06 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Manu Raju on twitter: "If we fail on taxes," Lindsey Graham just told me, "our party will disintegrate."


may it be fucking so.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:06 AM on October 17 [92 favorites]


Trump's the guy in the movie who shoves the kid out of the way to get the life raft first (and then is subsequently eaten by the shark).

When does the eaten by the shark part happen? So far there has been lots of shoving and not nearly enough eaten by sharks.
posted by danielleh at 8:08 AM on October 17 [45 favorites]


Hey Kelly, how do you feel about watching Trump use your dead son to fluff his ego? You could end this, you know. You have that power. Or you could keep doing your job of maintaining the frail illusion of babysitting him. You must believe pretty deeply in the racist, brutal, and extinction-threatening policies and philosophies of your boss and his core of support. More deeply than the honor and memory of your son, I suppose.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:14 AM on October 17 [29 favorites]


Manu Raju on twitter: "If we fail on taxes," Lindsey Graham just told me, "our party will disintegrate."

I believe this. They have less than thirty days now, right? I just keep hoping there will be enough distractions and in-fighting to miss their deadline.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:17 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Manu Raju on twitter: "If we fail on taxes," Lindsey Graham just told me, "our party will disintegrate."

New thread reminder: I put some tax info, talking points, and resources up on my profile page that you can use as you see fit.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:24 AM on October 17 [43 favorites]


> They have less than thirty days now, right?

No draft plan has seen the light of day, no scoring from the CBO, no way to actually figure out how much is being given away to the top 1%, no Trump tax returns to assess his own claim that the tax bill won't be good for him.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are angrily dismissing claims about taxes rising on the poor and middle class with "you can't say that before you see the bill."

I expect that the bill will be unveiled with a furious propaganda push and a "this is it" sense of momentum. To kind of catapult the propaganda, if you will.

(OMG, I used to hate that loathsome smirk and that voice used to grate on my nerves. I didn't know I could think worse of an elected President - and how much worse.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:24 AM on October 17 [9 favorites]


They have less than thirty days now, right?

There's no hard tax reform deadline like there was with Obamacare reconciliation, they're still setting the terms of how to actually pass it in the first place. There's not even a real bill with real language, all they've released is a joke of a skeleton outline. They passed new reconciliation instructions for the 2018 budget in the House, which are currently stalled in the Senate. This needs to get done before they actually pass the 2018 budget, which has to be done (or another CR) by December 7. But once they have new 2018 instructions passed, tax reform itself can be passed with 50 votes at any time next year, presumably until Sept 30, 2018 according to the Parliamentarian's ruling last time.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:25 AM on October 17 [8 favorites]


What would party disintegration look like? I think if it can survive the waning days of the Bush administration, it's basically a cockroach.
posted by Coventry at 8:28 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Take five, bees. We're doing sharks now.
posted by petebest at 8:29 AM on October 17 [37 favorites]


Or it could be that Obama didn’t call when Kelly’s son was killed and Trump’s narrow, shitty point holds; families of service people killed in service don’t always get calls from the President.


Witness, in miniature, his entire MO. Unleash some horrid lie, then walk it back just slightly so he can have the thinnest framework for an excuse while opening more vectors for gaslighting at each exchange.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:34 AM on October 17 [29 favorites]


New thread reminder: I put some tax info, talking points, and resources up on my profile page that you can use as you see fit.

melissasaurus, you are a god among dinosaurs.
posted by cooker girl at 8:35 AM on October 17 [44 favorites]


You know, it strikes me that the task before us as a civilization, upon which the fate of civilization depends, is figuring out the best strategy for manipulating a moron and then figuring out how to best deploy that strategy.

Also it strikes me that for most of history, taking and holding power has, in general, been the process of identifying powerful morons, figuring out the precise ways in which those powerful morons are moronic, and then figuring out how to winkle their power away from them by exploiting their moronicity.

If I am asked the question "what is culture?," the answer I'll give is "the collected set of strategies for taking power away from morons."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:42 AM on October 17 [26 favorites]


I don't see why Graham thinks failing to pass tax reform now will doom them when Republicans have been running on a platform of outlawing all abortion for 30+ years now with no substantive national policy to show for it.

Failing to accomplish your critical agenda is a half-decent way to get your base to keep voting for you. It's not like someone upset the Republicans haven't cut tax rates on the rich to 0% will vote for a Democrat instead.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:44 AM on October 17 [10 favorites]


Graham also might just be a bit gloomy after having to sit in a golf cart with trump again. He could be imagining all the ways in which trump will implode and shit on the GOP when tax reform bills keep failing
posted by Burhanistan at 8:46 AM on October 17


the task before us as a civilization, upon which the fate of civilization depends, is figuring out the best strategy for manipulating a moron and then figuring out how to best deploy that strategy.

Or impeachment. I mean, yes, for people closely placed near Trump that is something that we basically know they're actively pursuing (sometimes at cross purposes, eg, Schumer/Pelosi vs. Miller/Bannon on DACA), but the task on us, as regular citizens, is broader than that and encompasses multiple avenues of response.
posted by cjelli at 8:47 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Graham’s we = incumbents who will see their campaign funding redirected to primary challengers. Doomed.
posted by notyou at 8:48 AM on October 17 [13 favorites]


Also it strikes me that for most of history, taking and holding power has, in general, been the process of identifying powerful morons, figuring out the precise ways in which those powerful morons are moronic, and then figuring out how to winkle their power away from them by exploiting their moronicity.

Unfortunately, the powerful morons in this case are Republican voters, and the folks winkling power (and money) away from them are the interests behind the Republican party.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:50 AM on October 17


...figuring out how to winkle their power away from them by exploiting their moronicity

That's why The Fonz was such a powerful cultural figure. He was descended from an ancient line of Winklers.
posted by gurple at 8:50 AM on October 17 [22 favorites]


CNN: Marino out at DEA.

What, the system is working now, even a little bit? Huh.
posted by Melismata at 8:52 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


While he did not explain why he had not called their families, Mr. Trump said he had written letters to the family members over the weekend, which he said would be mailed later in the day or on Tuesday. He said he also planned to call them.

Just so we're all clear -- he hadn't yet sent anyone letters nor called anyone.

Also, all that stuff about how hard it is to write these letters or make the phone calls -- this isn't about you, Donny. It really, really isn't.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:54 AM on October 17 [58 favorites]


Republicans won't disintegrate. There is way too much Koch money advancing the careers of young replacements. Yeah, some senators might get replaced if they do not deliver on tax policy, but only due to the normal Koch shadow party process, not Bannon's rabble.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:57 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


I don't see why Graham thinks failing to pass tax reform now will doom them...Failing to accomplish your critical agenda is a half-decent way to get your base to keep voting for you.

It's worth a close reading of what Graham said:
JOHN DICKERSON: Are you going to get tax reform done?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Yeah, if we don't, we're dead. You're going to ask me about Bannon, so I'll just go and ask myself.

JOHN DICKERSON: Steve Bannon, the president's former advisor.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Yea so what's going on? It's a symptom of a greater problem. If we don't cut taxes and we don't eventually repeal and replace Obamacare, then we're going to lose across the board in the House in 2018. And all of my colleagues running in primaries in 2018 will probably get beat. It will be the end of Mitch McConnell as we know it. So this is a symptom of a greater problem. If we do cut taxes and we do repeal and replace Obamacare, it doesn't matter what Bannon do because we'll win.
Graham is worried that the Republican base will turn out -- in the 2018 primaries, and vote out the sitting incumbents in favor of extremists who are less electable and will go on to lose in the 2018 general. I think that's broadly correct, and I think that tracks with the same trends that have kept 'Republicans' in power while also shifting the specific Republicans who are in power steadily rightward. When Republican politicians fail to ban abortion, Republicans turn out to vote yet more extreme Republicans into office; the Republican party of today is not the same part as it was in 2008 (or 2000). And Graham is worried that that same trend will continue if the incumbent Republicans don't preëmptively move rightward on their own.

He's worried, in other words, that incumbent Republicans might do the right thing rather than the electorally advantageous thing. And he's probably not wrong to worry, given the failure of Graham-Cassidy.
posted by cjelli at 8:59 AM on October 17 [50 favorites]


While he did not explain why he had not called their families, Mr. Trump said he had written letters to the family members over the weekend, which he said would be mailed later in the day or on Tuesday. He said he also planned to call them.

the average six year old can a make more compelling excuse for why they haven't yet written grandma a thank-you letter for the birthday check

and yet here we are
somehow
posted by halation at 9:01 AM on October 17 [18 favorites]


Politico: Trump issues warning to McCain: 'At some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty'

Guys what happens when it stops being so pretty?
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:03 AM on October 17 [55 favorites]


Guys what happens when it stops being so pretty?

I will lose my bet on Trump ever delivering on an 'at some point' promise (see also 'soon,' 'next week, I think,' and 'within the next two weeks'.)

(Only yesterday did Trump promise to declare a national emergency over the opioid crisis 'probably next week,' despite having said he would do this literally months ago.)
posted by cjelli at 9:10 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


the average six year old can a make more compelling excuse for why they haven't yet written grandma a thank-you letter for the birthday check

I'm pretty sure the President has people who can help him with this stuff. I'm pretty sure there are entire offices in the Pentagon dedicated to sending out these kind of letters. I'm pretty sure that all he has to do is sign at the bottom, if he really finds it too difficult to come up with something himself.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:10 AM on October 17 [14 favorites]


Guys what happens when it stops being so pretty?

People stop being polite and start getting real?

He's not here to make friends?

How do I change this channel? Anyone?
posted by Salieri at 9:11 AM on October 17 [37 favorites]


can you get the PHONE
posted by entropicamericana at 9:12 AM on October 17 [5 favorites]


The "Not Pretty" comment might be for the benefit of McCain's fellow republicans in the senate more than for the man himself.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:13 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


On the topic of John McCain, I'd like to bring up an incident from 1998.

For those who weren't politically aware at the time, attacks on Chelsea Clinton by the American right always vicious, misogynist, and frequent.

Which is probably why, at a fundraising dinner in 1998, John McCain felt comfortable with the following "joke": "Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father."

In just a few words he managed to attack three different women, all with deeply misogynist smears. Chelsea, most obviously, was attacked for her looks, always a favorite subject for misogynists. Then Attorney General Reno got the simultaneously misogynist and transphobic attack of being accused of being manly, ugly, and gay. And, of course Hillary Clinton was subject to the homophobic attack accusing her of an affair with Janet Reno.

Months later John McCain issued a mealy mouthed sorry-not-sorry pseudo-apology. To Bill Clinton.

Not to the three people he actually attacked, but to the man he presumably saw as the true victim, or at least the responsible male owner of those three women who, to McCain, weren't actual people.

It's been 19 years since then, and McCain has still never apologized to the people he attacked that day.

And that tells you everything you need to know about John McCain.

If Trump and McCain can turn their destructive energies on each other and hurt one another I think that would likely be the best possible outcome.
posted by sotonohito at 9:19 AM on October 17 [206 favorites]


Trump on his claim other presidents didn’t call the families of fallen soldiers: "You could ask General Kelly if he got a call from Obama."

Well? Did anyone?

Would Trump's Chief of Staff be able to say that Obama had called if he did?
posted by srboisvert at 9:19 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


The only problem with the idea that the base coming out in primaries and running extreme candidates is that they've won in the past. They'd win Utah's delegation because they'll have that magic R after their name, regardless of how wacky they are. So failing to pass tax reform might hurt them in purple states but I doubt it'd sink the party just because an angry Bannon's Tea Party was built.
posted by msbutah at 9:20 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


the average six year old can a make more compelling excuse for why they haven't yet written grandma a thank-you letter for the birthday check

"Just then, a squad of Nazi frogmen burst into my room..." (Doonesbury comic)
posted by Melismata at 9:24 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


I don't know if I have enough in me to make it through three and a fourth more years of this. I already feel five to ten years older already.
Huh. You know that thing where people become President, and they take the weight of the world on their shoulders, and then they seem to age twice as fast as normal? I guess if they just drop the weight of the world, then the premature aging hits the people it falls on instead.
posted by roystgnr at 9:25 AM on October 17 [28 favorites]


Let's also not forget McCain's insipid repeating of the "Bomb Bomb Iran" song. He only seems rosy because of the nuclear diaper bin fire that is POTUS.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:25 AM on October 17 [23 favorites]


> At a fundraising dinner in 1998, John McCain felt comfortable with the following "joke"

And this was what destroyed John McCain's image in my eyes, when I learned about it in the 'oughts. (The Keating Five stuff was before I followed US politics.) When he picked Sarah Palin, others expressed disappointment, but I already knew not to expect anything better.

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran? Ha, ha, we're only joking about innocent civilians dying.

Likewise, with the more recent stuff - we already know Saint John has feet of clay. If he comes out on the right side of an issue, that's great, but you shouldn't expect it on any given topic.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:28 AM on October 17 [11 favorites]


So, last week I was annoyed by Trump's overuse of exclamation points (his least egregious abuse) and made a Twitter bot that tweets out each "!".

I followed that up this weekend with a site showcasing his use of exclamations (with a stock market-like chart), plus american flag emojis, hashtags, @ mentions, ALL CAPS, parentheticals, and non-alphanumerics.

Some findings. Trump:
  • Has used >90 American flag emojis since Inauguration Day, but only 4 in the preceding seven and a half years of tweeting
  • Did not use MAGA as a hashtag until April 5, 2016, but has used #MakeAmericaGreatAgain since February 26, 2015
  • Stopped using "(cont)" to chain tweets on January 20, 2014, a year after Obama's second Inauguration
  • Suddenly started using semicolons on March 13, 2012
  • Has not @-mentioned @barackobama since October 11, 2013
  • Reserved the most exclamation marks (15) for his March 2, 2014 tweet: "This cannot be the the Academy Awards #Oscars AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Enjoy? Or something.
posted by waninggibbon at 9:34 AM on October 17 [38 favorites]


Wow, didn't we all do this in the 2008 election threads?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:34 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: lots of shoving and not nearly enough eaten by sharks
posted by Gelatin at 9:38 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


I will lose my bet on Trump ever delivering on an 'at some point' promise (see also 'soon,' 'next week, I think,' and 'within the next two weeks'.)

I think Trumpish for this is "in a very short period of time"
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:45 AM on October 17


"Just then, a squad of Nazi frogmen burst into my room..." (Doonesbury comic)

Of course, now "a squad of Nazi frogmen" doesn't sound quite so outlandish, as long as we're talking about Twitter avatars...
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:48 AM on October 17 [40 favorites]


when Republicans have been running on a platform of outlawing all abortion for 30+ years now with no substantive national policy to show for it.

Hi, I would like to speak up for all the women who find it now impossible to get an abortion thanks to laws that require doctors to lie, clinics to close, and costs to go up to say: they've accomplished plenty.

If Roe v. Wade is a hollow shell it doesn't matter, from the point of view of those affected, whether it's toppled or not. Yet.

Also: they are coming for our birth control already, so, yeah, they've done a whole fucking lot in the last 30 years.
posted by emjaybee at 10:04 AM on October 17 [117 favorites]


Yes, and they are now defining life as starting at conception, which fucks with a lot of things.
posted by agregoli at 10:10 AM on October 17 [9 favorites]


@goldengateblond
2nd Lt. Robert Kelly was married. Unless protocol has changed, the call would’ve gone to his wife.
posted by chris24 at 10:11 AM on October 17 [52 favorites]


Not entirely sure they would take his call.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:14 AM on October 17


mmascolino: "NPR News: Tom Marino, Trump's Pick As Drug Czar, Withdraws After Damaging Opioid Report"

This is great news. Marino would have been disastrous at DEA, and his district would have been a very challenging pickup for the Dems.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:18 AM on October 17 [5 favorites]




On the other hand, $$$ numbers:

Northam [D] raised $7.2M in Sept, $5.7M cash on hand
Gillespie [R] raised $4.4M in Sept, $2.5M cash on hand
posted by Chrysostom at 10:21 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


One thing I've been thinking is that our cynical joking about politicians and lies has really helped Trump.

A huge number of people like to gripe and joke about how often politicians lie and affect a worldly condescending attitude towards anyone "naive" enough to expresses the slightest concern or shock about a politician lying.

"How do you know a politician is lying? You can see his lips moving! HAWHAWHAW!"

Which means that when Trump came along as a person who really, truly, did lie a lot no one cared. All politicians lie, right, so Trump is no different. Except, of coruse, he is.

In 2016 we saw Hillary Clinton, a woman who told fewer lies than almost everyone else in the race (back in the primary days when there were several people in the race) and almost no lies of significance, painted as being inherently dishonest and bad.

While Trump, who not merely told more lies than everyone else in the race but literally an order of magnitude more lies, and lies about issues of substance, was presented as a straight talker who tells it like it is.

When anyone tried to point out that Trump lied with a frequency that seemed almost pathological, it was brushed aside as irrelevant, all politicians lie all the time, right?

I'm not arguing this was the one weird trick that won Trump the election, but I do think the cynical, and false, view of politicians as inveterate liars was a factor. It rendered the truth, that Donald Trump is a preposterously frequent liar, worthless.

Even today, if you bring up the fact that Trump is lying about any particular thing it will mostly be shrugged off. Who cares, all politicians lie. His tax "plan" is nothing more than a handful of ill conceived tax cuts for the very rich and he's saying it's a great boon to the middle class? So what, all politicians lie. He says Obama never phoned the families of dead soldiers? So what, all politicians lie.

As a nation we have managed to cynic ourselves into a place where to say that any politician is more truthful than another is viewed at best as crippling naivete and at worst as mere partisan smearmongering. We have turned the words "honest politician" into a joke, and in so doing have paved the way for Trump.

I don't know what the solution is, but I do think it is at least a piece of our deeper problem.
posted by sotonohito at 10:25 AM on October 17 [96 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that all he has to do is sign at the bottom

If he can't remember to do that for his own EOs, then how's he going to manage it for a letter of condolence?
posted by elsietheeel at 10:25 AM on October 17 [8 favorites]


Two other new polls in VA gov:

Roanoke: Northam up 50-44

CNU: Northam up 48-44
posted by Chrysostom at 10:27 AM on October 17 [13 favorites]


That there’s even a contest between them given that Gillespie is a race baiting pants on head cuckoo lunatic is shameful for us as a species.
posted by Talez at 10:32 AM on October 17 [17 favorites]




@kylegriffin1:
.@PeterAlexander on MSNBC: Kelly and wife went to 2011 Gold Star families WH breakfast, sat at FLOTUS's table, per source familiar w/event.
posted by chris24 at 10:33 AM on October 17 [54 favorites]


So no call but a face to face over breakfast with other families?

Probably you oughta shutup about this now Mr President.

But we all know you won't though.
posted by notyou at 10:38 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


That there’s even a contest between them given that Gillespie is a race baiting pants on head cuckoo lunatic is shameful for us as a species.

And another indictment on the competancy of the Democratic party consultant class. And the national progressive figures who can't seem bothered to help him. The Northam campaign seems invisible. Gillispie's racist ads are everywhere. I can't tell you what Northam's campaign theme or slogan is other than "I'm a doctor". Huh, apparently it's "For Virginia's Future". That's what were running with against Gillispie's "Northam is leading the Mexicans to kill you in your sleep".
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:39 AM on October 17 [16 favorites]


So no call but a face to face over breakfast with other families?

Probably you oughta shutup about this now Mr President.


Sooo...Called it?

It's Trump's Razor--the stupidest explanation is usually the best explanation.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:44 AM on October 17 [11 favorites]


And the national progressive figures who can't seem bothered to help him.

I believe the Northam campaign made a decision not to bring in much outside help so as not to nationalize the race. It's much easier for republicans to attack the usual liberal boogeymen (and boogeywomen and boogeypeopleofcolor) than it is to actually run against Northam on the issues. Virginians like to vote for boring politicians, Northam is doing great by that metric.
posted by peeedro at 10:46 AM on October 17 [8 favorites]


McDonnell won in 2010 as VA gov by just saying jobs a lot.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:48 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


One thing I've been thinking is that our cynical joking about politicians and lies has really helped Trump.

She didn't vote for Trump, but I often find myself in a weird place while talking to my mom about this issue. She's extremely mistrustful of, like, everyone she's not related to (she used to work at a bank in the fraud department, so she's seen a lot of liars), but simultaneously has that Objectivist romantic view of human potential whereby if you just let people be people with no bummer laws and taxes and stuff, we'd all be perfectly rational, charitable, self-actualized beings. I'm the opposite. I think that human nature, to quote Xunzi, stinks. Overall we kind of suck and our brains are not wired to be particularly good at stuff like rational behavior, charity, or self-actualization. But also that people are complicated, our world is complicated, and that individual people and their behavior deserve to be looked at with an open mind. I don't tend to assume that a politician who did $thing did so purely out of greed or malevolence. Not until I see some evidence. Show me the evidence and I'm perfectly willing to believe that a human being is just as sucky as human beings are capable of being. But I don't like to assume.

My mom is a vote-the-bums-out voter. If a politician does not ring in a new era of utopian bliss immediately upon election, they're obviously corrupt and need to go. I'm a very pragmatic better-is-good (to quote Obama) voter who generally looks for evidence that a politician has been effective or is at least trying to be within the confines of whatever fucked up legislative situation they're forced into.

Also? Being a politician suuuuuucks, and I think that there are a couple kinds of people who are good with dealing with how utterly awful that job is: people who really care and people who love power. You have to have a strong, strong motivator to get you through that gig. (I have a friend who is the mayor of a small town outside the city and she's always trying to convince me to run for office with one breath and then with the next complaining about how much being an elected official blows.) For people who clearly are not power-mad monsters, I think the only other conclusion is that they really do care. They still might not be good at their jobs, and they still might be very wrong about a lot of things, but they aren't in it for corrupt reasons and they're probably not liars.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:54 AM on October 17 [24 favorites]


*sigh*

Remember that whole debacle with the USNS Comfort? Yeah, about that....

CNN; There's a hospital ship waiting for sick Puerto Ricans -- but no one knows how to get on it
Clinics that are overwhelmed with patients and staff say they don't even know how to begin sending cases to the ship. Doctors say there's a rumor that patients have to be admitted to a central hospital before they can be transferred to the Comfort. Only 33 of the 250 beds on the Comfort -- 13% -- are being used, nearly two weeks after the ship arrived.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:59 AM on October 17 [57 favorites]


Florida's Governor Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Richard Spencer Speech (NPR, Oct. 17, 2017 -- not an Onion article).
When Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida last month, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency. On Monday, he did the same thing in Alachua County, ahead of a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

"We live in a country where everyone has the right to voice their opinion, however, we have zero tolerance for violence and public safety is always our number one priority," Scott said in a statement. "This executive order is an additional step to ensure that the University of Florida and the entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe."
This wasn't Rick Scott acting on his own, it came following request from Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, and allows the state and Sheriff Darnell to quickly coordinate resources from other state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 AM on October 17 [12 favorites]


One aspect of the "oh, all politicians are like that" thing sonohito describes still eludes me a bit... why does DJT uniquely benefit? The average American is still genuinely (I think?) bothered by perceived dishonesty on the part of just about anyone besides him.

Of course white male privilege is the largest explanatory factor for the double standard, but I think there's something else, because I can't imagine even Paul Ryan getting a pass from Republicans for the same stuff. Perhaps DJT's sheer commitment to awfulness is the key, because it's interpreted as a lack of pretense. I remember one analysis of media coverage last year that said Trump made for a "boring villain" and he thereby benefited from journalists more interested in painting Hillary as (and this is key) secretly sneaky. A "Trump Is Generally Bad" type headline felt to them like a "dog bites man" story; where's the juice in that?

And yet... he still lies so damn much, instead of truly/sincerely committing to his repulsive outlook. People see an anti-Trump message in that New Yorker cartoon where sheep admire a "Vote Wolf, I Will Eat You" poster as "telling it like it is". But Donald doesn't quite do that, does he? He promises great healthcare, etc. So what is the whole story here?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:10 AM on October 17 [8 favorites]


By the way, volunteer for Northam here.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:11 AM on October 17 [5 favorites]


Graham is worried that the Republican base will turn out -- in the 2018 primaries, and vote out the sitting incumbents in favor of extremists who are less electable and will go on to lose in the 2018 general

You know what the GOP incumbents need?

They need a union.

If they come together to defy the Kochs, the Kochs will have a bit of a problem because their war chest isn't bottomless.

Come on, GOP. Time for a union card check.
posted by ocschwar at 11:14 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


Missed the edit window but wanted to add: If the poster in that cartoon more accurately reflected DJT, it would be something like "Yes I am a wolf! But I've never eaten a sheep. Never would. Maybe thought about it. Ate one or two at most. My opponents, they eat so many sheep. Which is just horrible. Innocent sheep. Beautiful sheep! Sheep are completely disgusting, so I'd never dream of touching one, even to save its life, let alone kill it..."
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:16 AM on October 17 [14 favorites]


Supposedly breaking news - NYT: Senators Reach Deal to Fund Subsidies to Health Insurers

Two leading senators have reached a bipartisan deal to provide funding for critical subsidies to health insurers that President Trump said last week that he would cut off, Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said Tuesday. ... As one part of the deal, the subsidies would be funded for two years, a step that would provide at least short-term certainty to insurers. The subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions, lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers. ... Mr. Alexander told reporters on Monday that Mr. Trump had encouraged him to reach a deal with Ms. Murray.

I guess that fig leaf allows them to sell it as not entirely a fat middle finger to the incompetent-racist-in-chief.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:17 AM on October 17 [14 favorites]


(I forgot to add the best part:)

But it remains to be seen whether conservative-leaning Republicans will get on board with the agreement, and whether the House will entertain it.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:18 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


And by "best part" you mean "the part that really matters in the end."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:19 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


One aspect of the "oh, all politicians are like that" thing sonohito describes still eludes me a bit... why does DJT uniquely benefit? The average American is still genuinely (I think?) bothered by perceived dishonesty on the part of just about anyone besides him.

Because his narrative rings true to them, no matter what the facts or supporting details say. Those change all the time anyway. It's the narrative that matters.
posted by Jpfed at 11:20 AM on October 17 [7 favorites]


InTheYear2017: If the poster in that cartoon more accurately reflected DJT, it would be something like "Yes I am a wolf! But I've never eaten a sheep. Never would. Maybe thought about it. Ate one or two at most. My opponents, they eat so many sheep. Which is just horrible. Innocent sheep. Beautiful sheep! Sheep are completely disgusting, so I'd never dream of touching one, even to save its life, let alone kill it..."

But then the joke doesn't work anymore, does it.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:20 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


provide funding for critical subsidies to health insurers that President Trump said last week

Maybe they'll eventually repeal and replace the whole thing piece by piece, ship-of-Theseus style.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:21 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Immigration Judges Warn Against Trump Administration Benchmarks (NPR, Oct. 16, 2017)
The Trump administration is preparing to impose new benchmarks on immigration judges to speed through a backlog of more than 600,000 cases in U.S. immigration courts. But judges warn the change could hurt public confidence and violate the right to due process.
Huh, the racist in chief and his motley crew didn't think beyond "ramp up immigration raids"? Ya don't say. Which is my sarcastic way of saying oh shit, this is going to make life for those poor people going through immigration courts even worse.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:21 AM on October 17 [13 favorites]


Because his narrative rings true to them, no matter what the facts or supporting details say. Those change all the time anyway. It's the narrative that matters.

and because he loudly, shrilly, repeatedly, and enthusiastically shrieks all the disgusting hateful things that they themselves believe about everyone who is different from them. if, in between these bigoted shriekings, he wants to also shriek that neptune is gay and we should blow it up, they will not care at all when 12 billion scientists are like okay first of all what the fuck. all they care about is the loud validation of their deranged hate.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:25 AM on October 17 [42 favorites]


RedOrGreen: "I guess that fig leaf allows them to sell it as not entirely a fat middle finger to the incompetent-racist-in-chief."

Eh, all he is looking for is something he can sign and point to and say, "I did that." Content is pretty much not an interest for him.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:26 AM on October 17


The Trump administration is preparing to impose new benchmarks on immigration judges to speed through a backlog of more than 600,000 cases in U.S. immigration courts. But judges warn the change could hurt public confidence and violate the right to due process.

I mean, one way to rapidly move through thousands of cases would be to quickly dismiss them, right?

They're ALJs, not Article III judges, but they aren't evaluated by the agency for whom they conduct hearings, and can only be dismissed for good cause.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:27 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


One aspect of the "oh, all politicians are like that" thing sonohito describes still eludes me a bit... why does DJT uniquely benefit?

Because when DJT lies, it's perceived as truth, or what the truth should be (according to your drunkest uncle). For example, the crowds at inauguration. The Muslims cheering after 9/11. The wild epidemic of Mexican gang members tossing sacks of drugs over a wall. That's the real truth, the truth you won't see on the mainstream media. And if the facts don't line up all the way, well, the gist of it is still true.

The rest of what he "lies" about is shit they don't care about at all. Who cares about some nuance or pattern recognition or public health? Who cares about, what, not sending crooked Hillary to jail?! They don't want to hear it. They don't care. Politicians lie. So what?
posted by witchen at 11:28 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


This is great news. Marino would have been disastrous at DEA, and his district would have been a very challenging pickup for the Dems.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:18 AM on October 17 [2 favorites +] [!]


Don't know how you could make the DEA any more of a disaster than it already is. It does play a role in regulating pharma, but that's mostly FDA. I'd rather users be taking diverted licit pharmaceuticals with quality and quantity control, proper labeling, etc., than the street drugs the DEA props up price-wise by piece-meal enforcement of low-level dealers and users and generally failing at stopping importation or manufacture of large quantities.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:30 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


poffin boffin: "he wants to also shriek that neptune is gay"

Uranus, surely.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:30 AM on October 17 [19 favorites]


CNN: Donating to Trump? Campaign is spending $1 of every $10 on legal fees
President Donald Trump's campaign donors -- big and small -- are increasingly helping to foot the legal expenses the President's campaign and his son, Donald Trump Jr., are facing related to the investigations into allegations of collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Trump's 2020 re-election campaign is driving a steadily rising share of its contributions to the lawyers representing the Trump campaign and the President's son. Legal consulting fees account for $1 of every $10 the campaign has spent this year, according to a review of campaign finance records.

And last financial quarter, 24% of the campaign's legal bills bankrolled the legal fees of Trump's eldest son, who has drawn the attention of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller because of his meeting last summer with a Russian attorney he believed would provide him with incriminating information from the Russian government about his father's opponent Hillary Clinton.
...
The Trump campaign on Monday touted its reliance on small-dollar donors, noting that $1.2 million of its $10.1 million fundraising haul last quarter came from contributions of $200 or less.
CNN further notes that the way that Trump has managed his campaign funds means that small donors are, practically speaking, footing his son's legal bills, as there (apparently) aren't any safeguards in place to stop that from happening; safeguards that other organizations, like the RNC, have put into place. Which, particularly in the context of Trump's incredibly early campaigning and co-mingling of the roles of President and candidate, less 'raises ethical concerns' and is, instead -- it's fraud? It's fraud. It may not legally be fraud (or it might, who knows), but it's fraud. The President is going out and raising money from small donors on the promise of running in 2020, and turning around and immediately spending that money to his son's benefit.
posted by cjelli at 11:31 AM on October 17 [69 favorites]


Don't know how you could make the DEA any more of a disaster than it already is.

Marino is very much a pro-War On Drugs guy (ironically enough). Not that we can expect anything good with Sessions as AG, but Marino is the equivalent of Puritt at EPA.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:32 AM on October 17


One aspect of the "oh, all politicians are like that" thing sonohito describes still eludes me a bit... why does DJT uniquely benefit?

My thought is that since he lies so much more than other politicians he uniquely benefits by being able to tell self serving lies without facing consequences.

Sure, in theory people don't like lying politicians. But in practice if there's a belief that all politicians lie, then lying more than the other politicians isn't really going to hurt you. The penalty for lying is so small, thanks to our belief that lying is intrensic to politicians, that the winning strategy is to disregard the truth entirely and simply say whatever your base wants to hear.

Trump is quite gifted at that.

And if we say "he's lying" they can justify their continued support for him by saying "so what, all politicians lie, at least he's trying to do what's right!"

Further, since all politicians lie, anyone pointing out that one particular politician is lying must have nothing but base partisan motives for doing so, since all politicians lie.

There's an unspoken "and since they all lie then all lies they tell are of equal importance" and "since they all lie therefore all politicians are equal in the frequency of their untruths".
posted by sotonohito at 11:36 AM on October 17 [15 favorites]


This wasn't Rick Scott acting on his own, it came following request from Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, and allows the state and Sheriff Darnell to quickly coordinate resources from other state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies.

Any bets on the additional law enforcement being turned against the anti-nazi protestors, no matter what.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:37 AM on October 17 [9 favorites]


BREAKING: Hawaii judge blocks latest travel ban executive order [tweet from @lawrencehurley, Reuters legal reporter; no further info yet]
posted by melissasaurus at 11:47 AM on October 17 [55 favorites]


Meanwhile, we continue to see real world consequences for the way the far right on the internet grooms and trains their members. Lane Davis, a Trump supporter active in several pro-Trump and anti-feminist spaces on reddit and youtube, who was a writer for a far right wing blog, murdered his father after he got riled reading about pizzagate and screamed that his father was a "leftist pedophile".

His posting history on reddit is vanishing, the blog he wrote for is deleting his entire output.

The phrase we're looking for here is "stochastic right wing terrorism".

In traditional terrorism, there's organization, terrorists are recruited and trained, and given instructions.

With stochastic terrorism people vulnerable to the propaganda of the terrorists are saturated with wild claims about the supposed evils of the terrorist's targets until one of them acts on those beliefs and strikes out in an essentially random and unpredictable way at a target.

This is the favored way the so-called "pro-life" movement produces most of its terrorists, we've seen examples of ISIS and other Islamist terrorist organizations using similar methods, and now we're seeing that the alt right organizations are having similar success with their own methods of producing stochastic terrorism.

The people who organize and run the various far right fever swamps of the internet are putting on their very shocked faces and predictably claiming that Davis was mentally ill, a lone wolf, and all the other words the establishment media uses in order to avoid calling white Christian men terrorists.
posted by sotonohito at 11:47 AM on October 17 [107 favorites]


I just read this piece by Josh Marshall, "Is Trump coming apart?" and now I'm feeling queasy.

Adam Smith said there is a “great deal of ruin in a nation”. Similarly, there’s a lot of crazy in Donald Trump. ... Yes, he’s erratic, unstable, completely unsuited to any office of public trust, let alone the presidency. But is he getting worse? Weirder? Are we really hitting some breaking point or unraveling? That’s where I’m skeptical. Or where I was skeptical.

It's worth reading, even if it is just to brace yourself. There's (more) turbulence ahead.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:48 AM on October 17 [9 favorites]


at a fundraising dinner in 1998, John McCain felt comfortable with the following "joke": "Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father."

Rush Limbaugh earns a special spot in hell for his vicious joke about Chelsea as well. That was a particularly low spot in politics, when the Republican male leadership felt comfortable joking about the looks of a young girl because her parents were Democrats.

I read the New Yorker piece on Pence that was linked by mostly vowels. Very interesting and changes my feelings about Pence as a replacement President. Of course I knew that was an anti-gay, anti-woman Christian but I didn't realize how deeply he is backed by the Kochs.

Two bits of trivia I learned was that Pence lost 100lbs in the 90s and managed to keep it off. Quite an achievement. Also he lost his first two campaigns and had to write an op-ed apologizing for how mean spirited his second, failing campaign was.

The most important part of the article explains his role as head of Trump's transition team. It reminded me of that zombie fungus that takes over ant brains and turns them into slaves. Trump was not backed by the Koch brothers because he had a populist agenda that was antithetical to their ends. However, once Pence took over the transition team he threw away Chris Christie's 30 binders of nominee suggestions and put in all Koch-approved people, like Pruitt and Betsy DeVos. It explains why Trump ran on raising taxes for the wealthy and a massive infrastructure plan but instead is delivering tax cuts for the wealthiest and deregulating industry. The Kochs will be saving billions.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:51 AM on October 17 [39 favorites]


The "difference" between Trump and "normal" politicians (especially for his most eager supporters) is that he has indeed lied much more, but NOT in a political forum, AND much more to his own benefit. His own successful dishonesty and profiting from it sets him apart (even if he relied on a couple generations of dishonest politicians, thank you New York Mayors and DAs, to stay out of jail all his life).

And I just assumed that Pence was picked as running mate to be the equivalent of Nixon's Agnew. "Yes, you could get rid of him but then look at what you'll get!" And needs to be dealt with similarly - get rid of him first.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:58 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


> once Pence took over the transition team he threw away Chris Christie's 30 binders of nominee suggestions and put in all Koch-approved people, like Pruitt and Betsy DeVos. It explains why Trump ran on raising taxes for the wealthy and a massive infrastructure plan but instead is delivering tax cuts for the wealthiest and deregulating industry. The Kochs will be saving billions.

And remember, Manafort selected Pence. Regardless of whether the Kochs are in on the game, it's known that Putin prefers the Koch plan to whatever Christie was trying to do.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:59 AM on October 17 [31 favorites]


BREAKING: Hawaii judge blocks latest travel ban executive order [tweet from @lawrencehurley, Reuters legal reporter; no further info yet]

Here's the court order (40 page pdf). BuzzFeed is building a story around it over here. The introduction:
Professional athletes mirror the federal government in this respect: they operate within a set of rules, and when one among them forsakes those rules in favor of his own, problems ensue. And so it goes with EO-3.
posted by zachlipton at 12:02 PM on October 17 [15 favorites]


Still waiting on a transcript of questions & answers with President Trump and Prime Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras this afternoon, but one notable thing was that Trump (in response to a question) defending his decision to end the Cost Sharing Reduction payments because they were a (to paraphrase) 'giveaway to giant companies that other politicians couldn't say no to, an unfair subsidy at time when premiums were going up' (never mind that the CSR payments kept premiums down), and then, we asked later whether he supported the Alexander-Murray deal (which would reinstate CSR payments), he said he supported the deal 'as a short-term fix.'

That's obviously nonsense: Trump supports reinstating the thing he just defended ended? Or perhaps it's obviously nonsense: Trump doesn't actually understand the terms of the Alexander-Murray deal, and therefore doesn't understand that's supporting and opposing the same thing simultaneously? Or, perhaps, it's obviously nonsense: Trump doesn't care about the CSR payments either way; he just wants to 'end Obamacare' in a rhetorical sense but not a practical one.

Trump was also asked to clarify what his own healthcare plan was, and was (substantively) unable to answer the question; but he did reiterate that they 'had the votes, or they nearly had the votes' for Graham-Cassidy (they don't, and they don't) and that they'd take it up again later, 'after tax reform' (they won't; they might take up something else).

In conclusion, maybe a transcript wouldn't help at all that much, because Trump's answers were mostly incoherent.
posted by cjelli at 12:16 PM on October 17 [18 favorites]


Senators reach tentative deal on ObamaCare insurer payments

Apparently there's an Alexander-Murray deal. Which Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan still have to allow a vote on.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:17 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


Another day, another catalog of how Rex Tillerson has destroyed the State Department and all of American foreign policy in 9 months: Rex Tillerson and the Unraveling of the State Department

There's a lot in here, but this bit is worth noting:
Tillerson let out a short sigh. “Look, on the president’s tweets,” he said, “I take what the president tweets out as his form of communicating, and I build it into my strategies and my tactics. How can I use that? How do I want to use that? And in a dynamic situation, like we deal with here all the time — and you can go walk around the world, they’re all dynamic — things happen. You wake up the next morning, something’s happened. I wake up the next morning, the president’s got a tweet out there. So I think about, O.K., that’s a new condition. How do I want to use that?” Tillerson continued: “Our strategies and the tactics we’re using to advance the policies have to be resilient enough to accommodate unknowns, O.K.? So if you want to put that in an unknown category, you can. It certainly kind of comes out that even I would say, ‘I wasn’t expecting that.’ But it doesn’t mean our strategies are not resilient enough to accommodate it.”
Our strategies have to be resilient enough to accommodate the President sending out obnoxious tweets without talking to anyone. And the Secretary of State can just say that as if it makes sense. That's where we are as a country.

Apparently there's an Alexander-Murray deal. Which Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan still have to allow a vote on.

There's no bill text yet (they're reportedly trying to figure out the language to avoid letting insurers double-dip: since many states have employed strategies to make up for the lack of CSR payments, funding the CSRs now means undoing all that somehow, and different states and insurers did different things) and the Freedom Caucus folks are already in "hell no" territory. I mean, it could happen, but it's far from done, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some Senator ruin the whole thing by demanding amendments.
posted by zachlipton at 12:26 PM on October 17 [21 favorites]


When looking at any of Rick Scott's actions in Florida, remember that he wants Bill Nelson's Senate seat. Anytime he does what looks like the right thing to do, that is probably the explanation.
posted by wittgenstein at 12:29 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


With stochastic terrorism people vulnerable to the propaganda of the terrorists are saturated with wild claims about the supposed evils of the terrorist's targets until one of them acts on those beliefs and strikes out in an essentially random and unpredictable way at a target.

This is the favored way the so-called "pro-life" movement produces most of its terrorists...
"...Pilate...took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. 'I am innocent of this man's blood,' he said. 'It is your responsibility!'"
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:30 PM on October 17 [15 favorites]


Politico: Trump issues warning to McCain: 'At some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty'

McCain's response, "I have faced tougher adversaries."
posted by zabuni at 12:39 PM on October 17 [29 favorites]


Apparently they canceled the diya lighting and Diwali observance scheduled for the Oval Office this afternoon. Wondering if someone is having trouble identifying discrete groups of brown people and this isn't some reaction to losing on Muslim Ban 3.0.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:46 PM on October 17 [23 favorites]


Shocking! I never would have guessed they'd cancel that!
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:50 PM on October 17 [12 favorites]


Apparently they canceled the diya lighting and Diwali observance

They cancelled the Eid dinner last month as well.
posted by zarq at 12:54 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


The pool report says the event wasn't cancelled, but they closed it to the press suddenly and without explanation.

What? Trump can acknowledge non-white people but only if nobody is there to see it?
posted by zachlipton at 12:58 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


Maybe they're afraid a member of the press corps will ask him about his War on Brown People.
posted by zarq at 12:59 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


maybe they're afraid someone will ask Trump what Diwali actually is
posted by lalex at 1:01 PM on October 17 [33 favorites]


"Diwali, he's done a great job and is being recognized more and more"
posted by lalex at 1:02 PM on October 17 [102 favorites]


"No, I don't have a Diwali for you. Go get a job you bum."
posted by loquacious at 1:05 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


maybe they're afraid someone will ask Trump what Diwali actually is
posted by lalex at 15:01 on October 17 [4 favorites +] [!]

