To: Leaders and citizens of the world
January 26, 2017 9:23 AM   Subscribe

 
(full statement [PDF])
posted by effbot at 9:24 AM on January 26, 2017


Is anyone else suffering from an incessant anxiety that feels like an illness? Because I am.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:27 AM on January 26, 2017 [163 favorites]


basically my entire life but i'm super uncomfortable with it being justified now
posted by griphus at 9:29 AM on January 26, 2017 [93 favorites]


Earlier than I would have expected.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:30 AM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Yes. I'm now only allowing myself to read news sites once in the morning and skipping most of my news podcasts, because otherwise I feel on the verge of a panic attack all day.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:31 AM on January 26, 2017 [19 favorites]


Is anyone else suffering from an incessant anxiety that feels like an illness?

Yes. Co-workers and I talked about the anxiety level now. It's affected sleep and focus.
posted by datawrangler at 9:31 AM on January 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


Yes. I feel stressed out, anxious and depressed and sad all the time. It is seriously impacting my quality of life including sleep, my relationships, work ethic, etc. I've been trying to not read the news much but it hasn't been helping as much as I hoped.
posted by FireFountain at 9:33 AM on January 26, 2017 [25 favorites]


i'm doing alright as long as trump doesn't sell off our strategic xanax reserves
posted by entropicamericana at 9:34 AM on January 26, 2017 [18 favorites]


Compounding the anxiety for me is a sense of guilt because it feels kind of selfish to feel distraught when everyone is facing the same mess. So, that's like another ugly layer to add to the feedback loop.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on January 26, 2017 [20 favorites]




You guys have no idea how relieved I was to open this thread up and not be the only one. I mean, I've been having this sort of trouble for awhile, with the anxiety, but I read that one sentence and it was like my stomach was suddenly in my throat.
posted by Sequence at 9:46 AM on January 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


I've found that tweeting and blogging helps drain away my tension, like draining a wound or something. May not work for everyone though.
posted by sotonohito at 9:47 AM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


I'm afraid their clock is behind.
posted by Rykey at 9:47 AM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


My wife is from Romania. We talked at length last night about a feeling she'd grown up with that I could not fully understand: the feeling that your country may not deserve your faith, that as invested in it and as hopeful for it as you try to be, it may not be rational to trust that it is forever on the path upward. Things not only can get worse; they are likely to do so soon, and to stay that way for some time.

I understand that feeling now.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:49 AM on January 26, 2017 [115 favorites]


This current anxiety harkens back to when I was a child in the early '60's and the Cold War was in full swing. People were building bomb shelters in their back yards, stocking up on food and supplies and generally feeling that the "H" Bombs were going to be flying overhead any minute. All the adults seemed on edge and my own (single) mother joined the Militia in order to be protected by the army should things go pear-shaped.

I didn't really understand what was going on then. I do now.

I wish I could say to all those here who are scared that it will pass, that cooler heads will prevail as they did in the 60's. But I can't.
posted by Zedcaster at 9:50 AM on January 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


Just last week my nine-year-old son asked me out of the blue if the world was ending. We've never mentioned such a thing at home so I'm guessing the kids are talking about it at school. I told him flat out "no", the world's not going to end, which is technically true, because not even a nuclear holocaust would end the passage of time. Besides, math quizzes cause enough anxiety for him. He doesn't need this to contend with as well. No kid does. No human does.

It's well past time for a global, unstoppable movement to end nuclear weapons. I don't know what that looks like. But it needs to happen. If by some miracle it's not Trump who causes a humanity-ending catastrophe, it'll be some other fucking idiot a few decades from now, and my kid will be dodging the same question from his own kid.
posted by vverse23 at 9:58 AM on January 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


Watching the video of Trump's ABC News interview rather than just reading transcripts is clarifying. This gleefully-ignorant con-artist sleazeball with skin thinner than graphene, driven by anecdote, driven by whatever happens to be on Fox News when he gets his TV time, driven by personal favors, personal compliments and personal revenge against personal slights, has become President and has not changed at all, except that he is now the most powerful person in the world.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:59 AM on January 26, 2017 [26 favorites]


My power was out for completely mundane reasons for a couple hours last night. Lying in bed in the dark chilly silence felt bad, even knowing that it would be fixed soon and everything would be back to normal.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 9:59 AM on January 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


The Man In The High Castle, And It's A Fabulous Castle, Believe Me. No Problems With The Castle
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:03 AM on January 26, 2017 [118 favorites]




This seems like an excellent time to dust off and rerun The Day After. It did move Ronald Reagan to rethink nuclear arms.

(Except you'd probably have to find a way to show it on Fox News and not ABC)
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:08 AM on January 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


2.5 minutes to midnight seems optimistic, to be honest.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:13 AM on January 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


These certainly are scary times but I'm not sure we're actually closer to world destruction than bits of the cold war like in 1983.
posted by JonB at 10:14 AM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


I don't know all the factors that do into this decision, but surely the move from no-drama Obama to a hotheaded narcissist who, when told that the public doesn't want to hear the president talking about using nuclear weapons, said "Then why are we making them? Why do we make them?" merits more than a 30-second adjustment. I mean, we literally went from an American president who would never use a nuclear weapon except in truly desperate circumstances to one who thinks it is worth talking about dropping a nuke on an ISIS stronghold.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:16 AM on January 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


Is anyone else suffering from an incessant anxiety that feels like an illness? Because I am.

Me as well. *breathes very slowly and deeply* I would have just favorited and move on, but I keep running out.

I am trying very hard to take breaks and slow down, because I have to work on paid things, I have to advance my career, I have to make sure my house is paid for and my dog is walked and my cats are fed. It's hard to take breaks, though, given the level of collective panic and horror and rage that I (and almost all my friends) are struggling with. Many of the people I love and respect, particularly Americans, are drowning under a sea of terror right now. Every now and again on my feeds I see someone's head pop up against the roiling waves of political organizing, take a deep breath, and then get swept away again in whatever local fights they're waging.

It's scary.
posted by sciatrix at 10:17 AM on January 26, 2017 [31 favorites]


It's like I'm constantly screaming on the inside, and like there's a wild-eyed part of me that just wants to man the barricades already, because why are we acting like everything is normal? Why am I going to work and doing my job? It's been less than a week and it's like zero to sixty to Welcome to Your New Fascist Dystopia. I was a pre-teen and teen in the Bush years, and while I was fairly plugged in, this constant horror and anger was not a thing for me then, apart from when Bush did something particularly egregious. Did it feel this bad every day for others then too?

I don't know. I'm getting by day to day, but I find myself literally unable to make plans for the future beyond the next month, or even week really. Because what if the next horrifying executive order is "Muslims have to register"? There used to be certain things I could take for granted, certain tenets of stability. Those are basically gone now. I have enough perspective to know that it's not the end of the world, not yet. But it's the end of a world, and this constant feeling of teetering on the brink of total disaster is awful. It doesn't help that as a student of history, possibilities for how this will play out keep spooling out in my head and a lot of them are grim.
posted by yasaman at 10:17 AM on January 26, 2017 [46 favorites]


I pretty much can't see news about the Clock without hearing Iron Maiden (in my head, it's not an affliction).
posted by stevil at 10:18 AM on January 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


Is anyone else suffering from an incessant anxiety that feels like an illness?

Kind of. I also spend too much time laughing.
I was standing in the lobby of a hotel in Lubbock on the morning of New Years Eve, getting some tea, and saw my new President's New years tweet. I turned to my wife halfway across the room and said, aloud, "Holy shit. Our new President is a toddler." She drew her hand across her throat and mouthed "Shhhh, we're in Lubbock."
I've stopped giving a shit about offending people about this guy.
It's gotten ludicrous.
From the time I hit voting age until I was in my mid-30s, I was convinced that we were sliding inexorably towards fratricidal civil war and authoritarianism. Now that the feeling has returned, it's like a weird, old friend come back to hang out. My inner nihilist laughs and wants to watch it all crash down. My inner responsible father is sick and scared for my son's future and life.
I can't decide if the tension between those two extremes is helping me deal with this or killing me.
posted by Seamus at 10:21 AM on January 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


I'm not so convinced that we're this close to the end of the world. 2016 seems to me like it might have been a bit of a high water mark for the right. They had the loudest megaphones and no power - so they could say what they wanted with very little comeback. So in the media, we got hour after hour of if only you'd vote for Trump, or Brexit etc, we'll fix all the shitty things about your life, but we can't do anything right now because of evil Obama, the evil EU, etc getting in the way of our buccaneering future.

Now, we've got Trump. We've got Brexit. To get here, the right made all sorts of kerrazy promises. Now, they're going to have to fulfil them or there'll be trouble. And the cold, hard fact is that the stuff they promised - bringing back an imaginary glorious past when we all had stable jobs, there were no pesky immigrants, mum cooked the dinner while dad went to work - can't be done. A year from now, folks will be wondering why they aren't miraculously better off.

People aren't morons. They were lied to, and this is the year when the lies come home to roost. People will start to say - okay, you're in power, you've got your Brexit and you've got your President Trump, now where's all the stuff you promised us? Where's the extra money for the NHS? Where's my secure job-for-life in a car factory? The right has to put up and come up with the goods, or shut up and let the rest of us get back on with the job of building a world that's fit for 2057, not 1957.
posted by winterhill at 10:22 AM on January 26, 2017 [51 favorites]


Because what if the next horrifying executive order is "Muslims have to register"?

Then all of the rest of us register too, goddammit. We register and we sign up and collectively we support you, and if it gets worse than that we fucking harbor you in our homes and we find a way to get you somewhere safe!

*shaking rage* How the hell did it get to this, where I have been promising my friends and colleagues and neighbors this for two months? How has it come here? What foul, rotten sickness has taken hold in my nation's limbs--and how many of my countrymen possess the grim fire necessary to cauterize away the rot? How many of us can be trusted to have each other's backs?

How do I know when I can breathe slowly and relax into the arms of my compatriots? How do you know when to sleep?
posted by sciatrix at 10:22 AM on January 26, 2017 [42 favorites]


tobascodagama - yep, I was expecting it to be reset to two minutes.
posted by Numenius at 10:23 AM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Everyone I know - well, everyone I feel comfortable talking to about it - feels this way.

I keep thinking that I'd be less terrified if I just understood any of this. By that, I mean: what motivated people to vote for Trump. How they can look at him, and not see the dangerous and unstable dictator that I so plainly see. (Or, if they do see it, how so many of them can be so vengeful and nihilistic to throw the country under the bus.) To what extent the administration's brazen denial of reality is a deliberate and cynical tactic, and to what extent Trump has simply managed to surround himself with people who truly share his particular brand of diseased thinking. How we got to a point where almost half the country lives in a world of "alternate facts". And so on.

My brain can't help but look for reason in it, but there is no reason to be found. Because none of it is based in reason. As far as I can tell, it's fueled by an enormous surge of resentment and revenge - it's a lashing back.

And I just don't understand where that resentment comes from. Or how it built up to this point without warning signs - because I know I'm not the only one who was blindsided by the election results.

