It's a great day for America, everybody!
November 10, 2017 5:53 PM   Subscribe

Day 295: the light at the end of the tunnel is visible, as the Democratic wave starts sweeping elections across America, including the Deep South. Attention turns to the special senate election in Alabama next month, where jerk-off Republican candidate Roy Moore is facing unexpected allegations of child predation. As of posting, Trump is currently touring Asia, representing America and definitely not getting orders from Putin in a secure, untraceable manner how could you think that there is no collusion. [This is your catch-all U.S. politics thread, for things not related to the recent elections or Roy Moore.]

posted by Merus (2570 comments total) 111 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's a great day for America, everybody!
(In this Darkest Timeline, oh how I miss CraigyFerg's The Late Late Show.)
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 5:57 PM on November 10 [49 favorites]


This probably isn't necessary, as Flynn is reportedly frightened enough by the prospect of both he and his son going to jail for decades. But still.

Then maybe he should have thought about that before getting together in a conspiracy to commit cold blooded murder.

Much as Gulen worked hard to earn being abducted, murdered and disposed of in a landfill, it's a bitof a violation of the sovereignty of the US to have it start here.
posted by ocschwar at 6:00 PM on November 10 [10 favorites]


(In this Darkest Timeline, oh how I miss CraigyFerg's The Late Late Show.)

Here, have this MMMBop

posted by lalex at 6:01 PM on November 10 [24 favorites]


I'd like to endorse Craig's book, American on Purpose. He's an immigrant and a genuine patriot of the United States.
posted by adept256 at 6:01 PM on November 10 [19 favorites]


Thank you for the link to the Popehat transcript. I enjoyed that.
posted by miguelcervantes at 6:08 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I'd like to endorse Carter Page's book, Everything I Need To Know I Failed to Learn, but it's not out yet.
posted by uosuaq at 6:09 PM on November 10 [50 favorites]


I'd like to endorse Carter Page's book, Everything I Need To Know I Failed to Learn, but it's not out yet.

I have a feeling if Metafilter offered to crowdsourceghostwrite it, he'd agree.
posted by ocschwar at 6:18 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


God I hadn't read the Carter Page transcript (the real one) before, but wow. Halfway through I realized I was hearing it all in the voice of Spud from Trainspotting (specifically, Spud's voice during his job interview while on speed). Try it!
posted by mabelstreet at 6:19 PM on November 10 [26 favorites]


By jove; events over the past few days have, for a pleasant change, been both marvellous and splendid. Jolly well done, voters in the Western Colonies! One is considering re-engaging more with matters political in those distant lands, and not just for the spectacle of cacaesthesia spreading through the Republican voting coalition and the taradiddle currently eminating from their Alabama representatives. Tally ho!
posted by Wordshore at 6:27 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


If you read Trainspotting, the chapters in Spud's first-person are spelled the way he talks. It's a pity I'm not very familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet.
posted by adept256 at 6:29 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Here, have this MMMBop

Hot dang but I didn't realize how much I miss Craig Ferguson. Thank you!
posted by curious nu at 6:33 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


Is this the new Scotland thread?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:35 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Here, have this MMMBop

That was the perfect antidote to all things Trump. Temporarily of course but I'll take it!

Trying to remember the name of Wavy the alligator, I found this page which was obviously created by weirdos
posted by petebest at 6:37 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


Gotta say Danica Roem is cutting a trail so many should follow, despite it's political nature. As I have been seing on Twitter, she completely refuses to say a single bad thing about (soon to be ex)opponent, and has even dropped into fan threads to correct people she felt weren't showing him adequate respect.

Lovely that.

Also, my favorite Craig Ferguson was vampire Craig Ferguson.
posted by Samizdata at 6:37 PM on November 10 [16 favorites]




Okay, so back to Chester Arthur....
posted by Chrysostom at 6:41 PM on November 10 [15 favorites]


Okay, so back to Chester Arthur....

Chester A. Arthur, I believe you mean?

Don't fact check, you could end up with fake news.
posted by Samizdata at 6:47 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


AUGH as usual I'm like "Oh good, the thread calmed down!" but it DIDN'T, there's a NEW THREAD
(Thanks, Merus!)
posted by mynameisluka at 6:48 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Okay, so back to Chester Arthur....

The ex-president's Wikipedia entry says that “The family's frequent moves later spawned accusations that Chester Arthur was not a native-born citizen of the United States. When Arthur was nominated for vice president in 1880, a New York attorney and political opponent, Arthur P. Hinman, initially speculated that Arthur was born in Ireland and did not come to the United States until he was fourteen years old... When Hinman's original story did not take root, he spread a new rumor that Arthur was born in Canada."

The more things change...
posted by LeLiLo at 6:49 PM on November 10 [33 favorites]


So I'm still thinking about this article:

Vanity Fair: How Trump Bought The Political Media Class To Its Knees

...and because one of my reflexive lenses is through games, I'm wondering if it's worth setting up a leaderboard of some kind, of White House correspondents based on how often they ask good questions. If they ask a 'good' question, defining good in some way (e.g. they ask about something important, they follow-up someone else's question, they follow-up on a White House promise that's relevant), they get a point. If they ask any other kind of question, they lose a point, and if they don't ask a question, no change.
posted by Merus at 6:54 PM on November 10 [29 favorites]


Checking a few political forums one has not set eyes on for a while and there does indeed feel like a renewed and invigorating sense that the high office days of the rampallion may come to a conclusion eftsoons the mid term elections, if not before.
posted by Wordshore at 7:01 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


Overall, it's been a pretty ok week for us on Team Progress here in Virginia, but my regressive coworkers have been saying things more odious than usual during the latter half of the week, with the schism of the Commonwealth into the states of Northern and Southern Virginia being one of the less unhinged and violent proposals. I hope it's merely the venting of frustration at the electoral shellacking earlier in the week.

Sadly, the conversational lead-up to to everything from secession to pogrom has been pretty ubiquitous: "Did you hear they elected a transgender?"

I know I'm not telling you folks anything we don't already know but, we've got a long, long fight ahead of us. Stay strong.
posted by glonous keming at 7:01 PM on November 10 [67 favorites]


glonous keming

your username just made me so outraged that i became momentarily breathless with fury

well done indeed

posted by poffin boffin at 7:05 PM on November 10 [180 favorites]


Sadly, the conversational lead-up to to everything from secession to pogrom has been pretty ubiquitous: "Did you hear they elected a transgender?"

Completely unsurprising. The comments in the WP and other online newspapers started at the "I'm just askin'" level and went down from there.

The sheer amount of hysteria of trans people is just...I dunno. There's just something very weird and sad about Americans and gender essentialism.
posted by happyroach at 7:10 PM on November 10 [17 favorites]


Merus and because one of my reflexive lenses is through games, I'm wondering if it's worth setting up a leaderboard of some kind, of White House correspondents based on how often they ask good questions.

I think it sounds like a good idea.

It'd be useful just to have the data, and heck it might even influence their behavior if it became popular enough. We have points and scores and leaderboards because people find that sort of thing compelling and it kicks in our competitive instincts.

I'd also recommend, like in basketball, counting assists. When a journalist helps another try to penetrate the dodging and obfuscation by using their question to follow up or simply re-ask one that the spox dodged from one of their colleagues is something that should count for a lot.

I'd kick in some money to help start the website, and while my coding is sub-par and I'm sure you could find someone better if you can't I'd volunteer to try and build the backend.
posted by sotonohito at 7:12 PM on November 10 [16 favorites]


Look if they're going to work together I'd rather they just boycott the propaganda rally rather than participate in this cult.
posted by adept256 at 7:16 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


I don't really see the point in gamifying it or of the White House Press Briefings in general. The only useful purpose they serve under Trump is trying to get the Press Secretary tongue-tied enough that they say something awful, and Sanders is marginally better at keeping it together enough to avoid randomly engaging in Holocaust denial. If the press really does gang up on her, she just calls on John Gizzi, or Goyal if she's really desperate, and then declares the briefing over.
posted by zachlipton at 7:18 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Merus: " The army is declaring its mission over, and the head of the Emergency Management Agency has resigned. Large parts of the island are still without power. 140,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to Florida, which Trump won by about 115,000."

If the next Democratic presidential candidate takes Florida by 140K I'm going to laugh my ass off.
posted by Mitheral at 7:22 PM on November 10 [46 favorites]


What is interesting is that, reportedly, this kind of charge makes it easier for Mueller, if he so chooses, to declare the entire administration a criminal enterprise, even if Russian collusion can't be proven.
Can somebody explain this to me? How does this work?
posted by gucci mane at 7:25 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


I ate the cake anyway.

From the bottom of the last thread:

I just realized that Johnstown, in PA, of the recent stories, is the same place a friend of mine grew up.

Stephen Miller's family is from Johnstown. I know this because BuzzFeed has Facebook comments from his liberal family there, mortified of what he became. "At least he doesn't share our last name."
posted by Room 641-A at 7:27 PM on November 10 [14 favorites]


NYT, A London Meeting of an Unlikely Group: How a Trump Adviser Came to Learn of Clinton ‘Dirt’
At midday on March 24, 2016, an improbable group gathered in a London cafe to discuss setting up a meeting between Donald J. Trump, then a candidate, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

There was George Papadopoulos, a 28-year-old from Chicago with an inflated résumé who just days earlier had been publicly named as a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign. There was Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic in his mid-50s with a faltering career who boasted of having high-level contacts in the Russian government.

And, perhaps most mysteriously, there was Olga Polonskaya, a 30-year-old Russian from St. Petersburg and the former manager of a wine distribution company. Mr. Mifsud introduced her to Mr. Papadopoulos as Mr. Putin’s niece, according to court papers. Mr. Putin has no niece.
A good look at some of the background to the Papadopoulos indictment and some incredibly suspicious figures. We also learn that Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller about Russia during the campaign and that Papadopoulos, who supposedly was a coffee boy with no responsibilities, helped edit a foreign policy speech for Trump.
posted by zachlipton at 7:29 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


See also Josh Marshall's take on the above: Stephen Miller May Have Some Problems
posted by zachlipton at 7:36 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


I immediately knew Papadopoulus wasn't a mere "coffee boy" because a throwback dinosaur misogynist like Trump would want his coffee made and served to him by a woman.

A Meredith, if available.
posted by glonous keming at 7:41 PM on November 10 [20 favorites]


I'd also recommend, like in basketball, counting assists. When a journalist helps another try to penetrate the dodging and obfuscation by using their question to follow up or simply re-ask one that the spox dodged from one of their colleagues is something that should count for a lot.

Having an incentive for assists is the big reason for doing this: the article goes into how journalists have an incentive to ask an exclusive question, so the press secretary can just lie, secure in the knowledge that it's not worth the next questioner to call them on it.

I'd kick in some money to help start the website, and while my coding is sub-par and I'm sure you could find someone better if you can't I'd volunteer to try and build the backend.

The code's definitely within my wheelhouse, but there's nuances to the US political system that I don't grasp.

I don't really see the point in gamifying it or of the White House Press Briefings in general. The only useful purpose they serve under Trump is trying to get the Press Secretary tongue-tied enough that they say something awful, and Sanders is marginally better at keeping it together enough to avoid randomly engaging in Holocaust denial. If the press really does gang up on her, she just calls on John Gizzi, or Goyal if she's really desperate, and then declares the briefing over.

I think that's the problem: they're treated as useful when they're mostly not. If Sanders' response to a press corp that has found their spines is to stop press briefings, then that's useful in and of itself because they can't pretend that's normal or transparent.
posted by Merus at 7:42 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Miller is yet another tie to Sessions. I don't see how Sessions survives all this.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:42 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


Is there one thing about Russia the Trump folks have told the truth about? I mean, everything from "no Russia contacts" to "firing Comey had nothing to do with the Russia investigation" to Papadopoulos was an unimportant "coffee boy" has been rapidly proven to be utterly false. I know these people lie a lot, but every damn thing here has been a lie.
posted by zachlipton at 7:54 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


Presuming for a moment that the Congress and DOJ and Special Counsel's office do their due diligence, I would expect to see guilty pleas or convictions on Sessions, Page, Manafort, Miller, Kushner, Flynn Daddy, Cohen, Flynn Baby, Gates, Rohrabacher, Trump Jr., and Nunes at a minimum. Pence and Trump would be unindicted co-conspirators subject to impeachment.

The reality, of course, will probably be less satisfying.
posted by xyzzy at 7:55 PM on November 10 [19 favorites]


My favourite Craig Ferguson is They Might Be Giants Craig Ferguson.
Carry on.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:04 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


I think it would be nice if Sessions gets indicted the day after his old senate seat is won by Doug Jones.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:13 PM on November 10 [68 favorites]


Thanks for the new thread. A general reminder and request from the older threads: When providing links in comments, please provide some context (e.g. article title, author, or source). It's nice to know what it is I'm clicking on and who's getting my click.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 8:14 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Russ Choma, Mother Jones: Republicans Say They’ve Got to Act on Tax Reform—or Donors Might Get Mad
Everyone knows politicians pay excessive attention to the demands of their campaign donors. But if you’re a politician, you’re not supposed to actually say that publicly.

Yet so far this week, two Republican politicians have done exactly that.

“My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,'” Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) told The Hill on Tuesday when asked about the GOP’s tax reform package.

On Thursday, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) followed with his own unusually frank comment:
"Lindsey Graham says 'the financial contributions will stop' if tax reform fails."
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:58 PM on November 10 [22 favorites]


Steven Rosenfeld, Alternet: We Are Now One State Closer to Having a Corporate-Dominated Constitutional Convention - "With the addition of Wisconsin, right-wingers promoting a Constitutional Convention have 28 states; they only need six more."
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Legislature voted to call for what’s known as an Article V constitutional convention, becoming the 28th state to do so in recent years. Thirty-four states are needed, according to the nation’s founding document, to launch a process that would open up the foundation of American’s rights and laws to revision.

“Sadly, this is not fake news,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “The specter of an Article V convention to rewrite the Constitution remains one of the most alarming threats to our democracy that nobody has ever heard of before.”

“The deep-pocketed special interest groups behind this effort to call a convention are not likely to stop with a single amendment when there are no rules to prevent opening up the Constitution to a full rewrite in a runaway convention,” Flynn explained. “The effort to call the convention is funded by wealthy special interest groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council that have long pushed for a broad legislative agenda in the states, and it is hard to imagine then not foisting that agenda on the Constitution itself through unelected and unaccountable delegates to the convention.”
See also:

Sorry, But American Democracy Is Still Edging Closer to Disaster - "Wisconsin became the 28th state to back a constitutional convention." ( Charles Pierce, Esquire )
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:06 PM on November 10 [40 favorites]


oh good god, a constitutional convention would be a democracy-extinction level event in this political environment. if you think rural areas are overrepresented in the House via gerrymandering or in the Senate by its very structure, imagine the damage the rural states would do if they could rewrite the entire fucking constitution!!

although, cynically, i think repubs must do this if they want to turn the US into a de facto apartheid state before demographics relegate their traitorous, reeking, garbage-ass party to the dustbin of history.
posted by wibari at 9:26 PM on November 10 [27 favorites]


Doug Mills (extraordinary NYT photographer tweets a black frame: "This what our APEC Summit photo coverage looks today in Da Nang Vietnam. Blank. No coverage by the White House Travel Pool photographers traveling with @realDonaldTrump #APEC2017 #apec"

The Post goes into more detail on the press blackout
posted by zachlipton at 9:48 PM on November 10 [13 favorites]


If the next Democratic presidential candidate takes Florida by 140K I'm going to laugh my ass off.

I mean, I get you, but it’s actually tragic, not funny, that 140K American citizens are having to relocate to be sure of survival.
posted by corb at 9:53 PM on November 10 [75 favorites]


Is there one thing about Russia the Trump folks have told the truth about?

"Putin is great, Crimea is no biggie, we should drop sanctions."
posted by Meatbomb at 10:14 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I really hope Zach Galifianakis gets to play one of these guys in the movie they make out of this... There's no way it can't be both factual and a comedy at this point.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:18 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


My favourite Craig Ferguson is They Might Be Giants Craig Ferguson yt .
Carry on.


Saw that earlier. Was going to post, but didn't. OTOH, DID sing along flawlessly.

Now earworming that damn song.
posted by Samizdata at 11:08 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


This is pizzagate guy:

Roy Moore's Accuser's Photo and Workplace Were Spread Online by a Far-Right Conspiracist (Michael Edison Hayden, Newsweek)
In a bizarre defense of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl, a right-wing conspiracy theorist and media star told his followers to stalk the victim at her workplace on Friday.

Jack Posobiec, a Trump supporter with a large online following, posted a recent Facebook photo of Leigh Corfman, the woman who told The Washington Post that the then-32-year-old Moore tried to bed her in 1979, and told his Twitter followers to target Corfman at her last known place of employment.

He later deleted the tweet.
I don't know much about the way modern Twitter works, so could someone please explain WHY HE STILL HAS AN ACTIVE TWITTER ACCOUNT. This is the biggest news story in the country wtf Twitter?
posted by Room 641-A at 11:42 PM on November 10 [95 favorites]


SURELY ALL THIS
posted by chavenet at 12:41 AM on November 11 [14 favorites]


The woman who was doxxed by Posobiec should sue Twitter for its total market value. Then after she owns it, it can be made into something worthwhile.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:48 AM on November 11 [93 favorites]


I don't know much about the way modern Twitter works, so could someone please explain WHY HE STILL HAS AN ACTIVE TWITTER ACCOUNT.

Twitter is run by Nazi sympathisers. They routinely ban and suspend people who criticise alt-right figures, and elevate the alt-right with special treatment like verification. Jack Dorsey, the CEO, follows Mike Cernovich, Jack Posobiec, Scott Adams, Notch, the Federalist, and Bill Mitchell, all of whom are either part of the alt-right or are on the periphery of it.
posted by Merus at 12:49 AM on November 11 [136 favorites]


I don't know much about the way modern Twitter works, so could someone please explain WHY HE STILL HAS AN ACTIVE TWITTER ACCOUNT. This is the biggest news story in the country wtf Twitter?
posted by Room 641-A at 11:42 PM on November 10


May I introduce you to the year 2012 when Milo and MikeC used Twitter to send hordes of "men's rights activists" to attack women who had the gall to have opinions on the Internet, and Twitter not only didn't ban them, it classified them as revenue drivers? One can draw a straight line from that appeasement through aiding and abetting Trump's election and his subsequent abuse of anyone who criticized him, to their current laissez-faire attitude toward Evangelical child molestation.
posted by SakuraK at 1:24 AM on November 11 [80 favorites]


I have to admit I clicked the title with some apprehension, hoping to find some Craig Ferguson goodness, but also anxious for something darker (MeToo as a sign of the times). Instead it is those other clowns and hand puppets...

wassacominago, eh?
posted by fregoli at 1:49 AM on November 11 [6 favorites]


Falwell Jr. Defends Roy Moore: ‘I Believe The Judge Is Telling The Truth’
“It comes down to a question who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser,” Falwell Jr. told the Religion News Service in an email published Friday.
Indeed it does.
posted by Rykey at 3:26 AM on November 11 [19 favorites]


The truth that Moore pursued underage girls who couldn't consent as by his own admission he had to seek their mother's permission? Is that the truth he's talking about here?
posted by asteria at 3:40 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


Things have gotten so crazy we need 3 active politics threads to handle it. Surely this, right?
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:41 AM on November 11 [17 favorites]


i think what's really going to make the political shit hit the fan is if this tax bill passes and the middle class realizes how badly they've been screwed - even the trumpies are going to be hollering and screaming - it's all fun and games to them until their wallet gets pinched

we will see rage - we will see trump voters losing their shit over how they've been betrayed
posted by pyramid termite at 4:15 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


pffft, nah, long as they can blame the IMMIGINTS.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:24 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


Here in Kansas, there came a point where they couldn't blame anyone but the Republicans for what happened. Immigrants, liberals, abortions, etc. didn't slash school funding. The liberals weren't responsible for the increasing number of potholes and the reductions in popular state services. And the teabaggers paid a price at the polls.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 4:47 AM on November 11 [51 favorites]


Whatever they can't blame immigrants for, they can write off as divine punishment for not stoning gays to death as prescribed in Leviticus or something.
posted by acb at 4:48 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


So: Twitter. I’ve been a very active user for nine years. I have around 8K followers. I met my partner on Twitter and I’ve made many other wonderful connections there. And like all of you, I’m ever-more repulsed by the platform’s blatant fascist favoring. How I’ve got to use an enormous blockchain to make it slightly less likely frothing tiki-torchers will dominate my mentions. How Twitter conditions me to waste my time obsessively refreshing my feed and bickering with Pepes and bots. How I’ve reported and identified dozens of users blatantly violating Twitter rules by doxxing and threatening others, with nothing coming of it 99.9% of the time. I’ve been using it a lot less already - but I haven’t quite been able to give it up.

So last week I decided to do an experiment vis a vis Twitter as Nazi Trashfire: I’d try to get verified, which I had previously resisted due to privacy concerns. I sent them my employee profile page at my org at Harvard, my Slate contributor page, and my long-time personal website. I mentioned I’d been an engaged user for nine years in the extra comments box (which, you know, I’d assume they could see I’ve been a user that long).

Got an email a couple of days later: denied. Nope, Twitter won’t verify me. Just a day after they verified an Actual Nazi. Evidence is consistent with my hypothesis that Twitter is in fact a Nazi Trashfire.

My not-so-slow fade from Twitter continues. The injury it did my attention span was bad enough: catering to Nazis is the nail in the coffin.

Boy, I miss 2011, when we thought social media would make democracy better, not hand it over to Anime Twitter Nazis.
posted by faineg at 5:14 AM on November 11 [125 favorites]


“Global warming is caused by human activity... human gay activity.”- Republicans someday very soon.
posted by Glibpaxman at 5:15 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


guys, the immigrants and the gays (and the creepy things moore does) are all a very distant second to OH MY GOD THE DAMN GOVERNMENT RAISED MY TAXES!!!!!

rage - they won't be thinking - rage
posted by pyramid termite at 5:15 AM on November 11


God I hadn't read the Carter Page transcript (the real one) before, but wow. Halfway through I realized I was hearing it all in the voice of Spud from Trainspotting (specifically, Spud's voice during his job interview while on speed). Try it!

What came to mind for me was The Whelk's memorable assertion:

I think it's important to remember every Cohen Brothers script seemingly starts with "So there's this idiot...."
posted by kersplunk at 5:33 AM on November 11 [28 favorites]


So credit card delinquencies are starting to uptick again. Normally these are signs of a weakening economy and are a pretty good predictor of upcoming recessions.

I look forward to the 180 flip of Trump congratulating himself for the "great" economy vs blaming Obama for the recession.
posted by Talez at 5:42 AM on November 11 [25 favorites]


Trump slams former US intel leaders as 'political hacks'

"I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks," Trump said, according to CNN. He was discussing the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia sought to influence the 2016 election in favor of Trump.
"So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey," he continued. "Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker.”

“So you look at that and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with them," he continued, referring to the Russian president.

Trump said that the investigation into Russian interference in the election was a “Democratic-inspired thing” and a “pure hit job."

Trump went on to say that he wasn’t going to “argue” with Putin about whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

“He said he didn’t meddle, he said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump said, according to pool reports.


Putin: Trump did not bring up election meddling

posted by T.D. Strange at 6:12 AM on November 11 [72 favorites]


If it wasn't so depressing, it would be hilarious every time Putin trolls Trump.
posted by mumimor at 6:17 AM on November 11 [64 favorites]




Save your clicks, folks. Here’s the opening line of the article jeffburdges just linked to:

“A recent incident in Belgium speaks volumes about the extent and danger of the current “Russiagate” hysteria.”

🙄
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:29 AM on November 11 [33 favorites]


In China, Trump becomes the capitulator-in-chief: Burman

In a grovelling, fawning state visit to Beijing this week — during which Trump obtained no concessions from China on key issues such as North Korea or bilateral trade — the once-powerful president of the United States stumbled into a dramatic role reversal by emerging, incredibly, as a salivating supplicant to China’s President Xi Jinping.

---

As The New York Times noted, it was a “remarkable moment” in the modern history of U.S.-China relations in which Trump “projected an air of deference to China that was almost unheard-of for a visiting American president.” It was also notable that Xi, in response to Trump’s praise, didn’t reciprocate.


So American conservative media must be freaking out about this, right?
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:46 AM on November 11 [63 favorites]


Just checked the fox news homepage and searched the work china, one "headline" way way way down the page and it was "Trump's China visit brings $250 billion in US business deals"
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:52 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Capitulates to China, believes Putin, attacks US IC. Tell me again about the Obama apology tour.
posted by chris24 at 7:01 AM on November 11 [95 favorites]


We've always been fawning and deferent toward Eastasia.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:03 AM on November 11 [47 favorites]


Some Republican turd keeps mentioning "Harvey Weinberg" on MSNBC.

So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey," he continued. "Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker.”

Hmm.... I thought there was an unspoken rule about politicians not dissing the US when on foreign soil.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:09 AM on November 11 [8 favorites]


> So American conservative media must be freaking out about this, right?
The American conservative media revere Putin and have a secret crush on Xi. And authoritarians only really know the pattern of domineering and capitulation. So what's the problem?
posted by runcifex at 7:18 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


New from Reuters.

Investigators probe Trump knowledge of campaign's Russia dealings: sources
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s election campaign, to determine if Trump or top aides knew of the extent of the campaign team’s contacts with Russia, two sources familiar with the investigation said on Friday.

The focus of the questions put to Clovis by Mueller’s team has not been previously reported.

“The ultimate question Mueller is after is whether candidate Trump and then President-elect Trump knew of the discussions going on with Russia, and who approved or even directed them,” said one source. “That is still just a question.”

Clovis testified in late October before the grand jury in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He is also cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating the same issues.

Contacted late on Friday, the White House declined to comment.

One of the sources described Clovis as “another domino” after former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI over his own contacts with Russians during the 2016 election campaign.
posted by chris24 at 7:20 AM on November 11 [17 favorites]


It's just so hard to pronounce (((Weinstein))) on TV without being obvious about it.
posted by allegedly at 7:27 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]


> The American conservative media revere Putin and have a secret crush on Xi. And authoritarians only really know the pattern of domineering and capitulation. So what's the problem?

Oh, I get that. I just thought that if you were an American authoritarian you'd want your own Strong Man to be striding the Earth like a colossus, not bowing and scraping to Stronger Men.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:34 AM on November 11 [15 favorites]


There's an old Vulcan proverb: "Only Trump could grovel in China."
posted by wabbittwax at 7:38 AM on November 11 [36 favorites]


“He said he didn’t meddle, he said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump said, according to pool reports.

OF COURSE! It is well-known that interactions with a Putin are governed by folklore law - if you ask the same question more than twice, a Putin cannot answer with a lie!

I wish (I really do!) that I could attribute this to credulity or stupidity, that Trump is a gullible, good-natured village idiot.. He's not.
posted by Golem XIV at 7:38 AM on November 11 [24 favorites]




I found a more informative link

From RT. Lol
posted by chris24 at 7:42 AM on November 11 [59 favorites]


I mean seriously, if you want someone to buy into your story on Russia election hacking/collusion hysteria, maybe a Russian government-owned propaganda network isn't the best source. Especially on your second try.
posted by chris24 at 7:47 AM on November 11 [34 favorites]


Kiriakou:

Kiriakou said the “single most important point” about the current animosity toward Russia is that the Intelligence Community has provided “literally zero evidence” to support their claims that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

He pointed to the fact that the intelligence community has previously been caught lying about the CIA torture program; the extraordinary rendition kidnapping program; the secret prison systems; and hacking into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer systems

“Now they tell us that Russia is behind Trump’s election and Hillary Clinton’s loss,” Kiriakou said. “They tell us to take their word for it. Well, why in the world would we take their word for it, when everything else they’ve told us is a lie?”


I get his point, and he did get burned pretty badly for whistleblowing

BUT BUT BUT

...FFS why would you take the Russians at their word? It's not exactly like they've got a reputation of being good actors here. Kiriakou gives no indication of being an idiot. That being the case, he must know that the Russians execute journalists and whistleblowers, and they do so throughout Europe.

What the fuck is up with these people? Greenwald and Assange and now Kiriakou? How blinkered must you be to end up a useful idiot for a Russian dictator?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:49 AM on November 11 [44 favorites]


Twitter is run by Nazi sympathisers.

Yep. Can we quit using it now? Can we all just pile in to one big fake read-only account and refer to it as the tiny, tiny, fascist-enabling troll party server that it is, and not some Truth of any sort?

Yeah yeah, journalists are on it. No other place to get fast updates from everybody. Aie. We'd have to wait 15 minutes for those, or go to many horrid geocities comic sans hells, and then where would our dopamine rush be. Ooh thats a good point, i should tweet that.

I guess they've got us then.

back in myyyyyy daaaay we had what we called a modem, y'see. MODulate and DEModulate, see? So you'd go down the lab, and say "Give me 1400 bauds and some bis", you'd say. "My handshake's rattling The Kermit" you'd say. Of course back in those days we could only fax paper bits to each other. It took two days and cost $20 to say hello, but we liked it that way! We loved it!
posted by petebest at 7:52 AM on November 11 [44 favorites]


"Ex-CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou was removed from a European Parliament panel at the urging of People for Bernie Sanders. Their complaint was he co-hosts a show on Sputnik Radio."

Good.

Aleksandr Dugin's "divide and conquer" strategy works both ways because there are useful idiots on the left, too. The really shitty thing about sputnik radio is that it broadcasts some views that I actually agree with, but its goal is not to promote a healthy, just American democracy. Its goal is to destroy American democracy. I guess the people who spout off on Sputnik simply prefer not to pay any attention to the regime that's signing their paychecks. I am continually astounded at the myopia of far left wing Russia apologists. The Putin regime foments hatred toward its own LGBT community, threatens political dissenters with violence and imprisonment, has turned the Orthodox church into a fascist arm of the government, conducts military incursions against its neighbors, and is a global state sponsor of ethnic nationalism and authoritarian regimes. But none of that matters to a left-wing Russia apologist, because "communist" was a dirty word thirty years ago.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 7:52 AM on November 11 [49 favorites]


hey, checking in with Zach, Lalex, and others those who watch this more closely: TrumpCo still hasn't enacted the Russia sanctions that he grudgingly signed, right? The ones with an Oct. 1 deadline?

Wonder why.
posted by martin q blank at 7:53 AM on November 11 [15 favorites]


I understand having deep animosity for the intelligence community in the United States. They've done some pretty fucked up shit. But damnit, there's a hierarchy of bad actors in the world. There's difference between privacy violations involving international espionage and privacy violations to silence dissent. There's a difference between countries that imprison you for leaking and those that just give you two bullets in the head.

...and that's not even getting into the surfeit of apparent traitors on the Right. And many of those quislings hold elective office.

We need to extract these turncoats root and branch.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:57 AM on November 11 [23 favorites]


I dropped Twitter hard earlier this year after realizing it provided me nothing of value except the dopamine rush of being outraged. I don't miss it.
posted by runcibleshaw at 7:58 AM on November 11 [12 favorites]


In case anyone is still under the impression that so-called NeverTrumpers, especially elected ones, still have any shame about green-lighting the most awful stuff Trump is capable of, here's more evidence that they, in fact do not:
Brett J. Talley, President Trump’s nominee to be a federal judge in Alabama, has never tried a case, was unanimously rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Assn.’s judicial rating committee, has practiced law for only three years and, as a blogger last year, displayed a degree of partisanship unusual for a judicial nominee, denouncing “Hillary Rotten Clinton” and pledging support for the National Rifle Assn.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee, on a party-line vote, approved him for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.
[...]
Last month, when the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on several other nominations, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Talley about his fervent advocacy of gun rights. In a blog post titled a “Call to Arms,” he wrote that “the President and his democratic allies in Congress are about to launch the greatest attack on our constitutional freedoms in our lifetime,” referring to Obama’s proposal for background checks and limits on rapid-fire weapons following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“The object of that war is to make guns illegal, in all forms,” Talley wrote. The NRA “stands for all of us now, and I pray that in the coming battle for our rights, they will be victorious,” he added.

A month later, he reprinted a “thoughtful response” from a reader who wrote: “We will have to resort to arms when our other rights — of speech, press, assembly, representative government — fail to yield the desired results.” To that, he wrote: “I agree completely with this.”
FYI both Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse are on the Judiciary Committee. Sure, they couldn't stomach a child molester, but a federal judge with less experience than any of their interns and who sides with bigoted terrorists and their supporters? No problem!
posted by zombieflanders at 7:59 AM on November 11 [76 favorites]


I am continually astounded at the myopia of far left wing Russia apologists. The Putin regime foments hatred toward its own LGBT community, threatens political dissenters with violence and imprisonment, has turned the Orthodox church into a fascist arm of the government, conducts military incursions against its neighbors, and is a global state sponsor of ethnic nationalism and authoritarian regimes. But none of that matters to a left-wing Russia apologist, because "communist" was a dirty word thirty years ago.

I mean, at least the '50s communists had a semi-plausible claim of ignorance towards what they believed was a socialist utopia.

The current fucksticks are actively supporting a right-wing dictatorship.

Oh, and screw you, Jill Stein.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:59 AM on November 11 [50 favorites]


the Russians execute journalists and whistleblowers, and they do so throughout Europe.

And America.

Well gosh, Frank, this guy got so drunk he beat himself to death with a bat. Mmm mm. Sad thing to see these close aides of Putin be careless with sports equipment. Well, I guess that wraps up the case nice and tight. Lets pretend this never happened and wait for the lazy ass liberal media to finish shrugging.
posted by petebest at 8:01 AM on November 11 [15 favorites]


When the CIA has to repudiate the President.

@jaketapper
CIA today: “The Director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections. The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed.”
posted by chris24 at 8:04 AM on November 11 [67 favorites]


Paul Krugman sees the future: My 2018 nightmare: overwhelming evidence of Trump Russia collusion/corruption, but he remains in office bc GOP won't act; this leads to overwhelming wave election in midterms, but gerrymandering/geographic concentration means Rs retain control of Congress. US democracy dies.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:09 AM on November 11 [38 favorites]


The U.S. State Dept. funds media and media technology efforts all over the world. Should we ignore any journalist tainted by that association? No, the work speaks for itself.

Russia murders amassing numbers of journalists. Yet, nations have always backed activists working for reforms in nations with whom they compete. That's why political asylum rights exist!

John Kiriakou went to jail for exposing the CIA's torture program. I'll trust him to walk away from his Sputnik job if he thinks Sputnik does any real harm, thanks.

Ain't so clear the full reasons why Winnie Wong of People for Bernie Sanders refused appearing with Kiriakou though. At minimum she does not value exposing the CIA's torture program too highly. I'd rather support Bernie-like candidates through an organization that does not employ her.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:09 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


There’s bad hombres on both sides. Both sides!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 8:12 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]


Putin doesn’t suck?
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 8:15 AM on November 11


[jeffburdges, enough.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:16 AM on November 11 [28 favorites]


...this leads to overwhelming wave election in midterms, but gerrymandering/geographic concentration means Rs retain control of Congress.

Krugman doesn't fully understand the interaction between gerrymandered districts and wave elections. Gerrymandering makes wave elections MORE powerful, not less.

Also, that doesn't take into consideration the impact of wave elections at the state level, affecting state legislature and governorship in states, both of whom can help to limit further gerrymandering at the state level after the next census in 2020.

Lastly, why would Rs support a President who 1. can't get shit passed (actually makes it harder) and who 2. is clearly electoral poison? Further evidence of collusion is not making him more popular, and his fuck ups will only compound. There's a 110% chance Trump gets primaried by folks in his own party in 2020.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:17 AM on November 11 [15 favorites]


@tedlieu
I have seen the classified information on Russian hacking. @realDonaldTrump has received classified briefings. I can tell you that @POTUS is LYING. Trump knows the Kremlin hacked America last year.
posted by chris24 at 8:22 AM on November 11 [145 favorites]




Trump knows the Kremlin hacked America last year.

He's just so transparently weak and so easily wowed, misled, bullied, and intimidated.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:32 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


He's just so transparently weak and so easily wowed, misled, bullied, and intimidated.

@ianbremmer (TIME)
Every foreign leader I’ve spoken with at #APEC thinks Trump presidency has been enormous gift for the Chinese.

Every single one.


@brianklaas (LSE Fellow)
Retweeted ian bremmer
They are all correct. This is the universal consensus with everyone I’ve spoken with in Southeast Asia too.


@SpyTalker (Jeff Stein, Newsweek)
Retweeted Brian Klaas
Asians size up Trump: ‘We can extract what we need from him using flattery without giving up anything meaningful.’
posted by chris24 at 8:38 AM on November 11 [102 favorites]


Krugman doesn't fully understand the interaction between gerrymandered districts and wave elections. Gerrymandering makes wave elections MORE powerful, not less.

Well, this sort of depends on how big a wave has to be to qualify as a wave, doesn't it? Virgina Democrats just won by 9% of the vote, and will not take a majority of seats in the state legislature because of the effectiveness of the Republican gerrymander. Was that not big enough to be a wave? Couldn't that easily happen on the national level? Projections are that Democrats need a +7 advantage on the generic ballot to take back the House, but it's not impossible they could also win nationally by 9% and all those vote be in just the wrong places to win control.

Is a 7% popular victory not a wave? What does it have to be? 10? 12? 20?

When one party is consistently at a permanent structural and intentionally designed -7% disadvantage, and the only chance of even potentially taking power relies on extraordinary circumstances such as a wave of lets say at least a >8% margin, that's not democracy. It's something, but it's sure as fuck not democracy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:39 AM on November 11 [58 favorites]


Is it me or does Carter Page look like he's enjoying all of this attention? What is the psychosis of someone that can't help but get themselves in deeper trouble just for the sheer thrill?
posted by hairless ape at 8:45 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


I have never really gotten into the habit of using Twitter, although I do have an account so that I can read tweets linked here and elsewhere, and occasionally tweet to political figures and Stephen King. Most of my friends and colleagues are on Facebook, and I chat with some people on Slack and Google Hangouts (I’m a card-carrying member of the Instant Message generation).

To be honest, I’ve been stepping back from...almost all up-to-the-moment media. I don’t use FB as often, I rarely watch actual television, I get most of my news from these threads, and I spend most of my time listening to music and audiobooks, watching movies and reading. I think I’ve spent more time in slowtime this past year than I have in the past two decades.

Sometimes I feel a little out of the loop, but to be honest...not really. Events and rumors move so fast that it’s just as well to get a full download at the end of the day than to keep checking in from hour to hour.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:47 AM on November 11 [17 favorites]


Sorry if this was already posted, but I would hate for anyone to miss this word salad as Trump's brain continues to fritz out:

Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Hanoi on Saturday, Trump said that while he does feel the need to discuss the human rights issue in Vietnam, he is also focused on addressing “many other things.”

“Well, I do. But I also raise issues on many other things. I mean, I have an obligation –– we lost, last year, with China, depending on the way you do your numbers, because you can do them a [number of ways] –– anywhere from $350 [billion] to $504 billion. That's with one country. I’m going to fix that,” Trump said when directly asked if he felt the need to talk about human rights abuses in Vietnam.

“And I've got to fix what we have with Mexico, who was there today too, who I also have a very good relationship with,” the president added.


posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:50 AM on November 11 [16 favorites]


It's interesting that "[...]the president added", just as a stand-alone phrase, has the quality of being from an Onion article.

Maybe he's using up all the words and eventually we'll just communicate in memes and clicking sounds.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:54 AM on November 11 [5 favorites]


…Trump “projected an air of deference to China that was almost unheard-of for a visiting American president.

Wait, what do the Chinese have on Trump, has anyone asked that question? Seriously. Given our past experience with how he behaves with his Russian handlers, his unctuous groveling in China raises a very real question: What incriminating evidence to they have on him?
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:57 AM on November 11 [6 favorites]


What incriminating evidence to they have on him?

The National Debt?
posted by wabbittwax at 8:59 AM on November 11 [10 favorites]


I can tell you that @POTUS is LYING

Ted Lieu! Droppin' the mic from LA to DC!
Rocking the left from the big 33!
Using the L-word the most!
Shamin' the Post! And the NYT!
Lit up the wires swamp to coast!
Ted Lieu! Three little words said for you!

*hold pose*
*breathe heavily through smile*

MC Filter feat. thepetebest dancers
Ted Lieu 4U
19917
©MetaFilter Records
Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

posted by petebest at 9:04 AM on November 11 [43 favorites]


IIRC they bought him off early in the game: China provisionally grants Trump 38 trademarks – including for escort service [Grauniad].

It's way easier to get a good deal when you are only having to provide reciprocal benefit to a person/company rather than an entire country.

Buy one* Trump, get the U.S. free!

* or more [cnbc]
posted by Buntix at 9:08 AM on November 11 [41 favorites]


Is it me or does Carter Page look like he's enjoying all of this attention? What is the psychosis of someone that can't help but get themselves in deeper trouble just for the sheer thrill?

I don't know the DSM, but I wonder why Ed Cox recommended him, if not to be a time-bomb. ( My reading is that Ed Cox very reluctantly supported the Candidate chosen by the GOP.
posted by mikelieman at 9:08 AM on November 11


Given our past experience with how he behaves with his Russian handlers, his unctuous groveling in China raises a very real question: What incriminating evidence to they have on him?

i honestly think he thinks that he's schmoozing them. it reads as deferential or grovelling because politicians don't behave that way, but i think he's expecting them to reciprocate and tell him that he's wonderful and amazing and just really the best world leader ever and that they all have 'really really great chemistry' with him, too, and that having him here is a 'very very great honour,' and all the rest of it.
posted by halation at 9:18 AM on November 11 [20 favorites]


With Friends Like These (Ana Maria Cox; Crooked Media) had Rebecca Traister on this week and it was a really great, thoughtful, and honest conversation about Hillary Clinton, misogyny, feminism, Anita Hill, sexual predators (incl. Bill), reconciling one's conflicted feelings about Hillary, etc.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:20 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


What the fuck is up with these people? Greenwald and Assange and now Kiriakou? How blinkered must you be to end up a useful idiot for a Russian dictator?

Meanwhile, in Scotland:
posted by acb at 9:28 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Washington Post: Trump Says U.S. Won't Be 'Taken Advantage Of Anymore.' Hours Later, Pacific Rim Nations Reach Deal On Trade Without America. "President Trump delivered a fiery speech on trade here Friday, declaring that he would not allow the United States to be ‘taken advantage of anymore’ and planned to place ‘America first.’ And then, less than 24 hours later, 11 Pacific Rim countries collectively shrugged and moved on without the U.S."

