The Grandest Stage of Them All
August 4, 2017 12:26 AM   Subscribe

Mueller convenes a Grand Jury while Trump tweets concern about our relationship with Russia.

Meanwhile WaPo highlights how Trump interacts with world leaders. And the criticism/testimony keeps coming. Mueller's list of people and request of records keeps growing. From Don Jr phone calls around the "adoption" meeting, to Top FBI Officials. And now we wait for indictments .
posted by AlexiaSky (2755 comments total) 112 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is the final Potus45 thread, right?
posted by mazola at 12:31 AM on August 4 [123 favorites]


I was just thinking these threads are like Groundhog Day days. But this time we'll get it right and his whole crew will be sunk!
posted by Burhanistan at 12:32 AM on August 4 [51 favorites]


It's the beginning of the end of the beginning.
posted by um at 12:32 AM on August 4 [28 favorites]


This is the final Potus45 thread, right?

It was posted after 12:30 am Pacific Time so it's technically Friday's first Potus45 thread. It feels like Friday may be a busy day so I think we can be guaranteed five or six Potus45 threads.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:36 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


I've never gotten how "indict" sounds like "in-dight" but I'm an editor in real life and rules are rules.

Sorry Mr President.
posted by notyou at 12:38 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


This is the final Potus45 thread, right?
posted by mazola at 4:31 PM on August 4 [+] [!]


It's 2017 and hope is dead. Life is a metafilter 45 thread forever. Make some tomato popcorn, call your Senator, and get some Putin jokes ready.
posted by saysthis at 12:41 AM on August 4 [43 favorites]


Jeff Stein, Newsweek, How Russia Is Using LinkedIn As A Tool Of War Against Its U.S. Enemies:
Newsweek has found that pro-Moscow forces have put constant pressure on [LinkedIn] to suspend or permanently evict a number of its adversaries, many with long, distinguished careers in the U.S. military or its intelligence agencies. Not only has this muzzled credentialed critics and damaged professional reputations, but if Malcher’s suspicions were right, the Kremlin’s campaign to combat its adversaries on social media may have moved beyond cyberspace and into the streets.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:47 AM on August 4 [37 favorites]


Thank you, AlexiaSky. You asked not what your thread could do for you, but...
posted by greermahoney at 12:48 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I've been busy all week demolishing a trailer at the lake. No internet. No TV.
I'm on a cheap cell phone and the first thing I get is the start of a Potus45 and "Is this the last..."
Way to give me a cardiac test...
Legit -- build a structure with limited access to all things political. If it all doesn't burn down while you're gone, it's a great vacation.
Well, back to the trenches.
posted by free f_ cat at 12:49 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


This is the final Potus45 thread, right?
From Newsweek on 8/1:
Him (a former Republican MoC): Look. How long do you think it will be before everyone in Washington knows he’s flipping out? I don’t mean just weird. I mean really off his rocker.

Me: I don’t know.

Him: No all that long.

Me: So what are you telling me?

Him: They don’t have to plot against him. It will be obvious to everyone that he’s got to go. That’s where the twenty-fifth amendment really does comes in.

Me: So you think…

Him: Who knows? But he’s losing it fast. My betting is he’s out of office before the midterms. And Pence is president.
posted by xyzzy at 12:50 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


From the transcript of the phonecall between Trump and Turnbull, discussing asylum seeker resettlement in the US from Australian detention centres in a deal made with Obama.
Turnbull: Yes, the agreement, which the Vice-President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States — this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

Trump: Who made the deal? Obama?

Turnbull: Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your executive order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose — 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting.

You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process.

...

Turnbull: You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

Trump: I have no choice to say that about it. Malcolm, I am going to say that I have no choice but to honour my predecessor's deal. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcolm. I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.
You fool Trump, Turnbull was trying to tell you could agree to the deal but not honour the spirit of it, and still look good. Absolutely none of this exchange helps the actual refugees, who're still now languishing in prison camps. (yes, prison camps, enough with this 'detention center' euphemism). Trump then signs off by saying colluding with Putin was more pleasant than colluding with the PM of Australia.
posted by adept256 at 12:54 AM on August 4 [207 favorites]



From Newsweek on 8/1:


That's just Robert Reich talking to his imaginary friend. Much like the conversation we're having here, but with less actual people.
posted by mmoncur at 12:57 AM on August 4 [26 favorites]


I thought MeFi was all about speculative fiction! I've been lied to! ;)
posted by xyzzy at 1:01 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


This is the final Potus45 thread, right?

1187 days until the next presidential election....
posted by Pendragon at 1:09 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


1187 days until the next presidential election....

If we all agree to only allow one total comment per politic thread per day until then, this could be the final thread.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:13 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


I promise, Joey. See you all Saturday.
posted by greermahoney at 1:17 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


That's just Robert Reich talking to his imaginary friend.

He says it's a former Republican MOC. So it could be his imaginary friend or it could be Joe Scarborough, a former Republican MOC whose show Reich has appeared on frequently.
posted by Justinian at 1:19 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]




MeFites,

I had an epiphany today. Hopefully Trump will be impeached, or they Article 25 him, but maybe that's not even the best way to go about this.

If I were going to succinctly describe Trump to a martian, I'd say he's an incredibly thin-skinned bully who with a strong victim complex. Trump is a quitter, Trump is a master of cognitive dissonance. It doesn't matter whether or not he's telling the truth, the moment he says something, he treats it as true. It becomes true in his mind. His success relies on his constant re-writing of reality where he is a hero and everyone else is at fault.

The easiest way to get Trump to leave is to have him quit. He's a quitter, he's a master at giving up then changing the story after the fact. All we need to do, as citizens of the internet is to create narrative for him to grasp on to where quitting could be spun as the honorable thing to do.

What I mean is that if we organized enough trolls, bloggers, people on twitter etc to create a meme where Trump should quit as a way of protesting the corruption of Washington DC; that would give him an out. Trump doesn't want to be president anymore. He feels trapped. We need to give him an "honorable" escape hatch. How can we spin a fake movement so that he can tell himself that quitting is the right thing to do? All we need to do is provide him with a plausible justification.

Can we get someone on Fox and Friends to say something like, "The best thing the president can do is quit. That would show everyone that he was incorruptible and rejected the swamp." Plannedchaos, what are you up to right now? Trump could pretend to be a martyr and could spend the rest of his days golfing and calling in to morning news shows. We just need to clear an exit for him.
posted by Telf at 1:22 AM on August 4 [72 favorites]


suelac (last thread): In 15 years, someone is going to write one hell of an opera about 45.
Pity that we have to suffer through these events to get there.

I am not a big opera fan but some years ago I happened on a PBS recording of Adams' Nixon In China and was enthralled from the moment Nixon walked out of the plane and sang, "History! History!" Oh yeah, that was exactly Tricky Dick. And then the wonderful part where Kissinger and Chou En-Lai and Chiang Ch'ing squirmed around the main players as Mao told a befuddled Nixon: "History is the sow who eats her young." And then poor Pat Nixon...
So if there is a Trump opera in the offing, I'm down with that, though I may not live another 15 years to see it. The warped, stupid Trump, the nasty, oily Putin, and poor Melania. Yeah, I'll pay to see that.
posted by CCBC at 1:30 AM on August 4 [17 favorites]


Yeah ok but first I want to rake through his tax returns and see him and his family squirm under the spotlight of criminal prosecutions.
posted by like_neon at 1:31 AM on August 4 [53 favorites]


Yeah ok but first I want to rake through his tax returns and see him and his family squirm under the spotlight of criminal prosecutions.
posted by like_neon at 5:31 PM on August 4 [1 favorite +] [!]


Where is civil forfeiture when you need it?!
posted by saysthis at 1:37 AM on August 4 [35 favorites]


The easiest way to get Trump to leave is to have him quit.

ok but have you considered the classic and festive wicker man
posted by poffin boffin at 1:43 AM on August 4 [323 favorites]


> Plannedchaos, what are you up to right now?
Promoting his book because he, like Trump, has 350 IQ and has already persuaded you to buy it.
posted by runcifex at 1:52 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I don't know why anyone would think that Trump is a quitter. He is not a quitter. He is the fucking master of extracting gold from rivers of slime. Failing casinos? That's fine. He'll just lease his names to the banks who loaned him the money to build them so they can do their damnedest to reclaim some of the investment. No American banks will lend to him anymore? That's fine. He hears that Deutsche Bank is up for anything. Scottish dude won't sell his "dumpy" little cottage, spoiling his golf course plans? He'll go on a years long campaign to smear this guy in the press, harass him legally, and try to ruin his life in town. Native Americans spoiling his plans for a development deal in NYS? That's fine, we'll collude with some mobsters to run a racist smear campaign designed by Roger Stone. Got caught talking about pussy grabbing in the middle of a Presidential campaign? That's no reason to quit. DOUBLE DOWN.

This is all out of the Roy Cohn playbook, and he follows his mentor's advice with dogged determination.
posted by xyzzy at 2:01 AM on August 4 [45 favorites]


No one in Trump's base gives two shits about Russia. I'm from Jacksonville Florida (the heart of Trump country) and the Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric "Watergate does not bother me, does your conscience bother you?" could have been written today about "Stupid Watergate". As much fun as it is to speculate about Trump being perp-walked out of the White House, it has a next-to-zero chance of actually happening.
posted by Optamystic at 2:10 AM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Not only is Trump not a quitter, I don't think he's unhappy at all. I think, while he may not experience happiness like most of us do, he's having the time of his life.

Think about it, all his adult life he's been sure he was the smartest, most important person in the entire world. And like most narcissists, the differences between the world in his head and the real world would drive him crazy. Now there's the least amount of difference there has ever been -- the world is treating him as if he were just as important as he thinks he is. I doubt he's ever been happier.

He'll never voluntarily quit being president unless someone offers to make him King.
posted by mmoncur at 2:13 AM on August 4 [27 favorites]


Trump would quit tomorrow if he could guarantee people wouldn't laugh at him behind his back about it.

The dude has two failed marriages, led his companies into bankruptcy four times, been forced to fire multiple staff against his will and has not been able to carry out a campaign promise despite his political party controlling every arm of the government. Dunno about you that spells quitter to me.
posted by PenDevil at 2:24 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Newsweek!!!
posted by growabrain at 2:26 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Obama’s former photographer Pete Souza is Trump’s classiest troll

I've been waiting for a new POTUS thread to mention this. It's just so tasty.
posted by chavenet at 2:33 AM on August 4 [42 favorites]


Newsweek 2!!!
posted by growabrain at 2:34 AM on August 4 [36 favorites]


He'll never voluntarily quit being president unless someone offers to make him King.

Perhaps, as self-impoverished post-Brexit Britain scrambles for a deal, whoring itself out to sheikhs and oligarchs ever more desperately, the US will offer it one: full preferential trade, larded with generous subsidies, with only one proviso: that the US President gets the title of Emperor of Britain (much in the way that Queen Victoria added Empress of India to her titles). This will be sold gently to the public, who otherwise would find it jarring: a month or two before it is officially raised, trusted talking heads in the press will start floating the idea that the US President has, for the past century, been a benevolent defacto emperor of the English-speaking world and/or the free world, and has brought great prosperity and such. The idea of the presidency's imperial dimension will reappear from multiple perspectives, engineering a sort of artificial Baader-Meinhof Effect. Then, when the great US-UK “freedom and prosperity pact” is announced, the clause establishing POTUS as Emperor over Britain, equal in stature to the Queen, will look more like a restatement of facts than anything novel.
posted by acb at 2:42 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]




The dude has two failed marriages, led his companies into bankruptcy four times, been forced to fire multiple staff against his will and has not been able to carry out a campaign promise despite his political party controlling every arm of the government. Dunno about you that spells quitter to me.



That spells failure to me. Quitters are people who realize they're bad at something, or something isn't good for them... and quit doing it. I'm actually in favor of quitters. If I found myself elected President, I'd realize I don't have the skills for the job and I would quit for the sake of the country. Trump doesn't seem to have the class to be a quitter.

But I hope you're right and he finds a way to quit. I'll gladly eat whatever cakes are necessary for that to happen.
posted by mmoncur at 2:45 AM on August 4 [23 favorites]


If I were hired as a lion tamer, I'd take one look at the lion and quit immediately. But Trump has always wanted to be a lion tamer! He knows he's the best at it, just like in his dreams!

The lion will eat him.
posted by adept256 at 2:51 AM on August 4 [18 favorites]


The problem is that Trump sees a house cat not a lion. He doesn't even recognize the problem to quit .
posted by AlexiaSky at 2:53 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Newsweek 3!!!: Why Trump's White House Fears April Ryan, One of America's Most Successful Black Journalists
"They thought they could pick me because I’m 'a little black woman from a little specialty media, a little black network,'" Ryan added. "But they didn't realize that black woman is strong, she is almost half a century old, and she’s been here, done that, got a T-shirt, folded it and washed it. And folks got my back."
posted by Crystalinne at 2:55 AM on August 4 [85 favorites]


Paranoid, delusional people rarely grasp the fact that they are paranoid and deluded.
posted by Optamystic at 2:56 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


That Newsweek cover is astounding. Crazy has become so normalized that my first though on seeing that is "sick burn" instead of "what an image and message about the POTUS!" There's not a lick of political content, it's just a completely justified personal read of the guy.
posted by OmieWise at 3:36 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


That Newsweek cover is astounding. Crazy has become so normalized...

OK, I had been about 70/30 on that being fake, admittedly mostly due to the solar eclipse line, but no: [real] it is.

And they are really going in all snark-cannons blazing, top 4 current headlines on http://www.newsweek.com/
BAD NEWS BOTS - Has the Kremlin’s campaign to harass Putin’s critics on LinkedIn moved beyond the relative safety of the internet and into the streets?

Republicans: Trump’s Immigration Proposal ‘Devastating’ - That’s not exactly how it’s supposed to work.

Three Trump Appointees Owe IRS 'up to $50,000 Each' - The president himself reported no debt to the IRS, but has steadfastly refused to release his personal tax returns.

Scaramucci Memo: Obama, Clinton Press Officials React - “The memo is less insane than one would have guessed,” says a former Obama administration communications director.
and possibly, even
Mosquito Season Is Spreading Viruses Across the U.S. - Sometimes summer really bites.

posted by Buntix at 3:45 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


@WalshFreedom
They all lie. All politicians lie. Obama lied. Hillary lied.
Trump's at least open & honest about his lying.

@brianklaas Retweeted Joe Walsh
Ah yes, it was only a matter of time before Trump supporters would start touting Trump's pathological lying as a positive. And we've arrived
posted by chris24 at 3:46 AM on August 4 [190 favorites]


ACB, I've said before that we here in the UK really could have stopped all this. If we'd just taken one for the team here, swallowed hard, and given Trump a title related to one of his golf courses or something then this would have all been avoided.

We missed a trick. Trump could have been distracted by wearing a red robe and putting Lord Trump of Golfingshire or whatever on his business cards - basically indefinitely.
posted by generichuman at 3:47 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]


It's the reverse cargo cult mindset.
posted by acb at 3:48 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


but have you considered the classic and festive wicker man

Every day, sometimes twice.
posted by corb at 3:50 AM on August 4 [55 favorites]


They all lie. All politicians lie. Obama lied. Hillary lied. Trump's at least open & honest about his lying.

I don't know that he's more open and honest about his lying, really. He's just worse at it.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 3:51 AM on August 4 [61 favorites]


Trump could have been distracted by wearing a red robe and putting Lord Trump of Golfingshire or whatever, basically indefinitely.

Indefinitely, or would the hedonic-treadmill effect kick in, with him becoming habituated to his new title, as he did to the medal Saudi Arabia gave him and such. Eventually, by the end of his term, he'd have a chest covered with medals and a list of titles stretching for several pages and becoming increasingly lofty towards the end (“God-Emperor of space and time” perhaps?), bestowed by nations grateful for not being subjected to some act of petty vindictiveness.
posted by acb at 3:51 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


NYT: Police Say They Welcome Transgender Recruits Even if Trump Doesn’t
In the week since President Trump declared that transgender Americans would no longer be allowed in the military, some municipal officials have responded with an invitation: join our police force instead. Several cities — including Houston; Austin, Tex.; Aurora, Colo.; and Cincinnati — have encouraged transgender people to apply to their police departments. In Austin, San Diego, Seattle and other places, transgender officers already serve openly.

“If you are dismissed from our military because of who you are, know that you are welcome in the city of Cincinnati and our police department,” Chris Seelbach, a city councilman, said at a protest last Wednesday in response to Mr. Trump’s announcement. ...

Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, a Democrat, posted his own series of three tweets, inviting transgender people dismissed or rejected from the military to apply to the Austin Police Department. “If you’re qualified to keep our country safe you’re qualified to keep Austin safe,” he wrote, adding, “Austin is the safest big city in Texas partly because we know our differences make us a stronger community.” ...

Chief Art Acevedo of the Houston Police Department weighed in soon after Mr. Adler. "If you served honorably @USArmy, @USNavy, @USMC, @USCG or @usairforce & want 2 continue serving, join us @houstonpolice. We're about heart!"

And the morning after Mr. Trump’s announcement, Chief Nick Metz of the Aurora Police Department in Colorado tweeted, “If US Military wont take U, @AuroraPD will!”
posted by chris24 at 3:56 AM on August 4 [83 favorites]


Every time I read POTUS45, it makes me think of a beer made with oatmeal instead of hops. A really bad beer.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:03 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


It's ironic this person thinks only people who are fluent in English can be Americans.
posted by adept256 at 4:15 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


We've covered this yet?

Russian Oligarch Money Connects to GOP Campaigns

During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonid "Len" Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik's donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik's holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and OpenSecrets.org.

Marco Rubio's Conservative Solutions PAC and his Florida First Project received $1.5 million through Blavatnik's two holding companies. Other high dollar recipients of funding from Blavatnik were PACS representing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at $1.1 million, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham at $800,000, Ohio Governor John Kasich at $250,000 and Arizona Senator John McCain at $200,000.

posted by leotrotsky at 4:25 AM on August 4 [32 favorites]


The easiest way to get Trump to leave is to have him quit. He's a quitter, he's a master at giving up then changing the story after the fact. All we need to do, as citizens of the internet is to create narrative for him to grasp on to where quitting could be spun as the honorable thing to do.
All we need to do is organize a massive effort of emotional labor to ensure that this white man's feelings aren't hurt and maybe they will go away and not hurt us anymore.

Fuck that. We are not a nation of abused spouses. Drag him kicking and screaming from the distinguished office. Humiliate him. Jail him. Let him know that he failed. Let every person who supported him know that this was colossal mistake. Let it be clear. Let it be obvious. The last thing that needs to be protected are his feelings.
posted by bl1nk at 4:26 AM on August 4 [184 favorites]


They all lie. All politicians lie. Obama lied. Hillary lied.

So cynic. Very realist. Much hardened Leninist operative. Wow.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:37 AM on August 4 [54 favorites]


Fuck that. We are not a nation of abused spouses. Drag him kicking and screaming from the distinguished office. Humiliate him.

Don't forget the long terms in federal prison!

Jail.

Oh, right. [drinks more coffee]
posted by entropicamericana at 4:38 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Don't forget the long terms in federal prison!

As a rich white man, that just means he'll get to play much more golf.
posted by acb at 4:42 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


bl1nk,

You misunderstood. I don't care about his feelings. I'm just saying, it'd be easier to get him out if you tricked him into believing it was his idea to quit the whole time.

Not everything is emotional labor.
posted by Telf at 4:45 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Apparently, the Orange One dragged out-of-mothballs Hilary's emails during an appearance in West Virginia yesterday. The crowd responded with loud cheers of "Lock her up!" They still eat it up.

I have a real fear shit will get very, very ugly if the investigation gets anywhere near Trump.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:49 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


I'm still amazed at the solidarity of the Republicans in the face of Trumps abject incompetence and pretty obvious mental incapacity. What is it going to take before they finally break?
posted by octothorpe at 4:51 AM on August 4 [16 favorites]


Any indication that tax cuts and war with Iran are off the table.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:52 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


It might be easier to get him out by persuading him it's his idea (though I doubt it, given the 'news' sources he is actually attentive to). It's still not the best way because he absolutely deserves, at this point, to be impeached and prosecuted and, if these things are impossible, to at least suffer the humiliation of losing spectacularly in the next elections he cares about. It will be better for America, in the long run, for the political and legal system to demonstrate that governing like a cross between Caligula and Scrooge McDuck has consequences. Focusing on persuading him to step down implies that ordinary people really have no power at all in the system and that's a bad message to send. Maybe Roman senators had to desperately try to persuade bad emperors to go quietly. America is not supposed to be like that.
posted by Aravis76 at 4:54 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]


I'm just saying, it'd be easier to get him out if you tricked him into believing it was his idea to quit the whole time.

I don't want to signup for a future where he gets to walk around on chat shows talking about how awesome he was and how the witchhunt was so unfair. I don't want a future where Jared and Don Jr. get to continue to conduct shady deals and the idea of Trump quitting gives everyone a polite veneer to ignore any crimes that existed.

I want justice for the hundreds of immigrants who had valid visas and Green Cards who were forced to leave because of Trump's travel ban. I want vindication for the minorities and women who have been harassed since Trump came to power and empowered MAGAheads to be assholes to their neighbors and fellow citizens.

I realize you're proposing what has been an easier path, a path that was trod by Nixon before Trump. I know it's probably going to achieve a certain set of results faster than the scorched earth approach that I'm advocating. I'm saying that your certain set of results are not enough.
posted by bl1nk at 4:55 AM on August 4 [109 favorites]


bl1nk,

I understand your point better now. Yes. My gut agrees with you, but I'm trying to imagine how the damage could be minimized at this point.

I was just wondering how we might get him out and begin the process of rebuilding. Marshall Plan over Treaty of Versailles if you catch my meaning. I think the less we rub other American' faces in the dog poop of this administration, the easier it'll be to heal. We can't keep on opening up the same wounds, their are too many American who'd see severe prosecution as a vindication of their fears about deep state, elite coastal liberals.

I think that just getting him to abdicate would leave a cleaner wound for us to suture.
posted by Telf at 5:10 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


He's not a king. He doesn't get to abdicate. If he resigns, prosecution for any crimes he's committed should still be on the table.
posted by Aravis76 at 5:15 AM on August 4 [41 favorites]


I think the less we rub other American' faces in the dog poop of this administration, the easier it'll be to heal.

Obama did that with Dubya and look where it got us.
posted by winna at 5:17 AM on August 4 [87 favorites]


Wittes on NPR: "I'm not a lawyer--I'm a sort of fake lawyer."
posted by box at 5:19 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Seth Abramson on the grand jury news, pointing out that there are now two grand juries, and making a distinction between how state and federal grand juries work.

For those averse to twitter, there is also this thread over on Daily Kos.
posted by zueod at 5:20 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Everyone needs to think long and hard about whether you really want Trump gone or not. Remember...That would put Mike Pence in the Oval Office. And, he's someone who Congress can absolutely work with, minus all the strurm und drang.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:22 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Okay, a Grand Jury. I've tried to work out what that actually means for all of this. Federal Grand Juries (apparently there's a state one already for the Flynn case? Or was that federal as well?) are investigative bodies, so this is a way to get documents and evidence in favour of indictment. There's no defence attorneys present, so it's just a bunch of people who nod and agree the prosecutors speaking to them have a case that warrants indictment.

Can you indict a sitting president? I think so, but you can't actually try him until he gets impeached. We've sat and watched the system continually fail to impeach him so far, but perhaps this process will generate enough results to finally make the administration radioactive to the GOP. I mean, it took so long to get here, we can only hope that it's because they're lining up a head-shot.

But of course it won't be neat. They're going to bring people in who appear to be pathologically incapable of telling the truth in public. These people are going to testify on the record and under oath, despite having slithered out of that obligation thus far. We're likely going to see a barrage of federal perjury cases, and this whole situation is going to be a daily cat-and-mouse game both on the Trump front and on the Putin front.
Hold on to yer butts!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 5:23 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


> I'm still amazed at the solidarity of the Republicans in the face of Trumps abject incompetence and pretty obvious mental incapacity...

Leotrotsky's comment/link certainly indicates both an amazing yet ordinary reason for that solidarity. BTW, have the hacked RNC emails ever been leaked?
posted by klarck at 5:25 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


The crowd responded with loud cheers of "Lock her up!" They still eat it up.

His supporters are primarily motivated by bigotry, including misogyny.
posted by OmieWise at 5:25 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]


Can we NOT relitigate the argument over Pence or Trump: which is worse. The upshot being Trump is more dangerous to the world, Pence to the country.
posted by rikschell at 5:25 AM on August 4 [50 favorites]


Everyone needs to think long and hard about whether you really want Trump gone or not.

No, we don't.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:26 AM on August 4 [95 favorites]


Pence would be an empty suit placeholder like Gerald Ford, especially if Trump's fall implicated the Republican party organization as a whole and its operatives as colluders along the way. There's no inevitable law of history that dictates how any of this has to go down, regardless what certain stripes of Marxists, Christian Dominionists, right and left Social Darwinist New Atheists, Randian libertarians, and true acolytes of neoliberal, Straussian ideology may think.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:29 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


The upshot being Trump is more dangerous to the world, Pence to the country.

Yeah, I keep forgetting about those pesky launch codes.
posted by Optamystic at 5:30 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Plus, all the circus about 45's ouster will be playing out during the mid-terms. How that's reflected in the elections is to some extent unknown, and to some extent up to the Dems, but the chances of a Pence presidency weakened not only by the legacy of the awfulness but by truculent legislators as well are far from zero.

In the end, though, 45 is a clear and present danger to us all. He must go, and the consequences dealt with.
posted by Devonian at 5:31 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


>I think the less we rub other American' faces in the dog poop of this administration, the easier it'll be to heal.

Yeah, if by 'heal' you mean 'do the same thing again only with Kid Rock or whatever other criminally incompetent right-wing-talk-radio-educated jackass they have waiting in the wings.'

Salt. The. Fucking. Earth.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:40 AM on August 4 [146 favorites]


This was the lead story on the BBC News this lunchtime, which in these times of Brexit, terrorism, a forever-stumbling UK government, the start of the football season in a football-fixated country, and many of our high rise buildings turning out to be fatally dangerous, is something.

Looking at the betting markets - where people are risking their money - there is some movement towards Trump leaving office sooner rather than later, but it's not conclusive.
posted by Wordshore at 5:40 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


What if they left Trump in office, but took away twitter and all the evil assholes around him?
posted by yoga at 5:44 AM on August 4


Pence would be an empty suit placeholder like Gerald Ford, especially if Trump's fall implicated the Republican party organization as a whole and its operatives as colluders along the way.
Vice President Pence to headline Koch grassroots event
WASHINGTON — Vice President Pence will address hundreds of grassroots activists affiliated with conservative billionaire Charles Koch later this month, network officials announced Friday — the latest measure of increased cooperation between one of the country's biggest political financiers and the Trump administration.

Pence will headline Americans for Prosperity's annual "Defending the American Dream Summit" on Aug. 19 in Richmond, Va. As many as 600 people are expected to attend.

Pence, a former Indiana governor and congressman, has longstanding ties to the network, but this is the first time he plans to publicly address a Koch gathering since ascending to the vice presidency.
He's no empty suit. He's the second team.
Vice President Pence's hawkish tone on Russia contrasts with Trump approach

Jarrod Agen, deputy chief of staff to Pence, insisted that Trump and Pence were “completely aligned” on Russia.

“It was the president’s decision to send the vice president to the region. It was the president’s decision to deliver the message that the vice president delivered,” Agen told Reuters.

He added that Pence and Trump spoke every day during his trip and sometimes multiple times a day.

The disconnect between Pence and Trump on Russia is an anomaly. Pence usually goes to lengths to emphasize his loyalty to his boss and to downplay any differences.
Biding his time.

Here's some January background:
The Radical Crusade of Mike Pence
He's trampled on the rights of women, LGBTQ folks and the poor. Then there's the incompetence. Meet, quite possibly, the next president.
During his time as Indiana governor, Mike Pence made a name for himself as virulently anti-abortion and anti-LGBT.
By Stephen Rodrick
January 23, 2017


So what do we know about Pence? The governor benefited greatly from the wall-to-wall "Trump is a crazy monkey throwing feces" media coverage during the fall campaign, in that his record was undercovered, but it's out there and suggests that his impact as vice president will screw African-Americans, women, the poor and any other square peg in round America. His concerns for the parts of Indiana outside his comfort zone toggled between disinterest and disdain.

And here's the frightening thing: Unlike his boss, Mike Pence has an actual ideology. Pence proclaimed at the 2016 GOP convention that "I am a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." However, his actual record – including turning down up to $80 million in federal pre-K funding – is the antithesis of Jesus' "whatever you do for one of the least of my brothers, you do for me" theology.

posted by tilde at 5:46 AM on August 4 [39 favorites]


Actual question:

What are the consequences for people like Flynn and Kushner who keep amending their disclosure forms? I work on investigations, but prior to law enforcement getting involved, and our General Counsel has made it reasonably clear to me that if someone repays the money we think they took by fraud, it kind of takes the wind out of law enforcement's sails. So what is the liability regarding the amended forms?
posted by OmieWise at 5:47 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Everyone needs to think long and hard about whether you really want Trump gone or not. Remember...That would put Mike Pence in the Oval Office. And, he's someone who Congress can absolutely work with, minus all the strurm und drang.

I've thought about it long and hard and then I thought about it longer and harder:

Get that fucker out and then we can worry about Pence.
posted by lydhre at 5:48 AM on August 4 [56 favorites]


What if they left Trump in office, but took away twitter and all the evil assholes around him?


Kelly has done the twitter part:
Something Weird Is Happening With President Trump's Twitter

Matt Novak
40 minutes ago Filed to: PRESIDENT TRUMP

But here at Gizmodo we can’t help but notice that something is a little different this week. The president’s Twitter feed has become, dare we say, restrained?

Yes, “restrained” is all relative, and there’s always the danger of saying that Donald Trump is “pivoting” at the precise moment that he shows us he’s the same man he always was. But there’s a noticeable change in his tweets from the past few days.
Toyota & Mazda to build a new $1.6B plant here in the U.S.A. and create 4K new American jobs. A great investment in American manufacturing!
Notice anything strange? Yes, Trump is still tweeting out things in a bombastic manner that would be considered ridiculous by normal presidential standards. But if you look at his most recent tweets, there is a lot less attacking of his “enemies” and a lot more emphasis on what he sees as positive developments. And it’s been happening all week.

posted by tilde at 5:49 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Point of order: Trump's base will get sick of Pence quickly.

Where's the outrageous "Only I can save you" crap talking? What is with all the Jesus stuff? This guy is about half as orange as he should be. Okay, I'll give you that the hair is weird . . . etc.
posted by petebest at 5:53 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


I think the less we rub other American' faces in the dog poop of this administration, the easier it'll be to heal.

Obama did that with Dubya and look where it got us.

Salt. The. Fucking. Earth.


Yeah, I'm on team tear the rot out at the root and cauterize the gaping, sucking hole with a white hot iron so we can be fucking done with it, but only because I think that level of conflict is probably inevitable now. Like anytime we're cauterizing gangrenous limbs, it's probably civil war time.

But this has got to fucking stop. One third of the country abusing the rest is not a sustainable situation. We have to do better. We've needed to do better for a long fucking time (Jesus CHRIST, the NAACP issued a travel warning for one of the states, and my reaction was just "yup that sounds right"), but these people are pushing it to the point of no return.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:54 AM on August 4 [82 favorites]


Vice President Pence to headline Koch grassroots event

"Koch grassroots" is the most oxymoronic phrase I've heard in awhile.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 5:55 AM on August 4 [92 favorites]


Get that fucker out and then we can worry about Pence.

Also this. We assembled a world-destroying military capability and then we gave the keys to a malignant narcissist who is edging towards dementia. We sort of have a moral obligation to the entire species to get him the hell away from the drones and the launch codes as soon as fucking possible.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:56 AM on August 4 [63 favorites]


Kelly has done the twitter part:

I don't doubt that Kelly has had an effect. The question is whether it will last. Trump seems to love generals (strong men to him) and it wouldn't surprise me if at least in the short term he's playing good and listening more than he has before. Wouldn't surprise me if there is some psychological daddy authoritarian crap in there as well. He probably is enjoying 'his General' and even proud of himself for getting a General so close to him.

It's the honeymoon period.
posted by Jalliah at 5:58 AM on August 4 [31 favorites]


So, do we know who this Grand Jury is tasked with investigating, exactly? We know what they are investigating, but I can see us all getting very excited about an indictment for Trump only to find that we get indictments for Kushner, Don Jr., Manafort, Priebus, the whole clowncar of deplorables, but Trump somehow maintains plausible deniability (because he is, after all, an idiot being openly manipulated by people who are slightly less idiotic).
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:59 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I just want to say that there are 2 things beans that came up late in the last thread that I think merit further examination by the brilliant hive mind:

1. The coal topic, highlighting the distinction between met coal and thermo coal & met coal's relationship to the steel industry, to Appalachia economic health, and to PAC $ generation.

(Yesterday I saw a sticker on an SUV that said "Friends of Coal". It *is* NC, but coinkydink?)

2. The daylighting comments about ALEC. This is why ALEC fight so hard for balanced budget amendments in the states and nationally. Even if the populace decides they've had enough of conservative policies, a balanced budget amendment prevents any government from enacting liberal policies. THIS. THIS. THIS.

(Which again circles back to the covert petri dish of NC I keep harping about: The worrying thing is that we've seen that once given power, Republican legislators will burrow into the state like parasites to keep their seat margins ridiculously high. North Carolina for instance.
.)

We should keep a wary eye on these seeds for course correction going forward.
posted by yoga at 6:00 AM on August 4 [14 favorites]


Point of order: Trump's base will get sick of Pence quickly.


So what? He's in. He'll never hold a damned public event again, and will continue the work he's been doing without an orange Cheeto of a Pinocchio with the @POTUS twitter for him to grin and bear.
Trump's Cabinet Is Allegedly Holding Bible Study In The White House, & It's Probably Not OK

By Karen Fratti 3 days ago

According to a report from the Christian Broadcast Network on Monday, Trump's Cabinet is allegedly holding Bible study every week in the White House. Vice President Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos, Jeff Sessions, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price are among the attendees of the Bible study, which is taught by Capitol Ministries' Ralph Drollinger.

[...]

Lawmakers are allowed to practice any religion they want to, but the teachings of Drollinger and Capitol Ministries are extremely far right and evangelical. And it appears that the organization hopes to affect policy on a broader level, though its website states that it "stay[s] away from politics." Nevertheless, Drollinger has said that watching politicians spread the word of God pleases him.

He said of Sessions:
He’ll go out the same day I teach him something and I’ll see him do it on camera and I just think, ‘Wow, these guys are faithful, available and teachable,’ and they’re at Bible study every week they’re in town.’
Drollinger also holds some controversial views, especially regarding women and LGBT people. Drollinger believes that it is "sinful" for a female lawmaker to have children at home, especially if they are commuting to and from their respective state capitols and home. He also believes that homosexuality is an "abomination," and that Catholicism is a false religion.

It's unnerving to think of top Cabinet members, including the Vice President, being taught those sorts of lessons — especially since Trump campaigned on the idea that he supported the LGBTQ community and women, though his recent policy and speeches make it clear that that's not the case.
posted by tilde at 6:00 AM on August 4 [66 favorites]


My theory is that there has been a soft coup, and Kelly is the prison guard.
posted by No Robots at 6:01 AM on August 4 [20 favorites]


I have a real fear shit will get very, very ugly if the investigation gets anywhere near Trump.

This morning NPR played an excerpt from his speech in which Trump told his supporters, in addition to the usual "witch hunt" nonsense, that the investigation was a way to cheat them out of their choice of leader. It was chilling stuff. And the existence of the grand jury means the investigation is already near him and, more importantly, his finances.
posted by Gelatin at 6:02 AM on August 4 [21 favorites]



I think Kelly having any effect on Trump is going to depend entirely on whether he's good at letting Trump think he's the one giving the orders (cause Trump gets to cosplay powerful Pres ordering Generals all day) and how deft he is at navigating the Bannon wing in 'office politics from hell edition.'

No idea if he is.
posted by Jalliah at 6:07 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I've never gotten how "indict" sounds like "in-dight" but I'm an editor in real life and rules are rules.

It was endite for centuries until Latin-based spelling reform had its way. That spelling reform, begun in the 1500s, is also the reason for most of the silent Bs and Ss in English (dout to doubt to emphasize the link to dubitare, iland to island to emphasize the link to insula).
posted by flibbertigibbet at 6:07 AM on August 4 [99 favorites]


Drollinger believes that it is "sinful" for a female lawmaker to have children at home, especially if they are commuting to and from their respective state capitols and home. He also believes that homosexuality is an "abomination," and that Catholicism is a false religion.

It's unnerving to think of top Cabinet members, including the Vice President, being taught those sorts of lessons.


It's less unnerving than predictable preaching to the choir. What's unnerving is glassy-eyed fanatics like these being in positions of power.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:08 AM on August 4 [19 favorites]


and that Catholicism is a false religion

Okay, so: Sessions, Pence (a former Catholic!), DeVos (for sure definitely thinks this already), Pompeo, Price are all open to the Pope being the antichrist etc...

Bannon, Mulvaney, dear departed Spicer, Ryan, are all devout (or think they are devout) Catholics, and are all raging antisemites.

Ivanka and Jared, and Gary Cohn: all Jews

But the one thing they can all agree on is that Muslims are the worst.

I'm generally a pretty live and let live, sanguine, non-asshole atheist but man am I tempted to make some remarks about religion as a concept here. (But go on secretly thinking that the people you have to work with are deluded agents of Satan, y'all. I'm sure it does wonders for team-building.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:08 AM on August 4 [23 favorites]


>I think the less we rub other American' faces in the dog poop of this administration, the easier it'll be to heal.

Uh, we tried that before. It's why Reconstruction got killed and why we're only now removing Confederate flags and statutes.

This scandal makes Watergate look like a school play. It is much deeper and more traitorous. We need to show the Nazis the door.

Yeah, I'm on team tear the rot out at the root and cauterize the gaping, sucking hole with a white hot iron so we can be fucking done with it, but only because I think that level of conflict is probably inevitable now. Like anytime we're cauterizing gangrenous limbs, it's probably civil war time.

But this has got to fucking stop. One third of the country abusing the rest is not a sustainable situation. We have to do better. We've needed to do better for a long fucking time (Jesus CHRIST, the NAACP issued a travel warning for one of the states, and my reaction was just "yup that sounds right"), but these people are pushing it to the point of no return.


Let's not get too over the top here. The solution is to remove the bilious lies that are pouring forth and brainwashing our fellow citizens. Turn off the bullshit spigot and the ship can start righting itself.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:10 AM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Bannon...
...might be a Catholic, however I think he and the current Pope might have a few ideological differences.
posted by PenDevil at 6:11 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Everyone needs to think long and hard about whether you really want Trump gone or not. Remember...That would put Mike Pence in the Oval Office. And, he's someone who Congress can absolutely work with, minus all the strurm und drang.

I like the idea of the impeachment process dragging out until after the next Congress is seated. Not only would that continue to humiliate and frustrate Trump, and continue to tie his malfeasance and treason to the Republican Party in general, but also it seems likely that the House at least might flip to Democratic control. With one house of Congress in Pence's hands, there's a limit to the damage Pence can do.

(Yes, he'll appoint Federalist Society ideologues to the Federal bench, but Trump is already doing that, so I consider it a push.)
posted by Gelatin at 6:13 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Can we just start putting "If Trump goes, Pence will be President" in the actual posts so people don't feel so compelled to point it out every time?
posted by Etrigan at 6:14 AM on August 4 [47 favorites]


So if there's a far-right Bible study class in the WH every week, what's its legal status? What must the WH tell us about it if we ask? Most things in there have defined transparency or secrecy status. Does any meeting between principals have to be minuted, and if so what is the status of those minutes?

Would like to see some sunlight through the (shit) stained glass windows of the WH chapel, pls.
posted by Devonian at 6:16 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Pence is evil, predictable, and capable of feeling a certain amount of shame. Trump is evil, unpredictable, and is not capable of feeling shame.

I'd prefer the former over the later if those are my only two choices.
posted by Tevin at 6:16 AM on August 4 [16 favorites]


Bannon, Mulvaney, dear departed Spicer, Ryan, are all devout (or think they are devout) Catholics, and are all raging antisemites.

Those are the types of Catholics that just received a rebuke from the Vatican. They see Pope Franics as a liberal polluting the Church and leading it astray by focusing on helping the poor when they should be crushing homosexuals and unwed pregnant women.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:17 AM on August 4 [18 favorites]


The solution is to remove the bilious lies that are pouring forth and brainwashing our fellow citizens.

There are a lot of steps that need to be taken. I think one of the most critical, early steps is to codify all the soft norms that kept government functioning up until now so that the current administration and future Republicans can't just waive them away when convenient.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 6:19 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


And to contrast my opinion with what I posted from Romper, I don't think these senior officals are so much being "taught" bad things (like they're kids who are open to coercion) but being shown how their worldview is appropriate in the context or framework of this belief system.

I'm still casting about for impeachables for Pence ...

Bill Moyer's Pence Russia Timeline doesn't show a lot he'd get impeached over.
posted by tilde at 6:20 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Pence is evil, predictable, and capable of feeling a certain amount of shame.

Emphasis mine. Citation needed, please.
posted by tilde at 6:21 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Those are the types of Catholics that just received a rebuke from the Vatican.

But they're still Catholics. They still self-identify as observant Catholics. They believe in the Nicene Creed. Anyone who thinks Catholics aren't Christians is still going to think they are not Christians.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:22 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I think we should return to the pre-election practice of including the boilerplate list of thread no-no's in each new post (no relitigating primaries or election, no Trump vs Pence: who sucks more?, etc.).
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:23 AM on August 4 [26 favorites]


I'm still casting about for impeachables for Pence ...

Bill Moyer's Pence Russia Timeline doesn't show a lot he'd get impeached over.


This seems like a pointless exercise when the investigation of the campaign is in the early stages, and most of the details are classified.
posted by diogenes at 6:23 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


IIRC, Pence's big liability is being told Flynn was compromised even before Sally Yates told the white house, so the "Flynn lied to me" alibi probably won't fly...
posted by mikelieman at 6:30 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


A Trump impeachment or resignation is already a big longshot. Pence also being impeached would take a miracle.

Besides, even if that miracle happend and both Trump and Pence went down, that would just leave Ryan as President unless the Dems take back the House before it happens.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:31 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


>Pence is evil, predictable, and capable of feeling a certain amount of shame. Emphasis mine. Citation needed, please.

I'm not going to dig for a source, but I'll expand on my thinking.

Pence cares about signalling his concern of certain values to the Evangelical base. The most important, to him and to them, is abortion. I do not doubt that he would feel shame if it were found out that he was negotiating with Democrats to expand access to abortion. The source of the shame would be that he would be less popular with the people of his base, but it would still be shame.

The point is that he has a set of socially-defined values (abhorrent and awful though I find them) that he would not easily betray. President Trump, from my observation of his actions, has at least two self-defined values that he would not betray: his own infallibility and, by extension, the infallibility of his family. Those are all defined by him, leaving him beholden to nobody else.

They're both evil, though. Just differently evil.
posted by Tevin at 6:34 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


A Trump impeachment or resignation is already a big longshot.

I'm not sure how much of a longshot it is. At a certain point career politicians are going to start to have to consider their careers, even if they won't consider their country. I know it was a different time, but Nixon resigned because he didn't have the support of his party. It's hard for me to see Trump maintaining his support in the face of clear(er) evidence of wrongdoing.

If Trump doesn't pardon himself, which I think he will because he's that kind of a "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" guy (see what I did there?), Pence will be in a very weird and difficult position. His political capital may not be great by the time everything shakes out, even with a GOP congress.

And, keep in mind, the Trumpcare debacle showed that there are real and intractable divisions in the GOP. I don't think a President Pence is just going to get whatever legislation he wants.
posted by OmieWise at 6:37 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Salt. The. Fucking. Earth.

The fact that being a rich white guy is a get-out-of-consequences-free card is how Trump ended up president in the first place. He should have been bankrupted, broke, and serving multiple terms way way before now. Instead he skated every time and went from real-estate mogul to reality show host to most powerful person (bar Putin) on the planet.

The system needs salting all the way down until being a belligerent amoral exploitationist isn't the ultimate trump card in society.
posted by Buntix at 6:38 AM on August 4 [51 favorites]


Every time I read POTUS45, it makes me think of a beer made with oatmeal instead of hops. A really bad beer.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:03 AM on August 4 [1 favorite +] [!]


Dolt 45. Worse every time.
posted by emelenjr at 6:39 AM on August 4 [49 favorites]


I'm not sure how much of a longshot it is.

I know there was a recent MetaTalk thread about doom and gloom in these threads, and I'm not trying to say all is lost. I just think we should temper our expectations and remain realistic. The investigation process is going to be frustratingly long and slow, and impeaching a President is a huge deal. I know people personally and see people online who are convinced it's all over and Trump is gone tomorrow. It doesn't help to despair, but it also doesn't help to live in a fantasy.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:42 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


No going back: Anthony Scaramucci's White House job could cost him millions

Why Mooch's firing may result in a big tax bill.
posted by OmieWise at 6:44 AM on August 4 [26 favorites]


I know people personally and see people online who are convinced it's all over and Trump is gone tomorrow.

Yeah, I agree that this is wishful thinking, but Seth Abramson and others have convinced me that impeachment during this term is not unlikely. I'm not saying it for sure happens, but I think there is a strong possibility.
posted by OmieWise at 6:46 AM on August 4


Kelly has done the twitter part

Kyle Griffin: The president has retweeted this AM:
—1 Fox and Friends tweet
—1 Fox Business tweet
—2 Comments from a Fox Biz tweet
—1 James Woods tweet


(emphasis mine)
posted by PenDevil at 6:50 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Trump likes chaos and distractions.

"The nation is full of corruption. And I am in a unique position to bring this to light so we as a nation can put an end to it. Starting today you can login to pardon.whitehouse.gov and fill out the online form where you lay out the corrupt things you have done and get a pardon from me, the President. In 30 days the site will be taken down and the submitted forms will be made public and the people of the internet can start making America Great Again by reviewing who admitted to what crimes, told us of who they were working with, and then checking to see if those people admitted to the same crime or did not feel it was worth confessing for a full pardon. Those who did not confess will be submitted for prosecution."

(blather about how awesome Trump is)

"Remember: We are going to make America Great Again by providing employment for the underemployed lawyers who will all be needed for prosecuting all the corruption!"
[fake]

Ron Howard VO: Turns out the pardon.whitehouse.gov site didn't work for 27 days. And Trump resigned due to hand cramping after the Trump family was pardoned. Ruined his golf game for the last 15 years of his life. [true]
posted by rough ashlar at 6:50 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


So if there's a far-right Bible study class in the WH every week, what's its legal status? What must the WH tell us about it if we ask?

I wonder if taxpayer money being allocated to pay for it?
posted by Gelatin at 6:50 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


ok but have you considered the classic and festive wicker man

I think by now you know that's all I think about. For everything.
posted by maxsparber at 6:55 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


But here at Gizmodo we can’t help but notice that something is a little different this week. The president’s Twitter feed has become, dare we say, restrained?

IANAD, but I believe that Trump has a severe untreated personality disorder. And having had to deal with a person in my life with a severe untreated personality disorder, if I have learned anything (and I've learned a lot), I've learned that these moments of seeming self-control, never - and I mean never - last. Even in the face of severe consequences like the ones Trump may be facing.

You might get a few days, a week, maybe even two weeks, where they seem like they're getting better and acting reasonably, but inevitably it all comes crashing down. I honestly think the only way to get Trump to stop lashing out on Twitter would be to actually take away his phone for an extended time, which will never happen, and even if it did, he would just find another outlet in which to lash out, be it a press conference, a rally or a TV interview. If he seems restrained now, I give it a week, tops, before he's back to his batshit tweets. He is incapable of controlling himself.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:58 AM on August 4 [56 favorites]


An incomplete list:

Jeff Sessions will never recuse himself.
Congress will have his back.
David Nunez will never recuse himself.
Congress will have his back.
Congress will never allow a special prosecutor.
Congress will give Trump cover to fire Mueller.
Congress doesn't care about Trumo's cozy relationship with Putin.
Congress will never hold hearings.

Trump will never get impeached..
posted by Room 641-A at 6:59 AM on August 4 [64 favorites]


I don't doubt that Kelly has had an effect. The question is whether it will last.

I doubt it. The pattern up to now is that Trump manages to settle down and behave for a few days, either because he gets a lot of flak or has a mood swing or distracting shiny object (like travel) or there's a new person on the scene, like a new attorney or Kelly, who exerts some momentary influence. But then he gets bored or pissed or agitated and reverts to form.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:00 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


I don't want to signup for a future where he gets to walk around on chat shows talking about how awesome he was and how the witchhunt was so unfair. I don't want a future where Jared and Don Jr. get to continue to conduct shady deals and the idea of Trump quitting gives everyone a polite veneer to ignore any crimes that existed.

This. If Trump quits and then spends the rest of his days on talk shows talking about how "how rigged" the system was, that will perpetuate his base.

Trump's like a dandelion, and the people who voted him in are the roots. Plucking Trump out of office won't kill the weed.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:01 AM on August 4 [35 favorites]


The only way to stop him tweeting is to somehow have Twitter break down for everyone.

I wish.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:02 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Is Kelly going to decamp to Bedminster with Trump for his vacation? Maybe they can finally build their G.R.O.S.S. members only treehouse in the back garden?
posted by PenDevil at 7:02 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


A Trump impeachment is a huge Longshot because the GOP congresspersons responsible for it (a) simply do not care, (b) are aware of the shitrain from their party and the administration if they even consider it, (c) consider it suicide for their Congressional careers and/or (d) figure it's about 50/50 that angry Trumpoids will shoot them in the head.

It would require absolutely blatant, vile and undeniable wrongdoing on Trump's part. And no, we're not there yet on the scale required. Like "biting a white baby's fingers off on live TV" blatant and even that would leave his approval ratings in the thirties.
posted by delfin at 7:02 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


It's 2017 and hope is dead. Life is a metafilter 45 thread forever. Make some tomato popcorn, call your Senator, and get some Putin jokes ready.

Worst Tom Cochrane parody ever.
posted by Talez at 7:05 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


IANAD, but I believe that Trump has a severe untreated personality disorder. etc

IANAD either, but I am licensed in a couple of states to diagnose mental disorders, and I tend to agree with your whole comment, even though diagnosing from afar is impossible and therefore any actual diagnosis cannot be arrived at.
posted by OmieWise at 7:05 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


It would require absolutely blatant, vile and undeniable wrongdoing on Trump's part. And no, we're not there yet on the scale required. Like "biting a white baby's fingers off on live TV" blatant and even that would leave his approval ratings in the thirties.

"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:05 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


"...but I can see us all getting very excited about an indictment for Trump only to find that we get indictments for Kushner, Don Jr., Manafort, Priebus, the whole clowncar of deplorables, but Trump somehow maintains plausible deniability..."

I suspect that we are far more likely to see Jared or DoJu or any of the other deplorables indicted before Trump himself. Indicting a sitting President is uncharted legal waters, and who knows whether that would ultimately succeed? At the very least, years would be spent arguing whether one could proceed instead of arguing the actual merits of the case.

If, however, you proceed against one of the 'lesser' figures, it's much easier to go ahead. There's still an argument to be made whether they're protected by executive privilege, but that's already been tested somewhat. And then you get to arguing the merits -- and Trump is pulled down into the muck pretty quickly.

But then what happens? Who knows -- the facts could be so bad that an impeachment is politically unavoidable, or it could be spun to his base the right way and no-one would care, or he might be left alone as a poisoned figure whom everyone ignores, or he could pardon the kids and put a stop to it, but then they are no longer able to claim the 5th, so if you proceeded against someone else the pardoned people would have to talk... No idea.

All of which is to say I would not expect an indictment against Trump himself. Go for the sure thing, and then -- who knows?
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:06 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


It would require absolutely blatant, vile and undeniable wrongdoing on Trump's part. And no, we're not there yet on the scale required.

If there's one thing that this administration has been good at, it's been moving the goalposts these past eight months.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:06 AM on August 4 [14 favorites]


The president’s Twitter feed has become, dare we say, restrained?
The propaganda style changed. Less dicta or Supreme Leader Tantrum and more retweets of grassroot devotional content. Perhaps his own Twitter time got cut back somewhat and staff are filling in, but it's still propaganda. Plus ça change...
posted by runcifex at 7:08 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Welcome to the theocracy
The Capitol Ministries D.C. Bible studies are sponsored by Vice President Mike Pence, eight Cabinet Members, and 56 U.S. Senators and Representatives.
Ralph Drollinger the Pastor Leading Trump Cabinet's Bible Study Has Troubling History.
posted by adamvasco at 7:09 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I still wonder why his name/brand hasn't been taken down Rick Santorum style.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:09 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


It would require absolutely blatant, vile and undeniable wrongdoing on Trump's part. And no, we're not there yet on the scale required.

It's hard to get more blatant than Trump bragging he fired Comey to stall the Russia investigation on national TV -- a public admission of the kind of obstruction of justice that moved the House to prepare impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon.

We must never forget or forgive the extend to which Republican officials are carrying water for this crook.
posted by Gelatin at 7:10 AM on August 4 [32 favorites]


"There were no Russians in our campaign"

Boris Ephsteyn has a sad.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:11 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


think the less we rub other American' faces in the dog poop of this administration, the easier it'll be to heal

You're right, -ish. Like, in an ideal world you would be right, and we would have a (admittedly flawed) Pacto del Olvido for our own mini-Franco. And we would have democracy for forty or fifty years.

