"My family and I can't live in good intentions, Marge!"
October 3, 2017 6:27 PM   Subscribe

 
unceasingsuffering tag game is strong.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:28 PM on October 3 [47 favorites]


Politico: Pence’s chief of staff floats ‘purge’ of anti-Trump Republicans to wealthy donors -- Nick Ayers urges donors to ‘form a coalition’ to take on GOP leaders and members who don’t back the president.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:33 PM on October 3 [8 favorites]


Gonna repeat my link from the very end of the last thread, because it's too good.

Ginsburg Slaps Gorsuch in Gerrymandering Case
Gorsuch went on to give his colleagues a civics lecture about the text of the Constitution. “And where exactly do we get authority to revise state legislative lines? When the Constitution authorizes the federal government to step in on state legislative matters, it’s pretty clear—if you look at the Fifteenth Amendment, you look at the Nineteenth Amendment, the Twenty-sixth Amendment, and even the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 2.” In other words, Gorsuch was saying, why should the Court involve itself in the subject of redistricting at all—didn’t the Constitution fail to give the Court the authority to do so?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is bent with age, can sometimes look disengaged or even sleepy during arguments, and she had that droopy look today as well. But, in this moment, she heard Gorsuch very clearly, and she didn’t even raise her head before offering a brisk and convincing dismissal. In her still Brooklyn-flecked drawl, she grumbled, “Where did ‘one person, one vote’ come from?” There might have been an audible woo that echoed through the courtroom. (Ginsburg’s comment seemed to silence Gorsuch for the rest of the arguments.)
posted by threeturtles at 6:33 PM on October 3 [207 favorites]


I badly wanted to fit the rest of the quote in the title: "Oh, your family's out of control, but we can't blame you, because you have goooood intentions!"
posted by Merus at 6:35 PM on October 3 [19 favorites]


"But I don't like this clown."
"Uh, I wouldn't take it down if I were you; it's a load-bearing presidential portrait."
posted by Sys Rq at 6:39 PM on October 3 [20 favorites]


Speaking of unceasing suffering, I found this article by (MeFi's own) John Scalzi about the complete drain on productivity that is our worst person in decades given office.

Ana Marie Cox likes to say how she's feeling "in Trump-adjusted terms" and that context will be with us forever.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:40 PM on October 3 [101 favorites]


Now We Are All Frank Grimes
posted by theodolite at 6:42 PM on October 3 [66 favorites]


I'd like to take this opportunity of being within the first 10 comments on one of these threads to say that you all are my lifeline in these trying times and that everything just sucks so much. But I have hope! Tiny, wondrous hope!
posted by numaner at 6:43 PM on October 3 [61 favorites]


Regarding Scalzi's post about writing productivity: His tweet linking to the post was followed by a long, long list of authors who all said, "Oh my god, me, too."

And for the record: Me, too.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:44 PM on October 3 [58 favorites]


CNN, Manu Raju, Dylan Byers and Dana Bash, Exclusive: Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin
A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump's victory last November, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

Some of the Russian ads appeared highly sophisticated in their targeting of key demographic groups in areas of the states that turned out to be pivotal, two of the sources said. The ads employed a series of divisive messages aimed at breaking through the clutter of campaign ads online, including promoting anti-Muslim messages, sources said.

It has been unclear until now exactly which regions of the country were targeted by the ads. And while one source said that a large number of ads appeared in areas of the country that were not heavily contested in the elections, some clearly were geared at swaying public opinion in the most heavily contested battlegrounds.
...
One person with direct knowledge of the matter said that some of the ads were aimed at reaching voters who may be susceptible to anti-Muslim messages, even suggesting that Muslims were a threat to the American way of life. Such messaging could presumably appeal to voters attracted to Trump's hard-line stance against immigration and calls to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

Schiff said that the committee was planning to investigate ads that suggested Muslims supported Clinton, and how those were geared to people who had been searching online for the Muslim Brotherhood and other items to suggest they were critical of Islam.
This is vague, and some of the ads were apparently not targeted to swing states at all, but the White House response of sticking their fingers in their ears and pretending they can't hear any of this is conspicuous.
posted by zachlipton at 6:44 PM on October 3 [36 favorites]


With 33 of 71 districts reporting in the Birmingham mayoral election, progressive challenger Randall Woodfin is looking good with 62% of the vote.
posted by duffell at 6:49 PM on October 3 [17 favorites]


The author productivity thing is funny for me, because this year, for the first time in almost a decade, I've started writing again. I've got most of a novel done and I've produced easily 100,000 words of fanfiction (in addition to the original novel.) That's INSANE for me. It started as desperately needing an escape from all this (and is very fluffy and self-indulgent fiction.) (Although focusing...yeah. I have 4 current WIPs.)

Sorry for the aside. But basically my life right now is these threads and writing.
posted by threeturtles at 6:50 PM on October 3 [45 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

GOP HOLD in the special in Mississippi House 102, 68-32. I don't have presidential comparable to hand, but the district voted R for this seat last fall, 73-27.

Good result by the D just to get to the runoff (there were multiple Rs in the first round).
posted by Chrysostom at 6:52 PM on October 3 [9 favorites]


On the upside, at least Trump threw paper towels and not D batteries.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:58 PM on October 3 [19 favorites]


Fuck yeah, threeturtles. You grab that productivity and run with it like you stole it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:59 PM on October 3 [59 favorites]


Exclusive: Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin

The question is still who fed them voter targeting info. Anyone could've read a map of the electoral college, but if they had lists of individual swing voters in specific districts? Someone helped them. It was Jared Kushner.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:00 PM on October 3 [42 favorites]


Interesting McClatchy article about how things are going at the ACLU. Membership quadrupled after the election, and fundraising is about 20 times what it was in a normal year. They're using the money to go on the offense for things like voting rights.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:02 PM on October 3 [84 favorites]


And every new detail that comes out about Facebook's culpability should give us double the hope, both for what it shows about Trump campaign collusion, and that much harder for Zuckerberg to keep showing up "randomly" at Iowa county fairs. Lets hope being an accomplice to foreign interference is preculsive of a technodouche-2020 run.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:04 PM on October 3 [31 favorites]


Can I just say Fuck You Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's inception was predicated on creeping on girls at college. Now you're complicit in throwing an election. Are you happy? Are your parents proud of you sleazeball self-serving greedy, exploiting piece of shit.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:09 PM on October 3 [144 favorites]


Gorsuch went on to give his colleagues a civics lecture about the text of the Constitution

I said it during his confirmation hearing and I’ll say it again: Jesus Christ what a smarmy asshole he is. Ugh.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:09 PM on October 3 [36 favorites]


I wonder if that will backfire on him a bit. Kennedy has been there for umpteen years, he's not looking to be lectured by some little shit.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:11 PM on October 3 [60 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** NJ gov -- Monmouth poll has Murphy up 51-37. That's slightly narrower than other polls, but still a very healthy lead.

** 2018 House -- Noted in the other thread, PA-18 GOP congressman Tim Murphy is in hot water after it came out that he pushed his mistress to have an abortion. Murphy has been very vocally pro-life, so this is not so great for his brand. This would be a tough district for the Dems - it went Trump 58-39, but this greatly increases the chance of Murphy being primaried, if nothing else.

** Odds & ends -- New Pew survey finds Republicans down on the party's future. In December, 79% were optimistic about it, now that is down to 59%. College educated people had the greatest drop.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:14 PM on October 3 [29 favorites]


“Pro-Life” Congressman Caught Telling His Extramarital Boo to Get an Abortion -"Rep. Tim Murphy, a vocally anti-abortion congressman from Pennsylvania, asked his own girlfriend to terminate a pregnancy this year.
According to documents obtained by the Post-Gazette, Shannon Edwards—a Pittsburgh woman exactly half Murphy’s age with whom he recently admitted to having an extramarital affair—"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:16 PM on October 3 [61 favorites]



Regarding Scalzi's post about writing productivity: His tweet linking to the post was followed by a long, long list of authors who all said, "Oh my god, me, too."

And for the record: Me, too..


To paraphrase President Obama after the election;

You’re allowed to drink to excess for a year, maybe weed if you really need it, but after that we need to brush ourselves off and get back to work.

Hmm, I it looks like I may have misremembered some details.

“I was telling my team you’re allowed to mope for week and a half, maybe two weeks if you really need it," he continued. "But after that, we gotta brush ourselves off and get back to work."

posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:17 PM on October 3 [69 favorites]


Gonna repeat my link from the very end of the last thread, because it's too good.

Gonna repeat my favorite too because the link is so good!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:20 PM on October 3 [17 favorites]


Gorsuch is the kid who graduated high school early and tested out of freshman level requirements, who thinks he's the first person in history to think of every idea and has to share it with the upper level class, while everyone else just wants him to shut the fuck up and let the teacher talk.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:21 PM on October 3 [126 favorites]


Vox's podcast "The Weeds" had an episode about Puerto Rico's many crises, and another episode today about Australia's gun control. They're really good with details and I found the PR episode really helpful.

The Ezra Klein podcast had an episode "How the Republican Party created Donald Trump" and it's just some Congressional scholars talking about their book, but it did me good to hear them talk about how much Mitch McConnell is at fault for this. Like, I keep telling myself I shouldn't simplify politics down to just one person. But McConnell has personally made this country worse with his own two hands.

Sorry if that's too shilly. The only way I can engage with politics anymore is podcasts while I'm exercising.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:22 PM on October 3 [17 favorites]


I thought The Weeds episode on gun control was extraordinarily bad. Matt Yglesias essentially trolled the other two hosts for half an hour.
posted by Automocar at 7:27 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


Elon. I'm thrilled you're on-track to re-make a First World power grid with reliability and economy in mind in South Australia.

Puerto Rico really needs you, here. Look at it as a loss-leader, as every other developing country, like the Continental United States, will need your solar roofs and powerwalls, and if you prove it works here...

Man, I'm just a New Englander. I shouldn't care about Puerto Rico, as it's so far away, and the people are so unlike me.

But they are Americans. If there is one defining trait that makes us so dangerous and powerful, it's that We Leave No One Behind. It's not just suffering, it's Americans suffering, when we have the power to prevent it.

Elon, please, talk with Jeff, talk with Tim, talk with Bill, talk with Satya, talk with Warren. The USA is doing its best to fend of a junta, and will be of no help. Invest here, please, please, please. There's so much capital sloshing around, invest it here, please?

And now I need to take a long hot shower with a scoop of laundry detergent. Worth it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:30 PM on October 3 [33 favorites]


After the inauguration, I told an older friend that election night had felt like my generation's 9/11, but I was embarrassed to say so because I thought I was being hyperbolic and ridiculous. I don't feel that way anymore.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:30 PM on October 3 [96 favorites]


showbiz_liz: I'd give it a 1/3 to 2/3 chance we have civil war, in which case 9/11 will be a footnote or prologue, like Bleeding Kansas
posted by hleehowon at 7:32 PM on October 3 [29 favorites]


Man, I'm just a New Englander. I shouldn't care about Puerto Rico, as it's so far away, and the people are so unlike me.

What is wrong with you?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:33 PM on October 3 [36 favorites]


MSNBC is reporting that the official death toll in Puerto Rico has gone up to 34. :(

“Pro-Life” Congressman Caught Telling His Extramarital Boo to Get an Abortion -"Rep. Tim Murphy, a vocally anti-abortion congressman from Pennsylvania, asked his own girlfriend to terminate a pregnancy this year.

There must be so, so, so many of these stories.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:34 PM on October 3 [15 favorites]


ActingTheGoat, I hope his comment just missed a /s tag. because otherwise, that's a prime example of "FUCK JOO GOT MINE KTHX,"

see also: low information voters.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:35 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


ELECTION RESULT

Randall Woodfin has defeated the incumbent in the mayoral race in Birmingham, AL. Woodfin was the progressive and backed by Bernie.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:36 PM on October 3 [76 favorites]


What is wrong with you?

1) I'm a human being

2) I am reminded daily that people who do not look or sound like me are dangerous. In movies, TV, comics, books...

3) The President of the United States of America says they're different, and lazy, and greedy.

4) You and yours are soaking in it, too.

5) Decency is not natural. It is a learned behavior. Sometimes we let it lapse.

6) Leave no-one behind. A little spark to keep the dark at bay. Just a little one.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:38 PM on October 3 [22 favorites]


It turns out that Infrastructure Week wasn’t an event, it was a warning:

INFRASTRUCTURE WEAK
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:40 PM on October 3 [84 favorites]


Election night 2016 was worse than 9/11 IMO. 9/11 had limited scope, in comparison. So did the anthrax attacks. Because no matter what, we were still pretty much invulnerable to large scale attack from anyone but ourselves.

And now the monster is us, we've turned on ourselves, and there is no limit to what can happen.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:41 PM on October 3 [70 favorites]


ActingTheGoat, I hope his comment just missed a /s tag. because otherwise, that's a prime example of "FUCK JOO GOT MINE KTHX,"

If I've internalized one thing over the past year it's that I no longer give white people the benefit of the doubt when they spout racist bullshit.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:50 PM on October 3 [20 favorites]


Pence’s chief of staff floats ‘purge’ of anti-Trump Republicans

Come at us bro.
posted by corb at 7:52 PM on October 3 [83 favorites]


I need to back up the conversation a few hours (I know that's like a decade in Trump years) but wait throwing paper towels? How did that seem like a good idea to anyone? So they could, what, soak up the remaining feet of water in their homes? Like it didn't even make a good photo opp. Help me understand this please. Use small words.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:52 PM on October 3 [15 favorites]


Tesla has already begun (Bloomberg, auto-play video warning) shipping Powerwall batteries over to Puerto Rico, so it's not off their radar. That said, it'd be a heck of a lot simpler if some over-arching governing body actually got around to taking care of its citizens.

On a related note, not everything needs a silver lining, 45. You're allowed to be sad sometimes. Sometimes life sucks. It doesn't need to secretly be a miracle. Grieve.
posted by Lykosidae at 7:53 PM on October 3 [9 favorites]


Help me understand this please. Use small words.

They're small and malleable, so they fit in his tiny hands.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:53 PM on October 3 [10 favorites]


Gorsuch went on to give his colleagues a civics lecture about the text of the Constitution

He's turning out to be the result of taking the worst of Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas and distilling it down to it's most pure evil essence. This guy is a toxic right wing libertarian bro mansplainer. His first term on the bench and he's lecturing the other justices like an earnest high school debater. I knew he was bad but I had no idea that he was world class epic bad. He's 50 years old and there for life.
posted by JackFlash at 7:55 PM on October 3 [73 favorites]


The screaming in my head about Puerto Rico hasn't stopped for 2 weeks. I expected better from our government. Like giant helicopters that are built to carry tanks airlifting food and water to the interior of the island. A massive mobilization for a month or two to get everything running again. It was obvious they were fucked as soon as the storm hit the island, and the recovery/rescue was obviously going to have to be massive.

It's been the opposite. Trump keeps saying the work in PR has been "incredible".

Yes, it's lacked any credibility whatsoever.
posted by hippybear at 7:55 PM on October 3 [26 favorites]


Hey everyone I just remembered that even though each day is worse than the one preceding it, each day ALSO brings us one day closer to the one where 45 dies on the toilet.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 7:59 PM on October 3 [86 favorites]


> There must be so, so, so many of these stories.

You mean like this post from 2006?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:00 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


No, I meant stories of rabidly anti-choice male politicians who ask or force their mistresses or flings to have abortions.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:05 PM on October 3 [8 favorites]


I expected better from our government. Like giant helicopters that are built to carry tanks airlifting food and water to the interior of the island. A massive mobilization for a month or two to get everything running again.

The thing is, this is one of the main things the US Military is good at. So the fact it hasn't happened, still isn't happening, speaks volumes.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:05 PM on October 3 [32 favorites]


Hey everyone I just remembered that even though each day is worse than the one preceding it, each day ALSO brings us one day closer to the one where 45 dies on the toilet.

You know, of all the comments I've read in all the Trump threads (and I have read them ALLLLLL, every comment - you are a brilliantly witty and well-informed bunch, and I thank you), this is somehow the most comforting statement I've yet seen - the reminder that death will come for us all, Trump sooner than most, and that Trump will almost certainly die on the toilet. What a perfect notion. Thank you, mrjohnmuller.
posted by Go Banana at 8:08 PM on October 3 [63 favorites]


The last two weeks have been really hard. I mentioned way back in the Irma thread (all of. . . one month ago) that my husband has family there - mostly older aunts and uncles, some younger cousins but I would guess that the average age of his relatives that are there are in their late 60's. A lot of the worry is the aunt who needs dialysis, but none of them are young, and they're all in the mountains near the center of the island.

We've heard from all but one uncle, they're all alive, the aunt on dialysis received a manual machine yesterday with the first set of supplies to reach their town. I know it could be worse, but we're all just bracing for some small thing to tip the balance and that ends it. Communication is still difficult. My family and our friends mean well, but they keep on pressing for details that we don't have - I've been doing most of the communicating out for us, but it's just a chorus of "We don't know, we don't know, we don't know."

My father-in-law is still trying to get plane tickets to go down with cash and make plans - we might end up taking someone in, but, well, Minnesota in winter isn't anyone's first choice. They're saying it's likely to be another three weeks - over a month since the hurricane hit, they'll be able to start making plans to maybe evacuate.

And then fucking Trump. It's like my mind slides off the thought of what he's been saying because it's so horrible that I can't process it and keep on going on with my day-to-day life. I simply cannot imagine someone being so horrible.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:09 PM on October 3 [52 favorites]


Does SCOTUS have any kind of tradition where the newest justice, I don't know, has to get everybody's coffee or some similar task or duty?

More importantly, how long until the other justices convince Gorsuch of such traditions?

(My personal favorite is that the younger member of the Lions rugby team is in charge of caring for a stuffed lion toy during the tour. Stuffie gavel for Gorsuch?)
posted by kalimac at 8:13 PM on October 3 [9 favorites]


Did everybody see where we voted against a UN resolution condemning the death penalty as a punishment for gay sex?

If you're not feeling sufficiently crazy, one thing you can do is read the list of countries we joined in voting against it.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:15 PM on October 3 [41 favorites]


Does SCOTUS have any kind of tradition where the newest justice, I don't know, has to get everybody's coffee or some similar task or duty?

WHY YES. YES THEY DO.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:16 PM on October 3 [54 favorites]


Perhaps the ban on foreign refugees was simply in anticipation of the coming waves of American refugees.
posted by zenon at 8:16 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


Does SCOTUS have any kind of tradition where the newest justice, I don't know, has to get everybody's coffee or some similar task or duty?

Amazingly, yes. The newest justice always serves on the cafeteria committee.
posted by Tsuga at 8:17 PM on October 3 [10 favorites]


Does SCOTUS have any kind of tradition where the newest justice, I don't know, has to get everybody's coffee or some similar task or duty?

Yes. The junior Justice has to serve on the cafeteria committee, take notes and speak last at their private conferences, and open the door whenever they meet and someone knocks.
posted by zachlipton at 8:17 PM on October 3 [15 favorites]


I hope being on the cafeteria committee makes Gorsuch just seethe inside and I hope he has to wear a shit eating smile while doing the scut-work of the other justices, that illegitimate shitty little twerp.
posted by supercrayon at 8:20 PM on October 3 [45 favorites]


I read something recently someplace that said "If there's a mass exodus from Puerto Rico, there's no chance Florida will ever be a Republican stronghold ever again."
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM on October 3 [15 favorites]


Yay for Birmingham, with Jackson that two southern cities with deeply progressive mayors - Atlanta next?

I basically lost a year of work on my Manuscript cause I'm not convinced it's worth my time and effort but organizing and showing up is. I heard the national office is behind on membership processing so I'm leading a small group of volunteers to show up on Friday and ...stuff envelopes. This is what fun is now.


I'm also hosting a fundraiser on Halloween and designed the poster
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 PM on October 3 [24 favorites]


Slap*Happy self-deprecating their ethical failing in misconstruable language aside,

The current environment could be an amazing opportunity for the truly rich to earn some goodwill/rebrand. Elon Musk, Jeff (Bezos?), Tim (some Apple guy?), Bill (Gates I presume), Satya (Nadella), talk Warren (I keep wanting to say Beatty, but Buffett).

I know Gates actually spends A Lot of his money on pretty decent stuff and I'm under the impression that the other billionaires say good progressive stuff sometimes. I'm not denigrating, I'm just ignorant/not exposed.

SpaceX and Tesla &al. is cool because rockets and starships, fancy cars*!

Transitioning an island with a population of 3.4 million completely to renewables is a little more difficult to brand, but a bold move that could possibly enshrine the backer(s) in The History Books. There have been many extraordinarily wealthy people, but history remembers heroes more fondly.

*(great to hear about the battery delivery to PR - donation? or are they going to charge someone?)
posted by porpoise at 8:24 PM on October 3 [9 favorites]


Did everybody see where we voted against a UN resolution condemning the death penalty as a punishment for gay sex?

No I did not see that.

Now that I read it this is doubly insane. It also condemned the death penalty for blasphemy, apostasy, etc. So it wasn't just a "gay rights" gesture. We're on record saying maybe that's OK though . . . .

Does anyone know if this vote means Nikki Haley herself actually voted on it? Or is it we delegate to someone else to vote on the Human Rights Commission?
posted by mark k at 8:30 PM on October 3 [4 favorites]


The Whelk: "Yay for Birmingham, with Jackson that two southern cities with deeply progressive mayors - Atlanta next?"

Vince Fort is the Bernie-backed candidate for Atlanta mayor. At this point, he doesn't look likely to make the runoff. I haven't really been following the race, so I'm not sure if there is anyone else good, though.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:31 PM on October 3


The White House Talking Points on Las Vegas.

Super fucking surreal to see this tweet underneath another one where a friend was taking a picture of the stairwell she and twenty other people hid in the night before. Things have been cutting too close lately, I can't compute.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:32 PM on October 3 [5 favorites]


The Las Vegas section of that memo has four talking points.

#1 - The president's thoughts and prayers are with the hundreds of victims who were killed and injured in this senseless act of violence.

#3 - All of those affected are in our thoughts and prayers.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:37 PM on October 3 [6 favorites]


Microgrids for the Caribbean?
For Caribbean islands plunged into darkness after hurricanes Irma and Maria, more resilient, small-scale electric systems powered by the sun are looking increasingly attractive. Transforming a grid, though, doesn’t come cheap... it would cost roughly $250 million to build about 90 megawatts of solar and storage across a chain of Caribbean islands. That’s enough to power an estimated 15,000 U.S. homes. While it may be sufficient for the Turks and Caicos, about a million households live in storm-battered and debt-ridden Puerto Rico...

Some funding efforts are under way. Earlier this month, the Energy Department said it was awarding as much as $50 million to its national laboratories to research technologies that would make the nation’s power grids more resilient. And even before Irma and Maria came along, the Rocky Mountain Institute had the hopes of leveraging $300 million in financing for energy projects on islands by 2020... Microgrid advocates say small systems that run on solar panels backed up by energy storage could help prevent widespread blackouts by steering dependence away from the antiquated, centralized systems islands now depend on.
cf. Quiet energy revolution underway in Japan as dozens of towns go off the grid
A northern Japanese city’s efforts to rebuild its electric power system after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami mark a quiet shift away from the country’s old utility model toward self-reliant, local generation and transmission.

After losing three-quarters of its homes and 1,100 people in the March 2011 temblor and tsunami, the city of Higashi Matsushima turned to the Japanese government’s “National Resilience Program,” with 3.72 trillion yen ($33.32 billion) in funding for this fiscal year, to rebuild.

The city of 40,000 chose to construct micro-grids and de-centralized renewable power generation to create a self-sustaining system capable of producing an average of 25 percent of its electricity without the need of the region’s local power utility.

The city’s steps illustrate a massive yet little known effort to take dozens of Japan’s towns and communities off the power grid and make them partly self-sufficient in generating electricity... the Program has spurred the creation of micro-grids and distributed power generation across Japan that reduces municipalities dependence on large power plants.

Japan’s government ministries are seeking to raise the budget for the Program by another 24 percent for the fiscal year starting in April 2018, the cabinet office said last month. The money earmarked for this fiscal year is going in part to the creation of smart energy management systems and distributed generation systems in towns across Japan...

Distributed generation uses small-scale power generation fueled by natural gas or solar and wind power arrays. Smart energy systems use the internet to connect appliances and meters to better direct electric power where and when its needed.
posted by kliuless at 8:42 PM on October 3 [46 favorites]


Pence’s chief of staff floats ‘purge’ of anti-Trump Republicans

Yes, please. Let's see the right wing split into two distinct parties. Where do I sign that petition?
posted by darkstar at 8:47 PM on October 3 [17 favorites]


My personal policy is every time I hear some talking head homunculus say the words "Thoughts and Prayers" I put a fiver in my Unidos Por Puerto Rico jar.

(and then a quarter in the swear jar, usually.)
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 8:52 PM on October 3 [15 favorites]


@ASlavitt [former CMS Administrator]: One Senator said to me tonight: the health care bill was about hidden tax cuts. Now the tax bill is about hidden health care cuts.

It's going to be the same damn fight for Medicaid, and Medicare too, but with the magic wand of tax cuts in front of health care cuts.
posted by zachlipton at 8:55 PM on October 3 [33 favorites]


also btw, re: storm-battered and debt-ridden Puerto Rico...
Puerto Rico Before Maria
Greg and I expected the new fiscal consolidation that was built into the (pre-Maria) budget to trigger a new downturn. And we thought that downturn would lead to more outmigration—which in turn would reduce Puerto Rico’s scope to recover. In the jargon, it would lower Puerto Rico’s economic potential—not just pull output temporarily below potential. Put simply, it means Puerto Rico’s economic plan—and debt restructuring—needs to be built on the assumption that output will be permanently lower.

And the available evidence from hurricanes seems to be that they tend to lower regional output—post hurricane growth tends to be lower than pre-hurricane growth. The short-term boost from rebuilding tends to fade.

The only potential positive is that Maria may catalyze a broad reconsideration of federal policy toward Puerto Rico. PROMESA provides tools to manage Puerto Rico’s legacy debt, tools that in my view are stronger than is commonly realized. But without other policy changes, lifting much of the burden of the legacy debt will not be enough to catalyze a recovery.
posted by kliuless at 9:00 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]



The question is still who fed them voter targeting info. Anyone could've read a map of the electoral college, but if they had lists of individual swing voters in specific districts? Someone helped them. It was Jared Kushner.


Or it was in the data the grabbed from election databases:
The hack into Illinois’s election system is the one we know the most about. Ken Menzel, who serves as general counsel for the Illinois state board of elections, told Bloomberg that a part-time contractor for the state board of elections noticed unauthorized data leaving the network.

That data contained the personal information of around 15 million people, including names, birthdays, genders, and partial Social Security numbers. It was a huge coup for the Russians, as around half of those 15 million were active voters. Apparently, the cyber intruders aimed to delete or alter voter data they got a hold of.
posted by MikeKD at 9:05 PM on October 3 [10 favorites]


Is anyone else surprised that the US military can't seem to figure out how to clear fucking roads? Don't they train for this? I mean, I know that this is a huge disaster but they just seem to be helpless. It should be a wake up call to the people of this country that they can't just let everything around them go to shit then go crying to the federal government for help, but I'm sure it won't be. I'm already seeing comments on Facebook about how it's the Puerto Rican's truck driers fault because they went on strike for higher wages and similar bullshit. Of course these same people would be the first to have their hands out for help.

Wake up dumbassses! This could happen to you and if you've neglected your living space and your local environment and infrastructure badly then it will! Something will break or flood or leach toxic waste or fall down. And the govt is too f'ed to give a shit. Because you f'ed it. You morons.
posted by fshgrl at 9:07 PM on October 3 [5 favorites]


From the previous thread: In her still Brooklyn-flecked drawl, she grumbled, “Where did ‘one person, one vote’ come from?” There might have been an audible woo that echoed through the courtroom. (Ginsburg’s comment seemed to silence Gorsuch for the rest of the arguments.)

The Notorious RBG, indeed.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:10 PM on October 3 [33 favorites]


MetaFilter: There might have been an audible woo that echoed through the courtroom.
posted by hippybear at 9:13 PM on October 3 [20 favorites]


Oh god I hope the cafeteria committee is one of those "no titles in here" ones where the busybody secretary gets just as much say as the supreme court justice. One where there's no structure except someone who doesn't know Roberts Rules trying to simulate what they've heard about Roberts Rules because it seems official. Where there's no agenda, just a meandering hour-long shoot-the-shit that could have been a half-page email, and where everyone suggests things but nobody wants to do anything and no clear actions ever get assigned.

Just like the rec committee meeting I've been ordered to attend to "show management support"
posted by ctmf at 9:16 PM on October 3 [20 favorites]


"“Pro-Life” Congressman Caught Telling His Extramarital Boo to Get an Abortion -"Rep. Tim Murphy, a vocally anti-abortion congressman from Pennsylvania, asked his own girlfriend to terminate a pregnancy this year."

OF COURSE HE DID. Look, any GOP legislator (or lobbyist) who's legislating other people's sexual lives is committing adultery, paying for abortions, on the down-low, and/or a pedophile. At this point it's the First Rule of Republican Congressmen. One of these guys votes to restrict abortion, OF COURSE he's cheating on his wife and paying for his girlfriend's abortions, that's just how they roll.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:17 PM on October 3 [84 favorites]


It's the "first: assume everyone in the world is like me" method of legislating. It explains a lot.
posted by ctmf at 9:19 PM on October 3 [14 favorites]


> One of these guys votes to restrict abortion, OF COURSE he's cheating on his wife and paying for his girlfriend's abortions, that's just how they roll.

I think this is a corollary of the "Hastert Rule".
posted by tonycpsu at 9:20 PM on October 3 [14 favorites]


>> Ginsburg Slaps Gorsuch in Gerrymandering Case

This is a critical case. I've been waiting for it to come before the Supreme Court for months now. Apparently, Anthony Kennedy might be leaning toward the liberal wing on this one:
After spirited Supreme Court arguments on Tuesday, there was reason to think Justice Kennedy may be ready to join the court’s more liberal members in a groundbreaking decision that could reshape American democracy by letting courts determine when lawmakers have gone too far.

Justice Kennedy asked skeptical questions of lawyers defending a Wisconsin legislative map that gave Republicans many more seats in the State Assembly than their statewide vote tallies would have predicted. He asked no questions of the lawyer representing the Democratic voters challenging the map.
I really, really, really hope that they come down on the side of, you know, less partisan lunacy and hackery. But I am not going to get my hopes up. Case in point, our Chief Justice pulling out his aw-shucks-ain't-I-dumb routine to ignore the plaintiffs' arguments:
Much of the argument concerned various statistical tests for identifying extreme gerrymandering. Misha Tseytlin, Wisconsin’s solicitor general, said the challengers were relying on flimsy and hypothetical social science evidence. “Plaintiffs are asking this court to launch a redistricting revolution based upon their social science metrics,” he said.

Chief Justice Roberts told Mr. Smith that courts are poorly equipped to evaluate social science data. “It may be simply my educational background,” the chief justice said of the studies before the court, “but I can only describe it as sociological gobbledygook.”

Other justices seemed more comfortable with the studies.

“This is not kind of hypothetical, airy-fairy, we guess, and then we guess again,” Justice Elena Kagan said. “I mean, this is pretty scientific by this point.”
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 9:36 PM on October 3 [24 favorites]


OF COURSE HE DID. Look, any GOP legislator (or lobbyist) who's legislating other people's sexual lives is committing adultery, paying for abortions (...) paying for his girlfriend's abortions, that's just how they roll.

are you kidding, because I don't see a goddamn word in that Slate story about him paying for anything.

when a Republican offers to pay for his own mistake instead of ordering a woman to take care of it with her own body and funds in his preferred style, it better be headline news because it will be the scandal of the century.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:37 PM on October 3 [38 favorites]


I love all y'all but I can't wait for the day I can unpin the MeFi political thread tab from my browser.
posted by guiseroom at 9:38 PM on October 3 [75 favorites]


This has been the hardest week for me since July. I feel a social responsibility to pay attention to the news, but it is really bad for my mental health. I don't know what to do.
posted by miyabo at 9:39 PM on October 3 [21 favorites]


I'm Puerto Rican. Born in Rio Piedras, home of the University of Puerto Rico. I've got family all over the island; north, south, east, and west. In the mountains and in the coasts. I know most survived the hurricane, but I haven't heard from them in 15 days.

Fifteen. Days.

Imagine what you'd do if you hadn't heard from your family 15 days after a disaster. How you'd feel.

I'm fairly certain that -- based on the available evidence -- that my mom & step-dad's place on the east coast of the island is irretrivably destroyed. I have no idea whether my family members are homeless. I have no idea if they're sick. I know many of the older ones suffer from illnesses requiring medical attention; the current condition of Puerto Rico's hospitals is catastrophic.

94% percent of the island -- 3.5 million people -- are without power. 40% of the land lines are up. Only 11.6% of the cell antennae are up. 55% of the island is without pota water.

Trump had the gall (of course he did!) to say that because "only" 16 people died, this wasn't a real disaster, like Katrina. But the reality is that the death toll will only rise. As of right now, it's more than doubled, to 34. You see, Puerto Rico's governmental infrastructure was so devastated by Hurricane Maria that we don't know how many people have actually died. If you have no power, and your coroner isn't working because she's too busy trying to live day by agonizing day, then who counts the dead? Not to mention those critically ill patients in hospitals, and in long-term care facilities, who now are being deprived of critical care.

I cannot watch the news, because doing so only serves to alternately infuriate me -- at our government's callous disregard for American lives, when it isn't actively blaming us for wanting help -- and depress me, because it feels like the world's forgotten us. It feels like we're only getting a fraction of the attention, and of the relief given to people in Texas.

If you want to help:

- United for Puerto Rico: http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

- The Maria Fund, which is helping low-income communities: http://www.mariafund.org

- The Hispanic Federation: https://hispanicfederation.org/unidos/

Please, please, please help us.
posted by arkhangel at 9:40 PM on October 3 [304 favorites]


Charlie Pierce: Folks? Quietly, progressive African American politicians are getting elected mayors in the Deep South.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:41 PM on October 3 [73 favorites]


Did everybody see where we voted against a UN resolution condemning the death penalty as a punishment for gay sex?

Yes, and may I suggest those of you who haven't check the last thread about this topic so we don't repeat ourselves? Thanks!
posted by greermahoney at 9:42 PM on October 3 [1 favorite]


We know the Trump admin knows how to suspend Jones act and allow Food stamps to be used for hot food in an emergency, they did so quickly for Texas and Florida. Their failure to do so in Puerto Rico, or doing so only when forced by public attention... I'm comfortable saying its INTENSIONAL negligence. Put it together with "Bad hombres" ICE detension facilities and deaths, Private Prisons etc. I'm finding it hard not to call it all Ethnic Cleansing . I mean, 45 and his supporters are racist, advocate for police violence, denigrate the minority victims of natural disasters. Yeah, i know this isn't the shoah, but what is it. Intentional Racial Manslaughter? Passive cleansing?
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 9:58 PM on October 3 [33 favorites]


With Trump’s backing, House approves ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy

If anyone needs me, I'll be violently sobbing to myself. Now more than ever I am terrified to bring a child into this world. And part of that reason is that the government is trying to make it more and more likely to happen, regardless of whether I want it to.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:58 PM on October 3 [34 favorites]


I love all y'all but I can't wait for the day I can unpin the MeFi political thread tab from my browser.

I'm also excited for the day that megathread isn't the first and last thing I do each day.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:01 PM on October 3 [54 favorites]


FirstMateKate, others, more well-versed in politics than I, seem confident this will fail in the Senate. I've called my reps, but I'm not freaking yet.
posted by greermahoney at 10:02 PM on October 3 [2 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

Results in from the mayoral election in Albuquerque, NM, where the incumbent Republican is not seeking re-election. Democrat Tim Keller, regarded as the most progressive candidate, took first with 39% of the vote. The race will go to a runoff Nov 7, with Keller versus the second place Republican, Dan Lewis (23%).

Keller looks likely to win the runoff - the third place candidate was a Dem who picked up 17%, and Lewis is considered extremely conservative.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:09 PM on October 3 [35 favorites]


[Folks, we need to not drive off the rails into forecasting worst-case scenarios. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 10:49 PM on October 3 [9 favorites]


This has been the hardest week for me since July. I feel a social responsibility to pay attention to the news, but it is really bad for my mental health. I don't know what to do.

You have a social responsibility to be an informed citizen, but you do not have a social responsibility to engage with 24/7 news coverage, especially if you are spending more time reading hot takes/comments about outrages you already knew about than you are learning new and important information.

I have an obsessive personality and find that if I'm not careful I can spend all day reading these threads and it's really damaging for my mental health. Personally I try to set time limits on the time I spend in here, and walk away if I feel myself getting into too dark of a headspace. It is good and healthy to set limits. Please take care of yourself.
posted by Emily's Fist at 10:57 PM on October 3 [48 favorites]


>> This has been the hardest week for me since July. I feel a social responsibility to pay attention to the news, but it is really bad for my mental health. I don't know what to do.

> You have a social responsibility to be an informed citizen, but you do not have a social responsibility to engage with 24/7 news coverage, especially if you are spending more time reading hot takes/comments about outrages you already knew about than you are learning new and important information.


also broadly speaking you don't have a responsibility to be informed. Instead, you have a responsibility to take part in informed political activity. Information is useful in guiding our political activity, but information decoupled from action is, in this crisis, useless. And knowledge that paralyzes you is worse than useless.

tbh we should probably all strive to spend less time reading news and to spend more time taking part in political action within trusted organizations. If we follow this maxim we get to actually do things to fight fascism instead of just hopelessly watching fascism's advance, but also on the other hand we get to share the burden of following every detail of the crisis with everyone else in our trusted organizations. Many hands make light work; many brains make less despair.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:25 PM on October 3 [39 favorites]


This may sound counterproductive, but it's actually helped me with such things: Remember, even during the best days of Obama, or the calmest days of Trump, that really, really bad things are happening all over the world all the time. Disasters, homicidal maniacs, totalitarian abuses, etc, etc. The only reason we have even a single good day, even had Clinton been elected, is mainly by ignoring 99% of the horror. That's not a bad thing. We have to do it in order to live, and we have to live and be functioning human beings if we want to improve the world even a modicum. Ignoring most of the world's suffering is a moral requirement, as long as we have some general plan to do good in the world, a reasonably accurate knowledge of what's going on, and a plan to regularly update our knowledge with new data. Ignoring suffering in order to live a decent, reasonable life is also a human right, as long as you reasonably believe you are also doing your part when you can manage it; we owe the world to make it better, but not to suffer uselessly. So figure out what you can and can't do, take some action, and then take a break, turn off the internet, do something utterly different, and have fun -- not just for a few hours, but for days or weeks if necessary. It's not just ok, it's the right thing to do.
posted by chortly at 11:49 PM on October 3 [45 favorites]


I mean the biggest good if you can say it of this year is the crystallization and distillation of my political thought, I am a leftist. I am a socialist. This is what I am and what I stand for . It's not just just a muddy version some of sentiments or leanings. It;s a complete ideology, a set of policy goals and and a firm viewpoint. I know what I am now and I know where my organizing community exists.

and I remind myself our electoral group is less than a year old.
posted by The Whelk at 12:03 AM on October 4 [28 favorites]


He really expected them to clamor for the paper towels.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:05 AM on October 4 [12 favorites]


Even a stopped clock etc.: Thomas Friedman: If Only Stephen Paddock Were a Muslim
On crushing ISIS, our president and his party are all in. On asking the N.R.A. for even the tiniest moderation, they are AWOL. No matter how many innocents are fatally shot — no matter even that one of their own congressional leaders was critically wounded playing baseball — it’s never time to discuss any serious policy measures to mitigate gun violence.

And in the wake of last month’s unprecedented hurricanes in the Atlantic — that wrought over $200 billion of damage on Houston and Puerto Rico, not to mention smaller cities — Scott Pruitt, Trump’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency, also told us that it was not the time to discuss “the cause and effect” of these superstorms and how to mitigate their damage. We need to focus on helping the victims, he said. But for Pruitt, we know, it’s never time to take climate change seriously.

To take ISIS seriously abroad, but then to do nothing to mitigate these other real threats to our backyards, concert venues and coastal cities, is utter madness.

It’s also corrupt. Because it’s driven by money and greed — by gunmakers and gun sellers and oil and coal companies, and all the legislators and regulators they’ve bought and paid to keep silent.
posted by mumimor at 12:37 AM on October 4 [47 favorites]


He really expected them to clamor for the paper towels.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:05 AM on October 4
[3 favorites +] [!]


I really expected him to throw cans.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:50 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


From the Bleacher's song "Let's Get Married,": "I know that it's bad when we look out/ but bad bad people/ Don't live in our house."

Hug your people and pets.
posted by angrycat at 1:05 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


arkhangel - I'm going to donate and then share your links out on my social media. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Love you you and your family. And money and hopefully some more hands to help with the recovery.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:12 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


"Love to you" was what I meant to type.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:34 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Civil Rights Protests Have Never Been Popular (Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates) in The Atlantic)
That the civil-rights movement was unpopular is not shocking to the activists who protested at the time. “When I’m told by people, ‘Thank you for what you did,’ I almost want to look around and see who they’re talking to,” Dorie Ladner told the Post. The paper quotes Julian Bond satirizing the kind of history Leonhardt’s argument is premised—“Rosa sat down, Martin stood up and then the white folks saw the light and saved the day.”
posted by kingless at 1:42 AM on October 4 [41 favorites]


ProPublica in collaboration with WNYC, Jesse Eisinger, Justin Elliott, Andrea Bernstein ,and Ilya Marritz, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. Were Close to Being Charged With Felony Fraud: "New York prosecutors were preparing a case. Then the D.A. overruled his staff after a visit from a top donor: Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz."
In the spring of 2012, Donald Trump’s two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., found themselves in a precarious legal position. For two years, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development that was failing to sell. Despite the best efforts of the siblings’ defense team, the case had not gone away. An indictment seemed like a real possibility. The evidence included emails from the Trumps making clear that they were aware they were using inflated figures about how well the condos were selling to lure buyers.

In one email, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coordinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the emails, they worried that a reporter might be onto them. In yet another, Donald Jr. spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the email.

There was “no doubt” that the Trump children “approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales,” one person who saw the emails told us. “They knew it was wrong.”
Then Kasowitz, one of the top donors to the Manhattan DA, shows up, meets with the boss directly, and the DA orders the case dropped a couple months later:
Kasowitz subsequently boasted to colleagues about representing the Trump children, according to two people. He said that the case was “really dangerous,” one person said, and that it was “amazing I got them off.” (Kasowitz denied making such a statement.
We knew about the investigation before, but not the emails or the focus on Ivanka and Don Jr. or Kasowitz or the donations or any of the rest of this ugly business.
posted by zachlipton at 1:55 AM on October 4 [135 favorites]


In case you're wondering why the Trump SoHo didn't sell well, it turns out it's hard to sell, at the height of a recession, multi-million dollar hotel rooms that owners can only legally stay in 120/days out of the year and not for more than 29 days at a time (the building isn't zoned as residential). Who knew? Oh, and your buyers pretty much have to pay in cash because banks stopped writing non-conforming loans for places like this.

And this isn't even getting into the Russian mobsters and other shady characters who financed the place, which Mueller is reportedly looking into.

Finally, these people are all extraordinarily bad about leaving behind incriminating emails. I can only imagine what other emails they left behind about the campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 2:16 AM on October 4 [56 favorites]


Tillerson’s Fury at Trump Required an Intervention From Pence
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on the verge of resigning this past summer amid mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House, according to multiple senior administration officials who were aware of the situation at the time.
Just days earlier, Tillerson had openly disparaged the president, referring to him as a “moron,” after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump’s national security team and Cabinet officials, according to three officials familiar with the incident.


Tillerson has been a 'Dignity Wraith' (as coined by Josh Marshall at TPM) since the day he was hired but he just looks like an idiot more and more each day. Enjoy that meatloaf Rex!
posted by PenDevil at 3:18 AM on October 4 [50 favorites]


I love all y'all but I can't wait for the day I can unpin the MeFi political thread tab from my browser.

I use a dedicated browser for the political thread.

I'm also excited for the day that megathread isn't the first and last thing I do each day.

And I check the thread multiple times a day.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:48 AM on October 4 [15 favorites]


Hee hee. Donny knows how awfully yesterday went and isn't happy about it. I also love how he woke up thinking things went pretty well, but then in the hour between the first "I'm sure it's good coverage" tweet and the second "it's all fake news!" tweet he realized it was a shitshow.

@realDonaldTrump (6:25am)
A great day in Puerto Rico yesterday. While some of the news coverage is Fake, most showed great warmth and friendship.

@realDonaldTrump (7:29am)
Wow, so many Fake News stories today. No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth. The Fake News Media is out of control!
posted by chris24 at 4:38 AM on October 4 [26 favorites]


re Tillerson resignation attempt... how serious could it have been if you're able to be talked out of it by Pence? More likely, it was the Kelly/Mattis grownups-in-the-room intervention.

But anything that implies Trump is beholden to Pence will get his goat, so I guess it works.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:44 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


be unhappy. be very unhappy.
posted by angrycat at 4:45 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


We knew about the investigation before, but not the emails or the focus on Ivanka and Don Jr. or Kasowitz or the donations or any of the rest of this ugly business.

Is it just me, or does this "Trump administration" seem like they're trying to hide something?
posted by petebest at 4:50 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


Among the many problems Trump has is that no one exists who is competent and respects Trump. So the best case scenario for the country is that the cabinet and White House staff have a reasonably high percentage of competent people who can mask their disdain for long stretches of time, always turning a positive face to 45. This, as far as I can tell, is Pence’s biggest strength. Tillerson, Kelly, and Mattis all have moments where their true opinion peeks through.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:52 AM on October 4 [29 favorites]


Phillip Adams, an ancient Aussie journo and host of Late Night Live on the Australian public broadcaster, the ABC, last night, talking to his American correspondent:

You should declare the NRA a terrorist organisation because that's what they are.
posted by adept256 at 5:10 AM on October 4 [44 favorites]


/I thought The Weeds episode on gun control was extraordinarily bad. Matt Yglesias essentially trolled the other two hosts for half an hour.
posted by Automocar at 10:27 PM on October 3


Matt Yglesias drives me nuts. The way he talks just grates on me. Ezra can be annoying, too (if he describes another paper or book he read as "fascinating" in his "golly I'm so smart" tone I'm going to scream).

Sarah Kliffe is the only reason I listen to The Weeds. She's brilliant, engaging and always has a unique perspective to share.
posted by glaucon at 5:11 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


We knew about the investigation before, but not the emails or the focus on Ivanka and Don Jr. or Kasowitz or the donations or any of the rest of this ugly business

Oh man, fuck Cy Vance. When's the next election for New York DA again? Did Manhattan JUST re-elect this asshole?
posted by schadenfrau at 5:12 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


OF COURSE he's cheating on his wife and paying for his girlfriend's abortions, that's just how they roll.

I think this is a corollary of the "Hastert Rule".


We were trying to come up with a name for it last thread; "Demonstrative hypocrisy" may have won out, but I'll have to go back and check.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:14 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]




Donald Jr. spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the email.

How has our country been taken over by people so breathtakingly dumb.

They also just re-routed their email to Trump-owned servers, I guess to avoid the mail being stored on third-party servers at any point?

According to internet registration records reviewed by USA TODAY and cybersecurity researchers, Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, who is also a senior adviser, re-routed their email accounts to a server operated by the Trump Organization on either Sept. 26 or 27, as attention from the media and lawmakers intensified.

The Trump Organization did not respond to questions Tuesday about the email accounts.

A spokesman for Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not directly involved with the technical details, said in a statement that the couple's personal email "does not reside and never has resided in, nor passed through, through the Trump Organization email server." Instead, the spokesman said Kushner and Trump and used a "filtering service" to block viruses and malware.

posted by winna at 5:19 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


Among the many problems Trump has is that no one exists who is competent and respects Trump. So the best case scenario for the country is that the cabinet and White House staff have a reasonably high percentage of competent people who can mask their disdain for long stretches of time, always turning a positive face to 45. This, as far as I can tell, is Pence’s biggest strength. Tillerson, Kelly, and Mattis all have moments where their true opinion peeks through.

On the other hand, Pence isn't competent.
posted by mumimor at 5:22 AM on October 4 [24 favorites]




Politico: Pence’s chief of staff floats ‘purge’ of anti-Trump Republicans to wealthy donors

No, no, no, this is backwards. First, the show trials, then the purges.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:31 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Did Manhattan JUST re-elect this asshole?

Essentially, yes. He was unopposed in the primary and will be unopposed in the general in Nov, so will be reelected. I suppose we could pressure him to resign after that - I'm not sure if that would lead to an appointment or special election.
posted by melissasaurus at 5:40 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


When trying to figure out why Ryan doesn't waiver in support of Trump, it makes me look at the Foxcon deal. It came mostly out of nowhere and suddenly they're going to build a giant factory in Ryan's district.
posted by drezdn at 5:43 AM on October 4 [11 favorites]


to spend more time taking part in political action within trusted organizations.

Metafilter is my trusted organization.
posted by corb at 5:44 AM on October 4 [42 favorites]


If Trump is mad at Tillerson now, I'd expect him to start leaking negative stories about Rex.
posted by drezdn at 5:51 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


2 things:

1. That Ginsburg quote was pure GOLD. Flagged as fantastic in both threads threeturtles.
2. Almost 100% of an entire island in the American Samoa is powered by Tesla solar panels. Hell fucking YES this needs to happen everywhere it can, ESPECIALLY PR and USVI right now.
posted by yoga at 6:14 AM on October 4 [24 favorites]


Good news, everyone! Trump heads to Vegas today for some patented leadership and national healing.

Can't wait for the film at 11? Here's a sneak peek:
"I think it means a lot to the people of Puerto Rico that I was there," Trump said. "They’ve really responded very nicely, and I think it meant a lot to the people of Puerto Rico."

Bonus quote: Trump declined to discuss what might have motivated the shooter, only that he was "a sick and demented person."

No word on the deeply awkward silence in the press area after that one.
posted by petebest at 6:21 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Another day, another look at how Rex Tillerson Is Running the State Department Into the Ground.

This is a generational problem, they're destroying Americas entire post-war diplomacy from the inside. Rex Tillerson was Russia's greatest triumph, not Trump. There's nothing more they could've hoped to achieve than the compete collapse of the US international standing, credibility and institutional capability.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:24 AM on October 4 [60 favorites]


There's nothing more they could've hoped to achieve than the compete collapse of the US international standing, credibility and institutional capability.

So, the dems 2020 could literally run on MAGA?!
posted by mikelieman at 6:33 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Nicole Chung: On American Identity, the Election, and Family Members Who Support Trump
You have a daughter who isn’t white, I reminded them, a daughter in an interracial marriage. Trump is racist, and he’s supported and influenced by white nationalists. He’s stoking the fears of other people who hold racist views. He’s talked about a Muslim ban, a registry, building a border wall, ending birthright citizenship. His supporters don’t just want to slow immigration; they want to end it. I’m your daughter, and I am a child of immigrants.

So do you think we shouldn’t even have borders? my father asked.

Another time, I tried appealing to them as grandparents. You have an autistic grandchild, I said. You’ve seen what a nonstop fight it is for us to advocate for our 5-year-old, for her rights and her education. Trump has mocked a disabled reporter and a deaf actress. He’s promoted the false claim that vaccines cause autism. There’s no way he cares about the education of kids like mine, or the rights of disabled adults. Hillary Clinton’s platform on disability rights is not a magic bullet, but it could be a real step forward.

