"Mr. President, I rise today to say: Enough."
October 24, 2017 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Day 278: Alert the daycare staff. [this is the U.S. politics thread]

Here are the full text and video of Senator Jeff Flake's speech on the Senate floor.
posted by lalex (1861 comments total) 120 users marked this as a favorite
 
Surely this...
posted by EmGeeJay at 1:48 PM on October 24, 2017 [61 favorites]


CNN was on in the work breakroom when I went to the water cooler just now, and they had a commentator talking about how the divide between Flake and the GOP as a whole isn't about policy (I guess we're leaving immigration to the side) but how he's not, in her words "angry" enough for the base, and doesn't "behave in a juvenile manner, like the president of the United States does." All through this, she was rolling her eyes hard enough that I'm worried they might never come back down.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:48 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Jeff Flake is trying to tell us something important. Will people listen? Probably not.
posted by lalex at 1:49 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


Not actually do anything important, mind. I mean, surely someone else must be in a position to do that?
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [34 favorites]


A potent combo Corker, Flake, and Russian-Flag-Dude have landed today.
posted by 6ATR at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [14 favorites]


hi everyone i was taking a walk and thinking absent mindedly about politics and thought "well, that was about 12 threads ago" when i tried to remember when a certain political event occurred.

this political madness has been going on so long that i'm using these threads as an ad hoc unit of measurement
posted by Tevin at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [116 favorites]


NYT has a transcript of Senator Flake's speech that comes from the audio recording -- some bits I particularly liked:

"Such behavior does not project strength because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of the spirit and weakness."

"...as the norms and values that keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters ..."

"to forgive and excuse our failures so that we might accommodate them and go right on failing until the accommodation itself becomes our principle."

"And we did not become the beacon of freedom in the darkest corners of the world by flouting our institutions and failing to understand just how hard-won and vulnerable they are."
posted by brainwane at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [49 favorites]


this political madness has been going on so long that i'm using these threads as an ad hoc unit of measurement

A Scaramucci is still a perfectly cromulent unit.
posted by Gelatin at 1:52 PM on October 24, 2017 [108 favorites]


To quote EMRJKC'94 from the bottom of the last thread:

I'm hoping something bigger is going on here behind the scenes. I don't feel like these men just finally grew a spine.

The reason Corker isn't running for re-election is that he's worried he would lose to a primary challenger, and the reason Flake isn't running for re-election is that he's worried he would lose to a primary challenger.


Flake said as much - that Republican voters actively want hatred and bigotry: Here's the bottom line: The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path im not willing to take, and that I cant in good conscience take. . . It would require me to believe in positions I don't hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone."
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:52 PM on October 24, 2017 [108 favorites]


Hatch has to be next. His seat is up in 18 and he's 83 damn years old. Whoever is running his twitter account is making weed jokes. Let your magic underwear loose, Orrin.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:52 PM on October 24, 2017 [50 favorites]


Disgraceful that this principled opposition against authoritarianism renders him unelectable in a Republican primary. Republican voters really have gone insane.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:53 PM on October 24, 2017 [129 favorites]


It seems like the first true test of whether Jeff Flake actually means anything he said is whether he recenters the debate on the substance of his disagreement with his party of hate or lets the discussion float on appearances and tone.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:53 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


This was cool of Flake and all but really if he was courageous he would've decided to run again on an anti-Trump platform and also started a campaign to unseat McConnell and replace him with a Leader who would put bipartisan bills on the floor.
posted by dis_integration at 1:54 PM on October 24, 2017 [45 favorites]




This was cool of Flake and all but really if he was courageous he would've decided to run again on an anti-Trump platform and also started a campaign to unseat McConnell and replace him with a Leader who would put bipartisan bills on the floor.

Politics is the art of the possible. That's just not in the cards. The Republican base loves Trump, more than any other elected Republican, more than the NFL, more than loyalty to their own country.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:56 PM on October 24, 2017 [70 favorites]


Flake said as much - that Republican voters actively want hatred and bigotry

Trump was hardly the first Republican to rail against so-called "political correctness."
posted by Gelatin at 1:57 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


This was cool of Flake and all but really if he was courageous he would've decided to run again on an anti-Trump platform and also started a campaign to unseat McConnell and replace him with a Leader who would put bipartisan bills on the floor.

Or run as an independent and give dems a much easier shot of winning, but nah wouldn't want to hurt his prospects of finding employment with the enablers of the lunacy.
posted by 6ATR at 1:57 PM on October 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


The Republican base loves Trump, more than any other elected Republican, more than the NFL, more than loyalty to their own country.

It does not appear to be an election losing position.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Work is busy, and I feel like I should probably quit my job so I have time to follow the news.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:58 PM on October 24, 2017 [87 favorites]


A Scaramucci is still a perfectly cromulent unit.

I dunno. I think these threads at least need to rely on kilomoochs to account for scale.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:59 PM on October 24, 2017 [32 favorites]


FromTheLastThread: I'll go back to having higher standards tomorrow, ok? Just let me have this.

This just in from the OMGWTF Committee: Flake Cake for tonight has been approved. Savor the sweet, y'all! Non-sweet-itarians may substitute the regional cheese platter, tacos unidos, a fine cigar or pipe, or an evening of wheeew-wheeew-tchk-tchk-hbpthbpthbtph-hubba-hubba.

*punch-clock sound*
posted by petebest at 2:02 PM on October 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


Once upon a time, you might have expected someone with strong feelings like that to take a stand by, at core, actually leading. When did the people who are supposed to be running this country turn into sheep? If Republican voters want hatred and bigotry but they've been voting for you all this time, maybe you need to go home and talk Arizona out of hatred and bigotry, not just roll over. Unless the thing you mind is more the tone of the bigotry and not its substance--that's the only way it fits for me that Flake and Corker are okay with the fact that they're probably going to get replaced with people worse than they are.
posted by Sequence at 2:02 PM on October 24, 2017 [33 favorites]


Flake and Corker could build the leverage they need to make changes, but it would require them to spend their remaining time in office building up a new caucus for anti-Trump Republicans that can credibly threaten to break off and split the GOP if their demands are not met. That's the kind of ordinance they need to bring to a fight this big if they mean to win. I honestly believe they could pull it off if they went down that road, it's exploiting the biggest weak point in the GOP power structure and I bet they could pull enough members in to do it. But I don't see them actually doing it because nobody in a position to has been willing to risk the GOP to save the country.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:03 PM on October 24, 2017 [55 favorites]


Oh man, I'm all choked up. This is the speech I needed.
posted by corb at 2:03 PM on October 24, 2017 [35 favorites]


Christ. When Corker is the voice of reason we are well and truly fucked.
posted by Splunge at 2:04 PM on October 24, 2017 [29 favorites]


The NeverTrumpers are slowly slo-ww-ly moving toward the door, but the door is still a dozen yards away. It's still over a year until the mid-terms and I don't expect any substantial moves from more than a couple elected Rs until after the off-year votes next month. It took a long time for the Republican Party to get to Trump. Turning away will be like turning an ocean liner (or for a more appropriate analogy, turning an elephant stampede).
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:04 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


Dammit, I want the somewhat sane Republicans to stay in the Senate/House and fight Trumpism, not announce their retirement and open up the door for a hard core Trumpist loon. Seriously: Flake, Corker, Chaffetz--if you see the problem, then stay where you are and fight it. What is the point of being elected if you won't fight for the basic principles of the Republic? "I was willing to do this until it became a challenge" isn't sitting well with me.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2017 [134 favorites]


The Republican base loves Trump, more than any other elected Republican, more than the NFL, more than loyalty to their own country.

...and it's almost impossible for him to fail, because they don't have any policy expectations. They don't actually WANT anything from the President other than a culture war, because if they did you'd think they'd be disappointed by his complete failure to govern or to pass legislation that forwards their ostensible policy goals.

He's pure simulacrum, the first Baudrillardian president.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2017 [137 favorites]


Just a clarification: the "Mr. President" Flake was addressing was not trump, but rather the president of the Senate, meaning Mike Pence.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2017 [19 favorites]


If you want to dream about action...

@kyledcheney (Politico)
Trump critics McCain, Corker and Flake can control virtually every piece of legislation and are now unmoored from reelection concerns.

@DanaHoule (Dem strategist)
Corker, Flake, McCain, & maybe Collins in DGAF mode; even if Jones loses & Moore plays nice, functionally McConnell may have lost control
- These guys should stop caucusing w Repubs, form their own caucus, & Dems could join them to make McCain the Senate Majority Leader.
posted by chris24 at 2:06 PM on October 24, 2017 [117 favorites]


Yes, these are mere words from Flake and Corker. But to a certain extent, talking is action. If words/messages just didn't matter in politics, then neither would campaign finance laws or Russian social-network spamming. And you have to make Trump's unfitness discussable/thinkable in Congress before it can be actionable.

Like I said in the last thread, Paul Ryan could totally assert to all the world that (a) Trump is 100% unfit/moronic/lawbreaking and also (b) it's out of his party's hands to change who the president is, something something unity/patriotism/troops/MAGA. (He's like two notches from that schizoid position being his official stance.)

But I'm not banking on that degree of pessimism. Ryan and the rest are sick of the man and his attendant cloud of chaos and pain; they just know impeachment would involve a lot more pain packed into a shorter duration.

The cost/benefit ratio gets ever closer to flipping. There is hope.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:07 PM on October 24, 2017 [27 favorites]


Why do Republicans only talk sense when they retire or get cancer?
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:08 PM on October 24, 2017 [32 favorites]


Why do Republicans only talk sense when they retire or get cancer?

...because their base has been driven insane by a steady diet of right wing media.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:09 PM on October 24, 2017 [71 favorites]


To avoid having to do anything or take responsibility for anything.
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on October 24, 2017 [43 favorites]


- These guys should stop caucusing w Repubs, form their own caucus, & Dems could join them to make McCain the Senate Majority Leader.

Or, the Dems make the first move, offer to promote Angus King (the other New England independent senator caucusing with them, but who's not D because he agrees with Rs on some issues rather than because he's a socialist) and we end up with a way better Senate leader in the deal.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:11 PM on October 24, 2017 [14 favorites]


They don't actually WANT anything from the President other than a culture war

Ooooh boy I don’t think they want to stop at “culture”
posted by schadenfrau at 2:11 PM on October 24, 2017 [67 favorites]


Why do Republicans only talk sense when they retire or get cancer?

some say that's when you truly pray to God, when you're at the end of your ropes. and perhaps for these people, that's when God truly hears them. and then God probably says "you've been a crazy nutjob using my name for your own nefarious means and now you're repentant? maybe stop being assholes and i'll consider your prayers."

and then they talk sense.
posted by numaner at 2:12 PM on October 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


Just a clarification: the "Mr. President" Flake was addressing was not trump, but rather the president of the Senate, meaning Mike Pence.

In the absence of Vice President Pence, "Mr. President" refers to the Senate's President pro tempore, currently Orrin Hatch.
posted by peeedro at 2:14 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Thank you for the correction!
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:17 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Flake on MSNBC says that Trump was elected fair and square and is the President and shouldn't be removed, so his talk is all blah blah blah hot air.
posted by Justinian at 2:18 PM on October 24, 2017 [57 favorites]


If Flake and Corker really mean it, they can condemn Roy Moore and publicly support Doug Jones.
posted by zachlipton at 2:18 PM on October 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


On MTP now, Flake still can’t go all the way to call for trump to resign or be removed. Weak shit. You get bupkus from everyone who wasn’t GOP. Next.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:18 PM on October 24, 2017 [64 favorites]


I like the designation (R-DGAF) to represent republican politicians that are now unmoored from their constituents.
posted by srboisvert at 2:18 PM on October 24, 2017 [36 favorites]


That was a historic speech, and it was meant to be a historic speech.
I believe Flake was truly moved, and agitated, and I was moved by it. But it is also the expression of a long term strategic calculation: Flake believes the Trump regime will end badly, Nixon-scale badly, and that the next elected president will be a democrat. With this speech, he is positioning himself for 2024.
Yes, there is also the risk that he will be challenged by a crazy during the primaries, but I think the longer term view is more important.
I don't think we are going to see Flake on the seedy side of lobbying. He's going to keep himself as clean as he can.
posted by mumimor at 2:19 PM on October 24, 2017 [47 favorites]


When Angus King goes after someone in a hearing he comes across like your dad who is super disappointed in you for totalling his Buick. I'd like to see him be the adult in charge of the Senate.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:21 PM on October 24, 2017 [24 favorites]


Related: A majority of white Americans say they believe whites face discrimination.

But a much smaller number say they themselves have been discriminated against.
posted by Huck500 at 2:21 PM on October 24, 2017 [16 favorites]


Thank you, Petebest. Thank you. *sob*
First I'm going to my marijuana dispensary and then to get cake. Whatta night!!
posted by greermahoney at 2:24 PM on October 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


For those who didn't watch the video, it's worth a glance to see The Turtle and McCain look shewk.

Like Flake just unexpectedly read out the seekrit 33rd-degree incantations. I guess deciding to end one's Senate career is the closest thing to seppuku they have. Tragic, noble, and-I-hope-this-doesn't-get-out-of-hand kind of expression & manner.
posted by petebest at 2:25 PM on October 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


So any chance of flipping Arizona?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:26 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Wake me up when McConnell either calls out Trump or is replaced by someone who will.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:27 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


A potent combo Corker, Flake, and Russian-Flag-Dude have landed today.

I really thought we wouldn't be out of the "White House Is Monumentally Shitty to Military Widow" cycle until the White House itself chose to do something else new and shitty to change the narrative. (It's not like they'd ever do anything positive.) But no, this seems to be a beneficial shift.

Corker, Flake, the Russian Flag Dude, and whatever went on behind the scenes as the "unity" lunch adds up to a generally shitty day for 45. That's important. It ain't real reform or change, it ain't a shot at impeachment, but it's something.

The more he's focused on the general shittiness of his situation, the harder it is for him to focus on things that actually fuck up people's lives. Eating up the White House's time and energy in ways that make 45 and his people feel bad is just one important component of the overall resistance.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:27 PM on October 24, 2017 [49 favorites]


So any chance of flipping Arizona?

Can you say "Senator Joe Arpaio"?
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:28 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


It's nice that a few republicans are saying this stuff but it doesn't actually mean anything until they take action. (I feel exactly the same way about the democrats btw.) Somebody actually needs to *do* something.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:28 PM on October 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


Um, yeah, regardless of my or anyone else in the thread's personal opinion of John McCain, it's not a good idea to make someone who's literally dying of brain cancer the Senate Majority Leader at a time when a major Constitutional crisis is either already in progress (my opinion) or is at least quite likely to happen in the near future.

Angus King seems like a fair person that Dems and rebel Republicans can unite behind, though I don't know much about his collegiality ratings, which seem to account for everything in the backwards, vaguely-feudalist den of iniquity that is the US Senate
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:29 PM on October 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


this political madness has been going on so long that i'm using these threads as an ad hoc unit of measurement

Useful. Am at the doctors tomorrow.

Doc: When did you last have a full bowel movement?
Me: Two, maybe three, MetaFilter US political threads ago.
Doc: What?
posted by Wordshore at 2:30 PM on October 24, 2017 [81 favorites]


So any chance of flipping Arizona?
Can you say "Senator Joe Arpaio"?


oh come on, folks, AZ is definitely winnable.
posted by lalex at 2:31 PM on October 24, 2017 [32 favorites]


guys

i think we're in the bad place
posted by poffin boffin at 2:31 PM on October 24, 2017 [211 favorites]


So any chance of flipping Arizona?

Decent chance. This may or may not change things all that much. Flake was in all probability getting primaried, and the seat has a decent chance of going blue. From the link:

Either way, it won’t be easy for Republicans to hold the Arizona Senate seat. More Arizonans dislike Trump than like him, and midterm elections are almost always tough on the president’s party. Sinema, meanwhile, is probably the strongest candidate Democrats could have hoped for.
posted by zabuni at 2:33 PM on October 24, 2017 [14 favorites]


So any chance of flipping Arizona?
Yes. Absolutely, yes.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:33 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


Flake on MSNBC says that Trump was elected fair and square and is the President and shouldn't be removed, so his talk is all blah blah blah hot air.

Fuckdammit, Flake, you were elected fair and square to a position with the constitutional authority to vote to remove a president no matter how that president was elected.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:34 PM on October 24, 2017 [82 favorites]


Each and every one of these people are complicit in this hot mess until somebody actually does something.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:34 PM on October 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. "What if Bernie" might be an innocent question in some contexts, but in the multi-decade stew of these politics threads, I'm sorry to say it functions more as a gauntlet, and we're better off just not going there again.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:34 PM on October 24, 2017 [64 favorites]


i think we're in the bad place

The Upsidown?

Or just the 21st century in general?
posted by Construction Concern at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


whoa LobsterMitten has fully converted to TrumpTime units
posted by lalex at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2017 [44 favorites]


The real question isn't if it will appear in history books, but how. So let's talk about that.

tl;dr don't expect republicans to save us, let's see someone who's sticking around stand up with acts and not just words, talk is cheap as fuck
posted by Navelgazer at 2:36 PM on October 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


guys

i think we're in the bad place


this is the worst attempt of the good place yet. i mean, there's no where near enough shops with pun names.
posted by numaner at 2:40 PM on October 24, 2017 [47 favorites]


i think we're in the bad place

*snaps fingers and starts it all over on Nov 8th, 2016*
posted by dis_integration at 2:41 PM on October 24, 2017 [39 favorites]


Kevin M. Kruse [via Twitter]:
The real question isn't *if* it will appear in history books, but how. So let's talk about that.
The obvious forerunner for Flake's speech today is Margaret Chase Smith's "Declaration of Conscience" address.
In that speech, a senator offered similar sounding condemnations of a (never named) reckless leader in her party, Joe McCarthy.
She delivered it in June 1950, just months into McCarthy's wave of attacks and accusations, and to great acclaim in the press.
But what happened? Smith was sidelined in the Senate; her spot on McCarthy's committee given to young Sen. Richard Nixon.
With colleagues merely condemning him with words but not deeds, McCarthy continued his reign of terror -- for four more years.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:41 PM on October 24, 2017 [89 favorites]


We have a chowder fountain.
posted by Artw at 2:41 PM on October 24, 2017 [36 favorites]


Vicky’s plan is truly, truly evil
posted by schadenfrau at 2:42 PM on October 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


i think we're in the bad place

*snaps fingers and starts it all over on Nov 8th, 2016*


Maybe that's why it feels like we've been here longer? This has got to be, like, the 738th run...
posted by anem0ne at 2:42 PM on October 24, 2017 [39 favorites]


oh come on, folks, AZ is definitely winnable.

How much of the vote is needed to get over the margin of fuckery?
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


So, is “chapter and verse” the latest talking point of the GOP trumpsucking wing to describe the all the great things they have supposedly done with trump while the media was distracting us?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:44 PM on October 24, 2017


At TWOP we called the impassioned statement followed by a dramatic exit a flounce. Get back to me when Republicans plan to, you know, do something.
posted by xyzzy at 2:44 PM on October 24, 2017 [36 favorites]


This has got to be, like, the 738th run...

This makes so much sense.
posted by greermahoney at 2:44 PM on October 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


i think we're in the bad place

Sidenote: I might legit be into Socialism.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:46 PM on October 24, 2017 [57 favorites]


At TWOP we called the impassioned statement followed by a dramatic exit a flounce.

Call me old-school but I prefer 'flameout'.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2017 [13 favorites]


Aren't the kids going with *mic drop*?
posted by thebrokedown at 2:49 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm asking Megan Amram on Twitter: If Flake retires and go back to Snowflake, AZ, and open a little shop teaching Afrikaans what would it be called.
posted by numaner at 2:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


It's like if you drop the mic then just sort of lamely stand next to it, like a fucking idiot, and nothing changes.
posted by Artw at 2:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [78 favorites]


Very different connotations. Flameout and flounce imply the one doing the flouncing or flameouting came off worse, a mic drop implies the opposite.
posted by Justinian at 2:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


i think we're in the bad place

...except that any comparison between Donald Trump and Ted Danson (even in his most 'bad guy' role) is an insult to Danson, a competent actor.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


oh yeah btw he's from Snowflake, AZ

writers etc etc
posted by numaner at 2:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [40 favorites]


Well, the folks who were all "God I hope we don't spend all day talking about Corker" this morning certainly got their wish.

About the whole "Flake's no help as long as he votes 'with Trump'" thing, I renew my objection that it's both absurd and counterproductive to expect a right-wing Republican to stop voting or thinking like a right-wing Republican. They're never going to be political allies. Some of them may, possibly, at some point, share our desire to unload Trump and a few might do things (may already be doing things) to reduce his ability to act.

But they're still going to support shitty class warfare tax cuts and repealing Obamacare and all other forms of Republican fuckery.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:51 PM on October 24, 2017 [23 favorites]


But we all know he really just bye feliciaed.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:51 PM on October 24, 2017 [13 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: God bless Not-Sen. Kid Rock, a true statesman
In this troubled age, Kid Rock remains a sane and statesmanlike figure to whom we can look for guidance. (By the extremely limited definition of “sane and statesmanlike” that is all that we have left, when those words seem to mean that “after endorsing Donald Trump for president, I am stepping forward to say that he is unfit, months after he has made that painfully obvious.” But it is something.)

Kid Rock, like Cincinnatus, will return to bawitdaba da bang da bang diggy his fields and eschew public life.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:52 PM on October 24, 2017 [49 favorites]


I don't know, the more bifurcated the US becomes, the more I think there's room for a moderate third party to form. Pretty much every other western country has a spectrum of political parties. Perhaps it's time in the US?
posted by Phreesh at 2:54 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


From Huck500's link a bit above about white people and discrimination:
"If you apply for a job, they seem to give the blacks the first crack at it," said 68-year-old Tim Hershman of Akron, Ohio, "and, basically, you know, if you want any help from the government, if you're white, you don't get it. If you're black, you get it."
For Christ's sake, Tim, you live in Akron, Ohio, and you know damned well who lives in the houses that're falling down around their inhabitants in neighborhoods you won't even drive through and who lives in Fairlawn and Bath. And you think black people get the first crack at jobs? In Akron? It isn't black people who screwed you over, it was all the white people who had more money than you and legged it at the first opportunity. You say this in a city where the running joke is that, like, even the fire trucks in Cuyahoga Falls are white. You're welcome to apply for benefits just like anybody else and spend a million years sitting in the waiting room at Summit County DJFS just like the black people do, and you're just as eligible for things as they are.

Except that I will bet $50 that this guy actually lives outside the Akron city limits.

I think I'm having flashbacks from having to deal with my stepfather.
posted by Sequence at 2:55 PM on October 24, 2017 [146 favorites]


I don't know, the more bifurcated the US becomes, the more I think there's room for a moderate third party to form. Pretty much every other western country has a spectrum of political parties. Perhaps it's time in the US?

It is essentially impossible for this to happen under our system. There will always be 2 major parties.
posted by Justinian at 2:57 PM on October 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


Ah, I stand corrected.

I so appreciate The Good Place spin, but I'm in the middle of re-re-re-watching Community, and I'm pretty sure we're in the darkest timeline.
posted by thebrokedown at 2:57 PM on October 24, 2017 [14 favorites]


I don't know, the more bifurcated the US becomes, the more I think there's room for a moderate third party to form. Pretty much every other western country has a spectrum of political parties. Perhaps it's time in the US?

That would be the modern Democratic party, which already exists. What America really needs is an actual worker-focused left wing. You can let McCain in with his buddies in a party that wants to keep America as a useful scaffold for corporations, and then have a further left party that's actually concerned with the well-being of the people who create wealth instead of manipulate it. On the right you have your racist doomsday cult, ala` trump.
posted by codacorolla at 2:57 PM on October 24, 2017 [58 favorites]


it's both absurd and counterproductive to expect a right-wing Republican to stop voting or thinking like a right-wing Republican.

it is not absurd to expect right-wing Republicans to start voting and thinking like Americans

(okay, well, it is; but it shouldn't be!)
posted by entropicamericana at 2:59 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


It's a bit of an odd feeling leaving home at ~2:30 when the world was terrible, and landing at *mumble* National Airport in DC to see on the TV that it's... still terrible, but at least now a prominent Republican can go on TV and talk about how terrible things are, as long as he's willing to lose his seat for it. Eagerly awaiting some ripple effects among caucus members who aren't ready to cash in with a lobbying gig yet.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:59 PM on October 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Some men just want to watch the world burn.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:02 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Can you say "Senator Joe Arpaio"?

Arpaio lost his 2016 election by 10 points to a Dem.
posted by chris24 at 3:02 PM on October 24, 2017 [39 favorites]


Meanwhile, in the NY-23rd, our beloved congressman is posting articles on Facebook telling us that Democrats are the ones fighting to protect the top 1%.
posted by waitingtoderail at 3:03 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


oh yeah btw he's from Snowflake, AZ

writers etc etc


(founded by Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake, Jeff Flake's ancestor, if memory serves.)

Also, I realize I'm way down thread from the wisecrack about Orrin Hatch's religion, but can we not?
posted by The World Famous at 3:04 PM on October 24, 2017 [15 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: "Work is busy, and I feel like I should probably quit my job so I have time to follow the news."

I quit my job in October 2016. Let's just say I haven't been spending my time like I intended.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:06 PM on October 24, 2017 [35 favorites]


45 will be conveniently out of the country on his Asian tour on November 9 this year. The day care staff are aware that an anniversary rally might not be the best idea, so take the refuge of all presidents and go foreign affairs. I had been hoping that he might be here in Tokyo on the 9th so we could have a nice little protest but he'll be in Beijing or Danang before moving on to Manila. In my alternate 2017 timeline he brings the whole damn family with him and pulls a Snowden--holing up in the Forbidden City encased by Xi's security forces, or else they set up Mar-a-Lago II on an island in the Philippines and pal around with Duterte's thugs to avoid prosecution.
posted by Gotanda at 3:07 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


fluttering hellfire: "So any chance of flipping Arizona?"

It's considered the most likely R=>D flip right now.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:11 PM on October 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that Kid Rock was seriously considering a Senate run until the world started taking the piss out of him (uh...moreso than usual anyway) and so he decided to pretend it was all a big goof.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:13 PM on October 24, 2017 [16 favorites]


Jeff Flake: There is a cancer raging in the White House. It is preventing me from being the mid-grade bacterial infection that I was elected to be.
posted by delfin at 3:13 PM on October 24, 2017 [100 favorites]


It's considered the most likely R=>D flip right now.

I think that's still Nevada?
posted by Justinian at 3:14 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


It's kind of annoying that people are bashing Flake for "not doing enough" to be anti-Trump. He can read the tea-leaves probably better than any of us wrt his own state and re-electability in 2018. He was trailing in polls against BOTH primary challengers AND the Democratic frontrunner. His seat is considered the best chance for Dems to flip a seat... so why shouldn't he just unshackle himself and give himself the opportunity to let fly with criticisms. It's not like he's always looked the other way re: Trump... he's been Anti-Trump for months and months, basically since the beginning. He wrote a best selling, well received anti-Trump book.

Also, it's not like he's leaving tomorrow. He's there until early 2019, and this speech and deciding to retire may just give him the agency he needs to really make a difference. If he's not running for reelection, that gives him more time in the NATIONAL public eye to speak out against both Trump and the direction his party is going (or has gone). He won't be needing to go to campaign stops or as many fundraisers (I imagine there may still be some) or kissing babies, etc. It doesn't sound like he would even consider campaigning for one of his possible primary challengers, least of all the Trump/Bannon supporting one who was his biggest rival.

Now, I don't expect him to suddenly support healthcare for all or anything... he's still a conservative, and for him suddenly to become a Democrat would look extremely suspect and cynical. He can possibly help get rid of McConnell out of leadership (his speech not so subtly called out people who are enabling Trump) or keep worse people from getting INTO McConnell's position. Hell, just emboldening other moderates to speak out, which I honestly think may happen, is good enough for me. I mean, getting rid of Trump and his administration, if it is going to happen, was always going to be a slow drip-drip-drip process as internal disgust becomes public. Can't we just applaud this honestly, IMO, courageous move, especially if it leads to the place we eventually want to go?
posted by tittergrrl at 3:15 PM on October 24, 2017 [99 favorites]


On the issue of a possible 3rd party (and fully agreeing with Justinian): it's one of the few things (if not the only thing) we actually know from political science -- Duverger's Law. Third party ain't happening as long as elections happen the way they do here.
posted by AwkwardPause at 3:16 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


Manila? Where they shoot people on the street in the name of the drug war? Oy.
posted by Melismata at 3:17 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Justinian: "I think that's still Nevada?"

Basically neck and neck between AZ and NV. Kind of depends on who the AZ GOP nominee is, really. If it's Ward, that's one thing; if it's McSally, that's another.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:17 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


it feels not great to be like whew we might have a brief break from the screaming shit smeared angry baby because he'll be off being a huge explosion of racist diarrhea to asian people in their homes but i guess that's where we are now
posted by poffin boffin at 3:17 PM on October 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


I think that's still Nevada?

a great pickup opportunity in no small part due to the superhuman efforts of Republican Senator Dean Heller to make it so
posted by lalex at 3:17 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


navelgazer The real question isn't if it will appear in history books, but how. So let's talk about that.

The link navelgazer posted is a really good twitter thread. And I know a lot of people hate Twitter or can't access it so I wanted to post it all.

@kasie: Jeff Flake's speech on the Senate floor will end up in the history books.

@KevinMKruse (Princeton history prof & author)
Retweeted Kasie Hunt
The real question isn't *if* it will appear in history books, but how. So let's talk about that.
- The obvious forerunner for Flake's speech today is Margaret Chase Smith's "Declaration of Conscience" address: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/margaretchasesmithconscience.html
- In that speech, a senator offered similar sounding condemnations of a (never named) reckless leader in her party, Joe McCarthy.
- She delivered it in June 1950, just months into McCarthy's wave of attacks and accusations, and to great acclaim in the press.
- But what happened? Smith was sidelined in the Senate; her spot on McCarthy's committee given to young Sen. Richard Nixon.
- With colleagues merely condemning him with words but not deeds, McCarthy continued his reign of terror -- for four more years.
- In that time, he did major damage to our political culture & institutions, until he finally overreached, attacking the Army.
- Only then did his colleagues in the Senate move to act against him, with formal censure & informal ostracism.
- So, yes, Margaret Chase Smith's speech is in the history books -- as a reminder that words alone simply are not enough.
- And if Flake and his colleagues stop here, if they too fail to match words with deeds, then we'll remember this the same way:
- As a sign that contemporaries understood the danger enough to call it out, but lacked the courage of their convictions to act.
posted by chris24 at 3:19 PM on October 24, 2017 [100 favorites]


The Republican nominee in Alabama for our nation's highest lawmaking body openly states that no laws are valid unless they're Biblically based, and that seat not only isn't the most likely to flip, _he might win it_.

This is fine.
posted by delfin at 3:23 PM on October 24, 2017 [21 favorites]


Yeah sure, I'm buying the standing Os. The important thing is he got praise.

@realDonaldTrump
So nice being with Republican Senators today. Multiple standing ovations! Most are great people who want big Tax Cuts and success for U.S.
posted by chris24 at 3:23 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


The Republican nominee in Alabama for our nation's highest lawmaking body openly states that no laws are valid unless they're Biblically based

Don't forget: he also thinks it's against the law to kneel during the playing of the national anthem.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:25 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Hmmm, Rep. Tom McArthur [R - NJ-03] saying passage of the Senate budget bill version in the House in jeopardy over elimination of the state and local tax deduction.

And now Lee Zeldin [R - NY-01] and Dan Donovan [R - NY-11] also signaling they'll oppose on those grounds.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:30 PM on October 24, 2017 [19 favorites]


NEW from WaPo: Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier
The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community.
huh.
posted by lalex at 3:31 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Wake me up when McConnell either calls out Trump or is replaced by someone who will.

Changing your name to VanWinkle are you?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:31 PM on October 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Multiple standing ovations!

isn't standing and applauding the President, like, required by convention or something
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:32 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


"And when I walked in, they played Hail to the Chief! They call me the Chief!!!"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:32 PM on October 24, 2017 [25 favorites]


I love that #AlertTheDaycareStaff is a thing. Good on you Corker.

In case anyone else missed it: Senior Republican feuds with Trump, saying he's 'debasing our nation'
posted by homunculus at 3:33 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


It's been clear since the CIA speech that Trump thinks when people start clapping while they were already standing, that counts as a standing ovation.
posted by SpaceBass at 3:35 PM on October 24, 2017 [18 favorites]


"President Obama, tell us what it was like in the Situation Room when the operation to capture or kill bin Laden was underway."

"Well firstly, everyone stood up and clapped. And then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said to me, I remember, 'Mr President, you are an extremely cool and great guy.'"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:36 PM on October 24, 2017 [39 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
So nice being with Republican Senators today. Multiple standing ovations! Most are great people who want big Tax Cuts and success for U.S.


@longwall26: "One thing I will say about [literally any topic] is that [self-praise indicative of deep emotional damage inflicted by indifferent father]"
posted by lalex at 3:38 PM on October 24, 2017 [71 favorites]


And you think black people get the first crack at jobs? In Akron?

Aw, and he even went for the one-two of Schrodinger's Minority: unfairly getting all the jobs, yet also taking all the welfare. ???
posted by nakedmolerats at 3:38 PM on October 24, 2017 [78 favorites]


why doesn't metafilter have sad react
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:39 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


> Third party ain't happening as long as elections happen the way they do here.

But doesn't Duverger's law just describe an end resolution or equilibrium? There was a lot of talk in pre-primary threads here that we're overdue for a cyclical, 50-year re-alignment of of the two coalitions. I think the GOP splintering - and to a lesser degree, [not RLTP] the splintering we saw between HRC and Bernie [/not RLTP] - are strong indications this realignment is really happening. So couldn't we have a crazy 3 way race for POTUS in 2020 while we're in the middle of sorting out bedfellows, then settle in to 2 new sets of coalitions for 2024?
posted by klarck at 3:39 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


NEW from WaPo: Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

Is that really new? I thought we'd known for a while that the Steele dossier was started by a Republican opponent in the primaries, and then the work was picked up by Clinton/DNC. At least, that's my understanding of how things went, though I can't tell you where I have picked that up from.
posted by nubs at 3:40 PM on October 24, 2017 [27 favorites]


I just heard "Multiple standing ovations!" in Strong Bad's voice and I'm wondering if that can be applied to the rest of the realDonaldTrump oeuvre
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:41 PM on October 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


NEW from WaPo: Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

That's not news, we've known from the beginning that Fusion GPS was paid first by republicans, then by the Clinton campaign for the opposition research. From the NYTimes on Jan 11, How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump:
The story began in September 2015, when a wealthy Republican donor who strongly opposed Mr. Trump put up the money to hire a Washington research firm run by former journalists, Fusion GPS, to compile a dossier about the real estate magnate’s past scandals and weaknesses, according to a person familiar with the effort. The person described the opposition research work on condition of anonymity, citing the volatile nature of the story and the likelihood of future legal disputes. The identity of the donor is unclear.

Fusion GPS, headed by a former Wall Street Journal journalist known for his dogged reporting, Glenn Simpson, most often works for business clients. But in presidential elections, the firm is sometimes hired by candidates, party organizations or donors to do political “oppo” work — shorthand for opposition research — on the side.

It is routine work and ordinarily involves creating a big, searchable database of public information: past news reports, documents from lawsuits and other relevant data. For months, Fusion GPS gathered the documents and put together the files from Mr. Trump’s past in business and entertainment, a rich target.

After Mr. Trump emerged as the presumptive nominee in the spring, the Republican interest in financing the effort ended. But Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton were very interested, and Fusion GPS kept doing the same deep dives, but on behalf of new clients.
posted by peeedro at 3:41 PM on October 24, 2017 [19 favorites]


although it is true that Flake is risking nothing and probably doing nothing, I was interested to hear how nervy and shaky and fumbly and gaspy and stammery he was through the first two-thirds of the speech. not to say it makes it a big deal just because he thinks it is, but he did seem to think it was. maybe it's just his precious career and reputation he thinks is a big deal, I don't know. one thing I can praise is the part where he was talking about how Republicans suck so bad and noted that he himself was first of the worst and holier than none. true!

but about sounding scared, I haven't heard him speak at length recently enough to remember how he usually sounds, so maybe he's always like that. most senators are incredibly bad public speakers and never seem to get any better at wasting time with their faces no matter how much practice they get, so maybe I am seeing something where there is nothing. but he sure was nervous.
posted by queenofbithynia at 3:41 PM on October 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


Aw, and he even went for the one-two of Schrodinger's Minority: unfairly getting all the jobs, yet also taking all the welfare. ???

Always inconvenient when facts get in the way of their narrative.

Federal Anti-Poverty Programs Primarily Help the GOP's Base
Even as congressional Republicans mobilize for a new drive to retrench federal anti-poverty efforts, whites without a college degree—the cornerstone of the modern GOP electoral coalition—have emerged as principal beneficiaries of those programs, according to a study released Thursday morning.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal policy-analysis group, found that in both percentage terms and absolute numbers, federal programs reduced poverty among working-age whites without a college degree more than they did among non-college-educated Hispanics, African Americans, or members of other races, and far more than they did among college-educated adults of any race. The number of these working-age whites, in fact, exceeded the combined number of non-college-educated blacks, Hispanics, and members of other races that made such gains.
posted by chris24 at 3:43 PM on October 24, 2017 [42 favorites]


Is that really new?

I think it was known but not publicly proven. Initiated by Jeb! supporters, then continued by Democrats.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:43 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I noticed that no one has discussed Flake's oratory style. It could have used more plain speaking to make more of an impact; this speech was written by someone/people who are enomored with old oratory without understanding that the most impactful speeches do not depend on historical styling. Also Flake was either nervous or under-rehearsed. He stumbled frequently, for example he said "filthy" before correcting to "healthy" twice. Only a passing grade, I'm afraid. 70/100.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:43 PM on October 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


Srsly, what is supposed to be new in that wapo article? It's not news that people pay for research.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:44 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


WSJ, U.S. to Allow Refugees From All Countries but With New Rules. The 120 day period has expired (even though it lasted far more than 120 days), but "people from 11 targeted countries will be subject to additional vetting that will slow down the process for them," so that's a new thing to sue over. Refugee admissions will be limited to 45,000, less than half of what Obama had targeted for this year.

TNR, David Dayen, The 238 Attempted Bribes of Amazon Should Be Illegal. In which we ask why Amazon gets to engage in a massive shakedown of state and local governments for subsidies over its new second headquarters.

WaPo, Helaine Olen, While you aren’t looking, the GOP continues to gut financial oversight. In which Congress is setting itself up to gut the CFPB's rules prohibiting mandatory arbitration clauses.

WHNT News, Madison County Democratic Party speaks out after hundreds of names are turned over to prosecutors for cross-over voting. In which the Alabama Secretary of State wants to get hundreds of Democrtats charged with felonies for voting a Democratic ballot during the primary and a Republican ballot during the runoff. Why? Presumably so he can declare an epidemic of voter fraud.

Erik Wemple, The Hill’s flimsy Russia-uranium story lands with maximum effect, in which we ask what the hell is going on with The Hill's story, such as why it insinuates the Justice Department hid its prosecutions when it put out repeated frickin' press releases.

Brian Beutler, John McCain Gets His Third, in which Flake, McCain, and Croker have formed a trio sufficient to block anything, which now means they're responsible for everything that happens under their watch:
But these kinds of options were available to all three men before this week. The real advent of having three Republican senators nominally committed to saving the country from Trump is that they can hit Trump where it hurts. No tax cuts until Trump releases his tax returns? Together, McCain, Corker, and Flake can make that happen. Unless the Republican majority grows, they can leverage their decisive power over legislation and the confirmation process to practically whatever ends they desire.

Unfortunately nothing that’s happened in the Trump era should leave us expecting Republicans in Congress will be the ones who alter Trump’s course. But the arithmetic of the current Senate has flipped the onus on these senators. Or, more precisely, they’ve flipped the onus onto themselves. The inescapable logical [sic], if nothing changes, is that the senators who masqueraded as saviors of the republic will be fingered as the ones who passively let it be destroyed.
posted by zachlipton at 3:44 PM on October 24, 2017 [56 favorites]


That this political opposition research document on Donald Trump was produced by the political opposition to Donald Trump... this changes everything
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:44 PM on October 24, 2017 [37 favorites]


NEW from WaPo: Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

Yup, it isn't really new or interesting. It's the first confirmation of exactly who paid for it, but it was always known that "Democrats" paid for it. It wasn't very hard to deduce that those Democrats were the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
posted by diogenes at 3:46 PM on October 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


Anyhoo, how about a sick burn? @kasie: "Probably the only shot you've got to take me out." -- @clairecmc to NRSC chair @CoryGardner as his car almost hits her in Senate driveway 🔥

There is now video of this, and it is amazing.
posted by zachlipton at 3:46 PM on October 24, 2017 [32 favorites]


That this political opposition research document on Donald Trump was produced by the political opposition to Donald Trump... this changes everything

It is seriously a thing on the nutjob right that the fact that Steele is British means Clinton colluded with a foreign power in the election.
posted by chris24 at 3:47 PM on October 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


That this political opposition research document on Donald Trump was produced by the political opposition to Donald Trump... this changes everything

We can't have Hillary Clinton or the DNC meddling in our elections!
posted by peeedro at 3:47 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


What is interesting about the "news" is that Trump and his cronies continue their recently renewed interest in discrediting the dossier.
posted by diogenes at 3:48 PM on October 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


It is seriously a thing on the nutjob right that the fact that Steele is British means Clinton colluded with a foreign power in the election.

My initial reaction is that they likely colluded with a Washington DC political research firm that hired a British guy as a contractor, which is not illegal.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Trump can attack the dossier all he wants. Mueller isn't coming at him with the dossier. He might have used it as a starting point for some angles of the investigation, but that won't matter if he has evidence that confirms it.
posted by diogenes at 3:52 PM on October 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


Vicky’s plan is truly, truly evil

Who's Vicky?
posted by rhizome at 3:53 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Of course Flake was nervy and shaky. He's going to need a food taster for the rest of his life, because Putin may not consider him worthy of a polonium smoothie but the Teabots sure do.
posted by delfin at 3:55 PM on October 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Srsly, what is supposed to be new in that wapo article? It's not news that people pay for research.

Corporate News Grinder Cranks Out Red Meat

It's bloody on
( •_•)

( •_•)>⌐■-■

(⌐■_■)
Both sides
posted by petebest at 3:55 PM on October 24, 2017 [13 favorites]


There is now video of this, and it is amazing.

McCaskill: "Cash me ousside, how bow dah!"
posted by peeedro at 3:55 PM on October 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


Some of the details about Fusion GPS’s work are included in a Oct. 24 letter sent by Perkins Coie to a lawyer representing Fusion GPS telling the research firm it was released from a client confidentiality obligation. The letter was prompted by a legal fight over a subpoena for Fusion GPS’s bank records.

In case there's any doubt about where this stuff is coming from, that legal fight was started by recusal-challenged Devin Nunes.
posted by diogenes at 3:56 PM on October 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


I wish Flake would run as an independent, and spoil the election for the GOP.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:57 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Know what else Hillary Clinton paid for--and is still paying for? Her campaign staff.

Freebeacon: A number of longtime aides to failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are still being paid from her campaign committee nearly one year after her defeat, Federal Election Commission filings show.

I could swear she was running against a dude with a long and detailed track record of not paying what he owed, but what sort of idiot would vote for a guy like that over her?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:58 PM on October 24, 2017 [28 favorites]


New Reuters poll. Only 28% support the Trump tax plan.
posted by chris24 at 3:58 PM on October 24, 2017 [22 favorites]


The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

As always with news from anonymous sources, no less important are the questions of who they are, how they got access to the information, and what their motives for revealing it are—not unlike assessing the Steele Dossier's claims. This leak, however, is pretty clearly intended to brand the Dossier with HRC in order to dismiss its allegations wholesale.

Besides, the timing of this story looks awfully suspect after today's multiple announcements House Trumpists that they're opening an inquiry into the Justice Department's investigation last year into Clinton's private email server and another into the Uranium One deal that the rightwing noise machine's been trying to link to Clinton Foundation donations.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:59 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I think "Aww. I miss Jeb!." and then I realize how truly fucked up things are.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:01 PM on October 24, 2017 [19 favorites]


Was their anonymous source named John Miller, mayhaps?
posted by Donald Trump Sex Nightmare at 4:03 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


This nicely sums up where we are as a nation right now given the state of all these Clinton investigations and scandals:

@justinshanes: I really don't know why I'm so hard on Fox News considering it's the one place where Hillary is the President.
posted by zachlipton at 4:03 PM on October 24, 2017 [162 favorites]


it's JEB!
posted by lalex at 4:04 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Besides, the timing of this story looks awfully suspect after today's multiple announcements House Trumpists that they're opening an inquiry into the Justice Department's investigation last year into Clinton's private email server and another into the Uranium One deal that the rightwing noise machine's been trying to link to Clinton Foundation donations.

Yup, the machine is clearly cranking up. I'm hopeful that using disinformation to muddy the waters works better against a political opponent than it will against a federal investigation.
posted by diogenes at 4:04 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Jeb! is weird when it's at the end of a sentence!
posted by elsietheeel at 4:05 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


New Reuters poll. Only 28% support the Trump tax plan.

Sure, but of those 28%, a full 100% support it. Hard to top those numbers.
posted by rhizome at 4:09 PM on October 24, 2017 [35 favorites]


I'm hopeful that using disinformation to muddy the waters works better against a political opponent than it will against a federal investigation.

Holiday break is coming up.
posted by rhizome at 4:10 PM on October 24, 2017


Going after Snowball? Again? It’s been months since Snowball slunk away from the Farm. Isn’t time Napoleon found another scapegoat?
posted by notyou at 4:12 PM on October 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


Say what you will about Flake and Corker (and their line of handmade castile soaps) -- their antics actually got Trump to shut the fuck up and leave Myeshia Johnson and Rep. Wilson the hell alone for the first time in 8 days. That's something.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:19 PM on October 24, 2017 [96 favorites]


And when white guys can turn a racist away from black women as his victims, that IS something.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:22 PM on October 24, 2017 [27 favorites]


A Scaramucci is still a perfectly cromulent unit.

I dunno. I think these threads at least need to rely on kilomoochs to account for scale.


I'll leave it to others to figure out the finer units and reserve a Trump for the other end of the scale (however long he ends up holding office). Thus we'll eventually arrive at 93 Scaramuccis equaling 1 Trump (or whatever) and, if nothing else, gain insight as to how such things as smoots, furlongs, bloits, furmans, slugs and barn-megaparsecs came to be.
posted by philip-random at 4:24 PM on October 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


Thus we'll eventually arrive at 93 Scaramuccis equaling 1 Trump (or whatever)

even when we're inventing fictive units we still can't have the sensible cleanliness of metric
no, even here, we're stuck with imperial
because AMERICA, DAMNIT
posted by halation at 4:31 PM on October 24, 2017 [23 favorites]


Say what you will about Flake and Corker (and their line of handmade castile soaps) -- their antics actually got Trump to shut the fuck up and leave Myeshia Johnson and Rep. Wilson the hell alone for the first time in 8 days. That's something.

What do you think Trumo is doing now? Screaming at Kelly? I can't wait until he rage-tweetes about this.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:34 PM on October 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


The thing I said in the last thread about Corker being able to grind Senate business to a halt by refusing to grant unanimous consent is even more true now that the number of Senators publicly criticizing POTUS could be called "The Three Amigos" if that weren't already taken. (Though I'd love to see Lindsey Graham have a sad when he sees McCain rolling with his new homies.) Cloture votes take time.

Setting aside far-fetched scenarios mentioned above where these guys actually work with the Democrats, they still have the power to force time-consuming cloture votes and show other Republicans that it's okay to go against the family when the family's patriarch is an abusive monster. I wouldn't expect many to follow suit, but are they going to want to stick their neck out to support POTUS as much when a triumvirate of their colleagues who represent a pretty good cross-section of the party's ideology?

My fear is that they (well, McCain gets a pass here for his unique circumstances) aren't going to use the power and influence they still wield. They'll be on Sunday shows saying mostly the right things, but they'll just coast to the end of their terms looking like they did the right thing, but failing to rise to the level of action that the situation demands. I hope I'm wrong.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:40 PM on October 24, 2017 [18 favorites]


Yeah. I am sure I saw a tweet in which he said Wilson "dresses like a stripper ;)" a day or so ago. I think he deleted it.
posted by jgirl at 4:45 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah. I am sure I saw a tweet in which he said Wilson "dresses like a stripper ;)" a day or so ago. I think he deleted it.

That was the eternally classy Trump Jr.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:46 PM on October 24, 2017 [19 favorites]




That was Don Jr
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:48 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Please remember, One Nixon (the number of days between his first inauguration and resignation) was 2026 days. We're currently at less than 1/7Nixon, but considering his short attention span, business failure rate and general health, DT's unlikely to last 1/2Nixon.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:51 PM on October 24, 2017 [15 favorites]


My fear is that they (well, McCain gets a pass here for his unique circumstances) aren't going to use the power and influence they still wield. They'll be on Sunday shows saying mostly the right things, but they'll just coast to the end of their terms looking like they did the right thing, but failing to rise to the level of action that the situation demands. I hope I'm wrong.

Flake literally seems to not know how the Senate works. Senators have a TON of individual power, but Flake is too timid, or literally too stupid, to know how to use it effectively. While he was holding up the PR/Texas/Florida relief supplemental for his grandstanding resignation, John Cornyn was quietly doing the same thing, but extracting more money for Texas at the expense of Puerto Rico.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:51 PM on October 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


i think we're in the bad place

Trump to Flake: now you're in the sunken place
posted by Beardman at 4:55 PM on October 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


I’m utterly chuffed about this recent turn of events and was thrilled to read Flake’s speech. Every single time a Republican throws down on another Republican we should all rejoice in spiteful glee.

Not because it means deep down they’re good or reasonable people. They’re not. Not because it means they’re finally going to do the right thing. They won’t. Not because it will lead to any meaningful action. It may not. They’re all morally compromised ideologically bankrupt twits.

Because party unity is the greatest strength of the GOP. Every fracture or insult to that unity, no matter how big or small, is a crack in their greatest weapon. Every time an R politician turns on another I am stoked because they’re injuring their best mechanism for getting their heinous garbage agenda passed.

So yay Flake, you spineless enabler! Keep going!
posted by supercrayon at 4:58 PM on October 24, 2017 [85 favorites]


DT's unlikely to last 1/2Nixon

Half Nixon—similar to a half nelson, but while your opponent is pinned you jab him in the back with a #2 pencil.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:59 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


What do you think Trumo is doing now? Screaming at Kelly? I can't wait until he rage-tweetes about this.

He's waiting for someone to explain what Flake said, because he sure as hell isn't going to understand all those words and complete sentences all by himself.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:59 PM on October 24, 2017 [38 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

Dem HOLD in New Hampshire House Stafford 13, 77-14.

==

No specials next week, many many many on Nov 7.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:00 PM on October 24, 2017 [36 favorites]


WSJ: Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Faces Another Money-Laundering Probe: "Manhattan U.S. attorney’s inquiry comes as President Donald Trump is weighing candidates to run the office "

This is an investigation by the Manhattan US Attorney's office, on top of Mueller's investigation and an investigation by the NY Attorney General. Trump has personally interviewed candidates to run that office and the Brooklyn US Attorney's office, which is investigationing Kushenr Cos.

I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure the phrase "another money-laundering probe" is not something you want written about you.
posted by zachlipton at 5:01 PM on October 24, 2017 [31 favorites]


You know he's already called McConnell and Cornyn and thrown a King Baby tantrum.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:02 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


You know he's already called McConnell and Cornyn and thrown a King Baby tantrum.

Anyone think Trump figured out that the McCain, Flake, Corker troika can kill any legislation they decide to?