But it is both impossible to truly forget and impossible for each side not to lick their wounds. I keep trying to think of sides of a civil war that actually do forget and actually have healed, and I come up with nothing. Even in England you see echoes of civil wars five hundred years old in voting patterns and cultural remnants.

What do you do when half the country hates the other half? I mean, really, what do you do?
posted by corb at 7:11 AM on August 4 [20 favorites]


I just don't see impeachment as a realistic option. And two-thirds of the Senate? Even if the House flipped, even with a smoking gun of treason, there are way too many Republicans who would implicate themselves not to defend him. They don't believe in facts anymore, which means proof is an illusion.

The best we can do is strip the administration down to two people, and fucking indict everyone else. They are all criminals, and we can minimize the damage by taking out as many of them as possible, and try like hell to flip Congress in 2018, and try even harder to take state legislatures in 2020 to redraw the lines.

If the GOP has not turned on Trump by now, they never ever will. We will not be safe until the Republican Party is as dead as the Whigs.
posted by rikschell at 7:13 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


And that white baby deserved it.
posted by rikschell at 7:18 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


If the GOP has not turned on Trump by now, they never ever will

They just voted to stay in session to prevent Trump from firing Sessions/Mueller or making any recess appointments. That would have been unthinkable even a few weeks ago, and that was before we learned about the jury grands. Once those subpoenas start rolling out it will be everyone for themself.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:19 AM on August 4 [56 favorites]


Was the intention of the post to link to trump's twitter account https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump or was it supposed to be a specific tweet about relations with Russia? maybe this one https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/893083735633129472 ?
posted by czytm at 7:20 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I'm at work so I can't dig up all the links, but there are certifiable cracks in the GOP wall. Multiple bills aimed at limited the presidents power, the aforementioned keeping sessions open to prevent recess appointments. These things being bipartisan, hell Lindsey Graham is involved.

More and more they're testing the water of speaking out against Lord Dampnut. It isn't outside the realm of possibility, and is inching every toward probability.
posted by Twain Device at 7:23 AM on August 4 [13 favorites]


What do you do when half the country hates the other half? I mean, really, what do you do?

Republicans are not even forty percent of the country, never mind half.
posted by winna at 7:23 AM on August 4 [40 favorites]


corb,

I know. What do we do? We don't even believe in the same reality as the people on the other side of this debate. We can't even establish terra firma as a foundation for a healing process. The Venn Diagrams don't even overlap any more.

People are more motivated by fear of the opposing party than they motivated to vote in favor of their own candidates.

Do we go full "bluexit" and just create two blue coastal zones with a red flyover country? (Obviously, that is not a real suggestion.)

I have more in common with random people across Europe and Asia who happen to travel and read books than I do with 50% of Americans. How do we actually make things better?
posted by Telf at 7:23 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


You're right, -ish. Like, in an ideal world you would be right, and we would have a (admittedly flawed) Pacto del Olvido for our own mini-Franco. And we would have democracy for forty or fifty years.

Colombia voted to continue a violent and bloody insurrection because the terms of peace involved giving quarter. But I'm sure the Colombian government will finally rub the faces of those rebels in the bloody soil after half a fucking century.
posted by Talez at 7:23 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


The big unknowable, I think, is how many of the GOP bigwigs will be found to have known, or be entangled in, the Russia scandal. We know that it was an open secret that there was Russian involvement in the campaign. Remember this gem from May?

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.


(WaPo, May 17 2017, reporting on June 2016 conversation)

So it's an open question about what will appear as the subpoenas kick in and the pinboard disappears under a sea of pretty ribbons. But that something will appear that implicates GOPers outside the bullseye is, I feel, inevitable. Whatever it is, it will change the calculations about what happens next.
posted by Devonian at 7:27 AM on August 4 [21 favorites]


a way to cheat them out of their choice of leader.

Welcome to the pain of 2017.
posted by yoga at 7:29 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


The Capitol Ministries D.C. Bible studies are sponsored by Vice President Mike Pence, eight Cabinet Members...

The VP and eight cabinet members are sufficient to invoke 25.4.

I leave it up to the individual to decide whether that represents a faint glimmer of hope, or a source of apprehension that worse is yet to come.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:31 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I don't envy the Republicans. They're trying to thread an impossible needle right now. If they stick with Trump, will he bring them all down (and with his tanking popularity, he might.) But he provides great cover for their attempts to reverse the 20th century, which, thank God, they are so astonishingly incompetent after that despite having control of all branches of government now they keep suffering embarrassing defeats — I guess that's what happens when there isn't an actual Republican party, but instead a party of three contrasting interests, the lickspittles to plutocracy who actually want to accomplish a massive transference of wealth upwards, the religious extremists who want to United States to be a Christian version of the taliban, and the Tea Party burn-it-all-downists who are simply in it to make sure government doesn't and cannot work.

And can they get Trump out of office without it blowing up on them? Probably not. So all they can do is hope he successfully turns the country into an autocracy and hope that when he starts show trials they aren't the first he shoots.
posted by maxsparber at 7:31 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


I've been saying this all along, and I still stand by it: when the tide turns the Republicans in Congress and the Senate will make a run for the fucking exits. The tide hasn't turned yet, but it's getting there (see: Russian sanctions, prevention of recess appointments, breaks in the ranks on healthcare, trans ban, even immigration!).

They'll scramble like rats to get off the USS Trump and not all of them will make it before it sinks.
posted by lydhre at 7:35 AM on August 4 [14 favorites]


I've been saying this all along, and I still stand by it: when the tide turns the Republicans in Congress and the Senate will make a run for the fucking exits.

Those words belong on a cake.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:37 AM on August 4 [33 favorites]


The comparison has bee made ad nausea from the get go, but having rewatched All the President's Men twice in the past week, it really is amazing how closely this mimics Watergate(thank you John Oliver, for Stupid Watergate).

Our current situation appears to be on a rapidly increasing pace compared to Normal Watergate, so I think it is somewhat safe to gauge our expectations in line with how Watergate turned out.
posted by Twain Device at 7:38 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


How has the tide not turned, though? The fact that there has not yet been tide turning makes me think there never will be. Every single day, Trump and his affiliates do something we would have previously considered intolerable and inconceivable.
posted by something something at 7:40 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


What do you do when half the country hates the other half? I mean, really, what do you do?

Republicans are not even forty percent of the country, never mind half.


Based on the results of the 2016 race, only 28% of the actual US electorate voted for Trump, which is almost exactly the oft-cited 27% "crazification factor" that represents the minimum level of batshit-crazy conservative support. This seems to be reflected in the ever-diminishing poll numbers (right now hovering in the middle 30s) that he's had since entering office. The crazies have always been with us, and it's always been our job to cancel them out and outnumber them to elect people with a firmer grasp on reality.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:41 AM on August 4 [23 favorites]


Do we go full "bluexit" and just create two blue coastal zones with a red flyover country? (Obviously, that is not a real suggestion.)

Because splitting up the Union or because of a 'winner takes all' system makes an appearance of 'this blue and that red' VS the real situation of Blue+Red+Green+whatever other colors represent Libertarians and others+whatever color represents those who have decided participation WRT voting is pointless and therefore a blue coast/red center is bullshit?

The people calling for fair voting/instant runoff/monster raving loony party representation/Dez Nuts are at least trying to give the non-voters due to a lack of representation in a red/blue system reduction a reason to feel they could get representation.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:41 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


It would require absolutely blatant, vile and undeniable wrongdoing on Trump's part. And no, we're not there yet on the scale required.

The key here is that it would have to be "absolutely blatant, vile and undeniable wrongdoing" to the Republicans. Nothing will happen until the Republican Congress thinks it has more to lose with its base than to gain by sticking with Trump.

Trump is not a natural Republican. Even though he's currently railing against the Democrats, it's not being done out of deep-set principle. I wonder if the Democrats could pursue a strategy of finding some way to work with Trump on something, thereby pissing off Congressional Republicans and driving a wedge between them.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:42 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I know. What do we do? We don't even believe in the same reality as the people on the other side of this debate. We can't even establish terra firma as a foundation for a healing process. The Venn Diagrams don't even overlap any more.

IMHO the way forward involves a lot of biting our tongues, putting up with terrible people, and no shortage of bending the limits of intellectual honesty.

One of the most valuable things the Right propaganda machine is great at is taking a really complicated situation with many nuanced parts, putting in sources of people's misery that meet their narrative but sound correct and follow a vaguely plausible chain of causality, and treating it as the absolute truth.

The have no fear about sounding wrong or being wrong because they immediately treat any threat to their narrative as one of the others, one of those that are the reason why people are in misery and just trying to trick you.

Now the left on the other hand appeals a lot to being not-a-shitty person. Good luck with that. It lost 2016.

So what do we do? My vote is to direct the anger to the correct targets using the Right's own strategy. Instead of allowing them to own shitty narratives that involve immigrants taking jobs, the counter narrative on the left instead of "immigrants are people", or "lazy Americans don't want jobs they take", both of which are true statements, the left's narrative on this needs to a relentless "you were replaced with robots and Chinese workers because your old boss wanted another ivory backscratcher. Your jobs aren't coming back. Anyone who says they are is a liar. We want to help you to adapt and at least stay on your feet by taking that money your old boss made by selling you out." You don't even talk about taxes. You don't go fucking near "raising taxes on the top end" because the right will delete the "on the top end" part and run you saying "raising taxes" over and over. You just talk about taking the money of the rich people that sold them out. Vengeance against someone that caused them harm. If someone says that involves raising taxes, deny it. Say their taxes won't change. In fact they'll probably go down. Say that they're only bringing up taxes because they're rich and they're scared that we're about to take what has been stolen from us.

Now this is hard for the left to do because it doesn't defend immigrants. It doesn't reflect the true reality of the situation. It has lies, lies of omission. There's no getting away from that. Defending its oversimplification involves not a small amount of comebacks that involve "that's just rich assholes trying to get you to not hate them". These are all things the left in aggregate finds really difficult. But appealing to the intuitive emotional part of people is what gets through to them. If you have to explain things outside of intiuition and common tropes you've probably already lost.
posted by Talez at 7:43 AM on August 4 [66 favorites]


They'll scramble like rats to get off the USS Trump and not all of them will make it before it sinks.

When articles of impeachment reach the House floor, it's not going to be a McCain-thumbs-down nailbiter to see which 22 Republican Representatives switch sides to get us to the magic 218. There will be at least 350 Ayes, and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets to 400.
posted by Etrigan at 7:44 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is a tough position for a GOP legislator to be in. Seriously.

Here is why I think the GOP cannot maintain "party discipline" (i.e., backing Trump) as this continues to develop:

1) Despite the lure of White Nationalism as an organizing principle, which is essentially what recommends Putin to people like Sessions, many folks in the GOP are more concerned about the loss of US dominance and have an innate distrust of the Russians.

2) The GOP is, at this point, a broad coalition with some natural fractures. We saw this on healthcare. Not everyone in the GOP congress is a natural Trump ally.

3) There is indication that people who voted for Trump are now ashamed to say that. Those same people (edit: constituents) will either be quiet, or outraged themselves, at evidence presented against Trump.

4) Many politicians in the GOP have further career ambitions, whether that's to run for the Senate or for President. They will have to weigh whether supporting Trump does more damage to those ambitions than does turning on him. A chunk of those people will realize that supporting Trump will damage their possibilities in state-wide or country-wide races in the future.

This is a group that couldn't even agree on a healthcare bill they'd been selling for seven years. (I know, they hadn't ever actually produced a replacement bill worthy of the name, but that further highlights the dysfunction.) I just don't see how evidence of high crimes won't split this group like a watermelon wrapped in rubber bands.
posted by OmieWise at 7:46 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Even though he's currently railing against the Democrats

He just sent out a tweet blaming the Republicans for "worsening relations" with Russia. He was haranguing his own, hand-picked AG for weeks. He attacked the R's for not passing healthcare; mentioning the Ds is almost an afterthought.

I don't think the Republicans are having a morality crisis, I think theyre having a power struggle with a President who loathes them.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:48 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


When articles of impeachment reach the House floor,

I'm going on record that this will never happen. Ryan won't allow it. And if the Dems somehow fail their way to control of the house, the Rs will scream murder about partisan witch hunts. And without the Senate to go along, an impeachment without removal is... that and $1.75 will get you a coke. Just ask Bill Clinton.

Also, we are better off with Trump than Pence. I didn't think so before, but his calls to Mexico and Australia revealed that Trump is an absolute pushover. All bark, no bite.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:50 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the Democrats could pursue a strategy of finding some way to work with Trump on something, thereby pissing off Congressional Republicans and driving a wedge between them.

This was the original plan -- they were going to go full steam ahead on infrastructure before the GOP could get anything together, and try to use a big spending plan as a wedge between Trump and Republicans in Congress. They even had a bill with a big press release and a steps-of-the-capitol event to show it off. Trump('s handlers) ignored it and decided that healthcare should be the administration's first order of business.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:50 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Trump('s handlers) ignored it and decided that healthcare should be the administration's first order of business.

Wonder if they're rethinking this, just to give Trump a 'win' and make him look more bipartisan than the GOP is acting these days^H^H^Hdecades. Emeny-of-my-enemy stuff.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:54 AM on August 4


Most of today's Republican voters are not natural Republicans either. They have been trained carefully to support an ideology and a crusade, not a party.
posted by delfin at 7:58 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I'm going on record that this will never happen.

On record? Doesn't count. Put it on a cake.
posted by Jpfed at 7:58 AM on August 4 [28 favorites]


I suspect that even if they wanted to go back to the infrastructure wedge, the ACA fight and Russia investigation have drawn the battle lines far too sharply for Trump to have any interest in supporting anything the Ds like, or for Democrats to unify behind anything designed for Trump to actively like (as opposed to forcing him to grudgingly sign things he'd rather veto).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:00 AM on August 4


Most of today's Republican voters are not natural Republicans either. They have been trained carefully to support an ideology and a crusade, not a party.

I think this is exactly wrong. Trump had an R after his name, and that's what mattered to a huge chunk of his voters -- not his multiple marriages, not his transparent areligiosity, not his past, not his present. Just that he was an R, and that's their team, and fuck the other team.
posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


When articles of impeachment reach the House floor, it's not going to be a McCain-thumbs-down nailbiter to see which 22 Republican Representatives switch sides to get us to the magic 218. There will be at least 350 Ayes, and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets to 400.

Which doesn't matter in the least, especially if the vote takes place after a potential Democratic flip in 2018; the magic number is 66 votes in the Senate. I hope your prediction of Republicans turning against Trump holds true in the upper chamber as well, but frankly, I doubt it.
posted by Gelatin at 8:04 AM on August 4


Trolls Hijack White-Power Sites to Discuss Color Swatches (Ben Collins, Daily Beast)
But there’s one surprise: When you click on “WHITE POWER,” it shows a 136 kilowatt power generator. That power generator is white.

On WhitePolitics, according to a stickied post on the site, “racism is now banned,” and it is now a place to “hail the greatest of whites, Swiss Coffee!”

“It’s hilarious. What’s not to like?” Ianna Urquhart, a moderator at r/WhitePolitics and r/Whites, told The Daily Beast.

WhitePolitics switched over from a largely dormant, headless white-supremacist forum on Tuesday. The community is just the latest that Urquhart and a team of semi-organized Reddit power users have taken away from white-supremacist, transphobic, or straight up neo-Nazi groups in order to make terrible puns and wreak havoc.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:06 AM on August 4 [152 favorites]


Any possibility of GOP congresspeople standing up to Trump depends on pressure from constituents. One of the best way to make them feel that pressure is in a town hall. Now is a good time to call your congresspeople and ask about town halls.

Since January Toomey has been saying that he holds town halls during the August recess. It's August. His staffers say they have no information about town halls.

He is screwed either way. He holds one and the press covers a room full of constituents yelling at him. He doesn't hold one and he looks like the scheming liar that he is.

Keep up the pressure, folks.
posted by mcduff at 8:09 AM on August 4 [26 favorites]


[Sessions'll] go out the same day I teach him something and I’ll see him do it on camera and I just think, ‘Wow, these guys are faithful, available and teachable,’ and they’re at Bible study every week they’re in town.’
Weirdly, a few nights ago I woke up with a tune in my head that I couldn't place. It liked to have drove me nuts for a day, but I kept humming it and I finally placed it as Steve Taylor's "Over My Dead Body" off the album Meltdown. In the '80s, Taylor was a Christian songwriter notable for his critical takes on evangelical Christian shibboleths. ("We Don’t Need No Color Code" off the same album is an attack on Bob Jones University.) A high school friend of mine played Meltdown for me. He was into Christian rock and trying to evangelize me and I was resistant to being evangelized to but sort of dug the New Wave stylings and we met in the middle over it. But I never followed Taylor's career and honestly, I don't think I've thought of him once in 30 years before this week. (I wasn't even aware or had forgotten that his later band, Chagall Guevara, was on the Pump Up The Volume soundtrack.) Meahwhile, Taylor has had a successful career and still performs and is still a Christian and is out there on Twitter and seems to be as appalled by Donald Trump as every other person who doesn't want something from him is.

Anyway, 30 years ago Taylor wrote in the voice of a Christian in Communist Poland
You make a mockery of all that we hold sacred here
You drive us underground in hopes that we will disappear
We seek our sanctuary where the altar candle burns
Our dignity's a legacy the cross of Jesus reaffirms.
and 30 years later, Trump's dignity wraiths brag about Jesus and collaborate with Russians.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:11 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


the magic number is 66 votes in the Senate.

67.
posted by Etrigan at 8:16 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Dave McKenna/Deadspin: The Sad Failure Of Donald Trump's Desperate Attempt At A Baseball League

Points out that it looked like he was trying to become an MLB owner by creating a new league in the late 1980's, getting a team in the new league cheaply, and then getting MLB to absorb the new league and his team. Should be noted that the NFL, NHL, and NBA each absorbed franchises from rival leagues that folded in the 1960's and 1970's, trailblazing a path for the USFL to crash and burn under Trumps influence. Typical Trump.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:17 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Ok, I've just listened to Taylor's "I Want To Be A Clone," the eponymous track off his first record. Not only does it sound like Christian Oingo Boingo, but it should be Mike Pence's personal anthem.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:23 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


So how come he hasn't yet gone ballistic over the Newsweek cover?
posted by Melismata at 8:25 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Fox probably hasn't talked about the cover yet.
posted by cmfletcher at 8:32 AM on August 4 [12 favorites]


um: It's the beginning of the end of the beginning.

The breaking news was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the House of White. But it was a beginning.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:32 AM on August 4 [13 favorites]


Apologies if this was posted previously, but a friend shared this last night and I thought it was pretty good:

With the departure of The Mooch, Act I ends.
With Mueller convening a grand jury, Act II begins.
posted by mosk at 8:33 AM on August 4 [17 favorites]


Exheunt.
posted by snofoam at 8:34 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


...pursued by a bear, presumably.
posted by Etrigan at 8:36 AM on August 4 [25 favorites]


The crazies have always been with us, and it's always been our job to cancel them out and outnumber them to elect people with a firmer grasp on reality.
This has certainly been the task for American democracy, over and over and over.
Preventing another Civil War, squeezing the KKK out of Congress, McCarthyism, the Goldwater, Nixon, and Reagan surges. And now trying to repair the Electoral college flips and the redistrictiing movement out of Texas and the South for the last 10 years. Keeping the US from becoming the rabid corporate-reined racist theocracy it can always become.
posted by rc3spencer at 8:37 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


>...pursued by a Russian bear, presumably.

FTFY
posted by mosk at 8:38 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Goddamn, for any other president that Newsweek cover would be too over-the-top for MAD Magazine. Fucken 2017, man.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:39 AM on August 4 [43 favorites]



The breaking news was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the House of White. But it was a beginning.


*pulls, annoyed, on braid*

The Writers definitely have Robert Jordan's wordiness, that is true.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:40 AM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Exeunt, pursued by Ursa Major
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:43 AM on August 4


Buntix: And they are really going in all snark-cannons blazing, top 4 current headlines on http://www.newsweek.com/

What I see:

GOLF AND TELEVISION WON'T MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
Donald Trump promised "forgotten Americans" he'd be their tireless advocate in the White House. That hasn't quite panned out thus far.
* Vote Kid Rock in 2018


And that article opens with ... and ad for Kid Rock American Badass Grills. Welcome the next President, same as the current President? Well, let's start out smaller:
Newsweek does not, as a rule, make political endorsements, but I’m going to go rogue on this one: I hereby endorse Kid Rock’s 2018 run for the U.S. Senate.

Yes, that Kid Rock.

No, this isn’t fake news.
...
It’s no accident that, earlier this year, Kid Rock was invited to the White House with professional racist and sometime singer Ted Nugent (Sarah Palin was there, too). President Donald Trump knows which way the wind is blowing, and it isn’t in the direction of anything resembling moral seriousness. The forces Trump rode into public office brook party division: an erosion of trust in civic institutions, a celebration of crass ignorance as a kind of virtue, an utter debasement of our shared culture. Those forces will be available in 2018 and 2020 and beyond, if not to Kid Rock then to someone else. (I fully expect we will see a President Kardashian in the not-distant-enough future.)

But, really, could we do any better than Kid Rock? Does anyone more perfectly encapsulate our national priorities? Is there any one else alive who has punched Tommy Lee and assaulted some random guy at Waffle House? If he were any more patriotic, he'd eat a bald eagle raw.
...
Kid Rock also speaks fearlessly on race. Confronted with his apparent affection for the Confederate flag in 2015, he had this to say to the offended: “Kiss my ass.” I can hear shades of JFK, can’t you? In 2013, Kid Rock told Howard Stern that he frequently used the N-word and saw no problems in doing so.
...
Today, however, the Oval Office is just another reality television set, the presidential seal a prime branding opportunity. Trump has so thoroughly debased the presidency (and it's only been 173 days) that it is now little more than a marketing gimmick. So the question of whether Kid Rock’s announcement is a gimmick or not is almost beside the point.

It’s all a gimmick, and we’re all living in it.
(Emphasis mine) I get the feeling that you're joking, Alexander Nazaryan, but if I were your editor, before kicking your article back as hypocritical crap, I'd edit the final line to read:

"It’s all a gimmick, and I'm shilling so hard that Kid Rock will likely call me up to be his Media Manager within the day." But here it is, the 2nd link on the top of Newsweek's front page, just after bashing Trump for being a fraud.

Fuck you, Newsweek, this is how we get celebrity politicians, by ironically and jokingly supporting them in the beginning, and giving them any publicity at all. Stunt politicians should be the final sentence in a round-up of weird news of the nation for the week, not the second story on a major publication, even if it's a half-joke article.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 AM on August 4 [73 favorites]


Trump's at least open & honest about his lying.

BUT HE ISN'T! THAT'S THE POINT!

He say "just kidding" or "psyche!" when talking about his support from the Boy Scouts or the police, or the turnout for his inauguration, or his results for the popular vote. WE HAVE TO SAY "WHICH EVERYONE KNOWS IS A LIE" AFTERWORDS, or pretend that his shills are being at all honest when they try to spin his lies as half truths -- "Well, lots of Boy Scout leaders said he was great after his grandstanding and demagoguery and inciting violence," when asked why he lied about getting a telephone call from the head of BSA.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:53 AM on August 4 [18 favorites]


DOJ warns the media could be targeted in crackdown on leaks (Easley, The Hill)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a government-wide crackdown on leakers, which will include a review of the Justice Department’s policies on subpoenas for media outlets that publish sensitive information.

At a press conference with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Sessions announced that the Justice Department, FBI and government intelligence agencies will begin directing resources into the investigations of government leaks and would prioritize prosecuting those that pass sensitive information along to the press.

Sessions said he had empowered his deputy director Rod Rosenstein and incoming FBI director Christopher Wray to oversee the classified leaks investigations and to monitor the progress of each case.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:55 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


trailblazing a path for the USFL to crash and burn under Trumps influence. Typical Trump.

Travel arrangements for USFL players courtesy Trump Air
posted by Room 641-A at 8:56 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Drollinger needs a security check. Drollinger needs to be banned from the White House, and bible study sessions on the dime of the citizens of the US should not happen. If these are happening during business hours in public buildings by individuals on the public payroll, they are illegal.
posted by Oyéah at 8:58 AM on August 4 [33 favorites]


so I had the following conversation with my shrink, who was born around 1930 something, seriously:

angrycat: Did you hear any of the rally in WV last night? It scared me. Like, it freaked me out deeply. Do you think I'm being paranoid?

shrink: Well, as you know, I'm very old, and I can remember speeches of Hitler. That speech reminded me of Hitler's speeches.

angrycat: :O
posted by angrycat at 9:03 AM on August 4 [127 favorites]


I was planning to frame a new thread just around Donnie the Infirm's golf vacation, based on a couple of pieces I hadn't seen posted yet. (So glad to find a new thread this morning!) Here they are:

First, this deliciously snarky piece from GQ: Laziest President in American History Departs for 17-Day Golf Vacation

If you prefer your golf-related snark to be more analytical, this piece, with a great graphic and links to hypocritical tweets, from Philip Bump at the WaPo: By End of August, Trump Will Have Spent Three Times As Many Days at Leisure as Obama.

And bonus, a fresh piece this morning from Mr. Bump, who is rapidly approach National Treasure status (National Goodies Basket?): Trump Says He's Been Working Hard. Here's the Current Status on Things
posted by martin q blank at 9:09 AM on August 4 [28 favorites]


I think that certain folks who might be getting unwanted calls, from megalomaniacs, should put thirties, martial music as their on hold tunes, then let them run for a good long while before picking up; then pretend to be half deaf, and request repeats, while complaining about the connection.
posted by Oyéah at 9:11 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Sessions said he had empowered his deputy director Rod Rosenstein and incoming FBI director Christopher Wray to oversee the classified leaks investigations and to monitor the progress of each case.

That's Christopher Wray, confirmed with 42 Democratic votes in favor after Trump obstructed justice to fire his predecessor in an attempt to stop the investigation into foreign collusion to steal a presidential election.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:14 AM on August 4 [28 favorites]


Barack Spinoza: DOJ warns the media could be targeted in crackdown on leaks (Easley, The Hill)

Related? Decline In Democracy Spreads Across The Globe As Authoritarian Leaders Rise (NPR, Aug. 3, 2017) Across the world, many democracies are sliding further and further toward authoritarianism. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Larry Diamond of Stanford University about this "global democratic recession."
Turkey is not the only country where democratic ideals are eroding. Democracy is retreating in Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro is consolidating power. In the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte has jailed his political opponents. In Poland and Hungary, leaders are cracking down on the press and trying to control the judiciary. We reached out to Larry Diamond at Stanford University - he's a founding editor of the Journal of Democracy - and asked what he sees when he looks at the state of democracy worldwide.
For more reading on the topic: Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy
Over the past decade, illiberal powers have become emboldened and gained influence within the global arena. Leading authoritarian countries—including China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela—have developed new tools and strategies to contain the spread of democracy and challenge the liberal international political order. Meanwhile, the advanced democracies have retreated, failing to respond to the threat posed by the authoritarians.

As undemocratic regimes become more assertive, they are working together to repress civil society while tightening their grip on cyberspace and expanding their reach in international media. These political changes have fostered the emergence of new counternorms—such as the authoritarian subversion of credible election monitoring—that threaten to further erode the global standing of liberal democracy.
Happy Friday!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:19 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]


I already feel as if trapped in a room, with Triumph of the Will playing in an endless loop.
posted by runcifex at 9:20 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


The point is that [Pence] has a set of socially-defined values (abhorrent and awful though I find them) that he would not easily betray.

I take your point. :-| And it's pretty much what's running things now, from what I can see. If we Agnew Pence, it won't be Ryan. But not sure who.

If my watching of fictional WH-centric drama is any indication, Trump can try to make it through to January 21, 2019, he can resign and give Pence 10 solid years in office.

/dreads

re: Limiting Presidential powers upthread -- they effectively did this with Obama, stealing his Supreme Court pick and being general obstructionist assholes, this would just codify it, I guess, assuming they could get it passed? Though they pulled this shit on Clinton to limit Presidential SS Protection (which didn't apply to him and then got reversed, IIRC, though some reps want to make Presidents pay for it out of pocket after 10 years out).

TLDR version: They might make limits but then they'd probalbly just undo them again. Or not be able to undo them and be stuck with it.
posted by tilde at 9:23 AM on August 4


Travel arrangements for USFL players courtesy Trump Air

Where every seat is (billed as) First Class.
posted by achrise at 9:23 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


And to chase dire international news with glum national financial news: Why America's Wages Are Barely Rising (NPR, Aug. 3, 2017)
Andrew Chamberlain, the chief economist at the jobs and recruiting company Glassdoor, says even as the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low recently, wage growth has slowed. The company's own data for July confirm that. He says it shows "very sluggish growth, the slowest pace we've recorded in about three years and it's the sixth straight month that pay growth has declined."

The Labor Department's numbers aren't quite that bad, but they do show wage growth averaging 2.5 percent in the past four months after peaking at 2.9 percent in December. (The latest figures will be part of Friday's employment report for July.) Chamberlain says wage growth at this stage of an economic recovery should be close to 3.5 percent.
Thanks, President Trump! (We can say that now, right?)

[We'll be competitive with China and Mexico in no time! Trump 2020! {/moldy hamburger}]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:25 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I can't see Pence or any Trump successors doing as well in w world where the rule of law has been restored sufficiently for Trump to go, TBH. The whole stack of cards comes down at that point.

Downside is they know it.
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Preventing another Civil War, squeezing the KKK out of Congress

I haven't heard of these aspects of US history (perhaps because I'm an immigrant). Where can I read more about previous the risk of another civil war? Googling, I just find stuff about contemporary risks.
posted by Coventry at 9:26 AM on August 4


s'real simple:

DEMOCRATS 2018: YOU WILL! 👏 BE HELD! 👏 ACCOUNTABLE! 👏👏
posted by petebest at 9:31 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


I take your point. :-| And it's pretty much what's running things now, from what I can see. If we Agnew Pence, it won't be Ryan. But not sure who.

John Kelly. No doubt in my mind.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:32 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


The options are not (necessarily) President Trump or President Pence

The options are accountability or authoritarianism

We can choose to do nothing based on "what if" scenarios or we can make elected officals answerable to wrongdoing.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:32 AM on August 4 [30 favorites]


Heck, I wouldn't be especially surprised if Trump acts on his own to switch Pence for Kelly in the next 12 months.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:34 AM on August 4


Can he do that? Isn't the VP elected? (Does that matter?)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:36 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


No, he cannot do that.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:37 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Josh Marshall of TPM: We’re Back to Manafort
Indeed, it is so obviously so that I still don’t know why it hit me only when I read this piece. Don Jr. is a moron. Kushner may not be a moron but certainly a year ago he was altogether new to this world of spycraft and international intrigue. While even a fool as big as Don Jr. could not have missed the plain words of Goldstone’s letter in which he says he is speaking as an intermediary of a Russian government effort to elect his father, certainly other aspects of the approach could have eluded him. Same with Kushner. But [the post-Soviet underworld] was literally Manafort’s world. Not just working in and around spies for years but for more than a decade doing so in the lands of the former Soviet Union. It is simply not possible that the nature of what was happening and what was being discussed wasn’t immediately clear to Manafort. [...]

[...] Manafort is really the key person in the meeting. That is not simply because he was the campaign manager but because he – not simply unique in the Trump campaign but uniquely for almost anyone involved in any way in any part of the 2016 presidential campaign, among operatives, journalists, anyone – had the experience and background to essentially guarantee he knew what that meeting was about.

And yet, he seems to have done nothing – at least nothing to block or stymie what the Russians on the other side of the approach were trying to achieve.
I'm basically with Josh: Manafort knew exactly what the meeting was--an attempt to manufacture kompromat and as a bonus, actually influence a major US party's presidential nominee. If Mueller manages to flip Manafort, the whole rotten building will start to crumble.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:39 AM on August 4 [63 favorites]


General Al Haig tried to do that
posted by Rumple at 9:39 AM on August 4


I mean in the sense that he'd pressure Pence to resign and then nominate Kelly to replace him. I know the VP doesn't serve at the pleasure of the president, but if the president decides the VP has to go, then something's going to give.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:41 AM on August 4


TLDR version is: Pence can resign (or be removed from office, unlikely), Trump can "pick" Kelly, but he'd have to be confirmed by the House and Senate.
Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment provides for vice presidential succession:

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
posted by tilde at 9:43 AM on August 4


I haven't heard of these aspects of US history (perhaps because I'm an immigrant). Where can I read more about previous the risk of another civil war? Googling, I just find stuff about contemporary risks.

Eric Forner is the go-to person for contemporary history of Reconstruction. Here's an article he wrote in the NYT. Book (amazon link).

We won the Civil War, but to a dismaying extent lost the peace.

If you didn't grow up in the States you might not have read Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry and the sequels -- they're historical fiction aimed at youth but they're good and give a portrait of black Southern life in the 30s and are easily available at your local library.

Also look at W.E.B. DuBois, if you're interested in more scholarly takes.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:43 AM on August 4 [33 favorites]


I think we'd all prefer Bingo Bob for VP if it comes to that.
posted by Molesome at 9:46 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Thanks, tivalasvegas. I'd heard the term Reconstruction, but not that continued war was a possibility. Foner's book is going on my list.
posted by Coventry at 9:47 AM on August 4


Jia Tolentino at the New Yorker with The Land of the Large Adult Son:
These days, it’s getting harder to separate the large-adult-son meme—one of the few reliably good things on the Internet—from the larger hellscape of adult-male behavior in which we all live. [...]

At thirty-nine, Don, Jr., is old enough to conduct himself with basic integrity—or, barring that, with basic competence in his plans to deceive. Many people have pointed out the painful absurdity of large adult sons in political families (Don, Jr.; Billy Bush; Ted Kennedy) being excused for shocking behavior well into their thirties when twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was deemed enough of a threat by Cleveland policemen to be shot dead on the sight of his toy gun, in 2014. Donald Trump, Jr., is a mere ten days younger than the French President, Emmanuel Macron. And still, President Trump dictated Don, Jr.,’s original statement and excused him after the scandal broke, calling Don, Jr., a “good boy.”

The large-adult-son meme takes wing from the idea that men overcompensate when they are humiliated, and that a primary source of this humiliation is interdependence—sons act out when they are defined by their fathers, and fathers are disgraced by the oafish flailing of their sons. But it’s memes all the way down with this Administration: Trump, the father of the large adult son of the summer, is himself, clearly, a large adult son. He is the loudmouthed, mischievous, and disorderly child of a presiding father. He loves to get behind the wheel of a truck and pose for the cameras like an important birthday boy. The Web site Gossip Cop recently ran an earnest post headlined “Donald Trump Does not Wear ‘Adult Diapers,’ Despite Speculation.” These are strange times we live in. The seas are warming, the summer is ending; each day lasts a century, and we are everywhere ruled by large adult sons.
posted by lalex at 9:48 AM on August 4 [59 favorites]


Trump is just straight up retweeting bots now, not that anything matters.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:49 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]


If Trump is forced to resign or is impeached, and we get Pence, what will warm my heart somewhat is the knowledge that unless Trump is literally put into solitary confinement, he will spend the rest of his remaining days trying to undermine and turn people against Pence.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:52 AM on August 4 [26 favorites]


Hell, his supporters parrot bots and paid trolls too. It really is a feedback loop hivemind orgy.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:53 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Thanks, tivalasvegas. I'd heard the term Reconstruction, but not that continued war was a possibility. Foner's book is going on my list.

I wouldn't call it continued war in the total sense that the Civil War was. But certainly there was a low-level terrorist insurgency, particularly around elections to suppress the black vote, which ultimately led to the weakening of Federal political will to continue the Reconstruction process, the overthrow of multi-racial Southern state governments in favor of revanchist "Redemption" governments and the reinstatement of serfdom.

I suspect the residents of Baghdad circa 2007 would have interesting things to say about this period in American history...
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:56 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


I know that grand juries can go on for a long time, but can they hand down indictments immediately or do they wait until they're finished? Or is there a strategy behind it?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:03 AM on August 4


Just a bit of silliness:
Hackers reprogram message board on I-80 in Dixon [CA] to mock Trump (KCRA/SFGate)
An electronic message board on Interstate 80 near Dixon was hacked, allowing someone to type a few words about President Trump.
A KCRA 3 viewer sent in a photo of the sign on Thursday night, which reads, "Trump has herpes."
Well I say silly but can also imagine serious legal trouble for the hacker(s) as anti-hacking laws can be surprisingly strict (source: cyberlaw class)
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 10:04 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


One reason wages aren't going up: As Cities Raise Minimum Wages, Many States Are Rolling Them Back (NPR, way back on July 18, 2017)
After dozens of city and county governments voted to raise their local minimum wage ordinances in the last several years, states have been responding by passing laws requiring cities to abide by statewide minimums. So far, 27 states have passed such laws.

The latest example of this is in Missouri, where a state law will take effect next month, rolling back St. Louis' $10-an-hour minimum wage ordinance passed earlier this year. That means thousands of minimum-wage earners in the city could go back to earning the state rate of $7.70 an hour.
I wonder if those conservatives who shout "States' Rights!" when they feel the Feds overstep their bounds are bothered at all when the States aherm, trump, local laws. I'm guessing not, as minimum wage is only an issue if you're stuck at that level, and that's a poor person issue, right?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:05 AM on August 4 [37 favorites]


It's Friday, so I'm hopeful for a Scoop o'clock today. Especially since they're talking about going after leaks again, particularly maybe going after reporters to force them to reveal sources.
posted by azpenguin at 10:10 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]



If Trump is forced to resign or is impeached, and we get Pence, what will warm my heart somewhat is the knowledge that unless Trump is literally put into solitary confinement, he will spend the rest of his remaining days trying to undermine and turn people against Pence.


Nope, he'll just talk about how great he was until these baseless allegations forced him out.
posted by tilde at 10:12 AM on August 4


"Unreconstructed Confederate" is an old insult I'm doing my best to bring back.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:15 AM on August 4 [26 favorites]


As for states rights:
This trend [increasing states rights legislation to override local control] is particularly notable in the country’s two megastates: California and Texas. Each is increasingly controlled by ideological fanatics who see in their statehouse dominion an ideal chance to impose their agenda on dissenting communities. In California, Jerry Brown’s climate jihad is the rationale for employing “the coercive power of the central state,” in his own words, to gain control over virtually every aspect of planning and development.

In Texas, the impetus comes from the far right, which has been working to strip localities of their traditional ability to control their own affairs, which, as two Houston scholars recently pointed out, has been critical to that state’s success. These efforts cover a host of issues, from fracking and ride-sharing to transgender bathrooms, a topic which affects very few but has, absurdly, become the key issue for a legislative special session. (source)
Greg Abbot has a few thoughts on this as well ...
“Some local governments, like the city of Austin, are doing everything they can to overregulate,” Abbott said at a press conference announcing the special session. “I want legislation that … prevent[s] cities from micromanaging what property owners do with trees on their private land.”

Why was the governor asking lawmakers to examine what appeared to be a non-issue?

The answer may lie in Abbott’s personal experience with Austin’s tree ordinance. In a recent radio interview, Abbott said he was upset that the city of Austin wouldn’t allow him to remove a pecan tree at the house he owned in West Austin and required him to plant new trees.

“Austin, Texas owns your trees,” Abbott said. “That’s insanity. … It’s socialistic.” (source)
posted by tilde at 10:19 AM on August 4 [7 favorites]




DOJ warns the media could be targeted in crackdown on leaks (Easley, The Hill)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a government-wide crackdown on leakers, which will include a review of the Justice Department’s policies on subpoenas for media outlets that publish sensitive information.
Sometimes I go through the exercise of "What Would Fox Do?" I.e., what message would conveniently ignore nuance and protocol and get the base all frothy and screamy. In this case the spin would be "WHY ARE THEY SO MAD ABOUT LEAKS?! WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?!"

Also this "crackdown" on the press reminds me of a project draft I scrapped a few years ago, thinking that such a premise was too implausible. Maybe it's time to resurrect it. Perhaps during my [non-existent] summer recess...
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 10:20 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I don't know how I'd feel about Texas destroying it's ability to be the only red state that actually makes money.
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I wonder if those conservatives who shout "States' Rights!" when they feel the Feds overstep their bounds are bothered at all when the States aherm, trump, local laws. I'm guessing not, as minimum wage is only an issue if you're stuck at that level, and that's a poor person issue, right?

(Because I hate myself & I know one of the WAMU people who was on the air that day) I listened to much of the radio interview with the libertarian who is running for governor. There was some chatter about minimum wage issues and even the libertarian was vaguely -shrug- about it and actually thought city-level ones made way more sense, as he mostly talked about there being an issue with a state-wide MW when there's such a swing between COL in Arlington vs smaller VA towns.

tl;dr: more proof that purported 'conservative' poitions now are often actually serf-seeking.
posted by phearlez at 10:21 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


“Austin, Texas owns your trees,” Abbott said. “That’s insanity. … It’s socialistic.”

I honestly didn't know that trees had an owner of their means of production, Greg. But now, thanks to you, I've learned that the City of Austin, Texas owns the means of production of trees.
posted by Talez at 10:25 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Also, nobody tell him about Conservation Land in MA law. He'll have the Texas State Guard come and liberate us and it'll be an incident.
posted by Talez at 10:28 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


So glad Josh Marshall wrote that about Manafort. I really wanted to put the Manafort-Sessions theory on the website somehow, but I didn't feel like I had the credibility to write it...

Now I can just link to Marshall's piece.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:32 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Meanwhile: Several government agencies are abandoning enforcement of equal rights to elevate white America.
posted by adamvasco at 10:34 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


A spectre is haunting Texas - the spectre of Tree Communism
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:39 AM on August 4 [25 favorites]


Meanwhile: Several government agencies are abandoning enforcement of equal rights to elevate white America.

One reason wages aren't going up: As Cities Raise Minimum Wages, Many States Are Rolling Them Back (NPR, way back on July 18, 2017)



Reconstruction all over again?
posted by tilde at 10:41 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


“Austin, Texas owns your trees,” Abbott said. “That’s insanity. … It’s socialistic.”

And yet he likely wants the state to own and control every uterus in Texas.
posted by rocket88 at 10:43 AM on August 4 [85 favorites]


In better news; commenters hijack white supremacy forums on reddit, turn them into innocuous discussions of laundry and coffee.
posted by emjaybee at 10:43 AM on August 4 [25 favorites]


I wonder if those conservatives who shout "States' Rights!" when they feel the Feds overstep their bounds are bothered at all when the States aherm, trump, local laws.

Nope. I've lobbied in a certain wang-shaped state on home-rule issues for a few years and I can assure you the "feds are intrudin' on state's rights" wingnuts don't give a shit.
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:44 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


So have I ever told you all about the time Mitch McConnell invaded my dream? This slightly irritating amusement happened several weeks ago, during one of the periods of high activity around one of the Senate healthcare votes.

The dream started out in an auditorium where there was a small Senatorial meet and greet. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was there with another Senator, whom I in correctly named as Jim Bunning (R-KY) to a companion in the dream, but was actually Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX). I was extremely friendly and polite to them, as I tried to calmly lay out why they really be voting for whatever horrible version of the bill McConnell and his staff had written. They each shook my hand and were reasonably polite but were still going to support it.

After the meet and greet, I found myself with a small group of people who were putting on an event with performances to protest the bill. I was part of this group, and I was given my task: to improvise reasons not to support the bill over Faith No More's Epic. I had to be ready to do so in front of thousands of people within an hour.

This task was a bit panic-inducing, and I found myself somewhere else needing to run to the auditorium to make it in time. Somehow, though, Mitch McConnell was there with me. I again reiterated my opposition to the healthcare plan, then told him we really had to get to my performance. He laughed, then we linked arms (wtf) and ran together to my high school auditorium so I could do my song.

I hope the performance went well.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:44 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Nope. I've lobbied in a certain wang-shaped state on home-rule issues for a few years and I can assure you the "feds are intrudin' on state's rights" wingnuts don't give a shit.

They won't give a shit about federal intrusion either now that there's a white nationalist in power and federal priorities are shifting from at least trying to do something on civil rights and equality issues, to pursuing the white grievance of the day from hate radio as a federal crime.

States rights was never a coherent intellectual position, it's always been about enforcing their own authoritarian policies by any dishonest rhetoric that can get traction and 5 votes on the Supreme Court.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:48 AM on August 4 [14 favorites]


It's Obama's birthday. I do wonder what he might be wishing for today.
posted by thebrokedown at 10:51 AM on August 4 [13 favorites]




A letter from Comey's friend to Pence (8/2/17)
posted by growabrain at 10:53 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


It's Obama's birthday. I do wonder what he might be wishing for today.

and what his cake says
posted by prefpara at 10:53 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


“Austin, Texas owns your trees,” Abbott said. “That’s insanity. … It’s socialistic.”

And yet he likely wants the state to own and control every uterus in Texas.


I'm sure he'd be open to limiting tree decision making to men.
posted by phearlez at 10:54 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Republicans don't like state governments because they're local, they like state governments because they're the strongest lever for implementing their regressive policies. States that do things contrary to the revanchist agenda (eg: legal weed) get nothing but grief from the Rs.
posted by obliviax at 10:55 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


tl;dr: more proof that purported 'conservative' poitions now are often actually serf-seeking.

I'm guessing this was a typo but if not, well played.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:55 AM on August 4 [13 favorites]


It's Obama's birthday. I do wonder what he might be wishing for today.

#Obamaday is #1 on Twitter right now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on August 4 [23 favorites]


A spectre is haunting Texas - the spectre of Tree Communism

Plus, per that other thread on the Blue other thread? what's that? the trees of North America are literally moving left across the continent so
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:57 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


I think this is exactly wrong. Trump had an R after his name, and that's what mattered to a huge chunk of his voters -- not his multiple marriages, not his transparent areligiosity, not his past, not his present. Just that he was an R, and that's their team, and fuck the other team.

Still disagree. Democrats Are Evil And Hillary Is Satan mattered more than that R. An awful lot of Rs previously in good standing get run out of town on a primary rail if they dare to have independent opinions.
posted by delfin at 10:58 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]




I'm Beto O'Rourke, and I'm challenging Ted Cruz in 2018. Ask me anything!

Is it to a duel to the death? If he challenges Cruz to a pistols-at-high-noon showdown, I'll watch.
posted by zarq at 10:59 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Notes for the president’s babysitter on John Kelly’s night off
This week’s big news is how excited we are that, under the strong hand and watchful eye of retired Gen. John F. Kelly, the president is finally sitting up straight in meetings and “rattling off stats” like a BIG BOY. Next, shoe-tying! But what if the new chief of staff needs a night off? Fortunately, for the sake of this premise, I got my hands on the notes he left for the babysitter.

Hi! Thank you so much for doing this. I should be back around 10. Please call me or Mad Dog if you have any questions at all.

I have been working hard to establish a routine. We have some simple (white) house rules that we are trying to implement to keep the president from getting cranky, starting a global conflict and/or committing an impeachable offense.
Stopped Clock Jennifer Rubin, WaPo: An aberrant president induces aberrant behavior
[…] leaks abound, making even Democratic critics of the president queasy when the president loses the ability to seek honest advice and speak candidly. Well, these people need to leak because the country must know how unfit he is. Perhaps, but once again the problem goes beyond one contemptible Oval Office occupant. The office of the presidency, ironically for an authoritarian pretender like Trump, is taking a beating. David Frum argues that “if no high national-security secret has been betrayed in these transcripts, the workings of the U.S. government have been gravely compromised, and in ways that will be very difficult to repair even after Trump leaves office. Trump’s violation of basic norms of government has driven people who would otherwise uphold those norms unto death to violate them in their turn. Contempt for Trump’s misconduct inspires counter-misconduct.”

So do we break the rules to save the country from Trump or let Trump implode in ways that could have grave consequences for the country’s national security and democratic institutions? We have no perfect formula, no algorithm for determining when to veer from the norm and when to let Trump drive himself and possibly the country into a ditch. Let’s try out a few guidelines that may help us survive the Trump presidency.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:03 AM on August 4 [18 favorites]


Or to put it another way -- Always Vote GOP Over Dems and Always Vote For Traditional GOP Ideals are two very different concepts even if the result is often the same. That's where the corbs separate from the 27%ers.
posted by delfin at 11:07 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I think this is exactly wrong. Trump had an R after his name, and that's what mattered to a huge chunk of his voters -- not his multiple marriages, not his transparent areligiosity, not his past, not his present. Just that he was an R, and that's their team, and fuck the other team.

Still disagree. Democrats Are Evil And Hillary Is Satan mattered more than that R. An awful lot of Rs previously in good standing get run out of town on a primary rail if they dare to have independent opinions.


Yes, "Democrats Are Evil And Hillary Is Satan" is the "fuck the other team" part, and the reason that Democrats Are Evil And Hillary Is Satan is decades of propaganda dedicated to push people to be tribally Republican. Those things aren't about ideology and a crusade, they're about party. They're being used by a comparatively few people of a particular ideology on a particular crusade, but the millions and millions of people who voted for the least qualified major-party nominee in American history because of his party affiliation. If he'd run as a third-party candidate, he would have got as many electoral votes as Ross Perot.

Primaries are different, and the reason they are is because of the tribal Republicanism -- the vast majority of voters in safe R districts aren't examining the ideology of the candidates, and they don't show up to the primaries, so the ones that do show up know that they can pick the craziest R possible and all the other one-election-a-year types will dutifully pull the R lever.
posted by Etrigan at 11:09 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


So have I ever told you all about the time Mitch McConnell invaded my dream?

And that dream's name?

America
posted by orange ball at 11:11 AM on August 4 [35 favorites]


From that lawfare post:
Impeachment must be treated like high-risk surgery, he insists, ‘to be resorted to only when the rightness of diagnosis and treatment is sure.’”
If only the US would treat foreign military adventures with the same care...
posted by Coventry at 11:11 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Amid Washington dysfunction, lack of accomplishments, Trump clings to his shrinking support

As political and legal troubles mount, President Donald Trump holds ever tighter onto a base of support that grows ever smaller. Trump has placed cultivation of intensity within his base at the center of the administration's strategy across the board. (John Harwood, CNBC)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:12 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


when to let Trump drive himself and possibly the country into a ditch.

A ditch? A ditch?! I'd be thrilled if he only drove us into a ditch, Jennifer Rubin! I long for him to drive us into a mere ditch! I mean, we are already rattling along, driving in the ditch? The car's taking a real beating, and we're getting bruises and whiplash, and also some people have been chucked out of the car, but still, that's comparatively okay! Right now it feels like we're letting him drive the car towards a lake, or worse still, a cliff with a long drop. Republicans have got to fucking call the cops on this reckless driver. That's it, that's the only option.
posted by yasaman at 11:13 AM on August 4 [39 favorites]


( ^ zarq I thought the proper nomenclature for this was "Sabres in a pit" and then I googled and found it didn't exist when it totally fucking should.)
posted by adamvasco at 11:21 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Dinesh D’Souza visited the White House to see Bannon and Gorka and hawk his book The Big Lie, which carries the subtitle "Exposing the Nazi roots of the American left." He tweeted out pictures of himself and then deleted tweets.

The photos also reveal that Bannon has "TAXES" written in big letters on his to-do list whiteboard, with a box around it and lots of arrows pointing to it and even a star by it. [real]
posted by zachlipton at 11:23 AM on August 4 [36 favorites]




The photos also reveal that Bannon has "TAXES" written in big letters on his to-do list whiteboard, with a box around it and lots of arrows pointing to it and even a star by it.

Can someone do a zoom & enhance on those photos? There's an awful lot of illegible text there that might be interesting to read.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:26 AM on August 4 [11 favorites]


I listened to the new episode of Oh No Ross and Carrie on my lunch hour today. It's part two of their reporting about a UFO and Metaphysics conference and apparently allllll those people are Trumpers.

So, like, pick your poison for Trump-voting:

A. Team Republican
B. Hillary is literal actual Satan
C. I like people who, like me, loudly reject reality, it doesn't matter what their politics are
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:26 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]




“Austin, Texas owns your trees,” Abbott said. “That’s insanity. … It’s socialistic.”

An Evil Tree: The Story of Communism.
posted by Rumple at 11:36 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


tl;dr: more proof that purported 'conservative' poitions now are often actually serf-seeking.

I'm guessing this was a typo but if not, well played.


It was not.
posted by phearlez at 11:39 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


and apparently allllll those people are Trumpers.

Fairly sure RT (and offshoots like wikileaks) put quite a bit of effort into courting the chemtrail/anti-vax/911-truther types. Even those notionally on the left and not trumpable would have been Hillaryphobes.

See also: those on the left but pro-brexit because they believe the EU is being paid off by big pharma to regulate alternative medicine out of existence.

The political compass could really do with a woo axis.
posted by Buntix at 11:42 AM on August 4 [20 favorites]


I think it's worth highlighting just how big the war is against McMaster in right-wing media right now. Daily Caller is running stories like EXCLUSIVE: ‘Everything The President Wants To Do, McMaster Opposes,’ Former NSC Officials Say
(citing two former NSC officials, presumably ones he's fired). Breitbart is running with "McMaster ‘Deeply Hostile to Israel and to Trump'" and attacking him for exonerating Susan Rice.

It's all out war.
posted by zachlipton at 11:43 AM on August 4 [24 favorites]


Dinesh D’Souza visited the White House to see Bannon and Gorka and hawk his book The Big Lie, which carries the subtitle "Exposing the Nazi roots of the American left."

I know that appearances don't mean shit and that we really really shouldn't judge people based on them, but I have this instinctive cognitive disconnect between seeing that dorky, boyish face of his and trying to reconcile it with the deeply noxious bag of runny dogcrap that quivers behind it and regularly farts out lies and hate through his mouth and fingers.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:45 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Dinesh D’Souza visited the White House to see Bannon and Gorka and hawk his book...

