the first cut won't hurt at all
November 2, 2017 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Day 287: Cut, Cut, Cut. [this is your U.S. politics thread]

Republicans have released their tax plan (NYT). Amber Phillips (WaPo) looks at the political atmosphere, Heather Long (WaPo) crunches the numbers to declare winners and losers, and the WSJ is running a liveblog of sorts.

It has been 41 days since Hurricane Maria devastated an island of over 3.4 million American citizens.


It typically looks a bit bad

When one of the staffers you had
Pursued stolen email
Supplied by a female
Who claimed a relation to Vlad.
- @Limericking
posted by lalex (2724 comments total) 100 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am not the ruler of political threads, but I would like to suggest that folks who want to continue discussing the DNC either do so in the previous thread or make a new post centered on the Brazile piece.

Carry on!
posted by lalex at 11:30 AM on November 2 [42 favorites]


Countless mobile phones quiver with relief.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:33 AM on November 2 [26 favorites]


Can we make all the #resistance tweeters write 100 times on a chalk board that 'vlad' is not the correct diminutive for Vladimir?
posted by Space Coyote at 11:34 AM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Some numbers on the tax plan from CRFB (a detailed table inside)
Of the $1.5 trillion cost, roughly $1 trillion comes from business tax cuts. Individual tax cuts make up another $300 billion, and the ultimate repeal of the estate tax accounts for the remaining $200 billion.

Within the business cuts, the legislation would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent ($1.5 trillion), allow companies to fully deduct the cost of business investments in the year they are made through 2022 ($25 billion), and limit the top rate on certain pass-through business income paid on the individual side to 25 percent ($448 billion). These provisions are partially offset by tax base-broadening provisions, including reducing the limit on interest deductions ($172 billion), eliminating the domestic production activities deduction ($95 billion), limiting carryover of net operating losses ($156 billion), eliminating the orphan drug tax credit ($54 billion), and eliminating private activity bonds ($39 billion). The business tax reform plan also includes a number of international changes which generate modest positive revenue, a one-time tax on foreign-held earnings of U.S. corporations ($223 billion), and a number of smaller provisions.

On the individual side, the plan would consolidate individual income tax rates to four brackets of 12, 25, 35, and 39.6 percent ($1.1 trillion) and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT ($696 billion). To pay for these changes, it would repeal the state and local income and sales tax deductions, limit the property tax deduction, limit the mortgage interest deduction and reform or repeal various other itemized deductions ($1.3 trillion). The legislation would also reform higher education benefits ($65 billion) and repeal or reform a number of smaller tax breaks. Finally, the legislation would repeal the personal exemption in favor of a larger standard deduction, a larger child tax credit, and a new $300 per person tax credit; these provisions would be roughly neutral when taken together, though the $300 per person credit would expire after 5 years and continuing it would increase costs.

The proposal would also roughly double the exemption for the estate tax immediately and ultimately repeal it starting in 2024 ($172 billion).
So that's a net tax cut for individuals of $300B ($3.3T in individual tax cuts, but $3.0T in individual tax increases), a net $1T cut for businesses, and then another $172T from cutting the estate tax (which applies only to estates worth more than $5.34 million, double that for a married couple). And it increases the deficit by $1.5T, even using some stupid gimmicks like sunsetting certain provisions after five years. Repealing the estate tax alone means that a large portion of the cuts will go to millionaires.
posted by zachlipton at 11:35 AM on November 2 [29 favorites]


I hope we get more indictments in this thread, that was a good time.
posted by Andrhia at 11:35 AM on November 2 [137 favorites]


Toupee Trump and his cut! cut! cut! Plan DOES NOTHING and is BAD POLICY! Sad! Ludicrous! This grate country deserves better!
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:35 AM on November 2 [8 favorites]


***For all of your pre-emptive mental health needs: Undertale video game original soundtrack. Have a listen. Feel free to take a deep & calming breath to sooth your worries. ***
posted by Fizz at 11:37 AM on November 2 [13 favorites]


(citing from the previous thread)
More tax bill gems:
-eliminates the deduction for teachers who buy supplies out of pocket (currently capped at $250)


Pardon me. I have to find every Republican I know and scream directly in their faces until one of us dies.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:39 AM on November 2 [169 favorites]


This is interesting.

@KenDilanianNBC: Sessions now recalls that he nixed proposal for Trump-Putin meeting, appearing to contradict his previous accounts, sources tell NBC News

Sen. Franken knew exactly what he was doing on January 10th:
SEN. AL FRANKEN: "If there was any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this (2016) campaign, what would you do?," the Minnesota Democrat asked.

SESSIONS: "I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians."
posted by zachlipton at 11:39 AM on November 2 [110 favorites]


[PLEASE NOTE: shit has been kinda crazy and breakneck this week, and that's led to a lot more chatter than is really ideal for these threads. Please try to refocus on adding substantive stuff about what's going on to the thread, not so much on getting in scraps with each other or riffing endlessly during moments when nothing's happening.]
posted by cortex at 11:43 AM on November 2 [100 favorites]


Here is a reminder to please be nice to everyone. We’re all feeling very fragile these days.
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:45 AM on November 2 [48 favorites]


Loony leftist local field report, the Lower Manhattan DSA Halloween fundraiser party raised more than 1000$ for the brand new chapter - NYC Medicare For All canvassing training Nov. 5th - Dec 1st, Write holiday letters for people behind bars - REMEMBER TO VOTE IN YOUR LOCAL ELECTIONS -Manhattanites Write In Marc Fliedner for DA to say Bye to Cy Vance - we got a new logo
posted by The Whelk at 11:45 AM on November 2 [23 favorites]


Any of you taxy types know how this new tax plan will affect Americans living overseas? Asking for a me.
posted by Optamystic at 11:46 AM on November 2 [9 favorites]


Also asking for a friend who is me, I have been unable to confirm or deny if head of household filing status is still in the new plan, has anyone seen mention of it?
posted by Flannery Culp at 12:01 PM on November 2


Friendly reminder: Election Day is next Tuesday, November 7th. And it's not just the high-profile Senate/House/Governor elections that we've been reading about in these threads (thanks Chrysostom!). Municipal, county, and state positions are probably up for grabs where you live.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 12:01 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, VIRGINIA, WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO KNOCK DOORS

GET OUT THE VOTE IS THIS WEEKEND

MEMAIL ME
posted by dogheart at 12:01 PM on November 2 [18 favorites]


Can we make all the #resistance tweeters write 100 times on a chalk board that 'vlad' is not the correct diminutive for Vladimir?

What IS the diminutive for Vladimir?
posted by Billiken at 12:02 PM on November 2 [24 favorites]


-eliminates the deduction for teachers who buy supplies out of pocket (currently capped at $250)

I don't usually quote my own material, but as I said many, many US politics threads ago, for modern Republicans, the real treasure is the suffering they caused along the way.

I swear to God they don't seem to be happy unless they're kicking someone lower on the ladder than they are.

And I'm finally starting to understand that, despite what independents and centrists often say in defense of so-called fiscal conservatism, it actually doesn't matter if a government provided good or service costs pennies a year or truly is a sizable chunk of the budget: if it helps a person who's not part of their gang, if that person's losing it would cause hardship that could otherwise be avoided, they're all for it.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:04 PM on November 2 [63 favorites]


Vova
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:04 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


BOOM - Mueller formally links Manafort to Moscow mobster Mogilevich in his indictment! Newsweek: Mueller Reveals New Manafort Link to Organized Crime "Trump’s former campaign manager didn’t just do business with accused gangsters. One of them transferred millions into a Manafort account, allegedly used for money laundering."
The indictment (PDF), unsealed on Monday, includes an extensive look into Paul Manafort’s byzantine financial dealings. In particular, it details how he used a company called Lucicle Consultants Limited to wire millions of dollars into the United States.

The Cyprus-based Lucicle Consultants Limited, in turn, reportedly received millions of dollars from a businessman and Ukrainian parliamentarian named Ivan Fursin, who is closely linked to one of Russia’s most notorious criminals: Semion Mogilevich.

Mogilevich is frequently described as “the most dangerous mobster in the world.” Currently believed to be safe in Moscow, he is, according to the FBI, responsible for weapons trafficking, contract killings, and international prostitution. In 2009, he made the bureau’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.[...]

At least some of the money Manafort and Gates used to pay for all those goodies appears to have come from Fursin. The New York Times reported in July that Lucicle and Fursin are tied to an “offshore entity, Mistaro Ventures, which is registered in St. Kitts and Nevis and listed on a government financial disclosure form that Mr. Fursin filed in Ukraine.”

According to the Times, “Mistaro transferred millions to Lucicle in February 2012 shortly before Lucicle made the $9.9 million loan to Jesand L.L.C., a Delaware company that Mr. Manafort previously used to buy real estate in New York.” It was one month after that transfer that Lucicle started shelling out millions to pay for cars, clothes, and real estate, according to the indictment.

That isn’t Fursin’s only connection to Manafort. He is also a lawmaker for the Party of Regions, which paid at least $17 million to Manafort’s firm.
And remember, Trump Org has links to Mogilevich, too. Incidentally, Mogilevich’s lieutenant in the US, Vyacheslav "Yaponchik" Ivankov, was a resident of Trump Tower who reportedly had in his personal phone book the private telephone and fax numbers for the Trump Organization’s office in that building.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:04 PM on November 2 [100 favorites]


fiscal conservatism

Fiscal conservatives do not exist. I know George Will and David Broder and the NYT editorial page pretends that they do, and that we should take the concerns of these imaginary beings into consideration, but the simple fact is that Fiscal Conservatives, like the Tooth Fairy, simply do not exist.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:10 PM on November 2 [58 favorites]


I swear to God they don't seem to be happy unless they're kicking someone lower on the ladder than they are.

As they have publicly admitted to the press more than once, they only know how to oppose, they don't know how to govern.
posted by Melismata at 12:11 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


Also: yikes, only four days to a new thread? I don't think it's a record, but man am I tired...
posted by Melismata at 12:12 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


The flip side of the Vladimir/Vova thing is that Vlad is short for Vladislav.
posted by Justinian at 12:13 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Hmm, is "TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS TIES TO RUSSIAN MOB" an easier/better sell than collusion, in terms of the narrative? I kind of want to say it is, but lol the Republican base. They're already at or this close to "Russia is our friend so collusion = Good!" so I'm not sure they won't twist themselves into some new contortion to declare "Russian Mob = Best Mob, so smart to have ties to them!" or some nonsense. I'd say it'd be easy enough to pin it all on Manafort, but come on, no way Trump himself hasn't had direct dealings with shady Russian mob types after so many years in the NYC real estate business.
posted by yasaman at 12:14 PM on November 2 [22 favorites]


So Leah McElrath reports on Twitter that Kislayak was hanging out at Kennesaw the spring before the election.

Kennesaw. The place that ran Georgia's elections. You know, the same one with the baleeted server.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:14 PM on November 2 [84 favorites]


I don’t know if this is the right place, but as an update: I was just on the phone with my grandfather’s widow this morning and she says conditions there are far worse than are being reported. Apparently the morgues are so full that she says the soldiers have set up tents outside the morgue to try to keep the bodies cold while they wait for them to be processed. They are being told by local government that there will not be water for months. Anyone who wants water needs to go to city buildings downtown and haul it themselves, including the elderly. Banks are letting people take out money now and there is food but because of the lack of water, hygiene conditions are terrible and people are getting very sick. The hospitals are still trying to help people but they don’t have enough supplies or people for the conditions and are only able to deal with some emergencies. This is in western PR at least.
posted by corb at 12:14 PM on November 2 [278 favorites]


Swear to god it's gonna come out that Trump had literally murdered someone on 5th Avenue as part of the organized crime connection.
posted by odinsdream at 12:14 PM on November 2 [20 favorites]


Oh my god, Corb. I am so sorry. There really are no words.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:15 PM on November 2 [69 favorites]


Also: yikes, only four days to a new thread?

I like to post them around 2000 comments because that's when I think they start breaking people's devices, but I was really, really hesitant to post so soon after the last one.
posted by lalex at 12:15 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Holy god, corb. May there be a hell for those responsible to burn in.
posted by odinsdream at 12:15 PM on November 2 [29 favorites]


Jesus Christ, corb, that's beyond.....*anything*.

Since the POTUS won't mobilize any help for Puerto Rico, can I get a reminder of the best places to send some money?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:16 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]




Can we make all the #resistance tweeters write 100 times on a chalk board that 'vlad' is not the correct diminutive for Vladimir?

Look, I was told it was okay by the stories of Vlad Taltos - T-A-L-T-O-S, spell it right - and I'm sticking with it.

The Jhereg series is SO GOOD you guys...
posted by phearlez at 12:18 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


I still can't wrap my head around the fact that it's been less than ten months since he took office. It has been an exhausting year.
posted by azpenguin at 12:19 PM on November 2 [18 favorites]


The Cut Cut Cut Jobs and Economic Growth bill also eliminates the historic tax credits...a program that creates millions of skilled jobs, contributes to economic redevelopment, and actually makes money for the Treasury.

Please add it to the list when you call your Congresspeople.
posted by Preserver at 12:20 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


Meanwhile, Rick Perry says fossil fuels prevent sexual assault.

OK, I hold no brief for Perry, and I don't appreciate his religious language, but these comments are not as dumb as the headlines make it seem and he actually has a point that was not expressed well.
posted by lalex at 12:20 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


If Mueller has another guilty plea in his pocket (perhaps Flynn's), should he release it when Air Force One takes off, or is that too smug?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:21 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


If Mueller has another guilty plea in his pocket (perhaps Flynn's), should he release it when Air Force One takes off, or is that too smug?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 14:21 on November 2 [1 favorite +] [!]


No, because I actually have Heineken and Old Vienna Hot Corn here for Wheels Up.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:23 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Oh god, I didn't realize Trump will be in South Korea. Will he moon the DMZ?
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:29 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


(just a quick housekeeping note that doesn't need to be discussed - if folks think I'm attached to making these posts and therefore hold back on making their own: I am not! I just really hate when they become unwieldy. Feel free to make the posts!)
posted by lalex at 12:29 PM on November 2 [14 favorites]


Meanwhile, Rick Perry says fossil fuels prevent sexual assault.

Axios has the full quote with some context: Rick Perry claims fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault:
I just got back from Africa, I'm going to finish up with this, because I think I heard a lady say there are people dying. Let me tell you where people are dying, is in Africa, because of the lack of energy they have there. And it's going to take fossil fuels to push power out into those villages in Africa, where a young girl told me to my face, 'one of the reasons that electricity is so important to me is not only because I'm not going to have to try to read by the light of a fire and have those fumes literally killing people.' But also from the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts. So from the standpoint of how you really affect people's lives, fossil fuels is going to play a role in that. I happen to think it's going to play a positive role.
posted by cjelli at 12:31 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Oh god, I didn't realize Trump will be in South Korea. Will he moon the DMZ?

The White House has stated that Trump will not be making a visit to the DMZ on this trip. (I suppose he could moon it from a great distance, but.)
posted by cjelli at 12:32 PM on November 2


And it's going to take fossil fuels to push power out into those villages in Africa

Citation needed.
posted by peeedro at 12:33 PM on November 2 [24 favorites]


Remember CHIP? I guess we're just done with that now?
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:33 PM on November 2 [74 favorites]


I don't see how the Republicans would have the votes within their own caucus for Cuts Cuts Cuts. It would increase the deficit way too much for the deficit hawks, even if they make wildly inaccurate predictions for how much tax revenue they can get on the new economic activity. I am curious to see what the CBO says and what the Senate comes up with.

That said ... I kinda don't hate the bill from top to bottom. I am an accountant and I volunteer a good chunk of time every year to assist low- and middle-income folks with their taxes. Our current system, as it applies to lower- and middle-income earners, is needlessly complicated. It's a lot of time and effort (and money!) wasted at this lower end. I support having a very generous standard deduction instead of various special deductions. In that sense, I think the Republicans are on the right path here ... but it doesn't matter because their priority is tax cuts for the rich, and they can't afford to give away that much. Sigh.
posted by stowaway at 12:33 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


As wonderful as Monday's news was, I'm now unable to get this Vox article out of my head: America is facing an epistemic crisis. The scenarios depicted within feel all too plausible.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 12:33 PM on November 2 [47 favorites]


The avalanche of stupid coming from the WH made me forget about Mike Pence mean-mugging at the DMZ until tivalasvegas reminded me.
posted by haileris23 at 12:33 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


That statement is still fucking stupid guys.
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


So what he's really saying is that infrastructure can help prevent sexual assault.


This is actually something we've known since the late 19th century, it's just that infrastructure is one of the things we no longer want to invest in.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:34 PM on November 2 [46 favorites]


' U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, is retiring from Congress, two sources close to the congressman told The Texas Tribune on Thursday.'
"For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else," he wrote in an email obtained by the Tribune. "At the end of this Congress, I will have completed my six-year term as chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. I have one new grandchild and a second arriving soon! And I hope to find other ways to stay involved in politics."

"With over a year remaining in my term, there is still much to do," he added. "There is legislation to enact, dozens of hearings to hold and hundreds of votes to cast."
'For several reasons.'
posted by cjelli at 12:34 PM on November 2 [45 favorites]


Here's a pitch for the tax cut bill.

Join the brotherhood who is striving to overthrow our current tyranny of taxes. Join the Coup Cuts Clan.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:36 PM on November 2 [25 favorites]




Haha, snort: Gates and Manafort asked if they could take off their GPS bracelets for house arrest, judge said no. cite
posted by Melismata at 12:38 PM on November 2 [110 favorites]


So what he's really saying is that infrastructure can help prevent sexual assault.

Yes, and he's very explicitly saying that Africa's infrastructure needs to be developed with fossil fuels and not with renewables. (He's said the same thing about American infrastructure, too.)

It's a very dumb and frustrating statement but the REAL reasons WILL LITERALLY SHOCK YOU (but the electricity for that shock will be generated entirely by burning fossil fuels)
posted by cjelli at 12:39 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


I have been unable to confirm or deny if head of household filing status is still in the new plan, has anyone seen mention of it?

Yes, it's still there. (I haven't read carefully enough yet to see whether they've tweaked it in a way to otherwise mess it up though.)

Any of you taxy types know how this new tax plan will affect Americans living overseas? Asking for a me.

There are some changes to IRC Sec. 911 (foreign earned income exclusion) that appear to be minor on first glance. No changes that I can see to foreign financial account reporting.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:42 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


The debate over this tax plan absolutely needs to include discussion of the debt. Taking the $1.5 trillion figure, we can't let Repubs claim that people will save $1,000 a year without pointing out that every man, woman and baby in the U.S. will owe $5,000 more in debt, plus tons of interest every year.

The middle class tax cuts expire after 5 years, while cuts for the rich go on and on. So basically, people are at best getting a VISA cash advance that they'll have to pay back. That's the bait for giving billions to companies and rich inheritors.
posted by msalt at 12:43 PM on November 2 [87 favorites]


Yes, and he's very explicitly saying that Africa's infrastructure needs to be developed with fossil fuels and not with renewables.


Well, yes- that's what makes it stupid.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:45 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Since the POTUS won't mobilize any help for Puerto Rico, can I get a reminder of the best places to send some money?

While I appreciate the thought and desire, I am honestly overwhelmed right now and the idea of coming up with the Best Org to donate to is kind of intimidating. But I think maybe it doesn’t have to be the best? Anything you can do is more than he will and makes people in PR a little less forgotten.
posted by corb at 12:51 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


We can beat the debt drum all day long, but deficit hawks and fiscal conservatives only come home to roost when Democrats are in power.

See NY Times
posted by pdoege at 12:53 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


Charity Navigator has a list of charities providing assistance in Puerto Rico and other areas affected by the hurricanes.
posted by lharmon at 12:55 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


I have given to and have been plugging Unidos por Puerto Rico but the list that lharmon has many other good charities.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:58 PM on November 2 [14 favorites]


Taking the $1.5 trillion figure, we can't let Repubs claim that people will save $1,000 a year without pointing out that every man, woman and baby in the U.S. will owe $5,000 more in debt, plus tons of interest every year.

The assertion is that the tax cuts will pay for themselves through, I dunno, magic. This is coming from the same people (literally, the same ones!) who said the Iraq War would pay for itself. (Narrator: It didn't.)
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:00 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


Sen. Franken Demands Attorney General Jeff Sessions Explain Himself Amid New Trump-Russia Revelations

There's an eight-page letter with six pages of detailed questions he asks Sessions to answer, which was delivered to Sessions today.
posted by cjelli at 1:01 PM on November 2 [161 favorites]


America is facing an epistemic crisis

Post-ABC poll: Most Americans approve of Trump-Russia probe, and nearly half think Trump committed a crime
More than twice as many Americans approve as disapprove of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of possible coordination between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds, indicating that the conservative effort to discredit the probe has fallen flat as the case has progressed toward its first public charges.

A 58 percent majority say they approve of Mueller’s handling of the investigation while 28 percent say they disapprove, the Post-ABC poll finds. People’s views depend in large part on their political leanings, but overall, Americans are generally inclined to trust Mueller and the case he has made so far.

Meanwhile, fewer than 4 in 10 Americans say they believe Trump is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, while about half believe he is not.

A similar 49 percent think it is likely Trump himself committed a crime in connection with possible Russian attempts to influence the election, though more say this view is based on suspicion rather than hard evidence.
posted by chris24 at 1:01 PM on November 2 [63 favorites]


We can beat the debt drum all day long, but deficit hawks and fiscal conservatives only come home to roost when Democrats are in power.

This. The national debt does not matter. No one thinks it does, least of all Republicans. Except when they want to use it as a cudgel to stop Democrats from enacting their agenda. Buying into their bullshit that we should care one iota about the national debt is the quickest way to hamstring a future Democratic congress. Remember when Obama tried to sell out Social Security and Medicare in the 2011 "Grand Bargain"? That was because he bought into Republican debt chicken little framing.

The national debt doesn't. fucking. matter. ever.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:02 PM on November 2 [54 favorites]


In Wisconsin, the best demonstration of how the tax cuts end up costing us more is the roads... We may save 1k in taxes now, but have to pay way more than that to get the suspensions on our car fixed due to potholes.
posted by drezdn at 1:02 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Carter Page has been with the Senate Intel Committee for five hours now. Sans lawyer.
posted by PenDevil at 1:04 PM on November 2 [112 favorites]


In Wisconsin, the best demonstration of how the tax cuts end up costing us more is the roads... We may save 1k in taxes now, but have to pay way more than that to get the suspensions on our car fixed due to potholes.

I remember dealing with this exact scenario while playing SimCity 2000.
posted by Melismata at 1:05 PM on November 2 [41 favorites]


Sans lawyer.

That's almost comic.

I'd ask why he thought that would be a good idea, but after the Chris Hayes interview I've given up trying to make sense of what Carter Page does or why he does it.
posted by cjelli at 1:06 PM on November 2 [21 favorites]


YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!
posted by msbutah at 1:07 PM on November 2 [32 favorites]


The national debt doesn't. fucking. matter. ever.

Basically every politics conversation with my dad features a trip to national debt lane. I think it's a legitimate belief, and one he's held as long as I've been able to understand, but it seems to have zero logical effect on his voting in the general elections. He's a consistent Republican voter, despite all the evidence that voting for the Republicans to be deficit hawks is foolish. Occasionally, it seems to come out, a tiny bit, in primaries, where he was a Kasich man at first, before jumping ship to (*vomits into mouth*) Cruz when he saw Kasich had no chance to stop Trump. It's maddening that he can't be convinced to vote for the party that is demonstrably better on the issue he claims to care about, for reasons that were set in stone 30 years ago (when they were also wrong).
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:09 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]




CNN: Jared Kushner's team turned over documents to special counsel in Russia investigation
Mueller's investigators have expressed interest in Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, as part of its probe into Russian meddling, including potential obstruction of justice in Comey's firing, sources familiar with the matter said.

Their questions about Kushner signal that Mueller's investigators are reaching the President's inner circle and have extended beyond the 2016 campaign to actions taken at the White House by high-level officials.
...
Kushner voluntarily turned over documents he had from the campaign and the transition, and these related to any contacts with Russia, according to a source familiar with the matter. The documents are similar to the ones Kushner gave to congressional investigators.
posted by cjelli at 1:10 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


Re: Manafort/Gates

In a better world than this, on Monday, the Judge orders them held until trial. Because, you know, they have friends with private jets and shit.

Maybe I'll go buy a steak and have it on hand to celebrate that unlikely occurrence, then I can just toss it on the grill.

Despair is a sin.
posted by mikelieman at 1:12 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Wait--the tax plan cuts the adoption tax credit?! I thought Republicans were super supportive of adoptions, at least as “family values” cover when defunding Planned Parenthood, if not as genuine interest in, you know, helping kids and families. (Checks GOP site) Yep, seems to still be explicitly part of the GOP platform (emphasis mine):
Families formed or enlarged by adoption strengthen our communities and ennoble our nation. Private entities which facilitate adoptions enrich our communities. [...] We applaud the Republican initiatives which have led to an increase in adoptions, an achievement which should be recognized in any restructuring of the federal tax code.
Even by their own standards, how does this make any sense? In 2015 the adoption tax credit cost $300 million (source) -- spread out across a lot of families. The biggest group claiming the credit is households earning $100K to $200K (it's capped a little above $200K), & nearly two-thirds of the families claiming the credit earn less. To concentrate that money, money that's helping place children in stable families, like you said you wanted, Republicans, and kick it toward corporations is just... mindnumbingly petty and hypocritical and rapacious.

Mostly I am hardened to hypocrisy like this but some days it slips in like a slow blade and makes me want to yell and yell and yell.

P.S. Direct from the White House: Happy National Adoption Month everybody
posted by miles per flower at 1:13 PM on November 2 [48 favorites]


> Post-ABC poll: Most Americans approve of Trump-Russia probe, and nearly half think Trump committed a crime

Not to be too cynical about it, but it looks like 70 years of pro-FBI G-Man propaganda in movies and TV has an upside. So, thanks Ness, Mulder and Scully, I guess.
posted by klarck at 1:15 PM on November 2 [41 favorites]


Add me to team "deficits don't matter." Charging hypocrisy doesn't work -- all it does is give them clips they can play later when Democrats want to spend money on infrastructure or safety net programs. If the US economy were humming along smoothly then I would prioritize deficit reduction more, but it's not, so now is the time to spend so that we can "prime the pump", to coin a phrase.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:16 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


The documents are similar to the ones Kushner gave to congressional investigators.

So, in need of a half dozen or so "revisions and corrections" as other stuff comes to light? Mueller should be cool with that, right?
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:17 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Carter Page has been with the Senate Intel Committee for five hours now. Sans lawyer.

We know what it's like trying to get a straight answer from the guy. Imagine that for five hours.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:18 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Even by their own standards, how does this make any sense?

Simple: they don't have standards. Their only ideology is tax cuts for the wealthy (and disdain for the poor, women, minorities, etc.).
posted by rikschell at 1:21 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


In a better world than this, on Monday, the Judge orders them held until trial. Because, you know, they have friends with private jets and shit.

Not to mention 3 different passports. The fact that one individual can do that tells me there's maybe a problem with passport control. Sad!
posted by nubs at 1:22 PM on November 2 [14 favorites]


Carter Page has been with the Senate Intel Committee for five hours now. Sans lawyer.

I feel sorry for whoever has to clean up the spittle on the table.
posted by odinsdream at 1:27 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Not to be too cynical about it, but it looks like 70 years of pro-FBI G-Man propaganda in movies and TV has an upside. So, thanks Ness, Mulder and Scully, I guess.

It's even worse. You need to thank J. Edgar Hoover, because he's the one responsible for creating the public image of the incorruptible G-man.

Strange Bedfellows.*

*insert obvious j. edgar hoover joke here.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:27 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


That Al Franken follow-up letter to Jeff Sessions is a thing of beauty. Highly recommended reading. 8 pages, but make sure you have time to SAVOR every section. Shit, I needed a cigarette when I finished it.
posted by mikelieman at 1:28 PM on November 2 [50 favorites]


If the FBI or the dept. of Correction or whoever is in charge of making sure Manafort and Gates don't make a run for it doesn't have a team of people watching their every move 24/7 I'll bake and eat a tiny hat shaped cake.

YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!

My gut reaction to this day to anyone ever suggesting less money be spent on roads is exactly that. I can still see his face. It's like Sim City 2000 PTSD or something.
posted by VTX at 1:29 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


How can someone have 3 current US passports? Even applying for an additional passport seems like it should be some sort of crime to me, is there no declaration that you don't already have a valid passport anywhere on the application?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:33 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Okay, if Manfort or Gates were in fact to flee, wouldn't that actually look incredibly shady and cast a tremendous amount of doubt on the whole administration? I mean, having the flee to nestle in the bosom of all these Russian mob dudes seems like a propaganda win, if anything.
posted by Frowner at 1:35 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


"The Best People" (tm) apparently don't hire the best lawyers.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:35 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Is a transcript of the Carter Page testimony going to be released?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:35 PM on November 2


You can get a duplicate passport in some cases, e.g., if you need to visit both Israel and a country that will deny your visa if you have a stamp from Israel.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:38 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


Is a transcript of the Carter Page testimony going to be released?

It won't automatically be withheld, as would be the case in closed hearing, but my understanding is that the committee could still decide to withhold it or, more likely, to redact portions of it, depending on what Page actually says. Odds are 'yes, with redactions' but we don't know for sure yet.
posted by cjelli at 1:38 PM on November 2


Can you have more than one passport?
Yes. U.S. citizens are allowed to have more than one valid U.S. passport at the same time, according to the National Passport Information Center, which is a division of the U.S. State Department.
posted by Floydd at 1:38 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


> How can someone have 3 current US passports?

having two passports isn't unheard of; in order to travel to many countries you have to send your passport off in the mail to have the visa physically pasted into it, and the passport office will grant you a second passport if you have urgent and imminent business travel coming up. You can IIRC also be granted a second passport if you travel to countries which don't like each other and having e.g. stamps from Libya in your passport when you visit Israel would result in your having a very bad day at border control.

Three, though? Sounds shady as fuck to me unless one of them is a diplomatic passport or some other unusual type (which still sounds shady as fuck to me re: Paul Fucking Manifort).
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 1:40 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


National Association of Home Builders & National Association of Realtors strongly against Tax Bill.


These idiots do it every time. Write it in secret, and then die death by 1,000 cuts because it gets torched by interest groups. There's a reason why you don't write shit in secret! It keeps it from blowing up in your faces!
posted by leotrotsky at 1:40 PM on November 2 [37 favorites]


Sans lawyer.

That's almost comic.


Comic Sans Lawyer: Coming this fall on ABC.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:44 PM on November 2 [112 favorites]


Free question for White House reporters: If Trump’s defense is, “collusion isn’t a crime” then why would you need a special prosecutor to charge Hilary Rodham Clinton with “collusion?”

What IS the diminutive for Vladimir?

Vladimir
posted by Room 641-A at 1:44 PM on November 2 [40 favorites]


Can I just say that I don't really think any of these shitstains deserve to have the words 'The Honorable' preceding their name for any reason. They are public fucking servants, not royalty.
posted by yoga at 1:45 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


die death by 1,000 cuts

Coincidentally, that was the working title of the plan.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:45 PM on November 2 [38 favorites]


Wait--the tax plan cuts the adoption tax credit?! I thought Republicans were super supportive of adoptions, at least as “family values” cover when defunding Planned Parenthood, if not as genuine interest in, you know, helping kids and families.

And we had a placement on Aug 26th, with finalization probably to happen around March of next year. So this is a big punch right in the face for my family, as expenses towards the ATC count for the year after you make them. So other than the under $1k for our home study and clearances that means all the huge payments we made in this year won't get credited.

Really this is sort of the second stabbing for the ATC since it hasn't been refundable for years. It's great for my family since we have $13,400 in taxes to offset. Someone earning, say, $40k would only get to realize about $5k in savings, the other $8,400 can be carried forward up to 5 years. Which requires doing taxes with a level of complexity above average.
posted by phearlez at 1:48 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


I think it's a symptom of having exceeded their goals, leotrotsky. They have succeeded in executing their horrific agenda as articulated by various think tanks / upside-down intellectuals / etc. beyond any reasonable expectation, so they are forced to improvise on policy goals. It's either random bits of clumsily dogwhistled class & gender & race & culture war unless they can get a break for their support networks to cook up an explanation for why working children in the textile mills actually results in more net limbs.

btw, I hear you're getting real popular with the kids these days. congratulations!
posted by The Gaffer at 1:49 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


I'd just like to note that with the Cut Cut Cut Act (not "plan") we are almost in the America of Walker Percy's Love In The Ruins
The old Republican Party has become the Knothead Party, so named during the last Republican convention in Montgomery when a change of name was proposed, the first suggestion being the Christian Conservative Constitutional Party, and the campaign buttons were printed with the letters CCCP before an Eastern-liberal commentator noted the similarity to the initials printed on the backs of Soviet cosmonauts and called it the most knotheaded political bungle of the century--which the conservatives, in the best tradition, turned to their own advantage, printing a million more buttons reading "Knotheads for America" and banners proclaiming "No Man Can Be Too Knotheaded in the Service of His Country."
I take what comforts I can to keep me going.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:50 PM on November 2 [24 favorites]


It's even worse. You need to thank J. Edgar Hoover, because he's the one responsible for creating the public image of the incorruptible G-man.

That image was seriously damaged in the 1970s first by the revelation following his death of Hoover's illegal activities, and then by his successor burning key evidence in the Watergate scandal plus a number of other FBI disasters in the 70s. It took a long time for FBI to regain some of that credibility (let's take it as read that not everyone here will agree it has regained any credibility).
posted by Preserver at 1:51 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]




National Education Association is against the tax bill.

National Conference of State Legislatures is against the SALT deduction change as is the US Conference of Mayors.

AARP is against eliminating the medical expense deduction (which they're calling the "health tax").
posted by melissasaurus at 1:55 PM on November 2 [27 favorites]


The FBI are cops who wear suits.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:55 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


‘We’re all sick of it’: Virginia’s election descends into another hatefest -- Voters of all persuasions are in unanimous agreement -- this Virginia Gubernatorial election sucks.
posted by schmod at 1:57 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Lol this hearing

Chris Hayes had Page going from "No" to "I don't know" to "It's possible" to "It happened" in a 10 minute softball interview on MSNBC, the dude must be spilling Kremlin state secrets by now.
posted by PenDevil at 1:58 PM on November 2 [45 favorites]


Seven hours into Carter Page interview, Rep. Speier steps out and says “it’s gonna be awhile.”

The transcript of this hearing will be wild.


REP. SPEIER: Mr Page, what was your role within the Trump campaign?
PAGE: Let me start my tale at the beginning, which seems the most appropriate place to start my tale. My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery... [fake]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:59 PM on November 2 [64 favorites]


You couldn't get me to talk about my favorite ice cream flavors in front of Congress without a lawyer present. The fuck does Carter Page think he's doing? First the Chris Hayes interview, now this? He's going to get someone sent to prison, if not himself.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:00 PM on November 2 [21 favorites]


Not to be too cynical about it, but it looks like 70 years of pro-FBI G-Man propaganda in movies and TV has an upside. So, thanks Ness, Mulder and Scully, I guess.

wow way to erase the works of Special Agent Dale Cooper
posted by Apocryphon at 2:00 PM on November 2 [79 favorites]


The Cut Cut Cut Jobs and Economic Growth bill also eliminates the historic tax credits...a program that creates millions of skilled jobs, contributes to economic redevelopment, and actually makes money for the Treasury.

Shit. That would really hurt here in Pittsburgh. There are so many projects to restore all the huge old buildings around there that are only economically feasible with those credits. Without that help they're just going to be left to rot and eventually collapse.
posted by octothorpe at 2:02 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Allow me to clarify my previous remark: You couldn't get me to talk about my favorite ice cream flavors in front of Congress without a lawyer present, and I haven't spent the last 18 months lying about my collusion with Russian spies trying to get Trump elected in violation of dozens of laws
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:03 PM on November 2 [33 favorites]


JCT has released their scoring of the tax bill: available here (autodownloading PDF).

Summary thread from @econwonk (Zach Moller) in progress here, with Byrd rule impacts.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:03 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


‘We’re all sick of it’: Virginia’s election descends into another hatefest -- Voters of all persuasions are in unanimous agreement -- this Virginia Gubernatorial election sucks.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuck this both-sides BULLSHIT.

EMPHASIS MINE WAY DOWN ON THE FUCKING PAGE:
For the past few weeks, Gillespie’s campaign has run ads tying Northam, a pediatrician and Army doctor, to MS-13 gangbangers and to a child pornographer.

Northam supporters responded with fliers tying Gillespie to white nationalists. Then, a group called the Latino Victory Fund released an ad showing minority children being chased down by a pickup truck with a “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate, a Confederate flag and a Gillespie bumper sticker.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT IN THOSE TWO PARAGRAPHS DVORAK???? WHAT'S DIFFERENT YOU FUCKING SHITSTAIN HACK?
posted by phearlez at 2:05 PM on November 2 [89 favorites]


Good and entertaining Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on voting machine hacking and the push for paper ballots.

She has been killin' it if you don't watch her show. It streams on Youtube the "next day" (later that night) after air. So every Thursday or so.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:07 PM on November 2 [27 favorites]


The national debt doesn't. fucking. matter. ever.

If it didn't matter, Republicans wouldn't use it as an argument. Think what you will about them, they understand what messages work with voters.

My point is, you have to connect it with the phase out of middle class tax cuts (which need to be emphasized anyway). These cuts will be paid back in the future - after all of YOUR tax cuts are gone, while the rich guys get to keep theirs.
posted by msalt at 2:08 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


He's going to get someone sent to prison, if not himself.

It's an honourable job and someone's got to do it.
posted by dng at 2:10 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


"...and that's the whole truth, or my name's not Carter Page!"

"Is your name Carter Page?"

"Well, actually, no."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:11 PM on November 2 [49 favorites]


Carter Page is a very Ford Prefect sort of a name, isn't it.
posted by corvine at 2:12 PM on November 2 [56 favorites]


Carter The Unstoppable Speech Machine
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:14 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


Down here in Western Central Virginia, we get 3 times as many MS-13 ads (which are infuriating and insulting in addition to being misleading and filled with bastard sauce) as we get Northam ads, which are 50% "These Folks are Who Gillespie Lobbied For "(Enron, student loanmongers, Trump), and 50% Northam responding to Gillespie (which are not ... great).

Those MS-13 ads leave a slimy trail of ick behind them which is why I suspect they've replaced the "Northam is a wraith who wants to make your house a sanctuary city and rent it out to terrorists" ads that were just insulting and over-worked.

The Virginia Dems need to find someone better at doing their TV spots. I don't need them to go soulless and mean-spirited and mean-minded and bastardy like the Virginia GOP, but they need to be better at production values and presentation and messaging and etc. The Northam refutation ads are terrible production design, and they sure as heck don't showcase the man himself well at all.
posted by julen at 2:15 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


I’m a registered Dem in northern Virginia and the ONLY ads I’ve seen in this governor race on both sides have been negative. Gillespie seems to be trying to convince Trumpers he’s one of them while Northam’s been trying to scare lazy democrats into showing up. It has been almost unbearable and from the perspective of every Democrat voter I know seems to be turning what should be be a Dem blow out into a close race because the Democratic Party of Virginia can’t identify ONE REASON WHY I SHOULD VOTE FOR THEM, only reasons why I need to beat the other guy. It’s despicable and disheartening. The Democratic Party is an empty shell entirely without purpose at this point apparently by design.
posted by cyphill at 2:16 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


Every major Democratic politician needs to stfu about Brazile's book. I cannot believe how they are fucking up this news cycle. Jesus, maybe Perez has to go if he can't get them in line on simple shit before next week's elections.
posted by asteria at 2:20 PM on November 2 [36 favorites]


hahahahahhah HAHAHAHAHAHA: White House was unaware top adviser testified before grand jury
The White House first learned one of its senior staffers met with the grand jury hearing the case presented by the special counsel into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 election not from the staffer but from media reports, sources with knowledge of the investigation tell ABC News.

Former Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis recently testified before that grand jury into his role on President Donald Trump’s campaign. Clovis currently serves as the senior White House adviser to the Department of Agriculture.
posted by lalex at 2:20 PM on November 2 [88 favorites]


Revelation after revelation. Man, how far is it going to go before we stop using the euphemism of "collusion," and call it what it is—espionage.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 2:23 PM on November 2 [25 favorites]


Treason.

I think we can just call it treason.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:26 PM on November 2 [98 favorites]




So did Clovis really withdraw his own name from consideration for the ag undersec spot, or was he told he's not getting it after Trump found out he talked to the feds?
posted by jason_steakums at 2:28 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


They* have Top. Men. working on it right now!

* The administration, Congress, the Democratic campaign in Virginia, take your pick
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:28 PM on November 2


[A few comments here and there deleted. Folks, I would really really like you to push to contain the chattiness more. Links and specific discussion of them is good. The occasional joke is alright. Reflexive one-liner stuff en masse is part of why these threads get huge quickly.]
posted by cortex at 2:30 PM on November 2 [28 favorites]


Will they be in the SCIF all night or can they call time and pick it up later?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:32 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Newsweek: JEWS SHOULD CONCERN AMERICANS MORE THAN RUSSIAN INFLUENCE, NIGEL FARAGE SAYS

I understand the history of antisemitism, but seriously what the actual fuck? How the hell has antisemitism continued into the present day? How the hell has it remained so pervasive that in 20 fucking 17 a major UK political figure feels that expressing naked, open, antisemitism is totally fine and dandy and makes a good political point?

"Well, yes, there is strong evidence indicating that the Russian government interfered in the US elections, but LOOK OVER HERE, THERE'S JEWS TO HATE AND FEAR!!!!!"

I'm horrified, baffled, and staggered.

In short, what if Mueller proves the case and it’s not enough? What if there is no longer any evidentiary standard that could overcome the influence of right-wing media?

Understanding how we got to this point and what it is doesn't suggest easy answers either. The scariest thing is this: That’s what US elites are truly afraid to confront: What if facts and persuasion just don’t matter anymore?


"What if"? Dear VOX dude, I think we passed that point a **LONG** time ago. It isn't a matter of what if, it's an absolute, dead certainty. Nothing Muller comes up with will result in a single Republican Senator voting to remove Trump from office. Nothing Muller comes up with will result in Trump resigning. And I'm doubtful that Trump's approval rating will drop much more than it is currently.

Seriously, if admitting to sexual assault (bragging about it really), if admitting to tax fraud, if being openly nakedly racist, if outright proposing tax cuts for the richest people be paid for by the poorest, if none of that is going to hurt Trump or make the Republicans vote to remove him from office, why would anyone think there's event the slightest chance that the result of Muller's investigation will change anything?

If they uncover actual video of Trump on the phone with Putin explicitly saying he wants illegal help defeating Clinton how is that going to hurt him when the actual real life video of Trump calling on Putin to hack Clinton's email for him didn't?

We already know Trump wanted and asked for Russian help winning the election, here's the video link!

So yeah, of course nothing Muller digs up will make jack shit worth of difference in terms of getting Trump removed from office.

The only political effect of Muller's investigation will be, we hope, some good fodder for pro-Democratic campaign ads. That's it.

Not to belittle Muller. Truth is its own virtue and Muller should of course deliver the absolute best criminal case he possibly can. But the only people with any authority to actually do something about Trump are the Republicans in Congress, and they won't no matter what.

Facts and persuasion don't matter anymore. There's no if involved. Not as long as we're talking about Republicans anyway.

I'm optimistic because I hope that Muller's investigation can motivate Democrats and inspire the non-voters to actually get off their asses and vote for a change. But anyone who expects the end result of Muller's investigation to be Trump being removed from office or even one single Republican Congressperson voting to remove him is fooling themselves.

Facts and persuasion haven't mattered since 1968 and the Republican Party went full bore, no holds barred, racist.
posted by sotonohito at 2:35 PM on November 2 [40 favorites]


So aside from knowing that Carter Page is as dumb as a sack of hammers, I don't know that much about him.

What are the odds that he's in there spilling ALL the beans? (Intentional or otherwise)
posted by Twain Device at 2:35 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Who is Professor Joseph 'The Professor' Mifsud, and what's his story? Well, aren't those good questions.

(Graun backgrounder, which as it says raises more questions than answers.)
posted by Devonian at 2:38 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


I guess my previous, now deleted, comment was too opaque but I believe the fact that the WH learned about Clovis' testimony through media reports adds to the circumstantial evidence that he's flipped.
posted by lalex at 2:39 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


It occurs to me that if you really really needed a secure meeting with Congress, Carter Page's bizarre behavior is probably a good way to get it.

I'm still 99% sure he's just the dumbest boy in the world but that remaining 1% invites some fascinating speculation to explain his whole thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:40 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


just a quick housekeeping note that doesn't need to be discussed - if folks think I'm attached to making these posts and therefore hold back on making their own: I am not!

So why are you doing this then?

"Because there's no body else to do it right now, that's why. Believe me, if there were somebody else to do it, I'd let them do it, but there's not. So we're doing it."

Ah, that's what makes you that guy.

Franken seemed like he was going to be an okay Senator when we voted him in that first time. I was just relieved, as I usually am, that we elected a Democrat. I was happy, I hoped he'd do well, but I wasn't all that enthusiastic about him. But these days I'm so happy that I so greatly underestimated him. My father-in-law, as recently as last year told me that he didn't like Franken because he's, "Too milquetoast." He likes his Senators more like Ted Cruz (yeah, he said that). Since then, I've been ever more stunned at the extent to which my FIL forms such firm opinions without realizing that he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about.
SEN. AL FRANKEN: "If there was any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this (2016) campaign, what would you do?," the Minnesota Democrat asked.

SESSIONS: "I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians."
I remember seeing this exchange live and it was so weird at the time. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable question to which there should have been a succinct reply of, "If I had the evidence myself, I'd hand it over to the FBI. If I didn't, I'd insist whoever did hand it over and I'd call the FBI myself if they refused." Instead Session must have damn near shit his pants thinking, "HE KNOWS!" and we got that weird answer and the hint flop sweat. That his answer was a bald faced lie was obvious at the time but it's nice to have it confirmed.

I hope that over the next few months we'll be able to fill these threads with "So THAT'S why!" and "I fucking KNEW it!" type comments.
posted by VTX at 2:40 PM on November 2 [73 favorites]


I have this theory that Carter Page is trying to signal Trump that he's willing to take the fall for him. As far as I know, Trump hasn't called him the "coffee boy" yet, so maybe he's taken Page up on his offer. Page, honey, I hope you made sure that the check cleared before you testified.
posted by Soliloquy at 2:40 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


This is what Sam Clovis had to say about Trump a month before he joined his campaign:

“(Trump) left me with questions about his moral center and his foundational beliefs. ... His comments reveal no foundation in Christ, which is a big deal,” evangelical conservative activist Sam Clovis said in an email just 35 days before he quit his job as Republican Rick Perry’s Iowa chairman and signed on with Trump’s campaign.
In the emails, shared by Perry backers Wednesday with The Des Moines Register, Clovis castigated Trump for his past liberal positions and admission that he has never asked for God’s forgiveness for any wrongdoing.


Once a flipper... always a flipper.
posted by PenDevil at 2:43 PM on November 2 [23 favorites]


Someday Mueller is going to go visit a locked up Carter Page and find nothing but a Carter Page mask in an otherwise empty holding cell, with nothing on any of the security footage.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:46 PM on November 2 [52 favorites]


I can't decide if Carter Page is 1) just that dumb, 2) wants his 15 minutes of fame and doesn't care about the consequences, or 3) has some sort of vengeance motive.

In any event, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole corrupt, complicit, covfefe lot of them start flipping like pancakes and singing like canaries. That's a downside of building your empire on fear and naked exercise of power - no-one is going to cover for you or stick their neck out for you when things start to crumble.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:48 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


Clovis castigated Trump for his past liberal positions and admission that he has never asked for God’s forgiveness for any wrongdoing.

I claim no moral high ground, but some people and religions hold that God can only forgive the wrongdoing one might have done to God. Any forgiveness for wrongdoing done to others actually has to come from the people who have been hurt. That usually happens, I am told, after motherfuckers who cause harm apologize for their wrongful and hurtful actions. So yeah, that'd be a great start.
posted by mosk at 2:49 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


I remember seeing this exchange live and it was so weird at the time. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable question to which there should have been a succinct reply of, "If I had the evidence myself, I'd hand it over to the FBI."

I remember thinking that too - the question seemed like a nice bland, "so, what would you do about Evil Stuffs in the campaign?" setup, and the reply should've been an equally vague, "I would fight the Evil Stuffs." Or, more specifically, "I would check the evidence to confirm that it's valid and not just some hoax, and then I'd contact the appropriate authorities." Nowhere does it ask, "Do you know about Russian contacts?" so the response seemed really odd.

"If you found out the wrong band had been scheduled to play at the concert, what would you do?"
"I don't know anything about bands that aren't on the playlist. I've got a backstage pass, and I haven't talked with any other bands."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:50 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


I can't decide if Carter Page is 1) just that dumb, 2) wants his 15 minutes of fame and doesn't care about the consequences, or 3) has some sort of vengeance motive.

Carter Page declines to limit himself with your paltry "or" options. Carter Page embraces the power of "and."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:51 PM on November 2 [50 favorites]


In related news, a large hollow space in the Great Pyramid at Giza, empty and undisturbed for millennia, has been positively identified as the site of the Republican Strategic Empathy Reserves.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 2:53 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


I'm genuinely starting to wonder if there's something really wrong with Page to the point that it is maybe not 100% morally clean to put him on TV like this without the benefit of legal counsel.
posted by lalex at 2:55 PM on November 2 [21 favorites]


My father-in-law, as recently as last year told me that he didn't like Franken because he's, "Too milquetoast."

One biographic detail I learned (late) about Franken clarified his character for me like no other: he was a wrestler in high school. Sessions, on the other hand, played football, a sport in which consists mainly of players standing about in between bursts of running around. He has no idea what he's in for with Franken as an opponent.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:56 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]




@HouseInSession (Bloomberg)
Carter Page has invoked the 5th, on his own without a lawyer, regarding document production, says House Intel member Speier. Which documents? "Any documents," she tells me.
posted by chris24 at 2:57 PM on November 2 [45 favorites]


Every major Democratic politician needs to stfu about Brazile's book. I cannot believe how they are fucking up this news cycle. Jesus, maybe Perez has to go if he can't get them in line on simple shit before next week's elections.

