We gave you power, we can take it away. Watch us.
April 17, 2017 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Despite sizable turnouts around the country for Tax Day marches, the majority of U.S. voters recently polled disapproving of most of Trump's actions, and his polls still close to his record low numbers, Trump continues to pull in money for his 2020 campaign, with a significant portion paying for use of his own properties. Meanwhile, Gorsuch's time on U.S. high court will begin with three cases, and the public focus may be on if he recuses himself from one of those cases, and there is a lot of speculation on Steve Bannon's future in the White House, and what happens if he's ousted.

Days after Trump’s Syria strike put America at the precipice of another Middle East war with at least 10 consequences and side effects, the Air Force dropped non-nuclear 'mother of all bombs' in Afghanistan that is reported to have killed "many militants" and destroyed their weapons, as well as part of a tunnel system. Meanwhile in northern Syria, U.S. military said a misdirected airstrike in killed 18 allied fighters.

Speaking of allies, New York Times documented the LGBT Trump Fallacy, how some have supported the Trump administration as one for all Americans, only to have Trump's appointments and nominations of key officials fly in the face of those claims.

While Trump's travel ban is on the back burner in courts, it's still front burner for universities, and Tennessee’s attorney general is now among a coalition of officials from 15 states supporting President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban. Elsewhere, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly called on Congress to fix the nation's immigration laws.
He also suggested that neither he nor ICE could be blamed for an uptick in deportations during the Trump administration. He did, however, acknowledge that some undocumented immigrants who wouldn't have been deported under the Obama administration will be now, saying the "the spectrum of criminality [where] we operate has changed."

"You have to remember that there's a system, a legal justice system in place," Kelly said. "And the law deports people. Secretary Kelly doesn't. ICE doesn't. It's the United States criminal justice system or justice system that deports people."
But what of the southern border? the $20 BILLION border wall is drastically underfunded at this time - there are only $20 million currently available, and Congress hasn't made funding the wall a priority.
That amount of cash would not go very far to build a real wall — existing fence along the border costs roughly $2.8 million per mile.

Instead, the agency plans to spend the money on eight model walls, planning, engineering and early-stage land acquisition.

The two-day conference in a cavernous convention center packed with border security gear like aerial drones and radar-equipped pickup trucks was an opportunity for CBP officials to detail plans for Trump’s border wall — and also the hurdles to its construction.

The contracts for the prototype walls — some made of concrete, some made of other material, all to be “aesthetically pleasing” per Trump’s wishes for a beautiful wall — will be announced later this summer.

The prototypes will guide construction for more permanent walls that will be built along 14 miles in San Diego and another six miles in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, on land the agency has plans to build on or has already obtained.
And that's the waaaaay the news goes!
posted by filthy light thief (2979 comments total) 109 users marked this as a favorite
 
Post title modified from the Arcade Fire and Mavis Staples collaboration, "I Give You Power" from earlier this year.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:45 AM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Only 1296 days until the next presidential election.
posted by Pendragon at 8:45 AM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Only 1296 days until the next presidential election.

But lots less until the entire House is up for re-election in 2018, and less still until any state and local races this November.
posted by Gelatin at 8:49 AM on April 17 [60 favorites]


That Arcade Fire track is the best thing they have done in years. The presence of Memphis soul goddess Mavis Staples really elevates it, and the band rises to the occasion.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:49 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I was at the Tax March in NYC (a few pics)! It was a great day- great weather, great crowd, great organization, and SO MANY great signs.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:50 AM on April 17 [13 favorites]


I didn't get a picture of my favorite sign, which was just a huge picture of Maxine Waters giving some royal side-eye.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:51 AM on April 17 [26 favorites]


"I want the future we were promised, not the one we deserve."
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:52 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]




And that's the waaaaay the news goes!

Graaaassssss...tastes bad!
posted by middleclasstool at 8:53 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Thanks filthy light thief!
posted by yoga at 8:56 AM on April 17 [14 favorites]


Josh Marshall: people in the region are more worried about rash action from President Trump than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is really quite an achievement if you think about it.
posted by diogenes at 8:56 AM on April 17 [74 favorites]


If only we could find something impeachable on this guy! (Hint: new congress required)
posted by benzenedream at 8:57 AM on April 17 [12 favorites]


We gave you power

"...and my profit on it is, I know how to tweet"
posted by thelonius at 8:59 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Speaking of tweets, thelonius, Trump blasted this at 5:17 in the AM today: "The Fake Media (not Real Media) has gotten even worse since the election. Every story is badly slanted. We have to hold them to the truth!"

Given that the mainstream media's coverage of his NK fandango hasn't been as bad as some of his other scandals and fiascos, I'm wondering if there isn't something coming down the pipe that he's desperate to preemptively deflect.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:02 AM on April 17 [24 favorites]


For Lent one of the things I gave up was "reading about Donald Trump on the Internet," so the fact that I wake up Easter Monday to an inexplicable drive to war with North Korea is doing wonders for my mood.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:02 AM on April 17 [20 favorites]


Perfect(ly awful) vignette from today's Easter Egg Roll:

"A kid asks Trump to sign his hat at the White House Easter Egg Roll. The president signs ... and then tosses the hat into the crowd." (Politico)
posted by marshmallow peep at 9:04 AM on April 17 [120 favorites]


"You have to remember that there's a system, a legal justice system in place," Kelly said. "And the law deports people. Secretary Kelly doesn't. ICE doesn't. It's the United States criminal justice system or justice system that deports people."

Oh and this feels like it was an entry for Trump Administration or mid-level Nazi? Madlibs.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:04 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Wait what? I mean I know he does far more awful things on a daily basis, but is he also snatching their Easter candy too?
posted by corb at 9:05 AM on April 17 [11 favorites]


i can't tell if that hat thing is reflexive cruelty or further signs of his mental deterioration
posted by murphy slaw at 9:05 AM on April 17 [89 favorites]


Given that the mainstream media's coverage of his NK fandango hasn't been as bad as some of his other scandals and fiascos, I'm wondering if there isn't something coming down the pipe that he's desperate to preemptively deflect.

Maybe he saw the last SNL?
posted by Artw at 9:06 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Do we have an update on who is wearing the Easter Bunny suit yet?
posted by zachlipton at 9:07 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Despite rhetoric, Trump plan focuses more on staff cuts than good government
Barry Rabe, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, said the document is “clearly driven by an agenda of reducing staffing,” while giving lip service to performance. ...
Efforts to cut the workforce overlook the steep fall in feds per capita. The nation’s population increased 67 percent during the past 50 years, while the workforce grew by only 10 percent, according to the Obama administration’s fiscal 2017 budget.

posted by T.D. Strange at 9:08 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]


is he also snatching their Easter candy too?

Say, that sounds like a larf.
posted by Servo5678 at 9:08 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


JudicialWatch has filed a FOIA lawsuit for EPA correspondence over Signal (link to the Complaint)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:10 AM on April 17 [12 favorites]


"You have to remember that there's a system, a legal justice system in place," Kelly said. "And the law deports people. Secretary Kelly doesn't. ICE doesn't. It's the United States criminal justice system or justice system that deports people."

So do guns kill people now? Or is that still the responsibility of the people wielding them?
posted by dbx at 9:11 AM on April 17 [35 favorites]


"A kid asks Trump to sign his hat at the White House Easter Egg Roll. The president signs ... and then tosses the hat into the crowd."

never let it be said that Trump did nothing to bring any joy and laughter to my heart
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:11 AM on April 17 [60 favorites]


Nevada Senator Dean Heller and Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) are in Reno today hosting their first town hall. The camera work is very shaky, but it is being streamed by Action Together Nevada on Facebook here.
posted by memento maury at 9:13 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I'm betting more on senility than cruelty with the hat. Though, of course, with Trump you never know.

Here's what puzzles me: are the theoretically sane Republicans, both in the White House and in Congress, actually of the opinion that Trump's essentially random (but always bellicose and chaos provoking) bloviating on foreign policy is a good thing? Or are they convinced that it doesn't matter because [reasons]? Or are they just too afraid of the Trump Cultists to object?

I mean, from my POV it seems as if Trump is all but deliberately dragging America into the deployment of tactical nukes as a prelude to WWIII, yet the various theoretically sane and sensible Republicans seem blithely unconcerned. Do they know something we don't know, or are they just stupid and/or in favor of a war?
posted by sotonohito at 9:13 AM on April 17 [10 favorites]





I'm betting more on senility than cruelty with the hat. Though, of course, with Trump you never know.


I'm betting it was just that pathologically Trumpian impulse to turn every moment - no matter how inappropriate - into an opportunity for seeking adulation from a crowd.

See also his speech to the kids, which was incoherent unless you see it as a desperate attempt from his lizard brain to inject the moment with yet another opportunity for self-adulation.
posted by darkstar at 9:18 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


i can't tell if that hat thing is reflexive cruelty or further signs of his mental deterioration

Like whether Meliana having to nudge him to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem is a sign of his fundamental lack of patriotism or incipient senility?
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:18 AM on April 17 [62 favorites]


Meliana having to nudge him to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem

But the bunny is standing in exactly the right spot in that video!
posted by zachlipton at 9:20 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


Do [theoretically sane and sensible Republicans] know something we don't know, or are they just stupid and/or in favor of a war?

They are stupid and venal and in favor of war. They believe a war will not negatively affect them personally and in fact will likely enrich them. They also like swinging the USA's big foreign policy dick around, and think that the country can do so indefinitely with no repercussions.
posted by tocts at 9:20 AM on April 17 [50 favorites]


a sign of his fundamental lack of patriotism or incipient senility?

Given how oblivious and uninterested he is about almost everything, it's quite possible he's just clueless about social behavior. Or maybe all of the above.
posted by Fleebnork at 9:23 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


...waiting patiently while the Russia story simmers.
posted by davebush at 9:24 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


JudicialWatch has filed a FOIA lawsuit for EPA correspondence over Signal

Countdown to elimination of FOIA by EO in three... two...
posted by Room 641-A at 9:32 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Fairytale Prisoner by Choice: The Photographic Eye of Melania Trump
Everyone has an eye, whether or not we see ourselves as photographers. What we choose to photograph and how we frame subjects always reveals a little about how we perceive the world. For someone like Melania, media-trained, controlled and cloistered, her collection of Twitter photography provides an otherwise unavailable view into the reality of her existence. Nowhere else — certainly not in interviews or public appearances — is her guard so far down.
posted by monospace at 9:32 AM on April 17 [53 favorites]


> Fairytale Prisoner by Choice: The Photographic Eye of Melania Trump

Wow. I'm genuinely taken aback by these photos. There are really a striking number of them from the back. It's a very interesting look behind the curtain - even if, I'm sure, there's selective editing at work in the article.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:40 AM on April 17 [10 favorites]


that melania article seemed a little bit overcooked in the "over-extrapolating someone's inner life from a narrow slice of external evidence" vein

but the striking thing to me is that anyone would spend that much time inside of Trump's Schlubby Gilded Xanadu when all of new york city is literally an elevator ride away
posted by murphy slaw at 9:40 AM on April 17 [16 favorites]


New York is not exactly going to want to hang out with her. Maybe they could get her a nice quiet apartment somewhere out of the way where she isn't a massive security cost and she doesn't have to see Trump?
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Here are a couple of Washing Post articles regarding the Popular Vote Loser's rapidly diminishing poll numbers. The gist is that people, across most demographics, are becoming less favorably disposed to his the lies and broken promises.

The number of Americans who think Trump keeps his promises is plummeting
A new poll from Gallup released early Monday finds that a majority of Americans no longer view Trump as keeping his promises, with poll numbers on that question falling from 62 percent in February to 45 percent in early April, a stunning tumble of 17 percentage points. The drop was seen across every demographic group: women, men, millennials, baby boomers and people with political leanings of all kinds. While numbers sank the furthest among respondents who identified as a Democrat or liberal, independents who said they thought Trump kept his promises fell from 59 percent to 43 percent; even among Republicans, the numbers fell, from 92 percent to 81 percent.

The poll, which was taken between April 5 and April 9, showed that Trump's ratings fell on all six presidential leadership characteristics that Gallup measures. The percentage who think he is a “strong and decisive leader” also took a big hit, falling from 59 percent to 52 percent. So did the share of people who think he can “bring about changes this country needs,” which fell seven percentage points, too, to 46 percent. Just 36 percent see him as “honest and trustworthy,” compared with 42 percent in February.
This brutal new poll shows that fewer and fewer people believe Trump’s lies
It’s important, however, to drill down with more precision on what it really means that Trump is failing to “keep his promises.” There are several ways this is occurring, and they are distinct from one another. First, Trump is explicitly adopting policy goals that contradict black-letter promises (the GOP health-care plan that he championed would roll back coverage for 24 million people and deeply cut Medicaid, after he vowed “insurance for everybody” and promised not to cut Medicaid). Second, he is failing to unite the party to accomplish generally promised goals (Republicans have yet to pass anything that can satisfy the baseline need to be described as “repeal and replace”).

Third, other general promises may be in the process of running aground, or just disintegrating, now that the difficulties of translating them into detailed policy are proving that the original promises were unrealistic, rooted in bad faith or outright fantasies.
The Popular Vote Loser is operating on the same level he always has--grandiose promises not grounded in reality, then a rapid about face where he will try to offload the cost and blame onto everyone else. This guy is a typical Dixiecrat-Republican--pluto- an kleptocratic with amplified racism and xenophobia typical of Jefferson Sessions, Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, and David Duke.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:47 AM on April 17 [41 favorites]


Heller is using Rep. Mark Amodei as his shield in this town hall, he dodged the ACA question and let Amodei answer. Amodei's district is PVI R+7 and has never been held by a Democrat.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:49 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


For a minute I felt bad for laughing about the poor kid who got his signed hat tossed into the crowd, but then I realized that in the long run, retelling this anecdote will probably provide far more joy and value to his life then the actual hat would.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 9:49 AM on April 17 [83 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Despite rhetoric, Trump plan focuses more on staff cuts than good government

Cross-posting from near the end of the prior thread: Democrats fear that Trump has barred key federal workers from speaking to them (Washington Post, April 15, 2017)
The issue started in January and grew into such a concern that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) to track Democrats’ correspondence to the executive branch that have gotten no response. So far, Sarbanes said, there are more than 100 cases from the House.

...At the end of a list of complaints, Carper stated that “I am even more disturbed by the explicit statements made by GSA officials during this briefing that, beginning on Jan. 20, 2017, the Trump administration changed GSA’s long-standing practice of providing certain documents requested by minority members of Congress.

“During the briefing,” Carper continued, “agency personnel stated that its new practice only assures that such documents will be provided to the committee’s chairman.” Both congressional chambers and their committees are controlled by Republicans, putting Democrats at a disadvantage that did not exist during previous administrations.

...Grijalva said he was told that Fish and Wildlife workers couldn’t speak to minority staff unless they were called as a witness at a hearing. “I’ve been on this committee going on my 15th year,” Grijalva said. “This kind of response is unprecedented.”
Yup, the best government is one that dies from atrophy, then you don't have to draw a bath and hold it's head.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 AM on April 17 [40 favorites]


The poll, which was taken between April 5 and April 9, showed that Trump's ratings fell on all six presidential leadership characteristics that Gallup measures.

I wonder how last week's bomb throwing will influence those results.
posted by monospace at 9:51 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Fairytale Prisoner by Choice: The Photographic Eye of Melania Trump

I thought about posting this here last night, and ultimately decided not to (that's not meant as a criticism of you monospace, just where I ended up). I mean, this nicely suits my view of them:
In three years, Melania only posted one picture of herself and Trump. He dominates the frame; her face is in shadow and cropped out. It is both a selfie and an erasure, a depiction of her placement within their world.
But some of the conclusions are just annoying. Plenty of perfectly empowered, independent, and active parents avoid putting pictures of their kids' faces on social media. And this paragraph bugs me:
The public reason that Melania gave for staying in New York that she wanted to let Barron finish his school year. She didn’t want to disrupt his life. This is nonsense, an absurdity that she might have considered before supporting her husband’s run for president.
Why is not wanting to pull your kid out of school in the middle of the year "nonsense?" It's a perfectly reasonable question whether taxpayers should be on the hook for the consequence of that decision, but that's different than questioning the idea. And if she's responsible for the decision to stay in New York for now, doesn't that give her more agency over her life than she's being given credit for?

Ultimately, it's using very little data to a paint a picture of her that––I don't know, it's not absurd, but veers pretty far into fairy tale character territory instead of "real person in 2017" land.
posted by zachlipton at 9:52 AM on April 17 [18 favorites]


Why is not wanting to pull your kid out of school in the middle of the year "nonsense?"

I think the point is that surely his father running for and being elected president is much more of a disruption than switching schools in the middle of the year.
posted by something something at 9:54 AM on April 17 [24 favorites]


I noted with interest this morning that Trump was going after Jon Ossoff on Twitter:

The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!

At least we know we've got his attention.

This also made me realize how utterly out of the ordinary it is for a sitting president to campaign for a congressional seat by insulting the opposing party's candidate instead of showing up on the stage with his party's candidate to draw the crowds.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 9:55 AM on April 17 [36 favorites]


Ultimately, it's using very little data to a paint a picture of her that––I don't know, it's not absurd, but veers pretty far into fairy tale character territory instead of "real person in 2017" land.

I completely agree with that, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless. Here's the new First Lady of the United Sates, and we know next to nothing about her. We are reduced to essentially cyberstalking her Twitter feed in order to get a glimpse of what drives her.
posted by monospace at 9:59 AM on April 17 [17 favorites]


While numbers sank the furthest among respondents who identified as a Democrat or liberal, independents who said they thought Trump kept his promises fell from 59 percent to 43 percent; even among Republicans, the numbers fell, from 92 percent to 81 percent.

Wow, a ten-point drop among Republicans is significant, though inevitable when Trump keeps letting his mouth write checks he can never cash, Look for Trump to continue his bellicosity in order to make up the dearth of approval with the adulation for military action among the so-called "liberal media." But also, Congressional Republicans have to be wondering how closely they want to tie themselves to the sinking ship that is the Trump Administration.
posted by Gelatin at 10:02 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Reminder: The March for Science is Saturday; besides the main one in Washington, here's a list of satellite marches.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:07 AM on April 17 [29 favorites]


I'll be at the March for Science in Indianapolis. I already have the T-shirt and everything.
posted by Gelatin at 10:08 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Heller is using Rep. Mark Amodei as his shield in this town hall, he dodged the ACA question and let Amodei answer. Amodei's district is PVI R+7 and has never been held by a Democrat.

He's shitting himself because he's going to be out in 2018. If he was smart he'd stand up for his state and it'd make his state more competitive. But he's toeing the party line which means he's pretty fucked in 2018. Nevada is getting bluer as more of the hispanic electorate comes online and he'll most probably be a casualty of it.
posted by Talez at 10:11 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Think I'll go to our one here in Pittsburgh. It'll be my son's first march, which is a bit of a milestone. He still likes to "play canvassing" which breaks my heart a little bit every time.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:11 AM on April 17 [34 favorites]


This also made me realize how utterly out of the ordinary it is for a sitting president to campaign for a congressional seat by insulting the opposing party's candidate instead of showing up on the stage with his party's candidate to draw the crowds.

I'm not sure that Trump could stand not being the active center of attention long enough to stump for someone else.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 10:22 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


Until Congress is no longer GOP-controlled, Trump is going nowhere. The only solution is bottoms-up replacement which the GOP has carefully gerrymandered into impossibility. The time for activism was a long time ago.
posted by tommasz at 10:22 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Vox: 7 reasons why today’s left should be optimistic
It’s time for the left to realize that pessimism is an absolutely terrible selling point — and to downplay that aspect of left self-presentation. If things were terrible yesterday, are worse today, and are likely to get even worse tomorrow, this does not motivate the typical person to engage in heroic struggle to change the world. It is more likely to make them cautious, guarded, and determined to hold onto what little they have. To the extent the left wallows in a slough of despond about the state of the world, it only manages to undercut its ability to mobilize ordinary people.

Optimism, by contrast, mobilizes people. It allows people to raise their heads from the daily struggle for existence, envision something better, and believe it’s actually possible to get there. That makes the project of joining together with others to make positive change seem worth the effort it typically entails.
posted by monospace at 10:25 AM on April 17 [23 favorites]


The only solution is bottoms-up replacement which the GOP has carefully gerrymandered into impossibility. The time for activism was a long time ago.

Defeatist and not helpful. The Kansas race was much closer than expected, even if the Republican wound up winning. Democrats have to improve their messaging and run for every damn office in every city, state and county that they possibly can. We don't say "welp, hopeless!" turn tail and give up. I'm sure the Republicans would just love it if we did, but we're not gonna.

African-Americans, LGBT people, women, and other historically disenfranchised and oppressed groups didn't realize their gains by waiting for nice white men to hand them their rights. They demanded them, and that's what got results. "We Shall Overcome" is a rallying cry; "It's Too Late" is not.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:32 AM on April 17 [91 favorites]


I'm not optimistic that Ossoff will pull off the win in GA. It's that same gut tug I had in the run up to Nov 8.
posted by yoga at 10:37 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


The only solution is bottoms-up replacement which the GOP has carefully gerrymandered into impossibility.

Let's not do the "oh, no, the gerrymander!" thing, OK? Gerrymanders cut both ways. When you slice your advantage among a bunch of districts, that lets you carry it further, sure... but it also means that when things shift against you, you end up threatened everywhere at once instead of losing marginal seats and holding your strongholds. This is where we are today, and we can take advantage of a turning tide as the Republicans squander goodwill. Retaking the House in these circumstances is far from impossible.
posted by jackbishop at 10:38 AM on April 17 [45 favorites]


"A kid asks Trump to sign his hat at the White House Easter Egg Roll. The president signs ... and then tosses the hat into the crowd."

Correction: Teen leaned way over to get his hat signed, and Trump tossed it back to him. You can see in this second angle he was throwing it to the hat's correct owner. So in this one, specific, isolated incident Trump's not as bad as he's being portrayed.

I think it's important we don't spread unsupported negative stories. They just make it easier for Trump supporters to dismiss all the truly heinous things he's actually doing. I mean, surely there's enough terrible and true facts going around that we don't need to invent some.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:40 AM on April 17 [90 favorites]


He wants targeted murder of innocent civilians to be part of our military strategy, but he does throw hats back to the right people. Come on liberals, admit it, he's not all bad.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:50 AM on April 17 [34 favorites]


See, that's just the sort of crap I'm talking about, 0xFCAF, spreading spurious inaccuracies like that.

I mean, I'm sure he'd be OK if there was no targetting being done at all.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:56 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


I'm not optimistic that Ossoff will pull off the win in GA. It's that same gut tug I had in the run up to Nov 8.

This seat shouldn't even be in question for the GOP and yet here we are. Ossoff has an uphill battle but he can win this seat.
posted by azpenguin at 11:03 AM on April 17 [7 favorites]


Josh Marshall: people in the region are more worried about rash action from President Trump than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is really quite an achievement if you think about it.

i said the same thing, but i'm glad someone with no family in the area makes it legit
posted by anem0ne at 11:05 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


also, seriously, can we not go by "cities proper" for the measurement here, john marshall? look at the metropolitan area. it's 25 million at risk, not 10 million.
posted by anem0ne at 11:08 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


This seat shouldn't even be in question for the GOP and yet here we are. Ossoff has an uphill battle but he can win this seat.

I hope he does, because the narrative will be even more potent, but the fact that a Democrat is even in contention has to make Republicans nervous. It remains to be seen if the media will pick up the "Republicans running scared from their unpopular president" narrative they did when they fell for the whole tea party rebranding.
posted by Gelatin at 11:12 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Don't get me wrong, I hope Ossoff wins, too. I just....I don't know, call it intuition or whatever, but watching chrysostom's early voting updates and then seeing the gap close is giving me flashbacks.
posted by yoga at 11:16 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Optimism, by contrast, mobilizes people.

The DNC was totally positive. The RNC was totally negative. Fear motivates people too.

The thing is there's no single bullet that will mobolize all the people we need in all the places we need. The big benefit to the 50 state strategy is that it allowed us to approach each region in a way that motivated that region. Great if we can have an overall positive and honest message (like we did this year), but we have to be willing to get down and dirty in the districts where Trump won by fear and chicanery.

So, yes to truth and hope. But also yes to playing dirty in the places where that is going to help knock out Republicans.

And hell yes to taking over every state house and senate everywhere. Who is on that? Why isn't that a huge push?
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:17 AM on April 17 [16 favorites]


I think the point is that surely his father running for and being elected president is much more of a disruption than switching schools in the middle of the year.

I don't really care that much about where any Trump family members live except that I don't think the public should have to pay for it. We already cover the expense for one nice mansion and the security there. On the other hand, can you imagine the nationwide freak out if we had a female president with an 11-year-old kid that she basically never saw?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:22 AM on April 17 [43 favorites]


Surprise Spicer! He said this administration is going to "follow the law, unlike the last administration" re: visitor logs

I think I'm tired of calling him a bumbling idiot. He's a Holocaust denying creep.

Oh and he just said Trump's tax returns are still under audit.
posted by Yowser at 11:27 AM on April 17 [8 favorites]


I will be busking before the Boston March for Science, and I will be playing a set of science-themed songs (including a Nuclear War Synthpop Medley). After 8 November I've been donating my tips to various causes when possible, and this time I will donate to Science Club for Girls. If you're in a position to donate, I invite you to do the same.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:28 AM on April 17 [30 favorites]


Democrats don't even need to "play dirty" so much as acknowledge that non-upper-middle-class-white people even exist, and work toward breaking gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement.

Like, why is there all this effort to keep from doing those things? Why all these convoluted hang-wringings about reaching the hearts and minds of white conservative-centrists while completely ignoring "red states" and "red counties" because obvs the demographics there are 100% upper-middle class racist white people (who, wait, were the target audience to reach like five seconds ago anyway?...) and not like 80% disenfranchised poor people of color who'd love to see locked-in Republicans ousted or anything, that's just silly, we have data showing just how silly it is, a better strategy is to just ignore most of the country...
posted by byanyothername at 11:32 AM on April 17 [17 favorites]


If you want to be President, or married to the President, you're going to have to forgo some convenience and maybe live somewhere you'd prefer not to live. Too bad. Seriously.

We regularly give the spouses and children of our military personnel zero deference on this kind of thing, for a job that puts their lives in danger and pays 1/20th as much. I think it's fine if Melania has to put up with the same problems the spouses of thousands of servicemembers do every year. Shared sacrifice, right?

This is all to say nothing of the thousands of New Yorkers who are inconvenienced by Trump Tower regularly being a high security zone. Why does Melania get to put her preferences over theirs? They didn't choose to live next to the other other White House.
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:34 AM on April 17 [64 favorites]


CAIR has come out with a new site, Islamophobia.org, which outlines Trump Administration individuals' "Islamophobic rhetoric and behavior. The record starts with the president and continues in alphabetical order. This is followed by a list of individuals who are either being considered for positions, or who formerly held positions, within the administration. Finally, brief summaries of groups within the Islamophobia Network which possess close ties to the Trump administration are provided."

I'd like to have more clickable links for some of the reports, but I'm sure they've got their hands full throwing it all together and keeping up with events. It's a great start anyway, gathering all this hateful info in one place.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:34 AM on April 17 [15 favorites]


Don't forget "35 miles from the DMZ", is measuring from the city center. You can ride the subway up to the DMZ without leaving the city.

I just got back from a visit with family who live just north of North Korea. People in the region don't normally like to talk much about politics, because they remember the horrors domestic and international politics have caused that they have lived through. Wars and occupations by Russians, Americans, Japanese, Koreans, Guomindang and Communists have been a regular occurrence for the past 100+ years and only finally settled down in the 80s with the end of the Cultural Revolution and relative stability of the Koreas. However, almost everyone I talked to brought up Trump and their fear of him causing chaos and death in their homes. They would really like to go back to having the biggest worry be North Korean illegal aliens stealing jobs.
posted by wobumingbai at 11:37 AM on April 17 [17 favorites]


I'm not optimistic that Ossoff will pull off the win in GA. It's that same gut tug I had in the run up to Nov 8.

Price had been winning by typically 30-point or more margins. Even a ten point loss for Ossof would bode real fuckin' poorly for Republicans.

The sense we get of 2018 is all that really matters for this race. It would be nice for Ossof to actually win, but having the House go -1R/+1D in June is going to affect neither diddly nor squat.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:37 AM on April 17 [11 favorites]


Every single day of this administration is another round of "Surely this... ...No? Okay, then."
posted by lumpenprole at 11:38 AM on April 17 [11 favorites]


We regularly give the spouses and children of our military personnel zero deference on this kind of thing, for a job that puts their lives in danger and pays 1/20th as much.

Actually, as a former military member, this is categorically untrue. If you are separated from your spouse for whatever reason, including "they just feel like it", your housing allowance will go to the separated spouse and you will be moved back into the barracks in most cases. The military is extraordinarily accommodating of spouse and family needs. Just not yours, which is okay, because you signed up and they did not.
posted by corb at 11:39 AM on April 17 [12 favorites]


We can let Donald sleep in a cot in the Pentagon, then, and use the White House for other stuff.
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:42 AM on April 17 [18 favorites]


The military is extraordinarily accommodating of spouse and family needs.

But if you get orders for a base then your spouse is expected to move, not stay at the base where you had been deployed just because they don't feel like moving.
posted by winna at 11:43 AM on April 17 [18 favorites]


Trump has spent one out of every five minutes of his presidency in Palm Beach

Note that this doesn’t include the time spent on Air Force One getting to Palm Beach: This is solely time once the plane lands in Palm Beach or departs from there. (We did, however, include Trump’s visit to his golf club in Jupiter, Fla. on Feb. 11.)
posted by futz at 11:48 AM on April 17 [32 favorites]


But if you get orders for a base then your spouse is expected to move, not stay at the base where you had been deployed just because they don't feel like moving.

Pretty sure that in that case they just send your BAH-or-whatever-enlisted-get to your wife (or rarely husband) and don't otherwise formally give a shit, though they might well punt you out of base housing if that's where you are.

Unless the quality of base housing has improved dramatically, this would not ordinarily be a hardship.

Of course, people will notice that your wife and kids are back home in $TOWN instead of with you at Kaiserslautern, and gossip about that. And it won't help your career that your wife is back home instead of socializing with Mrs. Col. Unit-Commander like she "should be." This is where the expectation really is.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:53 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


The sense we get of 2018 is all that really matters for this race. It would be nice for Ossof to actually win, but having the House go -1R/+1D in June is going to affect neither diddly nor squat.

Well, a win would be better, and it's worth fighting for when it's this close to in reach. If he does win, Ossof will immediately be the most vulnerable Democrat in the House, and having a bit of time to build up whatever incumbency advantage he can though anti-Trump votes and being seen in his district would be huge for 2018, when Dems will need every +1 they can get.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:58 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]




Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism

...but not, significantly, instead of.
posted by Gelatin at 12:00 PM on April 17 [38 favorites]


Leaked Trump administration plan to close Chicago EPA office puts 1,000 jobs at risk
The Region 5 office oversees environmental protection in six states surrounding the Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. “It would be devastating to environmental protection in Region 5, the office that is the steward of the Great Lakes,” Cantello insisted.

Just a fantastic job again, Michigan and Wisconsin.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:12 PM on April 17 [41 favorites]




Don't forget "35 miles from the DMZ", is measuring from the city center. You can ride the subway up to the DMZ without leaving the city.

Well, it's more commuter rail at that point, but yes. It's the last stop before the one that closed permanently when the North cut the rail lines. That one was brand-spankin' new, and meant to be a sign of rapprochement. But then the relation soured. Again.

Takes a while though, so you're probably better off driving it.
posted by anem0ne at 12:22 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I am travelling to DC for the science march. Will any Mefites be there?
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 12:24 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


...even among Republicans, the numbers fell, from 92 percent to 81 percent.

The fact that someone like Trump can still get an approval rating of over 50% with Republicans is evidence of a political system beyond repair.
posted by Artful Codger at 12:25 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]


This is your regular scheduled reminder that there are races happening in 2017 and you should double check your locale and start talking to people

The primary for the NJ Governor's race is in just seven weeks. The seat should ultimately, rightfully, go to the dems, given Christie and all, but the state dems are pushing forward a corporate guy, Phil Murphy, and I'm afraid he's the one guy who could lose it for us. The other Democratic candidate is a Berniecrat, John Wisniewski. I'll likely be volunteering for them in two weeks.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 12:29 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


The fact that someone like Trump can still get an approval rating of over 50% with Republicans is evidence of a political system party beyond repair.

That's more like how I see it.
posted by Gelatin at 12:31 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Just left Sen. Dianne Feinstein's town hall. I took some notes and will have a longer report, but the short takeaway is I really hope she doesn't run again.
posted by zachlipton at 12:32 PM on April 17 [56 favorites]


The primary for the NJ Governor's race is in just seven weeks. The seat should ultimately, rightfully, go to the dems, given Christie and all, but the state dems are pushing forward a corporate guy, Phil Murphy, and I'm afraid he's the one guy who could lose it for us. The other Democratic candidate is a Berniecrat, John Wisniewski.

There are 6 Democratic candidates in total- I'm leaning toward Jim Johnson. I heard Wisniewski speak at a local event and was not impressed. I'll end supporting whoever the Dems nominate!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:35 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


but the short takeaway is I really hope she doesn't run again

She was okay for a Senator assuming office in 1992. But California has changed radically in 25 years. She's no longer okay.
posted by Justinian at 12:38 PM on April 17 [34 favorites]


The fact that someone like Trump can still get an approval rating of over 50% with Republicans is evidence of a political system party beyond repair.

That's more like how I see it.

You simply cannot contain the full spectrum of political opinion in a rigidly two-party framework. So yeah, system.
posted by Artful Codger at 12:38 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


You simply cannot contain the full spectrum of political opinion in two formal parties. So yeah, system.

Who said anything about containing the full spectrum of political opinion? Your quote was about Republicans approving of Trump, and that one opinion reveals something terribly wrong with their party.

I have no interest in re-litigating the fact that the American system tends to result in two dominant political parties and so is not a European-style multi-party democracy.
posted by Gelatin at 12:45 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


> Think I'll go to our one here in Pittsburgh. It'll be my son's first march, which is a bit of a milestone. He still likes to "play canvassing" which breaks my heart a little bit every time.

If it helps with the heartbreak, I can tell you that you now have empirical proof that this anecdote can give even an ontological nihilist hope for the future.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:47 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: declare all out war of but messed with.
posted by spitbull at 12:48 PM on April 17 [17 favorites]


The White House Snapchat can't spell "education" (as in "Secretary of")
posted by zachlipton at 12:54 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]


Pentagon Clashes With Civilian Aid Workers Over Planned Military Assault In Yemen: The Defense Department is in favor of providing logistical and intelligence support for an ambitious operation led by the UAE military to retake the Houthi-controlled city of Hodeida. But key bureaus inside the State Department and the US Agency for International Development oppose the initiative, believing it will trigger a full-blown famine in the country by closing the port where most of the humanitarian aid in the impoverished country enters.

During the meeting on Thursday, convened at the request of aid agencies, a Pentagon official tried to ease those concerns by floating the possibility that the operation could be “clean” and result in the Saudis taking full control of the port in “four-to-six weeks.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:58 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


"The Saudis will take full control of the port in four to six weeks, after which they will show their legendary generosity at last to the people their blockade - with our support - has starved. Triple-tap airstrikes will give way to sextuple-tap aid-strikes, and Yemen's children will rise from the dead in their families' joy."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:10 PM on April 17 [18 favorites]


When you see those polls about "81% of Republicans support Trump," keep in mind that fewer and fewer people are willing to identify themselves to pollster as "Republicans" or "Democrats" these days.

When you see that 79% of Republicans support Trump, those "Republicans" are in some cases only 23% of the poll's respondants.

As Trump's approval rating has dropped, so have the number of people willing to self identify as Republicans.

Also, in terms of a political system broken beyond repair... Things have been a lot more broken in the past. Keep in mind that within my grandmother's lifetime women didn't have the vote at all, and in practice neither did many African Americans. We had actual slavery (which, okay, took a war to end) but we also had Jim Crow, robber barons, child labor in sweatshops, Standard Oil, the Yellow Press, Teapot Dome, Watergate... America has always been pretty broken, but imperfect as our system is, people have succeeded in making things better before, and usually without an actual civil war.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:12 PM on April 17 [93 favorites]


Having spent all my time in Korea living in the Gangnam/Apgujeong region, I can't visualize "better off driving it," even when it's true. I frequently think what a bizarre one dimensional view of the country I have, even after living there for so long.
posted by wobumingbai at 1:13 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Indeed, OnceUponATime. I was just thinking the other day about the 1960s...we killed a president. And his progressive attorney general brother. And a civil rights leader who was going to lead us to the promised land. A lot more riots than there are now. Yeah, we've always been pretty broken.
posted by Melismata at 1:15 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Trump has supposedly called Erdogan (per the Turkish government anyway, so who knows who to believe, that's the problem with having a White House with zero credibility, other countries can say whatever they want) to "congratulate" him on the referendum. That's the referendum criticized by international monitors as one that "did not live up to Council of Europe standards."

Did the call start with "hey, so can you tell me more about how this becoming a dictator thing works?"
posted by zachlipton at 1:15 PM on April 17 [38 favorites]


The Hill: A senior North Korean official said Monday the U.S. has created “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any minute.”

North Korea has decided that merely rattling their saber in its scabbard is insufficient, and has just chucked it into a washing machine on the spin cycle.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:16 PM on April 17 [16 favorites]


I guess the question of whether the recent weirdness in Turkey was Russian backed is answered.
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Dear Republicans;

Everything you allow Trump to do, you give licence for the next Democratic President to do as well.

Remember that.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 1:32 PM on April 17 [16 favorites]


Welp, clearly the madman theory of foreign policy isn't stabilizing things.
posted by angrycat at 1:37 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


It would seem to me that North Korea should probably demonstrate an ability to detonate a thermonuclear device before threatening thermonuclear war. As far as I am aware they've only managed to blow up basic fission weapons and their attempts at thermonuclear weapons have been fizzles.

Not that someone killed by a fission device will feel a sense of superiority over NK's crude nukes in the fractional instant before they are incinerated.
posted by Justinian at 1:38 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


When you see those polls about "81% of Republicans support Trump," keep in mind that fewer and fewer people are willing to identify themselves to pollster as "Republicans" or "Democrats" these days.

Yep. I remember during later years of W. Bush's second term, as the Republican brand was growing more toxic with the Great Recession and the ongoing wars, there was a precipitous drop in the number of folks willing to call themselves Republican. But if asked, there was little movement in terms of who people were voting for.

Lots of people wish to conceal their affiliations so they become "Independents", for a variety of reasons (shame, coyness, intent to deceive, desire to appear moderate, desire to remain relevant or profitable to partisans of both parties, disgust with party politics, etc.), but probably retain quite vehement views about which political party they would vote for and which one they would never vote for. (E.g., Ken Bone.)
posted by darkstar at 1:38 PM on April 17 [10 favorites]


I guess the question of whether the recent weirdness in Turkey was Russian backed is answered.

Forgive my ignorance, but I haven't been able to keep up as well as I would have liked. Is this suggesting that Russia was behind Erdogan's autocratic play, or the coup against him?
posted by Existential Dread at 1:40 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


It would seem to me that North Korea should probably demonstrate an ability to detonate a thermonuclear device before threatening thermonuclear war. As far as I am aware they've only managed to blow up basic fission weapons and their attempts at thermonuclear weapons have been fizzles.

To be fair, if they detonated a fission bomb we would almost certainly respond with a thermonuclear weapon, at which point their claim is essentially correct.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:42 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


Forgive my ignorance, but I haven't been able to keep up as well as I would have liked. Is this suggesting that Russia was behind Erdogan's autocratic play, or the coup against him?
posted by Existential Dread at 15:40 on April 17 [+] [!]


y not both
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:42 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


the nice thing about being an international actor with an M.O. of sowing chaos is that people start seeing your handiwork everywhere regardless of what happens
posted by murphy slaw at 1:45 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


N. Korea dared the U.S. to cross their line and Trump said they better not say anything about his mom.

Good stuff. 8th grade level diplomacy.

'The Era Of Strategic Patience Is Over'

Fucking idiots.
Is Jakarta a real place? Anyone heard of it beside me? *slams head into desk* Some kind of shooting there recently?

So we chest thump at N. Korea, tell Indonesia (who are basically the other thing keeping N. Korea stable other than China) they’re screwing us out of money, and we send Pence there, because he wants to kick their ass over Freeport-McMoRan (mining) while there’s hardline Muslim protests (in the normally moderate country)

Nice. Perhaps he could bring some beautiful chocolate cake for Ramadan.

Y’know, the main reason why conspiracy theories don’t work – and this one is basically “big mining company colluding with the administration to rig foreign policy and make profits and laying off risk – like war, unrest, religious divisiveness, intolerance, etc – pug simple – but the gigantic levels of stupid make it seem implausible.

I mean Iran-Contra, yeah? Missiles, cocaine, black ops, lying to congress, all that. And Ollie North – whatever else was involved in – doesn’t know dick about his environment.
Who would have thought? I mean that seriously. It’s astonishing how utterly incompetent one can be and blatantly go forward with appalling projects with your whole ass hanging out.

That’s not hyperbole. Hitler in 1922 said “ Once I am I in power , my first and foremost task will the annihilation of the Jews” plenty of other uses of “liquidate” and so forth years before WWII. Mein Kampf he talks about gassing thousands of them as a good plan.
And then suddenly it’s a big secret at Wannsee?
How does that historical narrative not explode people's heads?

So, follow me here – China consumes a lot of copper (IIRC they’re #1) . That’s slowed down lately. (say, Freeport-McMoran, just as an asspull, shares are down 60% from three years ago) Trump meets with China. Talks tough about N. Korea. Puts Indonesia on the shit list. Then Pence is about to go on his eastern tour while a major American-Indonesian mining company (as an asspull, say a company that took a hit for bribery ) is closing a deal in Indonesia.

Hm. Is a levered macro play a thing? IDK much about money, so it’s probably just tinfoil hat craziness to think people would kill, manipulate politics, or manage a president, just for billions of dollars in resources


Rachel Maddow covered some of this

But it’s not as complex as it looks. Carl Icahn (et.al ) is one of the boys. He’s got a lot of shares of the company, the Trump family extorts(we got Uge bombz!) Indonesia (and China) and piggybacks some extra swag (resorts ‘n shit) on the deal.

Tense. Pfft. Yeah, they throw babies out of incubators out there. They gas people. Gotta kil’im!

I mean - the North Koreans don’t know they’re a joke. They’re not in on it. Yeah, they’re probably not going to do anything too stupid, but you don’t know for sure do you? Indonesian hardline Muslims aren’t getting cut a check. They actually do worship allah and believe in not drinking and so forth. It’s not a dodge, and they’ll kill or die for it.

And who has to fight them off if that happens? yeah.

It’s a stage managed crisis that could go seriously awry because these dunderheads know nothing about foreign affairs. They only know greed. And rackets.

I mean a lot of people have the "my country right or wrong" ethic working for whatever government, but the U.S. too.
Plenty of folks would cut someone's throat if it furthered the interests of the United States so morals and ethics here - completely off the table for purposes of my ...er...wtf, comment? 1/2 ass post? Manifesto? Screed? IDK.

Point being, it's not the moral thing that truly bugs me. Someone wants to make money on the side while serving the country, hey, I liked Peter Falk in "The In-Laws", made me laugh, ok, whatever. The morals are important but it's a political argument. We want to elect a dictator and screw ourselves, that sucks.

But some people will screw you even if you’re trying to work with them.


Like the scorpion and frog thing. I made money, but I'm going to fuck everything up anyway.

(Ray Liotta frames this mindset perfectly starting at 1:02 – short version : “He’s a douche”
posted by Smedleyman at 1:46 PM on April 17 [21 favorites]


Request for Comments on the Executive Order 13777 aka "Trash the EPA" is now open.
posted by H. Roark at 1:50 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Everything you allow Trump to do, you give licence for the next Democratic President to do as well.

You're mistaking Republicans for a group that plays by the rules or follows logic. If the next Democratic President did half of what Trump has done, they'd be impeached already.

Unfortunately, I'm no longer willing to bet on whether the voting US populace will reward that or not.
posted by Candleman at 2:00 PM on April 17 [19 favorites]


Not that someone killed by a fission device will feel a sense of superiority over NK's crude nukes in the fractional instant before they are incinerated.

let my final words be "well, actually--"
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:02 PM on April 17 [61 favorites]


I worry more about NK lobbing conventional exposives at local targets resulting in a escalation that leads to chinese nukes more than NK ones, TBH. I'm pretty sure those work.
posted by Artw at 2:16 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Jesus, it's only Monday.
posted by ovenmitt at 2:39 PM on April 17 [11 favorites]


> But lots less until the entire House is up for re-election in 2018

Only 568 sleeps...
posted by enfa at 2:40 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Jesus, it's only Monday.

Of Week 12.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:42 PM on April 17 [11 favorites]


Dear Republicans;

Everything you allow Trump to do, you give licence for the next Democratic President to do as well.


The Guiding Principle of Conservative Politics is IOKIYAR - that whatever you do, Its OK If You Are Republican.

There is no deeper logic or reasoning involved.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:47 PM on April 17 [35 favorites]


Dear Republicans;

Everything you allow Trump to do, you give licence for the next Democratic President to do as well.

Remember that.


Yeah, no, it doesn't work that way. At all.
posted by Rykey at 2:47 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, I had a hankering to read some Stephen King this week so I cruised past a used bookstore and picked up The Tommyknockers. Verdict: even blitzed on booze and coke in 1987 and writing on autopilot, he still sounds like Stephen King. Anyway, on page 88 (hah!) of the paperback, one of our viewpoint characters has an interior monologue about how broken American politics is. I read this a few days ago as some recent avalanche or other of mendacity was issuing from the Current Occupant:
You talked to people who had lived through one administration after another in which their elected officials told one lie after another, then lied about the lies, and when those lies were found out, the liars said: Oh, jeez, I forgot, sorry -- and since they forgot, the people who elected them behaved like Christians and forgave. You couldn't believe there were so fucking many of them until you remembered what P.T. Barnum said about the extraordinarily high birth rate of suckers. They looked you square in the face when you tried to tell them the truth and informed you that you were full of shit, the American government didn't tell lies, not telling lies was what made America great...
(italics in the original, bold added by me)

Off by only one word, thirty years out. Not bad.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:49 PM on April 17 [19 favorites]


let my final words be "well, actually--"

At least we'll have died doing what we love.
posted by diogenes at 2:53 PM on April 17 [30 favorites]


Off by only one word, thirty years out. Not bad.

I've been reading the entirety of Harry Turtledove's Southern Victory series, which posits an alternate history where the CSA won the civil war. It's... not noble prize winning literature, but it's entertaining enough.

Except one of the major plot points minor spoilers is the formation of a Nazi-analog government in the CSA behind a fascist leader backed by populist rage and their own stab-in-the-back stories and racist hatred and scapegoating of blacks. And so many of his speeches include literal phrases about "making the Confederate States great again", I've almost had to stop reading a time or two. Too close to home...
posted by jammer at 2:56 PM on April 17 [11 favorites]


The Region 5 office oversees environmental protection in six states surrounding the Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. “It would be devastating to environmental protection in Region 5, the office that is the steward of the Great Lakes,” Cantello insisted.

Coincidentally, I am sure, the steel industry in Indiana, the veep's state, has just been caught spilling toxins into Lake Michigan for probably the millionth time.
posted by srboisvert at 2:58 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Lots of people wish to conceal their affiliations so they become "Independents", for a variety of reasons (shame, coyness, intent to deceive, desire to appear moderate, desire to remain relevant or profitable to partisans of both parties, disgust with party politics, etc.), but probably retain quite vehement views about which political party they would vote for and which one they would never vote for.

I'm an independent partly because in my state it lets me vote in either party's primary as I choose. Given that these "internal" contests of "private" political parties are run and supported by the government, and it all happens on town-owned property, I actually think I (and everyone else) should be able to vote in both primaries at the same time.
posted by XMLicious at 2:59 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Ok. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's town hall in San Francisco.

To set the scene, the event was held at 11am on a Monday at a fairly inconvenient location. Tickets sold out fast, but the room wasn't full, even after they let the overflow room into the main hall. When she said "one last question," the local politician and Democratic Party staple who moderated the event (Bevan Dufty, for those who know the local scene) made her take all four that had been called up (people were invited to ask questions by lottery). So I'd summarize the overall approach as begrudging. Overall, this is a crowd that still broadly respects and appreciates Feinstein's work (she was greeted with good applause as she came out, for instance), but people quickly grew frustrated with her inaction and passivity.

Things didn't get off to a great start with her introductory remarks. I think a lot of people were looking for some degree of a "what's happening is not ok, and I'm going to fight" message. Even Nancy Pelosi a couple weeks ago, with her incredibly longwinded speeches, knew that was the message we wanted to hear and threw some red meat to the base. Instead, we got a bit of a complaint about how it's unfortunate that the nature of the Senate has changed and things were better before.

Then she held up a couple of pie charts and explained that mandatory spending is now most of the budget, crowding out discretionary spending, and this is a big problem now. To which I say three things. First, it's a political event at 11am on a Monday; most of us who made it are broadly familiar with the basic contours of the federal budget. Second, congratulations on identifying the main point that pretty much everyone who has looked at the federal budget in the last decade has noticed. And third, why the heck did you just grab the third rail of entitlement spending without even being asked? And if she's going to talk about entitlement reform for absolutely no reason whatsoever, at least she has something to say about it, right? Some kind of plan or proposal? Nope. She just thought she'd let us know it's a problem I guess.

I'd like to go into some detail on two related exchanges that took place, because I think it really sums up the entire theme: Sen. Feinstein operating in a very "politics as usual" mode and an audience that believes the situation is not normal and calls for, well, more.

One man stood up and said "everything you've been talking about is politics as usual." He gave an impassioned description of his mother's time in several "holocaust centers" and related them to Spicer's comments, Bannon, Miller, and Gorka ("an actual Nazi...in the White House in the United States"). "We knew a long time ago that politics as usual was over; we had a funeral outside your office for the death of politics as usual." She then tries to ask "what would you substitute it with?" He explains that she previously talked about the "red line" on Syria and now he wants to know if there's a red line for Democrats in Congress where they will refuse to work with fascists, because this is not normal.

Her response: "you've given me an idea, so I'm going to explore that idea" and asks for his name and phone number. Then she just says "ok. Next." Um. What now? It seemed as if this was the first time someone suggested she fight Nazis and she's going to have a good think on it. After a lot of shouting of "answer the question," she pretty much said it is going to be politics as usual: "you need the votes, so you can sit here and pound your fists and I can show you what I've done, and you can take a look at it, and I'd be surprised if you found too many Senators if any that have gotten more done...But I don't get there by making statements I can't deliver. I get there through some caution, some discussion, some smart help...and we generally get where we're going."

When a guy is talking about how many concentration camps his mother was shuffled between and is asking pretty literally whether she'll fight Nazis, "some caution" is really not what he, or anyone else, was looking for.

A bit later, another questioner was kind enough to follow-up on that. He reminded her that she can do things besides try to cautiously get the votes to pass a bill: she has the power of her voice. He told her that when someone gets up and asks her if she's going to fight fascists, we want to hear from her "loudly and strongly."

And in a really revealing moment, she responds: "wait, wait wait wait, does anybody believe that I am the least bit for fascism or anti-Semitism? My whole record indicates exactly not." Then she said the Judiciary Committee will have a hearing after the recess on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The questioner spoke for me, and I think most of the room, saying that he, of course, doesn't think she personally supports these things, but that we aren't hearing her voice in pubic against them, because the situation is not normal, and it calls for her to speak up.

When he suggested she has the ability to go on the news and draw attention to these issues, she explained that the networks have to call you. Which, of course, ignores the fact that clearly nobody is calling her cause she's not saying anything. Somehow, California reps like Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. Ted Lieu are developing national reputations by saying far more than Sen. Feinstein, and they don't seem to have a problem making their voices heard. The problem here is that she's not speaking up, not the size of the megaphone.

Another troubling point came when she discussed health care (she punted quickly on single payer, except to say she doesn't want a government takeover of healthcare). She pivoted to talk about Republican efforts to halt the cost sharing subsidies, saying that she just learned about this and read some memo last night about the House lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in late 2014. It's been a pretty significant story. While I don't expect her to know every policy nuance on every topic, breathlessly announcing that she just read a thing last night about how Republicans are trying to sabotage the ACA really gave the impression that she was uninformed.

Foreign policy was as contentious as you'd expect a discussion on foreign policy between a San Francisco audience and Dianne Feinstein to be (broad theme: we're not real fans of war). With regard to Syria, she made a show of saying that Trump now needs to put together a military strategy and go to Congress for approval, but I suppose she hasn't considered what will happen when that obviously doesn't happen (nothing, of course).

The other theme, which came up a few times, was essentially that she's one of a hundred and "you're asking an individual Senator to do something." Which yes, is what we're asking for, since she is our Senator. Nobody is asking her to unilaterally fix everything, but she fundamentally didn't seem to grasp that this is a new game now, and centrist consensus dealmaking is not the mode the Republicans are operating under. Everything had to be couched in cautious terms: we're looking at Russia in our committee, hopefully we can get more investigators; we're looking at putting together a lawsuit on Trump's ethics issues, if we can find out how much it will cost and get the money together; we're looking at use of government funds for the Trump kids' travel, we'll see if there's anything we can do. Every talking point felt five years out of date; every action too little and too slow. This was pretty well summed up when she said "it's just still April." People are looking for something more and something faster.