Do you mean, sir, Convicted Felon Dinesh D'Souza?
posted by adamgreenfield at 11:46 AM on August 4 [40 favorites]


[Convicted Felon] Dinesh D’Souza visited the White House to see Bannon and Gorka

FTFY.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:47 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I mean, I know there's definitely a niche fame market in being the pet nonwhite mouthpiece who supports everyone's racism (cf. Kaitlyn Jenner and Yiannopoulous), but Jesus Christ, man, have some self-respect.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:48 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


> I think it's worth highlighting just how big the war is against McMaster in right-wing media right now.

Well let me just check that on the handy-dandy tool linked in the previous thread and see what the top Russian twitter-bot topics and hashtags are right now.
posted by klarck at 11:52 AM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Has anyone started chanting "Lock Him Up" at Trump yet? Does he ever go out in public?
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:57 AM on August 4






Life isn't all bad.

Martin Shkreli Is Found Guilty of Fraud
Martin Shkreli, accused of defrauding his hedge fund investors and a pharmaceutical company, was convicted on three of eight counts on Friday, after a five-week trial in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

He faces as much as 20 years in prison.

The conviction, even as a mixed verdict, was a shattering defeat for the divisive Mr. Shkreli, who said before the trial that he was “so innocent” that the judge, jury and prosecutors would apologize to him afterward.
posted by chris24 at 12:05 PM on August 4 [37 favorites]


A pair of stories on Sessions' leak crackdown. The details are lacking, but the overall impression is disturbing and threatening.

BuzzFeed, Zoe Tillman: The Justice Department Is Reviewing Obama-Era Journalist Protections
Sessions announced at a news conference Friday morning that the department is reviewing its policies for subpoenaing reporters, suggesting that Obama-era guidelines that placed limits on the practice could be rolled back.

The department will "respect the important role that the press plays," Sessions said, "but it is not unlimited."

Reporters "cannot place lives at risk with impunity," Sessions said. "We must balance their role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in our intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law abiding Americans."
...
He said that in the first six months after Trump took office, there were nearly as many criminal referrals concerning leaks of classified information as there were in the previous three years combined. A criminal referral means a request that the Justice Department investigate the possible leak of classified information that could harm national security. A referral can come from the intelligence community, or other sources outside the Justice Department.
Politico, Josh Gerstein and Madeline Conway: Sessions: DOJ reviewing policies on media subpoenas
“So today, I have this message for our friends in the intelligence community,” he continued. “The Department of Justice is open for business, and I have this warning for would-be leakers: Don't do it.”

Sessions also announced that the FBI has created a new team specifically focused on leaks of classified information to the press and public.
...
While all the officials who spoke Friday inveighed against the grave harm done by leakers, no examples were given. National Counterintelligence Executive William Evanina said that was the product of a "paradox," where confirming th' leak exacerbates the damage.
Sessions left the press conference without taking any questions.
posted by zachlipton at 12:06 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


let this be the Shkreli in the coalmine for the fate of assholes with money
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:06 PM on August 4 [57 favorites]


Now we're never going to get to hear that new Wu-Tang Clan album. :(
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:10 PM on August 4 [24 favorites]


chris24: He faces as much as 20 years in prison.

That's great, but how little time could he face? Upper limits are great, but the cynic in me wants to know what the least amount of time he could be sentenced to do. Also, what's the chance that he's the next King of Swiss Miss, Bernie Madoff? Really, prison doesn't sound too hard on old Bernie, though we're safer for it.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


There's a gap between the trial and the sentencing, so I think I know who the new White House Communications Director is gonna be
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:11 PM on August 4 [28 favorites]




Now we're never going to get to hear that new Wu-Tang Clan album. :(

Two words: civil forfeiture
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:11 PM on August 4 [31 favorites]


Faint of Butt: Now we're never going to get to hear that new Wu-Tang Clan album. :(

East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: Two words: civil forfeiture

Seven more words: possible heist, by or with Bill Murray.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 PM on August 4 [18 favorites]


Now we're done chuckling at the Newsweek cover, the Economist's cover has a somewhat darker take on POTUS.

Sessions announced at a news conference Friday morning that the department is reviewing its policies for subpoenaing reporters,

Leak to the Guardian. Next?
posted by Devonian at 12:15 PM on August 4 [22 favorites]


Seven more words: possible heist, by or with Bill Murray.

So this is how the Trump presidency is going to go down? With RZA and Bill Murray breaking into the DoJ to retrieve the album only to actually find evidence of a massive criminal conspiracy that goes all the way to the president.
posted by Talez at 12:16 PM on August 4 [21 favorites]


yoga: Murder Conviction Overturned in Infamous Blackwater Massacre Case.
Separately, the court said Paul Slough, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty, who were all convicted of manslaughter and other offenses over their respective roles in the incident, should be re-sentenced because their 30-year prison terms were too long. The court also threw out one of Liberty’s convictions for attempted manslaughter.
...
The Justice Department’s case against Slatten, “hinged on his having fired the first shots, his animosity toward the Iraqis having led him to target the white Kia unprovoked,” the court said in the unsigned ruling.

But the statements made by the unnamed co-defendant immediately afterward that he fired the first shot “strike at the heart of that theory and instead point to the co-defendant, not Slatten,” the court said.

The defendants were convicted in October 2014. Slatten had been sentenced to life in prison.
It's not over yet.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:17 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Seven more words: possible heist, by or with Bill Murray.

Sadly, no.
posted by Etrigan at 12:19 PM on August 4


Using the DOJ to go after journalists and sources for leaks and fake news is dumb and counterproductive. In that kind of process wouldn't the court require discovery and testimony? So wouldn't all this action lead to legal proof that all these leaks are 100% true not fake news? Also, aren't they inviting some mid-level bureaucrat to make a name for himself by leaking info, then defending himself by saying, "You can't prosecute me for leaking an illegal order."

So I guess it's the perfect Trump policy.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:21 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Using the DOJ to go after journalists and sources for leaks and fake news is dumb and counterproductive. In that kind of process wouldn't the court require discovery and testimony?

They have no intent for it to go to court, because they know that it won't stand up. They're just trying to scare journalists away from it, and to whip up their base about how anti-Trumpist leaks are worse than Trumpists doing bad things.
posted by Etrigan at 12:24 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Eh, the DOJ thing seems to me like it's the usual Trump bluster, just funneled through Sessions. He probably told him to make proclamations about it to sound tough. They've been talking about cracking down on leaks but the leaks keep leaking.
posted by Fleebnork at 12:24 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Really, prison doesn't sound too hard on old Bernie [Madoff], though we're safer for it.

I don't really think we're safer... Madoff was a reflection of the proverb "You can't cheat an honest man." According to Markopolos, those of his investors who questioned his improbably stable returns concluded he was probably abusing his position as market maker to front run-stock prices.
posted by Coventry at 12:24 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I believe that as a prisoner Shkreli is entitled to essential medications for free, sadly
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:29 PM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Two thoughts on this beautiful Friday afternoon, as I sit here, basking in the good fortune of being 2.5 years self-employed (thanks to Obamacare), but the poorest I've been in most of my adult life, with the doors open at my shop to let the fresh air blow through:

1. The word "trump" is going to have interesting nuance in coming years, in those uses where it was previously a perfectly innocuous word; i.e, in card games and other gamesmanship.

2. I'm terrified. I live in the whitest, most Trumpistani part of the country. And I feel like I'm in some Sci-Fi thing, hiding my true thoughts, hoping I don't get found out.
posted by yesster at 12:30 PM on August 4 [37 favorites]


Waaaaaay back in May I posted this comment, in the context of whether or not California money Dems would support Ted Lieu over old-guard Feinstein:
And speaking of Ted Lieu, a few threads ago, on the topic of Ted Lieu's political future, I said to keep an eye on the meet-and-greets and follow the Hollywood money and supporters.
Here's a very early look at how the governor's race is shaping up:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-hollywood-money-governors-race-20170804-story.html

My educated (but no longer professional) guess is that your Newsom supporters would trend towards supporting DiFi; I would definitely take note if some of the biggest names in the article start fundraising for Lieu or any other challenger. Unlike the old days, however, it wouldn't be unthinkable for a Ted Lieu to raise enough money to be competitve a la Bernie.

Etrigan: They have no intent for it to go to court, because they know that it won't stand up. They're just trying to scare journalists away from it, and to whip up their base about how anti-Trumpist leaks are worse than Trumpists doing bad things.

Oh, thank God someone really smart said this! I believe the same thing. The WaPos of this world conduct Extreme Vetting of these kinds of things, they have lawyers who know every inch of the law, and journalists who have shown extreme bravery when faced with jail time. And re the media subpoenas, isn't that what Obama tried, unsuccessfully?
posted by Room 641-A at 12:43 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


So as not to abuse the edit window, I think this was more Sessions getting Trump off his ass and stop tweeting about him.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:44 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


Two thoughts on this beautiful Friday afternoon, as I sit here, basking in the good fortune of being 2.5 years self-employed (thanks to Obamacare)

It bears repeating, often, loudly, and raising as much stench as possible. In UK parlance "to trump" refers to performing a bum eruction.

I am 3 days away from being 20 years and 1 month self-employed. Likewise I would never have got here without healthcare that was free(/affordable) at the point of provision. It is pretty much an essential pre-condition for genuine entrepreneurship (person has idea, makes stuff, profits), as opposed to malicious-variant-entrepreneurship (person has idea, person sells soul to persons with none, also the idea, stuff is either made or not made depending on profitability and market share, profit is or isn't made but the stock price goes up anyway, other stuff happens, we are all suddenly living in a mad max universe where trump is now immortal).


Another thing that would really help would be a legal system where cost of participation wasn't a barrier or bias to justice.
posted by Buntix at 12:45 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]




In Trump’s World, Whites Are the Only Disadvantaged Class
that's White Males (and of very heterosexual orientation)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:49 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


They have no intent for it to go to court, because they know that it won't stand up. They're just trying to scare journalists away from it

I'm not so sure about this. One of the things that came out of the guidelines Holder developed (consulting with lawyers for major news organizations) were a bunch of restrictions on subpoenaing reporters, including a requirement that the Attorney General usually needed to sign off on such a request personally. The BuzzFeed story says that they are reviewing those guidelines because of "concerns raised by career prosecutors about finding ways to speed up the pace of cases."

Changing this could lead to more situations where reporters are compelled to reveal sources. It's not necessarily about prosecuting the journalists, but threatening them with jail for refusing to reveal their sources. That very much can, and has, stood up.
posted by zachlipton at 12:52 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


They have no intent for it to go to court, because they know that it won't stand up. They're just trying to scare journalists away from it, and to whip up their base about how anti-Trumpist leaks are worse than Trumpists doing bad things.

I know they're dumbasses, but have they really thought about the incentive structures for professional journalists and major news organizations?

I mean, I'm not one, don't know any national political reporters, and don't even know anyone who's still a reporter. But it just seems to me, as a dumbass outsider, that reporters from the national newspapers and news organizations know that they have smart, big, powerful, well-connected lawyers advising them and backing them up. And that being the reporter -- or newspaper, or news network -- that Trump tried to silence is not really much of a penalty?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:56 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


1. The word "trump" is going to have interesting nuance in coming years, in those uses where it was previously a perfectly innocuous word; i.e, in card games and other gamesmanship.

It's already almost ruining euchre for me. Almost.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:58 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]




Trumo just boarded Air Force One for vacation. Time for oppo droppo! (Please.)
posted by Room 641-A at 12:59 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile across the Atlantic: Benjamin Netanyahu suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, police say

This can't make things better.
posted by mephron at 1:01 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


From the Trump Democrat article:

People tend to forget how they voted in previous elections, with more recalling they voted for the winner than actually did.

Some people maybe shouldn't be voting at all.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:01 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


People tend to forget how they voted in previous elections, with more recalling they voted for the winner than actually did.

Why attribute to forgetfulness what we can instead attribute to lying your ass off
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:02 PM on August 4 [57 favorites]


Come to think of it, maybe I did vote for Trump...
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:05 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


In my experience this voter forgetfulness is actually explained by the reality that they did not vote at all.
posted by bearwife at 1:05 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


" I'm terrified. I live in the whitest, most Trumpistani part of the country. And I feel like I'm in some Sci-Fi thing, hiding my true thoughts, hoping I don't get found out."
Howdy, neighbor!
posted by TwoToneRow at 1:06 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Trumo just boarded Air Force One for vacation. Time for oppo droppo! (Please.) - posted by Room 641-A at 3:59 PM

Dropped 4:00pm.

Exclusive: FBI tracked 'fake news' believed to be from Russia on Election Day
The FBI monitored social media on Election Day last year in an effort to track a suspected Russian disinformation campaign utilizing "fake news," CNN has learned. In the months leading up to Election Day, Twitter and Facebook were the feeding grounds for viral "news" stories floating conspiracies and hoaxes, many aimed at spreading negative false claims about Hillary Clinton.

On Election Day, dozens of agents and analysts huddled at a command center arrayed with large monitoring screens at the FBI headquarters in Washington watching for security threats, according to multiple sources. That included analysts monitoring cyber threats, after months of mounting Russian intrusions targeting every part of the US political system, from political parties to policy think-tanks to state election systems.

On this day, there was also a group of FBI cyber and counterintelligence analysts and investigators watching social media. FBI analysts had identified social media user accounts behind stories, some based overseas, and the suspicion was that at least some were part of a Russian disinformation campaign, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.
posted by chris24 at 1:06 PM on August 4 [44 favorites]


I'm listening to the hourly news report on NPR. "Trump has been trumpeting the news about a Chinese whatever…"

Probably Fox comm
posted by tilde at 1:08 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Yeah he's been making bogus claims that Foxconn is going to be bigly investing $10 billion in the US.
posted by Fleebnork at 1:10 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I still wanna know how I can get into this Mueller prosecution business I'm legit tryna take down a president I want a team of prosecutors with impeccable credentials
posted by gucci mane at 1:12 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


People tend to forget how they voted in previous elections, with more recalling they voted for the winner than actually did.
With some exceptions - after his resignation, it was hard for me to find anyone who admitted they voted for Nixon (and I was running in semi-Republican circles at the time).
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:14 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I was just thinking about Scott Worsleys use of the word trumpeting
posted by tilde at 1:15 PM on August 4


Changing this could lead to more situations where reporters are compelled to reveal sources. It's not necessarily about prosecuting the journalists, but threatening them with jail for refusing to reveal their sources. That very much can, and has, stood up.

And by extension, about discouraging leaks. "Even if the reporters promise you absolute anonymity, we can just throw them in jail until they give you up. Before you send that e-mail to the Post, ask yourself, how sure are you that they won't crack?"
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:15 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I think in the future, playing a trump in bridge will refer to placing a joker on top of the trick and then crying out "fake rules" when others point out you have to follow suit.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:17 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


They just interviewed Iliana Watson from politico and EJ Lederman from The Washington Post on NPR. EJ said " I don't think general Kelly can change Trump is a big tough marine but that's a tall order. Quote or something along those lines. It finished up at 4:20 it started about 4:16, so you should be picking it up again in about an hour from now. All things considered news show.

When I gets outside of the thread where in for 3 1/2 more years.
posted by tilde at 1:19 PM on August 4


Is Toddler immune from the leak hunt? Just asking.
posted by Dashy at 1:22 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Foxconn is going to be bigly investing $10 billion in the US.

"But probably more like $30 billion" [real]

Chicago Tribune: Foxconn steers clear of Trump's $30 billion investment claim
posted by Room 641-A at 1:22 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


A letter from Comey's friend to Pence (8/2/17)

This was terrible. Wittes suggests that Pence start preparing for Trump's impeachment. That's it, as if that isn't what Pence has been doing since probably before the election.

(decrement (reputation "Wittes"))
posted by BentFranklin at 1:42 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Ah I wasn't thinking bigly enough.
posted by Fleebnork at 1:43 PM on August 4


It's already almost ruining euchre for me. Almost.

Oh god, and the euchre belt runs across the upper Midwest...

Were there voters that went Trump in WI/MI/OH/PA because of vaguely subconscious positive associations with throwing down the right/left/ace of Trump halfway through a hand

oh god, statistics says there probably were
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:44 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


> WaPo: There's No Such Thing as a Trump Democrat
The aberration wasn’t their votes for Trump but their votes for Obama.
THIS! So much post-election punditry tried to make it sound like the reduction in vote share from Obama to Clinton was a colossal failure, when in reality Obama was a once-in-a-generation candidate who had some of the strongest anti-incumbent winds ever at his back. Those voters were going to come home, and Trump's stew of xenophobia and toxic masculinity was the perfect way to bring them back. I'm glad at least one pundit gets it.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:47 PM on August 4 [33 favorites]


Is it possible Trump brought in a general, sort of a federal marshall, in Kelly, so he could go on vacation? Then Vice President Penance could just go on with his personal, never ending, Vacation Bible School?
posted by Oyéah at 1:47 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


They're both evil, though. Just differently evil.

Pence's campaign slogan: Evil Different
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:50 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Daily Beast, Betsy Woodruff, Noah Shachtman: Team Trump Sics Spy Hunters on Leakers
We are taking a stand,” Sessions said. “This culture of leaking must stop.”

Ron Hosko, former deputy director of the FBI, said these changes could result in prosecution of members of Congress and Hill staffers. In the past, he said the FBI identified members of Congress who leaked classified information, who the Justice Department then declined to prosecute. Agents were often frustrated by this, Hosko added. Given the attorney general’s announcement, he said, members of Congress and Hill staffers may be more likely to face prosecution.

“Let’s face it: Capitol Hill leaks like a sieve,” Hosko said.
Of course, leak investigations are dangerous:
Perkins may want to take a bit more of a wait-and-see approach. These leak investigations have a habit of taking some rather odd turns. President Nixon’s anti-leak team—the so-called “plumbers”—eventually helped bring down his presidency.
Also, please enjoy Rep. Maxine Waters on The View with special surprise appearance by "Reclaiming My Time" gospel singer Mykal Kilgore.
posted by zachlipton at 1:51 PM on August 4 [39 favorites]


I listened to the new episode of Oh No Ross and Carrie on my lunch hour today. It's part two of their reporting about a UFO and Metaphysics conference and apparently allllll those people are Trumpers.

A lot of the "Freeman on the land" gibberish is one half New Age woo and one half Trump-friendly anti-globalism/NWO/anti-Zionism etc. etc. Just a couple of days ago a woman named Heather Ann Tucci-Jarraf, one of the operators of the One People's Public Trust scam was arrested in DC in connection to earlier acts of bank fraud. Her website I-UV.com is totally woo and totally nuts.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:53 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Exclusive: FBI tracked 'fake news' believed to be from Russia on Election Day

And there lies yet another rub, rolling us all off into the runnels.

How is it possible that the NSA et al couldn't come up with http://dashboard.securingdemocracy.org/.

I mean I could write that in a weekend (apart, possibly, from getting chart.js to consistently apply shading - that is beyond the ken of any), I am pretty sure they have better computer programmers than me on the payroll.


It makes the whole far-right media 'deep state' narrative interesting.

Did they (the deep state) completely miss it (and if so how are we ever meant to believe that Stitchers could be a real thing).

Did they log it but the analyses was off.

Did they see it coming but the chain of command gave it a go (the underlying narrative for most clash-of-nations thrillers).

Did they see it coming, and actually it turns out the TLA badge doesn't mean much when you are going up against the big guys (and their buyers of ink and bullets in the back of the head in barrels).

@NSA my dude, what happened?

[disclaimer: I am of the anarchist tendency; not a supporter of any state, deep or otherwise, any implied support shouldn't be]
posted by Buntix at 1:53 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


The media certainly could of, instead they remained dedicated to being "fair and balanced".
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Ron Hosko, former deputy director of the FBI, said these changes could result in prosecution of members of Congress and Hill staffers.

Has a member of Congress ever been prosecuted for leaking, let alone convicted? How about a staffer?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:01 PM on August 4


“Let’s face it: Capitol Hill leaks like a sieve,” Hosko said.

“Let’s face it: Capitol Hill leaks like a Steve,” Hosko said. FTFY
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:02 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Any member of Congress can read anything into the record and be completely immune from prosecution for it. (They are liable from punishment from their own House for it, though.) This is how Mike Gravel published the Pentagon Papers.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:05 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


I listened to the new episode of Oh No Ross and Carrie on my lunch hour today. It's part two of their reporting about a UFO and Metaphysics conference and apparently allllll those people are Trumpers.

Definitely not. However, and this is a little tinfoil-hatty, but, those Trumpers are the loudest and most dickish. So they're easier to spot as a dispassionate observer. Yeah. Think about it.
posted by petebest at 2:07 PM on August 4


I hope McCain will tell us about the UFOs...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:07 PM on August 4


WORLD GOVERNMENT LEADER: We have agreed to allow President Trump to announce you

ALIENS: Pass
posted by petebest at 2:11 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


Fox News anchor calls grand juries "undemocratic farce" one day after calling for grand jury for Clinton. [real]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:17 PM on August 4 [77 favorites]


Sessions: "rogue White House officials with security clearances selling out our country."

So, Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn?
posted by Room 641-A at 2:17 PM on August 4 [15 favorites]


"Take me to your leader" has never had more chilling implications.

"Umm, could you guys come back in maybe four years or so? You picked a really bad time. Or you could go land in Germany, that'd be fine. I can draw you a map."
posted by MrVisible at 2:20 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


tilde: “Austin, Texas owns your trees,” Abbott said. “That’s insanity. … It’s socialistic.”

Because this quote was bothering me, Washington Post has more on Austin's battle with the State of Texas over its tree protection requirements, which comes from "a long-standing ordinance that requires property owners to get permission — and sometimes pay a fee — before cutting down any tree greater than 19 inches in diameter on their own land."
Many Austin boosters say that if the air smells pleasant in Austin, it’s thanks to the trees, which cover nearly a third (PDF) of the land in the city.
Abbot, stay out of California, because the California Environmental Quality Act will overwhelm your soft brain with is far-reaching concerns for community, historic and environmental concerns to consider when developing in parts of the state. And this hippie thinks that the state, the 5th largest economy in the world, is better for it. (Sure, Texas is up there, above Canada, but below Brazil, Italy, India, France, and oh ... there's California. #CaliPrideForever even though I'm #NewMexicoProud)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:23 PM on August 4 [20 favorites]


Can we just silently agree that if the aliens land here we go all underground railroad and smuggle them up to Ottawa?
posted by cmfletcher at 2:26 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Did the aliens grant some of us the power of telepathy? Now I've got serious FOMO.
posted by Coventry at 2:30 PM on August 4


Can we just silently agree that if the aliens land here we go all underground railroad and smuggle them up to Ottawa?

When the M'pel'glor Imperium sends its husk creatures, it's not sending its best.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:32 PM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Gannett/USA Today: Mueller using at least two grand juries

One in Virginia, one in DC.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:37 PM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Holyfuckingshit, it only takes trees to be socialist now?
posted by rhizome at 2:38 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


"Unreconstructed Confederate" is an old insult I'm doing my best to bring back.

Careful - it's not always taken as an insult.
posted by absalom at 2:41 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


On Forest Lane, butchered trees offer 'horrific' peek at Texas' future if Abbott gets his way Robert Wilonsky, Dallas Morning News
In a tweet Thursday, Abbott said he's out to "end cities' assault[s] on individual liberty." The end result would be devastating for a city like Dallas, which, according to the nonprofit Texas Trees Foundation, is one of the fastest-warming cities in the country because of sprawl and development burying soil beneath concrete. Dallas and the surrounding counties have been in violation of the Clean Air Act for decades; study after study shows that when trees vanish, temperatures rise. The first-of-its-kind study of Dallas' urban forest actually put a number on how much all of this is worth: "Trees provide annual savings of over $9 million through energy conservation," for starters.
posted by mcdoublewide at 2:42 PM on August 4 [41 favorites]


Like most conservative Texans, Abbott hates absolutely everything about Austin to an utterly irrational degree. He's at the "look at that bitch eating crackers" phase in his Austin hate.

And, like most American conservatives, he's fetishized private property to a truly horrifying degree. To him the idea that the government, at any level, might have regulations about what you can do with your private property is anathema (offer not valid for your uterus).
posted by sotonohito at 2:42 PM on August 4 [38 favorites]


This Trump real estate deal looks awfully like criminal tax fraud (David Herzig and Bridget Crawford, WaPo)
Two tax lawyers break down the president’s sale of two condos to his son.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:43 PM on August 4 [53 favorites]


"...and also I can't find Lik-M-Aid ANYWHERE. When did Austin elect crypto-Hitler as candy czar?"
posted by rhizome at 2:46 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


On Forest Lane, butchered trees offer 'horrific' peek at Texas' future if Abbott gets his way ...

Obviously not a Rush fan or he'd know that cutting down the trees is, like, socialism, man.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:49 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


This Trump real estate deal looks awfully like criminal tax fraud

Now the nature of Trump's business over the years has become obvious, one of the most confusing elements of his rise to power is that, no matter how many lawsuits he has lost or settled along the way, he hasn't yet been charged with a single crime. I mean. I know the guy's rich. He likes to file baseless lawsuits and he likes to plant nasty tabloid articles. Is that enough to render a person immune from prosecution?

Or perhaps someone has been protecting him besides his lawyer?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:54 PM on August 4 [18 favorites]


Is that enough to render a person immune from prosecution?
That, and some decades of practice at effectively placed local bribery.
posted by rc3spencer at 2:58 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


“Austin, Texas owns your trees,” Abbott said. “That’s insanity. … It’s socialistic.”

Just the Red Oaks, surely?

Re the fetishism of private property, it is ironic, given that the vast majority of Home owner associations are corporations owned by Texas legislators, and they have codified the right to strip you of your property with no recompense if you do something they don't like. See all the stories of people losing their houses to hoas in Texas. So Abbott can kiss my shiny rural ass, especially since our property was incorporated into the city, and we don't have an hoa, now that my town has gone from 5k people to 50k people, and there are less than 200 homes this size in the entire dfw metroplex that don't have any hoa restrictions, the value of our property has doubled, which means that my tax bill is now twice the size of my mortgage. (And now I can't keep chickens, because now we're inside city limits. Bastards.)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:00 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


The IRS at least is so grossly underfunded that criminal investigation is seeming, in recent years, beyond their ability to even care about. Not that they do none of it, but a lot of people are getting away with a lot of shit right now that is completely within the realm of criminal prosecution and they can't even bother to do simple audits.
posted by Sequence at 3:02 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]




On NPR, on All Things Considered, airing right now:

They must have made a major editorial decision, which is: Don't lead with any story regarding Donald Trump, unless there is actually something NEWSWORTHY to report.


Everywhere else it's Trump headlines.


I might start to like NPR news coverage again.

(it's been 6 minutes, so . . .)
posted by yesster at 3:07 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


“It gives the prosecutor a tremendous tactical advantage… the case now can be brought not in Northern Virginia, which is a swing area, sometimes Democrat, sometimes Republican… but the District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration.”

My reaction to that idea is, "sounds great!"... is that not Alan Dershowitz's reaction?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:10 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


What's the selection process for grand jurors? It seems true that if you're looking for DC residents who don't have strong opinions on the President of the United States, it may take a while...

Wait, there's no defense attorney is there? So selection would seem straightforward.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:11 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Sounds as though Dershowitz might be angling for the job.
posted by Coventry at 3:14 PM on August 4


My reaction to that idea is, "sounds great!"... is that not Alan Dershowitz's reaction?

He's been such a solidly supportive Trumper that people have been mocking him for sacrificing what little reputation he has left to try to get hired by Trump.

If you check out his twitter feed, you'll see that he believes there's no doubt Trump can pardon himself, that Don Jr. clearly has done nothing criminal, that collusion is not a crime, etc.
posted by chris24 at 3:15 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Everyone needs to think long and hard about whether you really want Trump gone or not. Remember...That would put Mike Pence in the Oval Office. And, he's someone who Congress can absolutely work with, minus all the strurm und drang.

I have thought of this, and it's worth considering yes. But Pence would also be a much more *normal* President, his appointees would not all be designed to tear apart their departments, and he presumably has a bit more of a conscience than the absolute bottom line.

He'd be a bad President, but he'd be a traditionally bad President. He wouldn't be some kind of ludicrous, insane hyper-Nixon.
posted by JHarris at 3:16 PM on August 4 [12 favorites]


The last black man Alan Dershowitz had a good opinion of was O.J. Simpson.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:17 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


I served on a grand jury a couple years ago - not sure that the experience is totally identical to what we can expect is happening in DC/NoVA but when I did it, there was no process for seating people. It was based on math and who they needed. People either asked for deferrals, got lucky and didn't get selected, or served for 11 days.

We did see one defense attorney, though he didn't present any arguments he was accompanying his client who made the highly unusual decision to testify on his own behalf (literally the only one of the 20+ cases we heard where this happened).

Also, fuck alan deshowitz - unless hes about to argue we retry every poor black and brown person convicted by a jury with fewer than a pair of jurors of color I don't really care what he has to say.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:17 PM on August 4 [36 favorites]


Ctrl F Fisting. Huh, nothing. I figured you will all be talking about this latest insanity.

The NRA released another violent ad w/ spokeswoman Dana. In it she says, "We are going to fist the Old Grey Hag." At least that's what people heard and were outraged by until

@Yashar Ali
Found original version of NRA ad which is longer + has captions that say "fisk". NRA should also delete their tweet

The original tweet had "#FistofTruth.#

So naturally there is a great deal of debate whether the ad is using Fisk or Fist or whether (as I am supposing) they are deliberately using a misleading word that could be heard wrongly. Outrage! Shock! Much discussion of said ad. Plausible deniability.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:29 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


NRA should also delete their tweet

#StarkFistOfRemoval
posted by octobersurprise at 3:35 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


The fisk/fist debate is a prime example of how we're all collectively miserable unless there's a regular diet of bombshell scoops and/or outrage.
posted by zachlipton at 3:39 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


So naturally there is a great deal of debate whether the ad is using Fisk or Fist

Maybe we could ask Görk
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:41 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


The new excuse; DC juries aren't white enough to be fair to Trump. Alan Dershowitz:

“It gives the prosecutor a tremendous tactical advantage… the case now can be brought not in Northern Virginia, which is a swing area, sometimes Democrat, sometimes Republican… but the District of Columbia, which is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition that might be very unfavorable to the Trump Administration.”
posted by chris24 at 6:06 PM on August 4 [4 favorites +] [!]
But but but....wasn't it like thirty seconds ago that trump was saying how much those communities love him. And that he won the popular vote if you took the illegal voting out? Is someone suggesting folks will also get themselves ONTO A JURY illegally?

This is my surprised face.
posted by bilabial at 3:43 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Ctrl F Fisting. Huh, nothing.
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:45 PM on August 4 [31 favorites]


What the hell is a Fisk? It sounds even worse...
posted by Captain l'escalier at 3:46 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


It's blogging slang from around 2005 about refuting a news article line by line (after Robert Fisk). I'm pretty sure nobody has used it for at least a decade.
posted by dilaudid at 3:47 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


It's German for "The Times, The"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:50 PM on August 4 [24 favorites]


The racists have a sad.

@ryanstruyk (CNN Politics)
Optimism in Trump's presidency falling among whites without a college degree (Quinnipiac poll) -->

November 74%
March 70%
May 59%
Now 51%
posted by chris24 at 3:50 PM on August 4 [27 favorites]


Am I right in saying the most significant piece of legislation this President has yet signed is one which he described as unconstitutional and which puts constraints on his own ability to conduct foreign policy?

I wonder: is he is tired of all the #winning?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:05 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


I know you guys know this but this: To him the idea that the government, at any level, might have regulations about what you can do with your private property is anathema (offer not valid for your uterus). is SUCH a stupid idea that is so easily disproved.

Like, one of the people in my neighborhood, which is a rural area with no city services of any kind, didn't have a septic system. They were just running raw sewage out a pipe across their lawn. Well neighbors found out and reported them and they got in trouble with the county. Because that puts EVERYONE'S HEALTH AT RISK. It may be your property, but what you do on it still effects me. Like if you fired a gun on your property and it traveled to mine and hit me.
posted by threeturtles at 4:06 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]




I honestly can't wait for it even though I'm not going to watch it, if that makes any sense.
posted by lalex at 4:14 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


NBC Nightly News had ANOTHER segment on rural white voters in a red state (WY). What is behind this? Schadenfreude that some of them regret their choice? Pointing and laughing at the ones who don't? Who do they think wants to see this stuff over and over?
posted by AFABulous at 4:16 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


In all the hoopla about Fist vs. Fisk I hope it didn't escape anyone's notice that the NRA just put out an ad attacking the NYTimes. That seems a bit...strange. I get the NYTimes is supposedly a Liberal Institution but it strikes me that there are other, more liberal targets.

Also in one of the Podcasts I listened to yesterday they brought up an interesting point. When Rupert Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal he said he would have no hand in the running of it. After all the WSJ was a well regarded Conservative paper. However this past interview with Trump showed a FOX-like tendency to treat Trump with great deference and an almost fawning attitude. There is definitely a noticeable Murdoch touch.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:19 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


A hint of the next major Fox News spin: who cares if he's guilty?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:24 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Holyfuckingshit, it only takes trees to be socialist now?

Trees are pretty suspicious, when you think about it

When was the last time you saw a tree investing in the stock market, or joining the chamber of commerce, or the NRA
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:33 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


Wow. That article. They are really doing their best to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

"76 percent of Republicans still support him, not so bad."
"Democrats didn't care that Bill Clinton was guilty."
"Hillary must have done something worse because she lost."
"Plus with peace and prosperity reigning across the land.."

(all my paraphrasing except the last)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:34 PM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Politico John Kelly's big challenge: Controlling the tweeter in chief
For example, advisers believed for days that Trump was likely to pick John Pistole as FBI director. Inside the administration, three officials said, there was little initial support for Christopher Wray, the former FBI official who was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s attorney in the bridge-closing controversy. “No one really was pushing for Wray,” one senior administration official said.

After talking extensively with Christie, who sold Trump on the former FBI official’s bona fides as a lawyer, Trump decided to go with Wray without telling others on staff, advisers said. White House officials waking up to the tweet were startled, and hurriedly wrote a news release to correspond to it. Much of the president’s inner circle knew little about Wray. Trump was simply tired of the search, these people said.
That must be of great comfort to Wrey-- You got your job because the President was tired of fielding applicants.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:41 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


Who do they think wants to see this stuff over and over?

My only theory is that Trump's election drives home just how many Americans really are hateful, spiteful, and/or just incredibly fucking dumb. Given so many decades of American exceptionalism, with much of the media being deeply complicit in it, that's a hard thing to grapple with. So hard that many of them would rather try to salvage some sense of "people really aren't that bad" out of this whole mess.

Some people find comfort in acknowledging we're not really special. Other people find that horrifying.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:41 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


That must be of great comfort to Wrey-- You got your job because the President was tired of fielding applicants.

And from the same article, the Twitter trans ban came because he was tired of people arguing with him. Give this man nuke codes!
President Donald Trump’s White House and Defense Department lawyers had warned him against the transgender military ban for days. They were concerned about the ramifications of the policy, how military officials would respond and what legal backlash it could cause, two West Wing officials familiar with last month’s discussions said. The lawyers thought there would be plenty of time for more discussions and were analyzing arguments.

Frustrated with being “slow-walked,” in the words of one White House official, the president took to Twitter last week — jarring many in the West Wing out of complacency and startling his lawyers, Defense Department officials and West Wing aides, who learned of the change in a series of tweets.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump began.

The administration had no plan in place, but Trump told others they would have to “get in gear” if he announced the ban first, one White House adviser who spoke to Trump said. He also said the announcement would stop the lawyers from arguing with him anymore. There is still no plan in place, and Defense Department officials have said they won’t implement the ban until guidance is given.
posted by chris24 at 4:45 PM on August 4 [43 favorites]


Plus with peace and prosperity reigning across the land

If that's what's reigning, why am I getting sprinkled with pee?
posted by maxwelton at 4:45 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


The word out of Murdoch-land is that Rupert himself asked Roger Ailes to change FoxNews' Pro-Trump Anti-Hillary tilt before the election. And Rupert's two sons are decidedly less "tighty-righty" than Dad. I'm actually somewhat surprised that, after the death of Ailes and ouster of O'Reilly, there isn't a noticeable change in editorial direction, except for tolerance for Shep Smith, who the Hannity called "anti-Trump" on his radio show but not on his TV show. I would think that, knowing how much the Donald loves his Fox and Friends, more moderate forces in Murdoch-land would be planting stories in there to soften him up.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:46 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


The best thing they could do is get rid of Hannity because he is so far up DJT's ass he can't see anything but the glory and power of Trump.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:50 PM on August 4


Rosie Gray: The War Against H.R. McMaster
“It’s noticed, how can you not notice it?” said a source close to McMaster, when asked if the former Army general is registering the pushback.

It’s come from all corners. Breitbart News, the website Bannon controlled as executive chairman before joining the Trump campaign, has produced a flurry of negative stories about McMaster over the past two days, accusing him of “purging” dissenters and kowtowing to “holdovers” from the Obama administration. Fox News host Sean Hannity has tweeted about McMaster, saying he might need to go. Radio host Laura Ingraham has also weighed in, tweeting that “Obama holdovers at NSC or State Dept who are leaking shd do real time for these leaks. Why has McMasters fired actual Trump supporters?” The Daily Caller published an interview with two former NSC officials attacking him, accusing him of undermining the president’s foreign-policy agenda. Circa, a site owned by the conservative Sinclair Broadcasting company, published a letter Thursday that McMaster sent months ago to his predecessor Susan Rice, in which he informed her that she could keep her security clearance. It’s a standard letter, but it has caused a furor in light of the ongoing controversy over unmasking.

The provocative right-wing blogger and activist Mike Cernovich has launched a sustained attack on McMaster, including setting up a website called McMasterLeaks.com. When it launched, the main page displayed a large cartoon of the Rothschilds controlling a George Soros puppet, which in turn controlled puppets representing McMaster and former CIA director David Petraeus. (The hand labeled “Rothschilds” has since been relabeled “Saudis.” Cernovich told me he changed it because complaints about the cartoon’s anti-Semitism are “not a hill to die on,” and “if everybody wants to complain, then fine—I’ll just put the Saudis at the top.”)
Specifically, McMaster is concerned that Cernovich is getting leaks from inside the NSC!

Loren DeJonge Schulman, an NSC staffer under Obama, has a related piece on Can This National Security Council Handle a Real Crisis?, which discusses how this administration has not had to deal with a series crisis not of its own making and raises some well-informed concerns about what will happen when that isn't the case. Well worth reading.
posted by zachlipton at 4:52 PM on August 4 [16 favorites]


People either asked for deferrals, got lucky and didn't get selected, or served for 11 days.

Got lucky and didn't get selected?! Let me tell you I'm having real FOMO over no longer living in DC right now. The District's hottest club is Grand Jury Service. It has everything: grandfather clocks, money laundering, pee tape kompromat - you know, that thing where the Russians tape the US President getting off to a bunch of sex workers doing watersports?
posted by Emily's Fist at 4:55 PM on August 4 [67 favorites]


The common thread between the Wrey and trans ban anecdotes is that Trump got tired of understanding an important issue and just decided to tweet out a decision in the hope that it would make all the meetings and boring stuff stop.

That fits nicely with this explanation of Trump's attention span, which is buried in an excellent story on Trump's Afghanistan plan, or lack thereof, and McMaster's attempts to form a strategy:
Trump had little time for in-depth briefings on the Afghanistan’s history, its complicated politics or its seemingly endless civil war. Even a single page of bullet points on the country seemed to tax the president’s attention span on the subject, said senior White House officials.

“I call the president the two-minute man,” said one Trump confidant. “The president has patience for a half-page.”

Another problem was overcoming the president’s skepticism that winning in Afghanistan was even possible.

On Afghanistan, McMaster wanted something that would appeal to the president’s instincts as a promoter, U.S. officials said.

The solution: The general dug up pictures of Kabul’s Massoud Circle from 2005 and 2015 to show how businesses and traffic had returned to the once desolate area. And he asked one of his Afghanistan experts to find a black-and-white snapshot from 1972 of Afghan women in miniskirts walking through Kabul.

“The goal was to give the president the idea that Afghanistan was not this hopeless place,” said one U.S. official familiar with the briefing, which included several pictures of the country.
posted by zachlipton at 5:00 PM on August 4 [32 favorites]


Let me tell you I'm having real FOMO over no longer living in DC right now. The District's hottest club is Grand Jury Service. It has everything: grandfather clocks, money laundering, pee tape kompromat - you know, that thing where the Russians tape the US President getting off to a bunch of sex workers do watersports?

OMG it's YOU Stefon.
posted by HyperBlue at 5:01 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


I would think that, knowing how much the Donald loves his Fox and Friends, more moderate forces in Murdoch-land would be planting stories in there to soften him up.

This would probably only alienate Trump. During the election, Fox might have swayed things with a more reasonable (read: left) tilt, but that didn't happen. Now they have clear influence over the guy in the White House just by feeding him garbage through Fox and Friends. The alternative is to try to pull back from the far right, which will involve a lengthy period of wandering the political & media wilderness trying to become credible or reasonable or something. Better to rule in Hell, as the quote goes.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:03 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


chris24: "That must be of great comfort to Wrey-- You got your job because the President was tired of fielding applicants.

And from the same article, the Twitter trans ban came because he was tired of people arguing with him. Give this man nuke codes!
"

Oh jeezus. If and when he tweets "the bombing will begin in five minutes", he'll actually mean it. We're all fucked.
posted by mhum at 5:08 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


I'm watching Star Trek TOS on BBC America tonight.

We could really use Gary Seven about now.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:18 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Let me tell you I'm having real FOMO over no longer living in DC right now. The District's hottest club is Grand Jury Service. It has everything: grandfather clocks, money laundering, pee tape kompromat - you know, that thing where the Russians tape the US President getting off to a bunch of sex workers do watersports?

...Dan Cortese.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:23 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


From the WP article zachlipton linked upthread:

Another problem was overcoming the president’s skepticism that winning in Afghanistan was even possible.


For once Trump appears to be right. I'm not comforted by the fact that so called adults in the room are saying that they believe a war in Afghanistan is winnable.
posted by rdr at 5:24 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


“I call the president the two-minute man,” said one Trump confidant.

"Not even close," snorted Melania.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:26 PM on August 4 [73 favorites]


I don't entirely disagree, but I'm extremely not comforted by the fact that the guy making the decision has to be shown old pictures of women in miniskirts to make sure he pays attention.
posted by zachlipton at 5:27 PM on August 4 [15 favorites]


Ummmmmm we have a memo from Mattis telling all Department of Defense employees to be ethical and do the right thing at all times? This is... somehow the opposite of comforting to me.
posted by Andrhia at 5:27 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


HuffPost, Yashar Ali (who claimed he had something big dropping back when we were all arguing about fisting/fisking): Fox News Host Sent Unsolicited Lewd Text Messages To Colleagues, Sources Say
Eric Bolling, a longtime Fox News host, sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News, a dozen sources told HuffPost.

Recipients of the photo confirmed its contents to HuffPost, which is not revealing their identities. The women, who are Bolling’s current and former Fox colleagues, concluded the message was from him because they recognized his number from previous work-related and informal interactions.The messages were sent several years ago, on separate occasions.
...
When asked whether Bolling at any point had sent unsolicited lewd or inappropriate text messages or emails (including an image of a man’s genitalia) to Fox News or Fox Business colleagues, his attorney Michael J. Bowe responded, “Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.”
...
He has had a history of making misogynistic on-air remarks during his tenure at Fox News, the most notable during a September 2014 segment on the panel show “The Five” while discussing the first woman fighter pilot from the United Arab Emirates leading the bombing of the Islamic State. Bolling asked on air if instead of saying “boots on the ground” it would be more appropriate to say “boobs on the ground.” He apologized the next day, citing “a look” he got from his wife when he arrived home.
posted by zachlipton at 5:41 PM on August 4 [26 favorites]


bye Eric
posted by lalex at 5:45 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


I expect every member of the Department to play the ethical midfield. I need you to be aggressive and show initiative without running the ethical sidelines, where even one misstep will have you out of bounds.

This is probably just a tragically bad sports metaphor, but it kind of sounds like he's saying "be ethical, but not TOO ethical, you know"?
posted by theodolite at 5:46 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


NYT with tonight's big scoop: Special Counsel’s Office Seeks White House Documents on Flynn
Investigators working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently asked the White House for documents related to former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, and have questioned witnesses about whether he was secretly paid by the Turkish government during the final months of the presidential campaign, according to people close to the investigation.

Though not a formal subpoena, the document request is the first known instance of Mr. Mueller’s team asking the White House to hand over records.

In interviews with potential witnesses in recent weeks, prosecutors and F.B.I. agents have spent hours pouring over the details of Mr. Flynn’s business dealings with a Turkish-American businessman who worked last year with Mr. Flynn and his consulting business, the Flynn Intel Group.
posted by zachlipton at 5:46 PM on August 4 [24 favorites]


Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.

lol might as well immediately follow up with "oh, THOSE dick pics" with a denial like that

Bolling asked on air if instead of saying “boots on the ground” it would be more appropriate to say “boobs on the ground.” He apologized the next day, citing “a look” he got from his wife when he arrived home.

christ
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:48 PM on August 4 [28 favorites]


Trump only hires people who have Russian ties and FOX only hires men who like to sexually harass women. Put them together...SitCom idea?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:48 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


And "Boobs on the Ground" it is!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:49 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


Somebody needs to make a flow chart that's just a circle with "Should I send a picture of my genitalia to some one who has not asked for such a picture?" and "No, I should not."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:50 PM on August 4 [22 favorites]


NYT with tonight's big scoop

oh no poor Yashar (who I love)!
posted by lalex at 5:50 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


the air smells pleasant in Austin,

I laughed. 7 years in Austin that ended 25 years ago and I still can't get that awful smell of mold, cedar pollen, and Grackle shit out of my memory. Luckily that's only when it's warm which is like ... oh shit, 9-10 months of the year?
posted by spitbull at 5:51 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I officially plan to not care or be interested in stories from the conservative cesspit until:
1) Hannity is charged with something
2) Sessions is charged with something
3) Pence is charged with something
4) Impeachment proceedings are announced

As much as I enjoy seeing conservatives diving headlong into the woodchipper, the OMGISTHISTHEBIGONE tone of coverage of the abattior gets old. Wake me up when one of the hydra's heads that can't grow back gets chopped off.
posted by saysthis at 5:53 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


Somebody needs to make a flow chart that's just a circle with "Should I send a picture of my genitalia to some one who has not asked for such a picture?" and "No, I should not."

Not quite that flow chart, but a flow chart
posted by Bovine Love at 5:55 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


uh oh you might not like these threads
posted by lalex at 5:55 PM on August 4 [31 favorites]


The Times story fails to mention the biggest scandal about Flynn taking money from Turkey, the one I've been complaining about since March, which is that he adopted pro-Turkish military policy as basically his first act on the job (more on this from McClatchy) immediately after taking the money. At an absolute minimum, it gives the impression that our military policy is for sale to the highest bidder, and that the rewards accrue personally to the officials. I very much hope Mueller's office is looking into Flynn's policy decisions here and who he was talking to at the time.

It seems like that should be enough, on its own, to be a massively huge deal.
posted by zachlipton at 6:00 PM on August 4 [58 favorites]


It seems like that should be enough, on its own, to be a massively huge deal.

Surely This, 2017 Edition
posted by mubba at 6:02 PM on August 4 [20 favorites]


Surely This, 2017-08-05T01:20:37+00:00 Edition.
posted by chortly at 6:21 PM on August 4 [18 favorites]


I will say that Trump's gotten really fucking lucky this year that there hasn't been a hurricane or other natural disaster requiring the services of FEMA or the allocation of billions of dollars for clean-up. (Not counting previously allocated monies that Trump elected to not hand over.)
posted by Autumnheart at 6:22 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


On the other hand, so have we. He'd make Brownie look like Mark Watford by comparison.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:26 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


pls back the kickstarter for my adult party card game, Surely This!? where you play as candidates vying to ascend to the highest levels of governance while dodging--or exploiting--heinous scandals that would ruin the lives of lesser people

example of play: Bob plays a You Did Terrible Things While Visiting That Libertarian Sea Nation And There Are Witnesses card, which would sink Susan's candidate twenty points in the polls, but she counters with Cable News Producer Is In The Same Underground Sex Cult As You, neutralizing it, and responds with Psychotic Dictator Is Your BFF, cancelling Bob's next turn. With Bob on the ropes, Joe plays his What You Bragged About In Your Unpublished Memoir Is Technically Murder card, but since the Nothing Makes Sense Anymore card was active from a previous round, the dice are rolled and Bob actually gains fifteen points in the polls and wins the New Hampshire primary
posted by prize bull octorok at 6:26 PM on August 4 [173 favorites]


US Government Rejects Aid for Montana Firefighting Costs

(That was July 25; the state appealed and the denial was reversed a couple days later.)
posted by rtha at 6:31 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Susan counters by shooting Bob in the center of Times Square, which ends the game Golden Snitch style.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:31 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


From that NYT Flynn article...
The entire The entire enterprise would probably have gone unnoticed if Mr. Flynn had not written an opinion piece advocating improved relations between Turkey and the United States and calling Mr. Gulen “a shady Islamic mullah.”

The opinion piece appeared on Election Day. Soon after, The Daily Caller revealed that the Flynn Intel Group had a contract with Inovo, prompting the Justice Department look into Mr. Flynn’s relationship with Mr. Alptekin.
Really? The Daily Caller? AkaBreitbart Lite? Why would they do that to Flynn? what am I missing?
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:35 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I will say that Trump's gotten really fucking lucky this year that there hasn't been a hurricane or other natural disaster requiring the services of FEMA or the allocation of billions of dollars for clean-up.
Serious hurricanes typically happen in August, September or October. He, and the rest of us, haven't gotten lucky yet.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:36 PM on August 4 [19 favorites]


Another problem was overcoming the president’s skepticism that winning in Afghanistan was even possible.

That actually sounds like a sensible attitude.
posted by Coventry at 6:37 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I'm just disappointed Flynn missed the opportunity to call his shady business the Flynntel Group.
posted by just_ducky at 6:39 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


Joe plays his What You Bragged About In Your Unpublished Memoir Is Technically Murder card

Oh, dear, Ben Carson is in the game? Are there cards to latch on to another candidate like a remora and end up in their cabinet?

Now I'm nostalgic for the days when I thought seeing someone vehemently countering accusations that they had not stabbed someone was the weirdest thing ever in politics. Innocent times, those.
posted by jackbishop at 6:40 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


That actually sounds like a sensible attitude.

Technically, yes. But he has no idea where or what Afghanistan is. He thinks all wars are unwinnable unless (a) he thinks of the war first, and (b) he is immediately praised for having won the war.

Which another thing, very big and I think you'll see a lot more people like the kid in that rally so fantastic was, an hour - the Prime Minister told me this, okay, with two feet and a gorgeous view I said it's not going to matter because the generals are - did you get a shot of the fruit?
posted by petebest at 6:44 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


pls back the kickstarter for my adult party card game, Surely This!? where you play as candidates vying to ascend to the highest levels of governance while dodging--or exploiting--heinous scandals that would ruin the lives of lesser people

fry_shut_up_and_take_my_money.gif
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:50 PM on August 4 [24 favorites]


Ever since the election, every time I get the urge to play Illuminati! I then get this overwhelming sense of horror that whatever happens in the game might happen in real life the next day, because it's 2017 and anything is fucking possible. And then I put the game back on the shelf.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:58 PM on August 4 [27 favorites]


McClatchy: Diplomats laughing at Trump over leaked Mexico transcript

“He’s the opposite of Teddy Roosevelt,” that official quipped to Guajardo about Trump. “He speaks loudly and carries a small stick.”
posted by chris24 at 7:00 PM on August 4 [89 favorites]


I will say that Trump's gotten really fucking lucky this year that there hasn't been a hurricane or other natural disaster requiring the services of FEMA or the allocation of billions of dollars for clean-up.

CNN: US Still on Track for 'Above Average' Atlantic Hurricane Season—"Warm sea surface temperatures and a weak or non-existent El Niño will contribute to an above-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic this year, Colorado State University announced Friday. CSU predicting 16 named storms -- including the five that have already occurred in addition to eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The seasonal outlook from CSU agrees with the one the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released just before the hurricane season began on June 1. NOAA's outlook called for 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:03 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


The whole "no-one ever wins a war in Afghanistan" is up there with "the French army always surrenders" as far as bad history goes. You know Vizzini was a moron, right?
posted by um at 7:06 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Okay so for reals I've been taking some notes on a semi-co-op board/card game where each player plays as a member of the trump administration/republican legislature, everyone from ivanka trump to kellyanne conway to mad dog mattis to bannon to ryan to mcconnell to pence. (Trump himself isn't represented by a player; everyone vies to control Trump actions by playing persuasion cards, tv appearance cards, and through tactical leaks). Technically everyone is working toward a common goal (high approval ratings, or maybe just high tv ratings), but also every player has a secret goal; secret goals range from the large-scale political to the completely petty (so, for example, Bannon's goals could be anything from "establish fourth reich" to "get Priebus fired.") The secret goals are designed such that although cooperation is technically possible, cooperative wins are much harder than backstabby ones, with temptations toward petty backstabbing offered at every stage of the game.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:10 PM on August 4 [65 favorites]


UN: Note to Correspondents on the Paris Climate Agreement
In answers to questions received, I can confirm that today, 4 August 2017, the Secretary-General received, in his capacity as Depositary of the Paris Agreement, a communication from the Permanent Representative of the United States of America expressing the intention of the United States to exercise its right to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, as soon as it is eligible to do so under the Agreement, unless it identifies suitable terms for reengagement. The Secretary General welcomes any effort to reengage in the Paris Agreement by the United States.
posted by rewil at 7:10 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


I wish to sign up for your newsletter, YCTAB

I always think of Trump as Cthulhu in every Cthulhu-based board game I've ever played. If you even see him, everyone immediately goes insane and the game is over.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:12 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


Though it's neither here nor there, the trees = socialism story reminds me of the fact that Greg Abbott was paralyzed decades ago because of a tree that fell on him, crushing his spine. Because the tree was on a private property, Abbott sued the homeowner and a tree inspection company, claiming they were negligent for not warning people about the tree (which was essentially rotted and hollow at the core) or remove it. He ended up settling for tax free annuity payments for life, which, while he is now a wealthy man, he has said he would give it all back if he could regain the use of his legs.
Abbott was a track star in high school—he is said to have never lost a race—but in 1984 a tree fell on him while he was jogging through the wealthy enclave of River Oaks, in Houston, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He had just graduated from law school and had no health insurance. Fortunately, he won a nine-million-dollar judgment against the homeowner whose tree had fallen and the company that had inspected the tree and failed to recommend its removal. Later, Abbott, as a member of the Texas Supreme Court, and then as attorney general, supported measures that capped pain-and-suffering damages in medical-malpractice cases at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
source

Just wanted to reiterate that Greg Abbott is an asshole.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:13 PM on August 4 [86 favorites]


You know Vizzini was a moron, right?