I know there are (at least partial) answers to some of the above questions. But it still doesn't make sense, you know? I guess I had more faith in humanity than this (which is saying something, given my predilection for misanthropy). I can't understand how my country voted to push itself off the cliff. I can't figure out how to look in the eyes of Trump-sympathetic acquaintances and act like they haven't stabbed me in the fucking back.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:28 AM on January 26, 2017 [27 favorites]


It saddens me, but I've come to believe that in my lifetime I will witness the dismantling of modern society. Not a return to the stoneage, but a certain chipping away at the great social project. I'm not sure it will be nuclear winter, but the infrastructure seems to be either crumbling away or actively being reduced all around us, and the rebuilding won't happen till we hit rock bottom. Alas, it will probably take the rest of my lifetime for us to get there.
posted by onetime dormouse at 10:30 AM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


Because what if the next horrifying executive order is "Muslims have to register"?

OTOH, the man is not a king or dictator (yet). These executive orders are dubious in their legality and feasibility. Bannon and Miller can draft all they want, but that doesn't mean they are becoming law. And you have the Governors and Mayors of major American cities immediately issuing statements that they will resist. We are not alone, although it may feel that way.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:32 AM on January 26, 2017 [18 favorites]


me on the net /
me browse the blue /
that filter of /
an azure hue.

i see headline /
i clik the thread /
i read the news /
i filled with dread.
posted by codacorolla at 10:34 AM on January 26, 2017 [66 favorites]


The executive orders are there to make Trump's voters feel like they got what they voted for.
posted by Slothrup at 10:34 AM on January 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


I was a pre-teen and teen in the Bush years, and while I was fairly plugged in, this constant horror and anger was not a thing for me then, apart from when Bush did something particularly egregious. Did it feel this bad every day for others then too?

I turned 18 in 2001, a few days before the WTC attack. The feeling I had in my gut on Nov 9, 2016 was uncomfortably similar to the feeling I had in my gut on Sept 11, 2001.

The feeling of inevitable doom I have now is not dissimilar to the feeling I had in when the PATRIOT Act was rolling through Congress with only token opposition from Democrats. Or when the GOP took over the Senate in 2002. The knowledge that there are no procedural barriers left to keeping incipient fascism at bay is difficult to bear.

But the current moment is different. Better in some ways, much worse in others. It's better in that public support for Trump is very, very low. GWB didn't hit approval ratings this low until after Katrina really brought home in a visceral way how incompetent his administration was. It's worse in that the modern GOP seems to have even less of an interest in the maintenance of political norms and bipartisan compromise than it used to (and it never had all that much back then). It's much, much worse in that GWB, for all his many character flaws, had a few reasonable people around him he seemed willing to listen to. I don't think Trump listens to anybody but Trump.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:36 AM on January 26, 2017 [20 favorites]


It's weird, because it feels so nostalgic. I grew up in the 80s, and we all figured the world would end before we got old. Then the Cold War "ended" and we went to college and got e-mail, and it seemed like that whole phase of history was over. But the wheel turns, and I guess backlash happens, whether it's against Elton John and MLK or Marriage Equality and Barack Obama. I hope we live through this iteration; I hoped my kid wouldn't have to go through the bullshit I did. But in a way, hating the US Administration feels like coming home.
posted by rikschell at 10:38 AM on January 26, 2017 [14 favorites]



Is anyone else suffering from an incessant anxiety that feels like an illness? Because I am.


I'm just so tired. Either this is the onset of some awful illness or I'm just overwhelmed, but the past couple of days, no amount of coffee seems to help - I'm yawning, I can't focus. OTOH, I'm so tired I'm a bit punch-drunk, so I'm not as freaked out as I've been.

My brain keeps trying to trick me with the feeling that it's going to be over soon and things will go back to normal.

That whole part where it seems so incomprehensible - it's really a paradigm problem, like there's a kind of light that I can't see or a noise I am biologically incapable of hearing. I feel like "why are we ginning up for war? why are we doing all these dumbshit things that are obvious disasters? there's not even an actual enemy or advantage to be gained out there".

Has anyone ever read any M John Harrison? He wrote a series of....hm, they're not parody, they're more like deeply critical retellings of high fantasy tropes, the Viriconium novellas. They're all about the decay of landscape, the decay of meaning, the world becoming formless and broken down. There's this sequence where the guards in a tower factionalize by floor and kill each other in these terrible, bizarre ways...and there's no reason, just the sheer force of factionalization. Nothing to gain, no differences, just the power of the idea that you should turn on other people. That's what this feels like - there's no reason, just surface. We're steering toward war and economic collapse when even regular old racist imperialism would serve the interests of the elites better.

One person in my extended blogular sphere died unexpectedly right around the election, one person in real life has had a major setback during cancer treatment, Mark Fisher killed himself, and or course the world situation. It really feels like the world itself broke somehow. I would not, in fact, be at all surprised to discover that two and two really do add up to five now, because the world broke down.
posted by Frowner at 10:38 AM on January 26, 2017 [39 favorites]


Two things that haven't changed at all: the Democrats and the news media are still spineless suck-ups. It's important to cling to the few constants you have in uncertain times like these.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:38 AM on January 26, 2017 [25 favorites]


Social services basically are 'Revolution prevention' they are as necessary to an orderly, clean society as water, roads, electricity, communications services, even entertainment. This man is tearing shit up and it will get ugly.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:39 AM on January 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


Also, if you want nostalgia, try Pat Cadigan's Home By The Sea, from 1991.

"Just one more thing," he said quietly. I froze in the act of taking a step toward the bed. He was standing by the open window, looking out at the street.

"What's the matter?" I said. "Aren't I dead enough yet?" He laughed, and now it was a soft, almost compassionate sound, the predator pitying the prey. "I just want to show you something."

"No."

He dragged me to the window and forced my head out. "See it anyway, this one time. A favor, because I'm so well pleased." He pulled my head back to make me look up at the sky. A night sky, very flat, very black, featureless, without a cloud and with no stars, none at all.

"A magic lantern show, yes," he said, as though I'd spoken. "We put the signs and wonders in the sky for you. So you wouldn't see this."

He forced my head down, digging his fingers more deeply into my hair. Below, in the courtyard, people wandered among a random arrangement of cylindrical things without seeing them. They were pale things, silent, unmoving; long, ropy extensions stretched out from the base of each one, sinking into the pavement like cables, except even in the dim light, I could see how they pulsed.

While I watched, a split appeared in the nearest one. The creature that pushed its way out to stand and stretch itself in the courtyard was naked, vaguely female-looking, but not quite human. It rubbed its hands over the surface of the cylinder, and then over itself. I pulled away.

"You see, that's the other thing about your kind besides your tendency toward too little, too late," he said conversationally as I dressed. If I tucked my shirt into my pants I could keep myself together a little better. "You miss things. You're blind. All of you. Otherwise, you'd have seen us before now. We've always been here, waiting for our time with you. If even one of you had seen us, you might have escaped us. Perhaps even destroyed us. Instead, you all went on with your lives. And now we're going on with them."

posted by Frowner at 10:41 AM on January 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah, I'd be in a constant state of gibbering terror probably if I didn't live in Los Angeles. As it is, I derive a tremendous amount of comfort from my state and local legislators so vehemently standing up for all Californians. I about burst into tears when I read Jerry Brown's State of the State.

But in general, I don't know. Part of what's fucking me up so much is being so uncertain about just how unsafe I am or am not. Like, is this just because I'm having some privilege abruptly yanked out from under me? Was I delusional before, or am I being unreasonable now? Am I sticking my head in the sand to think we'll be able to tough it out? I texted my brother panicked on Nov. 8, asking him what the fuck we were going to do in the next four years, and he said "wait it out" and my mental response then was just ??!!??!?! Our parents had to face this inflection point, our parents had to have that moment of "it's bad, it's not going to get better, we are in danger, we have to leave," and they did, they left everything behind and three countries and 13 years later, ended up here, in the America that was supposed to be a refuge. And now it isn't.
posted by yasaman at 10:42 AM on January 26, 2017 [21 favorites]


Hopefully we can fix this while we're in the "psychological needs" third of Maslow's pyramid, before Orange Julias Caesar knocks out the basic needs like food, water, and non-irradiated shelter.
posted by MuppetNavy at 10:42 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Or maybe we just need to be mindful and think positively at the Nazis.
posted by MuppetNavy at 10:43 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


The executive orders are there to make Trump's voters feel like they got what they voted for.

But they don't feel like that yet. They close their eyes, click their heels, open their eyes and the other tribe's people are still here and still don't know their place.

(substitute "non-white" for "other tribe's" as needed)
posted by delfin at 10:45 AM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


I feel like the really weird thing is that the shits on twitter are celebrating liberal anxiety, moreso than any kind of tangible improvement, real, imagined, or anticipated. For them, it's good Donald Trump won for spite, not for their wellbeing.
posted by MuppetNavy at 10:46 AM on January 26, 2017 [34 favorites]


Might want to push that clock forward a few seconds, now that senior management at the State Department resigned en masse.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:46 AM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I definitely feel the anxiety. It's worse because I have two little girls, so the impacts of Devos will be very real for them. I can't take the thought of doomsday prepping (beyond the common sense natural disaster preparedness) because I can't contemplate the horrors that would accompany any sort of The Road scenario with two little toddlers. On the plus side, in a nuclear exchange my whole city is likely to be obliterated.

I'm working on taking one or two actions per day that I can take, usually calling my Congresspeople, and then donating money to organizations that are fighting the good fight (ACLU, NARAL, PP, NRDC, SPLC). Beyond that, I'm trying for self-care and avoiding the more hyperbolic sections of the media, because it's not helping to be horrified without ability to change anything.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:50 AM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


I pretty much can't see news about the Clock without hearing Iron Maiden
I second that.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:51 AM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Might want to push that clock forward a few seconds, now that senior management at the State Department resigned en masse.

FIRED. They were (allegedly, story developing) FIRED.
posted by maudlin at 10:52 AM on January 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


Wow, it's like the 70's & 80's all over! Shame I no longer do drugs. That would be really helpful about now.
posted by evilDoug at 10:52 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I listened to all of Psalm 69 on the way into work today. Everything old is new again!

/digs out copy of Too Dark Park
posted by Existential Dread at 10:53 AM on January 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


MuppetNavy, it's not about outcome. It's about ranking. They view the world as follows:

1a) God, where applicable
1b) The Conservative Elites, who are better than us, and to whom all must defer

2) We, the Conservative Tribe

3) People who don't know any better

4) THEM. The set of (liberals | immigrants | intellectuals | Democrats | actual scientists | reporters | atheists | poor people | urban people | people receiving welfare | urban thugs | Communists | Socialists | progressives | Rosie O'Donnell | Al Sharpton | anyone who disagrees with the placement of anyone on the list)

5) George Soros

6) Whichever boogeyman has been selected as the Hate Object of the Day.