There are increasingly strong reports that Feinstein will run again in 2018. I really hope she doesn't. Leaving age aside entirely, people clearly want somebody who's going to fight, and she has time-after-time again indicated that's not who she is. Sen. Feinstein has been my representative almost my entire life. Every time I get particularly mad at her, I think back on one of the most haunting videos I've ever seen, her announcing the City Hall shootings, and I remember what a long legacy of public service she's held. But at the end of the day, California needs a Senator who we don't have to ask if she'll fight fascists. California needs a Senator who doesn't respond to that question as if it was a novel concept. To use the theme of the day, California needs a Senator who understands this isn't "politics as usual." From what I saw today, that's not Sen. Feinstein.
posted by zachlipton at 3:02 PM on April 17 [203 favorites]


I was just remembering back in the halcyon days of December when people genuinely thought that faithless electors would flip on Trump if they just listened to and quoted Hamilton enough. Unfortunately life turned out to not be like musical theater.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 3:04 PM on April 17 [13 favorites]


I knew exactly who Feinstein was when I sent her an email asking her to filibuster Gorsuch and got placed on her mailing list, and the first mail I got from her was about this bullshit, The Protecting Kids from Candy-Flavored Drugs Act of 2017, co-authored with Chuck Grassley.

She's dangerously out of touch and seems totally unaware of the unprecedented historical moment she's operating in.
posted by murphy slaw at 3:14 PM on April 17 [40 favorites]


Not for any political purpose, but just because there is omedy in it, I sort of want a mash-up video of every time Melania shows obvious dislike or discomfort with Donald set to the tune of "Separate Lives" by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:16 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Women Ironworkers Will Get Six Months Of Paid Maternity Leave
The new deal gives women in the industry a maternity package that few outside of Silicon Valley can currently access.
Bill Brown, CEO of Ben Hur Construction Co., called the benefit "an investment, because we want our well-trained ironworker women to come back to work."
posted by Room 641-A at 3:16 PM on April 17 [55 favorites]


Zachlipton: thank you for posting your notes from the Feinstein town hall! Flagged as excellent, and much appreciated.

I think one can appreciate Feinstein's many years of public service, and at the same time say that it's time for her to step aside. California, of all states, can afford to run a firebrand for Senate. And, as I've said before, California can set an example and pave the way for other states to follow suit. Maybe states with a majority of conservative, religious, white people will not be as far left as Cali for the foreseeable future, but they can be encouraged to maybe tiptoe leftwards a teensy bit.

If Ted Lieu chooses to primary Dianne Feinstein he has my vote!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:21 PM on April 17 [37 favorites]


Since Sen. Feinstein is having trouble understanding that this is not normal, file this report under "not normal thing #10072591": White nationalist claims Trump directed rally violence
A white nationalist leader accused of assaulting a young African-American woman at a Donald Trump campaign rally filed a countersuit on Monday claiming the president directed him and other supporters to remove protesters.

Matthew Heimbach claims in his federal court filing that he “acted pursuant to the directives and requests of Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump for President,” and that, if he’s found liable for damages, “any liability must be shifted to one or both of them.”
posted by zachlipton at 3:33 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Matthew Heimbach claims in his federal court filing that he “acted pursuant to the directives and requests of Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump for President,” and that, if he’s found liable for damages, “any liability must be shifted to one or both of them.”

Also from the article:
Heimbach, who is representing himself in the case, did not answer a phone call Monday afternoon, nor did he respond to an email message seeking comment.
Uh, LOL if you think you're gonna be able to offload your liabilities to the President, particularly one with this delightful penchant for fucking the little guy. The little guy who represents himself in court.
Noting that Trump is “a world famous businessman” who “relies on various professionals including attorneys and other professional advisors,” Heimbach writes that he relied on Trump’s reputation and expertise in doing the things alleged.
Extra LOLOLOL
posted by Existential Dread at 3:41 PM on April 17 [11 favorites]


Oof. This is a tough read.

WaPo: The night Clinton said what she never expected to say: ‘Congratulations, Donald’: “You’re going to come up short,” Schale said, stunning aides in Brooklyn who were, until that moment, comfortably cradled in the security of their own faulty analytics.

The call with Schale marks the beginning of a riveting account of the final, dreadful hours of Clinton’s long pursuit of the presidency, as told by reporters Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in their insidery new book, “Shattered.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:48 PM on April 17 [10 favorites]


Seconding Rosie M. Banks, flagged as fantastic, zachlipton.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:59 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


More on "Shattered," the new insider's post-mortem on the Clinton campaign.

NYT review

Excerpt in The Hill
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:03 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


I will read that book someday...but not in the near future. Too painful.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:06 PM on April 17 [59 favorites]


There are increasingly strong reports that Feinstein will run again in 2018.

She all-but-announced back in January. I haven't seen any sign of a "Draft Lieu" campaign fund yet but will throw money at the first one that surfaces, or really at any credible challenger.
posted by contraption at 4:13 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Tom Cotton booed at town hall for defending Trump on tax returns.

Cries of "do your job!" and "Time to repeal and replace you!" were heard.

All Representatives and Senators who are not doing their jobs should be confronted with chants of "Do Your Job!" like Cotton and like Jason Chaffetz.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:19 PM on April 17 [33 favorites]


The leader of 'Calexit' just announced he's abandoning the movement and settling permanently in Russia

Louis Marinelli, who has spearheaded the Calexit campaign since 2015, set up a makeshift embassy in Moscow in December in partnership with far-right Russian nationalists who enjoy Kremlin support while promoting secessionist movements in Europe.

"I have found in Russia a new happiness, a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ homeland, and a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed my entire adult life," Marinelli wrote on Monday. "Consequently, if the people of Russia would be so kind as to welcome me here on a permanent basis, I intend to make Russia my new home."


Welp.
posted by futz at 4:24 PM on April 17 [53 favorites]


"I have found in Russia a new happiness, a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ homeland, and a future detached from the partisan divisions and animosity that has thus far engulfed my entire adult life"

Is that Russia abandoning and attempting to scuttle CalExit, or is it the opening salvo of their CalAnnex movement?
posted by contraption at 4:28 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


I suppose a one-party authoritarian autocracy is one way to avoid partisan division!
posted by Justinian at 4:28 PM on April 17 [13 favorites]


Warren on Trump administration: 'God, it's like dog years'

"Donald Trump has only been here, not even 100 days yet — God, it's like dog years or something, it feels like so much has gone on. We've got to get focused on what we're going to do in the next week, in the next month. This man is truly dangerous," she said.
posted by futz at 4:28 PM on April 17 [69 favorites]


Is that Russia abandoning and attempting to scuttle CalExit, or is it the opening salvo of their CalAnnex movement?

It should be noted that California's economy is nearly twice the size of Russia's economy. We're not particularly afraid.
posted by Justinian at 4:30 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


It should be noted that California's economy is nearly twice the size of Russia's economy. We're not particularly afraid.

Well, it goes to show that some of the momentum behind the calexit proposal was part of Russia's playbook of identifying and exploiting grievances in populaces to destabilize rival foreign nations. I understood the appeal when a number of my lefty friends began sharing various calexit memes and articles on social media. Why should California (and Oregon, and Washington, and and and) be abused by an obviously hostile administration and political party?

But the underlying idea was incredibly flawed and unachievable to begin with. Setting aside the political impossibility of severing from the Union, water insecurity, an unstable nuclear power next door, and a host of other issues would have the potential to cripple any form of exit.

Russia pulling back now probably simply indicates that they recognize this effort to be largely ineffectual and not worth the resources.

Also, extra LOL:
Marinelli, who campaigned for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders but said he ultimately voted for President Donald Trump, described Yes California as a progressive initiative aimed at establishing a "liberal republic" independent of the United States.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:41 PM on April 17 [18 favorites]


Marinelli, who campaigned for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders but said he ultimately voted for President Donald Trump, described Yes California as a progressive initiative aimed at establishing a "liberal republic" independent of the United States.

This is what happens when you base your entire political knowledge on memes.
posted by Talez at 4:46 PM on April 17 [35 favorites]


Further support for my choice for the left's 2018 campaign theme, "Medicare For All:"

Catherine Rampell, WaPo: Sorry, Republicans, but most people support single-payer health care
A recent survey from the Economist/YouGov found that a majority of Americans support “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.” Similarly, a poll from Morning Consult/Politico showed that a plurality of voters support “a single payer health care system, where all Americans would get their health insurance from one government plan.”

Divining the longer-term trend in attitudes toward this idea is difficult, as the way survey questions on the topic are asked has changed over time. Views of a health-care system in which all Americans get their insurance from the government single payer vary a lot depending on how you frame the question. Calling it “Medicare for all,” for example, generally elicits much stronger approval, while emphasizing the word “government” tends to depress support.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:47 PM on April 17 [17 favorites]


So, the Trump Platform is: Russian Fools, White Anglo Fear and Dread.
posted by effluvia at 4:47 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


R. Eric Thomas, the guy who writes all the great articles on Maxine Waters for Elle, finally got to meet his idol, and he wrote a lovely article about her.

Auntie Maxine ought to be tired. I'm tired just writing those sentences, but from all appearances she is, to borrow a phrase from another iconic Democrat, fired up and ready to go.

So strong is her passion for justice, so deep is her commitment to getting the truth about the president, so ingrained is her skill as a community organizer, that staying home just isn't an option. Maxine Waters knows that this moment of viral lift is a rarity; she knows that 20- and 30-year-olds don't normally buy clothing with their congressional representatives on them. And so she's taking advantage of what she calls the millennial excitement to rally a generation for change.

It's working. Y'all may have had a good time at Coachella this weekend, but ain't no party like MaxineCon. Busboys and Poets is filled to the doors well before the event begins. An immigrant-owned space that calls itself a "community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted," the popular chain is the perfect place for the diverse, energetic, and largely young crowd that Maxine Waters brings in. When she takes the stage, the windows shake with the cheers. You would think Beyoncé was there. She was, actually. Maxine Waters is Political Beyoncé.

posted by triggerfinger at 4:54 PM on April 17 [35 favorites]


> Marinelli, who campaigned for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders but said he ultimately voted for President Donald Trump, described Yes California as a progressive initiative aimed at establishing a "liberal republic" independent of the United States.

Okay I know it's silly to pick out one bit of wrong from all this wrong, but, like, what the hell? What's the point of being from California if you can't even insist on the distinction between liberal and left? Sheesh.

This nitwit's from SoCal, isn't he? He better be from SoCal...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:55 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Rosie M. Banks: If Ted Lieu chooses to primary Dianne Feinstein he has my vote!

I'm still trying to make "In Lieu of Feinstein" happen. (As a slogan, since I'm not in California and can't force him to actually primary her. If I could, though...)

I just realized I haven't made guacamole since the election.
posted by Superplin at 5:00 PM on April 17 [23 favorites]


She all-but-announced back in January. I haven't seen any sign of a "Draft Lieu" campaign fund yet but will throw money at the first one that surfaces, or really at any credible challenger.

How is every Democrat in California not lining up to primary her? I know party institutionalism is huge, but she's horrible, and I highly doubt she's up for a heated primary fight or would fare well against an energized, motivated and informed challenger. There's a huge opening for anyone who decides to take it, Lieu or anyone else.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:01 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


How is every Democrat in California not lining up to primary her?

Very few Dems have the nationwide political recognition she does. Of the ones who do, Jerry isn't running for office again, and Gavin wants to be governor. Plus, I wouldn't put it past her to be a brutal campaigner against another Democrat.
posted by suelac at 5:09 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Feinstein does have her supporters. I remember several years ago my aunt mentioned the only politician she liked was Feinstein. I didn't hear much from her about anything political for a long time after that until she (knowing I was into politics) mentioned how much she loved Sarah Palin. And casually threw in something about Obama being a supersecretmuslimkenyan. So Feinstein does have her base in California. But...
posted by downtohisturtles at 5:12 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


> Plus, I wouldn't put it past her to be a brutal campaigner against another Democrat.

bring it.

When I meet Ted Lieu, should I meet Ted Lieu, I'm going to have to try real hard not to greet him with "give me a position tell me where the ammunition is"
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:15 PM on April 17 [19 favorites]


To take it one step further than suelac; they aren't lining up to primary her because she's probably going to win.
posted by Justinian at 5:15 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


It's no Korean Nuke Nightmare but today the President of the United States tweeted a recommendation for a book titled "Reasons to Vote For Democrats" by Michael J. Knowles, and that's interesting because he's not usually a book guy, but turns out it's just a bunch of blank pages lol get it
posted by theodolite at 5:16 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Only 1296 days until the next presidential election.

But lots less until the entire House is up for re-election in 2018, and less still until any state and local races this November.


This doesn't mean a thing if people don't vote. And for some ridiculous reason, a good number of Democrats can't be bothered to get out and vote in off-year and special elections. It's not convenient for them.

Here's a story from my local NPR station that covers why some folks didn't vote in our last gubernatorial election. You know, that's the one where the winner is now doing his best to close the last clinic in the commonwealth that can provide abortions.

I guess it's easier to just kvetch about it.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:16 PM on April 17 [10 favorites]


"Consequently, if the people of Russia would be so kind as to welcome me here on a permanent basis, I intend to make Russia my new home."


Does it look like I'm taking crazy pills if I point out that coming home to roost was literally part of the resolution in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?
posted by Slackermagee at 5:16 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]


Primarying Feinstein is perfect though, because of the way CA's elections are built; there's a decent chance it'll be two Dems in the final anyhow. So yeah, In Lieu of Feinstein.
posted by nat at 5:17 PM on April 17 [16 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Fun facts and scenes from the White House Easter Egg Roll and Tax Return Hunt (with pictures)
• Fabergé eggs were NOT initially considered but rejected as too Russian-seeming. This is a baseless rumor, just as everything to do with Russia is.

• The rumor that one of the eggs issued in the roll contains Steve Bannon’s soul — and if it cracks, he will vanish as if he had never been here — is also just a rumor.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:17 PM on April 17 [28 favorites]


> To take it one step further than suelac; they aren't lining up to primary her because she's probably going to win.

I am willing to wager that there is at least one Democrat and/or leftist entryist in California who does things not because they are easy but because they are hard.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:17 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]



Matthew Heimbach claims in his federal court filing that he “acted pursuant to the directives and requests of Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump for President,” and that, if he’s found liable for damages, “any liability must be shifted to one or both of them.”


I'm OK with this.
posted by ocschwar at 5:30 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


Plus, I wouldn't put it past her to be a brutal campaigner against another Democrat.

Well CA has jungle primaries which makes it difficult because you can be attacked on all sides.

If I wanted to unseat Feinstein I'd either go with well known Silicon Valley personality or Hollywood celebrity. Marisa Mayer was just unceremoniously dumped from Yahoo so she has a lot of free time on her hands. She's well spoken, reasonably attractive which, despite strides made, still makes it easier to get a female elected even in 2017. Ditto Sheryl Sandberg and Elon Musk wouldn't be the outside the realm of possibility. Going down a tier you have your Sam Altman and Jack Dorsey. Socal you have Clooney as an obvious choice, Affleck although he's going through a nasty separation right now, Kevin Johnson, Maria Shriver, hell even Ahhnold might want to give federal politics a go. Zuck? He's been umming and ahhing about 2020. You don't run for CA in '18 to go for President in 2020.

Now you can't get elected to the senate in California without the D (in b4 phrasing), so even if you're a libertarian or moderate Republican in principal just bite the bullet and run as a D. Once you're in you have incumbency advantage even if you piss a lot of leftists off. Hell, look at Pelosi. She consistently pokes the bear in San Fran-fucking-cisco and doesn't get punished for it.

I mean it's not insurmountable. But without Clooney or Sandberg you're probably pissing away a hell of a lot of cash.
posted by Talez at 5:31 PM on April 17


The rumor that one of the eggs issued in the roll contains Steve Bannon’s soul — and if it cracks, he will vanish as if he had never been here — is also just a rumor.
Steve Bannon has no soul. We regret the error.
posted by MikeKD at 5:34 PM on April 17 [10 favorites]


Muslims, LGBT advocates prepare to fight Mark Green's nomination as Army secretary

-- “The administration could not have picked a worse nominee,” said David Stacy, government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign.

-- President Donald Trump nominated Green, a former Army officer, a little more than a week ago to become Army secretary to replace Eric Fanning, the first openly gay man to lead a branch of the military.

-- It’s his political views that are the source of opposition to his nomination as Army secretary. His appearance at a Chattanooga Tea Party event in September has given his opponents lots of ammunition.

At that event, Green said he would not tolerate students learning about Muslim beliefs and religious practices and claimed erroneously that Muslims don’t believe Jesus “was born from a virgin.”

In the same address, Green called transgender men and women “guys or gals with question marks,” suggested Tennessee should not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and insinuated that permissive attitudes that legalized same-sex marriage could eventually open the door to using taxpayer dollars for infanticide.


Every nominee is a shitstain. This is infuckingfuriating.
posted by futz at 5:39 PM on April 17 [58 favorites]


A primary fight against Feinstein would be so damn ugly. There isn't really a single obvious challenger, especially not one with strong support both north and south. The heavy hitters are lining up to run for governor and likely aren't inclined to give that up to challenge one of the state's Democratic Party institutions, but it's possible that one of them decides there's way too many people fishing the gubernatorial pond and jumps ship. I feel like folks like Reps. Schiff or Lieu aren't going to want to burn every bridge they have with the party trying this if it doesn't work. Beyond that, it comes down to someone out of left field (read: someone with lots of money), a Tom Steyer or a Mark Zuckerberg or somebody.

Feinstein has decades of support from a lot of institutions in the state. A primary challenge would quickly start pitting, say, the nurses' union against the teachers' union, and it would start to look a lot like the 2016 primary all over again. I'm not sure people have the stomach for it.

And, of course, the money. It's a big state with some of the most expensive media markets. Who's going to pour millions into a Dem-on-Dem primary challenge? And thanks to California's jungle primary system (top two vote getters go on to the general, regardless of party), you don't just need money to win the primary and then coast; you need to sustain it all the way through the general.

Part of Feinstein's trick is that her centrism plays fairly well even down in Republican districts in the Central Valley. Given California's top-two election system, a firebrand leftist challenger is going to bleed support both from Feinstein loyalists in the deep blue parts of the state and from the redder areas.

The alternative is that she somehow doesn't run again. There's a small part of me that thinks someone on her staff is making her do these town halls to show her that times have changed and people aren't so thrilled.
posted by zachlipton at 5:43 PM on April 17 [30 favorites]


From the NYT article linked above: “Mook had made the near-fatal mistakes of underestimating Sanders and investing almost nothing early in the back end of the primary calendar,” Parnes and Allen write, and the campaign seemed to learn little from Clinton’s early struggles.

This is exactly what happened in 2008. Exactly. Obama racked up win after primary win because Mark Penn expected in to be over by January and had no plans for when it wasn't.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:00 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


"A kid asks Trump to sign his hat at the White House Easter Egg Roll. The president signs ... and then tosses the hat into the crowd." (Politico)

In the words of Bill Maher, this is a perfect example of liberals shooting ourselves in the foot.
posted by notreally at 6:02 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Zachlipton - thank you for that rundown. It was fantastic. Also, I think Feinstein will absolutely be primaried out. I'm behind Ted Lieu 100%. Today he posted a sit down with Chelsea Handler, entitled "Colluding with Comrade Chelsea Handler over coffee in Santa Monica" (facebook link) So I think he's definitely considering his options.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:05 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


In the words of Bill Maher, this is a perfect example of liberals shooting ourselves in the foot.

How so? i am not grokking.
posted by futz at 6:06 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Is that Russia abandoning and attempting to scuttle CalExit, or is it the opening salvo of their CalAnnex movement?


Just quietly showing other traitors that Russian residency is an available safety hatch in case the alternative involves lethal injection.
posted by ocschwar at 6:09 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


there's a decent chance it'll be two Dems in the final anyhow.

Which seems like an advantage for Feinstein. She still picks up a lot of Dem votes (incumbency, name recognition, money all big advantages) and is much more likely to pick up R-leaning independents and Republicans who would rather have her over a much more left-wing opponent. They either vote for her or abstain.

This last year we had two fairly liberal women running for Senator, so there wasn't a big advantage for either one. But Feinstein vs Liberal Challenger is one where there's a more clear "moderate" candidate to go for.
posted by thefoxgod at 6:11 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Every nominee is a shitstain. This is infuckingfuriating.

I remember in the Good Times when some crackpot Alabama state rep would propose a bill to ban sharia abortions and there'd be an outragefilter post about it where everyone said 'relax, this will go nowhere' and now those guys are running the entire federal government
posted by theodolite at 6:14 PM on April 17 [37 favorites]


It should be noted that California's economy is nearly twice the size of Russia's economy. We're not particularly afraid.
posted by Justinian


...that actually checks out. So, could someone please explain to me how in the hell Russia has a nuclear arsenal roughly on par with ours? I know there's considerable speculation re: degradation due to budget cuts following the Soviet collapse, but China has fully 10x Russia's GDP and Russia has 10x China's active nuclear warheads. So the relative GDP:Warhead ratio for the two is off by 100:1...
posted by Ryvar at 6:15 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


oh yeah everyone loves Steyer and Zuck and Leaning In. That is the transformative change that California is lining up behind. Brilliant idea.

1: Silicon Valley is a tiny part of the state
2: Silicon Valley twerps are crap at political campaigns (see: whatshername who hand-wrestled with Ted Cruz that one time)
3: Everyone hates Silicon Valley. Even Silicon Valley hates Silicon Valley. The place is a sprawling monument to the high-strung self loathing of the people working there.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:17 PM on April 17 [29 favorites]


in the words of donald trump, merdre

no wait, that was pere ubu

i'm easily confused these days
posted by pyramid termite at 6:18 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


...that actually checks out. So, could someone please explain to me how in the hell Russia has a nuclear arsenal roughly on par with ours? I know there's considerable speculation re: degradation due to budget cuts following the Soviet collapse, but China has fully 10x Russia's GDP and Russia has 10x China's active nuclear warheads. So the relative GDP:Warhead ratio for the two is off by 100:1...

You know how poor people have TVs and refrigerators? In some cases they weren't always poor and in other cases they're forty year old hand-me-downs.

Russia is both.
posted by Talez at 6:20 PM on April 17 [24 favorites]


Like basically what y'all are doing is equivalent to brainstorming for candidates for NYS Senate and coming up with a thousand hedge fund managers and no one else. The people you are naming have name recognition, but only because they're wildly unpopular.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:21 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Oh, come on. Diane Feinstein is the best Republican in the Senate.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:21 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]


The alternative is that she somehow doesn't run again. There's a small part of me that thinks someone on her staff is making her do these town halls to show her that times have changed and people aren't so thrilled.

I like to think that she's trying to call people out, like, "What, you got somebody better?" As much as my politics don't match hers, she's been in DC for a long time and knows the game, and thereby is a good wing to be taken under. Her successor wouldn't need to be 100% DiFi (but would probably have to be able to fake it), but you gotta climb the ladder, even if you're jumping over from the next one over.
posted by rhizome at 6:22 PM on April 17


oh yeah everyone loves Steyer and Zuck and Leaning In. That is the transformative change that California is lining up behind. Brilliant idea.

I was, to be clear, not in any way advocating either of those people should run for public office. I do not want either of those people to run for office.

But it seems that anybody who could primary Feinstein has to be: 1. a major statewide figure like a Gavin Newsom, for better or, usually, for worse; 2. a Congressman or local official who doesn't care about burning their bridges with the party; or 3. a wildcard non-politician with a lot of name recognition and money.

People who think they're 1 want to run for Governor. People in category 2 have a tough fight because they have regional support but no statewide base, which means they get squeezed from the left and the right in the general. Category 3 has huge problems––are we really going to get the Bernie Sanders grassroots to pour their hearts into a billionaire's campaign? This, in short, is presumably why we're not seeing much movement to run against her.
posted by zachlipton at 6:29 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah too bad there's no firebrand congressmember from socal who has been building up a statewide base by using twitter to tell an orange fascist to go fuck himself. If only we had someone like that.

This thread is full of 2016 thinking. Hell, it's full of 2004 thinking. It's the wretched year 2017 now, and California is ready for war. Things have changed. I'll eat all kinds of cake if any corporatist billionaire gets through the primary here.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:37 PM on April 17 [44 favorites]


All I ask is please, no Elon fucking Musk
posted by Existential Dread at 6:42 PM on April 17 [34 favorites]


Another troubling point came when she discussed health care (she punted quickly on single payer, except to say she doesn't want a government takeover of healthcare).

zachlipton, is this accurate? or hype?

Sen. Feinstein booed at town hall for not supporting single-payer

Feinstein got one of the worst reactions from the crowd when she refused to support single-payer healthcare.

“If single-payer healthcare is going to mean the complete takeover by the government of all healthcare, I am not there,” she told the audience. They didn’t care for that, or her approval of Trump’s decision to launch 59 missiles at a Syrian airbase.

posted by futz at 6:42 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Yeah too bad there's no firebrand congressmember from socal who has been building up a statewide base by using twitter to tell an orange fascist to go fuck himself. If only we had someone like that.

If CA could elect Ted Lieu to the senate it would send me to my happy place. Fingers crossed he eventually gets a chance.
posted by Talez at 6:43 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


“Mook had made the near-fatal mistakes of underestimating Sanders and investing almost nothing early in the back end of the primary calendar,” Parnes and Allen write, and the campaign seemed to learn little from Clinton’s early struggles.

It hardly had any impact as Sanders' Team didn't seem to be aware that a) the Southern primaries were a thing b) they were early on in the schedule c) Sanders would have to win some of them to continue to be viable.
posted by asteria at 7:02 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


In the words of Bill Maher, this is a perfect example of liberals shooting ourselves in the foot.

How so? i am not grokking.


Futz. His theory is that by making a big deal out of picky political feel good attacks on Republicans we are losing the war of influencing voters because it just makes us look like a bunch of pussies in the eyes of Trumps minions some of whom we must convert to be successful in future congressional elections.
posted by notreally at 7:04 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


zachlipton, is this accurate? or hype?

It happened fairly quick, as she pivoted quickly, but it's not all hype.

To be clear, the video clips posted in that article aren't about single-payer at all: there was one man who wanted the town hall to be all about him, and the crowd was not having it, with chants of "throw him out" (insert major grumbling here about how quickly many people were calling for the police to use force). He eventually quieted down after another warning. None of the shouting in the videos has anything to do with healthcare policy; it was all just about whether the man in the black jacket was going to interrupt all the time.

With healthcare, the quote is accurate, though she mumbled through it a bit. Checking my poor-quality audio recording, there was a short round of boos after, and then she went on from there to say "if single-payer means trying to work out some of the problems that are existing, we've got immediate problems coming up" and then pivoted to the House lawsuit about cost sharing subsidies, which she apparently just learned about last night. That is, of course, not what single-payer means by any stretch of the imagination. I'd also note that the question was explicitly about helping people, and not insurance companies, but she focused on the CSR subsidies, which are payments to insurance companies (they do, of course, help people indirectly).

I don't know that she explicitly praised the Syria strike (I may be misremembering), but she was broadly supportive, speaking about Assad's use of chemical weapons and criticizing Obama for doing nothing after he crossed the "red line." There were chants of "no more war" and she was called a "hawk," to which she asked that we avoid namecalling. One person asked a "question" that boiled down to: after North Korea nukes us here in San Francisco, I might be dead and Trump won't care about us, but please do not "seek vengeance or retribution" for me.
posted by zachlipton at 7:04 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


can someone use small words to explain a scenario where the jungle primary would be anything but deeply annoying
posted by murphy slaw at 7:05 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Am annoyed that CalExit is giving up. There's room for a replacement movement, but it's not likely to happen. (I got their petition-things to be signed. They have spots for 2 signatures per page; the rest is the required explanation text - arranged poorly enough that you only have space for 2 signatures on the page.)

I knew - know - that California hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of seceding. But I would love to see broad discussions about how that might work, what kind of economy we (or any state) could have, without federal interference.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 7:11 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


can someone use small words to explain a scenario where the jungle primary would be anything but deeply annoying

Sure. In 2016, a whole bunch of people ran who I've mostly forgotten, except the two winners, Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez, who are both democrats. So it was guaranteed that our next Senator would be a democrat, and then the general election happened, and a democrat got elected. The end.

(Seriously though, not to dismiss legitimate concerns with jungle primaries, but it can come out OK when one party both has higher state-wide support and focuses on a small number of candidates.)
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 7:14 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


From the R. Eric Thomas artcle linked above:

Now, as the night is ending and not even a cup of tea can salvage her voice, I ask her one last question. "Why should we have hope?" In the face of all that is against us, despite everything that is happening around us, why should we hold on to hope?

Maxine Waters' eyes light up; she sits up straight and fixes me with her gaze. "We should have hope because we've earned it," she says resolutely. "We've worked for it! It's ours." And despite the fact that I haven't even worked a fraction of the amount that she has, that the things she's earned for our culture and our country I could never repay, in this moment I believe her and I feel that hope. After all, when Maxine Waters gives you the word, you'd better listen.

posted by petebest at 7:14 PM on April 17 [49 favorites]


California hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of seceding. But I would love to see broad discussions about how that might work

It would stop at Step 0, because it's unconstitutional.
posted by rhizome at 7:22 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]


That said, I think a case could be made that you just can't go back afterwards and then try to litigate stuff that happened during the secession. So, it would have to be a permanent thing I guess. Look, broad discussion!
posted by rhizome at 7:24 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


In the words of Bill Maher, this is a perfect example of liberals shooting ourselves in the foot.

How so? i am not grokking.

Futz. His theory is that by making a big deal out of picky political feel good attacks on Republicans we are losing the war of influencing voters because it just makes us look like a bunch of pussies in the eyes of Trumps minions some of whom we must convert to be successful in future congressional elections.


not to even mention that this hat throwing went viral and got posted all over the place as an example of T-RUMP cruelty, when
in fact he threw it right back to the kid it belonged to as shown on a video from a different angle. But that video just isn't getting much attention.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 7:26 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


what if everybody in california stopped bathing and they let us exit because they couldn't deal with the stench and besides we were embarrassing them
posted by murphy slaw at 7:27 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


I knew - know - that California hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of seceding. But I would love to see broad discussions about how that might work, what kind of economy we (or any state) could have, without federal interference.

That makes one of us.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:28 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


what if everybody in california stopped bathing and they let us exit because they couldn't deal with the stench and besides we were embarrassing them

If they can put up with Trump embarrassing and looting the country to spite liberals I assume the stench of a bunch of liberals hundreds or thousands of miles away is water off a duck's back to see us squirm.
posted by Talez at 7:33 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


i mean i see the emotional appeal of secession but on the other hand i'd much rather drag the rest of the country along to the fully automated luxury communism future because, as a socialist, the only thing i like better than helping people reach a better world is doing it to spite them
posted by murphy slaw at 7:36 PM on April 17 [60 favorites]


Calexit is literally, no-fooling a Russian plot to destabilize and diminish the United States, and that includes a newly independent California. You. Want. No. Part.


Instead you want Puerto Rico and the West Pacific and Washington DC as states, and a constant drumbeat to revoke statehood to ND, SD, WY, MT and AK, as they have not grown their populations and economies enough to warrant ongoing statehood.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:54 PM on April 17 [76 favorites]


Trump will sign an executive order reviewing high-skilled H-1B immigration visas

Note that he doesn't seem to be going after H-2B workers, which his properties use for staff.
posted by zachlipton at 8:03 PM on April 17 [25 favorites]


fully automated luxury communism future

Important: it's fully automated luxury GAY SPACE communism. I'd ask Contact to send another GCU to explain it but they're all OH NO THAT'S THE CONTROL PLANET and MAYBE IN A HUNDRED YEARS and HEY LOOK I MADE MY GENITALS INTO A BONG WOOOOOO.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:04 PM on April 17 [34 favorites]


As I posted in the last thread, I think it behooves a state with the power of California to consider the circumstances under which it would reject the federal government.

I feel like people here haven't engaged with this idea very much, just treated it with reflexive dismissal. There are a lot of ways that California "secedes" without Ted Lieu climbing to the top of the CA statehouse to yell, "I declare secession!" For example, the Trump threat to cut off federal funding to states which he views as harboring undocumented immigrants is still "live", and it's reasonable to imagine that if that happened, CA might initiate an economic secession. Even if #calexit is risible as a brand, the idea of resisting the federal government is important to keep.
posted by TypographicalError at 8:07 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]


> You want Puerto Rico and the West Pacific and Washington DC as states, and a constant drumbeat to revoke statehood to ND, SD, WY, MT and AK, as they have not grown their populations and economies enough to warrant ongoing statehood.

Oooh, is this where I say that I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter? :)

(To be clear, I love the idea of forcing some empty states to combine or revert to territory status, but with two senators each, it's just not going to happen.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:14 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]


and HEY LOOK I MADE MY GENITALS INTO A BONG WOOOOOO.

Goddammit. I had one original money maker idea and you just went and ruined it...Unless I beat you to the patent office.
posted by futz at 8:14 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Instead you want Puerto Rico and the West Pacific and Washington DC as states, and a constant drumbeat to revoke statehood to ND, SD, WY, MT and AK, as they have not grown their populations and economies enough to warrant ongoing statehood.

I assume the second half of this plan is a joke, but if it's not, there's kind of a problem, inasmuch as there is no Constitutional mechanism whatsoever for the removal of states from the Union, either by expulsion or by their consent. Congress is explicitly granted the power to admit states to the Union in Article IV, Section 3, but no branch of the Federal government is explicitly empowered to undo such an admission, and I don't think any attempt to interpret the broadly defined powers of either the executive or legislative branch as including such powers would pass judicial review.

Basically, to revoke statehood, you'd first need to amend the Constitution to create such a revocation power, and then exert it.
posted by jackbishop at 8:18 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Last GA-06 updates!

* Late poll from Emerson:
Ossoff 43%
Handel 17%
Gray 15%
Moody 9%

In head-to-heads, Ossoff trails by 3-5 points, but all within MOE.
* Final thoughts from 538. Basically: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. They do point out that in the second round, you not infrequently see the "add up the party votes" loser actually go on to win.

* New Yorker write-up.

* If it goes to round 2, Handel is the most likely opponent. Most polls have Ossoff edging her. Anecdotally, people seem pretty underwhelmed with her skills. I've seen "the Martha Coakley of Georgia" more than once.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:21 PM on April 17 [10 favorites]


So I'm hearing we can unite with the ultra conservatives for a referendum for such a thing and watch as Putin laughs at the ensuing shitshow as both conservative states like Texas and liberal ones like Oregon and California all break away from the federal government, depriving it of the West coast and sections of the southern half of the united States.

Insanity ensues. I need more weed for these crazy times.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:22 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


secession was dumb when the south tried it and its dumb now that people 'just want to discuss' a russian plot to break california from the union. if you want to discuss a californian economic embargo with the federal government, then by all means do that, but dont do it under the brand of calexit.
posted by localhuman at 8:39 PM on April 17 [46 favorites]


Can I just grumble again about the futility of a "50 state strategy" and wanting to win elections in Montana, KS, etc... while simultaneously talking about secession or actually taking statehood away from some rural states?

You don't like or care about these people? You don't want to share a country with them, or give them a voice in government if we must share? I sure hope you aren't counting on their votes any time soon, then.

Even when less explicit, people in these states pick up on this kind of contempt coming from our side. And they will not vote for people who feel contempt for them. Would you?
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:42 PM on April 17 [20 favorites]


Basically, to revoke statehood, you'd first need to amend the Constitution to create such a revocation power, and then exert it.

I figured that was implied. Pass an amendment to the Constitution mandating contiguous states with less than 2% (or whatever) of the population of the country be combined into larger states, with it kicking in every 40 years or something. That would make complete sense, improve the functioning of our democracy, and therefore has absolutely no chance whatsoever of actually happening.
posted by Justinian at 8:47 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


As I posted in the last thread, I think it behooves a state with the power of California to consider the circumstances under which it would reject the federal government. I feel like people here haven't engaged with this idea very much, just treated it with reflexive dismissal.

What you posted in the last thread was framed in terms of California seceding; you're framing this question, too, as California seceding. America has been there and done that: not only the Civil War, but a long history before and after the war of civic and judicial engagement with the idea of state nullification of federal law. This is a debate that pre-dates the Constitute, going back to the discussions that informed the Articles of Confederation. You can't have an 'economic' secession without, at some level, invoking the political question of who authorizes it, who implements it, who, state or fed, has the final say -- the economics are not separable from the political.

This is a framing issue: if you're posing your question, as you've done a few times, as 'when should we oppose the federal government,' then it's not really 'reflexive' dismissal; it's a 'there's nothing that's compelling and new in this situation to warrant revisiting a question that has been discussed often and at length' dismissal. If you're framing your question as 'should we oppose federalism' -- which is what your last question did ('Politicians have to know that serious resistance to federalism is sanctioned by their electorate'), that question is largely asked and answered: opposition to the current administration is not the same thing as opposition to federalism as an idea, and I'm unclear on why you keep conflating the two.

Sanctuary cities are a good example of rejecting specific federal policies without rejecting federalism: cities have to set priorities for policing, and there's no particular reason that those priorities need to align with the government's priorities. Sanctuary cities break no laws; they raise no questions about the relation of city to state, or state to country, no matter how much Sessions & Trump claim they do.

And of course, segregated schools: the federal government stepping in to enforce the rule of law is not in and of itself a bad thing. States, fundamentally, should not have the right to abrogate fundamental rights.

Suggesting that states 'should consider rejecting the federal government' is very close to saying that states should have the right to reject the federal government; they shouldn't. But understand that some reluctance to engage with this as a thought experiment is because it's the same general line of reasoning that has, historically, been trotted out to justify denying rights more often than it has been used to expand them, so it's fraught -- a successful-but-peaceful California semi-secession sets the stage for widespread reprisals in red states in the event that the Democrats retake congress in 2018. It sets the stage for undoing any of the good a non-Republican President might do in 2020.

Fundamentally, the issue here isn't really federal power: it's the specific and terrible things that the Trump administration is doing. Solutions, short and long term, that are geared towards resisting or preventing those, or undoing them in the future, that don't risk fracturing the Union, are preferable. We need to treat the whole problem, not merely the symptoms, no matter how terrible the symptoms are; and secession -- no matter how well intended -- runs the risk of killing the patient. We're still, as a nation, recovering from the last attempt.
posted by cjelli at 8:48 PM on April 17 [37 favorites]


I was attempting to parody the futility of it with my comment but to no avail. A /s tag should go with that.

In all seriousness, what is the mechanism/precedent for a popular vote to amend the Constitution? Something like that could galvanize the liberals to redraw the House districts or any number of other things that would actually improve our lives.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:51 PM on April 17


In all seriousness, what is the mechanism/precedent for a popular vote to amend the Constitution?

There is no mechanism for a popular vote to amend the Constitution. It would take passing a Constitutional Amendment to make it possible to do so. The only way to amend the Constitution is for 38 of the 50 states (75%) to ratify an Amendment proposed by either 2/3rd majorities in both Houses of Congress or those proposed at a Constitutional Convention called by 2/3rds of the States.

Note that Republicans are right on the verge of being able to propose amendments in a Constitutional Convention but are still 7-8 states short of being able to ratify those amendments.

The doomsday scenario for the United States is for geographic sorting to result in Democrats and aligned parties being a strong majority of the country (55%+) but being so clustered as to be majorities in only 10 or 11 states, such that Republicans are able to pass Constitutional amendments by dominating 38 or 39 states which consist of mostly empty farmland and wilderness. I don't see how civil war would be avoided in such a case.
posted by Justinian at 9:00 PM on April 17 [13 favorites]


You don't like or care about these people? You don't want to share a country with them, or give them a voice in government if we must share? I sure hope you aren't counting on their votes any time soon, then.

No, they can have a voice. But we want a system where they don't win total control of every branch of government anyway despite losing the popular vote at every single level.

This isn't some tyranny of those smug liberals, the fucking rurals are oppressing us.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:02 PM on April 17 [20 favorites]


He's violated at least 4 articles of the Constitution. What is lacking is the political will in Congress to impeach him. Until you have that, your left with either violent overthrow, or get used to President Trump.

Take your pick.

And marches mean nothing if voter turnout is as low as the last election.
posted by prepmonkey at 9:06 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


Pass an amendment to the Constitution mandating contiguous states with less than 2% (or whatever) of the population of the country be combined into larger states, with it kicking in every 40 years or something.

I don't know how much people care about this, but... in anything but a totally uniform distribution of people among states, it is to be expected that some states will fall under 2% (which is 1/50th) of the population. With the real population distribution as it stands, the bottom 32 states each fall below 2% of the total population.

If we expect state populations to follow Zipf's law, the least-populous of 50 states would be expected to be about 0.4% of the population. Even so, the 10 least-populous states fail even that standard.
posted by Jpfed at 9:08 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


[Folks, this isn't a secession thread and this derail has gone on for a while. Let's rein it in. Thanks/ ]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:08 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]


Hey so y'all are doing math that has nothing to do with the workings of real power, and it's confusing that you're doing it, and it's confusing why you're doing it. It's Utopian, in that you're presenting an argument for the rationalization of the workings of power without proposing any mechanism whatsoever that could bring that rationalization about, but it's not Utopian, in that the particular rationalization in question doesn't in any way make for a more pleasant society. I don't get it.

proposals for schemes that would require a revolution to happen should be at least as appealing as the standard "worker's councils establish workplace democracy -> workers arm in the name of the councils -> smash the bourgeois state" fantasy, or there's no point to the proposal. That's the floor. No one's going to do anything that would require a war (like your proposal would) unless it's at least as good as the orthodox Leninist scheme.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:31 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


You may want to consider that not everyone finds the orthodox Leninist scheme an appealing outcome.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:43 PM on April 17 [14 favorites]


regardless, it beats the pants off of "fight war to strip statehood from several sparsely populated states." like what is that even.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:47 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


This isn't some tyranny of those smug liberals, the fucking rurals are oppressing us.


Hi, I live in a rural town in a red state and this is exactly the kind of rhetoric that makes me embarrassed to be a Democrat.

Lumping together everyone in a state, whether it's New York or Wyoming, and assuming they all have the same attitude and politics is really not helping make things better here.
posted by mmoncur at 9:51 PM on April 17 [41 favorites]


My favorite political fantasy at the moment is the one where Democrats learn something from Hilary's loss and Feinstein gets an energetic primary challenger.
posted by BeginAgain at 9:53 PM on April 17 [15 favorites]


Would you be less embarrassed to be a Democrat if socialists took it over from the inside asking for a friend.

but yeah I'm so relentlessly city that I don't know how to drive and I'm embarrassed by this "strip statehood of sparse states" stuff. it's silly. if you had enough power to do that bad thing you're talking about you could just give the economy a thorough Piketty-ing instead and spare the world some misery.

p.s. the new kim stanley robinson is great
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:55 PM on April 17 [10 favorites]


You only have to take a quick look at the writings of Will Rogers to know that Democrats can't seem to learn anything.
posted by Quonab at 9:57 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


NYT: Trump’s Unreleased Taxes Threaten Yet Another Campaign Promise
As procrastinators rushed to file their tax returns by Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, emphasized again on Monday that Mr. Trump had no intention of making his public. Democrats have seized on that decision, uniting around a pledge not to cooperate on any rewriting of the tax code unless they know specifically how that revision would benefit the billionaire president and his family.

And a growing roster of more than a dozen Republican lawmakers now say Mr. Trump should release them.
[…]
Polls show that a majority of Americans, including most Republicans, would like Mr. Trump to release his tax returns, according to the Republican pollster Frank Luntz. However, the issue is a low priority for voters.

“You’re not going to change someone’s opinion of Trump merely by what’s in his tax returns,” Mr. Luntz said.
I think Luntz is wrong. Swayable Trumpists are already coming around on healthcare and budget issues, and if they find out that he's not a billionaire it might be be the last straw.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:33 PM on April 17 [13 favorites]


WaPo: Two plaintiffs join suit against Trump, alleging breach of emoluments clause
CREW had originally filed suit against Trump in federal court in January, alleging that — by continuing to own his business, which rents out hotel rooms and meeting spaces to other governments — Trump had violated the constitutional provision that bans “emoluments” from foreign powers.

Legal experts had said that the case faced a serious hurdle: It wasn’t clear that the watchdog group actually had standing to sue in the first place. What harm had it suffered, specifically, because of Trump’s actions?

The new plaintiffs are intended to offer an alternative answer to that question. Both say that, as direct competitors of Trump’s restaurants and hotels, they may lose foreign clients, who may book with Trump properties to curry favor with the president.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:37 PM on April 17 [33 favorites]


Swayable Trumpists are already coming around on healthcare and budget issues, and if they find out that he's not a billionaire it might be be the last straw.

Hm. I doubt that'd matter.

In modern America, successfully acting like a billionaire is probably more respected than actually being one. It speaks right to that aspirational thing that makes people cheer for winning sports teams and worship the wealthy in the first place.

That is, how the Kardashians act is what makes them, not their bottom lines.

Pardon the pun.
posted by rokusan at 10:48 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Women on Supreme Court Are Interrupted 3 Times More Often Than Male Justices, Study Says - And Ruth Bader Ginsburg is stopped mid-sentence six times more than Samuel Alito or John Roberts

After mansplaining, the next worse thing for a woman is to be repeatedly interrupted by a man. Especially if you are a female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

But female Supreme Court justices are being interrupted by the male justices at approximately three times the rate of their male colleagues during oral arguments, according to a new study to be published in the Virginia Law Review this fall.

Male justices are not the only ones interrupting the women justices.

“Our findings clearly establish that women on the Supreme Court . . . are interrupted at a markedly higher rate” by “both male justices and male advocates,” Northwestern Law School professor Tonja Jacobi said in the report she co-authored with Northwestern Law School student Dylan Schweers.


The court has a rule against interrupting justices, but Chief Justice Roberts does not routinely enforce it when the female justices are interrupted, the study says.


-- “Indeed, the more women on the Court, the more they are interrupted,” the study says. “This suggests that rather than getting acclimated to having to share the Bench with women, men may be becoming more hostile to the incursion of women into their traditional domain.”

Jacobi and Schweers say that this is “consistent with social science literature showing that traditional elites, such as legislators, feel threatened by the entry of nontraditional members into their realm and act more aggressively to the interlopers in an attempt to protect their privilege.”

The male-female interruptions are not just bad manners; they can skew the outcome of court decisions toward a conservative outcome, the report argued.


If I flip an already flipped table and it lands on its legs is it still a flipped table or does it violate the spirit of flipping a table which is to upend the table and render it useless?

I agree with me in this case and will flip all already flipped tables until they are FUBAR'd. Dilemma solved.
posted by futz at 10:54 PM on April 17 [89 favorites]


You may want to consider that not everyone finds the orthodox Leninist scheme an appealing outcome.

Trotskyist, are ya?!?
posted by msalt at 11:36 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Eric Trump: 'The world will be a safer place because of my dad'

-- "They all got it wrong. Every single one of them," he says of America's liberal media. It's a remark delivered with the same satisfaction as if the victory was only yesterday.
"You know, we were a family who has never had anything to do with politics… so the learning curve was amazing."

The biggest lesson he learned was "how dishonest and disconnected the media were from the American population. I also realised how mean the process is. It's something that is not spoken about enough".

-- What is the one thing that is said which hurts his father the most?

"The falsehoods. He is the one person who did not need this job. He is a man who has achieved every aspect of success - wealth, family - in fact so many people often come up to me and talk about him and the concept of the American dream. He is the epitome of the American dream."

The best personal advice his father gave him, he says, is: "Loyalty. He is the kind of guy who is immensely loyal to a fault."

And on the flip side he says: "He never forgets disloyalty. There are a lot of people who are on the middle of that bell curve but he is on one side or the other. He would give the shirt off his back for someone who was loyal and he would give the shirt off his back for his family."


This is really weird for many reasons:

One notable influence that helped to shape Eric and his siblings was the fact that the Trump kids, Ivanka, Eric and Don Junior, were reared with the help of two Irish nannies, Dorothy Curry from Cavan and the late Bridget Carroll from Co Kerry.

-- Illustrating their bond, he says, "She was part of the group. My wife is pregnant, and when we announced it and called the family, she is pretty much the only person outside the family (she's inside the family) but who is non-blood, that knew at the same time.

"So I feel like I have a lot of Irish heritage in me based on her, based on the fact that I was coming over here with her every single summer. And, again, it wasn't like I was going to Dublin and staying in some hotel. I mean this was real Ireland. She would take a car and we drove all over Ireland together - it was a lot of fun."


For a family who talks about their superior genes to claim that they have Irish heritage via osmosis/diaper changing is...odd. That aside, who refers to someone in terms of blood or non-blood relations and means it sincerely as a description? Ya, you know who.

No one has been able to solve the problem of North Korea. Does he think his father is the man do it?

"Yes. I think he will. Quite frankly, I don't think anybody tried to solve the problem [in the past] and one thing I can say, and who knows what happens, again I have nothing to do with the administration, I don't discuss these things with the administration, no different than I don't discuss business with him


SO many lies in 2 sentences.
posted by futz at 11:43 PM on April 17 [23 favorites]


So the takeaway from that is that Eric Trump is at least as detached from reality as his father. not surprised by that, but it's worthy of note.
posted by Archelaus at 12:27 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


In an earlier thread I defended proposals to add states, increase the total number of reps in the House, or even (though I am least comfortable with this one) "pack" the Supreme Court, as "not table-flipping, but rather trying to keep the table flippers away from the game." All of those moves are both historically precedented and constitutional, I believe. Moreover, they don't strip anyone of their rights or representation (though they change the balance of power), and they don't destroy the Union or require us to disregard or even to ammend the Constitution. And they might be necessary at some point to fix the systematic under representation of city-dwellers. Because yeah, that's bad.

Secession or "stripping statehood" are different. Unprecedented, unconstitutional, and profoundly disrespectful of our fellow Americans and their rights and voice our government. That kind of thinking leads to hatred, terrorism, and civil war in other places, and has historically in the US as well. Ugh.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:35 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]


I find it hard to imagine that Xi didn't cover the death of Kim Jong 'I told you I was' Il.
Trump also made two references in the interview to “this gentleman” in North Korea, who he said had “outplayed” both Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The late North Korean ruler Kim Jong Il died in 2011. His son, Kim Jong Un, is the country’s current ruler.

“But, you know, they’ve been talking with this gentleman for a long time,” Trump said. “You read Clinton’s book, he said, ‘Oh, we made such a great peace deal,’ and it was a joke. You look at different things over the years with President Obama. Everybody has been outplayed, they’ve all been outplayed by this gentleman. And we’ll see what happens. But I just don’t telegraph my moves.” [TPM]
Yes, it does look a bit like senility.
posted by jaduncan at 12:41 AM on April 18 [17 favorites]


Trump Diplomacy can be expected to be the same massive success as Trump Steaks... or Trump University... or the Trump Taj Mahal. Kim won't need any atomic bombs to destroy Seoul; Trump will do for it what he did for Atlantic City.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:56 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Honestly, the most astounding thing about that quote is that Trump professes to have knowledge of something inside a book. I mean, he completely botches it up to the point that he has no clue who runs North Korea, but still he actually cites a book without his own name on the cover.
posted by zachlipton at 1:03 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Trump is senile as fuck. At least he's having a good time though. It doesn't excuse his prior actions, but nobody with the mind of a child deserves to be tortured. Can't he go to a happy farm with the other misfit toys?
posted by SakuraK at 1:08 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Didn't Reagan also show a lot of signs of senility? Granted, the winner of that particular popularity contest had come to fame by playing cowboys, rather than the guy who shuts down the orphanage on Christmas Eve, but
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:29 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Gawd, at what point can we ignore the Trump family (Ivanka! Jared!) and their hangers-on (Kellyanne! Racist Stephen! Other Racist Stephen!) This is getting ridiculous.
posted by SakuraK at 1:39 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


(Ignore, not ignite. Good night.)
posted by SakuraK at 1:41 AM on April 18


Sadly, not for a very long time. This is our life now.
posted by Justinian at 2:15 AM on April 18 [10 favorites]


Ignore, ignite, both acceptable
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:13 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]


For some weird reason I feel like some people may need to reread this meta about being respectful to people in rural areas. This meta happened partially because of a recurrent problem of people making dismissive comments that could be summed up as "fuck Florida" or "fuck the south" and this whole statehood revocation thing sounds to me like the same thing times 100.
posted by heatvision at 4:27 AM on April 18 [24 favorites]


Depressing link:

New Mexico Gov. Martinez vetoes higher education funding. All of it.

Actual Facebook comment on that depressing link:

"Yeah, but it's in New Mexico, so, who cares, right? New Mexico is one of the trash states. We don't really need that one, it's just .. there."

Encouraging link:

7 reasons why today’s left should be optimistic

Seriously guys. Let's go out and get votes in New Mexico and Montana and North Carolina and Florida. We can get 'em! My Kansas friends hate Brownback and my Oklahoma friends want their kids' schools funded! It's election day in Georgia and the Democrat actually has a shot (stolen voting machines not withstanding...) But we have to respect those voters to get their votes. So just keep it together, okay?
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:35 AM on April 18 [14 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Reminder from earlier: not a secession (revocation, etc.) thread. ]
posted by taz at 4:40 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


That happened before the 2016 election.