Well, I guess it’s good that she’s thinking about that, my mother said. But there’s no way I’m voting for her.

posted by zarq at 6:34 AM on October 4 [58 favorites]


So, the dems 2020 could literally run on MAGA?!

Better they should run on MANGAA: Morons Are Not Governing America Anymore
posted by yoga at 6:42 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]


So do you think we shouldn’t even have borders? my father asked.

Certainly willing to give that a trial run.
posted by delfin at 6:43 AM on October 4 [34 favorites]


Dems could run on basically the same platform they did in 2000:

PADA: Pull the auto out of the ditch again.
posted by darkstar at 6:46 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]


Better they should run on MANGAA: Morons Are Not Governing America Anymore

Ugh weebs DansGame
posted by Talez at 6:46 AM on October 4


it makes me look at the Foxcon deal. It came mostly out of nowhere and suddenly they're going to build a giant factory in Ryan's district.

He may doing it to look good to his constituents, but no doubt he kows the Foxxcon deal is actually total bullshit:

Bowen: Foxconn offers a bad deal for Wisconsin (David Bowen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
In 2011, Foxconn promised $12 billion in investment for production of cell phones, tablets, and TV screens in Brazil. It still hasn’t happened.

In 2013, Foxconn promised to build a $30 million high-tech factory in Harrisburg, Pa. It still hasn’t happened.

In 2014, Foxconn signed a deal with Indonesia that it would invest at least $1 billion over 3-5 years. It still hasn’t happened.

In 2015, Foxconn signed a memorandum of understanding with India that it would invest $5 billion and employ at least 50,000 new workers. The project still has not yet identified a construction spot.

Why are we working so hard to give away billions of dollars to a foreign company with a sketchy history when we have Wisconsin companies that are already committed to our state?
posted by Room 641-A at 6:48 AM on October 4 [50 favorites]


Better they should run on MANGAA: Morons Are Not Governing America Anymore

ODGPGTEIALOFRN: Oh Dear God Please Get The Extinguisher I Am Literally On Fire Right Now
posted by duffell at 6:51 AM on October 4 [10 favorites]


KAFITTING: Kick A Fascist In Their Tiny, Insignificant, Noxious Groin.
posted by delfin at 6:56 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]


These slogans are for 2018, right?
posted by fragmede at 6:59 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA: This Is Not An Acronym; It's Just How I Feel Right Now
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:02 AM on October 4 [117 favorites]


To take ISIS seriously abroad, but then to do nothing to mitigate these other real threats to our backyards, concert venues and coastal cities, is utter madness.

Nail firmly on the head. I know it's an unpopular idea but from my perspective over the Atlantic I've never understood why the second amendment is not recognised as a much bigger threat to American lives than middle east terrorism.

At the very least you probably should consider whether the right to bear arms need really include automatic rifles.
posted by walrus at 7:07 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


If Trump is mad at Tillerson now, I'd expect him to start leaking negative stories about Rex.

I'm curious how this could/will shake out in terms of diplomacy, messaging, grandstanding (etc.) with North Korea. Yes, Rex is a nightmare, but at this moment he seems like a voice of calm reason in contrast to DJT's big war talk. If Trump begins to de-legitimize that messenger, that seems...bad?
posted by witchen at 7:09 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


It just occured to me what's happening with the Russians' great interest and involvement with pulling apart the mechanisms of Western liberal democracy. It's not just an attempt to change the global balance of powers - although that's doubtless welcomed - it's an attempt to recreate what happened at the fall of the Soviet regime. The mechanisms of state fell apart, and the resources it had controlled got parcelled out to the gangsters who stepped in smartish. They parlayed that into positions of governance and power, solidifying their gains, which led to the Russian state we see today - one in which there is no obvious route to protect personal freedoms or expect justice in the face of the abuse of those powers.

What could be better than replicating that on a global scale? Hollow out the established systems of checks and balances, destroy the machineries of state, and its own great resources will be available to build new castles of power from which to rule the new serfdoms.

This meshes beautifully with the mutated Republicanism that touts small state, deregulation and the rollback of the social contract in the name of prosperity, efficiency and freedom (although they seem to have stopped bothering with those pretences now, except as post-hoc excuses for reactionary cruelty).

So every move, like Tillerson's evisceration of State and the promotion of proto-oligarchs to head state agencies, makes perfect sense in that light. Push nationalism in every nation? Perfect. Create and demonise new underclasses to underpin a new hierarchy of control? Lovey. Let's have some. It's not the Russians attacking liberal democracy, it's the gangsters within that democracy actively colluding with them to replay the downfall of the Soviet Union, for the basest and most transparent of motives.

There really is no mystery here. They have a clear goal in mind, and a playbook to follow which worked very well last time. And our future, should that occur, is wretched indeed, on every conceivable metric.
posted by Devonian at 7:11 AM on October 4 [97 favorites]


Ya'll with Trumpian family should read that Chung piece upthread, seriously. It's good stuff and the ending is even a little hopeful.
posted by emjaybee at 7:11 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


An Esquire op-ed about our attitudes toward modern acts of gun violence points out - just as a sort of footnote - that the October 1st Las Vegas massacre wasn't even the only murder spree to happen in the US on that day.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:12 AM on October 4 [19 favorites]


So the best case scenario for the country is that the cabinet and White House staff have a reasonably high percentage of competent people who can mask their disdain for long stretches of time, always turning a positive face to 45.

No, the best case scenario would be if Kelly and Mattis and Tillerson would grow a spine and resign, telling Americans that Trump was unfit to lead the country. As it is, they are working as enablers for an abuser.
posted by JackFlash at 7:12 AM on October 4 [22 favorites]


If Trump is mad at Tillerson now, I'd expect him to start leaking negative stories about Rex.

According to the article, Tillerson called trump a moron after the Boy Scout Jamboree earlier this year. A few things:

1. The Boy Scouts raised a statue of Rex Tillerson since he is a former President of the Boy Scouts
2. According to reporting from Stephanie Ruhle, Tillerson actually called trump a "Fucking moron" but they didn't put that in the article for some reason.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:20 AM on October 4 [14 favorites]


Looks like Tillerson will be making unscheduled remarks shortly, per Reuters.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:27 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


It's not the Russians attacking liberal democracy, it's the gangsters within that democracy actively colluding with them to replay the downfall of the Soviet Union, for the basest and most transparent of motives.

These people are sick.

We call hoarders of stuff in their homes sick, but not the people who wish to hoard money and power. Those people we hold in some weird sort of awe, and I don't understand why.

It's like that Eddie Izzard joke where (I'm paraphrasing) we see a murderer of a single person as bad, a spree murderer as evil, but fascinating, and for a genocidal maniac, we're like, "Oh, you've offed 20 million in one go? My. Gosh, jolly well done!"
posted by droplet at 7:30 AM on October 4 [10 favorites]




> No, the best case scenario would be if Kelly and Mattis and Tillerson would grow a spine and resign, telling Americans that Trump was unfit to lead the country. As it is, they are working as enablers for an abuser.

If Kelly and Mattis resign, who shoots Trump if he tries to order a nuclear strike?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:37 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


Nobody. But that would happen even if they were there.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:40 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Damn. That Chung article hits hard. If there's one thing this election has done for me that is a vague gesture at a positive, it has been to show very clearly how willfully blind people are to impact their decisions on has others. I thought the friend who voted for Trump so he could have lower taxes was an anomaly (when our gay friends told him to enjoy his blood money, he thought they were being melodramatic). I thought the people with POC family members who supported someone who was an outright racist where few and far between. I thought, like many liberals, that the way we slowly kill this racist, homophobic, misogynistic streak in our country is to educate it out of our children and build real links to our elders and it would go away. Surely, no grandma is going to vote against the biracial grandchildren she loves, no dad would look at his gay son and vote for someone who wants to remove his right to be.

Right?

Nope. As we have seen time and again, racist motherfuckers will cloak their racism in self-interest, in religion, in patriotism, in any fucking thing they can to cling to this notion that straight, white people are Real Americans and everybody else can just get fucked.

So for me, as a straight, white person, it means that my job is easier. I don't have to coddle my racial and gender peers. I don't have to try and make them feel better about their decisions to support a total asshat. Being nice to them, building bridges, educating, we've tried that and they still don't give a fuck about anybody but themselves. So yeah. Now I can get on with doing what I can to stop the tide and help those who need it. But the grandmas and the dads and the uncles and cousins who look at their family members and say to themselves, "They're just being melodramatic. It's not that bad.", yeah. They can fuck right the hell off.
posted by teleri025 at 7:49 AM on October 4 [73 favorites]




> Did Manhattan JUST re-elect this asshole?

Essentially, yes. He was unopposed in the primary and will be unopposed in the general in Nov, so will be reelected.


Not to mention that the voting turnout for the primaries was only about 11%.

(I voted, thankyouverymuch.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:50 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


because this year, for the first time in almost a decade, I've started writing again

Don't be apologetic - sometimes adversity actually helps the artistic processes. Personally, I hope to see alot of great anti-government, anti-corporate, anti-elite, anti-facist media over the next few years... Songs, albums, movies, shows and books...
posted by jkaczor at 7:51 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Please Rex, do one goddamn thing right in your entire bloodsucking, Russian oil-greased life and quit live on camera while Don is on AF1 on the way to Las Vegas.

Please.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:55 AM on October 4 [20 favorites]


I get a visceral shudder watching President Donald Trump emote on Twitter in real time.
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 7:56 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Is it by chance, someone's birthday today? I will buy you a cake!
posted by Sophie1 at 7:57 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Re, writing, last fall I was working on a dystopian alternative history, and then this timeline started misbehaving and things in my book suddenly seemed less sci-fi and more actually happening. Erm, maybe I should reopen that file and write some happy stuff like a coup or something...
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:58 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]




But the grandmas and the dads and the uncles and cousins who look at their family members and say to themselves, "They're just being melodramatic. It's not that bad.", yeah. They can fuck right the hell off.

But, if those of us who are related to them don't keep trying, who will? That piece that came out a while ago by a writer of color who basically said, we can't reach your racist relatives, you have to try to, hit me hard. I don't want to. I would much rather write them off. I'm not sure it's even possible to engage with them meaningfully. But maybe as an ally I have to try anyway.

Of course: my family was not abusive; they do not have any power over me financially or emotionally; therefore I have the bandwidth. There are lots of other folks who simply don't feel safe talking to their family.
posted by emjaybee at 8:01 AM on October 4 [16 favorites]


Okay! Who put their money on "doubling down"?
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 8:02 AM on October 4 [10 favorites]


OK he's not resigning lol
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:02 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


He's switched to talking about how wonderful Trump is.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:02 AM on October 4


Wait... is it possible that the thinks the only way to tell Trump that he should fire McMaster is to hint at it in a nationally-televised press conference?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:04 AM on October 4


Seems bad that the only way cabinet members can talk the president is through the TV.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:04 AM on October 4 [11 favorites]


Dammit.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:04 AM on October 4


Regarding the Puerto Rico visit: I've gotta wonder if 45's aides thought, "Maybe he could throw loaves of bread to the crowd? Wait, no. Bad optics. Ooh, paper towels! That should be fine!"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:05 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Tillerson declines to deny that he called the President a "moron" in front of cabinet members.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:05 AM on October 4 [16 favorites]


Let them have bounty
posted by sio42 at 8:06 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 8:02 AM on October 4

Your... your username upsets me
posted by instead of three wishes at 8:06 AM on October 4 [36 favorites]


Tillerson fucking declines to deny that he called the fucking President a "fucking moron" in front of cabinet members.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:07 AM on October 4 [13 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri:

Rex Tillerson steps to the microphone: I would like to clarify that donald trump is NOT a moron nor do i dwell in a hell of my own creation.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:07 AM on October 4 [57 favorites]


Things seem to be heating up between people who call the President a moron and people who call him a dotard
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:09 AM on October 4 [37 favorites]


Apparently Alabama (and 8 other states) has a de facto poll tax; if you have any outstanding fines, you can't vote.

But in Alabama and eight other states from Nevada to Tennessee, anyone who has lost the franchise cannot regain it until they pay off any outstanding court fines, legal fees and victim restitution.

In Alabama, that requirement has fostered an underclass of thousands of people who are unable to vote because they do not have enough money.

posted by emjaybee at 8:10 AM on October 4 [39 favorites]


What does Trump have over these guys that he makes them miserable but they can't quit him?
posted by drezdn at 8:10 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


"Trump can handle things! He's smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... He's smart and he wants respect!" –Tillerson [fake, kind of]
posted by entropicamericana at 8:11 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


I guess with Tillerson, maybe he's heard the bad ideas his possible replacements have had?
posted by drezdn at 8:12 AM on October 4


So let me get this straight:

Rex Tillerson just held an unscheduled press conference to deny on national television that he called the President a "fucking moron" just so he could keep a job he tried to resign from several months ago.
posted by zarq at 8:13 AM on October 4 [82 favorites]


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA: This Is Not An Acronym; It's Just How I Feel Right Now


Ameliorate America! Ardently Abandon All Amoral, Angry-making Assemblymen Attempting Administrative Assholery! Assess and Allocate Assets Advantageously!


Works for me!
posted by darkstar at 8:14 AM on October 4 [22 favorites]


What does Trump have over these guys that he makes them miserable but they can't quit him?

Their own lust for power?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:14 AM on October 4 [11 favorites]




Wait, no. That's not right.

Rex Tillerson just held an unscheduled press conference so he could fail to deny on national television that he called the President a "fucking moron" just so he could keep a job he tried to resign from several months ago.

It still doesn't make sense.
posted by zarq at 8:16 AM on October 4 [58 favorites]


Rex Tillerson just held an unscheduled press conference to deny to on national television that he called the President a "fucking moron" just so he could keep a job he tried to resign from several months ago.

He never denied calling him a moron.
posted by PenDevil at 8:16 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


But Tillerson had tons of power, Ryan has tons of power, Sessions had some, but they've all bent the knee.
posted by drezdn at 8:16 AM on October 4


What does Trump have over these guys that he makes them miserable but they can't quit him?

I think part of it is simply a matter of personal identity. If someone goes to work for an unknown startup, and it's shitty, they quit. If someone goes to work as a high-ranking White House official, they do so with the belief and the intent that there will be a powerful and positive narrative as the story of their tenure. Whether they want to help the country, build a path to becoming President themselves, or merely attain fame and respect, they do not want their story to end by saying "Hey, it turns out I made a terrible mistake and I lacked the ability to mitigate this shitshow; I can't deal with this horrible place any more and I am running away". That would be a depressing story to tell themselves. This is especially true if they had previously been a successful CEO of one of the world's largest companies.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:17 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


I'm sure we'll hear moron this all in the days to come.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:18 AM on October 4 [48 favorites]


And on the reverse, why does Trump keep them around? Other politicians try to prevent turnover in their cabinet for political reasons, to not look like they're in turmoil. Trump seemingly doesn't care about that. Why does he stick with these people who have disappointed him and want out (Sessions, Tillerson, etc)?
posted by drezdn at 8:18 AM on October 4


After a hard day in the politics megathread, I like to unwind by sitting back and imagining “fucking moron” in Tillerson’s syrupy Texas brogue.

Ahh, that’s the stuff.
posted by notyou at 8:20 AM on October 4 [9 favorites]


No, the best case scenario would be if Kelly and Mattis and Tillerson would grow a spine and resign, telling Americans that Trump was unfit to lead the country. As it is, they are working as enablers for an abuser.

I understand that case, but as long as Trump is president and has control of a nuclear arsenal, I want as many adults in the room as possible. It’s not like he’ll stop being president if those people resign. Dozens and dozens of leaders said clearly that Trump was unfit during the campaign. Three more people saying that after he’s in the Oval Office won’t fix this mess.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:21 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


This whole bending-the-knee business is more disgusting and perverse than I ever could have imagined.

For whatever reason, Tillerson really wants to keep his job. Trump made him his new target of fury, with Price/Gorka/Bannon/Priebus/etc out of the way. He knew the only way to guarantee job security was to shower the president with praise on live tv.

Because this has been demonstrated over and over again to be T's main weakness: if someone flatters him, he can't help but reciprocate in kind. People who are complimentary and "say very nice things about [him]" get the highest marks in his books. "Great guy, Rex! Best of the best!"

And Tillerson knows this and also 45's short term memory; I believe he 100% kept his position (for the week at least) with this Dear Leader bullshit. Seriously, how do you think Trump could fire him now? THIS MAN CANNOT HELP BUT FLATTER THOSE WHO FLATTER HIM. All part of the sycophantic cycle of bullshit. Bend the knee, live another day.
posted by andruwjones26 at 8:21 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


What does Trump have over these guys that he makes them miserable but they can't quit him?

Rosneft?
posted by melissasaurus at 8:21 AM on October 4 [21 favorites]


Trump isn't firing Sessions because people have warned him that it could speed up impeachment. Trump isn't firing Tillerson because he likes people who wrong him to grovel and twist in the wind.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:22 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is #FakeNews. They should issue an apology to AMERICA!

wrong.gif
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:22 AM on October 4 [9 favorites]


Also if he fired Sessions or Tillerson it would mean finding a replacement dumb enough to want the job but also able to get through senate hearings.
posted by octothorpe at 8:24 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Here's my working theory: Trump ordered Tillerson to have a press conference to deny that he called Trump a moron; Tillerson was unwilling to do so and held the conference in the hope that it would placate Trump anyway.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:25 AM on October 4 [19 favorites]


Trump: Going on TV and tell everyone you didn't call me a moron.
Tillerson: I can do one of those things right away!
Trump: Good!
posted by drezdn at 8:25 AM on October 4 [51 favorites]


Other politicians try to prevent turnover in their cabinet for political reasons, to not look like they're in turmoil. Trump seemingly doesn't care about that. Why does he stick with these people who have disappointed him and want out (Sessions, Tillerson, etc)?

Because he has no idea what the fuck he's doing and doesn't want to learn?
posted by Melismata at 8:25 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


It's never a good sign when your Secretary of State has to go before the nation to assure them that their President is smart. Especially when the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.

--

@OhNoSheTwitnt: Congratulations to Rex Tillerson on earning the title of invertebro.
posted by zarq at 8:26 AM on October 4 [26 favorites]


Trump is a dignity singularity, or dingularity if you like.
He is so utterly devoid of dignity himself, that he emits a gravity well around him that traps and consumes the dignity of everyone who passes his event horizon.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:26 AM on October 4 [32 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is #FakeNews.

Jeez, the dumbass is going full Barbra Streisand on this, isn't he?
posted by darkstar at 8:26 AM on October 4 [25 favorites]


(On preview)

Trump isn't firing Sessions because people have warned him that it could speed up impeachment. Trump isn't firing Tillerson because he likes people who wrong him to grovel and twist in the wind.

He isn't firing anybody because he's trying to get in more rounds of golf and is baffled why people keep bothering him.
posted by Melismata at 8:27 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


Also if he fired Sessions or Tillerson it would mean finding a replacement dumb enough to want the job but also able to get through senate hearings.

Chuck Grassley in his inimitable way warned Trump that the senate wouldn't confirm any new AG this year, and I don't see any reason that wouldn't continue if Sessions continues to be popular with Senate Republicans.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:27 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Somewhere out there Trump is dancing around a burning room singing "I am the smart!"
posted by guiseroom at 8:28 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]


This is petty as fuck, but as somebody who works in a profession where people are constantly, reflexively parsing status symbols -- look at the difference in the tan quality in the pic accompanying the article that piyushnz linked to.

If Tillerson's isn't real, it looks good. Trump's could not be more fucking obviously fake.

and it's just like, ONE OF THESE MEN ACTUALLY LOOKS RICH THE OTHER TALKS LIKE HE IS A BILLIONAIRE BUT LOOKS LIKE HE GOT A MONTH-LONG MEMBERSHIP AT A SPRAY TAN PLACE THAT GETS MOST OF ITS BUSINESS FROM GROUPON

... this what this Administration has brought me to.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:29 AM on October 4 [44 favorites]


Trump is a dignity singularity, or dingularity if you like. He is so utterly devoid of dignity himself, that he emits a gravity well around him that traps and consumes the dignity of everyone who passes his event horizon.

I'm quite fond of Josh Marshall's term "dignity wraith."

It conjures up the image of a faded husk of a once-human, moaning in a faint whisper, who has sold his dignity in exchange for a momentary taste of fame and power, and has been reduced to an undead creature now hollowed out by Trump's vampiric need for domination over those he works with, and who will soon be reduced to dust and carried off on the wind.
posted by darkstar at 8:30 AM on October 4 [15 favorites]


My completely unsubstantiated theory:

Trump pressured Tillerson into doing this meeting, so he could have Rex shred his own dignity, just so he can turn around and fire him on Friday.
posted by Twain Device at 8:31 AM on October 4 [61 favorites]


Today may be my first experience running out of favorites.
posted by yoga at 8:33 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Twain Device, I guess we'll find out on Friday.
posted by drezdn at 8:35 AM on October 4


Mueller needs to make sure Trump didn't short a whole bunch of PR debt before telling everyone they're going to need to take a haircut.

I don't expect Trump to be that stupid and transparent but look what happened the last time we underestimated him.
posted by Talez at 8:36 AM on October 4 [14 favorites]


Mueller needs to make sure Trump didn't short a whole bunch of PR debt

Is that... a thing you can do? Short-sell national debt?

I'm clueless as hell about how any of this shit (mal)functions, but goddamn, markets in every fucking thing, I guess. Christ.
posted by duffell at 8:39 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Dignity Wraiths are the ghosts that haunt the space around the dingularity. The gravity well no longer has them, empty as they are, but they still cannot bring themselves to escape. It would be a pitiable fate if not so richly deserved.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:40 AM on October 4 [17 favorites]


As completely stupid and embarrassing as this whole exercise has been, I find my sense of humor to be fucked enough by this administration that I am cackling out loud with every reload of my twitter feed.

In other truly fucking moronic tidbits from Trump's visit to Puerto Rico that didn't get as much press as the paper towel grab, I give you this gem from the Washington Post:
The church is also distributing water purification kits, and a member explained the process to the president.
“Wait,” Trump said, “you put it in dirty water?”
“And then you can drink it after 10 to 12 hours,” she explained.
“Would you do it? Would you drink it?” he asked.
“Sure,” she said.
“Really?” Trump said, a disgusted look coming across his face.
“Really,” she said.
“Is this your company or something?” Trump asked the woman, seeming suspicious of the aggressive pitch.
“No,” she said, “I’m part of the church.”
“This is an interesting thing,” Trump said, as he started to hand out the kits. “Try that.”
posted by marshmallow peep at 8:41 AM on October 4 [124 favorites]


Everybody trying to help disaster victims is a fellow con-man to him, and every disaster victim is another sucker.

It's the mind of a sociopath in decline.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:45 AM on October 4 [58 favorites]


CBPP has come out with their analysis of the GOP tax framework: Vast Majority of Americans Would Likely Lose From Senate GOP’s $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts, Once They’re Paid For
The vast majority of Americans would be net losers from such a tax bill, if:
--The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts were anywhere near as skewed to the top as those in the tax plan that President Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled last week. That plan would deliver 80 percent of its tax cuts to the top 1 percent of households by 2027, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) estimates.
--The tax cuts were eventually paid for through the types of spending cuts in recent GOP budget proposals, which fall overwhelmingly on low- and moderate-income people. [...]

By 2027:
--The bottom fifth of the income spectrum would lose on average about $1,000 each, amounting to a 5 percent reduction in their after-tax incomes.
--The middle fifth of the income spectrum would lose on average about $800 each, amounting to a 1 percent reduction in their after-tax incomes.
--Every income group in the bottom 95 percent of the income spectrum would be net losers, on average, while only the top 5 percent would be net winners.
--The top 1 percent would be big winners, gaining on average about $128,000 each, a 5 percent increase in their after-tax incomes.
--The top 0.1 percent would be the biggest winners of all, gaining on average about $600,000 each, a 6 percent increase in their after-tax incomes.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:46 AM on October 4 [59 favorites]


My theory is that Putin has compromat on everyone. So as soon as you enter the oval office Trump shows you your own personal pee tape and dignity wraith it is!
posted by Glibpaxman at 8:48 AM on October 4 [9 favorites]


Mueller needs to make sure Trump didn't short a whole bunch of PR debt. Is that... a thing you can do? Short-sell national debt?

Yes, you can. You can even short U.S. Treasury bonds. You can buy options, but it isn't even that difficult. You can just buy an ETF mutual fund from your broker that does the shorting for you.

The more likely way of benefiting from Puerto Rico debt is simply buying it at a discount, say 10 cents on the dollar from people afraid of losing it all. This is what the vultures did in Argentina. They bought Argentina debt at a discount then found a friendly U.S. judge to demand that they get back 100%. That's a 10x payback.
posted by JackFlash at 8:49 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


You Can't Tip a Buick: tbh we should probably all strive to spend less time reading news and to spend more time taking part in political action within trusted organizations. If we follow this maxim we get to actually do things to fight fascism

corb: Metafilter is my trusted organization.

Some people are doing really valuable stuff here, but I would say there's more on the spectrum towards "reading news" than towards "taking political action" (unless there are things going on here which I don't know about), which I think was Buick's emphasis. Obviously there's value in forming a clear picture of the current news, legal situation, and electoral data, though.
posted by Coventry at 8:51 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


> (unless there are things going on here which I don't know about),

In what format would you like our daily reports of our off-site political actions, sir?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:55 AM on October 4 [22 favorites]


Vast Majority of Americans Would Likely Lose From Senate GOP’s $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts, Once They’re Paid For

The important thing to remember is the second half of that statement. It's not just that Republicans are going to give themselves big tax cuts and run up big deficits. It's that once they are done looting the treasury, they are going to come back and demand cuts to social security, Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance because all the money is gone.
posted by JackFlash at 8:56 AM on October 4 [32 favorites]


No, they're going to cut them first. That's what the health care bill is about. Then they'll be like "Look at all the money we saved! Tax cut!" and voila.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:58 AM on October 4


Josh Marshall raises interesting points about debt, Puerto Rico, Wilbur Ross and the Big Jackpot
Then last night, he seemed to shift gears entirely, telling Geraldo Rivera that the government would “have to wipe that [debt] out” entirely. “You can say goodbye” to the existing debt no matter who takes a loss. He focused on “Goldman Sachs.” Was someone else talking to him? Was he just affected by what he saw? Was it all a show? Or will he just go back to his debt-punitive approach once he’s back? To this end, I was surprised to hear from TPM Reader RM that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a close associate and advisor of the President’s, was until quite recently the biggest shareholder and a board member of the company that is one of the biggest and most aggressive holders of the risk tied to Puerto Rico’s public debt.[...]

The relevant point is that by the end of 2014, as far as I can tell, Ross’s ownership stake and governance role in AG had come to an end. That’s over two years ago, long before Donald Trump became President and a good six months before he announced his campaign.

That means that at least in connection with AG, Ross appears to have no money on the line or conflict of interest with regards to Puerto Rico.

What interests me here however is that Ross must be highly versed on the Puerto Rican debt issue. He was until relatively recently the largest single owner and a board member of a company heavily exposed to any Puerto Rican debt default. That must color his views of the matter. One would assume that [Ross is] highly sympathetic to the debt holders’ point of view. (It’s important to note that purchasing distressed companies, debt at pennies on the dollar is Ross’s business. So he probably doesn’t need much coloring or convincing.) He’s also a major advisor to the President on just these issues. Is Ross one of the reasons Trump was talking so much about this? I’d say there’s a pretty good chance of that. Will that color Trump’s attitudes on the question as he quite likely will make a number of policy decision tied to Puerto Rico’s public debt? Again, I’d say that’s pretty likely. [...]

If past experience is any guide, once [Trump is] back in the White House, once he's back talking to his hedge fund and private equity pals in late night phone conversations, he’ll come entirely back to their point of view. That’s the way everywhere policy question has played out so far.

That’s why we need to know a lot more about who’s advising Trump on the Puerto Rican debt front. What’s Wilbur Ross’s role? Who else is involved? What does Trump and his family stand to lose or gain on Puerto Rican debt? We don’t know the answers to any of these questions and we need to.
In short, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used to own a great deal of Puerto Rican debt, has a history of buying debt for ultra cheap, then later cashing in on it hard--an economic hitman, if you will--, and is likely influencing Donald Trump in how he talks about PR's debt. Now that Trump is away from him, he's off script and talking about dealing with debt in the only way he really knows how--getting it eliminated.

We also have very little idea who is providing advice on the situation Puerto Rican debt, nor do we have any idea whether or not the Trump family would benefit from particular actions taken with regard to said debt.

As usual, it's a fucking garbage fire.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:02 AM on October 4 [40 favorites]




Try the meatloaf Rex. I insist.
posted by adept256 at 9:06 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


Assuming that cancelling the debt benefits Puerto Rico - I'm pretty much okay with Trump benefitting from it too. That's just capitalism for you. If profit leads people to do the right thing, that's like best case scenario.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:07 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Holy shizz, looking at this list of what else could be done with $1.5 trillion, which we should all be using as talking points whenever the tax "plan" comes up.

NYMag lays out five options (or combinations of options) and it looks like Christmas morning. Here are two of my favorites!
1) Lift 3.2 million children out of poverty; make four-year public college tuition-free; and guarantee every worker 12 weeks of annual paid family and medical leave at 66 percent of their monthly wages.

4) Provide universal public day care to all who want it, and build a national high-speed rail system.
posted by witchen at 9:07 AM on October 4 [78 favorites]


But Tillerson had tons of power, Ryan has tons of power, Sessions had some, but they've all bent the knee.

He was the CEO of Exxon.
He was the CEO of Exxon.
He was the CEO of motherfucking Exxon.

Tillerson has said before that he wasn't going to take the job, but his wife said, "God isn't finished with you." She pressured him to take the job and he did. I don't say this because I buy into any henpecked husband and domineering wife stereotype bullshit. Every relationship has its dynamics. But I keep thinking about that, because what else could get somebody to give up a job like that for...for this? What is going on in his head? What is their relationship really like? What do they talk about when he comes home every day from this bullshit? Or is it all really just a thin cover for him taking his orders from Putin and it's not about his wife at all?

He was the CEO of motherfucking Exxon.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:11 AM on October 4 [36 favorites]


The church is also distributing water purification kits, and a member explained the process to the president.
“Wait,” Trump said, “you put it in dirty water?”
“And then you can drink it after 10 to 12 hours,” she explained.
“Would you do it? Would you drink it?” he asked.
“Sure,” she said.
“Really?” Trump said, a disgusted look coming across his face.
“Really,” she said.


For reasons I am unable to ascertain (but have ideas), this is reminding me of a hotly-contested mayoral race in my home town during my last year of college, and the moment that I knew that I could predict who was going to win.

I knew both candidates, actually - the GOP candidate was my high school drama coach, so I had a bit of a soft spot for him despite his affiliation. But the Dem candidate was my neighbor, fresh off 3 years serving as one of the town's board of selectmen. So I had a soft spot for him too, and was torn.

My town has a pretty large Puerto Rican population (people have been moving there for years, first to work in the thread mill that's been there since the 1800's and then to work in the small farms surrounding town). And that July 4th, the Puerto Rican community was having a big community barbecue, and invited both candidates.

I was later told that my neighbor was loading his plate with pernil and plantains and arroz con gandules and was right there at the table with everyone else. Meanwhile, my drama coach sat in a corner with a single hot dog. And I knew right then that my drama coach would lose.

Life can get dirty, and earthy. Sometimes it can be earthy in a good way. If you can't handle it being earthy in a good way, there is no way you can handle it being earthy in a bad way, and eventually the people who have to deal with that grubbiness are going to remember that and turn on you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 AM on October 4 [56 favorites]


In what format would you like our daily reports of our off-site political actions, sir?

I'm a bit surprised it came across that way.
posted by Coventry at 9:15 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Assuming that cancelling the debt benefits Puerto Rico - I'm pretty much okay with Trump benefiting from it too.

Vultures like Ross don't benefit from cancelled debt. They benefit from
1. getting everyone to believe the debt is going to be cancelled
2. they sweep in and buy the debt for pennies on the dollar
3. and then they pull the switcheroo and get a friendly judge to rule that they get 100% of their money back.

Puerto Rico gets screwed, impoverishing their citizens to pay back the vultures who make out like bandits.

So Trump hinting at default is step one in this process.
posted by JackFlash at 9:22 AM on October 4 [46 favorites]


President Trump belatedly visited Puerto Rico today to throw paper towels at victims.

Cheeto's probably never used a paper towel to wipe up anything in his life. Maybe he... bought into the Bounty advertising hype a little too heavily and wildly overestimates how absorbent they are?
posted by orange swan at 9:24 AM on October 4


He's switched to talking about how wonderful Trump is.

It makes the press conference to praise Trump or else it gets the hose again.
posted by corb at 9:24 AM on October 4 [36 favorites]




In what format would you like our daily reports of our off-site political actions, sir?

I'm a bit surprised it came across that way.


Me too. The point that Metafilter is a great place to converse and learn but that actual organizing is facilitated more directly and effectively elsewhere was clear from my POV. I'm sure I'm missing some Mefi history/relationship details here, but this did not in any way seem like a dig at Metafilter or Mefites. Maybe we can be more generous to each other?
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:31 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


Maybe he... bought into the Bounty advertising hype a little too heavily and wildly overestimates how absorbent they are?

More like he just saw the supplies on the table no differently than some kind of marketing event giveaway and didn't realize he wasn't a bikini girl shooting t-shirts at the crowd. In his recollection, he was wearing a thong and the crowd was loving it.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:32 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty much okay with Trump benefitting from it too. That's just capitalism for you. If profit leads people to do the right thing, that's like best case scenario.

Eh, if Trump were a private sector banker, yeah, this is what capitalism is for. But he isn't. He's a public servant, and he is charged first and foremost with looking after the public's interests and not his own.
posted by notyou at 9:33 AM on October 4 [15 favorites]


Whenever a creditor is willing to take pennies on the dollar for bad debts, the debtor should have first crack at the reduced amount. Why can't we enshrine that in law, and eliminate the debt vultures?
posted by yesster at 9:35 AM on October 4 [34 favorites]


Among the things the President does not understand:

Water purification tablets.

I'm so tired.
posted by allthinky at 9:38 AM on October 4 [54 favorites]


Burr and Warner giving an update on the Russian Affair.

Be warned that the goal is apparently to "close the book" on as many aspects of the investigation as possible.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:42 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Naked Capitalism: Trump Says Puerto Rico Debt Needs to be Wiped Out

links to David Dayen's investigative reporting in The Intercept: We Can Finally Identify One of the Largest Holders of Puerto Rican Debt

tl;dr: it's some billionaire hedge fund ghoul and Hillary booster who went to incredible lengths to hide their involvement. seriously, read about all the hoops the reporter had to jump through to figure this out.
posted by indubitable at 9:45 AM on October 4 [14 favorites]


scaryblackdeath: Tillerson has said before that he wasn't going to take the job, but his wife said, "God isn't finished with you."

Jesus, she must hate him.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:46 AM on October 4 [46 favorites]




Oh jaduncan, don't give him ideas. If he tried to hug me I'd end up in prison.
posted by allthinky at 9:49 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]


Tillerson has said before that he wasn't going to take the job, but his wife said, "God isn't finished with you."

Jesus, she must hate him.


Kind of makes you wonder what horrible things he's done that God's STILL not done punishing him.
posted by Floydd at 9:50 AM on October 4 [12 favorites]


US Presidents interacting with their people in times of need

[photo of George W. Bush hugging some white lady]

love to humanize a serial war criminal and overseer of the Katrina debacle. that's a guy who really knows how to help people in their time of need.
posted by indubitable at 9:52 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


water that used to be dirty is gross. trump has never been in any situation wherein he had to drink something gross, except maybe as part of a hazing ritual at the military school his father made him attend. Drinking something gross is a way for the hazer to demonstrate the inferiority of the hazee. Therefore anyone who willingly drinks something gross is gross; they're someone eager to adopt an inferior role for no social reason — and as a phenomenally sheltered person, trump cannot understand that there exist reasons to do things other than social status seeking or social status demonstration.

Trump is entirely disconnected from material reality; like his bros on 4chan, he understands actions solely in terms of their social significance rather than in terms of what those actions actually are in the world. Again, he cannot understand that there are material situations wherein one drinks water not because of the social significance of drinking water but instead because one needs water to live.

Also, trump is stupid. He is not an innately bright man, he is not a well-educated man; he only barely has low cunning. He lacks the mental capacity to understand that all water has been, at some point, gross; it's been peed on and shat out by countless entities, it's been mixed with dirt to make mud, algae has at some point formed a thin layer of slime over it. For trump, water materializes in bottles, always new and always clean, and if it comes in the best bottle — the most golden bottle, the most expensive bottle — he drinks it, not because he needs to drink water to live but because drinking the best water from the best bottle shows his superiority over others.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:52 AM on October 4 [108 favorites]


Update on Cuba: back on Sept. 29, Gardiner Harris and Adam Goldman wrote for the New York Times that Illnesses at U.S. Embassy in Havana Prompt Evacuation of More Diplomats, but at that point, the US didn't think Cuba was behind the attacks, so all the Cuban diplomats in the US stayed were they were.

Yesterday, NPR reported State Department Expels 15 Cuban Diplomats, noting that this is more than half of Cuba's diplomatic staff in Washington.
Michele Kelemen, NPR: The State Department isn't blaming Cuba for the attacks, nor is the U.S. breaking diplomatic ties. But State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert says Cuba is responsible for protecting embassy officials.

Heather Nauert: Cuba is not living up to that. We cannot continue to allow our personnel to serve in Cuba when they are very clearly in harm's way.

Kelemen: She now says 22 Americans have suffered health problems ranging from hearing loss to trouble sleeping, though investigators have not figured out who or what is causing this.

Nauert: The most recent attack was in the month of August. So we need to keep probing and figuring out what on earth has been going on.

Kelemen: To limit the exposure of Americans, the U.S. ordered more than half of its embassy staff home. And now it's demanding the same of Cuba's embassy, giving them a list of 15 diplomats who must leave within seven days. Cuba's foreign minister called it unjustified. Bruno Rodriguez told reporters in Havana that the U.S. is acting in a, quote, "hasty and unthinking way."
posted by filthy light thief at 9:52 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


water that used to be dirty is gross.

All water "used to be dirty" if you go back far enough. The water I used to make my coffee this morning was probably just a couple trips through the water cycle away from having been peed out by a sheep or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:53 AM on October 4 [14 favorites]


Be warned that the goal is apparently to "close the book" on as many aspects of the investigation as possible.

This article notes that Burr is under pressure but speculates without evidence that Burr is actually bending that pressure. From the article,
the presser is intended to brief the public on “the things we are either close to closing the book on or have closed the book on.”
But that doesn't say anything about an intent to close the book on as much as possible; it just says, in effect, [those things that we have closed the book on will be mentioned in the update].
posted by Jpfed at 9:54 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Before I get back to work, I keep meaning to ask:

Did the President ever give that million bucks to Houston?
posted by allthinky at 9:55 AM on October 4 [23 favorites]


We have to wait for all the facts before saying a word about mass murder by machine gun, but Russia electing the President? Nothing to see here, wrap this up right now, why do we even need to investigate this?

The Senate intel investigation is a total farce, just like the House investigation. We may still see real results from Mueller, but this needed a special Select Committee with subpoena power and independent investigators like the Warren and 9/11 Commissions. Burr and Gowdy are playing Trump's outside lawyers, we might as well have asked Sean Hannity to lead these "investigations".
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:55 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]




There's a tweet for EVERYTHING.

(this one really kind of blew my mind)
posted by marshmallow peep at 9:56 AM on October 4 [59 favorites]


The Senate intel investigation is a total farce, just like the House investigation.

Where is the evidence that Burr is "playing Trump's outside lawyer"?
posted by Jpfed at 9:59 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Wells Fargo, Equifax Officials Left To Answer Tough Questions From Lawmakers (NPR, Oct. 3, 2017)
On Capitol Hill [yesterday], lawmakers laid into top executives from two scandal-plagued companies. They told Wells Fargo's CEO that he was failing and not doing enough to reform his bank. And the former head of Equifax got a similar grilling. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: In both the Equifax and the Wells Fargo debacles, millions of Americans got hurt while executives at the top of these companies made tens of millions of dollars. That wasn't sitting well with Senator Elizabeth Warren today as she faced Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ELIZABETH WARREN: So it looks like you had a really good thing going. Talk up Wells Fargo's ability to open new accounts. Get investors excited. And hey, if the stock goes up by a dollar, you make a cool 2 million bucks.

ARNOLD: Sloan was brought in to replace the old CEO who stepped down after it was revealed that the bank had signed up millions of customers for accounts and credit cards that they didn't want. So Sloan is supposed to be the reformer. But Senator Warren said that Sloan worked at the bank for 30 years and that he denied there was anything wrong until the scandal broke.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

WARREN: You knew there was a problem, and when you were asked about it, you lied. This is about personal responsibility. Wells Fargo cheated millions of people for years. You enabled this fake account scam. You got rich off it, and then you tried to cover it up. At best, you were incompetent. At worst, you were complicit. And either way, you should be fired.
Elizabeth Warren for President EVERYTHING. And wonderfully, she wasn't alone in the grilling: Representative Jan Schakowsky (D - IL) and Rep. Greg Walden (R - OR) were also outraged at the millions these CEOs are making at a time when their companies are actively harming thousands to millions of people. But it's unclear what comes next for either of these companies or their CEOs.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:00 AM on October 4 [43 favorites]


(Reminder: not everyone can access Twitter, and in some cases, it makes their devices do wonky things. If you can, please copy the text of tweets when linking, instead of just posting reactionary comments, thanks!)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 AM on October 4 [32 favorites]


Did the President ever give that million bucks to Houston?


The Hill says yes, and independently confirmed with most of the 12 NPOs.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:03 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


@Acosta
Trump has confidence in Tillerson, @PressSec told reporters on AF1.


Oh yeah. Tillerson will be lucky to make it to Friday. He'll probably find out by misspelled tweet while he's in the middle of trying to calm down the North Korea situation.
posted by mrgoat at 10:05 AM on October 4 [8 favorites]


"hedge fund ghoul and Hillary booster"

Seth Klarman may have given some money to Hillary, but I think he's generally considered very right wing / conservative, at least in terms of economic policy.
posted by AwkwardPause at 10:06 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


I really hope NYDN's going with the headline "Heel, Rex. Heel."
posted by duffell at 10:06 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


speaking of equifax, monopoly guy is my new hero
posted by entropicamericana at 10:07 AM on October 4 [60 favorites]


I really hope NYDN's going with the headline "Heel, Rex. Heel."

And when he does get fired: #Rexit
posted by zarq at 10:15 AM on October 4 [13 favorites]


I now also love the Monopoly Guy photobomber, however:
A person dressed in a black top hat and bushy white mustache, occasionally putting a monocle on, sat in the audience of the Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Equifax data breach.
THE MONOPOLY GUY DOESN'T WEAR A MONOCLE!!
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:16 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that's just Trump's lawyer Ty Cobb. He gets mistaken for the monopoly guy all the time, I bet.
posted by sporkwort at 10:17 AM on October 4 [28 favorites]


...the President doesn't understand how water filtration works...

The President of the United States Of America doesn't. Understand. How. Water. Filtration. Works.

i'm sorry i just... i am having a very hard time coming to terms with this information
posted by halation at 10:18 AM on October 4 [22 favorites]


THE MONOPOLY GUY DOESN'T WEAR A MONOCLE!!

okay this is some berenstein bears shit right here
posted by entropicamericana at 10:18 AM on October 4 [68 favorites]


Monopoly guy is a woman named Amanda. WHICH IS EVEN BETTER!!!!
posted by Sophie1 at 10:19 AM on October 4 [38 favorites]


Well this always ends well.

Thread comments for the twitter challenged:

Header tweet:

"Trump has confidence in Tillerson, @PressSec told reporters on AF1."

Subsequent comments:

Ruh roh!

All that is left is calling him a "fine man"

There it is. The kiss of death, just like the Godfather. #Rexit is coming.

#Rexit. I love it.

$10 says he’s canned on Friday.

Tillerson: Trump is a moron
Trump: I have confidence in Tillerson
Narrator: Donald Trump is a moron.

Rex, if he offers to take you out on the lake in a canoe, just say NYET.
posted by darkstar at 10:19 AM on October 4 [14 favorites]


Where is the evidence that Burr is "playing Trump's outside lawyer"?

He just said Russian ads didn't favor Trump, when we have stories literally yesterday that they targeted Michigan and Wisconsin with ads of Hilary behind bars, and the intel community reports that yes, they wanted Trump. What else would you call what he's doing? Dragging his feet, stonewalling, downplaying Russian intent to elect Trump. That sounds like what the Trump legal team is doing as well.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:22 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


>okay this is some berenstein bears shit right here
posted by entropicamericana at 12:18 PM on October 4

Everybody conflates Monopoly Man and Mr. Peanut.
posted by onehalfjunco at 10:24 AM on October 4 [21 favorites]


Gore/Nye 2020: Just Don't Let The Supreme Court Even Have To THINK About It

Metafilter: This administraton is just invertebros all the way down.
posted by tilde at 10:25 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Mr Peanut famously painted the Monopoly man's face with a paint roller
posted by ian1977 at 10:26 AM on October 4 [37 favorites]


You know who else wore a monocle?
posted by darkstar at 10:28 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


The President of the United States Of America doesn't. Understand. How. Water. Filtration. Works.

i'm sorry i just... i am having a very hard time coming to terms with this information


The President of the United States of America doesn't understand how trees work, either. And yet we voted him in.
posted by Melismata at 10:33 AM on October 4 [9 favorites]


At least Romney could identify when trees were the right height!
posted by drezdn at 10:35 AM on October 4 [14 favorites]


The impression that I've gotten of the Senate Intelligence Committee is that it is way more functional, serious, and bipartisan than the House Intelligence Committee. It may be that this pre-existing impression is coloring my interpretation of ambiguous information.

In the Venn diagram of (Russian measures (Russian ads (Russian ads for Trump)), it seemed clear to me that Burr was talking about Russian ads. The existence of Russian ads for Trump does not mean that Russian ads were on balance pro-Trump. The overall pro-Trump nature of Russian measures (as noted by the IC) doesn't mean that the ads in particular were all pro-Trump.

That might seem like it's hair-splitting, but through the whole update, Burr's answers seemed to me like they were careful to stick to what he knew, and how.
posted by Jpfed at 10:36 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


The President of the United States Of America doesn't. Understand. How. Water. Filtration. Works.

Pedant hat on: Technically water purification tablets are not the same thing as water filtration. They kill harmful bacteria, but don't remove particles of dirt and whatnot that could be removed by passing the water through a filter. Your water may still look cloudy, but it will be much safer to drink.

posted by OnceUponATime at 10:40 AM on October 4 [14 favorites]


So, I have recently drawn the ire of a spate of pro-Trump trolls (total strangers to me, I'm not sure if they are even real people). In response to my attempts to raise awareness about the situation in Puerto Rico, they are pushing a story that all the aid has arrived, but the local government is too dysfunctional to distribute it and/or the local truckers are on strike/refuse to deliver it.

I assume that this is completely made up (can't help but notice that it's a perfectly designed narrative to appeal to a bunch of racists), but does anyone know more about it? Where did this propaganda start? Is it based on any actual facts in reality? Who is pushing it?
posted by the turtle's teeth at 10:41 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


If Kelly and Mattis resign, who shoots Trump if he tries to order a nuclear strike?

If I was a military or security guy authorized to have a weapon in the presence of the president, you better believe I'd have already thought about this and talked to my buddies on the down-low. It must be creepy to be trump, looking every day at the poker faces of people who have already decided to kill you under certain conditions.
posted by ctmf at 10:42 AM on October 4 [18 favorites]


The impression that I've gotten of the Senate Intelligence Committee is that it is way more functional, serious, and bipartisan than the House Intelligence Committee. It may be that this pre-existing impression is coloring my interpretation of ambiguous information.
...
That might seem like it's hair-splitting, but through the whole update, Burr's answers seemed to me like they were careful to stick to what he knew, and how.


I was about to split those same hairs, for whatever it's worth. I'm leery of lumping Burr in with, say, Nunes (on the House Intelligence Committee side), or Rohrabacher (on the generally doing nonsense side). I wish that Burr was moving faster than he has been (to the degree that is publicly known), or dedicating more resources than he has been (which is publicly known to be not nearly enough), but he does seem to be actually taking the need for an investigation seriously, and Warner and the other Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have (so far) said that they believe he's taking it seriously.

What else would you call what he's doing? Dragging his feet, stonewalling, downplaying Russian intent to elect Trump. That sounds like what the Trump legal team is doing as well.

This is sort of semantics, but I do think that if you put Burr in the same box as the Trump legal team you erase a lot of meaning to what both Burr and Trump's legal team are doing. Burr is not (that I've seen) stonewalling anything. He is actually investigating. Trump's legal team are stonewalling, to the degree possible. Burr might be dragging his feet on the investigation (I think it's hard to say, to be honest, until all's said and done; it's fine to say he is now, if you think he is -- the burden of proof is on him to show he's doing a good job), but Trump's legal team isn't investigating at all. There's nothing for them to drag. Burr might be downplaying -- I don't think is he -- but Trump's team is flatly denying and accusing others of bad-faith claims. Trump's legal team is also almost certainly selectively leaking information favorable to Trump, and I don't think we've seen that from Burr. They are both doing things that people who want to see Trump investigated as quickly as absolutely possible might prefer they do differently, but they are doing different things from each other.

I'm not saying anyone should like Burr, necessarily, or even trust him, but I think we would do a disservice to the notion of ethics to suggest that Burr's actions are, say, identical to Trump's legal team, or to those of Devin Nunes. If you have specific criticisms, by all means raise them, but painting this picture with a broad brush elides a lot of important details. As noted, I think Burr is moving too slowly, and I'd speculate that this is out of political concern for a need to build bipartisan consensus (which I think is a miscalculation) rather than out of a desire to bury or dismiss Trump's dealings -- but that's speculation.
posted by cjelli at 10:53 AM on October 4 [13 favorites]


I suspect there might be rules-lawyering on Burr's part regarding the phrase "Pro-Trump." It's almost certain that the ads weren't all straight up saying "Vote for Trump" and, rather, pushed divisions by promoting Stein or painting DNC handling of Sanders in a bad light. All of those actions were in furtherance of a Pro-Trump Russian agenda, but they weren't in the absolute strictest literal sense "Pro-Trump ads."

The question is whether he's splitting this hair to protect the investigation or 45*.
posted by Freon at 10:53 AM on October 4 [6 favorites]


Burr has been my representative in congress one way or another for nearly twenty years. He is trash. Any scenario that involves him NOT being utter trash is invalid.

Look up his connections to DeVos for a start. He's bought and paid for trash.
posted by winna at 10:55 AM on October 4 [10 favorites]


It must be creepy to be trump, looking every day at the poker faces of people who have already decided to kill you under certain conditions.

You're assuming he has the self-awareness to imagine such a scenario is possible. I doubt he does.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on October 4 [36 favorites]


If I was a military or security guy authorized to have a weapon in the presence of the president, you better believe I'd have already thought about this and talked to my buddies on the down-low. It must be creepy to be trump, looking every day at the poker faces of people who have already decided to kill you under certain conditions.

Part of a 1960's RAND Corp. study which examined the two sides of the coin, "Compromise Premier/President" to game out what could happen if we managed to root the leader of the Soviet Union, while developing defenses in case the unthinkable ever happened here, and The President was compromised by the USSR.

Well, here we are, and part of the plan is to 1) Not let the soviet agent learn he's under counter-surveillance. and 2) Make damn sure he can't launch nuclear missiles.