I think the "traitors" tweet-storm would be the tell.
posted by mikelieman at 5:04 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


"you see, mr trump, you need to show a little finesse - pat the widows and orphans gently - be seen feeding them in public - tell them that you would love to host them at a retreat at one of your properties - then, when no one is looking, you can throw them out of the helicopters

"as long as we're looking like we're making america great again and act with dignity and decorum, we can sacrifice as many people as we need and they will love us"
posted by pyramid termite at 5:08 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I think 'Aww. I miss Jeb!.' and then I realize how truly fucked up things are.

Please impeach.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:14 PM on October 24, 2017 [31 favorites]


I'm cautiously optimistic that comparisons to Nixon are unwarranted. Nixon was a nasty, vengeful, short-tempered fucker, but he was also a reasonably savvy political creature. The really crazy shit we remember was when things were already falling apart and he was starting to get careless.

Trump is no Richard Nixon (no, it's not a high bar to clear), and his cabinet and staff are nowhere near the competency of Nixon's minions. They were stepping on their own dicks long before things got remotely uncomfortable. With their party starting to revolt, they're only going to get more erratic.
posted by jackbishop at 5:14 PM on October 24, 2017 [15 favorites]


From the Amazon corporate welfare article above:

Most existing studies argue that the short-term political benefit of “bringing jobs” to a region gets offset by a shrinking tax base and a questionable impact on overall economic development. Good Jobs First found in 2013 that corporate subsidies had “microscopic effects on state economies.” They’re worse than a zero-sum game between metropolitan areas; they’re net-negative, because the corporation extracts the subsidy while cities lose revenue that would otherwise go to education or infrastructure investment to benefit the common good.

This is becoming like the mega-stadium binge that cities have been going on for the last decade or so. Or are we still in the midst of building those useless money pits? Fucking stadiums and corporate welfare, don't get me started.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:18 PM on October 24, 2017 [32 favorites]


Republicans Need a Better Response Besides Quitting: First Bob Corker, now Jeff Flake. We're one away from a dangerous trend.
It is true that Flake had a long push up a dirt road to get re-elected, and it is also true that his departure, along with that of Brave Bob Corker, accelerates the process by which the Republican majority in the Senate is transforming itself into a babbling replica of the Republican majority in the House, a process that is evidence enough of the virulence and the spread of the prion disease that has been eating away at the party’s higher functions for four decades.

But, still, this strikes me as a signifying event, if only because Republicans like Flake and Corker apparently see leaving office the only viable response to the fact that the president* is steering their party—and the country—over a cliff. If there ever was needed more evidence that movement conservatism, in its not-entirely-insane persona, is a spent force in American politics, watching Flake and Corker go scarpering away from public service would be it. Reaganism is long gone, and its pale progeny has been rendered irrelevant in the face of outright political thuggery. For Republican conservatives, it is Trump or the abyss.

...

His party is bound to get crazier, and the president* is completely around the bend. The most prominent Republican candidate for Jeff Flake’s seat is an osteopath named Kelli Ward who, in the past, has been chemtrail curious, at least as a constituent service, and who has popped in to chat with Alex Jones from time to time, and who has flirted with nullification as regards federal gun laws, and whose candidacy has been endorsed by both the president* and Steve Bannon, last heir to House Harkonnen.

It is possible, even likely, that the Republican “establishment” will find some conventional conservative to throw in there in order to keep Ward out of the general election, but I wouldn’t take odds on that succeeding. But none of that is Jeff Flake’s problem any more. It’s just ours.
posted by homunculus at 5:23 PM on October 24, 2017 [44 favorites]


Another Never-Trump becomes a Never-Mind. as many above have said, the moral thing to do is stay and fight, maybe, you know actually lose the primary instead of taking your toys and going home. Politics is like a comedy show, some of the actors are true comedians, some are just actors doing their job. Many politicians in both parties are actors, appealing to their district and working on their careers, their personal thoughts irrelevant to what the script says. The republicans are self-purging the actors so they can have a party of pure clowns.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 5:25 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]




I realize it wouldn't have fit at all with the tenor of the speech, but a little tiny part of me wishes he'd literally dropped a mic at the end and said "Flake out".
posted by uosuaq at 5:33 PM on October 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


Flake has an op-ed in the WaPo just now that ends:

But more is now required of us than to put down our thoughts in writing. As our political culture seems every day to plumb new depths of indecency, we must stand up and speak out. Especially those of us who hold elective office.

To that end, and to remove all considerations of what is normally considered to be safe politically, I have decided that my time in the Senate will end when my term ends in early January 2019. For the next 14 months, relieved of the strictures of politics, I will be guided only by the dictates of conscience.


The dude did just give his talk a few short hours ago. Here's hoping he backs up those words with actions.
posted by Sublimity at 5:39 PM on October 24, 2017 [60 favorites]


as many above have said, the moral thing to do is stay and fight, maybe, you know actually lose the primary instead of taking your toys and going home.

Respectfully, what’s the point in that? Recent history has shown that the batshit candidates are going to win in the primaries anyway. This doesn’t look to be a time where a principled fight on the campaign trail is going to get you any closer to your goals than as e.g. an outspoken former Senator on the pundit circuit.

Campaigns are expensive, time consuming, and draining. I wouldn’t sign up for that if I felt reasonably certain to lose.
posted by Brak at 5:45 PM on October 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


to remove all considerations of what is normally considered to be safe politically... For the next 14 months, relieved of the strictures of politics, I will be guided only by the dictates of conscience.

it is normally not considered safe politically to tell the truth when you have elections to win! he is going right along with that common wisdom! he is saying the people of Arizona are too corrupt or too stupid to vote for a man who tells the truth! he is confessing that he would not, could not, and did not follow the dictates of conscience, up until today. a couple decades of public service and he comes right out and says he is only going to start behaving well now, because he's leaving, and only because he's leaving did he consider it! they were not STRICTURES put upon you by politics, jeff flake, they were idiot choices you gladly and willingly made, and even now you cannot look the fact in the face and realize you never had to!

I mean I enjoyed the speech and I am sure I will enjoy others that he gives but this is moral bankruptcy talking and it is upsetting even when it is this close to becoming self-aware. how does he expect to harangue his fellow senators effectively when he thus excuses the sins of all his colleagues who are not likewise retiring?

UNLESS...unless the endgame is to convince all Republicans they must retire from public service, and retire now, if they are ever to be free. good luck, jeff flake. good luck.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:50 PM on October 24, 2017 [50 favorites]




I have been so worried about the state of our disunion that I recently wrote a book

I will not let anyone, even jeff flake, bait me into making fun of books or the impulse to write them. I won't.

anyway it's a very good op-ed as long as you don't think for more than five seconds about whose name is on it. good for him, hope his book does well. it really is a nice op-ed. congrats to whoever wrote it, they did fine work.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:56 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Please remember, One Nixon (the number of days between his first inauguration and resignation) was 2026 days

But the malfeasance and criminality that brought down Nixon took place in the summer of '72, a little less than five months before the election? And Nixon resigned in August of '74, 19 months after his second inauguration. Trump got there right out of the gate. Depending on how fast the investigation is moving, if there's something there, Trump may not last until the summer of 2018 (that depends on how much of a liability to the GOP he is, mostly).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:59 PM on October 24, 2017 [9 favorites]




Nixon went from sweeping the electoral college to resignation within two years.

On November 7, 1972, Nixon was reelected with 520 electoral college votes, and 60.7% of the popular vote, with 55.1% voter turnout.

The Watergate incident occurred in June 1972, and a the scandal began to emerge in July 1973. Nixon didn't resign until August 1974. His approval rating was as high as 68% in January 1973. Within a year he was down to 22%.

Trump won 304 electoral college votes, and lost the popular vote with 46.1% (55.5% voter turnout). His approval rating has hovered around 40% for the ten months he's been in office.*

Trump doesn't have as far to fall as Nixon did so hopefully things would go a bit faster. But still...I might be able to wait another year for a resignation or impeachment?

* All stats from Wikipedia, sorry. I'm on my phone.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:17 PM on October 24, 2017 [13 favorites]


Of course I spend extra time peppering my comment with statistics and jazz and someone says it far more succinctly and better than me, right before I post mine.

Note to self: read the new comments when you preview.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:20 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


> In my alternate 2017 timeline he brings the whole damn family with him and pulls a Snowden--holing up in the Forbidden City encased by Xi's security forces
You misspelled Yanukovych.
> Republican voters really have gone insane.
Only persons can go insane. What we're seeing here is the destruction of the "person". We no longer have "voters", but constituent-in-a-Skinner-box hyperbehavioural reflex engines.
posted by runcifex at 6:23 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


THREAD on the "HRC funded the Steele dossier" WaPo piece, from Clinton's national press secretary Brian Fallon:
I regret I didnt know about Christopher Steele's hiring pre-election. If I had, I would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help him

If I'd gotten his dossier before Nov 8, I may have tried to convince Mook & Podesta to let me hold a Comey-style press conference to read it

I have no idea what Fusion or Steele were paid but if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping Mueller, it will prove money well spent

And all this time I thought @marceelias was merely best election lawyer & voting rights lawyer in U.S. Proud to have shared foxhole with him
posted by lalex at 6:24 PM on October 24, 2017 [53 favorites]


I want to be happy about this, but honestly it just feels like two anti-Trumpers are retiring and one has brain cancer, and they’re all from republican states, where Steve Bannon’s picks will win the seats.

Which is when we start to get REALLY fucked.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:27 PM on October 24, 2017 [16 favorites]


to remove all considerations of what is normally considered to be safe politically... For the next 14 months, relieved of the strictures of politics, I will be guided only by the dictates of conscience.

If this dude knows he's too susceptible to ambition and peer pressure to do the right thing unless he removes those incentives, then he's making the right choice. It's super lame that he doesn't have the willpower and judgment to do the right thing in spite of those ambitions or Mitch McConnell telling him "Aww, c'monnnn, just be a pal!" But if he knows himself and he knows this is what he needs to do to free himself to do the right thing, then it's for the best. Not ideal, probably not even admirable, but for the best.

The proof will be in whether or not he actually follows these professed principles with action.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:28 PM on October 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


It's certainly possible a Republican might hold Flake's seat, but I do not believe it'll be a Bannon Republican.
posted by lalex at 6:30 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Welp, I guess it was too much to ask to just celebrate for one night. I was on my way to the bakery to purchase the aforementioned cake, and my dad called to tell me he has prostate cancer. Treatable, seems like he'll be ok, but still. Suffice to say, I no longer feel like celebrating.

Boy, I hope his health insurance covers all of this. He voted for Trump, but my schadenfreude/irony dial only goes so far.
posted by greermahoney at 6:32 PM on October 24, 2017 [57 favorites]


It's certainly possible a Republican might hold Flake's seat, but I do not believe it'll be a Bannon Republican.

It probably won't but Kelli Ward being a coin toss away from the Senate chamber makes me almost as sick as Roy Moore being odds on for joining it.
posted by Talez at 6:33 PM on October 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Bannon Republican

Only a couple syllables off from Banana Republic. Coincidence?
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:41 PM on October 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


They brought Pence to the Senate for a potential tie-beaker vote, if you're wondering how serious they are about gutting the CFPB's arbitration rule. Still unclear if they have the votes.
posted by zachlipton at 6:42 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


greermahoney, that sucks, I'm sorry. Fwiw, it's got really good prognosis numbers.

But look, somebody left the cake out in the rain check, so you get one when you're good and ready because you're totally 100% approved, no backsies.
posted by petebest at 6:47 PM on October 24, 2017 [14 favorites]


> Trump doesn't have as far to fall as Nixon did so hopefully things would go a bit faster. But still...I might be able to wait another year for a resignation or impeachment?
We must remind ourselves that Watergate was no scandal, but the simulacrum of a scandal as fascination and deterrence. It was only a scandal in so far as it failed to be a perfect cover of the non-scandality of what enabled it.

Like Nixon, Trump isn't an aberration, but the inevitable normality engendered by the realities of the society. We cannot return to a normality de-Trumped, because Trump has been the Normal, despite our contrary desire to believe otherwise.
posted by runcifex at 7:06 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Flake/Corker (if you think pres is shit and deplorable base is wrongheaded - you have options
1) fight the primary, make your tea-ponent spend money and get muddied, you don't care, you don't want to be re-elected.

2)keep the fact that you are not running again a secret and oppose trump in senate, make base think they have to defeat you and the democrat in the race

3) run independent and punish the base for its excesses

4) announce that you are out so that the rest of the party can save face by blaming you for not unleashing more face-eating leopards. Pass your keyes to a deplorable who wants to unleash all the leopards
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 7:07 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


So couldn't we have a crazy 3 way race for POTUS in 2020 while we're in the middle of sorting out bedfellows, then settle in to 2 new sets of coalitions for 2024?

I am reminded of this article, from June of last year, and how prescient it now seems to be.

And while the Whigs were forever destroyed, we had a Civil War before it all shook out.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:08 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


So, on what point will the next Civil War be sparked?
posted by zarq at 7:10 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Pence is going to tiebreak
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:10 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


@pkcapitol: McCain & Flake vote aye on this rollback of CFPB rules.
posted by petebest at 7:12 PM on October 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


It's over. Wall Street has bought themselves once again the right to screw over their customers and be assured they'll never ever have to so much as look a judge in the eye to answer for it.
posted by zachlipton at 7:14 PM on October 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


Heh. Just heard NPR use the phrase "white grievance" to describe the concerns of trumpists. Just fucking say it, NPR, say the R word. Fucking say it.
posted by Artw at 7:14 PM on October 24, 2017 [29 favorites]




> Heh. Just heard NPR use the phrase "white grievance" to describe the concerns of trumpists. Just fucking say it, NPR, say the R word. Fucking say it.

Reconomic anxiety?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:17 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


It's the old racenomical anxiecism all right.
posted by Artw at 7:19 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


triggerfinger: "This is becoming like the mega-stadium binge that cities have been going on for the last decade or so. Or are we still in the midst of building those useless money pits?"

Yep.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:20 PM on October 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Riscal responsibility? Rict renructionrism? Rates rights? Rareness in rideo rame roverage?
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:20 PM on October 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


The civil war has already started, at least in our minds. I hate hate hate the goddamn Republicans and I'm well aware they hate me just as much. Average Clinton Voter and Average Trump Voter might have less in common, in terms of culture, understanding of the world, and overall goals for the country than people in the North and South in 1860. If Charlottesville had gone differently, and one of the tiki torch nazis had been killed instead of Heather Heyer, how many of us would have been upset? Not worried about the repercussions, but genuinely sad a fellow American had died?
posted by theodolite at 7:20 PM on October 24, 2017 [26 favorites]


I don't know anything about public finance in the USA, but does this make sense:

Puerto Rico's power system is royally fscked and it will cost a fortune to even bring it back to pre-hurricane standards. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is in a debt hole and would already be bankrupt if such a thing were possible. Consequently, nobody is going to take the job on without Federal guarantees – but the Federal administration isn't going to do that, and has clearly signaled that that's the case.

So some good old boys who know the Secretary of the Interior cooked this deal up jointly: they bid for the contract at an inflated price, knowing that Puerto Rico will be unable to pay; and when Puerto Rico can't, doesn't pay, Zinke lobbies for a Federal bailout. The good old boys know how to grift, and have set things up so they get paid first. Even if they only get ten cents on the dollar, they come out ahead. They win big if Puerto Rico tries to break the contract, but otherwise they subcontract everything and drag it out as long as possible. And if anyone complains they can point out that they were the only ones willing to take the job.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:20 PM on October 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


So whats the end game for the "sane" republicans once they all quit? Sit out the demise of america and hope their finances are enough to build a really good compound?
posted by Artw at 7:21 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


McCain & Flake

This is either a) manufacturer of upscale calligraphy pens or b) a totally gnarly skateboard move. I can't decide.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:22 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Money Talks. Trump voters screw themselves out of CFPB arbitration and continue their *baffling* desecration of our beloved sacred parchment.

That "Stonecutter" Simpsons is getting weirder through the lens of this Klownwig pestilence.
posted by petebest at 7:24 PM on October 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


It's over. Wall Street has bought themselves once again the right to screw over their customers and be assured they'll never ever have to so much as look a judge in the eye to answer for it.

Resistance heroes McCain, Murkowski, Corker, Collins and Flake all voted yes.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:27 PM on October 24, 2017 [75 favorites]


this political madness has been going on so long that i'm using these threads as an ad hoc unit of measurement

The genius of this is that these threads are basically the only place where the passage of time feels normal. When everything is getting out of hand and days feel like weeks there is a flood of comments to match and gives that time more weight.
posted by VTX at 7:28 PM on October 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


It's over. Wall Street has bought themselves once again the right to screw over their customers and be assured they'll never ever have to so much as look a judge in the eye to answer for it.

Resistance heroes McCain, Murkowski, Corker, Collins and Flake all voted yes.


After Day of Feuding, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker Join Trump to Upend a Major Consumer Protection
posted by homunculus at 7:33 PM on October 24, 2017 [32 favorites]


Resistance heroes McCain, Murkowski, Corker, Collins and Flake all voted yes.

Guess how many of the Republican Congresspeople who helped get rid of Nixon joined the Socialist Workers Party.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:34 PM on October 24, 2017 [19 favorites]


Flake and Corker are much more concerned about making sure every last poors gets fucked than anything Trump has supposedly done that made them upset enough to walk away. It's not even clear what they're mad about other than he's a moron that attacked them by name, it's certainly not his policies, because they have and are and will support those on every vote.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:37 PM on October 24, 2017 [14 favorites]


I know this hasn't been all focus grouped and all, but maybe instead of a $10M ad campaign from Tom Steyer saying we should impeach Trump, how about a $10M ad campaign that just says "Republicans voted to make sure you can never sue your bank when they rip you off. Republicans: the party that gave get-out-of-jail free cards to your credit card company?"
posted by zachlipton at 7:42 PM on October 24, 2017 [71 favorites]


Well, how much of Tom Steyer's fortune is in bank stocks?

Remember, the Republican Party has TWO base groups: the base voters, who are the Deplorable White Racists, and the base financial supporters, who are the Top .01%.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:46 PM on October 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


> It looks like the FCC will kill net neutrality over Thanksgiving

Ending Net Neutrality Can Help Puerto Rico Recover, Verizon-Funded Nonprofit Proposes
posted by homunculus at 7:49 PM on October 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 Senate:
-- You may have heard Jeff Flake isn't running next year. Rothenberg, Cook, Sabato all leaving race as Tossup; more from 538 on why this doesn't really affect the odds much.

Whackdoodle
Kelli Ward is running, and would seem to be the Trump/Bannon favorite, but there have been some countersigns, like Trump not meeting with her, and some Breitbart people leaving the campaign. Other candidates will likely throw their hats in, with some thought the party may try to push Rep. Martha McSally.

On the Dem side, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is the only serious candidate, and is regarded as the strongest person the Dems could run. A reminder that Trump won AZ 48-45, and is underwater in approval ratings there.

-- In CA, a lot of Congressfolks are reluctant to come right out and support Feinstein's re-election.

-- In MI, Kid Rock (sigh) apparently not really going to run, but then left the door open a bit. Whatever.

-- In FL, a U of No Fla poll has Dem Sen. Nelson up 37-36 on possible GOP opponent Gov. Rick Scott.

-- In ND, an 1892 Polling poll has Dem Sen. Heidi Heitkamp trailing possible opponent state Sen. Tom Campbell 44-41.

-- The Hill with some analysis of Q3 Senate candidate fundraising. tl;dr: Dems did well, "fringe" candidates less well.
** AL Senate special -- A Strategy Research poll has Moore up on Jones 52-41. I've seen some eyebrows raised over this poll, but as always, you shouldn't cherrypick.

** Odds & ends -- Good one pager from flippable of what will be on ballots in two weeks. Many specials, NJ and VA statewides, all kinds of other important elections, too. I do plan a post on this, to corral the election results from blowing up this thread.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:53 PM on October 24, 2017 [36 favorites]


I'm starting to suspect McConnell told everyone "It's okay to express your feelings as long as that's all you do" and these dudes were like "Thank you for compromising!"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:03 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Flake's speech makes no sense to me. He isn't complicit in Trump's presidency by being a Senator. I think he just doesn't have the stomach for the coming fight.
posted by Coventry at 8:11 PM on October 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


He's throwing his state to Nazi weirdos and washing his hands of it is what he's doing.
posted by Artw at 8:16 PM on October 24, 2017 [14 favorites]


Flake, like all Republicans, has been operating far away from natural conscience for decades, so now he’s reduced to a melodramatic ball of blubber just with a passing blow from that neglected thing. Useless soggy whitebread.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:18 PM on October 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


So whats the end game for the "sane" republicans once they all quit? Sit out the demise of america and hope their finances are enough to build a really good compound?

I believe this is the "fuck you, got mine" plank of the Republican platform.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:51 PM on October 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


> I do plan a post on this, to corral the election results from blowing up this thread.

I'll be looking forward to it.
posted by nangar at 9:04 PM on October 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Isobel Thompson, Vanity Fair: Trump Decides not to Deport Dissident After Learning He’s A Mar-A-Lago Member
Trump was reportedly considering deporting Guo until aides talked him out of it—including by informed[sic] him that Guo happens to be a member of his Mar-a-Lago resort (a privilege that costs $200,000 in initiation fees plus $14,000 in annual dues).
posted by xyzzy at 9:10 PM on October 24, 2017 [49 favorites]


Condolence gift to gold star father with nasty ex-wife: $25,000
Ransom/extortion from mark to prevent his deportation as a dissident: $200,000
Getting to look a photo of your dead dad in the eye while your finger rests gently on the Button: Priceless
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:18 PM on October 24, 2017 [25 favorites]


The other half of the story is that Trump only knew about Guo because one of his biggest donors, who so happens to need the continued blessings of the Chinese authorities to operate his business, hand delivered a letter informing him.

And yet the biggest scandal isn't any of that, but that Democratic opposition research was paid for by the Democratic Party.
posted by zachlipton at 9:23 PM on October 24, 2017 [35 favorites]




Yesterday was my birthday. I didn't want Flake's "Hey Maybe Imma Grow a Spine And Be An Actual Human Being" speech. I also didn't want this stomach flu but here we are.
posted by blessedlyndie at 9:41 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


What do you think Trumo is doing now? Screaming at Kelly? I can't wait until he rage-tweetes about this.

He's waiting for someone to explain what Flake said, because he sure as hell isn't going to understand all those words and complete sentences all by himself.


You guys give him a lot of credit. He won't know anyone did anything until tomorrow morning when Fox and Friends informs him of it. What, you think he has some kind of staff to inform him of things? The only things you can trust are the things on the TeeVee.
posted by threeturtles at 9:55 PM on October 24, 2017 [13 favorites]




Trump says he got 'multiple standing ovations' from GOP senators. For once it's not an idle boast.

Traditionally you watch for the first official to stop clapping and have his family sent to the gulag.
posted by Justinian at 10:29 PM on October 24, 2017 [31 favorites]


Virginia.

Doors.

Memail me.
posted by dogheart at 10:31 PM on October 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


This is your reminder that it's now been 25 days since Congress failed to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program. It's a program provides, uh, health insurance to, *checks notecard*, children, about 9 million of them in fact. Pregnant women in some states too. States are preparing to throw kids off their insurance as they run out of money

So if you have a piece of crap Republican representative, call their office in the morning and ask why they're doing this.
posted by zachlipton at 11:05 PM on October 24, 2017 [79 favorites]



Riscal responsibility? Rict renructionrism? Rates rights? Rareness in rideo rame roverage?

Thankyou for this mini episode of "Alt-Right Scooby Doo"
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:55 PM on October 24, 2017 [29 favorites]


To be honest, I don't think the present US ambassador to NZ is markedly worse than his predecessors. It's one of those weird exceptional US things that US presidents can award ambassadorships to completely untrained, unsuitable numpties as a reward for big donations, and so little unimportant allies who can't do much harm like us are regularly insulted by not getting the courtesy of a professional telling us self-serving lies, instead an amateur has to do it.

I expect the State department running down means the quality of the handlers has declined.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:42 AM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Flake's speech makes no sense to me. He isn't complicit in Trump's presidency by being a Senator. I think he just doesn't have the stomach for the coming fight. -- Coventry

The problem is, when anyone with a hint of a suggestion of a proto-conscience does this, it's always followed by them resigning or otherwise stepping back... thereby letting a much crazier person who more accurately represents the current Republican power base step in to fill their spot.

Unless they stay and fight, they're making the problem worse.
posted by rokusan at 1:08 AM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


It's been a year* since New South Wales Parliament [had] formally branded US presidential candidate Donald Trump a "revolting slug" who is unfit for office. I'm sort of proud that's on the record for all time. There were no objections. We all knew it, and it's still true, it's just nice to have it in writing so early in the day.

*4 billion trumpaeons
posted by adept256 at 1:26 AM on October 25, 2017 [42 favorites]


Unless they stay and fight, they're making the problem worse.

In my mind, the issue arises from a toxic synergy between corrupted politics and uncontested capitalism. It's one thing to celebrate an individual who suffers a political loss for the sake of moral rectitude...but to celebrate someone who willfully wastes millions of dollars worth of contributions in the pursuit of a moral/ethical/symbolic victory? I don't think that's possible within the framework of the contemporary American zeitgeist.

Speaking of which, lately I've been wondering if the left could ever find a populism-friendly way of discussing capitalist brainwashing, as a counter to how the mainstream right embraced the conspiracy theory of "cultural marxism." I doubt there's any approach to the subject that wouldn't further alienate the kinds of people who view a liberal arts education as pointless, and it frustrates me because I feel like a huge part of the far-right's recent success with edgy young people comes from a newly refined narrative suggesting "anything that makes you question capitalism/patriarchy/etc or doubt your own innate superiority is part of a subversive conspiracy, and progressives are the *real* sheeple because they've fallen for it."

Since it seems like facts and appeals to rationality are no longer sufficient to combat a conspiracy theory that forms an appealing and attractive narrative, maybe the only thing the left can do is market better conspiracies for disenfranchised people to latch onto. It's not like you would even have to lie or distort the truth if you wanted to emphasize how the moneyed interests of the world have conspired together to rob entire generations of their future. It just entails giving up on any West Wing-esque/Sorkinsian notions of winning political battles through sheer nobility, or focusing on hopes and virtues instead of fears.
posted by prosopagnosia at 2:22 AM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


I tell you, it's gonna be a hell of a hangover once the 'Trump' era is over.

As mentioned upthread the 'complicated' issues like the CFPB and CHIP should be reduced to one sentence ("you can't sue the bank that screwed you anymore, thanks R-Senator!" "Kid lost his health insurance? Thanks R-Senator!") and bulk mailed to every red-voting household possible. The truth, the boring facts are so much more powerful than just saying "Trump is unfit!"
posted by From Bklyn at 2:46 AM on October 25, 2017 [47 favorites]


Watching this with my father, now. Is this it, he's asking?
posted by infini at 3:09 AM on October 25, 2017


Insufficient data for a meaningful answer.

However, this sentence fragment
posted by perspicio at 3:22 AM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


> A Scaramucci is still a perfectly cromulent unit.

> I think these threads at least need to rely on kilomoochs to account for scale.

> *4 billion trumpaeons

I love Metafilter for many reasons, but am really enjoying the ongoing quest to develop a reliable shitometer for our times
posted by Myeral at 3:22 AM on October 25, 2017 [31 favorites]


My high school classmate wrote this in our most recent email exchange. They retired from State after 25 years of serving your nation as its diplomatic representatives.

The US is going backwards which has me worried. Our “president” is just playing at the job and has no idea on how to do his job. Trying to rule by Tweet is a travesty and has cost the US a lot of influence and our global position as he pulls back and works towards turning one group against another. You did well when you decided not to remain in the US. Congratulations on making a smart choice.

fwiw I had long talks with them on "should I stay and get naturalized, or should I move on and find peace of mind" back in 2006/07
posted by infini at 3:30 AM on October 25, 2017 [24 favorites]


Flake said as much - that Republican voters actively want hatred and bigotry: Here's the bottom line: The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path im not willing to take, and that I cant in good conscience take. . . It would require me to believe in positions I don't hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone."
posted by Exceptional_Hubris


What is the opposite of epoynsterical?
posted by infini at 3:32 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


That was a historic speech, and it was meant to be a historic speech.

Historic enough that snippets of CNN were being shown on the Singapore local news
posted by infini at 3:37 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


"should I stay and get naturalized, or should I move on and find peace of mind"

As a rule, I say favor peace of mind whenever it's an option.

I hope it worked out that way for you.
posted by perspicio at 4:22 AM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Morning Coffee Joe on the funding of the Steele Dossier: "Finally, Washington DC did something in a bipartisan way!"
posted by XMLicious at 4:35 AM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


Speaking to Stuff with wife Gail Huff[*] at his side, Brown confirmed there had been an official "administrative inquiry" into his conduct at a Peace Corp event in Samoa in July.

It related to an official complaint about comments he made when arriving at the event, when he told some of the guests they looked "beautiful". There had also been a complaint about a comment he made to a woman serving food and drink that she could make hundreds of dollars in the hospitality industry in the US, Brown said.

That was the extent of the complaints, and the inquiry had concluded with a warning that he should be more culturally aware, Brown said.


I dunno. It's no pussy grabbing. Y'know like United States President Donald Trump likes to do. "Grab 'em by the pussy." - Donald J. Unfuckingbelievable Sonofabitch-Whatthefucker. Like straight-up, HR-just-did-an-hour-long-powerpoint-on, Do Not do this, who would support this goddamned monster sexual assault.

*2017 Writers, man, they're in everything.
posted by petebest at 4:43 AM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the whole Flake/Corker noise was just the fucking smokescreen to hide them striking down consumer rights to sue the fucking banks.

I don't think I can post in these threads anymore without some version of the word fuck.
posted by yoga at 4:51 AM on October 25, 2017 [24 favorites]


"Hospitality industry" or "HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY" *eyebrow waggle* *drool*? Seems very unlikely that a woman serving at a party would complain if someone suggested that she could earn good money doing a similar job in the States.

I read the article and now I would like to hear from the women who made the complaints, please. Or their lawyers.
posted by doornoise at 4:51 AM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


"should I stay and get naturalized, or should I move on and find peace of mind"

As a rule, I say favor peace of mind whenever it's an option.

I hope it worked out that way for you.


embarressingly well, geographically. I snipped out his bit about finland's rankings on quality of life indices. however, since mentally & emotionally I still have ties online and off, and am a woc, the most recent surge since charlottesville has been taking its toll since the viciousness and bile of the bigotry is web enabledly global and dependent on the tech giant bros from the valley.
posted by infini at 4:53 AM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Hey, remember when Maggie Haberman refused to say Trump & Co was lying because it wasn't their job to do so and they couldn't know intent?

@maggieNYT (Jan. 21, 2017)
Part of our job is showing when something untrue is said. Our job is not to say "lied." Thanks. @chrispolanco


Hmm...

@maggieNYT (yesterday)
Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year. Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier
posted by chris24 at 4:54 AM on October 25, 2017 [91 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

Dem HOLD in New Hampshire House Stafford 13, 77-14.

==


For context, this was one of Dover's Wards; Dover is the town just north of Durham, where UNH is; this ward in particular has a lot of grad students/lecturers/junior professors living there, and is about 2/3 D, 1/3 R. Only 12% of the registered voters turned out, which translates to less than 500 people (article behind a login screen).

Still, a victory's a victory!
posted by damayanti at 4:55 AM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Maggie Haberman is a pro-Trump shill. She has been the whole time.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:58 AM on October 25, 2017 [43 favorites]


I'll have to confirm with disgraced "Public Editor" Liz Spayd about that.
posted by petebest at 5:03 AM on October 25, 2017


Maggie Haberman is a fucking travesty and one of the reasons I won't subscribe to the Times.
posted by Mavri at 5:06 AM on October 25, 2017 [37 favorites]


@infini: eponyspairing, maybe?
posted by XtinaS at 5:09 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Good morning, America.

NAACP ISSUES NATIONAL TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR AMERICAN AIRLINES
“The NAACP for several months now has been monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines. In light of these confrontations, we have today taken the action of issuing national advisory alerting travelers—especially African Americans—to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions. This travel advisory is in effect beginning today, October 24, 2017, until further notice.

The series of recent incidents involve troublesome conduct by American Airlines and they suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias on the part of American Airlines. Among these incidents:
  1. An African-American man was required to relinquish his purchased seats aboard a flight from Washington, D.C. to Raleigh-Durham, merely because he responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers;
  2. Despite having previously booked first-class tickets for herself and a traveling companion, an African-American woman’s seating assignment was switched to the coach section at the ticket counter, while her white companion remained assigned to a first-class seat;
  3. On a flight bound for New York from Miami, the pilot directed that an African-American woman be removed from the flight when she complained to the gate agent about having her seating assignment changed without her consent; and
  4. An African-American woman and her infant child were removed from a flight from Atlanta to New York City when the woman (incidentally a Harvard Law School student) asked that her stroller be retrieved from checked baggage before she would disembark.
The NAACP deplores such alarming behavior on the part of airline personnel, and we are aware of these incidents only because the passengers involved knew their rights, knew to speak up and exercised the courage to do so promptly. Historically, the NAACP has issued travel advisories when conditions on the ground pose a substantial risk of harm to black Americans, and we are concerned today that the examples cited herein may represent only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to American Airlines’ documented mistreatment of African-American customers.”

“All travelers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm,” stated Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that cannot be dismissed as normal or random. We expect an audience with the leadership of American Airlines to air these grievances and to spur corrective action. Until these and other concerns are addressed, this national travel advisory will stand,”
posted by perspicio at 5:18 AM on October 25, 2017 [93 favorites]


A good read on how Nazism isn't wearing a swastika, it's an ideology that's getting much more common in the US and world. A snippet.

Nazism: what it is, why we fight it, and how
When I talk about the dangers of Nazism, people often assume I mean it as a term of abuse, as an excuse to attack people I disagree with. This is the unfortunate side effect of people forgetting the real meaning of the word — of treating “Nazi” like some kind of generic slur or term of abuse. It isn’t: it has a straightforward, literal meaning. And it is one that you need to understand.

What is Nazism? After WWII, there was a campaign to argue that Nazism had no real ideology, that it was just some group of people, to delegitimize it. That had some value, but its downside was that people forgot that Nazism does have an ideology, which never went away.

Nazism conceives of the world as a struggle between races. That’s not “race” as in the 20th-century American “black/white” sense; in the Nazi vision, Jews, Slavs, Britons, and so on are all “races,” too. Nazism believes that races have certain characteristics, which are passed on through the blood, and that they are bound to some land, which it is their right and duty to rule.

There are a few other articles of Nazi belief: for example, that acting (“the will”) is better than thinking (a sign of weaker races), and that the strength of a race is most strongly exemplified through the untrammeled Will of its leaders. It is often combined with Fascism, which adds a belief in the importance of hierarchy and obedience — and if you’re thinking, “Wait, you just made an ideology around obeying people who don’t think?” you may have spotted one of the many ways in which this goes wrong.

The “National Socialism” is a very real idea, too: it means socialism for members of the nation. And they decide who’s in and who’s out. Government subsidies for “good, decent people?” Sure! Just don’t give it to those parasites. So here’s the important thing: These ideas make up Nazism. You don’t need to wear a swastika to believe in them. [...]

Here’s the thing: when the Nazis came to power in Germany, they didn’t build camps. They passed laws restricting jobs for “non-German” races (nations). They argued that money spent on the disabled was simply a drain on society, and we should move them to hospitals. They held angry public rallies which often included violence. Their leaders and militias flouted the law, because they knew it didn’t apply to them. They saw who they could kill and get away with, and gradually, over time, expanded that.

They encouraged “voluntary self-deportation” of unwanted Jews, by banning them from holding jobs. When no country wanted a few million refugees, it was their proof that nobody wanted the Jews. So camps were started up as administrative holding centers, where they could be put to good use — that is, as slave labor. The disabled, moved to remote hospitals, were out of sight and out of mind: so that’s where they did their first experiments of mass murder.

I could go on about this for hours, but the point is: this was a story of an ideology which did exactly what it said on the label. They didn’t do this by showing up one night and starting to kill people, but by slowly, gradually, building up public normalization of what they did.
posted by chris24 at 5:19 AM on October 25, 2017 [166 favorites]


Nice summary (via Thread Reader for easy reading!) by @RVAwonk of the recent reappearance in the news of the uranium and dossier storylines and the ratfuckery behind it.
posted by chaoticgood at 5:20 AM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


They didn’t do this by showing up one night and starting to kill people, but by slowly, gradually, building up public normalization of what they did.

And what would be the most efficient and largely irrefutable way to normalize what they're currently doing?
posted by petebest at 5:29 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Here’s the thing: when the Nazis came to power in Germany, they didn’t build camps.

What? Dachau, which was the model for SS concentration camps, was opened in 1933. Before that, a wide variety of improvised detention facilities operated, outside the law, where victims (especially Communists and Social Democrats, at that time) were incarcerated and abused.

The author seems to be conflating concentration camps with genocidal killing, which indeed didn't begin until the war.
posted by thelonius at 5:37 AM on October 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


And what would be the most efficient and largely irrefutable way to normalize what they're currently doing?

Us NOT protesting ever more vigorously in response?
posted by perspicio at 5:39 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


And what would be the most efficient and largely irrefutable way to normalize what they're currently doing?

The propaganda of the largest cable news network (FOX) and largest local news network (Sinclair). Aided and abetted by both sides journalism of supposedly fair news outlets.
posted by chris24 at 5:40 AM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


MetaFilter: a reliable shitometer for our times
posted by kirkaracha at 5:44 AM on October 25, 2017 [26 favorites]


tl;dr Uranium story: (thanks chaoticgood!); Breichbart-funded lies sold last year to smear HRC, same lies reappear in The Hill from Sinclair turdpiece, Hannity barfs it out awhile longer and Real Smart Toady Devin Nunes duly starts an investigation as ordered, which the Whacky left-liberal Washington Post screams from the mountaintop as if it's news, or true, which it's neither.

And also her emails. Apparently. Really. Still. Because Corporate News can't be bothered to SAY THE TRUTH that our demented sociopath of a "leader" relies on a corrupt bootlicking squad of racist old men to pretend this is okay.

Also just a few more minutes until Trump just toilet-tweets the disenfranchisement of yet another generation, which is brave and normal. The Generals absolutely agree.
posted by petebest at 5:45 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Dachau, which was the model for SS concentration camps, was opened in 1933.

You're right. But it opened in 1933 with a couple hundred existing prisoners transferred from other prisons. It didn't start taking in religious enemies, homosexuals, emigrants, etc. until later after the passage of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935.
posted by chris24 at 5:46 AM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


Trump has tweeted multiple times about the standing ovation he got at that 'unity' lunch so that should tell you where his priorities are at the moment.
posted by PenDevil at 5:46 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Nazism: what it is, why we fight it, and how
...if you’re thinking, “Wait, you just made an ideology around obeying people who don’t think?” you may have spotted one of the many ways in which this goes wrong.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:53 AM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]




it's been a while since this has been posted, and i think a lot of people could use a refresher: Autocracy: Rules for Survival
posted by entropicamericana at 6:01 AM on October 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


when it comes to climate change she believes in "both sides of the science"

Sure, you believe the science that says humans cause climate change, and you believe the science that says there's political power concentrated in wealth. Is there a problem there?
posted by Rykey at 6:17 AM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


This is going to be a derail here but, if anyone is interested in learning about the complicated history of Nazi terror, a good recent source for the general reader is KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps
posted by thelonius at 6:33 AM on October 25, 2017 [19 favorites]


CBC News: The new U.S. ambassador to Canada says when it comes to climate change she believes in "both sides of the science"

To be honest this is an improvement. Now the fate of the environment is upgraded to a coin flip.
posted by srboisvert at 7:14 AM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


prosopagnosia: I've been wondering if the left could ever find a populism-friendly way of discussing capitalist brainwashing, as a counter to how the mainstream right embraced the conspiracy theory of "cultural marxism."

I feel like a huge part of the far-right's recent success with edgy young people comes from a newly refined narrative suggesting "anything that makes you question capitalism/patriarchy/etc or doubt your own innate superiority is part of a subversive conspiracy, and progressives are the *real* sheeple because they've fallen for it."


One obstacle is that the magasphere pretends to lay claim even to certain forms of anti-capitalism, at least in terms of supporting trade protectionism, "draining the swamp", and making "Goldman Sachs" a sneer word. Of course, none of this has manifested in actual policies. Whenever this is pointed out, these people (to the extent thesy acknowledge the dissonance) have to double down on cynicism, either with "Politicians are corrupt, no surprise there" or "LOL nothing matters do those Wall Streeters trigger you". Speaking of banks...

yoga: Yeah, the whole Flake/Corker noise was just the fucking smokescreen to hide them striking down consumer rights to sue the fucking banks.

This is plausible but I think both the vote and the anti-Trump noises are better understood seperately than together. After all there's not some alternate timeline where Senator Florker is silent about the president, then this vote comes around and he thinks to himself "Looks like I have to go against my donors on this, voting with Lindsay Graham and all the Democrats as they protect consumers, because of my voters/conscience/the media. If only I'd spoken out against Trump, I'd have sufficient political capital that I could afford to vote with my party and make my financiers happy."
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:20 AM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


See also the USHMM Encyclopedia and timeline.
posted by orrnyereg at 7:28 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


WaPo: House GOP tax leader threatens to break Trump’s promise not to change 401(k) rules

It's not 12-dimensional chess, they really do just want to kill you.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:31 AM on October 25, 2017 [37 favorites]


Interesting to note my browser is having a meltdown about the insecure certificateless website USHMM
posted by infini at 7:32 AM on October 25, 2017


Seth Meyers' slow clap for Flake
All right! Jeff Flake! Way to eventually go! It took kinda-sorta guts to stand up only 11 months after the election and tell America not to elect Donald Trump. You said, ‘Hey, I don’t care if this hurts my 18 percent approval rating. And yeah, maybe I voted to confirm Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos, even though one lied during his confirmation hearing, and the other spells “lie” with an “h.” But I’m going stand up and do what was right a year ago. I’m going to fight for the American people — by quitting my job of fighting for the American people.
posted by zakur at 7:43 AM on October 25, 2017 [108 favorites]


Holy shit, the House chair of Ways & Means, the GOP tax leader in the article linked by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish looks

a

lot

like

Voldemort.

Also, per the article, he thinks that if you contribute $200 a month or less to your 401K, then you are contributing too less, and tax reform needs to "create incentives for people to save more and save sooner.” Which, how the fuck are you going to help people to save more without spending more, which is the exact fucking opposite of the direction you need the numbers to go? Plus, the stench of insincerity is eye-watering.

See also this fucking nonsense:
For example, [Brady] said he hasn’t decided what income levels would merit certain tax rates.

He said he hasn’t decided how many tax deductions to eliminate to partially offset the lower rates.

He said he hasn’t decided whether to impose a top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans.

He said he hasn’t decided whether the tax cuts would be retroactive to income earned in 2017.

He wouldn’t say how the tax bill would impact the type of taxes paid by hedge fund managers, even though Trump has promised to eliminate their special preferences.
tl;dr: Congressman Voldemort isn't sure of anything except his contempt for that class of people who only manage to put $200 into their 401K's a month. We leave it as an exercise to the reader to imagine what he thinks about the millions of adults who don't have $200 to put into their 401K every month, don't have a job that offers a 401K, or horror of horrors, might not even have a job.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:44 AM on October 25, 2017 [34 favorites]


A pet peeve I feel the need to air out here: Why do news articles about a bill never link to it on one of the many websites made for that purpose, such as GovTrack or congress.gov? The text of a bill, and who voted for it, are public knowledge, but you wouldn't know it from the news. Yes, I could visit those sites myself, except that inevitably there are 10 different versions of a bill with 5 different names, and the news never gives specific identifying information, just a description. Looking for "the one that's on the news" can be maddening regardless of your researching ability.

Hence, when it comes to this consumer-unprotection act, I can only guess how my own congressperson voted back when it was in the House (he's Republican so probably yes, but I could use a pleasant surprise). It's as if the report was about some recently unearthed, partly destroyed record of a debate in the senate of the Roman Republic. Rant over.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:55 AM on October 25, 2017 [63 favorites]


Holy shit, the House chair of Ways & Means, the GOP tax leader in the article linked by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish looks a lot like Voldemort.

Have you seen Trey Gowdy? Guy looks like a cross between a half melted Voldemort and Penguin from Gotham.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:57 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


A pet peeve I feel the need to air out here: Why do news articles about a bill never link to it on one of the many websites made for that purpose, such as GovTrack or congress.gov?

Look, they're just journalists man, not like, Tron or something

cut 'em some slack
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:00 AM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Undocumented teen gets abortion before Trump can appeal (The Hill)

... is an actual headline in this, our present dystopia.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:05 AM on October 25, 2017 [101 favorites]




Thank God she got it. I hope the rest of what she's going through will turn out okay. At least she won't be a single teenage mother for it.
posted by witchen at 8:06 AM on October 25, 2017 [63 favorites]


Have you seen Trey Gowdy? Guy looks like a cross between a half melted Voldemort and Penguin from Gotham.

For my money, he looks way, way more like Draco Malfoy as a grown-ass adult who never had his third-act growing-up-holy-shit-what-did-i-do-OH-MY-GOD-AUNT-BELLATRIX-IS-EVEN-CREEPIER-THAN-I-REMEMBER turn.

Which is why he's still yelling about Hermione's uranium deal.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:11 AM on October 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


I just tossed a few bucks at Americans Take Action, the organization that Ryan Clayton is associated with. He pulled off the Trump-branded Russian flags back at CPAC and screamed traitor at Trump yesterday. If you want to do the same there's an ActBlue link for it.
posted by phearlez at 8:13 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


> One obstacle is that the magasphere pretends to lay claim even to certain forms of anti-capitalism, at least in terms of supporting trade protectionism, "draining the swamp", and making "Goldman Sachs" a sneer word.

The neonazis, just like the og nazis back in 1933, have observed that the following two tendencies exist:
  • anticapitalism.
  • antisemitism.
Anticapitalism is anathema to fascists; it involves a studied disrespect for the extant ruling classes, and fascism is all about unquestioning obedience to rulers. Antisemitism, though, both in the godawful 1930s and in the godawful 2010s, is quite useful for fascists: it involves designating an ethnic outcaste and then arguing that the members of that outcaste are such a threat that unquestioning obedience to the powerful is the only way to stop the threat. And so one of the main strategies in the neonazi toolbox is directing people away from (dangerous to fascism) anticapitalism and toward (useful to fascism) antisemitism.

The invocations of the name Goldman Sachs by neonazis (I'm not going to use the cutesy term "magasphere") has nothing to do with the (quite sound) anticapitalist critiques of the central role played by big finance in the creation and propagation of human misery. Instead, it has to do with how "Goldman" and "Sachs" are both Jewish names.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:19 AM on October 25, 2017 [56 favorites]


Lots of inside jokes here for the TV series The Good Place, an NBC sitcom. From its Wikipedia entry:
The series focuses on Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), a woman who wakes up in the afterlife and is introduced by Michael (Ted Danson) to "The Good Place", a Heaven-like utopia he designed, in reward for her righteous life. She realizes that she was sent there by mistake, and must hide her morally imperfect behavior and tries to become a better person.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:23 AM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


Lots of inside jokes here for the TV series The Good Place, an NBC sitcom

Not sure when we get the butthole spiders, but I am pretty sure that’s about to become someone’s nickname.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:32 AM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


Many of us like to discuss The Good Place on FanFare.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:32 AM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


For the person who asked who Vicky is -- she is a character on The Good Place.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:34 AM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


GOP Strategist and NeverTrumper Rick Wilson, who knows a thing or two about oppo research (and specifically this story since he was tweeting about this as a bombshell story he couldn't get news outlets to pick up before the election), opines on the new "scandal" about the Steele Dossier.

@TheRickWilson
1/ The Post story tonight over which the Trumpvolk are losing their damn minds is hilarious.
2/ Some real talk: there's little NEW in this piece. EVERYONE knew that Clinton/DNC took over the funding stream after...
3/ ..the Republican donor dropped it when his candidate was out. That's ancient history, and unless you're a freaking illiterate...
4/ ...this isn't the bomb Team Umber thinks it is. Who the eff do you THINK paid for it? If this shocks you, don't operate heavy machinery.
5/ The next -- and *really* important notes. First, the dossier didn't *cause* the Mueller investigation. There were *plenty* of other...
6/ USG/foreign IC leads and intel on Team Trump and Putin. Even if the Steele Dossier was a farrago of utter fantasy...
7/ ...if you slow learner mooks believe Mueller used it as the main driver of this investigation, ease up on huffing starter fluid.
8/ Many of the items in the Steele Dossier about Trump's $ were already in circulation waaaay before it was public. And the paper trail...
9/ ...of the stuff Mueller has access to makes the Dossier look like a warmup act before the lead in band. But by all means, go...
10/ ...on and think this exonerates Team Trump, by ALL MEANS pray engage in the magical thinking for which you are now famous.
11/ The new news in this piece was the role Elias played...but again, *how is this surprising*? Alpha-dog Dem superlawyer handles oppo?
12/ No WAY. That is SHOCKING. And by "shocking" I mean, "How dumb are you people to think this is a shock?"
13/ No, Hillary isn't going to jail, but *do* click on the 8000 emails various Scam PACS designed to prey on the credulous and cretinous...
14/ ...pump to the MAGAverse. So endeth.
posted by chris24 at 8:39 AM on October 25, 2017 [86 favorites]


I really hope that the list of awful shit the Republicans and the Republican President are doing will be enough to keep their voters home in future elections, and most especially I hope that the Democrats find their spine and actually use the material the Republicans are handing them.

Now, more than ever, is the time to attack the Republicans, and Republicanism in general, like rabid wolverines.

We need ads, not at election time, but **NOW** attacking both the individual Republicans who voted to let Equifax off the hook (and let's please frame it like that, because that's exactly what it is) and the Republican Party in general for letting it happen.

We need to take control of the narrative and sling all the mud we can. Some will stick. We need to spend the time from now until the 2018 elections working tirelessly to do two things: demoralize their voters and inspire ours. We need their voters feeling like their Party has failed them, their heroes have abandoned them, and their votes are wasted. We need the average Republican voter to be so depressed and feel so abandoned by their party that on election day they stay home.

And we don't even need to lie to do it. We just need to hit them relentlessly with the truth.

"Dang, it sure sucks that [insert local Republican politician here] sold us out to Equifax doesn't it?"

"Man, did you hear about Bob? Identity theft because of Equifax and now thanks to [insert local Republican politician here] he can't even sue them."

Same with everything else awful they do. "Shit, did your taxes go up this year too man? Ever since [local Republican politician] passed Trump's tax plan mine have skyrocketed...."

They'll never, ever, not in a million years, vote for any Democrat. We must abandon our fantasies of that happening. But if we demoralize them enough they'll stay home and we can win.

There are no good Republicans. Flake, McCain, all of them are just scum who can talk pretty sometime. They won't save us as they demonstrated with their Equifax bailout vote. But we can, maybe, use their record of voting to fuck over their constituents to demoralize, depress, and otherwise cause despair among the Republican voting base so they stay home.
posted by sotonohito at 8:42 AM on October 25, 2017 [54 favorites]


A pet peeve I feel the need to air out here: Why do news articles about a bill never link to it on one of the many websites made for that purpose, such as GovTrack or congress.gov?