It sucks, but, if you live in a red state -- and I do now -- we hurt our country in ways it will take perhaps generations to recover from. Expecting liberals to not be angry with us is almost like asking us to coddle up to abusive family members. (Actually, as a liberal, I'm being expected to not be angry with a *ton* of people on both the left and the right. I think the only thing I could bash without being checked is the people I support, which is a really disturbing dynamic.)
posted by steady-state strawberry at 4:42 AM on April 18 [36 favorites]


zachlipton: But at the end of the day, California needs a Senator who we don't have to ask if she'll fight fascists. California needs a Senator who doesn't respond to that question as if it was a novel concept. To use the theme of the day, California needs a Senator who understands this isn't "politics as usual." From what I saw today, that's not Sen. Feinstein.

Please send that quote, verbatim, to Feinstein's primary opponent.
posted by Gelatin at 4:54 AM on April 18 [16 favorites]


I think YCTAB has promised to primary her. [fake, until it isn't]
posted by corb at 5:01 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


“When I meet Ted Lieu, should I meet Ted Lieu, I'm going to have to try real hard not to greet him with "give me a position tell me where the ammunition is"”

I could outfit a bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists.


“When a guy is talking about how many concentration camps his mother was shuffled between and is asking pretty literally whether she'll fight Nazis, "some caution" is really not what he, or anyone else, was looking for.”


I think the "but I'm just..." limp dick no power excuse is a recognition that the system can't be changed by people who's livelihoods are invested in it.

Well, perhaps it could, but no one is going to risk it. Otherwise they would have joined the military or been a firefighter or paramedic, nurse, teacher, etc - done something else more self-sacrificing for a living than being lauded ethically simply for not taking bribes.

Or rather - they're so much a part of the machine, they can't see the flaw. This is/was one of my problems with Clinton. The Democrats are this incarnate.

Kurt Godel outlined this (it's a good read). Yes, he's thinking about the constitution, but his broader idea(s), that a system cannot prove its own consistency is much like government proving its own legitimacy.
It can't be done through the system of laws (which is the GOP position - albeit taken to a bizarre extreme) and if you try(the Dem position) the system will reveal - or rather won't reveal but has - a self-destructive downward spiral into dictatorship.

Granted Godel was talking about the Constitution specifically, but we've already begun fundamentally amending the way the Senate handles Supreme Court appointments in what was supposed to be the slower, deliberative body of congress.

There's nothing preventing rule by decree - according to Godel - except a rule which is itself amendable. Which means the rule can be amended to allow rule by decree with enough votes.
But it's worse than that, there's nothing preventing rule by decree - as a practical matter - in the same way the war powers of the President have creeped to where congress hasn't declared a war since December 8, 1941.

Truman gave a Sarah Palin type "I'll get right back to ya" answer as to where congress had given him the power to go into Korea and everyone just sort of muttered and ignored it.
Congress even tried to shut that down with the War Powers Act. But Nixon and pretty much every president afterward just sort of skirted it so now, as a practical matter, the president has the power to declare war regardless of what the constitution says.
He's got the military power, he could roll right over anyone domestically if he really wanted to (and if it were handled right - Order 66, say), law be damned.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong to bomb Syria or anywhere else. But this whole "well, it's precedent" idea, no one wants to stop because then they'll be called on their own b.s.
Like passing phony $20s around, people just pretend they don't know it's counterfeit and pass it along.
That's what Feinstein's doing. And everyone else. And eventually there's no real money in circulation and the system collapses and everyone points elsewhere.

It's not fighting the GOP (well, it is but) it's fighting the system that we have to do. To make it less self-reciprocating and more adapted to the state of those to be governed by it.

It requires constant revision, the whole blood of patriots and tyrants thing, exactly because this is the result if we don't, regardless of the political ethos.
(Reversing Citizens United , campaign finance reform, transparency in campaigns, public finance for campaigns, a new McCain-Feingold type act, all that)
Otherwise, doesn't matter how bad it gets. Even with literal (or at least analogous) "nazi" administration, no one in government is going to fight them no matter how altruistic they are.

"Give me the judgment of balanced minds in preference to laws every time. Codes and manuals create patterned behavior. All patterned behavior tends to go unquestioned, gathering destructive momentum." - Darwi Odrade
posted by Smedleyman at 5:01 AM on April 18 [24 favorites]


Seriously guys. Let's go out and get votes in New Mexico and Montana and North Carolina and Florida. We can get 'em! My Kansas friends hate Brownback and my Oklahoma friends want their kids' schools funded! It's election day in Georgia and the Democrat actually has a shot (stolen voting machines not withstanding...) But we have to respect those voters to get their votes. So just keep it together, okay?

The problem with being a big tent party is that factions are totally willing to take their balls and go home if things aren't perfect enough. Democrats could probably sway moderate Republican voters by saying "We will fund schools instead of overzealously cutting taxes. We will not touch abortion, gun control, or gay rights" but then voters on the left would stop showing up.
posted by Talez at 5:05 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


This Mississippi liberal is headed to Democratic Party poll-watching training this morning. Getting off my duff and trying to do something rather than just running my yap, and that's mainly due to y'all and these enlightening, frustrating, encouraging, interminable threads.
posted by thebrokedown at 5:37 AM on April 18 [62 favorites]


So, MeFi, are we still doing the thing in US politics threads where we say it's someone's birthday, and we wish for something based on the day's events? Because it's my birthday, and I'm not sure if I should be altruistic and global and wish for everyone to back the eff down in NK, or be selfish and local and wish for a big ol' pile of Dem votes north of Atlanta. Suggestions?
posted by martin q blank at 5:53 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]


I'm the youngest person by fifteen years at the poll-watching training, and the only white person. Which I expected, but is still disheartening.
posted by thebrokedown at 6:00 AM on April 18 [12 favorites]


Archelaus: So the takeaway from that is that Eric Trump is at least as detached from reality as his father. not surprised by that, but it's worthy of note.

I wonder how many times the interviewer muttered "gobshite!" under her breath while speaking to this cretin.

"What's that you said, little lady?"

"Gobshite, Mr. Trump. It means, uh, a person of high regard..."

"So you're saying I'm a... gobshite?"

"Maybe the biggest one I've ever met. Now, on with the next question..."
posted by hangashore at 6:01 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


people who inherited vast sums of money detached from reality? whooda thunk it
posted by entropicamericana at 6:14 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


martin q blank, get a cake - your favorite kind - and at the end of the business day write the best one on there. Something good will happen and we're celebrating all of 'em. Happy birthday too!
posted by petebest at 6:15 AM on April 18 [9 favorites]


The problem with being a big tent party is that factions are totally willing to take their balls and go home if things aren't perfect enough. Democrats could probably sway moderate Republican voters by saying "We will fund schools instead of overzealously cutting taxes. We will not touch abortion, gun control, or gay rights" but then voters on the left would stop showing up.

I think this is a good point - the old "pout and flounce" is a problem with the Democrats, not just because they/we are a big tent but because the Republicans are authoritarian in a way most Democrats are not these days. (The authoritarian wing of the Democrats has largely defected to the Republicans.) Authoritarians will vote in lockstep even if they themselves have misgivings, Because Authority Said So And I Must Obey.

Whereas Democrats, and liberals in general, don't have that authoritarian streak, which is a good thing in general, but it means that you can't compel them to fall in line and vote in lockstep because you (politician "you") told them to do something.

I believe the important thing is not to make Democrats more submissive to authority but to get the purists to realize that they can't have everything and a pony, and just hold their noses and vote, dammit. Political Santa Claus isn't going to hand out gifts and the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

And that leads me to third parties - if the Dems are too big of a tent and people want to go for a third party, the Greens or Libertarians or Peace and Freedom or even (gasp!) Socialists, they need to leave the Presidential elections the hell alone for now and start at the bottom with the local elections. I sound like a broken record, but: liberals in general have ignored local politics at their peril. This is the biggest damn mistake we have made, and I mean bigger than anything Hillary Clinton could possibly have done in her campaign. The Presidential races are big and flashy and sexy but the local, boring, workaday offices are where the biggest differences can be made. If there were more Democrats at the local and state levels in North Carolina, would a bathroom bill have had a chance? Maybe, but it would have had far less of a chance, and Roy Cooper might not have made the watered-down compromise he did. And in Kansas - more Dems in the legislature might have passed the health care bill. Etc., etc., etc.

tl;dr: the 50-state strategy works and is what we need.

P.S.: thebrokedown, go you! You are making a difference.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:20 AM on April 18 [45 favorites]


And on the "State Politics Matter" subject: Nevada ranks near the top in percentage of women's representation: What Happens When Women Legislate (NY Times)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:30 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Trump not knowing the difference between 김정은 and his father 김정일 isn't senility so much as not giving a damn linked with the usual racist bit of thinking they all look same.

As far as Seoul being destroyed, I dunno. It's one of those things that it's weird how people seem to be worried about it right now, just now or whenever the NK makes the news.

Seoul will be fine as long as Trump doesn't start a shooting war. The city isn't gonna go bankrupt because of the current instability, and the people aren't really going to move out because they've had over half a century to consider other places to build up and sink treasure into. It's not going to turn into Atlantic City by any stretch of the imagination, and it'd be nice if everyone doing the doom and gloom stuff actually had more familiarity with it.

Make no mistake, there's a Sword of Damocles hanging above Seoul, but it'll fall if and only if some idiot unfamiliar with the whole situation, like Trump, starts firing live ammunition at the rope holding it up. 김정은 will not start the war, though he may turn the southern victory pyrrhic.
posted by anem0ne at 6:36 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


"I think the 'but I'm just...' limp dick no power excuse..." Really, Smedleyman? I appreciate that these are important topics but that comes across as awkward at best and misogynistic at worst.
posted by ElKevbo at 6:43 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I'm the youngest person by fifteen years at the poll-watching training, and the only white person. Which I expected, but is still disheartening.

This is a big problem (or feature, if you're a Republican) in our system in that many people with other responsibilities are largely precluded from participating. By design the one day election puts strain on working people with jobs just to get to the booth, much less take off the whole day to volunteer, or take off several days for training and pre-election GOTV, outreach, whatever. So much of the real work falls to retirees, younger people without established careers, and spouses. Those people are heroes, but part of the Democratic voting access strategy should include things like election day as a holiday, or even something like union official time for political participation. A world where having a job didn't restrict your participation in democracy to the weekends, and where we could get turnout to 80%-ish would be entirely different.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:45 AM on April 18 [12 favorites]


And on the "State Politics Matter" subject: Nevada ranks near the top in percentage of women's representation: What Happens When Women Legislate (NY Times)

So 5 points to Gryffindor for pointing to Kelly Dittmar, and minus a billion for not noticing that Kira Sanbomatsu exists. Or Jen Lawless. Or Tracy Osborn. Or Kris Kanthak. Or, or, or.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:54 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Politico: The $1 million upside for an RNC digital guru
The Republican Party’s top digital strategist in 2016 got a nearly $1 million payout from a firm he co-founded that collected online contributions to the party and its nominee, Donald Trump — despite earlier claims that the strategist had severed his ties to the company.

Gerrit Lansing’s joint roles, while legal, have raised questions of cronyism and profit-making at the Republican National Committee — and now sparked an internal review “to prevent a situation like this from happening again,” the RNC told POLITICO in a statement.

Republican operatives representing multiple GOP presidential and Senate campaigns said that Lansing pushed them to use the company he co-founded, Revv, to collect their online donations after he was hired for the top RNC job — and that he used the fact that the RNC was using his platform as a selling point. Lansing was subsequently named to a top role in Trump’s White House.
...
Lansing’s stake is so valuable that he was unwilling to cut financial ties to the company in order to clear White House ethics requirements, which was one of the reasons he left the administration in February, after a month, according to two people familiar with the matter.
There were also rumors (reported elsewhere) that he, allegedly, couldn't pass a background check, but so far this is more of an optics problem than a legal one -- compounded by how...
The controversy puts White House press secretary Sean Spicer in an awkward spot. As the RNC’s chief strategist, Spicer denied to POLITICO in mid-2016 that Lansing had any financial stake in Revv. “He has zero connection to Revv,” Spicer said then. “He had to sever the ties.”

In fact, Lansing never did. He received a $909,000 payout from the company last year.
I'm not saying that Spicer has a growing credibility problem: I'm saying that a lot of people are saying that Spicer has a growing credibility problem. And the optics of the White House hiring people who want to make money off the government, rather than help govern, is not great.
posted by cjelli at 7:11 AM on April 18 [14 favorites]


Bloomberg: Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Said to Have Advised Trump Team

This isn't the same story as the Seychelles meeting (although it is complementary) --
[O]ver a two to three month period around the election, Prince met several times with top aides as the incoming government took shape, offering ideas on how to fight terror and restructure the country’s major intelligence agencies, according to information provided by five people familiar with the meetings. Among those he conferred with was Flynn, a member of the transition team who joined the administration and was later dismissed, some of the people said. He discussed possible government appointees with people in the private sector, one person said. Prince himself told several people that while he was not offering his advice in any official capacity, his role was significant. The meetings occurred in Trump Tower, the administration’s transition office in Washington and elsewhere, according to people familiar with them.
posted by cjelli at 7:16 AM on April 18 [9 favorites]


Prince himself told several people that while he was not offering his advice in any official capacity, his role was significant.

Well, that's another one to add to my list of things that will inevitably be subtitles to books about this administration.
posted by Etrigan at 7:21 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


zachlipton: When he suggested she has the ability to go on the news and draw attention to these issues, she explained that the networks have to call you. Which, of course, ignores the fact that clearly nobody is calling her cause she's not saying anything.

And this isn't some Catch-22: you speak up and speak out at every opportunity. You use social media platforms, and if you're uncomfortable there, that's why you have staff to handle your media.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:29 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Maybe the staff for Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters can give Dianne Feinstein pointers on how to be loud and proud. Now is not the time for compromise, now is not the time to be humble.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:35 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


The problem with being a big tent party is that factions are totally willing to take their balls and go home if things aren't perfect enough. Democrats could probably sway moderate Republican voters by saying "We will fund schools instead of overzealously cutting taxes. We will not touch abortion, gun control, or gay rights" but then voters on the left would stop showing up.

I think you're confusing "problem" with "partisan identity".

Yes, if hte Democrats became Republican then they could attract Republican votes! This is not an especially valuable insight. You see, we already have a Republican Party and they can out Republican any would be Republican current-Democat because they've had a lot more practice at Republicaning.

And of course the current batch of Democratic voters would abandon ship if the Democratic Party formally and officially became yet another branch of the Republican Party. What, exactly, is the point in having a different Party if it doesn't have different policies?

The Democrats could probably also get a lot of Republican votes if they endorsed a Federal ban on abortion and mandatory Christianity. That the current Democratic voters would abandon the Party if it did that is a feature, not a bug.

The Party exists for us, not the other way around. We on the liberal/left side wanted a Party that reflected our values, and we created the modern Democratic Party. This means, necessarily, excluding from that Party people who don't share sufficient values with us.

"The Democrats aren't getting Republican votes" is not a problem. If you think it is, I'd argue you've got a fundamental misunderstanding of the whole point of having political parties.
posted by sotonohito at 7:35 AM on April 18 [22 favorites]


Archelaus: So the takeaway from that is that Eric Trump is at least as detached from reality as his father. not surprised by that, but it's worthy of note.

Members of cults tend to share the same warped worldview.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:41 AM on April 18


Trump not knowing the difference between 김정은 and his father 김정일

I am going to make a giant leap and guess he gets the transliterated names...and I think that when threatening war with a nuclear nation, actually knowing who was and is in charge is not a high bar.
posted by jaduncan at 7:42 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Maybe the staff for Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters can give Dianne Feinstein pointers on how to be loud and proud. Now is not the time for compromise, now is not the time to be humble.

Now is also the time to reflect on how unrepresentative it is to have only two senators for a state of nearly forty million people. Feinstein's approach to politics would be significantly less of an issue, I think, if we had some kind of partly-proportional system -- say, a floor of two senators for every state, and then another senator for every five or ten million people.

(I don't see any easy path to actually making a change like that, but I think it's worth considering Feinstein, Manchin, and others in the context of how American government is set up, rather than only in isolation. Although we can and should consider both!)
posted by cjelli at 7:42 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]


Make no mistake, there's a Sword of Damocles hanging above Seoul, but it'll fall if and only if some idiot unfamiliar with the whole situation, like Trump, starts firing live ammunition at the rope holding it up.

This is not nearly as low-probability an event as you seem to believe, or as I'd prefer, by many orders of magnitude.

There have been people I love living in Seoul for a decade and a half now, and like every Korean does, you learn to live with the fear for their lives. But the knot in your stomach never fully goes away — not entirely. And with Donald John Trump and now decorticated Ken doll Mike Pence flouncing around the theater, that knot has decided to remind me of its presence 24x7. The symptoms are remarkably unpleasant.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:45 AM on April 18 [9 favorites]


No, the senate isn't proportional by design.

You want to apply that same concept to the house though. Basically, figure out the average number of constituents represented by a congressperson and use that to determine how many reps are needed. It's come up a couple of times in these threads, someone has already done the math so I won't waste more space rehashing it here.

But yeah, a better approach to proportional representation would help a lot.
posted by VTX at 7:48 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


This is what I call the World of Warcraft Problem.

Before WoW was invented, the Massively Multiplayer Online RPG (MMO) market had a wide variety of games and playstyles. Then WoW came out and it was huge. Even today, with the MMO market shrinking and WoW being positively elderly in gaming terms, it is not merely the biggest player in the MMO market it practically is the entire MMO market with all the others being also rans.

As a result the MMO market underwent a massive shift. While formerly there had been a wide variety of game styles and game mechanics with the tremendous success of WoW every company looking to make an MMO saw WoW's incredible subscription numbers and said to themselves "hot damn, if we could skim off even 10% of WoW's playerbase we'd be rolling in cash!"

So every MMO developed since WoW was, when you stripped away the setting details, basically WoW with a few tweaks and a different setting.

And they all failed.

Because if a player wants a game like World of Warcraft then they can just go play World of Warcraft! By making all MMO's World of Warcraft with a different setting the MMO makers guaranteed failure.

Yes, being different, trying new things, is a risk.

But trying to replicate the success of someone else is an almost guaranteed way to fail.

Just as no MMO will ever get big by copying World of Warcraft, so too the Democrats will never get big(er) by copying the Republicans. If the voters want a Republican style set of policies and politics then they can vote Republican. But they won't vote for ersatz Republicans in any significant numbers because why should they? And trying to be fake Republicans will drive away people who want real Democrats.

Or heck, it's the New Coke problem. Coke wanted to attract Pepsi drinkers, so they added a whole shit ton more sugar to Coke. It flopped, as you may recall. The Coke drinkers wanted their fucking Coke, not this super sweet Pepsi knock-off that Coke was trying to push on them, and Pepsi drinkers saw no compelling reason to switch to a Pepsi knock-off when they could just buy real Pepsi.
posted by sotonohito at 7:50 AM on April 18 [32 favorites]


I've put together a post on my blog portraying the 19th century serial killer H.H. Holmes as someone who could succeed in today's real estate market. Without mentioning Trump, I go into:

1. Holmes often stiffed paying the workers and suppliers who built his buildings.
2. Holmes was ahead of his time in branding his construction projects with his name: "Holmes Castle."
etc.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:52 AM on April 18 [18 favorites]


And on the subject of Korea, not only is the Pussy Grabber in Chief busy trying to restart the Korean War and get Seoul glassed as a result, he just sent Pence to antagonize the South Korean government.

Following his policy of pissing off every ally the USA has, Trump is now threatening to undo the USA/ROK trade agreement in his fruitless and pointless search for yet more factory jobs that no longer exist.

Pence, a man so stupid that even the voters in Indiana (who are so tolerant of stupidity in politicians that they voted for J. Danforth Quayle four times!) were about to reject him has been shoved into current chaos of ROK politics to unravel our alliance with that nation and drive them further into the arms of China and Japan.

Heck of a job Trumpie!
posted by sotonohito at 7:56 AM on April 18 [10 favorites]


Please send that quote, verbatim, to Feinstein's primary opponent.


Also cc Dianne Feinstein. 2018 is still quite some time away and we need her to do the work in the meantime.
posted by TwoWordReview at 7:58 AM on April 18 [10 favorites]


No, the senate isn't proportional by design.

Yes, but the great thing about the design of the Constitution is that its designed to be amended as flaws in its initial design become apparent. The question is really: is the design of the Senate a good one?

Personally, I think there's value in keeping the bicameral system that we have now, and I think there's value in keeping the Senate not perfectly proportional -- but I also think there's value in making the Senate slightly more proportional than it is now. Setting a floor of two senators per state, and then allotting a few extra senators to the more populous states, would give less-populous states power in the senate disproportionate to their population, but less than the power they currently wield. Given that Senators tend to vote in blocs that align with party membership, rather than with state interests directly (see: Toomey, among others; but see also all the Republicans in California who don't get a Republican senator at all), I don't see the perfect-equality-in-the-senate as being the live issue it was during the ratification of the Constitution.
posted by cjelli at 7:58 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


busy trying to restart the Korean War and get Seoul glassed as a result, he just sent Pence to antagonize the South Korean government.

Yeah, saber rattling with North Korea while simultaneously picking an unnecessary fight with South Korea is an interesting strategy...
posted by diogenes at 8:12 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


But isn't that baseline TrumpCo strategy? You get everybody riled up, and you sit back behind the table, pooch your bottom lip out and nod your head a lot, move some stuff around (on the table and elsewhere) and then collect a check.
posted by valkane at 8:16 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]


I'd like to see the senate moved to a proportional model if we change it. You could sell it as giving a voice to all of the red voters in California, etc, and giving the libertarians a chance.
posted by fomhar at 8:18 AM on April 18




sotonohito: "Because if a player wants a game like World of Warcraft then they can just go play World of Warcraft! By making all MMO's World of Warcraft with a different setting the MMO makers guaranteed failure."

This isn't an MMO thread so I'm not getting into it, but as someone who has played or followed almost every MMO ever created, I really think your analysis is super-wrong. Observers take it as you will.

posted by TypographicalError at 8:21 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I think Feinstein's behavior can best be explained if you consider our intelligence community, and possibly the Russia's too, has something on her. I have long assumed everyone in Congressional intelligence oversight is similarly neutered.

The more I think about Trump, I think he and his crew might actually have the job of sabotaging America. I would rather not believe that, but if you just look at the results, they alone make a pretty good case.
posted by BentFranklin at 8:22 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Rick Perry Wants to Know if Wind and Solar Are Killing Coal

Jesus wept, asshole.
Perry goes on to express concern about "the diminishing diversity of our nation's electric generation mix."
The incredibly moronic Energy Secretary is worried that solar and wind are reducing the diversity of our energy mix. Incredible. Hey Rick, if you want to know what's killing coal, ya might want to look at fracking and ultra-cheap natural gas, dipshit.

Anyway, QFMFT:
Did policies that encouraged the rollout of renewable generation contribute in some way to the declining profitability of large coal and nuclear plants? Yes -- to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the location. But rolling back portfolio standards and tax credits won't suddenly make the 1970s business model profitable in today's economy, just like rolling back carbon dioxide regulations won't save coal.

The DOE has every reason to continue studying the reliability of the grid amidst a changing fuel mix. But there's a difference between launching a fact-finding mission and a quixotic quest to Make Baseload Power Great Again.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:25 AM on April 18 [34 favorites]


Rick Perry Investigates the Decline of Buggy Whips. "I'm just asking questions here," says Perry. [fake]
posted by valkane at 8:33 AM on April 18 [19 favorites]


Trump’s Tax Secrecy Will Haunt Republicans in 2018
Trump’s tax returns will play a starring role in 2018 if for no other reason than that they symbolize the concrete stakes of the midterms: that only the Democrats will reveal his returns, if so empowered by voters; and that only Democrats will get to the bottom of Trump’s corruption more generally. It is an issue that will continually resurface until the election, after which the White House had better hope Republicans still control Congress. Because if they don’t, the potential consequences for their party in 2020 are nearly bottomless.

It is very likely that none of the people running interference for Trump have any idea whether he is legitimately under audit, or what he’s concealing by refusing to release the returns. But they have all placed themselves on the hook for whatever happens when the long fuse of the tax return story is finally lit.

posted by T.D. Strange at 8:34 AM on April 18 [20 favorites]


Dianne will never, ever in a billion years be Maxine. Maxine cannot teach Dianne anything because Dianne is unwilling to learn. She is cemented in 1989 and she needs to retire. Maxine, on the other hand, cannot become our senator. She is 79 years old and while a very young 79, someone with a little more sticking power needs to be our next senator from the great state of California. Ted Lieu is definitely one of those contenders. Perhaps we'll see someone else head into the fore in the next year, but it's (unfortunately) not Auntie Maxine.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:42 AM on April 18 [10 favorites]


I'm surprised - to the extent that I am still capable of that emotion - that the 'no taxes due audit' argument is still being made, despite it being proven fallacious.

I know why, of course, in that there's nothing else they can say. Perhaps this will really be the issue on which the conflict between the reality espoused by the WH and that known to the voters on all sides finally fissions.
posted by Devonian at 8:42 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Rick Perry Wants to Know if Wind and Solar Are Killing Coal

There are entire populations within the Department of Energy who have spent their entire lives wanting to, then actually, working their entire careers for the Department of Energy. Careers they are decades into, building upon the works of their mentors.

Dipshit Rick Perry isn't going to rewire the whole department's priorities. He may paint the tip of the iceberg, and we can quibble about the Department's alignment over the years, but I just don't think he can stop the momentum of science and declare coal viable.
posted by rhizome at 8:46 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


I think Feinstein's behavior can best be explained if you consider our intelligence community, and possibly the Russia's too, has something on her. I have long assumed everyone in Congressional intelligence oversight is similarly neutered.

Right. Remember a few threads ago, one of those closed-door meetings, and the terrified look on Feinstein's face as she gave a terse briefing just after? I'd been wondering why a member of the resisting (and ostensibly non-compromised) party would seem so shellshocked about all the Russia stuff, when it should be our best weapon against the Trump Administration. But now it makes sense.
posted by witchen at 8:47 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


^ I think Feinstein's behavior can best be explained if you consider our intelligence community, and possibly the Russia's too, has something on her. I have long assumed everyone in Congressional intelligence oversight is similarly neutered.

Alrighty, adding "Dianne Feinstein is a Russian psyop" to the list of theories unironically suggested.
posted by indubitable at 8:51 AM on April 18 [17 favorites]


Swayable Trumpists are already coming around on healthcare...

Heck of a band name, right there.
posted by rokusan at 8:53 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


I saw them open for Inspiral Carpets.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:00 AM on April 18 [9 favorites]


The constant fantasizing about primarying DiFi from the left is all well and good (although I could do without the CalExit hoohah thnx), but I'd sure much rather see some of that ink and effort spent on e.g. Democratic states with R governors (e.g. MD), or getting rid of people like Chuck Grassley or Rob Portman.

Hell, Louisiana and TX should be in play. I love CA, but there's a lot more low-hanging fruit out there, and exchanging a moderate D in the senate for even a slightly more progressive D doesn't really add up for the other 7/8ths of us who don't live in CA.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:06 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]


I think Feinstein's behavior can best be explained if you consider our intelligence community, and possibly the Russia's too, has something on her. I have long assumed everyone in Congressional intelligence oversight is similarly neutered.

This is way too television for my tastes. Feinstein is 83 years old. What could they have on her that she would be so afraid of? It's not like they're gonna let an 83 year old Senator rot in jail. If Feinstein isn't stepping up and being courageous it's either because there's nothing for her to do, OR she's working behind the scenes, Or she's not a courageous person.

The same goes for McCain. What's the worst they could do to either of them? Keep them from winning reelection and force them to stop being Senators for the twilight of their lives? If that's all they're afraid of, then compromat or none, they're just cowards.

I think it more likely that the people who could save us aren't going to save us not because the intelligence services have some dirt on them, but because they aren't the people who would ever have saved us.
posted by dis_integration at 9:12 AM on April 18 [42 favorites]


I'm willing to believe that Russian psyops are behind an incredible number of current events, but the actions of Diane Feinstein aren't among them.
posted by diogenes at 9:21 AM on April 18 [11 favorites]


Grassley and Portman were literally just reelected in the great Democratic fail parade of 2016, neither one faced even a remotely credible challenge from Schumer's zombie retreads Ted Strickland and Patty Judge. And Iowa and Ohio are the two states trending fastest from purple to bright, bright red. Focusing on them right now is beyond pointless, and in 6 years Ohio and Iowa could easily look like Arkansas. And Larry Hogan is the most popular Governor in America, hard to see a lot of room for optimism there either.

Texas should absolutely be a battleground, even Ted Cruz's own supporters hate Ted Cruz, and Texas demographics will get to competitive levels one of these years. But most of the Democratic action this cycle will necessarily have to be on the House side, outside of Nevada and Arizona which are both tough too, the Senate is mainly going to be defending incumbent seats.

The governor's races will be big too, but Illinois, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, and possibly Wisconsin, Ohio or Georgia all look like better opportunities for flipping to Dem control than Maryland.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:25 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


I think the stakes aren't as high as prison time for everyone. They may just have some embarrassing personal information, something that could damage her personal life or personal finances.

Like what A+ ethical human Mike Cernovich was threatening regarding WH personnel shakups recently: “If they get rid of Bannon, you know what's gonna happen? ... and we're just gonna destroy marriages, relationships—it's gonna get personal.”

Last time I checked, this seems well within the abilities of our Russians and the people who do their bidding.
posted by witchen at 9:26 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


And Iowa and Ohio are the two states trending fastest from purple to bright, bright red. Focusing on them right now is beyond pointless...

Unless one wants to stop that trend.
posted by Etrigan at 9:27 AM on April 18 [32 favorites]


The governor's races will be big too, but Illinois, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, and possibly Wisconsin,

Illinois is going to be won/lost on one issue: The budget crisis.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:28 AM on April 18


Dianne Feinstein has been a disappointing corporate Dem for my entire adult life, reaching back into the 90s. Her anodyne, middle-of-the-road centrist stances are classic Feinstein, no kompromat or Russian psyops required. Same for Schumer.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:31 AM on April 18 [26 favorites]


I think Feinstein's behavior can best be explained if you consider our intelligence community, and possibly the Russia's too, has something on her. I have long assumed everyone in Congressional intelligence oversight is similarly neutered.

In the absence of literally any evidence that that Feinstein, McCain, etc, are being blackmailed, it seems pointless and, in fact, actively harmful to understanding to speculate. Feinstein has been in the senate since 1992: the simpler explanation, which requires no unlikely interference from the outside, is that she believes in traditional senate comity, having come into the senate in at a time when it still existed. McCain, likewise, has been in the senate since the '80s.

Ask not what is a possible explanation; ask what is the best or next-best explanation, considering the evidence at hand. If an explanation exists without needing to suggest FBI/KGB involvement, and there is no evidence of their involvement, then blackmail is not the best explanation. It's not even in the top ten. Representatives can be, and are regularly, imperfect reflections of their constituents wishes. That's intrinsic to American democracy.
posted by cjelli at 9:32 AM on April 18 [25 favorites]


And I think the actions of Diane Feinstein and really other similar politicians can best be explained not by conspiracy, but by anchoring. Her views and beliefs are anchored to the moment she got politically active.

And more to the point, wasn't she the one who discovered one of the bodies in the Milk/Moskone assassinations? I think it's much more likely, having direct and personal contact with political violence in this country, she's trying to calm tensions rather than trying to raise it up. Maybe poorly, but I think her heart is in the right place.

2017, In Which I Empathize With Dianne Feinstein.
posted by corb at 9:38 AM on April 18 [27 favorites]


I haven't seen any evidence supporting the notion that we have to choose between these blue-state primary challenges and the purple/red-state flips. All of these races are important - the 50-state strategy is not a red-state strategy, it's a fifty-state strategy. It's important to gain seats; but also, if even California can't get a Senator that reflects the current democratic base, what hope is there for less liberal places? Who our current party leaders are is really important from a signalling and messaging perspective.

We got 3M more votes in 2016, there are so many people on our side who are engaged and have money and time but do not have the right to vote, Democratic strongholds are the centers for economic activity, we have a ton of wealthy celebs on our side who have been increasingly willing to dive into politics with their time and/or pocketbooks. We don't have to choose. We can do all of it; we have the capacity.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:39 AM on April 18 [31 favorites]


Instead of building an actual wall along the US-Mexico border, the US government should borrow a sight gag from "WKRP in Cincinnati" and use masking tape to suggest where a wall should be built.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:53 AM on April 18 [11 favorites]


The zero sum argument about targeting red vs purple vs blue doesn't survive any level of scrutiny. Competing in tough districts energizes volunteer and voters, which adds resources that can be used in those races, or even redirected to the races you think are more important. It's vital to show up everywhere. How you allocate those resource once you've maximized your outreach is a question none of us can intelligently speak about because we can all cherry pick scarce data points when the races in 2017 and 2018 are relatively low turnout compared to Presidential years, which we still can't come to an agreement about despite having more data.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:53 AM on April 18 [14 favorites]


And I think the actions of Diane Feinstein and really other similar politicians can best be explained not by conspiracy, but by anchoring. Her views and beliefs are anchored to the moment she got politically active.

Yeah. Those wheelchair generals are the best.
posted by valkane at 10:14 AM on April 18


I think Feinstein's behavior can best be explained if you consider our intelligence community, and possibly the Russia's too, has something on her. I have long assumed everyone in Congressional intelligence oversight is similarly neutered.

I think it's time to turn off MSNBC and close the Talking Points Memo tab, my dude. I'm all for abolishing the intelligence community and cutting the military budget to something approaching the global average, but the idea that centrists are centrists because of CIA/FSB blackmail is ludicrous.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:24 AM on April 18 [15 favorites]


I think Feinstein's behavior can best be explained if you consider our intelligence community, and possibly the Russia's too, has something on her. I have long assumed everyone in Congressional intelligence oversight is similarly neutered.

I think it's time to turn off MSNBC and close the Talking Points Memo tab, my dude. I'm all for abolishing the intelligence community and cutting the military budget to something approaching the global average, but the idea that centrists are centrists because of CIA/FSB blackmail is ludicrous.


I will say that this kind of statement and its rebuttal are why YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST FULLY AND PUBLICLY INVESTIGATE things like the Russian involvement in the election, Iran/Contra and even Benghazi and actually punish or exonerate the wrongdoers. When you let actual conspiracies go uninvestigated and/or unpunished you open the floodgates for everything to be distrusted always.

How to do it with hyper corrupt partisan politics involved though? [shruggie]
posted by srboisvert at 10:36 AM on April 18 [14 favorites]


Adam Curtis interview on Alternet: "Donald Trump Is Stepping for the First Time into the Real World"
JS: We're more than 70 days into Trump's presidency, just a few weeks short of the juncture when historians and political analysts begin to assess an office in earnest. Do you see America sliding into authoritarianism or fascism, or are the evils of this administration more banal than that?

AC: America is not sliding into fascism. That's just hysteria by the liberals who can't face up to the fact that they lost the election, so they either have to blame the Russians or giant historical forces. Basically, a right-wing president has been elected, and he's created a brilliant machine that captures liberals and keeps them completely preoccupied. What he does is he wakes up in the morning, tweets something that he knows isn't true, they get very upset and spend the whole day writing in big capital letters on social media, "This is outrageous. This is bad. This is fascism." What they're not facing up to is the real question, which is why did Donald Trump win the election? What other forces in the country had they, the liberals, not seen?

They weren't defeated by something as grand as fascism. They were defeated by a man who's connected with a disaffected group in America, like the people who voted for Brexit in my country. I think there's a great deal of narcissism which Mr. Trump has worked at how to play on beautifully.

...

What I was trying to argue, or imply in this film gently, was that we may be in a very similar situation where we know that the system has become somewhat corrupted. But more than that, we know that those in charge don't really believe in the system any longer, have no vision of the future. And what's more, they know that we know that.

What Trump is doing is playing with the fakery. It may be instinctive. He's saying things that he knows that we know aren't true, at which point everyone gets locked into a game of what's true and what's not true. This misses the real point of politics, which is to tell a powerful story that offers a vision of the future. I don't think Trump has a vision of the future. I think he's the last of the old politicians.

...

AC: I think you should pay more attention to the traditional, hard-right-wing people who have risen to power with Trump. Donald comes from the world of finance and he is doing what finance wants to do. I would argue that actually it shows that really nothing has changed, which is a very hypernormal situation.
...
Steve Bannon? I don't know. We have a phrase in Britain, which is "All mouth, no trousers." He's a degraded clash-of-civilizations man, and he's a bit late to the table on that one because [Jean-Marie Le Pen] tried that in 2004. It didn't work. I'm far more interested in what I would call real power, which is the power of finance.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:43 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Also from Apocryphon's link:
Secondly, such an intervention leads to the question, who are the goodies and who are the baddies in this war?
...
The truth is that we in the West have so simplified our vision of the world, into a battle between good and evil, that we now find it impossible to understand the reality.
Jesus wept.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:55 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Today I learned only being the 17th most liberal member of the Senate marks you as a Russian stooge!

Like I said earlier, 17th most liberal is no longer appropriate for Senators from the great state of California but seriously come on.
posted by Justinian at 10:55 AM on April 18 [8 favorites]


"tweets something that he knows isn't true"

[citation needed]
posted by mhum at 10:57 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


look I know the Russia stuff is a little sketchy but we have to try every angle here because once we defeat the monster Feinstein we'll finally have our country back
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:00 AM on April 18 [8 favorites]


That's just hysteria by the liberals who can't face up to the fact that they lost the election, so they either have to blame the Russians or giant historical forces.

I love this blow off that ppl are doing these days, like, "The Russians interfered with your election? Quit whining!" As if this isn't a big fucking deal? Like, one of the biggest fucking deals? And we're suppose to sit back and shrug it off? Fuck this guy.
posted by gucci mane at 11:00 AM on April 18 [79 favorites]


By the way for those people who don't have house district maps memorized (plebs!) it may not be apparent, but Ted Lieu, Maxine Waters, and Adam Schiff are from geographically contiguous districts. Los Angeles suffers from an embarrassment of riches in terms of our representation.

Come here, it's great.
posted by Justinian at 11:01 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


They weren't defeated by something as grand as fascism.

Liberals were defeated by things even "grander" (at least, in a "much more pervasive" sense): racism, misogyny and xenophobia.


They were defeated by a man who's connected with a disaffected group in America,

...by preying upon their economic insecurities and tribal fears through employing those classic tropes of - again - racism, misogyny and xenophobia.

It's not that complex, really.
posted by darkstar at 11:02 AM on April 18 [24 favorites]


> I will read that book someday...but not in the near future. Too painful.

Political Media Loves Gossipy Book That Ignores Political Media’s Role In Election.
The Comey letter (which almost certainly changed the outcome of the campaign) and Russian interference (which might have, but the impact is much harder to measure) are given the usual yadda-yadda graf that makes no effort to determine how important they were and is written in a matter that suggests that even bringing them up is whining. On the other hand, resource allocation decisions that we know were not decisive (insufficient resources dedicated to WI and MI) are asserted to be crucial causal factors. But, again, the problem is that neither campaign devoted much attention to Michigan, and Clinton fought hard and consistently outspent Trump in Pennsylvania. The latter case is crucial, not only because WI and MI are meaningless without PA, but the outcome in PA shows that you can’t just assume that dedicating more resources would have changed the outcome. But, of course, the acknowledging that campaign tactics are a rather minor factor in determining the outcome of presidential elections would completely undermine books that argue that campaign tactics are massively important. [...]

Does the Clinton campaign need self-examination? Sure. But so does the media, and all signs are that we’re never getting it.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:02 AM on April 18 [30 favorites]


rhizome: Rick Perry Wants to Know if Wind and Solar Are Killing Coal
The head of the Department of Energy wants to know if all of those renewable energy policies cropping up around the country are guilty of hastening the demise of coal and nuclear.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry spelled out these concerns Friday in a memo to his chief of staff (PDF), which was rapidly obtained by Bloomberg News.
...
The only diminishment at play currently is the closure of coal and nuclear plants before their expected retirement dates. Wind and solar barely register as a share of the national energy mix, but they've dominated new deployments, while coal and nuclear saw a net decrease. The explicit statements regarding "baseload power" shed light on Perry's perspective.

That term hearkens back to the second half of the 20th century, when the regulated utilities of the day, for reasons both cultural as well as economic, decided that the best way to produce power was with increasingly massive, centralized power plants. These mammoth facilities capitalized on efficiencies of scale, and the timelines and costs weren't a huge issue because the monopoly utilities didn't have to worry about competition.

We live in a very different world now.
Also, you best look at those retirement dates for coal and nuclear plants, because there are many aging facilities are nearing the end of their design lives.

Anyway, Rick Perry was recently seen as a spot of hope for renewable energy, with his push to expand the energy portfolio of Texas. In fact, Texas was touted as a big renewable energy pioneer in August 2016 by the Wall Street Journal, and more recently Georgetown, Texas, was recognized as one of the first all-solar cities in the U.S. (NPR, March 8, 2017)
Mayor Dale Ross, a staunch Republican who attended President Trump's inauguration, says that decision came down to a love of green energy and "green rectangles" — cash.

When Georgetown's old power contract was up in 2012, city managers looked at all their options. They realized wind and solar power are more predictable; the prices don't fluctuate like oil and gas. So, a municipality can sign a contract today and know what the bill is going to be for the next 25 years.

That's especially appealing in a place like Georgetown, where a lot of retirees live on fixed incomes.

"First and foremost it was a business decision," Ross says.

City leaders say the debate over renewables never even mentioned climate change, a wedge issue in Texas politics.
So how did Rick Perry play a part in all that?
Perry previously served as governor of Texas where he led an expansion of renewable energy sources across the state. Texas leads the nation in wind-powered generation capacity with more than 18,500 megawatts, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

However, as a key member of the Trump administration, Perry will no longer be overseeing a national program comparable to Texas’ successful Competitive Renewable Energy Zones initiative that spurred the construction of electric transmission lines to connect with renewable energy facilities. Instead, the former Texas governor has been tasked by President Donald Trump with prioritizing fossil fuels and nuclear energy over renewables.
Energy secretary targets wind, solar after overseeing renewables explosion as Texas governor (Think Progress, April 17, 2017)

#SaveArbys (joke hashtag I just made, 'cause the U.S. coal industry employs fewer people than Arbys).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:04 AM on April 18 [14 favorites]


Emoluments lawsuit could force Trump to cough up his tax returns

In other words, for every property or income source Trump has, litigants may be found to assert that they have been harmed by the advantage he receives in exploiting his status as president to obtain monies from foreign governments. This is the essence of the emoluments clause, which was created to prevent foreign governments from corrupting our elected leaders. For now, Trump is refusing to release his tax returns, but keeping them secret in the face of metastasizing litigation is another thing entirely.
posted by futz at 11:08 AM on April 18 [25 favorites]


I love this blow off that ppl are doing these days, like, "The Russians interfered with your election? Quit whining!" As if this isn't a big fucking deal? Like, one of the biggest fucking deals? And we're suppose to sit back and shrug it off? Fuck this guy.
AC: Russia has been the Other ever since about 1951 for America, and then everyone tried to make it be Islamists. By about 2007 that wasn't working, and everyone now seems to have switched back to Russia. When Barry Goldwater was running for president, the John Birch Society was saying that the president was probably controlled by the Soviet Union. If you listen to the liberals now, they sound remarkably similar.

I am sure that the Russians probably did hack into the Democrats' computers. And I am sure that they may have leaked stuff to meddle with the election and to mess with confidence in the whole democratic process. I would also not be surprised if Donald Trump, and people around him, have had all kinds of dealings with dodgy people in Russia. Given the weird mixture of business and politics in that country, it might be quite likely.

But to an outsider, the way the Democrats and their supporters are obsessing with Russia looks very strange and hysterical. From a distance it seems as if they are desperately trying to avoid facing up to the very powerful reality that was revealed by the election. Instead they seem to be retreating into a kind of magical thinking. Looking for something, anything that will be like a magic wand and wave President Trump away. And then they can go back to normality. It can’t help crossing one’s mind that maybe the Democrats are looking for an excuse that will mean they don’t have to change, that they don’t have to give things up in today’s unequal, brutal and unfair society.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:09 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Political Media Loves Gossipy Book That Ignores Political Media’s Role In Election.

Partisan Democratic Blog Hates Gossipy Book That Pays Attention to Partisan Democrats' Failures.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:10 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Please, please, kids, stop fighting. Maybe Lisa's right about America being the land of opportunity, and maybe Adil's got a point about the machinery of capitalism being oiled with the blood of the workers.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 11:12 AM on April 18 [30 favorites]




Apocryphon: They weren't defeated by something as grand as fascism. They were defeated by a man who's con...

...ned the voters by telling them what they wanted to hear even though he knew it wasn't true?

...nected with a disaffected group in America, like the people who voted for Brexit in my country.

Oh.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:15 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


I mean, did the FSB hack James Thompson's servers too?
posted by Apocryphon at 11:15 AM on April 18


Garcetti is profiled in the latest Vogue:
Deflecting talk that he might leave his office early to run for a higher one (why lie?), he says he has equally big plans for his second term, from turning that transportation bill into actual metro lines to making a huge dent in homelessness.
Mm-hmm.

Let's see who's hosting meet-and-greets in Brentwood and Hancock Park, and for which candidates.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:18 AM on April 18


That's just hysteria by the liberals who can't face up to the fact that they lost the election

But to an outsider, the way the Democrats and their supporters are obsessing with Russia looks very strange and hysterical.


this is some trenchant analysis here, A+++ would be condescended to from his lofty perch again
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:19 AM on April 18 [38 favorites]


That's just hysteria by the liberals who can't face up to the fact that they lost the election

Mmm-hmmm. Meanwhile, conservatives can't face up to the fact that they only won the election by getting in bed with the Russians.
posted by Gelatin at 11:21 AM on April 18 [26 favorites]


Wait isn't China the place that knockoffs come from? Maybe they plan to flood the market with fake Ivanka merch.
posted by emjaybee at 11:21 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Instead of building an actual wall along the US-Mexico border, the US government should borrow a sight gag from "WKRP in Cincinnati" and use masking tape to suggest where a wall should be built.

That's only $297,000 in yellow masking tape (case price from Amazon)! This can easily be done within the $20MM actually allocated for the project!
posted by tomierna at 11:23 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


HyperNormalisation devotes a good deal of time covering Russian propagandist Vladislav Surkov. He directly compares Surkov's work in obfuscating Putin's involvement in Syria to Trump's social media rise. (More here). It's not as if Adam Curtis doesn't understand the power of Russian psyops lmao
posted by Apocryphon at 11:24 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]




In 2020 when the NYT is again running the wikileaks oppo drops of Trump's opponent daily and without comment on the sourcing, we're going to look back and remember, huh, if only liberals had faced up to losing the election.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:27 AM on April 18 [20 favorites]


I can't wait to hear Spicey explain why the aircraft carrier that the Administration said was headed to the Sea of Japan as a deterrent to North Korea was sailing in the opposite direction.

Of all the things that I don't have the mental capacity to deal with, chief among them is the fact that the U.S. President is now too stupid and senile to control the military and as a result we've fallen into the sort of bad anarchy where we can't be thought of as a conventional nation-state anymore.

I mean on the bright side the U.S. President is also too stupid and senile to control the bureaucracy, so there's seeds of a real government waiting to bloom, but nevertheless right now we're stuck with bad anarchy.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:29 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


In 2020 when the NYT is again running the wikileaks oppo drops of Trump's opponent daily and without comment on the sourcing, we're going to look back and remember, huh, if only liberals had faced up to losing the election.

Maybe they could have convinced the DNC that Thompson's campaign in Kansas wasn't a lost cause, and that he should have been funded and supported adequately to defeat Estes.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:29 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Wait isn't China the place that knockoffs come from?

More and more "originals" are actually made in China.
posted by monospace at 11:29 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


If we're going to make a masking tape wall at the border, we might as well mask off squares for cats to sit in while we're at it.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 11:29 AM on April 18 [16 favorites]


In 2020 when the NYT is again running the wikileaks oppo drops of Trump's opponent daily and without comment on the sourcing, we're going to look back and remember, huh, if only liberals had faced up to losing the election.

Maybe they could have convinced the DNC that Thompson's campaign in Kansas wasn't a lost cause, and that he should have been funded and supported adequately to defeat Estes.


Yes, because KS-4 is just as important as 1600-Penn.

We get it. You like Curtis's article. Maybe let it stand on its own for a bit instead of facing all comers.
posted by Etrigan at 11:33 AM on April 18 [10 favorites]


And this isn't some Catch-22: you speak up and speak out at every opportunity. You use social media platforms, and if you're uncomfortable there, that's why you have staff to handle your media.

I didn't go into it in my report since it was too long as it was, but I think there's something telling here, so a brief supplement. When the second questioner (an SF Indivisible guy) told Feinstein that we need to hear her speak up on this stuff, after clarifying we didn't think she was a supporter of fascism or anti-Semitism, she responded by asking him "do you like tweeting?". After some shouts of "yes" from the crowd, he said yes. She asked him "why?" and he responded "honestly, I said yes because everybody else said yes, but I actually don't like Twitter because I don't think it's as powerful." And Sen. Feinstein replied "I don't think so either." He then explained that she can go on the news and drive the conversation in other ways though, which is what caused her to say that the TV networks have to call you first.

From my perspective, I think it's swell not to like Twitter––Twitter is obnoxious––, and I'm not expecting her to become the next great shitposter, but the problem is that we're not hearing her voice through any medium. Dismissing social media entirely, instead of realizing it as a tool with strengths and weaknesses, is not endearing in 2017. More significantly, it shows she's still stuck in the mode of the Senate as some kind of congenial compromising body, and that thinking is downright dangerous in an age where McConnell will flip the table over at any opportunity.

When you came into the town hall, they had a table with her office's press releases and stuff; the table was labeled something like "Sen. Feinstein opposes Trump policies." As I walked in, I noted how you're not doing a very good job if you feel the need to explicitly advertise that. It should be a given.
posted by zachlipton at 11:33 AM on April 18 [33 favorites]


When Barry Goldwater was running for president, the John Birch Society was saying that the president was probably controlled by the Soviet Union. If you listen to the liberals now, they sound remarkably similar.
...
I am sure that the Russians probably did hack into the Democrats' computers.
...
But to an outsider, the way the Democrats and their supporters are obsessing with Russia looks very strange and hysterical.


Equating a bunch of conspiracy theorists accusing Russia of doing something it did not do, and people accusing Russia of doing something it probably did do, by the author's own statements, is...weird? It's not hysterical or strange if it's a real concern. The truth matters. How is being concerned about a real and worrying thing strange? Isn't that normal and expected?

It's not as if Adam Curtis doesn't understand the power of Russian psyops lmao


Maybe, but it does seem like here's drawing an unfortunate inference here that concern about Russian interference is purely an electoral question rather than a more fundamental question of national security. From elsewhere in the interview:
What the left has got to do is go and find a common line for those people and genuinely offer them something. If they did that, they could make politics noble and important again. But instead they're hunkering down, sneering, and trying to blame Vladimir Putin. I mean, I'm sure Russians did hack practically every server in America, but that's not the real reason why Donald Trump won.
In framing Democratic and leftist concern with Russian involvement as an attempt to distance themselves from the election's outcome, Curtis pre-judges the idea that anyone could be concerned with it for its own sake. Shouldn't it be concerning? Shouldn't it be worrying? Forget the last election for the moment, and consider it as a broader question, particularly for elected representatives who might be asked to vote on foreign policy issues. Shouldn't this be something that Democrats and Republicans both should be concerned about?

Not everything in politics is about elections, but Curtis's framing here would make it so.
posted by cjelli at 11:34 AM on April 18 [20 favorites]


Shouldn't it be concerning? Shouldn't it be worrying?


The people who are normally concerned with Great Power style meddling are too thrilled to see the US taken down a peg to stick to silly things like "principles" which were never more than a post hoc justification.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:39 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Yes, because KS-4 is just as important as 1600-Penn.

You're missing the point. The DNC has been losing election after election and their incompetence cannot go unanswered. Russian involvement in the presidential election does not explain Democratic losses elsewhere. And if the presidential campaign had been better run, better managed, then maybe that last bit of effort would have been enough to win both the electoral college and the popular vote, and any Russian involvement would have been rendered moot. Lubyanka Square cannot be solely be blamed for Trump.

We get it. You like Curtis's article. Maybe let it stand on its own for a bit instead of facing all comers.

Maybe people should read it in full and consider it rather than making his point of "retreating into a kind of magical thinking."

Shouldn't it be concerning? Shouldn't it be worrying?

Sure, and by all means conduct investigations and figure out the answers. But it's not going to blow the current administration wide open, and putting their hopes on that. Proving that Trump won with Russian assistance isn't going to convince Republican voters that the Democratic Party is who they should vote for.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:39 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Un-fucking-believable. So as I'm understanding the timeline it's:

(1) Tuesday, PACOM tells WH that it's deploying. The content of this message is unknown-ish.
(2) Wednesday, Tillerson says that the deployment is routine, SPECIFICALLY SAYING that there was "no particular objective" to its course and that he "would not read too much" into the fact that it's headed towards North Korea.
(3) In between then and now, growing concern over saber-rattling causes more questioning of WH over their direction. White House says that ordering the Carl Vinson to the Sea of Japan is a powerful deterrent signal and will give Trump "more options" to deal with NK.
(4) But the carrier wasn't IN the Sea of Japan
(5) Because Trump never ORDERED IT into the Sea of Japan
(6) and furthermore whoever IS currently giving our Navy orders both never sent it to the Sea of Japan AND never corrected the White House when they started saying they HAD
(7) Until yesterday, when somebody took a fucking picture of it floating between fucking Java and Sumatra on a TOTALLY ALREADY KNOWN-ABOUT joint exercise with the Australian Navy.