"Go ahead, Goyal"
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:05 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


Our strategies have to be resilient enough to accommodate the President sending out obnoxious tweets without talking to anyone. And the Secretary of State can just say that as if it makes sense. That's where we are as a country.

Someone here pointed out a few threads ago that the USA is basically Modern Democracy 1.0, and the President is effectively a term-limited monarch. What do you do in a monarchy if the monarch is crazy or otherwise unfit for office? You work around them, trying to avoid blatant policy rifts, you empower ministers to set policy on their own, and you start looking at ways to install a regency.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:05 PM on October 17 [21 favorites]


My local listener sponsored radio station (WMNF) played this speech yesterday (Monday, the 16th), and I really wanted to share it with you all.
Chris Hedges on "Stop Fascism".
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:08 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


"I will build a great, great Diwali on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that Diwali. Mark my words."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:12 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


"Wall-E is great, I heard Barron really loved that robot movie. Huge box office, huge."
posted by PenDevil at 1:14 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


> What do you do in a monarchy if the monarch is crazy or otherwise unfit for office? You work around them, trying to avoid blatant policy rifts, you empower ministers to set policy on their own, and you start looking at ways to install a regency.

And this has across historical time been more common than any other arrangement of affairs. "crazy idiot hereditary aristocracy" is one of the low-energy states that human societies fall into; anything more sophisticated than that requires continual effort.

I'm still hung up on how control of the media functions as power under the trump organization's regime. We're used to situations wherein media control is power because the media can be used to influence large masses of people to support a particular ideology, or install a particular ruler, or just to spend their money a particular way. We spent the 20th century, and the start of the 21st century, learning propaganda and marketing techniques for exercising this type of power, for swaying the masses — but across the broad arc of history, the masses mattering is an anomaly. We've fallen back into our default state, where a few idiot aristocrats matter and no one else does, and so now this vast complex machinery meant to sway the masses is by necessity laser-targeted at one moron.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:19 PM on October 17 [31 favorites]


melissasaurus: BREAKING: Hawaii judge blocks latest travel ban executive order

As reported by NPR:
the state of Hawaii did not challenge the ban as it applies to North Koreans or Venezuelans. Therefore, the judge's restraining order does not apply to those portions of the ban, which can be enforced starting Wednesday.
Weird omissions.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:21 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


I think Graham accidentally just gave away the game with that tax cut quote. Like, we on the blue all know that the GOP doesn't give a shit about any laws or whatever. We know literally the only thing that matters to them is getting tax cuts for themselves and their super wealthy friends and donors. BUT, they've at least been pretending, for their base's sake, that they care about other stuff.

If they can't get tax cuts then they'll disintegrate? They still have over a year of controlling both the executive and legislative! They could take the loss in the Tax Cuts game and still end abortion and gay marriage, start wars all over the Middle East and parts of Asia. Cut the EPA, the Department of Ed, and whatever else they want. Build a border wall. End Obamacare. Make English the official language and ban Islam. Tax green energy into oblivion and give bigger subsidies to carbon energy. Criminalize the consumption of arugula and make it a law that good American beef be included in every meal. With a side order of "Some Endangered Species, don't even care which." Add gun ownership to the mandatory things boys and girls do when they turn 18. Pass a nationwide Voter Id law.

I mean, they can't do all those things. But for Graham to basically say "Yeah, we're really only in it for the tax cuts. Without those there's not really much this party stands together for" is kind of astounding.
posted by jermsplan at 1:22 PM on October 17 [24 favorites]


Those omissions aren't all THAT weird though, right? Did we not already have restrictive policies in place for North Koreans and Venezuelan government officials?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:23 PM on October 17


T.D. Strange: "First poll showing Gillispie up in VA-Gov."

Dave Weigel points out that this poll assumes a whiter and more Republican electorate than 2014 midterms (or the 2013 governor race), which...I dunno. I don't think Monmouth has polled VA before this race, either (they are out of NJ), so they may be missing some things.

All of which is not to urge complacency, just that there are some eyebrow-raisers with this poll. Throw it in the average, and keep working.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:24 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


What do you do in a monarchy if the monarch is crazy or otherwise unfit for office?

Quite frequently, they have a "hunting accident."
posted by Chrysostom at 1:27 PM on October 17 [35 favorites]


Quite frequently, they have a "hunting accident."

HE WAS A 6/5/6 DAMMIT! Why can't I issue an edict to ban hunting?
posted by Talez at 1:41 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


Someone here pointed out a few threads ago that the USA is basically Modern Democracy 1.0, and the President is effectively a term-limited monarch.

This is luckily not entirely true. As we established here repeatedly during Obama, the president is quite limited in their powers. Pointing this out does not minimize the real harm being done right now, but if the president even had the powers normally given to a PM with majority control, the scope of the destruction would already be much, much wider, probably including much of social security, medicaid, most of the other social services the federal government provides; broad restrictions on immigrants, minorities and women; and gigantic tax cuts crippling the US for years to come. Between the weakness of the presidency, the intransigence of other Republicans, and the multi-front resistance being waged by everyone on the left, Trump's destructions have been severely circumscribed relative to what he might have accomplished in other democratic or non-democratic systems. Again -- this isn't to minimize the death and destruction he has successfully caused. But it's worth occasionally pointing out that the institutional levers that we are all madly pushing on are having significant effects, and this is helped by the inherently gridlocked nature of our 1.0 democratic system.
posted by chortly at 1:44 PM on October 17 [23 favorites]


Quite frequently, they have a "hunting accident."

Today's "sentence that makes total sense in 2017 but would be blindingly incoherent two years earlier:"

Where's Dick Cheney when we need him?
posted by Mayor West at 1:47 PM on October 17 [12 favorites]


yes but if we had a modern system, the republicans would not have won because the numbers favor democrats, sooo
posted by entropicamericana at 1:47 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


Oh god, someone forgot to take the keyboard away from Lessig. I do not understand how he can be so blind to reality.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:48 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


It’ll be a golfing accident.
posted by notyou at 1:51 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


[picks card from Community Chest] "You are participating in US democracy, a 1.0 democratic system - Advance to Pennsylvania Avenue."

[picks card from Chance]: "You have been screwed by The Electoral College, a half-baked idea the Founders tried out in the US democracy beta and forgot to remove from the final version. You do NOT advance to Pennsylvania Avenue. Sad."
posted by mosk at 1:53 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


OMG, that Lessig article. From the comments: "Folks, we've just seen a man assume a spherical cow skating on a frictionless surface."
posted by maudlin at 1:54 PM on October 17 [17 favorites]


Oh god, someone forgot to take the keyboard away from Lessig.

Has he heard about Mefi's plan to increase the House to 40k representatives? We need to buy Larry a Metafilter account, he'd do less harm to his reputation here.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:57 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


the state of Hawaii did not challenge the ban as it applies to North Koreans or Venezuelans. Therefore, the judge's restraining order does not apply to those portions of the ban, which can be enforced starting Wednesday.
Weird omissions.


Legal cases live or die by legal standing, so it's entirely possible the challenge being answered here is from folks who don't have possible NK or Venezuelan connections. Or perhaps the people signed onto the case with relations from that country have less immediately compelling situations so they don't get a part of the RO.
posted by phearlez at 2:01 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


If you haven't already commented, you (or your like-minded people) have the rest of TODAY to comment on the Department of Homeland Security's proposed updating of the " Alien File, Index, and National File Tracking System of Records notice to: (1) Redefine which records constitute the official record of an individual's immigration history to include the following materials and formats: . . . (5) expand the categories of records to include the following: . . . social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results . . . (11) update record source categories to include publicly available information obtained from the internet, public records, public institutions, interviewees, commercial data providers . . . Categories of Individuals Covered By The System: . . . Relatives and associates of any of the individuals listed above who are subject to the INA . . . " ("Associates"?? Am I wrong to think that that line -- about 2/3 of the way down the page -- encompasses born US Citizens?)

They're at 2745 comments.. Yes, they don't give a shit about We The People, but pushing back by We The People has thrown wrenches in their Muslim Ban, ACA repeal, etc. We don't have to make it easy for them to fuck us over.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:04 PM on October 17 [14 favorites]


Has he heard about Mefi's plan to increase the House to 40k representatives?

Someone suggested 40,000? Or 40,000 citizens per rep?

Because the highest I've ever suggested is 6,500 and I'm typically Metafilter's house expansion nutjob and I don't like to think I've been outdone.
posted by Talez at 2:06 PM on October 17 [7 favorites]


40,000 representatives per citizen. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:07 PM on October 17 [51 favorites]


Sadly, that would be unconstitutional because you can't have less than 30,000 citizens per rep.
posted by Talez at 2:09 PM on October 17


Clearly we need more Constitutions.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:10 PM on October 17 [13 favorites]


Crisis on infinite constitutions
posted by supercrayon at 2:11 PM on October 17 [27 favorites]


Wasn't that a Marvel movie?
posted by Talez at 2:12 PM on October 17


no it was an episode of star trak
posted by entropicamericana at 2:16 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


...Mefi's plan to increase the House to 40k representatives?

Why?
posted by zarq at 2:16 PM on October 17


Back in the sixties there was this novel, Superstoe, about a bunch of academics that take over and then reconstruct the US government. One of their innovations was to shut down congress and institute everybody voting on everything. To make voting easy they installed all the voting machines in bars. Turns out everybody really doesn't care that much about voting on anything. Maybe high numbers in congress isn't the answer. I prefer having a number of ethical and intelligent people untainted by campaign money donations. I'm a fantasist.
posted by njohnson23 at 2:17 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Can we maybe steer clear of discussing purely theoretical government changes in this thread?
posted by agregoli at 2:18 PM on October 17 [10 favorites]


Quite frequently, they have a "hunting accident."
...
It’ll be a golfing accident.

The continued survival of this walking existential threat to the country is why I don't ever want to hear anybody's bullshit about secret-government-cabal-domestic-assassinations ever again. Not in my lifetime.

Internet conspiracy guys can fuck off. Those fantasies aren't just implausible. They're offensively useless.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:19 PM on October 17 [21 favorites]


the state of Hawaii did not challenge the ban as it applies to North Koreans or Venezuelans. Therefore, the judge's restraining order does not apply to those portions of the ban, which can be enforced starting Wednesday.

Weird omissions.


I'm almost certain this is because the ban (and the previous bans) have been challenged on the grounds that they target Muslims, and the evidence is every time Trump has said "Muslim ban." NK and Venezuela are not sending Muslims to the US, and so the same argument doesn't apply.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 2:21 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Lessig's column wasn't "stupid" if you accept it for what it probably really is: either (1) really really really wishful thinking that his long-held reputation got him the opportunity to write and make a few bucks from, (2) an attempt at non-dystopian sci-fi from a writer with zero experience at the field or (3) a demonstration of how Medium has become worthless (I still think of Ev Williams as NOT the founder/creator/co-founder/co-creator of Blogger, Twitter and Medium, but as the guy who fired Matt Haughey before he sold out and cashed in the first time).
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:34 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


OMG njohnson! Thank you for that link! I read Superstoe many years ago, and I was telling someone about it the other day, trying to remember what it was called. Synchronicity strikes!
posted by vibrotronica at 2:36 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Has he heard about Mefi's plan to increase the House to 40k representatives?


So our campaign will hinge on winning the White House and making 40k reps?

WH:40K In the grim blueness of the far future there is only snark
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:37 PM on October 17 [36 favorites]


W(D)-40K, surely.
posted by maxwelton at 2:42 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


Spicer interviewed by Mueller's team
The former press secretary met with prosecutors in the Russia probe on Monday.

Somewhere there's a tape of this, and I need to see that tape reeeeeeeeeal bad.
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:44 PM on October 17 [15 favorites]


Rand Paul endorses Roy Moore.

He's a principled libertarian, you know.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:55 PM on October 17 [33 favorites]


The guy who got famous for disobeying a court order to stop shitting on the First Amendment is really the kind of strong defender of the Constitution that Rand Paul wants to see in office.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:58 PM on October 17 [21 favorites]


Well, they don't really want staunch defenders of the Constitution; after all, the document is old and full of archaic, hard to understand language that leads to bizarre liberal rulings like "people who are terribly immoral have the right to get married" and "people have a right to privacy."

They want defenders of the Constitution that should be, the Constitution that they'll put into place as soon as (1) they controll all three branches and (2) their constituents quit whining about campaign promises and health care so they can concentrate to get the new version written.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:06 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Well holy shit...

Fox News Poll: Alabama Senate race all tied up
Republican Roy Moore, the anti-Republican establishment candidate, is tied at 42 percent apiece with Democrat Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate race in deep-red Alabama. A Fox News Poll also finds that among just the 53 percent of Alabama registered voters who are extremely or very interested in the race, Jones has a one-point edge over Moore (46-45 percent)...

The competitiveness of the race is striking. Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 points in 2016, yet the Steve Bannon-backed Moore defeated the president’s favored candidate, incumbent Luther Strange, in the GOP primary.

“This race exemplifies the difficulty the Republican Party has now,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. “There is an element of the party that has had it with the establishment, had it with politics as usual, had it with political correctness. The fissure within the party means divisive primaries, controversial candidates, and hard choices for GOP voters once the general election rolls around.”

Jones is helped by greater party loyalty, and hesitancy among Moore’s own backers. The poll, released Tuesday, shows 42 percent of Moore’s supporters have some reservations about their candidate. For Jones, that number is 28 percent. Plus, 21 percent of those in the Jones camp say they’re voting against Moore as opposed to for Jones. That’s three times the number of Moore supporters who say their vote is based on dislike of Jones (7 percent).
posted by chris24 at 3:07 PM on October 17 [68 favorites]


Oh god, someone forgot to take the keyboard away from Lessig. I do not understand how he can be so blind to reality.

I'm socially and professionally connected to a whole bunch of the early-web glitterati, i.e. his primary corps of supporters and enthusiasts, so I get to hear more about Larry Lessig's putative genius than anyone should rightly have to tolerate.

Someone here (and I've forgotten whom, otherwise I would surely give credit where so very due) described him as understanding everything about the way the world should work, and not a damn thing about the way it actually does work. I myself prefer to think of him as suffering from that rare and peculiar strain of Dunning-Kruger syndrome that only afflicts the very bright.

Either way, he is contributing precisely nothing useful to the national debate, wasting everyone's time, and more or less running a kamikaze mission on any reputation he had left. I don't doubt for a second his good intentions, but someone who cares about him should perform an intervention.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:17 PM on October 17 [14 favorites]


Yea, sorry, the 40k thing was a joke, anyone interested can find the discussion buried in the dregs of the last thread and I’m happy if it dies there. I shouldn’t have brought it back to life, it wasn’t that good a joke.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:18 PM on October 17


I swear to God, I'm tempted to haul myself down to Alabama to knock doors. I would probably do it if I didn't think I'd do more harm than good. I'm definitely going to donate some money. I realize it's a total longshot, but the idea of Doug Jones beating Roy Moore makes my heart sing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:21 PM on October 17 [12 favorites]


Anyone know how to contact a postcard campaign for Jones?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:22 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


“This race exemplifies the difficulty the Republican Party has now,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. “There is an element of the party that has had it with the establishment, had it with politics as usual, had it with political correctness. The fissure within the party means divisive primaries, controversial candidates, and hard choices for GOP voters once the general election rolls around.”

This pretty much describes what happened to the California GOP*; a couple of lurches to the right and it's been Democratic Super Majorities ever since.


--------------------------
*Still a handful of GOP US House Reps where they no longer belong, though.
posted by notyou at 3:34 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Oh god, someone forgot to take the keyboard away from Lessig.

I find it easier to understand what Lessig does if I imagine him as the fictionalized Lessig played by Christopher Lloyd on The West Wing. Then I can just blend in a tiny bit of Doc Brown from Back to the Future or Jim Ignatowski from Taxi and it explains everything.
posted by mmoncur at 3:40 PM on October 17 [10 favorites]


Yea, sorry, the 40k thing was a joke,...



*sigh*
/throws petitions in the recycle bin
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:40 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


BTW, Ted Lieu has a little visual aid for tRump.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:42 PM on October 17 [14 favorites]


Donate to Doug Jones here or volunteer here.

Haven't found any postcard campaign yet, but I am on the lookout.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:48 PM on October 17 [10 favorites]


Spicer interviewed by Mueller's team

One thing I know about Spicey: he is cool under pressure.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:57 PM on October 17 [51 favorites]


Paul Walkman, WaPo: Trump’s lie about Obama and fallen soldiers shows how he makes America dumber
Now here’s why this matters. Yes, many news outlets pointed out that Trump wasn’t telling the truth. But there are probably three interns at Fox News who are now scouring old news reports to find some family member of a fallen soldier who didn’t get a call from Obama. If they find it, that person’s story will then become the subject of a segment on Sean Hannity’s show, and it will then get retold on a hundred talk radio programs and conservative websites as proof that Obama was a monster and the media are all lying about this. (Trump’s insistence that there was “fake news” at work is another way of telling his supporters not to believe whatever they hear about this subject that comes from sources not explicitly supporting him.) And I promise you that if you took a poll two weeks from now, you’d find that 40 percent of the public (or more) believes that Obama never called the family of any fallen soldier, and only Trump has the sensitivity to do so.

And that’s how Trump takes his own particular combination of ignorance, bluster and malice, and sets it off like a nuclear bomb of misinformation. The fallout spreads throughout the country, and no volume of corrections and fact checks can stop it. It wasn’t even part of a thought-out strategy, just a loathsome impulse that found its way out of the president’s mouth to spread far and wide.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:59 PM on October 17 [112 favorites]


I signed up to help Doug Jones just now, then sent a separate email to ask about a postcard campaign. They got back to me ~immediately~ stating they will be rolling out ways for out-of-staters to help ASAP.
posted by thebrokedown at 4:16 PM on October 17 [51 favorites]


So there's an interesting (i.e. crazy, but in an intriguing way) theory of government and the private sector's role in the justification for the stopping CSRs. From the last thread
As for why Trump cut off CSR payments, which reduce or eliminate co-pays for those with lower incomes:
THE PRESIDENT: That money is going to insurance companies to lift up their stock price, and that's not what I'm about.
So... tax revenues shouldn't go to the bottom line of for-profit companies. Can we extend this to Equifax for IRS and Lockheed Marin, Boeing, Raytheon, etc. for the Pentagon and nationalize all companies that provide goods and services to the US Govt.? Sounds good, sounds good...

Well, no because without a profit motive to drive costs down, non-profit non-governmental actors and the govt. are inefficient, according to the Republican/economic-conservative platform that Trump has endorsed.

Huh, so we want a profit motive to incentivize efficiency, but we don't want companies to line their pockets with taxpayer funds? How's that work? Oh, there we go: zachlipton continued
THE PRESIDENT: Take a look at who those insurance companies support, and I guarantee you one thing: It's not Donald Trump.
Thus reinforcing his view of government as a tool to punish those who do not support him.
It's OK to profit from tax revenues, but only if some of that is shared as campaign contributions. Did Trump's casinos fail because he had giant neon signs at every table and slot stating the house advantage and "you will lose, I will win!"?
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 4:17 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


I signed up to help Doug Jones just now, then sent a separate email to ask about a postcard campaign. They got back to me ~immediately~ stating they will be rolling out ways for out-of-staters to help ASAP.

Aw, I signed up weeks ago and got zip other than fundraising emails. I'm in Alabama, Doug! LET ME CANVASS FOR YOU.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:29 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


Sarah Kendzior in Fast Company, How Data Can Save Us From The Trumpocalypse:
Congressional underfunding is delaying the economic census, an important tool for both small and large companies. But there’s no sign that Trump, the self-proclaimed great champion of business, is concerned. From my perspective, why should he be? Poor public data has historically helped dictators dodge accountability and shape policies around invented facts. It is not surprising that the general 2020 population census is under threat as well.

. . . There are ways out–ways that may avert World War III and lessen the suffering of millions of Americans coping with inadequate healthcare, natural disasters, or assaults on their civil rights. But the first step to even keeping those options on the table is preserving our ability to talk about them, and making those conversations as transparent as possible.

. . . There is a difference between expecting autocracy and accepting it. The former will help protect you, the latter is a preemptive surrender of freedom for which we can and must still fight.

America is in decline, and in order to reverse that decline, it must be documented and discussed. One cannot solve a crisis without confronting it–but one cannot confront a crisis if proof of its existence is censored or warnings of its severity are waved away. That is what the Trump administration wants, and it is in the interest of all Americans to make sure they do not get it.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:55 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


Florida's Governor Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Richard Spencer Speech

One nazi motherfucker gets punched ONE TIME and they will mobilize the National Fucking Guard to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Meanwhile the President is demanding that Black NFL players get fired for silently protesting.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:59 PM on October 17 [44 favorites]


Gizmodo: Justice Department Drops Request for Names of People Who 'Liked' Anti-Trump Facebook Page
posted by Chrysostom at 5:01 PM on October 17 [21 favorites]


> We need to buy Larry a Metafilter account, he'd do less harm to his reputation here.

PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN arguing with liberal lawyers is my favorite thing.

I mean sometimes I win sometimes I lose, but if the lawyer is smart it's generally fun and weird for everyone. Their training doesn't allow them to admit "fuck a law" as a position, because it's an invalid position in their context, so they're often blindsided by the existence of rigorous arguments that treat written law as a small and relatively unimportant part of politics.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:02 PM on October 17 [18 favorites]


ASCII Costanza head: "So... tax revenues shouldn't go to the bottom line of for-profit companies. Can we extend this to Equifax for IRS and Lockheed Marin, Boeing, Raytheon, etc. for the Pentagon and nationalize all companies that provide goods and services to the US Govt.? "

Not sure I'm going to sign up for this, actually. EVERY single good or service provided to the US gov has to be in-house? Even the cleaning people and the pencils and paper clips?
posted by Chrysostom at 5:03 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Here’s the Memo the Kremlin-Linked Lawyer Took to the Meeting With Donald Trump Jr., no dirt on Clinton, a passing mention of adoptions, and a lot on Bill Browder and the Magnitsky Act.
posted by peeedro at 5:04 PM on October 17 [12 favorites]


(note: I'm working here from the assumption that lawyers who are genuinely familiar with critical legal studies rapidly find themselves moving to a left-rather-that-liberal approach to the law, which may be unfair)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:04 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


>EVERY single good or service provided to the US gov has to be in-house? Even the cleaning people and the pencils and paper clips?

nationalize_all_the_things.gif
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:05 PM on October 17 [15 favorites]


I knew YOUR position on the issue in advance.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:06 PM on October 17 [7 favorites]


Even the cleaning people

The cleaning people should be federal employees with decent wages, benefits, and pension. Ditto the cafeteria people. They're often the worst abused when it comes to people barking about "efficiency" and need to have their jobs brought back under the auspices of the government rather than farmed out to minimum wage workers via a vulture capitalist.
posted by Talez at 5:06 PM on October 17 [90 favorites]


I say make the elected officials clean their own office buildings, like Japanese schoolchildren. Teach 'em some responsibility.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:08 PM on October 17 [49 favorites]


> I knew YOUR position on the issue in advance.

yes but you didn't know what gif i'd use
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:08 PM on October 17 [31 favorites]


I say make the elected officials clean their own office buildings, like Japanese schoolchildren. Teach 'em some responsibility.

I would also be more than happy for this to be applied to Stephen "we have plenty of janitors who are paid to do it for us" Miller.
posted by Talez at 5:10 PM on October 17 [30 favorites]


Here’s the Memo the Kremlin-Linked Lawyer Took to the Meeting With Donald Trump Jr., no dirt on Clinton, a passing mention of adoptions, and a lot on Bill Browder and the Magnitsky Act.

Some people are citing this as being exculpatory, but I'm not seeing it. A Kremlin operative was smart enough to show up with a decent cover story, even when meeting with a bunch of ham-fisted morons who were spilling the beans on email that very same day. No shit; if you can't manage basic opsec when running with former KGB operatives, your career isn't going to last long, to say nothing of your life.
posted by 0xFCAF at 5:17 PM on October 17 [15 favorites]


I just used up all of my daughter’s blue markers cathartically writing Postcards 4 VA so I will need the Doug Jones campaign to get on it ASAP.

Who needs adult coloring books when you can beg your fellow citizens to vote instead?

PS SIGN UP THERE IS STILL TIME
posted by lydhre at 5:19 PM on October 17 [7 favorites]


The Onion Sues Trump Administration for Stealing All Their Ideas (not the Onion---technically).
posted by bonehead at 5:37 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


BREAKING: Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility, and spousal abuse (Damian Paletta, WaPo)
White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter said.

The fact-sheets, which were obtained by The Washington Post, were prepared and distributed by Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. They were presented without any data or information to back up the assertions, and reveal some of the materials the Trump administration reviewed as it was crafting its trade policy.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:39 PM on October 17 [43 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** VA gov:
Lots of polls today:
* Monmouth: Gillespie 48/47
* Roanoke: Northam 50/44
* CNU: Northam 48/44
Inclusive of these, polling average is Northam +3.5. This is in line with what people are saying both campaigns show in internal polling.
** AL Senate special: Fox poll has race tied at 42-42. Digging further, Jones leads 46-45 among those very or extremely interested in the race. Worth reading the article for all the nitty gritty numbers.

Obviously, just one poll, although Fox is rated A by 538. The polling average is Moore +4.4.

** 2018 House: CNN poll has the generic ballot at 51-37 (+14). 538 average is at 48.6/38.2 (+10.4). Interestingly, the CNN poll had Trump approval unchanged since Sept, but Dems up 5 points in that stretch.

** NJ gov: Two new polls show Dem Murphy continuing to hold commanding lead. Farleigh Dickinson has Murphy up 47/32, Fox has him up 47/33.

====
** Election result in a little while for Massachusetts Senate Bristol & Norfolk, currently a D held seat, but a fairly close district.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:41 PM on October 17 [19 favorites]


Once upon a time, a man became the first African-American President, and a white businessman decided to build a political brand by accusing the President of being part of a global conspiracy to hide his true birthplace in Africa. But the President wasn’t scared; he mocked the white businessman to his face at the Correspondents’ Dinner. This made the white businessman very angry. The white businessman decided to work very hard to destroy the President’s legacy. Everyone was surprised when the white businessman became the new President, because he was not good at it! But there was one thing he was very good at: destroying things. He was good at destroying the things the first African-American President had made, even if it caused Americans to lose access to affordable healthcare and therefore to go bankrupt or to avoid preventative care and suffer and die early. The End! 😊
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:42 PM on October 17 [70 favorites]


Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility, and spousal abuse

So, what fraction of abortions can we ascribe to the Trump Organization manufacturing neckties in China? I’m gonna say “all of them”. No data to back that up, but it’s common sense.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:46 PM on October 17 [12 favorites]


Business Insider: Mueller has interviewed the cybersecurity expert who described being 'recruited to collude with the Russians'. Mueller interviewed Matt Tait (@pwnallthethings), the former GCHQ staffer who was approached by GOP operative Peter Smith, with ties to Flynn, to try to obtain hacked Clinton emails.

Mic: Exclusive: Army bans green card holders from enlisting, a move that may break federal law:
Army recruiters have been told to stop enlisting green card holders into the Army effective immediately, according to an email sent to military recruiters and obtained by Mic, a move that experts say breaks federal law.

“EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY DO NOT ‘SHIP’ OR ‘ENLIST’ ANY FOREIGN NATIONAL’S (ALL I-551 CARD HOLDERS) UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE,” reads an email sent to Army recruiters on Monday by Gregory C. Williamson, chief of the Accessions Suitability Office Guard Strength Division.
The Atlantic has a review of Ivana's book, if that's your kind of thing. The opening anecdote:
There’s a story Ivana Trump tells in Raising Trump, her new memoir of parenting, work, and marriage. It was New Year’s Eve, 1977; she and Donald Trump were together in the hospital room after their first child had been born, discussing the matter of what name to give their new infant. Ivana suggested that the son should be named after the father: Donald Trump Jr. Donald, however, balked at this.

“What if he’s a loser?” he said.
Politico: Judge: DACA legal advice must be made public. They've been ordered to make public internal documents about the decision to end DACA. Could lead to some interesting reading. Thanks Judge Alsup!
posted by zachlipton at 5:49 PM on October 17 [52 favorites]


Oh god, someone forgot to take the keyboard away from Lessig. I do not understand how he can be so blind to reality.

Reality includes this thing called the Overton Window.

Lessig is trying to push it.

Someone has to try that.
posted by ocschwar at 5:59 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


although i risk seeming like a self-congratulatory self-linker, I am truly disgusted at how predictive my slight parable was just over 6 months ago.
the steves may change, but the hooded vulture aspect remains the same.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:06 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


ELECTION RESULT

Dem HOLD in Massachusetts Senate Bristol & Norfolk, 47-43 (there was a left-leaning independent).

Of note - the victor was the state director for MA and CT for the Bernie campaign.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:06 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


Jesus H. Christ.

Trump to widow of Sgt. La David Johnson: 'He knew what he signed up for'

U.S. President Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's widow Tuesday that "he knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens it hurts anyway" when he died serving in northwestern Africa, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens.

"Yes, he said it," Wilson said. "It's so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn't have said it."

The president called about 4:45 p.m. and spoke to Johnson's pregnant widow, Myeshia Johnson, for about five minutes. She is a mother to Johnson's surviving 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. The conversation happened before Johnson's remains arrived in a commercial Delta Airlines flight at Miami International Airport.

Wilson witnessed as the widow, who is expecting their third baby in January, leaned over the U.S. flag that was draping his casket. Her pregnant belly was shaking against the casket as she sobbed uncontrollably. Their daughter stood next to her stoically. Their toddler waited in the arms of a relative.

posted by Rust Moranis at 6:18 PM on October 17 [81 favorites]


> Reality includes this thing called the Overton Window.

Lessig is trying to push it.


He's pushing it in a direction on the complex plane, in a time when the reality of power relations is asserting itself with a vengeance. His arguments make sense in a world of nice people who want the best for everyone. They are useless under 2017's version of capitalism.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:18 PM on October 17 [21 favorites]


Politico: Trump issues warning to McCain: 'At some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty'

McCain's response, "I have faced tougher adversaries."


Exceptional shade.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:28 PM on October 17 [23 favorites]


and a lot on Bill Browder and the Magnitsky Act...
---
Some people are citing this as being exculpatory, but I'm not seeing it


Yep. Magnitsky Act is sanctions. The Republican candidate's son, son-in-law and campaign manager went to a meeting where the best case scenario is they were there to make a deal with a hostile foreign power on sanctions. Shows just how far we've gone down the rabbit hole that what would've been considered completely damning and unthinkable months ago they now think clears them.
posted by chris24 at 6:29 PM on October 17 [59 favorites]




Obama's not nearly a flashy enough dude to ask for an official portrait in the style of Wiley's Officer of the Hussars, but a fella can dream.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 6:51 PM on October 17 [21 favorites]


The longer Mueller's investigation goes, the more I'm getting that Election-eve itch of worry.

What if - what if - after a "thorough, complete, unbiased" investigation, they indict Manafort (who, sure, was Putin's handpicked campaign manager, but can be disowned and flushed down the memory hole) - and that's all?

Okay, fine, they also criticize Flynn and rap his knuckles.

Maybe they throw in some "expressions of concern" about Jared's charming naivete for taking a meeting with KGB agents to sweeten the pot.

What does that do, though? A normal administration would collapse from shame, but this is not (as you know, Bob) a normal administration. What if they just wave their hands and blame it on fake news and say that the few bad apples have been taken care of? Why, Fox news might even call it the most transparent and accountable administration in history! In a couple of years, our incompetent racist despot wannabe pardons Manafort annd Flynn and they enter the Wingnut Welfare talkshow circuit, and that's all she said?

Maybe it's just a late night after a frustrating day, but I'm getting a really bad feeling here.
posted by RedOrGreen at 6:51 PM on October 17 [10 favorites]


U.S. President Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's widow Tuesday that "he knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens it hurts anyway" when he died serving in northwestern Africa, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens.

Well, now we know why his staff didn't encourage or facilitate him to talk to Gold Star families...
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:54 PM on October 17 [54 favorites]


McCain backing Alexander-Murray CSR stabilization bill. Collins also supports.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:56 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


You guys, I seriously don't know how we come back from this anymore. I know I have a Cassandra complex, but I feel as though this simulation has had the speed ramped up, and we're hurtling towards some sort of breakpoint, and I just don't know what to do.

How do we recover from this, or is this just the end of days? I mean, who would ever trust America after this presidency? We've become a rogue state with more military than everyone else combined. The kleptocrats are waving their ill gotten gains in our faces as they loot, and seemingly, the majority of congress is ok with that, as long as they can give more loot to other kleptocrats.

We are in this accordion fold of time, where events seem too many too fast while at the same time, being long drawn out wheezes of despair. And the bellows just keep pumping, more speed, more time, more crisis, more outrage, it's building and building, and the crescendo will be the wails of millions.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:57 PM on October 17 [51 favorites]


How do we recover from this, or is this just the end of days? I mean, who would ever trust America after this presidency?

In the short run? Nobody, and they are right not to.

In the medium run? Not to put too fine a point on it but Germany and Japan are two of the most trusted and respected nations in the world today and, uh, there were some incidents 75 or 80 years ago...
posted by Justinian at 7:04 PM on October 17 [94 favorites]


Oh god, someone forgot to take the keyboard away from Lessig. I do not understand how he can be so blind to reality.

Reality includes this thing called the Overton Window.

Lessig is trying to push it.

Someone has to try that.


He's pushing on the Overton Window into Narnia, though, and using a squeaky rubber clown nose to do it. You wanna give him a his heart is in the right place medal, I won't veto it. You want to say that "what if the kids do a car wash" deserves actual time on the agenda when we're discussing ways to avoid bankruptcy, I'm gonna say it's not a good use of our time.
posted by phearlez at 7:11 PM on October 17 [13 favorites]


What if - what if - after a "thorough, complete, unbiased" investigation, they indict Manafort (who, sure, was Putin's handpicked campaign manager, but can be disowned and flushed down the memory hole) - and that's all?

Okay, fine, they also criticize Flynn and rap his knuckles.

Maybe they throw in some "expressions of concern" about Jared's charming naivete for taking a meeting with KGB agents to sweeten the pot.


I comfort myself with the knowledge that the things you mention were revealed without much professional investigation, and some of it self-revealed by clownish ineptitude of the perps. I'm assuming there are some involved who were more circumspect and that Mueller will find all of this and put it together in a nice package tied up with a bow. If not, we are in deep shit.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:12 PM on October 17 [12 favorites]


Obama's not nearly a flashy enough dude to ask for an official portrait in the style of Wiley's Officer of the Hussars, but a fella can dream.

Really has to be seen in person to appreciate its full glory.
posted by Preserver at 7:14 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


My prediction is that Mueller uncovers criminality on the part of some Trump associates (Manafort and Flynn), a bunch of documentary shenanigans and lies like Kushner and his ever-changing disclosure forms, and a ton of shady and unethical but not necessarily illegal Russia bullshit from Trump and his family... plus obstruction of justice. But that most Republicans will argue that obstruction isn't impeachable in the absence of proven underlying criminality. No, I don't need the hypocrisy and inherent contradiction there pointed out.
posted by Justinian at 7:17 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


My wildcard would be old financial crime in which I have no doubt Trump and his family have engaged but I don't know how far back and how in depth Mueller will look at that.
posted by Justinian at 7:18 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


the majority of congress is ok with that, as long as they can give more loot to other kleptocrats.

the majority of congress is deeply, deeply afraid of their base on primary day.

as well they should be since ~40% of this country has been marinating in toxic sludge for decades now.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:20 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


chortly: " Pointing this out does not minimize the real harm being done right now, but if the president even had the powers normally given to a PM with majority control, the scope of the destruction would already be much, much wider, probably including much of social security, medicaid, most of the other social services the federal government provides; broad restrictions on immigrants, minorities and women; and gigantic tax cuts crippling the US for years to come. "

However Trump would never have made into the PM position of any functioning parlimentry democracy.

Chrysostom: "Not sure I'm going to sign up for this, actually. EVERY single good or service provided to the US gov has to be in-house? Even the cleaning people and the pencils and paper clips?"

Commodity supplies shouldn't be in house but sure the Janitors. Having cleaning crews as government employees with presumably decently compensated union jobs would be an excellent drag on race to the bottom employment standards that are plaguing the US. Contracting out is one of the key methods of union busting.
posted by Mitheral at 7:25 PM on October 17 [25 favorites]


Is he just going to give an insane, contradiction-laden press conference every weekday morning now? It’s easy to forget how many miles of crazy have flooded over already.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:29 PM on October 17


However Trump would never have made into the PM position of any functioning parlimentry democracy.

Lolwut? You do realize how close Bojo is to becoming British PM right now?
posted by Talez at 7:30 PM on October 17 [10 favorites]




Trump's not the problem. He's doing what he does, what we all (here) knew he would.

The corporate news, even more so than the GOP, are the most culpable in their deriliction of duty.
posted by petebest at 7:34 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


However Trump would never have made into the PM position of any functioning parlimentry democracy.

Keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep but;

Trump would never have made into the presidency of any functioning representative democracy.

Trump would never have made into the presidency of any functioning corporation that wasn't started by his parents and already had his name on the door.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:34 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Boris Johnson is a career politician; not a reality TV actor who had never been elected to anything.
posted by Mitheral at 7:34 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


Is he just going to give an insane, contradiction-laden press conference every weekday morning now? It’s easy to forget how many miles of crazy has flooded over already.


Probably. My guess is that the Mueller Investigation is heating and he's trying to distract. He's unhinged. I bet we see a public freakout by the end of the week.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:35 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


public freakout by the end of the week.
posted by fluttering hellfire


eponymominous?
posted by mrjohnmuller at 7:39 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


Boris Johnson is a career politician; not a reality TV actor who had never been elected to anything.

He failed out of career journalism into being a politician by being an utterly immoral and incompetent pillock.
posted by Talez at 7:40 PM on October 17 [7 favorites]


> You guys, I seriously don't know how we come back from this anymore. I know I have a Cassandra complex, but I feel as though this simulation has had the speed ramped up, and we're hurtling towards some sort of breakpoint, and I just don't know what to do.

One of the themes that Trotsky hits on repeatedly in History of the Russian Revolution is that time works differently during a revolution; months worth of events can come in a day, actions that seemed unthinkable at the start of a week can be absolutely necessary at the end of it.

Unfortunately the revolution we're living through is a hard-right revolution.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:45 PM on October 17 [51 favorites]


Boris Johnson is a career politician; not a reality TV actor who had never been elected to anything.

Absolutely, but it seems a little naive suggest in 2017 that something as disastrous as a Trump couldn't happen after Brexit and an Actual Trump becoming a world leader.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:50 PM on October 17


[Guys, no apocalypse fanfic, thanks.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:52 PM on October 17 [26 favorites]


Today: U.S. President Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson's widow Tuesday that "he knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens it hurts anyway" when he died serving in northwestern Africa, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens.

Me on the blue yesterday: Imagine losing someone you loved, and then as you're dealing with that grief imagine the extra dose of cruelty of having to deal with this fucking ghoul.

Jesus fucking Christ I feel like shit about being right on this.


The longer Mueller's investigation goes, the more I'm getting that Election-eve itch of worry.

I was a teen in Los Angeles in the early '90s. Most of the media spent an entire year telling us the cops who beat Rodney King would surely be found guilty, because look at the evidence. Look at the tape. It was all on tape.

Every time I hear about Mueller surely getting 45 and "please Mueller hurry it up," I think a lot about the feelings I had when I came home from school and turned on the news on April 29, 1992.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:58 PM on October 17 [93 favorites]


The hellban option. Sadly I think he'd notice when the media didn't go bananas.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:07 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Yeah, maybe the press shouldn’t poke trump too much about calling next of kin so he doesn’t make any attempts to do so. The last thing grieving people need is to do that fucker’s emotional labor.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:08 PM on October 17 [10 favorites]


Even if the Mueller investigation did find something, Republicans can just ignore it. Like the Supreme Court seat --- clearly they were supposed to act, they chose not to. Their voters loved it.

The only thing thats going to help is either enough Republican congressmen coming to their senses (lol) or 2018 election, maybe. I don't have any faith in either, though.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:10 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


@PhilipRucker:
Just got off phone with Rep. Frederica Wilson, who overheard Trump's call with widow. Said she wanted to curse POTUS out for making her cry.
Wilson was in limo w/ widow for POTUS call (on speaker), said Trump's “he knew what he was signing up for” made widow break down in tears.
Trump may not have known that a Democratic congresswoman was listening to his conversation with widow.
Wilson says it was clear to her Trump had no script. "He was talking off the cuff,” she recalled, “saying the same thing over and over."
Wilson says “I wanted to curse him out,” meaning Trump, for making widow cry, but Army sergeant holding phone wouldn’t let her talk to POTUS
Of course, this is one congresswoman’s witness account. The White House is neither confirming nor denying, saying such calls are “private."
You might ask why Rep. Wilson was in car with widow? She’s close to the family. Johnson, the soldier, went through her mentoring program.
Johnson’s family and Wilson are raising a scholarship fund for his three surviving kids (ages 6, 2, and unborn) bit.ly/2gMybub
@JohnJHarwood: telling widow that slain soldier "knew what he signed up for" is consistent w/Commander-in-Chief shielding himself from responsibility
posted by zachlipton at 8:19 PM on October 17 [102 favorites]


telling widow that slain soldier "knew what he signed up for" is consistent w/Commander-in-Chief shielding himself from responsibilityhumanity.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:25 PM on October 17 [16 favorites]


[Chapter 345,346,324,769,764,235 of Imagine if a Democrat Had Done That]

Can you even fucking imagine, though? If Hillary had said something like that about one of the people killed in Benghazi, much less to their pregnant widow?! “He knew what he signed up for” is a line that would have ended her career (and maybe her life).
posted by witchen at 8:35 PM on October 17 [46 favorites]


I can't ever put myself in the shoes of someone who lost a loved one to military service, but I don't think I could take a call from any president in that situation. It would just sit so wrong with me, the person who ultimately put them in that situation calling with condolences, wouldn't matter if it was Barack Obama or this awful monster we've got in office now. Like that would just feel like an inappropriate intrusion into something intensely personal. I totally get why someone would take that call and I would never judge anyone for it, but man, not for me. And I wonder how many of those calls get turned down, because I'm sure I wouldn't be unique in having that feeling.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:39 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


Remember that the Republicans KNOW that Trump's insensitive assholery is consistent with the attitude of a frighteningly large part of their core constituency (especially the part giving them money).
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:43 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


raising a scholarship fund for his three surviving kids (ages 6, 2, and unborn)

Unborn, so he was this callous to a soldier's pregnant widow. He's a sociopath. We need to start a fund to bribe him into resigning.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:43 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


We need to start a fund to bribe him into resigning.