You could write a few dozen books - and many have have - about journalism's slow adoption of online technology and embrace of the norms of online publishing. It's only within the last five years that major newspapers have decided they're just gonna run stories when they're done rather than waiting for print publication time. They continue to be flat-out hostile to linking out to other media outlets even when they're quoting them; for years we would eye-rollingly refer to ourselves as "A Local Blog" after the Washington Post quoted something we wrote in one of their online & print things and not only didn't link to the piece but didn't even deign to use our name rather than identify us that way. For many many years WaPo kept their online operations physically segregated from the newsroom downtown. Newspaper culture continues to be one that everyone often pretends nobody else wrote about story X unless they can't avoid it, which I am sure plays into this mindset.

tl;dr - newspapers gonna newspaper.
posted by phearlez at 8:42 AM on October 25, 2017 [25 favorites]


Re The Good Place, this is getting close to inadvertent spoiler territory (and is a derail) so let’s please take this back to FanFare. (But if youre not watching, you should!)
posted by Room 641-A at 8:44 AM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


I'm a little anxious about the pending release of Kennedy Assassination files, mostly because it holds the potential to distract from Trump Administration news for more than one news cycle.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:45 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Corker and Flake's actions make sense of you understand the authoritarian "The party is family" nature of the Republicans. Their basic ideology hadn't changed, but the abuse by "Father"has triggered an outburst and a decision to leave. You can't expect them to fight, in the same way that you can't expect an abused family member to stay and fight, rather than leave.

And I can't help but think this is more of a purge than a rebellion- the Trump regime is removing in-party dissenters in anticipation of getting a lock on Congress next year.
posted by happyroach at 8:46 AM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


True ZeusHumms, but. Release of Kennedy Assassination files.
posted by Melismata at 8:46 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


phearlez, if I could favorite your comment a gazillion times I would. So fucking true.
posted by photoslob at 8:52 AM on October 25, 2017


I'm a little anxious about the pending release of Kennedy Assassination files, mostly because it holds the potential to distract from Trump Administration news for more than one news cycle.

I think this is his way of sticking it to the FBI and CIA, who have lobbied Presidents for decades to keep those files out of the public eye. I'm sure if it gives him ammunition to publicly declare them untrustworthy, incompetent and/or criminals, he would consider that a positive.

Also, he's a conspiracy theorist. I'm sure he thinks of this as a victory for transparency. Which only applies to things that don't negatively affect him, of course.
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


phearlez: Thanks for that explanation. Old habits dying hard (and new ones being... born harder?) is more or less what I would have figured.

I suppose there's an opportunity for someone (myself if I find time/resources) to make a website serving as a bridge between news and laws, except that it would run into the very same problem I'm discussing (the question of determining whether the article is about the Puppy-Kicking Act of 2017 or a revival of the America Hates Puppies Act of 2016).

It's just weird to think that however the information is put together for the article writer, there isn't, like, a file somewhere which would list things like the proposed law's full title/number.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:55 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Corker and Flake's actions make sense of you understand the authoritarian "The party is family" nature of the Republicans. Their basic ideology hadn't changed, but the abuse by "Father"has triggered an outburst and a decision to leave. You can't expect them to fight, in the same way that you can't expect an abused family member to stay and fight, rather than leave.

They're also abusers. They don't get to pull the bullshit they've been pulling for the last two decades and then cry Victim.

I expect them to fulfill the office they were elected to, which means resisting the autocrat in the White House by every lever they have.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:57 AM on October 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


Flake said as much - that Republican voters actively want hatred and bigotry:

Well, that's always been true, but GOP politicians have been too polite to give it to them overtly in the past, contenting themselves with gathering the votes and ignoring that their vile policies were only possible with the support of those voters. Now that the winking and nodding is over, guys like Corker and Flake are harrumphing loudly, but I, for one, am not fooled. You were happy to push those vile policies, which only had widespread support from these deplorables, as long as it wasn't too obvious, because you yourself are deplorable.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:01 AM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


I expect them to fulfill the office they were elected to, which means resisting the autocrat in the White House by every lever they have.

It's just weird, because it seems that people were saying for a while that the only moral thing to do was get out of the Republican Party, and saying there's no point in staying and fighting. Now that people are doing exactly that and getting out, folks are like "no you have to stay and fight." Why not let them leave if that's what they feel their morals compel them to?
posted by corb at 9:04 AM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


Undocumented teen gets abortion before Trump can appeal (The Hill)

... is an actual headline in this, our present dystopia.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:05 AM on October 25

Thank God she got it. I hope the rest of what she's going through will turn out okay. At least she won't be a single teenage mother for it.
posted by witchen at 8:06 AM


Every shred of compassion or justice that can be wrung from this fucking year is a victory to be celebrated.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:08 AM on October 25, 2017 [41 favorites]


Corb - I think it's the difference between a republican voter and a republican senator or congress person with power to influence their party and the ousting of this nightmare.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:08 AM on October 25, 2017 [21 favorites]


it seems reasonable to think there are differences between being a nominally republican legislator (ie a part of a co-equal branch which theoretically could act as a check on the president) and being a political appointee working within the executive.

They are free to leave if they want, and I hope they are replaced with people who act on the concerns these guys have enumerated, but I think the fear is that they will leave and be replaced by Roy Moores.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:09 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Now that people are doing exactly that and getting out


Maybe ... there's a difference ... between elected officials ... and rank-and-file voters... ??? 🤔🤔🤔
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:10 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Sophie1: I think it's the difference between a republican voter and a republican senator or congress person with power to influence their party and the ousting of this nightmare.

Yes. In fact, one might say the apparent non-existence of Republican leaders who both stay and fight is itself a point of evidence that decent Republican voters should quit the party. In other words: if Flake (well, ideally, a significantly more anti-Trump version of him) were going to run again, then by all means, vote for him. But without serious insider action, the party seems unfixable from the outside.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:15 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Three categories of GOP action:

In the Trump Administration? Quit and speak out. There is no way to change the administration from within.

In the Senate or House? Speak out, vote against the Trump agenda, investigate the wrongdoings of the Trump admin, become an independent, start caucusing with the Dems, etc. House & Senate have the power to restrain the admin in ways that admin officials do not, so if you have that power, use it or GTFO.

Not serving in government? Leave the Republican party and stop voting for Republicans. Support independents or Dems against Republicans.

Flake is in the second category now, so should stay, speak up, vote differently, and consider becoming an independent. Once his term is up, he moves to category three and should leave the party and stop voting for Republicans.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:19 AM on October 25, 2017 [41 favorites]


I don't know. I mean, of course one wants Corker, Flake, McCain and others to do more, to take the fight straight to the 45th President and knock him on his butt -- figuratively speaking.

I feel though that a public upbraiding is absolutely praiseworthy and noteworthy because it seems that even though Trump was joyfully disobeying St Ronald The Blessed's commandment of "Verily I say unto thee, let no Republican criticize a fellow Republican in public," repeatedly and without restraint publicly dissing them, the vast majority of them were still giving him that dap and holding their tongues.

I mean, yeah, Flake et al are obviously still obeying St Ron's other commandments -- thou shalt harry the poor; thou shalt not allow a woman independence of mind or body; thou shalt remove environmental and consumer protections at every opportunity ;and so on -- but breaking the first Republican commandment is still yuge.

Might be the first few drops of the coming storm. As the Zen story goes, we'll see.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:23 AM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


Now, more than ever, is the time to attack the Republicans, and Republicanism in general, like rabid wolverines.

QFT. Modern movement conservatism didn't get its followers to believe all of the cockamammie things they believe by appealing to facts or reason; they repeated a message -- liberals are bad, the media is liberal, tax cuts pay for themselves, we care about the deficit -- for years. And Democrats mostly unilaterally disarmed, because they sincerely believed in the American project and the compromise and comity it requires, and to which the Republicans sometimes appeared to pay lip service to.

No more. Democrats need to repeat their message -- Trump is a disaster, the Republicans are the party of Trump, society needs to be paid for, our policies work -- over and over.

Maybe they can also convince the media that it needs to change. The Republicans did it.
posted by Gelatin at 9:24 AM on October 25, 2017 [32 favorites]


Flake isn't going to die after he leaves office, and there's not enough money in independent activism to keep him in the style to which he's become accustomed. It's not like he's opposed to the Republican agenda. In the next 14 months, he's never going to bite a monied hand that might feed him later.
posted by gladly at 9:26 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


I feel though that a public upbraiding is absolutely praiseworthy and noteworthy

Sure, they should get praise for doing it, and they did. But to receive praise subsequent to this, they need to do more. We have to keep pushing, everywhere, all at once. When something (like a Republican Senator from AZ) gives, we push harder. It's like in The Shawshank Redemption -- Dufresne wrote one letter a day until he received a response - then he started writing two letters a day. Our initial pushing got us a response from Flake; now we know it works, so we push harder.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:29 AM on October 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


Yes. I don't give a fuck whether they formally leave the GOP or not, though I think ideally they would form a center-right caucus in the Senate and work with Dems as the rump anti-fascist conservative grouping.

But they should make it clear that they are no longer going to support the party of neofascism even if it means voting for Chuck Schumer for Minority Leader. Otherwise they're just enablers with vaguely silvery tongues.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:31 AM on October 25, 2017 [14 favorites]



Hmmm, Rep. Tom McArthur [R - NJ-03] saying passage of the Senate budget bill version in the House in jeopardy over elimination of the state and local tax deduction.

And now Lee Zeldin [R - NY-01] and Dan Donovan [R - NY-11] also signaling they'll oppose on those grounds.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:30 PM on October 24 [18 favorites +] [!]


I notice that all the GOP tax increases are focused on non-1%ers—401(k) contributions, mortgage, sales and income tax deductions—and the tax decreases—top rates, business rates, pass-through rates, estate taxes—not so much. Hmmm. Do the deplorables know this?
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:35 AM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


I'm a little anxious about the pending release of Kennedy Assassination files, mostly because it holds the potential to distract from Trump Administration news for more than one news cycle.

This release was scheduled long before Trump took office. No one familiar with the JFK assassination imagines that there's much of interest there.
posted by SPrintF at 9:37 AM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


And really Flake should run in Arizona anyway, even knowing that the most likely outcome is a split right and a Democratic win.

I don't care how pleasant-demeanored, principled-conservative these guys are, if you don't think that the current Republican party and leader is an order or two of magnitude more dangerous to the Republic than the Democrats you are a delusional moron whose grasp on reality is such that you ought to have your glassware replaced with sippy cups for your own safety.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:37 AM on October 25, 2017 [26 favorites]


Flake isn't going to die after he leaves office, and there's not enough money in independent activism to keep him in the style to which he's become accustomed. It's not like he's opposed to the Republican agenda.

As Flake himself asserted on NPR this morning.

The interviewer missed the opportunity to point out that the Republican agenda is itself as dishonest and hateful as the politics Flake decried. Because of course he did.

I notice that all the GOP tax increases are focused on non-1%ers—401(k) contributions, mortgage, sales and income tax deductions—and the tax decreases—top rates, business rates, pass-through rates, estate taxes—not so much. Hmmm. Do the deplorables know this?

They knew the Republicans were scorpions when the picked them up.

More specifically, Republican voters expect and demand that Republican policies be harmful. They just don't expect the face-eating-leopards to eat their own faces.

Again, magical thinking.
posted by Gelatin at 9:47 AM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


Hmmm, Rep. Tom McArthur [R - NJ-03] saying passage of the Senate budget bill version in the House in jeopardy over elimination of the state and local tax deduction.

And now Lee Zeldin [R - NY-01] and Dan Donovan [R - NY-11] also signaling they'll oppose on those grounds.


Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) and Lance (NJ-7) have also spoken out against removing the SALT deduction (more than 50% of returns filed in those districts claim the deduction).

Here are the top 20 congressional districts ranked by percentage of returns claiming the deduction in 2014 (note that the party indication is also from 2014 and may have changed; e.g., NJ-5 is now held by a Dem).
posted by melissasaurus at 9:49 AM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I thought the state and local tax deduction had to do with constitutional protections from double taxation.
posted by Oyéah at 9:50 AM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


That's one of the theories, yes (and a good one to use if you have a GOP rep).
posted by melissasaurus at 9:51 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


That's one of the theories, yes (and a good one to use if you have a GOP rep).

A GOP party member cares about a strict interpretation of the constitution? Did a Democrat get back into the White House last night while I was sleeping?
posted by Talez at 9:53 AM on October 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


Flake, Corker et all were absolutely, clearly described by TS Eliot, in The Hollow Men.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

They have something to say, to smooth the beds they made in history, when the whole thing goes up due to their combined cowardice, greed, and inability to act in anyone's behalf but their own, they want to be known as folk heroes. And they have other, bigger sources of income, they want to pursue, before the whole thing goes up. They don't want to be in Washington for it.
posted by Oyéah at 9:56 AM on October 25, 2017 [34 favorites]


It's just weird, because it seems that people were saying for a while that the only moral thing to do was get out of the Republican Party, and saying there's no point in staying and fighting. Now that people are doing exactly that and getting out, folks are like "no you have to stay and fight." Why not let them leave if that's what they feel their morals compel them to?

It's only weird if you're being passively-aggressively and deliberately obtuse. "Republican voters should leave the GOP to make clear their non-support of candidate Trump" is nothing remotely related to "a senator in power who recognizes the danger of President Trump would better serve the country by staying in his position and fighting, versus skulking away so as to keep open the possibility of some sweet wingnut welfare job afterwards".
posted by tocts at 10:03 AM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


I don't know if Flake plans to do any fighting, but he's staying in his position until Jan 2019. I'm not sure how it would help anything for him to spend all his time for the next year campaigning in an Arizona primary he knows he can't win.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:08 AM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


McCain, Murkowski, Corker, Collins and Flake

Worst law firm ever.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:10 AM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


Getting rid of SALT is basically a middle finger to the liberal blue states. Of the top 10 income taxing states, only two of them (IA and WI) are reddish in this list. The rest are firmly blue states with strong emphasis towards public services.

Hell, getting rid of SALT on its own is just a middle finger to upper middle class liberals in the Bay Area who keep trying to fuck up the 1%'s plans to turn the poor into manual prison labor and/or a cheap replacement for Hamburger Helper.
posted by Talez at 10:17 AM on October 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


Jane Doe's statement -- her statement was written before she was able to get her abortion, but it's good to read her own words.
posted by gladly at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


GOP Commissioner: Trump Voter Fraud Panel On Hold As It Navigates Lawsuits (Tierney Sneed, TPM)
“It’s my understanding that there were just so many lawsuits against the commission, that right now there’s nothing going on,” Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said, after appearing at a hearing in front of the Committee on House Administration.

She said that the emails and conversations among the commissioners had stopped for the time being, and she was not aware of the plans for the commission’s next meeting. Unlike some of the Democratic commission members who have raised concerns about the lack of transparency, she was not bothered by the absence of information about the commission’s next steps.

“It’s not the fact that anybody’s being shut out, it’s just the fact that they wanted to get some of these lawsuits settled and then move forward,” she said
posted by Room 641-A at 10:21 AM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


staying in his position and fighting
I mean, why stay in your position and fight when you can make an impassioned speech that will play well in campaign ads during the run up to 2020? You can do that AND vote right along with Trump all the way to your retirement party, thereby appealing to the Trumpy base with your policy votes but also paying lip service to those who are outraged by Trump's blatantly uncouth nature. Win/win!
posted by xyzzy at 10:28 AM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Plus he has a book to push
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:29 AM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Under Trump, the EPA suddenly reversed course on the regulation of many toxic chemicals. Investigative journalist Eric Lipton of the New York Times spent months trying to get an interview. As a last ditch effort, he sent a list of questions directly to them to give them a chance to comment before publishing.

This is the only response he received, from an EPA spokesperson, whose salary is paid by the American people:

“The only thing inappropriate and biased is your continued fixation on writing elitist clickbait trying to attack qualified professionals committed to serving their country.”
posted by bluecore at 10:35 AM on October 25, 2017 [68 favorites]


Getting rid of SALT is basically a middle finger to the liberal blue states.

This is true. But there are a ton of Republican representatives from blue states. California has enough Republican congressmen to flip the majority on its own, right? So taking a dump on all these blue states, which is gong to screw over all these blue state republicans is just dumb. Yeah, there are the MAGA hat wearing crazies. And these voters are like the zombies in walking dead. It's best to avoid them or ignore them. Because you can't turn them back and they aren't going away any time soon.

But there are also the Suburban/Exurban upper middle class SALT enjoying Republicans. These people want tax cuts and to be left alone. They don't like being associated with racism, but they'll accept some playful race baiting to get tax cuts. They don't appreciate incompetence, but they'll deal with folksy GW Bush humor to get tax cuts. And Trump is really really ruining all the fun for them AND Republicans seem dead set on repealing SALT, which has been their only relief from those damn communists running the state and local governments. And really, these voters can make the difference between Speaker Pelosi and Speaker Ryan. So I'm mystified by what the hell Congressional Republicans think they're doing.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:37 AM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Another lever to press on SALT -- The "Big 7" oppose repealing the SALT deduction (access their letter here). The Big 7 consists of: The Council of State Governments, National Governors Association, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, National Conference of State Legislatures, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, and International City/County Management Association. Their letter includes a copy of the Revenue Act of 1862 and the first post-16th-amendment federal income tax adopted in 1913, showing both included a SALT deduction. They also released a more in-depth report on the deduction in collaboration with the Government Finance Officers Association, available here [pdf].
posted by melissasaurus at 10:39 AM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


President Trump, earlier today, in response to a question from a reporter [Twitter video]:
I can only say this: I was really nice to her. I respect her. I respect her family. I certainly respect La David. Uh, he, who - I by the way, called La David right from the beginning, just so you understand, they put a chart in front: La David. La David Johnson. So. I [told?] right from the beginning, there's no hestitation, one of the great memories of all time, there was no hestitation. I think she's a fantastic woman, I was extremely nice to her, extremely respectful.
'one of the great memories of all time'
posted by cjelli at 10:41 AM on October 25, 2017 [82 favorites]


This is the only response he received, from an EPA spokesperson, whose salary is paid by the American people:

“The only thing inappropriate and biased is your continued fixation on writing elitist clickbait trying to attack qualified professionals committed to serving their country.”


I can't think of anything more elitist than not submitting to the opinions of qualified professionals

(Seriously, what is the word "elitist" even doing in that sentence)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:43 AM on October 25, 2017 [26 favorites]


Elitist here strikes me as a dogwhistle for politicians that aren't MAGA/Tea types or for deep state sympathizers.

That this spokesperson is using it in correspondence that wouldn't necessarily hit publication would seem to indicate that a terminal level of kool-aid has been imbibed.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:47 AM on October 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


The buck stops over there.

@JohnJHarwood (CNBC)
Trump says he did not authorize the mission in Niger that resulted in loss of 4 soldiers. generals did

@TVietor08 (Pod Save America) Retweeted John Harwood
In February, Trump also blamed the generals when a US Navy SEAL was killed in Yemen. He said: "this was something that was, you know, just -- they wanted to do...and they lost Ryan."
posted by chris24 at 10:48 AM on October 25, 2017 [53 favorites]


See how many times I'm La David saying his name La David now? I said it even more when I talked to her. La David.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2017 [44 favorites]


Also, that spokeswoman came to EPA from the American Chemistry Council, the biggest and richest association of chemical-industry firms in the country if not the planet, so please tell me more about how you're all about the little guy fighting against moneyed elites.

(That said, at least he got a response from EPA. I think it's been about 2 months since they answered any of my e-mails.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2017 [18 favorites]


'one of the great memories of all time'

I think, on watching the clip a few times, that Trump -- who points to his brain as he says this -- is trying to say that he, Trump, has one of the greatest memory's of all times and that it is, therefore, absurd to suggest he would hesitate or forget La David's name, and not that the call was a great memory he recalls with fondness.

That this is at all unclear is not great.

Trump is also, if that reading is correct, lying: his memory is, at best, average, and methinks he doth protest to much even for that.
posted by cjelli at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2017 [25 favorites]


"They put a chart in front."
With words on it? I think we've isolated the problem here.
posted by emelenjr at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


See also: EPA kept scientists from speaking about climate change at Rhode Island event for more of the ophiocordyceps unilateralisation of the EPA...
posted by Buntix at 10:52 AM on October 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


ophiocordyceps

OH GOD DO NOT GOOGLE IF YOU HAVE BODY HORROR ISSUES

posted by tivalasvegas at 10:54 AM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


@JohnJHarwood (CNBC)
Trump says he did not authorize the mission in Niger that resulted in loss of 4 soldiers. generals did


This is some odious bullshit -- in other words, a lie -- in that Trump very explicitly chose to shift authority to the Pentagon in March. It's possible that Trump did not directly authorize the Niger mission -- but that's only because he, Trump, gave the Pentagon carte blanche to conduct missions like this one six months ago. That he gave them blanket approval makes him more responsible, not less: Trump willingly and knowingly gave up the kind of oversight that the Obama administration had.
posted by cjelli at 10:54 AM on October 25, 2017 [96 favorites]


Getting rid of SALT is basically a middle finger to the liberal blue states.

It's yet another comment on the current state of things that it always takes me a minute to figure out whether we're talking about state and local taxes or strategic arms limitation treaties. Utterly believable that either could be a target these days.
posted by nickmark at 10:57 AM on October 25, 2017 [23 favorites]


So, is this the thread to talk about health insurance? 2018 plans just showed up on healthcare.gov for me — surprise! I have one insurer to "choose" from, the cheapest plan's premiums are > 50% higher than the one I have now, and the accompanying max annual OOP is almost 30% higher, nothing out of their network is covered (not even most emergency care, apparently. that's gonna be fun), still not sure if my current doctors are in their network.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around how awful this is, fuck this world.
posted by indubitable at 10:59 AM on October 25, 2017 [44 favorites]


Concentrate your rage on the perps, turn it into action, and then set that aside and enjoy everything good in your life.

Repeat daily.
posted by perspicio at 11:04 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Yeah I've been looking at the window-shopping tool as well. The increase in premiums will mostly be covered by a corresponding increase in subsidies, for people who are eligible for tax credits -- but if your income is over 400% of the poverty line you're not eligible for the credits and you take the full premium increase yourself.

And due in large part to the Trump Administration's decision to stop paying other subsidies that lowered deductibles and copays, insurance companies have jacked up premium rates even higher! Thanks Donald!
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:05 AM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't know how nixing SALT is going down elsewhere in the country, but here in Maryland, local Republicans are crowing about how the Democrats are only upset about the SALT repeal because it will expose their wasteful, tax-and-spend, welfare-moocher*-loving ways.

*Black people. They mean black people.
posted by duffell at 11:07 AM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


just so you understand, they put a chart in front: La David.

"Just so you understand, my own staff doesn't trust me not to screw up the pronunciation of his name, and I'm going to say so as if it's exonerating." [fake]
posted by Gelatin at 11:08 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Next week's New Yorker cover, for me very reminiscent of the "Bitte nicht den Horror-Clown" from Die Morgen Post before the election...
posted by TwoStride at 11:14 AM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


And the artist's statement is very much what I feel:

"My whole life has been disrupted. It’s a national nightmare,” the artist Carter Goodrich says, about his cover for this week’s issue: a painting of the President whom he calls a “dangerous clown.” “I’m still just as stunned now as I was a year ago, on Election Night. I have been asked to work on movies about him. I can’t do it; most satire seems to lighten what feels to me like a dire situation. He’s already a cartoon villain, infantile and strange.”
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:17 AM on October 25, 2017 [47 favorites]


Holy shit. Heather Lind accuses George HW Bush of assault.

(I'm not even sure which thread to post this in any more, so I'll pop over to the #metoo thread and put it there, too.)
posted by loquacious at 11:19 AM on October 25, 2017 [13 favorites]


I'm having a shit day anyway (my dog is sick and I spent most of my morning cleaning up from that), so I decided to see how much worse I could make it by checking out healthcare.gov.

And, actually, it's not quite as bad as I thought. There's only one provider (of course! Thanks, Donald!) and I already know I have to change my doctor because of that, but the premiums aren't significantly higher than what I'm paying now, if I stick with a silver plan. (I need to figure out what my deductible is this year to make an accurate comparison.)

And I have the option of a gold plan with 3 "free" PCP visits. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by minsies at 11:21 AM on October 25, 2017


That cover is good but it would be better if there were a big thick arrow pointing to Trump with the text "THE PRESIDENT IS AN EVIL CLOWN."

Screw subtlety.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:23 AM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


I missed this bit of nonsense yesterday amid the massive wave of nonsense: $70 Yosemite entrance fee: Big increases proposed for national parks. The administration wants to impose "peak season" pricing of up to $70/car for major national parks during the five most popular months of the year, a major increase from the $25-$30 it is now. The money would go to address a maintenance backlog.

You can submit a public comment (note: public comments are public records and are available to the public for public reading) to the National Park Service if you think it shouldn't cost $70 goddamn dollars to visit the public commons.

NEW from Betsy Woodruff at Daily Beast: Trump Data Guru: I Tried to Team Up With Julian Assange: The head of Cambridge Analytica said he asked the Wikileaks founder for help finding Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails.

You're telling me that the DC press corps spent yesterday freaking out about the fact that the DNC hired a guy to go around and ask people about Trump and Russia, while the Trump campaign was trying to collaborate with Assange to search for stolen property from his opponent? This is not a damn both-sides do it issue here.
posted by zachlipton at 11:32 AM on October 25, 2017 [45 favorites]


Next week's New Yorker cover

It's this week's! And to add, it's called "October Surprise"
posted by reductiondesign at 11:34 AM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


WTF is up with the healthcare.gov filter sliders for "estimated total yearly costs" and "max yearly deductible"? They go from $100 to $1000+ and every damn plan is (of course) way over $1000.
posted by minsies at 11:35 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't know how nixing SALT is going down elsewhere in the country, but here in Maryland, local Republicans are crowing about how the Democrats are only upset about the SALT repeal because it will expose their wasteful, tax-and-spend, welfare-moocher*-loving ways.

So... they know that they're losing 5% (6% in Montgomery County and others) of their income, right? As in they are literally cutting of the nose to spite the face at this point. Not looking forward to owing taxes this year in MoCo.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:39 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


"...the fact that the DNC hired a guy to go around and continue to ask people about Trump and Russia..."

FTFY as it better emphasises your point. Steele had already been assembling the dossier he had been hired to assemble by one of Trump's GOP rivals for the nomination. The DNC simply kept paying him to continue his work after the GOP candidate lost.
posted by VTX at 11:40 AM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


I missed this bit of nonsense yesterday amid the massive wave of nonsense: $70 Yosemite entrance fee: Big increases proposed for national parks. The administration wants to impose "peak season" pricing of up to $70/car for major national parks during the five most popular months of the year, a major increase from the $25-$30 it is now. The money would go to address a maintenance backlog.

Zinke estimates this would raise about $70 million a year.

And yet, only a few months ago:
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday defended the $1.6 billion in funding cuts that President Trump has proposed for his department, telling a Senate hearing that “this is what a balanced budget looks like.”

But Democrats on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources took issue with the $400 million that the national parks would lose in fiscal 2018, which they said would trigger staff reductions at 90 percent of them.
...
“I support the president’s budget,” Zinke said, tough decisions and all.
Zinke supports a $400 million a year cut as necessary -- and then turns around and supports raising fees because the Park Service needs money for maintenance.

One might suggest that what Zinke actually supports is making the public commons private, and shifting the costs of maintaining the public parkland away from the public as step towards restricting access to the parks, not out of any budgetary necessity. (I am suggesting that.)
posted by cjelli at 11:44 AM on October 25, 2017 [82 favorites]


> But there are also the Suburban/Exurban upper middle class SALT enjoying Republicans.

Yes, there most certainly are, and they're going to lose their shit about this. Like the 401K deferrals, these are excellent examples of unrecognized, upper-middle class entitlements. To them, incentives or economic stimuli perhaps, but no, never entitlements, only poors get those.

I don't think the intent is to play to the base voters, this move is too damn greedy to be anything other than the GOP donor class pushing the envelope.
posted by klarck at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


More from Politico on SALT issue. Pete King sounds pretty fired up about it. The GOP doesn't have a lot of votes to fritter away on this bill.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:47 AM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Not looking forward to owing taxes this year in MoCo.

I'm totally looking forward to losing ~$7,000. Not that I care that much about the money, I'd happily pay them if they were going to shit like housing and feeding the poor, and treating the sick. It's utterly infuriating that it's going to fund tax cuts for people far richer than me.
posted by Talez at 11:47 AM on October 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


Zinke estimates this would raise about $70 million a year.

(AKA 23% of the sweet contract he got for his buddy in Whitefish)
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:48 AM on October 25, 2017 [24 favorites]


I'm on a hair trigger to scream at the first person who talks to me about the "revelation" of who paid for the Steele research. This was part of the narrative from the beginning. Everyone jumping up and down on this is only showing they either weren't paying any fucking attention to the details when the story first dropped or they have a memory as bad as 45's.

The real lesson here is the media is so desperate for "normalcy" they'll grab at any chance to go back to bashing Hillary Clinton.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:49 AM on October 25, 2017 [59 favorites]


It's utterly infuriating that it's going to fund tax cuts for people far richer than me.

Republicans used to complain about "income redistribution," but their explicit agenda right now is to redistribute income upwards.
posted by Gelatin at 11:49 AM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


The real lesson here is the media is so desperate for "normalcy" they'll grab at any chance to go back to bashing Hillary Clinton.

And they still haven't learned that nearly everything the right win noise machine get all worked up about is utter hogwash.

Reporters who visit The Drudge Report -- or whatever its current equivalent is -- should be summarily fired.
posted by Gelatin at 11:51 AM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


The real lesson here is the media is so desperate for "normalcy" they'll grab at any chance to go back to bashing Hillary Clinton.

i.e., “pulling a Maggie Haberman”

Yes, it’s infuriating.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:52 AM on October 25, 2017 [34 favorites]




duffell: I don't know how nixing SALT is going down elsewhere in the country, but here in Maryland, local Republicans are crowing about how the Democrats are only upset about the SALT repeal because it will expose their wasteful, tax-and-spend, welfare-moocher*-loving ways.

That argument, if taken seriously, borders on nonsensical, no? What kind of taxpayer is upset about a deduction, because of a "principle" that their bill should be lower in the first place, or whatever these Republicans are trying to say? It's like an especially stupid libertarian version of heightening the contradiction.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:54 AM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Lucky Republicans in Massachusetts could get a smorgasbord of Trump choices in their primary next year for the right to run against (and lose to) Elizabeth Warren: Two hard-right Trumpists (one was one of his MA organizers, the other announced his candidacy at a GamerGate party in Washington), a NeverTrumper and a candidate who says she'll oppose Trump sometimes, work with him other times, but "always show respect for the office that he holds."
posted by adamg at 11:57 AM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


emptywheel has an in-depth essay on the Steele dossier -- and she's one of the best out there at "paying [...] fucking attention to the details."

Her takeaway:
The case of Russian preference for Trump is solid. The evidence his top aides were happy to serve as Russian agents is strong.

But rather than let FBI make the case for that, Democrats instead tried to make their own case, and they did in such a way as to make the very solid case against Trump dependent on their defense of the dosser, rather than on better backed claims released since then.

Boy it seems sadly familiar, Democrats committing own goals like this.
posted by creampuff at 11:58 AM on October 25, 2017 [13 favorites]


Republicans used to complain about "income redistribution," but their explicit agenda right now is to redistribute income upwards.

Of course, to them all income naturally belongs to The Elect, so this is just undoing the theft we in the underclass call "wages."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:59 AM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Gallup has Democrats with a 51/42 favorable rating of George W Bush. I realize that's favorability in general, not as President, but that speaks to both the strangeness of the present situation and the rather wide range in which one can apparently consider themselves a Democrat.

Bonus link: Halloween party for kids at the Senate features a kid in a bill costume.
posted by zachlipton at 12:00 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


But rather than let FBI make the case for that, Democrats instead tried to make their own case, and they did in such a way as to make the very solid case against Trump dependent on their defense of the dosser, rather than on better backed claims released since then.

This is assuming the FBI is a trustworthy actor and would have made a case on their own in the absence of the dossier. Which is... possible... I guess. But if I was at the DNC in 2016 I wouldn't have just left this up to chance.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:03 PM on October 25, 2017 [19 favorites]


Boy it seems sadly familiar, Democrats committing own goals like this.

[grinding intensifies]
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:05 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


I have a half-formed theory that I suspect lots of people here would disagree with, and that's fine.

Here's part of it: The Democrats have done a fantastic job for the last 30 years or so at killing American conservatism - I mean the Federalist Society "classical liberalism" free trade conservatism Jeff Flake was talking about yesterday on the floor. The Dems spent decades fighting the GOP by very effectively attacking its philosophical underpinnings.

Contrary to what some pundits have been saying recently, the GOP is not dying. The Dems didn't kill the GOP. They didn't even weaken it. What they did is weaken the American conservative movement sufficiently for what I'll now call Trumpism to reach a critical mass within the GOP in opposition to conservatism. And conservatives like Flake - all those former young republicans and Federalist Society members - now represent a shrinking minority movement in American politics that no longer has enough to support to be a meaningful player in national or even local elections.

Now, to be fair, conservatism brought this on itself - not because it is necessarily a doomed political ideology (an ideology's merits don't seem to have much to do with its longevity), but because it sought to strengthen itself by strengthening the political party it thought was permanently bound to it. Conservatives like Flake believed that the GOP was irrevocably the American party of the conservative movement, and that bringing more people into the GOP meant winning converts to conservatism - just like many people on the left seem to believe that winning Democrat votes means winning converts to the political philosophies of the left.

I'm tempted to say that the Tea Party / Breitbart / Trump / Whatever has finally taken over the GOP. But I think that would be inaccurate. I think conservatives have been a tiny egghead minority in the GOP for decades, and they just happened to be the ones who knew how to win elections, get in office, and whose young college graduates were the ones who went to work on the Hill. And now the real GOP - the one that's not "conservative" as Flake describes and maybe never has been - has taken over.

The GOP is not dead or dying. Conservatism is.
posted by The World Famous at 12:08 PM on October 25, 2017 [61 favorites]


This is the only response he received, from an EPA spokesperson, whose salary is paid by the American people:

“The only thing inappropriate and biased is your continued fixation on writing elitist clickbait trying to attack qualified professionals committed to serving their country.”
posted by bluecore at 10:35 AM on October 25 [33 favorites +] [!]


It's almost like all the government civil servants have been replaced by Internet trolls...
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:23 PM on October 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


Once National Park attendance drops drastically because of the massive fee increase they will be all "Hey, no one is visiting the parks, we can't afford their upkeep so we have been forced to selling the lands and drilling in them." ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 12:29 PM on October 25, 2017 [92 favorites]


TheWorldFamous, the points you make above are exactly why I never say "conservatives" when describing Republicans any more (and bristle when others do).
posted by Rykey at 12:29 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Also, he's a conspiracy theorist.

If one is over 30 years old and *not* a conspiracy theorist about JFK, one has to have worked hard at that.

That said, the files will likely show CIA involvement to a point, which is perfectly fine, normal, and brave. The Generals said so. Lock her up!
posted by petebest at 12:34 PM on October 25, 2017


EPA kept scientists from speaking about climate change at Rhode Island event

I'm reminded of a pre-Monty Python, Monty Python sketch, in which a character says: "Blackmail is such an ugly word," and the blackmailer responds: "Let's call it fish paste."

Maybe government scientists could start making presentations using the term fish paste.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:43 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Oh what's going on here? Just the Department of Justice wanting to be clear that they won't concede that the President is bound by the Foreign Emoluments Clause (this is from CREW's lawsuit). Because obviously the most logical reading of the Constitution is that the President is secretly exempt somehow the law. That's really what we're going with here.
posted by zachlipton at 12:45 PM on October 25, 2017 [61 favorites]


re: The World Famous' comment above --

see Gin and Tacos on Flake's Speech.
posted by wittgenstein at 12:48 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Because obviously the most logical reading of the Constitution is that the President is secretly exempt somehow the law. That's really what we're going with here.

l'Etat c'est moi
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:48 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Coffeehikenapwine: Once National Park attendance drops drastically because of the massive fee increase they will be all "Hey, no one is visiting the parks, we can't afford their upkeep so we have been forced to selling the lands and drilling in them." ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yup. I just made a similar point in my comment. At a certain price point, the numbers of visitors will drop off, so any increase in fares is going to bring in the same amount, or less money! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I hate these people so much.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:51 PM on October 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


At a certain price point, the numbers of visitors will drop off

Finally I can enjoy nature without all those poors around.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:54 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


Finally I can enjoy nature without all those poors around.

Except for the ones brought in to hunt for sport by Eric Trump
posted by ian1977 at 12:57 PM on October 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


I'm not sure if visitors will ever drop off at Yosemite, Sequoia, Zion, Joshua Tree, etc. Today, visiting any of those in peak season is an exercise in frustration between simply finding somewhere to camp or get a hotel room or finding a parking spot at a trail head. Assuming they don't change the rules on a receipt getting you in for 7 days, Yosemite charging $70 and having free parking with actual availability is on par to visiting a lot of CA state beaches and parks where you have a daily fee and/or pay for parking additionally. That said, I don't endorse this or trust the motivation to be as stated.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:58 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


In further evidence that the Trump time dilation event horizon is expanding and strengthening Fox News is reporting: “You know, Radiohead is a fine band but they stole everything from Coldplay… Like Radiohead is the poor man’s Coldplay.”
posted by Buntix at 12:58 PM on October 25, 2017 [21 favorites]


im 110% okay with congestion pricing in national parks for cars as long as they are accessible by transit but i know that is not what this pricing shift is about.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:59 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!

The writers are just taking all the drugs at once now. All the drugs.
posted by zachlipton at 1:04 PM on October 25, 2017 [49 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!

So interesting! Makes Russian collusion stuff look like a real snooze fest! Zzzzz. sad!
posted by ian1977 at 1:05 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


you know the media are going to cover every. last. detail like it's the moon landing though
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:11 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


In further evidence that the Trump time dilation event horizon is expanding and strengthening Fox News is reporting: “You know, Radiohead is a fine band but they stole everything from Coldplay… Like Radiohead is the poor man’s Coldplay.”

I mean, I just watched the segment, and it was pretty clearly a jokey attempt to piss off Radiohead fans which, as a Radiohead fan, I can kind of respect.
posted by The World Famous at 1:11 PM on October 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!

What are the odds that the Clintons will be implicated?
posted by nubs at 1:11 PM on October 25, 2017 [36 favorites]


The World Famous The GOP is not dead or dying. Conservatism is.

Well, yes. And also no.

Conservatism, by its very nature, is forever simultaneously dying and being reborn. What you're defining as "conservatism" is one particular moment in the eternal cycle, so yes it's dying.

But that's because conservatism is, necessarily, a reactive political philosophy. The conservatism of today bears only faint resemblance to the conservatism of the 1950's, much less the conservatism of the 1850's. There is an unchanging core to conservatism, which is why we keep calling it that, but on the surface it is rarely the same even from one decade to the next.

The core of conservatism, the part that never changes, is a love of aristocracy, a desire for a world ordered in a hierarchy and with those below graciously and gratefully serving those set above them.

When it is convenient for that cause to favor lower taxes it will favor lower taxes. When it is convenient for that cause to favor higher taxes it will favor higher taxes. The taxes are window dressing, not the true core of the movement.

When it is convenient for that cause to favor a strong military, it will favor a strong military. When it is convenient for that cause to favor a weak military, it will favor a weak military. The strength of the military is not core to the cause.

So yes, it's true that the Republican Party is not dying. And it's true that "conservatism" as defined by William F. Buckley is dying. But conservatism as in "keep the poors down, keep the minorities down, have a rigid class order and brutally enforce it" is as strong as ever. Only the surface changes.

Conservatism must change because conservatism is the cause of losers.

Not in the Trumpian sense, but in the literal sense of "people who have lost something". We on the left have little sympathy for them, because we view what they have lost as illegitimate, but the loss is keenly felt regardless. And what they lose changes as we on the left have our victories, so of course conservatism must change with the times.

Back when Burke founded conservatism in the modern sense the loss was the loss of genuine blood aristocracy.

In America the 1850's conservatism was largely rooted in the fear of losing slavery.

In America the 1950's conservatism was largely rooted in the loss of both white and male privilege.

In America in the 2000's conservatism is largely rooted in the ongoing loss of white and male privilege (which they are still fighting to preserve), and now also the increasing loss of heterosexual privilege, cis privilege, and Christian privilege.

That, which we dismiss as mere culture war bullshit is the true vital beating heart of conservatism. Free market capitalism was never really essential to conservatism, it is and was always merely a means to an end.

This is not to say that the people, like Buckley, who were rabid attack dogs for free market capitalism were lying or will change their tune. Every generation of conservatives, naturally, sees whatever surface is put on the core of conservatism as a vital and essential part of conservatism. Which is why we see generational shifts and turnovers in the conservative movement.

The old devotion to the holy free market is becoming less useful in pursuit of the true goal, so newer conservatives are less devoted to it. They won't abandon Rand style marketism overnight, but it will slowly recede in importance until it is forgotten in a few more generations. Because ultimately conservatism isn't about neoliberalism.
posted by sotonohito at 1:12 PM on October 25, 2017 [59 favorites]


step towards restricting access to the parks, not out of any budgetary necessity. (I am suggesting that.)
posted by cjelli at 11:44 AM on October 25 [24 favorites +] [!]


Well, sure. Have you ever gone camping and there were some of those people there, with their scary clothes and unfamiliar music, cooking strange food? If you make it expensive enough, then only your own kind will be found there, and everyone (who's like you) will be happy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:12 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Also, while I hate to say it, I do support the Republican President's decision to allow the JFK files to be released. Secrecy is bad, let's see what's there. He's doing it for stupid, bad, reasons, but the action itself is good.
posted by sotonohito at 1:14 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


According to Roger Stone's books, the Clintons were involved in the murder of JFK, Jr. and the Bushes were involved in the murder of JFK, Sr.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:14 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Trump's palpable excitement for the release of the JFK files is kind of odd. Sure, it'll be a welcome distraction from how much he sucks, but, like... Does he know what the files are about? Does he know what his present job title is? Can he connect those dots?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:14 PM on October 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


The newly restored Zapruder film will go zoom - enhance - zoom - enhance - zoom - enhance until it is obvious that Hillary sniped JFK from the grassy knoll.

With a uranium bullet.

Clearly labeled MADE IN KENYATOWN, KENYA.
posted by delfin at 1:15 PM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


Trump has nothing to do with the release. It is mandated by the 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act.
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 1:16 PM on October 25, 2017 [27 favorites]


What you're defining as "conservatism" is one particular moment in the eternal cycle, so yes it's dying.

Agreed. That's why I tried to make clear that, by "conservatism," I was only referring to a particular narrowly-defined thing. Totally agree.
posted by The World Famous at 1:16 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Does he know what the files are about? Does he know what his present job title is? Can he connect those dots?

"I like presidents who weren't assassinated."
posted by uncleozzy at 1:16 PM on October 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


At a certain price point, the numbers of visitors will drop off

Finally I can enjoy nature without all those poors around.


You joke, but it absolutely enrages some people that poors have access to the same parks they do. Classism comes out in full force with zero attempt at subtlety when a hiking trail is crowded. Pricing the poor out of enjoying our national park system is a very appealing proposition to a whole lot of nasty people, many of whom consider themselves progressives. I don't see a lot of opposition springing up around this price hike from the red or the blue.
posted by FakeFreyja at 1:17 PM on October 25, 2017 [39 favorites]


That, which we dismiss as mere culture war bullshit is the true vital beating heart of conservatism. Free market capitalism was never really essential to conservatism, it is and was always merely a means to an end.

I think you've got it entirely backwards. White-dentity Politics is what free market capitalists (i.e. robber barons) use to trick people into voting for free market capitalism, which is absolutely the end game.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:19 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


July 23, 1963: 16 y.o. Bill Clinton meets JFK

November 22, 1963: JFK Assassinated! (Shot 129 Times From 43 Different Angles, according to one article.)

At the time, Clinton is attending high school in Arkansas, literally one state away. Coincidence?
posted by mosk at 1:22 PM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


FakeFreyja: You joke, but it absolutely enrages some people that poors have access to the same parks they do.

Also, when attendance drops they can say, "Look, we've got a budget shortfall here, so we have to auction off some strip mining rights to a portion of these parks to make up the difference!"
posted by bluecore at 1:34 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Whitefish Energy seems to take their cues from Trump, attacking Mayor Cruz on Twitter and asking "do you want us to send [the workers restoring power] back or keep working?" This is a two-person company that's somehow supposed to be providing meaningful oversight and control of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of federal recovery funds, and they're spending their time threatening to leave San Juan in the dark.

Trump just landed in Dallas, and I'm terrified this is the official start of Kennedy Assassination Distraction Week. They're coming home tonight though.

Sen. Cornyn endorsed Roy Moore, is asked some very good questions by Frank Throp.
Just asked Cornyn if he agrees w/ Roy Moore saying homosexual conduct should be illegal:

Cornyn: “I don’t have to agree with somebody to support them over the democratic nominee. I support the nominee of my party.”

RE: Roy Moore saying @keithellison should not be allowed to take congressional oath because he’s Muslim:

Cornyn: “I have disagreement within my own family, doesn’t mean I care for them any less, so I support the nominee of my party.”
Every Republican should have to answer these questions.

Apropos of nothing, Trump is expected to pardon a turkey next month, and I'm terrified of what's going to happen.
posted by zachlipton at 1:37 PM on October 25, 2017 [39 favorites]


That, which we dismiss as mere culture war bullshit is the true vital beating heart of conservatism. Free market capitalism was never really essential to conservatism, it is and was always merely a means to an end.

I think you've got it entirely backwards. White-dentity Politics is what free market capitalists (i.e. robber barons) use to trick people into voting for free market capitalism, which is absolutely the end game.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:19 PM on October 25 [1 favorite +] [!]


I recognize the truth in both these statements, but I'll have to agree with the idea that the heart of conservatism is hanging on to the privilege of those already in power. The mechanisms by which this is accomplished is adapted to the environment, such that if the appearance of a democratic majority is needed, white-identity politics will serve that need by garnering support for whatever system retains that power, be it an ephemeral ideal like "free-market capitalism" that is neither free-market nor capitalistic, but rather anti-competitive and heritable; or an aristocratic hierarchy solidified into law; or control of a large standing army to support an autocratic regime that uses elections as window dressing and food for the leader's ego.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:37 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Is there classism about national parks? Absolutely. I'll also argue there's a shitload of racism, both in terms of anti-blackness and anti-Asianness. The low-key assholery that a lot of Asian tourists get subjected to in National Parks is pretty awful.

Are real, serious people worried about the effects of overuse and traffic at major national parks like Yosemite? Yeah. For example, see this article from the Yale School of Forestry. See also this article about the steps that Zion is taking. And like, I don't know if you've been on the valley floor in Yosemite at a peak time, but it's bumper-to-bumper traffic to the point where air quality is meaningfully reduced for anybody who wants to hike or even go for a casual walk on the valley floor. Lines form for bathrooms, so people end up peeing in bushes, except there's millions of people, and well, the human waste issue is a problem.

Is a price hike in admission the answer? I don't know, but as long as the money is actually going to the parks, actually being used for maintenance and capital improvements (a big qualifier, I know), I like it a whole fucking lot better than absolute limits on admission, which actually far more restrictive -- if you're driving the five or six hours that it takes to get to Yosemite from just about any population center, you're going to have the extra $40 to spend for a week long, as many people as you have in the noncommercial car pass.

On the other hand, if admission will be the same price, but the limited spots will be doled out by lottery or by waking up at the crack of dawn 90 or 180 or 365 days before so that you can sign up at 12 AM on the internet, the way it's done for particularly hot campsites at the National Park, that's far more limiting and classist and keep-out-the-poor-people-who-don't-have-the-social-capital-to-do-that.

Is Zinke shady as fuck? ABSOLUTELY.
posted by joyceanmachine at 1:41 PM on October 25, 2017 [29 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!

Your move, Ted Cruz's dad.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:44 PM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, Trump is expected to pardon a turkey next month, and I'm terrified of what's going to happen.

His actual plan is to slaughter, on live television, all of the turkeys that were pardoned by Obama.
posted by peeedro at 1:44 PM on October 25, 2017 [90 favorites]


Coffeehikenapwine: Once National Park attendance drops drastically because of the massive fee increase they will be all "Hey, no one is visiting the parks, we can't afford their upkeep so we have been forced to selling the lands and drilling in them." ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yup. I just made a similar point in my comment. At a certain price point, the numbers of visitors will drop off, so any increase in fares is going to bring in the same amount, or less money!


Folks, you now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deploy the Laffer Curve against these fuckwits.

You see, if you lower fees (taxes) you will actually increase revenues!
posted by leotrotsky at 1:46 PM on October 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


I have SO many thoughts about what the heart of conservatism truly is, as I've wrestled with understanding it for years. But I already wrote it all out on a previous election thread so I'll just link to it there. (It's my "Type 1" vs "Type 2" society thing.) I also posted a related FPP.

I'd also point to Jonathan Haidt's research on the different values of liberals and conservatives. Both value compassion and fairness, but conservatives value loyalty, sanctity, and authority almost as much, whereas liberals value compassion and fairness a lot more than the other three.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:46 PM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: I’d love to be able to look my grandkids in the eye, but if I do I’ll be primaried from the right
Of course, I’d like nothing better than to be able to stand with Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Bob Corker (R-Liddle, Tenn.) and John McCain (R-Captured, Ariz.) and even former president George W. Bush (R-If George W. Bush Has Correctly Concluded That He Looks Good by Comparison, Then … God Help Us) to say that reelection is not worth sacrificing our fundamental American values. But then I would be guaranteed a primary challenge from whatever ghoul Stephen K. Bannon has been nursing beneath his leathery wings, and we can’t risk that.

So instead, I am saying… nothing. And throwing my support behind Roy Moore.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:46 PM on October 25, 2017 [50 favorites]


> an ephemeral ideal like "free-market capitalism" that is neither free-market nor capitalistic, but rather anti-competitive and heritable;

this formulation doesn't work. you're implying that free-market capitalism is competitive, with positions of power under free market capitalism being non-heritable. This requires assuming that the tendency toward the establishment of hereditary quasi-aristocracies is a distortion away from free-market capitalism rather than the end state toward which capitalism naturally tends.

The tendency for capitalism to produce aristocracies is one big reason why white supremacists and fascists have always tended to get along well with capitalism. The distinction between the white supremacist position and the capitalist position is that whereas white supremacists want to explicitly write rules that establish white supremacy directly, capitalists prefer instead to support the establishment of a machine that tends to over time indirectly establish white supremacist conditions, should you run that machine in a world where a few white people start off holding most of the wealth.

like, the difference between them is the difference between "we want this to happen" and "we want the thing that will over time make this happen." The misdirection involved in the capitalist formulation makes no difference in the final product, and the smarter fascists (and the smarter capitalists) are nothing if not outcome-oriented.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:47 PM on October 25, 2017 [17 favorites]


I mean, it’s true they conservatives have already abandoned “free market capitalism” decades ago in favor of aristocratic monopolies built on inherited wealth, the end goal is always (Always!) free labor and feudalism.

I mean if you where actuslly a free market capitalist you’d push for harsh, heavily enforced anti trust laws cause trusts and monopolies fix prices and smother competition.

But that’s just saying one thing to sell it to people screwed over by the system and the actual truth of it on the other hand, which is power and money in any system will concentrate unless actively opposed and resisted.
posted by The Whelk at 1:47 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, Trump is expected to pardon a turkey next month

The turkey pardoned being named Donald Trump Jr. shouldn't arouse anyone's suspicion...
posted by Talez at 1:47 PM on October 25, 2017 [35 favorites]


Genuine question, sorry if it's a stupid one: Could Trump not just ask someone if he wanted to know everything there is to know about JFK's assassination? I guess I don't really know where the truth lies between the President's clearance to know everything vs plausible deniability or if somehow there are actually things the President is NOT cleared to know?

What I'm really getting at is, he's not excited for the JFK record release because he's curious what's in them, right? Like, he could already ask for the un-redacted version if he wanted?

(If there is an entire cadre of people working desperately to keep Trump from knowing things and convince him no one can tell him that's an entirely separate issue I suppose, but an effort I fully support)
posted by jermsplan at 1:49 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


His actual plan is to slaughter, on live television, all of the turkeys that were pardoned by Obama.