For those keeping score, New York Magazine's tally of the Winners and Losers of Trump’s Asia Trip, So Far breaks down into:
Winners
H.R. McMaster, John Kelly, and the National Security Council staff
Anyone who doesn’t want a war with North Korea*
China
Vietnamese textile makers
Losers
‘America First’ advocates
American businesses and workers
Human rights in Asia
The State Department
* North Korea, however, says, "Trump, during his visit, laid bare his true nature as destroyer of world peace and stability and begged for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula", so they don't sound convinced.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:35 AM on November 11 [17 favorites]


What incriminating evidence to they have on him?

I think the simplest explanation is that he has a genuine and profound respect for authoritarian regimes. Consider his behavior and language when talking about and interacting with leaders from these countries: he is really impressed and wants to pal around.
posted by skewed at 9:39 AM on November 11 [44 favorites]


What incriminating evidence to they have on him?

For what it's worth, there is a line in the Steele Dossier (095, late-July 2016):
Commenting on the negative media publicity surrounding alleged Russian interference in the US election campaign in support of Trump, Source E [(ethnic Russian, close associate of Trump)] said he understood that the Republican candidate and his team were relatively relaxed about this because it deflected media and the Democrat's attention away from Trump's business dealings in China and other emerging markets. Unlike in Russia, these were substantial and involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks which, were they to become public would be potentially very damaging to their campaign.
posted by pjenks at 9:53 AM on November 11 [43 favorites]


Unlike in Russia, these were substantial and involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks which, were they to become public would be potentially very damaging to their campaign.

I'd be shocked if Trump isn't taking in massive bribes as we speak over whatever the fuck is happening in Saudi Arabia. Kushner takes an unscheduled trip days before the Saudis declare pseudo-war on Lebanon and money didn't change hands? If you believe that I've got a $3 billion mortgage on a shitty skyscraper in midtown Manhattan to sell you.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:04 AM on November 11 [18 favorites]


Is it me or does Carter Page look like he's enjoying all of this attention? What is the psychosis of someone that can't help but get themselves in deeper trouble just for the sheer thrill?

we all remember that one kid from third grade, unfortunately he ended up being a national foreign policy advisor because oh god, this reality
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:09 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]


Greenwald and Assange and now Kiriakou? How blinkered must you be to end up a useful idiot for a Russian dictator?

How long do you keep beating your head against the wall making your own life difficult before you say, fuck it. Who am I doing this for? Nobody even wants my help. Might as well get something for me.

It's classic spirit-breaking technique for POWs. Your country isn't as moral and good as you think it is, and it SURE doesn't give a shit about you. Come on. Why keep putting up with beatings and mistreatment? We're going to make that worse. OR! You could be living comfortably like that other guy who cooperated if you stopped being a dupe for the manipulators in your government.

I totally get it. I've felt this momentarily at times too - why even give a shit? Let them burn it all down. Luckily some people see the manipulation and realize what's happening. Some stubborn people take that feeling as motivation to fight harder. But some do cave, especially when there's someone RIGHT THERE to take advantage of your weakness before you change your mind. I don't have anyone offering me a crap ton of money to help betray my country (and such a small thing! Is it really like that? Yes.) I think I wouldn't do it, but can you really know yourself that well beforehand? I wouldn't say I sympathize, because I don't. But I'm not surprised it works on some people.
posted by ctmf at 10:10 AM on November 11 [8 favorites]


What the fuck is up with these people? Greenwald and Assange and now Kiriakou? How blinkered must you be to end up a useful idiot for a Russian dictator?

There's a certain sort that bacsically saw the US as the biggest threat to global peace, and thus needed another actor to act as counterpoint, leading them to Russia. Of course, in their hurry to create that counterbalance, they ignored the reality of exactly who they were signing on with. One of the things that the antiwar left is going to have to come to terms with is exactly how much they got played by Russia.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:11 AM on November 11 [13 favorites]


The only innovation here is they don't have to capture the POW before they break him.
posted by ctmf at 10:12 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]




One of the things that the antiwar left is going to have to come to terms with is exactly how much they got played by Russia.

...for escaping that trap, Winnie Wong of People for Bernie Sanders deserves nothing but praise. So when will the merger of Brietbart and RT be finalized?
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:16 AM on November 11 [5 favorites]


They first have to see if News Corp. will be prevented from buying CNN, thus necessitating Breitbart (or some other Mercer/Koch/Adelson/&c.-owned enterprise) to buy it.
posted by acb at 10:19 AM on November 11


Unlike in Russia, these were substantial and involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks which, were they to become public would be potentially very damaging to their campaign.

I'm shocked, shocked to find that bribery is going on in the Trump Organization!

From the New Yorker's article on Trump and Tillerson: "In February, a few weeks after Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate, he visited the Oval Office to introduce the President to a potential deputy, but Trump had something else on his mind. He began fulminating about federal laws that prohibit American businesses from bribing officials overseas; the businesses, he said, were being unfairly penalized."
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:19 AM on November 11 [24 favorites]


IIRC they bought him off early in the game: China provisionally grants Trump 38 trademarks – including for escort service

Trump hookers? Do they...do they offer a specialty?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:21 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]


both of whom can help to limit further gerrymandering at the state level after the next census in 2020.

Uh, about that... Trump's going to fuck up the census so gerrymandering will be unnecessary.
posted by ctmf at 10:22 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]




As I see it, Glenn Greenwald is a patriotic American with very consistent opinions about the negative effects of US foreign policy. He is, additionally, a reflexive skeptic who doesn't see much use in jumping on a bandwagon with NeverTrumpers who, less than a decade ago, were selling us on Torture and Endless War (not that anyone's really stopped selling those two items).

I think it is fair to read his criticism of the "Russia story" not as a defense of Trump or Putin, but as a reaction to the current shiny-object topic which distracts from larger issues of inequity, injustice, and a dangerous US foreign policy.

I personally hope that the "Russia story" leads to the whole bunch of Trumpers in handcuffs. And I ravenously digest the daily news on it, mostly because I want to see the racist and homophobic 40% put back down. But I don't see the point in attacking Greenwald et al --- with whom I completely agree on almost any issue --- just because they are skeptical of the consensus view.
posted by pjenks at 10:25 AM on November 11 [10 favorites]


Trump hookers? Do they...do they offer a specialty?
bonus coupons for Taco Bowls at Trump Grills...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:32 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Say, didn't Franken ask Sessions for an answer to his letter by the 10th? Did anything come of that?
posted by salix at 10:33 AM on November 11 [9 favorites]


Say, didn't Franken ask Sessions for an answer to his letter by the 10th? Did anything come of that?

Yeah, Sessions replied "the stories [were] all true", that he had abused his power and was going to step down to "focus on getting better".
posted by petebest at 10:36 AM on November 11 [12 favorites]


It's difficult to square the benevolent skeptic view of Greenwald with the reality that he burns his NSA sources when it's convenient for him to do so.
posted by SakuraK at 10:37 AM on November 11 [31 favorites]


He is, additionally, a reflexive skeptic

Except where bullshit stories about Hillary Clinton are concerned

For some reason

I wonder what it could be
posted by schadenfrau at 10:46 AM on November 11 [73 favorites]


from Greenwald's point of view the current proto-facsist state and thousands dying in Puerto Rico is A-Ok as long as the neoliberals aren't in power. He can fuck off imo
posted by localhuman at 10:51 AM on November 11 [58 favorites]


I don't think I need/want to stand up in defense of Glenn Greenwald, but:
  1. The burning of Reality Winner looked a lot more like (inexcusable) incompetence than malevolence.
  2. About which bullshit stories about Hillary Clinton is he unskeptical? Lots of people are critical of Hillary Clinton, for lots of good reasons. I'm sad she lost, but not because I hold her to be ideal.
posted by pjenks at 10:55 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


from Greenwald's point of view the current proto-facsist state and thousands dying in Puerto Rico is A-Ok

Um, perhaps you can cite his "point of view" rather than just stating it? I'd be happy to read it and adjust my opinion.
posted by pjenks at 10:57 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


I don't think I need/want to stand up in defense of Glenn Greenwald

Then don't.

I don't see how someone can look at his actions and conduct, especially as of late, and see him as anything other than a useful idiot.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:00 AM on November 11 [25 favorites]


because it deflected media and the Democrat's attention away from Trump's business dealings in China and other emerging markets. Unlike in Russia, these were substantial and involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks which, were they to become public would be potentially very damaging to their campaign.

I keep coming back to this because of one of the most interesting features of Trump's behavior. We've had a whole bunch of reports that all boil down to "Trump is dealing with the Russia investigation because he doesn't personally think he did anything wrong, but he's furious about the prospect that Mueller could start investigating his business dealings:
Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, “I would say yes.” He would not say what he would do about it. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.”
This isn't subtle. When the guy, the kind of guy who pays multi-million dollar settlements for running a scam university, is all "sure, investigate me for this, but you'd better not investigate my business dealings," it doesn't take much to think maybe there's a whole lot worse out there.
posted by zachlipton at 11:01 AM on November 11 [53 favorites]


Whatever you think of Greenwald, I don't think he qualifies as an idiot.
posted by rhizome at 11:03 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Maybe there's a whole lot worse out there.

It's kind of what Trump and Moore have in common--they've been getting away with it for so long, they never thought to imagine that they might not be able to get away with it on a nationwide stage.
posted by box at 11:05 AM on November 11 [10 favorites]


It’s an expression, rhizome.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:08 AM on November 11 [7 favorites]


Whatever you think of Greenwald, I don't think he qualifies as an idiot.

In this context, he absolutely does. It's a term of art, not a quantifier of intellect.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:08 AM on November 11 [27 favorites]


Trump hookers? Do they...do they offer a specialty?

I believe for certain clientele they offer a service called the "Huang He"...
posted by anem0ne at 11:09 AM on November 11 [11 favorites]


It's kind of what Trump and Moore have in common--they've been getting away with it for so long, they never thought to imagine that they might not be able to get away with it on a nationwide stage.

They are terrified because cultural norms are shifting at such a pace that their past predatory crimes, swept neatly under the carpet at the time, can get them in serious trouble now.
posted by SakuraK at 11:11 AM on November 11 [8 favorites]


Putin in [sic] ‘insulted’ by accusations of election meddling, Trump says

The president* seems to have a new gig as the Kremlin's press secretary.

Also, I note that the dateline on the AP story is Hanoi, so next time the issue of bone spurs comes up, he can state tweet truthfully:
I WENT TO VIETNAM!!! Don't believe the fake news that says I stayed home #CNN #MSNBC
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:16 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


> About which bullshit stories about Hillary Clinton is he unskeptical

<Brianna_Keilar>All of them.</Brianna_Keilar>

The business we've chosen
So yes I agree, wholeheartedly and without reservation, that Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate. But there’s an extra word in that sentence. It’s the extra word that would still be in that sentence if you replaced the name “Hillary Clinton” with any other name in the recorded history of the world.

I’m too tired right now to give this topic the attention it deserves, but you really don’t get to avoid soiling yourself with the dirty business that is and always will be the business of politics by calling yourself a journalist.

If you helped bring about the election of Donald Trump by doing the best you could to publicize every sordid little detail of the Wikileaks data dumps that tumbled into your lap, then that’s what you did.

That’s what you did when everything was on the line. That’s how you decided, freely and consciously, to use your time and your very considerable talents. That’s what you chose to do at a moment of supreme moral and political crisis.

And that in its own small or perhaps not so small way is a tragedy.
The Republican Establishment Was And Is All-In On Trump
[...] But what’s doubly hilarious is that omitted from this discussion of utter trivia that had no effect on the campaign whatsoever is…Mr. James Comey. Maybe it’s me, but if you’re discussing the alleged effects of the national security apparatus on the election, the director of the FBI making highly prejudicial comments about Clinton — including a letter implying that Clinton was a crook based on redundant emails that were quickly determined to be [immaterial] less than two weeks before the election — while sitting on an serious investigation into Russian attempts to influence the election seems kinda important. Particularly since unlike some random op-eds Comey’s actions almost certainly changed the outcome of the election. But, as we know, discussing any variable that might have affected the outcome of the election other than 1)Hillary Clinton’s highly neoliberal neoliberalism and 2)some highly uninfluential op-eds would be the purest McCarthyism.

Silly as all this is, the setup is even more jaw-dropping:
Whatever else there is to say about Trump, it is simply a fact that the 2016 election saw elite circles in the U.S., with very few exceptions, lining up with remarkable fervor behind his Democratic opponent.
He’s still saying this. This claim was astoundingly wrong at the time, and if anything it looks even worse after six months of Republicans doing virtually nothing about Trump because, after all, they’ve gotten a neoconfederate judge out of the deal. This claim is so utterly absurd that in the past when I’ve pointed out that Glenn believes it I’ve been accused of attacking a strawman. But, no — Glenn did and does believe that the American elite was lined up against Trump despite the fact that he had the support of the vast majority of powerful Republicans. It’s also worth nothing that while the marginal Trump voter might be a person without a college degree who harbors major resentments about America’s elites, the typical Trump voter — which is what’s relevant in this context — is an affluent or more-than-affluent white person. The idea that America’s elites were united against Trump is utterly absurd on any possible level.
Area Man, Come Undone by Trump’s Election, Accuses Democrats of Coming Undone by Trump’s Election. And by “Area Man,” I mean “Glenn Greenwald”
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not terribly hawkish on Russia. But I am capable of updating my priors in light of new information. This isn’t crass partisanship. It’s what human beings who care about facts and stuff do. Anyway, whatever the ultimate cause of their behavior, Moscow has found a mechanism—information warfare deployed in electoral politics—for undermining liberal democracy in the Euro-Atlantic zone. Democrats need to take that fact very seriously when considering Russia policy. What we can’t do is, per Greenwald, reduce the debate to a choice between ‘American warmongering hawks’ and ‘apologists for Russian imperialism.’ If you think my characterization is too strong, read this:
Put another way, establishment Democrats – with a largely political impetus but now as a matter of conviction – have completely abandoned Obama’s accommodationist approach to Russia and have fully embraced the belligerent, hawkish mentality of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, the CIA and Evan McMullin. It should thus come as no surprise that a bill proposed by supreme warmonger Lindsey Graham to bar Trump from removing sanctions against Russia has more Democratic co-sponsors than Republican ones.
Do you feel that? That’s the feeling of whiplash. This bill prevents Trump from unilaterally lifting sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration as part of its response to, first, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and, second, Moscow’s interference in the US election. But wait, you say, didn’t Greenwald open by arguing that Democrats have gone insane because they don’t support Obama policies toward Russia? Why yes. Yes he did. [...]

The fact that Greenwald can’t be bothered to pay attention to what the vast majority of actual Democratic politicians are doing, or how they’re voting, when it comes to these issues is no excuse for stupid. The fact that Greenwald has clearly never been to a rally where liberals and left-wingers join together to protest Trump’s Islamophobic  policies, his assault on the environment, and his pro-corporate policies is no excuse for stupid. The fact that virtually all of these regulatory changes—or proposed policy changes—are things that Hillary Clinton would’ve prevented is no excuse for stupid. The fact that the Democratic party moved in a protectionist direction during this election, and that Greenwald is objectively wrong about the likely economic consequences of revoking existing trade deals, is no excuse for stupid. [...]

This is pretty important stuff. And while Greenwald is busy positioning himself to the left of Noam Chomsky, I just want to point out that Trump does not, in fact, promise less militarism than the Clinton wing of the Democratic party. He just would like to pursue more war-crime-y and more crypto-fascist-y militarism.

In conclusion, we all make mistakes. I think Greenwald would be happier, and a good deal less ridiculous, if he just owned his.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:19 AM on November 11 [93 favorites]


Ethics lawyers across the political spectrum say that if Trump receives any special treatment in securing trademark rights, it would violate the US constitution, which bans public servants from accepting anything of value from foreign governments unless approved by Congress.

Well. It's not like violating the Constitution is against the law. I mean, you'd think if the prednisent was violating the Constitution it'd be in the paper.
posted by petebest at 11:47 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Trump has no comment on Roy Moore because he doesn't 'watch much TV'
Donald Trump on Saturday deflected questions about whether Roy Moore should drop out of the Alabama Senate race over allegations of sexual misconduct, insisting that because he does “not watch much television” he did not feel qualified to comment.

Travelling in Asia, the president told reporters: “I’ve been with you folks, so I haven’t gotten to see too much. And believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television.”

Numerous reports have detailed Trump’s TV-watching habits, including large screens in the White House residence, tuned to cable news. His tweeting habits have frequently been shown to follow content on certain shows, particularly the Fox News morning magazine, Fox & Friends.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:48 AM on November 11 [50 favorites]


Believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television. I know they like to say that. People that don’t know me, they like to say I watch television — people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don’t get to watch much television. Primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents. A lot. And different things. I actually read much more — I read you people much more than I watch television.”

Reading "documents". Mmmm. Very heady stuff indeed. Which documents would that be then?

"Every . . all of them" (okay this last part I made up intuited.)
posted by petebest at 12:08 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


And believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television.
Okay, new rule: no more drinking hot beverages while reading Metafilter.

my poor computer
posted by ragtag at 12:11 PM on November 11 [24 favorites]


You know, fake reporters, fake sources.

He live tweets Fox and Friends 4 out of 5 days.
posted by PenDevil at 12:12 PM on November 11 [12 favorites]


petebest, was italicized part real?
posted by notsnot at 12:14 PM on November 11


He reads all the documents, y'know

Hi & Lois, Garfield, Blondie
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:16 PM on November 11 [9 favorites]


was italicized part real?

Yes. It was part of a press gaggle on Air Force One earlier today.
In context:
Q If we could ask you about Roy Moore. Is it time to pitch him overboard?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, again, I've been with you folks, so I haven't gotten to see too much. And believe it or not, even when I'm in Washington and New York, I do not watch much television. I know they like to say -- people that don't know me, they like to say I watch television. People with fake sources -- you know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don't get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I'm reading documents a lot, and different things.

I actually read much more -- I read you people much more than I watch television
. But anyway -- but so I have not seen very much about him, about it. And, you know, I put out a statement yesterday that he'll do the right thing, that -- he was interviewed.

Q But four women have come forward and accused him of inappropriately touching them, basically making advances when they were underage, including a 14-year-old. I mean, at what point -- and you said, "if he did it." But at what point do you decide if he did it? It's right now their word against his.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Honestly, I'd have to look at it and I'd have to see. Because again, Im dealing with the President of China, the President of Russia, I'm dealing with the folks over here. So I haven't devoted -- I haven't been able to devote very much time to it.

And I've been at -- I mean, you people are just as strong as me. You're following me all over the place. I mean, we are going to lots of meetings, right? And, by the way, anybody that took the bet, pick up your money, okay? And the hard stuff was that. Really hard.

Q What was the bet again?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, a lot of people said it's almost physically impossible for someone to go through 12 days.

What I didn't want to do was come back because I would have had to come back. And we would have been on this plane again in five weeks from now exactly to do four days. We were going to do four days and four days. And this way we did twelve, and we hit the big conferences, which is a big asset. So anyway.

Q So you're not yet prepared to say that Roy Moore should --

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I will see it when -- I mean, I basically put out a statement which was obvious. So I'll stick with statement for now, but I'll have further comment as we go down the road. I have to get back into the country to see what's happening.
posted by cjelli at 12:19 PM on November 11 [11 favorites]


What was the bet?
posted by notyou at 12:26 PM on November 11


"But I don't get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I'm reading documents a lot, and different things.

I actually read much more -- I read you people much more than I watch television."

Oh, that's weird. I haven't seen any TV about Roy Moore, either, because like Trump I mostly find out what reporters are saying by reading the stuff they write. I read a bunch of stuff from those people about Roy Moore. I wonder why Trump's missed out? What with all the reading he's doing all the time why hasn't he run up on any information on this gigaaaantic story?
posted by Don Pepino at 12:28 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


He live tweets Fox and Friends 4 out of 5 days.

And on the 5th day he’s on Fox News doing a bloody interview!
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:29 PM on November 11


I have to get back into the country to see what's happening.

... and the president appears to lack Object Permanence.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:30 PM on November 11 [82 favorites]


The most jaw-dropping part of the Roy Moore situation is the repeated insistence from the Alabama GOP (echoed by the Trump administration) that the best way to handle this is to trust Roy Moore to resign if this is true. Literally, they are leaving it up to an accused pedophile to decide whether he did anything wrong.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:30 PM on November 11 [35 favorites]


And, you know, I put out a statement yesterday that he'll do the right thing, that -- he was interviewed.

if you weren't watching, how do you know he was interviewed
i mean really i can't even be angry it's just too... sad
posted by halation at 12:31 PM on November 11


Q What was the bet again?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, a lot of people said it's almost physically impossible for someone to go through 12 days.


Man, I go through twelve days literally every twelve days, I gotta slow down
posted by salix at 12:32 PM on November 11 [115 favorites]


Ugh, PA's GOP just nominated state rep Rick Saccone to replace Tim Murphy in PA's 18th US district. From the article:
“We got to rile up the base” to support President Donald Trump’s agenda, Mr. Saccone told over 200 “conferees” gathered Saturday morning at the Southpointe Golf Club.

Afterward, he told reporters that advancing Mr. Trump’s agenda -- on issues like increasing military investment, lowering taxes, thwarting gun regulations, and ending abortion -- was a top priority. “People expect us to fight for it and defend it, and I will,” he said.

Mr. Saccone, 59, is a strident pro-gun conservative. Since being elected to the state House in 2010, he has proposed bills to expand gun rights, limit abortion, and to advance a culturally conservative agenda that includes posting “In God we Trust” at public schools.
posted by octothorpe at 12:34 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


With the addition of Wisconsin, right-wingers promoting a Constitutional Convention have 28 states; they only need six more."

I think, in the event that a minority of the US population, but a majority of the states, undertook to rewrite the US Constitution it would be time for a revolution.
posted by sotonohito at 12:38 PM on November 11 [30 favorites]


I have to get back into the country to see what's happening.

... and the president appears to lack Object Permanence.


And the knowledge that the President of the United States could probably get some people to bring news from inside the country to where he is if he asked nicely enough. It's literally someone's job description to brief him on things he wants to know about.
posted by ctmf at 12:39 PM on November 11 [19 favorites]


The most jaw-dropping part of the Roy Moore situation is the repeated insistence from the Alabama GOP (echoed by the Trump administration) that the best way to handle this is to trust Roy Moore to resign if this is true. Literally, they are leaving it up to an accused pedophile to decide whether he did anything wrong.

Worse, they are telling him and everyone else that withdrawal is an admission of guilt. They are actively incentivizing him to stay in the race.
posted by solotoro at 1:22 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


[There's a whole thread for the Roy Moore situation, let's keep stuff about that over there.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:30 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


The New York Times on Tillerson's latest move to destroy the very department he heads: State Department to Offer Buyouts in Effort to Cut Staff
The State Department will soon offer a $25,000 buyout to diplomats and staff members who quit or take early retirements by April, officials confirmed on Friday.

The decision is part of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s continuing effort to cut the ranks of diplomats and Civil Service officers despite bipartisan resistance in Congress. Mr. Tillerson’s goal is to reduce a department of nearly 25,000 full-time American employees by 8 percent, which amounts to 1,982 people.

To reach that number, he has already frozen hiring, reduced promotions, asked some senior employees to perform clerical duties that are normally relegated to lower-level staff members, refused to fill many ambassadorships and senior leadership jobs, and fired top diplomats from coveted posts while offering low-level assignments in their place. Those efforts have crippled morale worldwide.
Foreign policy consultant Molly McKew drily observes, "If you ran a corporation this way, everyone would know you were trying to run it into ground/sell off what's left."
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:33 PM on November 11 [78 favorites]


[There's a whole thread for the Roy Moore situation, let's keep stuff about that over there.]

Is there? Jesus. It's getting tricky to keep sexual assault stuff in the correct sub-thread for ongoing sexual assault issues. There is too much. Dear gawd, there is just too much.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:33 PM on November 11 [15 favorites]


he State Department will soon offer a $25,000 buyout to diplomats and staff members who quit or take early retirements by April, officials confirmed on Friday

I cannot even. Thousands of years of institutional memory, being sold off for a pittance of its value. It's a gross insult to everyone who has ever served in our diplomatic corps.
posted by suelac at 1:38 PM on November 11 [83 favorites]


Petebest, I don't really understand half of what you do. But you do it well.

I think.
posted by greermahoney at 1:40 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: "Dear gawd, there is just too much"
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:45 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


... the repeated insistence from the Alabama GOP (echoed by the Trump administration) that the best way to handle this is to trust Roy Moore to resign if this is true.

Right, but isn't that standard GOP? Self-regulation? Trusting corporations to not pollute and not cheat and not steal just because they say so? It's such a bizarre way of thinking, but they use it for everything.
(Except welfare benefits. Gotta make sure those are legit and only being used on what they think is appropriate. And someone collecting unemployment has to prove they're looking for work. So it seems the rule is trust them, and no one else. Got it.)
posted by greermahoney at 1:51 PM on November 11 [9 favorites]


Yes. It was part of a press gaggle on Air Force One earlier today.

reading his asinine gibberish, his meaningless blather, christ it's almost a word salad at this point, it becomes more apparent that the majority of his voters are really just very stupid.

What I didn't want to do was come back because I would have had to come back.

this cretin can bomb nations out of existence if he feels like it, and 68 million other halfwits are fine with that
posted by poffin boffin at 2:17 PM on November 11 [24 favorites]


meteor i am ready
posted by poffin boffin at 2:17 PM on November 11 [40 favorites]


Foreign policy consultant Molly McKew drily observes, "If you ran a corporation this way, everyone would know you were trying to run it into ground/sell off what's left."

This is exactly what Russia paid for. Tillerson is the pro quo. His entire nomination was as Putin's man to destroy US soft power for eternity going forward, and he's doing a great job at the mission his real boss, Vladimir Putin, hired him to do.

The US is a Russian client state, that fact just hasn't sunk in yet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:34 PM on November 11 [75 favorites]




The events of the past day have been ridiculous. Putin brought Paul Manafort's business partner, Oleg Deripaska, along to the summit. Short of wearing a Fancy Bear t-shirt, that seems like a comically large signal he's taking credit. Putin's spokesman says they didn't discuss hacking at all, while Trump said they did talk about it and he believes Putin. Indeed, Trump echoed Putin's old line about how Democrats are making this up to cause friction between the two countries. This caused the CIA to have to put out a statement saying "nope, whatever the President says, we're sticking by our analysis thanks."

This is all so incredibly wrong.
posted by zachlipton at 2:41 PM on November 11 [81 favorites]


Sure, this is fine. No reason to worry at all.

U.S. Embassy Hires Security Firm of Former Putin Spy
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has awarded a $2.83 million contract to a security firm founded by a former KGB agent who worked with Vladimir Putin and British double agent Kim Philby. A post on a U.S. state procurement site says Elite Security Holdings will provide “local guard services for US mission Russia,” which will include embassies in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg.

Russian business daily Kommersant reported Friday that the U.S. embassy hired the firm after Moscow reduced the number of staff allowed in U.S., missions, prompting the U.S. to replace its former staff with personnel from Elite Security Holdings. The company was founded in 1997 by Viktor Budanov, a former major general in Russia’s foreign intelligence service who headed a KGB branch in East Germany where Putin worked in the 1980s, according to Kommersant. Budanov has said he also worked with British defector Philby. He has also been accused by one former colleague of teaching Bulgarian agents how to use poison to target dissidents.
posted by chris24 at 2:45 PM on November 11 [38 favorites]


But I don't get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I'm reading documents a lot, and different things.


And I am Marie of Romania.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:48 PM on November 11 [17 favorites]


The US is a Russian client state, that fact just hasn't sunk in yet.

For now. When we get through this — and barring a pandemic, a meteor, or a yellowstone caldera / San Andreas type disaster, I think we will — there will be a goddamn reckoning.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:56 PM on November 11 [18 favorites]


A Washington county that went for Trump is shaken as immigrant neighbors start disappearing

Trump voters get what they voted for, leopards eating faces.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:58 PM on November 11 [49 favorites]


The US is a Russian client state, that fact just hasn't sunk in yet.

The bright side is we no longer have first world problems. The downside, of course, is we now have second world problems.
posted by milarepa at 2:59 PM on November 11 [38 favorites]


Kudos for correctly using First, Second, and Third World.
posted by Justinian at 3:02 PM on November 11 [21 favorites]


Yeah, it’s becoming pretty clear that even if the Soviet Union lost the Cold War, Russia may well still win it.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:10 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


Russia is a dying country. They can't actually win... just take us with them. Which sadly looks more and more likely.
posted by Justinian at 3:14 PM on November 11 [37 favorites]


Under Article V of the Constitution, all amendments—whether proposed by Congress or by a convention—must be approved by 3/4 of the states to take effect. It’s been that way for all 27 amendments so far; no reason why it would be different with a convention. Amendments can and do fail because states don’t ratify them.

[Admittedly, the last time there was a convention they replaced a system that required unanimous approval of changes with one that took effect after 2/3. But still.]
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:17 PM on November 11


This should be fun.

@jaketapper
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan will be live on @CNNSotu tomorrow to respond to President Trump.

9 am/noon only on @CNN
posted by chris24 at 3:21 PM on November 11 [14 favorites]


Yeah, it’s becoming pretty clear that even if the Soviet Union lost the Cold War, Russia may well still win it.

Just like the CSA lost its own hot war but is currently enjoying 150+ years of cold/guerilla warfare.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:23 PM on November 11 [34 favorites]


It’s important to not prematurely become despondent. While things are really bleak and real damage is being done, The Cold War lasted a generation. We can’t call it a loss in less than a year. The Trump administration seems invincible but it is lead by a capricious, unhealthy septuagenarian, who himself is already under intense pressure and scrutiny. We owe it to the younger generation to not surrender and lead through votes, donations, reason and decency.
posted by milarepa at 3:25 PM on November 11 [32 favorites]


The Cold War is not the correct analogy here, it was fought against an external enemy when an overwhelming majority of Americans agreed that the enemy was in fact, an enemy.

Today we have our own government captured by a hostile foreign power, with 46% of the population and 100% of the elected representatives in the majority party in full complicity because they hate liberals more than they value American sovereignty.

It's more like the resistance to occupied Nazi America in Man in the High Castle than the real world Cold War.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:31 PM on November 11 [32 favorites]


Boris Johnson met ‘London professor’ linked to FBI’s Russia investigation

If this had been a le Carré novel, everyone would have accused him of going too far
posted by mumimor at 3:34 PM on November 11 [43 favorites]


Josh Marshall:
The country has been in a sort of fog for a year. Proving collusion 18 months ago is kind of beside the point. We’re watching it in real time. President Putin has a tight hold over the President. He is actively working to block an understanding of what happened in 2016 and prevent what will happen in 2018. This isn’t hyperbole. Have you even seen a business man asked about the mobster who owns him? It’s very similar. A foreign adversary actively worked to elect a candidate. He got elected and has consistently done everything possible to support and defend the foreign adversary. He takes the foreign adversary’s side against his own govt. There’s no other explanation for what we see beside the bad explanation. It’s like an active crime scene.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:43 PM on November 11 [119 favorites]


The Cold War is not the correct analogy here

I don’t disagree, but my point was it’s important to not give in prematurely. Our situation is incredibly dangerous, for both us and the world, but it might take decades of effort before we definitively lose or prevail. Premature despondency is worse than useless.
posted by milarepa at 3:43 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


Justinian, Russia is running out of money, and Putin erroneously sees the situation as a zero sum game. He's wrong. America's loss, no matter how substantial, has not proven to be Russia's gain. Americans have to hold the line long enough for the Russian power structure to fall down (which will be a humanitarian catastrophe in Russia, but take the pressure off democratic institutions in the West) or for the GOP to fall to the fatal reputational damage of the Trump year(s).

Going forward, I think we need to make a stronger case than two cheers for democracy, because it's pretty clear that the opposition are willing to exploit every weak point and the average voter has no idea why they should defend the principle, rather than their own self-interest and the interests of the tribe.

On a personal note, I saw Tommy Sheridan, who introduced me to voting Socialist, on RT not that long ago, and I am gutted to see Alex Salmond is now preparing to work for the Russian government. Particularly because I am a supporter of independence, I don't want to see those waters muddied.

Anyhow, let's not lose hope. We have an increasingly clear vision of a better future, while they are modifying their culture war to incorporate paedophila, economic and scientific ignorance, and collusion with hostile governments.

Let's win.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 3:44 PM on November 11 [13 favorites]


Why is this 2017 the one where the Russians came to the aid of the CSA, and us remnants of the USA are fighting for survival?
posted by mikelieman at 3:44 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


And believe it or not, even when I'm in Washington and New York, I do not watch much television.

So, these are our two choices? Give me a sec.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:50 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Did the producers of Okkupert just pivot to reality to TV for the second season or something? The mention of Russian client state upthread reminded me of that show and its worryingly plausible premise. Djupvik, where are you?
posted by emelenjr at 3:50 PM on November 11


9 am/noon only on @CNN

bit early for popcorn, but...
posted by halation at 3:53 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


and I am gutted to see Alex Salmond is now preparing to work for the Russian government. Particularly because I am a supporter of independence, I don't want to see those waters muddied.


I too am gutted by this. Not in my name.
posted by Flitcraft at 4:03 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


Does Russia Today pay in pieces of silver or is that only implied?
posted by Justinian at 4:05 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Nightmare scenario = Constitutional Convention + Putin still in power.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:23 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics - bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!

Giving him more characters was a tremendous mistake.
posted by zachlipton at 4:28 PM on November 11 [58 favorites]


Just a thought: whatever it is that is happening in Saudi Arabia (and around it) these days is really radical and potentially can lead to one more major disruption in the entire region. Is this the Trump version of the Iraq war? It's already causing a humanitarian disaster in Yemen. Now Lebanon is under attack, and there's the strange crisis in Qatar.
Are the Trumpists trying to provoke a SA-Iran war? (Which Iran will no doubt win, even if the USA meddles, a Vietnam for the 21st century). I'm just guessing at this point, but it is something that is happening at very high speed while we are trying to follow the Russia story, the China story, the US internal politics etc.
posted by mumimor at 4:29 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


There always playing politics

Grammar game on point.
posted by chris24 at 4:31 PM on November 11 [17 favorites]


In another tweet, he spelled Philippines wrong.
posted by zachlipton at 4:34 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics - bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!

@HeerJeet
Retweeted Donald J. Trump
Let me translate this for you: "Yes, the pee tape is real."


@Mikel_Jollett
Retweeted Donald J. Trump
Innocent people don't talk like this.
posted by chris24 at 4:34 PM on November 11 [70 favorites]


When will all the haters and fools out there realize

This is classic worst-of-trump-twitter wording (case in point), the likes of which we haven't seen in a long time. He's in an unfamiliar environment without standard handlers, feels like things are out of control, and is resorting to an old and well-worn brain-pleasure button.

I will bet anything that it has to do with Mueller getting to his innermost circle with Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:40 PM on November 11 [13 favorites]


After the longest of years (what are we up to, 18 million Scaramuccis?), I'm still boggled by the fact that we have a President who talks like the comments section of your local newspaper.

Acts like a fawning, weak piece of shit when he's being buttered up by China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, then tweets about haters. What a fucking year this has been.
posted by Salieri at 4:44 PM on November 11 [32 favorites]


Oh he's on a roll.

@realDonaldTrump
Does the Fake News Media remember when Crooked Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was begging Russia to be our friend with the misspelled reset button? Obama tried also, but he had zero chemistry with Putin.
posted by chris24 at 4:48 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


That Hope Hicks interview must be driving him nuts. She's privy to all the dirt.
posted by mikelieman at 4:48 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


There's a certain sort that bacsically saw the US as the biggest threat to global peace, and thus needed another actor to act as counterpoint, leading them to Russia. Of course, in their hurry to create that counterbalance, they ignored the reality of exactly who they were signing on with. One of the things that the antiwar left is going to have to come to terms with is exactly how much they got played by Russia.

I've been saying since 2016 the US political situation is going to turn out to be "Fargo".
posted by bongo_x at 4:48 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


“We hold these Truths to be self-evident: that h8ers gonna h8 h8 h8 h8 h8 h8.”
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:49 PM on November 11 [25 favorites]


1) You misspelled "they're" in the tweet you sent 5 minutes ago. The one we are currently discussing.
2) We are aware of your chemistry with Putin.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:49 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


oh dear

@realDonaldTrump
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!

posted by Rust Moranis at 4:50 PM on November 11 [62 favorites]


WHAT. THE. FUCK. POTUS?
posted by zachlipton at 4:50 PM on November 11 [62 favorites]


If we all die because our president is a narcissistic manbaby calling a nuclear armed tyrant short and fat I am going to have a talk with the writers of this screenplay.
posted by Justinian at 4:51 PM on November 11 [50 favorites]


um, we all know that china won the cold war, right?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:55 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]


oh my god look what you did jack LOOK WHAT YOU DID ROLL THE CHARACTER COUNT BACK

for real tho someone needs to get that phone away from him because we are treading uncomfortably close to the danger zone even by 2017's entirely fucked up standards
posted by halation at 4:56 PM on November 11 [20 favorites]


Are we watching the long-awaited meltdown in real time? Via Twitter? Can't someone just feed him a cheeseburger with fries and put him down for the night?
posted by uosuaq at 4:57 PM on November 11 [23 favorites]


@ddale8 (Toronto Star)
Trump simply cannot contain himself for any extended period of time. He's been forced to stick to script on a trip, and now he's lashing out wildly.

@ddale8
The president is publicly demonstrating that the North Korean dictator can play with his emotions...
posted by chris24 at 5:02 PM on November 11 [46 favorites]


Wait. Those are real tweets? That a grown ass adult wrote? To the leader of another country? Who has nukes?

Lordy.
posted by lydhre at 5:02 PM on November 11 [47 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Does the Fake News Media remember when Crooked Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was begging Russia to be our friend with the misspelled reset button? Obama tried also, but he had zero chemistry with Putin.


Crazy thing is, this is sort of true! US was on a mission to improve relations w/ Russia, looking at economic support in return for humanitarian improvements and better relations in SW Asia/Middle East. Obama was on board with a decently solid policy and real goals and a plan to meet them. What changed? Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, and Obama was pressured into signing it into law.
posted by carsonb at 5:04 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


Watching trump's twitter stream now, i'm becoming convinced this, first mentioned on Friday by Nate Silver, is actually a cogent analysis:

At the end of the day, perhaps typography will be Trump’s downfall
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:05 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


Obama never looked for a reset with Russia that was contrary to US interests. Improved relations is one thing, compromised by is another.
posted by chris24 at 5:05 PM on November 11 [11 favorites]


He's also doing this with only one nation between him and North Korea. Granted, that country is China. But still.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:05 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


I have checked at least a dozen times to make sure it wasn't a parody account. The first couple of times, I was checking to make sure I wasn't spreading fake news. The checks after that were just hoping it was.
posted by zachlipton at 5:06 PM on November 11 [16 favorites]


Watching trump's twitter stream now, i'm becoming convinced this, first mentioned on Friday by Nate Silver, is actually a cogent analysis:

At the end of the day, perhaps typography will be Trump’s downfall


Josh agrees.

@joshtpm
He’s owned by a hostile foreign leader. Also 280 killed his tweets.
posted by chris24 at 5:07 PM on November 11 [13 favorites]


C'mon, this is what 12 days of international travel will do to a guy, h8rs! Twelve days!! So many countries!!!
posted by valetta at 5:07 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


can someone please tell me what trump meant by 'misspelled reset button'? is it sheer projection or was there some typo incident i'm failing to remember because it happened in a kinder, less wild time
posted by halation at 5:08 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


Welp, the President's insane.

Been nice knowing y'all.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:10 PM on November 11 [15 favorites]


>begging Russia to be our friend with the misspelled reset button

Did -- did Trump just copy and paste a tweet while leaving the editor's note in? Or is there some Clinton typo thing I'm not remembering?
posted by cjelli at 5:10 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Giving him more characters was a tremendous mistake.

Echoing Nate Silver, Philip Bump at the WaPo makes the case that, when it comes to character count, less is more for Trump's twitter.
posted by peeedro at 5:10 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


3/6/09 - CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty - Clinton 'reset button' gift to Russian FM gets lost in translation
posted by carsonb at 5:11 PM on November 11 [6 favorites]


"I would like to present you with a little gift that represents what President Obama and Vice President Biden and I have been saying and that is: 'We want to reset our relationship, and so we will do it together.' ...

"We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?" she asked Lavrov, laughing.

“You got it wrong," said Lavrov, as both diplomats laughed.

“It should be “perezagruzka” [the Russian word for reset]," said Lavrov."This says ‘peregruzka,’ which means ‘overcharged.’”


Mr. Trump ought not be critical of others' spelling errors.
posted by Nekosoft at 5:14 PM on November 11 [19 favorites]


ah okay so it's both an actual, magnitudes-less-serious mistake clinton made AND it's projection AND the need to scream it out stems from the plumbless depths of his insecurity
aka The Trump Trifecta
posted by halation at 5:15 PM on November 11 [18 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!


When you're 70 and the president of one of the most powerful countries of the world, but inside, you're that backward eight-year-old no one would play with at recess.
posted by orange swan at 5:16 PM on November 11 [51 favorites]


Editing is a thing.

Trump couldn't really edit his sentence structure without dropping entire chunks of thought, and the result made him sound like an angry toddler.

These recent tweets are sad and rambling, and he just sounds like a lonely, tired old man.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:16 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Obama tried also, but he had zero chemistry with Putin.

Oh, come on. I already used my fanfic joke in this thread. What am I supposed to do with this now?
posted by greermahoney at 5:17 PM on November 11 [12 favorites]


North Korea just called Trump a "dotard" again, almost like they've realized how to push his buttons. He seems extremely concerned about the "old" part, while not mentioning "dotard" and "lunatic."
posted by zachlipton at 5:18 PM on November 11 [20 favorites]



@realDonaldTrump
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!


fake, right? right? Please?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:18 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, Ray.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:19 PM on November 11


I think he actually is a dotard.
posted by Justinian at 5:20 PM on November 11 [23 favorites]




Well, thank God that Trump is not even 0.5% smarter than this. We can work with “old.” “Old” is manageable.
posted by witchen at 5:23 PM on November 11


James Poniewozik nailed it in one: "Somebody finally fought in Vietnam"
posted by zachlipton at 5:23 PM on November 11 [27 favorites]


Russia is a dying country. They can't actually win... just take us with them. Which sadly looks more and more likely.