Like: there's lying in order to deceive, right? To hide culpability, to throw people off, to feign strength, whatever. But then there's lying as pathology, and all it would have taken is a single person, anywhere in the chain of communication, to say "hey wait I don't know the answer to this question I'm getting about the fucking USS Carl Vinson and our incredibly wobbly foreign policy, I should ask somebody" instead of MAKING SHIT UP AS THEY GO.

It's incredible. It's an unfathomable, inexcusable level of incompetence.
posted by penduluum at 11:39 AM on April 18 [108 favorites]


My new go-to link for Green Party people.

It's like a who's who of Russian lackeys.
posted by Justinian at 11:39 AM on April 18 [10 favorites]


GEN. DODONNA: Well, the Empire doesn't consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, or they'd have a tighter defense. An analysis of the plans provided by Princess Leia has demonstrated a weakness in the battle sta--

REBEL 1: Look, before we do this, we really need to deal with the failures of Mon Mothma's leadership.

REBEL 2: She straight up ordered us to abandon that Dantooine base. We could have held it.

REBEL 1: All this hysteria about so-called planet-destroying superweapons just makes us look desperate to avoid facing the reality that the Emperor has figured out how to connect with disaffected galactic citizens, and we haven't.

[Four hours of debate later, YAVIN IV is blown up by the DEATH STAR]
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:39 AM on April 18 [77 favorites]


Er...
I am sure that the Russians probably did hack into the Democrats' computers. And I am sure that they may have leaked stuff to meddle with the election and to mess with confidence in the whole democratic process. I would also not be surprised if Donald Trump, and people around him, have had all kinds of dealings with dodgy people in Russia.
...and...
But to an outsider, the way the Democrats and their supporters are obsessing with Russia looks very strange and hysterical. Instead they seem to be retreating into a kind of magical thinking. Looking for something, anything that will be like a magic wand and wave President Trump away. And then they can go back to normality. It can’t help crossing one’s mind that maybe the Democrats are looking for an excuse that will mean they don’t have to change, that they don’t have to give things up in today’s unequal, brutal and unfair society.
How do you, in one paragraph, bluntly acknowledge that Russians surely hacked Dems' computers, and selectively leaked info to "meddle with" the election (i.e., tip it to Trump), and that Trump probably has directly relevant financial interests with "dodgy" Russians, AND THEN in the very next paragraph dismiss the Democrats' pointing to all of the above as signs of corruption as "hysterical" and "retreating into a kind of magical thinking"?

Seriously, is this guy a fucking idiot?
posted by darkstar at 11:40 AM on April 18 [66 favorites]


In which the NCAA falls for North Carolina's crappy fake "deal" on HB2 and schedules championship games in the state.
posted by zachlipton at 11:42 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


In which the NCAA falls for North Carolina's crappy fake "deal" on HB2 and schedules championship games in the state.

Bad move.
posted by Gelatin at 11:45 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


The very fact that you're analogizing the Russian connection as the one thing that will bring down the presidency, with a fictional example of one vulnerability that will bring down the presidency (of Tarkin), shows that you're framing it as a magic silver bullet.

It's fine to be mad about Russia, and certainly finding the truth is important, and investigations must continue. But it's not going to change who's in power this year. That will be decided at the polls in 2018 and 2020.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:45 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


no no, I'm making fun of Curtis, who comes off as a pompous dipshit in the quoted selections from his interview. that's all
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:47 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]


By missing its point, though?
posted by Apocryphon at 11:49 AM on April 18


I have missed better points than his for the sake of a Star Wars joke before and I'll do so again, possibly before the day is through
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:52 AM on April 18 [54 favorites]


What they're not facing up to is the real question, which is why did Donald Trump win the election?

Enough white people in the right places like racism.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:52 AM on April 18 [16 favorites]


[Y'all maybe let it drop all around at this point. Linking stuff you think is interesting is fine, linking it and then yeahbut-ing folks critical of it gets tedious real fast and doesn't make these threads better.]
posted by cortex at 11:54 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


For those interested in where Ivanka's shoes are made, Huajian is moving a lot of production to Ethopia, because it is cheaper. The propaganda to go with that is blood chilling.
posted by stonepharisee at 11:55 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


In conclusion, how different groups of people feel about the seriousness of the undisputed Russian interference is a land of contrasts.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:59 AM on April 18 [7 favorites]


That carrier group story though.

No one corrected the White House for two fucking days? As Oscar Wilde once said, the only thing worse than playing squash together is playing squash by youself. [fake, esoteric Monty Python reference]

I wish I hadn't said that.
posted by spitbull at 12:14 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Wow, it sure would've been embarrassing if North Korea had launched a preemptive strike because we said we were moving a carrier group into the Sea of Japan and it was actually going in the opposite direction! Boy, is my face red!
From the flames of nuclear hellfire.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:15 PM on April 18 [34 favorites]


So President Mattis then? Or is that just for foreign policy.

And how did Rex "Sleepy" Tillerson know but not his boss?
posted by spitbull at 12:22 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Flicking through some of the betting markets about Trump. A few odds being offered that you can bet on:

* What will Trump ban during his first term?
- To outlaw the theory of evolution: 50/1
- Stairs: 500/1
* The Queen to ban Trump from the UK: 20/1
* Trump to have a Russian airport named after him: 66/1
* Trump to holiday in Russia every year of his presidency: 33/1
* Melania:
- To be revealed to be living with another man in Trumps first term: 10/1
- To leave Trump in 2017: 16/1
- To run for president against Trump in 2020: 80/1
- To be deported in 2017: 100/1
* Trump physical appearance specials
- To grow a Hitler moustache: 66/1
- To surgically enhance his hands: 500/1
* Trump to commission his own face to be added to Mount Rushmore in 2017: 100/1
* Trump to have his likeness minted on US currency during his term: 100/1
* Trump to convert to Scientology: 25/1
* Will France ask for the Statue of Liberty back? Yes: 50/1
* To be deported:
- Madonna: 80/1
- Michael Moore: 80/1
* Trump to paint the exterior of the White House gold: 500/1
* Joe Biden meets Trump at an event and punches him right in the face: 100/1
posted by Wordshore at 12:24 PM on April 18 [14 favorites]


The carrier thing puts me even more in mind of Reagan than anything else Trump has done. The man is clearly utterly detached from what's going on and just making shit up as he goes along. No one in the White House wants to try to correct him, they either don't think its worth the trouble or they're fine with his flights of fantasy. It produces the occasional embarrassment but the media, as with Reagan, is very reluctant to actually call the President's senile dementia what it is.

I have hope that with the internet that wont' work out quite so well for the Republicans, and also while Reagan did put on a mask that fooled some people into thinking he was a kind old man, Trump doesn't even try. He is openly, proudly, mean and cruel. And I think other than for the real sociopathic 20% rump that's not going to sell so well in the long run.
What the left has got to do is go and find a common line for those people and genuinely offer them something. If they did that, they could make politics noble and important again. But instead they're hunkering down, sneering, and trying to blame Vladimir Putin. I mean, I'm sure Russians did hack practically every server in America, but that's not the real reason why Donald Trump won.
On a different note, I'd also like to know what sort of pushback we've got on this kind of utter tripe?

Because it's not as if the Democrats were just stumbling around utterly ignoring poor white people and obsessively focusing on urban black people. The Democrats have been working diligently to reach poor and working class white people since forever, have all manner of plans and programs in place specifically to assist poor and working class white people, and in fact the biggest social welfare programs in the country (Social Security, the ACA, Medicare) all go mainly to poor and working class white people.

The idea that somehow the Democrats are failing to offer poor and working class white people something would be laughable except that so many apparently serious people keep bringing it up.

The problem isn't that Democrats fail to offer poor and working class white people something, it's that when they do they get told in no uncertain terms to fuck off and die.

Many, many, threads ago our resident Republican whisperer pointed out that basically the average white Republican voter doesn't give a flying fuck about programs that actually help them, they want programs that buy into their mythos. She'd take exception to my putting it that way, but that's what I see as the core takeaway.

The average poor or working class white person doesn't reward the party that actually helps them with votes. Instead it spends its votes on the party that actively works to hurt them, but shores up their prejudices and fact free faith in the "American Dream".

You say "Hi working class and/or poor white person, I'm here to offer you a higher minimum wage, better healthcare, and free/cheap education so you and your children can have more life opportunities!" And they say "Fuck off and die Commie scum!"

The Republicans say "Hi working class and/or poor white person, I'm here to slash minimum wage, steal your healthcare, and gut your educational opportunities, so the job creators will shower you with super awesome high paying jobs! Also I'll really stick it to those illegal immigrants, LGBT people, black people and women!" And they say "Thank you oh great savior, let us shower you with votes and power!"

The problem is that the Democrats literally can't offer what the average working class white Republican voter wants, because what they want isn't a real program that helps them, but a fantasy that makes them feel better (and a chance to put the boot in on groups they hate). The average white Republican voter has been so conditioned to believe that any sort of effective social program is "Communism" that they oppose anything that works.

I have no idea what the fix for this is, but I think it's going to come down to the slow, hard, work of education. I'll also note that apparently a lot of people really prefer voting for Republicans, for whatever reason, but will (reluctantly) turn out for a Democrat when the Republicans fuck shit up too much. To a large extent I think Obama won because this group had reached its limit with GWB and was, finally, reluctantly, and grudgingly, willing to vote for the party that can actually fix things. But the very instant it seemed that the worst of Junior's fuck ups had been kind of, sort of, patched up, they immediately switched right back to the Republicans.
posted by sotonohito at 12:25 PM on April 18 [99 favorites]


Instead of another umpteen million "I never thought leopards would eat MY face" article, I'd be much more interested in articles about people who voted for Obama and switched to Trump and what it would take to switch them back.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:29 PM on April 18 [15 favorites]


sotonohito: Your last sentence accurately describes my dad. He begrudgingly voted for Obama in 2008 and then bought right into the Fox News narrative of OBAMA IS RUINING EVERYTHING!!!
posted by Fleebnork at 12:30 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


in other words:

GOP: you're a hero and a winner and potential millionaire. you've been screwed over by people who aren't like you and want to keep you down. we'll kick their asses for you and you can become awesome all by yourself

VOTER: Yeah!

DEMOCRATS: hey, looks like you could use some help there

VOTER: Fuck you!
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:33 PM on April 18 [132 favorites]


If we're going to make a masking tape wall at the border, we might as well mask off squares for cats to sit in while we're at it.

I'm starting to see a strategy for solving the homeless cat population AND ensuring border security at the same time.
posted by Preserver at 12:37 PM on April 18 [14 favorites]


One of these days, the White House is actually going to need people to believe them about something important, information in a disaster or something, and people will say "you didn't even know which way your own ship was moving."

p.s. please enjoy this ridiculous picture of Rand Paul wearing a blazer over scrubs
posted by zachlipton at 12:38 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


PBO: Sounds about right, and when you phrase it that way maybe there's the seeds for reaching some of them. They want to believe that they'll be super awesome once the bad people stop fucking them over, we can offer the actual bad people (CEO's, banksters, Wall Street scumbags, etc) as scapegoats.

Democrats: You're a hero and a winner and a potential millionaire if only those fuckers in management and up on Wall Street would stop keeping you down, we'll kick their asses for you and you can become awesome all by yourself. oh and also there's some social programs we totally know you don't need you bold bootstrapper you, but if you should happen to know someone who needs help they can get it here
posted by sotonohito at 12:38 PM on April 18 [29 favorites]


Re: Feinstein

I appreciate the reality check from The Blue. I should have left off the Russian aspect of it.

But I still think both oversight committees have experienced regulatory capture from the groups they are supposed to oversee. When you play at that level, people will take every angle at you, friendly or not, publicly or not. Straight up blackmail may be a small part of it. But whatever is holding these people back from doing their jobs, it's working.
posted by BentFranklin at 12:38 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I think we just solved for Bernie, sotonohito
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:41 PM on April 18 [12 favorites]


Trump is giving a speech at a Snap-On Tools factory in Wisconsin right now and momentarily said something about dumping steel and for a second it seemed like he was going to do the trade war with China. Which would have been quite a surprise after all of the scraping and groveling before Xi and begging for his help.

But, turns out it's just another promise to "Buy American" in some narrow, specific cases with federal contractors and projects. And some stuff about Canada and skilled worker visas. Yet another cat-pooping-in-a-toilet appearance for Trump, where he'll undoubtedly get effusive praise for not-completely-incompetently doing the barest fundamental thing a statesman should be able to do, giving a speech containing complete sentences from a teleprompter.

Also, Steve Mnuchin is a world-champion tree climber? WTF? Did the cat miss the toilet?
posted by XMLicious at 12:42 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I think it's time to turn off MSNBC and close the Talking Points Memo tab, my dude. I'm all for abolishing the intelligence community and cutting the military budget to something approaching the global average, but the idea that centrists are centrists because of CIA/FSB blackmail is ludicrous.

Talking Points Memo hasn't written anything about the CIA/FSB blackmailing centrists.
posted by diogenes at 12:46 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


More amazing is that these guys managed to get down from the trees.
posted by spitbull at 12:46 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


people who voted for Obama and switched to Trump and what it would take to switch them back.

Those articles are boring. They are just "But her e-mails!" over and over again.

The Obama->Trump voters thought Hillary Clinton was corrupt. And that she represented The Establishment (which to them is basically the same thing as "corrupt".). They are people who were just eager to vote for unspecified change.

Since Clinton's e-mails were actually not very scandalous, and she was not particularly corrupt, I don't know that there's a lesson to take away from those people. They got fooled by 30 years of right wing lies, plus a blizzard of new lies cooked up just for this campaign.

Probably someone who looks and sounds a little more like Jimmy Stewart (have you ever heard a woman described as having "an honest face"?) would be less vulnerable to that kind of smear campaign. So next time Dems should run a Jimmy Stewart type, I guess.

(Who's our modern Jimmy Stewart? Matt Damon? Should we run Matt Damon? No wait - Tom Hanks!)
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:50 PM on April 18 [14 favorites]


America is calling you, Kenneth the Page.
posted by delfin at 12:53 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


people who voted for Obama and switched to Trump and what it would take to switch them back.

A penis?
posted by JackFlash at 12:54 PM on April 18 [29 favorites]


Vox did a nice six minute video on how CNN is terrible.

The video is interesting at a meta level too. Farhad Manjoo called it "the future of takes." I'm not sure about that—I still generally hate watching videos—but there's a bit of CGP Grey's style in this one's clarity and narration that works well. So much online "news" video is just churned out garbage slideshows to satisfy some manager who declared that video is the future of ad revenue, but I think there's a lot of potential in these sorts of clear, well-done bits that owe more of their style to educational YouTube channels than cable news.
posted by zachlipton at 12:55 PM on April 18 [19 favorites]


Should we run Matt Damon? No wait - Tom Hanks!

"The US government has lost credibility, so it's borrowing some of mine."
posted by nubs at 12:56 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Also, Steve Mnuchin is a world-champion tree climber? WTF? Did the cat miss the toilet?

Watching the video, he's talking about someone named "Sean" as the world-champion climber who is "also very good on television." Could he be talking about Spicey?
posted by zachlipton at 12:56 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


And I'm serious about that. If you look at the cross tabs, in the demographics where Clinton lost a few points compared to Obama, for example African-Americans and Hispanics, it was entirely a decrease in men. Women African-Americans and Hispanics voted for Clinton in numbers equal to Obama. And the big decrease in white men was obvious.
posted by JackFlash at 12:57 PM on April 18 [14 favorites]


'During a speech at George Washington University, former General John Kelly, the new head of DHS for Trump told politicians to either change the laws they don't like or "shut up and support the men and women on the front lines."'

Yea...you don't get to tell the opposition when to stop talking in a democracy. Sorry General, American citizens aren't E-4s under your direct command, how about you shut the fuck up instead? This guy definitely has the authoritarian streak, so we know why Trump picked him now. Scratch another off the 'adults in the room' list.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:01 PM on April 18 [49 favorites]


Here's James Kilpatrick, in the finals of the tree climbing world championship.
posted by notyou at 1:01 PM on April 18


And "on the front lines"? CPB is fighting a war against...who?, exactly?
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:02 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


JackFlash: White women also went for Trump if the polling analysis is to be believed, so as far as white people were concerned, it seems like fear of black people trumped fear of women, unless it was internalized misogyny and not racism, or low information voting, that made white women swing for Trump.

Seems more likely racism was the factor there to me, unless the election results are just completely meaningless noise at this point due to all the confounding factors.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:04 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Watching the video, he's talking about someone named "Sean" as the world-champion climber who is "also very good on television." Could he be talking about Spicey?

Is he talking about Sean Duffy the congressman from WI who was on The Real World: Boston (and also competed in lumberjack competitions)?
posted by sporkwort at 1:09 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Sanders supporter to run against red-state Democrat

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) is getting a primary challenger this week.

Dustin Peyer, a firefighter, is expected to formally announce his campaign against Heitkamp on Thursday at a marijuana reform rally at the state capitol in Bismarck.

Pressed about why he is challenging Heitkamp, Peyer pointed to a "Medicaid for all" system and campaign finance reforms.

"Her specifically in my opinion like I say campaign finance reform," he said. "She's in there with everyone else and that's a big part of it. And we need to make sure that she's being accountable and having debates and having town halls."

posted by futz at 1:12 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


sometimes I wish I had like donated a finger or something to the HRC campaign, just so that every time Trump does something horrifying I feel with complete certainty that I did my part and oh well.
posted by angrycat at 1:13 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


I did donate a finger, and boy did I pick the wrong one to give away in times such as these.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:14 PM on April 18 [38 favorites]


Sources: The Murdochs Are Turning Against Bill O’Reilly

Three sources with knowledge of the discussions said that, while no final decision has been made, the Murdochs are leaning toward announcing that O’Reilly will not return to the air. Sons James and Lachlan have been arguing that O’Reilly needs to go, say these sources, though their father, Rupert, has resisted that outcome.
posted by futz at 1:15 PM on April 18 [19 favorites]


Firefighter discovers weird trick to get DNCC to spend money in a red state
posted by The Gaffer at 1:17 PM on April 18 [9 favorites]


"Her specifically in my opinion like I say campaign finance reform,"

crap I think I just got pontypooled
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:33 PM on April 18 [16 favorites]


Another thing in the Wisconsin speech earlier is that Trump again made the ridiculous claim that no other administration in history has accomplished as much during its first 100 days in office.

Not that it can be taken seriously in comparison to any other administration but I checked to be sure, and Harry Truman won World War II during his first hundred days in office: V-E day was 26 days after he was sworn in, the Battle of Okinawa ended 70 days afterward, the Trinity test was at 95 days, and Japan surrendered 118 days after he entered office.
posted by XMLicious at 1:33 PM on April 18 [41 favorites]


Yea but he did it with FDR's players. You've got to give a coach 3 years to get his recruits in there.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:38 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


I'm the youngest person by fifteen years at the poll-watching training, and the only white person. Which I expected, but is still disheartening.

That's totally what it's like getting involved with the Democratic party in red, rural areas, in my experience. I've wondered if I'm the only white Democrat in my precinct.

Which is important to remember when you're talking about abandoning the red states. The people who are doing the work of trying to create a Democratic chance there are very often POC. So when the national party or liberals on the internet or whatever tell them to fuck off, it's leaving the POC with no support or respect from the very people who claim to care about them.
posted by threeturtles at 1:40 PM on April 18 [45 favorites]


> GOP: you're a hero and a winner and potential millionaire. you've been screwed over by people who aren't like you and want to keep you down. we'll kick their asses for you and you can become awesome all by yourself

VOTER: Yeah!

DEMOCRATS: hey, looks like you could use some help there

VOTER: Fuck you!


I mean on the one hand I want to agree with your framing, but on the other hand there's a "getting high on own supply" angle to it. I remember during the few parts of the debates that I could stand to watch (rather than receiving secondhand through metafilter) more than a few moments where Clinton could have put Trump away by (say) taking a strong pro-union line, but where she instead ended up pivoting to anodyne stuff about America being already great (because the Democrats haven't been the party of labor since before I was born, if they ever were). I remember feeling a sickening lurch in my stomach each time she pivoted, even though I never suspected that she'd ultimately end up losing the electoral college.

so on the one hand yes, but on the other hand the help the dems offer has often been inadequate and sort of technocratic and conservative rather than bold or empowering, but on the third hand at least it's something, but on the fourth hand (so on, ad infinitum).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:40 PM on April 18 [16 favorites]


Hey, Truman's record is not safe yet. Trump still has a couple weeks to use his own WMDs.
posted by thefoxgod at 1:41 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Sources: The Murdochs Are Turning Against Bill O’Reilly

Oh hey!

Law Newz:
Lisa Bloom @LisaBloom
I represent a new woman who just phoned in a complaint of sexual and racial harassment against Bill O'Reilly to the Fox News hotline.


(Law Newz by Dan Abramz)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:46 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


people who voted for Obama and switched to Trump and what it would take to switch them back.

IMO most of them them overcame their innate racism because they thought they'd be absolved forever for their racism. It was the "I have a black friend" of votes. It didn't hurt that a white guy had fucked things up so bad and the new white option was so mediocre while the black guy was exceptional. But then they weren't heralded as a hero for voting black - people still called out their bigotry and those damn uppity blacks still wanted equality even after these whites had so magnanimously given them a black president. So they not only reverted to voting their racial animus, they did so with a vengeance, even more white supremacist than before.
posted by chris24 at 1:47 PM on April 18 [21 favorites]


more than a few moments where Clinton could have put Trump away by (say) taking a strong pro-union line, but where she instead ended up pivoting to anodyne stuff about America being already great (because the Democrats haven't been the party of labor since before I was born, if they ever were)

Democrats and Labor: Frenemies Forever?
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:48 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Arrgh that most successful 100 days ever thing. He's done precisely jack in his first 100 days but shit all over every norm and expectation that comes with the office.

Arrgh. Need to return to one of the active craft beer threads.
posted by notyou at 1:49 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


The average white Republican voter has been so conditioned to believe that any sort of effective social program is "Communism" that they oppose anything that works.

That's not quite true. It's totally possible to create effective social programs that white Republicans will go for. They just can't be accessible to literally everyone without any cost.

So you could, say, create a program where new parents paid 100$ a month for the first year of their kids life and then their kid got free college tuition to a four year college if they could get into one and people would eat it up with a spoon, describe it as something they "earned" and "paid for", and they would never consider that 1200$ in compound interest doesn't actually go that far towards rising college prices.

A lot of it is about design and messaging and just creating some minimal buy in cost. Honestly, I'm constantly surprised Democrats haven't done it already.
posted by corb at 1:49 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


What the left has got to do is go and find a common line for those people and genuinely offer them something. If they did that, they could make politics noble and important again. But instead they're hunkering down, sneering, and trying to blame Vladimir Putin. I mean, I'm sure Russians did hack practically every server in America, but that's not the real reason why Donald Trump won.
If any of these fellows had ever won elections before—or even ever run one, then I'd be a lot more inclined to give their pontifications a little more regard than I give the average punter. High marks here, tho, for cramming the phrases "make politics noble and important again" and "sneering, and trying to blame Vladimir Putin" into the same paragraph.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:49 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


The average white Republican voter has been so conditioned to believe that any sort of effective social program is "Communism" that they oppose anything that works.

They oppose anything that helps "those people." They're quite okay with government helping them.
posted by chris24 at 1:52 PM on April 18 [20 favorites]


> more than a few moments where Clinton could have put Trump away by (say) taking a strong pro-union line

Union membership has declined so much, especially in the contested states, that I don't think this is true. Democrats should take more pro-union stances because it's the right thing to do, and it could maybe help build the party's depth in the coming years, but I don't think a change in rhetoric toward labror in the 2016 Presidential election would have changed the outcome.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:54 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


> That's not quite true. It's totally possible to create effective social programs that white Republicans will go for. They just can't be accessible to literally everyone without any cost.

In short, the Republican base is not comfortable with plans that don't in some way manufacture losers. If there's not someone to look down on, and if the people looked down on don't suffer, and if it doesn't seem like it's their fault for suffering, then it's not appealing.

If we want to inspire great swathes of white America, we need to name a loser, and we need to present a plan to make that loser hurt, and we need to make it seem like the loser's fault that they're hurting. Hopefully we can treat those parts of the white-national psyche as damage and route around them instead, but...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:59 PM on April 18 [27 favorites]


> Union membership has declined so much, especially in the contested states, that I don't think this is true. Democrats should take more pro-union stances because it's the right thing to do, and it could maybe help build the party's depth in the coming years, but I don't think a change in rhetoric toward labror in the 2016 Presidential election would have changed the outcome.

True as such. I guess I'm using being pro-labor as a synecdoche for popular empowerment in general; the "america was always great" party line has "sit down and shut up and eat your vegetables" implications, where instead what was needed was something more like "things are crap but YOU are powerful and YOU aren't gonna take it anymore and YOU can do something about it!"
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:03 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


So you could, say, create a program where new parents paid 100$ a month for the first year of their kids life and then their kid got free college tuition to a four year college if they could get into one and people would eat it up with a spoon, describe it as something they "earned" and "paid for", and they would never consider that 1200$ in compound interest doesn't actually go that far towards rising college prices.

A lot of it is about design and messaging and just creating some minimal buy in cost. Honestly, I'm constantly surprised Democrats haven't done it already.


Right, but this just reads to me like duping the rubes. Lying to them outright, telling them something that is patently false in order to let them keep their idiotic delusions.
posted by anem0ne at 2:07 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


I mean, don't get me wrong, I think it's completely okay to dupe the idiotic masses, at this point, but, let's just be clear what we're doing...
posted by anem0ne at 2:07 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]




First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump
Federal agents ignored President Trump's pledge to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children by sending a young man back to his native Mexico, the first such documented case, a USA TODAY examination of the new administration's immigration policies shows.

After spending an evening with his girlfriend in Calexico, Calif., on Feb. 17, Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who has lived in the U.S. since age 9, grabbed a bite and was waiting for a ride when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached and started asking questions.

Montes was twice granted deportation protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by President Barack Obama and left intact by President Trump.

Montes had left his wallet in a friend's car, so he couldn't produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn't retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first undocumented immigrant with active DACA status deported by the Trump administration's stepped-up deportation policy.
Three hours? What the fuck?
posted by zachlipton at 2:08 PM on April 18 [61 favorites]


That's not quite true. It's totally possible to create effective social programs that white Republicans will go for. They just can't be accessible to literally everyone without any cost.

Okay, first of all, this is complete and utter bullshit. We've had work-for-welfare programs and drug-testing and all kinds of similar and often shitty hoops for the disadvantaged to jump through, and yet white Republicans have become even more bigoted. Second, "accessible to literally everyone without any cost" is kind of the point. These are people for who every extra cost makes their lives magnitudes worse than the people who could take even an extra couple of percents of marginal tax rate hikes. Which leads us to the final issue, that this is extremely regressive taxation, which white Republicans love because it hurts marginalized populations, not despite it.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:09 PM on April 18 [22 favorites]


The function of this proposed optional tax is not to give the impression that the program is self-funding. It's to serve as a gatekeeping device; people who are flat broke will have to make the "choice" not to take the very good deal on offer, and their kids will be boned because kids with parents who could spare a few hundred dollars here and there during the very expensive first year of their lives will have even more of a leg up on them.

It's not about duping the masses. It's about gatekeeping, and about manufacturing losers by keeping them outside the gates.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:11 PM on April 18 [27 favorites]


It actually does seem kind of normal or, at any rate, not worth our worry right now:

"The Russian long-range TU-95 Bear bombers breached airspace around the U.S and Canada known as the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone in which aircraft must be readily identified and report details of their course and destination. The Russian bombers stayed in international airspace
...
There was no bridge-to-bridge communication between the US and Russian aircraft, but three U.S. officials said the Russians acted 'very professionally.'

While this is the first time Russian bombers have been off the Alaskan coast since 2015, they have flown in the area about 60 times since 2007."
posted by witchen at 2:13 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


this is normal. U.S. Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers Flying Near Alaska

This is a new-ish normal, but not a new-because-Trump normal. Russians have been aggressive with their aircraft for several years now.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:17 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


The Russians buzz UK airspace on a regular basis. They head towards us with intent, we send up Biggles, they wave at each other and everyone goes home for tea and medals.

It's a sort of mutual support club: everyone gets to play warbird and the defence allocation gets a little more secure each time.
posted by Devonian at 2:18 PM on April 18 [12 favorites]


Metafilter is good at a lot of things. Psychoanalyzing people who don't come here is not one of those things, and we're not getting anywhere useful by trying to model the vicious little minds that we've invented for a heterogeneous group.
posted by The Gaffer at 2:24 PM on April 18 [16 favorites]


well in this instance i'm glad to be wrong that bombers buzzing others' airspaces is normal! also i should rtfa before ltfa
posted by localhuman at 2:25 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Good news, everybody! North Korea Offers Unconditional Surrender After Mike Pence Angrily Squints at It (by Andy Borowitz for the New Yorker - SATIRE)
In a major foreign-policy coup for the Trump Administration, North Korea offered to unconditionally abandon its nuclear program on Monday, after Mike Pence spent several minutes angrily squinting at the nation from just across the border.

Warning North Korea that the United States had jettisoned its policy of “strategic patience” and that “all options were on the table,” Pence fixed his steely glare on the isolated Communist nation and began furiously staring it down.

After Pence spent between five and six minutes demonstrating U.S. resolve by squinting indignantly, the government in Pyongyang released a statement indicating that North Korea’s nuclear ambitions were a thing of the past.
Here's that steely gaze.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:28 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Three hours? What the fuck?
Gotta start somewhere / examples need to be made, etc.
posted by cjdavis at 2:29 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


well in this instance i'm glad to be wrong that bombers buzzing others' airspaces is normal! also i should rtfa before ltfa

No I mean I get it--I've been hitting refresh on these threads like it's my job (ha ha my job lol) because my freak-out meter is so sensitive right now.

It's good to be aware of these things, anyhow, so that when we see the headlines later on tonight we can sigh and roll our eyes because we already knew that and we knew that the headlines were just a little bit sensational. I do sincerely appreciate Metafilter for that reason.
posted by witchen at 2:31 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


> we're not getting anywhere useful by trying to model the vicious little minds that we've invented for a heterogeneous group

It's hard to tell since you weren't explicit about it, but if you're talking about the pushback against the idea of "buying in" to welfare, it seems to me that when someone claims to speak on behalf of sensible, moderate conservatives about the perfect pony welfare program that sensible, moderate conservatives will totally support, it's right to note the mountains of evidence that they would not support such a program. That evidence includes the writings of conservative intellectuals, the budgets of Republican legislators, and the rhetoric of so-called moderates that focuses on certain kinds of redistribution that they imagine goes to the undeserving with nary a peep about the other kinds of redistribution that helps them and their own communities. It's not about getting into their psyches, it's about taking them at their own word about their own beliefs that they're perfectly happy to share with anyone who bothers to ask.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:34 PM on April 18 [20 favorites]


It's good to be aware of these things, anyhow, so that when we see the headlines later on tonight we can sigh and roll our eyes because we already knew that and we knew that the headlines were just a little bit sensational.

Love Sensational media headlines will tear us apart

again
posted by Existential Dread at 2:38 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I suppose I'm a little bit overconfident about my ability to model the worldview of the contemporary American right wing by first examining all my worst impulses and then pretending those impulses are good, but uhh it's served me well so far.

No that's not fair, that's not what I'm doing. What I'm doing is taking the necessary and unpleasant side-effects of the "personal responsibility" story that the Republican party uses, and then treating those effects as the purpose of their schemes rather than as side-effects. The argument becomes that leftists and liberals who want to capture "personal responsibility" voters would be better served by producing a scheme that generates something like those unpleasant side-effects, rather than a scheme that has anything to do with "personal responsibility" as such.

I think this approach adequately explains the actions taken by the Republican leadership, the actions taken by the Republican base, and the lack of traction received by right-wing Democratic plans that incorporate the idea of "personal responsibility," but that try to minimize, or at least not foreground, the nasty side effects.

Ever see one of those gas station tabloids — I don't think they're legal in all states — that run nothing but peoples' mugshots and blurbs making fun of them? We cannot deny the raw libidinal pleasure of this type of nasty entertainment; we like it. And we must acknowledge it and in some way deal with it, either by somehow routing around the people who have fully given themselves over to that type of pleasure, or else by somehow, insofar as it is possible, harnessing that part of the American id for good.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:40 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]






Yeah, saber rattling with North Korea while simultaneously picking an unnecessary fight with South Korea is an interesting strategy...

Maybe we're trying to forge peace in the Korean Peninsula by uniting them in their irritation at us. I guess that's as good a plan as any.
posted by jackbishop at 2:46 PM on April 18 [10 favorites]


Conservative intellectuals, republican legislators, and whoever these sensible, moderate conservatives I don't care about so much, though - it's (in increasing order of importance), R voters, occasional R voters, and culturally Republican* nonvoters. So decoding some Heritage Foundation dog whistle or Alex Jones regular whistle doesn't necessarily help because these people aren't of a piece. What's more, someone can be badly informed, racist but not the most racist, less misogynist than you might expect, etc.

So taking Steve King's latest amendment as the secret desire of every trump voter or person who just didn't turn out for hillary isn't necessarily accurate, and that's even before we get into the pattern** of taking some appalachian hillfolk and blaming them for everything affluent exoburbers do.

For instance, making some kind of hedge or structural element that appeals to supply side economics or a just world theory or whatever seems less useful than making something useful and defending it with forceful, plain language. The Republican party wins by pissing on your leg and telling you it's raining. The Democratic party pisses on your leg slight less, then explains why it's best that you be covered in urine.

*Not social conservatives, but people who live in or identify with Republican-leaning communities or subcultures.

**Pattern that lives all over the place, not just here.
posted by The Gaffer at 2:50 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


we're not getting anywhere useful by trying to model the vicious little minds that we've invented for a heterogeneous group

Conservatives don't actually care about the things they say they care about.

When I was Marine Corps basic, one of my DIs would pontificate at length about how Slick Willy was womanizing draft-dodger he would never salute, and that his election represented the rot at the center of liberalism. Nobody gave a shit about the deficit until Bush the Lesser left office and then it was all Obamaphones all the time. It is perfectly acceptable for a "family values" conservative to be philandering about with rent boys while snorting mountains of coke.

The converse of IOKIYAR is that if a Dem does it or likes it, it must be bad.

Paul Ryan doesn't give a shit about grandmothers - live or die, Lyin' Ryan cares not - but Dems would (in general) prefer that they don't starve and so Paul Ryan is absolutely in favor of making grandmothers eat cat food.

It is not possible to reach conservatives, and it is a waste to try. There's nothing to understand except relentless and stupid opposition.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:54 PM on April 18 [28 favorites]


Obit: Man died peacefully after falsely told Trump was impeached

Michael Garland Elliott died "peacefully" April 6 after his "ex-wife and best friend" Teresa Elliott informed him that "Donald Trump has been impeached," his obituary in The Oregonian said.

"Mike ran out of family long ago and is survived by his ex-wife and best friend, Teresa Elliott," the obituary read. "Though their marriage ran aground, their friendship only grew stronger and hers was the last voice Mike heard. And the last thing she said to him was 'Donald Trump has been impeached.' Upon hearing that he took his final, gentle breath, his earthly work concluded."

posted by futz at 2:56 PM on April 18 [74 favorites]


> So taking Steve King's latest amendment as the secret desire of every trump voter or person who just didn't turn out for hillary isn't necessarily accurate, and that's even before we get into the pattern** of taking some appalachian hillfolk and blaming them for everything affluent exoburbers do.

I guess one reason I'm pushing back is that I don't think it's so much a matter of explaining the behavior of affluent exoburbers in terms of the behavior of appalachian hillfolk, and more a matter of analyzing the behavior of humans; what I'm talking about is something like the abominable fancy, which predates exoburbs, white Appalachian hillfolk, and the United States itself.

Much of the convoluted language found across the political spectrum can be explained as attempts to avoid openly admitting that we enjoy the idea of the abominable fancy.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:57 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


YCTaB, yeah, but then we're going from the inherent wickedness of man to pulling the wrong lever in 2016, and that's an awfully long journey.
posted by The Gaffer at 3:10 PM on April 18


> So taking Steve King's latest amendment as the secret desire of every trump voter or person who just didn't turn out for hillary isn't necessarily accurate

I'm not talking about Steve King. I'm talking about mainstream leaders of the party and the legislative caucuses. I'm talking about politicians at the state and local levels who use the same rhetoric, which I see firsthand in the purple state of Pennsylvania, and that my wife encounters as a freelance reporter who's covering the political primaries right now. I'm talking about the fact that I can probably count the number of currently sitting elected Republicans who've ever deviated from orthodoxy on support for lower income people on the fingers of one hand. You can try to dismiss this as nutpicking, but this isn't about the Kings/Gohmerts.

> For instance, making some kind of hedge or structural element that appeals to supply side economics or a just world theory or whatever seems less useful than making something useful and defending it with forceful, plain language. The Republican party wins by pissing on your leg and telling you it's raining. The Democratic party pisses on your leg slight less, then explains why it's best that you be covered in urine.

It seems less useful until you encounter actual voters who vote against every tax increase precisely because of conservative epithets about the perils of "tax-and-spend liberalism" and "exploding deficits." We seem to agree that "tricking" conservatives into supporting a robust redistribution program is unlikely to work, but as we've seen with the ACA, it's also very difficult to get any sort of help to poor people without Rube Goldberg-ing the hell out of it. I would love to live in this world where explicit appeals to tax-and-spend would gain enough traction to get policy passed and signed into law, but that's not the world we've lived in for a very long time.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:11 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


>YCTaB, yeah, but then we're going from the inherent wickedness of man to pulling the wrong lever in 2016, and that's an awfully long journey.

I dunno, shit's been pretty eschatological up in here lately, and we've picked literally the worst human in the world to immanentize that eschaton, and it all leads one to think in broad terms about what sort of creature we are.

More seriously, we're looking for an explanation for a particular human behavior ("you picked the literal worst person why?") that might lead to a method of changing that behavior ("what do we have to do to persuade you to get rid of the literal worst person?")

"Appeal to personal responsibility" is one proposed method. I'm arguing that that method won't work, because personal responsibility is primarily a stalking horse for "give us a loser to laugh at and blame." I am willing to stand by the claim that my interpretation is both accurate and also sorta useful in thinking through what schemes will or won't be appealing.

If you'd rather operate in terms of contemporary rather than medieval / late classical metaphors, you can think of "personal responsibility" as being like those variables that data scientists can use to select populations in ways that correlate incredibly well with race, but which aren't explicitly about race. The people drawing insurance rate maps or congressional district borders using those variables don't actually care about whatever it is they're sorting on; what they care about (whether or not they care to admit it to themselves) is that those variables correlate with race.

The "personal responsibility" narrative isn't the thing that matters; the blame-a-loser-for-losing impulse is what matters.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:24 PM on April 18 [9 favorites]




-- Officials familiar with the process say even if the application to monitor Page included information from the dossier, it would only be after the FBI had corroborated the information through its own investigation. The officials would not say what or how much was corroborated.

-- Comey hasn't mentioned the dossier in all his briefings to lawmakers, according to people familiar with the briefings. To some of them, he has emphasized that the FBI gathered evidence as part of its investigation to support seeking FISA court approval and to take other steps as part of the probe that began last July, according to the officials briefed of the probe.


Oh Carter, I am thrilled that you are so dumb. Thank you.
posted by futz at 3:33 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Computer Issues Are Causing Voting Problems In Georgia House Special Election

After experiencing some issues on Tuesday, Fulton County officials are hoping to keep two polling precincts open later.

Richard Barron, the director of elections and registration for Fulton County, said they are trying to extend voting hours for Centennial High School in Roswell and the Johns Creek Environmental Campus.

The problem is, the judge that has to OK voting extension, Shawn Ellen LaGrua, is hearing a criminal case today.


Also voting equipment was stolen yesterday (?) and there are reports that 3 polling locations were changed at the last minute without any notification (twitter).

Looks like voting hours were extended.

Potential voting issues began even before Tuesday: Secretary of State Brian Kemp said Monday that his office is investigating the theft of some voting equipment from a Cobb County precinct manager’s vehicle. Kemp said although the incident happened Saturday, his office was not alerted until two days later.

Right now it looks like the last polling site will close at approx 8pm. To be continued...
posted by futz at 3:37 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


> ... investigating the theft of some voting equipment from a Cobb County precinct manager’s vehicle. Kemp said although the incident happened Saturday, his office was not alerted until two days later.

Seriously? Now we're just tolerating outright theft of voting equipment, so that they can be probed at leisure for hack-able weaknesses?
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:42 PM on April 18 [12 favorites]


And the comment I was originally making:
Kevin Drum has had it with the "lies as performance art": Under Trump, Trade Deficits Are Up, Interest Rates Have Doubled, and Car Sales are Plummeting

I guess we'd better get on the bandwagon. We need to start saying stuff about Trump without bothering to check if it's remotely true...
  • American war casualties have gone up 100 percent under Trump. (This is actually true if you pick the right dates. Not that it matters.)
  • The February trade deficit with Mexico under Trump doubled compared to Obama's first February. The trade deficit with China was two-thirds higher. (True!)
  • Automobile sales have plummeted at an annual rate of 40 percent under Trump. (Also true!)
  • Interest rates have more than doubled since Trump was elected. (This is true too!)
  • Trump has the lowest recorded IQ of any American president ever. (That's what people have told me, anyway.)

posted by RedOrGreen at 3:42 PM on April 18 [13 favorites]


Ryan Lizza on The Continuing Fallout from Trump and Nunes's Fake Scandal:
It is now clear that the scandal was not Rice’s normal review of the intelligence reports but the coördinated effort between the Trump Administration and Nunes to sift through classified information and computer logs that recorded Rice’s unmasking requests, and then leak a highly misleading characterization of those documents, all in an apparent effort to turn Rice, a longtime target of Republicans, into the face of alleged spying against Trump. It was a series of lies to manufacture a fake scandal. Last week, CNN was the first to report that both Democrats and Republicans who reviewed the Nunes material at the N.S.A. said that the documents provided “no evidence that Obama Administration officials did anything unusual or illegal.”

I spoke to two intelligence sources, one who read the entire binder of intercepts and one who was briefed on their contents. “There’s absolutely nothing there,” one source said. The Trump names remain masked in the documents, and Rice would not have been able to know in all cases that she was asking the N.S.A. to unmask the names of Trump officials.
...
The intelligence source told me that he knows, “from talking to people in the intelligence community,” that “the White House said, ‘We are going to mobilize to find something to justify the President’s tweet that he was being surveilled.’ They put out an all-points bulletin”—a call to sift through intelligence reports—“and said, ‘We need to find something that justifies the President’s crazy tweet about surveillance at Trump Tower.’ And I’m telling you there is no way you get that from those transcripts, which are about as plain vanilla as can be.” (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)
So how's the investigation going?
Even though there is now some bipartisan agreement that Nunes’s description of the intercepts was wildly inaccurate, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are still preparing to focus on Obama’s national-security team, rather than on Vladimir Putin’s. Last week, Democrats and Republicans finalized their witness lists, and the names tell a tale of two separate investigations. The intelligence source said, “The Democratic list involves all of the characters that you would think it would: Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Carter Page,” speaking of the three Trump campaign officials who have been most closely tied to the Russia investigation. “The Republican list is almost entirely people from the Obama Administration.”

The fake scandal created by Trump and Nunes is not over yet. The first name on the Republican list is Susan Rice.
Word is that the Senate Intelligence Committee is going to hold another public hearing soonish. We'll see if they're still at least pretending that they're running a single investigation.
posted by zachlipton at 3:42 PM on April 18 [31 favorites]


The White House just sent out an email with quotes praising Trump's executive order. The quotes … are from White House officials.

They've put out press emails before where they quote news stories praising their stuff, but one consisting entirely of officials praising themselves is a new low.
posted by zachlipton at 3:46 PM on April 18 [39 favorites]


"things are crap but YOU are powerful and YOU aren't gonna take it anymore and YOU can do something about it!"

Saying "things are crap" would have been a slap in the face to Obama and everyone who supported him so of course, Clinton was not going to do that.
posted by asteria at 3:46 PM on April 18


Saying 'things are crap' would have been a slap in the face to Obama and everyone who supported him so of course, Clinton was not going to do that.

But she could've said "things were crap before Obama was elected" with examples, said things are better now, but we have a long way to go. I'll finish what he started, but better. Don't change horses in midstream argument.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:49 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Mexico's Revenge
From 2000 to 2013, China’s bilateral trade with Latin America increased by 2,300 percent, according to one calculation. A raft of recently inked deals forms the architecture for China to double its annual trade with the region, to $500 billion, by the middle of the next decade. Mexico, however, has remained a grand exception to this grand strategy. China has had many reasons for its restrained approach in Mexico, including the fact that Mexico lacks most of the export commodities that have attracted China to other Latin American countries. But Mexico also happens to be the one spot in Latin America where the United States would respond with alarm to a heavy Chinese presence.

That sort of alarm is just the thing some Mexicans would now like to provoke.
Trump's Old Tweets Are Becoming A Minefield Of Hypocrisy

what sort of creature we are.


Featherless biped*

*with broad flat nails.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:51 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


They've put out press emails before where they quote news stories praising their stuff, but one consisting entirely of officials praising themselves is a new low.

Many White House staff people are saying this is the most accomplished 100 days of any administration.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:53 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


there's a basic problem with the liberal/democratic/progressive program as being sold to the american people

people basically are being told they can help the poor and the underclass without having to sacrifice anything, that the rich, or the business community or the affluent will pay for it

the problem is, the math won't add up that way

if you want a living wage, universal health care, some kind of way of easing student debt, generous social benefits to the poor and unemployed, the simple truth is that the middle class are going to have to make sacrifices for it - and by that, i mean the top 50% or more

our politicians on the left aren't stupid - they know this - and they don't mention it

the politicians on the right aren't stupid - they know this and never pass an opportunity to protest this as socialism

and the middle class? - they're not stupid either - they know it's going to cost them and that's why so many of them aren't going to vote for it

add to this that our current way of life and way of government are not sustainable - that all of use are going to experience a severe readjustment in our lifestyles - and most of us don't want to admit it (although i think a good many people here are willing to), and what we have is a big mess

the american people will not forgive anyone who tells them the truth - and yet, they've never been more in need of the truth than now

although some people are stupid - i'm really not sure that people over all - red state voters over all - are as stupid, or vengeful, or as racist, or whatever as what's being claimed by some here

they've chosen to vote for things that feel good, even if they won't work, as opposed to voting for something that might work but will personally cost them

somehow, we've got to get back to the idea that it's not all about "me" and what's best for "me", but it's about what's best for the country

good luck with that
posted by pyramid termite at 3:54 PM on April 18 [18 favorites]


Trump's Old Tweets Are Becoming A Minefield Of Hypocrisy

This tweet sums up my feelings.
I swear if Trump randomly, like, tripped on a squirrel or something we'd find an old tweet of his saying only fat losers trip on squirrels
posted by Justinian at 4:04 PM on April 18 [57 favorites]


NYT has live results here and running commentary/analysis here.
posted by cybertaur1 at 4:14 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


There's also the GA Secretary of State results site.
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 4:18 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


she could've said "things were crap before Obama was elected" with examples, said things are better now, but we have a long way to go. I'll finish what he started, but better. Don't change horses in midstream argument.

I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that exactly what Clinton did run on?
posted by octobersurprise at 4:18 PM on April 18 [16 favorites]


If we're going to make a masking tape wall at the border, we might as well mask off squares for cats to sit in while we're at it.

I'm starting to see a strategy for solving the homeless cat population AND ensuring border security at the same time.


Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons, yeah?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:18 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that exactly what Clinton did run on?

In my experience any time someone says "Why didn't Clinton talk about/run on X" she spent tons of time talking about/running on X, it's just the media didn't cover that boring policy stuff.
posted by Justinian at 4:21 PM on April 18 [64 favorites]


and the middle class? - they're not stupid either - they know it's going to cost them and that's why so many of them aren't going to vote for it

The middle class is bearing the cost already. and the poor aren't going to get any poorer, so let's just start with more appropriate taxation of the wealthy first and see how far it gets us. let's reframe this as building a prosperous society instead of a society with a few prosperous individuals.
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:23 PM on April 18 [33 favorites]


the american people will not forgive anyone who tells them the truth - and yet, they've never been more in need of the truth than now ... although some people are stupid - i'm really not sure that people over all - red state voters over all - are as stupid, or vengeful, or as racist, or whatever as what's being claimed by some here ... they've chosen to vote for things that feel good, even if they won't work, as opposed to voting for something that might work but will personally cost them ... somehow, we've got to get back to the idea that it's not all about "me" and what's best for "me", but it's about what's best for the country ... good luck with that

Jimmy Carter is still eligible to run for another term in 2020. Just sayin'...
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:25 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


if you want a living wage, universal health care, some kind of way of easing student debt, generous social benefits to the poor and unemployed, the simple truth is that the middle class are going to have to make sacrifices for it - and by that, i mean the top 50% or more

I choose to sacrifice spending as much as the next seven largest military budgets combined and tax breaks for rich people.
Today's income tax rates are strikingly low relative to the rates of the past century, especially for rich people. For most of the century, including some boom times, top-bracket income tax rates were much higher than they are today.

Contrary to what Republicans would have you believe, super-high tax rates on rich people do not appear to hurt the economy or make people lazy: During the 1950s and early 1960s, the top bracket income tax rate was over 90%--and the economy, middle-class, and stock market boomed.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:27 PM on April 18 [44 favorites]


FBI used dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Trump campaign in part to secure approval to secretly monitor Carter Page, US officials say

Brian Beutler raises the good point that this detail complicates the story about intelligence officials briefing Trump on the dossier. The thing is literally being used as evidence to monitor someone Trump himself described as one of his advisors. If they corroborated parts of it enough to use it as evidence in an investigation, how the heck do you then go brief the central figure in that investigation on its contents?
posted by zachlipton at 4:33 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]




let's reframe this as building a prosperous society instead of a society with a few prosperous individuals

Yes! There seems to be this fundamental disconnect between the thinking that prosperity can only come at the cost of others vs something that is best achieved by helping everyone.

I mean I'm soft and squishy and bleeding heart as the best of them, but I also believe that there is usually a strong selfish and practical personal benefit to "altruism" or the social good. Helping others, materially helps ourselves.

Or as my gruff, old school, republican looking, but commie leaning father in law says "poor people are just too fucking expensive."
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 4:39 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


I would love it so, so, so much if O'Reilly wasn't allowed to come back from "vacation" and wasn't able to address his audience. Please, please, let his show be a true No Spin Zone for once.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:39 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


I would love it so, so, so much if O'Reilly wasn't allowed to come back from "vacation" and wasn't able to address his audience.

Unless, now truly off leash he goes the way of Alex Jones or similar. His ratings are higher than ever. Maybe he has a really solid no compete clause in his contract? Who knows. I shudder to think the damage he could do if he is no longer constrained (LOL) by Fox news "standards".
posted by futz at 4:46 PM on April 18


Fuck it, Bill says he'll do it live.
posted by spitbull at 4:50 PM on April 18 [15 favorites]


Like Glenn Beck? I don't think his leash is that much longer than we've seen. Worth the humiliation to have him lose the Fox platform.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:53 PM on April 18


Salon: Roger Ailes’ fake news empire: Former Fox News head presided over a panoply of phony “sock puppet” blogs: "Former Fox News CEO paid for many deceptive sites, including leering blogs promoting female Fox personalities." Around 10 years ago, he was paying for blogs that would do things like post a photo of Megyn Kelly with the caption: "Whew — hot, single, and just waiting around her New York City apartment for someone to take her out (see above). Gentlemen, start your engines." That blog post "was filed by its author under the categories “Single,” “party in my pants” and “Girls Gone Wild,” among several others."

In related news, O'Reilly's lawyer put out a statement, and, um. Apparently they're going to put out "irrefutable" evidence soon that this is all a smear campaign by "far-left organizations."
posted by zachlipton at 4:54 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Since results are starting to trickle in... I'm guessing Ossoff ends today with 48%.
posted by Justinian at 4:57 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Worth the humiliation to have him lose the Fox platform.

Of course.
posted by futz at 4:57 PM on April 18


Since results are starting to trickle in... I'm guessing Ossoff ends today with 48%.

Initial results are good, but they are from the area that went most heavily democratic in the last election, so you'll probably be right.
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 5:02 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing Ossoff ends today with 48%

Fine then, I'll go on record predicting that these early numbers will stay consistent, he will win with huge turnout in a 70% blowout and the Republicans will be so terrified they take it upon themselves to pass single payer healthcare before the mid-terms.
posted by contraption at 5:05 PM on April 18 [17 favorites]


If that happens, we'd all better have one hell of a birthday party for martin q blank to give thanks next year.
posted by zachlipton at 5:08 PM on April 18 [17 favorites]




Can I revise my guess? I suppose that would be cheating.
posted by Justinian at 5:42 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]




Fine then, I'll go on record predicting that these early numbers will stay consistent, he will win with huge turnout in a 70% blowout and the Republicans will be so terrified they take it upon themselves to pass single payer healthcare before the mid-terms.

Any chance you could get that on a cake before all the results are in? Normally that'd be a bit of a rush, but damn these results are coming in slow.
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 5:44 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]




My guess is Ossoff squeaks it out - like 50.5%

My recommendation is to take a walk or read a book - this looks like it will be a long night.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:48 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


My recommendation is to take a walk or read a book - this looks like it will be a long night.