It may or may not be true, but I the only way I can get through the night by telling myself it's true.
posted by mikelieman at 10:57 AM on October 4 [15 favorites]


Vox: Trump's reverse Midas touch.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:07 AM on October 4 [5 favorites]


If we ever get to have elections that matter again, and we manage to oust this group of evil people, we need to put a **LOT** of things that used to be handled as social norms as laws that don't require Congress to enforce via impeachment.

But, and perhaps most critically, we absolutely must change the way nukes are handled.

Even when you have a president who isn't both evil and stupid, giving a single person the ability to launch nukes on nothing more than their whim is a bad idea.

That's the sort of decision that should involve the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, the Joint Chiefs, both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, and probably a few others.

You can make an argument for the President having the unilateral authority to launch a counter strike if there are incoming ICBM's. But allowing the President to just decide randomly that they want to launch nukes is an invitation to disaster.
posted by sotonohito at 11:07 AM on October 4 [39 favorites]


"When trying to figure out why Ryan doesn't waiver in support of Trump, it makes me look at the Foxcon deal."

You don't need to reach that far. Ryan is and always has been a partisan hack with no spine and a taste for cruel policies that fuck the poor. For some reason the media positioned him as a compassionate wonk, but there's no there there with Ryan -- his plans never made any sense, and they were never going to help anyone. Ryan supports Trump because Ryan has no spine and Trump is the big dog.

"I don't have to coddle my racial and gender peers. I don't have to try and make them feel better about their decisions to support a total asshat. Being nice to them, building bridges, educating, we've tried that and they still don't give a fuck about anybody but themselves."

It is with vast relief I've (mostly) quit believing in principled Republicans. For YEARS I engaged in good faith with people insisting they really cared about limited government, they really cared about the imperial executive, they really cared about the deficit, they really cared about the dignity of the office, blah blah blah. But now anyone who ever claimed one of those principled positions as their reason for opposing All That Democrats Do either a) silently swallowed their pride and voted for Hillary or b) is a big fat fucking liar and I don't have to pretend otherwise anymore.

"He was the CEO of motherfucking Exxon."

Alternative theory: It's been lost under the swarm of Trumpsanity, but Exxon's been getting a lot of heat for knowing about global warming and knowingly misleading the public, a la cigarette companies. The (rest of the) world is moving towards strong carbon limits. Other oil companies are frantically diversifying. Investment analysts are starting to price in the costs of global warming-related fraud risks, fossil fuel limits, carbon taxes, and things like that, when they assess companies, and those analysts have very poor outlooks for companies like Exxon. Tillerson is not a moron, and he knows that Exxon is in big, big trouble as a going concern -- one that misled the entire world into a possible extinction-level event, one that carries enormous liability for its role in promoting global warming (and eventually, like the cigarette companies, there are going to be lawsuits and big-money payouts), one that's looking at being regulated and legislated out of existence. The existence of Exxon's global warming fraud was known before Tillerson went to State, but the extent of it has only just begun to come out since he left. It's very possible Tillerson knows what a shitstorm is coming down the pike for Exxon and decided he'd like a lot better if someone else took that fall and he left with all his money intact and without being the CEO who was at the helm when Exxon hit the iceberg. (And Secretary of State is a nice way to burnish your somewhat tarnished reputation, although TRUMP'S Secretary of State not as much.)

If he was really smart and really wanted to cement his reputation for history, he'd do a 180 on global warming and become the world's leading voice against fossil fuels, then he could go down in history as an evil man who made a lot of money being evil, had a change of heart, and went down swinging for the good guys. But I don't think his reputation matters quite as much to him as his money.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:14 AM on October 4 [51 favorites]


Part of a 1960's RAND Corp. study which examined the two sides of the coin, "Compromise Premier/President" to game out what could happen if we managed to root the leader of the Soviet Union, while developing defenses in case the unthinkable ever happened here, and The President was compromised by the USSR.

If that's not fake, you can't just reference it and not drop a link. Come on!
posted by The World Famous at 11:17 AM on October 4 [4 favorites]


When Trump went to Puerto Rico, I half-expected him to sing the intro to "America" from West Side Story.

Puerto Rico,
My heart’s devotion
Let it sink back in the ocean.
Always the hurricanes blowing,
Always the population growing,
And the money owing.
And the sunlight streaming,
And the natives steaming.
I like the island Manhattan,
Smoke on your pipe and put that in.
posted by w0mbat at 11:18 AM on October 4 [7 favorites]


scaryblackdeath: Tillerson has said before that he wasn't going to take the job, but his wife said, "God isn't finished with you."

Jesus, she must hate him.


Do you mean his wife or god herself?
posted by adept256 at 11:18 AM on October 4 [58 favorites]




Manhattan DA Dropped Felony Investigation Into Trump Kids After Dad's Lawyer Stepped In.

Here's your quote of the day, from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.: "By the way, not every lie is a crime..."

Which is, you know, true, but when a lie is uttered in furtherance of a fraud, it sure as fuck is a crime. By the way.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:25 AM on October 4 [51 favorites]


> Here's your quote of the day, from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.: ""By the way, not every lie is a crime..."

Also works as a slogan for Trump/Pence 2020.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:27 AM on October 4 [15 favorites]


That sounds like it should be a line from a jazz standard.
posted by ctmf at 11:29 AM on October 4 [11 favorites]


I assume that this is completely made up (can't help but notice that it's a perfectly designed narrative to appeal to a bunch of racists), but does anyone know more about it? Where did this propaganda start? Is it based on any actual facts in reality? Who is pushing it?

A bit of history of the anti-union propaganda bullshit being pushed by wingnut media recently (via Snopes).
posted by chaoticgood at 11:29 AM on October 4 [12 favorites]


It is with vast relief I've (mostly) quit believing in principled Republicans.

@kjhealy: To think we spent the 1990s and 2000s getting lectured on honor and character by these clowns.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:32 AM on October 4 [58 favorites]


It is with vast relief I've (mostly) quit believing in principled Republicans. For YEARS I engaged in good faith with people insisting they really cared about limited government, they really cared about the imperial executive, they really cared about the deficit, they really cared about the dignity of the office, blah blah blah.

Every "I'm just for limited gov't" conservative I've talked to had, at their core, the belief that anyone who "tries hard enough" can get out of whatever poverty or privation they were born into, and therefore the government has no obligation to take action on their behalf. (This includes, of course, spending money and other resource enforcing safety regulations and preventing gerrymandering. If people want their votes to matter, they can always just move.)

My current stance for person-to-person arguments is: it may be "rational" to decide that the suffering of strangers is irrelevant to you, but it's fucking cold, and I have nothing but contempt for people who use that as their foundation for political decisions.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:33 AM on October 4 [26 favorites]


It's very possible Tillerson knows what a shitstorm is coming down the pike for Exxon and decided he'd like a lot better if someone else took that fall and he left with all his money intact and without being the CEO who was at the helm when Exxon hit the iceberg.
Let's just say that you appear to have a much greater confidence than I do that the people who occupy positions with that sort of power will face any significant repercussions. I find it utterly unbelievable that fear of consequences factored into Tillerson's decision-making even the tiniest bit.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:34 AM on October 4 [12 favorites]


There is currently a need for volunteer truck drivers who hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to transport shipping containers from the port to distribution centers throughout the island. [from chaoticgood's article]

Fuck a CDL. Do you know how to make a truck go from here to there? Go.

I know how to drive a truck, but don't normally have any reason for a CDL.
posted by ctmf at 11:34 AM on October 4 [3 favorites]


"Fine. Vote yourself in a government so small it can't give you #(*#)UR)#(*$@#* any @$#!*)!#$ tax cuts!"
posted by tilde at 11:35 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


There's a tweet for EVERYTHING.

(this one really kind of blew my mind)


The Australian Special Tertiary Admissions Test is a high-school equivalency test for people who didn't finish high-school and wish to go to university.
Some Units test the comprehension of demanding and complex language with emphasis on analysing and understanding the stimulus material. Other Units test the understanding and processing of ideas presented in more elementary language with emphasis on manipulating information and solving problems. Units may deal with objective or subjective material, or conceptual or argumentative issues.
The test contains some cartoons and asks the candidate to discern their meaning. Since Trump clearly does not understand this rather plain cartoon, I wonder if he'd score high enough in on the STAT to be offered a position at any university.
posted by adept256 at 11:43 AM on October 4 [2 favorites]


You can make an argument for the President having the unilateral authority to launch a counter strike if there are incoming ICBM's. But allowing the President to just decide randomly that they want to launch nukes is an invitation to disaster.

or you know we could just decide as a planet that we're not going to have nuclear weapons anymore
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:43 AM on October 4 [9 favorites]


Fuck a CDL. Do you know how to make a truck go from here to there? Go.

I know how to drive a truck, but don't normally have any reason for a CDL.


Although I have no reason to doubt your truck driving ability, I'm thinking maybe it's not the best idea to just hand the keys to a truck full of emergency supplies to whoever claims without any evidence they know how to drive it and it won't end up on its side in a ditch somewhere on the island with messed up roads.
posted by The World Famous at 11:45 AM on October 4 [20 favorites]


Just Security, Steve Vladeck, The Increasingly Unsettling Indifference Toward the US Citizen “Enemy Combatant”
It’s now been over three weeks since an American citizen who is being held by the United States in military detention as an “enemy combatant” after allegedly fighting on behalf of ISIS turned himself in to SDF forces in Syria. We still know shockingly little about the detainee (including his name, the circumstances of his capture, whether the government plans to keep him in military detention, etc.). Even the latest “news” in this case—that the Red Cross was notified of his capture and was planning to arrange a visit—is almost a week old.

One would think that the plight of an American citizen, the first to be subjected to military detention as an enemy combatant by his own government in almost a decade, would be a topic of interest to members of Congress. And yesterday was the perfect opportunity: Secretary of Defense Mattis and General Dunford (the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) spent somewhere north of six hours on Capitol Hill testifying before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees on the U.S. political and security strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. But unless I’m missing something in the preliminary transcripts of the two hearings, in all that time, the civilian and uniformed heads of the US military were asked exactly zero questions about this case, or what it may augur for U.S. detention policy going forward.
There's been so much damn news, but a US Citizen being held incommunicado for weeks as an enemy combatant could occupy at least a couple minutes of our time.
posted by zachlipton at 11:46 AM on October 4 [36 favorites]


Fuck a CDL. Do you know how to make a truck go from here to there? Go. I know how to drive a truck, but don't normally have any reason for a CDL.

The last thing that Puerto Rico needs is a bunch of well-meaning volunteers who think they know what they're doing, but do not actually know what they're doing. A CDL is a good way of confirming that volunteers are qualified drivers. Further, asking for volunteers to be able to legally drive a truck seems preferable to encouraging volunteers to break the law.

I'd also note that the plea for volunteers concluded with this:
At this time [Sept. 29], it is unclear if there are trucks available to move the containers, fuel to operate the trucks or road access to the distribution centers. However, the labor movement is working on the ground in Puerto Rico to bring volunteers to meet specific needs.
There was/is a need for volunteers drivers, yes. But past a certain point, they'll have enough volunteers to meet the needs that exist; if they can meet those needs with licensed, certified drivers, why take risks?
posted by cjelli at 11:52 AM on October 4 [10 favorites]


@CraryAP: Latest from Foggy Bottom: WASHINGTON (AP) — State Department spokeswoman denies that Rex Tillerson called President Donald Trump a 'moron'

First, a denial from a spokeswoman when you won't deny it yourself says something in and of itself.
Second, he reportedly called the President a "fucking moron." Can we get a denial on that too?
posted by zachlipton at 11:56 AM on October 4 [10 favorites]


"The Secretary most definitely did not call that fucker a moron." /fake
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:02 PM on October 4 [15 favorites]


Bit of a derail, but as incident commander I'd do both. (IF the case is as described in the slopes link, they have everything but drivers and some people are getting nothing.) Take volunteers who are capable (not, "well, I'm willing to give it a try, how hard can it be" types), impress on them the need to drive extremely conservatively and make it there #1 priority. Replace as qualified drivers become available. Work like hell to make that happen stat.

Backup/parallel idea: small vehicle train. Volunteer your pickup. (I don't doubt they are doing that already)

People are dying. Some is better than none. The story just made it sound like they were standing around shrugging waiting on CDL'd drivers, which on second thought, is pretty unlikely to be the actual case.
posted by ctmf at 12:04 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


The Secretary was assured that remark would be off the record.
posted by ctmf at 12:05 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


The test contains some cartoons and asks the candidate to discern their meaning. Since Trump clearly does not understand this rather plain cartoon, I wonder if he'd score high enough in on the STAT to be offered a position at any university.

Depends. Is he a legacy thru his millionaire dad?
posted by Gelatin at 12:09 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]




@CSPAN: .@SenBobCorker: "I think Sec. Tillerson, Sec. Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos." [video clip]

That's...wow.
posted by zachlipton at 12:28 PM on October 4 [37 favorites]


What a macho, gun-packing Instagram star did when he was caught in the Las Vegas shooting.

He seems unpleasant and foolish, but it's probably better that he wasn't actually packing during a crowded concert and had to go back to his vehicle for a gun.
posted by Coventry at 12:32 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


> He seems like an unpleasant and foolish person, but it's probably better that he wasn't actually packing during a crowded concert and had to go back to his vehicle for a gun.

I agree, but this is the opposite of the "good guy with the gun" fable that self-styled action heroes like himself insist is the only way we can truly be safe. Highlighting this rank hypocrisy doesn't mean much these days given who our President is and who is calling the shots in Congress, but it isn't nothing, either.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:35 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


That's...wow.

I think you mean accurate.
posted by corb at 12:35 PM on October 4 [9 favorites]


Account: SEN. BOB CORKER
Metric: FUCKS REMAINING
E [\--------------] F
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 12:38 PM on October 4 [38 favorites]


That's...wow.

The rest of that clip though, also wow:
Reporter: When you say that [they] are separating this country from chaos, do you mean - from the President?
Corker: 'Well - uh, they -- they act in a very -- they work very well together, to make sure that the policies we put forth around the world are sound and coherent. There are other people in the administration, in my belief, that don't. You know, I, you know I hope they stay because, uh, they're valuable to the national security of our nation, they're valuable to, uh, to us putting forth good policies, they're very valuable as it relates to our citizens feeling safe and secure.' [emphasis his]
In case it wasn't already clear from the pullquote that Corker is talking about the President, note that there's no denial in that answer: yes, he's talking about the President, who he also obliquely suggests isn't doing enough to support or help Tillerson (obliquely only in reference to whom; he flats says the support isn't there).
posted by cjelli at 12:40 PM on October 4 [29 favorites]


Account: SEN. BOB CORKER
Metric: FUCKS REMAINING
E [\--------------] F


Not having to worry about getting reëlected is a hell of a drug.
posted by cjelli at 12:41 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


I would say instead that the rank hypocrisy was in pretending that he *wouldn’t* have the perfectly natural reaction, in a crisis of widespread physical harm, of running for cover and then not knowing what to do. Everyone has that reaction, even people trained specifically for combat situations. I hope he fucking learned something, such as how talk is cheap, and posing with a bunch of guns is a lot different than having someone using guns just like that to aim at your head.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:42 PM on October 4 [9 favorites]


Seems bad that the only way cabinet members can talk the president is through the TV.

But that's how everybody talks to Donald, even dead people
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:43 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Tillerson has said before that he wasn't going to take the job, but his wife said, "God isn't finished with you."

Jesus, she must hate him.

Kind of makes you wonder what horrible things he's done that God's STILL not done punishing him.


Did you miss the discussion up above about how he was CEO of Exxon?
posted by phearlez at 12:44 PM on October 4 [22 favorites]


Jesus Christ, if you had told me two years ago that I might actually be a little bit proud of Bob Corker, I would have done a spit take.
posted by teleri025 at 12:44 PM on October 4 [15 favorites]


There are other people in the administration, in my belief, that don't. You know, I, you know I hope they stay because, uh, they're valuable to the national security of our nation, they're valuable to, uh, to us putting forth good policies, they're very valuable as it relates to our citizens feeling safe and secure.

Say, Senator? Maybe suggest to your colleagues in the House that now's a good time to begin the process of removing the Source of Chaos from the Oval Office.
posted by notyou at 12:52 PM on October 4 [40 favorites]


There seems to be no shortage of odious characters in this administration which is keeping me quite busy.
This would be Mike Pence, theocratic facist and all around idiotstick, of the most idiotsticking variety.

Also, at what point does the Republican Party get declared a terrorist organization by the rest of the planert? It seems we moved past that point decades ago.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:57 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]




When you control most of the weapons and are run by a madman and their lackeys, you're not a terrorist group -- you're just an imperial power.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:00 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Oh shiznit, if Kelly's out then the shitsoup circus is gonna break the applause meters!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:00 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


Trumo's monotone while reading prepared statements is so...odd and off-putting.

Trump is a dignity singularity, or dingularity if you like.

Dingus singularity, surely.

You know who else wore a monocle?

I know nahssink!
posted by Room 641-A at 1:02 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


I know nahssink!

If I may: I believe that's the tagline of the loyal military man that the leader kept close, and not something that he said himself.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:04 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


It's not a Friday, so I assume Kelly hasn't been fired. Though you know what would be over-the-top... Trump dropping Kelly and then bringing back the people Kelly got rid of.
posted by drezdn at 1:08 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


I know nahssink!

Something something Russian front.

[I LOVED Hogan's Heroes as a kid.]
posted by orrnyereg at 1:27 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


@SenBobCorker: "I think Sec. Tillerson, Sec. Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos."

So....

Corker is trying to get Tillerson, Mattis, and Kelly fired then?
posted by sotonohito at 1:27 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Reveal/Center for Investigative Reporting, They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants
Standing in a tiny wood-paneled courtroom in rural Oklahoma in 2010, he faced one year in state prison. The judge had another plan.

“You need to learn a work ethic,” the judge told him. “I’m sending you to CAAIR.”

McGahey had heard of Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery. People called it “the Chicken Farm,” a rural retreat where defendants stayed for a year, got addiction treatment and learned to live more productive lives. Most were sent there by courts from across Oklahoma and neighboring states, part of the nationwide push to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison.

Aside from daily cans of Dr Pepper, McGahey wasn’t addicted to anything. The judge knew that. But the Chicken Farm sounded better than prison.

A few weeks later, McGahey stood in front of a speeding conveyor belt inside a frigid poultry plant, pulling guts and stray feathers from slaughtered chickens destined for major fast food restaurants and grocery stores.

There wasn’t much substance abuse treatment at CAAIR. It was mostly factory work for one of America’s top poultry companies. If McGahey got hurt or worked too slowly, his bosses threatened him with prison.

And he worked for free. CAAIR pocketed the pay.

“It was a slave camp,” McGahey said. “I can’t believe the court sent me there.”

Soon, it would get worse.
So many fucked up things about this country, and it feels like we're constantly going backwards.
posted by zachlipton at 1:27 PM on October 4 [133 favorites]


Kelly pulled from AF1 Flight to Vegas

Jennifer Jacobs followed up:
"He is basically always on the manifest," @PressSec says. "Sometimes he travels, and sometimes he doesn't. Nothing to read into here."
That's (1) plausible, (2) exactly the kind of statement that would be easier to not read into if both Sanders and Spicer before her had not spent this Administration throwing out half-truths and outright lies. It's probably true, but the Press Secretary saying it makes me doubt it.
posted by cjelli at 1:28 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Rex Tillerson loves Big Donald
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE! Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, had to make a statement on Wednesday in response to an NBC News story that he had called the president a “moron” and needed to be persuaded by Vice President Pence to stay in his current position, given the continual daily humiliations to which he is subjected and the president’s tendency to undercut his diplomatic efforts.

The statement went approximately as follows.


Tillerson: Hello. I am making this statement of my own free will. (blinks rapidly) (keeps blinking) I AM NOT IN PAIN OR ANY SORT OF TROUBLE. I never even thought of leaving, and not because if I had thought it, Donald Trump — a good, smart man, the best of men — would have known at once and sent me to the cornfield.

Derrick.

That’s not a code word that I say to beg someone to come rescue me from this nightmare of my own creation. It’s just fun to say into a camera.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:28 PM on October 4 [46 favorites]


Yesssss, a reference to the cornfield! We are living in IT'S A GOOD LIFE now.
posted by Justinian at 1:31 PM on October 4 [12 favorites]


CNN: Roy Moore's Facebook page shared inflammatory memes, article praising Russia's anti-gay laws
The Facebook page belonging to Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Alabama, in February included a shared image of a group of black men standing on a destroyed police car during the 2015 Baltimore riots.

Overlaying the image was text that read, "Want to stop riots? Play the National Anthem. They'll all sit down."
Totally not about race.
posted by cjelli at 1:32 PM on October 4 [32 favorites]


“It was a slave camp,” McGahey said. “I can’t believe the court sent me there.”

It wouldn't surprise me at all if the judge gets actual kickbacks from the slave labor camp. It's happened before. I don't doubt in the least that the judge is supported politically by the pro-slavery side.
posted by Gelatin at 1:33 PM on October 4 [51 favorites]


[A few deleted - followups on the Las Vegas attack should probably go over there.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:35 PM on October 4


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Rex Tillerson loves Big Donald

Holy crap.
"(starts to sob faintly) I am just crying because I love Donald Trump so much. If you even knew his qualifications, you too would recommend him without qualifications. I am not saying that he is without qualifications. Oh god please don’t hurt the oil. It is not that he has my dearest oil and is threatening to put it somewhere that I will never see it again."
Daaaaaaaaamn.
posted by zarq at 1:38 PM on October 4 [36 favorites]


Tillerson has been absolutely savaged the last few days. Petri today, Dana Milibank's "Donald Trump's dog" in WaPo two days ago. All that's needed now is a Reek reference in the NYT. Come on guys, you can do it.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


"It's a Good Life" had little Anthony wish away the rest of the world for fear that it might hurt him, plus the adapted Twilight Zone episode had him obsessed with TV. So the analogy checks out!
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:46 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


Okay, just to doublecheck: Sleepy T called a press conference specifically to address the news story that Colonel Clownwig is a fucking moron, then does not deny it, begs for another delicious nibble of Nixon Submission Meatloaf, then goes home?

K.

Also Kelly got ejected from National Cleansing Healing One, Corker barfed on Trump's tiny shoes, and Pence's lapdog attacked his party?

*takes long drag, stubs out cigarette, stares into space*
posted by petebest at 1:55 PM on October 4 [20 favorites]


The BuzzFeed story on Tillerson has an interesting nugget:
One US official expressed confidence in Tillerson's status due to a so-called "suicide pact" forged between Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Tillerson whereby all three cabinet secretaries vow to leave in the event that the president makes moves against one of them.
I don't know if I believe it, but even the fact that someone wants word of said "suicide pact" out there is fascinating.

And if you're wondering why it's so important to stay a year:
Other Trump insiders point to the potentially hefty tax bill Tillerson would have to pay if he resigns before serving a year in government.
Being able to diversify your portfolio of Exxon stock tax free is a huge bonus. Having to pay all the taxes anyway, not so much.
posted by zachlipton at 1:57 PM on October 4 [48 favorites]


"No no no - Donald is a kind and good master, he's good to his Reek. Don't call him Donny Two Scoops, please don't, he hates that, I'll lose another finger if he hears you call him that..."
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:57 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


That slave labor story is nightmarish, not only do you have to work in the chicken factory for free, you also have to go to Bible Study and church. I think I'd rather go to prison.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:58 PM on October 4 [50 favorites]


Senator Dianne Feinstein has announced a bill to outlaw devices that can be fitted to semi-automatic firearms to increase the rate of fire. It covers bump stocks and gat cranks.
posted by w0mbat at 1:58 PM on October 4 [40 favorites]


Being able to diversify your portfolio of Exxon stock tax free is a huge bonus. Having to pay all the taxes anyway, not so much.

I guess I'll never be a billionaire because I honestly can't comprehend a time when I would care whether my net worth were 14.79 billion or 14.43 billion because I had to pay some extra taxes.
posted by Justinian at 1:59 PM on October 4 [52 favorites]


Silly DiFi! Doesn't she know that now isn't the time?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:00 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


McGahey had heard of Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery. People called it “the Chicken Farm,” a rural retreat where defendants stayed for a year, got addiction treatment and learned to live more productive lives. Most were sent there by courts from across Oklahoma and neighboring states, part of the nationwide push to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison.

...

There wasn’t much substance abuse treatment at CAAIR. It was mostly factory work for one of America’s top poultry companies. If McGahey got hurt or worked too slowly, his bosses threatened him with prison.
I wish this was the first time I'd heard of judges sending convicts into slavery (likely, as Gelatin said, for kickbacks) but I'm still reeling at the sheer chutzpah of straight-up calling your slavery-staffed chicken farm pretending to be a rehab camp "The Chicken Farm" and just pretending it's a nickname.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:00 PM on October 4 [22 favorites]


Even a bunch of conservative Republicans are coming out with vague support for banning bump-fire stocks, presumably so they can say "look, I did my job" and not do anything more.
posted by zachlipton at 2:02 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


The biggest take away from that slave camp story for me was the need for some sort of judicial system oversight. Something well funded, broad based, that has the same educational requirements touting their existence in every jail that OSHA has in work places.

And if that oversight already exists it is doing a truly shit job of it.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:03 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


I guess I'll never be a billionaire because I honestly can't comprehend a time when I would care whether my net worth were 14.79 billion or 14.43 billion because I had to pay some extra taxes.

It's not about the taxes it's about the principle. If the government takes that money they'll spend it on shit like helping the misfortunate.
posted by Talez at 2:05 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


Silly DiFi! Doesn't she know that now isn't the time?
“The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day,’” Alice objected.
“No, it ca’n’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.”
...I guess it'll never be jam today then. 'Jam' meaning 'a suitable time to talk about gun control', of course.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:05 PM on October 4 [11 favorites]


Even a bunch of conservative Republicans are coming out with vague support for banning bump-fire stocks, presumably so they can say "look, I did my job" and not do anything more.

Also in order to cover their asses so when the next mass shooting inevitably occurs they can say "See? We went along with the Democrats last time and what good did it do? None. Gun regulations simply don't work. Hey, NRA, more money please!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:08 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Trump has "social autism," doesn't see "other people," says conservative pundit George Will

“It’s not clear that he sees other people,” Will, who also writes a regular column in The Washington Post, said. “There’s such a thing as a kind of social autism—that he just doesn’t connect with other people. There’s no point in saying well maybe he’ll acquire it. This is not part of his genetic makeup. He’s 70 [71] years old.”

As for whether Trump would grow into the specific role of comforter-in-chief, Will was blunt in his assessment.

“It’s like explaining the color turquoise to someone who is colorblind,” he said. “He just doesn’t get this part of the presidential function. And he’s not going to.”


1. The word you want is "sociopathy," George.

2. Fuck you very much for demonizing people on the autism spectrum, George.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:09 PM on October 4 [143 favorites]


Can I just say that reading this:

It is with vast relief I've (mostly) quit believing in principled Republicans. For YEARS I engaged in good faith with people insisting they really cared about limited government, they really cared about the imperial executive, they really cared about the deficit, they really cared about the dignity of the office, blah blah blah. But now anyone who ever claimed one of those principled positions as their reason for opposing All That Democrats Do either a) silently swallowed their pride and voted for Hillary or b) is a big fat fucking liar and I don't have to pretend otherwise anymore.

With the dawning realization that I just said, out loud, almost this exact statement two or three days ago is a wonderful thing. Stay the course MetapetebestFilter, you're doing super!

Also if potential employers call, play it cool - I pasted a bunch of Megathreads into my CV for that soupçon of gravitas and dick jokes that make it pop.
posted by petebest at 2:12 PM on October 4 [14 favorites]


cjelli: "Not having to worry about getting reëlected is a hell of a drug."

cjelli has just been outed as working at The New Yorker.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:12 PM on October 4 [77 favorites]


The thing where a specific item is used in an attack and then a bill bans that specific item feels a lot like the shoe-bomber and security theater.

Like, fuck, that gat crank is a wood shop project. 10 minutes with a bandsaw and a trip to the hardware store. Not to mention simply holding the weapon a certain way to bump-fire. It's inherent in how they work.

And moreover, semi-automatic weapons can already be fired ridiculously fast in factory condition. It's fucking insane, and it ends up making gun-control advocates look like legislative idiots.
posted by odinsdream at 2:13 PM on October 4 [13 favorites]


“He just doesn’t get this part of the presidential function. And he’s not going to.”

He doesn't get all parts of the presidential function. Always, always, always the whitewashing, sigh.
posted by Melismata at 2:13 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


@SenBobCorker: "I think Sec. Tillerson, Sec. Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos."

Friends, I give you soon-to-be ex-Sen. Bob DGAF Corker. Hope to hear lots more in this vein from him before he exits stage left.

The President of the United States Of America doesn't. Understand. How. Water. Filtration. Works.

Worse yet, I'm betting he doesn't grasp that water comes out of, you know, the ground. Where all the dirt is.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:16 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


If we make a concerted effort to tell him where all his food and water come from, including pictures of the production lines for his beloved fast food, you think we can get him to starve himself completely?
posted by mrgoat at 2:18 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


That could backfire and make him healthier, tho.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:20 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Worse yet, I'm betting he doesn't grasp that water comes out of, you know, the ground. Where all the dirt is.

And obviously, the fish aren't getting out to pee.
posted by mikelieman at 2:22 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


Little Anthony was portrayed by Bill(y) Mumy, who also played two other much nicer kids on episodes of The Twilight Zone, Will Robinson (Danger!) on Lost in Space, and Lennier on Babylon 5, as well as being of Barnes & Barnes, one of the most requested acts on The Dr. Demento Show.

Bab 5 also provides this variation on Too Ticky's 'jam' quote: "No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow. What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here. Boom, sooner or later... boom!"

And Bill Mumy is 63 years old, having outgrown the Twilight Zone 54 years ago, which Little Donnie never has.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:27 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Friends, I give you soon-to-be ex-Sen. Bob DGAF Corker. Hope to hear lots more in this vein from him before he exits stage left right.

Jesus, Fellini, this is Bob Corker, what the fuck are you thinking?
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:27 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: soupçon of gravitas and dick jokes
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:27 PM on October 4 [12 favorites]


Maybe don't tell him about fluoridation, since he actually can pull a General Ripper.
posted by bonje at 2:28 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


One US official expressed confidence in Tillerson's status due to a so-called "suicide pact" forged between Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Tillerson whereby all three cabinet secretaries vow to leave in the event that the president makes moves against one of them.

And sometimes, it takes a Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic to drive the point home:

@emilynussbaum: This is totally normal, happens in every reality show, people form secret alliances against the guy with the Veto idol.
posted by zachlipton at 2:31 PM on October 4 [65 favorites]


Josh Marshall at TPM passes along this delightful tidbit:

“MS-13 turns young girls into sex slaves…yet Ralph Northam supports sanctuary cities…” That’s the text from a radio ad from Virginia GOP Governor candidate Ed Gillespie [...] on the heels of a series of TV ads with a similar topic and theme “Kill, Rape, Control.”

Such a moderate Republican, that Gillespie fellow.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:42 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


One US official expressed confidence in Tillerson's status due to a so-called "suicide pact" forged between Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Tillerson whereby all three cabinet secretaries vow to leave in the event that the president makes moves against one of them.

How the fuck would this even work? If Tillerson or Mattis currently wants to remain employed, why would that change upon Mnuchin's firing? Would they have more devotion to a promise to their now-ex-coworker than to their own career and legacy?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:42 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Corker's statement is very interesting in light of his comments on his retirement from approximately 30 years ago in 2017 Time:
“I also believe the most important public service I have to offer our country could well occur over the next 15 months,” Mr. Corker said, “and I want to be able to do that as thoughtfully and independently as I did the first 10 years and nine months of my Senate career.”
posted by jason_steakums at 2:46 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


How the fuck would this even work?

If true, it's not out of loyalty to each other, it's to force Trump and his more immediate cronies to grant each of them their own measure of independence: i.e. if he moves against any too directly, they all resign and the idea is the administration can't take that hit.

It's blackmail.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:04 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


How the fuck would this even work? If Tillerson or Mattis currently wants to remain employed, why would that change upon Mnuchin's firing

I don't think any of them need the paycheck, and the corrupt political machines is always hiring.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:06 PM on October 4




Pee tape? Reuters: 'Trump dossier' on Russia links now part of special counsel's probe: sources
The special counsel investigating whether Russia tried to sway the 2016 U.S. election has taken over FBI inquiries into a former British spy’s dossier of allegations of Russian financial and personal links to President Donald Trump’s campaign and associates, sources familiar with the inquiry told Reuters.

A report compiled by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele identified Russian businessmen and others whom U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded are Russian intelligence officers or working on behalf of the Russian government.

A spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller declined comment. The FBI also declined comment.

Three sources with knowledge of Mueller’s probe said his investigators have assumed control of multiple inquiries into allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election to benefit Trump, a Republican.
posted by zachlipton at 3:08 PM on October 4 [21 favorites]


The Mattis-Mnuchin-Tillerson "suicide pact" is their defense against the Trump loyalists/Bannonites in the White House who want them gone, e.g. the anonymous sources for the Daily Beast's scoop White House Aides Wanted Rex Tillerson to Resign for Calling Trump a 'Fucking Moron'.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:11 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Coincidentally, being unable to determine that trump is a fucking moron is now the bar for being a fucking moron.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:15 PM on October 4 [24 favorites]


Account: SEN. BOB CORKER
Metric: FUCKS REMAINING
E [\--------------] F


Exhibit B, also today:
@sarahnferris of Politico: "Bob Corker, very excited about sitting in this budget markup right now."
"This is some of the most meaningless work that we do here"
Then ducked out right after his opening statement.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:18 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


One US official expressed confidence in Tillerson's status due to a so-called "suicide pact" forged between Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Tillerson whereby all three cabinet secretaries vow to leave in the event that the president makes moves against one of them.

If this was between Mattis, Kelly, and Tillerson, I might believe it.

The most unrealistic proposal I've heard today is that a guy like Steven Mnuchin would ever hold to a pact like that on principal. And despite how low my opinions of Mattis may have sunk, I have trouble thinking he would ever look at that guy and think he can be relied upon for anything.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:19 PM on October 4 [25 favorites]


How the fuck would this even work?

It wouldn't, because they're all too self-interested to actually go through with it. Just a bit of brinksmanship to try to make him think they might.
posted by walrus at 3:19 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


It's called worker solidarity, people!
posted by whuppy at 3:23 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


White House Aides Wanted Rex Tillerson to Resign for Calling Trump a 'Fucking Moron'.

But I thought that truth was an affirmative defense.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:23 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


It wouldn't, because they're all too self-interested to actually go through with it. Just a bit of brinksmanship to try to make him think they might.

ah yes, the old “Jailer’s Dilemma”
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:26 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


RedOrGreen: "Such a moderate Republican, that Gillespie fellow."

Incidentally, I would urge Mefites to help out the Ralph Northam campaign with their time and/or money, if they possibly can do so. He only has a narrow lead, and losing the Virginia governorship to Gillespie would be a very bad thing.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:45 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]




“Pro-Life” Congressman Caught Telling His Extramarital Boo to Get an Abortion -"Rep. Tim Murphy, a vocally anti-abortion congressman from Pennsylvania, asked his own girlfriend to terminate a pregnancy this year.

brreeeeakking from local TV station KDKA: Pro-Life Rep. Tim Murphy Will Not Seek Re-Election After Reports Of Urging Abortion

winnable?
posted by lalex at 3:59 PM on October 4 [30 favorites]


It is a majority democratic district but it also voted overwhelmingly for Trump last year so I don't know if it's a pickup possibility or not.
posted by octothorpe at 4:01 PM on October 4


It's great that Murphy's out, regardless, he was terrible. But +19 Trump is not going to be easy to overcome. Not a foregone conclusion, depending how things go over the next year, but tough.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:08 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


PA-18 apparently is R+11 according to Cook PVI.

Recent representatives:
Tim Murphy (R), 2003 - present
Michael F Doyle (D), 1995 - 2003
Rick Santorum (R), 1991 - 1995
posted by cybertaur1 at 4:08 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


>Other Trump insiders point to the potentially hefty tax bill Tillerson would have to pay if he resigns before serving a year in government.

>Being able to diversify your portfolio of Exxon stock tax free is a huge bonus. Having to pay all the taxes anyway, not so much.


Not so much? How about $70 million much. That's a lot of meatloaf to swallow.
posted by JackFlash at 4:09 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Keep in mind there's a re-districting in there. Current PA-18 is not Santorum's PA-18.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:10 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


I think Santorum is rated MA-21.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:11 PM on October 4 [13 favorites]


Wikipedia says that PA-18 has 70,000 more democrats than republicans but there doesn't seem to be a source for that.
posted by octothorpe at 4:16 PM on October 4


Tim Murphy (R), 2003 - present
Michael F Doyle (D), 1995 - 2003
Rick Santorum (R), 1991 - 1995


I know nothing about Michael Doyle, but judging by the caliber of people favored by his constituency, I can only assume he must have liked to bite the legs off crickets for fun.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:16 PM on October 4


Doyle's a pretty solid, middle of the pack Democrat.
posted by octothorpe at 4:29 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


losing the Virginia governorship to Gillespie would be a very bad thing.

Yea...this is a huge understatement. The VA GOP has been held back from flipping like Kentucky has over the past two years only by Democratic control of the Governor's mansion. They've turned, hard, hard right, and if Gillispie wins, his embrace of the Corey Stewart Lost Cause Plus Double Racism campaign shows what kind of governor he's actually going to be. Republicans are all mini-Trumps now, there's no such thing as a moderate, and Gillispie doesn't actually have any public record to refute that, he's never held elected office, but people assume he'd be a moderate because...reasons? He was a lobbyist? I've never been clear on why anyone would assume he won't govern exactly like a Matt Bevin or Paul LePage.

And it's a MASSIVE disappointment the lack of national Democratic engagement for Northam. Tom Perriello to his credit has been busting his ass in the state, but none of the national figures like Bernie or Warren who endorsed Perriello have lifted a finger to help Northam hold off the Trumpists in Virginia.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:32 PM on October 4 [26 favorites]


I’ve said it before but Donald having consensual watersports with sex workers would be the most wholesome normal thing about the man. The pee tape is the least valuable or explosive part of that dossier.
posted by winna at 4:36 PM on October 4 [18 favorites]


Doyle is my current rep and he's to the left of Casey but not, like, a Warren. But he's pretty solid. Anyway, as you may have surmised PA 18 has been redistricted/gerrymandered since Doyle was its congressman.

Murphy is an a-hole and I wish Godspeed to the democrats running in that district. I'll help them any way I can. The biggest municipality in the district is wealthy and suburban but of a more liberal, urbane bent. It's an older, inner ring suburb. There's a pretty active, dedicated [day of week] With [shitbag congressman] group there that protests in front of his office every week.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:50 PM on October 4 [10 favorites]


Hurricane relief or better said nonrelief news
Dozens of U.S.-flagged offshore supply vessels are ready and waiting to assist in the humanitarian relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands should they be called on to do so by the federal government.
Well oiled fuck up
posted by adamvasco at 4:54 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]




Donald having consensual

This never happens.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:59 PM on October 4 [11 favorites]


The pee tape is the least valuable or explosive part of that dossier.

But it's the most FUN. Can we at least have this little bit of OMGLOLWTF?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:06 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


FFS the point of the (alleged) tape is that it would be kompromat. Somehow we keep coming back to "so what if he did that", over and over again.
posted by uosuaq at 5:13 PM on October 4 [13 favorites]


Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo (live now) just did a fine thing - something that many others would be wise to emulate. He mentioned Trump's visit to Las Vegas today, making it clear that he did so for one reason, and one reason only: to dismiss him. The only thing he had to say was that (paraphrasing), thanks entirely to the skill and good sense of the law enforcement community itself, the Preznut's visit did not hinder ongoing investigations or any other law enforcement operations related to the shooting.
posted by perspicio at 5:14 PM on October 4 [31 favorites]


Heads Up — An Impending Disaster in Virginia
In my Richmond neighborhood, which contains a relatively dense and walkable mix of swing, base and irregular voters. There is absolutely zero evidence of a Northam campaign beyond one neighbor who apparently drove to the campaign office downtown to pick up a yard sign. No phone calls, no canvassers, no mailings, no digital ads and very little earned media, much less net-positive earned media. Basically no Northam presence at all in a neighborhood that should be near the top of most Dem targeting operations.

We're so fucked.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:24 PM on October 4 [31 favorites]


> Internet’s Most Popular Donald Trump Chat Room Destroyed in Anime-Related ‘Coup’
According to two of the mutineers, Americans who go by the names of Hova and Pefimous, they destroyed Centipede Central to wrest control from Based_Brit for three reasons:

* He was sometimes inactive

* He argued for an anime channel on Centipede Central, which some moderators didn't want

* Some moderators did not want a British person running an American political server
Hmm, I wonder which of those is doing the most work... Thinking... thinking...
posted by tonycpsu at 5:25 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


The pee tape is the least valuable or explosive part of that dossier.

The value of the pee tape is that confirmation of its existence would immediately bolster the credibility of every other part of the Steele dossier.
posted by nubs at 5:31 PM on October 4 [31 favorites]


Hmm, I wonder which of those is doing the most work... Thinking... thinking...

It's an awoovement!
posted by Talez at 5:50 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


So if they dems blow the election in VA, that's them at 0/3 in important post-Trump elections, right?
posted by Slackermagee at 6:13 PM on October 4


The pee tape is the least valuable or explosive part of that dossier.

It's also the part of the dossier that rings the most true to me. THE PEE TAPE IS HEADCANON. I will not give up on the pee tape. 💦💦💦
posted by dis_integration at 6:18 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


I Peelieve!
posted by tonycpsu at 6:32 PM on October 4 [17 favorites]


Even if a pee tape gets leaked trump will just call it a fake and whip out some “experts” who will say as much.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:47 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Heads Up — An Impending Disaster in Virginia

At some point, incompetence and malice are indistinguishable. Looking at you, DNC.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:48 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


The best thing about the Tillerson thing was this:

Media: Tillerson called Trump a moron!
Trump: That's a lie. #fakenews
Media: Trump says its a lie. So anyway, Tillerson called Trump a moron!
posted by Room 641-A at 6:51 PM on October 4 [44 favorites]


Incompetence with malice has a sad tendency to beat out incompetence without malice.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:52 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


Eminent vaudeville straight man Chris Hayes teeing up the ball for Obama press secretary Josh Earnest tonight: "Do you think people other than Tillerson who work for [Trump] view him as a moron?"

Earnest's deftly vicious answer must be enjoyed in all its audiovisual glory (via Twitter).

Btw, Spicey and Huckabee Sanders: this is what an actual qualified WH Comms staff person sounds like, you sorry-ass dim bulbs.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:53 PM on October 4 [28 favorites]


San Juan mayor protests Trump with ‘nasty’ t-shirt (Newsweek/Raw Story)

Carmen Yulín Cruz 2020?
posted by Room 641-A at 6:59 PM on October 4 [40 favorites]


The best thing about the Tillerson thing was this.

No way! The best part is that "Trump" and "moron" have been spoken and printed together literally thousands of times and perma-chyroned ubiquitously (except FoxNews) for like 20 hours straight.

Trump is never going to see or think of Tillerson again without "guy that everyone knows called me a fucking moron" being his first association.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:59 PM on October 4 [25 favorites]


I would be so tempted to slip it into conversation so he never truly forgets.

Pass the gravy, I want moron my meatloaf.
posted by adept256 at 7:15 PM on October 4 [32 favorites]


> Trump is never going to see or think of Tillerson again without "guy that everyone knows called me a fucking moron"

My favorite part too. And it's why I can't see how Rex will last the week.
posted by klarck at 7:30 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


Don't forget the "-ing" modifier before the "moron". In these days when The F-Word is losing its taboo status, it needs to be part of the description.

Or you can just use them as 'middle initials': Donald F. M. Trump.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:38 PM on October 4 [7 favorites]


Anime-Related ‘Coup’

not another one!
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:42 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


A coup de oghibli perhaps
posted by adept256 at 7:47 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


No way! The best part is that "Trump" and "moron" have been spoken and printed together literally thousands of times and perma-chyroned ubiquitously (except FoxNews) for like 20 hours straight.

Why not both! Hooray! \o/
posted by Room 641-A at 7:50 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


Hey, remember when everybody was trying to make it so that googling the phrase "miserable failure" would return results about George W. Bush Jr.?

Yep, Trump is results #3 through 7 right now for the word "moron".

So much winning!
posted by mmoncur at 7:56 PM on October 4 [42 favorites]


So how do we get to this scenario:

Reporter: Mr. President, congratulations on beating former Senator Rick Santorum and becoming the most famous man on Google!
posted by Room 641-A at 8:05 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


Data point: when one white house staffer talked about another one sucking his own cock, they were both toast within a month
posted by theodolite at 8:11 PM on October 4 [6 favorites]


Joey Michaels: "At some point, incompetence and malice are indistinguishable. Looking at you, DNC."

I know likes to say "DNC" when they mean "the Democratic establishment," but a gubernatorial campaign is not run by the DNC. And it doesn't really help to be pointing a finger at someone who is not running the campaign.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:18 PM on October 4 [25 favorites]


Slackermagee: "So if they dems blow the election in VA, that's them at 0/3 in important post-Trump elections, right?"

Er, what elections are you referring to? It's totally true that they haven't swung any of the Congressional special elections (there have been four), all of which were GOP-held seats, running from fairly to extremely Republican. They've also picked up eight GOP-held state legislature seats so far, several very red indeed.

Also - and I don't say this to pick on you personally, Slackermagee - for everyone bitching "the Democrats are going to blow it again" -- What have YOU done personally to help? Have you donated to campaigns? Have you signed up to phone bank? Have you helped out organizations that register voters?

Lord knows I'm not saying the Democratic party is flawless. But if you aren't helping to get folks elected....
posted by Chrysostom at 8:27 PM on October 4 [52 favorites]


This is a hell of a line in the Post's latest on Tillerson: ‘Death spiral’: Tillerson makes nice but may not last long with Trump:
And as Tillerson has traveled the globe, Trump believes his top diplomat often seems more concerned with what the world thinks of the United States than with tending to the president’s personal image.
posted by zachlipton at 8:32 PM on October 4 [65 favorites]


Trump believes his top diplomat often seems more concerned with what the world thinks of the United States

That's just the definition of a diplomats job...

Apparently trump is mad at the very definition of diplomacy.

I guess that's where we're at now. *shrug emoji*.
posted by dis_integration at 8:43 PM on October 4 [33 favorites]


And as Tillerson has traveled the globe, Trump believes his top diplomat often seems more concerned with what the world thinks of the United States than with tending to the president’s personal image.

When Tillerson accepted this job didn't he understand that the most important thing the Secretary of State does is brown-nose the President all the time and give him good PR? That's everyone's most important thing! What's this nonsense about "the rest of the world" who the fuck is that? There's only one real person in the whole world, Donald Trump, and then there are shadows on the cave wall who are either willing tools who help you grift early and grift often, or who can be exploited and ripped off like the rubes they are.

Trump is the literal worst. He's running this administration exactly like he's run his whole life, through a combination of bluster and bullshit. There's no thought, there's no delivery or payoff, there's nothing at all below the surface, it's just ego and spin and narcissism careening from one catastrophe to the next before the house of cards collapses. And it's working because so many Americans are complete fucking knobs.
posted by supercrayon at 8:56 PM on October 4 [48 favorites]


> Everybody conflates Monopoly Man and Mr. Peanut.

Mr. Peanut doesn't have a mustache. It could be Julius Pringles.
posted by guiseroom at 9:04 PM on October 4 [12 favorites]


Bob Ho-Ho's.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:09 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


And it doesn't really help to be pointing a finger at someone who is not running the campaign.

You are correct and it was lazy of me not to be more accurate and specific. Apologies to all.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:13 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


outlier poll alert: WaPo polling has Northam (D) up 13 in VA.
posted by lalex at 9:23 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the RCP average is Northam +4.4, so that *is* an outlier.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:26 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants is bonkers

Rick Perry wants to attack the oil industry to prove Trump can bring back coal. Or something.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:26 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Btw, Decision Desk is running a series on Virginia House of Delegates races. It's pretty close to the takeaway from the DailyKos diary - maybe 10-12 seat pickup for Dems.

Decision Desk is conservative, but usually pretty straight shooting on analysis.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:31 PM on October 4


Just donated to the Northam campaign...
posted by dhens at 9:36 PM on October 4 [8 favorites]


Decision Desk is excellent and worth following on election nights for their live coverage.
posted by lalex at 9:39 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]


Mr. Peanut doesn't have a mustache. It could be Julius Pringles.

Mr. Peanutbutter doesn't have a mustache but he has whiskers.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:40 PM on October 4 [14 favorites]



Data point: when one white house staffer talked about another one sucking his own cock, they were both toast within a month


I don't know why you're bringing 19th Century political events into this oh wait
posted by darkstar at 9:55 PM on October 4 [5 favorites]


When Tillerson accepted this job didn't he understand that the most important thing the Secretary of State does is brown-nose the President all the time and give him good PR?

If you don't have double-barrel pinkeye, you're not brown-nosing hard enough.
posted by chortly at 9:55 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]


outlier poll alert: WaPo polling has Northam (D) up 13 in VA.

Apparently, they asked which way people lean and included that as support, even as 1/4th of likely voters say they may change their mind.

So, um, here's that donation link for Northam if that concerns you as much as it does me.
posted by zachlipton at 10:01 PM on October 4 [9 favorites]


The Republican candidate for governor in Virginia is establishment through and through. His turn toward Trumpism is a dire omen for the party: How Ed Gillespie Became a Trumpist.
posted by peeedro at 3:56 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Of all the myriad ways I hate Donald Trump more than I have ever hated anyone in my 47 years on this dear planet, I want to acknowledge this specific grievance: he's planting seeds of future disunity. That's his instinct. He breeds foment. I mean, I care more about the people actually suffering right now v. the possible infighting within the union, but it's hard not to look ahead ten years or so and seeing some really big fucking chickens come home to roost.
posted by angrycat at 4:11 AM on October 5 [49 favorites]


Also I am looking at Michelle Obama's twitter feed and tearing up help
posted by angrycat at 4:13 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Donny's still melting down over 'fucking moron' and calling for congressional investigations of the free press.

@realDonaldTrump
Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!
posted by chris24 at 4:16 AM on October 5 [9 favorites]


Can John Kelly just give him some toaster waffles and put cartoons on?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:23 AM on October 5 [43 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!


There's so much here fucked up, I don't know where to begin.

"Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig; es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
- Wolfgang Pauli
posted by mikelieman at 4:24 AM on October 5 [16 favorites]


Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!

You know, I kind of wish they would.

Maybe that would finally get Breitbart, FOX, and Gateway Pundit shut down.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:26 AM on October 5 [43 favorites]


Donny's still melting down over 'fucking moron' and calling for congressional investigations of the free press.

A lot of these tweets are actually from Dan Scavino, his Director of Social Media.
posted by PenDevil at 4:54 AM on October 5 [5 favorites]


What have YOU done personally to help?

A fair question, to be sure. My answer s that I haven't joined the willful, blind badgering of fellow Democrats until their mental mailbox explodes with inane platitudes to "put experience to work". I haven't called them during dinner and hissed, "can we count on your supportseses?!?" for the forty-third fucking time this week.

I pointed out this alarming trend towards wasteful resource allocation a hundred thousand megathreads ago and was informed by a stalwart volunteer that they would in fact be contacting me, repeatedly, extremely unsolicited, over my explicit protest because we "liked to win elections".