Right? All I have to say is, WHY THE FUCK IS THIS HAPPENING FIVE DAYS BEFORE AN ELECTION? They could not wait ONE FUCKING WEEK to start tearing the party apart? I mean I'm no fan but when you've only got two parties and one of them is full of actual Nazis you would hope the party of not-actual-fucking-Nazis would be at least a tiny bit smart about this shit, oh my god.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:59 PM on November 2 [108 favorites]


"I am the documents!" said Page before flinging himself at a nearby paper shredder.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:59 PM on November 2 [78 favorites]


I would worry more about Page's mental-emotional competence, except that I've met plenty of guys like him: well-off, well-educated, smart by academic standards, reasonably empathetic in the sense that they care about starving children in the abstract and don't kick puppies, etc. And many of them have the same level of doublethink about politics; they absolutely cannot grasp that there's a problem with policies that make rich people richer, and when forced to face contradictions by their heroes, they blink and handwave past with a couple of buzzwords, and go back to their abstractly-libertarian stack of phrases.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:59 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Jake Tapper: Do you agree with notion that Democratic nomination was rigged in Hillary Clinton's favor?

Elizabeth Warren: Yes


UGHGHGHGHGH Can we not give this story any more clicks??! It's a real handy derail from the Mueller investigation and DJT's ongoing breakdown and UPCOMING ELECTIONS, all of which deserve the spotlight more. Our best hope is that DJT quits and/or doesn't run again in 2020. We need to maintain an unpleasant, hostile public opinion environment. And win elections.

Rehashing 2016 and stoking more anti-Hillary stuff isn't going to help us.
posted by witchen at 2:59 PM on November 2 [55 favorites]


(And so I don't edit: And because they think there's no problem with that approach, they cannot imagine that anything done from that approach is actually against the law. It just doesn't connect.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:00 PM on November 2


Does he think the 5th amendment is just a general "I don't want to tell you" clause, or is he legitimately claiming that all of his documents might incriminate him?
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:01 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


Gonna be weird if we see the political downfall of both parties' presidential candidates by year's end
posted by Apocryphon at 3:01 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


Our best hope is that he quits and/or doesn't run again in 2020.

Keep in mind: He's already running again.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:02 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Warren is great but its pretty clear she is positioning herself for 2020.
posted by Justinian at 3:03 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


Massive Government Report Says Climate Is Warming And Humans Are The Cause (NPR, November 2, 2017)
It is "extremely likely" that human activities are the "dominant cause" of global warming, according to the most comprehensive study ever of climate science by U.S. government researchers.

The climate report, obtained by NPR, notes that the past 115 years are "the warmest in the history of modern civilization." The global average temperature has increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over that period. Greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture are by far the biggest contributor to warming.

The findings contradict statements by President Trump and many of his Cabinet members, who have openly questioned the role humans play in changing the climate.

"I believe that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in an interview earlier this year. "There's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact."

That is not consistent with the conclusions of the 600-plus-page Climate Science Special Report, which is part of an even larger scientific review known as the fourth National Climate Assessment. The NCA4, as it's known, is the nation's most authoritative assessment of climate science. The report's authors include experts from leading scientific agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA and the Department of Energy, as well as academic scientists.

The report states that the global climate will continue to warm. How much, it says, "will depend primarily on the amount of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) emitted globally." Without major reductions in emissions, it says, the increase in annual average global temperature could reach 9 degrees Fahrenheit relative to pre-industrial times. Efforts to reduce emissions, it says, would slow the rate of warming.
...
The report has been submitted to the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. Trump has yet to choose anyone to run that office; it remains one of the last unfilled senior positions in the White House staff.
No link to the report in that article, but it's scheduled to come out tomorrow. Meanwhile, the New York Times posted the final draft report, dated 28 June 2017, back on August 7, 2017.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:03 PM on November 2 [35 favorites]


"I am the documents!" said Page before flinging himself at a nearby paper shredder.

Funny you should mention that: White House Staff Frantically Shredding Trump Campaign Aides [fake] [The Onion] [hasn't actually happened] [yet]
posted by lalex at 3:03 PM on November 2 [20 favorites]


Does he think the 5th amendment is just a general "I don't want to tell you" clause, or is he legitimately claiming that all of his documents might incriminate him?

honestly i suspect it's the latter
posted by halation at 3:03 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


For the Thousandth Time: The Problem is the Republican Party, Stupid
I keep hearing that Democrats should either talk about economic issues or pitch their message to the emerging, more-diverse electorate -- but I don't understand why this has to be an either/or choice. Democrats who can't figure out how to do both should get the hell out of big-league politics, in favor of people who can walk and chew gum at the same time. [...]

But please, please, please: Make the point that the Republican Party is the problem. The Republican Party has contempt for you if you're non-white or LGBT or if you're unemployed or need health care for a child with chronic illness or live downstream from a chemical plant. The key to changing America is not electing Republicans.

But what are we doing? We're fixating on Donald Trump and portraying him as an anomaly, not as the culmination of long-term trends in his party. We're cheering on supposedly brave Republicans such as Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, ignoring the fact that the entire GOP, including, on most votes, Corker and Flake, has circled the wagons to protect Trump. We're rehabilitating George W. Bush, which, as Ryan Cooper writes, is nuts: [...]

We're falling into the trap Hillary Clinton fell into: We're assuming that "real Americans" don't trust any idea unless it's ratified by a Republican, so we're seeking Republican validation for our opposition to Trump. That just reinforces the notion that Democrats aren't worthy of respect.

Democrats: Be proud of who you are, speak up for yourselves, and talk about what Republicans have done over the past few decades and how their extremism hurts ordinary people. The problem is the Republican Party, stupid.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:04 PM on November 2 [144 favorites]


"You won't get any documents from me, Congressman. Not. One..."

*sunglasses*

"...Page."
posted by jason_steakums at 3:05 PM on November 2 [86 favorites]


or is he legitimately claiming that all of his documents might incriminate him?

It's not unreasonable to start with, "I don't know which of these documents might be inciminating, so I'm invoking the 5th on all of them."

And hell, considering what a tangled clusterfuck this whole thing is, that might even be the truth. When your "what happened" board looks less like a set of pins-with-strings and more like someone just shot silly string and maybe a can of cheese whiz at it, a random shopping list may be an incriminating document.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:05 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


the political downfall of both parties' presidential candidates by year's end
I thought one of the two fell down last election day...

he didn't like Franken because he's, "Too milquetoast."
He's not milquetoast, but he played one (Stewart Smalley) on TV.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:07 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Keep in mind: He's already running again.

Yeah, as a grift. This link from the last thread (direct to speculative article at Newsweek) is giving me hope that he'll stay out of it and save face (and pocket what fundraising doesn't go towards legal fees and/or restitution).
posted by witchen at 3:08 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


"You won't get any documents from me, Congressman. Not. One..."

*sunglasses*

"...Page."


*poses with arms crossed
*awkward pause
*a senator clears throat
*still posing
*silence
*senators shuffle papers, exchange glances
*bailiff removes sunglasses
posted by saturday_morning at 3:09 PM on November 2 [45 favorites]


UGHGHGHGHGH Can we not give this story any more clicks??!

The problem is not that people are reading the stories, it's why are these prominent Democrats doing this right now? Honestly, this is a really weird thing that feels like it has a backstory.
posted by bongo_x at 3:13 PM on November 2 [34 favorites]


He actually kissed that fucking piece of paper.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:17 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Latest new political euphemism, "Filled with bastard sauce."
posted by Oyéah at 3:28 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


So Zuck made a statement during the Facebook earnings call about foreign actors using FB to sway elections. According to him they are going to put so much effort into security "that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward, and I wanted our investors to hear that directly from me.".

So problem solved I guess.
posted by PenDevil at 3:34 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Does Zuck know if he runs for president every question will either be about this or about whatever new stupid thing FB has done by 2019?

Cause it doesn't seem like he knows.
posted by asteria at 3:37 PM on November 2 [23 favorites]


I feel like the Brazile/DNC thing is newsworthy and interesting enough to warrant it's own thread, any takers?
posted by supercrayon at 3:41 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Today, it was my pleasure and great honor to announce my nomination of Jerome Powell to be the next Chairman of the @FederalReserve.
posted by christopherious at 3:41 PM on November 2


As fun as it would be to try and settle old scores endlessly until the heat-death of the universe, this is an opportunity to force the leadership to acknowledge its transparency issues and its money issues and its lack of adequate support for down-ballot elections issues. Charge and pillory who you want later, first hold the organization as a whole accountable for being incompetently run and insolvent.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:42 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


It's just all around excellent and great that the BBUUUTTT CCLLLIINNNTONN distraction Trump and Company desperately needed but couldn't get going on their own winds up coming from the left after all. Fucking nice work all around, just wonderful.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:43 PM on November 2 [67 favorites]


I feel like the Brazile/DNC thing is newsworthy and interesting enough to warrant it's own thread, any takers?

I really agree.
posted by lalex at 3:43 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


If the Democrats can't simultaneously prosecute the opposition while purging itself, well, they're not any more capable than the Republicans at all!
posted by Apocryphon at 3:44 PM on November 2


Powell is pretty friendly with Wall Street so a silver-lining for the DNC is Trump might manage to get us in a recession even without a war. Still hope for 2024!

Charge and pillory who you want later, first hold the organization as a whole accountable for being incompetently run and insolvent.

One thing all sides can agree on is that DWS was not good at her job.
posted by asteria at 3:45 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


I feel like the Brazile/DNC thing is newsworthy and interesting enough to warrant it's own thread, any takers?

If there were a politics section of the site. But I don't see how people who aren't interested in political discussion want that on the front page, and this is the story of the moment.
posted by bongo_x at 3:46 PM on November 2


The Brazile story is interesting but I feel like we should wait for more news to unfold on it first.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:47 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Man who thinks pollution can make children healthier expected to join Trump's environment team. 'Modern air,' Robert Phalen said in 2012, 'is a little too clean for optimum health.'
posted by adamvasco at 3:48 PM on November 2 [21 favorites]


I'm genuinely starting to wonder if there's something really wrong with Page to the point that it is maybe not 100% morally clean to put him on TV like this without the benefit of legal counsel.

Why not? We do it with Trump.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:49 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


I don’t undsrand this postcard thing all.

First, Republicans have been promising taxes so simple you can do them on a postcard for so many decades that it just sounds damn anachronistic by now. In 2017, “let me sit down with a ballpoint pen and carefully enter numbers into tiny boxes on a piece of paper, make a copy of it for my records, then mail it off somewhere” doesn’t sound easy at all. Easy would be “the IRS computes everything based on all the information returns they have on me, provides me a secure way to access it, and asks me to fill in anything that’s missing.”

But beyond the dwindling number of people who consider anything involving giving your financial information to the postal service unprotected by so much as an envelope to be a modern and efficient way to conduct business, what actually have Republicans done in this plan to simply the tax code so a return could actually fit on a postcard?. They’ve eliminated some deductions and credits, yes, but nothing that would really change the 1040EZ, which is already a single page.
posted by zachlipton at 3:53 PM on November 2 [23 favorites]


It's just all around excellent and great that the BBUUUTTT CCLLLIINNNTONN distraction Trump and Company desperately needed but couldn't get going on their own winds up coming from the left after all.

I can't get over how incredibly bizarre it is, that in the middle of all the shit that's going down, 2 big Democratic names feel like they need to pop up and say "You know who else sucks? Hillary Clinton. Now is a good time to rehash last years primaries." And throw the word "rigged" around with no evidence.

Even if this was 100% the case, and I don't believe that for a second, why would now be the time to bring that up?
posted by bongo_x at 3:53 PM on November 2 [83 favorites]


The simple answer is that Donna Brazile has a book coming out, Politico wants clicks, it's a story for the sake of views and outrage is the side-effect.

The conspiracy theory answer is that there's some sort of intra-party purge going on, and the powers that be have seen fit to schedule it during a time of perceived exceptional Republican weakness.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:56 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


Um, where the hell did Trump's Twitter go? It's gone.
posted by zachlipton at 3:56 PM on November 2 [24 favorites]


omg I'm so excited
posted by lalex at 3:58 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Twitter finally got around to deleting Russian troll accounts I guess.
posted by chris24 at 3:58 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!

@realdonaldtrump seems to be gone.
posted by anastasiav at 3:58 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


It's caused me unrelenting anxiety for over a year, and now it's gone I've run cold.
posted by Freon at 3:59 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Huh. Google cache of the president's Twitter: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:w6enoD0t4BEJ:https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

I'd love to believe he's been TOS'd.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:59 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Uh, it's back... weird.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:00 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Uh, his Twitter comes right up for me, guys. Maybe he's got you blocked?
posted by palomar at 4:00 PM on November 2


Probably just a technical covfefe...

But maybe yelling DEATH PENALTY counted as a death threat and he violated their TOS.
posted by mmoncur at 4:01 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


We'll all remember where we were when we had that brief rush of excitement that something serious happened.

In reality, it was probably just another technical glitch from a company that popularized the Fail Whale.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:02 PM on November 2 [21 favorites]


@Alex_Roarty (McClatchy)
fwiw: spokeswoman for Warren says the senator agreed the DNC was rigged, not the primary process itself
posted by chris24 at 4:02 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Well, that was really nice for one brief shining moment.

(If you missed it and are wondering what happened, his account briefly led to a "Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!" error.)
posted by zachlipton at 4:02 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


(If you missed it and are wondering what happened, his account briefly led to a "Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!" error.)

KEEP TRYING, TIME TRAVELERS
posted by halation at 4:03 PM on November 2 [131 favorites]


If I remember right, the fifth amendment works quite differently for documents. It doesn't protect you from the incriminating content of the documents, because the documents aren't testimony. It protects you if the act of gathering and providing them might be considered "testimonial." For example, it'd be hard to respond to a subpoena for "all documents showing payoffs you received from Russia" without incriminating yourself. It's different, however, if they already know what documents you have (e.g., "notes you took during the meeting on [date]" that we already know you attended). The fifth amendment shouldn't apply in that situation.
posted by mabelstreet at 4:03 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Attention all Democratic politicians: Please lets try to avoid disaster in 2018 before campaigning for 2020. Thank you. Signed, America.
posted by Justinian at 4:04 PM on November 2 [30 favorites]


Did anyone get a screen cap of that?
posted by Room 641-A at 4:05 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


The president doesn't seem to be aware that New York doesn't have a death penalty.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:05 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


why are these prominent Democrats doing this right now?

This is why.

To give the money quote :
“Yes. I mean, I think we’ve got to work in two ways,” Sanders answered. “Number one, we have got to take on Trump’s attacks against the environment, against women, against Latinos and blacks and people in the gay community, we’ve got to fight back every day on those issues. But equally important, or more important: We have got to focus on bread-and-butter issues that mean so much to ordinary Americans.”

Sanders said those “ordinary Americans” are “not staying up every day worrying about Russia’s interference in our election.” Instead, he said, “They’re wondering how they’re going to send their kids to college” or “how they’re going to be able to pay the rent” or “whether they can afford health care.”
So, Sanders says he doesn't believe women, LGBTQ, or PoC are ordinary Americans, and their needs should take a back seat to economic populist concerns. This story was just starting to get some traction, and then "Hey! Hillary stole the nomination!" Very convenient timing.

But hey, this is nothing I didn't know about Sanders already. And I've been told for nearly two years that "identity politics" is wrong, and we should concentrate on economic populism.

But hey, in 2020, I'm already expecting to have everyone I care for thrown under the bus. And then it will be "Hey, why aren't you groups out there campaigning?"
posted by happyroach at 4:08 PM on November 2 [53 favorites]


A screenshot of that
posted by zachlipton at 4:08 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Previous record was 123k. They'll end up around 150k.

@ElectProject
2017 now has the highest early vote total for any non-presidential election in Virginia history, with voting continuing through Saturday https://www.elections.virginia.gov/resultsreports/registration-statistics/registrationturnout-statistics/index.html
posted by chris24 at 4:09 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


USA Today, Trump nominates some club members to plum government jobs
A USA TODAY review finds that Trump has installed at least five people who have been members of his clubs to senior roles in his administration, ranging from Bernstein and Callista Gingrich, the nation’s new ambassador to the Vatican, to Adolfo Marzol, a member of the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Washington, who serves as a senior adviser at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Presidents often name campaign donors and close allies to administration posts, particularly prized diplomatic postings in cosmopolitan European capitals, such as Paris and London, and the tourist playgrounds of the West Indies.

But never in modern history has a president awarded government posts to people who pay money to his own companies.
posted by zachlipton at 4:13 PM on November 2 [35 favorites]


This is why.
To give the money quote :


I've seen that. And I don't know how Bernie could be more wrong. I'm worried about paying the bills, and probably won't have health insurance soon, but the most important thing to me right now is Russia rigging American politics. Until that is figured out we have nothing. Dismissing that as not important is very odd.
posted by bongo_x at 4:14 PM on November 2 [36 favorites]


Is there any evidence that Donna Brazile, a WOC, is somehow a secret surrogate for the Sanders faction? Or that Elizabeth Warren, a woman and a POC, who was a Clinton surrogate, is now a Sanders turncoat? That Sanders is responding to an op-ed by The Root through a neutron bomb-level deflection delivered by Brazile, who was writing a book far before that speech was made?

I'm already expecting to have everyone I care for thrown under the bus.

Future Onion article: "Present-day Hillary Clinton denounces 2016 Hillary Clinton"
posted by Apocryphon at 4:15 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


So who took his phone for 5 minutes and deleted his account before he called the praetorian guard on them? Kelly? Ivanka?
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:20 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Or that Elizabeth Warren, a woman and a POC

Putting forward Warren as a person of color in this context seems... dubious.
posted by Justinian at 4:20 PM on November 2 [45 favorites]


(Warren self identifies as white, just to clarify.)
posted by Justinian at 4:23 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


(Just home from work.)

Sorry, corb, I honestly wasn't asking you personally to be my charity sherpa, I was asking MeFites at large if there was a known shortcut to this always-throny problem. I figured you'd be too wrung out. Sorry!
posted by wenestvedt at 4:24 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


I was asking MeFites at large if there was a known shortcut to this always-throny problem
...
Any of you taxy types know how this new tax plan will affect Americans living overseas? Asking for a me.
...
What IS the diminutive for Vladimir?
...
How can someone have 3 current US passports?


There is an entire subsite where the collective intelligence of MetaFilter can be brought to bear.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:30 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


oh boy, new from CNN: Exclusive: Carter Page testifies he told Sessions about Russia trip
Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page privately testified Thursday that he mentioned to Jeff Sessions he was traveling to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign — as new questions emerge about the attorney general's comments to Congress about Russia and the Trump campaign.

During more than six hours of closed-door testimony, Page said that he informed Sessions about his coming July 2016 trip to Russia, which Page told CNN was unconnected to his campaign role. Page described the conversation to CNN after he finished talking to the House intelligence committee.

Sessions' discussion with Page will fuel further scrutiny about what the attorney general knew about connections between the Trump campaign and Russia — and communications about Russia that he did not disclose despite a persistent line of questioning in three separate hearings this year.
posted by lalex at 4:34 PM on November 2 [81 favorites]




Why would he decline to comment? He comments on every other goddamn topic. That doesn't make any sense. Nothing makes any sense.
posted by Justinian at 4:37 PM on November 2 [31 favorites]


CNN: Exclusive: Carter Page testifies he told Sessions about Russia trip

And to go with this, new from the Times...

Trump and Sessions Denied Knowing About Russian Contacts. Records Suggest Otherwise
Standing before reporters in February, President Trump said unequivocally that he knew of nobody from his campaign who was in contact with Russians during the election. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has told the Senate the same thing.

Court documents unsealed this week cast doubt on both statements and raised the possibility that Mr. Sessions could be called back to Congress for further questioning.
posted by chris24 at 4:38 PM on November 2 [43 favorites]


Trump and Sessions Denied Knowing About Russian Contacts. Records Suggest Otherwise

I need to complain about how the NYT doesn't timestamp their pieces. I read that and couldn't figure out if it was new or old (and by "old" I mean "earlier today") or in between and as I thought harder and harder about it my head exploded and I didn't post it.
posted by lalex at 4:40 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


I read that and couldn't figure out if it was new or old

Ha, I agree that the Times should time stamp. But it just started popping up on politics Twitter and hadn't been posted, so I assumed fresh.
posted by chris24 at 4:42 PM on November 2


Oh you're totally right that it's new; I just wish they would timestamp.
posted by lalex at 4:43 PM on November 2


So Page is ok with a transcript coming out and Leahy is asking for Sessions to come back in front of Senate Judiciary. I am so excited.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:47 PM on November 2 [67 favorites]


From Brazile's article:
Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund—that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement—$320,000—and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.
Is there any risk that the FEC could come after the DNC/state parties for this? The state parties' commitment to send the money to the DNC looks like transaction structuring to get around the rules.
posted by Coventry at 4:47 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


So Trump talked with Larry O'Connor of the Larry O'Conner show on WMAL today and explained why he hasn't locked her up yet. Reassuring.
But you know the saddest thing, because I'm the president of the United States I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I'm not supposed to be doing the kinds of things I would love to be doing and I'm very frustrated by it.
posted by chris24 at 4:48 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


Why would he decline to comment? He comments on every other goddamn topic. That doesn't make any sense.

Mueller has already flipped him. If he talks about it, his plea deal is toast and he goes away for a few decades.
posted by bonehead at 4:48 PM on November 2 [22 favorites]


Newsweek, Nina Burleigh, Ivanka Trump Used Private Emails With Treasury Officials
As Republicans unveiled their tax reform plan Thursday, Newsweek learned that months after Ivanka Trump took an official White House position, she was still using a private email account to communicate with the U.S. Treasury Department, discussing national economic programs, her meetings with global leaders and the child care tax credit, one of her signature projects.
...
Representative Elijah Cummings, minority chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, requested on Thursday a vote on whether to subpoena the White House over the private emails. The subpoena had been held pending the White House internal review of the private emails, but, Cumming said in a statement, “we have received no date certain and no commitment for all the information we are seeking.”

Republicans voted it down.
We already knew Ivanka used a personal account, but this shows it went on at least through mid-July, and that the White House hasn't been honest about this either.
posted by zachlipton at 4:49 PM on November 2 [34 favorites]


Is there any risk that the FEC could come after the DNC/state parties for this? The state parties' commitment to send the money to the DNC looks like transaction structuring to get around the rules.

That's what accounting is, transaction structuring to get around rules.
posted by Justinian at 4:50 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


That's what accounting is, transaction structuring to get around rules.

wrong side of that is what money laundering is.
posted by lalex at 4:51 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Right, I'm virtually certain that giving to the state parties which then transfer the money to the national party is standard stuff, though, not illegal structuring. You'd have to ask a lawyer to be sure I guess.
posted by Justinian at 4:53 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Yeah I have no idea and would certainly defer to your evaluation. Really all we know is what was in Brazile's piece today.
posted by lalex at 4:54 PM on November 2


AP reports that the Mueller grand jury is investigating Tony Podesta, among others. Slow news day.
posted by contraption at 4:56 PM on November 2


I keep seeing investigation headlines that include "Tony Podesta, DNC Operative" or "fundraiser" or what have you. But when I look at the actual article, it's just kind of like his name is in there, too, and he was employed by one of the firms connected to Manafort...but there's not much to it than that.

Is there something here that I'm missing? Has there been an actual "ahah" with him, or is this mostly the media clutching for a "both sides" narrative? Or is this more a matter of the world of high-level political operatives being really small?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:58 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


[there will be a thread about the Brazile piece, maybe keep it out of this thread?]
posted by jessamyn at 5:01 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Hey guys I made a DNC/Brazile post
posted by supercrayon at 5:05 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


Some thoughts on taxes from Jim Tankersley, tax/econ reporter at the Times:
Let's talk about how this bill affects the middle class. This is a central question, politically and economically. Republicans are selling this bill as a middle class tax cut. Dems call it a con. And there are a lot of ways to slice the question, Is this the 'massive' middle class cut that President Trump has promised?

We'll start with the battle of the sample families, as @RichardRubinDC calls it. GOP says fam of 4 making $59k gets a $1,100 tax cut. But @davidckamin argues, in a new analysis, that the GOP sample family wud see a tax *hike* by 2024, relative to current law. That's bc a $300 family flexibility credit expires after 5 yrs (GOP says they would fight to extend, btw) & bill changes to chained CPI.

MEANWHILE. I've been playing around with TaxBrain, with the help of @MattHJensen & others. Early analysis, using TaxBrain, suggests House bill would result in a tax *increase* on 13 million filers who earn <$100k in year one. That's 13 million low/middle-income filers who'd see a tax increase right away. Bill def includes goodies for middle class, in terms of lower rates and doubled standard deduct, and average filer at $50k gets tax cut. But it also eliminates a lot of tax breaks on things we think of as linked to middle class / econ mobility....student loan interest, moving costs if you're chasing a dream job and, if you chase it to high-$ city, limits on mortgage deduction. (I suspect conservative economists like @MichaelRStrain might have things to say abt discouraging geographic mobility)

If you had "now he's going to pivot to corporate tax incidence" in the pool, congrats! The big middle class sell of this bill has been, and probably will continue to be, the idea that biz rate cuts will boost worker wages. That's why the wonky fight between @WhiteHouseCEA &other econs lately matters so much. If CEA is right, this bill wud be clear MC win. But if you don't believe corporate cuts will supercharge wages ... there's a lot of questions here.
I do not, in fact, believe that a temporary cut the corporate rate will "supercharge" wages in any way, because no business has ever said "hey, the government gave us some more money for the next few years; we'll obviously use it to pay our workers more because we love them so much and like handing them money."
posted by zachlipton at 5:08 PM on November 2 [44 favorites]


Holy moly, CARTER FUCKING PAGE FINALLY JUSTIFIES HIS SORRY EXISTENCE. Who'da thunk it? I may even take back the many, many, many, many uncharitable things I have said and thought about him.

Well, OK, a few of them at least.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:08 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


@TwitterGov, which is apparently a thing:

"Earlier today @realdonaldtrump’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored. We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again."
posted by lalex at 5:09 PM on November 2 [33 favorites]


deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee.

*snort*
posted by Melismata at 5:11 PM on November 2 [58 favorites]


By my calculations, that means Trump wasn't President for 0.000733 of a Scaramucci (assuming a CNN-specified 250 hour Scaramucci), which is hereby called a Twitamucci.

They won't ban Nazis, but I still want to go hand out cupcakes in front of Twitter HQ tonight.
posted by zachlipton at 5:12 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


Oh, please don't take those steps, @TwitterGov.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:12 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Why on earth would anyone believe that a corporate tax cut would supercharge wages? When was the last time that workers benefited from corporations having more money?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:12 PM on November 2 [23 favorites]


Seriously, if Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, font of not inconsiderable cosmic evil, gets taken out by the testimonial stylings of Carter Page, I may literally die laughing, or choking on cake.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:14 PM on November 2 [102 favorites]


HappyRoach, read the Sanders quote a second time. He is not saying that there are two sets of people. Rather he lays out two areas of work for Democrats; 1) defending against Trump's attacks (both on people's rights and the *environment*) and 2) working on improving economic well being for ordinary Americans. Given the themes that Sanders has emphasized thousands of times, I think that by "ordinary Americans" Sanders means "people who actually work for a living" rather than "cis-het-white-males".
posted by Balna Watya at 5:15 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


That was also my impression of those statements. Sanders might have trouble attracting POC, but I highly doubt he doesn't see them as ordinary Americans.
posted by numaner at 5:18 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


The problem with the Sander's quote is that is outlining the concerns of non-white non-male non-straight people first and then saying "ordinary American's" second, he is notably separating those categories. He is implying that the first group is not the second. Also, is he separating out the first group from "people who actually work for a living"? Is he saying marginalized peoples don't work? It was very very poor phrasing, which coupled with past poor phrasing leads to a pattern of behavior.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:19 PM on November 2 [63 favorites]


If only "taking steps to prevent this from happening again" referred to "has since been restored."
posted by Roommate at 5:19 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Not to mention that he says focus #2 is more important than focus #1.
posted by chris24 at 5:20 PM on November 2 [25 favorites]


Oh hey, context matters. And Sanders ran a misogynist campaign and then blamed “identity politics” for Trump’s win the week after the election. Among about a billion other ducking things that we have talked about at length in these threads before.

Please stop condescending to us about what he “meant.” No one here is a political rube. We all paid attention. That we don’t all believe what Sanders says about his own beliefs is not a sign that we don’t “get” it.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:22 PM on November 2 [77 favorites]


I'm a woman, not a political rube, and I agree with Balna Watya's evaluation.
posted by lalex at 5:24 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Sanders is an old white dude who often rambles or doesn't speak with the most refined of meanings, this is far from the first time he's done that. And yet we forgive the gaffes of Democratic politicians?
posted by Apocryphon at 5:26 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Regardless of how Bernie’s statement parses out after rereading and analysis, he still put these words out here in that order. If he’s been paying attention or has any self-awareness, he should know to avoid making those distinctions, or really even uttering the phrase “ordinary Americans.” He could have put it a lot differently, whatever he was trying to say. Or he could have not said anything!

I don’t believe he believes that non-WWC people are “ordinary Americans.” He might vaguely sense that he’s not supposed to talk that way, but it keeps happening.
posted by witchen at 5:28 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


So if this was the first time he's made this kind of gaffe, I'd absolutely agree with you. Old men ramble. But this is borderline racist/misogynistic message number... 9 thousand and twelve? At what point do we stop giving him the benefit of the doubt? Other politicians, notably women and POC make one gaffe of this level and their careers are over in seconds. Why do we keep giving Bernie the benefit of the doubt?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:28 PM on November 2 [41 favorites]


Sanders is an old white dude who often rambles or doesn't speak with the most refined of meanings, this is far from the first time he's done that. And yet we forgive the gaffes of Democratic politicians?

When someone tells you who they are, believe them.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:29 PM on November 2 [44 favorites]




I think that Sanders believes that non-rich white men are "ordinary Americans," and other non-rich people are ordinary Americans when their interests and concerns overlap with those of non-rich white men. When our interests and concerns differ from those of non-rich white men, we're special interests.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:31 PM on November 2 [37 favorites]


That’s not even counting the whole “not being able to accept he lost to a woman so he’s going to poison the well as much as possible” thing.

I honestly have no patience for this anymore. Believe whatever the fuck you want about Bernie Sanders, but don’t condescendingly lecture those of us who think he’s another in a long line of old white men who are sexist and racist and have zero self-awareness of it.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:32 PM on November 2 [56 favorites]


How the hell did we get back to the Sanders thing? Personally I agree with Balna Watya and numaner that "ordinary" in his language is the opposite of "rich", but I don't expect anyone who doesn't already see it that way to be convinced, and I kind of thought we'd left this in the last thread. And in a different context, "rambling old dude" would be met with charges of ageism...if the pile-on were happening in the other direction. We're not really consistent with these sorts of accusations.
posted by uosuaq at 5:35 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


But you know the saddest thing, because I'm the president of the United States I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I'm not supposed to be doing the kinds of things I would love to be doing and I'm very frustrated by it.

The President is whining. This is hilarious.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:36 PM on November 2 [39 favorites]


Metafilter: We're not really consistent with these sorts of accusations.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:38 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


He didn't describe the concerns of rich people, followed with the concerns of the "ordinary" he described the concerns of POC and then followed with concerns of the "ordinary". Maybe he meant to say rich, it certainly didn't come out that way. To describe our accusations as "baseless" is an attack on your fellow mefites, please don't.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:41 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


[Folks, if you want to talk about Sanders you'll need to do it in a MeFi sort of way. Meta-discussion goes to MetaTalk, etc etc now and forever.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:42 PM on November 2 [32 favorites]


I've heard plenty of people say things like "They keep pandering to Muslims and Latinos, not ordinary Americans like us" and they obviously meant it in the dogwhistle way, and I don't see how Bernie's phrasing was any different.

This is not to say Bernie is a garbage person or anything. It's good messaging, too. People keep using that phrasing because it resonates. But "ordinary Americans" has sounded like a dogwhistle to me ever since Sarah Palin, honestly, and it made it hard for me to get on the Bernie train.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 5:43 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


The President is whining. This is hilarious.

Apparently he misread his stump speech: there’s going to be so much whining you’ll get tired of it.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:44 PM on November 2 [18 favorites]


Since they'll be paying less money in taxes, firms will, in theory, spend that cash until they run out of worthwhile stuff to invest it in. That might be hiring more workers but that won't be the case for most. Any company you see with an active stock buy-back program is a company that is out of worthwhile stuff to invest in and are therefore returning profits to their shareholders.

I suppose some of those shareholders might spend that money so there might be some sort of knock-on trickle down effect. So like, three jobs max.
posted by VTX at 5:55 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


But you know the saddest thing, because I'm the president of the United States I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I'm not supposed to be doing the kinds of things I would love to be doing and I'm very frustrated by it.

Awwww, poor liddle Snowflake!
posted by notsnot at 5:58 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]




> Since they'll be paying less money in taxes, firms will, in theory, spend that cash until they run out of worthwhile stuff to invest it in.

IIRC, conventional wisdom and current F500 balance sheets indicate they just park those proceeds in short term assets. Safe, low risk move.
posted by klarck at 6:02 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Gosh. It's almost is if his campaign chairman was just indicted for money laundering, so he's decided now to randomly throw that charge at his former opponent or something.

So much for that whole "I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department" thing. That lasted, what, a couple hours?
posted by zachlipton at 6:03 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page privately testified Thursday that he mentioned to Jeff Sessions he was traveling to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign

Oh wow where did CNN get an inside source willing to give details on closed door congressional testimon-

Page described the conversation to CNN after he finished talking to the House intelligence committee.

...oh yeah, duh.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:04 PM on November 2 [44 favorites]


Way to go, Left. Thanks for giving Trump the best possible out to this whole situation. You thought the Tarmac meeting was weaponized by the Right? Hah.

I’ll be sobbing bitterly into my pillow tonight.
posted by lydhre at 6:08 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


Page described the conversation to CNN after he finished talking to the House intelligence committee.

I keep getting excited about this, and then I realize that for all we know he spent 7.5 hours batting around a cat toy. I mean, he probably did, but he almost may have given 20 totally different versions of that story.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:12 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


How does political scandal involving intra-party, in fact intra-national events, affect an unrelated investigation into international wrongdoing? The press can do whatever, this has nothing to do with Mueller's investigations.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:14 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


How does political scandal involving intra-party, in fact intra-national events, affect an unrelated investigation into international wrongdoing? The press can do whatever, this has nothing to do with Mueller's investigations.

Of course it doesn’t. But Mueller’s investigation doesn’t end in impeachment unless Congress thinks that it’s the only way to save their fucking political skin. Accusing the Dems of corruption is all the cover they fucking need.
posted by lydhre at 6:18 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


We're witnessing the unfolding of the biggest scandal in American history, and you guys won't stop talking about fucking Bernie!
posted by diogenes at 6:19 PM on November 2 [107 favorites]


... The weird thing is you could replace Bernie with "Hillary" or "the DNC" or "Debbie Wasserman Schultz" and it would be just as accurate.
posted by Justinian at 6:22 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


You know it's the worst timeline when the 2016 Democratic presidential primary is our collective Groundhog Day.
posted by maxwelton at 6:25 PM on November 2 [64 favorites]


I’m the last damn person who wants to talk about Bernie right now. I’m angry that he was brought up at all in the middle of the biggest scandal in American political history and that it will be used by the Trump administration to obfuscate, lie, and attempt to weasel out of any fucking consequences.

Christ. I find it baffling that some of you are downplaying how the GOP will exploit this. Was there anything to the emails? To Benghazi? No. Did it fucking matter?
posted by lydhre at 6:27 PM on November 2 [37 favorites]


Re: the Brazile "bombshell" (but within the context of this thread):

I wonder if perhaps this might be the work of some Obama-era eleventy-dimensional chess going on.

With the Mueller investigation ramping up & folks flipping & arrests being made, etc., maybe a little red meat for the orange embarrassment to latch onto (a pacifier, if you will) is a good thing. It seems there's no there there, beyond dems & the DNC continuing to engage some much needed soul searching.

Let them tie themselves in knots how evil & crooked Hillary was. Let them speculate about the civil war within the democratic party. Let them tilt at windmills. Mueller will keep working, but little orange fingers will be too busy to notice..

Them, of course is the republican establishment, the media, the magats, etc. Eat it up, you cowards, you craven sycophants, you greedy corporatists. Consume yourselves with this, as if it'll save you. Take your eye off the ball. I wouldn't expect any of them to care about the real issues, anyway. This amounts to inside baseball & egg on the face of an establishment that its own constituents recognize needs help. Have at it. Let Mueller continue marching forward undetected, unperturbed.
posted by narwhal at 6:27 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Christ. I find it baffling that some of you are downplaying how the GOP will exploit this. Was there anything to the emails? To Benghazi? No. Did it fucking matter?

This is exactly right. The right wing noise machine, agent provocateurs, and Russian disinformation boys are already preparing the attacks.
posted by Justinian at 6:30 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


What's the right-wing narrative going to be though? "The Clintons are corrupt and so is the DNC, therefore the sitting representatives and senators have no legitimacy"? "The socialist should've been the standard-bearer, thus we can't have Pence as president?"
posted by Apocryphon at 6:30 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


All we needed to do was hold it together and let Mueller do his thing, by 2018 it should have been pretty clear to everybody from disillusioned Rs to left-leaning Ds that voting as many of the current crop of treasonous idiots out of office as possible was the only way forward. Now instead we've handed everyone anywhere near the fence with a gold-plated reason not to bother voting, stamped in 32pt Helvetica "BOTH SIDES DO IT". And in case anyone in the media was starting to think, huh, maybe these really are false equivalencies we're setting up here, nope, they have their gold-plated "BOTH SIDES DO IT" card now as well.

I opened the fridge, saw the bag labeled "Democrats snatching defeat from the jaws of victory", opened it up, and... yep. I don't know what I was expecting really.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:31 PM on November 2 [25 favorites]


I would not want to talk about Bernie right now even if the entire focus of the conversation was "Wow scaryblackdeath was totally right about Bernie and I agree with everything he says." Whether you love, hate, or don't care about him at all, he's the least of all relevant topics right now.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:31 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


This is a fun stunt. Senators troll Facebook with fake ad campaign
Showing they plan to continue playing hardball with Big Tech, Democratic Senators Mark Warner (Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) created a Facebook page for a fictional political group — Americans for Disclosure Solutions (ADS) — then paid to target the newsfeeds of thousands of journalists and Hill staffers.

Why it matters: A Warner aide tells me the senator was surprised that "there was literally no mechanism on [Facebook] for us to [prove] we were who we said we were," adding, "it was really easy for Russian operatives to use the same micro-targeting tools as they attempted to meddle in last fall's presidential election ... [Y]ou can see why this would be so appealing to the Russians."
$40 to target a list of Hill staffers and DC journalists.
posted by zachlipton at 6:32 PM on November 2 [92 favorites]


I think people are having trouble keeping track of whether this is the Bernie/DNC/Brazlle thread or not! Sorry, I just assumed when I was replying. If comments contain any of those words they should probably be in the other thread.
posted by Justinian at 6:32 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


for all we know he spent 7.5 hours batting around a cat toy

I'm going to take this delightful mental image and go read in bed for the rest of the night. Wake me up when we're ready to move on from a private political organization not allocating money transparently and back to Holy Shit Donald Fucking Trump Is Our Goddamn President Right Now.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:34 PM on November 2 [28 favorites]


What's the right-wing narrative going to be though?

“The FBI is corrupt and this Russia investigation is a partisan witch hunt because they are failing to prosecute and jail Hillary Clinton for these crimes. Fire Mueller, investigate Clinton!”
posted by lydhre at 6:35 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


I mean, they're already doing that with the uranium story, which actually involves Russia. The right-wing asking the FBI or DoJ to investigate Clinton for a Democrats-only squabble which adversely affected the socialist candidate... that'd be quite hilarious, actually.

Certainly this adds to the list of alleged crimes they have against Clinton but I don't see this as the rallying hill the same way prior stories were.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:37 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Relatively easy way out for the Dems: Do the inevitable and speed up swinging the DNC left with a purge of the old Clinton/Obama staff, double down on support to your downballot races to show you've changed for the better and the money is going where it's supposed to, have Warren and Sanders declare Mission Accomplished. Sanders, for all his faults, is popular enough to settle the issue. And then kick ass in 2018 with a better organization.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:38 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Do the above but also have Sanders appoint a successor and step away. He's as poisoned a figure as Clinton herself at this point.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:39 PM on November 2 [33 favorites]


This Franken letter to Sessions regarding the Papadapolous / Russia revelations needs to be re-posted. It could be its own FPP:

https://www.franken.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=3798
posted by xammerboy at 6:40 PM on November 2 [24 favorites]


The problem is that no matter what the Dems do or say they are not going to be able to control the narrative. The only thing Trump needed was the appearance of impropriety and now he has that in spades.
posted by lydhre at 6:42 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


"Hillary had Seth Rich murdered because he threatened to blow the whistle on how she rigged the DNC primary!" is one I saw today. Though less intelligible, as Twitter can be.
posted by asteria at 6:42 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Has Sessions been fired for perjury yet?
posted by Yowser at 6:44 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Democracy for America announces they are ending support for Northam in Virginia.

Heckuva job, DFA.
posted by Justinian at 6:46 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Has Sessions been fired for perjury yet?

Well, yes, that's exactly why he was...oh, sorry...I thought you said "hired".
posted by uosuaq at 6:49 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Sessions isn't going to be fired for perjury. He could be indicted for perjury, or possibly fired because someone on Fox News implies that he's better at something than Donald Trump. But fired for perjury is not a thing that's going to happen in this administration.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:50 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Howard Dean on DFA's announcement: "I Hope this is inaccurate because it is an incredibly stupid thing to say and deeply discredits the organization which I founded."
posted by Justinian at 6:51 PM on November 2 [44 favorites]


Here's the itinerary for the trip, starting with a stop in Hawaii tomorrow before heading to Japan. Early prediction: it gon b nuts
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:52 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


So Klownwig will be across the street from the other crazy dictator with nukes eh?

This is fine. He's totally prepared for this. Intellectually, emotionally, and socially equipped.

Yup.
posted by petebest at 7:01 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


This Franken letter to Sessions regarding the Papadapolous / Russia revelations needs to be re-posted. It could be its own FPP:

Seriously. We should make that an FPP, go there to talk about what actually matters right now, and leave this thread for dead.
posted by diogenes at 7:01 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Why would he decline to comment? He comments on every other goddamn topic. That doesn't make any sense. Nothing makes any sense.

IF CARTER PAGE LIVES WITH EWOKS ON ENDOR THERE WAS NO COLLUSION
posted by murphy slaw at 7:01 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


Hope Hicks, Trump's communication director, to be interviewed by Mueller and his team in mid-November, after she returns from Asia. And while Trump and Co. are in Asia, Mueller is going to be interviewing other officials. Boy oh boy that is going to be one happy fun travel time had by all.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:03 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


Out here in Hawaii, we're not happy about his visit.

"Hawaiians to Trump: 'Wish You Weren't Here'" (set aside they mistake people who live in Hawaii for Hawaiians)

We're upset because 1) He's Trump 2) We're the bluest of blue states 3) Obama is our hometown hero 4) All the BS from Trump and Sessions that seems to call into question our statehood and 5) He's going to mess up traffic.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:04 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Don't worry, this thread will still go to 2,000 without talking about Trump/Russia at all.
posted by diogenes at 7:04 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]




Here's the itinerary for the trip, starting with a stop in Hawaii tomorrow before heading to Japan. Early prediction: it gon b nuts

The Duerte visit is certainly going to be...a thing. My only question is whether it's going to be a thing in private that slowly leaks out, or a thing in public that I'll be facepalming at live.
posted by cjelli at 7:05 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Woah. @TwitterGov: Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day. We are conducting a full internal review.

Please tell me where I can buy this person a beer.
posted by zachlipton at 7:05 PM on November 2 [61 favorites]


But fired for perjury is not a thing that's going to happen in this administration.

On the other hand, if he were to get disbarred for being a disgraceful perjurer and adversary of the Constitution, a thing which neither Trump nor the GOP Congress can control, then he'd have to pack up and get out because you can't be Attorney General if you're not, you know, an attorney.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:07 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


Heck, set that person up with Venture Funding for a new social media site...
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:08 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Sooooooooo this entire time literally any random Twitter support person has had access to the fucking President's account. This techbro shit has to stop. Cold.
posted by odinsdream at 7:08 PM on November 2 [41 favorites]


This was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.

Too bad they're no longer on staff, because as a Twitter customer, I have never felt more supported.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:09 PM on November 2 [94 favorites]


This techbro shit has to stop.

BUT, SURPRISE TWIST, they used it for good!
posted by lalex at 7:10 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


Bloomberg, The Tax Plan Could Hit the Country's Most Expensive Housing Markets, in which a Moody's analysis says "the tax changes could initially cut prices by 10 percent in expensive markets and 3 percent to 5 percent across the U.S." Making people's houses worth 10% less is not normally considered good politics.

Daily Beast, Spencer Ackerman, 2 More Guantanamo Lawyers May Be Jailed In Showdown With Government. Following the confinement of Brig. Gen. John Baker, two (DOD civilian employee) lawyers for al-Nashiri have been ordered to appear tomorrow morning so they can be compelled to continue their representation, an order they plan to resist.

Meanwhile, Ingraham's Trump interview is bonkers. Some lowlights from Daniel Dale:
Ingraham is not even asking questions. There are no question marks. She's just saying things and letting Trump talk about them.

Ingraham asks Trump if E-Verify and chain migration will have to be part of a DACA deal.

Trump: "Sure, sure."

Trump says the NYC terrorist brought in 23 people with him. Ingraham: Is that true? Trump: "Uh, it's what I heard, it's what I gave."

Donald Trump on unfilled senior posts in the State Department: "The one that matters is me. I'm the only one that matters."
Then he says "DACA is a lot different than DREAMers." It's just madness.
posted by zachlipton at 7:13 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]




During his visit to the Republic of Korea on November 7, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Moon Jae-in and visit American and South Korean service members. The President will speak at the National Assembly, where he will celebrate the enduring alliance and friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.
This is going to be a disaster.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:19 PM on November 2 [35 favorites]


People hoping for Sessions to go: Remember that if Sessions leaves for any reason his replacement AG won't be recused from the Russia investigation and could, therefore, fire Mueller.
posted by Justinian at 7:21 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


zach, the money quote was a couple tweets away.

@ddale8: Donald Trump on unfilled senior posts in the State Department: "The one that matters is me. I'm the only one that matters."
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:26 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


Folks, I just checked personally, and there is no party in the street in front of Twitter's headquarters in honor of this ex-employee. Not one person dancing. No fireworks. Nothing. This is not right.
posted by zachlipton at 7:28 PM on November 2 [35 favorites]


At this point I assume Sessions is following The Nunes Interpretation (also book four of a best-selling series of detective novels) of recusal, so I still want him gone.
posted by downtohisturtles at 7:29 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Sooooooooo this entire time literally any random Twitter support person has had access to the fucking President's account. This techbro shit has to stop. Cold.

To be maybe a bit pedantic, this support person had access to the administrative functions over the President's account—which could be an entirely different animal from e.g. impersonating/controlling that account as the legitimate user otherwise would.

It's not to say that it's not still problematic in its own way. But I'd counter the "techbro" angle by saying that this is essentially what Edward Snowden did—his case admittedly on hyper-steroids, comparatively. This is more of a technology problem than a technology company problem.
posted by Brak at 7:31 PM on November 2


Donald Trump on unfilled senior posts in the State Department: "The one that matters is me. I'm the only one that matters."

Is he saying that he is an unfilled post? I mean, I'm not disagreeing.

More seriously, the authoritarian tendencies implicit in how he conducts himself need to have more attention brought to them; he doesn't understand that he can't interfere in the Justice system, he thinks he should be able to enact legislation by fiat, and he sees no need for anyone else to be involved in decision making or foreign policy. It's beyond being not normal - it's wrong, from the perspective of how the system of government in the United States is supposed to work.
posted by nubs at 7:32 PM on November 2 [20 favorites]


It's going to blow his prion addled brain when the Prime Minister of Japan introduces him to the Emperor of Japan.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:36 PM on November 2 [14 favorites]


They were pretty easily able to tell who did it and I'm sure they figured out why shortly thereafter. That activity is logged, everyone knows that activity is logged and that's what keeps every employee with something to lose from just banning the accounts of assholes.
posted by VTX at 7:37 PM on November 2


BUT, SURPRISE TWIST, they used it for good!

According to the Twitter audit report, Donald Trump had 20 million real and 20 million fake followers before the "deactivation". Now he has 36 million real and 5 million fake. Something really fucking sketchy happened when his account was "deactivated". Don't trust anything coming out of anyone working for Twitter.
posted by dilaudid at 7:38 PM on November 2 [126 favorites]


Folks, I just checked personally, and there is no party in the street in front of Twitter's headquarters in honor of this ex-employee.

As a tech support provider myself, I'd like to nominate this person for canonization as the patron saint of my people.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:40 PM on November 2 [32 favorites]


What's the right-wing narrative going to be though?

As usual, the face of Hillary Clinton, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. Clinton was the renegade and backslider who once, long ago (how long ago, nobody quite remembered), had been one of the leading figures of the Party, almost on a level with Goldwater himself, and then had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Hillary was not the principal figure…

posted by srboisvert at 7:43 PM on November 2 [29 favorites]


We're witnessing the unfolding of the biggest scandal in American history, and you guys won't stop talking about fucking Bernie!

Ralph Nadar says hi.
posted by srboisvert at 7:47 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]




The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Hillary was not the principal figure…

Heh. This has been going over and over in my mind all day. All month, really.
posted by Brak at 7:52 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


OTHER COUNTRIES: WE'RE SO SORRY. Please ignore him as best you can. We appreciate this is a difficult position to hold for very long. We are working hard to address these concerns. Your country is important to us. Your current estimated wait time is: 1174 days, six minutes
posted by petebest at 7:53 PM on November 2 [51 favorites]


Too...much...news... WaPo, Karen DeYoung, U.S. asked French to broker Trump-Rouhani discussion, but Iranian president said no
Just hours after President Trump finished calling Iran a “murderous regime” in his Sept. 19 speech at the United Nations, the administration asked French President Emmanuel Macron for a favor. Would Macron inquire whether Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was interested in speaking directly with Trump?

All three leaders were in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, as was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who conveyed the request to Macron, according to several administration and foreign officials.

Iran’s response, later that afternoon, was an unequivocal no. The Iranians, the French reported, “don’t believe you’re serious” and thought it was some kind of trick, a senior administration official said.
What was the grand master plan here exactly?
Asked why Trump wanted to meet with Rouhani, the official said it was “in order to say, ‘Here’s all the mean stuff you do in the world, and we want you to stop. . . . If not, you should know we’re working on a strategy to get you to confront all of this.’ ”

The primary message, the official said, was that “the golden Obama-era window of rapprochement is over.” This official and others spoke only on the condition of anonymity to discuss the diplomatic exchanges.
I can see why Rouhani wouldn't take a meeting just to be told by Trump to knock it off with the "mean stuff." Why did they think this would be an effective tactic?
posted by zachlipton at 7:54 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


Posting this in case it is helpful to someone regarding the Fox News information bubble: there is sort-of a method for reaching people inside an information bubble. Steve Hassan, who is an expert on "undue influence", uses what he calls the Strategic Interactive Approach and teaches it to families who want to help cult members.