What, and miss all the nail biting, obsessive reloading, flashback to Nov. 8th fun? Nope, I'm here till the end. Or until I leave work in an hour. Whichever comes first.
posted by The Shoodoonoof at 6:01 PM on April 18 [10 favorites]


The Shoodoonoof: "What, and miss all the nail biting, obsessive reloading, flashback to Nov. 8th fun?"

Yikes. Just reading about people's guesses about the outcome is giving me a queasy feeling in my tummy. I think it's going to be a long while before I'm going to voluntarily subject myself to live election results. Have fun, folks. See y'all in the morning.
posted by mhum at 6:04 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Can Sherrod Brown Make Democrats Working Class Again?
For more than 20 years, Sherrod Brown has been winning elections in Ohio. But with Republicans gunning for the 2018 midterms, the Democratic senator has a target on his back.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:07 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Miami state senator curses at black lawmaker — and refers to fellow Republicans as ‘niggas’

Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles dropped the n-word to a pair of African-American colleagues in private conversation Monday night — after calling one of them a “fucking asshole,” a “bitch” and a “girl,” the two senators said.

Over drinks after 10 p.m. at the members-only Governors Club just steps from the state Capitol, Artiles told Sens. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale that Senate President Joe Negron of Stuart had risen to his powerful GOP leadership role because “six niggers” in the Republican caucus had elected him.

Artiles later told Gibson and Thurston that he’d used the word “niggas,” suggesting the slang term was not meant to be insulting, Gibson and Thurston said. It’s unclear whom Artiles was referring to, since the only black senators in the state Senate are all Democrats — and none of them backed Negron’s bid to lead the chamber.

-- “You’re just talking — loud — to a table of people about leadership. It made me sad,” she said. “I can’t remember a time in my life when anybody called me either one of those things,” she added, referring to the two insults directed at her. “It’s just the most disrespect I’ve ever encountered.”


AND My god, this is inexcusable:

Tuesday afternoon, Artiles, Gibson and Thurston coincided at a Senate transportation budget meeting. When Artiles sat next to the place where Gibson had set down her things, Gibson picked them up and moved over, leaving an empty chair between them.

WTF Artiles. Trying to sit next to her is beyond fucked up. Dude is a boundary crossing predator. I am so fucking angry.
posted by futz at 6:14 PM on April 18 [25 favorites]


If it DOES go to a 2nd round, it will be Ossoff vs Handel.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:24 PM on April 18


Nate Cohn thinks they're on track for 190k which is truly massive turnout. He also says he'd guess Ossoff at 48%. *cough*. Who needs data and analytics when you've got wild-ass speculation based on the belief that the most likely result is coming up just short in the most painful way possible.
posted by Justinian at 6:26 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Who needs data and analytics when you've got wild-ass speculation based on the belief that the most likely result is coming up just short in the most painful way possible.

Past performance, &c., &c.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:35 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I wish Fulton county would start returning some freaking vote. We need to see how much Ossoff beats Clinton's vote by there. We keep getting stuff from Dekalb and Cobb.
posted by Justinian at 6:39 PM on April 18


Put me down for 1 vote for Ossoff from Fulton, Justinian!
posted by robstercraw at 6:42 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Nice, robertscraw!

Dekalb and Cobb are both sitting at like 70% in and there's Fulton at 16%. In the old machine days this sort of thing usually meant that they were waiting to see what sort of numbers they had to report. One would never suggest such a thing now, of course.
posted by Justinian at 6:43 PM on April 18


it's right to note the mountains of evidence that they would not support such a program.

I actually was being lazy and thought of the first thing on my mind, the Montgomery GI Bill, which was the college program when I enlisted in the military, and enjoyed pretty fair bipartisan support until the Post 9/11 GI bill came along. Now I know that was for soldiers, who are a fairly protected class, but it was still an example of a real program with real support, and one of the most effective social programs of its century.
posted by corb at 6:48 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I went by my parent's house tonight to help dad fix the garage door, their neighbor came over to lend a hand and drink a beer when we were done. The neighbor is retired Navy, so I asked what he thought about the missing armada steaming towards Korea or Australia or wherever.

He gave a "I don't know if I should laugh or cry..." type answer, but after lot of salty language mostly settled on laughing at what he called a colossal fuckup. For him the bottom line is that escalation is more likely and less predictable if the navy and its civilian leadership aren't seen as a credible threat.

It was a pretty interesting conversation. Later, I googled the neighbor's name and discovered he's a retired vice admiral his service record is pretty amazeballs. He's a republican, and endorsed Romney (his name is on this list) but not Trump apparently. His assignments included the command of an aircraft carrier and of a carrier strike group.

So this is where we're at now, an actual aircraft carrier commander is laughing at the Trump administration and its armada steaming towards wherever.
posted by peeedro at 6:59 PM on April 18 [52 favorites]


WSJ: Fox Is Preparing to Cut Ties With Bill O’Reilly [paywall, sorry, I dunno how to bypass it anymore]

Orielly out and Ossoff within striking of 50%? Who's birthday is it, you glorious bastard?
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:03 PM on April 18 [11 favorites]


MSNBC showing the same slightly-above-50% results for Ossoff now, with 50% reporting. The commentator says "trending towards a run-off", but refuses to commit even to say when it will be possible to call it.
posted by XMLicious at 7:06 PM on April 18


If this comes down to the handful of no-name Dems who split 1% or so of the votes between them, tables will be flipped.
posted by zachlipton at 7:06 PM on April 18 [10 favorites]


For more than 20 years, Sherrod Brown has been winning elections in Ohio.

I live in SW Ohio (home of Rob Portman, whereas Sherrod's base is squarely northern Ohio*), but I love, love, love Senator Brown and have sworn to all that is holy and beautiful and sacred in my beloved state I will work my tail off to see him re-elected. If Ohio loses its slightly purple tint, we're fucked.

(*That said, it's been fun to see how Hamilton County is one of the few places in the Midwest consistently getting bluer every election cycle)
posted by mostly vowels at 7:07 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Dekalb and Cobb are reporting 100% or virtually 100% and Fulton still at 16%. Just sayin'.
posted by Justinian at 7:07 PM on April 18


NYT analysis points out that Judson Hill had to quit his day job in the Georgia Senate to run for this and is clearly not even going to make a runoff.
posted by corb at 7:09 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


The reason they're saying there will likely be a runoff is that Ossoff beat Clinton's vote % in Dekalb and Cobb by 1.5-1.6%. Clinton got 46.4% in Fulton. If he beats Clinton by a similar margin there, it would be 48% in Fulton. Which would put him a couple tenths under 49 I believe.

In order to go above 50% he needs to overperform Clinton in Fulton by a point more than he overperformed her in Dekalb and Cobb. Which isn't impossible but isn't the way to bet.
posted by Justinian at 7:13 PM on April 18


Also - a D is leading in the special for Hill's old state Senate seat. Ds probably won't win this one in the runoff - looks like the combined Dem total is about 40%, and I believe this is a very red district - but still funny.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:14 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Befitting the Russian influence at the top, this is truly the Matryoshka doll of special elections.
posted by corb at 7:18 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


This country has SO many elections. Dems just won the Clerk of Court in Prince William County, Virginia!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:21 PM on April 18 [17 favorites]




Just finished the eons-ago posted How Russia Hacked Obama's Legacy, Hayes Brown, BuzzFeed. Its about the slow, plodding, tepid response. Only read if you want to be infuriated. Or annoyed at sports metaphors.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:29 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


FYI: There are a couple add-ons for Firefox/compatibles that will automatically reload the page every x minutes. It's also part of the Tab Mix Plus functionality.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:31 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Is there an add-on to skip ahead to the final result?
posted by uosuaq at 7:35 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


WTF Artiles. Trying to sit next to her is beyond fucked up. Dude is a boundary crossing predator. I am so fucking angry.

Year before last it was reported that he punched a college kid outside that same bar.

Artiles is an incredible asshole and horrible bully, and well-known as a shitty human being. Fuck him.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:40 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Dekalb and Cobb are both fully counted: 100% in. Fulton is still 16% as it has been all night. Perhaps having your vote counted by a couple of drunk teenagers wasn't the best plan, Fulton?
posted by Justinian at 7:42 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


AP: For Trump, no qualms in embracing autocratic leaders:
But rarely are U.S. presidents as warm and unabashed about their relationships with autocrats.

Trump's comfort level seems to stem in part from his background in business, where the details of a deal mattered more than the negotiating partner and flattery can get results.

When they were forced to deal with imperfect allies, Trump's predecessors, including Obama and President George W. Bush, made a point of using the moment to promote American ideals. They often followed meetings with statements about human rights or gathered separately with advocates or opposition leaders.
Trump was congratulating Erdogan as his own State Department was putting out a statement about the referendum that was not exactly celebratory.
posted by zachlipton at 7:45 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


NYT chat pointing out that Trump-aligned candidates did worst, and that the GOP candidates had been doing some really nasty mud slinging. With as close as a (now likely) runoff would be, just a few folks staying home could be critical.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:50 PM on April 18


Since apparently I can be a debbie downer sometimes, it isn't clear to me that coming in at 48% means Ossoff loses the runoff. It'd be better to win outright tonight, sure, but the turnout is so freaking high tonight that this result may be more indicative of the result on election day than it usually is. They may surpass midterm turnout for the first round of a special election!
posted by Justinian at 7:53 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


"Get me the Cardigan guy on the phone...and something presidential to say."
posted by uosuaq at 7:57 PM on April 18


Trump was congratulating Erdogan as his own State Department was putting out a statement about the referendum that was not exactly celebratory.

Gee, I wonder why? From 2012:

@IvankaTrump
Thank you Prime Minister Erdogan for joining us yesterday to celebrate the launch of #TrumpTowers Istanbul!
posted by chris24 at 7:58 PM on April 18 [27 favorites]


Fun fact: Fulton County apparently is using dial-up modems to send in their vote tallies.

This is not a joke.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:01 PM on April 18 [12 favorites]


I cannot watch the Ossoff returns it's too stressful! So here's something local that happened today that's pretty cool:

A bunch of Texas women dressed up as Atwood's Handmaids again (a few weeks back they sat in the Texas Legislature during session) and quietly walked through the lobby of a hotel in downtown Houston today where Governor Abbott was talking. Women dressed in red robes with white caps silently BEING is becoming a common, much needed, and powerful protest in this state! It was on NARAL Pro Choice Texas's Facebook Live today if anyone wants to see it. They don't get very far, but wow is it powerful and unnerving to the Abbott people.

Now I need to refresh those GA 06 results again.
posted by dog food sugar at 8:03 PM on April 18 [26 favorites]


people basically are being told they can help the poor and the underclass without having to sacrifice anything, that the rich, or the business community or the affluent will pay for it

the problem is, the math won't add up that way


Maybe back in 1970. The top 20% own half the wealth. They can sure as fuck afford it.
posted by Talez at 8:05 PM on April 18 [18 favorites]


Federal utility CEO: Coal plants not reopening under Trump

The CEO of the nation's biggest public utility [Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson] said Tuesday that the agency isn't going to reopen coal-fired power plants under President Donald Trump, who has promised a comeback for the downtrodden coal industry.

-- TVA has said it's on track to cut its carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels. By the end of 2018, the utility will have retired five of its original 11 coal-fired power plants.

-- As a federal employee, Johnson said that he cannot comment on Trump's efforts to peel back U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other coal-related regulations.


BUT

Johnson said he recalls "cinders falling from the sky" and not being able to see across the street when he lived in Pittsburgh in his younger years.

"If we look at the history of the environment in this country, and whether it's improved or not since the creation of the EPA, I believe that we can say that it has improved dramatically," Johnson said.

posted by futz at 8:07 PM on April 18 [44 favorites]


I swear to god they could have used a telegraph to get the results faster than this.
posted by corb at 8:09 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Apparently, there's some kind of referendum in Roswell that's slowing things down.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:10 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Probably a good time to mention that the "American-Turkish Annual Business Meeting will be held at Trump Hotel first time. It has been at Ritz for years"

I'm sure it's just a coincidence.
posted by zachlipton at 8:13 PM on April 18 [32 favorites]


fulton county has to confer with moscow before sending the results in.
posted by localhuman at 8:13 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


Apparently, there's some kind of referendum in Roswell that's slowing things down.

Jesus, it's always aliens.
posted by Etrigan at 8:14 PM on April 18 [15 favorites]


Fun fact: Fulton County apparently is using dial-up modems to send in their vote tallies.

Elsewhere in the district they're physically driving unencrypted memory cards with no paper trail.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:15 PM on April 18 [17 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Orielly out and Ossoff within striking of 50%? Who's birthday is it, you glorious bastard?

mine!

For another 42 minutes, anyway. We may need an April 19 bithday to bring this thing home.
posted by martin q blank at 8:18 PM on April 18 [10 favorites]


Update:
From our onsite reporter: Fulton County is having technical difficulties. They are on the phone with tech support.

I'm not joking.
--@_Drew_McCoy_

(Yes, someone on Twitter already asked if the tech support is in Moscow, that job is done, thanks for your interest in the position.)
posted by zachlipton at 8:19 PM on April 18 [22 favorites]


This country has SO many elections. Dems just won the Clerk of Court in Prince William County, Virginia!

I grew up in Prince William County! My friends from other Northern VA counties used to laugh when I told them how backwoods conservative PWC could be - they assumed it was as liberal as every other Northern Virginia county. Granted, the demographics are much different now than they were 10-15 years ago. But what great news!
posted by nightrecordings at 8:22 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


I really need to go to bed, but keep refreshing the GA 6th poll results. I need this to be like grade school prayers for snow. If I wear my pajamas inside out and sleep at the foot of my bed, will it snow Jon Ossoff? Just another 1%?
posted by nightrecordings at 8:28 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Local news here in Atlanta just said they've stopped counting for now in Fulton, and that they're still working to find out exactly what's wrong.
posted by reductiondesign at 8:34 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I want y'all to know that my GA-06 dwelling friend who said they weren't ever going to vote again after feeling spammed by pro-Ossoff phone calls and fliers posted a photo of themselves wearing an "I voted" sticker with the caption, "MFer better win so I never have to hear about this again."
posted by ob1quixote at 8:36 PM on April 18 [53 favorites]


they've stopped counting for now in Fulton, and that they're still working to find out exactly what's wrong.

The D-triple-C and the DNC and the Ga. Democratic Party and everyone else had better be scrambling lawyers to every precinct and the county HQ. A mass turnout like the impromptu travel ban airport rallies wouldn't hurt, either.
posted by martin q blank at 8:37 PM on April 18 [14 favorites]


I'm sitting here and thinking WHOA HOT FRESH ELECTION RETURNS YEAAAHH and then having flashbacks to the primaries and the general and I'm conflicted. Maybe I'll stay up and see if they call it. Maybe not.
posted by vrakatar at 8:39 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Ha ha ha haaaaaaaa. I love the uneducated and the incompetent!

A month after dismissing federal prosecutors, Justice Department does not have any U.S. attorneys in place

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is making aggressive law enforcement a top priority, directing his federal prosecutors across the country to crack down on illegal immigrants and “use every tool” they have to go after violent criminals and drug traffickers.

But the attorney general does not have a single U.S. attorney in place to lead his tough-on-crime efforts across the country. Last month, Sessions abruptly told the dozens of remaining Obama administration U.S. attorneys to submit their resignations immediately — and none of them, or the 47 who had already left, have been replaced.

posted by futz at 8:41 PM on April 18 [53 favorites]


JUST IN: Rare data error from one of the cards means Fulton Co. will have to manually go through hundreds of cards to find the culprit.

Fulton is experiencing a "rare data error" and has to go through 100's of cards to find it. They have no timeline to finish the count.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:48 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


@wsbtv: JUST IN: Rare data error from one of the cards means Fulton Co. will have to manually go through hundreds of cards to find the culprit.

Good thing the Republicans want to get rid of the Election Assistance Commission. We wouldn't want some sort of group that advises states and local governments on voting technology or anything.
posted by zachlipton at 8:49 PM on April 18 [19 favorites]


Canadians be like wtf are voting machines.
posted by Yowser at 8:52 PM on April 18 [13 favorites]


I got called for a political opinion poll yesterday--which seemed an awful lot like a push poll sponsored by the oil and gas industry--and I'm pretty sure the lady asking the questions was a secret Democrat just trying to stay employed. I'd point it out whenever a question was biased or misleading, and the lady would giggle a tiny bit and then thank me sincerely for giving my opinion. I imagine she had to grit her teeth to get through some of the questions. But by the time we were done we were both chortling with glee anytime I said how awful this or that really was. Best of luck in your crappy day job, secret Democrat lady!
posted by Soliloquy at 8:57 PM on April 18 [25 favorites]


Fulton is experiencing a "rare data error" and has to go through 100's of cards to find it. They have no timeline to finish the count.
posted by Chrysostom


yougottabefuckingkiddingmedotcom#hashtagsameasiteverwas.
posted by futz at 8:57 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Canadians be like wtf are voting machines.

A means to steal elections without a paper trail.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:58 PM on April 18 [22 favorites]


I am having flashbacks to 2000 right now.
posted by corb at 9:00 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Irritating as the situation is, it looks like the final number will be about 47.7% based on what's left. That's still a huge Democratic swing from what the district normally does, but it's going to be an incredibly ugly (and expensive) race now.
posted by zachlipton at 9:04 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


It's looking like almost exactly 48%. My patented and foolproof method has been proven sound. How long until the NYT offers me an editorial spot?
posted by Justinian at 9:04 PM on April 18 [11 favorites]


aaaaand suddenly a big bloc of votes roll in and Ossoff drops from 55% to 49% in Fulton and below 50% overall.
Nothing fishy going on here, no siree.

Also - my birthday ended 4 minutes ago. Coincidence?
posted by martin q blank at 9:04 PM on April 18 [11 favorites]


Elections in the usa are so fucked. GOP can only win by cheating at this point, and so expect rampant cheating until the end of time.
posted by supercrayon at 9:04 PM on April 18 [11 favorites]


Consumerist: As Congress Preps To Scrap Prepaid Card Protections, Lawsuit Seeks Release Of Emails Between Lawmakers & Lobbyists
At some point in the coming weeks, Congress is set to consider a fast-tracked proposal that would nullify a slew of new protections for the millions of Americans who use prepaid debit cards. With the clock ticking down to that vote, a lawsuit is trying to compel the release of any communications about these rules between industry lobbyists, lawmakers, and federal regulators.
[…]
The new prepaid guidelines have received support from some big names in the prepaid industry, including GreenDot and the Center for Financial Services Innovation, which noted earlier this month that the positives of the rules “outweigh the negatives.”

But not all prepaid companies have backed the rule. For instance TSYS’s NetSpend has been vocal in its displeasure over the rules, admitting that it stands to lose $80 [million] in overdraft fees if they are implemented.

It should also be noted that NetSpend recently agreed to pay $53 million to resolve Federal Trade Commission allegations that it misled prepaid card customers.
If your business model depends on collecting predatory late fees from the most vulnerable in society, you should rethink your life. Fucking scum.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:06 PM on April 18 [36 favorites]


Yeah, there are some uncounted mail in ballots, which will narrow it a bit, but looks like we're at 47/48 in the end. On to round 2.

Before that, we've got lots of statehouse stuff, and the MT-AL on May 25th.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:09 PM on April 18


The results from Fulton are exactly what we'd expect based on the results from Cobb and Dekalb. If there was cheating it was district-wide and not isolated to Fulton, and it also involved rigging the pre-election polling.
posted by Justinian at 9:09 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Can I revise my guess? I suppose that would be cheating.
posted by Justinian


Sure you can. Almost everyone else does. No shame!
posted by futz at 9:11 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Yeah, right now his margin over Clinton is like 2.3% in Fulton, 1.4% in Cobb, and 1.6% in DeKalb. So he's actually doing well in Fulton, just not quite good enough.
posted by thefoxgod at 9:13 PM on April 18


If you throw in the other Dems the D vote is at like 49.5%. So runoff should still be competitive.
posted by thefoxgod at 9:14 PM on April 18


From NYT at the moment:

Live Analysis by Nate Cohn
Adding all the candidates together: R 50.49, D 49.4


!!!! I hope that energizes some people to get off their butts come the second round.
posted by dhens at 9:15 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Fun fact: Fulton County apparently is using dial-up modems to send in their vote tallies.

MOOOOOOOM don't pick up the phone!! I'm trying to count votes!
posted by azpenguin at 9:17 PM on April 18 [37 favorites]


Fun fact: Fulton County apparently is using dial-up modems to send in their vote tallies.

A station to station switched protocol where incoming callers can be identified by Caller ID, passwords, and encryption certificates? You could even drop a cellphone card into the thing.

There's a lot of benefits, actually.
posted by mikelieman at 9:33 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Yeah, right now his margin over Clinton is like 2.3% in Fulton, 1.4% in Cobb, and 1.6% in DeKalb. So he's actually doing well in Fulton, just not quite good enough.

The results from Fulton are exactly what we'd expect based on the results from Cobb and Dekalb. If there was cheating it was district-wide and not isolated to Fulton, and it also involved rigging the pre-election polling.


Yea, not winning 50% is a bit of a letdown, but it was always the most likely outcome in a PVI R+8 district. This is still not remotely friendly territory. We're actually not going to see a 20pt swing, KS-4 also had all of the local anti-Brownback factor, which I think was really underplayed. Still, this is another good indicator, and that's all we're looking for in special elections that really have nothing tangible at stake. An 8 point swing to EVEN, or even a 4.5 point swing off Trump's margin is moving in the right direction, and have we seen any signs yet that Trump's approval is going to get better? Or that the Republicans are going to accomplish anything? We're probably not close to the approval floor yet.

There are 55 districts R+5 or better. Republicans control 44 of those. Dems need 26 to take the House. Even judging by the most pessimistic outlook, Ossoff's performance here is encouraging, and there's a lot of time between tonight and a June runoff for Republicans to keep being horrible.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:44 PM on April 18 [14 favorites]


Looking at the results it's possible Ossoff finishes closer to 49% than 48%. This was damn close to avoiding the runoff!
posted by Justinian at 9:46 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


A thread from L. Joy Williams, President of the Brooklyn NAACP. It starts:
I don't understand what the F**K is going on. Bernie Sanders was just directly asked if he's a democrat and he said NO.
We already knew this, but why the HELL is he on freaking tour to reform a party he doesn't even claim in public??????
Lmhzmsmxmz@alcjshzrbdnsdnxbapfifoueyifz
So we supposed to just let anybody remodel or "reform" our house and they ain't even part of the damn family? Ain't even got $5 on it
Black women bustin' our individual and collective asses for the party and I ain't seen no grand gestures for that loyalty, yet...
the party built a whole damn tour around someone that don't even claim us in public.
[...]
They got money for this tour but are they putting money in recruiting candidates of color?
Are they putting up money to expand "base operations" in communities of color earlier than 2 months before an Election Day?
The message the DNC is sending is that they are chasing and begging a certain type of voter to take them back at the expense of our loyalty
This has been my pet peeve too. I like many of Sanders' policies. I want the party to be moving in that direction. Which is why it's enormously frustrating that he's not a member of the damn party. We were discussing upthread how so many of those active in the party in red, rural areas are people of color. This thread is a pretty clear sign of how all that work can be taken for granted.
posted by zachlipton at 10:00 PM on April 18 [104 favorites]


your business model depends on collecting predatory late fees from the most vulnerable in society

To be fair that describes much of government in the US as well.
posted by spitbull at 10:24 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Thats a terrible stance for Bernie to take. Join your interests to those working from within or show good evidence that it's not possible to do so under current leadership. The outside-looking-in thing from a man who wanted the party to nominate him last year doesn't feel like he appreciates any of the work that was done, is being done, and will be done.
posted by SakuraK at 10:30 PM on April 18 [13 favorites]


The results from Fulton are exactly what we'd expect based on the results from Cobb and Dekalb. If there was cheating it was district-wide and not isolated to Fulton, and it also involved rigging the pre-election polling.

Which is a perfectly reasonable position to hold because pre-election polling has never been wrong by a couple of points? Is an Ossoff victory even outside the margin of error on those polls?

Sure, maybe the fact that the votes were counted by an easily falsifiable method and then the count was moved via an easily falsifiable method and then there was a "rare data error" and then the people onsite running the count had to get on the phone with some people offsite to find out what to do (and maybe those people were tech support, could be, would be tough to prove they weren't!) is just a big string of coincidences leading to the outcome that the Republicans were looking for. It's certainly possible. But surely I'm not the only one who's tired of going on two decades of "and then a bunch of weird shit happened, I dunno it was really strange, and then if you squint technically the result went Republican, wow isn't that crazy! And no, you definitely can't verify the results. Just trust us." This isn't how elections look when Democrats win them.
posted by IAmUnaware at 11:02 PM on April 18 [13 favorites]


This has been my pet peeve too. I like many of Sanders' policies. I want the party to be moving in that direction. Which is why it's enormously frustrating that he's not a member of the damn party.

Now that we're not arguing over electing him president, it seems reasonable to say that Sanders is a good advocate for left-wing economic policies and may be useful for gaining ground among working-class white voters in particular, but he's not a party loyalist, is unlikely to speak as passionately to matters of race and gender (e.g.) as many other Democrats, and has numerous other drawbacks discussed here ad nauseam. But we're not trying to pick him as the single embodiment of the left anymore. Every politician has their strengths and weaknesses, including Clinton, Obama, Warren, or anyone else. One of the damaging aspects of a presidential system is that it encourages us to evaluate candidates as if they were meant to capture the full array of liberal ideals in a single individual. Much better -- particularly in the periods undominated by presidential elections -- is to think of each candidate as a collection of specific strengths, and focus our energies on how best to combine the array of folks we have to create the strongest, most effective social and electoral movement we can, considered at the collective level. Sanders has his strengths and weakness, but it seems most useful to treat him as a specialist in specifically economic populism (even, if you like, specifically white male economic populism), and do the best we can to combine those strengths with the myriad strengths of others throughout the left in order to make the best collective progress we can.
posted by chortly at 11:23 PM on April 18 [15 favorites]


False Narrative on U.S. Aircraft Carrier Elicits Jeers in Asia
In South Korea, Hong Joon-pyo, the presidential candidate from former​ leader Park Geun-hye’s ruling party, said in an interview that it was inappropriate to comment before receiving final confirmation of the Vinson’s whereabouts. But, he added: “What Mr. Trump said was very important for the national security of ​South Korea. If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”​
It's hard to overstate how monumentally stupid this situation is.
posted by zachlipton at 11:36 PM on April 18 [66 favorites]


Trump aides abruptly postpone meeting on whether to stay in Paris climate deal
It seems they are getting wobbly on the Paris Agreement, which is good for the planet. (Well better than terrible).

The wide industry support for Paris is a reminder that a lot of these international agreements are meant to make life easier for industry, to help them to be competitive while adapting to change. One of the things Trump has in common with his voters is that they don't get this, not least because all the media (not only right-wing pundits) fail to inform them. But in Trump's case, it is one more indication that he is a failed businessman, with no real understanding of how the economy works.
posted by mumimor at 12:12 AM on April 19 [18 favorites]


fully automated luxury communism future

Important: it's fully automated luxury GAY SPACE communism. I'd ask Contact to send another GCU to explain it but they're all OH NO THAT'S THE CONTROL PLANET and MAYBE IN A HUNDRED YEARS and HEY LOOK I MADE MY GENITALS INTO A BONG WOOOOOO.

Yeah, remind me not to toke next time we hang together.
posted by Samizdata at 12:37 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


It's hard to overstate how monumentally stupid this situation is. [re: Trump's lies about deploying an aircraft carrier to the Sea of Japan when it was actually going to Australia].

It's hard to overstate how monumentally stupid this President is. A good share of blame goes to the hangers-on that dragged a man who is too stupid to bring to a polite party into the Oval Office, though. Some of those barnacles are being shed because even a stupid man can tell when he's being used. His family will keep him in office for as long as possible while they slurp all of the brand value they can out of him. I've never wondered what human-shaped spiders would be like, the kind of spiders that inject poison into their prey, wait for its insides to liquefy, then slowly drink it like a milkshake. The Trump family has taught me nonetheless.
posted by SakuraK at 1:03 AM on April 19 [20 favorites]


With 100% of the vote counted Ossof is at 48.1%.

Call me, NYT!
posted by Justinian at 1:28 AM on April 19 [16 favorites]


Maybe back in 1970. The top 20% own half the wealth. They can sure as fuck afford it.

they still have to convert the wealth to money - (i'm assuming you're not talking about income) - the problem being is that if everyone is trying to convert their real estate, stocks, bonds, etc to money to pay taxes, what does that do to the market? who's going to be buying this stuff?

and if the value of the top 20% wealth falls due to a massive selloff, then the bottom 80%'s half of that wealth is going to fall, too - and so the middle class takes a hit as well as the rich

this is not a problem with an easy solution
posted by pyramid termite at 2:28 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


It's hard to overstate how monumentally stupid this situation is.

Relax -- the carrier group just got lost! See, that's the fault of some dumb sailors some place, not Donald J. Trump.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:37 AM on April 19


So yo is there a reason why Trump couldn't have been all *the fleet will be there in a week.* Can this be explained by anything but staggering incompetence?
posted by angrycat at 2:44 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I despise Sanders in many ways-- I think the harm he did in 2016 is perhaps largely irreparable, and that the behavior of his followers underscores both the underlying (probably unconscious on his part) bigotry of the policies he ran on and his failure as a leader.

That said, a lot of people look up to him, and if what he's doing is a tour, I'm fine with it.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 2:49 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I like many of Sanders' policies. I want the party to be moving in that direction. Which is why it's enormously frustrating that he's not a member of the damn party.


It wouldn't make a difference if he were a member, and that's a problem.

Republican party discipline is infinitely more powerful than the Democratic Party's. Party loyalists haven't just won internal policy battles; they've been massively successful at all levels of US politics, including their successful gaming of the meta-political system through gerrymandering and the like. Republicans sacrifice every principle and every commitment they have for strategic unity on present political needs.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the path to liberal electoral success lies in aping the Tea Party, but right now the Democratic Party is working for people that are free to sacrifice the party's strategic interests in favor of their personal or ideological advantage. The Party needs to elect people it can rely on at every level. To do that it needs to elect loyalists and it needs to make defection costly. It's not as if Democratic Party politicians are are free of obligations to outside interests; they're just free to ignore the one benefactor they really depend on. Where's the quid pro quo?

I understand that there are good reasons for not challenging any particular politicians, but that's the logic that got us here. Unreliable candidates are inherently risky, as we have seen this year. Make examples. Start grooming a reliable-but-electable replacement for Manchin, someone who won't advance the opposition's agenda.

Also, stop giving platforms to Sanders and his supporters. He has literally no commitment to advancing party interests at all, not even a nominal one. I like some things Sander says, I don't like other ones, but that's not the point: the Party needs to win elections. It can't do that if it's constantly spinning in circles in an attempt to accommodate finger-wagging busybodies. It would be one thing if this accommodationism broadened the Big Tent and brought more voters in from the fold, but Bernie's not even in the tent. As long as he refuses to accept Party discipline he's actually opposed to a Democratic Party victory except on his own terms. That makes him an enemy, just as Jill Stein, and McMullin and all the other mavericks and independents and third-partiers are political enemies: they do not deserve respectful attention and for damn sure they don't get to set the agenda.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:00 AM on April 19 [17 favorites]


Who currently sets the agenda of the Democratic party?
How successful has that been in the last 10 years?
Is disloyalty why the Democrats lost over a thousand state legislature seats?
posted by Richard Saunders at 3:11 AM on April 19 [10 favorites]


this is not a problem with an easy solution

And yet somehow a bunch of other economies have managed it without collapsing in a heap. It's not as easy as waving a magic wand, but it's not dangerous or unachievable.
posted by harriet vane at 3:25 AM on April 19 [6 favorites]


Who currently sets the agenda of the Democratic party?

I understand that the present agenda consists of waiting for the Republicans to fail (as they inevitably will any day now).

If you have a Big tent policy then your agenda is the intersection of all the agendas of the people in the tent. But the present policy allows people outside the tent to set the agenda. That's crazy. It doesn't matter how special a snowflake Bernie Sanders is, he doesn't want to be in the tent.

How successful has that been in the last 10 years?

Very little! It's time to change!

Is disloyalty why the Democrats lost over a thousand state legislature seats?

Yes, to a large extent.

Party loyalty isn't just about mouthing some official platform. It's about striving to ensure that your Party succeeds. Look at the extent to which Republican politicians have gone - they have redrawn boundaries, restricted voting hours, re-formed committee structures - done everything, in short, that will advantage their party and disadvantage their opponents. I don't suggest that the Democratic Party go so far, but there a middle ground between naked opportunism and dignified surrender. In fact, Republicans have so tilted the ground away from fairness that practically anything the Democratic Party could do would actually be a blow in favor of civil rights and Constitutionalism: get Republicans off electoral committees and you have a chance to extend voting hours, restrict voter ID laws, and generally make it easier for people to extend the franchise. That's a good thing; ipso facto, allowing Republicans to set the agenda is a bad thing. So all the little bits of courtesy that Democratic politicians seem to extend to their opponents (and which is clearly not reciprocated) that ultimately allows their politicians a presence on and experience in these committees has been a betrayal of both Party and Country.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:39 AM on April 19 [9 favorites]


Black women bustin' our individual and collective asses for the party and I ain't seen no grand gestures for that loyalty, yet...
the party built a whole damn tour around someone that don't even claim us in public.


Huh. I took the point of the Williams thread as a criticism of the DNC's decision to support Sanders, not really of Sanders himself*.

*Which is not to say it implicitly supports Sanders.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:44 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


With 100% of the vote counted Ossof is at 48.1%.

Wouldn't want to be in charge of laundering Republican underpants this morning.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:14 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


You don't really want that job any morning, to be honest. At least I don't.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 4:57 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Luckily even the grownup republicans like wearing diapers.
posted by spitbull at 4:58 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


It continues to baffle me when there's a Democrat candidate totally absent from a race. Like, that's the party's job, what the fuck.
posted by odinsdream at 5:01 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Running for office disrupts people's lives. Would you want to go through that for a race you had almost no chance of winning? And suffer smear campaigns and end uo hated by strangers by, the majority of your neighbors?

It's amazing to me that the Democrats find decent people willing to run in as many deep red districts as they do... Would you do it? (Why not do it, then?) I don't think I would.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:07 AM on April 19 [22 favorites]


Relax -- the carrier group just got lost! See, that's the fault of some dumb sailors some place, not Donald J. Trump.

You laugh now but when the carrier group finds that missing plane with everyone still alive Trump is going to become the emperor of the world.
posted by srboisvert at 5:18 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


It's amazing to me that the Democrats find decent people willing to run in as many deep red districts as they do... Would you do it?

The way it works here in Australia is that running in an unwinnable seat is considered good experience for running in a winnable one. People that do a good job have an advantage when seeking their party's endorsement ("preselection").
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:29 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Not just Democrats, there are a lot of uncontested races in Massachusetts.
posted by sammyo at 5:33 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


It's amazing to me that the Democrats find decent people willing to run in as many deep red districts as they do

Point taken, emphasis mine: It is not as though the Republicans are actually running "decent people" in those districts overall. In many places no D anticipates any support (based on precedent), and the party could actually make a difference there even if the support were something intangible like national endorsement.

I understand why people don't want to stick their necks out, but I don't see things changing unless they do.

The Dems I know in WY are getting increasingly galvanized and organized. At least one plans to run for local office. I hope that's going on in more rural red districts; we'll see.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:34 AM on April 19 [12 favorites]


The way it works here in Australia is that running in an unwinnable seat is considered good experience for running in a winnable one.

Most places in the U.S., you have to (or essentially have to) live within the jurisdiction of the office you're running for, so running in an unwinnable seat is generally just experience for running in a higher unwinnable seat.
posted by Etrigan at 6:07 AM on April 19 [10 favorites]


Also, stop giving platforms to Sanders and his supporters.

He's doing irreparable harm to the Democratic Party
posted by indubitable at 6:11 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Maybe back in 1970. The top 20% own half the wealth. They can sure as fuck afford it.

they still have to convert the wealth to money - (i'm assuming you're not talking about income) ...


Why not talk about income? If we do, we don't even have to go as far down as the top 20 percent! The top ten percent earned about half of the income in 2012. I haven't dug into the IRS data yet to see whether and how things have changed since then. But I doubt that things have changed all that much.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:15 AM on April 19 [16 favorites]


Most places in the U.S., you have to (or essentially have to) live within the jurisdiction of the office you're running for, so running in an unwinnable seat is generally just experience for running in a higher unwinnable seat.

That's not generally the case in Australia, but I think most serious candidates do move to the electorate they're running in (if they weren't there before). A serious campaign takes time, so it's a good idea to live nearby, and being a resident makes the candidate look better.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:18 AM on April 19


Running for office disrupts people's lives. Would you want to go through that for a race you had almost no chance of winning? And suffer smear campaigns and end uo hated by strangers by, the majority of your neighbors?

This doesn't match up with reality, where people like Misty Snow, a trans woman in a minimum-wage job, do decide to run, and get barely any support at all from the party structure.

First, the fact that merely running for office can literally destroy the life of a completely normal, uncontroversial person, is indicative of a diseased system. Second, since the party *knows* this to be the case, that should be even *more* reason to provide assistance to new candidates: to find them (and they are there, for certain, but knowing that requires actually looking and listening and being a presence locally), fund them, and help them be a part of the platform. And yes, to even hold them accountable to the party's values (lolsob).

I mean, I'm throwing up my hands here, because I'm just asking that the party *pretend* to give a shit. Ever.
posted by odinsdream at 6:20 AM on April 19 [17 favorites]


Also, stop giving platforms to Sanders and his supporters.

He's doing irreparable harm to the Democratic Party


"His" medicare for all bill? John Conyers has been banging that drum since 2003, but let's all gather round Bernie and his radical new ideas no one else has ever had ever.
posted by winna at 6:21 AM on April 19 [53 favorites]


It's amazing to me that the Democrats find decent people willing to run in as many deep red districts as they do
So there have been some recent (weird) damaging revelations about Steve King's challenger Kim Weaver, whom I think is actually a pretty good and impressive candidate. (The short version is that she appears to have had extensive, fairly recent experience as a fake internet, phone and radio psychic. It couldn't be something normal, like drug use or having an affair. It had to be giving fake psychic readings over the phone for $4 a minute.) I have no idea how damaging it will be: some of the chatter that I'm hearing is that she's a middle-class single mother who was putting three kids through college, and people do random side jobs to make ends meet. But it may not be the kind of thing that she wanted public, and there are no secrets when you're running for office, even as a total long-shot.

So yeah, if there's anything in your past that might be embarrassing, you might think twice about running for office that you can't possibly win. But my sense is that there's a real push to get people to do it, especially for local races where knocking every single door and talking to every single voter might be able to overcome some of voters' antipathy to Democrats.
That's not generally the case in Australia, but I think most serious candidates do move to the electorate they're running in (if they weren't there before).
I think this reflects different ideas about how representation works, to be honest. In the US, you're supposed to have deep connections to the place you represent, and it would be seen as pretty much disqualifying to move to a place just to represent it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:22 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Being perceived as a carpet-bagger who's just moved to a district to run for office is usually a handicap.
posted by octothorpe at 6:24 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


And I mean, wow, look at the news that Ossoff's run in Georgia is creating. The narrative there. Imagine that being at every level, rather than the story having a throwaway line in it about yet *another* district in another state that has no Democratic candidate even trying.
posted by odinsdream at 6:27 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that's also what keeps us from having proportional representation? Sometimes I fantasize about turning the House into a parliamentary type body. But I can't imagine that working when we have this tradition of one specific person representing one specific area.

... I have weird fantasies.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:28 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I've seen my city's mayor criticized because he didn't move to the city until he was an adult and grew up five miles away in a suburb.
posted by octothorpe at 6:29 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Indiana Rep, Tennessee Trey Hollingsworth

Moving to a district, still a viable option.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:32 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I've seen my city's mayor criticized because he didn't move to the city until he was an adult and grew up five miles away in a suburb.

He was born in Eagleton!! Burn the heretic!

Also while I'm still mad about Bernie claiming medicare for all, the image of an white man taking ownership of an idea that a Black man has been promoting for years prior is EXACTLY what is wrong with the Democratic Party right now.
posted by winna at 6:33 AM on April 19 [38 favorites]


some of the chatter that I'm hearing is that she's a middle-class single mother who was putting three kids through college, and people do random side jobs to make ends meet. But it may not be the kind of thing that she wanted public, and there are no secrets when you're running for office, even as a total long-shot.


I actually think the mindset we bring to what's acceptable in a candidate's personal life is a huge part of the problem with politics today. Normal people have all done weird shit in the past that they would feel strange and uncomfortable having exposed. Normal people can look at their personal history honestly and say, you know what? I've done some things that, if revealed in the harshest possible light, would probably disqualify me from elected office; I guess I won't run.

You know who doesn't do that? Two kinds of people. People who've wanted to be politicians since the day they were born, and who have crafted their whole lives to making themselves eligible for those positions...and people who look at the shady shit they've done, and think, oh well, it's not a big deal, I can hide it and lie about it! There's probably a lot of overlap between those two kinds of people; both kinds of people are weird.

I think the world would be a much better place if the culturally acceptable amount of inquiry into a candidate's past was approximately the same as what was needed to apply for a job. Have you been arrested? Do you have a reasonable, relevant work history and positive references from the people you've worked with in the past? Great, you're qualified to run. Anything else is none of our business.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 6:36 AM on April 19 [33 favorites]


Also, stop giving platforms to Sanders and his supporters. He has literally no commitment to advancing party interests at all, not even a nominal one.

He is currently going on a speaking tour with the current head of the DNC to mobilize Democrats. In Louisville last night, the venue was past its capacity of 2600 people. Lots of folks waited outside until he came out to talk to them too. This is a state with more Democrat registrations than Republican, but with a hard-right Tea Party Republican governor and two Republican state houses.

the Party needs to win elections. It can't do that if it's constantly spinning in circles in an attempt to accommodate finger-wagging busybodies.

It's quite a trick to equate touring to spread a political message as "spinning in circles" and "finger-wagging"!
posted by Greg Nog at 6:37 AM on April 19 [23 favorites]


Also while I'm still mad about Bernie claiming medicare for all, the image of an white man claiming ownership of an idea that a Black man has been promoting for years prior

You realize that Conyers is in the House and Sanders is in the Senate, right? There would have to be two separate bills. That's how our government works.
posted by indubitable at 6:38 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Apparently, Tom Brady has backed out of the Patriots' trip to the White House today, citing a "family matter."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:41 AM on April 19 [9 favorites]


"His" medicare for all bill? John Conyers has been banging that drum since 2003

He's introducing a bill in the Senate, Conyers has been introducing one (HB 676) in the House. I think it's a solid strategy to press it in both houses of Congress.

The House one has strong support by Kentuckians For Single-Payer, who mention HB 676 on all their promotional material; at the Sanders event in Louisville last night, they were going up and down the line, handing out flyers that mention it. My Congressman (Yarmuth) is one of the co-sponsors.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:41 AM on April 19 [15 favorites]


Infighting of the Democratic party is going to be our downfall.
posted by INFJ at 6:46 AM on April 19 [6 favorites]


It doesn't matter how special a snowflake Bernie Sanders is, he doesn't want to be in the tent.

"It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." -- LBJ
posted by kirkaracha at 6:49 AM on April 19 [14 favorites]


Sort-of-good news on Iran: NYT - Trump Administration Grudgingly Confirms Iran’s Compliance With Nuclear Deal
The Trump administration has certified that Iran continues to comply with a 2015 nuclear agreement that President Trump denounced during the campaign as “the worst deal ever.”

The certification decision, announced late Tuesday night, means that the administration has extended relief from sanctions given to the Iranian government in exchange for constraints on its nuclear program.
...
The Trump administration has sought since its earliest days in office to increase pressure on Iran, with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn walking into the White House briefing room in the administration’s first two weeks to declare that the administration was “officially putting Iran on notice” after a ballistic missile launch.

But the administration has found to its frustration that there is no way to renegotiate the nuclear deal, and that canceling the deal would likely cause significant problems. Instead, the administration has imposed sanctions for activities not covered in the agreement, and it has ramped up military efforts to confront Iranian proxies in Yemen and elsewhere.
I guess 'officially putting Iran on notice' meant 'on notice...that the Iran deal wasn't actually the worst deal ever, let's keep that going for a while?'
posted by cjelli at 6:51 AM on April 19 [14 favorites]


> Apparently, Tom Brady has backed out of the Patriots' trip to the White House today, citing a "family matter."

I wonder if this might have something to do with it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:52 AM on April 19


Apparently, Tom Brady has backed out of the Patriots' trip to the White House today, citing a "family matter."

Yeah, Gisele would be totally pissed with him if he went. Man's not an idiot.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:55 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I can't find it now, but two of the players put out a video about why they are not going to the White House. Maybe that had an impact, too. But Brady is a huge loss, she said with delight.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:59 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Politico: Goodbye, Mar-a-Lago. Hello, Bedminster.: Once his exclusive seaside retreat at Mar-a-Lago closes for the season, Trump is expected to shift his weekend plans north, to his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey – and bring with him all the chaos that comes with being a preferred presidential destination.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:02 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Having to suffer through Bernie Sanders is my penance for being a Deaniac as a teenager.
posted by asteria at 7:03 AM on April 19 [10 favorites]


> "It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." -- LBJ

I don't think this analogy really works in the current political climate. I've been very harsh on how Sanders handled his Presidential campaign, but remaining outside the party is a good strategic decision to maximize his power to set the agenda, but also good for Democrats long-term, because it doesn't alienate that segment of his supporters that would flip to Jill Stein or whoever if he was perceived as being corrupted by the establishment. He caucuses with the Democrats, he's part of their leadership team, he's with them on almost every vote, and just like how he stumped for Hillary, I believe he'll be there fighting for progressives when his presence can make a difference. That matters more to me than the letter next to his name.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:16 AM on April 19 [11 favorites]


zachlipton: If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.

Is a liar the worst person in the world? Generally, no. But then you can never trust them to tell the truth again.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


I think, if we on the left are expected to tolerate Manchin and his ilk, it isn't too much to demand that the centrists and rightsts in the Party tolerate Sanders, no? Big tent, yes? Gotta go with the local conditions, yes? Better a vote that's with you most of the time than a vote that's never with you, yes?

Or does that only apply to right wing people, and (as always) we on the left must be perfect Party automatons or we're destroying everything and must be shut out and put in our place?
posted by sotonohito at 7:19 AM on April 19 [23 favorites]


> I think, if we on the left are expected to tolerate Manchin and his ilk

Who here has said this? Manchin gets tons of criticism in these threads, and I've seen nobody express opposition to primarying him, even if it means potentially losing the WV seat. It's not like he's doing anything useful with it for us right now.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:22 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Is disloyalty why the Democrats lost over a thousand state legislature seats?

Incumbancy is a huge reason. The Congressional losses under Obama were in line with historical precedent for two term presidents.

And the losses in state houses are as well. Ike lost 843 state seats. Nixon/Ford lost 800. Reagan is the only post-WWII president to not lose seats, and even he lost 7 state houses. The average post-WWII loss excluding Reagan is 585 seats (487 with him). Yes, Obama is above average, but we also live in the most partisan era in modern history.

Not to say the party is without fault or hasn't made mistakes, but acting like this trend is all on Obama or the party isn't realistic either. People tend to blame the party in power (and in many people's minds that's the president's party regardless of who controls congress or state legislatures or governor mansions) and react against that.

Why Parties Should Hope They Lose the White House
posted by chris24 at 7:24 AM on April 19 [18 favorites]


Manchin and his ilk are only "tolerated" because we don't know if we can do better in those states. Feinstein, as discussed earlier, is not tolerated because it's California and we know we can do better.

Sanders will hold his Senate seat until he dies so it's a moot point.
posted by asteria at 7:30 AM on April 19


I think, if we on the left are expected to tolerate Manchin and his ilk, it isn't too much to demand that the centrists and rightsts in the Party tolerate Sanders, no?

Sanders won 43% of the vote for the party's nominee for President. He's currently on a nationwide tour with the party chairman. I think a little grumbling about his official party affiliation is a long, long way from intolerance.
posted by parallellines at 7:31 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]




I think, if we on the left are expected to tolerate Manchin and his ilk
Who here has said this? Manchin gets tons of criticism in these threads, and I've seen nobody express opposition to primarying him, even if it means potentially losing the WV seat.


[1, 2, 3]

*not an exhaustive list
posted by indubitable at 7:34 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


it isn't too much to demand that the centrists and rightsts in the Party tolerate Sanders, no?

Nope. I'm not personally going to tolerate anyone who thinks and says "identity politics" are a problem or a distraction, because I know very well what that means, at this point. It means women and non-white people get sacrificed once again on the alter of white man's pain. I don't really give a shit if that alter is part of Bernie's cult or some Republican's. I'm still getting fucking sacrificed.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:34 AM on April 19 [35 favorites]


[Good morning, let's pretend we've had this same argument about Sanders a thousand times and just drop it at this point. Also, PSA, please don't flag a ton of comments; if you're flagging more than about three in a bunch, just hit the contact form instead.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:39 AM on April 19 [17 favorites]


In recent good news, Black Lives Matter organizer and Democratic Socialists of America member Khalid Kamau has won a race for city councilor in South Fulton, Georgia. Sarah Jaffe interviewed him for Truthout last month.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:43 AM on April 19 [41 favorites]


> [1, 2, 3]

*not an exhaustive list


Fair enough, thank you. It's narrowly true that Manchin in WV is better than any Republican, and control of the Senate is important. That doesn't mean there isn't a limit to how much shit voters should be expected to eat before considering whether a primary, however a long-shot it is to elect a Democrat in the general, isn't the right move. The primary doesn't have to necessarily be a Berniecrat challenger, it could just be a less shitty conservadem who could still win state-wide.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:50 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


The thing that bugs me about the current tour is why isn't Ellison there? Wasn't the whole point of making him co-chair so we get a younger progressive with some investment and knowledge about "identity politics" on the team?

I think Perez and Ellison also make a better duo for interviews and Ellison is more charismatic than Sanders and Perez combined so yeah, I don't get it.
posted by asteria at 7:53 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Huh: Buzzfeed - Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz Will Not Seek Re-Election, Per Sources

I'm curious if he's trying to line up a run on Orrin Hatch's senate seat; Hatch is up for re-election in 2018, having previously said his current term would be his last, before announcing recently that he had changed his mind and that he is 'planning' on running in 2018.
posted by cjelli at 7:54 AM on April 19 [10 favorites]


Get ready for Eggmentum!
posted by asteria at 7:58 AM on April 19 [11 favorites]


Spoken slightly too soon (probably): Chaffetz, confirming the earlier reporting -- “I may run again for public office, but not in 2018.” So no Senate run, then.
posted by cjelli at 7:58 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Wasn't Egg considering running against Chaffetz in the primary?
posted by cmfletcher at 7:58 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Is a liar the worst person in the world? Generally, no. But then you can never trust them to tell the truth again.

This is interesting because everybody lies. Big lies, little lies, self-serving lies, self-decieving lies. We all do it. The thing is the lies are generally understandable and predictable. People lie to save face. People lie to avoid pain. People lie for gain.

The same is true of international relations.

Until now. Now it is not even random. It's an senile man with a supporting legion of idiot's idea of randomness.

It's going to get very interesting, in a bad way, once the sheer uncertainty gets factored into international relations and the markets.

We'll go from 'special relationships' to 'crossing the street to avoid the crazy'.
posted by srboisvert at 7:59 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Huh: Buzzfeed - Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz Will Not Seek Re-Election, Per Sources

Viral fundraising catapults Dem over Chaffetz
Democrat and first-time candidate Kathryn Allen has leapfrogged Rep. Jason Chaffetz in nearly every metric of campaign fundraising: She raised more money, received contributions from more people and, after expenses, has more cash available to spend.

So far this year, she raised nearly $400,000 more than the five-term Republican congressman, according to first quarter filings due Saturday, leaving her with $534,300 in her account. For the quarter, Chaffetz collected about $176,500. He has $402,700 in cash on hand.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:06 AM on April 19 [27 favorites]


Federalist 58 said that the number of representatives would grow with the population "under the sole limitation that the whole number shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand inhabitants." The first proposed amendment to the Constitution would have required no "more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons" after the House reached 200 representatives.
The amendment is still technically pending and would become law if it's ratified by 27 more states.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:17 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I think we're in a record breaking lull for Trump/Russia news. It's been several days since anything interesting happened.

(There's usually big news shortly after I complain about this. C'mon universe!)
posted by diogenes at 8:21 AM on April 19 [13 favorites]


It's amazing to me that the Democrats find decent people willing to run in as many deep red districts as they do... Would you do it? (Why not do it, then?) I don't think I would.

I don't think I'd make a good candidate. But, it sure would be nice to help out with one. Or even donate to one.

Which brings to mind... if you're a political consultant for the Dems and you fail, what happens ? You still land a cushy gig until the next election, and then you get a gig working the next election. Maybe do a book tour with the guys from the other side. It's the political circle of life. But if you do this grassroots thing, maybe somebody competent will come along, gaining experience winning elections, and then where will you be ? You lose your cushy gig to someone who is actually good at the one thing you're hired to do.

So, why would a 50 state strategy make sense to people who are established in their roles? It doesn't. It makes no sense. They make enough money that they are insulated from the bad effects of electoral losses, so they don't have to care, personally. And professionally, losing elections does not matter.

This is why there will be no 50 state strategy. Dem leadership doesn't care, because they don't have to.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:27 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]



I think we're in a record breaking lull for Trump/Russia news. It's been several days since anything interesting happened.