I think this would actually work.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:48 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


The only difference between him and a serial killer is in choice of hobbies. If the swing set had hit his head as a child, and if he didn't have a disgust for blood, he'd probably be one.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:50 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


We need to start a fund to bribe him into resigning.

I'm not sure I'd contribute to anything which would go directly to his pockets. However, I would give to a gofundme which would place a series of ads on Fox News, CNN, etc. Little vignettes with some older white guy complaining about his job. The constant stress. No respect from his underlings. Hassled by nosy people constantly. Everyone who works for him is an idiot.

His hot blonde wife will console him and say: "You know, you can just quit. We're rich. We don't need the paycheck. Tell them to go to hell and just walk away. No more stress. No more pain."

Run it nonstop during Fox & Friends. Eventually you-know-who will get the hint.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:07 PM on October 17 [23 favorites]




[Chapter 345,346,324,769,764,235 of Imagine if a Democrat Had Done That]

If and when a Democrat ever takes power again, all Republicans everywhere have lost any claim to moral authority on any topic. The troops, the Constitution, Senatorial comity, budgetary offsets, corruption, Religious belief, basic human decency, all of it. Everything. We never have to take anything they say at face value again, ever. And we should demand the media not do so either. Lies are the new bipartisanship. Every Republican everywhere ceded the high ground for forever after going along with this catastrophe for tax cuts.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:22 PM on October 17 [27 favorites]


So how pathetic is it that I periodically feel compelled to calculate how many days remain before Inauguration Day 2021? (1190 as of 10/18)

Probably not as pathetic as sometimes just sitting and watching the Official Countdown Clock despondently for several minutes, willing it to move faster.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:22 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


So how pathetic is it that I periodically feel compelled to calculate how many days remain before Inauguration Day

There's an app for that. I have it under the same folder on my phone as "weather".
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:23 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


“He knew what he signed up for” is a line that would have ended her career (and maybe her life).

I dunno, but I think if that kind of transparency and inadvertent honesty was more common, people would likely change their views on war. The military has been a meat-bank for decades, and the more people know it's used as a grinder the less comfortable they might be about treating US foreign policy like a Dallas Cowboys game.
posted by rhizome at 9:26 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


Scott Pruitt's EPA Says Maybe More Radiation Exposure Wouldn't Be So Harmful

I feel like they are prepping us for a nuclear war.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 9:28 PM on October 17 [25 favorites]


"If and when a Democrat ever takes power again, all Republicans everywhere have lost any claim to moral authority on any topic. The troops, the Constitution, Senatorial comity, budgetary offsets, corruption, Religious belief, basic human decency, all of it. Everything. We never have to take anything they say at face value again, ever. "

Yep, I find it really a relief not to have to engage seriously with Republican claims about ethics or Constitutionality or whatever anymore; there were always contradictions and hypocrisy but they were always like, "Oh, well, it's just that one guy" or "Well *I* read the Constitution this way ..." But now when they claim that getting a blow job in the Oval Office is an impeachable offense we can just laugh. Or when they say that we need to respect federalism and let states legislate on topic X, we can ignore them. Claims to principles may have once been true for some Republicans, but there are no principled Republicans left in the national party. Not a single one.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:31 PM on October 17 [48 favorites]


I don’t have a countdown timer because I’m expecting the 2020 election to make 2016 look like a relaxed discussion among friends
posted by theodolite at 9:31 PM on October 17 [45 favorites]


I don’t have a countdown timer because I’m expecting the 2020 election to make 2016 look like a relaxed discussion among friends

Amen. I'm terrified to see what the next season of this reality show is like. Trump doesn't know much, but one thing he really does know better than most people is that, if you want the ratings, you have to raise the stakes in Season 2.
posted by The World Famous at 9:36 PM on October 17 [10 favorites]


@BFriedmanDC:

1. Let's talk for a minute about "he knew what he signed up for."
2. There's often a misconception among non-veterans that service members sign up with the expectation that they may die.
3. I did two tours in combat as an infantry officer and I never met a soldier who thought dying was a reasonable result of their service.
4. Take the numbers: Since 9/11, roughly 1 out of every 5,000 troops to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan died there.
5. I'll say that again: 1. Out of every 5,000. Dying in combat is neither common nor expected.
6. But when things *do* get dicey, troops expect leaders (at every level) to do everything in their power to keep death from happening.
7. Take roadside bombs. When they began killing U.S. troops, President Bush never said, "they knew what they signed up for."
8. Instead, DoD designed MRAPs. It was a concerted effort to keep more people from getting killed unnecessarily.
9. And that's what keeps troops going. The knowledge that your life is valuable. That it's not to be wasted. That air support is inbound.
10. Today we say, "I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy."
11. It's long been a thing in the U.S. military. Here's how Robert Heinlein characterized it in his 1959 military classic Starship Troopers: quote in tweet.
12. After a KIA, no one in the military ever, EVER, says "he knew what he signed up for." Instead they reflect.
13. "What could we have done differently? How could we have prevented this from happening?" No one shrugs death off as an inevitability.
14. So when we have a Commander in Chief respond to a combat death with, "he knew what he signed up for," it tells us a few things.
15. First, it tells us the President has no idea how the military works or what his role and responsibilities are.
16. More importantly, it sends this message to troops: If you're looking for support from the White House, you know what you signed up for.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:46 PM on October 17 [169 favorites]


I feel like they are prepping us for a nuclear war.

Not a big one

just one that raises the global background radiation measurably
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:50 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


Not a single one.

The modern GOP has gotten out of any blame for Iraq and Afghanistan -- many of the politicians from that time are gone, and a few who remain got a new coat of paint as isolationist small-government populists. The party had to completely change course and rebrand itself after making a terrible mistake. What will they have to change into this time around?
posted by miyabo at 9:57 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


After a KIA, no one in the military ever, EVER, says "he knew what he signed up for." Instead they reflect.

And sometimes that reflection is only as deep as, "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."
posted by peeedro at 10:01 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


What if - what if - after a "thorough, complete, unbiased" investigation, they indict Manafort (who, sure, was Putin's handpicked campaign manager, but can be disowned and flushed down the memory hole) - and that's all?
You have to remember these people are morons.
It is through regulatory capture and campaign contributions that they avoid punishment it's not lack of evidence or criminal genius.

I have no doubt Mueller will find evidence of crime all the way up to Trump and maybe even a large swathe of the GOP.

Mueller will present his evidence and then the fight starts.

My fever dream conspiracy theory is not that Trump will be shielded from punishment by congress but that they will be aided by Putin, the EU and even the Dems in order to avoid the fallout encompassing their interests. Too big to fail indeed.
posted by fullerine at 11:12 PM on October 17 [8 favorites]


No doubt? I hope that's hyperbole or you're setting yourself up for major disappointment, I think.
posted by Justinian at 11:25 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


If I could have one perfect event for Christmas 2017, and the obvious stuff (Trump resigns, Trump is impeached, Trump spontaneously combusts out of sheer undiluted bloody-mindedness) is off the table, I would go with:
Trump approaches a grieving widow at a ceremony. Maybe he puts his arm around her, maybe he just leans in with his fetid Tic-Tac breath and gently reminds her that her husband knew what he was getting into. She turns, looks blankly at Trump, and then smacks him right in the goddamn mouth. Hard as she can.

Maybe she follows it with another slap, maybe she turns away, maybe she tackles the motherfucker to the ground and starts punching him until his Secret Service detail pulls her off him. I don't know. All I really need to see happen is the one slap, but man I need it so bad it hurts. Just for one goddamn second, I want that rancid piece of shit to be reminded that stupid, stupid actions have actual real-world consequences for almost everybody in the universe.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:32 PM on October 17 [43 favorites]


Here's the thing. Goal: Dump Trump.

Don Jr., Ivanka, and Kushner, when Mueller dug in, are ALL REALLY GUILTY OF ACTUAL CRIMES.

So, the calculus is: "Trump doesn't give a shit about Jr. and Kushner. Would he resign if Ivanka was going to federal prison for a long time if he doesn't?"

Thing is Trump is a piece of shit, so he MIGHT throw #1 Daughter under the bus. Rational behavior isn't on the menu here, so...

But I do think we'll hear, once the rubber hits the road, "I've done everything I set out to do, so I'm going out a #Winner and resigning...."
posted by mikelieman at 11:43 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


If I could have one perfect even...

You know he'd punch her back, right?
posted by From Bklyn at 12:32 AM on October 18 [10 favorites]


So, the calculus is: "Trump doesn't give a shit about Jr. and Kushner. Would he resign if Ivanka was going to federal prison for a long time if he doesn't?"

He'd pardon her for anything federal. I'm so confident that he'll pardon everyone that I assume everything that isn't also a breach of NYS law means nothing.
posted by jaduncan at 12:38 AM on October 18 [9 favorites]


Guys, no apocalypse fanfic, thanks.

All I'm going to say is that this was a lot funnier when I first made it, (seemingly) fifteen years ago now.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:27 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure if this is literally apocalypse fanfic and primary relitigation all rolled into one, but William Gibson apparently has a new book coming out in January. From The Guardian, Agency, by the famously prescient SF author, imagines an alternative US where voters have elected their first female president:
Due out in January 2018, the novel will travel between two periods: one in present-day San Francisco, where Clinton’s White House ambitions are realised; and the other in a post-apocalyptic London, 200 years into the future after 80% of the world population has been killed.

In the present-day strand of Gibson’s story, a shadowy military organisation develops and tests artificial intelligence on a young woman named Verity. The parts set in the distant future show that time travel has been discovered and used to create a “stub”, a way of interfering to create an alternative future, starting in 2017.
posted by tapir-whorf at 2:05 AM on October 18 [14 favorites]


*points to Reagan's twirling zombie corpse in horror, hissing softly in fear*

Shhhh! Quit it you guys! You'll wake it up! And this time we won't have the Michael Jackson kaiju to stop it!
posted by loquacious at 3:18 AM on October 18 [13 favorites]


He'd pardon her for anything federal. I'm so confident that he'll pardon everyone that I assume everything that isn't also a breach of NYS law means nothing.

I *know* he's not listening to his lawyers. Maybe this will get through to him. BTW, that parallel prosecution must be on Mueller/Schniederman's radar...
posted by mikelieman at 4:06 AM on October 18


My reaction to that Trump call to the widow:
Nostrils flaring, lips pulled from teeth, need to punch something
posted by angrycat at 4:06 AM on October 18 [14 favorites]


My reaction to that Trump call to the widow:
Nostrils flaring, lips pulled from teeth, need to punch something
posted by angrycat at 4:06 AM on October 18 [+] [!]


do not want to make light of the emotion you feel (as I feel it too), but ... this is totally the reaction of an angry cat. eponysterical.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 4:17 AM on October 18 [10 favorites]


Good.

@cmclymer
Update: Sen. Debbie Stabenow has been announced as the opening speaker for the Women's Convention. Bernie Sanders will appear on a panel.
posted by chris24 at 4:23 AM on October 18 [33 favorites]


Remember when establishment Republicans would excoriate "RINOs" like Trump/David Duke and just destroy aspirational heresiarchs like Bannon? Watching these establishment Republicans twist in the wind while Koch and Mercer assemble their armies is horrifying and satisfying all at the same time.
posted by xyzzy at 4:30 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Good morning, it is 7:33am EST and Trump has already tweeted out all this garbage gibberish:
Wow, FBI confirms report that James Comey drafted letter exonerating Crooked Hillary Clinton long before investigation was complete. Many..

...people not interviewed, including Clinton herself. Comey stated under oath that he didn't do this-obviously a fix? Where is Justice Dept?

The Democrats will only vote for Tax Increases. Hopefully, all Senate Republicans will vote for the largest Tax Cuts in U.S. history.

As it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton. He was the best thing that ever happened to her!

The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!

Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!
posted by lalex at 4:34 AM on October 18 [20 favorites]


also, seriously, what is up with alt-right conservatives and Weird Capitalization? It's not just Trump, it's like all the comment sections at Redstate, Breitbart, NRO, etc. Is it something they teach in sociopath school? I'm genuinely curious.
posted by lalex at 4:38 AM on October 18 [42 favorites]


The party had to completely change course and rebrand itself

Mmmmm - cite? I kinda feel like the only concession they made was not to have Gee Dubz out on the road slappin' babies for them. Their message was, and still is, "hey victimized white men, let us punish everyone else and take your monies." Which they are then duly elected to do, and usually do.

Sure we bent a few spoons under DOUBLE-YEW, but that's why pencils have erasers!
posted by petebest at 4:39 AM on October 18


As it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton. He was the best thing that ever happened to her!

Reminder that Trump's official story for firing Comey is that he was too hard on Clinton and unfair regarding the emails.
posted by chris24 at 4:40 AM on October 18 [71 favorites]


They think that capitalization indicates emphasis in US English. Or they've been reading too much stuff in the original German, where all nouns are capitalized. Hard to say.
posted by xyzzy at 4:41 AM on October 18 [31 favorites]


Capital Letters are used for Important Things. Everybody knows that. It's Cargo Cult Orthography.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:42 AM on October 18 [28 favorites]


Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!

No shit.
posted by petebest at 4:43 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


What proof could he have? Aside from the belief that he can say whatever he wants and Republicans will swallow it.
posted by maxwelton at 4:46 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


"tapes"
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:47 AM on October 18 [13 favorites]


Who even works in this adult day care, because they're missing every shift.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:49 AM on October 18 [53 favorites]


Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!

SHSanders will say today that while they have proof, they won't release it to respect the privacy of the conversation with the widow.
posted by chris24 at 4:50 AM on October 18 [27 favorites]


Of course, since the widow herself also said that Trump said that, he is now calling the pregnant widow of a very recently deceased US serviceman a liar.

It would be hard to imagine doing something worse than attacking the Khans on the basis that Mrs Khan was too abused by Mr Khan to speak, but he has managed it.
posted by jaduncan at 4:51 AM on October 18 [83 favorites]


And going back yet-a-bloody-gain to anything to do with private email servers is... bold. Or moronic.
posted by Devonian at 4:55 AM on October 18


[NYC/Trump derail deleted.]
posted by taz at 5:00 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster.
posted by Melismata at 5:00 AM on October 18 [21 favorites]


I often find myself in a weird place while talking to my mom about this issue. She's extremely mistrustful of, like, everyone she's not related to (she used to work at a bank in the fraud department, so she's seen a lot of liars), but simultaneously has that Objectivist romantic view of human potential whereby if you just let people be people with no bummer laws and taxes and stuff, we'd all be perfectly rational, charitable, self-actualized beings. I'm the opposite. I think that human nature, to quote Xunzi, stinks. Overall we kind of suck and our brains are not wired to be particularly good at stuff like rational behavior, charity, or self-actualization.

recently I thought about that old argument that conservatism/libertarianism assumes the best of humanity while liberalism assumes the worst. i.e., "we don't need a bunch of restrictive laws for people to be good!" I finally realized that the argument falls through when you consider that it only takes a tiny percentage of greedy bastards and sociopaths to basically destroy society. Liberalism doesn't assume the worst of everyone. It assumes that a few will invariably try to seize power and glut themselves on the backs of the many if they aren't held back from doing so.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 5:09 AM on October 18 [36 favorites]


Can you imagine having the horrible job of trying to coach Trump on empathy?

Coach: "So, Mr. President, imagine a beloved pet has died, and you held its warm body in your arms as it breathed its last... feel the unconditional love and how you will miss it, and... go!"

Trump: Scrunches up face as if trying to solve a math equation.

C: "Ah, okay... then you just have to imagine someone near and dear to you has died, a close family member, your wife or one of your sons and you let that grief come out in your voice and words..."

T: Blank stare.

C: "No dice there, either? Oh, okay, I got it: imagine you yourself had died and-"

T: Turns white as a sheet where not covered in bronzer, eyes bulging out, mouth open in a silent scream, after a while emitting a high pitched noise that turns into an avalanche of words "...ohmyIcan'timaginewhatyoumustbegoingthrough!Howutterlyhorriblewordscan'tdescribeit!Whataloss,whataterrible,terribleloss!"
posted by PontifexPrimus at 5:19 AM on October 18 [14 favorites]


"Imagine somebody said your hands were small."
posted by jaduncan at 5:22 AM on October 18 [11 favorites]


The truck bombing in Somalia that killed 300 people may have been in revenge for a botched US raid two months earlier.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:31 AM on October 18 [6 favorites]




Y'all know the fallen soldier and grieving pregnant widow are black, right? There is not a Trump supporter in the country who would believe her word over the president's even if they heard the audio themselves. Not one.
posted by duffell at 5:32 AM on October 18 [89 favorites]


Well there's always Rootin' Tootin' Newton with the plan-spoken truth. (via politicalwire)

“I quit worrying about his tweets — and I think some of the stuff he does is outrageous — but he has a larger vision of creativity. He intuits how he can polarize.

— Newt Gingrich, quoted by the Washington Post, saying he has “come to see the value” of President Trump’s use of Twitter.


a.k.a. "Our goal is to destroy and dominate this country, and Trump can do that sometimes."

What a true American hero. GOP! GOP! GOP!
posted by petebest at 5:33 AM on October 18 [23 favorites]


The Best Thing to do when What You're Reading has Unnecessary Emphasis indicated by Erratic Capitalization is to imagine all of it in the voice of Chris Farley.

This includes pretty much everything I will ever post here.
posted by delfin at 5:34 AM on October 18 [19 favorites]


Second judge rules against latest travel ban, saying Trump’s own words show it was aimed at Muslims (Matt Zapotosky, WaPo)
A federal judge in Maryland early Wednesday issued a second halt on the latest version of President Trump’s travel ban, asserting that the president’s own comments on the campaign trail and on Twitter convinced him that the directive was akin to an unconstitutional Muslim ban.

U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang issued a somewhat less complete halt on the ban than his counterpart in Hawaii did a day earlier, blocking the administration from enforcing the directive only on those who lacked a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity in the United States, such as family members or some type of professional or other engagement in the United States.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:34 AM on October 18 [26 favorites]


We're all bringing up how this - all of this - is license to ignore any moral high ground the Rs attempt to shore up ever again.

Thing is, they never ever NEVER had any moral high ground, ever. We know it and they know it, everybody knows it. However, the Rs and their base have mastered the art of performative morals. THEY KNOW IT'S A FABRICATED POSITION and they don't care. Benghazi? Nonsense. Dems hate soldiers? Nonsense. EPA kills jobs? Nonsense.

We, as the opposition, have been ignoring their attempts at claiming the moral high ground and it's useless because they absolutely do not care one whit about actual moral high ground, just what plays well. Just look at this administration. Look at the Rs scurrying about to try to redefine the words "collusion" and "scandal" and "profiteering". After Puerto Rico, they're even scrambling to redefine "disaster".

It's not a game we can win and it's not a game we can't play. I don't know how we get out of this one, I really don't, because they can just pretend that warping reality works and then seemingly fall into collective delusions about the world that no amount of truth can shake. Outsiders all see it as lies and performance, but in-group? They are rock solid in their convictions because it works for them.
posted by lydhre at 6:01 AM on October 18 [35 favorites]


Who else has developed a morning ritual of checking the presidential twitter feed and then staring blankly into space for several minutes

It’s sort of the opposite of meditation
posted by theodolite at 6:01 AM on October 18 [27 favorites]


Who else has developed a morning ritual of checking the presidential twitter feed and then staring blankly into space for several minutes

Much like looking directly at the sun, I find it best to put on a "viewed through Metafilter" lens.

I have the benefit of getting to work at 6am central time. So my morning ritual is to pull up the current potus thread. Generally I've got the previous nights conversation to catch up, but I know that Lord Dampnut has been tweakin on the twitters again if I start to see 10 or more new comments load before I can get to the bottom of the thread.

Today was a good example.
posted by Twain Device at 6:05 AM on October 18 [40 favorites]






We don't believe you.
Because you are a liar.
Let us see your "proof."
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:25 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Second judge rules against latest travel ban, saying Trump’s own words show it was aimed at Muslims (Matt Zapotosky, WaPo)

I'm hopeful that some of these Muslim ban challenges create more good precedent for using the previous words of lawmakers to challenge anti-abortion and anti-birth control laws over separation of church and state issues. There is no shortage of words from these lawmakers to back that up.

Of course, Gorsuch court. But thinking long game, like the next time the Supreme Court gets pulled out of the dark ages, it seems like helpful precedent.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:42 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


One of the themes that Trotsky hits on repeatedly in History of the Russian Revolution is that time works differently during a revolution;

Oh God, now I'm agreeing with Trotsky? This really must be the darkest timeline.
posted by corb at 6:42 AM on October 18 [32 favorites]


Thread syncing up today’s adult day care tweets with Fox and Friends.

Usually the despot drives the propaganda, but we have the propagandists driving the despot. Has this ever happened before?

Whoever chooses the stories for Fox and Friends is one of the most powerful people in the world.
posted by diogenes at 6:48 AM on October 18 [18 favorites]


Anne Gearan, WaPo: Trump disputes account of his call with soldier’s widow. But congresswoman who heard exchange says it was ‘horrible.’
Wilson told MSNBC on Wednesday that Johnson's widow, Myeshia, was shaken by the exchange.

“She was crying the whole time, and when she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’ That’s the hurting part.”

Wilson went on to say Trump “was almost like joking. He said, ‘Well, I guess you knew’ — something to the effect that ‘he knew what he was getting into when he signed up, but I guess it hurts anyway.’ You know, just matter-of-factly, that this is what happens, anyone who is signing up for military duty is signing up to die. That’s the way we interpreted it. It was horrible. It was insensitive. It was absolutely crazy, unnecessary. I was livid.”

“She was in tears. She was in tears. And she said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:51 AM on October 18 [96 favorites]


Babyhands McBonespurs has been, never mind simply disrespecting, but actively picking fights with military and their families since the campaign.

Right Wing Zealots, Trumpians, "Evangelicals," all these pious folk that love to wave their flag-wrapped Bible while they pray loudly in the street don't actually give a shit about God, religion, military, patriotism, any of that stuff, except for inasmuch as it might have some money in it for them.

Trump literally campaigned on "I Will Abuse Gold Star Families."

And McConnell or Ryan or whatever may come out and be all "Welp, I don't approve of what he said, but he is actually right and thank you sir may I have another."

I was a Field Organizer on the Barack Obama campaign in 2008. We knocked doors in military neighborhoods. I spoke with literally hundreds of families of soldiers who said "I respect Senator Obama but I'm going to be voting for McCain because he has proven his leadership and commitment through his service."

Those same precincts went super-heavy for Trump.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:55 AM on October 18 [59 favorites]


Aside from not knowing his name, it's the idea that this man had been all I guess I'll die today shrug emoji when he's got a pregnant wife and two kids. This idea coming from the POTUS. This fucking guy. I'm ready to convert to Catholicism, just so I can believe in hell.
posted by angrycat at 6:56 AM on October 18 [41 favorites]


Wilson went on to say Trump “was almost like joking...It was horrible. It was insensitive. It was absolutely crazy, unnecessary. I was livid.”

Less than a week ago
:
President Donald J. Trump Proclaims October 15 through October 21, 2017, as National Character Counts Week
...
Character can be hard to define, but we see it in every day acts.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by cjelli at 7:01 AM on October 18 [70 favorites]


Trump literally campaigned on "I Will Abuse Gold Star Families."

Not the white ones though.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:09 AM on October 18 [32 favorites]


Those same precincts went super-heavy for Trump.

In my more bleak moments, I think about the fact that when Hillary Clinton first started organizing, there were few ways for women to gain power except through a man. I think about the compromises that she needed to make in order to be seen as an appropriate wife for such a man. And then I think about how when it was finally time for her to try to step into the sun, the millstone of her husband's mistakes kept dragging her down.

I think about that a lot actually.
posted by corb at 7:14 AM on October 18 [92 favorites]


If and when a Democrat ever takes power again, all Republicans everywhere have lost any claim to moral authority on any topic. The troops, the Constitution, Senatorial comity, budgetary offsets, corruption, Religious belief, basic human decency, all of it. Everything. We never have to take anything they say at face value again, ever. And we should demand the media not do so either. Lies are the new bipartisanship. Every Republican everywhere ceded the high ground for forever after going along with this catastrophe for tax cuts.

Echoing what lydhre is saying.

It doesn't matter that the Republicans have lost the zero moral authority they've had. The "liberal" media is still going to treat them like they do; Cillizza, Haberman, and their ilk will continue with their terminal bothsidesism. The minds of the supporters are so poisoned and warped that not even a White Gandalf the White would be able to clear their minds of the influences of the Wormtongues.
posted by anem0ne at 7:21 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]


Right Wing Zealots, Trumpians, "Evangelicals," all these pious folk that love to wave their flag-wrapped Bible while they pray loudly in the street don't actually give a shit about God, religion, military, patriotism, any of that stuff, except for inasmuch as it might have some money in it for them.

It's all about tribalism. Always has been. The Republican mantra is that while all men were created equal, only they count as card-carrying men. Everyone else is of a subservient caste. Rights, dignity and opinions are zero-sum; if you are allowed any, that's theft from theirs because only they are allowed to have those.

Our religion can ignore the courts and laws because it is privileged. We decide what is the only permissible way to respond to the flag and anthem. We will only pass legislation if we can do it with none of your votes or input. Your criticism of police behavior is offensive because police are better people than you and those they attack are literally animals. Disrespecting us requires a loud counterattack because our supremacy is above question. And we will dickwave at other nations because no one else can have one anywhere nearly as big as ours.

Trump ran on Make America White Again and it worked. His base being self-absorbed bullies should not surprise anyone.
posted by delfin at 7:23 AM on October 18 [41 favorites]


Anne Gearan, WaPo: Trump disputes account of his call with soldier’s widow. But congresswoman who heard exchange says it was ‘horrible.’

I'm not sure if this was added since Johnny Wallflower posted the link, but the article now includes confirmation from Sgt. Johnson's mother, who was in the car:
Johnson's mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that she was in the car during the call from the White House and that "President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband."

Jones-Johnson, speaking to The Post via Facebook Messenger, declined to elaborate.

But asked whether Wilson's account of the conversation between Trump and the family was accurate, she replied: "Yes."
posted by zombieflanders at 7:28 AM on October 18 [37 favorites]


More from Greg Sargent (also with the WaPo): Trump just said his comment to war widow was ‘fabricated.’ In an interview, the witness pushes back.
...Rep. Wilson said in our interview she is sticking by the story, and asserted that there were other witnesses in the car, including the driver and the aunt and uncle of the deceased soldier. “I was not the only one in the car,” she said.

“Mr. Trump is crazy,” Rep. Wilson told me. “He’s a liar. He’s proven to be a liar.” She said she was more “concerned about the circumstances around his death” than about what Trump said.

When I pressed Rep. Wilson on whether she was sticking by her account that she heard Trump say, “he knew what he was signing up for,” she said: “Yes.” When I reiterated that Trump claims to have proof otherwise, she said: “How about you go get that proof and call me back?”

Rep. Wilson said that the widow had been informed that her slain husband will have a closed casket funeral. “I want to know why he can’t have an open casket,” Rep. Wilson said. “They told us no, because of the condition of the body.” She said that the widow was “distraught” over this, adding: “When don’t you have an open casket? When the face or the head is disfigured, right?”

Rep. Wilson said she had known the slain solder for a long time, noting that he had passed through the mentoring program for boys of color she founded in Miami in 1993. It’s called the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project. She said she had “practically raised” him. She added that there is also a scholarship fund bearing his name.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:32 AM on October 18 [71 favorites]


Cookiebastard: One nazi motherfucker gets punched ONE TIME and they will mobilize the National Fucking Guard to make sure it doesn't happen again.

And there was the anti-Nazi protester who was run over by a neo-Nazi in a car in Charlottesville, let's not forget Heather Heyer just yet. Or DeAndre Harris, who was attacked by white supremacists while a police man stood by. (Good news from C-ville: Judge Bob Downer doesn't think too highly of the KKK members who appeared in his court - all defendants will re-appear in his court later, while Harris was released on an unsecured bond.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:35 AM on October 18 [22 favorites]


Reminder this all started when Trump decided to shit on Obama for not calling families of KIA soldiers. If he had acknowledged their deaths (parody account) no one would be giving a shit.

Also did he ever talk about the sailors that were lost in that Navy collision?
posted by PenDevil at 7:35 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


but the article now includes confirmation from Sgt. Johnson's mother, who was in the car:

So we're less than 24 hours from Trump attacking another Gold Star mom. Well done Republican voters.
posted by chris24 at 7:35 AM on October 18 [29 favorites]


Sessions isn't going to answer...
posted by parm=serial at 7:37 AM on October 18 [1 favorite]


One nazi motherfucker gets punched ONE TIME and they will mobilize the National Fucking Guard to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Richard Spencer's nazi bodyguard was recently confirmed as active National Guard.
posted by odinsdream at 7:41 AM on October 18 [31 favorites]


The same Trump Cultists who have been screaming bloody murder about how football players kneeling during the anthem [1] being disrespectful to "the troops" will not waver even slightly in their devotion to Trump despite his blatant disrespect of an actual fallen soldier.

We knew all along that they were faking their outrage because saying "I hate black people who get uppity" wouldn't play well on TV. But to see it so sharply illustrated so quickly is startling.

And the "liberal media" will keep right on pretending that the Republicans have legitimate moral concerns and outrages.

It'd be nice if the rock solid empirical proof we have of the Republicans being the amoral scum we know them to be changed anything, but it won't. The Republicans haven't had actual moral authority on any topic since at least 1968. But that hasn't stopped our media from pretending that they do. And this latest set of outrages won't either. The establishment media is going to lie and spin all it can to pretend that Trump is normal and that the Republicans have legitimate concerns and moral standing.

[1] And WTF kind of bizarre country do we live in where we have the national anthem played before sporting events anyway? How does that make any sense at all?
posted by sotonohito at 7:43 AM on October 18 [34 favorites]


sotonohito: And WTF kind of bizarre country do we live in where we have the national anthem played before sporting events anyway? How does that make any sense at all?

The first thing to remember is that it's a battle song.
The most memorable lines involve rockets and bombs, and the lesser-known verses conjure "the havoc of war" and "the gloom of the grave."

The second thing to remember? It's a taunt, a lyrical grenade chucked at a defeated opponent. "See that flag still flying, the one you tried to capture?" it famously asks the British. Then it answers: "Scoreboard."

That's why, in a country that loudly lauds actions on the battlefield and the playing field, "The Star-Spangled Banner" and American athletics have a nearly indissoluble marriage. Hatched during one war, institutionalized during another, this song has become so entrenched in our sports identity that it's almost impossible to think of one without the other.

Our nation honors war. Our nation loves sports. Our nation glorifies winning. Our national anthem strikes all three chords at the same time.
Luke Cyphers and Ethan Trex for ESPN, Sept. 8, 2011
posted by filthy light thief at 7:50 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]


I've been upset over this widow's experience since I found out. But that detail about her learning about the closed casket funeral has made me lose it. I put myself in her shoes for one second and imagine if that were my husband. I can't access but 0.0003% of what she's going through, and it is beyond horrible. If I were her, I would never get out of bed again. I don't know what I would do with myself.

Especially if I were suddenly on a national stage with (seemingly) half the country saying "come on, get back on your feet, stop cryin', Trump is right." It's hard to imagine a torture more intense.
posted by witchen at 7:52 AM on October 18 [42 favorites]


It was also sung out of respect for soldiers at the end of World War I. I don't have a problem with that any more than I have a problem with other traditions of supporting the troops but not the war.
posted by Melismata at 7:56 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


[1]

Holy hell do I have a LOT to say on this topic both as an American and as a baseball fan who goes to games. Sparing y'all the derail. tldr: grrr
posted by ezust at 7:57 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]


sotonohito: It'd be nice if the rock solid empirical proof we have of the Republicans being the amoral scum we know them to be changed anything, but it won't.

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds -- New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason. (By Elizabeth Kolbert for the New Yorker, Feb. 27, 2017 issue)

TIL: this problem with people has been documented and described since the 1970s. “Once formed,” the researchers observed dryly, “impressions are remarkably perseverant.” And worse:
Even after the evidence “for their beliefs has been totally refuted, people fail to make appropriate revisions in those beliefs,” the researchers noted. In this case, the failure was “particularly impressive,” since two data points would never have been enough information to generalize from.

The Stanford studies became famous. Coming from a group of academics in the nineteen-seventies, the contention that people can’t think straight was shocking. It isn’t any longer. Thousands of subsequent experiments have confirmed (and elaborated on) this finding. As everyone who’s followed the research—or even occasionally picked up a copy of Psychology Today—knows, any graduate student with a clipboard can demonstrate that reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational. Rarely has this insight seemed more relevant than it does right now.
...
Humans, they point out, aren’t randomly credulous. Presented with someone else’s argument, we’re quite adept at spotting the weaknesses. Almost invariably, the positions we’re blind about are our own.
...
There must be some way, they maintain, to convince people that vaccines are good for kids, and handguns are dangerous. (Another widespread but statistically insupportable belief they’d like to discredit is that owning a gun makes you safer.) But here they encounter the very problems they have enumerated. Providing people with accurate information doesn’t seem to help; they simply discount it. Appealing to their emotions may work better, but doing so is obviously antithetical to the goal of promoting sound science. “The challenge that remains,” they write toward the end of their book, “is to figure out how to address the tendencies that lead to false scientific belief.”
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 AM on October 18 [20 favorites]


[1] And WTF kind of bizarre country do we live in where we have the national anthem played before sporting events anyway? How does that make any sense at all?

It became popular after September 5, 1918, during Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs.

For better or worse, we are a nationalistic country. For many reasons. One of the reasons we've been economically and socially successful as a nation for the last couple of centuries is our strong sense of nationalism, which helps bring together our internal populations with diverse values and needs and drives them towards common goals. It allowed us to enter World Wars 1 and 2 with an intense military buildup, and our presence was key to victory. Our history of welcoming immigration and immigrants' ensuing cultural diffusion and absorption into American culture have also been successful thanks to a strong sense of American national identity. There are downsides, obviously. Some of our more horrific acts -- especially military atrocities and domestic abuse of minorities and acts of genocide against Native Americans -- have been done in the name of American nationalism.
posted by zarq at 7:58 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Donald Trump Bragged About the Renoir on His Private Jet. Experts Say It’s a Fake. Two art historians don't hesitate to speak to the painting's authenticity, if not to the president's state of mind.

Fake news, I suppose...
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:59 AM on October 18 [48 favorites]


I wonder how much more of this Kelly can take.
posted by Devonian at 8:04 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]




Fake news hues, I suppose..

FTFY.
posted by jammer at 8:05 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Worth noting that there are countries where that nationalism is either non-existent or way toned down. I have family in Argentina and they cannot understand why Americans are so obsessed with and proud of being American and various "American" values. They also think Texans' obsession with Texas is a distilled and concentrated-to-an-extreme essence of American nationalism.
posted by zarq at 8:06 AM on October 18 [28 favorites]


Donald Trump Bragged About the Renoir on His Private Jet. Experts Say It’s a Fake. Two art historians don't hesitate to speak to the painting's authenticity, if not to the president's state of mind.

This is amazing in that it's not a fake in the sense of being, say, a fake 'undiscovered' Renoir: it's a copy of an existing Renoir that's currently on public display in a museum.
posted by cjelli at 8:07 AM on October 18 [79 favorites]


Donald Trump Bragged About the Renoir on His Private Jet. Experts Say It’s a Fake. Two art historians don't hesitate to speak to the painting's authenticity, if not to the president's state of mind.

I have seen that Renoir up close and personal at the AIC with my own two eyes, and I promise you it is not hanging on Trump's dumb plane. Holy shit. It never ends with this guy. Also who puts a Renoir on a plane?
posted by dis_integration at 8:07 AM on October 18 [36 favorites]


Also who puts a Renoir on a plane?

Well, technically, not Trump.
posted by cjelli at 8:10 AM on October 18 [111 favorites]


the Renoir on His Private Jet

Man of the fucking people right here.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:10 AM on October 18 [43 favorites]


I don’t think I can stand to watch hours and hours of Evil Keebler Elf testifying, but Leahy just got all Perry Mason on him over his lying to Congress about meeting with any Russians. He really stumbled when asked if he’s been interviewed by the special council.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:12 AM on October 18 [15 favorites]


Reminder: Trump Still Hasn't Fulfilled Promise To Declare Opioid Epidemic As A National Emergency (NPR, Oct. 17, 2017)
President Trump's nominee to head the Drug Enforcement Administration pulled out amid controversy. This leaves Trump without a permanent heads at Department of Health and Human Services and the DEA. All the while, his promised declaration of a national emergency on opioids has yet to materialize.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

President Trump's nominee to be the nation's drug czar withdrew today, the ending to a story that started just two days ago. The Washington Post and "60 Minutes" reported that the nominee, Republican Congressman Tom Marino, had pushed legislation that weakened the government's ability to fight the opioid crisis. Trump talked to FOX News Radio this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And Tom Marino said, look; I'll take a pass. I have no choice. I really will take a pass. I want to do it. And he was very gracious. I have to say that.
OoO

Why am I still shocked he has no capacity to say "my fault here" in any capacity? "I have no choice" to not hire the ghoul who was identified as "the chief advocate of the law that hobbled the DEA" in the fight in the opioid crisis in the recent Washington Post and ‘60 Minutes’ investigation?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:14 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]




Donald Trump Bragged About the Renoir on His Private Jet. Experts Say It’s a Fake.

Clicking on the link, I assumed that the painting in question would be a more obscure Renoir, one that someone who wasn't super interested in the Impressionists would not be familiar with. It's not. It's an extremely well-known painting that is instantly identifiable to anyone who has even the most passing familiarity with Renoir. There is no possibility that this is the original or a variant by Renoir, and there is no possibility that it would fool anyone with a liberal arts education. As usual with Donnie Two-Scoops, he consciously aims his grift at the badly-educated, the thoughtless and people totally unfamiliar with modern Western history.

I mean, this painting was the cover of a coffee table book that we had when I was little. I have seen it at the Chicago Art Institute many times. It's a bit of a cliche, actually. You don't need some kind of rarified education to know that the original is not on Trump's jet.
posted by Frowner at 8:16 AM on October 18 [46 favorites]


I will give ground about the anthem if I can get a law that playing Cotton Eye Joe at sporting events is punishable by public tasing, and being launched from a trebuchet on a second offense.
posted by delfin at 8:16 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]


Regarding Trump's failure to do anything about the opioid crisis, don't worry - some states and cities are fighting the good fight: After Taking On Big Tobacco 20 Years Ago, Former Mississippi AG Is Trying Again With Opioids (NPR, Oct. 17, 2017)
When Mike Moore was Mississippi's attorney general, he spearheaded the 50-state lawsuit against Big Tobacco. Now, he's trying to do the same thing against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

The fight against the opioid epidemic is unfolding outside Washington, too. Ten states are suing opioid makers - so are a number of cities and counties. On many of these lawsuits, you'll find the fingerprints of one man, a lawyer named Mike Moore. When Moore was attorney general of Mississippi two decades ago, he persuaded states to take on Big Tobacco, and they won the biggest civil settlement in U.S. history. Now Mike Moore wants to lead States in a new fight against the opioid industry. And this time, he told me the battle is personal.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:16 AM on October 18 [10 favorites]


I guess in a way having an obviously fake Renoir is a power move - you're basically saying "I am obviously, blatantly lying in a particularly pointless way, and you can't do anything about it".
posted by Frowner at 8:18 AM on October 18 [38 favorites]


Donald Trump Bragged About the Renoir on His Private Jet. Experts Say It’s a Fake.

Well, if he insists it's real, I'm sure he paid the appropriate sales/use tax to NYS on the purchase price. Would be a shame if someone reported him for possible tax evasion.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:19 AM on October 18 [34 favorites]


I like to think some scam artist took several million dollars from Trump in exchange for an "original" Renoir.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:21 AM on October 18 [57 favorites]


There's a good chance that he really thinks it's authentic and was conned by an art dealer who knew how stupid he is.
posted by octothorpe at 8:22 AM on October 18 [28 favorites]


I gotta admit -- the lie about the Renoir is so comically bad, so easily disproved, and so brazen that I am in awe of its sheer audacity. I found this sort of thing hilarious when Donny was a mere huckster, but as a figure of unknowable responsibility, showing himself to be such a non-functional human being -- that's pretty terrifying. And this happens multiple times a day, and is nothing remarkable. Fascinating, really. Perversely, tragically fascinating.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:22 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


it's a copy of an existing Renoir that's currently on public display in a museum

Of course it is, because it's always the stupidest possible scenario when it comes to this fucking guy.
posted by salix at 8:24 AM on October 18 [45 favorites]


And here's what could happen, should Trump actually declare the opioid crisis a National Emergency (Christopher Ingraham for Washington Post, Aug. 10, 2017, over two months ago when Trump first said he'd declare a National Emergency)
“First, it lets states and localities that are designated disaster zones to access money in the federal Disaster Relief Fund, just like they could if they had a tornado or hurricane,” [Keith Humphreys, an addiction specialist at Stanford University] said. States and cities would be able to request disaster zone declarations from the White House, which would enable them to use federal funds for drug treatment, overdose-reversal medication and more.

“Second, declaring an emergency allows temporary waivers of many rules regarding federal programs,” Humphreys said. “For example, currently Medicaid can't reimburse drug treatment in large residential facilities (16 or more beds). That could be waived in an emergency.”
Oh hey, Trump will totally make that emergency declaration ... next week (CNN, embedded video of our idiot in chief at a presser on Oct. 16, 2017).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:27 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Fakes On A Plane (and absolutely in the plural, if 45's on there at the time).

like to think some scam artist took several million dollars from Trump in exchange for an "original" Renoir.

Oh, come on. Everyone knows he gets his charity to pay for his paintings.
posted by Devonian at 8:28 AM on October 18 [19 favorites]


Craft brewery resistance
posted by jgirl at 8:28 AM on October 18 [50 favorites]


I mean, this painting was the cover of a coffee table book that we had when I was little.