You know the MAGA horde would fucking LOVE THIS. And then Republicans could pass their tax cuts while CNN and the NYT spent 2 weeks agonizing over some dead birds.
posted by Glibpaxman at 1:49 PM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


I'd like to see another Women's March. A March Against Fascism. The new EPA dude working without the Senate confirming him. The new Supreme Court Justice* campaigning with Mitch McConnell. The FCC allowing anything conservative media powers want. ICE denying a girl her right to bodily autonomy. The president* joking about Mike Pence wanting to hang gay people, followed by Pence's spokesperson not denying it. Roy Moore is now an accepted Republican. 50 Senate Rs plus Mike Pence voting to deny us our day in court against corporations who harm us. The president* attacking black women publicly. The fact that we are being governed, such as it is, by people we did not elect.

I live in Minneapolis. I think it should be everywhere. Anyone know of something like this in the works?
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:51 PM on October 25, 2017 [24 favorites]


you're implying that free-market capitalism is competitive and non-heritable,

Not doing anything of the kind. It's an ephemeral ideal. It has no real-world instantiation. It's an impossibility. Or, at least, no instance of it has even been brought about so far. But the pretense is that such a thing not only exists but is the norm for the US of A. And this nonsense is what sustains the moneyed class currently in America. That, and a whole lot of marks who buy the notion to the extent that they believe they will be part of the winners in this fantasy game.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:55 PM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


“I don’t have to agree with somebody to support them over the democratic nominee. I support the nominee of my party.”

So blind allegiance to your tribe is more important than the constitution, rule of law, and the lives of millions of your constituents?

How this framing wasn't the immediate followup is beyond me.
posted by chris24 at 1:57 PM on October 25, 2017 [46 favorites]


The core of conservatism, the part that never changes, is a love of aristocracy, a desire for a world ordered in a hierarchy and with those below graciously and gratefully serving those set above them.

It's really unwise to look at Conservatism as just a movement exclusively based on fucking over poor people and worshiping the wealthy. You're missing very large swathes of philosophical thought (religious morality, etc) that have been part of it for decades.

We are better off understanding Conservatism as a continuum. The movement has encompassed a great many ideas and tried to cram them under one umbrella over the years far more often out of a combined need to stop various political movements, policies and philosophies that they felt were dangerous, such as Communism. Collectivism. Liberalism. Socialism. John Birchers, the Draft, Marxism, the sexual revolution, Abortion Rights, Civil Rights. Gay Rights. Immigration, Islamophobia, Federalism. Secularism. Etc., etc. As each has gained ascendance or diminished in importance, Conservatism has (to quote Buckley, "stood athwart history, yelling "Stop!"
posted by zarq at 1:59 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


> It has no real-world instantiation. It's an impossibility

I think it matters to insist on this: free-market capitalism can exist; it is possible, and we're living in it. It's just that the world that free-market capitalism makes isn't a particularly good one, or one particularly amenable to human freedom. It's one where the free action of the market over time results in the concentration of wealth and power in a few hands; the "freedom" of the free market is freedom for the market, not for people.

It's less that free-market capitalism can't exist, and more that the way that free-market capitalism markets itself is a lie.

Capitalist propaganda identifies rights to privately held property with freedom, and likewise identifies the unlimited right to exchange property with freedom, and likewise identifies following the orders of capital-holders with freedom. This is all nonsense, of course. But that doesn't mean that capitalism doesn't exist.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:07 PM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


The movement has encompassed a great many ideas and tried to cram them under one umbrella over the years far more often out of a combined need to stop various political movements, policies and philosophies that they felt were dangerous, such as Communism. Collectivism. Liberalism. Socialism. John Birchers, the Draft, Marxism, the sexual revolution, Abortion Rights, Civil Rights. Gay Rights. Immigration, Islamophobia, Federalism. Secularism. Etc., etc. As each has gained ascendance or diminished in importance, Conservatism has (to quote Buckley, "stood athwart history, yelling "Stop!"
posted by zarq at 1:59 PM on October 25 [+] [!]


With the exception of John Birchers (the inclusion of which I disagree with; modern conservatism has practically adopted the Bircher bible), all of those "dangerous" things are threats to the standing hierarchy, no? Other non-dominant religions, non-white races, women, non-cis-gendered-or-non-hetero-sexual identities, immigrants, government protections, business regulation, and wealth redistribution all threaten the existing hierarchy to a great degree. I would add worker empowerment and protections. In fact, I would argue that list makes the point that the only thing being conserved consistently is that hierarchy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:07 PM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


NEW from Betsy Woodruff at Daily Beast: Trump Data Guru: I Tried to Team Up With Julian Assange: The head of Cambridge Analytica said he asked the Wikileaks founder for help finding Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails.

The Trump campaign apparently feels skittish enough over this that they just put out a statement indirectly trashing Cambridge Analytica for not helping them win.

It's also misleading, as Sam Stein notes: "Trump camp paid $5.9m to cambridge analytica from July 29 through Dec 12, 2016. Before then, ZERO"
posted by zachlipton at 2:09 PM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


Excuse me, but I just turned on MSNBC and I'm wondering why the fuck Chuck Todd is interviewing the Sr. editor of Breit-fucking-Bart.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:09 PM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


McCain, Flake and Corker. It's satisfying junk, but you know you'll need a real meal later. You can't live on that on that crap.
posted by adept256 at 2:10 PM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I keep thinking about Trump's fetishistic obsession with his ratings, positive reviews, and standing ovations.

How he not only clearly feeds on them, but somehow believes that they're worth telling his followers about. "Look, I just met these people, and they said I was great!"

And obviously, obviously it's narcissistic and petty and ridiculous and a million other things...

But what has been sticking in my brain is this:

This is literally what Trump cares about. As far as we can tell, it's the main thing he cares about.

And it makes me imagine a world where, as a collective group, we all agreed to just start laughing at him, whenever he walked into a room, or spoke in our vicinity, or appeared at an event. Just pack the room, and don't carry signs, and don't shout slogans. Simply wait for him to appear, and then point and laugh until he leaves.

Play a laugh track over any audio of him that we put on television.

Stand by the side of the road as his motorcade goes by, just pointing and laughing.

I have trouble imagining him enduring it.

And that thought is like a warm blanket against the turbulent winds of chaos and anxiety he has surrounded me and my loved ones with.
posted by bluemilker at 2:10 PM on October 25, 2017 [44 favorites]


i feel like we need to replace "hail to the chief" with "yackety sax" for the duration
posted by entropicamericana at 2:11 PM on October 25, 2017 [64 favorites]


zarq I don't actually disagree with you and I think we're more in agreement than not here. I just think that standing athwart history and yelling stop is mostly centered on preventing the loss of whatever they're yelling stop about.

Conservatives are more religious because religion is, was, and always will be, a very convenient way to convince those at the bottom that a) they deserve it, and b) there will be pie in the sky by and by. Anyone who wants to maintain a strict social hierarchy has always found it convenient to have the peasants believing that the gods want it that way.

Also, there's such a thing as religious privilege and its loss. There was a time when being a mainline Protestant meant being privileged above other Christian denominations, and when being a Christian of any sort was strongly privileged above being a member of any other religion. That's being lessened today, so of course modern conservatism is very focused on religious matters. They oppose the loss (however undeserved or unearned) of their religious privilege.

Moreover, The list of things conservatives have objected to you provided tend to have one quality in common: the loss of privilege or a tendency towards social leveling.
posted by sotonohito at 2:22 PM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


Thanks for covering the park over-use thing, joyceanmachine. Obviously turning the parks into a pays-for-itself operation via admissions fees is unacceptable, and gatekeeping purely based on money is unacceptable when it makes the NPS purely a service for the well-off.

But. When I first read the comment above, and I thought "I want to comment on this being a sleazily motivated thing that is in some ways a good thing" I went to google to look for the article I remembered reading about it. So I googled "parks loved to death" since I remembered that bit of it. I'm sure that turned back the article I read. It also returned another dozen articles, and not all just rehashes of one. A quick skim indicated Yellowstone gets 4 million visitors a year. An average of 11,000 a day.
posted by phearlez at 2:22 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


As far as parks, classism, and "those people" go, remember the kerfuffle that was raised when Pokemon Go was causing (gasp) riff raff to visit a park mostly frequented by rich people? We had a thread about it.
posted by sotonohito at 2:25 PM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


labelling Radiohead’s music as “just elaborate moaning and whining over ringtone sounds”

um, this is pretty spot on and I’m a fan. also, it’s been a few weeks since I posted this: we’re so fucked.
posted by photoslob at 2:26 PM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Kamala Harris: Let me be clear: I will oppose the end-of-year spending bill unless it fixes DACA.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:29 PM on October 25, 2017 [18 favorites]


And funds CHIP?
posted by perspicio at 2:36 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


And reinstates the curtailed ACA payments to insurance companies?
posted by perspicio at 2:37 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Could Trump not just ask someone if he wanted to know everything there is to know about JFK's assassination?

Per Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, a President can ask but the department/program/official in question may not answer, and doesn't have to. It's a common misconception. Eisenhower was pretty pissed off about it for some reason.

unacknowledged Special Access Programs, "black" budgets, and other exciting things that this Predisent has the moxie to get to the bottom of! No word yet on the SIX POINT FIVE TRILLION MISSING DOLLARS though (give or take a few trillion - it's funny because it's true!). Shame, we could, y'know give groupons for Yosemite or, say, free college for all with enough left for every American to be a millionaire but - whoops.
posted by petebest at 2:38 PM on October 25, 2017 [22 favorites]


With the exception of John Birchers (the inclusion of which I disagree with; modern conservatism has practically adopted the Bircher bible),

At one time, Conservatives quite loudly denounced Birchers as dangerous. Modern Conservatism has embraced a form of Bircherism, I agree. Conservatives have also either supported or tried to stop military drafts at various times in recent history. Libertarianism contains quite a few principles that Conservatives are staunchly opposed to as well. For example, the Libertarian Party was a proponent of gay marriage way before the Democratic Party got around to fighting for it. The very idea was anathema to Conservatives. The list of movements and policies that Conservatives have supported or denounced is not consistent and is often self defined given whatever political winds are blowing. Which brings me to my next point:

all of those "dangerous" things are threats to the standing hierarchy, no?

If by "standing hierarchy" you mean "self-defined standing hierarchy" then yes. They define hierarchy and oppression only as it suits them.

White Conservatives currently define themselves as a discriminated-against, oppressed minority in their own country, be it religious, economic, racial or political. They've gone from fearmongering about the rise of brown people to pretending Whites have lost all privilege.

Other non-dominant religions, non-white races, women, non-cis-gendered-or-non-hetero-sexual identities, immigrants, government protections, business regulation, and wealth redistribution all threaten the existing hierarchy to a great degree. I would add worker empowerment and protections.

I'd agree with that. But sotonhito's comment deliberately said that the deeper motivations and justifications behind some of their arguments didn't matter, and that some of their principles were window dressing. I disagree. I think they do matter and shouldn't be dismissed. Free market capitalism (for example) has been deeply embedded in Conservative principles from the time of Russell Kirk and is not merely a means to an end.
posted by zarq at 2:39 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Yosemite Valley is more like three hours from major population centers. Three hours, a tank of gas, and a $25 admission for a car load of people could be an affordable day trip...increasing that admission fee by $45 makes it a lot less affordable for many people.

One of the reasons I moved to the God forsaken town of nothing I currently live in was its proximity to Lassen National Park. I have no idea how this price increase is going to affect Lassen. But the northeast corner of California is pretty poor and raising the price of admission would negatively affect locals...not only could we not afford to get into the park, but it could lead to fewer tourists and less tourist dollars being spent at area businesses by non-local park visitors.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:40 PM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


Rep. Peter King (R-NY) says he has the votes to bring down the budget
Representative Peter King of New York said in an interview that he’s voting no on the budget, and that there were enough SALT defectors to block it. King said he and Representative Dan Donovan of New York weren’t invited to several meetings with leadership to discuss the deduction. “They are trying to pick us off one by one,” King said.

“This proposal will devastate my district forever,” said King, who represents the southern shore of Long Island. “How anybody from New York and New Jersey can vote for this budget without knowing what is in the tax bill is beyond me.”
posted by Glibpaxman at 2:41 PM on October 25, 2017 [48 favorites]


It is striking and delightful how nuanced this conversation about "why and what is conservatism?" is, compared to the level of discourse on the other side (content note: mental illness shaming, just like you'd expect).
posted by witchen at 2:43 PM on October 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


Rep. Peter King (R-NY) says he has the votes to bring down the budget

Then Congress gets dissolved and we have new elections right?

right?
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:43 PM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


“How anybody from New York and New Jersey can vote for this budget without knowing what is in the tax bill is beyond me.”

This whole deal is all who-knows-who, and of course over here you got your favoritism.

Going with Gutless Trump Colluders for $1000 Alex
posted by petebest at 2:44 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


This is why I said tax reform will be hard. Every tax break was bought and paid for by interest groups and/or large blocks of reliable voters. They can’t just wipe all that away and give all the breaks to the 0.00001% instead with pissing a lot of people, including a lot of Republicans.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:49 PM on October 25, 2017 [19 favorites]


i feel like we need to replace "hail to the chief" with "yackety sax" for the duration
posted by entropicamericana at 2:11 PM on October 25 [18 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


My brain overlays the theme to Curb Your Enthusiasm...
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:54 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


> It is striking and delightful how nuanced this conversation about "why and what is conservatism?" is, compared to the level of discourse on the other side (content note: mental illness shaming, just like you'd expect).

nah, we're not so great. all sides are in their various ways finding strategies to:
  • Identify everyone else's political stances as rooted in delusion (so false consciousness, mental illness, idiocy, whatever), and
  • Position one's own political position as being for whatever reason better grounded than everyone else's.
I could find some dismissals of conservatism from liberals (and even from some socialists) that are just as gross and limp as the dismissal of liberalism that you've linked.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:55 PM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


More of the Trump effect. From -10 net support to +4.

Poll Says a Majority of Americans Think Leagues Should Not Require Players to Stand During Anthem
A majority of Americans do not believe athletes should be required to stand during the national anthem, according to an HBO/Marist poll.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said professional sports leagues such as the NFL should not require players to stand, while 47 percent said leagues should. When the same question was asked in September 2016, 52 percent said players should be required to stand while 42 said they should not.

Notably, in this most recent poll, 52 percent thought athletes did the right thing by carrying out this protest while just 41 percent say it was the wrong course of action. [...]

More than two-thirds of Americans—68 percent, to be exact—think Trump was wrong to make those comments, according to the poll, while only 28 percent thought the President did the right thing. [...]

There was both a geographical and racial discrepancy within the poll. Respondents from the Northeast and West Coast were more likely to think leagues should require players to stand, while those from the South and Midwest were split roughly evenly on the same issue. African-Americans, at 76 percent, were the racial group most likely to think athletes' shouldn't be required to stand, while 54 percent of Whites said standing should be a requirement.
posted by chris24 at 2:58 PM on October 25, 2017 [24 favorites]


I could find some dismissals of conservatism from liberals (and even from some socialists) that are just as gross and limp as the dismissal of liberalism that you've linked.

Fair enough, BUT are you on my grandmother's email list? The "liberalism as mental disorder" is the popular alpha and omega answer to the question of what liberalism is. Someone wrote a book with that as the title. The mental disorder thing is much more ubiquitous than similar quips from the left (based on my rough and extensive exposure to right-wing media and email forwards over the past couple of decades).

And I guess I have not been on the receiving end of any left-wing email forwards, but I always assumed they don't exist, or at least not in such vast quantities. At the very least, they'd have some basis in fact, and fewer spelling errors...right?
posted by witchen at 3:02 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Modern Republicanism is a leopard eating Peter King's face forever.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:04 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


the level of discourse on the other side
Trump's Mirror is not just for Trump. Change a few key words and you have a very accurate depiction of the FoxNews/Breitbart brand of Antisocial Personality Disorder and its methodology.

YCTaB, the truest thing Stephen Colbert ever said was "Reality has a Liberal bias".

My father was a Very Old School WWII Veteran Conservative/Racist and the model of Ignorance and Sociopathy for me. It just pains me that a few years after his death, so much of America has become just like him.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:05 PM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


chris24: When the same question was asked in September 2016, 52 percent said players should be required to stand while 42 said they should not.

In a way, that surprises me more than the recent numbers do, because as I recall, the issue was much less broadly politicized/discussed at the time. Nowadays the question is more like a referendum on the merits of Black Lives Matter, tied up with patriotism-etc. But when I imagine a typical American in 2016 asked whether athletes should be required to [do a thing], I feel like the default response ought be "no", whatever [thing] might be.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 3:07 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I could find some dismissals of conservatism from liberals (and even from some socialists) that are just as gross and limp as the dismissal of liberalism that you've linked.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:55 PM on October 25 [1 favorite +] [!]


I'll claim special privilege here, as I was raised as a conservative by my Buckley-style conservative parents. I was given Wealth of Nations to read as a young lad, along with a subscription to National Review as I left for college. I argued devastatingly in high school and freshman year of college for conservative viewpoints. I'll strongly argue for the rationality of my conversion via expanding my knowledge base and experiencing a wider world than I was brought up in (a small city in the heart of the upper midwest). The hermetically sealed, rigidly defined world to which that conservatives try constrain arguments is not an accident, but rather carefully constructed to not allow certain arguments, fatal to their world view, to be made. It's not a mystery why the Gish Gallop was invented by a conservative.

Some conservatives, to be sure, make the standard arguments as true believers, especially those who do not have the wealth and privilege at the top of the social hierarchy, but it is clear that most of the formulation of these arguments happen at the behest of the most privileged and well appointed of society. Without "think tanks" and "media outlets," funded by the wealth at the top, to promulgate and propagate these arguments, conservatives would be still stuck in the box they were in a half century ago, when liberal Democrats dominated Congress and state governments. Until Reagan, the only Republicans who won on the national stage had to pretend to be centrists and, to a large extent, were.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:08 PM on October 25, 2017 [22 favorites]


Bloomberg, Steven T. Dennis, Key Russia Probe Splinters as Grassley, Feinstein Set Own Paths. The Judicary Committee is splitting in two, as Grassley wants to also investigate Clinton's emails and the uranium deal, while Feinstein wants to focus on collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice for firing Comey.

The Nation, Exclusive: The Interior Department Scrubs Climate Change From Its Strategic Plan. A leaked draft of Interior's five-year plan is revealed. The department's goal will be "American energy dominance," climate change is not mentioned, and one of their key performance indicators is how much land is opened to drilling.

Daily Beast, Sam Stein, Trump’s War on Obamacare Cost Taxpayers $1 Million During His First Week In Office. An IG report digs into the nonsense that occurred when Trump's "beachhead team" at HHS demanded all Obamacare outreach stop during open enrollment. The career staff warned this would waste millions of dollars, as it would involve cancelling contracts and ads that were locked in, not to mention lead to fewer people getting health insurance, but the order went out. By the time the Trump folks actually listened and realized they were throwing money down the toilet by paying to not run ads, the agency had already started cancelling the outreach efforts per the instructions. The IG says they wasted about $1.1 million because of this nonsense.

And, um, Ashley Feinberg, Is This Jared And Ivanka’s 21-Minute Sex Playlist?:
The 21-minute-long collection of songs is as horny as it is depressing. The playlist evokes motionless, antiseptic coitus. It evokes two Tide pens in a plastic sale tub. It evokes Lysol wipes. It evokes the smooth, genderless slopes of a couple of undressed dolls. This is sex music only in the sense that two pages pressed together in a new Williams Sonoma catalog is sex.
I'm so so sorry.
posted by zachlipton at 3:09 PM on October 25, 2017 [52 favorites]


I just want to know where the counter ad is to that damned ad that's running, featuring a very sincere woman saying that tax reform will benefit normal people and not the wealthy and politically-connected. She implores me to contact my Democratic Senator and urge him not to stand in the way of fair and sensible tax reform.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:10 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


“991122”
god damn it, Ashley Feinberg
god damn you
posted by halation at 3:13 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


And, um, Ashley Feinberg, Is This Jared And Ivanka’s 21-Minute Sex Playlist?:

AHAHAHAH I JUST CAME IN TO POST THIS, ZACH GOT THERE FIRST BECAUSE I'M LAUGHING REALLY HARD
posted by lalex at 3:21 PM on October 25, 2017 [18 favorites]


I guess I have not been on the receiving end of any left-wing email forwards, but I always assumed they don't exist, or at least not in such vast quantities. At the very least, they'd have some basis in fact, and fewer spelling errors...right?

There are, but they're mostly focused on Big Pharma and the healing power of (insert X bizarre thing here). Which kills people when they take it seriously, but only the individual who takes it seriously, which is an improvement over other forms of fake news.
posted by corb at 3:25 PM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Did someone say they needed a tiny ray of justice?

Kentucky is held liable for legal fees for gay couples Kim Davis refused to issue licenses to.

"The governor and commissioner, who were third-party defendants in the case, argued that Davis did not represent Kentucky when she acted against the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges because her behavior was not directed or approved by any state official.

Bunning once again found the argument unpersuasive, and rejected the appeal on Monday.

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky is liable for plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs because defendant Kim Davis acted on behalf of the Commonwealth when she refused to issue marriage licenses,” the judge wrote in his 14-page decision."
posted by nakedmolerats at 3:31 PM on October 25, 2017 [75 favorites]


where the counter ad is to that damned ad that's running, featuring a very sincere woman saying that tax reform will benefit normal people and not the wealthy and politically-connected

Well there's this CNN ad...
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:38 PM on October 25, 2017


(per above)Breaking: Senate committee revealed to be steaming load of time-wasting bullshit, GOP demands pointless investigation again.

After the break, New JFK assassination files released after fifty-three goddamned years! They prove Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone despite the other 1976 House committee finding the opposite.

And then: Can too much pollution be bad? Jenny Gardner has the details . . after this.
posted by petebest at 3:43 PM on October 25, 2017


I could find some dismissals of conservatism from liberals (and even from some socialists) that are just as gross and limp as the dismissal of liberalism that you've linked.

Yep, and I think few here would doubt you could.

Just like I could find some examples on Twitter and Facebook of folks who claim to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement rejoicing in violence toward police officers and white people, which is an accusation often hurled at BLM in its entirety by "concerned citizens."

But I don't think most folks would say those kinds of statements from outliers and randos characterize BLM as a whole. Certainly no one with any real power or voice for the aims of the movement holds to that extreme interpretation of what BLM should be about.

When it comes to conservatives and liberals, though, an attribution of toxic beliefs and noxious characterizations of the other side certainly shows up in both groups, but it has been my observation and experience that the conservatives' stuff gets amplified and repeated by people with huge audiences and by people who actually have their hands on the levers of power. Talk show hosts, Moore, King, and others.

It's because of those folks that I feel like I can say of conservatives "Your side seems to be characterized by a desire to elevate the armed forces to the level of some Iron Age warrior caste, 2nd-tier placement at best for anyone not a cishetwhite conservative male, fetishization of the gun, a belief that liberals are effete traitors, and disdain for scholarship and scientific study. Here are some examples of members of Congress and powerful media personalities who make proclamations along those lines on a daily basis: example 1, example 2."

The closest I've seen to powerful people on the left promoting unfortunate ideas about conservatives is when some celebrity or another speaks disdainfully of the south or midwest or rural areas in general. But there's always immediate, pointed feedback, and I don't know that I see Democratic politicians joyfully proposing, passing, and enforcing legislation that harms those areas.

It's like when you used to find people saying that Michael Moore was just as bad as Rush Limbaugh. When did Moore have Democratic politicians apologizing and kneeling to kiss his ring like Limbaugh did with Republicans (eg Michael "No Relation to Christopher" Steele)?

So, yeah, surely there's Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Re: Re: RE: fwd emails on the left about how conservatives have atrophied, withered hearts and conservatives believe that illnesses are caused by an imbalance of the bodily humors and conservatives were making a baby in the closet and the baby looked at me, but, again, it's my experience that the liberals doing so don't have kindred spirits shaping public opinion and enacting laws.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:47 PM on October 25, 2017 [31 favorites]


This is sex music only in the sense that two pages pressed together in a new Williams Sonoma catalog is sex.

"Who hasn't been fucked by the Willams Sonoma catalog?" - says the bitter wedding guest.
posted by srboisvert at 3:50 PM on October 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


Bill O’Reilly May Wind Up at Sinclair Broadcasting

Because right wing propaganda and serial sexual assault just can't quit each other.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:53 PM on October 25, 2017 [31 favorites]


He can rail against women, poverty, and minorities in his new “I’m Mad at You, God” show.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:56 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Don't they open themselves up to all kinds of liability if he continues to sexually harass and/or assault women once they hire him? I'd sure sue Sinclair in addition to O'Reilly if he harrassed me, on the "you knew he was a scorpion when you hired him" principle.
posted by Justinian at 3:58 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Oh look, Trump just hit a new job approval low. With FOX.

Approve: 38
Disapprove: 57

49% "strongly" disapprove.

His net approval went from -11 last month to -19 now.

Some interesting details:

White men w/o college degree
Election Day: 71%
Last month: 68%
Now: 56%

White evangelical Christians
Election Day: 80%
Last month: 74%
Now: 66%
posted by chris24 at 4:00 PM on October 25, 2017 [50 favorites]


Not to derail or anything but the photo on that sex music article reminded me to ask about something that's bugged me for awhile. Is Melania the only Trump who wears a wedding ring? Every photo I've seen where the left hand of Ivanka, Eric, Jr., or Dotard is visible, there's nothing. That's weird, right?
posted by SpaceBass at 4:01 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Wow, FOX has the generic congressional ballot +15 for Dems. 50% - 35%.
posted by chris24 at 4:08 PM on October 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


Well, I had to look it up, and yes, Ivanka wears her wedding ring on her right hand.
posted by Biblio at 4:18 PM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Wow, FOX has the generic congressional ballot +15 for Dems. 50% - 35%.

Adjusted for gerrymandering and general Republican ratfuckery, that means a net Dem loss of only 50 seats.

In the Senate.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:22 PM on October 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Eh, I feel your pain but +15 would swing the House pretty comfortably. It won't be +15 on election day.
posted by Justinian at 4:32 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Adjusted for gerrymandering and general Republican ratfuckery, that means a net Dem loss of only 50 seats.

FFS, can we stay anchored in reality?
posted by Chrysostom at 4:37 PM on October 25, 2017 [17 favorites]




This is kind of meta but the fuck thread is over and I have just learned that my grandfather died today of causes that would ordinarily be preventable in Puerto Rico as a result of this monster we have at the head of America and I needed to tell people that gave a fuck before I must tell people who will defend Trump.
posted by corb at 4:52 PM on October 25, 2017 [350 favorites]


I'm profoundly sorry for your loss, corb.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:54 PM on October 25, 2017 [50 favorites]


Very sorry for your loss, corb.
posted by zachlipton at 4:57 PM on October 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


George HW Bush's office has put out a statement acknowledging he "has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner."

You guys ever get the feeling the earth is rapidly spinning out of control?
posted by zachlipton at 5:00 PM on October 25, 2017 [40 favorites]


I'm sorry for your loss, corb. You have my condolences.
posted by homunculus at 5:00 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Oh, Corb, that is heartbreaking and infuriating. My thoughts are with your family.
posted by NorthernLite at 5:00 PM on October 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


Oh dear corb, I am so sorry for your loss, please tell your family that a lot of strangers on the internet are caring for you all
posted by mumimor at 5:01 PM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


Bless you, corb, I'm so sorry for your loss, and for the suffering your grandfather endured, and achingly sorry that so much of this suffering, loss and death is not necessary and in fact completely avoidable. Sending you all strength and calm for when family or friends continue to support and defend Trump despite this loss.
posted by LooseFilter at 5:03 PM on October 25, 2017 [17 favorites]


Corb, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I made a donation to Unidos disaster relief in his honor. I wish I could do more.
posted by Emera Gratia at 5:06 PM on October 25, 2017 [32 favorites]


Corb, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:10 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Ah, hell, Corb. I know nothing about your granddad, but I know a better man died than that bastard in the White House.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 5:10 PM on October 25, 2017 [28 favorites]


So sorry, Corb.
posted by Tsuga at 5:11 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


.

i am sorry and angry about this, corb.
posted by halation at 5:12 PM on October 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


Oh, corb. I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:12 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Very sorry to hear that, corb. What a bullshit situation.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:15 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Corb, I am so sorry. I wish there was more I could say. Emera Gratia sets a good example with that donation. I'll follow it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:23 PM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


shit, corb. i'm sorry.
posted by palomar at 5:31 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Corb, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.
posted by Silverstone at 5:34 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Donne was right, we are all diminished by such a loss. The pain is sharpest for you and your family and your grandfather's other loved ones but we all lose, and the world becomes a lesser place, via such a tragedy.
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:37 PM on October 25, 2017 [19 favorites]


You take that back! Donnie has never been right about anything.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 5:41 PM on October 25, 2017


Damnit, corb. Sorry. This world...
posted by cultcargo at 5:42 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


And if it helps you at all -- if you feel inclined at all to do so, feel free to outsource your anger for now. There's a community of people here who are ready and willing to be grimly angry about this on your behalf, until after you've had time to be with your family and comfort each other. You can, if you choose, pick up later where you left off. But in the meantime we'll smoulder and fume for you and for all the other families that may be dealing with similar situations.
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:44 PM on October 25, 2017 [29 favorites]


Damn, I’m so sorry Corb.

.
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:47 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by perspicio at 5:53 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm so very sorry, corb.
posted by kyrademon at 5:53 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Love to you and your family, corb.

.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:54 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by metaquarry at 5:54 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Lyme Drop at 5:57 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by supercrayon at 5:58 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Is there anywhere we can go to help with flights and funeral expenses?
posted by Talez at 5:58 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry, corb.

We will defeat these people so they can never do this again.
posted by Frowner at 5:59 PM on October 25, 2017 [27 favorites]


I'm sorry corb

.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:04 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


corb, I'm so very sorry, and so very very angry for you.
posted by gaspode at 6:07 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Sorry for your loss corb. If you have a gofundme or somesuch please PM. I can't contribute much, but I'll chip in what I can for transport and so on for the funeral.
posted by sotonohito at 6:08 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Oh corb, I am so so sorry. I've never met you but I'm tearing up at your loss. Let us know how we can help.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:09 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


corb, this is awful. Please share requests for help for others in this situation. I find the helplessness that I think many of of us feel to be debilitating.
posted by achrise at 6:13 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry corb

.
posted by adamsc at 6:15 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I don't even know what to say I'm so pissed and sad and frustrated. So sorry corb. If there's anything I can do...
posted by chris24 at 6:16 PM on October 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


.

I'm so sorry for your loss, corb. And angry.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:18 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


(((((((corb))))))))
posted by yoga at 6:18 PM on October 25, 2017 [19 favorites]


I sent my reps an ungainly rant about people dying in Puerto Rico while nobody seems to care, but if there's a more productive way we can help, please let us know.
posted by zachlipton at 6:19 PM on October 25, 2017 [14 favorites]




I know this isn't anywhere near the most important aspect, but it is both terribly sad and terribly infuriating that this will be one of the deaths that will be ignored by the "official" accounting of PR's hurricane death toll.

.

!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:20 PM on October 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


.



In further news about Whitefish, it appears there is a Trump connection as well as Zinke. Essentially Whitefish is primarily financed by a company run by a man (Colonnetta) who, combined with his wife, contributed a bit over $100K to Trump's campaigns. There's also pics of the family with Trump people, and the daughter with Trump himself in a twitter thread by the journalist.
posted by Buntix at 6:25 PM on October 25, 2017 [36 favorites]


Oh, no. Corb, you have my deepest condolences. :(
posted by zarq at 6:29 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


My condolences, corb.

It is obscene that this is happening.
posted by brainwane at 6:31 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


has anyone submitted a new WTFUCK thread to the gray? Otherwise I will.
posted by lalex at 6:41 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


.

Sorry for your loss corb.
posted by triage_lazarus at 6:42 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


corb, please accept my condolences.
posted by holborne at 6:43 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by pdoege at 6:44 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm so sorry, Corb. I would also contribute to a fund, should you need.
posted by greermahoney at 6:45 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by orrnyereg at 6:46 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:46 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by drezdn at 6:56 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh, corb. I'm so, so sorry.
posted by rocket at 6:56 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by condour75 at 7:00 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Dashy at 7:01 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


This tears.


.
posted by bird internet at 7:02 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:11 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by wobumingbai at 7:12 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:16 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


> I made a donation to Unidos disaster relief in his honor. I wish I could do more.

I know this has been asked before but I can't find it: what charity do MeFites recommend to make a donation to for Puerto Rico? I've given to the Red Cross, but I thought there was another charity people here were recommending, but I don't recognize that one (but I could easily be remembering wrong). Is Unidos best or is there another one folks recommend?
posted by homunculus at 7:18 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


.
posted by strange chain at 7:18 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


My god corb, this is such a nightmare.
posted by Brainy at 7:20 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]




.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:28 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Goddammit, corb, that is so horrifying and angrymaking. I hate that we can do little but rail at the idiotic evildoers we have running this show. I'd also love to know if there's anything more tangible I can contribute.
I'm so very sorry for your needless loss.
posted by Superplin at 7:29 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


.

I'm sorry, corb. This should not have happened. None of this should have happened.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:30 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


Oh, corb, my condolences are inadequate to the frustration and sorrow of that situation, but you have them. I hope the rest of your relatives and friends on the island are okay.
posted by tautological at 7:31 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


He's a monster.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:31 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry, corb.

.
posted by droplet at 7:35 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


For those thinking the Senate will come to its senses, well, nope. They'll just retire and even more Trump-aligned Senators will replace them.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:38 PM on October 25, 2017


I just made a donation to Unidos in memory of "Corb's grandfather." I would have made it in memory of Trump's humanity, but I doubt that ever existed.
posted by Tsuga at 7:49 PM on October 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


Thank you everyone for your kindness and love. I am - so numb with rage and grief that I can't really write about this but thank you and also for your offers. We won't be flying to a funeral though because we can't, because they are burying him immediately because the conditions in that area are not such that there can be delay. That is a thing that is happening now in the United States in 2017. Not even the process of death is normal there.

Just please push back on these fuckers who think that Puerto Rico deserves its misery or everything is mostly fine or whatever absurdly tiny number of deaths they are saying is "hurricane related" or whatever bullshit they are spewing because they can't listen to people who speak Spanish.
posted by corb at 7:51 PM on October 25, 2017 [143 favorites]


Here is the new WTF MetaTalk thread.

corb, I am deeply, deeply sorry for your profound and enraging loss. My most heartfelt condolences.
posted by lalex at 7:53 PM on October 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


So sorry, corb.

I don't know how you feel about this sort of thing, but when bad things strike, especially when someplace is struck by some kind of disaster, my thoughts always go back to this one prayer that can be part of the episcopal evening prayers. I want to say that it's older, from Augustine maybe?

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love's sake.

posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:54 PM on October 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


I'm so sorry, Corb.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:56 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Aw, corb, I'm so sorry. I'll say a prayer for you and for him tonight, if you don't mind.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:00 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


((((( un abrazo muy fuerte Corb)))))
posted by Wilder at 8:14 PM on October 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Thanks, Emera Gratia. Unidos was the one I was thinking of, I just wasn't remembering correctly.
posted by homunculus at 8:14 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Five women accuse journalist and 'Game Change' co-author Mark Halperin of sexual harassment.

Huh. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy more arrogant hack.
posted by lalex at 8:48 PM on October 25, 2017 [26 favorites]


I’m so sorry for your loss, corb.

.
posted by skye.dancer at 8:51 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Charles Pierce: Here's What Happened Among Republicans a Few Hours After Jeff Flake's Speech. Specifically, among those seeking reelection.
You know who’s going to get hosed now, Senator McCain? All those veterans and military families that you’re always so tender about. You know who’s going to take it in the ear, Senators Corker, Flake, and Sasse? All those middle-class people in all those little towns that you spend most of your time praising as the reservoir of Real American Values. None of those people mattered a damn to you Tuesday night, and it wasn’t the president* that forced you to make this vote. You did it with cold deliberation and calculated forethought.
The Media Will Play a Key Role in the Future of the Russia Investigation. The new "scoop" about The Dossier is not encouraging.
Right now, as the Mueller investigation grinds on, we are seeing a determined effort on the part of the president*’s allies to change the subject—or, at least, to put the whole thing into a Both Sides context that will reduce the whole issue to easily digestible mush. In addition to the WaPo scooplet, fed to the paper by those mysterious people familiar with the situation, we have seen the reemergence of Rep. Devin Nunes, the hopelessly compromised White House bobo and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who, in alliance with Rep. Trey Gowdy, the lopheaded Javert of Benghazi, Benghazi, BENGHAZI!, is trying to restart the whole business about the sale of uranium to Russia.

Whether or not this strategy works is completely a function of how the elite political media respond to it, and whether or not said elite political media is intimidated by the fact that 36 percent of the American people are liable to believe anything as long as they don’t have to believe that the president* is playing footsie with Vladimir Putin. This 36 percent of our fellow citizens live out their political lives listening to the same radio and TV stars who will beat this latest revelation into mulch. Again, I am not optimistic.
posted by homunculus at 8:53 PM on October 25, 2017 [28 favorites]


The Media Will Play a Key Role in the Future of the Russia Investigation. The new "scoop" about The Dossier is not encouraging.

You can already see what the official NYT angle will be when Mueller finally moves: "This is terrible for Hilary Clinton -by Maggie Habermann".
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:59 PM on October 25, 2017 [28 favorites]


The WSJ has more on what really seems like it should be, I don't know, a scandal or something, following the Daily Beast's excellent reporting: Trump-Linked Company Reached Out to WikiLeaks on Hacked Emails. The timing of the approach: around the same time Trump publicly asked Russia to release Clinton's personal emails:
The outreach by the CEO of the firm, which is partly owned by a major Trump donor and has close ties to a Trump adviser, came as Mr. Trump was publicly cheering the leaks of his Democratic rival’s emails and some supporters were seeking to unearth further messages.

In an email sent in late July 2016 and recently reviewed by the person, Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix told other employees at the firm and Rebekah Mercer, a top Republican donor, that he had recently reached out to Mr. Assange to offer help better indexing the messages WikiLeaks was releasing to make them more easily searchable. Those emails included a trove of messages stolen from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s account and from the Democratic National Committee.
Oh, and the Mercers are all over this:
Mr. Nix’s outreach to Mr. Assange didn’t reference the 33,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton said were deleted from the private server she used as secretary of state, according to the person familiar with the exchange. But others close to the campaign considered or were actively searching for them.

Ms. Mercer and a person close to her had a brief conversation regarding Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails in June 2016, a month after Mr. Cruz had dropped out of the race, the person said. The person said they discussed whether it would make sense to try to access and release those emails, but ultimately decided that looking for them would create “major legal liabilities” and would be a “terrible idea.”
I don't understand why "Trump campaign repeatedly sought to traffic in the stolen documents of their opponent" isn't, on it's own, at least a big a story as Watergate.
posted by zachlipton at 9:23 PM on October 25, 2017 [61 favorites]


@yashar, who I've grown to feel I could trust with my life even though I only know him from following him on Twitter because 2017, has a bit of context on the Halperin story: "This has been another open secret in the media....kudos to @oliverdarcy for nailing down what others couldn't."
posted by lalex at 9:26 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


I'm so sad to hear that Corb. Fucking hell.
posted by jermsplan at 9:29 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


@yashar, who I've grown to feel I could trust with my life even though I only know him from following him on Twitter because 2017,

Ooooh, I have a link for you! Steven Perlberg wrote a really nice profile on him today, Who Is Yashar? He's got an unusual story and has somehow managed to accrue quite the network of sources for someone who just dropped into journalism.
posted by zachlipton at 9:34 PM on October 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


THANK YOU!! I have been curious and there isn't much out there!
posted by lalex at 9:37 PM on October 25, 2017


omg Yashar got a production credit on Never Been Kissed? 💖💖💖
posted by lalex at 9:41 PM on October 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I am so incredibly freaking sorry, Corb. God damn it.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:48 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm very sorry, Corb. This is so horrible. *********hugs**********
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 9:51 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Corb, I have been enraged about the situation in Puerto Rico, and I'm so very sorry for your loss.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:22 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Corb, so sorry for your loss.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 10:29 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh, corb - my deepest sympathies that's horrible and terrible.
posted by From Bklyn at 10:53 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Well, corb, this is absolute bullshit.

May the soul of your grandfather rest in peace, and may he be raised up at the Last Day.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:54 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


corb, I'm so sorry about your grandfather. *hugs*

zachlipton, Betsy Woodruff at Daily Beast was on MSNBC pretty early today with that Rrump/WikiLeaks story and they were treating it like the bombshell it is, but then not much else. I hope that the networks are just preparing bigger pieces for tomorrow's news cycle. You're right, this is big.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:57 PM on October 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm so sorry, corb. *hugs*
posted by mordax at 11:27 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Condolences, corb.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:28 PM on October 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't care how pleasant-demeanored, principled-conservative these guys are, if you don't think that the current Republican party and leader is an order or two of magnitude more dangerous to the Republic than the Democrats you are a delusional moron whose grasp on reality is such that you ought to have your glassware replaced with sippy cups for your own safety.
posted by tivalasvegas


this. is. awesome.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:35 PM on October 25, 2017 [13 favorites]


My sympathies, Corb. I wish I knew what else to say.
posted by litlnemo at 1:17 AM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Read through everything to discover what happened with corb, and now I know.

I am so very sorry for your loss, my condolences to you and your family

.
posted by infini at 1:18 AM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


I’m so sorry corb.
posted by tel3path at 1:23 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:44 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm so sorry, Corb. :(
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:13 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Peter B-S at 3:13 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, corb. Your grandfather didn't deserve this.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:07 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


@ThePlumLineGS: (Greg Sargent, WaPo)
Well, this is something.
Top Mitch McConnell ally @HolmesJosh has flatly called Steve Bannon a "white supremacist": SCREENSHOT OF STORY QUOTE
posted by chris24 at 4:08 AM on October 26, 2017 [20 favorites]


Corb, I am so very sorry for your loss.
posted by jaruwaan at 4:23 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


My condolences, corb.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:26 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I am so sorry corb. What a terrible, terrible blow. Take some small comfort knowing that the day approaches when that wretch in the White House is forced out in disgrace and people are no longer paying with their lives for his ignorance, indifference, and spite.
posted by um at 4:52 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh God, corb. I'm so very sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences.
posted by lord_wolf at 5:45 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why "Trump campaign repeatedly sought to traffic in the stolen documents of their opponent" isn't, on it's own, at least a big a story as Watergate.

And the documents were stolen by freaking Russia! And the Trump campaign has already been caught in innumerable lies about their interactions with Russia during the campaign! And Trump continues to refuse to punish Russia and is actively working to further their interests! And, and, and!!!
posted by diogenes at 5:51 AM on October 26, 2017 [39 favorites]


Corb, so very sorry for your loss, and I hope you and your family manage to find comfort and peace. Somehow. Eventually.

You guys ever get the feeling the earth is rapidly spinning out of control?

ONLY CONSTANTLY. I mean, when I read this -- His actual plan is to slaughter, on live television, all of the turkeys that were pardoned by Obama -- my initial reaction was that it really, really needs a [fake] tag, and even that may not prevent it from happening.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:56 AM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


President Again Actively Assisting On-Going Russian Attacks (Josh Marshall, TPM)

Russia may not be an enemy but it is an adversary state which has defined a strategic priority of destabilizing the US and the European Union...This is all happening. It’s a direct attack on the country... If the President is out there publicly saying it’s not happening, saying it’s a hoax, he is actively and directly assisting the attack...

He is actively and directly assisting the attack and the attack is on-going. Why he’s doing that is not really relevant. He’s doing it.

posted by diogenes at 5:59 AM on October 26, 2017 [32 favorites]


I don't understand why "Trump campaign repeatedly sought to traffic in the stolen documents of their opponent" isn't, on it's own, at least a big a story as Watergate.

And the documents were stolen by freaking Russia! And the Trump campaign has already been caught in innumerable lies about their interactions with Russia during the campaign! And Trump continues to refuse to punish Russia and is actively working to further their interests! And, and, and!!!


Because the bigger story is that, in a supply-side information economy, the decision of whether and how to tell a story, and what is or is not a big story, belongs to those who own the means of production. If you acquired different ideas somewhere, you should be careful - those are gray market goods your peddling.
posted by perspicio at 6:07 AM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


I am so, so sorry, Corb.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:12 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I mean, when I read this -- His actual plan is to slaughter, on live television, all of the turkeys that were pardoned by Obama -- my initial reaction was that it really, really needs a [fake] tag, and even that may not prevent it from happening.

Snopes says that was an Onion-type satire piece. It's fake.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:13 AM on October 26, 2017


Corb, I'm so sorry. Loss is never easy, but to have fact that this was preventable and fundamentally unjust pile on top of your grief must be so, so cutting.
posted by chaoticgood at 6:14 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


The new cover of Time

I'm so so sorry for your loss, Corb.
posted by angrycat at 6:14 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]




Georgia election server wiped after suit filed
The FBI is known to have made an exact data image of the server in March when it investigated the security hole. The email that disclosed the server wipe said the state attorney general’s office was “reaching out to the FBI to determine whether they still have the image.”

Atlanta FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett, responding to AP questions, would not say whether that image still exists. Nor would he say whether agents examined it to determine whether the server’s files might have been altered by unauthorized users.

Other backups also appear to be gone. In the same email to plaintiffs’ attorneys, assistant state Attorney General Cristina Correia wrote that two backup servers were also wiped clean on Aug. 9, just as the lawsuit moved to federal court.
Maybe I'm just in a funk this morning but I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth voting anymore. When I cast my vote last year on a Diebold machine I had the passing thought of "I wonder if my vote is going to be changed by the shitty corporations that make these things."
posted by Fleebnork at 6:22 AM on October 26, 2017 [57 favorites]


The best way I know to express solidarity with corb and her grandfather is to remember. Remember the orange turd who prefers sniping at San Juan's mayor to authorizing meaningful assistance. Remember the crony deal upthread outsourcing PR electrical repair to two buddies of Zinke in Montana. Remember the millions who think Cheeto's doing just fine and that Puerto Ricans barely qualify as human, let alone American.

If you believe in Hell, remember that it awaits all of them. But let those memories power everything we do here on Earth to metaphorically drive all these fuckers into the sea.

To paraphrase Tony Stark, what we can't save you can be damned sure we'll avenge.
posted by delfin at 6:26 AM on October 26, 2017 [19 favorites]


ICE agents hold up ambulance transporting 10yr old girl, wait outside as she recovers from surgery to deport her

The kid was brought here as a three month old and has cerebral palsy.

These fuckers just will not stop.
posted by Talez at 6:34 AM on October 26, 2017 [67 favorites]


Sick 10 year old children being transported in ambulances. I'm having trouble focusing on work. Time for some calls to Schumer and Gillibrand (cheaper than therapy).
posted by prefpara at 6:47 AM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


I'm so sorry, corb.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:51 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


[cw: discussion of sexual abuse]
I think the only thing that will work to grind the machinery of ICE to a halt--as utterly rotten as their institutional norms and culture are--is if people across this country come to have as much visceral, automatic contempt and disgust for ICE agents as they do for, say, pedophiles. Being an ICE agent needs to become an automatic black mark on someone's character and integrity. Every individual ICE agent needs to come to feel social isolation and utter disgust for who they are because of the evil work they have chosen to do. Recruitment of new agents needs to become extraordinarily difficult, and open political support for ICE's truly heinous work needs to become the political equivalent of texting dickpics to a 15 year old.

People put up posters warning of sex offenders in their neighborhoods; given ICE's coverup of sex abuse by their own agents in detention centers, ICE agents should receive the same treatment. Resolutions at PTA meetings. Email chains on neighborhood listservs.

Fucking scorched earth.
posted by duffell at 6:52 AM on October 26, 2017 [41 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth voting anymore. When I cast my vote last year on a Diebold machine I had the passing thought of "I wonder if my vote is going to be changed by the shitty corporations that make these things."

It is worth voting. Period. And I do hear your concern, but low voter turnout is itself a problem (alongside, and sometimes overlapping with, voter suppression) and I hate to hear people contemplate whether voting matters; neither low turnout nor election tampering will ever be fixed by skipping election day, which is the one guaranteed way to make sure your vote won't count.

That doesn't mean we don't need election reforms. That doesn't mean we don't need investigations. But we need those and engaged voters.
posted by cjelli at 6:55 AM on October 26, 2017 [54 favorites]


In re immigration: While the Trump administration is garbage, it's important to remember that brutal and appalling treatment of immigrants happened under Obama as well, and at a very large scale. I would prefer that this were not true, but I was actually doing a lot of generic activist stuff about immigration through the mid-Obama years (as in, going to protests, making calls, etc, not anything high level) and was on a bunch of mailing lists. For example, children fleeing violence in El Salvador were routinely turned back. People were dying in detention and having their meds withheld then too. Also, the cousin of someone I know fled Mexico because he was in danger of being killed by gangs. Last October his refugee status was denied and he was deported to Mexico City, where he was instantly killed.

Trump has definitely done some new things, and stalking courthouses and hospitals is a new low. But it's important to remember that this is a chronic modern American problem that won't stop even if we throw this bastard out on his ear. Obama was a pretty good president, as American presidents go, but there were several areas of profound injustice that continued during his administration.

If anything, in the good timeline the fact that it's Trump doing this stuff will so taint it that future presidents of both parties will have to change.

In re voting: I take some comfort in reflecting that even with the aid of the US and the willingness to murder domestic opposition, almost all of the South and Central American juntas finally failed and were voted out. That's not too cheering in the moment, or for those of us who are at risk now, but this is not the end.
posted by Frowner at 6:56 AM on October 26, 2017 [62 favorites]


From the bureau of Things We All Understood To Be True We Weren't Expecting You To Say Out Loud: Graham: I Won’t Be ‘Constant Critic’ Of Trump Because I Want Tax Cuts
Saying he likes Flake “a lot” and his impending retirement will be a “loss to the Senate,” Graham admitted he does share Flake’s “concerns about what the President said, about the way he behaves,” according to Vanity Fair’s Hive.

“The election is over. I’m focused on results, and that’s why I’m here. I’d rather not be a constant critic. I’ll stand up when I need to, but I’m trying to get taxes cut,” he said.


Graham also said repealing Obamacare and “win(ning) a war we can’t afford to lose” are why he won’t take Flake’s advice on standing up to Trump.
posted by cjelli at 7:01 AM on October 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


He scraped by and raised four kids, the oldest now at Yale. On the day he was to be cleared for citizenship, ICE took him.

I accidentally turned my dad into Immigration Services.
posted by zakur at 7:09 AM on October 26, 2017 [20 favorites]




Top Mitch McConnell ally @HolmesJosh has flatly called Steve Bannon a "white supremacist"

Here is a non-twitter link for this, in case you want to share with your Republican friends who don't want to hear this from liberals but might listen to a Mitch McConnell ally.

David Weigel, Michael Scherer and Robert Costa at WaPo: "McConnell allies declare open warfare on Bannon"
Yet the retaliatory crusade does not aim to target Trump, whose popularity remains high among Republican voters. Instead, the McConnell-allied Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) will highlight Bannon’s hard-line populism and attempt to link him to white nationalism to discredit him and the candidates he will support. It will also boost candidates with traditional GOP profiles and excoriate those tied to Bannon, with plans to spend millions and launch a heavy social media presence in some states.
...
On Wednesday, the SLF’s Twitter account mocked Danny Tarkanian — a frequent conservative candidate in Nevada who is challenging Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) — for suggesting that Heller join him in pledging to oppose McConnell as majority leader.

The tweets also turned the spotlight on Bannon.

The SLF tweeted a 2016 headline from the New York Daily News — “Anti-Semitic Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon not a big fan of ‘whiny brat’ Jews, ex-wife says” — with space for Tarkanian’s signature.

“Here’s another pledge for @DannyTarkanian to sign,” the PAC tweeted.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:22 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, Corb.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:25 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


So, they're saying Mueller o'clock will come around sometime before Thanksgiving...