Reader, is it any wonder we don't? We are wrestling with GOP pigs in GOP shit. It's designed to fail us. We could actually learn something from Russia's victorious campaign operatives. (No, not planting fake news ads, but it's closer to a viable strategy than "Hello [Registered Voter], my name is [Your Name Here] and I am also calling from offshore to ask if you'll help save humanity. Well, will you? Huh? DID YOU GET OUR FLYERS?!? Well?!"
posted by petebest at 4:57 AM on October 5 [24 favorites]


A lot of these tweets are actually from Dan Scavino, his Director of Social Media.

The level of incompetence of "Professionals" never ceases to amaze me. But you know, fucking-2017...
posted by mikelieman at 4:58 AM on October 5


So Dan Scavino has affected Trump's scattershot capitalization and inappropriate emphasis elements? I don't know if that's professional or just regular craz- no, wait, I do.
posted by petebest at 5:01 AM on October 5 [5 favorites]


And again I wonder if the president of the United States is living in a fantasy world that his own brain creates for him, or if he is purposefully kept in the dark by his handlers and the yes-men he surrounds himself with.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 5:07 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


So Dan Scavino has affected Trump's scattershot capitalization and inappropriate emphasis elements? I don't know if that's professional or just regular craz- no, wait, I do.

Reminds me of Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time
Igor was puzzled. Igor had never worked for a sane person before. He'd worked for a number of... well, the world called them madmen, and he'd worked for several normal people, in that they only indulged in minor and socially acceptable insanities, but he couldn't recall ever working for a completely sane person. Obviously, he reasoned, if sticking screws up your nose was madness, then numbering them and keeping them in careful compartments was sanity, which was the opposite- Ah. No. It wasn't, was it... ? He smiled. He was beginning to feel quite at home already.
posted by mikelieman at 5:10 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


It is actually a problem, because it seems Scavino has permission to tweet AS Trump, not merely on his behalf. If I recall correctly during the election HRC who would sign tweets that she wrote personally as opposed to those sent by her staff.

Which means that we might be plunged into nuclear war because of a hastily written tweet by some low level WH official because Trump is too busy trying to sink a double bogey putt (or 'par' as it will be signed off on the card) on the 14th at Bedminster.
posted by PenDevil at 5:12 AM on October 5 [44 favorites]


If there isn't something officially wrong about a member of the White House staff posting as Trump to Trump's personal account, there damned well should be.
posted by mikelieman at 5:17 AM on October 5 [24 favorites]


A lot of these tweets are actually from Dan Scavino, his Director of Social Media.

Doesn't matter who typed them in. It's not like when there were the few sane tweets and we could see they came from an iPhone rather than Android and say, well, some staffer did the right thing. These are unhinged, contrary to the constitution and authoritarian, and going out from his personal account as him. Trump owns them and their message. Tweets definitely equal endorsements.
posted by chris24 at 5:18 AM on October 5 [11 favorites]


he's planting seeds of future disunity.

If we get him out only to have a civil war /anyway/ ten years later because of this, I will just cry and cry and cry and cry.
posted by corb at 5:23 AM on October 5 [12 favorites]




More twitterstorm: Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.

My god. He really can't let it go. How can any of the adults behind the scene not be terrified by this? This fragile petty little ego has to spend the whole morning going on an on about the "fake news" instead of dealing with the thousands of pressing issues that actually mean something. Can you imagine the level of hate R's would give to Obama if he did this? How are all the supposed guardians of our democracy continuing to let us down?

It is no longer an exaggeration to think that this man's comments will seriously trigger a crisis resulting in millions of deaths. We all know this, we've all been fearing it for awhile, but it rings truer every day. The power he has is wielded so carelessly, and with such vicious disregard for reality or compassion of others...it's simply too much.

THIS MAN IS UNWELL. REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE NOW PLEASE.
posted by andruwjones26 at 6:04 AM on October 5 [60 favorites]


No verification from me.

Your contract with The People of the United States doesn't include pre-publication approval, dude.

Unwell, indeed. Article 25 dudes. Stat.
posted by mikelieman at 6:09 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


Again, he truly seems to think that news networks job is to do PR for him.
posted by thelonius at 6:10 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


My god. He really can't let it go. How can any of the adults behind the scene not be terrified by this?

tax cuts
posted by entropicamericana at 6:11 AM on October 5 [25 favorites]


No verification from me.

That isn't how this works! That isn't how any of this works!
posted by diogenes at 6:15 AM on October 5 [31 favorites]


> My god. He really can't let it go.

And it's pretty strong evidence he knows - or at least, believes - Rex called him a moron. Given his lifetime practice of denial and self-delusion, Trump letting Tillerson's slur make it through his defenses is an unexpected delight.
posted by klarck at 6:18 AM on October 5 [19 favorites]


No verification from me.

"Sir, CNN is on the line, they just want to check that McMaster ever called you a quote unquote 'Fuckboi'?"
posted by PenDevil at 6:20 AM on October 5 [47 favorites]


No verification from me.

SEE? THIS IS WHY WE NEED VERRIT, PEOPLE!
posted by entropicamericana at 6:39 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Meet the ‘Monopoly Man’ who photobombed Equifax CEO (Christianna Silva, Newsweek/Raw Story)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:51 AM on October 5 [8 favorites]


The one thing that gives me hope about the Northam campaign (I'll admit, that Medium piece scared the shit out of me, echoes of Wisconsin and so forth) is the incredible amount of grassroots support that's getting out the vote for Democrats in VA statehouse races, including some real uphill battles. We talk a lot about the problem of Democratic "undervotes"--folks who vote at the top of the ticket but leave the rest of the ballot blank--but I think it's possible that the reverse will happen in this election: big GOTV efforts turn out Democratic voters for the "little" races, which ends up strengthening Northam's showing. I hope to fucking Christ.
posted by duffell at 6:58 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


Again, he truly seems to think that news networks job is to do PR for him.

It's not like he has precedent or anything...
posted by Talez at 7:12 AM on October 5


How can any of the adults behind the scene

Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence.
posted by god hates math at 7:27 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


Meet the ‘Monopoly Man’ who photobombed Equifax CEO (Christianna Silva, Newsweek/Raw Story)

please don't be a milkshake duck please don't be a milkshake duck please don't be a milkshake duck please don't be a milkshake duck

Oh, whew, thank the heavenly bureaucracy!

at least not yet...
posted by anem0ne at 7:31 AM on October 5 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised the Monopoly Man story didn't point out that the character is based on literal-no-foolin-above-the-law-i-am-the-law JP Morgan.
posted by petebest at 7:42 AM on October 5 [7 favorites]


Driving last night I heard the BBC World Service top of the hour news report with the exquisitely enunciated 'whether Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the president a moron' and I laughed like a hyena.

It's all very troubling and sad but this is kind of funny.
posted by readery at 7:45 AM on October 5 [21 favorites]


"No verification from me."

Really? Really?

Just every day, all the time, Donald.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:48 AM on October 5 [8 favorites]


Since you mention it, I heard, or rather didn't hear, Tillerson's press conference live on the BBC World service. The announcer talked all over him, he introduced Rex three times in three minutes, then cut to the half-hour news bulletin. Not the standard of reporting I expect from the BBC.
posted by adept256 at 7:51 AM on October 5


TPM:
The Department of Homeland Security has not received the renewal paperwork of roughly 36,000 DACA recipients by its Oct. 5 deadline, a government spokesperson told TPM Thursday, meaning thousands of undocumented young people could face deportation after handing over reams of information to government.
...
In a statement provided to TPM Thursday, a public affairs officer for USCIS said “Of the approximately 154,000 individuals whose DACA is set to expire between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, approximately 118,000 either have renewal requests currently pending with USCIS, or have already had USCIS adjudicate their renewal request.”
There's probably some non-zero number of people who chose to not renew for want of trust in the Trump administration; but most of the evidence points to people either being unaware of the need to renew, or simply being unable to complete their renewal paperwork in time.

Vox: The Trump administration didn't notify immigrants about an abrupt deadline to renew DACA
In Kansas City, says Nubia Urena of the Kansas-Missouri DREAM Alliance, there were two events held the day of the announcement [of Trump's order]: “We had kind of a support group for those who took it really hard, because some of us did, and then we also had a rally for those who were like pissed, because some of us were that as well.”

But shortly thereafter, Illinois’ Hoyt says, it hit advocates like a bucket of ice water: “Oh my god! We have to process six months of enrollments in one month!”

Advocates did some rough, back-of-the-envelope calculations: To get 154,000 applications processed, they’d have to do 214 applications every hour. Even in a best-case scenario, advocates concluded, they’d miss 40,000 DREAMers.


Some of those recipients were already planning to get their applications in; In fact, 58,000 of them had already applied before September 5.

But the Trump administration did nothing to tell people who thought they had more time that the timeline had changed.


Some DACA recipients got letters from USCIS before September 5 reminding them that they had 180 more days to reapply — and recommending they reapply in the next three months. But USCIS didn’t send out any corrections to warn those immigrants that if they followed the instructions from the earlier letter, they’d find themselves locked out.
...
Even if the administration wasn’t willing to extend the deadline, advocates had other suggestions for “simple, modest things,” Hoyt says, “to prevent real pain among DACA recipients.” USCIS could have sent letters out to DACA recipients who were eligible to renew — especially those who’d gotten letters before September 5, recommending they renew in the next few months — telling them about the new timeline.

Or it could have set up stations at USCIS processing offices where applicants could turn in their applications, guaranteeing that they would be received in time — rather than having to keep their fingers crossed that the postal service wouldn’t take more than a couple of days to deliver an application.

The government did none of these things.
posted by cjelli at 7:54 AM on October 5 [62 favorites]




Maybe some of those people who didn't renew are wary of giving the Trump administration updated information that will be used in the pogroms.
posted by adept256 at 8:00 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


The DACA recipients probably just forgot to go down to the the cellar where the display department is located, with a flashlight and a ladder to go and look at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”
posted by fragmede at 8:17 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


Jeff Sessions Just Reversed A Policy That Protects Transgender Workers From Discrimination

I hope, for this and other reasons, that he dies in jail. He's a racist, trans-ist, classist traitor who uses his power to destroy equality before the law, and is the very definition of a threat to the constituion. He is no better than the cesspit of hate that he habitually resides in. I'm aware this is ironically fairly hateful of me, but I really don't care. He's worse than Trump, because Trump is too much of an idiot to realise how much damage he's doing in a lot of cases. Sessions does it all intentionally, and has apparently also betrayed his country to do a deal with Putin.

In short, fuck this administration and fuck Jeff Sessions in particular.
posted by jaduncan at 8:18 AM on October 5 [68 favorites]


The day you become an adult is the day you realize there are no adults in the room.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 8:19 AM on October 5 [53 favorites]


Jeff Sessions Just Reversed A Policy That Protects Transgender Workers From Discrimination

Remember when Elizabeth Warren was told to shut up and sanctioned for speaking the truth about Sessions during his confirmation hearing? She persisted.

Every single Republican voted for the sanction, including "moderates" Collins and Murkowski. There are no moderate Republicans.
posted by JackFlash at 8:42 AM on October 5 [57 favorites]


I mean, I get that. But saying there is zero difference between Collins and, I don't know, Roy Moore is just not true. Yes, they're all bad, but I think it's important to realize some of them are worse than others.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:56 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


Every single Republican voted for the sanction, including "moderates" Collins and Murkowski. There are no moderate Republicans.

Well, every Republican that voted, voted for the sanction. And every Democrat that voted, voted against the sanction. Some didn't cast a vote either way (presumably they weren't on the floor at that time?) and the vote was 49-43 along party lines. None of this contradicts your larger point, because of course, you're right--the supposed moderates you mentioned chose not to sit that vote out, and sure as hell did vote to sanction Warren. As did Flake. As did Heller. As did McCain.
posted by duffell at 8:59 AM on October 5 [8 favorites]


The day you become an adult is the day you realize there are no adults in the room.


Shit, I thought it was when you realized that the cavalry isn't coming to fix everything.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:59 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Captain l'escalier: The day you become an adult is the day you realize there are no adults in the room.

Or as my man Frank says:
Well it was bad enough the feeling, and the first time it hit
When you realized your parents had let the world all go to shit
And that the values and ideals for which many had fought and died
Had been killed off in the committees and left to die by the wayside
posted by wenestvedt at 9:00 AM on October 5 [7 favorites]


> if you need a laugh right now:

Internet’s Most Popular Donald Trump Chat Room Destroyed in Anime-Related ‘Coup’


I really could have used a laugh, but what I wound up doing was shaking my head sadly and wondering what the hell is wrong with people, like Marge Gunderson at the end of Fargo.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:02 AM on October 5 [13 favorites]


Biden: “Guys, the wealthy are as patriotic as the poor. I know Bernie doesn’t like me saying that, but they are.”

I just don't understand this fondness for Uncle Joe. Sure he served as an amusing comic relief sidekick to Obama, but Biden's record is decidedly from the right end of the Democratic spectrum, at least on economic issues.
posted by JackFlash at 9:04 AM on October 5 [31 favorites]


Politico: Angry GOP donors close their wallets
Republicans are confronting a growing revolt from their top donors, who are cutting off the party in protest over its inability to get anything done.
...
With the GOP’s agenda at a virtual standstill on Capitol Hill, the party is contending with a hard reality. Some of the party's most elite and influential donors, who spent the past eight years plowing cash into the party’s coffers in hopes of accomplishing a sweeping conservative agenda and undoing Barack Obama’s legislative accomplishments, are closing their wallets.
...
The backlash is threatening to deprive Republicans of resources just as they're gearing up for the 2018 midterms. Party officials are so alarmed that North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who oversees fundraising for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told his colleagues at a recent conference meeting that donations had fallen off a cliff after the Obamacare flop. The committee’s haul plummeted to just $2 million in July and August, less than half of what it raised in June.
There's a lot of eyebrow-raising over the Alabama Senate runoff, apparently, where major donors are concerned that McConnell wasted their money in backing the losing candidate.

I doubt that this actually represents a net decrease in spending, but it might signal a shift in where major GOP donors decide to put their money.
posted by cjelli at 9:07 AM on October 5 [19 favorites]


Biden: “Guys, the wealthy are as patriotic as the poor. I know Bernie doesn’t like me saying that, but they are.”

Who gives a shit? I can't pay my rent with patriotism. Kids don't get fed with Respect For The Flag And Our Troops.

The hearts and minds of the rich are not relevant; I do not care what they think and believe. I care whether they're hoarding money that could be used for food, shelter, healthcare, and education.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:12 AM on October 5 [92 favorites]


Did other first ladies accompany the president when they visited disaster scenes for the first time? I think it's strange that Melania is just silently standing or sitting there through all the these press conferences. I tried searching for examples of other first ladies doing this and all I find is first ladies (sometimes with the president) doing the comfort thing, but days or weeks later. As far as I can tell Michelle Obama wasn't there during the Obama/Christie hug fest, and I can't find pictures of Laura Bush next to her husband during the initial Katrina briefings

I'm aware that Teump acknowledged her at one recent briering, but it feels weird to me. I'm not looking for a reason to hate on her; I have no shortage of reasons to do that. I'm more looking for a reality check here to see if its as weird as it seems or just my bias.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:12 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Given that folks are worried about the Virginia election for Governor, here's the website for Postcards for VA. Maybe we can make a difference and help people remember to vote a Democratic ticket on November 7th.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:12 AM on October 5 [16 favorites]


Other first ladies actually had plenty of things to do with their time.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:15 AM on October 5 [7 favorites]


Suffolk University-USA Today poll:

GOP Unfavorable 62% (+7 since June, 23% favorable)
Dem Unfavorable: 48%

America on wrong track: 64% (+8 since June)
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:15 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


I love this postcard idea! I have so few spoons to spread around but this I can do and it wouldn't even count towards my activism hours.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:16 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Other first ladies actually had plenty of things to do with their time.
but her online bullying campaign
posted by entropicamericana at 9:22 AM on October 5 [6 favorites]


Reader, she married it.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:26 AM on October 5 [44 favorites]


Greg Sargent in the Washington Post: Trump is failing, and the White House is covering it up with lies
This entire narrative is a fiction. Or rather, this entire narrative contains a large truth wrapped in fictional packaging. The truth this story line contains is that Trump is not racking up any major accomplishments — which is to say, he is failing. This is the tacit admission of Trump’s own allies. But this admission of failure is packaged in a fictional explanation: that Trump is failing because GOP leaders (or the “Republican establishment,” as Stephen K. Bannon puts it) want his agenda to fail.

But what has really happened is not that congressional Republicans have sold out on some supposed Trump agenda that is different from theirs. Rather, Trump and Republicans have jointly failed to deliver on the agenda that they agree upon. Trump went all in on every version of Obamacare repeal-and-replace that was pushed by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Those failed not because the GOP establishment didn’t want what Trump wanted, but rather because a handful of GOP senators balked at the manner in which repeal-and-replace was constructed, while still supporting that general goal. Similarly, Trump is campaigning hard for the huge tax cuts for the wealthy that McConnell and Ryan want, and if there are any disagreements, they mostly reside in the details. [...]

The difficulties Trump and Republicans are facing on tax reform — and the failure of repeal — both tell the same story: The real cause is the inability to translate the general goals they agree on into serious policies. As Brian Beutler notes, this represents years of GOP bad faith on policy catching up with the party. Repeal failed because GOP lies about their professed replacement goals collided violently with the reality that it would leave millions uninsured. Now, on tax reform, the GOP agenda, which is being sold as a tax cut for working and middle classes, is colliding with the reality that the plan itself is primarily a tax cut for the rich.
Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post: At least some Republicans realize their party is on the road to ruin
The mood change among so many Republicans tells us something about the GOP.

First, Trump’s crutches — yelling “Fake News!” or blaming others or self-praise or continually changing the topic to avoid any one scandal taking hold — have not worked to abate rising pessimism even if the vast majority of Republicans say they still support the president. Trump’s devices are aimed at defending himself, not his party or a larger ideological movement. As he struggles for his own political survival, he’s allowing (or intending) the party to atrophy and descend into chaos.

Second, the numbers don’t bode well for the GOP in midterms when Trump will not be on the ballot. Other polling shows a big lead for Democrats in generic congressional surveys and confirms that Republicans are less excited about the election, a sign many may sit out the 2018 races. They might still love Trump (or refuse to admit they were wrong about him), but Trump may have successfully demonized his own party within the GOP, thereby making it much harder for him to turn around next year to ask voters to return GOP majorities in the House and Senate.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:34 AM on October 5 [52 favorites]


Biden: “Guys, the wealthy are as patriotic as the poor. I know Bernie doesn’t like me saying that, but they are.”

Ok, but is he wrong? And has something changed, magically, that means we no longer need money to win elections? Joe Biden seems, as always, to be a realist here.
posted by witchen at 9:35 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]


White House is covering it up with lies

Not "covering it up" so much as gingerly placing the world's smallest fig leaf on top of the omnishambles and then inviting everyone to move along please
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:39 AM on October 5 [11 favorites]


FYI: there are still 11 days to register people to vote in VA for the Nov 7 election. The deadline is Oct 16.

Through Oct 31, voters can request an absentee ballot to be mailed; absentee ballots can be requested in person through Nov 4. Completed absentee ballots are already being accepted.

Virginia requires photo ID to vote in person. You can get a free Voter Photo ID at a voter registration office, even on election day; no birth certificate or other documentation is required. A voter at a polling site without photo ID can vote via provisional ballot.

If you're in or travelling to VA, New Virginia Majority has several registration and organizing events over the next 11 days.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:39 AM on October 5 [16 favorites]


Ok, but is he wrong? And has something changed, magically, that means we no longer need money to win elections?

Chasing donations and donor class issues over actual (lets say leftish) policy is how we got Middle of the Road Triangulating Clinton Democrats that have, for example, sacrificed worker protections and had to be dragged kicking and screaming into supporting gay marriage.

If I want republican policies, I know how to vote republican. Dems need to stand for something above and beyond "not as bad as republicans".

Or, more to the point - Dems have been collecting money and not winning elections for decades. Does the money set policy ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:45 AM on October 5 [27 favorites]


Patriotism is a scourge.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:47 AM on October 5 [17 favorites]


As predicted by many people: Marsha Blackburn announces Senate campaign to fill Bob Corker's seat in 2018.
posted by cjelli at 9:48 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Biden: “Guys, the wealthy are as patriotic as the poor. I know Bernie doesn’t like me saying that, but they are.”

Something about the majesty of medical deferments affecting both the rich and the poor in the same way.

So no.

Also, on preview, what Pogo Fuzzybutt said.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:48 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Social media tracking by DHS update: 2,170 approved for posting. Spread the word.
The Department of Homeland Security, therefore, is updating the “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection-001 Alien File, Index, and National File Tracking System of Records notice to: (1) Redefine which records constitute the official record of an individual's immigration history to include the following materials and formats:

[...]

(4) update category of individuals covered by this System of Records Notice, to include individuals acting as legal guardians or designated representatives in immigration proceedings involving an individual who is physically or developmentally disabled or severely mentally impaired (when authorized); Civil Surgeons who conduct and certify medical examinations for immigration benefits; law enforcement officers who certify a benefit requestors cooperation in the investigation or prosecution of a criminal activity; and interpreters; (5) expand the categories of records to include the following: country of nationality; country of residence; the USCIS Online Account Number; social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results; and the Department of Justice (DOJ), Executive Office for Immigration Review and Board of Immigration Appeals proceedings information;

[...]

(11) update record source categories to include publicly available information obtained from the internet, public records, public institutions, interviewees, commercial data providers, and information obtained and disclosed pursuant to information sharing agreements;

[...]

There's a lot more in there I didn't read earlier that's troubling as well ...
posted by tilde at 9:50 AM on October 5 [15 favorites]


Writer David Lewis snuck into the Northwest Forum, "Seattle’s hottest closed-door white nationalist convention" and wrote about it for The Stranger:
I was never more aware that I was dealing with Seattle racists than when it came time for questions and people were asking the same kind of self-righteous, rambling, statement-questions you encounter at Town Hall. One of the questions came from an East Indian-Canadian. I don’t remember what he asked because I was too busy sharing confused looks with the Neo-Nazis. Right guys? WTF?

[...]

It was actually kind of a letdown, and by the time the convention ended, the voyeuristic novelty of sneaking into a Nazi meeting had worn off. I was just bored in a Masonic Hall on Queen Anne. My interest picked up when Dr. Johnson, seated on a Masonic throne, announced that we would all be going to dinner at Buca di Beppo. When I called one of my emergency contact friends about the change of location she said, “Buca di Beppo? Do Nazis need to carbo load?”
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:50 AM on October 5 [13 favorites]


Yes, Nazis are just as annoying as regular people at committees. That isn't the goddamn problem with them.
posted by odinsdream at 9:53 AM on October 5 [10 favorites]


cjelli: "As predicted by many people: Marsha Blackburn announces Senate campaign to fill Bob Corker's seat in 2018."

And Gov Haslam says he's NOT running, leaving Blackburn as the front-runner at this point.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:56 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Ok, but is he wrong? And has something changed, magically, that means we no longer need money to win elections? Joe Biden seems, as always, to be a realist here.

I'm having trouble finding the context for the quote. It seems tone-deaf, but hard to tell for sure without knowing what his broader point was.
posted by Coventry at 10:10 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of eyebrow-raising over the Alabama Senate runoff, apparently, where major donors are concerned that McConnell wasted their money in backing the losing candidate.


Look, I'm as appalled by the Turtle as any other decent person, but ANYONE who makes even a token effort to keep Roy fucking Moore out of the Senate doesn't deserve a rebuke for that. And any donor who thinks Moore is the best choice should be thrown into a duck pit.
posted by delfin at 10:12 AM on October 5 [5 favorites]


The pace of Trump and GOP-led fuckery is so blistering that I'm just going to go ahead and file this under "Biden gonna Biden" and devote my energy elsewhere.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:12 AM on October 5 [25 favorites]


I'm not saying anyone should like Burr, necessarily, or even trust him

CNN—Burr On Trump Tweet: Panel Will Hold Media 'Accountable' on Russia "Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr warned news organizations Thursday that his panel would hold them 'accountable' for any false reporting in the Russia investigation, saying that some will have 'egg on their face' the when the panel ultimately produces its findings." He then walked his statement back a bit, saying "If, in fact, we find that news organizations have not covered it factually, I think that you'll see that in our report. You'll see that in our hearings, and you should expect it because I think that the reporting of this -- judging just by yesterday's press conference -- is loose at best, and they'll have to stand behind what they report." While I'd like to find a complete transcript, the "egg on their face" sound bite is being picked up as a defense of Trump everywhere from The Daily Caller to Russia Today.

As Burr drew criticism from the beginning of the Senate Intel investigation about his conflict of interest since he was a national security advisor to the Trump campaign, it's probably the safer bet not to trust him.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:14 AM on October 5 [9 favorites]


I don't know that it's so much that Turtle backed a losing candidate as that he had no effectual influence on the race. Why give money to a political operative who can't make what you want to happen happen?
posted by LionIndex at 10:16 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Look, I'm as appalled by the Turtle as any other decent person, but ANYONE who makes even a token effort to keep Roy fucking Moore out of the Senate doesn't deserve a rebuke for that.

Before you go all misty-eyed, keep in mind that McConnell didn't oppose Moore because he thought he was wrong. McConnell doesn't care about right or wrong long as he votes the Republican agenda. The reason McConnell opposed Moore is because he thought he was the weaker candidate in the general against a Democrat.
posted by JackFlash at 10:20 AM on October 5 [8 favorites]


Short twitter thread from Marco Rogers: "We like to talk about our laws in terms of prevention and deterrence. But the subtext and the outcomes are always focused on punishment./ . . . Conservative politics especially. When we analyze political issues through that lens, we can usually predict what stance they will take./ Republicans will happily legislate pregnancy and childbirth, because they already think that mothers who do it wrong should be punished./ Republicans will resist legislating gun ownership because at the end of the day, they don't see a problem with a proliferation of guns./ . . . They would rather prosecute each gun action on a case by case. Hence "lone wolf"./ Compare this to abortion, where the common conservative sensibility is that even talking about it is a sin./ . . . We're not interested in reducing harm. America is only interested in making sure ppl get punished and exonerated according to our values."

And then user @ScientistMother replies, "[America values] the well being of white males > white females > men of colour > women of colour."

I would add, the other main value this disproportionately politically powerful minority has demonstrated is, fellating super-rich authoritarians (giving them tax cuts).
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:22 AM on October 5 [26 favorites]


Politico: White House plans to demand immigration cuts in exchange for DACA fix: "Aide Stephen Miller, Trump's top immigration adviser, is crafting a hardline plan that risks blowing up any deal with Democrats."

Basically, the White House wants to use DREAMers as a bargaining chip in exchange for the RAISE Act (which was dead on arrival even among Republicans), plus other awfulness:
In addition to provisions in the RAISE Act, the White House’s immigration principles also include parts of the Davis-Oliver Act, including measures that would give state and local law enforcement power to enforce immigration laws, allow states to write their own immigration laws and expand criminal penalties for entering the U.S. illegally.

The principles would also incorporate a provision from the Davis-Oliver Act that puts the onus on Congress to designate Temporary Protected Status, which allows immigrants to temporarily stay in the United States because they are unable to return to their home country as a result of a natural disaster or other dangerous circumstances.

The Davis-Oliver Act gives Congress 90 days to approve a measure extending TPS protections to a foreign state. If Congress does not act, the designation will be terminated. Lawmakers have raised concerns that Congress will be unable to agree on the designations, effectively killing the program.

In addition, the principles call for billions of dollars in border security, as well as money for detention beds and more immigration judges, according to the people familiar with them. Republicans are likely to support those moves.
I don't think I'm being needlessly hyperbolic when I say that requiring Congress to approve TPS status will cause people to die while Congress sleeps. And "allow states to write their own immigration laws" sounds terrifying and insane.

Reuters: Energy secretary took charter flight day before Price resigned
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry took a chartered jet to Ohio last week, according to an airport management company, the day before fellow Cabinet member Tom Price resigned over his use of private charter flights for government business.

Perry took the private plane from Hazleton Regional Airport in Pennsylvania to the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport in southern Ohio on Sept. 28, PMH Aviation, the company that runs the Portsmouth airport, said on Wednesday. The purpose of his trip was to visit a uranium facility in Piketon, Ohio, according to the Energy Department.
There are commercial flights to Allentown and Scranton an hour away. He also did this at the height of the Price scandal, which takes some chutzpah.

Gravwell (via BongBoing) did an analysis on the FCC's net neutrality comments:
When looking at the raw total number of comments, the majority fall into the anti-neutrality camp. However, after refining comments to include only those submitted organically via the FCC website (as opposed to those which were submitted via the FCC provided API for bulk submissions or by bots) the extreme opposite is true. People who submitted comments directly to the FCC website are overwhelmingly in support of net neutrality regulations. In fact, it was difficult to do any machine learning training or automated classification of anti-net neutrality comments, simply because they were that scarce. So, seeing a clear difference of opinion between bulk submitted comments vs those that came in via the FCC comment page we're forced to conclude that either the nature of submission method has some direct correlation with political opinion, or someone is telling lies on the internet.
Bulk submissions aren't necessarily a problem, groups solicited comments and submitted them through the API, but enormous numbers of comments were clearly submitted by anti-net neutrality bots ("over 1,000,000 comments in July claimed to have a pornhub.com email address"), and the FCC seems to have zero interest in investigating who was responsible.
posted by zachlipton at 10:24 AM on October 5 [33 favorites]


Well, and McConnell thought Moore would be more likely to be a thorn in his side, as opposed to Strange, who was just a hack. McConnell wants people who will do what they're told.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:26 AM on October 5 [5 favorites]


Yes. Moore probably actually believes what he's saying, which makes him potentially terribly troublesome. He's already demonstrated his willingness to give up high positions for his hobbyhorses. Twice.
posted by jaduncan at 10:32 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Perry took the private plane from Hazleton Regional Airport in Pennsylvania to the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport in southern Ohio .... There are commercial flights to Allentown and Scranton an hour away.

I can only speak for Allentown, but flights from there go to a very limited set of places (Chicago, Charlotte, Florida), and even the advertised "flight" to EWR is really a bus. So it makes some sense that for flying from small place to small place, a charter flight might be necessary to waste a LOT of time connecting.

But for Price's DC - Boston trips, et al., I'm rolling my eyes along with everyone else.
posted by Dashy at 10:33 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


please don't be a milkshake duck

I had to google that one. I thought maybe it had something to do with "I drink your milkshake!"

We live in a strange world...
posted by diogenes at 10:40 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Before you go all misty-eyed, keep in mind that McConnell didn't oppose Moore because he thought he was wrong. McConnell doesn't care about right or wrong long as he votes the Republican agenda. The reason McConnell opposed Moore is because he thought he was the weaker candidate in the general against a Democrat.

And he's not wrong about that. I do not want to suggest that Yertle has ever had a laudable motive for anything.

But Moore is hideous in ways that even Trump isn't. He is so far beyond the pale that he's gone infrawhite. I damn Yertle with faint praise for supporting anyone else for any reason.
posted by delfin at 10:40 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Chasing donations and donor class issues over actual (lets say leftish) policy is how we got Middle of the Road Triangulating Clinton Democrats that have, for example, sacrificed worker protections and had to be dragged kicking and screaming into supporting gay marriage.


Yeah, I remember when Biden had be dragged kicking and screaming into supporting gay marriage, too (eyeroll).
posted by Jpfed at 10:49 AM on October 5 [7 favorites]


I don't know that it's so much that Turtle backed a losing candidate as that he had no effectual influence on the race.

Nobody listens to Turtle.
posted by The World Famous at 10:57 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]


And there was that time Joe Biden wrote The Patriot Act in 1994.

But hey, on balance I like Joe, I'm sure it was meant well in context. (The 'rich people' quote, not the proto-destroy-our-privacy act)
posted by petebest at 10:58 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


can we ditch the Biden derail ourselves without bringing the mods into this?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:01 AM on October 5 [46 favorites]


More from the "liberal media basically ignored Trump crimes until Donald was put into office" file, it turns out that we have actual emails between Don Jr and Ivanka where they detail their plans to commit fraud and reassure a third party that the email is totally safe and secure so it's ok to discuss their plans to commit fraud there.

Calling the Trump family business dealings dirty is a bit like calling the Pacific Ocean a touch moist. They are all guilty of many crimes and have not only never paid a legal price for them, but have never paid a social price for them either.

The NYT treated Trump and his clan like NYC royalty to be feted and praised, at worst it drew attention to the Trump clan's legendarily awful taste and all around tackiness. The crimes went by without notice.

Our entire society is complacent though. Rich people are excused for absolutely any wrongdoing no matter how heinous up to and including literal rape of literal babies (see Robert H. Richards IV).

It is no surprise at all that Rob Ford, of Toronto infamy, is already being "rehabilitated" and will soon be remembered as a great man and have many large objects named after him. Rich, powerful, white, people can get away with absolutely anything.

So of course it shouldn't shock me that basically the entire business and media world knew that the Trump family is running a real estate front on a criminal enterprise, and at the same time thought that it would be somehow wrong to mention that fact to us plebes. It does shock me, but it shouldn't. They're rich, white, and connected, of course they can commit many, many, crimes without any penalty at all.

I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that we need to just end massive wealth. Set a maximum on how much money (or money equivalent like stock or whatever other cute games rich people play with money) any individual can own and confiscate 100% of anything above that amount. Hell, set the number fairly high, $50 million or even $100 million maybe. But I'm coming to the conclusion that the mere existence of billionaires is going to ruin us.
posted by sotonohito at 11:04 AM on October 5 [78 favorites]




More from the "liberal media basically ignored Trump crimes until Donald was put into office" file, it turns out that we have actual emails between Don Jr and Ivanka where they detail their plans to commit fraud and reassure a third party that the email is totally safe and secure so it's ok to discuss their plans to commit fraud there.

As a New Yorker I am enraged by this and wish the revelation had come early enough for Cyrus Vance to be primaried.
posted by lalex at 11:07 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


Here's a problem I have in general with this argument (lower class/poor > upper class/rich patriotism). This is the entire history behind the Nazi blood and soil argument. Essentially the Nazis (and Germans going back a century prior) ennobled those who worked with their hands and were rural land workers over the city folk who were less patriotic and less connected to the literal and figurative land. This is a minefield we are already perilously close to in the U.S. The farmer or manual laborer is no more laudable than the librarian or the office worker just because the former works with their hands and the latter with their minds (in broad terms).
posted by Sophie1 at 11:11 AM on October 5 [22 favorites]


I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that we need to just end massive wealth. Set a maximum on how much money (or money equivalent like stock or whatever other cute games rich people play with money) any individual can own and confiscate 100% of anything above that amount. Hell, set the number fairly high, $50 million or even $100 million maybe. But I'm coming to the conclusion that the mere existence of billionaires is going to ruin us.

Sotonohito, I flagged your comment as "excellent" and I agree with you. There was an author whose name and title of book I forget, but he (I think it was a he) talked about how we need a maximum wage in America. Yes we do. We need not just a mincome, but a maxcome, if I can coin a word. I'm happy to set the number high, like $50 or $100 million, but anything above that should be redistributed.

Billionaires are going to ruin us, if anything does. The Mercers, the Kochs - the damage they have done to our democracy is incalculable. I think they are right up there with Fox News as things that are destroying our country.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:12 AM on October 5 [58 favorites]


And "allow states to write their own immigration laws" sounds terrifying and insane.

In an American context it probably would turn out insane, but this is actually what happens in Canada. The provinces make decisions on what kind of immigrants they would like to bring in. AFAIK immigrants have free movement between the provinces, but they have to live and work in the one that brung em.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:12 AM on October 5


(The Canadian cultural context is very different, obviously, especially in that they don't have a big illegal immigration problem. And refugees are in a different channel entirely.)
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:14 AM on October 5


Sophie1, I think that's a good point - I don't think it's good to exalt certain classes of workers as more "American" than others. But there is Both-Sides-Ism afoot here to some extent, as there was so much ink/pixels spilled on The White Working Class and The White Rural People And How Do We Win Them Back.

And only certain manual work gets lionized - we hear all about the plight of the coal miner and the factory worker, but home health care workers and retail workers get short shrifted. This has a lot to do with the race and gender of those doing the jobs - home health care workers are mostly women of color.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:17 AM on October 5 [12 favorites]


democracy never took root in america because the masses see themselves not as a nation of equals but as temporarily toppled despots
posted by entropicamericana at 11:17 AM on October 5 [17 favorites]


(The Canadian cultural context is very different, obviously, especially in that they don't have a big illegal immigration problem. )

Neither does the US.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:18 AM on October 5 [38 favorites]


(The Canadian cultural context is very different, obviously, especially in that they don't have a big illegal immigration problem. )

Yet. If 45 isn't brought down soon, Canada might find itself in need of a wall of their own.
posted by dnash at 11:19 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


> At least some Republicans realize their party is on the road to ruin

Well, you know, fingers crossed...but the GOP has been on various alleged roads to ruin and demographic death spirals and what have you for almost my entire adult life, and yet here we are with them in control of all three branches of government plus the Supreme Court. So I'll believe it when it happens.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:22 AM on October 5 [33 favorites]


I'm so thrilled to learn that most Republicans think I should be tolerated. Could they maybe talk to my family?
posted by greermahoney at 11:28 AM on October 5 [17 favorites]


Hillary had an interesting response to the question of taking donations from the rich on her interview on Pod Save America, basically that if a politician is up front about their desire to raise taxes on the rich, impose regulations that will affect their bottom line, etc, then what's the problem?

It's not that simple for a number of reasons, for instance those rich donors could be banking on the low likelihood that those reforms would get passed in our current political climate. But it's a notion worth thinking about and I'm still sympathetic to the vague idea of plenty of the rich being okay with making sacrifices for society, and certainly there are examples, BUT - the onus is on them to prove it above and beyond supporting politicians. To get any trust back there, there need to be some grand gestures, some significant organized public voluntary sacrifice for the civic good, more than political support, more than traditional philanthropy. Like some serious, heavy lobbying for higher taxes and reforms and limits regardless of which politicians are in power or running, and a significant class justice movement with prominent wealthy citizens putting skin in the game. And, their employment practices in their private businesses had better fucking voluntarily go the extra mile to lift up the workers across the board. Do something like that and I think more people will be inclined to trust politicians cozying up with these donors. But it absolutely has to start with the rich working to earn that trust and we are absolutely not there.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:29 AM on October 5 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I remember when Biden had be dragged kicking and screaming into supporting gay marriage, too (eyeroll).

Gay marriage was legal in Massachussets in 2003. Biden's gay marriage "gaffe" was in 2012. Hillary didn't change her mind until 2013(!)...

That's not exactly leading from the front, is what I'm saying.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:29 AM on October 5 [11 favorites]


Guys, maybe we've been too hard on Republicans, after all:
For the first time ever, more than half of Republicans (54%) now think homosexuality should be tolerated by society. (By contrast, Democrats had reached this same level of acceptance by 1994 — almost a quarter of a century ago.)


The administration they support just voted in the UN to back the idea that countries should be able to impose the death penalty on people for being gay soooo
posted by jason_steakums at 11:31 AM on October 5 [10 favorites]


But only because they worried that someone might nag them for having the death penalty at all, so that makes everything alright again!
posted by Quindar Beep at 11:34 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Three branches = Executive, Legislative (includes House and Senate), Judicial.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:38 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


One big point of practice in preventing any forward going foundational state programs from being looted by the rich is making them truly universal so they can’t opt out or create a two tiered system. Once people have Good Things they become very protective of them.

As for wealth caps, it’s a harder sell but you know, capital income Means the richest of the rich are generating millions upon millions of dollars completely passively (it’s why I don’t trust the rich at all, the Gates could pay for the funding of every rape kit in the US using pocket change, they’re not giving anything away)

But actually enforcing (and funding the IRS sufficiently, imagine that as a jobs creation program, going after white collar criminals) our tax code would be a start and higher tax rates on the upper 5% (this includes me, technically, raise my freaking taxes) and % role for compensation tying it to the lowest paid worker - this would work well in the truly free national university system we create after forgiving all student debt and we all follow my plans for the socialist utopia.
posted by The Whelk at 11:40 AM on October 5 [21 favorites]


Pretty great take-down of the GOP's surrender to their donors.
Trump-era Republicans have done their utmost to comport themselves as though they have a fiduciary duty to the Koch retreat’s annual attendees.

On the regulatory front, the Trump administration, and the Republican Congress, have done the bidding of their conservative donors even when doing so required them to perform a heavy-handed satire of “business-friendly” governance. The White House has expanded the liberty of coal companies to dump mining waste in streams; pushed to preserve the rights of retirement advisers to gamble with their clients’ money; allowed internet service providers to track and sell consumers’ data without seeking their permission; banned states from setting up retirement savings plans for private sector workers (a betrayal of federalism that serves no purpose beyond eliminating one of Wall Street’s potential competitors); freed employers from the burden of logging all workplace injuries; ended discrimination against serial labor law violators in the bidding process for government contracts; and relaxed enforcement on evasion of the estate tax.
posted by suelac at 11:45 AM on October 5 [25 favorites]


As a New Yorker I am enraged by this and wish the revelation had come early enough for Cyrus Vance to be primaried.

I'm enraged as a New Yorker, as an American, as a human being. Because now you can add Vance to the small list of people who singlehandedly could've stopped this whole nightmare. If he doesn't sell out, and Don Jr. and Ivanka are prosecuted, even if not convicted/pled out, Trump most likely doesn't run or is at least viewed by many more people as a probable crook. And if convicted, it's an almost certainty.
posted by chris24 at 11:45 AM on October 5 [40 favorites]


I'm fairly optimistic about the VA elections. In special elections this year, Democrats are outperforming their performance in the last two presidential elections in the same districts by an average of 14%.

I know we lost some special elections in safe Republican districts that got a lot of media attention, but overall we've been doing pretty well. It looks like Democrats are turning out in in off-year elections this year. If this keeps up, we should be able to win the governor's race and get a majority in the House of Delegates. Clinton carried a majority of VA House of Delegates districts in the last election. If we meet or exceed those percentages, as we have in almost every special election this year, we'll win.

The WaPo poll that has Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor, ahead by 13% is a poll of registered voters who said they were definitely planning to vote in November. This technique of screening likely voters is sensitive changes in turn-out, and can give more accurate results than likely voter screens based on previous voting behaviour that most pollsters use. Given the increase we've seen in Democratic turn-out this year in special elections, I was hoping to see a poll that used this methodology. Finally we've got one, and I'm loving the results! According to this poll, 66% of Democrats definitely plan to vote in this election as opposed to 57% of Republicans. I like those numbers, though there are enough people who say they could still change their minds to make me worried.

Vote, volunteer, donate to our candidates! Don't listen to the trolls telling you to give up and stay home.
posted by nangar at 11:50 AM on October 5 [15 favorites]


WaPo: President Trump plans to announce next week that he will “decertify” the international nuclear deal with Iran, saying it is not in the national interest of the United States and kicking the issue to a reluctant Congress, people briefed on an emerging White House strategy for Iran said Thursday.

NYRB (August 2017) -- Nuclear Diplomacy: From Iran to North Korea?:

[T]he US must preserve the Iran deal—which cannot be taken for granted. The deal’s greatest weakness is not to be found in its provisions but in the hostility of those in Tehran, Washington, and Jerusalem who, for mostly political reasons, would like to see it die. In the US, through more than thirty years of frozen nonrelations, Iran became a two-dimensional cartoon of evil that too many members of Congress, especially, and leading officials in the present administration, including the president, still believe in....The administration and opponents of the deal in Congress—nearly all of them Republicans—need to update their rhetoric. Contrary to what they expected, the deal is being honored and continuing denunciations are not cost-free. They undermine the working relationship with the Iranian government needed to keep the deal in force—technical and financial issues crop up and must be managed—and they encourage dangerous mischief on Capitol Hill by members who want to score what seem to be cheap political points or even see the deal collapse. Provocations from Washington will be instantly responded to by Tehran—especially as the US escalates its military activity in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. And the criticisms raise expectations among Iran’s opponents in the Middle East that the US cannot meet without throwing away what has been achieved.

It may be too much to hope that the Trump administration will come to recognize that pariah status does not improve any nation’s behavior, and that the Iran deal is the starting point from which other issues the US has with Iran, beginning with the future of Syria, can be addressed. But we should at least be able to expect that the administration is capable of recognizing the boon to national security it has inherited and that it can exercise the discipline and focus necessary to maintain it.


Well, shit.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:52 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]


No doubt about it, a jolly good war against an insignificant enemy is just what the Trump campaign needs to turn things around.
posted by Coventry at 11:54 AM on October 5 [7 favorites]




If this keeps up, we should be able to win the governor's race and get a majority in the House of Delegates.

FWIW, the Official Chrysostom Forecast is Dems retain Governor, LG, AG, and pick up...say 12 seats in the House of Delegates.

I hope we do even better, of course! If we get 17 in the HOD and keep the governor, we could see pressure on an R in the Senate to defect, or at least caucus with the Dems, and then we'd have unified control.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:02 PM on October 5 [11 favorites]


WaPo: President Trump plans to announce next week that he will “decertify” the international nuclear deal with Iran

From that:
All cautioned that plans are not fully set and could change. The White House would not confirm plans for a speech or its contents. Trump faces an Oct. 15 deadline to report to Congress on whether Iran is complying with the agreement and whether he judges the deal to be in the U.S. national interest.
I'm presuming that someone leaked the current plan in an effort to convince Trump to re-certify, but: this doesn't bode well.
posted by cjelli at 12:02 PM on October 5


the Official Chrysostom Forecast is Dems retain Governor, LG, AG, and pick up...say 12 seats in the House of Delegates.

If it's easy to outline, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd love to read your reasoning.
posted by Coventry at 12:04 PM on October 5


Reex? Rhymes with Leaks?
posted by steveminutillo at 12:05 PM on October 5




There's also a rumor tomorrow morning that Trump will roll back the Obamacare birth control mandate tomorrow morning.

It's like he, or his staff, are upset at the lack of accomplishments and so are rushing to be terrible.
posted by zachlipton at 12:20 PM on October 5 [14 favorites]


I mean it would be good if large media outlets would stop prodding them about that lack of terrible accomplishments.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:22 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]




It's like he, or his staff, are upset at the lack of accomplishments and so are rushing to be terrible.

It's like they're hearing the grousing of big donors about not getting anything accomplished. They can't, really, so all they can do is roll back positive Obama executive orders.

I suppose it'll appease some, but I'd bet the big donors are hankering for those sweet, sweet tax cuts and won't be satisfied with just a little more of the usual misogyny.
posted by Gelatin at 12:32 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


I mean it would be good if large media outlets would stop prodding them about that lack of terrible accomplishments.

That's an absurdly benign portrait of Trump, to the point where he is almost unrecognizable. Trump has never looked that serene and self-assured in his entire fucking life.
posted by lydhre at 12:33 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


WaPo: President Trump plans to announce next week that he will “decertify” the international nuclear deal with Iran

CALL the senate switchboard (202) 224-3121 to patch you through to your senators.

FAX your senators with faxzero.com's free service.

Let's puncture this trial balloon.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:40 PM on October 5 [20 favorites]


Great, Trump is doing with Iran what Junior did with the DPRK: breaking our national word and convincing the government in question that the only way it can avoid random US invasions is by developing atomic weapons.

If Trump voids the Iran deal no country will ever deal with the US to limit nuclear proliferation again, and frankly I'm amazed Iran did after Junior so thoroughly demonstrated that the US has no honor and will break any treaty or agreement the instant a Republican needs a quick popularity boost or just feels like being an asshole.

But there can be no doubt now, America's word simply is not good. Anything negotiated by a Democratic President will be gleefully undone and undermined by the next Republican in office regardless of whether or not the other party kept their end of the bargain.

Next time anyone tries to negotiate a deal with a hostile nation to keep them from getting nukes they'll say "WTF do you think we're stupid? We remember how Trump screwed Iran and Bush screwed Korea. No way, we're going to build all the nukes we can so fuck off!"
posted by sotonohito at 12:40 PM on October 5 [78 favorites]


NYT: In Targeting Political Groups, I.R.S. Crossed Party Lines
A federal watchdog investigating whether the Internal Revenue Service unfairly targeted conservative political groups seeking tax-exempt status said that the agency also scrutinized organizations associated with liberal causes from 2004 to 2013.

The findings by the Treasury Department’s inspector general mark the end of a political firestorm that embroiled the I.R.S. in controversy, led to the ouster of its commissioner and prompted accusations the tax collection agency was being used as a political weapon by the Obama administration.
In case anyone doubted that this nontroversy was made up, well! There you have it: the IRS did not engage in partisan targeting of conservative groups. So we can finally put this whole affair to b--
Republicans, however, are not prepared to let the I.R.S. off the hook and seized on the report as evidence that the agency must be reformed.

“This report reinforces what government watchdogs and congressional investigators have confirmed time and time again: bureaucrats at the I.R.S., such as Lois Lerner, arbitrarily and haphazardly administered the tax code and targeted taxpayers based on political ideology,” said Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the Republican chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. “It’s no wonder the American people have lost faith in the I.R.S.”
-- oh. Nevermind.
posted by cjelli at 12:48 PM on October 5 [30 favorites]


A federal watchdog investigating whether the Internal Revenue Service unfairly targeted conservative political groups seeking tax-exempt status said that the agency also scrutinized organizations associated with liberal causes from 2004 to 2013.

If memory serves me correctly, this information was known at the time. But it complicated the narrative, and the so-called "liberal media" basically ignored it.

“This report reinforces what government watchdogs and congressional investigators have confirmed time and time again: bureaucrats at the I.R.S., such as Lois Lerner, arbitrarily and haphazardly administered the tax code and targeted taxpayers based on political ideology,” said Representative Kevin Brady of Texas

Good! Because that section of the tax code does not allow tax exemptions for political groups, jackass.
posted by Gelatin at 12:59 PM on October 5 [23 favorites]






Is it not known that the IRS was legitimately scrutinizing bullshit applications, by political groups, to be registered as non-political non-profits?
posted by thelonius at 1:11 PM on October 5 [9 favorites]


Is it not known that the IRS was legitimately scrutinizing bullshit applications, by political groups, to be registered as non-political non-profits?

I should be surprised at the number of idiots who don't understand either basic math or forensic auditing.

But I'm not. There are folks who LEGITIMATELY BELIEVE that the IRS shouldn't be scrutinizing bullshit applications by political groups' fraudulent filings. Many are in the "All taxation is theft" camp. It's a short ride from there to Sovereign Citizen, Gold Fringed Flags, and only silver and gold coinage being really money.

( FWIW, re: money. I can exchange Federal Reserve Notes for coffee, either roasted, or brewed. I really don't care about the theory of money past that. )
posted by mikelieman at 1:17 PM on October 5 [11 favorites]


Argh - breaking news whiplash . . .

Librul Media: Breaking news- FEMA is screwing over Americans blatantly
Me: that's bad
Librul Media: But it comes with a House Republican scandal resgination!
Me: that's good!
Librul Media: Trump is still "Predisent".
Me: . . . Can I go now?
posted by petebest at 1:22 PM on October 5 [9 favorites]


No doubt about it, a jolly good war against an insignificant enemy is just what the Trump campaign needs

Insignificant? For context, Iran is much larger than Iraq and has more than double Iraq's population. Its military is Russian supplied and supported. The kicker is that Iran is currently the only country in the world that flies the F-14 Tomcat. Would the US really want to start a war against Iceman and Maverick?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:25 PM on October 5 [14 favorites]


Scott Wong [via Twitter]: BREAKING: @RepTimMurphy (R-PA) has resigned after abortion scandal, Speaker Ryan says

Also from twitter: "if ever anyone should be forced to finish out their term....."
posted by odinsdream at 1:27 PM on October 5 [78 favorites]


Not to be all armchair strategist but a war with Iran will probably mean the US will at least lose several multi-billion dollar warships, if not an actual aircraft carrier. Iran's anti-ship missile fleet is no joke and the Persian Gulf is a shooting gallery.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:28 PM on October 5 [7 favorites]


Librul Media: But it comes with a House Republican scandal resgination!
Me: that's good!