I'm worried about all the mefites in the US and this is the only thing I know of that might make a little contribution to making things better.

Disclaimers galore:
- there are similarities between cults and information bubbles but they are not the same thing at all;
- it requires a lot of time and energy, so stick to doing this with people you care about;
- it requires one-on-one discussion so is not suited to blasting messages on social media;
- there is no obligation for people who are being oppressed to do this kind of work, I'm purely sharing this just for people who are concerned about a loved one or friend and think this could be relevant to their needs.

Method:
1. Chat with the person about non-controversial topics, like "remember that time when we had fun doing a thing?". The goal is to reconnect with them outside of political stuff: hobbies, shared friends and family, silly jokes or whatever. Lean heavily on past good times, and remind them of their values by telling stories that reflect what you like most about them.

2. When you've reestablished a pleasant relationship with them, chat with them about their goals and dreams for the future. Travel? Home renovation? Grandkids? Be supportive and enthusiastic, share your own dreams, etc. Get them thinking about the future.

3. Gradually... very gradually... introduce news items about the present from just outside their bubble. Whichever of the mainstream media they hate the least. Or factual, evidenced-based stuff about current events from anywhere that doesn't trigger any "lamestream media" reactions. Only choose items which could reasonably have an impact on their goals for the future, and introduce it as a question, not a statement. e.g. "Hey, I know you want that border wall, but I saw this article about how Mexico isn't keen on it. Will that affect your dream trip through South America?" The goal is to get them to compare what they support politically with what they actually want for themselves in their lives. Let them respond to the questions in their own way. Don't turn it into an argument, turn it to your concern that they might not be able to follow their dreams. End the conversation if it heads into rants about the media or politics, e.g "oh I don't know about all that stuff, I was just worried you wouldn't get your holiday, cool, let's chat later, bye".

4. After a bunch of this, for what seems like an endless amount of biting your tongue, you're going to keep biting your tongue and gently ask something like "I'm worried that your current situation is not matching up to what you always wanted. Do you feel like maybe there's more out there?" And then listen without judging. The goal is still to get them to start thinking for themselves instead of just parroting what they hear from Fox or Rush. Telling them facts does nothing; replacing their dependence on the bubble with dependence on you is not the goal. Help them discover facts for themselves instead of accepting spoon-fed outrage.

5. Cross your fingers and hope that having proved that you genuinely care about them, and given them support and help as they use parts of their brain which are out of practice, they are more willing to listen to you and your sources.

I am almost certainly writing this up without doing justice to the nuance of the process. Hassan's book has way more detail and examples, but also is focused on extracting people from cults. But maybe the past-future-comparison-encouragement-information process will be helpful to some of you.
posted by harriet vane at 8:00 PM on November 2 [93 favorites]


Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam: "Friendly reminder: Election Day is next Tuesday, November 7th. And it's not just the high-profile Senate/House/Governor elections that we've been reading about in these threads (thanks Chrysostom!). Municipal, county, and state positions are probably up for grabs where you live."

Hey, so my plan is to put up an Election Day thread with as much relevant info as I can find. So that's mostly going to be the biggies (VA gov, VA HOD, NJ gov) obviously, but I'll try to run down what I can for the lower level stuff. I'll put in who I follow on Twitter for up to the minute results.

I figure that as much as possible, live results and such should be corralled there, so we don't blow out the current politics thread. Then we can chew over the results when they're in here.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:02 PM on November 2 [35 favorites]


> According to the Twitter audit report, Donald Trump had 20 million real and 20 million fake followers before the "deactivation". Now he has 36 million real and 5 million fake. Something really fucking sketchy happened when his account was "deactivated". Don't trust anything coming out of anyone working for Twitter.

Cite? I see the current numbers in that link, but not the previous numbers you mentioned. Edit: My bad, my adblocker was blocking the graphs.
posted by christopherious at 8:21 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Warren: Let me be clear: If Trump doesn’t keep his word & Congress doesn’t pass a clean Dream Act, I won’t vote for a spending bill without it.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:26 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


If they want to end estate taxes so badly, then maybe we could compromise on the purge version in which no estate taxes are paid for deaths that (a) occur inside the U.S. between 9am and 10am on Thanksgiving Day and for which (b) no preexisting medical conditions indicated a significant risk of death, any reason for medically assisted suicide, or any psychological conditions like depression. ;)
posted by jeffburdges at 8:33 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


According to the Twitter audit report, Donald Trump had 20 million real and 20 million fake followers before the "deactivation". Now he has 36 million real and 5 million fake. Something really fucking sketchy happened when his account was "deactivated".

I got the confirming results when I tried it. Fishy.
posted by bongo_x at 8:34 PM on November 2


wait wait wait are you saying you think Twitter staged this "oops someone dropped 45 but we got it back!" and then during the 11 minutes it was dropped changed the follower stats? To what purpose? Why would designating his followers as real or fake require shutting down his account for 11 minutes...? Hope me, tech types, I am not techy enough to see what the benefits are here.
posted by emjaybee at 8:42 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


I hate voting.

It's so much work. I've got to look up all the candidates, compare their positions to my own, and decide between each one on scant, sometimes absent information. I've got to try to figure out what part of each side of each issue is pure propaganda, and what the facts actually are. I've got to find reliable sources for information about every little bubble I fill in, and evaluate that information carefully.

And then there are the moral dilemmas. I love the zoo, I support the zoo, I want the zoo to succeed. But a half-cent sales tax to support a luxury goes against every fiscal instinct I have. I voted for the school bonds, no problem; as a homeowner, hell yes I want to pay for an educated populace. Property taxes I'm good with. But sales taxes are regressive, and a perpetual sales tax to support a luxury, no matter how much I like it personally... I voted no.

My point is, Republicans don't have these problems. Their party tells them how to vote. Every issue is clear-cut, the sources of information are all in agreement, the candidates have a little R after their names. Just going through the packet of information, it's clear how Republicans are expected to vote.

Now, I take this seriously, and I don't resent the time I spend on voting, though when I get down into the judiciary section sometimes I start twitching. But not everyone wants to do this, not everyone can do this, and not everyone is really good at this.

Is there any reason there's not a "How The Democratic Party Suggests You Vote In Every Single Election Ever" site online where I can put in my zipcode, and see endorsements? Here's a nice printable checklist. Have a nice day.

I mean, yes, it would be great if everyone put the work in individually. But it's a complex process, and people are busy, and not everyone is good at it. Especially since certain parties take pains to confuse issues as much as possible. There are huge gains to be made in the area of low-effort voters. Let's make it as easy as possible to vote like a Democrat.
posted by MrVisible at 8:51 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


I can't speak for your area, but our Democratic Party sends us mailers telling who they recommend voting for.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:53 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


>I can't speak for your area, but our Democratic Party sends us mailers telling who they recommend voting for.

Nope. As a registered Democrat, I got two big thick booklets describing the races in minute, impenetrable detail. 160 pages total. Nothing from the party. I'm in Tucson, Arizona.

And those mailers don't reach people registered as independents if they do go out.

A national site with simple endorsements by zip code seems like a huge project, but could pick up a lot of voters.
posted by MrVisible at 9:00 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


Half this thread was bitching about the DNC playing favorites, now we want them to tell us how to vote.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:06 PM on November 2 [37 favorites]


you can't be Attorney General if you're not, you know, an attorney.

That isn't technically true as far as I can tell.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:08 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Well this guy at Guantanamo is both an attorney and a general, he sounds damn principled in the face of adversity, dedicated to legal ethics, and he's got nothing going on for the next 21 days. And we know how Trump loves generals. Sounds like a win.
posted by zachlipton at 9:11 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


Let me clarify; in the primaries, the DNC should remain neutral. In general elections, hell yes they should make their endorsements clear and easy to access.
posted by MrVisible at 9:11 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]




ELECTIONS NEWS

** VA gov -- Suffolk poll has Northam up 47-43. The last Suffolk poll, btw was two weeks earlier and had them tied at 42.

The simple poll average is now Northam +3.6. If we say let's just look at October on, and let's throw out the outliers both ways (that one WP, the Quinnipiac, the Hampton one), we get...Northam +4. And if you look at the polling spread, it's been hanging around 3-4 since beginning of September.

So, yes, I'm nervous, too. And I think Northam has made mistakes in his campaign. But I still think Northam wins by about 2 points or so. If YOU are nervous, please phone bank or (if in VA) canvass!

** 2018 House:
-- Mentioned earlier, Lamar Smith of TX-21 is not running for re-election. This is definitely a reach for Dems, but a) the district is trending left (Romney 60-38, but Trump 52-42), and b) there's a Dem challenger with a good bio and off to a good start with fundraising. With it being an open seat, it's not out of the question. Also, Smith is an active denier of climate change who chairs the House Science Committee; he will not be missed.

-- GOP retirements continue to track well ahead of 2008's pace (a Dem wave year).
** Odds & ends:
-- Contest Every Race Dept. - The South Dakota Democratic Party says it intends to have a candidate for every legislative race in 2018, for the first time in decades.

-- Sabato looks at all of the big trends for next Tuesday races.

-- NYT: VA HOD outcome a predictor for 2018 House.

-- Looks like a court will be going ahead and having a special master redraw the North Carolina legislative maps after numerous attempts at gerrymandering in violation of court orders by the legislature. Outside analysis is that a neutral map would likely give the Dems enough seats to sustain vetoes by Dem Gov Cooper.

-- One of the main non-election ballot items next week is a possible constitutional convention for New York (they have this vote every 20 years). Although the NY constitution is arguably a mess, the convention would pick delegates by the super-gerrymandered state senate districts, and is probably a bad idea. Perhpas fortunately, a Siena poll shows it failing to be called, 57-25.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:23 PM on November 2 [64 favorites]


Chrysostom I appreciate the updates immensely.

On the NYS constitutional convention vote I think your characterization is a bit uncharitable - delegates would be chosen via the same gerrymandered state senate districts that screw us with the non-caucusing IDC but there is also an allotment (15?) of at large state wide delegates. I think that the wishful thinking is that in 2018 when folks turn out in a progressive wave in the city they will overwhelm up stage and suburban republicans and take enough of the at large slots to ensure a progressive majority in the convention.

As a final fail-safe, any regressive amendments potentially proposed during the convention (an amendment making NY a right to work state, or reducing/eliminating the existing forever wild environmental protections) would still need to be approved by 51% of NYS voters. If we don't trust our fellow New Yorkers to not screw ourselves im not sure what the implications are for our democracy.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:31 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


If you're in Virginia, I seriously have one day left in which I can get you in touch with where you can go to turn out the vote.

Please memail me. I can't do anything about the ads, but I can do something about turnout. And if you're in Virginia, so can you. Hit me up, guys. We can do this.
posted by dogheart at 9:41 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]




That's fair, Exceptional_Hubris, I was perhaps overly concise. I still feel the preferable way would be to elect better people and drive change from the legislature. It sounds like there is a good deal of effort to turf out a few of these IDC people, which would work wonders.

And yes, it's 15 at large delegates out of 204 total.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:59 PM on November 2


Dogheart, thank you for your relentless work in VA. I did 100 postcards for VA, and my contact with the org said that 22 Mefites reached out to help and 18 completed their assignments, which I thought was a good completion ratio. I would have done more, but I've been trying to heal my tendinitis. I've also done some texting work in VA, too, and if anyone is interested in texting, I can give info. It's *really* easy. Most of the messages are canned, and you only need to click on the right ones. You can get through 100 in 10 minutes or so, with maybe another 10-15 minutes of follow up for those with questions. All from your computer, no actual phone texting. Memail me if you'd like more info.
posted by greermahoney at 10:08 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Thanks so much, Chrysostrom, for adding a tidbit about the NYS ConCon to your ELECTIONS NEWS extravaganza. It's very confusing to some people to have Trump lovers AND the pinko union folks on your Facebook calling for a no vote on ConCon, but that is what I shall be doing.
posted by xyzzy at 10:10 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Trump on the diversity visa lottery:
It's just common sense, these countries aren't giving us their finest people. So when they put them in the lottery, if they even do a fair lottery, they probably don't do that they probably just hand us people that they don't want like this character, this animal, this horror show that just came in and did this horrible damage [in New York].
We conduct the diversity visa lottery, not foreign countries (and criminal history will disqualify you). If he thinks it's rigged, he should talk to his Secretary of State. I know he says a lot of stupid things, but this is pretty stupid.
posted by zachlipton at 10:17 PM on November 2 [95 favorites]


he thinks a visa lottery is literally countries sticking their people in a lottery to come to the US... words fail me
posted by Emily's Fist at 10:19 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


Sometimes I get the feeling that Trump isn't very smart.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:24 PM on November 2 [74 favorites]


If the countries put people in the lottery that they wanted to get rid of, for some countries, it WOULD be the best people.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:24 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


The League of Women Voters can guide you on how to vote; you can find a local league here.

From Wikipedia:

"The League of Women Voters is officially nonpartisan, though it supports a variety of progressive public policy positions, including campaign finance reform, universal health care, abortion rights, climate change action and environmental regulation, and gun control.[4][5]"
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:32 PM on November 2 [18 favorites]


This is exactly the note to go to bed on: giggling about the idiocy of the visa lottery comment. See you all tomorrow.
posted by Brak at 10:33 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Trump, who is the president of the United States of America, apparently thinks that you go down to the Uzbekistan equivalent of a 7/11 and buy a roll of visa lottery scratchers and then you wind up in America if you get three cherries.

I feel sorry for him, if only he had, you know, an entire wing of the government who could answer super basic questions about immigration for him. Or if only he had access to a smartphone and could type the words "visa lottery" into google. Or if only he could turn his head a fraction to the right and ask literally anyone around him "Hey how does that visa lottery work?"

Tragically Trump has none of these things, he is alone floating in a formless void, mouthing nonsense, and he must conjure whatever answer he can from the fetid fever-swamp that passes for his mind, completely extemporaneously.
posted by supercrayon at 10:42 PM on November 2 [92 favorites]


Sooooooooo this entire time literally any random Twitter support person has had access to the fucking President's account. This techbro shit has to stop.

To be fair, we don't know if the POTUS45 account has special controls. RealDonaldTrump is technically just another verified user; that account has no special privileges or security.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:42 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


A report on the causes of the collision involving the U.S.S. McCain is out.

Short version: mistakes by the people at the Navy ship's controls appear to have resulted in escalating confusion that wasn't resolved quickly enough as it began to swerve into the freighter's path. So not mechanical failure or other problems with the ship's systems. (Except insofar as the controls could be better-designed.)

If the countries put people in the lottery that they wanted to get rid of, for some countries, it WOULD be the best people.

Historical note: ostracism, a procedure by which the citizens (non-"foreigner" non-slave men) of Classical Athens could vote that a person be exiled from the city for ten years, though only a single person could be exiled this way each year at most.
posted by XMLicious at 10:49 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]



Why would he decline to comment? He comments on every other goddamn topic. That doesn't make any sense. Nothing makes any sense.
Andy Richter‏ @AndyRichter

How does Carter Page function on a day to day basis? Because I worry about his ability to find food
11:34 PM - 30 Oct 2017
Owen Ellickson‏ @onlxn Oct 30 Replying to @AndyRichter

every meal is a triumph
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:26 AM on November 3 [27 favorites]


Thanks for the ear worm, by the way, lalex. Every time I look at this thread, that song starts up again.
posted by Grangousier at 2:32 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


>The League of Women Voters can guide you on how to vote; you can find a local league here.

I'm not looking for someone to help me vote; I'm just saying that if it was easier, more people would vote. As in, go to an official page, put in your zipcode, and get a list of all the races on your ballot and how you're advised to vote if you're a Democrat.

The site you sent me to has links where I can email the local chapters, but no information on how to vote.

If we can get voter turnout up, we tend to win. People don't care enough to vote in midterm or special elections; maybe if they didn't have to put in so much work to vote on issues they don't care about, they'd turn out. Having a convenient tool to make voting Democratic easier seems like it would be worth looking into.

I mean, the whole point of political campaigns is to convince people to vote your way. Why do we make it hard to find out what that means when it comes time to actually vote?
posted by MrVisible at 2:40 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


The Japan leg of the Trump family trap Asia trip has begun to Papa-thumping levels of adoration and acclaim. Empty seats greet Ivanka Trump at women's empowerment speech in Tokyo. (Graunian)
“Truth be told, on Sunday nights, after a messy and wonderful weekend with my children, I am far more exhausted than on Friday evenings, after a long week of work at the office,” she said at the venue, where those rows of empty seats brought to mind the large gaps in the crowd at her father’s inauguration in January.
posted by michswiss at 2:49 AM on November 3 [38 favorites]


Folks, I just checked personally, and there is no party in the street in front of Twitter's headquarters in honor of this ex-employee. Not one person dancing. No fireworks. Nothing. This is not right.

Be the change you want to see in the world. We are the people we've been waiting for.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:13 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


What does "papa-thumping" mean?
posted by sio42 at 4:16 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


According to the Twitter audit report, Donald Trump had 20 million real and 20 million fake followers before the "deactivation". Now he has 36 million real and 5 million fake. Something really fucking sketchy happened when his account was "deactivated". Don't trust anything coming out of anyone working for Twitter.

This morning it's down to 31M real and 10.6M fake. It's possible that twitteraudit's algorithm is simply in the process of reauditing the account and that that takes time.
posted by Room 101 at 4:39 AM on November 3 [25 favorites]


That ex-employee tried to stop this but unfortunately Trump is tweeting again. Thank you, unknown Hero, your sacrifice will not be forgotten. Perhaps others will be inspired by your example.

Twitler is calling for the FBI and Justice Department to investigate Clinton and the Democrats.

Maybe one of the countries he is visiting soon could refuse to return him? Please?
posted by Justinian at 4:50 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Twitler is calling for the FBI and Justice Department to investigate Clinton and the Democrats.

You know, on the way home the day the indictments dropped, I tuned the radio to the Rush Limbaugh show, and he was winding up his pivot to HRC about Uranium 1, then when Hannity started, it took him about 2 minutes to pivot to HRC.

I am encouraged that in their collective impotent rage, that's all they got. And seeing Trump's brain literally stuck in

10 print "But HILLARY!";
20 goto 10;


is warming my heart on a cold, rainy autumn day.
posted by mikelieman at 4:57 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]


Yeah, the Democratic Party where I live gives me pretty detailed directions, but then they control my city.
posted by Peach at 4:58 AM on November 3


The simple fact that Twitter and Facebook are discussed as viable, important, even indispensable components of political life is just one important part of my daily dystopic projectile barfing.

It takes email and, like, puts it on a phone, essentially. Baaaaagh. These are not very entrenched corporate blowtorches supported by Monsanto, and Your Local Ford Dealer; these can be dispensed with at the click of a (phone) button.

Anyway, what time does Wheels Up Scoops Week start? Happy Facepalm Friday everyone! (Palm Sunday wasn't catching on with the 18-24's, so)
posted by petebest at 5:01 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


MrVisible: Re not knowing how to vote on every single item versus getting people out to vote, remember that you can totally leave any item blank that you want on a ballot. If you're gung-ho to vote for a candidate for governor, but have no clue what the relative merits of allowing ice fishing in some remote corner of the state are, check your box for governor and turn in your ballot.

I don't mean to brush off the democratic process here—I feel uninformed and unsatisfied every time I leave something blank—but I'd rather do that than to risk voting the wrong way, or forfeit my right to vote for what's the most important to me. It's not a perfect solution, but the alternatives are worse.

TL;DR: Get out the vote, do your best, blank boxes are OK.
posted by Rykey at 5:07 AM on November 3 [13 favorites]


I think wheels up starts when AF1 departs Hawaii for Japan. Twitter rumors are that Flynn is perp walking today.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:07 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


A carefully curated set of Twitter lists means that on my "Politics" list I get quick access to the opinions and passed-on information of people who have shown me I can rely on them (if not to be always even handed) to prefer facts. Many are journalists; some are politicians, others represent organizations, and a few are unaffiliated individuals who have given themselves the mission of finding and sharing news. Falsehoods get debunked fast in that list. It took a while to assemble, I will admit, and I am still pruning because sometimes people go off the rails. But I never look at my unfiltered Twitter feed because it's insane.
posted by Peach at 5:08 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Actually, given T’s obsession with people liking him, I’m kind of worried now for the Twitter employee’s safety.
posted by Melismata at 5:09 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Actually, given T’s obsession with people liking him, I’m kind of worried now for the Twitter employee’s safety.
He seems to be taking it as a good reason to attack social media. His attacks tend to benefit the person attacked in the long run. In the short run, I hope they don't give out the employee's name.
posted by Peach at 5:21 AM on November 3


is there a german word for the happiness you get from receiving confirmation that the situation is fucked up as you think it is?

cuz i been feeling that all week
posted by murphy slaw at 5:30 AM on November 3 [11 favorites]


Schadenjoy?
posted by sio42 at 5:32 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


In an Official White House Statement, our Commander in Chief and holder of the office formerly occupied by the Leader of the Free World said:

@realDonaldTrump
Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept.
4:55 AM - 3 Nov 2017
posted by Floydd at 5:39 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


Here's the itinerary for the trip, starting with a stop in Hawaii tomorrow before heading to Japan. Early prediction: it gon b nuts

I'm really hoping there's another glowing orb to touch on this trip. Please make it happen Japan.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:39 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


is he conflating elizabeth warren and donna brazille or did warren make a statement?
posted by murphy slaw at 5:41 AM on November 3


Warren. Scroll up (keep scrolling) or check the other thread.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:43 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


This morning it's down to 31M real and 10.6M fake. It's possible that twitteraudit's algorithm is simply in the process of reauditing the account and that that takes time.

This was my thought as well. I don't know how twitteraudit works, but I know how similar problems get solved. Removing and re-adding Trump's account as a node in the social graph would screw everything up, no matter what metrics they use to determine "fakeness" of an account. 40 million of anything is going to take a bit of time to process, especially with Twitter's API limits.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:46 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


In the short run, I hope they don't give out the employee's name.

At the rate things are going, some MAGA-loving co-worker could out him anyway.

But maybe this will open the door for other employees elsewhere to do little things like this? Like maybe someone at the IRS who has access to his tax returns? Maybe maybe?
posted by Melismata at 5:56 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept.


Cool. Cool. So we can expect Congresspeople to begin openly referring to him as "Tinydick" in official communications? I mean, why not. There's nobody here anyway.

"Sarah, does Tinydick think Japan is behind global warming?"
"Sarah, when Tinydick and AG Sessions met to discuss his impeachment . . ."
"Hey Tinydick! When are you going home?!"

etc.
posted by petebest at 5:58 AM on November 3 [45 favorites]


Doesn't talk of "rigging the primaries" also imply that validity/integrity of the entire 2016 elections are in question? Because I'm all game for a do-over. Let's go.
posted by p3t3 at 6:03 AM on November 3 [13 favorites]


He can't. even. spell. "led".

God damn it I hate that miserable pompous cruel stupid stupid man.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:06 AM on November 3 [42 favorites]


That Al Franken follow-up letter to Jeff Sessions is a thing of beauty. Highly recommended reading. 8 pages, but make sure you have time to SAVOR every section.

Franken calls Sessions a liar in each of the three sentences of the first paragraph alone, and a perjurer (and implied traitor) in the second to boot.
posted by Gelatin at 6:11 AM on November 3 [20 favorites]


Here's the full audio & transcript of Trump on WMAL yesterday. 10 minutes of pure head-scratching inanity & insanity.
posted by scalefree at 6:12 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


From yesterday: These idiots do it every time. Write it in secret, and then die death by 1,000 cuts because it gets torched by interest groups. There's a reason why you don't write shit in secret! It keeps it from blowing up in your faces!

The Republicans don't write legislation in secret because they think it'd be popular. If only the professional media would notice that the practice is, or at least used to be, unusual.
posted by Gelatin at 6:15 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


Sooooooooo this entire time literally any random Twitter support person has had access to the fucking President's account. This techbro shit has to stop.

The thing is, with computers you pretty much have to have a large degree of trust in your IT personnel. Sure, with properly established role accounts and so on you can limit the amount of trust required, but at the end of the day a sysadmin unavoidably has a tremendous amount of power because they need it to do their jobs.

We have ways to try and mitigate the problem, activity logs so you can know who did what and so on, but of course support team at twitter needs to be able to disable or enable accounts that's core to the entire functioning of a support team.

This problem, BTW, is one reason why IT employees are so often ambush fired. The fear of an IT worker retaliating by wrecking stuff is real enough that most employers, when they need to get rid of an IT employee for absolutely any reason at all, will do so via ambush and have them locked out of the computers when they're on their way to talk to HR. The nicer employers will provide some pay as compensation [1] Even amiable partings, where the IT person says they'd like to retire or move on to a new job tend to be more along the lines of "I'm thinking I should be retiring/quitting in a few months" followed by "Sorry to hear that, here's a month's pay, your account is now closed" from HR.

But as a rule IT can do just about anything and the only thing really stopping them from snooping in your files and email is professional ethics. Good IT people have a well trained reflexive aversion to looking into user's files and other personal stuff. Unfortunately not all IT people are good or professional. Best Buy, for example, had a scandal where it turned out the Geek Squad nationwide had been routinely sniffing around in all computers brought in for repair to find nudes and were sharing them with all other Geek Squad employees across the country. Best Buy claims to have "resolved" the problem. I don't believe them, they hire incompetent and unprofessional kids for crap wages and that means if you bring your computer to Best Buy you can probably count on the Geek Squad person snooping around.

So yes, pretty much anyone working at Twitter support could have disabled Trump's account and doubtless still can. And while its amusing that one of them did, it's also not good for IT as a whole that he did. That sort of crap, like the Geek Squad violations, undermine us professional IT people who take care to do the job right and not snoop or hurt clients.

*********************

On a different note, as someone in the TX-21 district, I can only say I'm absolutely delighted that Lamar fucking Smith isn't running again, and I think his decision to retire speaks well for our chances of flipping the seat. He's not that old for a Congressperson, "only" 69, and unless he's got some dire illness his decision to retire is likely more motivated by fears that even his gerrymandered all to hell district won't get him reelected than any actual desire to retire for normal reasons. He's one of the most powerful Congresspeople in the House right now, he's the chair of or a member of most of the really critical committees, if he's quitting it's because he's afraid he'd be defeated in 2018 or because he's got a fatal disease.

Last election Tom Wakely made a damn fine showing, considering how the district is set up, and the last meeting I was at where he spoke he was planning on trying again in 2018. Wakely vs. a new Republican candidate with no incumbency benefit who likely will be a foaming at the mouth Trumpite is far from an assured win, but it's a vastly better chance than Wakely vs. Smith again.

I'm not going to say we're definitely going to pick up TX-21, but I'm going to be walking my precinct getting all the votes I possibly can rounded up for Wakely (assuming he's the candidate), or whoever wins the Democratic primary. We've got a strong, well organized, Democratic Party in Bexar county, and of course the Travis county [2] Democratic Party is awesome, the rural counties that make up most of the district are a different story of course...

[1] I had a job where my employer decided to switch to an MIS rather than keep me on as an in house tech and was ambush fired once they had the contract signed. They gave me three months pay and insurance to make it easier for me while I was looking for a new job. Not required by law, but nice of them. And they had someone stand over my shoulder and watch while I gave them all admin passwords to make sure I didn't do anything untoward while doing so.

[2] For you non-Texans, there is an Austin county. It's a rural county with a tiny population not particularly close ti the city of Austin. Austin TX is located in Travis county. Confused yet?
posted by sotonohito at 6:19 AM on November 3 [41 favorites]


Jenna Abrams, Russia’s Clown Troll Princess, Duped the Mainstream Media and the World (Ben Collins & Joseph Cox, Daily Beast)
Roseanne Barr and Michael McFaul argued with her on Twitter. BuzzFeed and The New York Times cited her tweets. But Jenna Abrams was the fictional creation of a Russian troll farm.
Those same users who followed @Jenn_Abrams for her perfect Kim Kardashian jokes would be blasted with her shoddily punctuated ideas on slavery and segregation just one month later.

“To those people, who hate the Confederate flag. Did you know that the flag and the war wasn’t about slavery, it was all about money,” Abrams’ account tweeted in April of last year.

The tweet went viral, earning heaps of ridicule from journalists, historians, and celebrities alike, then calls for support from far-right users coming to her defense.

That was the plan all along.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:25 AM on November 3 [39 favorites]


MrVisible has valid points about voting, you guys. Don't snuff this out with snark. I agree that it would be nice to have a trusted tool that could tell us BRIEFLY where our best vote should go. Without a fucking dissertation exercise in granular detail we don't have time or expertise for.

Why can't Democrats do this? That is NOT to say it has to be in language saying VOTE FOR THIS PERSON with no justification whatsoever or room to decide for yourself. Is there not a happy medium?
posted by yoga at 6:40 AM on November 3 [11 favorites]


I can't find the post, but back in the early megathreads of our current horrortocracy we were discussing the what-ifs of necessary civil disobedience, and the point came up that an IT underground would be one of the most effective ways of resisting - and if you look at how much damage/good (delete as applicable) one person like Snowden can produce, the notion is far from fanciful.

I very much hope this never happens, for a million reasons, unless it not happening is worse.
posted by Devonian at 6:42 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


I agree that it would be nice to have a trusted tool that could tell us BRIEFLY where our best vote should go. Without a fucking dissertation exercise in granular detail we don't have time or expertise for.

Why can't Democrats do this?


Because who gets to represent the “Democratic” opinion in this scenario? Who writes the guide? Who decides how to evaluate candidates, and how to represent their positions? Stated positions, or how they actually vote? What if they routinely say a bunch of things that contradict their stated positions?

How do you determine who to trust?
posted by schadenfrau at 6:49 AM on November 3 [11 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats...


On the one hand, proof that D.Trump is not reading these threads because, dude, mocking someone's name is fucking lame. Giving them a fake name denies their humanity and, thus, demeans your own.

On the other hand, who the hell is he talking about? (and I don't actually want to know, I'm not curious, I put it out there as a simple observation. He's playing to a closed audience.)

It is pretty amazing/impressive/ significant - it is significant that Trump still has his twitter account. Someone, likely many someone's told him to just quit already, and he hasn't. He has seen it as pertinent enough for his ends that he is going to hang on to it. Or that someone else saw as useful in some way. So, who is that and what do they want. I think this might be an important point that should not be underestimated.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:51 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I agree that it would be nice to have a trusted tool that could tell us BRIEFLY where our best vote should go. Without a fucking dissertation exercise in granular detail we don't have time or expertise for.

Why can't Democrats do this?


Isn't this the purpose of primaries and of having the "D" next to someone's name on the ballot? That's not to say that voting is easy or that finding out about candidates' specific positions is easy. But the fact that someone is running as a Democrat, and won a primary as a Democrat, seems to be a good heuristic for "does the Democratic party (at whatever level is relevant for purposes of a particular office) support the election of this person."
posted by melissasaurus at 6:52 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


I'm confused by all this. In the general election, the democrats support the candidate that they nominate. That's it.

Their endorsement is the (D) by the candidate's name.
posted by schmod at 6:52 AM on November 3 [11 favorites]


who the hell is he talking about?

"Pochahontas" is Elizabeth Warren; who once made the grievous error of claiming some small percentage of Native American ancestry.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:53 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


MrVisible "got two big thick booklets describing the races in minute, impenetrable detail. 160 pages total." In Arizona, somehow. I would kill for that in Florida. I have to dig and dig and dig to get any notion what to do, particularly with judges. It's terrifying, and I frequently punt and leave the judges blank. I definitely don't want the Democratic equivalent of the creepy this is how the NRA wants you to vote pamphlet the Republicans do. I want the 160 pp of info.
posted by Don Pepino at 6:54 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


Pocahontas == Elizabeth Warren
posted by jferg at 6:54 AM on November 3


Ho-lee shit. This affects all the -ist sites: Chicago, LA, etc.

DNAinfo and Gothamist Are Shut Down After Vote to Unionize (Andy Newman and John Leland, NYT)
A week ago, reporters and editors in the combined newsroom of DNAinfo and Gothamist, two of New York City’s leading digital purveyors of local news, celebrated victory in their vote to join a union.

On Thursday, they lost their jobs, as Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade who owned the sites, shut them down.

At 5 p.m., a post by Mr. Ricketts went up on the sites announcing the decision. He praised them for reporting “tens of thousands of stories that have informed, impacted and inspired millions of people.” But he added, “DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure.”
I had just clicked on an LAist article from my feed. :-(
posted by Room 641-A at 6:56 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]


Abrams, who at one point boasted nearly 70,000 Twitter followers, was featured in articles written by Bustle, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, several local Fox affiliates, InfoWars, BET, Yahoo Sports, Sky News, IJR, Breitbart, The Washington Post, Mashable, New York Daily News, Quartz, Dallas News, France24, HuffPost, The Daily Caller, The Telegraph, CNN, the BBC, Gizmodo, The Independent, The Daily Dot, The Observer, Business Insider, The National Post, Refinery29, The Times of India, BuzzFeed, The Daily Mail, The New York Times, and, of course, Russia Today and Sputnik.

Lazy journalism, How-To
posted by petebest at 6:56 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


Because who gets to represent the “Democratic” opinion in this scenario? Who writes the guide? Who decides how to evaluate candidates, and how to represent their positions? Stated positions, or how they actually vote? What if they routinely say a bunch of things that contradict their stated positions?

How do you determine who to trust?


This is the heart of the problem, not just for the Democratic party. THIS is what we should be trying to build. Forget the party labels. They should be grouped by Issues.

I don't know the answer. But poking around at things we don't want to look at is the first step.
posted by yoga at 6:57 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


The problem with Democrats offering voting guides is that in a lot of places, the contentious/confusing stuff isn't purely partisan. Sometimes it doesn't even neatly map onto ideological divides.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:01 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


This is the heart of the problem, not just for the Democratic party. THIS is what we should be trying to build. Forget the party labels. They should be grouped by Issues.

This functionally already exists. [The political affiliates of] NARAL and Planned Parenthood endorse and score candidates; NRA endorses and scores candidates; NRDC does the same; labor unions, same; etc for basically every cause or issue.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:06 AM on November 3 [26 favorites]


Isn't this the purpose of primaries and of having the "D" next to someone's name on the ballot?

Yes, but even that is an imperfect system in how it's been implemented in some states (if you're optimizing for 'see party endorsements at the ballot box;' I think that's a realistic thing to optimize for, but your mileage may vary) --

(1) In some states, for some offices, you can run in multiple primaries and, if unchallenged, or if you just get enough votes, end up on the general election slate listed with both a (D) and an (R). That's not hypothetical: there's a Court of Common Pleas judicial election I'm voting in on Tuesday where the same candidate is listed as both (D) and (R).
(2) Some elections simply don't list affiliations (judicial retention elections in my state do not list affiliations, even though judicial elections do)
posted by cjelli at 7:08 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


One of the newpapers here in Minnesota (the Star Tribune) has a website in even election years (so, presidential races and mid-terms, not the off years like 2017) where you can enter your address and it shows you what will be on your ballot along with links to information they've compiled on every candidate running for each office.

For most offices, I just vote for the Dem but I still like to know a bit about who I'm voting for. It's VERY handy smaller offices, judges, and "non-partisan" offices. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) at how many weirdos and party hacks try to get elected to things like county water inspector.

I was in the process of looking through this site a few years ago. While Mrs. VTX and I were talking about a ballot measure relating to the schools, we got a knock on our door from one of the candidates running for school board so we asked him what he thought. His brief, thoughtful answer helped us figure out how we wanted to vote (more stuff for schools even if it comes with metal detectors we don't really need) and did a lot to get to us more enthusiastic about voting for him. So, call or e-mail a candidate running for an office that should have an opinion on it and ask them what they think. You might be surprised at just how accessible your government is when you ask.
posted by VTX at 7:09 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


In partisan races you should feel comfortable just voting for whoever the Democrat is even if you know fuck-all about them but

I agree that it would be nice to have a trusted tool that could tell us BRIEFLY where our best vote should go. Without a fucking dissertation exercise in granular detail we don't have time or expertise for. ... Why can't Democrats do this?

The vast number of nonpartisan elections and ballot propositions makes it impractical, as does the multilayered nature of American parties. There are probably tens of thousands of elections this year alone. And who decides what the party position is for a nonpartisan race for county coroner? The county party? The state party, which might not get along with the county party?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:09 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


The Minnesota Secretary of State's office has a "what's on my ballot?" tool that is updated for all elections, even the off years, with links to all the candidates including websites and Q&As if they have been provided. Maybe the other 49 have something similar?
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:18 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Pocahontas == Elizabeth Warren

Someone should ask Jack and Biz about the ins and outs of wether that constitutes a racial slur.
posted by Artw at 7:18 AM on November 3 [27 favorites]


Republicans now demanding that Mueller recuse himself from the Russia probe...because uranium.

[real]
posted by saturday_morning at 7:19 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Who's on the ballot: NYC
posted by zarq at 7:23 AM on November 3


This functionally already exists. [The political affiliates of] NARAL and Planned Parenthood endorse and score candidates; NRA endorses and scores candidates; NRDC does the same; labor unions, same; etc for basically every cause or issue.

So just need to aggregate them? Sweet. Who's got that?
posted by petebest at 7:23 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


I'm confused by all this. In the general election, the democrats support the candidate that they nominate. That's it.

Their endorsement is the (D) by the candidate's name.

Those of us who live in deep red areas don't always have a D option on a ballot. Sometimes I have a choice between more than one R.
posted by jaruwaan at 7:25 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


The ballot link is informative. Who knew that New York City has "Stop de Blasio" and "Dump the Mayor" political parties?

Gotta wonder if the "Dump the Mayor" candidate is gonna switch to a different party on the slim-to-none chance he gets elected.
posted by zarq at 7:28 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


So just need to aggregate them? Sweet. Who's got that?
When I was in grad school, I did an annual voting guide for my friends which basically explained issues and aggregated endorsements. It took a lot of research, but it was helpful to me and I think to some other people. If you're looking for a thing to do, I would consider doing this for your social circle.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:31 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Republicans now demanding that Mueller recuse himself from the Russia probe...because uranium.

A conflict of interest between a deal he wasn't involved in and an investigation he isn't tasked with. A year ago I'd have scoffed at the notion this might gain any traction.
posted by solotoro at 7:31 AM on November 3 [28 favorites]


I find this stirring up of shit regarding the need to investigate HRC deeply upsetting. I don't know how Nixon was dealing with his downfall; maybe he did the same thing about McGovern or something.
posted by angrycat at 7:35 AM on November 3 [20 favorites]


From that WaPo article:
Three conservative House Republicans are expected to file a resolution Friday calling on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to recuse himself from his probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, accusing him of conflicts of interest.
Two out of the three are in the Freedom Caucus. I'm going to hold off on panicking until it gets support from representatives who aren't generally regarded as batshit bonkers.
posted by witchen at 7:36 AM on November 3 [19 favorites]


Oh, I'm not panicking. Mueller isn't dumb or cowardly enough to step out just because congresscritters make noise. I'm just in awe of the crazy involved here.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:39 AM on November 3 [16 favorites]


AHEM Broken Record Edition

Take a break from the latest bright shiny thing and GOTV in Northern Virginia. Call Uma the field organizer for the Centreville VA area at 571-732-0767 (mods she ok'd posting this phone number - it's google voice). It is a splendid weekend to knock doors for the Democrats.

Spend the weekend on your feet instead of on social media. The voting booth is the real poll.
posted by jointhedance at 7:41 AM on November 3 [26 favorites]


It's fascinating how they think a legal investigation is like a startup tech company: remove the guy in charge, and the whole thing will collapse.

Mueller may well be the most skilled guy available to do this job, but he's hardly the only prosecutor capable of putting the evidence together. And whoever replaces him - even if that's "the assistant who's been bringing him coffee" - is likely to be able to pick up exactly where he left off, because (sigh) Mueller is competent, and would have plenty of documentation of exactly what and why he's doing things.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 7:42 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


If we could somehow harness the energy of the crazy, we’d never need to use fossil fuels again.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:43 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


MrVisible has valid points about voting, you guys. Don't snuff this out with snark.

No snark intended on my part. I hate not knowing more about what and who are on my ballots. I was just pointing out that in terms of getting out the vote, people should be encouraged to come out and vote for whatever motivates them, because any portion of a ballot can be left blank.
posted by Rykey at 7:44 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I just had to back away from an argument on the chat for a word game I play online, usually quite relaxing, because a user was saying, in the same fucking breath, that we liberals need to respect Trump because he's the president and it's our job to teach our children to not be hateful like Trump, so we can all get along.

I am so angry my stomach hurts. They SEE that Trump is despicable, of course they do, but to have that be our responsibility to correct is... I don't know. I thought I had plumbed the depths of my evens.
posted by lydhre at 7:44 AM on November 3 [26 favorites]


Oh this should’ve been in the roundup before, but if your flavor of activism is more mutual aide, the Bronx/Uptown Manhattan DSA will be doing Community Garden Stewardship next Friday the 11th in Harlem
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


I don't know how Nixon was dealing with his downfall; maybe he did the same thing about McGovern or something.

Well, first he got people to break in to the psychiatrist's office of the guy who leaked the Pentagon papers; then he got the same folks to break in to the Watergate hotel complex, where the Democratic National Committee headquarters was located.
posted by Melismata at 7:47 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


So...not well.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:52 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]


Okay, there's been a lot of feedback on this idea since I passed out. Let's see...

TL;DR: Get out the vote, do your best, blank boxes are OK.

But surely there are blank boxes that the Democratic party would rather have people fill in, thus making the whole country head in a more Democratic direction. If they told people how they'd like to see the boxes filled in, they'd get more Democratic votes.


Isn't this the purpose of primaries and of having the "D" next to someone's name on the ballot?

Sure. But the issues on the ballet don't have letters next to them, the judges don't, and some of the politicians don't. Sometimes, I have to choose between two Ds. Everything should be as easy as filling in the bubble next to the D.


MrVisible "got two big thick booklets describing the races in minute, impenetrable detail. 160 pages total." In Arizona, somehow. I would kill for that in Florida. I have to dig and dig and dig to get any notion what to do, particularly with judges. It's terrifying, and I frequently punt and leave the judges blank. I definitely don't want the Democratic equivalent of the creepy this is how the NRA wants you to vote pamphlet the Republicans do. I want the 160 pp of info.

Unfortunately, it's mostly useless. Having the text of the bills themselves is great, of course. But most of the book is dedicated to arguments for and against propositions, by random lobbying groups and citizens. Which means the information in the book is as polarized as possible, and its reliability is unverifiable. I'll read it every time for the laughs, but I go online for actual analysis.


The vast number of nonpartisan elections and ballot propositions makes it impractical, as does the multilayered nature of American parties. There are probably tens of thousands of elections this year alone. And who decides what the party position is for a nonpartisan race for county coroner? The county party? The state party, which might not get along with the county party?

I want the Democratic party to lead us to victory in 2020. In order to do that, they're going to have to lead. Which means organizing your forces, getting your resources together, and figuring out how to act effectively and productively.

I think figuring out how they want people to vote, and then communicating that effectively, would be a big step in that direction.
posted by MrVisible at 7:53 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


whoever replaces him - even if that's "the assistant who's been bringing him coffee" - is likely to be able to pick up exactly where he left off, because (sigh) Mueller is competent, and would have plenty of documentation of exactly what and why he's doing things.

Sadly, any notes or progress made by Mueller won't matter if he's replaced by someone who's loyal to Trump and will work to derail or throw chaff at the investigation. (I don't know who, I'm just saying that's the danger.)
posted by StrawberryPie at 7:53 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


If we could somehow harness the energy of the crazy, we’d never need to use fossil fuels again.
If that were possible, the Koch brothers would abandon support for them immediately.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:54 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


MrVisible has valid points about voting, you guys. Don't snuff this out with snark. I agree that it would be nice to have a trusted tool that could tell us BRIEFLY where our best vote should go. Without a fucking dissertation exercise in granular detail we don't have time or expertise for.

Why can't Democrats do this? That is NOT to say it has to be in language saying VOTE FOR THIS PERSON with no justification whatsoever or room to decide for yourself. Is there not a happy medium?


I really don't want to quash enthusiasm, but this is seriously just like that person who makes it 3 weeks into ECON101 and suddenly has all these Ideas like nobody has ever thought of them. Sample ballots are a thing. That PDF is the 2014 one for my area. If your local democrats aren't putting one out they may need bodies to do it. Maybe that should be you.

But can we also not pretend this is some trivial thing? Consider:

This functionally already exists. [The political affiliates of] NARAL and Planned Parenthood endorse and score candidates; NRA endorses and scores candidates; NRDC does the same; labor unions, same; etc for basically every cause or issue.

So just need to aggregate them? Sweet. Who's got that?


So do you mean you want to just add em up and put a single suggestion? How do you cope with conflicts if PP decides to endorse an (I) because the (D) is shitty on repro rights? When an org refuses to endorse anyone because they're all shit on their issue? Just pretend there's no input there or do you put a *?

Or do you mean you want a table with all the items? Because then you're running up against the very quotes in here about big impenetrable tables of shit.

And as someone who deals with data from disparate sources, the phrase "just need to aggregate them" is enough to make me sprain my eyes from how hard they roll. Aggregation is time-consuming. Earlier this year in a previous post I shared some stuff from some open data people who were trying to get precinct-level 2016 voting information from various cruddy word and pdf docs into actual machine readable data so folks could crunch it for analysis.

That's a case where the data came from government run groups who legally cover a set area of the country and who are mandated to publish in some form. You can know for sure whether you have gotten every single one that exists and they will for certain have made their information available in some way somewhere. And it still took a big crowdsourcing effort to get it done from a single election without a hard and fast deadline of VOTING OPENS ON X bearing down on them.

I'm not saying it's not worth doing, but when you look at something like this and think "man why isn't this worthwhile and trivial thing done???" you seriously need to consider whether it's really as trivial as you're thinking. And if your reaction here is "well then some little group right here should do it" you need to remember
  • Maybe they are and you just aren't seeing it because they're a little group
  • that little group can absolutely be you
posted by phearlez at 7:54 AM on November 3 [40 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: ISIS just claimed the Degenerate Animal who killed, and so badly wounded, the wonderful people on the West Side, was "their soldier." .....
...Based on that, the Military has hit ISIS "much harder" over the last two days. They will pay a big price for every attack on us!


DARPA must have developed retroactive causality
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:57 AM on November 3 [23 favorites]


I want the Democratic party to lead us to victory in 2020. In order to do that, they're going to have to lead. Which means organizing your forces, getting your resources together, and figuring out how to act effectively and productively.

We (for some values of we) are the Democratic party. The Democratic Party is just people. It's not someone else's forces, someone else's resources, someone else leading. Yeah, some people are tasked with political fundraising and organizing and campaigning as their full-time job that they get paid to do. But it's not solely on their shoulders. We all have to do the work. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:59 AM on November 3 [24 favorites]


Yeah, 'cause the military--oh, sorry, the Military--had been going light on ISIS of late. Really slacking off.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:59 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


I think there's a pretty good chance that Trump will fire Mueller. We all need to have contingency plans for mass protests if that happens. It's worth thinking about how you'll find out where they'll be, how you'll get there, whether you need someone to look after your kids (or will you bring them, knowing that there could be violence.) If you can't protest, can you provide support for people who can?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:59 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


Tax proposals on the table would gut the postgraduate research economy. Article in The Chronicle

"Middle-income students, too, would feel the impact of the House bill, which proposes eliminating the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit, worth up to $1,500, and the Lifetime Learning Credit"

"This bill would increase the cost to students of attending college by more than $65 billion between 2018 and 2027," Mr. Mitchell said in a written statement. "This is not in America’s national interest."
posted by stonepharisee at 7:59 AM on November 3 [16 favorites]


Why are there quote marks around "much harder"? Is he quoting someone? Is it a giant rabbit only he can see?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:59 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


I omitted the most important quote:

"The plan would also tax the tuition waivers that many graduate students receive when they work as teaching assistants or researchers."
posted by stonepharisee at 8:00 AM on November 3 [19 favorites]


@readDonaldTrump: Just took off for ceremony @ Pearl Harbor. Will then be heading to Japan, SKorea, China, Vietnam & the Philippines. Will never let you down!

The president* is rickrolling the country. Hah.
posted by stonepharisee at 8:02 AM on November 3 [13 favorites]


Trump wants to be like Xi Jinping, only whiter. They're attracted to each other, as if by pheromone.
posted by runcifex at 8:03 AM on November 3


I think there's a pretty good chance that Trump will fire Mueller. We all need to have contingency plans for mass protests if that happens.

MoveOn is on it.
posted by asteria at 8:04 AM on November 3 [29 favorites]


Yeah, 'cause the military--oh, sorry, the Military--had been going light on ISIS of late. Really slacking off.

Precisely. What were you doing the day before you ordered ISIS to be hit extra hard? Not hitting them extra hard? Such stupid, stupid logic that I can't believe it works on anybody.
posted by Rykey at 8:06 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Mueller seems to command a loyalty from competent staff and underlings that Trump does not. Notice how leakproof the investigation has been, and the praise for Mueller from all sides. Contrast that with Trump and his leaking-like-a-sieve organization. I doubt Trump has a fiercely loyal Rose Mary Woods in his office, except maybe Ivanka.

I will worry more if the cries to fire Mueller are taken up by more than just a few Freedom Caucus nutjobs (and of course the nuttiest job of all in the WH). And if any replacement is more Republican lapdog than Mueller loyalist. In any event, firing Mueller isn't this easy-peasy "Make It So!" done deal.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:06 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


I'm not saying it's not worth doing, but when you look at something like this and think "man why isn't this worthwhile and trivial thing done???" you seriously need to consider whether it's really as trivial as you're thinking.

At no point did I suggest this was trivial. It would be enormous.

The question is, would it be worth the effort? We keep cajoling people to vote, and to vote Democratic, but when they sit down with the ballot, they have no way of telling what that actually means. It's like spending billions on an advertising campaign, and then when the customers come in the store to buy your product, you give them a sheaf of paperwork that takes a couple of hours to fill out.

Imagine a nineteen-year-old college student, slightly stoned, in between classes, going through the same process that you went through to vote most recently. Doing all the research, the soul-searching, parsing what was bullshit from lobbyists and what was from reliable sources. It's more of a pain in the ass than half their homework. And yet, we really, really need those votes, and they want us to have them.

Yes, I agree that high-information voters are preferable; I'd love it if people went out and canvassed all the Democratic sources of information and then decided what votes represent their views on the issues best. But in assuming that everyone is that person, we're losing well-intentioned voters who don't, for a variety of reasons, make it through that process.

We (for some values of we) are the Democratic party. The Democratic Party is just people. It's not someone else's forces, someone else's resources, someone else leading. Yeah, some people are tasked with political fundraising and organizing and campaigning as their full-time job that they get paid to do. But it's not solely on their shoulders. We all have to do the work. We are the ones we've been waiting for.