Things That Piss Liberals Off are proof that the natural order is being restored, and THEY are subordinate because THEY can't stop these things. Do they affect conservatives as well? Very often, yes. But that doesn't matter because, even while suffering, conservatives still outrank THEM in the natural order.
posted by delfin at 10:54 AM on January 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


OTOH, the man is not a king or dictator (yet).

No; he's just presiding over a Congress controlled by his own party, who know they'll be eaten alive by the voters if they dare to challenge him (even if they had the spine or the moral compass to do so, which very few do). And they're moving ahead at a frantic pace to dismantle the bulwarks which prevent him from becoming a dictator – enfranchisement, right to protest, a free and functional press, etc.

And you have the Governors and Mayors of major American cities immediately issuing statements that they will resist.

Thank Christ for this, and I don't mean to catastrophize, but...fuck it; it's the doomsday thread. Let's catastrophize. What happens when a state or city refuses to comply with a Federal order? Trump will eventually "send in the Feds" – the National Guard, or similar. And then what? They can roll over, and Trump wins. Or they can continue to resist (perhaps aided by rogue factions of the Guard or other branches of the military) – and then we're on the brink of something very, very ugly.

in the Bush years, and while I was fairly plugged in, this constant horror and anger was not a thing for me then, apart from when Bush did something particularly egregious. Did it feel this bad every day for others then too?

I can only speak for myself, but the Bush years were an ice cream party compared to this. If you'd told me that then, I'd have laughed at you. But here we are.

For them, it's good Donald Trump won for spite, not for their wellbeing.

Yep. This. They're exulting in their revenge.

I see one dim glimmer of hope. Trump supporters are overwhelmingly older, whiter, and more Christian. Young people, and the non-white population, mostly reject Trump. Over the next four to eight years, old folks will die off, young people will get older and become more politically engaged, the non-white population will continue to grow, and the country will continue its long-term trend away from organized religion. Just maybe, that demographic shift – along with all the fight we can muster, and the grotesque incompetence that the administration is already showing – will be enough to give us an electoral edge.

Assuming, of course, that the GOP doesn't succeed in undermining minority voting rights, muzzling the press, etc. before then. Which looks like a pretty big assumption at this point.

Fuuuck.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:54 AM on January 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


I've been writing grant proposals, scholarship applications, and various other things related to my career, and it just feels like I'm hiding out and trying to pretend the state of the world won't ever touch me. It's like there's a massive asteroid headed straight for us, and I'm trying to convince people that what needs funding right now is research into the social dynamics of 19th century military law. Oh yeah, that'll save us.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:55 AM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


FIRED. They were (allegedly, story developing) FIRED.

Hahahahahaha! We're so fucked!

I'm going to be saying that a lot over the foreseeable future, aren't I?
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:57 AM on January 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


Dog carcass in alley this morning. Tire tread on burst stomach. The city is afraid of me. I have seen it's true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over all the vermin will drown.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:59 AM on January 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


No; he's just presiding over a Congress controlled by his own party, who know they'll be eaten alive by the voters if they dare to challenge him (even if they had the spine or the moral compass to do so, which very few do)

If his approval rating gets low enough (which appears likely), they might get eaten alive anyway. It'll be certainly interesting to see how far he's willing to go to enforce his executive orders; calling in the National Guard would be a tremendous escalation.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:04 AM on January 26, 2017


Oh, it's all right. I've planned ahead.

We're just three miles from a primary target. A millisecond of brilliant light and we're vaporised.

Much more fortunate than the millions who'll wander sightless through the smouldering aftermath.

We'll be spared the horror of survival.

- Look, we might gain a few years. Perhaps time enough for you to have a son and watch him die.

But humanity planning its own destruction...

That a phone call won't stop.
-- Prof . Falken
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:07 AM on January 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


I see one dim glimmer of hope. Trump supporters are overwhelmingly older, whiter, and more Christian. Young people, and the non-white population, mostly reject Trump. Over the next four to eight years, old folks will die off, young people will get older and become more politically engaged, the non-white population will continue to grow, and the country will continue its long-term trend away from organized religion. Just maybe, that demographic shift – along with all the fight we can muster, and the grotesque incompetence that the administration is already showing – will be enough to give us an electoral edge.

I disagree. Freepers are old, white and Christian. Denizens of the_donald, not so much. Shitheads reproduce by osmosis and there is always a new generation of them.

Where this IS true is not so much electoral viability but the culture wars. We are slowly winning the battle to normalize being LGBT, being nonwhite, being female, being visibly ethnic, being atheist, being any of the above openly in the public square. Our younger generations are growing up around all of these and not seeing what the big deal is.

This is part of what drives the old-timers nuts; by losing their ability to declare any of the above WRONG! and AGAINST GOD'S WILL! and BACK! BACK! INTO THE CLOSET YOU FIEND!, they are driven to rage, rage against what they see as the dying of the white. But these cultural movements are only a small part of what makes someone electable.
posted by delfin at 11:07 AM on January 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


At lunch today a friend told me that congress wanted to pass a bill that would require congressional approval for using president's nuke option. Congress to approve? An enemy simply would wait for another recess to do bad stuff. That said, being old, I excuse myself from taking any actions by saying--with a smile of course--the kids are bright. They will fix things.
posted by Postroad at 11:11 AM on January 26, 2017


Orange Julius Caesar

This is so inappropriate. Orange Julius brings great joy and obesity to millions. Until I got to the last bit I was like, yeah, orangey whip totes get me out of my doldrums.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:11 AM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Dipolmatic solutions to the world's problems fail and war erupts as some madmen press ahead with their insane dreams.
posted by rikschell at 11:12 AM on January 26, 2017


An enemy simply would wait for another recess to do bad stuff.

No, the bill would require a declaration of war for FIRST STRIKE. Retaliatory actions would still be handled as they are today.
posted by cmfletcher at 11:16 AM on January 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Bush was a shitheel, and his administration looted the country and made the lives of many worse through an amoral stranglehold on every lever of power in the country. But, at the same time, he was playing the same game as other politicians, and part of that meant keeping up certain institutions, and agreeing to abide by some core tenants of governance.

It feels, to me, at an early stage, that trump isn't even playing by those very meager rules. I had actually expected Bush 2.0 earlier in the election, but as time goes on, and he actually takes power, I don't hope for even that much. An early test is going to be what happens with his insane fixation on the popular vote, and the phantom voter fraud there-in. That will tell us whether this is the sort of thing that could be resisted through regular avenues of power (as bad as the Democrats are at that task), or if it's something else.
posted by codacorolla at 11:21 AM on January 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


I would not, in fact, be at all surprised to discover that two and two really do add up to five now, because the world broke down.

Frowner, your comment reminded me of a short story I read years back, and I just had to track it down. It's "Something Passed By", by Robert McCammon.
Something passed by, Johnny thought. That's what the scientists had said, almost six months ago. Something passed by. That was the headline in the newspapers, and on the cover of every magazine that used to be sold over at Sarrantonio's newsstand on Gresham Street. And what it was that passed by, the scientists didn't know. They took some guesses, though: magnetic storm, black hole, time warp, gas cloud, a comet of some material that kinked the very fabric of physics. A scientist up in Oregon said he thought the universe had just stopped expanding and was now crushing inward on itself. Somebody else said he believed the cosmos was dying of old age. Galactic cancer. A tumor in the brain of Creation. Cosmic AIDS. Whatever. The fact was that things were not what they'd been six months ago, and nobody was saying it was going to get better. Or that six months from now there'd be an Earth, or a universe where it used to hang.
This is how I feel.
posted by Gaz Errant at 11:22 AM on January 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


Because what if the next horrifying executive order is "Muslims have to register"?

Then all of the rest of us register too, goddammit.


The prevailing thought about this, as far as I can tell, is that those lists already exist, and there's nothing one could do to get on them. We had an event here in L.A. last week: “What Does the Japanese American Experience Tell Us About the Proposed Muslim Registry?” Someone in the audience brought this idea up to the panel. [audio]
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I wanted to raise a question about the issue of an action strategy, or an action in response. And perhaps I’m hopelessly naive, but somehow when the notion of a Muslim registry was being bandied about, I had this impression that people would be “required to register.” That it would not be voluntary, but I wasn’t taking into account the existence of vast networks of surveillance and existing lists. And so one of the responses from the community that I’m part of is, “They’re gonna count Muslims, they’re gonna have to take my name too. We’ll all just add our names to such a list.” And I’m curious to know what your response is - if you think, “well, that’s absurd, because they won’t … they don’t need people to sign up,” or if you think this is a way that others of us can express solidarity, or if you think it’s hazardous.

LANE RYO HIRABAYASHI (Sociocultural anthropologist, UCLA’s Department of Asian American Studies; Inaugural Chair, Japanese-American Incarceration, Redress, and Community): I'm really a cynic. I think that when World War II broke out, they knew how to round up the Japanese-Americans. It was all a done deal. And that's, you know. That's the '40s. Can you imagine the amount of ... So I don't think ... I think the whole thing of this Muslim registry was like a political trial balloon. Because I think they totally know, y'know? I just don't believe that they don't have tracking on everyone coming in.

HIROSHI MOTOMURA (Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law, UCLA; author, Immigration Outside the Law): So, I mean, I would say - and we've gotten this question quite a bit. And kinda given the age that we live in ... and I agree with you [Lane], like, if they make this decision, you can go and stand in line, but there's nobody [who's] going to be on the other side of that.
The idea is explored in more detail throughout the entire program, but I came away with the impression that, yeah, there are lists upon lists that our government has already compiled. And they know who "belongs" on them already from years of tracking and observation.
posted by mykescipark at 11:22 AM on January 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


What happens when a state or city refuses to comply with a Federal order? Trump will eventually "send in the Feds" – the National Guard, or similar.

To be clear, National Guard units, apart from the unit in DC, are under control of state (and territorial) governors. Trump would have the send the actual Army, or at least armed agents of ICE or the FBI or something. And at that point it becomes literally a new civil war.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:23 AM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


An early test is going to be what happens with his insane fixation on the popular vote, and the phantom voter fraud there-in. That will tell us whether this is the sort of thing that could be resisted through regular avenues of power (as bad as the Democrats are at that task), or if it's something else.

As with the National Guard, voting is controlled by the states. However, this is even less comfort, given the number of states under complete control of the GOP at the moment.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:25 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


To be clear, National Guard units, apart from the unit in DC, are under control of state (and territorial) governors. Trump would have the send the actual Army, or at least armed agents of ICE or the FBI or something.

Federalizing the National Guard takes approximately as much effort for the President as ordering the 82nd to go to Chicago.
posted by Etrigan at 11:27 AM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


I'm enraged that for all of Trump's gross incompetence and bullying he's still by and large getting his way, and of course his Republican enablers don't care that the wall and paranoid voter fraud "investigations" are the equivalent of pouring government money into a pit and setting it on fire a la the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Except even the Joker was doing it to make a deliberate point.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:28 AM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't know all the factors that do into this decision, but surely the move from no-drama Obama to a hotheaded narcissist who, when told that the public doesn't want to hear the president talking about using nuclear weapons, said "Then why are we making them? Why do we make them?" merits more than a 30-second adjustment.