Librul Media: Harvey Weinstein is a serial sexual harasser.
Me: that's bad...
Librul Media: But he's going to be taking on the NRA!
Me: that's... what the fuck?
posted by Talez at 1:35 PM on October 5 [8 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Joseph Bernstein, Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream: "A cache of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News reveals the truth about Steve Bannon’s alt-right “killing machine.”"
These new emails and documents, however, clearly show that Breitbart does more than tolerate the most hate-filled, racist voices of the alt-right. It thrives on them, fueling and being fueled by some of the most toxic beliefs on the political spectrum — and clearing the way for them to enter the American mainstream.

It’s a relationship illustrated most starkly by a previously unreleased April 2016 video in which Yiannopoulos sings “America the Beautiful” in a Dallas karaoke bar as admirers, including the white nationalist Richard Spencer, raise their arms in Nazi salutes.

These documents chart the Breitbart alt-right universe. They reveal how the website — and, in particular, Yiannopoulos — links the Mercer family, the billionaires who fund Breitbart, to underpaid trolls who fill it with provocative content, and to extremists striving to create a white ethnostate.

They capture what Bannon calls his “killing machine” in action, as it dredges up the resentments of people around the world, sifts through these grievances for ideas and content, and propels them from the unsavory parts of the internet up to TrumpWorld, collecting advertisers’ checks all along the way.

And the cache of emails — some of the most newsworthy of which BuzzFeed News is now making public — expose the extent to which this machine depended on Yiannopoulos, who channeled voices both inside and outside the establishment into a clear narrative about the threat liberal discourse posed to America. The emails tell the story of Steve Bannon’s grand plan for Yiannopoulos, whom the Breitbart executive chairman transformed from a charismatic young editor into a conservative media star capable of magnetizing a new generation of reactionary anger. Often, the documents reveal, this anger came from a legion of secret sympathizers in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, academia, suburbia, and everywhere in between.
There's a lot in here, and while it's easy to roll your eyes and say "of course," BuzzFeed did the hard work to get the documents and nail down the details.

Oh, and Milo's excuse for the Nazi salutes:
He added that during his karaoke performance, his "severe myopia" made it impossible for him to see the Hitler salutes a few feet away.
posted by zachlipton at 1:39 PM on October 5 [71 favorites]


Iran also fields the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missle system and a domestically produced copycat system, which is far more advanced than anything Iraq has ever had and the US has never faced in live combat. The US would likely lose a whole lot of planes taking out those systems, even to conduct some kind of limited strike. Iran is in no way insignificant, they've been expecting an attack by the US and/or Israel for decades and have a lot more resources than even North Korea to prepare for it. War with Iran is unwinnable, and would be a far, far, bigger debacle than even Iraq, that's all there is to it. Even a limited strike would have only temporary benefits to the extent their nuclear program was set back, but that would be overcome as they obviously would double down and accelerate it in response.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:39 PM on October 5 [7 favorites]


I took "insignificant" to mean that Iran is more or less an insignificant threat to us, i.e. Iran attacking US soil is not likely or imminent. A pre-emptive strike on Iran would be gratuitously unnecessary (also, the sky is blue, etc.).
posted by witchen at 1:42 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


If memory serves me correctly, this information was known at the time. But it complicated the narrative, and the so-called "liberal media" basically ignored it.

I find it hard to believe that the media ignored a 'both sides' narrative!

Narrator voice: He did not find it hard to believe
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:53 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


Iran also has the ability to block the Strait of Hormuz - which is no longer the most important shipping lane in the world, but it's still definitely up there. As of 2011 35% of the world's oil passed through the strait. Blocking or constricting that flow is one of the best weapons Iran could use against the US. They would almost certainly do it.

That would kneecap the global economy, 2008 style, and after that idek. Point is that the US starting that war would be punching its citizens in the face with $6-a-gallon gas prices.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 1:54 PM on October 5 [8 favorites]


his "severe myopia" made it impossible for him to see the Hitler salutes a few feet away.

I guess I'm not surprised to learn that Milo's vision is myopic because that becomes clear every time he opens his mouth.

Wait, does he mean his sight?
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:55 PM on October 5 [8 favorites]


That Buzzfeed article could be an FPP all by itself.
posted by PenDevil at 1:56 PM on October 5 [18 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Joseph Bernstein, Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream:

I object to the term "smuggled". It was wide open and brightly lit to anyone to glanced at it. This and that Nicole Chung story are going to be a double-header reference for some of my former acquaintances on - what's that TwitFace thing that doesn't have ads? Oh yeah, "email".
posted by petebest at 2:02 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Iran may not have nukes, but Israel sure does. Billions of dollars worth of American stamped nukes. (Which is why Iran wants nukes.) Conflict in that region is likely to end up with Israel involved, and I see no path where that ends well.

And, as mentioned above, rescinding the Iran deal will destroy faith in America's ability to negotiate. We are letting madmen destroy the country's core values all so Ryan and Bros can slip another bill under the Koch and Mercer g-strings.

The Republicans are willing to sacrifice everything for tax cuts, and that includes all life on this planet.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:08 PM on October 5 [23 favorites]


One portion of the BuzzFeed article that deserves highlighting if you can't read the whole thing, but there's seriously so much here:
First came Tim Gionet, the former BuzzFeed social media strategist who goes by “Baked Alaska” on Twitter, whom Yiannopoulos pitched to Fleuette as a tour manager in late May. Gionet accompanied Yiannopoulos to Florida after the June 2016 Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando. The two planned a press conference outside a mosque attended by the shooter, Omar Mateen. (“Brilliant,” Bannon emailed. “Btw they are ALL ‘factories of hate.’”) But after some impertinent tweets and back talk from Gionet, Fleuette became Yiannopoulos’s managerial confidante.
This is a guy who was, until quite recently, a senior advisor to the President of the United States, describing all mosques as "factories of hate."
posted by zachlipton at 2:08 PM on October 5 [17 favorites]


Insignificant?

In the sense that the best of my knowledge, Iran is causing no harm to US interests, despite hostile relations.

In case my sarcasm was unclear, I think starting an unprovoked war is almost always a bad idea.
posted by Coventry at 2:13 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that there is no evidence that Iran is working toward nuclear weapons, that they have furthermore consistently emphasized that nuclear weaponry is un-Islamic and that the issue stems from adequate verification, not any positive evidence Iran is pursuing a bomb. Am I just being a naïf?
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:17 PM on October 5


Is it not known that the IRS was legitimately scrutinizing bullshit applications, by political groups, to be registered as non-political non-profits?

An important thing to note is that it isn't the non-profit status that is the issue. The organizations likely spend everything they take in so they have no profits to tax anyway.

What is the real issue is secrecy and anonymity. These political organizations could easily be set up as legal 527 or PAC non-profits, but if you do so, you are required to disclose all of your donors and all of your spending.

What these illegal political organizations were doing was setting up 501(c)(4) groups which are supposed to be for "social welfare" but more importantly are not required to disclose the names of donors or spending. So they were convenient vehicles for the Koch brothers to pour millions of dollars into local Tea Party groups anonymously. And they in turn could spend their money anonymously on Tea Party candidates. This is highly illegal.

So you can have a political non-profit (527 or PAC), but it can't act anonymously. Or if you want anonymity, you can't be political. But you can't do both and that is why many of these groups deserved scrutiny. Don't get hung up on the non-profit angle, because both the legal and illegal political organizations are non-profit.
posted by JackFlash at 2:19 PM on October 5 [35 favorites]


My understanding is that there is no evidence that Iran is working toward nuclear weapons,

Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure General Electric and Westinghouse have a dozen or so between them...
posted by mikelieman at 2:20 PM on October 5


Billions of dollars worth of American stamped nukes.

I was under the impressions that Israel's nuclear weapons were home grown (with help from France at one point), and the U.S. officially does not acknowledge their nuclear weapons program. Is that not accurate?
posted by cell divide at 2:24 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


At least Iran's neighbors haven't been conducting a decade-long clinic on how to use asymmetric warfare to stymie a superpower.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:28 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


"Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran."

That's from an April 2003 article called "War Without End" that suggested we'd be bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like that would ever happen.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:30 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Well, it looks like Republicans are putting forward a law banning bump stocks, with NRA approval. The NRA is delighted that everyone is focusing on a trivial issue, one that nobody cared about a week ago and few gun owners care about. But it is a great distraction from the real issues and I'm sure the NRA is delighted.

This is how bad gun laws get written -- and it ain't about Democrats and semantics.
posted by JackFlash at 2:36 PM on October 5 [40 favorites]


"We will negotiate a better deal" is the new "we will be greeted as liberators."
posted by peeedro at 2:37 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


Why would North Korea, or anyone, negotiate with the USA on nuclear weapons if Trump makes it clear than any deal can and probably will simply be torn up upon change of administration? This is absurd.
posted by Justinian at 2:40 PM on October 5 [12 favorites]


Oh how nice John Kelly's personal phone has been compromised for months. Maybe this is a good thing?
posted by Brainy at 2:41 PM on October 5 [19 favorites]


Obligatory note that we overthrew Iran's democratically-elected government in 1953 and replaced it with a dictatorship complete with US-trained torturing secret police.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:41 PM on October 5 [34 favorites]


"potentially as long ago as December"

BUT HER E-MA...oh fuck it.
posted by zachlipton at 2:42 PM on October 5 [27 favorites]


But it is a great distraction from the real issues and I'm sure the NRA is delighted.

I salute their willingness to roll back mass murder to more tolerable Sandy Hook and Pulse nightclub levels. /s
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:44 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


If Kelly's phone is compromised then Trumps must be a direct line to GRU HQ at this point.
posted by PenDevil at 2:46 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


You can't say it's "compromised" if he granted them the access. Trump, that is.
posted by VTX at 2:48 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


You can outlaw bump stocks, or automatic weapons, extended clips or whatever, but there's one thing you can outlaw that'll make a real difference: Outlaw the NRA.
posted by adept256 at 2:49 PM on October 5 [22 favorites]


If Kelly's phone is compromised then Trumps must be a direct line to GRU HQ at this point.

As opposed to two years ago?
posted by petebest at 2:49 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


the issue stems from adequate verification

The immediate the issue is that Congress required the President to certify, 'semi-annually,' 'on Iran's nuclear program and compliance with the agreement' and whether 'suspension of sanctions against Iran is appropriate and proportionate to measures taken by Iran with respect to terminating its illicit nuclear program and vital to U.S. national security interests.' The administration has already twice certified that Iran is in compliance and that terminating sanctions remain in the national interest. The next deadline to do so is on October 15th.

There are some suggestions that the Administration may try to thread that needle and find Iran to be in compliance but that suspending sanctions are no longer in the national interest of the United States -- that wouldn't end the deal, but it would kick the question of whether or not to end the deal back to Congress. (This is somewhat complicated by the fact that, regardless of what Trump is about to say, his Secretary of Defense just recently reiterated that the deal is in the national interest.)

But the underlying issues isn't really verification, it's that Trump has been saying it's a bad deal since it was signed, and has been looking for any justification to undo it that he can find. His rationale for it being a bad deal seems to be that Obama signed it, and that he, Trump, is good at making deals and would like to make a better deal (Iran is on the record as being unwilling to negotiate further, if the US unilaterally pulls out of the agreed framework).

Again, to reiterate: even this administration has repeatedly found that the agreement is in the US national interest, and that Iran remains in compliance with their side of the deal. Whether there might exist some platonic other deal that allows for yet better verification is a separate issue from Trump's desire to renegotiate this one.

That said, it's unclear what exactly Trump is going to do, but October 15th is the (next) deadline for him to do it, and that's a deadline set by congress, not by Trump's whims.
posted by cjelli at 2:50 PM on October 5 [7 favorites]


Everyone should read that Buzzfeed piece. Seriously.
Or at the very least, Sarah Jeong's twitter feed highlighting some of the gory details: Gotta love the men of media...
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:51 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


Everyone should read that Buzzfeed piece. Seriously.

I just made it an FPP of its own.
posted by zachlipton at 2:59 PM on October 5 [20 favorites]


But wait, there's yet more damn news. CNN: Exclusive: Mueller's team met with Russia dossier author
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators met this past summer with the former British spy whose dossier on alleged Russian efforts to aid the Trump campaign spawned months of investigations that have hobbled the Trump administration, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Information from Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 officer, could help investigators determine whether contacts between people associated with the Trump campaign and suspected Russian operatives broke any laws.

CNN has learned that the FBI and the US intelligence community last year took the Steele dossier more seriously than the agencies have publicly acknowledged. James Clapper, then the director of national intelligence, said in a January 2017 statement that the intelligence community had "not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable."
The story goes on to discuss the fight among over intelligence agencies as to whether to include the dossier's allegations in January report on Russian interference, with Comey not wanting Trump to believe the FBI was trying to blackmail him.

However, "the most salacious allegations in the dossier haven't been verified."
posted by zachlipton at 3:15 PM on October 5 [21 favorites]


peetape
posted by Justinian at 3:19 PM on October 5 [17 favorites]


Seen a man standin' over a dead dog by the highway in a ditch
He's lookin' down kinda puzzled pokin' that dog with a stick
Got his car door flung open he's standin' out on Highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough that dog'd get up and run
It struck me kinda funny, seemed kinda funny sir to me
Still at the end of every hard day people find some reason to peelieve
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:22 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Spoiler alert: the Russians also have a Peetape Vol. 2: Whitehouse Whitewashing, wherein the cameras that the Russians installed in the Whitehouse residence catch trump hiring some D.C. callgirls to loose their bladders upon Obama's old mattress and furniture.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:27 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


make my tape the P-tape
gonna need my eyeballs bleached
make my tape the P-tape
I want my Trump impeached
posted by uosuaq at 3:33 PM on October 5 [15 favorites]


In other news, trump really should get a dog. Guaranteed bump in approval rating, plus it would do the fucker some good to play with a dog for a minute or two.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:37 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


What kind of monster would wish Trump on a dog?
posted by scarylarry at 3:39 PM on October 5 [87 favorites]


Internet’s Most Popular Donald Trump Chat Room Destroyed in Anime-Related ‘Coup’

Kind of an interesting parallel to Obamacare-Trumpcare there: they list all of these supposed criticisms of the original Discord server, which allegedly meant that the original server and community were right on the brink of dying... but, y'know, they had to carry out their "coup" by using administrative tools to wreck it and help along its demise, which just so happened to bump up the population of the alternative server they've set up where everything is totally under their control.
posted by XMLicious at 3:39 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Oh good lord no, no dog deserves that.
posted by mrgoat at 3:40 PM on October 5 [8 favorites]


I mean, he would't look after the damn dog or anything. Just some photo ops on the lawn with Marine One in the background or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:42 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Let's be real, the dog would be foisted on some intern. Trump is a germophobic narssicist with no real interest in even most other humans.
posted by jaduncan at 3:44 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


the FBI and the US intelligence community last year took the Steele dossier more seriously than the agencies have publicly acknowledged.

OH REALLY. GOOD TO KNOW. NOW. THANKS, INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES. THANKS LIBRL MEDIA.

In other news, trump really should get a dog.

Nüüüüpe. You just put that idea away, niiiiiice and easy like.
posted by petebest at 3:44 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


If Mueller's investigators met with the dossier's author and are now investigating the dossier, it suggests that they found some, if not most, of the allegations credible.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:46 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Trump getting a dog is a bad idea and you are a bad person for saying it.

I do take your point about how forgiving the media is to Republican presidents, however.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:48 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


Y'all, Trump would totally fuck up getting a dog, and it would be hilarious and horrifying for everyone but the dog, for whom it would only be the latter. He'd probably name the dog "Mitch McConnell" or some shit and make jokes about beating the dog whenever actual Human* Mitch misbehaves.

*allegedly
posted by duffell at 3:49 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]


The perfect pet would be a two year old tortie cat. Torties are psychotic and temperamental under normal circumstances. (I love torties because they are just so good at disdainful catting.) There's no way a tortie wouldn't shred several people at the WH.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:49 PM on October 5 [19 favorites]


If there's one thing the White House doesn't need right now it's yet another psychotic and temperamental creature.
posted by mmoncur at 3:51 PM on October 5 [19 favorites]


Also. I'm unsure how this much insane shit keeps happening daily and it's like no one inside the house is really saying or doing much. I know we talk about this a lot but how is it that every person in congress isn't screaming?
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:51 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


if Trump had a dog he would fire the dog like a dog
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:54 PM on October 5 [39 favorites]


What kind of monster would wish Trump on a dog?
Historical Perspective
posted by mikelieman at 3:56 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


In other news, trump really should get a dog. Guaranteed bump in approval rating, plus it would do the fucker some good to play with a dog for a minute or two.

Like for example several unsocialized and untrained black Russian terriers? Hungry ones?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:56 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


(because see those were bred by the NKVD to eat dissidents so they might be unkind towards him)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:57 PM on October 5


If Trump does get a dog, I vote we all immediately start calling it "Alpha," and only ever call Donald Trump "Beta," forever.
posted by duffell at 3:57 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


I'm calling the ASPCA on you people RIGHT NOW for even toying with this idea.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:58 PM on October 5 [29 favorites]


Pee Tape, to the tune of Shotgun by Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:05 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


if Trump had a dog he would fire the dog like a dog

Fake Trump: more and more people are discovering that dogs don't get fired or sweat like dogs.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:12 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


‘Pee Tape,’ never-released, discovered by the archivist at Paisley Park. Sounds a lot like ‘Gett Off’ with new lyrics and a different guitar solo.
posted by box at 4:14 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Here in the Bay Area, everyone is so excited for Fleet Week. But a bunch of low flying planes just went past and I actually ducked. I had a moment of "oh, fuck, we're under attack!"

Fuck Trump for making me fear death from above for the first time since the 80's. Well, ever, because I was young and immortal in the 80's.
posted by greermahoney at 4:34 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Um, this is concerning, from Justin Sink of Bloomberg:
So the White House broke a lid to summon us for photo op with Trump and military. Then things got weird
"You know what this represents?" Trump said. "Maybe it's the calm before the storm." Pressed on what "storm," Trump says, "You'll find out"
"We have the world’s greatest military people in the room,” Trump also said. Then the press was ushered out
Here's the photo with military brass and spouses.
posted by zachlipton at 4:38 PM on October 5 [40 favorites]


I think the ideal pet distraction would be some kind of extremely rare and expensive/prized breed of cat, gifted from a fellow head of state and specifically selected for its aloofness.

That way Trump might fixate on why the cat wasn't showering him with affection and approval the way a pet is supposed to, instead of lashing out at the media and the rest of the country.
posted by prosopagnosia at 4:40 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


There was some comment (in the last thread?) that had me thinking that Trump was getting a dog. I was starting to think about how a person might be able to rescue that dog before I realized I had simply parsed the sentence incorrectly.

Trump should not have a dog and I don't think anyone should let their dog near him.
posted by VTX at 4:51 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Ivana Trump turned down ambassadorship offer from her ex (WaPo):
Ivana Trump, the first wife of President Trump and the mother of his three eldest children, is still close to her ex. Despite their tabloid-chronicled split, the pair still talk on a weekly basis, she said in a new interview, and he even offered her an ambassadorship to the Czech Republic, her native country — but she turned him down.

Why not take the high-profile diplomatic post? Ivana Trump, she of the perma-blonde updo and dramatic fashion sense, is too busy being fabulous, apparently.

“Why would I go and say bye-bye to Miami in the winter, bye-bye to Saint-Tropez in the summer, and bye-bye to spring and fall in New York?” she said in an interview with CBS’s “Sunday Morning” to air this weekend, a preview of which was posted on Thursday. “I have a perfect life.”
posted by peeedro at 4:53 PM on October 5 [8 favorites]


NYT, Seven Flights for $800,000: Mnuchin’s Travel on Military Jets
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has flown on military aircraft seven times since March at a cost of more than $800,000, including a $15,000 round-trip flight to New York to meet with President Trump at Trump Tower, according to the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General.

The inquiry into Mr. Mnuchin’s air travel, prompted by an Instagram posting by his wife, found he broke no laws in his use of military aircraft but lamented the loose justification provided for such costly flights.

“What is of concern is a disconnect between the standard of proof called for” by the Office of Management and Budget “and the actual amount of proof provided by Treasury and accepted by the White House in justifying these trip requests,” the inspector general wrote.
The flights included a $15,000 trip to New York to visit Trump at Trump Tower in August. He claimed he needed the plane so he could have a classified phone call with Tillerson on the way, though making that call before he left would have saved taxpayers, say, $14,900 or so. A trip to Miami to meet with the Mexican finance minister cost nearly $44,000 on military aircraft.
posted by zachlipton at 4:53 PM on October 5 [13 favorites]


zachlipton: Pressed on what "storm," Trump says, "You'll find out"

I hate coy "haha I might start a war" Trump. Storms are bad and to be dreaded, my dude. That's the whole point of the fucking idiom.
posted by bluecore at 4:57 PM on October 5 [19 favorites]


Ugh. It feels like it has been a tsunami of news in last couple of days and it is so hard to focus on one thing.

My Senator, Thom Tillis, tweeted out that he is happy to co-sponsor the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act." That means he cares nothing for the living-- no interest in making sure children or pregnant women have Health Insurance, no interest in protecting families through sane gun control legislation-- but he sure as hell worships the fetus. So much so that he is willing to ignore science and just pretend we have to disallow all abortions after 20 weeks.

@Andy Slavitt
GOP is now trying to create what I call "synthetic repeal." Before I explain what that means let me tell you why this is happening. GOP has 7 years of promises and a lot of fundraising to pay back. Moore's win in AL punctuates the point that the R base is very unhappy. GOP needs to compete in primaries & fundraise. Make no mistake that is a 2018 reality weighing on them.

Three strategic choices: a- say repeal failed & move on b- promise to try again next yr c- "synthetic repeal." Synthetic repeal allows them 2 say: sure, we didn't repeal the ACA because of RINO holdouts, but before long it will be effectively done. ynthetic repeal goes after ALL the big cahuanas: huge Medicaid cuts, pre-ex protections & the mandates. WITHOUT REPLACEMENTS. CBO would score the synthetic repeal an absolute disaster.

The tools for synthetic repeal are: - An Executive Order coming next week - The budget/tax plan - Sabotage of the ACA (not even denied.) The EO allows "association health plans"-- ability for plans to be offered with no pre-ex protections & turn ACA into a high risk pool. In states that have done things like this, like TN, premiums have skyrocketed and competitors have left the market.

This Executive Order next week is a massive undermining of state's, insurance markets & American families. Anyone will be able to create a plan that usurps state authority. And across state lines. Graham Cassidy "state's rights"
I added periods and paragraph breaks to make the thread more readable. He goes on to talk about how tax bill will be a way to cut Medicaid. Also the ways they are planning to sabotage the ACA. When it is useless it will be easy to repeal.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:57 PM on October 5 [21 favorites]


NBC News: Tillerson Summoned to White House Amid Presidential Fury. In which Trump spends hours venting to Kelly about the Tillerson story and got angry when Tillerson didn't deny it. And then White House staffers leak the whole thing to NBC News.
posted by zachlipton at 4:59 PM on October 5 [32 favorites]


Torties are psychotic and temperamental under normal circumstances

FAKE NEWS. My tortie is the sweetest creature ever and just wants love and access to a bottomless bowl of cat food.
posted by threeturtles at 5:01 PM on October 5 [17 favorites]


[Trump] even offered her an ambassadorship to the Czech Republic

To those of you who would question his judgement, I say good day.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:02 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


Here's my hot take on the pee tape; Trump tries to wave it off, saying he's a germaphobe. That he is was recently demonstrated when he was so grossed out by water purification tablets in Puerto Rico. I mean, yes, he's a fucking moron, but usually somebody confronted with, I don't know, some water that has a bit of sediment in it but has been treated is not going to do an all WOULD YOU DRINK THAT HORRIBLE THING I MEAN WHO WOULD.

But! A driving force of this man is to negate Obama. Okay, here's a beautiful bed where Obama lay next to his lovely partner. And he gets to, in his mind, completely defile the scene. I mean, I don't really get it get it because pee is not the grossest bodily fluid to me, and who cares if people peed in the bed Obama slept in.

But I bet Trump would care. I bet he sees pee as demon germ fluid that can negate presidential legacies, used in the right way.
posted by angrycat at 5:03 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


We lost three soldiers to an ambush in Niger on Wednesday. Is this getting much in the way of attention in the news? I'm old enough to remember when something like this would be a top story for the day.

We've gotten to the point where we're losing soldiers in fights overseas outside our already-known warzone(s) and it's hardly even a blip on the radar.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:05 PM on October 5 [25 favorites]


I bet he sees pee as demon germ fluid that can negate presidential legacies, used in the right way.

You're seriously overthinking it. I guarantee it was more along the lines of "Obama and his wife slept there? Let's have some hookers piss all over it." And he thought it was hilarious.

I know, because I once had the intellect of an 11 year old boy.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 5:07 PM on October 5 [27 favorites]


We probably shouldn't overdo it on the pee tape thing tonight -- plenty of time for that -- but am I the only one who remembers this weird interview?
“It’s made up. Never existed. Never happened. And the reason I say that so strongly because nothing is ever going to show up. There’s never going to be a tape that shows up. There’s never going to be anything that shows up. Now, I would be very embarrassed if a tape actually showed up, saying something like that. It would be double embarrassed because I’m saying there is no tape. There is no event. I was never even in that room for that period of time.
I always thought that deserved a little more attention. Nobody mentioned a room or a period of time...
posted by uosuaq at 5:22 PM on October 5 [42 favorites]


I was hoping based on the pool transcript that the "calm before the storm" remark was just more yammering about his much-threatened crackdown on the free press, but after watching the video it does indeed sound like he wants people to think he has a big military action up his sleeve.
posted by contraption at 5:25 PM on October 5


He's got something up something, for sure.
posted by uosuaq at 5:27 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


omfg I was already enraged about the Trump kids/Cyrus Vance thing and now WHAT IN THE FUCK is this? Harvey Weinstein's Lawyer Gave $10,000 To Manhattan DA After He Declined To File Sexual Assault Charges

he needs to go
posted by lalex at 5:29 PM on October 5 [36 favorites]


Here's where I'm unclear on the Iran deal, if Trump decertifies Iran's compliance, that doesn't end the deal, it goes to Congress to reimpose sanctions on Iran, yes? Are we sure 8 Democrats would vote for new sanctions? I can see 4-5 defections for sure, your Manchin, Donnley, Hietkamps, maybe Tester, and probably Feinstien, but Democrats should have the ability to block this, if they want to.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:30 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure it would be subject to filibuster. That said, I'm also not sure the Senate would reimpose sanctions. There would be R defections. Corker, for example.
posted by Justinian at 5:33 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Resistbot and I are so chummy but it gets so confused when I try to tell it goodnight.
posted by tilde at 5:39 PM on October 5 [9 favorites]


but her online bullying campaign

To be fair, Melania knows what it's like to be bullied. She just doesn't know how to stop a bully.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:39 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


I am NOT FALLING for this stupid "Tune in later, you'll see" audience building trickery.

I AM NOT FALLING FOR IT, YOU HEAR ME TRUMP?

What time did you say to tune in? Next week?
posted by notyou at 5:40 PM on October 5


I always thought that deserved a little more attention. Nobody mentioned a room or a period of time...

"Period of time" is one of the many annoying and meaningless phrases he uses quite frequently in his ramblings. I wouldn't read too much into it
posted by zakur at 5:43 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


So this story just broke. It concerns how Trump personally intervened to sabotage Iowa's healthcare marketplace. It's lighting up my Facebook page, but I have no idea how much impact it will have on Iowans who don't already think Trump is evil.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:46 PM on October 5 [31 favorites]


he needs to go

Cy Vance just won the Dem primary and is running unopposed for a third term. If we want to get rid of him, it will have to be by like...pressure from a criminal investigation or something.

Which I would fucking LOVE.

Lawyers? What does it take to open up an investigation into this kind of sale of prosecutorial discretion / justice etc?
posted by schadenfrau at 5:48 PM on October 5 [7 favorites]


There's still time to make it a more painful victory.
posted by rhizome at 5:50 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Lawyers? What does it take to open up an investigation into this kind of sale of prosecutorial discretion / justice etc?

Who investigates the district attorney? I'm a constituent of Cyrus Vance and would like to make some phone calls tomorrow.
posted by lalex at 5:53 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]


Wow, ArbitraryAndCapricious, as an Iowan who hates Trump with the burning fires of the sun, that article actually made my hate go super-fucking-nova. These are people's lives the administration is fucking with.
posted by lineofsight at 5:54 PM on October 5 [9 favorites]


@Kyle Griffin Elijah Cummings wants evidence Tom Price repaid taxpayers for his travel on private flights—wants a copy of the check he promised to write

Twitter link has a copy of the Letter from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to Secretary Mnuchin.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:00 PM on October 5 [9 favorites]


There's still time to make it a more painful victory.

You saw that Cy Vance is running unopposed, right?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:01 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


So, today was a terrible day in here, because honestly, they're all terrible days in here now, but if you're needing some respite from the mind-bogglingly assinine/evil actions of our government, may I suggest taking a look at the rest of the blue? Maybe it's just me, but today's posts have been delightful. Kudos to all involved.
posted by greermahoney at 6:11 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]


There is no rest of the blue really. As a matter of fact it's all dark.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:13 PM on October 5 [12 favorites]


Will do, and I'll also write some more postcards to voters. Always a good (and productive!) calm-down.
posted by duffell at 6:14 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Well, it looks like Republicans are putting forward a law banning bump stocks, with NRA approval. The NRA is delighted that everyone is focusing on a trivial issue, one that nobody cared about a week ago and few gun owners care about. But it is a great distraction from the real issues and I'm sure the NRA is delighted.

A friend of mine pointed out that the NRA supports banning bump stocks as a regulation by the ATF, which can be undermined/waived/killed quietly later on, and would pre-empt having the ban being enacted as a law. Meanwhile, they expect to get credit from the so-called "liberal media" that "look! even the NRA is prepared to be reasonable now!"

To its credit, NPR actually noted the difference.
posted by Gelatin at 6:15 PM on October 5 [18 favorites]


Yes yes, Duffell! I got cardstock tonight to do postcards, too!
posted by greermahoney at 6:19 PM on October 5


I could not finish the Steve Bannon book before he got canned. So I'm reading some historical books.

Liars poker by Michael Lewis.

I wish I'd read it when it came out, but in my defense I was still reeling from puberty. While I was interested in all this shit, I didn't have the context of them that I have now. I do wish I'd read it in the early 2000's though. I might've come out of the bubble a little better, though I did pretty well as it was. You know in not having to file bankruptcy and live in a cardboard box like some of my friends did.

Anyway, I just read something that really made sense to me and made me understand Trump more.. Except for the part where he's not nearly as smart as the dumbest people in the book, he just likes "the look".

The context of this quote is that the guy who sold Solomon brothers was mad that people making him millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars wanted to be paid more than a couple hundred thousand a year. He didn't think they should. Because, it was his company making the money, and the people were just Lucky to bleeping be there.
The concept that he presided over no more than Jews with leverage it was alien to Gutfreund as the [company being big but not, say, the] Netherlands. Solomon brothers, where he was boss, was bigger than that. By the commutative property of executive grandeur John Gutfreund was bigger than that. Howie Ruben [The training who made lots of money and wanted to be paid more], on the other hand, didn't really figure, except as a cog. He could be replaced by another trainee.


Emphasis mine. That's what's going on with Trump. The commutative property of executive grandeur of being president of the United States, he must win there is no other way to be.
posted by tilde at 6:20 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


but I have no idea how much impact it will have on Iowans who don't already think Trump is evil.

"See, I told you Obamacare was failing! Suck it liebruls!"

actually, this is what Senators Grassley and Ernst will say
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:25 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine pointed out that the NRA supports banning bump stocks as a regulation by the ATF, which can be undermined/waived/killed quietly later on, and would pre-empt having the ban being enacted as a law. Meanwhile, they expect to get credit from the so-called "liberal media" that "look! even the NRA is prepared to be reasonable now!"
Writing a resistbot message is an artform. Longer than a tweet, longer than Limerick, but you must be economical with your screed. Most of my messages tonight were between 32 and 37 words. Otherwise you just get cut off.

I used a one word descriptor for the NRA bump ban: weaksauce. Now I'm really glad I did. That's a travesty. I mean on top of all the other travesties in this travesty Sharknado.
posted by tilde at 6:27 PM on October 5


Who investigates the district attorney?

I don't think that's the proper translation from the Latin.
posted by Gelatin at 6:37 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


So this story just broke. It concerns how Trump personally intervened to sabotage Iowa's healthcare marketplace.

I'm not so sure that article means what you are suggesting. Just because Trump is stupid doesn't mean that the Iowa Stopgap Plan is good.

What the Stopgap plan does is take subsidies away from poor people and give them to the better off people (presumably aggrieved upper middle-class whites).

For example, currently under Obamacare a family of four with income of $100,000 gets no subsidy for health insurance. The Stopgap plan would take money from poor people to give to that upper middle class family of four. As a result of stripping away subsides, a poor family, instead of having a subsidized plan that provided them a low deductible of, say, $500, would now have a deductible of $7000.

Keep in mind that the Iowa Obamacare is run by Republicans. They got in this mess because they implemented Medicaid expansion but using a previous waiver that relied on "free market" solutions that blunted it's effectiveness and contributed to the high premiums that they are seeking to fix using their Stopgap plan.

So, no, it doesn't appear that the new waiver they seek is beneficial to most Iowans in need. I'm guessing that Trump doesn't know the details but heard that Iowa was trying to "fix" Obamacare and just rejected it out of hand. He might inadvertently be doing Iowans a favor.
posted by JackFlash at 6:51 PM on October 5 [8 favorites]


In other news, trump really should get a dog. Guaranteed bump in approval rating, plus it would do the fucker some good to play with a dog for a minute or two.

The good news is that he's only getting an Aibo. The bad news is that it's already been rooted by Russian intelligence.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:52 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


The “calm before the storm” stuff seemed like his usual Drunk Uncle bullshitting to fill the space, and when reporters in that video asked him to clarify, he says “you’ll find out” as a continuation of the bullshitting. I’m really eager to not read anything more into it, because I need to sleep in a little bit here.

60%+ likely that those comments were more (weirdly sober) Drunk Uncle yammering on because he’s so starstruck (and maybe even a lil intimidated) by all the important military brass in the room, and he felt like he needed to say something BIG to fill the space and buy time. It seems that the actual decision-makers have made their opinions and wishes well known, and those wishes tend not to be consistent with DJT’s own words (which are, perennially, vacuous bs).
posted by witchen at 6:54 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy: "The tools for synthetic repeal are: - An Executive Order coming next week "

Just a note of caution that a lot of stuff is always coming "next week" from Trump.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:54 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


but after watching the video it does indeed sound like he wants people to think he has a big military action up his sleeve.

And all the other world leaders are laughing their asses off.
posted by Melismata at 6:57 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


tilde, the secret to longer Resistbot letters is to text them one sentence at a time. But I like your Omit Needless Words approach.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:03 PM on October 5


In other news, trump really should get a dog. Guaranteed bump in approval rating, plus it would do the fucker some good to play with a dog for a minute or two.

There is literally no dog in existence who deserves to deal with that guy.

Like if Milo Y. died and was immediately reincarnated as a dog and I knew that dog was Milo, I'd be like, "Okay he was raging scum as a human being but this is supposed to be his chance to mend his ways, so can't we find him a better home than this?"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:03 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]


Johnny Wallflower: tilde, the secret to longer Resistbot letters is to text them one sentence at a time.

No, I was filling up fax page one and it apparently doesn't send page two? It's hard enough (#firstworldproblems) to use as it is ... but apparently, I can send physical letters now ...
posted by tilde at 7:05 PM on October 5


Resistbot users who hate typing out letters on smartphones can also install MightyText and use a desktop browser instead. The free version should work just fine for that. Android only, sorry.
posted by christopherious at 7:13 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


NYT: President Trump nominated Andrew Wheeler, a coal lobbyist with links to outspoken deniers of established science on climate change, to help lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Only the best people.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:13 PM on October 5 [9 favorites]


Resistbot users using Google Voice and who hate typing out letters on smartphones can go to voice.google.com and text that way. (Now I figure this out ... thanks christoperious!)
posted by tilde at 7:18 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


(MightyText is so great that I actually pay for it)
posted by lalex at 7:25 PM on October 5


Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) who is alive only because of the actions of a woman who happens to be both black and a lesbian will be attending the Family Research Council's summit where he, and the other attendees, will literally plot how best to take legal rights away from LGBT people and demonize them socially.

There's a word for someone who lacks the slightest hint of introspection, gratitude, or plain thoughtfulness required to do that. The word is "Republican".
posted by sotonohito at 7:26 PM on October 5 [98 favorites]


Every single behind-the-scenes White House story has so many people leaking stuff to the press that it makes me think of the telephone booth scene in Airplane.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:35 PM on October 5 [13 favorites]


I use Facebook messages to type out resistbot letters, which lets me use a real keyboard.
Keep in mind that the Iowa Obamacare is run by Republicans.
Gosh! You don't say! That must be why everything is such a shitshow! How on earth did I fail to notice that the Republicans run everything here?!?

I promise you that I'm real aware that this state is run by Republicans, but thanks for the reminder, I guess. And while every aspect of the implementation of the ACA here has been a disaster, it's still significant that the President is deliberately intervening to sabotage a last ditch effort to prevent tens of thousands of people here from not having any access to insurance.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:40 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** PA-18 special -- Good backgrounder on the Tim Murphy seat and some potential candidates from Payday Report. Reschenthaler is my state senator, and as far as I can tell, he's dumber than a post.

** Odds & ends:
-- WaPo: Democrats just keep winning Republican seats they shouldn't be winning. It's Cillizza, so you know we've hit the conventional wisdom.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:47 PM on October 5 [27 favorites]


Remember, the Republican replacement plan was state "flexibility".

Which apparently they intended to deny if it resulted in more people getting insurance.

Republicans do not believe in the idea of health insurance, period. It's inarguable. They want to end healthcare delivery, period. Full stop. Unless you are rich enough to pay out of pocket. Including ending Medicare and Medicaid, even for old and disabled people. That is the goal. Either you have the cash in hand, immediately, or you fucking die you fucking moocher. That's the Republican healthcare system.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:50 PM on October 5 [39 favorites]


Goddammit, I accidentally hit post. More:

Virginia stuff:

-- MoJo on Dems expanding the field in House of Delegates races.

-- DKElections skeptical of that super Northam WaPo poll.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:52 PM on October 5 [14 favorites]


Has this Seth Abramson tweetstorm been posted yet? Lordy.
posted by un petit cadeau at 8:03 PM on October 5 [50 favorites]


I take comfort in imagining that Mueller and his team are probably having the time of their lives digging through this stuff.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:08 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


I hope that whoever had to watch the Pee Tape got hazard pay.
posted by jferg at 8:11 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Lordy is right...
posted by Windopaene at 8:25 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Coventry: "If it's easy to outline, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd love to read your reasoning."

Keep in mind I'm really Just Some Guy On The Internet. I am not secretly Nate Silver, I know campaign professionals and pollsters, but I am neither myself. I don't even live in Virginia anymore.

That all said, here are my thoughts.

* For governor - Dems have been (narrowly) winning statewide the past decade. The last GOP win to a statewide office was in 2009.

* Trump approval is -12, and Gillespie has not been trying to distance himself from Trump. At all.

* Polling has consistently had Northam with small leads. Gillespie's not led any poll for quite some time.

* Gillespie had an extremely divisive primary, Northam's was way more positive. Afterwards, Stewart basically told Gillespie to fuck himself; Perriello pledged to campaign for Northam (and has). We may see at least a few GOP stay-at-homes, I don't think we're going to see any serious defection on the left.

* Both Northam and Gillespie are known quantities - Northam is the LG, Gillespie ran for Senate in 2014. So, people are somewhat baked in with their opinions.

* Northam seems to be winning the money race - he raised $6.4M in Sept, has $5.7M on hand.

* As for LG, that normally follows the governor, if there is no incumbent. Neither Fairfax nor Vogel are super well known, so it's a fair bet they'll follow along.

* The GOP had a long winning streak for AG, broken by Herring, who is running again. Adams doesn't have a high profile. This will probably follow the gov result, with a slight chance of Herring winning even if Northam does not. I can't see Adams winning with a Gillespie loss.

* On the HOD races, I've had to rely on some of the analysis I've see out there. The Dems are running a lot more people this year (some good candidates, too), and there's a general sense that changing voter demographics are catching up to guys like Bob Marshall. And there's the fact that the state voted for Hillary, and there are 17 Hillary districts held by the GOP. But incumbency + gerrymandering can get you pretty far, and there is some serious money backing the GOP. A lot of people seem to think the Dems pick up about 10 seats; special election results make me a little more optimistic, but the needed 17 seats just seems a bridge too far. I hope to be wrong.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:25 PM on October 5 [30 favorites]


Oh, I'm planning to do an FPP for Election Day, with some stuff on the NJ and VA regulars, plus the 40 or so specials. Thought it would be best to keep the many many results out of this thread.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:29 PM on October 5 [32 favorites]


Today's report from the legal front, courtesy of LAT -- these points seem a bit undigested, but are the highlights of potentially important developments on the immigration fight:

Federal appeals court judges on the West Coast and in Virginia cited Trump’s tweets and his campaign pledge to enact a “Muslim ban” in rulings that blocked the earlier versions of the travel order from taking effect.

Those opinions “remain legally consequential,” Justice Department lawyers said in a letter to the justices, but should not stand because they could shape future court battles.
...
The skirmishing follows the Supreme Court’s decision to postpone arguments on Trump’s immigration power, which had been set for Oct. 10.

On Thursday, Trump’s lawyers said the current cases should be dismissed as moot. The ACLU and Hawaii insisted they were not moot because the essential dispute is still alive.

But a new round of litigation is already underway. A federal judge in Maryland has scheduled a hearing on the new travel order for Oct. 17.

posted by snuffleupagus at 9:29 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Once again, Chrysostom, Thanks for all you do. You're seriously doing great work.

Chrysostom for President!!!
(No, really. Save us.)
posted by greermahoney at 9:31 PM on October 5 [20 favorites]


Has this Seth Abramson tweetstorm been posted yet? Lordy.

I would really like to know how many of those Russian guys who died in weird situations were connected to Steele
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:36 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


Chrysostom for President!!!

Oh, God, I'd be lousy. We could find better people just in these threads.

Still, I would be a huge improvement, that's true.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:40 PM on October 5 [15 favorites]


Vote Whelk for Socialist Utopia.
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 PM on October 5 [58 favorites]


(Oh hey the city’s community board positions are like mostly empty and people can run unopposed.


Hmmm)
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 PM on October 5 [19 favorites]


yes plz whelk for basically any office.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:59 PM on October 5 [12 favorites]


Oh, now I thought there might be a Whelk/YCTAB primary.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:00 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


I'll write in The Whelk for Manhattan Attorney General in November.
posted by lalex at 10:04 PM on October 5 [16 favorites]


Civil war starts when Mueller and company present an air-tight case against Trump, et al, and congress refuses to do anything about it. I'd guess less than a quarter of people who consider themselves "republicans" will demand justice, so it's going to be ugly. It's going to come down to who among the military cares more about partisanship than the citizenry, which is utterly fucked, but there we are.

(It's telling that if I were to watch Basic Instinct right now I'd be "So the deal is you get to have sex with Sharon Stone and when death comes, ahem, an infinite nap with no more republicans...forever? Hm. Hmmmmmm.")
posted by maxwelton at 10:10 PM on October 5 [13 favorites]


You could write in Marc Fliedner , the progressive , gay, Our Revolution backed DSA member who lost his primary for Brooklyn DA and I’m not just saying that cause his son follows me on twitter.
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 PM on October 5 [12 favorites]


NYT: For Republican Leaders in Congress, the Headaches Keep Mounting

Too many choice bits to excerpt!

Republican leaders in Congress are under attack from all sides of their own party, battered by voters from the right and left, spurned by frustrated donors and even threatened by the Trump White House for ineffective leadership and insufficient loyalty.
...
Republicans are increasingly mystified by their own grass roots, an electorate they thought they knew, and distressed that a wave of turnover in their ranks could fundamentally change the character of Congress.
...
Mr. Trump is not helping.

posted by RedOrGreen at 10:16 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]


I feel like this has been a particularly enraging day.
posted by lalex at 10:18 PM on October 5 [12 favorites]


The Whelk, could DSA organize a write in campaign for NYC district attorney? It seems like it wouldn't be crazy, lots of New Yorkers must be mad.
posted by medusa at 10:27 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


I bring even more rage.

Politico reports that Tim Murphy's abortion scandal was the least of his problems, in which he and his chief of staff are accused of harassing and mistreating aides. The headline kind of hits the point hard: Inside Tim Murphy's reign of terror. He was pushed to resign immediately after it became clear the House Ethics Committee might have to start investigating his office. Allegations include verbal and emotional abuse by his chief of staff, such as berating staff for their restroom use or using a paper clip instead of a staple.
posted by zachlipton at 10:34 PM on October 5 [30 favorites]


wait i literally have a rage headache
posted by lalex at 10:37 PM on October 5 [8 favorites]


The Whelk, could DSA organize a write in campaign for NYC district attorney? It seems like it wouldn't be crazy, lots of New Yorkers must be mad.

DSA city steerage has basically said they’re not going to get formally involved in DA races cause ...DAs, but one can encourage ones’ comrades to make to some noise and put on some pressure cause , this is a big cross left and cross liberal problem, we all want Cy out, so let’s work on making that Happen..

It would be a very good thing if every manhattan DSA member wrote in a vote is what I’m saying and a very good thing if everyone else did so .
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 PM on October 5 [7 favorites]


I feel like this has been a particularly enraging day.

How can you tell?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:47 PM on October 5 [12 favorites]


Meant to say it earlier, but: excellent title for this FPP, Merus!

Another topical, deep cut from the Golden Age of The Simpsons!
posted by darkstar at 10:48 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


It'll be interesting to see if DSA NYC expands their candidate advocacy as they grow; I asked a friend who's heavily involved if they had a recommendation slate for the primaries so that I could vote for the candidates (they did not).

New York has ballot fusion so I'm particularly curious about whether they intend to try to get on the ballot.
posted by lalex at 10:50 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


How can you tell?

by the rage headache
posted by lalex at 10:51 PM on October 5 [7 favorites]


We had a recommendation slate for city primaries but that’s only cause we only wanted to focus on our candidates.

There’s some hostility towards electoral politics within the city steerage membership, basically we don’t want to get hijiacked by the state’s machine politics (like say Working Families Did, and the De Baliso situation where someone runs as a leftist then RUNS to the center once elected) but I think that will change as we get larger and time goes on, but we really want to focus on running socialists and socialist afiliated canidates.

And as I remind myself, The electoral ground is less than a year old and we nearly won a primary against an incumbent in a conversative distinct.
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


Like I do wish they got into DA races but the argument is, NYC is unique in having progressive organizing infrastructure, it’s still werid for us to be in electoral politics and not just labor organizing, let’s grow slow and just focus on a few things now and spread it out , policy, electoral, labor, etc (that being said vote Jabari in Brooklyn for city council )
posted by The Whelk at 11:00 PM on October 5


oh to be clear I definitely wasn't offering a criticism, just interest. It's frankly amazing what DSA has been able to pull together so far.
posted by lalex at 11:01 PM on October 5


(To Be Fair we’re a political organization that organizes people and supports canidates VS. we’re a political organization that RUNS canidates and legislators is kind of the big unspoken rift in the organization now )

It’s are we a political organization or are we a subliminal party?

And that’s going to be answered by ...how well elections go ...this year
posted by The Whelk at 11:03 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


How the hell was "the White House Chief of Staff's phone has been compromised since, idk, maybe last December" a comparatively minor story today?
posted by zachlipton at 11:17 PM on October 5 [74 favorites]


I'm just saying, somebody needs to organize a write in campaign or just call up the Ladies' Assassination Squad already.
posted by medusa at 11:32 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Like I think being extremely angry at Cy online in a fun side project I can fold into “stuffing envelopes at the National Office” and “running the Halloween lower manhattan party”

PS everyone come to the lower manhattan DSA party
posted by The Whelk at 11:39 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


Whelk you're gettin me all riled up
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:54 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


I had the worst nightmare I can remember having the other night. Under the right conditions (migraine, forgetting to take medication) I have these nightmares where time seems to fold and the nightmare goes on for a fucking month.

I won't go into details, because they were really horrific, aside from the fact that there was this weird dream thing going on where there were no authorities, just a bunch of us looking at radar and seeing this slow moving thing on the radar, and in some fucked-up dream logic, we were all, "That's either a hurricane OR a nuclear missile! We got to run."

And aside from details I won't go into, the worst thing about the dream was that aside from a few of us, nobody was running. It was terrible: earnestly shouting into people's faces that they had to act now, and nothing was happening.

Anyways, happy Friday!
posted by angrycat at 3:44 AM on October 6 [12 favorites]


CIA director Pompeo considered to replace Tillerson
Trump advisers and allies are floating the idea of replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, age 53 — someone who's already around the table in the Situation Room, and could make the switch without chaos. We're told that Trump is quite comfortable with Pompeo, asking his advice on topics from immigration to the inner workings of Congress. Pompeo personally delivers the President's Daily Brief, making him one of the few people Trump spends a great deal of time with on a daily basis.
posted by PenDevil at 4:44 AM on October 6 [10 favorites]


The Daily Brief is that printout of flattering comments from Fox News, right?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:46 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


The Daily Brief is that printout of flattering comments from Fox News, right?

I just assumed Donnie needs someone to remind him to put on a clean pair of drawers every day.
posted by phunniemee at 5:09 AM on October 6 [10 favorites]


I'll write in The Whelk for Manhattan Attorney General in November.

Yeah, when an asshole is running unopposed is basically the time to do a write in, but also this is why small third parties shouldn't give up any seat, because otherwise Working Families or something could be cleaning up.
posted by corb at 5:27 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


So, Tillerson out by the end of the weekend? That'll suck some oxygen out of the NRA/Puerto Rico/Tim Murphy/Relentless Mueller news cycle.
posted by lydhre at 5:29 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Pretty accurate, as metaphors go, angrycat. Things are bad enough as it is, but all signs indicate that a colossal catastrophe of as-yet indeterminate form inexorably approaches. How could it be otherwise? A malevolent creature is at the helm. He will do horrible things at every turn - in his role as president, in self-defense, in order to shock, please, or punish, and for no discernable reason at all (as we will continue to discover in the aftermath) - because that is who he is. And even though our system was constructed with some degree of safeguards against such a situation, those safeguards require sensible people to invoke them.

And that's not even a swipe at Republicans in particular, or any other political set. In simplified terms, it seems to be a common human condition that, once a monster has slipped past an individual's perceptual defenses and passed as human, that individual is essentially rendered insensible to the indicators that would otherwise plainly reveal the malevolence of the monster's actions. Excuses and rationalizations preempt that awareness from emerging. Each egregious act trends to be treated singularly as an outlier, instead of as part of the dominant pattern. And so on.

In my direct and indirect experience, it may be well nigh impossible for an individual in that state to subsequently acquire the comprehension that they are living cheek to jowl with a monster. And all the alarms that others raise are seen as, well, alarmist.

It's as though the individual's psychological defenses get reprogrammed to protect them from experiencing the horror that would accompany becoming aware of how they, themselves, assisted a monster in creating a catastrophe of their own lives. Maybe the mechanism works that way because, evolutionarily, once you're in it that deeply and intimately, your best chance of survival is self-sublimation.