MY PARENTS had a print of that painting on the wall when I was a kid, and my folks were not into art. (It was probably a gift.) That Trump thinks anyone would believe him -- oh, wait, right. It doesn't matter because it's his way of asserting dominance, not about telling the truth.
posted by suelac at 8:29 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


But now when they claim that getting a blow job in the Oval Office is an impeachable offense we can just laugh. Or when they say that we need to respect federalism and let states legislate on topic X, we can ignore them. Claims to principles may have once been true for some Republicans, but there are no principled Republicans left in the national party. Not a single one.

I hope we can get NPR (and the media at large) to get the message.
posted by Gelatin at 8:34 AM on October 18 [13 favorites]


Craft brewery resistance

Unfortunately, the scumbags have cottoned to the "grab tickets to deny seats" plan. They just issue more tickets than they have seats, and if there are ticket-holders who aren't admitted, they point to that as a victory, that there's more demand for the speaker. They'll even try spinning it to blame the liberals, or say that the venue bait-and-switched them to a smaller room.

Good of this brewery to publicly voice opposition, but they're not really going to affect attendance.
posted by explosion at 8:36 AM on October 18


You know how Trumo said he had proof that he didn't say "he knew what he was getting into" The Sentintel has an update to their story:
According to a source close to the president, President Donald Trump was "misunderstood" in his comments to an army widow, and only meant to console the widow - though an early morning tweet issued by the president bypassed his condolences to tear into Congresswoman Fredericka Wilson.

"This president cares deeply. Maybe he said something that was misunderstood, but he certainly cares about fallen servicemen and women," the source said speaking on background.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:37 AM on October 18 [6 favorites]






Forbes: Beverly Hills Wants To Tear Down Donald Trump's Wall. The Secret Service Is Hedging (the 'wall' is a hedge on Trump's property, which I mention because the headline there is a bit clickbait-y)
The hedge surrounding Donald Trump’s Beverly Hills mansion is well over the legally imposed limit and, in the eyes of the city, “a public nuisance.” In this ritzy Los Angeles suburb, most hedges over six feet tall require a permit.
...
Beverly Hills code enforcement officer Josh Charlin...has visited the property at least a half-dozen times. After his July inspection, Charlin received the letter from Trump’s attorney, which served as written confirmation of what he had been told by Trump’s property managers for months: the hedges were too tall because the Secret Service said they needed to be; it was a matter of security.

What the attorney likely didn’t know at the time is that Charlin already had what he needed from the law enforcement agency. Months prior, Charlin had taken the name of the Secret Service agent that Trump’s property manager gave him and sent it to the Beverly Hills Police Department. The officers then contacted the Secret Service agent, who explained that the agency “has not drafted any letter defending the height limit of the property’s trees and has no intention of drafting any letter whatsoever,” according to Charlin’s notes detailing the interaction.
...
Trump’s attorney, Jill Martin, declined to comment for this story. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment.
This is small potatoes -- a few hundred dollars in fines -- but if Trump's lawyers & property managers are citing non-existing Secret Service needs as reasons to avoid the law in this case, merely to avoid having to trim some hedges, it seems exceedingly unlikely that this is the only case, nor the the most serious one, of Trump's companies invoking his Presidential status -- falsely -- to accrue benefit. What other laws of codes of conduct is the Trump organization violating that we haven't heard about?
posted by cjelli at 8:40 AM on October 18 [61 favorites]


What other laws of codes of conduct is the Trump organization violating that we haven't heard about?

all of them
probably literally all of them
posted by halation at 8:45 AM on October 18 [44 favorites]


> Oh, come on. Everyone knows he gets his charity to pay for his paintings.

I suspect someone smarter than I am about how money laundering works could explain exactly how the acquisition of expensive fake paintings can be used to get money out of a charity and into [wherever].
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:46 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Pruitt: Scientists receiving federal grants will be cut from EPA advising roles

To some, perhaps a boring story, hidden down the page in the news. But Pruitt is quietly doing as much damage as anyone in the current administration. He's not going after just the executive rulings that the Koch's don't like (which is hard, as many are required by legislation or court-mandated requirements), he's systematically dismantling the parts of the EPA that keep it effective and functioning. He's knocking out the support structures like this advisory panel to do the most damage he can to the agency, in this case stacking the board to ensure regulatory capture. One example of many. His legacy is going to take years to fix.
posted by bonehead at 8:47 AM on October 18 [52 favorites]


Here is Trump's Renoir on Google Streetview

Finally, the potus45 threads have brought me a little piece of unalloyed happiness. I grew up in Chicago and AIC was my favorite place in town, I used to go there just to wander. It's one of the things I miss most about Chicago (that, and Bike the Drive, and Delilah's, and the Vic, and Empty Bottle, and the Harold Washington Library downtown, and that little Chinese place under the El on Lake Street, and the huge apocalyptic thunderstorms we used to get in late summer, and and and). Anyway I had no idea you could explore AIC through Google Streetview. Not quite the same as being there but it definitely brings back some happy memories. Thanks theodolite.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:48 AM on October 18 [30 favorites]


Now a judge is lobbying for Trump in court. FFS.
posted by juiceCake at 8:49 AM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Apparently Sessions just testified he cannot release any information without approval from the President. That’s really, really not how executive privledge works. Sen. Whitehouse questioning him about whether he knows the AG has his own discretion. Not clear what Sessions is doing as AG if he’s taking every decision to Trump for the final sign off. Trump is his own AG.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:50 AM on October 18 [65 favorites]


I have had it with these motherfucking Impressionists on this motherfucking plane!
posted by kirkaracha at 8:52 AM on October 18 [64 favorites]


Graham asking about the fucking wall. What the fuck does Sessions have to do with the wall?
posted by Talez at 8:52 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Graham just "misspoke" and asked Sessions about the Clintons' involvement in Russian manipulation of the 2016 election. So.

Now he's asking about the tarmac meeting.
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 8:53 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]


Graham asking about the fucking wall. What the fuck does Sessions have to do with the wall?

The question was about how long the wall would be, and if Sessions would be in favor of trading mercy for DACA children in exchange for wall funding.

(But yeah, totally just a stunt for the cameras.)
posted by XMLicious at 8:55 AM on October 18 [1 favorite]


"This president cares deeply. Maybe he said something that was misunderstood, but he certainly cares about fallen servicemen and women," the source said speaking on background.

Ah. So, "on background" is synonymous with "through his hat".

Noted.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:58 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


The long silences as Sessions figures out how to answer without perjuring himself.
posted by Talez at 8:58 AM on October 18 [18 favorites]


What was Graham asking about the reason Comey got involved in the Clinton email investigation was because of a special email that was stolen? Did I misunderstand? It felt like a revelation but I couldn't absorb it quick enough.
posted by Brainy at 8:59 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


> Engadget is reporting Facebook and Google reportedly helped set up anti-Muslim election ads

Don't Be Evil (Until the Check Clears)
posted by tonycpsu at 9:03 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Who else has developed a morning ritual of checking the presidential twitter feed and then staring blankly into space for several minutes

Nope. I blocked that fucker months ago. It felt so damn good. I highly recommend it!
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:11 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


"Like Canada's immigration policy, more merit-based!" says Sessions, in response to Cruz. Except for merit-based refugees, of course.
posted by XMLicious at 9:12 AM on October 18


What was Graham asking about the reason Comey got involved in the Clinton email investigation was because of a special email that was stolen? Did I misunderstand? It felt like a revelation but I couldn't absorb it quick enough.

I am not watching and didn't hear the question. But from your description, I expect he was talking about this.
The Washington Post reported this week that Comey's controversial decision to detail the FBI's findings in the Clinton email case last July was influenced by a dubious Russian document now considered by the FBI to be bad intelligence.

The document, purported to be created by Russian intelligence, claimed Lynch had privately assured someone in Clinton's presidential campaign that the probe into the former secretary of State's handling of classified information would go nowhere.

Comey briefed lawmakers in classified sessions several months ago about the Russian intelligence that described emails purportedly between the then-chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), and a Clinton campaign operative suggesting Lynch would make the FBI probe go away, according to CNN.

The FBI chief expressed concern in the sessions that the Russian information may "drop," undermining the Clinton probe and the Justice Department itself, one government official told CNN.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:13 AM on October 18 [12 favorites]


Deep upthread someone asked how you win a debate against people who willfully disregard facts and reason.

If I have a political project in my participation in these threads, it's in observing the ways that people presume that political disputes are resolved through debate and reason, and then observing how in all of those cases those disputes are instead resolved through organization and action. All of those cases — I stand by the strong universalizing claim here.

So the way you beat them is by out-organizing them, by getting more people on our side than theirs, by denying them space in the room where decisions are made, through materially demonstrating that our side can beat their side, not in the domain of reasoned dispute but in the domain of who can get there the first with the most, in the domain of who can be sneakiest when being sneaky matters, in the domain of effectively disorganizing and demoralizing everyone not on our side.

Debate plays almost no role in this. Rhetoric, now rhetoric plays a huge role, as does propaganda, and effective knowledge of human psychology, and material resources — money, media outlets, control of institutional processes. Debate is a sideshow. Facts matter insofar as having the right facts can point you toward the most effective organizational strategy and the most effective way to disorganize your opponents, but simply having more accurate facts than the other side means nothing.

The reason why I am insistent on railing against liberal Enlightenment ideology is that it leads to miserable, ineffective tactics. There's a liberal idea, baked deep into our pre-2016 culture, that says that reasoned debate between formal equals is the best way to resolve disputes, and that therefore the best decision making processes involve constructing a sandbox where we pretend that reasoned debate is how disputes are resolved, and then act according to what we decide on within that sandbox. This idea was so deep in our culture that we forgot that the sandbox was a sandbox; we started to think that that was how the world really worked. And so, just like in 1933, we were helpless when people who recognized the sandbox was a sandbox walked over to the sandbox, took a healthy shit in it, then flipped the whole thing over.

The thing is, it's not just that the sandbox is susceptible to sudden major attack from outside, from people who are like "fuck debate I'm taking what I want." It's that the reality outside the sandbox of reasoned debate is always intruding, and reasoned debate is never determinative of decision-making processes, no matter how intent you are in establishing an abstraction that lets you think that reason rules. The bosses and the capital-owners always put their thumbs on the scale of reasoned debate by buying the participants and the judges, the cops always abuse their position as enforcers of law derived by reason to their own unreasoned benefit. The sandbox is a leaky abstraction; there's always buffer overruns and always people ready to exploit them.

This is why I'm always dismissive of people here and elsewhere who are like "well we just gotta fix our processes by [reforming campaign finance laws/doubling the size of the house of representatives/whatever weird shit Lessig is on about these days]. It's not about processes. It's about organized power. It's about who owns what. It's about who can convince whom of what, not about what's true or what's right. This is the distinction between left and liberal: liberal solutions involve funding fair processes — about trying to patch up the sandbox so we can go back to pretending reason rules — while left solutions are about acknowledging that the sandbox is impossible and (governed by our collective senses of fairness, justice, reason, empathy, and love) making those solutions real in the world.

This is a hard grim thing, though, because if you're coming from the liberal position you can pretend there's a rock-solid foundation for your actions. You can say "well, we have a process, and that process allows for decision making based on reasoned debate, and we followed that process and here's the result it yielded, so we know we have good reason to do what we're doing." If you admit that that foundation, which seems rock-solid, is built on sand, you have no way whatsoever to be certain that what you're doing is right. And because you can't rely on a process to ensure that the conditions you want remain extant, there is no end to the process of struggle — struggle informed by reason, but never governed by it, because reason can't govern, and if you trick yourselves into thinking reason can govern you've gone and made yourself susceptible to attack by nazi thugs who are quite eager indeed to show you your error.


It's a hell of a world we're living in. But living in it beats the alternatives.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:21 AM on October 18 [157 favorites]


"Like Canada's immigration policy, more merit-based!" says Sessions, in response to Cruz. Except for merit-based refugees, of course.

Canada has been bringing in 0.1% of the population in refugees in round numbers over the past few years (even a bit more last year). That would be about what 300k refugees accepted per year in the US? Actual US figures are a quarter of that, 80,000 or so, a bit more than 0.025% of the population.
posted by bonehead at 9:25 AM on October 18 [15 favorites]


I suspect someone smarter than I am about how money laundering works could explain exactly how the acquisition of expensive fake paintings can be used to get money out of a charity and into [wherever].

Art is used for money laundering all the time. It's practically the whole reason there is an art market. There's nothing to it. Art can be bought and sold anonymously. A person can simply say they've sold a painting for whatever amount of illicit income needs to be laundered, and just like that, it has been. Meanwhile, the painting is sitting in some salt mine in Switzerland, never being taxed, never changing hands, and never having been seen by the launderer in the first place.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:27 AM on October 18 [30 favorites]


Sessions is very hurt by Franken's allegations. Very hurt indeed.

Moments later, Sasse dumped a Dr. Pepper on Ted Cruz. Clowns.
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 9:28 AM on October 18 [26 favorites]


Sessions' defense just now was that when Franken said "communications between Trump surrogates and Russian officials", Sessions interpreted it to mean "literally all Trump surrogates", and that the question was so absurd he could not be expected to respond appropriately.

Franken cracked up a little and explained that the term "Trump surrogates" is not the same as "literally all Trump surrogates".

Sessions does not seem comfortable defending himself on this point, and his defense seems less than persuasive.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:32 AM on October 18 [34 favorites]


In slightly good news, Ben Sasse dumped a Dr Pepper on Ted Cruz.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:35 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


Oh my God! I would never look at 45's Twitter feed, not ever. This is political Stockholm Syndrome, to view such a thing. History will laugh and laugh over the Twitter feed. Yeah, don't do this to yourself. 45 is a one man doomsday clock.

I guess we all now know, the classic bait and switch won this election, aside from mass manipulation on the parts of the shadow brokers. The bait, we will use morality and deep religious feelings, like a comforter to make a blanket fort, to cover the deep racism, and misogyny on the ground, where the shadow brokers never step, unless they are personally surveying pristine landscape to defile, with their business doings.

The latest scheme being that loss of manufacturing due to globalization has created social ills. Well that distills down to lack of money. The manufacturing that was lost, was lost because of low quality of the goods, especially cars, low concern for the environment early on, and relatively high cost, and poor lending practices for acquiring cars. The resale value of a GM product, vs a Toyota, or even a Saab in the day, was much higher. American made cars were like buying a douche bag, there is no resale value.

All this talk that finally hinges on abortion, abortion, abortion pulls the deep compassion comforter back into place over the deep insecurities and hatreds felt by people who can't say it was their parent, (corporation, boss, country,) who abused them, it is the presence of these others, (people of other colors, women, gay people, non Christian religious practitioners,) who caused this misery. These folks with deep ethical concerns, this is a straw emotion, highly volatile, flammable, that covers the publicly unnameable.

Richard Spencer's great gift to us all is to set the comforter on fire, and drive out everyone who though they were in a secret blanket fort. We all know the entrenched practitioners of public hatred. But, Spencer is opening up the ant hill of effects. He has publicly stated he wants to rescind the vote for women. I bet no one thought this sentiment was alive.

45 doesn't even know how big his ass is, not to mention any of this stuff. The shadow brokers have the big machines, by now they know every impulse in this nation, and are in the process of establishing ownership of them all. All kinds of things are shifting.

Sessions is not talking, primarily because he is close to not being able to talk coherently. This is why he was chosen. Someone, not 45 picked his anti-cabinet, and some of them are plainly fed up, and beginning to function on their own. This dark drama is effective, I am even gaining an appreciation for Tillerson, I mean even his name is the stuff of historical novels. The tiller, steering the ship, he is the son of a lowly tiller, yet he is king, Rex. Ha ha ha ha the drama! What did they bring William Shakespeare back out of time to name every one for this play? Sean Spicer, Spicer one who seasons food or sells spices, Gift from God who brings spices. It is just too rich the whole thing, and terribly, terribly sad.
posted by Oyéah at 9:36 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


Sessions just testified he cannot release any information without approval from the President.

"Excuse me Sir, do you know what time it is?"
"My office will respond to a written request after checking with the White House."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:36 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]


#notallTrumpsurrogates
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:37 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


disputes are instead resolved through organization and action.

This, in 500-foot-high flaming letters on a mountainside. Great comment. It occurs to me that this may be the most insidious leveraging of media-as-warfare, if you keep people outraged and upset before they can even muster the energy to leave their houses, you create a lot of available real-world space for actual organizing and action for your side.

The reason why I am insistent on railing against liberal Enlightenment ideology is that it leads to miserable, ineffective tactics.

This is a sobering philosophical point to me, and I'm going to be chewing on this one for the rest of the day (at least).
posted by LooseFilter at 9:40 AM on October 18 [20 favorites]


Spicer. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. Trump. Scaramucci (straight out of commedia del'arte). Pence. Rex Tillerson (King, son of the tiller). Kellyanne Conway (Con-way). Sarah Huckabee Sanders, with a name carefully crafted to confuse the hell out of everyone familiar with American politics. "Mad Dog" Mattis.

Everyone in this administration has a name that falls into one of the following two sets:
  • Names that seem like they were chosen by Dickens.
  • Steve.
The simulationist hypothesis is nonsense, but I'm increasingly convinced that on a deep level our reality is in some way fictional.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:44 AM on October 18 [92 favorites]


Sessions said he refused to comment on conversations with Trump when asked if he had talked to the President about the Mueller probe. That’s an admission he’s talked to Trump about the Mueller investigation he’s supposed to be recused from.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:45 AM on October 18 [45 favorites]


The reason why I am insistent on railing against liberal Enlightenment ideology is that it leads to miserable, ineffective tactics.

There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I think on average it's worked out pretty well over the last 300 years or so.

You and I keep having this same disagreement, and it's probably getting boring to everyone else, but I still feel the need to challenge this conclusion you state as if it were a fact... that power is the only reality and there's no point to trying to impose rules on the exercise of power. Power is built on top of structures which are made up of a LOT of people working hard to support them. Those people are human beings who do have the capacity to reason, even though it is imperfect. We can refuse to prop up power structures that don't make sense to us.

It's just that "making sense" out of things is hard work. And it gets harder when there are people out there trying to confuse everybody. But that just means that those of us who have the time and energy to figure out how the power structures work and where they could work better have a responsibility to do everything we can to educate our fellow citizens. That is my project in these threads. To understand, so I can educate. (I do a lot more learning than educating here, though!)

Trying to engage people in reasoned debate given their tendencies to only believe what they want is a Sisyphean task. But you know, Sisyphus kept pushing that rock up that hill, and even though he couldn't keep it on the top... If you look over a long time, on average that rock was half way up the hill. We have to keep pushing, because a half-way decent government is still a lot better than a completely indecent one.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:46 AM on October 18 [30 favorites]


When I pressed Rep. Wilson on whether she was sticking by her account that she heard Trump say, “he knew what he was signing up for,” she said: “Yes.” When I reiterated that Trump claims to have proof otherwise, she said: “How about you go get that proof and call me back?”

This is an excellent point. The response to Trump's utter lack of credibility should be "put up or shut up." Though I agree with the comment above that predicted the White House would decline to out of "respect for the family's privacy" or some such hogwash.
posted by Gelatin at 9:48 AM on October 18 [18 favorites]


Scorching hot contrarian take alert!

Why Democrats Need Wall Street

Jonathan Chait takes this "argument" to a farm upstate:
It’s Schoen’s last point that goes completely off the rails:
Fourth, demonizing Wall Street does nothing to bridge the widening gaps in our country. Wall Street has its flaws and abuses, which were addressed in part by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. And yes, the American people are certainly hostile to and suspicious of Wall Street. But using this suspicion and hostility as the organizing principle for a major political party will consign Democrats to permanent minority status.

Note that Schoen utterly undercuts his previous points by conceding that Wall Street is extremely unpopular. That’s a pretty big concession to make in an op-ed arguing that Democrats should “strengthen ties” to the industry. But then Schoen proceeds to plead that “using this suspicion and hostility as the organizing principle for a major political party” is doomed to failure. It doesn’t matter how much people hate Wall Street, he says — a party that uses suspicion and hostility is doomed to permanent minority status. Maybe Schoen should try to think of an example of a recent political party that has used a message of suspicion and hostility and has still managed to hold on to power? It’s not actually hard to come up with one.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:48 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


> There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I think on average it's worked out pretty well over the last 300 years or so.

The Enlightenment: views differ. The timeframe in which Europeans following Enlightenment values ruled has been, even by the standards of human life on earth, one godawful catastrophe after another, no matter how nice things may have seemed from the perspective of people living in the vast Palo Alto that was 20th century White America. If it's redeemable, it's only redeemable insofar as (if we don't blow up or drown the world) there's a chance we might use our clever industrial techniques and technologies to jump into the probably impossible hyperspace of fully automated luxury communism.

Yeah I'm going to stand by this: if the Enlightenment is redeemable, only communism can redeem it. If we can't get to communism from here, the whole scheme has been a bloody disaster.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:52 AM on October 18 [12 favorites]


Oh, come on. Everyone knows he gets his charity to pay for his paintings.

Normally I avoid huffpo, but I got sucked into a piece this morning about Weinstein and shenanigans with a charity. (There's a less detailed piece at NYT, alternately) What I was struck by was just how similar in behavior these two women-harassing men are in their complete disregard for the world other than as a tool for their desires, and the amazingly eggregious ways they'lll subvert anything to serve their needs.

It's also striking just how much effort, money, and mental power - such as they possess - they have to put into keeping the clown car running. Weinstein actually has some real success, where Trump seems to just keep failing yet hanging on to his prominence. But both have to do all this bullshit to keep their misbehavior under wraps, or to enable such petty fucking nonsense. Like the shrub height thing above. Trump has to pay - well, get someone else to pay, perhaps - that lawyer to lie in letters to the code enforcement folks. For the sake of shrubbery. It's just boggling to me.
posted by phearlez at 9:52 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Sessions does not seem comfortable defending himself on this point, and his defense seems less than persuasive.

An understatement... he just can't answer specific questions about his communications with Kislyak today, in his framing, because his intense feels and startlement at the effrontery of the questions on the subject mean that he just has to ramble on about his emotions and dedication to vague principles until his time runs out.

He also basically said that his initial perjury during the confirmation hearings, in which the substance of what he said was that he denied being a Trump surrogate and flatly stated that he hadn't met with Russians, was because the wording of the question forced him to wear the hat where he's a Trump surrogate, and while wearing that hat of course wouldn't consider fucking meeting himself with Kislyak at the RNC relevant to answering the question if he knew of anyone involved with the campaign meeting with Russians. And oh, how startled he was by the question! And it was after so many hours of hearings!
posted by XMLicious at 9:52 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


'I was very comforted': gold star families recall receiving condolences from Obama (Tom Dart for The Guardian, 18 October 2017) -- After Donald Trump criticised Barack Obama for not calling fallen service members’ loved ones, bereaved military families paint a contrasting picture
tephanie Fisher got the letter about a week later, delivered by an army casualty assistance officer: the president of the United States wished to express his condolences over the death of her son.

Staff Sgt Thomas Kent Fogarty, a 30-year-old father of two, was killed in Afghanistan in May 2012 by an improvised explosive device.

“I was very comforted. I actually felt like I could have picked up the phone and said ‘look, my son died … and I need to talk to President Obama.’ I kind of feel like I might have been able to get a hold of him,” Fisher said. “I felt like my son got lots of respect.”
...
Fisher said that Trump’s assertion did not ring true to her. “Obama’s administration seemed to me to be very much engaged with the families,” she said. “Constantly, everything that he gets criticised for, President Trump, he immediately puts it on previous presidents, especially President Obama. He misses no opportunity to deflect.”

Michelle DeFord’s son, Army Sgt David Johnson, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004, aged 37. She met Obama when she went to Washington to lobby for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Trump appears intent on undermining.

“I have pictures of Obama giving me a hug when he found out that I was a Gold Star mother,” she said, adding that she was touched by a letter from the former first lady, Michelle Obama, inviting her to contribute to a Christmas tree that paid tribute to deceased armed forces members and their families.
And now I'm worried about the nonsense on the forthcoming Trump White House Christmas Tree. And what the heck will he do (wrong) on Halloween?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:03 AM on October 18 [33 favorites]



The reason why I am insistent on railing against liberal Enlightenment ideology is that it leads to miserable, ineffective tactics.


Easy to say, hard to prove! That is, what are the successful/ecstatic tactics that have been achieved by non-Enlightenment ideologies, and what are those ideologies? (I think we have to say that you're lumping all "humans can reason about their differences" tactics together here, rather than just those that, like, name-check Descartes.)

I just....I think this is a tempting but incorrect framing, for some of the following reasons:

1. There's an incoherency in appealing to unreason/human inability to reason as a tactic. We don't just intuit how to run a strike; we reason about tactics. What's more, at least some of the time unreason has been disastrous for organizers - deep-seated feelings about immigrants or POC or woman as unworthy to be in the union or to lead, for instance. How to figure out which intuitive/power-oriented/non-reason-y things are going to work? Well, we reason about them.

2. Lack of self-correction. It's all a power struggle, it's all based on factions struggling for stuff, Enlightenment reason is so much bullshit fraud covering over the power struggle underneath - well, how do you know whether, eg, you should torture your enemies to death? You could say "do it if it helps you win", but that has, historically, not led a lot of great places.

3. Sneaking in a foundation. "There is no foundation, only power" is just an attempt to have a foundation by other means, and a particularly bad one.

4. You're trying to get around the problem of things being defined by what they exclude, and this is like trying to get around the laws of thermodynamics. Which is why not only was the idea of reason mustered against Fascism, which was routinely described as barbaric, primordial, etc, but Fascism itself was always in knots over whether it was reasonable, futuristic, scientific, etc (Marinetti, futurists) or whether it was all about primordial terror of flows and masses (Male Fantasies). Even fascism spent a lot of time wanting to set up its own sandbox. What's more, the establishment of a better, more stable sandbox was pretty much everyone's goal during and after the war - would it be a Marxist sandbox? A social democratic sandbox? An American labor-peace sandbox?

5. The whole point of having a sandbox is to be able to say, for instance, "the equality of women is not up for debate, we are not debating whether women's brains are capable of mathematics before we talk about this education initiative".

6. The "let's reject the Enlightenment" argument always seems to be (even if you exclude all the Enlightenment-like "humans can reason" philosophies of history) like "let's reject nuclear power" - the idea that somehow we can just roll back a tremendously embedded and foundational aspect of human society as if it had never been. The only way to do that would be to smash human society to the point where the atom bomb and the Enlightenment were not even the vaguest kind of memories. We are the children of Marx and Coca-Cola, even if we don't go home for Christmas.
posted by Frowner at 10:04 AM on October 18 [79 favorites]


phearlez: Trump seems to just keep failing yet hanging on to his prominence.

Trump is a useful puppet, for Russians to launder dirty money, then as a distracting TV entity, and then as a distracting political pawn for the GOP and Russia. It's easy to roll from failure to failure when people are clearing the path of obstacles, or are actively pushing you forward.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:06 AM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Also, if there's anything more Enlightenment than communism-as-she-is-practiced, I can't think of it.
posted by Frowner at 10:07 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


At this point, the pollsters are just screwing with us: New Quinnipiac poll has Northam up 53-39 in VA gov race. 14 points!

I don't believe this, mind you. But if it did come to pass, Dems would almost surely flip the House of Delegates as well.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:07 AM on October 18 [9 favorites]


And now I'm worried about the nonsense on the forthcoming Trump White House Christmas Tree. And what the heck will he do (wrong) on Halloween?

Sign an EO proclaiming Candy Corn the national treat?
posted by notyou at 10:08 AM on October 18 [11 favorites]


Scorching hot contrarian take alert!

Why Democrats Need Wall Street


I'm guessing Chait's pissed off that so many people have tagged him as a raving idiot. Picking a fight with a Republican who claims he's a still a Democrat so Fox News will put him on the air to convince actual Dems to attack their own is not going to change anyone's mind.

At the end of the column, he'll still be a raving idiot.
posted by zarq at 10:08 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Let me say this, I love my country, the USA. However the North American Continent had upward of 15 million inhabitants when the Europeans landed. Then the 300 years of utter brutality toward these inhabitants began, and has not significantly let up since. Having the Interior Department ignore the local inhabitants of the Bears Ears Area, and their ancestral burial grounds and their history to make way for the white folks is more evidence. Interior is not talking to Non Mormon Navajos, Utes, or any other tribal leaders, or traditionalist Native Americans.

For the last 300 years, this country's lands, waters, air have been ceaselessly exploited for the gain of the few, facilitating human procreation, to facilitate the gains of the few. Now the few are freaked, because lowering population figures, and rising education levels among the poorest, mean the masses they need for the bottom of their pyramid schemes, are less inclined to participate. While at the same time the rise in digital communication makes all sorts of subversion possible, even though viral communication goes unbridled, it is nothing in comparison to the organized assault on the people of this nation, and the world.

Communism lasts three generations, then it is over. It is a tool, that outlasts its use. It is a method by which the wealth of one area is redistributed, the first generation gets fed. The second generation gets fed and educated, the third generation realizes it doesn't work for the long run, and things start to shift. Right there is the crux, Earth is a closed system, and no matter how much the talking heads rave about how we have to get off planet, we have to figure out how to live here, without the Ghengis Khans, Alexanders, Caesars, David Dukes, Stalins, Mega Church ministers, Nukes, Trumps, Putins, Schickelgrubers, Marcoses, Amins, Mugabes, and practitioners of genital mutilation. Come on now.

We have done great for 300 years, we have done great damage, and some great things.
posted by Oyéah at 10:09 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


And what the heck will he do (wrong) on Halloween?

TP Puerto Rican hurricane vict... umm wait, he did that already, didn't he?

TP disabled Puerto Rican hurricane victims in a synagogue while dressed in black-face and a Nazi uniform?

[I do realise that the reality is likely to more offensive than my most satirical imaginings]
posted by Buntix at 10:13 AM on October 18 [1 favorite]


And now I'm worried about the nonsense on the forthcoming Trump White House Christmas Tree. And what the heck will he do (wrong) on Halloween?

It's almost quicker to wonder when he'll do something right.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:13 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


If reason is useless and debate is an illusion, how do I know which tribe I need to join to seize power? Or is it that I cannot choose to join any tribe? Am I totally defined by my racial and sexual demographics? Why not just pledge fealty to a king who looks like me and hope I'm not enslaved too much?

I'll stick to the Enlightenment, thanks.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:15 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


The thing about the liberal sandbox of reason is that it's a pretty big improvement over the previous system of kings and emperors. That was sort of the point. To create a world where you didn't have to assassinate people, because no one's power was so absolute that it couldn't be checked. Where civil war could be avoided, because there were ways of exercising power without killing people.

I'd argue it's been successful at avoiding Game of Thrones style politics. And given the higher population, maybe there should have been a lot more war in the past few centuries.

I also agree that reason can't govern, tho. I think most people fail to recognize the morality implicit in their worldview. I don't have time to expand on that, though.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 10:16 AM on October 18 [13 favorites]


Virginia GOTV - where and how can blue state volunteers come to Virginia for GOTV, either the governor's race or legislative races? Would be diligent feet on the ground want to know.
posted by jointhedance at 10:18 AM on October 18


And now I'm worried about the nonsense on the forthcoming Trump White House Christmas Tree.

My guess: sloppy lighting catches fire, burns down White House.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:18 AM on October 18 [9 favorites]


jointhedance, memail dogheart, she is in the know.
posted by peeedro at 10:20 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


(Liberal sandbox probably wasn't an improvement over the majority of indigenous systems, though. But IMO those systems worked at least in part because they were pre-sandboxed by stable, moderate technologies - people traveled, built, created histories, made structurally simple but ingenious and powerful machines, etc, but everyone was still basically dealing with a relatively small and stable number of people and places. You can get to a good consensus in a small, autonomous area - or a good, loose consensus among small autonomous groups - based on custom, personal relationships, familial values and history without a lot of abstraction being needed; but once you get to heterogeneous groups, vast quantities and large distances, you end up with abstractions because you have too many different histories/beliefs/habits in play.)
posted by Frowner at 10:21 AM on October 18 [14 favorites]


There's always going to be *some* most-dominant power out there, and we want that most-dominant power to be 1. peaceful and 2. democratically-controlled. If we can get the most-dominant power to follow a process, the struggle for justice (almost) becomes one of guiding the process towards justice. YCTaB's insight is that the abstraction boundaries presented by process are leaky, and that's something important to remember. But this is so very much a baby/bathwater situation, as OnceUponATime, Frowner, and Rainbo Vagrant point out.
posted by Jpfed at 10:22 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]


Names that seem like they were chosen by Dickens

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting our latest cabinet member, Jeremy Greyweasel (link goes to Dickensian name bot on Twitter)
posted by salix at 10:23 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


And what the heck will he do (wrong) on Halloween?

Follow in the footsteps of Prince Harry?
posted by achrise at 10:27 AM on October 18


I seriously and non-sarcastically appreciate the abstract political discussion happening, which is why I'm wondering: could that go in its own FPP? Debating Literally All Of The Enlightenment seems a bit much for a catch-all thread.

Also, here's some footage of the Franken / Sessions exchange from earlier today. Spoiler: as noted upthread, Sessions is awful.
posted by cjelli at 10:27 AM on October 18 [26 favorites]


The whole point of having a sandbox is to be able to say, for instance, "the equality of women is not up for debate, we are not debating whether women's brains are capable of mathematics before we talk about this education initiative".

Does this kind of sandbox exist anywhere in reality though? Who gets to decide what is and is not up for debate? Who enforces this sandbox and what are their goals? "Let's have a reasoned debate" relies heavily on the definitions of "reasoned" and "debate" - who defines those terms, who enforces those definitions, who gets be seen as "reasonable," who kicks the unreasoned nondebaters out of the sandbox? The value of debate in creating positive social change depends heavily on who has the power to control the terms of the debate.

A better frame, in my opinion, would be that speech, when it is effectively disseminated, can be extremely powerful. All speech is capable of being propaganda for a cause - either in changing minds or for organizing action. Therefore, all speech must be assumed to be propaganda for a cause - regardless of whether the speaker is doing so knowingly. Debate, in that sense, is merely one of many tools that could be used to disseminate propaganda in support of your cause. But, you have to recognize the power dynamics that frame the terms of the debate in order to determine whether it is a tool that can be used for a specific cause at a particular time. We have to organize and acquire sufficient power in order to be able to wield debate as a means to achieve our goals. Otherwise, we're just a pawn in someone else's game.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:28 AM on October 18 [6 favorites]


David Anderson at Balloon Juice is always worth reading on healthcare topics:

Expanded Catastrophic plans
From a distributional point of view, this is good for healthy subsidized and non-subsidized buyers, no significant change for subsidized CSR buyers, slightly worse off for subsidized Gold and Platinum buyers as the relative price spreads will increase, and bad for non-subsidized metal buyers. It might be a net improvement for non-subsidized but very high cost buyers with severe medical conditions as they were always guaranteed to hit the Out of Pocket Max in any scheme but premiums might drop enough.
Morning thoughts on Alexander-Murray
First, I still think that the relative balance of leverage could have made CSR payments a non-issue. Insurers (except in North Dakota) had been able to price the costs into their premiums and this would have led to much lower net of subsidy premiums for a lot of buyers. Secondly, this is a bill for 2019 not 2018. Finally it is nice to read a bill that actually grapples with health financing and health insurance. [...]

I really want confirmation or an argument against Catastrophic health plans as a risk adjustment play. That I think is the subtle big change in the bill. Otherwise, everything in here makes a good deal of sense. The Senate actively wants to see implementation and outreach continue. They want to make things work reasonably well. I still think that CSR did not have to be funded. I think 2018 is going to be a mess no matter what but in a no CSR funded universe, 2019 would be a universe with lower premiums and lower deductibles for more people. But that was a minority argument that seldom got much traction, so I lost it. I would vote for this bill if I was in the Senate.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:32 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


What he'll do on Christmas, I flat out guarantee is go full bore FOX News War on Christmas, and tweet a lot (and maybe even make a speech about) how thanks to him we can say "Merry Christmas" again, as opposed to the Obama era where it was a felony to say "Merry Christmas" punishable by three years of hard labor in a reeducation camp.
posted by sotonohito at 10:33 AM on October 18 [24 favorites]


If we can't get to communism from here, the whole scheme has been a bloody disaster.

"Till they have built a New Kronstadt
In America's green and pleasant land."
posted by corb at 10:35 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


And now I'm worried about the nonsense on the forthcoming Trump White House Christmas Tree

I predict the Pope is going to say something innocuous about how it's "the season to love all people everywhere" which trump will take as a personal attack and then, like Alan Rickman in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, trump will threaten to cancel Xmas and then all of his supporters will rally behind him screaming "We are at war with Christmas; we have always been at war with Christmas!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:36 AM on October 18 [11 favorites]


merely to avoid having to trim some hedge

I don't think he knows what he's in for. Hedges are a thing here:

- Santa Monica Neighbors Fighting Over 40-Foot-High Hedge - Curbed LA
- Burbank resident fights city's limit on fence heights – Daily News
- The Fight for Fence/Hedge Variances - Palisadian Post
- How a rich city spent $283K fighting a gigantic hedge - The Desert Sun
posted by Room 641-A at 10:38 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


like Alan Rickman in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

Trump Jr: But why a spoon daddy? Why not an axe or...

Trump: Because it's dull you twit, it'll hurt more
posted by Groundhog Week at 10:39 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


This is the same system of Kings and Emperors, they are now just corporate heads of the most powerful energy and drug consortia, and their vassal investors, and investment managers. The arms industry and their active sales programs, (wars, and the pressures to make war,) still run things. It is less an entertainment, Kings and Queens on the ramparts, watching slaughter, and making diplomacy later, and agreement, after buckets 'o blood are shed by the bottom of their pyramids. It was dizzying and wonderful to give monarchy the boot, but business was so much more clever, before the addiction set in. Addiction to free resources, and the capital represented by America's share of the fossil fuels, increasingly engineered to offer ease of work arrival. Then this self perpetuating destruction set in, and we call it a civilization.

No one who threatens with nuclear destruction may speak morals, of any kind. The ultimate abuse is annihilation without concern for any living thing at the site of it, nor any living thing for miles around. The entire piece, arms, nuclear arms, armies, and funding atrocity abroad for corporate futures, (Trump: Minerals, Afghanistan has a lot of minerals, we should have just taken Iraq's oil,) are implicitly immoral, no derivative from these activities is moral.

The huge terror this administration is addressing deep inside the blanket fort, is via women's choice, we are not replacing lost white Americans, and they don't want to turn over management responsibilities to anyone but white men. That is the real terror. The other terror as manifest in the outing of Harvey Weinstein, is that ultimately every perp, of every maleficent means by which America was made great originally, is tied to answerable original sin.

One truth is we would like to continuously become a better nation, a better conservator of the planet, a better partner in the way life survives on this world, but we are considerably shamed by the doings of those who are truly in power. We cannot let them make a world where they are protected by their robots to play power with each other for sport, while nothing else worth having survives their plan. This is their plan, you know. If you look at North Korea, that place is the ultimate extension of what the shadow brokers want, only white, you see. Each one of them imagines they can be the one.

Again I will repeat a conversation I had with my prescient, blind, father on the occasion of driving through a small city in Utah, one hot afternoon. I was remarking as to how the maple trees along the roads were burnt in appearance, each leave was browned along the edges, we were idling, at an intersection when he said, "The bible says the world will end by fire, and I think they don't understand what that meant. The fire that will end this, is in every engine on this road, all the stuff they burn to make things easy." I looked at him, "What we sacrifice to make toast?" "We are that lazy." he said, "That that is what will destroy us."
posted by Oyéah at 10:42 AM on October 18 [27 favorites]


And what the heck will he do (wrong) on Halloween?


Turn out the lights and keep the candy just for himself.

It's pretty much the Republican platform.
posted by srboisvert at 10:44 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


@CavRTK (4th Squadron, 10th US Cavalry Squadron Commander):

1. When I took the Army’s Casualty Assistance and Casualty Notification Course it was the most emotionally draining class I’ve ever had
2. I think back to the memorials and ramp ceremonies I attended between 2003 and last year in Erbil and about what’s happening at home
3. We call ramp ceremonies “Hero Flights” because they take our hero home. And while we stand to pay our final respects...
4. There’s another solemn process playing out somewhere on the other side of the earth>>
5. I have a hard time holding it together during final roll calls or taps because I know what’s happening somewhere else
6. Because while we are holding our salute somewhere there is a family member who has no idea their life is about to change forever
7. They don’t know there’s a notification officer getting their dress uniform ready to deliver the worst message you can give someone
8. This is the point during the ceremony I have to take a breath because I realize it’s at this moment this is the last normal they’ll know
9. And as we pay final respects and maintain formation as the chain of command enters the aircraft and says their own goodbyes
10. I am not embarrassed to say there are seldom dry eyes as some of the toughest people I know are stripped to their core emotions
11. They know the same thing - we are only the first people whose lives are changed by this new void but others are impacted so much harder

I can't remember who it was I saw say this a few days ago, but anyone running for president should have to take the Casualty Notification Course.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:44 AM on October 18 [98 favorites]


like Alan Rickman in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

No, please. Alan Rickman was a treasure; Trump is...well, Trumpian. I do not want to conflate any image of Trump with anything Alan Rickman.

"like the deranged Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves" reads better to me.
posted by nubs at 10:45 AM on October 18 [6 favorites]


I was skipping some, did we cover the Cancellation of Diwali tomorrow, and the terrible horrible inhuman phonecall to the wife of a recently deceased soldier? (black of course)
posted by infini at 10:48 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


did we cover

Yes and yes, for reference.

(Was that all only in the last twenty-four hours? This Presidency is warping my sense of time.)
posted by cjelli at 10:50 AM on October 18 [8 favorites]


Re:
Pruitt: Scientists receiving federal grants will be cut from EPA advising roles


To me, this is pretty personal. Deb Swackhamer, who was Chair of their Board of Scientific Counselors, is a fellow professor in my department. A more thoughtful, intelligent, and learned person in the field you cannot find. If you piss her off, you are doing life wrong.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:53 AM on October 18 [30 favorites]


Sign an EO proclaiming Candy Corn the national treat?

More like Circus Peanuts, amirite?
posted by Melismata at 10:54 AM on October 18 [10 favorites]


I have a hard time holding it together during final roll calls or taps because I know what’s happening somewhere else

That's all of us. Everywhere. Except the "president", of course. I can imagine Trump watching them walk up. "Nice uniforms. The best. Sharp."

God, fuck him forever.
posted by corb at 10:56 AM on October 18 [18 favorites]


In peak WTF, this isn’t actually Melania, right?

Like on first blush that’s total Alex Jones style insanity but ...wait no that’s not her?