From the statement: "The board’s decision to move the clock less than a full minute—something it has never before done— reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days. " It seems to me like they're saving themselves some room for if/when it gets worse.

Also, two minutes to midnight has only happened once (the period 1953-1960, after "the United States and the Soviet Union test[ed] thermonuclear devices within nine months of one another.") So to go all the way to two is to say that it's as bad as it was then. Is it?
posted by madcaptenor at 11:29 AM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


People have confronted and defeated far worse horrors than President Trump and his cronies. Even the most evil, morally bankrupt leaders in the world can't do shit by themselves. The President's power means nothing if people don't follow his orders. So dissent. Stay motivated. Remember that you are in good company, and that hopelessness is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

To quote Howard Zinn:

"TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."

posted by Emily's Fist at 11:29 AM on January 26, 2017 [51 favorites]


I was just posting yesterday about how, even growing up during the Reagan administration, I have never experienced the dread of my nation's government and what it might do next that I have in the last few days.
posted by Foosnark at 11:29 AM on January 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Orange Julius Caesar

This is so inappropriate. Orange Julius brings great joy and obesity to millions. Until I got to the last bit I was like, yeah, orangey whip totes get me out of my doldrums.


Also inappropriate because Julius Caesar, for his faults, was a very capable civic leader.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 11:30 AM on January 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


This post from the thread about the loss of faith in public institutions in Russia is spot on - Everyday Authoritarianism is Boring and Tolerable
The mental image that most American harbor of what actual authoritarianism looks like is fantastical and cartoonish. This vision of authoritarian rule has jackbooted thugs, all-powerful elites acting with impunity, poverty and desperate hardship for everyone else, strict controls on political expression and mobilization, and a dictator who spends his time ordering the murder or disappearance of his opponents using an effective and wholly compliant security apparatus. This image of authoritarianism comes from the popular media (dictators in movies are never constrained by anything but open insurrection), from American mythmaking about the Founding (and the Second World War and the Cold War), and from a kind of “imaginary othering” in which the opposite of democracy is the absence of everything that characterizes the one democracy that one knows.

Still, that fantastical image of authoritarianism is entirely misleading as a description of modern authoritarian rule and life under it. It is a description, to some approximation, of totalitarianism. [...]

The reality is that everyday life under the kinds of authoritarianism that exist today is very familiar to most Americans. You go to work, you eat your lunch, you go home to your family.* There are schools and businesses, and some people “make it” through hard work and luck. Most people worry about making sure their kids get into good schools. The military is in the barracks, and the police mostly investigate crimes and solve cases. There is political dissent, if rarely open protest, but in general people are free to complain to one another. There are even elections. This is Malaysia, and many countries like it.

Everyday life in the modern authoritarian regime is, in this sense, boring and tolerable. It is not outrageous.
Stow your fears. Corruption and despotism comes in creeping, subtle forms, cloaked by legalism and procedures. Fight that, but don't exaggerate the threat. Because it then becomes easy to be sidetracked by imaginary doomsday scenarios, to wallow in despair. Much of the world has had to deal with worse situations. Even America has had to deal with worse- the Civil War might as well been Armageddon for the Union, and we're not there yet. Read your history, get some perspective, and take a breath. Despairing won't fix anything- and it won't make you feel better.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:33 AM on January 26, 2017 [21 favorites]


I'm afraid their clock is behind.

One minute and thirty seconds. MINIMUM.

This whole Mexican wall thing is such an embarrassment. Waiting to see how insulted the mini-dicktater is going to be: "We will crush our enemies. See them driven before us. Hear the lamentations of their women. "
posted by BlueHorse at 11:35 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


The prevailing thought about this, as far as I can tell, is that those lists already exist, and there's nothing one could do to get on them.

As far as I can tell, having listened very seriously to community concerns about them, those lists are information that has been compiled on immigrants specifically, which makes it harder to pick up information on locally-born citizens like myself. However, it turns out I know an awful lot of immigrants, and I know an awful lot of white immigrants who are willing to suddenly declare Muslim religion on their own lists if they can keep friends originating from Middle Eastern and North African countries safe.

When this happened to the Jews, it wasn't just a matter of putting people on a list they signed up for--they asked local city officials, local neighbors, friends of those local people to turn them in. I'm fairly sure the same thing was true here of Japanese-Americans. (In that case, while it was here, things were also a little different in that they were a slightly more visible ethnic minority than Jews in Germany, particularly those who just had Jewish ancestry. Religion being different from ethnicity makes a serious difference here for fellow Muslims; I know plenty of Muslims who are white or black, including a blonde-blue-eyed convert of my acquaintance who is also flamingly queer. If you're registering folks based on religion more than ethnicity, because Arabic and Muslim are not the same thing, you do have to check in and ask.) So yes, the information in many cases exists.

They were betrayed by their local representatives and their neighbors as much as anyone else. They were betrayed by city officials that handed over information without thinking about the harm that could be done with it. We have to make sure that this does not happen here. Austin is already standing up--the local Solidarity With Muslims organization is swelling quickly and keeps holding rallies at the mosques to show support. Our sheriff is already waging war with the federal government over her policy of not granting immigration officials any more power than anyone else and not holding anyone to turn over to them without a warrant, and our most beloved federal House rep is vocally defending her as is my state Senator. Our State of the City address is coming this Saturday night and so many people signed up to come that they had to expand the address to the whole capitol and still there is no more room, because it filled immediately. I will be there in spirit watching it on livestreams. And I fully expect our mayor to declare support for the immigrant community here, which includes many Muslim allies as well as many Latinx folks.

It's not just about lists, is my point; the list is a convenient rhetorical point. Whatever they use to try to tag our friends and neighbors and mark them for isolation, we pick up and apply to ourselves. If they try to march people on buses to concentration camps, we fucking board with them. If they try to appeal to our venality by "auctioning off" people's possessions, which is a big thing that happened both during the Third Reich and about our Japanese-American internment here, we see that for the fucking red flag it is and we go and demand justice and to know the whereabouts of those people and communication from them stating that they are okay and comfortable. And then we scream about the auctions and what they symbolize worldwide, so that folks elsewhere know what storms are coming and can be sheltered and hidden by local community allies.

No one is marching my community members away without having to rip them out of my arms. And I am making these declarations so publicly because by making them I am holding myself accountable, so that when the hard choice comes I am prepared and ready to make it.

Because this is where we are at now.
posted by sciatrix at 11:37 AM on January 26, 2017 [30 favorites]


My reaction, expressed in pop culture terms:

Last Midnight, from Into The Woods

Cloister Bells, from Doctor Who. They're the Tardis equivalent to a red alert siren.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:38 AM on January 26, 2017


Also going from 3 to 2 1/2 minutes is bad, but being at 3 minutes isn't exactly great to begin with.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:40 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


These certainly are scary times but I'm not sure we're actually closer to world destruction than bits of the cold war like in 1983.

India and Pakistan.

North Korean attack on Japan.
posted by My Dad at 11:41 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


grumpybear69: Is anyone else suffering from an incessant anxiety that feels like an illness? Because I am.

Last night I finally took a home sleep test, and I meet with a doctor in a few days to discuss the results.

My wife tells me that just a few months back, my snoring suddenly went from 20 years of "awful but if I fall asleep right away I can stand you" to "please stay awake long enough for me to get to sleep or I can't get a wink all night" -- and if I don't sit up listening to audiobooks in the dark for most of an hour, I sleep on the couch. (I explained it to the kids so they don't think we're fighting!)

I am staying up later and later, but the alarm goes off at 5:42AM every day. I am building up a sleep debt between the snoring, the worry about my country and my kids' future, and work stress.

AIN'T LIFE GRAND?
posted by wenestvedt at 11:41 AM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


Count me in, too. I'm going to keep my ears sharp and my eyes open, and warn my friends and pass on information and, if things go that far, which I fear they may, I will stand by my friends and never name names.

We aren't a dictatorship, not yet. Trump can't silence all of us.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:42 AM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Is this the new election thread?
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


(I might not finish reading "The Dead Hand," for my own good, because it's kind of freaking me the fuck out these days, what with the echoes and the callbacks and whatnot.)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:44 AM on January 26, 2017


Is this the new election thread?

Time for a new universal New Yorker cartoon caption.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:47 AM on January 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


I'm sorry. I was out of line.

I meant to say Orange Julias Caligula.
posted by MuppetNavy at 11:47 AM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


This image of authoritarianism comes from the popular media (dictators in movies are never constrained by anything but open insurrection)

But Trump is, essentially, more like a movie dictator than a historical one. His persona and worldview is shaped entirely by media and pop culture, not ideology. He's threatening cities with martial law, telling formerly friendly countries to go fuck themselves, musing about invading countries and looting their resources. There's no authoritarian plan, he's going to keep breaking shit and causing chaos until he's removed or we're all dead.
posted by theodolite at 11:49 AM on January 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


Capt. Renault: Hahahahahaha! We're so fucked!

I'm going to be saying that a lot over the foreseeable future, aren't I?


You might want to make a keyboard macro, is all I'm saying.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:51 AM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


FIRED. They were (allegedly, story developing) FIRED.

I'm not sure what the US is like, but this is not unusual in Canada, where senior bureaucrats are more and more, over the past twenty years or so, political appointees. They are appointed by the PMO, and the Ministers have no say, either. It's a way of centralizing control.

Having worked in a government public affairs office, it doesn't strike me as very odd at all that control over departmental announcements, including tweets, should be vetted by a senior comms staffer.

The crackdown on climate science is also right out of Stephen Harper's playbook.
posted by My Dad at 11:55 AM on January 26, 2017


Two things that haven't changed at all: the Democrats and the news media are still spineless suck-ups. It's important to cling to the few constants you have in uncertain times like these.

Really? How are Democrats spineless suck ups? How is this their fault? The Dems aren't the one generating this bullshit and spin. The Dems are the ones who have fought to change gerrymandering practices, the Dems are the ones who have pushed through the ACA, secured SNAP for millions of people, who have taken some hard stances against foreign threats. The Dems are the ones who repealed don't-ask-don't-tell. Jesus. Of course, the party has its flaws and failures, but what the fucking hell are the Republicans doing, other than ceaselessly working to create vast divides in our culture, from pushing wealth up to the wealthy and away from the middle classes and poor, generating hate against anyone who is a not white and a male, etc.

The media: we are all victims and perpetrators of clickbait and garbage. But what would fix that, aside from further regulation of the internet and holding these companies accountable?

I've met plenty of Democrats who are full of piss and vinegar and who fight for the needs of their communities and their constituents until blood is drawn and beyond. This is NOT the fault of Democrats; what a fucked up, bass-ackwards way to look at this situation.
posted by erattacorrige at 11:55 AM on January 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


Just in case you need a quick pick me up: Metafilter Love-In. We could use more pet pictures.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 11:55 AM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't think he has an actual plan in terms of an ideological agenda- he just wants power, prestige, and prosperity for himself and his interests. But I think that, unless he really is experiencing dementia or mental illness, the unhinged personality he cultivates is at least partly for show. It's a magician's trick of deflection. He's not even the first Republican to come up with madman theory. He's not even the only populist national leader behaving erratically and trollishly right now.