Trump was a good boy and bombed Syria, so the Anonymous US Officials ease up on this xenophobic narrative for a bit...
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:34 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


NYMag: Fox News Has Decided Bill O’Reilly Has to Go
The Murdochs have decided Bill O’Reilly’s 21-year run at Fox News will come to an end. According to sources briefed on the discussions, network executives are preparing to announce O’Reilly’s departure before he returns from an Italian vacation on April 24. Now the big questions are how the exit will look and who will replace him.

Wednesday morning, according to sources, executives are holding emergency meetings to discuss how they can sever the relationship with the country’s highest-rated cable-news host without causing collateral damage to the network. The board of Fox News’ parent company 21st Century Fox is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the matter.
...
The Murdochs’ decision to dump O’Reilly shocked many Fox News staffers I’ve spoken to in recent days. Late last week, the feeling inside the company was that Rupert Murdoch would prevail over his son James, who lobbied to jettison the embattled host. It’s still unclear exactly how the tide turned.
The shocking thing should really be that he's been kept on this long, given that Fox News (but not the public) knew about his history of alleged sexual harassment (since they kept paying out settlements for it), not that he's being let go 'quickly.' There's no reason this had to be an 'emergency' meeting: they could have quietly fired him years ago, after the first harassment allegations surfaced internally.
posted by cjelli at 8:34 AM on April 19 [43 favorites]


First, the fact that merely running for office can literally destroy the life of a completely normal, uncontroversial person, is indicative of a diseased system. Second, since the party *knows* this to be the case, that should be even *more* reason to provide assistance to new candidates:

When I think about this, I actually have something to draw on: how protesters and activists dealt with war resisters.

We told them, in our naïveté, that it was okay to go AWOL from an unjust war, that we would support them and help them and lift them up. And for the most part, for the first year or so of everyone's sentence or new residence in Canada, everyone actually did. But life stretches longer than the first year, or even the second. Some of the war resisters I know have been in Canada now for eight years. They still can't meaningfully settle, or return to the US. The support has entirely dried up.

Similarly, the party is not equipped to provide the kind of assistance to candidates that would meaningfully encourage candidacy. They're not saying, "If you win the primary, no matter what comes out about you, you'll always have a job in the Democratic Party, somewhere." They're saying, at best, "we'll throw you some staff and money for your campaign. If oppo research discovers that at one time in high school you wrote a satirical essay about squirrel-fucking, and now you're known as a squirrel-fucker and nobody wants to hire you and your marriage is over, that's too fucking bad."
posted by corb at 8:38 AM on April 19 [16 favorites]


The primary doesn't have to necessarily be a Berniecrat challenger, it could just be a less shitty conservadem who could still win state-wide.

It doesn't have to be, but it would seem unwise given the empirical evidence that Sanders won the WV primary in a landslide last year. If someone were to run on a similarly progressive platform, that's a pretty strong signal that they could advance to the general election for the Senate seat.
posted by indubitable at 8:38 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I actually think the mindset we bring to what's acceptable in a candidate's personal life is a huge part of the problem with politics today. Normal people have all done weird shit in the past that they would feel strange and uncomfortable having exposed. Normal people can look at their personal history honestly and say, you know what? I've done some things that, if revealed in the harshest possible light, would probably disqualify me from elected office; I guess I won't run.

...

I think the world would be a much better place if the culturally acceptable amount of inquiry into a candidate's past was approximately the same as what was needed to apply for a job. Have you been arrested? Do you have a reasonable, relevant work history and positive references from the people you've worked with in the past? Great, you're qualified to run. Anything else is none of our business.


I think this is a really, really, terrific point. We can't expect candidates' backgrounds to be pristine, but, especially in the cases of women and POC, pristine is what they have to be, at least for Democrats. Unless the candidate announces something like "When I am elected, I am going to replace all government scientists with astrologers" it shouldn't matter whether a candidate worked on a phone psychic line or not.

Dennis Hastert was a freakin' CHILD MOLESTER, ffs! And he got elected! He was speaker of the House! We've got a rapist for President! Meanwhile Democrats had better be squeaky clean or else? I don't think so. Honestly, I draw the line at child molestation, rape, and other violent crimes.

But otherwise, yes, I think political office should be treated like any other job - and I think it would help get competent candidates into office if work history and references were consulted rather than "is this person divorced? Did she work at a psychic hotline? Etc." Of course, if we're talking "work history" and "references" then Someone Orange would never have had a chance at the Presidency, so that makes me doubly for it.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:40 AM on April 19 [35 favorites]


The shocking thing should really be that he's been kept on this long, given that Fox News (but not the public) knew about his history of alleged sexual harassment

I think it signals that the Murdochs Younger are in charge now and there might be be a new way of doing things. Of course this should have been dealt with years ago but it's a good sign that it happened fairly swiftly once Dad handed over the reins and Ailes was gone.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:40 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


> If someone were to run on a similarly progressive platform, that's a pretty strong signal that they could advance to the general election for the Senate seat.

Sure, if their goal is to advance to the general and not to win it. Do I want someone with more or less Sanders' views to represent West Virginia? Yes. Is there evidence that such a candidate would get enough support to win there? That's a much harder case to make.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:42 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


so the Anonymous US Officials ease up on this xenophobic narrative for a bit...

You heard it here first, folks. Concerns about Russian involvement in US elections is "xenophobia." Why you make Vlad sad?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:44 AM on April 19 [16 favorites]


The shocking thing should really be that he's been kept on this long, given that Fox News (but not the public) knew about his history of alleged sexual harassment

I'm whatever the opposite of shocked is, but, like, a Kessel Run farther beyond that.

Falafel O'Reilly has had a reputation as sexual predator since the 90s. Despite what they said about Bill Clinton's peccadilloes, Conservatives love that shit.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:48 AM on April 19 [11 favorites]


You heard it here first, folks. Concerns about Russian involvement in US elections is "xenophobia." Why you make Vlad sad?

The number of Those Tricky Evil Russians jokes I've heard since like beginning-of-summer 2017 has gone up by something like a hundredfold.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:52 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Speaking of peccadilloes, Charlie Warzel of BuzzFeed and Jonathan Tilove of The Austin American-Statesman are live-tweeting Alex Jones' custody trial this morning.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:54 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Lotta white dudes excited about the Sanders event in town today, me less so. I hope he makes a positive difference, and I am glad to have white dudes on board because we need all the votes, but there's that feeling I always get, when white guys get REALLY EXCITED about another white guy and I have to smile and say "yeah, he's great."
posted by emjaybee at 8:57 AM on April 19 [32 favorites]


Regarding the conflicting reports about the "armada," I'm surprised no one has yet reached the most obvious conclusion: We solved the problems that plagued the experiments with the USS Eldridge back in 1943, and the US Navy now has teleportation capabilities.

Wake up, sheeple!
posted by lord_wolf at 8:58 AM on April 19 [21 favorites]


This guy (James Mackler) isn't my particular cup of tea, but I think he could do well in Tennessee challenging Sen. Corker:

Iraq War Vet Is First Democrat To Jump Into Tennessee Senate Race
posted by melissasaurus at 9:00 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Emirates reduces service to the US due to decreased demand caused by Trump attempts to ban Muslims, laptops.
posted by adamg at 9:05 AM on April 19


The number of Those Tricky Evil Russians jokes I've heard since like beginning-of-summer 2017 has gone up by something like a hundredfold.

I think you mean '16. How many of those involve Stupid Moose and Squirrel?
posted by octobersurprise at 9:08 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]




Lotta white dudes excited about the Sanders event in town today, me less so.

Sanders approval rating across demographics

African-Americans - 73%
Hispanics - 68%
Asian-Americans - 62%
Whites - 52%
posted by beerperson at 9:20 AM on April 19 [23 favorites]


Even the small things:
During Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, a curious feature of the lobby in Trump Tower in Manhattan became a sideline distraction: Kiosks selling merchandise occupied the open public space where seating should have been.

After $14,000 in fines and at least a year of back-and-forths, the benches were reinstalled.

But the building continues to violate the terms of its decades-old agreement, according to a new audit completed by the office of the New York City comptroller, Scott M. Stringer.
Auditors found that it lacked many of the tables it is required to provide the public, part of an agreement that had allowed Mr. Trump to build his tower 20 stories higher than originally allowed.
The NYT reports that a recent city-wide audit found many properties out of compliance, so Trump is hardly alone in this; but Trump alone is the President, and Trump alone, as President, has failed to divest himself of his holdings.
posted by cjelli at 9:21 AM on April 19 [19 favorites]




beerperson: "Sanders approval rating across demographics

African-Americans - 73%
Hispanics - 68%
Asian-Americans - 62%
Whites - 52%
"

Just to be clear, those figures appear to be across the whole population, i.e.: the "Whites" figure includes white republicans. No crosstabs are available, but I can't help but wonder how much those figures are simply driven by the D vs. R splits among the racial categories rather than anything intrinsic to Sanders. Also, towards the bottom of that article, they state that "Harvard-Harris Poll uses a methodology that doesn’t produce a traditional margin of error." Not exactly sure what that implies.
posted by mhum at 9:29 AM on April 19 [17 favorites]


I think you mean '16.

Ugh yeah sorry it's been four months and I'm still writing The Geopolitical Situation Is Not Yet A Terrifying Doomfilled Hellscape on all my checks
posted by Greg Nog at 9:32 AM on April 19 [25 favorites]


I think the world would be a much better place if the culturally acceptable amount of inquiry into a candidate's past was approximately the same as what was needed to apply for a job. Have you been arrested? Do you have a reasonable, relevant work history and positive references from the people you've worked with in the past? Great, you're qualified to run. Anything else is none of our business.

Having been through the grind of training, prepping and planning a campaign, I don't begrudge any candidate their past peccadilloes UNLESS it showcases significantly illegal or highly unethical behavior, an extreme lack of good judgment with little evidence of learning from it, or a personal life that is in hypocritical opposition to the political platform they embrace. Those things might be personal, but they are relevant, I think.

This last area of hypocrisy is where we run into some key issues for political candidates:

If you're in a gay relationship? Irrelevant and personal. If you also want to make gay relationships illegal? Your gay relationship now becomes relevant.

If you had an abortion? Irrelevant and personal. If you also want to make abortions illegal? Your having had one becomes relevant.

If you smoke weed in your off time? Irrelevant and personal. If you are also fighting to keep weed illegal? Your weed habit is now relevant.

If you were a conscientious objector? Irrelevant and personal. If you are also trying to send other people off to war, then your avoidance of combat on moral terms is now relevant.

If you like to wear a diaper when you visit prostitutes? Irrelevant and personal. If you are also trying to polish an image of a straight-laced "family values" evangelical Christian with heteronormative monogamy as the prescriptive model for the rest of society? Then your kinky prostitute sessions are now relevant to the public discussion.

So it's all a matter of what platform you espouse as to what becomes relevant for political discussion. And that probably can be boiled down to: if you are proposing to curtail others' rights or opportunities, it's important to ask if you acting in good faith on that issue or are you a hypocrite?

And if you're NOT trying to curtail others' rights or opportunities on a particular issue, well, then, your personal, private behavior should remain that way. Basically, you are afforded the same courtesy as you afford others in letting personal, private issues remain that way.

...

Personally, I will never run for public office.

I guess that's a rather bland statement. But at one time, I actually wanted to, hoped to, trained to and, with the support of some key constituencies here in Arizona, had a reasonable expectation of doing so. I just finally came to the conclusion that the process of getting elected and holding office is just so ridiculously intrusive and stressful on a personal level, would make enemies of close to half of the people in my community, and would result in minimal ability to actually achieve positive results in the foreseeable future (again, here in Arizona), that I decided not to go that route.

I ended up as a science professor, instead...and just earned tenure - yay! Now I make my small contribution to the commonweal by occasionally reminding students that though science is not a perfect method of knowing the truth, it has proven remarkably effective in a LOT of practical ways that they benefit from on a daily basis, that the vast majority of the world's scientists agree with anthropogenic climate change, that the theory of evolution has been tested again and again and shown repeated predictability, that astrology is not based on falsifiable evidence, that homeopathy is not based on falsifiable evidence, etc., etc., etc.

Thirty-five students at a time, y'all.
posted by darkstar at 9:36 AM on April 19 [78 favorites]


Go ahead, Cheeto, now say that Trump Tower's cafeteria has the best bulgogi. Go all in.
posted by delfin at 9:38 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


*my feelings about Sanders are merely mine, I make no claims to having the pulse of the electorate. Anyhoo.

Last night was my first precinct meeting. It was good, though attendance was less than I wanted. But again, lots of the people invited ("hard Dems" who voted in 2 or more of last 3 primaries) are in their 80s and don't get out much.

We did get one person to commit to phonebanking, another to block walking. We handed out sample ballots for our upcoming locals in May and discussed the merits of candidates.

Next round, we are going after the "soft Dems" which is anyone in my precinct who voted in the last primary. We're hoping to capture some of the younger active voters. We've got our Facebook page set up and setting our sights on 2018.
posted by emjaybee at 9:39 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Hm. According to the attorneys in the Alex Jones case, Jones has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder diagnosis. I mean, it's not like you couldn't have guessed that by watching him, but I wasn't aware that he had an actual diagnosis.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:41 AM on April 19 [27 favorites]


Next thing you know Jones will apply for disability due to NPD, go on daytime TV and talk about his road to recovery and turning to Jesus, and appear on Dancing With the Stars paired up with Monica Crowley.
posted by spitbull at 9:51 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


So I was just looking back through the election 2016 posts to torture myself and I notice that we stopped using Hamilton quotes for titles in mid-October which is coincidentally when Hillary's standing in the polls got a bit shakier.

I'm not trying to point fingers but I do think this is something we should keep in mind for 2018 and 2020.
posted by asteria at 9:57 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Comment from way upthread:

Texas should absolutely be a battleground, even Ted Cruz's own supporters hate Ted Cruz, and Texas demographics will get to competitive levels one of these years. But most of the Democratic action this cycle will necessarily have to be on the House side, outside of Nevada and Arizona which are both tough too, the Senate is mainly going to be defending incumbent seats.


Recent results in Kansas and Georgia that suggest Trump is an anchor for incumbent Republicans is supported now in Texas:

Joaquin Castro leads Ted Cruz by 4 points in Senate Poll
posted by darkstar at 9:59 AM on April 19 [38 favorites]




I was in Austin in the late 80s and early 90s when Jones got his start with the anti-government CT wackos of that era. We ran into him at a protest once at the DMV where he was against Texas putting coded magnetic stripes on driver's licenses because it was a sign of creeping totalitarianism and the mark of the beast or something. Guy gave off the stink of crazy even at a distance then. Can't believe it's any different now.
posted by spitbull at 10:06 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Sanders is probably more popular among white Democrats than many other politicians. I seem to recall that if only the votes of white people had been counted, he would have in fact narrowly won the Democratic primary. But Democratic politicians in general are less popular among white people than among people of color...

I was thinking about this stuff and about whether Sanders actually qualifies as a populist, by this definition of populism...
In populism, “the People” isn’t everybody.

While democracy is “government of the People, by the People, and for the People”, populism can get so focused on the for that it stops caring about the of and by.

Because democracy is of and by the People, democratic government is defined by process. But populist movements want results.
I think for Sanders "the People" is "the 99%"... so if not everybody, it's almost everybody. And while there was a little bit of a "cult of personality" air about him, he wasn't trying to get elected dictator. His campaign was very much "bottom up" rather than "top down." But I do think he fits the last criterion. "A populist movement wants results." The process is less important.

Bernie seemed, to me, impatient with compromise, whether that means compromise with Republicans or within the big-tent Democratic party. (Eg, his rhetoric about Obamacare, which is the ultimate "compromise" achievement.) He extracted specific campaign promises from Clinton with the threat of withholding his endorsement, because the protocol of party unity was less important to him (and his supporters) than getting those promises.

But I think maybe what a lot of people of color are seeking is not a specific policy agenda so much as having a voice. A seat at the table. Fixing the justice system is a process issue too. There's not a specific outcome people want from it exactly -- not like "free Aaron Schwartz" or whatever. They just want to make it work better, more fairly.

So maybe white people, who already have a voice, are more results-focused at this moment in history, while people of color are more process focused.

When people said Clinton didn't have a "vision" they mean she herself was more process-focused that results focused. She was running on a platform of elevating voices that haven't been heard ("Stronger together") and of making the government function better for everyone. Sanders was running on a platform of "give people education, give people healthcare" -- specific results.

Just an observation that I think is helpful in understanding the political dynamics here...
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:08 AM on April 19 [35 favorites]


Chaffetz announced today that he won't run for re-election to the House in 2018.

His Dem challenger has been vastly out-fundraising him.

Probably too much of a stretch, but: maybe he foresaw a damaging primary challenge by Egg, followed by a general fight against a very well funded Dem, all in the context of the Trump Anchor effect, and the heat he's been getting for his willful incompetence in conducting oversight, and it's all gotten to him?

Or maybe he just figures it's the right time to shoot for the Governorship.
posted by darkstar at 10:18 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


The great thing is that Jones' lawyer is working the "my client is a performance artist; it's just an act" defense while Jones is going on the air and says "They’ve got articles out today that I say I’m a fake, all of this other crap. Total bull!"

Well, publicly arguing against your own defense is something a performance artist would do...
posted by diogenes at 10:26 AM on April 19 [10 favorites]


corb: "Similarly, the party is not equipped to provide the kind of assistance to candidates that would meaningfully encourage candidacy. They're not saying, "If you win the primary, no matter what comes out about you, you'll always have a job in the Democratic Party, somewhere." They're saying, at best, "we'll throw you some staff and money for your campaign. If oppo research discovers that at one time in high school you wrote a satirical essay about squirrel-fucking, and now you're known as a squirrel-fucker and nobody wants to hire you and your marriage is over, that's too fucking bad.""

You know, if we had a social safety net instead of welfare that has to be gated behind means-testing, maybe people wouldn't have to be constantly anxious about job prospects in this way. But God knows that moronic means-testing just gives Republicans huge boners, so we're out of luck.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:32 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


"No respectable historian would make such a claim (that Korea used to be part of China)," Kyung Moon Hwang, a history professor at the University of Southern California, told Quartz.

Many Korean news agencies are covering Trump's quote since Yonhap News Agency's initial coverage on Apr. 19.


Well, it's being reported now.
posted by anem0ne at 10:34 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]




You know, if we had a social safety net instead of welfare that has to be gated behind means-testing, maybe people wouldn't have to be constantly anxious about job prospects in this way. But God knows that moronic means-testing just gives Republicans huge boners, so we're out of luck.

It also plays into the conservative tropes about "unresponsive bureaucrats" and "regulatory red tape," as filling out all the forms to prove one is eligible for a means-tested program makes it more complicated.
posted by Gelatin at 10:52 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump forgets Paul Ryan's name and calls him Ron twice

I know a Speaker of the House that's about to get a meatloaf dinner.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:55 AM on April 19 [12 favorites]


You know, if we had a social safety net instead of welfare that has to be gated behind means-testing

men would ride side-saddle, we would park on a parkway and drive on a driveway, and President Neil DeGrasse Tyson would be announcing the Mars solar power conduit project.
posted by spitbull at 10:57 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Google Ron Ryan!
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on April 19 [33 favorites]


I mean there is a sort of liberal version of what-aboutism that goes "if we had a real progressive tax system and free college for all we wouldn't be in this mess." Yeah, true.
posted by spitbull at 10:58 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Donald Trump forgets Paul Ryan's name and calls him Ron twice

itshappeningohwaitmaybeitisntwhothehellevenknowsanymore.gif
posted by Etrigan at 10:59 AM on April 19 [6 favorites]


Pence sworn in by August.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:02 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Donald Trump forgets Paul Ryan's name and calls him Ron twice

More evidence?


I am baffled at this point by what *would* be evidence that he were mentally incapacitated. Does he have to fling his own poo on national television? Publicly masturbate? What's the ceiling here?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:03 AM on April 19 [23 favorites]


In other words, "surely this".
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:04 AM on April 19 [17 favorites]


From the perspective of someone who actually studied the history of the region, I can say in no uncertain terms that Kyung Moon Hwang is not biased when he says Korea was never part of China, he's speaking absolute and literal truth. No respectable historian, not even in China, would claim that Korea used to be part of China.

In fact, a fairly big part of the moral/philosophic/popular/whatever backing old Korean dynasties claimed involved getting official recognition from the Chinese Emperor as being the rulers of Korea which only happened with nations that weren't part of China.

Further, China defined itself culturally as much as anything else, and Koreans were absolutely not culturally Chinese. they spoke a different language, developed a different written language, had different customs and worldview.

Arguing that Korea used to be part of China is as absurd as arguing that France used to be part of Germany, or that Mexico used to be part of the USA.
posted by sotonohito at 11:05 AM on April 19 [22 favorites]


Donald Trump forgets Paul Ryan's name and calls him Ron twice

More evidence?


It wouldn't surprise me, but it also wouldn't surprise me if this is another one of his dumb power moves.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:05 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Publicly masturbate

Technically the rallies are part of the re-election campaign.
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on April 19 [54 favorites]


He realizes the 2nd time he says "Ron" that he's got the wrong name; points to another Ron (Ron Johnson?) to play off his whole speech like he just got the wrong name.

File this under "of all the stupid shit this man has done, probably a nothingburger." He got someone's name mixed up for 15 seconds and tried to correct himself once he figured it out. Could it be senility? Sure. But seeing as how he (relatively quickly) figures it out himself and tries to fix it, seems like it could be a busy and confused old man trying to manage too much in his mind.

On preview: dirigibleman has an interesting theory. Could be a power move, could also be something he's hoping the media will pick up and then he'll run with as "fake news! I was obviously talking about this Ron in the room/don't you see how biased the media is?" And his propagandists on CNN will be all like "OMG he made an innocent mistake look how unfair you attack him are you guys going to nitpick EVERYTHING?"

Fuck this White House for its continuing psychological warfare/gaslighting of the American People.
posted by andruwjones26 at 11:10 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Does he have to fling his own poo on national television? Publicly masturbate?

Sounds like somebody has those apprentice tapes...
posted by mrgoat at 11:13 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Pence sworn in by August.

It wouldn't surprise me. If Trump is suffering from some kind of senile dementia, then it's only going to get worse. I've watched a relative go from mild confusion to bed-ridden in little more than a year.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:13 AM on April 19 [6 favorites]


WSJ: Exxon Seeks U.S. Waiver to Resume Russia Oil Venture
Exxon Mobil Corp. has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft, according to people familiar with the matter.

Exxon has been seeking U.S. permission to drill with Rosneft in several areas banned by sanctions and applied in recent months for a waiver to proceed in the Black Sea, according to these people.
...
[State Department Secretary] Tillerson is recusing himself from any matters involving Exxon for two years, and won’t be involved with any decision made by any government agency involving Exxon during this period, a State Department spokesman said.

It isn’t clear whether the request with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control was made before Mr. Tillerson joined the Trump administration. A spokesman for the Treasury Department said it doesn’t comment on waiver applications. An Exxon spokesman said the company wouldn’t discuss government deliberations on sanctions.
...
Exxon’s proposal to drill in the Black Sea has been circulated in various federal departments in recent months, several people said. Exxon is arguing that it deserves a waiver there because under its deal with Rosneft its exploration rights in the Black Sea will expire if it doesn’t act, and because some of its top foreign competitors aren’t similarly restricted.

It is unusual for a company to seek a waiver based purely on future business prospects, according to former U.S. officials. American companies often seek waivers from sanctions citing humanitarian, trade or operational issues, the officials said.

The Obama administration granted sanctions waivers to high-tech companies operating in Iran and Syria, arguing that facilitating the flow of information could help open up the repressive regimes.
It will be interesting to see how this goes -- waiving sanctions on a case-by-case basis might be a way to avoid the bad optics of rolling back sanctions entirely; but then again, no waiver has as yet actually been issued.
posted by cjelli at 11:14 AM on April 19 [21 favorites]


think we're in a record breaking lull for Trump/Russia news. It's been several days since anything interesting happened

Exxon: Hold my beer.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:14 AM on April 19 [18 favorites]


I really wanted Ossoff to win this round if only because of figurative TON of mailers we've been getting. We had 8 on monday: 3 for Karen Handel, 2 for Jon Ossoff, 2 against Ossoff, and 1 postcard that seemed very nice with a female scientist on the front that wanted me to get out and vote.

And the ads. SO MANY ADS. STOP. JUST STOP ALREADY. UGH.
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:20 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Here comes the Russian pay-off, I guess.
posted by Artw at 11:23 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


/wonders if the rest of the dossier becoming solid will mean pee-tape's existence becomes a certainty.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on April 19


Donald Trump forgets Paul Ryan's name

I would like to forget Paul Ryan's name.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:26 AM on April 19 [46 favorites]


I think the Wall Street Journal did a terrible job of explaining the significance of this Exxon/sanctions story...

#1 -- It seems to me there is very little point in having the sanctions at all if you're going to let a deal like this go through. Most of Russia's wealth is oil wealth. If you're going to try to punish them for invading their neighbor (which is what these sanctions are for!) by hurting their economy, the way you are going to hurt their economy is by blocking *exactly* this kind of international oil investment. Exxon is one of the biggest multinational oil companies in the world, and Rosneft is a giant in the Russian oil industry. You let this happen, and wealth is flowing back into Russia. They would've succeeded in invading Ukraine with no negative consequences at all. That needs to be explained in the article.

#2 -- While the WSJ does explain that Rex Tillerson was Exxon's CEO until he became Secretary of State, it does not mention that the other party to this deal, Rosneft, appears in the "dossier" compiled by the fomer MI6 agent. "Sechin's associate said that the Rosneft president was so keen to lift personal and corporate western sanctions imposed on the company, that he offered Page and his associates the brokerage [eg 6% fee on the sale] of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosneft," the dossier said. "In return, Page had expressed interest and confirmed that were Trump elected US president, then sanctions on Russia would be lifted." [...]"The company signed a deal on December 7 to sell 19.5% of shares, or roughly $11 billion, to the multinational commodity trader Glencore Plc and Qatar's state-owned wealth fund. Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is Glencore's largest shareholder. [...] The purchase amounted to the biggest foreign investment in Russia since US sanctions took effect in 2014. It showed that "there are some forces in the world that are ready to help Russia to circumvent the [West's] sanction regime.""

That context needs to be in the article too!
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:30 AM on April 19 [35 favorites]


Man, I'm not looking forward to White House staffers and GOP congresspeople abusing their power to gin up public support for increasingly senile utterances
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:30 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


You know, if we had a social safety net instead of welfare that has to be gated behind means-testing, maybe people wouldn't have to be constantly anxious about job prospects in this way. But God knows that moronic means-testing just gives Republicans huge boners, so we're out of luck.
It also plays into the conservative tropes about "unresponsive bureaucrats" and "regulatory red tape," as filling out all the forms to prove one is eligible for a means-tested program makes it more complicated.


National level Democrats have proposed means-tested programs just in the last year, it's not only a problem with Republicans or conservatives.
posted by indubitable at 11:30 AM on April 19


Chicago Sun-Times: Cubs’ Todd Ricketts withdraws name for Trump’s Cabinet
Unable to untangle his complex financial holdings to the satisfaction of the Office of Government Ethics, Cubs board member Todd Ricketts, tapped by President Donald Trump to be the Deputy Commerce Secretary, on Wednesday withdrew his nomination, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Ricketts, a Wilmette resident who is a member of the billionaire Ricketts clan, was willing to divest his considerable personal portfolio of holdings, but that was apparently not enough. Some of the Ricketts investments are in family enterprises, including the Cubs.

Trump nominated Ricketts on Nov. 30. Ricketts filed a required financial disclosure statement with the Senate Commerce Committee, but the panel would not set a hearing date until Rickets obtained clearance from the Office of Government Ethics – which oversees the executive branch, with the exception of the president.
That's the same Todd Ricketts, for reference, who helped big-ticket donors funnel money anonymously through a group of 501(c)(4)'s to help elect Trump.
posted by cjelli at 11:33 AM on April 19 [9 favorites]


I can't look at any of this anymore and I also can't look away, and no matter how many times we unweave and reweave the tapestry I'm here like I've never seen it before or like it's news, as if a two-second Google search doesn't turn up a hundred references from serious news organizations who have delved into the clear cognitive problems of the president. Like, this is actual reality. Part of me feels like I will spend the rest of my life stranded on election night, two AM, the last person in the country to accept that Hillary Clinton had lost, that a woman would not be president, but that the country preferred a monster instead.

But he is allowed to bomb things, people are being deported, people have been beaten, there's a guy down the street from me who has stuck an enormous American flag on the back of his pick up and it waves behind him as he drives. In another life, my main worry would be that flag creates public safety hazard and what if it flies off on the interstate?

So I guess I'm saying, I too am having a hard time with reality.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:34 AM on April 19 [72 favorites]




Weird seeing conflicts of interest sometimes count, thought the standard had been lowered to the point where they basically never do.
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]




NYT: Bill O’Reilly Is Forced Out at Fox News
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, said in a statement.
That just goes to show you that there is, in fact, a limit to how long a powerful white man can sexually harass women at work. Unfortunately, that limit in this case turns out to be two decades.
posted by zachlipton at 11:41 AM on April 19 [60 favorites]


lol, they lost Megyn Kelly for this?
posted by lalex at 11:44 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


So not yet on Ossoff, but yes on O'Reilly. Who had that for their cake? Please post photos immediately.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:44 AM on April 19 [10 favorites]


Pence sworn in by August.

I'd like to think so, but out of all the possible mechanisms to make this happen (Impeachment->Trial->Conviction, Resignation, 25th Amendment), I can't see any of them being very likely. Yet.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:47 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


NYT: Bill O’Reilly Is Forced Out at Fox News

Play us out, Bill, play us out.
posted by dis_integration at 11:47 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Bill O'Reilly is officially out, says the Times

If anyone is currently drafting a front page post about this, please feel free to use the title BO'Rexit!
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:48 AM on April 19 [17 favorites]


Bill O'Reilly is officially out, says the Times

NelsonHaHa.gif
posted by dnash at 11:49 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Papa bear set to replace Spicer? [fake, for now]
posted by emelenjr at 11:49 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Papa bear set to replace Spicer? [fake, for now]

My mom just texted me this
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:51 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Bill O'Reilly fired and a great new posthumous song from Prince. It's a good day.
posted by chris24 at 11:51 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


At the Tax March last Saturday in NYC we were marching past the News Corp headquarters when these high school kids started a "we need more sanity, not more Hannity" chant that went over pretty well. And then I spent the next couple blocks trying to think of what rhymes with O'Reilly.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:54 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


O'Reilly started out as a writer for the alternative Boston Phoenix, where he interviewed the director of the early porn classic The Devil in Miss Jones.
posted by adamg at 11:55 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


It's not as if an elderly entertainment figure with cognitive problems and an obnoxious authoritarian streak serving as a Republican President figurehead while assorted dingbats and criminals beneath him steadily dismantle American prosperity and freedoms is a NEW and unprecedented phenomenon. Some would argue that we are simply reverting to one of our nation's baseline states, which would be pursuing dominance by an elite and vomiting angry rats on all others.
posted by delfin at 11:56 AM on April 19 [13 favorites]


The Washington Post has a nice article and dataviz on the current ideological spread of Congress and the resulting difficulties facing the Dems in the 2018 elections. I know the topic's been discussed at length (if not ad nauseam) here, but I figured there's plenty of others that can't resist good mouseover.
posted by sapere aude at 12:00 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]




It's not as if an elderly entertainment figure with cognitive problems and an obnoxious authoritarian streak serving as a Republican President figurehead while assorted dingbats and criminals beneath him steadily dismantle American prosperity and freedoms is a NEW and unprecedented phenomenon.

Which is why Democrats need to lampshade the deliberate Republican inaction as unpatriotic (it's counter to the Founders' idea that Congress would check the President if Republicans flatly refuse to do so, especially after grandstanding so much about obstructing Obama) and more, as proof that Republicans simply can not be trusted with power.

That message, over and over, until it makes the conservative creation of the "liberal media" myth seem like a fleeting thought: Republicans can not be trusted.

That means you too, Mr. President.
posted by Gelatin at 12:11 PM on April 19 [15 favorites]




Ron Paul Ryan.

[shudders violently].
posted by srboisvert at 12:15 PM on April 19 [17 favorites]


And Tucker Carlson will take Papa Bear's spot.

Good to know that privileged white guys will continue to fail ever upward.
posted by Etrigan at 12:16 PM on April 19 [26 favorites]


I know, I can't believe Tucker bounced back after that whole Jon Stewart thingy. Amazing.
posted by valkane at 12:18 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


They're all good congressmen, Ron.
posted by klarck at 12:18 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


And Tucker Carlson will take Papa Bear's spot.

Maybe he'll take the padlocks off the swivel chairs in the studio so guests can spin again. That's what O'Reilly meant by "No Spin Zone", right? Because people sure weren't telling the truth on his show.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:19 PM on April 19


Maybe back in 1970. The top 20% own half the wealth. They can sure as fuck afford it.

I don't know if it's been discredited or failed to make a necessary caveat or something, but this video from a few years ago showed the top 1% with 40% of the wealth in the U.S. and appeared to have the top 20% owning around 85% of all wealth.
posted by XMLicious at 12:19 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Tucker Carlson will take Papa Bear's spot.

Hahaha. Sickest burn. The PAPA BEAR being replaced that smarmy wandought.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:21 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


Full headline (emphasis mine):

Donald Trump forgets Paul Ryan's name and calls him Ron twice
President's gaffe comes after pair worked together extensively on healthcare legislation


As if this is why the president of the united States should know who Paul Ryan is.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:22 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


I was thinking with O'Reilly out, that cat lady from The Simpsons could fill in for him. Will bring cats.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:22 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Tucker Carlson will take Papa Bear's spot.

Hahaha. Sickest burn. The PAPA BEAR being replaced that smarmy wandought.



Made me google "wandought". Very happy to have learned this new (old) word.

Take my favorite and go in peace.
posted by darkstar at 12:24 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


And Tucker Carlson will take Papa Bear's spot.

Ah, Mr. "You're hurting America" himself.
posted by Gelatin at 12:25 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


"Sechin's associate said that the Rosneft president was so keen to lift personal and corporate western sanctions imposed on the company, that he offered Page and his associates the brokerage [eg 6% fee on the sale] of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosneft," the dossier said. "In return, Page had expressed interest and confirmed that were Trump elected US president, then sanctions on Russia would be lifted."

The thing that has been bugging me about this claim is that Carter Page is clearly an idiot. Russian spies said so themselves in 2013. I mean, who the heck would entrust this guy with a share of one of the largest oil deals ever? If anything, it seems more likely that they planned to stiff Page, just as the last round of Russian spies did.

Also: Sean Spicer wants to argue about what the definition of ‘is’ is, in which Spicer contorts the English language to attempt to explain why they weren't lying about the Carl Vinson even though it was 3,000 miles away going the wrong direction. It's like if you tell your spouse: "I'm on the way home honey" when you're actually headed the other direction to the strip club. By Spicer's standards, that's not misleading, because you're still planning to head home eventually (in this analogy, as with real life, this assumes there will still be a home to get to after your delay, which is not at all assured in either case).

Of course, the article is written by Aaron Blake, who sucks only slightly less than Chris Cillizza, so he ends with:
Whether they deliberately misled us or somehow didn't realize the narrative of confrontation that was quickly forming in the western Pacific, it's yet another strike against their credibility. And it's why it's getting very hard to give them the benefit of the doubt on stuff like this.
"Getting very hard?" Dude where have you been? They should have lost the benefit of the doubt, at the very latest, after the fake Trump steaks incident over a year ago. Is everyone who writes for The Fix the most gullible person in the world?
posted by zachlipton at 12:26 PM on April 19 [16 favorites]




Looking forward to hearing Lauren Duca on Tucker again.
posted by progosk at 12:30 PM on April 19


Paul Ryan will fulminate and fuss about this for an hour and then accept that his new name is "Ron".

While insisting all the time he isn't endorsing the name "Ron."
posted by Gelatin at 12:31 PM on April 19 [14 favorites]


Made me google "wandought". Very happy to have learned this new (old) word.

And here I was giggling and WTFing what a wangdonut was. lol. Oh well now I have 2 new words!
posted by futz at 12:31 PM on April 19 [13 favorites]


I'm just reflecting on how painfully similar the USS Carl Vinson error is frighteningly evocative of the misinterpretation/miscommunication of events of the USS Maddox incident in the Gulf of Tonkin, and how that ended up dragging us deep into the Vietnam war.
posted by darkstar at 12:31 PM on April 19 [15 favorites]


The New Yorker had a piece, recently, on Carlson's post-Stewart-debate move to Fox News that also doubles as a brief biography, which is an interesting read if you only know him in the context of Crossfire: Tucker Carlson's Fighting Words
These days, Carlson is adored by precisely the people who might once have dismissed him as a twerpy avatar of establishment Republicanism. Johnson, the former Daily Caller freelancer, suggests that Carlson has long been more of a political insurgent than many people recognized...Online, Carlson has been given a very unofficial slogan: “You can’t cuck the Tuck.”
It is an even-handed but not a particularly sympathetic piece; I'm thrilled that Hannity is (finally) out, but elevating Carlson as his replacement is not great news in itself, though certainly better than having Hannity stay on.
posted by cjelli at 12:37 PM on April 19


Hannity stays. O'Reilly goes. I see how you could make that error though.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:40 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Ack. Yes, O'Reilly. Apologies.

If only they were both gone.
posted by cjelli at 12:41 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


USAT: Senate Dem fundraising way up.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:46 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Now this clip of Ron the Bear fighting a troll got stuck in my tiny brain (Courtesy Wizard People Dear Reader). Thanks all
posted by Namlit at 12:49 PM on April 19


I'm thrilled that Hannity is (finally) out

gdi don't tease
posted by murphy slaw at 12:50 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Hahaha. Sickest burn. The PAPA BEAR being replaced that smarmy wandought.
"And when thou bids the paughty Czar stand yon,
The Wandought seems beneath thee on his Throne ..."

— Allan Ramsay, "Epistle From Mr. William Starrat,
Teacher of Mathematicks at Straban in Ireland." Poems, 1728.
You wouldn't think an 18th century Scots poet would have any insight on Bill O'Reilly, but there you go.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:52 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Hannity stays. O'Reilly goes.

Though one must wonder why Hannity didn't get the nod...
posted by Etrigan at 12:52 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


The night of the election, the big stars on Fox News were Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly.

Only Hannity remains. He must be absolutely fuming that that little shit Tucker Carlson got elevated before him.
posted by zakur at 12:54 PM on April 19 [19 favorites]


Carlson has long been more of a political insurgent than many people recognized

Nah, "twerpy" is about right. He's a silver-spoon lightweight, a frat-boy scion of the D.C. elite, who used his social connections to wangle an undeserved role first on Crossfire where his only source of gravitas was from stealing George Will's bowtie schtick, and then when his star was fading due to Jon Stewart's handing him his ass on public t.v., he leveraged his wealth and what little clout he had left into starting his own paper, the Daily Caller, a right wing rag more in the spirit of Breitbart than in the National Review.

He'll make a fine replacement for O'Reilly. Wandought, indeed.
posted by darkstar at 12:54 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Is today someone's birthday? Is it Ron Ryan's birthday? Seriously, good stuff coming out of the world.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:55 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Yeah, when Hannity finally goes I predict it will be for some transgression related to his colossal stupidity, rather than his (presumed) lecherousness. Like maybe he'll brag on twitter about how trump gave him a special private tour of the war room and—just for laffs—even let him touch the big red nuclear launch button!
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:57 PM on April 19


The Colorado Independent: Why is a state investigator sniffing around Colorado’s Electoral College vote?
Prior to the vote, [Republican Secretary of State] Williams had told a national publication that if an elector violated his or her oath to carry out their duties, “I think there’s a basis for a more severe criminal penalty,” and indicated that it could be perjury.

Following Baca’s vote for Kasich instead of Clinton, Williams asked Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s office to investigate.

That was in late December.

So why is an investigator looking into it now?
posted by audi alteram partem at 1:04 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Hannity didn't get the nod because he's a known quantity; he's a howling attack dog with zero subtlety and less variation. You keep him around to hurl red meat but you need someone with at least marginally human features for high-profile roles.
posted by delfin at 1:05 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


A lot of heavy hitters at Fox have been ousted recently because of misconduct with women, which I think only makes them more appealing to the openly misogynistic alt-right (more openly than the semi-mainstreamed Fox brand of right wingerism anyway). Is there a point where O'Reilly and Ailes might try to join up with, or compete against Breitbart in that formerly fringe space?
posted by codacorolla at 1:08 PM on April 19


Shaun King, NY Daily News: Conservatives hated an uppity negro golfing President
The problem wasn't that they hated seeing a President spend the money on golfing. The problem wasn't that they hated seeing a President spend precious time on the golf course. A golfing President never disgusted them. The problem was that few things irritate bigoted white men more than an uppity negro.

And if Obama was anything to the average white bigot, he was just that — the quintessential uppity negro, with his Harvard Law degree, and his beach trips to his home state of Hawaii. Over and over again, white conservatives obsessed over things like the exact costs of Obama's family vacations. Now though — with tons of money being spent to protect the entire Trump family as they gallivant all over the world, for business or pleasure, those same critics are now silent.

Imagine Michelle Obama demanded to live in a gold-plated penthouse in the middle of Manhattan, costs be damned, while President Obama lived in the White House alone. The outrage would be riot-level fierce. Now, conservatives no longer care.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:10 PM on April 19 [127 favorites]


WaPo: Handel has a lot of fences to mend in GA-06.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:16 PM on April 19


And here I was giggling and WTFing what a wangdonut was.

Pretty sure wangdonuts are the kind of office snacks that eventually got Bill O'Reilly fired.
posted by nickmark at 1:19 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Carlson is also really popular right now with Trump supporters. They think he's super smart and constantly embarrassing their opponents with his intellectual rigor. They pass around videos of him interviewing college students like we pass around Twitter threads.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:21 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Jon Stewart's handing him his ass

And he made it look effortless. Carlson never knew what hit him.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:22 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]




Online, Carlson has been given a very unofficial slogan: “You can’t cuck the Tuck.”

i would very much like to be excluded from this narrative
posted by murphy slaw at 1:23 PM on April 19 [27 favorites]


They think he's super smart and constantly embarrassing their opponents with his intellectual rigor.

Well, that trope is sure to be challenged on Fox News. [/sarcasm]
posted by Gelatin at 1:25 PM on April 19


Online, Carlson has been given a very unofficial slogan: “You can’t cuck the Tuck.”

Oh wait, you're serious. Let me laugh harder.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:26 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


(Speaking of, just as Democrats need to be consistent in their message -- I know, I know -- hat Republicans can't be trusted, they should also regularly imply that Republicans are cowards because they hide behind their phony news channels.

After all, it was a Democrat, Harry Truman, who said "if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." The mere existence of Fox News proves Republicans can't stand the heat.)
posted by Gelatin at 1:28 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I think we're in a record breaking lull for Trump/Russia news. It's been several days since anything interesting happened

Exxon: Hold my beer.


This is definitely interesting, but it's not exactly what I had in mind. I was hoping for some fresh evidence that's bad for Trump. This is more like evidence that he's getting away with it.

So let me be more specific Universe. It's been several days since there was fresh evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. I await your reply.
posted by diogenes at 1:28 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Support the troops man. Legalize cocaine.

And I have always figured Hannity will eventually go down for a really grandiose perversion. Because you know, look at the guy.
posted by spitbull at 1:29 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


sean hannity will be on fox forever because even if he dies they will reanimate him as a frankenstien and nobody will be able to tell
posted by murphy slaw at 1:31 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Reuters: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election
A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, after the election.

The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office.

The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.

It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said.

A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.
More details in the Reuters article. Note that this is reportedly in parallel to, but not the same as, the hacking allegations:
Neither of the Russian institute documents mentioned the release of hacked Democratic Party emails to interfere with the U.S. election, according to four of the officials. The officials said the hacking was a covert intelligence operation run separately out of the Kremlin. The overt propaganda and covert hacking efforts reinforced each other, according to the officials.
posted by cjelli at 1:31 PM on April 19 [50 favorites]


The New Yorker had a piece, recently, on Carlson's post-Stewart-debate move to Fox News

The best part of that article is the slow build to the final damning paragraph:

In conversation, Carlson often returns to an unusual disclaimer: “I’m not a deeply moral guy.” Maybe this is his way of playing the rogue. Maybe this is a debater’s ploy—a way of insisting that some principles are so clear that even he can see them. But with Carlson it is wise to consider another possibility: Maybe he means it. And maybe he is right.
posted by diogenes at 1:31 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.

Eeeeenteresting.
posted by jammer at 1:34 PM on April 19 [13 favorites]


For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.

If memory serves, Trump started talking a lot about voter fraud at that time. Probably just another coincidence.
posted by diogenes at 1:37 PM on April 19 [15 favorites]


If memory serves, Trump started talking a lot about voter fraud at that time. Probably just another coincidence.

October 17, 2016:
@realDonaldTrump
Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!
posted by melissasaurus at 1:40 PM on April 19 [31 favorites]


If Hannity has any skeletons or perversions then he's kept it in the family. He's O'Donnell's go-to example to refute O'Reilly's bullshit claims that any rich man is going to be exposed to bogus sexual predation charges.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:41 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


And to think just today O'Reilly shook hands with the Pope. [true]
posted by spitbull at 1:42 PM on April 19


If Hannity has any skeletons or perversions then he's kept it in the family.

Uh, phrasing?
posted by cjelli at 1:43 PM on April 19 [30 favorites]


Yeah like I said really grandiose perversion, nothing as banal in its evil as mere sexual harasssment. The kind you hide really well. Mark my words. Hannity ain't right.
posted by spitbull at 1:43 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Jon Stewart's handing him [wandought Tucker Carlson] his ass

What's really troubling about that is that Stewart should have been arrested.

There aren't that many states where it's legal to smack a little boy around in public like that.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:45 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


I would love it because I can't believe I was even remotely implying that Hannity isn't a walking stream of diarrhea.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:45 PM on April 19


People were poking fun at Pence for going outside to angerly stare at North Korea with his "outlaw the X-Men face." He apparently meant it literally:
“I thought it was important that we went outside,” he said. “I thought it was important that people on the other side of the DMZ see our resolve in my face.”
Since a good long stare doesn't seem to have caused North Korea to give up its nuclear program, will we be trying finger-wagging next?
posted by zachlipton at 1:46 PM on April 19 [62 favorites]


Should have worn a bulkier jacket man.
posted by spitbull at 1:47 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


That's more of a "I swear I just saw one of the DPRK guys giving me the finger" face
posted by theodolite at 1:51 PM on April 19


Y'know, if he'd just squinched his eyes up a little more, one of the DPRK guys might have relented and given him some laxatives.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:53 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]




It says fucking "Vice President" on his fucking jacket. Like he's gonna forget, or somebody won't know. I know he probably didn't ask for it, but still. These guys love the military cosplay.
posted by valkane at 1:54 PM on April 19 [12 favorites]




Pence was a fourth-rate Rush Limbaugh for fucks sake. He used the media (just like his boss) to get where he is, then denounces the same media now that he's arrived.
posted by valkane at 1:57 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


It says fucking "Vice President" on his fucking jacket. Like he's gonna forget, or somebody won't know. I know he probably didn't ask for it, but still. These guys love the military cosplay.

Last night I watched the first episode of an amazon original dark comedy called Patriot, it was made in '15, but it's pretty timely. One of the characters, a congressman, gets offered a chance as an overseas "attache" and he's so stoked that he gets a badge made with "attache" on it and he shows it to his brother and he's like "yeah, we all have these...." i chuckled.
It's worth a watch because the players all seem to be Dampnut level incompetent.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:02 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


You can’t cuck the Tuck.

My daughter has recently drawn me into the gravitational pull of her obsession with Rupaul's Drag Race. The word tuck has taken on a whole new, now beautifully subversive, meaning to me, one that I can't unsee.
posted by chaoticgood at 2:07 PM on April 19 [22 favorites]


It just reminds me of this thing I read about Burt Reynolds one time; he puts on a toupee, puts lifts in his shoes, and then goes to an office he rents and sits behind a desk with a big engraved brass plate on it that says "Burt Reynolds." I mean, to me, that's a monster ego. What the fuck does Burt have to prove? He was the fucking Bandit. It made me lose respect for ol burt, and I actually like Burt.

Pence chose to put on that jacket, he thinks he's like a formula one racer or something, and in reality, he's an ego-monster.
posted by valkane at 2:09 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


One reason of about twenty thousand that I'd want Trump impeached is I'd love to have Pence forced to open his stupid yap about something
posted by angrycat at 2:10 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump

Update: a lawsuit has been filed, and because the universe has one strange sense of humor, the judge hearing the case is none other than U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge who oversaw the Trump University case and Trump said was biased because of his "Mexican heritage."
posted by zachlipton at 2:11 PM on April 19 [74 favorites]


“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,”

"No man has ever come back from leave – even Napoleon."
posted by mikelieman at 2:12 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


to be fair, Burt mighta just been making a joke with the nameplate. I hear he has a wonderful sense of humor. Still love you, Bandit.
posted by valkane at 2:13 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge who oversaw the Trump University case and Trump said was biased because of his "Mexican heritage."

Correction: Trump's actual quote about Judge Curiel was "He's a Mexican!"
posted by The World Famous at 2:19 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


ZOMG NPR's coverage of Trump and the Patriots jeezum crow must everything be about his election? Is he that miserable and starved for affirmation inside? It's like one of the most pitiful things I've ever witnessed.
posted by angrycat at 2:21 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Is he that miserable and starved for affirmation inside?

I draw some satisfaction in knowing that his internal suffering and absolute inadequacy in all things is known to the entire world, as he descends into senile dementia prior to his inevitable death. It's a fitting punishment for an execrable human, although not entirely sufficient.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:24 PM on April 19 [14 favorites]


Made me google "wandought". Very happy to have learned this new (old) word.

Same here, which led me to this lovely piece where I discovered that the first word listed is the most excellent term for our president that I've seen: "abydocomist—a liar who brags about their lies".
posted by worldswalker at 2:24 PM on April 19 [35 favorites]


Another great word applicable to our times: agnotology, the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.
There are many causes of culturally induced ignorance. These include the influence of the media, either through neglect or as a result of deliberate misrepresentation and manipulation. Corporations and governmental agencies can contribute to agnotology through secrecy and suppression of information, document destruction, and myriad forms of inherent or avoidable culturopolitical selectivity, inattention, and forgetfulness.[8]

Proctor cites as a prime example of the deliberate production of ignorance the tobacco industry's advertising campaign to manufacture doubt about the cancerous and other health effects of tobacco use. Under the banner of science, the industry produced research about everything except tobacco hazards to exploit public uncertainty.[6][9]
I've been contemplating an FPP on the topic, but haven't had a chance to put it together. But it absolutely describes the Fox News viewer mindset.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:27 PM on April 19 [25 favorites]


ExDread, have you read Thank You for Smoking? It's a hilarious exploration of the tobacco industry denialism, back the in days when that could still be funny and we didn't know it would bring us where we are now.
posted by emjaybee at 2:31 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


Is he that miserable and starved for affirmation inside?

He got the job! You hear me dad? I got it! It doesn't matter if I cheated, or if I'm really bad at it, or if I have to walk away from it, I GOT IT! I made the deal! So what if the taps in the room don't work? they're gold-plated! Who cares if none of my marriages actually worked, look at how hot my wives were! So what if I haven't actually made the world a better place I WON!
posted by valkane at 2:31 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


“I thought it was important that we went outside,” he said. “I thought it was important that people on the other side of the DMZ see our resolve in my face.”

next up, pence goes to el paso, right up to the border, turns around and drops his pants so the mexicans can see how big the stick up his ass is
posted by pyramid termite at 2:34 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


his internal suffering

Unfortunately, ascribing any measure of self-reflection or capacity for regret to this pathological narcissist is kind of like projecting our human emotions onto a pet goldfish.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:35 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


Shit.

Russian journalist and Putin critic dies after being beaten up by strangers

Nikolai Andrushchenko, 73, who co-founded the Novy Peterburg newspaper, was attacked six weeks ago and had been in a coma since then.

He died on Wednesday in St Petersburg.


He was also beaten up in 2007 and imprisoned.

At the time Mr Andrushchenko's colleagues said they thought his detention was due to Novy Peterburg's critical coverage of local authorities ahead of parliamentary elections.

Move along, nothing to see here...
posted by futz at 2:36 PM on April 19 [25 favorites]


Sessions: MS-13 gang could be designated as terrorist organization

This frankly seems like a recipe to bring all the worst excesses and abuses of the war-on-terror to Latinos.
posted by zachlipton at 2:38 PM on April 19 [17 favorites]


A Cartoon Guide to How Donald Trump Can Get Us to Talk about Anything (Perhaps it's an oversimplification, but not by much. And we keep falling for it...)
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:48 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Chaffetz's campaign arm registers 2028 websites

Friends of Jason Chaffetz registered two web domains more than a week ago, Fusion first reported, citing a search on the WhoIs domain name directory: Jason2028.com and JasonChaffetz2028.com.

The domains were secured by Chaffetz’s campaign arm on April 6. The URLs currently redirect to a generic landing page.