Russia is trying to pull the US down by its right arm. The right arm cannot effectively fight back due to the nature of Russia's grip. A strong enough left arm could pry Russia away and free the right arm to retaliate. In moments of desperation, a sharp enough object could cut off the afflicted portion of the right arm entirely.

While painful, the latter option could possibly result in a cool robotic prosthesis.
posted by Arson Lupine at 5:27 PM on November 11 [13 favorites]


Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!

To me it has a sad wistful air of a young teenage girl writing in a diary (with a lock) with a glitter pen. "Dear Diary, boys are weird." A stylised Athena poster hangs above her bed of a shirtless Putin riding a unicorn.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:29 PM on November 11 [24 favorites]


BTW it rhymes with "doddered"...I wish media folks would stop pronouncing it the way people say "retard".
posted by uosuaq at 5:33 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


For anyone curious, it’s currently 8:41am in Vietnam. Good luck, everyone. 🍿🍿🍿
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:41 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


He's been on a tightly controlled script all week meeting with foreign dignitaries, something had to give and now he's lost control again. It's an inevitable cycle, he can only be contained for a few days at a time before having a meltdown.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:43 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Since the President has learned of it now, does this mean I have to drop the construction of using a period instead of a question mark after questions.

can't deal with the content, going to my happy grammar-analyzing world/cave
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:45 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


BTW it rhymes with "doddered"...I wish media folks would stop pronouncing it the way people say "retard".

To be bit more clear, it's pronounced "doe-turd" unfortunately enough. At least in the US. ("Doddered" makes me think the o is short. And it's maybe 3 syllables.)
posted by greermahoney at 5:47 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure if they're pushing his buttons or just running out of new material.

Can you imagine being one of the people in the NK government responsible for writing Trump-trolling press releases? I imagine it's like being one of Colbert's writers, but with less pay and more risk of execution.
posted by allegedly at 5:52 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


"Don't call me dotard, not fit to"
posted by Ornate Rocksnail at 5:54 PM on November 11 [13 favorites]


No. Dot•ard.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:54 PM on November 11


(he is most definitely a dotard tho, as even a tin pot dictator is perfectly fit to evaluate that)
posted by Ornate Rocksnail at 5:56 PM on November 11


He's a Time Lord, traveling in his DOTARDIS.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:57 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


I don't doubt that the Orange Dotard is not having a happy fun presidential time since he came back. Hope Hicks is all set to be interviewed by Mueller next week, lots of Democratic victories in the most recent elections because people are getting sick of all this winning, his popularity stubbornly refuses to budge above the high thirties, he's looking like an albatross to the Republicans instead of an asset...if I were him I'd be taking all the Xanax I could get my hands on.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:01 PM on November 11


"Echoing Nate Silver, Philip Bump at the WaPo makes the case that, when it comes to character count, less is more for Trump's twitter."

But guys! Our foreign policy is now twice as nuanced!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:02 PM on November 11 [12 favorites]


I feel bad that a lot of my recent MeFi comments are "wait, I know this is the weirdest timeline, but this shit just got even weirder and why aren't more people talking about it", but ya know...

...the Mike Flynn kidnapping plot is super weird. Why isn't that like, all-caps, alarms-clanging, Volume 11, put on the bat signal news? Even in this thread it seems like it's only been mentioned once or twice after the front matter.

Have I entered an even weirder dimension? Is this what the kids mean when they say lol nothing matters...??

I'm so confused.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:11 PM on November 11 [54 favorites]


Daniel Dale on Twitter: "Kim Jong Un called Pussy grabber a 'lunatic old man' who might start a 'nuclear war.' Pussy grabber let 'lunatic' and 'nuclear war' slide and complained about 'old.'"

My guess is that 'Dotard' is the only word he didn't know, so when somebody told him it meant 'old' it was the 'who could've known?' aspect of his acquiring knowledge that had to be shared with the world.
posted by carsonb at 6:11 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


oh dear

@realDonaldTrump
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!


Lucille Bluth has lost a lot of her edge
posted by schadenfrau at 6:12 PM on November 11 [40 favorites]


mostly vowels, the Flynn kidnapping thing has been know for several months (I’d guess it first came up in the spring, but with this being 2017, who the fuck knows. If we didn’t know about it before Flynn was fired, then it was soon after).
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:16 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


"Why isn't that like, all-caps, alarms-clanging, Volume 11, put on the bat signal news?"

COUNTERSIGNED. It's stunning that that guy was National Security Advisor and we're all like, "sure the dude who had access to pretty much everything was talking to a foreign power about repatriating an exile to them, possibly secretly and/or illegally"
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:17 PM on November 11 [33 favorites]


To me it has a sad wistful air of a young teenage girl writing in a diary (with a lock) with a glitter pen.

I'm getting a "Long-bearded Howard Hughes in a room full of pee-filled jars" vibe. If HH had had a Samsung 3 and a twitter account.

It's seriously disturbing, as if he's lost the last little marble he had.

And how sad to read it after having just been buoyed by watching a wonderful classic American film about post-WWII, "The Best Years of Our Lives." To be reminded in a well-done, true-ringing piece of fiction about sacrifices of the past (like my parents made too). And then jolted back to the reality of this smarmy, decrepit *thing* currently in the Oval Office.

I choose to think instead about all the inspiring "little" people who've always made the difference, then and now.
posted by NorthernLite at 6:17 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?"
You just did, and essentially admitted the accuracy of "old" by throwing back objectively factual (but childish) insulrs.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:18 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


the Mike Flynn kidnapping plot is super weird. Why isn't that like, all-caps, alarms-clanging, Volume 11, put on the bat signal news?

Extraordinary rendition is old hat.
posted by Bovine Love at 6:20 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Flynn is involved in so many things at this point, that even if he flips and testifies against Trump, I can't see him getting any personal benefit beyond maybe keeping Flynn Jr out of prison.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:22 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Extraordinary rendition is old hat.

Of someone inside the United States? I mean I wouldn't be surprised but I don't recall something like that ever being publicly known/reported.

Anyway, if I were Gülen I'd be on the phone with Ottawa about taking a bit of a Niagara Falls holiday.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:24 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Extraordinary rendition is old hat.
But getting paid a commission for it is a new wrinkle. And everyone said Trump's people were crappy at monetizing...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:24 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: When will all the haters and fools out there realize …
On the plus side, in every other encounter I've ever had with Trump-level chronic bullshitters powered by ego and little else*, the point at which they start trying to belittle and dismiss everyone who disagrees with them as "haters and fools" is right before the point they fuck off and disappear completely for a few weeks/months.

Well, I'm going to take a little solace from that, even if you can't ;)

On the down side: they always come back…

(* Oh, yeah, I've known a few, both IRL and online …)
posted by Pinback at 6:26 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Regarding the "short and fat" tweet: on top of the sheer batshittedness of it, does anyone else find it odd and kinda significant that it's also a complete sentence?

I'm staring at it thinking, "Wow, this is insane and WTF, and it's...also coherent?"
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:27 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


[Here’s a WSJ article from March that discusses the kidnapping plan]
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:29 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


I try so hard to be his friend

He's been mocking him on Twitter and in campaign rallies for months. I'm so glad he's not trying to be my friend.
posted by greermahoney at 6:35 PM on November 11 [9 favorites]


Crazy thing is, this is sort of true! US was on a mission to improve relations w/ Russia ... Obama was on board with a decently solid policy and real goals and a plan to meet them. What changed? Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, and Obama was pressured into signing it into law.

You mean, Russia's human rights abuses could no longer be ignored.

The other thing that changed is, Putin won election again. There was a period where Medvedev was president, Putin was nominally not in power, and human rights were supposedly improving - those were the circumstances that led the administration to try to reset relations. All of those things changed.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:37 PM on November 11 [29 favorites]


Obama was on board with a decently solid policy and real goals and a plan to meet them. What changed? Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, and Obama was pressured into signing it into law.

I am pretty sure what changed was that Russia invaded Georgia and Ukraine.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:39 PM on November 11 [85 favorites]


You think Kim Jong-un is kind of frustrated that even though he's being as bombastic as he can with his rhetoric, these days he ends up being merely correct?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:39 PM on November 11 [10 favorites]


Yeah that too
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:39 PM on November 11


I try so hard to be his friend

Does that mean he intended 'Rocket Man' to be taken as a compliment?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:41 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


Thanks y'all - I had seen some references to the fact that the Flynn kidnapping story has had some mention going back months, and I guess this confirms my suspicion that much like soap operas or the comic strip Mary Worth, if you take a 48 hour news break some crazy bullshit will break, and you never quite feel like you can ever really catch up. There's so much crazy fucking bullshit when you hear about it months later, everyone's like "Oh yeah, that happened" and then you go "BUT WHY HAVEN'T WE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT INCESSANTLY?" Like we haven't even been referring to him as "Accessory to kidnapping Flynn".

I think what's also worth noting here is.... I'm a pretty engaged political nerd and was long before the election. I subscribe to multiple newspapers. When I get behind I check WTF Happened Today. I dip into the MeFi political threads. And if someone like me can't keep up with this shit, then I truly don't blame much of the rest of the population for tuning it out. Even though I know that tuning is out is exactly what Trump and his acolytes want to have happen.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:47 PM on November 11 [26 favorites]


And a Mary Worth reference in the Megathread.

Shit y'all, I'm pretty sure that was the fifth seal.
posted by petebest at 7:00 PM on November 11 [46 favorites]


Well that doesn't sound so bad, how many seals are there
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:11 PM on November 11 [39 favorites]


I never thought the Leopard Seal would eat my face
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:12 PM on November 11 [29 favorites]


Mary Worth? Nah, I'll take Judge Parker, because the guy who does Sally Forth and Medium Large is writing it now and one of the best characters is currently in prison and handling it VERY badly. Now THAT'S a soap opera comic.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:17 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Bloomberg: Trump Says AT&T Deal for Time Warner May End Up in Court. In which Trump projects litigation over his efforts to use the Justice Department in his vendetta against CNN.
posted by zachlipton at 7:23 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


(The AT&T deal is probably bad for consumers and it's not a given that all the fed opposition you are hearing about is because of Trump's feelings towards CNN)
posted by Jpfed at 7:31 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


The AT&T deal is indeed problematic, mostly for reasons having nothing to do with CNN. I don't personally want such a conglomerate to exist, and I don't come to MetaFilter to shill for AT&T. But to the extent that one could have a reasonable discussion about that, applying anti-trust law to the situation, Trump has taken a dump in the pool and you can't sit around and have that discussion anymore. It's tainted because he's inserted his "enemy of the people" vendetta into the middle of it.

This reminds me of a long comment I wrote back last year, but it's striking how much Trump being Trumpy has foreclosed pretty much all actual discussion about issues. We can't talk about what the right thing to do is, because Trump always wants to do everything for the wrong reasons. It's hard to talk about the reasons CNN, in general, kind of sucks, when fascists are chanting "CNN sucks" at Trump rallies. It just becomes creepy. It's hard to talk about the legitimate problems with Obamacare when Trump is declaring it failed. And it's hard to talk about the AT&T-Time Warner merger when Trump is perverting the Justice Department for personal and political purposes.

It's a strange situation because it's wrong to inherently recoil at his every action without some degree of analysis, but it's impossible because he always acts in bad faith (I am holding my breath for the turkey pardoning). In the rare instance he's not entirely horribly wrong, he's doing it for an entirely horribly wrong reason. And we are nowhere.
posted by zachlipton at 8:07 PM on November 11 [125 favorites]


We can't talk about what the right thing to do is, because Trump always wants to do everything for the wrong reasons...

This is a really good and important point, zachlipton, and I don't think I've seen it articulated as clearly as you've put it.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:22 PM on November 11 [14 favorites]


Trump is now saying [video] very confusedly that when he spoke earlier, he was saying that "I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether or not I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies."

In other words, he's claiming that his previous statement was supposed to be that Trump thought Putin feels that Putin didn't meddle in the election. I do not know why we care what Putin feels, but here we are. If he's "with our agencies," he's indicating that he really does believe that Russia meddled in the election, but then he has absolutely nothing to say about the actual consequences of that and apparently has no plans to do anything about it.

In short, WTF?
posted by zachlipton at 8:26 PM on November 11 [50 favorites]


(from the Roy Moore thread)
Advertisers distance themselves from Hannity after Moore coverage.
Tweet and call. "Do you, like Sean Hannity, support "consensual" pedophilia?"
posted by leotrotsky at 8:29 PM on November 11 [35 favorites]


There's a certain sort that basically saw the US as the biggest threat to global peace,

More than that, if you see all of the actions of the US on the international scene as unmitigated evil. Which you know, you hear on metafilter threads every so often.

If you are part of the Left which believe that America is basically a force for evil, then its easy to get into the mode of believing that anything that weakens the US and its allies is a good thing. So it doesn't matter what anyone says about Russia; either they're lies, or it's a minor thing compared to the necessity of destroying the current regime.
posted by happyroach at 8:30 PM on November 11 [14 favorites]


Anyone who believes that somebody else have to be "good guys" if we are "bad guys" obviously got all their beliefs about morality from pre-1980 superhero cartoons.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:04 PM on November 11 [19 favorites]


In short, WTF?

Trump is a moron, and says the obvious thing that he really believes and feels. He has to keep Putin happy, he wants his help again, and he's a horrible liar. McMaster or whoever is on call at the NSC makes an urgent phone call frantically trying to get him to walk it back, Trump mangles the next statement, because he's a moron.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:11 PM on November 11 [14 favorites]


One of the things that the antiwar left is going to have to come to terms with is exactly how much they got played by Russia.

True, but then the pro-war set got played pretty hard too, no?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:19 PM on November 11 [9 favorites]




ctmf: "Uh, about that... Trump's going to fuck up the census so gerrymandering will be unnecessary."

Gerrymandering relates to district lines within a state. It is not directly impacted by the census. There's is a secondary impact from any reapportionment that takes place, admittedly, but it's not like the census doles out X number of reps for New York City, and Y number for upstate.

Unless you're positing a situation where the administration says, "Wow, literally everyone in Massachusetts moved to Mississippi, how about that!", the impact on House composition should be minor. A fucked up census has lots of other bad impacts, to be sure.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:35 PM on November 11 [5 favorites]


whenever people in these threads start talking about the latest trump tweet i'm just gonna pretend that that it reads "I MADE A POOPY!!"

cuz that's always the upshot and it's way less likely to start an international incident than what he actually said
posted by murphy slaw at 10:18 PM on November 11 [14 favorites]


If another disgruntled Twitter employee were to make that an actual reality, I wouldn’t mind.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:29 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Concerning Trump's latest tweet; maybe he was being- 'gasp!'- ironic. Mind you, the dim watt bulb of a junior high bully being ironic, but ironic all the same.

No, I don't believe it either.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:37 PM on November 11


A little too ironic, and yeah I really do think
posted by kirkaracha at 10:42 PM on November 11 [11 favorites]


Good suggestion from Metafilter's Own mightygodking:
when the Trump regime is finally ousted, a priority for Democrats should be rigorous investigation of all Trump-nominated judges to ensure there were no promises of favourable rulings

because you KNOW some of them made such promises

probably in email

because they're dumb
posted by Chrysostom at 11:07 PM on November 11 [108 favorites]


In a previous thread I said hold off on the civil war because we were getting a kitten and I wasn't kidding.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:15 PM on November 11 [66 favorites]


In a previous thread I said hold off on the civil war because we were getting a kitten and I wasn't kidding.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:15 PM on November 11


Kitten name? So cute. Verbless now.
posted by SakuraK at 11:25 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Dogs are way better, but...

What a cute kitty!
posted by Windopaene at 11:33 PM on November 11


Siamese mix? v. cute! How about a cat tax for the politics threads, every fifth horrible revelation gets kitten pictures?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:51 PM on November 11 [8 favorites]


Can we take up a collection with the goal of permanently ending Trumps forays onto twitter. You know, there could be a ghost twitter set up, where Trump and some bots would all be interacting with each other but it would be a closed loop but only Trump wouldn't know that.
Or it could be a really diligent troop of hackers who constantly hack his twitter account (sending out tweets like, "Black Lives Matter!" or, "Who should I believe, Putin or our own Intelligence community? Do you have to even ask?") .

I'm not kidding.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:04 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]


So tonight I went to like the most stereotypical event: a dinner party full of academics , all over 40 all aggressively liberal and well I got kind of political and people where INTO IT. Esp with the socialists winning elections, no one at the party was online at all aside from brief facebooks. They were all very surprised and happy that Socialism is Real Again.

And now I'm flipping the enamel DSA pin I got in the mail over and over and going WELL WHAT IF I GO FOR COMMUNITY COUNCIL WHAT THEN
posted by The Whelk at 12:40 AM on November 12 [109 favorites]


Let's be honest, the password to Trump's Twitter account is going to be not too difficult to guess, and probably the same as every other account he uses.
posted by Merus at 12:43 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


its TRUMP. His password is TRUMP.
posted by Justinian at 12:48 AM on November 12 [37 favorites]


You know, there could be a ghost twitter set up, where Trump and some bots would all be interacting with each other but it would be a closed loop but only Trump wouldn't know that.

Already been done and Russia is quite pleased with its work product.
posted by SakuraK at 12:50 AM on November 12 [6 favorites]


Oxygen Network is creepily obsessed with missing blonde white girls. Also, there's a slight difference between a reality TV idiot on Oxygen and the presi... no, wait, the president is a reality TV idiot with a history of incest and sexual assault and I wouldn't be surprised to see him on Oxygen with his Russian asset buddies cheering him on.
posted by SakuraK at 1:47 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


A gentle reminder that this complete abdication of collective responsibility for fellow humans is not restricted to the US of A: 60,000 march in support of white nationalism in Poland. 60,000. That is not a handful.

We have to start having discussions that are not predicated upon a return to business as usual, and that are not situated within the usual scaffolds of institutional power.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:26 AM on November 12 [82 favorites]


I remember the delirious joy when the Berlin wall came down and we thought that history had ended, and fraternité would now be the order of the day. Turkey was going to join the EU, NATO's peace would wash over Eastern Europe, and everybody would be happy and secure.

Well, that didn't happen.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:49 AM on November 12 [54 favorites]


60,000 march in support of white nationalism in Poland.

Inspired/encouraged in part by Trump’s fascist speech in Warsaw in July. Amazing that the country who lost over 400,000 lives fighting to stop fascism in Europe is now a contributor to it.

“Some participants marched under the slogan “We Want God”, words from an old Polish religious song that the US president, Donald Trump, quoted during a visit to Warsaw earlier this year.”
posted by chris24 at 2:52 AM on November 12 [33 favorites]


Did he really? I wonder who fed him the line. Gorka, maybe? It's clearly a dog-whistle.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:59 AM on November 12 [5 favorites]


Inspired/encouraged in part by Trump’s fascist speech in Warsaw in July. Amazing that the country who lost over 400,000 lives fighting to stop fascism in Europe is now a contributor to it.

Yeah, well, I'm a descendant of Jewish Polish refugees, and ... "It's complicated", but I'm not surprised.
posted by mikelieman at 3:22 AM on November 12 [23 favorites]




DOJ: Strong encryption that we don’t have access to is “unreasonable”

So it goes living in a "Free Society" instead of a totalitarian surveillance state.
posted by mikelieman at 3:32 AM on November 12 [13 favorites]


60,000 march in support of white nationalism in Poland.

So I just canceled a trip to Poland — to Katowice, in point of fact, which is the city closest to the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex — on the strength of this news.

My hosts, needless to say, are not pleased. They make the point that in cutting them off from conversations with people from abroad, I'm only punishing the enlightened, progressive people, and rewarding the antisemites and the fascists.

And there may be a grain of truth to this. But you know what? I'm not buying it. Not this time. The people there who do not believe these things — and I'm sure they are many — can still organize. They can tell the fascists how they're scaring away contacts from overseas, turning the whole culture inward in a way that takes years or decades to recover from, and shedding great and lasting shame on the nation in so doing.

I'm sure that wouldn't be without risk — of course it wouldn't. We are, after all, talking about the fash. But the people who believe in internationalism and progress and so on have to believe that there's a risk in not acting now, too. They have to stand up for openness and the other values they hold. They have to put their bodies on the line if they want to save the country they love and the web of overseas connections they cherish. That's their job, not mine or anyone else's, just as it's my job and not anyone else's to fight rising fascism in the US and here in the UK.

You know what I'd like to see from institutions throughout Eastern Europe that want to work with people like me? I'd like to see them issue prominent, public and above all proud statements from them renouncing these fascist movements, at whatever risk. Then and only then will I feel like it's fair to ask folks like me to take the risk of coming. Otherwise they put nothing on the line, while we gamble everything.

And may your name be a calumny forever, Donald Trump, for authorizing and validating this slide back into fascism, whether it's in Charlottesville or Warsaw.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:02 AM on November 12 [91 favorites]


We can't talk about what the right thing to do is, because Trump always wants to do everything for the wrong reasons.

No, criticism predicated on facts and/or principles is not invalidated by the fact that whatever's being criticised was also the subject of spurious/incoherent complaints by someone dangerous. One should always talk about what the right thing to do is, even if it makes the tribal divisions confusing to the casual observer or whatever.
posted by busted_crayons at 4:38 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]


No, criticism predicated on facts and/or principles is not invalidated by the fact that whatever's being criticised was also the subject of spurious/incoherent complaints by someone dangerous. One should always talk about what the right thing to do is, even if it makes the tribal divisions confusing to the casual observer or whatever.

This ignores the influence of a totalizing politics such as we've seen developing the past decade or so and particularly in the past few years. Facts and principles become politicized themselves, and the "right thing to do" becomes first and foremost to destroy the enemy.
posted by dmh at 5:31 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


I'm having trouble imagining Trump pronouncing anything in Polish.
posted by acb at 5:45 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


I'm having trouble imagining Trump pronouncing anything in Polish. fify
posted by halation at 5:53 AM on November 12 [6 favorites]


So, this Asia trip was specifically planned so trump didn’t have to be in D.C. for Veteran’s Day solemnities right? That’s a good thing.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:04 AM on November 12 [6 favorites]


A gentle reminder that this complete abdication of collective responsibility for fellow humans is not restricted to the US of A: 60,000 march in support of white nationalism in Poland. 60,000. That is not a handful.

What's worse is that these sentiments are actively supported by the party in power, to quote from the Guardian article:
"It was a beautiful sight," the interior minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, said. "We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday."
Exceptions notwithstanding, this attitude is pretty common in the Visegrad nations on the eastern edge of Europe. Part of it is anti-communist / anti-internationalist sentiment, part of it is just bog-standard xenophobia and racism. The parts can't be readily separated.
posted by dmh at 6:16 AM on November 12 [20 favorites]


DOJ: Strong encryption that we don’t have access to is “unreasonable”
Rod Rosenstein: We should weigh “law enforcement equities” against security.


Brb buying copies of Applied Cryptography and burying them like a crypto-squirrel getting ready for the totalitarian winter.
posted by dis_integration at 6:20 AM on November 12 [32 favorites]


Can we take up a collection with the goal of permanently ending Trumps forays onto twitter.

We can, but that's more of a Shelbyville idea . . . I stand before you good people tonight to say we've got collection plate that fights Twitting right here in River City!

Well sure, I'm an anti-Klownwig Tweetin' man, mighty proud to say it. The friggin hours I spend with that app in my hand are golden. But friends have you noticed tweets are run by misogynistic Nazi sympathizers with no place to discuss it?! We'll lets organize the River City MetaMegathread!

I see 4,559 of you good people have given already - given up a sandwich, given up a drive in that beautiful car we own just to keep the blue lights on! But we can do better! Just imagine: Forty-six hundred! Boom- a new block of storage for the zalex wing! Forty-eight hundred! Pow!- "The Cakebets of MetaFilter; Darkest Timeline, Sweetest Wins" coffee table book! And then,

Five thousand! 5,000 donations and the Megathreads begin to load easily - like a gently melting frozen Macchiato on a warm summer's day. Why 5,000 might just be the chaos butterfly that tips the Mullermas applecart onto all the little Trumpholes! There's only one way to find out for sure! Donate or join (again?) today!
posted by petebest at 6:29 AM on November 12 [31 favorites]


*shouts from back*

Save our Megathreads!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:35 AM on November 12 [8 favorites]


And now, Remedial Colluding With Russia for the Time-Impaired. via PoliticalWire

Jonathan Chait [NYMag]: “There are several channels through which Donald Trump’s campaign apparently [sic] cooperated with Russian efforts to help him win the presidency.

The first, and best known, is a Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 to pursue Russian promises of providing dirt on Hillary Clinton.

A second is Roger Stone, a frequent Trump adviser who had clear advance notice of the publication of stolen emails.

A third is Trump himself openly asking Russia to obtain Clinton’s State Department emails.

The final channel
["latest"] is the efforts by Cambridge Analytica, the campaign’s data firm. This channel is less well known to the public, in part because reporting about it has been dominated by The Wall Street Journal, and its stories hidden behind a paywall. But Cambridge Analytica’s role has come into much clearer focus.”

“Two weeks ago, the Journal reported that Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to help him better organize the stolen Democratic emails his site was publishing. On Friday, the Journal found that this contact came as Cambridge Analytica was joining the Trump campaign.”

posted by petebest at 7:08 AM on November 12 [16 favorites]


Meanwhile, in the cesspool that is NC politics, our idiot Lt Gov is funneling dark money under the guise of a "non-profit" for his own brainwashing tv station.

What the goddamn motherfucking fuck? This is the same asshole whose campaign slogan was the very unoriginal Run Forest Run line.
posted by yoga at 7:26 AM on November 12 [14 favorites]


Seth Abramson: Trump rigged the 2002 Miss Universe pageant for Vladimir Putin's mistress.
posted by box at 7:53 AM on November 12 [10 favorites]


its TRUMP. His password is TRUMP.

or 1TRUMP1.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:53 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Brb buying copies of Applied Cryptography and burying them like a crypto-squirrel getting ready for the totalitarian winter.

The stupid thing is, you can bury encrypted ciphertext in anything. OK. Sure. You can have an escrow key. I'm just sending a cat picture to my friend. But inside that cat picture is stenographic data that's encrypted with a second key from a version of PGP pre-facism. I can happily burn a sacrificial key for the authorities to think I'm innocuous.
posted by Talez at 7:57 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


> Seth Abramson: Trump rigged the 2002 Miss Universe pageant for Vladimir Putin's mistress.

Interestingly, the Wikipedia entry for Oxana Federova, who won the 2002 Miss Universe title (and was subsequently dethroned, perhaps for being pregnant?) does not mention any connection to one V. Putin esq. Is anybody keeping a concerted eye on how Wikipedia is altered as the news stories come and go?
posted by stonepharisee at 8:02 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


I'm going down the route of "one-time pads disguised as sudoku puzzles" myself.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:03 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]


There’s a finite number of Sudoku puzzles though so not a great source of keys
posted by phearlez at 8:05 AM on November 12


I can happily burn a sacrificial key for the authorities to think I'm innocuous.

They know that. However, it would likely play out as an enhancement after they corner you with parallel construction, a legalistic rubber hose.
posted by rhizome at 8:09 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Kitten name?

Sable
AKA Sable-tooth tiger
posted by kirkaracha at 8:43 AM on November 12 [21 favorites]


For what it's worth, there were countermarches in Warsaw, and generally marches against the Republican-analogues currently in power are exceedingly well-attended, to the point where they've folded on some particularly odious things (while pushing others through because ARGH). For years the fascist marches were blocked completely by counterprotestors, but current government turning a blind eye to them means they get permits and the counterprotestors don't. Those counterprotestors who went up against the actual march were often in physical danger - one woman's hair was set on fire, several people were in brawls, and the police generally focussed on arresting counterprotestors no matter what the fascists were doing.

Poland is... complicated, is probably a good word, but the whole homegrown fascism movement is some bloody Milo Yiannopoulos thing, signing up for the same ideology that several decades ago killed millions of Polish citizens because otherwise they'd have to face the fact that to Western fascists and Nazis, all Slavs are vermin and at best potential slaves. Thank heavens we also have big contingents of people who don't put up with this, including our lovely Antifa and anarchists who show up at women's marches and Pride with gear on and ready to block any right-wing idiots.

Now if only our opposition would get their act together and put together a movement that could win an election against those louts. After 8 years of centrist pro-EU government it's looking worse than the DNC, and the only competent schemer of the lot is kind of busy with making sure the UK realises Brexit will leave them penniless and shoeless.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 8:53 AM on November 12 [48 favorites]


if you see all of the actions of the US on the international scene as unmitigated evil

Definitely not, but from an outside perspective I don't think the US takes any action on the international stage without a strong, self-interested motive, so hardly unmitigated good either.
posted by walrus at 9:12 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]




Aaaand the pee tape rises again:
(21) According to a BBC report that directly quotes the CIA, the Kremlin has a tape "of a sexual nature" taken of Donald Trump while he was in St. Petersburg. Trump's longest trips to that city appear to have been related to Fedorova's 2002 pageant win.
from the Seth Abramson tweet linked above.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:37 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


That BBC article is from January. It's the same pee tape allegations from the same reports. Let's not pay any more attention to Seth Abramson, please.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:41 AM on November 12 [10 favorites]


Hey, if the President can endlessly repeat factually inaccurate statements, why can't everybody? Let's just not pay any more attention to Twitter, please.

And considering this Jay Rosen piece about the New York Times' social media policy, the belief that Twitter can provide anything of value to people who want real information is now totally dead.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:48 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


I like the various themed dog, cat, and other animal feeds though.
posted by VTX at 9:57 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Hey, if the President can endlessly repeat factually inaccurate statements, why can't everybody?

That's dumb.
posted by floam at 10:01 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]


The stupid thing is, you can bury encrypted ciphertext in anything.

Can, but do you want to risk it when the government makes that a felony if caught? Or if suspicion of that gets you on an un-appealable no-fly list or extra surveillance? (Or what I think rhizome said)
posted by ctmf at 10:02 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


That's dumb.
That's Twitter.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:12 AM on November 12 [5 favorites]


Gerrymandering relates to district lines within a state. It is not directly impacted by the census.

How do you know where to draw the lines? How do you know to challenge the ones they draw? And don't forget "they" are willing to play games with voter registration databases and/or "accidentally" leave them poorly secured so someone else can. It's not a single thing, it's a broad-based attack from all angles on how our representative democracy even works. You don't have to make a big obvious attack at the root of the fishbone diagram if you subtly fuck up the input at every. single. leaf.
posted by ctmf at 10:16 AM on November 12 [6 favorites]


Maybe we should try to get encryption re-classified as a munition, so that the NRA will qrsraq bhe tbq-tvira evtug gb orne nezf.
posted by hades at 10:25 AM on November 12 [8 favorites]


That BBC article is from January. It's the same pee tape allegations from the same reports.

The BBC stands by that January article, and its author, Paul Wood, is an award-winning journalist with his own intelligence sources to corroborate Chris Steele's as far as the existence of some kind of kompromat on Trump. Nor should it be surprising that his CIA sources dried up as soon as Trump loyalist Mike Pompeo took over at Langley.

In addition, Wood reported in August:
At a news conference this week at his New Jersey golf club, the President bizarrely asserted that the Steele dossier had been paid for by Russia in order to damage him. This is the latest twist in Trump’s response to the dossier, which began with flat denials in January that he had been filmed by Russian intelligence with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

That remains unproven. Nevertheless, Steele is not the only source. I heard of Russian kompromat — compromising material — on Trump from two sources months before the Steele dossier came to light. That might be evidence for Trump’s statement that Russian intelligence, as well as the US agencies, are out to get him. There are, though, reports of witnesses in the hotel who corroborate Steele’s reporting. These include an American who’s said to have seen a row with hotel security over whether the (alleged) hookers would be allowed up to Trump’s suite. The dossier’s account of hookers in a Moscow hotel room was the subject of gossip among a select group of journalists, politicians, and intelligence people for months before it was published. Now, claims are circulating of more tapes showing even more extreme behaviour. {emphasis added}
And just this Friday, John Schindler, a former NSA analyst and Naval War College professor, wrote an update on the kropromat tape topic:
As many as a dozen intelligence services worldwide, on four continents, are in possession of some sort of “Trump tape” featuring sexual escapades of a controversial nature; in some cases, the women involved appear to be underage. Some of these tapes have been shared with the Mueller investigation.

One Western intelligence agency with a solid professional reputation is in possession of an unpleasant Trump tape that they assess “with high confidence” is bona fide, i.e. exactly what it appears to be. They obtained the tape from a trusted source who plausibly had access to it.{...}

However, here’s the rub: Many of the “Trump tapes” floating around in spy circles worldwide cannot be verified, while some of them are obvious fakes. The Western spy agency that’s holding a Trump tape they’re pretty sure is real has also been approached two other times with tapes that were less solid—and one of them was transparently fake.

It’s obvious to savvy Western counterspies that someone is spreading fake Trump tapes—not all of them high quality—to muddy the waters. The obvious suspect, of course, is the Kremlin. Since the Russians know all about President Trump’s decades of personal antics, including what kompromat exists on him, they appear to be pushing dubious and unverifiable tapes, some of them obviously fake, to create chaos and confusion.
That leaves it for us to decide for ourselves if the krompromat tape can still be considered a real possibility or should be dismissed as disinformation. While Steele, Schindler, and Wood aren't unimpeachable sources, they're sufficiently creditable that we can at least take into account their assessments (and say what you will about Seth Abramson's sometimes hyperbolic conclusions, at least he shows his work).

In the meantime, Trump certainly continues to behave as though Putin's blackmailing him. You can bet, however, that if and when Putin finally decides to burn Trump, he's going to leak a fake video first. Moscow does not believe in tears.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:29 AM on November 12 [52 favorites]


Can, but do you want to risk it when the government makes that a felony if caught? Or if suspicion of that gets you on an un-appealable no-fly list or extra surveillance? (Or what I think rhizome said)

You can always use a deniable cryptographic system such as the Rubber Hose filesystem invented by...Julian Assange. It uses multiple independent keys & can be decrypted with any of them to reveal different plaintexts. You're forced to give up the password? Give them one protecting something innocuous while keeping the true secret secret.
posted by scalefree at 10:35 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Jonathan Chait [NYMag]: “There are several channels through which Donald Trump’s campaign apparently [sic] cooperated with Russian efforts to help him win the presidency.

Chait missed one. GOP operative Peter W Smith & the company he created to track down a lead on Hillary's emails, KLS Research, LLC.
posted by scalefree at 10:44 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


"Gerrymandering relates to district lines within a state. It is not directly impacted by the census."

It's definitely directly impacted by the census. I oversaw a local redistricting, and creating the same-size districts occurs 100% based on census data. If you are under any federal consent orders (to ensure minority representation), you use the census data in creating federally-compliant majority-minority districts. You can't even begin the process -- and this was just for a small three-district school board for a city of 110,000 -- until you have the census data that is the official record of where people live. If you redistrict without it, your map can be struck down because it doesn't accord with the legal map of where people live. (And, as a school district, we actually have PRETTY GREAT, constantly-updated maps of where people live, because we have to constantly adjust school cachement boundaries so that we don't end up with one elementary school with 800 students and another with 200 students, which involves constantly-updating data on housing density, family size, family composition, etc.)

Anyway, census data is absolutely used for internal gerrymandering. Like, that's literally how they do it, they get the census data and then they sit down with their redistricting programs and start gaming out the district lines. Bad census data -- like deliberately undercounting big cities (that tend to vote liberal) and lefty suburbs, and overcounting rural areas and righty suburbs, could shift a district Republican pretty damn easily, and end up with a rural GOP district that represents, say, 250,000 people and an urban Dem district that represents 500,000 people, making GOP voters worth 2 Democratic voters, while officially the districts are the "same size." It's like a 3/5th compromise, but achieved entirely through census chicanery and gerrymandering.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:45 AM on November 12 [76 favorites]


such as the Rubber Hose filesystem

That's interesting. What happens if the hypothetical FBI agent asks you to write something to the filesystem?
posted by ctmf at 10:47 AM on November 12


That's interesting. What happens if the hypothetical FBI agent asks you to write something to the filesystem?

You unlock the innocuous branch & write to it; the incriminating one stays encrypted & undetected until its key is given.
posted by scalefree at 10:55 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


How do you know where to draw the lines?
The conditions for and methods undertaking of drawing voting districts is defined by a state's legislature, except as indicated by change in population identified by each decennial census, because the US Constitution requires findings of such to allocate the number of delegates ( "representative") to the House of Representatives each state receives. Enlarge the map to see reapportionment attributable to 2010 census.

The Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929 limited the total number of delegates to the House of Representatives regardless of total US population. Thus, each state may lose or gain seats according to census finding of its population size. Some states subscribe to census bureau statistical products to determine how population within its state has changed demographically, geographically. This information may provoke re-drawing of any and all voting districts (by dominant parties' members) within the state with the supervision of the secretary of state.

The comment , "Gerrymandering relates to district lines within a state. It is not directly impacted by the census," is spurious. Gerrymandering is a method of defining voting districts whose sole purpose is to create or preserve the numerical advantage of a particular party.
posted by marycatherine at 10:58 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Here is an information page describing some of the statistical products offered to states' authorities by the US Bureau of the Census.
posted by marycatherine at 11:03 AM on November 12


The basic idea is to take multiple plaintexts, encrypt each with different keys then interleave the resulting cyphertexts. One key reveals your true secret text, the other reveals something else.
posted by scalefree at 11:04 AM on November 12


You unlock the innocuous branch & write to it;

Not to continue the sidebar, but "Therefore, a Rubberhose disk can only be safely written to after all the passphrases have been entered. " Either you're going to get a "can't do that" message, or you overwrite random data in your hidden partitions.

At the point the FBI is standing behind my chair asking me to do things, I think I'd prefer the silent blowing away of the secret data. (thank you, backup strategy) The "need all your other passphrases" prompt could be embarrassing. But without the prompt, I'd be constantly accidentally wiping out my own data and having to restore from backup.
posted by ctmf at 11:07 AM on November 12


Julian may be a corrupt, paranoid, accellerationist asshole but he's a really smart corrupt, paranoid, accellerationist asshole.
posted by scalefree at 11:09 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Why would Putin release a fake tape first?
To enjoy the show?
posted by sio42 at 11:09 AM on November 12


Not to continue the sidebar, but "Therefore, a Rubberhose disk can only be safely written to after all the passphrases have been entered. " Either you're going to get a "can't do that" message, or you overwrite random data in your hidden partitions.

Then you lose access to your secret data but walk out a free man.
posted by scalefree at 11:11 AM on November 12


I'm having trouble imagining Trump

...full stop.
posted by loquacious at 11:16 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Why would Putin release a fake tape first?
To enjoy the show?

Because the inability to feel certainty and to be able to trust *anything* as being true is more valuable in the long run. (Aleksandr Dugin political theory)
posted by Golem XIV at 11:17 AM on November 12 [63 favorites]


It's the same pee tape allegations from the same reports.

well, color me confused. This pee tape is alluded to be from 2002. On Thursday, Keith "We don't do that type of stuff" Schiller testified about Moscow in 2013. He began working for Trump full-time after his retirement from the force in 2002. Did they ask him about *that* trip?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:23 AM on November 12


Continuing this brief PSA encryption digression, if we ever find ourselves in that particular dystopia, never forget the social engineering half of Rubberhose usage: you have to make sure your "innocuous" encrypted data is not actually innocuous, but something you might plausibly have gone through the trouble of encrypting. So not just pornography, but some form of vaguely embarrassing pornography -- not illegal or blackmail-worthy, but something you might plausibly have hidden under more than just "system_file_01," and might plausibly have briefly resisted handing over.
posted by chortly at 11:28 AM on November 12 [7 favorites]




you have to make sure your "innocuous" encrypted data is not actually innocuous, but something you might plausibly have gone through the trouble of encrypting.

You could just use, like, Pope based fan-fiction

The Pope traveling the world, solving crimes, not seducing beautiful women
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:33 AM on November 12 [13 favorites]


Continuing this brief PSA encryption digression, if we ever find ourselves in that particular dystopia, never forget the social engineering half of Rubberhose usage: you have to make sure your "innocuous" encrypted data is not actually innocuous, but something you might plausibly have gone through the trouble of encrypting.

Wrapping it up, in the spy world this is is called a "limited hangout". You give up a lesser but still plausible secret to protect a bigger one.
posted by scalefree at 11:33 AM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Bah, sorry about the bad link above. Fixed on edit.
posted by Rykey at 11:34 AM on November 12


This is almost enough to tempt me from Safari to Chrome.

@riseuphes
I have a chrome extension that makes all of trump's tweets seem like they were written in crayon. This one is just a little too real for my taste.

SCREENSHOT OF "SHORT & FAT" TWEET
posted by chris24 at 11:35 AM on November 12 [39 favorites]


I just bought a copy of Alice in Wonderland, but that doesn't come close to what I just read (thanks @ jenfullmoon) about Sweet Valley High.

Interesting and terrifying to see how this stuff can frame the teen mindset
posted by Myeral at 11:38 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


ctmf: "How do you know where to draw the lines? How do you know to challenge the ones they draw? "

The parties are actually extremely aware of voting totals down to the precinct level.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:58 AM on November 12


Twitter is sometimes good. Especially when Molly - AKA The Thing of Evil - is involved
posted by Myeral at 12:04 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


It’s scary that the whole nazi revivalist movement in Charlottesville was just about three months ago.

Since then we’ve had multiples indictments, a guilty plea, endless international incidents, a steady escalation of the Russia investigation, two of the worst mass shootings in our country’s history, a reinterpretation of the civil war by the chief of staff, suspicious military deaths, the resignation of the secretary of HHS, a senate race in Alabama that has half the republic revising their views on child abuse, and god knows what else that got pushed out of my scandal-addled brain.

Three. Months.
posted by milarepa at 12:14 PM on November 12 [67 favorites]


I don't see any way Trump is anywhere but at the heart of this. Buckle up, buttercups.
Spencer Ackerman: Perhaps the most disturbing story I have ever reported in ~15 years of covering national security is coming your way this evening.
posted by scalefree at 12:17 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]




Doktor Zed: "As many as a dozen intelligence services worldwide, on four continents, are in possession of some sort of “Trump tape” featuring sexual escapades of a controversial nature; in some cases, the women involved appear to be underage. Some of these tapes have been shared with the Mueller investigation."