I don't see a realistic outcome for the US adventure in Afghanistan which I would call a victory. Or at least, the ones I can conceive of all involve setting new records for brutal tyranny and genocide.
posted by Coventry at 7:14 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


There used to be a game called El Presidente where the players were either the President or government ministers (Minister of Defense or Tourism or Interior, etc). The point of the game was to conspire with and against your fellow players, stage coups, imprison your rivals, and so on. Never played it but always wanted to.

Seems like that game could be adapted to the current situation. One big change: no one gets to play the President. Instead, the start of every turn would be a roll of a D20. Take a look at the crisis table to see what insane thing the president did that day or what new scandal was unveiled. And then the rest of the turn has players working together to manage the crisis while simultaneously working to undermine each other in order to get the most influence points with the President. Or they could play in "burn it all down mode" where someone gets enough points to be the last person standing while the President is impeached and everyone else is indicted.
posted by honestcoyote at 7:43 PM on August 4 [11 favorites]


Add drinking and that sounds like a combo of Diplomacy and Asshole
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:52 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Which is just the game we need right now
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:53 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


And in "yeah, that sounds about par for 2017" - Cats start fires in Central Washington [real, not Trump-related]

[or is it?]
posted by ctmf at 7:55 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Ooh, I'm only a couple hours late on today's big scoop, which I read about ten minutes ago. Did anyone notice this sentence down in the story?
"For months, prosecutors have used multiple grand juries to issue subpoenas for documents related to Mr. Flynn."
I mean, we just found out for certain of the second one yesterday. I suppose two grand juries is "multiple" but it just sounds kinda like more than two. I mean, if it was only two, why not just say two, not multiple. Excuse me while I eat my beans.
Oh, and we really didn't have news of the new grand jury issuing subpoenas until yesterday either. Or I am just woefully behind and mixed up.
Also, what about that whole story of Flynn being in a meeting talking about kidnapping the Pennsylvania mullah?
Ah, beans! (Am I playing this right?)
posted by kemrocken at 7:59 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Eric Bolling joins the Nostradumbass club. 2011.

@ericbolling:
I haven't heard Rep Weiner confirm or deny that the tweeted picture is of his middie.. Why would one take a picture of ones junk anyway?
posted by chris24 at 8:03 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Abbott was paralyzed decades ago because of a tree that fell on him

That's why he hates all trees.
posted by spitbull at 8:03 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


Preet does have some expertise in this area.

@PreetBharara:
If true, request for WH documents re: Flynn's work for Turkey is much more significant than breathless reporting about GJ yesterday. Much.
posted by chris24 at 8:07 PM on August 4 [31 favorites]


Surely they're playing an unreleased expansion of Illuminati in the WH. Trump is playing as UFOs but keeps forgetting his special goal.

Covfefe is the new Fnord.
posted by N-stoff at 8:15 PM on August 4 [24 favorites]


I expect every member of the Department to play the ethical midfield. I need you to be aggressive and show initiative without running the ethical sidelines, where even one misstep will have you out of bounds.

This is probably just a tragically bad sports metaphor, but it kind of sounds like he's saying "be ethical, but not TOO ethical, you know?”

I read that as he is saying they should be focused on being well away from the edge of ethical, as in be beyond reproach. The sidelines are where you’re haven’t crossed the boundary into behavior that is unethical... but only barely.

posted by phearlez at 8:16 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


You know, I didn't think Trump could still shock me, but I still, days later, really can't believe that a sitting US president called the White House a dump in earshot of random people he didn't know, and nobody seems to care.

I feel like next week he'll be like "oh yeah, the original Declaration of Independence? I wiped my ass with it the other day, could've been softer and more absorbent" and people are gonna be like "yup, Trump gonna Trump." Seriously, I hate to be all Sam the Eagle here, but is nothing sacred?
posted by potrzebie at 8:17 PM on August 4 [64 favorites]


Why would one take a picture of ones junk anyway?

It truly is a mystery, though. What does either side of the transaction get out of it?
posted by Coventry at 8:20 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Consensual junk pictures are my jam. Unsolicited, not so much.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:24 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


> One big change: no one gets to play the President. Instead, the start of every turn would be a roll of a D20. Take a look at the crisis table to see what insane thing the president did that day or what new scandal was unveiled. And then the rest of the turn has players working together to manage the crisis while simultaneously working to undermine each other in order to get the most influence points with the President. Or they could play in "burn it all down mode" where someone gets enough points to be the last person standing while the President is impeached and everyone else is indicted.

Well so I was thinking each turn would have several phases, with trump actions happening in each phase, and with different ways to influence trump actions. so the phase cycle might be:

3:00 AM [players draw replacement persuasion and media cards, play random card from trump tweet deck]
Fox & Friends [players play media appearance cards; player who wins phase gets to draw three trump tweet cards and play one, discarding the others]
Signing Ceremony [players play persuasion cards; extra bonus for being the last player in the phase to play a card. player who wins phase gets to draw three executive order cards and play one, discarding the others]
Scoop O'clock [player with attorney general title gets to draw three investigation cards and play one, two, or all of them]

Trump tweets can trigger crises, but also lowers the trump psychological stress meter. Trump tweets can lead to firings, but so can high trump stress levels. A firing causes a persuasion phase to happen; the winner of the persuasion phase picks the person fired. Fired players can still influence events, but never draw more persuasion or media cards. and cards played by fired players can be cancelled with the meatloaf card.

anyway
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:24 PM on August 4 [27 favorites]


>I still, days later, really can't believe that a sitting US president called the White House a dump in earshot of random people he didn't know, and nobody seems to care.

If a Democrat said that, every Republican in Congress would be screeching about it like they were trying to fucking echolocate.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:52 PM on August 4 [132 favorites]


And here I've been thinking the Trump presidency could most accurately be represented with the Call of Cthulhu system. I know I feel like I'm having to make constant SAN checks.
posted by Justinian at 8:52 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


potrzebie: "You know, I didn't think Trump could still shock me, but I still, days later, really can't believe that a sitting US president called the White House a dump in earshot of random people he didn't know, and nobody seems to care."

So, imho, this particular event highlights one of the fundamental asymmetries of our current mass media environment. Consider if the situation were flipped and Hillary Clinton were overheard calling the White House a dump. We all know what would happen next, right? The entire right-wing propaganda machine would simultaneously erupt into Defcon 1 scandal mode. The regular, mainstream media would then also have to start talking about it because they treat outlets like Fox News as, well, actual news organizations and the fact that they're covering this means it's a real story. And so on, and so on. Instead, what happened in this case is that basically none of the right-wing outlets covered this story. And the mainstream media, despite all the accusations of liberal bias, just reported it like a normal story. And that's the end of that.

Essentially, for all the talk about media bubbles and what not, I would propose that the real issue is not really about diversity in media consumption but rather this asymmetry. Even if all you read is the NYT, you're still going to get some of the Fox News framing because the NYT treats Fox as if it weren't a propaganda outlet and reacts to them accordingly. But, if all you watch is Fox News, you're basically only going to get their perspective because they don't have any internal ethical obligation to cover anything that doesn't serve their propaganda mission. This latter phenomenon is basically summed up in this Kumail Nanjiani tweet:
CNN: Grand Jury
MSNBC: Grand Jury
Fox News: Is zebras a kind of horse?
Also, the replies on that tweet have a bunch of screenshots of simultaneous news notifications from WaPo, CNN, etc... and Fox to show some real-life examples.

And even once one of these kinds of "bad-for-the-GOP" stories reaches some critical mass where the right-wing media is forced to say something about it, of course they're going to spin it in ways the mainstream media wouldn't even contemplate, e.g.: "Would you even care if he was guilty?"
posted by mhum at 8:53 PM on August 4 [54 favorites]


Soren feels the same way, I see. I'm sure someone will run with one of these and actually make a game.
posted by Justinian at 8:53 PM on August 4


Looking forward to the later stages mentioned in the DailyKos post mentioned way upthread:
This is Phase 2 (out of ten), and Phase 2 is the longest phase. Impeachment is Phase 9.
  • I've said "Phase 2" of the probe will be when Mueller is able to start questioning witnesses like JD Gordon under oath. This is Phase 2. Phase 2 also involves procurement of hard-to-access (rather than voluntarily submitted) financial documents from the U.S. and overseas.
  • Phase 3, which we *will* get to, is the issuance of many "true bills" (indictments) against minor figures in the probe and Trump aides.
  • Phase 4 is either the use of testimony from these indicted figures, now cooperating individuals, to indict Trump, or to outline a case.
  • Phase 5 is what DOJ chooses to do with Mueller's report, in what timeframe and at whose direction at Main Justice (Brand or Rosenstein).
  • Phase 6 takes place in Congress, as the DOJ referral is debated first in Judiciary then in the House (then possibly in Judiciary again).
  • Phase 7 is the impeachment vote in the House, Phase 8 the trial for possible conviction in the Senate. Phase 9, the *aftermath* of that.
  • Phase 10 is the start of whatever administration comes next and key decisions (e.g. pardons) made by Pence, Ryan, Hatch, whoever it is.
  • In answer to the queries: that's "12 to 18 months" from the day of Mueller's appointment to impeachment. Phase 2 is the longest phase.
So phase 4 is when we get to see the panic and backstabbing start in earnest, as people start playing "5th or testimony for immunity," and hope the DoJ believes they have something worth bargaining for.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:58 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


California preparing to sue Trump administration (Franco Ordoñez & Christopher Cadelago, McClatchy)
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — in conjunction with other California city and county attorneys — is considering charging the Justice Department with violating the Constitution by threatening to take crime-fighting funds away from cities and states that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration agents, according to those sources.

“The cities and states affected by these provisions have strong arguments to make in court that these conditions are illegal,” said a former Justice Department official familiar with California officials’ thinking. “If Congress wanted these requirements to be part of the grant funding decision, they would have written it into the law.”
posted by Room 641-A at 9:01 PM on August 4 [34 favorites]


pls back the kickstarter for my adult party card game, Surely This!? where you play as candidates vying to ascend to the highest levels of governance while dodging--or exploiting--heinous scandals that would ruin the lives of lesser people

fry_shut_up_and_take_my_money.gif


Yeah seriously why is that not a game

You can't just put ideas like that on the internet for free
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:22 PM on August 4 [17 favorites]


so, since newsweek doesn't actually print publish (from what I can tell), is there any way I can purchase multiple copies of that cover?
posted by yesster at 9:22 PM on August 4


I want a more visual 45 game. Convert Space Station 13 to Space Station 1600 and watch Bannon mutate Mooch into a mute blob, weld him into a locker and fire it out an airlock.
posted by delfin at 9:25 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Trans Military Ban is Now Policy (Los Angeles Blade, August 4, 2017 at 6:37 pm PDT)
Though the policy—called “A Guidance Policy for Open Transgender Service Phase Out”—has not yet been made public, sources familiar with the planning said it would encourage early retirement, usher out any enlisted personnel after their contract is up, and would fire trans officers up for promotion. Basically, said a source, “the administration want to get rid of transgender servicemembers as fast as they can.”
No one yet knows what will happen to the servicemembers currently fighting in combat. The new policy does allow trans servicemembers to continue serving but apparently does not offer any protection from harassment or other efforts to get them to quit.
posted by AFABulous at 9:31 PM on August 4 [58 favorites]


Trans Military Ban is Now Policy


That. Fucker.
posted by darkstar at 9:35 PM on August 4 [27 favorites]


AFABulous, that's just . . . fuck.

I've never shared on here (BECAUSE ITS NOT MY STORY), that I have a trans nephew.

My (recently dead, like just in 2017 dead) parents were remarkably accepting of my nephew.

My nephew wants to serve (I don't agree with that decision, but it's his life (so i support him in his choice)).

Now?

He's such an awesome young man. He has a brother who wants to serve with him.

Fuck everything about this orange shitstain. FUCK TRUMP. FUCK ALL OF THESE FUCKERS.
posted by yesster at 9:37 PM on August 4 [76 favorites]


I can't even feel anything anymore.
posted by AFABulous at 9:39 PM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Goddamnit. Can we get this fucker out already? When even Orrin Fucking Hatch is more friendly towards LGBT military members than you, you've failed the humanity test.

Toomey expressed some tepid opposition when Trump originally tweeted this bullshit. I'll be calling his office to remind him of this and praise him for it, and encourage him to take a stand to defend our servicemembers. I don't have too much hope for him, but I'll drive a wedge into any crack in their hateful armor.
posted by biogeo at 9:54 PM on August 4 [10 favorites]


Really? The Daily Caller? AkaBreitbart Lite? Why would they do that to Flynn? what am I missing?

This was before Trump took office. The number of Republican operatives outside the Trump campaign who wanted Michael Fucking Flynn to be appointed National Security Advisor was negligible. Everyone knew he was crazy and corrupt and crazy corrupt and bad news for the country and the party.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:57 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


what would happen if soldiers and prospective soldiers stood in solidarity with one another in real numbers and pledged not to enlist or re-enlist as long as any group of people was denied the right to serve, or serve fully? Men refused to do it for women, so I don't know why it would be different now. but it could be. surely some of them are brave enough. especially the 18-year-olds who haven't signed away their lives yet, just thinking about it. it wouldn't be a strike, they wouldn't have to face prison or take any real risk, just take a real moral stand and follow through.

I'll hold my breath
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:59 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Can he do that? I mean seriously, does the title commander in chief really mean that he can decide policy like that by fiat? Wtf. This is some serious bullshit affecting real soldiers, by a coward who avoided service by being rich enough.

We can not standby while they start picking off our friends and allies one by one. What do we do to help?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:01 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


I don't know what the hell to do either. Open your home to an unemployed trans vet if you can, maybe. Make it a Big Fucking Deal if people make transphobic jokes. Harass your politicians, for what good it does. Treat your trans friends like they are who they say they are. Hire trans people if you can.

I'm cynical. In 2001 I didn't think it would get better. It got better and it got worse. It is what it is.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:10 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


He can decide to that, but the courts don't have to let him. I imagine that various justice orgs will get involved and take this matter to the judicial branch. Unfortunately, no federal law explicitly identifies transgender individuals as a protected class, so that's a hurdle that might need to be leaped also.
posted by xyzzy at 10:10 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


We can not standby while they start picking off our friends and allies one by one. What do we do to help?

Call your reps, ask them to make a public statement about the ban. If they make a positive one, call back and thank them. Otherwise, admonish them.

Contribute to ACLU, Transgender Law Center and Lambda Legal. They will be filing the lawsuits.

Call your trans friends and offer to take them out for coffee, or send them a nice postcard or something. We need to know someone is in our corner. I know four people who have barely been able to get out of bed since Trump tweeted about the ban last Wednesday. These are folks who normally are calm and collected. We're not surprised but we're still stunned that this is a real thing that is really happening.

If you don't have any trans friends, follow your state/local LGBT orgs and see if they are planning any rallies or need anything.

Above all, challenge transphobic comments and "jokes" from the cis people in your life. Educate yourself so you can educate others. If you see someone on social media spouting bullshit at a trans person, step in.

We need you. We need you now.
posted by AFABulous at 10:12 PM on August 4 [88 favorites]


It's almost as if we've been living the last 300 years in US society tiptoeing around the feelings of white men and talking in code whenever they feel threatened.
posted by SakuraK at 10:15 PM on August 4 [47 favorites]


it wouldn't be a strike, they wouldn't have to face prison or take any real risk,

Unfortunately, any action that even smacks of collective bargaining is illegal as fuck in the military. It would still be great and I wish they would, but it is not correct to say that they wouldn't have to face prison or take real risk.
posted by corb at 10:25 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


Even if the ban gets thrown out and no trans servicemember is actually dismissed, this is doing damage RIGHT NOW. I'm not in the military nor a vet, so I can't speak to that aspect. I can speak directly to the effect it's having on me and people I know. Walking around in a daze, sleeping 16 hours, unable to eat. I don't know how I can convey this feeling. The president of the country called me a burden and a disruption. You can say he's unhinged and you'd be right, but that doesn't mean I don't care what he says. Millions of people hang on his every word. I have to share space with some of them. Imagine walking around not knowing who wants you banished from public life. Is it the barista? My insurance agent? The X-ray technician?

I spent time with a young trans friend tonight and we were chatting about a web comic he wants to write. It's about a colony in space full of LGBTQ people. The colonists would send scouts back to earth to basically rescue people who were endangered because of their LGBTQ status. My friend clearly saw this as a utopian vision (Luxury Gay Space Communism!) but holy shit, it's dark to think that we can't even exist on the same planet with the rest of y'all.
posted by AFABulous at 10:27 PM on August 4 [86 favorites]


"Chilling effect"

That's what they're doing.

Against trans.

Against the press.

Against democracy itself.
posted by yesster at 10:40 PM on August 4 [14 favorites]


What it really boils down to is that conservatives can't stand anyone different from them, because it's weeeeeird and it makes them "uncomfortable" (oh noes, uncomfortable!) and thus they feel the urge to kill it. Trans, gay, of color, female, anything like that and there you go, it's gotta go. Kill it, harass it, kick it out of the country, make sure that the weiiiiiiiiiiiiiird doesn't exist any more, and everything will be Just Fine again!

The Mob Song from Beauty and the Beast always sums it up well:
"We don't like
What we don't understand
In fact it scares us
And this monster is mysterious at least"
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:50 PM on August 4 [13 favorites]


This article about why autocrats fear LGBT rights is a good explanation (I know it was posted in a previous thread but it's relevant now).
The appeal of autocracy lies in its promise of radical simplicity, an absence of choice. In Trump’s imaginary past, every person had his place and a securely circumscribed future, everyone and everything was exactly as it seemed, and government was run by one man issuing orders that could not and need not be questioned. The very existence of queer people—and especially transgender people—is an affront to this vision. Trans people complicate things, throw the future into question by shaping their own, add layers of interpretation to appearances, and challenge the logic of any one man decreeing the fate of people and country.
posted by AFABulous at 10:54 PM on August 4 [52 favorites]


Next on Fox and Friends: "So what's the big deal if there is a pee pee tape?"
posted by rainy at 10:58 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I will say that Trump's gotten really fucking lucky this year that there hasn't been a hurricane or other natural disaster

1) That's because he's making America So Great that mother nature dare not attack.
2) The Air Force's whitepaper about controlling the weather in 2025 is ahead of schedule

And while the posters who mention about how having a functional government is helpful and Trump is un-tunctional the reality is:

Any hurricane that hits Mar-a-lago will result in the throwing of resources at the needed response in such a way it will LOOK like he's super-responsive.

Just not responsive on a per Dollar basis, once people break it down.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:11 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Buzzfeed, John Hudson: Rumors Of "Purge List" Rattle White House Staff
“Very few people know who’s going to get axed next, but if you’re viewed as a Flynnstone it’s a liability,” said a person close to the White House, referring to staffers hired by McMaster’s predecessor, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

McMaster, for example, dismissed top Middle East adviser Derek Harvey, last week amid reports that Harvey had become too close to Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon – a bitter rival of McMaster.

McMaster’s firing of Ezra Cohen-Watnick on Wednesday is linked to the arrival of John Kelly, the former secretary of homeland security who took over as chief of staff on Monday. McMaster tried to fire Cohen-Watnick earlier this year but was stymied by Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who came to his defense. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the “ouster” of Cohen-Watnick was “intended as a show of confidence from Mr. Kelly to Mr. McMaster.”

The firing of the NSC’s director for strategy planning, Richard Higgins, on July 21, meanwhile, was linked to a conspiratorial memo he’d sent about radical Islam rather than his ties to Bannon or NSC aide Sebastian Gorka, an NSC aide said.
Jesus. I had no idea that McMaster had been so busy stacking up the pink slips.
posted by xyzzy at 11:51 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


On the other hand, given that Flynn's a fucking spy and so is everyone he's hired, in normal times it would be weird they got to stay on as long as they did.
posted by Artw at 12:01 AM on August 5 [42 favorites]


Trans Military Ban is Now Policy

I lied. I care. Who do we sue? Where do I donate?

Senseless, hurtful, weak, disgusting, and pandering to exactly the wrong interests. On the plus side, way to start a civil war, you orange fuck.
posted by saysthis at 12:08 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


in normal times it would be weird
Amy Siskind's been compiling a regularly published list of things that are happening that are not normal/ok in accordance with a guide that suggests you do so in order to resist authoritarianism.

(Edited to correct spelling of Amy's name.)
posted by xyzzy at 12:12 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


I lied. I care. Who do we sue? Where do I donate?

Here's a good start.
posted by greermahoney at 12:25 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Traditionally, presidents going on vacation have published their reading list. A list of books they'd like to catch up on during their time off. I like them, they keep me alert to things I may otherwise have missed.

For some odd reason, Donald hasn't published one. Now what am I going to do? Can you guys think of anything Don and I should be reading?
posted by adept256 at 12:27 AM on August 5 [10 favorites]


Resistbotted to Hawaii's congressional delegation asking them to make strong public statements against this despicable, transphobic policy and in support of Hawaii's vulnerable trans population.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:44 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


The only thing President Sex-Criminal reads is chyrons.
posted by blueberry at 1:54 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]




This CNN piece One year into the FBI's Russia investigation, Mueller is on the Trump money trail
and this Slate piece U.S. Reportedly Intercepted Suspected Russian Agents' Chatter That Manafort Asked for Their Help With Clinton

have been updated with a statement from Jason Maloni, Manafort's spokesperson:
"Paul Manafort did not collude with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 election or to hack the DNC. Other than that comment, we aren't going to respond to anonymous officials illegally peddling second hand conspiracy theories. But the Justice Department, and the courts if necessary, should hold someone to account for the flood of unlawful government leaks targeting Mr. Manafort."
did not collude

Oh? Once again, that's not for the investigatee to say.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 3:59 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


All their denials use "collude" like it's a crime or a legal term. It's not. That word means nothing. Obstruction. Laundering. Wire fraud. Computer fraud. Tax evasion. Agent of a foreign government. Racketeering. Espionage. Those are what Mueller is looking for, not "collusion".
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:13 AM on August 5 [54 favorites]


Re: POTUS call transcripts with foreign leaders

The difference between illegal leaks and inconvenient leaks, video and transcript of a PBS News Hour discussion between former CIA general counsel Jeffrey Smith and James Risen of The New York Times
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 4:16 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


It seems odd to me that the "Los Angeles Blade" is the only source on the supposed policy implementation of the bigoted military transgender ban. Has anyone seen it sourced elsewhere?
posted by spitbull at 4:26 AM on August 5 [13 favorites]


Ex-Bush ethics lawyer [Richard Painter]: Use lie detectors on the White House press secretary, The Hill
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Friday the Justice Department might consider using lie detector tests to find out who has been leaking information to media from within the Trump administration.
---

A former ethics lawyer under former President George W. Bush thinks that if the Trump administration wants to start using lie detectors they should start with the White House press secretary.

“The place will light up like a disco!” Richard Painter tweeted on Friday night...

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the new White House press secretary, this week pledged she would not lie from the podium.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 4:28 AM on August 5 [17 favorites]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the new White House press secretary, this week pledged she would not lie from the podium.

Slow clap
posted by Rykey at 4:46 AM on August 5 [21 favorites]


It seems odd to me that the "Los Angeles Blade" is the only source on the supposed policy implementation of the bigoted military transgender ban. Has anyone seen it sourced elsewhere?

I follow a fair bit of politics Twitter and a number of LGBT folks and I'm not seeing anything confirming this or even reporting the Blade's story. It is early on a Saturday AM so who knows.
posted by chris24 at 5:08 AM on August 5


"The Los Angeles Blade" began publishing in March 2017. I think we need to be very alert to fake news meant to outrage and divide us. Wait for confirmation from a credible source.
posted by spitbull at 5:09 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


It seems odd to me that the "Los Angeles Blade" is the only source on the supposed policy implementation of the bigoted military transgender ban. Has anyone seen it sourced elsewhere?

The article is mirrored on "Washington Blade". And yesterday The Hill reported the WH reaching out to the Pentagon to help draft the promised ban. It doesn't seem too surprising from past behaviour if WH legal review had waved this through as claimed.

"The [Washington] Blade is the oldest LGBT newspaper in the United States and third largest by circulation, behind the Philadelphia Gay News and the Gay City News of New York City." -- wiki.
posted by sourcejedi at 5:12 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Did the "Washington Blade" provide the original reporting?
posted by spitbull at 5:14 AM on August 5


Ah, looks like it not. Byline on both articles is Karen Ocamb, news editor for The Los Angeles Blade.
posted by sourcejedi at 5:20 AM on August 5


So a bit further, Karen Ocamb wrote the story and has some credibility as an LGBT-focused journalist. But the report is only claiming a single source for a rumor of an unreleased policy. As with so much possible fake news, we are reacting to shadows like they're bears. But maybe they're rocks.
posted by spitbull at 5:21 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Friday the Justice Department might consider using lie detector tests to find out who has been leaking information to media from within the Trump administration.

Lie detectors have been discredited for like 20 years, but they do work very well for scaring people.
posted by diogenes at 5:22 AM on August 5 [34 favorites]


Ocamb quotes and cites exactly one anonymous source. So the story is as good as that source.
posted by spitbull at 5:27 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Also Ocamb appears to *be* the "LA Blade," after being laid off at Frontiers, LA's established LGBT news outlet. The brand new and (obviously low-budget ) LA Blade appears unconnected to the famous and older Washington Blade. And after 14 hours online (conveniently posted on a Friday night) no major outlet has kicked this up or found another source.

Maybe it's a scoop, and we know a policy initiative has started so it could just be a set of guesses about what that might look like. In the absence of independent confirmation from a more credible source I'm not inclined to react like it must be true as written.
posted by spitbull at 5:33 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Sorry to pepper and I'll let it go, but to be fair to Ocamb she claims: "Two sources says [sic, make of that singular/plural confusion what you will] they have confirmation from their sources at the White House and Pentagon that the “phase out” policy is on its way to the Secretary of Defense.". Only one source is quoted and we already knew "a policy" was on its way from the White House anyway. So the issue is whether any of the details are correct. Note that these "two sources" only have "sources at the WH," and are not themselves inside the WH.
posted by spitbull at 5:44 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


I wonder which part of 'First they came for the immigrants. Then they came for the transgendered. Then they came for the press' people don't understand?
posted by Devonian at 5:54 AM on August 5 [14 favorites]


Here's your Senate Armed Services Committee members. Call them individually or the committee office at 202-224-3871.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:02 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


"Trans people," please, not "transgendered" or "transgenders."

Anyway, it would be great if it wasn't true. I saw "Blade" and assumed Washington Blade, which, as noted, has been around for a very long time and is 100% credible. Fuck the author if it turns out to be a scare tactic, because it fucking worked.
posted by AFABulous at 6:07 AM on August 5 [23 favorites]


I wonder which part of 'First they came for the immigrants. Then they came for the transgendered. Then they came for the press' people don't understand?

The people who come next in that progression understand perfectly. So do the 46% of the country that hate them. It's what they voted for, and our anti-democratic system leaves the majority without any tools in government to stop it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:17 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


I saw "Blade" and assumed Washington Blade

Yes isn't that interesting.?

Sorry about the terminology but many major news sources shorthand the policy as "transgender ban," so I probably internalized that phrasing unconsciously. Believe me, when I see the phrase it translates to "people I must stand with" in my mind.

It's another Trumpian Razor problem. We know he and his followers are transphobic bigots. We also can be reasonably sure that going after trans people with cruel and outrageous policies is a potent distraction from the news of corruption and crime in the administration. Both can be true and require a response. So making sure we aren't played as an outrage organ is a mode of resisting the cynicism of that.
posted by spitbull at 6:19 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


I don't particularly think, for the purposes of opposition, it matters what stage the ban is at - the Commander-in-Chief has ordered it, so it's there. (Of course, it very much matters in other ways.)

It's very dangerous to dismiss 45's pronouncements as 'oh, he's a liar, he's incompetent, it won't happen, it doesn't matter', because that's capitulating to the chaos. He says it, he owns it: that's the job description.
posted by Devonian at 6:21 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


It is weird that (afaict) no one else has picked it up. The verified folks on trans twitter are just repeating the LA Blade. We'll see. It was late last night.

Also Ocamb appears to *be* the "LA Blade," after being laid off at Frontiers, LA's established LGBT news outlet. The brand new and (obviously low-budget ) LA Blade appears unconnected to the famous and older Washington Blade.

I disagree with this; there are 8 people on staff and after a brief perusal I noticed at least that many different bylines. The print version is distributed all over LA. The Washington Blade RT'd the LA Blade story from the account of its political reporter. LA Blade's website's style and logo are identical to the Washington Blade's website.
posted by AFABulous at 6:21 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


And you are correct and I am wrong, AFABulous. Payments for subscriptions to the "LA Blade" get made out to "The Washington Blade." Curious that they don't make it easy to tell.
posted by spitbull at 6:25 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


We also can be reasonably sure that going after trans people with cruel and outrageous policies is a potent distraction from the news of corruption and crime in the administration

I'm gonna take a break after this, but it's not a distraction. Whatever Trump's actual beliefs about trans folks, Pence and Bannon are behind this and they're using it to pressure Republicans about funding for the wall.

Also, maybe it for you, but it's not a "distraction" for people to lose their livelihood and it's not a distraction for the millions of other trans people who are emotionally impacted. It's offensive to call it that.
posted by AFABulous at 6:27 AM on August 5 [42 favorites]


"Also a distraction" means it is intentionally being used as a wedge issue and attention bait. In no way does that minimize the seriousness of the intention to harm trans people. No offense was intended but I'm not giving up the word "distraction."
posted by spitbull at 6:28 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


In response to some of the pushback on the racial undertones to this attack - Why leftists don't trust Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Deval Patrick - on three *coincidentally* black D politicians, the Intercept's Lee Fang tweeted this last night which might explain why the far left struggles to get minority votes:

@lhfang
Japanese and British empires pacified their colonies with puppet leaders plucked from local ethnic groups. It's a successful strategy.
posted by chris24 at 6:40 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


"Also a distraction" means it is intentionally being used as a wedge issue and attention bait. In no way does that minimize the seriousness of the intention to harm trans people. No offense was intended but I'm not giving up the word "distraction."

The problem with saying it's a "distraction" is that then loads of cis people say "it's just a distraction, focus on the real issue". I'm pretty cynical, but the capacity for most cis people, including ones that think of themselves as progressive, to care about trans people for more than about two minutes is pretty low.
posted by hoyland at 6:49 AM on August 5 [10 favorites]


We've had this argument before.
posted by Melismata at 6:50 AM on August 5 [7 favorites]


Metafilter : We've had this argument before.
posted by bardophile at 6:52 AM on August 5 [87 favorites]


Human rights are never a distraction.
posted by supercrayon at 6:59 AM on August 5 [22 favorites]


The Washington Blade launched the Los Angeles Blade earlier this year. They are sister publications and share content.

They're both members of the National Gay Newspaper Guild.

This is the second time the Washington paper has tried to expand its reach. The New York Blade was launched in the late '90's, but shuttered about 7 years ago.
posted by zarq at 6:59 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


[Yes, let's not have the distraction argument again, please. It's perfectly fine for people to discuss this news.]
posted by taz at 7:01 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


which might explain why the far left

I would love it if we could stop calling them the far left. They don't have a monopoly on far left positions, they just have a monopoly on reveling in (often straight) white male privilege and South Park-style "all your social justice concerns are performative token bullshit" nihilism.

Alt-left works for me, as does "adolescent shitlords," but one of those is probably more acceptable than the other.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:08 AM on August 5 [51 favorites]


I hope that this is just a rumor, but ever since Trump's tweet the threat is real. It's good to avoid panicking but we should remain alert. I'll still be calling Toomey's office to communicate the following:

1. Toomey represented the people of Pennsylvania well by affirming the rights and merits of our trans servicemembers in the military in response to the President's tweet.
2. It has been reported that the White House is moving forward on turning the President's poorly-conceived outburst into actionable policy.
3. Should the White House produce real policy to this effect, I expect Senator Toomey to publicly denounce it and use any and all legislative tools to prevent such policy from being implemented.

I'll contact my other representatives with the same message, but given that Toomey mostly rolls over for the party but has actually expressed some mild opposition on this issue already, his office seems worth targeting.
posted by biogeo at 7:08 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


@lhfang
Japanese and British empires pacified their colonies with puppet leaders plucked from local ethnic groups. It's a successful strategy.


And the United States used it against Native Americans.
posted by Quonab at 7:13 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


And Lee Fang yesterday: Liberals disagree w/Richard Spencer's policy outlook but share his core belief that race alone determines your value in society

Maybe we should not give a fuck what alt-left shitlords employed by Russian front groups like Lee Fang tweet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:20 AM on August 5 [47 favorites]


pls back the kickstarter for my adult party card game, Surely This!? where you play as candidates vying to ascend to the highest levels of governance while dodging--or exploiting--heinous scandals that would ruin the lives of lesser people

Threepenny Opera: The Game

I mean the whole point of the Threepenny Opera was to satirise how the Weimar Republic's elites weren't that much different from gangsters, and said elites found it dreadfully droll rather than making them feel guilty, which not only reinforced its point but made it feel like the only way to do something about it was to blow everything to hell. Like, it's sort of satirical, but I feel there's stronger material in a satirical game about the editors who decide one heinous crime is not newsworthy and another is enough to sink them forever.

Personally I'm more partial to the hidden victory condition game about manipulating Trump, rethemed to be about a fictional leader.
posted by Merus at 7:22 AM on August 5


Jeff Sessions's Leak Probe Press Conference Was Misleading (David Stein, Newsweek)
“Conspicuously absent,” The Washington Post noted, “were representatives for the FBI, which generally investigates leaks.” Rosenstein said the new FBI Director, Christopher Wray, wasn’t there because he had just started his job this week.

Unlikely. Wray’s office is just a short walk across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Justice Department. If Wray were unavailable, plenty of other top FBI officials certainly were. Under a president obsessed with how his officials come across on television, the exclusion of them seemed deliberate. [...]

The tableau presented by Sessions, who is struggling to hold on to his job after weeks of withering criticism from Trump for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, seemed designed to suggest to the president’s political base that other, more trusted security agencies would play a prominent role in the leak investigation.

Not going to happen. As opposed to what the TV pictures might suggest, U.S. intelligence agencies are barred from criminal investigations of leaks (although they conduct their own internal probes).

“Only the FBI has jurisdiction to conduct that type of investigation,” Robert L. Dietz, who has held senior legal positions at the CIA, NSA, the National Geo-Spatial Agency and the Defense Department, tells Newsweek. “Indeed, the entire intel establishment has no authority over leaks.”
posted by Room 641-A at 7:23 AM on August 5 [29 favorites]


I wonder which part of 'First they came for the immigrants. Then they came for the transgendered. Then they came for the press' people don't understand?

The poem itself? It tends to get snowcloned a lot in a way that I think undercuts the intention. The way I always read it, the first couple of targets have a bit of 'ha ha fuck those guys' to them, not just 'I was not a communist' but 'like I'm going to defend communists, did you see what they've done to Russia?' To me, it's a poem about how tactics matter more than targets, that it matters what is meant by 'coming for'.

It kind of bugs me because it's such an important message and people have spent the intervening years frittering it down into meaninglessness that it's kind of nice to see one person on the internet who seems to understand it.
posted by Merus at 7:32 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Maybe we should not give a fuck what alt-left shitlords employed by Russian front groups like Lee Fang tweet.

And maybe we should because there seems to be a coordinated attempt by elements of the left to take down minority candidates well in advance of 2020?
posted by chris24 at 7:35 AM on August 5 [25 favorites]


the Economist's cover has a somewhat darker take on POTUS.

Fill-in presenter Antony Funnell discussing Thucydides's Trap with author and academic Graham Allison on ABC Radio National's Late Night Live:
GA: ... What you would wish and hope - absent the Thucydidean dynamic here - is that adults would sit down and say, OK, how can we resolve this problem together?

If this was an issue - I mean, it's hard to imagine the analogue, but if it was an issue between Australia and the US with something going on in Timor or whatever, adults would sit down and say, look, we can solve this problem and we have to give something, you have to give something. Let's think of the various options and work through and find a solution.

AF: But we're not talking about adults really, are we, here?

I understand that Obama and Xi Jinping have actually discussed Thucydides's Trap. But we're talking about, what, Kim Jong Un on one side, and Donald Trump. Well, some people would say: where's the adult in that room?

GA: Exactly ... in this case, you also have what was previously thought to be the one erratic, irrational leader in the world that could make a difference: Kim Jong Un. And now he's got a serious rival.
posted by flabdablet at 7:37 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


Richard Painter, on AM Joy earlier:
"Alan Dershowitz doesn't like grand juries because he's spent his career defending very rich people who are very guilty."
From the "it takes a weasel to know one" files:

Pauly Shore as Stephen Miller [NSFW]

And once again, I raise my glass to the photo editors.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:45 AM on August 5 [17 favorites]


Thanks, this is new to me. How did "trans people" come to be preferred? (Or why are the alternatives problematic?)

AFABulous is taking a break. The phrasings he deprecated are listed under "terms to avoid" here.

The preferred phrasing would be "transgender people". "Transgender" is shown as acceptable as an adjective, but not a noun. "trans people" scans better as a replacement in the original context, I think. But I'm probably phrasing this confusingly, just read the link.
posted by sourcejedi at 7:46 AM on August 5 [13 favorites]


coordinated attempt by elements of the left

God, I don't even think they're that smart. I think what happened was they developed their own ecosystem during the 2016 election, and their biases and resentments made them easy targets for manipulation, and the only thing that has changed since then is that those ecosystems are more entrenched and self-reinforcing. Once you have a patreon supporting your podcast and a half dozen subreddits to recruit from you're not going to use your megaphone to promote something that challenges the world view of your audience. You're going to give the customers what they want. And you're going to have to escalate if you want to grow, because that's how being paid for content works in a competitive market.

So I don't think it has to be coordinated by the Alt-left. I think they just all swallow the same bullshit. The creation and distribution of that bullshit might be occasionally (or frequently, who knows) coordinated by people who find this sort of thing useful, but I don't think it requires a grand conspiracy at this stage. The machine already exists. Anyone can feed them what they like and point them at a particular target.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:46 AM on August 5 [23 favorites]


each turn would have several phases, with trump actions happening in each phase

I'm glad somebody's using their nervous energy for something good. Don't forget to eat!
posted by petebest at 7:50 AM on August 5


I don't know who Lee Fang is, but I also don't trust Cory Booker anymore.

This is coming from someone who years ago thought he was great.

But then I started working in Newark among community members from all districts and walks of life, and most of them by that time *did not like him at all*. Which I found, as a white outsider who had been immersed in the "legend" puzzling, to be honest. But over years of being a fly on the wall it began to become clear that a large percentage of Newark's less affluent citizens and the majority of Newark's (black) progressives did not feel his policies and ideologies were ones that would help bridge the great income inequalities they see. They feel much more positively about his successor, Ras Baraka.

He's been very good imo on calling out problems with our criminal justice system and mass incarceration, and he's been on the right side of LGBT issues since way back. Those are all important stances. But he's been extremely cozy with Wall Street and giant corporations all along, and his January vote against allowing cheaper drugs from Canada when he accepts big contributions from Pharma is a *huge* problem for people who are against their representatives being controlled by our corporate overlords.

Also, ask people in Newark who work within the school systems what the Charter schools have done to the public school system there. I work within those public schools and sometimes within the Charter schools. I see first hand how it's created a wider chasm between the haves and the have-nots and how it's draining resources from an already under-funded public school system. Access to a good education should be a human right and the system Booker helped implement in Newark is completely undermining that.
posted by stagewhisper at 7:50 AM on August 5 [39 favorites]


Maybe we should not give a fuck what alt-left shitlords employed by Russian front groups like Lee Fang tweet.

It matters because it's further dividing left/dem/bernie whatever you want to call it world.

Unfortunately from what I've watching is that folks like this guy and variations of, including the contingent that's all 'we can work with alt-right peeps (Mike Cernovich wtf people?) on the issues where we align' are not just tweeting for kicks but going after actual real people. And a good many of these people are POC. I've seen whole bunch of white people, mostly men but woman as well, all with leftie creds lecturing POC and dismissing concerns. The lectures on how MLK would be supporting their views are the most wtf? What I've been reading is a whole lot of 'you don't understand racism this isn't racist at all, you don't understand Bernie we know best type shit, you don't understand what we mean by working with the alt-right and your concerns about racism and misogyny aren't important at all.'

And the even stupider thing is that these ones by doing this shit are pushing supportive people (POC, woman) away.

There are even literal hit lists out there in leftie world naming other lefties.

It would be great to just chalk it all up to Russian backed people but it really isn't. Some maybe but not all.

It's been sad to watch. It's a pattern I've seen the left repeat over and over for 25 years.
posted by Jalliah at 7:51 AM on August 5 [20 favorites]


coordinated attempt by elements of the left

God, I don't even think they're that smart.


@JoyAnnReid (MSNBC)
We're going to talk about the anti-Kamala wave on the left this weekend on the show. So a couple of things...

@Taniel (538)
I see more about Sanders & Harris than about races like the #ILGov primary in 6 mnths, where interesting progs face self-funding billionaire
- I believe in using primaries to fight, debate, & disagree. But this 2020 focus *3* yrs early obscures 2018 work, which features primaries.

@yashar (New York mag, Mother Jones)
Astounding how quickly the Bernie Sanders crew has mobilized against Kamala Harris. [screenshot of meme]
posted by chris24 at 7:54 AM on August 5 [40 favorites]


And maybe we should because there seems to be a coordinated attempt by elements of the left to take down minority candidates well in advance of 2020?

Hillary and most other dems are only left by a useless "left of GWB" metric. Dems have for decades been tepid supporters of gay marriage or union rights, and full throated supporters of the failed GWOT. Why is it a fight to raise the minimum wage even in (those precious few) D states ? FFS.

We are in this mess because the Dem strategy of Republican-lite sucks now, has sucked in the past, and will continue to suck into the future. Dems talk one thing in the campaign, and other in practice (See DADT). Cory Booker doesn't suck because he's black, he sucks because he thinks Bain Capital is awesome. DWS sucks not because she is a she, but because she is a terrible and corrupt human being (see also DiFi).

Being a shitty Dem is bad enough for us, but lucrative as hell for them. They don't have to care how bad trump is - they're millionaires who are sufficiently insulated from whatever happens. Do you want a better Dem party ? We need better Democrats - the ones that got us here aint it. They suck - by definition.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:58 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


And maybe we should because there seems to be a coordinated attempt by elements of the left to take down minority candidates well in advance of 2020?

Yep. I'm not sure it's there is any sort of central coordination or it's a band-wagon type effect but it's happening. I'm aware of it because months back I purposely diversified my twitter news account and added a whole bunch of people, mostly POC who have varying leftie viewpoints. So I'm seeing it from that perspective. This shit started a few weeks ago and has heated up over the past week or so. And any one who dares ask the question 'why are all the people you all are going after POC AND mostly woman?" gets some BS about not focusing on identity politics or BS about MLK. Seriously, these folks are using MLK against black people. THAT IS FUCKED UP.
posted by Jalliah at 8:00 AM on August 5 [45 favorites]


Seriously we're 10 months away from most states' cutoff to register to run. About 14 months from the 2018 election everyone here is expecting Dems to win. Too early to go public but not too early to plan.

When I saw "DEMOCRATS 2018: BETTER JOBS" my first thought was, we're gonna lose the second-most important election ever. I'm in favor of primary scuffling, but if DCCC does't get their messaging head out of the 1970's ass we'll get plowed under by the talk-radio borg again next November.

DEMOCRATS 2018: What Are YOU Running For?
posted by petebest at 8:02 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Kamala Harris corncob meme set off some deliciously rustled jimmies amongst Democrats' Establishment Twitter. Jesse Singal summarized, p. amusing drama. Even @dril had to weigh in against "Al DiGiorno's" defamation.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:03 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


including the contingent that's all 'we can work with alt-right peeps

I mean, of course they are. Can we stop calling them the left?

I feel like there's an axis missing from that political orientation. I think their proper political orientation is more described by angry, young, white, male resentment.

the anti-Kamala wave

I see most of these chucklefucks as puppets, not puppet-masters, but that doesn't mean there isn't someone feeding them very specific info to determine their next target. Otoh, regardless of whether there's some political operative or entity behind it, the effort wouldn't catch fire if there wasn't all that racist and misogynist kindling there in the first place.

It's sort of chicken and the egg at this point. There's this lumbering monster of angry young white men and people who identify with them on the internet, and it can be baited. I don't think revelations about who particularly baited them in a given instance would change anything. I mean, shit, no one cared that the Bernie subreddit had been hocking insane Russian propaganda. Didn't change the fact that they're still racist and sexist and are going to go on being racist and sexist.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:04 AM on August 5 [27 favorites]


Ugh. I was happier not knowing the Twitsoteric meaning of "corncob". Reason #312 not to be on the Tweeters.
posted by petebest at 8:10 AM on August 5


The "cheaper drugs from Canada" thing - that's some kind of weird deliberate wedge, not an actual workable policy, right?
posted by Artw at 8:10 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


I mean, of course they are. Can we stop calling them the left?

No. Because they are. They really are. Some of the people that have been pushing this line of thinking It's appalling I know but just deciding they aren't left isn't going to make it non issue. And it's not just young men. One of the main people pushing this line of thinking is a woman and she has a relatively large following. And woman are supporting it. I would say that it's mostly a young white guy thing but unfortunately not just a young white guy thing.
posted by Jalliah at 8:10 AM on August 5 [11 favorites]


the effort wouldn't catch fire if there wasn't all that racist and misogynist kindling there in the first place.

Exactly. We don't see the same shit against someone like Mark Warner who is basically the closest thing you can get to a Senate seat filler. Introduces nothing, puts his name on any Republican bill he can get his hands on. Yeah. Sure. Kamala Harris's politics are the problem. Not her melanin and labia. Not here. No-siree, Bob.
posted by Talez at 8:10 AM on August 5 [28 favorites]


We don't see the same shit against someone like Mark Warner

Or Biden, who is as corporate as anyone, and is the biggest possible D name for 2020 besides Sanders.
posted by chris24 at 8:16 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


We don't see the same shit against someone like Mark Warner

Because he's not up for re-election until 2020 ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:18 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


The "cheaper drugs from Canada" thing - that's some kind of weird deliberate wedge, not an actual workable policy, right?

Either that or this one vote was so important that Cory Booker is now Satan.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:18 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


We don't see the same shit against someone like Mark Warner

Because he's not up for re-election until 2020 ?


Kamala Harris isn't up 'til 2022 but that's not stopping anyone.
posted by chris24 at 8:20 AM on August 5 [39 favorites]


Bernie, Kamala, and the Left’s War of Mutually Assured Destruction
The worst elements of both sides are engaging cynically in the ongoing civil war. Some Sanders supporters eagerly want to see him run again in 2020, and are actively seeking to kneecap every potential challenger to him–especially those who might be able to more easily secure Hillary Clinton’s coalition of older and minority voters. If not racist and sexist in motivation, this strategy is racist and sexist in its effects and will attract the worst elements of society. On the other hand, establishment moderates since the early days of the Democratic Leadership Council have sought a marriage of the much-vaunted “Emerging Democratic Majority” with an educated, upper-middle-class fiscally centrist donor class. This has been to the detriment of the economy as a whole, and to the electoral fortunes of the Democratic Party in general. They have no intention of taking a sharper stand against the predatory financial sector, and actively seek to use ideologically aligned women and minority candidates as a wedge against more radical activists who might threaten to alienate the wealthy donor class they have sought to woo away from the Republican Party since the Reagan era.

It is no exaggeration to say that if the Democratic Party fractures in 2020 along the same lines it did in 2016, it may not recover. Votes for Clinton over Sanders notwithstanding, women and minority voters are not ideologically more moderate than whites and men within the party. If the the fault lines once again pit more moderate minority candidates against more economically progressive white candidates, the resulting warfare will create the worst of all worlds: watered down economic policy that fails to win back disaffected white working class workers, combined with a bruising primary trading insults that could demotivate both class-conscious millennials and identity-conscious older women and minorities, depending on the eventual victor.

posted by T.D. Strange at 8:21 AM on August 5 [22 favorites]


Or Biden, who is as corporate as anyone,

Oh come on. Diamond Joe is only a little bit more conservative than HRC in voting record. I didn't realize that corporate as anyone was the US Chamber of Commerce publicly shitting on you for an anti-business voting record.

Because he's not up for re-election until 2020 ?

SHE'S NOT UP FOR REELECTION UNTIL 2022!
posted by Talez at 8:21 AM on August 5 [7 favorites]


This period of time, before the 2018 campaigns begin in earnest, is the right time for the various tribes within the left to be having these difficult discussions and heated arguments about the direction of the Democratic party and the kind of candidates we run. The problem is that Kamala Harris ISN'T GOING TO BE ON THE BALLOT IN 2018. This obsession about Presidential politics and quest for a perfect Presidential candidate to solve our problems is a big part of why we're in this mess. Mid-terms matter, state and local races matter. Kamala Harris' hypothetical Presidential run in 2020 shouldn't even register on anyone's radar at this point.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:21 AM on August 5 [36 favorites]


JFC, I swear the calibration for "corporate Democrat" for some people is "doesn't advocate for the seizing of the means of production".
posted by Talez at 8:23 AM on August 5 [33 favorites]


JFC, I swear the calibration for "corporate Democrat" for some people is "doesn't advocate for the seizing of the means of production".

If you like baseball, there are THIRTY MLB teams to choose to support.

USA Politics. Pretty much TWO.

I understand parliamentary systems offer more distinct choices, but then we'd be living in a different country.
posted by mikelieman at 8:26 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Or Biden, who is as corporate as anyone...

Oh come on. Diamond Joe is only a little bit more conservative than HRC in voting record...


Sorry, I meant as corporate as anyone in the D party. And despite being as or more "corporate" as HRC, Diamond Joe had a 80+% favorability from Sanders supporters while HRC had <20%.
posted by chris24 at 8:26 AM on August 5 [34 favorites]


Sorry, I meant as corporate as anyone in the D party. And despite being as or more "corporate" as HRC, Diamond Joe had a 80+% favorability from Sanders supporters while HRC had <20%.

My misunderstanding then. I apologize. Yes. That's absolutely true and worrying.
posted by Talez at 8:28 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


Kamala Harris' hypothetical Presidential run in 2020 shouldn't even register on anyone's radar at this point

And yet

JFC, I swear the calibration for "corporate Democrat" for some people is "doesn't advocate for the seizing of the means of production".

This is sort of mean by "are they even left?" Are they relevantly left? like are these people that actually ever showed up to vote Democratic, or are these all the protest votes?

Not that that isn't damaging. We saw how they depressed youth turnout in a couple of key states.

it's not only angry young white men

Yeah, this will never not kill me, but that's why I included people who identify with them. Not as in "I am a young white man," but who identify with and place themselves within their worldview. There will never not be those people, for some fucking reason.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:29 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


I mean, in some ways, it's sort of interesting, because it feels like we're fighting the same war on two different fronts. Neither the Alt-Right nor the Alt-Left share the common ground of reality with anyone else, both have commercial eco-systems building up around them that will need to perpetuate the insanity to remain viable, and both mock and reject any sort of introspection or self-criticism. (If your response to POC being like "why the attacks on POC" is to quote MLK...you might need to learn to listen to POC.) They both have populist stances on economic issues, and they both reject and mock "social justice warriors" or "identity politics", which are two different names for functionally the same thing.

They look pretty similar to me. Like in an old video game when they take a monster and just change its helmet or whatever and BAM new monster. I assume you fight them the same way.

I just don't know what that is yet.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:35 AM on August 5 [18 favorites]


They look pretty similar to me. Like in an old video game when they take a monster and just change its helmet or whatever and BAM new monster. I assume you fight them the same way.

Point of order, a more apt and technically correct comparison to old video games would be that the monsters are palette shifted. It's more apt because in this case you're palette shifting from a red to a blue monster.

.... I'll see myself out.
posted by Talez at 8:39 AM on August 5 [21 favorites]


his January vote against allowing cheaper drugs from Canada when he accepts big contributions from Pharma is a *huge* problem for people who are against their representatives being controlled by our corporate overlords.

The reason the Booker hate seems sort of artificially ginned up to me is that I see this brought up all the time... without any mention of the fact that Booker then co-sponsored a drug re-importation bill with Sanders.

I mean, if he is in the thrall of his corporate masters, why would be do that?