The American left and liberals underestimated George Bush for nearly a decade. I think brushing off one's opponent as, "oh he's just a crazy idiot who's good at riling up crazy idiots" is falling into the same trap.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:57 AM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


How are Democrats spineless suck ups?

Well, Elizabeth Warren is pretty okay with Ben 'The Pyramids Are Grain Silos' Carson being confirmed. So. Like. There's that?
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 11:58 AM on January 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


I think brushing off one's opponent as, "oh he's just a crazy idiot who's good at riling up crazy idiots" is falling into the same trap.

I don't think anyone is doing that anymore, thanks. We took "just" out of that quote a while back.
posted by Etrigan at 11:59 AM on January 26, 2017


Well, Elizabeth Warren is pretty okay with Ben 'The Pyramids Are Grain Silos' Carson being confirmed. So. Like. There's that?

Yes, this is precisely the sort of thing I'm referring to.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:59 AM on January 26, 2017


I just went to the protest in Philadelphia (for the Republican retreat) and yelled some stuff. That helped.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:01 PM on January 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


No one is marching my community members away without having to rip them out of my arms. And I am making these declarations so publicly because by making them I am holding myself accountable, so that when the hard choice comes I am prepared and ready to make it.

Literally the next line of Motomura's response to that audience member addresses this:
I think that, y’know, using digital media … I think some of the response, for example, in Spain. After incidents occurred in Spain, where there was just an outpouring of public support for the Muslim and the immigrant community in the country, those are the things that, I think, will frankly be noticed by a President Trump. He will notice when public opinion shifts against the actions that he takes.
And that point is underlined in subsequent answers, as well as throughout the panel.

It is worth a listen.
posted by mykescipark at 12:02 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Well, Elizabeth Warren is pretty okay with Ben 'The Pyramids Are Grain Silos' Carson being confirmed. So. Like. There's that?

Yes, this is precisely the sort of thing I'm referring to.


Excellent, a single example. Yes, clearly this is still all the fault of Democrats; one person supporting one person in the new administration must mean that the party is going to the dogs.
Here's an idea, call her up and tell her your thoughts about her support of Ben Carson.
Her phone numbers: Washington DC: 202-224-4543. Boston: 617-565-3170.
posted by erattacorrige at 12:04 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm turning to anti-fascist media in part for strength. I have a new appreciation for V for Vendetta now, for example.

As hard as Trump tries, we need to show him that he can't kill ideas and he can't kill the truth.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:04 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Just why aren't the Democrats working as a solid bloc to block the nominees, even if numerically their votes fail and it's seen as symbolic opposition? Are they afraid of looking like obstructionists? Are they hoarding political capital for future votes?
posted by Apocryphon at 12:04 PM on January 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


as horrified as i am about the general state of the world i have discovered something even more horrifying: the fact that there are people who are not horrified, but pleased. thrilled, even.

their badness level is very high
posted by poffin boffin at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2017 [40 favorites]


Yesterday I went home after work and when my wife (who had just handed in her PhD comp exam the day before and was taking a much-needed break from EVERYTHING) asked me if there was any news I had what I can only classify as a miniature nervous breakdown.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:11 PM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


As with the National Guard, voting is controlled by the states. However, this is even less comfort, given the number of states under complete control of the GOP at the moment.

That's the test, isn't it? Will voting remain controlled by the states? Will the National Guard? Hannah Arendt wrote about how liberals in Germany would fact-check the Nazi party's claims about Jewish people, but they failed to realize that fact (and later law) was immaterial. One side was having a debate, and the other side was saying what they were planning on doing once they got enough power. I think that the "voter fraud" (heavy scare quotes) issue is the test balloon for what we're going to see in the future.

And remember who will be conducting the investigation. It won't be an independent council. It will be a presidential council. And trump's people have already readily demonstrated how eager they are to lie publicly, how little they care for the facts, and little they care about criticism.

With Republicans falling quickly in line, I don't see many official brakes left if trump decides he's sick of laws as they stand.
posted by codacorolla at 12:19 PM on January 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


Do you think most of the women who protested this weekend were paid to do so by George Soros, or not? (Trump Voters Only)

38% Yes
33% No
From the PPP Poll released in the last 24 hours. I don't know if these people are trolling or delusional, but the result is the same either way.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:21 PM on January 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Here's an idea, call her up and tell her

You're assuming because I am posting my displeasure here that I haven't already done so. I can do many things at once. I multitask like a pro. And I can be a staunch democrat and still be annoyed and point out when my party doesn't toe the line.

Take a deep breath.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 12:22 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Watching the horizon for sure, more with a sense of resignation at this point, that The Dolt is going to bobble the Ice 9 into the ocean at any moment.

I lived through the worst of the cold war during my childhood, so yeah, there was a looming ever-present sense of almost immediate doom until I was in my mid-20's & the Soviet Union began to fall apart. It has definitely come back, though rather than live in terror, I am trying to accept that at 54, if I see the blinding flash tomorrow, I will have tried to have lived a life in full, & it comforts me that I think I did the best I could do.

Makes getting out of bed a little tough in the mornings, for sure, but I trudge ever onward towards I know not what.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:23 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


The US and it's attitude toward Muslims is a lot more like Bosnia-Hercegovina early 1990s than like Germany of the 1930s. The New Guyis a lot like Karadžić, except less educated and less physically brave than either Hitler or Karadžić. I presume Karadžić did his 2 years in the JNA. Hitler actually was hit with mustard gas in WWI. The New Guy did not serve and made a point of getting 5 spurious deferments no poor man would have got away with.
His obsession with fraudulent votes hits close to home. His best bud (Bannon), his daughter, Tiffany and a few others close to him are double registered.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:27 PM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


...

God, George Orwell would have fits if he saw Trump's abuse of the English language and censoring the truth. It makes FOX citing 1984 for years incredibly ironic.

I feel more like we've stepped into Animal Farm, with Napoleon and Squealer and the porcine crew in the middle of their hostile takeover, and the dogs are hunched to strike on command.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:28 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


What is the ratio of good people to bad? If each of us who consider themselves good does this thing I describe, we can win this. Each good person of able body shall build a Wicker Man, leaving room in his belly for the designated number of baddies, plus some stand-by space, etc.
posted by maxwelton at 12:33 PM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


SUMER IS ICUMEN IN MUTHERFUCKAS
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:36 PM on January 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


Just echoing that I, too, am having trouble with anxiety lately, and have had multiple semi-regular panic attacks since November. At this point, I'm rationing my daily newsreading, ensuring adequate daydreaming (probably partly maladaptive, but hey, you do you, I do me) and refocusing on things I actually have control over. I'm not sure if it's helping. This is a scary time and will continue getting scarier, and I'm already needing rest for my own mental health.


It's going to be a difficult era. We all just have to take care of ourselves and keep fighting in whatever ways we're capable.
posted by byanyothername at 12:38 PM on January 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


So, because I'm looking forward to the My Brother, My Brother and Me show (which doesn't come out until February) I started looking at Seeso and finally signed up. Which is a good thing, I think, if you're looking for some funny to relax with. But last night I started watching The Young Ones, which--I'm 35, I was way too young to remember that era like that, you know? And I'd previously watched it purely from the perspective of someone looking back on how things had been during this particular period of history.

Last night I watched it and it was positively spooky. A show I've seen a dozen times at least before, but probably hadn't seen in... maybe six or seven years? And I'm even less of a "young one" than I was then, and yet I'm actually getting more of the jokes, because now I recognize them. Insofar as they're really jokes at all. Haha, kids these days, expecting to get jobs, look how unreasonable we are for expecting to have stable employment and meaningful lives while everybody else is figuring out how to knock down our houses and blow us up.
posted by Sequence at 12:40 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


as horrified as i am about the general state of the world i have discovered something even more horrifying: the fact that there are people who are not horrified, but pleased. thrilled, even.

their badness level is very high


also I never thought I would live to see a time in which the "Bad Enough Dude" part of "Are You a Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President?" refers to being an actual Nazi
posted by byanyothername at 12:40 PM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


They were all fired? Well, guess I chose the wrong week to take the FSOT. Goddamn.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:42 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


The bad dudes in action.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:42 PM on January 26, 2017


It's not even my country and thus I feel stupid but being trans and abuse survivor I can't shake this deep pit of anxiety and tension and broken heart that says the entire world wants people like me to not exist. Which is not true but it is like this big black cloud of how do i fit in here anymore? How do i fit in a world where a sexual assaulter who has no shame about it be elected by a country not that different from mine. I'm avoiding the media but it leaks in and it is so triggering to see gaslighting be a political policy and an insult to every abuse survivor ever. It has even had me contemplating if I should go through with transitioning because my life is already hard enough and do I need another thing that doesn't make me fit in. Do I want to identify as a transmasculine non binary person or will that be abandoning women in a time where my angry queer feminist side just wants to burn things down. I can't believe one man being elected has this much impact on the entire world and I weep for Americans and especially every survivor there. I have to keep telling myself it happened! you were abused! I believe me! Even if it feels like an entire country just told me survivors aren't too be believed it isn't true!
posted by kanata at 12:45 PM on January 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


WHAT A REVOLUTIONARY IDEA THAT I DEFINITELY DIDN'T HAVE ON MY OWN THANK YOU

And, to be clear, it's not just Warren. I used her as an example because she reps my state. The Senate voted to confirm Nikki Haley 96-4. In case you're not aware, there are not 96 GOP Senators.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:47 PM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


ensuring adequate daydreaming (probably partly maladaptive, but hey, you do you, I do me)

MINE IS DEFINITELY MALADAPTIVE, but lol I can't even bring myself to care. Leave me to my maladaptive Captain America daydreams, at least I know he'd be punching nazis all over the place while looking very handsome. like, my tumblr is a not inaccurate representation of the inside of my head right now, what with RESIST!!! alternating with Captain America content and hot pictures of the MCU cast and, idk, i lik the bred poems. Whatever gets us all through the day I guess!! The doomsday clock is ticking ever closer to midnight and death is coming for us all and I have to keep calling my reps and screaming into the void so I am just gonna HOLD ON TO MY MALADAPTIVE DAYDREAMS, thanks.
posted by yasaman at 12:48 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


This too shall pass.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:50 PM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Latest thing that is not a joke: Donald Trump is going to fulfill his promise to make Mexico pay for a border wall by making American taxpayers pay for the border wall, and then imposing an import tax on Mexican goods so that American taxpayers pay twice for the border wall
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:51 PM on January 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


And leave the toilet a ruined mess.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:52 PM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


The wall's a waste of taxpayer and government money, plain and simple.

And in Donald's brain science and libraries are bigger wastes of taxpayer money. It's a twisted logic that I stopped trying to understand long ago.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 12:57 PM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I think trump thinks the wall is a good way to line his pockets as well as the pockets of his shady creditors. And, it probably will be for fuck's sake.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:59 PM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


For most of my adult life, I have had a few predictable dreams. Predictable in that I would always have them when I felt less in control of things. So I'd wake up, remember I had it and then think about what was going on in conscious life. Sure enough, things were wiggy.