And yet the party has leaders, and headquarters, and massive sources of funding. It seems like working with them would make sense.
posted by MrVisible at 8:09 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


So, re MrVisibles idea, we have enough IT people, and legal beagles, surely we could create a super pac with the goal of slurping data about races from all available data sources, then do analysis on candidates and issues. Sure, it would take some time before we could get granular enough to do dog catcher level races, with analysis, but it would be pretty simple to sort out left from right in big races and state wide referendums.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:18 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Imagine a nineteen-year-old college student, slightly stoned, in between classes, going through the same process that you went through to vote most recently. Doing all the research, the soul-searching, parsing what was bullshit from lobbyists and what was from reliable sources. It's more of a pain in the ass than half their homework. And yet, we really, really need those votes, and they want us to have them.

Why do you think a slightly stoned 19 year old college student would use a voting guide if one were provided? The biggest impediment to voting is access to polling locations, not confusion as to whether one alderman-at-large might be slightly better than another.

Look, I really honestly respect the idea that we should make it easier on people to understand who and what they are voting for. Sample ballots do this. Support from organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, or HRC, or - conversely - the NRA, do this.

Republican voters pull the lever for the R candidate no matter what. That is what makes them reliable voters. We need to get to the point where we do all the hard parsing and negotiating during the primaries and then go vote for the D candidate no matter what (and, since I'm a liberal and we like to shoot ourselves in the foot, I'm going to add the requisite clause of "unless they are for whatever reason a catastrophic candidate, and even then really think about the fucking alternatives, but you should probably vote for them anyway")

The real fight, the huge fight, the ONLY fight, is getting people to the polls: fighting voter ID laws, fighting limited polling hours and polling locations, fighting the impediments to early voting, fighting gerrymandering, etc. Most of the voters we desperately need want to vote but can't.
posted by lydhre at 8:19 AM on November 3 [35 favorites]


> And yet the party has leaders, and headquarters, and massive sources of funding. It seems like working with them would make sense.

i'm a newby when it comes to local party politics but i can tell you i've come to think of the party structure as a kind of slot machine: sometimes you pull the lever for the next-rung up and you get a good prize, but most of the time you pull it and you get a bunch of nonsense.

sure it's good when you get the prizes but if you rely on those prizes to sustain you then you will get nowhere. you can "work" with them in as much as they're willing to work with you - which they will, when your interests overlap. but even then it is entirely up to the people closest to the ground the make things happen.

we can hope for the party leaders to do their part at the national level but it's all for nothing if there's not a strong backbone of local organization that is doing the work on the reggie
posted by Tevin at 8:20 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


So what happens next with the Franken letter? Can Sessions just ignore it?
posted by diogenes at 8:22 AM on November 3


So what happens next with the Franken letter? Can Sessions just ignore it?

I expect we wait until Friday, 2017-Nov-10 to find out what's next in Minnesota's Senator Al Franken's bag of tricks.
posted by mikelieman at 8:25 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


> "The plan would also tax the tuition waivers that many graduate students receive when they work as teaching assistants or researchers."

This kills graduate education. There's no way anyone who's not either born into a rich family or married to a rich person could afford a PhD program should this pass. For most of the time I was working on my doctorate, I received about 25k a year as a stipend, plus tuition remissions of... sheesh, 55k a year? If I had been taxed on 80k of income, I would have had basically negative money to live on. So I would have not gone into academia, or (more likely) I would have left the country.

If one thinks of universities as sites of cultural influence, taxing graduate students on their tuition remissions is the perfect strategy to deploy to ensure that that influence only ends up in the hands of the already rich.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:26 AM on November 3 [98 favorites]


Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept.

When Trump is feeling angry and insecure, he attacks women personally. This is his most goddam predictable character trait.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:26 AM on November 3 [105 favorites]


Not to abuse the Edit, I'm hoping for relative quiet on the Mueller front. Until Thanksgiving week. Drop a "more indictments" on wed evening, own the holiday news cycle, as everyone involved freaks out, then pop, say Jared and Kushner on Monday. Or maybe Flynn and Sessions.

Maybe Flynn and Kushner. That's drive Trump totally nuts... Waiting for the Don. Jr./Sessions indictments.

My dog is a better person than me, because she wouldn't ENJOY all this as much as I do.
posted by mikelieman at 8:28 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


So what happens next with the Franken letter? Can Sessions just ignore it?

From my reading of Franken's letter, the "Please respond to these questions" section can be read as "So, exactly how many counts of 'Lying to Congress' would you like on your indictment, Mr. Sessions?"

I'm not sure it matters if Sessions responds or not. He's already got 99 problems.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:29 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


So what happens next with the Franken letter? Can Sessions just ignore it?

only if he can ignore all of my greeting cards too
posted by salix at 8:31 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


So, this is giving far too much credit to the stupid "Lock her up" contingent, but even assuming the worst, fever-dream conception of how the 2016 primaries were compromised is true, is any of it actually illegal? The DNC is a private institution, not a branch of the government. They could have gone to the convention, let the delegates cast their votes, and then just said, "Screw y'all, we're putting Martin O'Malley at the head of the ticket", couldn't they? It would violate several million of their procedures and bylaws, and would completely destroy their political credibility and be a terrible idea in many, many other ways, but it wouldn't be illegal, as I understand it, and not reasonably under the purview of the DoJ or any other law-enforcement body.
posted by jackbishop at 8:35 AM on November 3 [15 favorites]


File under Just Plain Greedy Grabbing: GOP Proposes Taxation of University Endowments

Colleges would be subject to the tax, set at 1.4 percent of net investment income, only if their endowment assets total at least $100,000 per student. We’re talking about just private institutions here; public colleges and universities would be exempt. Institutions with fewer than 500 students would be exempt, too.

This would hit ~ 140 institutions.
posted by Dashy at 8:35 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


This kills graduate education. There's no way anyone who's not either born into a rich family or married to a rich person could afford a PhD program should this pass. For most of the time I was working on my doctorate, I received about 25k a year as a stipend, plus tuition remissions of... sheesh, 55k a year? If I had been taxed on 80k of income, I would have had basically negative money to live on. So I would have not gone into academia, or (more likely) I would have left the country.

Universities will just set domestic graduate tuition for funded programs to be really low if this passes. It's all just funny money anyway when they set a tuition and then waive it. What will be damaging will be whether or not they can still gouge foreign students with a two-tier pricing system.

Also unlimited student loans are available to graduate students. You can still go to graduate school if you are poor. Now whether you can ever pay it off when you are done, that is another question with a much less satisfying answer...
posted by srboisvert at 8:36 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


I dunno, Harvard and its billion-plus endowment and its destroying of neighborhoods could use some humble pie...*sigh*
posted by Melismata at 8:38 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


>Also unlimited student loans are available to graduate students. You can still go to graduate school if you are poor.

This is a statement that's technically true but in real terms nonsense. It's like saying "the elevator's out, but you can still get to the ground floor by stepping into the empty shaft."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:39 AM on November 3 [51 favorites]


Sessions has a lie from the east, a lie from the west, a lie with @jack and a foreign interest...
posted by Artw at 8:39 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


For context, income from endowments is what most institutions use for operating expenses (ie paying me), big capital projects (eg building a new dorm), and for scholarships.

At my institution, about 50% of operating income is used to fund student aid. So this would directly impact how many/much student aid is available.
posted by Dashy at 8:39 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


So do you mean you want to just add em up and put a single suggestion? How do you cope with conflicts . . . . Or do you mean you want a table with all the items? Because then you're running up against the very quotes in here about big impenetrable tables of shit.

Yes. A single suggestion based on one's preferences, fully granulated to taste.

Sources: a checklist of advocacy groups / other recommendation sources
Conflicts: If sources conflict evenly, the recommendation is a toss up, otherwise majority source recommendation wins
Interface: enter zip code, accept default sources or choose one's own, badda-bing sample ballot. Option to message/print.

we have enough IT people, and legal beagles, surely we could create a super pac with the goal of slurping data about races from all available data sources, then do analysis on candidates and issues.

Curmudgeonly MeFites! . . . Assemble!
posted by petebest at 8:40 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


I just want to reiterate a point Justinian made last night that shouldn't be overlooked:

People hoping for Sessions to go: Remember that if Sessions leaves for any reason his replacement AG won't be recused from the Russia investigation and could, therefore, fire Mueller.

This doesn't mean we have to tolerate Sessions treasonous behavior, but we do need to be clear-eyed about the situation, and realize some of the current constraints on power change if Sessions leaves.
posted by mosk at 8:40 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Seriously, I have discovered the joys of composing and snailmailing greeting cards via smartphone app, and it's like Resistbot but more satisfying!
posted by salix at 8:41 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


This is a statement that's technically true but in real terms nonsense. It's like saying "the elevator's out, but you can still get to the ground floor by stepping into the empty shaft."

It is how I got my graduate degree.
posted by srboisvert at 8:44 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


I was unable to find Franken's letter in text form anywhere. Does anyone have that?

Here's the start of a manually-typed-out one, please pardon the typos and inadvertent shopping list mixed in:

Dear Attorney General Sessions:

Once again, developments in the ongoing investigation in to Russian interference int he 2016 election have brought to light evidence that you failed to tell the truth about your interactions with Russian operatives during the campaign, as well as your awareness of Russian contacts by other members of the Trump campaign team. This is another example in an alarming pattern in which you, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, apparently failed to tell the truth, under oath, about the Trump team’s contacts with the agents of Russia - a hostile foreign power that interfered in the 2016 election. We must get to the bottom of what happened so that we can prevent it from happening again, and i am deeply troubled that this newest revelation strongly suggests that the Senate - and the American public - cannot trust your word.

Court documents unsealed on Monday revealed that on October 5, 2017, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements and omissions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding his communications with Russian operatives. After Mr. Papadopoulos’s guilty plea was unsealed, new revelations emerged about Mr. Papadopoulos’s interactions with you and other members of the Trump campaign. The facts, as laid out in the court documents unsealed this week, are that Mr. Papadopoulos became a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser in early March. He subsequently met with a professor who “claimed to have substantial connections with Russian government officials,” and who took an interest in Mr. Papadopoulos precisely because of Mr. Papadopoulos’s role in the campaign. The second time that Mr. Papadopoulos met with the professor, on or about March 24, a female Russian national introduced as a relative of President Vladimir Putin also attended the meeting. Following Mr. Papadopoulos’s meetings, in late March he emailed “several members of the Campaign’s foreign policy team” and described the pruprose of his meetings as “to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump.”

posted by petebest at 8:46 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I was unable to find Franken's letter in text form anywhere. Does anyone have that?

The full text of Franken's letter is in the press release from his office.
posted by stopgap at 8:48 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


Liberty University asked Anthony Scaramucci, who always came across as a pious man, to visit campus for a speech about "the central importance of forgiveness."

“At the end of the day, it was a big blunder, but ultimately for me to go forward and to progress in my career, I have to forgive myself — and you will find that in your faith and in your religious teachings,” he said.

So you can just...forgive yourself for whatever you've done and you're good to go with God? That's an even better deal than I understood it to be. I gotta get in on this Christianity thing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:49 AM on November 3 [34 favorites]


This is a statement that's technically true but in real terms nonsense. It's like saying "the elevator's out, but you can still get to the ground floor by stepping into the empty shaft."

It is how I got my graduate degree.


It is how I got mine too, only partly!, and still the reason why I can't contemplate buying a house or having a child. After 6 years of working in the post-recession economy, I'm not sure I've made a dent in the principle at all!!

So I wouldn't recommend it if a person has any other options. Forcing every grad student to go this route would be devastating. On a personal level, but also for the economy.
posted by witchen at 8:50 AM on November 3 [30 favorites]


And yet the party has leaders, and headquarters, and massive sources of funding. It seems like working with them would make sense.

The "party" doesn't really exist as a unified thing though. There is the DNC, which handles the presidential race. There's the DLCC, which handles state legislatures. There's the DSCC, which handles US Senate, and DCCC, which handles the House. Then you have your state party, county party, local party or committee, and any number of other structures at the local level (e.g., "clubs" in NYC). Each of these organizations has different priorities and goals and audiences and ideological perspectives - each has its own leaders, headquarters, sources of funding. There is no single unified "Democratic Party" organization. This is the same for the GOP, but they have structural advantages that mean they don't have to work as hard (gerrymandered districts, mostly white voters, fewer poor voters, more polling places in conservative areas, and a 20-years-running propaganda network).

I'm not saying abandon these existing groups to form your own; I'm saying, if you don't like what your local Democratic party is doing, organize and take over your local Democratic party. Then the county party, then the state party, then the national. There is no "Democratic Party" that is separate from the individuals who make up the party. Bring enough people with you and you become the party.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:51 AM on November 3 [22 favorites]


> It is how I got my graduate degree.

It's also a bad idea, unless:
  • You're getting an MS or a professional degree rather than a PhD, and
  • You're going into a field where jobs are plentiful and well-compensated, or
  • You're willing and able to go off the grid and live under an assumed identity if you don't find yourself in a position to pay off your loans.
When I started considering graduate education in the humanities, my advisors quite responsibly hammered home the message that the first law of grad school is never pay for grad school. If you're paying for grad school, you're either getting a professional degree that will let you hook into big money flows, or you're making a terrible mistake.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:51 AM on November 3 [68 favorites]


> "The plan would also tax the tuition waivers that many graduate students receive when they work as teaching assistants or researchers."

What makes this worse is that for most of the academic research enterprise, graduate tuition is either waived -- or paid for by, for the most part, federally funded research.

For the latter, the tuition tax would be paid presumably by the funding agency, just further diluting the value of any grant dollar, because as YCTAB said, paying taxes on $80k in imputed income from $25k in real income is just a non-starter.

For the former case -- it is nowhere near as simple as "make the cost zero for US residents and boom, problem goes away!". Those tuition costs/income appear on many balance sheets (department, college, university, endowment). (never mind the zenophobia of that idea)
posted by Dashy at 8:52 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


Yes. A single suggestion based on one's preferences, fully granulated to taste.

So iSideWith, but for local elections.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:55 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Also unlimited student loans are available to graduate students. You can still go to graduate school if you are poor.

-student loan interest deduction eliminated
-tax-free employer tuition reimbursement eliminated
-grad student tuition waivers taxable
-university endowments subject to excise tax
-tuition and fees deduction eliminated
posted by melissasaurus at 8:56 AM on November 3 [56 favorites]


In the world of "how can they live with themselves":
Senator Toomey just tweeted a picture of his Philly staffers supporting the Ronald McDonald House (apparently there's some campaign about wearing stripes in support of the organization).

They work for a man who has, just in 2017 alone, worked to destroy the ACA, Medicaid, the ADA, and CHIP.

When I called the office to ask about this, the staffer tried to tell me that he was making it better for kids. I asked how he expected them to get healthcare and she said "blah blah more choices."

Anyway, if you are Pennsylvania, I bet the Philly office would love to hear more from their constituents. 215.241.1090
posted by mcduff at 8:56 AM on November 3 [41 favorites]


This is a statement that's technically true but in real terms nonsense. It's like saying "the elevator's out, but you can still get to the ground floor by stepping into the empty shaft."

It is how I got my graduate degree.

It is how I got one year toward my graduate degree. I am proud to have funded the care and feeding of The Cathedral of Learning for a year, but it had to end. I dumped Pitt and worked as a receptionist for a year 'til I found a better school that would fund me for the second year. If I'd had to fund two years at Pitt with loan money, I'd still be paying it off and I'd still be living in a hut, and all to keep the international rooms swept clean and ready for visitors.
posted by Don Pepino at 8:56 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]



@readDonaldTrump: Just took off for ceremony @ Pearl Harbor. Will then be heading to Japan, SKorea, China, Vietnam & the Philippines. Will never let you down!


Y'know that thing where Trump does unsane things based on the last person he heard? I got a baaaaaad feeling about this.
posted by petebest at 8:56 AM on November 3 [13 favorites]


If folks who are good at getting funding (via kickstarter or investors they could tap or setting up a PAC) are in and folks who have the will to hash out the details of what the ideal app/website should be a la MrVisible's & SecretAgentSockPuppet's suggestions are in, I will happily offer up my services as a software developer. I'm certain I'm not alone.

If the problem truly is that some people could get funding but don't have the clarity of ideas or know-how, others have the ideas but can't get funding & don't have know-how, and others (like me) have the know-how, but haven't the foggiest how to get funding & would look to others to help hash out what this thing should be- if that's the problem, then I would assert that we have the overlapping expertise (and then some) in all of these areas, right here on MetaFilter, and that with organization, we could do this.

Sign me up!

Seriously. Create a MeFi project, link it here; let's just get a show of hands of people who'd be willing to trade their current livelihood for this one & if we have the numbers, let's do it.

The reason I think this is hard is because folks who have the know-how do this day in & day out for their jobs and find it extremely difficult in their off time to put further effort into pet projects. I mean everyone: devs, yes, but also community organizers, folks with legal expertise, investment wranglers, etc. I believe this could work, but not as a collective of people tinkering in their garage on the weekends. I think it'd need to be funded, with real, livable wages, so that folks can quit their day jobs where they do these things for other people & appropriately dedicate their work week, their best forty hours, to the cause. To me, that's the rub. I'd love to do this pro bono, but I can't. I've tried. I burn out, work gets hectic, etc. I think this is by design, honestly: our working lives are so taxing we aren't (except for the best of us) able to muster the relentless effort necessary to get something like this off the ground in our vanishing free time. On the other hand: get organized, get funding, offer me a paid position to do something like this & I'll jump at it in a heartbeat. Again, I doubt any of us peddling our skills for profit alone wouldn't prefer to do something good while earning that profit.
posted by narwhal at 8:57 AM on November 3 [20 favorites]


People like Toomey probably honestly believe that society is better off receiving health care and social services from McDonalds than the government.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:59 AM on November 3 [17 favorites]


That's pretty much how most of the US's wretched healthcare system works, so....
posted by Artw at 9:03 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


some of the current constraints on power change if Sessions leaves.

Fuck it. The Mueller probe is not actually the most important thing the DOJ is involved in right now: Sessions is doing plenty of other very bad things. They would be hard-pressed to come up with someone as shitty as Sessions who would pass Congressional approval, especially without opening up another R senate seat.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:04 AM on November 3 [16 favorites]


There's no way anyone who's not either born into a rich family or married to a rich person could afford a PhD program should this pass.

*Ding ding ding ding!*
posted by Rykey at 9:05 AM on November 3 [14 favorites]


Gorka messaged Politifact that he wouldn't respond to their pants-on-fire description of Gorka's characterization of Tapper's remarks, and Gorka responded that he didn't want to encourage their "blatant brainwashing" and "sheeple feeding" so he wasn't going to respond.

I feel like Gorka should quit being a Nazi and take up writing copy for greeting cards. He's got a certain verbal knack. Too bad he uses it in service of being a giant asshole.
posted by angrycat at 9:06 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


So iSideWith, but for local elections.

No, that's about issues directly, this would be about advocacy groups' recommendations directly. (I mean, ultimately, yes it's about issues but instead of a "quiz" there'd just be list of groups to include in totting up which candidates/votes are suggested.)

Also, it says I should support Jill Stein, so. Yeah, no. DELETED.
posted by petebest at 9:07 AM on November 3


I actually would have felt more reassured if he just said "of course it will be a letdown across the board" at the end of that tweet.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:08 AM on November 3


Can someone explain why ad-spend is seen as the ultimate measure of social-media propaganda? If you create a well-followed account posting propaganda, that has nothing to do with ad spending. These reports of accounts with 100k+ followers certainly indicate that was the case.
posted by H. Roark at 9:08 AM on November 3


Narwhal and others who may interested in using your software development powers for good: Ragtag Team is an existing organization headed up by former OfA and Clinton team members who can connect you with existing or new efforts in need of technical help.
posted by migurski at 9:09 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


The Harvard Crimson: The Secret Harvard Fellowship of Sean Spicer
“Welcome everyone, just a reminder, our class today will be off the record.”

“Good morning, welcome to this invite-only breakfast, this event will be off the record.”

...

Off the record, off the record, off the record. Sean Spicer was publicly offered a Visiting Fellowship here at the Harvard Kennedy School—and then allowed to speak entirely off the record.

During his time on campus, Spicer had closed-door forums with select faculty and fellows, spoke in a few chosen classes, and attended invite-only meals with selected groups of students. In total, 11 events over three days, all off the record, none open to the general student body or public. Not a single word Sean Spicer spoke during his Visiting Fellowship at Harvard was on the record, nor could a single word could be heard without an explicit invite.
posted by cjelli at 9:10 AM on November 3 [58 favorites]


Franken's furthers, part II:

On March 31, 2016, . . Mr. Papadopoulos "introduced himself to the group" of campaign advisers and "stated, . . that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin."[3] That same day, then-candidate Trump posted a photograph of the meeting to Instagram.[4] . . Mr. Papadopoulos is seated two seats to your left.[5] . . .

According to an adviser present at the meeting, you reportedly "shut George [Papadopoulos] down" and you said, "[w]e're not going to do it. I'd prefer that nobody speak about this again."[9] . . Such a strong reaction also suggests that Mr. Papadopoulos's comments during the meeting would have been memorable to you. . . .

posted by petebest at 9:14 AM on November 3 [18 favorites]


Not a single word Sean Spicer spoke during his Visiting Fellowship at Harvard was on the record, nor could a single word could be heard without an explicit invite.

So you all heard this in your minds as Cate Blanchette narrating the opening lines of J.A. Bayona's next film, right?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:15 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Gorka messaged Politifact that he wouldn't respond to their pants-on-fire description of Gorka's characterization of Tapper's remarks, and Gorka responded that he didn't want to encourage their "blatant brainwashing" and "sheeple feeding" so he wasn't going to respond.

sebastian gorka: who knew that moustache-twirling villainy could be so tiresome?
posted by murphy slaw at 9:20 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


sebastian gorka: who knew that moustache-twirling villainy could be so tiresome?

Christ, these assholes think they want to be Bond villains but when it comes down to it, they're too lazy to do anything that's not whining and too stupid to find a grift that involves anything more complicated than a billionaire giving them money to whine in public.
posted by Copronymus at 9:27 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Can someone explain why ad-spend is seen as the ultimate measure of social-media propaganda?

Because it's measurable. And because, in many areas of US life, advertising reach does directly correspond to results. (See: Last year's election.) There is no simple way to measure "advertising reach" other than spend.

There are non-simple ways: they could measure the percentage of liberal-focused FB feeds that saw the ad, or clickthrough percentage (hah!) or buzzword repetition on other sites. But those are complicated and also don't verify interest/agreement, just some point of connection. Ad spend is easy to measure; it's the dick-waving contest of the corporate and political worlds.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:27 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I feel like Gorka should quit being a Nazi and take up writing copy for greeting cards.

Oopsie doopsie, I've forgotten your birthday!
posted by contraption at 9:28 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]




Talking Points Memo: House GOP Votes To Fund Children’s Insurance With Cuts To Public Health

Here's the vote and here's the bill, the Community Health and Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation (CHAMPION) Act of 2017.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:30 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Twitter is taking action and... er... banning porn?
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on November 3


Gorka messaged Politifact that he wouldn't respond to their pants-on-fire description of Gorka's characterization of Tapper's remarks, and Gorka responded that he didn't want to encourage their "blatant brainwashing" and "sheeple feeding" so he wasn't going to respond.

Wait, what is this in reference to?
posted by orrnyereg at 9:32 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Imagine a nineteen-year-old college student, slightly stoned, in between classes, going through the same process that you went through to vote most recently. Doing all the research, the soul-searching, parsing what was bullshit from lobbyists and what was from reliable sources.

I... dude, I have a fuckin' phd in political science and don't do hardly any of that shit.

The process I went through to vote most recently was:

(1) Vote for all the Democrats
(2) If there's more than one Democrat to pick from, vote for women and people of color to the extent you can infer those from names.
(3) If it's a nonpartisan election, vote for women and people of color again.
(4) If it's a ballot proposition, vote no unless I can think of a decent reason to vote yes.

The vote I cast are probably 95%+ the same as I would cast if I'd spent a gazillion hours agonizing about it.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:34 AM on November 3 [69 favorites]




Sean Spicer has concluded his fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School - during which he prefaced every single lecture and meeting by declaring them off the record.
posted by adamg at 9:35 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


Not how "the record" works, Spicey...
posted by phearlez at 9:36 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


For people interested in online voting guides, check out Ballotpedia (VA Gov info). They're non partisan, but contain all the info about endorsements and positions that might be useful for scraping. They can go all the way down to school board (Fairfax County), at least for VA this year. I've used it in the past to find info about local county and township election info.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 9:39 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


he prefaced every single lecture and meeting by declaring them off the record.

I was sure that what I was reading there was on some spin-off of The Harvard Lampoon. What the fuck does "off the record" mean in the context of a lecture? Is there some repercussion if a student reports what was said?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:40 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Is there some repercussion if a student reports what was said?

according to the students, he was so 'inarticulate' that 'it was really difficult to take any notes', so i'm not sure they could quote him if they tried
posted by halation at 9:50 AM on November 3 [49 favorites]


No problem, Sean, all links to transcripts and recordings of your lectures on the internet by other-than-the-press sources will be duly labelled "Sean Spicer's totally off-the-record lectures."
posted by Rykey at 9:50 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


“Welcome everyone, just a reminder, our class today will be off the record[, in effect, due to its incoherence].”
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:53 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Bowe Bergdahl dishonorably discharged and demoted, but will serve no prison time

Yep. There it is. Right there.
Then, last year, Donald J. Trump made denunciations of Sergeant Bergdahl as a “dirty rotten traitor” a staple of his campaign speeches, and called for the sergeant to be executed.

Once Mr. Trump was inaugurated, Sergeant Bergdahl’s defense team, led by Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School, demanded that the case be dismissed. There was no way the sergeant could receive a fair trial, his lawyers said, since everyone in the military justice system now reported to Mr. Trump as commander in chief.

Colonel Nance labeled Mr. Trump’s comments “disturbing” but declined to throw out the case. Then, last month, President Trump seemed to endorse his earlier sentiments about Sergeant Bergdahl, saying, “I think people have heard my comments in the past.”

After another protest by the defense, Colonel Nance ruled that he would consider the president’s comments as evidence in mitigation as he deliberated on a sentence.
Saipov; the person charged with the recent NYC terror attack just got served up a huge win from Trump.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:53 AM on November 3 [47 favorites]


So you can just...forgive yourself for whatever you've done and you're good to go with God? That's an even better deal than I understood it to be. I gotta get in on this Christianity thing.

"[I] confess that [I] have sinned against [myself] in thought, word and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone. I have not loved [myself] with my whole heart. I have not loved my neighbor as myself. I am truly sorry and I humbly repent. For the sake of [myself] [I] have mercy on me and forgive [myself]. Amen.

Checks out.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:54 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Pro Tip: saying "off-the-record" doesn't cast some magical spell that creates an enforceable NDA.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:58 AM on November 3 [44 favorites]


I can still declare bankruptcy that way though right???
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:01 AM on November 3 [18 favorites]


according to the students, he was so 'inarticulate' that 'it was really difficult to take any notes', so i'm not sure they could quote him if they tried

I imagine that if Sarah H. Sanders had a similar Harvard fellowship she'd like to have you carve her talking points into your skin with a quill. But hey, her talking points would be compressed and in sentences. Very repeated sentences.
posted by puddledork at 10:04 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


Pro Tip: saying "off-the-record" doesn't cast some magical spell that creates an enforceable NDA.

Snark aside, what it does accomplish is communicate to the higher-ups in the room that you intend to be a whiney bag of crap about this and expect them to drop an anvil on anyone who doesn't honor your desires in this. Which everyone in the room knows they're predisposed to go along with because they did this closed-room invite-only bullshit in the first place. The higher-ups get the message that you care enough about this to say this here which means you'll care enough about it outside the room to make stinks like the ones they were too spineless to weather with regards to Manning.

tl;dr: it's all about the chilling effect.
posted by phearlez at 10:05 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


As dog as my witness I am Off The Recorrrrrrd!!

/distant-thunder
posted by petebest at 10:05 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Not All Republicans On Board With Proposed Tax Plan (NPR, Nov. 2, 2017)
The Republicans rolled out their tax plan on Thursday, but not every Republican is on board. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks to Congressman Leonard Lance, R-N.J., about why he isn't satisfied.
Meanwhile, Blue Dog Dems weighing support for GOP tax bill (Mike Lillis for The Hill, Nov. 2, 2017)
Conservative-leaning Democrats said Thursday that they’ll take a look at the Republicans’ sweeping tax-reform proposal in hopes of reaching a bipartisan deal — a sharp contrast to the immediate vilification coming from Democratic leaders.

The leaders of the Blue Dogs, while quick to bash the partisan process in which the GOP tax plan was forged, said they’re analyzing the legislation to see if it meets their standards. If Republicans cross the aisle for input, the lawmakers suggested, there may be room for them to jump on board.

"As Blue Dogs, the door is never closed to pursuing bipartisan solutions,” the three Blue Dog co-chairmen — Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) — said in a statement.

“Although we strongly disagree with the process that produced this tax bill, our members will evaluate its contents in a measured way to see how it compares to the principles of the Blue Dog Vision for Tax Reform.
The Blue Dog Vision for Tax Reform calls for the following:
1. Republicans must abandon the failed, partisan reconciliation process for major reform, and follow through with the expectation of using an open, bipartisan process and regular order.

2. Tax reform must be credibly revenue neutral, and unrealistic, rosy economic-growth projections should not be used to offset the costs of tax reform or tax relief.

3. The middle class must be the priority, and tax reform should not shift the distributional balance to the wealthy.

4. American companies need a more competitive corporate tax rate and structure in order to maintain their ability to compete globally. Congress must also account for the needs of small businesses when it comes to setting tax rates.

5. We should consider using tax reform as an opportunity to address the funding challenges for the Highway Trust Fund.
So, we have that.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:05 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]


@migurski Thanks for that link. I've bookmarked it & will certainly check in with that group as I'm able. Unfortunately, it appears to rely on pro bono efforts rather than hiring full-time devs (or did I miss a list of job postings on the site?). Their aim is in line with what I'm after, but it relies on free work rather than paid work. I'm looking for the same thing but different: an outfit with the same aim that hires full-time subject matter experts and pays them living wages (or that can put people in touch with projects looking to hire full-time).

It makes me sad to think that just as higher education increasingly requires a personal fortune or the willingness to go into debt, so do all these other arenas in life. I don't know why it should surprise me. It's no wonder that, historically speaking, so many notable human achievements were accomplished by members of the aristocracy (or the lucky few they patronized): they're the only ones who weren't tied to a life in the field putting food on their table & thus able to explore, discover, muse, create, etc.
posted by narwhal at 10:09 AM on November 3 [11 favorites]


Traitors gotta traitor.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


sotonohito: So yes, pretty much anyone working at Twitter support could have disabled Trump's account and doubtless still can. And while its amusing that one of them did, it's also not good for IT as a whole that he did. That sort of crap, like the Geek Squad violations, undermine us professional IT people who take care to do the job right and not snoop or hurt clients.

Also, there is a reasonable chance the Twitter employee violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (Joe Uchill for The Hill, Nov. 3, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:12 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Bowe Bergdahl dishonorably discharged and demoted, but will serve no prison time

I am so incredibly relieved to see this. Dude's been through more than enough already.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:14 AM on November 3 [13 favorites]


I suppose I should just accept that as long as I'm reading this thread, I'll never get this song out of my head...
posted by homunculus at 10:14 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Random Ex-Twitter Employee is a freedom fighter and will be endorsed by HRC, Obama, and Bernie as the 2020 Dem candidate.
posted by asteria at 10:16 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


> they're the only ones who weren't tied to a life in the field putting food on their table

let's unpack some of the pronouns though, just to sharpen the point.
  • [they're] the only ones who weren't tied to a life in the field putting food on [their] table
  • the aristocrats were the only ones who weren't tied to a life in the field putting food on the aristocrats' tables.
There's two reasons the rich make us serve them. One, because they don't like doing all the work of supporting themselves. But two, because so long as we're serving them they won't have to compete with us.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:20 AM on November 3 [16 favorites]


Wall of text about being newish residents of VA and the frustration of politics and living here. The Mr. and I made the unfortunate choice of moving to a city formerly known for trains in SW Virgina last fall. He took a good job at a university in a city about an hour away, and I drive just over 100 miles each way to another state because there are no jobs for a Ph.D in this economically depressed shit hole. During my drive, I see endless Gillespie signs and even some Trump signs still standing. Trump bumper stickers abound! In the city where we live, there is a smattering of Northam signs, but also some pockets of GOP support that are very visible (LARGE signs in the yard instead of the usual yard signs). We are one of a handful of white families in our neighborhood, mixed with a wide variety of Latinx, African, Nepalese, African-American. This is formerly one of the worst neighborhoods in the city, but residents are working hard to turn that around, which is difficult because the folks who live here are poor, with many relying on public transportation to get around. Most of them do not have computers. The city doesn't pay much attention to us unless we call in reports of gunshots. Then, the cops will cruise around for a couple days before forgetting about us again. Hell, we don't have a grocery store anywhere near here. Our polling place is a mile or so away, through this stretch of weird urban wasteland, so a lot of folks will either have to walk on our shitty sidewalks or wait around for the bus to take them there. Fortunately, it looks like good weather on Tuesday.

To date, we have received a Ralph Northam advert in the form of a post-it note stuck on our front door, my husband received a mailer from the Northam campaign. Yesterday, after my 2+ hour commute home, I reached in my mailbox and found some photocopied letter, stapled closed, scolding me for having a poor voting record and reminding me, in very simple language, why it is important to vote. I am 52 years old and I have never missed an election in my life. I've also never received anything like this in the mail before. We've received no information about where and when to vote, and had to dig around to find that we can't early vote without a hassle, and that I will have to hope that I have enough energy left to stand in line to vote after getting up at 5 AM, hitting the road at 6, teaching all day, then driving back. I have a voter registration card and a passport-- I hope this is sufficient ID to vote. I can't seem to get anyone to confirm this.

I bitch about this here because last year, when we lived in North Carolina, we constantly had informative brochures coming to the house, we were called and texted and having our door knocked on constantly to make sure we were still on board to vote. We had about a month (I think?) to go down to the polling place and vote at our convenience so there was no messing around with this absentee bullshit. And here in VA, yeah, we'll go vote, but they really aren't making it easy for people who would not ordinarily be inclined to do so. I don't know where I'm going with this, but we hate it here so much and can't wait to leave, and this election just adds to the chronic depression and frustration and urge to scream because we are surrounded by so many garbage people who want to vote in more garbage. This part of the state can't withstand Gillespie's garbage policies. The economy here barely has a pulse, and yet these morons surrounding us continue striving to cut off their own nose (and the noses of their neighbors). Apologies to those of you who love the state-- we have not had a good experience here and we just feel overwhelmed with despair.
posted by Heretic at 10:23 AM on November 3 [41 favorites]


Random Ex-Twitter Employee is a freedom fighter and will be endorsed by HRC, Obama, and Bernie as the 2020 Dem candidate.

I hope they stay anonymous because the present being what it is once they're outed it's going to be a Ken Bone/Milkshake Duck situation.
posted by dis_integration at 10:25 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


On the one hand, the president's toxic sludge memedrama twitter disappearing for ten minutes was a delightful giggle. On the other... sigh, no, I do not want random twitter or facebook employee to be able to delete accounts in a grudge on their way out the door. Aside from the escalation wars that could kick off, I don't want anyone (other than maybe the president) to lose a month's rent because their account was cancelled in the middle of some kind of payment verification process.

I expect they kinda have to prosecute him. If he's sensible, he'll get a good lawyer and listen to them - maybe he can cut a deal claiming high stress, momentary impulse, no actual harm done, etc. Or maybe he claims not guilty and hopes for jury nullification.

On the other other hand (what, I can use tentacles if I want), if this does happen again, maybe it's what the public needs to consider putting up with the inconvenience of less monopolistic media companies with more interpersonal accountability. (Other other other hand - this is the kind of minor event that can avalanche. Almost any random bank employee can blank your account. Sure, they'd be caught, but in the meantime, until the scramble got fixed, you'd be broke. And banks, unlike tech platforms, aren't prone to having real-time 10-minute fixes for strange tech problems.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:26 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


All they gotta do is just actually apply the policies to Don and he's gone though.
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on November 3 [15 favorites]


We've received no information about where and when to vote, and had to dig around to find that we can't early vote without a hassle, and that I will have to hope that I have enough energy left to stand in line to vote after getting up at 5 AM, hitting the road at 6, teaching all day, then driving back. I have a voter registration card and a passport-- I hope this is sufficient ID to vote. I can't seem to get anyone to confirm this.

Your passport is sufficient and since you work outside the county you qualify under Virginia rules for being able to absentee vote. Look up your precinct and see if they're running in-person absentee, which many do, which is legally available through tomorrow evening.
posted by phearlez at 10:31 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


In my defense, Lord, my neighbor has a really nice ass.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:31 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Or, you know, does any random Twitter employee have the ability to tweet out from an account? Previously I think it would've been assumed that some crazy thing being said from the President's twitter was a hack but of course that's no longer the case.

It's Reagan's "we begin bombing in five minutes" except that X number of people may be able to do it, and it goes worldwide at the speed of light.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:32 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Special Counsel Mueller Warns That Manafort And Gates Pose A Flight Risk (NPR, Nov. 2, 2017)
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is warning that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates pose a flight risk and is asking a judge to impose strict bail conditions on both of them. Gates and Manafort appeared before federal court on Thursday.
...
[NPR's Carrie Johnson, who was in court]: Judge Amy Berman Jackson is an appointee of President Barack Obama, former President Obama. She said she couldn't understand exactly what Paul Manafort's lawyers wanted. They appeared in court to change their position a couple of times. Finally, they asked the judge to release Manafort from having to undergo this GPS or electronic monitoring. Lawyers for Rick Gates, who has some young kids, say he wants to attend their sports games this weekend and be able to get out of the house to do that.

The judge has ordered the defense and the government to lay out their arguments in writing. But she said, I'm concerned - very concerned - about some of the information the special counsel has highlighted. And she thought there would need to be some really good reasons to release these guys from electronic monitoring. Everybody's due back in court Monday morning.
Manafort's lawyer is already having trouble making a clear case for his client already? Not a good sign for Manafort.

Also of note: Manafort's lawyers now say he knew back in August that he would be charged, but he stayed in the country to face these charges.

But there's more!
Remember that Kevin Downing, the lawyer for Paul Manafort, earlier this week told reporters this indictment was ridiculous and there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Well, Judge Jackson didn't seem to like those remarks. She warned both sides today fairly sternly that this is a criminal trial, not a PR campaign. And she said, I expect counsel to do their talking in this courtroom, not on the courthouse steps. The judge even mentioned on Monday she's considering imposing a formal order to that effect.
...
there are hundreds of thousands of documents in this case both from the U.S. and overseas. But Paul Manafort's lawyer says he wants to go to trial in April 2018, and the judge said today she thinks that might work. She's going to talk more about it next week. And so far, there's still no sign despite all the legal and financial pressure on Paul Manafort that he's going to want to change his plea, plead guilty and cooperate with this investigation.
While things may come out (likely via leaks) as Manafort and Gates turn over documents for their cases, it sounds like we'll be waiting for six months for these cases to open things up.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:32 AM on November 3 [27 favorites]


I'm also a web developer who'd be interested in working on the Big Project.
As long as we use Laravel.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:32 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Or, you know, does any random Twitter employee have the ability to tweet out from an account? Previously I think it would've been assumed that some crazy thing being said from the President's twitter was a hack but of course that's no longer the case.

It's Reagan's "we begin bombing in five minutes" except that X number of people may be able to do it, and it goes worldwide at the speed of light.


Well, there's certainly a very simple and elegant solution to that.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


In my defense, Lord, my neighbor has a really nice ass.

Now now, Holy Scripture is very explicit about this (the Geneva translation is, anyhow):

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:35 AM on November 3 [37 favorites]


Manafort's lawyer is already having trouble making a clear case for his client already? Not a good sign for Manafort.

Well, he's having trouble making a clear case that he should be released from the normal restrictions of bail that are imposed on rich people with substantial connections outside the US, like wearing a monitor. I think he's grasping at straws, "but Your Honor; my client has sensitive ankles and the GPS monitor causes chafing!" is not likely to be well-received, so he's probably trying other tactics.

He's probably trying to pull off, "my client is very wealthy and powerful and therefore it's wrong to inconvenience him," which works in most situations, but here it works against him, so he has to obfuscate but he doesn't know what direction to move.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:41 AM on November 3 [14 favorites]


Mueller not fucking around.

@tbridis (AP)
Special Counsel Mueller tells US judge he needs 15 days in court to convict Paul Manafort, Rick Gates SCAN OF ORDER
posted by chris24 at 10:42 AM on November 3 [53 favorites]


I'm on a 27k a year stipend and my tuition waiver is about 50k. That's a crippling tax burden I'll be facing. This can't possibly pass, can it?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:43 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


It's so weird that a Senator essentially called the Attorney General a traitorous liar (in writing), and it hardly made a ripple. Its already gone from my Google news feed.
posted by diogenes at 10:45 AM on November 3 [19 favorites]


> Special Counsel Mueller tells US judge he needs 15 days in court to convict Paul Manafort, Rick Gates SCAN OF ORDER

And 10 of them are just Mueller saying "Your Honor, can you believe this fucking guy?" over and over.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:46 AM on November 3 [49 favorites]


@You Can't Tip A Buick Agreed, agreed, agreed 1,000%. I hate that I'm given object lessons in how deep the rabbit hole goes, even when I'm trying to suss out why it's so hard for me to put my talent towards projects I believe in during my free time.
posted by narwhal at 10:48 AM on November 3


More Professor Joe 'The Professor' Mifsud updates:

Stirling University in Scotland, one of his most recent perches, boasted about his Putin connections.

And here's a picture of him from the Russian Embassy UK's website, wearing a medal. But what medal? @jonwirth would like to know, and he's worth (ahem) helping as he's also producing this excellent Mifsud Mind Map.

More hot Mifsud news as it happens.
posted by Devonian at 10:48 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]


This can't possibly pass, can it?

Louie Gohmert is a Congressman. Roy Moore will likely become a Senator. Never wager money on "this is too stupid a prospect even for Congress, isn't it?"
posted by delfin at 10:52 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


Just came through from one of my opendata lists:
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) launched GOPTaxBill.us today, a new website dedicated to ensuring that the public's voice is heard as House Republicans attempt to rush their bill to provide tax cuts to the wealthy through Congress.
Presumably the full press release will be on https://www.democraticwhip.gov/ when they get to it but it went out to their press list in the last 20 minutes.
posted by phearlez at 10:52 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Stopped Clock Jennifer Rubin, WaPo: Trump’s latest impeachable actions
Trump’s latest call — following “lock her up” chants at rallies that continued after his election — is not an isolated event, but, as noted before, part of an ongoing pattern of trying to lean on the Justice Department either to pursue or not to pursue criminal proceedings against specific individuals. This certainly clears the bar of abuse of power established in the impeachment of Richard Nixon (who “merely” countenanced using the CIA to shut down the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate break-in) and goes well beyond the discrete action of Bill Clinton in lying under oath in the Paula Jones matter and to the grand jury. Trump’s conduct is pervasive, and if allowed to go unpunished will permanently distort our constitutional system. We simply cannot tolerate presidential meddling in our criminal-justice system to protect friends and persecute enemies.

“There is no bigger abuse of power than the president ordering his Justice Department to investigate his political enemies or back off his political allies, and Trump has done both,” says former Justice Department communications director Matthew Miller. “If he did it in secret, it would be treated as an enormous scandal, but because he does it in public, we have all gotten used to it. But it’s still the worst possible abuse of power, and the kind of thing everyone in Congress should demand end immediately — with the most serious consequences if he doesn’t.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:55 AM on November 3 [80 favorites]


Damn it all ... a shocking reminder of how stupid/ evil/ petty Trump and Co were and still are: the backdrop to the administration's decision to support a non-scientist who says the consensus scientific view that human-generated greenhouse gas emissions have driven recent climate change is “not proven” to head up the USDA, which has efforts targeted to understanding climate change in its 2017 budget factsheet (PDF) [yes, that file alone was created in Feb. 2016, but it's still online ya idiots] is that the Obama administration had gone to enormous lengths to prepare for the transition from his administration to Trump's.
They prepared briefings for - you know, on the assumption that 20 people would roll into the Department of Agriculture or Energy or Treasury the day after the election and learn how the place worked. And the Trump people just didn't show up for the briefings.
...
The odd thing was that they dumped a lot of people into the building in non-confirmed jobs on Inauguration Day. And Politico the magazine got ahold of the resumes of these people. And it was a lot of people who didn't have college educations, who had absolutely no background in agriculture or anything having to do with the Department of Agriculture. So they seem to have regarded it as a place to put Trump loyalists where it wouldn't matter 'cause no one would notice.
Instead, they offer an Iowa talk radio host / local politician to head the Department, but oops! He was identified by Papadopoulos in several references in court filings as “the campaign supervisor”. But don't worry, Sam's not going anywhere yet. Even though Clovis withdrew his nomination because "the political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position," he's still serving as the senior White House adviser on the Agriculture Department (CNN, with auto-playing segment on Clovis).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:56 AM on November 3 [25 favorites]


who “merely” countenanced using the CIA to shut down the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate break-in

Gah, my brain hurts.

This can't possibly pass, can it?

Louie Gohmert is a Congressman. Roy Moore will likely become a Senator. Never wager money on "this is too stupid a prospect even for Congress, isn't it?"


This is of course true, but a lot of people are saying it'll never pass the Senate.
posted by Melismata at 10:58 AM on November 3


I'm on a 27k a year stipend and my tuition waiver is about 50k. That's a crippling tax burden I'll be facing. This can't possibly pass, can it?

Even when you set aside the homophobia, racism, and sexism, Republican policy is about hurting people they don't like. Live in a blue state with higher property values and taxes? They'll take those deductions, thanks. Your local police want to make their own decisions about how to deal with immigrant communities? Not on their watch. Scientist who wants an EPA grant? If they don't cut the funding entirely, they'll make sure you can't advise the EPA in your area of expertise. They're not trying to govern, and you'll never go broke betting that they'll do something to hurt you if you don't support them 100%.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:58 AM on November 3 [22 favorites]


Professor Joe 'The Professor' Mifsud

Sam Clovis

I could deal with it okay when Omnigate had like a Lord of the Rings-level cast of characters, but now it's Game of Thrones to the power of Wheel of Time and I have no idea who eighty percent of these people are
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:00 AM on November 3 [22 favorites]


Lara Trump Taking on White House Duties in Troubling And Unprecedented Move, Officials Say (Chris Riotta, Newsweek)
Lara Trump, the face of her father-in-law's re-election campaign, has been hosting high-level meetings within the White House to push a variety of domestic policy initiatives, a clear crossing of the well-established line between campaign work and public service, ethics and government watchdogs told Newsweek.

The senior adviser to the president's already-active 2020 campaign has quietly conducted over half a dozen meetings with government officials including Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Veteran Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe and Representative Ron DeSantis, in an effort to swing the administration’s support behind a $10 million federal initiative to establish a new nationwide Veterans Affairs program, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the meetings and accompanying legislation. [...]

"This is not normal," Virginia Canter, ethics counsel for the executive branch at CREW who worked under former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, told Newsweek. "To the extent that somebody is actively engaged in political campaigning, it would be inappropriate for them to be sitting in and heading White House meetings. It raises a lot of concerns; you get the appearance that the individual is moving policy for political purposes rather than the public interest."
posted by Room 641-A at 11:03 AM on November 3 [43 favorites]


chris24: Special Counsel Mueller tells US judge he needs 15 days in court to convict Paul Manafort, Rick Gates

This is moving really fast, in an exciting way. Consider that yesterday Paul Manafort's lawyer says he wants to go to trial in April 2018, and the judge said [...] she thinks that might work.

And in response (?) Mueller said "nah, we could be done before Thanksgiving, this year" (assuming those 3 weeks are any time now, not at some future date).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:03 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


"...you get the appearance that the individual is moving policy for political purposes rather than the public interest."

YA THINK
posted by Melismata at 11:05 AM on November 3 [14 favorites]


Lara Trump, the face of her father-in-law's re-election campaign

Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:08 AM on November 3 [95 favorites]


It's not clear to me that that document about the government's case is suggesting that those 15 days would happen any time soon, just that that's about how long it'll take once that case comes to court. If someone's got more specific info on the likely timeframe Mueller would be aiming for, I'd be interested to hear it, but it seems unlikely that the judge would be entertaining the possibility of an April 2018 court date if months earlier than that was plausibly where the prosecution was at.
posted by cortex at 11:09 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


Room 641-A: Lara Trump Taking on White House Duties in Troubling And Unprecedented Move, Officials Say

Let's add this to the list of "unprecedented moves" by the Trump campaign family. You know, that list we keep around when we need to remember how wrong this year is? The list that has changed no one's mind sufficiently to impeach his ass yet?

Yeah, that list.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:10 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


It has been _0_ days since the last Trump disaster.
posted by Melismata at 11:11 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


tivalasvegas: I could deal with it okay when Omnigate had like a Lord of the Rings-level cast of characters, but now it's Game of Thrones to the power of Wheel of Time and I have no idea who eighty percent of these people are

Wikipedia: Trump campaign–Russian meetings -- no handy chart, but you can find everyone named there, and follow the links back to their profiles. Both Clovis and Mifsud are there, under the George Papadopoulous meetings section.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]




It's not clear to me that that document about the government's case is suggesting that those 15 days would happen any time soon, just that that's about how long it'll take once that case comes to court. If someone's got more specific info on the likely timeframe Mueller would be aiming for, I'd be interested to hear it, but it seems unlikely that the judge would be entertaining the possibility of an April 2018 court date if months earlier than that was plausibly where the prosecution was at.

Backing up cortex on this, that filing is basically saying "whenever you get around to scheduling the trial, you're going to need to reserve the courtroom for three weeks just to hear our side of it."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:17 AM on November 3 [10 favorites]


And in response (?) Mueller said "nah, we could be done before Thanksgiving, this year" (assuming those 3 weeks are any time now, not at some future date).

No, those might've been two different aspects of the case. Mueller says he needs 15 days of courtroom time - plus whatever the defense wants to insist they need; Manafort's lawyer wants to make sure those 15(+) days happen no earlier than the 2nd quarter of 2018, presumably, so either he has time to scrounge up a logic-chain that makes Manafort seem like a dupe instead of a director, or so that everyone will have a few extra months of "oh, I've forgotten" and time for data collections to erode.

Deliberate or quasi-accidential removal of data needed for a trial is srsly illegal. Hoping that the prosecution won't put the dots together before some online travel records are purged is not. Defense is obligated to preserve data; they're not obligated to go collect it and keep it safe.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:20 AM on November 3


It's not clear to me that that document about the government's case is suggesting that those 15 days would happen any time soon, just that that's about how long it'll take once that case comes to court.