Holy Fuck, if true how does Mueller not have a face splitting grin 24/7/365?

chortly: " you have to make sure your "innocuous" encrypted data is not actually innocuous, but something you might plausibly have gone through the trouble of encrypting."

This is why I've been video taping my showers since 1996.
posted by Mitheral at 12:40 PM on November 12 [13 favorites]


Holy Fuck, if true how does Mueller not have a face splitting grin 24/7/365?

Stone cold fucking professionalism. It's a rare and beautiful thing.
posted by jammer at 12:44 PM on November 12 [49 favorites]


Ugh does spencer Ackerman give any clues bc it's bedtime over here and I want to know noooowwwww
posted by sio42 at 12:48 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


ackerman, damnit, i have work to do. don't make me sit around F5ing all day, give me a delivery window a little more narrow than 'this evening,' at least

Holy Fuck, if true how does Mueller not have a face splitting grin 24/7/365?

maybe he's still waiting to get his hands on the real one
posted by halation at 12:48 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


how does Mueller not have a face splitting grin 24/7/365?

I don't think Mueller takes any joy in his job. I think he's just appalled that our country has to suffer through this.
posted by Soliloquy at 12:57 PM on November 12 [45 favorites]


He's very good at a job I would never want to have.
posted by rhizome at 1:02 PM on November 12 [10 favorites]


I don't see any way Trump is anywhere but at the heart of this.

Maybe, but Ackerman's recent reporting has been on the stunning recent events surrounding the Gitmo tribunal for the "mastermind" of the USS Cole Bombing in 2000, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri. From the first Ackerman link:
[The judge, Air Force Col. Vance] Spath on Wednesday took the unprecedented step of convicting the Chief of Defense Counsel in the Military Commissions, Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker, for refusing to reinstate Eliades, Spears and their colleague, Rick Kammen, as Nashiri’s lawyers. As first reported by the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg, all three attorneys quit the death penalty case earlier this month after suspecting that the government had been spying on their communications, a violation of longstanding principles of fair trial in civilian courts.
Maybe the civilian attorneys have been rendered to Guantanamo Bay.
posted by pjenks at 1:03 PM on November 12 [15 favorites]


Holy Fuck, if true how does Mueller not have a face splitting grin 24/7/365?

If you'd seen a Trump kompromat video, you'd have a haunted, end-of-the-world look for the rest of your entire life too. The horror...the horror.
posted by reynir at 1:05 PM on November 12 [18 favorites]


I mean, in a sense he's the federal government's disciplinarian right now. How fucked up is having to be That Parent to these people, these grown-ass men. Like, I'm sure many of us have known sketchy people at some time or another, but much more rarely an entire group of scoff- and outlaws. And this is the government! I'm sure "That's a paddlin'" can't come close to relieving the melancholy.
posted by rhizome at 1:09 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Soliloquy: I think he's just appalled that our country has to suffer through this.

Yes. Sort of like this.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:10 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


If you'd seen a Trump kompromat video, you'd have a haunted, end-of-the-world look for the rest of your entire life too. The horror...the horror.

Little known fact for those who'd never seen a picture of him before last summer: Mueller's only 28 years old.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:12 PM on November 12 [62 favorites]


Thank you, Spencer Ackerman. Now I will be in fight or flight mode until the story drops. I'm expecting something like TRUMP GAVE PUTIN NUCLEAR CODES or maybe something like ALIENS CONTROL TRUMP'S BRAIN. There, now whatever fresh horror will be somewhat less terrible than I've imagined.
posted by angrycat at 1:17 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


Maybe, but Ackerman's recent reporting has been on the stunning recent events surrounding the Gitmo tribunal

This is yet another thing that should be an all-consuming scandal for the government absorbing incredible media attention...but it's not, because holy shit, everything is a raging garbage fire.

The garbage fire is so huge it's giving cover to other garbage fires.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:21 PM on November 12 [28 favorites]


Perhaps the most disturbing story I have ever reported in ~15 years of covering national security is coming your way this evening.

It can't be this, can it? Because that's pretty fucking disturbing.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:22 PM on November 12 [16 favorites]


For what it's worth, there were countermarches in Warsaw,

Also, thanks for this reminder, I claim sanctuary.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:24 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


Little known fact for those who'd never seen a picture of him before last summer: Mueller's only 28 years old.

Jared Kushner's un-evil twin!

lawful-neutral twin?
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:26 PM on November 12


It can't be this, can it? Because that's pretty fucking disturbing.

Don't see Ackerman's byline on it so probably not.
posted by scalefree at 1:29 PM on November 12


Don't see Ackerman's byline on it so probably not.

Well, yes. But you know sometimes multiple teams of journalists converge on the same core drama, in an attempt to report it out before others are able to do so, and very often the race to publish first comes down to the wire. The scoop is alive!
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:35 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.

This line from rules for suriving autocracy is what keeps me up at night and repeats itself during the endless waves of anxiety that exhaust me during the day.
posted by milarepa at 1:39 PM on November 12 [17 favorites]


@aravosis
Former CIA director John Brennan suggests to @jaketapper on @CNNSotu that
the Russians do in fact have compromising information on @realDonaldTrump

VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 1:52 PM on November 12 [16 favorites]


if so many people have so many trump tapes, real or fake, why haven't any of them been leaked?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:52 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


THE PRESIDENT'S BRAIN IS MISSING
posted by kirkaracha at 1:53 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


Eh, did John Brennan really suggest that, or did he just not answer the question?
posted by zachlipton at 1:54 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


why haven't any of them been leaked?


Hey-o.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:55 PM on November 12 [25 favorites]


Eh, did John Brennan really suggest that, or did he just not answer the question?

He just did not answer the question. I see no "suggestion" here.
posted by jammer at 1:56 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


if so many people have so many trump tapes, real or fake, why haven't any of them been leaked?

I think this type of material falls into three categories:
1) Materials relevant to the ongoing criminal investigation. [e.g. Pee Tape]
2) Materials irrelevant to the ongoing criminal investigation and illegally obtained or whose distribution would be illegal and traceable. [e.g. The Apprentice tapes]
3) Materials irrelevant to the ongoing criminal investigation and obtained via methods grey enough to not get anyone sued / jailed. [e.g. Access Hollywood hot mic]

#1 and #2 aren't leaked for fairly obvious reasons. #3? Well, it's possible there isn't much out there. It's also possible that, given what is already in the public space wasn't enough to prevent people from electing the fucker to the highest office in the land, people in possession of such material don't feel like putting themselves out there just to do...no good whatsoever.
posted by Room 101 at 1:58 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


#4 The desire of legitimate news agencies to only release confirmed information
#5 The desire for the manufacturers of the fakes to have them released through these legitimate news agencies in order to damage their reputations.
posted by milarepa at 2:03 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


Maybe the pee tape is so horrifying, people who've seen it can't stand to think about it

Did you ever see that movie Society
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:05 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


Maybe we should try to get encryption re-classified as a munition, so that the NRA will qrsraq bhe tbq-tvira evtug gb orne nezf.

Oh, so I can become an international arms dealer AGAIN like I did back in the Clinton days?

(I am becoming a goddamn Moorcock character... Ordained minister, international arms dealer...)
posted by Samizdata at 2:06 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


Jerry Cornelius, is that you?
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:33 PM on November 12 [8 favorites]


if so many people have so many trump tapes, real or fake, why haven't any of them been leaked?

Nobody has a VCR.
posted by rhizome at 2:34 PM on November 12 [50 favorites]


I got junk mail for a Donald Trump commemorative coin.
posted by bongo_x at 2:41 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


I say buy lo, sell high.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:44 PM on November 12


I got junk mail for a Donald Trump commemorative coin.

So, it's basically a Pissing Calvin coin?
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:53 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


The Trump kompromat tape is like Ringu, only more horrifying.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 2:54 PM on November 12 [8 favorites]


So slightly horrifying?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:55 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


Jerry Cornelius, is that you?

Apparently so.
posted by Samizdata at 3:03 PM on November 12


USA TODAY: Army lifts ban on waivers for recruits with history of some mental health issues
People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.

The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year's goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.

Expanding the waivers for mental health is possible in part because the Army now has access to more medical information about each potential recruit, Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman, said in a statement. The Army issued the ban on waivers in 2009 amid an epidemic of suicides among troops.
posted by indubitable at 3:05 PM on November 12 [11 favorites]


USA TODAY: Army lifts ban on waivers for recruits with history of some mental health issues

Presented without comment it sounds like this is supposed to be a bad thing, but I don't really see why...
posted by dis_integration at 3:08 PM on November 12


I got junk mail for a Donald Trump commemorative coin.

Have you seen the Trumpy Bear commercials? [real]
posted by rhizome at 3:10 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


This is a very bad thing indeed. This is a lowering of any sanity check for those who in life may be willing to admit some level of surrender to agencies beyond themselves. Some do so and all is well. But sanity checks need to be in place. They are anxious to fill the ranks. Bad news.
posted by stonepharisee at 3:11 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


Did the suicide rate go down? If your action doesn't help achieve the goal, but is hurting you elsewhere, it makes sense to stop doing the action.
posted by ctmf at 3:14 PM on November 12


I was reading most recent backwards, and for a moment it seemed like stonepharisee was responding to the existence of Trumpy Bear and I was like yeah deep hot take.
posted by angrycat at 3:21 PM on November 12 [14 favorites]


Man, thanks for that angrycat. That retrofitted me perfectly. Now I have two pasts.
posted by stonepharisee at 3:24 PM on November 12


Did the suicide rate go down? If your action doesn't help achieve the goal, but is hurting you elsewhere, it makes sense to stop doing the action.

Bowe Bergdahl received a waiver to join the Army after washing out of the Coast Guard due to panic/mental issues, and his subsequent DUSTWUN episode put a great number of people in harm's way, so there's more at stake than just the suicide rate.
posted by bluecore at 3:29 PM on November 12 [13 favorites]


Social media giant Facebook sued the Internal Revenue Service, claiming the right to appeal a finding of taxes owed on transfer of Facebook’s worldwide operations to a subsidiary domiciled in Ireland "just like any other business does." Besides, Facebook attys argue in the complaint, the IRS has been unsuccessful recovering back-taxes from similar transfer pricing and sales schemes.

Those of you who would defend "taxpayer" Facebook from the IRS may recall Jack Lew's defense of Apple last year, when the EC initiated collection of $14.5 billion in back taxes purportedly "intended for the US treasury." Paradoxically, Lew also wrote in his WSJ OpEd that the EC's ruling "underscored the need for urgent reforms to the U.S. tax system."
posted by marycatherine at 3:35 PM on November 12 [10 favorites]


That Double Irish shit has to go.
posted by rhizome at 4:09 PM on November 12 [9 favorites]


Former CIA director John Brennan suggests to @jaketapper on @CNNSotu that
the Russians do in fact have compromising information on @realDonaldTrump


So yeah, maybe the Russians have compromising info on him. That's scary.

Scarier thought: Republicans probably still won't care, no matter what it is.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:11 PM on November 12 [31 favorites]


if so many people have so many trump tapes, real or fake, why haven't any of them been leaked?

Sounds like Fermi's paradox. Some possibilities:
  • The tapes never existed.
  • The tapes deteriorated years ago and can no longer be broadcast.
  • The tapes are not broadcasting their whereabouts because it would ensure their destruction by a predator.
  • The tapes are waiting for us to hit a threshold of social maturity before they are revealed, to ensure that we can handle them.
So basically, I'm banking that after we all collectively abandon Twitter and Facebook, the Greys will land a saucer at the UN and hand us the Pee tape.
posted by condour75 at 4:23 PM on November 12 [13 favorites]


I know one thing that would be super helpful for my Bipolar symptoms: spending more time in life-or-death scenarios with deadly weapons. Assuming I always have enough lithium before I head out on a mission I can’t see any way this could go horribly wrong. Who-hoo, sign me up!
posted by Biblio at 4:28 PM on November 12 [10 favorites]


cannon. fodder.

jfc, I can't help but think iran or nk.

when i was young and naive, i thought the idea of american imperialism was a stretch. then i listened to the clash. then i started reading. it was so.

now it's worse than imperialism. it's just continuous destruction, with no end in sight.

independent of party. mostly. the Rs do tend to start shit up.
posted by j_curiouser at 4:46 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


Seth Abramson Twitter thread.
May '16, after months of selling a Trump-Kremlin meet to Team Trump, Papadopoulos secretly went to Athens to meet a Putin ally. Putin was then in Athens meeting the same man—the only 48 hours Putin was in the EU during the campaign.
posted by adamvasco at 4:48 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


A screaming comes across the timeline.
posted by perspicio at 4:51 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


So now we know where "coffee boy" Papadopoulos was getting his coffee from...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:51 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


I thought it had been established that Abramson was not a reliable source for either facts or analysis? Not Mensch-level bullshit of course but questionable?
posted by Justinian at 4:53 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Abramson is not Ackerman whose "teased scoop" we are still waiting for...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:56 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I think Abramson threads are basically well-sourced wishful thinking. I stopped following him on twitter because his conclusions were so fanciful (plus his threads tend to take over your timeline).
posted by scarylarry at 4:57 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Abramson is not Ackerman whose "teased scoop" we are still waiting for...

More teasing. Noah Shachtman: .@attackerman and @ScribblerSix (author of 'No Easy Day' & 'American Radical') have a holy shit story coming up.
posted by scalefree at 5:08 PM on November 12


Actual reporting with real sources > Metafilter comments > Seth Abramson > Robert Reich > Louise Mench.

Seth Abramson is fine for pulling together several Russia stories in mainstream sources at once, that's about it. His actual analysis is less informed or grounded in reality than the collective baseline of the people who post here. But still no Louise Mench.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:08 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


ackerman's dropped. it's a green berets/navy SEALs story.
posted by halation at 5:08 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]




The more hype a story gets the more likely we will be very disappointed. I bet it's a good story but nothing earthshaking.
posted by Justinian at 5:09 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Yeah that's about what I expected. It's an important story. But it's not a huge one.
posted by Justinian at 5:10 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


Oh hey, maybe running infinite undeclared shadow wars in infinite countries isn't a great idea.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:11 PM on November 12 [12 favorites]


This would be a scandal worthy of 4 years of hearings, if we had a Democratic President and Republican Congress. Be lucky to get a single news cycle out of it under Trump.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:14 PM on November 12 [29 favorites]


Yeah, that didn't involve "Trump" or "pee tape," so....
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:14 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


The story ended at a weird place, I kept scrolling thinking I'd missed the conclusion, but there wasn't really one. I mean, I know the story is ongoing, but I'm not sure what the point was either, given that is an ongoing investigation. If the focus had been the shadow war, or how many people we have, and what the Hell they're doing there, but so much of this story is conjecture and secret sourced, and it's going to cause a horde of media vampires and froggy hate mobs to descend on that poor widow.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:19 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


What? Isn’t that what literally everyone thought when the first story came out? This is like every clean cop meets a dirty cop trope. I think this was literally on Better Caul Saul.

Fuck you Ackerman for hyping foreign policy scoops in an age where we have a crazy President who wants to use nukes

Jesus Christ my nervous system is still on high alert
posted by schadenfrau at 5:21 PM on November 12 [17 favorites]


To avoid edit abuse, let me qualify by saying I believe the story is important, but it seems rushed to press.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:22 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


The hyping and dramatic timing of news stories contributes to the pervasive sense of Fakeness...
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:22 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


Well now I wish it had been the NSA story, or something very much like it, for his reputation's sake at least. What a damp squib.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:24 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Undeserved hype is still less annoying than "TICK TICK TICK" schtick. Fuck Ben Wittes.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:25 PM on November 12 [8 favorites]


Ackerman tweeted it was the "most disturbing story" he's reported. Unnecessary hype? Sure, at least for the handful of people who read natsec Twitter on a Sunday. The story is, indeed, disturbing. If you got yourself convinced it was going to take down the President, that's on you.
posted by zachlipton at 5:26 PM on November 12 [20 favorites]


I read three or four stories with more historical importance every day before breakfast lately.
posted by diogenes at 5:29 PM on November 12 [13 favorites]


Can I add this to the long list of Reasons Twitter Is Not Worth Keeping Alive: Good Journalism Turns Into Hype and Tease...
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:35 PM on November 12 [10 favorites]


.@attackerman and @ScribblerSix (author of 'No Easy Day' & 'American Radical') have a holy shit story coming up.

His "holy shit" meter needs to be adjusted for the current environment. Just yesterday a Republican Senate candidate said he dated 16 year old girls, and the President called the leader of a nuclear armed nation short and fat.
posted by diogenes at 5:36 PM on November 12 [55 favorites]


Is it possible that the problem is not hype but that we’re all so fucking jaded now?
posted by um at 5:37 PM on November 12 [14 favorites]


Jaded? Are you suggesting that perhaps something has happened to us in the decade since last January?
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:43 PM on November 12 [56 favorites]


The more hype a story gets the more likely we will be very disappointed. I bet it's a good story but nothing earthshaking.

It's an important & powerful story but it's not geopolitically disruptive.
posted by scalefree at 5:46 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


honestly i feel like ackerman has reported on more-disturbing stories

like, this situation is obviously not *good* but it's hardly 'holy shit'
posted by halation at 5:55 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


If we lived in a world where things still had consequences, we could look at a fucked up, but still unit level, story like this and ask what it says about the US' presence in West Africa, and if a larger conversation about Congressional oversight of the War on Terror and specifically the mission creep to Africa was really serving American interests or the intent of the AUMF.

We don't live in that world. No matter the question, no matter the national secuirty implications, we know what the answer of the Republican Congress will be, "We're focused on tax cuts". There will be no serious discussion, no serious oversight.

That's not jaded, that's evidence based on over one year of observed track record.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:57 PM on November 12 [14 favorites]


So we're going to beanplate what's the appropriate use of twitter hype tonight. Fantastic.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:58 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


There is no we without you.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:16 PM on November 12 [8 favorites]


There is no we without you.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist


wait, was I supposed to bring the ice cream
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:25 PM on November 12 [8 favorites]


No, we are all provided for.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:28 PM on November 12 [76 favorites]


Ackerman is a very good reporter, but he's also a bit high on himself, I think.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:50 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Or MAYBE Ackerman genuinely thinks this story is disturbing?
posted by lalex at 6:52 PM on November 12 [8 favorites]


I know it was yesterday morning, but it's in this thread above — a comment by Autumnheart that I both favorited and copied and pasted into my notes for reminding myself. To quote:
To be honest, I’ve been stepping back from...almost all up-to-the-moment media. I don’t use FB as often, I rarely watch actual television, I get most of my news from these threads, and I spend most of my time listening to music and audiobooks, watching movies and reading. I think I’ve spent more time in slowtime this past year than I have in the past two decades.

Sometimes I feel a little out of the loop, but to be honest...not really. Events and rumors move so fast that it’s just as well to get a full download at the end of the day than to keep checking in from hour to hour.
I mostly don't participate in MetaFilter nowadays for various reasons, a big one of which is the sheer enormous gravitational pull of these political threads. MeFites here do a great job of amassing and filtering the up-to-the-second news, both for good and ill, and I keep getting drawn back because of FOMO. Then the GAAAAHHH shivers start up, and I run away again.

I've found an approach this past year similar to Autumnheart's has been really helpful, and I am worse off the more I don't follow it. Especially when Twitter Hype Ooze starts splashing everywhere like ectoplasmic slime in the new Ghostbusters movie that I finally saw this weekend and holy crap Kate McKinnon is a genius and can we elect her president in 2020?!

I love that sentence: "I think I’ve spent more time in slowtime this past year than I have in the past two decades." I would also add going for walks to the slowtime repertoire, as it's the best thing. Besides, if the country literally blows up while you're away from the computer, at least you'll be in the open and see it coming.
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:15 PM on November 12 [19 favorites]


And on that note, I am going for a walk.
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:17 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


Wow, that Ackerman story reads like the plot of an episode of the tv show Arrow.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 7:18 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


Intelligence-oriented special forces officers skimming a secret government cash fund and killing another special forces officer from a rival service in an effort to keep their embezzlement under wraps? It sounds Putin-esque and is very concerning indeed.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:46 PM on November 12 [13 favorites]


I find your lack of pee tape disturbing.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:51 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


Politico: Ryan breaks record for shutting down floor debate
posted by Chrysostom at 7:55 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


If the umpteenth go-round of pee tape discussion is somehow not a waste of time but the murder of a soldier to cover up the corruption of other soldiers is then I’m not sure if I need to step away from these threads or everyone else does. This is not healthy.
posted by um at 7:55 PM on November 12 [48 favorites]


Isn't this basically the premise of Lethal Weapon?
posted by ctmf at 7:59 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


Favorited, um. I think the clinging to the pee tape is because it might somehow damage Trump's credibility, but the servicemen killing fellow servicemen is ... pretty disturbing.

At what point do we say, "OK, we tried the imperialism project and it doesn't seem to work very well. We go home now!"
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:03 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]




The Ackerman story is fucking horrifying.
We live in an era of Constantly Fucking Horrifying, so yeah, by comparison it's not gonna make a huge splash. Personally, I refuse to let the Constantly Fucking Horrifying of 2017 reset my bar for fucking horrifying.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:04 PM on November 12 [23 favorites]


eerily reminiscent of the out-of-bounds DOD operators in Sicario. i personally did not find that element of the film much of a stretch.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:17 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


The story is horrible but when a guy who has reported extensively on the hundreds (thousands?) of Afghan and Pakistani civilians vaporized by American drone strikes says, "Perhaps the most disturbing story I have ever reported in ~15 years of covering national security is coming your way this evening," you can't really fault people for expecting something a whole lot different.
posted by edeezy at 9:27 PM on November 12 [22 favorites]


The Intercept published a report earlier this year about a myriad of other crimes committed by members of SEAL Team 6.
posted by PenDevil at 9:28 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]




Remember how I posted upthread about Doug Mills, NYT photographer, tweeting a black frame in protest of media restrictions covering Trump in Vietnam?

His latest work of art, showing Trump participating in a group handshake at the opening ceremony of the AESAN Summit, might just explain why photographers had been banned before. Let the caption contest begin.
posted by zachlipton at 9:48 PM on November 12 [6 favorites]


Less comically, this happened when the press tried to ask Trump whether he discussed human rights with Duterte (you know, the guy sanctioning extrajudicial murders) (quote assembled from two pool reports):
Pool tried again to elicit answer on whether Trump had raised human rights with Duterte, but did not get a response.
"Whoa, whoa," Duterte said. "This not a press statement. This is the bilateral meeting."
Duterte: "We will be discussing matters that are of interest to both the Philippines and...with you around, guys, you are the spies."
"Hah, hah, hah," Trump said laughing.
"You are," Duterte repeated.
This is Trump laughing as Duterte shuts down questions about human rights and calls the press spies.
posted by zachlipton at 9:59 PM on November 12 [90 favorites]


Not a pee tape, but this picture looks like he's wetting himself.

There aren't any pictures of trump where he doesn't look like he's soiling himself in some way. He always looks like he's wetting/pooping/etc. himself. It's kind of his jam.
posted by mrgoat at 10:02 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


His existence soils all humanity. He’s the Contaminant-in-Chief.
posted by um at 10:06 PM on November 12 [25 favorites]


There aren't any pictures of trump where he doesn't look like he's soiling himself in some way.
This is going up there with the way my friend pointed out how Donald Jr. looks like a witch put a curse on him that prevented his tongue from ever touching any part of the inside of his mouth
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:24 PM on November 12 [29 favorites]


John Oliver did an excellent Trump wrap-up for his final episode of the season. There's nothing new exactly, but he nicely lays out the broader themes of everything Trump does: the trolling, the whataboutism, the incompetence. It's important, yet severely depressing, to step back from the firehose for a moment and take in the whole.
posted by zachlipton at 11:39 PM on November 12 [16 favorites]


Zionists of America invited, like, a BUNCH Of alt-right Nazis to their gala, including Steve Bannon.

Just wanted everyone to know, just in case you were, I don't know, making the mistake of having a good day or anything.
posted by Yowser at 11:46 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


There is no we without you.

TYL: clusivity
posted by The Tensor at 12:35 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


The Lineman Got $63 an Hour. The Utility Was Billed $319 an Hour.
More on Whitefish from NYTimes. Another of those things that would have been a huge scandal in normal times.
posted by mumimor at 1:05 AM on November 13 [55 favorites]


Oh, and no one has pointed out in these threads that there is now an official victims of communism day?

That was what, five days ago?

I think we'r a bubble here
posted by Yowser at 1:25 AM on November 13


WhiteWaterfishgate?
posted by Yowser at 1:25 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


"... you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me, it would have been so easy, and it's not - as important as these lives are - nuclear is so powerful. My uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, and that was 35 years ago, he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right. Who would have thought? But now when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners - now it used to be three, now it's four - but when it was three, and even now, I would have said: it's all in the messenger. Fellas, and it is fellas, because, you know, they don't, they haven't figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it's it's going to take them about another 150 years. But the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators. So, and they, they just killed, they just killed us."

An actual transcript of a speech given by the President.
posted by adept256 at 2:04 AM on November 13 [54 favorites]


His "holy shit" meter needs to be adjusted for the current environment. Just yesterday a Republican Senate candidate said he dated 16 year old girls, and the President called the leader of a nuclear armed nation short and fat.

Yeah, but the arguably insane and short-fused leader of the nuclear armed nation called him old first...
posted by Samizdata at 2:09 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Actually, he called him an "old lunatic" but he only was offended by the "old" part...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:11 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


An actual transcript of a speech given by the President.

That's a very old speech, about 300 years ago in Trump time (first mention of it I could find was from July 2015).

Here's some video of it anyway.
posted by walrus at 2:18 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


WhiteWaterFishGateContraAhziPiss
posted by j_curiouser at 2:20 AM on November 13


Is trump capable of reading his prepared speeches or does he always go off on his own thing?
posted by sio42 at 2:28 AM on November 13


Is trump capable of reading his prepared speeches or does he always go off on his own thing?

You are going to tell me that The Master of The Deal isn't so smart he can't give brilliant, informative and inspiring speeches off the cuff?

Really?

And you expect me to believe that?
posted by Samizdata at 2:44 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


sio42: That's not a falsifiable question, so we'll never know.
posted by Rykey at 2:45 AM on November 13


This turkey, is the best turkey. I only hire the best turkeys, like Flynn, who I don't even know, he was trying to kidnap a turkey. Fuck it, pardons for everyone.

FOR EVERYONE! And then he will eat the turkey.
posted by adept256 at 2:59 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


I bet when he pardons the turkey he releases it from a helicopter.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:26 AM on November 13 [60 favorites]


But now when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners - now it used to be three, now it's four - but when it was three, and even now, I would have said: it's all in the messenger.

How is this not timecube level insanity? You shall not Parse!

I've seen some of you remark that 'dotard' is a word unfamiliar to you. That's fine, it's alright, I just accept that americans have a different version of english, But this? Dr Who could get away with it, because she can travel through time. I don't think she'd abuse the language like this though. There is no excuse.
posted by adept256 at 3:29 AM on November 13 [8 favorites]


His latest work of art, showing Trump participating in a group handshake at the opening ceremony of the AESAN Summit, might just explain why photographers had been banned before. Let the caption contest begin.

JFC, Turnbull standing there with a massive shit eating grin on his face like the git he is as he shakes hands with a fascist.
posted by Talez at 3:40 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


> I bet when he pardons the turkey he releases it from a helicopter.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 3:43 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


MeFites here do a great job of amassing and filtering the up-to-the-second news, both for good and ill, and I keep getting drawn back because of FOMO

I am not capable of stepping back from the firehouse right now, but for those who are and who want to, I would recommend The Weekly Sift.

As the name implies, Doug Muder sifts through the news and summarizes the important developments once a week. You won't get all the details, but you would still be informed in a big picture way.

Muder is a mathematician by training and is active in the Unitarian church. I think maybe rhat's why he is capable of both analysis and synthesis. He breaks stories down and shows how the pieces fit into a larger whole. Also he writes well and has a sense of humor. So I think you could read no news at all besides his three blog posts a week (one summary and two essays which get into context) and still be better informed than most of the general public.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:59 AM on November 13 [40 favorites]


You shall not Parse!

*golf clap*
posted by petebest at 5:09 AM on November 13 [11 favorites]


It seems John Barron has another client.

@maxwelltani (Business Insider)
Interesting how Joe Biden sounds a lot like this "person close to the former VP" who thinks he can beat Trump
Joe this morning on the Today show - "I'm not closing the door... I'm a great respecter of fate. Who knows what the situation will be a year and a half from now?"

Politico: 11/10/17 - "'He’s a great respecter of fate,' said one person close to the former vice president. 'At some point, it may turn into fate and planning.'"
posted by chris24 at 5:12 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Again, I say: Love you, Joe. Sit the fuck down.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:17 AM on November 13 [74 favorites]


That's Trump's dancing face

just a steel town girl on a saturday night
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:28 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


> they haven't figured that the women are smarter right now than the men

I had to double-check that on Snopes because I had a bit of a hard time believing Trump would credit women as being smarter than men, in any context. I assume it was a rhetorical accident he suffered while stumbling through that speech.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:14 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


I think what he's saying is: it has not yet been determined that women aren't smarter than men, but in 150 years or so that will finally be determined. That is, the elitist "experts" are far behind the curve on what common sense already tells us (that women aren't smarter than men).

I puzzled over that same thing when I first watched the video, and that's the best I can figure out. So no credit to women's intelligence from Trump, shockingly.
posted by Rykey at 6:24 AM on November 13


Fellas, and it is fellas, because, you know, they don't, they haven't figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it's it's going to take them about another 150 years.

...maybe trump is actually a procedurally generated construct? it's like he knew he was generally supposed to remain gender-neutral when addressing audiences and accidentally saying 'fellas' tripped the 'fob women off with an intended-to-be-somehow-vaguely-empowering sop' subroutine in a circumstance where it wasn't actually called for, and that process had to complete before he could resume.
posted by halation at 6:36 AM on November 13 [17 favorites]


He’s talking about gender inequality in Iran (it's always fellas he would be negotiating with), and then he blindly reminds everyone how we uncritically just accept patriarchy here, too, with the women are more intelligent comment, much as some men will joke that it’s the wife who really calls the shots at home (“lemme see what the boss says”). Just another day in Pottersville.
posted by notyou at 6:58 AM on November 13 [16 favorites]


Even if a constitutional convention was called, there aren't enough states that are able to amend things one way or another. If the right-wing states did call one then the leftist states should just troll them by reintroducing the Equal Rights Amendment.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:09 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


"The Shady Bunch" a Roy Zimmerman song parody
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:10 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


BREAKING: Carter Page dresses as a turkey in hopes of a presidential pardon. [COULD BE REAL]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:11 AM on November 13 [16 favorites]


It's fairly common for misogynists to state out loud (without believing) a view that women are smarter/better than men in every way. It's a notion that can be used paradoxically to ignore what actual woman are saying and doing, and to pretend that patriarchy is, like, a strange combination of nonexistent ("We all know who really has the upper hand!") and unavoidable ("The world would be better if ladies ran it, amirite men? Ha ha ha ha it'll never happen")
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:13 AM on November 13 [70 favorites]


I had a bit of a hard time believing Trump would credit women as being smarter than men

He had a woman manage the construction of trump tower, apparently on the theory that a woman would have had to work harder to get where she was, so he could expect exceptionally hard work from her. And I guess it panned out that way. (This was reported in the pre-election episode of Frontline where they do bios of both candidates.)

He might have lost this bit of insight during the ensuing decades of cognitive decline.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:16 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


There are hard-right activists convinced that they can and will control the floor at a hypothetical ConCon, limiting the amendment process to those of their choosing (term limits and Balanced Budget and maybe throw in some religious sops while we're here) and shutting down everything else.

There are lots of political scholars staring at them and silently mouthing Are you out of your goddamned minds? It doesn't work like that.

The dangerous part is that it's hard to say who is correct. I mean, by the letter of the law the scholars are but this is not a tested mechanism and Repubs have a very-well-documented fetish for ignoring legal restrictions when it's convenient to do so. This is not something you allow to be called up unless you're 130% sure you can put it down.

Thankfully, _for now_ it remains a Master Shake fever dream.
posted by delfin at 7:18 AM on November 13 [16 favorites]


TFW you find the new politics thread and there's already over 500 comments in it [sob].
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:21 AM on November 13 [17 favorites]


Additional thought: A narcissist like Trump believes he's literally the most intelligent person in the world (and has said so aloud in many ways). But if you asked him whether women are more intelligent than men, including himself, he could well say yes, and mean it. In Trump's mindset, that's not a contradiction, and I leave it to the reader to work out the unfortunate disturbing reason why.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:21 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Guys! Guys! Remember that server from the Georgia election that was mysteriously wiped & we all suspected foul play at work? Kennesaw State Embroiled in Controversy over Security of Election Data. I have two pieces of really good news. First, it turns out it wasn't nefariously done after all.
Tammy DeMel, assistant vice president of communications at KSU, provided a statement that downplayed the significance of the fact that technicians at KSU wiped the election server clean. Rather, the statement said, the server had been “repurposed” for “alternative uses.”
So that's quite a relief, no mysterious forces were trying to hide anything nefarious at all. And there's more good news too!
“The concern that the data was lost is unfounded,” the report states. “Current indication is that the FBI retained an image of the data on those servers as part of their investigation and that it will be available for use in the ongoing litigation.”
Hooray!
posted by scalefree at 7:35 AM on November 13 [38 favorites]


> Current indication is that the FBI retained an image of the data

So, they don't know for sure? Let me check, do I have a backup - where did I put it - is it under that old pizza box ...? Sounds like the backup disk might soon be "repurposed" for an "alternative use"? Maybe some ballistic testing?

These people can't even be arsed to be subtle about their criminality - it's all blatant now.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:42 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


I don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but I love the CraigyFerg callback in the post title. Man, do I miss his Late, Late Show.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 8:03 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


How about a cat tax for the politics threads, every fifth horrible revelation gets kitten pictures?

"This cat looks like it's being interviewed by the NYT about Trump's broken promise to bring bodega cat jobs to its town."
posted by gwint at 8:08 AM on November 13 [40 favorites]


Medium: Four Progressive Leaders Offer Four Observations from Election Night 2017 by Heather McGhee, Demos Action; Rashad Robinson, Color of Change PAC; Ai-jen Poo, Caring Across Generations Action Fund, and Anna Galland, MoveOn.org
1. The Democratic base is fired up.
...
2. An inclusive populism wins — and should be even stronger.
...
3. Contested elections — including primaries — are good for the party.
...
4. The Southern Strategy Defines — and Fails — the Republican Party.
...
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:08 AM on November 13 [16 favorites]


Y'know I don't actually disagree with that. My whole thing is-- if your guy loses the primary, you throw it all behind the candidate anyway.

(I really want to tell you all about my experience this year, because it was wild and amazing and both the hardest and the best thing I ever did, but idk if I have the bandwidth at the moment.)
posted by dogheart at 8:21 AM on November 13 [13 favorites]


New Yorker: One Year After Trump’s Election, Masha Gessen Revisits Her Essay “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” (previously) While her rules 1 to 4 - "Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.", "Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.", "Institutions will not save you.", "Be outraged." - have by and large proved prescient advice, she particularly wants to re-examine her last two:
Rule No. 5: Don’t make compromises. [...] Still, this is the most problematic of my rules, because it calls forth the strongest counter-argument. Democracy is based on compromise. A commitment to purity can ultimately serve only to widen the divide between those who elected Trump and those who could not imagine his Presidency. A commitment to purity, in fact, risks becoming a commitment to refusing to imagine his Presidency, even a year after the election. A commitment to purity is antithetical to political engagement. Yet political engagement risks or even demands a measure of normalization.

The tension is irresolvable. This rule should be amended to read: Pay attention to the ways in which the Trump Presidency breaks the moral compass.

Rule No. 6: Remember the future. [...] I wrote that the failure to imagine the future—to offer a vision in opposition to Trump’s appeal to an imaginary past—had cost the Democrats the election. [...] And yet, a year after Trump’s election, the states of Virginia and New Jersey rejected Trumpian gubernatorial candidates, electing Democrats. [...] Several victories, however, suggest that the energy of the resistance has fuelled sustained political work. To take us into the future, this energy has to transcend local and state-level races and “provincial time.” If we are lucky, that process begins today.
Emphases in the original.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:27 AM on November 13 [42 favorites]


Institutions will not save you

She actually says...

"Some institutions have indeed saved us, some of the time. The courts have stepped in to stop Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban and part of his ban on transgender people in the Military. But..."

Since this line keeps getting quoted, I think it is important to acknowledge that mixed record, and I am glad Gessen does that.

I'm starting to think the most we can expect of our institutions is to slow the collapse of democracy sufficiently to allow us time rebuild and reinforce the underlying supports. Like institutions are buttresses of democracy, but they won't save it if the foundation is being undermined. Only civic engagement on a mass scale can provide that foundational support. Without the buttresses democracy might fall before we can shore up the foundations, so we need them to be strong, but they are not enough by themselves.

Also every time that line is quoted I want to quote this bit from Timothy Snyder's On Tyranny again:
Chapter 2. Defend Institutions.
It is institutions that help us to preserve democracy. They need our help as well. Do not speak of "our instiutions" unless you make them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions do not protect themselves. They fall one after the other unless each is defended from the beginning. So choose an institution you care about -- a court, a newspaper, a law, a labor union -- and take its side.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:48 AM on November 13 [71 favorites]


Since this line keeps getting quoted, I think it is important to acknowledge that mixed record, and I am glad Gessen does that.

"By and large" was the qualification I settled on, with Rule 2 and 3 in mind. In her reassessment of the latter, after she cites where the press and the courts have successfully resisted Trump's policies, she goes on to remind us, "But Trump is waging a constant attack on the judiciary, both on Twitter and in the Senate, which is holding one judicial confirmation hearing after another—most of them obscured by louder and faster news." More disturbingly, she adds, "But perhaps the scariest institutional development is one I didn’t foresee: the appearance of the generals in the White House. [...] Both generals have since betrayed our hopes by lying for the President and, in Kelly’s case, by adopting the rhetorical logic of a military coup. In fairness, though, alarms should have gone off earlier, when so many people seemed eager to see generals exercise control over an elected President."

Perhaps she should have revised her rule to "Institutions will not save you without your help."
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:04 AM on November 13 [11 favorites]


Unbelievable (or it would be, if we weren't in the stupidest timeline):

NYT: Trump Judicial Pick Did Not Disclose He Is Married to a White House Lawyer

And not just any lawyer. His wife is chief of staff to Don McGahn, who oversees judicial appointments .
posted by marshmallow peep at 9:22 AM on November 13 [119 favorites]


His wife is chief of staff to Don McGahn, who oversees judicial appointments.
Can a federal judge be impeached before they're sworn in? Asking for a friend.
posted by baltimoretim at 9:24 AM on November 13 [47 favorites]


NYT: Trump Judicial Pick Did Not Disclose He Is Married to a White House Lawyer

And not just any lawyer. His wife is chief of staff to Don McGahn, who oversees judicial appointments .


Flames, flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathl- heaving breaths.gif
posted by Sophie1 at 9:28 AM on November 13 [16 favorites]




CNN: McConnell on Moore: 'I believe the women,' Moore should go.

I'm just gonna assume McConnell caught wind of my scathing friends-locked "wtf Republicans" Facebook post from like an hour ago and realized shit was going too far even for him.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:30 AM on November 13 [41 favorites]


This is being discussed in detail in the dedicated Moore scandal thread but suffice it to say that McConnell acts exclusively from his own interests, not from morality. If he can get a substitute Republican to win easily in AL and not be a shit-flinging Bible-banging spectacle once elected, that is his best-case scenario.
posted by delfin at 9:34 AM on November 13 [30 favorites]


4. The Southern Strategy Defines — and Fails — the Republican Party.

lolwut. You don't get a lock on 30-something state legislatures, both houses, and the presidency, and call it failing.

Virginia was a massive win for the Democrats, 7 points or something equally ridiculous on the at-large popular vote, but they couldn't even get a house of delegates majority. 2010 has paid dividends repeatedly and it may not be fixable under the current system. Strategic application of the Southern Strategy has been the Republican party's biggest triumph.
posted by Talez at 9:45 AM on November 13 [11 favorites]


NYT: Trump Judicial Pick Did Not Disclose He Is Married to a White House Lawyer

Oh good, that's perfect timing to update the call-in script to demand our senators oppose Brett Talley (the senate switchboard is 202-224-3121). I might fax them as well.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:47 AM on November 13 [8 favorites]


roy moore attempts to save his failing senate campaign … by throwing the senate majority leader under the bus?
The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced. #DrainTheSwamp
this is the kind of out of the box thinking the republican party needs right now
posted by murphy slaw at 9:56 AM on November 13 [82 favorites]


David Nakamura, WaPo: News photographer who protested White House restrictions produces revealing shot of Trump a day later, specifically, this revealing shot.

See also: New York Times photographer tweets ‘photo’ of black box to protest White House coverage blackout, referring to this black box.

The takeaway point here is that photographers can pick and choose which photos to share.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:00 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


WaPo: The Daily 202: Six ways Trump’s Putin comments on Asia trip erode U.S. credibility

Paraphrasing. Everyone looks worse, is less able to do their jobs well, from the President on down.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:11 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]




Late to the party, but: On Thursday, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) followed with his own unusually frank comment:
"Lindsey Graham says 'the financial contributions will stop' if tax reform fails."
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:58 PM on November 10 [20 favorites +] [!]


I seem to recall that Roberts said the criterion for money being not speech, but corruption was an explicit quid pro quo.

Ahem.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:20 AM on November 13 [56 favorites]


I think we're all losing the fight against fake news
posted by Myeral at 10:28 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Facebook is losing the fight against fake news like Colonel Sanders lost the fight against chicken.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:29 AM on November 13 [61 favorites]


I seem to recall that Roberts said the criterion for money being not speech, but corruption was an explicit quid pro quo.