And happy Friday to you, too.
posted by perspicio at 5:32 AM on October 6 [16 favorites]


That'll suck some oxygen out of the NRA/Puerto Rico/Tim Murphy/Relentless Mueller news cycle.

You forgot Peetape.
posted by petebest at 5:34 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Which would mean a new director of the CIA, yet another opportunity for teh awful to multiply itself.

This is like watching a collapsing star - at each stage, a different sort of force prevents gravity from winning and turning it into a black hole, until whatever is fuelling one pause runs out and the next stage of collapse occurs. At this point, it's only the back pressure of quantum stupidity which is keeping the lights on.
posted by Devonian at 5:34 AM on October 6 [35 favorites]


Roy Moore’s Neo-Confederate Sugar Daddy Has Deep Ties To Secessionists (Cameron Joseph, TPM)
There’s a long history of southern conservative politicians playing footsie with fringe groups that hold controversial views on race. But that’s become more fraught in recent years as the advent of YouTube, camera phones and campaign trackers has made it harder to keep those meetings quiet. It’s also become more controversial to speak to Confederate groups in recent years as parts of the South have changed and in the wake of murderous racist violence in Charleston and Charlottesville. But even by the old standards, Moore’s deep ties to Peroutka — and Peroutka’s views — stand out, as most of those groups weren’t actively calling for the South to secede again.

Peroutka, a 2004 Constitution Party presidential nominee who in 2014 won a seat as a Republican on the county commission in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, spent years on the board of the Alabama-based League of the South, a southern secessionist group which for years has called for a southern nation run by an “Anglo-Celtic” elite. The Southern Poverty Law Center designates the League of the South as a hate group (a designation Peroutka regularly jokes about). That organization, after Peroutka left, was one of the organizers of the Charlottesville protests last summer that ended in bloodshed..
posted by Room 641-A at 5:42 AM on October 6 [20 favorites]


Has this Seth Abramson tweetstorm been posted yet? Lordy.

Where does Abramson fall on a scale of 1 to Louise Mensch? I really can’t remember who to trust anymore in the media. Except Ashley Feinberg. Her I trust
posted by dis_integration at 5:43 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


So, Tillerson out by the end of the weekend?

Not unless Trump is willing to lose Mnuchin and Mattis at the same time. Tillerson and Mnuchin have massive tax bills at stake if they get dismissed before February '18 and they will not go quietly.
posted by Talez at 5:48 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


That'll suck some oxygen out of the NRA/Puerto Rico/Tim Murphy/Relentless Mueller news cycle.

>You forgot Peetape.


I was filing that under Relentless Mueller but it could very well stand to have its own heading.
posted by lydhre at 5:50 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Talez, I've heard of "the pact" but I'll believe it when I see it. Like you said, they have huge tax bills at stake and Mnuchin does not exactly strike me as a principled man who will stick his neck out for Tillerson but what do I know it's 2017 we're now actively rooting for James Comey.
posted by lydhre at 5:51 AM on October 6 [17 favorites]


> "... the Charlottesville protests last summer that ended in bloodshed."

Bloodshed and murder. They murdered someone. How the hell has that one gotten lost in all the noise?
posted by kyrademon at 6:00 AM on October 6 [30 favorites]


There’s a long history of southern conservative politicians playing footsie with fringe groups that hold controversial views on race.

I love how they can't just say "racist groups". No, that'd be too direct. Instead they have to play this weird game with talking around it.
posted by sotonohito at 6:03 AM on October 6 [22 favorites]


Tillerson and Mnuchin have massive tax bills at stake if they get dismissed before February '18

Talez, can you say more about this, please?
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:06 AM on October 6


Wait. I screwed up. It's not one year it's 60 days. So it looks like it's already passed.
posted by Talez at 6:37 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


MT - High officials are required to divest certain investments (Trump "gave away" his companies to his sons).
Clearly it would be unethical for the SoS to be a major Exxon stockholder. So he is forced to sell.
Normally this would trigger a huge tax bill, but there's an excemption for this situation (fair, I guess).
But the official must stay in this position for a period of time to prevent abusing this.
Tillerson hasn't yet been in his position long enough to avoid the tax bill if he resigns/is fired.
posted by jclarkin at 6:41 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


Where does Abramson fall on a scale of 1 to Louise Mensch?

Mensch is on a completely different axis - she's an opportunistic conspiracy theory–peddler who's burned her bridges with the Tories and Rupert Murdoch alike but has an eye for the next controversy bandwagon upon which to jump, e.g. Gamergate. Her FISA warrant claims, which have been thoroughly taken apart, are a classic case of a broken clock being right twice a day.

Abramson, a lawyer by vocation rather than a journalist, may go off into the weeds and slip in an apoplectic and/or apocalyptic tone, but at least he's scrupulous about extrapolating his claims from published, vetted media sources. For instance, in his latest tweetstorm, when he attributes a quote "There is more than one [Trump] tape, audio and video, from more than one place, on more than one date, of a sexual nature." to "The CIA", he's referring to a BBC story by Paul Wood - who have stood by it. It's not a direct quote, however, only information passed on anonymously through an intermediary, and Wood's source(s) in The Company clammed up once Trumpist Mike Pompeo came on board as Director.

So, caveat lector, but being a lector of his Twitter feed is OK with a grain of salt. Where mainstream journalists have been playing catch-up to the Trump-Russia affair, he's at least trying to get ahead of received ideas about what's going on.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:51 AM on October 6 [20 favorites]


So, pee tapeS?
posted by furtive at 6:55 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


I thought we determined that there is no pee tape, there never was a pee tape, and there never will be a pee tape, because who uses tape anymore? There's a pee DVD or maybe a pee SD card.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:00 AM on October 6 [7 favorites]


Honestly, one should be sceptical of the Moscow Ritz-Carlton pee-party story since its luridness sounds like exactly what would appeal to campaign oppo research—and let's remember that the Steele Dossier started out as that (and expect that Trump's supporters will lean on its origins heavily in his defense). What's completely believable is that at the very least, the then-married Trump got into numerous sexual peccadillos on his Russian trips - such as propositioning a former Miss Hungary - that would inevitably have made it into his every-growing kompropat file with the FSB.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:10 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


If the peetape is real and surfaces then trump’s supporters will also just start peeing on things out of loyalty. Well, peeing on things more than they already do now.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:16 AM on October 6 [17 favorites]


There's a pee DVD or maybe a pee SD card.

in any case it's probably an .mpeeg
posted by cortex at 7:17 AM on October 6 [52 favorites]


Oh, God, it'll be the Calvin peeing window sticker, but with Trump's hair, won't it?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:19 AM on October 6 [19 favorites]


The only way a pee tape gets Trump fired is if the prostitute is black.
posted by PenDevil at 7:22 AM on October 6


The “calm before the storm” stuff seemed like his usual Drunk Uncle bullshitting to fill the space, and when reporters in that video asked him to clarify, he says “you’ll find out” as a continuation of the bullshitting.

Just a reminder Obama had them rolling in the aisles at the Correspondents Dinner and 24 hours later was watching the Bin Laden raid. Can you imagine Trump doing a public speech before a top secret operation he knows about is supposed to go down after the way he gave Israeli sourced intel up to the Russians in the Oval Office?
posted by PenDevil at 7:31 AM on October 6 [9 favorites]


When the pee tape surfaces, it will raise the credibility of everything else in the dossier to 100%.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:32 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


It's not one year it's 60 days.

From my reading the 60 Days refers to exemptions from divestiture (if the appointee will not serve beyond 60 days, they may be exempt from the requirement) rather than any time requirement for the tax deferral to kick in. Speaking of, I've seen this described as a tax deferral rather than a waiving of taxes -- when the property (bonds, funds, whatever) that the divested funds were redirected to are sold, the capital gains are to be paid then. I have not been able to learn if the tax basis from the old investments carries over to the new, or if the "deferred taxes" uses the new tax basis of the new investments when taxes are calculated on their eventual sale. (If the latter, then that's a big tax break, depending on past performance, etc.) ("Tax basis," for those who may not know, is the price at which the property was bought, and serves as the floor for calculating the value -- and the hence the taxes due -- of any gains.)

Scaramucci divested way back in January, but didn't get the job until ... whenever that was in Trump Time ... and the issue he has is that the law is clear that property that was divested prior to the requirement for divestiture (hire date, basically) is ineligible for the special treatment.
posted by notyou at 7:35 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


It's 2017. If the pee isn't streaming, it really should be.
posted by emelenjr at 7:38 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


It's 2017. If the pee isn't streaming, it really should be.

I’m not a doctor, but I believe that’s accurate regardless of the year.
posted by Superplin at 7:44 AM on October 6 [15 favorites]


If you search for 'pee tape' on Giphy the first hits are Pee-Wee Herman and Ralph Wiggum. So, hooray?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:45 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


I’m not a doctor, but I believe that’s accurate regardless of the year.

If you find yourself experiencing weak-stream, move the router closer to the toilet
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:50 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


Republicans are increasingly mystified by their own grass roots, an electorate they thought they knew, and distressed that a wave of turnover in their ranks could fundamentally change the character of Congress.

well, when you lie down with and try to fuck toxic scum, you can hardly be surprised when you end up with drug-immune herpes and a mutant candiru in your dickhole.
posted by anem0ne at 8:15 AM on October 6 [25 favorites]


Janell Ross, WaPo: In Puerto Rico, Trump's paper-towel toss reveals where his empathy lies
Trump’s behavior during his four-hour trip to Puerto Rico follows a familiar pattern. This is what grudging benevolence rooted in a sense of personal superiority and belief in the power of performance looks like.

Nicholas Vargas, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Florida, noted that Trump doesn’t approach everyone in such a state of callous disconnect. In August, Trump said there were “very fine people” among the white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville that left a counterprotester dead. Soon after, he pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, formally expressing concern for a man known for racially profiling Latinos and housing jail inmates outdoors in tents.

In these cases, Trump showed compassion.

“But when it comes to Puerto Rico and the humanitarian crisis there, what we see is a hands-off, bitter, hardly restrained resentment that anything is expected of him at all,” said Vargas, who studies issues related to race and ethnicity. “This is a man who has the capacity to empathize. It — even in a catastrophe — is just a selective thing.”

These images show a president without mercy for certain human beings, “people unlike him,” Vargas said. “That is women, people of color — even in the most dire of circumstances.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:16 AM on October 6 [39 favorites]


“This is a man who has the capacity to empathize. It — even in a catastrophe — is just a selective thing.”

"It was previously thought that psychopaths lacked the capacity for empathy but new research shows they are able to switch it on and off 'at will'. [...] The study, conducted by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and published in the journal Brain, suggests that the ability to selectively ‘switch on’ their empathy allows psychopaths to more effectively manipulate those around them."
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:20 AM on October 6 [39 favorites]


WaPo: Trump administration narrows Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate

"Senior Justice Department officials said the guidance was merely meant to offer interpretation and clarification of existing law. But the interpretation seemed to be particularly favorable to religious entities, possibly at the expense of women, LGBT people and others."

Possibly at the expense of women, LGBT people and others. POSSIBLY? YOU DON'T FUCKING SAY. I'm ready to ragequit and it's not even noon yet.
posted by lydhre at 8:42 AM on October 6 [40 favorites]


Trump Administration Set to Roll Back Birth Control Mandate
The administration lists health risks that it says may be associated with the use of certain contraceptives, and it says the mandate could promote “risky sexual behavior” among some teenagers and young adults.

...The Trump administration said the new rules would take effect immediately because “it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest to engage in full notice and comment rule-making.” Still, it said, it will accept comments from the public.

The new rules, drafted mainly by political appointees at the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, seek “to better balance the interests” of women with those of employers and insurers that have conscientious objections to contraceptive coverage.

posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:44 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


“The wolf eats, possibly at the expense of the sheep.”

Fuck your weasel words, WaPo. Call it what it is.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:45 AM on October 6 [39 favorites]


Not unless Trump is willing to lose Mnuchin and Mattis at the same time. Tillerson and Mnuchin have massive tax bills at stake if they get dismissed before February '18 and they will not go quietly.

To invoke the spirit of Toby Ziegler: I will bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that Mnuchin will never live up to that alleged "suicide pact." This is not a man who does anything on principle.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:50 AM on October 6 [9 favorites]


US Intelligence Unit Accused Of Illegally Spying On Americans’ Financial Records (Jason Leopold & Jessica Garrison, BuzzFeed News)
The intelligence division at the Treasury Department has repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of US citizens and companies, according to government sources.

Over the past year, at least a dozen employees in another branch of the Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, have warned officials and Congress that US citizens’ and residents’ banking and financial data has been illegally searched and stored. And the breach, some sources said, extended to other intelligence agencies, such as the National Security Agency, whose officers used the Treasury’s intelligence division as an illegal back door to gain access to American citizens’ financial records. The NSA did not respond to requests for comment.
The new rules, drafted mainly by political appointees at the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, seek “to better balance the interests” of women with those of employers and insurers that have conscientious objections to contraceptive coverage

Can all the women Ds please sponsor a bill which would eliminate insurance coverage and tax to hell and back Viagra and other ED drugs. Not as a stunt, as a real fucking bill.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:51 AM on October 6 [49 favorites]


I don't know where to even talk about this. This is a first-person account from PR from a friend on Facebook:
"After having a couple of days to recover from leaving Puerto Rico, I just wanted to say a couple things as someone who has just left the island and experienced first hand what is like down there right now.

After returning and finally having access to media I am amazed at how horribly the media is misrepresenting what’s going on there. I left on day 8 after the storm and most roads were still impassable, there is no electricity, there is no running water anywhere that I visited in the San Juan area including a 4 different family houses and neighbors’ as well. Many of the main roads and highways have huge street signs either collapsed in the middle of road or bent over enough that they occupy the middle lane and can be driven right into if you were disctracted for a moment.

Many areas still flooded with up 4 feet of water.

I saw only 7 working gas stations throughout the San Juan metropolitan areas of Guaynabo, Hato Rey, Rio Piedras, Old San Juan, Condado, Isla Verde, and Carolina. The gas lines are 12-16 hours long and the gas is rationed to 15-20$. There a handful of super markets open selling limited items and many already out of drinking water with lines of 3-5 hours to get in and limit of 15 people at a time. Not to mention whatever busineses are open are only open so long as the have diesel for their generators which is next to impossible to get.

There is virtually NO cell service on the island. The exception of San Juan where ther are some constantly shifting “extended” or “roaming” signals that barely maintain an phone call for more than a couple minutes. There is no TV or even radio with the exception of ONE radio channel which is Wapa radio. Everyone on the island is in the dark, all we know of the outside world or the help coming is from Wapa radio which I have slowly learned is a pretty skewed news source. For days they have been telling us the gas lines would go away, water would come back, supplies like food, water and diesel would be distributed, that the roads would be cleared but nothing had changed in the 8 days since the storm.

The thing is, we all knew about the storm and prepared, but after about 5-6 days ppl start to need supplies and there aren’t supplies to be had. People were starting to get desperate I saw many civilians with guns and many people arguing and fighting. Not enough has changed in the time since the storm and I think the local government is overwhelmed and over tasked.
They need SERIOUS HELP. Everyday that nothing happens people are DYING. These are American citizens, these are our FAMILY members.

The airport is a MESS. An airport that usually has nearly 200 flights a day had only managed to send out 8 up to the day I left where they sent 16 I hear. So they are slowly getting better but there are THOUSANDS of people there and there is no air conditioning and it is well over 100 degrees inside and 95 degrees outside not to mention it is HUMID. The lines for check-in are 2-4 hours long, the ONE LINE for TSA is 4-6 hours long. The airport is understaffed and working off of technology from the 60’s. People are passing out from heat exhaustion and being carried out on stretchers. Mind you many of these people are tourists from the states who couldn’t get a flight out and are sleeping outside the airport on the pavement for DAYS. These people come from New York, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, California. These are mainland citizens who cannot leave the island and are starving and sleeping on the street in puddles of their own sweat probably other bodily fluids. The few hotels open are full and hardly running. There are few taxis running due to the gas shortage. On top of all this there is price gouging by airlines charge thousands of dollars for one way tickets that usually cost between $75-$150.

There are massive amounts of bugs all the sudden including huge mosquitos and bees I’m assuming due to all the standing water and the flora being ripped away by the storm. So the bugs are making their news homes where ever food is which people’s homes. This on top of sewage not working will probably lead to wide spread sickness.

I could go on and on but the bottom line is things are DIRE in Puerto Rico right now. The media is not accurately depicting the scenario and it is not a “good news story”. Every day that they don’t get help people are DYING and it is becoming exponentially worse. NOTHING had changed in the 8 days I was there after the storm regardless of what media has said.

They NEED U.S. military intervention and logistics management. Most of the local Puerto Rican government can not so much as communicate with each other let alone coordinate such a large scale rescue and rebuild mission. There are still remote pueblos in the mountains that no one has even seen or heard from due its inaccessibility.

Please understand the gravity of the situation and due whatever possible to illuminate it and convince our legislators to get down there and help these people. There is no reason it should have taken this long.

SHARE THIS I don’t think there is enough first hand account. Most people (including our PRESIDENT) are being misinformed and need to know the REALITY of Puerto Rico right now."
posted by odinsdream at 8:52 AM on October 6 [155 favorites]


Everything Odinsdream is saying is correct from what I hear as well, with the exception that JetBlue has decided to offer discount fares off the island after the outrage over price gouging. They are also offering free fares to volunteers arriving.
posted by corb at 9:10 AM on October 6 [8 favorites]


Not to detract from the situation in PR, but there is still more infuriating nonsense flowing from the bottomless font in the North Carolina state legislature. They've started cancelling elections. Only judicial primary elections, but still. Not a good road to be on.
posted by witchen at 9:14 AM on October 6 [27 favorites]


Trump Guts Requirement That Employer Health Plans Pay For Birth Control (NPR, Oct. 6, 2017)
The Trump administration is rolling back the Obama-era requirement that employer-provided health insurance policies cover birth control methods at no cost to women.

According to senior officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, the goal of the new rule is to allow any company or nonprofit group to exclude the coverage for contraception if it has a religious or moral objection.

"This provides an exemption and it's a limited one," said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights. "We should have space for organizations to live out their religious identity and not face discrimination."

He said he expects most companies will continue to provide coverage for birth control and that the changes will only affect a tiny percentage of U.S. women. The new rules are being published Friday in the Federal Register and go into effect immediately.
...
The Affordable Care Act requires employer-provided health insurance policies to include coverage for preventive health care. After the law passed, HHS used its regulatory authority to specify what has to be included in those preventive services, and birth control, including "all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity."

But the policy was controversial from the start.

Several companies and religious groups sued, saying the rule infringed on their religious freedom.
So this is the extension of religious freedom and corporate personhood - a company can be religious. What was the last time that Hobby Lobby went to church? Anyway, how is this not forcing your religious beliefs on those who work for you, restricting their religious freedoms? I know that Hobby Lobby's case was settled in 2014, but I'm still seething about that bullshit.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:20 AM on October 6 [34 favorites]


After reading the incomprehensible, horrifying report that odinsdream shared, the paranoid part of my brain--usually nearly completely dormant--suddenly reared up and noticed that the timing of the Las Vegas shooting sure was convenient to completely turn the media narrative away from Puerto Rico, and wow that might explain the LV shooter's multiple bookings in different places, overlooking different music festivals, over the last few weeks, which until now didn't really make too much sense to me.

But it is now within realm of consideration, at least for my brain, that the powers-that-be have various true believers ready to go, continually in place at public events around the country, ready to start shooting should an appropriately large "distraction" be needed. And I absolutely hate that the world is now a place where I not only think that, but don't also dismiss the thought as ugly and ridiculous, and instead just plainly consider it, and note that it's not implausible.

This is all horrifying.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:21 AM on October 6 [12 favorites]


MetaFilter: I'm still seething about that bullshit
posted by kirkaracha at 9:22 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Oh fucking fuck, there's more in that NPR article:
HHS officials say they also plan more stringent enforcement of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that prohibits federal subsidies from being used for insurance policies that cover abortion. The agency will issue guidelines for insurers today on how they have to charge women who want abortion coverage at least $12 a year more for such a policy, and they have to keep that money in a separate fund to be used only to pay for abortions.
WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!?!
The Trump administration's rule is likely to face its own legal challenges from groups that favor contraception.
You don't say, NPR. You don't say.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:23 AM on October 6 [41 favorites]


So this is the extension of religious freedom and corporate personhood - a company can be religious. What was the last time that Hobby Lobby went to church?

And what other parts of your compensation for employment can bosses control? No more spending your salary on food at a restaurant they dislike. Don't buy Bounty, we hate lumberjacks. Fuel up exclusively at Exxon.

Not that they'd be any less fucking awful (see: Hyde amendment) when government drives health care, but having health care tied to employment is fucking hideous.
posted by phearlez at 9:32 AM on October 6 [20 favorites]


The firm helping Republicans relocate to red states BBC, video

Fed up with California politics, Paul looked to Texas.
Now he's helping others do the same.


I'm just so tired today. I imagine that the Mueller team is racing against time in order to get Trump impeached before he bombs Iran or NK. And I imagine the Rs in Congress are racing against time in order to get as many of their obscene inhumane proposals through before they either are obliged to impeach Trump or are voted out in a landslide.

And then I look around at what else is going on and I feel like have aged 100 years.

The account odinsdream posted makes me think that when all those stranded tourists and climate-refugee Puerto Ricans really begin arriving in mainland US, this is going to be a huge, global scandal. The reason it hasn't happened already is that not enough is known, not that other things are distracting.
posted by mumimor at 9:35 AM on October 6 [27 favorites]


Oh, and some fun news at the state level from New Mexico, which I only recently heard on the local public radio station, but Mother Jones picked up back in mid September: New Mexico Doesn’t Want Your Kids to Know How Old the Earth Is. Or why it’s getting warmer. (Andy Kroll, Sept. 15, 2017)
New Mexico’s public education agency wants to scrub discussions of climate change, rising global temperatures, evolution, and even the age of planet Earth from the standards that shape its schools’ curriculum.
The public meeting is on a Monday morning from 9 to noon, but I can send feedback via email or fax, so I will. If I was to attend in person, I'd go with a snarky approach, thanking PED for ensuring that New Mexico has a steady stream of low-skill, uninformed worker drones for the industries that are sure to come to the state and bring economic prosperity to our rural, poor corner of the Southwest. Why else keep the truth of the world from our students, than make sure they can't adapt and cope, or even find ways to improve the present and future realities they'll face?

So instead, I'll plead for positive changes in the face of daunting realities, realities that we'd like to ignore or deny, which we as current adults might be able to do, but won't be an option for the next generation and the generations to follow.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:37 AM on October 6 [13 favorites]


I honestly didn't think, even in my paranoid fantasies, that we'd see a climate disaster the likes of PR, and just, NOTHING HAPPENS, because literally nobody gives a fuck.
posted by odinsdream at 9:38 AM on October 6 [40 favorites]


So this is the extension of religious freedom and corporate personhood - a company can be religious. What was the last time that Hobby Lobby went to church? Anyway, how is this not forcing your religious beliefs on those who work for you, restricting their religious freedoms? I know that Hobby Lobby's case was settled in 2014, but I'm still seething about that bullshit.

Gun Control and Religious Freedom: How Thinking in Constitutional Absolutes Is Killing People
In 1977, the National Rifle Association experienced the “Revolt in Cincinnati,” where extreme gun rights advocates took over the NRA and converted it from an organization that primarily advocated for firearm safety education, marksmanship training, and recreational shooting into a lobbying powerhouse focused nearly exclusively on Second Amendment advocacy. One excellent summary of this transformation includes this note: “The NRA’s new leadership was dramatic, dogmatic and overtly ideological. For the first time, the organization formally embraced the idea that the sacred Second Amendment was at the heart of its concerns.” Sound familiar?

Since the Revolt in Cincinnati, the gun rights lobby has successfully pushed an absolute right to gun ownership in courts and legislatures, culminating in the 2008 Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller, which established for the first time a dramatic reimagining of the Second Amendment as creating an individual right to own a gun. This dramatic reimagining is exactly what groups like Liberty Institute are trying to do with the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause. They are trying to turn free exercise into an absolute right that must be protected even when it infringes on the rights of others.

To hear those seeking to redefine religious freedom tell it, any action motivated by religion is permissible, no matter what its impact. If they deny an LGBTQ citizen a cake because of sexual orientation, that’s their god-given right. Logically, that means they could deny atheists, Jews or even discriminate on the basis of race, though they would be unlikely to say so out loud.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:38 AM on October 6 [16 favorites]


I’m certainly not going to move a high-tech company here, because I’m not going to get a scientifically educated population,” said Kim Johnson, a physicist and former president of the New Mexico Academy of Science.

That article, and the Mother Jones article, missed something reported by KUNM: PED has not made public the parties involved or behind these changes. In other words, cowardly donors who don't want to be outted as regressive anti-science religious zealots of the worst sort.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:41 AM on October 6 [25 favorites]


Fed up with California politics, Paul looked to Texas.
Now he's helping others do the same.


Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:46 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Actually, do.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:46 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


odinsdream: I honestly didn't think, even in my paranoid fantasies, that we'd see a climate disaster the likes of PR, and just, NOTHING HAPPENS, because literally nobody gives a fuck.

Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is far away, and generally not on the minds of most people in the Continental US, aka the majority of the voting public. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy were catastrophic, and coverage of those events were heavily broadcast and reported on during and after those storms.

In this terrible darkness of a severe failure to help people, specifically US citizens, as others have noted, the President has possibly flipped Florida to a blue state, where people who are able to leave PR resettle and have vivid memories of this, and vote accordingly, and in force. It's looking ahead to a possible positive outcome instead of focusing on the catastrophe that is currently unfolding, but it's something.


In response to the delay, Oxfam International, in a rare move, pledged disaster relief efforts to a developed country

In reflecting on this point, I realized that Trump is treating PR as a rental property like a slum lord would - do as little as you have to, because the complaints aren't that loud, and at some point the government will step in and fix things if it gets really bad. Except by being POTUS, Trump is turning to other agencies, instead of local or federal US agency to save lives.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:47 AM on October 6 [18 favorites]


Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

I actually think that people sorting into ideologically-likeminded places is increasing polarization and is harmful to the functioning of democracy.
posted by Jpfed at 9:50 AM on October 6 [11 favorites]


I actually think that people sorting into ideologically-likeminded places is increasing polarization and is harmful to the functioning of democracy.

And it can fuck up the "likeminded" places they move to. The worst and most politically active racists I've met in rural Montana have almost always been transplants from California or other blue-to-bluish states. Nice for Californians to have them out, for sure, but when CA's most awful 5% move to sparsely-populated areas they can really do a lot to make them darker places.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:57 AM on October 6 [15 favorites]


While our democracy is under the stranglehold of the electoral college, I'll support Republicans moving to heavily red states. Especially if they're moving out of my Republican-controlled district and/or county.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:57 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


I actually think that people sorting into ideologically-likeminded places is increasing polarization and is harmful to the functioning of democracy.

Before 24/7 radio, TV, and Internet this would be the only truth. I'd like to think that Texas would get woke at some point and that carpetbagging rulers-for-hire would give up on such a scheme due to lack of interest.
posted by petebest at 9:59 AM on October 6


Anyway, how is this not forcing your religious beliefs on those who work for you, restricting their religious freedoms?

Yeah, so as I've mentioned before I'm a speaking-in-tongues Pentecostal (no snakes, those are with the other guys) who actually belongs to a denomination that had a national meeting with a guest talk from the Hobby Lobby folks in recent history. Anyway, I was somehow raised with the understanding that "you do you, and I'll do me", and that there's really no legal difference between alleged "Sharia Law" and "Christians don't like things so we're restructuring health care rules."

I apparently lost the thread a while back or something because now all of a sudden I'm a big scary liberal and all my childhood influences want IOKIYAChristian as the law of the land.

Like, sure, I have Thoughts on abortion*, but I dunno, nickel-and-diming away things the Supreme Court said was OK just can't end well. Alternatively, has anyone got the Jehovah's Witnesses clamoring for a separate fund for blood transfusion money yet?

And anyway, as I've said before, even if I think I have the inside scoop on eternal life, I really don't want that turned into the state religion. Wasn't that the whole thing with the Pilgrims?


/returns to banging head on desk


*I have Thoughts on other people's Thoughts as well. I really wish my schedule would have allowed for me to join Life Chain last week with a "Reauthorize CHIP" sign. Alas, maybe next time around.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:59 AM on October 6 [14 favorites]


We have that here. It's called St Charles County.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:00 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


(I know Jpfed and Rust have the better point. I'm just going through some culture shock.)
posted by elsietheeel at 10:01 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is far away, and generally not on the minds of most people in the Continental US, aka the majority of the voting public. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy were catastrophic, and coverage of those events were heavily broadcast and reported on during and after those storms.

We could air-drop island-wide comms in 72 hours, and get media hooked up to it. But we aren't.
posted by odinsdream at 10:09 AM on October 6 [26 favorites]


To do that we'd actually have to care about Puerto Rico and want to know what's going on there.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:10 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Women’s rights organizations and some medical professionals portrayed it as a blow to women’s health, warning that it could lead to a higher number of unintended pregnancies.

Well gddamn Washington Post, could you be more toadying or obsequious in your reporting? "Democracy dies in darkness" alright. Make. An. Effort fer fucks sake.

"Crazed Lunatic Donald J. Trump's scandal-plagued department of Health And Human Services defied it's own name and propped up religious bigotry by working against the health of women today . . ." I mean, do you not understand there's no more time left on the clock?! SHOOT THE BALL.
posted by petebest at 10:10 AM on October 6 [30 favorites]


Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH01) will not seek re-election. She's one of a handful of Democrats in a Trump-winning district.

The ACLU and the National Women's Law Center have both announced their intention to sue to keep the contraception coverage mandate.

An Apprentice Producer remind us Trump Said ‘Despicable’ Racist Comments About Blacks, Jews in Taped ‘Apprentice’ Meetings. Not that it will necessarily do a damn bit of good after everything, but someone has to be a hero and release the tapes.
posted by zachlipton at 10:12 AM on October 6 [39 favorites]


Tom Arnold said they made copies of those remarks and distributed them in a sort of bloopers-reel to industry insiders.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:14 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


Justice department issues new 'religious freedom' memo that invites anti-LGBTQ discrimination

Well. If anyone outside the US is hiring a librarian and doesn't care if they're transgender, please message me, I'd like to get the hell out. It only applies to federal employees right now, but I'm sure it's not the last step.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:16 AM on October 6 [6 favorites]


It says a lot about America that someone can be that way in a leading position on a tv show, say shit on tape, and all those people just shrug and dude keeps the gig and it doesn't become a huge scandal and get broadcast everywhere.

Which I guess given the stuff buzzfeed just dropped shouldn't be any surprise - this shit is everywhere, including all over supposed enlightened/progressive spaces. But how fucking depressing.
posted by phearlez at 10:18 AM on October 6 [14 favorites]


The abdication of responsibility by the federal government in Puerto Rico, should it continue, will leave a power vacuum; this power vacuum will be filled by whatever organization best organizes to provide the services and support that the federal government is refusing to provide. That organization will to some degree become the de facto goverment.

This indicates that — for the first time in my lifetime, certainly — it's possible to imagine a condition of dual power within parts of the United States; a condition wherein both the United States government and also some other organization — some General Assembly, some Central Committee, some union, some whatever other organization coördinates the provision of services that the official government refuses to provide — both have valid claims to legitimacy.

Should the big earthquake hit the Bay Area, I'm not going to be looking to the federal government to tell me what to do, because the federal government is going to leave Oakland to its own devices. Instead, I'm most likely going to be following... who? The leaders of the Anti Police-Terror Project?

This is, needless to say, fucking terrifying.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:19 AM on October 6 [47 favorites]


An Apprentice Producer remind us Trump Said ‘Despicable’ Racist Comments About Blacks, Jews in Taped ‘Apprentice’ Meetings. Not that it will necessarily do a damn bit of good after everything, but someone has to be a hero and release the tapes.

Marc Burnett had thousands of hours of this stuff and choose to say nothing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:20 AM on October 6 [33 favorites]


Marc Burnett had thousands of hours of this stuff and choose to say nothing.

I'll be honest, given how people turned out and still stand for Trump, I don't honestly believe those thousands of hours would have changed their support for him.
posted by anem0ne at 10:21 AM on October 6 [12 favorites]


We're more likely to see the pee tape than the Apprentice outtakes.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:22 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


This is the kind of video that requires an emergency visit to the Strategic Evens Reserve.

Trump uses a Spanish accent to say "Puerto Rico" twice during a Hispanic Heritage Month event

"We love Puerto Rico...And we also love Porto Rico" What the actual fuck is this?
posted by zachlipton at 10:22 AM on October 6 [30 favorites]


To do that we'd actually have to care about Puerto Rico and want to know what's going on there.

I know???? That's my point??????!
posted by odinsdream at 10:23 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


The administration lists health risks that it says may be associated with the use of certain contraceptives, and it says the mandate could promote “risky sexual behavior” among some teenagers and young adults.


Because when I was a teenager and everyone I knew was having sex, we all did a thorough cost benefit analysis and carefully considered all available options before coitus.

Nah. We all just fucked like rabbits out of prison. Contraception is harm reduction not enabling.
posted by Talez at 10:26 AM on October 6 [24 favorites]


I'll be honest, given how people turned out and still stand for Trump, I don't honestly believe those thousands of hours would have changed their support for him.

His numbers cratered during the Access Hollywood tape, and all the national figures were actively distancing themselves or in hiding. Imagine if there had been a steady drumbeat of those tapes every 2-3 days over the entire election cycle like there was a steady push of EMAILS stories from the NYT? Mark Burnett could've ended the Trump campaign. He didn't.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:26 AM on October 6 [56 favorites]


fluttering hellfire: We have that here. It's called St Charles County.

Oof. It seems half the people I went to high school with (Hazelwood school district) have moved to St. Charles.
There are reasons I'm not in touch with very many folks from my childhood.
posted by Superplin at 10:27 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Like if having contraception was mandatory or sex was off the table we would have stuck our dicks inside pig intestines from carefully sucked out sausages if we had to.
posted by Talez at 10:30 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


The abdication of responsibility by the federal government in Puerto Rico, should it continue, will leave a power vacuum; this power vacuum will be filled by whatever organization best organizes to provide the services and support that the federal government is refusing to provide. That organization will to some degree become the de facto goverment.

At this rate it's looking like Tesla
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:30 AM on October 6 [20 favorites]


We could air-drop island-wide comms in 72 hours, and get media hooked up to it. But we aren't.

Less than 72 hours.
At my last station in the Coast Guard, we had a two-man telephone tech team with a communications trailer that got deployed to various disaster spots. They'd just load up onto a plane after a typhoon or whatever and disappear for a couple weeks. I can't remember the coverage range, but it was pretty big, and this was just one of the rigs the smallest of our military branches had. And this was twenty years ago. It ain't like the tech has regressed since then.

The real kicker? Once they got the trailer set up and running, they'd go find other recovery work to do. Because they were bored and they were good guys who wanted to help. I know 'cause I was the guy who wrote up their medal citations after Typhoon Paka. My biggest challenge was cramming everything they did into a single page. And it was all perfectly routine to them.

We have tons of people like that in the military and it's not just communications units. They'd be more than happy to go if someone would just give them the fucking order.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:31 AM on October 6 [82 favorites]


Perry Stein, WaPo: Trump’s lewd ‘Access Hollywood’ tape is playing on repeat for 12 hours on the Mall
A women’s advocacy group [UltraViolet] is playing the infamous and lewd “Access Hollywood” video of President Trump on a large screen Friday on the Mall. On repeat. Again and Again. For 12 hours straight.

The demonstration comes the day before the first anniversary of when The Washington Post released the explosive footage, which showed Trump in 2005 bragging in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. The previously unaired footage was released Oct. 8, 2016, when Trump was the Republican presidential nominee.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:31 AM on October 6 [61 favorites]


Musk is doing it to prove he and his company can unequivocally do things cheaper, faster, and better.
posted by Talez at 10:32 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


This is the kind of video that requires an emergency visit to the Strategic Evens Reserve.

Trump uses a Spanish accent to say "Puerto Rico" twice during a Hispanic Heritage Month event


Holy fucking shit what a goddamn racist piece of human garbage.
posted by odinsdream at 10:32 AM on October 6 [34 favorites]


The abdication of responsibility by the federal government in Puerto Rico, should it continue, will leave a power vacuum; this power vacuum will be filled by whatever organization best organizes to provide the services and support that the federal government is refusing to provide. That organization will to some degree become the de facto government.

1. Agreed and totally scary as all get out. 2. This taps into something that part of my brain flagged as really weird and ultimately not good nor normal: in light of the current regime's attitude on, well, everything, we've seen CEOs of companies step up to the plate to issue big grand statements. This, to me, is dangerous and ties into what you're suggesting here: yes, it's cool that [organization X] actually aligns with my beliefs. But isn't that just a parallel of the horrid Go Ahead And Discriminate Because Religion statement from the DOJ? Both are bad, for different reasons.

I don't want to look to the CEO of Apple to say, hey, we should keep immigrants here. That's really, really dangerous.
posted by hijinx at 10:34 AM on October 6 [14 favorites]


or sex was off the table

Uhh . . wait . . hang on . . ahhhh . . more like sex off the ta- wait, no hangon . . uhhh . . ooo it's right there . . ummmm

Happy Friday
posted by petebest at 10:34 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]



We have tons of people like that in the military and it's not just communications units. They'd be more than happy to go if someone would just give them the fucking order.


Seriously like every goddamn military recruiting video is just soaked in this "help people recover from natural disasters" tripe. And yet, NOTHING.
posted by odinsdream at 10:35 AM on October 6 [20 favorites]


Perry Stein, WaPo: Trump’s lewd ‘Access Hollywood’ tape is playing on repeat for 12 hours on the Mall

Good, but/and this is content that needs a trigger warning. I hope local media blasted this a few days beforehand so folks can make other plans and avoid being re-traumatized.
posted by witchen at 10:35 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Should the big earthquake hit the Bay Area, I'm not going to be looking to the federal government to tell me what to do, because the federal government is going to leave Oakland to its own devices. Instead, I'm most likely going to be following... who? The leaders of the Anti Police-Terror Project?

I have been advocating since literally the day after the election that all of us in California need to prepare for the big one. If it hits, we are only going to have ourselves (which includes Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris) to rely on. Things are going to get very hairy. I highly recommend and have been telling anyone who will listen to get to know your neighbors and make sure that you are all prepared with water, food, first aid supplies, etc. so that we aren't dependent on the feds.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:39 AM on October 6 [17 favorites]


His numbers cratered during the Access Hollywood tape, and all the national figures were actively distancing themselves or in hiding. Imagine if there had been a steady drumbeat of those tapes every 2-3 days over the entire election cycle like there was a steady push of EMAILS stories from the NYT? Mark Burnett could've ended the Trump campaign. He didn't.

I guess? Maybe?

I just don't have as much faith in the white voter, I guess.
posted by anem0ne at 10:39 AM on October 6 [6 favorites]


That convinces me about Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is an intentional dystopia. Eff the whole administration.
posted by tilde at 10:40 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


> Trump uses a Spanish accent to say "Puerto Rico" twice during a Hispanic Heritage Month event

"We love Puerto Rico...And we also love Porto Rico" What the actual fuck is this?


Prior art.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:43 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Sorry, post apocalyptic dystopia. Intentional post apocalyptic dystopia. This is Puerto to Rico. Dictation doesn't spell bad words well also insert what you feel is appropriate.
posted by tilde at 10:48 AM on October 6


Interesting snippet from that "Republicans in disarray" article:
Mr. Trump is not helping. Speaking at a high-dollar fund-raiser for his re-election at Le Cirque restaurant in New York last week, Mr. Trump asked contributors what they would think if he worked with Democrats on health care, should Republicans prove unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to a dinner attendee.

“I might very well end up making a deal with the Democrats,” he said, drawing applause
Also, this part confuses me:
[McCain's and Cochran's] absence from the Senate for health reasons could make it more difficult for the party to gather the 50 votes needed to pass a tax package.
Do they really only need 50 votes to pass something, not a majority?

And I love this part:
“[The 2010-2012 strife] was more ideological, whereas now it’s just more everybody is just angry at everybody.”
posted by Coventry at 10:52 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Do they really only need 50 votes to pass something, not a majority?

Fifty plus Pence.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:55 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


Do they really only need 50 votes to pass something, not a majority?

It depends, but if they need a majority, 50 votes will do it, because Pence will vote in that situation, thus giving them 51.
posted by suelac at 10:56 AM on October 6




Fifty plus Pence.

Ah, thanks.
posted by Coventry at 10:59 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Talez: We all just fucked like rabbits out of prison. Contraception is harm reduction not enabling.

Who puts rabbits in prison? What were their offenses? And do rabbits understand the limitations of prison? Or is it the fact that gender-separated rabbits would go at it once let loose? So many rabbit-related questions now.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 AM on October 6 [10 favorites]


So the way the United States falls apart isn't going to be a civil war, it's going to be federal withdrawal, probably fractalized into other withdrawals. The federal government will just...stop governing, wherever that serves its interests. No more enforcing federal civil rights laws, for instance. Attenuation of aid and services to blue states - not a cut-off at first, just a slow-down. And that will get passed down the line, with services and enforcement being withheld from non-compliant areas and poor areas as this serves the interests of elites, probably from both parties. (You can't convince me that St Paul, where there has just been another police shooting, wouldn't withhold, eg, emergency services from poor neighborhoods - they'd love to do that, they already under-deliver, they left the people who were shot by white supremacists at the protest two years ago without any help, and as soon as there's a precedent, they'll just cut people off entirely.)

The American empire will collapse by withdrawal, not by war. So yeah, I think the moral of the story is that DSA and them had better get their acts together, because I strongly suspect that what's going to happen is that neighborhoods and cities will just drop off the map as big expenses (like disaster response or infrastructure failure) are incurred.
posted by Frowner at 11:01 AM on October 6 [82 favorites]


Trump to Hispanic Americans: “You have a wonderful president in Mexico, I can tell you that.”

This should not be too surprising, since it's pretty clear that Trump considers himself the President of White People, By White People, For White People.
posted by Frowner at 11:02 AM on October 6 [24 favorites]


I highly recommend and have been telling anyone who will listen to get to know your neighbors and make sure that you are all prepared with water, food, first aid supplies, etc. so that we aren't dependent on the feds.

By the way, if this wasn't perfectly clear, this is something people who are wondering "What can I DO?" can actively be doing in this time. Here's a little list:

1. Meet your neighbors
2. Have a neighborhood meeting taking Puerto Rico and the (non)-response into account
3. Go to the 99 cent store once a week and buy $10 bucks worth of cheap duct tape (batteries, flashlights, rope, tarps, first aid supplies, granola bars, etc.)
4. Make community emergency supply kits
5. Talk to your friends and see if they would be interested in going in on a bulk supply of emergency rations
6. Make sure your elderly and disabled neighbors have water supplies and flashlights with batteries
7. Make a list of all of the things you need in an emergency supply kit and make a plan to buy one thing a week until you have a good kit.

And so on.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:02 AM on October 6 [46 favorites]


Who's got a navy that could embarrass the shit out of the trump admin by offering to rescue PR and make him explicitly refuse? China?
posted by ctmf at 11:05 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


So the way the United States falls apart isn't going to be a civil war, it's going to be federal withdrawal, probably fractalized into other withdrawals.

Yeah, a while ago I thought the top four states in contributing federal tax should hold it hostage until substantial commitments to climate change where made but I don't think anyone in power would notice or care? The goal is to kill the government, it's the long slow prologue to Snow Crash we;ve been living in for the last 30 years.

Oh well time to step up mutual aid programs I guess? *Opens book So You Want To Create A Government*
posted by The Whelk at 11:07 AM on October 6 [13 favorites]


So many rabbit-related questions now.

So a dear friend was majoring in film and he was taping a comedic take on film noir. Part of the comedy was narration that used excessive and ridiculous analogies and comparisons. But at one point, near the climax, the protagonist was being tempted back to his addiction, and my friend had run out of analogies. So I suggested "I was tempted... I was as tempted as a rabbit, on rabbit prom night." He thought it was terrible, but it was all due the next day so my nugget of comedic gold made it in.
posted by Jpfed at 11:07 AM on October 6 [10 favorites]


Also, hand crank radio/flashlight/cell phone chargers start at about $25 on Amazon and is 100% worth the investment. In my opinion, every household in California should have one.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:14 AM on October 6 [9 favorites]


I'd add to Sophie1's list — which is excellent — the following items:

8. Join an explicitly political organization that meets regularly. (DSA is probably the most obvious choice in most places)
9. Go to regular meetings of that organization.

also, though:

> The American empire will collapse by withdrawal, not by war. So yeah, I think the moral of the story is that DSA and them had better get their acts together, because I strongly suspect that what's going to happen is that neighborhoods and cities will just drop off the map as big expenses (like disaster response or infrastructure failure) are incurred.

You could replace my mefi account with a bot that just posts "listen to frowner!!!" every so often. but now, more than ever, LISTEN TO FROWNER.

If you don't want a consortium of Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Larry Page and Peter Theil splitting up what used to be America, plz go join DSA (or whichever other organization best suits your politics).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:16 AM on October 6 [37 favorites]


The American empire will collapse by withdrawal, not by war. So yeah, I think the moral of the story is that DSA and them had better get their acts together, because I strongly suspect that what's going to happen is that neighborhoods and cities will just drop off the map as big expenses (like disaster response or infrastructure failure) are incurred.

Gonna take that a step further and say that neighborhood orgs will step into the power vacuum, like Hamas. The US will turn into a competing warlord situation, the good guys trying to protect the people and provide some sort of social function, while the established predatory gangs that already exist take advantage of the opportunity. Complete abdication by the government, as they retreat to only taking care of their own (rich, white). Problem is, they have no exclusive territory, so they're going to have to consolidate somewhere to keep "eat the rich" from happening. Wonder where the new US is going to be? Florida? North Carolina?

/dystopian fiction
posted by ctmf at 11:18 AM on October 6 [10 favorites]


zachlipton: The ACLU and the National Women's Law Center have both announced their intention to sue to keep the contraception coverage mandate.

Add two more groups fighting back: Center for Reproductive Rights and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the latter has an effort and website called Protect Thy Neighbor, with the tagline "because religion is no excuse to harm others."

To which I say: Fuck Yes.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:18 AM on October 6 [42 favorites]


What's with this push on multiple fronts from the Trump administration? Are they trying to hide their incompetence and fatal negligence for Puerto Rico, trying to hype up the deplorables for the coming elections (and hopefully dividing the GOP in the process)? Probably both, right? Because I had hoped that all the efforts to ruin the country were petering out. Lololol, me and my naïvety.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:22 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


YCTAB: I need that ListenToFrowner bot. Frowner's comments are wise and well worth heeding. America will end not with a bang but with a whimper, as the saying goes. I am all for California and the other blue states withholding their tax money - after all, the blue states are the revenue-producing ones - but for the fact that I don't want my Democratic brothers and sisters in red states left high and dry. I hate the Vile Circus Peanut and I hate the Mercers* and I hate Granny Starver and Yertle and all the rest of them, but I'm not ready to pull up the drawbridges just yet.

Sophie1: I'll add to your list "Don't forget the pets!" Have shelf-stable pet food available. Make sure your pets have ID - microchip, tags, etc. Have enough carriers for your cats if you need to evacuate.

*Maxcome! Bring on the maxcome! Make the billionaire an endangered, if not extinct, species. They are bad for democracy. I found the guy who proposed a maximum wage - Graef "Bud" Crystal, who died earlier this year.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:25 AM on October 6 [12 favorites]


WaPo, David Nakamura, How an Oval Office meeting led to a Trump tweet that changed U.S. policy toward Venezuela. This was the process that led to a new Venezuela policy:
President Trump’s decision to suddenly announce a major change in U.S. policy toward Venezuela in February began with an unexpected Oval Office meeting with Lilian Tintori, the wife of the country’s most prominent political prisoner.

At the White House to meet Vice President Pence and press the administration to do more about human rights in her home country, Tintori was whisked in to see Trump, who seemed unfamiliar with her story but praised her past as a reality television star in Venezuela’s version of “Survivor.”

Later, as Tintori made her case during the 40-minute meeting, first lady Melania Trump, who was also in the room, said she sympathized with the conditions Tintori’s husband, Leopoldo Lopez, faced in jail back in Caracas because the White House often felt as confining as a prison, according to two people familiar with the meeting, a point on which the president agreed.

Finally, as the meeting ended, the president suggested a group photo, including Pence and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a Tintori ally who was at the White House for a pre-scheduled dinner with the president. After a couple of attempts — Trump didn’t like the first photo because he was smiling — the president was pleased enough with the final version, which showed him scowling and giving a thumbs-up sign under a portrait of Andrew Jackson. He promptly posted the photo on Twitter.

“Venezuela should allow Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner & husband of @liliantintori (just met w/@marcorubio) out of prison immediately,” Trump wrote, typing out his tweet right there in the Oval Office.
posted by zachlipton at 11:26 AM on October 6 [14 favorites]


House often felt as confining as a prison, according to two people familiar with the meeting

Reince and who?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:31 AM on October 6


The American empire will collapse by withdrawal, not by war. So yeah, I think the moral of the story is that DSA and them had better get their acts together, because I strongly suspect that what's going to happen is that neighborhoods and cities will just drop off the map as big expenses (like disaster response or infrastructure failure) are incurred.

One can see this, in a fictionalized sense, in the Octavia Butler duology The Parable of the Sower and The Parable of the Talents, which has tracked, thus far, way better than 1984 has.
posted by anem0ne at 11:39 AM on October 6 [16 favorites]


Anyway, as I have literally endless optimism as a defense mechanism, I've been quoting some Leonard Cohen to my self on the regular:

It's coming to America first
The cradle of the best and of the worst
It's here they got the range
And the machinery for change
And it's here they got the spiritual thirst
It's here the family's broken
And it's here the lonely say
That the heart has got to open
In a fundamental way
Democracy is coming to the USA
posted by The Whelk at 11:40 AM on October 6 [11 favorites]


I'm thinking the trump group sees the collapse of the USSR as a model to be emulated, not a warning to be avoided. Worked out good for Putin and his buddies, didn't it?
posted by ctmf at 11:42 AM on October 6 [35 favorites]


By the way, if this wasn't perfectly clear, this is something people who are wondering "What can I DO?" can actively be doing in this time. Here's a little list:

Get maps of your area. Know your neighborhood in addition to your neighbors. Mark churches and schools and hospitals and the like. For instance, where I live there's a Mennonite church nearby and they are part of the Mennonite Disaster Service.

Know your house too. Where do you turn the gas off? Where's the water main?
posted by elsietheeel at 11:45 AM on October 6 [8 favorites]


So the way the United States falls apart isn't going to be a civil war, it's going to be federal withdrawal, probably fractalized into other withdrawals. The federal government will just...stop governing, wherever that serves its interests. No more enforcing federal civil rights laws, for instance. Attenuation of aid and services to blue states - not a cut-off at first, just a slow-down.

And at the risk of stating the obvious, this program -- which I agree we're seeing from the Trump Administration right now, as an implementation of radical Republican policy preferences -- is not at all what the majority of American taxpayers want.
posted by Gelatin at 11:48 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


Less than 72 hours.
At my last station in the Coast Guard, we had a two-man telephone tech team with a communications trailer that got deployed to various disaster spots. They'd just load up onto a plane after a typhoon or whatever and disappear for a couple weeks. I can't remember the coverage range, but it was pretty big, and this was just one of the rigs the smallest of our military branches had. And this was twenty years ago. It ain't like the tech has regressed since then.