What the fuck.
posted by The Whelk at 10:57 AM on October 18 [48 favorites]


And now I'm worried about the nonsense on the forthcoming Trump White House Christmas Tree.

My guess: sloppy lighting catches fire, burns down White House.


and then blame Canada.
posted by phearlez at 10:57 AM on October 18


Also J.D Vance has been meeting with Steve Bannon in case you needed more proof his book is nothing but classist fascist apologia
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM on October 18 [25 favorites]


Melania is wearing dark glasses, ala a Opthalmologist visit, but her nose is swollen, like she got punched, and she is swollen and likely covering black eyes. (opinion.)
posted by Oyéah at 11:00 AM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Also J.D Vance has been meeting with Steve Bannon in case you needed more proof his book is nothing but classist fascist apologia

i didn't
posted by entropicamericana at 11:01 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


More like Circus Peanuts, amirite?

Necco wafers. The magahat of candy.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:01 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Fourth, demonizing Wall Street does nothing to bridge the widening gaps in our country.

Note that 'demonizing Wall Street' is merely calling for Wall Street to be subject to reasonable and actually enforced regulation much of which already exists.
posted by srboisvert at 11:02 AM on October 18 [29 favorites]


Spoiler: as noted upthread, Sessions is awful.

I tried to use a MetaQuote bookmarklet, but sometimes it fails to link a username and comment anchor, which is usually annoying because it's a lovely bit of code when it works without issue.

But in this case, I think the context-free spoiler is appropriate for life in general. Sessions is awful.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:02 AM on October 18


In peak WTF, this isn’t actually Melania, right?

I will not be sucked in by conspiracy nonsense
I will not be sucked in by conspiracy nonsense

*watches video*

Great. I am now a Melania truther.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:02 AM on October 18 [59 favorites]


the follow up tweet side by side makes a pretty compelling case that those are not Melania's lips or nose. . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:03 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


I guess in a way having an obviously fake Renoir is a power move - you're basically saying "I am obviously, blatantly lying in a particularly pointless way, and you can't do anything about it".

In the Sin City episode "That Yellow Bastard," one of the major villains, a powerful senator and member of a family of villains, explains how he can get away with pinning the child rapes and murders committed by his son on the protagonist, a hero cop. He says something to the effect that real power is the ability to lie and get people to agree with you even though they know you aren't telling the truth. Since Frank Miller is not subtle, he cites people providing him with an alibi for his murdering his own wife.

Of course, Orwell made the same observation about lies and power back in 1948, perhaps a bit more subtly.
posted by Gelatin at 11:04 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


I can't remember who it was I saw say this a few days ago, but anyone running for president should have to take the Casualty Notification Course.

We should really have a requirement that Presidential candidates should have served their country in some capacity.

Not their children.

Them.

They're the Commander in Chief of America's Armed Forces. Great. They should know what that means in every way. What it means to wear a uniform and serve their country. Because now they're going to be ordering troops into battle, and they need personal experience to have the proper perspective. To treat our soldiers and their families like individual human beings, not abstractions.

They should be put into a situation where a group of people sitting in nice comfortable offices back in Washington vote to send them into danger, where they will risk their lives. They should serve so that they learn to respect all the different kinds of sacrifices real soldiers make, and experience firsthand the various forms of disrespect soldiers endure for serving their country. Both while they are deployed and then when they return home to endless neglect and indifference from government agencies.

While they're serving, they can take the Casualty Notification Course. Let it really sink in. So they never treat our soldiers as political pawns or casually order them into battle. And that they'll show some goddamned respect for those who have died in service to their greater good.
posted by zarq at 11:05 AM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Does his fake wife like his fake painting, is what I want to know?

. . . or is she faking it.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:06 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


In peak WTF, this isn’t actually Melania, right?

Think it's just some some weird white/cream rim over the nose bit of the sunglasses weirding the perception.
posted by Buntix at 11:08 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


The military isn't the only way to serve your country, or even necessarily the best way to do so in peace time. To the extent that we have had peace time in our lifetime.
posted by phearlez at 11:08 AM on October 18 [27 favorites]


We should really have a requirement that Presidential candidates should have served their country in some capacity.

There has been a pretty large collection of retired generals standing right beside Trump nodding and clapping.
posted by srboisvert at 11:09 AM on October 18 [36 favorites]


Sessions is all steamed up! His honor has been impugned! Is there any way there could be a duel?
posted by Don Pepino at 11:10 AM on October 18 [11 favorites]


The more I look into these photos, the more I get drawn into this fake-Melania conspiracy. That's a wig, right? What have you done, The Whelk??????
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:10 AM on October 18 [15 favorites]


I’m guessing she recently had some work done on her face. An eye job will swell up your face and give you black eyes, so will a brow lift. She’s in her 40s and married to a quintessentially shallow man. Or maybe she just didn’t use contour, or this isn’t a photo that got retouched as is standard practice from every publication. Those are her lips, her chin and her jaw line in both photos.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:11 AM on October 18 [26 favorites]


It's not about processes. It's about organized power.

There are lots of leftist popular strongmen (and a few women) who have been monsters. Being strong isn't the answer. Trotsky was a monster. Castro was a Monster. Aung San Suu Kyi is turning out to be a monster.

Process gives voice and space and protection to those who traditionally do not have it. Process is about rule of law and social contracts. It sure as hell matters if we want societies that aren't just dominated by two huge tribes that trample everyone and everything that doesn't fit the the two puralities.

Naked power is the world the corporatists like Trump want. Process is anathema to them. It's extraordinarily dangerous to buy into that worldview.
posted by bonehead at 11:13 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


I wouldn't doubt it was her just from the pictures - I think it's the nose rim of the glasses skewing things - but the fact that Trump said "my wife Melania, she's right here" does make it a lot more suspicious. If he'd said "believe me" then I'd bet money it wasn't her.
posted by Mchelly at 11:14 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if that's a wig because she's losing hair or her hair is rapidly thinning from stress. I think it's also possible her eyes are super puffy from stress, allergies, or having had work done.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:14 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


The more I re-watch it the more I think that the surest sign it isn't melania is that she actually looks at him for most of the time he is speaking, which is out of character.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:15 AM on October 18 [17 favorites]


Team Autumnheart. It looks like her, just puffy. It happens.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:15 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Sessions is all steamed up! His honor has been impugned!

Anyone with any real sense of integrity understands that being repeatedly in circumstances where people can question your honor is, itself, a sign of failing to have sufficient integrity. Some umpteen posts ago we had a quote from someone talking about how if you're constantly aiming to be just over the line on the right of right you've fucked things up and it's insufficient.

Of course it doesn't matter who sees him and knows this. He surely knows this as do all his supporters in the room. It's all just performative to run out the clock. Would be nice if someone were to make that the basis of a question to him, though. What do you think it means, bub, that there's just so many circumstances in your conduct that we can look to and wonder about? Do you think people of real integrity have so many ambiguous, guilty looking moments?

He wouldn't answer that either but it's not like these events are about the answers so much as they are the questions.
posted by phearlez at 11:17 AM on October 18 [3 favorites]


[One deleted. Folks, this Melania thing is sort of weird and goes to a place we don't need to go, unless there's something more to it?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:19 AM on October 18 [39 favorites]


It's all just performative to run out the clock.

That, yes. Also performative: the bits where he feigns confusion and consternation at how the Senate process works and how little time he has to answer -- remember, he used to be a Senator.
posted by cjelli at 11:20 AM on October 18 [13 favorites]


What do you think it means, bub, that there's just so many circumstances in your conduct that we can look to and wonder about?

"I meet with a variety of people because I'm very important and smart." You may not like or agree with it, but that doesn't matter. The goal is (or should be, if you ask me) to be able to cut through it. It's a problem if there's no institutional defense to predictable lies and obfuscations.
posted by rhizome at 11:37 AM on October 18


OK, I was fascinated by this and I'm posting this to hopefully end the discussion around Melania: here, via Getty Images, are Melania and Donald on the day of that video. It's her.
posted by lalex at 11:40 AM on October 18 [15 favorites]


Wonder if he's found the Candy Desk yet.
posted by Melismata at 11:41 AM on October 18 [1 favorite]


Yeah, can we not spread insane paranoid conspiracy theories? Leave that to the Republicans. Thanks.
posted by Justinian at 11:44 AM on October 18 [18 favorites]


It may be an outlier, but I don't care: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mississippi-jefferson-davis-school-renamed-obama

School name changed from "Jefferson Davis Elementary School" to "Barack Obama Magnet IB". The school's population is 98% black, so...yeah, about fucking time that name was changed.
posted by mosk at 11:45 AM on October 18 [68 favorites]


Insane paranoid conspiracy theories are my favorite part of politics, though.
posted by Coventry at 11:46 AM on October 18 [13 favorites]


Insane paranoid conspiracy theories are my favorite part of politics, though.

If only the last 18 months were nothing but a Toblerone Triangular performance piece.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:48 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


I miss the days when the insane paranoid conspiracies mostly involved the government hiding aliens from us.
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:49 AM on October 18 [20 favorites]


That's what's still happening here, right?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:52 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


Insane paranoid conspiracy theories are my favorite part of politics, though.

In a further symptom of just how doolally the world is, my favourite politics of (the not just screaming despair into the sucking void but remembering to hope) are:

Mhairi Black doing that thing she does so well and ermm... the latest Wolfenstein trailer
posted by Buntix at 11:52 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


That's what's still happening here, right?

No, no, most of them are running for office these days.
posted by loquacious at 11:54 AM on October 18 [1 favorite]


School name changed from "Jefferson Davis Elementary School" to "Barack Obama Magnet IB".

I love this!

In other Mississippi-related news: Joyce Carol Oates is apparently really bad at Twitter.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:56 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


BuzzFeed: Twitter Was Warned Repeatedly About This Fake Account Run By A Russian Troll Farm And Refused To Take It Down

The account was @TEN_GOP, a notorious troll account "that claimed to speak for the Tennessee Republican Party." RBC's Russian "troll factory" report identified it as an operation of the Internet Research Agency.

Michael Flynn followed the account and retweeted it at least once.
posted by zachlipton at 11:57 AM on October 18 [32 favorites]


School name changed from "Jefferson Davis Elementary School" to "Barack Obama Magnet IB". The school's population is 98% black, so...yeah, about fucking time that name was changed.

Oh my God, Trump will one day have public schools named after him.
posted by Groundhog Week at 11:58 AM on October 18 [7 favorites]


Shocker: WH @Presssec says there is NOT a recording of his conversation w/ soldier's widow. Says there were others in the room.

One of those was allegedly Kelly, so now he gets to be put in the position of either defending a grieving family or being complicit in attacking them.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:59 AM on October 18 [68 favorites]


Trump this morning:
Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!
Trump's Press Secretary, just now (paraphrasing):
'There is no recording of the call with Sgt. Johnson's widow...but staff including Gen. Kelly were in the room for the call.'
(He does not have proof). Sad!
posted by cjelli at 12:00 PM on October 18 [18 favorites]


Of course he didn't have proof. He lies even when it doesn't benefit him. If he said he has proof it means he has no proof.

Hell, if he said the sky was blue I'd check.
posted by sotonohito at 12:02 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


One of those was allegedly Kelly, so now he gets to be put in the position of either defending a grieving family or being complicit in attacking them.

Sooner or later everybody gets the meatloaf.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:02 PM on October 18 [53 favorites]


i feel like Gen. Kelly is just now permanently stuck in a hell where the Curb Your Enthusiasm music is looping nonstop
posted by halation at 12:03 PM on October 18 [30 favorites]


Oh my God, Trump will one day have public schools named after him.

Not if DeVos manages to get rid of those...
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:03 PM on October 18 [26 favorites]


Thanks, Buntix! I'm so glad I clicked that Mhairi Black link.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:04 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


Oh my God, Trump will one day have public schools named after him.

There are only 2 public schools named after Nixon. I think it's safe to say that any schools named after Trump in the future will be in Gileadesque breakaway nations.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:07 PM on October 18 [20 favorites]


The account was @TEN_GOP, a notorious troll account "that claimed to speak for the Tennessee Republican Party."

Wow, somehow I hadn't guessed that these were Russians. I just thought they were really vocal and visible Republicans.
posted by Jpfed at 12:08 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


One of those was allegedly Kelly, so now he gets to be put in the position of either defending a grieving family or being complicit in attacking them.

Also, FWIW silence on Kelly's part doesn't absolve him of anything, it's firmly under "being complicit." After all, as his boss says--and this time it's 100% accurate--he knew what he was signing up for.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:09 PM on October 18 [32 favorites]


We should really have a requirement that Presidential candidates should have served their country in some capacity.

I'm doing my part! Are you? SERVICE GUARANTEES CITIZENCANDIDACYSHIP
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:12 PM on October 18 [18 favorites]


I was hoping that Trump recorded the call, because then we could have talked about how it would have violated Florida law requiring all-party consent on recording phone calls. But iirc I think we've gone through this before, that Trump being president = exemption for no reasonable expectation of privacy, and/or federal law supersedes Fla. law.

Still, it's always fun to think about the president breaking the law in yet another way.
posted by martin q blank at 12:13 PM on October 18


Wasn't it like yesterday that he was trying to use Kelly for some non-existent proof backing up his claim that Obama didn't call families?

We aren't even done with Wednesday, how's that work week going, Kelly?
posted by jason_steakums at 12:14 PM on October 18 [13 favorites]




Wasn't it like yesterday that he was trying to use Kelly for some non-existent proof backing up his claim that Obama didn't call families?

And only a few months ago he was saying that there 'might be' tapes of him speaking with Comey. And on a few weeks before that when he was saying that Obama had taped him.

He has a weird obsession with this particular lie.
posted by cjelli at 12:17 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


Nobody but nobody manages the perfectly infuriating blend of smug know-nothingism and defiant ignorance quite like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Well, save maybe for her boss.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:18 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


... the latest Wolfenstein trailer

imagine a world where a long-standing video game series where you run around and kill nazis wasn't somehow considered controversial by conservatives...
posted by anem0ne at 12:19 PM on October 18 [21 favorites]




Other than our cultural conception of Serious Military Men who send young people to their deaths but feel really, really bad about it, is there any particular reason to think that Kelly gives the slightest shit about La David Johnson or his family and feels the tiniest amount bad about anything he's done this week? He's already happily lied about this same garbage and spent the first half of this year running some of our nation's worst, most fascist agencies with an explicitly racist agenda.
posted by Copronymus at 12:22 PM on October 18 [11 favorites]


Imagine a world where the generation that fought in World War II lived long enough to see their kids enthusiastically elect Nazis into office.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:25 PM on October 18 [41 favorites]


is there any particular reason to think that Kelly gives the slightest shit about La David Johnson JK is Gold Star Family.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:26 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


McCain signed onto the Democrats' Facebook Ad Disclosure Bill.
Sen. John McCain has become the first Republican to sign on to a draft bill from Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner that would increase the transparency of political advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook.

The move, announced Wednesday, marks a win for the bill's Democratic authors, who have been working for weeks to secure GOP support.
posted by xyzzy at 12:27 PM on October 18 [49 favorites]


Not to abuse edit window...And to see a paid Russian operative in the Oval Office.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:27 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


is there any particular reason to think that Kelly gives the slightest shit about La David Johnson or his family and feels the tiniest amount bad about anything he's done this week?

"In 2010, Kelly's 29-year-old son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly, was killed in action when he stepped on a landmine while leading a platoon of Marines on a patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan."


That being said, Trump's attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan were not sufficient to stop Kelly from taking a job in the Trump administration, so.
posted by cjelli at 12:31 PM on October 18 [10 favorites]


“Already got a guilty conscience. Might as well have the money, too.”
posted by Autumnheart at 12:32 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


I was hoping that Trump recorded the call, because then we could have talked about how it would have violated Florida law requiring all-party consent on recording phone calls.

But Trump is in DC (assuming he was at his desk), which is one-party. It's been a long while since I dug into this but as I recall there's no good settled law about how that shakes out when you have a conflict like that. The fact that the call was on a speakerphone where multiple other parties could listen in probably wouldn't help support the assertion that the more restrictive condition should be observed. The RCFP suggests reporters should err on the side of the more restrictive law, though they haven't updated this in 5 years and it was already becoming more problematic advice as people use cellphones and keep numbers from far-away regions.
posted by phearlez at 12:33 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


More Roy Moore news, via TPM: Roy Moore Incorrectly Says Kneeling During Anthem ‘Against The Law’
Roy Moore, the Republican candidate to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat in the U.S. Senate, incorrectly said Wednesday that football players who take a knee during the national anthem are breaking the law.

“It’s against the law, you know that?” Moore told Time in an interview. “It was a act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That’s the law.”
(That's not the law.)
Moore was referring, Time reported, to a section of the U.S. code that says those listening to the national anthem when the flag is displayed “should” stand at attention with their hands on their hearts.

“Should” falls far short of making standing during the anthem a legal requirement. Relatedly, the Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that students could not be punished for failing to stand for the pledge of allegiance in public schools.
posted by cjelli at 12:37 PM on October 18 [33 favorites]


It was a act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart.

(emphasis mine) if we're just gonna make up shit i'm gonna just point out that according to a strict originalist reading of noted "legal" "mind" roy moore, if you're not a man you don't have to do any of this shit for the anthem.
posted by anem0ne at 12:43 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


is there any particular reason to think that Kelly gives the slightest shit about La David Johnson

JK is Gold Star Family.


The Leopards Eating Faces party members always think that other people's faces deserved to be eaten but theirs is a tragedy. See also temporarily inconvenienced millionaires, looking for anonymous same-sex sex in bathrooms, immigration restrictions despite marital history, belief in master races despite looking like an overcooked pizza dough that spent too much time in the oven, email private servers, blah blah etc forever. "But they're-" when talking about these folks has no meaning other than as a trigger for pointing out abject shitty hypocrisy. It has 0 predictive value.
posted by phearlez at 12:43 PM on October 18 [10 favorites]


That being said, Trump's attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan were not sufficient to stop Kelly from taking a job in the Trump administration, so.

Yeah, he knew what he was signing up for.
posted by nubs at 12:43 PM on October 18 [27 favorites]


Yeah, he knew what he was signing up for.

'You knew I was a Renoir when you let me in.'

posted by cjelli at 12:50 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]




Jeremy Nguyen has a spooky Halloween cartoon in today's New Yorker.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:54 PM on October 18 [14 favorites]


BUT WHY. WHY WOULD HE DO THIS

Because he has a record of not following up with his generous promises -- investigating this fact is how Farenthold came to such prominence.
posted by Gelatin at 12:55 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


Jpfed: "YCTaB's insight is that the abstraction boundaries presented by process are leaky, and that's something important to remember. But this is so very much a baby/bathwater situation, as OnceUponATime, Frowner, and Rainbo Vagrant point out."

Hmm, sounds like we need a Hegelian synthesis.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:56 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


BUT WHY. WHY WOULD HE DO THIS

Some faint, weirdo vestige of the adult feeling of responsibility kicking in, but being activated through some weird dementia-influenced notion that he is actually the USA's sugar daddy and daddy gonna make it all better.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:00 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


And what the heck will he do (wrong) on Halloween?

Sexy Steve Bannon costume.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:01 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


Trump offered a grieving military father $25,000 in a call, but didn’t follow through

BUT WHY. WHY WOULD HE DO THIS


Hey, it's the thought that counts!
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:02 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


There's a liberal idea, baked deep into our pre-2016 culture, that says that reasoned debate between formal equals is the best way to resolve disputes, and that therefore the best decision making processes involve constructing a sandbox where we pretend that reasoned debate is how disputes are resolved

This fills me with dismay.

A major theme of Why the Germans? Why the Jews?: Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust is how much easier the Nazi rise to power was because German and governance had long since abandoned liberal values.
posted by Coventry at 1:02 PM on October 18 [17 favorites]


As we know from Washington Post that since Trump was a bullying child, he'd insist on his version of the truth despite any attempt to correct him. He's a sadist, he's a pathological liar, and a narcissist. He's got this finely honed vicious instinct.

I know this, and I know I shouldn't be outraged, but I've power-downed 200 comments including Trump's lashing out at the Representative in like five minutes. And fucking A man. Fucking A.

The PA ADAPT folks made, during their last action, trips to cabinet member houses, including Jeff Sessions. I am like ready to go scream at any member of the GOP who is complicit in Trump's rise.

I like my Enlightenment values. I like my sandbox. Start dismantling the sandbox, I'm sorry, but I am reclaiming my time, motherfuckers.
posted by angrycat at 1:07 PM on October 18 [47 favorites]


Trump offered a grieving military father $25,000 in a call, but didn’t follow through

Per Politico (twitter, no additional info beyond this summary), White House 'now saying the $25K check to soldier's dad has been sent and the media is "biased" and "disgusting."'

So we're at the 'check is in the mail!' stage of denial, I guess.
posted by cjelli at 1:12 PM on October 18 [52 favorites]


They know mail has postmarks, right?
posted by zachlipton at 1:14 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]




There's also the matter of the fundraiser that Trump promised him the White House would establish, on which: no comment yet. Maybe that's in the mail too.
posted by cjelli at 1:17 PM on October 18


I feel like 90% of Trump's success is his ability to say things that people want to hear, and then to feel no remorse in immediately disregarding or even outright denying the things he said.

No wait, the inheritance money is 90%, this is more like 10%
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:20 PM on October 18 [14 favorites]


honestly I am just so fucking tired of these people. every day is a new humiliation, a new shame, a new assault on human decency
posted by lalex at 1:21 PM on October 18 [49 favorites]


Shorter Trump: "General Kelly says I'm a catch."
posted by drezdn at 1:22 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


Also, what happened to him donating his salary to a charity ?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:23 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


A major theme of Why the Germans? Why the Jews?: Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust is how much easier the Nazi rise to power was because German and governance had long since abandoned liberal values.

They'd also institutionalized antisemitism by passing far-reaching legislation against Jews. There are parallels in the recent treatment of Muslims and LGBT Americans through Trump's executive orders and laws, which vilify and allow government discrimination against them.
posted by zarq at 1:23 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


Babyhands McBonespurs

10,000 Internet Points awarded
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:23 PM on October 18 [22 favorites]


America the...oh, hey there, Beautiful

Oh boastful and pernicious lies,
A rambler raves all day,
In purple prose and travesty,
An empty suit complains!

America! America!
The news is fake you see
The bad is good and you are rude
To ever question me!

O Beautiful, come take a seat
I'm sure that you're impressed
With all the power of my tweets
Across the world wide web!

America! America! 
God end the rule of law
Confirm my soul is made of gold
My image has no flaw!

O beautiful for heroes proved
I care about their lives
Who more than me their country loved
And hey, check out my wife!

America! America!
May words we redefine
Till all success be meaningless
And every gain is mine!
posted by ruetheday at 1:24 PM on October 18 [47 favorites]


the President's Chief of Staff listened to the call and thought it "was respectful", but will not talk about the details.

He can't talk about the details. Because the president will lie about the details the moment he does talk about them.
posted by srboisvert at 1:28 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


And then I think about how when it was finally time for her to try to step into the sun, the millstone of her husband's mistakes kept dragging her down.

That's not how right-wing bigotry works. If Bill's mistakes were the real reason Hillary lost, then Trump would never have even been in the running. Right-wing bigotry merely needs a flimsy public reason for the bigotry, because it's going to bigot regardless, whether it's a woman, a black, a Muslim, or a gay. Bill's mistakes were just the public window dressing for the bigotry.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:31 PM on October 18 [19 favorites]


"A White House spokeswoman says Chief of Staff John Kelly is "disgusted" that dealing with military deaths has become "politicized." Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Kelly is frustrated that "the focus has become on the process and not that American lives were lost." Sanders did not directly address whether Kelly knew that Trump would cite the death of his son in Afghanistan to question whether President Barack Obama had properly honored the war dead."

"the focus has become on the process and not that American lives were lost."

The "process" is supposed to be respectful the American lives that are lost. The "process" is supposed to offer respect, support and condolences to their families and loved ones. Instead, our Commander in Chief is so fucking addled, compassionless and full of himself that while talking to the widow of a soldier whose life was sacrificed, he can't remember the man's name.
posted by zarq at 1:33 PM on October 18 [40 favorites]


BUT WHY. WHY WOULD HE DO THIS

It's a reflex he falls back on to extract admiration from people in the moment. He offers them an extravagant (to them) gift so they'll give him the kind of favorable reaction his narcissism requires. Once that happens follow-through & execution of the promise isn't a thing he concerns himself with, he's already got what he wants from the exchange.
posted by scalefree at 1:34 PM on October 18 [54 favorites]


aren't military deaths inherently political
posted by entropicamericana at 1:35 PM on October 18 [13 favorites]


aren't all deaths inherently political
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:37 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


So, politics is inevitable?
posted by Melismata at 1:40 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


while talking to the widow of a soldier whose life was sacrificed, he can't remember the man's name

My hunch: he just didn't want to say the name "La David."
posted by kelborel at 1:41 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Judge orders Trump administration to allow abortion for undocumented teen (Maria Sacchetti, WaPo)
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. government to allow an undocumented teenager in its custody to have an abortion, after saying she was “astounded” the Trump administration was trying to prevent the procedure.

Lawyers for Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington that the 17-year-old, who crossed the border from Mexico illegally last month, did not have a constitutional right to an elective abortion in federal custody, unless it was a medical emergency.

Chutkan, an Obama administration nominee, said the government appeared to be presenting the teenager identified in court papers as “Jane Doe” with two options: Voluntarily return to a nation she fled to procure an abortion, or carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

“I am astounded by that position,” Chutkan said in a 40-minute hearing that was mostly consumed by a back-and-forth between the judge and Scott Stewart, a deputy assistant attorney general.

She ordered the government to transport the teenager to have the procedure — or allow her guardian to transport her — “promptly and without delay.”
posted by Room 641-A at 1:55 PM on October 18 [71 favorites]


THIS MODERN WORLD on the last month.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:56 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


We don't need to ditch liberalism, we need liberals (big L liberals and Conservatives) too actually live up to their ideology.

It's hard for socialism and socialists to push society toward more egalitarian forms if the center of the body politic is all relativist batshittery.

That's not to say that recognition of power relations is not important, but the process actually does matter; it allows for the democratization of power.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:57 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


So, politics is inevitable?

Politics never stops. There is no such thing as apolitical.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:57 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


I can't remember who it was I saw say this a few days ago, but anyone running for president should have to take the Casualty Notification Course.

I googled around and found a training powerpoint deck for CNO's ... Most depressing powerpoint deck ever.

Every president should SERVE as a Casualty Notification Officer, and put it all on the line....
posted by mikelieman at 2:11 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]




That patriot is also drinking beer with a straw.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:16 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


And he's a Jets fan.
So probably not a patriot.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:17 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Is there are more perfect metaphor for America in 2017?

i smell burnt toast and my left arm just went numb
posted by entropicamericana at 2:18 PM on October 18 [33 favorites]


Lawyers for Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington that the 17-year-old, who crossed the border from Mexico illegally last month, did not have a constitutional right to an elective abortion in federal custody, unless it was a medical emergency.

So we're finally discovering that after all his posturing about opposing immigrants, Jeff Sessions is pro-anchor-baby. Basically, he's a radical leftist at heart. No wonder he left "filth" out of that speech at the border back in April. </🍔>
posted by XMLicious at 2:19 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Wendy Thurm (via Twitter):
The 4 families who told WaPo that they rec'd calls from Trump are white.
Dillon Baldridge: http://thefallen.militarytimes.com/corporal-dillon-c-baldridge/6568711 …
Cameron Thomas: http://thefallen.militarytimes.com/sgt-cameron-h-thomas/6568702 …
Weston Lee http://thefallen.militarytimes.com/1st-lt-weston-c-lee/6568703 …
Aaron Butler http://thefallen.militarytimes.com/army-staff-sgt-aaron-r-butler/6568719 …
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:20 PM on October 18 [38 favorites]


Frail and disoriented, Cochran says he's not retiring

The 79-year-old Cochran appeared frail and at times disoriented during a brief hallway interview on Wednesday. He was unable to answer whether he would remain chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and at one point, needed a staffer to remind him where the Senate chamber is located.

The Republican chair of the Appropriations Committee. He’s supposed to be overseeing the budget resolution, and then the actual budget markup ahead of the December shutdown date.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:21 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


From the linked article on Trump's $25,000 offer:

He said, ‘No other president has ever done something like this,’

Even if that were true (and I'm betting it's not), who would think for a second that Trump would know that based on his actual historical knowledge?

(I don't mean that the soldier's father should have known better than to believe him. I mean it's lunacy for Trump to say shit like this, and not realize there are like, people in the world who know about past presidents who can bat that shit down.)
posted by Rykey at 2:31 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


I mean it's lunacy for Trump to say shit like this, and not realize there are like, people in the world who know about past presidents who can bat that shit down

history is a chinese hoax
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:33 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


10 FOR Potus45Day = 1 TO 1460
20 LET Horror = Horror+1: LET Disgust=Disgust^2: LET Evens=Evens-1
30 PRINT "He can't get worse than today"
40 IF (Potus45Day+1) <> "ActualApocalypse" THEN LET (Potus45Day)="Hold my beer"
50 NEXT
posted by Devonian at 2:33 PM on October 18 [47 favorites]


BUT WHY. WHY WOULD HE DO THIS

HIS BRAIN IS FAILING. What once was mere sociopathy and grift has become incorrIz $p1Ng,!/ as more and more terrific. The best.
posted by petebest at 2:38 PM on October 18 [17 favorites]


Today is the day where shit got real. Trump is lying about the call to Sgt. La David T. Johnson widow. You can't fuck with the widow of a dead soldier. Nov 2018 is either going to be a total blood bath for the republican party or we're all fucked. Super simple. Either way, today is the day a line was drawn in the sand.

Trump will only be impeached if there's a democratic majority in the senate. Today is the shit-show that might make that a reality.
posted by photoslob at 2:45 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


HIS BRAIN IS FAILING.

Apologies if I posted this in a recent thread (i.e. one in the latest trump-decade). But remember when the idea that the president's brain is missing could be a running gag.

Not a recurring premonition.
posted by Buntix at 2:45 PM on October 18


Why would today be any different, he did this same thing before the election and won.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:49 PM on October 18 [47 favorites]


You can't fuck with the widow of a dead soldier.
Is a widow worse than a mother somehow?
posted by neroli at 2:50 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


10 FOR Potus45Day = 1 TO 1460
20 LET Horror = Horror+1: LET Disgust=Disgust^2: LET Evens=Evens-1
30 PRINT "He can't get worse than today"
40 IF (Potus45Day+1) <> "ActualApocalypse" THEN LET (Potus45Day)="Hold my beer"
50 NEXT


Potus45Day Considered Harmful
posted by maudlin at 2:53 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Why would today be any different, he did this same thing before the election and won

maybe if she were a southern, rural white widow
posted by entropicamericana at 2:53 PM on October 18 [11 favorites]


Mhairi Black doing that thing she does so well...
posted by Buntix at 11:52 AM on October 18 [3 favorites +] [!]


Thank you. That was well worth 6+ minutes of my time. And I could listen to that accent all day long. "Hahlt ut ti-DEH!"
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:55 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


You can't fuck with the widow of a dead soldier. Nov 2018 is either going to be a total blood bath for the republican party or we're all fucked. Super simple. Either way, today is the day a line was drawn in the sand.

I admire your optimism even in the face of facts.

I mean, his base isn't paying attention to the real world, so... we're all fucked? I guarantee you the "news" sources they're ingesting, the same ones that convinced them all to suddenly hate the NFL, are smearing the (non-white) widow right now.

There's no line in the sand that won't be washed away by the waves of filth this regime generates and his dittohead cultists lap up.
posted by anem0ne at 2:56 PM on October 18 [46 favorites]


Bill Kristol endorses Doug Jones over Roy Moore.

Bill. Kristol.

This is what NeverTrump really means. It means endorsing and aiding the other candidate that could win. Nothing less was ever sufficient. So good job, Kristol, you are the only true NeverTrumper. And yes, it physically hurts me to agree with you, but we have to acknowledge model behavior. Now where’s Rick Wilson and Egg and Sasse and all the rest.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:59 PM on October 18 [105 favorites]


Because in 2017, nothing makes sense any longer:

NYT: Ted Cruz, Who Is Not the Zodiac Killer, Acknowledges a Long-Running Joke

... People on Twitter erupted at what appeared to be Mr. Cruz’s first acknowledgment of the long-running joke. Did the one-time presidential candidate score a few points for being in on the joke? Did he ruin what was once a fun joke? Others — surely including those hearing about it for the first time through this article — were all sorts of baffled. Why did he tweet the Zodiac note? Why do people say he’s the Zodiac killer? Does anything make sense anymore?

No, it most certainly does not.

posted by RedOrGreen at 3:05 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


"In 2010, Kelly's 29-year-old son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly, was killed in action when he stepped on a landmine while leading a platoon of Marines on a patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan."

At lunch today, I had a conversation with an epidemiology PhD candidate who has worked with Army surgeons researching factors that determine survival of casualties of war. She is desperately seeking new work because after three years it has worn her down. Primarily because of the vivid descriptions and photos she needs to review for the research, she feels shocked and traumatized repeatedly. She described in detail what these antipersonnel land mines do to the body of the person who steps on them. They are designed specifically to tear flesh and bone apart from the ground up. A direct step on them leaves the person in shreds. I told her I could never do what she does in the first place, but admire her for taking it on. I hope someone steely, but competent steps in to take her place.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:06 PM on October 18 [26 favorites]


...if you're not a man you don't have to do any of this shit for the anthem.

How about 3/5 of a man?
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:07 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


The Occasional Dana: (forward.com): ADL Slams GOP Rep. For Bringing Holocaust Denier To Meeting
“It is an insult to the memories of those killed in the Holocaust and to the Jewish community to bring a Holocaust denier to the US Congress,” ADL CEO Jonatahn Greenblatt tweeted Tuesday.

Rohrabacher brought journalist and activist Charles C. Johnson to a meeting with Sen. Rand Paul regarding information about Russian involvement in the 2016 elections that Rohrabacher had allegedly obtained from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Johnson has argued that no more than 250,000 Jews were murdered in Nazi death camps and once wrote, “I agree with David Cole about Auschwitz and the gas chambers not being real.”
Rohrabacher just won't let go of this Assange thing.
posted by notyou at 3:09 PM on October 18 [23 favorites]


I hope someone steely, but competent steps in to take her place.

Or, you know, the US could GTFO of Afghanistan. It's going to happen eventually, and I don't see any benefit to prolonging the inevitable.
posted by Coventry at 3:11 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


new from the Daily Beast: Team Trump Pushed Russian Propaganda Days Before Election
Some of the Trump campaign’s most prominent names and supporters, including Trump’s campaign manager, digital director and son, pushed tweets from troll accounts paid for by the Russian government in the heat of the 2016 election campaign.

The Twitter account @Ten_GOP, which called itself the “Unofficial Twitter account of Tennessee Republicans,” was operated from the Kremlin-backed “Russian troll farm,” or Internet Research Agency, a source familiar with the account confirmed with The Daily Beast.
posted by lalex at 3:19 PM on October 18 [48 favorites]


CNN reports that the $25K check was sent today, apparently.

I'm sure it was just a complete and total coincidence they happen to have sent it the same day as the recipient told a reporter the President went back on his promise. Yep. Wednesday the 18th is always been check sending day in the Trump family. No funny business here.

And seriously, CNN? This is not a situation to accept an anonymous source.
posted by zachlipton at 3:27 PM on October 18 [46 favorites]


i hope all these garbage people are miserable
posted by localhuman at 3:30 PM on October 18 [12 favorites]


I hope someone steely, but competent steps in to take her place.

Or, you know, the US could GTFO of Afghanistan. It's going to happen eventually, and I don't see any benefit to prolonging the inevitable.
posted by Coventry at 3:11 PM on October 18 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Thank you.

I was going to add as an afterthought that I hoped eventually we would end the vicious tragedy that is war so no one ever has to do this. I told her that the horror of dealing with cancer and heart disease (which I have done for 40 years) isn't the same, because war casualties are deliberate violence by humans against humans, sanctioned by governments and lauded by most of society. That level of horror I could not take.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:30 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Miami Herald, Guantánamo guards seize confidential Sept. 11 terror trial defense files
In the latest challenge to attorney-client confidentiality here, prison guards on Wednesday seized the court-approved, non-networked laptop computers and hard drives issued to the accused Sept. 11 attack plotters to prepare for their death-penalty trials.

Army Col. James L. Pohl, the case judge, ordered the Guantánamo detention center staff not to look at the material shared by defense lawyers with the accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators. He ordered the prison to explain what happened to defense attorneys.

“Laptops were seized, not powered on, pending further order from you,” said prosecutor Clay Trivett.

The development comes on the heels of three lawyers in Guantánamo’s other death-penalty case quitting over an ethics issue involving a top secret allegation of invasion of attorney-client privacy. Then Monday, the prison denied the Sept. 11 team defense lawyers access to their traditional meeting site for the week, for a classified reason, before reversing itself after inquiry by the judge.
This has been an utter perversion of the notion of a justice system, and it somehow continue to get worse.
posted by zachlipton at 3:35 PM on October 18 [35 favorites]


So uhh, it looks like Chad may have been put on the Muslim Ban 3.0 list because they ran out of passport paper.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:42 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Thad Cochran does not seem OK. (this is genuinely sad.)
posted by lalex at 3:47 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


How about 3/5 of a man?

Well if it was 2/5 you could kneel, but 3/5 is more than half, so you'll have to settle for squatting I think.
posted by Rat Spatula at 3:51 PM on October 18


[Guys I know it's well-meant, but 3/5 jokes are edging into that territory of ironic racism where even as a way of pointing out how wrong racism is, it's still pretty eeeeerrrgh. Better not to.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:53 PM on October 18 [36 favorites]


Emoluments Hearing Hints At What May Be At Stake: Trump's Tax Returns, Peter Overby, NPR
The returns didn't come up during Wednesday's hearing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. But the hearing was the first step in a process that could loosen Trump's grip on them...

Trump is being sued by four plaintiffs who allege he is violating anti-corruption provisions in the Constitution, namely, its Foreign and Domestic Emolument clauses.

If Judge George Daniels says the plaintiffs have legal standing to proceed with the suit, they then can seek internal financial documents, including those tax returns...

The lawsuit comes from three plaintiffs in the hotel and restaurant industry, and one watchdog group, called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 3:58 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "The Republican chair of the Appropriations Committee. He’s supposed to be overseeing the budget resolution, and then the actual budget markup ahead of the December shutdown date."

Realistically, it probably means Shelby is doing the work right now. Cochran is just showing up to vote when needed.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:59 PM on October 18


But the article shows he's having problems doing even that.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:07 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


While it is sad in the sense than anyone losing their faculties in old age is sad and I wish it were not the case for Cochrane it seems clear to me that he shouldn't be in the legislature much less chair such an important Committee. It's dangerous and awful to prop a guy up and use him as a meat puppet.
posted by Justinian at 4:07 PM on October 18 [17 favorites]


Being propped up and used as a meat puppet was basically Reagan's entire job.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:12 PM on October 18 [8 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** VA gov:
-- Two new polls out:
* Quinnipiac has Northam up 53-39 [!]
* Fox has Northam up 49-42
This brings the polling average to Northam +5.8.

-- Also, Trump campaign strategist Jack Morgan has left the Gillespie campaign, and it does not sound like things were cordial. [WP]
** UT-03 special: We haven't heard much out of the upcoming special to replace Chaffetz, but we've got a poll showing GOPer Curtis up 46-16 over Dem Allen. Not surprising, I think this is around the 6th most Republican district in the House.

** Odds & ends:
-- Contemptible waste of oxygen Scott Walker is officially running for a third term as governor of Wisconsin. [Journal-Sentinel]

-- VA Dems doing very well with fundraising, from Northam on down.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:18 PM on October 18 [27 favorites]


*I* will eat a cake if Mueller has not already had ShitKnob's tax returns for months. And y'all can tell me whatever text you want the cake to have.
posted by yoga at 4:21 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


*I* will eat a cake if Mueller has not already had ShitKnob's tax returns for months. And y'all can tell me whatever text you want the cake to have.

It being 2017 I had to cycle through the possibilities that ShitKnob was an actual Republican staffer's name, a Russian operative's twitter handle, or a Trump nickname.
posted by srboisvert at 4:26 PM on October 18 [28 favorites]


Scaramucci gives $25K to Wiesenthal Center after Holocaust gaffe
“On behalf of the @ScaramucciPost we will be making a $25,000 donation to The Simon Wiesenthal Center,” Scaramucci said Tuesday afternoon on his personal Twitter account. “Hopefully I spelled that right,” the tweet said, ending with a grinning emoji.
How is it possible for Trump to be associated with so many psychopaths. How.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:27 PM on October 18 [42 favorites]


I'm a little concerned about my apparently limitless capacity for hatred.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:29 PM on October 18 [74 favorites]


Why $25,000 again? Is 25K the standardized make-it-go-away bribe among NYC entitled-toxic-masculinity scumbags or what?
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:29 PM on October 18 [42 favorites]


$25K is the new six hundo
posted by halation at 4:31 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


Um. Aside from the weird 25k thing and why a grinning emoji, is he, like, making fun of a Jewish name? Am I reaching there?
posted by angrycat at 4:36 PM on October 18 [20 favorites]


How is it possible for Trump to be associated with so many psychopaths. How.

Birds of a feather now have twitter. And the internet at large. It's how ISIS has managed to attract so many psychopaths as well.
posted by cell divide at 4:36 PM on October 18


Um. Aside from the weird 25k thing and why a grinning emoji, is he, like, making fun of a Jewish name?

Yes that is exactly what he is doing.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:42 PM on October 18 [32 favorites]


Maybe the charitable interpretation would be that he's making fun of his own spelling ability. Twitter terseness leads to a lot of misunderstandings. That just means he simply shouldn't have posted it in this context, though.
posted by Coventry at 4:45 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Sorry about that remark. Like the rest of you, I can't actually follow the news directly anymore, it's like staring directly at the sun, so I just stay here, inside mefi/tags/potus45, where it's safe. I shouldn't drain my bile here too.
posted by Rat Spatula at 4:46 PM on October 18 [8 favorites]


"...hope I spelled that right, even though in the time it took me to type this I could verify the spelling using the very device I am typing this on "

Douche
posted by ian1977 at 4:54 PM on October 18 [19 favorites]


Yeah my take on the spelling reference in the Mooch tweet was more about, "Ooooh, Jewish name I hope I spelled that correctly because you know how they're such tricksters with all the letters and whatnot!" and less about, "After fucking up royally earlier, I sincerely hope I didn't make a mistake here, too."