INQPQIYAR
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:29 AM on November 13 [9 favorites]


Artw: Facebook may be losing the fight against fake news

Or, Facebook may be profiting from fake news and wants to keep profiting, instead of coming clean about how much money they're making by selling out their country for pocket change (in terms of big-tech levels of funding).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:40 AM on November 13 [13 favorites]


The money/politics/spending-money-as-free-speech problem is hard. Can we get some tech bros excited about disrupting that instead of fair treatment of workers?
posted by ctmf at 10:52 AM on November 13


(Except the answer to "could they make it any worse?" is probably yes.)
posted by ctmf at 10:53 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


In other Smart Branding news, the first Anti-Trump Hotel is opening in DC. Regrettably, I predict every person who stays there will be doxxed by the NotZs and AllWrongs.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:54 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


NYT: Trump Judicial Pick Did Not Disclose He Is Married to a White House Lawyer

To make it abundantly clear: This judicial pick is Brett Talley. You may remember Brett from such articles as "GOP Nominates Judge with Absolutely No Trial Experience to Lifetime Federal Appeals Appointment". It's the same guy.

Can someone remind me where the signup sheet is for the revolution?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:55 AM on November 13 [47 favorites]


scalefree: "Guys! Guys! Remember that server from the Georgia election that was mysteriously wiped & we all suspected foul play at work? Kennesaw State Embroiled in Controversy over Security of Election Data. "

On a related not, looks like there is an effort to recall GA SOS Brian Kemp. Georgia Mefites should check this out.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:56 AM on November 13 [11 favorites]


Facebook may be losing the fight against fake news

They're not even fighting. Disseminating stories for money is their entire business model. And they can keep on doing that whether we continue live in a democracy or not.
posted by monospace at 11:10 AM on November 13 [12 favorites]


remember when we used to envy the republicans for their superior message discipline?

good times, good times
posted by murphy slaw at 11:12 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Facebook may be losing the fight against fake news

monospace: They're not even fighting. Disseminating stories for money is their entire business model. And they can keep on doing that whether we continue live in a democracy or not.

Well, depends on how far you get from a democracy. Freedom to criticize the ruling government isn't available everywhere, FWIW.

Back in June, Germany made it abundantly clear that hate speech on Facebook is serious, and started forcing Facebook to remove hate speech or pay over $50 million (Gizmodo).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:14 AM on November 13 [15 favorites]


DOJ: Strong encryption that we don’t have access to is “unreasonable”
Rod Rosenstein: We should weigh “law enforcement equities” against security.

Brb buying copies of Applied Cryptography and burying them like a crypto-squirrel getting ready for the totalitarian winter.
posted by dis_integration at 6:20 AM on November 12 [30 favorites +] [!]


So is PGP still the go-to freeware?
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:15 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Reporters can pick whatever images they want.

And they should pick the one most illustrative of a situation. Trump was being a goddamn fucking weirdo and you can see it in the video linked there as well.
posted by sio42 at 11:25 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


Maybe we should try to get encryption re-classified as a munition, so that the NRA will qrsraq bhe tbq-tvira evtug gb orne nezf.
posted by hades at 10:25 AM on November 12 [7 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Can't let this pass. I suspect hades was joking, but if we make the argument that the apocryphal need to use small arms to rebel against the biggest fucking military machine in history is worthless without the ability to communicate securely with other citizens, we might get the gun nuts to join in resisting this move by the intelligence community and its hangers-on. I know the NRA leadership would never buy it, because their only aim is increasing gun sales, but they've conveniently preconditioned their base to buy it and set up the network to make communicating with it easy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:25 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


ummmmmmm @Davis Joachim (Bloomberg): "Breaking --->

*MENENDEZ JURY SAYS IT IS DEADLOCKED ON ALL CHARGES, JUDGE SAYS"
posted by lalex at 11:30 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


The Menendez jury appears to be hopelessly deadlocked. Sounds like a mistrial is imminent.

Menendez is still scum and should be primaried out.
posted by Justinian at 11:30 AM on November 13 [12 favorites]


Any New Jersey peeps who can fill us in on some possible challengers? All I know about new Jersey is what I remember from being a kid in Connecticut. That is to say: traction park!
posted by Justinian at 11:32 AM on November 13 [11 favorites]


So is PGP still the go-to freeware?

https://flowcrypt.com/ is well worth looking at for gmail users, it integrates fairly seamlessly (important for porpoises of ubiquity*) and is open source. (caveat: I haven't really dug into it to any great degree)

* And until encryption is something everyone uses by default it's always going to be vulnerable to becoming outlawed and having its users become persons of interest.
posted by Buntix at 11:36 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


For some reason the jury wasn't sequestered, so all the comments from the dismissed juror(s) made it back to them. But yeah, Democrats definitely need someone else, untainted by strong ties to the finance industry, to step in and make a progressive stand there.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:36 AM on November 13


For some reason the jury wasn't sequestered, so all the comments from the dismissed juror(s) made it back to them.

what the hell
posted by halation at 11:38 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


ABC 33/40 live stream of the Allred presser. Just started.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:42 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


For some reason the jury wasn't sequestered, so all the comments from the dismissed juror(s) made it back to them.

Looks like a mistrial to me. Good, kick it down the road a few months so Christie can't appoint himself Senator or something.
posted by dis_integration at 11:44 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Sequestering juries is a very rare and extreme step. It's difficult, expensive, and disruptive.
posted by Justinian at 11:44 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


In "not as terrible as perhaps expected" news, St. Cloud, Minnesota voted down a resolution to put a halt on refugee resettlement by six to one.

Those of you on the coasts may not be aware that Minnesota has comparatively large Somali (and Hmong) communities because of resettlement efforts here. Last year, Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American elected to the House of Representatives. (One effect of Somali community growth here is that non-Muslim Minnesotans are much more likely to actually know Muslims than most non-Muslim Americans are, which means that the War on Terror can feel very different if you're a non-Muslim Minnesotan than it would if you lived elsewhere, and by "different" I mean "even more infuriating and full of bullshit".)

Anyway! St. Cloud, as someone quoted in the article points out, does not exactly have the world's greatest rep, racism-wise. So this is particularly exciting. Although also a bit overdue, since there has been some Somali immigration to Minnesota since the early eighties and quite a lot since the early nineties, so it's not exactly as though Somali Minnesotans are a new thing.

Minnesota has so much potential! We don't always live up to it, but sometimes we do.
posted by Frowner at 11:44 AM on November 13 [65 favorites]


I know it can be hard to tell from pictures, but it really looks like trump has put on about 20 pounds in the last few months. Like, 10 on this Asia trip alone.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:53 AM on November 13


Rhaomi: "ABC 33/40 live stream of the Allred presser. Just started."

I am not a mod, but we should probably keep Moore stuff in the Moore thread.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:56 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Politico: Ryan breaks record for shutting down floor debate
posted by Chrysostom at 7:55 PM on November 12 [3 favorites +] [!]


When is a "deliberative body" not a deliberative body?
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:56 AM on November 13 [6 favorites]


I suspect hades was joking

Kidding on the square. Right now, encryption is protected by the first amendment (thanks, DJB). But the first amendment is suspect, because all those SJW-types seem to like it so much. The second amendment, though, there's something all god-fearing True Patriots can get behind.

(My munitions-grade t-shirt from the 90s has, sadly, faded beyond legibility. But I'd be happy to buy another if it meant getting gun nuts on the side of access to encryption as a fundamental right.)
posted by hades at 11:58 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


This is the Age of Trump so we're getting used to weird. But I bet none of you though it could get this weird this fast. Before He Was Nominated For Federal Court, Donald Trump’s Controversial Judicial Nominee, Brett J. Talley, Hunted Ghosts.
posted by scalefree at 12:04 PM on November 13 [48 favorites]


“Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. No job is too big. No fee is too big.”
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:06 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


I know it can be hard to tell from pictures, but it really looks like trump has put on about 20 pounds in the last few months. Like, 10 on this Asia trip alone.

Tom Petty - pretty lean looking, probably kept in shape to tour, dead by heart attack before 70. Trump? Pillsbury doughboy looks at him and says, at least I ain't in that bad shape, still torments our side of the big grass lawn. The difference is fucking cigarettes.
posted by thelonius at 12:12 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


3. Contested elections — including primaries — are good for the party.

Democratic Party finally sold on "this democracy thing"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:17 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Gotta click out now, but one thought has been gnawing at my insides. Mueller is probably a stand-up guy, but from my perspective the scale and scope of the corruption extends to most of the GOP and much of the bureacracy. I fear that those who care about the country, including Mueller, will survey the vast extent of it all and, trying to imagine the devastation prosecuting its full range of malfeasants would entail, decide to go after only the B and C participants (e.g., Papadopouluses and Flynns), letting the A level (e.g., Trumps, Pences, and Ryans) quietly resign, and never revealing the true nature of it all.

That would not allow us to undo the damage already done. Gorsuch and other rightwing hacks would stay on the bench, the GOP would stay in control of both Houses and of the White House, and our debasement would proceed apace, but with a more genteel face. I hope I'm wrong.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:30 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


Gorsuch and other rightwing hacks would stay on the bench

Gorsuch and the others are staying on the bench no matter what happens.
posted by Justinian at 12:31 PM on November 13 [15 favorites]


> Gorsuch and the others are staying on the bench no matter what happens.

Giant asteroid, I'm looking at you here...
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:38 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Before He Was Nominated For Federal Court, Donald Trump’s Controversial Judicial Nominee, Brett J. Talley, Hunted Ghosts.

Looks like he's also a small-press paranormal/horror author, so I'm willing to bet that Chuck Tingle will introduce him as the main character in his latest tingler appearing in 5...4...3...2...1...now?
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:40 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]



3. Contested elections — including primaries — are good for the party.

Democratic Party finally sold on "this democracy thing"


They've been with it since 2008, at least?
posted by asteria at 12:41 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


> Gorsuch and the others are staying on the bench no matter what happens.

>> Giant asteroid, I'm looking at you here...


Hell, I'd settle for a giant hemorrhoid at this point.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:41 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


Looks like he's also a small-press paranormal/horror author

Oh, gods, really? I can't be more than one or two Facebook friends away from him. That's awful.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:43 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Oh, gods, really? I can't be more than one or two Facebook friends away from him. That's awful.

"Six degrees of Judicial Fakin'."
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:44 PM on November 13 [10 favorites]


Strange Interlude: Looks like he's also a small-press paranormal/horror author, so I'm willing to bet that Chuck Tingle will introduce him as the main character in his latest tingler appearing in 5...4...3...2...1...now?

Re-Enacting The Ghostbusters Blowjob Scene While Evading Every Single Question At My Congressional Hearing
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:46 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


I know it can be hard to tell from pictures, but it really looks like trump has put on about 20 pounds in the last few months. Like, 10 on this Asia trip alone.

We face so many problems with Trump. His weight and appearance are really, truly the least of them. Making fun of him for being fat hurts other fat people, not Trump.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:57 PM on November 13 [31 favorites]


thelonius: The difference is fucking cigarettes.

See what happens when you cut sex ed from schools?
posted by hanov3r at 12:57 PM on November 13 [12 favorites]


This is the Age of Trump so we're getting used to weird. But I bet none of you though it could get this weird this fast. Before He Was Nominated For Federal Court, Donald Trump’s Controversial Judicial Nominee, Brett J. Talley, Hunted Ghosts.

Finally! a relevant occasion on which to post this riveting link.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:03 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Looks like he's also a small-press paranormal/horror author

Oh god. I'm gonna be a panelist at Orycon in Portland this weekend. Now I'm gonna be side-eyeing all the other authors. I won't know who's there to offer good writing advice and who's really just their to boost their resume for some cabinet undersecretary appointment.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:09 PM on November 13 [15 favorites]


See what happens when you cut sex ed from schools?

The tobacco plants start to experiment figuring out how things work with their carpels and stamens because nobody will tell them anything and all of a sudden you have an epidemic of teenage tobacco plants becoming single mothers.
posted by Talez at 1:10 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


donald trump is not fat

he's just retaining ichor
posted by murphy slaw at 1:11 PM on November 13 [30 favorites]


Facebook may be losing the fight against fake news

Present tense is so 2016.
posted by petebest at 1:12 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


When is the Hope Hicks meeting w Mueller again?
posted by yoga at 1:13 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


he's just retaining ichor

Ichor? More like bile.
posted by Talez at 1:14 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


"Ichor" isn't pronounced like "eye-core." It actually rhymes with "liquor." Not many people know that.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:18 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


my biggest pet peeve is every day having to hear so many people mispronouncing ichor
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:21 PM on November 13 [38 favorites]


"Ichor" isn't pronounced like "eye-core." It actually rhymes with "liquor." Not many people know that.

I knew that!

That fact that I’ve seemingly been pronouncing “dotard” wrongly all my life still bothers me, though.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 1:22 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


It's really "Frankenstein's ichor".
posted by hanov3r at 1:23 PM on November 13 [12 favorites]


I-core is rasta speed metal devotionals
posted by Burhanistan at 1:23 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


"Ichor" isn't pronounced like "eye-core."

It's pronounced "Fronk-in-shteen".
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:24 PM on November 13 [14 favorites]


Sadly long term exposure to Lovecraftian function means I know exactly what to expect from a book with that cover, title and description in terms of trope heavy nonsense.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on November 13


(It may be more racist than average though)
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


(noting that average lovecraftian fiction is pretty racist!)
posted by murphy slaw at 1:27 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


huh, The Atlantic has a nice little scoop from Julia Ioffe: The Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump Jr. and Wikileaks.
The messages, obtained by The Atlantic, were also turned over by Trump Jr.’s lawyers to congressional investigators. They are part of a long—and largely one-sided—correspondence between Wikileaks and the president’s son that continued until at least July 2017. The messages show Wikileaks, a radical transparency organization that the American intelligence community believes was chosen by the Russian government to disseminate the information it had hacked, actively soliciting Trump Jr.’s cooperation. Wikileaks made a series of increasingly bold requests, including asking for Trump's tax returns, urging the Trump campaign to reject the results of the election as rigged, and requesting that the president-elect tell Australia to appoint Julian Assange ambassador to the United States. [...]

Though Trump Jr. mostly ignored the frequent messages from Wikileaks, he at times appears to have acted on its requests. [...] At no point during the 10-month correspondence does Trump, Jr. rebuff Wikileaks, which had published stolen documents and was already observed to be releasing information that benefited Russian interests.
posted by lalex at 1:28 PM on November 13 [66 favorites]


Incidentally, Mispronouncing Ichor is going to be the title of the next Noah Baumbach film starring Greta Gerwig as a Proust-quoting rollercoaster enthusiast who teaches a sad, middle-aged speech therapist (played by Ben Stiller) how to just relax and have fun.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:30 PM on November 13 [22 favorites]


requesting that the president-elect tell Australia to appoint Julian Assange ambassador to the United States

holy shit julian assange is even more deluded than my previous gigantic estimation
posted by murphy slaw at 1:30 PM on November 13 [36 favorites]


Average Lovecraftian Fiction is racist enough that it's in line for Trump's Secretary of Commerce.
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:31 PM on November 13 [18 favorites]


huh, The Atlantic has a nice little scoop from Julia Ioffe:

ok, well, my Twitter feed seems to be kind of freaking out about this so maybe it's a bigger scoop than I implied and I will go adjust my surprise-o-meter accordingly.
posted by lalex at 1:35 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


And today Apple introduced its newest product, the iChor, promoting it as a device for "The Internet of Stranger Things".
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:37 PM on November 13 [40 favorites]


btw if anyone missed the Trump brothers' appearance on SNL this weekend, I watched it like 4 times and screamed with laughter every time.
posted by lalex at 1:39 PM on November 13 [10 favorites]


That’s not a little scoop. It’s fucking collusion.
posted by zachlipton at 1:40 PM on November 13 [44 favorites]


It would be super interesting to take a look at the raw emails from the Ioffe story. I know The Atlantic has tech experts who already know these things but the main Wikileaks domain doesn't have any of the normal email authentication methods, making forgery much easier.
posted by hanov3r at 1:40 PM on November 13


That’s not a little scoop. It’s fucking collusion.

srsly i am numb and dead inside
posted by lalex at 1:41 PM on November 13 [35 favorites]


And today Apple introduced its newest product, the iChor, promoting it as a device for "The Internet of Stranger Things".

As with all Apple devices, the screen rotation feature allows one to use it even when Upside Down.

Still need a dongle for your headphones though.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:44 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


My, my.

on the same day that Trump Jr. received the first message from Wikileaks, he emailed other senior officials with the Trump campaign, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, telling them Wikileaks had made contact. Kushner then forwarded the email to campaign communications staffer Hope Hicks.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:44 PM on November 13 [77 favorites]


From the Ioffe story [Twitter link}:
WikiLeaks didn't write again until Election Day, November 8, 2016. "Hi Don if your father 'loses' we think it is much more interesting if he DOES NOT conceed [sic] and spends time CHALLENGING the media and other types of rigging that occurred—as he has implied that he might do," WikiLeaks wrote at 6:35pm, when the idea that Clinton would win was still the prevailing conventional wisdom.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:45 PM on November 13 [50 favorites]


Also from the article:
Just before the stroke of midnight on September 20, 2016, at the height of last year’s presidential election, the Wikileaks Twitter account sent a private direct message to Donald Trump Jr., the Republican nominee’s oldest son and campaign surrogate. “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch,” Wikileaks wrote. “The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?” (The site, which has since become a joint project with Mother Jones, was founded by Rob Glaser, a tech entrepreneur, and was funded by Progress for USA Political Action Committee.)

The next morning, about 12 hours later, Trump Jr. responded to Wikileaks. “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” he wrote on September 21, 2016. “Thanks.”
First, Rob Glaser is an idiot. Second, guessing the password is a felony. Using the password is illegal. Does Don Jr's participation in these messages constitute conspiracy to violate the CFAA (or actual violations)?

Lock him up (after appropriate due process because we are not monsters).
posted by zachlipton at 1:45 PM on November 13 [28 favorites]


[Remember the old saying, folks: fewer jokes about ichor keeps the thread loading quicker.]
posted by cortex at 1:47 PM on November 13 [128 favorites]


The difference is fucking cigarettes.

That would be a distinctly off-label use for that product.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:47 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


we think it is much more interesting if he DOES NOT conceed [sic]

USE! *gasp*
A SPELLCHECK!!

*sobs*
posted by petebest at 1:53 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


WikiLeaks doesn't vet data, silly
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:54 PM on November 13 [22 favorites]


Trump Jr. did not respond to this message, but two days later, on October 14, 2016, he tweeted out the link Wikileaks had provided him.

That's kinda colludy.
posted by diogenes at 1:59 PM on November 13 [16 favorites]


I'm having trouble teasing out the implications of the Ioffe story. Very clearly, it's damning for Assange/Wikileaks. Is it also damning for Don, Jr. and the Trump campaign? Or is it (weakly) exculpatory? For example, Don, Jr. doesn't seem to have had foreknowledge of what Roger Stone was talking about when he tweeted, "“Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #WikiLeaks.” Jr. asks them, “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?”
posted by scarylarry at 2:03 PM on November 13


Colludy with a chance of rain...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:04 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


That’s not a little scoop. It’s fucking collusion.

itshappening.gif

Of course Assange wanted and Ambassadorship. Of course.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:04 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


an ambassadorship from AUSTRALIA!?!?!
posted by lalex at 2:06 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica)
Two Democratic lawmakers today called for an investigation into whether Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai "has taken actions to improperly benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group."

The FCC has made several decision that benefit Sinclair, a broadcast station owner with a right-wing tilt. Among other things, the FCC rolled back broadcast TV station ownership limits, which could help Sinclair complete an acquisition of Tribune Media Company and, in the process, reach 72 percent of TV-owning households in the US.

[...]

We contacted Chairman Pai's office today, and a spokesperson provided this response:
Unfortunately, this request appears to be part of many Democrats' attempt to target one particular company because of its perceived political views, an effort that dates all the way back to 2004 when Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member Cummings, and other Democrats demanded that the FCC investigate Sinclair based solely on the content of a documentary they didn't like and that hadn't even aired. Any claim that Chairman Pai is modifying the rules now to benefit one particular company is completely baseless. For many years, Chairman Pai has called on the FCC to update its media ownership regulations—one of which dates back to 1975. The Chairman is sticking to his long-held views, and given the strong case for modernizing these rules, it's not surprising that those who disagree with him would prefer to do whatever they can to distract from the merits of his proposals.
posted by cybertaur1 at 2:09 PM on November 13 [50 favorites]


it's not surprising that those who disagree with him would prefer to do whatever they can to distract from the merits of his proposals.

Someone graduated from the Sarah Huckabee Sanders Finishing School for Snippy Arrogants

(before someone gets snippily arrogant on me, 'Arrogants' as a plural noun is intentional. thx)
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:13 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


First, these messages undercut part of the usual defense, which is that WikiLeaks (pause here to mock them for not even being a real wiki) was acting as a news organization when they received the DNC and Podesta documents and published them. News organizations do publish stolen documents sometimes, but encouraging a candidate to contest the results of an election and suggesting an ambassadorship goes well beyond the bounds of any normal journalistic endeavor. It speaks to WikiLeaks trafficking in campaign documents stolen by a foreign power to aid a specific candidate, rather than to disseminate news.

Second, it implicates Don Jr. in a conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (or, if he used the password, quite possibly in violating it himself).
posted by zachlipton at 2:19 PM on November 13 [27 favorites]




(before someone gets snippily arrogant on me, 'Arrogants' as a plural noun is intentional. thx)

I first read it as "Argonauts" and thought we were back on the ichor derail again.
posted by zachlipton at 2:21 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


The news today is "Yay! Everyone is guilty!"
posted by Burhanistan at 2:22 PM on November 13 [15 favorites]


Of course Assange wanted and Ambassadorship. Of course.

It'd be the first time the Australian Ambassador to the United States operated from a stationary cupboard in an Ecuadorian embassy.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:22 PM on November 13 [28 favorites]


Third, Mike Pence denied last year that the campaign was "in cahoots" with WikiLeaks
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Friday morning that despite rumors and suggestions to the contrary, the Republican presidential ticket has absolutely nothing to do with the avalanche of Hillary Clinton campaign emails released in recent days by WikiLeaks.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Pence said when asked by Fox News anchor Steve Doocy if Donald Trump’s campaign is “in cahoots” with the website releasing the emails. “I think all of us have, you know, have had concerns about WikiLeaks over the years and it's just a reality of American life today, and of life in the wider world.”
Don Jr tweeted out the link WikiLeaks sent him that same day.

Thus, once again, setting up Pence to be the guy who lies about shady Russian shit.
posted by zachlipton at 2:23 PM on November 13 [90 favorites]


General warning: It looks like I may lose power and internet in a little while due to high winds, and if I do I intend to take a long nap.

I do hope this does not coincide with too many other fitful naps or exactly how many people are on vacation out of cell range at this point, but this may be an unscheduled outage.

May god have mercy on us all!
posted by loquacious at 2:24 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


“If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality,” WikiLeaks explained. “That means that the vast amount of stuff that we are publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact, because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source.”

Hahahahahaha. Can't wait for the Glenn Greenwald commentary!
posted by codacorolla at 2:25 PM on November 13 [43 favorites]


It's pronounced "Fronk-in-shteen".

I propose a self-care opportunity. GO WATCH YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN! Relax. Enjoy Life for an hour or two YOU DESERVE IT!
posted by mikelieman at 2:26 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


Also, holy shit, using the name of the site as the password. The democratic machine is as guilty of criminal incompetence as the republicans are of collusion.
posted by codacorolla at 2:27 PM on November 13 [20 favorites]


Trump’s Taxes Have Probably Already Been Hacked (John Powers in an Op Ed on Wired, Nov. 12, 2017)
A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR named Jordan Hamlett is heading to trial next month in Louisiana for allegedly attempting to illegally obtain President Trump’s income tax returns. Hamlett's defense attorney says he’s a well-intentioned white hat hacker engaged in ethical acts, who was trying to notify the IRS that its system was vulnerable. He now faces up to five years in prison.

Whether his motivation was good or bad, Hamlett's hacking skills apparently weren’t great. Court records suggest he disregarded basic lessons of Hacking 101: First, don’t use your personal cell phone when penetration-testing the federal government; and second, don’t immediately confess when FBI and IRS agents engage you in a conversation in the lobby of an Embassy Suites hotel in Baton Rouge. Despite his rookie mistakes, Hamlett reportedly came close to getting the president’s personal tax information. And that says a lot.
Where the verb "hacked" means "have been accessed by hacking into the IRS or an entity or agency who has handled Trump's taxes."
posted by filthy light thief at 2:28 PM on November 13


“There’s many great stories the press are missing and we’re sure some of your follows [sic] will find it,” WikiLeaks went on. “Btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4.”

Trump Jr. did not respond to this message. But just 15 minutes after it was sent, as The Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau pointed out, Donald Trump himself tweeted, “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system


If Trump was watching Twitter or wikileaks he would have seen that they'd released the emails right? Are they trying to say here that wikileaks told Jr and be told Pop and pop tweeted?

Bc I'm all for trump being an idiot but I feel it's a tenuous connection.

The password thing is the most damning.
posted by sio42 at 2:32 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Also, holy shit, using the name of the site as the password. The democratic machine is as guilty of criminal incompetence as the republicans are of collusion.

Well he is also responsible for ...buffering buffering buffering... Realplayer
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:32 PM on November 13 [12 favorites]


the average american thinks "i had capslock on and didn't realize and now i've used up all my password attempts" means they've been ~*hacked*~
posted by poffin boffin at 2:32 PM on November 13 [16 favorites]


Oops... Said April 13, 2017.

@nadabakos
Reminder: "Wikileaks is a 'hostile intelligence service helped by Russia,' says CIA director Mike Pompeo"
posted by chris24 at 2:35 PM on November 13 [32 favorites]


First, don’t use your personal cell phone when penetration-testing the federal government

oh my goodness, after this day, i needed that laugh
posted by halation at 2:37 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]



If Trump was watching Twitter or wikileaks he would have seen that they'd released the emails right? Are they trying to say here that wikileaks told Jr and be told Pop and pop tweeted?

Fair point, but I think that's a reasonably big "if." For what it's worth, Trump doesn't currently follow @wikileaks. I don't know if he did at the time. But the Podesta email drops surely got a lot of coverage, and it's fair to assume that *someone* would have brought one to his attention shortly after publication, whether or not wikileaks told his son to do it.
posted by scarylarry at 2:41 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


It really is Burn After Reading.

@ZeddRebel
ASSANGE: Here bro, commit this #crime real quick by hacking a website with this password I'm DMing you right now
JUNIOR: JUST DID! Thanks a lot and if you need help with any more #crimes my DMs are open
posted by chris24 at 2:42 PM on November 13 [48 favorites]


"Wikileaks is a 'hostile intelligence service helped by Russia,' says CIA director Mike Pompeo"

Pompeo then added: "Also, a Russian person trying to say the name Vicky Leeks would pronounce it Wiki Leaks. This is not in any way germane to the investigation, I just find it amusing."
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:43 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


when i was like 7 years old and wanted to stay up late to watch miami vice i took a yellow legal pad from my mom's office and carefully cut off the bottom 2 inches of the first page, leaving room for a signature line at the bottom like so X_______________

the top portion of the second page, cleverly concealed by the first, had a list of my demands, which my foolish parents would certainly sign thus contractually binding them to my new bedtime of whenever i wanted and also giving me a pony

tl;dr trump would definitely fall for this

someone write I DID A TREASON on a legal pad pls
posted by poffin boffin at 2:44 PM on November 13 [62 favorites]


Texas must assemble a commission on legislation to end gun violence (Dallas Morning News op-ed by GOP rep in Texas from Jason "More Guns, Less Money For Schools" Villalba*)
Today, I am respectfully asking the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house of Texas to empanel a blue-ribbon Commission on Gun Violence In Texas. The primary charge of the commission shall be to determine the root causes of gun violence in Texas and to propose legislation to address these issues, to be adopted in the 86th Legislature. The secondary charge of the commission shall be to publish the findings of the commission and disseminate through education and conference the proposals of the commission.
Yes, he's still pushing the "more guns may make us more safe" angle:

Rep. Villalba Wants To Get To The Bottom Of Gun Violence (NPR, Nov. 13, 2017)
JASON VILLALBA: Well, imbued in the DNA of every Texan is the right to keep and bear arms. In fact, I have a weapon on me right at this moment.

GREENE: You do?

VILLALBA: Absolutely.

GREENE: What is it?

VILLALBA: It's a personal defense weapon. It's for use in a situation where someone would come to try to accost me in my car or mug me at night. But it's a little small, what they call a pocket pistol in Texas. And I'm going to get in my car in a few moments and drive down to Fredericksburg and do some hunting for some wild hogs. I'll be using an assault rifle.

But, you know, my proposal just said, let's consider all of the factors that may have led to this tragedy, one obviously mental health treatment, care, resources. But the other issue has to be looking at gun control. And it might not be gun control. Maybe it's expansion of gun rights, perhaps. We have to understand what is the best way to begin to stop this?
* Yes, post-Sandyhook, Villalba proposed 1) cutting funding for schools, and 2) that teachers arm themselves, with no additional funding to purchase said arms. Thanks, NPR, for giving air-time to this "balanced" voice.

Hey, if you want to get to the bottom of gun violence, don't let the NRA block funding for gun-related violence studies.

Here's one chart to explain the number of guns and the number of mass shootings in the US vs other countries (New York Times, Nov. 7, 2017). So yes, let's give everyone guns.

If that's not enough, here are 8 more charts, including a chilling one to remind Villalba and other like-minded "more guns = more safety" folks: in 2014, there were almost twice as many suicides by gun than homocides, including the one mass shooting of the year.

Oh, and in 2015, gun deaths and motor vehicle deaths converged, thanks to the continued decrease of vehicle fatalities (we are pouring money to address vehicle fatalities from various angle, from roadway design to vehicle standards to public outreach) and the slowly growing rate of gun deaths.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:47 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


the top portion of the second page, cleverly concealed by the first, had a list of my demands, which my foolish parents would certainly sign thus contractually binding them to my new bedtime of whenever i wanted and also giving me a pony

See the problem is that if your parents refused to enforce it you couldn't even take it to court because "no actual injury” is actually a defense in contract law.

An experienced contract writer would know that you need to go with the carrot route. Promise good behavior and dishes done every night for a bedtime extension and stick to it. Then it's legally enforceable because you've supplied your end of the bargain.
posted by Talez at 2:49 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]




And he's not even being paid by the NRA or other visible pro-gun groups! WTF, dude?

Step 1) NRA runs ads talking doom and to support pro-gun candidates
Step 2) Our friend, Texas House Member Dipshit says he's pro-gun and supports the second amendment
Step 3) Congratulations! You've just run ads supporting a congressperson without actually contributing to them!
posted by Talez at 2:57 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


While trumps perv et fils not may follow wikileaks, Donnyboy does, as of recently, follow glenngreenwald.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 3:01 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


Trumps taxes have probably already been hacked

AHEM
*I* will eat a cake if Mueller has not already had ShitKnob's tax returns for months. And y'all can tell me whatever text you want the cake to have.
posted by yoga at 7:21 PM on October 18 [has favorites +] [!]

posted by yoga at 3:02 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


The over/under on Greenwald taking a slot on RT is 6 months.
posted by Justinian at 3:03 PM on November 13 [13 favorites]




Bannon’s in the collusion loop! Yay!!

My greatest hope now is that Huckabee Sanders is somehow implicated.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:10 PM on November 13 [14 favorites]


Kristy Eldredge, New Yorker: Welcome, New Facebook Employees Tracking Down Russian Ads
Welcome to Facebook! You’ve come on board at an exciting time. It’s been discovered that there are many Russian-bought ads on our site, which some say swayed the outcome of the latest Presidential election. So, even though we upload millions of ads from all over the world every day, we’ve created a new team to root out the Kremlin-backed ones. Suspicious things to look for include unusual syntax, unfamiliar organizations, and weirdly pornographic depictions of Bernie Sanders.

A sample our team found last week:

Jerry Marsh, Republican
Jerry Marsh, candidate for immigration reform, tells like is! Jerry living in U.S.A. twenty years plus. He knows how getting action. And he fix your refrigerator. Because Jerry is appliance salesman like you or me. If he made it big, does that make him enemy? No, makes him friend. Vote for Jerry!

Black Concerns Matter
Who forgets shameful treatment of blacks in nineteen-seventies disco era? Only monsters is who. We all know is problem. Now time for action! Send money, link below.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:13 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


The over/under on Greenwald taking a slot on RT is 6 months.

Nah. They wouldn’t transfer him to the public face of the organization. He’s much more valuable with the cover of a legitimate news org, even as his blatant conspicuousness surpasses that of James Bond.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:20 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Have they condemned the leaks of their conversions with Wikileaks yet?

Christ, I wish I could still enjoy irony. I’m bascially half a man without it.
posted by milarepa at 3:22 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


But his DMs.
posted by chris24 at 3:30 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


That Hope Hicks interview must be driving him nuts. She's privy to all the dirt.

The Washington Post corroborates, "Trump also leans on two senior aides, counselor Kellyanne Conway and communications director Hope Hicks, as well as some outside friends for advice."

And confirmed in today's Atlantic's scoop: "[O]n the same day that Trump Jr. received the first message from Wikileaks, he emailed other senior officials with the Trump campaign, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, telling them Wikileaks had made contact. Kushner then forwarded the email to campaign communications staffer Hope Hicks."

And also in Carter Page's House Intelligence Committee testimony: "The testimony reveals new details about how Page kept people in the campaign informed about interactions he had with Russians, as well as more details about his Russian contacts beyond his encounter with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich during his July 2016 trip. [...] Page informed senior campaign officials Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks and JD Gordon about his trip ahead of time."

At this point, Hicks's own denials from this very time last year are looking rather suspect: "There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign."
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:36 PM on November 13 [28 favorites]


AP Walker eliminates Wisconsin’s minimum hunting age
Children of any age can hunt in Wisconsin, after Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that eliminates the state’s minimum age.

Walker quietly signed the Republican bill Saturday, exactly a week before the state’s nine-day gun deer hunting was set to open. The law took effect Monday. Kids will have to wait five days before they can start shooting deer, but they can participate in several seasons already underway, including bow deer, pheasant, ruffed grouse, rabbit and squirrel.
Wisconsin is not alone, 34 other states have no minimum hunting age, but it is interesting that the NRA-controlled Republicans felt 10 was too old a threshold.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:39 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


These are modern day Republicans we're talking about. Ten years old is practically over-the-hill.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:44 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


I suppose for a republican if a kid is old enough to marry they're old enough to hunt.
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on November 13 [27 favorites]


I'm afraid this will kick-off a parental one-up-manship deluge where people try to claim the youngest hunter to kill [insert adorable animal that should be left alone.]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:00 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Republicans 2018: "Guns for Zygotes!"
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:07 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Buzzfeed A Trump Judicial Nominee Appears To Have Written About Politics On A Sports Website And Didn't Disclose It

That would be the same jackass we have been talking about all day-- the one who is married to the assistant of the guy in charge of Judicial nominees and the one who graduated 3 years ago from law school but has yet to try a case. He "forgot" to disclose some of his more political blog entries to the Senate.
Many of BamainBoston's posts are about sports. But some address politics and other non-sports subjects. On Dec. 17, 2012, a few days after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, BamainBoston posted, "My solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up."
But then all of Trump's people seem particularly forgetful.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:07 PM on November 13 [38 favorites]


I mean, if they're just going to be rubberstamped with no oversight anyway why not use the total garbage?
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on November 13


NRA-controlled Republicans felt 10 was too old a threshold.

The concern for some time has been that hunting, as a sport, is not being passed on generationally. (Something else Millennials have ruined!) Since hunting provides an entry into gun culture, this is seen as a Bad Thing, because it will shrink the ranks of gun ownership and thus gun rights support. (And on the other side of the counter, gun sales.)

Seen this way, many gun-related initiatives make more sense as a means to keep the gun claque as large as possible -- like the bump stocks used in the Las Vegas massacre, which are defended as aids to the disabled gun enthusiast.

It'd be the first time the Australian Ambassador to the United States operated from a stationary cupboard in an Ecuadorian embassy.

But precisely not, as he may believe it will grant him diplomatic immunity and thus an exit from his predicament. (The governing diplomatic protocol may be waived by the sending state, however, so it would matter whether Australia would bow to Sweden's request in this matter.) I doubt he actually wants to be Ambassador as such, he just needs a way out.

Of his cupboard.
posted by dhartung at 4:09 PM on November 13 [12 favorites]


"My solution would be to stop being a society of pansies and man up."

The judge said, slamming down his gavel.
posted by notyou at 4:18 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


I'm 34, I'm a practicing lawyer 8 years out of law school (yea, I went straight through) and have never tried a real case in federal court. I do administrative and regulatory stuff. The idea that I'd be nominated for lifetime appointment as an article III judge is fucking insane, and I'm legitimately more qualified than Talley.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:23 PM on November 13 [118 favorites]


I am totally gonna nominate TD Strange for a federal judgeship if I get elected.
posted by Justinian at 4:25 PM on November 13 [73 favorites]


Huh. Don, Jr. now tweeting screenshots of his DMs: "Here is the entire chain of messages with @wikileaks (with my whopping 3 responses) which one of the congressional committees has chosen to selectively leak. How ironic!"

Remember how he tweeted his collusion emails shortly before the story broke?
posted by scarylarry at 4:25 PM on November 13 [59 favorites]


Don Jr. just tweeted out his messages with WikiLeaks, because apparently he can't shut up and he's somehow more committed to transparency than a radical transparency organization, or something.

Part 1

Part 2
Part 3

Least of his sins, but he should learn to thread his damn tweets.
posted by zachlipton at 4:26 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


How is it possible that he doesn't understand that it's not what's in the DMs (which is also very bad), but the fact that he has documented contact with someone that they're under oath saying he never contacted? How is he so stupid?
posted by codacorolla at 4:31 PM on November 13 [35 favorites]


How is he so stupid?

Bad genes.
posted by scarylarry at 4:32 PM on November 13 [55 favorites]


Donnie J just has to have some version of a CTE-like thing where his cerebral wiring is eating itself. That and banking on daddy making it right.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:33 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


I am so glad the big bad villains of this timeline are that dumb. May Mueller nail his ass to the wall with this admission of guilt.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 4:33 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


AP: Trump choosing white men as judges, highest rate in decades
President Donald Trump is nominating white men to America’s federal courts at a rate not seen in nearly 30 years, threatening to reverse a slow transformation toward a judiciary that reflects the nation’s diversity.

So far, 91 percent of Trump’s nominees are white, and 81 percent are male, an Associated Press analysis has found. Three of every four are white men, with few African-Americans and Hispanics in the mix. The last president to nominate a similarly homogenous group was George H.W. Bush.
posted by chris24 at 4:33 PM on November 13 [31 favorites]


and I'm legitimately more qualified than Talley.

Do you have a racist blog?
posted by ctmf at 4:34 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Don Jr. just tweeted out his messages with WikiLeaks, because apparently he can't shut up

"No no, dig up stupid!"
posted by supercrayon at 4:36 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


My theory is that Junior was used as a tackling dummy for the New Jersey Generals as a youth.
posted by delfin at 4:37 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


I remember the last time Don Jr. did something stupid, the base was up in arms: "He's in his 30s, just a CHIYULD! He can't be held responsible for his actions!" The same people who think that teenage girls, and black boys who are actual little children (like Tamir Rice who wasn't even a teenager) are culpable for everything they do.

Don Jr. makes Fredo Corleone look actually smaaht and worthy of respect.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:41 PM on November 13 [16 favorites]


I can't imagine even the Federalist Society is happy with that nomination. Yes, they want young conservative judges, but that job is hard. Even ultra-pro business Republican die hards should want someone smart as hell and experienced, with a long track record of publications advancing a pro-business view point and demonstrating they understand how to advance the case law towards a policy goal. Even if you're the Kochs, you don't want just an alt-right dude writing "the white guy wins because #MAGA" in every case. Even for Republicans, the appearance of intelligence and coherent legal reasoning matters. The cover story matters. That's why they loved Scalia so much, his opinions were mostly "Republicans win because #MAGA", but he wrote them in such a way to cover up the fact that that's what he was doing. Or at least the cover story used to matter. Maybe they think we're already so far gone that "because #MAGA" is the only legal opinion they'll ever need again, and if Trump gets one more seat on SCOTUS, maybe they're right.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:43 PM on November 13 [20 favorites]


It'd be the first time the Australian Ambassador to the United States operated from a stationary cupboard in an Ecuadorian embassy.

Or even a mobile one, for that matter.

The thing I am most ashamed of in the past two years of my life is being in a situation where I was directly in contact with Mr Assange and not seizing the opportunity to tell him exactly what I thought of him. When all this is said and done – because yes, I do now believe we'll survive and possibly even recover from this – there are going to be a lot of folks on the left with some major explaining to do as to why the utterly toxic Assange apologia was tolerated for so long.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:46 PM on November 13 [18 favorites]


“I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. Your father’s a scoundrel, and so, it seems, are you.”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:53 PM on November 13 [14 favorites]


Maybe they think we're already so far gone that "because #MAGA" is the only legal opinion they'll ever need again

I don't think Republicans would act like this if they thought they had much of a future. If they thought there was a tomorrow (for them), they'd plan out their health care changes. They wouldn't nominate a ghost-hunting idiot to a lifelong post. They wouldn't rapidly cobble together a tax cut that screws over the middle-class in ways that the middle-class can immediately understand.

As bad as Reagan and the Bushes were, they built things to last. Maybe not forever, but with a long-term in mind. The current GOP must think Trump's killed the party, and there's only so much time left before they bleed out.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 5:00 PM on November 13 [16 favorites]


@sarahjeong on the wikileaks of the ioffe article: "it's like the political equivalent of 'hey wouldn't it be funny if we made out HAHAHA'"
posted by murphy slaw at 5:06 PM on November 13 [23 favorites]


Surprisingly, his undisclosed sport blog comments contain some not-completely-horrible opinions about immigration reform.
As for those people who are already here, yes, they violated the law. Great. That tells us nothing. The debate is how to punish that violation of the law. Go ahead. Punish them. Fine them. Whatever. Then give them a path to citizenship. The last thing we want here is a permanent underclass of people. And the thought of the police breaking down the doors of otherwise law abiding citizens and dragging them out to be deported is horrible and un-American. The crime most of these people committed is wanting a better life."
posted by nonasuch at 5:09 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


The current GOP must think Trump's killed the party, and there's only so much time left before they bleed out.

Or they know they have the backing of a foreign state intelligence service and the means to ensure they never face another fair election nationally again. Are we glass half full, or half empty today.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:10 PM on November 13 [23 favorites]


I freely admit that I was fooled by Assange for a long time, even after I thought he was a rapist sleaze. The thing is, with the exception of wanting Trump to win, he was pretty politically similar to a lot of radical media/hacky/transparancy dudes I've met over the years, and while they might hate Hillary Clinton like poison, they would never hate her enough to want to install Trump, and they have the mother wit to be as skeptical of Putin as of the American oligarchy. I really thought he was basically like that, and for a long, long time I figured that when Wikileaks did stuff that I thought was careless and stupid, it was just carelessness and stupidity.