And if people care so passionately about this issue on its own merits and not just because of viral stories on social media, why don't they know or care about that bill?
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:42 AM on August 5 [49 favorites]


This obsession about Presidential politics and quest for a perfect Presidential candidate to solve our problems is a big part of why we're in this mess. Mid-terms matter, state and local races matter.

THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS

One of the reasons Dems are in the pickle that they are in is because of the focus on the precious Presidency and maybe a few big sexy Senate races or governorships instead of the more boring but equally important local and midterm races.

The reason that a Constitutional convention can even be floated (and I don't think we're in any real danger yet but we need to be aware) is Republican takeover of state houses. One of the reasons North Carolina is a clusterfuck and Roy Cooper is hamstrung is, yes, gerrymandering, but also that Dems do not get out the vote for other than Presidential races.

WE. NEED. TO. SWEAT. THE. SMALL. STUFF. Howard Dean's 60 State Strategy WORKED. We need to repeat it. Get Dems into office from dogcatcher and city council on up.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:43 AM on August 5 [75 favorites]


Thought of another similarity. They both idolize or demonize politicians and public figures rather than see them as flawed humans who they agree with on some things and disagree with on others. Either you are noble and can do no wrong (in which case they put their hands in their ears and shout "fake news!" whenever they hear something that might threaten that perception) or you are evil and false in every possible way (in which case even the good you do is somehow part of a manipulative calculation). They see politicians as saviors or villains, not as tools.

They're both fundamentally childish. Which I would find comforting, except for the Third Reich's whole ridiculous (and equally childish) obsession with the occult.

Childish shit still gets people killed. Idk maybe this an authoritarian tendency?
posted by schadenfrau at 8:50 AM on August 5 [21 favorites]


WE. NEED. TO. SWEAT. THE. SMALL. STUFF. Howard Dean's 60 State Strategy WORKED. We need to repeat it. Get Dems into office from dogcatcher and city council on up.

I swear I read somewhere that this is the exact strategy the religious right tried back in the 80s - start with getting people into the smaller offices that no one else runs for because they're small potatoes and no one pays attention, and most often they're not opposed, and then they just worked their way up.

And think about it. How much attention do you pay to the smaller offices when you go to the voting booth? Hell, how many candidates are there? Me, whenever I'm voting on the offices like city council or city chief judge or whatever, I'm instructed to "pick any five" and there are only five candidates anyway, and I don't know anything about any of them so I just say "fuck it" and pick all five.

The people who get in on those ground-floor offices can then run for progressively bigger offices, using the fact that they had "x years experience in city government".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:52 AM on August 5 [24 favorites]


Childish shit still gets people killed. Idk maybe this an authoritarian tendency?

A control thing IMHO. On the far right it's making sure you feel in control even if things are way out of your control. On the far left it's ensuring before you delegate any form of authority that you can be assured that you'll have some form of control.
posted by Talez at 8:53 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Or, y'know, some of us might have legitimate, principled, policy-based reservations about Kamala Harris, nurtured over long-term familiarity and confirmed by personal interaction, and it would be so very nice to be able to express those reservations without being slagged as a brocialist/Russian shill/privileged angry young white male simmering in resentment over the withdrawal of privilege/useful idiot, please and thank you.
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:53 AM on August 5 [14 favorites]


JFC, I swear the calibration for "corporate Democrat" for some people is "doesn't advocate for the seizing of the means of production".

By all means, lets stand on the hollowed out shell that was once America and proudly swear to continue our strategy of winning by losing. If the Dems can get the Rs to 40 states, do we all win a toaster oven or something ?

We've had Corporate Dem policies and politicians for the entirety of my adult life. And here we are. This, today, is the America they helped to create. Do you need more evidence that Dems suck ?

I'd cheerfully vote for a disabled black woman from The Rez who didn't suck. I'm just tired of Dems who do, in fact, suck. If that makes me an Alt-Left racist BernieBro misogynist, then... well, I dunno.

My economically struggling gay son, my only child, deserves a better Democratic party. The current crop sucks. They've sucked since I've been aware of politics. They need - I need - for them to stop sucking.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:54 AM on August 5 [18 favorites]


Seems CNN is getting rid of some of their Trumpsters. Kayleigh McEnamy is leaving. If only Jeff Lord is next...
posted by chris24 at 8:55 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


Or, y'know, some of us might have legitimate, principled, policy-based reservations about Kamala Harris, nurtured over long-term familiarity and confirmed by personal interaction, and it would be so very nice to be able to express those reservations

I mean, ok, but that doesn't do a lot to address the "why her? Why now? What makes her different than a gajillion others?" concerns. It's not like you do these things in a vacuum. Context informs meaning.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:58 AM on August 5 [36 favorites]


Or, y'know, some of us might have legitimate, principled, policy-based reservations about Kamala Harris, nurtured over long-term familiarity and confirmed by personal interaction, and it would be so very nice to be able to express those reservations without being slagged as a brocialist/Russian shill/privileged angry young white male simmering in resentment over the withdrawal of privilege/useful idiot, please and thank you.

I'm also interested to know any of your legitimate, principled, policy-based reservations to Kirsten Gillibrand too.
posted by Talez at 8:59 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]



Or, y'know, some of us might have legitimate, principled, policy-based reservations about Kamala Harris, nurtured over long-term familiarity and confirmed by personal interaction, and it would be so very nice to be able to express those reservations without being slagged as a brocialist/Russian shill/privileged angry young white male simmering in resentment over the withdrawal of privilege/useful idiot, please and thank you.


This is a problem. I agree. And this is why what this group is doing right is not something to ignore. I think the phrase is 'this is why we can't have nice things'. When you have people expressing the same sorts of reservations that you are and also adding in things like 'co-opted black elite and various other Uncle Tom type phrasing' and also discounting the concerns, largely coming from other left type POC about the current level of energy that's popped up against Harris, it makes it difficult to sort through who is who and where their motivations are coming from.

And whether it's warranted or one of the messages that is coming through, along with any legitimate criticism is tainted with the stink of racism and misogyny.
posted by Jalliah at 9:06 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


I'm also interested to know any of your legitimate, principled, policy-based reservations to Kirsten Gillibrand too.

oh, I can give you an advance preview of at least one popular reservation: she voted as a representative of her district when representing her district, before moving up to the Senate where she could vote to represent her entire state, and also her own views (and yes, I do believe that. as much as any career politician has personal views, I do believe that hers are more or less as she describes them.)

this means guns. Voting to placate your gun-loving constituents is immoral when Gillibrand did it and obviously the only thing one can do, practically speaking, when Sanders does it. note the tenses -- she stopped, with a full, convincing, and intelligent explanation of her current views; he didn't. but Vermonters deserve pandering and upstate New Yorkers don't.

personal disclosure: I grew up in the district she used to represent, although I was gone by the time she was elected. I know what she was dealing with.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:08 AM on August 5 [37 favorites]


If only Jeff Lord is next...

My theory is that Jeffery will only leave CNN when his dark mission on our plane of existence is complete. He's only there because Zucker owed Satan a solid. Back in the early 2000s Satan got the entire Friends cast to extend their contracts another couple of years and for that Zucker was forever in his debt.
posted by Talez at 9:10 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


It's been posted here before, but it really is amazing how women and POC have to be perfect but white men get forgiven/excused for almost everything. And I say that as a white man.
posted by chris24 at 9:10 AM on August 5 [101 favorites]


This is all an extension of the purity politics that is so rampant in so many parts of the left. It's a type of gotcha journalism, or gotcha activism, where people go looking for any one thing they can point to for why a person should be shunned. That Cory Booker Canada drugs thing is perfect because it's based on social media memes that failed to understand the context of his vote, which was meaningless in terms of effect.

The fact that this tactic is SO OFTEN turned on women and POC and NOT on white men is the real sign of the sincerity of the people doing the finger pointing. Older white men are forgiven anything, women in particular NOTHING.

Not to mention, WHY THE FUCK IS ANYONE TALKING ABOUT 2020?? Go canvass for a local race and shut the fuck up.
posted by threeturtles at 9:15 AM on August 5 [78 favorites]


Really? Even here? What if I hold white men to the same standards? What if I also think Bernie is shit on intersectionality issues? What if I'm – shock, horror – an adult who does not happen to be completely blind to the way legitimate agendas can be coopted by bad actors?

Maybe it's best that I check out of this discussion now. I'm tired of the Woke Purity Olympics in my circles – which are, mind you, a decent chunk further to the left and I daresay at least as diverse as this good blue place, if not quite a bit more so – and forgive me, I just don't have the energy to contend with it here as well from the other direction.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:16 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Schadenfrau: They're both fundamentally childish. Which I would find comforting, except for the Third Reich's whole ridiculous (and equally childish) obsession with the occult.

Childish shit still gets people killed. Idk maybe this an authoritarian tendency?


I agree with you that it is about authoritarianism. Simple people want simple answers. Right wing authoritarianism in particular is linked to lower cognitive ability - which means that someone might not be able to appreciate complexity and shades of gray. They only "get" black and white, right or wrong, with us or against us thinking.

I believe there are authoritarians on the left, but they are not nearly as prevalent. There are lefties who want simple answers and believe in the "with us or against us" "you are on a pedestal or in a pit" simplistic lines of thought. I think there are other people who aren't authoritarian by nature, but don't have the mental bandwidth, or spoons if you will, for anything but simple answers. Poverty saps brainpower and I think some people want simple answers because their brainpower has been eaten up by life challenges.

FWIW I am very against the black-and-white type of authoritarian mindset and wish that the left, at least, because I expect better of them, would stop with the putting candidates on a pedestal and then pulling them down.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:17 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


It's been posted here before, but it really is amazing how women and POC have to be perfect but white men get forgiven/excused for everything

I agree with you of course, but there's another layer of random unreasoning sports-team-style fandom even on top of that. I will never understand why people care so much about Gillibrand's fully explainable House history when measured against her current Senate activity and giant pile of fantastic votes and positions, and so little about Elizabeth Warren's history of actual confessed Republican voting. I would vote for either of them in a second, no question, I excuse Warren even though I will never love her (and don't have to, to vote for her.) but this is a one-to-one woman-to-woman comparison and it still makes no sense.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:19 AM on August 5 [26 favorites]


> JFC, I swear the calibration for "corporate Democrat" for some people is "doesn't advocate for the seizing of the means of production".

I mean, yes, that is the goal. If you are on the left the goal is in fact to socialize key industries, in order to either (if you're closer to social democrat) alleviate the excesses of capitalism or (if you're closer to democratic socialist) replace capitalism with economic democracy.

If you do not think that capitalism is a problem — that capitalism and democracy are compatible, that capitalism and justice are compatible, that the productive forces unlocked by capitalism's means of resource allocation are worth the suffering and death caused by capitalism — at least get your head out of the 90s for long enough to acknowledge that in this year 2017 the consensus in favor of a liberal market economy has in fact broken down in the United States; the right is now open about favoring white supremacist neofeudalism over liberal market capitalism, and the left in America does in fact now, miraculously, exist.

> I'm also interested to know any of your legitimate, principled, policy-based reservations to Kirsten Gillibrand too.

Probably the worst habit across metafilter as a whole is the tendency to mistake contempt for sophistication.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:20 AM on August 5 [28 favorites]


Really? Even here? What if I hold white men to the same standards?

Kamala Harris would be the least of your concerns.
posted by Talez at 9:21 AM on August 5 [16 favorites]


What if I hold white men to the same standards?

How on earth would we know when the only people you're targeting are WOC? I mean at some point, standards are as standards do. If you're not going after the white men but you do find yourself joining the bandwagon that's going after women and POC, maybe ask yourself why.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:22 AM on August 5 [22 favorites]


I remain profoundly mistrustful of anyone on any side who is 100% sure that they are right, have all the answers, and those answers are both easy and self-evident. In my personal life this has correlated strongly to people who have never been questioned because of who they are, not because of the brilliance of what they believe.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:23 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


And I remain profoundly mistrustful of anyone whose idea of progressive thought and action appears to be bracketed by Sand Hill Road on one coast and the MIT Media Lab on the other, but I've said my piece, read the room, and know when to back away.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:30 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Can we get back to (Republican) politics? Please?
posted by persona at 9:32 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


And I remain profoundly mistrustful of anyone whose idea of progressive thought and action appears to be bracketed by Sand Hill Road on one coast and the MIT Media Lab on the other

Buddy I used to live less than a mile from where 280 hit Saratoga Ave and now I live where 495 hits Route 3. We can do this dance all day if you want.
posted by Talez at 9:32 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


WE. NEED. TO. SWEAT. THE. SMALL. STUFF. Howard Dean's 60 State Strategy WORKED. We need to repeat it. Get Dems into office from dogcatcher and city council on up.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:43 AM on August 5


Hell, we can do even better! Let's have a 70 State Strategy!
posted by Reverend John at 9:32 AM on August 5 [48 favorites]


And I remain profoundly mistrustful of anyone whose idea of progressive thought and action appears to be bracketed by Sand Hill Road on one coast and the MIT Media Lab on the other

I live in the rust belt, I don't even know what that means.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:36 AM on August 5 [22 favorites]


I live in the rust belt, I don't even know what that means.

It's a condemnation of the Democrats' love affair with the tech startup industry.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:41 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


And I remain profoundly mistrustful of anyone whose idea of progressive thought and action appears to be bracketed by Sand Hill Road on one coast and the MIT Media Lab on the other

Literally no one mentioned any policy positions in this discussion. But we did talk about the Alt-Left's tendency towards black and white thinking, so that makes the "NO TRUE PROGRESSIVE" thing kind of funny.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:42 AM on August 5 [14 favorites]


I live in the rust belt, I don't even know what that means.

He's trying to imply we're all coastal liberal elites with bad geography references. Bracketing progressive thought at Sand Hill Road. STANFORD IS RIGHT THERE TO THE EAST OF IT. Then you have UC Berkeley which is on the other side of the bay, far from the westerly position of Sand Hill Road and that's like grand central for progressive elitism. A far more sensible reference would be west of 680 but I suspect our friend here is making the area deliberately smaller for rhetorical effect.

That's also to say his reference of the MIT Media Lab is also kind of poor because for one it's east of Harvard, and secondly, the entire Greater Boston area is so ridiculously and unashamedly blue that you can't really confine it to central Boston. If anything you gotta go to Worcester before Republican voters will admit their affiliation in polite company.

It's a condemnation of the Democrats' love affair with the tech startup industry.

That would be stupid because most of the tech industry the Democrats are in love with is on Page Mill and hanging off San Tomas.
posted by Talez at 9:43 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


Is Alt-Left just accelerationist dicks who think Russia can do no wrong or are we going broader than that?
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


I mean, yes, that is the goal. If you are on the left the goal is in fact to socialize key industries, in order to either (if you're closer to social democrat) alleviate the excesses of capitalism or (if you're closer to democratic socialist) replace capitalism with economic democracy.


I know this correct and subscribe to many of these types of viewpoints. Have for years. They've evolved with experience but the baseline is still there. Its possible that many of the people in the group we're talking about here do subscribe to these viewpoints. Problem being that with some of the interactions going on right now any message or persuasion attempts is not. Right now for certain groups on the left 'corporate dem' has no consistant meaning except 'democrat that is not what I believe or not Bernie approved'. That's it. They are neo-cons, neo-liberal and yes even alt-right (wtf?). Hell I've seen Joy Reid being called 'alt-right'. It's all about the 'establishment' guys.

I dunno. I guess I'm just really frustated because of 25+ years of watching the same sorts of racism and sexist BS happen on the left and the same sort pattern of others on the left explaining it away and watching things not be a great as they could be or just down right fail.

I don't have a solution. I don't think there can be a solution until there is a more widespread understanding that there has always been and still is a problem. Or at least enough of a problem that it's going to keep holding the left as whole back while the forces on the right side of things have their playtime.
posted by Jalliah at 9:46 AM on August 5 [7 favorites]


I want to add that sweating the small stuff - running for city council, transit board, school board, etc. - is the only reasonable way for third parties to get their foot in the door as viable alternatives. I have lost all respect for the Green Party because all they seem to do is put on a quixotic Presidential run every four years and then disappear into the woodwork. I don't think they're trying to be an actual party, just a platform for grandstanders.

Meanwhile, the Socialists are doing it right: they have put Kshama Sawant on the Seattle City Council. The Working Families Party is putting Randy Bryce up as a House candidate. This is how parties start, by putting candidates out for smaller offices and establishing a grass-roots presence first. (I don't even have to tell you what we get if we send someone completely inexperienced to the Presidency. If only we got ants.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:47 AM on August 5 [32 favorites]


>> And I remain profoundly mistrustful of anyone whose idea of progressive thought and action appears to be bracketed by Sand Hill Road on one coast and the MIT Media Lab on the other

> I live in the rust belt, I don't even know what that means.


Sand Hill Road (a suburban avenue in Palo Alto running from the mall next to Stanford up into the hills) is shorthand for Silicon Valley venture capital in general, since that's where the top VC firms site their offices. The Sand Hill Road power-players believe themselves to have good — nay, revolutionary! — politics, but due to being completely disconnected from everyone not their class, their primary real political commitments are to channeling money to themselves, and to maintaining the system that allows them to channel money to themselves.

The MIT Media Lab employs a lot of high-profile academics who likewise front as Tech Revolutionaries, who use/abuse a lot of Deleuze-type critical theory to position the Tech Revolutionary as the protagonist of the as-yet-unwritten history of the 21st century, but who ultimately just make fun little toys in the interest of channeling prestige to themselves. Their primary political commitment is ultimately to maintaining the system that allows them to channel prestige to themselves.

It is important to diligently critique these people now, and to insofar as is possible politically suppress these people now, so that we don't have to have party schisms in 2020 over Mark Zuckerberg winning the Democratic Party nomination.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:48 AM on August 5 [21 favorites]


Is Alt-Left just accelerationist dicks who think Russia can do no wrong or are we going broader than that?

I tend to think the accelerationism and the Russia skepticism is more of a symptom the angry young white male resentment identity, myself, so...I think there are a couple of identifying characteristics, but the main ones, for me, would be the way they go after POC and women*, and the whole authoritarian tendencies thing (though that seems vaguer).

*And the light version of this would be the South Park-style nihilism, which bleeds into the whole "performative social justice" thing pretty quickly.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:48 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Someone told me last night that Sen. Warren might have trouble with her re-election next year, but haven't found any good cites for the claim. Anyone know of solid obstacles for her? Her contenders look weak to me.

I'm trying to figure out who to support with organization and door knocking in the Fall. I live in Boston, so a meaningful race in MA would mean a lot less driving than NH, where I was thinking of contributing.
posted by Coventry at 9:49 AM on August 5


> Is Alt-Left just accelerationist dicks who think Russia can do no wrong or are we going broader than that?

Alt-left is a thing that only exists by lazy analogy. If you want to critique left edgelords, it's more precise and more useful to use the term that they use for themselves: the "dirtbag left."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:49 AM on August 5 [17 favorites]


Is Alt-Left just accelerationist dicks who think Russia can do no wrong or are we going broader than that?
Latest edition
If goals align we should be open to working with the alt-right. And if you all have a problem with that you are stupid because it's all about the establishment and if you're POC and are all 'what really?' I have something to tell you about MLK, he would be fine with this you know.

At least this is what some of the POC and allies who have been dealing with this bull crap are calling them.
posted by Jalliah at 9:50 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


They're both a little outdated, but recognizable references to tech startups, with a famous VC firm on the west coast and navel gazing gurus on the east. He's not wrong to mistrust them... They gave us Peter Theil and other alt right Dark Enlightenment shit stains on one side of the spectrum, and Zuck For Prez on the other.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:52 AM on August 5


and Zuck For Prez on the other.

You forget their greatest achievement. They got one of the most reliable, progressive congressmen in the House thrown out of his seat for some VC sycophant yes man just by putting a D in front of said sycophant's name.
posted by Talez at 9:54 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Alt-left is a thing that only exists by lazy analogy. If you want to critique left edgelords, it's more precise and more useful to use the term that they use for themselves: the "dirtbag left."

Maybe this was the case before last month. It has evolved over the past few weeks to 'include the align with the alt right' folks.

I think it may further evolve going to evolve to include the dems=nazi type folks. This line of thinking has been flying around over the past week. I've seen it and variations of it more now. I don't think it's totally gelled yet as a go to talking point but it's possible.
posted by Jalliah at 9:54 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


The Far Right Christian movement began by a concerted effort to take over local school boards. They are still using that as a method to get a foot in the door. When I was standing in line to vote in the last election I was handed business cards by 2 people, both running for the school board. Knowing nothing about either one I asked one question, "Do you have children in this school system?" The young white man replied, "No my daughter is home schooled because the local schools are bad. I want to change them." The middle-aged Black woman replied, "Yes. I have two children in school and my husband is a teacher."

I volunteer in the local elementary school and happen to know it is well-run, clean and inviting, with a good library and computer room. They could use more money like all the schools in NC but I can only assume that the reason the school wasn't good enough for the man's daughter was because there were too many Black children and/or too much education about evolution.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:55 AM on August 5 [69 favorites]


There is no Alt-Left. It's a backformation coined by liberals to suggest that being to the left of Hillary Clinton makes you just as bad as Richard Spencer. There is the self-identified dirtbag left, which is a hive of "class is the important thing and other issues are bourgeois distractions" dorks who've been a wart on leftism for decades (if you've heard the term "brocialism", that's an old left-wing term of abuse for that sort of person), but they don't call themselves "Alt-Left".


Maybe this was the case before last month. It has evolved over the past few weeks to include the align with the alt right folks.

Leftists have been yelling at the dirtbag left about this for months (the cheerfulness, for example, with which the Chapo Trap House hosts pal around with Nick Mullen, or Angela Nagle's cheerful parroting of alt-right rhetoric and arguments in Kill All Normies). Liberals coming late to the meeting, seeing the argument, and yelling "you're all as bad!" isn't helpful.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:58 AM on August 5 [17 favorites]


"alt-left" seems to be giving way too much credit, tbh
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:02 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


but they don't call themselves "Alt-Left"

I can't imagine why this would be surprising, but I don't actually care what people who are racist and misogynist in action if not (yet) in stated beliefs call themselves.

Like not even a little bit.

I'd rather call them what they are, especially now that they are overtly aligning themselves with the Alt-Right. Helps the rest of us figure out who's dangerous and who isn't.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:02 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


Knowing nothing about either one I asked one question, "Do you have children in this school system?"

This is such a great test for school-board candidates, and I wish I had thought to be using it the past 32 years.
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:03 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


They're both a little outdated, but recognizable references to tech startups, with a famous VC firm on the west coast and navel gazing gurus on the east. He's not wrong to mistrust them...

Sure, but how does this apply to Kamala Harris? If it's that she gets donations from tech companies, Joy Reid posted the top 5 donors for Harris and Sanders this morning.

For Sanders it's:

1) Google
2) Univ of Cal.
3) Microsoft
4) US. Post Office
5) Apple

For Harris it's:

1) Time Warner
2) 21st Century Fox
3) Venable LLP
4) Creative Artists Agency
5) Google

So I'm not sure how the tech/Dem link gets her worse than Sanders.
posted by chris24 at 10:04 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


call themselves "Alt-Left"

*looks down at keyboard*

Maybe I'm "Fn+Left" - functional lefty. Get shit done. I can write the oppo on my running for school board now: Educated for 13 years in private religious schools, never a day in public school. Two kids in charter schools over 8-12 year time span. Keeps switching registration from NPA to D and back again.
posted by tilde at 10:08 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


Her contenders look weak to me.

That's a badly outdated list, because it leaves off Geoff Diehl (Trump's Mass. campaign head last year - how'd that work out for ya, Geoff?) and the Man Who Invented E-Mail (who got into a shouting match with Howie Carr over who loves Trump more) and includes Charlie Baker, who would be an interesting candidate, but who has shown no signs he wants to run against Warren rather than run for re-election as the Nation's Most Popular Governor.
posted by adamg at 10:10 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


The alt-left are the Bernie Bros, the Louise Mensch followers, the Jill Stein supporters, the chemtrailers, the unreformed "Trump is better than Hillary" trolls. Thank you.

What are we going to do about Zuckerberg? Goddamn his whole act gives me the creeps.
posted by chrchr at 10:13 AM on August 5 [21 favorites]


That's a badly outdated list, because it leaves off Geoff Diehl

Thanks, found him last night, got him mixed up with the Republican on the list. Still seems weak... His main platform seems to be "I won't write any books while a Senator, unlike Warren." Also, no point campaigning for the General, this Fall. It would have to be a primary threat.
posted by Coventry at 10:16 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


I'm sure this won't piss off Trump at all or drive a a wedge between him and Pence and the party.

@alexburnsNYT
Pence advisers have told GOP donors they want to be ready -- ya know, just in case >>

NYT: Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubts Grow
Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse have already been to Iowa this year, Gov. John Kasich is eyeing a return visit to New Hampshire, and Mike Pence’s schedule is so full of political events that Republicans joke that he is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago.

President Trump’s first term is ostensibly just warming up, but luminaries in his own party have begun what amounts to a shadow campaign for 2020 — as if the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue weren’t involved. The would-be candidates are cultivating some of the party’s most prominent donors, courting conservative interest groups and carefully enhancing their profiles. Mr. Trump has given no indication that he will decline to seek a second term.

But the sheer disarray surrounding this presidency, the intensifying investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the plain uncertainty about what Mr. Trump will do in the next week, let alone in the next election, have prompted Republican officeholders to take political steps that are unheard-of so soon into a new administration.
posted by chris24 at 10:18 AM on August 5 [22 favorites]


What are we going to do about Zuckerberg? Goddamn his whole act gives me the creeps.

*shudders in horror*

@alexburnsNYT
Pence advisers have told GOP donors they want to be ready -- ya know, just in case >>


*shudders in delight*

I think I sprained my schadensprunger.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:20 AM on August 5 [26 favorites]


What are we going to do about Zuckerberg? Goddamn his whole act gives me the creeps.

I dunno, come up with someone after 2018? There are already people who have been positioning themselves for a run, we're only hearing about Zuck because he's trying to compress an entire political career into a few years and he can afford a presidential PR organization and personal photographers. Benioff he ain't.
posted by rhizome at 10:23 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


The alt-left are the Bernie Bros, the Louise Mensch followers, the Jill Stein supporters, the chemtrailers, the unreformed "Trump is better than Hillary" trolls. Thank you.

In other words, it just means anybody you a) don't like and b) associate with the left, regardless of whether they actually belong together as a group. Got it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:26 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]



There is no Alt-Left. It's a backformation coined by liberals to suggest that being to the left of Hillary Clinton makes you just as bad as Richard Spencer.


Wow. Okay. I'll be sure to go let the people dealing with these particular folks that they are bad and wrong for calling them that. Bad POC progressive, bad POC progressive. I get that this isn't an all POC believe this thing but regardless 'alt left' is being used right now to describe this particular group of people who are being racist and pretty much telling POC that they are either stupid, ignorant, co-opted and that their 'identity' politics and concerns don't matter because it will all be fixed with single payer! and when the economic system is fixed. And for POC who are progressive, or left or socialist it's also a problem because it's difficult to have a conversation about these issues when you got your own crew discounting it.

Anyways, this is going to go nowhere. I'm not even sure why I bothered to bring up what I've been seeing. I thought about it because it's been getting worse over the past few weeks. And gross, really gross. It's made me nauseous because it's not hard to see where it could go. (Not a good place) It's still just getting explained away as 'not left' or 'not an issue' or 'oh it's just those liberals at it again'. And therefore anyone that uses it or says it must be liberal.

smh.
posted by Jalliah at 10:27 AM on August 5 [22 favorites]


What are we going to do about Zuckerberg? Goddamn his whole act gives me the creeps.

I fully expect that in three years I'll be exhorted to support Noted Leftist Mark Zuckerberg
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:28 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


I despise both the dirtbag left and liberals who want to smear the entirety of the left with their shitty beliefs and behavior. The use of "alt-left" is part of that smear.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:29 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


What are we going to do about Zuckerberg? Goddamn his whole act gives me the creeps.

I don't think he has a chance of winning the nom, but I worry about a third party run that results in a R victory.
posted by chris24 at 10:30 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


5 ways to make a winning Trump magazine cover
posted by growabrain at 10:31 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


I don't think he has a chance of winning the nom, but I worry about a third party run that results in a R victory.

On the plus side a "reverse Clinton" won't just be a disgusting sex position anymore.
posted by Talez at 10:31 AM on August 5


Blast rocks Bloomington Islamic center (Stephen Montemayor, Star Tribune)
No one was hurt in the explosion, which was reported just after 5 a.m.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:34 AM on August 5 [9 favorites]


despise both the dirtbag left and liberals who want to smear the entirety of the left with their shitty beliefs and behavior. The use of "alt-left" is part of that smear.

Are you even reading my comments? Nowhere have I said or even suggested that it is being used to smear the entirety of the left. It's not. It is being used as a short hand to describe particular leftie groups and ways of thinking and interacting. And for the most part the people that I've been following who have started to use it are not liberal. They're variations of progressive including those that like Bernie and his ideas.
posted by Jalliah at 10:36 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


> The alt-left are the Bernie Bros, the Louise Mensch followers, the Jill Stein supporters, the chemtrailers, the unreformed "Trump is better than Hillary" trolls. Thank you.

Why is it useful to put together this disparate set of people — most of whom disagree with each other on nearly everything — under one name? This is a real question.

Likewise, how do you sort "Bernie Bros" from reasonable Sanders supporters? This is a real question, not a rhetorical one. Is it possible to have supported Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries and not be a Bernie Bro?

Likewise, what parts of the groups well to the left of Sanders count as alt-left and which ones don't? Note that many left-of-Sanders organizations were vehement in their refusal to support Sanders; the typical organized-socialist line on Sanders was that his candidacy served to "sheepdog" leftists back into the Democratic Party, and so they opposed him in those terms.

Are the IWW alt-left? Are antifa alt-left? If so, why is it useful to use this umbrella term? If not, why not?

What, in short, does this term get you? Is it a useful tool for highlighting misogyny, white supremacy, and homophobia within elements of the left in the interest of combating them, or is it instead a term used to position all left-of-liberal positions as misogynist, white supremacist, and homophobic?

For my part, clearly, I think developing an umbrella term describing homophobic, misogynist, and white-supremacist elements within the left and then presenting those elements as a movement — a movement the presence of which by implication taints all left-of-liberal positions — is less useful than specifically naming-and-shaming specific misogynists, homophobes, and white supremacists on the left, and identifying practices within left organizations and left conversations that can lead to the misogynists, white supremacists, and homophobes taking over.

This requires neither pretending that leftism is devoid of misogyny, white supremacy, and homophobia, nor pretending that the existence of misogyny, white supremacy, and homophobia on the left makes leftism untenable. After all, there is no extant political philosophy — anarchism, socialism, liberalism, what have you — that misogynists, white supremacists, and homophobes haven't espoused and haven't tried to hijack.

It's maybe useful to turn to how people handled this in the recent DSA thread — to my eye, that thread was (although contentious) full of cogent, precise, clear, useful critiques from the left of that organization's positions and practices. This subthread, however, is a hot mess — even though many of the same people participated in both conversations.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:38 AM on August 5 [51 favorites]


I wouldn't mind seeing this discussion move away from the catch-all labels ("alt-left", "liberals", "leftists", "dirtbag left") and toward problematic behaviors that people who may or may not identify with those labels engage in. Sometimes these labels help us build and maintain our mental model of what's going on, and I've certainly used them myself, but there are a lot of folks at the margins who don't feel that any of those labels adequately describe their views, so it's probably best if we try to talk in terms of what's dividing us.

The Harris corncob thing is emblematic of specific behaviors that some on the left side of the political spectrum have exhibited for some time. It's Presidential politics über alles, with a woman of color in the crosshairs, based on very few data points about her record as a prosecutor and a politician. The 2017 writers really outdid themselves when they threw this C-plot into the mix.

Any candidate who has a record of public service is going to have things they've done wrong, and most will have something in that record that can be seen as disqualifying, but at some point, you have to run someone to win, so we can't just disqualify everyone. Doing it to a person of Harris' background for an election that's 3+ years away that she hasn't even declared her candidacy for is an extremely bad look.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:41 AM on August 5 [32 favorites]


For me, if I find I start to find myself worrying about the usual purity issues that result in circular firing squads while tyrants run loose, it means I'm not spending enough time working out or honing my Nazi killing skills.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:41 AM on August 5 [10 favorites]


> What are we going to do about Zuckerberg? Goddamn his whole act gives me the creeps.

dammit i remapped my keyboard and lost the hotkey for the "establish workers' councils seize control of productive property establish condition of dual power etc. etc." paragraph.

but yeah dude is a creep. the thing I'm most afraid of is him mounting a third-party chaos campaign after losing the nomination, but the thing I'm second-most afraid of is him winning the nomination.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:41 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


Nowhere have I said or even suggested that it is being used to smear the entirety of the left.

Except that because the term is so ill-defined, it can be applied to pretty much anyone on the left who you don't like, and has blatantly negative connotations. Effectively, that is smearing "the entirety of the Left," since some people will use it on anyone to the left of they themselves. It's lazy thinking.
posted by Coventry at 10:42 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


I despise both the dirtbag left and liberals who want to smear the entirety of the left with their shitty beliefs and behavior. The use of "alt-left" is part of that smear.

there are elements of the democratic party that will do anything they can to smear those they find too socialist, too radical, too whatever - it's been going on for many years - cherry pick a few problematic people and claim that's what the rest of them really stand for
posted by pyramid termite at 10:42 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Likewise, how do you sort "Bernie Bros" from reasonable Sanders supporters? This is a real question, not a rhetorical one. Is it possible to have supported Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries and not be a Bernie Bro?

Oh god we're so close to DRTP but here we go.

A Bernie Bro votes for Trump or Stein in the general out of spite. A reasonable Sanders supporter realizes they lost, gets on board with the Democratic party for the election, because holy shit a fascist stormfront is coming. I was a huge Bernie supporter in the primaries. I gave money to his campaign because I thought he had a better vision going forward. About the time his victory became mathematically all but impossible I switched whole hog to HRC because fuck Trump.

For instance, Sarah Silverman was a huge Bernie supporter in the primaries. She came to the party because she knew it was either someone she mildly disagreed with or, well, Trump.

So yes, I believe it's entirely possible. IMHO it involves no small amount of being unbitter about who won the primaries and that's the difference between a Bernie Bro and a reasonable Sanders supporter. Everyone had their say, reasonable people accept the loss with dignity.
posted by Talez at 10:45 AM on August 5 [59 favorites]


Are you even reading my comments? Nowhere have I said or even suggested that it is being used to smear the entirety of the left. It's not.

I'm very sorry if I gave the suggestion that that was you- I'm distracted and a little upset (unrelated causes) and I'm not communicating effectively, and that's entirely on me. I'm basing that on what I see elsewhere, particularly on liberal twitter.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:45 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Is it possible to have supported Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries and not be a Bernie Bro?

of course - i supported sanders and when it was apparent that clinton was going to win, i moved on to support her
posted by pyramid termite at 10:45 AM on August 5 [13 favorites]


Do I want to spoil the surprise and name this person's name? #NotTheOnion2017 #PeakPoe2017

"I do think it is a, certainly a serious matter when a special counsel is accused—and I was accused of that—of exceeding his or her authority. That's a serious matter because we do not want investigators and prosecutors out on a fishing expedition."
posted by Evilspork at 10:47 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


(another Sanders primary voter who happily voted for HRC in the general election.)
posted by Burhanistan at 10:47 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


I understand parliamentary systems offer more distinct choices, but then we'd be living in a different country.

And this would be bad exactly how?

Who's HAPPY with how things are?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:47 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


The term "Bernie Bro" was in wide use as a way to baselessly smear Bernie supporters as misogynistic long before the Presidential nomination was clear.
posted by Coventry at 10:48 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


[Yes, now we are relitigating the primaries and it's time to steer in some other direction.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:49 AM on August 5 [50 favorites]


It has been 0 hours since we relitigated the primaries on metafilter
posted by dis_integration at 10:51 AM on August 5 [75 favorites]


Please please please....

The Mooch's replacement could be Stephen Miller
posted by chris24 at 10:53 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


Journalist here. Just wanted to offer some perspective about what the DoJ is trying to do here.

I understand people are incredulous that they could get away with subpoenaing reporters are routing leakers. But the efficacy doesn't actually matter. The chilling effect does. It's designed to make media outlets who lack the financial resources question whether or not to run a story in the first place. Even fights they would invariably win could bankrupt some of them. Moreover the chilling effect makes would-be leakers skittish and reluctant to pick up a phone or send an email.

In other words it doesn't matter how realistic or tenable the details of Sessions' plan is. If it adds another layer of risk and fear to leakers and reporters, then that's good enough for him.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:54 AM on August 5 [74 favorites]


And this would be bad exactly how?

Who's HAPPY with how things are?


It's not about bad or happy. It's about what's possible, given the starting conditions. We have to start from where we are. At this point, we're arguing about how to use taxes with people who believe "All Taxation Is Theft"

I'm overwhelmed with just getting through the day at work, and then taking care of my family responsibilities. I can't imagine a path that reforms US Politics to the point where we would end up in desirable end-condition.

D&D Alignment Charts had it down. This isn't left-or-right, but multi-dimensional.
posted by mikelieman at 10:56 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


The Mooch's replacement could be Stephen Miller

a.k.a The Colossus of Apophasis a.k.a David Duke's "favorite Jew".
posted by Talez at 11:02 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


I am not sure if Maduro is running Trump's playbook, or of Trump is coaching Maduro. Meanwhile Duterte, trolled Kim Jong il, calling him obese, and of low intellect. I had to vocabulary up a bit for that comment. Now Duterte is living on borrowed time, maybe a lot of his people, as he has given Kim Jong il a handy target. Assholes world wide are out of their closets and prancing about, golfing, threatening, and keeping us all nervous, while the stock markets climb. Meanwhile the web is trolling Trump to reveal his knowledge about space aliens. Generals are babysitting the white house staff, while Trump vacations. The Repugnican congress has gone home on vacation, having accomplished nothing but proving the case for sentient evil possession. The prairie dog, masquerading as Attorney General is waving his bible about, and threatening the free press, and first amendment rights of all Americans. We have plenty to talk about, shudder about, and we should not forget that August is the last of this summer, and don't let the world's biggest bastards ruin your travels, bbq's, dialogues with children, opportunities to hand hold, tell stories, wade in streams, or watch sunsets. Insist on living, even the most threatened of us must live our real, American lives, in spite of the obvious obstacles now, and to come.
posted by Oyéah at 11:03 AM on August 5 [18 favorites]


...a hot mess

Yes, and I regret my part in making it hotter and messier. I apologize. I apologize for not explaining myself or my position particularly well, and I apologize for using shorthand for inclinations and habitual stances that may have been too obscure. For the record, I was not accusing anybody here of being anything, and above all I apologize if anyone took my comments as a personal criticism.
posted by adamgreenfield at 11:15 AM on August 5 [7 favorites]


I want someone to directly ask Jeff Sessions: "What actual leaks that have actually occurred would you consider to be "illegal"?

He's saying there have been illegal leaks.

Present them.

If not, then STFU
posted by yesster at 11:26 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


Zuck running as a third party candidate is a nightmare that hadn't even occurred to me. I'm just worried about him being a big, big money presence in the Democratic primary and weirding the whole process with his money and his name recognition and whatever his politics are. If Zuck wants to run for president, he should start like everyone else by running for some lower offices first. You shouldn't get to buy your way to the highest office in the land.
posted by chrchr at 11:26 AM on August 5 [10 favorites]


Yet here we are.
posted by rhizome at 11:27 AM on August 5 [20 favorites]


Likewise, how do you sort "Bernie Bros" from reasonable Sanders supporters?

Easy, if they supported Sanders, they weren't Bernie Bros, which was almost entirely a fictitious propaganda operation waged from the Kremlin and not any sort of meaningful political movement or demographic. The number of actual Sanders supporters who refused to vote HRC out of spite is so infinitesimally small, they're really not worth discussing.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:28 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


Huh. Whole lotta women on Twitter have reposted hateful shit they get from people calling themselves Bernie supporters. Seems pretty real to me.
posted by emjaybee at 11:31 AM on August 5 [46 favorites]


The number of actual Sanders supporters who refused to vote HRC out of spite is so infinitesimally small, they're really not worth discussing.

Interesting that I know some IRL. I know that's anecdotal, but I can't imagine why I, as a huge feminist and HRC supporter, would have attracted a bunch of outliers. I just assumed they're were likely a ton around.
posted by greermahoney at 11:35 AM on August 5 [20 favorites]


The number of actual Sanders supporters who refused to vote HRC out of spite is so infinitesimally small, they're really not worth discussing

Well that's good (although I think debatable), because we're discussing harassment of women and POC

Unless you're claiming we made all of that up
posted by schadenfrau at 11:36 AM on August 5 [19 favorites]


I still have people come unglued on Facebook whenever I say anything negative or critical about Sanders. Particularly if it's in mockery of any of the anti-Clinton garbage like "no difference between Clinton and Trump." But it doesn't even have to be about the election: if it's critical of whatever Sanders is doing in Congress today, the same cult of personality holds strong.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:37 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


I thought we were not discussing this at all?
posted by lalex at 11:38 AM on August 5 [14 favorites]


Now Duterte is living on borrowed time, maybe a lot of his people, as he has given Kim Jong il a handy target.

North Korea is not going to invade or nuke the Philippines. I mean I guess that is just exactly the very stupid way that the world would end but aside from a pynchonian absurdity it's like the craziest scenario I can imagine
posted by dis_integration at 11:39 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


[OMG seriously enough. There are some jerky people who supported Bernie, and there are some totally a-okay fabulous people who supported Bernie. Sometimes the a-okay people got unwarranted criticism and feel touchy about it. Sometimes the jerky people are really truly jerks and do bad things that the a-okay people wouldn't agree with. All these things are true. Enough.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:39 AM on August 5 [65 favorites]


North Korea is not going to invade or nuke the Philippines.

Oyéah's comment led me to look up where NK is with its nuclear program, though, and it looks like serious people think they have the components necessary to make a nuclear tipped ICBM. That is much faster than I expected.
posted by Coventry at 11:43 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


I cannot figure out what's going on here. The Los Angeles Blade released another article about the trans ban referencing a memo from Mattis about "ethical standards" (but does not say anything about trans people or the ban). Yet I can't find this story ANYWHERE else, and it can't be attributed to a blase attitude towards trans people because the media was all over his tweets last week. You'd think that moving forward with WH policy would warrant more coverage. Please post if you see anything or if it's derailing the thread, memail me.
posted by AFABulous at 11:44 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


imo, even this sort of thing can be laid at Trump's door

Google Employee's Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes 'Internally Viral'

which is what makes him and his "base" so very dangerous to the rest of the planet.
posted by infini at 11:48 AM on August 5 [28 favorites]


Lambda Legal, a well-respected organization, says on their blog that they are suing Trump, but they only reference the LA Blade article. How can you sue over something that hasn't been confirmed? This is so weird.
posted by AFABulous at 11:50 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Along with not relitigating the primaries, could we please please PLEASE stop fucking catastrophizing about 2020? Please.
posted by lydhre at 12:03 PM on August 5 [50 favorites]


Sure, but how does this apply to Kamala Harris? If it's that she gets donations from tech companies, Joy Reid posted the top 5 donors for Harris and Sanders this morning.

Those are not the top five donors. Rather that is the list of organizations whose employees contributed the most (some companies have PACs as well which are also counted but the amount is negligible for the specific companies listed). Do not conflate employees with the companies they work for. Their interests may not be the same as the employers.
posted by nolnacs at 12:22 PM on August 5 [12 favorites]


Do not conflate employees with the companies they work for. Their interests may not be the same as the employers.
ESPECIALLY "21st Century Fox", which is co-owned by the Murdochs with News Corp and FauxNews.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:40 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


per Yashar Ali, Eric Bolling has been suspended pending investigation. Too bad so sad.
posted by lalex at 12:42 PM on August 5 [14 favorites]


Weird when bits of ethical norm pop out of the conservative swamp like lonely little islands.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Not so much ethical as legal, I suspect. Fox has such a powerful mouthpiece that they pretty much get to write their own ethics and engineer supporting propaganda their fans enthusiastically agree with... Whereas they're already under legal scrutiny for creating a hostile work environment, so that's a real risk for them.
posted by Coventry at 12:53 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]



per Yashar Ali, Eric Bolling has been suspended pending investigation. Too bad so sad.
posted by lalex at 12:42 PM on August 5 [3 favorites +] [!]



There's no link there, yet there's 3 favorites?
posted by yesster at 12:56 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]


My idea of a good press secretary would be an articulate speaker who is capable of thinking fast, able to convey the President's policies to the press clearly, and one who is capable of not antagonizing the media representatives. SHS and Miller both fail on all accounts. I don't know know much about other departments in the administration but I do know a little bit about communication and it stuns me how bad both of these people are.

Huckabee-Sanders cannot hide her contempt. She is dour and humorless while betraying how little she knows about the actual policies themselves. She stands at the podium exuding an air of grievance as though she has been forced to deal with an unpleasant task. Miller, on the other hand, takes more joy from his labors but it is a joy based in bullying others-- both the listener and the recipient of the latest cruel anti-other policy. He is weak and petulant but has unexpectedly found a way to lash out at anyone who isn't a White Supremacist. Both of these two train wrecks get in the way of the message. Both enflame rather than inform.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:56 PM on August 5 [16 favorites]


There's no link there, yet there's 3 favorites?

it's true, I forgot to paste the link. omg everyone take away the favorites!!
posted by lalex at 1:00 PM on August 5 [23 favorites]


I hope Trump makes Miller the face of the White House. That guy is so deep in the alt-right fever swamp that his dog whistles are fully audible.
posted by diogenes at 1:02 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


The continuous siren that is the Trump dogwhistle can get louder?
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


The continuous siren that is the Trump dogwhistle can get louder?

The representatives of Trumpism vary in their slickness at concealing the worst of it. Miller is at the low end of that bell curve.
posted by diogenes at 1:10 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


The continuous siren that is the Trump dogwhistle can get louder?

Yeah, at this point even my cats are putting their paws on their ears and mewling in pain-horror
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:11 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Yeah, at this point even my cats are putting their paws on their ears and mewling in pain-horror

It can always get worse. Spicer and Huckabee-Sanders weren't particularly prone to spouting white-nationalist talking points from the podium.
posted by diogenes at 1:18 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


I am losing all faith that anything dramatic is going to happen from the Mueller investigation. They will find a bunch of impropriety, but nothing really actionable or earth-shaking. Trump will survive and continue to fuck everyone over and enrich himself and his family.
posted by chaz at 1:23 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Another thread, another drawing.
By request, a somewhat less than flattering rendering of the mendacious goober, Jeff Sessions, whom I think I loathe more than anyone else in the administration.
Head's up, a Facebook link, and thank you all for the wonderful discussions, it's pretty much the only way i can make sense of this mess.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 1:24 PM on August 5 [40 favorites]


Miller is at the low end of that bell curve.
(white-supremacisterical)
posted by contraption at 1:25 PM on August 5 [13 favorites]


Is there a word for a meritocracy, except where a lack of morals is the metric used to judge your merit? Because that's the system that has allowed Stephen Miller to rise to the top.
posted by diogenes at 1:27 PM on August 5


Miller is at the low end of that bell curve.
(white-supremacisterical)


Oof, I wish I could say I did that on purpose...
posted by diogenes at 1:28 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Found this totally over-the-top hagiography of Eric Bolling that the Star-Ledge/NJ.com published a few months ago. Looks like he had designs on Booker's senate seat.
posted by octothorpe at 1:30 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


The continuous siren that is the Trump dogwhistle can get louder?

Dogsiren?
posted by rhizome at 1:34 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


You shouldn't get to buy your way to the highest office in the land.

Agree. But, it's not 100% 'buying your way' I don't think, although the money obviously helps. When I hire, there's education/degree, there are internal candidates with experience, and there is "equivalent experience". That's how we get some military vets who worked in similar fields and even management candidates who know essentially nothing about X, but who have managed people. All those people tend to work out in different ways, and having a mix is good.

I think the whole "government should be run like a business" simplistic myth is making private-sector CEOs appear (to many) to have equivalent experience. Turns out, government is NOT like business in a whole lot of important ways.
posted by ctmf at 1:38 PM on August 5 [6 favorites]


Dog-LRAD
posted by ctmf at 1:39 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Is there a word for a meritocracy, except where a lack of morals is the metric used to judge your merit?

Capitalism?
posted by romakimmy at 1:39 PM on August 5 [71 favorites]


I cannot figure out what's going on here. The Los Angeles Blade released another article about the trans ban referencing a memo from Mattis about "ethical standards" (but does not say anything about trans people or the ban). Yet I can't find this story ANYWHERE else, and it can't be attributed to a blase attitude towards trans people because the media was all over his tweets last week. You'd think that moving forward with WH policy would warrant more coverage. Please post if you see anything or if it's derailing the thread, memail me.

So the "ethical standards" memo is a weird document that Mattis issued to the entire military (Andrhia posted it in the thread last night) and released to the press, generically reminding everyone to be ethical. The defense reporters I follow were all taken by surprise and nobody really knew what it was about or why, or even whether it was meant to be connected to Trump's trans announcement.

BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner has a little thread on the framing of the Blade story:
I've seen a lot of guidance, drafts, reporteds, and rumors from this White House. Until they issue it, I presume they're still fighting.
So, we now have one report on "guidance" being OK'ed by the White House on trans service, & a legal org using that to say they'll be suing.
If the White House wanted to issue a policy, they'd issue a policy: An executive order. Guidance is guidance, passing the buck.
It will lead to policy, yes, but guidance is evidence that even the White House isn't sure how to make Trump's tweets into a lawful policy.
Anyway, I don't doubt that White House Counsel's Office signed off on guidance relating to trans service, but I urge caution in responses.
We've been through this w the religious liberty order & the 2nd travel ban. Until something is actually issued by this admin, it's not done.
With those caveats, and the understanding that I don't think this report captures those realities, here it is: [link to LA Blade report]
(I greatly respect @KarenOcamb's work; I just differ with her about the approach to this report.)
And, this is the resulting legal attack (which I get, is advocacy), from @LambdaLegal: [link to Lambda Legal announcing lawsuit]
None of that is to say that implementation of the policy isn't being discussed, but especially in this White House, there's a difference between discussing a policy and actually having it executed by a separate executive agency, and it's worth keeping that in mind.

The Mooch's replacement could be Stephen Miller

If Scaramucci was fired for grabbing too much of the spotlight, I'm not sure a guy who auditioned by getting into a dominance contest with a 305' torchbearing statue is going to be an improvement in that regard.
posted by zachlipton at 1:44 PM on August 5 [22 favorites]


Trump's Whistle.
posted by Devonian at 1:49 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


So, the Dallas dems are doing an Anne Richards fundraising dinner, with Keith Ellison. And I was all, "whoo, I'm going to go tell him, in the name of St. Anne, why the Dems should not be supporting forced birth candidates." And then, when I went order a ticket, I ran smack into that wall of "I am not wealthy enough to have a voice at this table." I mean, the cheap tickets aren't outrageous, by fundraising standards, but only the hoity toity get to buy sponsorship seats, which are the only tickets where you get to talk to Mr Ellison. Bare minimum cost, $500, and those are the cheap seats. Corporate sponsors are paying 10,000 for a table of 8. Guess who the party is really listening to.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:50 PM on August 5 [37 favorites]


If Scaramucci was fired for grabbing too much of the spotlight, I'm not sure a guy who auditioned by getting into a dominance contest with a 305' torchbearing statue is going to be an improvement in that regard.

I dunno. Trump's already very familiar with Miller taking the spotlight as an opening act at campaign rallies. Miller's been doing it ever since Sessions joined the campaign, when he detached his remora suction-cup from Sessions' pale belly and attached to Trump (who seems to enjoy it).
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:53 PM on August 5 [6 favorites]


I mean, I'd like a radically different campaign finance system in this country, but insofar as we have this one, I'm not convinced that "Democrats should charge less for fundraisers" is a winning strategy.

I'm all for the idea that officials should be more accessible outside of fundraisers, but I also get the impression Ellison has been doing a number of free public events.
posted by zachlipton at 1:57 PM on August 5 [18 favorites]


Also, not to defend high-priced access schemes, but raising the price on some lets you lower the price on others (assuming you want to make the same money). It's kind of "tax the rich" in practice. Unless, like you say, the cheap seats don't get any meaningful participation.
posted by ctmf at 2:01 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


LAMDA Legal has annnouced a lawsuit over the apparent pursuit by admin and DoD of a policy change on transgender persons in the military.
posted by spitbull at 2:28 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


LAMDA legal has also posted a donation page in support of this specific lawsuit, to which I was proud to donate just now.
posted by spitbull at 2:31 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


Jon Davidson, legal director at Lambda Legal, said in an emailed statement the suit would be filed “very soon” and would challenge the policy under the equal protection and due process clauses of the constitution.

“Further details will be forthcoming but we are not yet ready to disclose whom we are suing on behalf of, the named defendants or precisely when or where we will be filing,” Davidson said.

posted by sourcejedi at 2:34 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


BTW it's "Ann" Richards, no "e." And I voted for her. Oh for someone with her charisma today.
posted by spitbull at 2:36 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


we should not forget that August is the last of this summer, and don't let the world's biggest bastards ruin your travels, bbq's, dialogues with children, opportunities to hand hold, tell stories, wade in streams, or watch sunsets.

QFMFT, yo. Reclaim some of that time while the reclaiming's good.
posted by petebest at 2:44 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]


I mean, the cheap tickets aren't outrageous, by fundraising standards, but only the hoity toity get to buy sponsorship seats, which are the only tickets where you get to talk to Mr Ellison. Bare minimum cost, $500, and those are the cheap seats. Corporate sponsors are paying 10,000 for a table of 8. Guess who the party is really listening to

Hah. Ellison held a (free) town hall in my district, which is not his own. (Because our Republican rep won't have them.) It was focused on healthcare. He spent a good chunk of time talking about women's healthcare, planned parenthood, and why he was pro-choice. He praised the largely female leadership of "the resistance."