Shorter Mooch tweet: $25K for Wiesenthal (sp?) LOL ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by emelenjr at 4:57 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


Ooh, $25,000, is that a lot? Even after his net worth just dropped by $600 million, Trump's got $3.1 billion. Cheap motherfucker.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:58 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Kaine, Murkowski, Corker have all agreed to co-sponsor Murray-Alexander.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:04 PM on October 18 [11 favorites]


Sadly that bill is going nowhere. The House won't even bring it up.
posted by Justinian at 5:12 PM on October 18


The Memo: Gold Star controversy consumes White House (The Hill)
President Trump found himself in a growing maelstrom Wednesday as military families came forward to criticize how he treated them after their relatives were killed in action.

Trump lit the spark on the dispute on Monday when he claimed, incorrectly, that President Obama had not made calls to Gold Star families. Since then, that spark has become a raging blaze consuming everything else on the political stage.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:20 PM on October 18 [24 favorites]


Sadly that bill is going nowhere. The House won't even bring it up.

It could get attached to the budget deal in December, maybe along with a DACA fix. Democrats will have real leverage, Republicans cannot fund the government on their own, and I highly doubt they'll have passed tax reform by then. And both those things actually have real support among what passes for saner Republicans. Democrats should not have to give up much if anything to get them included. They cannot end a year of literally zero legislative accomplishments with the first government shutdown in history under one party control. I mean, they can, and since that's the stupidest thing possible, that's what will probably happen, but there is a path for some things to actually get done in a mega-compromise that end runs the tea party caucus yet again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:34 PM on October 18 [17 favorites]


Anyone have any journalism at hand as to how this is going over with active duty service members?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:02 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


but there is a path for some things to actually get done

(Citation needed)
posted by delfin at 6:03 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


Even if trump is worth billions and actually sending (and not canceling) checks it’s a terrible idea for the sitting POTUS to be giving selective payouts to next of kin out of his own wealth. That’s some sketchy mob boss shit.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:13 PM on October 18 [100 favorites]


"your son was definitely worth $25,000" doesn't work for me no matter what.
posted by Miko at 6:14 PM on October 18 [52 favorites]


$25K is the new six hundo

Man, why you got to do a thing? Every time someone mentions Achewood, it reminds me that America could have had a 5-year old running things, which would be a massive improvement on the current toddler.

Phillipe/Todd 2020.
posted by Pink Frost at 6:20 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


SF Chronicle, Feinstein backers mobilize for the real threat. It’s not Kevin de León. As Feinstein sets up a Super PAC (er, legally, people who are definitely not Feinstein set up a Super PAC for her) and State Senate President Kevin de León jumps into the race, Tom Steyer is still thinking about it:
“Steyer is the real issue that is stalking her right now,” said Sean Clegg, a partner in the political consulting firm SCN Strategies. “This is a guy who spent north of $70 million on Senate and gubernatorial races all around the country in 2014 election cycle, so he has a proven track record of unlimited spending.”

Steyer, who lives in San Francisco and made his money as a hedge fund manager, hasn’t said whether he’ll make a run at Feinstein. But he’s definitely thinking about it.

“I am looking at the best way to take our government back from the political establishment and to stop Donald Trump. That includes a full consideration of running for the United States Senate,” Steyer said in a statement over the weekend.
I had kind of thought de León's candidacy was going to be enough to keep Steyer out of it, especially as the two are reportedly close, but it's sounding like it might well not be.

The Sacramento Bee has more: Tom Steyer is agonizing over a Senate run: ‘We must take back our government’. It's seemingly coming down to Democrats not doing enough to seriously take on Trump and view him as the threat he is, an area in which Feinstein has been depressingly lacking this year:
In the more than 800-word email, Steyer builds out the most robust rationale to date for a Senate run, one free of outside influence, which he blames for his party’s unwillingness to more forcefully confront Trump. “Have they forgotten their moral duty not to allow America to behave in such a way as to imperil every soul on this planet?” he wrote.
posted by zachlipton at 6:23 PM on October 18 [12 favorites]


Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz are having a town hall debating taxes right now. You can see that Cruz was a big shot litigant who argued before the Supreme Court; he's quite good. And you can see why Trump was uniquely suited to destroying him. Because no reasoned, logical debate was involved.

Not that Cruz's arguments here are necessarily true, but they are like a simulacrum of reasoned, logical debate. Which works in a town hall with Sanders or Kasich or any other actual human being but failed utterly against Trump.
posted by Justinian at 6:23 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


"your son was definitely worth $25,000" doesn't work for me no matter what.

Also, if he's as rich as he says he is (Ron: he isn't) and has like 5 billion, 25K is comparable to someone making 45K/year giving $2.

His cheap bastardness is one of many ways he's squandering his chance to actually become Emperor: Julius Caesar had his faults but he was actually generous to those loyal to him and those he sought loyalty from.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:26 PM on October 18 [40 favorites]


Metafilter: A simulacrum of reasoned, logical debate.
posted by Room 101 at 6:29 PM on October 18 [11 favorites]


I’ve tried letting go of the news and reading poetry before bed in an attempt to not be angry and indignant 24/7/365 but I just stumbled on this poem by Mary Oliver (from her 2008 collection Red Bird) and it just made me sob. I’m not sure I’ve seen a better way to put it.



Of The Empire

We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
many. We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All
the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a
commodity. And they will say that this structure
was held together politically, which it was, and
they will say also that our politics was no more
than an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of
the heart, and that the heart, in those days,
was small, and hard, and full of meanness.
posted by lydhre at 6:30 PM on October 18 [96 favorites]


Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz are having a town hall debating taxes right now.

Thanks, I forgot about this, and it is awesome.
posted by Coventry at 6:31 PM on October 18


The Memo: Gold Star controversy consumes White House

But not standing during the fucking National Anthem is disrespectful to our military and our country.

Yeah, somebody tell me again how I need to reach out to the oh-so-salt-of-the-earth people who voted for and/or continue to support this goddamn monster and his garbagefireclownshow, and how we all need to step out of our bubble and join hands with people who will line up to cheer for a fucking virulent racist narcissistic opportunist that traumatizes an actual devastated spouse of one of the Green Berets he patently does not give a damn about having died in the service of this shitshow of a nation.

I mean Christ, I need to go watch the Powers Boothe Jonestown movie now to experience something less culty and full of brainwashed lunacy than this administration and its base. L. Ron Hubbard and David Koresh put together were less creepy than this nonsense. It's like a Salem Witch Trials level of hallucinogenic self-delusion and denial up in here.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:39 PM on October 18 [79 favorites]


In short: these fucking terrible people aaaaaaaarrrrrhghghdhhshshahahhdhdha.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:40 PM on October 18 [10 favorites]




Remember though, unlike most people whose net worth is calculated via math and generally based on things like assets and debt, Trump's net worth changes depending on his feelings. That 25K may have been the equivalent of $1, $2, or even $5 or more.

What if he's sad? In all fairness to him, that orange bag of dicks could be anything between a thoroughly disrespectful cheap bastard, and two thoroughly disrespectful cheap bastards.
posted by mrgoat at 6:46 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


We talked about Sessions' testimony while it happened, but this MoJo story summarizes one of the most important parts: Jeff Sessions Again Changes His Story on Meetings With Russian Ambassador

His story has gone from "I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign" to "I don’t think there was any discussion about the details of the campaign other than – it could have been in the meeting in my office or at the convention that some comment was made about what Trump’s positions were,” he said. “I think that’s possible."" to 'I don't recall' if we talked about emails. Also:
Grassley said later in the hearing that former FBI Director James Comey in March gave a classified briefing to Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s top Democrat, regarding Sessions’ contacts with Kislyak. (In June the Washington Post reported that intelligence intercepts did indicate that Sessions had discussed campaign-related matters with Kislyak, who then shared this information with Moscow.) But Grassley added that the FBI has refused to share the information with other members of the committee.
They've also continued with this bizarre notion of executive privilege, where Sessions won't answer questions not because executive privilege has been invoked, because Trump might invoke it sometime in the future. Which is just weird. Either you're invoking it or you're not. But they don't want to say that they are, so they're doing this and just getting away with it somehow.
posted by zachlipton at 6:51 PM on October 18 [44 favorites]


I'm just so tired.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:01 PM on October 18 [58 favorites]


I'm sure it was just a complete and total coincidence they happen to have sent it the same day as the recipient told a reporter the President went back on his promise. Yep. Wednesday the 18th is always been check sending day in the Trump family. No funny business here.

Sgt. Dillon Baldridge was killed in June.
posted by scalefree at 7:15 PM on October 18 [10 favorites]


Sessions won't answer questions not because executive privilege has been invoked, because Trump might invoke it sometime in the future.

This is flat-out contempt. Real privilege doesn't work that way. Is there no way for Grassleyto be pressured to stand up to it, despite the fact that he's a Republican?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:26 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


I need to go watch the Powers Boothe Jonestown movie now to experience something less culty and full of brainwashed lunacy

A couple weeks ago I reviewed a play about Jim Jones. I'm old enough to recall the Jonestown horror, so I tried to avoid looking at the show just through a 2017 lens.

But I couldnt help ending the review with shade at t-Rump and every one of my deplorables who voted for him:

"(The play) is a chilling reminder ... that it’s all too easy for vulnerable people to follow the worst person down the darkest path."
posted by NorthernLite at 7:50 PM on October 18 [16 favorites]


[fake]
Senator on the Panel: Attorney General Sessions, did the president instruct you at any time that he is asserting executive privilege?

Sessions: < mumble, duck, dodge >

Senator on the Panel: Given that you are the Attorney General of the United States of America, shouldn't it be possible for you to find someone who can explain to you how privilege works?
[/fake]

I'm just really tired of the "well this was complicated, you can't expect us to know every detail of how it works" excuse. Whether it's Jared's 100th do-over on his disclosure forms or the chief law enforcement officer of the US seemingly not understanding how testimony works or the president being endlessly excused for mind-boggling fuck-ups after boldly proclaiming throughout the campaign that nobody knows the system better than he, I just am so f'ing tired..

Can't we hold just one of them responsible for something? Anything? Punish, or embarrass, or even just mildly inconvenience them in some way? Because of all of the things I find repellent about this administration I think the one which stings the most is their plainly evident belief in their own untouchability. I want, no, I need for them to at least fear that that can be taken away from them.
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:00 PM on October 18 [58 favorites]


Can't we hold just one of them responsible for something? Anything? Punish, or embarrass, or even just mildly inconvenience them in some way?

You're *adorable*.
posted by uosuaq at 8:11 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]




Steve ShitKnob is one of Trump's lesser steves
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:22 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


Well, you know. The lesser of two Steve-ills.

there are way more than two evil Steves, right?
posted by witchen at 8:30 PM on October 18 [12 favorites]


Is there no way for Grassley to be pressured to stand up to it, despite the fact that he's a Republican?

Can't we hold just one of them responsible for something? Anything? Punish, or embarrass, or even just mildly inconvenience them in some way?


No. And no. What 2016-2017 has taught us is our system of government has no defense against the executive when the legislative branch is complicit in abusing democracy and refuses to use the checks and balances that were designed to work against it. Call it the revenge of Federalist 10. When one party puts party over country and over the rule of law, that's it, there is no more rule of law.

The only way is to retake electoral power, and exercise it to hold every one accountable, and rebuild the checks stronger. We're in a race between whether that can happen before they finish subverting what's left of the rule of law entirely to Republican partisanship.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:33 PM on October 18 [41 favorites]




Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) is out, setting up a special election if he vacates his seat early. NYT:
In a sign of mounting frustration among Republicans in Washington, Representative Pat Tiberi of Ohio, a senior lawmaker with close ties to his party’s leaders, is expected to resign and take up an executive post with a business group in his home state, according to three Republicans briefed on his plans.

An abrupt departure by Mr. Tiberi, who is an influential member of the House Ways and Means Committee, would signal a deepening level of discontent among mainstream Republicans in Congress. Despite holding Congress and the White House, Republicans have so far failed to achieve longstanding policy goals like overhauling the tax code and repealing the Affordable Care Act.
posted by lalex at 8:57 PM on October 18 [18 favorites]


Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) is out, setting up a special election if he vacates his seat early

OH-12 is PVI R+7, Trump +11. Comparable to GA-6
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:04 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


And suburban. That feels like a pickup opportunity to me. At this point an awful lot of things feel like pickup opportunities to me.
posted by lalex at 9:07 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Maybe. But I sure would love to have all of that wasted enthusiasm and 50+ million dumped into GA-6 for a single house seat and a marginal and unreliable psuedo-dem candidate to spend on Doug Jones in the AL-Sen right about now. We need a win.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:10 PM on October 18 [8 favorites]


> I sure would love to have all of that wasted enthusiasm and 50+ million dumped into GA-6 for a single house seat and a marginal and unreliable psuedo-dem candidate to spend on Doug Jones in the AL-Sen right about now.

Well you can say that now, but if GA-6 had been a close loss, we'd be shellacking the DNC for insufficient commitment to a winnable seat. It's not surprising that we're losing in strongly +R districts for now - if we overperform at the GA-6 level across the board, the Senate is within reach in 2018, not just the House. I think the key is that we need both good candidates and a fired up base - after that the money will take care of itself.

> We need a win.

Yes, we do. But on this (unlike Mueller-mas) I have faith. The wins are coming.

(We can argue about whether they'll be too little, too late or not - I think not.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:22 PM on October 18 [17 favorites]


$50 million dollars (total, on both candidates) is clearly insane. And if we were deciding whether to pour ~$25 million into one race then just by the 2016 vote numbers, the OH race would be the obvious choice. But Democrats need to be able to fund both types of races.
posted by lalex at 9:26 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


Well you can say that now, but if GA-6 had been a close loss, we'd be shellacking the DNC for insufficient commitment to a winnable seat.

True. We needed to know they even understood the stakes then, and it was clear early on they didn't and were ready to treat Trump as business as usual until we make it clear that was not going to fucking fly. Nearly every one of them were ready to vote for Trump's cabinet of horrors, and would have if we let them. It'd be nice to A) get a win and B) have that win be for a candidate we won't have to flog into voting the marginally human way. Doug Jones seems like that candidate, where Jon Osseff told us openly and repeatedly he planned on stabbing us in the back at every turn. He explicitly ran on debt reduction third way both sides bullshit, ffs, and that's who we threw 25? 50? I don't even know how many millions at, much of it small donors who wanted to believe Ossef was somehow "the resistance candidate", just because we wanted to feel like our Democrats even cared at all. That's the energy I want back now, for what could be a much more realistic pick up in Alabama.

Yea. We need a win. We have two big opportunities with Ralph Northam and Doug Jones, and I wish I felt as much hope in either of those races as was wasted on Ossef the Boy Wonder.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:37 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


And now I'm worried about the nonsense on the forthcoming Trump White House Christmas Tree.

Oh, I'm sure he's got a shit ton of those MAGA hat ornaments. And a lot of white and gold.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:43 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


That's the energy I want back now, for what could be a much more realistic pick up in Alabama.

I'm excited at the closeness we're seeing with Jones, but you cannot call the ALABAMA Senate seat a more realistic pickup opportunity than GA-06.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:42 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri addresses the question of the other Melania.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:48 PM on October 18 [22 favorites]


If it actually somehow turned out that Other-Melania dude had been right, I just...I just, I don't know. I quit. That reality would be too stupid.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:10 AM on October 19


this reality is already of sufficient stupidity
posted by salix at 1:55 AM on October 19 [10 favorites]


If it actually somehow turned out that Other-Melania dude had been right, I just...I just, I don't know. I quit. That reality would be too stupid.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:10 AM on October 19 [+] [!]


(faintly, it must be from the writer's room, I dunno, but faintly I would swear that I hear a whisper of,)

'...hold my beer...'
posted by From Bklyn at 2:07 AM on October 19 [16 favorites]


there are way more than two evil Steves, right?

> COUNT EVIL STEVES

There are 69,105 evil Steves here.
posted by delfin at 3:20 AM on October 19 [26 favorites]


'National Treasure Alexandra Petri addresses the question of the other Melania.'

By a (small) twist of fate, I just happen to be reading Primo Levi's The Sixth Day And Other Tales which is a sort of sci-fi leaning collection of short stories from the Great Man - as I have come to call him. The story entitled 'Some Applications of the Mimer' discusses the possibility of a sort of proto 3D printing machine which leads to the (almost exact) duplication of the protagonist's wife.
posted by Myeral at 3:43 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Trump tweeted that he thinks they have the votes for massive tax cuts "but who knows?"

He really doesn't get this whole politics thing, does he? You're not actually supposed to say "who knows?" a bout whether you're going to pass your legislation. "Hey, coach, is your team gonna win tonight? "Who knows, Bob". "Thanks, coach!"
posted by Justinian at 3:58 AM on October 19 [42 favorites]


Melania's war against cyber-bullying might as well be a campaign against shitty presidents or terrible husbands.
posted by tillermo at 4:13 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Leopards. Faces.

Jaguars owner: Trump 'trying to soil' NFL after failing to purchase club
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan believes there's a hidden agenda behind President Donald Trump's perceived war against the NFL. Khan believes that Trump, who once unsuccessfully tried to purchase the Buffalo Bills, feels jilted by the league and is trying to attack it to avenge a personal vendetta.

"This is a very personal issue with him," Khan told Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY Sports. "He's been elected president, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely," Khan added. "So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it's very calculated."

Khan also blasted Trump for his domestic and foreign policies that he believes discriminate against Muslims and Jews - an issue that reaches well beyond the realm of football. "Let's get real," Khan said. "The attacks on Muslims, the attacks on minorities, the attacks on Jews. I think the NFL doesn’t even come close to that on the level of being offensive. Here, it’s about money, or messing with - trying to soil a league or a brand that he’s jealous of."

Khan donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration fund but it appears he may harbor some regret about that decision.
posted by chris24 at 4:52 AM on October 19 [28 favorites]


"But who knows?" isn't (just) Trump's poor grasp of politics. It's also narcissist Trump laying down a bunch of eggshells for Republican congressmembers to walk on.
posted by emelenjr at 4:52 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


The Trump White House’s utterly unmoored week (WaPo)
President Trump's most faithful supporters like to believe he's always a step ahead of the media and the political establishment — that he's playing three-dimensional chess while we're stuck on checkers. Where we see utter discord, they see carefully orchestrated chaos.

This week should disabuse absolutely everybody of that notion.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:00 AM on October 19 [18 favorites]


"Should" being the (in)operative word.
posted by duffell at 5:12 AM on October 19 [9 favorites]


"So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it's very calculated."

No, it's not. The USFL thing was the first thing we talked about when he pooped out that initial NFL flag bullshit. It's not calculated any more than "'Did you eat that cookie?' / 'No'" is. He's not special, he's not good, he's not gifted. He's the opposite of all of those things. He has a particular political odor that some find pleasantly disorienting. That's about all you can say in his favor.

Khan donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration fund but it appears he may harbor some regret about that decision.

/obligatory_Shat
posted by petebest at 5:17 AM on October 19 [4 favorites]


Hey everyone I've been travelling and haven't followed US politics or the Trumpocalypse threads in a week! Let's see what I missed!

...

I want to go back to the comparably saner days of early October.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:19 AM on October 19 [11 favorites]


Okay so this has been rolling around my holodeck this morning, so bear with me:

RNC debates, May-ish 2016. One of the other candidates - any of them, during a typical crosstalk WTF-these-idiots-are-the-adults?-moment, a typical "Okay Little Marco" moment okay, you got the scene? Okay, says loudly and with appropriate Sobchakness: "Shut the fuck up Donny, you're out of your element!"

Okay, now tell me he wins over that. With his base? That'd be a cleaving axe wouldn't it.

Anyway.
posted by petebest at 5:24 AM on October 19 [10 favorites]


Just the president accusing the FBI of conspiring with the Russians against him.

@realDonaldTrump
Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?

---

And you know the Russia thing is getting to him because he tweeted two other times trying to link Clinton to Russia. Trump's Mirror and all.

Of course, his ego also needed a boost so he retweeted a random woman with 487 followers defending him against Obama's better record with respecting troops:

@USArmy333
Replying to @804StreetMedia @realDonaldTrump
He’s done more in 9 months then obama did in8 yrs
posted by chris24 at 5:29 AM on October 19 [15 favorites]


Ahh yes. Just another fall morning where the President of the US decides to accuse a federal agency of treason on a social media platform.
posted by xyzzy at 5:30 AM on October 19 [66 favorites]


He's live tweeting Fox and Friends again isn't he?
posted by PenDevil at 5:35 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Matthew Gertz of Media Matters is on the case!

1. Fake Dossier tweet linked to F&F
2. Uranium deal tweet linked to F&F
3. Clinton Foundation & Russia linked to F&F
posted by xyzzy at 5:42 AM on October 19 [30 favorites]


He's live tweeting Fox and Friends again isn't he?

@realDonaldTrump
.@foxandfriends "Russia sent millions to Clinton Foundation"
posted by chris24 at 5:43 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


You know, the poem "Channel Firing" is sort of haunting me this morning. Because WWI hadn't actually broken out when Hardy wrote that poem; there were tensions, but people, from my limited understanding of history, thought that things would be worked out. Certainly not the long gore-fest that was WWI. And just as we're now like--the world could be in tatters--but somehow we'll work it out.

Another WWI poem that's haunting me is "Dulce et Decorum Est" because although I've always appreciated the ironic anger in that poem, I'd never really appreciated it as relevant to today because it's like, who thinks that about war? I'd thought it was in response to the jingoism of the day.

But I'd had this student, this guy from Liberia who was hella smart but boy he struggled with the class that I was teaching. It was sort of thing where I'd say, "have you heard about the Salem witch trials" w/r/t "Young Goodman Brown" and he'd shake his head, and I'd say well okay how about the Puritans and he'd shake his head. Smart guy, just lacking the context most Western students have.

But when I got this poem, "Dulce et Decorum Est," man, he was right there with me. He understood the poem better than I did. He said, "I stepped over bodies in the street." Referring to civil war in Liberia. And he looked at me and I thought of that day in 2001 when I was in my downtown Brooklyn office, and the knowledge of what war was sort of fell over everything.

I would really like a voice I trusted assuring me that everything is going to be okay, that humanity's way forward is progress, always progress, but nothing I read is telling me ANGRYCAT CALM DOWN. It's mostly people smarter than I detailing the ways we are fucked. I'm thinking of Dexter Filkins's profile of the State Department in the New Yorker as an example. You can't read that without thinking, wow. Just fucking wow.

Anyways, this is your daily freakout from a lowly adjunct in the Humanities. Have a good Thursday.
posted by angrycat at 5:48 AM on October 19 [95 favorites]




@Mark Knoller: This evening, Pres Trump attends dinner at the Kuwaiti Embassy at which UN Refugee Agency honors Melania Trump for her humanitarian efforts.

The question on everyone's mind is what humanitarian efforts? Being married to Trump and wearing 5" heels to disaster areas is hardly worth an award. The other big question is which Melania will show up?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:19 AM on October 19 [25 favorites]


@USArmy333
Replying to @804StreetMedia @realDonaldTrump
He’s done more in 9 months then obama did in8 yrs


*Putin, ISIS nod heads vigorously*
posted by Rykey at 6:19 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Ahh yes. Just another fall morning where the President of the US decides to accuse a federal agency of treason on a social media platf

The very same agency whose former head (that he fired) and significant elements at least in the New York office illegally interfered in the election on HIS behalf.

I hope Comey and the agents in the rogue NY office who spent years prolonging and leaking over the Clinton emails are happy with their man these days.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:21 AM on October 19 [37 favorites]


angrycat, I was outside on a lunch break once, and I overheard an African student saying to some faculty who he was walking with "....when I saw the soldiers kill my family, then I wanted to die" and it indeed gave me some perspective on my little problems that year.
posted by thelonius at 6:23 AM on October 19 [15 favorites]


but nothing I read is telling me ANGRYCAT CALM DOWN. It's mostly people smarter than I detailing the ways we are fucked.

I'm right there with you. I know were supposed to avoid eschatalogical fantasizing here, but there's no way things can just continue on like this forever. Something's gotta give, and when shit gives it gets dark fast. What drives me up the wall is I have no idea what anyone is supposed to do except go about their lives like we weren't on the precipice of a great catastrophe.
posted by dis_integration at 6:44 AM on October 19 [26 favorites]


Richard Spencer is speaking today at U of Florida.
posted by ian1977 at 6:45 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


angrycat I would really like a voice I trusted assuring me that everything is going to be okay, that humanity's way forward is progress, always progress, but nothing I read is telling me ANGRYCAT CALM DOWN.

I'm not going to tell you we're fucked.

But I'm not going to tell you that everything is going to be ok and that humanity's way forward is progress.

The arc of the universe does not bend towards justice. It bends towards despotism, injustice, racism, and evil.

But we can bend it towards justice by unceasing and thankless effort.

Everything will not just be OK, but we can **MAKE** it be OK.

The labor required is immense, thankless, often viciously opposed, and often seems futile. But if we (for sufficient numbers of "we") put it in, then the universe can be forced to be more just despite having a base state of injustice.

Just as we don't simply get technological advance, or even simply get technology staying at its current level, without massive investment in infrastructure, science, and lots of people doing very difficult work in the background.

The base state of the universe is entropy and the passive evil of indifference to human suffering. We can't relax and indulge in the comforting illusion that somehow everything will just work out.

But, by putting in sufficient labor we can make things work out. That's not nearly as comforting as the belief that things will just be OK, but it has the advantage of being true.
posted by sotonohito at 6:45 AM on October 19 [53 favorites]


And one of the ways we make things work out is by vigorously opposing Nazis like Richard Spencer and deplatforming him at every opportunity. Just what exactly University of Florida thinks they're doing by giving him a space to preach his hate is beyond me.

It definitely shows how much work we have to do that the National Guard is deployed to protect a literal, self described, Nazi because he was punched in the face once (or twice), but when BLM marches the National Guard is deployed to crush the march and arrest and abuse them.

The military and the police are not on the side of good. But, and this is the important part, we can **MAKE** them be on our side by putting in sufficient labor. We can bend the arc of the universe any direction we want it to be bent. If we want it bent towards justice then we'd better get to it.
posted by sotonohito at 6:49 AM on October 19 [24 favorites]


To not abuse the edit window:

We need an infrastructure of justice, an infrastructure of equality, to produce justice and equality. Same as we need an infrastructure of electricity, or an infrastructure of roads, to produce an society with electricity and roads.

Right now the infrastructure of justice and equality has been systemically demolished for the short term political gain of the Republicans. They'll oppose any and all efforts to rebuild it, but it can be rebuilt if enough people do the work.
posted by sotonohito at 6:52 AM on October 19 [17 favorites]


James Hohmann with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, Washington Post:

The Daily 202: Ex-CIA officers running for Congress as Democrats

At least, more often as Democrats then as Republicans. Some report being assumed to be Republican though. Most seem to come from the CIA, though other intelligence organizations are represented too.. The whole section is worth a read, but the following stood out.
But the CIA prides itself on being independent and nonpartisan. People from across the ideological spectrum work there. “It is wholly unfortunate that the president — at least through his actions and words — isn’t appreciating what they do,” said [Abagail] Spanberger, who is running in Virginia. “At the end of the day, it’s a nonpartisan institution. To be a professional intelligence officer is really a unique path. They have a job to do: to serve the American people. So they just continue to do their jobs.”

Spanberger said what’s frustrated her the most this year has been when Trump and congressional Republicans make hasty decisions without having all the facts. Her mission at the CIA was to collect as much intelligence as possible so that policymakers could make more informed choices. “We’d ask ourselves: what information do we not have? What information are the analysts looking for? Then on the operations side, we’d look to figure out how to get that information,” she explained. “My role was to encourage people to take great risks so that our government could act wisely and make decisions based on that information.”

That’s one of the reasons that the House health-care debate really got her goat. “As a former CIA officer, the idea that the legislative body would put through a bill without so much as a CBO score was shocking to me,” Spanberger explained. “It runs antithetical to everything I believe in.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:54 AM on October 19 [45 favorites]


Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump
You can’t say Andrea Anthony didn’t try. A 37-year-old African American woman with an infectious smile, Anthony had voted in every major election since she was 18. On November 8, 2016, she went to the Clinton Rose Senior Center, her polling site on the predominantly black north side of Milwaukee, to cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton. “Voting is important to me because I know I have a little, teeny, tiny voice, but that is a way for it to be heard,” she said. “Even though it’s one vote, I feel it needs to count.”
She’d lost her driver’s license a few days earlier, but she came prepared with an expired Wisconsin state ID and proof of residency. A poll worker confirmed she was registered to vote at her current address. But this was Wisconsin’s first major election that required voters—even those who were already registered—to present a current driver’s license, passport, or state or military ID to cast a ballot. Anthony couldn’t, and so she wasn’t able to vote.


posted by PenDevil at 6:55 AM on October 19 [83 favorites]




the way i see it, the future can only hold either openly despotic fascism or a socialized wonderland, there is no going back to the pre-trump status quo

(don't ask me which one i think we'll end up with)
posted by entropicamericana at 7:05 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


Your username gives me a hint.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:14 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


fluttering hellfire: Also, what happened to him donating his salary to a charity ?

Trump donates salary for second consecutive quarter (John Kruzel for Politifact, July 26th, 2017)
For the second quarter in a row, President Donald Trump declined to take a salary and opted instead to gift the quarterly installment to a government entity, this time to the Department of Education.

At a White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders presented a check for $100,000 to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

DeVos said the funding would go toward hosting a camp for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students at the Department of Education.

"We want to encourage as many children as possible to explore STEM fields in the hope that many develop a passion for these fields," DeVos said.

Trump donated his first quarter salary of about $78,000 to the National Park Service.

Sanders said the first quarter funds went toward restoring two projects at a national battlefield. She added that additional donations brought the total first quarter gift to over $260,000.
And a reminder: Trump Donates Salary To National Parks Even As He Tries To Cut Interior Department (NPR, April 4, 2017) -- key quote:
[Interior Secretary Ryan] Zinke hinted, however, that the president's gift won't go very far.

"We're about $229 million behind in deferred maintenance on our battlefields alone," he said.
Oh, and don't forget Trump's second quarter donation came after proposing $9 Billion cut to Department of Education. I'm sensing a trend here - anyone want to guess what his Q3 donation will "support"?

It's like if Trump had a photo shoot of boxes of band aids being sent to states after ending state subsidies for health insurance and pretending like everything's balanced now (and sadly, few headlines directly compared Trump's cuts with his donations, so it looks like those band aids are really going over well).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on October 19 [20 favorites]


the way i see it, the future can only hold either openly despotic fascism or a socialized wonderland, there is no going back to the pre-trump status quo

Socialism or barbarism has been a slogan since like 1916. The Cold War put the question on hold — both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were in their own distinct ways an admixture of socialism and barbarism — and at the close of the 20th century we thought we had sidestepped the question by landing on liberal market democracies as the global solution.

We thought we had reached the end of history. Really, we had reached the end of a great parenthesis — now the parenthesis is closed and we're once again faced with the question of socialism or barbarism.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:18 AM on October 19 [34 favorites]


NPR: 30-Foot Border Wall Prototypes Erected In San Diego Borderlands

Ooh! Can't wait for the reality TV style elimination with trump inspecting the models to decide who gets the job!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:18 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


On November 8, 2016, she went to the Clinton Rose Senior Center . . . to cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton.

*phone rings in 2017 writers' room*
posted by petebest at 7:20 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]


angrycat, the mere fact that people like you and us here _exist_ and refuse to cower subserviently pisses them off. We're not going away. And every day there are a few more of us.

We will never win over the 27%. But we can regain ground in enough races and places to thoroughly ruin their worldviews for a while.
posted by delfin at 7:20 AM on October 19 [26 favorites]


Your username gives me a hint.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:14 AM


a hint of something, that's for sure
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:22 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


this was Wisconsin’s first major election that required voters—even those who were already registered—to present a current driver’s license, passport, or state or military ID to cast a ballot. Anthony couldn’t, and so she wasn’t able to vote.

So fucked up. I worked the polls (in Indiana, no less) this past election, and the policy was to accept State-issued IDs that were up to a few years past expiration.
posted by Rykey at 7:23 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]


Richard Spencer is speaking today at U of Florida.

Tuff guy got spooked by a nanobrewery's plan to give a free beer for each ticket turned in.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:30 AM on October 19 [4 favorites]


30-Foot Border Wall Prototypes Erected In San Diego Borderlands

The pictures make me so sad. This is not what I want for my country. Or our neighbors.
posted by Dashy at 7:32 AM on October 19 [22 favorites]


Ex-CIA officers running for Congress as Democrats

(picks up TimePhone, dials 2015 self) "Hey dude you'll never guess the kind of headlines that you'll take comfort in pretty soon"

30-Foot Border Wall Prototypes Erected In San Diego Borderlands
Ooh! Can't wait for the reality TV style elimination


(urge to make "oh you mean like in Romania?" joke rising)
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:37 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]




Raw Story Georgia GOP governor hopeful holds ‘bump stock’ giveaway to spite ‘liberals and Hollywood elites’
Michael Williams knows that some people might feel he’s being insensitive by giving away one of the devices less than a month after 59 people were killed and hundreds more injured when Paddock opened fire on a country music concert from his hotel room.

However, Williams said that he believes that bump stocks are being unfairly vilified and that attempts to regulate them would be an infringement on the rights of gun owners.
Right up there with freedom means you have to put up with a mass murder shooting now and then.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:41 AM on October 19 [45 favorites]


The brewery and Tall Paul's (local bar) both had that tickets-for-beer policy, but the nazis thwarted the effort to grab all the tickets by holding on to them and not letting UF give them out at the box office. They're going to give them out today themselves... somehow (that seems like a fantastic way to gin up many small skirmishes). So last night Cameron whateverhisname is, the Spencer lackey that does the bookings for these things, shows up at Tall Paul's with two or three of the tickets and tries to trade them for beer. Tall Paul's can't verify the tickets are legit because of course the nazis haven't disseminated the tickets, so they don't give him free beer. He proceeds to kick up a snotty fuss about it and they bounce him, whereupon he wails on Twitter and threatens to sue the bar for breach of contract.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:45 AM on October 19 [49 favorites]


These. Fucking. People.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:51 AM on October 19 [14 favorites]


I missed some of the steps in Trump's latest dance move: President Trump Pivots On Bipartisan Health Care Bill (NPR, Oct. 18, 2017) -- President Trump said he supports a bipartisan effort that would effectively shore up the Affordable Care Act. But he's also distanced himself from it. What's behind the complicated politics at play?

They call it a pivot, I call it a Texas sidestep ...
"What did he say?"
"Same as usual, not a damn thing."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


this was Wisconsin’s first major election that required voters—even those who were already registered—to present a current driver’s license, passport, or state or military ID to cast a ballot. Anthony couldn’t, and so she wasn’t able to vote.

the mere fact that people like you and us here _exist_ and refuse to cower subserviently pisses them off.

Tying those two thoughts together - I might have told this here some time ago:
I did precinct work 2 - 3x a couple years ago in my mixed, but heavily trumpistan Detroit 'burb. MI had just instituted a voter ID law (tho IIRC there is a complicated exception for people to sign a separate form or ballot stating they are not offering ID).

One real aggressive, antagonistic control freak type man (you know the type, especially you women), an obvious right-winger, tried to engage me at the check-in table in a discussion about how everyone should have to show ID. RIght? RIGHT? RIIIGHT?

He even came back to the table after he'd voted to continue badgering me, a poll worker, who's supposed to be there in a nonpartisan capacity. Cos it so irritated him that this WOMAN would not tell him he is CORRECT, and agree that all Those People want to cheat.

I will give you half of every dollar I make forever if you can prove to me that creep voted for anyone other than Agolf Twitler last November.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:53 AM on October 19 [23 favorites]


It's not about processes. It's about organized power. It's about who owns what. It's about who can convince whom of what, not about what's true or what's right. This is the distinction between left and liberal: liberal solutions involve funding fair processes — about trying to patch up the sandbox so we can go back to pretending reason rules — while left solutions are about acknowledging that the sandbox is impossible ...

This isn't untrue—there are definitely times and circumstances that demand an emphasis on organized power over "processes"—but the suggestion that "liberals" somehow don't get this, when, in fact, any liberal, or anyone who isn't an anarchist, who's thought about it for more than a few minutes knows that the effectiveness of any of these "processes" is fundamentally grounded in the organized and legitimate power of the state, smacks more of Harry Callahan busting balls, than an insight into the distinction between leftism and liberalism.

Which, I mean, I like the Dirty Harry movies, but ...

Meanwhile, in today's Dept. of Looking-For-Rays-Of-Sunshine, sperm-damaging amounts of lead have been reported in Alex Jones' dietary supplements.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:54 AM on October 19 [37 favorites]


whereupon he wails on Twitter and threatens to sue the bar for breach of contract.

For which his damages would be a whopping $5 or whatever the beer is worth. What a child.

They're going to give them out today themselves... somehow

I hope there is a line of thousands of UF students, faculty, and staff (especially white ones), drowning out the nazis who actually want tickets. A human denial of service attack on the ticket queue.
posted by jedicus at 7:55 AM on October 19 [10 favorites]


Raw Story Georgia GOP governor hopeful holds ‘bump stock’ giveaway to spite ‘liberals and Hollywood elites’

i wonder how Racist Piece-of-Shit GOP Candidate #13456 would feel about redneck revolt and the huey p newton gun club having bumpstocks?
posted by entropicamericana at 7:57 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


>I hope there is a line of thousands of UF students, faculty, and staff (especially white ones), drowning out the nazis who actually want tickets. A human denial of service attack on the ticket queue.

...And then after someone gets their ticket, they immediately rip it up. I'd suggest ritually burning them, but that is a recipe for disaster.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 7:58 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


My daughter attends UF and lives just off campus. Apparently Gainesville is like a police state even though Spencer's circle jerk is happening at the far west side of everything on campus and essentially in no man's land. She told me that she's heard from a few jewish friends who are scared to be on campus today.
posted by photoslob at 7:59 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


No, you take the tickets and go get your free beer, man.
posted by emjaybee at 8:00 AM on October 19 [22 favorites]




Uranium deal tweet linked to F&F
"Russia sent millions to Clinton Foundation"


Lord knows I don't want to spread a right wing narrative that I don't believe, but I think folks should know that this is a huge story in the right wing media-sphere right now.

John Solomon, the author of this piece, is a right wing tool, but The Hill is a legit news source with standards I think, and the story seems to be based on fact, even if spun hard. The right wing has been using this "uranium deal" story since the campaign to say "I know you are but what am I?" whenever Trump's Russia connections come up.

Personally, I don't doubt that Putin tried to bribe Hillary Clinton, possibly thinking he could do so with Clinton Foundation donations. Based on how hard she was on Putin and how hard he worked to prevent her election, I don't think he succeeded. But anyway that allegation is a part of this story, which does look quite a bit more worrying in retrospect, and in light of these new revelations of corruption on the Russian side.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:02 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


Florida also gave Spencer unilateral control over which reporters would be allowed to cover his speech. Because “free speech” for white supremacists apparently means allowing them to use the machinery of the state to impose prior restraints on non-aligned news organizations.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:06 AM on October 19 [69 favorites]


So is University of Florida run by shitty right wing nutjobs, or just people so intimidated by the Nazis that they're giving them everything they want?
posted by sotonohito at 8:16 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]


Williams claims that the bump stocks Stephen Paddock used actually prevented more deaths in the Las Vegas mass shooting “due to its inconsistency, inaccuracy, and lack of control.”
I keep seeing this argument and it's so absurd. "Why would we ban these when all you can do with them is indiscriminately spray bullets everywhere?" Sounds like a perfect reason to me.
posted by Turd Ferguson at 8:17 AM on October 19 [41 favorites]


But anyway that allegation is a part of this story

Just a couple more thoughts... It requires some double-think to condemn Clinton for allowing deals with Russia while waving off concerns about Trump's deals with Russia... But consistency has never been the strong suit of Trump or his supporters.

I do have to wonder, though, whether just associating Russia with the hated Hillary Clinton will undermine the "Russia is our friend" narrative which was previously spreading on the right! I hope so. Though now of course it is "Nothing Trump has done with Russia is as bad was what Hillary did! That's treason! Lock her up!"

I read somewhere that Trump getting elected has been tricky for Putin domestically. He wants to take credit for this great victory, getting a friendly president elected in the US, while still being able to play off the US as this threat from which only he can protect the Russian people. Putin's followers are also pretty good at double-think, apparently.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:18 AM on October 19 [4 favorites]


So is University of Florida run by shitty right wing nutjobs, or just people so intimidated by the Nazis that they're giving them everything they want?

It's a state university. They were going to be sued if Nazi dude couldn't rent space there. Being a Nazi (STILL) isn't illegal in the US, nor is espousing Nazi views, as long as you don't say outright that you're going to kill people.

Do I like it? No. But that's the reality.
posted by cooker girl at 8:25 AM on October 19 [14 favorites]


So is University of Florida run by shitty right wing nutjobs, or just people so intimidated by the Nazis that they're giving them everything they want?

It's a problem at state-owned universities everywhere in the US. A side-effect of the First Amendment-as-presently-interpreted is that state-owned universities have to allow basically anyone who wants to on campus to speak. At most they can impose the same reasonable time/place/manner restrictions on nazis (or religious extremists or whatever) as they do anyone else. But they can't forbid them from renting space solely because of what they're going to say, short of something like obscenity or actively advocating committing a crime.

Personally I think it's bullshit. By the point that a university (and a state) has to roll out the fucking National Guard because of the risk of violence, I'd say the balance has tipped in favor of giving the university the freedom to say "nope, it's not worth the risk of violence and the certainty of disruption to the school's educational mission."

As Thomas Jefferson wrote (albeit in a very different context): "To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means."
posted by jedicus at 8:30 AM on October 19 [36 favorites]


> Being a Nazi (STILL) isn't illegal in the US, nor is espousing Nazi views, as long as you don't say outright that you're going to kill people.

I could have sworn I had to affirm on every US visa application and residency forms and citizenship paperwork that I was not now, nor had ever been, a member of the Nazi party ...?

So what you're saying is homegrown Nazis are fine but foreign imports are right out? (Somehow I hadn't thought of those questions as a protectionist measure.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:32 AM on October 19 [27 favorites]


So is University of Florida run by shitty right wing nutjobs, or just people so intimidated by the Nazis that they're giving them everything they want?

It's a state university. State entities are not allowed to limit free speech per the First Amendment to the US Constitution and subsequent Supreme Court decisions. They can and did previously postpone this event because it was too soon after Charlottesville. But by law they can't ban him from speaking.