Yeah it's normal for a court to ask how long a trial will likely be for their scheduling purposes, that's what that order looks like to me. It looks like the defense at least says it will file pre-trial motions, which would need to be resolved before it goes to trial. There's a hearing on November 6th where the parties are supposed to address whether it's premature to set a trial date that this time. The court then goes on to say that if an schedule is set, it intends it to be, and then give a schedule with a trial date of May 7th 2018.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:20 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


> But it’s still the worst possible abuse of power, and the kind of thing everyone in Congress should demand end immediately — with the most serious consequences if he doesn’t.”

Republican Congresspeople are cool with Trump's myriad abuses of power because they're all temporarily embarrassed despots.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:20 AM on November 3 [24 favorites]


That's so far away!
posted by diogenes at 11:21 AM on November 3 [14 favorites]


Federal judge orders that the trial of ex-Trump aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates "will commence on May 7, 2018 at 9:30 a.m." [tweet w/ screencap of order]

But that's so looooong from now! I want them in prison NOW! Mooom! *stomps feet*
posted by leotrotsky at 11:21 AM on November 3 [17 favorites]


Oh sweet Jebus, Louie Gohmert is awake:

Conservatives introduce measure demanding Mueller’s resignation
Three House Republicans on Friday moved to pressure special counsel Robert Mueller to resign over what they contend are “obvious conflicts of interest,” the latest instance of rising GOP resistance to his Russia probe.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:21 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


i.e. his interests conflict with Trump's.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:22 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


Three House Republicans on Friday moved to pressure special counsel Robert Mueller to resign over what they contend are “obvious conflicts of interest,” the latest instance of rising GOP resistance to his Russia probe.

Obstruction of Justice?
posted by leotrotsky at 11:23 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


i.e. they're scared of what he may find if he digs too far.
posted by azpenguin at 11:24 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


But that's so looooong from now! I want them in prison NOW! Mooom! *stomps feet*

Don't worry, Carter Page will save us.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:24 AM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Mueller has an obvious interest in uncovering criminal behavior and Trump has an obvious interest in covering up his criminal behavior.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:25 AM on November 3 [15 favorites]


So the house arrest applies all the way until then?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:26 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


> Don't worry, Carter Page will save us.

and then, if we want, we can travel with him to his home planet.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:26 AM on November 3 [17 favorites]


*Clutching pearls, fanning self* Why Congressman Gohmert, I just had no idea whatsoever that conflicts of interest bothered you and your fellow legislators so!
posted by Rykey at 11:27 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


> Don't worry, Carter Page will save us.
>and then, if we want, we can travel with him to his home planet.


I think we may have cracked the mystery of "Covfefe."
posted by leotrotsky at 11:28 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


It's so weird that a Senator essentially called the Attorney General a traitorous liar (in writing), and it hardly made a ripple. Its already gone from my Google news feed.

The media already know that Sessions is, so somehow that isn't "news."

Your liberal media, ladies and gentlemen.
posted by Gelatin at 11:35 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Even when you set aside the homophobia, racism, and sexism, Republican policy is about hurting people they don't like.

And they get away with it in part because they count on Democrats not to respond in kind.

Which they shouldn't, but good Ford, it's tempting.
posted by Gelatin at 11:40 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


> Universities will just set domestic graduate tuition for funded programs to be really low if this passes. It's all just funny money anyway when they set a tuition and then waive it.

This is not true. The tuition waivers that graduate research assistants get are supported by research grants, not by university funds. So, when I employ a graduate student in my lab, I -- the PI -- shell out ~$25K for their stipend (ie, their takehome pay) plus ~$15K for their tuition (which is the reduced rate that my private, R1 university charges PIs; it's much less than the tuition they'd pay out-of-pocket). The cost of their tuition comes out of my grants as a direct cost and goes straight into the university's coffers, and the grad receives a "waiver."

If they reduced the amount of the tuition, and hence the cost of the waiver, that would be that much less that they could skim out of faculty grants for each grad student.

I leave as an exercise for the reader the chances of that happening.
posted by Westringia F. at 11:40 AM on November 3 [39 favorites]




Why tax graduate student tuition wavers and not those of the student athletes? You know, the football players for example?
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 11:43 AM on November 3 [8 favorites]


> If they reduced the amount of the tuition, and hence the cost of the waiver, that would be that much less that they could skim out of faculty grants for each grad student.

Yes, if the intent is to hurt Federally-funded research at major universities, this is a well-designed proposal. (Our facilities are ... not cheap.) And making graduate school unaffordable is a nice bonus.

> Why tax graduate student tuition wavers and not those of the student athletes? You know, the football players for example?

The question answers itself, doesn't it. You tax behavior you want to discourage.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:45 AM on November 3 [11 favorites]


(If I were Carter Page I'd have to hire a food taster and wear body armor at all times to ward off polonium-laced umbrella pokes.)

Pema Levy, Mother Jones: Trump Pick for Top Civil Rights Enforcer Has Made a Career of Fighting Discrimination Claims
From 2003 to 2005, Dreiband served as general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a government agency with the power to prosecute discrimination in employment. Dreiband has characterized his record at the EEOC as one of “aggressive enforcement,” where he oversaw hundreds of cases and forced companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. After leaving government, Dreiband cashed in on his tenure at the EEOC to start working on behalf of companies fighting off discrimination suits brought by his former employer.
So, like, can we come up with a pithy name for this sort of thing, where Trump's picks for everything is like hiring a wolf to guard the sheep? It's eminently clear to me that this Dreiband guy only worked at EEOC in order to prop up his plan to cash in on that experience to fight the EEOC. ARGH, this is maddening.
posted by xyzzy at 11:46 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]




That's what I'm talking about. Sessions needs gone yesterday. I don't give a shit if his successor fires Mueller immediately.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:51 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


A year ago today I paid the $5 to create a Metafilter account after years of lurking. I was ready for the election to be over and used that feeling to pick a username. On another MeFite's suggestion, I bought discounted Halloween pet costumes to lighten my mood. I would go find that comment, but it's buried in a 3000 comment pre-election mega-thread and I don't want to actually revisit the before-time.

Not sure what my point is, other than to say that I'm still here a year later, watching the political mega-threads and various news sites. Some days are more obsessive more than others. Sometimes I forget about politics for a day or more! I do still hold out hope that our national nightmare will be over one day. And I'm very thankful for Metafilter for keeping me up to date, reassuring me that yes it is as bad as it looks, but also there are things I can do in the larger world and to keep myself mentally well.
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 11:51 AM on November 3 [68 favorites]


So, like, can we come up with a pithy name for this sort of thing, where Trump's picks for everything is like hiring a wolf to guard the sheep?

Regulatory capture?
posted by orange ball at 11:52 AM on November 3 [17 favorites]


Or maybe just corruption
posted by orange ball at 11:56 AM on November 3 [11 favorites]


Trumpism turns Regulatory Capture into De-Regulatory Bondage...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:57 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


> A year ago today I paid the $5 to create a Metafilter account after years of lurking. I was ready for the election to be over ...
posted by Is It Over Yet?

Ahhh - our charming naivete of yesteryear.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:58 AM on November 3 [17 favorites]


Crony CRAPitalism?
posted by puddledork at 12:00 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


The Book of Franken, Letter To A Racist Elf, Chapter 5:

Nonetheless, in sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, you have repeatedly stated that you personally did not communicate with Russians and that you were unaware of communications between Russians and other members of the Trump campaign. During your confirmation hearing on January 10, 2017, when confronted with reports that there was a "continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government," you stated that you were "not aware of those activities."[10] You also said that you personally "did not have communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it." Senator Leahy later asked you, in writing, whether you had "been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day." You answered no. It was later revealed that you had, in fact, met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign-at least three times.

Ut vita male egerant loquendum sentiet mala.* HA-men.

*supposedly "May perjury ruin your life" in latin, per EvilGoogle
posted by petebest at 12:03 PM on November 3 [11 favorites]


Ahhh - our charming naivete of yesteryear.

I'm another long-time lurker who finally signed up last year. Sigh.
posted by Surely This at 12:04 PM on November 3 [56 favorites]


Post election user names have gone a different direction.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:08 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Egg has a good summary of the House maneuver.

@Evan_McMullin
Three of the House Republicans' nuttiest members band together in a transparently partisan assault on the rule of law.
posted by chris24 at 12:11 PM on November 3 [46 favorites]


I'm another long-time lurker who finally signed up last year. Sigh.

Me too. It's been a very long year.

It's warmed up enough that I'm going to go walk a packet and knock on doors hoping to convince my neighbors to vote yes for the mill levy override on the ballot again this year for our school district. They haven't gotten a funding increase from voters since 2000, though they've tried repeatedly to get one approved. Fingers crossed, though it's a uphill thing. Canvassing is a great thing for my mental health. It's a concrete action, determined by someone else--I get handed a packet, I go knock on those particular doors, I get to talk to a few folks about something I believe in, spend some time outside, and canvassing has an appreciable effect on voter turnout.
posted by danielleh at 12:14 PM on November 3 [18 favorites]


AP, Inside story: How Russians hacked the Democrats’ emails. There's a detailed account of the phishing campaign in here, but this stands out:
But there were signs of dishonesty from the start. The first document Guccifer 2.0 published on June 15 came not from the DNC as advertised but from Podesta’s inbox, according to a former DNC official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The official said the word “CONFIDENTIAL” was not in the original document.

Guccifer 2.0 had airbrushed it to catch reporters’ attention.
Frankly, it's November 2017, and we ought to have a basic answer to "in what ways were any of the hacked documents altered?" by now.
posted by zachlipton at 12:15 PM on November 3 [62 favorites]


WaPo, Chris Mooney, Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Trump administration releases report finding ‘no convincing alternative explanation’ for climate change
The Trump administration released a dire scientific report Friday detailing the growing threats of climate change. The report stands in stark contrast to the administration’s efforts to downplay humans’ role in global warming, withdraw from an international climate accord and reverse Obama-era policies aimed at curbing U.S. greenhouse-gas output.

The White House did not seek to prevent the release of the government’s National Climate Assessment, which is mandated by law, despite the fact that its findings sharply contradict the administration’s policies. The report affirms that climate change is driven almost entirely by human action, warns of potential sea-level rise as high as eight feet by the year 2100, and enumerates climate-related damage across the United States that is already occurring as a result of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming since 1900.

“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” the document reports. “For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”
posted by zachlipton at 12:18 PM on November 3 [61 favorites]


The White House did not seek to prevent the release of the government’s National Climate Assessment

The White House believes that all science is big words and puffery; when questions arise about "what are you doing to address the problems in this report?" the response will be, "we're not going to pay attention to some ivory-tower scientist nerds to figure out how to Make America Great Again. Our policies will be based on what the people need, not what's happening to glaciers."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:21 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


"in what ways were any of the hacked documents altered"
When credible, experienced reporters work with leakers, you have at least some assurance that the reporters are going to do some due diligence to figure out how much of a leak they can verify. They don't always get everything right, of course. Many people have identified errors in leak based reporting that end up getting corrected later. But when people just do giant doc dumps at Assange's feet, there is no such assurance.

But the DNC appears to have learned some lessons. I've read recent reporting that Perez won't even text you back if you're not using encryption.
posted by xyzzy at 12:22 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


If you'd have told my 2009 username that Noel Fielding was going to be on GBBO...

...I'd have believed that a hundred times more than this entire Trump fiasco, tbh.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:30 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Daily Beast, Lachlan and Swin, Trump Offered Corey Lewandowski a New Job. Corey Turned It Down Because It Was ‘Chump Change.’
In a phone call last month, President Donald Trump pitched his ousted 2016 campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, on the idea of coming to the White House to work for him again.

The timing seemed ripe for a reunion after all. Nearly one year into the Trump era, Lewandowski had not become the massive power broker in Washington, D.C., that he’d set out to be, and was itching for an administration position. The president, meanwhile, was besieged by scandal, furious with those around him, and wanting more loyal voices and familiar faces nearby.

But despite the apparent alignment, the pitch didn’t work.

Four knowledgeable sources in and outside of the White House tell The Daily Beast that Lewandowski turned down what Trump had floated, in part because of ego. Trump had asked if he wanted a job that would place him in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, across the way from the West Wing, sources in and outside the administration say.

According to two people who spoke with Lewandowski, he “strongly” considered taking the gig, in hopes of getting to serve Trump in an official capacity once more. However, he came to the conclusion that the job wasn’t senior enough, telling friends that it was “beneath him.”
...
“[I] had heard that the president was talking about offering another job [in October to Corey] and I just kept thinking, ‘Please, God above, let this not happen,’” one senior White House official said this week.
This would be the guy that managed to get himself fired from OANN somehow. More importantly, Lewandowski is all up in the email chains with Papadapolous about Russia meetings, and Trump's insistence on getting him back inside the administration is interesting in that light.
posted by zachlipton at 12:40 PM on November 3 [23 favorites]


Trump's insistence on getting him back inside the administration is interesting in that light.

Yes. "Interesting". I guess he's going to have to appear in public without pants and put some sort of food item on his head before we see stories that plainly discuss his deteriorated mental state. On the plus side, that eventuality is distinctly possible. Perhaps on this trip.
posted by petebest at 12:45 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Trump Promise Tracker
It’s day 288 of the Trump administration with 1,173 days left in his term. We’re tracking the progress of 60 pledges he made during his campaign — and whether he achieved his goals.
In light of the CCC Plan, note that in his Contract on the American Voter he promised to lower the business tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent and reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three. The Post has those as Launched, but they'll need to update them to Broken soon.

He also isn't doing so good at creating at least 10 million jobs in the first term (+1,118,000) or growing the economy at 4 percent a year (+3%).
posted by kirkaracha at 12:49 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Follow the money. Worth revisiting The-Blow-It-All-Up-Billionaires; HuffPo from March. Key word Mercer.
posted by adamvasco at 12:50 PM on November 3 [10 favorites]


Frankly, it's November 2017, and we ought to have a basic answer to "in what ways were any of the hacked documents altered?" by now.

I think this all the time, is anybody looking in to this? Is this documented?
But goddam this year has just had TOO MUCH STUFF. And the supposed Fourth Estate either can't keep up or would rather just be tweet-reactive.
There needs to be something along the line of Kremlinology, Trump-ology. Make it an accredited study course.

The tell all books can't even hold it all with each of the cast of characters having their own back stories and scandals. We need Mnuchin experts, Lewandowski fellows...
posted by readery at 12:52 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Reuters: CEO says Kaspersky antivirus software also takes harmless files
Eugene Kaspersky said his company’s widely used antivirus software has copied files that did not threaten the personal computers of customers, a sharp departure from industry practice that could increase suspicions that the Moscow-based firm aids Russian spies.

The acknowledgement, made in an interview last Friday as part of the Reuters Cyber Security Summit, comes days after Kaspersky’s company said its software had copied a file containing U.S. National Security Agency hacking tools from the home computer of an agency worker in 2014.

Kaspersky’s firm has for years faced suspicions that it has links with Russian intelligence and state-sponsored hackers. Kaspersky denies any cooperation with Russian authorities beyond cyber crime enforcement.
posted by cjelli at 12:55 PM on November 3 [13 favorites]


I'm working on my doctorate in Page studies, but it looks like my funding will be cut.

Also I think the subject is a literal space alien.
posted by Salieri at 12:55 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I'm also a web developer who'd be interested in working on the Big Project.

Designer. I’ll throw my hat in.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:57 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


And the supposed Fourth Estate either can't keep up or would rather just be tweet-reactive.

Or are deliberately prevented from using the words "lie", "liar", "lying liarton firepants", "dementia", "sociopath", "treason", or strangely enough, "rutabaga". And that guy with the exposé of why there aren't taco trucks on every corner never came back.
posted by petebest at 1:03 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


AP, Inside story: How Russians hacked the Democrats’ emails.

The AP's timeline is crucial reading in understanding the DNC hack, spelling out how Russian intelligence's Fancy Bear first targetted the DNC, then how Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0 spread the documents.

And don't forget that both Guccifer 2.0 was in direct contact with former Trump advisor Roger Stone, as was Julian Assage "through an intermediary"—which links them indirectly to the Trump Campaign. After AP's DNC story went live, Stone told Business Insider's Natasha Bertrand that he "revised" his opinion about Guccifer 2.0 "some time ago" but continues to "neither believe he is a Russian Asset or that he hacked the DNC". Back in September, Stone appeared before the House intelligence committee to answer questions about these contacts but refused to name his supposed intermediary with Assange, leaving a lot of unanswered questions about his relationships with Assange and Guccifer 2.0.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:04 PM on November 3 [14 favorites]




I want the Democratic party to lead us to victory in 2020. In order to do that, they're going to have to lead. Which means organizing your forces, getting your resources together, and figuring out how to act effectively and productively.

This is way back several hours, but I think part of the disconnect is from people thinking "The Democratic Party" is a thing that exists. The DNC isn't the Democratic Party, it's a committee that deals with national elections and has nothing to do with downballot races. On a local level, well, I know who runs the Democratic party. In that I literally know her name and she's the only one who really organizes anything in my county, and a small handful of people come out for events. (I have health and access reasons I can't get more involved.)

And if that small group of people in a rural county in a red state wanted to put together explainers of ballots, they'd have to do at LEAST five different ones just for our county, with all the different cities that have their own posts and then one for the people in unincorporated rural areas. The truth is that a lot of these positions don't even have Democrats running for them, but more frequently a Republican candidate and a third party contester. And I've struggled with the question of do I leave that blank, or do I vote for the establishment Republican because I'm more afraid of the whackjob Libertarian getting into power.

So yeah, it's not that it's not a problem, but that there isn't really party structures in place to do the kind of work that it would require.
posted by threeturtles at 1:07 PM on November 3 [14 favorites]


Carter Page is doing another interview. With Jake Tapper. Sans attorney. Right now.

Ok, I give up. I'm totally on board with this strategy. My man Carter Page is gonna bring the whole thing crashing down. When he hits that bullseye the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

I hate almost everyone involved in this situation but for some reason I can't bring myself to hate this guy. He's so stupid.
posted by Justinian at 1:09 PM on November 3 [60 favorites]


The way Carter Page just said "Absolutely............not in that sense, no" with the longest damn pause in between to a question about whether anyone in Russia offered to help with the campaign was incredible.
posted by zachlipton at 1:13 PM on November 3 [35 favorites]


"lying liarton firepants"

This was my favorite Super Mario Bros. reboot

On another note, I feel that the absurdist phantasmagoria that is the inside of petebest's mental universe is increasingly convergent with reality and I don't know what happens when they finally collide.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:13 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Just go ahead and hate him. It's possible to be stupid AND evil and mean.
posted by phearlez at 1:14 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Every time he says Dodgy Dossier it sounds more and more like a drag name
posted by theodolite at 1:15 PM on November 3 [60 favorites]


More importantly, Page said he told other people besides Sessions about his Moscow trip and then refused to say who he told.
posted by zachlipton at 1:15 PM on November 3 [8 favorites]


So yeah, it's not that it's not a problem, but that there isn't really party structures in place to do the kind of work that it would require.

That's the problem right there.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:21 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


While I'm great at having ideas, I don't have the expertise or the energy to lead the database project we've been talking about. Chronic disease has limited my abilities considerably.

If anyone else would like to take the lead on this, please feel free. I'll contribute however I can.
posted by MrVisible at 1:26 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]




I'm more afraid of the whackjob Libertarian getting into power.

Our party system just put a narcissistic Nazi whackjob in power. That just happened. The party system makes the possibility of an organized group of radicals with an extreme agenda taking over and consolidating power more likely, not less, because it makes a bunch of otherwise independently responsible people responsible to a formal party and its funding sources first, before they ever even reach office, the independence of their interests are already compromised at least to that limited degree from the start. Doesn’t have to work that way.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:29 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I think I missed the summary of this project and can't find it with "big project" or "database" ctrl+f on this page... can someone link back to it?
posted by cybertaur1 at 1:30 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


just sayin'...
today it's a year plus five days since Trump was elected. Also year plus five days since I successfully interviewed for my present job. A year plus four days that my mom told me that her cancer had come back. A year plus 7 1/2 weeks before she passed away. It's been a helluva year. But whatever:


Today we bought a bottle of not-too-expensive French bubbly for the moment a new president is announced.
It's in the fridge, because it needs to be cold when we need it.
It needs to be cheap, because, seriously. I don't want to spend any money on this, but what the hey, you gotta have some fun...
posted by Namlit at 1:31 PM on November 3 [16 favorites]


The discussion about a database that posts easily accessible Democratic endorsements for local races started with this comment, and there's discussion interspersed throughout the rest of the thread.
posted by MrVisible at 1:34 PM on November 3


Just go ahead and hate him. It's possible to be stupid AND evil and mean.

For real. I find that these three traits are grouped together more often than not.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:36 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Universities will just set domestic graduate tuition for funded programs to be really low if this passes. It's all just funny money anyway when they set a tuition and then waive it.

This is not true. The tuition waivers that graduate research assistants get are supported by research grants, not by university funds. So, when I employ a graduate student in my lab, I -- the PI -- shell out ~$25K for their stipend (ie, their takehome pay) plus ~$15K for their tuition (which is the reduced rate that my private, R1 university charges PIs; it's much less than the tuition they'd pay out-of-pocket). The cost of their tuition comes out of my grants as a direct cost and goes straight into the university's coffers, and the grad receives a "waiver."


Uh you just made my point. Your university sets an arbitrarily different tuition for your grant funded students.
posted by srboisvert at 1:37 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


can someone link back to it?

It's around-and-about: Curmudgeionly MeFites . . . Assemble!

see also Ragtag Team

voting guides
posted by petebest at 1:38 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Your university sets an arbitrarily different tuition for your grant funded students.

But it's not arbitrary. That money is actually paid - from the grant funding to the university's general coffers. If the tuition were lower, the university would get less money.
posted by mosst at 1:39 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]




I knew Trump was damaging my brain. I just didn't expect the damage to be physical.
posted by zachlipton at 1:41 PM on November 3 [30 favorites]


Re: screwing with grad students by making the stipends taxable, I remember that this was proposed when I was in grad school. That would have been fy 98 or so. It didn't pass then, which isn't to say that you should be complacent, but it's inclusion is probably so that it can be dropped as a compromise.
posted by Horselover Fat at 1:42 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


petebest you mean something like Hoodline's SF 2016 Election Guide, but larger-scale? You can select sources you want to consider and then see who they endorse.
posted by cybertaur1 at 1:48 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


"377 Union Street will forever be known as the building that lead (sic) to the collapse of the presidency of Donald J. Trump," the plaque read.

If Fake News can spell led correctly, why can't the predisent?
posted by elsietheeel at 1:48 PM on November 3


>> Uh you just made my point. Your university sets an arbitrarily different tuition for your grant funded students.

> But it's not arbitrary. That money is actually paid - from the grant funding to the university's general coffers. If the tuition were lower, the university would get less money.

Exactly.

And it should be noted the only reason the university has a separate "PI rate" for tuition (which is lower than the tuition they charge people out-of-pocket) is that the NIH sets limits for allowable tuition that can be charged on a grant. The university sets things up so that they can take the maximum possible amount per grad student from each grant for the tuition waiver, and it is absolutely not in their interest to reduce tuition below that amount.
posted by Westringia F. at 1:48 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


"...its inclusion is probably so that it can be dropped as a compromise."
Yeah, this kind of tactic seems to be all there is to Trump's vaunted Art of the Deal: your first offer is so bad it stinks of hellfire and brimstone, and then your opponent, maddened with fear, can't make a reasonable counteroffer. In the end you get a "great deal" in which you get all you want and the opponent gets a few scraps. And then you don't actually come across with the scraps. And you never go to jail for some reason, even though you defraud people over and over and over again for decades and ruin vast portions of NYC and also television.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:52 PM on November 3 [36 favorites]


Eugene Kaspersky said his company’s widely used antivirus software has copied files that did not threaten the personal computers of customers, a sharp departure from industry practice that could increase suspicions that the Moscow-based firm aids Russian spies.

ffs. Tfa didn't mention:

Wikipedia-
Kaspersky graduated from The Technical Faculty of the KGB Higher School in 1987 with a degree in mathematical engineering and computer technology.
This is necessary context.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:54 PM on November 3 [14 favorites]


Via CBS News, an interview with 'an anonymous source' --
One source whose actions during the 2016 election are being examined by the special counsel's office and who is reluctant to talk publicly tells CBS News, "It's every man for himself."

That remark suggests that some of the former campaign officials and associates in legal jeopardy may be rushing to offer their cooperation in an effort to get a better deal from prosecutors. The source maintains that he is innocent and is frustrated that he has so far failed to clear his name in the ongoing probe. Over the last few months the source seems to have evolved in his thinking about Russian involvement in the presidential election.

Earlier this year this individual dismissed any suggestion that there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

Now, days after former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were indicted, the source acknowledged to CBS News something he'd been reluctant to admit in the past: "I do believe the Russians interfered or tried to interfere," he said. But he pointed to others associated with the campaign, "I don't know what they were doing" and "whatever those people did, that's on them."
Start you bets on who gave that interview -- because you know the White House will be guessing, too.
posted by cjelli at 1:57 PM on November 3 [55 favorites]


“John Miller”?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:01 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


My bet: Reince Priebus
posted by Existential Dread at 2:03 PM on November 3 [20 favorites]


The source maintains that he is innocent and is frustrated that he has so far failed to clear his name in the ongoing probe

Earlier this year this individual dismissed any suggestion that there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

Who gets frustrated and dismisses things? Hmm...seems a little...spicy
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:04 PM on November 3 [26 favorites]


> Paul Manafort's NYC townhouse

I can’t help pointing out that literally around the corner is a barbershop (of the new-old variety Brooklyn’s famous for) called: PERSONS OF INTEREST

c'mon, lazy writers
posted by miles per flower at 2:04 PM on November 3 [21 favorites]


(My money would be on Obvious Anagram Reince Priebus, and I would note that both he and Jefferson Sessions are two people conspicuously not named in the full CBS article.)
posted by cjelli at 2:05 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Yeah. If you're thinking about ballot guides, San Francisco is an interesting model. We have the official voter guide, which includes excellent "plain language" descriptions written by a local nonpartisian committee along with the usual paid arguments. We have party endorsements. We have lots of local groups, from organized Democratic clubs (including affinity-related groups like LGBT Democratic Clubs, Jewish Democratic Clubs, Asian-American Democratic Clubs, etc..., neighborhood groups, business associations, etc...) that meet with candidates, do endorsements, and mail slate cards (with funding for such slate cards coming from the endorsed candidates, so yeah) to the League of Pissed off Voters, who are kind enough to explain their reasoning on every issue. We have unions that do endorsements. And we have newspaper endorsements.

Then all of those wind up in the mega-hopper that is the Hoodline guide of guides cybertaur1 just linked, so you can make sense of all of it. This is all necessary because we're entirely too fond of direct democracy around here and can wind up with dozens of state and local ballot measures.

But I'm pretty convinced that the best way to do this stuff is local. Some big national site is going to wind up as a mess like Ballotpedia can be. There are already entirely too many "find out what's on your ballot" sites. The hard part is providing the local information, not the engineering. It really takes the legwork of sorting through this stuff through in your community, not some coders throwing up a website.

But that's totally a thing you can do! Are there Democratic Clubs or other organizations that do endorsements where you live? Join one. Not that many people do, so you can have a pretty immediate impact just by showing up. Or start one. Find some people near you who like to talk politics, argue about everything on the ballot for a while, and synthesize your arguments down to a ballot guide. Put it online in a quick-and-dirty site, print out leaflets, etc... (Note that printing and distributing leaflets like this may at some scale may, in some areas, legally be considered campaigning, which requires financial reporting.) If there's already lots of people making endorsements but no aggregator, then be the aggregator.

It would be nice if Hoodline could release their tool as open source, or maybe there could be a new version of it designed to work in other areas. The Hoodline folks are pretty nice, so I'll ask around for 2018.
posted by zachlipton at 2:06 PM on November 3 [12 favorites]


cjelli: I don't have any good guesses about who gave interview, but it does confirm to me that the Mueller investigation will be one mad dash of flipping, backstabbing, and under-the-bus-throwing. If you want to be a tyrant, either you have to be smart and well-connected and ruthless enough to run a tight ship, so that betrayal risks a swift and sure punishment, or, you have to treat at least some of your staff and direct reports well so that they feel a personal loyalty to you.

The Trump administration has none of this; the only loyalty Seeping Baby Man can count on is Ivanka (probably), his rabid base, and any Republican congresscritters who Just Don't Care as long as long as they can rob from the poor to give to the rich.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:06 PM on November 3 [16 favorites]


My bet: Reince Priebus

He can't clear his name because his name is an impenetrable mystery! It all makes sense.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:13 PM on November 3 [35 favorites]


something like Hoodline's SF 2016 Election Guide, but larger-scale?

Yes, quite. National, with zipcode focused ballots and local crowdsourcing. Plus cat gifs. And cake.
posted by petebest at 2:22 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


The 'earlier this year' part about the dismissals is 100% Spicer. He hasn't denied recently because it's not his job to do anymore. If this is not Sean Spicer, I will cake it up.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:22 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


And it should be noted the only reason the university has a separate "PI rate" for tuition

yarrrrrrrr

(sorry)
posted by azpenguin at 2:28 PM on November 3 [47 favorites]


How is Spicer going to know fuck all about anything?
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


National, with zipcode focused ballots

Minor caveat: There is no relationship between ZIPs and districts. District maps do whatever the fuck they want, regardless of whatever USPS does. The service should map a full address to a ballot.
posted by Jpfed at 2:29 PM on November 3 [14 favorites]


Minor caveat: There is no relationship between ZIPs and districts.

Yes, this. You can start with zips for rough details, but I'm not even sure they work for congressional districts; they certainly don't work for state zones.

Part of that is gerrymandering, and part isn't - Zip codes are designed based on mail delivery. 5000 people in the same zip code because there are three major apartment buildings crammed with residents may split into two zones for city council, because those are split by number of people, not ease of access.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:40 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Re: screwing with grad students by making the depends taxable, I remember that this was proposed when I was in grad school. That would have been fy 98 or so. It didn't pass then, which isn't to say that you should be complacent, but it's inclusion is probably so that it can be dropped as a compromise.

HR 3620 (105th Cong; Dick Gephardt, D-MO, sponsor) proposed repealing it in 1998; GOP controlled the house and wanted a national sales tax at the time, so the bill never made it out of committee.

Other history: HR 5078 (111th Cong.; Dem sponsor) proposed expanding it by swapping "tuition" for "qualified higher education expenses" - same with HR 1407 (110th Cong). HR 5176 (109th Cong.; Rahm Emmanuel sponsor) proposed repealing it, but would have provided a credit up to $3k for up to two years of grad school tuition.

IIRC, there was also a big fight at one point about whether universities would have to report the taxable portion of a stipend (they currently don't), which may have also happened in the late 90s, but I can't find anything on that from quick googling.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:40 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


PSA for those who have had free access to the Washington Post via an edu email address: That program is ending and being replaced by an academic rate offer. You can still get a free subscription using a .gov or .mil address. I can't find a link, so here's some the text of the email I recieved:

As we continue to invest in resources to provide quality journalism, we have launched an Academic Rate representing a 50% discount off our standard Basic Digital monthly subscription. This rate is available exclusively to current educators and college students...Thank you for reading The Washington Post. Please enjoy your complimentary access through the end of this year.
posted by terooot at 2:49 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


How is Spicer going to know fuck all about anything?

I wouldn't wrote him off. He knows where the easter eggs are buried.
posted by saturday_morning at 2:50 PM on November 3 [23 favorites]


Yeah, but the event he was the bunny for is an Easter Egg roll, so maybe he'll roll over and talk.
posted by zachlipton at 2:54 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Didn't Spicer just talk at length all over Harvard "off the record"?
posted by Sublimity at 3:03 PM on November 3


Bloomberg: House Tax-Cut Plan Hurtles Toward Senate Roadblock
“The bill has a massive Byrd rule problem,” said Bill Hoagland, a former Republican Senate Budget Committee staff director.
posted by chris24 at 3:14 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


You can start with zips for rough details, but I'm not even sure they work for congressional districts

They don't. My zip code in Philadelphia is divided into two congressional districts (PA-01 Bob Brady and PA-02 Dwight Evans).
posted by mcduff at 3:22 PM on November 3


well I just tweeted for 45 to DIE MAD ABOUT IT so if I disappear it was worth it
posted by Space Kitty at 3:23 PM on November 3 [26 favorites]


Corker rips Trump on his Sessions/DOJ/Clinton comments.
Corker Statement on Importance of an Independent Justice System
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the importance of an independent justice system after reports that President Donald J. Trump refused to rule out firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions if the Department of Justice does not investigate what the president wishes.

"Like me, most Americans hope that our justice system is independent and free of political interference," said Corker. "President Trump's pressuring of the Justice Department and FBI to pursue cases against his adversaries and calling for punishment before trials take place are totally inappropriate and not only undermine our justice system but erode the American people's confidence in our institutions."
posted by chris24 at 3:37 PM on November 3 [35 favorites]


Hey so where are all my antifa peeps meeting up for the civil war tomorrow? You guys want to get some coffee first?
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 3:39 PM on November 3 [33 favorites]


The full zip code is nine digits and narrows it down to the block in most places.
posted by VTX at 3:42 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


aw nuts, that's tomorrow?? I still have to get my machete sharpened
posted by rifflesby at 3:42 PM on November 3 [10 favorites]




'Exvangelicals': why more religious people are rejecting the evangelical label

Just accelerating the larger demographic trend.

Up until about a decade ago, most of the decline among white Protestants was confined to mainline Protestants, such as Episcopalians, United Methodists, or Presbyterians, who populate the more liberal branch of the white Protestant family tree. The mainline numbers dropped earlier and more sharply — from 24 percent of the population in 1988 to 14 percent in 2012, at which time their numbers generally stabilized.

But over the last decade, we have seen marked decline among white evangelical Protestants, the more conservative part of the white Protestant family. White evangelical Protestants comprised 22 percent of the population in 1988 and still commanded 21 percent of the population in 2008, but their share of the religious market had slipped to 18 percent at the time the book went to press, and our latest 2015 numbers show an additional one-percentage-point slip to 17 percent.

posted by leotrotsky at 3:57 PM on November 3 [18 favorites]






Hey so where are all my antifa peeps meeting up for the civil war tomorrow? You guys want to get some coffee first?

Damn dude, I totally forgot. Not that I'm not hardcore, because I am. It's just that I need to return the carpet cleaner before 6:30 or pay a late fee. Are we gonna be done by then? I get up kind of late too, so...
posted by bongo_x at 4:19 PM on November 3 [10 favorites]


Aw, crap, is the civil war tomorrow? We're supposed to pick up a new kitten.
We really are.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:20 PM on November 3 [69 favorites]


WaPo, Central Americans and Haitians no longer need protected status, State Dept. says
More than 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians living in the United States under a form of temporary permission no longer need to be shielded from deportation, the State Department told Homeland Security officials this week, a few days ahead of a highly anticipated DHS announcement about whether to renew that protection.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to acting DHS secretary Elaine Duke to inform her that conditions in Central America and Haiti that had been used to justify the protection no longer necessitate a reprieve for the migrants, some of whom have been allowed to live and work in the United States for 20 years under a program known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
This would pave the way for deportations after people have their TPS status expire. DHS has yet to make an announcement as to their plans.
posted by zachlipton at 4:25 PM on November 3 [9 favorites]


*troops delay deployment kitten repeat kitten adoption in progress*
posted by angrycat at 4:28 PM on November 3 [60 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: 11 minutes in heaven: When Trump disappeared from Twitter
President Trump disappeared from Twitter in the autumn. The night was warm, the Internet almost deserted. The mercury rose in the mouth of the dying year. All the instruments we have agreed that the evening of his disappearance was vanishing pleasant and mild.

He was gone for 11 minutes, a little before 7 p.m. on a Thursday.

The first minute, people could scarcely believe that it had happened. Suddenly, the news seemed realer. Everyone ran to the newspapers and marveled at all the actual facts that they contained.

Everywhere on Capitol Hill, people who had been turned into abject, writhing puddles felt their spines grow back. The enchantment at last was broken. A sad antique clock that had been presiding over the Senate resumed its human shape. People who for months had only gone by “Crazy Bernie” or “Liddle’ Bob” remembered their true names. The last petal that had been about to fall from the rose of democracy halted, mid-air.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:47 PM on November 3 [61 favorites]


This would pave the way for deportations after people have their TPS status expire.
I believe this is why Canada has such an influx of people from these groups already. It was already in the wind that this would be happening.
posted by xyzzy at 4:49 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Immigration agents release 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy after ACLU lawsuit

Wonkette: Radical ACLU Acts Like Undocumented Little Girl Still Human, Is That Even Allowed?
posted by homunculus at 4:53 PM on November 3 [17 favorites]


Can't antifa murder spree tomorrow - haven't gotten my 10 bajillion dollar check from Soros yet. Sorry - this revolutionary can't work for free
posted by Golem XIV at 4:53 PM on November 3 [12 favorites]


NBC: Papadopoulos Repeatedly Represented Trump Campaign, Record Shows
The Trump administration has downplayed the role of foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos during the 2016 presidential campaign. But the public record shows that Papadopoulos, who attempted to set up a meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, was a more prominent figure than previously understood.

Papadopoulos was in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention where he was invited by the American Jewish Committee to speak on a panel about U.S. foreign policy, organizers said.

"Papadopolous was only one among the many contacts AJC established and maintained among advisers to both parties’ 2016 presidential candidates and in the two parties’ national committees," AJC spokesperson Ken Bandler said in a statement.

"Among the panelists in our 2016 Republican National Convention program — in a session titled 'Defining America’s Role in Global Affairs' — was George Papadopolous, then a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser," the statement continued.

The AJC forum, occurred on the third day of the RNC in downtown Cleveland. Papadopolous sat on a panel with Reps. Tom Marina, R-Pa., and Ted Yoho, R-Fla., both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee while Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave opening remarks. [...]

Papadopoulos’ public role for the Trump campaign continued. In late September, just six weeks before Election Day, he gave an interview as a Trump campaign official to the Russian Interfax News Agency, where he said that Trump will “restore the trust” between the U.S. and Russia.

And he met with Israeli leaders during the inauguration in January as a foreign policy adviser for the newly-sworn in president. “We are looking forward to ushering in a new relationship with all of Israel, including the historic Judea and Samaria,” Papadopoulos told the Jerusalem Post the following day.
posted by chris24 at 4:55 PM on November 3 [22 favorites]


> Hey so where are all my antifa peeps meeting up for the civil war tomorrow? You guys want to get some coffee first?

sorry I have to do math homework :( :( :( maybe next weekend??
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 5:00 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


NEW from WaPo: Longtime Trump bodyguard to face questions about 2013 Moscow trip
One of President Trump’s most trusted confidants, a security chief who served as his sounding board for two decades, will face questions from congressional investigators next week about Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow, according to people familiar with their plans.

The excursion is at the center of some of the most salacious allegations contained in a now-famous dossier, which contains unverified charges that Trump has vehemently disputed.

The House Intelligence Committee has called former longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller to appear for an interview Tuesday as part of its probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Investigators plan to press Schiller about allegations in the 35-page dossier that Russian officials obtained compromising information about Trump’s personal behavior when he visited Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, according to people familiar with the investigation.
pee tape?
posted by lalex at 5:04 PM on November 3 [53 favorites]


Not fucking around with the leverage.

Bloomberg: Cyprus Gave Manafort’s Bank Records to Mueller Team, Sources Say
Authorities in Cyprus handed over bank and company records to U.S. investigators late last week related to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates, just before they were indicted in the U.S., according to people familiar with the probe.

The Cypriot government was responding to a June 7 request from U.S. investigators for records related to Manafort, Gates and companies they set up in Cyprus and the Seychelles, the people said. The pair of U.S. consultants had at least 15 accounts on the island with Bank of Cyprus and a bank it took over in 2013, Cyprus Popular Bank, one of the people said.

Only a small part of the request from the investigative team headed by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller hasn’t been answered yet, the people said. A Bank of Cyprus spokesman declined to comment.
posted by chris24 at 5:05 PM on November 3 [40 favorites]


[quickly deletes links as lalex posts them first, to the sound of the pee tape alarm blaring in the background]

Politico, Darren Samuelsohn, Trump's push for inquiries challenges Justice Dept. independence:

On their own, several of Trump’s remarks have raised alarm for the effect they could have on active legal proceedings. Bergdahl’s lead attorney said that the president’s previous remarks about the case could be used during the appeals process to get any sentence overturned. In the Papadopoulos case, former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman warned that the president had defamed a potential government witness who is likely to be called in a federal trial.

This could be grounds for Mueller to obtain a gag order on Trump,” Akerman said. “It would be unprecedented, but he is interfering with the government’s right to a fair trial.”

Randall Samborn, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, said that examining all of the president’s remarks in total “causes a real sadness for anyone who believes in and is dedicated to the idea of independent law enforcement and independent judicial proceedings.”

The Times fills in more details on what happened with Trump's Twitter account: Twitter’s Panic After Trump’s Account Is Deleted Caps a Rough Week. It was done by a contractor, and Twitter has thought about implementing more controls to prevent wide internal access to everyone's accounts, but didn't do so.

posted by zachlipton at 5:11 PM on November 3 [23 favorites]


Tomorrow, to complete the blood-rite required to join ANTIFA, I will ruthlessly take six months worth of cardboard boxes I have meticulously flattened to the town dump, and shove them without remorse into the cardboard recycling dumpster! Not only that, I will hurl two broken pedestal fans and a broken AC window unit into the metal recycling bin! I didn't even take them to the scrap metal for cash place, denying the capitalists their filthy due, as it's way on the other side of town and kinda skeevy.

NO. MERCY.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:15 PM on November 3 [54 favorites]


Hey so where are all my antifa peeps meeting up for the civil war tomorrow? You guys want to get some coffee first?

I’m busy drawing moustaches on photos of Bob Avakian.
posted by corb at 5:17 PM on November 3 [13 favorites]


WaPo, Heather Long, The GOP’s model family gets a tax cut in year 1 … and a tax hike in year 7:
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan spoke often Thursday (and tweeted) about how a typical family of four that makes $59,000 a year would get a $1,182 tax cut, but that's only in the first year. There are already serious doubts about how much the middle class benefits from the GOP plan — and for how long.

Ryan's correct that $59,000 is smack dab in the middle of the income spectrum. It's the median income in the United States, meaning half of households make more in a year and half make less. He's also right that this family would pay $1,182 less than they paid in 2017. But that model family would get a tax hike by 2024, according to an analysis by David Kamin, a tax law professor at New York University.

It's “totally absurd,” Kamin says. “The tax cuts for the middle class are all front loaded.”
Comes complete with a handy graph. This isn't some particular hypothetical situation chosen to make the plan look bad. This is the exact model family Paul Ryan came up with to sell the plan. There's more detailed analysis (pdf) from the JCT in Distribution Effects Of The Chairman's Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To H.R.1, The "Tax Cuts And Jobs Act,", if you're a nerd.

The trick is that they're selling the bill with one set of numbers, while using another for the budgetary effects. They say, look, a family making $59K/year will get a tax break, lots of tax cuts for the middle class here. But that's just based on what happens in year 1. By the time we get to just 2023, the JCT's analysis is that families making $20-30K year would already start to see a tax increase. Millionaires get their tax cuts all along though, and people at other incomes see weird stuff like cuts followed by increases followed by cuts. I've snipped the most relevant data tables from the JCT analysis for easy marvling at the absurdity of this.

If you press them, they'll say that of course the cuts would be extended, but you don't get to claim your plan costs a certain amount if it's based on "of course we'll spend more later."
posted by zachlipton at 5:21 PM on November 3 [43 favorites]


The Cypriot government was responding to a June 7 request from U.S. investigators for records related to Manafort, Gates and companies they set up in Cyprus and the Seychelles, the people said. The pair of U.S. consultants had at least 15 accounts on the island with Bank of Cyprus and a bank it took over in 2013, Cyprus Popular Bank, one of the people said.

Say, isn't Trump Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross vice-chairman of the board of the Bank of Cyprus? Why, yes. Yes he is. What a coinkydink.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:22 PM on November 3 [53 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: 11 minutes in heaven: When Trump disappeared from Twitter

Can we activate a facebook-style heart react for this comment alone?

Because, my God. The idea of this weight of fear and anger, lifted for a few sane minutes.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:26 PM on November 3 [13 favorites]


So doing some research inspired by the thread about what's on the ballot on Tuesday in Texas (only constitutional amendments) and discovered the interesting fact that under Texas's newish voter ID law, a state handgun license works as official ID. Gee, I wonder if members of a certain party are more likely to have one of those...

Also the actual law thanks to court decisions has been effectively undermined except as a fear-invoking deterrent. Because it says "Voters Must Show Photo ID" and then under it in smaller print "unless they don't have a photo id, in which case they can show any of these other proofs of identity" followed by a long list. Sigh.
posted by threeturtles at 5:36 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Politico, Bots stoke racial strife in Virginia governor's race, in which a report commissioned by Northam supporters says the bots are all over the place in the VA election.
posted by zachlipton at 5:45 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]



Hey so where are all my antifa peeps meeting up for the civil war tomorrow? You guys want to get some coffee first?


I shall be training my child as a radical ninja warrior (also known as taking him to gymnastics class--we're under deep cover, shhhhhh!)
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:45 PM on November 3 [10 favorites]


Yeah, something tells me his idea of fair is letting him off. And the Manafort explanation sounds totally legit.

Trump: I'll be proven innocent if Mueller treats 'everything fairly'
President Trump says that he is confident he'll be proven innocent in the Russia election meddling investigation if special counsel Robert Mueller treats "everything fairly."

"Well I hope he’s treating everything fairly and if he is I’m going to be very happy because when you talk about innocent, I am truly not involved in any form of collusion with Russia," the president said on Sharyl Attkisson's show "Full Measure" in a wide-ranging interview to be aired Sunday across the Sinclair Broadcast Group's affiliates nationwide. "Believe me. The last thing I can think of to be involved in."

Asked if he would consider firing Mueller, Trump said he was confident he would be absolved of wrong-doing.

Trump also described how he hired Paul Manafort as his campaign chairman in 2016 at the recommendation of a friend.

"Well it was a friend of mine who was a businessman, very successful businessman and a good person. And you know Paul was not there very long," Trump explained.

He did not name the friend before he proceeded to describe how Manafort was forced to leave the campaign in August 2016.

"Well I think we found out something about him may be involved with ... certain nations and I don't even know exactly what it was in particular but there was a point at which we just felt Paul would be better off because we don't want to have any potential conflicts," he said.
posted by chris24 at 5:46 PM on November 3 [15 favorites]


It’s Dangerous How Far Right the “Moderate” Position on Abortion Has Been Pulled

THIS.
This is what I've been screaming about for what seems like ages, and it's like howling into the void. The response I get from mainstream Democrats is "But we need to be a big tent" and from the Left, "Let's take care of Healthcare/Basic Income first". Because the fundamental rights of over half the population of the US is "Identity Politics", to be ignored or bargained away.

I have no hope anymore. Gilead is coming, and it won't matter if it's coming from the Right or Left. But the white men will either have their tax cuts, or their Medicare for all.
posted by happyroach at 5:56 PM on November 3 [63 favorites]


Hey so where are all my antifa peeps meeting up for the civil war tomorrow? You guys want to get some coffee first?

Shoot, I’ve got to wash my hair. I guess you can say I

*removes sunglasses*

can’tifa.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:58 PM on November 3 [33 favorites]


OK, I was going to write this whole emotional multi-generational Roots-style story about how this works.

But nope, can't be bothered. SO BASICALLY seventy-five years ago everyone felt like they had to be members of a good protestant church to be In Society but as the 60s and 70s happened people realized that they could meet potential mates, hang out with friends, fulfill gossiping needs, etc. outside of the Church Structure.

Evangelicals responded the other way: they said that mainline churches were dying because of all the folks that were going just went because social judginess. (They weren't entirely wrong.) (Also, mainline churches were exhibiting a disturbing tendency to start dealing at some level with the history of racial and gender discrimination in society and in the Church.)

So the mainline churches (Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, moderate Baptists, etc.) got squeezed from both ends, the secular um-yeah-I-don't-believe-this-anymore side and the cultural-theological-dogmatic side.

That's now hitting the evangelical churches.

And fuck them very much. As a devout Christian, I'm looking forward to the time when "Christians" are actual followers of a Person who called all persons to see one another as beloved, and to see our mandate as caring for the well-being of the whole world.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:58 PM on November 3 [61 favorites]


NYT's got a story about the latest Carter Page news: Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian Officials in 2016
Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump presidential campaign, met Russian government officials during a July 2016 trip he took to Moscow, according to testimony he gave on Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee.

Shortly after the trip, Mr. Page sent an email to at least one Trump campaign aide describing insights he had after conversations with government officials, legislators and business executives during his time in Moscow, according to one person familiar with the contents of the message. The email was read aloud during the closed-door testimony.

The new details of the trip present a different picture than the account Mr. Page has given during numerous appearances in the news media in recent months and are yet another example of a Trump campaign adviser meeting with Russians officials during the 2016 campaign. In multiple interviews with The New York Times, he had either denied meeting with any Russian government officials during the July 2016 visit or sidestepped the question, saying he met with “mostly scholars.”

Mr. Page confirmed the meetings in an interview on Friday evening, but played down their significance.

“I had a very brief hello to a couple of people, that was it,” he said. He said one of the people he met was a “senior person,” but would not confirm the person’s identity.
Gosh, the guy who was and is incredibly evasive when he was asked what he was up to was...hiding something? The story also says he was questioned about a trip he took to Budapest during the campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 6:02 PM on November 3 [19 favorites]


I've lived in Hawaii through Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama. They all visited Hawaii at one point - Obama, naturally, was out here umpty billion times. At no point through all of these presidents as traffic screwed up out here for more than an hour or so. Trump comes into town and essentially they've shut the highway down for the whole day. Traffic is insane.

I mean, this question sort of answers itself, but is his team really so totally incompetent that they can't figure out how to visit Pearl Harbor without grinding the entire state to halt?
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:03 PM on November 3 [38 favorites]


I have the uneasy feeling that Page testimony and comments are noise to mess up the signal.
posted by klarck at 6:09 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Carter Page ... met Russian government officials during a July 2016 trip he took to Moscow

From the "USA V. GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS" document:

On or about May 21, 2016, defendant PAPADOPOULOS emailed another highranking Campaign official, with the subject line "Request from Russia to meet Mr. Trump." The email included the May 4 MFA Email and added: "Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite sometime and have been reaching out to me to discuss."

The government notes that the official forwarded defendant PAPADOPOULOS's email to another Campaign official (without including defendant PAPADOPOULOS) and stated: "Let[']s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal."