On the one hand, finally.

On the other - this means that I will be heading to a family Thanksgiving with my left-leaning immediate family and will be met by a few right-leaning aunts, uncles, and cousins, shortly after this has been announced.

I don't know whether to be hopeful or to brace for impact. Maybe I can offer to sit at the Kids Table this year.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:28 AM on October 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


I don't know whether to be hopeful or to brace for impact.

Seems a little too early to be really good news.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:29 AM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]




One person is saying, as a total guess basically because "omg how much longer can this go on, seriously!?"
posted by odinsdream at 7:32 AM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth voting anymore.

It's still worth voting. They either don't have the machines locked down, or they're unwilling to cheat beyond flipping a small percentage of the vote. I say that because every almost single red state has both gerrymandering and voter suppression laws. If they were confident in fully controlling every election, I don't think they would go to such efforts to channel and depress the vote. Their actions show they're terrified of losing, even in areas considered "safe", and they think they will lose the second they relax their grip.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 7:32 AM on October 26, 2017 [22 favorites]


Corb, I'm really sorry. What happened to your grandfather is unconscionable. May he rest in peace.
posted by orangutan at 7:33 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


entropicamericana: i feel like we need to replace "hail to the chief" with "yackety sax" for the duration

This works better than I realized, given Trump's high churn-and-burn rate with his "best brains." I now am imagining Trump strolling down a hallway toward a presidential podium, while behind him his assistants run around like crazy. Someone runs into a doorway, and someone else pops out the other side, with that first person to never be seen again, while other people pop up halfway down the hall.

This is my new happy place.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:36 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Hey, have any of these Good Republicans mentioned that oh by the way the president is a sexual predator?
posted by theodolite at 7:42 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Donny's back to being president of the Confederate States of America.

@realDonaldTrump
Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy #'s around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!
posted by chris24 at 7:42 AM on October 26, 2017 [22 favorites]


I have not trusted the results of Georgia's elections since 2002, when we switched to the Diebold touchscreen machines with no paper back up and the Kennesaw State University Center for Elections Systems took over running our elections. The 2002 election was the year that the Republicans won the governorship for the first time since the Civil War and noted coward Saxby Chambliss defeated disabled veteran Max Cleland for the US Senate. And it's really all been downhill for Georgia since then. I did not want to be right about this, but I think I'm right about this. (a few more details in this story from our local public radio station)
posted by hydropsyche at 7:45 AM on October 26, 2017 [16 favorites]


save our great statues/heritage!

Just a reminder that Trump was born in Queens and has never lived anywhere but NYC save for school, and Gillespie was born in NJ to Irish immigrant parents.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:46 AM on October 26, 2017 [34 favorites]


Reddit bans Nazi and white supremacist subreddit boards.
Reddit has shut down several Nazi and white supremacist subreddits after a policy change banning material that “encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.” The news was posted earlier today in Reddit’s moderator news forum, and commenters noted that at least 10 subreddits have been banned since then, including r/NationalSocialism, r/Nazi, and r/DylannRoofInnocent. Reddit is also banning anything that glorifies or encourages abuse of animals, including bestiality-themed subreddits.
posted by dnash at 7:46 AM on October 26, 2017 [61 favorites]


Their actions show they're terrified of losing, even in areas considered "safe", and they think they will lose the second they relax their grip.

Or it shows they’re too smart to do anything as hamfisted and obvious as doctor a huge percentage of votes if they have precise enough control to manipulate results only within exit polling margins of error for plausible deniability, like any competent military/intelligence operation would.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:48 AM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Trump Administration To Declare Opioid Crisis A Public Health Emergency (NPR, OCt. 26, 2017)
The Trump administration will declare a public health emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic Thursday, freeing up some resources for treatment. More than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

President Trump is also expected to direct agency and department heads to use all appropriate emergency authorities to reduce number of deaths caused by the opioid crisis, according to senior administration officials.

The move stops short of declaring the crisis a national emergency, which Trump first said he'd declare in August. He repeated that pledge this week. The White House said it determined that declaring a public health emergency was more appropriate than a national emergency.

Some in the field, like Dr. Andrew Kolodny, say it's been frustrating to wait for the administration to respond to a crisis Trump first acknowledged on the campaign trail when he was running for president.
...
After taking office, President Trump appointed a commission to study the opioid crisis, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. In an interim report, the commission called on the president to declare a national emergency. Doing so would free up funds for treatment, ensure wider access to the anti-overdose drug naloxone and improve monitoring of opioid prescriptions to prevent abuse.
Chris Christie? Huh, what has he been up to recently? As he chairs Trump's opioid commission, Christie champions his home-state drug companies (Gregory Korte for USA Today, Oct. 19, 2017)
When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wanted to convene a meeting with some of the nation's top pharmaceutical companies in Trenton last month, state economic development officials invited CEOs with the promise of "a good networking opportunity."

In a ballroom in a state office building, 17 pharmaceutical executives met with top White House advisers, members of President Trump's opioid commission, the director of the National Institutes of Health, and federal regulators who oversee the drug industry, who pitched what they called a "public-private partnership" to address the opioid crisis.

But the meeting wasn't set up by the White House or public health officials. Emails obtained by USA TODAY show that many invitations came from Choose New Jersey, a nonprofit economic development agency run by a longtime Christie friend and political aide.

A week later, the New Jersey governor invited some of those same executives to testify before the opioid commission — which Christie chairs — to promote their own drugs and therapies to treat opioid use disorder or to provide alternatives to the powerful painkillers in the first place. Three of the 10 companies invited to testify have headquarters in New Jersey.
FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKK THIS NOISE!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:48 AM on October 26, 2017 [21 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth voting anymore.

Yeah, it is. Even if you're someplace where your favored candidates are sure to lose, voting against them fuckers feels really really good and that's reason enough.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:49 AM on October 26, 2017 [16 favorites]


Twitter is refusing to run ads from RT and Sputnik from now on.

...new ad campaigns from Schmussia Today and Schmutnik welcome.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:49 AM on October 26, 2017 [21 favorites]


Reddit has shut down several Nazi and white supremacist subreddits after a policy change banning material that “encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.”

Why they didn't have a policy along these lines already is beyond my comprehension. Is it that hard to take a stand on hate speech?
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:58 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


When a large chunk of your userbase is enamored by it? Yes.
posted by delfin at 8:00 AM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Wow, FOX has the generic congressional ballot +15 for Dems. 50% - 35%.

Meh. That's just and early scare tactic to keep the base energized.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:02 AM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


ICE agents hold up ambulance transporting 10yr old girl, wait outside as she recovers from surgery to deport her
Heh. It's not only ICE that does this. My local police stopped an ambulance I was in (with lights flashing) for a drunk check. On the ambulance driver.
posted by xyzzy at 8:02 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


my brain has been completely colonized
when i look at this art installation all i see is a visual metaphor for the repeated ability of evil men to escape permanent consequences
it's the interpretive dance version of spicer at harvard and o'reilly at sinclair
it's the performance art representation of the fact that the current us president seems to think that he is the president of the confederacy
posted by prefpara at 8:04 AM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


And, um, Ashley Feinberg, Is This Jared And Ivanka’s 21-Minute Sex Playlist?:

Amazingly, if I had tried to guess what's on Ivanka's iPod, that list is exactly what I would've come up with. Tho I'd say it all feels like more like having sex with a Gap ad than a Williams-Sonoma catalog. (And I'll bet Ivanka has a secret list with something like Lords of Acid's "(Concerto for) Me and Myself" or "The Most Wonderful Girl" on it.)

In other news, a former Milo assistant and GamerGater has killed his own father for calling him a nazi. Also conspiracy nuts are harassing Vegas victims.

The writers are just taking all the drugs at once now. All the drugs.

*nods*
posted by octobersurprise at 8:13 AM on October 26, 2017 [24 favorites]


Belatedly, corb, I am so sorry for your loss.



.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:16 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


The writers are just taking all the drugs at once now. All the drugs.

HST left us way too soon.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:16 AM on October 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


Via the Washington Post, some coverage of Trump's recent interview on Fox:
President Donald Trump spoke Wednesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, congratulating Xi on beginning a second, five-year term as leader.
...
In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs that taped shortly after the phone call, Trump described Xi’s elevation as something that had “really virtually never happened in China.”

“He’s a powerful man. I happen to think he’s a very good person,” said Trump, describing their relationship as notably strong.

“People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he’s called president also,” [Trump] went on to say. “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president.”
Words fail me.

They've also, apparently, failed the President; or perhaps, rather, it is he who has failed them.
posted by cjelli at 8:17 AM on October 26, 2017 [69 favorites]


Words fail me.

They've also, apparently, failed the President
;

hey now, the president knows words.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:23 AM on October 26, 2017


Now some people might call him the king of China

Some people call him 爱流氓
Some people call him Maurice
'Cause he speaks of the pompatus of love

Have you heard "pompatus" used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:28 AM on October 26, 2017 [60 favorites]


Why they didn't have a policy along these lines already is beyond my comprehension. Is it that hard to take a stand on hate speech?

In the most charitable possible interpretation, Reddit's management has a nigh-terminal case of the FreezePeach disease, whereby their philosophical devotion to abstract principles are given priority over any other factors.

In a moderately charitable interpretation, Reddit's management has historically used free speech principles as a shield to allow them to host anything that keeps the ad money flowing.

In the least charitable interpretation, Reddit's management is stacked with people who sympathize with nazis and purveyors of hate speech.

Could be a combination of all three, though.
posted by tocts at 8:29 AM on October 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


And, um, Ashley Feinberg, Is This Jared And Ivanka’s 21-Minute Sex Playlist?:

If Ashley Feinberg doesn't get a Pulitzer then there is no justice in the world.
posted by dis_integration at 8:31 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Corb. I'm so sorry about your grandfather.

I used to believe in free speech absolutism. It was heavily ingrained as a young Jew, that even the Nazis in Skokie deserved to march. I am also grown enough to know when I was wrong. Hate speech is wrong.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:32 AM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


Could be a combination of all three, though.

Could also be laziness/cheapness, though. Moderation is hard (hi moderators!) and algorithms aren't great at detecting this stuff.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:33 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Eventually, Trump is going to say something and mankind's collective sanity is going to shatter.

King of China is close. I can feel the fabric of reality tearing.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:34 AM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


In other news, a former Milo assistant and GamerGater has killed his own father for calling him a nazi.

Reading about this guy, it's yet another Trumpist Nazi who makes me wonder if it really is about the Nazi ideology, or if that's just the most welcoming framework for an ad hoc social space that came together when misanthropic abusive personalities found that they too could have a place on the internet to socialize with like minds. Every time it's these guys who have gotten socially isolated by pushing everyone in their lives away with just this constant rage at everything and everyone, and they found a community that says that it's everyone else's fault just like they want to hear, and then savvy heartless charismatic pieces of shit with actual working, if sociopathic, social skills like your Trumps and Milos and Bannons and the white supremacists before them swooped in to lead these shitty rage monsters around by the nose and hey presto, Nazis.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:34 AM on October 26, 2017 [34 favorites]


"Now some people might call him the king of China"

We know by now what this particular turn of phrase means for him, right?

It means that either immediately before the call, or (holy shit) *during* the call, someone had to tell the President of the United States not to refer to Xi Jinping as the King of China.

Fuck.
posted by bluemilker at 8:34 AM on October 26, 2017 [59 favorites]


In other news, a former Milo assistant and GamerGater has killed his own father for calling him a nazi.

Apparently this was the same Milo assistant who leaked the Breitbart emails to Joseph Bernstein that led to the recent Buzzfeed expose of how Alt-Right messaging made its way into mainstream media discourse.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:35 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


~where the counter ad is to that damned ad that's running, featuring a very sincere woman saying that tax reform will benefit normal people and not the wealthy and politically-connected

~Well there's this CNN ad...


That's hardly a counter to the outright deceptive ad the right is running. The CNN ad is lost on most people. It's far to cute and clever to work. There needs to be a plain-english ad that spells out what the Republican plan for tax reform really means, and run it in the same markets, channels and times that the conservative ad. The left needs to speak clearly and directly and and get the counter message out there without any cuteness. Hell, make it a carbon copy of the right's ad, with a similarly concerned woman.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:39 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


HST left us way too soon.

Clearly he has joined the ranks of The Writers.

The weird turning pro indeed.
posted by whuppy at 8:42 AM on October 26, 2017 [22 favorites]


~where the counter ad is to that damned ad that's running, featuring a very sincere woman saying that tax reform will benefit normal people and not the wealthy and politically-connected

The thing is, I don't think anybody but millionaires gets excited about tax reform. I don't think you see a groundswell. The Republican base got excited about repealing Obamacare because they hate Obama. But tax reform? Meh. It's polling at 34%, and that's before the specifics come out. There's nothing exciting there to hang a hat on.

But people DO get excited when they hear you're going to screw up their 401(k), or their pet deductions.

I don't see any way the Republicans thread the needle here, particularly when their own people are taking potshots at their suggestions (King on SALT, etc). Remember, this was supposed to be HARDER than healthcare, and they couldn't even get that over the line. I think this probably goes down in flames before they can even get the specifics nailed down, or they pass some bullshit baby bill that does almost nothing so they can claim 'victory'.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:45 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


I would like to point out that Kings are different from Emperors and after the unification under Qin Shihuang, in the time before Brown Jesus, all rulers of China used "huangdi", which is "emperor", at least until the fall of the Qing Dynasty and its replacement by a politburo last century.

The last king of China lived before the king of Kings.
posted by anem0ne at 8:46 AM on October 26, 2017 [20 favorites]


Looking back at what I missed upthread: corb, I'm saddened and horrified to hear of the loss of your grandfather.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:46 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Like, the whole reason why the first Qin Emperor used the title of emperor was because there were so many kings during the Warring States period that he felt the title was worthless.

And he ruled less of tianxia than the current President.
posted by anem0ne at 8:48 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Wow, FOX has the generic congressional ballot +15 for Dems. 50% - 35%.

> Meh. That's just and early scare tactic to keep the base energized.


That's only a hair off what other pollsters are showing. Fox's pollster, Opinion Dynamics, is reasonably good. They get a B rating from 538, not great but OK, and slight Republican bias, 0.5%. Most news outlets contract outside polling companies to do their polling. Their biases usually reflect differences in sampling methodology, and don't necessarily match the news organization's editorial bias. Fox News' isn't much different from other news organizations in this respect, despite the obvious biases in their news reporting and commentary.
posted by nangar at 8:49 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


My condolences, corb.
posted by ocschwar at 8:51 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


US Government Accountability Office argues for acting on climate change -- New report endorses a coordinated federal response to climate change. (John Timmer for Ars Technica, Oct. 25, 2017)
The US Government Accountability Office is a nonpartisan organization that performs analysis and investigations for the Senate and House. Recently, two senators—Maine Republican Susan Collins and Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell—asked it to look into what has become a contentious political issue: the government's response to climate change. The report that resulted (PDF) suggests that the US is already spending money to respond to climate change, and it will likely spend more as the Earth continues to warm. But it suggests that the US has no plans for figuring out how best to minimize these costs.

It's a message that's unlikely to go over well with either the current administration or the Republican majority in either house of Congress.

The report focuses on the economic costs of climate change and how those costs end up being covered by the federal government. It concludes that the feds faced a bill of $350 billion due to extreme weather and fires, including more than $200 billion for aid and recovery, $90 billion for payouts on crop and flood insurance, and nearly $30 billion for repair to federal facilities. US government scientists expect that extreme events are likely to increase in a warming climate, and the GAO sees no reason to doubt that conclusion, accepting a figure of between $12 and $35 billion of added annual expenses by mid-century. For comparison, the annual budget of NASA is $18 billion.
...
Collins and Cantwell, who requested the report, are in a position to at least agitate for a response to the GAO report, arguing that it would represent fiscal prudence. But the legislative branch is currently focused on a tax package that is widely recognized as likely to vastly expand budget deficits, so it seems unlikely that calls to fiscal prudence will be heeded.
Was that shade, or just the sad truth?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on October 26, 2017 [23 favorites]


Reddit has shut down several Nazi and white supremacist subreddits after a policy change banning material that “encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.”

lol, except /r/The_Donald, the nexus of alt-right activity, is still going strong. in other words, this is not a serious attempt to clean up Reddit.
posted by indubitable at 8:53 AM on October 26, 2017 [35 favorites]


A little more about Americans behaving badly abroad
Scott Brown mentioned up thread.
He was a contributor at Fox News, where he faced allegations of sexual harassment from a former Fox employee in a lawsuit against the company.
The Guardian also contacted the state department in Washington, the US embassy in Wellington and the its high commission in Apia in August, requesting details of the ambassador’s trip to Samoa and comment about allegations concerning his behaviour there.
All requests have gone unanswered.
posted by adamvasco at 8:55 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


bluemilker : We know by now what this particular turn of phrase means for him, right?

It means that either immediately before the call, or (holy shit) *during* the call, someone had to tell the President of the United States not to refer to Xi Jinping as the King of China.


I wonder if the term came up, either from Donald or a handler, as part of Donald's attempt to wrap his head around the nature of Chinese pseudo-democracy. If I were explaining tyranny to a child, I bet one of us would use the word "king" at some point.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:56 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs that taped shortly after the phone call, Trump described Xi’s elevation as something that had “really virtually never happened in China.”

“He’s a powerful man. I happen to think he’s a very good person,” said Trump, describing their relationship as notably strong.

“People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he’s called president also,” [Trump] went on to say. “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president.”


The thing is, this interview is designed for (or at least is successful with) people who are very, very badly educated and uninformed, many of whom were at least middle aged before there was anything but the most cautious interaction with the PRC and who therefore didn't even pick up the kind of standard background information that ignorant younger people would. It's successful because it simultaneously informs people that Xi Jinping isn't a king, that China isn't a monarchy and that he is called "president", and while some of the audience might know some of that, few would know all of it. The speech also reassures them that they're not dumb and ill-informed, because after all "some" would call Xi the "king" of China.

As disturbing and illiterate as Trump's tweets and speeches are, they almost all have this function of reassuring ignorant, badly-educated people that their ignorance is typical and laudable. Who could know that health care was complicated? Who could possibly know that China doesn't have a king? Only the eggheads, right?
posted by Frowner at 8:56 AM on October 26, 2017 [43 favorites]


Georgia election server wiped clean after suit filed

Just the typical actions of a not guilty defendant.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:57 AM on October 26, 2017 [20 favorites]


makes me wonder if it really is about the Nazi ideology, or if that's just the most welcoming framework for an ad hoc social space that came together when misanthropic abusive personalities found that they too could have a place on the internet to socialize with like minds.

¿Porque no los dos?
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:58 AM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Trump suggested some might call Xi the king of China because he thinks of himself as the king of the United States.
posted by Mister Cheese at 9:11 AM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


Was that shade, or just the sad truth?
¿Porque no los dos?
posted by MtDewd at 9:11 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


[Couple comments removed; let's not get into another whole rehash of "Reddit: redeeming qualities y/n?" in here right now.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:19 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Hey guys, long time no thread, what's going on in here--

Jeeesus.

Corb, I am so, so sorry for your loss. What happened to your grandfather is unforgivable.

That article on Lane Davis is fucking chilling, and I'm having all my usual Cassandra feelings where everything I have thought and said and speculated about white men and the internet just keeps coming true over and over again and everyone is just like, "Huh, who could have predicted?"

I'm going to be taking a vacation in DC in November (it's one of the few interesting places on the train line from Pittsburgh) and it'd be a nice gesture for Mueller to return some actual results while I'm there so I can go pop a bottle of champagne in front of the White House.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:19 AM on October 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


As disturbing and illiterate as Trump's tweets and speeches are, they almost all have this function of reassuring ignorant, badly-educated people that their ignorance is typical and laudable.

I read this as a (to some) beneficial side-effect, rather than the outcome of cunning or strategy. Trump's comments about Xi Jinping are most definitely because he had to be carefully told--either just prior to or during the phone call--that China has a president, too (just like us!), and not a king.

Trump is probably genuinely just so darn fascinated to learn this, but his diseased, narcissistic brain refracts the simple experience of 'learning something new' into 'THE DISCOVERY OF NEW KNOWLEDGE'. His narcissism is so utterly comprehensive that, every time he learns something new, he truly thinks he’s discovered that knowledge (or invented that word, or etc.), and then of course just has to project all this outward (bc the narcissism must continually project, to create the world it is convinced must be) and tell us all about this amazing new knowledge he has just discovered, that hardly anyone has ever known before (how could they? I mean, if everyone knew that China has a president and I didn't, that would make me an idiot and THAT is the most unpossible thing in the universe because I am the greatest and the best and so, so amazing and just genuinely a fantastic, wonderful person and I think I need to tell everybody about this super interesting thing I've discovered about China....).

I think it's really, really important that every single word and action that springs forth from Donald Trump is first considered as the actions of a deeply disordered and diseased mind, very likely with pronounced cognitive decline on top of that. His brilliant strategy is to be as consistently selfish and self-serving as possible, and to dominate every single other person he's ever in a room or conversation with. Trump is a very experienced predator with ruthless and cunning instincts, and he is the most dangerous type of predator for human beings: the kind who look and sound just like homo sapiens but whose absence of (or inability to have, or ability to switch off) empathy makes them fundamentally different. His brain does not work like most of ours do. We all need to repeat this to each other daily.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:20 AM on October 26, 2017 [59 favorites]


.

I'm sorry for your loss, corb. I'll make a donation like others, and will continue to call my MoCs to keep pressing the urgent need for relief in Puerto Rico. I swear I will push back angrily against anyone I meet who suggests otherwise.
posted by orbit-3 at 9:30 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Trump is probably genuinely just so darn fascinated to learn this, but his diseased, narcissistic brain refracts the simple experience of 'learning something new' into 'THE DISCOVERY OF NEW KNOWLEDGE'. His narcissism is so utterly comprehensive that, every time he learns something new, he truly thinks he’s discovered that knowledge (or invented that word, or etc.), and then of course just has to project all this outward (bc the narcissism must continually project, to create the world it is convinced must be) and tell us all about this amazing new knowledge he has just discovered, that hardly anyone has ever known before

I get how this all fits into Trump's character but i think it is probably more accurate that Trump has a TV brain and this is how TV routinely describes things. I cannot even count the number of documentaries where they say the presenter is going to discover things when those things are already discovered by actual scientists/explorers/people with eyes/etc. I chalk it up to the outrageous-to-me loosening of the meaning of words in the English language rather narcissistic self-aggrandizing.
posted by srboisvert at 9:43 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Baby steps.

@frankthorp:
Sen @JeffFlake says he won’t be supporting or endorsing Roy Moore: “A guy who says that a Muslim member of Congress shouldn’t be able to serve, that’s not right.” #ALSen
posted by chris24 at 9:44 AM on October 26, 2017 [70 favorites]


> I'm going to be taking a vacation in DC in November (it's one of the few interesting places on the train line from Pittsburgh) and it'd be a nice gesture for Mueller to return some actual results while I'm there so I can go pop a bottle of champagne in front of the White House.

From your keyboard to God's monitor...but the last thing one of my colleagues told me when I left work on November 8th, 2016, was that she was heading over to a friend's house where a bottle of champagne was being kept on ice.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:46 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Trump suggested some might call Xi the king of China because he thinks of himself as the king of the United States.

[real] or [fake]?
:/

And how could the Founding Fathers have failed to include that near the top of impeachable offenses?!
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:46 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


“A guy who says that a Muslim member of Congress shouldn’t be able to serve, that’s not right.”

In 2017 this is a genuinely brave assertion, to be uttered only by departing or shunned members of the Republican Party.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:47 AM on October 26, 2017 [52 favorites]


Brown Jesus. Awesome. MetaFilter you have once again contributed to my paradigm, if not my zeitgeist, or indeed my weltanschauung. (That's what she -)

Say that minds me - as we barrel into what will surely (this) be an uneventful weekend of wtf-ery, please take a moment to tip your servers, for the amazing work they do of being here and stuff. $5, $10 - hey they take checks! (It doesn't say if they have to be good checks, but let's go with that) as well as Stripe, PayPal and all kinds of things.

So Act Really Blue and throw a couple of clams, or bones, or whatever you call them to the site. Much appreciated!
posted by petebest at 9:49 AM on October 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


Trump suggested some might call Xi the king of China because he thinks of himself as the king of the United States.

[real] or [fake]?


'Trump suggested some might call Xi the king of China' is [real]; that's from an interview between Trump and Lou Dobbs:
“People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he’s called president also,” [Trump] went on to say. “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president.”
The rest -- how Trump thinks of himself -- is speculation.
posted by cjelli at 9:52 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Mister Cheese: Trump suggested some might call Xi the king of China because he thinks of himself as the king of the United States.
CheesesOfBrazil: [real] or [fake]?
:/
I think I can unravel the cheesefusion here. Mister Cheese was speculating that DJT privately thinks of himself as a king, and that this belief caused DJT to say as much about Xi. There was no intention to attribute (as a joke or otherwise) an "I'm a king" statement to DJT.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:53 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry for your loss Corb. I'm donating to Unidos Por Puerto in your grandfather's name.
posted by Alcedinidae at 10:01 AM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


(And I'll bet Ivanka has a secret list with something like Lords of Acid's "(Concerto for) Me and Myself" or "The Most Wonderful Girl" on it.)

"Ivanka likes Lords of Acid" would be the first positive thing I could say about anyone in the Trump family. So I'd put money down that no, she doesn't.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:02 AM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


When Trump says "not many people know this but..." it always means that someone told him recently, and he didn't know.

So, either he accidentally thought Xi was the king of china and was corrected by an aide, or someone tried to get ahead of that and was schooling him on how China's government is actually organized. Trump has no "internal monologue" that is different from what he externally says.
posted by odinsdream at 10:06 AM on October 26, 2017 [25 favorites]




Daniel Dale, Toronto Star: Top Trump official says U.S. isn’t offering ‘anything’ to Canada in exchange for NAFTA demands
The Trump administration is demanding NAFTA concessions from Canada and Mexico but not offering “anything” in exchange, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday.
...
“We’re trying to do a difficult thing. We’re asking two countries to give up some privileges that they have enjoyed for 22 years. And we’re not in a position to offer anything in return,” he said on CNBC.
...
Trade experts...said his words accurately describe what is happening behind the scenes. “They are not really negotiating. They’re saying, ‘Here’s our position, take it or leave it.’ And if you don’t like it, we’ll withdraw from the NAFTA,” said Canadian trade lawyer Lawrence Herman.
...
Trump said the same thing in a private meeting with Republican senators on Tuesday, the publication Inside U.S. Trade reported.

“The president said there was no way to get the changes we need unless we get out, then have six months to negotiate,” said an anonymous pro-NAFTA senator. When senators expressed concerns, Inside U.S. Trade reported, Trump said, “Trust me, we’re working on this.”

Initiating a termination would carry risks of its own: Mexico has promised to walk away from the negotiating table if Trump announces he is starting the six-month notice period. Canada has not taken a public position on what it would do in that case.
I do not trust him that they're working on this in any way that would appreciably advance U.S. interests. He does not, fundamentally, seem to understand that international diplomacy -- diplomacy between allies, even -- is simply not the same as private business negotiations.
posted by cjelli at 10:10 AM on October 26, 2017 [23 favorites]


Similar results to yesterday's Fox poll, new CNN poll has Democrats with 54-38 lead on the generic congressional ballot.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:11 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


Someone needs to tell Trump what his vote share is gonna look like in Michigan and Ohio if he pulls out of NAFTA
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:14 AM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


international diplomacy -- diplomacy between allies, even -- is simply not the same as private business negotiations.

Maybe this is why I'm not a business leader but surely "My offer is nothing" is a terrible strategy for business negotiations when your name is not Michael Corleone. I thought business deals were usually based on mutually beneficial outcomes rather than adversarial strategy.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:15 AM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


He does not, fundamentally, seem to understand that international diplomacy -- diplomacy between allies, even -- is simply not the same as private business negotiations.

But even in business negotiations, there is give and take. Trump doesn't do negotiations, he does ultimatums.
posted by nubs at 10:16 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


I thought business deals were usually based on mutually beneficial outcomes rather than adversarial strategy.

To be clear: I also think Trump is a terrible businessman. He's has leveraged his inherited wealth to shake down small businesses into giving him good deals, and his picture of how business does and should work is warped and wrong. It's just that he's transplanted that wrong ideal into the sphere of diplomacy, too.
posted by cjelli at 10:18 AM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


Thomas B. Edsall, NYT Op-Ed: The Party of Lincoln Is Now the Party of Trump
References several academics to put a focus on partisanship:
[Alex Theodoridis, a political scientist at the University of California-Merced]summed up the conclusions he and his colleagues reached in a blog post in Scientific American in November 2016:
Partisanship for many Americans today takes the form of a visceral, even subconscious, attachment to a party group. Our party becomes a part of our self-concept in deep and meaningful ways.
In other words, the assumption that many Republican voters would be repelled by Donald Trump turned out to be wrong; instead party loyalty — “a visceral, even subconscious, attachment” — takes precedence.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:18 AM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Maybe this is why I'm not a business leader but surely "My offer is nothing" is a terrible strategy for business negotiations when your name is not Michael Corleone. I thought business deals were usually based on mutually beneficial outcomes rather than adversarial strategy.


The problem is that because of the xenophobic/nationalist line he's swallowed from Bannon and his ilk, Trump fundamentally believes that we are doing a favor to every international alliance we agree to be a part of. This is why he talks about stuff like how our partners need to "pay their fair share."

He thinks he holds all the cards, because he legitimately has no understanding that things like NATO and NAFTA are beneficial to us.
posted by bluemilker at 10:19 AM on October 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


Democrats with 54-38 lead on the generic congressional ballot

Due to the effects of Democratic concentration in cities, gerrymandering and general vote suppression, Democrats need a lead of about 7 percentage points to have a 50/50 chance of taking back the House, per Princeton Election Consortium.

So +16 is very nice, but it's probably going to tighten and it's really more like +9 when you consider the structural disadvantages the Dems have.

Still I'm not complaining about those numbers...
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:21 AM on October 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


Ha. He does not care if it's beneficial to US. If there's not sweet sweet graft flowing into his hands, he sees no reason to negotiate. We are all so fucked.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:22 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


In other news, a former Milo assistant and GamerGater has killed his own father for calling him a nazi.
Reading about this guy, it's yet another Trumpist Nazi who makes me wonder if it really is about the Nazi ideology, or if that's just the most welcoming framework for an ad hoc social space that came together when misanthropic abusive personalities found that they too could have a place on the internet to socialize with like minds.


If you want to have a high-level idea of what's going on in the right-wing cauldron of crazy I highly recommend Right Richter, a little email newsletter from Will Sommer. He reads this garbage so you don't have to, and I think there's value in knowing what the kooks are on about. For example, how many of you are aware of just how much they continue to be frothed about the 2012 uranium deal? I was confused as to why some folks continue to mention it in dopey facebook comments but it makes a lot more sense now.

I mention the newsletter now because two newsletters back Sommer wrote a little about the Rick & Morty/McD's schezuan sauce idiocy and near the end talked about YouTube as a vector for extremest recruiting and then said this:
It's a much uglier, more extreme case, but finally, consider this New Yorker profile. It's about how one bored young man named Michael Peinovich became, through a whole lot of time on Reddit, prominent white nationalist podcast host and Charlottesville rally attendee Mike Enoch:
Gradually, he and his wife stopped going out with their friends from Bushwick, then stopped going out much at all. Instead they stayed home, playing video games or reading on their laptops. Mike E. spent hours in political-debate forums on Facebook and Reddit, where he let his contrarian side run wild. Online, no one was keeping track of his opinions. No one even knew his name, or what he looked like. It felt like another video game. Sometimes he would stake out a seemingly indefensible position, then see if he could invent an argument to back it up.


I don't know how all these things — a plethora of intense internet subcultures, a growing number of young men with a lot of time on hands and a right-wing backlash that's dominant on social media platforms popular with those same young people — will mix together and play out.

It probably won't be good!
The coverage is good and complete and presented in as non-depressing a way as it can be.
posted by phearlez at 10:24 AM on October 26, 2017 [37 favorites]


To be clear: I also think Trump is a terrible businessman.

I was definitely being facetious. I do also think Trump is a terrible businessman, and if he hadn't been handed everything on a gold-plated platter he wouldn't have amounted to anything
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:25 AM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


> Well, I had to look it up, and yes, Ivanka wears her wedding ring on her right hand.

Of course. That's customary in Russia.
posted by Westringia F. at 10:26 AM on October 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


More immigration awfulness: Some immigrant fire victims forgo aid, fearing language on FEMA forms:
“We have heard from constituents who are eligible for aid — U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals and qualified aliens — but are concerned that applying for FEMA assistance might expose their family members or neighbors to immigration enforcement,” says Huffman’s letter, which was provided to The Chronicle.

The language appears on a form that all those applying for benefits must sign, and it has been used for many years. It states that information “provided regarding my application for FEMA disaster assistance may be subject to sharing within the Department of Homeland Security, including but not limited to, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
And every story that described Kelly as a moderating presence for Trump needs a damn correction: Pitched as Calming Force, John Kelly Instead Mirrors Boss’s Priorities:
Last summer, the Trump administration debated lowering the annual cap on refugees admitted to the United States. Should it stay at 110,000, be cut to 50,000 or fall somewhere in between? John F. Kelly offered his opinion. If it were up to him, he said, the number would be between zero and one.
posted by zachlipton at 10:28 AM on October 26, 2017 [16 favorites]


To be clear: I also think Trump is a terrible businessman. He's has leveraged his inherited wealth to shake down small businesses into giving him good deals, and his picture of how business does and should work is warped and wrong.

And many of the people he dealt with who were too large/wealthy to shake down were primarily interested in money laundering and buying legitimacy, not getting a good deal on real estate.
posted by parallellines at 10:29 AM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


Slate did a 10 part series on negotiation and everything Trump does is antithetical to accepted best practices.
posted by mmascolino at 10:30 AM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


nubs: Trump doesn't do negotiations, he does ultimatums.

Yep, it's been the modus operandus for his entire life, to the point that he truly believes that only suckers make any concessions (and that even following your own promises, e.g paying the full amount for labor, is a concession of sorts).

And for years now it's been the mindset of the whole GOP. They tried wrecking Obamacare with nothing but threats. And they're outraged that the Iran deal didn't amount to: Iran agrees to remove all atoms from their country, in exchange for which the USA agrees to triple all sanctions, because America is exceptional, Islam is scary, and why don't Iranians have the sense to grasp that?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


mmascolino: Slate did a 10 part series on negotiation and everything Trump does is antithetical to accepted best practices.

Everything trump does is antithetical to best practices, full stop.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:33 AM on October 26, 2017 [34 favorites]


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in case you're wondering what side he's on here:
"American citizens are pretty savvy ... I don’t think they’d be influenced by ads posted by foreign governments."
posted by zachlipton at 10:37 AM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Hey, if Rod wants to add his name to the list that I recite bitterly before I sleep, who am I to say no.
posted by angrycat at 10:41 AM on October 26, 2017 [37 favorites]


Trump doesn't do negotiations, he does ultimatums.

Doug Muder at the Weekly Sift, "Taking Hostages"
During the Obama years, I frequently found it necessary to explain the difference between negotiating and hostage-taking. If we’re negotiating, I push for what I want, you push for what you want, and we hope to meet somewhere in the middle. But if I demand that you give me what I want, under the threat that otherwise I’ll send us into a scenario that NO ONE wants, that’s hostage-taking. The defining mark of a hostage-taker is that the demand for cooperation unaccompanied by any positive offer: My proposed “compromise” isn’t that you’ll get some of what you want, but that I’ll remove a threat of my own making. “Do what I say and nobody gets hurt.”

The clearest examples of hostage-taking in recent American politics have been the debt-ceiling confrontations of 2011 and 2013
[...]
Recently, the Trump administration has brought us something I don’t think the U.S. has ever seen before: presidential hostage taking. American presidents usually assume that they’ll be blamed for whatever goes wrong, so they have nothing to gain from taking hostages; any catastrophe that spins out of the confrontation will ultimately be charged against them. But Trump has an unfortunate combination of character flaws that we’ve never seen in a president before:

He seems not to feel empathy for the people his policies might hurt.
He is convinced that no bad outcome can ever be his fault. If he sets up a confrontation that results in disaster, that just demonstrates that his enemies should have given in to him.
[...]
Rather than propose even a framework of a policy and seek congressional approval, Trump unilaterally sets a clock ticking towards some outcome that hardly anybody wants. [...] We’ve seen this set-up three times already in a fairly short time-period: DACA, ObamaCare, and Iran.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:43 AM on October 26, 2017 [51 favorites]


On Mark Halperin, I want to know exactly how long, like to the day, that executives at ABC, NBC and MSNBC have known about the allegations against him. Because he’s been the High Preist of Both Sides poisoning our political discourse for 25 years. He should’ve been thrown off the airwaves just for vapid and inane “analysis”, but if not and he was also a known serial harasser and protected by higher ups for the sake of puking out idiotic horse race coverage, fuck them all.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:43 AM on October 26, 2017 [42 favorites]


It continues to bug me when we put these people's family lives under the microscope, particularly when it's the women. I do not care if Ivanka wears her wedding ring. I don't care if Melania is living in the White House. I don't care if they are happy in their marriages. I don't even care if Melania is being replaced by a double. I care about their work, and their professional qualifications. Please stop.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 10:45 AM on October 26, 2017 [16 favorites]


Yeah, nobody is influenced by ads, which is why I can't even remember the last time I saw one. Remember advertising? It was quite a concept!
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:45 AM on October 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


It continues to bug me when we put these people's family lives under the microscope, particularly when it's the women.

I agree on the focus on the women, but I'm gonna stay firm in my position that the personal lives of people who want to legislate my personal life are pertinent and fair game, particularly when it reveal hypocrisy.
posted by phearlez at 10:50 AM on October 26, 2017 [46 favorites]


If people don't want to be scrutinized, they can give up their power. And money is power.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:54 AM on October 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


Maybe scrutinize them for things besides their marriages and shoes and ties and food and hair?
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:05 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


It continues to bug me when we put these people's family lives under the microscope, particularly when it's the women ... Please stop.

I don't disagree with you. I try not to waste too much of my attention on these kinds of "one weird peccadillo!" stories and I try not to waste too much time bringing them to the attention of others. But besides the fact that the line between the personal and the political lives of powerful people is always fuzzy and the line between the personal and the political lives of the Trumps is even fuzzier, it's probably pointless to put too much effort into trying to stop such stories. Better to try to be the change you want to see and try to ignore the rest.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:12 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Obviously not the worst thing about Mark Halperin, but certainly doesn't reflect positively on his character:
On a recent flight, Halperin took to Twitter to complain about having to sit next to this dapper, bow-tie sporting Very Good Boy.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:13 AM on October 26, 2017 [28 favorites]


>> Democrats with 54-38 lead on the generic congressional ballot

> +16 is very nice, but it's probably going to tighten and it's really more like +9 when you consider the structural disadvantages
[e.g., concentration in cities, gerrymandering and general vote suppression] the Dems have.

And then we run into the situation where everyone hates Congress but loves their Congressperson, who is standing up to the bad people in DC. When we go from generic Congresspeople to specific candidates, those margins shrink further.

Of course, I'd much, much rather be at +16 than at -16, but that topline is misleading for any given specific race.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:16 AM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


Thorzdad from yesterday: I just want to know where the counter ad is to that damned ad that's running, featuring a very sincere woman saying that tax reform will benefit normal people and not the wealthy and politically-connected. She implores me to contact my Democratic Senator and urge him not to stand in the way of fair and sensible tax reform.

No one on the Democratic side could possibly have foreseen that the Republicans would lie about the costs and benefits of a tax cut.
posted by Gelatin at 11:16 AM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


I don't know how all these things — a plethora of intense internet subcultures, a growing number of young men with a lot of time on hands and a right-wing backlash that's dominant on social media platforms popular with those same young people — will mix together and play out.

It probably won't be good!


I've been trying to articulate this (and probably even screeching about it) for months, maybe even a couple of years.

One of the things that's pervasive and very difficult to comprehend about this is that a lot of this is backlash to political correctness is initially founded in legitimate grievances.

Stuff like nearly abusive helicopter parenting. A dire lack of real freedom or unstructured time growing up. Being sold a pack of lies about the remaining shreds of the American Dream. that going into massive, unheard of educational loan debt for a degree is still the key to owning a house and the good life, when in reality today it means as much as a quarter million dollars of unavoidable debt that can wreck your credit and prevent you from buying a house. The nearly complete corporate/consumer control over their lives from birth to school and work, the food they eat, the clothes and goods they buy and even the social experiences they have.

Try to think about it in this not so metaphorical framing: The DARE program, and the backlash it caused by classifying drugs like cannabis as equally harmful as heroin or methamphetamine. So kids try smoking some weed, figure out it's not that bad or harmful, and now assume the DARE program lied to them about everything else, too.

A lot of millennials and Gen Y kids feel this way about our world and government, having grown up in the internet era where awful things like MKULTRA, the CIA cocaine/crack and Iran/Contra scandals and even widespread domestic surveillance aren't wild conspiracy theories but simple facts that can be looked up on Wikipedia.

Here's another way to wrap your head around this. During the solar eclipse this year, I overheard some Gen Y kids in the 15-17 yo range talking very seriously about how the world wasn't round and the whole thing was a hoax. Like, they even touched on and skipped right over the moon landings being a hoax as a given, and went right into how the earth has to be flat, because they could obviously see that it was not curved, and such and such videos proved it and "they" are all lying to us about the world being round.

I pointed out there's several easy experiments they can do to prove it's round for themselves, and tried to have a conversation about basic scientific literacy... and it was terribly depressing. Like the fundamentals just weren't there and I could see their eyes just glaze over, and usually I'm pretty good about talking about basic science and curiosity about the world and... it just wasn't in their worldview. It wasn't on Facebook or YouTube or on their phone.

Which, yeah, they all started looking at their phones about 30 seconds into me trying to have this conversation. I'm pretty sure I can identify the dozen-odd new grey hairs that caused.

How this leads to racism and organized hate? Well, first, it exists as its own thing, of course, but the recent rise of it I reckon is partly that DARE effect mixed with this intellectual vacuum and malaise that's going on, amplified 1000x by the thousands and thousands of balkanized online echo chambers and fiefdoms and the continued tolerance of intolerance.

Oh, and add to this fucked up mix the first part of the internet generation with free and uncensored access to hardcore porn from birth. There's a few million frustrated and angry young men out there now that are learning (and sometimes totally failing to learn) that life almost never resembles the plot of a porn video, and that real sex involves emotions, work and communication with another real, living human being.

And a huge part of it is that we apparently stopped teaching critical thinking in schools a couple of decades ago. They barely taught it when I was in school, in fact, I remember them trying to hammer it out of me and get me to not ask too many questions.

Because if you can make the leap to assume the earth being round is a hoax, that we never landed on the moon, it's pretty easy to make the leap that the Holocaust is also a hoax. (I feel really dirty typing a lot of this. Bear with me.)

Throw in a political climate where they have never known non-corrupt government and apparently even the "good" presidents order airstrikes and extrajudicial assassinations from drones, a political climate that on one hand pays lip service to political correctness and on the other kills a lot of brown people - and it's probably pretty seductive and easy to not practice critical thinking.

This isn't just "It probably won't be good!"

It's a goddamn powder keg. No, it's a cultural dirty bomb.

And, sure, not all of Gen Y or any generation is like this. I've also met some incredibly bright, smart and hopeful Gen Y folks who have their eye on all of this, too, who know what's up.
posted by loquacious at 11:17 AM on October 26, 2017 [71 favorites]


The closest I've seen to powerful people on the left promoting unfortunate ideas about conservatives is when some celebrity or another speaks disdainfully of the south or midwest or rural areas in general. But there's always immediate, pointed feedback, and I don't know that I see Democratic politicians joyfully proposing, passing, and enforcing legislation that harms those areas.

No, but you sure do see Republicans do it.
posted by Gelatin at 11:20 AM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


On Mark Halperin, I want to know exactly how long, like to the day, that executives at ABC, NBC and MSNBC have known about the allegations against him. Because he’s been the High Preist of Both Sides poisoning our political discourse for 25 years.

A friend from high school "challenged my world view" today with an article from the NY Post essentially saying that no, 45 isn't guilty of treason 'cause there's nothing to the Russia allegations, but Hillary Clinton is totally guilty of treason for paying people to look into the whole thing.

I won't link it because it's the dumbest thing I've seen all week that didn't come directly from the White House. But I just... I mean there's no logic here. None. It's essentially saying cops who talk to people-who-know-criminals to investigate a crime makes those cops into criminals themselves for associating with people who know about crime. But by rejecting this idiocy out of hand, apparently I'm the one living in an echo chamber.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:21 AM on October 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


[words]
posted by loquacious at 11:17 AM on October 26 [2 favorites +] [!]


eponysterical
posted by entropicamericana at 11:21 AM on October 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


I would like you to know what a huge effort it took me, a 47 year old dude, to keep reading after you said the pushback on "political correctness" was likely grounded in some legitimate grievances.

I don't have the energy to address the rest of your cloud-yelling other than to say that Sommer's quippy little "won't be good" was sarcasm, as would be obvious from reading the rest of his newsletters or even just the entirety of that one.
posted by phearlez at 11:22 AM on October 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


.... what the fuck does political correctness have to do with helicopter parenting and regulatory capture of higher education by the student loan industry?
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:27 AM on October 26, 2017 [25 favorites]


I would like you to know what a huge effort it took me, a 47 year old dude, to keep reading after you said the pushback on "political correctness" was likely grounded in some legitimate grievances.

I'm not saying it's right or correct, I'm conveying what people from that demographic are saying and trying to describe the fucked up thought processes and why this has been more dangerous than a lot of people care to acknowledge or think about.

Because, yeah, it's really easy to hear "backlash against political correctness" and logically think "That's fucking ridiculous." because it certainly is.

But here we are with Milo Yappalotapus being a racist, facist, misogynistic gay man dating/partnered with a black man - and a fanbase that takes him seriously.
posted by loquacious at 11:29 AM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


.... what the fuck does political correctness have to do with helicopter parenting and regulatory capture of higher education by the student loan industry?

The prospects and lives and skillsets of the youths experiencing it, and how it has altered their world view, and led to a lack of critical thinking or independence.
posted by loquacious at 11:30 AM on October 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


> The prospects and lives and skillsets of the youths experiencing it, and how it has altered their world view, and led to a lack of critical thinking or independence.

If you care at all about making this argument in a more persuasive manner before it gets spiked as a derail, I suggest you add some connective tissue in between "assume political correctness exists" and the many things you believe are a result of it.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:33 AM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


A little aside here: I'm just hoping the Dems make funding the national parks and keeping admission reasonable part of the platform. $70 per car is going to be problematic for a lot of reasons.
posted by azpenguin at 11:33 AM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


loquacious: One of the things that's pervasive and very difficult to comprehend about this is that a lot of this is backlash to political correctness is initially founded in legitimate grievances.

Stuff like nearly abusive helicopter parenting. A dire lack of real freedom or unstructured time growing up. Being sold a pack of lies about the remaining shreds of the American Dream. that going into massive, unheard of educational loan debt for a degree is still the key to owning a house and the good life, when in reality today it means as much as a quarter million dollars of unavoidable debt that can wreck your credit and prevent you from buying a house. The nearly complete corporate/consumer control over their lives from birth to school and work, the food they eat, the clothes and goods they buy and even the social experiences they have.


But that all has nothing to do with being PC, as far as I can see. Those grievances are real, but to say and do things you see as "anti-PC" in response seems like lashing out at the easy targets, those who can't defend themselves.

This is what kills me about "political correctness" and the push back. According to the Wikipedia article about political correctness, the term has been used since the 1970s by people and groups on the left to down-play or guard against their own stances becoming too strict (rough summary), while on the right it's been used as a term to downplay and divert attention from substantively discriminatory behavior against disadvantaged groups.

I've been trying to wrap my head around what PC means today, following the claim by Mel Brooks that Blazing Saddles wouldn't exist today "because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy." (That Entertainment Weekly article includes some good rebuttals from Paul F. Tompkins.) And then I heard about a conservative white man get upset to hear a Navajo co-worker talk about what he did as a Navajo, because the white man then went on a mini-rant about PC culture, when no PC-type comments were mentioned.

So my current summary of the use of "PC" by the right is that fragile white people don't like to have to think of others as equals or human enough to deserve respect they themselves get almost everywhere as the majority. Like the fabricated War on Christmas as a front to make everyone say Merry Christmas, the anti-PC pushback is fabricated by people who find it too hard to be considerate of others.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:34 AM on October 26, 2017 [48 favorites]


I'm not saying it's right or correct, I'm conveying what people from that demographic are saying and trying to describe the fucked up thought processes and why this has been more dangerous than a lot of people care to acknowledge or think about.

I mean, basically, we're talking about a significant fraction of Americans—old Americans, young Americans—who are angry and ignorant. That's bad. And many of them are self-righteously angry and ignorant and that's even worse.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:34 AM on October 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


And to be clear: I'm not advocating or a subscriber to the worldview I described above.

I'm just trying to describe the soil or terrain that's fertilizing and fueling this resurgence of organized hatred and the alt-right.

Another huge part of it that I'm leaving out that I would assume would be taken as a given is that this is definitely being propelled by young white men no longer having as much as an easy pass at life just for being young, white and male.
posted by loquacious at 11:35 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


one of these days someone is going to write about something awful's link to the alt-right too
posted by entropicamericana at 11:37 AM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


by rejecting this idiocy out of hand, apparently I'm the one living in an echo chamber

And I bet you're projecting as well.
posted by flabdablet at 11:39 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


So my current summary of the use of "PC" by the right is that fragile white people don't like to have to think of others as equals or human enough to deserve respect they themselves get almost everywhere as the majority. Like the fabricated War on Christmas as a front to make everyone say Merry Christmas, the anti-PC pushback is fabricated by people who find it too hard to be considerate of others.

No disagreement, here.

Apologies, folks. Words are hard sometimes and the term "political correctness" is deeply loaded, and I've made the mistake of framing my argument using the opposing view's terminology.

And I'm trying to describe something that, to me, feels a bit like a dangerous cornered animal. It's really touchy.
posted by loquacious at 11:40 AM on October 26, 2017 [23 favorites]


And to be clear: I'm not advocating or a subscriber to the worldview I described above.


Then maybe you're just regurgitating their propaganda as though it accurately reflects their worldview?

The devil doesn't need any advocates. If you legitimately believe "political correctness" and "helicopter parenting" cause people (but really just white people) to advocate for genocide and rape, then say so. If you don't believe that is the actual cause and effect, then why say it at all?
posted by melissasaurus at 11:43 AM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


this is definitely being propelled by young white men no longer having as much as an easy pass at life just for being young, white and male.

I dunno, man. Maybe nobody has it as easy as the white dudes did in the roaring 50's, but it doesn't take more than a scintilla of self-awareness to look around and realize that it's still a hell of a lot easier to play the game when you're a white dude who constantly gets the benefit of the doubt. The fact that a huge swath of the population is unwilling or unable to concede that point makes me real nervous about a lot of things.
posted by Mayor West at 11:47 AM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


The devil doesn't need any advocates. If you legitimately believe "political correctness" and "helicopter parenting" cause people (but really just white people) to advocate for genocide and rape, then say so. If you don't believe that is the actual cause and effect, then why say it at all?

I think that this mix of things like excessive helicopter parenting and structure and the lack of critical thinking being taught in schools has trained a major portion of our population to crave structures like fascism and taking orders and not being able to think for themselves.

I also think that there's a lot of this racism and misogyny happening (see 4chan, /pol/, /r/the_donald because it (rightfully) outrages people so much, and its the only weak power or effect they have on the world.

For some of these young racists it started as trolling and evolved from there, or they were recruited from there as well.
posted by loquacious at 11:53 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


It continues to bug me when we put these people's family lives under the microscope, particularly when it's the women.