Put another way, the university is being exploited by a white supremacist.

Spencer has threatened to sue a number of state universities who have refused to offer him a venue, including the University of Florida this past August. His lawyer is currently suing Michigan State. If any of those were to go to trial, he'd almost certainly win. There is not a doubt in my mind that's what he wants. He'd probably *love* to wrap himself in an American flag and declare himself a victorious Free Speech Warrior. A federal judge reversed Auburn University's (in Alabama) decision to prevent him from speaking back in April. First Amendment grounds.

As long as he doesn't incite a riot or call for mass violence and people to be murdered, he's protected by federal law.
posted by zarq at 8:32 AM on October 19 [18 favorites]


GOD FUCKING DAMNIT WASHINGTON POST

Northam owns stocks in Dominion, other companies with extensive interests in Virginia
Northam and his Republican opponent in the race, Ed Gillespie, have had extensive financial or business relationships with companies active in Virginia, raising questions about how those ties could influence their governance of a state known for unusually lax ethics laws.
SO WHY IS NORTHAM THE ONLY ONE IN THE FUCKING HEADLINE YOU #FUCKINGMORONS
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:34 AM on October 19 [96 favorites]


Personally I think it's bullshit. By the point that a university (and a state) has to roll out the fucking National Guard because of the risk of violence, I'd say the balance has tipped in favor of giving the university the freedom to say "nope, it's not worth the risk of violence and the certainty of disruption to the school's educational mission."

It's reportedly costing them $500,000 to provide security. The cost of a year's tuition for 78 state-resident undergraduate students. Complete insanity.
posted by zarq at 8:34 AM on October 19 [37 favorites]


Granting him a legally mandated platform is not the same as giving him total control of press access. Florida could have conditioned his event on allowing press coverage just like they did on the later date.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:34 AM on October 19 [30 favorites]


As long as he doesn't incite a riot or call for mass violence and people to be murdered

He's a Nazi who promotes ethnic cleansing, in those specific words.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:35 AM on October 19 [50 favorites]


As long as he doesn't incite a riot or call for mass violence and people to be murdered, he's protected by federal law.

Ok, so then after his speeches incite riots and mass violence, other universities can refuse to let him come to their campuses, no?
posted by Melismata at 8:35 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


They posted on Daily Stormer advising people to cover their tats and dress down and look placid in order to get around the umptythousand cops the governor called out and get a ticket. And then fun ideas for what to do after the show, like tikitorchflashmob in front of Starbucks because it's "Jewish coffee." Or protest in favor of stuff, like "if there are statues of historically great white men (there are)." (ACTually, no, Gainesville took down our Johnny Reb. ACTually.)

UF is desperately trying to pretend this is all fine and everyone should go about their day as usual--but avoid doing anything uncitizenlike like protest the white supremacist circus going on in town. Meanwhile, all no-bennies staff who work in the area are missing a day of work they won't be paid for because they've closed every building next to the shindig. The Hilton across the street is entirely reserved for police from out of town. Whole parking lot full of cop cars last night. Surreal.

Cost for security for this is now up to $600,000. And that's gown; no telling what the cost will be to the town if they are here in any numbers. They lead charmed lives: every few months they descend on whatever random city and the city has to throw them a big glitzy militaristic debutante ball for which they do not pay a dime. Trump must be mad jealous. He wasted his youth boning his way around NYC and getting into a gossip rag now and then when he could've been leading nazi rallies.
posted by Don Pepino at 8:37 AM on October 19 [33 favorites]


Sorry, Michigan: Republican fight against municipal broadband heats up in Michigan -- Michigan bill says no "federal, state, or local funds" can pay for broadband. (Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica, Oct. 18, 2017)

Michigan Rep. Michele Hoitenga, a Republican from Manton, last week submitted a bill that says cities and towns "shall not use any federal, state, or local funds or loans to pay for the cost of providing qualified Internet service."

Hoitenga is the chair of the Michigan House's Communications and Technology committee, which will consider the bill. The bill may be a reaction to the government in Holland, Michigan, recently deciding to offer fiber Internet service and let any ISP offer service over the municipal network by buying wholesale access. Hoitenga incorrectly claimed that the municipality had 37 providers, when "only three residential ISPs [cover] more than half the town, and two of those offer DSL instead of a modern technology like cable or fiber." (The source referenced double-counts service providers who offer business and residential services.)

And no small surprise, Telecommunications Association of Michigan PAC and AT&T Michigan both donated to her, $3k and $1.5k respectively. That's a low price to reduce local competition.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:37 AM on October 19 [20 favorites]


I could have sworn I had to affirm on every US visa application and residency forms and citizenship paperwork that I was not now, nor had ever been, a member of the Nazi party ...?

So what you're saying is homegrown Nazis are fine but foreign imports are right out? (Somehow I hadn't thought of those questions as a protectionist measure.)


Yeah, pretty much.

3. Nazi Party Affiliation

Applicants who were affiliated with the Nazi government of Germany or any government occupied by or allied with the Nazi government of Germany, either directly or indirectly, are ineligible for admission into the United States and permanently barred from naturalization. [21] The applicant is responsible for providing any evidence or documentation to support a claim that he or she is not ineligible for naturalization based on involvement in the Nazi Party.


I never knew this. Interesting. In that WTF kind of way.
posted by cooker girl at 8:37 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


It's reportedly costing them $500,000 to provide security. The cost of a year's tuition for 78 state-resident undergraduate students. Complete insanity.

Why not simply charge the speaker or his financial backers for the cost involved due to their inflammatory speech?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:38 AM on October 19 [23 favorites]


He's a Nazi who promotes ethnic cleansing, in those specific words.

I'm not a first amendment lawyer, and I'm certainly not going to defend Richard Fucking Spencer. But I'm guessing that he has lawyers who can twist the meanings of his dogwhistles to a court so they don't sound like he's violating the law.
posted by zarq at 8:39 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]




And then fun ideas for what to do after the show, like tikitorchflashmob in front of Starbucks because it's "Jewish coffee."

I'm sure I'll regret asking this, but... what?
posted by zarq at 8:40 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


So is University of Florida run by shitty right wing nutjobs, or just people so intimidated by the Nazis that they're giving them everything they want?

You know, I don't really know how to answer this because it's truly an unfair question. Spencer and his frog friends have discovered they can game the system by taking advantage of the first amendment and a liberal democracy's tolerance of all speech. He threatened to sue the university in federal court and I believe he and his deep-pocketed backers have done that in the past. Do I wish the university and president Fuchs denied him a place to speak? Of course, but someone at the state level in Tallahassee did the cynical math and determined that it was cheaper to let Spencer speak than to fight him in court.

Like I mentioned, my daughter attends UF, my wife and I graduated from UF and we have numerous friends who work at the university. None of us support Spencer and if anything we'd punch him in the face if we saw him on the street. There's certainly a number of questions that need to be asked about preventing Spencer's bullshit in the future but asking if a state university is run by a bunch of "shitty right wing nutjobs" is just kicking the people who have to live through Spencer being in Gainesville today.
posted by photoslob at 8:41 AM on October 19 [25 favorites]


North Carolina Republicans simply don’t believe that Democrats have any legitimate say in governance.

Why is it that North Carolina Republicans are unusually insane?

Are they fighting a rear guard action against turning into a bluer shade of purple, like Virginia?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:42 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


The arc of the universe does not bend towards justice C'mon now, Sonohito, let us not talk smack about the universe, and project that we know the arc of it.

I remember one of my favorite writers stating, "When the shaman stands on the edge of the universe they find a supreme indifference."

We are the difference, and we can go with the outward flow of the expanding universe, and create our own compassionate, forward motion with it.

That view is fatalistic to the extreme, but time is a sticky flow, and it takes effort to bend it.
posted by Oyéah at 8:45 AM on October 19 [11 favorites]




Zarq, I have absolutely no idea what that means to them, but what it means to me is that today at long last I'm going to use my Starbucks giftcard.
posted by Don Pepino at 8:47 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Why not simply charge the speaker or his financial backers for the cost involved due to their inflammatory speech?

This is a good question. Does the school always provide security for speakers?
posted by graventy at 8:48 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


I mean, Starbucks serves kosher and non-kosher food. Which means some Orthodox Jews won't even buy anything from them out of an assumption that the machines used to make stuff are "contaminated" by non-kosher edibles. This is kind of a big deal to some Jews. There are articles online that explain what is and isn't kosher to eat at the average Starbucks. What's approved by rabbinic kashrut councils. Guides to which ones serve what foods. Heck, there's even a facebook group.
posted by zarq at 8:48 AM on October 19


"Jewish coffee." Nah man, everyone knows Starbucks is Catholic coffee.
posted by Oyéah at 8:48 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


I'm sure I'll regret asking this, but... what?

One of the founders was Jewish.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:51 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


That view is fatalistic to the extreme, but time is a sticky flow, and it takes effort to bend it.

If anything, progressivism is sisyphean but each time you get to start a little further up the hill.
posted by Talez at 8:52 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Personally, I don't doubt that Putin tried to bribe Hillary Clinton...that allegation is a part of this story, which does look quite a bit more worrying in retrospect, and in light of these new revelations of corruption on the Russian side.

I do doubt that. These allegations are two years old; there's still, literally, no real evidence of wrongdoing on Clinton's part.

Politifact, June 2016:
Clinton’s State Department was one of nine government agencies to approve Russia’s acquisition of a company with U.S. uranium assets. Nine people related the company at some point in time donated to the Clinton Foundation, but we only found evidence that one did so "while" the Russian deal was occurring...suggestion[s] of a quid pro quo [are] unsubstantiated, as Schweizer the author of Clinton Cash himself has admitted.
Fact Check, April 2015:
The author of “Clinton Cash” falsely claimed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State had “veto power” and “could have stopped” Russia from buying a company with extensive uranium mining operations in the U.S. In fact, only the president has such power.
...
Schweizer and the Times [have] presented no evidence that the donations influenced Clinton’s official actions.

The fact is, Clinton was one of nine voting members on the foreign investments committee, which also includes the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy, the attorney general, and representatives from two White House offices — the United States Trade Representative and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. (Separately, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission needed to approve (and did approve) the transfer of two uranium recovery licenses as part of the sale.)
More recently, Snopes, in response to the more recent information from The Hill this month:
[N]one of these revelations prove that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in a quid pro quo agreement to accept payment for approval of the Uranium One deal.
And the specific quid-pro-qual deals we do have evidence of, from The Hill, are (if I'm reading this correctly) between Russian state-owned companies and other companies, not between Russian state-owned companies and American officials:
“As part of the scheme, Mikerin, with the consent of higher level officials at TENEX and Rosatom (both Russian state-owned entities) would offer no-bid contracts to US businesses in exchange for kickbacks in the form of money payments made to some offshore banks accounts,” Agent David Gadren testified.
(Emphasis mine).

It's a racketeering case, not a corruption case, on the American end; the only evidence of governmental corruption is on the Russian side.

I'd also note that while the Hill, here, presents this as having new information on the donations to the Clinton Foundation, it offers no actual new information or specifics beyond this:
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton ’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
That's not actually new, though: it's the same allegation that came out in 2015. But The Hill quickly pivots to the actually-new information on kickbacks and extortion of private business to suggest a link where none is actually proven.

John Solomon, the author of this piece, is a right wing tool, but The Hill is a legit news source with standards I think, and the story seems to be based on fact, even if spun hard.

For anyone else wondering who John Solomon is (I was): John Solomon -- only recently joined The Hill, having previously been involved with the (conservative) Washington Times and the (even more conservative) Sinclair-owned Circa, at which he wrote a lot of Trump-supporting articles from which his byline has since, apparently, been scrubbed, following his departure from that site.

To be fair to John Solomon, it doesn't look like anything in the Hill piece is factually incorrect as stated. But 'spun hard' is...an understatement. There's literally no new evidence about Clinton in the piece, but all the new evidence about other crimes are (for Some Reason) tied back to her and her alone.
posted by cjelli at 8:52 AM on October 19 [38 favorites]


North Carolina Republicans simply don’t believe that Democrats have any legitimate say in governance.

Why is it that North Carolina Republicans are unusually insane?

Are they fighting a rear guard action against turning into a bluer shade of purple, like Virginia?


Yes. There is a tenuous network of good ol' boys remaining in place, and they've gerrymandered all the rest of us into tiny weird little districts so our votes don't matter. There's also a pretty big discrepancy between town and rural, much like the rest of the country. I'd say NC is exceptional in our suspicion and hatred of "yankees," i.e. anyone not born south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Which is tricky, because at some time in the past North Carolina invested in tech and medical industries that have turned out to be pretty good, so we get a lot of folks from out of state on account of the desirable jobs here. Who, you know, are still people who would like to vote.
posted by witchen at 8:52 AM on October 19 [12 favorites]


Why not simply charge the speaker or his financial backers for the cost involved due to their inflammatory speech?

Not a good precedent. Last year Republican state legislatures looking to shut down Black Lives Matter protests were proposing bills to make protestors pay for the cost of policing.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:54 AM on October 19 [17 favorites]


Why not simply charge the speaker or his financial backers for the cost involved due to their inflammatory speech?

Associated Press: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government, in this case a public university, cannot charge speakers for security costs.

I don't know what case they're referring to.
posted by zarq at 8:54 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


My questioning the right wing-ism of U of Florida wasn't related to letting Spencer speak, but letting him have total control over tickets and the press. Most especially letting him have total control over the press.

Sure, sure, the university is obligated to let him speak. But come on, they aren't obligated to let him decide which press gets to cover his speaking.

Who made that decision and why?
posted by sotonohito at 8:56 AM on October 19 [14 favorites]


They posted on Daily Stormer advising people to cover their tats and dress down and look placid in order to get around the umptythousand cops the governor called out and get a ticket.

How are the cops going to know who to protect/whose criminal behavior to ignore if they can't see your swastika tat?
posted by indubitable at 8:58 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


Uranium one are the folks that take their sludge to Blanding Utah for processing. Last year one of their liquid filled trucks, spilled its contents between Gillette and Blanding, the truck arriving dry.
posted by Oyéah at 9:00 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


The Hill is a legit news source with standards I think

Leaving aside the substance of any actual rumors, but The Hill quit being a legit news source with standards awhile ago. They are now little more than a DC-based gossip rag, and they'll hand out column space to anyone willing to slap words together. In my line of work, placing op-eds or stories in The Hill is the last-ditch option after every legitimate reporter and outlet has turned us down and we're running down the clock on having something to point to with our bosses' names on it.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 9:00 AM on October 19 [32 favorites]


I don't know what case they're referring to.

I think (but am not 100% confident) that's Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (1992) [full text].
posted by cjelli at 9:02 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Sure, sure, the university is obligated to let him speak. But come on, they aren't obligated to let him decide which press gets to cover his speaking.

Controlling audience and press access may also be a free speech issue. The private entity that rents space from them for an event could do it. But I suspect the University would not be able to.
posted by zarq at 9:05 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


"Northam and his Republican opponent in the race, Ed Gillespie, have had extensive financial or business relationships with companies active in Virginia..."

SO WHY IS NORTHAM THE ONLY ONE IN THE FUCKING HEADLINE YOU #FUCKINGMORONS


Because the difference in scope is pretty significant. You should be thanking them for that early graf equivalence given what comes a lot later about Gillespie:

Gillespie has mutual funds and partnership interests in three investment funds but no stock holdings, according to his campaign disclosure form.

You wanna be mad at folks, you should be mad at VA for our weak-sauce ethics restrictions or Northam for his stupid choice of holdings and shitty (at best) optics. I think he's okay and his history points to him being at bare minimum no worse that McAuliffe has turned out to be. But if this is newsworthy - and let's not pretend we wouldn't be drooling over this if it was about Gillespie - he's the one who deserves the focus.
posted by phearlez at 9:06 AM on October 19 [14 favorites]


Sure, sure, the university is obligated to let him speak. But come on, they aren't obligated to let him decide which press gets to cover his speaking.

I've looked and not seen it reported anywhere that Spencer is determining who covers the event. My guess is that law enforcement has created some sort of press pool situation for Spencer's speech.
posted by photoslob at 9:07 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


standards awhile ago. They are now little more than a DC-based gossip rag, and they'll hand out column space to anyone willing to slap words together.

I mean columns and op eds are whatever. I have low expectations. Look what the Wall Street Journal runs. And I'm not put off by "gossip rag" either -- people say the same about Politico, but they have had some important stories this year.

I'm trying to say that although I don't trust John Soloman farther than I can throw him, I don't think The Hill would have published that piece without some solid sourcing and editorial oversight. They aren't Instapundit or Zero Hedge or whatever. Or can you give an example of something they've published as fact which turned out to be non-fact?
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:07 AM on October 19


One of the founders was Jewish.

Ah. Thanks.
posted by zarq at 9:08 AM on October 19


I've looked and not seen it reported anywhere that Spencer is determining who covers the event.

Guardian: White nationalist to control which journalists cover Florida 'free speech' event

“They’ve rented the facility. It’s their event. It’s not our event,” university spokeswoman Janine Sikes said on Wednesday. “It’s their event, so that’s why they can have whomever they want.” [...]

Trying to make a first amendment case for controlling media credentialing would be a much more difficult battle, LoMonte said. “I don’t think you have a first amendment right to be covered by the media in the way that you choose,” he said. “I can’t come up with a way that’s a viable first amendment claim.”

Journalists who requested a credential to cover Thursday’s event were told by the university in an email: “All media credentialing decisions are made by [Spencer’s National Policy Institute].”

posted by T.D. Strange at 9:15 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]




Guardian: White nationalist to control which journalists cover Florida 'free speech' event

This pisses me off.
posted by photoslob at 9:19 AM on October 19 [9 favorites]


I could have sworn I had to affirm on every US visa application and residency forms and citizenship paperwork that I was not now, nor had ever been, a member of the Nazi party ...?

Anecdotal data point: a family member needed to renew her border stuff this past weekend, and there's a new form. The new form no longer asks if you are/were a Nazi. There are a shitload of new questions, two pages in teeny-tiny font, so be prepared. And bring your reading glasses, unlike the elderly Italian gentleman next to us who hadn't brought his, and was stuck.

There are a LOT of new questions. It's gonna take a while. That's probably the intent.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:21 AM on October 19 [10 favorites]




Twain Device: "Powerful SC GOP consultant Richard Quinn, 4 others indicted"

We note that SC governor Henry McMaster is extremely closely associated with Quinn, and that the next SC governor election is...2018.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:25 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


“They’ve rented the facility. It’s their event. It’s not our event,” university spokeswoman Janine Sikes said on Wednesday. “It’s their event, so that’s why they can have whomever they want.”

UofF is a public school, I wonder if they can really rent their facilities under these terms.
posted by rhizome at 9:32 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


George W. Bush: 'Bigotry seems emboldened' in US

Black pot calls kettle black?
posted by Talez at 9:32 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


From the "1 in 3 Ain't Bad" Department:

Time: Father of Soldier Killed in Niger: Trump Was Respectful When He Called Me

Not all Gold Star families are upset with President Donald Trump. [that's what they call damning with faint praise]

Arnold Wright said he had no qualms about the fact that Trump's phone call came nearly two weeks after his son's death was announced. [...] "The tone was great," Wright said. "His comments were appropriate."
When pressed if Trump had said something similar to him, Wright said twice that Trump did not, adding that he didn't see anything problematic about it anyway. "I'll say it: my son knew what he signed up for."


1) Can you imagine a factor that might possibly have differentiated Dustin Wright from La David Johnson in Trump's eyes?

2) Arnold Wright won't say whether he voted for Trump but it's hard not to see him internalizing Trumpism in order to rationalize and justify the death of his son, and that shit makes me sad in more ways than one.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:32 AM on October 19 [38 favorites]


I don't care whether Trump is occasionally thought to be decent, it's whether he's holding himself to the same standard under which he criticizes others.

Moreover, what % of families did Obama call and what % has Trump?
posted by rhizome at 9:35 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


And then fun ideas for what to do after the show, like tikitorchflashmob in front of Starbucks because it's "Jewish coffee."

On the very unlikely chance it involves Starbucks serving Authentic Nachle Israeli Black Coffee with Cardamom then I highly recommend it!

Admittedly being a bit of a wuss I blend it at about a 1:20 ratio with Monsooned Malabar to avoid hyper-caffeination.
posted by Buntix at 9:36 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]




How a rich city spent $283K fighting a gigantic hedge

The Asylum tribute to Pacific Rim 2.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 9:40 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


Ahh yes. Just another fall morning where the President of the US decides to accuse a federal agency of treason on a social media platform.

I'm still reeling from this -- in the middle of reeling from all the other things he's said and done in the past however many months.

The President of the United States of America publicly accused part of the nation's security apparatus of treason. This is part of the public record. This is will be part of the official government records of the United States.

How has this not triggered a huge crisis? Do his words mean anything? If they don't mean anything, hasn't our nation been effectively decapitated? If the media and the other branches of the government ignore this, how can this mean anything other than that the United States does not currently have a head of state?

Jesus, I feel like Frank "Grimey" Grimes from the famous episode of the Simpsons: How are so many people not seeing this? Why doesn't it matter? Where are the repercussions?
posted by lord_wolf at 9:41 AM on October 19 [67 favorites]


Moreover, what % of families did Obama call and what % has Trump?

This is not really a good metric. Obama presided over several years of intense fighting in Iraq and the surge in Afghanistan. More than 2500 US soldiers died. The president’s time could not have been and should not have been spent calling each loss personally. He’s not an army grief officer, and that’s why we have those officers, to delegate those responsibilities to trained representatives of the US government.

Trump has lost 20 soldiers in 9 months, mostly in noncombat incidents. He didn’t call all of those, but he shouldn’t have to and we shouldn’t want him to. It’s because he doesn’t understand what the military is or does or how it works, and because he said another stupid thing thinking it would somehow give him more “hate Obama points” that were even talking about this. He poisons everything, even honoring military deaths.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:43 AM on October 19 [35 favorites]


Jesus, I feel like Frank "Grimey" Grimes from the famous episode of the Simpsons: How are so many people not seeing this? Why doesn't it matter? Where are the repercussions?

Because the only people who can do anything about it are sitting with their backs to the controversy, fingers in ears, going "LALALALALA CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING HE'S SAYING!"
posted by Talez at 9:44 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


also, tax cuts
posted by entropicamericana at 9:45 AM on October 19 [9 favorites]


“They’ve rented the facility. It’s their event. It’s not our event,” university spokeswoman Janine Sikes said on Wednesday. “It’s their event, so that’s why they can have whomever they want.”

UofF is a public school, I wonder if they can really rent their facilities under these terms.


I loathe these nazis as much as everyone else here, but - what other possible terms would you expect anyone to rent a space under? Wouldn't every one of us, if we rented an auditorium from someone, expect that we'd be the ones who decides who gets into the seats? If we paid to put on our own production on a stage we'd expect that we decide who gets all the tickets and which press outlets to invite, wouldn't we? If the local democratic party rented that space for a rally we wouldn't think it was reasonable for the university to feel free to invite a few random republicans in, no?

It seems egregious because it's nazi scum gaming the system to get access we wish we could deny them, but it's them that's odd and gross, not the policy as a standard.
posted by phearlez at 9:48 AM on October 19 [12 favorites]


Just the president accusing the FBI of conspiring with the Russians against him.

I'm very interested to someday hear what happened behind the scenes in the Mueller investigation these past couple weeks. We've had Trump going on the attack against the FBI and Comey again, a renewed round of "Pence would be worse" stories and talk around the web (not just the New Yorker piece which I think was coincidental timing, but stuff like Bannon saying the Kochs own Pence), there was that thing where Trump was wanting to talk to Mueller like an idiot to clear things up - it feels like something shifted behind the scenes to spook the Trump camp.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:00 AM on October 19 [18 favorites]


Wouldn't every one of us, if we rented an auditorium from someone, expect that we'd be the ones who decides who gets into the seats?

If I was selling tickets, sure, but if it's a free event I would think they have to take whoever shows up. Perhaps a more pointed example: could they exclude black people?
posted by rhizome at 10:01 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


There are a LOT of new questions. It's gonna take a while. That's probably the intent.

The first thing that comes to mind are those old southern voting rights tests.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:04 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


If I was selling tickets, sure, but if it's a free event I would think they have to take whoever shows up. Perhaps a more pointed example: could they exclude black people?

They're public events so they can't exclude black people but they can exclude whichever individuals they want in order to control their message. So for instance you can instruct security to keep out all individuals with a black lives matter t-shirt on but not all black people.
posted by Talez at 10:05 AM on October 19


indubitable: How are the cops going to know who to protect/whose criminal behavior to ignore if they can't see your swastika tat?

Um, skin color? That worked in Charlottesville on a few occasions. After all, the Governor came down hard on wanting those attackers arrested, but *gasp* said nothing that I've seen about police inaction.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:05 AM on October 19


how can this mean anything other than that the United States does not currently have a head of state?

Things I have thought in full seriousness in the last month: “We’re going to have to get ready now for when the federal government just doesn’t show up.”
To wit, I’m considering organizing a mutual aid, check-in system for my building in advance of whatever the next disaster in.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on October 19 [26 favorites]


It seems egregious because it's nazi scum gaming the system to get access we wish we could deny them, but it's them that's odd and gross, not the policy as a standard.

So nazis are masking up right now, local synagogues are under threat. If your personal dedication to the policy of free speech is being used by people who would happily dismantle it in order to terrorize people, maybe your policy is stupid.
posted by indubitable at 10:07 AM on October 19 [18 favorites]


Do his words mean anything? If they don't mean anything, hasn't our nation been effectively decapitated? If the media and the other branches of the government ignore this, how can this mean anything other than that the United States does not currently have a head of state?

That is kind of what's going on, right? Many people in the government and media are just kind of ignoring him and lying low and waiting until he goes away (because they are cowards).
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:08 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Guardian: White nationalist to control which journalists cover Florida 'free speech' event

“They’ve rented the facility. It’s their event. It’s not our event,” university spokeswoman Janine Sikes said on Wednesday. “It’s their event, so that’s why they can have whomever they want.”


Maybe it's time to change that policy, you know, for the greater good. There's free speech, and the freedom to suppress speech, which I don't think is a thing.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:08 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this has been discussed yet, but apparently there is (surprise) a bit of a harassment-of-women and rape apologia problem with "leftist" folks associated with the Chapo podcast. SL twitter thread here, but tl;dr:

- there is an associated podcast called (I can't fucking believe this) "cum town" featuring a dude who seems to enjoy making "ironic" rape jokes, in addition to doing all the usual "we don't know all the facts" and attacking rape victims
- this twitter user calls them out, chapo and cum town (jesus FUCKING christ) fans and associates harass her for going on three days now I think, with involvement from people on the podcasts themselves
- a bunch of women apparently have messaged her to confirm that they've experienced in person harassment at events associated with the NYC DSA when they tried to call this stuff out
- and now I'm just exhausted, because the pattern is always the same

I know there are people on MeFi heavily involved with the NYC DSA. I'd love to hear what they have to say about this, but I gotta say, the culture doesn't seem awesome.

I'm so fucking tired.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:14 AM on October 19 [55 favorites]


Sen. Alexander says he has 10 GOP co-sponsors for Alexander-Murray (including Graham and Cassidy, but not Heller). That gets him to 60 votes if all the Democrats are on board. We've swung back to Trump seemingly supporting it, though he keeps reversing himself on that.

Which all leads to the question of what the hell Paul Ryan does if the Senate passes this and dumps it on his desk.

itshappening.gif?
posted by zachlipton at 10:21 AM on October 19 [19 favorites]


Gainesville Sun just posted a video of what looks to be a presser from inside the auditorium. a spotlit nattily dressed Spencer insisting he's there for dialogue and not trying to limit to only nazi press. Outside the cops just detained some guy because he had a gun. He claimed to be private security for Fox News. I'm getting this stuff from various facebook live feeds.
posted by Don Pepino at 10:36 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


RE: Chapo misogyny problem—

There was also a recent 'joke' tweet in which two of the Chapo dudes and Josh Androsky, co-chair of the Los Angeles chapter of the DSA, posed next to Bill Cosby's Hollywood star with the caption "hey libs try taking THIS statue down'. Obviously they were trying for irony, but it was a terrible look for these supposed lefties (white hipster dudebros, the lot of them) to be making light of rape, especially in the immediate wake of the Weinstein allegations and subsequent "Me too" social media movement. (Related thread from the Chapo Trap House subreddit.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:36 AM on October 19 [11 favorites]


Not sure if this has been discussed yet, but apparently there is (surprise) a bit of a harassment-of-women and rape apologia problem with "leftist" folks associated with the Chapo podcast. SL twitter thread here, but tl;dr:

Teal deer, indeed.

Of course, every time you express any "this gives me a bad vibe, it's a white straight dude-led leftist project that is moderately bad about gender and has very few women involved, one of whom hates feminism" feelings about CTH, people are all "well, you can't expect them to be perfect". And then it turns out that the problem isn't that they're "not perfect", which would be fine, but that they actively tolerate/encourage gross rape apologists and creepers.

I've never felt that great about CTH and have said as much, because every time I've encountered that kind of leftist white dude he's actually been kind of an asshole or else an asshole-apologist.

The moral of this story seems to be two-fold:

1. It's not necessarily worth getting involved with projects that are led by straight white men and have very little participation from women, or with participation by women who do a lot of disingenuous "I don't dislike feminism, just Every Feminist Who Exists" style stuff.

2. Don't be so quick to dismiss women's objections to the "identity politics keeps us from winning, gender was not relevant to the election, we need to focus on class" thing. That kind of argument is a total red flag, and anyone who advances it is either naive/unfamiliar with history or actively disingenuous.
posted by Frowner at 10:37 AM on October 19 [82 favorites]


Yeah I know some leftist people are all about the Chapo guys but they seem really really really gross and I'm very glad I never gave into the maybe I should check that out impulse I had.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:37 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


I know there are people on MeFi heavily involved with the NYC DSA. I'd love to hear what they have to say about this, but I gotta say, the culture doesn't seem awesome.

My understanding is that Chapo really isn't that involved with the New York DSA, who are more about the work of political organizing than the endless self-aggrandizement that is Chapo.
posted by mightygodking at 10:39 AM on October 19 [4 favorites]



> > how can this mean anything other than that the United States does not currently have a head of state?

> Things I have thought in full seriousness in the last month: “We’re going to have to get ready now for when the federal government just doesn’t show up.”


It's not even so much the absence of a real head of state/executive branch that will be the real issue (as Belgium previouslied), but that the Trumpétomanes are acting as a fifth column to sabotage and incapacitate the civil services and bits of government that actually do useful stuff.

It won't even be possible to just spin them up again when/if he's gone as they'll be losing people and domain knowledge that will take years to rebuild.
posted by Buntix at 10:39 AM on October 19 [14 favorites]


the endless self-aggrandizement that is Chapo.

They are very awesome, hadn't you heard them say so?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:41 AM on October 19


Atom Eyes: "There was also a recent 'joke' tweet in which two of the Chapo dudes and Josh Androsky, co-chair of the Los Angeles chapter of the DSA, posed next to Bill Cosby's Hollywood star with the caption "hey libs try taking THIS statue down'. "

20 minutes, 2 guys, jackhammer.
posted by Mitheral at 10:42 AM on October 19 [15 favorites]


There was also a recent 'joke' tweet

If we've learned anything from the rise of the alt-right, it's that they're never just "jokes." Applies equally to the alt-left.

My understanding is that Chapo really isn't that involved with the New York DSA, who are more about the work of political organizing than the endless self-aggrandizement that is Chapo

The actual thread I linked seems to contradict this no-true-scotsman-lite assessment.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:46 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


We have a brand new national harassment policy for chapters and now is an excellent time to try it out. We’ve drummed out people before for bad behavior.
posted by The Whelk at 10:48 AM on October 19 [33 favorites]


I feel like I say this every fifth election thread, but it bears repeating:

When I first heard about Chapo Trap House, I saw the name and saw that the staff was all white guys, and I moved on with my life. (That said, James Adomian's Gorka is a goddamn treasure.)
posted by pxe2000 at 10:49 AM on October 19 [15 favorites]


I swear.

More & more, I find myself thinking not just "what groups are out there that I can join to start advocating for change?" & instead "what groups are out there run & peopled by women & people of color that I can join to start advocating for change?"

I'm so fucking sick of hearing white dudes espousing their solutions and making their wry little jokes. We're so damned untrustworthy at this point. "Well, not all white dudes.." I don't care; it's enough; it's too many.

In my personal life, I find that all my arguments crescendo to direct quotes & "learn more" knowledge drops authored by women & PoC. They've (you've) been saying this stuff forever. It's all out there & ripe for dissemination.

Yeah, I'm a white guy & I was born on a platform with a megaphone, but all I want to do is pull others onto this dais & hand over the reins. We need to just take a backseat already. Clap hard as hell, cheer others on, share, link, tweet, show up, yeah, yeah, yeah. But stop thinking we're the ones that need to lead the way.
posted by narwhal at 10:51 AM on October 19 [62 favorites]


We have a brand new national harassment policy for chapters and now is an excellent time to try it out. We’ve drummed out people before for bad behavior.

I want you to know I am now humming "Go Whelk Go, Go Whelk Gooooo....." to the tune of that song about the Cubs.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:51 AM on October 19 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ, that chapo reddit thread you linked to kinda confirms everything is flaming
hot garbage.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:52 AM on October 19 [4 favorites]


...the Trumpétomanes are acting as a fifth column to sabotage and incapacitate the civil services and bits of government that actually do useful stuff.

This is what happens when you scream "Government is ALWAYS the problem" for forty years over every available wavelength without clarifying that what you really mean is "except for when and where we control it."

Eventually enough idiots take you seriously that they acquire the keys to the bus.
posted by delfin at 10:52 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]


Also Season Of The Bitch for your all lady, all leftist podcast needs
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 AM on October 19 [19 favorites]


how can this mean anything other than that the United States does not currently have a head of state?
Things I have thought in full seriousness in the last month: “We’re going to have to get ready now for when the federal government just doesn’t show up.”
I agree with this, but my immediate reaction is: when the government just doesn't hold up it's end of the bargain... do large segments of the population just stop paying taxes? What happens then?

I mean, I know the answer is, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!" but, like, why isn't everyone screaming about this? I'm missing something obvious.
posted by ragtag at 10:53 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


James Adomian is a goddamn treasure, full stop.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:54 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


We have a brand new national harassment policy for chapters and now is an excellent time to try it out. We’ve drummed out people before for bad behavior.
posted by The Whelk at 10:48 AM on October 19 [3 favorites −] [!]


Great. I hope you do this. Because the twitter thread specifically talks about the nyc DSA social scene, and women who have been silenced or don't feel safe speaking out, which to me seems a problem of culture (already). So I'd say you have your work cut out for you.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:54 AM on October 19 [13 favorites]


Okay, here's the reason I don't like that kind of sexist (and actually, also, kind of racist?) "ironic" humor as the public face of a project even if the people really, truly, in their hearts do not mean it: When people make unpleasant jokes the public face of their project* they are saying, first, that anyone who is hurt by the jokes is going to be excluded from the culture of the project, and second, that the bond between the people who remain is 'I think it's funny to joke about sexual assault'.

Even if the people making the jokes are fantastic people in their private lives - feminist, excellent partners, constantly confront sexism, work primarily in women-led projects, etc etc, by creating a group bond around 'rape jokes are funny' they are bringing together a group that is going to have lots of icky people, lots of clueless people and very few people who will counter-balance or call those people out. They're building a group that is going to produce stochastic abuse of women.

When someone who is the public face of a project does this, you know either that they have never actually considered how sexism is reproduced or they just don't care. (Or possibly that they're not politically experienced enough to be the public face of anything.) In any case, it does not build confidence.

*Some people have social groups where people tell unpleasant jokes with some understanding of complexity and it's not terrible. Even those situations are pretty tricky, though, and I've mostly know it to backfire eventually.
posted by Frowner at 10:55 AM on October 19 [70 favorites]


Here's a joke, though:

Republican-run gov't: If I were in a room with Stalin, Hitler, & Mao but I only had two bullets in my gun, I'd shoot myself twice.
posted by narwhal at 10:56 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


narwhal: "More & more, I find myself thinking not just "what groups are out there that I can join to start advocating for change?" & instead "what groups are out there run & peopled by women & people of color that I can join to start advocating for change?""

I am excited by how many women/POC are Dem candidates in the Virginia House of Delegates races. This can really effect change.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:58 AM on October 19 [12 favorites]


Why not simply charge the speaker or his financial backers for the cost involved due to their inflammatory speech?

Because I promise you this can be applied to more causes than Nazis. There are a lot of noble causes some people still find "inflammatory".
posted by corb at 11:00 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


Even if the people making the jokes are fantastic people in their private lives

lol they never are

because if you are a fantastic person in your private life you don't fucking laugh when people tell you the jokes you make on your own large public platform bring them right back to their own rape

and if you don't know that that's what happens every time you make a fucking joke about being raped in public, you are not a person who deserves a large public platform; you are either brain dead or a sentient piece of shit
posted by schadenfrau at 11:00 AM on October 19 [65 favorites]


Anyway since I have literally all the social capital my go to now is just having an even more zero tolerance policy for this shit, I am absolutely not afraid to say “that’s not funny” and we don’t say shit like that here, not even as a joke.

I’m not in any organizer committee or place of authority but I am extremly loud and I have helped oust people before and this is not tolerable.
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 AM on October 19 [47 favorites]


(Also this is something I prefer to do in person , better success rate then online)

(Ugh this is something Comms needs to address like yesterday too,)
posted by The Whelk at 11:04 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


"Ironic" Racism/Sexism etc. really needs to be cast aside. As shown going back to the 70s with Archie Bunker, there will be a group of people that don't get the jokes are meant ironically. Then, it can be tough to tell if someone is making a joke ironically, or just kidding on the square.
posted by drezdn at 11:04 AM on October 19 [12 favorites]


Crooked Media, Brian Beutler, Leaked Memo Reveals White House Wish List. The Domestic Policy Council turns out to be full of assholes too:
Policymakers in Trump’s White House argue that the U.S. should refrain from influencing curricula and “other touchier-feelier programs” at foreign institutions that receive federal funds to educate young girls—except in “muslim countries, where we need to do a check of the curricula at the schools we’re supporting to weed out jihadism.”
...
These same officials are convinced that the World Health Organization is a “corrupt, hostile bureaucracy that achieves no actual [public health] capacity in countries.”

And they hope to halve federal funding for Title X, the grant program that provides family planning and prevention services to the poor, and divert the money into programs to promote “fertility awareness” methods of birth control—popular among socially conservative contraception foes—which fail annually for a quarter of couples.
They also want to further screw over federal workers with a pay freeze and ending all pensions and retiree health benefits.
posted by zachlipton at 11:05 AM on October 19 [31 favorites]


The Chapo stuff was predictable, but seeing it laid out in such vivid detail still leaves me feeling disappointed and disgusted. I think a lot of it results from a group that fancies itself as an edgier, more radical interpretation of modern leftism using shock value to prove that they're edgier and more radical. The urge to "keep it real" when so much of the movement is defined more by what they're against (neoliberalism, the Democratic party, etc.) than what they're for. If someone doesn't like it, then they just weren't true enough to the socialist vision, with their identity-centered politics that keep them from laughing when someone makes a TOTALLY HILARIOUS rape joke, and that means they've proven themselves to be more authentic.

It's a good thing more mainstream vehicles exist for organizing the left that aren't causing this kind of harm. I hope that the Chapo crowd is marginalized within them for as long as they're doing shit like this.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:11 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]


The NY DSA is pretty large, right? To be optimistic, one might very well have both some really shitty social circles within it and plenty of better ones, and then a bunch of people whose primary social life is not through the DSA.

At least, this is how activist circles have always seemed to me elsewhere - there are circles within circles, and some of them are toxic and some are not. Depending on exactly what you're working on, the type of people you like as friends, luck and circumstance and the exclusion measures of each social circle, you can have wildly different experiences. Like, I've had super toxic friend groups at several points, and also had really healthy friend groups - all within the broad activist milieu.
posted by Frowner at 11:12 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


"Ironic" Racism/Sexism etc. really needs to be cast aside.

I used to have trouble understanding the concept of ironic racism and ironic sexism, and then I saw what Gavin McInnes is up to nowadays. He tested those waters at Vice/Street Carnage in the '00s and now he's brought it fully around and dropped the "ironic." No more guesswork.
posted by witchen at 11:12 AM on October 19 [13 favorites]


Yep, largest chapter by far, and there are circles within circles (the Queer Caucus is still forming and it is growing) we all have to be better at identifying toxic elements, I’m more concerned about that then the werid persistent fear of infliatrators.
posted by The Whelk at 11:16 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


“Neolib” — especially in online “discourse” — has become gutted of any real content. It’s been reduced to an epithet, usually signifying contempt for the hard work of self-governance and an adolescent desire to act out a fantasy of immediate (ideological) gratification. It reminds me (oddly) of what the therapist tells Rick Sanchez in a recent episode of Rick and Morty:
I have no doubt you would be bored senseless by therapy. The same way i’m bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass. Because the thing about repairing, maintaining, and cleaning is: it's not an adventure. There’s no way to do it so wrong you might die. It’s just work. And the bottom line is: some people are okay going to work and some people... well, some people would rather die. Each of us gets to choose.
Liberalism and enlightenment values are no longer considered sexy or exciting. It’s so much more “fun” to agitate from the fringe and reduce all of this hard work to moves on a theoretical chessboard, nursing the (privileged) fantasy of upending the gameboard as a solution to political problems, while failing to see that for the nihilism it is.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:19 AM on October 19 [66 favorites]


schadenfrau: "because if you are a fantastic person in your private life you don't fucking laugh when people tell you the jokes you make on your own large public platform bring them right back to their own rape"

I can't favorite this enough.

I *was* that guy. I loved regaling folks with my super-dark, edgy humor in private & I managed to parlay that knack for humor into a gig where I (essentially) did standup one night a week for a number of years.

As time went on, folks would pull me aside & tell me that a particular bit really hurt. The first few times it happened, naturally, I was defensive: "whoa, whoa, whoa- I'm so sorry. I never meant it like that!" Eventually, I realized that I just stopped telling those jokes (and jokes like them).

Now, I'm all woke & shit, so of course I'd never put my foot in my mouth (ha ha- please please don't go digging through my comment history; at best, I'm a work in progress). But the simple rule of thumb that keeps me on the right side of these issues is that if my joke could in any way, shape, or form be construed as insensitive, I leave it alone.