He took a lot of questions from the audience.

And he spent at least five minutes complaining about the awful fundraisers he has to attend.

I have video of a lot of that, if anyone wants to suggest a good way of sharing it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:45 PM on August 5 [36 favorites]


Oh no, Putin's posted more shirtless photos online. This time he's fishing. Let us all pray that Trump doesn't respond in kind.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:54 PM on August 5 [8 favorites]


You know if Putin shot someone on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, he would get away with it for real. In fact he already did. (Boris Nemtsov.)
posted by spitbull at 3:00 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


If Scaramucci was fired for grabbing too much of the spotlight, .

Was that the reason? I thought it was outside pressure over the Lizza interview plus one of his main jobs, firing Reince, was done. I think he liked what he saw, just like with Miller. (Although I'm sure if either get SNL "President Scarmucci" attention it will be See Ya!)
posted by Room 641-A at 3:00 PM on August 5


To clarify, the $75 ticket price to enter wasn't a barrier, what annoyed me was that only sponsors got to talk to the man responsible for driving dem strategy moving forward. I wanted to mention things we've talked about here, like the fact that the Dems depend on free labor of primarily women. That women have been the water carriers for this party for the fifty some odd years I've been alive. And that our rights are not negotiable.

Re Anne v. Ann, for reasons, my autocorrect adds an e, and I wasn't paying attention. I too voted for her. I've even been at bbqs with her, because I interned with the sainted Molly. I've been in Texas so long y'all, I remember when we were a yellow dog state.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:02 PM on August 5 [17 favorites]


Autocorrect is an evil bug masquerading as a feature.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:12 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


I have video of a lot of that, if anyone wants to suggest a good way of sharing it.

Youtube's good. Maybe reach out to him on Twitter with the link.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:12 PM on August 5


Oh for someone with her charisma today.

If America weren't a deeply sexist nation that wouldn't consider a female presidential candidate without the "experience" of being married to a more successful politician, Ann Richards could've been elected the first woman President in '92.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:22 PM on August 5 [9 favorites]


only the hoity toity get to buy sponsorship seats, which are the only tickets where you get to talk to Mr Ellison. Bare minimum cost, $500, and those are the cheap seats. Corporate sponsors are paying 10,000 for a table of 8. Guess who the party is really listening to.

More money=More speech
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:25 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


I wanted to mention things we've talked about here, like the fact that the Dems depend on free labor of primarily women. That women have been the water carriers for this party for the fifty some odd years I've been alive. And that our rights are not negotiable.

As a black Democrat, I'm sure Ellison knows exactly how it feels to be part of a group that the party arguably takes for granted.
posted by lalex at 3:30 PM on August 5 [10 favorites]


Chomsky says Trump’s scandals are only a distraction to hide what's going on behind the scenes

In ‘A Continuing Conversation with Geographers’, Noam Chomsky – one of the most influential scientists and respected intellectuals of our time – spoke his mind on the Trump administration’s ongoing scandal concerning Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer. In Chomsky’s view, the meeting should rather be regarded as a responsible diplomatic gesture than an attempt at collusion, and media would serve the public much better by focusing on what’s going on behind the scenes of America’s most popular reality show.
posted by gucci mane at 3:30 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


In Chomsky’s view, the meeting should rather be regarded as a responsible diplomatic gesture than an attempt at collusion

I saw the best minds of [your] generation
Destroyed by "Chomsky"
Well-fed, hysterical ...
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:37 PM on August 5 [18 favorites]


I'm baffled by this continued insistence that it's impossible to investigate crimes and potential Russian collusion while also having concern about the "behind the scenes" stuff Chomsky is complaining about. I mean, I suppose you could point fingers at every Democrat who voted AYE to the various Cabinet appointees, but even if every single one had voted NAY they would still have been confirmed. What are we supposed to do, exactly? Be aware of how dangerous Trump's cabinet is? Trust me, I know.
posted by xyzzy at 3:44 PM on August 5 [65 favorites]


Thank you, xyzzy.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:46 PM on August 5


In Chomsky’s view, the meeting should rather be regarded as a responsible diplomatic gesture than an attempt at collusion

Well, at least I know I can disregard anything Chomsky says from here on out. Has he been hanging out with Jill Stein or something?
posted by diogenes at 3:52 PM on August 5 [18 favorites]


Normally I am OK with Chomsky, but in this case the Trump family doings consist of what ever it takes to establish an intimate relationship with Putin's reputed $200 billion. As such it is lipstick lathered on the sacrificial virgin, who is the embodiment of all most of us hold dear. That's the 99% who like to love our honorable country, who wish to thrive here, who wish for our children and grandchildren to enjoy busy and meaningful lives. We did not sign on for a multilevel arms marketing theocracy.

It is agonizing to watch the evil play out in our congress, under the blind mind of the capitalist predators/losers of the Trump family. It is ridiculous to watch the angry, dishonest hag Sarah Huckabee Sanders deflect reality, and then the swollen botox clown lips of Lara Trump spew more kerosene on the Trumpster fire.

Chomsky implies there is something worthy in this band of grifters dissing on and profiting wildly from their stay in the Whitehouse. Chomsky is way off base here.
posted by Oyéah at 3:53 PM on August 5 [9 favorites]


In Chomsky’s view, the meeting should rather be regarded as a responsible diplomatic gesture than an attempt at collusion

It's clearly not diplomacy because diplomacy is conducted by diplomats: representatives of the state, not representatives of political campaigns looking for outside assistance to subvert the institutions of said state.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:53 PM on August 5 [44 favorites]


Not for nothing but the Russia stuff pushed out his NSA, limited his AG, and hamstrung him. It's had more effect on his Cabinet and agenda than Ds voting for confirmation have.
posted by chris24 at 3:54 PM on August 5 [17 favorites]


Ann Richards could've been elected the first woman President in '92.

She ... didn't run? (She had only been governor since January of '91 at that time, anyway, and the only time her name seems to have come up for higher office after she was defeated by W. was a brief flurry of interest of making her Kerry's running mate, but she wasn't interested.)

while also having concern about the "behind the scenes" stuff Chomsky is complaining about

I think this is basically suggestive of an accelerationist viewpoint: the stuff where you're worried about the legitimacy and stable functioning of the US government is class or racial privilege, and it really isn't important if it all falls apart: it was all capitalist hegemony anyway. At least, that's more or less what I see on Twitter (and if people are looking for a functional definition of the alt-left, well, that's a starting point).

As to what is actually "behind the scenes", that's not clear -- there's been precious little actual legislation passed, and the biggest story that doesn't seem to get much coverage is the gutting and kneecapping of the State Department in a way that I almost feel should please the Chomskyan tendency.
posted by dhartung at 3:55 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Federal employees step up defiance of Trump (The Hill)
Government employees are growing increasingly willing to criticize or defy the White House and President Trump’s top appointees.

A handful of current and former career staffers in the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have openly shredded their superiors within the last several weeks, continuing a trend that has developed throughout the government over the course of Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office.

The growing opposition in the executive branch comes as the White House’s legislative agenda has stalled in Congress and Trump turns to his Cabinet agencies to change course in several policy areas. It also is emanating from career staffers or political holdovers whose resistance to Trump has, at times, been rooted in deep opposition to the president’s agenda.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:03 PM on August 5 [30 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Working in Bedminster, N.J., as long planned construction is being done at the White House. This is not a vacation - meetings and calls!

Meanwhile, the vacation continues on Instagram, he's popping into weddings and playing golf.

This is some pair of photos. Everything about this, the Presidential seal shirt, the Presidential seal golf cart...
posted by zachlipton at 4:09 PM on August 5 [13 favorites]


I am losing all faith that anything dramatic is going to happen from the Mueller investigation. They will find a bunch of impropriety, but nothing really actionable or earth-shaking.

I think that's a reasonable view with regard to the Russia stuff; it really is possible that these idiots would have been perfectly happy to collude illegally with Russia during the campaign but were too incompetent to manage it, and all Mueller will find on that front is impropriety... but I think it's significantly more likely he'll find illegalities (money laundering, etc) going back quite some time in the Trump family finances.
posted by Justinian at 4:19 PM on August 5 [14 favorites]


That's the 99% who like to love our honorable country,
And this mindset is more than part of the problem because USA has been seen time and time again to be anything but an honorably country but the myth lingers on.
posted by adamvasco at 4:36 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


I would think "too incompetent too collude" (or to realize they were colluding, anyway) was a real possibility if not for the presence of Manafort. Manafort knew he was colluding. The rest of them should have known to report the email Don Jr got and not to take the meeting. They may have broken the law by not reporting it, whether out of ignorance or not.

But Manafort was not ignorant. This was his world.

And Sessions is not a political naif. He was talking to Kislyak about policy concessions well before the Don Jr/ Kushner meeting, back in April, according to Kislyak.

And Flynn... Former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, top level clearance, having dinner with Putin and taking money from RT as early as December 2015? Flynn knew exactly what he was doing. As someone said earlier, he was a fucking spy.

Trump and his family may have been suckered by a soft approach, but the money laundering is how the Russians knew they would be open to such an approach. Their incompetence is no real defense.

But Flynn, Manafort, and Sessions can't even lean in the stupidity defense. They knew what they were doing. There were intercepts of Russians bragging about their influence with Flynn and Manafort. Peter Smith was soliciting stolen emails from Russian hackers and saying he was talking to Flynn about it. They KNEW.

There is plenty for Mueller to prosecute, if he is is allowed to do his job.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:38 PM on August 5 [52 favorites]


Oh, I agree re: Manafort. But Trump himself is the big game.
posted by Justinian at 4:42 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Phlegmco(tm): By request, a somewhat less than flattering rendering of the mendacious goober, Jeff Sessions

Same drawing after SCIENCE
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:45 PM on August 5 [9 favorites]


So, the trans ban tweet is maturing into an actionable policy directive. They're wrapping it all in the language to make it actually happen, but it's gonna happen. Those fuckers.
posted by odinsdream at 4:46 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


From the "EPA Staffers Speak Out" article above,

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich on Friday even accused special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director now investigating Russia’s involvement in last year’s election, as representing the “deep state at its worse.”

Something about today - a lot of the articles (or maybe just the quotes) having typos and other issues is adding to the standard surreality.
posted by petebest at 4:47 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Oh, I agree re: Manafort. But Trump himself is the big game.

I think "Your campaign manager was knowingly colluding with Russia and you were deliberately asking no questions because you were afraid of your history of money laundering coming out" is more than impeachable enough.

God. Somebody get someone with a credible name to write up that scenario up in so many words so I can link to it. All the analysis pieces I can find so far hint way too broadly at that possibility. I want to spell it out but if I put it on some anonymous website it is just a conspiracy theory, which will make people take the facts that fill the rest of the website less seriously.

Bonus if the credible person includes some credible speculation about the role of Flynn and Sessions too.

Someone needs to just spell it out.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:52 PM on August 5 [9 favorites]


Carlos Lozada, WaPo, reviews three new books: Sorry, but I don’t care how you felt on election night. Not anymore.
The impulse to write and share such early thoughts, to grapple with a shocking and disorienting event, is understandable. Less understandable is the impulse to bind collections of such essays into anthologies that, months later, purport to show a path forward for Trump’s opponents. Yes, individual essays and open letters can inspire on occasion. Put dozens of them together, however, and their timeliness erodes, their echoes annoy, and their inadequacy as self-styled resistance manuals grows clear.

I don’t know how else to put this, but I no longer care how you felt on election night. Not anymore.

Two recent collections, “Radical Hope” and “How Do I Explain This to My Kids?,” featuring dozens of essays by artists, novelists, journalists and activists, reveal the limits of the approach. A third, “Rules for Resistance,” with contributors who have battled or chronicled authoritarianism worldwide, displays emotion sobered by experience, providing a more resonant and practical read six months into the Trump presidency.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:55 PM on August 5 [14 favorites]


House Dems Urge DOD, Joint Chiefs Of Staff: Don’t Change Transgender Policy (Nicole Lafond, TPM)
A group of 50 Democratic U.S. House members sent a letter Friday to the heads of the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff requesting that they not comply with the President’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, and “at a minimum” not make any changes until a policy study has been completed.

“We write to not only express our strong opposition to President Trump’s recent tweets seeking to ban transgender individuals from the military, but to remind you not to comply with any unconstitutional directive which may ultimately be issued,” the letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, read. “We reject the premise that the presence of transgender troops interferes with the morale or combat readiness of our Armed Forces.”
posted by Room 641-A at 5:01 PM on August 5 [32 favorites]


aw fuck I've been sending out my story of POTUS 45 adaptation and survival for a few weeks now, no lie.
posted by angrycat at 5:02 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Autocorrect is an evil bug masquerading as a feature.


Counterpoint, as we learned in the previous thread: type "Motörhead" and the correct meaningless heavy metal umlaut snaps right into place.
posted by spitbull at 5:17 PM on August 5 [14 favorites]


Carlos Lozada, WaPo, eh? Book reviewer? Okay, I'll take a chance. *click*

The first one I recall . . . wow we're recalling already? Shouldn't we let the brandy kick in first, or - okay, you're the book review guy. Pray, continue.

. . . was by New Yorker editor David Remnick, who proclaimed . . . Proclaimed. "Who proclaimed". Y'know I gotta say, and I'm empathetic to it, heck I live here, amirite, but. It seems a little, y'know, bombastic just right out of the gate like that. Let's - okay, no, you're right, continue.

. . . who proclaimed “revulsion and profound anxiety” at Donald Trump’s victory. But it was Aaron Sorkin, America’s leading purveyor of political self-righteousness, who

*close window*

Well. That was three minutes or so.
posted by petebest at 5:22 PM on August 5 [6 favorites]


it really is possible that these idiots would have been perfectly happy to collude illegally with Russia during the campaign but were too incompetent to manage it, and all Mueller will find on that front is impropriety

There's going to be more meetings. The microtargeting of Russia disinformation to the precinct level came from somewhere. The targeting and the timing of Clinton leaks were the collusion, and I'd bet a lot that Mueller has more evidence regarding that than just one meeting. Plus the money trail is going to be dirty as fuck.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:24 PM on August 5 [11 favorites]


The Donald, in a public speech, implored RUSSIA specifically to leak more Anti-Hillary stuff! Open and shut case. Are the Good Guys getting as dumb as the Bad Guys?
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:30 PM on August 5 [24 favorites]


but the myth lingers on.

It's not just a myth for many. It's a goal and it can seem an awful lot like how republicans approach governance when the harsher critics seem to mock even the possibility and legitimacy of those aspirations.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:48 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Trump's attorneys are just going to see how far the "he was just joking and anyway he's an idiot" defense can get them.
posted by lydhre at 5:49 PM on August 5 [9 favorites]


Chomsky made those remarks on April 6. I wouldn't have agreed with him then, either, but a lot more solid evidence has come to light since, and the threat of dismantling the social safety net did look a lot more severe then.
posted by Coventry at 5:50 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


There's a link to a July 30th Chomsky interview with Amy Goodman titled "President Donald Trump & America" in the sidebar to that talk. (Which I haven't listened to, but probably will, and probably reflects more recent events.)
posted by Coventry at 5:54 PM on August 5


This is some pair of photos. Everything about this, the Presidential seal shirt, the Presidential seal golf cart..

Fairway 1?
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:58 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


There's a link to a July 30th Chomsky interview with Amy Goodman titled "President Donald Trump & America" in the sidebar to that talk.

That interview references Comey saying he's investigating collusion "this week," so the date in the title is inaccurate. (Also, the title says Jul 30th and it was posted Jul 29. :-)
posted by Coventry at 5:59 PM on August 5


Bertrand Russell’s Delicious Response To British Fascist Oswald Mosle
Dear Sir Oswald,

Thank you for your letter and for your enclosures. I have given some thought to our recent correspondence. It is always difficult to decide on how to respond to people whose ethos is so alien and, in fact, repellent to one’s own. It is not that I take exception to the general points made by you but that every ounce of my energy has been devoted to an active opposition to cruel bigotry, compulsive violence, and the sadistic persecution which has characterised the philosophy and practice of fascism.

I feel obliged to say that the emotional universes we inhabit are so distinct, and in deepest ways opposed, that nothing fruitful or sincere could ever emerge from association between us.

I should like you to understand the intensity of this conviction on my part. It is not out of any attempt to be rude that I say this but because of all that I value in human experience and human achievement.

Yours sincerely,

Bertrand Russell
a lot more solid evidence has come to light

Obligatory
posted by Room 641-A at 6:19 PM on August 5 [90 favorites]


In Chomsky’s view, the meeting should rather be regarded as a responsible diplomatic gesture than an attempt at collusion

And if it were the only meeting, the only point of connection between the Russian gov't and the presidential campaign last year, that would be a reasonable assumption. However, it wasn't. Whether this meeting (and other connections) had the actual goal of "diplomacy" or "collusion" is exactly what the investigation is supposed to find out.

The way to convince the investigators is to say, "here's the records of what we discussed; you see, nothing unusual; just some good-natured discussion between former business associates who may be seeing a lot more of each other in the future," not, "this investigation is a waste of time and based on false news and a cloud over the administration and it needs to go away fast."

Only one of those responses leans toward "proactive diplomacy," and it's not the one currently taking place on Twitter.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 6:45 PM on August 5 [12 favorites]


I eagerly await Trump tweeting Chomsky quotes as a defense, not bothering to read past the "diplomatic gesture" throwaway line. Chomsky sort of overstated that dismissal of Russia, and his core argument is quite conspiracy-driven. Indeed he refers to the Russia collusion case as a ... wait for it ... "distraction" from the real bloody business of dismantling government and the social contract, all with a sufficiently ominous level of ruthless efficiency and congressional Democrats' near willful enabling to make you lie awake in bed listening for footsteps.

Don't buy it myself. But he was right about the universal neurobiological basis of linguistic structure, in its essence the most powerful anti-racist idea in all of 20th century scientific thought, so I give him all due respect. /
posted by spitbull at 6:56 PM on August 5 [10 favorites]


At just about any other point in history, he'd probably be right, but no, the Russia situation is real and about geopolitics, not our own domestic problems (except to the extent our contempt for each other and racism and sexism have weakened us enough to make such a brazen plot possible in the first place).
posted by saulgoodman at 7:08 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Julian Borger in The Guardian:

White House as Crime Scene.

A really good summary of the state of play in the Mueller investigation. Didn't see it posted above.
posted by spitbull at 7:09 PM on August 5 [19 favorites]


The only thing Chomsky is really wrong about is whether or not there's Trump-Russia collusion.

There is a concerted effort to dismantle our government and civil society. It just so happens that Trump and Putin are a sort of reactionary wild card in that equation -- and I think the problem Chomsky has is a problem a lot of more radical people have, in that defending against Trump/Putin feels like defending the economic and political movements that made Trump/Putin possible.

But our democratic and civic norms, laws and institutions are worth defending, even if they've been thoroughly undermined by the marketization of every aspect of our lives and the atomization of polities into consumers. And even if the political hegemony of the United States has in the past made those very things so possible.

We have to do both: prevent Trump/Putin from permanently damaging the ideas of democracy and "The West", while also making sure that it is something people are able to participate in and benefit from so that they actually give a shit about it.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:29 PM on August 5 [17 favorites]


I eagerly await Trump tweeting Chomsky quotes as a defense...

This is when I'll go buy a pound of weed, some rice and beans, some undeveloped land in the desert, and hide out for 3 1/2 years. I learned a long time ago not to fight crazy people. I guess I'm learninig not to fight crazy nations.
posted by rdr at 7:30 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


The only thing Chomsky is really wrong about is whether or not there's Trump-Russia collusion.

Also, in early April I think it was still reasonable for someone to need more convincing evidence than was publicly available, when they've spent the last fifty years uncovering warmongering government lies in the face of widespread public ridicule.
posted by Coventry at 7:50 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Help me jeebus I'd need more than a pound of ganja for 3.5 years.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:52 PM on August 5 [24 favorites]


Also, in early April I think it was still reasonable for someone to need more convincing evidence

That's a great point. Seems like we're sometimes careless about appreciating the importance of timing in understanding the meaning of distant events when we're being flooded with too many at once. I'd bet skilled propagandists knowingly use that cognitive weakness to opportunistically encourage confusion for tactical advantages.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:00 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


the importance of timing in understanding the meaning of distant events

It's more that the public evidence at that stage was still nowhere near a slam dunk. Even now, I wouldn't be gobsmacked if Mueller came up empty, though I'd be surprised.
posted by Coventry at 8:14 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


There is a concerted effort to dismantle our government and civil society.

Also your army, I believe. The attack on tg servicepeople is consistent with the known prejudices of Trump's team, but it hasn't been widely welcomed, not even by the people who might have supported a Federal "bathroom bill". The military doesn't want to discharge serving troops that came out once their gender was accepted, or even start quizzing recruits whether they really identify with their assigned gender. So where is the impetus coming from? I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's another bit of Russian trolling to (a) distract the public's attention from the current investigations, and (b) weaken the US armed forces by pushing them to accept the inevitable McCarthyist denunciations that spiteful people will make. I mean, just imagine the investigations about whether Officer X really thinks of herself as a woman, or whether she is walking around being all transgender in her head.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:33 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


> I guess I'm learninig not to fight crazy nations.

so I'm going to have to break some bad news about nations to you.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:33 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]


Now We Have a Road Map to the Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Russia, Jon Chait
The figure carrying out the operation in question was Peter W. Smith, who died at the age of 81 earlier this year. Smith is hardly a lone kook. He’s an established Republican donor with a demonstrated history in financing ethically murky investigations, such as paying Arkansas state troopers for stories of Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances.

Smith surfaced earlier in the week in an explosive Wall Street Journal report by Shane Harris, which Harris followed up on Friday night. What really underscores the significance of Harris’s reporting, though, is a detailed account, also published Friday night, by Matt Tait, a British cybersecurity expert who dealt extensively with Smith. Tait’s report makes it clear that Smith had access to Michael Flynn, at the very least, and was working not only to obtain stolen Clinton emails but also to hide the Trump campaign’s involvement.
That Time I Got Recruited To Collude With The Russians, Matt Tait
Over the course of our conversations, one thing struck me as particularly disturbing. Smith and I talked several times about the DNC hack, and I expressed my view that the hack had likely been orchestrated by Russia and that the Kremlin was using the stolen documents as part of an influence campaign against the United States. I explained that if someone had contacted him via the “Dark Web” with Clinton’s personal emails, he should take very seriously the possibility that this may have been part of a wider Russian campaign against the United States. And I said he need not take my word for it, pointing to a number of occasions where US officials had made it clear that this was the view of the U.S. intelligence community as well.

Smith, however, didn’t seem to care. From his perspective it didn’t matter who had taken the emails, or their motives for doing so. He never expressed to me any discomfort with the possibility that the emails he was seeking were potentially from a Russian front, a likelihood he was happy to acknowledge. If they were genuine, they would hurt Clinton’s chances, and therefore help Trump.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:33 PM on August 5 [13 favorites]


On the one hand, Chomsky's contributions to academic philosophy and linguistics are immense. On the other hand, he's been tenured at MIT for 46 years and is now retired and his pronouncements should be interpreted accordingly. We and Chomsky have so little visibility into the current powers that shape US politics that a non-emeritus academic would refrain from stirring the pot.
posted by SakuraK at 8:33 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


Gorka loses his +1 as dudes who went around to Bannon behind McMaster's back get axed.
posted by rhizome at 8:42 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


non-emeritus academic would refrain from stirring the pot.

He's between stirring the pot for decades, and his unpopular views have often been borne out. I tend to give a lot more weight to his views than I do to those attributed by journalists to unnamed intelligence officials.
posted by Coventry at 8:52 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


Help me jeebus I'd need more than a pound of ganja for 3.5 years.

For everyone's benefit, I did the math: 3.5 years = 1278 days. (Damn that is depressing.)

A pound of the chronic is 454 grams. A fair-sized joint is about a half a gram. A reasonably-sized bowl is about the same. So with a pound of da kine, you could get baked about once every 36 hours or so for the next 3-1/2 years.

Of course, if your bud has any seeds in it, you could grow your own. In which case the quality would drop in subsequent harvests, but you would be able to start out with a much smaller amount and still have plenty.

As for the rice and beans, just add a few gallons of canola oil and lots of canned butter, some vitamins and a good variety of veggie seeds for your garden. You're going to get the munchies a lot out on the Fatty Frontier, so maybe you don't have to worry too much about about dietary fatigue, but still.
posted by darkstar at 8:57 PM on August 5 [10 favorites]


Ok, which one of you is Noam Chomsky? Fess up.
posted by medusa at 8:57 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


I am SpartacusChomsky!
posted by shponglespore at 9:01 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


[When The Zuck declares for some office you may discuss him at length but until then I am deleting Saturday Night Circular Firing Squads about Imaginary Candidates.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:03 PM on August 5 [112 favorites]


Thank you, Eyebrows. I love you, Eyebrows.
posted by greermahoney at 9:08 PM on August 5 [20 favorites]


In a short update from emergent US Leftist politics land, day 3 of the DSA National Convention saw the winning vote for creation of Afro socialist/POC working groups and caucuses along side Labor Solidarity groups and a formal split from Socialist International. Over 100k was raised from regional chapters. Press coverage continues to be supportive and growing, delegates are getting used to Malort.

Thank you.
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 PM on August 5 [31 favorites]


Not him, but a big fan. Got into an argument with him once, long before my politics began to align his way. He kicked my ass. Very civilly, of course.
posted by Coventry at 9:16 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


On thing that drives me crazy is the argument about whether "Collusion" occurred. As many have stated, that's not a crime, and that is true.
18 U.S. Code § 953 - Private correspondence with foreign governments

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both....
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/953

That's a crime.
posted by mikelieman at 9:25 PM on August 5 [21 favorites]


Surely they're playing an unreleased expansion of Illuminati in the WH. Trump is playing as UFOs but keeps forgetting his special goal.

Covfefe is the new Fnord.


Yeah, about that... Steve Jackson has recently elliptically suggested that there might be more on the way.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:31 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


18 U.S. Code § 953 - Private correspondence with foreign governments

This is the Logan Act, about which you can read more in a CRS report. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for violating it in the 218 years we've had it, and it's unclear to what extent it is even constitutional. It mostly falls into the weird category of American laws that we usually pretend aren't laws.
posted by zachlipton at 9:35 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


It mostly falls into the weird category of American laws that we usually pretend aren't laws.

FINE. Here's 18 USC 1001.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
and while we're at it...

18 USC 371...
If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
BTW, plenty of people have been prosecuted for 18 USC 1001. Including Martha Stewart.
posted by mikelieman at 9:43 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


Saturday night musing: Michelle and Barack Obama were proponents of volunteering, and Generation Y was already on board. Now it's 2017, and Trump has ... letters from young kids who volunteer to mow the White House lawn.

I miss the Obamas.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:59 PM on August 5 [10 favorites]


Wow... From Devil's Bargain :
That same day, Palin’s daughter Bristol told a TV reporter that her mother had made up her mind about a presidential run. Andrew Breitbart, who trekked to Pella to serve as ringmaster for the occasion, was as effusive in his praise of Bannon as he was Palin, remarking afterward that he considered Bannon to be “the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement.”
posted by Coventry at 10:00 PM on August 5 [18 favorites]


Jill Stein on MSNBC defending North Korea!

Presented without comment.
posted by Justinian at 10:10 PM on August 5 [21 favorites]


I did not know that Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth got her start as star villain on the first season of The Apprentice. (Per Devil's Bargain.)
posted by Coventry at 10:21 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Chomsky has done little to understand and interpret the lives of people who grew up after he achieved tenure. Again, his academic contributions are significant. However, he has no standing to comment on the current Trump/Russia shit, if only because he doesn't care enough to research it. He's the old man lecturing people about why our pain isn't genuine.
posted by SakuraK at 10:21 PM on August 5 [11 favorites]


With respect to the criminality of "collusion" ... I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that there is already a prima facie case for violations of the following federal laws:

18 U.S. Code § 201 (anti-bribery and public corruption)

18 U.S. Code § 371 (conspiracy to commit offense or defraud the U.S.)

18 U.S. Code § 953 (the Logan Act)

18 U.S. Code § 1001 (false statements or entries)

18 U.S. Code § 1030 (Fraud connected w/ computers -- accessory after the fact)

18 U.S. Code § 1345, 1346 & 1349 (Fraud, Schemes, Attempts, and Conspiracy)

36 U.S. Code § 510 (Disclosure of and prohibition on certain donations)

52 U.S. Code § 30121 (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act)

And I think (setting aside the Logan Act owing to its history) that those are plausible just on the basis of Don Jr.'s emails, though the emails alone might not be enough to get me to convict, were I on a jury.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:27 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


I did not know that Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth got her start as star villain on the first season of The Apprentice.

Star villain is... overstating it a bit. She was one of those reality star types who takes the show way, way too seriously and then wasn't even all that good at what she was doing and threw a lot of tantrums. I like Wikipedia's summary:
Fired: Omarosa Stallworth - for making too many excuses for herself, being difficult to work with, inability to take responsibility for her failures, and not delivering on her promises.
So, you know, great fit for this administration.
posted by Sequence at 10:29 PM on August 5 [26 favorites]


lecturing people about why our pain isn't genuine.

Got a cite?
posted by Coventry at 10:42 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


There has been a bombing of a mosque in Minnesota. No word yet on the perpetrator(s) or whether law enforcement considers this a hate crime.
LA Times: 'There is too much anger out there.' Bombing of a Minnesota mosque leaves Muslims concerned
WaPo/AP: The Latest: FBI: Investigation ongoing into mosque blast
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 10:46 PM on August 5 [9 favorites]


And yet the President, who jumps to conclusions about deaths in foreign countries and has a staff that invents massacres, has seen fit to say nothing.
posted by zachlipton at 10:59 PM on August 5 [17 favorites]


Oh! And we have a nice "Why did you join" video produced and your reporter was in a photo on CNN that's getting a lot of attention but one is looking at one's phone.
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 PM on August 5 [16 favorites]


Hasn't been on Fox and Friends yet, that's why
posted by Merus at 11:19 PM on August 5


Nobody has ever been prosecuted for violating it in the 218 years we've had it, and it's unclear to what extent it is even constitutional.

Well there's a first time for everything.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:11 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


somebody I know compared Chomsky to Karl Marx a few years back. Brilliant. Way ahead of his time. And in time, trust that various cynics and fools and fanatics will take his polemic way too far. People are gonna get hurt.
posted by philip-random at 12:13 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


you could get baked about once every 36 hours or so

Count me in for seven pounds.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:13 AM on August 6 [21 favorites]


Door 64--they're an a-number-one guy, great friend of mine--is talking about getting baked every, you know, five or six hours. You know how you can tell? You can take number and split it with another number, not many people know that, it's one of the greatest things! Thought of it yesterday and everyone was very congratulatory, just like the electoral college victory, except that number was too big to split, really, very big, very very big, biggest number, really.
posted by maxwelton at 12:50 AM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Norman Lear is boycotting the WH reception that occurs after the Kennedy Center awards this year. Gloria Estefan, another honoree, plans to attend the reception and bend Trump's ear in an attempt to lobby for immigrants.
posted by xyzzy at 1:09 AM on August 6 [11 favorites]


Re: affirmative action / discriminatory college admissions
If anyone's looking for talking points, here's a start (obviously it does not go into detail on ALL the angles):

Who benefits from discriminatory college admissions policies? White males
(LA Times editorial, 8/2/17)
If the Trump administration really intends to examine discriminatory college-admission policies, as a New York Times report suggests, it had best be prepared for what it will find: A lot of white people who benefit from admission preferences that have been around far longer than affirmative action.

...President Trump is intimately familiar with the ways that college admissions practices aid members of the wealthy white establishment.
The three Trump children who attended the University of Pennsylvania were eligible for legacy preferences — the boost that most private colleges and universities give to the children of alumni. Overwhelmingly, it benefits white people.

...If the Justice Department’s investigation seeks to create some sort of pure meritocracy, it will have to consider these and other questions. What is merit, after all, in academics?
subtopics in the editorial:
legacy preferences
multimillion-dollar donations
athletic student preferences
gender balance policies (TIL that women account for more than 70% of high school valedictorians)

I would add to the questions section:
Is it up to the [federal] government to define the meritocracy?
How do we address implicit bias in measuring an applicant's merit? (The recent Google employee "antidiversity manifesto" controversy has reminded me painfully that race/gender/class/identity influences how people evaluate the ability of others.)

Aspects I need to learn/think more about:
data/statistics, case studies (e.g., historical examples like Jewish student quotas)
worldview differences--Is college a zero-sum game?
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 1:28 AM on August 6 [24 favorites]


I hear some people's boltholes, very sad, tiny little freak flags, people are saying that maybe just once every 36 hours - you know, this country is just going to hell, tiny little joints. By the way I roll the best splifs, huge, everyone wants to be in my bolthole because they just love my massive doobs... pure, no tobacco, and massive at least 2 or 3 grammes and very tightly packed, so let me tell you this bolthole is going to be beautiful, the biggest freak flag and massive joints every 2, 3 hours, you're going to be tired of smoking it is going to be just beautiful. 20 pounds. The most. Huge.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:33 AM on August 6 [21 favorites]


No straight, she's straight! That joint just got one gramme bigger, there is no straight, fully buzzed at all times, no straight.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:39 AM on August 6


MetaFilter: I won MetaFilter because it's a cannabis-infested den.
posted by runcifex at 1:40 AM on August 6 [10 favorites]


Just put your desert bolthole near Trump's wall and you can get fresh weed delivered by catapult. Watch your head though.

Also have you considered how many pounds of cheetos you'd need to stash?
posted by spitbull at 2:01 AM on August 6 [7 favorites]


Gloria Estefan, another honoree, plans to attend the reception and bend Trump's ear in an attempt to lobby for immigrants.

It never fucking works; it'd be like when the Congressional Black Caucus or the Pope met with Trump - he just grins and uses their presence and status to advance his agenda.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:11 AM on August 6 [54 favorites]


It never fucking works

True. The only response is to turn your back. Estevan is only useful to him for the length of the photoshoot, after that she's just some ( - go wild with your own Trump-esque insult here - ). You gotta think of this guy like any run-of-the-mill abusive asshole who's too far up his own ass to care about you unless you become a means to one of his own ends.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:53 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Yeah. The problem with Estefan is that she's never going to be the last person Trump talks to before he decides to implement some sweeping new policy on twitter. About 1100 years ago, when the return of repeal/replace was starting to ramp up, Trump made some favorable remarks in a meeting about some health care ideas that would have gutted the tax reform Paul Ryan salivates over daily and nightly. Immediately other folks in the room (Kushner, Bannon) had to steer him back to loving the callous bullshit that eventually became the House bill that passed. The one Trump later called "mean."
posted by xyzzy at 2:59 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


(Heh, as a side note, it's sort of hilarious to have Pence's spokesperson insisting that he has no plans to primary Trump in 2020 immediately followed by a link to an article where Pence is set to headline a Koch event. Yeaaaaaah. Riiiiiigggghhht. No primarying of Trump. Suuuuuure.)
posted by xyzzy at 3:01 AM on August 6


Jesus Kelley is scaring the shit out of me as an apparently competent Nazi/Nazi herder
posted by angrycat at 3:58 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Florida will pay $82,000 after losing vote-by-mail lawsuit, AP News, 8/3/17
Court records filed last week show the administration of Gov. Rick Scott agreed to pay the money to end a lawsuit over the state’s vote-by-mail law...

The Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee sued the state last year because the law did not require voters to be notified if their signatures on their ballot and voter registration forms don’t match. A federal judge called the law “illogical” and “bizarre.”
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 4:04 AM on August 6 [17 favorites]


Jesus Kelley is scaring the shit out of me as an apparently competent Nazi/Nazi herder

Relax. If Kelley were competent, he would not be in the Trump administration. Applies to everyone in the Trump administration. If you looked at Trump the candidate and decided it would be a good career move to join his administration, you are per definition not as smart as you think you are.
posted by mumimor at 4:23 AM on August 6 [31 favorites]


you are per definition not as smart as you think you are.
yes^!!! Exhibits a-z . . . Bannon, Flynn, Gorka, Conway, Carson, R Perry, Scaramucci, Miller, Sessions, Mnuchin, Pence, etc, etc. Anosognosia ad infinitum.
posted by rc3spencer at 5:24 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


It sounds like a great job, probably good for my career, lots of prestige. What happened to the last lion tamer though?
posted by adept256 at 5:28 AM on August 6 [23 favorites]




Backfire Effect fails to replicate. Correction of false information has positive effect.

Keep firing those fact torpedoes at the thermal exhaust ports!
posted by srboisvert at 6:40 AM on August 6 [22 favorites]


Goebbels vs Stephen Miller comparison of speaking style

Watching this video makes me think there's no way Miller hasn't been watching tape of Goebbels and practicing in the mirror since he was 14.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:50 AM on August 6 [26 favorites]


Backfire Effect fails to replicate. Correction of false information has positive effect.

Fake news. I remain convinced of the backfire effect.
posted by ocschwar at 6:56 AM on August 6 [25 favorites]


Watching this video makes me think there's no way Miller hasn't been watching tape of Goebbels and practicing in the mirror since he was 14.

Trump used to keep a book of Hitler speeches by his bedside.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:04 AM on August 6 [7 favorites]


Watching this video makes me think there's no way Miller hasn't been watching tape of Goebbels and practicing in the mirror since he was 14.

I don't doubt it. The only differences are: (1) Goebbels was popular, (2) Goebbels was able to mask his sociopathy and could successfully mimic human facial expressions, probably due to growing up with in-person radicalization and not being indoctrinated mainly through talk radio, (3) Goebbels didn't throw in his lot with people who wanted to kill him for his ethnicity (although given that he had a minor disability in the form of his bad foot, maybe there is a parallel here), and (4) Goebbels was married and had a long-term girlfriend/mistress, while Miller has The Red Pill, /r/incel and Infowars-brand Super Male Vitality.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:21 AM on August 6 [13 favorites]


Norman Lear is boycotting the WH reception

I don't recall where I saw it, but it was suggested that this year is full of shade, considering that all but one are PoC, and the one white person was at the forefront of integrating television and using his platform to speak out on liberal civil rights and other small-d democratic issues.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:23 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]




How Trump Adviser Stephen Miller Divided a Santa Monica Synagogue (Brendan Smialowski, The Hollywood Reporter)
The Miller family belonged to the Santa Monica Synagogue only for two or three years — enough time for their eldest son, Stephen, to graduate Hebrew school in 2001. Miller's young face, with a grin, peeks out from the corner of that year's confirmation class photo, which hangs on a back wall of the temple, near a toilet and rec room. "We did our best here to teach Stephen the ethical standards of Judaism," says Jeff Marx, the Reform synagogue's longtime rabbi, who tutored Miller and appears with him in the class portrait. [...]

Although recent media reports have suggested that Miller's parents were liberals typical of the progressive enclave of Santa Monica, members of the Jewish community insist otherwise. Steven Windmueller, a professor of Jewish Communal Service at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion who has known the Millers for many years ("a lovely couple"), says their political leanings align closely with their son's. "They have been and are conservative Republicans," he says. One person acquainted with the Millers says they departed the Santa Monica Synagogue when it became clear they "weren't a good fit" with its reform-minded congregation
Goebbels didn't throw in his lot with people who wanted to kill him for his ethnicity

There's a word for the Stephen Millers of the world, and I don't use it lightly: Kapo
A kapo or prisoner functionary (German: Funktionshäftling, see § Etymology) was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp who was assigned by the SS guards to supervise forced labor or carry out administrative tasks. Also called "prisoner self-administration", the prisoner functionary system minimized costs by allowing camps to function with fewer SS personnel. The system was designed to turn victim against victim, as the prisoner functionaries were pitted against their fellow prisoners in order to maintain the favor of their SS overseers. [...]

Prisoner functionaries were spared physical abuse and hard labor, provided they performed their duties to the satisfaction of the SS functionaries. They also had access to certain privileges, such as civilian clothes and a private room.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:43 AM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Delaware D Senator Chris Coons. I certainly hope he's right.

@kylegriffin1
Chris Coons to ABC: If the president fired Mueller, "that would be crossing a big line and I think you would see strong bipartisan action."

VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 7:45 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


miller is several levels of charisma below dwight schrute pretending to be mussolini. he's got tenacity and fixations but no fanatic passion; I think the Goebbels comparison would never happen if they weren't both skinny brunets. miller would murder me along with millions of others, sure, but I don't think it would ever give him the kind of pleasure he gets from adjusting his tie knot in a mirror and thinking about how fearfully impressed the CNN hosts will be when they see it.

not to say he is not dangerous, not at all. but he started pruning his personality back in high school or before and now it is set in the shape it was then, but also the size. it is too small for his body the way other DC men's bodies are too small for their baggy suits.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:49 AM on August 6 [14 favorites]


I'm just suprised he had hair at some point.
posted by Artw at 8:06 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


There's a word for the Stephen Millers of the world, and I don't use it lightly: Kapo

Unless he is literally collaborating with Nazis in concentration camps, don't use it at all.
posted by maxsparber at 8:13 AM on August 6 [34 favorites]


Unless he is literally collaborating with Nazis in concentration camps, don't use it at all.

It's a tough call, because he is literally collaborating with Nazis who want literal concentration camps for millions of people. I personally won't use the term, but I think it's understandable if other Jews do.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:16 AM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Yeah, you're right, maxsparber. The dogwhistles colored my judgement and I shouldn't have gone there.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:17 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


I need a word stronger than shande.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:18 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


He's a bad dude, but Jews calling Jews kapos is the ugliest thing we do.

And he's really more of a Ettore Ovazza.
posted by maxsparber at 8:19 AM on August 6 [6 favorites]


I need a word stronger than shande.

verkakte pisher is accurate but doesn't roll off the tongue.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:20 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


This argument over this word again?
posted by Archelaus at 8:28 AM on August 6


How about 'fucking asshole' ?
posted by From Bklyn at 8:29 AM on August 6 [31 favorites]


Chris Coons to ABC: If the president fired Mueller, "that would be crossing a big line and I think you would see strong bipartisan action."

Within minutes we would see the first of millions of protesters emptying out into the streets. You can be among them. Sign up to get notified should the unthinkable happen. Nobody is Above the Law, Mueller Firing Rapid Response. Hosted by MoveOn, they will harvest your email address for more routine emails & donation requests but you can opt out of those once the first one arrives.
posted by scalefree at 8:30 AM on August 6 [26 favorites]


Trump is just straight up retweeting bots now, not that anything matters.

149K followers in eight months? That's pretty tricky, even for someone who's not a stock photo image.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:31 AM on August 6 [7 favorites]


This argument over this word again

No one is arguing.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:32 AM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Found by a friend, apologies if this has been linked already:

"If you ever want to see what the Putinbots are pushing at any given time, check out this live updated statistical analysis." http://dashboard.securingdemocracy.org/
posted by Evilspork at 8:41 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


yep - we're talking about that dashboard right over here.
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 8:48 AM on August 6 [6 favorites]


It's eerily quiet on the news front for a Sunday morning.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:03 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


It's August, 45's off for the summer and I dare say a lot of other people are recharging their batteries too. Been a hell of a year so far.

Plus, wouldn't it be nice to have a breather on these threads too. Set the squelch to actual new news,,,
posted by Devonian at 9:11 AM on August 6 [18 favorites]


Trump is just straight up retweeting bots now, not that anything matters.

149K followers in eight months? That's pretty tricky, even for someone who's not a stock photo image.


I just spent an hour investigating this account and I feel very confident I have traced down the owner. They are a bot in the sense they are using the account to drive traffic to their store and they have fudged their background to change the names of their home city and college. But they are a college student, female, and black. They did go to charter schools, they were raised in an urban NJ city. Whether they really are a rabid Trump supporter or are impersonating one to drive business to their store isn't something I've been able to determine. I guess a plucky reporter will have to find out.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:21 AM on August 6 [7 favorites]


This is a single twitter post but I've been fascinated (and laughing) at it for 10 mins. I have to share because it's so bizzare on many levels.

Jake Tapper went to a lego expo with his son and in between his regular type posts, has been posting some pretty neat pictures of displays they saw.

And then this one appears: @potus in lego

Which is...I dunno...wow. What is this? The comments are funny. That he tagged the Pres is absurb and quite the deadpan troll I think which I've just can't stop giggling about.
posted by Jalliah at 10:51 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


And then this one appears: @potus in lego

That link is broken.
posted by octothorpe at 11:10 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]






And then this one appears: @potus in lego

That link is broken.


Oh It looks like he deleted the tweet.

I happen to have a screenshot.
posted by Jalliah at 11:15 AM on August 6 [7 favorites]


I can't believe I looked at that twitter thread until I figured out the origin of "Gone forever, Aaron Hernandez!'
posted by angrycat at 11:21 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Estefan can talk about what she wants. Trump will talk about her weight, makeup, or relative need for a boob job.
posted by Oyéah at 11:23 AM on August 6 [9 favorites]


149K followers in eight months? That's pretty tricky, even for someone who's not a stock photo image.

A stock image, I might add, on which they lightened the skin color because blackety black.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:26 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Heavy contacted me but I gave the info to another friend who is a reporter. They just updated their site so they figured it out on their own
but she's a real person.
posted by stagewhisper at 11:37 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


on another note, can you imagine how weird it'd be to be some schlubby Joe who just wanted to hit a tennis ball and shout his name on video, and then time passes and it's turned into an ironic catchphrase? it feels like a recurring nightmare I have
posted by angrycat at 11:42 AM on August 6




For those complaining about the slow news day, the war against the investigation may be escalating.
"If he finds evidence of a crime that is within the scope of what Director Mueller and I have agreed is the appropriate scope of this investigation, then he can," Rosenstein said. "If it's something outside that scope he needs to come to the acting attorney general, at this time me, for permission to expand his investigation."
The interview, of course, was with Fox News. It's tricky to parse the actual intent there - if could be paying lip service to White House demands (in that the scope clearly said that pretty much anything discovered during the investigation became in-scope, so if that's what the "agreement" says as well, Mueller still has carte blanche) or the beginning of a showdown.

There were weaselly words about going after leakers as well.
posted by Candleman at 11:48 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Dhruva, the link about putting the wall through the butterfly reserve is awful. Can they do anything to stop it? At least file a lawsuit?
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 11:51 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


From the article about the wall being built through the butterfly reserve:
Five Border Patrol agents arrived at the center the next day unannounced. “They told me there was no way what I was reporting about the work crew clearing vegetation could be true,” Wright said.

She took the men across the levee road to show them the heavy machinery that had been left behind and the areas that had already been cleared for a 150-foot “border enforcement zone”...


I would love to have seen, "oh, if there was no work crew here yesterday, then obviously they didn't leave behind any equipment, right? So I can just clean up any litter that someone left on the property - maybe sell it to a recycling company, like we would with soda cans and such? And of course, if someone scuffed up the terrain while they walked through, we can try to erase the damage."

When a gov't official says "nobody from our department was here recently" and you know otherwise, the response should be, "can I have that in writing?"
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:10 PM on August 6 [29 favorites]


A good long long read on the list of Trump conflicts of interest thus far.
Along with his unprecedented wealth, Trump brings to the office unique and gravely concerning entanglements that, whether he recognizes their effects or not, threaten to undermine his decision-making as president. The plan Trump and Dillon announced on January 11 would do very little to resolve the conflicts: It places control of his assets in the hands of his two adult sons and a longtime associate of their father’s with what so far amounts to a pinky-swear assurance that, despite their proximity to the president, they will not discuss any aspect of the business with him.
posted by tilde at 1:39 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Daniel Nexon, LGM: Why the Right-Wing War on George Soros Matters
I guess it’s a small victory that people drawing and writing Protocols of the Elders of Zion fanfic feel the need to insist that they’re not being anti-Semitic. That’s often the case now: the relevant discourse is structurally isomorphic with libels against Jews, but it’s ‘merely’ about Soros or ‘merely’ about the Rothschilds. Indeed, as Jennings Brown and Jacob Steinblatt note in a piece chronicling the rise of Soros as a boogeyman in the American right: [...]

So what we’re seeing is the normalization of anti-Semitic tropes and rhetoric in the Republican party. It’s another cancer that’s on the brink of metastasizing; the window of opportunity to excise it is closing.

But I’m not holding my breath. Nothing in recent history suggests that Republicans will do the right thing. Moreover, the peculiar politics of Israel provide real cover here. Maybe your rhetoric is indistinguishable from actual neo-Nazis, but hey, how can you be anti-Semitic if you support Israel’s unfettered hand in the West Bank and unequivocally back Israeli policy in the wider Middle East? Of course, mixing pro-Israel politics with anti-Semitic tropes is nothing new for the American right.

To complicate matters, as Israel backslides, Netanyahu has also not merely targeted Soros but actively sided with right-wing aspiring autocrats. [...]

Israel itself is playing with fire here. [...]

Israel’s alignment is one of the stranger dimensions of the rise of transnational ties and rhetorical convergences among national right-wing movements. The effects Cass Mudde alludes to are not limited to Europe; they’re at work in the United States.

If there’s any ground for optimism about the GOP, it’s the anti-Semitism is a growing problem on the left as well—both in the United States and abroad. Perhaps attempts to use it as a wedge issue will encourage some Republicans to get their own house in order? Regardless, this is just one of many fronts that nominally responsible GOP officials and figures need to fight back on if they want to turn back the tide of Fascism Lite™ that’s swallowing their party.—and the country.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:59 PM on August 6 [25 favorites]


I just spent an hour investigating this account and I feel very confident I have traced down the owner.

Used a stock photo too, no?
posted by scalefree at 2:02 PM on August 6


Wright told Padilla that the center was considering putting up a gate on their private road to prevent the contractors from entering their property. But Padilla told her that within 25 miles of the international border, the CBP had authority to enter private property and could cut the lock off the gate. He also told her that any work crew on the levee would now have a “green uniform presence,” which means an armed Border Patrol agent on guard.
Can someone who's more familiar with the law than I am explain how this isn't a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment? How does "being within 25 miles of the international border" constitute probable cause?
posted by biogeo at 2:10 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


When you find yourself as armed security breaking into a butterfly reserve so you can build a wall through it, at what point do you ask are we the baddies?
posted by adept256 at 2:17 PM on August 6 [97 favorites]


biogeo, it's the 100-mile border rule, where it's considered to be a 'port of entry' to the US, and certain constitutional protections are limited. The basics are here.

posted by gofargogo at 2:21 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Used a stock photo too, no?
Used some stock photos, used some actual photos of herself wearing a MAGA hat with her face obscured, used a fake name, changed her "background story" to use different NJ cities and colleges than where she lived/attends but she's a real person. She's a college student, she's black, and she's a Trump supporter going way back to her since deleted real-life twitter account.
posted by stagewhisper at 2:27 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


(Missed the edit window to add) Not to mention the CBP has regularly violated people's rights in these areas with no consequences. At this point, when they feel comfortable targeting MoCs and denying the existence of detainees, who's going to stop them?
posted by gofargogo at 2:28 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Daniel Nexon, LGM: Why the Right-Wing War on George Soros Matters

Reading that article is almost too painful; it is hard to see a Jew at the front of this propaganda and using those phrases. These last weeks, as the trumpists come under more pressure, they are also escalating the fascism. The good thing is that a lot of people and media and countries are seeing it and reacting. Millions of Americans are resisting. It seems most of Europe has given up entirely on American leadership. We've seen Trump's conversations with Mexico's and Australia's leaders. No one in Asia is looking to America for protection. This has it's own set of extremely scary consequences, but it is a huge difference from Hitler and Mussolini who both had international (including American) admirers and supporters.
This will find a positive ending, but the road there is going to be rough.
posted by mumimor at 2:29 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


The butterfly sanctuary situation is somewhat complicated. It sounds like the trespassing vandals are contractors, not actual government agents, which means they really have no authority to go on private property after being ordered off. (Isn't Texas a Stand Your Ground state? Contractors dispatched like this could be in real danger ha-ha.) So it's kind of up to whatever agency authorized them to send an actual agent with a badge to flash. I'm sure the CPB agents who said this couldn't possibly be happening would love to have a talk with that guy.
posted by Bringer Tom at 2:30 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


NYT: A Game of Cat and Mouse With High Stakes: Deportation
The federal government’s current emphasis on deporting undocumented immigrants — even those facing low-level charges — has, in effect, turned courthouses in New York State into arenas where practitioners of criminal law face off against enforcers of immigration law.

In New York City, judges, defense lawyers and clients have been on high alert for months, watching to see if immigration enforcement officers, many in plain clothes, are in a courthouse. If a pair of people look suspicious, lawyers from the Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services and the Legal Aid Society send an internal email alert. Defendants duck into bathrooms or race to another floor.

When officers for United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, are thought to be in a courthouse, a sympathetic judge might reschedule a defendant’s appearance, or, in a seemingly perverse move, set bail that could send a defendant to Rikers Island — keeping the person out of ICE’s hands because the jail complex does not turn over undocumented immigrants to the agency.
posted by zachlipton at 2:37 PM on August 6 [16 favorites]


Can they do anything to stop it

Sorry, I have no idea (I'm not from the US). The link turned up on the twitter feed of some ecologists that I follow.
posted by dhruva at 2:49 PM on August 6


Legal analysis from the right (Andrew McCarthy, The National Review): Even if criminal behavior is non-existent, Mueller's grand jury may recommend presidential impeachment based on "conduct unbecoming."

I do not believe there is a legally sufficient case of criminal obstruction. Trump had legitimate power to exercise prosecutorial discretion in recommending against any further criminal investigation of Flynn. The president, furthermore, has the authority to dismiss the FBI director at any time — for any reason or no reason.