Another domain, JasonForGovernor.com, currently redirects to his congressional campaign page.

posted by futz at 2:50 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Deutsche Welle: AfD's Frauke Petry will not stand as lead candidate in 2017 German elections

On the DW English evening news, being broadcast by my U.S. public television station at the moment, the political correspondent characterized this both by saying Petry "left the party" and also stated "she hasn't said she doesn't want to lead the party", so I'm not quite sure what it means. But hopefully it represents right-wing populism faltering a bit.
posted by XMLicious at 2:50 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Jason2028

These sleazebags see trump and all they can think is "why not me too?"
posted by valkane at 2:58 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Also, chaffetz must have cut some kinda deal.... whether it comes to fruition is anybody's guess.
posted by valkane at 3:02 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


US Army base on lockdown, sixty four soldiers busted in cocaine drug ring

The main story doesn't surprise me much. But the sidebar had a link to a story I couldn't resist.

"Marine dad surprised with magical tea party with 4-year-old daughter"
posted by msalt at 3:10 PM on April 19 [9 favorites]


Am I the only one that immediately thought of the nearest Army base before I clicked the link, or did that only happen to people who live near Ft Stewart?
posted by mllm at 3:14 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


US officials: Syria moves planes to Russian base for protection

The move places the Syrian aircraft in close proximity to Russia's Khmeimim Air Base -- where the majority of Russian air forces helping ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime are based -- in Latakia Governorate, Syria.

One US defense official said that the warplanes moved appeared to be most if not all of the Syrian government's operational aircraft.

The Khmeimim base, along with a naval facility in Tartus, is one of the two of the primary Russian military installations in Syria. The Russians have reportedly stationed advanced anti-aircraft missile systems at the base.

posted by futz at 4:03 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Former NFL player Colin Allred launches campaign to unseat Pete Sessions

Civil rights attorney Colin Allred has launched a campaign to unseat Rep. Pete Sessions of Dallas.

But first the former NFL player will have to run in a potentially crowded Democratic primary for the 32nd Congressional District...

-- Hillary Clinton beat Trump in the 32nd Congressional District, which Sessions has represented since its development nearly two decades ago.
Looking to take advantage of the demographic changes in that district, several Democrats are considering campaigns for the March primary. They include Ed Meier, a former policy adviser to Clinton and a nonprofit executive.


I am so happy that Dems are stepping up to the plate.
posted by futz at 4:13 PM on April 19 [30 favorites]




Jason Chaffetz's Abrupt Exit:
According to one senior GOP source, it is not yet clear whether Chaffetz will finish his term, or ultimately decide to resign early.
Now people are talking about him resigning before the end of his term? What the heck is going on? Are they thinking getting an appointed Republican in there early would give them a better shot against Kathryn Allen or Egg or someone?

But here's the really screwed up thing. I can't believe I'm even saying this, so someone please talk me back from listening to the crazy people. Six days ago, Louise Mensch claimed (*hangs head in shame for going there; I suck *) that there is kompromat on Chaffetz. Today, there's question about whether he'll even finish his term. Somebody please tell me just to stay away from Mensch and stop thinking about this, ok?
posted by zachlipton at 4:22 PM on April 19 [18 favorites]


He probably just wants to spend more time with his family.
posted by valkane at 4:27 PM on April 19 [16 favorites]


Sanders, Perez unity tour is off to a bumpy ride

From the "Come Together and Fight Back" tour's kickoff rally in Maine on Monday, Democrats witnessed that old habits die hard.

When the leader of the Maine Young Democrats asked the crowd what brought them to the rally, the audience erupted in "Bernie" cheers.

The leader followed up by asking, "Maybe you came through because you are curious about the new DNC chairman and the future of Democratic politics?" — and the crowd cut her off with boos.


[Article backtracks to an earlier Sanders/Perez interview here]

Perez and Sanders' differences were somewhat apparent in the Tuesday interview. On health care, Sanders called for a "Medicare-for-all" approach, and Perez stopped short of endorsing that policy while saying he believed health care should be a right.

Sanders railed against "the ruling class" and said voters needed to hear that.

"Your
[republican] greed is destroying this country, and you know what? We're going to take you on," Sanders said.

Asked about that kind of message, Perez demurred and said Democrats needed to campaign on "hope" and later called it a "false choice."


"When we put hope on the ballot, Chris, we win," Perez said.

So Perez is selling Hope? I don't want to Hope for healthcare. I am of course being a wee bit glib but Perez is confusing to me.
posted by futz at 4:28 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Six days ago, Louise Mensch claimed (*hangs head in shame for going there; I suck *) that there is kompromat on Chaffetz.

Louise Mensch is a bullshit artist. Here's an example of how she works. Unsourced twitter speculation becomes rock! solid! evidence! Chaffetz is probably setting the stage for a gubernatorial run, or he sees some potential grift in the private sector that he can get in on in this completely corrupt environment.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:28 PM on April 19 [17 favorites]


Somebody please tell me just to stay away from Mensch and stop thinking about this, ok?

I would tell you to stay away from Mensch, but I'm afraid she might denounce me as a Russian spy on twitter.

(Context)

posted by Atom Eyes at 4:38 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I don't follow Mensch and don't find her credible at all. However, I do find the US intelligence community credible, and they announced in the declassified report that the Russians had hacked both Republicans and Democrats, but had only released the material the stole from Democrats.

So it's not only plausible but in fact likely that they have some kind of compromising material on some Republicans. The conspiracy theory stuff starts when you begin filling in details about what kind of material on which specific Republicans. There's no evidence to support any of the speculation on that...

But you don't have to be a Mensch-follower to say "I don't have any evidence of this, but we should consider the possibility that one explanation for Chaffetz's strange behavior is that some of that material that Russia stole from Republican servers pertains to him." It's a realistic possibility, though of course completely unproven.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:38 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


O'Reilly is leaving to spend more time violently attacking his family.
posted by spitbull at 4:42 PM on April 19 [9 favorites]


I don't think O'Reilly has a family anymore.
posted by valkane at 4:44 PM on April 19


CBS: CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks
The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:56 PM on April 19


Oh, wait, Bill's got a statement up on his website:

Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.

Completely unfounded claims. That only cost 13 million plus.
posted by valkane at 4:57 PM on April 19 [14 favorites]


zachlipton: "Now people are talking about him resigning before the end of his term? What the heck is going on? Are they thinking getting an appointed Republican in there early would give them a better shot against Kathryn Allen or Egg or someone? "

You can't appoint someone to fill a vacant House seat, you'd have to have a...

["But...that's *Chrysostom's* music!"]

...SPECIAL ELECTION.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:57 PM on April 19 [21 favorites]


US Army base on lockdown, sixty four soldiers busted in cocaine drug ring
I recommend that everyone read the comments on that article (at least the first half).
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:05 PM on April 19 [33 favorites]


Completely unfounded claims. That only cost 13 million plus.

So, unfounded, but very well funded?
posted by uosuaq at 5:05 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Chaffetz is probably setting the stage for a gubernatorial run

With rumors that he's going to quit mid-term, and even the most charitable scenarios having him sitting idle for two years? And isn't Chaffetz currently losing popularity rapidly, to the extent that he's ducking town halls and the like? I'm not sure how "rapidly becoming hated by your constituents" and "jumping ship on the government job you have" can possibly be a good lead-in to running for governor.
posted by jackbishop at 5:06 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


I was confusing Senate vacancies, which get an appointment and then an election, with House vacancies. But, it turns out that said special election is complicated in Utah because there aren't really any rules:
For U.S. House members who resign, Utah law says simply that "the governor shall issue a proclamation calling an election to fill the vacancy."

It is silent on whether that should allow conventions or primary elections first to narrow the field, how quickly the election should be held, and how candidates qualify for the ballot — including whether they could do so by gathering signatures.
So we could get a situation like what just happened in Georgia, with tons of Republicans running, except with no primary. This all seems very odd.

[By the way, thanks Chrysostom for your special election updates! They are much appreciated.]
posted by zachlipton at 5:06 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I recommend that everyone read the comments on that article (at least the first half).

I definitely needed a flamewar about whether PFC is an "acronym" or an "initialism" in my life.
posted by Justinian at 5:07 PM on April 19 [34 favorites]


I recommend that everyone read the comments on that article (at least the first half).

They can really initialize a plate of beans over there.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:12 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


If it can't be pronounced it's just an initialism. I don't know why we'd even bother arguing about this.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:15 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


I can pronounce PFC easily, but usually I have to unexpectedly swallow a bug first.
posted by downtohisturtles at 5:19 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


*invokes bill o'reilly voice*

"Friends of the metafilter, here's a man who made upwards of 29 million dollars a year (not counting book sales) to go on tv and lie to the the American public about aspects of their lives that really mattered, and yet, he didn't have enough self control to not call up women on the telephone and masturbate in a manner where they could not tell what he was doing."

"And he has the nerve to claim it's the fault of left-wing hit squads. Now Mr. and Mrs. America, I think we all know, the democrats are just not that good at thier jobs. If anyone had a hand in this particular hit parade, it was Mr. O'Reilly himself. And that's..... the rub."

"Tune in next week when bow-tie boy will be in this space rolling his eyes and sighing loudly to indicate his impatience with the truth."
posted by valkane at 5:21 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


It's pronounced "Goddammit". As in "Goddammit Snuffy ran over another fucking rake. What Dumbfuck [spelled C-P-L] put him on lawnmower duty again?!?"
posted by Etrigan at 5:21 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


there's no such thing as a bug - the proper name is insect - to be formal, it's insect first class or ifc
posted by pyramid termite at 5:22 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


In order to pronounce ifc as an acronym, I have to swallow an ifc.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:23 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Completely unfounded claims. That only cost 13 million plus.

Sure, it's a loss, but they make it up on volume...

The thing I don't understand is*... Surely, it would have been cheaper to hire women for whatever his fetish is? I mean... I've never been rich, so I have no idea how much it costs to be a creepy weirdo or whatever. But it seems like he could afford to do it consensually and avoid all the legal Falafel.

Its sort of like when a millionaire gets busted for a DUI. I get why a factory worker might have a few after work and not call a cab because reasons, but a rich dude can easily afford the alternatives, so it's curious to me when they don't do it.

* mostly rhetorical. I'm not sure I want to understand what his problem is
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:26 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I don't think Bill O'Reilly has a family

He won joint legal custody of his kids but they were so adamant about not wanting to live with him (and in the daughter's case about how abusive he was to Maureen McPhilmy, whom he once dragged down a flight of stairs in front of his daughter) that the judge listened to the kids and gave mom full physical custody. And this was after he used cop friends to try to go after his ex-wife's new cop boyfriend. And bribed his wife's therapist to rat her out to him. Or so the late Gawker reported. From the courtroom.

Scumbag all the way.
posted by spitbull at 5:27 PM on April 19 [55 favorites]


The thing I don't understand is*... Surely, it would have been cheaper to hire women for whatever his fetish is? I mean... I've never been rich, so I have no idea how much it costs to be a creepy weirdo or whatever. But it seems like he could afford to do it consensually and avoid all the legal Falafel.

Because you can't pay for it. If you did pay for it then it'd be fake. A trick. You know, something a whore does for money. Real power is where you can wield it with impunity. If you can't sexually harass female colleagues then it's not real power.
posted by Talez at 5:39 PM on April 19 [14 favorites]


The thing I don't understand is*... Surely, it would have been cheaper to hire women for whatever his fetish is? I mean... I've never been rich, so I have no idea how much it costs to be a creepy weirdo or whatever. But it seems like he could afford to do it consensually and avoid all the legal Falafel.

For quite a lot of sexual predators, having an unwilling victim IS the main point. If someone consented to the treatment, whether due to desire or being paid, it would take the thrill of subjugation out of it. Unfortunately this is a really common attitude in the modern male, whether it be forcing women to listen to you masturbate or sending random women dick pics or a more direct assault. It's about power and domination.
posted by threeturtles at 5:41 PM on April 19 [23 favorites]


Ivanka's notes for the babysitter
If Donald’s friend Steve calls, tell him to call back tomorrow. If Steve says that it’s urgent and concerns dismantling the administrative state, preëmpting the deep state, or hollowing out the State Department, tell him to call their friend Reince.
posted by Dashy at 5:47 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Gisele tweets anti-Trump march as Brady skips White House visit

Supermodel and philanthropist Gisele Bündchen tweeted a link to an April protest against President Trump and his climate policies at the same time Wednesday that her husband, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, was missing the New England Patriots' visit to the White House.

On April 29th in Washington- D.C. - March for climate, jobs, and justice. To change everything, we need everyone. https://t.co/dZaRiXQV46

— Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) April 19, 2017


The tweet has since been deleted. I admire her for taking a stand.
posted by futz at 5:58 PM on April 19 [22 favorites]


i'm glad to see that tom brady has learned to deflate something besides footballs

*ducks*
posted by pyramid termite at 6:01 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Chaffetz is going to devote himself to investigating Hillary's emails full-time.
posted by EarBucket at 6:11 PM on April 19 [15 favorites]


In which I shout obscenities in the direction of Bernie Sanders:
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in an interview Tuesday in Louisville, Ky., said he didn’t know much about Mr. Ossoff, a 30-year-old former House staffer. Mr. Sanders said he isn’t prepared to back Democrats just because of a party label.

“If you run as a Democrat, you’re a Democrat,” he said. “Some Democrats are progressive and some Democrats are not.”

Asked if Mr. Ossoff is a progressive, Mr. Sanders, an independent who challenged Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary, demurred. “I don’t know,” he said.
But you're not a Democrat either, Bernie. It's fine to have high standards. And if you refuse to get within 5,000 feet of anyone who doesn't meet your personal high standards, all the power to you and your integrity (though see, for example, his next campaign appearance, which points out those standards don't extend to no mandatory ultrasounds). But operating that way has got to be incompatible with being a member of party leadership. Sanders is the outreach chair for the Democratic Party. If he can't support Ossoff, who's he reaching out to?

I will say that I'm curious about the context of this quote and I'm open to the possibility that the WSJ did a hatchet job on it, but it's pretty damning. Interesting to see Daily Kos coming back in a strong way to push back against this stuff too.
posted by zachlipton at 6:15 PM on April 19 [37 favorites]


Why is everybody going to Louisville? Nobody ever went to Louisville when I lived there!
posted by valkane at 6:17 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I don't see what the problem is with that Bernie exchange. Where does the "5,000 feet" bit come from? He doesn't strike me as much of a person to go along to get along.
posted by rhizome at 6:19 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Brady is a legit Good Guy (as opposed to a Nice Guy, which often seeks to imposter Good Guys.)

He sees himself as a skinny doofus who tries too hard. He nerds out over pseudo-science nutrition like he was a '90s raver into UFOs. He is contractually obligated to answer questions on Sports Talk Radio, the Monday (or Tuesday, sometimes Friday, depending on schedule), where one of the "Journalists" is a raving racist and the other is a self-important troll more keenly interested in picking fights with newspaper journos than actually talking to Tom Brady after he wins a game.

Serious. This is how these interviews go,

Racist: "Does it ever bother you that Bill has to draft so many people of the criminal element for you to have a respectable defense?"
Troll: This journalist I hate says that you throw the ball this way, which is wrong, as you win as you throw the ball that way!
Tom: I trust Bill to put the best team together, with the best players. Our Defense, from the nose to the corner, are all smart guys, really talented and self-disciplined, and I could not do what I do without them. And, hyuck, I do throw the ball that way sometimes, and Coach yells at me for that. I don't think that highlight will make Sportscenter! Guys, my kids are awake and want pancakes, and so the interview is OVER.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:19 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Why can't Bernie learn if Ossoff is a progressive or not? The DNC and the grassroots have thrown themselves entirely behind the Georgia election and Bernie can't be bothered to learn anything about Ossoff's views. Some great outreach from the outreach chair.
posted by vathek at 6:23 PM on April 19 [24 favorites]


He's the party's outreach chair. How do his comments reach out to voters in the GA-6? As David Nir puts it: "Bernie Sanders isn't helping—he's hurting. He should either endorse Ossoff and raise money for him, or keep his silence."

Now, it's Georgia, so Bernie's endorsement might well be the kiss of death for Ossoff politically. But this game where there are Democratic candidates and then there are Bernie-approved candidates is incompatible with being a member of leadership.

[I'm done on this topic for now before I punch something.]
posted by zachlipton at 6:23 PM on April 19 [34 favorites]


Brady is a legit Good Guy (as opposed to a Nice Guy, which often seeks to imposter Good Guys.)

Is he? He did have the MAGA hat, which, I dunno about you, but makes me kinda think he's more a Nice Guy...
posted by anem0ne at 6:29 PM on April 19 [15 favorites]


Some great outreach from the outreach chair.

I haven't read the linked article yet so if it ends up being accurate all I have to say IS WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU SANDERS. I don't get this all. I don't, can't, won't ever understand a stance like this. In between typing these words my hands are suspended in a Y position in the air.
posted by futz at 6:32 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]




Is he? He did have the MAGA hat, which, I dunno about you, but makes me kinda think he's more a Nice Guy...

He definitely considers Trump a friend and has only said nice things about him.
posted by diogenes at 6:37 PM on April 19


Fuck it, Bill says he'll do it live.

I was busy and not caught up on this thread, but my first priority was to Ctrl + F "do it live." Thank you for saying what needed to be said.
posted by witchen at 6:44 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Mr. Sanders said he isn’t prepared to back Democrats just because of a party label.

Getting more of that party label into the House is the only thing that will create a functioning check on Trump's abuse of power.
posted by diogenes at 6:50 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


Ok, trying to switch my brain to another mode besides furious. Here is some good news!

Roy Moore's Suspension As Alabama's Chief Justice Is Upheld By Alabama Supreme Court

The Alabama Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously upheld a suspension of Roy Moore — the court's elected chief justice — that will last for the remainder of his time in office.

The decision means the judge who lambasted the US Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex couples' marriage rights will not serve on the state's high court again. He is suspended until his term expires in January 2019 and is ineligible to run again due to his age.

The high court — with seven specially appointed justices sitting in judgment because all of the elected justices recused themselves — upheld a state judicial ethics board's ruling that Moore violated judicial ethics canons on six counts, concluding, "[W]e affirm the judgment of the Court of the Judiciary in all respects."


The court found that the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which investigated and prosecuted the complaints, and Court of the Judiciary, which heard the complaints and meted out the punishment, acted within their jurisdiction.

To the broader point about whether the commission proved its case against Moore, the state's high court was blunt: "The record before this Court supports the findings of the Court of the Judiciary; therefore, we cannot conclude that its judgment is plainly and palpably wrong, manifestly unjust, or without supporting evidence."


Bye Bye fucker.
posted by futz at 6:56 PM on April 19 [54 favorites]


Christ.
I'm 42, the election was five months ago, and I'm still stuck shouting at Bernie Sanders to get off my goddamn lawn.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:58 PM on April 19 [26 favorites]


I don't see what the problem is with that Bernie exchange.

The problem is that when you've agreed to act as an outreach chair for the Democratic Party one thing you NEVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SAY is that some Democrats are progressive and other aren't. This is in the same way that you don't say that some Democrats are loyal Americans and others aren't, or that most Democrats aren't child-molesting cannibals but some might be.

If you fuck up spectacularly badly and actually do say that, someone might ask "Well, do you think Ossoff is a progressive?" What you do then is you say "Of course! He continues the proud tradition of progressive values that's such a critical part of what will turn this nation around!" What you don't say, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, is "I don't know."'

This is real fucking simple: if you're equivocating about supporting Ossoff, wondering if he's good enough, telling people he might not be good enough, what you are doing is absolutely unequivocally supporting Trump. You might not mean to. But you are absolutely unmistakably, without any serious possibility of error, performing actions that have the direct effect of supporting Trump.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:58 PM on April 19 [105 favorites]


Hooboy, MSNBC is really relishing dancing on Smelloreilly's grave tonight!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:09 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


[Folks, please a) flag and move on, b) refresh the thread, and c) keep your comments current to actual current events, not the primaries. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 7:11 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


I don't know if this is that important, hardly a paradigm shift, but the Times is reporting that it was Carter Page's Visit to Moscow That Sent the F.B.I. Digging
posted by Brainy at 7:26 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]




I despise Tom Brady, but I'm kind of loving that since third-string QB Jacoby Brissett probably didn't feel like he could cite "family reasons" or more openly protest going to the White House (after all, look what's happened to Kaep), I feel like posting a heartfelt thank you letter to Obama on Instagram during your Dolt45 visit is the way to go.

(Also: "Yes we can!! DREAM BIG!! Thank you,Jacoby Brissett
P.S Holla at me to help you with your broke jump shot" had me lolling)
posted by TwoStride at 7:33 PM on April 19 [22 favorites]


futz: "Maryland teens charged with hate crime for burning Trump sign"

Meanwhile, in Washington state, "Edmonds police doubtful painted swastikas were hate crime". Though in fairness, a day later, they did reverse themselves after public backlash: "Edmonds Police Backtrack Earlier Decision, Will Investigate Swastikas as "Possible Hate Crimes"". In conclusion, hate crimes investigations and prosecutions are a land of contrasts.
posted by mhum at 7:45 PM on April 19 [27 favorites]


Hope those teens get a good lawyer. If burning a flag is protected political speech (as it should be and as SCOTUS affirmed) burning a damn Trump sign sure as hell is too.

Hey ACLU!
posted by spitbull at 7:45 PM on April 19 [24 favorites]


@zachlipton:

You know, I've always wondered whether neocons hate drug cartels not because they kill people, as I imagine most of their victims are probably latinos, but instead because they do not get a cut of their profits.
posted by constantinescharity at 7:46 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I want more out of this Carter Page investigation, especially as it relates to Jeff Sessions. What's the tea on that connection?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:48 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I feel like posting a heartfelt thank you letter to Obama on Instagram during your Dolt45 visit is the way to go.

"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your DREAMS - Oprah Yes we can!! DREAM BIG!!"

That's either bad autocorrect or one hell of a twist ending to a fantastic post.
posted by The World Famous at 7:49 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


So the Trump sign that was burnt was apparently mounted on a business's window or wall. So they didn't just get a Trump sign and burn it. They burned actual property owned by someone who was displaying it. I don't count that as a "hate crime" since it seems like if "hate crime" has any meaning, the crime needs to be intended to intimidate or harass a group that has less power or is historically marginalized. But it's certainly not as simple as "burnt trump sign, charged with hate crime, omg free speech".
posted by R343L at 7:57 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Maryland teens charged with hate crime for burning Trump sign

From the article:

“”The intentional burning of these political signs, along with the beliefs, religious views and race of this political affiliation, directly coincides with the victim," a Princess Anne police officer wrote in documents for the hate crime charge.

The basis for the hate crime charge, then, is that political affiliation with Trump is so closely tied to being a white christian that an attack on the one is automatically an attack on the other.
posted by The World Famous at 7:58 PM on April 19 [22 favorites]


Maryland hate crime statues refer to a "person or group of a particular race, color, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or national origin", not, as the officer said, "these political signs, along with the beliefs, religious views and race of this political affiliation, directly coincides with the victim".

Political beliefs are not protected by statute in Maryland. Some prosecutor is going to have a very bad day trying to defend this, then ultimately decline to pursue a hate crime offense. Not that they can't still be charged with something else. But I doubt the hate crime charge sticks past a prosecutor reading that police report and rolling their eyes.

The basis for the hate crime charge, then, is that political affiliation with Trump is so closely tied to being a white christian that an attack on the one is automatically an attack on the other.

Yea...this. The prosecution would have to argue that Trump = religion. Surely we're not there yet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:04 PM on April 19 [24 favorites]


Maryland teens charged with hate crime for burning Trump sign

I didn't realize assholes were a protected class.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:06 PM on April 19 [21 favorites]


Ok sorry sorry (this isn't my best day in the thread, between starting a relitigate-the-primaries fight and buying into some Louise Mensch narrative). I do think there's a question about actual current events behind all the fighting, and it's an important one for the future: What is the right model to run and win in districts like GA-6 (a historically strongly Republican district that has become competitive thanks to demographic change, fractured GOP opposition, and general dislike for the President)?

It's frustrating to me because I see the Ossoff campaign as a pretty extraordinary grassroots effort. It's one where a lot of people were shocked into action by the election, looked at the calendar for the first big place to fight back, and poured everything into this race. The message was essentially "mad about Trump? Channel that anger into something useful by throwing a few bucks this way, even phonebank or come volunteer if you can." And it worked incredibly well. Groups (and Daily Kos gets a lot of credit here) raised $8.3+ million from close to 200,000 donors, most of them out of state. And that's without the support of the official party apparatus. That's extraordinary, and a perfect example of the kind of thing that has to keep happening over and over again if we have a prayer in hell of picking up seats. So when the party's outreach chair says he doesn't know much about him, it's hard not to see that as a real slap in the face to all that grassroots effort.

Because the situation right now is that Tom Price left the seat open, and somebody is going to fill it one way or another. So is there a right way to get somebody elected there who is going to make Sanders and someone like Slap*Happy, well, happy? Is Jon Ossoff an "unelectable centrist candidate" the Dems shouldn't be running? What is the Bernie Sanders-approved strategy for districts like the GA-6, and since he's a member of party leadership with a huge mailing list stocked with loyal supporters, what is he doing to carry it out?
posted by zachlipton at 8:08 PM on April 19 [30 favorites]


I'm curious as to what dems will do if Ann Wagner runs against Claire McCaskill and vacates that MO-2 seat. I haven't heard squat about any democrat eyeing that spot. It's a tough district, for sure, but someone could at least go after the milennials still living at Casa Mom and Dad in The County demographic.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:19 PM on April 19


Broadly, I think the dems should run everyone in every seat. There's no reason not to make Rs fight where there's a fight to be had.

It's preferable if the dems that run aren't just R-lite Lieberman clones. But, even then, it's a seat. In the ideal case, enough good Dems win that the waffledems don't matter.

But, it's academic, because Dem leadership has been allergic to standing for anything except cashing donor checks and doing book tours about their losing campaigns. There are some signs that maybe they are hearing the rest of us who have to live here with the policies they helped implement through failure. I was there in WI in 2011, with the recall, and everything else - I know full well that Dems would very much rather clutch at pearls over Sanders being uncouth than actually stand for something, so I'm not optimistic.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:21 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


since we're still playing slag bernie for reasons I'm going to throw out a proposed skeleton key for explaining what sanders will or will not do:

dude hates fundraising. He's old and he's crotchety and he's a moderate lefty and he just cannot bear to suck up to the bourgeoisie in order to get money out of them. which, like, I can't blame him — if suffering fools gladly is not in your skillset, you're going to despise trying to talk money out of the rich — but on the other hand it limits his ability to work with/exploit the apparatus of the democratic party.

So why doesn't he formally join the democrats instead of just caucusing with them? because he doesn't want to spend like six hours a day calling up rich nitwits telling them to give money to the DSCC. Why isn't he raising money for Ossoff? Cause raising money suuuucks. Dude is old and dude does not want to spend the waning years of his life in a cubicle with fluorescent lights sucking up to the sort of people who end up with large amounts of disposable cash in this godforsaken country.

The thing is, he's not wrong. but a genuine left leader has to develop the capacity to shake money out of the rich by telling their faces all sorts of placating lies, while meanwhile sticking a shiv in their backs.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:22 PM on April 19 [39 favorites]


so my proposed method for predicting whether or not Bernie Sanders will or will not do a thing for/with the Democratic Party involves asking whether or not that thing might require him to personally call up rich people and ask for money. If yes, he won't do it. If no, he'll do it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:23 PM on April 19 [14 favorites]


So when the party's outreach chair says he doesn't know much about him, it's hard not to see that as a real slap in the face to all that grassroots effort.

From Wikipedia: According to the official website, "the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and community leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts several meetings with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Democratic agenda in the Senate. We are committed to serving as a liaison between Senate Democratic offices and advocacy groups and intergovernmental organizations."

Bernie, as outreach chair for the Senate, is a long way away from the management of or decision making for any election, other than his own campaign. The "job description" for his position says nothing about campaigning for candidates or fundraising.
posted by W Grant at 8:25 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


If yes, he won't do it [raise money from rich people]. If no, he'll do it.

Nobody asked Sanders to raise money for Ossoff. All they did was ask him to endorse. "He'll do it", you say? Well, apparently he won't.
posted by JackFlash at 8:30 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Zombie Trumpcare! It's back? Maybe? Sort of? Not really? Some Republicans Think They May Have A Health Care Deal
GOP moderates and conservatives are nearing a deal on health care that in theory could get the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act out of the House and over to the Senate. The changes also might move Republicans even further away from passage ― no one really knows.

The deal, brokered between House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Tuesday Group co-chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), would allow states to get waivers eliminating the so-called community rating provision ― the rule that prohibits insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. In order to obtain the waiver, states would have to participate in a federal high-risk pool or establish their own, and satisfy some other conditions.

In exchange for that conservative concession, the amendment would reinstate the Essential Health Benefits that were already taken out of the bill ― though, again, states could waive those provisions as well if they were able to show that doing so would lower premiums, increase the number of people insured, or “advance another benefit to the public interest in the state."
So basically, screw over people with pre-existing conditions and let insurance companies sell crappy plans, but on a state-by-state basis. Of course, plenty of Republicans promised they wouldn't mess with coverage for pre-existing conditions, so who knows if this is going anywhere at all (they'll claim that everyone is still covered, but if insurance companies can charge you as much as they want, you're not covered). There are also still all the unanswered questions about this plan, like whether it also screws over people on Medicaid or seniors.

The narrative I'm seeing from some reporters is that the White House is seemingly determined to get something, anything moving again on healthcare so they can claim the "repeal Obamacare" promise isn't completely broken when everyone goes to do their "what has Trump done in his first 100 days?" reports. The crazypants thing is that the government is currently set to shut down on Trump's 100th day in office (April 29th), just a few days after Congress gets back, and it's really hard for me to see how saying "let's try the AHCA again" is going to improve the negotiating climate to avoid that.
posted by zachlipton at 8:35 PM on April 19 [16 favorites]


Yea...this. The prosecution would have to argue that Trump = religion. Surely we're not there yet.

Eh I pretty much consider the primary axis of sectarian conflict in the territories of this moribund empire to be between "traditional" Protestants and the syncretic Protestant offshoot Progressivism. If the courts deciding Red tribe and Blue tribe are protected classes keeps the bloodbath in check I could live with it. (Seriously, aren't a number of denominations schismed or close to it over gay marriage, etc.?)

Regarding Bernie Sanders (I), it's like while the word gets thrown around a lot you guys don't understand the concept of ally. Like the United States Government is allies with Her Majesty's Government, and big enough to push HMG around, but there's no expectation the latter go republican and become the 51st state.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:37 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


"Trump = Religion" is -easy- to argue if you're arguing the Prosperity Gospel, and assuming he's still (or ever was) a billionaire.
posted by Archelaus at 8:52 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Shane Bauer was interviewed on this morning's Democracy Now! (at 52:00, alt link, .torrent) about the Berkeley incident. There's supposed to be an extended interview coming but it hasn't shown up on the site yet.
posted by XMLicious at 8:53 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


[Slap*Happy, sent you an email a bit ago, let's have this conversation there. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:35 PM on April 19


If the courts deciding Red tribe and Blue tribe are protected classes keeps the bloodbath in check I could live with it.

Except Red/Blue flavors of Christianity easily unite to take on all others, and declaring political views as equating to one religion would give them both a legal sword and shield. Ostensibly laws still matter, and legal definitions are very specific for good reasons. Like not labeling political speech as a hate crime. At least not yet, not until Republicans get all Trump's district court judges seated and Anthony Kennedy retires in July.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:55 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: Dem leadership doesn't care, because they don't have to.

I think this grossly mischaracterizes the way party leadership thinks and operates.
posted by Superplin at 10:05 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


"Your [republican] greed is destroying this country, and you know what? We're going to take you on," Sanders said.

Asked about that kind of message, Perez demurred and said Democrats needed to campaign on "hope" and later called it a "false choice."


Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce the two political parties that are going to lose to Trump in 2020.
posted by mmoncur at 10:12 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


The crazypants thing is that the government is currently set to shut down on Trump's 100th day in office (April 29th),

I have Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds show on the 28th.

Interesting times indeed.
posted by mikelieman at 10:22 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Except Red/Blue flavors of Christianity easily unite to take on all others, and declaring political views as equating to one religion would give them both a legal sword and shield.

I don't want this to become a derail, but I think it's worth noting that this "legal sword and shield" for Christians is *exactly* what their "Ensoulment happens at conception" legislation does with respect to the traditional Jewish belief of Ensoulment at the moment the mother feels the child move.
posted by mikelieman at 10:26 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Nobody asked Sanders to raise money for Ossoff. All they did was ask him to endorse. "He'll do it", you say? Well, apparently he won't.

Best thing for Sanders to do, in my opinion, is NOT endorse anyone. I mean, just read back in this very thread and you'll see tons of anti-Sanders comments. So he's not a Democrat so he needs to butt out, but he ALSO needs to publicly endorse Dem candidates? That's... not a realistic expectation.

I cannot believe (well, no, I can) that it's almost May of 2017 and we're still kvetching about Bernie Fucking Sanders.
posted by Ruki at 10:55 PM on April 19 [15 favorites]


White House sidewalk to be closed to public permanently

So anyone in Palm Beach with $200,000 can hang out with the President on the weekends, but ordinary people can't even get up to the fence on the South Lawn?
posted by zachlipton at 11:06 PM on April 19 [20 favorites]


Shit, I was just thinking I needed to visit friends in the DC area and make them come with me on a pilgrimage to the WH sidewalk to make various obscene gestures before they start digging moats.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:09 PM on April 19


Sanders Twit Tweet: The silver lining of the Trump administration is that millions of people are getting involved in politics for the first time to fight back.

And you just shot one down Bernie! Someone who could oust Tom Motherfucking Price. I am not sure if I am in the Flabber or the Gasted stage of being flabbergasted but boy howdy am I pissed off.

Upside:

Think #GA06 is over? Think again. @ossoff raised $500K today, biggest online fundraising total for them to date

Sanders comments about Ossoff (trying to keep to this specific story) are just incomprehensible. Totally incomprehensible. I hope he gets read the riot act hardcore. I mean, is there any indication that Ossoff is a Mnuchin or Heitkamp or...? And even then..
posted by futz at 11:10 PM on April 19 [17 favorites]


And you just shot one down Bernie! Someone who could oust Tom Motherfucking Price.
posted by futz at 11:10 PM on April 19 [1 favorite +] [!]


I love Bernie....but I am under no illusion that Bernie is that powerful, especially in THAT particular Georgia election and where there is no indication that Ossoff ever WANTED or ASKED Bernie for help. And Tom Price is out - he's already got his new job. There is no ousting of Tom Price.
posted by W Grant at 11:36 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Good points. W Grant and I agree but he shouldn't be maligning the Dem who could actually win.

But yes, you are correct and I lost sight of those circumstances in my frustrations. Thank you.
posted by futz at 11:54 PM on April 19


So, interesting developments in Alabama. You will recall that white supremacist Senator Jeff Sessions was named Attorney General, opening up the Senate seat. Governor Robert Bentley, who was under investigation for a campaign finance/sex scandal, named state AG Luther Strange to the vacancy in what seemed pretty clearly to be a quid pro quo for trying to sandbag the investigation.

As it happens, the legislature pushed on, and Bentley ended up resigning. Now new governor Kay Ivey has moved up the SPECIAL ELECTION to fill the seat permanently from next year to this one. So, Strange is on shakier ground, having very little Senate tenure and being under fire for the Bentley affair.

Dem shot at this seat is extremely low, but anything that distracts the GOP seems worthy.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:01 AM on April 20 [15 favorites]


I cannot believe (well, no, I can) that it's almost May of 2017 and we're still kvetching about Bernie Fucking Sanders.

Well, he's landed himself the position of Chair of the Senate Democratic Outreach Committee, and he's presently touring the country in that capacity, and he's busy crapping over someone who is presently running for election. These are all newsworthy, current events. The fact that a non-Democratic Party politician was offered the position at all is risible. I mean, what does the outreach consist of? Telling people not to join?

Bernie's acting as if his personal integrity were the important thing here; it isn't.Ossoff deserves support from the Chair of the Senate Democratic Outreach Committee simply because he's running as a member. More than that, though, he deserves it because he has a good chance to win and his victory would help the Party gain momentum. Even Bernie-the-progressive should have told people to go out and vote for Ossoff, but Bernie the Party Functionary had no other moral choice. The Democratic Party needs to stop genuflecting at the Altar of Uncompromisable Perfection and focus on winning seats. That's obviously not Bernie's priority, and he needs to be dumped. Hard.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:09 AM on April 20 [54 favorites]




The Democratic Party needs to stop genuflecting at the Altar of Uncompromisable Perfection and focus on winning seats.

I think we're coming from different positions here, but I absolutely agree with this. I voted for Sanders in the primary (and HRC in the general) and while I understand that his position is a thrown bone, I don't think it was the right move. It's not what he's good at, and he's polarizing to the point of distraction. There are other elected Berniecrats out there that could pick up the flag. Sanders is pretty much ruined as a spokesperson thanks to both the Bernie Bros and the anti-Sanders camp, and nothing he does will ever will be acceptable (justified or not) so, fuck it. Me not feeling represented pales in regard to the bigger picture right now. so that bigger picture is my focus.
posted by Ruki at 12:52 AM on April 20 [19 favorites]


The idea behind bringing someone into the tent is not that they piss all over the people inside the tent.
posted by jaduncan at 2:53 AM on April 20 [12 favorites]


Regarding Bernie Sanders (I), it's like while the word gets thrown around a lot you guys don't understand the concept of ally. Like the United States Government is allies with Her Majesty's Government, and big enough to push HMG around, but there's no expectation the latter go republican and become the 51st state.

If HMG said they didn't know if we were a democracy and weren't sure if they would support us in a fight we wouldn't call them an ally anymore.
posted by chris24 at 3:33 AM on April 20 [11 favorites]


I think I'd consider them more of an ally for acting that way at the moment. Bring on the election observers and war protesters.

OSCE/ODIHR—United States, General Elections, 8 November 2016: Final Report

Mukhamed Lou, whoever you are, thank you for coming all the way from the Kyrgyz Republic to observe our elections. Even if your organization's logo is a creepy tree made of eyeballs.
The Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions issued on 9 November 2016 concluded that “The 8 November general elections were highly competitive and demonstrated commitment to fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association. The presidential campaign was characterized by harsh personal attacks, as well as intolerant rhetoric by one candidate. Diverse media coverage allowed voters to make an informed choice. Recent legal changes and decisions on technical aspects of the electoral process were often motivated by partisan interests, adding undue obstacles for voters. Suffrage rights are not guaranteed for all citizens, leaving sections of the population without the right to vote. These elections were administered by competent and professional staff, including on election day, which was assessed positively by IEOM observers, despite some instances of long queues and malfunctioning voting equipment”.
posted by XMLicious at 4:09 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


If you consider slagging Jon Ossoff as morally equivalent to protesting the invasion of Iraq, I question your definition of "equivalent" and probably "moral".
posted by Etrigan at 4:13 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


These threads are increasingly like Paddy's Pub from IASIP.
posted by um at 4:28 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


The Gang Watches Helplessly As Institutions Collapse
posted by murphy slaw at 5:10 AM on April 20 [49 favorites]


Reproductive Rights are a Core Democratic Value
Any attempt to classify people as “progressive” that does not include reproductive freedom as a criterion is bullshit. That doesn’t mean that the issue is a “dealbreaker” in a general election where someone with bad views on the subject is the best you can do, but of course the same goes for candidates whose economic rhetoric Sanders finds insufficiently populist in tone.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:47 AM on April 20 [33 favorites]


On any given day on the floor of the House, Louie Gohmert is likely to scream I CUT THE BRAKES! WILD CARD, BITCHES! and kick over a podium. Parallel holds.
posted by delfin at 6:04 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


On any given day on the floor of the House, Louie Gohmert is likely to scream I CUT THE BRAKES! WILD CARD, BITCHES! and kick over a podium. Parallel holds.

You forgot the Yeeha
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:08 AM on April 20


This is Gohmert we're speaking of. I think it's implied at all times.
posted by delfin at 6:15 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Guardian: Donald Trump raised a record-smashing $107m for his inaugural festivities
Billionaires, corporations and NFL owners opened their wallets in a big way to help Donald Trump raise a record-shattering $107m for his inaugural festivities, records released by the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday show. The amount about doubled the record set by Barack Obama eight years ago.
[…]
All the seven-figure contributions fed into a fundraising total that dwarfed the amounts raised for past inaugurations – yet produced an event that was largely viewed as lower-key than previous swearing-in festivities. Trump’s inaugural committee does not have to disclose what it spent the money on or how much was left over. But it did promise to “identify and evaluate charities that will receive contributions left from the excess monies raised”.
This is a job for… Fahrenthold Man!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:41 AM on April 20 [34 favorites]


All the seven-figure contributions fed into a fundraising total that dwarfed the amounts raised for past inaugurations – yet produced an event that was largely viewed as lower-key than previous swearing-in festivities. Trump’s inaugural committee does not have to disclose what it spent the money on or how much was left over.

There's a project for the next Democratic president and Congress, and they can start by disclosing every dime of the president's own inauguration before signing the law.

If Roberts opened the door to unlimited money in politics on the grounds that money == speech, then not a dime of it should be anonymous.
posted by Gelatin at 6:45 AM on April 20 [10 favorites]


Donald Trump raised a record-smashing $107m for his inaugural festivities

That's only like $14 per person who was there, though.
posted by Etrigan at 6:45 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Politico: Trump’s missing 90-day cyber plan
President-elect Donald Trump was very clear: “I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office,” he said in January, after getting a U.S. intelligence assessment of Russian interference in last year’s elections and promising to address cybersecurity.

Thursday, Trump hits his 90-day mark. There is no team, there is no plan, and there is no clear answer from the White House on who would even be working on what.

It’s the latest deadline Trump’s set and missed — from the press conference he said his wife would hold last fall to answer questions about her original immigration process to the plan to defeat ISIS that he’d said would come within his first 30 days in office.
...
Trump made the deadline promise repeatedly. A week after the initial statement, he tweeted on Jan. 13, “My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!”
...
The National Security Council would normally be involved in creating such a report. But on Wednesday, a NSC spokesperson told POLITICO that he was unaware if the NSC was in charge of compiling it, or if that responsibility fell to Giuliani — or if the report exists.

Giuliani is continuing his work talking to the private sector, but a spokesperson for the former New York City mayor confirmed that he is not involved in any 90-day report.

The White House spokesperson wouldn’t directly address why the deadline was missed.
As we're coming up on Trump's first hundred days in office, a lot of deadlines are coming due -- this follows on yesterday's reporting that the Trump inauguration committee, which had promised to release a report on what it was doing with leftover money (money that was supposed to go to outside charities), had not yet identified to which charities it would be making donations, or in what sums. And, of course, Trump's 2015 taxes remain undisclosed, despite him now having turned in (presumably) his 2016 returns. The list of missed deadlines is only going up.
posted by cjelli at 6:46 AM on April 20 [17 favorites]


Trump’s inaugural committee does not have to disclose what it spent the money on or how much was left over. But it did promise to “identify and evaluate charities that will receive contributions left from the excess monies raised”.

I'm sure the remainder will be distributed in a fair and transparent fashion, as is the style of this administration.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:49 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


Politico: Trump’s missing 90-day cyber plan

Barron's late with his homework assignment!
posted by leotrotsky at 6:55 AM on April 20 [21 favorites]


It's satisfying to see the Trump Administration appear to be keenly aware of the 100-day "grading period" (and, by implication, how badly they're failing). I hope the grandiose promises Trump made (such as defeating ISIS in 30 days) loom large in the evaluations, too.
posted by Gelatin at 7:02 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


That 100 Day Press Conference In Full.

SPICER: Who knew it was so complicated? [EXITS]
posted by Devonian at 7:06 AM on April 20 [18 favorites]


TPM: Under New GOP Control, New Hampshire Moves To Restrict Student Voting
A bill that passed the New Hampshire Senate along party lines and is now winding its way through the state House would impose additional voter registration requirements and harsher penalties for those who violate them. Voting rights advocates say the measure would make it much more difficult for low-income people and students to register to vote, and possibly violate the National Voter Registration Act.

Republicans in the key northeastern swing state have been attempting to pass voter registration restrictions for several years—some of which were vetoed by past Democratic governors or struck down by courts. But with a Republican-controlled House and Senate and a newly installed Republican governor, the measure appears likely to become law this year.

Under the bill, voters who register within 30 days of an election would have to fill out an additional multi-page form and present documents proving that they intend to reside permanently in the state—such as as a utility bill, lease, or proof of college enrollment. Voters would no longer be able, as they do now, to sign an affidavit swearing they are a permanent state resident.
We really, really need a new Voting Rights Act and a greater measure of uniformity between the states as to how voting and registration actually works; because being deprived of the right to vote directly benefits elected representatives who can be elected by denying some people that right, after-the-fact lawsuits aren't a sufficient remedy.
posted by cjelli at 7:09 AM on April 20 [41 favorites]


We really, really need a new Voting Rights Act

I'm going to once again bitch and moan about how -- as someone who has *never* spent more than 15 minutes casting a ballot in *any* election -- that any wait more than 30 minutes is a de-facto denial-of-service attack on our elections.
posted by mikelieman at 7:25 AM on April 20 [38 favorites]


Washington Post's Daily 202 leads off with this idea: "Republicans' best argument in special elections is Nancy Pelosi"

In lieu of having anything to run on, Republicans are running against the idea of her, seen recently in campaign ads for special elections.
According to every poll, Republican voters remain broadly supportive of the president. Issue-to-issue, they’re less supportive – and they have been flummoxed so far by the actions of the Republican Congress. No Republican has yet run and won as the candidate who’ll come to D.C. and help the president and speaker get things done. They’ve run harder on the promise never to let Pelosi back to power.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:29 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


So we aren't getting a new voting rights act and the old one has been savaged. Rather than wish it so we'd better make sure all the NH students get properly registered and to the polls.
posted by spitbull at 7:30 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Seems to me the GOP could just set up a generic "that scary woman" to run against and save a lot of money on not cutting new commercials.
posted by spitbull at 7:32 AM on April 20 [31 favorites]


any wait more than 30 minutes is a de-facto denial-of-service attack on our elections.

I've already noted several messages I wish the Democrats would adopt in the interests of pushing the Overton window back from the right, and another is that Republicans' own actions reveal that they don't think a majority of Americans supports their agenda. A political party that was really confident in its majority status wouldn't be as obsessed with restricting voting as they are.

Every action the Republicans take to restrict the franchise should be met with "So you admit you're a cheater and a loser."
posted by Gelatin at 7:32 AM on April 20 [21 favorites]




Dem leadership doesn't care, because they don't have to.
I think this grossly mischaracterizes the way party leadership thinks and operates.


On the one hand, nice people like you say these things on the internet.

On the other hand, I present the entire political reality of 2017 and the 30 years leading up to it.

What wins we've got, we've largely managed in spite of Dem leadership. Recall, after all, that Hillary was a big supporter of DOMA. Traction on gay marriage happened entirely because of political nobodies like Gavin Newsom. And yeah, sure, Obamacare happened. But it took Hillary's other opponent to get that done - another Dem outsider. And you could make a cogent argument that Obama's failures in his first term stem entirely from his hiring what remained of the Clinton Machine and getting that triangulating softpedaling band back together.

Anyway, it's academic - there is no functioning local Dem party where I live. The last election saw three Dems on the ticket - rep, senator and pres. Every other spot was R or a couple of independents. I, and the others here like me, have been written off by Dem leadership. I'm accustomed to that, however - I was there on the streets in Madison in 2011. The Dems failed us then, too.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:33 AM on April 20 [10 favorites]


I actually wonder if the NH thing is trying to target Free Staters, not specifically college kids.
posted by corb at 7:33 AM on April 20


It's hard for the GOP to come out against Scary Women en toto when one of their prominent ones is widely associated with demon sheep.
posted by delfin at 7:36 AM on April 20


I actually wonder if the NH thing is trying to target Free Staters, not specifically college kids.
I don't know, but the new Iowa voter ID law, which excludes out-of-state drivers' licenses and student IDs from the list of valid IDs, is definitely intended to target college students, among other people.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:36 AM on April 20 [16 favorites]


Trump deports Scott Brown to New Zealand in obvious attempt to gain votes in Massachusetts.
posted by Etrigan at 7:37 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Oh Jesus. Here's a diversion. This was totally predictable and still I'm shocked, and I really f*ing hate those off-the-shoulder tops.

(to save you a click, unless you really want to see these tacky people, it's that Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent had dinner at the White House last night and took some pics)
posted by witchen at 7:38 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent had dinner at the White House last night

... okay, got the setup, waiting for the punchline.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:40 AM on April 20 [28 favorites]


I actually wonder if the NH thing is trying to target Free Staters, not specifically college kids.

I'm going to take the NH Republicans at their word on this one --
Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Clegg, testifying in support of SB3, argued that attending school in Keene or Durham doesn't, in his view, equate to truly living in the community.

"If you don't live in my community, please don't vote in my community,” Clegg said. “You don't have to pay for the results of your actions. I do."

Later, when asked to clarify his views on student residency, Clegg said: “If you are only going to school in Keene or Durham, and that’s not really where you live, and you’re staying on campus or you’re renting an apartment or you’re part of a frat house, then you don’t really live there. You’re going to school there.”
This has been a multi-year effort, too; winding back the clock to 2011 --
New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien, a Republican, told a tea party group that allowing people to register and vote on Election Day led to “the kids coming out of the schools and basically doing what I did when I was a kid, which is voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do — they don’t have life experience, and they just vote their feelings.”
It's definitely intended to target college students. It may or may not be intended to target lower-income voters without long-term leases, but will definitely impact them; it is probably intended -- in that that earlier 2011 bill was intended by at least some Republicans leading the push for it -- to target liberal voters, by targeting college students, although local College Republican groups opposed the 2011 bill and it's not clear that that was the only, or primary, motivating force.

(Not to say that there aren't other factors, but the main aim does seem to be college students.)
posted by cjelli at 7:41 AM on April 20 [36 favorites]


I actually wonder if the NH thing is trying to target Free Staters, not specifically college kids.

Then the question is, would the Republican politicians perceive Free Staters as less likely to vote for them than college students?

In any case, it doesn't matter. Restricting voting is obscene and undemocratic.
posted by Gelatin at 7:42 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent had dinner at the White House last night

... okay, got the setup, waiting for the punchline.


I mean, if a joke ever screamed for "The Aristocrats!"...
posted by Etrigan at 7:42 AM on April 20 [23 favorites]


Link to the beginning of a Rachel Maddow tweet-thread.

Here's something interesting. Remember a few days ago, when we dropped the MOAB on Afganistan? Remember that DoD statement that went out saying, in essence, that Trump said we were going to start bombing the shit out of people and now we're doing just that?

The DoD sent out another press statement, basically denying that that first statement actually came from them (in an official capacity, anyway). They wouldn't say who it did come from.

Fine, great.

But that second statement used a press release number that had already been used. And also, this press release (the one saying "that wasn't official") wasn't publicly posted in the place the DoD usually posts press releases.

So like: either somebody who was not a DoD spokesperson was pretending to be one to the media and making public statements, which the DoD disavowed (but they wouldn't point the finger at the person in question). Or a DoD spokesperson who was doing the disavowing slipped their leash and issued a press release that was wrongly coded and wasn't made public, which means the original (really quite fucked up) statement was official and the disavowal wasn't.

All of which points to the fact that, yes it's true, the car is on fire and there's no driver at the wheel.
posted by penduluum at 7:52 AM on April 20 [20 favorites]


New PPP poll is out! Full results PDF here.
Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot 47-41. But what's more notable is the enthusiasm imbalance. 63% of Democrats say they're 'very excited' about voting in the 2018 election, compared to only 52% of Republicans who express that sentiment. When you look at the 2018 House picture just among the voters most excited about turning out next year, the lead for Democrats grows to 19 points at 57-38. Republican leaning voters are comparatively disengaged, with the GOP holding advantages only among voters who are 'somewhat excited' (48-40) and 'not that excited' (46-31).
Plus questions on tax returns, paid protesters, Steve Bannon, United Airlines, and more!
posted by melissasaurus at 7:54 AM on April 20 [13 favorites]


Oh Jesus. Here's a diversion. This was totally predictable and still I'm shocked, and I really f*ing hate those off-the-shoulder tops.

People, when you walk into any establishment or other person's home where you are a guest, you take your hat off.

When you walk into the Oval Office, even if the president is an illegitimate leaking blueberry-shit diaper of a human being, especially if you're the sort of insufferable asshole who likes to drone on and on about the kids today and how when I was young we all had RESPECT, you take your fucking hat off.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:59 AM on April 20 [25 favorites]


actually wonder if the NH thing is trying to target Free Staters, not specifically college kids.

Even were this true, which is illogical because they don't comprise a big bloc of votes, that wouldn't be ok. Targeting groups of voters of any sort for suppression is inimical to democracy. But as others have noted, of course their goal is to suppress the votes of democratic-leaning college students. Because republicans are hateful and anti-democratic, and because they are hostile to educated people and education in general.
posted by spitbull at 8:01 AM on April 20 [13 favorites]


Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent had dinner at the White House last night

Did they have Meatloaf?
posted by srboisvert at 8:02 AM on April 20 [21 favorites]


Why is taking a hat off necessary? I mean, if it's a big sombrero or something and you're likely to knock over lamps then ok. Otherwise, that tradition is exclusionary.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:04 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Trump’s claim that ‘no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days’
During the presidential campaign, he even issued a list of 60 promises that he said he would fulfill in his first 100 days.

We’ve been tracking Trump’s promises, and so far he has not even taken action on 60 percent of the promises — and he’s broken five of them, such as his promise to label China as a currency manipulator.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:04 AM on April 20 [19 favorites]


Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent had dinner at the White House last night

Dumb Dynasty season 1. The total collective IQ in the room reached a simmering 114. Also I've heard that Nugent hadn't changed his underwear in a month just in case he was asked to entertain the troops.