As a broad generality, the media types I've met have been small-d democratic to the core - whether clever or stupid, they would not think that it was up to them to try to play geopolitical games to override the popular vote, not even if they had some kind of ill-conceived belief that this would topple the American empire.

It's a repulsive end for someone who could have been great. I remember when I admired him, and I think I admired him for the right reasons. But that was a long time ago now.
posted by Frowner at 5:11 PM on November 13 [25 favorites]


I freely admit that I was fooled by Assange Roy Moore for a long time, even after I thought he was a rapist sleaze.

Ideology is a helluva drug.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:16 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


and nobody — including me — is immune
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:17 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]




@Green_Footballs
Julian Assange accused The Atlantic of deceptively editing his messages with Trump Junior. Then Trump Jr. tweeted out the whole sleazy chain of messages and confirmed everything in the Atlantic article. http://lgf.bz/2iUYzlV


@joshtpm
LOL. Anderson Cooper breaks into the telecast to show live footage of Pence throwing Don Jr under a bus. VIDEO

---

Pence spokesman says he never knew or was informed about any contacts with Wikileaks.
posted by chris24 at 5:28 PM on November 13 [56 favorites]


Orin Kerr points out that even just passing on the password would be enough for Don Jr. to have violated the law. That's trafficking in a password to access a computer without authorization.
posted by zachlipton at 5:35 PM on November 13 [26 favorites]


Our favorite former federal prosecutor:

@renato_mariotti
One interesting tidbit in Trump Jr.'s messages with Wikileaks: they suggest communicating "lawyer to lawyer," something you do to make sure the statements can't be used against you, because you are not the one communicating. It suggests they knew this discussion was problematic.
posted by chris24 at 5:36 PM on November 13 [43 favorites]


Also implicates the lawyers. Crime fraud exception again, attorney-client privilege is gone.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:41 PM on November 13 [33 favorites]


The Times has its version of the special counsel story: Justice Department to Consider Special Counsel for Uranium One Deal

Trump is apparently running around asking why Mueller isn't investigating the uranium deal. Investigating it may help save Sessions job:
People close to the White House believe Mr. Sessions can stop the president from firing him by appointing a special counsel to investigate the uranium deal.
...
As the special counsel’s investigation into Mr. Trump and his associates has intensified in recent weeks, Mr. Trump has asked allies and advisers why the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is not investigating the Uranium One case, according to a person familiar with the president’s discussions on the matter. The allies and advisers have told Mr. Trump that Mr. Mueller’s purview is only to look into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the person said. In response, Mr. Trump has said that the Uranium One relates to Russia.
Sessions, of course, supposedly recused himself from everything to do with the 2016 election.
posted by zachlipton at 5:44 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


Junior remains confused about the logistics of getting in front of a story.
posted by diogenes at 5:47 PM on November 13 [18 favorites]


donald trump, jr. is a one-man, iron-clad argument against white male superiority
posted by murphy slaw at 5:50 PM on November 13 [85 favorites]


I love that Donnie Half-Scoop is the smart one. Like, "Eric is too dumb too keep in the loop on this. Junior, though, he's the real brains!"

Congratulations, Don. You managed to raise two sons who are even more epically stupid than you are.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:50 PM on November 13 [20 favorites]


> Here in Kansas, there came a point where they couldn't blame anyone but the Republicans for what happened. Immigrants, liberals, abortions, etc. didn't slash school funding. The liberals weren't responsible for the increasing number of potholes and the reductions in popular state services. And the teabaggers paid a price at the polls.

‘One of the most secretive, dark states’: What is Kansas trying to hide?

Pay Attention to the Kansas Disaster: It's What Republicans Want for the Whole Country. Sam Brownback and co. have tried to cover up just how bad it is.
posted by homunculus at 5:51 PM on November 13 [55 favorites]


The current GOP must think Trump's killed the party, and there's only so much time left before they bleed out.

No. They think the party is fine (in the sense it has inertia much like a zombie corpse) but conservatism is dead in this country replaced by Trumpism.
posted by Talez at 5:53 PM on November 13


The current GOP must think Trump's killed the party, and there's only so much time left before they bleed out.

Or they know they have the backing of a foreign state intelligence service and the means to ensure they never face another fair election nationally again.


I'm not sure they know how it's going to play out either way, but they're all in either way.
They certainly aren't acting like people with any interest in governing a functioning society.
posted by bongo_x at 6:07 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


donald trump, jr. is a one-man, iron-clad argument against white male superiority

Bro, he can't even lift.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:11 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


Re: Junior
You know how people scoff at high school algebra because they're "never gonna use it" in real life? I wish I remembered more from the cyber law classes in law school. I mean I never thought the topic would be irrelevant but nor did I exactly expect it to be front-page stupid timeline. Kinda like a specialist subject that could really clinch your team's win of the pub quiz, if only you'd studied it more (except there's more than a pub quiz at stake).

Time to go dig up our notes on cyberlaw's origins in espionage law, criminal (and civil) consequences, debates over defining "unauthorized" access, etc...
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 6:18 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


[Couple deleted. For Roy Moore stuff, please head over to the Roy Moore thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:18 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Bro, he can't even lift.

I thought the link was going prove that he's The Dumbest Boy Alive.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:20 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


I really enjoy the story people have posted here before about how when Junior was born, DJT didn't want to call him after himself at first because what if he turned out to be awful, it would be embarrassing. especially since the dead alcoholic older Trump brother DJT allegedly cared about was a Junior himself, named after their dad, and that would have been his reference point, what he was alluding to in his typically unspeakable fashion.

so, because it doesn't matter if it's true, I go on believing DT2 is just doing all this purely and simply to soil the DT name beyond repair. unconsciously, if you like, since he is too stupid for clever plots. even though you'd think the name was soiled enough, because his dad is not the type who would recognize a stain on the family name if he put it there himself, only if somebody else did. and DT2 does hate his dad even though he has no brains or other redeeming qualities. nobody will ever convince me he suddenly stopped hating him after college, that doesn't happen.
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:25 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


Think about Assange, alleged world class security expert and hacker, conducting no-shit-not-even-exaggerating-espionage against the US via unecrypted Twitter DM. We've seen like, 10? of his DMs with Don Jr., and they basically could not be more incriminating. Imagine how much other shit is in his DM stream. Or in Don Jrs. And how many other Republican and Trumpworld operatives he could've been DMing with. Mueller has every last message, because all he has to do is slap Twitter with an administrative subpoena.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:27 PM on November 13 [47 favorites]


Isn't opening a second investigation one of the things Bannon said that Trump should do in order to curtail Mueller's investigation?
posted by gucci mane at 6:27 PM on November 13


If you do a Google search for "wlsearch.tk" restricted to the dates 7Oct2016-15Oct2016 (Podesta leak date to Don Trump Jr's tweet-on-request):
https://www.google.com/search?q=wlsearch.tk&tbs=cdr%3A1%2Ccd_min%3A10%2F7%2F2016%2Ccd_max%3A10%2F15%2F2016
There are only nine results. All but two seem to be false positives. The remaining two: Trump Jr's Tweet and some wikileaks propagandist of the Podesta dump.


tl;dr: That website does not seem to have been public knowledge.
posted by pjenks at 6:31 PM on November 13 [21 favorites]


Trump is landing in my state again on his way back from Asia for about 90 minutes. Presumably for a bathroom break.

I know, I know, this is entering "look at this ass eating crackers" territory. I just hate him being on the same land mass I'm on.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:31 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Pence spokesman says he never knew or was informed about any contacts with Wikileaks.
... continuing, "Really, Pence had just joined the campaign as a volunteer and mostly served as a coffee boy."

Starbucks Coffee refused to comment on Pence's new claim, requesting that further communications on the subject be directed to Starbucks's lawyer.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:33 PM on November 13 [10 favorites]


They certainly aren't acting like people with any interest in governing a functioning society.

Depends on how one would define a functioning society. For example, Oiltown under Immortan Joe isn't quite Switzerland, but it could be said to function, from some points of view.
posted by acb at 6:35 PM on November 13 [10 favorites]


ass eating crackers

That's a hell of an act
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:40 PM on November 13 [26 favorites]


"ass-eating crackers"
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:52 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


We need to make a change to this. It's now 'dotard eating burgers'.

Warning you all, his eating habits offend me. I'll always point it out, but I promise that I'll preface it by 'I get that this is a little dotard eating burgers, but the dotard is literally eating burgers'
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:59 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


he has documented contact with someone that they're under oath saying he never contacted

Does someone have a link to this? It's hard to keep track of who's lied about what.
posted by EarBucket at 7:01 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Benjamin Wittes - Tick Tick guy and friend of Comey - has a possible less worrisome interpretation of the Sessions special prosecutor letter.
posted by chris24 at 7:03 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


I'm much less concerned with the letter itself than I am with Trump running around trying to interfere with the Justice Department and whining about why they aren't investigating Clinton, especially if he's threatening Sessions' job over it.
posted by zachlipton at 7:05 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


> It's hard to keep track of who's lied about what.

Everyone in the Trump administration, about everything of consequence, apparently.
At this point, it would be easier to keep track of when Don Jr. or Sessions told the truth.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:05 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


WaPo: Sessions considering second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns, letter shows

It's the next chapter in America's "choose your own reality" adventure! Every cubic micron of water is beshitted with mud! You have your FBI investigation, I have mine! WHAT IS TRUTH< WHO EVEN CAN SAY

I thought I was done being amazed at the sheer, titanic fucking shamelessness of these people. I was wrong.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 7:07 PM on November 13 [13 favorites]


I bet, racist and ignorant as they are, not a single member of the Trump campaign has ever watched The Wire.

Because if they had, they would have learned that you don't take notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy.

edit: looks like I'm not the only one who had this same thought. First YouTube comment: If only the current President had watched this; then he might not have done the EXACT SAME THING.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:07 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


Julia Ioffe confirms what it looked like from the screenshots, Don Jr. left something out: "There are a couple missing pages in this release."

So now the question is what did he clip out?
posted by zachlipton at 7:08 PM on November 13 [27 favorites]


Julia Ioffe confirms what it looked like from the screenshots, Don Jr. left something out: "There are a couple missing pages in this release."

now deleted, and replaced with My bad, didn’t realize there were three tweets. Carry on!
posted by russm at 7:17 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


This Roger Stone timeline from CNN is interesting. Stone said in at least four interviews that he was getting his scoops about upcoming Wikileaks releases from "a mutual friend."
posted by EarBucket at 7:18 PM on November 13 [15 favorites]


Are we at the point where we can resurrect the Bush -era "surely this" phrase?
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:22 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


From GWBush's former WH Ethics lawyer.

@RWPUSA
This is an abuse of power to go after political opponents. At this point there is no choice but for Congress to impeach.

Sessions Reportedly Considering Second Special Counsel for Hillary Clinton, Uranium One http://thebea.st/2moxxbt via @thedailybeast
posted by chris24 at 7:23 PM on November 13 [38 favorites]


Are we at the point where we can resurrect the Bush -era "surely this" phrase?

uh it didn't help much last time around
posted by murphy slaw at 7:24 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


I understand “surely this” is being reserved for the thread title once impeachment actually happens (and not before).
posted by stopgap at 7:26 PM on November 13 [27 favorites]


The current GOP must think Trump's killed the party, and there's only so much time left before they bleed out.

They nominated Trump as a hail marry pass, because they knew they'd already killed the party a decade ago, or maybe two. Now they have to kill democracy before the backlash hits them, because that'll be game over, and they thought maybe Trump was the man for the job. The only reason we've still got a shot, is because by 2010 they'd so poisoned their own institutional intelligence that they're incapable of recognizing gross incompetence.
posted by dirge at 7:28 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


At this point there is no choice but for Congress to impeach.

Uhhh, impeach whom? Surely not Jeff Sessions.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 7:29 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


At this point there is no choice but for Congress to impeach.

He's serious? He's can't actually be serious right? Someone tell this man to watch FOX News. Has he even met a Republican member of Congress? They just spent the last 4 days covering for pedophilia, there is literally nothing that will get this Congress to impeach.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:30 PM on November 13 [26 favorites]


At this point we need a novelty MeFi bot to post outrageous news to the political threads. username: Shirley This
posted by ctmf at 7:31 PM on November 13 [13 favorites]


And her evil twin sister, Maeby Nott.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:34 PM on November 13 [15 favorites]


I wanted to date Shirley, but ended up going out with Maeby...who preferred for me to address her by her surname, for some reason.
posted by maxwelton at 7:51 PM on November 13


"surely this" isn't funny

It's the calling cry of the death of our democracy
posted by yesster at 7:53 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


Remember when there was a news cycle?
posted by codacorolla at 7:54 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


I know we're all punch drunk on the idiocy of this whole time line, but "surely this" really hurts
posted by yesster at 7:54 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


And her evil twin sister, Maeby Nott.

I just met you and shirley this is crazy so here's number so call me maeby?
posted by Talez at 7:55 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** PA-18 special -- GOP has chosen a candidate in the special to fill Tim Murphy's seat, state Rep. Rick Saccone. This might be a bit of a risk - he's widely seen as the most conservative of the possible candidates, and maybe too far out for the suburban parts of the district. His earlier campaign for Sen. Casey's seat was also seen as stumbling. Dems will pick their candidate this Sunday.

** 2018 House:
-- Another retirement today, as TX-29's Gene Green is not running for re-election. This is a super safe seat (won 73-24 in 2016, Clinton 71-25 and Obama 66-33). Main point of interest might be possibility of adding a Hispanic rep (Green is white).

-- Interesting chart show how many people used the state & local tax deduction in the 23 GOP-held districts that voted for Clinton. These reps may want to update their LinkedIn profile.

-- Latest House ratings from Gonzales. 8 move left, 2 move right.

-- And latest DecisionDesk ratings. 3 left, 1 right. Also their latest model, which is purely data based. Also notice the long tail for Dems, which is a product of gerrymandering - it's tough to get to a point where you can flip, but once you do, small changes can flip many more seats.

-- Politico: NJ GOP reps in a bad spot.
** Odds & ends:
-- Update on Virginia House of Delegates races: HD-94 is within 10 votes now, and considered a good chance to flip on a recount. HD-40 is almost certainly out of reach (106 votes) and HD-28 probably so (84 votes). If 94 flips, the HOD would be tied 50-50. Next step is formal state certification on Nov 20, after which recount action can begin.

Looking way ahead to 2019, Northam won in 24 of the 40 state Senate districts. GOP controls 21-19, but that should be in serious danger, offering Dems change of unified control at that point.

-- Ezra Klein points out that all of those "Trump voters here in Rustburg, OH still back him" stories are pointless, because everyone always retains their core supporters. Hoover kept 80% of his supporters in 1932, and people were literally starving in the streets. You can pick off the "reluctantly supported" voters, that's about it.

-- HuffPo: Current GOP in position of Buchanan-era Dems: near-total control that rapidly disintegrated into in-fighting and total collapse.
=> Elections tomorrow! Runoff for the mayor of Albuquerque (the Dem has a 53-34 lead in a recent poll), and three specials in OK: SD-37, SD-45, and HD-76.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:56 PM on November 13 [50 favorites]


They nominated Trump as a hail marry pass, because they knew they'd already killed the party a decade ago, or maybe two.

Maybe I'm being pedantic here but I disagree with this interpretation. The GOP nominated Trump because they have a weird primary with winner-take-all states (and, of course, plurality voting). There were a lot of primary voters that didn't want Trump, but their votes were consistently split, which allowed Trump to take a plurality of votes in many states (which gave him all or most of the delegates in many states).

Both parties, take note! Politics would be saner if you used proportional delegate allocation (like the Dems have) and something other than plurality voting (so people don't have to worry about splitting the sane vote). I describe my beautiful dark twisted electoral fantasy here.
posted by Jpfed at 8:05 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


Warning you all, his eating habits offend me. I'll always point it out, but I promise that I'll preface it by 'I get that this is a little dotard eating burgers, but the dotard is literally eating burgers'

ugh remember when i was being all salty about the 360-year-old soy sauce? knowing that the shiteater would have been happy with a micky d's quarter pounder makes me think moon could have just gotten away with serving him shitty burgers from Lotteria
posted by anem0ne at 8:05 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Think about Assange, alleged world class security expert and hacker, conducting no-shit-not-even-exaggerating-espionage against the US via unecrypted Twitter DM.

Getting "caught" like this is part of it. Stirs up more shit. Fakes you out.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:08 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Assange doing this makes sense when you remeber he’s like a weirdo trapped inside who can only Keep Posting and all politics is now just forum drama
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 PM on November 13 [59 favorites]


The GOP nominated Trump because they have a weird primary with winner-take-all states

Well, yes, but I don't think my explanation of why is incompatible with your explanation of how. Sure, that primary system institutionally biases them in favor of doubling down, but the system is itself a product of a constituency that prefers it that way. This started a long time ago, and it's long been clear that the escalation would continue to a dramatic breaking point.

A lot of people, Republicans included, thought Obama's win was that breaking point, and the party should reset to cope with the obvious reality that they'd shifted away from the mainstream. A lot of factors, including partisan activism, media landscape, money, and institutional architecture that biases towards doubling down, caused them to, instead, double down. The people who stuck with the party were happy with that outcome, and vice versa, so the institution was reinforced, like the last time, and the time before that.

The closer we get to the point where the GOP as it exists is untenable as a democratic institution, the more intense the forces are that encourage it to go for broke, to become straightforwardly undemocratic. It's pretty clear that we're past that point now, so the party as an institution is exhibiting "cornered animal" or "extinction burst" behaviors. Those apparently counterproductive behaviors exist precisely because they're occasionally successful, and when you're facing down oblivion, there's no downside.

Trump voters know for a fact that if they can't establish an undemocratic stranglehold on the government, then their "culture" won't long survive in a democratic society. They're absolutely right about that. Trump is their attempt to preserve a culture incompatible with democracy.

So it's a race. Can they dismantle democracy faster than democracy can reject them?

I'd say we're lucky they chose a moron to carry the baton, but it's not luck at all. Incompetence and authoritarianism are mutually reinforcing. That weird primary system, and everything else they've built since the Southern Strategy, all but guaranteed that their standard bearer would be an avatar of idiocy.
posted by dirge at 9:00 PM on November 13 [66 favorites]


Assange is clever, but only in certain ways. For instance, he's notoriously bad at social interactions. The idea of computer-mediated radical transparency attracted a lot of very bright people with skills that complemented his own, but basically every account says that their work was sabotaged by Assange being Assange.

Also and alternatively, it's quite possible that Assange exhausted every other avenue of reaching the Trump family (who are not known for their technical smarts). He may have figured that Don Jr's Twitter account wasn't an obvious target for social engineering and that Twitter wasn't known to be hackable. In contrast, the vulnerability of email servers would have been very much on his mind. The only reason we're seeing these Tweets is that (a) Trump won an unexpected election; and (b) the suspicions surrounding the Family's behaviour were enough to surmount the IOKIYAR force field. Assange clearly didn't predict either of those.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:05 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


The Times story on a second very special counsel has been updated. As I see it, the problem isn't the DOJ letter, which is fairly noncommittal; it's Trump:
Mr. Trump, who closely monitors the conservative news media ecosystem for ideas on how to attack his opponents, has cited reports from those outlets to aides and friends as examples for why a special counsel should be appointed.

One commentator in particular, the Fox News host Jeanine Pirro — who is a friend of Mr. Trump’s and whose show he rarely misses — has aggressively denounced Mr. Sessions as weak for not investigating the uranium deal. In addition to making scathing critiques on her show, Ms. Pirro, — who had interviewed to be the deputy attorney general, according to three transition officials — recently met with the president to excoriate the attorney general.

In an Oval Office meeting on Nov. 1, Ms. Pirro said that a special counsel needed to be appointed, according to two people briefed on the discussion. Through a Fox News spokeswoman, Jeanine Pirro said, “Everything I said to President Trump is exactly what I’ve vocalized on my show, ‘Justice with Jeanine.’”
The guy can get legal advice from any scholar or experienced practitioner in the world, and he chooses Jeanine Pirro.
posted by zachlipton at 9:12 PM on November 13 [61 favorites]


Supplemental Election News: The PA Supreme Court has fast-tracked the state's gerrymandering lawsuit, calling for a decision by the end of the year.

Experts view Pennsylvania as one of the nation’s most gerrymandered states, with congressional and legislative boundaries drawn to partisan advantage. While Pennsylvania’s voters are fairly evenly split between the parties, Republicans have 13 of the state’s 18 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
posted by Dashy at 9:18 PM on November 13 [39 favorites]


Archive.org has 53 captures of the putintrump.org site mentioned in the Ioffe story linked and quoted by Atom Eyes and others.
I looked back to September 23, 2016, through to December 15, 2016 I don’t see any obvious meddling favoring Trump's campaign.
However, in keeping with the stupidest timeline, the hashtag they were promoting, #PUTINTRUMP looks like ‘put in trump’ to my eyes.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 9:24 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Yes, the PA SC decision will impact the 2018 elections. And it's not impacted by the federal lawsuits, this is under the PA constitution. Dems control the PA SC 5-2, by the by.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:40 PM on November 13 [8 favorites]


The guy can get legal advice from any scholar or experienced practitioner in the world, and he chooses Jeanine Pirro.

And he gets a daily briefing of the most classified information in the world, but only listens to Steve Doocy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:46 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


Man, I remember when Steve Doocy was the wacky features reporter for WRC-TV in DC. It makes me incredibly sad to see that what he's become.
posted by hanov3r at 9:59 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


Assange is clever, but only in certain ways. For instance, he's notoriously bad at social interactions. The idea of computer-mediated radical transparency attracted a lot of very bright people with skills that complemented his own, but basically every account says that their work was sabotaged by Assange being Assange.

yeah, that whole thing about being a creepy fucker who doesn't realize how creepy he his thing.

He's got that down pat.
posted by yesster at 10:06 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Try to get some sleep tonight.

@realDonaldTrump I will be making a major statement from the @WhiteHouse upon my return to D.C. Time and date to be set.
posted by guiseroom at 10:39 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


"MY FELLOW AMERICANS, I MADE A POOPY"
posted by murphy slaw at 10:44 PM on November 13 [27 favorites]


This is just straight-up trolling by Trump. He's making a statement, about something, somewhere, sometime. It's just like his "calm before the storm" military nonsense last month. Maybe he has something to say, maybe he doesn't, but he knows he's in our heads and can troll the entire nation with this nonsense. Maybe they'll be a statement, or maybe this will be like his promise to release his tax returns after the audit is complete and we'll just spend the next few years being slowly driven mad as we wonder what he has to say and when will it happen.

Or we can fill up this thread with hundreds of comments speculating.
posted by zachlipton at 10:44 PM on November 13 [44 favorites]


Must be he's going to announce Infrastructure Week 2 - The Infrastructuring.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:44 PM on November 13 [19 favorites]


He did promise he would make his position on Hezbollah clear in 24 hours, and that was back in July. Maybe he's finally going to tell us, he says, knowing full well that we will never find out what Trump's position on Hezbollah is.
posted by zachlipton at 10:47 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Maybe he’ll resign.
posted by Brak at 10:54 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


someone told him santa claus isn't real and he's going to announce that we're bombing the north pole in retaliation
posted by poffin boffin at 10:58 PM on November 13 [7 favorites]


maybe he's appointing a horse to the senate which lbr would be a fucking improvement
posted by poffin boffin at 11:00 PM on November 13 [21 favorites]


Trump apparently ditched the summit's "family photo" and left, saying some stuff about how the US is "open for trade" and our relationship with the Philippines is "probably better than ever before."

@W7VOA: "It appears @POTUS is now skipping the East Asia Summit plenary which was a major reason for staying the extra day here in the @Philippines."

His remarks seem normal enough, if generally devoid of content and buddying up with Duterte is normal enough, but he's just ditching out on the end of the summit? I'm officially concerned.
posted by zachlipton at 11:15 PM on November 13 [10 favorites]


Richard Javad Heydarian, WaPo: This is how a superpower commits suicide
While America continues to maintain a significant military edge over its closest rivals, it’s gradually losing the main battle that is defining this century: trade and investment. Meanwhile, China is busy shaping the world in its own image with verve and vigor. In a surreal twist of events, a communist regime has now emerged as the unlikely guardian of globalization and multilateral diplomacy.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:15 PM on November 13 [56 favorites]


Richard Javad Heydarian, WaPo: This is how a superpower commits suicide
While America continues to maintain a significant military edge over its closest rivals, it’s gradually losing the main battle that is defining this century: trade and investment. Meanwhile, China is busy shaping the world in its own image with verve and vigor. In a surreal twist of events, a communist regime has now emerged as the unlikely guardian of globalization and multilateral diplomacy.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:15 PM on November 13 [6 favorites +] [!]


In conversations leading up to the election last year I spent a lot of energy trying to convince people (who are not USians) that there is no way Trump could win. That it would be against everyone's best interest.

"Everyone" in that sentence was meant as a stalking horse for 'the really rich or powerful.' Turns out, jokes on me! There is no oligarchical star-room overseeing the propulsion of USA to the forefront. No one is actually at the helm! You wanna buy yourself America? Yes you can! And "Putin's" scheme is really, truly, brilliant - get Trump into power and just watch him break it all apart, all on his own! Putin need do nothing! The one, single tell-tale indication, the clue that just might give it all away, let us in on the secret of what the fuck really just happened here, is the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Assuming that is the actual "quo" in question, the point of all this elaborate misery.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:31 AM on November 14 [13 favorites]


Richard Javad Heydarian, WaPo: This is how a superpower commits suicide

Add Britain performing seppuku with Brexit and it's like Russia actually won the Cold War.
posted by PenDevil at 12:35 AM on November 14 [40 favorites]


Remember when there was a news cycle?

Yes, it seems like those days were the penny farthing era of news. I'm not sure what we have now. It seems to involve sucking all the air from the room and transporting you between two places as quickly and uncomfortably as possible in a bubble, so let's go with News Hyperloop.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:56 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


>Think about Assange, alleged world class security expert and hacker, conducting no-shit-not-even-exaggerating-espionage against the US via unecrypted Twitter DM.

Think about Assange, alleged world class security expert and hacker, trying to explain to DJT, Jr. how to use any form of encryption even slightly more complicated than a straight substitution cipher.
posted by xyzzy at 1:18 AM on November 14 [10 favorites]


Think about Assange, alleged world class security expert and hacker, trying to explain to DJT, Jr. how to use any form of encryption even slightly more complicated than a straight substitution cipher.

JUDGE (inspecting evidence): What's this plastic thing?
MUELLER: That, Your Honor, is a Captain Midnight Decoder Badge.
posted by rifflesby at 1:22 AM on November 14 [35 favorites]


"Everyone" in that sentence was meant as a stalking horse for 'the really rich or powerful.' Turns out, jokes on me! There is no oligarchical star-room overseeing the propulsion of USA to the forefront. No one is actually at the helm!

Alternatively, democracy actually accomplished something: it was a reliable enough variable to be counted on to deliver an outcome within a predictable range in the designs of the powers that be. But the right broke democracy in the course of constructing a propaganda machine (and conditioning their base to respond to it) that would enable absolutely any candidate get elected.
posted by XMLicious at 1:36 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]


maybe he's appointing a horse to the senate which lbr would be a fucking improvement

He’d never do that... horses actually say “nay.”
posted by snickerdoodle at 3:34 AM on November 14 [19 favorites]


His major announcement is something Roy Moore related. Or he made a poopy. Or the East Room is now a McDonald's Express.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:37 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


[Let's drop the Trump pre-announcement threadfiller jokes at the point, please and thank you.]
posted by taz at 3:42 AM on November 14 [15 favorites]


@alanhe (CBS)
Mike Pence to Hugh Hewitt 7/29/16: "If it is found that Russia or China or any other foreign power compromised the private email, or capture classified information, and then released that information through the Wikileaks or otherwise, there’d be serious consequences for that."
posted by chris24 at 4:12 AM on November 14 [35 favorites]


(Remember Carter Page?)
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:15 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


@realDonaldTrump I will be making a major statement from the @WhiteHouse upon my return to D.C. Time and date to be set.

He's gonna fire Mueller, isn't he? I know he can't directly, but I'm sure he doesn't care. It was always only a matter of time.

It's always the worst thing.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:19 AM on November 14 [10 favorites]


Add Britain performing seppuku with Brexit and it's like Russia actually won the Cold War.

Well, given how the Confederacy won the long, guerilla second phase of the American Civil War, that would be par for the course in this timeline.
posted by acb at 4:33 AM on November 14 [12 favorites]


President Trump has made 1,628 false or misleading claims over 298 days (Glenn Kessler, Meg Kelly and Nicole Lewis, WaPo). Many are repeats or variations. In the last 35 days, he's averaged 9 misleading claims.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:03 AM on November 14 [21 favorites]


For the Donny doesn't care about polls debate: He's bragging about a Rasmussen poll (big Republican lean) that shows him at 46% approve - 53% disapprove. Simply because it's not as catastrophic as all the rest for the last 6 months.

@realDonaldTrump
One of the most accurate polls last time around. But #FakeNews likes to say we’re in the 30’s. They are wrong. Some people think numbers could be in the 50's. Together, WE will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! - GRAPHIC
posted by chris24 at 5:13 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Jesus this fuckery is why he ditched the trip early?
posted by angrycat at 5:14 AM on November 14


Jesus this fuckery is why he ditched the trip early?

i imagine he's exhausted and cranky and they're having trouble corralling him.
posted by halation at 5:20 AM on November 14 [30 favorites]


His remarks seem normal enough, if generally devoid of content and buddying up with Duterte is normal enough, but he's just ditching out on the end of the summit? I'm officially concerned.

It's because it was delayed 2 hours and low-stamina Trump couldn't handle it.

Guardian: Donald Trump skips East Asia Summit on final day of 12-day tour
Donald Trump has ended a marathon trip to Asia by skipping an international summit after the event was delayed by about two hours.

The White House had added the East Asia Summit, an annual meeting of more than a dozen countries, to the president’s schedule after concerns were raised that missing it might signify a lack of US interest in Asia.

However, after a gruelling 12-day trip across five countries, Trump opted to get on Air Force One and fly back to Washington. His flight left more than 30 minutes earlier than planned and he also missed a group photo with other world leaders. [...]

Annelise Riles, a professor of far east legal studies and anthropology at Cornell University, said Trump did not fulfil his agenda in Asia. “Historians will date this trip as a key moment in the decline of US power in the Asia-Pacific region, when Asian leaders stepped up and took the reins,” she said.

She pointed to the deal made on Saturday by leading Pacific Rim countries to salvage a trade pact without US involvement after Trump abandoned it it in one of his first acts in office.

The president warned the same day against “large agreements that tie our hands” and said he would focus on country to country agreements.

But Riles said “Asian leaders largely ignored the Trump administration’s efforts to squash the Trans-Pacific Partnership and pledged to forge ahead on their own.

“Despite all the red carpet, Trump’s own agenda was largely ignored.”
posted by chris24 at 5:23 AM on November 14 [66 favorites]


The guy can get legal advice from any scholar or experienced practitioner in the world, and he chooses Jeanine Pirro.

TV's a hell of a drug.

Seriously. Boggle at the bottomlessness of THAT'S THE REASON. It also explains Reagan and Bush II pretty well, but both of them made use of the country's legal and intelligence assets. For evil, yeah, but still.

One of the things I'm learning about Das Trümpers is their relationship to TV in particular is, wack. Or out of whack, anyway. A recent continental shift, if you will. Maybe less than 8 years old.
posted by petebest at 5:37 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


So the Russian Ministry of Defence is tweeting about the US supporting ISIS convoys using doctored screenshots from video games.
posted by PenDevil at 5:51 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


No doctor. You're a doctor!
posted by thelonius at 5:53 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


gosh my twitter feed is all RAGE over the fresh things and then Matthew Yglesias quietly tweets, "I still want to know what happened with Paul and his neighbor," which had this comic feeling of let's return to lighter moments where violence occurred over shrubbery
posted by angrycat at 5:56 AM on November 14 [28 favorites]


zachlipton: "Or we can fill up this thread with hundreds of comments speculating."

More likely: 50% pointless speculating, 50% not particularly funny jokes.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:57 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


when i was like 7 years old and wanted to stay up late to watch miami vice i took a yellow legal pad from my mom's office and carefully cut off the bottom 2 inches of the first page, leaving room for a signature line at the bottom like so X_______________

the top portion of the second page, cleverly concealed by the first, had a list of my demands, which my foolish parents would certainly sign thus contractually binding them to my new bedtime of whenever i wanted and also giving me a pony

tl;dr trump would definitely fall for this

someone write I DID A TREASON on a legal pad pls


That's pretty much how Armando Iannucci got OJ Simpson to sign a confession.
posted by kersplunk at 6:00 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Hmm. An early departure from the big Asia trip?
A lot of people said it’s almost physically impossible for someone to go through 12 days.
Hey, 11 out of 12 is pretty good, though, everyone agrees.
posted by notyou at 6:04 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


@ppppolls (PublicPolicyPolling, 538 rated B+)
About to retweet @AliLapp on a bunch of new House polls we did last week for @PatriotMajority that show big momentum for Dems next year

@AliLapp (President of House Majority PAC, board of Nat'l Dem Redistricting Committee)
Dana Rohrabacher losing by 10 points to a Democratic opponent, 41% to 51%, in CA-48 (Orange County). Ryan at 28/63 and Trump at 44/54.
- In FL-26, Carlos Curbelo is losing 39/53 to a Democratic opponent. Trump at 37/59, Ryan at 28/63. This is South Florida, heavily Hispanic CD.
- In IL-06 (suburban Chicago) Peter Roskam hasn’t had a tough race in a decade. Luck’s run out for him, as he is down 41/51 to a Democratic opponent. Trump underwater 38/57.
- In MI-06, Upton up only 1 to a generic Democrat, 42/41. Trump at 41/54, Ryan even worse at 26/61.
- Dean Phillips is defeating Erik Paulsen 46/42 in MN-03, a suburban Minneapolis CD. Trump: 41/55, Ryan: 31/63.
- In NE-02, former Congressman Brad Ashford is leading the man who beat him in 16, Don Bacon, 49% to 40%. Trump at 42/54; Ryan at 28/62.
- In NJ-07, Rep. Leonard Lance is down 1 to a Democratic opponent, 42/41. Trump: 43/55, and Ryan is at 26/66.
- Rep. Frelinghuysen losing to a Democrat 46/44 in NJ-11. Trump is at 43/52 and Ryan is even worse – 27/66.
- Rep. John Faso is losing to a Democrat 46/40 in NY-19. Trump’s at 44/53 and Ryan is at 25/67.
- In an Upstate NY district Trump carried by double digits (NY-22), GOP incumbent Claudia Tenney is losing to Democrat Anthony Brindisi 47/41.
- In TX-07 (suburban Houston), Rep. Culberson at 39, Democratic opponent at 49. Trump at 37/59 and Ryan at 39/65.
- In TX-32 (suburban Dallas), Rep. Pete Sessions behind a Democratic opponent 43% to 48%. Trump at 39/58, Ryan at 27/66.
- In CA-25 (LA/Ventura Co), Steve Knight is losing to a Democratic opponent 38%-50%. Ryan and Trump wildly unpopular, at 23/66 and 40/58 respectively.
- **Conclusion**: tax reform is not gonna save these guys. VA and NJ not a fluke – the suburbs are fleeing the GOP. Democrats completely holding their own even in Trump CDs.
- Big picture, all these Republicans will pay a political price for supporting GOP tax bill. It’s unpopular and voters are less likely to support a GOPer who votes for it.
posted by chris24 at 6:05 AM on November 14 [69 favorites]


Hah. Those suburban GOP reps are trapped between a Trump and a Tax Bill.
posted by notyou at 6:10 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Dana Rohrabacher losing by 10 points to a Democratic opponent, 41% to 51%, in CA-48 (Orange County)

JFC that is an accomplishment.

One of the more startling things about the election last year. On Balboa Island there were a startling amount of Hillary signs up, and I no more than 3 or 4 Trump signs there. This was around the time of the "you're the puppet" debate.

So I hope that polling is accurate.
posted by Twain Device at 6:15 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


So only 11 of 12? I guess we shouldn't have been so quick to pull our bets from the table after all?
posted by Fezboy! at 6:15 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Usual caveats (it's a year out, those are requisitioned polls, mostly "generic Dem" rather than a person with actual flaws), but nonetheless, those are very positive numbers for the Dems.

We need to pick off some Trump districts to take the House, this is a good start.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:22 AM on November 14 [12 favorites]


wow. from waPo Trump Holding Up On Long Asia Trip

emphasis mine
Learning from past mistakes, the White House took steps to keep Trump relaxed and comfortable. He was gently encouraged to nap, though aides said it was unclear how much he’d actually slept. Staffers made sure he was able to watch American cable news on the road and that he could tweet even in China, where Twitter is banned for locals. They also worked to provide Trump, a notoriously picky eater, with acceptable foods as he ran the gauntlet of local cuisine at state dinners across Asia.
posted by sio42 at 6:26 AM on November 14 [32 favorites]


Hey guys! Today is, well probably tomorrow, in your time. But in Australia it is Wednesday already (hi from the future!) and in a few hours we will find out the results of the same sex marriage plebiscite. Many Australians are going to party today. Cortex, get your rainbow flag ready. We all voted for love.
posted by adept256 at 6:29 AM on November 14 [59 favorites]


The Dollop just did a two episode podcast on the life of Trump and at one point they quote him saying he hasn't changed since he was in elementary school. He said this as a point of pride but man how horrible is it that the president has to be coddled like a toddler.
posted by kanata at 6:29 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


He was gently encouraged to nap, though aides said it was unclear how much he’d actually slept.

Translation: El Presidente Cheeto is on downers.
posted by PenDevil at 6:30 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]


A lot of people said it’s almost physically impossible for someone to go through 12 days.
Hey, 11 out of 12 is pretty good, though, everyone agrees.


That WP write up of the trip is worth a look. Apparently, since trump bailed from several cities early they just flew long circuitous routes on AF1 so as not to arrive early at the next destination (and upset timing for ceremonies). Dude has to have the carbon footprint of a million coal plants.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:30 AM on November 14 [38 favorites]


- Big picture, all these Republicans will pay a political price for supporting GOP tax bill. It’s unpopular and voters are less likely to support a GOPer who votes for it.

If you're a vulnerable GOP rep from a purple state, why vote for a tax bill that will hurt your constituents and your reelection chances? It's not like Paul Ryan has any significant power, and he'll likely lose leadership in a year when they get kicked into the minority.

If you vote against it, at the very least you can make a claim that you're standing up for the middle class.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:31 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


...and that he could tweet even in China, where Twitter is banned for locals.

If you know anything about China, that means his phone has been almost certainly compromised unless he was given a burner, which I'm sure he wasn't because his staff are morons.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:33 AM on November 14 [51 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
One of the most accurate polls last time around. But #FakeNews likes to say we’re in the 30’s. They are wrong. Some people think numbers could be in the 50's. Together, WE will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! - GRAPHIC
I'm 90% sure there's going to be no peaceful transition of power on the back of 2020.
posted by Talez at 6:35 AM on November 14 [13 favorites]


We’ve seen some suburban GOP reps opine against the Tax Bill (NJ and NY), but the CA Reps were all in favor of it. Until VA happened. Then Issa came out firmly against and Retograde Rohrabacher slid all the way back to, paraphrasing, monitoring the entire process and not in favor of raising taxes on his constituents.

I think if this keeps up Dana may just decide to retire to his Dacha.
posted by notyou at 6:39 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]


...and that he could tweet even in China, where Twitter is banned for locals.

Anyone can access Twitter et al with a non-Chinese sim card (I, a lowly plebeian, googled there regularly using my T-Mo with free int'l data roaming sim a few years ago), and most of the fancy hotels do something or another -- run their whole network through a VPN? -- that allows you to access Google and anything else ordinarily behind the great firewall. This isn't to say that the traffic's not monitored; of course it probably is, but most middle class Chinese know how to get around firewall restrictions. Whether they have the time/money/need to do so is another story.
posted by tapir-whorf at 6:40 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]


The "bet" thing is so weird because as far as I can tell, Trump himself is the only one to have mentioned it publicly?

I can almost imagine there was one aide, imagining that Trump's childishness to be a liberal-media myth, who joked "Be good, Mr President, I have a bet that you'll make it 12 days!" and Donald took it 100% seriously. I'm not sure how else word of such a bet would reach him, besides naivety. Unless the bet was made with Donald himself as a bribe.

leotrotsky :
...and that he could tweet even in China, where Twitter is banned for locals.
If you know anything about China, that means his phone has been almost certainly compromised unless he was given a burner, which I'm sure he wasn't because his staff are morons.
I trust that the phone's existing Russian malware can work out a sharing arrangement with incoming Chinese programs.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:43 AM on November 14 [30 favorites]


...and that he could tweet even in China, where Twitter is banned for locals.

I would think (at least I fricking hope so) that any secure device that Trump uses never touches Chinese network infrastructure , VPN or not, and they use some US DoD satellite communications network.
posted by PenDevil at 6:46 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


I trust that the phone's existing Russian malware can work out a sharing arrangement with incoming Chinese programs.

I picture them fighting each other and ironically making the phone more secure, like Mr. Burns at the Mayo Clinic.
posted by Freon at 6:47 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


I would think (at least I fricking hope so) that any secure device that Trump uses never touches Chinese network infrastructure , VPN or not, and they use some US DoD satellite communications network.
Counterpoint: These people are fucking idiots
posted by fullerine at 6:48 AM on November 14 [48 favorites]


Counterpoint: These people are fucking idiots

I'm not disagreeing, somehow the scenario of some random assistant to Dan Scavino asking their Chinese counterpart for the WiFi password while John Kelly sprints across the room shouting "Put the phone down!" seems depressingly likely.
posted by PenDevil at 6:51 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]


I'm 90% sure there's going to be no peaceful transition of power on the back of 2020.

The goal is to make sure he isn't president in 2020. If Mueller has enough to convict, the Democrats can take the House, and they're able to take enough seats in Congress that they can cut a deal on impeachment with Republicans who've had enough of Trump, we'll be dealing with Pence, who is an awful human being but at least he'll leave when he's voted out.