What blows my mind is that I'm just some dude. I have achieved, by the most generous standards, an amount of fame literally one notch above 0. How it is that these other dudes with platforms that reach thousands & more could possibly persist in telling & defending jokes like these when surely, surely they have received more feedback than I ever did, I can't even.

I am a dumb animal, but I am a learning animal. I made jokes that hurt & then people helped me to understand how they hurt (despite my ironic intentions) & then I learned to extrapolate from the harm I caused some groups to be careful not to harm any groups, to the best of my ability.

Anyone who keeps on at it, who advocates smear campaigns against folks speaking truth to their hurt, who tells you to get over it, who shrugs & says he's only joking, he (because it's probably a "he") isn't a good guy deep down.

I don't know that I'm a good guy deep down. I'm just aspiring to be a good guy, from the inside out. Fuck these hurtful people with their good intentions. As I said earlier: take a back seat & listen. You can learn a lot, especially about yourself.
posted by narwhal at 11:20 AM on October 19 [62 favorites]




How it is that these other dudes with platforms that reach thousands & more could possibly persist in telling & defending jokes like these when surely, surely they have received more feedback than I ever did, I can't even.

I basically ended a 30+ year friendship today because a friend reacted defensively to my attempt to very very gently point out some rape apologia he posted on FB and by trying to shift the blame onto me for misinterpreting him. He's a woke liberal black gay man, and he thought that should be enough for me to just assume he didn't mean to condone rape or call women liars. But he did, and he didn't see what was wrong with that. I am about done with men.

ETA: thank you for listening when people talked to you about it. I was stunned by how hard it was to have the conversation with my friend and how badly it went.
posted by Mavri at 11:32 AM on October 19 [29 favorites]


They also want to further screw over federal workers with a pay freeze and ending all pensions and retiree health benefits.

Which is a feature, not a bug. They want to drive out all the experienced employees with institutional memory and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the government is incapable of doing anything valuable.

The day these assholes figure out that there are federal employees throughout every agency who do environmental protection work -- not just in EPA -- I'm doomed.
posted by suelac at 11:33 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


“Neolib” — especially in online “discourse” — has become gutted of any real content. It’s been reduced to an epithet, usually signifying contempt for the hard work of self-governance and an adolescent desire to act out a fantasy of immediate (ideological) gratification.

I don't think this is true in any way that maps onto the real world, not least because if there's one thing you can say for socialists, they're gluttons for the hard work of self-governance. You may or may not agree with how socialist groups proceed, but they are some of the least afraid of boredom of any activists you will ever meet. Union activists tend either to be sympathetic to socialist goals or actually socialists, for instance, and holy crap does that stuff require a tolerance for fiddly work and boredom. The only anarchists I've ever met who are similar are IWWs.

Certainly there are people who are all "let's have a revolution, and if it's not neo-Syndicalist-Maoist in character, then we should overthrow everything in blood and fire", but most of those people are under about twenty-seven and they're anarchists. (Not to impugn anarchists, among whom I count myself - marxists' besetting sin is secrecy; anarchists' is foolery.)
posted by Frowner at 11:34 AM on October 19 [22 favorites]


@Mark Knoller: This evening, Pres Trump attends dinner at the Kuwaiti Embassy at which UN Refugee Agency honors Melania Trump for her humanitarian efforts.

Update: this is what the White House said, but the LA Times dug into it: As Trump moves to slash refugee admissions, U.N. refugee agency honors his wife? Um, not exactly
Responding to questions about the event, a U.N. official, who requested anonymity given the sensitive diplomatic issues involved, quickly made clear that the dinner is not in fact being sponsored by the U.N.’s refugee agency. It is instead being put on by the Kuwait America Foundation, with proceeds going to the U.N. agency. The White House schedule called it a “gala dinner for UNHCR honoring First Lady Melania Trump,” without mentioning the Kuwait America Foundation.

“We’re trying to fix that,” the U.N. official said.
posted by zachlipton at 11:35 AM on October 19 [24 favorites]


they're gluttons for the hard work of self-governance. You may or may not agree with how socialist groups proceed, but they are some of the least afraid of boredom of any activists you will ever meet.

I mean, I’m literally giving up an entire afternoon to volunterarly stuff envelopes tomorrow so....

Als neoliberal has a consistent and simple definition? It’s a belief that the unregulated free market is superior and a consumer model of governance in favor of privatization.
posted by The Whelk at 11:39 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


I think a lot of it results from a group that fancies itself as an edgier, more radical interpretation of modern leftism using shock value to prove that they're edgier and more radical.

We need a variant of "make sure you only punch up" for folks to look to. When the "edgy" is because you're pushing on the side of the envelope that your group supposedly considers good towards the stuff that your group considers bad then you're being a part of pushing that envelope back towards the direction where this shit is okay.

Of course the simpler and perhaps more often likely explanation is that it's not so much edgy but just plain old racism. Not the hoods&torches that's easy for them to identify, but the "I am willing to ignore the desires/pain/needs of this group because it's more important to me to make a gag."
posted by phearlez at 11:49 AM on October 19 [17 favorites]


You might know what neoliberal means and use it correctly, now can you inform the entirety of the internet? Because wherever I go people seem to use "neoliberal" as a synonym for "thing I don't like", which is increasingly making me want to butt my head against my keyboard constantly.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:49 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Spencer is getting silenced by protesters "Say it loud, say it clear Nazis are not welcome here".
posted by stonepharisee at 11:51 AM on October 19 [64 favorites]


Also neoliberal has a consistent and simple definition? It’s a belief that the unregulated free market is superior and a consumer model of governance in favor of privatization.

Not? really? It's shifted in meanings multiple times over the 20th and 21st century, and that's before you get into different people meaning different things by it at the same time. Its precise meaning has been anything but simple or consistent.
posted by cjelli at 11:51 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]




you might be a neolib if:

you call people who disagree with you "nihilists"
and yet you think single-payer is an unrealistic goal


I think what the left needs to fight Trump is just the right way to partition ourselves. That's what divide and conquer is all about.
posted by Jpfed at 11:56 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


Spencer for Heil
posted by kirkaracha at 11:56 AM on October 19 [9 favorites]


What We Know About the Niger Attack That Left 4 U.S. Soldiers Dead

damn, one of them, Dustin Wright, is the first member of his family, with a long history in the military, to die on duty going back 205 years.
posted by numaner at 11:57 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Because wherever I go people seem to use "neoliberal" as a synonym for "thing I don't like"

Neoliberal millennial hipster fake news!
posted by duffell at 11:57 AM on October 19 [9 favorites]


eating crackers
posted by stonepharisee at 11:59 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Audience chants “Go home Spenser”

No dammit, we don't want him here either.
posted by phearlez at 12:00 PM on October 19 [15 favorites]


> Not? really? It's shifted in meanings multiple times over the 20th and 21st century, and that's before you get into different people meaning different things by it at the same time. Its precise meaning has been anything but simple or consistent.

Has it, though? FWIW I'm not familiar with the history of the word neoliberal pre-1970s, and I can't speak for some straw-rage-against-the-machine fan, but as I understand it, since the last quarter of the 20th century it's fairly consistently referred to either:
  1. The Chicago School plan for economic prosperity through the dismantlement of any regulation that might impede capital's field of action (environmental regulations, labor regulations, state-owned industry, etc.)
  2. The use of state power to impose the global dismantlement of all regulations that might impede capital's field of action; i.e. neoliberalism aims to be a worldwide system, rather than just "neoliberalism in one state" or whatever.
The reason the term might seem fuzzy, I guess, is that part 1 is about laissez faire economics — i.e. the withdrawal of state power from the market — while part 2 is about the use of state power to impose laissez faire everywhere.

That said, I have seen people use "neoliberal" as a synonym for "liberal" or "conservative," neither of which is quite right. Is that phenomenon what folks are talking about?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:01 PM on October 19 [16 favorites]


Audience chants “Go home Spencer”

The latest from @loisbeckett:

"Do you not want to hear something, poor little babies?" Spencer asks, continuing to treat hostile audience like kindergarteners.
"You can't hide you support genocide!" crowd chants at Spencer. "Are you adults, are you?" Spencer asks. "You all look like immature preschoolers who arent ready for ideas that might get a bit challenging"
Richard Spencer just did a quick little caper onstage, dancing along to the chants and waving his arms sardonically.

Seems like it's going pretty good.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:04 PM on October 19 [26 favorites]


It seems like a recurring pattern, these movements primarily made up of white men who traffic in edginess and condescension of right wing politics, but over time fall back on their glowing core of white male anger. The New Atheism movement was viciously opposed to the Bush-era Christian Right, but in retrospect appears to have eventually become a breeding ground for the alt-right. South Park libertarians could at one point be relied on to at least not march in lockstep with the far right, but couldn't resist the Hilary-bashing and the Pepe memes. Whenever it's a group that's way too white, way too male, and mainly expresses themselves in the language of condescension, they will eventually turn that condescension towards people who are not white and male. I expect Chapo to follow the same pattern, given enough time.
posted by parallellines at 12:04 PM on October 19 [52 favorites]


and yet you think single-payer is an unrealistic goal

It depends on whether you're talking about practicality or pragmatically.

For instance, could the United States implement a decent single payer system as a national healthcare policy? You bet your ass. In the grand scheme of things this is the trivial part because we've already got one that supports everyone aged 65+. Budget it, figure out the numbers to tax in place of employee sponsored insurance, and scale up.

Pragmatically, will the United States implement a decent single payer system as a national healthcare policy? Not without the electorate making a wholesale shift 20 points to the Democrats and/or demanding it from their representatives and not denigrate into a "BUT SOSHULISM!" shitfight among the electorate.

2008 showed us we can take back the house, we can take the Senate but unless we have that 3/5 supermajority on board in the Senate, single payer is dead in the water. Also, fuck Joe Lieberman.
posted by Talez at 12:05 PM on October 19 [16 favorites]


Sarah Sanders reading a message from "Mackenzie", a kid who loves Trump and wants to come to visit the White House and shake the president's hand, and who suggests she could bring some food because food brings people together.

I'm saying it's clearly an attempt to poison the president
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:06 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


RE: Event promoters and security.

You go to a concert, and the promoter pays for ushers, t-shirt security, security supervisors, and an contingent of off-duty police officers to provide security for the event. Seems reasonable in this instance. We're not talking about billing them for a police RESPONSE to a 9/11 call, but just basic security staffing to ensure the event is safe and secure shouldn't be born by the school of taxpayer, should it?
posted by mikelieman at 12:06 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Also, fuck Joe Lieberman.

Now there’s something we can all agree upon.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:08 PM on October 19 [35 favorites]


Challenging ideas? Racism isn't challenging. Racism is a place for tiny minds to hide from things that scare them. Overturning systemic racism is a challenging idea of which Spencer and his ilk are absolutely terrified.

Ugh.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:08 PM on October 19 [22 favorites]


Universities citing the first amendment as a justification for essentially shutting down and spending half a million on security to let a Nazi give a speech seems like an unsustainable policy. I feel like there has to be some middle ground where there's a Nazi Webinar or something. Maybe they could hand out Oculus Rifts and the Nazis can pretend to be in the drinking hall of Valhalla.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:10 PM on October 19 [18 favorites]


Kelly's at the press briefing right now eating Gold Star Meatloaf and defending Trump. Oof.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:11 PM on October 19 [23 favorites]


Welp, so much for John Kelly’s moral character. Way to piss away a lifetime of service, John.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:12 PM on October 19 [24 favorites]


They've now brought Kelly out to the press briefing to explain that he suggested Trump not call the families of fallen soldiers and that Bush and Obama didn't call all the families. But that Trump "very bravely" did make calls to the four families of those killed in Niger. Yes, he really said "very bravely." Kelly says Trump "expressed his condolences in the best way that he could."
posted by zachlipton at 12:12 PM on October 19 [26 favorites]


Oh man, Kelly is doubling down on blaming the Congressperson and covering for Trump. Shame, shame, shame.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:13 PM on October 19 [28 favorites]


Holy SHIT, Kelly is specifically and repeatedly saying that they knew what they signed up for.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:13 PM on October 19 [39 favorites]


You can’t serve two masters, John. I guess you’ve made your choice. “Shame” is right.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:14 PM on October 19 [24 favorites]


Audience chants “Go home Spenser”

Hey now! Spenser (Edmund) was a possibly racist poet from the 16th Century. His Faerie Queene was - he said - an attempt to:

"fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline".
posted by Myeral at 12:14 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


Maybe military service doesn't automatically make someone an exceptional person after all?
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:14 PM on October 19 [64 favorites]


Challenging ideas? Racism isn't challenging.

All these new nazis think they're geniuses asking these new questions of society, when this shit was already asked and answered a lifetime ago. The answer was ultimately a pretty bad time for the proto-Spencers so he should probably quit asking.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:15 PM on October 19 [10 favorites]


Holy SHIT, Kelly is specifically and repeatedly saying that they know what they signed up for.

That ought to do wonders for military recruitment. I remember when the tagline was "An Army of One." "Fulfill your death wish in the US military" is an edgy new take, but hey, you never know.
posted by duffell at 12:15 PM on October 19 [77 favorites]


Although I hate to say it, the relationship between the Chapo Trap House/"dirtbag left" contingent and mainstream leftism is genuinely best understood as a mirror image of the relationship between the alt-right and the mainstream right. Along those lines, labeling people as "neoliberals" has devolved into their version of calling people "cucks."

Both movements are marked by a desire to turn back the clock on the country and their respective politics. The alt-right wants to return to a time when things were better for white men at everyone else's expense, and an emphasis on ethnocentrism/nationalism. The dirtbag left wants to go back to when leftism was doing the most for laborers and the working class, and although the fact those policies had the greatest benefits for white men is more incidental, both movements still end up having some unfortunate similarities (particularly in terms of the kind of thinking and entitlement they generate, and the personalities they attract).

There's certainly validity to the sentiment that the Clintonian "Third Way" is responsible for the dismal state of both the middle class and the Democratic party, and that while Neoliberalism helped the left rebuild itself when the general population had more conservative leanings, it has also kept the left from returning to its roots as progressivism became more marketable and sorely necessary. Unfortunately, the self-styled dirtbags have something of a "baby with the bathwater" problem in their focus on atavistic progressivism (there's a fun oxymoron). They're disdainful toward everything leftism has evolved to encompass since it moved on from being a labor- and class-based movement, and that seems to cause many of them to view identity politics and "political correctness" in a way that's very similar to the alt-right.
posted by prosopagnosia at 12:16 PM on October 19 [30 favorites]


Notice how he spent the whole "explanation" talking about male soldiers and "wives" and then said that "women used to be sacred." Yeesh!

What a fucking chauvinist asshole, and you can hear the disdain in his voice that is ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY not at all related to race. Not a bit.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:16 PM on October 19 [42 favorites]


Kelly — in classic fascist fashion — is only taking questions from servicemembers and/or Gold Star family members. WTF.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:17 PM on October 19 [16 favorites]


Because I promise you this can be applied to more causes than Nazis. There are a lot of noble causes some people still find "inflammatory".
See the ACLU's fight with the FBI over their list of "Black Identity Extremists."
posted by xyzzy at 12:18 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


i
whAT IS HAPPENING
posted by halation at 12:18 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


No leftist, "dirtbag" or otherwise, should have the slightest sympathy for neoliberalism. Its means are hateful, violent, and expropriative, and its ends are tyrannical and murderous. It didn't "help the left rebuild itself", it helped the Democrats abandon morality and sense in order to drag the party to the right. It's the economics and politics of Reagan and Thatcher. It is death.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:19 PM on October 19 [20 favorites]


Maybe they need to get the Khans to ask a question?
posted by carsondial at 12:20 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


> What a fucking chauvinist asshole, and you can hear the disdain in his voice that is ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY not at all related to race. Not a bit.

This reminded me to look up the Port Chicago disaster again, since the US military not caring about black lives has been a theme for a long time.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:20 PM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Uh, yeah. I don't think it's the fact that soldiers know there are risks in deployment that is at issue. It's that how could you imply to his deeply grieving widow and mother that the fact in some way mitigates the pain of his death? I mean why else say it?

But good job eating that bowl of shit, Kelly. What's that? Oh, look, here comes another bowl for you John; dig in.
posted by angrycat at 12:21 PM on October 19 [30 favorites]


Using your dead son as a cudgel against your boss's enemies is some pretty A+ wraithing
posted by theodolite at 12:21 PM on October 19 [83 favorites]




@BenjySarlin: This is heartbreaking from Kelly. But also corroborates account of call Trump said was "totally fabricated" and would be proven fake.

Kelly also attacked Rep. Wilson for listening to the call (she's a friend of the family who mentored the fallen soldier and was there at their request), but glossed right over the bit about Sgt. La David Johnson's mother saying Trump disrespected her son.
posted by zachlipton at 12:23 PM on October 19 [29 favorites]


Kelly — in classic fascist fashion — is only taking questions from servicemembers and/or Gold Star family members. WTF.

This is really deeply outrageous.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:23 PM on October 19 [31 favorites]


@joshledermanAP: Kelly, defending Trump from White House podium, laments that sanctity of Gold Star families was lost over summer at convention

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU
posted by zombieflanders at 12:24 PM on October 19 [99 favorites]


Martyrdom Guarantees Press Access! Would You Like To Know More?
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:25 PM on October 19 [40 favorites]


They've now brought Kelly out to the press briefing to explain that he suggested Trump not call the families of fallen soldiers.

I am 153% sure Kelly did suggest, command, beseech Trump not to call those families. And we all know why.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:25 PM on October 19 [15 favorites]


> @joshledermanAP: Kelly, defending Trump from White House podium, laments that sanctity of Gold Star families was lost over summer at convention

Your Honor, I'm an orphan now...
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:25 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


Kelly — in classic fascist fashion — is only taking questions from servicemembers and/or Gold Star family members. WTF.

And reporters who "know" Gold Star families, which many do, at least professionally.
posted by zachlipton at 12:25 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


The dirtbag left wants to go back to when leftism was doing the most for laborers and the working class, and although the fact those policies had the greatest benefits for white men is more incidental, both movements still end up having some unfortunate similarities (particularly in terms of the kind of thinking and entitlement they generate, and the personalities they attract).

I really resent the Chapo shitlords of the left dragging back progress on these issues. Because the basic class argument is true. Democrats really did abandon labor and the working class. We really do have to get back to those issues in a big, authentic, ambitious way. Without also abandoning progress made on other social fronts. AND THAT SHOULDNT BE HARD. They should go together like Nutella frosting on delicious chocolate cupcakes. Expanding economic equality really can help racial and sex equality at the same time. Ironic rape jokes from white guys named Cumface online are not helping in any way, not even if they’ve accurately stated the economic argument.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:28 PM on October 19 [31 favorites]


These same officials are convinced that the World Health Organization is a “corrupt, hostile bureaucracy that achieves no actual [public health] capacity in countries.”

Dafuq? The WHO is on the verge of achieving the complete extinction of poliomyelitis.

They've already done it to smallpox and guinea worms.

And they've done it with rinderpest, which means they have a shot at annihilating measles.

This is what it means when we say a white house is anti-science.
posted by ocschwar at 12:29 PM on October 19 [72 favorites]


They've now brought Kelly out to the press briefing to explain that he suggested Trump not call the families of fallen soldiers ...

Every President in history has known when to stop chewing when he finds his foot in his mouth. Donald Trump is singular not just in his ignorance of that, but in his resolute determination to gnaw off his own leg.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:29 PM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Representative Wilson's job was to represent Cowanda Jones-Johnson, who found the President's phone call to be disrespectful to her late son's memory. The Representative did her job as ably as she could.

Chief of Staff General Kelly's job was to represent the President, who falsely accused Representative Wilson of lying, falsely claimed to have proof of the lies, and who now appears to be using the defense that everything Representative Wilson said was accurate, but that it was totally fine for him to conduct the phone call in that manner and she's disrespectfully beyond the pale for the sacrilege of complaining about it. The Chief of Staff did his job as ably as he could. Unfortunately, the job is evil.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:29 PM on October 19 [28 favorites]


No leftist, "dirtbag" or otherwise, should have the slightest sympathy for neoliberalism. Its means are hateful, violent, and expropriative, and its ends are tyrannical and murderous. It didn't "help the left rebuild itself", it helped the Democrats abandon morality and sense in order to drag the party to the right. It's the economics and politics of Reagan and Thatcher. It is death.

Pope Guilty, I honestly agree with you for the most part. I suppose I just view some of neoliberalism as a "necessary evil" in the context of US/UK politics in the 80's and early 90's (even if that evil became a runaway force in the way evil so often does). It's difficult for me to imagine how Carter-era leftist politics could have broken the stranglehold Conservativism had on the post-Reagan US, and how much damage the right could have done if the left simply waited for a natural implosion that made true progressivism seem more attractive again.

For all its faults, the Clinton/Blair approach won elections and at least gave the left the chance to do *some* damage control, in an era where corporatism no longer had to fear socialist competition/uprisings and became totally unrestrained.
posted by prosopagnosia at 12:31 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


I've been off for a while because of a lot of personal issues all layered in a toxic pile.
Not sure I'm really back again. But there is a thing I feel I need to comment on in the current discussion.
If you are white and over 40, and you grew up in Western Europe or North America, I will not believe that you don't have racist and sexist assumptions about society built into your world view. I am all of those and I know I grew up with those assumptions, in spite of being raised in a family where racism and bigotry were not in any way acceptable. Actually, in the community I grew up in, any form of LGTBQ life was acceptable and one would be ostracized for not accepting people of different sexual orientations*. My best friend in middle school was black. And being friends with black people and listening to jazz were indicators of cool. Racism was seen as a bad thing. But everyone was racist. And something like half the liberal, educated people I know today are still racist. Oh, and sexist, too.
The day I got this was 30 years ago when I, as a dance teacher, looked to a black student and she called me out: why would I ever imagine she had some special knowledge that the other students didn't, just because of her color. I'm still so embarrassed I don't know how to deal with it. But it woke me. It taught me I was racist. It taught me to revise my assumption of my good intentions.

I am trying to deal with the racism and sexism that is a huge part of my cultural heritage and that I need to confront and change. But I am not meeting any support from my peers. I'm told I lack a sense of humor and that I want to restrict free speech.

* after a discussion here on the blue which I am not linking to but it is easy to find, I acknowledge that I grew up in a very rare community that was unusually accepting of LGTBQ people and that that community was very small (maybe about 1000 people) Our community is not racist and I was recently at a funeral for a prominent feminist — my godmother, but I acknowledge that we are a small group.
posted by mumimor at 12:32 PM on October 19 [23 favorites]


I went back and pulled the tape (about 7m in) to make sure I heard it right:
But then he said, you know, "how do you make these calls?" If you're not in the family, if you've never worn the uniform, if you've never been in combat, you can't even imagine how to make that call. But I think he, very bravely, does make those calls.
Yes, John Kelly described the guy who joked he should get the Congressional Medal of Honor for being braver than Vietnam vets because he had lots of sex as brave.
posted by zachlipton at 12:34 PM on October 19 [38 favorites]


Representative Wilson's job was to represent Cowanda Jones-Johnson, who found the President's phone call to be disrespectful to her late son's memory. The Representative did her job as ably as she could.

As far as I can tell, she wasn't even there to represent anyone, she was a friend of the family who was mourning along with them when Trump called.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:36 PM on October 19 [14 favorites]


Atom Eyes: There was also a recent 'joke' tweet in which two of the Chapo dudes and Josh Androsky, co-chair of the Los Angeles chapter of the DSA, posed next to Bill Cosby's Hollywood star with the caption "hey libs try taking THIS statue down'.

Mitheral: 20 minutes, 2 guys, jackhammer.

Wikipedia documents various acts of theft and vandalism, which indicates that even if a star is removed, it won't stay gone. And just to remind you there are other "bad" stars, LA Weekly lists 9 other stars recognizing "bad people", and Absolut Vodka.

Leron Gubler, president and chief executive of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce -- "Once a star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame."
posted by filthy light thief at 12:38 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Kelly thinks that phone call where Trump abused a Gold Star family, is sacred. This is how powerful people and even not powerful people get away with abuse, in therapeutic circles it is called The Alcoholic No Talk Rule. Daddy was just drunk, he didn't mean that. What were you listening to that for, anyway? Jesus Kelly!
posted by Oyéah at 12:38 PM on October 19 [10 favorites]


Trump must have serious hypnotic powers, or compromising material on literally everyone on Earth, or both. I mean, if I were to meet with him for three minutes would I walk out, get in front of a microphone, defend his use of Twitter and endorse him for 2020? I guess I can't rule it out.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:39 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


What really sucks so much is that Congresswoman Wilson is herself also a grieving member of Sgt. Johnson's family-and-friend group. These bastards, painting her as some outsider and stranger (LIKE THEY ARE) who doesn't care anything about the Johnsons, while the fact that John Kelly's son died makes him like authoritative and qualified to judge her.

It makes my blood boil. It's sad that your son died, guy. But right now we're talking about this other family's loss, and you don't get to decide who they let participate in the phone call or what the dead soldier's mindset was. YOU DIDN'T KNOW HIM. Wilson did. So, you know, fuck off.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:39 PM on October 19 [48 favorites]


It's that how could you imply to his deeply grieving widow and mother that the fact in some way mitigates the pain of his death?

It's like hitting someone in the face, and then saying, "Well, you asked for it."
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:40 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Trump must have serious hypnotic powers, or compromising material on literally everyone on Earth, or both

Or Kelly wants to make sure the right people stay near Trump until Trump no longer has the football.

Oh, the memoirs that will come out of this....
posted by ocschwar at 12:41 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Or Kelly's just an irredeemable POS who wants to stay in power.
posted by asteria at 12:42 PM on October 19 [39 favorites]


Glad to know the people at U Florida are shouting down Spencer. He has free speech, so do they.

The only reason he wanted to speak at a university campus is because he sees universities as hotbeds of liberalism and therefore sees making Nazi speeches at a university as a power display. If he wanted to talk to Nazis he could have rented his own hall somewhere, or just gotten the Kochs to donate him some time at one of their facilities.

He's only at the university as a way of saying fuck you to what he imagines is a liberal safe space.

That means he can, and should, be shouted down. He came into a space where here's free speech, he abused the rules protecting free speech, and surprise motherfucker those rules also mean the students there have the free speech to shut your sorry Nazi ass down.

So good on 'em. The only way it could be better is if they'd sneaked in a projector and put the clip of him getting punched on a loop.

************

As for Kelly, is anyone really surprised? He took a job with Trump. Don't tell me people here have fallen for the old BS about soldiers being moral paragons. He took a job with Trump. That means he's scum. He sold out every scrap of honor, dignity, and so on the very instant he said "yes, I'll work under Donald Trump".

There's a very simple test to see if someone has honor or dignity: will they work for Trump?

If the answer is yes, then they don't.
posted by sotonohito at 12:42 PM on October 19 [43 favorites]


zachlipton: They also want to further screw over federal workers with a pay freeze and ending all pensions and retiree health benefits.

The federal government employed just over 2 million full-time employees, excluding Postal Service workers, per BLS 2016 annual data. And ending all pensions and retiree health benefits? Add in spouses and family members impacted by this bullshit, and that's a lot of voters.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:43 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


Back to Richard Spencer for a second, apparently he defended the car attack that killed Heather Hier, so there’s your evidence of advocating violence. Memo to all public universities: defend the lawsuit. You will win. We don’t have to listen to this shit ever again, unless you affirmatively choose to allow it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:44 PM on October 19 [50 favorites]


I can't speak for some straw-rage-against-the-machine fan, but as I understand it, since the last quarter of the 20th century it's fairly consistently referred to either...laissez faire economics — i.e. the withdrawal of state power from the market [or] the use of state power to impose laissez faire everywhere.
...
That said, I have seen people use "neoliberal" as a synonym for "liberal" or "conservative," neither of which is quite right. Is that phenomenon what folks are talking about?


I think it's a language thing: if you can list off three to four different meanings for a word, then I would say that there's not a 'single, consistent definition' in everyday use. I don't think there's a platonic definition of neoliberalism about which people can be correct or incorrect, any more than 'socialist' has a singular meaning.

I'm not responding to the idea or ideals of neoliberalism, just to the idea that there's One True Neoliberalism to which we could respond.
posted by cjelli at 12:47 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]




Trump gives himself a 10/10 on Puerto Rico storm aid.

He's trash. Everyone associated with his administration is trash. Everyone who voted for him is trash.

And the entire planet has to put up with this shitshow because over 60 million Americans were more willing to believe what was said about a woman than what she was saying and more willing to believe what a mediocre white man was saying than what others were saying about him.

Ever notice how when HRC -- or just about any woman in power or seeking power -- apologizes, the storyline is simultaneously 1) the apology is insincere, 2) she's weak to apologize and 3) she arrogantly refused to apologize? Yet Trump and many others like him can get away with never apologizing or explaining and that just makes his underlings and far too many members of the press (though by no means all) bow and scrape even harder.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:50 PM on October 19 [83 favorites]


Talez: In the grand scheme of things this is the trivial part because we've already got one that supports everyone aged 65+. Budget it, figure out the numbers to tax in place of employee sponsored insurance, and scale up.

Bold vision: let's make it optional in regions where there are few or no options for insurance (particularly rural areas), then slowly expand the option nation-wide! I call it Medicare X! Well, that's what Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee members Tim Kaine of Virginia and Michael Bennet of Colorado call it.
The plan, called “Medicare-X,” would be available initially in areas that lack competition — including 14 mostly rural counties in Colorado with only one insurance option — and would roll out nationwide by 2023. Participants could qualify for the same tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments available under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

“There was no reason to reinvent the wheel,” Bennet said. “The plan uses exactly the same network that’s open to Medicare patients today. At least the network is set up on Day One.”

Although it wouldn’t involve paying into the existing Medicare trust fund, participants would be able to use Medicare’s network of doctors operating under already-set reimbursement rates. The plan would guarantee coverage of Obamacare-mandated essential health benefits, including maternity care and mental health. The bill would also allow the federal government to negotiate the plan’s prescription drug prices along with the Medicare Part D program.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:52 PM on October 19 [18 favorites]


And the entire planet has to put up with this shitshow because over 60 million Americans were more willing to believe what was said about a woman than what she was saying and more willing to believe what a mediocre white man was saying than what others were saying about him.

Agree 100%, but calling Donald Trump a mediocre white man is an insult to mediocrity.
posted by duffell at 12:53 PM on October 19 [33 favorites]


Mediocre white man here. Please. Be kind.
posted by ocschwar at 12:54 PM on October 19 [15 favorites]


Universities citing the first amendment as a justification for essentially shutting down and spending half a million on security to let a Nazi give a speech seems like an unsustainable policy. I feel like there has to be some middle ground where there's a Nazi Webinar or something.

The middle ground will likely be universities sharply limiting the rental or free use of their space to the extent that state law allows them to. Like, only events sponsored directly by a unit of the university (a school, department, center, etc) and not by a student or outside group can use the space.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:55 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


any more than 'socialist' has a singular meaning.

I think socialism is pretty much defined as:
a political theory advocating state ownership of industry
or, equivalently,
an economic system based on state ownership of capital
Neoliberalism, OTOH, is not as neatly contained, since it is more of an "eye of the beholder" type of deal:
a political orientation originating in the 1960s; blends liberal political views with an emphasis on economic growth
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:58 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


So is University of Florida run by shitty right wing nutjobs, or just people so intimidated by the Nazis that they're giving them everything they want?

Practically speaking, does it matter? Shame on them either way. No one is fooled by their pious "free speech" burblings.

Well, except NPR.
posted by Gelatin at 1:01 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


a political orientation originating in the 1960s; blends liberal political views with an emphasis on economic growth

That definition is completely wrong though? "Neoliberalism" as such originated in the 1930's (see Hayek et al); the "liberalism" referred to is not "liberal political views" in the USian sense of "liberal" but liberal economics in the 19th century sense (laissez-faire, free trade, open markets).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:03 PM on October 19 [17 favorites]


I think socialism is pretty much defined as:
a political theory advocating state ownership of industry


No, socialism is the control of the means, conditions, and output of production by the workers rather than by a separate ownership class. State ownership by a government operating on behalf of the working class is one approach for achieving/managing this, but it is certainly not an uncontroversial approach among socialists.


That definition is completely wrong though? "Neoliberalism" as such originated in the 1930's (see Hayek et al); the "liberalism" referred to is not "liberal political views" in the USian sense of "liberal" but liberal economics in the 19th century sense (laissez-faire, free trade, open markets).

Also this is entirely correct. Neoliberalism is not liberal as in the Democrats, it's liberal as in liberal democracy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:06 PM on October 19 [19 favorites]


Practically speaking, does it matter? Shame on them either way. No one is fooled by their pious "free speech" burblings.

They're a state run university. There are various precedents that govern the conduct of state institution when it comes to the content of presentations when hiring out space for meetings. If they make meeting space available, it has to be made available to anybody. You cannot charge people for security unless they can afford to pay and there is specific precedent to this. They can make content-neutral restrictions on the time and place but they cannot just say "nazis go home" because that would be the government restricting freedom of speech.

Whether you consider hate speech to be speech that comes under the first amendment is left as an exercise for the reader but the courts have concluded that yes, as long as it isn't a direct incitement to violence, it's protected. It's called the Brandenburg test and it's stood for decades.

What you're asking is for an institution to take on a Don Quixote style legal battle to try and restrict freedom of speech for hate speech. That's not reasonable.
posted by Talez at 1:08 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


John Kelly is officially the Witch King of Angmar in Trumps cadre of dignity wraiths. Also Trump never wore a uniform so doesn’t know how hard it is to make that phonecall? Obama never served either shitstain. Yet basic human decency I guess kept him from doing shit like dishonoring a pregnant military widow and making her grief even worse. Way too much to expect from this chucklefuck and his merry band of clownshoes. Like the bar “do not make pregnant women cry” is too high.
posted by supercrayon at 1:08 PM on October 19 [28 favorites]


Trump gives himself a 10/10 on Puerto Rico storm aid.

When I was a lowly adjunct prof I used to sometimes do that thing where you let students assign themselves their own grades and I swear it never failed that the kids who gave themselves A's or A+'s were solidly the stupidest of the bunch with the worst worst papers.
posted by dis_integration at 1:09 PM on October 19 [38 favorites]


Mediocre white man here. Please. Be kind.

Definitely not trying to insult anyone here with that part, was referencing this idea: Grant Every Woman The Confidence of A Mediocre White Man, which references a prayer originated by the writer Sarah Hagi.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:11 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


And now the talking heads on cable (I know, I know) are taking turns genuflecting to their generalissimo. This is disgusting.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:13 PM on October 19 [6 favorites]


Back during the 30 seconds in which I was a wee baby libertarian, I heard the term "classical liberalism" used to define laissez-faire ideology.

The whole "neoliberalism" being shortered to "libs" thing on the left really just makes a lot of bystandards feel that fucking everyone on all sides is hurling the word "lib" at them constantly.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:13 PM on October 19 [6 favorites]


hahahaha, UF Spencer update: the format of the event devolved into a Q&A and just wrapped up. The audience has been very raucous and irreverent throughout. The last question asked from the audience was, "how did it feel to get punched in the face on camera?". Spencer and his two dozen Nazi buddies lose their shit like big babies, "the world is going to think this university is made up of children!"
posted by indubitable at 1:13 PM on October 19 [41 favorites]


What you're asking is for an institution to take on a Don Quixote style legal battle to try and restrict freedom of speech for hate speech. That's not reasonable.

Maybe this wasn't the right case at the right time, but it certainly is reasonable to ask a large university system to protect its students from white supremacists, even if that means they might get sued and they might eventually lose that lawsuit. If it granted the students one additional day on campus without a white supremacist recruiting event taking place, it would be worthwhile. UF students and staff should not have to endure this, and delaying the event through forcing Spencer to sue, while possibly expensive, would not be unreasonable. They have a duty to protect their staff and students; those staff and students are not unreasonable for asking that the University system protect them.

UF made decisions here, and those decisions should not be swept under the rug just because some legal precedent exists. Legal precedents exist until someone challenges them.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:17 PM on October 19 [12 favorites]


That definition is completely wrong though? "Neoliberalism" as such originated in the 1930's (see Hayek et al); the "liberalism" referred to is not "liberal political views" in the USian sense of "liberal" but liberal economics in the 19th century sense (laissez-faire, free trade, open markets).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:03 PM on October 19 [9 favorites +] [!]


Exactly the point. It's been messed up for a long time. It's true that "socialism" is misused as an epithet all the time, but serious writing about it pretty much hews to dictionary definition. Neoliberalism should have that original meaning, but you read all sorts of nonsense about what it means, including that definition I linked.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:17 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Chief of Staff General Kelly's job was to represent the President, who falsely accused Representative Wilson of lying, falsely claimed to have proof of the lies, and who now appears to be using the defense that everything Representative Wilson said was accurate, but that it was totally fine for him to conduct the phone call in that manner and she's disrespectfully beyond the pale for the sacrilege of complaining about it.

I am so angry. I am so angry all the time.
No, I'm not surprised.
But I am still so fucking angry all the fucking time.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:19 PM on October 19 [32 favorites]


CNN: RT bucks DOJ request to register as a foreign agent
The Russian television network RT is resisting the U.S. government's request that its American arm register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. According to the network, the Department of Justice gave it an Oct. 17 deadline to register as a foreign agent. But according to publicly available DOJ filings, RT has not yet registered, and in a statement RT said it plans to fight back.

"Our legal team has been doing everything possible for RT to avoid having to register under FARA and the dialogue is ongoing. On their advice we are not discussing further details at this time," RT head of communications Anna Belkina said in a statement.
...
There's no clear path to what happens next, FARA experts said. It's possible that the DOJ will just ask RT to register again, continuing the dialogue. It's also possible that it will start civil or criminal proceedings. In the meantime, RT could try to file an injunction to stop the government from forcing its hand. FARA convictions are rare. According to the DOJ, there have only been seven FARA-related criminal cases in the past 50 years.

RT America was singled out in a January intelligence community report for the impact it may have had on the 2016 election. The report said RT "conducts strategic messaging for [the] Russian government" and "seeks to influence politics, [and] fuel discontent in the U.S." The report also mentioned Russian-government controlled website Sputnik as "another government-funded outlet producing pro-Kremlin radio and online content." Federal investigators are also reportedly looking into whether Russian government-funded outlets such as RT and Sputnik were part of Russia's influence campaign aimed at the 2016 presidential election. Yahoo News has separately reported that the FBI interviewed a former Sputnik correspondent about his work at the website.
posted by cjelli at 1:21 PM on October 19 [12 favorites]


Or Kelly's just an irredeemable POS who wants to stay in power.

He's not among the people who could initiate 25th amendment proceedings, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of ht edoubt.
posted by ocschwar at 1:21 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


CNN: RT bucks DOJ request to register as a foreign agent

This is fine.

This is normal.

Now, how will the US respond? "Oh well, we tried." ?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:23 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


UF made decisions here, and those decisions should not be swept under the rug just because some legal precedent exists. Legal precedents exist until someone challenges them.

They made prudent decisions under the color of the long settled law of the land. That's what a career administrator is supposed to do. A lawsuit shitfight could draw out to seven figures which is going to come out as tuition or budget cuts. It costs them half a mill to do this asshole's little stunt, he goes away, they resolve never to rent out a hall again.
posted by Talez at 1:23 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


Back to Richard Spencer for a second, apparently he defended the car attack that killed Heather Hier, so there’s your evidence of advocating violence. Memo to all public universities: defend the lawsuit. You will win. We don’t have to listen to this shit ever again, unless you affirmatively choose to allow it.

I'm not saying I am opposed to this idea, but never forget the first rule of lawsuits: there are tiers of winning and only one group comes out as the top tier every time: the lawyers who collect their fees. Plenty of people have "won" lawsuits and capped it all off by closing their businesses.

Public universities don't close up shop when they lose money. They just raise tuition and cut services. I have spent about half my professional career working for public colleges and universities and in the... ugh, 25+ years since I first worked in one the percentage of the cost of tuition that the state has shouldered has dropped tremendously. When I was working at MDCC the amount Florida provided higher ed per full time enrolled student was $8,295. Now it's $6,150.

So actions that will lead to a lawsuit more involved than file & respond are going to cut into already strained money. Something will get cut, and the way the world ends up working it's more likely to cut from stuff needier students require.

So risking suit, or stuff like this to reduce access to these nazi shitbags:

The middle ground will likely be universities sharply limiting the rental or free use of their space to the extent that state law allows them to. Like, only events sponsored directly by a unit of the university (a school, department, center, etc) and not by a student or outside group can use the space.

It's gonna hurt folks who need it. That access cut will hurt community operations that need an affordable venue and will hurt the uni coffers by reducing money from the vast majority of non-nazi renters.

It doesn't mean it's necessarily the wrong decision, but it's easy for us to just shrug this off like it's just an inconvenience for the administration. These sorts of tradeoffs are a daily thing in state run schools and they're often not easy. I sat in a meeting once where someone spoke glowingly of the scholarships that were funded by that year's record profits from the school bookstore. Being a student myself at that time I thought, those profits are all on the backs of every student buying books, needy or not. Whether that's the right or wrong way to help students isn't black and white.

UF and other schools absolutely need to get into 2017 and look at the way this wave of shit is gaming the system and try to find a way to protect their students. But just waving a hand like they must not care if this came to pass doesn't jibe with my experience with the folks who worked in higher ed, and some of these solutions we talk about with such ease can really impact their mission. And I feel pretty strongly about that mission, personally.
posted by phearlez at 1:24 PM on October 19 [29 favorites]


Right wingers think GWB sold out with his speech, are pissed that he never spoke of Obama but is referring to Trump.

One of those tweets say that GWB should go back to Crawford and play cowboy, which is funny (not actually funny) because the last thing Bush did in Crawford was a big charity bike race for injured service members. Trump is so awful that he's really making Bush seem like a decent person.
posted by peeedro at 1:24 PM on October 19 [24 favorites]


Trump is so awful that he's really making Bush seem like a decent person.

He's so awful he makes Bush look like an eloquent statesman.
posted by Talez at 1:26 PM on October 19 [44 favorites]


mumimor If you are white and over 40, and you grew up in Western Europe or North America, I will not believe that you don't have racist and sexist assumptions about society built into your world view.

I disagree with you only in the limiters you put on that statement.

If you are a person in contact with American culture then you have racism built into your worldview. It's inescapable.

Racism is like the flu, it's everywhere and everyone has it. The right question is not "do you have racism built into your worldview", because the answer to that question is always yes. The right question is "are you working against the racism built into your worldview?"

Remember that even blac