Some of the things you listed aren't just their personal lives though.

I don't care if Melania is living in the White House.

It cost taxpayers millions of dollars for Melania Trump to live in Trump Tower for the first part of her presidency. And a lot of that money went to President Trump. Grifters gotta grift.

The stated reason for her staying in New York was so their son could finish the school year. Which would be sweet except that Trump mandated that all ambassadors appointed by President Obama leave their posts on Inauguration Day despite a long-standing bipartisan tradition of letting them exceptions for things like, oh, letting their kids finish the school year.

I care about their work, and their professional qualifications.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are both senior special assistants to the president, with White House offices and security clearance, despite neither of them having any experience or qualifications for those positions. Nepotism is illegal for federal officials but they get by on a loophole that allows it if they're unpaid. Both of them used private email addresses for White House business.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:53 AM on October 26, 2017 [72 favorites]


A little aside here: I'm just hoping the Dems make funding the national parks and keeping admission reasonable part of the platform. $70 per car is going to be problematic for a lot of reasons.

A while back here in Orange County, the State Parks took over a collection of squatter beach shacks ("cottages") on Crystal Cove after a long legal fight. The State's original idea was to put up a luxe beach resort and charge fees accordingly, but after another long legal battle (involving some of the former residents), the state decided instead to turn it all into a historic site, and maintain the cottages with as much authenticity as they can. It is a lovely stretch of coastline, just a couple of miles northwest of Laguna Beach. The restored cottages are all available for rent (for up to seven days), and none costing more than $251 per night. (The cheapest goes for $179; individual rooms go for $36.)

The State could surely charge two, three, four times those rates and still fill them up. Instead, they've kept the rates within reach of most of the State's citizens. This makes reservations a challenge*, but that seems like an equitable trade-off; you can't buy your way into the public's historic landmarks -- you wait in line.

I would expect the National Parks to follow the same model -- equitable access managed via reservations, or lottery, or computer magic, and definitely and not this bullshit fee of $70 per car.

---------------------
*This system is the same across our State Beaches and Parks, iirc.
posted by notyou at 11:53 AM on October 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


I'm just trying to describe the soil or terrain that's fertilizing and fueling this resurgence of organized hatred and the alt-right.

Nobody's claiming that there's not a world situation that makes these minds more fertile. That's a large part of what Sommer was talking about there. Almost everything you barfed up would probably not warrant a word except that you opened it not talking about these folks having poor economic options or even your cloud-yelling about kids today. You opened with this:

One of the things that's pervasive and very difficult to comprehend about this is that a lot of this is backlash to political correctness is initially founded in legitimate grievances.

You can't call it backlash and legitimate grievances without sounding pretty clearly like you're pinning the negative situation they're in on political correctness. And that is, respectfully as I can manage, a giant load of horse hockey.

"Political correctness" may get their khaki-wearing tiki-torch-carrying verbal attention but it is not the cause of their problems by a long shot, nor is it at all their focus. Except to the extent that when they say they're harmed by political correctness what they're really talking about is that they no longer get to think they're better than a n-----.
posted by phearlez at 11:54 AM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


If being lied to in DARE lectures is what made people vote for Trump (and it wasn’t), they’ll love this.

[Trump] Calls for "really smart advertising" to teach people not to start taking drugs. Says then it's easy to do.
posted by zachlipton at 11:55 AM on October 26, 2017 [16 favorites]


a lot of this is backlash to political correctness is initially founded in legitimate grievances.

And I think the disagreement I and presumably others have is with this statement. IMO, the "backlash to political correctness"—whatever that means, precisely—is rarely to almost never founded in legitimate grievances. Or rather, the grievances may be real, but the blame placed on "political correctness" is merely a big, fat, juicy self-justifying rationalization. That, in turn, besides failing to correct or amend anyone's real grievances, only further alienates the parties who feel wronged from the people they believed to have wronged them which is likely to only further convince them that they are being wronged. Mix that with charlatans happy to try to profit off these free floating resentments and you've got yourself a real problem. But none of those problems exist because "political correctness" is something other than a just-so-story to tell angry unfortunates.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:56 AM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


[Trump] Calls for "really smart advertising" to teach people not to start taking drugs. Says then it's easy to do.

They could call it Your Brain on Drugs!
posted by kirkaracha at 11:58 AM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


Also "helicopter parenting made me alt-right" is basically a dogwhistle for "I'm mad at my mom and therefore all women must suffer."
posted by melissasaurus at 12:00 PM on October 26, 2017 [59 favorites]


to crave structures like fascism and taking orders and not being able to think for themselves

The really tricky part is that people who go this way are incredibly passionate about claiming that thinking for themselves is exactly what they are doing. It's straight-up Dunning-Kruger in the most general possible sense.
posted by flabdablet at 12:00 PM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


If being lied to in DARE lectures is what made people vote for Trump (and it wasn’t), they’ll love this.

I was using that as an analogy and metaphor. DARE in this case is the inherently corrupt political process and things like disillusionment with the DNC for de-nominating Bernie Sanders and pushing Clinton, in their eyes.

You can't call it backlash and legitimate grievances without sounding pretty clearly like you're pinning the negative situation they're in on political correctness. And that is, respectfully as I can manage, a giant load of horse hockey.

Sorry, that was very clumsy of me and not how or what I was trying to say, and I'm conflating a bunch of different things while trying to describe a fucked up zeitgeist I'd rather not think about at all.

I'm behooving people to take this demographic as a serious threat. They're out there buying guns, forming militias and composing dossiers and databases on "leftists". It's an incredibly toxic cultural tumor that's growing rapidly.

I'm going to bow out now.
posted by loquacious at 12:01 PM on October 26, 2017 [21 favorites]


[Trump] Calls for "really smart advertising" to teach people not to start taking drugs. Says then it's easy to do.
So, TeamTrump:
Advertising can make people choose not to use drugs.
Advertising can't make people choose a political candidate. (Russian advertising, that is.)
Do I have that right?
posted by martin q blank at 12:02 PM on October 26, 2017 [42 favorites]


I think that this mix of things like excessive helicopter parenting and structure and the lack of critical thinking being taught in schools has trained a major portion of our population to crave structures like fascism and taking orders and not being able to think for themselves.

i mean, i guess, but it'd point out it seems to really only be striking a certain group of people? like, tiger parenting doesn't seem to be generating a huge number of fascist, non-critical thinking asian-americans.

those tend to be coming from the racist structure that's propping up the white kids who are become fascist, non-critical thinking white americans
posted by anem0ne at 12:07 PM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


I think people are really misreading loquacious here. They are not espousing the views being ascribed, they are instead opening the blinds on a world view most of us are not exposed to. Attacking the messenger seems uncharitable, after they have tried to explain what they meant.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:08 PM on October 26, 2017 [70 favorites]


> 'one of the great memories of all time'

There are two possible interpretations of what this phrase means, and I have to say that from the time I saw it in the news headlines until just five minutes ago, I thought it meant that Trump was saying that "My telephone chat with Myeshia Johnson one of the great memories of all time", ie, one of the most treasured memories of his life or whatever.

Because honestly it just never even occurred to me that even Trump--who very surely is one of the great EGOS of all time--is dumb enough to think that somehow he is the smartest AND has the best memory of any of the billions and billions of people who are living or have lived.

Because - haha, aHAHA, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

I just can't even. Surely this is the most advanced case of Dunning-Krueger Syndrome in history.
posted by flug at 12:09 PM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


[Trump] Calls for "really smart advertising" to teach people not to start taking drugs. Says then it's easy to do.
[CAPTAIN AMERICA ENTERS]

"Hi Kids! I'm Captain America and I'm here with my good friend... your gym teacher... 
as part of Captain America's Fitness Challenge. Today I'm gonna talk with you
about something very important: the dangers of doing drugs...."
posted by zarq at 12:12 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


[CAPTAIN AMERICA ENTERS]

Yeah, I guess he's some kind of war criminal now? Soooo... whatever.
posted by Justinian at 12:15 PM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


Rappin' with Cap
posted by zarq at 12:15 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I think the idea that many people, young and not-so-young, think that all politicians are face-eating leopards who lie like other people breathe, and will do bad things because That's Just What They Do, has much merit. Only 10% of Americans like and trust Congress! I think this is a problem for democracy, and it's not easily solved as long as the Mercers and Kochs can pour unlimted funds into riling up masses of people who crave authority but can't do critical thinking.

Seeing mainstream authority - science, teachers, etc. as corrupt and not to be trusted is a problem among some younger (and older) people. I do not think this is "political correctness run wild" at all but rather "mistrust of authority at the same time craving structure."

I live in a part of the country where people with college degrees can get jobs, though housing is unaffordable for most. But, on the whole, people here do trust science, they don't think the moon landing is fake, and don't seem especially hate-filled or maladjusted. (Who knows who is really a poster on r/The_Donald or wherever.)

I don't think it has to do with political correctness; I think it has a lot to do with capitalism run wild, our terribad educational system (we really need to teach civics more than just a semester or two! Likewise, critical thinking), and a lot of people, especially but not exclusively young men, craving but being unable to create close relationships (especially because no-one wants to hang out with toxic people except other toxic people).

And white people in particular, who crave structure, are not too bright, and can be made to nurse racial grievances, are led around by their collective nose thanks to Koch and Mercer money propping up hate media. Ye gods and little fishes, if only the Koch/Mercer money taps could be shut off.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:15 PM on October 26, 2017 [26 favorites]


RedOrGreen: "And then we run into the situation where everyone hates Congress but loves their Congressperson, who is standing up to the bad people in DC. When we go from generic Congresspeople to specific candidates, those margins shrink further."

Yes, this is true. But the generic poll has a strong correlation with actual House gains.

I'm not sure we need a disclaimer each time to say, gerrymandering exists, clustering exists, incumbent effect exists. Being 16 points down, even a year out, is very bad for the GOP. No, that's very likely not going to translate into a 50 seat gain for the Democrats, but it is still quite indicative of a good result.

Further thing to keep in mind - House members watch these sorts of things. You add this to the bad fundraising for GOP incumbents, people start thinking retirement.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:16 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


I think people are really misreading loquacious here. They are not espousing the views being ascribed, they are instead opening the blinds on a world view most of us are not exposed to. Attacking the messenger seems uncharitable, after they have tried to explain what they meant.

I'm saying that the message (alt-right grew out of legitimate grievances) is propaganda and the messenger is being duped.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:17 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


I kind of get what you're saying loquacious. I don't quite agree with your conclusion, but I think there is definitely something to gain from trying to figure out the cause of racism/misogyny in young white men. I mean hate is not a natural state of mind. No one is born a Nazi. Why do so many young men, and an often-ignored number of women, buy into that ideology? What made that more appealing to this particular group than the opposing narrative?
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:19 PM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


I see the parenting techniques being criticized in your analysis, loquacious, and I would add and emphasize toxic masculinity as a driving force. When boys are taught that the only acceptable emotions are anger and pride, they learn that anger is a source of pride. Bypassing most everything else and attacking it as weakness in others.

It reminds me of how I, in the '80s and '90s, was raised as a girl with the post-2nd wave mainstream idea of how women can be anything we want, we are just as good as men, let's put in the effort and become the best astronauts/surgeons/presidents (lolsob) we can be! While apparently, most of my (white, suburban) male counterparts were pretty much left to do whatever, without special encouragement. Then, when puberty hit and we learned how to hide our periods and be sensitive when boys had spontaneous erections in school (I remember watching a video about this specifically, which is VERY WEIRD looking back), I'm not sure that the boys in the class were taught respect for girls' bodies as well.

I'm a feminist 4ever, but I do think that at some point the messaging got muddled and we forgot how to raise boys to be good citizens.
posted by witchen at 12:22 PM on October 26, 2017 [52 favorites]


loquacious: "I'm behooving people "

If nothing else, I don't think you can use behoove that way.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:23 PM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


Behooves really fell out of fashion after the early 70s.
posted by phearlez at 12:26 PM on October 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


flug: honestly it just never even occurred to me that even Trump--who very surely is one of the great EGOS of all time--is dumb enough to think that somehow he is the smartest AND has the best memory of any of the billions and billions of people who are living or have lived.

And yet he certainly seems to be exactly dumb enough to think that.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:26 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


we forgot how to raise boys to be good citizens

Can we forget something that has never before happened?
posted by melissasaurus at 12:27 PM on October 26, 2017 [41 favorites]


[CAPTAIN AMERICA ENTERS]

The best thing about those PSAs is how you can totally tell Steve was roped into the whole thing without ever seeing the script and every one of them is killing a little piece of his soul. Like it's 2017 now and for all he knows the unions are too weak to get everyone paid if he walks off the set so he just sighs and soldiers on.

Sorry I know it's the politics thread but somebody said "Captain America" and I need something to make me smile.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:28 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


I'm saying that the message (alt-right grew out of legitimate grievances) is propaganda and the messenger is being duped.

I can try to clarify what I mean, here, and that the alt-right is growing out of the misapplication of legitimate grievances and seducing through them, many of which are caused by the right wing in this country in the first place.

Goddamnit, this same shit happened in Wehrmacht and Nazi Germany - the racial and misogynistic scapegoating and use of these things as levers and recruiting tools for fascism.

I see the parenting techniques being criticized in your analysis, loquacious, and I would add and emphasize toxic masculinity as a driving force. When boys are taught that the only acceptable emotions are anger and pride, they learn that anger is a source of pride. Bypassing most everything else and attacking it as weakness in others.

I strongly agree with this and it's part of what I'm trying to talk about.

If nothing else, I don't think you can use behoove that way.

Verbing weirds language.
posted by loquacious at 12:30 PM on October 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


Chrysostom: If nothing else, I don't think you can use behoove that way.

loquacious: Verbing weirds language.

Behoove is only ever a verb. On multiple occasions I have seen/heard it used the way you used it, so I didn't even notice it as "off" in any way. But I think you (like others who have used it that way) were thinking of "beseech".
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:36 PM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


If I had hooves I'd still ride my bicycle.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:38 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


He does not, fundamentally, seem to understand that international diplomacy...

He doesn't understand negotiating. He equates it with bullying, his wife's pro forma cause du jour notwithstanding.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:39 PM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


> loquacious: "I'm behooving people "

If nothing else, I don't think you can use behoove that way.


Typically behoove is only used in the case where nothing specific is behooving; that's why it shows up most often after the word "it." However, there is a special case where a specific person can behoove: I can behoove if it me.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:39 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


guys i beseech you to stop besmirching behoove
posted by cortex at 12:41 PM on October 26, 2017 [92 favorites]


I don't quite agree with your conclusion, but I think there is definitely something to gain from trying to figure out the cause of racism/misogyny in young white men. I mean hate is not a natural state of mind. No one is born a Nazi. Why do so many young men, and an often-ignored number of women, buy into that ideology?

They're poor and feel like they're getting a raw deal. They also are being told they need to pull up their own bootstraps and do for themselves - but then see other people who are getting what look like "handouts" to them. They are therefore prone to believing suggestions that underscore what they want to hear.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:42 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


I just don't see any evidence that white men of the past were somehow less violent and authoritarian than white men of today. They just had more socially-accepted paths for that violence because their victims (women and people of color) lacked social, political, and economic power. The number of violent, authoritarian men seems to be decreasing not increasing; but the classes of people that society will allow to be abused without objection continue to shrink.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:43 PM on October 26, 2017 [33 favorites]


pretty sure behoove is just the past tense of beehive. today i beehive you to do this thing, yesterday i behoove you to do it #truegrammarfacts
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:43 PM on October 26, 2017 [42 favorites]


Sorry I know it's the politics thread but somebody said "Captain America" and I need something to make me smile.

Me too! That's why I added the "Rappin'" link. :)
posted by zarq at 12:43 PM on October 26, 2017


legitimate grievances

The problem I have with this is that, say, student loans don't just impact white people. And yet, the alt-right is whelmingly white. Likewise helicopter parenting: not only for white people! Generationally, too, the alt-right movement has also been drawing in older white people (eg, Steve Bannon), who aren't impacted by any of this stuff. The grievances you've cited as being 'legitimate' don't really track with the demographics of the, say, Trump voting bloc, nor of Brietbart's readership.

So -- I'm not sure why we should be paying attention to these approximate causes, which don't seem to have a lot of individual explanatory power, rather than focus on more proximate causes that might (ie, America's long history of racism).

Or, more bluntly: I think a lot of the 'legitimate' grievances you're citing are fake, in that they are, substantively, propaganda pushed to give cover to racially-motivated beliefs. It isn't helpful to point to the propaganda; we should look to the propagandists.
posted by cjelli at 12:44 PM on October 26, 2017 [12 favorites]




Hey everyone: here is something to DO! A Rewire article describing the best way to fight the Tump admin's attempt to make it harder for people to access birth control. Please add your comments.

Did you know that the abortion rate in the US dropped under Obama? Did you know that is because people need access to BC to prevent unwanted pregnancy - and providing that access WORKS? Tell the jerks in Washington.

Having access to long lasting BC (IUD) completely resolved my iron deficiency. Plus, I've never gotten pregnant on it, which is the point. Women and other people who can get pregnant deserve basic medical care for our whole bodies, including reproductive organs. You know that. I know that. Tell these assholes in Washington.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:47 PM on October 26, 2017 [36 favorites]


Why do so many young men, and an often-ignored number of women, buy into that ideology?

"Hi, I look and talk like your idea of a successful person—and did I mention I love Jesus and America?"
posted by Rykey at 12:47 PM on October 26, 2017




I have a bad feeling about the New Jersey governor's race. All the polls are solidly going to the Democrat. But I just ... have a feeling in my gut. I guess it's the post-2016 polls-related trauma.

But I don't like the way that both candidates are making sanctuary policies a focus of the campaign. Like, they both think that they win on that issue, but they can't both be right. The atmosphere around immigration is not the same in NJ as it is in Texas or California, and I'm not sure it's a winning point for the dems.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 12:49 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


>The State could surely charge two, three, four times those rates and still fill them up. Instead, they've kept the rates within reach of most of the State's citizens. This makes reservations a challenge*, but that seems like an equitable trade-off; you can't buy your way into the public's historic landmarks -- you wait in line.

There's basically four ways of allocating scarce goods:
  1. Under market rules
  2. Through queueing
  3. By lottery
  4. By privilege
By setting the price below market rate, the state is choosing to allocate in part by queue rather than by market rules. I'm strongly in favor of this allocation strategy in general, mainly because in the conditions that obtain under capitalism, strategy (1) reduces to strategy (4); a few people have effectively infinite money, and so they get whatever they want (they claim it as their privilege), and we're all left with scraps.

Although queue-based systems can themselves reduce to (1) or (4) — if it's allowed, say, to pay someone to wait in line for you, or if a member of the nomenklatura can skip the queue — it's much more obvious when a queue has been subverted than it is when a market has reduced to aristocracy, and there is something deep, deep within the human psyche that loathes a queue-jumper — and so we're pretty good at punishing them.

(well and in the case of this particular queue, there's no obvious method for subverting it. The places will go to the people who want them enough to be patient; this feels fair to most people, I think. At the very least, it seems fair to me.)

When I'm in a Particular Mood I identify as a Borgesian socialist: whereas standard socialism involves replacing market systems with queues whenever possible, and then trying to make the queues as short as possible, Borgesian socialism allocates everything by lottery.

If you want insight into what sort of creature I am, note that I honestly believe that Borges's Babylon is kind of a vision of heaven. I am aware that this is not an opinion shared by most people.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:52 PM on October 26, 2017 [20 favorites]


Things all people can bash without feeling guilty or being accused of bias: the kids these days, how parents are doing it wrong, schools aren't teaching, and political correctness.
Not legitimate, but universally socially acceptable. Upthread was a link to poll showing most whites can amazingly convince themselves despite abundant evidence to the contrarythat they are discriminated against in this country. Including a whole lot of Democrats. The threat of the loss of unfair special advantages or privilege is experienced as if its more important than the reality that brown children get shot in the street by cops without consequence.

Thus "backlash" however illegitimate, is a real emotional problem that the powerful are inflicting onto the rest of us, including those with legitimate greivances.
Rebelling against the world becoming maybe slightly less your playground by becoming a Nazi seems to be the in thing. It is a most dangerous drug. lets hope we survive the hangover.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 12:55 PM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


.
Corb, your loss is a loss to us all.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 12:59 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


I don't think the fact that the alt-right is nearly all white means loquacious's argument is unsound, because the point is that the grievances (which I'm not going to call legitimate or illegitimate) are a contributory but not sufficient condition. A lit match can cause dry wood to combust, but not wet wood.

EmpressCallipygos is on the money here; if a white person sees higher status as their natural place, then anything that hurts them will be understood on a racial level. A non-white person obviously won't be susceptible to the same ideology, even if they're hurt in the exact same way.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:00 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


HBO drops plans for adapting Halperin book based on 2016 election.

and yet they have no problem continuing to work with producers who liberally use rape as episode filler

producers who are now imagining a world where the confederacy won

i don't buy that statement one whit
posted by anem0ne at 1:00 PM on October 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


Daniel Dale, Toronto Star: Top Trump official says U.S. isn’t offering ‘anything’ to Canada in exchange for NAFTA demands

Brilliant idea to put the screws to your largest export market. Particularly when in return they send softwood and fuel south.

"Nobody move or we'll give ourselves inflated construction and fuel costs" is Blazing Saddles trade negotiation.

A NAFTA fail will also put all Canadians on NAFTA visas at extreme uncertainty and risk and will likely result in a 'brain repatriation' to Canada.
posted by srboisvert at 1:01 PM on October 26, 2017 [19 favorites]


just don't see any evidence that white men of the past were somehow less violent and authoritarian than white men of today

I just want to point out that all over the world there are violent authoritarian movements attacking ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, and anyone who is different or vulnerable. And those movements include people of different races and religions and ethnicities depending on location -- Burmese Buddhists and Nigerian Muslims and Venezuelan Catholics and on and on, on every continent. Women participate too, and sometimes, as in the Magdalene laundries, orchestrate the abuse. The same people who are persecuted in one place are persecutors in another.

In America at this time in history this is a white people problem and especially a white men problem. But then, that's who holds power in America.

I think when you look back at history and around the world and realize how incredibly common it is for people to abuse the different and the vulnerable, you find yourself searching for explanations which are more universal than current US pop culture, parenting, or education. The explanation has to be something which also applies to Boko Haram and the Myanmar military, I think, because to me it is exactly the same phenomenon. The explanation must lie in some fault of human nature, triggered by some circumstance which occurs again and again in human history around the world.

I think the key lies in this quote... In a transnational study of ethnic violence, MIT political scientist Roger Petersen found that a major risk factor for ethnic violence was anger stemming from “the feeling of being politically dominated by a group that has no right to be in a superior position.” Typically, that occurs when an ethnic group that was formally subordinate achieves new status and power.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:06 PM on October 26, 2017 [61 favorites]


The problem I have with this is that, say, student loans don't just impact white people.

I think that with student loans and the like, PoC are already being repressed so it seems like part of the same repressive system whereas to an idiot white boy who has no critical thinking skills along with some of the other contributing factors Loquacious mentioned this emerging source of repression might feel totally new and (because they lack the ability to question their own conclusions) targeting them specifically.

It kind of gets at the idea that racism and classism are intertwined. Most of us understand that, as a white male, I'm subject to a little bit of repression from classism while someone born into less wealth than me (my parents were not and are not rich but had solid middle-upper-class incomes) probably suffers a lot more. Then someone born into a poor family and is a PoC gets it with both barrels.

Like, I'm pretty well off but I'm furious because I know that if wealth distribution had stayed where it was in 1978 I'd be making about 40% more right now and that would mean a TON for my lifestyle. So I totally understand why people who aren't as well off as I are even more ticked off (I'm also furious on their behalf but that's besides the point) and then add in the mountain of awfulness that racism adds to the mix and all of us furious at the powers that be for some very legitimate reasons.

These alt-right chucklefucks have gotten into their heads the PoCs and the progressives to support them as the cause of their problems. The thought, "But student loans affect more people than just me!" is simply not a thought they're capable of forming. Part of the reason it was able to happen is that at least some of the factors loquacious describes have created some fertile soil for ideas like that to grow. Had things been just a little bit different, there might not have been this critical mass of like-minded idiots because the soil wouldn't have been quite as fertile. Exactly what would have had to have gone differently, to what degree, and in what direction we'll never now. Well, other than the redistribution of wealth to the wealthy. That's what I think is one of the roots of all of this.
posted by VTX at 1:08 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Republicans Just Caved to the Big Banks and Exposed Trump’s Sham Populism (John Cassidy for New Yorker, October 25, 2017)
Steve Bannon, who’s back at Breitbart News after being bounced out of the White House, is busy talking up the “populist” revolution that is supposedly sweeping the Republican Party. “President Trump and his whole candidacy from the very beginning . . . was a repudiation of the élites, the repudiation of the foreign-policy establishment, a repudiation of the ‘Party of Davos,’ ’’ Bannon told a conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

I’ve been to Davos, the annual gathering of business bigwigs, economists, and journalists in the Swiss Alps. It was in 2007, and I was following around Paul Wolfowitz, who was then the president of the World Bank, for a magazine piece. From what I recall, the place was thick with bankers and other financial types.

If Donald Trump had actually repudiated the “Party of Davos,” we would be celebrating the fact that the banks and their lobbyists were no longer acting as puppet masters in Washington, D.C. The financial tricksters and bagmen would have been sent fleeing across the Potomac, like the routed forces of Brigadier General William H. Winder after the Battle of Bladensburg, in the War of 1812.

Except, of course, no such repudiation has happened.
This was Trump's sham, as well as that of Breitbart and other "alt-right" lie factories.

(Sad) question: did Trump tweet about this latest boon to the banks? I ask because of the red-hot ball of rage that only follows Trump on Twitter.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:08 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


I've been thinking about the absurdity of White Nationalism. Does it involve the love of a Nation? Do you think an American White Nationalist has more kinship with a Canadian White Nationalist, or a fellow American who is African-American?

The answer is obvious. White Nationalism promotes a nation of the mind in which the only people granted citizenship are like-minded White Nationalists. A White Nationalist is not a national patriot; they are a racial supremacist and an ideological supremacist. The concept of immigration began to be unpopular among White Supremacists when white people started to be comfortable staying where they were.

In summary, White ain't no country I ever heard of.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:10 PM on October 26, 2017 [22 favorites]


My personal ass-pull theory is that people (white people, white men in particular) who have been told their entire life that they are SUPER IMPORTANT (mostly implicitly by the entire culture and society catering to their every whim like it is the word of God, and occasionally explicitly by various authority figures) finding out that here in late-stage capitalist America they are actually utterly expendable and glaringly normal. It creates a dissonance that some resolve by creating a personal mythology that supports their deep-down feeling that no, really, I am special! I am important! I am more special and important than those around me, and especially than those who aren't part of my sociocultural demographic! I have special knowledge! [Conspiracy theories.] I have special powers! [Prepping.] I have nemeses like I'm an actualfax superhero! [Various -gates and online harassment.] DO YOU HEAR ME, WORLD??? I AM SUPER SPECIAL!!!

The rest of us just accept that we're all riding this blue marble together and our life--special or unspecial--is what we make of it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:19 PM on October 26, 2017 [58 favorites]


Have "political correctedness" wandering among my neurons. It seems to fit todays politics.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:20 PM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Politico: Trump opioid declaration falls short, say state officials
Senior administration officials told reporters that acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan will sign the declaration on Thursday. That will allow public health agencies to swiftly redirect existing health resources to the crisis, but won't add fresh funds. It will also cut "bureaucratic delays" in hiring personnel and expand access to telemedicine, including remote prescribing of medication commonly used for substance abuse or other mental health treatment.
...
"We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic," Trump said at a White House ceremony attended by many Cabinet officials, lawmakers from affected states and families who have lost relatives to overdoses. He put a great deal of emphasis on his planned anti-drug advertising campaign.
...
The HHS public health fund currently has only about $57,000 left in it, although Congress could replenish it and the department has some other emergency resources to draw on. An administration official said there are "ongoing discussions" with lawmakers about how much money is needed.
The full article has more details about what the declaration today did and did not do, and what might be done without the need for additional funding.
posted by cjelli at 1:22 PM on October 26, 2017 [18 favorites]


Also, would like to add: flaunting rules also lines up with my "personal mythology of specialness" theory, becasuse special people don't have to follow rules. Especially rules that try to impose a general message that no, you aren't special, you do owe other people a modicum of respect in how you interact with them because they are your equals.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:22 PM on October 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


filthy light thief: Republicans Just Caved to the Big Banks and Exposed Trump’s Sham Populism

On further thought, quite a bit of what Trump does runs contrary to his populism claims. Undermining ACA? Not helpful to the public at large. Reducing the size of monuments to increase the opportunity for oil companies to drill? Not helping the common family. Hell, even his Muslim ban is no help to anyone, except to stoke racist fears.

Still, every puncture to the inflated, fake Trump of the People makes it easier to sell a story to people who voted for him that he doesn't care about you.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:25 PM on October 26, 2017


I don't think the fact that the alt-right is nearly all white means loquacious's argument is unsound, because the point is that the grievances (which I'm not going to call legitimate or illegitimate) are a contributory but not sufficient condition. A lit match can cause dry wood to combust, but not wet wood.

The thing is, racism and sexism are more like a massive ongoing forest fire while helicopter parenting is maybe an old tire that somebody threw into the woods. Arguing about how the tire added fuel to the fire seems so wildly beside the point that it reads as almost disingenuous.
posted by parallellines at 1:27 PM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


Declaring opioids a National Public Health Emergency without the promised funding to mitigate said Emergency is, as an old saying among the Huckabee Sanderses would have it, "All hat and no cattle".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:28 PM on October 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


Hey, have any of these Good Republicans mentioned that oh by the way the president is a sexual predator?
No, but a Democratic Senator did three days ago, and the 'Liberal Media' didn't pass it on.

As for the "apple" ad for CNN, it was totally inaccurate. CNN doesn't tell you "this is an apple", it brings in people who say "this is an apple" AND people who say "this is a banana" to debate it. Fox's Shep Smith as likely to declare apple-ness unequivocally as are a lot of CNN's "reporters".

Most "New York Based" media remains at least partway in Trump's pocket, because otherwise they'd have to admit their role in his success. (Which is big - he's too incompetent to make anything work without a LOT of help)
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:29 PM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Less obnoxious ways of saying ‘I went to an Ivy League school’
As Elizabeth Angell points out in Town & Country, one of the last things you are supposed to do if you attend an Ivy League school is to tell people, “I went to an Ivy League school.” Instead, you must play a complex Rumpelstiltskin-esque guessing game in which you act as though attending your Ivy League school were a Shameful and Horrible Secret, while simultaneously making it instantly obvious exactly which Ivy League school you attended. A list of sample phrases follow. Remember, it’s about subtle class signaling.

What people call the Vanderbilt ‘of the South,’ but of the North.

It got very lonely in the wintertime, but the foliage…

You May Have Heard Of It.

Maybe I should be the first to apologize to you about all of the recent presidents, especially the Bushes.

(Chuckles self-deprecatingly) Well, let’s just say our football team went downhill after the 1920s.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:30 PM on October 26, 2017 [28 favorites]


So sorry corb. This is just awful. {HUGS}
posted by glasseyes at 1:33 PM on October 26, 2017


...people (white people, white men in particular) who have been told their entire life that they are SUPER IMPORTANT (mostly implicitly by the entire culture and society catering to their every whim like it is the word of God, and occasionally explicitly by various authority figures) finding out that here in late-stage capitalist America they are actually utterly expendable and glaringly normal.

...and the first time they see a woman or POC (or even worse, a WOC) in the former perfect sanctuary of their workplace, the automatic reaction is "WE are now being discriminated against!!!"
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:34 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


"The HHS public health fund currently has only about $57,000 left in it, although Congress could replenish it and the department has some other emergency resources to draw on."

One of the (many) things that makes me crazy about this administration and Republican congresses in general is the fact that if they sat down and planned, or used standard budgeting practices, they could probably get things done cheaper and with less hassle! All of these last minute funding requests means that money is overspent, or not allocated to what is needed right now, so it gets wasted. See also the millions of ACA money that HHS flushed down the toilet when they cancelled ad buys earlier this year. It's like someone who doesn't do any of the oil changes on their car, and occasionally just unscrews the oil plug or the lets air out of the tires. OMG repairing a seized engine is so expensive!

They are so obsessed with cutting budgets that actually considering what stuff costs means that park fees get raised, maintenance is delayed, staff is slashed, and all your rims are now bent because you never bothered to put air in your tires.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 1:36 PM on October 26, 2017 [23 favorites]


I don't quite agree with your conclusion, but I think there is definitely something to gain from trying to figure out the cause of racism/misogyny in young white men. I mean hate is not a natural state of mind. No one is born a Nazi. Why do so many young men, and an often-ignored number of women, buy into that ideology?
They're poor and feel like they're getting a raw deal. They also are being told they need to pull up their own bootstraps and do for themselves - but then see other people who are getting what look like "handouts" to them. They are therefore prone to believing suggestions that underscore what they want to hear.


And they're already racist as hell.

Let's not give them a pass on this while we pontificate about the open wound that opportunist tyrant wanna-bes pour their poison into. If they weren't racist open wounds then they would be asking why they should be screaming about statues rather than setting fire to the banks. They're receptive to this not because they're disadvantaged and someone comes and whispers racist sweet nothings in their ear. They're receptive to this because they're disadvantaged and already racist, so when they're flogged and pointed at melanin concentrations they say "yep, must be them!"

You want to talk about the degrees of racism, how these folks are going from the background radiation racism all of us raised in America were reared in and are constantly exposed to, sure. How it's self-perpetuating at minimum, so this recruitment will almost never fall on completely unprepared soil? Sure. But they're in a bad place so they get taken in as if racism is a cult they've never been exposed to? Nah, I ain't buying it.

These people were already on this path. They were just on a garden stroll before and now they're hard core, but they were already there. That's on all of us in America, from the hood wearers to the Daughters of the Confederacy apologists to every one of us who ever looked the other way or kept our mouth shut or refused to examine our subconscious biases.
posted by phearlez at 1:37 PM on October 26, 2017 [36 favorites]


Another tidbit from Trump's drug talk today:
The FDA is now requiring drug companies that manufacture prescription opioids to provide more training to prescribers and to help prevent abuse and addiction, and has requested that one especially high-risk opioid be withdrawn from the market immediately. We are requiring that a specific opioid, which is truly evil, be taken off the market immediately.
Per Politico (Vita Twitter), that's not true: the FDA has clarified that no new drugs will be taken off the market 'immediately,' and that Trump probably (who knows) meant Opana ER, which the FDA pulled back in June. It has been off the market since July.

In the universe of Trump lies, that's a relatively small one, but still: there were people asking which drug was about to be pulled, only to find out that there wasn't one.
posted by cjelli at 1:38 PM on October 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Less obnoxious ways of saying ‘I went to an Ivy League school’

I wonder how high their academic standards are for someone who could pay full tuition and more.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:49 PM on October 26, 2017


I don't care if Melania is living in the White House.

See, that's just really odd that she doesn't live at the White House. I thought handlers were supposed to stay close to their targets.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:50 PM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


In summary, White ain't no country I ever heard of.

The following is a sincere question -

Is there something in the white nationalist "ethos" that calls for some country to be established as the "white homeland" or whatever? At least in a subset of the movement?

I feel like I've come across that mindset once or twice, that some part of the world should be established as the "White Homeland" or what-the-fuck-ever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:52 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Maybe this video (on FB) will improve someone's day. I dunno....

Our grandparents had to fight facists in the mud, with guns and shit, and you can't make a few calls a week?
posted by anastasiav at 1:54 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


The JFK files have been released. I'm downloading the smallest one ("formerly withheld in full part 6 of 18") and while I dunno about any new grassy knoll revelations, it looks like there might actually be some neat stuff in there.

So interesting!
posted by theodolite at 1:54 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


The "White Homeland" is wherever the white supremacist in question happens to be, regardless of how recently or under what circumstances his ancestors arrived there. People of other backgrounds should go back to wherever they or their ancestors came from, while native peoples should just step aside and let the whites through.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:55 PM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


Just some grim reminders.

It's been 26 days since Congress failed to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program.

It's been a month and a half since a US citizen has been held as an enemy combatant in Iraq and nobody has answered (or, for the most part, asked) the most basic questions about who this person is and under what conditions they are being held.
posted by zachlipton at 1:55 PM on October 26, 2017 [30 favorites]


I feel like I've come across that mindset once or twice, that some part of the world should be established as the "White Homeland" or what-the-fuck-ever.

Wouldn't they then have to deal with sticky questions about "hey why are all these white people in North America anyway"

lol they don't care
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:56 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Let's not give them a pass on this while we pontificate about the open wound that opportunist tyrant wanna-bes pour their poison into.

Identifying the environmental and developmental causes of the rise of the racist shitheads doesn't absolve them from being racist shitheads.

These are factors that have caused more people to make the choices that lead them to the alt-right and then they choose to stay on that path. They still made the choice.

But if the underlying causes that lead to people making those choices are removed or reduced, fewer people will make those choices.

At no point has anyone claimed anything like, "and therefore these poor idiots aren't to blame for the harm they've caused." No, fuck that, they're to blame. That doesn't mean we just shrug our shoulders and let things keep going on as they have been.

The one and only reason to reach out and try to convince these idiots to see the light is because it's potentially effective for edge cases. I don't care about the racist shitbags but I do care about putting a stop to the harm they cause. If making nice for a bit while I've got some mostly racist jerkwad in front of me and ready to listen will reduce that harm, then I'm going to do it. They don't deserve a cookie but if giving them one will get them to sit down and shut up, I'll bake them myself. And once more, that take is strictly for those with the privilege and willingness to do so. It's that or let them slide from "mostly racist" to "totally racist".
posted by VTX at 2:00 PM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Less obnoxious ways of saying ‘I went to an Ivy League school’

In the Boston area, nobody would ever drop an H bomb by saying they went to school in Boston, that's just stupid. Instead, alumni of a particular school across the river from Boston learn to simply say "When I went to school in Cambridge ... " and the listener would instantly know what they mean, because people who went to MIT have no problem admitting it.
posted by adamg at 2:01 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


I feel like I've come across that mindset once or twice, that some part of the world should be established as the "White Homeland" or what-the-fuck-ever.

They can’t just move to Scotland or Finland or something?
posted by leotrotsky at 2:01 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


too many europeans over there. not enough guns
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:03 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


I'm going to bow out now.
posted by loquacious at 2:01 PM on October 26 [8 favorites +] [!]


I'm late to the argument here, but Jesus Christ guys, did we tear into loquacious while willfully misunderstanding the argument at work.

I come from the demographic they're talking about: lied to about college, about drugs, about patriotic takes on the State, about jobs. And while I'm left as hell and here on the Blue, I can see where my path and the guys on 4chan's diverged—where I saw injustice generally and they saw disappearing what 'should' have been their position as automatically rich white college educated dudes, taught by the movies that they'd have their pick of the chicks in the world.

They saw societal strictures that are sometimes called "political correctness" (here we're connecting with the original post) as having the same legitimacy as DARE or the lies about college loans and fell into this internet morass that compounded and compounded their latent prejudices.

I think loquacious was trying to plumb some sort of grand unifying theory of what the fuck has gone so wrong so incredibly fast when, even though things weren't right ten years ago, they looked like they were headed more or less in that direction.

Nobody is defending the legitimacy of that worldview, especially loquacious.

Like I said, I think I missed the boat, but we did loquacious dirty here guys, ungenerously so.
posted by TheProfessor at 2:06 PM on October 26, 2017 [76 favorites]


The JFK files have been released.

Those are the files that were released in July. The ones that were supposed to be released today don't seem to be happening at the moment, due to some kind of "mad scramble" involving intelligence agencies not specifying what files they want kept secret (and yes, I am aware keeping parts secret defeats the entire point of this exercise).

So they'll be released sometime, maybe, except for the parts that aren't released, maybe.

This has probably not been the most informative comment I've left in a politics thread.
posted by zachlipton at 2:08 PM on October 26, 2017 [21 favorites]


I didn't willfully misunderstand anything, thank you very much.
posted by phearlez at 2:09 PM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Let's not give them a pass on this while we pontificate about the open wound that opportunist tyrant wanna-bes pour their poison into. If they weren't racist open wounds then they would be asking why they should be screaming about statues rather than setting fire to the banks. They're receptive to this not because they're disadvantaged and someone comes and whispers racist sweet nothings in their ear. They're receptive to this because they're disadvantaged and already racist, so when they're flogged and pointed at melanin concentrations they say "yep, must be them!"

You want to talk about the degrees of racism, how these folks are going from the background radiation racism all of us raised in America were reared in and are constantly exposed to, sure. How it's self-perpetuating at minimum, so this recruitment will almost never fall on completely unprepared soil? Sure. But they're in a bad place so they get taken in as if racism is a cult they've never been exposed to? Nah, I ain't buying it.

These people were already on this path. They were just on a garden stroll before and now they're hard core, but they were already there. That's on all of us in America, from the hood wearers to the Daughters of the Confederacy apologists to every one of us who ever looked the other way or kept our mouth shut or refused to examine our subconscious biases.
posted by phearlez at 3:37 PM on October 26 [10 favorites +] [!]



This is the thing, though. A lot of the people in Charlottesville and on the internet came from the same kinds of upbringings and with the same background radiation of hate that we did. The question is how to make sure that next time they go the other way and do start setting fire to the banks rather than marching around reb statues.
posted by TheProfessor at 2:10 PM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Passengers Flying To U.S. Face Heightened Screenings, New Questions (NPR, Oct. 26, 2017)
Starting Thursday, passengers on international flights to the U.S. will face heightened security checks of their luggage and new screening interviews or questionnaires.

The Trump administration is imposing the stricter security measures on travelers — including Americans — from all countries, on all U.S.-bound flights. But the exact set of procedures varies by airline, and some have received permission to temporarily delay implementation of the new rules, The Associated Press reports.

As a result, "confusion still remains about the new regulations," the AP writes.

NPR's David Schaper says the increased scrutiny will affect about 325,000 airline passengers on more than 2,000 flights each day.

David has more on what international travelers can expect:
"Airlines have some flexibility for implementing the new procedures. For example, some will conduct brief security interviews with passengers at check-in counters; others may do so at the gate, while still others will just have travelers fill out a questionnaire."

"But many airlines and travelers' groups are concerned the new procedures will lead to a lot of confusion and lengthy flight delays.

"Some airlines are telling travelers to plan on getting to the airport at least three hours before their departure time for international flights heading into the U.S."
The Wall Street Journal reports (paywalled) that the enhanced security measures could include closer scrutiny of electronics, security sweeps of planes on the ground and the use of bomb-sniffing dogs. As for the interviews and questionnaires, the Journal, citing an anonymous source, reports that "flyers, who previously might be asked about whether they packed their own bag, now could also face questions about why they were traveling or whom they had met."
That's the full article, because WHAT THE FUCK.

Another link: New screenings for U.S.-bound passengers on global airlines (AP via Los Angeles Times, Oct. 25, 2017)

Who is this for, except his racist base? Trump's travel ban is already helping to crater U.S. tourism — and it will cost you (Michael Hiltzik, Contact Reporter with the Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2017)
The United States has lost measurable market share as a travel destination from late 2016 through early this year. That’s according to the travel analysis firm Foursquare, which tracks foot traffic globally through apps on millions of smartphones and websites people use to navigate and check in at hotels, department stores, malls, theme parks and other leisure destinations, and convention centers and other business venues.

According to a recent blog post by its CEO Jeff Glueck, U.S. tourism share fell by 6% year-over-year starting in October, and continued to decrease through March, when it dropped all the way to 16%.
...
Business travel to the U.S. is still showing positive growth of about 3% compared to a year ago, [Sarah Spagnolo, the firm’s editor-at-large] says. But it’s lagging the rest of the world, where business foot traffic has been up 10%.
...
Foursquare’s findings parallel those of other tourism analysts. Travel data firm ForwardKeys found that in the immediate aftermath of the inauguration and the initial travel ban, overall flight bookings to the U.S. were down 6.5% from a year earlier.

The largest decline was in travel from the Middle East, down 37.5%. Bookings from Saudi Arabia were down 60%, though ForwardKeys said that at least part of the decline may have been due to a school break, which fell at a different time a year ago. Travel from Western Europe was off by 13.6%.

ForwardKeys also found that a decline in flight reservations for three months ahead got steeper in the weeks after the inauguration, with the sharpest drops occurring in bookings from the Middle East, especially the seven countries named in Trump’s initial ban (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen).

The tourism decline could have a measurable impact on the economy. At $1.7 trillion in direct and indirect spending as of the end of 2016, travel and tourism accounts for roughly 10% of gross domestic product, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Bureau of Labor Statistics places the leisure and hospitality workforce at about 16 million. That’s 10% of the civilian labor force.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:10 PM on October 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


Isn't it enough that we argued over loquacious's comments? Do we really have to now argue about how we argued about them?
posted by zachlipton at 2:10 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


Rainbo Vagrant: "I have a bad feeling about the New Jersey governor's race. All the polls are solidly going to the Democrat. But I just ... have a feeling in my gut. I guess it's the post-2016 polls-related trauma. "

I get this. But keep in mind that the polls were in fact quite accurate in 2016. The reason we're saddled with the current situation is the Electoral College. This does not apply in the New Jersey race.

* Trump lost NJ by 14 points.
* Current Trump approval in NJ is at 31%.
* Current Chris Christie approval (Guadagno is LG) is at 15%.
* The tightest any poll has shown the race in the last month is Murphy +11. The latest (from Quinnipiac) has him +20. The average is +15.9.

I would not stake my life on this race going to Murphy, but I would gladly stake a cake.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:10 PM on October 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


Ah thanks zachlipton, I probably should have paid more attention to the fact that "July 2017" was in every single link and file name.
posted by theodolite at 2:12 PM on October 26, 2017


The following is a sincere question -

Is there something in the white nationalist "ethos" that calls for some country to be established as the "white homeland" or whatever? At least in a subset of the movement?


White nationalists are the Klan Michael Boltons: "Why should WE have to move? They're the race that sucks."
posted by phearlez at 2:12 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Behooving
posted by Burhanistan at 2:12 PM on October 26, 2017


Isn't it enough that we argued over loquacious's comments? Do we really have to now argue about how we argued about them?

AGREED. Take it to MeTa if it needs to go there [ron howard voice: it didn't]
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:17 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


A positive story from Putin-resisting Russians: In Moscow's Local Elections, Opponents Of Putin Find A Glimmer Of Hope (NPR, Oct. 10, 2017)
... in early September, Russian democrats finally had something to celebrate: Almost 300 opposition candidates surprised everyone by winning majorities in 30 of Moscow's 125 local district councils.

"I believe it's a really important political statement and signal to the Russian government and mayor of Moscow that people are thirsty for change," said Vitali Shkliarov, 41, one of the brains behind a little-noticed campaign to field 1,000 independent candidates to fill the city's lowest elected offices.

Dmitry Gudkov, a former member of Parliament who opposed Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, organized the campaign and hired Shkliarov to build a citywide base for his bid to run for Moscow mayor next year.

His website became the virtual campaign headquarters for hundreds of political novices challenging establishment candidates — part of an effort by Putin's opposition to embrace grass-roots politics and the Internet in a political landscape where the ruling United Russia party can marshal vast financial resources and the national TV channels are all under government control.

Shkliarov's job was to apply his experience working in U.S. political campaigns to turn around the fortunes of Moscow's luckless democrats.

A native of Belarus, Shkliarov became hooked on politics when he heard then-candidate Barack Obama speak in Berlin in 2008.

"I became a political junkie," said Shkliarov, who was studying in Germany at the time. "I fell in love with politics because I saw for the first time a different type of candidate — a different type of politician — someone who is young, energetic, not the typical political actor I knew from Communist and Soviet times."

Shkliarov ended up moving to the United States with his American wife and volunteering for Obama's re-election campaign. Then Shkliarov worked to get Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U.S. senator, elected in Wisconsin. Last year, he was a campaign manager for Bernie Sanders at both the state and national levels.

In Moscow, Shkliarov trained candidates on how to approach voters.

"He was one of the people who was telling us: 'Don't try to talk to people on Facebook, do it personally, go from flat to flat, otherwise you will never be elected,'" said Anastasia Romashkevich, one of the successful first-time candidates.

A 44-year-old magazine editor and bicycle enthusiast, Romashkevich found that Gudkov's website made campaigning as easy as a video game quest. Candidates could file legal documents, upload campaign photos and order flyers directly from their smartphones. The bundling of hundreds of campaigns reduced the cost per candidate to the equivalent of just a couple of dollars per day.
Glen Greenwald (I know, I know), writing for The Intercept, has more on Shkliarov's political work in the U.S.: A Bernie Sanders Campaign Adviser Was a Russian. Now He’s Speaking Out. (April 19, 2017)

Thanks, Obama!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:20 PM on October 26, 2017 [20 favorites]


Like the fabricated War on Christmas as a front to make everyone say Merry Christmas,

I heard someone mention this over the summer, and am looking forward to using it at holiday parties when uncles start greeting me with a very deliberate"Merr-eeee CHRIST-massss!"...

"All holidays matter."

(use their own poison against their bullshit)

posted by notsnot at 2:24 PM on October 26, 2017 [35 favorites]


Devin Nunes says it’s now clear the Democrats made it possible for Russia to subvert the 2016 election. (TPM)

It's official. Up is now down.
posted by diogenes at 2:31 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Isn't it enough that we argued over loquacious's comments? Do we really have to now argue about how we argued about them?

We very much don't. Y'all drop it all around please.
posted by cortex at 2:32 PM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


That's the full article, because WHAT THE FUCK.

I wonder what the questionnaires are going to be.

I half expect there to be "Did you vote for CROOKED HILLARY? Y/N" on it.
posted by Talez at 2:35 PM on October 26, 2017


pretty sure behoove is just the past tense of beehive. today i beehive you to do this thing, yesterday i behoove you to do it #truegrammarfacts

Oh behave!
posted by scalefree at 2:36 PM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


Devin Nunes says it’s now clear the Democrats made it possible for Russia to subvert the 2016 election. (TPM)

So they are all stepping down now to make room for our rightful Madame President now, right? Or did the Dems rig their own loss? I guess Trump supporters believe that he's just too smart for Dems + Russians and outwitted them to win fair and square anyway? Or do they not care, as long as they can shit on everyone who is already marginalized?

I am so very afraid of what comes next.
posted by Emmy Rae at 2:36 PM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Devin Nunes says it’s now clear the Democrats made it possible for Russia to subvert the 2016 election.

The Democrats pumped out forty years of lies, lies, and more lies to make the population politically moronic?

JFC we really screwed the pooch on using that one guys. Like three million illegal voters but we sent them to California level of screwed the pooch.
posted by Talez at 2:39 PM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, Republicans want to introduce a bill that would ban abortions after six weeks, when a heartbeat can be detected. Luckily, this would not criminalize aborting most elected Republicans.
posted by prefpara at 2:41 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


I'm just now catching up on everything. I'm so sorry, corb. Just everything about this makes me angry and frustrated and I'm so so saddened to hear about your grandfather. My condolences.
posted by numaner at 2:43 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Bad news for the Republican Party, better news for the rest of us:

It took an Epic ratfucking effort fo the Rs to get the electoral results they got in '16. (Plus some major incompetence on the D side) The "Voter Fraud" Commission makes it clear they intend to step up the effort even further, but the flood of lawsuits (from more competent opponents) that has dragged that effort to a dead stop is very encouraging.

The "Pro-Plutocracy" agenda is doing them no good, but their inability to pass most of it, while a blessing to the people spared, should blunt its electoral impact, yet the net effect is looking almost as bad for them as an agenda win. More encouraging.

Steve Bannon's almost-comical attempt at a hostile takeover of the party, and much of the party's taking him way too seriously, is another encouraging trend.

And while the small number of defections from the self-centered/incompetent Pres is disheartening, it can't be good for the party.