I'm not saying that low level person was Carter Page, but it was probably Carter Page.
posted by diogenes at 6:12 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


KQED, Scott Shafer, California Republicans Decline to Join Push for Federal Aid After Deadly Fires

Just one of 14 California House Republicans signed a letter requesting disaster aid for the fires.
posted by zachlipton at 6:17 PM on November 3 [22 favorites]


Oh yeah, and remember when Carter Page so memorably told Chris Hayes that he may have met with Russian officials, but it was definitely only in Cleveland. So much for "only in Cleveland."
posted by diogenes at 6:18 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Only in Cleveland.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:22 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


As Trump visits Pearl Harbor, a reminder that his campaign advisor Roger Stone believes in the Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory (his account is suspended, but you can search for tweets in the archive)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:26 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


Reince Priebus

Hey I thought we agreed no derogatory names
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:31 PM on November 3 [22 favorites]


seventy-five years ago everyone felt like they had to be members of a good protestant church

Except for, you know, Catholics. Who are kind of part of "everyone". "Felt they had to be members of a church", full stop, maybe; Protestant? no.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 6:31 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


I mean, this question sort of answers itself, but is his team really so totally incompetent that they can't figure out how to visit Pearl Harbor without grinding the entire state to halt?

Those other presidential entourages didn't have to also accomodate three shifts of Russian handlers for every single member of the team.
posted by srboisvert at 6:32 PM on November 3 [11 favorites]


I'm not a professional investigator or anything, but it seems like if you fill in the names of the various campaign officials in the Papadopoulos document, you've already shown collusion. And I'm pretty sure that includes Sessions.
posted by diogenes at 6:36 PM on November 3 [12 favorites]


Mr. Page acknowledged his meeting with Russian government officials during sharp questioning by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California.

Getting Carter Page to give a straight answer counts as a superpower, doesn't it?
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:39 PM on November 3 [13 favorites]


Mr. Page acknowledged his meeting with Russian government officials during sharp questioning by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California

It's pretty funny that he's been lying about this for over a year, but then crumbles under "sharp questioning."
posted by diogenes at 6:43 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


It's pretty funny that he's been lying about this for over a year, but then crumbles under "sharp questioning."

And after all Chris Hayes did for him! He thought they were bros! Tsk, tsk.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:46 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I feel like the house of cards has already come tumbling down, but most of the country hasn't noticed yet.
posted by diogenes at 6:47 PM on November 3 [28 favorites]


I mean, this question sort of answers itself, but is his team really so totally incompetent that they can't figure out how to visit Pearl Harbor without grinding the entire state to halt?

Well, that and making it a giant power play where the whole island suddenly revolves around his presence.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:53 PM on November 3 [10 favorites]


> Except for, you know, Catholics. Who are kind of part of "everyone". "Felt they had to be members of a church", full stop, maybe; Protestant? no.

You have quoted... badly. Specifically you left out the part about "polite society," which Catholics were not considered entirely a part of by the WASP power structure that defined what "polite society" meant for a good chunk of the 20th century. (see: fear of Catholics used as a cudgel against Al Smith, see also even the Kennedys even in the 1960s having to answer pointed questions about being Catholic).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:54 PM on November 3 [11 favorites]


But the white men will either have their tax cuts, or their Medicare for all.

That is an odd and implausible juxtaposition of two policies with entirely different levels of probability in this country.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:55 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering win Mueller is going to haul in Jill Stein and David Clarke. There's not been much news about their trips to Russia (yet)
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:57 PM on November 3 [9 favorites]


Yes, as YKTAB insinuates, I was voicing the innate assumptions of WASP 1950s assumptions about religion. I am sorry if I didn't make my sarcasm clear.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:13 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


I feel like the house of cards has already come tumbling down

The Kevin Spacey thread is here...
posted by uosuaq at 7:18 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I hate to raise the specter of the JCPL but I'm getting serious deja vu (Donna "James Comey" Brazile!) in Virginia. Someone in Virginia reassure me. Pls.
posted by Justinian at 7:19 PM on November 3 [17 favorites]




The story also says he was questioned about a trip he took to Budapest during the campaign.

Says who?

>March 18, 2017 Palmer Report theorized that Cohen could’ve hitched a ride with Rybolovlev from the Hamptons to Croatia and Budapest.

(and, separately) >>see this intruiging blog, which argues:

Who were the principals on „The Budapest Bridge” the FBI and Congress should investigate particularly closely, apart from Arthur Finkelstein ? The investigations should include Jo Anne Barnhart, Finkelstein’s close personal friend, and managing director of the Hungarian government’s secretive lobby arm in the US, the „Magyar Foundation”. It should include another Finkelstein protegé, and Hungarian lobbyist, ex-congressman Connie Mack IV. The latter is the recipient of a 5 million dollar contract, through a third party, to promote Putin’s Hungarian disciple in America. The Congressional investigators should also talk to Senator Sessions’ right hand man during the campaign, J.D. Gordon, who travelled six times to Budapest, and considers Putin’s Trojan Horse as one of the finest leaders within the Western alliance. Last, but not least, the FBI and the Congressional team should investigate Sebastian Gorka, Bannon’s „terrorism expert” and a man with a 15 year connection to anti-American, pro-Russian, pro-Iranian radicals in Hungary.


Okay now I know that got a little Gorked up, but that Connie Mack IV rang a bell so I opened up The Internets and discovered that I was thinking of Connie Mack III, (not Baseball HoF Connie Mack) and that Wikipedia includes this curio in C.M.IV's page:

Unlike many members of Congress, Mack has been a vigorous and outspoken defender of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

Huh. That's . . . odd. Now.
posted by petebest at 7:24 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


Not telling the feds or judge you have a second passport until three days after being arrested will get you labeled a flight risk.

Rick Gates Failed to Disclose Second Passport, U.S. Tells Judge
posted by chris24 at 7:45 PM on November 3 [43 favorites]


The Most Self-Righteous Political Act of 2017 Just Took Place in the VA Governor’s Race
Oh, and this would make Virginia the 33rd state fully in GOP hands. You know how many states are needed to agree on a constitutional convention? Thirty-four. If you haven’t read much about Republicans’ ideas about what a constitutional convention would accomplish, you’d better.
posted by homunculus at 7:46 PM on November 3 [38 favorites]


From Part II of The Budapest Bridge article contains this interesting take on, y'know, things:
One of the first things the FBI should do, along with the Congressional intelligence Committees, is to examine J.D. Gordon’s Hungarian agenda book. Gordon was Jeff Sessions’ deputy during the campaign, and served as National Security Advisor to the Trump campaign. He travelled six times to Budapest, the European Headquarters of the Russian secret service. He should be questioned under oath and asked point blank: Who paid for his visits to Hungary, during the campaign? Why was it so important for him to spend so much time in this small, politically insignificant country, as a member of the Trump campaign team? Did he meet Finkelstein or Habony in Budapest, or Lánczi in London? Who were the oligarchs or officials he met in Hungary, and did he ever examine his contacts’ connections to the Russian secret services? Does he know anything about the corrupt passport business run by Orbán’s government? He should also be questioned under oath, why he would classify the Orbán regime as the Trump presidency’s “model” when Orbán, publicly declared, that his government’s “model” is Communist China, and Putin’s Russia, and Erdogan’s Turkey?
Now Ol' Racist Elf probably forgot about all that when questioned a few months later. But that part about the passports - where is it we were just talking about passports the other . . . yester . . day. Ugh. These Scaramuccis do drag on, don't they.
posted by petebest at 7:49 PM on November 3 [15 favorites]


I don't understand this "second" and "third passport" thing at all. Can I just go down to USPS and fill up my basket?
posted by pjenks at 7:55 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


I pretty much just use 'em as business cards now, yeah. $10 for 100 and they're all fully RFID chipped.
posted by petebest at 7:58 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


A second passport can be useful if you have a flex itinerary going to multiple countries where you may need to turn in your passport for visa processing but still need to go to other countries in the interim. Also good if you need to avoid showing one with an Israeli stamp when visiting some Arab countries. A third passport is probably only for shady things.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 PM on November 3 [6 favorites]


GCU Sweet and Full of Grace: "There are probably tens of thousands of elections this year alone"

Oh my, yes.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:26 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


Note also that Manafort had applied for TEN passports over the past decade.
posted by mcduff at 8:27 PM on November 3 [11 favorites]


If eleven days is one Scaramucci, does that make ten passports one Manaport?
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:30 PM on November 3 [28 favorites]


ten passports and an ankle bracelet, heh
posted by ryanrs at 8:33 PM on November 3 [23 favorites]


Please to note, it doesn't explicitly say they were legal passports. Just, three passports.

Or, from chris24's link, one passport. Whoops, okay, two. And "limited assets" meaning $30 mizzillion. Also can I travel internationally now? Finally?! Pfft. Fine, PLEASE. /eyeroll

The justice system is, like, so annoying you guys
posted by petebest at 8:51 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


There is so much that's weird about the savings account. For example what do you put down date of birth? Or name? Started early enough you may not even have a sex. If you don't have a DOB and a sex and a name how do you apply for a SSN? There's nothing wrong for parents starting a college account as soon as they know a child is on the way, I just wonder about how you prove it for tax purposes? Pee stick? Ultrasound?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:55 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


tivalasvegas: "I could deal with it okay when Omnigate had like a Lord of the Rings-level cast of characters, but now it's Game of Thrones to the power of Wheel of Time and I have no idea who eighty percent of these people are"

This is how I felt when reading about Watergate ("wait, who is Alexander Butterfield again?"), but this does seem to take it to new heights.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:11 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


you left out the part about "polite society," which Catholics were not considered entirely a part of

The US was hardly monolithic even in the 19th and early 20th centuries. So it depends on where you were and what you mean by "polite society", I suppose. (My Catholic ancestors emigrated to Maryland in the 1600's, mostly; their descendants include a signer of the Declaration of Independence and US Senator, a US Supreme Court Justice, and six US representatives, all of whom were probably "members of polite society").
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:21 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


This Tax Bill Isn't Just Bad Economics. It's Got a Backdoor Anti-Abortion Measure, Too.

Well, that is one way to prevent pregnancies
posted by standardasparagus at 9:32 PM on November 3 [9 favorites]


ErisLordFreedom: "Zip codes are designed based on mail delivery."

Yeah, I used to do a lot of work with ZIPs when I was supporting IT for a logistics company. Contrary to popular belief, ZIP codes do NOT map directly to geography at all, they represent delivery info. Now, *most* of the time, the ZIP is contiguous, and you can pretty much plot them on a map, but they can cross state lines, they can skip areas, they can do lots of stuff. And since they are for delivery info, technically they don't exist if there is nowhere to deliver to in the area.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:32 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


If eleven days is one Scaramucci, does that make ten passports one Manaport?

Fast ship? You've never heard of the Manafort Falcon?
It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve passports!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:47 PM on November 3 [29 favorites]


So the new book about the Bushes looks interesting:
Former President George H.W. Bush has a blunt assessment of Donald Trump: "He's a blowhard." And his son, former President George W. Bush, has harsh words for his Republican successor as well: "This guy doesn't know what it means to be president."

Those stinging comments mark the first time the former presidents are speaking out about Trump in such stark terms, as part of a new book about the father and son by historian Mark Updegrove, titled "The Last Republicans."

Both men went on the record to give Updegrove their candid assessment of Trump, as well as rare insight into their thoughts on the 2016 presidential race as the drama unfolded.

The most critical comments about Trump came from the elder Bush, now 93, who told Updegrove in May 2016, "I don't like him. I don't know much about him, but I know he's a blowhard. And I'm not too excited about him being a leader."
Read the whole thing, actually, there's more about Trump and some interesting stuff about not-Trump.
posted by lalex at 10:11 PM on November 3 [16 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS (attention Justinian)

** NJ gov -- Rasmussen poll has Murphy up 50-35. RCP average is Murphy +15.5.

** VA gov -- Four new polls today:
* Roanoke: Tied 47-47
* Suffolk: Northam 47-43
* Rasmussen: Tied 45-45
* Polling Company: Gillespie 46-43 [Please note this is Kellyanne Conway's shop]
RCP average is Northam +2.8.

Another tea leaf: Early voting numbers have been very high, particularly in DC suburbs and Richmond. Some of these are going to be cannibalization of Election Day votes, of course, but that still seems positive.

Basically, the race is tight, but still seems to favor Northam. If you are concerned at all about this race, PLEASE consider signing up for some phone banking: here's a link via Let America Vote, here's one from Mobilize America.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:13 PM on November 3 [34 favorites]


And here's the slack link if you're interested in texting for VA this weekend.
posted by greermahoney at 10:32 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


ZIP = Zone Improvement Plan
posted by kirkaracha at 10:41 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Diving into that Slack, looks like it sends you to this Google form for texting signup.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:49 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Another fairly comprehensive and nonpartisan voter guide is at VoteSmart.
posted by maurreen at 11:06 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Thank you to our GREAT Military/Veterans and @PacificCommand. Remember #PearlHarbor. Remember the @USSArizona! A day I’ll never forget.

Time Travel Trump strikes again.
posted by christopherious at 12:19 AM on November 4 [16 favorites]


He probably means the premiere of the movie Pearl Harbor.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:23 AM on November 4 [5 favorites]


What. Does. That. Even. Mean.
posted by SakuraK at 12:35 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


I've been watching Rep. Joe Kennedy III with an appraising glint of hope for the future in my eye. Today he talked about CHIP (Twitter link to short video of his comments).
posted by xyzzy at 12:43 AM on November 4 [4 favorites]


I'm betting he didn't know Hawaii wasn't a state when Pearl Harbor happened.
posted by Rykey at 2:20 AM on November 4 [11 favorites]



“This could be grounds for Mueller to obtain a gag order on Trump,” Akerman said. “It would be unprecedented, but he is interfering with the government’s right to a fair trial.”



What would à gag order on Trump even look like? I can't see him being able to keep his mouth shut.

"I'd say that Covfefe guy was a liar but I'm not allowed to say anything"?

Would he be held in contempt of court if he violated a gag order by continuing to make statements on cases he was given a gag order for?
posted by sio42 at 2:26 AM on November 4 [9 favorites]


Basically, the race is tight, but still seems to favor Northam.

Quinnipiac are either gonna look like geniuses or have some serious methodological examination to do after the VA results come in. Their last 2 results have been what, Northam +14 and +17?
posted by Justinian at 2:28 AM on November 4


Also, I'd feel a lot better about a +2.8 polling average if that wasn't basically Clinton's lead going into the election. There's no Electoral College Bullshit to give the vote loser the election in a gubernatorial race, sure, but it's still giving me flashbacks. Can you have PTSD from an election?
posted by Justinian at 2:30 AM on November 4 [23 favorites]


Weirdly ‘the sleazy case of Muller.’...NYT article in my husbands Safari browser while not logged in displays with a Ukrainian advert for Samsung Galaxy ???

Now in Chrome it’s a Ukrainian supermarket ( well I can see a fillet of Salmon but I don’t speak Ukrainian)

Not for me, in my browser ? ...huh ?
posted by Wilder at 3:02 AM on November 4


Worth checking to see what locations http://www.whatsmyip.org/more-info-about-you/ you get on both machines.

It's the sort of thing you get if you're using a VPN or proxy routed via another country.

If the IP location shows up as being in Ukraine and it's not something he's knowingly set up then it may be worth running some virus/trojan scans (just not Kaspersky labs).
posted by Buntix at 3:12 AM on November 4 [5 favorites]


If eleven days is one Scaramucci, does that make ten passports one Manaport?

Is this the new 12 days of Christmas song I've been hearing about?

♫ And Trump in a penitentiary. ♫
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:24 AM on November 4 [36 favorites]


Thread: GOP tax bill would tax tuition wavers for grad students. This would be a disaster for US STEM PhD education
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:39 AM on November 4 [8 favorites]


And from the lighter side of the 2017 post-sanity universe: that there daft Prison Planet item hawking "Brain Force Plus" on Infowars.
posted by Buntix at 3:50 AM on November 4


12 days of Christmas Muellermas

Five, pee-ee tapes
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:58 AM on November 4 [13 favorites]


Well, it will probably be The Fifteen Days of Mullermas.
posted by sio42 at 5:51 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


A leftist on my FB feed posted this, and for the first time seemed like he believed Russia interfered. Interesting that it took someone other than Clinton getting hacked, but hey, whatever it takes.

Russia hackers pursued Putin foes, not just US Democrats
It wasn’t just Hillary Clinton’s emails they went after.

The hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election last year had ambitions that stretched across the globe, targeting the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to a previously unpublished digital hit list obtained by The Associated Press.

The list provides the most detailed forensic evidence yet of the close alignment between the hackers and the Russian government, exposing an operation that went back years and tried to break into the inboxes of 4,700 Gmail users — from the pope’s representative in Kiev to the punk band Pussy Riot in Moscow. The targets were spread among 116 countries.

“It’s a wish list of who you’d want to target to further Russian interests,” said Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center in Cambridge, England, and one of five outside experts who reviewed the AP’s findings. He said the data was “a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence.”

The AP findings draw on a database of 19,000 malicious links collected by cybersecurity firm Secureworks, dozens of rogue emails, and interviews with more than 100 hacking targets.
posted by chris24 at 5:56 AM on November 4 [18 favorites]


I'm kind of hoping there's more indictments before the trials actually start.
posted by Merus at 5:56 AM on November 4 [8 favorites]


Gosh who could have guessed?

’Russian trolls’ promoted California independence
posted by puffyn at 5:58 AM on November 4 [25 favorites]


Also, I'd feel a lot better about a +2.8 polling average if that wasn't basically Clinton's lead going into the election. There's no Electoral College Bullshit to give the vote loser the election in a gubernatorial race, sure, but it's still giving me flashbacks. Can you have PTSD from an election?

We are not in the Post yet. We are still in the trauma.
posted by srboisvert at 6:00 AM on November 4 [31 favorites]


@NARAL: WOW. WI Rep. Scott Allen thinks women should be forced to procreate for the sake of the labor market.

Women are PEOPLE, not incubators. 😡
Video link
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:04 AM on November 4 [26 favorites]


I didn't need to click that to know that Scott Allen would look like a C-list 60s Batman villain in a suit.
posted by delfin at 6:26 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


I'm kind of hoping there's more indictments before the trials actually start.

Obvious "On-Deck" indictments. Don Jr. and Kushner met with the same Russians that Manfort met with, plus all the prior money laundering by .... Everyone.... and the 18 USC 1001/371(conspiracy) charges that pretty much ... everyone in the Trump Campaign is liable for....

Don't you worry, there's going to be a pause between now, and the Wed. before Thanksgiving, then another shoe drops -- "Indictments coming Monday after Thanksgiving..." so everyone involved freaks the fuck out for a holiday weekend/incurs "Holiday" billable hours with their lawyers, then Monday it's a toss up between any of: Sessions, Flynn. Jr. Flynn, Don Jr., Kushner... and heck, Ivanka's in there and on the longshot, they've documented Melinia's working on a tourist visa + subsequent green-card fraud. ...


Yeah, that's the best of all possible worlds, but despair is a sin!
posted by mikelieman at 6:43 AM on November 4 [13 favorites]




Can you have PTSD from an election?

Well, yes. actually.

This being 2017's General Internet, cautionary rules apply to such links: avoid the comments, don't step in the toxic man-waste, and remember to be nice to you with nature, nutrition, and marathon cake-red-bull-and-Super-Mario sessions (or the equivalent: local laws and conditions may apply).
posted by petebest at 6:55 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


Good Morning Hope Fans! From the rabidly right-wing "USA Today",

Trump team collusion with Russia? Ukraine connection may hold key.

Several people who were in the platform committee meeting say Trump campaign aides were present and pushed hard for the pro-Russian change, memorable because it seemed to be the only item they were concerned with. They were on a mission.

Trump campaign official J.D. Gordon participated in the effort and said he was acting to keep the platform language in line with Donald Trump's views. A delegate in the room said Trump campaign staff were on their cell phones talking to the New York Trump campaign headquarters. . . .

Noteworthy, is that J.D. Gordon and Carter Page, another Trump aide, also met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Republican National Convention.

So just why has Gordon changed his story claiming he did not advocate modifying the language and that he did not act on behalf of Trump? Why did Trump deny he knew anything about the platform change? Who were Trump staff talking with on their cell phones? And why is this so very, very critical?

In what is increasingly looking like a desperate attempt to cover up yet another item of disturbing coziness by Trump Team with Russia, the sudden denials and reversals, rather than exculpatory, actually serve as a bright light with glowing arrows saying “This! This right here!”


Yes, it is a opinion piece, but this is your regularly-scheduled reminder that most people think Trump's one colluding motherfucker. Stand On The Gas, y'all!
posted by petebest at 7:11 AM on November 4 [25 favorites]


Jed Shugerman wrote the following blog post that Slate picked up.

(Shugerblog) Mueller charges are “enigmatic” and “mystifying”? No, he is strategizing around Trump’s pardons.
Some have wondered: “Why is Mueller bringing so few charges against Papadopoulos and especially Manafort?”
(Slate) Robert Mueller’s Brilliant Strategy for Outmaneuvering Trump Pardons
New York’s Criminal Procedure Law 40.20 states, “A person may not be twice prosecuted for the same offense.”
This has broad interpretation that includes not allowing state and federal prosecution for the same offense.
Mueller wisely brought one set of charges (mostly financial crimes that preceded the campaign), and he is saving other charges that New York could also bring (tax fraud, soliciting stolen goods, soliciting/conspiring to hack computers).
...
If Trump fires Mueller, state prosecutors can carry on with his investigation and prosecutions based on parallel state laws.

This same strategy adds an explanation for the single Papadopoulos charge. I explained above that a single charge is a classic part of plea deal for cooperation. But Mueller can be saving a number of other charges, both in his own back pocket to incentivize cooperation and also for the front pockets of state-level prosecutors in case Trump gives Papadopoulos a blanket pardon. Mueller is a stone-cold professional.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:15 AM on November 4 [78 favorites]


The hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election last year had ambitions that stretched across the globe, targeting the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to a previously unpublished digital hit list obtained by The Associated Press.

We had a sudden and sustained spike in mass phishing attempts against everyone with Iowa State University email addresses last year (I work for them in a roundabout way so I have one too), pre and post Russian hackers being outed as doing the DNC and other attacks, and I always kind of assumed it was Russia and they were casting a super wide net against US organizations because phishing is so cheap and low risk/high reward you might as well go nuts and do it everywhere. I mean probably you get a few students and low level employees clicking on the link and it doesn't go any farther than IT noticing and dealing with the problem (it all seemed like lazy but persistent phishing and not anything targeted so IT blocking domains and dealing with infected computers seemed to take care of it), but on the off chance it works well hey, maybe you get into the system of someone at Ames Lab, that could be a huge get. Even at the time I figured it wasn't outlandish to think that was Russia too, if they do that stuff anywhere why not do it everywhere?
posted by jason_steakums at 7:30 AM on November 4 [7 favorites]


Robert Mueller’s Brilliant Strategy for Outmaneuvering Trump Pardons

I'd be shocked if they hadn't already war-gamed a half dozen different ways Trump could try to shut down the investigation.

The Trumpistas are the kids who don't do their homework and try to bullshit and cheat their way to the finish line.* They're lazy AND stupid (AND corrupt).

Mueller & Co. are the kids that have a typed up outline in 5 different colors of highlighters and never break a sweat. It's not even close to a fair fight.

*mixed metaphor, sorry
posted by leotrotsky at 7:45 AM on November 4 [59 favorites]


This has broad interpretation that includes not allowing state and federal prosecution for the same offense.

The Supreme Court has long recognized dual sovereignty as an exception to double jeopardy.
posted by Talez at 7:46 AM on November 4 [9 favorites]


I'm betting he didn't know Hawaii wasn't a state when Pearl Harbor happened.
posted by Rykey at 5:20 AM on November 4 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Safe bet. He's barely aware Wyoming is a state now.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:46 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


So they're winding him up at Pearl Harbor and sending him to Japan, eh? What could possibly go wrong.
posted by petebest at 7:56 AM on November 4 [27 favorites]




Well, it will probably be The Fifteen Days of Mullermas.

I enjoyed Muellerween and I look forward to Muellergiving, Muellermas, and Mueller New Year.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:01 AM on November 4 [11 favorites]


The world was a complex place, long before this treasonous and corrupt administration.

The Saudis have been playing Trump for the idiot that he is (glowing-orb.gif). They have also recently had a quiet coup, with MbS the deputy crown prince ready to take over from King Salman. But the Iranians have been gaining considerable influence, not least through their activities in Syria. They are now close to having a contiguous route from Iran to the Mediterranean.

Against this, we now find that Said Hariri, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, whose father was assassinated, has surprised everyone by resigning while in Rydah. He cites fear of assassination as his reason. Together with the anti-Iran rhetoric from the WH and their contempt for the Iran deal, may suggest that Washington and Rydah are building up to an offensive against Iran. I sure hope not. The leaves are somewhat hard to read.
posted by stonepharisee at 8:02 AM on November 4 [16 favorites]



Well, it will probably be The Fifteen Days of Mullermas.

I enjoyed Muellerween and I look forward to Muellergiving, Muellermas, and Mueller New Year.


And Mueller Presidents Day!
posted by jgirl at 8:04 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


If you'll accept foreign holidays, I hereby give you Sint Mueller on November 11th.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:13 AM on November 4 [5 favorites]


Muellermas

Muellermas is so commerical. I choose to celebrate Arrestivus.
posted by Talez at 8:15 AM on November 4 [82 favorites]


The Supreme Court has long recognized dual sovereignty as an exception to double jeopardy.

States typically have their own double jeopardy protections (like NY's CPL 40.20), which often go further than the federal rule. However, it looks like New York has decisively rejected the idea that New York's protections go as far as Slate thinks.

(However, that case, Matter of Polito v. Walsh, does open up one way in which the Slate theory could kind of make sense -- if the relevant NY crimes are somehow predicated on a violation of federal law, then they might really be the "same offense" and subject to double jeopardy protections. I don't know the NY statutes, so maybe there's something there?)
posted by shenderson at 8:22 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Arrestivus

The Airing of the Grievances might need to be expanded to a few days.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:46 AM on November 4 [16 favorites]


I've been watching Rep. Joe Kennedy III with an appraising glint of hope for the future in my eye.

I don't think we should be running another member of a political dynasty for President, ever. Also, as a New Englander, I've seen a pattern of these legacy politicians having a very limited shelf life before they self destruct by prescription drug addiction (Patrick Kennedy), repeatedly losing their car (Clay Pell), or deciding to run for President when he doesn't even have any political relevance in his own state (Lincoln Chafee).
posted by Ruki at 8:50 AM on November 4 [8 favorites]


The Airing of the Grievances might need to be expanded to a few days.

The feats of political strength from complicit Republican congressmen is sure to be incredulous.
posted by Talez at 8:50 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


The Airing of the Grievances might need to be expanded to a few days.

Yeah, but the Feats of Strength are much more entertaining now.
posted by loquacious at 8:51 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


WOW. WI Rep. Scott Allen thinks women should be forced to procreate for the sake of the labor market.

Surely he means the purchasers of labor should negotiate individually with women in order to procure their services in a free market.
posted by srboisvert at 8:52 AM on November 4 [14 favorites]


This is my surprised face.

NYT: Commercial Real Estate, Which Fueled Trump’s Fortune, Fares Well in Tax Plan
An industry familiar to President Trump appears to have emerged from the Republican tax rewrite relatively unscathed: commercial real estate.

For months, commercial real estate developers had been concerned that the tax plan in the works would make it more difficult or expensive for them to take out huge bank loans or would damage demand in the property market. But if the plan unveiled this week by House Republicans comes to pass, developers like Mr. Trump, who made much of his fortune building skyscrapers, hotels and resorts, will have little to worry about.

“The industry was left whole,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president of NAIOP, a commercial real estate development trade group. “The provisions we feel are working will still work.”

Developers were fearful that the special tax treatment of “carried interest” — fees that are taxed as capital gains, not income — would be amended, or that they would no longer be able to deduct interest expenses from their taxable profits. They were also concerned that certain exchanges of commercial property, which currently enjoy a tax deferral, would face immediate taxation. But the bill included no such changes to the industry, and developers are thankful.
posted by chris24 at 8:54 AM on November 4 [22 favorites]


The Supreme Court has long recognized dual sovereignty as an exception to double jeopardy.

There's also the question of timing and attachment of jeopardy -- if Trump issues a preemptive pardon before a jury is sworn in or a trial begins, then Manafort (or whomever) may not have been "in jeopardy." For Papadopoulos, his guilty plea likely means jeopardy attaches (I think it's when the court accepts the plea?), so then you'd get into dual sovereignty issues.

Dual jeopardy also only applies for criminal offenses and so I don't think it would impact things like civil asset forfeiture or claims against corporate entities.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:58 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


They can't help saying "Don't look over here!"

Mueller braces for challenges to his authority
The president’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, told POLITICO on Thursday he is primed to lodge formal objections with either Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if the Russia investigation took a wide or unexpected detour into issues like an old Trump real-estate deal.

“We’d view that as outside the scope of legitimate inquiry,” Sekulow said. “We’d raise it.”
posted by chris24 at 9:07 AM on November 4 [9 favorites]


“We’d view that as outside the scope of legitimate inquiry,” Sekulow said. “We’d raise it.”

Mueller: I call.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:14 AM on November 4 [66 favorites]


Oh you're precious, Jay Sekulow.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:14 AM on November 4 [7 favorites]


Mueller braces for challenges to his authority

I doubt he so much as shifts his footing. Sekulow is just terrible at this.

I mean, even Trump's attorney picks are just ...not good. This isn't a problem where you go to the B team. ...and there is no shortage of capable attorneys at big law firms (particularly in D.C.) but they generally like clients that listen, and who pay on time.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:15 AM on November 4 [5 favorites]


That Republicans pretend not to remember Ken Starr and Whitewater is especially funny.
posted by chris24 at 9:16 AM on November 4 [46 favorites]


They were also concerned that certain exchanges of commercial property, which currently enjoy a tax deferral, would face immediate taxation. But the bill included no such changes to the industry, and developers are thankful.

The bill does, however, eliminate tax-deferred like-kind exchanges of personal (non-real) property though. Which will impact, for example, car/equipment leasing businesses and car rental companies. (It also impacts private airplane leasing and art collectors, but I'll let the wealthy advocate for themselves.)

I'm not particularly tied to the existence of like-kind exchanges, but it is conspicuous that the only industry that they preserve tax deferment for is real estate. Also, combined with estate tax repeal (but retention of step-up in basis), this means that real estate investing dynasties would never pay tax on the appreciation of their assets ever for the rest of time; while continuing to use those assets to generate income or as collateral for loans.

Note that most states follow federal treatment of like-kind exchanges, so this will result in both federal and state imposition of tax in many cases.

E&Y did an extensive report in 2015 on (full, not partial) 1031 repeal including macroeconomic simulations, available here.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:17 AM on November 4 [12 favorites]


There are financial institutions that offer ethical investments. They won't put your money in tobacco, or arms manufacturers, or casinos, or anything else you would rather not support. I can't speak to the efficacy or the good will behind these offers. I do support the concept of ethical investment though.
45twit: Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!
I won't invest in gender apartheid. I will seek out how not to invest in gender apartheid. I hope everyone will turn their backs and let this IPO, wherever it is listed, sink like a stone.
posted by adept256 at 9:17 AM on November 4 [14 favorites]


So I guess Trump's limited picky 5 year old palate gets extended to the press corps on AF1.

I really wish there was a an aggregator somewhere that just posts menus and food of what people are offered to eat when he's around.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:24 AM on November 4 [17 favorites]


Aw, that makes me sad that HRC didn't win. We were supposed to have taco trucks on every corner!
posted by VTX at 9:33 AM on November 4 [33 favorites]


I always kind of assumed it was Russia and they were casting a super wide net against US organizations because phishing is so cheap and low risk/high reward you might as well go nuts and do it everywhere.

Universities have been targets of domestic right wing phishers seeking to discredit climate research specifically and all science generally. So it might be Russians, or science-deniers or some collusive combination thereof.
posted by srboisvert at 9:44 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


That Republicans pretend not to remember Ken Starr and Whitewater is especially funny.

Far be it from me to make excuses for any of their noise — the current crew all remind me of the Keystone Kops starring in "High Treason!" — but it may well be the case that there's precious little continuity of experience between the Clinton-era GOP and the Tea Party-inflected rump of abject morons we call the contemporary Republican caucus.

To a one, they don't seem like the type inclined to have paid much attention to national politics, except possibly in the broadest strokes of Fox-orchestrated dismay, prior to their own ascension to power. I'm not surprised that institutional memory suffers, even for reasons other than expedience.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:46 AM on November 4 [4 favorites]


The president’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, told POLITICO on Thursday he is primed to lodge formal objections with either Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if the Russia investigation took a wide or unexpected detour into issues like an old Trump real-estate deal.

Why, that sounds very much like a triple-dog-dare, Scut Farkus.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:47 AM on November 4 [12 favorites]


So I guess Trump's limited picky 5 year old palate gets extended to the press corps on AF1.

That looks more like the vomitus of a diseased bivalve than it does a taco bowl. WTF is wrong with these people?
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:48 AM on November 4 [4 favorites]


In other words, airline food.
posted by peeedro at 9:51 AM on November 4


The guy who says nobody can investigate his business dealings just made a stop at the Trump Waikiki hotel during his government travel.
posted by zachlipton at 9:52 AM on November 4 [22 favorites]


Former President George H.W. Bush has a blunt assessment of Donald Trump: "He's a blowhard." And his son, former President George W. Bush, has harsh words for his Republican successor as well: "This guy doesn't know what it means to be president."

@ryanobles: NEW: WH responds to Bush41 calling POTUS a "blowhard". Calls Iraq "greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history". via/ @NoahGrayCNN

Did the White House seriously just attack George H.W. Bush over the Iraq war? Were there shrooms in that taco bowl?

(Yes, I know Bush 41 had his own Iraq War. That one had its serious problems, but if you pull the "greatest foreign policy mistake in American history" card, you're obviously talking about Bush 43.)
posted by zachlipton at 9:57 AM on November 4 [40 favorites]


♫ It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas. ♫
posted by kirkaracha at 10:04 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]


So I guess Trump's limited picky 5 year old palate gets extended to the press corps on AF1.

Wow, that cake looks dire, and I say that as a person who willingly eats Butterscotch Krimpets.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:07 AM on November 4 [13 favorites]


[Couple deleted; no we don't need to decide what is in fact the worst American foreign policy mistake, which Iraq War was worse, etc. Again, if you're bored, go read something else rather than stirring up things to fight about in here.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:07 AM on November 4 [8 favorites]


but it may well be the case that there's precious little continuity of experience between the Clinton-era GOP and the Tea Party-inflected rump of abject morons we call the contemporary Republican caucus.

I agree that there's lots of ignorance and idiocy in the GOP today, but Kellyanne Conway's husband George was Paula Jones' attorney. He worked with Coulter and Drudge back then. He used to date Ingraham. These people all know Whitewater, as does Gingrich, a big advisor to Trump.

The nutjob and Tea Party right all perpetually bring up Vince Foster, Clinton Body Count, etc. Yes they're ignorant idiots, but this is more likely convenient amnesia and hypocrisy.
posted by chris24 at 10:14 AM on November 4 [27 favorites]


I saw somebody mention Hillary killing JFK, Jr. the other day; been a while since I heard that golden oldie.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:17 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


♫ It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas. ♫

Fitzmas was a wet fart. I want more than that!
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:17 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


I agree that there's lots of ignorance and idiocy in the GOP today, but Kellyanne Conway's husband George was Paula Jones' attorney. He worked with Coulter and Drudge back then. He used to date Ingraham. These people all know Whitewater, as does Gingrich, a big advisor to Trump.

Point taken.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:24 AM on November 4 [2 favorites]




The "Hawaii: 3 / Trump: 0" and "I'm not orange; Impeach" ones are excellent too!
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:54 AM on November 4 [19 favorites]


Professor Joe 'The Professor' Mifsud attemded a meeting near London last month along with Boris Johnson, with the intention to talk about Brexit. Article's a bit fuzzy, but does have lots of useful background on links between the pro-Brexit campaign, Russia, the US campaign and associated horrors.
posted by Devonian at 11:23 AM on November 4 [7 favorites]


@ryanobles: NEW: WH responds to Bush41 calling POTUS a "blowhard". Calls Iraq "greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history". via/ @NoahGrayCNN

Did the White House seriously just attack George H.W. Bush over the Iraq war?


I wish I could believe that with this argument Donald is backing himself into rhetorical corner where he cannot start a war.

But that would require memory and logical consistency.
posted by srboisvert at 11:28 AM on November 4 [4 favorites]




there is a dismaying amount of Red #40 in that meal
posted by halation at 11:59 AM on November 4 [7 favorites]


Only spiritually, I think he'd be like really tough jerky if you dug him up now.
posted by Artw at 12:02 PM on November 4


[One deleted - Donna Brazile thread is over here for anyone who wants to talk about that stuff.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:20 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


there is a dismaying amount of Red #40 in that meal

Knowing how Donald Trump operates, he probably demanded that it be Red #2 dye instead.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:27 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


I really wanted my then-four-year-old daughter to see a woman elected president and it was crushing to see us get President Pussygrabber instead.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:42 PM on November 4 [44 favorites]


Election night with kids was tough. It's one thing to know the world just took an enormous turn for the worse, being there with loved ones who will be affected worst of all was crushing.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on November 4 [30 favorites]


I know quite a few women in their sixties and seventies who were so excited to finally have a woman president and are now afraid that they'll never live to see one.
posted by octothorpe at 12:53 PM on November 4 [44 favorites]


My grandmother, a staunch feminist and liberal, died a couple weeks after inauguration day, the day before her 100th birthday. She is literally older than my right to vote, and she died furious that she never got to see a woman president.
posted by skycrashesdown at 1:03 PM on November 4 [96 favorites]


I don't think the antifa super serum worked, guys. #kranglied

(Fox News is still trying to get conservatives to spill (more) blood on the street, though, by reporting that this totally-real organized group called antifa is trying to overthrow the president)
posted by Yowser at 1:09 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


OH NO IT'S THE ANTIFA

seriously this is going to be the thing that they point to (it does admittedly sound weird at first blush; 'no other details were immediately available')
posted by halation at 1:23 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Protesters in Hawaii mocked Donald Trump with signs that said "welcome to Kenya"

From the article: 'demonstrators also held signs that read "Aloha means goodbye" ', which is pretty good.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 1:28 PM on November 4 [19 favorites]


Re: antifa uprising, that’s it, that’s the whole thing
posted by The Whelk at 1:28 PM on November 4 [5 favorites]


It's going to be like with those doomsday yahoos who think the reason the world didn't end was due to their prayers. That the antifa uprising didn't happen will be proof to the lunatic right that they prevented it with their courage and Reddit posts.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:43 PM on November 4 [5 favorites]




here come antifas
here come antifas
right down antifas lane
they've got some sticks and some dirty tricks for socialism's reign
hear their black bloc boots come stomping, oh what a terrible fright
jump in bed, cover up your head, cause the antifas come tonight

posted by halation at 1:50 PM on November 4 [31 favorites]


OH NO IT'S THE ANTIFA

It's the Bowling Green Massacre, guys! Kellyanne is a precog!
posted by XMLicious at 1:57 PM on November 4 [16 favorites]


And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a Milo in the wind

The Hill: Daily Caller drops Milo Yiannopoulos after first column
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:04 PM on November 4 [31 favorites]


“You there boy, what day is it today?”
“Why sir, it’s Antifa day!” *urchin fires a rocket launcher into Scooge’s window*
posted by The Whelk at 2:09 PM on November 4 [42 favorites]


It was a weak sauce massacre, it was the Bowling Green bad day, more likely.
posted by Oyéah at 2:11 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


It seems like I put on my murderin' pants for nothing today. There's always next Antifa Civil War I guess.
posted by Justinian at 2:16 PM on November 4 [16 favorites]


Trump to golf Tokyo 2020 Olympics course with Abe, world No. 4 Matsuyama

“I wasn’t sure if I’d be good enough. But I hope to have fun so that it will be engraved in my memory,” Matsuyama, who is 4th in the PGA world rankings, said Friday at a tournament in Shanghai, according to the Japan Times. “I’ll do my best not to lose [to Trump].”

I know you can't, but for what it's worth, we'd love it if you'd kick his ass.
posted by petebest at 2:18 PM on November 4 [30 favorites]


"Where will it end? So: no new MILO column for now"

i mean, you know you can roll your own website in TYOOL 2017, buddy, right? WordPress, Blogger, Wix, Weebly, knock yourself out. or hell, since apparently you still have a facebook page, put it on there.

This sort of cowardice is why the Right in America loses and will keep losing the culture wars

from your unthinkable mouth to $DEITY's ears
posted by halation at 2:24 PM on November 4 [5 favorites]


Incredibly, the Daily Caller, poster of such videos as "running over protesters with cars is funny," found this so objectionable that they also fired the person that hired Milo.

(I think someone's jimmy's are rustled and all the usual suspects are pretending not to be openly fascist, at least for a few weeks)
posted by Yowser at 2:27 PM on November 4 [10 favorites]


The Mercers stopped getting invited to galas or something.
posted by Artw at 2:29 PM on November 4 [5 favorites]


I was listening to the latest episode of Vox's The Weeds this afternoon and they brought up a point about the tax bill that I'm not seeing reported anywhere, another slap in the face to American families. In order to file for a child tax credit the bill specifies you have to have a valid SSN. They estimated that there are about 3 million children who are American citizens by birthright who have undocumented parents. They will not qualify for this tax credit.

The rest of the episode gets very wonky indeed and they lost me a few times but they bring up a good point-- a major reason to vote for a Republican representative in a Blue State is to make sure your taxes do not go up. If the SALT deductions are gone and people end up with higher taxes, those Representatives are going to have a hard time keeping their seats.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:33 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


“I wasn’t sure if I’d be good enough. But I hope to have fun so that it will be engraved in my memory,” Matsuyama, who is 4th in the PGA world rankings, said Friday at a tournament in Shanghai, according to the Japan Times. “I’ll do my best not to lose [to Trump].”

I just....By all accounts Trump isn't bad for a 71 yo he just isn't as good as he thinks or is often reported because he cheats and takes a lot of mulligans. So if he is going to play publicly with one of the world's greatest players on a tough course he has never played before I don't see how this is going to go well at all. Matsuyama is going to have to have a "bad day."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:38 PM on November 4 [11 favorites]




Here's an update on the Rand Paul story. The important new detail is "KSP says Boucher was an acquaintance. " So probably not a politically motivated act. Also Senator Paul did not have to go to the hospital so it sounds pretty minor.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:00 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


Here's an update on the Rand Paul story.

Geez. Everyone's a libertarian until they need to call 911.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:12 PM on November 4 [112 favorites]


So if he is going to play publicly with one of the world's greatest players on a tough course he has never played before I don't see how this is going to go well at all. Matsuyama is going to have to have a "bad day."

He's hanging out with Trump.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:15 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


Folks, there is some heavy shit going down in Saudi: Ballistic missiles targeting Riyadh and a bunch of princes arrested, including Alawad bin Taleel (one of the richest men in the world), in an "anti-corruption" drive.

Kushner just visited 5 days ago, so there's a chance this could be another tick on his Screw Up Scorecard.
posted by PenDevil at 3:17 PM on November 4 [36 favorites]


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: House GOP’s Child Tax Credit Expansion Excludes Millions of Children in Lower-Income Working Families
The House GOP bill would increase the maximum credit from $1,000 per child to $1,600 — but only for some households. It also would sharply increase the upper income limits of eligibility, so the credit wouldn’t begin to phase out for married filers until their income reached $230,000, and wouldn’t phase out completely until income reached $294,000 for a married couple with two children.

At the lower end of the income scale, the bill would deny most or all of the CTC expansion to millions of children whose parents work for low wages. More than 10 million children in low-income working families would be excluded entirely. A family with two children that makes less than $16,333 would get no help from the House GOP CTC proposal.
This bill is so damn mean.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:19 PM on November 4 [39 favorites]


WaPo Police arrest neighbor after Rand Paul is assaulted at Kentucky home

Sorry to dribble out the details on a not-very-important story but a US Senator getting assaulted is big news. Turns out the 59 yo Boucher lives in R. Paul's gated community.
Boucher is an anesthesiologist who has been recovering from injuries related to a recent bike accident, according to one of the people close to Paul. He is the inventor of the Therm-a-Vest, a cloth vest partially filled with rice and secured with Velcro straps that is designed help with back pain
Who knows? Maybe it's a beef about Paul blowing leaves onto Boucher's driveway. It's that time of year and you would be surprised at how many people do that. Also sounds like to me (just my uninformed opinion) that if it was a minor injury that didn't require going to the hospital for stitches or x-rays there was really no need to call the police.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:42 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


PenDevil: a bunch of princes arrested, including Alawad bin Taleel (one of the richest men in the world)

Al-Waleed bin Talal is also Citigroup's largest individual shareholder, the second-largest voting shareholder in 21st Century Fox.
posted by bluecore at 3:46 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


I wonder if Saudi princes get to turn themselves in without handcuffs and then go home to house arrest with ankle bracelets.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:47 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


Who knows? Maybe it's a beef about Paul blowing leaves onto Boucher's driveway.

How long could anyone be neighbors with Rand Paul without being sorely tempted to deck him, really?
posted by jason_steakums at 3:48 PM on November 4 [19 favorites]


59 year old anesthesiologist sounds a bit unlikely as anti-fa supersoldier TBH.
posted by Artw at 3:48 PM on November 4 [12 favorites]


Trying to curtail my rampant editing abuse: It's not so much that I have a problem with turning oneself in and house arrest as I have a huge problem with the double standards of who gets that and who gets stuck in jail.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:49 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


I know quite a few women in their sixties and seventies who were so excited to finally have a woman president and are now afraid that they'll never live to see one.

Dude, I'm nearly forty and I don't think I will ever live to see one. I'm not sure anyone alive now will ever see one, including infants.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:53 PM on November 4 [24 favorites]


Hoping uncertainly for democratically elected president RN.
posted by Artw at 3:55 PM on November 4 [18 favorites]


Also sounds like to me (just my uninformed opinion) that if it was a minor injury that didn't require going to the hospital for stitches or x-rays there was really no need to call the police.

My uninformed opinion: if someone attacks you, you should call the police.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:55 PM on November 4 [18 favorites]


Will America Ever Have a Woman President? A year ago, it seemed like a safe bet. Today, it feels further away than ever. 20 women consider what it would take to get there.

Getting Michael Oreskes out of NPR and Mark Halperin out of NBC seems like a step in the right direction. If we can purge all the other misogynist assholes from the rest of the so-called liberal media, a woman might have a shot.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:01 PM on November 4 [31 favorites]


> My uninformed opinion: if someone attacks you, you should call the police.

Please consider that the set of all people for whom this is good advice is significantly smaller than the set of all people. "something happen? call the cops!" is not a universalizable maxim.

This is sort of a tangent but sort of not: broadly speaking, the situations in which calling the cops is a good idea are the situations in which introducing armed racists empowered by the state to use force is a good idea. There are actually cases where this is true. For example, if you're someone who has evidence that one of your neighbors or family members has molested a child, it can often improve the situation to introduce armed racists empowered by the state to use force. It may be better to contact or assemble a vigilante group, but that's often not possible, and despite their faults police tend to be alright about dealing with known child molesters — at least, when the known child molesters are not themselves police.

Likewise, if you're a racist White Republican member of congress who wants to make political hay out of a minor assault, it makes sense for you to introduce armed racists empowered by the state to use force.

But in general, for most situations, it's a terrible idea to default to introduce armed racists empowered by the state to use force.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:03 PM on November 4 [72 favorites]


Minor personal memory derail. Things I did nine years ago today included:

- wandering out of my hotel to see people queuing, block upon block, to vote
- doing a presentation about Nintendo and video game use in libraries to a roomful of librarians at an American Library Association conference
- hurling scrunched-up dollar bills at librarians who correctly answered questions shouted out by my co-presenter
- getting a taxi with three others (we called ourselves The Four Librarians of the Apocalypse) to downtown Chicago to watch the results come in...
- ...with Oprah and rather a lot of other people
- being temporary deafened when it was projected that Obama had won and several hundred thousand people in the same field went a little crazy
- watching Obama helicopter in and deliver his first speech as President-elect
- quickly get a taxi back as, hey, librarians equals organized
posted by Wordshore at 4:10 PM on November 4 [47 favorites]


here come antifas
here come antifas
right down antifas lane


And so, the War on Christmas opened its new front on St. Nicholas--
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:16 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


i've been at the gym. how's the antifa revolution? i can make snacks for later, but i gotta be home by ten.
posted by j_curiouser at 4:19 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


> i've been at the gym. how's the antifa revolution? i can make snacks for later, but i gotta be home by ten.

I'm almost done with my math homework — I'll go check on how the revolution is going after I get done with this next problem.1

> Dude, I'm nearly forty and I don't think I will ever live to see one. I'm not sure anyone alive now will ever see one, including infants.

If it were possible for cranky internet marxists to be optimists, I'd be optimistic about the possibility for the takedown of the trump organization in 2018-2019, followed by the election of President Warren in 2020.

1: p.s. does anyone have time to answer some quick questions about how the Kleene star works?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:21 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


Politico has details of Manafort's bail offering package:
Manafort's lawyers identified three properties he is willing to pledge: the Trump Tower condo in Manhattan, a condo several miles to the south on Baxter Street in Chinatown and his primary residence in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. In a court filing, the veteran lobbyist also said several life insurance policies worth a total of $4.5 million could be posted, although they're held by trusts or Manafort's wife Kathleen.
1) Interesting that he doesn't have, or doesn't want to use, the cash.
2) This is bullshit. Dude is on HOUSE ARREST. Learn how to Facetime your clients, bro.
posted by lalex at 4:33 PM on November 4 [23 favorites]


Dude's trying to flee so bad.He's prob trying to figure out how to ship himself DHL to some non-extradition country.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:39 PM on November 4 [16 favorites]


Yes, facebook also popped up a depressing memory from nine years ago for me. Text "[tivalasvegas] is proud to be an American".

I reposted with a sad face emoticon.
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:39 PM on November 4 [17 favorites]


So, the Saudi thing is freaking huge, and is going to have waves of repercussions throughout the western money world. According to Al Mayadeen, the Saudi official news source,
prominent billionaire, member of the royal Saudi family, and one of the biggest shareholders of Citi, News Corp. and Twitter Al-Waleed bin Talal, along with ten senior princes, and some 38 ministers, has been arrested for corruption and money laundering charges on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, while Royal princes’ private planes have been grounded.

Among those fired and/or arrested are the head of National Royal Guards, Miteb Bin Abdullah, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Fakeih, and Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan, the Commander of the Saudi Naval Forces.

the purge by the Saudi King means that King Abdallah’s last remnants (Riyad firmer gov. & head of Nat. Guard); media moguls; SAGIA & financial policy officials have been purged.

Changing the head of the National Guard, an institution that’s been controlled by the clan of the late King Abdullah, “is not like changing the minister of oil,” said Kamran Bokhari, a senior analyst with Geopolitical Futures and a senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this leads to greater fissures within the royal family.”