Also this is where I always exercise my guitar-playing prerogative to point out the Ted Nugent is to guitar playing what Kid Rock is to rap music and Sarah Palin is to motherhood. Nugent is a terrible musician whose only trick is turning it up until the feedback hides his lack of chops.
posted by spitbull at 8:09 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Yeah, screw that noise. I like my hat. I am more comfortable with it than without. If I meet the Pope while someone plays the Star-Spangled Banner and four petticoated Southern belles enter the room, and I fail to remove my hat, no one present will die of dysentery on the spot. Judge me on my behavior, not whether my entire hairdo is visible or if I am compliant with the Official Rules For Hats Like What Movie Cowboys Did.
posted by delfin at 8:12 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Why is taking a hat off necessary? I mean, if it's a big sombrero or something and you're likely to knock over lamps then ok. Otherwise, that tradition is exclusionary.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:04 on April 20 [+] [!]


Uh, because it's tacky af. What are you protecting your head from indoors?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:12 AM on April 20 [12 favorites]


Unrelated to anything --

I spent the morning doing PTO stuff in the front office of my kids' school, and listening to the main office worker train in a temporary worker on their policies in the event of immigration showing up at the school. No entry into the school building, period. No buzzing in parents until you're sure that ICE has left the premises and won't shove their way in with them. If they say first that they have a specific warrant, then let the principal know, but still don't let them in.

I knew that our school district had an official sanctuary policy -- they've sent letters home to parents -- but it was so great to see that in action, and every single person aware of it.

(Also, I was making copies for the school social worker, whom I'd signed up to help the day after the election in an obsessive need to Fix Something Somewhere, and I was tired and grumpy and didn't want to be there trying to placate my two year olds so I could do office work. And after listening to them I left the school like DAMN STRAIGHT, PUNCH THE FASCISTS IN THE FACE and also print flyers for the mitten drive)
posted by gerstle at 8:12 AM on April 20 [56 favorites]


Otherwise, that tradition is exclusionary.

Wait, how? I suppose people who are paraplegic can't remove their own hat, and people who wear religious headgear might not be able to remove it, but those seem like legitimate exceptions to a longstanding sign of respect for your interlocutor or the context.
posted by spitbull at 8:14 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


What are you protecting your head from indoors?

Do you take any of your other clothes off once you're inside any building with climate control?
posted by Etrigan at 8:14 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


I can't help it, but when I look at that picture all I see are three men who are willing to do anything to hide the fact that they are balding.
posted by valkane at 8:15 AM on April 20 [37 favorites]


folks really please don't make this about the norms of polite society and the importance of adhering thereto. It's a bad look, especially when there's real stuff we could be talking about instead.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:16 AM on April 20 [9 favorites]


Nugent is a terrible musician whose only trick is turning it up until the feedback hides his lack of chops.

Hey hey hey, feedback is a beautiful and interesting musical approach. Nugent's horrible lack of musicality can overshadow even the awesomeness of super high gain and feedback.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:17 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


Do you take any of your other clothes off once you're inside any building with climate control?

Jumper? Sunglasses?
posted by Talez at 8:17 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


What are you protecting your head from indoors?

Do you take any of your other clothes off once you're inside any building with climate control?
posted by Etrigan at 10:14 on April 20 [+] [!]


You mean like my coat?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:17 AM on April 20 [11 favorites]


What are you protecting your head from indoors?

Do you take any of your other clothes off once you're inside any building with climate control?
posted by Etrigan at 10:14 on April 20 [+] [!]

You mean like my coat?


Depends. Do you also look askance at other people who don't take their coats off? Would you look askance at other people who took their shirts off? I mean, if "protecting your [body part] indoors" is the criterion, then far more than hats need to come off.
posted by Etrigan at 8:19 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Nugent is a terrible musician

A draft dodger and a pedophile, too. He can't hunt in some states because of poaching convictions.

He and Trump are like peas in a pod.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:21 AM on April 20 [18 favorites]


[Jeezum crow, folks, let's pick another time and place to hash out once and for all the rules of clothes doffing.]
posted by cortex at 8:22 AM on April 20 [42 favorites]


Some useful language for talking about the politics of race (as we do in these threads, and as most of us probably do elsewhere as well):

Racism, Hot and Cold
To the conservative mind [...] If there is no conscious hatred involved, then it’s totally unfair to suggest comparisons to the KKK, as they feel "racism" does.

“So fine, then,” a liberal might say, “give me the word that applies to this situation and we’ll use it.”

But then you hit the root problem: There is no conservative term for the habitual and perhaps unconscious tendency to see people of another race differently, judge them more negatively, and react to them more harshly.
...
In liberal circles, there is already a distinction between conscious and unconscious bigotry. We often talk about implicit bias, and there is even a test you can take for it on the internet. But every term I’ve heard smacks of some liberal bastion like psychology or academia. None of them would sound right rolling out of a conservative mouth. A conservative talking about implicit bias would impress his fellow conservatives about as much as a macho man talking to his locker-room buddies about relationships and commitment.
...
Here’s a common metaphor that might work: Emotions have temperature. Hate and anger are hot. If you feel a vague aversion towards someone, you are cool to them, and if the aversion got stronger you might want to freeze them out.

If we apply that metaphor to racism, then the kind conservatives already acknowledge, the conscious hatred that Emmett Till‘s killers must have felt, is "hot racism." [...] "Cold racism", on the other hand, doesn’t actively wish harm on people of color, but simply fails to factor in their interests or to weigh them as heavily as the interests of whites.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:24 AM on April 20 [38 favorites]


I'm just glad to be a millionaire outside the bounds of polite society.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:24 AM on April 20


Meanwhile, over at Jeff Sessions's Justice Department:

Key Official in Trump-Russia Investigation Will Step Down (The Intercept): "Mary B. McCord, who has been helping oversee the Justice Department’s probe into Russian interference in the presidential election, is stepping down from her post as the acting head of the department’s national security division and leaving the federal government in the coming weeks, a source familiar with McCord’s role told The Intercept. The source, who asked not to be identified as McCord’s departure has not been formally announced, said that McCord plans to work in academia after leaving government."
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:27 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


But then you hit the root problem: There is no conservative term for the habitual and perhaps unconscious tendency to see people of another race differently, judge them more negatively, and react to them more harshly.

How about just English?

prej·u·diceˈprejədəs
noun
1. preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
posted by Talez at 8:28 AM on April 20 [9 favorites]


It's definitely intended to target college students.

I live in a college dominated town, is that the tax revenue from the college kids exceeds the locals by an order of magnitude AT LEAST. According to Free Market Republicans, their votes should count MORE, right?
posted by mikelieman at 8:28 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent

Worst. Tour. Ever.
posted by mikelieman at 8:30 AM on April 20 [25 favorites]


New PPP poll is out! Full results PDF here.

The polling on the Russia question is interesting (all of it's interesting, but):
The Russia issue isn't going anywhere- 61% of voters want an independent investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 Presidential election and ties to key Trump aides, compared to only 29% of voters opposed to such an investigation. A majority of voters- 55%- continues to believe that Russia wanted Trump to win the election to only 22% who think it wanted Clinton to win (although Trump voters claim 42/22 that they think it wanted Clinton to win.)

The finding of an independent investigation could be devastating to Trump's presidency. Right now voters are pretty evenly divided with 41% believing members of Trump's campaign team worked in association with Russia to help Trump win the election and 40% saying they don't think there was any direct coordination.

But if it does come out that Russia and Trump's team were working together, only 38% of voters think Trump should continue serving as President to 52% who think he should resign. Just 35% of voters consider the Russia story to be 'fake news.'
Looking at that 38% of voters who don't think collusion with Russia is, in the abstract, sufficient cause, if true, for Trump to resign, I'm reminded of people who stayed loyal to Nixon through the Watergate hearings; but I'm also curious if that 38% would drop if/when specific evidence came out. More positively, that the majority of respondents think collusion is grounds for resignation suggests that impeachment, in that specific circumstance, might also be popular (although that's not necessarily a solid inference). A solid majority of people wanting an independent investigation is also a really good sign that burying the story (whatever the story ends up being) isn't going to be workable.
posted by cjelli at 8:31 AM on April 20 [18 favorites]


Racism, Hot and Cold

Wasn't "soft racism" devised for this purpose a while back? Which is to say, the problem isn't that there isn't a term. The problem is that any such term will immediately become The Worst Thing You Can Say About A Person and anyone you try to explain it to will shut down just as quickly because you said "That's 'cold racism'" or "That's 'implicit bias'" or "That's 'dynamic privilege'" or whatever else is devised.
posted by Etrigan at 8:33 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


Yeah, there are other terms, but I think the point that "this is something you could imagine a conservative actually saying" is a good one.

Anyway, I'm going to use it for "arguing on the internet" purposes going forward, because I think it's clearer and more powerful than the alternatives, and I think the resonances with "cold war" as opposed to "hot war" are effective at making the distinction I'm often trying to get at.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:37 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I actually found that article perfect and incredibly useful, and am going to try to use the differentiations (hot, cold, room temperature) in future and see how it resonates in conservative land.

I think the "room temperature" descriptor is especially perfect because it describes a state of what feels normal to people in it, but not everyone has the same "room temperature" temperature. So this way you can describe someone who is acting appropriately for their experience- not suggesting they are specifically and personally immoral - but just sugggesting their room temperature is not appropriate for the actual room. You get away from the "what is the soul of a man" kind of discussion.
posted by corb at 8:43 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


Using appeals to reason is why I have my "Look, if you want to effectively reduce abortion/save a shitload of money, fund contraception for everyone. Abortion rates will plummet, healthcare costs go down (because contraception is much cheaper than babies), fewer children end up in foster care, and more women are likely to vote for you/your party."

When people respond to this argument with some variation of "But then I'll be helping people have sex without suffering for it!" then I know we are not talking about reason anymore.
posted by emjaybee at 8:47 AM on April 20 [70 favorites]


"But Jesus" also counts for that.
posted by delfin at 8:52 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


There's definitely something weird going on with Chaffetz if he isn't going to finish his term.
posted by diogenes at 8:53 AM on April 20 [12 favorites]


But then you hit the root problem: There is no conservative term for the habitual and perhaps unconscious tendency to see people of another race differently, judge them more negatively, and react to them more harshly.

...find a word that conservatives would say...


I mean if this were a relationship askme we'd all be like "Jesus Christ DTMFA"
posted by schadenfrau at 8:54 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


There's definitely something weird going on with Chaffetz if he isn't going to finish his term.

Agreed. You don't work your way up to a position of considerable power as the chair of a major House committee and then just quit in the middle of your term unless there's a very significant issue brewing.

Sarah Palin quit halfway through her governorship, but it was to take on a million-dollar marketing deal that she couldn't grab if she still held office. There's something big going on here for Chaffetz - either good or bad for him - that hasn't hit the news...yet.
posted by darkstar at 8:57 AM on April 20 [15 favorites]


There's definitely something weird going on with Chaffetz if he isn't going to finish his term.

Yeah, my Representative resigned only a few months before the 2012 election because he was indicted for voter fraud. I can't imagine Chaffetz is doing anything but trying to avoid something similar, overtly or co-.
posted by Etrigan at 8:58 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


I mean if this were a relationship askme we'd all be like "Jesus Christ DTMFA"

Well, we can't dump them, and moreover, people do change their political opinions over time (I have), so even if we could "dump them" we'd have a new set of conservatives in less than a generation, and the conservative sea-steading islands we sent them to would have a new set of liberals.

Since we can't dump them, we have to figure out ways to talk to them...
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:58 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


You get away from the "what is the soul of a man" kind of discussion.

Corb, I think this is specifically what makes me crazy, because, I mean, the soul of the man is the problem. It's the problem for everybody. Maybe what they don't get is that liberals generally believe everyone has this kind of work to do? And liberals have blind spots, too (witness all the misogyny and racism on the left).

But pretending that it's not actually a problem with how they view other human beings and pretending it's a question of appropriate etiquette or something seems like giving Tylenol to someone with a contagious flu and then sending them back out there to cough all over everyone.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:58 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


The Trump Administration is an entire store's worth of shoes waiting to drop.

And it isn't even 100 days old.
posted by Gelatin at 9:00 AM on April 20 [15 favorites]


I'm also reminded that there was a stick for Palin as well as the carrot: she was facing ethics charges, too. Similar ethics situation leading to Aaron Schock's resignation.
posted by darkstar at 9:01 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


You get more flies with honey than vinegar. You get further with "light racism" trying to nudge them by degrees than by confronting and condemning them outright.

The problem is that the potato salad is damn tired of excuses for swarms of flies landing on it year after year and feels quite justified in demanding stronger fumigation.
posted by delfin at 9:09 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


The Trump Administration is an entire store's worth of shoes waiting to drop.

A veritable DSW of scandal
posted by dis_integration at 9:10 AM on April 20 [13 favorites]


Since we can't dump them, we have to figure out ways to talk to them...

Like a sibling, parent, or co-parent-of-your-child, you can never truly "dump" them, no. But we can take other advice from AskMe like go low/no contact, "No." is a complete sentence, set and enforce boundaries, "That won't be possible.", etc. Yeah, we're all forced to live with them, but we don't have to allow them to dictate what our boundaries are or what our responses to their boundary crossing will be.

E.g.: Them: "But I waaaaaaaaant to debate trans rightsssssss."
Us: "That won't be possible."
Them: "BUT BUT BUT BUT -"
Us: "No."
Them: "SO MUCH FOR THE TOLERANT LEFT"
Us: ~*blissfully working toward fully automated luxury space intersectional feminism after blocking their number~*
posted by melissasaurus at 9:15 AM on April 20 [30 favorites]


Like a sibling, parent, or co-parent-of-your-child, you can never truly "dump" them, no. But we can take other advice from AskMe like go low/no contact, "No." is a complete sentence, set and enforce boundaries, "That won't be possible.", etc. Yeah, we're all forced to live with them, but we don't have to allow them to dictate what our boundaries are or what our responses to their boundary crossing will be.

Except it'll be more like:
E.g.: Them: "But I waaaaaaaaant to debate trans rightsssssss."
Us: "That won't be possible."
Them: "BUT THEY MAKE ME FEEL ICKY AND INSECURE ABOUT MY MASCULINITY!"
Us: "No."
Them: "REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"
Them: ~*blissfully committing domestic terrorism and hate crimes against trans people~*
posted by Talez at 9:22 AM on April 20 [17 favorites]


I think "ignore them and hope they go away" is more or less the approach everyone took during the Obama administration, but it only works if you are in a position of power. When they start winning elections, we aren't in position to ignore them any more.

I dunno, I go back and forth on this stuff. I've recently been very disillusioned about how well "talking to people" and "appealing to their better instincts" actually works. Not very well! People are kind of terrible, worse than I previously thought. But I don't see that we have any other choice.

Anyway, whatever. If you don't want to argue with racists, I understand, and I can't make you anyway. But if you do find yourself arguing with them, as I do, for some reason, I think this some useful language.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:23 AM on April 20 [9 favorites]


Chrysostom: WaPo: Handel has a lot of fences to mend in GA-06.
In a district Trump had carried by just 1.5 percentage points last year, Gray had banked on just enough pro-Trump Republicans to carry him into a runoff with Democrat Jon Ossoff. With the GOP vote split between 11 Republican candidates, it wasn’t an entirely wild idea, but as midnight approached on Tuesday, it became clear that it was just a fantasy.

Instead, the evening would go to Karen Handel, who appeared headed to a runoff with Ossoff early Wednesday.

For most Republican voters in the 6th District, Trump loyalty has become a matter of begrudging party loyalty. It’s a delicate dance, and Handel found a way to do it best.
This makes me very happy, and I think this is what bodes best for the US. Yes, it would have been wonderful if Ossoff swept this one, but that would have been amazing. But for every Little Trump who loses, I think we crawl a bit closer to normal. Yes, the GOP is still the party of extreme gerrymandering, voter intimidation and blocking by any means possible, war hawks and hate-mongers, but not as extreme as Trump (or his "coaches") would like.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 AM on April 20 [15 favorites]


The thing that genuinely baffles me about Republicans are going around tearing up minority protections (from voting rights to trans rights to the filibuster and everything in between) is that some day -- and I believe the day is coming soon -- they, as the political minority, will want to benefit from those norms and protections.

We know that Republicans aren't good about thinking long term, but this practice is particularly egregious.
posted by Gelatin at 9:26 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


It's not ignoring them and letting them get away with violence - it's just recognizing that their voice is not important; their perspective is not important; responding to them as if they have standing to discuss any of these issues gives them legitimacy. We can just say "sorry, you don't have standing to bring that claim; dismissed" - then take the time we would have spent litigating their "case" and devote it to tasks that actually reduce the impact of oppressive structures.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:28 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


> Since we can't dump them, we have to figure out ways to talk to them...

This is bad framing and leads to bad ideas. The goal isn't persuadimg fascists and their supporters. The goal is marginalizing them; making them by whatever means politically irrelevant. Persuasion — getting fascist sympathizers to switch sides — is one tool in the box of methods for marginalizing fascism, but it is only one tool among many, and not a particularly effective one.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:29 AM on April 20 [23 favorites]


There's definitely something weird going on with Chaffetz if he isn't going to finish his term.

Agreed. You don't work your way up to a position of considerable power as the chair of a major House committee and then just quit in the middle of your term unless there's a very significant issue brewing.


The major issue is called "money." Every one of these grifters will cut and run on their supposedly called-from-on-high doing the politics for the people schtick the moment it is more profitable to do so.

As examples: Palin, linked above, who bailed on her governorship to go get that wingnut media welfare. Rep Cantor, who bailed on the remainder of his term after being primaried out by Brat, to go get the lobbyist dollars. Hell, even Manafort and some others from the administration only in its third month.

As an additional factor, it's an accepted idea around town that Chaffetz hates being here. The idea that he'd like to bail out on having to spend time in DC - where his personal mythology requires he sleep on a cot in his office - isn't that shocking to me. If the K street money is good enough he'll jump ship early, particularly if it looks like (though I am having a hard time holding back the laughter here) the Congress and/or Trump administration start to make moves to impede the revolving congresscritter/lobbyist revolving door.
posted by phearlez at 9:30 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


We can just say "sorry, you don't have standing to bring that claim; dismissed" - then take the time we would have spent litigating their "case" and devote it to tasks that actually reduce the impact of oppressive structures.

Exactly. Standing is partially based on demonstrating that one is actually harmed. One might believe that gays and trans people are icky, but their having the same rights as you does not actually harm you, certainly not in a way that justifies the greater hard of denying them their own rights. The ability of gays and lesbians to marry does no actual harm to the institution of marriage at all.
posted by Gelatin at 9:33 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


It's not ignoring them and letting them get away with violence - it's just recognizing that their voice is not important; their perspective is not important; responding to them as if they have standing to discuss any of these issues gives them legitimacy. We can just say "sorry, you don't have standing to bring that claim; dismissed" - then take the time we would have spent litigating their "case" and devote it to tasks that actually reduce the impact of oppressive structures.

These are people who don't give a crap about the most egregious of cognitive dissonance and have no shame about being hypocrites. You really think they're going to spend energy in some sort of intellectual battle of the discourse? If the extreme people out there think a trans-woman is going into the women's bathroom and their wife/mother/sister/kid is in there they'll just beat the crap out of them, policy be damned.
posted by Talez at 9:36 AM on April 20


Maybe he thought back on that IPhone/health coverage thing he said and decided he should just quit before he said something even more stupid.
posted by Golem XIV at 9:37 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


The thing that genuinely baffles me about Republicans are going around tearing up minority protections (from voting rights to trans rights to the filibuster and everything in between) is that some day -- and I believe the day is coming soon -- they, as the political minority, will want to benefit from those norms and protections.

Several of those are entirely rational within the framework of Republican legislators (as opposed to Republican voters) wanting to retain the levers of power longer. Voter suppression -- helps elect Republicans. Ending the judicial filibuster -- helps appoint a probably voter-suppression-friendly judge and continue the evisceration of the VRA. The particular forms that voter suppression is taking are, generally, intrinsically supportive of one side; if Democrats roll in in 2018, it's not as though blocking college students from voting will suddenly benefit Democrats -- that will continue to benefit Republicans. Unlike with gerrymandering, where, in some cases, pushing for thin margins in several districts increases the chances of a wave upset, it's an entirely one-sided thing. I would argue that legislative attacks on minority rights are being undertaken in part to as a means to the end of preserving a Republican majority.

The furor over trans rights continues to perplex me, and I can only rationalize that as needing a new issue to drive voters now that gay rights are more mainstream.

The more confusing thing, to me, is the more insider-baseball stuff -- the reports that the White House is trying to only disclose information to House committee chairs, rather than to all committee members, for example; that's something that absolutely cuts both ways, if it becomes enshrined as common practice.
posted by cjelli at 9:40 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


As a former DC resident I only wish Chaffetz had left years ago. It was bad enough that he was always picking on the District; but he was always so gleeful about it. Like he had found his own playground where he could be king bully.
posted by orrnyereg at 9:44 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


... okay, got the setup, waiting for the punchline.

The line would be our faces. They use a sledgehammer instead of a fist.
posted by juiceCake at 9:44 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


These are people who don't give a crap about the most egregious of cognitive dissonance and have no shame about being hypocrites. You really think they're going to spend energy in some sort of intellectual battle of the discourse? If the extreme people out there think a trans-woman is going into the women's bathroom and their wife/mother/sister/kid is in there they'll just beat the crap out of them, policy be damned.

Sure, but what about every cable news show and major newspaper that has segment after segment about trans people, often exclusively discussed among cis folks. Or discussion of abortion that includes no people with uteruses. Etc etc. For every white male terrorist shooting up a planned parenthood, there are a hundred white male pundits telling him he's doing the right thing.

One of the best ways to show people they are out of step with the mainstream is to have them not reflected in the mainstream. Erasure is a very powerful tool; they've been using it against us for millennia.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:45 AM on April 20 [15 favorites]


Several of those are entirely rational within the framework of Republican legislators (as opposed to Republican voters) wanting to retain the levers of power longer.

In the short term, yes, but a Democratic president in 2020 is going to be able to fill any SCOTUS vacancy with a much more liberal candidate than she otherwise might have if the filibuster was intact, and that's just one example.

It shouldn't be surprising from a party that believes in transferring infrastructure spending to tax cuts for the rich instead of the other way around, but Republicans are eating their seed corn. (They're also ensuring that Democrats elected in 2018 and 2020 will not be in a forgiving mood at all.)
posted by Gelatin at 9:45 AM on April 20


As an additional factor, it's an accepted idea around town that Chaffetz hates being here. The idea that he'd like to bail out on having to spend time in DC - where his personal mythology requires he sleep on a cot in his office - isn't that shocking to me.

As an additional additional factor, remember that Chaffetz is, while a powerful committee chair, particularly the chair of the House Oversight Committee. That is, he's in charge of oversight of the Executive Branch. When it looked like Clinton was going to win, that was a plum assignment -- this was Chaffetz's position pre-election:
Jason Chaffetz, the Utah congressman wrapping up his first term atop the powerful House Oversight Committee, unendorsed Donald Trump weeks ago. That freed him up to prepare for something else: spending years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton.

“It’s a target-rich environment,” the Republican said in an interview in Salt Lake City’s suburbs. “Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”
After Trump won, he was looking at two-to-eight years of declining to investigate Trump for the good of the party: ignoring flagrant red flags and failing to hold investigations does not make for good press, does not make for good soundbytes, and neuters much of the power of the position he holds. This was Chaffetz after the election:
Instead, Chaffetz now finds himself saddled with the responsibility of policing his own party’s administration—rooting out conflicts of interest, exposing abuses of power, and generally causing headaches for President Trump. It’s an awkward and unpleasant task, and one that he does not seem to savor. As one Utah politico put it to me, “Aside from Trump and Clinton, nobody’s fortunes changed more on presidential election night than Jason Chaffetz.”
His declining to run in 2018 makes sense, to me, sort of, within that context; his fortunes changed dramatically on Election Day, and in 2018 he'd either (1) lose his chair to an insurgent Democratic wave, or (2) keep it and have to spend another two years furiously avoiding investigating Trump. But announcing it this earlier, and possibly resigning early -- that's far more perplexing.
posted by cjelli at 9:49 AM on April 20 [21 favorites]


Corb, I think this is specifically what makes me crazy, because, I mean, the soul of the man is the problem. It's the problem for everybody. Maybe what they don't get is that liberals generally believe everyone has this kind of work to do?

It's not that. It's more like - oh man, as I start to explain it I realize it's more complex than I thought! But here goes.

If you are a Christian who believes in a heaven and hell, and a God who is able to sort out souls for each place, then you must, by definition, believe people can be sorted into "good enough to get into Heaven" and "bad enough to get into Hell". (We are leaving out for the moment Purgatory, in part because most of the people we are discussing tend to be Protestants.)

This belief system has to account for changing views and mores, because it has to account for the past. When you're deciding the question of "was this person a good person or not", it's not just an academic question- you're deciding whether you think these historical figures would be in heaven or hell - whether or not, essentially, their soul is damned. Even if you're not doing it on a conscious level, even if you've put a lot of those beliefs aside, emotionally, these are the resonating factors.

So when you allow "what is the soul of a man" questions to come into "is this racist" questions, it's a much higher bar, because you're no longer saying "Did granny/uncle/whoever grow up in a much different time, and should stop saying those things, but is essentially a good person", but are now saying, "Is granny damned", to hell, forever, because she grew up in a time when those things were normal.

And the crazy thing is I think most of the people trying to make these moral arguments don't actually care about the soul question, exactly, so much as they want people to agree "it is morally right not to be bigoted". And that's where these gradients come in.

If everyone sins, and racial bias you haven't gotten out - room-temperature racism that exists in you - is a sin, but a minor sin that won't immediately send you to hell, then that's something you can do something about and work at and struggle with, the same way people struggle with cheating on their wives or stealing or other things that are bad but will not immediately and completely damn you. But if it's a damning sin that precludes you from the sight of heaven, then your choices are to repent completely and live differently or to just be damned. And it's really hard for someone to immediately undo years of ingrained racial bias.

So within this morality framework, that's why it kind of matters to be able to say that you believe someone's a fundamentally good person, but they are exhibiting a sin you believe they can correct. You're saying not that their actions in showing bias are good, but that they are essentially heaven bound but just need to clean up their act.
posted by corb at 9:51 AM on April 20 [24 favorites]


>In the short term, yes, but a Democratic president in 2020 is going to be able to fill any SCOTUS vacancy with a much more liberal candidate than she otherwise might have if the filibuster was intact, and that's just one example.

Not if filling the seat on the bench now helps prevent a Democratic Presidency & Senate in 2020 by making it harder for people to vote Democratic in the first place. That President needs to exist before its an issue; I would argue that loosening the filibuster rules is a high-risk attempt to prevent it being an issue at all, either with cloture or without. And coming up on a census year, this is a particularly important few years for them to try and hold control.
posted by cjelli at 9:52 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Trump’s first war is here at home: A military-style assault on undocumented immigrants
It sounds as if he believes he’s a real general, running a real war. And the enemy is not just the “terrorist” gangbangers; it’s millions of undocumented immigrants who’ve been designated as criminals for infractions as minor as driving without a license. And now the administration has even got media “embeds” with the troops, reporting from the front.

I knew Trump was very likely to start a war. It’s just not in his character to resist the temptation to flex his muscle and prove his manhood. But I assumed he would fight the hated foreign hordes overseas on their own turf. Unfortunately, whatever happens with our various foreign policy crises, it’s looking more and more every day like we’re also going fight a war right here, on the streets of American cities.

posted by T.D. Strange at 9:55 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


Okay, so Republicans have a new healthcare plan and guess what? It has an insurance mandate, the thing they've been screeching about for the last seven years.

But it's not what you think. For some background, I made this comment last month. If you remove the requirements for essential benefits, coupled with the Republican plan to provide identical subsidies to everyone regardless of income, then insurance companies will create as one option garbage plans that have few benefits and very high deductibles but have premiums that cost exactly the amount of the subsidy.

My comment at the time was that healthy people will just choose the cheap plan because it matches the universal subsidy. They probably will never use the plan because it has few benefits and very high deductibles, but they may as well take because it is free with the subsidy. Essentially, it is just a means of transferring taxpayer funds cost free to insurance companies for benefits they will never pay.

What I didn't realize at the time is that for Republicans, this is actually a feature that they would brazenly embrace. They aren't going to just wait around for healthy people to sign up for these worthless plans to transfer taxpayer money to insurance companies. In their new plan they are going to mandate them by "auto-enrolling" everyone in these worthless plans if they don't choose any other.

In other words, Republicans are going to mandate that taxpayer funds be transferred to insurance companies for worthless policies. Meanwhile they will brag no more 24 million uninsured. Everyone will be insured but most of them will have useless insurance and the insurance companies get a windfall. Oh, and don't forget tax cuts for the rich.
posted by JackFlash at 9:56 AM on April 20 [74 favorites]


(They're also ensuring that Democrats elected in 2018 and 2020 will not be in a forgiving mood at all.)

have you MET a democrat
posted by beerperson at 9:58 AM on April 20 [26 favorites]


The more confusing thing, to me, is the more insider-baseball stuff -- the reports that the White House is trying to only disclose information to House committee chairs, rather than to all committee members, for example; that's something that absolutely cuts both ways, if it becomes enshrined as common practice.

Restricting the dissemination of facts doesn't actually hurt you if you just lie all the time.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:58 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Sarah Palin, Kid Rock, and Ted Nugent had dinner at the White House last night

... okay, got the setup, waiting for the punchline.


He's sitting behind the desk.
posted by EarBucket at 10:00 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


Politico: White House plans Obamacare showdown next week
Senior White House and Republican congressional leaders are planning another health care showdown next week as they seek again to pass legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The text of a new bill is likely to circulate Friday "or by the weekend," White House officials say, with intentions to have a vote by midweek before the president reaches his 100-day mark.

The White House believes they are "close" to having the votes, one senior official said, but "people don't want to commit without seeing the text."
In other words, they're probably not all that close, in the same way that Generic Republican or Generic Democratic can often poll well, but Specific Candidate doesn't -- you can't be 'close' to having votes on a nonexistent bill, because it doesn't exist for people to be 'close' to.

There might be an actual bill that can pass the House next week, but the spin the White House is putting on this is absurd.
posted by cjelli at 10:01 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


In other words, Republicans are going to mandate that taxpayer funds be transferred to insurance companies for worthless policies. Meanwhile they will brag no more 24 million uninsured. Everyone will be insured but most of them will have useless insurance and the insurance companies get a windfall. Oh, and don't forget tax cuts for the rich.

The dastardly libruls at the CBO saw this trick coming and decided to categorize garbage plans as being "uninsured" for the purposes of their budget scoring. So at least on that front they won't be getting away with it, assuming they let the CBO score the bill before they vote on it.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:02 AM on April 20 [17 favorites]


There might be an actual bill that can pass the House next week, but the spin the White House is putting on this is absurd.

Well, jeez, is another face-destroying loss based on a failure to set expectations ppropriately about the popularity and passability of extremely vile legislation in the offing? I can hardly contain my excitement!
posted by Existential Dread at 10:04 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Allison Janney on Broadway, 'The West Wing' legacy and Trump:
Has she watched any briefings from the real press secretary, Sean Spicer? "I have been able to watch few of them because I get so embarrassed and it is too upsetting for me to watch them," she says. "I can't even talk about it."
Meanwhile, marijuana advocates are handing out joints to members of Congress and their staffs (and reporters), so it could be a weird day.

And, Emily Nussbaum brings us a slightly-late, but perfect, pun: "During Passover, it is traditional to remove all the Chaffetz from the House."

Finally, in more serious news, I wanted to recommend this talk (or the text thereof) by Maciej Ceglowski, with assistance from Zeynep Tufekci: Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance:
A question few are asking is whether the tools of mass surveillance and social control we spent the last decade building could have had anything to do with the debacle of the 2017 election, or whether destroying local journalism and making national journalism so dependent on our platforms was, in retrospect, a good idea.

We built the commercial internet by mastering techniques of persuasion and surveillance that we’ve extended to billions of people, including essentially the entire population of the Western democracies. But admitting that this tool of social control might be conducive to authoritarianism is not something we’re ready to face. After all, we're good people. We like freedom. How could we have built tools that subvert it?
posted by zachlipton at 10:05 AM on April 20 [29 favorites]


I'm a little late to post this re: that Franken segment as I've been percolating on it overnight. Is there a name for what the Lying Liar Bill O'Reilly does when he lies just enough to either plausibly deny deceitful intent, or will "clarify" to make it look like the questioner didn't understand the scope of their (the Liar's) statement?

Example (paraphrased):
Bill O'Reilly said they (Inside Edition) won a Peabody. They didn't. Turned out they won a Polk. And "they" didn't even include Bill. IE won a Polk after Bill was gone. So it went from "We won a peabody" (first statement) to "oh it was a Polk but still 'we'". But the truth was ACTUALLY "IE won a Polk after O'Reilly left."

It feels like it's somewhere between gaslighting and "Truthful Hyperbole, but I'm not sure those capture it. It's like a 20% lie that they feel is within the margin of error of the truth, so they can always walk it back in the off chance they're ever confronted with the truth. It's also something my parents did a lot of growing up, so I have blinders to it's existence in some ways. It always seems to give the liar one more chance to act like you're an idiot for either being "nitpicky" or "not getting it". Anyway, it's crazy making for me and I'd like a label for it.
posted by avalonian at 10:08 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


The wife of someone executed by cops, the person harassed or attacked for "looking Muslim," the dark-skinned person who waits in line for hours only to be told surprise, you can't vote!, and the family whose benefits and healthcare are threatened give less than a shit about Granny Redneck's afterlife destination. Just saying.
posted by delfin at 10:08 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


you're deciding whether you think these historical figures would be in heaven or hell

Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Unless you're Samuel L. Jackson.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:10 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


There might be an actual bill that can pass the House next week, but the spin the White House is putting on this is absurd.

I'm basically okay with the White House puffing up a lot of nonsense spin about "working on" and "being close to" another ACA repeal in time for the 100-day report card, only for it to collapse into a heap of much-hyped failure on Day 101.

Earlier still, better yet.
posted by Gelatin at 10:10 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Ivanka Trump Heading to Germany for Official Visit

Why staff the State Department with experts when we can just give all the glory to the President's family?
posted by zachlipton at 10:11 AM on April 20 [21 favorites]


you're deciding whether you think these historical figures would be in heaven or hell

Of course, these same people don't hesitate to sit in judgment on all people, past and present, who are LGBTQ.
posted by Gelatin at 10:13 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


Ivanka Trump Heading to Germany for Official Visit

Official because you have to apply for political asylum in person?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:14 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


It feels like it's somewhere between gaslighting and "Truthful Hyperbole, but I'm not sure those capture it.

A liar has some respect for the truth. A bullshitter just doesn't care.
posted by Gelatin at 10:17 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Is there a name for what the Lying Liar Bill O'Reilly does when he lies just enough to either plausibly deny deceitful intent, or will "clarify" to make it look like the questioner didn't understand the scope of their (the Liar's) statement?

I think Stephen Colbert's "truthiness" holds up pretty well. With the added benefit that it was about O'Reilly in the first place.
posted by msalt at 10:18 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


The big lie of the Franken - O'Reilly segment wasn't that O'Reilly falsely claimed he won a Peabody, which could have plausibly been a mistake. It was that after being called on it he claimed that he never said that he had won a Peabody and that the media was lying about what he had said.
posted by vathek at 10:26 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


Ivanka Trump Heading to Germany for Official Visit

Official because you have to apply for political asylum in person?


If there's one place in the world that's not keen on Russophilic Nazi-apologists, it'd be modern day Germany.

Is she planning on crossing on a red light whilst visiting as well?
posted by leotrotsky at 10:29 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Trump legal tab: $4 million and rising. This bit seems rather sketchy, like they were trying to cover up a settlement:
In one case, a British photographer sued Trump and his campaign — as well as his son Donald Trump Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence — for allegedly misappropriating a photo of a bowl of Skittles featured in a tweet by Don Jr. arguing it was dangerous for the U.S. to accept refugees from Syria.

The photographer dropped the case in December, about a week after a $10,000 payment was made to the firm of the photographer’s lawyer, Heather Blaise. Told that the payment was listed in the Trump campaign’s FEC report as “legal consulting,” Blaise laughed and said “that’s interesting. I have never been retained as counsel or a consultant to the campaign.” She wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the case.
posted by zachlipton at 10:33 AM on April 20 [34 favorites]


Is there a name for what the Lying Liar Bill O'Reilly does when he lies just enough to either plausibly deny deceitful intent, or will "clarify" to make it look like the questioner didn't understand the scope of their (the Liar's) statement?

Narcissistic personality disorder; sociopathy.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:36 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


>> It feels like it's somewhere between gaslighting and "Truthful Hyperbole, but I'm not sure those capture it.

> A liar has some respect for the truth. A bullshitter just doesn't care.


So this is one of those things that I get really hung up on, but, well, I can't deny that I'm hung up on it, so here goes:

There are two ways to react to the knowledge that people have interests other than truth, and that we have a tendency to use speech to advance our ends as we see them, rather than just using speech as a means to disinterestedly determine what is or is not true.

One way is to be scandalized: those bullshitters over there are bullshitting, they don't even care about truth, they're worse than liars, they're the devil, how can we reëstablish the norm that truth must be respected, whatever can we do? This pattern of reaction is paralyzing, because no matter how much you wish that truth will by its own shining nature win out, languages, minds, and societies don't work that way, and we're just left feeling sad and hopeless.

The other way is to, well, accept it. Acknowledge that people have perspectives, acknowledge that we all have material interests, and accept that we all use language to advance those interests rather than to uphold truth or whatever — accept that the norm of truthtelling never really existed, and that debate is less about truth and more about advancing material interests. This means, though, abandoning the pose that bullshit is a scandal — or at least, abandoning the idea that bullshit is really truly scandalous.

Any denunciation of bullshit has to be itself bullshit to be valid. Calling bullshit as a tactic in a campaign to marginalize a political actor can be useful, but only insofar as it advances our material interests. Denouncing bullshit just because you don't like bullshit, though, is naïve and ineffectual.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:38 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


you're deciding whether you think these historical figures would be in heaven or hell

I do not understand Protestant concerns at all. Are you saying that they don't want social progress because changing standards of moral behavior would make dead people look bad retroactively? And that's like, more upsetting than the present injustice?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:40 AM on April 20 [10 favorites]


WSJ: Publicity Over Dispute by Former Trump Partners Could Tarnish President, One Warns
Felix Sater is battling his former boss, Tevfik Arif, over $3.5 million in legal fees related to Mr. Sater’s employment at Bayrock Group LLC, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Bayrock developed the Trump SoHo in New York City, which opened in 2010.
...
Mr. Sater, in a personal memo sent to Mr. Armao, was blunter: “The headlines will be, ‘The Kazakh Gangster and President Trump.’”
Felix Sater, you magnificent bastard, you should just write a frickin' book. You'll make a lot more than $3.5 million, I bet.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:41 AM on April 20 [19 favorites]


Tehhund is still back there, working diligently. Just favorited a comment of mine from March 24th. Hi Tehhund!

reëstablish

thank you for this, it's beautiful

posted by Existential Dread at 10:42 AM on April 20 [44 favorites]


So at least on that front they won't be getting away with it, assuming they let the CBO score the bill before they vote on it.

That remains to be seen. I can see the Republicans marketing this as mandating free (worthless) insurance for everyone. Whee!

But this has another side effect. It removes the healthy from the real insurance pool, which will increase premiums for those who need real insurance.

Which gets to another gadget in their Rube Goldberg plan, high risk pools. They will segregate out people who have expensive healthcare needs. We have experience with high risk pools because that was what some states tried before Obamacare. The high risk pools become political footballs which are inadequately funded. Whenever a state faces a financial shortfall, and when do they not with the penchant for Republican tax cuts, the first thing cut is support for the sick (losers).

Do not underestimate the Republican skill at marketing bad policies with feel-good slogans and the inability of the lazy and ignorant press corps to sort out the truth.
posted by JackFlash at 10:44 AM on April 20 [10 favorites]


Felix Sater, you magnificent bastard, you should just write a frickin' book. You'll make a lot more than $3.5 million, I bet.

Maybe it will be good for us that all these venal, back-biting snakes are snakes? They'll be unable to resist poisoning each other because it really is just about money and revenge and there's no real ideology restraining them.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:45 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


yeah my twin missions in life are promoting:
  1. marxist analyses of bourgeois law and
  2. the general use of the New Yorker style guide.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:45 AM on April 20 [14 favorites]


His declining to run in 2018 makes sense, to me, sort of, within that context; his fortunes changed dramatically on Election Day, and in 2018 he'd either (1) lose his chair to an insurgent Democratic wave, or (2) keep it and have to spend another two years furiously avoiding investigating Trump. But announcing it this earlier, and possibly resigning early -- that's far more perplexing.

With regards to announcing you're not going to run again, it's really not early given the nature of House seats. Elections cost so much now that house members, who have an election for every seat every two years, are essentially constantly running for office. That means constantly glad-handing and, more pertinent here, constantly fundraising.

If Chaffetz doesn't intend to keep the seat he's in that would become very obvious very quickly, particularly with the national Dem interest in challenging him. Additionally, someone interested in the fate of the R party is going to want to put whoever does pursue that seat in a good place to win that seat and that means getting as early a start as possible. So if he wants to be the one making the announcement rather than news media he has to do it pretty close to when he talks to party folks about it because otherwise it will leak.

The alternative of keeping it under his hat and doing business as usual would burn a lot of bridges. You're soliciting money you don't intend to use and thereby keeping it from the new candidate or other R causes. You're harming your party's chances at the seat which isn't going to win you any friends in the partisan lobby arm or with the local party machinery if you actually do want to go for that governor gig in 2020.

As icing - or perhaps the primary driver and the above is icing - you signal to the money out there that you're planning on being on the market and let's start talking.
posted by phearlez at 10:48 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


This means, though, abandoning the pose that bullshit is a scandal — or at least, abandoning the idea that bullshit is really truly scandalous.

Look, some of us are trying to figure out how stuff works so that we can solve problems. Bullshit is noise that makes that project harder.

I'm a scientist and I hate noise in my data. It's frustrating and it pisses me off every time, even though it's usually just radio interference or ground loops or sunspots or some other natural phenomenon. I don't get righteously indignant about static on my signal, but I do swear at it sometimes, and I try to get rid of it.

You're engaged in a different project, maybe. But those of us who are on team "figure out what's happening and try to fix it" are allowed to be frustrated with those interfering with the "figure out what's happening" part of that by spreading false information, and to attempt shut them up when possible.

Here's another lesson from the science lab: noise mostly averages away. All the false measurements tend to be wrong in random ways that cancel each other out over a long period of time. Reality persists.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:55 AM on April 20 [23 favorites]


I don't even know why I'm that interested in this sub-conversation, but:
Bill O'Reilly said they (Inside Edition) won a Peabody.
I looked into this yesterday when I saw the video and if I'm generous I can believe O'Reilly's defense isn't wholly without merit, but it's pretty weak. The original context of saying "we won Peabody awards" was him claiming that because Inside Edition won an award that meant Inside Edition wasn't a tabloid. That is a pretty weak argument especially in the context of many people consider it a tabloid show. If they won a journalism award that hardly anyone is familiar with that doesn't make people less inclinded to believe the show is a tabloid. Tabloid doesn't mean you can't do journalism that can't be recognized on its merits.

Anyway, IF O'Reilly had heard IE won awards and IF he somehow heard/remembered that awards were Peabodies and not Polks IF he thought that by they were awarded to the entire IE series then you can kind of conclude it wasn't a "lie" to say "we won Peabody Awards'. But that would be undercut because he did say "awards" so it would be weird to get multiple awards for an entire series' work...

And the biggest issue being O'Reilly later claimed that when someone says he said he won a Peabody that person was a liar and there's no evidence he ever said that. Of course, he DID say "we won Peabody Awards" and there was evidence of this. Maybe he could argue he didn't mean "we" literally but like "we won!" because your football team won, but he did use those words so it really takes the cake that he calls that person a liar for pointing out what he said that.
posted by Green With You at 10:56 AM on April 20


yeah my twin missions in life are promoting:
1. marxist analyses of bourgeois law and
2. the general use of the New Yorker style guide.


Zoë reëxamined her poëm while Eloïse naïvely aërated koälas.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:58 AM on April 20 [27 favorites]


Meanwhile on Twitter

@EricHaywood
2002: Bill O’Reilly pressures Pepsi into dropping Ludacris

2017: Ludacris is in the #1 movie in America the day Bill gets fired

posted by emjaybee at 10:59 AM on April 20 [56 favorites]


Here's another lesson from the science lab: noise mostly averages away. All the false measurements tend to be wrong in random ways that cancel each other out over a long period of time. Reality persists.

Unfortunately, motivated actors are generating correlated noise, which averages into systematic error.
posted by Jpfed at 11:00 AM on April 20 [21 favorites]


aërated koälas

Well, that certainly creätes a disturbing mental picture
posted by Existential Dread at 11:00 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


You have to aërate them or else they'll reïgnite. All that eucalyptus oil.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:03 AM on April 20 [12 favorites]


Any denunciation of bullshit has to be itself bullshit to be valid. Calling bullshit as a tactic in a campaign to marginalize a political actor can be useful, but only insofar as it advances our material interests. Denouncing bullshit just because you don't like bullshit, though, is naïve and ineffectual.

YCTaB - I think the bullshit/lies distinction is important on the left specifically because it informs the response. It is ineffectual to say things like "How could he lie and say that he got the most electoral votes since Reagan when he KNOWS it's not true?!" When you recognize that the truth or falsity of the statement is irrelevant to Trump, and all that matters is the effect (either on the audience or on Trump himself) of the statement, you can craft a different strategy. Neither shock nor acceptance, but rather a statement that "you can't accept anything that comes out of Trump's mouth at face value, because he speaks for effect without any thought to the accuracy of his statements" and then an examination of how to combat the effect itself.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:03 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


Are you saying that they don't want social progress because changing standards of moral behavior would make dead people look bad retroactively?

No, not at all. Sorry, this stuff is hard to explain and I am not at my best. The tl;dr on that one is basically that the more you can separate "Is this person Good or Bad" from notions of social progress, the more you can get good hearted but wrong people to embrace the latter, because it doesn't require Judging This Person As Bad to say they should really stop shitting on the rug.
posted by corb at 11:06 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


Well, I mean, I think some libs have shifted from "you're racist"--to which cons may append an unspoken "and therefore bad"-- to "that thing you said/did was racist," but it still doesn't have any traction. I think the bigger issue is as the Hot/Cold Racism article describes, cons really struggling to separate individual actions from biases/systems/blind spots. For example, a FB article I encountered yesterday about the truly heinous threats against Aramis Ayala was plagued with comments from white people complaining that black people are sometimes mean to them therefore reverse racism. I don't know at which point these people are willfully missing the point, or so up to their necks in unexamined privilege that they seriously think a black teen busting on them at the bus stop is equivalent to having death threats and nooses mailed to your home. Seems pretty demoralizing that we're still hoping to appeal to the better angels of the natures of the ones who benefit from racism. There's not even a Soviet Union around any more to shame them into practicing the liberty rhetoric they espouse. If anything, I'd say Dr. King gave the religiously minded but ignorant a path tailored to their values and views, and by and large, most of them still chose not to follow it.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:21 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


...plagued with comments from white people complaining that black people are sometimes mean to them therefore reverse racism. I don't know at which point these people are willfully missing the point...

I think their point is more like a frame. And the framing says "In my version of my life story, I can't be the bad guy." (And they are scrambling pretty hard to find anything, like an unpleasant interchange at a bus stop that give them a tiny sliver of moral high ground."
posted by puddledork at 11:24 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


The tl;dr on that one is basically that the more you can separate "Is this person Good or Bad" from notions of social progress, the more you can get good hearted but wrong people to embrace the latter, because it doesn't require Judging This Person As Bad to say they should really stop shitting on the rug.

I feel like the splitting/black-and-white thinking is itself the problem. No one is truly all good or all bad (including ourselves); we have to learn to hold conflicting things at the same time. Thomas Jefferson did some great things that advanced our society; he also enslaved people. Susan B Anthony was instrumental in getting white women the right to vote; she was also a white supremacist. We have to acknowledge the entirety of the facts we have about these people. We can't sort them into "Overall Good Person/Overall Bad Person" - and, if you believe in God, that task is for God alone and presuming you even have the knowledge or ability to do that is, like, not really respectful of God. Our job is not to sort people into good and bad, but to magnify the impact of good actions and lessen the impact of bad actions.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:26 AM on April 20 [22 favorites]


The ex post facto revisionist conspiracy bullshit is getting out of hand. New idiot theory that Jason Chaffetz is resigning because he in essence caused the Benghazi massacre to 'trap' SOS Clinton.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:32 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


What are you protecting your loins from indoors?!?!

Aside from envious stares and ravenous glances? Maybe a chilly draft or two.
posted by Floydd at 11:33 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


Maybe it will be good for us that all these venal, back-biting snakes are snakes? They'll be unable to resist poisoning each other because it really is just about money and revenge and there's no real ideology restraining them.

Snakes are venomous not poisonous. So these snakes are envenoming each other. The importance of this distinction is that the snakes are not eating each other. Just biting.

Who would have guessed that team randian individualist asshole would have such poor solidarity?
posted by srboisvert at 11:35 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


The frustrating thing is that, if you're a Christian, you already have this framework:

I try to be a good person, but, sometimes, because I am not perfect/sinful, I fail. This is why I need God's forgiveness.


There is zero difficulty with putting "I am racist even though I don't mean to be" in the "fail" category, then going to Jesus and asking forgiveness. Which, if you're a Christian, you are able to get. Jesus knows you are sinful. That's why he came and died. etc.

So no, I really don't get the "If I am a racist that means you think I will go to hell, so don't call me a racist!" argument, corb. And in fact there are not, to my knowledge, any sins that are Automatic Hell for You except denying salvation. A murderer can be forgiven. A pedophile. They have to repent and stop sinning but they can be forgiven, in the Christian faith. And most Christians should know this.

So why would any of them think calling them on racism would mean they were going to Hell? Racism is not any more special than any other sin.
posted by emjaybee at 11:36 AM on April 20 [11 favorites]


> aërated koälas
ugh I never should have let on that I've been in the pocket of Big Diaeresis all this time
> Look, some of us are trying to figure out how stuff works so that we can solve problems. Bullshit is noise that makes that project harder.

I'm a scientist and I hate noise in my data. It's frustrating and it pisses me off every time, even though it's usually just radio interference or ground loops or sunspots or some other natural phenomenon. I don't get righteously indignant about static on my signal, but I do swear at it sometimes, and I try to get rid of it.

You're engaged in a different project, maybe. But those of us who are on team "figure out what's happening and try to fix it" are allowed to be frustrated with those interfering with the "figure out what's happening" part of that by spreading false information, and to attempt shut them up when possible.
I'm really, really glad that you've chimed in, cause I think you've sort of explained what I'm on about better than I can.

Politics isn't science. We can't construe ourselves as objective observers studying a system from the outside; really, we're closer in position to the experimental subjects in a scientific lab than we are to being scientific researchers. Our goal isn't to uncover the truth of the system; our goal is to work that system to get the results that we want, insofar as that's possible. Adherence to truth — or at least not actually believing falsified claims — is useful as a guide for action, but it's not the goal itself.

If resolving political disputes ("figuring out what's happening and trying to fix it") through disinterested scientific research were possible, we'd all be living in a Keynesian Utopia right now — the euthanasia of the rentier would have happened back in '68 or so and we'd all be making art all day while living off the UBI. Unfortunately, "trying to fix it" entails power politics, which entails mustering material force, which means tactical bullshit — using language to accomplish ends other than truth — is back on the table.

Approaching politics like a lab scientist tends to result in technocratic "solutions" that don't really work, because scientific practice only works in spaces carefully constructed to allow for the potential for disinterested study. One of the reasons why liberals often get read as condescending is because of the liberal tendency to act as if we're all engaged in a common project to determine truth, when really what we're doing is scrapping over resources and attempting to make our various ideologies more successful.

Bullshit is indeed noise that makes the project of figuring out how cultures/societies/economies work harder, but there's no reason to therefore assume that people should (or can) behave in ways that make themselves legible to researchers, especially when tactical illegibility is useful for achieving material power.

tl;dr: we're participants in the political realm, not scientists studying it, and denouncing the presence of bullshit in political discourse is like militating against cows for not being spherical and frictionless.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:37 AM on April 20 [9 favorites]


I think the bigger issue is as the Hot/Cold Racism article describes, cons really struggling to separate individual actions from biases/systems/blind spots.

I call shenanigans -- Christians have a broad and deep vocabulary for talking about original sin, the fallen Creation, etc. Some might say too broad and deep. TMany Christians are happy to go on at length about, say, a "culture of sexual permissiveness". It's just that white evangelical American Christians (in particular) don't want to apply that vocabulary to the systemic racism and misogyny of our society.

There aren't any magic words or phrasings that will get people to see something they're steadfastly refusing to look at.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:37 AM on April 20 [30 favorites]


NYT: Bill O’Reilly Payout Could Be as High as $25 Million
For 21st Century Fox, the network’s parent company, payouts related to sexual harassment allegations at Fox News now total more than $85 million. The vast majority of that — up to $65 million in exit packages — is being paid to the men who were ousted from the network because of the harassment allegations.
That's some damning framing: Fox has spend more than three times as much money paying off harassers than it has providing recompense to the women they harassed;