An understatement of massive proportions. I have what my wife refers to as a "Chinapost problem," meaning that as an electronics hobbyist I squander $20 here and there via Banggood and various EBay drop-ship resellers on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes it turns into a home gadget or a bespoke solution I can get paid for, so she tolerates this foible.

I bought five of these some months ago (for under $40 shipped) and haven't gotten around to fiddling with them. But they have a little pissing-about distance test with the thing here. The long and the short of it is the little thing the size of your thumb, with a soldered on little antenna that's barely bigger than the spring in your ballpoint pen, moved text data with 100% success at a distance of 800 meters.

Consider that, then consider on the other side of things stuff like Firechat, which a lot of us used during various protests earlier this year. It's a piece of chat software you use to insure you can still talk to people if the cell networks crash and it does it by using all the phones to make a mesh network with their bluetooth stuff.

Take that gadget above and forget 800m. Let's dial down to saying it covers 1 square km. Puerto Rico's entirety is a bit over 9000 square km.

I'm not suggesting this is a serious solution, but it's a pretty huge supporter for William Gibson's statement that the future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed. You could build a mesh network with mail-order parts at a non-volume cost of $60,000 that would cover the entirety of Puerto Rico, not including batteries. We live in an amazing age of wonders and lack the political will to apply them to the most minimal standard of keeping people alive.

$60,000, for scale, is how much money golfer Phil Mickelson earns in about 10 hours of a typical day. So if he paid an effective tax rate of 2% we could pay for this and have a few bucks left over..
posted by phearlez at 11:51 AM on October 6 [58 favorites]


Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH01) will not seek re-election. She's one of a handful of Democrats in a Trump-winning district.

I'm going to miss her, but I wouldn't be too worried, or at least more worried than usual. NH-1 is one of the true swing districts in the country (she went back and forth with Frank Guinta a few times), and we've got a fairly deep bench, thanks to our rather large state government.
posted by damayanti at 11:53 AM on October 6


I think the idea that American government will collapse is dead wrong. It's being attacked -- as all democracy is -- by Capital because it distributes power equitably in a way Capital doesn't like. Puerto Rico isn't an example of the natural decay of empire -- It's a result of a deliberate strategy to cripple democratic government in favor of government by Capital.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:54 AM on October 6 [15 favorites]


I'm thinking the trump group sees the collapse of the USSR as a model to be emulated, not a warning to be avoided. Worked out good for Putin and his buddies, didn't it?

More I think about it, I bet you that's exactly the plan. Explicitly. It's everything Trump idolizes, 80's style hostile takeover and looting of companies, but on a nation-state scale. Putin became the richest guy in the world, what's not to like? Putin gives assistance and coaching for a cut. People who know what's coming are totally willing to give up every shred of dignity for the chance to be one of the oligarchs who come out ahead, or at least looked out for by them.
posted by ctmf at 12:00 PM on October 6 [19 favorites]


They'd just load up onto a plane after a typhoon or whatever and disappear for a couple weeks. I can't remember the coverage range, but it was pretty big, and this was just one of the rigs the smallest of our military branches had. And this was twenty years ago. It ain't like the tech has regressed since then.

You could build a mesh network with mail-order parts at a non-volume cost of $60,000 that would cover the entirety of Puerto Rico, not including batteries.

Amateur radio is dying. In a really crippling disaster-cum-collapse, it may be all we have left. A license is not hard to get. If you're considering getting CERT training, please also consider getting a ham license (even if you're not technical) and join RACES (the emergency message relay system).

Given advances in software defined radio, amateur operators are in a position to do more than they've been able to in the past, just as the scene is really dying out.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:01 PM on October 6 [14 favorites]


One thing to keep in mind is that all the things that Sophie1 posted, and also things like joining and participating in DSA, are things that are worthwhile even if we get through this crisis with what passes for liberal democracy in America intact.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:01 PM on October 6 [18 favorites]


Republicans are increasingly mystified by their own grass roots, an electorate they thought they knew, and distressed that a wave of turnover in their ranks could fundamentally change the character of Congress.

well, when you lie down with and try to fuck toxic scum, you can hardly be surprised when you end up with drug-immune herpes and a mutant candiru in your dickhole.


I'm not buying this storyline that Republicans are distinct from their base. They are their base. They rise up from that base. They are all base.

All their base belong to them.
posted by srboisvert at 12:17 PM on October 6 [104 favorites]


All their base belong to them.

You’ve been saving that for 18 months of megathread, haven’t you?
posted by notyou at 12:25 PM on October 6 [74 favorites]


I think the idea that American government will collapse is dead wrong. It's being attacked -- as all democracy is -- by Capital because it distributes power equitably in a way Capital doesn't like.

IDK, capital seems to get along just fine with democracy in continental Europe — the anti-democratic thugs there don't seem to have much if any connection to big money. I mentioned over in the Nazi thread that the welfare state is a conservative invention. And even Henry Ford, who was not a good person, saw the wisdom of have a middle class of consumers. The guys trying to kill off American democracy are more like robber barons on acid, or wannabe oligarchs.

More I think about it, I bet you that's exactly the plan. Explicitly. It's everything Trump idolizes, 80's style hostile takeover and looting of companies, but on a nation-state scale. Putin became the richest guy in the world, what's not to like? Putin gives assistance and coaching for a cut. People who know what's coming are totally willing to give up every shred of dignity for the chance to be one of the oligarchs who come out ahead, or at least looked out for by them.

This is it.
posted by mumimor at 12:33 PM on October 6 [12 favorites]


A friend on FB just shared the Hill piece with Sessions issuing his "religious liberty guidance" (also known as discrimination). The FB post has a pic of 45 standing next to Sessions.

And I immediately thought, "I'm still so angry at my secretary of state calling me a fucking moron that I'm gonna go play with the attorney general I've been shitting on for months."
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:36 PM on October 6 [6 favorites]


damayanti: "I'm going to miss her, but I wouldn't be too worried, or at least more worried than usual. NH-1 is one of the true swing districts in the country (she went back and forth with Frank Guinta a few times), and we've got a fairly deep bench, thanks to our rather large state government."

Yeah. Nate Cohn said arguably this INCREASES Dem chances to hold the seat.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:39 PM on October 6




From @zachlipton's link above:
first lady Melania Trump, who was also in the room, said she sympathized with the conditions Tintori’s husband, Leopoldo Lopez, faced in jail back in Caracas because the White House often felt as confining as a prison according to two people familiar with the meeting, a point on which the president agreed.
Am I reading this correctly? This guy was in prison and they compared it to being in the White House?
posted by gucci mane at 12:51 PM on October 6 [62 favorites]


As seen on Eschaton:
The Bigger Issue...
Is over the past several decades, our discourse progressed something like this:

Guys, the're racists.

Sensible Center: No, they just believe the very important science that suggests that black people are stupid. Also, crime and poverty. Black people are poor and get arrested a lot and stop&frisk is not racist so stop saying that. QED

Guys, they're white supremacists.

Sensible center: No, they're just celebrating the very important heritage of the Confederacy, which is their history, even in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio, which were very important Confederate states. I don't see any actual Klan hoods. Maybe they are white nationalists, which just means they want to preserve their culture. QED

Guys, they're Nazis.

Sensible center: Actually, I don't see much evidence (some, but not too much) of anti-Semitism, which seems to be an important feature of Nazism, right? I mean, the obsession with George Soros and the word globalist is simply political. Obviously they have some views about race which liberals don't support, but it isn't racism, and it certainly isn't Nazism.

Nazis: hey, uh we're Nazis.

Sensible center: No, I really don't think you are.

Nazis: No, really, we're fucking Nazis. Heil Hitler! Check out my Nazi tattoos! We're Nazis!

Sensible center: This is disturbing, but Stalin was bad, too, so, really, both sides.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:52 PM on October 6 [129 favorites]


Odinsdream, I've taken a screenshot of your friend's testimony for circulating purposes. Thanks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:53 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Megathread? Is that like Megaweapon?
posted by orrnyereg at 12:56 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Michael Del Moro: “ABC News: Robert Mueller's team met behind closed doors today w an unknown group of attorneys & chief judge of US District Court in DC”
posted by stopgap at 1:00 PM on October 6 [50 favorites]


We've reached an interesting point in American history. A point at which being anti-Nazi is now "controversial".

Back in 1992 the game Wolfenstein 3D, a very early entrant into the FPS genre, was released to great acclaim and even more piracy. The game was nothing but killing Nazis. That was the plot, your character was a POW during WWII, escaped and killed a shit load of Nazis until you found, and killed, cyborg mecha Hitler at the end. The choice of villains in the game was utterly and completely non-controversial.

They're making a sequel/remake/whatever called Wolfenstein II. And apparently now having your character kill actual, literal, no fooling Nazis is being portrayed by some as an attack on the American right wing. Yes, really.

If you'd told me, back in 1992 that in a bare quarter century the mainstream American right would view attacks on Nazis as attacks on themselves I'd have laughed at you.

Today the American right views a game portraying a heroic American (blonde hair, blue eyes, super manly) killing a bunch of Nazis as an attack on the American right.

I think I goes without saying that I'll be buying Wolfenstein II.
posted by sotonohito at 1:14 PM on October 6 [90 favorites]


blnkfrnk: Justice department issues new 'religious freedom' memo that invites anti-LGBTQ discrimination

As Josh Gerstein noted in his coverage of the topic for Politico:
As governor of Indiana in 2015, Pence signed a religious freedom law that appeared to give businesses broad rights to deny service to gays and lesbians and perhaps others. An uproar followed, with many business leaders warning that the move could harm the state economically. Within days, he reversed himself and endorsed a revised measure designed to assuage concerns about discrimination.

A Justice Department official who briefed reporters on the new legal guidance insisted that it does not amount to a license to discriminate.

"It doesn't legalize discrimination at all," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
...
The new Justice Department memo appears to advocate religious freedom protections so robust that they could impact authorities' ability to target a violent religious sect or a particular ideology with religious components.
...
Sessions also issued a separate directive Friday that seeks to impose closer scrutiny of the religious freedom impact of rules issued by agencies across the federal government. The memo requires that anytime a proposed federal agency action is sent to the Justice Department by the Office of Management and Budget for review, Justice's Office of Legal Policy and Civil Rights Division will vet the move for any potential adverse impact on religious freedom protections.
First, I'd love to hear what Pence had to say about this. Or maybe he just stood quietly in the corner, as I sometimes imagine he does. Human Rights Campaign has already stood up to say "Donald Trump and Mike Pence have proven they will stop at nothing to target the LGBTQ community and drag our nation backwards. We will fight them every step of the way." I look forward to more major and visible pushback from all sectors. Too bad there aren't more advisory councils to disband. (Oh wait, there's his evangelical advisers, but they're probably thrilled.)

Second, you know your direction is rotten and unsupportable when your spokesperson speaks on condition of anonymity.

Third, interesting that this could make religiously-active terrorists *cough* Evangelical Nazis *cough* harder to target by law enforcement.

And fourth, another shining example of the Party of Smaller Government hiding that asterisk pretty well. You know, the one that says *smaller, unless it can ruin the lives of women, LTBTQ individuals and communities, people of color, and anyone else who doesn't look or think like we do, then we're all for making government really big and far-reaching, all-knowing and as ominous as possible.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:14 PM on October 6 [16 favorites]


NBC: Trump Dossier Author Is in Talks With Senate Intel Committee
One source close to Steele said that in late September, Steele relayed to Washington, through an associate, that Steele in fact would be happy to meet with Burr and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the committee's ranking Democrat. Two other sources said the situation was "more complicated" than portrayed by Burr during a news conference Wednesday.

Those two people, one close to Steele and one familiar with the committee discussions, said that one of the sticking points was Steele's unwillingness to discuss who underwrote his work. Steele, who once worked as a British spy in Russia, was hired by the firm Fusion GPS, which was conducting opposition research originally funded by undisclosed Republican opponents of Donald Trump, according to a source close to Steele. During the general election, unknown Democrats began picking up the tab, sources familiar with the matter have said.
Essentially, Steele knows that burning his clients will allow Burr and Team Trump to undermine the dossier by politicizing its underwriters.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:19 PM on October 6 [10 favorites]


“ABC News: Robert Mueller's team met behind closed doors today w an unknown group of attorneys & chief judge of US District Court in DC”

Is that how a major indictment typically starts? What kinds of things would they be discussing?
posted by Coventry at 1:25 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


A comment on the fucking Trump and abortion and birth control coverage nonsense:

I spent a significant part of yesterday holding the hand and supporting a friend in labor who was trying to deliver vaginally. She was in a Level-1 trauma center in a major US city. She is in good health. She is tough. She went to prenatal classes. Her pregnancy went so smoothly that she actually went well into the second trimester (!) without realizing she was pregnant -- her periods have never been regular, and she only put on ten pounds through seven months, so she thought she was just hitting the candy sale bin a little harder than normal. By the time she rolled into into the maternity ward, she was eight cm dilated. She got an epidural promptly.

I mean, I know there are pregnant people who deliver without much pain, even without an epidural.

But, like, for the vast majority of pregnant people -- if you're a cis dude, unless you've stood by someone in labor or have had other reason to stand there, largely helpless, and watched someone in agony for hours, you have no idea of the kind of prolonged torture involved in vaginally delivering a child. There is an entire fucking stage where the baby's head is stuck in your vagina, and can only be moved forward by being slowly, agonizingly pushed out millimeter by millimeter during periods when your body is already racked with pain. So yeah, you're in horrible pain, and then when the pain spikes, they put your legs in the air and tell you to fucking do crunches so that you can push the baby out with the weight of your upper body.

Basically, if you push the kid out an inch in an hour, the midwife will say that you're doing a great job. And every time you push, there is blood. And shit. And more blood.

And like, in the end, this was a normal delivery. In many ways, this was a best-case scenario. Again, my friend was healthy. The fetus was healthy. She has health insurance. The hospital is a good one, and my friend only required "some" stitching for the vaginal tearing. The anesthesiologist was able to take the edge off the pain, so that she could rest for a bit, then get back to pushing the kid the last couple inches into the world.

But, like, if you carry to term, your options are risking this kind of agony.

Or, y'know, major abdominal surgery, which carries its own set of risks and its own difficulties and agonies.

I've believed for a long time that denying uterus-havers cheap, effective birth control including abortion on demand is a human rights issue, but today, I have a BRAND NEW LEVEL OF RAGE ABOUT IT.

The real justification is punishing sluts for having sex, so FUCK. THEM. ALL. Abortion on demand. Free birth control in every vending machine.
posted by joyceanmachine at 1:29 PM on October 6 [84 favorites]


Newly-released Kobach documents show that Trump election "integrity" commission's goal is voter suppression. Tweetstorm link. Confirms the obvious, but it's nice to see in writing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:31 PM on October 6 [56 favorites]


Essentially, Steele knows that burning his clients will allow Burr and Team Trump to undermine the dossier by politicizing its underwriters.

I half suspect "burning his clients" would mean burning the British government or something equally earth-shaking.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:34 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


the existential despair is strong today, peeps.
posted by Dashy at 1:37 PM on October 6 [22 favorites]


I think the problem is there's just no shame in everyone knowing you're an asshole anymore.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:41 PM on October 6 [16 favorites]


I was a college student in the pre-Obamacare era, working 10hrs a week and interning for free and going to school full time. I distinctly recall doing the mental math of "Birth control is $20/month... and no birth control is risky but means I could afford five days of an on-campus bagels and cream cheese lunch."

I was overjoyed when I learned that the Obamacare provisions meant that modern young women would never have the option to make the same idiotic choice I did ("Screw it, my boyfriend will pay for condoms!" - knowing that I hated condoms and was less likely to use them).

I am so, so angry.
posted by samthemander at 1:42 PM on October 6 [26 favorites]


This is disturbing, but Stalin was bad, too, so, really, both sides.
As I just wrote in a more Nazi-centric thread, my education taught me (although not by the intent of most of the teachers) that the Soviet Russians moved from Mostly Sincere Socialists to, under Stalin, As Fascist As The Nazis but In Socialist Sheep's Clothing. Not to mention that Hitler and Stalin were allies until they discovered some territory they each claimed separately. Stalin was bad, too, and on the same side.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:43 PM on October 6 [12 favorites]


Newly-released Kobach documents show that Trump election "integrity" commission's goal is voter suppression. Tweetstorm link. Confirms the obvious, but it's nice to see in writing.

Unfortunately, this will hurt his chances of getting elected Governor of Kansas not one bit. Hell, it'll probably help.
posted by god hates math at 1:58 PM on October 6


Republicans hate women, they always have and I’m afraid they always will. I’m 31 weeks pregnant and I want to fly my giant belly over to the US and punch every member of the GOP in the crotch, then every Nazi, then every tech bro, then every asshole defending the confederacy, then every gamer gator, then every single dude who has either actively harassed women or people of color or LBGTQ folks, then every dude who stood idly by while said harassment was happening, then everyone who ever began a sentence with “both sides” or “but her emails”. I will punch everyone who ever looked the other way while white nationalist fascism took over America. My arm muscles shall grow and grow from all the punching I will need to do so that by the time bubs gets here I will be ripped enough to take on the final boss and stuff Trump and his whole family in a rocket aimed at the sun powered solely by my rage. Then I will fly back to New Zealand and punch Peter Thiel while the punching is good.

This fantasy brought to you by the rivers of molten hatred running through my veins since Trump took office.
posted by supercrayon at 1:59 PM on October 6 [80 favorites]


The FBI’s New U.S. Terrorist Threat: ‘Black Identity Extremists’
“The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence,” reads the report, marked for official use only and obtained by Foreign Policy.

The August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was the catalyst for widespread anger and violence, the FBI report says, concluding that continued “alleged” police abuses have fueled more violence.

“The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police abuse against African Americans since then have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement,” the report states.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:59 PM on October 6 [12 favorites]


I wonder what the FBI think of angry white men with guns?
posted by Dashy at 2:00 PM on October 6 [13 favorites]


> I wonder what the FBI think of angry white men with guns?

Depends on how the job interview goes.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:03 PM on October 6 [105 favorites]


I half suspect "burning his clients" would mean burning the British government or something equally earth-shaking.

Yeah, my thought was 'some state actor' and more 'suicidal' than 'earth-shaking.'
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:03 PM on October 6


my shrink and I have been doing this interesting dance where he's trying to both acknowledge the reality of the situation and talk me out of conclusions of imminent disaster. There's also this tension because he's a Jewish man who has memories of Hitler, and I think he's sort of blinded by the fact that Trump couldn't find his ass with two hands and a flashlight, whereas I don't know Hitler was I guess effectively genocidal, and my shrink has been making this point, but when nukes are on the table, I mean Jesus all Trump has to figure out how to do is give the order.

And it's unfortunate, because he'll say things like "Puerto Rico wasn't caused by Trump; human activity may have exacerbated hurricane season but not Trump activity" and I feel like saying 'well that's not really the issue I'm talking about the response' but at that point I remember that he has a granddaughter with the Peace Corp in Cameroon and I'm frankly worried about bumming him out.
posted by angrycat at 2:04 PM on October 6 [12 favorites]


The House has passed its "budget" 219 to 206. As expected it guts Medicare and Medicaid to give around $4 trillion in tax cuts to the very rich.

Now on to the Senate where we find out if we can stop it like we did the ACA repeal.
posted by sotonohito at 2:09 PM on October 6 [32 favorites]


supercrayon: I want to fly my giant belly over to the US and punch... everyone who ever began a sentence with “both sides” or “but her emails”...

mini-meetup at my ma's, brunch is on me after
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:10 PM on October 6 [4 favorites]


frankly worried about bumming him out.

It's unusual to need to worry about bumming your therapist out. A crucial part of his professional role is to handle whatever emotional content you throw his way.
posted by Coventry at 2:14 PM on October 6 [6 favorites]


I think that's more an I am neurotic thing.
posted by angrycat at 2:15 PM on October 6 [6 favorites]


the existential despair is strong today, peeps.

It is, and that is why I want to endorse Postcards for Virginia, which was linked to upthread. I got assigned addresses in District 42 (link goes to Chrysostom's House of Delegates breakdown), so I am channeling that energy into encouraging people to vote for Kathy Tran, who came to the US as a refugee from Vietnam and is my bright beacon of hope today. I needed a bright beacon of hope today.
posted by Ruki at 2:17 PM on October 6 [18 favorites]


Or a trump-is-the-president thing
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:17 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


“The FBI assesses it is very likely Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence,” reads the report, marked for official use only and obtained by Foreign Policy.

The August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was the catalyst for widespread anger and violence, the FBI report says, concluding that continued “alleged” police abuses have fueled more violence.

“The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police abuse against African Americans since then have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement,” the report states.


The FBI has always been at war with Afro-America.
posted by srboisvert at 2:22 PM on October 6 [26 favorites]


So, one side of my family has a long and storied history of gtfo of places before it all goes to hell. (Except for that one ancestor who was boiled in a pot by angry Dutch, but these things happen.)

And my urge to run is high. I mean, I can't, because of new id laws, I need to make a 100 mile trip, and hope I have all the right documentation to prove that I am me before they'll reissue my passport. The new voter id laws really fuck with women who have taken a husband's name at any point, and then divorced. And remarried. Pro tip to young women, do not change your name when you get married.

But even if I had a passport again, I have friends who can't escape. And damn it, this is my country. It's where I keep all my stuff. But i don't know how to fight what is coming.

I live in tornado alley. Out here, you can often time see the edge of the storm coming. It's like a wall of black and purple and green, and it goes from horizon to heavens, and all you can hope for is that it doesn't start twisting.

The GOP and the Nazis who cosplay them, are that wall. It's coming.

But, I tell you that story to tell you this one. In April of 2016, my house, neighborhood, and town were devastated by a storm. And when it was over, we all helped each other tarp up, and find animals, and start rebuilding.

We can't avoid the storm any more. It's too late for that. We can be ready to rebuild.

I'm sorry, I suppose that's not as optimistic as I was hoping to close on. I'm terrified, you guys. I'm worried, for the first time in my life, that we may not make it through, and it will all be because rich people and their enablers never learned to share.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:44 PM on October 6 [33 favorites]


first lady Melania Trump, who was also in the room, said she sympathized with the conditions Tintori’s husband, Leopoldo Lopez, faced in jail back in Caracas because the White House often felt as confining as a prison

This is the Lincoln bedroom.

This is a prison cell in Caracas.

Get a fucking grip. When you and your equally out of touch with reality husband find yourself in a cell, you'll be glad it's not in Caracas.
posted by adept256 at 2:48 PM on October 6 [27 favorites]


Anyone else notice Melania's expression change when Trump says 'Porto Rico' in the video zachlipton shared above? Wow.
posted by meowf at 2:49 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


This is the Lincoln bedroom.

This is a prison cell in Caracas.


Alas, your links go to the same image of the Lincoln bedroom.
posted by jedicus at 2:53 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Maybe an outlier, but the new AP poll has Trump at 67% with Republicans. As comparison, anything below 80% is typically considered very bad. Most other polls still have him close to 80, but if it's not an outlier... And the poll dates for this don't include his visit to Puerto Rico, the contraception mandate, and other fuckups since Oct. 2nd.
Presidential approval remains on a downward trend. Thirty-two percent of Americans say they approve of the way President Trump is handling his job and 67 percent disapprove. His approval rating is down from 42 percent in March and 35 percent in June. While 67 percent of Republicans still approve of the job the president is doing, support among Republicans has decreased significantly since March when 80 percent of Republicans expressed approval. Twenty-eight percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats say they approve of Trump’s handling of his job. Among Democrats, this also represents a decline since March when 11 percent said they approved.
If this turns out to be a pattern, this article from Paul Waldman from WaPo may have a clue why.

Why Trump is scaling back the contraception mandate and trying to destroy Obamacare
The explanation comes down to this: Trump is willing to do things that are politically foolhardy in order to satisfy his base voters, no matter how limited a portion of the electorate they make up. This is certainly not rooted in any principles — instead it likely reflects either a failure to understand how things play with the broader electorate or that he believes a relentless focus on maintaining that base’s loyalty is the key to his political survival, or some combination of both. [...]

It’s true that certain far-right Christian groups have complained about the contraceptive mandate. But it’s also true that it is hugely popular among the public as a whole. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in June found that Americans supported it by a margin of 68 percent to 29 percent. Even a majority of Republicans supported the mandate. [...]

And they’re doing all this after it has become clear they won’t be repealing the ACA any time soon. From a political standpoint it’s impossibly stupid, because it gives Democrats all kinds of ammunition to say that Trump and the Republicans are destroying your health care. A different Republican administration would grudgingly implement the ACA and look for conservative ways to allow states to improve their systems. The Trump administration, and Trump personally, seem to want to make things as awful as they can for as many Americans as they can.

If you’re a venomously anti-government Trump voter, this is great news. Forget all those lazy freeloaders who want to suckle on the government’s teat and think they have a right to some help in affording health care! Take that, Barack Obama! But if you care about whether the Republican Party is going to hold Congress and the White House, it’s a terrible idea.

These kinds of actions are guaranteed to provoke a backlash that will put the Republican majorities in Congress at greater risk, in an upcoming midterm election where things already look dangerous for them. But Trump doesn’t seem to care. So if you’re a certain kind of Trump voter, he’s coming through for you, bigly. At least for now.
posted by chris24 at 2:55 PM on October 6 [17 favorites]


New Yorker, Dexter Filkins, Rex Tillerson at the Breaking Point. There's a bunch in here; I'll do two highlights.

First, the relationship between the Secretary of State and the UN Ambassador seems...not great:
According to the senior Administration official, Nikki Haley, the U.N. Ambassador, is seen as the most effective diplomat in the crisis; twice she has rallied unanimous support for tighter sanctions at the U.N. Security Council, despite the members’ reluctance to discomfit China. “Nikki’s getting it done,” the official told me. “She’s bringing home the bacon.” This has apparently fed an enmity between Tillerson and Haley. “Rex hates her,” the official said. “He fucking hates her.”
But there's also the question of why Trump was sitting around in February ranting about how unfair it was that American businesses can't pay bribes:
In February, a few weeks after Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate, he visited the Oval Office to introduce the President to a potential deputy, but Trump had something else on his mind. He began fulminating about federal laws that prohibit American businesses from bribing officials overseas; the businesses, he said, were being unfairly penalized.

Tillerson disagreed. When he was an executive with Exxon, he told Trump, he once met with senior officials in Yemen to discuss a deal. At the meeting, Yemen’s oil minister handed him his business card. On the back was written an account number at a Swiss bank. “Five million dollars,” the minister told him.

“I don’t do that,” Tillerson said. “Exxon doesn’t do that.” If the Yemenis wanted Exxon on the deal, he said, they’d have to play straight. A month later, the Yemenis assented. “Tillerson told Trump that America didn’t need to pay bribes—that we could bring the world up to our own standards,” a source with knowledge of the exchange told me.
Oh well. I'm sure it was just a random thought unrelated to anything he's experienced in his business life.
posted by zachlipton at 2:57 PM on October 6 [60 favorites]


first lady Melania Trump, who was also in the room, said she sympathized with the conditions Tintori’s husband, Leopoldo Lopez, faced in jail back in Caracas because the White House often felt as confining as a prison

This is the Lincoln bedroom.

This is a prison cell in Caracas.


I see what you did there, inviting us all to just assume that Melania sleeps in the guest room at the other end of the building from her husband. Nice.
posted by The World Famous at 2:57 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


67% with Republicans would indeed be apocalyptic but I won't believe those numbers until and unless we get confirmation from some other polling firms.
posted by Justinian at 2:57 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


(In which case, maybe it should be referred to as the "Claire Underwood Bedroom")
posted by The World Famous at 2:58 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]




Get a fucking grip. When you and your equally out of touch with reality husband find yourself in a cell, you'll be glad it's not in Caracas.

This is what Obama said about the White House:
“It is a very nice prison. So you don’t have the freedom of movement to be able to just take a walk, or to sit at a cafe, because there’s always this security concern around you. I don’t miss that.”
Being president is very isolating and quite an adjustment even for people who have a normal degree of emotional intelligence and coping skills. Even Truman called it living in a "great white jail".
posted by peeedro at 2:59 PM on October 6 [5 favorites]


a source with knowledge of the exchange told me.

Reince again, right? Can he just keep running his mouth to the press as 'a source' because I'm liking this Friday tea.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:02 PM on October 6


I understand that. It's still extraordinarily tone deaf to say you know how it feels to be in a Venezuelan prison because you're in the white house.
posted by adept256 at 3:04 PM on October 6 [19 favorites]


Did Obama or Truman also compare the White House to a Venezuelan prison?
posted by Room 641-A at 3:04 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


There is a really fundamental difference, which should be clear to anyone who speaks human as a first language, between comparing something to a prison metaphorically and comparing something to the actual, brutal prison in which someone's husband is currently incarcerated. It's the difference between saying that my chocolate cravings are a disease and telling someone with cancer that I can understand their predicament, because my chocolate cravings are a disease. This is not really a subtle distinction.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:09 PM on October 6 [59 favorites]


Is it scoop o'clock? I need a scoop to get me through the weekend.
posted by suelac at 3:09 PM on October 6 [4 favorites]


If this turns out to be a pattern, this article from Paul Waldman from WaPo may have a clue why.

It doesn't matter. He's going to start a war. Presidential approval ratings in the modern era skyrocket when we're at war due to the rally 'round the flag effect. The effect tends to be relatively short-lived, but it's a very effective diversionary tactic that has worked time and time again -- and it tends to have a greater effect when Presidents begin wars when they have low approval ratings.

Trump knows this. He tweeted that Obama would strike Libya or Iran in 2012 to wag the dog, in response to low poll numbers.
posted by zarq at 3:10 PM on October 6 [8 favorites]


I'm worried about the contraception EO, because as far as I can tell, it's not outright stripping the provision, but allowing religious companies?!? to pull coverage from their employees. So while the contraception mandate may have wide appeal, it the EO will cause (hopefully) a very small subset of women effected, and if it isn't my company, why should I care? Well, we all care, because we're paying attention, but it just seems like something could slip through the cracks, because it isn't going to be implemented widely enough. Hopefully the ACLU and PP can get a favorable ruling, but I'm still worried :/
The whole extra provision of having a completely separate "abortion insurance charge & fund" is another maddening issue. >:| >:| >:|
I hate everyone
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 3:10 PM on October 6 [4 favorites]


Trump has a unique skill at saying almost the same thing previous Presidents have but make them come out sounding extraordinarily tone deaf. Of course, most of those were edited out of The Apprentice.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:12 PM on October 6 [4 favorites]


It's the difference between saying that my chocolate cravings are a disease and telling someone with cancer that I can understand their predicament, because my chocolate cravings are a disease

Or telling your Secretary of State that you understand foreign policy because you redecorated a restaurant.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:12 PM on October 6 [14 favorites]


And remember, he doesn't read anything closely, so there's a solid chance his contraception EO is not driven by any polls, rather his need to do something on a regular basis that makes feminists/liberals cry.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:16 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Presidential approval ratings in the modern era skyrocket when we're at war due to the rally 'round the flag effect.

I totally expect them to start some shit overseas. I expect it to be awful. And I expect that yes, there will be a poll numbers bump. The media will oooh and aaah about the power of the military and normalize it like Brian Williams talking about how pretty it is to see cruise missiles launch because that's what they do and they're desperate for normalcy. Cheering on a military action is normal for them. But at this point I kind of expect the bump won't be nearly what any other administration would get. They're gonna fuck this up, too, and it'll be an atrocity in terms of very real lives, but they won't even get the sort of public opinion bump they want out of all that bloodshed. And it'll just go downhill from there.

Imagine how angry they're gonna be if they start a bullshit war for a bullshit reason and they still can't get their poll numbers up over 40ish %.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:18 PM on October 6 [15 favorites]


He called the White House a DUMP while a lot of people are living in their cars and tents. The only bright side I can think of is that his actual prison cell will be so much worse for him than for some one with any perspective.
posted by adept256 at 3:18 PM on October 6 [8 favorites]


[In re: things I'd thought I'd never type, 2017 version

Folks, I'm so sorry for what I said above about my mom. She was a 'but her emails' shill, who couldn't bring herself to vote last fall. We have Schrodinger's relatives in Puerto Rico right now, and our stateside family's just fighting one another at this point. I'm exhausted and frustrated, but this site helps. Thanks.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:28 PM on October 6 [12 favorites]


Trump at record low approval in new AP/NORC poll:

32 Approve
67 Disapprove
NET -35
posted by octothorpe at 3:35 PM on October 6 [10 favorites]


Or telling your Secretary of State that you understand foreign policy because you redecorated a restaurant.

Well, not exactly but a restaurant you liked once decided to redecorate and it seemed to you like a boondoggle that could've been done better.
posted by contraption at 3:40 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


The House has passed its "budget" 219 to 206.

This is a surprisingly tight margin for a Republican budget resolution, which does not bode well for Trump's tax cuts. All Democrats and 18 Republicans voted no. This is a much worse margin than the previous budget resolution for Obamacare repeal. It indicates significant division in Republican ranks, not regarding tax cuts pe se, but regarding the resulting deficits.
posted by JackFlash at 3:42 PM on October 6 [31 favorites]




The Flagrant Sexual Hypocrisy of Conservative Men (Jennifer Weiner, NYT Op-Ed)
posted by Room 641-A at 4:00 PM on October 6 [7 favorites]


"antifa purge"? Sounds like a good cover story for a Right Wing American Kristallnacht Thingy.

And only Conservative Men? Sexual Hypocrisy is an important part of being just plain cis male.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:04 PM on October 6 [6 favorites]


More Cy Vance - Criminal Defense Firm Bankrolled Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Kept Clients Out Of Prison (ibtimes)
A New York City criminal defense firm and its partners together gave more than $42,000 to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., according to an International Business Times review of campaign finance records. Vance’s office negotiated deals that resulted in light sentences for some of the firm’s clients, and in certain cases allowed them to avoid prison time altogether.
posted by zakur at 4:05 PM on October 6 [15 favorites]


heh, watching NBC Nightly News just now, the reporter (Peter Alexander I think) discussing the "calm before the storm" gabble, referred to Trump as the "former reality star turned president".
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:11 PM on October 6 [27 favorites]


“ABC News: Robert Mueller's team met behind closed doors today w an unknown group of attorneys & chief judge of US District Court in DC”

Is that how a major indictment typically starts? What kinds of things would they be discussing?


Twitter analysis by Renato Mariotti‏ @renato_mariotti, a former federal prosecutor:
MINI-THREAD: What does news that Mueller met with the Chief Judge of the D.C. federal court and a group of attorneys mean?
1/ This is an unusual meeting, so the purpose of this meeting—whatever it was—was out of the ordinary.
2/ The best I can do is give you some educated guesses about possible purposes for the meeting.
3/ The Chief Judge oversees the grand jury program, so this could be related to a leak or a security issue regarding a grand juror.
4/ This could be coordination of security for an upcoming event, such as the arraignment (initial hearing) after an indictment.
5/ Or defense counsel could be challenging a subpoena or order that Mueller served, and the Chief Judge heard the matter in private.
6/ If I had to guess, I’d pick the latter. Usually prosecutors wait until an investigation ends to indict, so they have all the evidence.
7/ Leaks or security issues with a grand jury are rare (but obviously this is a very unusual case).
8/ There may be other unusual possibilities that don’t come immediately to mind, but it’s certainly not something ordinary. /end
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:33 PM on October 6 [14 favorites]


Right-wingers warn of antifa "purge"

Seems to be a theme: Desperate Virginia Republicans Claim Antifa Working to Elect Ralph Northam

"Antifa" is the new ACORN, they always need to have a liberal boogeyman to rally the Sturmabteilung.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:35 PM on October 6 [40 favorites]


MINI-THREAD: What does news that Mueller met with the Chief Judge of the D.C. federal court and a group of attorneys mean?

Definitely not a prosecutor, but my guess would be motions to quash subpoenas filed by defense counsel. Who's defense counsel would be the verrrry interesting question.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:40 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Who puts rabbits in prison? What were their offenses? And do rabbits understand the limitations of prison? Or is it the fact that gender-separated rabbits would go at it once let loose? So many rabbit-related questions now.

They're in prison mostly for murder. The use rope not handcuffs. They might use a jury of their peers. The lawyers are humans. The bailiffs are horses. There are special ramps to bring them to the witness box. They understand the proceedings using interpreters. The maximum sentence is rabbit stew. There may be a rabbit traffic court; I've heard of it but I've never seen it. They make the rabbits stop squealing by use of a gavel. Rabbits call cops "pigs" but it's not as funny as when a pig does it. They also use bow ties instead of prison outfits and it's adorable.

Any other questions?
posted by Talez at 5:00 PM on October 6 [44 favorites]


Bannon installed a former Breitbart-writer at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and now the guy thinks there's a conspiracy where the Office of Cuba Broadcasting is secretly in league with the Castro government in Cuba.
posted by zachlipton at 5:03 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Louise Mensch is in the twitter thread Doktor Zed linked to asking about sealed indictments. Does she actually believe her own bullshit? I assumed she was just an attention seeking troll.
posted by Justinian at 5:25 PM on October 6


Bannon is signaling he'd support Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar in a primary against Jeff Flake. Gosar just told Vice that he believes George Soros funded the white nationalists and Nazis in Charlottesville.
posted by peeedro at 5:32 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Sooooooooo there are warnings being raised by people at the IRS that records have been illegally searched, with the insinuation that it's led by Trump loyalists. This is extremely bad.
posted by odinsdream at 5:33 PM on October 6 [6 favorites]


Sooooooooo there are warnings being raised by people at the IRS that records have been illegally searched

link or source please?
posted by lalex at 5:36 PM on October 6 [6 favorites]


Gosar just told Vice that he believes George Soros funded the white nationalists and Nazis in Charlottesville.
Okay, time to TrumpMirror that. Spread the word: Robert Mercer and the Koch Brothers fully fund Antifa. Oh, what the heck... and ISIS.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:40 PM on October 6 [8 favorites]


Yeah gonna need a cite on the IRS thing.
posted by Justinian at 5:41 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Because "trump loyalists" couldn't search Google for "pee tape" without misspelling both words.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:44 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


I said IRS when I meant Treasury: Cite
posted by odinsdream at 5:54 PM on October 6


Metafilter: As I just wrote in a more Nazi-centric thread...

*sigh*
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:00 PM on October 6 [14 favorites]


Yeah the OIA/FinCEN fight is problematic from a civil liberties perspective, and just a "the government should function properly" one (see also FinCEN getting locked out of classified networks due to a turf war), but I haven't seen anything that puts it in the category of politically motivated targeting, rather than intelligence agencies being shitty. Which isn't, you know, good, but it's different than Trump loyalists specifically targeting people's financial data.
posted by zachlipton at 6:04 PM on October 6 [7 favorites]


Fine, I'm just paranoid.
posted by odinsdream at 6:16 PM on October 6


Is Louise Mensch's sealed indictment from the Marshal of the Supreme Court?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:21 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


with the insinuation that it's led by Trump loyalists
The article specifically mentions that this has (allegedly) been going on for years.
Sources claimed the unauthorized inspection and possession of Americans’ financial data have been going on for years but only became controversial in 2016, when officials at FinCEN learned about it and began objecting. Early last year, Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which oversees OIA, proposed transferring much of FinCEN’s work to OIA.
posted by xyzzy at 6:27 PM on October 6 [4 favorites]


Hard to believe it’s been a whole year since we learned that the (current) President of the United States confessed (proudly) on video to having committed a spate of sexual assaults.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:29 PM on October 6 [10 favorites]


It feels simultaneously a few weeks ago and a lifetime.
posted by Justinian at 6:37 PM on October 6 [24 favorites]


"Ms. Stone, you don't know me, but...oh, I see. Just a character, eh? Heh. Just checking. Sixteenth call today? Wow. Well, thanks anyway. Just have to ask one more...ok, got it, character it is. Based on real life, maybe, did they have a number...hello? Hello?"
posted by maxwelton at 6:55 PM on October 6


It feels simultaneously a few weeks ago and a lifetime.

That's because we're living in the Dark Groundhog Day Mirror timetangle.
posted by perspicio at 6:59 PM on October 6 [6 favorites]


Bannon is signaling he'd support Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar in a primary against Jeff Flake. Gosar just told Vice that he believes George Soros funded the white nationalists and Nazis in Charlottesville.

It's very concerning that Gosar is even in this dimension, apparently without the intervention of Zuul.
posted by Jpfed at 7:00 PM on October 6 [22 favorites]


Maybe a Slor is coming in whose depths we can roast them?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:04 PM on October 6 [19 favorites]


What are the top Democratic chances for Senate pickups in '18. Nevada, obviously. Arizona as well?
posted by Justinian at 7:05 PM on October 6


I can definitely see Trump using the financial data spying news to try and muddy the waters on any financial data Mueller uncovers even though Mueller was surely meticulously by the book, just like he tried to muddy the waters with legal unmasking. Wouldn't surprise me if the nazis and bots were busy spreading that narrative already.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:10 PM on October 6


Of the 10 seats most likely to flip in 2018, only two of them have Republican incumbents--NV & AZ. So THAT'S exciting.
posted by xyzzy at 7:11 PM on October 6


I just want Claire to keep her seat in 2018.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:15 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Right-wingers warn of antifa "purge"

....Which looks like it was a far-fetched story spun out of an actual casting notice for a 4th sequel to the "Purge" film.

I just told him that "Look, it sucks you blew the audition, but making this up as a cover story is pretty damn stupid."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 PM on October 6 [9 favorites]


Yeah it was a casting call for The Purge: The Island, due for release on July 4. How patriotic.

Dipshit can't spend 5 seconds on IMDB before spreading panic with his gullible friends. Or maybe that's the point.
posted by adept256 at 7:50 PM on October 6 [5 favorites]


ICE is just straight up threatening the people of California now:
“ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites,” Homan said, “which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests.” This will happen, he claimed, because the new California law will block ICE agents from gaining access to criminal immigrants at jails and prisons.
"Will have no choice?" As if roaming the streets terrorizing people is something over which the director of the agency has no control whatsoever.

His statement is also blatantly inaccurate:
At least one part of Homan’s statement is clearly inaccurate because state prisons were excluded from the final version of SB 54, so ICE agents are still free to enter prisons at will. The law also allows federal agents to interview detainees in county jails, though not to hold permanent office space, and to access databases showing an inmate’s release date.

The new law will also permit local law enforcement officers to communicate with federal agents about detainees with felony convictions in the past 15 years as well as those awaiting trial for serious felonies for which a judge has found probable cause — and to coordinate transfers of those people into federal custody.
posted by zachlipton at 7:50 PM on October 6 [31 favorites]


Justinian: "What are the top Democratic chances for Senate pickups in '18. Nevada, obviously. Arizona as well?"

Nevada and Arizona are both rated tossups. They're far and away the most likely to flip to D. Tennessee (Corker retirement) would be third, but it's a ways back. I personally feel there's still a chance in Alabama (Roy Moore derangement) but obviously, that's a real stretch. Other seats are safe, barring indictments or whatnot (TX, MS, NE, UT, WY).

Morbidly, there's also the chance of another decent shot in Arizona if McCain passes away or retires shortly.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:56 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


The contraception / birth control exemption makes me so eye-bleeding mad that I could scream.

How in the world is a corporation's religious freedom infringed by having to pay some insurance? My read of the constitution is that religious freedom applies to PEOPLE not corporate entities. (And I highly disagree with the Hobby Lobby ruling.)

I could understand the religious non-profit exception. Hell, even though I disagree I could understand a company-size exemption (Similar to how the Americans with Disabilities Act starts at 25 full time employees or whatever.)

But now, an owner could just say they don't want to cover it on "moral" grounds. No need to prove anything. Who's to say they won't just do it to save a few bucks or try to get women out of their company??

Of course my biggest complaint is that your religious ideas don't get to overrule mine. If I want to go out and have an orgy every weekend then that's my right. You don't get a say in that as my employer.

If it just isn't the right time to have a baby, that's my right. My employer should have no say. If I don't want children at all, that's my right. My employer should have NO say!

You're not forcing the business owner to PAY directly for this birth control. The COMPANY is paying for it. Hence the limited liability options for owners of businesses and corporations. They are separate from each other. The revenue from the company goes to insurance.

Next, many many many people NEED birth control and hormone treatment to LIVE. I have fucking endometriosis. And my life is hell without birth control - and I HAVE to be without it since my body stopped tolerating it. But jesus christ if I could have it again it would likely make my life so much better.

I RARELY see articles talk about the fact that it's actual a fucking medication to treat illness, not just a "get out of babies free" card. It makes me so damn mad that it's not even mentioned. Would a company who says they are against birth control make an exception? Do you have to beg for your own health?

Both babies and hormone related health problems affect people with a uterus. And if those people cannot AFFORD birth control, and end up sick or with a baby, then they are forced out of work and economic growth. It highly disproportionately affects poor and minority people.

So many arguments say "well, it's not that much money" but IT IS. $20 was at least a week's worth of groceries when I was in college. An IUD can cost hundreds of dollars. There is an overall economic benefit to the company and to insurers to have people choose when and if they want babies.

It's clearly a pull to control women and force women out of the world and back into the home. It's a way to try to control women's sex lives.

And if they can make an exception based on morals for this, what's next? I hate the slippery slope argument, truly. But there are religious groups that don't allow blood transfusion. Would they be allowed to have insurance not cover that too?

It's insanity and it makes me so fucking mad. And I'm so tired of a fucking argument about a medication. I'm so thankful my husband got a vasectomy.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:59 PM on October 6 [70 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "Newly-released Kobach documents show that Trump election "integrity" commission's goal is voter suppression. Tweetstorm link. Confirms the obvious, but it's nice to see in writing."

Lots of links on this stuff at Election Law Blog, if you want to dig deeper.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:59 PM on October 6 [9 favorites]


Biden on the campaign trail today: “I’ve been around so long, I worked with James Eastland,” said Biden, referring to a segregationist senator from Mississippi. “Even in the days when I got there, the Democratic Party still had seven or eight old-fashioned Democratic segregationists. You’d get up and you’d argue like the devil with them. Then you’d go down and have lunch or dinner together. The political system worked. "

Ah, nostalgia for the good old days -- when the system worked -- for some people.
posted by JackFlash at 8:15 PM on October 6 [12 favorites]


I see Nevada flipping. Heller barely won in 2012; he eked out a 1.2% lead, a total of 12,000 votes.

The Las Vegas shooting is likely going to end him.

Heller has an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association for his ongoing support of pro-gun legislature. The NRA endorsed Heller during his 2012 senate run. Since 1998, the NRA has donated $122,802 to Heller's political campaigns.

Heller voted for legislation, in 2011, allowing veterans to register guns, bought in foreign countries, in the U.S. During his 2012 campaign, he hosted a campaign rally at a gun store in Las Vegas.

In 2013, Heller voted against legislature to limit gun magazine capacity, ban assault weapons and to expand background checks on gun sales at gun shows and made on the internet. In the past he has supported more restrictive background checks but voted against them due to fear that a national gun registry could be created.

In the wake of the 2017 Las Vegas Strip shooting, Heller offered thoughts and prayers to the victims.

posted by elsietheeel at 8:18 PM on October 6 [11 favorites]


I wonder if survivors of the aftermath of Maria have standing to sue the govt for abandoning them.
posted by tilde at 8:22 PM on October 6 [5 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 Senate -- Dems hoping to capitalize on extremist GOP candidates, a la Todd Akin in 2012. [Politico]

** 2018 House:
-- Dem PAC focusing on demonizing Paul Ryan. [WP]

-- Wasserman: Dems could use some GOP retirements in the House to increase their chances.

-- Mentioned earlier, Carol Shea-Porter [D-NH] announced she would not run for re-election. CSP has won elections for this seat four times, but lost twice. Two of the NH special election Dem upsets have been in CSP's district, so I would see this as a likely Dem hold.
-- PA-18 special:
-- District backgrounder from Decision Desk.

-- Lots of candidates on both sides floating their name on this seat. PA special election candidates are picked by the parties, rather than a primary, so who knows will end up emerging. Gov. Wolf has latitude on when to set the actual election date, but it will surely be after the regular election Nov 7; a low turn out might help the Dems.
-- VA gov: Trump endorsed Gillespie with an inflammatory tweet; Gillespie didn't sound real pleased about it, perhaps remembering Trump's approval in VA is way underwater.

** Odds & ends -- 538 muses on impacts of California moving up its presidential primary.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:25 PM on October 6 [23 favorites]


From Massachusetts comes Brianna Wu vs. Trumpzilla. Wu is running for Congress against Steve Lynch, as close to a DINO as you'll find in Massachusetts. The district covers about half of Boston, where an actual clown is running for an at-large city-council seat next month.
posted by adamg at 8:25 PM on October 6 [8 favorites]


TPM: EPA Inspector General’s Office Widens Probe Into Scott Pruitt’s Travel
posted by Chrysostom at 8:28 PM on October 6 [8 favorites]


Dems hoping to capitalize on extremist GOP candidates, a la Todd Akin in 2012.

Or Donald Trump in 2016.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:30 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


From Massachusetts comes Brianna Wu vs. Trumpzilla.

I love it!

But, fucking A, Google. Why do you have surface a bunch of Gamergoober shit as "recommended for you". How do you know so fucking little about me ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:34 PM on October 6 [4 favorites]


"... You’d get up and you’d argue like the devil with them. Then you’d go down and have lunch or dinner together. The political system worked. "

I'm going to preface this by saying that yes, I understand why Biden's remark pisses some people off.

In my own job providing services to legislators, since I started almost ten years ago, there has been a change. It used to be possible to hold a collaborative meeting including Dems and Reps about what software features they wanted us to work on. Not anymore. Dems and Reps seem much more alienated from one another now; they're in the same room when they're on the chamber floor but otherwise we meet with them individually. For WI, this breakdown seemed to happen around the passage of Act 10.

I totally get the "total-resistance-all-the-time" mindset, but it does seem as though there is just less communal interest in making the process work nowadays. Everyone's just playing to win- "full-contact politics".

Anyway, Pepperidge Farm remembers, is what I'm saying.
posted by Jpfed at 8:34 PM on October 6 [18 favorites]


Don't you think it is just a little tone deaf to give a speech, with everything that is going on today, about how nice it was in the days when you could get along nicely with white supremacists? Giving that speech today?
posted by JackFlash at 8:53 PM on October 6 [25 favorites]


It's just so fucking refreshing that Republicans are bringing us at long last once and for all to actualizing the truths in Jesus' Sermon on the Mountain Dew, e.g.: Blessed are the corporations, for they shall inherit the earth.

/hamburger, fucking hamburger
posted by riverlife at 8:59 PM on October 6 [8 favorites]


It's just so fucking refreshing that Republicans are bringing us at long last once and for all to actualizing the truths in Jesus' Sermon on the Mountain Dew, e.g.: Blessed are the corporations, for they shall inherit the earth.

I'm not the worlds best christian or anything, but I'm just not so sure where they get that my wife's boss should have more dominion over my wife than her husband does. As reprehensible and stupid as it is, at least one of those has actual biblical support.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:04 PM on October 6 [7 favorites]


Haha, didn't you get the approved, amplified translation that exhorts women to marry their self-incorporated bosses?

Jesus wept.
posted by riverlife at 9:07 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Fifty plus Pence

Fiddy Pence
posted by kirkaracha at 9:16 PM on October 6 [22 favorites]


Everyone's just playing to win- "full-contact politics".

For a lot of people, the policies and politics of both today and back in the day are "full-contact" in terms of the impact on life, health, and security.
posted by nubs at 9:24 PM on October 6 [12 favorites]


I totally get the "total-resistance-all-the-time" mindset, but it does seem as though there is just less communal interest in making the process work nowadays. Everyone's just playing to win- "full-contact politics".