Of course, the Democrats (especially the DNC) continue to screw up any attempts to improve their advantage, but there are much smarter groups recently organized with the same goal of "saving us from Trump" and are likely to fill in some key gaps if they don't force a split. All they have to do is emulate the Tea Party eight years ago, who effectively took over the Rs within two election cycles.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:44 PM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


Devin Nunes says it’s now clear the Democrats made it possible for Russia to subvert the 2016 election.

I'd have to say I think this furious "No YOU'RE the puppet!" spinning from the Republican side seems like poor tactics. Every time they say "Clinton paid for the Trump/Russia dossier" they still have to say "Trump / Russia." Every time they say "Clinton sold uranium to Russia" they still have to say Russia. When they say "Clinton was colluding with Ukraine / Steele who was British / her own campaign" they still have to say "colluding."

And it seems like even Republicans are noticing that the story keeps changing. At first it was "What Russian interference in the election? There was no Russian interference in the election. It was a 400 pound hacker." Then it was "Seth Rich" (hardly ever hear him mentioned anymore.) And now it's "no you helped Russians interfere in the election." But also "It was just a bunch of Facebook ads. Only a few hundred thousand bucks worth couldn't possibly make a difference." And whatever happened to "Obama wiretapped Trump Tower" and "Unmasking"? And how come if the Democrats committed all these crimes they never get convicted of anything, even when Republicans are in power?

Some people spin increasingly complicated conspiracy theories to try to link all those stories together. Some people throw their hands up and say 'What even is truth?" (Which absolutely serves the interests of authoritarians.)

But some people, even low information voters, even Fox News viewers, must say to themselves "Gosh, why do I keep hearing about Trump and Russia, still? Maybe there's something there. This is an awful lot of smoke if there's no fire."

Watching this unfold is giving me confidence that even in our media-mediated reality, there is still a way to tell truth from propaganda. The propaganda has to keep changing. The truth endures.
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:44 PM on October 26, 2017 [26 favorites]


So they are all stepping down now to make room for our rightful Madame President now, right? Or did the Dems rig their own loss?

Yeah, it isn't the most coherent argument. And it leads to the question (unasked by the Fox host) of what exactly the Russians were so successful at achieving.
posted by diogenes at 2:47 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Paul Waldman, The Week: Why Republicans secretly yearn for a Hillary Clinton presidency
You might say, "What about enacting all that conservative legislation you've been waiting so long to pass and have a Republican president sign?" But that hasn't quite worked out, and it turns out that being in the opposition was just more fun than having a president of your own party. Now they have to do all that boring legislating, not to mention having to constantly defend the oafish halfwit they rallied behind for the presidency. It would have been so much more gratifying to shake their fists at Hillary Clinton, make her life miserable, and ultimately see her driven before them. [...]

In an age of negative partisanship — where voters are much more powerfully motivated by their hatred of the other party than by any affection for their own side — a Clinton presidency would have held the GOP together, unifying all Republicans in their common loathing of Hillary. But by losing, she deprived them of that, a final cruel insult.

Now they're left adrift, without something to really get their juices flowing. They can mount an investigation or two, but it just won't be the same. Clinton annoyed them, exasperated them, enraged them — and then in the end, abandoned them. Which just goes to show how diabolical she was.
Republicans: Always the Victims, Whether or Not They're in Power
As I've said many times on this blog, right-wingers always have to portray themselves as victims of dangerous foes who allegedly have all the real power. In George W. Bush's first term, when Republicans also ran everything, the enemies were Dan Rather and the Dixie Chicks, college professors and Barbra Streisand, Michael Moore and French people. Even when Bush had Rushmore-worthy approval ratings and Republicans could act at will, they had to portray themselves at besieged by the liberal media and minority Democrats in Congress. Republicans will never acknowledge that they're in power. They feel compelled to portray themselves as a banned underground movement fighting the power and defiantly sticking it to the man.

Or, in this case, the woman. If Hillary and her husband didn't exist, Republicans would probably be telling us that they're under the thumb of the all-powerful Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders or Martin O'Malley -- or the Obamas. (Remember a couple of months ago when were told there was an Obama "shadow government" looking to undermine President Trump?)

GOP voters love this. It jibes with how they feel about their own lives in America. They're besieged! They have to press 1 for English! There's a Muslim guy in Congress! Those two New Black Panthers were standing in front of the polling place nine years ago! Self-pity is a key part of the GOP brand.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:47 PM on October 26, 2017 [88 favorites]


Republicans will never acknowledge that they're in power. They feel compelled to portray themselves as a banned underground movement fighting the power and defiantly sticking it to the man.

Those Democrats and their >41 Senate votes controlling Congress! *shakes fist at cloud*
posted by Talez at 2:49 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


As is typical with everything Republican, it's projection when they complain about a culture of victimhood.
posted by anem0ne at 2:59 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Some JFK records dropping shortly, but Trump has given the agencies six months to review the rest.

Nothing like waiting until 6pm the day the assignment is due to announce you've had a homework assignment since 1992 and still haven't done it.
posted by zachlipton at 3:06 PM on October 26, 2017 [37 favorites]


Hoo boy. New York Magazine just put out its 50th anniversary issue in which they reprinted some notable past letters-to-the-editor. One letter, submitted in December of 1992 and signed by a Carolin Gallego, expounded upon the topic of one Donald trump. The wording of the letter sounds somewhat... familiar:

"Based on the fact that I work for Donald Trump as his secretary—and therefore know him well—I think he treats women with great respect, contrary to what Julie Baumgold implied in her article … I do not believe any man in America gets more calls from women wanting to see him, meet him, or go out with him. The most beautiful women, the most successful women—all women love Donald Trump.”

Carolin Gallego December 7, 1992

[The Washingtonian concludes its article "so far we’ve been unable to confirm he ever had an assistant or secretary named Carolin Gallego".]
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:14 PM on October 26, 2017 [104 favorites]


Trump's promise to "release the JFK files" is still partially true and I think that's something we as a nation need to savor because it probably won't happen again for a while
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:14 PM on October 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Yeah, it isn't the most coherent argument. And it leads to the question (unasked by the Fox host) of what exactly the Russians were so successful at achieving.

Every dem win obvs. R wins were bold heroic triumphs over adversity.
posted by phearlez at 3:18 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


The Russians were successful in undermining our President by making it look like he lost the popular vote by a significant margin. Their hackers presumably also interfered with invitations to the Inauguration, leading to a chaotic situation where some viewers thought it was not the hugest ever.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:25 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


Is there something in the white nationalist "ethos" that calls for some country to be established as the "white homeland" or whatever? At least in a subset of the movement?

I feel like I've come across that mindset once or twice, that some part of the world should be established as the "White Homeland" or what-the-fuck-ever.


Yes.. Some, part or all of the PNW. It's the structure-beneath-the-structure of a lot of this stuff. (here, here, here). But specifically, this.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:28 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I look at the destruction the Trumpists are wreaking on America -- destroying entire sectors of the economy (tourism, health care), defending corporations at the expense of people, selling off and/or ruining our national patrimony -- and all I can do is remember that Germany and Japan recovered from WWII and rejoined the world community and are strong countries with important roles on the world stage and popular tourist destinations. We can recover!

Europe, do us a solid and reverse Marshall Plan us when this is over, 'kay?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:30 PM on October 26, 2017 [37 favorites]


Germany and Japan recovered from WWII and rejoined the world community and are strong countries with important roles on the world stage and popular tourist destinations.

Their ability to rearm had limitations placed on it, unlike the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., who poured funds into militarism.
posted by jgirl at 3:42 PM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I mean there was a plan to completely destroy Germany’s ability to make war by forcing into an agricultural anti-industrial state and onky abanonded when it came out that it would involve starving most of Central Europe to death.

That’s another possible outcome.

(And yeah Japan was basically forbidden from having s military and the current ultra right wing government doesn’t like it)
posted by The Whelk at 3:43 PM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows McGee: "Europe, do us a solid and reverse Marshall Plan us when this is over, 'kay?"

There was also a multi-year process of denazification.
posted by mhum at 3:47 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


Oh, 45 is even mucking up promises he made to help US industry that have a measure of Dem support. Steel tariffs he said he'd impose haven't happened, giving importers a big window to move as much into the US as they can...
posted by Devonian at 3:47 PM on October 26, 2017


(Also, this Tuesday party with the lower manhattan DSA and win prizes)
posted by The Whelk at 3:48 PM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]




The kicker at the end of that article is the quote from the local school board member.
In an interview with WMAL, meanwhile, DeKenipp cautioned that public education is “inherently liberal.”

“Frankly, from my perspective, it’s going to take a coordinated effort from the grass-roots level to kind of level the playing field to make sure our kids are getting a balanced-scorecard education,” he said.
Local elections matter, people, and if the reasonable among us don't stand up that's how you get cranks who think public education is inherently liberal.
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:18 PM on October 26, 2017 [24 favorites]


Is our children learning? Virginia school worksheet that identified KKK as ‘right wing’ pulled after complaints.
posted by peeedro at 4:05 PM on October 26 [+] [!]


It should have been pulled, but not for the Ku Klux Klan statement. The egregious think about it is the claim that the 1960's Civil Rights movement was a violent left-wing radical movement.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:19 PM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the KKK is not "right wing", they're a treasonous bunch of traitors to the USA. (And White Supremacists.)
posted by phliar at 4:21 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


same thing
posted by entropicamericana at 4:22 PM on October 26, 2017 [18 favorites]


Do they still teach set theory of any kind? Because when I look at this venn diagram, it's plain which wing the kkk is a subset of.
posted by adept256 at 4:24 PM on October 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I feel like I've come across that mindset once or twice, that some part of the world should be established as the 'White Homeland' or what-the-fuck-ever.

That's what the United States allegedly is. Supposedly founded as a White Christian nation.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:28 PM on October 26, 2017


ABC News: Sec. of State Tillerson stops at statue while touring parks around Geneva: "Some days I feel like I need to do that. Curl up in a ball." [video]

Me too Rex. Me too.

By which I mean, I feel the same way, and I feel like you should do so.
posted by zachlipton at 4:31 PM on October 26, 2017 [18 favorites]


Modern Farmer: USDA Officially Nixes Farmer Fair Practices Rules
The saga of the Farmer Fair Practices Rules (FFFR), sometimes known as the GIPSA Rules, has come to an end, and in the worst way possible: On October 18th, the USDA announced that it will discard the FFPR (they'd previously delayed any decision on the future of these rules).

In short, this is a huge victory for corporations, bad for farmers (and anyone who cares about farmers), extremely bad for animal welfare, and disastrous in the precedent it sets for labor laws in the agriculture industry.

To fully understand, it’s important to have a working knowledge of some of the common practices of the livestock and poultry industry in the U.S., which is dominated by a few gigantic corporations whose names you probably know (Tyson, Purdue, Pilgrim’s Pride). We’ll focus on chickens for now, as that’s the sector likely to be most affected by discarding the FFPR.

These corporations primarily work with “contract farmers,” who own their land and equipment but not the actual chickens. The corporations ship out chicks to the contract farmers, who raise them to adulthood. Then the corporations pick them up for slaughtering and processing. Today, a whopping 97 percent of the chicken produced in the U.S. are farmed this way.

Contract farmers are, basically, indentured servants. They are “independent,” in that the big corporations do not technically own them, but they have exactly one client, and that client can thus exert an insane amount of control over the “independent” farmer’s life. In theory, the corporation may decide that the farmer must upgrade all its equipment, regardless of whether an upgrade is actually needed or would produce any tangible benefit. If the farmer doesn’t want to upgrade or can’t afford to, well, tough: the corporation will stop working with the farmer, putting them immediately out of business.

[...]

The FFPR was written in 2010 as a means to level the playing field, however slightly. It would have allowed contract farmers more flexibility and power to sue the corporations for unfair practices, including discrimination and retaliatory behavior. The emergence of FFPR immediately triggered lawsuits, including a huge class-action suit against TK. But after the ascension of Donald Trump, the FFPR was paused, then delayed, and now discarded. Those lawsuits now have nowhere to go.

[...]

The FFPR are important rules. They would have allowed farmers to earn more money and to live without fear of retaliation for making moves to attempt to better their lives. They would also remove some of the power from an agribusiness sector that cuts every available corner—animal welfare, labor rights, basic food-handling safety—in pursuit of profit. And now they’re dead.
Great Falls Tribune: Montana senator blasts USDA for ditching meatpacker 'fair practice' rules

Actually, both of 'em blasted the USDA:
Rolled out during the final days of the Obama administration, the Farmer Fair Practice Rules was initially scheduled to come into force on April 22, 2017. But implementation was delayed by the Trump administration for 180 days. On Oct. 18, one day before the Farmer Fair Practice Rules were to become law, the Department of Agriculture announced that the rule was being withdrawn – a move that provoked an angry response from both Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana).

“They’re just pandering to big corporations. They aren’t interested in the family farmer,” Grassley told the Des Moines Register. “The USDA is the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not the U.S. Department of Big Agribusiness.”

“This rule that was thrown out by the Trump administration fills the swamp more,” Tester said to farmers attending the Montana Farmers Union’s annual convention in Great Falls. “It allows corporate agriculture and international agribusiness to take advantage of folk in production agriculture. That’s the wrong direction to take.”
posted by notyou at 4:58 PM on October 26, 2017 [39 favorites]


Paul Waldman, The Week: Why Republicans secretly yearn for a Hillary Clinton presidency

This is the only time I've ever wanted to favorite something more than once, because Paul Waldman nailed it. Republicans do not have an ideaology apart from tax cuts and making shit up to attack the liberal boogeyman de jour. It was Clinton, then Obama, then Clinton, and they were STOKED for 4 years of frothing over Clinton again. They are no longer intellectually capable of competant governance, to the extent they have been since Nixon, and a large part of the party elite know it, and were ready to embrace permanent minority status as long as they could still keep revving the attack machine and riding an ocean of grift. They've lost control of the lies, and the marks have taken over, unaware that the last 40 years were supposed to be a smokescreen for looting the country for the exclusive benefit of the 0.01%.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:05 PM on October 26, 2017 [48 favorites]


all I can do is remember that Germany and Japan recovered from WWII and rejoined the world community and are strong countries with important roles on the world stage and popular tourist destinations. We can recover!

Both countries had huge percentages of their most politically belligerent population removed from future political participation by an external force.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:09 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


I've just caught up: Corb, I'm so sorry. And angry.
posted by happyroach at 5:13 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Sec. of State Tillerson stops at statue while touring parks around Geneva: "Some days I feel like I need to do that. Curl up in a ball."

Fox News knows many things, Tillerson knows one big thing.
posted by uosuaq at 5:33 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


[Deleted a duplicate comment, and several replying to it.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:40 PM on October 26, 2017


I've come to realize recently that I don't actually understand what Trumpism means to its adherents. I thought I knew. Trump ran as a populist promising to tax the wealthiest, not touch entitlements, drain the swamp, bring back coal jobs, fine companies that moved jobs overseas, and build a wall so that "those" people couldn't come over and steal our jobs. Plus a nice final coat of glossy racism in the form of a Muslim Ban.

While I know that the Liar-in-Chief hasn't kept his promises, I am told constantly by the pundits that Trumpism is alive and well. In fact, Trumpists chose Moore over the Donald Trump choice of Strange. The only thing I know about Moore is he's a patriarchal asshole who wants to push his brand of Christianity down our throats. Does Trumpism really just mean Far Right wackadoos who are White Men who want more power for White Men? I'm not being facetious, I really want to know what Trumpism stands for and how it differs from the Tea Party movement.

In the vein of the earlier discussion about the (angry) white men working class I strongly recommend listening to The Daily podcast episode from Oct. 18. It's about a woman who worked in a steel plant that recently moved to Mexico. It's about how she worked her way from the lowest position to being one of the highest skilled workers and how she is the only breadwinner for a number of people including her critically ill granddaughter.

Towards the end of the podcast we find out that the workers will be given a severance package only if they stay and train their Mexican replacements. The plant was about 60% white men and 40% POC and women. It was the latter who stayed and trained their replacements. It was the white men who angrily walked off the job, called the others scabs, and complained the loudest. A sociologist interviewed for the show pointed out that the women and the POC saw advancement in the last 30 years, they could not have worked at that plant previously. This made them optimistic for the future. The white men saw their privileged status challenged, leaving them angry and pessimistic.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:51 PM on October 26, 2017 [28 favorites]


Both countries had huge percentages of their most politically belligerent population removed from future political participation by an external force.


*quietly whistles O Canada while sharpening a hakapik*
posted by mrjohnmuller at 5:53 PM on October 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


maybe they were just angry and pessimistic because they lost their jobs
posted by entropicamericana at 5:55 PM on October 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Or, leading a life of privilege leaves a person less resilient.
posted by Sublimity at 5:59 PM on October 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


But it was striking how different the POC and women reacted. They were sad but not angry. They stayed as long as possible to rack up as much bonus money as possible. Some of the white men gave up their $10,000 severance because they were so angry.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:00 PM on October 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


I really want to know what Trumpism stands for and how it differs from the Tea Party movement.

It's cultural. Ta-Nehsi Coates had it right, Trump is the first white President, that's what they voted for. Restoring the white order in the world, erasing the other that was Obama. Coates was on Larry Wilmore talking about this last week.

I can tell you this is a real feeling. My 81yr old grandpa called me on inauguration day to ask if I was going down to the mall "to see our President again". The lying about his populist plans mattered, and there's an emboldened subset of Actual Nazis, but what drove increased white turnout in places like the Milwaukee and Orlando suburbs was just that, restoring whiteness to it's rightful place.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:00 PM on October 26, 2017 [34 favorites]


is it not possible that the women and poc were equally angry but much more economically precarious where they had no choice but to comply? but hey, the ceos were able to cut costs and pocket the savings, so yaaaay capitalism
posted by entropicamericana at 6:01 PM on October 26, 2017 [22 favorites]


They're receptive to this not because they're disadvantaged and someone comes and whispers racist sweet nothings in their ear. They're receptive to this because they're disadvantaged and already racist

FTFY.

We have the surveys, the demographic analysis has been done, so let's bury the notion be of "poor disadvantaged racists"- they're generally from the middle and upper class.

They aren't angry at being disadvantaged, they're angry at the thought of losing privileges they already have. Angry with having to watch what they say to women and PoC. Furious and afraid at the thought that a black president and a woman candidate means they actually have to work on a level playing field.

And add to that 20+ years of propaganda that says "Oh yes, you are special. Those others are inferior, and they are a threat to you", and you have it. You don't need anything special like helicopter parents.
posted by happyroach at 6:20 PM on October 26, 2017 [23 favorites]


> They can’t just move to Scotland or Finland or something?

Aye, fuck no.

Admittedly it might be one way to get a bunch of them jailed as being a member of, or recruiting for, neo-nazi groups can get you up to 10 years here.
posted by Buntix at 6:27 PM on October 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Like I said, I think I missed the boat, but we did loquacious dirty here guys, ungenerously so.

Thanks for the defense, but I can take my licks. I worded some of my thoughts clumsily, and people had a right to pick that apart.

People are also crazy frustrated about a lot of these things and are increasingly prone to lashing out. But, yeah, that felt a lot like a circular firing squad.

And like you said I've been trying to get a logical handle on what this terrain or, heh, fertilizer looks like to see how bad it is or exactly how worried I should be, because I've been watching that Overton window ratchet further and further for a while and I'm not comfortable with how far it's gone for at least a decade now.

I'm also making the arrogant mistake of operating under the idea that I'm well known enough on MeFi as a unrepentant, unrelenting humanist.

I know it's wrong of me to assume my reputation precedes itself. You guys? I might be one of the weirdest and most diversely experienced people on MeFi. I've lived in proper inner city ghettos as well as the countryside. I've been homeless and struggling as someone GSM most of my life. I date pangender transhumanist weirdos. Hell, all of my favorite bosses (in IT, no less) have been women. I was a live in caretaker for one of the first members of the original Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. My life experiences has been like some kind of awesomely bittersweet mix of Tales of The City and Sesame Street and the Muppet Show. And, depressingly, Kids. And, ugh, the Trailer Park Boys.

I've been standing up against bullies and bigots since grade school, and it's likely I've been to more marches and protests than anyone here, from ACT-UP to pro choice counter protests to Critical Mass sit-ins. Heck, my first protest was when a dozen friends marched out of class in a very conservative, rich white high school to protest the first Gulf War. They tried to expel us. I used to ditch school and take the bus to downtown LA to get the hell out of my white-flight suburb to see what the world is actually like and meet people who weren't close-minded racists, and not trust what I was being taught in obviously racist textbooks and classrooms.

I am someone who strives to be post gender and race. I'm also someone who strives to understand the human condition, pro and con. In this case, I'm trying to understand a con and what makes it tick.

I am not trying to apologize for it or defend it.

And you don't treat a tumor by not looking at it, not talking about it or ignoring it.
posted by loquacious at 6:37 PM on October 26, 2017 [77 favorites]


But it was striking how different the POC and women reacted. They were sad but not angry. They stayed as long as possible to rack up as much bonus money as possible. Some of the white men gave up their $10,000 severance because they were so angry.
is it not possible that the women and poc were equally angry but much more economically precarious where they had no choice but to comply?


Yup, that. Also the white men can probably find jobs a whole lot more easily. Also that PoC/women have learned from birth to eat shit and suck it up and expect that sort of treatment.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:41 PM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


I'm also making the arrogant mistake of operating under the idea that I'm well known enough on MeFi as a unrepentant, unrelenting humanist.

This is 100% my impression and I was surprised to see the pile-on here.
posted by lalex at 6:54 PM on October 26, 2017 [27 favorites]


And you don't treat a tumor by not looking at it, not talking about it or ignoring it.
I hear you man, and I do see where you are coming from. But I also have come to realize that by the time you realize the tumor is there, it’s too late to talk about or investigate how it came to be. All you can do at that point is to cut the damn thing out and radiate what’s left.

The metaphor got a little hostile there since I’m talking about people and not cancer cells, but then again, it also feels like this country is a four pack a day smoker that is suddenly surprised by stage four lung cancer. It’s a fucked up situation we’ve gotten ourselves into, and as a country, I really hope we can beat the odds and pull through.
posted by teleri025 at 7:31 PM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


Stat News, Trump health official Seema Verma has a plan to slash Medicaid rolls. Here’s how
With a broad overhaul of Obamacare stalled in Washington, one of President Trump’s top health care leaders is drawing the outlines of sweeping changes to Medicaid that could pare enrollments and cut costs without congressional approval.

Seema Verma, director of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is promising to give states an “unprecedented level of flexibility” to design their Medicaid programs as they see fit. In an appearance in Cleveland this week, she pledged to reduce scrutiny of state requests for waivers from federal rules meant to preserve access and quality standards.

“We want to get to the point where we are making the whole waiver process easier,” Verma said during a discussion at the Cleveland Clinic’s annual medical innovation summit. “We’re not going to tell the states what their priorities are. They are going to come and tell us what their priorities are.”

Underpinning that effort is Verma’s belief that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was a disastrous move that extended coverage to millions of low-income people who shouldn’t be getting insurance from the government.
They're just determined to kill as many people as possible. And they have the gall to claim they're treating opioid addiction as a national emergency as they look to throw people off of Medicaid, which pays for drug treatment.

On a related note, here's Andrey Ostrovsky, Chief Medical Officer of Medicaid, telling Kellyanne Conway she's "uninformed about the drivers of opioid use disorder and overdose deaths," linking to his summary of recent research (PubMed link) on pathways to opioid use disorder. Conway's whole "just say no" push betrays truly profound ignorance of the situation, given that many people are prescribed opioids by their doctors, and makes me wonder just what she's been doing all these months she's supposedly been learning about the problem.
posted by zachlipton at 7:46 PM on October 26, 2017 [39 favorites]


Wait, Kellyanne Conway was supposed to be solving the opioid crisis this whole time? What? Wasn't that one of Jared's many responsibilities? And somehow Chris Christie was also the national...chairsomething? They've had Kellyanne on it too...and this was all we got?
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:02 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


given that many people are prescribed opioids by their doctors.

Let's not forget the role of the companies that make the drugs. The founder of Insys Therapeutics, which developed a fentanyl nasal spray for cancer patients suffering intractable pain, was arrested on RICO charges today; various other corporate officials had previously been indicted for the allegedly illegal way they drummed up business:
In exchange for bribes and kickbacks, the practitioners wrote large numbers of prescriptions for the patients, most of whom were not diagnosed with cancer.
posted by adamg at 8:02 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


Ken Klippenstein, Daily Beast: Boom. Leaked copy of the Puerto Rico / Whitefish contract: Document Cloud link
posted by gladly at 8:12 PM on October 26, 2017 [39 favorites]


There's a particularly rich bit in there that prevents the government from ever auditing just how much profit Whitefish is making off their labor rates.
posted by zachlipton at 8:19 PM on October 26, 2017 [64 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

(A few of these mentioned in passing earlier, apologies if anything is repetitive)

** 2018 House:
-- CNN poll has Dems leading the generic ballot 54-38. Polling average is about 13.5 now.

-- One big target for Dems is VA-10's Barbara Comstock. A PPP poll has her trailing generic Dem 48-39, and an underwater approval of 32/48.

-- Another target is buffoon/Russian mole Dana Rohrabacher [CA-48]. Tulchin Research poll has him up 48-44 on prospective Dem candidate Harley Rouda.

-- The GOP has way fewer women representatives than the Democrats, and those numbers only look to be going down.

-- Cook Political: GOP needs to watch out for an enthusiasm gap in 2018.

-- Every California GOP rep voted in favor of the budget resolution that passed in the House that would abolish state and local tax deductions. This has a huge impact for CA residents, expect this to feature heavily in Dem campaigns. Seven of these reps represent Clinton districts.
** VA gov:
-- A lot of raised eyebrows over a Hampton University poll that has Gillespie up 41-33. WP points out they handled undecideds weirdly, Nate Cohn notices that some of the numbers literally do not add up right, DKE notes a history of poll issues from Hampton. I can believe Gillespie squeaks this out; he's not winning by eight points, no how.

-- 538 points out that VA gov results have historically had very little predictive power for the subsequent House election.
** NJ gov -- Two more polls show Murphy far in the lead here. Quinnipiac poll has Murphy leading 57-37; Stockton has Murphy up 51-37. Polling average has Murphy +15.9.

** 2018 Senate -- Another poll (Mason-Dixon) shows the FL senate race to be very close, with Sen. Nelson and Gov. Scott tied at 44-44.

** Odds & ends:
-- Texas House speaker Joe Straus is not running for re-election. Straus was a leader of the moderate wing of the TX GOP, such as it is - he won the speakership with the help of Dem votes - and had blocked a number of far right bills.

-- PPP poll in WI has Gov. Walker trailing generic Dem 48-43. A win here is a must for Dems, really.

-- NYC Board of Elections admitted it improperly purged voters from rolls, and will put in place new policies.

-- Congressional Accountability Office to investigate the Kobach voting commission.

-- A federal district court appears ready to rule several NC state legislative districts illegal gerrymanders and redraw them itself. This could lead to sufficient Dem pickups to break the GOP's veto-proof majorities in the state legislature.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:28 PM on October 26, 2017 [38 favorites]


As we've moved on to new scandals, the damage from the last one is still happening. Miami Herald, Threats are preventing Frederica Wilson from voting in Washington
“She’s home,” said Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat. “I have not spoken with her about it, but I’ve heard that she’s received substantial death threats and I think she is doing everything she can to ratchet down and let some of us, including me, take over.”

Hastings said she expects Wilson to return next week.

One racist threat against Wilson that surfaced on Facebook by a Chicago area man is being investigated by police.

“Need ten good men to help carry out a lynching,” the post read. “Must have own horse and saddle. Rope will be provided. This congresswomen [sic] is a disgusting pig. Someone should take their boot to her face.”
This has now stopped Rep. Wilson from doing her job (still no apology from Kelly for lying about her, by the way), not to mention the immeasurable pain caused to Sgt. Johnson's family, and it just blows over as we move on to the Kennedy assassination or Trump announcing that he's banned cheese [fake, for now] or whatever utterly absurd thing is going to happen tomorrow. The amount of destruction these news cycles are leaving in their wake is staggering.
posted by zachlipton at 8:37 PM on October 26, 2017 [71 favorites]


There's a particularly rich bit in there that prevents the government from ever auditing just how much profit Whitefish is making off their labor rates.

“We are the best people for the job and it’s illegal to see if we’re doing our job”
posted by The Whelk at 8:39 PM on October 26, 2017 [21 favorites]


Wow that contract! $339.0 per person per day plus $79.00 for food. PREPA waives any claim against contractor related to delayed completion. So no incentive for them to finish quickly. This is appalling. Who signed off on this contract?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:45 PM on October 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


Wow that contract! $339.0 per person per day

To be precise, $332.41* per person per day for accommodation.

Also unless I'm reading it wrong they also have employee flights down at $1000 per person ... each way.

As @KeithOlbermann says: "RTs of this jaw dropping thread coming. Betting that Ryan Zinke winds up in prison for this transparent trail-a-mile-wide ripoff?"

If there's any justice there will be multiple counts of negligent homicide (at least) among the charges and the fucker ends up spending the rest of his life in a jail on Puerto Rico.



* Assuming this was the figure you were referencing? Or was there a fixed wage of 339 per day as well?
posted by Buntix at 9:16 PM on October 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


Hah, what was I thinking, $339 per day as a wage?

Hourly rates [img] range from $440 an hour for a project accountant to $140 an hour for a field office administrator.
posted by Buntix at 9:33 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


Welcome to the kleptocracy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:38 PM on October 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


Politico, Sexual harassment policies on Capitol Hill inhibit victims, in which Rep. Jackie Speier puts out a video about how she was sexually assaulted by her chief of staff when she worked as a congressional staffer (as a staffer, she was also shot five times and had to wait 22 hours for help in Guyana) and along with Rep. Brenda Lawrence, calls for new protections against sexual harassment on the Hill and to reform a problematic complaint process. She's been trying for several years to get Congress to require mandatory anti-harassment training for its employees (as is required in the executive branch and is common in the private sector), to no avail.

Betting that Ryan Zinke winds up in prison for this transparent trail-a-mile-wide ripoff?

I'd take the other side of that bet...
posted by zachlipton at 9:38 PM on October 26, 2017 [26 favorites]


Elizabeth Drew: Who Knew Trump Would Be a Weak President? He campaigned with a lot of swagger. But his first nine months in office have been defined by indecision, vacillation, and a reluctance to call shots.
This depiction of Donald Trump as a weak president would no doubt shock his ardent followers, especially since Trump usually covers his retreats with bluster. It might also be a surprise to those who have worried that he’s a would-be autocrat. It turns out that Trump has neither the wit nor the grit to seize power, and he may be too lazy and too uninterested in governing to make much of it if he did. (He can, however, empower by default cabinet officials who do know what to do with the power at their disposal—for example, Sessions.) But, except for his use of executive orders (often to countermand ones by Obama) and his cyber-bullying, Trump is essentially a passive participant in his own government. His campaign against the press is of concern, but thus far he’s not taken action to curb its independence, nor have his threats to do so had any discernible impact on the rigorous job the press is doing of holding his presidency to account. In fact, all things taken together, it begins to seem as if the strongman of the rallies was a convenient deception, a figure that Trump invented but couldn’t maintain when it came to making actual decisions in the Oval Office.
posted by homunculus at 9:44 PM on October 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


Speaking of weak, I'm sorry to report that last night I drank too much whiskey and resistbotted the following to the White House:

Dear President Trump,

Please take care of yourself. They say being US president takes years off your life, and if you look at Obama, it's pretty clear that this is true. How many years did he age in that eight years? Twenty? I heard somewhere that people are born with only so much energy, and I'm worried that you may be using too much of your life force on the golf course. Please at least tell me you're taking the cart instead of walking. Are you getting enough rest? I hope so! Please be careful so you don't age real fast like Obama did.

Sincerely, etc.
posted by salix at 9:55 PM on October 26, 2017 [38 favorites]


I'd take the other side of that bet...

Not only do I think nobody will end up in jail, I don't think the contract will be voided.
posted by Justinian at 9:58 PM on October 26, 2017 [27 favorites]


fuck these thieving fuckers. this isn't a scandal. this is mass murder with a side of looting.

We are no foolin' in the thick of some dark times now.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:06 PM on October 26, 2017 [28 favorites]


The more noise we make, the more likely Trump will shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in order to get away with it (and steal some headlines).
posted by rhizome at 10:10 PM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


trump shooting someone on fifth avenue would take up about a half a days news cycle before being forgotten about in exchange for the next insane thing
posted by localhuman at 10:23 PM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


How sure are we that this is, in fact, the real Whitefish contract? I mean, it's comically bad, cartoonishly evil. I literally can't tell if that makes it MORE likely to be legit with these fucking people.
posted by thebrokedown at 10:59 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


trump shooting someone on fifth avenue would take up about a half a days news cycle

I think it would be a couple days at least. First you'd have the breaking story, then the takes and outrage, then Flake and Corker would weigh in about how shameful it was, then the next day they'd have to clarify that of course they weren't suggesting there should be consequences I mean come on, his signing hand is still good.
posted by contraption at 11:11 PM on October 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


Trump shoots someone on 5th Avenue
Fox New Headline: "Gun control claims another victim: Did NY gun laws leave this victim helpless?"
posted by PenDevil at 11:24 PM on October 26, 2017 [23 favorites]


In fact, all things taken together, it begins to seem as if the strongman of the rallies was a convenient deception, a figure that Trump invented

YOU DON'T SAY
posted by flabdablet at 11:45 PM on October 26, 2017 [6 favorites]


One of the podcasts I listen to had a bit about PR's continued problems with the power grid. Apparently there's a wind farm that made it through the hurricane just fine, and could supply power to a lot of homes, but the turbines need grid power to start turning, and if they don't get going soon, the turbines will start deteriorating. Here's the Vox article, for those who would like details.

Looking at the unlit office buildings in photos in that article is just surreal to me. I can't imagine Whitefish is going to fix the situation anytime soon, and the thought of graft being placed ahead of the urgent struggle to repair the electrical system makes me ill.
posted by tautological at 11:46 PM on October 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


trump shooting someone on fifth avenue would take up about a half a days news cycle before being forgotten about in exchange for the next insane thing

Well I did say only that he'd steal some headlines.
posted by rhizome at 11:59 PM on October 26, 2017


DHS and Congress are on the Whitefish grift.

NYDN: The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general has launched a review into the $300 million contract awarded to a Montana utility company to restore Puerto Rico’s power.



WaPo: Bipartisan concern in Congress escalated for a second day Thursday over the slow pace of power restoration in Puerto Rico and a $300 million contract given to a small Montana energy firm to help repair the island’s electrical grid.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), chair of the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, wrote a letter directing the head of Puerto Rico’s public utility system to retain all records surrounding the hiring of Whitefish Energy and to turn documents over to Congress.
posted by chris24 at 12:17 AM on October 27, 2017 [58 favorites]


Vox:
The reasons have to do with geography and money. Puerto Rico’s biggest power generators are on the south of the island, but most of its inhabitants live on the north side, primarily in San Juan. There are four high-capacity transmission lines that carry power from the south to the north, and they pass through the center part of the island, the region Marin calls home. The problem is that central Puerto Rico is mountainous, full of huge swaths of thick forest, and mainly reachable only by driving on terrifyingly narrow dirt roads.
That's not "geography and money", that's more your "shitty brittle system design featuring obvious single points of total failure".

Here's hoping that somebody has the smarts to invest in improvements rather than pissing money away on building a drop-in replacement that will just drop out again at the next puff of wind.
posted by flabdablet at 1:45 AM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


In response to Twitter banning RT and Sputnik, RT have released Twitter's pitch to them to court them as an advertiser during the 2016 elections.
posted by PenDevil at 3:06 AM on October 27, 2017 [25 favorites]


Of course this Lee Greenwood is a NYC sports lawyer who had 146 followers before this tweet. As it clearly says in the profile. Donny’s a very intelligent man.

@realDonaldTrump:
Happy birthday to the great @leegreenwood83. You and your beautiful song have made such a difference. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
posted by chris24 at 5:16 AM on October 27, 2017 [34 favorites]


Even better, this Lee Greenwood marched to protest the Muslim Ban.

@leegreenwood83:
Marching with one of my best friends today in NYC #whyIMarch @chrislhayes @maddow @Faraazahmed PIC OF MARCH
posted by chris24 at 5:39 AM on October 27, 2017 [36 favorites]


Even better, this Lee Greenwood marched to protest the Muslim Ban.

Poor guy is about to get deluged by the dregs of the internet.
posted by diogenes at 6:03 AM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


Of course this Lee Greenwood is a NYC sports lawyer

I wonder if he knows Steve Zissou?
posted by thelonius at 6:06 AM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


“Why should I change my name? He’s the one who sucks.”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:14 AM on October 27, 2017 [41 favorites]


Any secondary sourcing on the contract that was linked above? I don't want to become incoherent with rage only to find out it's fake. (Oh, who am I kidding? Trump has proven that I have a seemingly bottomless well of incoherent rage. But still. I don't want to share it around or anything before we know for sure.)
posted by thebrokedown at 6:16 AM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Any secondary sourcing on the contract that was linked above?

It was leaked to a Daily Beast reporter and has been shared and commented on by *lots* of reporters/pundits/pols on politics Twitter. So if it's a fake, it's fooled everybody.
posted by chris24 at 6:25 AM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


(Don't-get-your-hopes-up warning: it's satire.)


The day America found the pee tape was real


“I remember I was on my way to work in the morning when the broadcast came on the radio. It was NPR, so you know, they were very understated about the whole thing. But from the relief in Steve Inskeep’s voice, you just knew the tape was really nasty. And I thought, Oh my god, this is it. It’s finally over. I pulled over to call my wife and we just sobbed together. A couple days later we found out she was pregnant. A boy. We named him Euron… Euron Tape Erdman.”
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:34 AM on October 27, 2017 [11 favorites]


But we don't need the pee tape. We have Grabbertaoe.

Something I've been wondering - and I know I'm not alone, but I haven't seen a good answer - is whether there's any good technical/legal reason why 45 isn't being investigated as aggressively as other high profile people accused of multiple historic sexual offences? (None of whom, as far as I'm aware, have had video broadcast nationwide of them boasting of prowess in sexual assault.)

The political dampers - yes, of course. But I'm right in thinking that there's no presidential immunity for offences out of office, aren't I? Now would seem to be an opportune time to turn the pressure up. Unfitness for office is hard to deny when you're on tape preening about the sort of thing that's deposing kings from previously unassailable castles. Things have moved on a lot since last year.
posted by Devonian at 6:54 AM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


Actual NPR if the pee tape were discovered to be real: 18 hours about how Clinton urinated too, and sometimes recorded things, which together are just as bad.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:57 AM on October 27, 2017 [50 favorites]


im beginning to think if we're going to make fully automated luxury gay space communism a thing we're going to have to grab our phasers
posted by entropicamericana at 7:13 AM on October 27, 2017 [11 favorites]


The more noise we make, the more likely Trump will shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in order to get away with it (and steal some headlines).

I have a list in my head of super awful shit like this. It's like my personal hell bingo. I won't say any of it here because of the horrible consequences that would happen if I do, but.... I'm just waiting for him to do one of them.

Something I've been wondering - and I know I'm not alone, but I haven't seen a good answer - is whether there's any good technical/legal reason why 45 isn't being investigated as aggressively as other high profile people accused of multiple historic sexual offences?

Weinstein’s community rejected him — Trump’s hasn’t
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:18 AM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


Actual NPR if the pee tape were discovered to be real: 18 hours about how Clinton urinated too

She was late for that debate because she had to pee.

"I know where she went, it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it, Trump said.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:18 AM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


** NJ gov -- Two more polls show Murphy far in the lead here. Quinnipiac poll has Murphy leading 57-37; Stockton has Murphy up 51-37. Polling average has Murphy +15.9.

I had the conservative radio station on (for traffic) and hear the DJ describing this as a close race.
posted by armacy at 7:21 AM on October 27, 2017


Frowner: Trump has definitely done some new things, and stalking courthouses and hospitals is a new low.

On that: 10-Year-Old Girl Is Detained By Border Patrol After Emergency Surgery (Scott Neuman and John Burnett for NPR, Oct. 26, 2017)
Immigrant advocates are protesting the Border Patrol's apprehension this week of a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy in the country illegally, after she was operated on at a Texas hospital.

Federal immigration officers intercepted the child as she and an adult cousin, who is a U.S. citizen, were in an ambulance being transferred between two hospitals so that she could receive emergency gallbladder surgery.

Rosa Maria Hernandez was brought to the United States illegally from Mexico in 2007 when she was 3 months old, according to her mother, Felipa de la Cruz, to get access to better medical care. The family lives in Laredo, Texas, and all are undocumented.

The girl was traveling in an ambulance — accompanied by her cousin — to Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi on Tuesday when federal immigration officers stopped the vehicle at a checkpoint.

The Border Patrol agents followed the ambulance to the hospital. According to the family's lawyer, Leticia Gonzalez, the agents insisted the door to her hospital room be left open at all times to keep an eye on her.

On Wednesday, the hospital discharged Rosa Maria. The lawyer, reading the discharge papers on a conference call with reporters, said doctors recommended the child be released to "a family member who is familiar with her medical and psychological needs."

But officers decided to transport the girl to a government-contracted juvenile shelter in San Antonio, 150 miles from Laredo, and put her into deportation proceedings.
Let's recap: immigration officers 1) stopped an ambulance at a checkpoint, and upon finding a young girl who has been in the US since she was 3 months old, 2) decided to let her proceed to surgery but 3) followed her there, so they could 4) take her to 5) a contracted facility that is 6) 150 miles from her family, who doctors suggested take care of her as they are "familiar with her medical and psychological needs."

We got a real badass here, better kick her out before she starts trouble again. But we're not complete monsters, let's let her have that surgery first.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on October 27, 2017 [41 favorites]


Weinstein’s community rejected him — Trump’s hasn’t

Well, and also, Trump's immediate reaction to the Access Hollywood tape was "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything, locker room talk" and he at this point has double/triple/quadrupled down on that bald-faced lie, while Weinstein actually, in his shitty, fauxpologetic, self-centered way, actually said yeah, he did it. Trump just rolled hard with WOMEN BE LYING AMIRITE FELLAS?

But I think the article is also correct. People in Hollywood generally like to think they are good people. Trumpists revel in being intentionally bad people.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:25 AM on October 27, 2017 [11 favorites]


And good news for military-grade gun enthusiasts: the NRA has your back! What Happened To The Move To Ban Bump Stocks? (Geoff Bennett for NPR, Oct. 26, 2017)
BENNETT: Even though more than two dozen House Democrats and Republicans have signed onto the bill, the Curbelo-Moulton bump stock ban appears to have stalled. One obstacle, says Moulton, is the influence of the National Rifle Association, which has long fought new firearms restrictions even following mass shootings.

The NRA is calling for a regulatory fix for bump stocks rather than legislation. And House Speaker Paul Ryan, who first signaled an openness to considering congressional action, is now siding with the NRA. Ryan and the NRA say the best approach is for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or the ATF, to regulate the devices. But, says Moulton...

MOULTON: I think we're going to find out that they can't because they've already tried to regulate under existing law.

BENNETT: The ATF has repeatedly made clear that current law does not allow the bureau to regulate bump stocks, which are considered to be accessories that fall outside of its purview. The NRA support for bump stock regulations is just a ruse, says Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

ROBYN THOMAS: It's really just a way to avoid the issue actually being dealt with at all. It's the NRA once again pretending that they won't oppose something. And when push comes to shove, they find workarounds to make sure the issue isn't actually able to be dealt with.
Brave, brave Paul Ryan, bravely ran away away, bravely ran away. He doesn't want his 93% NRA approval rating to drop, or lose that $5,950 in NRA donations
posted by filthy light thief at 7:29 AM on October 27, 2017 [12 favorites]


Sign of the times: My Pennsylvania suburb is sufficiently purple to trend blue in big elections, but red in the smaller ones where the local sausage gets made. The local bureaucracy at township and county levels has been Republican for ages.

I drove down my dad's street yesterday and saw a sign that made me do a double-take:

STOP BIG GOVERNMENT REPUBLICANS

I guess we're red enough now that our local Teabots feel like it's their turn.
posted by delfin at 7:36 AM on October 27, 2017 [18 favorites]



Weinstein’s community rejected him — Trump’s hasn’t


That's the political damper I mentioned.

As yet, the judicial system isn't 45's community. And, if you count the entire country as 45's community, it rejected him by 3 megavotes in November, and he's twice as rejected now.

In other words, it isn't actually up to the GOP/wingnut core to politically reject him so that judicial action can be taken, it's up to judicial action to make them politically reject him. Is there any reason this can't happen, technically or legally?
posted by Devonian at 7:39 AM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


hydropsyche: (a few more details in this story [Georgia Election Server Wiped Clean After Lawsuit Filed] from our local public radio station)
It could still be possible to recover relevant information from the server.

The FBI is known to have made an exact data image of the server in March when it investigated the security hole. The email that disclosed the server wipe said the state attorney general’s office was “reaching out to the FBI to determine whether they still have the image.”

On Wednesday, it notified the court of its intent to subpoena the FBI seeking the image, according to a court document obtained by the AP that was Thursday emailed to lawyers in the case.

Atlanta FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett, responding to AP questions, would not say whether that image still exists. Nor would he say whether agents examined it to determine whether the server’s files might have been altered by unauthorized users.

Other backups also appear to be gone. In the same email to plaintiffs’ attorneys, assistant state attorney general Cristina Correia wrote that two backup servers were also wiped clean on Aug. 9, just as the lawsuit moved to federal court.
But there's more: Days after activists sued, Georgia’s election server was wiped clean -- Main server deleted in July, two backups were "degaussed three times" in August. (Cyrus Farivar for Ars Technica, Oct. 26, 2017)
As the Associated Press reported Thursday, the data was initially destroyed on July 7 by the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, the entity tasked with running the Peach State’s elections.

The new e-mails, which were sent by the Coalition for Good Governance to Ars, show that Chris Dehner, one of the Information Security staffers, e-mailed his boss, Stephen Gay, to say that the two backup servers had been "degaussed three times."

No one from Kennesaw State University, including Dehner or Gay, immediately responded to Ars’ request for comment as to who ordered the servers to be wiped and why it was done.
Note: degaussing is serious data wiping, and doing it 3 times is something you'd do to ensure everything is really gone. And assuming they were typical hard drives, degaussing them renders them unusable, period. You do this for complete data destruction.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM on October 27, 2017 [73 favorites]



im beginning to think if we're going to make fully automated luxury gay space communism a thing we're going to have to grab our phasers


Phasers? I would hope those would be saved only for certain special circumstances.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:45 AM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


So, the defendant in a civil suit straight up destroyed evidence after being served?

IIRC, Civil Court Judges take that kind of shit seriously. Sometimes going as far as considering that clear evidence of guilt. But these days, I count on nothing.
posted by mikelieman at 7:52 AM on October 27, 2017 [10 favorites]


Phasers? I would hope those would be saved only for certain special circumstances.

Certain SC... What? The sentence seems to trail off
posted by mikelieman at 7:53 AM on October 27, 2017 [7 favorites]


> Brave, brave Paul Ryan, bravely ran away away, bravely ran away. He doesn't want his 93% NRA approval rating to drop, or lose that $5,950 in NRA donations

$6000 is all it takes for the NRA to keep Paul Ryan in their pocket? Shit, that would pay for...what? 10 seconds of tv advertising?
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:56 AM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


Eric Trump just liked a tweet of a picture of a little girl dressed up as a prison inmate with CLINTON printed on her inmate uniform.

What is wrong with people.
posted by angrycat at 7:56 AM on October 27, 2017 [27 favorites]


A little schadenfreude for your Friday: despite being a high-ranking official with the Trump presidency,
Kushner can't catch a break with 666 Fifth Avenue
, and no one has invested in the property. Looking ahead, they have a $1.2 billion mortgage that comes due in February 2019, and not a lot of funding to support it, which could seriously impact the Kushner empire. And Kushner Family’s Real Estate Fumble May Entangle Trump's White House (David Z. Morris for Fortune, September 2, 2017).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 AM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


In re Paul Ryan and $6000: One thing that has struck me lately is how small the donation amounts are for all these Republicans - I had assumed that they were getting, like, hundreds of thousands of dollars, something ordinary people could never hope to match, but it's actually fairly small sums. On the one hand, they're really in it for the consulting gigs and wingnut welfare, not so much the donations, but I keep wondering if we could just....buy some of these people? Like, start a "Mefites Unite To Fight" PAC and dish out $10,000 here and there to some of these people - probably a few of them are easily swayed.
posted by Frowner at 8:05 AM on October 27, 2017 [19 favorites]


Some stories worth sharing I haven't seen here yet...

Peter Stone and Greg Gordon at McClatchy: "Trump associate Cohen sold four NY buildings for cash to mysterious buyers"
In 2014, a mysterious buyer using a limited liability company that hid the purchaser’s identity paid $10 million in cash for a small apartment building on New York’s lower east side that Cohen had purchased just three years before for $2 million. The handsome appreciation came despite the fact that the assessed value of the property, at 172 Rivington St., hardly budged in these years, hovering around the price Cohen paid for it.

Three other properties Cohen bought and sold in roughly the same time frame followed a similar pattern. Each was purchased by a different LLC, but were tied together by the fact that a lawyer, Herbert Chaves, served as the LLCs’ manager.

“An all cash purchase by an LLC of an overvalued property in Manhattan is usually worth a closer look by federal investigators,” said Jaimie Nawaday, a former federal prosecutor and money laundering specialist who is now a partner with the New York law firm Kelley Drye & Warren. “There are perfectly good reasons to buy and sell through LLCs, but the combination of facts is one that tends to arouse interest.”
Nancy LeTourneau at Washington Monthly: "A Coordinated Attack on the FBI Has Begun"
It all started last Wednesday when Rep. Devin Nunes forced Fusion GPS (the firm that hired Christopher Steele) to publicly plead the fifth in front of the House Intelligence Committee. That was followed the next day by this tweet from Trump:

"Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?"

[...] Tucker Carlson interviewed Rep. Nunes (who has reversed his recusal from the Russia investigation) last night.

Their conversation focused completely on the role of the FBI with the Steele dossier, and is loaded with distortions and lies. Carlson even went so far as to ask, “So is there anything more terrifying than the prospect of an armed rogue agency?” Think about that. An interviewer refers to the FBI as “an armed rogue agency” and a member of Congress simply nods in agreement. Apparently the long knives have come out.
[...]
These attacks on the FBI, along with John Solomon’s lies and distortions about the fact that they investigated a racketeering scheme involving a Russian nuclear official, are designed to undermine the agency that was initially involved in investigating the Trump/Russia connection as well as Robert Mueller, who has taken it over as the independent prosecutor.
Tara Golshan at Vox: "The Trump administration is delaying Russia sanctions that Congress demanded"
Republicans have stopped short of claiming that the administration’s delays have been strategic. "We're going to check into it,” Corker said. “I don't have any way of evaluating whether it's purposeful or not purposeful."
Robbie Gramer and Dan De Luce at Foreign Policy: "State Department Scraps Sanctions Office"
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson eliminated the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy office, which had been led by a veteran ambassador-rank diplomat with at least five staff, as part of an overhaul of the department, former diplomats and congressional sources told Foreign Policy.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:05 AM on October 27, 2017 [34 favorites]


Eric Trump just liked a tweet of a picture of a little girl dressed up as a prison inmate with CLINTON printed on her inmate uniform.

The president*'s family wants to put his political opponents in prison. This is some scary banana republic shit. I am very, very nervous about how fast this whole "actually HILLARY colluded!" story is moving. We know a large portion of the population will believe anything anyone says about her, no matter how many times it is debunked. Watching her electoral defeat is still a raw wound for me. The thought of her actually being put on trial or publicly punished would be symbolically and actually devastating.