Re: Australian same-sex marriage, it's looking like turnout (such as it is) is around 89%, which is pretty fucking high for a voluntary poll that wasn't necessary and should never have happened, and proving the worst part of Australia democracy is the clowns we have to vote for. Polls suggest that the yes vote is romping home. A member of the conservative party who's had enough of his party fucking around on this issue has a bill ready to go, and it has the numbers to pass.
posted by Merus at 6:53 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


The Australia stuff needs its own thread
posted by aiglet at 6:55 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, John Kelly is officially done with Trump's Twitter, as of last Sunday.
"Someone, I read the other day, said we all just react to the tweets," said Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, speaking with a group of reporters after a presidential news conference Sunday in Vietnam. "We don’t. I don’t. I don’t allow the staff to. We know what we’re doing.”

Kelly said, "Believe it or not, I do not follow the tweets.”

“I find out about them," he continued. "But for our purposes, my purpose, is we make sure the president is briefed up on what he’s about to do."

Referring to Trump's tweets, Kelly said, "They are what they are."
Never mind Trump's lack of stamina on this trip, Kelly sounds so very, very tired.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:59 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


I freely admit that I was fooled by Assange for a long time, even after I thought he was a rapist sleaze.

I have to say thank fuck we are all acknowledging that now.
posted by Artw at 7:00 AM on November 14 [26 favorites]


"As the White House Chief of Staff, I don't think it is very important at all to maintain an awareness of what the President is messaging in his public communications. I'll probably hear about it one way or another anyway." - John Kelly, basically
posted by solotoro at 7:04 AM on November 14 [57 favorites]


leotrotsky He's gonna fire Mueller, isn't he? I know he can't directly, but I'm sure he doesn't care. It was always only a matter of time.

Much as I tend to take the pessimistic view, I'm doubtful that Trump's teased "major announcement" (if it ever happens at all, remember that he loves attention and often teases things that don't actually happen), will be firing Mueller.

Not that Trump doesn't want to, and probably will at some point, but it wouldn't fit his usual behavior about firing people. For all that he loved his image on The Apprentice shouting "YOU'RE FIRED!" at people, we've seen during both his campaign and presidency that he really doesn't like firing people and tends to do it in a secretive and low key sort of way. Mostly he tends to fire people when they're nowhere near him, he does it after a lot of hemming and hawing and public dissing of the person, he does it through a third party, and he personally doesn't get up on TV and do it or even really talk about it after it's happened.

So I doubt he'll be calling a major press conference to fire Mueller. He might do it to lay the groundwork for firing Mueller, I wouldn't be surprised if he called a press conference to lambaste Mueller and re-emphasize the "red line" around his family's finances that he imagines he can draw, and generally to do his best to discredit Mueller.

Or it might be a presser about Roy Moore.

Or it might just never happen because he tends to promise lots of things that never happen.

But the odds of Trump calling a major press conference to fire Mueller are very low.
posted by sotonohito at 7:09 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Never mind Trump's lack of stamina on this trip, Kelly sounds so very, very tired.
Kelly should fucking suffer until he can't take it any more. And then he should be ignominiously insulted by Trump while being fired. And then he should return home and find that polite society knows what kind of person he has been. And finally he should realize what kind of person he has been.

I don't hold out a lot of hope for all of that happening but it should. I don't have much use for John Kelly.
posted by Nerd of the North at 7:10 AM on November 14 [70 favorites]


Counterpoint: These people are fucking idiots

Srsly. Like, I can't compartmentalize that bit about "making sure he could still tweet". What. There- . . . The Internet . . . DARPA was crea- . . the WHOLE thing is ab*grunt* . . Air Force One has, the . . . BWLHwahghahwah!!

*takes over for fellow MeFite headdesking*
posted by petebest at 7:12 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


Alexandra Erin has been great at noting the ways the various members of the White House not only distance themselves from Trump, but distance Trump himself from his own outbursts. She calls it the "conceptual presidency" (thread). In short, what John " I do not follow the tweets" Kelly, Paul "I pretend not to read the tweets" Ryan, and Sarah "Huckabee" Sanders really, really want us to believe is that some unhinged former reality star with funny hair absolutely does not speak for the esteemed Donald Trump, President of the United States.

And I think there's a part of all our brains for which that sort of "works", because the right wing has been so bonkers for long enough to wear us down. I've been musing for a while that even Republicans kind of acknowledge the framing whereby Democrats are the adults in the room. But they want us to use that framing so it becomes a bigger deal if Hillary lies once or twice than if Trump staff two hundred times daily, for the same reason people get mad at parents even if their children are the ones running around the grocery store making a mess. (Yet we're apparently supposed to accept those children having the reins of power...)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:15 AM on November 14 [39 favorites]






I have to say thank fuck we are all acknowledging that now.

artw, I am from Queensland, Australia. I met Julian 25 years ago.
posted by adept256 at 7:23 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


I hope that Jeff Sessions wakes up every night for the rest of his life with the Giant Floating Head of Jeanine Pirro over his bed, broadcasting a shrieking diatribe directly into his brain about how he has betrayed Donald Trump.

And all Sessions will be able to do, as he clutches a pillow over his head ineffectually, is mumble I did this to myself.

I hope for a similar apparition to haunt Stephen Miller, except that the head and voice will be that of Gilbert Gottfried.
posted by delfin at 7:26 AM on November 14 [35 favorites]


He might do it to lay the groundwork for firing Mueller

You think that dumb lazy-ass motherfucker lays groundwork?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:30 AM on November 14 [21 favorites]


I wonder if this is the point where he announces a special prosecutor to go after Hillary.
posted by Talez at 7:30 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


If you know anything about China, that means his phone has been almost certainly compromised unless he was given a burner, which I'm sure he wasn't because his staff are morons.

Trump's tweets over the past few days have been posted from cities including Dallas & Philadelphia. I expect American rather than Chinese spooks are responsible.
posted by scalefree at 7:32 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this is the point where he announces a special prosecutor to go after Hillary.

The 1st anniversary Women's Marches would be EPIC.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:33 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


It's true: violent crime rates are up for two years, from an all-time low in 2014, and similarly 2014 was a low point for the national murder rate.

Sessions also talks about the number of police killed in the line of fire, but nothing about violence perpetrated by police, which is no surprise at all. A quick reference point: so far in 2017, there have only been 10 days when someone was not killed by police in the US.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:33 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]


I've been musing for a while that even Republicans kind of acknowledge the framing whereby Democrats are the adults in the room.

Like Mitch McConnell's "How could Obama let us override his veto on this legislation!" bit from a couple of years ago
posted by leotrotsky at 7:33 AM on November 14 [13 favorites]


Sessions going for the senility defense.
posted by Talez at 7:35 AM on November 14


Sessions rn: Carter Page who?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:36 AM on November 14


Sessions: "my answers have not changed" -- "frankly, I had no recollection of this meeting [with Papadopolus] until I read his account" (paraphrased). How can you expect him to recall something eighteen months before being questioned, even when he refuted suggestions to work with the Russians? He was just so busy then! So many meetings! So many people! So many dates! Saying he is a liar is a lie!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:37 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Shorter Jeff Sessions.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:37 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


His defense is that the presidential campaign was — and I quote — “crazy.” Denies (with great southern umbrage) ever having lied.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:37 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


And I thought Carmen Lawrence was the epitome of selective amnesia.

Also, Sessions you poor dear, 20 hours of testifying this year. Hillary did that in two days.
posted by Talez at 7:38 AM on November 14 [34 favorites]


artw, I am from Queensland, Australia. I met Julian 25 years ago.

I've known him about that long, have a couple friends who can add another 5 years to that plus one who was his roommate for a while.
posted by scalefree at 7:38 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Chariman Goodlatte: "Tell me how awesome you are about the increased rate of persecuting use of fire arms, especially as compared to Obama?" Because this was a question no one was asking.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:39 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Wow, Sessions is real mad. That was fun to watch. The softball "Some people say you're the most handsome and interesting man alive, how would you respond to that?" question, less so.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:40 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT HILLARY FUCKING CLINTON AND LORETTA FUCKING LYNCH YOU FUCKING FUCKSTICK.

HE DOESN'T EVEN GO HERE.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:40 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


If Hillary is watching this I hope she's in a comfy robe and slippers, holding a glass of scotch, and laughing her ass off.
posted by Talez at 7:41 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]


It's a good thing Goodlatte is retiring after this term because he's a god damn embarrassment to the people of Virginia.
posted by Talez at 7:43 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


If Hillary is watching this I hope she's in a comfy robe and slippers, holding a glass of scotch, and laughing her ass off.

OMG I hope she's not watching this. In my mind she's watching The Little Hours in a comfy robe and slippers, holding a glass of scotch, and laughing her ass off.
posted by carsonb at 7:43 AM on November 14 [7 favorites]


scalefree: Trump's tweets over the past few days have been posted from cities including Dallas & Philadelphia. I expect American rather than Chinese spooks are responsible.

Isn't that just as likely due to the other handlers who have access to his account so they can make "presidential" tweets?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:45 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Conyers reading (gravelly voice) so-called 'tweets' and Sessions answering in TV soundbytes is really maddening.
posted by carsonb at 7:45 AM on November 14


Rep Conyers reading Trump Tweets to Sessions is the best thing yet today
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:45 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


I'm leaving for a root canal in a few minutes. And ya know what? It's a better option than listening to Jefferson Davis Keebler lie while our entire premise of government fails. Fuck this noise.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:46 AM on November 14 [33 favorites]


Conyers: So that's a "No?"
posted by leotrotsky at 7:46 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Sessions: leaks have reached a level of epidemic proportions, and we're pursuing them vigorously. And illegal immigration is also a serious issue.

Such a nice round of back-patting from Goodlatte and Sessions! I feel all warm and fuzzy now.

But John Conyers (D-MI) is comparing Trump to Nixon, noting Nixon "had the courtesy to [go after people] behind closed doors." And "it would be easier if you just answered yes or no" after Sessions does a tap-dance around issues raised. Fuck yes, Conyers!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 AM on November 14 [31 favorites]


How can a President properly influence a pending criminal investigation, Jeff?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:47 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


This is just embarrassing. Conyers is basically making a prima facie case for any prosecution of Hillary to be political revenge and Sessions is saying with a straight face that he's not doing anything like that.
posted by Talez at 7:48 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


Conyers is the man.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:48 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Seems like having someone who can't remember conversations that happened 18 months ago as the top prosecutor in the nation would be a problem. It's not like being US Attorney needs to remember any details, right?
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:50 AM on November 14 [31 favorites]


It's true: violent crime rates are up for two years

It's worth remembering that the DOJ, as well as many state and local law enforcement agencies, changed their reporting standards in the last decade, which means that the crime rate may reflect as much increased reporting as increases in actual crime, if not more. This is especially true in the case of sexual assault and abuse, which had a major expansion in scope at the federal level in 2012. Which, FYI, came almost exactly a year after the GOP caucuses tried to limit it to the actions that would make people like Todd Akin happy, with Paul Ryan leading the charge.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:50 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Isn't that just as likely due to the other handlers who have access to his account so they can make "presidential" tweets?

Sure that's possible but Philadelphia & Dallas seem like odd places to be while your boss is in the Philippines.
posted by scalefree at 7:52 AM on November 14


Rep Nadler is on fire getting yes/no answers on Sessions perjuring himself.
posted by carsonb at 7:57 AM on November 14 [19 favorites]


Fuck yes, Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), holding Sessions to clear Yes or No answers. Unfortunately, there's still the option to say "I don't recall."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


I wouldn't have said that a major problem in our nation's financial system is that payday lenders can't charge high enough interest rate, but I guess Mark Warner disagrees. Oh wait, sorry, I guess this is about "innovation" that would "encourage access to credit for low and middle income Americans", or at least the ones who really, truly want a 400% interest rates and fees higher than the principal of the loan.

It would rule if one of the precious few issues with broad bipartisan support weren't defense of the payday loan industry.
posted by Copronymus at 7:58 AM on November 14 [15 favorites]


Jerrold Nadler cross examining like a boss. Making good use of his time. This is a time where it's good that New Yorkers talk fast.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:58 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Look for Sessions having contact with others re: Russian influence after the March 31st meeting, because he just said he doesn't know about anything of the sort.

Also, Sessions did not bring the March 31st meeting items up with FBI or other appropriate parties, but he might have talked with others in congress, because that's when he went all wobbly.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:00 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


I like that Sessions' answers to the "did anyone talk the FBI" questions were "No, No, No, ...eehhhh"

With the "...eehhhh" being on, "did any members of congress talk to the FBI?" That's potentially interesting.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:01 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


“Despite all the red carpet, Trump’s own agenda was largely ignored.”

Well, of course it was. Everyone knows by now what an idiot he is.

You think that dumb lazy-ass motherfucker lays groundwork?

No, but his puppet masters do.
posted by Melismata at 8:03 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


OMG the marijuana question, from Rep Chabot.

"Our policy is, really the same fundamentally as the Holder/Lynch policy."
posted by carsonb at 8:04 AM on November 14


Steve Chabot: "Why can't we kill people faster?"
posted by Talez at 8:05 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


There's also a Senate hearing on the President's power to blow up the planet & maybe changing that.
posted by scalefree at 8:05 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]


chris24: "- Rep. Frelinghuysen losing to a Democrat 46/44 in NJ-11. Trump is at 43/52 and Ryan is even worse – 27/66."

This is Chris Christie's home district, FYI (which also contains my hometown).

Never thought I'd see Frelinghuysen unseated by a Democrat. Even during Democratic "wave" years, Frelinghuysen has kept a very safe hold on his seat. If Frelinghuysen loses, it's a very bad sign for suburban Republicans.

Now, we just need to get left-leaning NJ voters out to the polls. The Republicans were so thoroughly guaranteed to lose the governor's race that a lot of folks probably stayed home, which led to the Democrats having underwhelming results elsewhere.
posted by schmod at 8:06 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


could we keep the live-blog stuff in chat? these threads are already bringing my phone to its knees.
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 8:08 AM on November 14 [7 favorites]


The goal is to make sure he isn't president in 2020. If Mueller has enough to convict, the Democrats can take the House, and they're able to take enough seats in Congress that they can cut a deal on impeachment with Republicans who've had enough of Trump, we'll be dealing with Pence, who is an awful human being but at least he'll leave when he's voted out.

Pence is tangled up in all this too. Here's my fanfic: Dems retake Congress in a big way in 2018, we get a Dem Speaker, impeach both Trump/Pence, the Speaker is the new president, the Dems give us fully automated luxury gay space communism by 2020, and we all live happily ever after.

(shut up, it could happen)
posted by entropicamericana at 8:09 AM on November 14 [34 favorites]


Sorry I'm late to the party, but that WaPo article about Trump in Asia is maddening. How can the people of the US accept having a president who is acting and treated like a spoiled toddler????????
He is at work, he needs to do his job. For a huge majority of humans in the world, not doing your job means you get fired. Heck, a lot of people get fired even when they do their job the best they can. How can this orange baby get away with doing nothing?
posted by mumimor at 8:11 AM on November 14 [55 favorites]


He's never worked a single day in a job as you or I would understand it in his entire life.
posted by Artw at 8:13 AM on November 14 [36 favorites]


From that WaPo article:
Trump warmed to the itinerary as it approached, growing fond of noting aloud how long it was, according to four White House officials and outside advisers. He remarked more than once to aides that he was “setting a record.”
Ah, now I get it.
posted by Melismata at 8:15 AM on November 14 [34 favorites]


Greg Sargent: A special counsel to probe Clinton? That puts us in very dangerous territory. (emphasis in original)
The reason [the letter from the DOJ] matters: It could become the latest act of enabling Trump in his ongoing obliteration of norms and institutional lines. Trump demanded the loyalty of his FBI director, then fired him when that loyalty was not forthcoming, admitting this was due to anger over the Russia investigation. He raged at his attorney general for failing to protect him from that probe and has seriously mulled an effort to remove special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Congressional Republicans have not done nearly enough to signal that such a move would be met with a forceful response. Yet those same Republicans are actively helping Trump muddy the waters around that probe by launching their own investigations into the bogus Clinton scandals, and, now, by prevailing on the attorney general to go too far in using prosecutorial resources to validate those story lines.

It’s also worth entertaining what might happen even if the Justice Department concluded that the fake scandals don’t merit a special counsel. As I’ve argued, Trump’s media allies are actively trying to goad him into going full authoritarian against the Mueller probe by using these invented story lines to cast Mueller and the investigation as corrupt and illegitimate and by hammering the narrative that this has created a crisis in this country that leaves Trump no alternative but to close it down.

We don’t know if Trump will end up going full authoritarian or not. But if the department does decline to go the special counsel route, is there any reason to believe Trump would accept this? Instead, it may well torque Trump into a state of rage and grievance over how unfair and illegitimate it is that Clinton isn’t being probed, while his campaign continues to be targeted by an investigation that he claims is nothing but a hoax. That’s exactly what his allies hope will tip him into acting against Mueller. It’s hard to see how this ends well.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:17 AM on November 14 [17 favorites]


Pence is tangled up in all this too. Here's my fanfic: Dems retake Congress in a big way in 2018, we get a Dem Speaker, impeach both Trump/Pence, the Speaker is the new president, the Dems give us fully automated luxury gay space communism by 2020, and we all live happily ever after.

If I could say "President San Francisco Liberal Nancy" I'd die happy.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:18 AM on November 14 [15 favorites]


Dems retake Congress in a big way in 2018

2/3 in the Senate is not happening.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:18 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


GCU Sweet and Full of Grace You think that dumb lazy-ass motherfucker lays groundwork?

When it comes to firing people? Yes.

Call it groundwork, call it working himself up to it, call it whatever you want, we've seen enough of Trump and firing people to know how he does it, and he doesn't do it in a splashy press conference.

For whatever reason, firing people causes Trump distress and it takes him a while to work his way up to actually firing someone. He starts by a weird combination of praising and badmouthing the person he intends to fire, denying that he plans to fire them, and eventually, after a couple of weeks of that, the person finds out that they've been fired because a third party (not Trump, never Trump personally) tells the news that they've been fired and the person being fired learns about it by seeing it on TV.

It's weird, it doesn't go with our image of Trump as the vindictive asshole we know him to be, but he does seem to need to psych himself up for weeks before he can actually fire someone. Call it groundwork, call it whatever, it doesn't happen quickly.
posted by sotonohito at 8:21 AM on November 14 [13 favorites]


This is my shocked face.

@nataliewsj:
CEOs asked if they plan to increase investment if the GOP's tax bill goes through. A smattering of hands goes up.
"Why aren't the other hands up?" Cohn asks.
#WSJCEOCouncil
posted by chris24 at 8:25 AM on November 14 [49 favorites]


He is at work, he needs to do his job.

HA! Wow. I can't ever remember that even being an option. Well, I guess the glowing-orb photo was work, of a sort.
posted by petebest at 8:27 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


2/3 in the Senate is not happening.

How can anyone express this degree of certainty about anything right now? I agree it's unlikely that Dems will win enough seats for a 2/3 party line majority, but the Republican party might well be fracturing into bits before our eyes. Might it not come to pass that a Dem wave results in a D majority, which then forms a coalition with some Rs who are clawing for any flotation device within reach in the face of mounting evidence against their president and the accelerating deterioration of their caucus? It's not the likeliest outcome, but is it really impossible?
posted by contraption at 8:33 AM on November 14 [27 favorites]


CEOs asked if they plan to increase investment if the GOP's tax bill goes through. A smattering of hands goes up.

Do they not teach "Don't ask a question if you don't know the answer in advance." at Goldman?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:33 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


It's not the likeliest outcome, but is it really impossible?

Depending on the 2018 elections, you'd need to flip about 25 Republican senators. I wouldn't call it impossible, but damn near.

Of course, things change.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:38 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Representative Jordan really doing his best to smear Comey and then Mueller in this hearing. Interestingly sparring more with Sessions than any other republican thus far. He's questioning if there will be a second Special Council.

Sessions tells him that he doesn't think there's enough solid evidence to appoint a second Special Council.

Any amount of R's sparring with the administration is a win in my book.
posted by Twain Device at 8:42 AM on November 14 [5 favorites]


chris24: CEOs asked if they plan to increase investment if the GOP's tax bill goes through. A smattering of hands goes up. "Why aren't the other hands up?" Cohn asks.

Why? Huh, let's see: The average CEO earned 20 times the average worker pay in 1965. Now S&P 500 CEOs make 335 times the pay of their average employee. "Now" being back in June 2016. As AFL-CIO puts it on their paywatch website, "more for them, less for us."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on November 14 [25 favorites]


you'd need to flip about 25 Republican senators

As the senate is currently constituted, you'd only need 20. And last time I looked at the math I came up with 10 I thought were real possibilities, at least if a damning Mueller report came out... In roughly descending order of likelihood: Corker, McCain, Flake, Murkowski, Collins, Moore-Capito, Rubio, Graham, Burr, Grassley (he has actually let the judiciary committee ask some hard questions about Russia). If Orrin Hatch announces his retirement I could see him being on board too.

I think it is possible that we could find 8 or 9 more if Mueller digs up the right kind of dirt, and if Republicans keep suffering politically. Who else has Trump insulted on Twitter? Which way does that rapscallion Rand Paul see the wind blowing? How bad is this McConnell-Trump feud going to get?
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:53 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


I agree it's unlikely that Dems will win enough seats for a 2/3 party line majority, but the Republican party might well be fracturing into bits before our eyes.

Whatever happens in the House, It's impossible in the Senate. You'd need to find 10+ Republicans willing to go and that's just not happening.

I'd be happy to be wrong, but I just can't see a future where that could happen.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:56 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


i shudder to think what the extinction burst of the republican party will look like if things get bad enough for them to lose the senate
posted by murphy slaw at 8:57 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


As the senate is currently constituted, you'd only need 20.

You're right. For some reason I did the math for 3/4, not 2/3.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:58 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Gotta factor in for all the Feinsteins etc...
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on November 14


Jordan is unsurprising. He and Rep. Mike Gates (R - Florida Man) were on Hannity last night as designated Help Me Talk About Anything Other Than Roy Moore guests, and happily burbled about Hillary's many proven crimes and Her Emails and Her Perjury and Her Obstruction of Justice and the Terrible Uraniumgate and the Corrupt Clinton Foundation. But he also laid into Sessions LOUDLY for not doing his job for months in that he hadn't been actively investigating all of the above.
posted by delfin at 9:02 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


And regarding the potential for impeachment and the congressional outlook in 2018: remember that the GOP can't maintain unity to push through widely controversial health care overhaul or tax "reforms" when they have a simple majority, and in the latter support is faltering more and more as public pressure mounts against their party's plan. I other words, it's a lot easier to do the right thing when public opinion is behind you. Republican support flipped against Nixon with the release of the transcript of the "smoking gun tape."
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


Neal Katyal: "I drafted the Special Counsel regs. They require a "conflict of interest for the Dept or other extraordinary circumstances" I look fwd to learning what possible conflict of interest there is.AG Sessions boss Trump calling for a Spcl Counsel doesnt cut it."
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:03 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Gotta factor in for all the Feinsteins etc...

Feinstein is on the side of the intelligence community and very much not on Russia's side. She'll vote for impeachment in a heartbeat if Mueller comes out with something terrible.

There is no way there will be an impeachment vote before the Mueller report comes out. So when you are counting votes, you have to make some assumptions about what will be in that report, and when it will come out. My assumptions are "just before the 2018 elections" and "the most damning possible evidence against Trump."
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:05 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


the GOP is mostly using this hearing as an undisguised propaganda outlet but i do enjoy that it's playing out as a bipartisan episode of Everybody Hates Jeff
posted by murphy slaw at 9:05 AM on November 14 [17 favorites]


It's weird, it doesn't go with our image of Trump as the vindictive asshole we know him to be, but he does seem to need to psych himself up for weeks before he can actually fire someone.

He's just a paper tiger, and "our" image of him is the image he so desperately needs us to believe. But that's not him: Trump is still a scared little boy, acting out bravado and dominance games moment-to-moment for--I expect--nearly every waking moment of his entire life, futilely trying to feed the gaping maw of solipsistic demand created by the utterly consuming fear and desperation of his narcissism.*

That's why he avoids actual confrontation at any cost, and is all bluster and 'acting tough.' Truly, anyone with the basic savvy to read Trump's own self-conception can exploit the shit out of this psychologically (and cognitively, frankly) broken and terrified person--and I have little doubt that's exactly what Russian efforts to bribe, blackmail, extort, etc. him will have as a through-line, basic manipulation of his personality disorder(s).

*(It must be pretty horrible, actually, to experience life that way. Not that I have any sympathy for this asshole, he's completely responsible for what he's doing to all of us. I just wish that little boy DJT would have encountered someone with greater empathy and compassion at some point, who could've had better influence on him. For him and for the rest of us.)
posted by LooseFilter at 9:08 AM on November 14 [40 favorites]


As for the Senate, if the Dems reach a simple majority there in 2018 they will be doing great. Put 60 or 67 out of your mind.

An increasingly obvious child molester has a Repub Senate nomination _and no one is sure that HE'S going to lose._
posted by delfin at 9:11 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Dana Rohrabacher losing by 10 points to a Democratic opponent, 41% to 51%, in CA-48 (Orange County).

I'm sure Russian Representative Rohrabacher will get a lucrative sinecure at some Gazprom subsidiary for his exemplary service.
posted by acb at 9:17 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


How can anyone express this degree of certainty about anything right now?

They can't, but when we just saw a wave election that exceeded just about every pundit's expectations, yet a near double-digit margin translated into at best a 50-50 split, it's hard not to see that the game is rigged very far out of our favor.

I agree it's unlikely that Dems will win enough seats for a 2/3 party line majority, but the Republican party might well be fracturing into bits before our eyes.

See also: any MeFi thread from 2006, 2008, and even 2012 expressing excitement over the always-imminent "fracturing" of the GOP. How accurate were those predictions?
posted by zombieflanders at 9:18 AM on November 14 [15 favorites]


Translation: El Presidente Cheeto is on downers.

Like Nixon, who, if Francis Wheen's Strange Days Indeed is to be believed, was kept doped to the eyeballs by his handlers?
posted by acb at 9:18 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Simple majority in the Senate is huge even if we can’t convince 16 Rs to convict on impeachment. We have old Justices and a D majority would, under the McConnell rule, allow Dems to deny Trump any SC confirmations in 2019-20. Which is why Ds need to send $$$$ to Jones. That one seat could be huge. Jones wins, beat Flake’s replacement, beat Heller, hold in others and it’s 51-49. Tough but conceivable.
posted by chris24 at 9:23 AM on November 14 [33 favorites]


> See also: any MeFi thread from 2006, 2008, and even 2012 expressing excitement over the always-imminent "fracturing" of the GOP. How accurate were those predictions?

The fracturing of the Republican coalition, as currently constituted, is inevitable. There can only be so much time during which the interests of the social conservatives and white grievance racists is aligned with the interests of the ultra-rich and big business. Eventually, big business needs employees and consumers, and billionaires need a society that is worth living in.

The problem with that statement is that "eventually" is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

It's no surprise that people have called the date wrong, and I would be surprised, but not entirely stunned, if the coalition hung together for another election cycle or two. And of course, that's enough time to do plenty of damage - possibly irreversible damage - to our society, our international standing, our environment and climate, etc. etc. etc.

But the fracture and realignment is surely coming. Eventually.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:26 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


It’s scary that the whole nazi revivalist movement in Charlottesville was just about three months ago....

I made this comment less than two days ago and could already add confirmed Trump/Wikileaks collusion, AG perjury (again!), and the DOJ seriously considering investigating Clinton (again! x 1000). I want off this ride.
posted by milarepa at 9:28 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]


> See also: any MeFi thread from 2006, 2008, and even 2012 expressing excitement over the always-imminent "fracturing" of the GOP. How accurate were those predictions?

The extent of the powers of gerrymandering & vote suppression were not fully known at the time, which can explain a fair amount of the discrepancy.
posted by scalefree at 9:31 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Shorter Jeff Sessions.

How is that even possible?


I'll show myself out...
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:44 AM on November 14 [39 favorites]


Some people think numbers could be in the 50's

Some people think the moon is made of cheese
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:49 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


> See also: any MeFi thread from 2006, 2008, and even 2012 expressing excitement over the always-imminent "fracturing" of the GOP. How accurate were those predictions?

Seems like the GOP *is* fractured right now. Remember when they had to select a Speaker and could barely accomplish that? The radical right wing of the party won't compromise with the center-right and the center-right won't compromise with the democrats, so they're in constant endless deadlock. The only thing holding them together is the promise of finally getting some awesome tax cuts. If that fails? They'll be dead as a governing party.
posted by dis_integration at 9:56 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Sessions keeps saying he never intentionally lied (technically possible) but also that his story has never changed (technically impossible and therefore a lie). [Trump Administration disappears in a puff of logic]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:58 AM on November 14 [10 favorites]


This Mr Jeffries is doing a lot of wonderful things to Sessions right now.
posted by Brainy at 10:00 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


If you have to be the kind of person that increasingly loses general elections to have a shot in your party's primary, it's a big problem. Think of gerrymandering and voter suppression as the duct tape and string holding the whole thing together, you can get pretty far with a truly massive amount of duct tape and string but it's not a long term solution to the problem.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:04 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


See also: any MeFi thread from 2006, 2008, and even 2012 expressing excitement over the always-imminent "fracturing" of the GOP. How accurate were those predictions?

I recall in 2008, people were so euphoric about Obama's election that nothing else really mattered. Even in 2012, Democrats - especially in solid blue states like CA - were so focused on the presidency that down-ballot races were ignored. The consequences didn't really hit home for many Dems until 2014.

As for 2006 - the whole political landscape was so different. No Facebook and other social media, sure, that meant no bots, but it also meant that people in, say, California couldn't really find out what was going on in Virginia or Alabama unless they were die-hard political junkies willing to do some legwork, or were on a site like Daily Kos or Metafilter where people from other states talked about their local races.

And we were not long out of the 2004 Presidential race which failed to get most Democrats as energized as they were in 2016, or even 2008. So many people were excited to vote for HRC, liked her platform, and thought she'd make a good President. Nobody was really excited to vote for John Kerry that I recall, even in the blue SF Bay Area; it was "meh, at least he's a Democrat and not Bush, better hold my nose and vote."

The Democratic Resistance (tm) is stronger and people are much more interconnected. I think Republicans are losing more people, as well - just look at who turned out to vote for Northam, and who turned out to elect Danica Roem (to name just two). Remember "God, guns, and gays?" Supposedly that propelled Bush and Republicans to victory in 2004. Now, a majority of Americans approve of same-sex marriage, a full one-quarter of US adults say they are spiritual but not religious, and if it weren't for the NRA I think we'd be moving forward on guns, too.

Yes, I am an optimist.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:11 AM on November 14 [31 favorites]


TPM: Senate Dems Demand Investigation Into Wilbur Ross’ Conflicts Of Interest
posted by Chrysostom at 10:12 AM on November 14 [27 favorites]


I've known him about that long, have a couple friends who can add another 5 years to that plus one who was his roommate for a while.

I just want to add that none of us is particularly proud of this & that includes one guy who has expressed a belief that the CIA has implanted a computer chip in his head. But like it or not it's true, he's one of us & has been for a long time.
posted by scalefree at 10:15 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


not a long term solution to the problem.

Unfortunately selling out the country to Putin possibly IS a long term solution, depending on what you identify as "the problem."

We'll have to see how many Republicans value power over patriotism.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:18 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


scalefree: The extent of the powers of gerrymandering & vote suppression were not fully known at the time, which can explain a fair amount of the discrepancy.

This is a big one. Before the newer software advances, gerrymandering was a much weaker weapon. After the 2010 census, Democrats have needed waves to reach a mere majority, both nationally and on the state level (see Virginia). 2012 had a million more votes for House Democrats, but Republicans wound up with an advantage of 33 seats.

And just think, any serious reforms to level the playing field will always be derided by conservatives as so much snowflakes whining for participation trophies. As if Republican domination should be regarded a force of nature anyone else must work doubly hard to defeat, independent of the actual popularity of Republican views.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:19 AM on November 14 [10 favorites]


You know, the amazing thing is - Sessions is one of the most evil people in politics. And even he knows you can't have the DOJ going after Hillary for no damned reason.

The House Republicans are truly a thing of majesty.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:21 AM on November 14 [21 favorites]


Buzzfeed: The FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian foreign ministry to its embassies across the globe, most of them bearing a note that said the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016.”
posted by Chrysostom at 10:23 AM on November 14 [52 favorites]


Elaina Plott, Daily Beast: No One Knows What Omarosa Is Doing in the White House—[Not] Even Omarosa
The ‘Apprentice’ star has a top salary and a high-ranking job. But when we spent time with her, it was her wedding she was planning.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:23 AM on November 14 [27 favorites]


Does the receipt of information of value, from Wikileaks, a foreign company, which Trump used 15 minutes after Jr's received, violate https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/52/30121
posted by mikelieman at 10:24 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


From the Buzzfeed article
Much as checks include a memo line, wire transfers often include a note that states what the money is for. The note on this set of transfers does not indicate what election the money was to be used for, or even the country. Seven nations had federal elections during the span when the funds were sent — including the Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament, on Sept. 18, 2016. Russian embassies and diplomatic compounds opened polling stations for voters living abroad.
So let's not jump to any conclusions.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:26 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Buzzfeed: The FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian foreign ministry to its embassies across the globe, most of them bearing a note that said the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016.”

Lol. I too love to mark my illicit funds with "To Pay For CRIMES". I put it in the "memo" line of every check I write.
posted by dis_integration at 10:27 AM on November 14 [25 favorites]


We'll have to see how many Republicans value power over patriotism.

I think we already do. It's most of them.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:29 AM on November 14 [12 favorites]


The extent of the powers of gerrymandering & vote suppression were not fully known at the time, which can explain a fair amount of the discrepancy.

And 2002, 04, 06, 08, etc, were all before Citizens United and the Republican Supreme Court's repeal of the Voting Rights Act.

You cannot make a valid comparison to the voting environment pre-2010 and later elections. We have so many fewer protections against systematic Republican disenfranchisement of Democratic votes today than we did pre-2010. It's literally a different country.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:32 AM on November 14 [10 favorites]


Buzzfeed: The FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian foreign ministry to its embassies across the globe, most of them bearing a note that said the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016.”

deaddove.jpg
posted by jason_steakums at 10:32 AM on November 14 [9 favorites]


Yeah, this is likely just for the 2016 Russian Parliament election. For national elections, embassies hold open hours during which ex-pats can come in and cast their votes from abroad, and 30k for the D.C. embassy is right about how much I'd expect it would cost to staff an event like that.
posted by creampuff at 10:36 AM on November 14 [19 favorites]


So I've been thinking about the Trump/Putin relationship, how it might have started, what's the nature of the deal between them based on what we know of them. I think we've been looking at it all wrong, assuming the hold Putin has on Trump is a negative one, based on kompromat & threats on his finances. But everything we know about Trump says he doesn't respond to threats so why would threats by Putin be any different? As a narcissist he feels no shame & has an exaggerated sense of his ability to defend his wealth & capture more as needed, so Putin's threats wouldn't have such a profound effect on him.

But what if it's not the stick Putin used on him but a carrot instead? What kind of inducement could Putin credibly offer to turn Trump's head & capture his loyalty? How about us, America? What if Putin made an offer to effectively give America to Trump to rule permanently just as Putin rules Russia? He'd flatter him, saying how much alike they are, great men of history destined to stride the world together. Trump would follow his lead in all things, flattering Putin in return & making it his highest priority to accomomodate his wishes & needs because he understands that the path to permanent rule over America passes through Russia.

Of course reality is much more like Sauron's plan for Saruman, that he'd be enabled only as far as it furthers his goal of global conquest & in time the leash would tighten. But until then Trump would get to caper & preen on the world stage, looting as he went.
posted by scalefree at 10:41 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Also worth noting that it was the election of a black President in 2008 that really sent the Republican war against democracy and against fair elections into overdrive. They always had played at gerrymandering around the margins and with disenfranchisement of the black vote, but 2008 took it to a new level. They dedicated themselves wholly to the idea that no Democratic vote, anywhere, is a valid vote.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:42 AM on November 14 [59 favorites]


Yeah, this is likely just for the 2016 Russian Parliament election. For national elections, embassies hold open hours during which ex-pats can come in and cast their votes from abroad, and 30k for the D.C. embassy is right about how much I'd expect it would cost to staff an event like that.

Would that be described as a "campaign", though? Like if it just said "for 2016 elections" and they were holding their own elections, I wouldn't blink. But campaigning is for the candidates, not the state (though to be fair, I'm sure that's a little fuzzy in Putin's Russia). Or idk, maybe there's a translation quirk and "campaign" is an unclear translation. Feels weird that the FBI wouldn't immediately rule out the Russian elections, though.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:44 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, in tax news....

The CBO has sent a letter out to the Senate warning them that as it stands Medicare would be cut by $25 billion immediately

@Topher Spiro BREAKING: CBO: Tax bill will automatically cut Medicare by $25 billion per year almost immediately.

@Jim Tankersley
In letter to Rep. Hoyer, CBO says that unless Congress acts to lift PAYGO, tax bill would trigger $25b in Medicaid cuts. ($136b total cuts for FY '18) [reference to Medicaid was in error which he corrects in another tweet to Medicare]

So the Senate Bill may need some tweaking.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:47 AM on November 14 [39 favorites]


This is such small potatoes but #2017 I guess?

HuffPo: Interior Decorator: Zinke’s Push To Redesign Flags
A week after taking over the Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke inquired about redesigning the agency’s flag, according to internal emails HuffPost has obtained.

The department flag is emblazoned with a bison and has gone largely unchanged for a century. The emails indicate that Zinke wanted to redesign the flags and make them bigger, so that neither his secretarial flag nor the agency flag would be smaller than the United States flag that flies atop the Interior Department’s headquarters on C Street in Washington, D.C. The emails do not indicate how he wants to redesign the flag.
...
Zinke has thus far been unsuccessful in his bid to replace the flags with ones that have his own touch. Interior does appear to have ordered larger flags, at least, ensuring that Zinke’s personal flag will not be dwarfed by Old Glory. When Zinke is in the building, three proportional flags fly atop the building.
There's also this:
Along with entertaining unconventional flag requests, Interior staff worked through March to get the agency chief’s office to his liking, emails show. The effort involved shuffling around a huge grizzly bear, mounting the heads of a bison and elk directly into the office’s carved oak paneling, and accommodating the arrival of a $1,749 leather couch from California that included “white-glove delivery service.”

“A large stuffed grizzly will arrive at [main Interior building] today at approximately noon,” Daniel Jorjani, a former Koch brothers adviser appointed in May to the position of principal deputy solicitor, wrote to seven agency employees March 21. “If possible, please make sure it clears security and is taken to the Secretary’s office. He would like it placed in the the corner where his collection of Navy SEAL knives are currently located. He would like that table moved to the other side of the room, next to where the doors lead out of his office into the main corridor.”
There's a lot more in full article.

I can't help but picture an entire heist movie premised around the need to get a bear through security and into the Secretary's office.
posted by cjelli at 10:49 AM on November 14 [49 favorites]


Mission: Ursineable

DUN DUN DUN-DUN
DUN DUN DUN-DUN
posted by delfin at 10:59 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]


This is such small potatoes but #2017 I guess?

Included in the Zinke flag nonsense, he requires that his special flag be flown whenever he is "in garrison."
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:00 AM on November 14 [7 favorites]


Oh, it's that Zinke.

I swear there is an actual White House competition for That Fucking Guy Of The Year
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:05 AM on November 14 [41 favorites]


ActingTheGoat: Notwithstanding the ridiculous militarism of this pompous fool, the fact that the word 'Tribe' and an image of a bison are on the flag is even more egregious
posted by Myeral at 11:06 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


The design of the flag reads "Whitefish" and has an electric eel.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:07 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


So is the taxpayer on the hook for Zinke's eventual pyramid and entombing him with all this shit or what
posted by jason_steakums at 11:07 AM on November 14 [37 favorites]


Ugh that is just petty fucking nonsense (flag size and rules for flying thereof) that proves he is there for reasons other than working to make the Dept. of Interior work as well as possible. And anyone who wants a stuffed grizzly bear on display should not be working for the Dept. of Interior to begin with. Gah!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:08 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]




Elaina Plott, Daily Beast: No One Knows What Omarosa Is Doing in the White House—[Not] Even Omarosa

HuffPo: Interior Decorator: Zinke’s Push To Redesign Flags

Sorry, but do any of these assholes ever do any goddamn fucking work?
posted by CommonSense at 11:12 AM on November 14 [37 favorites]


I'd rather that these assholes do NO work rather than work toward the goals they want to...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:15 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


>Sorry, but do any of these assholes ever do any goddamn fucking work?

Look, they are destroying American democracy just as fast as they fucking can. These are long established institutions of government - their destruction takes time.
posted by mosk at 11:15 AM on November 14 [32 favorites]


So is the taxpayer on the hook for Zinke's eventual pyramid and entombing him with all this shit or what

i would not begrudge my tax dollars being spent on entombing ryan zinke if we start right now
posted by murphy slaw at 11:16 AM on November 14 [36 favorites]


^^^ But his current staff must be buried with him. To, y'know, "attend to him in the after life."
posted by mosk at 11:17 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Included in the Zinke flag nonsense, he requires that his special flag be flown whenever he is "in garrison."

Looks like he's a seven star Secretary. That's a lot.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:19 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


So is the taxpayer on the hook for Zinke's eventual pyramid and entombing him with all this shit or what

REMEMBER ME
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:19 AM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Chrysostom: TPM: Senate Dems Demand Investigation Into Wilbur Ross’ Conflicts Of Interest

How many times have the Senate or House Democrats demanded something and were greeted with the same silent laughter seen here from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch, and Chuck Grassley, as when reporters asked them about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore? Because I think we should be keeping track, to make sure it's done post-Trump.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:20 AM on November 14 [7 favorites]


Sorry, but do any of these assholes ever do any goddamn fucking work?

I think their success at pushing their domestic and foreign policy agenda speaks for itself.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:21 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


During one exchange at today's Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearing on the Authority to Order the Use of Nuclear Weapons, Senator Chris Murphy declared, flatly: "We are concerned that the President of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with US national security interests. So let's just recognize the exceptional nature of this moment and the discussion that we're having today.