ReRun Dream 1:
I'm trying to get people I love to safety as we watch tornadoes dangling toward us.

ReRun Dream 2:
There is no way to get to wherever it is I'm walking without going through dozens & dozens of orb weaver webs. Big orb weavers. Like garden spiders, and those mega-butted brownish red ones that seem prolific in the fall.

The spider dreams have returned about every other day now. But I come here, check in, pass along info to people who don't, and look into the eyeballs of my dogs and partner many times a day & tell them I love them.
posted by yoga at 1:09 PM on January 26, 2017




Vox.com: Why liberal senators like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown voted for Ben Carson

Because he is not actively hateful against HUD specifically.

THAT IS NOT THE BAR WE WANT HIM TO CLEAR, YOU SHITWANKS.
posted by Etrigan at 1:17 PM on January 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


I keep having these visions of The Wall getting partway built and then being abandoned for years until Pink Floyd use it as a backdrop for reunion shows.
posted by jonmc at 1:24 PM on January 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


The whole "we should be somewhat accommodating now so that the norm is preserved for when we need it" argument from Dem senators would have made sense eight, even four years ago, but given the president's total ignorance of, to say nothing of disregard for, such norms, now might, truly, be the time for an exception.

On preview: +1 would pay an outrageous amount of money for a ticket to a Pink Floyd concert in front of a partially built but abandoned section of the wall
posted by radicalawyer at 1:27 PM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Sign seen at 1/21 rally: "THIS EPISODE OF BLACK MIRROR SUCKS."


OK, so this is a true story. I drove up to work today and parked on the street and noticed an orange sign saying NO PARKING SATURDAY, the kind of sign they put up for blocks reserved for film shoots in NYC, so I went up closer to read the fine print and the street is closed for parking because they are filming "Black Mirror."

So that episode sucks anyway, because I have to move my car so they can make it.
posted by spitbull at 1:27 PM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]



This seems like an excellent time to dust off and rerun The Day After. It did move Ronald Reagan to rethink nuclear arms.


No, go for the maximum-strength option. What we need to broadcast is Threads.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:27 PM on January 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


I would have honestly thought we would have learned by now that if you give fascists/climate deniers/GOP extremists a chair at a meeting, first chance they get they'll shove you out the door and lock it.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 1:30 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Is this the new election thread?

The full statement discusses the nuclear situation, climate threat, nuclear power, and emerging technologies, and calls on the leaders of the world to "refocus in the coming year on reducing existential risks and preserving humanity, in no small part by consulting with top-level experts and taking scientific research and observed reality into account."

So spending the entire thread talking about Trump makes a certain sense, I guess.
posted by effbot at 1:37 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ruined by idiots, governed by morons
posted by Existential Dread at 1:39 PM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Mother Gaia comforts the humans... in her way.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:01 PM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm still very, very scared. I'm scared for my friends who are facing a regime that thinks they have no right to exist. Drumpf can also screw me over personally in all kinds of ways - health care's on the chopping block and he's no friend of libraries, so I'm terrified. Especially since I would usually consider a federal library job but am now unsure what to do. I would like to work against him from within a low-level job but I'd be fired if I was found out.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 2:11 PM on January 26, 2017


To anybody mystified why Warren and Brown would vote to confirm Ben Carson, I'd suggest reading the Vox article that ZeusHumm linked above. Here's the money quote:
Senate Democrats, who have spent weeks in hearings and meetings evaluating Trump Cabinet nominees, say they’ve been surprisingly impressed by Carson — both in his written answers to the banking committee and in the one-on-one interviews they conducted with him before his hearing.

They admit the bar is low but say Trump’s HUD nominee has cleared it relative to Trump’s other picks. “I think some of these members in these private meetings, they were not terrified by him,” another Senate Democratic aide said.

Among the Carson statements they’ve highlighted:

  • To the surprise of some Senate Democrats, Carson promised to enforce lead standards and work with “bipartisan” experts on how to reduce rates of lead poisoning.
  • In his written statement, Carson also said he would “without hesitation” enforce HUD’s Equal Access Rules, which ensure gay and lesbian housing applicants aren’t discriminated against in their housing applications.
  • Carson also promised to advocate for investments in rental assistance for the homeless, and to advocate that spending for housing be part of the infrastructure program Trump has promised to implement.
  • That's followed by a discussion of institutional support and history that a lot of people in this thread don't agree with. On the other hand, I'm pleasantly surprised by the bit in that article -- so hey, Carson is maybe just going to Dubya Bush-bad and will sorta lead a department intentionally starved of resources, rather than engaged in an all-out war to destroy it from the top!

    A low bar, but in comparison with fucking DeVos, Pruitt, and fucking Sessions? It almost smells passable.
    posted by joyceanmachine at 2:32 PM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


    The past few days have made me wonder why there's apparently few to no constitutional protections against a rogue president, at least without the assumption that Congress and the courts would restrain them. Trump's pretty much run roughshod with no limits in sight, he hasn't come to terms with the seriousness of his office, he's acting like a wannabe dictator, and I don't think the Republicans care what he does as long as he enables their goals.
    posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 2:40 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


    The past few days have made me wonder why there's apparently few to no constitutional protections against a rogue president, at least without the assumption that Congress and the courts would restrain them.

    I'm pretty sure it's a combination of inertia - - this stuff doesn't happen unless politicians have a compelling reason to put it in place and that usually means public support - - Andrew Jackson taking the reins early and setting tone for executive power grabs while not fucking things up so badly behind him for people who could vote that he pissed off Congress by the end enough to go "not again" behind him, and the assumption that one rogue president probably couldn't also secure a majority in Congress at the same time.
    posted by sciatrix at 2:51 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    Any day now, videotapes of an alternate reality where Clinton won will start to pop up everywhere. People will initially think they are failed SNL skits, but soon will start to question the veracity of their current reality.
    posted by Pantalaimon at 3:11 PM on January 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


    I'm still trying to get back to the Al Gore timeline
    posted by theodolite at 3:21 PM on January 26, 2017 [20 favorites]


    Every time I hear about the Doomsday Clock I think of Watchmen. I can't help but think that even with a perpetual Nixon administration, they were still better off than we are now. Nixon was a truly terrible man, but at least he was a man and not a big orange toddler.

    Come on, space squid!
    posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:24 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


    That being said, they're being extremely bold and naked with their intentions under Trump's leadership. They're putting forward very controversial, ignorant, wasteful, and blatantly dictatorial policies and behavior, working under an unpopular president whose poll numbers are already in post-Katrina Bush levels, with no sign of reconsidering plans that will harm huge numbers of people and with no hint that they're afraid of electoral reprisal or retaliation from the public over their actions even in the face of a great deal of public resistance and anger.

    It's incredibly scary in many ways.
    posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 3:27 PM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


    I'm still trying to get back to the Al Gore timeline

    The LHC "upgraded" and began its second research run on June 3, 2015.
    June 16, 2015 Trump announced his candidacy.
    El Psy Kongroo.
    posted by thefoxgod at 3:28 PM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


    I keep humming this song (I like the Kermit Ruffins and Rebirth version):

    Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
    Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
    The years go by, as quickly as you wink
    Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
    posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:46 PM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


    I still remember the good old days of only needing one "check out how fucked we are because Trump" thread a week, instead of daily
    posted by DoctorFedora at 3:46 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


    Howcum none of the Trumpers are worried? Why just us?
    posted by notreally at 3:48 PM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


    I'm not sure what the US is like, but this is not unusual in Canada, where senior bureaucrats are more and more, over the past twenty years or so, political appointees. They are appointed by the PMO, and the Ministers have no say, either. It's a way of centralizing control.

    While these appointments are frequently changed with a new president, it is quite common for them not to do so. Patrick Kennedy, for example, was appointed by Bush and by all accounts was expecting to continue in his job under Trump.
    posted by the agents of KAOS at 3:50 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    Howcum none of the Trumpers are worried? Why just us?

    They're working off alternative facts.
    posted by thefoxgod at 3:53 PM on January 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


    Is anyone else suffering from an incessant anxiety that feels like an illness? Because I am.

    Yes. And I've been unable to talk to my Trump-voting mother because I just can't talk to her any more. I'm queasy, exhausted, forcing myself to eat, needing to take sleeping pills but still restless and up almost every 2 hours from nightmares.

    I'm finding myself increasingly annoyed at lol Facebook posts and wanting to scream at the news and I keep thinking this can't get any worse. But then it does and I feel impotent and unbelieving and furious. I am so fucking horrified that he is getting away with his lies and all other terrifying decisions and NOBODY is stopping him.

    Where are the adults? How can he just lie and make insane executive orders? HOW??

    It's just a nightmare.
    posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:01 PM on January 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


    Its important to take time off from activism and political worrying.

    Yes, that can feel like betrayal, or like you're not taking things seriously. But it isn't.

    You have to take care of yourself. Its like people doing food distribution in famine areas have to eat. If you starve you can't help, so you have to eat. And if you can't function from worry, lack of sleep, and general mind breaking awful, you can't fight.

    Take a break. Even a short one. Watch something on netflix you love. Read a book you love. Regain some equilibrium. The problem will still be there when you get back, and others can manage it while you care for yourself.

    People in stressful situations have always had to learn this, whether it's prison, or surviving an oppressive regime, or whatever. You must have some time to try to enjoy things and feel better. Or else your mind will break and you're out of the fight for good.
    posted by sotonohito at 4:33 PM on January 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


    I would not, in fact, be at all surprised to discover that two and two really do add up to five now, because the world broke down.

    Remember, no matter how much this torture proponent administration tries to gaslight you, THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS.
    posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:38 PM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


    I've been trying to compare how I feel now to how I felt during the Bush Jr years. To be honest, the feeling in the pit of my stomach is similar to when the PATRIOT act got rammed through, when "Our Leader" billboards with Bush's stupid mug started popping up, there was that godawful Enya remix combined with him speaking over it being played all the time on the radio, we were gleefully talking about bombing Afghanistan "back to the stone age", and alternative facts about weapons of mass destruction were being used to justify going into Iraq. I don't remember the sequence of things, but I do remember it being one series after another of "Jesus Christ, what reality are we living in and how long before things get so bad that our country and world breaks apart at the seams?"

    All that feels the same, if I'm being honest, and especially if I remember the words I was actually thinking and saying.

    What does feel different, stylistically (for lack of a better of way of putting it): 1) The alarming things are happening MUCH more quickly; 2) Trump's erratic behavior, bald narcissism, and impulsiveness vs Bush's bumbling incompetence; 3) The utter 2+2=5 absurdity of the lies vs a attempting to maintain a veneer of truthiness; 4) The attack on the press; 5) fucking twitter and social media.