Obviously, I’m just a commentator here in the peanut gallery, and other commentators see things differently. But even if I am right that there is no crime, bear in mind that we are talking precisely about what a grand jury may do when there is no crime — i.e., when a public official has engaged in dodgy but noncriminal behavior that is somehow connected to criminal misconduct allegedly committed by others. Mueller could very well argue that this is Trump’s situation, and that it thus calls for a grand-jury report questioning his suitability for the responsibilities of the presidency.

(...)

The Constitution’s standard for impeachable conduct, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” is a concept more analogous to military justice than to penal law. It involves violations of an officeholder’s public trust, transgressions that call into question his fitness to wield power and carry out high responsibilities. High crimes and misdemeanors need not be felonies chargeable in criminal court; they include all manner of execrable episodes and abuses of power that cause us to question a public official’s fitness.


In other words, they are just the sort of thing you’d find in a report issued by a grand jury. Which means that a report issued by a grand jury could be just the sort of thing a special counsel might refer to Congress as the potential foundation for an impeachment case.
posted by Gordion Knott at 2:52 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


Flake extends his attacks on Trump and the GOP — all the way back to the dawn of birtherism
But Sunday, as he promoted his book on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Flake took his assault on Trumpism back years further — all the way to the pre-dawn of Trump’s political rise.

To “when the birtherism thing was going on,” as Flake put it to talk show host Chuck Todd.

“Some people did stand up, but not enough,” the senator said. “That was particularly ugly.”

“Did you do enough?” Todd asked.

Flake smiled. “On that, I think I did.”
(...)
Still, the “Meet the Press” host sounded skeptical that Flake’s condemnations of Trumpism always matched up with his comportment in the Senate.

“You vote with the president 93.5 percent of the time,” Todd said.

Flake countered that he stood up to Trump when it mattered and that most of those votes anyway were just confirmations.

“All we’re really doing is approving the president’s cabinet picks [and] justices,” he said.

Flake didn’t mention that one of the justices he voted to confirm was John Bush. Years earlier, as NPR noted, Bush had written blog posts about Obama’s ancestry in Kenya, quoting liberally from sites that peddled some of the first birther conspiracy theories.
On the one hand, I am definitely of the "too little, too late" school of thought on Jeff Flake, on the other hand, he is still speaking out against Trump more than about 95% of other Republicans.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:10 PM on August 6 [19 favorites]


A recommendation to impeach from the Special Prosecutor would be as good as a op-ed on Huffington Post to Republicans in Congress. It's criminal charges or exoneration.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:12 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Flake countered that he stood up to Trump when it mattered and that most of those votes anyway were just confirmations.

Confirmations totally don't matter, obviously. Which is why they go through a whole confirmation process in the Senate.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:21 PM on August 6 [12 favorites]


There has been a bombing of a mosque in Minnesota.

I mean, I suppose that Muslims have prayers in there but it's a former elementary school that's been converted to a community center. There are often basketball games and other stuff going on there. They were having football practice on the field behind the building this morning. I don't really think of it as a mosque.

It's adjacent to a nice park and I walk my dog past this building every day. Just about everyone is super nice and friendly.

On the bright side, no one was hurt and the damage was limited to one office and a window. I'm glad they weren't very good white-nationalist terrorists, I guess.
posted by VTX at 3:22 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


Legal analysis from the right (Andrew McCarthy, The National Review): Even if criminal behavior is non-existent, Mueller's grand jury may recommend presidential impeachment based on "conduct unbecoming."

This seems to be embarrassed GOP elites trying to suggest a soft landing solution for Trump. I agree that if Mueller recommended anything less than criminal charges that Trump and far right congress critters would read that as exoneration. And I can't see why Mueller would consider that a legitimate use of prosecutorial power.
posted by spitbull at 3:30 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


Flake countered that he stood up to Trump when it mattered and that most of those votes anyway were just confirmations.

Who can forget that moment when he walked on to the floor of the Senate during the vote, went to the clerk, and gave her a thumbs up.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:36 PM on August 6 [10 favorites]


I suppose that Muslims have prayers in there but it's a former elementary school that's been converted to a community center.... I don't really think of it as a mosque.

The firebomb hit just prior to morning prayers, and the office was that of the imam. They call it an Islamic Center, but for all practical purposes it's a mosque with an anodyne public face, and I don't think there's any advantage to pretending it's somehow less than a church or synagogue (either of which might also serve as a "community center" during the majority of its active hours). It wasn't bombed because of the football games.
posted by dhartung at 3:37 PM on August 6 [52 favorites]


Yeah, we don't need Mueller for "conduct unbecoming." That has been on display literally every day since (and including) the inauguration. If Republicans gave a damn about that, we'd be well into impeachment hearings already.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:37 PM on August 6 [20 favorites]


When's the last time a former elementary school building got bombed up?
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:39 PM on August 6


A JCC may not be a synagogue, but if somebody bombed one, I'd sure as hell call it anti-Semitic terrorism. The same goes for a Muslim community center.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:49 PM on August 6 [67 favorites]


On the one hand, I am definitely of the "too little, too late" school of thought on Jeff Flake, on the other hand, he is still speaking out against Trump more than about 95% of other Republicans.

When your approval rating is somewhere around syphilis you pull out the big guns.

He's trying to swing centrist because he knows the right wing is ready to primary the fuck out of him.
posted by Talez at 3:59 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


the way other DC men's bodies are too small for their baggy suits.

As a lifelong DC-area resident, I can confirm that this comes right after 'blue striped button-down & khakis' on the list of Dudes to Avoid Warning Signs.
posted by nonasuch at 4:04 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Remember when we thought it would take years for the wall to get started because so much of the land was private property that would have to be legally acquired through the courts? I guess they are going to skip the court part and just start building.

The Butterfly Sanctuary story is horrific, nightmarish even. As a gardener in particular this is unimaginable. To have the government come into my garden and cut down my specimen trees and carefully chosen bushes that I have nurtured -- there is nothing worse outside murdering my family. And am I to understand that once the wall goes up they will be permanently cut-off from 70% of the land they own? Or will there be a door in the fence? My heart breaks for the couple that put so much effort into this sanctuary along with their investors, their employees, and anyone who loves butterflies and planned to visit.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:08 PM on August 6 [30 favorites]


He's trying to swing centrist because he knows the right wing is etc

But we want him to succeed at that and embolden his colleagues, it seems to me.
posted by spitbull at 4:12 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


I CAnnot get away from 45.
I told Kevin his watches reminded me of something I’d seen on television a few weeks earlier. Charlie Sheen was on a talk show, recounting the time Donald Trump gave him a pair of diamond-encrusted platinum cuff links that he claimed were from Harry Winston. An appraiser later told Sheen they were nothing more than “cheap pewter and bad zirconia.” No one was surprised by the story, least of all Kevin.

(Source)
posted by tilde at 4:14 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


But we want him to succeed at that and embolden his colleagues, it seems to me.

Absolutely. Right up until the moment we try to vote his ass out of office in 2018. 'Course the Democrats actually have to run somebody for that to happen.
posted by Justinian at 4:17 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


More on the butterfly center story. They're doing a fundraiser for their legal funds.
posted by dhruva at 4:27 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]


Bulldozing a butterfly sanctuary is just cartoonishly evil. It's like something out if a Disney movie. If a bunch of scrappy kids and their schoolteacher don't put a stop to it I will be very disappointed.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:53 PM on August 6 [67 favorites]


But we want him to succeed at that and embolden his colleagues, it seems to me.

Me too, but at the same time I've been watching prominent Republicans and never-Trumpers like John Kasich, Evan McMullin, Ana Navarro, David Brooks, Jennifer Rubin (and to a lesser degree, John McCain, the Bushes, etc) say these things for the last year or more and every time I think it will give cover to the congressional republicans to do the same, and every time they stay silent. At this point, if they haven't spoken up, they're either true believers or spineless cowards and anyone who speaks out at this point can be safely considered to be a craven opportunist and nothing more. So I don't hold out much hope is what I'm saying.

The only reason I still want them to speak out is because I believe that part of the GOP-supporting populace (the ones who vote along party lines but don't otherwise pay much attention to politics) can be swayed.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:02 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


they're either true believers or spineless cowards

I think we can be comfortably certain it's Door 2.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:03 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Bulldozing a butterfly sanctuary is perfectly logical. It's something out of "House of Cards". Screw effing over the private citizens who have been all over the news 'whining' that they don't want the government in their private land business. Kill off the butterflies, who don't pay taxes and can't really sue. Even if you lose, you've destroyed the sanctuary and can sell the oil and mineral and exploitation rights to a contributor.
posted by tilde at 5:03 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


More on 'TrumpTV' ...
CNN’s resident Donald Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, whose pundit gig insisting the president is really playing 4D chess none of us can understand came to an abrupt end on Saturday, now has a new job reading pro-Trump propaganda online.

McEnany has secured a gig regurgitating the administration’s preferred “real news” on Trump’s official Facebook page, which appears to be part of the president’s ongoing efforts to cut the media middleman out of his messaging to supporters.
posted by tilde at 5:06 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


I could have sworn that the state was actually really pissed about the butterfly sanctuary (because takings, not butterflys) and was going to fight it. I can't find anything now.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:08 PM on August 6


No joke, I honestly think that the number of true believers, even in the senate, might actually still outnumber the cowards. (Horrifying if true)
posted by triggerfinger at 5:08 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


'Course the Democrats actually have to run somebody for that to happen.

You can NOT be serious!

/McEnroe
posted by petebest at 5:11 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Dean Heller gets his payoff for selling out Nevada
Fresh off Sen. Dean Heller’s vote for the so-called skinny Obamacare repeal, a SuperPAC linked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it will spend seven figures to defend him — including fending off any primary challenge.

In case you wondered just how much a soul goes for.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:31 PM on August 6 [45 favorites]


It says seven figures but they forgot to include the 30 pieces of silver.
posted by Justinian at 5:34 PM on August 6 [20 favorites]


Whoa whoa whoa.

I'm a hundred or so comments behind, but...

THE BACKFIRE EFFECT FAILED TO REPLICATE?

Holy crap that's Big.
posted by Yowser at 5:38 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Essentially, if you haven't seen a replication of a claimed psychology result in the past year or two, you should consider the claim suspect. For more details, see the readings of the aptly named course, Everything Is Fucked. Its professor, Sanjay Srivastava, was probably my favorite twitter follow.
posted by Coventry at 5:44 PM on August 6 [21 favorites]


Dean Heller gets his payoff for selling out Nevada

Fuck him. I'd rather kick his ass next November than have him lose in the primary anyway. I want the voters he voted to fuck over to serve him a pie and say "When people ask you what happened here, tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Heller."
posted by chris24 at 5:47 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


THE BACKFIRE EFFECT FAILED TO REPLICATE?

Isn't the hell world we live in now replication of the backfire effect? Or is it all going to evaporate now, people coming to their senses as the backfire curse lifts?

God I hope so...
posted by Artw at 5:49 PM on August 6


No joke, I honestly think that the number of true believers, even in the senate, might actually still outnumber the cowards. (Horrifying if true)

I largely share the pessimism about the integrity and stand-uppingness of GOP Congressmembers but also:
I was recently watching documentaries about Watergate. Though I vaguely knew that cravenness isn't a new thing in the GOP, it was surprising to see just how many and how intensely Republicans clung to Nixon right up until the resignation--and beyond the resignation, for some die-hard fans. But there was a point where too much stuff came out for even the lingerers to stay.

Will there be such a tipping point for this Congress and this administration? No one knows. Personally I'm going to try not to dwell on that too much (pessimism/hope that kills and all that) and instead focus on doing whatever we can to get to that tipping point.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 6:01 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Initial signs do point to the existence of cartilage, though it's uncertain it can hold the weight of an actual Hogan-esque figure. I'm actually not worried at this stage that Congress will be forced into a more significant showdown with the White House; I'm more concerned about the outcome.

I'm going on record that this will never happen. Ryan won't allow it.

Picking up this older comment of Pogo's from the pre-Cretaceous era (i.e. way up thread), Ryan is in an interesting and problematic position here. I actually wouldn't wish it on a nicer person, but granny-starver Ryan isn't actually that nice [I do dispute that he's an obvious anti-Semite as soren lorensen suggested; I've never seen that and I live in his district]. He spent almost the entire fall campaign literally unable to say Trump's name, only using "our candidate" or "our nominee". He was probably in the (pretty large) camp that expected an HRC win. Only after the election did he make up, so to speak, with the incoming administration.

I'm certain that as a partisan he's very pragmatic and worries mainly about the Republican brand, as well as 2018 mid-term losses that seem more and more inevitable [I'm not yet expecting the House to flip, though, due to gerrymandering]. He's also the movement conservative through and through and a lot more concerned about his long-held goals in "benefit reform" and tax-reduction than almost anything else on the table. He's even been one of the more immigration-friendly Republicans. As a former VP nominee he obviously feels a yearning toward the White House, but rebellion in his own party from the reactionary wing has him dubbed a RINO and widely hated. Indeed, when "our candidate" held a rally here, he was actively booed.

I suspect if he's honest with himself he knows that's never going to happen for him. So he wants -- needs -- to have a momentous term as Speaker that will make him more than an historical footnote. The last thing he wants is to have to impeach. BUT. I feel his pragmatism, such as it is, and his partisanship, however misplaced, are likely to make him amenable to a realization that they have no choice but to try to force the man out. When that will come, and what the outcome might be, are the unknown factors.
posted by dhartung at 6:03 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Initial signs do point to the existence of cartilage, though it's uncertain it can hold the weight of an actual Hogan-esque figure.

And I strongly doubt that his son has the fortitude to follow in those footsteps.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:12 PM on August 6


Initial signs do point to the existence of cartilage, though it's uncertain it can hold the weight of an actual Hogan-esque figure.

And I strongly doubt that his son has the fortitude to follow in those footsteps.


From that obit linked by dhartung:

While Larry Hogan Jr. was running for the Maryland governor’s office in 2014, he often cited his father’s stance toward Nixon as an example of political courage.

After the 2016 election, the governor revealed that he wrote in his father’s name on the presidential ballot, rather than vote for either of the major party candidates.


Jesus it's like Kasich writing in McCain's name. It's the pinnacle of "both sides are bad"-ism. Just take the L and vote for HRC you spineless jackasses.
posted by dhens at 6:19 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]


Trump applies for casino trademarks in Macau
Donald Trump's international business dealings have come under much scrutiny, even before he became president. Now, a new trademark deal in Macau has raised questions over whether Trump is snapping up gaming licenses while in office.

As first reported by the South China Morning Post, DTTM Operations LLC, a Delaware-based company affiliated with the president, filed four trademark applications in Macau under the Trump name. One of these applications was for "gambling and casino services and facilities," provoking speculation that Trump is moving to capitalize on what is considered an international casino hub.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:37 PM on August 6 [17 favorites]


This is the Logan Act, about which you can read more in a CRS report. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for violating it in the 218 years we've had it.

Maybe that's because no political figures collaborated with America's enemies during that time.
posted by msalt at 6:46 PM on August 6 [12 favorites]


Devil's Bargain claims that The Wall was a mnemonic designed to keep Trump focused on anti-immigration rhetoric:
Inside Trump’s circle, the power of illegal immigration to manipulate popular sentiment was readily apparent, and his advisers brainstormed methods for keeping their attention-addled boss on message. They needed a trick, a mnemonic device. In the summer of 2014, they found one that clicked. “Roger Stone and I came up with the idea of ‘the Wall,’ and we talked to Steve [Bannon] about it,” said Nunberg. “It was to make sure he talked about immigration.”


Initially, Trump seemed indifferent to the idea. But in January 2015, he tried it out at the Iowa Freedom Summit, a presidential cattle call put on by David Bossie’s group, Citizens United. “One of his pledges was, ‘I will build a Wall,’ and the place just went nuts,” said Nunberg. Warming to the concept, Trump waited a beat and then added a flourish that brought down the house. “Nobody,” he said, “builds like Trump.”
posted by Coventry at 6:50 PM on August 6 [21 favorites]


Also Devil's Bargain: Kellyanne Conway is a terrible source for information, even when that's her professional duty:
Hoping to illustrate the futility of a run [on the NYS Govenorship], Nunberg asked Bossie to commission a survey. In December, Bossie hired Kellyanne Conway to poll likely New York voters to get a clear picture of Trump’s chances.

The results were as bad as Stone and Nunberg anticipated—but instead of highlighting the fact that her poll showed Trump losing to Cuomo by 35 points, Conway left out that information and produced an analysis suggesting that Trump could win. “She wrote a sycophantic memo telling Trump he was like the Kennedys,” Nunberg complained.
posted by Coventry at 7:05 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


A (very) long read from Andrew Rice and New York Magazine: The Original Russia Connection

"Felix Sater has cut deals with the FBI, Russian oligarchs, and Donald Trump. He’s also quite a talker."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:08 PM on August 6 [14 favorites]


In fact, the only reason Trump didn't put himself through the NYS meatgrinder was that he couldn't persuade Astorino to drop out of the Republican primary in return for the Lieutenant Governor position!
posted by Coventry at 7:14 PM on August 6


Maybe that's because no political figures collaborated with America's enemies during that time.
It doesn't matter. The Logan Act can't really be used because of this legal concept of "desuetude," which is essentially the principle that unenforced criminal statutes cease to be enforceable laws suitable for bringing indictments. In fact, the use of decrepit statutes may violate due process. The last Logan Act indictment was in 1803. (Desuetude doesn't apply to the US Constitution, but the Logan Act is just a law, not an amendment.) In any case, even in a similar situation where a Nixon campaign flunkie told Vietnam to chillax until he was President, no one bothered to bring Logan Act charges against the flunkie. This law is dead. It's useless to cling to it.

We've got emoluments, obstruction of justice, perjury, and espionage to process still. If even two of those turn out to be supported by evidence, that seems like a healthy foundation for impeachment. Or sending a dozen or two people to club fed, at any rate.
posted by xyzzy at 7:21 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


If they really wanted to demonstrate that Trump's tweet about how he's working and this isn't a vacation was true, they could probably start by not releasing completely empty public schedules.
posted by zachlipton at 7:23 PM on August 6 [23 favorites]


EMILY's List Expands After 16,000 Women Reach Out About Running For Office (Ruby Cramer, BuzzFeed News)
The record before: 920 women from 2015-2016. ("That was our Hillary bomb.")
posted by Room 641-A at 7:58 PM on August 6 [65 favorites]


One of the methods suggested for the Indivisible guide was; when attending town halls, people should try to coordinate and spread themselves out around the room to make their malcontentment appear to be coming from all corners, rather than a unique pocket of a half dozen disgruntled constituents ... Jeff Flake town hall (YouTube video, 15sec (from April (but gonna contend it is still relevant))).
posted by phoque at 8:08 PM on August 6 [8 favorites]


Trump tweeted his thanks to "Nicole Mincey," someone who said nice things about him on Twitter, and things have gotten weird. She described herself (until her account was suspended) as a "black conservative" entrepreneur selling Trump merchandise. Heavy.com has been digging into it (warning: trying to untangle this will make your head hurt), and it has gotten increasingly ridiculous: the photo was a retouched version of a model from a stock photo; a college student with the real name that was associated with the account (but a different face) says her identity was stolen. It's all extremely odd.

Such situations have historically been avoided by having someone make sure that people actually exist before they are given public acknowledgement by the President of the United States.
posted by zachlipton at 8:13 PM on August 6 [40 favorites]


Man, never attract the eye of sauron. Does nobody read the classics anymore?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:41 PM on August 6 [12 favorites]


Dean Heller gets his payoff for selling out Nevada
Fresh off Sen. Dean Heller’s vote for the so-called skinny Obamacare repeal, a SuperPAC linked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it will spend seven figures to defend him — including fending off any primary challenge.


So Heller has McConnell defending him. I'm kind of surprised that there is some honor amongst thieves given the reality of the situation on the ground. Maybe they think they can surf the progressive wave on a surfboard made of the electorate's usual collective amnesia of Republican malfeasance and intransigence.

Let's see what Wynn does though. He's written single checks bigger than McConnell's assurances so depending on what side of the bed he wakes up on, Heller could still be in some deep shit. I'm sure some turtle lackey, if not Yertle himself, is calling Steve every day to butter him up.
posted by Talez at 8:52 PM on August 6


The lesson learned here is that Yo The Marines Kelly is very sincere in Country, President, and only then if I don't have to wake up early on a weekend to deal with Whatever The Hell Else I Have to Deal With random family members and no-kidding nazis, in that order. He's just not very... oh, I dunno... competent. He silenced the tweets! He got the Twitler account on message! And then! And then! He, or his staff acting on his behalf then done fucked up.

The song you are thinking of is "Entry of the Gladiators" by Julius Fučík.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:57 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Honor? He wants his next vote. When he needs another senator's vote, he needs his trust. Senate is like a tiny village, even McConnell does not shit where he lives.
posted by rainy at 9:01 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


From that Heavy article that zachpilon linked " However, a July 4, 2017 press release touting the creation of the “ProTrump45” merchandise store, which lists Nicole Mincey as the media contact, provides an address for the store that traces back to the mail room of the real college student’s Jersey City university, Heavy has learned."

Yeah, as I've been saying above in this fast moving thread I've been giving reporters info -such as this "thing they have learned" for example. ^

It's a real person, she's a college student there, she's black, She's not a bot etc.

posted by stagewhisper at 9:24 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]



I mean, I suppose that Muslims have prayers in there but it's a former elementary school that's been converted to a community center.


Whether or not you think of it as one, I guarantee you that the entire community calls it their masjid. By definition, a mosque is where communal prayers are conducted. That it also serves as a community center is another standard feature of a mosque /masjid. As someone else pointed out, the attack was on the imam's office. Finally, that the building doesn't look like a typical mosque and is called a community center is a typical accommodation that many Muslim communities have to make in order to establish mosques without challenge from neighborhood associations, town councils, etc.
posted by bardophile at 9:39 PM on August 6 [42 favorites]


According to Devil's Bargain, Trump became very popular with AA and Hispanic people because of the way POC were portrayed on The Apprentice. Advertising on the show was prized for its diversity. Of course he threw all that away with birtherism and the "rapists and murderers" rhetoric, but there could be some leftovers.
posted by Coventry at 9:39 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


And how anybody, including Trump himself, was portrayed on The Apprentice was mostly the work of Mark Burnett and his writersproducers. Come on, "Reality TV" is America's Greatest Oxymoron.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:45 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


I'm not saying beliefs of viewers are sane... Honestly, I question the sanity of anyone who watches broadcast TV. Just saying it's plausible there are still POC supporters left over.
posted by Coventry at 9:53 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


I'm just saying that a lot of the image of Donald Trump for a large portion of America had been created by the fictions in The Apprentice. And when he's up for re-election, he's going to have a hard time defeating any challenger more popular than Kim Jung-Il. Not that the Democrats aren't considering it...
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:57 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]




> One of the methods suggested for the Indivisible guide was; when attending town halls, people should try to coordinate and spread themselves out around the room to make their malcontentment appear to be coming from all corners, rather than a unique pocket of a half dozen disgruntled constituents ...

oh my god that's what ISO members do at public meetings. That's hilarious.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:28 PM on August 6 [7 favorites]


Politico :
How Trump's FCC helped Sinclair's Expansion

It's basically the "But what if a dog played on the team?" of clever tricks.

The loophole is a throwback to the days when the ultra-high-frequency TV spectrum — the part higher than Channel 13 — was filled with low-budget stations with often-scratchy reception over analog rabbit ears. That quality gap no longer exists in today's world of digital television, but under the policy that Pai revived, the commission does not fully count those stations’ market size when tallying a broadcaster's national reach.

Bonus: Article comes with Pai's very punchable face in quite possibly its most punchable pose.
posted by Yowser at 10:36 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

[I've been mostly offline for a couple of days, apologies if any of these are repeats]

** NJ gov -- Dem candidate Murphy backing recreational marijuana. In general, Murphy is running pretty strongly left (as is Northam in VA), which is especially interesting, given Dems would have unified control if he wins, as seems highly likely.

** 2018 Senate -- PPP poll shows Jeff Flake approval and re-elect numbers are terrible, but still no major Dem candidate.

** 2018 House:
-- Nate Cohn points out that there have not been as many GOP retirements in close districts as we might expect, so a note of caution on the possibility of a Dem wave. Of course, it's still relatively early, as well.

-- Vox: Trump approval off everywhere except narrowly GOP districts. Which is obviously where Dems would most want to see that happening. On the other hand, this seems to be contradicted by special election results so far.

-- Quinnipiac poll has Dems opening 52-38 lead on the generic ballot. 538 poll average is at 48-38.

-- In-depth Cook Political look at where the fluid districts are (due to gerrymandering and geographic sortation, things are much more static than 20 years ago).
** Odds & ends:
-- Sabato: Dems looking at significant gubernatorial pickups in 2018. This is very significant for 2020 redistricting.

-- Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll of close congressional districts finds 60-29 in opposition of Trump firing Mueller. By 86-10, they say Trump should not be allowed to pardon himself.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:36 PM on August 6 [40 favorites]


Chicago to file federal lawsuit over sanctuary cities threat, WaPo
Chicago will keep fighting President Donald Trump’s immigration policies with a federal lawsuit alleging it’s illegal for the federal government to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday...

The lawsuit will be filed Monday.

Officials said there are new qualifications for a public safety grant requiring cities to share information with federal immigration authorities. City officials allege those qualifications are unconstitutional.

Chicago received about $2.3 million in such grants last year, which have been used for buying police vehicles.

Chicago is being helped by two outside law firms on a pro bono basis.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 10:49 PM on August 6 [15 favorites]


John Oliver, Last Week Tonight: Border Patrol, on what happened the last time we had a major hiring surge and why we shouldn't do that again.

On a related subject, BuzzFeed has a good look at what happens to people when they're deported to Mexico: What Happens When Long-Term US Residents Get Deported To Mexico: "Detentions by ICE are up 38%, and removals are expected to rise, but Mexican border cities like Nogales aren't prepared for the influx of new, struggling residents. BuzzFeed News talked to the deportees and the volunteers helping keep them alive."

And the NYT has a look at the chaos Tillerson has caused in the State Department: Diplomats Question Tactics of Tillerson, the Executive Turned Secretary of State, to the extent he won't even trust subordinates to send traditional greetings:
Several times a week the State Department sends a greeting to a foreign country on the occasion of its national day. By tradition, the salutations have been written by low-level diplomats and routinely approved by their superiors.

But not anymore.

Now the messages go through Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s office, where his top assistants insist on vetting them, and where they often sit for weeks before coming back with extensive editing changes, according to several department officials. To these officials, it is a classic case of micromanagement — and emblematic of the way Mr. Tillerson has approached running the State Department.
Some of us at least held out the thought that he didn't know anything about diplomacy, but at least could function as a second-rate manager. That turned out to be false too. This story also confirms, as we've discussed in the thread previously, that he's revoked essentially all the delegated authorities int he department and is running everything out of his office, even as he's failed to appoint anyone to most senior positions. And then there's just being an asshole:
In another example of just how much Mr. Tillerson is sweating the details, he recently insisted that his staff members submit a memorandum justifying each proposed hiring of a diplomatic spouse in the embassies in Baghdad and Kabul, Afghanistan. Such spousal jobs are an important means of encouraging diplomats to take hardship posts and generally save the department the expense of sending and housing another American independently.

Mr. Tillerson personally reviewed the necessity for every one of those jobs.

“Because there’s a hiring freeze, it requires the secretary’s signature to make any of these hires,” Mr. Hammond said.
If you've got someone who is willing to sit in a building with an American flag in Kabul and all they ask is that you find a job for their spouse too, that seems like a really good deal for the government.
posted by zachlipton at 11:52 PM on August 6 [64 favorites]


While Larry Hogan Jr. was running for the Maryland governor’s office in 2014, he often cited his father’s stance toward Nixon as an example of political courage.

This weekend's Washington Post Magazine has a longform article about Hogan that touches on this:
Hogan described to me a weekend morning not long after his father’s funeral. He was sinking into an easy chair in the basement of the governor’s mansion — he calls it his “man cave” — wading through the stacks of “homework” his staff leaves for him most evenings. On CNN, pundits discussed the news that Trump had just fired the FBI director. When Hogan looked at the television screen, he caught an unexpected sight. A grainy image of the House Judiciary Committee was serving as a backdrop to a report on the echoes of past scandal. “I looked up and there’s my dad,” he recalls.

In seeing it, he seemed to understand that his father’s role in Watergate had the potential to become an inescapable ghost for him. People around him, he says, have already started to wonder openly if a moment will come when he, like his father before him, will be driven to buck his party and turn on the president. “Everyone’s talking about it, and they are making comparisons,” Hogan told me. “I’ve thought a lot about the magnitude of that moment and how important and tough a decision it was that he made.”
That's the extent of his political courage at the moment, wondering if someday he may have to have a public opinion on a subject that makes his party look bad. He's almost mavericky.
posted by peeedro at 12:00 AM on August 7 [15 favorites]


That's the extent of his political courage at the moment, wondering if someday he may have to have a public opinion on a subject that makes his party look bad. He's almost mavericky.

Fuck this guy. I look forward to voting this sack of shit out next year. He's an anomaly anyway in otherwise deep-blue Maryland.
posted by CommonSense at 12:32 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


He's an anomaly anyway in otherwise deep-blue Maryland.

Can we... can we just fully eat all the Republican fascist/collaborator officeholders yet?

I'm hangry and it is grrar time. I don't even really know the particular officeholder to whom you refer but they sound bad and they probably should be eaten.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:46 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Nice try Sarlacc. You finish your Boba Fett and then we'll talk about Republicans.
posted by um at 12:58 AM on August 7 [12 favorites]


Claims of Seymour Hersh says Seth Rich contacted WikiLeaks - wanted money

Further claim of an FBI report exists that backs that up.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:07 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Re: Minneapolis/Bloomington mosque bombing
[Minnesota Governor] Dayton calls Bloomington mosque blast "act of terrorism"-- Minneaplis Star Tribune
The attack on a Bloomington Islamic center is "an act of terrorism" and a hate crime, Gov. Mark Dayton declared Sunday during a visit to show solidarity...

Though no one was injured and the damage was contained to one office, the size of the visiting political delegation on a Sunday morning underscored the gravity of the crime.

The group included Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, state Rep. Andrew Carlson, DFL-Bloomington, Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead, state Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American elected to the Legislature, and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.

There were no updates on the investigation Sunday. A Bloomington police deputy referred calls to the FBI and said he had no new information...

The center is just south of Ellison's district in an area represented by GOP U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, who wasn't at Sunday's gathering. On Saturday, just after noon, Paulsen tweeted, "Standing w/ Dar Al-farooq community today. Relieved to hear no one was hurt. I'm confident the investigation will get to the bottom of this."...

Mohamed Omar, executive director of the Islamic center, announced the creation of a GoFundMe page aiming to raise $95,000 to repair the damage. Early Sunday evening, the fund had received about a fourth of that...

Minnesota law enforcement reported 14 anti-Muslim bias incidents last year, according to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a record high. On Sunday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported that "Islamophobic trolls" had flooded its Facebook page with messages supporting the bombing.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 1:23 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]


Claims of Seymour Hersh says Seth Rich contacted WikiLeaks - wanted money

Further claim of an FBI report exists that backs that up.
Yeah, get back to me when Seymour Hersh actually writes a sourced article. The FBI has tons of reports, many of which are full of half-truths and rumors. The existence of a report does not imply any level of veracity. That's what investigations are for.
posted by xyzzy at 2:07 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


they sound bad and they probably should be eaten

I was lineball on eating the leftover salmon lasagne that turned up under the bedclothes two days later, but I wouldn't eat that.
posted by flabdablet at 2:07 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Claims of Seymour Hersh says Seth Rich contacted WikiLeaks - wanted money

Further claim of an FBI report exists that backs that up.


So, uh, first, Hersh hasn't been what he was for years now. Second, and more importantly, it is not even clear this audio is of Hersh. That article is sourcing that info from a nutcase alt-right website for the audio and T_D for the transcript. And the website hosting the article itself is not exactly . . . a hotbed of journalistic integrity, one might say.

Are we really gonna be entertaining the Seth Rich nonsense here? Should we hop on the Pizzagate train, too?
posted by schroedinger at 2:14 AM on August 7 [46 favorites]


BREAKING: I just reported to the FBI that Seth Rich died because he was moving in on Killary's Republibaby murder racket, which she somehow profited from and which belongs to Hillary so don't even try it mothaeffa yeah that's right I killed Seth Rich those children were not his to harvest. k1ll4R33 4 LYFE [FAKENEWS]

BREAKING: I just made a T-shirt with a --> [fake] <-- logo on it (minus arrows). Only I can wear it, because it's not for sale. [REALNEWS]
posted by saysthis at 2:21 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Claims of Seymour Hersh says Seth Rich contacted WikiLeaks - wanted money

Well that is batshitinsane, and another example of the sad decline of Hersh.
I reminds me of something I think about on and off. Back during the Bush administration when they were sending out lies by the dozen every month, a lot of real knowledge and facts came from media and journalists who were somewhat "fringy", left populist. Seymour Hersh writing for the New Yorker was the most mainstream as I recall it, otherwise those were the finest days of the then young Salon, Slate, and even Counterpunch and a number of blogs by different specialists or even Iraqis risking their lives to send out news. In other words, in order to figure out what was really going on, you had to spend a lot of time on the internet searching for relatively obscure sources and connect the dots independently. Or you could buy books, I still have a few of those little fast-printed paperbacks that were barely mentioned in the media, for instance one by Hans Blix. And of course most of the Democratic Party voted for the war on Iraq. Back then, it was a reasonable position to believe the WH-house lies and I knew many well-informed people who did, even several socialists.
Now all of the mainstream media are reporting on the lies from the White House, and Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed and Vanity Fair are doing great reporting and analysis! It's really a different situation. And I don't think the Democrats will vote for an Iran war unless the Iranians bomb Israel or something equally crazy.
But there is a dimension to this change that I also think is significant. Back then, the major voices on both sides were white men. I know, there were Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who were monumentally had, in the administration and that NYTimes reporter, what was her name. I'm not so much thinking of the individuals doing the dirty work here as the main drivers of the narrative, both in the administration, in the mainstream media and among the critics among whom Hersh was probably the most significant. Now he has been sidelined by reporters at Teen Vogue. Now Maxine Waters is on The View, speaking out against the President — nothing like that happened during the Bush presidency.

It's not only the white working class voters who are out of the loop. It's also the macho hero reporters, and the war-mongering senators and the marxist-authoritarian academics, and they are all fighting back, with teeth and claws.
posted by mumimor at 2:22 AM on August 7 [10 favorites]


Claims of Seymour Hersh says Seth Rich contacted WikiLeaks - wanted money

[On preview, deleting my comments that just echo everything else being said here.]

Evaluating news in 2017 is hard work because there is no shortage of viewpoints, and it's super easy to just seek out and adopt the viewpoint (and corresponding news) that matches your own world view. But if you're going to understand what's actually happening in the world, it's not enough to just find somebody telling a story you want to believe. You have to also understand who they are, why they are telling that story, what they have to gain from it, and likewise who is supporting and promoting the story, and why, and who stands to gain, and if you're going to be intellectually honest about it you've got to do the same for the other side, who's telling the opposing story, and why, and what do they stand to gain. That's a lot of work and not many people can be arsed to do it, which is why fake news is so very effective.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 2:27 AM on August 7 [12 favorites]


Tillerson says U.S., Russia can settle problems, ease tension
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday he believes Washington and Russia can find a way to ease tension, saying it wouldn't be useful to cut ties over the single issue of suspected Russian meddling in the U.S. election...

Tillerson met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of an international gathering in Manila on Sunday, where he also asked about Moscow's retaliation to new U.S. sanctions against Russia.

The meeting was their first since President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law the sanctions that Russia said amounted to a full-scale trade war and ended hopes for better ties.

Lavrov on Sunday said he believed his U.S. colleagues were ready to continue dialogue with Moscow on complex issues despite tensions.

Tillerson said he discussed Russia's suspected meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with Lavrov to "help them understand how serious this incident had been and how seriously it damaged the relationship" between the two nations.

But Tillerson said that should not irreversibly damage ties.
I mean, say what you will about Neville Chamberlain, but at least he wasn't trying to appease people who had already directly attacked his country.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 2:43 AM on August 7 [49 favorites]


...appease people who had already directly attacked his country.
Uh, hello... Russia didn't attack Tillerson's "country" (which more directly describes Exxon/Mobil), they helped get him into power... not an enemy, an ally!
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:49 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


The Logan Act can't really be used because of this legal concept of "desuetude," which is essentially the principle that unenforced criminal statutes cease to be enforceable laws suitable for bringing indictments. In fact, the use of decrepit statutes may violate due process. The last Logan Act indictment was in 1803.

Where can I read more about the application of desuetude to the Logan Act? This conclusion surprises me because I can't imagine how the Act meets the criteria given on the desuetude wiki page. It is blatantly malum in se, and there hasn't been any period of notorious violation of Logan, or any policy nonenforcement.
posted by Coventry at 3:05 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Evaluating news in 2017 is hard work because there is no shortage of viewpoints, and it's super easy to just seek out and adopt the viewpoint (and corresponding news) that matches your own world view.

It was much harder during the 00's. It's true that everyone selects the news that suit their world view, but people always did that. However, the scandalous lack of critique on the side of the mainstream media during Bush/Blair and the real life consequences of that failure on the side of the media, along with the very real threat of extinction due to a new media economy has meant that most serious and some light publications are much more critical of government spin than they were then.
But, because in our age facts have a liberal bias, this has led the Right and the Far Left to create fake news outlets with Fox News and crazy blogs as the forerunners and models. The thing is that the Right as it is today could not survive in a society where all news channels based their reporting on facts and knowledge, and while the rightwing media are horrendous propaganda outlets and terrible and can lead to catastrophes such as the Trump presidency, I see the Right's failure to create a policy based on reality as a net positive. The Republican failure to write an alternative to the ACA is a case in point. Wait and see now as they have to write a budget proposal.
The competent fiscal Conservatives of old times were much more sinister, and not only by themselves but also because neoliberalism was created in response to their critique of the welfare state.
Well, that's just my opinion, man…
posted by mumimor at 3:30 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


The Debt-Ceiling Crisis Is Real (NYTimes opinion piece)
posted by mumimor at 3:42 AM on August 7 [10 favorites]


Where can I read more about the application of desuetude to the Logan Act?
Steve Vladeck wrote a piece at Lawfare about the Logan Act with respect to the Republican "open letter" to Iran designed to undermine Obama's efforts to close the nuclear deal. He covers points about its probable unconstitutionality as well as desuetude.

It should be noted that within the last few years SCOTUS has refused to hear cases involving old, traditionally unenforced statues.
posted by xyzzy at 4:13 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


If you wanted confirmation that Trump's base is eroding, the panicked Fake News rant from Donny this morning should help. Pretty much everything he's called fake news has turned out to be true.

@realDonaldTrump
The failing @nytimes, which has made every wrong prediction about me including my big election win (apologized), is totally inept!
- The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling). Look at rallies in Penn, Iowa, Ohio.......
- ...and West Virginia. The fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record Stock Market, border security, military strength, jobs.....
- ... Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation & so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together. Will never change!
- Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES & WAPO, the Trump base is getting stronger!
posted by chris24 at 4:24 AM on August 7 [21 favorites]


- The Trump base is far bigger

Somebody should remind him that he doesn't just work for his "Base"...

To paraphrase, "All your base ARE US... "
posted by mikelieman at 4:32 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


He has never considered himself working for his Base... he considers his Base working for Him.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:34 AM on August 7 [25 favorites]


They say pick your battles, no?

Proudly, my $ goes to MeFi, ACLU, Butterflies and Emily's List.
posted by yoga at 5:03 AM on August 7 [13 favorites]


Yesterday:

Bloomberg: New Chief of Staff Kelly Moves Quickly to Tame Trump's Tweets

Today:

@realDonaldTrump
Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist!
- Never in U.S.history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal. He told stories about his Vietnam battles and....
- ...conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie. He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child. Now he judges collusion?

---

Of course, Mr. Hard Worker/I Don't Watch CNN tweeted this 15 minutes after Senator Blumenthal was on CNN. And he got 5 deferments from Vietnam and called avoiding STD's his personal Vietnam.

Given the earlier tweet about the Times and his manic ranting, I'm thinking we may have scoop o'clock today.
posted by chris24 at 5:10 AM on August 7 [58 favorites]


What do you even do with a PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES who writes, "He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child." I just want him to SHUT. UP. AND. STOP. WHINING.
posted by xyzzy at 5:13 AM on August 7 [50 favorites]


Dear Donald,

Less Whining. More Winning.
posted by Twain Device at 5:14 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]



Kelley did pretty good though. Got to give him some credit. He managed to mostly contain ragey (I need my tweet fix) Donald for a week. That's not bad relatively speaking.
posted by Jalliah at 5:16 AM on August 7 [29 favorites]


made every wrong prediction about me including my big election win (apologized)

begged for forgiveness like a child


Because Trump thinks apologizing and asking forgiveness are humiliating acts done by weak people.

Of course in reality the reason Trump has never done either is that he doesn't have the strength.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:27 AM on August 7 [58 favorites]


Uh, wtf?

Hersh, who has been around the block several times, and is intimately familiar with how the intelligence community operates – as well as being personally familiar with the individuals involved – is onto the game that’s being play here. In his words:

“I have a narrative of how that whole fucking thing began, it’s a Brennan operation, it was an American disinformation and fucking the fucking President, at one point when they, they even started telling the press, they were back briefing the press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press, fucking cock-sucker Rogers, was telling the press that we even know who in the GRU, the Russian Military Intelligence Service, who leaked it. I mean [it’s] all bullshit…. Trump’s not wrong to think they all fucking lie about him.”

. . . However, it looks like Hersh didn’t know he was being recorded, because the recording directly contradicts both Hersh and what NPR is reporting. An email exchange between Butowsky and Hersh, in which the former pleads with the famous journalist to go public, has been published, and when a reporter called him for comment Hersh clammed up:

“‘I’m not going to comment about that stuff, I mean, come on, I live in the real world.’

“When asked to confirm that it was him speaking on the bombshell audio recording, he stated, ‘I’m not going to talk to anybody about that. No comment.’”


Man. Can I get a witness?
posted by petebest at 5:30 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Hey, all. I'm updating the Election Thread Reference in the MeFi wiki to cover the fact it's now August 2017 and political threads are still going strong. Lots of new jokes, references, norms to cover. Please help out by editing/adding! #matleaveprojects
posted by whitewall at 5:42 AM on August 7 [37 favorites]


He managed to mostly contain ragey (I need my tweet fix) Donald for a week. That's not bad relatively speaking.

He's been reined in before, by people other than Kelly. It never lasts and it's not that impressive.

(And how screwed up is it that "how long they can prevent the predisent from self-immolating" is our standard of quality? GWB was not a smart man or a great president, but his staffers could at least focus on issues other than constantly curbing his self-destruction.)
posted by jackbishop at 5:44 AM on August 7 [19 favorites]


Chris Coons to ABC: If the president fired Mueller, "that would be crossing a big line and I think you would see strong bipartisan action."

Within minutes we would see the first of millions of protesters emptying out into the streets. You can be among them. Sign up to get notified should the unthinkable happen. Nobody is Above the Law, Mueller Firing Rapid Response. Hosted by MoveOn, they will harvest your email address for more routine emails & donation requests but you can opt out of those once the first one arrives.


Quick fashion tip for the next major public protest: the 'Hero' t-shirt.
posted by progosk at 5:46 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


He's been reined in before, by people other than Kelly. It never lasts and it's not that impressive.

(And how screwed up is it that "how long they can prevent the predisent from self-immolating" is our standard of quality? GWB was not a smart man or a great president, but his staffers could at least focus on issues other than constantly curbing his self-destruction.)


Sorry. I should have added a sarcasm tag.
posted by Jalliah at 6:05 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


DJT tweet: Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES & WAPO, the Trump base is getting stronger!

Mr. President, I think we finally agree on something. It's damn near impossible to believe that.
posted by penduluum at 6:10 AM on August 7 [57 favorites]


I mean, I suppose that Muslims have prayers in there but it's a former elementary school that's been converted to a community center.

There are thousands of American christian churches in former storefronts and big box stores. And the better ones also function as community centers hosting secular things like AA meetings, community club meetings and theater. The worse ones provide shelter only for taxes. This is really not an area people should be rules-lawyering Muslims on what is and isn't a mosque because they really have American Christians whooped on the consistency of service and space.
posted by srboisvert at 6:17 AM on August 7 [31 favorites]


"it's not just fake news anymore, it's fake reality - IT'S A FAKE WORLD!!"

(fake)
posted by pyramid termite at 6:17 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Now he judges collusion?

Did he just admit there is collusion?
posted by double bubble at 6:48 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


I know, there were Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who were monumentally had, in the administration

If by "had" you mean "keen never ever to tear off the blinkers regardless of the volume of warnings being screamed from the sidelines, in order to maintain what they must desperately have wished was something vaguely resembling plausible deniability" then of course I agree.
posted by flabdablet at 6:51 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]


Did he just admit there is collusion?

Nobody's seriously denying collusion anymore. We're just debating whether or not America is really even worth defending or deserves to be interfered with by foreign powers now.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:52 AM on August 7 [46 favorites]


It's raining today so no golf & nothing else on his schedule. Therefore he'll be free to spend the day stewing about the Mueller investigation and nursing his grievances.

I just found out that Trump TV on Facebook is being paid for by his reelection campaign funds. It also pays the legal bills for himself and his family. He'll probably need to send out another begging email soon touting his great new communication channel but he has few other accomplishments to boast about.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:52 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


he has few other accomplishments to boast about

Oh come now. Ramming the beeyewtiful Trump Wall straight through a butterfly sanctuary on private property has to count for something.
posted by flabdablet at 6:55 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


he has few other accomplishments to boast about

what about the same economic indicators that Obama had last year?
posted by thelonius at 7:00 AM on August 7


I find myself hoping for 17 straight days of rain, maybe something biblical, even.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:08 AM on August 7 [13 favorites]


if you're going to understand what's actually happening in the world, it's not enough to just find somebody telling a story you want to believe. You have to also understand who they are, why they are telling that story, what they have to gain from it, and likewise who is supporting and promoting the story, and why, and who stands to gain,

All true and nicely put, but none of it it is 2017- or even these-days-specific. That is exactly, nearly to-the-word exactly, how I was taught to evaluate sources in middle school. regular old 80s-90s public school, not some fancy timeskip rich kid school for future Internet readers. we went over and over it again, even though we understood it the first time, for years. Every time I have ever tried to teach someone why and how I edit their work the way I do and what I mean by clarity and transparency, a version of this is what I say: this is what your readers will be asking themselves when they read your claim or your opinion presented without citations or evidence, I say.

just because 2017 is when people started saying the phrase "fake news" doesn't mean we just now figured out how to tell a damn lie. or that critical thinking is any harder than it's ever been. we need to teach it in school, but we always have needed to, and we did sometimes used to actually do it.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:14 AM on August 7 [47 favorites]


100-mile-border-zone
First I've heard of this. Good thing in only affects 2/3's of the population.
Srsly, Lynchburg VA as an immigration checkpoint?
posted by MtDewd at 7:15 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


100-mile-border-zone
First I've heard of this. Good thing in only affects 2/3's of the population.


Note that it counts as a "border" any body of water that itself touches a border -- hence Lake Michigan, putting Chicago in the border zone.
posted by Etrigan at 7:24 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


First I've heard of this. Good thing in only affects 2/3's of the population.

It's not a new thing. War on the border - NY Times, 8/17/13, which references the time a US senator was stopped by a border patrol 125 miles south of the Canadian border.

"When Mr. Leahy asked what authority the agent had to detain him, the agent pointed to his gun and said, 'That’s all the authority I need.' "
posted by adamg at 7:33 AM on August 7 [26 favorites]


what about the same economic indicators that Obama had last year?

Ah yes, the so-called Trump Bump.

I am fully expecting all his anti-trade fuckery, once it really starts to bite, to make international markets suffer a serious loss of confidence in the soundness of doing business with the US, leading to a wave of divestments - the Trump Dump - and ushering in a new low in US and quite possibly world economic activity, the Trump Slump.

In a turbulent market money will always, in the wise words of my dear departed father, move from weak hands into strong hands. Which probably explains more than it should about Trump's sensitivity to being reminded of his tiny little fingers and his rather pathetic compulsion to compensate with the whole Ultimate Handshaking Championship thing.
posted by flabdablet at 7:36 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


Maybe he's planning to bring back manufacturing jobs by sinking the American dollar so low that it becomes competitive with third world nations.
posted by Talez at 7:40 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


it counts as a "border" any body of water that itself touches a border -- hence Lake Michigan, putting Chicago in the border zone

You people had better hope that Trump spends no more time talking to our Prime Minister, lest he let slip the idea of excising an entire continent from its own "migration zone".
posted by flabdablet at 7:41 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]




A good overview from Morten G. Ender at Just Security: Tweets, Trans, and the American Military. Snippet: "Other uniformed organizations responsible for public service and safety have seen no reduction in cohesion, readiness, disruptions, or costs such as trans firefighters and police officers. Currently, the American military is likely the largest employer of transgender people in the country. Further, research on veterans shows that transgender Americans serve at twice the rate of their cisgender peers. Transgender service seems to be an opportunity here not a distraction."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:54 AM on August 7 [25 favorites]


Coventry: Warming to the concept, Trump waited a beat and then added a flourish that brought down the house. “Nobody,” he said, “builds like Trump.”

Good news, land owners and residents of south-west US, the wall will be built, but then it'll fall into disrepair and the contractors maintaining the wall will file for bankruptcy. Pretty soon, the only thing to remain will be the shiny gold letters, 30 feet tall, shouting TRUMP at anyone who looks towards this particular failure, which the banks who financed the contractors will continually polish, to ensure that their investment wasn't for naught.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:01 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Flagging this article, from Anita Kumar and McClatchy DC: Trump hands US policy writing to shadow groups of business execs.

"President Donald Trump, lacking trust in the speed, skill or loyalty of the government workers he inherited, is shifting the task of writing U.S. policy to a network of advisory groups stacked with business executives that operates outside of public view.

"It’s a move that could be cheered by the voters who sent Trump to Washington to clean house. But it’s also one that might be breaking the law."
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:09 AM on August 7 [47 favorites]


During Genocide, Trump Intervenes for Himself and Friends.
The ongoing scandal, though, isn’t the machinations of Trump and Jakarta. Rather it’s the reluctance—bordering on refusal—of Washington to do anything effective to alleviate the genocide and destruction in West Papua.
posted by adamvasco at 8:10 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


The Debt-Ceiling Crisis Is Real (NYTimes opinion piece)

This was colossally stupid when they used it as leverage against the democrats, but now that they control both houses of Congress and the presidency?

They're literally pointing a gun at their own head and threatening to shoot.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:17 AM on August 7 [30 favorites]


Huh. From NYT comments:

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." - 14th amendment to the United States Constitution. A conservative reading of this amendment, a strict constructionist reading, leads to the inevitable conclusion that any law that prevents the United States Treasury from honoring the debt of the United States is unconstitutional and therefore should be ignored. The Treasury should continue to borrow the funds it requires and let Congress whine and whimper, which they it does so well.

That's a really good point. But it probably won't help the interest rates on government debt from skyrocketing though.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:21 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


BuzzFeed: Peter Thiel has said publicly that Trump’s administration is “off to a terrific start.” Privately, he’s told friends that there is a 50% chance the current presidency “ends in disaster.”

It seems Palantir was unable to make this calculation before election day
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:29 AM on August 7 [24 favorites]


Note that it counts as a "border" any body of water that itself touches a border -- hence Lake Michigan, putting Chicago in the border zone.

Not to defend the 100 miles or anything, but re: Chicago, it should be noted that:
1. Boats exist as a somewhat popular method of cross-border traffic
2. Chicago is the sole link between the Great Lakes Waterway and the Mississippi, making it a popular hub for recreational boaters from all around the world
3. The procedures for reporting entry to the US by boat are just a tad loosey-goosey compared to road and airport crossings
posted by Sys Rq at 8:32 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Only click this link if you have a vomit bag ready, it is a s..tload of conservative wishful thinking and speculation from the Times Literary Supplement: Why the Trump dynasty will last sixteen years (don't worry it is truly maniacal BS, but we all need to know the thinking on the other side).
For those who understandably don't want to read it, the main point of the text is that the true reason for Trump's victory was that car prices were driven up by Obama's regulations and focus on clean energy. Then there is a bit of pandering to the Bernie bros (which worked, since I have it from my Hillary-hating radical leftist friends), and finally there is this:
As for Ivanka, in addition to her unique on-the-job training, lately pursued at the G20 meeting, in which she was a real participant, she is also preparing herself by carefully dif­fer­entiating her personal views on a number of electorally important issues from those of her beloved father – who seems to accept her publicized dissents with paternal equanimity. No wonder that leading Democrats and non-Trumpers continue to act hysterically even eight months after the election. President Trump’s plan threatens to exclude them all from office until long past their retirement age.
posted by mumimor at 8:35 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Not to defend the 100 miles or anything, but re: Chicago, it should be noted that:

4. Chicago is literally hundreds (as in plural) of miles from the Canadian border if you are flying. If you want to do it in a boat, you're going to have to navigate the entirety of Lake Michigan and dozens of miles of Lake Huron, and that's just if you're migrating to the U.S. from Cockburn Island, which has a population of zero, and that's not because everyone on it jumped in a boat to get to Soldier Field.
posted by Etrigan at 8:38 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]






Not to defend the 100 miles or anything, but re: Chicago, it should be noted that:

5. Also, if you believe the wordish stylings of our Dear Leader, Chicago is a violent hellhole, so why would you want to come here in the first place?
posted by anem0ne at 8:45 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


4. Chicago is literally hundreds (as in plural) of miles from the Canadian border if you are flying.....
posted by Etrigan at 8:38 AM on August 7


The northernmost parts of Lake Michigan are less than 100 miles from the Canadian border - THAT is the factor that determines Chicago is within the 100 mile zone -- ergo any area within 100 miles of Lake Michigan is within the 100 mile zone. It doesn't have to make sense, it is the law.
posted by W Grant at 8:47 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I always thought the 100 mile limit was a ruse to extend ICE authority.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:49 AM on August 7 [14 favorites]


Talking points on a clean debt ceiling bill for when we call, write, and fax our Congresscritters:
  • Expect the Congresscritter to vote for a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling
  • No amendments to gut the social safety net, no denial of Planned Parenthood funding, no money for a wasteful wall
  • Essential to raise the debt ceiling so as to preserve the full faith and credit of the US Government
  • Failing to raise debt ceiling would cause a massive global recession
  • Endangers the place of the dollar as the global reserve currency, a huge strategic advantage for the United States
  • Will blame Congresscritter personally and campaign against them if they fail to vote for a clean debt ceiling increase bill
House phone directory and fax contact.