Arabiya adds that King Salman also issued sacking and replacement orders for Admiral Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Sultan, the Commander of the Naval Forces, is to be terminated and be retired; his replacement is Vice Admiral Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghifaili, to be promoted to the rank of admiral and be appointed as Commander of the Naval Forces.

Additionally, Minister of Economy and Planning Adel al-Faqieh was replaced by Mohammed al-Tuwaijri, SPA said, quoting a royal decree. Commander of the Saudi Navy, Abdullah al-Sultan, was replaced with Fahad al-Ghafli. The king also replaced Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih withMohammad Al Tuwaijri, his deputy.

The heads of the main three Saudi owned TV networks were arrested, Alwalid Bin Talal (Rotana), Walid Al Brahim (MBC), Saleh Kamel (ART).

According to the AngryArab blog, the removal of Prince Miteb bin Abdullah as head of the National Guard, means that "this is the first time that the National Guard is not in the hand of Abdullah or his son."

That put all apparatus of the military-intelligence network in the hands of Muhammad bin Salman. News that Al-Walid bin Talal has been arrested and accused of money laundering. This could be a service to Trump, who hates Al-Walid: the two fought it out on twitter during the campaign although Al-Walid tried to reconcile with Trump after his election but to no avail.

All private jets are grounded, with no exit visas being granted to any Saudi right now. This is a total purge of all remaining allies of former King Abdallah and coincidentally, many vocal anti Trumpists.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:47 PM on November 4 [67 favorites]


If he flees that becomes the new normal amongst republicans, right? That's how it seems to work these days.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on November 4 [4 favorites]


Isn't the new Crown Prince something of a reformer, though?
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:55 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


If it results in a wave of republicans spontaneously dropping everything and fleeing the country never to return, I'm for it.
posted by ctmf at 4:57 PM on November 4 [13 favorites]


I'm kind of wondering whether Al-Waleed bin Talal will start dumping more of his billions back into terror organizations as a covert way to strike at Trump.
posted by Talez at 4:59 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


There's a Saudi news thread...

I don't think much more applies here except the certainty that Trump replied to the news with "now THAT's how to run a country".
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:01 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


ummmmmm from the Japan Times (emph mine):
U.S. President Donald Trump has said Japan should have shot down the North Korean missiles that flew over the country before landing in the Pacific Ocean earlier this year, diplomatic sources have said, despite the difficulties and potential ramifications of doing so.[...]

Trump questioned Japan’s decision not to shoot down the missiles when he met or spoke by phone with leaders from Southeast Asian countries over recent months to discuss how to respond to the threats from North Korea, the sources said.

The U.S. president said he could not understand why a country of samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles, the sources said.
I definitely did not just run to Wikipedia to double-check that the Japan Times isn't satire.
posted by lalex at 5:09 PM on November 4 [94 favorites]


There's a Saudi news thread...

It's something about a missile, maybe one on the coup should be started? TBH given the coup I'm wondering if the missile reports are real or part of the weirdness.
posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


Well, with all things Saudi, it's more complicated than it might appear.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz became king fairly recently, whereupon he named his nephew as the Crown Prince; Mohammed bin Nayef, who is more reform minded than previous rulers. However, the true modernist is the kings favourite son, Mohammed bin Salman, the youthful deputy crown prince.

Some believe that Nayef will actually not take the crown, that King Salman will abdicate in favor of his son instead. There is precedent for that, but it could cause major instability in the royal family, which number somewhere around 40,000 people. King Salman, now 80, will be the last of the sons of King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, the founder of the country that bears his family’s name. Bin Salman is only 30, much closer to the median age of most Saudis, is much loved by the people, and if this purge is seen to be coming from him, then the people are likely to support it, even if the royals do not.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:12 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


So as not to abuse edit, I was responding to a question, but if the comments need to be moved, I can do it when I get to a real computer, but it would be really difficult to cut and paste that much on a mobile, and I'm not sure I could write it all again as succinctly from scratch.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:16 PM on November 4


I remain stymied by everything he does. It's like he gets all of his information from 1950s movies. His lack of curiosity and awareness of the world is so embarrassing.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:18 PM on November 4 [15 favorites]


Typhoon just hit Vietnam. Something colossally stupid about disaster recovery is going to come out of his mouth.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:22 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


Maybe he can throw some paper towels to the victims.
posted by Justinian at 5:24 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


loony left internal update , Chicago DSA is building resources for men on how to ID, address, acknowledge and correct shitty behavior within chapters and while organizing
posted by The Whelk at 5:55 PM on November 4 [26 favorites]


But the white men will either have their tax cuts, or their Medicare for all.

The proposed Medicare for All bill does repeal the Hyde Amendment and mandate comprehensive reproductive care. Of course that doesn't address all the sneaky shit states are pulling and the thing might as well be a progressive wish list at this point but it feels slightly premature to accuse proponents of selling out on abortion.
posted by atoxyl at 6:11 PM on November 4 [5 favorites]


I'm wondering if the missile reports are real

Unverifiable twitter link, but video of anti-missile missiles being launched ... somewhere.. presumably in Riyadh, maybe even today. *shrug*
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:37 PM on November 4


And he's about to be on live TV right now, getting off AF1 in Japan. Isn't it great that we can see trump live on Saturday night?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:48 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


...and he'll be doing his impersonation of Alec Baldwin.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:52 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


Bernie Sanders Larry David is hosting SNL tonight.
posted by lalex at 6:53 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


And of course they wheeled in an F-35 for him to call beautiful, etc.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:05 PM on November 4


I can’t help but wonder what Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, a Clinton appointee to the U.S. Court of Apprals for the Third Circuit (presently inactive), makes of her brother’s efforts to direct the DOJ to pursue his enemies and repeated attempts to influence legal outcomes... not to mention his personal attacks on various judges and justices.
posted by carmicha at 7:07 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


I gotta say, I'm a bit disappointed with the writers tonight. They could've pushed back the actual trump's speech to the troops in Japan about 90 minutes so SNL could do a Baldwin impersonation open at the SAME TIME live.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:15 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


So he's giving a speech right now at an air base and it's now veering into a campaign rally or something.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:16 PM on November 4




It has all the trappings of a campaign rally for him, including pulling up to the hangar full of adoring dopes in a big shiny jet. He's in fucking hog heaven.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:18 PM on November 4


It's worth remembering that one function of the TPP was as a bulwark against Chinese economic supremacy in the region. Trump really shafted Japan in that case.
posted by adept256 at 7:23 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Did Fox and Friends really run chyrons saying "ANTIFA TO OVERTHROW PRESIDENT"?

Are they fucking serious?
posted by Talez at 7:56 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


Did Fox and Friends really run chyrons saying "ANTIFA TO OVERTHROW PRESIDENT"?

Dude, don't tell me you missed the revolution today!
posted by bongo_x at 8:03 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


Did Fox and Friends really run chyrons saying "ANTIFA TO OVERTHROW PRESIDENT"?

Right now, their messaging to their base is a lot of, "Trump is so successful, all these people, Clinton, Comey, Mueller, Soros, EVERYBODY is trying to Take Him Down..."

So yeah, they're already under siege from everyone, throwing antifa in there is right in line.
posted by mikelieman at 8:05 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Did Fox and Friends really run chyrons saying "ANTIFA TO OVERTHROW PRESIDENT"?

But NBC is the network that should lose it broadcast license.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:06 PM on November 4


Did Fox and Friends really run chyrons saying "ANTIFA TO OVERTHROW THE PRESIDENT”

lol if only
posted by lydhre at 8:07 PM on November 4 [9 favorites]


So...if antifascists want to overthrow the president...could that maybe possibly indicate that he might be...a fascist?
posted by elsietheeel at 8:08 PM on November 4 [30 favorites]


I mean
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 PM on November 4 [12 favorites]


In re Fox and Friends: Until fairly recently I thought that they were just consciously yanking everyone's chains and that the far right basically knew that this was motivated lying. But recently I've met far right people who thought it was literally illegal to be a communist, like if you told the FBI that someone was a communist, the FBI would take them to jail. People also thought that the teacher's union was funding radical left organizing because (and I shit you not) left-wing events often advertise that snacks will be provided and snacks cost money, so there must be some kind of suspicious outside funding, and the teacher's union would obviously be a natural source of that kind of slush money.

What struck me about all of them was that they have literally no idea about law or rules or financial transactions or banks or how organizations work. It seems natural to them that the teacher's union is funneling money to various tiny radical groups because (leaving aside the political improbability of this) they don't understand how financial transactions work, what an audit is, what kinds of rules large organizations (especially unions) have to comply with, etc. It's the same reason that they don't understand why Trump can't just, eg, jail Hillary - they don't understand that power comes into being through structures, and that even a tyrant can't just wave his hand and do precisely as he wishes. They think that Trump has power because Trump is sort of a god-figure - that power inheres in him because of who he is (and to be fair, they think this of Soros too) not because of how he is positioned in a web of relationships, because they don't understand that webs of relationships more complex than kinship exist.
posted by Frowner at 8:22 PM on November 4 [123 favorites]


People also thought that the teacher's union was funding radical left organizing because (and I shit you not) left-wing events often advertise that snacks will be provided and snacks cost money, so there must be some kind of suspicious outside funding

Lester Freamon: "You follow money, you get Putin and the Mercers. But you start to follow the snacks, and you don't know where the fuck it's gonna take you."
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:35 PM on November 4 [66 favorites]


via @Jérôme Cartillier (AFP), Trump on the North Korean people: "'I think they’re great people. They’re industrious. They’re warm, much warmer than the world really knows'"

"industrious"

This is Day 1, folks.
posted by lalex at 8:44 PM on November 4 [33 favorites]


People on the right also can't seem to comprehend that people on the left legitimately hold their leftist views deeply enough to, say, drop $50 at Rite Aid on snacks. Or spend a Saturday afternoon walking around with a sign for free.

(Seriously, when we thought Nazis were going to protest our Google office, a couple local WOC activists threw together an organizing meeting with like a few hours notice and mentioned on Facebook that snacks would be appreciated, and by the time I got there with my two bags of Rite Aid, there were three long conference tables completely covered with food, with extra food stowed underneath them. Someone showed up with like 10 pizzas. There was a tray of wings. 8 cases of water. It was so much goddamn food. No Union slush funds necessary.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:46 PM on November 4 [71 favorites]


and that the far right basically knew that this was motivated lying.

This has been discussed before but like, the whole rhetoric game on the right from the 70s onward is like "We're just stringing these rubes along, we'll promise them stuff but don;t worry business core, it's just for show" and this just decays overtime as more and more grow up in these isolated conservative media spheres so now no one knows it;s supposed to be carny prattle, they all think its real.

There are lots of factors mixed in here, like with ANTIFA UPRISING!!!! being taken seriously cause ti gets people scared and riled up AND they don't have to do anything but pysch each other out online cause none of them have friends cause 21st century America is kind of horrible and arranged to be isolating but yeah, the lesson is you can literally create reality.

(and that weird projection tic where they always accuse their opponents of doing things they do.It's like a pure manifestation of guilt about their shifty tactics and not real grassroots supports)
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 PM on November 4 [18 favorites]


Two new VA Gov polls:

* Gravis: Northam up 48-43.

* Trafalgar: Northam up 49-48.

FWIW, neither of these guys are highly regarded, and Trafalgar is an explicitly R pollster.

RCP average is Northam +1.8.

There is a Siena poll dropping around 8 am tomorrow; that will probably be one of the last ones we get.

Don't forget to call/text/canvass, if you can.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:48 PM on November 4 [14 favorites]


RCP average is Northam +1.8.

*starts drinking heavily*
posted by Justinian at 8:55 PM on November 4 [27 favorites]


uh oh the JCPL is back
posted by lalex at 8:57 PM on November 4 [19 favorites]


It's more resigned existential dread these days.
posted by Justinian at 9:00 PM on November 4 [25 favorites]


You Can't Tip a Buick: "If it were possible for cranky internet marxists to be optimists, I'd be optimistic about the possibility for the takedown of the trump organization in 2018-2019, followed by the election of President Warren in 2020."

I live optimistic, it's the only way I get through the day. And I'm cautiously optimistic here.

But I think it's President Klobuchar.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:13 PM on November 4 [8 favorites]


It's more resigned existential dread these days

Could we make it an Index as opposed to a Level, then? JCREDI flows a little better.
posted by contraption at 9:14 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


insane optimism is the only way we're seeing the other side of daylight, so shine up your Sunday shoes, shake the knots out of your hair, get your coat and endeavor to never forget, solidarity forever!
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 PM on November 4 [11 favorites]


Insane optimism is the only way we're seeing the other side of daylight,

Grim, pragmatic determination is working for me but YMMV.

I'm Batman
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:47 PM on November 4 [19 favorites]


You don't even have to line up. There's a tub for every one of us and a scoop for every tub!
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:57 PM on November 4 [26 favorites]


Further tidbits on VA early vote, which is now closed (except for late mail ballots):

* It was an all time high for a non-presidential year, 31% higher than the previous record
* About 61% of the early vote came from (blue) Northern Virginia
* The largest # increase was Fairfax County (i.e., not Trump country - HRC won here 63-28)
* The largest % increases were Manassas City and Manassas Park, both of which have significant Hispanic populations

Now, as mentioned, Virginia early vote is a relatively small percentage of total vote, and there's going to be at least some cannibalization here (early voters who would have voted anyway on Election Day). But it's been shown that early vote periods does increase total turnout, and people who voted are locked in and can't change their mind. If nothing else, it's one fewer person to canvass.

So, this is probably a small factor, but seems to be pointing in Northam's favor. I'd rather see these numbers than low early vote or heavy numbers in SW Virginia.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:01 PM on November 4 [37 favorites]


I know quite a few women in their sixties and seventies who were so excited to finally have a woman president and are now afraid that they'll never live to see one.

I'm thinking it's going to be about 2048 before we get another woman involved in a presidential run. Geraldine Ferraro was 1984, and the repercussions meant it was 2016 before another tried. I'm guessing in the best scenario it's going to be straight white males for the rest of my life.
posted by happyroach at 10:02 PM on November 4 [3 favorites]


#Gillibrand2020
posted by lalex at 10:03 PM on November 4 [7 favorites]


From the article on if it's possible to have a woman president:

"Imagining a woman president means preparing for a calamitous wave of misogynistic backlash, like the backlash inspired by Obama and central to Donald Trump’s win. When we elect a Madam President, I will wonder again: “Was making history in the White House worth it?”
"History suggests that the biggest obstacle to a woman aspiring to the highest office anywhere is simply that she is not a man. In every era, in every culture, as French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir pointed out, a man is the norm, and women are defined in terms of their difference from that norm. This is particularly true when it comes to our visual images and expectations for the head of state. Even in countries that have had female leaders for centuries, women who aspire to or hold higher office tend to be seen more as female leaders than as leaders, identified by the one thing that makes them most different from the norm."
"The prejudices around women run surprisingly deep and are hard to budge. My lab’s cross-cultural research has not found universal prejudices along racial and ethnic lines—suggesting that different societies invent different stereotypes depending on accidents of history. These are more arbitrary—and more changeable. Across the planet, however, we have found universal gender prejudices."


We're doomed.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:06 PM on November 4 [23 favorites]


"No dictator, no regime, no nation should ever underestimate American resolve," Trump told hundreds of cheering U.S. and Japanese troops

I hope those words echo through the void in his head while he's sitting in prison. American resolve will put him there.

he meant 'misunderestimate', surely
posted by adept256 at 10:06 PM on November 4 [13 favorites]


I'm thinking it's going to be about 2048 before we get another woman involved in a presidential run.

Given the US infatuation with political dynasties, tendency to normalize monsters a decade after they leave the White House, and Republican slavering over vacuous Fox-News-approved female candidates for high office, my worst fear is that there will be one female president in my lifetime and it will be Ivanka and that will end any hope of feminism for the non-heiress class.
posted by SakuraK at 12:16 AM on November 5 [11 favorites]


People also thought that the teacher's union was funding radical left organizing because (and I shit you not) left-wing events often advertise that snacks will be provided and snacks cost money, so there must be some kind of suspicious outside funding, and the teacher's union would obviously be a natural source of that kind of slush money.

this is even better than the old Fox News trope of the brandy-sniffing climate scientists who've padded their Cayman Island bank accounts with all that sweet, sweet grant money from the NSF
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 1:37 AM on November 5 [6 favorites]




A history of Trump’s “great memory,” and when it failed him
In his 2015 deposition over a lawsuit involving Trump University, lawyer Jason Forge (who was questioning Trump on behalf of one of the plaintiffs) asked if he recalled saying that he had "one of the best memories in the world." Trump initially responded by asking, "I don't know. Did I use that expression?" After being told there was video of him saying it, he replied, "I don't remember saying that. As good as my memory is, I don't remember that, but I have a good memory."

He did, however, stand by another past statement he had made, namely that he had "one of the all-time great memories."
posted by Buntix at 3:04 AM on November 5 [29 favorites]


via @Jérôme Cartillier (AFP), Trump on the North Korean people: "'I think they’re great people. They’re industrious. They’re warm, much warmer than the world really knows'"

"industrious"

This is Day 1, folks.


He is just reading the notes from Ambassador Rodman.
posted by srboisvert at 3:51 AM on November 5 [5 favorites]


But recently I've met far right people who thought it was literally illegal to be a communist, like if you told the FBI that someone was a communist, the FBI would take them to jail.

This is actually technically possible if you are an immigrant. Because you would have lied about it on your application and you could be deported for lying about it. It'll be ICE that rounds you up and the jail will be a detention facility. Ditto for being a Nazi immigrant.
posted by srboisvert at 3:56 AM on November 5 [3 favorites]


Aussie journo Phillip Adams isn't bashful about talking about his history with the communist party. He said he just lies when he's asked about that at customs. He said this on national radio.
posted by adept256 at 4:06 AM on November 5 [3 favorites]


"I don't remember saying that. As good as my memory is, I don't remember that, but I have a good memory."

This is my greatest fear. Trump is such a weasel. If the time comes that Mueller does depose him, this will be his mantra. He's not Bill Clinton, able to parse the legal definition of "sexual relations" or even the meaning of the word "is". He will stumble along vaguely, not remembering, contradicting himself from one sentence to the next. They will not be able to pin him down. His supporters will claim he is wily. We will be gnashing our teeth in despair.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:20 AM on November 5 [4 favorites]


You don't need a confession to get a conviction.
posted by Devonian at 4:53 AM on November 5 [38 favorites]


Excuses like, "I don't recall" and "I didn't know" and being like, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - aren't really going to cut it. We're seeing some of this taking place with Sessions right now. I fully expect all the lying liars from liartown to keep lying but I also think there's going to be a great deal of timestamped evidence available.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:09 AM on November 5 [12 favorites]


I just want to fast forward to where it fades to black and lists how long everyone got in prison.
posted by adept256 at 5:13 AM on November 5 [125 favorites]


I'm thinking it's going to be about 2048 before we get another woman involved in a presidential run.

I never thought I’d live to see a female president and after 2016 I know for sure I won’t.
posted by winna at 5:13 AM on November 5 [8 favorites]


Is there a roster for the Mayflower Hotel meeting with the Russian ambassador?

We're going to need a bigger bingo card.
posted by jointhedance at 5:31 AM on November 5 [4 favorites]


I'm not convinced we won't see a female president in one of the next two elections. It's going to depend on who actually runs. I know that sounds crazy but IDGAF.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:33 AM on November 5 [24 favorites]


fluffy battle kitten: I'm not convinced we won't see a female president in one of the next two elections. It's going to depend on who actually runs. I know that sounds crazy but IDGAF.

I've warned about this before, but I guess I'll do it again: Autocrats like to pass power to their children to ensure they won't be prosecuted for their crimes. So there's a non-zero chance that Ivanka will run if the Russia scandal doesn't take Trump down. He could play off not running for a second term because he needs to return to run his business, she's been attending international events so they'll claim she has experience (she's with him in Asia right now), and she'll look calm and rational in comparison to him. And just from a purely vindictive standpoint, I'm sure Trump will see this as taking the prize of being the first woman President away from Hillary Clinton and gifting it to his favorite daughter. Ivanka reportedly has complained about not wanting to be political, but who knows if she's offered the chance for all that power?
posted by bluecore at 6:01 AM on November 5 [14 favorites]




It isn't going to begin well either. Remember that in absolutely any sequence of events involving a foreign invasion of the DPRK the second thing that will happen is the destruction of Seoul.

1) US launches cruise missiles at the DPRK?

2) Seoul is leveled.

or

1) China invades from the north?

2) Seoul is leveled.

or

1) Secret stealth ICBM's nuke the DPRK's bunkers?

2) Seoul is leveled.

or even

1) Aliens arrive and invade the DPRK.

2) Seoul is leveled.

There is no possible military action that can be taken against the DPRK that does not involve a retaliation against Seoul that will likely result in millions, if not tens of millions, of deaths.

To even be discussing any military action against the DPRK by anyone is to basically be telling the people of Seoul that they will be sacrificed. "Sorry you people living in Seoul, but the Republican President wants a boost in the polls, you'll be killed to achieve that."
posted by sotonohito at 6:14 AM on November 5 [40 favorites]


I actually think that report is a good sign: it's when we start hearing the military say that totally COULD shut down the program WITHOUT an invasion that I would worry, because it's a hell of a lot easier for Trump to okay a bombing than an invasion.

This is the Pentagon saying, effectively, that military solutions are untenable. And they're right to say so.
posted by cjelli at 6:20 AM on November 5 [23 favorites]


Ditto for being a Nazi immigrant.

Didn't a MeFite report that the new immigration forms removed that bit?
posted by elsietheeel at 6:28 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Va Gov update: Siena poll has Northam up, 43-40. Nate Cohn discusses how the poll used a looser voter screen than most, including some more of the "less likely to vote" group; using a standard screen, you get more like Northam 46-43.

Nate Silver points out most of the polls are showing undecideds a little high for this late in the race, and that's the uncertainty. This would imply Northam needing to get about 42% or so of the undecideds to win (if other assumptions proved correct).

This poll brings the RCP average to Northam +1.9.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:30 AM on November 5 [11 favorites]


$7 billion, dude.

Billionaire Robert Mercer did Trump a huge favor. Will he get a payback? (McClatchy)
The Internal Revenue Service is demanding a whopping $7 billion or more in back taxes from the world’s most profitable hedge fund, whose boss’s wealth and cyber savvy helped Donald Trump pole-vault into the White House.

Suddenly, the government’s seven-year pursuit of Renaissance Technologies LLC is blanketed in political intrigue, now that the hedge fund’s reclusive, anti-establishment co-chief executive, Robert Mercer, has morphed into a political force who might be owed a big presidential favor.

With Trump in the Oval Office, Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, who has become his public voice, seem armed with political firepower every which way you look – and that’s even though presidential adviser Stephen Bannon, their former senior executive and political strategist, appears to have recently lost influence.

Since the IRS found in 2010 that a complicated banking method used by Renaissance and about 10 other hedge funds was a tax-avoidance scheme, Mercer has gotten increasingly active in politics. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, he doled out more than $22 million to outside conservative groups seeking to influence last year’s elections, while advocating the abolition of the IRS and much of the federal government.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:53 AM on November 5 [37 favorites]


New WaPo/ABC poll out and Donny won't be happy. Poll: Trump’s performance lags behind even tepid public expectations

Approval: 37 - 59. The lowest at this point of a presidency in the 70 year history of modern polling. And not by a little. The -22 net is the worst by 33 points.

Approve of his handling of...
Race: 28 - 70
Economy: 44 - 53
Health care: 26 - 70
Keeping promises: 35 - 55

Also:

Good at making political deals? 37 Yes - 58 No
Biased against women? 55 Yes - 40 No
Biased against black people? 50 Yes - 42 No
posted by chris24 at 6:54 AM on November 5 [31 favorites]


. So there's a non-zero chance that Ivanka will run if the Russia scandal doesn't take Trump down.

Ivanka's on the list of indictments. Marrying Kushner was one huge mistake.
posted by mikelieman at 6:58 AM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Nate Silver points out most of the polls are showing undecideds a little high for this late in the race, and that's the uncertainty. This would imply Northam needing to get about 42% or so of the undecideds to win (if other assumptions proved correct).
Presumably, people who are undecided at this point are highly likely not to vote? I know there are some people who vote in every single election, but my hunch is that a lot of those people are going to stay home.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:59 AM on November 5


Ditto for being a Nazi immigrant.

Didn't a MeFite report that the new immigration forms removed that bit?


Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (rev. 06/26/17), page 12, part 8, item 57:
During the period from March 23, 1933 to May 8, 1945, did you ever order, incite, assist, or otherwise participate in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion, in association with either the Nazi government of Germany or any organization or government associated or allied with the Nazi government of Germany?
Form N-400, Application for Naturalization (rev. 12/23/16), page 12, part 12, item 13:
Between March 23, 1933 and May 8, 1945, did you work for or associate in any way (either directly or indirectly) with:

A. The Nazi government of Germany?

B. Any government in any area occupied by, allied with, or established with the help of the Nazi
government of Germany?

C. Any German, Nazi, or S.S. military unit, paramilitary unit, self-defense unit, vigilante unit, citizen unit, police unit, government agency or office, extermination camp, concentration camp, prisoner of war camp, prison, labor camp, or transit camp?
If you're at all curious about what's involved in immigrating to the United States, take a few minutes and read these forms. And while you're at it, also check out Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary (link on same page). I dare you to fill them out for yourself without having to look something up or second-guessing yourself about whether or not you're being truthful. And then remember that these are just the forms you have to fill out for your initial filing, before you even begin the process of biometrics, background checks, medical examinations, interviews, and everything else. And of course it costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars just to file the forms, and if you screw up you don't get your money back. Seriously, most people have absolutely no idea.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:07 AM on November 5 [28 favorites]


Less likely to vote, for sure. Cohn talks a bit about the model in that thread.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:08 AM on November 5


BREAKING ON MSNBC: Mueller has enough evidence to charge Flynns Sr. And Jr.

Ivanka's on the list of indictments. Marrying Kushner was one huge mistake.

From your comment to Rob's ear. I believe the reports that Javanka want to slither back to their lives as Manhattan socialites. Ivanka does not want to be president.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:14 AM on November 5 [30 favorites]


That whole hat signing thing...I'm losing my mind so all morning I've been yelling at my dogs TOAST AND AVOCADO MAKING BREAKFAST EVEN GREATER. SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER MAKING HAIR EVEN GREATER. SCHENN AND SUNDQVIST MAKING BLUES EVEN GREATER. etc. Try it, it's fun.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:21 AM on November 5 [20 favorites]


The Internal Revenue Service is demanding a whopping $7 billion or more in back taxes from the world’s most profitable hedge fund

For anyone wondering what all the pandering to the Titans of Industry is costing us as a society: this is more than the ENTIRE BUDGET of the National Science Foundation.
posted by Dashy at 7:30 AM on November 5 [68 favorites]


Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation, JULIA AINSLEY, CAROL E. LEE and KEN DILANIAN, NBC News.
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:31 AM on November 5 [17 favorites]


So - Flynn hasn't flipped?

Or is Mueller trolling the toddler to see who he'll pardon?
posted by Dashy at 7:34 AM on November 5


I think they're hoping Sr. will talk to save Jr.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:36 AM on November 5 [8 favorites]


I dare you to fill them out for yourself without having to look something up or second-guessing yourself about whether or not you're being truthful. And then remember that these are just the forms you have to fill out for your initial filing, before you even begin the process of biometrics, background checks, medical examinations, interviews, and everything else. And of course it costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars just to file the forms, and if you screw up you don't get your money back.

oh god all of this, so much of this
and the forms change every year or two and ask for different information so by the time you scrape everything together you might have to print everything out afresh and start again
and the fees are indeed in the thousands
and often you're submitting copies of multiple documents in triplicate -- the cost just for making all those copies can be considerable, plus the cost of obtaining originals of documents you might not have, and all the passport-style photos, not to mention having all that paper overnighted so you have package tracking
and even if you don't screw something up, sometimes the paperwork gets screwed up anyway, and if it does it is Y O U R F A U L T
like if someone working on your file misplaces one of the (literally) 600 pieces of paper in your file, or the pages of your application stick together, or someone spills coffee on it or something, they'll stop all processing and send you a cranky letter and then you have to fix the problem, somehow
and when this happens it stops the clock on your processing, you lose your place in line, and you start alllllll over again
three months into the application process? TOO BAD. back to the beginning for you.
posted by halation at 7:40 AM on November 5 [21 favorites]


So - Flynn hasn't flipped?

Yeah, I was sure that Flynn's public silence indicated he had been turned, maybe even pre-Comey-firing.
posted by pjenks at 7:42 AM on November 5


So - Flynn hasn't flipped?

The only sources for the MSNBC story are anonymous ones "familiar with the investigation", so this may or may not mean another round of Monday morning indictments. My betting is, Flynn's lawyers are desperately signalling to Team Trump through these leaks that shit is about to go down so Trump better prepare his pardon pen.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:43 AM on November 5 [4 favorites]


Excuses like, "I don't recall" and "I didn't know" and being like, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - aren't really going to cut it

Expect nothing but. It's Reagans all the way down.


Reaaaagaaaaaaahhnnnn!!!
/Shatner

posted by petebest at 7:48 AM on November 5 [4 favorites]


> My uninformed opinion: if someone attacks you, you should call the police.

Please consider that the set of all people for whom this is good advice is significantly smaller than the set of all people. "something happen? call the cops!" is not a universalizable maxim.


Shorter: This is what happens when you call the cops.
posted by phearlez at 7:54 AM on November 5 [17 favorites]


Can Flynn even flip? Pretty much assume he's in deep enough that would mean a polonium breakfast for him.
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on November 5 [3 favorites]


They can pull all the clueless bullshit they want and I'm sure they will. Mueller has access to way more technology than these fuckers even considered. So we've got the stupid human angle AND stupid humans using technology angles. BUT YOUR EMAILS, ASSHOLES.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:02 AM on November 5 [10 favorites]


Can we please have indictments every Monday leading up to Trump on xmas day?
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:03 AM on November 5 [79 favorites]


Can Flynn even flip? Pretty much assume he's in deep enough that would mean a polonium breakfast for him.

Anyone can flip. I guess that reality has passed the standard barrier of coherence and predictability and we're now in a liminal space of infinite possibilities, but even still, Flynn getting assassinated would be the absolute craziest shit yet. Anyway, there's little downside for Putin even if it all gets exposed. He's thrown his bomb and blown American democracy the fuck up. We'll never recover from this shit. I guess Trump might want to kill them all if they turn into cooperating witnesses. But I don't think Trump is competent enough to arrange a political murder. It would go off Burn After Reading style except on Twitter, too.
posted by dis_integration at 8:19 AM on November 5 [3 favorites]


> My betting is, Flynn's lawyers are desperately signalling to Team Trump through these leaks

Yeah, a lot of that going around. From emptywheel.net on getting JD Gordon's story out:
...from this point forward, we should expect those who have been interviewed by the FBI or grand jury to use the press to telegraph what they’ve said, so others can coordinate that story (though usually they do so through hack lawyers like Toensing, not directly). It’s a legal way to compare notes.
And also, on keeping Clovis' story straight with Papadopoulos'.
posted by klarck at 8:21 AM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Can we please have indictments every Monday leading up to Trump on xmas day?

WE COULD MAKE AN ADVENT CALENDAR
posted by halation at 8:35 AM on November 5 [73 favorites]


Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation

How is this even a headline?
I don't mean to bag on the people who shared this, because I guess the details would count as news or at least a refresher to some. But I feel like this whole article is only a logical conclusion based on a rehash of details that have been in the public eye all along. Given those details, of course Mueller has enough evidence to charge them both.

Is my memory playing tricks on me or something? What in here is new?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:36 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


The lawyers firing distress flares theory makes a lot of sense now you mention it. Lets hope it is because they realized they are utterly fucked and about to sink.
posted by Artw at 8:38 AM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Anyway, there's little downside for Putin even if it all gets exposed.

Mueller, Trump and Putin sit around the breakfast table. There is an awkward silence.

"So... how was the pull out?"
posted by adept256 at 8:43 AM on November 5 [20 favorites]


scaryblackdeath, your memory is not playing tricks on you. What *is* different is that we have actual indictments of other folks now which makes more indictments more likely. INDICTMENTS FOR EVERYONE!
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:47 AM on November 5 [3 favorites]


Miniature American flags for others!
posted by elsietheeel at 8:50 AM on November 5 [15 favorites]


Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast: U.S. Sends Lesbian Refugee Back to Country Where She Was Raped

L's story is horrifying, both before and after fleeing Uganda. CBP and ICE are criminal organizations that cannot be rehabilitated.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:10 AM on November 5 [37 favorites]


My congratulations to Lalex for the post title. Pop group Propaganda - Duel (YT and terrible hairdo).
posted by Rabarberofficer at 9:28 AM on November 5 [6 favorites]


I just realized that if you threw a "brother" or two into the transcripts of Trump's 'speeches' he'd be a dead ringer for Hulk Hogan.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:31 AM on November 5 [11 favorites]


this may or may not mean another round of Monday morning indictments.

Yes, I think it was very carefully worded. The week before it was "indictments coming down" and this is just a warning shot. This is probably why Mueller didn't want to give Flynn immunity for Flynn's story. A lot of people are betting on a pardon.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:47 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Content warning: The YT link posted above for "This is what happens when you call the cops" posted earlier has video of police violence.
posted by xyzzy at 9:50 AM on November 5



Can we please have indictments every Monday leading up to Trump on xmas day?

WE COULD MAKE AN ADVENT CALENDAR


Instead of chocolate it's just shots of your favorite liquor, instead of the usual swill you down every night to make this timeline bearable.
posted by numaner at 9:52 AM on November 5 [12 favorites]


On the first Monday of Trumpmas SP Mueller gave to me
Paul M, Richard G, and George P
posted by salix at 9:55 AM on November 5 [9 favorites]


Excuses like, "I don't recall" and "I didn't know" and being like, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - aren't really going to cut it

Expect nothing but. It's Reagans all the way down.


That's the game plan, but there is no way this man won't be baited into a "you're damn right I ordered the code red" rant. He CANNOT look like he made a bad decision. You just have to maneuver him into "ok, so you can't remember, but probably that was stupidity on your part" situations and magically he will remember.
posted by ctmf at 9:55 AM on November 5 [16 favorites]


That's really why the best lawyers won't work for him. He can't even be trained to lie reliably.
posted by ctmf at 9:58 AM on November 5 [10 favorites]


He CANNOT look like he made a bad decision. You just have to maneuver him into "ok, so you can't remember, but probably that was stupidity on your part" situations and magically he will remember.

And when he says he didn't know what all of these bad people were doing all you have to do is say 'ah yes, guess you weren't smart enough to see it or smart enough to understand what the people you hired were doing.'

Guess they were all just way smarter than you Donnie.
posted by Jalliah at 10:01 AM on November 5 [6 favorites]


Also, he doesn't pay them!

Trump cant go an hour without lying about something. They'll have him for perjury by 10am.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:02 AM on November 5 [6 favorites]


A fine example of punditry by Patrick Ruffini in the WaPo: Why Russia’s Facebook ad campaign wasn’t such a success.

In which he begins by asserting
I’ve run digital advertising campaigns on behalf of candidates in contested battleground states. And if the ads revealed this past week were an attempt to influence the election, they were a laughably botched and failed attempt. The total amount spent was less than what I’ve seen spent online in competitive congressional races. The ads were not well targeted to the battleground states that were most decisive. And the subject matter was designed to engage extremist voices on the political fringe, not persuadable voters undecided between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Vladimir Putin’s propaganda victory is not the advertising itself, but the notion that just over $100,000 worth of poorly targeted Facebook advertising could swing a presidential election. It can’t.
but then goes on to admit
Despite all the focus in the past week on ads, compared to friend-to-friend sharing, a relatively small share of the Russian campaign was driven by advertising. Just 10 million of the people reached came in through the advertising campaign, out of 29 million who directly read Russian posts in their news feeds, and up to 126 million who were exposed indirectly through their Facebook friends. The Russian effort depended on the willingness of some Americans to go along with it and share. The credulity of these social media users is a fact more troubling than the advertising itself, and one not as easily addressed by policy.
So because the ads didn’t reach many people directly the campaign was a failure, but because so many morons shared them the campaign worked and we must be scared. Got it. Well done, Post.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:06 AM on November 5 [22 favorites]


the cost of obtaining originals of documents you might not have, and all the passport-style photos, not to mention having all that paper overnighted so you have package tracking

My favorite part was discovering that my birth certificate, that i had used for my entire life, was not actually my official birth certificate.

Our immigration lawyer just laughed and said "All Canadians make that mistake".

So at the age of 45, applying to live in my third country, I got my first official birth certificate.

(PRO TIP FOR CANADIANS - You have to get your long form birth certificate. If it helps pretend you are an awesome president that they are trying to de-legitimize).
posted by srboisvert at 10:06 AM on November 5 [13 favorites]


'ah yes, guess you weren't smart enough to see it or smart enough to understand what the people you hired were doing.'

You were Ronnie to his Nancy! Sonny to his Cher! Ringo to his rest of the Beatles!
posted by saturday_morning at 10:07 AM on November 5


poorly targeted

Way to dis the fine work of Cambridge Analytica.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on November 5 [5 favorites]


Mike Flynn Junior's trying to drown his sorrows in his Lib Tears mug.

@mflynnJR
The SJW are out in full this morning....the disappointment on your faces when I don’t go to jail will be worth all your harassment...

posted by Rust Moranis at 10:15 AM on November 5 [19 favorites]


And when he says he didn't know what all of these bad people were doing all you have to do is say 'ah yes, guess you weren't smart enough to see it or smart enough to understand what the people you hired were doing.'

Sometimes he even takes credit for masterminding things just to upstage the people who really did do it. He admits to things that are already explained away by his surrogates' (lame) smoke screens and about to die off. He can't stop himself. His ego is so huge it's self-sabotaging.

I think he'd have an interesting case for being incompetent to stand trial. Of course, that lands him right into a slam-dunk Article 25.
posted by ctmf at 10:20 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


the disappointment on your faces when I don’t go to jail will be worth all your harassment...

If this is ever a sentence you find yourself saying, you're maybe not as safe as you think you are.
posted by Rykey at 10:21 AM on November 5 [93 favorites]




Sounds like the Russians targeted precisely the people they needed to target: gullible people predisposed to believe what you want them to believe based on their stated interests.
posted by xyzzy at 10:25 AM on November 5 [13 favorites]


NYT: Wilbur Ross has money in a Russian natural gas shipping firm tied to Putin's son-in-law.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:26 AM on November 5 [36 favorites]


If this is ever a sentence you find yourself saying, you're maybe not as safe as you think you are.

At work we like to say, "if you're having to explain yourself, you're already behind." Meaning, in a regulatory environment, if you're not clearly meeting requirements to even the most casual observer, you need to be meeting them better.

I mean, he didn't even say he didn't do it. Just that he won't go to jail. Not the same thing.
posted by ctmf at 10:27 AM on November 5 [5 favorites]


U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions of dollars a year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as a member of Putin’s inner circle.
Ross’ continuing Navigator investment was so indirectly disclosed that Senators who voted on his confirmation didn’t know about it.
posted by adamvasco at 10:28 AM on November 5 [37 favorites]


That's really why the best lawyers won't work for him. He can't even be trained to lie reliably.

Also the best lawyers won't touch him with a ten foot pole, so if I were him I'd be sweating bullets. But I have common sense and self-awareness...

(Edit: I misread your comment. Yeesh. Suffice to say, I heartily agree!)
posted by elsietheeel at 10:29 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


Vladimir Putin’s propaganda victory is not the advertising itself, but the notion that just over $100,000 worth of poorly targeted Facebook advertising could swing a presidential election. It can’t.

129m saw ads. Election swung by 80k votes. Thats .06% of those who saw ads. Yep, about one twentieth of one percent. And this doesn't count the 288m Twitter impressions. That takes it down to .02%. I don't know but I think it could've had an impact.
posted by chris24 at 10:44 AM on November 5 [57 favorites]


Our immigration lawyer just laughed and said "All Canadians make that mistake"

ha, yes, this exact thing happened to someone i'm close to. which in turn led to the fun of trying to find a guarantor for someone who was not living in canada at the time and had not been for some years. and that was for a country where you can, at least, if you can remember all sorts of obscure data (like the name of the attending physician at your birth) order online and have it sent out to you! people trying to get records from governments where you have to apply in person, or where recordkeeping may be spotty, have a far worse time of it.
posted by halation at 10:53 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions of dollars a year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as a member of Putin’s inner circle.

These are part of the Paradise Papers, a leak of documents published by the ICIJ. Seems like there was quite a few people from the administration involved.
posted by zabuni at 10:56 AM on November 5 [37 favorites]


I just realized I get nauseous now every time I think about Virginia, so that’s...awesome.
posted by schadenfrau at 11:06 AM on November 5 [4 favorites]


Tonight's Panorama looks to be all about the Paradise Papers investigation. [Link is to BBC iPlayer so may not work outside the UK without a VPN].

The UK Royal Family are also, allegedly, involved in dodgy offshoring of capital. I am so very shocked; if we can't trust the aristocracy....
posted by Buntix at 11:18 AM on November 5 [10 favorites]


/takes big swig of Pepto-Bismol, offers bottle to schadenfrau
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:20 AM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Maybe we* established that conflict of interest wasn't a thing too early?

*not actually us.
posted by Artw at 11:28 AM on November 5


Sounds like the Russians targeted precisely the people they needed to target: gullible people predisposed to believe what you want them to believe based on their stated interests.

I suspect they also targeted the psychologically vulnerable and tramatized as small multipliers, knowing they’d (I should probably say “we” here) be more suggestible and hyper-acutely attuned to perceived sleights and threats.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:34 AM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Advertiser claims advertising isn't really effective. Planted news story at - well, now.

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ev-ver was
posted by petebest at 11:56 AM on November 5


> I suspect they also targeted the psychologically vulnerable and tramatized as small multipliers

Social science outplays psychology here. There were points of obvious instability that this campaign targeted, to increase volatility, not to coerce. Man, I wish the science of complex systems were better understood. The stupidly named butterfly effect sounds like utter unpredictability. But at a systems level, you can influence dramatic changes, without having them at any time under your "control". The Russians are good at precisely that.
posted by stonepharisee at 12:18 PM on November 5 [13 favorites]


Fair enough, but if your goal is to panic people and elicit overreactions, targeting people with PTSD would be a no-brainer due to the hyper-vigilance and impulsivity associated with the condition.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:56 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


More heartbreak.

NYT developing: Texas Church Shooting Leaves More Than 20 Dead

Evil in pure distilled form.

@realDonaldTrump: May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.

Also, it isn't clear whether it is time to politicize this tragedy or not, since not enough details are public yet. I have no hesitation in guessing that the availability of guns was a factor, though.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:01 PM on November 5 [13 favorites]


May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.

I can't help but notice he doesn't immediately have insults for the attacker or suggestions for what the government can do this time.

Hey, do you think this shooter might be white?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:06 PM on November 5 [62 favorites]


Right now it is not time to politicize this tragedy. It is time for Thoughts and Prayers. If the Official Big Pile of Thoughts and Prayers reaches an undisclosed but finite threshold, all future shooters will be repelled by their power.
posted by delfin at 1:07 PM on November 5 [16 favorites]


I can't help but notice he doesn't immediately have insults for the attacker or suggestions for what the government can do this time.

Probably written by a staffer, Trump is snoozing somewhere in Asia.
posted by PenDevil at 1:09 PM on November 5 [9 favorites]


I'm beginning to think "Thoughts & Prayers" are having the opposite desired outcome.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 1:09 PM on November 5 [6 favorites]


It is time for Thoughts and Prayers.

I had somebody tell me today that we don't have a gun control problem but rather a people problem that could be solved with closer communities and more faith in God. I read that on my phone before I got out of bed this morning. Before I even thought about having lunch, somebody had shot up a church.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:10 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


It's been barely one month since the Las Vegas shooting. How long until 20+ casualty events are weekly events? Clearly we need to Think&Pray harder.
posted by Justinian at 1:12 PM on November 5 [29 favorites]


These threads have a lot of stuff that makes me go wtf

But the update about the most recent shooting made me say it out loud.

Jesus wept.
posted by sio42 at 1:43 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Reading Trump’s tweets in response to mass murder is an exercise in compare and contrast, innit? Main variable appears to be skin color.
posted by lydhre at 1:47 PM on November 5 [5 favorites]


My reaction is almost complete numbness. Every shooting event sets the same sequence of events into motion. Every relevant party will play their role by saying the exact same things they always say, there will be no new insight or action, the devastated families will be forgotten, nothing will change, lather, rinse, repeat in a few weeks, the end.
posted by lalex at 1:51 PM on November 5 [66 favorites]


Same. I think that à large portion of the population, even those like me who aren't physically in the US, are suffering from some kind of emotional burnout on this. Maybe some form of ptsd. Between cops murdering people and white men with assault weapons murdering people, it's become so regular that i can't get upset anymore.

I have almost no reaction after the initial "oh no not again." I can't even get angry anymore. It's just like you said lalex... Numb.

I don't think that's good or normal or right.

And it scares me a bit.
posted by sio42 at 1:57 PM on November 5 [29 favorites]


At this point it's like hearing about a bunch of people getting killed in a highway car crash. Yeah, it sucks, but what can you do? That's just the risk they took when they decided to leave their houses.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:05 PM on November 5 [5 favorites]


I haven't reached numbness yet, just anger. I get angry before I even hear the fucking thoughts and prayers that spew out of their mouth.

Fuck thoughts and prayers.
posted by lydhre at 2:07 PM on November 5 [8 favorites]


I know things in the Baptist Church aren't done the same as in my church, but this is a special day on the Christian calendar. Today is the day when we pray for loved ones who have passed on and especially anyone who has died in the previous year. I feel like I have a job on the Sunday after All Saints Day and this year I was ready. I had a list of people to pray for, which this year included a child who made it far enough through gestation to have a name. My church always goes the extra mile for music, bringing in an orchestra to play Mozart and wheeling in the Harpsichord.

That's why I am so angry that there are more people to pray for on this day. People who did not deserve to die in this way in a safe place. And let's be real, this is a regular occurrence in the US in almost any place: in church, at the park, at school, in the club, on the street.

I'm really angry that prayer is used as a substitute for doing anything by the people in power; that I can't trust anyone to do the least thing to make things different. I can't believe that we can't do something simple like ban bump stocks because congress is run by cowards who are realistically choosing to let innocent people die rather than get tough on guns.

What are our options for doing something? Anything? I can't believe that people are actively working against gathering statistics on gun violence.
posted by Alison at 2:08 PM on November 5 [35 favorites]


What are our options for doing something? Anything?

Stop voting for Republicans for any position. Not even dogcatcher.
posted by Justinian at 2:10 PM on November 5 [95 favorites]


My reaction is almost complete numbness. Every shooting event sets the same sequence of events into motion.

Felt pretty gross this morning when I saw the headline and decided to keep scrolling without clicking, because at this point we've been through enough of these that I know the first batch of articles won't have much to say beyond the headline and that no solid details will have filled in yet. The savvy news consumer patiently waits to do all of his atrocity reading for the day in one go. Of course, I'm still waiting on that "motive" detail to fill in on the Las Vegas shooting. And also for any evidence that we've even started healing from Columbine yet.

Do you think the NRA films fresh agitprop when they're worried that a specific shooting might spur real action on gun control, or do you think they keep a few in the can and ready to go, give or take a little editing?
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:19 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Only a temporary fix because the people really fixated on having power and control will soon realize the Republican brand is tainted and just start focusing on “realigning” the Democrats and jumping ship if a straight Republican boycott ever reached critical mass, and because the Democratic party is effectively organized as a business, too, that depends on fund raising and is susceptible to financial influence, eventually those who can make it rain consistently will still end up winning the party over given enough time and concerted effort. Not like we haven’t seen such “realignments” before and we’ll see them again.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:20 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


I am cynical enough to wonder if the members of a tiny Baptist church in Texas will still be unwilling to talk about gun control even after this. So far no loss has been shocking enough.
posted by emjaybee at 2:21 PM on November 5 [5 favorites]


Don’t get too mad at the thoughts and prayers folks. A lot of them really just don’t know what to do and feel powerless and the ritual well-wishing is about self soothing and not despairing as much as helping. But bottom line, they wouldn’t do it if the acts themselves didn’t hurt and scare them, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:23 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


Unless I'm missing some (possible with so many mass shootings) the 5 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history have all occurred in the last 10 years. 3 of them in the last 15 months.
posted by Justinian at 2:25 PM on November 5 [35 favorites]


A lot of them really just don’t know what to do and feel powerless and the ritual well-wishing is about self soothing and not despairing as much as helping.

I am angry precisely at those who are the ONLY ones in a position to do something about it and choose thoughts and prayers instead. Like, oh, our entire governing body.
posted by lydhre at 2:28 PM on November 5 [44 favorites]


Only a temporary fix

Don't care. I'll take it.

We can talk about preventative care after the bleeding stops.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:32 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


There was a deadly shooting around the corner late Friday night, less than 24 hours after the stabbing that happened down the block earlier that day. It almost feels like these are just the "normal" crimes now.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:36 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


What are our options for doing something? Anything?

Outlaw the NRA as a terrorist organization.
posted by adept256 at 2:36 PM on November 5 [70 favorites]


Right, "thoughts and prayers" are for those of use who ARE powerless and don't have anything else we can do to help.

If a politician wants to offer thoughts and prayers they should be more along the lines of, "I offer my thoughts and prayers for those affected and pray for the wisdom and dedication to help me find solutions to prevent these sorts of tragedies from happening in the future."
posted by VTX at 2:37 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]




And now that this terrorist lone wolf has been identified as a white male, the news coverage will last for the next couple days and then no one will ever speak of it again.
posted by lalex at 2:46 PM on November 5 [9 favorites]


just gonna go ahead and post this informative chart again.
posted by lalex at 2:48 PM on November 5 [14 favorites]


This must, must, must become part of political debates for higher office.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:48 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


I have a feeling when history of this time is written, mass shootings and the absolute failure of the republic to address them is going to be seen as indicative as the failing state of the union. I don't know why, exactly, but maybe for the wanting to find a narrative that makes sense, even if the narrative is a grim one.
posted by angrycat at 2:50 PM on November 5 [16 favorites]


So, I think we need to start talking about the Gun Violence Epidemic. Naming something an epidemic is a demonstrated way to influence people's feelings. The word epidemic makes it sound like we need to DO something about it. It's a scary word. It implies it's going to get worse unless something happens to stop it.

I actually really hate the hype about the "opiod epidemic" for similar reasons, because it's such a scary term that it encourages legislators to do Anything just to say they did something, and often the things they end up doing (Make the laws tougher!!) aren't the things that are really needed in such a complicated public health issue.