    With regard to the media, I feel slightly encouraged for the following reason. Back then, media such as the NYT were falling over backwards to take up the role of apologist for the invasions. It seemed the whole country was in love with going to war if not also in love with Bush. Tremendous crowds protested the invasions month after month but the protests were almost never covered (and, if they were covered, the crowd estimates were hilariously understated).

    That's different this time. The NYT is actively calling Trump out as a liar. The media coverage of the marches might not have been as big as they could have been but there was still vastly more coverage than there was of the anti-war marches. And NO ONE but Trump's supporters are ok with what's going on (and probably even some of them are freaked out).
    posted by treepour at 4:55 PM on January 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


    Pixelated Boat -
    Dems: Noooooooo, we can't obstruct Trump, that would make us just like the party that actually wins elections
    posted by Apocryphon at 5:34 PM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


    I've also been doing some reflecting on past campaigns versus this one.

    Bush won against Gore partly because of a meme suggesting the two were nearly identical candidates, partly because people were genuinely exhausted by the Lewinsky scandal, and partly because Bush claimed to be the moderate he was not.

    Bush then won against Kerry partly through sliming him, but mostly because the nation was not ready to give up on the Iraq war. Obama won by being an outsider to the decisions that nearly upended the country.

    In other words, I've found ways to understand the past election results.

    Trump won for reasons I understand, but there's no solace in understanding that half the country is racist, misogynist, dupes of the highest order, and committed to cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

    I have not been able to convince myself that Clinton lost because she didn't campaign well, or because of the media. The same people that cried foul over Clinton's emails, supposed crimes, etc. couldn't care less that Trump uses his old cell phone and gmail address, or has mafia connections, etc. So, this one is on the American people, and that really does make me feel awful in the morning.
    posted by xammerboy at 5:42 PM on January 26, 2017 [18 favorites]


    Howcum none of the Trumpers are worried? Why just us?

    I believe they're experiencing their anxiety as excitement.

    I am disabled due to PTSD from a rape a year and a half ago. Interestingly, my anxiety spike is dwarfed by this episode of depression that knocked me onto the sofa on the 20th, where I have remained. Investigators and insurance company lawyers have been retraumatizing me since the rape, but now that's all happening against the background of this "administration". It's like my soul and my body have just given up.
    posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 6:27 PM on January 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


    thedarksideofprocyon:
    That being said, they're being extremely bold and naked with their intentions under Trump's leadership. They're putting forward very controversial, ignorant, wasteful, and blatantly dictatorial policies and behavior, working under an unpopular president whose poll numbers are already in post-Katrina Bush levels, with no sign of reconsidering plans that will harm huge numbers of people and with no hint that they're afraid of electoral reprisal or retaliation from the public over their actions even in the face of a great deal of public resistance and anger.
    It's the Republican party's last hurrah. When Dubya got elected the conservative establishment that got their start in the Nixon era came with him. They finally had a chance to try out all their ideas and make their fortunes under his disinterested leadership. Now with Trump it's the newer generation's turn, the Republicans who began their careers in, I dunno, probably the 90's with the "Contract To America." Now they get their chance to try out their ideas and make their fortunes under Trump's self-centered and uninformed leadership. But they know that this chance only comes once a generation, and when it's over this time there's probably not going to be another. (Thanks to demographics.) So their intention is to remake the USA along their ideological lines as completely as possible before they get kicked out, in the hope that maybe some of it will stick.
    posted by Kevin Street at 6:40 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    I don't believe 2 1/2 minutes to midnight. I remember 3 minutes to midnight. I had a political consciousness during Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, etc. My parents (who have since voted for DT) took my sister and I to disarmament rallies as children. I recall hearing about nuclear holocaust for the first time at age 9 from Dr. Helen Caldecott speaking on my parents' college campus and being really seriously scarred about it. I recall knowing that our president, Reagan, who had already started at least 2 covert wars and 2 overt wars, was clearly developing dementia and controlled the nuclear codes as Russia occupied Afghanistan. Still nuclear holocaust was a far off dark fantasy. "Surely no person with a shred of decency would even consider..."

    That was 3 minutes to midnight.

    What's going on now is far scarier, and far less predictable than in the 80s. I'd say we are closer right now than ever in the history of the human race. There are two fascists with nuclear weapons. If Alzheimer's Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev got to 3 minutes over Afghanistan, we are certainly less than one minute to midnight.

    Resist, my brothers and sisters, there is nothing left to do or lose.
    posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:53 PM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


    There are two fascists with nuclear weapons

    Actually three if you include Korea. And four or five depending on your views of Israel, Pakistan, and India.
    posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:55 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    Donald Trump wants to 'close up' the internet

    I am not even close to being okay right now.
    posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:14 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    Not to be contrary, and not that it makes it okay, but that "close up the Internet" piece is from December 8th. Plus, as the article closes, if he closes the Internet, how could we see glorious leader's tweets?
    posted by fragmede at 8:28 PM on January 26, 2017


    Welp I'm down to 3 hours of sleep per night now and can hear dew evaporating off the grass outside
    posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:30 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    Ah, thanks for pointing that out, fragmede. I am still freaked out that the President is saying things like this, though. It makes it crystal fucking clear what his agenda is. He might not be able to implement it today, but give him two years of a GOP-controlled Congress, and...
    posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:43 PM on January 26, 2017


    you got the president you deserve. You couldn't stop watching cable news. they lied to you for decades yet you still tune in for your daily hate. This is what you deserve America, freedom is for those who fight for it, not lie passively on a couch staring at a mobile pacifier.
    posted by any major dude at 8:54 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    any major dude, who are you talking to?
    posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:00 PM on January 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


    anyone who gets their news from for profit cable "news" stations. I"ve been pleading with liberals online and off since the Iraq war to just stop watching and I've been met with derision at every turn. Now the same people who created Trump are the ones you are begging to keep you safe from him. Good luck. They are not now, nor have they ever, been on your side.
    posted by any major dude at 9:07 PM on January 26, 2017


    The problem is people who insist on viewing everything in terms of Us and Them. It's all Their fault!
    posted by DoctorFedora at 9:12 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    here's a tip, start referring to Trump as Bannon's sock puppet. He's the Kilgore Trout feeding him all his bad ideas yet I NEVER hear anyone mention it. If you can drive a wedge between Trump and Bannon you might be able to save this country.
    posted by any major dude at 9:24 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    He's the Kilgore Trout feeding him all his bad ideas

    Care to explain? I don't remember Kilgore Trout being a puppetmaster or a fascist.
    posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:32 PM on January 26, 2017


    I think of Bannon as the Squealer to Trump's Napoleon. Both of them are very dangerous, but in different ways. Trump's dangerous because he's a brute with the subtlety and political graces of a sledgehammer, empty enough of actual ideas of his own to be suggestible, and aggressive suppression of criticism. Bannon is dangerous because he's more cunning - he does his work behind the scenes, but keeps Trump as the "face" so criticism and media attention will be focused on him rather than on the both of them as it ought to be, which leaves Bannon free to weave his webs relatively unnoticed.

    As a result, we have to hit them both and place emphasis on how vicious and racist Bannon is and how close to Trump's ear he is. He needs to be brought into the light and discredited.
    posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 9:45 PM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


    Read Breakfast of Champions. Kilgore Trout takes advantage of a wealthy businessman who is quickly falling into the depths of mental illness. Sound familiar?
    posted by any major dude at 9:46 PM on January 26, 2017




    So it's not so much anexity here , being as I am, a comfortable cis white male in the middle of NYC who has had an on the books and updated Plan To Escape The Country and the power to do it since 2004, all my anxiety dumped into me right after the election - I think I lost a week in just despair. Then I hit anger, I don't think I've missed a demonstration or rally, I've got rep numbers on speed dial, I've sat in offices to annoy people in person, I have to do SOMETHING* to fill my time or I won't be able to live with myself.

    But I'm not anxious.

    No the primary feeling is unreality. We crossed some threshold a while back without noticing and now everything is different and strange. None of it makes sense, it's like confusing a memory with a dream. It has all the inevitability of a dream too, raising no question. This can't posssibky be happening. I have to be wrong about this

    And you're not. Nothing is metaphorical, You are not mistaken. Everything is as gross and literal as it looks like.

    It's unreal. It's really happening. Nothing is true and everything is posssibke. There's no reason to compromise ever again.

    *part of this unreality extended to the good stuff happening too. I've been bending more political and Lefter ever since 09' but chanting in an auditorium with 275 newly minted NYC socialists and getting ready for Tuesday trump actions and working groups is such a step function increase in my engagement I do wonder if I just hit my head real hard in July or I slipped into a political mean,

    I mean, I', an extremely polite person who hates crowds, is getting real good at screaming at people. Who knew? I'm just so high key and about to boil over all the time now. All my mid level settings have been removed.
    posted by The Whelk at 9:55 PM on January 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


    The Doomsday Clock has been moved closer to midnight on account of towards climate change before, and I see this move as closer to that concept, than nuclear war. Trump is volatile, but don't rush to the worst case right way. Who would we even be in a nuclear war with? Russia, who Trump is supposedly in cahoots with? China, who Trump wants money from? Iran, who is Russia's ally and doesn't even have nuclear weapons yet? North Korea? May's UK? Fillon or Le Pen's France?

    Honestly, the easiest way to avert nuclear war (not counting India-Pakistan) is to craft some meme showing all of the places in the world with Trump holdings and assets. Want to keep Trump from striking China? Tweet him a list of his hotels in that country. Want to keep him from attacking Iran? Tweet him how much money there is to be made by opening up trade with the Iranians. Want to keep him from bombing North Korea? Tweet him a Photoshopped picture of the Ryugyong Hotel with his name on it. He's not going to be starting a war unless he can somehow profit from it, and he would doubly back away from war if puts him at risk of a loss. Learn to use his own personality against him, instead of giving up entirely.

    There's a lot to be worried about, but if we're just going to jump into the idea of imminent nuclear war, then, well, that's just sort of fatalistic, isn't it?
    posted by Apocryphon at 10:05 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    (Like I saw MANIFESTO in January and the screaming out of NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING WE HOPE FOR SOMETHING TO RISE FROM THE ASHES, SOMETHING LESS IMMENSELY GROTESQUE Mary have uh, made me start to cry in a bad way .....I am very on edge these days)
    posted by The Whelk at 10:06 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


    MeFi: Is this the new election thread?

    ---

    I've been having tooth problems, so I went to the dentist. I bite down on my lip when I'm pissed, and so I was convinced I'd somehow hurt my tooth that way in mid-November.

    No, he told me. It turns out all the problems I've had can come from clenching my teeth at night. Which is also something that started in November.
    posted by steady-state strawberry at 6:12 AM on January 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


    It turns out all the problems I've had can come from clenching my teeth at night. Which is also something that started in November.

    This morning I bought two bite guards for sleeping, because I keep waking up to feel my front teeth literally sharper than the night before because they've been grinding incessantly all night long.

    Good thing you can regrow teeth! OH WAIT.
    posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:32 AM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


    I mean, I', an extremely polite person who hates crowds, is getting real good at screaming at people. Who knew? I'm just so high key and about to boil over all the time now. All my mid level settings have been removed.