When Republicans decided to oppose Obama no matter what, that was it. When they stole his rightful Supreme Court appointment, that was really it. I have zero. ZERO. Z-E-R-O. Interest in compromise with Republicans after 8 years of this shit.

We need to play the same game. From now on. Process means fuckall, and I don't want to hear our alleged Democratic leaders acting like it does.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:31 PM on October 6 [72 favorites]


first lady Melania Trump, who was also in the room, said she sympathized with the conditions Tintori’s husband, Leopoldo Lopez, faced in jail back in Caracas because the White House often felt as confining as a prison

If we never have to hear fake empathy from spoiled rotten little Trumps again, it will still be too soon. "I understand your husband's imprisonment; I stayed in my luxury NYC penthouse for 7 months by choice but I moved here 2 months ago and there is no fashion and people made fun of my #floodheels. I've suffered the white lady equivalent of his torture."

Not a single one of them has an actual human feeling. It's fragile Trumpy self-love all the way down.
posted by SakuraK at 9:35 PM on October 6 [38 favorites]


The Trump Family is the definition of "Special Snowflakes".
Frozen, and very white.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:50 PM on October 6 [20 favorites]


> It feels simultaneously a few weeks ago and a lifetime.
Extreme suffering is well known to induce changes in the perception of time.
posted by runcifex at 11:09 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


I didn't think i had to say this, but Biden was able to sit down and have lunch with those guys because he was white. If that's his criteria for the political process "working", which I honestly don't agree with, it worked because there wasn't a real threat to white supremacy. Legislators could get things done because they had already assented to the most important question on the table. Biden did not agree with the segregationists, but if they invited him over to dinner, then he wasn't actually threatening them either.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:20 PM on October 6 [45 favorites]


Well this is just great: RNC fundraising greatly exceeds DNC funding this year.

AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH people are paying for more of this WHY
posted by angrycat at 3:31 AM on October 7 [4 favorites]


What will all these people do when it breaks through to them that he is a crook?
posted by mumimor at 3:43 AM on October 7


Yeah. I posted here about DNC funding a few weeks ago and people tried to calm me down by saying that the DCCC/DSCC is more important. I was not especially calmed at the time BUT it did occur to me recently that the RNC has a lot of expenses that the DNC doesn't have right now. Like, funding their President's legal defense.

If it's any consolation, the smarties at MeFi were right: the DCCC smashed fundraising records.
House Democrats have already raised more money in online contributions this year ahead of the midterms than they did during all of 2015, the most recently comparable year, a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee official told NBC News.
posted by xyzzy at 3:43 AM on October 7 [16 favorites]


What will all these people do when it breaks through to them that he is a crook?

ask why they weren't dealt in on the action
posted by pyramid termite at 4:29 AM on October 7 [15 favorites]


AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH people are paying for more of this WHY

The same i̶d̶i̶o̶t̶s̶ small donors who are getting ripped off by Trump and the RNC are the same people who got robbed by Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, televangelist/prosperity gospel creep of the month. His rightwing "Christian" base are suckers going way back.

And while DNC $$ is lower, the DCCC and individual candidates are killing it. It seems people are expressing their frustration with Democratic leadership by not donating to DNC as much, but are donating elsewhere in big numbers.
posted by chris24 at 4:47 AM on October 7 [25 favorites]


That's it. In the past I would have donated to the DNC but now I give to SwingLeft.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:06 AM on October 7 [8 favorites]


I did a Google search for Trump moron and found this fun little analysis.

Is Trump Really a 'Moron,' as Tillerson Said, or Just Racist and Obnoxious? by Chemi Shalev (his twitter)

Churchill was one of the main supporters of the Mental Deficiency Act legislated by the British Parliament in 1913, which replaced the 1886 Idiots Act.
posted by phoque at 5:11 AM on October 7


Good morning, why not all three? Or all 30? He is all the bad things.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:33 AM on October 7 [4 favorites]


What a fragile little snowflake:

Trump slams late night comedians for 'unfunny' anti-Trump jokes (The Hill)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:44 AM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Trump slams late night comedians for 'unfunny' anti-Trump jokes (The Hill)

It's like during Bush2: the comedians are getting the message across far better than the media.
posted by mumimor at 5:48 AM on October 7 [3 favorites]


I’m sure Fox would love a revival of the Fairness Doctrine. Lol
posted by chris24 at 5:51 AM on October 7 [6 favorites]


mumimor What will all these people do when it breaks through to them that he is a crook?

They'll say:

a) Hillary was worse!

and

b) He's **OUR** crook!

And go right on supporting him and worshiping the ground he walks on.
posted by sotonohito at 5:59 AM on October 7 [13 favorites]


Trump slams late night comedians for 'unfunny' anti-Trump jokes

Those aren't even jokes, they're just news headlines repeated with incredulity. The applause and laughter are just people agreeing.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:05 AM on October 7 [31 favorites]


Arrrrrrgh. I do not understand this attempt to treat BC as though it is ONLY sex-related and not a health issue at all. As though the uterus is not connected to the rest of a woman's body. There are lots of reasons why doctors prescribe BC other than to prevent pregnancy but let's just talk about that for a minute. Plenty of women have medical conditions that need management including limiting pregnancy: high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cancer, thyroid disorders. There are medications that cannot be taken while pregnant: pain meds, anti-psychotics, some vaccines. Then there is always the chance that pregnancy can end in death. To pretend that managing pregnancies is somehow not related to a woman's health is wrong and morally reprehensible.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:23 AM on October 7 [74 favorites]


Birth control is also required during a course of Accutane.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:44 AM on October 7 [13 favorites]


Trump slams late night comedians for 'unfunny' anti-Trump jokes (The Hill)
More and more people are suggesting that Republicans (and me) should be given Equal Time on T.V. when you look at the one-sided coverage?
Hah Trump wants to bring back the Equal Time laws. Ok buddy. We'll start with Fox News and move on to AM Talk radio. The centrist networks wouldn't have to change much, they already bring on a bunch of wingnuts for "balance" all the time. You would've never been elected under Equal Time laws, you git. More and more people are complete morons, meaning you, Mr Trump.
posted by dis_integration at 6:48 AM on October 7 [55 favorites]


Hilarious. Rush and his ilk have been loudly warning us that the Democrats are going force the FCC to bring back the Fairness Doctrine for the last twenty years as a way to silence them.
posted by octothorpe at 7:04 AM on October 7 [18 favorites]


What will all these people do when it breaks through to them that he is a crook?

"....But her emails!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:19 AM on October 7 [4 favorites]


I do not understand this attempt to treat BC as though it is ONLY sex-related and not a health issue at all.
On the one hand, that's true, but on the other hand, I'm not sure that I think it's a good idea to emphasize that point. For one thing, a lot of religious organizations claim that they'll cover those drugs for uses other than contraception, so it's an easily answered argument. But also, contraception is a health issue. It's not secondary. It's not lesser. It's fine to use birth control just because you want to be able to have sex without getting pregnant. That's a health issue, too.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:21 AM on October 7 [46 favorites]


More and more people are suggesting that Republicans (and me) should be given Equal Time on T.V. when you look at the one-sided coverage?

Hear hear! Well said Mr. Man! Fairness Doctrine is an excellent starting point to repair my shattered law practice country! MAFA!

Guys I think this is the pivot. This is it. It's time to kick arse.

"[the] Republicans (and me)"?? Srsly Dan Scavino, you're not - you're not good.
posted by petebest at 7:30 AM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Birth control is also required during a course of Accutane.

Whoa. Isn't this an equal protection law-thingy? Because unless we charge men more for their Accutane women are being forced to pay more for their Accutane.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:31 AM on October 7 [5 favorites]


No idea, but I do know you have to have a confirmed negative pregnancy test within 7 days of the Accutane refills too. It causes some horrendous birth defects.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:34 AM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Trump slams late night comedians for 'unfunny' anti-Trump jokes

He just wants a safe space for conservatives. It's pure coincidence that the space he wants is a sphere with a diameter of 7,917.5 mi.
posted by srboisvert at 7:35 AM on October 7 [6 favorites]


POTUS just followed me on Twitter. Not sure whether to laugh at the world's absurdity or worry that I'm now on a list.
posted by Lyme Drop at 8:04 AM on October 7 [48 favorites]


Lyme Drop, you should see just how fast you can get him to unfollow!
posted by jason_steakums at 8:16 AM on October 7 [10 favorites]


"More and more people are suggesting ..."
[Narrator: no one was suggesting]

Jebus, the whole "people are talking" sales-speak is, and has always been, the most transparent snake oil flimflamery. Is he selling us a monorail? Is it Amway?

Who falls for this?
posted by Horkus at 8:23 AM on October 7 [8 favorites]


This is a clear-eyed (and sobering) view from a Democratic political strategist.

Doug Sosnik, WaPo: Trump is on track to win reelection
Since Trump’s inaugural address, his focus has been on maintaining his support among this loyal base rather than expanding it. As counterintuitive as it may seem, this could be a winning political strategy.

First, Trump knows that gaining the support of a majority of voters in a presidential election is not a requirement; it’s simply an aspiration. In fact, two out of the last three presidents were elected despite losing the popular vote.

Second, the continued decline in support for both political parties works to Trump’s advantage. The lack of voters’ faith in both parties increases the probability that there will be a major third-party candidate on the 2020 ballot. It will also lead to other minor-party candidates joining the presidential race. The multi-candidate field will further divide the anti-Trump vote, making it possible for him to get reelected simply by holding on to his current level of support.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:42 AM on October 7 [33 favorites]


Is he selling us a monorail?

Hey hey hey. Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook all bought monorails and by gum it put them on the map.
posted by Talez at 9:03 AM on October 7 [14 favorites]


Watch out for dexter filkins profile of tillerson in the New Yorker. It's despair inducing though wonderful writing, natch
posted by angrycat at 9:17 AM on October 7 [1 favorite]


No idea, but I do know you have to have a confirmed negative pregnancy test within 7 days of the Accutane refills too. It causes some horrendous birth defects.

When my teenage daughter was on Isotretinoin (generic Accutane) she had to take BC and get a monthly pregnancy test, and see the dermatologist before every RX refill.

When my son was on it, he had to drop by the dermatologist's office once a month for "counseling" with the PA. It consisted of "How are you feeling?" "Everything going OK?" "All right, here's your prescription."

https://www.ipledgeprogram.com/
posted by zakur at 9:19 AM on October 7 [10 favorites]


Trump slams late night comedians for 'unfunny' anti-Trump jokes (The Hill)
Trump’s tweets came about an hour after Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” aired a segment accusing late night comedians like Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel of “[taking] a hard turn to the left.”
Of course!
posted by zakur at 9:21 AM on October 7 [14 favorites]


Trump is on track to win reelection

Fear not fellow MeatFilters, be not bewoeden. This is mostly clickbaity but it has a pretty nifty disclaimer at the top that really ought to tell one a lot more about the point of view than the rest of the article opinion does:

If Trump isn’t removed from office and doesn’t lead the country into some form of global catastrophe, he could secure a second term simply by maintaining his current level of support with his political base.

Okay yeah if he's not ridden out of town on a rail, and doesn't plunge us into utter destruction - which to be fair are the two most likely things possible - he'll still have his pepe-base people. Okay, "could" he win with them again? Sssssure? I mean with all that is known about him he _could_ win with just the Democrats I guess. Or any number of combinations that would result in slightly more Electoral College votes than the other person.

The article also helpfully notes that Democrats need to win Wisconsin and Michigan. So, sage advice there. I predict the good dinner-eaters of Wisconsin and Michigan will get meeelions of phone calls and texts, every hour of every day, pleading for ill-defined 'support'. So yeah it's possible the Dems could screw up 2020 AS WELL. *cough*.

Or we could be the nation that elected Obama in 2008 and/or better. Let's do that.
posted by petebest at 9:25 AM on October 7 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I don't want to ignore the threat of 45 being reelected, because that threat is real. If nothing else, the reelection of Dubya despite his failures shows just how many Americans refuse to admit they were wrong even if given an opportunity in private. And, y'know, 2016 demonstrated how many Americans prioritize their racism and sexism over everything including their basic survival instincts.

But that "Trump Is On Track to Win Reelection" article skips over all of the sheer fuckery that went into 2016. They're either assuming things will be as bad or worse next time around, or they're completely forgetting everything from a super-bitter Democratic primary to a last minute November surprise from the fucking FBI. And they're forgetting that 2020 will absolutely not see the country in the same condition it was in for 2016.

Those conditions are gonna be hard to replicate.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:45 AM on October 7 [32 favorites]


Wolfenstein II twitter: Make America Nazi-Free Again. #NoMoreNazis #Wolf2
posted by octothorpe at 10:06 AM on October 7 [16 favorites]


Those conditions are gonna be hard to replicate.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:45 AM on October 7


Russia begs to differ. By the 2020 election, it will literally be illegal to criticize Nazis because of a massive Facebook campaign to protect their fragile feelings. Also, Sessions and his ilk aren't standing still on their non-white voter suppression agenda. They don't have to replicate 2016, they have bigger plans.
posted by SakuraK at 10:22 AM on October 7 [13 favorites]


Massachusetts attorney general's complaint against the new birth-control regulations. In addition to citing the First Amendment issue (which, well, Hobby Lobby?), it also raises a Fifth Amendment issue: The regulations only affect women and so therefore deny them their Fifth Amendment rights to equal protection (the complaint also raises administrative issues - like how the rules were promulgated without public comment and any chance of administrative review).
posted by adamg at 10:33 AM on October 7 [35 favorites]


And they're forgetting that 2020 will absolutely not see the country in the same condition it was in for 2016.

2016 is the election Democrats are going to be trying to win in 2020. Frankly I doubt Dems are strong enough to make Trump a one-term'er.
posted by rhizome at 10:37 AM on October 7 [3 favorites]




Here it is, Your Moment of Zen: So someone created an event on FB inviting folks to come sing Toto's Africa in front of the White House. We went. Here is the result.

This right here. This restores my hope that Humanity is worth saving.
posted by mikelieman at 11:14 AM on October 7 [11 favorites]


Frankly I doubt Dems are strong enough to make Trump a one-term'er.

We're going to do it, and you're going to have to eat a cake.
posted by greermahoney at 11:15 AM on October 7 [70 favorites]


MetaFilter: We're going to do it, and you're going to have to eat a cake.

< dusty>I am humbled to be acquainted, however tenuously to y'all, for whom the most humiliating thing you could ever do is eating a cake< /dusty>
posted by mikelieman at 11:25 AM on October 7 [18 favorites]


Russia begs to differ. By the 2020 election, it will literally be illegal to criticize Nazis because of a massive Facebook campaign to protect their fragile feelings.

I think it's easy to underestimate the role of economic distress in the turn towards authoritarianism in post-Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany, and how far the US would have to fall economically, to be vulnerable to that.
posted by Coventry at 11:26 AM on October 7 [5 favorites]


how far the US would have to fall economically, to be vulnerable to that.
Most of us in the US has been falling, albeit more slowly, about as long as post-Soviet Russia, and we started out at a much higher standard... and much much more spoiled of our privilege. And that privilege, more than any real distress, made us vulnerable, at least at this point. The Rise of Trump was the Decline of America.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:34 AM on October 7 [11 favorites]


I mean Russia will keep hacking us and they will keep manipulating us using platforms like Facebook to amplify their message to Trump's upper middle-class white Christian base. Convince them that they are the biggest victims in the history of history and they will goosestep in any direction they're told.
posted by SakuraK at 11:37 AM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Well, the good news from the fundraising reports is that the Republican Party is operating totally Top Down, while the Democrats are working from the Bottom Up, the same way the "Tea Party" had its success.

But keep the faith: The Deep State has us covered.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:09 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


My experience with modern elections tells me that to win, the Democrats need to nominate a once-in-a-generation political genius, experienced yet still an outsider, brilliant yet empathetic, a skilled communicator capable of appealing to people from all walks of life.

The Republicans, to win, need to nominate someone who is technically breathing and occupies physical space, and hope that the above is not the case.

So, um, I guess we'll see what we get.
posted by kyrademon at 12:30 PM on October 7 [56 favorites]


they will keep manipulating us using platforms like Facebook to amplify their message to Trump's upper middle-class white Christian base.

If they can use Facebook raise the death rate by 50%, raise inflation to 5000%, and cut GDP in half, I'll start to worry.
posted by Coventry at 12:39 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid.........hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!

He's going to blow up the fucking world.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:47 PM on October 7 [22 favorites]


The same i̶d̶i̶o̶t̶s̶ small donors who are getting ripped off by Trump and the RNC are the same people who got robbed by Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, televangelist/prosperity gospel creep of the month. His rightwing "Christian" base are suckers going way back.

This is my mother-in-law and her entire family. She’s given money to all of these charlatans. I’ve recently seen mail from Joel Osteen on her kitchen counter. She’s on social security and Medicare and has not a pot to piss in yet she sends Osteen money. These people really exist and there’s nothing you can do to change their minds.
posted by photoslob at 12:47 PM on October 7 [32 favorites]


He is insane.
posted by odinsdream at 12:50 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


Good news: Russia Today is having trouble operating in the US.
The editor-in-chief of Russia Today, the propaganda arm of the Russian government, said on Thursday that American members of its staff are quitting in their "masses" because of security concerns, appearing to suggest they were at threat of U.S. law enforcement action.

Margarita Simonyan, the head of the news site, told a parliamentary hearing on Thursday that its staff on American soil "fear for their security."

It has become so tough for the news site to operate in the U.S. that "it's hard for us now even to find a stringer in the USA," Simonyan said.
posted by Coventry at 12:50 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


Sorry, but only one thing will work!

Please be talking about your own resignation.

People keep saying that he's all bluster, but how long can this go on? How long can the "president" of the U.S. continue to (completely unsubtly) threaten one or more wars that could kill a substantial portion of the world's population? How do we survive with supervillains at the helm?

Gah. Ack. I'm not feeling great today. Must close blue window.
posted by Gaz Errant at 12:58 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


This is my mother-in-law and her entire family. She’s given money to all of these charlatans. I’ve recently seen mail from Joel Osteen on her kitchen counter. She’s on social security and Medicare and has not a pot to piss in yet she sends Osteen money. These people really exist and there’s nothing you can do to change their minds.

Yanno...I'm spiritual but not religious, and don't believe in a "heaven" or "hell." But, just for once, I'd like to believe that an all-powerful Jesus will condemn the so-called prosperity gospel preachers to the deepest, helliest depths of hell just to see the looks on their faces when their Lord and Savior tells them LOLNOPE Fuck Off!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:20 PM on October 7 [15 favorites]


He's going to blow up the fucking world.

I dunno. He can't figure out how to thread tweets properly, so how could he ever figure out the nuclear football?
posted by dis_integration at 1:23 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Seems like it's in all of our best interests not to find out.
posted by Justinian at 1:25 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


Hey all, can anyone tell me realistically how soon individuals can expect birth control coverage to be rescinded? I know this supposedly goes into effect immediately, but are there any political/legal impediments being offered up? If my plan started last month and includes coverage, will I remain covered until the term of the plan expires or can they change it? Basically I have been lazy about getting my tubal ligation done, and now I am panicking. I am pretty sure my employer will continue some form of birth control coverage--but in the past that's included permanent sterilization and I don't know whether that's the case any more.
posted by schroedinger at 1:34 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Sorry, but only one thing will work!

Jesus Christ. He wants to drop a nuke, tactical or bigger. I've said it from the beginning: he wants to be the second president in history to drop a nuke.

Even if he starts a conflict and zero Americans are hurt (unlikely given the US troops stationed in South Korea) even if somehow magically zero South Koreans are hurt (unlikely given Seoul is in artillery range) there are still 20+ million North Koreans who were just by happenstance born on the north side of an imaginary border instead of the south side. The absolutely terrifying things is that the sociopathic jackals on Fox & Friends, along with 30% of the country, would likely cheer the incineration of those millions of people as a "necessary evil."
posted by bluecore at 1:38 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


I'm way behind on reading the thread, but wanted to let y'all know that I put some tax talking points, information, and resources up on my profile page. Feel free to use any of it, if you find it helpful. I'll be updating and refining it as we get more detailed plans or actual legislation.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:09 PM on October 7 [41 favorites]


Hurricane Maria: I thought the response would be different to past disasters — but it wasn't - Zoey Daniels ABC
The Trump administration has been criticised for its slow response.

But really, the big mistake it has made has been to repeatedly claim that everything is OK when it's plainly not the case.

Supplies are arriving, but they're not yet getting to people who need them in anything like the required volume because there are not enough troops, vehicles, or aircraft to deliver them.

And there's no way to communicate with people to tell them where to pick them up, even if they did have fuel and transport.

This is creating a disconnect where the Government is saying, "We are helping, what's the problem?" And the people are saying, "We haven't had any help, you don't care about us, that's the problem".

Communities are working together and people are doing their best to support each other during the disaster, but it's now almost three weeks since Maria hit.

At this rate, it's going to be a long, gruelling road to recovery, longer and harder than you'd expect from America.
posted by adept256 at 2:23 PM on October 7 [19 favorites]


Trump has said since long before his Presidency that he would like to use nuclear weapons.
He has also said that he would like to get populations under control by keeping them under siege, starving them, etc.

He’s already doing one of those things by omission and is stating his intention to do the other.

Well, #notallamericans, it was nice knowing you.

Who was it said that a narcissistic abusive father, when it all comes crashing down and he can’t pretend any more, will resort to family murder? This is what Trump seems to want to do, but with the world instead of his family.

Yeah it’s possible he’s doing it for attention or bluster, or whatever, but he certainly has the means to carry out his threat and theoretically nobody can countermand him. I speculate that we’re reliant on somebody stopping him, or on his just being too mentally impaired to execute the codes.
posted by tel3path at 2:36 PM on October 7 [28 favorites]


Who was it said that a narcissistic abusive father, when it all comes crashing down and he can’t pretend any more, will resort to family murder?

I believe these are called family annhilators.

And yeah, that's what keeps me up at night and praying there's a military coup waiting in the wings, too.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:40 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


I speculate that we’re reliant on somebody stopping him, or on his just being too mentally impaired to execute the codes.

My fantasy is that some prescient individual gave him fake codes on election day.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:41 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


@kaitlancollins: Trump gets asked on the South Lawn what is the one thing that will work with North Korea. His answer? “You’ll figure that out pretty soon."

brb, vomiting.
posted by zachlipton at 2:45 PM on October 7 [23 favorites]


Once he’s done with Korea, there’s the rest of the world for him to teach a lesson to.
posted by tel3path at 2:47 PM on October 7


@kaitlancollins: Trump gets asked on the South Lawn what is the one thing that will work with North Korea. His answer? “You’ll figure that out pretty soon."

"If you could go back in time and stop Hitler..."
posted by Talez at 3:09 PM on October 7 [17 favorites]


Imagine if Hillary implied she was planning on preemptively nuking Kim Jong de Jure.

25th amendment paperwork would be on the speakers desk in minutes, articles of impeachment would be there as a backup, and the house would be reconvened within the hour to start removal of the hysterical woman.
posted by Talez at 3:13 PM on October 7 [41 favorites]


Has anyone bothered to tell him the Olympics are in Korea this winter? Seems they were actually in talks to hold some events in the North until the last couple months of breakdown in peaceful discussion. I mean, I know, in the face of the destruction a nuclear strike on NK would cause it's a small issue, but, like, maybe it would have some effect on his psyche? Losing the chance for Americans to win medals? I suppose it's too much to hope he likes a sport, right?

SIGH.
posted by threeturtles at 3:16 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


This execrable, inexorable slog to the endgame is unbearable. My nightmares are bleeding into my waking hours and my waking hours are shifting sands of anxiety. I sit here waiting on Nate to hit my little town and I'm glad it's not going to be that bad, but part of me really no longer gives a shit.
posted by thebrokedown at 3:18 PM on October 7 [14 favorites]


that statement, coupled with the statement from earlier this week about the generals or military and the calm before the storm is freaking me the fuck out
posted by localhuman at 3:23 PM on October 7 [18 favorites]




If we're counting on Kelley and the brass to save us, we are fucking fucked.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:32 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


cosign - my level of freaked the fuck out is nontrivially high
posted by prefpara at 3:39 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


I'm also counting on greed. And for someone to explain to him the amount of money he would lose if he fucks up on a nuclear level and we become a complete pariah.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:41 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Among the responses to Kaitlan Collins' tweet are very few defenses of Trump, the most telling being "I love reading how Trump sets the libtards butts on 🔥! This is so entertaining to hear them whining still!" Yes, they will be standing and saluting when the bombs go off, and preparing to totally enjoy playing Fallout in Real Life.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:43 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


that statement, coupled with the statement from earlier this week about the generals or military and the calm before the storm is freaking me the fuck out

I'm trying to come up with a way that this string of statements doesn't warrant freaking out. It isn't easy. He clearly thinks military action is the solution, and he believes that some sort of action is imminent. I guess I'm pinning my hopes on the fact that he's crazy and he says crazy things that don't correspond with reality.
posted by diogenes at 3:43 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


And greed-wise, the greatest threat that he may blow up the world would be if he decides that he could only become The Richest Man in the World by default.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:45 PM on October 7


World leaders should start a golf tournament amongst themselves where the winner gets to nuke a remote atoll but only if he or she also retires from public life and moves permanently to Trump Tower in New York City and then let Trump win.

Side benefit being that we'd finally learn what kind of midrange game Theresa May has.
posted by Lyme Drop at 3:48 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


There's a theory - just a theory - out on the Interwebs somewhere that the Clownwig administration is the coup.

Evidence against that theory include such diverse elements as . . .

Hang on, something will come up.
posted by petebest at 3:49 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Hang on, something will come up.

An almost fanatical devotion to the Christian Right?
posted by Talez at 3:51 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


WSJ: Trump to Sign Order Easing Health Plan Rules, Official Says
Mr. Trump will order three agencies, the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury, to take steps to make it easier for people to band together and buy insurance through “association health plans,” the official said.

Such plans would in some ways be like large employer’s health plans, subject to some restrictions set by the Affordable Care Act, including a ban on lifetime limits. But they would be free of other regulations, including the requirement that insurance plans cover a set package of benefits. These plans are popular with conservatives; some insurers fear that associations would peel off healthier and younger individuals and leave traditional insurance plans to cover sicker and older customers.

The president also will order the agencies to start winding back an Obama-era rule curbing coverage known as “short-term medical insurance,” a low-cost but limited-protection option, and allow people to once again buy those plans for up to a year, the official said.
...
Some industry officials say that siphoning off healthier individuals from the existing insurance markets with the promise of skimpier benefits but lower premiums could further undermine those markets, increasing premiums ever more for the sicker, costlier enrollees that remain.

“Its aim is clearly to do with the pen what Congress wouldn’t—eliminate pre-existing condition protections, essential benefit protections and lifetime caps and turn the ACA into a sparsely available high-risk pool,” said Andy Slavitt, who was the Obama administration’s top official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
posted by zachlipton at 3:52 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


curbing coverage known as “short-term medical insurance,”

a.k.a. "toilet paper".

Unless your company's communications are paperless in which case you'll truly be up shit creek without a paddle.
posted by Talez at 3:54 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


man if trump gets us nuked before i finish watching the new Blade Runner tonight, i’m gonna be PISSED.
posted by entropicamericana at 4:00 PM on October 7 [13 favorites]


I really, really, hope that the military is willing to mutiny to prevent Trump from launching a first strike against the DPRK.

And I can't believe that I'm literally at the point of hoping for mutiny to save us from Trump.

I'm fairly sure that his sane senior advisers, especially generals Kelly, and even Mattis despite the latter being a raving war monger, would realize that a first strike from America against anyone is going to be catastrophic, and that a first strike against the DPRK would result in the destruction of Seoul and the world pretty much instantly turning on the USA.

Even a non-nuclear first strike against the DPRK would be an unmitigated catastrophe, because again it'd result in the instant destruction of Seoul by the DPRK military, and doubtless the entire world uniting against America until Trump is removed and we demilitarize.
posted by sotonohito at 4:10 PM on October 7 [16 favorites]


the entire world uniting against America until Trump is removed and we demilitarize

you say that like it's a bad thing
posted by entropicamericana at 4:12 PM on October 7 [16 favorites]


It's not so much that it's a bad thing -in the long run-, but in the short run it's probably a horrible military conflict, and possibly things get nuked.

I mean, Trump ain't gonna go quiet into that good night, no matter who says so.
posted by Archelaus at 4:20 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


So since we're here, can we go ahead and do - the thing that gets him the hell out of here? Article 25, etc etc?

Seriously, news media, you're seeing this, right? Your Lexus SUV isn't going to help you. Lets start using the words. The real ones. Unwell. Removal. Emergency. You've kind of laid down on the job too long and our webcast nation isn't as mind-bedazzling just yet. So. If you could. Y'know. Do The Right Thing.

Now. Yeah, like right now. Have your conferences, get your signoffs. Quit fucking around.
posted by petebest at 4:26 PM on October 7 [40 favorites]


I don't wanna live on the West Coast anymore.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:27 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


I really, really, hope that the military is willing to mutiny to prevent Trump from launching a first strike against the DPRK.

No way. They went into Vietnam and Iraq enthusiastically. Bombing the shit out of distant lands at the President's pleasure is kind of what they stand for.
posted by Coventry at 4:28 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


eh, i'd rather be dead on the west coast than alive in florida.
posted by entropicamericana at 4:33 PM on October 7 [16 favorites]


There's another possibility that frightens me. Assume for a moment that a more competent previous administration laid the groundwork for a North Korean coup that leads to a far less hostile NK government. And assume that Trump manages to pull it off.

The press would fall over themselves with the, "this is the moment he truly became president," articles. And he'd solidly lock in his base, who'd take it as proof that he really is a genius (no matter how much of the heavy lifting had been done by the previous administration) and that you have to accept a little pussy grabbing to get a leader of that caliber.
posted by Candleman at 4:40 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Didn't a majority of the military vote for Trump? All of them willingly signed up for a job with a description that includes killing people they don't know based on the orders of other people they don't know. They are the hammer; war is the nail. Don't pin any hopes on them.
posted by Blue Genie at 4:46 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Assume... a more competent previous administration laid the groundwork for a North Korean coup that leads to a far less hostile NK government.

Since the US keeps being surprised by NK's weapons development and proliferation activities, it's outrageously unlikely that they have the intelligence capabilities to pull an effective coup off.
posted by Coventry at 4:46 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


What we say publicly and what the IC knows are very different things.
posted by Candleman at 4:50 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, history strongly suggests that the US IC is composed mostly of incompetent clowns.
posted by Coventry at 4:54 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


And assume that Trump manages to pull it off.

I would also like a pony. To be delivered by Rush when they play my backyard BBQ.

His fuckwittery is truly astounding. There's no way he can do something that requires considered thought for others, or even a process, without borking it up. Any best-laid-plans have met a worthy adversary. As soon as he discovers them, that is.
posted by petebest at 5:00 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


the US IC is composed mostly of incompetent clowns.

Well, that's too harsh. Decent people tasked with a mostly impossible job who felt they could not in any circumstances let the nation down, and were plagued by groupthink and a culture of secrecy which prevented most of them from realizing they were doomed to failure from the start, would be the charitable interpretation.
posted by Coventry at 5:01 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


history strongly suggests that the US IC is composed mostly of incompetent clowns.

Probably too harsh yes, I mean, credit where due, with 54 years to figure it out and a friggin film of the actual event, we're still going with the lone gunman story. So, well played Team Spook.
posted by petebest at 5:06 PM on October 7


TPM: Secret Service Bans Personal Mobile Devices From West Wing

Translation: It might be easier to list the devices in the West Wing that weren't compromised.
posted by PenDevil at 5:08 PM on October 7 [43 favorites]


The Tillerson phone thing is a hoax to get rid of Trump's phone.
posted by rhizome at 5:32 PM on October 7 [11 favorites]


I am still thinking that now is not the time to freak out. DJT is having a pretty rough week—hence the flurry of life-ruining EOs and religious “freedom” regulations, and his lashing out at TV personalities, and his stoking the will-he-or-won’t-he flames of the PRNK situation. He’s grasping at anything that will distract from what a miserable fuck-up he is.

The true death tolls are going to start coming out of Puerto Rico soon, and even though he may secretly be pleased, the media will not be good. The Mueller investigation is clearly up to some big things. I got an email from Richard Burr today specifically about the Russia investigation on his committee, and it looked a lot like trying to get ahead of a narrative. Things are emphatically not going well for our president. He hates the job. It’s sucking so much, and he gets no thanks from us people!!

So he’s defaulting to his reality television drum-up and asking you to stay tuned! See what happens! Something big, maybe!! It’s a cliffhanger—keep watching!

But do you really think he would be entrusted, at this point, with information about military plans? Especially more than an hour or so in advance? This “you’ll find out” business is 100% him being a huckster and hoping he can convince one of his generals to toss a bomb. He’s not an active party in the planning.

What is worrying is that, despite all this, Kim Jong-Un takes the bait and does something that we “must” respond to. But I don’t know. The Evan Osnos piece in the New Yorker comes away with the impression that neither side has an appetite for nuclear war. I think I believe him.
posted by witchen at 5:52 PM on October 7 [36 favorites]


DJT is having a pretty rough week—hence the flurry of life-ruining EOs and religious “freedom” regulations, and his lashing out at TV personalities, and his stoking the will-he-or-won’t-he flames of the PRNK situation. He’s grasping at anything that will distract from what a miserable fuck-up he is.

It's to distract from, and refocus reporting on Mueller's grand jury sessions and closed door meetings with other prosecutors and officials, and Steele's testimony.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:56 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


I keep thinking about this and it occurs to me that someone at some point has maybe said something that he would remember, incorrectly, as “we will drop a bomb soon.” Kind of like how he selectively listened to Comey’s answer on whether he was or was not under investigation. He’s not known as a great and thoughtful listener, or as an appreciator of nuance.

So he may very well believe, in his heart, that his generals are going to let him do the bomb. Whee! Remember his big day on the big truck? This is like that. He is a big boy! Whee!
posted by witchen at 6:00 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Translation: It might be easier to list the devices in the West Wing that weren't compromised.

Indeed, and also conveniently makes it harder for leakers.

But, this is a group of people who think rules don't apply to them. They're going to have to wand people (who think they're too important for that) on the way in, then endure the blowback when they have to take someone's phone away.

First time management backs them or caves determines how that rule goes forever.
posted by ctmf at 6:02 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


It's not compromised when it's intentional. Pity the career IT staff playing whackamole here, they'll close one leak, and the next day Trump and Kushner undoubtedly get updated links to "Click Here for Best President Brief Today Comrade, Also Enjoy The Big Caviar From You Friend Who Also Like Caviar, Ha-Ha! - Sign Joe America, From Ohiotown, American!".
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:07 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


He should just stop waiting for us to notice the pattern and learn, and just come right out and say it. Lay off the Russia thing or I'm going to shoot another hostage. What do you like, doesn't matter what it is. Health care? Civil rights? I can fuck that RIGHT up.

(Except that he hasn't shown the part where he won't fuck stuff up if we do lay off.)
posted by ctmf at 6:09 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Richard Spencer and the tiki-torch Nazis are back in Charlottesville, right now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:27 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


“The group also chanted ... ‘Russia is our friend.’”

What the what?
posted by notyou at 6:34 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


The group also chanted "The South will rise again" and "Russia is our friend."

Huh. Well . . . it's a strategy, I guess.
posted by petebest at 6:37 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


“The group also chanted ... ‘Russia is our friend.’”

They chanted that the first time around too. Russia is a White Supremacist state. Putin is the leader of the global White Supremacist movement. They're not hiding any of this.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:41 PM on October 7 [54 favorites]


They are such failures at life that they are even terrible at being Nazis.
posted by Justinian at 6:41 PM on October 7 [48 favorites]


Now and then, foreigners report that South Koreans have a mysterious attitude toward North Korea. Even as the rest of the world watches the North in fear, South Koreans appear unusually calm. Even as the North tests nuclear weapons, even amid reports of a possible pre-emptive strike on North Korea by the United States, the schools, hospitals, bookshops, florists, theaters and cafes in the South all open their doors at the usual time. Small children climb into yellow school buses and wave at their parents through the windows; older students step into the buses in their uniforms, their hair still wet from washing; and lovers head to cafes carrying flowers and cake.

And yet, does this calm prove that South Koreans really are as indifferent as we might seem? Has everyone really managed to transcend the fear of war? No, it is not so. Rather, the tension and terror that have accumulated for decades have burrowed deep inside us and show themselves in brief flashes even in humdrum conversation. Especially over the past few months, we have witnessed this tension gradually increasing, on the news day after day, and inside our own nervousness. People began to find out where the nearest air-raid shelter from their home and office is. Ahead of Chuseok, our harvest festival, some people even prepared gifts for their family — not the usual box of fruit, but “survival backpacks,” filled with a flashlight, a radio, medicine, biscuits. In train stations and airports, each time there is a news broadcast related to war, people gather in front of the television, watching the screen with tense faces. That’s how things are with us. We are worried. We are afraid of the direct possibility of North Korea, just over the border, testing a nuclear weapon again and of a radiation leak. We are afraid of a gradually escalating war of words becoming war in reality. Because there are days we still want to see arrive. Because there are loved ones beside us. Because there are 50 million people living in the south part of this peninsula, and the fact that there are 700,000 kindergartners among them is not a mere number to us.

...

The Korean War was a proxy war enacted on the Korean Peninsula by neighboring great powers. Millions of people were butchered over those three brutal years, and the former national territory was utterly destroyed. ...

Now, nearly 70 years on, I am listening as hard as I can each day to what is being said on the news from America, and it sounds perilously familiar. “We have several scenarios.” “We will win.” “If war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, 20,000 South Koreans will be killed every day.” “Don’t worry, war won’t happen in America. Only on the Korean Peninsula.”
Han Kang, writing a piece in the NY Times.
posted by anem0ne at 6:45 PM on October 7 [57 favorites]


eh, i'd rather be dead on the west coast than alive in florida.

You have crystallized my thoughts eloquently. And I’m in Florida.
posted by photoslob at 7:38 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Daniel Dale has quotes from Trump's interview with Mike Huckabee, and it's wild. The paper towels he threw were "these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels," he said "it makes you feel good" when he can help people after hurricanes, and accuses Iran of funding North Korea, which really doesn't seem like the kind of major intelligence judgement you ought to just casually drop on a Saturday night interview with the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
posted by zachlipton at 7:48 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


you know, I honestly don't think he's got dementia; I think he just is THAT in his head and is a psychopath; that a lot of what we see as dementia like symptoms are in fact, his psychopathia and stupidity run rampant.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:51 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


He lies like a six year old.
posted by rhizome at 8:00 PM on October 7 [17 favorites]


Personally, I think it's sleep deprivation. I wish someone would give the guy 10mg of ambien.
posted by Coventry at 8:01 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


I wish someone would give the guy 10mg of ambien.

Please, no. Ambien makes people wander around and do things without inhibition. He'd definitely get the football out and nuke someone.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:04 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


you know, I honestly don't think he's got dementia; I think he just is THAT in his head and is a psychopath; that a lot of what we see as dementia like symptoms are in fact, his psychopathia and stupidity run rampant.

I'm not assuming anything about 45's mental health other than that he's a narcissist, but I happen to have a narcissistic parent who now has Alzheimer's. It was damn hard for us to tell at first that there were cognitive problems because early-stage dementia didn't look much different from the usual selective memory, gaslighting, self-aggrandizement, paranoia, etc. that we were accustomed to.
posted by camyram at 8:14 PM on October 7 [55 favorites]


[The Ambien Walrus wants me to tell you guys to quit bickering about Ambien.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:15 PM on October 7 [28 favorites]


from the link above: White nationalists returned to Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday less than two months after one person was killed and dozens were injured

fuck you, The Hill. what you meant to write was "White nationalists returned to Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday less than two months after they killed one person and injured dozens." I'd offer to be your editor but you pricks can't afford me. and if you could I'd tell you to keep your money and save up for a sense of decency.

is what I say to The Hill.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:19 PM on October 7 [66 favorites]


Please, no. Ambien makes people wander around and do things without inhibition.

That explains everything.
posted by adept256 at 8:28 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Hold on. Trump gave an exclusive interview to TBN? TBN?!? The ludicrous televangelist scam network I used to hate-watch as a teenager 20 years ago? Benny Hinn faith healer speaking-in-tongues TBN? Pendant keychain "love gift" TBN? The fuck is going on?
posted by contraption at 8:42 PM on October 7 [21 favorites]


Metafilter: The fuck is going on?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:51 PM on October 7 [16 favorites]


I hate the construct "gave an interview to" like it's some big gift and he's doing someone a favor. It's his fucking job to tell us what's going on. No points for the bare minimum. (Shopping for uncritical outlets is arguably less than the bare minimum.)

I know that's not what you meant. It just irritates me.
posted by ctmf at 8:56 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


> And, y'know, 2016 demonstrated how many Americans prioritize their racism and sexism over everything including their basic survival instincts.
Racism and sexism are survival instincts.

(Note: Survival instincts don't guarantee survival.)
posted by runcifex at 10:15 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Politico reports that some big Republican donors are withdrawing their financial support, not because they disagree with the Republican agenda, but because the Republicans are so incredibly incompetent about getting any of it done. This is good to hear even if the donors aren't turning off the tap for the right reason.
posted by orange swan at 10:17 PM on October 7 [11 favorites]


Ted Lieu makes me laugh.

From 09/28:
Today, Congresman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) along with Representatives Gallego (D-AZ), Raskin (D-MD), and Jayapal (D-WA) introduced the Stop Waste and Misuse by Presidential Flyers Landing Yet Evading Rules and Standards (SWAMP FLYERS) Act. The bill is in response to senior Trump cabinet officials using taxpayer funds for luxury jet travel.
He previously introduced the MAR-A-LAGO Act, which calls for open visitor logs to show who has access to the President.
posted by xyzzy at 10:47 PM on October 7 [70 favorites]


I wonder if South Koreans are in kind of a "there's a certain providence in a fall of a sparrow" place. I say this not knowing jack shit about what it means to be a South Korean, but why people are not flipping the fuck out over there is beyond me.

I have the most wonderful dentist who put in my implants. After doing his grad work at U Penn, he went back to Taiwan, I learned when I got a couple of messages from him regarding my follow up visits with a colleague at Penn at like 3AM.

A few weeks ago I texted him that I was so sorry about Donald Trump. It was like saying, "hey, sorry for quite possibly being a citizen of a country that is going to bring horrible destruction to your neck of the woods." It's like, great, I'm sorry, that's so fucking inadequate.

But what else do you say to the world? Yeah, we'll get right on that coup?
posted by angrycat at 4:24 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]




Wow, that letter! We need many more of these. We need people to speak from positions of competence and to the miserable bastards who temporarily have the reins of power.
posted by stonepharisee at 5:02 AM on October 8 [18 favorites]


That letter is heartbreaking. There's so much pain and anger in those few paragraphs although it is very controlled. I have been thinking that while Trump's administration is so terrible to those of us paying attention, it must be horrific to the non-Trump people working for him because they can see all of the awful shit that is being done in great detail. For example, I knew that the work on Climate Change had ceased and some DOI randomly reassigned but I didn't know about the way they are cheating the tax payers out of royalties. The damage goes deep and wide. Maybe I'm glad I don't know the extent of it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:53 AM on October 8 [24 favorites]


Holy shit, the shade in this line (emphasis mine):
Secretary Zinke, you and your fellow high-flying Cabinet officials have demonstrated over and over that you are willing to waste taxpayer dollars, but I’m not.
posted by duffell at 5:57 AM on October 8 [49 favorites]


In a switch, GOP deserts its budget-cutting mantra
“I felt there was a period, two or three years ago, when there was a real seriousness about trying to solve our fiscal issues,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a longtime deficit hawk who is part of a scarce group of Republicans consistently preaching restraint. “When the election result turned out what it was [in November], any thought of fiscal responsibility has gone out the window.”

He added, “It’s very disheartening to me that when the other side of the aisle was in charge we cared about fiscal issues, and now that we’re in charge we don’t care about fiscal issues. It’s very disheartening.”
posted by octothorpe at 6:26 AM on October 8 [33 favorites]


Daniel Dale wrote a column for the Toronto Star about Trump's interview with Huckabee. It contains this:
“I think one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with is ‘fake.’ I guess other people have used it, perhaps, over the years, but I’ve never noticed it,” he said.
I remember awhile ago Trump took credit for inventing another word or phrase in common usage but I can't remember what it was.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:37 AM on October 8 [40 favorites]


He took credit for "priming the pump" in an interview with The Economist. At this rate he'll soon be claiming to have invented the letter "a."
posted by vathek at 6:39 AM on October 8 [19 favorites]


He's made the word 'fake' intolerable. That's all he's done, the pathetic fucking piece of shit.
posted by h00py at 6:43 AM on October 8 [15 favorites]


Next thing you know he'll claim to have invented the question mark.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:44 AM on October 8 [5 favorites]


My updated daily Resistbot fax, tailored to be applicable for all my House and Senate reps:
Each time you fail to speak out when this president...

(1) acts to deepen or inflame divisions among Americans,

(2) exhibits racism, misogyny, or other misanthropic behaviors, or

(3) demonstrates contempt or disregard for the laws and ethical standards that define us as a civilized society,

...you are COMPLICIT in the harm that he inflicts.

Any time you actively voice support for, vote in favor of, or fail to vocally oppose any of his divisive, destructive, negligent, or abusive acts or policy proposals, or one of his partisan, unqualified, compromised, or otherwise toxic judicial nominees, cabinet members, or other appointees, you brand yourself a COLLABORATOR with his degenerate agenda.

Every time you choose to advance your political causes with propaganda instead of fostering the use of facts, reasoning, and critical thinking, or you prioritize party over country, or elevate winning above good governance, you reveal yourself to be an ENEMY of the public trust, upon which peace and civilization depend.

If you're honest with yourself, you know that this president is malevolent, and if he is not stopped he will do irrevocable damage to this nation and the world. Where do you stand on this? Are you doing everything in your power to stop him?

There is no such thing as neutrality. You cannot hide in silence, or behind unrelated good works.

We watch. History will remember. Your response to the overarching, ongoing calamity in which we are embroiled tells the most important tale of your lasting imprint on the nation.
Sing it with me if you like it. Or write your own verse.
posted by perspicio at 6:49 AM on October 8 [46 favorites]


So, the I Invented Words thing, there's a podcast that Paul F. Tompkins did called Dead Authors. In one episode, Andy Daly played L.Ron Hubbard, and it is hysterical. But among the whoppers told by LRH, is the I Made Up Words thing. Trust me when I tell you that this episode will make you laugh and feel better that the world has such comedians.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:51 AM on October 8 [13 favorites]


If in doubt, please refer to this random 2013 interview (anything from a few years ago will do).

He's talking about Miss Universe in Russia, and yes he's sales-speaking non-stop, he's got his go-to talking points and other Trumpy rhetorical flair on display. But it seems clear he wasn't "record skipping" all over the way he does now. He's able to merge complex sentences successfully.

No one would claim campaigning for, or being, Predisent is easy, but this goes beyond lack of sleep and possible pharmaceutical influence. He's snapping dendrites at a record pace and it is way late in the game to start this ball rolling but it has to roll.
posted by petebest at 6:58 AM on October 8 [12 favorites]


How could it all get any worse? Well, murderer founder of Blackwater/Xe/Academi/etc, brother of Betsy DeVos, and wannabe Viceroy of Afghanistan Erik Prince could be the next Senator of Wyoming, continuing the state's tradition of electing absolute goddamned monsters.

Peters, Haberman and Thrush, NYT: Erik Prince, Blackwater Founder, Weighs Primary Challenge to Wyoming Republican

Mr. Prince appears increasingly likely to challenge John Barrasso, a senior member of the Senate Republican leadership, according to people who have spoken to him in recent days. He has been urged to run next year by Stephen K. Bannon, who is leading the effort to shake up the Republican leadership with financial backing from the New York hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah.

Over the weekend, Mr. Prince traveled to Wyoming with his family to explore ways to establish residency there, said one person who had spoken to him.

posted by Rust Moranis at 7:04 AM on October 8 [16 favorites]


If in doubt, please refer to this random 2013 interview (anything from a few years ago will do).

From there a link in the sidebar leads to an interview with Tom Brokaw in 1980 and Trump seems positively normal.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:05 AM on October 8


Ta-Nehisi Coates: the laureate of black lives (David Smith interview, The Observer)

Worried About Trump’s Mental Stability? The Worst Is Yet to Come. Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept

I'm just not happy with using his mental instability as an argument for ousting him. He needs to be impeached and imprisoned, because he is a crook, and also because he stands for white supremacy and that cannot be tolerated anywhere . He has been elected because he acts like he does, not in spite of it. His fans will continue to vote for crazy white people as long as they can.
Also, when reading the Intercept article linked above, I realized that mental health examinations can become a political weapon used at random.
posted by mumimor at 7:20 AM on October 8 [7 favorites]


The NYT buries the lede six feet under in their incredibly Trump-friendly article "Hoping to Have Trump Cleared, Legal Team Eases Resistance to Inquiry". Their reporters devote a couple dozen paragraphs to the nothingburger of how Trump's lawyers are cooperating with the Mueller investigation before getting to Team Trump's real strategy in the conclusion:
The White House also hopes for a favorable report from the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating Russian election interference and several related matters. The committee’s leaders said this week that they planned to release a public report about their findings.

That report could be finished before Mr. Mueller’s investigation. Although committee leaders said they would leave any criminal matters to the Justice Department, a determination by the committee that none of Mr. Trump’s associates assisted the Russian campaign would be a boon for the White House even if Mr. Mueller refuses to publicly clear Mr. Trump.

“They want them to write a report saying ‘no collusion,’” said Ms. Van Gelder, the defense lawyer. “And then they can let Mueller twist in the wind.”
And once the Republican-led Capitol Hill committee inquiries have rushed out their whitewashes, their no-collusion conclusions will be amplified all over the airwaves by the right-wing noise machine and echoed by the complacent mainstream press, like the NYT.

Meanwhile, the Guardian has published an updated overview on the Steele Dossier—The Trump-Russia dossier: why its findings grow more significant by the day.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:27 AM on October 8 [12 favorites]


Looks like someone told Donny about Sen. Corker's "chaos" comments. Wonder if he's aware Corker still gets to vote for the next 16 months. Corker had already been making a lot of noise about voting against tax cuts that increase the deficit. When you can only lose 2 senators, continuing to piss them off seems like the Art of the Deal. But please, feel free to keep attacking your own party.

@realDonaldTrump
Senator Bob Corker "begged" me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said "NO" and he dropped out (said he could not win without... my endorsement). He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said "NO THANKS." He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal! ... Hence, I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda. Didn't have the guts to run!
posted by chris24 at 7:30 AM on October 8 [24 favorites]


“They want them to write a report saying ‘no collusion,’” said Ms. Van Gelder, the defense lawyer. “And then they can let Mueller twist in the wind.”

Like I said, Richard Burr is acting as Trump's outside counsel to legalize the coverup.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:48 AM on October 8 [4 favorites]


I just want to be clear: he can't actually unilaterally authorize a strike of any kind against a nation we aren't at war with, correct? Congress has to agree that we're at war with that country, and THEN he can use the arsenal?
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:50 AM on October 8


Adding, to avoid abusing the edit window: the last couple Presidents made this line a little grey with Iraq, drone strikes and special forces operations, so I ask for those better versed in the law and the technicalities of the position what the limit on that power is.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:51 AM on October 8


Why does not not realize that putting quotation marks around the word "begged" CHANGES THE MEANING OF THE FUCKING SENTENCE.

#$#%$_)$W%_)!

>I just want to be clear: he can't actually unilaterally authorize a strike of any kind against a nation we aren't at war with, correct?

He can authorize a nuclear strike.