And the MSM is happy to play along. Acting like the dossier funding is a story and reveals something nefarious. It's basic oppo research! Which was originally funded by Trump's Republican opponents! Meanwhile Donald Trump publicly asked Russia to help him out in the election and has nothing but kind words for Putin.

I guess anger and fear will have to keep fighting for dominance of my psyche.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:06 AM on October 27, 2017 [38 favorites]


I think the role of money in our politics is a lot more complicated than just "insert dollars, receive legislation." It's very much tied up in squishy social stuff like affinity groupings, self-concept, and "who will I see on the regs for the next decade and who will I never hear from again" typed stuff. The dollar amounts are pretty small in the grand scheme, and I don't understand why these people hang on to these shitty, exhausting, terrible jobs like grim death, but I think it's about more than just the money.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:11 AM on October 27, 2017 [12 favorites]


Fear is absolutely winning out for me, at this point.

Muller is going to present his incriminating findings, the GOP is going to scream BUT WHAT ABOUT CLINTON'S DACHA BUILT OUT OF ACTUAL URANIUM, and the media will go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Then Trump will call the Pope a Nazi or something and everyone will move on.

Our only hope is probably Tax Reform crashing and burning and hastening the implosion of the Trump-GOP coalition.
posted by lydhre at 8:14 AM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


In re Paul Ryan and $6000: One thing that has struck me lately is how small the donation amounts are for all these Republicans - I had assumed that they were getting, like, hundreds of thousands of dollars, something ordinary people could never hope to match, but it's actually fairly small sums.

Most of the NRA's spending isn't on 'Paul Ryan,' per se -- the NRA only spent around a million dollars in contributions to campaigns in 2016, but they spent fifty-five million in spending on that their own ads that didn't 'advocate for or against' particular candidates (and therefore wouldn't show up as a contribution to that candidate), which, in practice, do advocate for (and against) particular candidates.

Counting contributions to campaigns, in other words, drastically undercounts the support that the NRA is giving to Paul Ryan (or any other Generic Republican).

That said,
[M]oney is less crucial than you’d think. The N.R.A.’s annual lobbying budget is around three million dollars, which is about a fifteenth of what, say, the National Association of Realtors spends. The N.R.A.’s biggest asset isn’t cash but the devotion of its members. Adam Winkler, a law professor at U.C.L.A. and the author of the 2011 book “Gunfight,” told me, “N.R.A. members are politically engaged and politically active. They call and write elected officials, they show up to vote, and they vote based on the gun issue.” In one revealing study, people who were in favor of permits for gun owners described themselves as more invested in the issue than gun-rights supporters did. Yet people in the latter group were four times as likely to have donated money and written a politician about the issue.
Politicians want money to buy ads and drive turnout; the NRA delivers the turnout directly, without the intermediation of money to candidates.

Which is -- as always -- a reminder to vote, a reminder to write to your congresspeople, and a reminder to organize.
posted by cjelli at 8:16 AM on October 27, 2017 [18 favorites]


Then Trump will call the Pope a Nazi or something and everyone will move on.

February 2016: Donald Trump calls Pope Francis 'disgraceful'

Not technically 'a Nazi,' but definitely 'or something.'
posted by cjelli at 8:19 AM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


It’s Not Just Montana: Oklahoma Company Gets $200 Million Contract to Work on Puerto Rico Grid (Latino Rebels)
While outlets like the Washington Post and the Daily Beast (and rightly so) are looking into the Donald Trump political connections behind Montana-based Whitefish Energy’s $300 million contract to work on Puerto Rico’s electric grid after Hurricane María, an energy company in Oklahoma (home state of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt) announced that it was awarded a similar $200 million contract. [...]

According to its own website, Mammoth calls itself “an integrated, growth-oriented oilfield service company serving companies engaged in the exploration and development of North American onshore unconventional oil and natural gas reserves.” [...]

It is also pretty well-documented that EPA Administrator Pruitt, the former Attorney General in Oklahoma, has strong ties to this home state’s oil and gas industry.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:22 AM on October 27, 2017 [18 favorites]


Counting contributions to campaigns, in other words, drastically undercounts the support that the NRA is giving to Paul Ryan (or any other Generic Republican).
And if the NRA is against you, they're perfectly happy to develop an apocalyptic ad decrying your lack of dedication to the Constitution.
posted by xyzzy at 8:28 AM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


How much you wanna bet that the conversation about Kushner's faltering luck with 666 Fifth Avenue is going to include some loon making a connection to the Dems by way of Satan?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:35 AM on October 27, 2017




Something I've been wondering - and I know I'm not alone, but I haven't seen a good answer - is whether there's any good technical/legal reason why 45 isn't being investigated as aggressively as other high profile people accused of multiple historic sexual offences?

You're definitely not alone—Washington Post: After Weinstein’s fall, Trump accusers wonder: Why not him?

The short answer is that the rapist now occupying the Oval Office went on the offensive to shore up his political support as a bulwark:
Unlike Weinstein, Trump responded to the accusations against him with vehement denials and fierce counterpunching. Although he apologized for his comments heard on the “Access Hollywood” tape, he attacked the credibility of the women making specific claims.

Trump deemed their accounts a “total fabrication,” “totally and absolutely false” and “pure fiction.” In the cases of two of the women, he urged the public to judge whether they were attractive enough for him to have assaulted them.
That was enough to persuade his deplorable supporters to keep public pressure off him. As we've seen with Cosby and Weinstein, law enforcement is very quick to dismiss yet very slow to move on such charges without public opinion firmly behind them. It helps, of course, that a significant portion of Trump's supporters are authoritarians and misogynists.

The only good news is that Trump's tactics may backfire on him yet:
Trump’s pushback led one of his accusers, Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump’s reality television show, “The Apprentice,” to file a defamation lawsuit against him three days before he took the oath of office.

Zervos first appeared weeks before the election at a news conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred, and accused Trump of aggressively kissing her and groping her breasts during a 2007 meeting that took place when she was seeking a job at his company.

In court documents, Zervos’s attorneys said Trump defamed her by labeling his accusers liars. They have sought to subpoena documents from Trump’s campaign related to any of the women accusing him of inappropriate sexual contact.
That subpoena was filed in September, and the next brief isn't due until the 31st, after which we'll have to wait for a judge's ruling on whether the case may proceed. The mills of justice grind slowly, but they grind fine (we hope).
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:38 AM on October 27, 2017 [13 favorites]


Dean Heller trails perennial tea party challenger and Bannon backed Danny Tarkanian 38-44

Who will then lose in the general election because Nevada's purple and 2018's gonna be ugly if you're Trumpist in a swing state.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:52 AM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


538: The First FBI Crime Report Issued Under Trump Is Missing A Ton Of Info
There were 15 tables of murder data in 2015, but in 2016 there were only a few tables offering expanded insights on homicides. The expanded homicide data from 2016 doesn’t include statistics on the relationship between victims and offenders; victims’ and offenders’ age, sex, race or ethnicity; or what weapons were used in different circumstances. Practically speaking, that means that researchers can no longer easily identify the number of children under the age of 18 murdered by firearm in a given year. Additionally, data tables used to identify the number of women murdered by their partners are similarly no longer available.

[...]

While the UCR says that the data no longer included in the report was available upon request, the FBI only provided a raw data file, which is more difficult to analyze — especially compared to easily accessible data tables — and does not always match the figures posted online in the UCR reports.

The FBI noted that in addition to its decision to streamline the report, UCR had launched a Crime Data Explorer, which aims to make crime data more user-interactive. But data contained in the explorer does not replicate what is missing from the 2016 UCR report, and it doesn’t allow users to view data for particular years, but rather aggregates trends over a minimum period of 10 years. The National Incident-Based Reporting System is another tool the FBI uses to provide more detailed information on crimes, but it too does not replicate what is missing from the 2016 UCR report and has a substantially lower participation rate from police departments across the country.
Say -- isn't someone keeping an up-to-date list of all the stuff that Trump has changed or undone across the administration in the past year? Little everyday truth and light fuckery like this, or the undoing of those small farmer protection rules at USDA last week. I'm getting some custom Thanksgiving napkins printed so I can tell Uncle Trumpleyou to turn to page three of his serviette for the skinny on that.
posted by notyou at 8:56 AM on October 27, 2017 [39 favorites]


It's as if the entire country has seen an example of someone not doing their job and getting away with it!
posted by srboisvert at 8:58 AM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


Who will then lose in the general election

From your lips to the FSM's ears!
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:00 AM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


> I'm getting some custom Thanksgiving napkins printed so I can tell Uncle Trumpleyou to turn to page three of his serviette for the skinny on that.

"Well, I say there are some things we don't *want* to know. Important things!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:12 AM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


Huffington Post: Four Quitters Walk Into a Bar... to swap war stories from an administration they couldn’t serve for one more minute.

Interviewed:
- Sharon McGowan (a former principal deputy chief in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department)
"At DOJ, she helped advance progressive policies, like marriage equality. She is now the Director of Strategy for Lambda Legal."

- Walter Shaub (former director of the Office of Government Ethics)
"Now a senior director at the Campaign Legal Center."

- Mike Cox (veteran climate change adviser for the EPA)
"...worked with six administrations—from Reagan’s until this one"

- Ned Price (former CIA agent and National Security Council spokesman) [7]
"He now teaches at George Washington University and contributes to MSNBC."
posted by zarq at 9:34 AM on October 27, 2017 [16 favorites]


Notyou, I think you mean Amy Siskind? She's keeping a list.
posted by john_snow at 9:38 AM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Y'know, DC comics used to have offices in 666 5th avenue.

Our current global predicament has Mxyzptlk written all over it, is what I'm sayin
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:40 AM on October 27, 2017 [10 favorites]


Notyou, I think you mean Amy Siskind? She's keeping a list.

I hope she's checking it twice.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:40 AM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Aww, yes, that Amy Siskind list. Thanks!
posted by notyou at 9:51 AM on October 27, 2017


(On reviewing Siskind's list: My serviettes may have to be printed on Turkish bath towels. )
posted by notyou at 9:54 AM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


leotrotsky: "Who will then lose in the general election because Nevada's purple and 2018's gonna be ugly if you're Trumpist in a swing state."

I'd still be mildly surprised if Tarkanian is the nominee. He's run and lost a lot of times.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:54 AM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


(On reviewing Siskind's list: My serviettes may have to be printed on Turkish bath towels. )

I'm thinking a series of tablecloths. You remove one after each course and start reading the next one.
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:55 AM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


The Dallas Morning News is not a liberal paper, however...

John Cornyn betrays himself and his party with embrace of Roy Moore
Sen. John Cornyn’s endorsement this week of Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate from Alabama is a new low not just for the former jurist and ex-Texas attorney general, but for the party he claims to love.

We had hoped, as many have, that Cornyn would stand against the tide of populist, nativist and exclusionary politics that have come to dominate the Republican Party in Texas and elsewhere. That hope has now been all but extinguished.
posted by chris24 at 10:02 AM on October 27, 2017 [31 favorites]


"We know better than to expect anything from Sen. Ted Cruz beyond 'hasn't been caught fondling himself on a public bus YET.'"
posted by delfin at 10:09 AM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


Someone has seen Steyer's impeachment ad and is now having a meltdown.
posted by TwoStride at 10:12 AM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


God, John Cornyn is the worst. As a Texan, whenever I so much hear his or Cruz's name I get a little sadder. His asskissery is so revoltingly transparent.
"Asked for his position on CSR deal, @JohnCornyn responds: “I’m with the president.” I asked where Trump is and Cornyn throws hands in air" - Seung Min Kim
posted by marshmallow peep at 10:16 AM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


These Republicans denouncing Trump and Moore are scam artists. Their objections are aesthetic, not moral.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2017 [7 favorites]


Trump calling the Pope disgraceful is basically the antithesis of Trump calling the Pope a Nazi, in Trump's book. Trump calling him a Nazi would be giving him high marks.
posted by emelenjr at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Yeah. "Wacky and unhinged" seems to be how he insults people he doesn't like.

Also, liddle and loser.
posted by notyou at 10:31 AM on October 27, 2017


God, John Cornyn is the worst. As a Texan, whenever I so much hear his or Cruz's name I get a little sadder. His asskissery is so revoltingly transparent.

I can never hear his name again without thinking of this Daily Show segment and graphic. (possibly nsfw)
posted by zarq at 10:32 AM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


In response to Twitter banning RT and Sputnik, RT have released Twitter's pitch to them to court them as an advertiser during the 2016 elections.

Does anyone have more information or insight into this? I'm skeptical. I don't trust Twitter, but I suspect that RT fabricated at least part of this.

This March 2016 presentation seems too perfectly calculated to suit late-2017 progressive anger about Twitter and Russia's interference. It prominently features an anti-Clinton meme, anti-"Bernie bro" meme, and a "Trump will win and start the hunger games" meme. Including memes in a $1.5 million client pitch seems sloppy and weird. RT itself has sloppy, weird writing. I don't really associate that with Twitter. Also sloppy: the presentation's style, which is quite different from Twitter's business pitch website of the time. Not all sales departments are good about aligning to style, but you'd think they would have used the same standard graphical icons and fonts.

The Associated Press take has a hint of skepticism but doesn't go further:

RT on Thursday published what it said was excerpts from Twitter's pitch made in April last year to get the TV station to spend millions of dollars on advertising, an offer that RT says it has turned down.

I wonder if Twitter will respond. Maybe not, as it's only getting limited coverage so far. Hope progressive media takes this one with a grain of salt.
posted by Emily's Fist at 10:34 AM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


Talking Points Brought to Trump Tower Meeting Were Shared with Kremlin (NYT)
The coordination between the Trump Tower visitor and the Russian prosecutor general undercuts Ms. Veselnitskaya’s account that she was a purely independent actor when she sat down with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Paul J. Manafort, then the Trump campaign chairman. It also suggests that emails from an intermediary to the younger Mr. Trump promising that Ms. Veselnitskaya would arrive with information from Russian prosecutors were rooted at least partly in fact — not mere “puffery,” as the president’s son later said.

In the past week, Ms. Veselnitskaya’s allegations — that major Democratic donors were guilty of financial fraud and tax evasion — have been embraced at the highest levels of the Russian government. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia repeated her charges at length last week at an annual conference of Western academics. A state-run television network recently made them the subject of two special reports, featuring interviews with Ms. Veselnitskaya and Mr. Chaika.

The matching messages point to a synchronized information campaign. Like some other Russian experts, Stephen Blank, a senior fellow with the nonprofit American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, said they indicate that Ms. Veselnitskaya’s actions “were coordinated from the very top.”

The Trump Tower meeting is of keen interest to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as he investigates Russian efforts to help Mr. Trump’s campaign. At least one participant at the meeting has already testified before a federal grand jury.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 10:43 AM on October 27, 2017 [34 favorites]


Three days ago, I was seeing about 50/50 headlines about a Trump campaign official straight up reaching out to Assange, which I thought was explosive, and Clinton's campaign funding the Fusion GPS dossier, which I thought was already the general assumption, given that it was an opposition research project and she was the opposition. Now three days later, it's all #butheremails all the time, the Assange story is gone, and the comments threads of deplorables and/or Russian trollbots exchanging their revenge fantasies. We'll punish her for trying to win the election for sure!

Meanwhile, my Dad sent me another fucking "ah gee, conservatives aren't all bad, aw schucks" even though I've asked him to stop many, many times, and I blew up at him, and now I feel like shit because criminals are burning down the future for no reason at all and I yelled at my Dad and I fucking hate this year.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:51 AM on October 27, 2017 [45 favorites]


Trump calling the Pope disgraceful is basically the antithesis of Trump calling the Pope a Nazi, in Trump's book. Trump calling him a Nazi would be giving him high marks.

Like in South Park when God and the Devil conspire to punish Saddam Hussein by sending him to Morman heaven.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:58 AM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Talking Points Brought to Trump Tower Meeting Were Shared with Kremlin

Imma need more red string for my conspiracy board.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:59 AM on October 27, 2017 [18 favorites]


Meanwhile, my Dad sent me another fucking "ah gee, conservatives aren't all bad, aw schucks" even though I've asked him to stop many, many times, and I blew up at him, and now I feel like shit because criminals are burning down the future for no reason at all and I yelled at my Dad and I fucking hate this year.

One of my (few) Republican friends (who at least voted for Clinton) is trying to tell me it's not weird for the Whitefish contract to have a no-auditing clause. And all I can think is, "Hey, remember back at Sean and Lori's wedding earlier this year you said you were hopeful for at least a decent infrastructure package and tax reform? 'cause I can't see anything infrastructure-related except this giant graft in Puerto Rico and right now it looks like I'm gonna lose my state income tax deduction, so your "tax reform" means my taxes are gonna go UP. Why should I listen to you again?"

But I already yelled at another friend from high school online 'cause he pushed this aggressively stupid article at me suggesting that Clinton looking into Twitler & Co.'s possible treason means that she's the one who committed real treason. Rejecting this means I'm in an echo chamber. Because both sides, you see.

I feel like my whole online identity is becoming "Guy who yells at people." Argh.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:00 AM on October 27, 2017 [33 favorites]


scaryblackdeath: I feel like my whole online identity is becoming "Guy who yells at people." Argh.

Or, "a relatively loney voice of confused, angry, and very tired reason in a sea of relentless nonsense that is actively killing people, right now and into the future."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:27 AM on October 27, 2017 [20 favorites]


kirkaracha: "Talking Points Brought to Trump Tower Meeting Were Shared with Kremlin"

Imma need more red string for my conspiracy board.


At this point, I think you can simplify it with a single TRUMP --- PUTIN line, but that's me and my love of minimal graphics.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:28 AM on October 27, 2017 [19 favorites]


This is very belated, but I'm so sorry, corb.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:29 AM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Not official, but from The Atlantic:

Orrin Hatch Tells Friends He Plans to Retire
Mitt Romney has privately told allies that if the Utah senator follows through, he plans to run to replace him.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:33 AM on October 27, 2017 [10 favorites]


But I already yelled at another friend from high school online 'cause he pushed this aggressively stupid article at me suggesting that Clinton looking into Twitler & Co.'s possible treason means that she's the one who committed real treason.

Expect a lot of such talking points to come from the right-wing noise machine. The Republicans Have Developed a Theory of Alt-Collusion to Defend Trump From Mueller (NYMag)

Meanwhile, the Mother Jones journalist who made the first crack in breaking the Steele Dossier story* has a blistering critique of how the news has dropped the ball on their coverage : The Trump-Russia Scandal Is a Huge Media Fail—"If we don’t come to terms with this assault on American democracy, Trump and Co. win."

Online yelling is a perfectly understandable response. It may be the only honorable one left to us.

* For those keeping track of how the Trumpists are trying to respin old news, he reported from the beginning that Steele's project was "originally financed by a Republican client" and then "switched to a client allied with Democrats."
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:33 AM on October 27, 2017 [35 favorites]


Talking Points Brought to Trump Tower Meeting Were Shared with Kremlin

Imma need more red string for my conspiracy board.


At this point I think we're just putting red string on top of red string. Rohrabacher of course makes an appearance in the story. That dude has so much red string running through him that adding another one is pointless.
posted by diogenes at 11:46 AM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Expect a lot of such talking points to come from the right-wing noise machine. The Republicans Have Developed a Theory of Alt-Collusion to Defend Trump From Mueller (NYMag)

It goes all the way to the top, Trump wanted gag order lifted on FBI informant, wherein Trump wants the FBI to lift the gag order on the informant who is at the center Clinton uranium story.
posted by peeedro at 11:50 AM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


"Congratulations on winning first prize in the crafts competition for your hand-woven afghan! How did you make it?"

"Well, it started as a Trump conspiracy chart..."
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:50 AM on October 27, 2017 [59 favorites]


Rohrabacher of course makes an appearance in the story. That dude has so much red string running through him that adding another one is pointless.

I'm picturing someone unraveling Rohrabacher like Oogie Boogie and he's nothing but a pile of gross bugs when all the red string comes undone. Probably pretty accurate.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:51 AM on October 27, 2017 [12 favorites]


Sarah Sanders says the Whitefish deal did not involve the Federal Government and it was a "state and local issue". Freudian slip... 😢
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:52 AM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]




Or, "a relatively loney voice of confused, angry, and very tired reason in a sea of relentless nonsense that is actively killing people, right now and into the future."

Old Man Yells At Genuine Existential Threats

Expect a lot of such talking points to come from the right-wing noise machine. The Republicans Have Developed a Theory of Alt-Collusion to Defend Trump From Mueller (NYMag)

Yeah. I'm also seeing stuff on Twitter like, "Notice how in the midst of all of this, there hasn’t been a single person to come foward and accuse Trump of sexual assault," (Posobeic threw that out yesterday) and countless other jaw-dropping idiocies.

The thing is, I feel like the volume has been turned up. Like there's a recent, serious push of aggressive stupidity to lower the general bar of what's acceptable or reasonable. And there's also the push to tax "reform" by Thanksgiving and simultaneously the rumor of Mueller announcing his findings by then, too. I'm still in "Don't hold your breath on Mueller" mode, but I'm starting to think these things are connected.

I'm not suggesting there's someone orchestrating all this, mind you. I don't go for that. Too many moving pieces, too many actors. But I think the GOP is looking nervously at the combination of factors (ticking clock, looming mid-terms, Twitler's ongoing degeneration, and Mueller) and hoping to get their tax fuckery in before Mueller dominates the whole scene and/or Twitler finally becomes non-functional. And I feel like the people running the disinfo campaigns see this and figure it's time to throw more kindling on the bonfire.

And it's just horrifying to see people I would otherwise think reasonable pick this stuff up and go with it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:02 PM on October 27, 2017 [29 favorites]


I just got back from one of the big local nonprofit gladhanders of the year -- my boss is involved, and the company got a table so that we could all network and shit. Like, the CEO of a certain telecom that rhymes with Shmomcast was there, and all the government folks including the mayor had to leave before the food got underway because of a new rule that means no city employee can even get overcooked chicken for free, and the old Ethics Office decision that made a special exception for this event and this event only got supplanted.

And it was just. Weird. Because it was so $$$$$$. And so establishment. The chairman who gave the intro speech was a guy whose dad had been in HW's cabinet, apparently. And the keynote speaker just wrote a big ol' biography of HW where he had a lot of personal access, and ended by talking about how much he admired Reagan and how much Reagan over performed initial expectations. And that stupid fucking thing about how the problem was that Hillary and the Dems just didn't turn people out.

And in between, it was just wall to wall gossipy shit-talking about Trump and how much McCain hated Palin.

Like, literally, 50 solid minutes of full-on discussion of how the closest analogy this professional historian has to our current situation is 1933, and how when the speaker was at the White House recently for research on his next project, he noticed that the portrait of Hamilton that had hung in one particular room next to Madison was no longer there. And when he asked why, he was told by the staff person that Trump had, as is traditional, walked around the West Wing on his first weekend picking out what he wanted to furnished he Oval Office.

And apparently, Trump had squinted and said something like, "He's hot right now, isn't he? I want it in."

And the room howled. I mean. Yes, the speaker was playing to the audience, but it felt so weird to be in a room with so many people that would not be left enough for Metafilter -- not just neoliberal scum, but straight-up centrists and establishment Republicans -- expressing the same contempt and anger and fury that I see in these threads.

So yeah, it was encouraging, but also frankly terrifying. There were so many people there, so many people who clearly hate the fuck out of Trump, and he still became president, and Republicans are still cracking jokes about 90% marginal tax rate. I just. I'm right-wards of most people on Metafilter, and yet, I was left with this deep, deep feeling of anger and confusion and what the FUCK YOU ESTABLISHMENT FUCKS HATED TRUMP SO MUCH AND YOU KNEW HE WOULD BE THIS WAY AND YOU ARE STILL FUCKING CRACKING JOKES ABOUT A 90% MARGINAL TAX RATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

So yeah, I walked back to the office with a client, chatting about Halloween costumes and writing this mammoth comment in my head.
posted by joyceanmachine at 12:09 PM on October 27, 2017 [64 favorites]


Mitt Romney has privately told allies that if the Utah senator follows through, he plans to run to replace him.

...but can he win the primary?
posted by leotrotsky at 12:12 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Nearly all jobs created since 05 are temporary

Normal economy
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 PM on October 27, 2017 [42 favorites]


So yeah, it was encouraging, but also frankly terrifying. There were so many people there, so many people who clearly hate the fuck out of Trump, and he still became president, and Republicans are still cracking jokes about 90% marginal tax rate.

I've said this a few times, but the thing I thought would bring Trump down is other Republicans wanting a share in the power. Like, the Supreme Court wouldn't want to feel they were at the whims of this president*. Or, Mitch McConnel would get tired of having to brown nose with him and just blow up the relationship. That kind of thing. So far I am not encouraged.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:31 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


Tax Policy Center has updated their analysis [pdf] of the GOP tax framework today to include dynamic scoring:
TPC estimates that, including macroeconomic effects, the proposal would reduce federal revenues by between $2.4 and $2.5 trillion over the first ten years and by about $3.4 trillion over the subsequent decade. Macroeconomic feedback is projected either to expand or reduce the revenue loss of the plan slightly over the first decade, and increase it over the second.
(meaning the tax cuts will not "pay for themselves")
posted by melissasaurus at 12:35 PM on October 27, 2017 [7 favorites]




Nearly all jobs created since 05 are temporary

"Oh yeah, there's jobs all over the place now. I've got three of them!"
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 12:41 PM on October 27, 2017 [28 favorites]


US Attorney Dana Boente is retiring. [twitter link]

As it says in the tweet, he has oversight of the Mueller investigation. I don't know enough about all this to know why he would retire (he is 63) but I sure don't want a Trump pick in charge of the investigation.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:46 PM on October 27, 2017 [16 favorites]


I'm not suggesting there's someone orchestrating all this, mind you. I don't go for that. Too many moving pieces, too many actors.

It's more like a flock of birds, all attuned to each other, committed to going roughly in the same direction. Or extreme tribalism, take your pick.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2017


I've said this a few times, but the thing I thought would bring Trump down is other Republicans wanting a share in the power. Like, the Supreme Court wouldn't want to feel they were at the whims of this president*. Or, Mitch McConnel would get tired of having to brown nose with him and just blow up the relationship.

Modern Republicans have only tribalism (and perhaps oligarchy) as their core beliefs. Given that, it's not surprising they find it hard to turn on Mad King Donald.
posted by benzenedream at 12:48 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


Blockbuster article on the NFL "Take A Knee" protests by Seth Wickersham (who may be America's best sportswriter), at ESPN out today. Bullet points:

- Even Trump allies among right-wing owners are split. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys), Bob McNair (Houston Texans), and Dan Snyder (Washington RacistNames) are predictably leading the hard-core group wanting a rule forcing players to stand, but Bob Kraft (New England Patriots), a close personal friend of Trump, joined the more player-friendly and protest-friendly majority.

- Only 9 (of 32) owners supported a rule forcing players to stand, and at least one major TV sponsor threatened to pull out if they passed it. Jed York and Jeff Lurie led liberal wing with key support from Kraft.

- Jerry Jones is losing his dominance over NFL owners, praise the Lord.

- Collusion against Colin Kaepernick pretty much confirmed, which is obvious anyway if you watched terrible QBs Matt Moore vs. Ryan Mallett play last night. "A few owners tried to separate their deep dislike of unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick... from the players' broader message"

- Roger Goodell actually did well and impressed people in the talks

- But the headline will be this quote from Bob McNair, a multi-million donor to Trump: " "We can't have the inmates running the prison," McNair said." At least one Texans player walked out of practice today as a result, and only begging prevented a mass walkout.
posted by msalt at 12:48 PM on October 27, 2017 [42 favorites]


US Attorney Dana Boente is retiring. [twitter link]

Perhaps Mueller's ready to drop the hammer?
posted by leotrotsky at 12:49 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Jed York and Jeff Lurie led liberal wing with key support from Kraft.

YAY EAGLES but also BOO KRAFT I am conflicted

On the other hand, Jerry Jones is scum and I hope he gets eaten by a bear made of scorpions, so his role in this is comfortingly familiar.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:53 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


US Attorney Dana Boente is retiring. [twitter link]

As it says in the tweet, he has oversight of the Mueller investigation. I don't know enough about all this to know why he would retire (he is 63) but I sure don't want a Trump pick in charge of the investigation.
posted by Emmy Rae


Interpretation needed please! Is this good or bad, you guys?
posted by yoga at 12:54 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Interpretation needed please! Is this good or bad, you guys?

People I trust on twitter are saying bad, but not explaining why. So I guess maintain your usual generalized Trump-era anxiety.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:57 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


>>national emergency declaration on opioids is "all hat and no cattle"

Democrats should IMMEDIATELY introduce a bill repealing the pro-industry law blocking enforcement against narcotic pill mills, that got Tom Marino's nomination as drug czar torpedoed.
posted by msalt at 12:58 PM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: On the other hand, Jerry Jones is scum and I hope he gets eaten by a bear made of scorpions, so his role in this is comfortingly familiar.

HZSFish, is that..."bear"....available for other work, once it's finished with Mr. Jones of Texas?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:59 PM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


Emmy Rae: US Attorney Dana Boente is retiring. [twitter link]

More information: Acting head of DOJ's national security division retiring (Laura Jarrett, CNN, Oct. 27, 2017)
Dana Boente, a career federal prosecutor who has worn many hats in the Trump administration, including most recently serving as the acting head of the Justice Department's national security division and US attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia, is retiring, according to sources with knowledge of his departure.

Boente was first thrust into the spotlight as the acting attorney general in January after President Donald Trump fired the former acting head, Sally Yates, for her refusal to defend Trump's first travel ban.

Later in April, he was tapped to serve as the interim head of the national security division -- a post that oversees DOJ's work on counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyberthreat work, including the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.

"Dana Boente has been a dedicated public servant for decades and has served in important leadership roles in the Department of Justice," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement at the time. "In recent months, he has provided extraordinary leadership during the transition period."

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment on personnel matters, but sources tell CNN that Boente's retirement had been in the works for some time and he will stay in his posts until his replacements are confirmed by the Senate.

Boente began his career with the Justice Department in 1984 with the tax division and was later appointed US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia by President Barack Obama in 2015.

Trump nominated Boeing in-house counsel, John Demers, to lead the national security division permanently in September. Demers was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month and will appear before the Senate intelligence committee for a confirmation hearing next week.
Trump nominee to Justice Department post says he will support Russia probe (Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters, Oct. 4, 2017)
President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Justice Department’s national security division promised on Wednesday to support Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

John Demers, an attorney for Boeing Co. who worked at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush, also told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing that he will make sure he does not pass any intelligence from the Mueller probe to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is recused.

“I am not aware exactly of what my role will be in that investigation...I am happy to support the investigation in any way that the special counsel needs, and I will pledge to you that I will not do anything illegal or inappropriate,” Demers told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I wouldn’t do anything to cause (Sessions) to violate his recusal.”
...
Demers on Wednesday told lawmakers he fully accepts the findings of a January report compiled by U.S. intelligence agencies that concluded Russia had interfered in the 2016 election and tried to tilt it in Trump’s favor - a finding Trump has often questioned.

“I have no reason to doubt what they concluded in that report,” he said.
FWIW, Demers was a Supreme Court Clerk (OT 2005/Scalia), hired on at Boeing by former Judge J. Michael Luttig who made major news in the legal world by resigning from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to become senior vice president and general counsel of aerospace giant Boeing.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:11 PM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


lydhre Muller is going to present his incriminating findings, the GOP is going to scream BUT WHAT ABOUT CLINTON'S DACHA BUILT OUT OF ACTUAL URANIUM, and the media will go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Then Trump will call the Pope a Nazi or something and everyone will move on.

Regrettably, that's pretty much been everyone's expectation from the beginning.

The odds of Trump being impeached and removed from office or forced to resign are very close to zero no matter what Muller comes up with.

The idea that Muller will save us from Trump is just a fantasy, it won't happen.

This doesn't mean Muller isn't doing something good or useful. First off, truth matters. More immediately, what Muller uncovers may well help us in the 2018 and 2020 elections. That's nowhere near as much to hope for as Trump getting perp walked after being humiliatingly booted from office. But it's realistic.

The best that will come out of Muller is fodder for election ads. If you're hoping it'll result in Trump leaving office then you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

But take heart, what they did to Clinton proves that slinging shit works. That our shit is factual and reality based rather than the deranged fantasies of Clinton hating fuckwits makes us morally superior to them. But the way forward is to sling all the shit we can at Trump and every other Republican. Muller will be a great source of shit to sling.
posted by sotonohito at 1:12 PM on October 27, 2017 [12 favorites]


Hey, the Trump campaign and the RNC want to hear how much we hate freedom of the press.
posted by Rykey at 1:15 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


Yes, let's poll the internet for a "Mainstream Media Accountability Survey."

I appreciate the options to select "other" and specify that the mainstream media isn't doing enough to call out Trump and his cronies on their destruction of the nation and murder of the "others" for their own short-term gains.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:18 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


WSJ: Trump Donor Asked Data Firm If It Could Better Organize Hacked Emails

Trump donor Rebekah Mercer in August 2016 asked the chief executive of a data-analytics firm working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign whether the company could better organize the Hillary Clinton -related emails being released by WikiLeaks, according to a person familiar with their email exchange.

The previously undisclosed details from the exchange between Ms. Mercer and Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix show how an influential Trump supporter was looking to leverage the hacked Clinton-related messages to boost Mr. Trump’s campaign.

posted by Rust Moranis at 1:20 PM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


Reading that NFL article, watching Trump continue his hostile takeover of the GOP, and hearing from conservative friends and family really drives home how fucked these guys are. I mean, all of us are but we've known that for a while. But the right wingers are only waking up to it now. And it's both deeply satisfying and incredibly scary.

White Nationalism is here now. There's nothing to wait for. The Republican Party is like your friend in a zombie movie that got bit and has begun to turn. SHOOT HIM NOW! Don't wait! You can't save him. Soon, all that'll be left of your friend is the look of regret in Paul Ryan's eyes as he mumbles something about Donald Trump's taxes.
posted by Glibpaxman at 1:22 PM on October 27, 2017 [14 favorites]


From Rykey's link:
On which issues does the mainstream media do the worst job of representing President Trump?

Since representing politicians is NOT their job I would say... all of those issues?
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:22 PM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


The children of the White House Press Corps visited Trump for a Halloween event. He used them as props to attack the press, among other madness. A transcript:
15:45:51 TRUMP: I cannot believe the media produced such beautiful children. How the media did this, I don't know. 15:45:58
///
15:46:16 TRUMP: Do you know who they are? Do you know who they are? [POINTING TO PRESS]. They're the friendly media.15:46:18
///
15:46:28 TRUMP: She's Japanese? Beautiful. She's Japane- I'm gonna be in Japan in two weeks. I'll be in Japan. 15:46:31
///
15:46:42 TRUMP: You gonna grow up to be like your parents? Mmm... Don't answer. That could only get me in trouble that question. You have wonderful parents, right? 15:46:53
///
15:47:25 TRUMP: [HANDING OUT HERSHEY KISSES] You have no weight problems. That's the good news, right? 15:47:25
///
15:47:37 TRUMP: So how does the press treat you? I'll bet the- you get treated better by the press than anybody in the world, right? I think so. Anyway, well congratulations folks you did a good job. Here [POINTING TO THE CHILDREN] you did a good job. I wouldn't say you did very well here [POINTING AT HIMSELF]. But really beautiful children. 15:47:58
///
15:48:20 TRUMP: They can stay. The parents— maybe not so much. Have a good time everybody. Thank you. 15:48:24

SOURCE: President Trump Meets kids of Press Corps For Trick or Treat R173H 171027-d144
posted by zachlipton at 1:25 PM on October 27, 2017 [41 favorites]


"[HANDING OUT HERSHEY KISSES] You have no weight problems. That's the good news, right?"

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH
posted by lalex at 1:27 PM on October 27, 2017 [53 favorites]


God he's fucking disgusting.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:28 PM on October 27, 2017 [34 favorites]


Please don't leave that man alone with children.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:28 PM on October 27, 2017 [47 favorites]


I'm starting to question his character.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:29 PM on October 27, 2017 [39 favorites]


HOW CAN HE FUCK UP HANDING OUT CANDY TO COSTUMED KIDS!?!?! LITERALLY EVERYONE IS GOOD AT THIS.
posted by lalex at 1:29 PM on October 27, 2017 [78 favorites]


Just wait until he invoices the kids for the candy.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:33 PM on October 27, 2017 [31 favorites]


Boente has oversight of the #TrumpRussiaInvestigation.

No he doesn't. That's the whole point of having a special counsel. Mueller could be fired by Rosenstein or arguably by Trump (in either case leading to political armageddon), but the AGs cannot otherwise control his investigation.

Boente is only the acting head of the national security division, and he intends to remain until his permanent replacement is confirmed. In other words, his planned retirement changes nothing.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:34 PM on October 27, 2017 [11 favorites]


I'm almost looking forward to seeing what horrible shit he does to fuck up Christmas. Tell a bunch of kids that Santa isn't real, maybe?
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:35 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's sad to acknowledge that the children had more self-control than the President.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:36 PM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


HOW CAN HE FUCK UP HANDING OUT CANDY TO COSTUMED KIDS!?!?! LITERALLY EVERYONE IS GOOD AT THIS.

Rob Ford wasn't very good at it, either.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:37 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


Here's the raw video.

I'm at least relieved to know that "she's Japanese" was prompted rather than something he launched into entirely on his own.
posted by zachlipton at 1:37 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Tell a bunch of kids that Santa isn't real, maybe?

Megyn Kelly can help him out there.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:38 PM on October 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Palate cleanser/brain bleach: Last year's Halloween at the White House.
posted by marshmallow peep at 1:38 PM on October 27, 2017 [30 favorites]


HOW CAN HE FUCK UP HANDING OUT CANDY TO COSTUMED KIDS!?!?! LITERALLY EVERYONE IS GOOD AT THIS

It's like giving candy to a baby!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:38 PM on October 27, 2017 [18 favorites]


Faint of Butt: "Tell a bunch of kids that Santa isn't real, maybe?"

Way ahead of you: CNN (2017/10/25), Air Force plays Grinch, briefly denies the existence of Santa Claus.
posted by mhum at 1:39 PM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


Tell a bunch of kids that Santa isn't real, maybe?

"Santa only comes to Republican homes. The rest of them already got their handout, amirite?!"
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:39 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


is that the Obama kid Pope thing? I can't look, I will cry.
posted by lalex at 1:39 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


It's like taking candy from a baby.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:40 PM on October 27, 2017


Okay, so I was perusing the House committee hearing calendar for work (SO GLAMOROUS) and I saw this:

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Full Committee Hearing: Testimony of Carter Page (Open Hearing in a Closed Space)

Carter Page. Open hearing. There isn't enough popcorn on Earth.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:40 PM on October 27, 2017 [19 favorites]


It's like taking candy from a baby.

It's WAY easier than that, is the thing.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:41 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm almost looking forward to seeing what horrible shit he does to fuck up Christmas. Tell a bunch of kids that Santa isn't real, maybe?

He'll spend the holidays hiding behind wards to keep out the ghost of Jacob Marley.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:42 PM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


is that the Obama kid Pope thing? I can't look, I will cry.

Nope, but fair warning - there is an adorable mini-Superman who will have the same effect.
posted by marshmallow peep at 1:45 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


is that the Obama kid Pope thing? I can't look, I will cry.

it's a bunch of clips but also obama charming a tiny adorable toddler dressed up like superman and who is kinda hesitant and shy at first so obama fist-bumps him and then obama pretends to fall down on his butt on the floor because the kid is so strong and then obama gets up and chats about how the kid must be lifting weights and how the kid has hair like superman

and at the end the little boy looks up at the his parent

after basically being O.O the whole time

and points one delightful little hand down the hall and says, "That's POTUS." Like the actual acronym, because this is the toddler of a white house staffer or press person -- poe-tus.

oh god, the difference is fucking SEARING IT'S NOT THE POPE ONE BUT I'M UPSET AS FUCK ANYWAYS
posted by joyceanmachine at 1:46 PM on October 27, 2017 [51 favorites]


Ryan Zinke, responding to the Whitefish controversy: "Only in elitist Washington, D.C., would being from a small town be considered a crime." [real]

(as @darth notes this is the same person that insists the flag be raised when he enters the office.)
posted by lalex at 1:46 PM on October 27, 2017 [27 favorites]


Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Full Committee Hearing: Testimony of Carter Page (Open Hearing in a Closed Space)

I hope this one doesn’t go behind closed doors like the last few.

(Am I the only one who puts these into their calendar?)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:49 PM on October 27, 2017


"Only in elitist Washington, D.C., would being from a small town be considered a crime."

This can go on my list of lines from politicians that causes me to reflexively yell "Please, save that BULLSHIT for somebody dumb enough to listen to it"
posted by Rykey at 1:52 PM on October 27, 2017 [10 favorites]


Didn't Page say he'd just plead the Fifth to everything?
posted by Chrysostom at 1:52 PM on October 27, 2017


and points one delightful little hand down the hall and says, "That's POTUS." Like the actual acronym, because this is the toddler of a white house staffer or press person -- poe-tus.

(but... that's how I actually say it in my head too...)
posted by orbit-3 at 1:52 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


What I don't get is, why on earth would the press corps bring their kids to see this man?

I mean sure, you have to be subjected to him daily, but that's your job and you could quit and do something else instead. But your kids... why put them in front of this rancid clown? Why subject them to that?
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:53 PM on October 27, 2017 [24 favorites]


CBS:
"I cannot believe the media produced such beautiful children," joked the president, who has regular spats with the "fake news" media. "How the media did this, I don't know."

The children, dressed as everything from witches to a unicorn with purple hair, circled the desk slowly, at the president's urging, surrounded by cameras. "Do you know who they are? They're the friendly media, that's the press."

Noticing a small girl looking forlorn, he said, "Are you crying? Come here, sweetheart," ushering the child closer to the desk. When one of the young girls commented that the frightened girl Mr. Trump had comforted was Japanese, Mr. Trump responded, "She's Japanese? Beautiful, she's Japanese — I'm going to be in Japan in two weeks."

As he moved on and started handing out bags of Hershey's kisses, he commented to one child, "Well you have no weight problems – that's the good news, right? So you take out whatever you need. If you want some for your friends, take it. We have plenty."
posted by zarq at 1:53 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Boente has oversight of the #TrumpRussiaInvestigation.

No he doesn't. That's the whole point of having a special counsel.


I'm confused how that squares with this from filthy light thief:

John Demers, an attorney for Boeing Co. who worked at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush, also told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing that he will make sure he does not pass any intelligence from the Mueller probe to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is recused.

“I am not aware exactly of what my role will be in that investigation...I am happy to support the investigation in any way that the special counsel needs, and I will pledge to you that I will not do anything illegal or inappropriate,” Demers told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I wouldn’t do anything to cause (Sessions) to violate his recusal.”


Is he just saying, it's none of my business and I'd stay out of it?
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:53 PM on October 27, 2017


Have a good time everybody.

So the kids dressed up as flood evacuees?

Here's the raw video.

The best part was when he encouraged the kids over and over to come around to his side of the desk and none of the kids moved any closer without the adults in cowboy hats wrangling them to the president's side.
posted by peeedro at 1:53 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


The best part was when he encouraged the kids over and over to come around to his side of the desk and none of the kids moved any closer without the adults in cowboy hats wrangling them to the president's side.

"I promise he won't eat you."
posted by zarq at 1:57 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Paging Mark Hamill to overdub Trump's dialogue with the kids as the Joker.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:59 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Palate cleanser/brain bleach: Last year's Halloween at the White House.

I just spent 10 minutes following other Obama links on youtube, nostalgic for when we had real leaders.
posted by mikelieman at 2:05 PM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


and points one delightful little hand down the hall and says, "That's POTUS." Like the actual acronym, because this is the toddler of a white house staffer or press person -- poe-tus.

(but... that's how I actually say it in my head too...)

Never mind, I get it now. It's an observation on how the toddler uses the term "POTUS" because they're the child of a staffer or press person. My Friday news-addled brain read it as toddler pronounces it "poe-tus" because toddler.

Either way, thanks for the link to the video. It's bittersweet, but sometimes a person just needs a reminder of what goodness and decency can look like.
posted by orbit-3 at 2:07 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


That media accountability survey, sheesh! I can't even decipher the questions well enough to answer in a way that will fuck up their findings.
What percentage do you believe is an accurate representation of President Trump’s positive news coverage by the mainstream media?

0%-10%
10%-25%
25%-50%
50%-75%
75%-100%
Does that refer to Trump's own coverage, like content he generates via Twitter? Or what exactly are they asking? This poll is as stupid as it is completely unhinged from reality.
posted by witchen at 2:08 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


I have to hand it to them, it's a clever way to deliver talking points to the rubes.
posted by Rykey at 2:13 PM on October 27, 2017


Gosh-darn elites, picking on humble small-town folks and their $300 million no-bid contracts.
posted by RobotHero at 2:13 PM on October 27, 2017 [40 favorites]


Why those elites would even have you believe that good old-fashioned graft is distasteful
posted by jason_steakums at 2:17 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Mueller could be fired by Rosenstein or arguably by Trump (in either case leading to political armageddon)

Why? He could fire Mueller right now and no Republican would do anything about it besides "be concerned". If he waits long enough for Dems to take the house or senate, then he might have a problem, and by "problem", I mean "he won't get much done until his term is up or he dies".
posted by mrgoat at 2:18 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


At least one Texans player walked out of practice today as a result...

Not just any player, but Deandre Hopkins, their best offensive player and one of the best receivers in the game.
posted by chris24 at 2:24 PM on October 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


mrgoat: The best evidence, to me, that both (at least some) Republicans in Congress and the Trump junta itself don't believe you are correct is that Trump hasn't yet fired Mueller. If he thought he could get away with it he would do it.
posted by Justinian at 2:24 PM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


If you're wondering what the point of the whole Uranium One scandal was, it's to go full circle and attack Mueller (taking swipes at Clinton is an added side bonus for the GOP). Because Mueller ran the FBI at the time, Fox News can declare Mueller facing new Republican pressure to resign in Russia probe.

On the other hand, the full court press to attack Mueller makes me think they're terrified of what he's going to do.
posted by zachlipton at 2:25 PM on October 27, 2017 [33 favorites]


Gosh-darn elites, picking on humble small-town folks and their $300 million no-bid contracts.

They are so good at this, they really are. I heard Steve Bannon on NPR this week and he was speaking to a crowd in Arizona or something and he said something like, 'They think you're morons. They really think you're stupid.' And it wasn't like Trump says it, it had that intimate tone, like he is really on the side of the audience and is secretly saying 'but you and I know you're really smart and I can tell you're smart because I'm smart too' but he never says that out loud, he says they think you're stupid and lets the subtext float down around them.

It's paint-by-numbers manipulation, some people are very susceptible to this stuff, and he's really good at it.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:26 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


This is just a wild guess here, but is it possibly because many of them are stupid?
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:27 PM on October 27, 2017 [24 favorites]


Ryan Zinke, responding to the Whitefish controversy: "Only in elitist Washington, D.C., would being from a small town be considered a crime." [real]

The fact that the corporate news holes aren't picking their teeth with Queen Zinke's bones over this says everything.
posted by petebest at 2:29 PM on October 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


Fox News: This week’s bombshell that a controversial anti-Trump dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign has Republicans asking to what extent the FBI – which received some of the findings and briefly agreed to pay the same researcher to gather intelligence on Trump and Russia – used the politically connected material.

So that's the new standard. Police shouldn't use evidence that is connected to politicians. If they do, it disqualifies their agency director from any future investigations of opposing politicians.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:31 PM on October 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is just a wild guess here, but is it possibly because many of them are stupid?

They continue to support Trump. Stupid is the kindest thing one could say about them.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 2:32 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


Trump nominee to Justice Department post says he will support Russia probe

Is "support" another term for "derail" now?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:32 PM on October 27, 2017


jesus, that kid video made me cringe. he's joshing with those kids like they're miniature like, fellow board members or something. he just told a bunch of kids that their parents are awful. Jesus.
posted by angrycat at 2:33 PM on October 27, 2017 [11 favorites]


Andrew Sullivan: This Is What the Trump Abyss Looks Like
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on October 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


They are so good at this, they really are. I heard Steve Bannon on NPR this week and he was speaking to a crowd in Arizona or something and he said something like, 'They think you're morons. They really think you're stupid.' And it wasn't like Trump says it, it had that intimate tone, like he is really on the side of the audience and is secretly saying 'but you and I know you're really smart and I can tell you're smart because I'm smart too' but he never says that out loud, he says they think you're stupid and lets the subtext float down around them.

It's paint-by-numbers manipulation, some people are very susceptible to this stuff, and he's really good at it.


Fry: Uh, just so we'll know, who's the enemy?

Captain Zapp Brannigan: A valid question! We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like. But we can assume this. They stand for everything we don't stand for. Also, they told me you guys look like dorks.

Bender: They look like dorks!
posted by Existential Dread at 2:34 PM on October 27, 2017 [9 favorites]


'They think you're morons. They really think you're stupid.'
Trump's Mirror held by Bannon. He spent long enough in the Wall Street Banking business to know never to underestimate the 'market's' intelligence. And working with Trump just reinforced that. His only problem is he overestimates the number too stupid to wise up.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:34 PM on October 27, 2017


This is just a wild guess here, but is it possibly because many of them are stupid?

Maybe?

There’s no question the folks in my rural home town (Redding, Ca, State of Jefferson) were sensitive to being perceived as unsophisticated bumpkins, and developed various defensive postures. So Bannon is probably on to something there.
posted by notyou at 2:35 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


“The federal code could not be clearer – Mueller is compromised by his apparent conflict of interest in being close with James Comey,” Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., who first called for Mueller to step down over the summer, said in a statement to Fox News on Friday. “The appearance of a conflict is enough to put Mueller in violation of the code. … All of the revelations in recent weeks make the case stronger.”

The former FBI director is disqualified from investigating an alleged crime of obstruction of justice because he may be friends with another former FBI director who is an alleged victim of the crime. He might show an alarming pro-victim bias, and we cannot have police investigators working in the interests of victims of alleged crime because where would it end?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:35 PM on October 27, 2017 [7 favorites]


The fact that the corporate news holes aren't picking their teeth with Queen Zinke's bones over this says everything.

That's King Zinke's wife you're talking about. Don't you dare besmirch the name of Queen Lolita Hand Zinke.

(by God there's some sort of joke to be made but I'm not putting in the legwork)
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:38 PM on October 27, 2017 [7 favorites]


I like to imagine that every time a new, big, story drops about Trump or about the GOP attacking the investigation Something like the following scene takes place:

Mueller steps out of his office, the cacophony of keyboards, conversations, phones, and papers being shuffled immediately stops, Mueller gives a quick, facts only summary of whatever the thing is and then steps back into his office. Grimly determined looks resettle on everyone's faces, heads go back down, and the cacophony resumes a little louder and a little faster than before.
posted by VTX at 2:40 PM on October 27, 2017 [13 favorites]


and I thought the worst big zinc-y scandal would be the continued minting of pennies
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:40 PM on October 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


Andrew Sullivan: This Is What the Trump Abyss Looks Like

This is what's been creeping up into my head lately. We are resisting and it's...not making any difference. The propaganda machine is too loud and we are not. The mechanisms that are driving this change aren't within our sight, we can't break them down.
posted by Brainy at 2:46 PM on October 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


We are resisting and it's...not making any difference.

I dunno, Obamacare repeal failed and that was the single biggest thing that TrumpCo wanted to accomplish. Yes he did some bullshit executive orders but what can be done with the stroke of a pen can be undone with the stroke of a pen + Trump owns it in a way he wouldn't have otherwise.
posted by Justinian at 2:49 PM on October 27, 2017 [54 favorites]


Ok, I had to take the survey:
Mainstream Media Accountability Survey

Do you trust the mainstream media to put the interests of Americans first?
Oh, this is going to be a smorgasbord of false dichotomies, isn't it.

Do you trust the mainstream media to report fairly on our presidency?
The mainstream media isn't doing enough to investigate and report on Trump's constant lies, violation