    I'm in a similar place.

    I walked out of my office high-rise last night right into the middle of several hundred marchers shouting pro-choice slogans, and I saw and all 5'3 of me almost started shouting with them while wearing my office blouse and office cardigan and commuting shoes and commitment to go put my kid to bed. If you'd asked me six months ago whether I'd ever feel anything but mild annoyance about protests of any stripe occuring for 7+ hours outside my window and clogging up my evening commute and suddenly there are some young-ish looking assholes in super-conservative clothing standing right at the corner looking slightly amused while also worried and were almost certainly young Republicans in town for the retreat or Hill interns out for dinner, and all I wanted to do is let them know by yelling MY BODY MY CHOICE at the top of my lungs that America is so much bigger and better than what they and their bosses think it is -- six months ago, I would've given you a funny look.

    It was actually a little disturbing how intensely I felt. Like, there was a tall, fit-looking dude who was walking right at the edge with a neon green, day-fucking-glo, visible-in-the-dark-of-an-East-Coast-7PM-evening sign that read DIE NAZI SCUM. I had such a surge of pride. I've never felt that way about anything that had the formulation DIE ___ SCUM, and while I'm totally totally fine with punching every single Nazi we can find and then giving them a good kicking to boot?

    I have to spend some time thinking about by how visceral my reaction was.
    posted by joyceanmachine at 6:40 AM on January 27, 2017 [10 favorites]


    The past few days have made me wonder why there's apparently few to no constitutional protections against a rogue president, at least without the assumption that Congress and the courts would restrain them.

    This is related to the original constitutional design not having anticipated the emergence of standing political parties with collective spending power and party loyalty.

    The impeachment process is a great example of what Washington warned against with parties in the mix: the legislator's loyalties here are to themselves and to their party, so they won't impeach even if they know they should.
    posted by saulgoodman at 7:18 AM on January 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


    The past few days have made me wonder why there's apparently few to no constitutional protections against a rogue president, at least without the assumption that Congress and the courts would restrain them.

    The (current, relatively recent after Amendment 25) Constitution also gives the Cabinet the power and responsibility to protect against a rogue President. Granted, these are all (presumably) political allies of the President, but there are procedures for a truly off-the-rails person in the Oval Office.
    posted by Etrigan at 7:24 AM on January 27, 2017


    When I woke up this morning, I instinctively dug out a book I read a long time ago (I think it was by Madeline L'Engle). In the book, there is a mad dictator threatening to destroy the world, and one of the characters, otherwise helpless to do anything in the face of a powerful madman and thermonuclear war, shouts a rune in desperation to dispel the powers of darkness that he represents. I recited the rune this morning, as loud and clear as I could.

    It was a pointless gesture, but I somehow felt compelled to do it.
    posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 7:24 AM on January 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


    A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I'd just been thinking about going back and rereading that the other day.
    posted by Sequence at 7:36 AM on January 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


    No, he told me. It turns out all the problems I've had can come from clenching my teeth at night. Which is also something that started in November.

    I have been grinding my teeth in my sleep all my life as far as I can tell but thanks, y'all, because I finally remembered to replace the bite guard I chewed through sometime in November--this is also why I no longer have the permanent retainer they left me with after braces, I slowly ate it molar by molar over the course of several weeks--and fit it right before I left DC.... whereupon I promptly forgot it in my car. Yesterday I remembered to fish it out and use it, and my spouse breathed an audible sigh of relief when they saw me pull it out. Apparently having someone attempt to burrow and snuggle into your collarbone in the night is much less appealing when they are also grinding their teeth loudly enough to be mistaken for a jackhammer and your own skull shakes with the sympathetic vibrations.

    God, I wish I just had a snoring problem sometimes.

    (Also--oh man, I remember that rune. It's A Swiftly Tilting Planet, right? I wrote my college acceptance essay on that book, and now you've mentioned it, maybe reciting the rune over my weird little shrine to democracy that I made for election night would make me feel better. We've been lighting the candles and focusing on the memory of the women and men I have saint candles for on significant nights because, well, ritual is soothing, any house with two out of three people being ex-Catholics knows that damn well, and even if ritual doesn't directly do anything it does make me feel centered enough to keep on keeping on. I know my roomie, left home alone with three sick and leaky cats and one very needy dog while we were in DC, lit the candles for luck and memory the eve of the inauguration as a symbol for herself. So. I might do that, some time when it feels right.)
    posted by sciatrix at 7:36 AM on January 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


    Granted, these are all (presumably) political allies of the President, but there are procedures for a truly off-the-rails person in the Oval Office.

    But the Republicans don't seem interested in restraining or stopping Trump, because however unhinged and erratic he is (antagonizing former allies, constant demonizing of immigrants, wasteful policies, blatant censorship and turning formerly unbiased sources into propaganda) he's Their Man, his actions serve their goals, and is enabling what they want. And his cabinet's as extreme as he is, so I don't see them stopping him either.

    So I'm not sure what can be done to remove or restrain him at this stage, and he's shown no interest in being restrained.
    posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 7:48 AM on January 27, 2017


    Granted, these are all (presumably) political allies of the President, but there are procedures for a truly off-the-rails person in the Oval Office.

    But the Republicans don't seem interested in restraining or stopping Trump,


    Yes, but that doesn't change the fact that there are Constitutional procedures in place. No, there isn't an independent team of physicians and social workers who measure the President's empathomere levels each morning and can remove him if he becomes insufficiently reasonable, but that's because that doesn't exist, not because the Framers were down with having an unaccountable asshole as President.
    posted by Etrigan at 7:56 AM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


    On Metafilter in this fateful hour
    I place all Heaven with its power,
    And the sun with its brightness,
    And the snow with its whiteness,
    And the fire with all the strength it hath
    And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
    And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
    And the sea with its deepness,
    And the rocks with their steepness,
    And the earth with its starkness,
    All these I place
    Between ourselves and the powers of darkness.
    posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 8:05 AM on January 27, 2017 [10 favorites]


    Sounds like gin-o'clock to me.
    posted by generichuman at 8:21 AM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


    This seems like an excellent time to dust off and rerun The Day After. It did move Ronald Reagan to rethink nuclear arms.

    Or Threads. A while back someone posted on Reddit "if you had two hours and a laptop, what would you show Donald Trump?" So yeah, probably a screening of that.

    On scrolling, what EmpressCallipygos said
    posted by iffthen at 8:47 AM on January 27, 2017


    This morning on the way into work I was listening to C-SPAN (I like to warm up for the workday with some masochism, what can I say), and they had the audio of yesterday's speech by Theresa May to the Congressional Republican Retreat in Philadelphia.

    And I swear, it was like watching Roger Goodell dropping in on some bumfuck town's* Pee Wee League. Or that time Shaq dropped in on some schoolkids street pickup game. I mean, whoever the Repubs dragged out to introduce her could barely string words together in a fucking sentence, and then May spent 35 minutes basically telling them between ego-strokes that most of Trump's foreign policy is garbage, to breakthrough applause and, at the end, apparently three standing ovations. If it wasn't for the fact that I strongly suspect that the House Republican caucus is full of people who drank too much leaded water as children, I'd think she was an actual Jedi.

    That's what we're dealing with. The modern US political ecosystem, for whatever reason, just doesn't seem like it produces heads of state that can hack it in the big, global league. G.W. Bush was a folksy idiot, and probably only prevented the ship of state from being hijacked, by running it onto the rocks so aggressively himself. (And even then, there are those questions about the Saudis.) Obama lacked his mendacity and didn't make you want to shove icepicks in your own ears when he spoke, which was nice, but constantly seemed to be in knife-to-a-gun-fight mode, getting outmaneuvered by people who realize that there's no rules when you are accountable to no one, and that predictable pragmatism is a vulnerability, not an asset. And now we have Trump: a proto-fascist with such grave personality flaws I wonder how long it would take actual fascists to take him away for some sonderbehandlung in a mental hospital's basement.

    You have to be really sold on the multi-dimensional chess theory, where Trump is a master manipulator playing the buffoon on so many levels that literally nobody thinks he knows what he's doing, to believe that he's not going to get his ass absolutely handed to him, and then led around by the nose. I'm starting to think that about the best that can be hoped for is that it's someone like May—who, intranational politics aside, at least doesn't seem like she wants to watch the world burn in order to get a slightly-bigger skullthrone or a few extra emaciated slaves in the aftermath—and not someone like Putin, doing the leading.

    * Okay, technically Akron, which is perhaps not a "bumfuck town", but I'm a Steelers guy so that's the most polite thing I'm allowed to say about anything that close to Cleveland.
    posted by Kadin2048 at 8:58 AM on January 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


    Which is also something that started in November.

    i was unfortunately unaware that my doctor would actually be reviewing every section of my migraine diaries as part of my overall cranial pain management stuff and subsequently he has been very alarmed by the proliferation of exclamation points and allcaps WHITE PEOPLE WHY and RUMP RUMP SMASH HIM in the triggers section. also the bits where *gestures widely to entire world* and "la tendre indifference du monde" encompass whole weeks at a time.
    posted by poffin boffin at 12:03 PM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


    And an apropos edition of Hardcore History goes into detail on the first spots of blood in our collective handkerchief. TW: nuclear bombing victims/perps, presidential control
    posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:41 AM on January 28, 2017


    Clearly a topic to inspire dread.
    But, years after the fact, we discover, Doomsday clock notwithstanding, that we often came within s split second of midnight, as with the decision made by the commander on the Soviet sub near Cuba, whose boat was being rained upon with depth charges, an act that had theretofore been agreed upon constituted grounds to fire nukes off. His refusal to agree to launch is historic, but has repeatedly been bypassed by news organs as unspectacular.
    India and Pakistan came within weeks, perhaps days, of turning each others' cities into parking lots back in the aughts, only to be pulled back from the brink by a clearly frightened world.
    Far too many accidents involving nukes-North Carolina, anyone?-as chronicled by Eric Schlosser in his book, "Command and Control", have occurred, and will probably continue to occur.
    We all are living, nukes or no, with one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel.

    My point is simply that we can't really get steamed over something in which we have absolutely no control. Few of us, if any, are willing to take the first bullet in any uprising it would require to bring down this kakistocracy. While we have, indeed, had similarly venal and reprehensible leaders in the past, none have approached this clodhopper's degree of Marie Antoinette-like thinking. And that will be the problem for years to come, nukes or no. Let's not forget how this nuclear terrorism is used to keep many of us distracted, while our pockets are being picked.

    Some reknowned Japanese thinker, back around 800 years ago, said, "The way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.". While most of us are not warriors and will never see combat, the notion of being comfortable with one's demise does not sit well with many and results in atrocities we should be ashamed of, in the name of permanence and immortality.

    While I recommend equanimity, I know my words will hardly be heeded.
    posted by girdyerloins at 12:16 AM on January 29, 2017


    Because you're using a lot of words to try to police others' feelings?
    posted by Burhanistan at 8:46 AM on January 29, 2017 [3 favorites]


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