But in this case? We need some fucking panic and alarm bells. We have got to change the conversation away from "tragedy" and "thoughts and prayers." A tragedy sounds inevitable. An epidemic is something you can and must fight.
posted by threeturtles at 2:53 PM on November 5 [14 favorites]


This has been tried, probably most notably by Obama. Nothing will change.
posted by lalex at 2:56 PM on November 5 [6 favorites]


Plenty of us call it an epidemic.

It doesn't matter though.
posted by sio42 at 2:56 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


thoughts and prayers? fuck that, make me a sandwich.
posted by j_curiouser at 2:58 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


just gonna go ahead and post this informative chart again.

There's also this word cloud for how Trump responds to terror attacks if the attacker is white vs non-white. (Incidentally, this chart shows that Trump's mention of "God" was an early confirmation the shooter was white.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:04 PM on November 5 [32 favorites]


I like to imagine what America would be like if every five or six weeks, a bridge collapsed, killing twenty or thirty people, and it were considered fully acceptable for politicians’ responses to boil down to “thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers”
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:10 PM on November 5 [60 favorites]


It didn't take this many deaths to get seatbelts in cars!
posted by sio42 at 3:12 PM on November 5 [21 favorites]


Shooter was Devin Patrick Kelley, 26 years old ex-military.
posted by Justinian at 3:13 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Senator Murphy (D, obviously) has a good statement out that will probably have no impact:
The paralysis you feel right now – the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen – isn’t real. It's a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits. [...]

“None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America. It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.

“As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself – how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents.
posted by lalex at 3:14 PM on November 5 [122 favorites]


To quote myself from the last time: “The body count gets breathlessly splashed all over the place (this is the most important thing right? How many people died? Is it the most ever? The second most?), the shooter gets the in depth coverage and dissection of their psyche their narcissism would have been gratified by, and the victims are largely receded into the background. Congress will continue to sit on it's ass and refuse to implement even the most common-sense gun control legislation and continue to pass on their oh so useful "thoughts and prayers" while accepting NRA and weapons manufacturer money. They don't give a shit about the victims of gun violence. The American public will still refuse to look in the mirror and figure out why the hell we're so angry and violent and frightened by everything, and why so much of our society is powered by raging wounded egos and toxic masculinity. Til the next time. And the next. Same as it ever was.”

I can just reuse this forever.

There’s no magic method for convincing gun rights cultists or the GOP to take this seriously and do something. There’s no messaging or phrasing that will get through to them. There’s no body count too high or victims too tragic. Trying to find the right combination of words or statistics or stories or images is a fools errand.

If you want action on gun control elect Democrats.
posted by supercrayon at 3:15 PM on November 5 [26 favorites]


time in the sandbox, then ptsd, then shitty or no VA treatment? pretty unlikely. /s (purely speculative i know)
posted by j_curiouser at 3:16 PM on November 5


The Daily Beast says his mother in law lived in Sutherland Springs.

Odds are this is an abusive man angry about a woman.

Just like almost all the others.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:19 PM on November 5 [65 favorites]


how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents

Weapons makers are their constituents.
posted by Dr. Send at 3:19 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Prepare your surprised face -- Matthew Miller shared this 2015 tweet from the governor of Texas:
@GregAbbott_TX 28 Oct 2015
I'm EMBARRASSED: Texas #2 in nation for new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA. Let's pick up the pace Texans. @NRA
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:19 PM on November 5 [26 favorites]


If you want, you can sign the Politicize My Death pledge, where you ask your friends and family members to go right ahead and immediately politicize your death if you ever become a victim of gun violence.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:20 PM on November 5 [68 favorites]


Prepare your surprised face -- Matthew Miller shared this 2015 tweet from the governor of Texas

I actually was shocked by that despite having virtually no capacity for surprise anymore.
posted by lalex at 3:27 PM on November 5 [13 favorites]


This is on Fox news right now (emphasis mine). Not fake:
----
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) gave a sad warning in the wake of the gun massacre at a Texas church Sunday morning.

"This is going to happen again," the attorney general predicted.

A man walked into the 11:30 service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and started firing, killing at least 25 people including children and injuring over a dozen more.

Paxton added that churches, places of business and schools should have policies addressing the possibility of a shooter so they can protect their communities.

"I wish some law would fix all of this," he said.

"All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have conceal carry," he explained. "And so ... there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people."

posted by eyesontheroad at 3:28 PM on November 5 [32 favorites]


Odds are this is an abusive man angry about a woman.

Samantha bee covered this on her last show, that domestic violence is a common denominator in mass shooters.

...and a boy scout was kicked out of his den for pointing this out to a state rep. She gave him a Thunder Cub patch!
posted by adept256 at 3:30 PM on November 5 [36 favorites]


I would honestly be surprised if nobody in that church in Sutherland Springs, Texas was carrying a gun.
posted by maggiemaggie at 3:30 PM on November 5 [8 favorites]


Jesus Christ. These people...they don’t share our reality.

They have no self-awareness. It’s as though their belief in something makes it so. They don’t care about evidence, or logic. They create their reality based on how it feels to them.

It’s not cynicism anymore. It’s not people in power spinning bullshit while the NRA pays them off. The NRA doesn’t have to do that anymore, because they’re all true believers in a shared fucking delusion.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:32 PM on November 5 [32 favorites]


We had three mass shootings around the country yesterday. Three. You didn't hear about them because the victim numbers weren't high enough. I doubt Paul Ryan bothered to send out his thoughts and prayers. Maybe in a few years any number under 50 will fly under the radar.

People keep asking, "What can we do"? First we have to vote for people who promise to do something other than shrug their shoulders or lay the blame on evil. Then we have to hold them accountable. We also have to be brave and challenge the notion that everyone is entitled to as many guns as they want. We have to define "arms" and "well regulated militia " in a way that makes sense. No more semi-automatics, I don't care how fun they are. Strict background checks for domestic violence including girlfriends and violence to other women. We should look into limiting ammunition. And by the way it's not too late to prohibit bump stock.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:36 PM on November 5 [19 favorites]


The talking heads on MSNBC were chatting matter-of-factly earlier about how places of worship really need serious security systems.

Or maybe we should all just wear kevlar everywhere we go.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:37 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


According to a witness (with the usual caveats about witness accuracy) it lasted 15 seconds. 27 people, 15 seconds. For all the rightwing idiots who snark about banning knives or cars, show me the knives that can kill that quick, or the car you can carry into a location.
posted by chris24 at 3:39 PM on November 5 [67 favorites]


The talking heads on MSNBC were chatting matter-of-factly earlier about how places of worship really need serious security systems.

That's stupid. If churches had serious security systems shooters would hit movie theaters. If movie theaters then upgraded security they would hit grocery stores. And so on. You harden places which are intrinsically targets like military bases, high level governmental buildings, prisons, and so on. You can't do that with places which are targets of opportunity because the asshole loser murderers will simply pick a different target.
posted by Justinian at 3:40 PM on November 5 [27 favorites]


I've been wracking my brain and having very frustrating conversations with conservative friends on FB and in person trying to get them out of the conservative news bubble. I haven't made any progress. I'm doubtful anyone can make any significant progress.

So I wonder if this might be a good alternative: install ad-blocker on their browsers, or recommend it to them. I like uBlock Origin (Chrome). You can do it under the guise of security or improving their browsing experience. But Breitbart et al make a lot of their money through advertising and I'm sure they would be frustrated by an army of dingbats reading their garbage without ever seeing an ad.

I'm wondering if any of the TV commercial muting devices out there actually work...
posted by cman at 3:42 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


"All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have conceal carry," he explained. "And so ... there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people."
“With any luck, someone else will murder him before he can murder more people.”

OR:

“That’s the brilliant part of the plan! When winter rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.”
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:53 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]




From Politico:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sustained five fractured ribs after he was assaulted by a neighbor at his Bowling Green home on Friday, a top adviser said Sunday — and it’s unclear when the senator will be able to return to Washington for work.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:58 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sustained five fractured ribs after he was assaulted by a neighbor at his Bowling Green home on Friday, a top adviser said Sunday — and it’s unclear when the senator will be able to return to Washington for work.

Oh and on this, the nutjob right is using the fact that the neighbor who attacked him is registered as a Democrat as the latest evidence that the left are the truly violent ones.
posted by chris24 at 4:01 PM on November 5 [8 favorites]


Oh and on this, the nutjob right is using the fact that the neighbor who attacked him is registered as a Democrat as the latest evidence that the left are the truly violent ones.

When someone points to liberals and claims "violence", I respond, "Go read the wikipedia article on strawmen"
posted by mikelieman at 4:04 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


"All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have conceal carry," he explained. "And so ... there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people."

Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME.

One of the neighbors was armed and shot back.

This dude killed 27 people in fifteen fucking seconds. Even in this scenario where there was a "good guy with a gun" who managed to shoot the guy and drive him off, it didn't matter a bloody bit because he'd already mowed down 27 people. What the fuck is wrong with these people? I use the term gun rights cultists again because there is no other explanation for the collective mass delusion and utter detachment from reality that they all seem to be suffering from.
posted by supercrayon at 4:05 PM on November 5 [111 favorites]


On another subject, since we talked about the Saudi Arabia purge previously, a helicopter crashed, killing Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the son of a former crown prince. The Lebanese Prime Minister suddenly resigned from Riyadh, an unusual choice of location for such an event. And a Houthi missile was launched into Saudi Arabia from Yemen.

David Hearst's take is interesting, though speculative, and at the end, he brings it round to US politics:
Would all this have happened without another green light from Trump? He tweeted yesterday that he "would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange, important to the United States!” Trump also called King Salman, congratulating him for everything he did since coming to power. The moves follow Jared Kushner’s third visit to the kingdom this year.

If it was not apparent to one and all, it surely must be now. The capital of insecurity in the Middle East is Riyadh, and moves by a 32-year old prince to acquire absolute power are capable of destabilising neighbouring countries and removing their prime ministers. Worse, this prince appears to be encouraged by a US president who does not know what he is doing
posted by zachlipton at 4:06 PM on November 5 [31 favorites]


Everything about that story is weird, especially the complete lack of reporting (that I’ve seen) about motive.

And everything is an opportunity to attack the other tribe.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:06 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


Oh and on this, the nutjob right is using the fact that the neighbor who attacked him is registered as a Democrat as the latest evidence that the left are the truly violent ones.

What about, "now is not the time to politicize the assault on Sen. Ryan"?
posted by thelonius at 4:07 PM on November 5 [14 favorites]


When a big problem happens at work, say a crane accident, we intentionally go through a few phases. First is all stop. We don't know what happened, and until we do we don't want another one. The presumption is all crane work is stopped and anyone who thinks they're different has an uphill climb to get exempted from the moratorium. Pretty quickly, we come up with what we call "bridging actions" - ok, it's super expensive to make everyone wait. Maybe you can use a crane during the investigation WITH a senior manager onsite, who will grill the shit out of you the whole time and shut you down if you blink too hard. We are not back to normal until we figure out what happened, why, and develop some long-term corrective actions, and some temporary ones to cover the gap while we put the long-term ones in place.

So it's odd to me that we can't just start right out with, All Stop: Guns not permitted in public places. Period. Apply for exceptions at the police station. Exceptions must include a justification (Australia style) and risk mitigation proposal.

That's the starting negotiation position. Want to lift the restriction? Better come to the table with something meaningful. You tell me how this isn't going to happen again.
posted by ctmf at 4:12 PM on November 5 [69 favorites]


Everything about that story is weird, especially the complete lack of reporting (that I’ve seen) about motive.

And everything is an opportunity to attack the other tribe.


schadenfrau, the crazy thing about your comment is it could easily be about any the of topics discussed in the past twenty minutes in this thread--the shooting in Texas, Rand Paul's neighborhood, or the situation in Saudi Arabia.
posted by chaoticgood at 4:12 PM on November 5 [45 favorites]


Boston Globe: 309 days, 307 mass shootings

The occasional horrific civilian massacre is just the price the rest of us have to pay. Over and over, again apparently.


For the love of God, 307 mass shootings in 309 days isn't fucking occasional. It's two shootings away from DAILY.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:17 PM on November 5 [20 favorites]


Perhaps this guy's militia just wasn't well regulated enough.
posted by petebest at 4:18 PM on November 5 [22 favorites]


One of the neighbors was armed and shot back.

This dude killed 27 people in fifteen fucking seconds. Even in this scenario where there was a "good guy with a gun" who managed to shoot the guy and drive him off, it didn't matter a bloody bit because he'd already mowed down 27 people.


But you know the prevailing narrative is going to be "brave hero neighbor stopped it from being even worse, and fuck yeah everybody should be packing everywhere all the time."
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:20 PM on November 5 [12 favorites]


It's incredible that, statistically, the US has mass shootings on a more frequent basis than Canada has auto accidents involving moose.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:22 PM on November 5 [13 favorites]


Seems like the lesson here would be guns in church are bad, not carry more guns in church.
posted by triage_lazarus at 4:29 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


If it was not apparent to one and all, it surely must be now. The capital of insecurity in the Middle East is Riyadh, and moves by a 32-year old prince to acquire absolute power are capable of destabilising neighbouring countries and removing their prime ministers. Worse, this prince appears to be encouraged by a US president who does not know what he is doing

I can hazard a guess as to what Trump and Kushner are encouraging, too - just like Trump wanted China to be the one responsible for the North Korea problem, he probably wants Saudi Arabia to be responsible for Middle East problems. Basically encouraging them to build up strength to dominate their whole backyard because then Trump can wash his hands of the whole thing, he's never met a responsibility he couldn't shirk. And it's probably a worldview encouraged in Trump by Putin, who is really really on board with the whole regional hegemony thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:38 PM on November 5 [5 favorites]


From Axios:
In late June, President Trump hosted a group of Native American tribal leaders at the White House and urged them to "just do it" and extract whatever they want from the land they control.

The exchange turned out to be an unusually vivid window into the almost kingly power that Trump sees himself as holding, and which he has begun describing with increasing bluntness. The scene was recounted by a source in the room and confirmed by another. The White House didn't dispute the story.

The chiefs explained to Trump that there were regulatory barriers preventing them from getting at their energy. Trump replied: "But now it's me. The government's different now. Obama's gone; and we're doing things differently here."

"So what I'm saying is, just do it."

There was a pause in the room and the tribal leaders looked at each other.

"Chief, chief," Trump continued, addressing one of the tribal leaders, "what are they going to do? Once you get it out of the ground are they going to make you put it back in there? I mean, once it's out of the ground it can't go back in there. You've just got to do it. I'm telling you, chief, you've just got to do it."

The tribal leader looked back at one of the White House officials in the room — perhaps somebody from the White House Counsel's office — and he said "can we just do that?" The official equivocated, saying the administration is making progress and has a plan to roll back various regulations.
(A second source in the room claims this was just Trump being Trump and he wasn't really telling them to break federal law.)

Much as I appreciate a surprisingly strong view of Native sovereignty that Trump isn't entirely espousing here, that he is saying "now it's me" so forget about all that pesky law stuff Obama had and go ahead and do whatever you want is disturbing as hell.
posted by zachlipton at 4:38 PM on November 5 [123 favorites]


Re the assault on Rand Paul and the church shooting: What are we going to do about all the white on white violence? Not even our elected representatives are safe from white American violence, nor are white people who are currently praying at a church (I guess they weren't thinking, you need both). What's that you say, it's just called gun violence when white people do it? Cuz the guns just go crazy sometimes?

Everything is just, ugh. Now excuse me while I go to a celebration of life. Seriously.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 4:46 PM on November 5 [28 favorites]


Much as I appreciate a surprisingly strong view of Native sovereignty that Trump isn't entirely espousing here, that he is saying "now it's me" so forget about all that pesky law stuff Obama had and go ahead and do whatever you want is disturbing as hell.

It feels like a setup, honestly. Like I would expect him to wait until they take the bait and start extracting resources and then turn around and use it to justify some horrible land grab to give those resources to his cronies.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:46 PM on November 5 [20 favorites]


Zach, we saw this very early on when he apparently thought executive orders were edicts. As in, he thought he could just write laws and sign them and that was it. It's those treasonous judges that hold him back.
posted by adept256 at 4:47 PM on November 5 [11 favorites]


But you know the prevailing narrative is going to be "brave hero neighbor stopped it from being even worse, and fuck yeah everybody should be packing everywhere all the time."

Yep. The gun crowd are saying that a) he had the gun illegally (because he was dishonorably discharged) therefore no gun laws would help b) he was shot by a good citizen with a gun and c) he was an atheist and antifa-- so completely not their tribe! No sirreee, he might be a white man but has nothing to do with the gun lovers-- well except he seemed quite proud of his rifle and had pictures of it on Facebook.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:50 PM on November 5


he was an atheist and antifa-- so completely not their tribe

Is this sourced, or is it just channers and Russian trolls making shit up to get us to kill each other again?
posted by schadenfrau at 4:56 PM on November 5 [6 favorites]


Sorry if this is asked and answered, but - are the victims black or white?
posted by yhbc at 4:56 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


The church is predominantly white.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:00 PM on November 5


Mike Cernovich had an early tweet suggesting that the shooting was an antifa terrorist attack.
posted by lalex at 5:02 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Is this sourced, or is it just channers and Russian trolls making shit up to get us to kill each other again?

There are (no doubt photoshopped) pictures and a couple of links that I did not want to click on. Just go to the Devin Patrick Kelley twitter feed. It's all over the place. One big "proof" is he was all dressed in black.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:02 PM on November 5


Was it a fascist church? I mean, the antifa thing doesn't even make any sense. It's cargo-cult argument, they don't even know what words mean, they're just putting them together however the fuck.
posted by ctmf at 5:04 PM on November 5 [10 favorites]


It's going to be a day or two before details are known. Can we please not be like all the people and places we criticize for jumping to conclusions and meaningless speculation? Nothing we say right now is going to have a bit of effect. We can wait a while before dealing with the race of the church goers and the religion of the shooter and the like.
posted by Candleman at 5:05 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


And I mean, Kevlar comes in black.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:05 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]




I cannot even comprehend how much of a fucker you have to be to hear news of a shooting and immediately run to fake a Facebook page to fool people into thinking the perpetrator is one of your enemies.
posted by corb at 5:09 PM on November 5 [96 favorites]


I think they’ve won the war on reality.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:09 PM on November 5 [6 favorites]


Wow, we really need regulations on social media pronto because in my opinion that deserves some legal penalty.
posted by adept256 at 5:13 PM on November 5 [27 favorites]


I believe the minister, at least, is white.

And the"he had it illegally" argument has always been weaksauce. The fact that people break laws has never been a convincing reason not to have them. Certainly it cuts no ice when women point to the fact that abortion happens whether it's legal or not.
posted by emjaybee at 5:17 PM on November 5 [15 favorites]


Mike C is not a reliable source of information, I can't believe I need to point this out. And dressing in black isn't fucking antifa you damn fools. AND NEITHER IS SHOOTING UP A CHURCH. what the goddamn fuck y'all.
posted by odinsdream at 5:18 PM on November 5 [9 favorites]


I cannot even comprehend how much of a fucker you have to be to hear news of a shooting and immediately run to fake a Facebook page to fool people into thinking the perpetrator is one of your enemies.

Republicans don't even need the Russian GRU now, when they're perpetrating the information war against democracy themselves.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:21 PM on November 5 [13 favorites]


According to a quick Googly search, Newsweek reported that far right media are reporting the antifa angle, as, you know, the left was supposed to start the civil war this weekend.

I'm not giving them clicks, and it sure sounds ludicrous from here.
posted by allthinky at 5:31 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


Republicans don't even need the Russian GRU now, when they're perpetrating the information war against democracy themselves.

Well, we pick on Russia because it's actionable, but actually these fuckers have been at it way, way longer.
posted by Artw at 5:33 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


I said this on Facebook when someone wondered if Republican lawmakers getting shot would influence them at all. (The answer, of course, is no).

The problem with the left is they see shootings as a simple problem with guns and the availability thereof, so if you make guns harder to get or impossible to get, shootings will go down or disappear. (I'm not saying this is incorrect).

The right, as evidenced over and over again, believes mass shootings are a symptom of a sick society that's turned away from god and religion, which is why the first response is always "thoughts and prayers!!!!" And you can't stop the vengeance of a scorned god. You can only rechannel it.

This is why hurricanes hitting Florida is god being mad about gays at Disney World and why a shooting even in a church won't make much of a difference. (And also why a hurricane plowing into a super religious state is just hurricanes happening, man). In their world view (or the world view they're paid to endorse by the National Rifle Association, same difference), you have to solve the societal problem and then the mass shootings will go away and the rest is static in the signal. This of course defies logic but you're not arguing with logic, you're arguing with conviction. It's why banning abortion is fine (kills innocent babies) but also not supporting welfare is fine (because if those people were religious as they should be then their communities would take care of them and if their communities won't take care of them, that says something about them).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:34 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Unconvinced they actually see it as a problem at all. They like things this way.
posted by Artw at 5:36 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


Google's integration with Twitter is serving to directly channel nonsense about the shooter into Google search results.
posted by zachlipton at 5:41 PM on November 5 [22 favorites]


The nutjob right has been tweeting how the Antifa revolution didn't happen Saturday because they were too scared to show. No really.
posted by chris24 at 5:43 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Rawstory on Paul Ryan being lambasted on Twitter for saying the community 'needs our prayers', because (ノ°Д°)ノ︵ ┻━┻
posted by fragmede at 5:47 PM on November 5 [10 favorites]


"All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have conceal carry," he explained. "And so ... there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people."

I read this as Ken Paxton saying that concealed carry increases the chances of a future gunman getting killed in a different mass shooting, thus only one mass shooting occurs where there would otherwise be two. Who knows how many future mass shooters are currently being taken out by all of these recent mass shootings? At least there's that to be thankful for.
posted by Dr. Send at 5:48 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the Buzzfeed link, Orange Swan, I'm spreading it around.

Of course I didn't believe the antifa connection for a second. Antifa has become an all purpose boogie man for the Right to beat up on so they can pretend a guy who is anti-fascist would go into a church and just shoot people in cold blood. Which makes zero sense. They used to pretend it was all BLM but this guy most definitely was not Black so that would have been a stretch.

The instagram picture of his semi-automatic labeled "she's a bad bitch" was what made me figure he was probably more NRA than antifa. Do you think he knew it was illegal to own? I only ask because on the most recent Full Frontal Sam Bee said that 99% of the judges failed to inform convicted domestic violence felons that it was illegal for them to buy firearms.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:49 PM on November 5


The nutjob right has been tweeting how the Antifa revolution didn't happen Saturday because they were too scared to show.

Every time it seems bizarre that they paint their enemies as both murderous all-powerful Red terrors and weak little low-T betas, remember Eco's Eighth Feature of Ur-Fascism:

Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:54 PM on November 5 [39 favorites]


Obama on twitter: We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we’ll stand with the survivors as they recover... May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.
posted by supercrayon at 6:07 PM on November 5 [36 favorites]


Ron Howard voiceover: "He won't grant that."
posted by emelenjr at 6:08 PM on November 5 [14 favorites]


Obama singing Amazing Grace at Charleston two years ago. Just, in case you need a president right now.
posted by adept256 at 6:13 PM on November 5 [22 favorites]


"All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have conceal carry," he explained. "And so ... there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people."

It's funny; having armed civilians around didn't prevent anyone from getting shot in a Denver Walmart last week. In fact, it made the perpetrator harder to identify.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:21 PM on November 5 [42 favorites]


Mueller orders Manafort to hand over more financial info before he’ll grant bail (Reuters/Raw Story)
Special Counsel Robert Mueller pushed back on Sunday against Paul Manafort’s efforts to avoid house arrest, arguing that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager needed to further detail the finances behind his proposed $12 million bail agreement.

In a court memorandum, Mueller and his attorneys argued that the court should only agree to a bail agreement if Manafort fully explains his finances to the court. Prosecutors said his team had not been able to substantiate the value of one of the three properties, as well as several life insurance policies, Manafort wants to pledge for bail.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:26 PM on November 5 [22 favorites]


May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.

God, if He exists, seems to have other priorities
posted by thelonius at 6:35 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


You've just got to do it. I'm telling you, chief, you've just got to do it."

This is Trump's typical sociopathy. No different from "and when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."

Of course the problem isn't just that there's a monster named Donald Trump as it is that he sits in the White House to the enthusiastic support of millions who seem permanently blinded to the existential threat he poses to democracy.
posted by xigxag at 6:49 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


It’s a real fucking battle who’s stupider, Trump or his voters.

@markknoller:
Pres Trump asks Japanese auto makers if they could build their cars in the US and not just ship them over.
posted by chris24 at 6:56 PM on November 5 [62 favorites]


So I'm seeing reliable reports on Twitter that the Texas gunman spent a year in confinement and was dishonorably discharged from the army for assaulting his wife and child. His mother-in-law's mailing address is a PO Box in Sutherland Springs. I'm getting a sinking feeling that this is going to turn out to be a domestic violence situation. And that's a form of terrorism, too.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:56 PM on November 5 [40 favorites]


It’s a real fucking battle who’s stupider, Trump or his voters.

Clearly his voters.

OBI-WAN: Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?
posted by Justinian at 6:57 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


Since Japanese auto makers already build most of their cars in the US, maybe they can just announce "we built a brand new manufacturing plant in city X to employ lots of Americans," point to a picture of their 30-year-old plant there, and figure Trump won't notice.
posted by zachlipton at 7:03 PM on November 5 [50 favorites]


@mattdpearce: Texas gunman was court-martialed, confined 12 months and kicked out of USAF for assaulting his wife and their child, our DC bureau reports.

Yet another damn example of a mass murderer with a history of domestic violence.
posted by zachlipton at 7:07 PM on November 5 [47 favorites]


@tomperriello:
Dems, I'm amazed how much higher Dem energy is in red VA areas where we have candidates down-ballot. Contest every office, every zip code!
posted by chris24 at 7:09 PM on November 5 [35 favorites]


So I'm seeing reliable reports on Twitter that the Texas gunman spent a year in confinement and was dishonorably discharged from the army for assaulting his wife and child.
This is my surprised face. -__-
posted by xyzzy at 7:09 PM on November 5 [6 favorites]


Manafort seems like such an obvious flight risk to me, I can't believe they're considering bail for him at all. Like the U.S. properties he's offering would be any use to him anyway after he fucks off to Moscow.
posted by rifflesby at 7:10 PM on November 5 [12 favorites]


domestic violence conviction registry, mandatory element of background check - even at gun shows, YUUUUGE penalties for sellers - legit or black-market. like significant minimum sentencing. more than, say my friend mark, who got popped with a baggie of ditch weed in 1995. five years? yeah. seems right.
posted by j_curiouser at 7:12 PM on November 5 [10 favorites]


Donald Trump, the man who thinks that "visa lottery" is akin to a scratch-off ticket, the man who thinks that "clean coal" means they wash it after they dig it out of the ground, doesn't understand that Japanese car makers have factories in the US? I'm afraid I just can't bring myself to even act surprised.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:14 PM on November 5 [11 favorites]


Oh for fuck's sake. He wasn't dishonorably discharged. He had a bad conduct discharge,:
Kelley was discharged from the Air Force in 2014, according to Defense Department records. Kelley was court-martialed in November 2012 for assaulting his wife and their child. A judge sentenced him with a bad-conduct discharge, 12 months confinement, and two reductions in rank to basic airman, according to an appeals court decision in 2013 that affirmed the decision against Kelley.
Apparently, if you're dishonorably discharged, you can't buy a gun, but with a bad conduct discharge, you can. Even if you spent a year in jail for domestic violence. What kind of bullshit is that?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:15 PM on November 5 [82 favorites]


domestic violence conviction registry, mandatory element of background check - even at gun shows, YUUUUGE penalties for sellers

Mandatory liability insurance for owners and mandatory sentencing doubled if a crime committed uninsured. Designing effective gun control laws is easy. Breaking the Republican gun lobby is the problem.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:16 PM on November 5 [30 favorites]


Lexington Herald-Leader:
Gov. Matt Bevin, making his first public comments on a sexual harassment scandal that has rocked the state House of Representatives, called Saturday for “the immediate resignation of every individual who has settled a sexual harassment case, who is a party to trying to hide this type of behavior.”

Bevin made the public statement after Republican Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond had called Saturday for the resignation of Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, accusing him and party leaders of concealing sexual harassment allegations against Hoover and three other Republican legislators.

Also Saturday afternoon, other members of House leadership announced that they are launching an independent investigation of the allegations.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:19 PM on November 5 [26 favorites]


Every time it seems bizarre that they paint their enemies as both murderous all-powerful Red terrors and weak little low-T betas, remember Eco's Eighth Feature of Ur-Fascism:

I spent this evening with friends, first in a local cinema watching The Death of Stalin (which is as good as people say) and then in a pub talking through what we'd just seen. One of our number related an essay she'd read - and if anyone can identify it, please do - which pinned much of our current politics on the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent disappearance of the Obvious Enemy.

The right wing (this essay said) was entirely based on fighting the enemy. The left wing could point to how it would benefit people in concrete ways - better education, justice, health, etc - but the right was all about protecting you from the hostile other. Once Communism wasn't a thing, the right had nothing. None of its ideas actually benefited the mass of its constituents. And so, it had to create enemies to motivate its base, which meant demonising domestic factors - reproductive rights, feminism, racial equality and so on. While there was an obvious external enemy, it was possible to have a degree of bipartisan politics because left and right could agree bad things about the obvious other and work towards strengthening ideas and ideals that countered those. Once the enemy was internal, that fell apart.

Which is why, I think, the enemies the right identify are simultaneously too strong and too weak : they don't exist, and thus can morph to fit the argument of the hour. The enemies of the left - poverty, sickness, ignorance, despair, inequality, injustice - can too easily be traduced to bolster any of the virtual monsters that the right conjure up. Bipartisanship is impossible when basic concepts are torn apart like this. It's not that great an idea, but it's a decent enough canary.

To fix this? My dream is a return to a clear and fundamental identification of the true enemies of progress, a restatement of the things that our energy and intellect should be engaged in defeating, and a stark narrative of how that will make people's lives better. Enemies are useful, but the great enemy of our 20th century went away and the right realised this quicker than we did. Which is why they're getting away with murder. Yet we won't do ourselves much of a service if we decide that our own internal enemies are this or that class, a particular slice of voters or 'X is in the tank for 45, we must hate them for it'.
posted by Devonian at 7:21 PM on November 5 [42 favorites]


Oh, sorry, also meant to include this story from Politico:
Six women who work in Florida’s Capitol say the state Senate’s powerful budget chairman, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Latvala, has inappropriately touched them without their consent or uttered demeaning remarks about their bodies.
From the story, he sounds like a real charmer.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:21 PM on November 5 [9 favorites]


Apparently, if you're dishonorably discharged, you can't buy a gun, but with a bad conduct discharge, you can. Even if you spent a year in jail for domestic violence. What kind of bullshit is that?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious


epony-horrible
posted by j_curiouser at 7:23 PM on November 5 [6 favorites]


Mega thread: The Republican tax bill looks like it was written by Donald Trump’s accountants and tax lawyers, and I’m not even joking.

tl;dr: Trump-org is all passthroughs, carveouts for real estate developers for SALT deduction and like kind exchanges, and obviously the estate repeal. Trump would save billions.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:28 PM on November 5 [41 favorites]


it had to create enemies to motivate its base, which meant demonising domestic factors - reproductive rights, feminism, racial equality and so on.

yes. the war on drugs black people. iran-contra. cia in nicaragua.

i used to fly a lot and read dumb spy thrillers. even shitty novelists didn't know where to turn after the berlin wall fell. tom clancy turned TWOD into a massive military/cia joint venture. so did reagan.
posted by j_curiouser at 7:32 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


The Illinois statehouse is also having a meltdown over sexual harassment. Several of the women who've stepped forward and named names have done so at considerable professional risk.

One of the key points from the Illinois allegations has been that an inordinate amount of harassment is suffered by lobbyists. While staffers and colleagues receive some harassment from male legislators, they really go after female lobbyists, who need to stay on legislators' good sides to get their bills passed and who can have their careers tanked by one powerful legislator blackballing them. Some of the women who have come forward with stories of harassment have been lobbyists for the Sierra Club, for foster children, for crime victims, and -- by far the most appalling -- a woman who founded a "Mothers against Sexual Violence against Children" (not its name, I forget the actual name) group after her 11-year-old daughter was raped and was lobbying for changes to the law that would make giving a child alcohol (and then raping her) an aggravating factor, and to provide better legal support for child victims, and the member sponsoring her bill took it on after finding out she was a single mother, constantly texted her late at night with sex talk, and threatened to drop her bill when she asked him to stop. HE SEXUALLY HARASSED A WOMAN TRYING TO PASS LAWS TO PROTECT CHILD RAPE VICTIMS. His initial response was that she was probably only making accusations because she was mad her bill hadn't passed yet. Then she brought receipts and released the harassing messages, hundreds of them. (He has lost his leadership role in the caucus and is being pressed to resign, although he's so damn sure he did nothing wrong it may take lawsuits before he'll quit.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:42 PM on November 5 [111 favorites]


Tierney Sneed points out what's missing in the Papadopoulos filings: he's messaging various people he thinks are part of the Russian government all the time, but the timeline we have so far stops cold on July 22, 2016, the day Wikileaks published the stolen DNC emails. That doesn't seem like a coincidence. So the question is what does Mueller know about what Papadopoulos said and did after the emails came out? And how much cake will we all be eating when we find out.
posted by zachlipton at 7:51 PM on November 5 [34 favorites]


"The right wing (this essay said) was entirely based on fighting the enemy."
Humanity is almost entirely based on fighting "the enemy". We're almost hardwired for it. We define ourselves as much by what we are not just as much as we define ourselves by what we are.

We aspire to be 'better' - but better than what?

We 'other' incessantly. If we don't actually have an 'enemy' to define ourselves against, we create one. At best, we dream of 'devils', 'demons', 'aliens', or even some past aspect of ourselves as enemies in order to create our current definition; at worst, we point at 'them', 'those people', or manufacture some group of "not-us-es" to play the part.

And when we pat ourselves on the back for not doing that, we fail to realise that what we're actually doing is settling down to inhabit a broad land between those two extremes. A land where, on the one hand, we create artificial structures to do some of our dirty work for us - and, on the other hand, be our convenient enemies that we can aspire to tear down if necessary. Political parties. Corporations.

Community websites…
posted by Pinback at 7:54 PM on November 5 [8 favorites]


I can't recall if I found this in one of these threads or not, can't recall, but what the hell:
Robert Mueller jack-o-lantern keeps eye on Paul Manafort's NYC townhouse
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:55 PM on November 5 [5 favorites]


Holy shitballs, Eyebrows. I clicked your link, scanned a bit, found the first few actual quotations from this chode and literally made a D:< face and reflexively hit the X on the tab.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:57 PM on November 5


"I clicked your link, scanned a bit, found the first few actual quotations from this chode and literally made a D:< face and reflexively hit the X on the tab."

Yeah, I picked a summary link but if you dig into it and read the released sext messages, it's way worse. And I really admire the lobbyist for coming forward, naming names, releasing the messages, and testifying in front of the legislature, since she is presently running for office and the messages don't paint her in the best light (she's trying to politely accept/turn aside his come-ons while not pissing him off so he doesn't drop her bill, it's painfully familiar to many women, but it's not a great look for a candidate for office and she will be attacked). Speaking out may very well tank her run for office, and damage her career as a lobbyist. She's been very brave and very straightforward and honest, and faced some pretty intense questioning about the text conversations very calmly. I really admire her for speaking up and standing for other women who may not be able to speak out, particularly as she may face very significant professional consequences for it.

(If it matters, the harassing legislator is a Democrat; the lobbyist is running as a Republican -- in a different part of the state, they're not in direct competition. The guy who holds the seat she's running for is someone I think is a pretty good guy (you may remember him as one of the first openly gay Illinois statehouse members, who proposed to his boyfriend at the Illinois marriage equality bill afterparty!) and has been supportive of the women coming forward so far, so I'm hoping his campaign doesn't pull any bullshit because I really need to believe there are politicians out there doing the right thing.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:16 PM on November 5 [22 favorites]


I cannot even comprehend how much of a fucker you have to be to hear news of a shooting and immediately run to fake a Facebook page to fool people into thinking the perpetrator is one of your enemies.

this is the new normal, and it's been progressing to this ever since the end of the Fairness Doctrine. it's shitty, but not surprising in the least. remember when Chris Kobach said that we'll never know if Hillary Clinton won the popular vote? It's all of a piece. It's coming from the Trump administration, from Fox News, from Silicon Valley, and now from Russian state-sponsored troll farms.

that Vox article about "America's epistemic crisis" raised a serious issue. It's not going to go away even if the Mueller investigation ends with impeachment and removal from office. Everyone now has the option of believing whatever version of reality they find most comforting.

I don't know what fixes this. You can't have a functioning democracy when the voters can't agree on the basic facts of reality. Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would help, but I don't know if that has a chance in hell. An end to partisan gerrymandering would also help.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 8:33 PM on November 5 [54 favorites]


One big "proof" is he was all dressed in black.

Like all the hard-right neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, in the same tactical gear in fact.

Is there even a single example of an Antifa type assaulting anyone who is not a far-right rally brawler (like members of the National Socialist Movement or the Proud Boys)? I'm unaware of any.

I think this is a useful question to pose to anyone who raises the Antifa spectre, because there are scores of people killed, and hundreds injured by hard right extremists, plus dozens of bombs and failed bomb plots. 2 killed in Portland, the army lieutenant stabbed in Maryland, 3 shot and one killed in Olathe, Kansas, Lane Davis in Samish WA killing his dad, the Comet Pizza shooter, the pipe bomb left at the Asheville airport a month ago, the AtomWaffen killings and failed bomb plot, etc. etc.
posted by msalt at 8:51 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


The only sources for the MSNBC story are anonymous ones "familiar with the investigation", so this may or may not mean another round of Monday morning indictments.

I want "Mueller Mondays" to become a thing, with new indictments or plea deals every week. The Friday evening news dump is about avoiding news coverage; Mueller does better with the opposite, driving the week's news coverage by seizing it before noon at the start of every work week.
posted by msalt at 8:55 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]




He... just dumped the whole box in? I mean... wut? why?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:01 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


Dear Japan:

We're so sorry our idjit of a president killed your nice fish.

Your friend,
US of A
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:05 PM on November 5 [17 favorites]


VA gov update: Emerson poll has Northam up 49-46. RCP average is Northam +2.0.

Decision Desk rates the race Tossup.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:12 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


I hope the fish are okay... Poor little fish. :(
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 9:14 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


John Lurie:
  Replying to @realDonaldTrump
  Ask Japanese leaders what they do about gun violence.
posted by gwint at 9:18 PM on November 5 [13 favorites]


The pool report says: "The two leaders then leaned out and began throwing spoonfuls of the food into the water, before eventually turning over the bowls and dumping the rest out."

I do have a photo of the fish food dumping (and a quad-pack of photos), though I really want video. Everyone looks quite surprised at his decision to just toss it in there.

If the pool report is accurate, how did this work exactly? Did Trump dump the whole box in and then Abe figured he had to do it too in order to be polite? I have to know.
posted by zachlipton at 9:23 PM on November 5 [7 favorites]


Everyone looks quite surprised at his decision to just toss it in there.

You can see Tillerson in the background thinking, "what a fucking moron."
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:27 PM on November 5 [8 favorites]


The more I hear about Weinstein and Ratner and Spacey these last few days, the angrier it makes me that the many, many credible accusations against Trump were so handily dismissed and buried. As much as it warms my heart to see brave women and men stand up and speak out and bring down their abusers, we all have to go to bed every night and wake up every morning knowing that America made one of the worst abusers, one of the very worst of all of us, the goddamn President. Our fucking President. And they have to see his smug shitty face and hear his sneery shitty voice every goddamn day. Imagine how that feels to the women (and probably men too) that he's abused and assaulted and in many cases bragged about later, that they have to live in a country where other abusers are being taken down every day, right now, but theirs is in the goddamn White House and, all of the terrible things he's said and done to them, and then about them, none of it matters enough to bring him down.

If I could write the script for 2018, I'd write Trump out of office in humiliation and disgrace, but not because of treason or collusion or money laundering. I'd save all that evidence of course and use it to tar everyone even remotely related to this administration, but Trump? I want to see him taken down by Ninni Laaksonen, and Jessica Drake, and Karena Virginia, and Cathy Heller, and Summer Zervos, and the dozen other women that he's groped and assaulted and humiliated and then called liars, and had his attorneys call them liars, and sent fucking Sarah Huckabee Sanders to stand out in front of the WH Press Corps to call them liars. Those women deserve the same justice and vindication that the victims of all these other powerful men are getting right now, they deserve it just as much if not more so, and I'm afraid they're probably never going to get it, and I can't imagine anything more heartbreaking and frustrating for them.

I don't want to see Trump taken down as a treasonous conspirator anymore, or as a lying politician, or as a failed businessman, even though he is all of those things. I want to see him dragged down and disgraced as just another rich old white man who thought his name and his money meant he could get away with sexual assault, but who got rudely disabused of that notion because it's goddamn fucking 2017 and we are heartily fucking sick. and. tired. of. that. shit.

posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 9:28 PM on November 5 [124 favorites]


I think this is a useful question to pose to anyone who raises the Antifa spectre, because there are scores of people killed, and hundreds injured by hard right extremists, plus dozens of bombs and failed bomb plots.

White American men are a bigger domestic terrorist threat than Muslim foreigners

The link includes a chart breaking down domestic terror incidents by type (right wing/islamist/left wing.) You will never guess who commits most of the acts by far.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:32 PM on November 5 [50 favorites]


I like to imagine what America would be like if every five or six weeks, a bridge collapsed, killing twenty or thirty people, and it were considered fully acceptable for politicians’ responses to boil down to “thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers”

I'm pretty sure this is coming
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:43 PM on November 5 [41 favorites]


Now here's an interesting factoid: Out of the 16 closest House races in 2016, three of them didn't have any money spent by the DCCC, the NRCC, or any of the big superPACs. Nobody really knows what the tight races will be, I guess.

Probably worthwhile if the DCCC game like $2K to EVERY campaign, and then targeted for the rest of the money.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:50 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


If it's any consolation to folks, dumping a handful of koi food into a pond won't harm them. They'll just be less hungry for a little while (which may also help them with winter on its way).
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:59 PM on November 5 [6 favorites]


domestic violence conviction registry, mandatory element of background check -

Honestly a real problem is that the cops are straight up uninterested in enforcing already existing laws when it comes to guns and DV.

I had a restraining order against my ex husband, with a finding of fact that he had, in fact, abused me. Per the law, his guns were supposed to be removed from him by the police and he was not supposed to carry a gun for any company that engaged in interstate commerce.

I called the police and gave him the location of his guns, and...nothing. Despite the law saying he needed to surrender them and the police needed to take them. The police just weren’t going to enforce an order like that over something so /slight/ as mere domestic violence!

And for this fucker - even misdemeanor DV counts as barring firearm ownership per the Lautenberg Act. But yet somehow, it didn’t. Why? Why are police and courts unwilling to enforce it?
posted by corb at 10:02 PM on November 5 [91 favorites]


The instagram picture of his semi-automatic labeled "she's a bad bitch" was what made me figure he was probably more NRA than antifa.

As per the Buzzfeed hoax-debunking article, that pic etc was from one of the fake Facebook accounts.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:07 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


As per the Buzzfeed hoax-debunking article, that pic etc was from one of the fake Facebook accounts.

Ah, thank you. Next time I see my roommate, I'll tell her the mass shooter social media pictures I told her about earlier tonight were in fact fake mass shooter social media pictures because 2017.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:25 PM on November 5 [3 favorites]


Trump's having a weird press conference with Abe where he announced "the era of strategic patience is over" as to North Korea. Then he took a question that was supposed to be for Abe to promise that Japan is going to buy a bunch of new US military equipment to shoot down North Korean missiles. Now he's ranting about tariffs and trade with China.

As for the shooting in Texas:
Asked what policies he supports to reduce mass shootings, Trump says, "Mental health is your problem here...very deranged individual."
Trump: "This isn't a guns situation. We could go into it, but it's a little bit soon to go into it."
Trump: "This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It's a very, very sad event...that's the way I view it."
Trump says it's good there was a good guy with a gun present. Otherwise, says the issue here is not a "guns situation," it's mental illness.
Even on mental health, Trump did not suggest a single policy to try to combat mass shootings.
And Trump on Texas shooting, asked if he would support gun control, answers: "This isn't a guns situation."

He looks tired.
posted by zachlipton at 10:36 PM on November 5 [15 favorites]


Yeah he looked tired, they better get some more well done steak with ketchup into him pronto.
posted by Justinian at 10:42 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Weird to see Tillerson on his feet in Asia. No time for napping with that asshole around I guess.
posted by Artw at 10:47 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Also from Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Close the Boyfriend Loophole and how domestic violence relates to gun violence and mass shootings (released this past Wednesday.)

I told you her show is on it. Unfortunately and heartbreakingly, it's become predictive.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:49 PM on November 5 [20 favorites]


Say what you will about Cicero and his horse, but at least Rome itself did not vote for the horse.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:58 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


Caligula, not Cicero. Cicero had his problems, but he was not crazy.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:03 PM on November 5 [28 favorites]


Its late, and I swear to god for five seconds I thought this was a Skyrim reference, not a Rome reference and I got so fucking confused.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:06 PM on November 5 [8 favorites]


The trump supporters are all up in arms about how Abe dumped the fish food also. That it was just a small amount not the whole box. And how the left will believe anything about trump and take things out of context.
posted by sio42 at 12:11 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


If the pool report is accurate, how did this work exactly? Did Trump dump the whole box in and then Abe figured he had to do it too in order to be polite? I have to know.

Abe shot first dumped the fish food in first. (video)
posted by zachlipton at 12:20 AM on November 6 [8 favorites]


This is what I pictured when I heard he dumped in the whole box. We already know he's a klutz with no sophistication. He drives his cart on the green. I imagine a formal Japanese tea ceremony with him as a 10 minute cringe comedy skit.
posted by adept256 at 12:40 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


So this is the like when the pope was making a face during a photo with trump and melania and a bunch of people thought it was bc of trump but it was really just resting pope face.
posted by sio42 at 12:45 AM on November 6


The trump supporters are all up in arms about how Abe dumped the fish food also. That it was just a small amount not the whole box. And how the left will believe anything about trump and take things out of context.

The thing is, they're exactly right. We need to avoid jumping on every little thing we hear because we end up believing, and forwarding and posting, completely false things, and then they get to say "there's fake news on both sides."

It was a carefully planned staged photo op, Trump did exactly what he was supposed to do for once, and there's nothing wrong with dumping 1/2 cup of food into a Koi pond the size of a small lake. There's just no story there at all.

Trump does six actual terrible things every morning before breakfast. Can we focus on the real terrible things?

Even though our fake news is stuff like "Trump is bad at feeding fish" and theirs is stuff like "Hillary Clinton murdered hundreds of people in a pedophile conspiracy", if we keep running with fake stuff we end up looking bad and giving them more ammunition. And the real stuff like "Trump is a serial sexual abuser and a racist international criminal who has committed treason and stolen an election" gets lost in the noise.
posted by mmoncur at 12:52 AM on November 6 [100 favorites]


Ask Japanese leaders what they do about gun violence.
We should not be emulating Japanese criminal justice norms at all. They have a conviction rate of 99.8% and rely heavily on confessions. Yes, Japanese society is less violent and they have gun and even bladed weapon controls, which is great, but I would never want to get arrested in Japan. Especially if I hadn't committed a crime.
posted by xyzzy at 12:52 AM on November 6 [14 favorites]


Yeah, Japanese cops are generally friendly and helpful and give the impression that they are actually motivated by the desire to help make society safer, but basically as soon as you're suspected of a crime, there is a chance that you will basically be disappeared for weeks without even being allowed to contact your family members or employer.

Overall, it's largely preferable to the situation in the US (it's hard to even try to imagine a cops-in-the-South-vs.-unarmed-black-man execution on the street happening in Japan) but it's certainly not utopia.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:06 AM on November 6 [13 favorites]


We should not be emulating Japanese criminal justice norms at all. They have a conviction rate of 99.8% and rely heavily on confessions. Yes, Japanese society is less violent and they have gun and even bladed weapon controls, which is great, but I would never want to get arrested in Japan. Especially if I hadn't committed a crime.

That sounds nothing like the US justice system at all does it? *cough* plea bargains *cough*.
posted by pharm at 1:11 AM on November 6 [11 favorites]


Fmr FBI agent on CNN says Americans need to have “situational awareness.” So its come to this: we need to b ready to b shot at all the time (Gabriel Sherman, twitter)

Eventually--if not already, in certain corners of the far right--victims in mass shootings will be lauded as heroes. Eventually they will be seen as necessary and acceptable sacrifices in the war to protect the Second Amendment. Eventually they will be championed as martyrs to the cause of gun independence. Eventually they will be praised for watering the tree of freedom with their sacrifice of blood.

Eventually, if not already.
posted by Gordion Knott at 2:15 AM on November 6 [8 favorites]


Fmr FBI agent on CNN says Americans need to have “situational awareness.”
That must be the New Good News version of 'Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father'

Galatians (Ruger translation).
posted by rc3spencer at 2:33 AM on November 6






that face Trump makes as he dumps his food though
posted by angrycat at 2:51 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


He said this in Japan. Japan.
"No one, no dictator, no regime, and no nation should underestimate ever American resolve," the president said. "Every once in a while in the past they underestimated us. It was not pleasant for them. Was it? It was not pleasant. We will never yield. Never waiver, and never falter in defense of our people, our freedom, and our great American flag."
posted by chris24 at 4:07 AM on November 6 [32 favorites]


That sounds nothing like the US justice system at all does it? *cough* plea bargains *cough*.
Oh we've got big problems. But we don't need Trump getting any ideas about making it worse.
posted by xyzzy at 4:12 AM on November 6


More from that Japan bluster, executed with the usual flair for language:

'...Not merely because we have the best equipment, which we do, and by the way, a lot of it is coming in. You saw the budget. That's a lot different than the past. A lot of beautiful brand new equipment is coming in. And nobody makes it like they make it in the United States. Nobody," Trump told troops in an airplane hangar.'
posted by Myeral at 4:12 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


I wonder how many people know someone who died in a mass shooting? I lost a friend in the Va. Tech killings, myself. Are we not a natural interest group? Maybe we could get organized.
posted by thelonius at 4:15 AM on November 6 [6 favorites]


Quid meet Quo.

Bloomberg: Trump Jr. Hinted at Review of Anti-Russia Law, Moscow Lawyer Says
A Russian lawyer who met with President Donald Trump’s oldest son last year says he indicated that a law targeting Russia could be re-examined if his father won the election and asked her for written evidence that illegal proceeds went to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, said in a two-and-a-half-hour interview in Moscow that she would tell these and other things to the Senate Judiciary Committee on condition that her answers be made public, something it hasn’t agreed to. She has received scores of questions from the committee, which is investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Veselnitskaya said