Senate phone directory and fax contact.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:49 AM on August 7 [37 favorites]


Venezuelan Troops Say They Quashed Attempted Anti-Government Attack At Military Base (Amy Held for NPR, Aug. 6, 2017)

In the terrible, ongoing struggles in Venezuela, an attempt to initiate or imply division among the ranks of the Venezuelan army lead to some people hoping that some troops were finally backing down from supporting Maduro, which is apparently the only real source of power for the dictator who claims to be a socialist. While the military isn't a monolithic entity that completely backs Maduro, the generals in the army, the armed forces in - collectively have been given enormous powers over the economy. They've been allowed to get involved in mining, in the oil industry. There's an army bank (Phil Gunson, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group and specializes in Venezuela, via NPR in May 2017). The army has been bought.

Looping back to the US: listening to NPR's coverage of this recent anti-government attack at a military base, I'm thrilled to hear that so many in the military have come out vocally against Trump's knee-jerk transgender military ban. Trump doesn't have military support like Maduro or other dictators, even if he is the commander in chief.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:57 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Axios: Trump's "dangerously low" support among his base
Automated phone polling by the rising GOP public-affairs firm Firehouse Strategies, along with the data analytics team at 0ptimus, finds Trump's base shrinking among likely midterm voters in the key swing states of Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio (2,901 interviews).

Partner Alex Conant tells me:
  • "Our data shows Trump losing support inside the Republican Party and a noticeable drop in his perceived honesty."
  • "Just 6 months in office, Trump is getting into dangerously low territory in key swing states. Trump's base of support has shrunk from 35.3% of voters who have a 'strongly favorable' view of him in April to only 28.6%."
  • "Notably, much of that erosion is among Republicans: Strongly favorable views among GOP voters dropped from 54.1% to 44.9%, while unfavorable views increased from 20.5% to 27.9%."
  • Why it matters: "Trump cannot take continued GOP support for granted in swing states."
posted by chris24 at 9:01 AM on August 7 [26 favorites]


This is really not an area people should be rules-lawyering Muslims on what is and isn't a mosque because they really have American Christians whooped on the consistency of service and space.

My point is that this isn't an oasis for Muslims to be Muslims. It's just some building where Muslims go do Muslim stuff and is otherwise ignored. It's an integral part of my community just like the other churches that perform a lot of community functions.

The target might have been a mosque but they hit a lot more than that. They didn't just attack some Muslims who live here, they attacked my community and I'm really pissed off about it.

They call it an Islamic Center, but for all practical purposes it's a mosque with an anodyne public face.

I can appreciate what you're trying to say here but we call it what we call it because that's what it is. What I'm telling you is that this is a central part of my community. My neighbors, the other members of my community, and I think of it and refer to it as a community center.

If you're ever driving around my neighborhood and ask for direction to the local mosque, we wouldn't know what you're talking about.
posted by VTX at 9:01 AM on August 7 [16 favorites]


There is literally no constituency less powerful or rich than Trump that will not get the shaft, regardless of their support for him:
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told a group of farmers and agricultural leaders Saturday that he’s “embarrassed” of President Donald Trump’s proposed ambitions to cut 36 percent in the federally subsidized crop insurance program within the next decade.
posted by Caxton1476 at 9:06 AM on August 7 [22 favorites]


Everything old is new again: Is This White House More Exposed To Leaks Than Previous Administrations? NPR's Stacey Vanek Smith talks with Bowdoin College Professor Andrew Rudalevige, who reminds us that Reagan's directive on the use of polygraph tests to counter espionage activity and in clearances for employees dealing in highly classified materials was leaked, when he wanted to use polygraph tests on a portion of the the executive branch, but they back-pedaled to say it was only in espionage cases. Rudalevige then said this on leaks:
I think in general, the more information the public has about government workings, the better. That doesn't mean there aren't exceptions. But, you know, leaks tend to decline when there's collegiality inside the White House and when there's a deliberative decision-making process that allows people to air their views and feel that they're being heard. Again, I can only judge from leaks, but it seems that the Trump White House is struggling to put in place that kind of decision-making process.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:09 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


And for a look at state news: Sued for Discrimination, Missouri Senator Pushes Law Limiting Discrimination Suits (Sarah Fenske for River Front Times, April 12, 2017)
In March 2015, a man who used to work at Show-Me Rent to Own in Sikeston, Missouri, filed a lawsuit alleging that his supervisor regularly used racial slurs against him, telling him, among other things, to "quit acting like a n*gger" — and that a map on the wall of the store circled a majority black neighborhood with the words "do not rent" written next to it.

The owner of the business is state Senator Gary Romine (R-Farmington), and in response to the suit, his lawyers acknowledged that, yes, a map in the back of the store had those very words written upon it. Everything else, he pretty much denied.

In any other state, that kind of admission might be a scandal — or at least grounds for future questioning. "Hey, Senator Romine! Who was redlined by that 'do not rent to' directive? And did any employees tell you about the allegations against your supervisor? If so, did you take any action?"

But hey, this is Missouri. And instead of Romine's business practices forcing him into the hot seat, he's instead using them as the basis of a folksy anecdote about "frivolous litigation" to advance legislation that would gut workplace protection against racial discrimination in Missouri — legislation that's now on the fast track.
And now it's a law, set to take effect on August 28, 2017. In response, the Missouri NAACP issued an urgent MISSOURI TRAVEL ADVISORY
Individuals traveling in the state are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION. Race, gender and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri. Missouri, home of Lloyd Gaines, Dredd Scott and the dubious distinction of the Missouri Compromise and one of the last states to loose its slaveholding past, may not be safe. The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP will follow Governor Greitien’s review of this Jim Crow Bill – SB 43 – and we will update the NAACP advisory for the State of Missouri if this measure is vetoed. SB 43 legalizes individual discrimination and harassment in Missouri and would prevent individuals from protecting themselves from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in Missouri.

Moreover, over zealous enforcement of routine traffic violations in Missouri against African-Americans has resulted in an increasing trend that shows African-Americans are 75% more likely to be stopped than Caucasians. These stops have resulted in increased traffic fines, senseless searches of vehicle and persons, and on occasion unnecessary violence.
Hopefully Gov. Greitien re-thinks his decision on this bill now that there is national attention on this law, and particularly Sen. Romine.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:18 AM on August 7 [49 favorites]


Manchin's embracing a sort of fecal nihilism.

Jacqueline Thompson, The Hill: Manchin: 'I don't give a shit' if I win reelection

“I don’t give a shit, you understand? I just don’t give a shit,” Manchin told the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Sunday. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for shit that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:22 AM on August 7 [25 favorites]


It's healthy to keep one's expectations in check.
posted by BS Artisan at 9:28 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


chris24: "Our data shows Trump losing support inside the Republican Party and a noticeable drop in his perceived honesty."

Hahahaha! That doesn't matter any more: Trump supporters know Trump lies. They just don’t care. (Brian Resnick for Vox, July 10, 2017) -- A new study explains the psychological power — and hard limits — of fact-checking journalism.
The corrections didn’t change their feelings about Trump (when participants in the corrections conditions were compared with controls).

“People were willing to say Trump was wrong, but it didn’t have much of an effect on what they felt about him,” Nyhan says.
"Notably, much of that erosion is among Republicans: Strongly favorable views among GOP voters dropped from 54.1% to 44.9%, while unfavorable views increased from 20.5% to 27.9%."

To me, this looks like support of Trump is a drug that is hard to kick. Half of Republicans still had strongly favorable views of Trump. Strongly favorable. Tell me when that number falls below 30%. Blare sirens when his re-election tours are in empty venues.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:29 AM on August 7 [22 favorites]


In the wake of John Kelly moving from the Department of Homeland Security to the White House, DHS Chief Information Officer resigns after three months on job:
The chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security has resigned from his position after only three months on the job, the department confirmed on Monday. Richard Staropoli, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, resigned last week and will officially leave the top information security role in the department at the start of September. {...}

Before coming to DHS, he worked in the private sector as the chief information security officer for the hedge fund Fortress Investment Group. {...}

In June, Staropoli appeared to forecast big plans for DHS’s information security office — he laid out plans to reorganize the office to operate more like a hedge fund and to spend money more carefully on IT.
The Hill notes, pokerfaced, "It is unclear why Staropoli chose to leave the post."

‘Run the government like a business’ strikes again?
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:39 AM on August 7 [11 favorites]


Harold Pollack/Vox: We have a political problem no one wants to talk about: very old politicians
Blanket judgments about older politicians are of course indefensible. Many of our older leaders have more skill and intellectual firepower than most of us will ever have. Feel free to debate Mitch McConnell on legislative tactics or Hillary Clinton on health policy if you doubt me. Countless examples, down to @JohnDingell’s hilarious Twitter feed, remind us that gifted people contribute to our common life well after the conventional retirement age.

Still, people who do not watch Congress regularly can be taken aback by just how advanced in age — and sometimes evidently slowed — people at the pinnacle of power can be. ...

In the [Senate] as a whole, 23 senators are at least 70. Seven are 80 or older.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:01 AM on August 7 [44 favorites]


Up for some weekly Bible study study in the White House? It's attended by a baker's dozen or so Cabinet members and led by a dude who said women with young children who work are sinners! If the WH is too much of a dump you can try his classes for the Senate/House instead.
posted by xyzzy at 10:03 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I hear they're reading both Corinthians this week.
posted by spitbull at 10:04 AM on August 7 [10 favorites]




Ex-CNN Commentator Kayleigh McEnany Suddenly Pops Up On Trump’s Facebook Page (Justin Baragona for Mediaite, August 6, 2017)
A day after taking to Twitter announcing that she was no longer with CNN, it appears we now know what political pundit Kayleigh McEnany’s new gig is — anchoring short pro-Trump news videos as part of the president’s 2020 re-election campaign.

In the campaign ad/news broadcast, McEnany touts recent jobs numbers, the RAISE Act and a Medal of Honor ceremony. At the end of the 90-second video, McEnany thanked the audience for joing her before sigining out by stating “that’s the real news.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this “real news” program associated with Trump as it has previously been hosted by the president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump.

During today’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter brought up the Facebook video, highlighting how it is an ad dressed up as news.

“Looks like a newscast, has the graphical appearance, it sounds like a newscast,” Stelter stated. “But it’s a promotional effort either for the Donald Trump re-election campaign or the Republican National Committee.”
(Emphasis mine.) Good political senses there, Stetler.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


"NEWS-- @kayleighmcenany joining RNC as natl spokesman. Expected to be big tv presence for the GOP. In playbook pm today"

Wingnut welfare at its best.
posted by Talez at 10:17 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


4. Chicago is literally hundreds (as in plural) of miles from the Canadian border if you are flying.....
posted by Etrigan at 8:38 AM on August 7

The northernmost parts of Lake Michigan are less than 100 miles from the Canadian border - THAT is the factor that determines Chicago is within the 100 mile zone -- ergo any area within 100 miles of Lake Michigan is within the 100 mile zone. It doesn't have to make sense, it is the law.


The even more ridiculous part of this just barely offshore in Lake Michigan is outside of Chicago's jurisdiction. In the past this has resulted in offshore party flotillas where boaters tie their boats together, just inside breakwaters, and get drunk and wasted while blaring music loud enough to disturb lakefront residents and the only agency with any jurisdiction is the coast guard and they don't care to enforce anything to stop it (Chicago's boaters are almost all in that particular demographic that is protected but not policed).

So Chicago doesn't get to police Chicago stuff because it is on water but the Border Patrol can police Chicago because it is near a water border (but not really)
posted by srboisvert at 10:41 AM on August 7 [7 favorites]


“Looks like a newscast, has the graphical appearance, it sounds like a newscast,” Stelter stated. “But it’s a promotional effort either for the Donald Trump re-election campaign or the Republican National Committee.”

Pence, of course, knows all about running a propaganda shop dressed up as news.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:44 AM on August 7 [13 favorites]


the only agency with any jurisdiction is the coast guard and they don't care to enforce anything to stop it

The Coast Guard's jurisdiction covers navigational safety and search and rescue. (Among others.) If the partyers aren't unsafe or a hazard to navigation, no, the Coast Guard isn't going to act as an arm of the city's police department because some partyers are making too much noise.

And you don't want them to.
posted by suelac at 10:57 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


The Coast Guard's jurisdiction covers navigational safety and search and rescue. (Among others.)

Among those "others" that you elide are drug interdiction and migrant interdiction, so it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch for them to engage in other law enforcement missions.
posted by Etrigan at 11:08 AM on August 7


no, the Coast Guard isn't going to act as an arm of the city's police department because some partyers are making too much noise

In the example cited, the commenter did specify that these boaters are "drunk and wasted," so the pertinent issue is operating a watercraft while intoxicated (BWI), not making too much noise.
posted by zakur at 11:17 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch for them to engage in other law enforcement missions.

You realize the Coast Guard is DHS, right? It is, in fact, a stretch to expect them to enforce local noise ordnances if there's no other maritime/navigational safety hazard at issue.
posted by suelac at 11:25 AM on August 7


Orrin Hatch said the GOP "shot its wad" at health care and then his Comm person got to spend all day apparently arguing that it was a Civil War term that Hatch learned in his Civl War youth. "Wad" was trending on DC twitter for. a while.
posted by angrycat at 11:28 AM on August 7 [41 favorites]


It is, in fact, a stretch to expect them to enforce local noise ordnances if there's no other maritime/navigational safety hazard at issue.

Why?

There are no other maritime/navigational safety hazards at issue in their entire drug interdiction mission. Why is it so far beyond the pale for the city of Chicago to ask them to assist with a known problem and empower them to engage in certain particular aspects of local law enforcement, as other federal agencies do all the time?
posted by Etrigan at 11:30 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


surely hatch is merely a fan of model rocketry
posted by murphy slaw at 11:30 AM on August 7 [6 favorites]


Bloody hell, the point is that the DHS includes Lake Michigan as part of the waterfront for Chicago for incoming traffic, but that doesn't overlap to internal Chi-town issues. Let's talk about how ugly trump's children are instead.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:35 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I mean, a wad is in fact something you'd shoot from a gun. I would wager the naughty colloquial usage we're familiar with probably derives from its usage in firearms.
posted by chrchr at 11:36 AM on August 7 [36 favorites]


Orrin Hatch said the GOP "shot its wad" at health care

McCain's thumb-down was definitely the money shot then.
posted by diogenes at 11:39 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


Yeah I enjoy laughing at Orrin Hatch too, but this has been a conversation going on for a long time.
posted by penduluum at 11:41 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I would wager the naughty colloquial usage we're familiar with probably derives from its usage in firearms.

The Online Etymology Dictionary agrees.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:41 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Wadergate
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:42 AM on August 7 [22 favorites]


I actually remember once somebody said that to me in all innocence and I turned red and they were like ???
posted by angrycat at 11:44 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I... didn't realize the firearms origin was so obscure. I better cross this one off the lexicon.
posted by Justinian at 11:47 AM on August 7 [26 favorites]


I would wager the naughty colloquial usage we're familiar with probably derives from its usage in firearms

...a metaphor perhaps more apparent to users of cocaine.
posted by flabdablet at 11:50 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Orrin Hatch said the GOP "shot its wad" at health care and then his Comm person got to spend all day apparently arguing that it was a Civil War term that Hatch learned in his Civl War youth.

I can believe it; it's a phrase with multiple meanings, and there's perhaps something of a generation gap at work. What he actually meant doesn't, I think, matter terribly; I'd focus instead (while recognizing that the internet, Metafilter, and the public at larger can focus on multiple things at the same time) on how offensive it is that Orrin Hatch is suggesting that health care reform is something that the government should simply ignore and move on from.

The GOP has spent practically the last decade selling itself into power on the basis of reforming health care; and yet, somehow, it transpires that they had no plan, had no unified idea of what reform looked like, and even while controlling all three branches of government couldn't do the very thing they were elected to do. That's not a wasted chance: that's malfeasance on a deep level. The very least the GOP should do is issue a formal apology for misleading the public (ie, for lying about the ACA); or instead they could, rather than abandoning that broad promise, actually listen to what the public wants and engage in bipartisan work with the Democrats to shore up the ACA and expand access to healthcare rather than working their not-actually-damnest to remove it...but I think they gave up their shot at that already.
posted by cjelli at 11:50 AM on August 7 [32 favorites]


Huh, and I had presumed it originated from "wad" as in "quantity of cash," i.e. "we've spent all we had on this and our resources are depleted." In any case, it's surprising that this even gets airtime after "not trying to suck my own cock."
posted by contraption at 11:52 AM on August 7 [15 favorites]


Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll of close congressional districts finds [that] by 86-10, they say Trump should not be allowed to pardon himself.

The perfect capstone to Trump's Incompetocracy would be if he resigned, and pardoned himself -- in that order.

Only to have someone point out that since he had resigned he no longer had the pardon power.
posted by msalt at 11:55 AM on August 7 [22 favorites]


Some news, certified 100% wad-free:

WaPo op-ed by David Cohen (former CIA Deputy Director): Trump is trying to politicize intelligence to support his Iran policy. That’s dangerous.

WaPo, David Fahrenthold and Lori Rozsa: ‘Apply by fax’: Before it can hire foreign workers, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club advertises at home — briefly. Mar-a-Lago does not appear to be looking particularly diligently for American workers before they hire foreign ones.

Daily Beast, Lachlan, Swin: Lara Trump ‘Running the Show’ at ‘Trump TV’
President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law is “running the show” at his Trump TV project funded by his reelection campaign, multiple sources tell The Daily Beast.

When the Trump campaign unveiled a new Trump-friendly news product on social media last week, viewers weren’t just seeing a novel political strategy in the form of “Trump TV.” They were watching a new power center in the president’s orbit and the political apparatus pursuing his reelection.

Lara Trump, wife of Eric, is now “running the show” on the Trump campaign’s newest advertising product, as one Republican source close to the campaign told The Daily Beast, citing her past “expertise” in TV news broadcasting as a former Inside Edition producer.
...
Since Trump took office, Parscale has stepped back from day-to-day operations at Giles-Parscale and its Trump campaign operations, according to a source with direct knowledge of the campaign’s workings. Instead, Parscale is focusing most of his efforts on his newer consulting firm, Parscale Strategies, and its work for America First Policies, a dark-money nonprofit group that supports the Trump policy agenda.

Giles-Parscale hired Lara in late March. Since then, she has taken over its Trump campaign work, practically replacing Parscale on that front in all respects but his official campaign title.
...
A source familiar with the development of “Real News” told The Daily Beast that Tomi Lahren, a former anchor for right-wing media network The Blaze and a current spokeswoman for pro-Trump nonprofit Great America Alliance, had been “strongly considered” for a position.
Remember when Eric was supposed to be off "running the business" and not in politics?

Kayleigh McEnany had a bunch of birther tweets back in 2012. If Jeff Flake is so offended his party embraced birtherism, maybe he should do something about the new RNC spokeswoman? She also tweeted out an WND article ""Obama campaign takes money from 'Osama bin Laden'..." (to save you the click, you can put anything in the "name" field when you donate, which shouldn't be a surprise).

And whatever this is—@kayleighmcenany: How I Met Your Brother -- Never mind, forgot he's still in that hut in Kenya. #ObamaTVShows

NYDN: The Army is refusing to rename General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn saying it would be "controversial and divisive" to do so (isn't it also divisive to continue to memorialize Confederate generals in Brooklyn?). Sounds like this would be a good one to contact your reps about, particularly if you live in New York.


Supporting The Individual Health Insurance Market
. A sort of wonky look at some things that could help the individual market, such as not sabotaging it.

NYT/Upshot, Austin Frakt: Medicare Advantage Spends Less on Care, So Why Is It Costing So Much?. In which Medicare Advantage plans (private insurers paid by the government to offer Medicare coverage) game the system such that premiums exceed medical costs by 30%, which amounts to around $20B/year, costing the government more despite paying for less medical care.
posted by zachlipton at 12:09 PM on August 7 [40 favorites]


arguing that it was a Civil War term that Hatch learned in his Civil War youth.

Which side did Hatch fight for?
posted by Chrysostom at 12:14 PM on August 7 [34 favorites]


54% of Republicans favor airstrikes on North Korean nuclear sites

A reminder: Seoul, South Korea is within range of North Korean artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. There is no such thing as a surgical strike of North Korean nuclear sites. It's all-in or nothing. If someone tries to sell you on this, they're trying to sell you on Korean War 2.0. China has been moving troops and building bunkers along the border in case this happens.
posted by bluecore at 12:18 PM on August 7 [46 favorites]


I've been arguing about Korea with strangers on Facebook, and the Republican talking points are "There are only two options. Buy them off or show them who is boss."

I'm like... what about not attacking them? Because they really have no reason to attack us unless they are attacked. And we didn't attack any other country which acquired nukes since 1945 just because they acquired nukes, including the USSR, which was much more threatening in its posture toward us than North Korea. So seriously how about just... not attacking them?
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:29 PM on August 7 [43 favorites]


In Syria news, Reuters: After military shake-up, Erdogan says Turkey to tackle Kurds in Syria
Kurdish militia are spearheading an assault against the hardline militants in their Syrian stronghold Raqqa, from where Islamic State has planned attacks around the world for the past three years.

But U.S. backing for the Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria has infuriated Turkey, which views their growing battlefield strength as a security threat due to a decades-old insurgency by the Kurdish PKK within in its borders.

There have been regular exchanges of rocket and artillery fire in recent weeks between Turkish forces and YPG fighters who control part of Syria's northwestern border.
This is completely unsurprising (but no less troubling for that) -- from back in May 2017, NYT: Trump to Arm Syrian Kurds, Even as Turkey Strongly Objects
President Trump has approved a plan to arm Syrian Kurds so they can participate in the battle to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State, a strategy that has drawn deep opposition from Turkey, a NATO ally.

American military commanders have long argued that arming the Y.P.G., a Kurdish militia fighting alongside Syrian Arab forces against the Islamic State, is the fastest way to seize Raqqa, the capital of the militants’ self-proclaimed caliphate.

And Mr. Trump, who made fighting Islamist militants a priority during his campaign, again showed the high regard he has for Pentagon generals by endorsing their advice when faced with a policy dilemma.
...
Former President Barack Obama also favored arming the Kurds, although divisions among his aides were so pronounced that he did not come to that view until his last week in office. During his administration’s deliberations, American diplomats in Ankara warned of a possible Turkish backlash, while military officials insisted that the Y.P.G. was the only option if Raqqa was to be taken in the coming months.
I don't have the expertise or knowledge to judge whether this was or is a good thing to have done -- and Obama's late-changing opinion should be factored in here -- but as a matter of process Trump's deference to military plans over diplomatic ones, and his heedless rush into decisions that deserve greater deliberation, are scary. Regardless of what the right decision was, it doesn't seem as if Trump made it with any real consideration of the diplomatic implications or understanding about why it wasn't an obvious choice. I know 'Trump made a bad decision badly' isn't exactly news, but we should still remember that the President should be better at being President than this.
posted by cjelli at 12:31 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As I've mentioned before, I think it's because a lot of people don't quite give the same amount of humanity to Asians over there. There's an assumption that because there are so many, a few million here and there murdered by wars where white American folk can go and become REAL MEN ain't no thang.
posted by anem0ne at 12:32 PM on August 7 [13 favorites]


"It is unclear why Staropoli chose to leave the post."

How many businesses have the resources to run a good infosec program? How about the people who are supposed to be 'the best of the best' - say the NSA. Didn't they suffer some data breaches? The office of management and budget - my memory is a high profile loss of data there.

What indication exists that the US Government is going to fund infosec at the level it needs to be funded at given the reporting about various failed IT projects and when things like roads and buildings are getting "non-A" grades? How do you go to management and say "yea, that is a perfectly functioning printer. HP won't patch it and as their ad campaign points out you should have patched gear so your choice is have it used as an attack point OR replace it." How do tax payers feel about replacing switches and printers because the vendor won't update but the gear is still working?

In consulting you are the goat, the hero, or the tech specialist. The 3rd one on the list comes in, solves the issue, leaves and no one much remembers 6 months later. The hero - everyone WANTS to be the hero.

But the goat? If it takes a couple of months to get the feel for what is going on and how bad it may be and a month to come to the conclusion there will be no changes due to budget - being the goat is typically not a thing you can get your next job with a pay hike as "the goat".

And what's the effect of a rudderless infosec program? I guess in Trumplandia we'll get to find out.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:33 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


arguing that it was a Civil War term that Hatch learned in his Civil War youth.

Which side did Hatch fight for?

Roundheads.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:33 PM on August 7 [65 favorites]


a lot of people don't quite give the same amount of humanity to Asians over there. There's an assumption that because there are so many, a few million here and there murdered by wars where white American folk can go and become REAL MEN ain't no thang.

No kidding. You should see some of the stuff people were posting on the anniversary of Hiroshima yesterday. I mean we don't need to hash out here and now "Was it necessary?" But it was shocking to see so many people who thought the only factor that needed to be considered in that decision was "Would you rather have let more American troops die had the war continued?"

How many American soldiers vs. how many Japanese civilians? That's not even part of the calculation for some folks. For some any American life counts more than any number of non-American lives, even if the non-Americans are families just living in their homes and not threatening us at all. And many would consider it traitorous to weigh the costs any other way.

President Trump has approved a plan to arm Syrian Kurds so they can participate in the battle to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State, a strategy that has drawn deep opposition from Turkey, a NATO ally.

This is the plan that Michael Flynn initially scuppered after taking $500,000 from Turkey.

There are a whole lot of places where stories about Turkey and Russia overlap in Trumpworld [warning, link goes to one of my comments in another megathread], and I have been wondering why that is. I guess maybe they just share a common interest in preventing the US from arming Kurds? Assad can't be a fan of that idea anymore than Erdogan is, and Putin wants to prop up Assad. So maybe they both were trying to buy influence and both wanted the same thing, and corrupt Trump people like Flynn were willing to sell the same military policy to two "customers."

The fact that it happened anyway after Flynn was fired is the kind of thing that makes me wonder how much control Trump really has over the military right now. He does everything the generals tell him to (and lets Mattis set troop levels), even when it contradicts what Putin tells him to do. I can't decide if that's a good thing, exactly. It's not a great thing. But maybe he is just bored and disinterested in military strategy.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:58 PM on August 7 [15 favorites]


In today's episode of Republican Representatives Say The Darnedest Things: Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas talks about what he's heard from constituents (NPR, August 7, 2017)
What are you hearing from voters?

HURD: Well, you hear a lot about veterans issues. I think this is a consistent theme that I've been hearing for the two and a half years that I've heard in Congress. You also hear that people want to see Congress actually work together to get things done. Let's try and send a D or R or whatever jersey you like to where and get things done for the American people. And it's good feedback because one of the reasons that I think Congress has such a low approval rating is that, sometimes, what we talk about up in Washington, D.C., is different than what people talk about at home. And that's why I crisscrossed these 29 counties that I represent. It takes 10 and a half hours to drive across my district.

GREENE: Well, let me ask you, if I can, about one issue where there seems to be a movement towards Republicans and Democrats working together. And that's health care. Although, I'm sure you have some Republican voters who were very adamant about wanting the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare - repealed and replaced as quickly as possible. And you made a difficult decision to vote against that repeal and replace plan in the House. Do some voters think you broke a promise to them?

HURD: No, because the reality is I always focus on the outcome. You know, sometimes, in political competitions, we only talk about the tactic. And so I've always said, who cares what the verb is before Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act? The outcome that we're trying to achieve is that, in the individual market, how do you increase access to and decrease cost of health care? And the the bright light is this plan that 20 Democrats, 20 Republicans have been working on in the House. Senate had some hearings on it before they left for the summer. And I think the only way we're going to solve some of these big problems is by working together. And what happens is a lot of people haven't heard of that in my district.
Emphasis mine. Remember that Hurd voted against AHCA, possibly in part because he's in "a consistent swing district." For a fun look back at AHCA, here's How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill, so you can see who else voted no besides all the Dems. The Tuesday Group, an informal caucus of approximately 50 moderate Republican House Reps featured heavily in the No votes with 12 of the 20, but there were another 32 or so who voted Yes.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:01 PM on August 7 [13 favorites]


I don't have the expertise or knowledge to judge whether this was or is a good thing to have done

I'd imagine it was accidental, but it's certainly not a bad thing when you consider that by 'tackle' Erdogan almost certainly intends something far closer to ethnic cleansing.

Guessing it's been posted before, but this Rolling Stone article is a good intro to the YPG, even though the primary focus is on the anarchist/anti-fa international brigade fighting alongside them.
posted by Buntix at 1:04 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


arguing that it was a Civil War term that Hatch learned in his Civil War youth.

Which side did Hatch fight for?

Roundheads.


Saints
posted by The Tensor at 1:17 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


And we didn't attack any other country which acquired nukes since 1945 just because they acquired nukes, including the USSR, which was much more threatening in its posture toward us than North Korea.

After the USSR gained the ability to nuke America, Mutually Assured Destruction came into play. North Korea does not yet have the ability to nuke America.

North Korea's rhetoric is more violent than the USSR's rhetoric ever was. Of course, rhetoric is not action. But confidence in a country sticking to a stable and sustainable path of action derives from confidence in stable and predictable leadership. In the long term, the DPRK is anything but stable and predictable. It's possible that allowing the DPRK to gain the ability to nuke Alaska in the hope that they will never exercise that ability is the least-terrible option. It could also be the most-terrible option. It's very worrying to me.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:19 PM on August 7


I'm just some dude and I don't know what should be done about North Korea but I'm pretty sure I know better than the President does. So hopefully he doesn't... do... anything.

You can sub in any noun you like for 'North Korea' and the same sentiment applies
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:21 PM on August 7 [26 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I know better than the President does.
I've run this over in my head repeatedly, and while I think most above the age of 13 could handle
reading, mapping and entering any nuclear attack plan codes from the binder, I don't think he could manage it.
posted by rc3spencer at 1:32 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


North Korea does not yet have the ability to nuke America.

I think the problem is we don't know that that's true, and won't know when it becomes true. They're much farther along than the speculative progression from 5 or even 2 years ago suggested.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:41 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]




And that's why I crisscrossed these 29 counties that I represent. It takes 10 and a half hours to drive across my district.

And if that's not a reason for increasing the number of House Representatives...
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:46 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


I've run this over in my head repeatedly, and while I think most above the age of 13 could handle
reading, mapping and entering any nuclear attack plan codes from the binder, I don't think he could manage it.


Who would have thought that Trump's limited attention span could end up saving the world.
posted by nathan_teske at 1:48 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]




North Korea does not yet have the ability to nuke America.

I think that is questionable.

North Korea's rhetoric is more violent than the USSR's rhetoric ever was.

I think that is very questionable. They sure never promised not to use all those nuclear arms they were racing against us to build. They tried to install some in Cuba. And unlike North Korea they were an expansionist empire.

In the long term, the DPRK is anything but stable and predictable.

I think that is questionable too. Everything I've read suggests that Kim Jong Un is rational. He is developing nukes as a deterrent against American regime change ambitions to preserve his personal power. As long as we don't threaten that, he is very unlikely to use them. (Sucks for North Koreans, though, who are treated as his personal property. Stalin sucked for Russians too. Famine and brutal repression in both cases.)

Now the question is what we should do if North Korea tries to make a move against South Korea. For the moment South Koreans seem less worried about that possibility than about the fallout of a nuclear war in their back yard should we provoke Kim Jong Un.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:50 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump:
The Fake News Media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council's 15-0 vote in favor of sanctions on N. Korea!
[ed. note: CNN did multiple segments on this topic as he was tweeting]
How much longer will the failing nytimes, with its big losses and massive unfunded liability (and non-existent sources), remain in business?
I think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam, where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there
It's raining, so he's not golfing, and the President is Mad On The Internet again.
posted by zachlipton at 1:55 PM on August 7 [44 favorites]


It takes 10 and a half hours to drive across my district.

Welcome to Texas GOP gerrymandering. Yes, his district includes a lot of nothing in West Texas, but it's also stretched to include parts of San Antonio and El Paso, both blue-leaning areas. The reason it's a swing district is because the Valley and both those cities are heavily Latino. But surely, rather than require a congressman to drive 10 hours to visit his entire district, they could just make a nice squareish sort of area or a thicker area around the border instead of trying to include blue areas 800 miles apart. And this isn't even one of the more problematic districts. Why, oh, why did anyone ever think putting the elected officials in charge of who got to elect them was a good idea?
posted by threeturtles at 1:56 PM on August 7 [30 favorites]


Ugh, is his tweeting really just because it's raining? I was hoping for upcoming scoop o'clock. But it's already almost past five on the east coast.
posted by yasaman at 1:59 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Anybody with a nuke has the ability to nuke America. You can load it in a cargo container and ship into right into Long Beach Harbor. They probably don't yet have the ability to hit the US with a nuclear ICBM but that's not the same thing as not being able to nuke America.
posted by Justinian at 2:00 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


How much longer will the failing nytimes, with its big losses and massive unfunded liability (and non-existent sources), remain in business?

The New York Times has been profitable for years. Is it possible the President is someone who tells lies????
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:04 PM on August 7 [35 favorites]


How much longer will the failing nytimes, with its big losses and massive unfunded liability (and non-existent sources), remain in business?
I think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam, where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there
There was controversy in 2010, during his senate campaign, when The New York Times reported that Blumenthal misspoke on at least one occasion about his service[...]
"The NYT is unreliable!" NEXT TWEET: "Hey, check out this old NYT article!"

(tl;dr: On no less than two occasions, the Senator said he served "in Vietnam" instead of "during Vietnam." Lock him up, amirite?)

(Also, it's a great place to vacation. Is Trump under the impression that the war's still raging?)
posted by Sys Rq at 2:09 PM on August 7 [23 favorites]


Fair enough, Trump. You get your investigation of Blumenthal and Obama and Hillary and the lying media together, get them on the stand and under oath, and we get to do the same to you. That work?
posted by Rykey at 2:21 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Also, it's a great place to vacation. Is Trump under the impression that the war's still raging?

Venereal Diseases still exist so Trump's personal Vietnam War has never ended.
posted by srboisvert at 2:21 PM on August 7 [25 favorites]


How's the bone spur Mr. Twoscoops?
posted by petebest at 2:24 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]




DavidMarkDC: This @davidhawkings column explains Trump's obsession with Sen. R. Blumenthal (D-CT). Goes back to NYC real estate.

Perhaps more importantly, both are central figures in families that have amassed enormous fortunes in the world of prestige Manhattan real estate. For many years, Trump’s principal competitors included enterprises controlled by Peter Malkin, whose daughter Cynthia has been married to Blumenthal for 35 years. (Her riches have made him one of the dozen richest members of Congress every year since his arrival, with a minimum net worth of $67 million as he cruised to re-election last year.)

The future president and the future senator’s father-in-law were even antagonists in one of the premier New York property battles of recent vintage, over the convoluted ownership structure for the Empire State Building, with ended in 2002 with Trump claiming to have wrested a $15 million profit mainly at Malkin’s expense.


Everything comes back to Manhattan real estate and how Trump was always the junior partner except when he was an outright laughingstock.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:31 PM on August 7 [49 favorites]


Meanwhile, resourceful MAGA-hatted researchers are busy untangling the sinister web of Deep State/Mainstream News collusion:
McMaster Deputy’s Husband Works For Reporter Maggie Haberman’s Mom (real; not consciously satire)
posted by neroli at 2:37 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


Lock him up, amirite?

no but also don't make it a serious argument by pretending he didn't "mislead," if you want to be nicer than "lied" but not as willfully excusing of it as "misspoke." does it disqualify him from being a senator? nope. from criticizing Trump about anything, including Trump's own much more numerous and much more serious lies and his own lack of any kind of service and misuse of the armed forces? nope.

everyone should ignore rehashes of this because it's old news and was never that big a deal; nobody voted for him because they thought he was an exciting war hero and/or killer of men and it was all publicized and clarified years and years ago. T mentioning it is an honest-to-god distraction such as we hear tell of in legends. it did actually happen, though. this is true even though I believe the only response anyone should bother to make to Republicans dredging it up is "everybody knows; nobody cares."
posted by queenofbithynia at 2:49 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


> Everything comes back to Manhattan real estate...

That might as well be the tagline for this entire Democracy Souls clusterfucking nightmare.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 2:51 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


The office of management and budget - my memory is a high profile loss of data there.

Though I never actually worked for the US Government, as a research contractor dealing with human subjects, I was forced by some byzantine regulation to be registered as an employee so they could do a background check on me using government resources. That led to me being victimized by the theft of my data from the OPM along with 22 million others.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:57 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


That might as well be the tagline for this entire Democracy Souls clusterfucking nightmare.

Damn, that's an excellent way to frame this, because G-d knows I've seen a bunch of game over screens since the Republican primary ended.

Media and US voters for the most part let Trump get away with a long list of stuff they've straight up killed Democratic politicians for: YOU DIED

Mainstream US media can't bring itself to outright say Trump was pure garbage in all the debates and lost: YOU DIED

People keep debating HRC's likability: YOU DIED

Election Night, every single goddamn time Trump won a state: YOU DIED

Pretty much every time he's opened his mouth since Jan 20: YOU DIED

I don't even want to think about what New Game+ is going to be like. And Trump's just a casul!
posted by lord_wolf at 3:06 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


They tried to install some in Cuba.

After the US installed some in Turkey. Removing them was the tradeoff for the Soviet Union removing their missiles from Cuba.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:06 PM on August 7 [11 favorites]


Anthem is withdrawing from ObamaCare in Nevada
Anthem’s decision to exit Nevada’s exchanges comes after uncertainty over the continuation of funding for cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or reimbursements to insurers for discounted care provided to low income individuals, caused the insurer to warn late last month of reduced participation in 2018.
And that's it. They've done it. They've broken the individual market. 8,000 people without coverage they can't even buy. Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine counties, and Carson City all have no individual market insurers in 2018. Trump didn't even have to sign a single EO.

This is pretty much the first in a set of dominos and if the Republicans have any sense of strategy this will be the only thing they ever refer to in regards to healthcare. If we had a Democratic trifecta in Nevada the solution would be (relatively) simple, let the public buy into Medicaid on the individual market in 2018. An insurer of last resort. Maybe the Democratic legislature can get Sandoval to buy into a plan like that but I don't think it'll happen as he vetoed it before.

The battle to save some semblance of healthcare just got infinitely harder with the constant "WE TOLD YOU SO!" from the Republican caucus. This is despite the insurers pulling out because they don't want to have to deal with the shitheel in chief's temper tantrums.
posted by Talez at 3:09 PM on August 7 [46 favorites]


MetaFilter: certified 100% wad-free
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:13 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


gif of dying to the Anor Londo archers, but replace the "YOU DIED" text with "BUT HER EMAILS"
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:16 PM on August 7 [9 favorites]


Um, apparently the evangelicals want to yell at the Pope for Trump? That seems not particularly normal. WaPo, Michelle Boorstein: Trump’s evangelical advisers want a meeting with Pope Francis over controversial article
President Trump’s evangelical advisory board is asking Pope Francis for meetings with him and other high-level Vatican officials to discuss “efforts to divide evangelicals and Catholics.”

The request comes a few weeks after two of Francis’s closest allies published an extremely critical article about the shared political activism of conservative evangelicals and Catholics, saying it has “an ideology of conquest.”

The piece attracted wide attention because of the connection that the authors — an Italian Catholic priest and an Argentine Presbyterian pastor — have to the pope and because of its range: It disparaged everything from conservative evangelicalism and prosperity gospel to the popular idea that the United States is blessed by God. It was published mid-July in the influential Rome-based Jesuit publication La Civilta Cattolica.
It seems like every other day, there's an even crueler, more barbaric story about something ICE is doing. Today's is horrifying. Harford Currant: ICE Accused of Using Children To Arrest Undocumented Parents
An undocumented immigrant from West Haven has been arrested by federal immigration agents in Connecticut and activists say the man’s 9-year-old son was used “as bait” to lure the immigrant in so he could be taken into custody.

A lawyer for Mynor Espinoza, the undocumented immigrant arrested June 5, said Friday that asking parents to sign federal documents for their children in order to arrest the parents appears to be a new and disturbing tactic by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Connecticut.
...
His 9-year-old son, a fourth child who was not born in the country, is also undocumented and was picked up about a year ago attempting to enter the U.S. unaccompanied. Federal officials turned the boy over to his father after Espinoza promised to bring the child to any scheduled immigration hearings and to cooperate with requests from ICE officials.

Rodriguez said Espinoza was requested to come to ICE offices in Hartford to sign some papers for his son, and was immediately arrested when he did so and transferred to detention in Massachusetts.

Rodriguez said Espinoza has no criminal record in the U.S. and that he was fleeing persecution in Guatemala and would face “imminent danger” if forced to return there.
Brian Beutler: Democrats, Don’t Raise the Debt Limit. Democrats should hold firm and demand that Republicans abolish the debt limit rather than bail them out yet again, or at least take some of the sting out of it by allowing the President to raise it unilaterally, subject to Congressional disapproval. It's a dangerous game of chicken, and I'm not sold, but worth reading.

Sen. Schatz replies that he's drafted a bill to eliminate the debit limit entirely and will file it when the Senate comes back into session.

Connor Wroe Southard, Paste: How Should We Write About Trump Voters? Answer: Don't.
The GOP agenda under Trump is basically what it would have been under Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, only with more chaotic news cycles and instantly lower approval ratings. The Matt Pattersons of the world didn’t create this reality—that would be the Charles Kochs and Sheldon Adelsons—but they do know how to keep it going. One way to keep the oligarchic agenda humming along is to give it an aesthetic of rugged authenticity. Trump does that very well, and he gets a lot of media help. It may be impossible to write a Trump Voter piece, however careful, that doesn’t end up doing the work of making age-old robber baron politics look like an Andrew Wyeth painting come to life. We should probably stop trying.

There are lots of worthwhile things we could learn about life in Redding, California or rural Colorado or anywhere else with especially reactionary politics. Everyone quoted in Hessler’s piece had something to say about their home. The frustrating thing about Trump Voter pieces is not that they reduce whole regions to politics; it’s that they reduce those politics to Trump. If voting for Trump was such a convulsive act in Grand Junction, then is it also true that if Hillary Clinton were president, life there would be noticeably different? Trump Voter pieces mostly don’t seem interested in that kind of question. There might be hand-waves at NAFTA and industrial decay and opiates and wealth being sucked into big cities. Why is any of that happening? Who benefits? Can we do anything about it? I guess we could look ruefully out our windows at the world we share with Trump Voters.
Dean Obeidallah, Daily Beast: Anti-Muslim Violence Is Everywhere—Except in the American Media: "Saturday’s bombing of a Minnesota mosque was just one violent incident in a long string of them. When will they get the attention they deserve?"

DOJ filed an update in the Franciscan Alliance case (suit challenging federal regulations that prohibit federally funded health care entities from discriminating, including discrimination against trans people and those seeking reproductive care) that says that they are reviewing revisions to the anti-discrimination regulations and that they anticipate them being posted for comment in the future. So that's just a whole new way this administration could hurt people.

Reupping from April, Chris Moody's The time I went to summer camp with the future mini-Trump, in which the author attended mock government camp with Stephen Miller:
A lanky young man who looked serious beyond his years, Miller began by shouting his case for why we should make him our leader. Roaring at the top of his lungs while he paced across the grass, Miller took us by surprise when he called for a fierce campaign of espionage against our neighboring counties.

Unlike his competitors, Miller didn't speak in clichéd generalities. He had a plan. He declared that he would organize a "black ops" force to spy on and infiltrate the other counties in an effort to -- I suppose? -- sabotage them. To Miller, the other boys in the camp weren't here to cooperate in the spirit of forming a more perfect union, but were to be dominated. They weren't "us." They were the enemy.

His raucous speech was a tremendous success. Miller knew his voting base: A hoard of testosterone-fueled teenage boys itching for something to believe in, even if it was just made up. Miller whipped us into a frenzy, and the crowd, myself included, cheered on the ridiculousness.
...
Miller was elected with a resounding majority.

It wasn't long, however, before some of us began to question our decision to elect someone merely for the shock value. At a county meeting later that week, Miller was involved in an incident that quickly spread around campus. He stood to his feet and, in a rage, yelled and flipped over a table, which crashed in front of him. The room fell silent. No one knew what to think.
This happened a few months after Miller ran for student government on a platform of everyone being slobs because the school employed janitors.

Marketwatch reports on a University of Missouri study of how much people trust various news sources. People trust the Economist, public television, and Reuters. The New York Times does as well as the Kansas City Star, NBC and CNN as well as Drudge. Bringing up the bottom: Infowars, Trump himself, "Social Media," Breitbart, BuzzFeed, and the least trusted: Occupy Democrats. Unfair to BuzzFeed tbh.

And finally, Eric Trump is pleased to learn (indeed, it "made [his] week") from @UberFacts that you can buy bags of Lucky Charms marshmallows without the cereal.
posted by zachlipton at 3:22 PM on August 7 [37 favorites]


Putting on the grift:

Assuming he is impeached or resigned, what would that do to his well – funded 2020 reelection campaign? He could still run it until 2020, right? I mean seriously, is there anything in the bylines that says you can file for running for election if you aren't technically in eligible to run?
posted by tilde at 3:23 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


And finally, Eric Trump is pleased to learn (indeed, it "made [his] week") from @UberFacts that you can buy bags of Lucky Charms marshmallows without the cereal.


I'm just imaging the sound and mouth feel of eating that and I want to run screaming down the street to get it out of my brainmeat
posted by tilde at 3:26 PM on August 7 [11 favorites]


"President Trump’s evangelical advisory board is asking Pope Francis for meetings with him and other high-level Vatican officials to discuss “efforts to divide evangelicals and Catholics.”"

WOULD THAT BE THE WEDGE WHERE YOUR LEADERS SPENT SEVERAL DECADES INSISTING CATHOLICS AREN'T CHRISTIANS AND WE'RE ALL GOING TO HELL? THAT WEDGE?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:26 PM on August 7 [91 favorites]


I mean seriously, is there anything in the bylines that says you can file for running for election if you aren't technically in eligible to run?

Why would he be ineligible? I don't think impeachment means you can't run for office again. (Difference office, but see Roy Moore as an example). The list of qualifications to run for President doesn't seem to prohibit it, nor does the impeachment clause seem to deal with it one way or the other.
posted by thefoxgod at 3:27 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


That's how I read it. And the grift goes on ...
posted by tilde at 3:30 PM on August 7


And finally, Eric Trump is pleased to learn (indeed, it "made [his] week") from @UberFacts that you can buy bags of Lucky Charms marshmallows without the cereal.

Progression of acts necessary to give a fleeting thrill to sociopathic aristocrats:

1) pay $200,000 to kill an elephant
2) hunt human beings on private island
3) attempt to create a racist subterranean realm of degenerate slavebeasts a la Lovecraft's The Rats in The Walls
4) eat handfuls of Lucky Charms marshmallows without the crumbs of cereal that your Charms Sorting Boy always leaves behind with his chilblained little peasant fingers
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:34 PM on August 7 [43 favorites]


"President Trump’s evangelical advisory board is asking Pope Francis for meetings with him and other high-level Vatican officials to discuss “efforts to divide evangelicals and Catholics.”"

WOULD THAT BE THE WEDGE WHERE YOUR LEADERS SPENT SEVERAL DECADES INSISTING CATHOLICS AREN'T CHRISTIANS AND WE'RE ALL GOING TO HELL? THAT WEDGE?


I have a quick & easy way to heal the Catholic-Evangelical divide: join the traditions of the Church, accept the seven sacraments, recognize transubstantiation, and follow the apostolic succession.

Easy!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:39 PM on August 7 [24 favorites]


I received a giant bag of dehydrated mini marshmallows as part of my Quonsmas gift. They're gone now.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:43 PM on August 7 [13 favorites]


I mean seriously, is there anything in the bylines that says you can file for running for election if you aren't technically in eligible to run?

Congress can prevent an impeached president from running again, but they are not required to.
posted by dilaudid at 3:45 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Uhhhh.

@Scaramucci: We take the subject of cocaine and its use very seriously in my family. This is worth a listen. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-motivation-inside-tmi/id1100017220?mt=2&i=1000376333151

[link is to his podcast, which doesn't seem to have been updated since November's episode with Wilbur Ross]

I...I think most of us were already aware of just how serious he takes the subject?
posted by zachlipton at 4:12 PM on August 7 [27 favorites]


Congress can prevent an impeached president from running again, but they are not required to.

How is that? I'm curious.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:14 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


@Scaramucci: We take the subject of cocaine and its use very seriously in my family.

That's gotta be a hack.
posted by diogenes at 4:31 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


How is that? I'm curious.

Here's an overview.
posted by dilaudid at 4:35 PM on August 7


How is that? I'm curious.

It's written in the constitution:
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
posted by Talez at 4:36 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


> That's gotta be a hack.

Former hack -- he lost his job recently.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:37 PM on August 7 [62 favorites]


Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States

That sure sounds to me like he can't be President again.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:42 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


That sure sounds to me like he can't be President again.

Only if the senate votes to disqualify (simple majority) along with convict.
posted by Talez at 4:48 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


How is that? I'm curious.

Here's an overview.
posted by dilaudid at 4:35 PM on August 7 [+] [!]


Thanks, hydromorphone!
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:05 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Gee, that Scaramucci guy sure is good at communications.
posted by threeturtles at 5:05 PM on August 7 [9 favorites]


Link

President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club needs to hire 35 waiters for this winter’s social season in Palm Beach, Fla.

Late last month, the club placed an ad on page C8 of the Palm Beach Post, crammed full of tiny print laying out the job experience requirements in classified ad shorthand. “3 mos recent & verifiable exp in fine dining/country club,” the ad said. “No tips.”

The ad gave no email address or phone number. “Apply by fax,” it said. The ad also provided a mailing address. It ran twice, then never again.



Resist bot needs that fax number IMHO.
posted by tilde at 5:06 PM on August 7 [38 favorites]


Someone impeached could run again if Senate didn't bar it - but in the meantime, he'd be subject to the chance of civil and criminal prosecution for whatever activities caused the impeachment.

And anyone running against him, primaries or later, would have an easy time with meme-like talking points: "where's all that winning we were supposed to get tired of? Why should anyone believe you'd do better the next time around?"
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:09 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


“Apply by fax,” it said.

so how many waitrons have fax machines? (and no tips???)
posted by pyramid termite at 5:10 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


"My family has cocaine traditions"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:19 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


so how many waitrons have fax machines?

All of them ... if you are represented by a H1-B foreign contract mill.
posted by JackFlash at 5:21 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


“Apply by fax,” it said.

so how many waitrons have fax machines? (and no tips???)


UPS store, Publix, Office Depot, Post Office, Staples. $3.00 or so.
posted by tilde at 5:21 PM on August 7


UPS store, Publix, Office Depot, Post Office, Staples. $3.00 or so.

Gotta spend money to be a denied job!
posted by Talez at 5:23 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


oh, yeah, fedex kinko's too - but that's a pain ... i'm too old to get it i guess
posted by pyramid termite at 5:28 PM on August 7


You'll be shocked to know Trump lied about something: Trump Made Up His Story About the 21 Club Renovation, Former Owner and CEO Say.
posted by waitingtoderail at 5:30 PM on August 7 [23 favorites]


DOJ flips on SCOTUS purge case
Today, DOJ said that Ohio’s purge is fine. But as the brief itself notes, that’s not what DOJ said last year, either in amicus participation in a Georgia federal trial court or in the 6th Circuit version of this very case. (As mentioned, I was involved.) It’s quite rare for the DOJ to change course after a filing a brief in the court of appeals: the Solicitor General’s office is often called the “Tenth Justice,” in part because while reversals happen, there’s a thumb on the scale to treat DOJ filings with some internal quasi-precedential weight.

And the brief is also notable for another reason: the signature block shows no participation from career civil rights attorneys.


That's the Sessions DOJ explicitly reversing course from challenging voter suppression purges, to arguing voter suppression is intended under the Voter Registration Act.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:46 PM on August 7 [58 favorites]


the Sessions DOJ explicitly reversing course from challenging voter suppression purges, arguing voter suppression is intended under the Voter Registration Act.

And away we go...
posted by Rykey at 6:10 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


A CNN poll finds 74% of Americans don't trust most of what the White House claims in official communications, while 38% approve of the job Trump is doing as president; meaning at least 12% of Americans believe that Trump lies most of the time, but that he is doing a good job. Now That's What I Call Nihilism!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:18 PM on August 7 [37 favorites]


While the Venezuela military isn't a monolithic entity that completely backs Maduro, the generals in the army, the armed forces in - collectively have been given enormous powers over the economy.

What kind of third-rate country hands over their government to a bunch of generals?

Oh, wait ...
posted by JackFlash at