Mother Jones has a recap: Does Congress Think Trump Can Be Trusted With Nuclear Weapons? (The very fact that they had this hearing, however reassuring their witnesses tried to be, already suggests they don't.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:22 AM on November 14 [70 favorites]


I've started referring to him as Inferior Secretary Zinke. He can't quite compete with the Wilbur Rosses and the Steve Mnuchins, but he is doing his best.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:25 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


I hate this guy so much both for what he is and does and also how inevitable his failing upwards was: if a former member of Seal Team Six (even a disliked and denounced one like him) runs for congress in a rural, super-white US state with a population of one million, he'll win. If he's a rich Seal Team Sixer then he'll really win. And that's all it took: from there it's straight to having his own weird feudal-toxic-masculinity timewarp-dimension office and shuffling the corpses of beasts around and displaying his knives and designing his flags.

It's not enough for Zinke to be an asshole, he has to be an asshole from two centuries ago. Dude clearly wants to be Teddy Roosevelt and has learned all the wrong lessons and admired all the wrong traits. Teddy would have loved his animal-murdering and his racism, true, but I don't doubt that he would physically beat Zinke's ass if he saw what he was doing to Interior.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:26 AM on November 14 [24 favorites]


The Bundys et al would have flipped their shit entirely if someone under Obama would have pulled this militaristic Zinke crap as head of Interior. Like BLM employees would have died. But Zinke's just their big strong Republican daddy so they'll take it with a smile even after federal lands are privatized and they're ludicrously priced out of affordable grazing land.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:27 AM on November 14 [24 favorites]


Quinnipiac has Trump’s job approval rating at a pathetic 35%. Sad!
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:29 AM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Newsweek Mike Pence NFL Game Walkout Was Unethical and Cost Local Police $14,000, Watchdog Says

The city of Indianapolis should send a bill to Trump's 2020 campaign organization. That doesn't include the cost to the Federal government, however, which would be the Secret Service bill and the cost of the AirForce 2 to fly there. It's OK if this stupid stunt slipped your mind because it happened October 8-- which god knows is a century ago in Trump time.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:33 AM on November 14 [38 favorites]


"Bilbo Bigot" is much better than "Racist Keebler Elf."

@sarahkendzior: Since Bilbo Bigot is apparently running late, I'm going to watch the #TrumpNuclear hearing until he shows up
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:33 AM on November 14 [33 favorites]


RE: BREAKING: CBO: Tax bill will automatically cut Medicare by $25 billion per year almost immediately.

This is more of a 'miserable state of the state" comment, but this story showed up in my email this morning and it's been bothering the hell out of me. Not 91-year-old Ms. Griffing, a cheerful sort who's only taken 4 sick days in the 71 years she's worked for the same outfit, but the lede:

"In current culture, millennials move from job to job in order to climb the ladder. The average time spent at a company is just two years. For baby boomers and other generations, this was not the norm. Loyalty and dedication to a single company or career drove, and still drives, many of their careers. AOL’s original series Lifers features these dedicated, loyal workers who have been in their jobs for years and years. Will they retire? Are they prepared to?"

Here in pesky reality, any original series on Millennials could have been called Lifers. (I know, I know, why would they even deserve such attention, given how clearly opportunistic and disloyal they are? When they, and they alone, are destroying the pension industry?)
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:34 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


These constant reports of historic low job approval ratings are just background noise at this point. Not sure what the point of even doing these polls is anymore. His numbers are going to stay way down in the toilet but never get low enough to actually circle the drain, because of idiots.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:37 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


"In current culture, millennials move from job to job in order to climb the ladder. The average time spent at a company is just two years.... these dedicated, loyal workers who have been in their jobs for years and years....

i mean the dots are literally RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER
is connecting them REALLY SO HARD
posted by halation at 11:38 AM on November 14 [19 favorites]


In current culture, millennials move from job to job in order to climb the ladder... For baby boomers and other generations, this was not the norm.

THIS ISN'T EVEN TRUE. Millennials have similar average job tenure compared to prior generations at the same ages.
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:38 AM on November 14 [28 favorites]


"Bilbo Bigot" is much better than "Racist Keebler Elf."

I call him "The Pixie from Dixie."
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:39 AM on November 14 [25 favorites]


I call him "The Pixie from Dixie."

Unsolicited DixPix are the worst.
posted by Buntix at 11:40 AM on November 14 [46 favorites]


More tax nightmares: The bill is moving at warp speed. On the House side, they plan to have it through the Rules Committee and on the floor tomorrow. The Senate is now seemingly serious about adding the repeal of the individual healthcare mandate to their bill, despite the obvious madness of this plan, a change that will mean that many in the middle class won't just get tax increases, they'll get health care premium increases too, and CBO estimates 13 million more people won't have health insurance.

They are going to do everything to pass this horrible thing, and the madness of Moore, Trump, the never-ending news cycle are giving them cover.
posted by zachlipton at 11:43 AM on November 14 [30 favorites]


Included in the Zinke flag nonsense, he requires that his special flag be flown whenever he is "in garrison."

So like a monarch? Not unsettling at all.
posted by Talez at 11:44 AM on November 14


Oh wait it just got even worse. Passing Alexander-Murray alongside the tax bill is now part of the deal.

This is just layers of crap stacked on top of crap.
posted by zachlipton at 11:45 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Unsolicited DixPix are the worst.

As AG of the US, he's actually Solicitor DixPix.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:46 AM on November 14 [12 favorites]


Well really at this point the only thing missing from the tax bill is that all Democrats must turn themselves in so that their blood and organs can be harvested and the remaining poors must sign up for indentured servitude. Why not go whole hog!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:51 AM on November 14 [8 favorites]


The Bundys et al would have flipped their shit entirely if someone under Obama would have pulled this militaristic Zinke crap as head of Interior. Like BLM employees would have died. But Zinke's just their big strong Republican daddy so they'll take it with a smile even after federal lands are privatized and they're ludicrously priced out of affordable grazing land.

pretty sure zinke's gameplan is to sell the public lands at a pittance to assholes like the bundys
posted by entropicamericana at 11:51 AM on November 14 [23 favorites]


As AG of the US, he's actually Solicitor DixPix.

Unsolicitors Genital
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:01 PM on November 14 [16 favorites]


entropicamericana: pretty sure zinke's gameplan is to sell the public lands at a pittance to assholes like the bundys

But the Bundys were getting access to that land for free, so wouldn't that be a net loss for them? (Well, depending on how their pending trial goes).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:04 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


This is my periodic reminder to CALL YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE. This tax bill is a grab bag full of terrible things that the GOP has been dreaming about for years. Here's the switchboard number:(202) 224-3121.
posted by mcduff at 12:10 PM on November 14 [19 favorites]


The Senate is now seemingly serious about adding the repeal of the individual healthcare mandate to their bill, despite the obvious madness of this plan,

How does this help passage in the Senate? I can't imagine the results in Virginia will make Collins or Murkowski are more likely to vote for it than before.

...and Arizona will still get screwed under an Obamacare repeal.

...and how have McCain's procedural concerns been addressed?
posted by leotrotsky at 12:12 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Oh wait it just got even worse. Passing Alexander-Murray alongside the tax bill is now part of the deal.

This is just layers of crap stacked on top of crap.


Wait wait wait. Alexander-Murray is a chip that Democrats primarily want. Did Pelosi sell the middle class down the river to stabilize Obamacare?!?
posted by Talez at 12:13 PM on November 14


There's no way any Democrats vote for this bill. It makes zero sense either ethically or politically.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:14 PM on November 14


...and how have McCain's procedural concerns been addressed?

They have not, but he has expressed his satisfaction with "normal order," so that's no longer an issue/a bulwark against creeping feudalism.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:14 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Kevin Drum is mystified by how this can pass.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:18 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


But the Bundys were getting access to that land for free, so wouldn't that be a net loss for them? (Well, depending on how their pending trial goes).

the endgame for all ranchers of their ilk is subrurban sprawl. debase the land for all its worth, then sell off and develop the rest of the land as retirement homes for racist caiifornians
posted by entropicamericana at 12:19 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


> Kevin Drum is mystified by how this can pass.

K-Drum needs a new act. This eternal Unfrozen Caveman act where he acts like he's never encountered Republicans in his life is getting old.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:22 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


I know it's hard to believe that the Republicans will fuck up so badly that they can't pass a tax bill, but recent history suggests they are capable of astounding feats of fucking up. (This is not an argument for complacency.)
posted by diogenes at 12:25 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, declared he could not remember over 33 times during his hearing.

I'd have paid damn good money for a Democratic Senator to ask him if, given his obvious mental problems he thought he was qualified to be Attorney General and if so why.

Seriously, either he's brain damaged or lying, and I don't know why the Democrats didn't make a bigger deal out of that. They needed to make his self proclaimed mental disability the centerpiece of the hearing.

"Mr. Sessions, as Attorney General is a mentally taxing job, do you feel that you are capable of carrying out your duties given your self proclaimed mental handicaps?"

"Mr. Sessions, since you are unable to recall meeting with Russian spies to help rig the 2016 election, do you need post it notes to remind you of the location of your toilet?"

"Mr. Sessions, it is truly remarkable that, despite suffering the brain damage that has rendered your memory so unreliable you were able to make it to this hearing. Do you think you can remember how to get back to your office after we're finished here, or should we arrange for a helper animal?"

"You probably don't recall, but your name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and you're supposed to be the Attorney General of the USA, while I realize asking questions is futile due to your mental disabilities, I do have an obligation to my constituents to ask if you can recall the time you tried to put three black people in prison for trying to help other black people vote?"

The hearing was a joke, at the very least they could have spent their time emphasizing how utterly unbelievable and pathetic his transparent lies about being unable to recall multiple meetings with Russian spies were.
posted by sotonohito at 12:27 PM on November 14 [65 favorites]


Wait wait wait. Alexander-Murray is a chip that Democrats primarily want. Did Pelosi sell the middle class down the river to stabilize Obamacare?!?

i'm hoping it's to persuade the republicans who have their names on the bill.
posted by halation at 12:28 PM on November 14


I don't think that's what Drum's piece says at all? He's saying it violates the Byrd rule, and it doesn't seem fixable to avoid that. So either they say "we're just going to make up numbers" or it doesn't pass. And as he points out, that's basically the equivalent of nuking the filibuster, which a fair numbers of GOP senators oppose.

I know we all like to say the GOP will stop at nothing, but that's a pretty big step for them, once the filibuster is gone, it's not coming back.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:28 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


From @JYSexton on Twitter:
The biggest topic on the Right is how to get a child molester elected so a perjured Attorney General can resign and his replacement can fire a special prosecutor who’s discovering the president’s treason.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:32 PM on November 14 [137 favorites]


Maybe, but they are so desperate to pass something, I can see them convincing themselves that overruling the parliamentarian isn't really nuking the filibuster, just disagreeing on interpretation. Or they fudge the numbers just enough to slide in under $1.5 trillion added to the debt.
posted by zachlipton at 12:33 PM on November 14


I'm watching Ken Burn's The Vietnam War in it's 2nd PBS run & loved this bit w.r.t. diplomacy today:
"...when the President of the United States cannot travel abroad or to any major city at home without fear of a hostile demonstration—then it's time for new leadership for the [U.S. of A.]"
—Richard Milhouse Nixon
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 12:33 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


...once the filibuster is gone, it's not coming back.

Oh, I don't know about that. Look at Blue Slip rules that magically relax and stiffen depending on whose nominees they are. I could see Turtle's eventual replacement saying "Clearly we need to restore the filibuster for the good of the nation" and reinstating it right before the Repubs lose the majority, and somehow managing to keep a straight face without overdosing on Botox.
posted by delfin at 12:33 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


I don't think that's what Drum's piece says at all? He's saying it violates the Byrd rule, and it doesn't seem fixable to avoid that.

Isn't that why they're chaining healthcare to it? Wouldn't gutting healthcare give them the money they need?
posted by leotrotsky at 12:34 PM on November 14


Has Sessions been fired for committing perjury (multiple times) yet?
posted by Yowser at 12:35 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Note that Drum's piece was apparently written before the Obamacare mandate repeal. Which is at least part of how they intend to satisfy the Byrd rule.
posted by Justinian at 12:35 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


Actually, it's “Attorneys General Session”
posted by mbrubeck at 12:35 PM on November 14 [12 favorites]


> So either they say "we're just going to make up numbers"

This one. If the only thing blocking passing and signing tax cuts into law is procedure, they can retain the filibuster and pass the legislation by simply having Mike Pence ignore the parliamentarian's ruling. From a story about the last time this was mentioned as a possibility:
Some Republicans are hinting at more radical steps to get past MacDonough’s review. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has been floating the idea of simply ignoring the parliamentarian’s review for months now. The presiding officer of the Senate—Vice President Mike Pence—technically makes the final call on parliamentary procedures, and could overrule the parliamentarian’s objections, although this would be a highly controversial break of Senate norms that hasn’t been attempted for over 40 years.
If the only thing stopping them is controversy and norms, and if they support the underlying package, I think this is the most likely outcome. They have failed so many times they need to put a win on the board, and they're not going to care if it ruffles some feathers.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:36 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Comment on the Kevin Drum article:

I think there's a lot of dingbat kabuki going on here. The House is going to do everything it can to please its donors, and let the Senate deliver the bad news. That's pretty much standard for politics. Take the extreme position, and let other people stop you from doing the thing that is actually a bad idea of doing. That way you avoid having to be the voice of reason - the person saying "no" to constituents or donors.

That may be.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:37 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


I don't think that's what Drum's piece says at all? He's saying it violates the Byrd rule, and it doesn't seem fixable to avoid that.

Isn't that why they're chaining healthcare to it? Wouldn't gutting healthcare give them the money they need?

Note that Drum's piece was apparently written before the Obamacare mandate repeal. Which is at least part of how they intend to satisfy the Byrd rule.


...and there it is.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:37 PM on November 14


@BettyBowers:
CONGRESS: Did you have contacts with Russians?
SESSIONS: No.
CONGRESS: You lied.
SESSIONS: Not to the question I made up in my head. Checkmate.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:41 PM on November 14 [45 favorites]


If the only thing stopping them is controversy and norms, and if they support the underlying package, I think this is the most likely outcome. They have failed so many times they need to put a win on the board, and they're not going to care if it ruffles some feathers.

Assuming we survive the current fascistpocalypse: when the pendulum eventually swings the other way and Democrats hold majorities, can you imagine how hard Republicans are going to cry over the slightest deviation from the old norms they're ignoring now?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:43 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Repealing the mandate gives them +$338B over the 10 year budget window. It would help solve some of their problems with the math, though not everything. The Senate is supposedly putting out a new plan later today ("later today" being a vaguely defined term), so we'd have to see what they do there exactly.

Even $1.5T in deficit spending (even $1.5T, yeesh) would trigger automatic budget cuts to other programs under PAYGO rules, including a 4% cut to Medicaid and a doubling of student loan origination fees.
posted by zachlipton at 12:43 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


I'm only mostly joking, but could they ever somehow restructure the filibuster rules to only be usable by Republicans? Like just straight-up encode IOKIYAR into Senate bylaws.

I feel as if the handful of Republicans who like to be seen as having a conscience are truly all that stands between us and... that.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:43 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


So is our best hope for stopping this trainwreck again Murkowski, Collins, and McCain?
posted by Justinian at 12:44 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


In current culture, millennials move from job to job in order to climb the ladder... For baby boomers and other generations, this was not the norm.

Maybe the fact that corporations destroyed pensions, unions and health benefits for their employees, and outsource factories overseas or move to low-wage states at the drop of a hat, has something to do with the reduction in "loyalty."
posted by msalt at 12:45 PM on November 14 [45 favorites]


So is our best hope for stopping this trainwreck again Murkowski, Collins, and McCain?

One has to assume they won't vote on this until Rand Paul can come back. How does the calendar affect it all?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:49 PM on November 14




Kevin Drum's act is pretty good. He predicted the fate of the various Obamacare repeal attempts (so far) right after the election.

Note that he is not saying the tax bill won't pass. He is just saying he can't predict which dirty tricks Republicans will resort to, to get it to pass. He is saying they are going to have to resort to some dirty trick, and suggests several possibilities.

Any of them will have consequences, though.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:50 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Rand Paul is back and leading the charge to repeal the individual mandate as part of the tax bill.
posted by zachlipton at 12:51 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Rand Paul is back as of yesterday.

Repealing the mandate gives them +$338B over the 10 year budget window.

That's a cumulative figure though, yes? The actual change to the deficit in 2027 or whatever is more like 40b? Which only gets them like 1/4 or 1/3 of the way there?
posted by Justinian at 12:51 PM on November 14


Well, shit.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:52 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Looks like the effect on the deficit in 2027 is 50b not 40b, so just under 1/3 of the way to deficit neutral in 2017 with an obamacare mandate repeal.
posted by Justinian at 12:53 PM on November 14



Rand Paul has already made his glorious return
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:50 PM on November 14 [2 favorites +] [!]


The first Bowling Green Massacre veteran to be so honored.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:56 PM on November 14 [16 favorites]


sotonohito: I'd have paid damn good money for a Democratic Senator to ask him if, given his obvious mental problems he thought he was qualified to be Attorney General and if so why.

His justification for not remembering meetings a mere 18 months ago, then upon prompting remembering that yes, he was in that meeting, and while there, he did indeed direct others to not pursue contact with Russia, was that no one else at the hearing had been part of a presidential campaign, and specifically the Trump campaign, which he mentioned as if to say that there was more going on with Trump's campaign than other presidential campaigns.

Except it made the Trump campaign sound all the shadier, and/or working for/with Trump more complicated than working with other presidential candidates, which didn't sound like a compliment but some light shade at Trump and co.

I'm not saying that his justification is any good, but he did try to justify why he didn't remember a meeting where collusion with Russia was discussed, and where he, as a person of power in that situation, said "let's not pursue this any further."

AND following that forgettable meeting, he remembers that he then failed to inform any of the US intelligence agency about this potential contact with a foreign state.

In reflection, that final, bolded statement really undermines his own credibility with any of his prior statements. How can you remember not telling the FBI that you had a meeting to discuss collusion with Russia, when moments before you said you had largely forgotten that meeting until you had read the descriptions of the meetings from other people who were in that meeting?

If nothing else, this is all just more fodder for the next time Sessions is asked questions on the record.

If you missed this hearing, C-SPAN has more than 5 hours recorded, with the delightful URL "attorney-general-sessions-im-fan-wikileaks," except that quote is a comment in response to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin)'s line of questions:
Asked by Swalwell whether his current recollections contradicted his Senate testimony, he replied, “I’m prepared to answer the question, but I just will not answer it in a way that suggests that I misled.”

Swalwell also reminded Sessions that the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., has acknowledged that he communicated with WikiLeaks, which published emails that hackers had taken from Democratic campaign aides to injure Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

He declined to answer whether it was appropriate for the younger Trump to exchange messages with the group, which U.S. intelligence officials have said is a representative of hostile powers.

The president said during the campaign that he loved WikiLeaks and hoped it would release more anti-Clinton information.

Do you love WikiLeaks, Swalwell asked?

“I’m not a fan of WikiLeaks,” Sessions replied.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:56 PM on November 14 [17 favorites]


My guess is the Republicans just pass something which doesn't comply with the Byrd Rule and say fuck it. In which case next time the Dems have Congress + Presidency they should just pass whatever the fuck they want with 50 votes no matter what.
posted by Justinian at 1:02 PM on November 14 [12 favorites]


My guess is the Republicans just pass something which doesn't comply with the Byrd Rule and say fuck it.

This would be my bet too.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:10 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


I don't understand how repealing the individual mandate saves the government money? I mean, there is a small amount of tax gathered by the IRS from individuals who decline to purchase health insurance. Otherwise, the government doesn't spend anything (maybe enforcement?). This doesn't have to do with subsidizing premiums or anything like that?
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 1:14 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


His justification for not remembering meetings a mere 18 months ago, then upon prompting remembering that yes, he was in that meeting, and while there, he did indeed direct others to not pursue contact with Russia, was that no one else at the hearing had been part of a presidential campaign, and specifically the Trump campaign, which he mentioned as if to say that there was more going on with Trump's campaign than other presidential campaigns.

As pointed out on Twitter, we could hold a 5kkk charity run to raise money for research into Jeff's senility.
posted by Talez at 1:14 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


I don't understand how repealing the individual mandate saves the government money? I mean, there is a small amount of tax gathered by the IRS from individuals who decline to purchase health insurance. Otherwise, the government doesn't spend anything (maybe enforcement?). This doesn't have to do with subsidizing premiums or anything like that?

If the mandate isn't there people might not buy it and the vast majority of insurance on the individual market is subsidized. No people buying it = no money spent subsidizing.
posted by Talez at 1:15 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Right. It works like this:

Repeal individual mandate ---> fewer healthy people buy insurance
fewer healthy people buy insurance ---> insurance pools are much sicker
sicker insurance pools ---> much higher premiums
much higher premiums ---> even sick people stop buying insurance
many fewer people with insurance ---> government pays less in subsidies
PROFIT!!! (if you are rich already)
posted by Justinian at 1:18 PM on November 14 [21 favorites]


My guess is the Republicans just pass something which doesn't comply with the Byrd Rule and say fuck it.

This would be my bet too.


I don't think you can just ignore Senate rules.

Also, I don't think the Senate wants to ignore their rules. The rules give individual Senators more power than any other single elected official outside of the President. There's a reason why McConnell has preserved the filibuster even though it makes things harder for him.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:18 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Why not?
posted by agregoli at 1:19 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


You can vote to eliminate, amend, or grant an exception to the rules with 50(+1) votes.
posted by Justinian at 1:19 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Repeal individual mandate ---> fewer healthy people buy insurance
fewer healthy people buy insurance ---> insurance pools are much sicker
sicker insurance pools ---> much higher premiums
much higher premiums ---> even sick people stop buying insurance
many fewer people with insurance ---> government pays less in subsidies

Plus!
many fewer people with insurance ---> fewer live to collect Medicare
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:20 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


That's convenient since they are also cutting medicare if they add 1.5T to the debt because of the PAYGO rules.
posted by Justinian at 1:21 PM on November 14


Cutting Medicaid. Medicare is exempt from PAYGO. Funny how poor people get automatically screwed but not seniors, huh?
posted by zachlipton at 1:22 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Wooops. Bad Justinian no biscuit.
posted by Justinian at 1:23 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Justinian I doubt they'll do anything so honest as actually vote to change the rules. They'll just break the rules, and if anyone calls them on it they'll be deeply, DEEPLY, offended that anyone would suggest they're breaking the Senate rules.

The "liberal media" will report it as "some Democrats say the upcoming Tax Relief vote breaks Senate rules, but Republicans disagree, we now go to our panel of five hard right Republicans and one moderate Republican to discuss the issue".

Actually legitimately changing the rules would mean the Democrats, assuming we're ever permitted to win a majority again, would be able to use the new rules. Simply breaking the rules leaves them in place so they can get the spineless, Marque of Queensbury obsessed, Democrats to obey them.
posted by sotonohito at 1:23 PM on November 14 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, they've been telegraphing it for months with their public skepticism of the CBO. They'll just say the REAL NUMBERS say that teh deficit will be just fine once the job creators work their magic. This will make it not a violation or suspension of a rule, only a correction to the numbers those CBO nerds came up with.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:26 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


THIS ISN'T EVEN TRUE. Millennials have similar average job tenure compared to prior generations at the same ages.

It's really weird to see this re writing of history live. When I was a kid, in the late 70's early 80's, the constant talk was that there was no such thing as a steady job any more, and the middle class dream of getting a job and buying a house was gone. This was from endless articles, TV shows and adult advice. And it was true. I know few people my age that have ever had a steady job their whole lives, or bought a house before their late 30's or 40's.

But according to the internet we lived in Ozzie and Harriet. I don't know how this myth got traction.
posted by bongo_x at 1:36 PM on November 14 [37 favorites]


WaPo op-ed, Catherine Rampell, If the tax bill is so great, why does the GOP keep lying about it? In a just world, McConnell admitting to lying (er, "misspeaking") when he said the middle class would all get tax cuts, when in reality many people will see tax increases, would be a front page story nationwide.

Crooked Media, Brian Beutler, Donald Trump and the Russian Dog That Didn’t Bark:
Both of these tropes are misguided. As we await legal determinations about which Trump campaign officials and allies committed what crimes, we need simple and consistent language for discussing the political offense of conspiring or conniving or cooperating with a hostile foreign intelligence service to subvert an election, irrespective of its criminality. One of those other “C” words may seem less politically charged than “collusion,” but “collusion” is basically fine, and, more importantly, we are well-past the point at which it’s safe to say the Trump campaign did indeed collude with the Russians. We just don’t yet know the full extent of it.

The reluctance to state plainly that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government now verges on misinformation. Most news outlets will go no further than stating that the Trump campaign exhibited willingness to collude with Russia, but that smoking gun evidence of collusion remains elusive. To illustrate just how skewed an interpretation this is, it’s helpful to look back at episodes in recent history when stolen materials became matters of controversy in campaign politics.
NYT, Patricia Cohen, Haste on Tax Measures May Leave a Trail of Loopholes. In which rushing through a massive tax bill is a catastrophically bad idea, because nobody has time to analyze really these complex changes, and they're creating massive new loopholes. McCain says this is regular order though, so nothing matters.

Meduza, Oleg Kashin, When Russians stopped believing in the Western media. This is Kashin's op-ed for independent Russian media, translated into English, on how English media has covered Russia recently, arguing that Western media has been careless and shattered their remaining credibility in Russia. Well worth reading.

Jay Rosen, Pricing access to the Trump White House: the strange case of the Times social media policy. Broadly summarized: the Times is cracking down on its reporters' social media so it doesn't annoy the White House, they can continue to do its shitty access journalism, and Trump doesn't stop calling up Maggie Haberman.
posted by zachlipton at 1:38 PM on November 14 [37 favorites]


Bonus link: Rep. Louie Gohmert showed this chart at the Sessions hearing, arguing that, well I don't know the thing is a work of madness, something about Obama being awful. You have to see this thing.

Bonus bonus link: Steven Bradbury, who helped write the torture memos in 2005, was nominated to be General Counsel to the Department of Transportation. McCain and Paul are now opposed; it's unclear if they're going to let the nomination go down or have Pence cast a tie-breaking vote.

Bonus bonus bonus link: Confused about Medicaid cuts and PAYGO? I am, to the extent that I told Justinian the wrong thing a few minutes ago (hangs head in shame, I am very sorry). Tara Golshan explains it all.

I am done now. Thank you.
posted by zachlipton at 1:48 PM on November 14 [37 favorites]


In related news, NPR continues to piss me off with its coverage of current events. At the beginning of today's 4PM broadcast the teaser was for the proposed special counsel investigation into the Uranium One deal and contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

It's a very subtle spin, because if you listen to the full broadcast, the actual piece was fine, a fair assessment of the situation, but really? You're going to lead with Clinton instead of Session's testimony on Russia?
posted by jeremias at 1:51 PM on November 14 [24 favorites]


Bonus link: Rep. Louie Gohmert showed this chart at the Sessions hearing, arguing that, well I don't know the thing is a work of madness, something about Obama being awful. You have to see this thing.

That is... something else.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:53 PM on November 14 [12 favorites]


That Gohmert chart is one bad haircut away from being an "ALIENS" meme.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:55 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Rep. Louie Gohmert showed this chart at the Sessions hearing

That's going to be my new murder_wall.gif
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:55 PM on November 14 [13 favorites]


Yeah, I think the chart needed more red yarn and push pins.
posted by mosk at 1:57 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


All it's missing is BENGHAZI being in acrostic form. Someone really dropped the ball in his office. Acrostics=slam dunk.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:57 PM on November 14 [16 favorites]


Comey is a yellow diamond and a gray oval in different parts of the Gohmert chart, and I'm going to be up all night wondering what that means.

We also learn that Ben Rhodes is the person who links Barrack Obama to Barrack Obama, but at least Obama gets to be a gray oval in both places.
posted by zachlipton at 1:57 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Ghomert's chart is incomplete without making clear how PEPE SILVIA factors into the affair.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 1:58 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


That chart looks like a decal you'd find stuck to a little plastic TV screen in a Playmobil 'Business Meeting' playset meant to indicate a slide from an important PowerPoint presentation.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:59 PM on November 14 [58 favorites]


In related news, NPR continues to piss me off with its coverage of current events. At the beginning of today's 4PM broadcast the teaser was for the proposed special counsel investigation into the Uranium One deal and contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

I considered and rejected participating in their last fund drive because of their coverage--too many questions without follow ups, acting as if Donald Trump isn't a raging lunatic and we aren't living in an upsidedowniverse. I don't need expect them to run around shrieking 'are you fucking kidding me?' (I'll cover that part!) but I do need them to understand the grave seriousness of the situation and they seem to be covering it as if the worst thing in the world would be for them to question the mental capacity of the president of the United States. As if it would be impolite.

The worst thing is he's a fucking lunatic, and that's already where we are.

I subscribed to WaPo.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:01 PM on November 14 [27 favorites]


I was like, don't look the chart, don't look at the chart, and then I went and looked at the chart. I was out of all sorts of evens, but apparently I had some chart-related evens to lose.
posted by angrycat at 2:02 PM on November 14 [33 favorites]


See also: any MeFi thread from 2006, 2008, and even 2012 expressing excitement over the always-imminent "fracturing" of the GOP. How accurate were those predictions?

Well, given that they ended up with Donald J. Trump as their presidential candidate, and given that even with control of the executive and comfortable majorities in both houses of the legislature they still can't seem get their agenda through due to irreconcilable differences between intraparty factions, and given that prominent party members are openly feuding with other while others blatantly opine that their motivation for passing certain legislation is to keep the big donations coming ... I guess I'd say not entirely inaccurate?
posted by contraption at 2:02 PM on November 14 [10 favorites]


Dear lord. If you poured manure into one end of that chart, you could get clean potable water out the other. And the two ends are the same thing. It’s just...I mean...There are no evens left to can.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:03 PM on November 14 [12 favorites]


Amateur hour stuff. The space devoted to the duplicate Comeys and Susans Rice could have been used for Roy Moore's accusers.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:04 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


still can't seem get their agenda through

Only because it turned into a massive shitfight. They only need one vote going their way for it to all go through.
posted by Talez at 2:07 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Bonus link: Rep. Louie Gohmert showed this chart at the Sessions hearing, arguing that, well I don't know the thing is a work of madness, something about Obama being awful. You have to see this thing.
There… there’s no direct link between Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton on that chart.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:15 PM on November 14 [65 favorites]


There… there’s no direct link between Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton on that chart.

they only have contact via email server
they only express their love by having hits put on each other's enemies
AND we'd have proof if all the emails hadn't been deleted
posted by halation at 2:17 PM on November 14 [32 favorites]


There are two ovals labeled “Obama,” and Ben Rhodes is connected to both of them.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:20 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Steven Bradbury, who helped write the torture memos in 2005, was nominated to be General Counsel to the Department of Transportation. McCain and Paul are now opposed; it's unclear if they're going to let the nomination go down or have Pence cast a tie-breaking vote.

Or they can just confirm him anyway. Yet another thing that should be a scandal in its own right, that we'll all just move on from, like school shootings are now.
posted by zachlipton at 2:20 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Most news outlets will go no further than stating that the Trump campaign exhibited willingness to collude with Russia, but that smoking gun evidence of collusion remains elusive. To illustrate just how skewed an interpretation this is, it’s helpful to look back at episodes in recent history

Yes. Corporate news controls information to feed profits, not public good, and Trump is the latest glory. We will continue this fucked up spiral until they get their shit straight. For the record, as we know, this seriously borks democracy. NYT and WaPo, for whatever good they do, got us here with this act.

NPR, what's wrong with you. What happened to you?
posted by petebest at 2:24 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


i mean, i'm not sure what anyone's expecting from louie gohmert? a brainless slime mold has more integrity, intellect, and sense than anything gohmert expels out of mono-orficed digestive/respiratory tract

i'd even wager to say that trump has more brains in his below-average-sized... finger than all gohmerts in all multiverses combined
posted by anem0ne at 2:24 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


There… there’s no direct link between Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton on that chart.

Yes! Accurately connoting the longstanding right-wing shibboleth that theirs is a SHAM MARRIAGE.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:27 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Joint letter from all the medical groups* saying don't mess with the mandate.

(you may be having deja vu from a few months ago)

* America's Health Insurance Plans
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Hospital Association
American Medical Association
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Federation of American Hospitals
posted by Chrysostom at 2:28 PM on November 14 [23 favorites]


Yes! Accurately connoting the longstanding right-wing shibboleth that theirs is a SHAM MARRIAGE.

what's weird is that there's also no direct link between HRC and Huma Abedin, given that the bizarro-world shibboleth corollary is that they are SECRET LOVERS because FEMINIST DEPRAVITY OBVIOUSLY
posted by halation at 2:31 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


[A few deleted; not every piece of bad news in the US has to appear in this thread. People can go read news websites if they want updates on every bad event.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:33 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


That chart looks like a decal you'd find stuck to a little plastic TV screen in a Playmobil 'Business Meeting' playset meant to indicate a slide from an important PowerPoint presentation.

Which is exactly what registers as legit to Trump and Gohmert's base. I can never tell if people like Gohmert are as dumb as their base, or smart enough to just seem smart to their dumbass base. In any other timeline, I'd assume seeming as dumb as their base was political suicide, but...
posted by Rykey at 2:34 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]


What is the requisite number of shibboleths one must observe to make a batshit flowchart real for the right wing? Do you have to get them all? Is there a certain threshold?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:34 PM on November 14 [10 favorites]


What is the requisite number of shibboleths one must observe to make a batshit flowchart real for the right wing? Do you have to get them all? Is there a certain threshold?

Call me when you hit MK ULTRA and/or "cheese pizza." (I guess those are sliiiiightly different flavors of rightwing fucknuttery.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:41 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


I love that Rod Rosenstein is on the chart, but the President who (in theory) hand-picked him is not on the chart.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:43 PM on November 14


Hm, didn't catch this when it apparently happened yesterday:

Protesters disrupt U.S. fossil, nuclear event at climate talks in Germany
Protesters drowned out speeches by White House advisers and business representatives Monday at an event the U.S. government sponsored at the U.N. climate talks in Germany promoting the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

About 200 protesters stood up 10 minutes into the event and began singing an anti-coal song to the tune of "God Bless the U.S.A."
posted by Rykey at 2:46 PM on November 14 [17 favorites]


NPR, what's wrong with you. What happened to you?

They've been terrified of losing funding after they rightfully canned Juan Williams and Republicans started grumbling about defunding them.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:49 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


That chart somehow reminds me of a panel of Family Circus where there is a path that little Billy takes around the neighborhood doing a bunch of random, unconnected things and the only thing that connects the things are little Billy's childish whims
posted by angrycat at 2:50 PM on November 14 [42 favorites]


They've been terrified of losing funding after they rightfully canned Juan Williams and Republicans started grumbling about defunding them.

don't they have more money than god now thanks to the late missus kroc?
posted by entropicamericana at 2:51 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


I love that Rod Rosenstein is on the chart, but the President who (in theory) hand-picked him is not on the chart.

I wondered about that, too. Hmm. Maybe there's just some special something about that man's name that made Gohmert feel it would be a perfect fit for his Chilling Chart o' Conspiracy?
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:58 PM on November 14 [18 favorites]


Susan Rice is on there twice.
So is the Obama State Department.
How come DOJ gets a shield but State and Defense don't?
Hillary Clinton isn't connected to Hillary Clinton Emails.
Mueller is connected to Hillary Clinton Secret Server twice.
There are also two Muellers.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:00 PM on November 14 [37 favorites]


What is Fast & Furious on that chart? Please tell me it's a movie reference.
posted by greermahoney at 3:07 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


It's a scandal involving the ATF and guns and the Mexican border. They called it F&F because the central figures were in a car racing club or something.
posted by Justinian at 3:10 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Wiki on F&F.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:10 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Fast and Furious was that brilliant ATF plan to send a whole whack of guns to Mexico and track them, but they forgot to switch the trackers on.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:11 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


"Fast & Furious" was a spectacularly ill-advised operation DOJ ran in order to try and track illegally sold guns that investigators believed were being funneled to Mexican drug cartels by allowing the illegal sales to go forward and then tracking the movement of the weapons into Mexico. Problem was that (a) this relied on tracking the movement of specific guns through an organized crime network, which proved to be quite difficult; and (b) while DOJ was letting these guns percolate through the cartels, they were shooting people whose deaths were then at least partially attributable to this investigation. One of the people thus shot was a US Border Patrol agent, and that's how you get a scandal.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:11 PM on November 14 [21 favorites]


Wiki on F&F

Man, it was sorta great when they totally disconnected with reality somewhere in F&F3:Tokyo Drift. You can spot where the producers, directors, and writers said, "Fuck it..."
posted by mikelieman at 3:15 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


So. Howabout that big announcement, eh? Man that was wild.

I think they're just going with the snap-on hair now.
posted by petebest at 3:25 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


There are also two Muellers

This was the ill-fated third feature in the Chinatown movie trilogy (Chinatown; The Two Jakes ; The Two Muellers). I think it got as far as being story-boarded, but then the studio killed it.
posted by mosk at 3:26 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


(Someone already made the Pepe Silva comment because someone always beats me to that so I have edited this.)

Did we ever find out what Trump's bigly announcement was about? The one he mentioned on Twitter?
posted by asteria at 3:26 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Ugh that is just petty fucking nonsense (flag size and rules for flying thereof) that proves he is there for reasons other than working to make the Dept. of Interior work as well as possible.

That, but also he's got it all backwards. Less is more. You don't want to get a thousand phone calls to show you're important, you want to get none (you have people for that.) You don't want your title on your business card to be all Supreme Division Commander, Executive Branch, bullshit bullshit; that's for people that need to specify. You want something understated like "Department of Interior" and everyone can just fucking know you mean ALL of it. You don't want a ridiculous flashy-blinks Las Vegas uniform like Generalissimo Clarke, you want no uniform. Plain suit. (Even better, business cas, because F you, I wear what I want.) No big-ass flag. When you're important, people either know you're in the building or not, that's their problem.

His big attempts to look impressive just signal to everyone he's middle-tier.
posted by ctmf at 3:31 PM on November 14 [50 favorites]




ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 House:
-- Mentioned upthread PPP poll shows Dems performing very well in a group of swing-to-reach districts. They had polled a separate group of swing districts last month; you can't draw direct comparisons since they weren't the same districts, but last month the races were much closer.

-- New generic ballot polls:
* Quinnipiac: Dems +13
* Ipsos: Dems +10
* Marist: Dems +15
538 generic average is Dems +11.3. The understanding is that +10 would make Dems feel pretty solid about flipping. Nate Silver's back of the envelope for +15 is 50-70 seats flip (Dems need to pick up 23 seats). We also note in passing that that PPP poll had strong negatives for Paul Ryan.

-- Gonzales meets with 16 Dem candidates, finds them generally impressive.
** Odds & ends:
-- That Quinnipiac poll shows Trump approval at 35/58, near his record low.

-- TNR piece on Ben Jealous, MD gubernatorial candidate. It's got a lot of "whither the NAACP?" (Jealous was head until 2013), but of general interest.

-- Interesting developments in PA, where Braddock mayor John Fetterman has thrown his hat in the ring for lieutenant governor (In PA, there is a separate primary for LG, then the LG and governor run as a ticket). You might remember Fetterman for his primary run for Senate last year, and for stuff like being on Bourdain's show. He's a self-described socialist but with a gritty vibe that could play well in rural areas (Braddock is near Pittsburgh). Governor Wolf is favored next year, but Fetterman could really bring some juice to the ticket.
=> Reminder, three special elections in OK tonight, plus ABQ mayor. Results this evening.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:39 PM on November 14 [37 favorites]


Oh, I forgot to tell you folks about my latest project. It's a stupid internet thing that is of no value to society whatsoever, and I'm very pleased with it.

Announcing @NotEvenAWiki. It's just a Twitter bot that retweets everyone who points out that WikiLeaks isn't even a real wiki. That's it. Nothing more than needling Julian Assange for running a fake wiki. But sometimes you just have to take a stand.
posted by zachlipton at 3:39 PM on November 14 [50 favorites]


He said the announcement would be when he gets back to DC, and that doesn't happen until 10:45 tonight.
posted by diogenes at 3:40 PM on November 14


10:45 tonight? Just in time for the Colbert writers to do an update.
posted by jointhedance at 3:46 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Hoo boy that chart. Looks like Gohmert is trying to communicate with the Upside Down.
posted by Lyme Drop at 3:51 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Guys, he said the date and time were TBA. It probably won't be tonight. Who the fuck knows with this guy though.
posted by Justinian at 3:51 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


We also note in passing that that PPP poll had strong negatives for Paul Ryan.

If Paul Ryan loses his suburban! seat I'll do a happy dance.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:54 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Are we seriously falling for the "Donald Trump will give a major announcement" BS that gave us so much primetime cable news footage of an empty podium during the campaign?
posted by J.K. Seazer at 3:55 PM on November 14 [15 favorites]


It's just a Twitter bot that retweets everyone who points out that WikiLeaks isn't even a real wiki.

He just picked it because it was a buzzword with vaguely positive connotations? Like if he started 10 years earlier it'd have been eLeaks? If he's started it 30 years earlier it'd have been Leak-o-tron?
posted by leotrotsky at 3:57 PM on November 14 [15 favorites]


Guys, he said the date and time were TBA. It probably won't be tonight. Who the fuck knows with this guy though.

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that it would happen tonight. I was just pointing out that he wasn't even back yet.
posted by diogenes at 3:57 PM on November 14


Right, he's gonna drag it out and then it could be anything from opening a new golf course in Japan to pre-emptive military strikes on North Korea. Or it could get cancelled.
posted by Justinian at 3:58 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Are we seriously falling for the "Donald Trump will give a major announcement" BS

A little bit I guess, but it doesn't really matter. Trump is permanently camped out in my brain regardless.
posted by diogenes at 3:59 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


He just picked it because it was a buzzword with vaguely positive connotations? Like if he started 10 years earlier it'd have been eLeaks? If he's started it 30 years earlier it'd have been Leak-o-tron?

And, were he starting it today, it'd be called the Leakchain.
posted by acb at 4:01 PM on November 14 [18 favorites]


5 years ago it'd have been Lkr.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:04 PM on November 14 [22 favorites]


Like if he started 10 years earlier it'd have been eLeaks?

And if he'd started 7 years before that his handlers could have gotten him a .su account.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:12 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


The only correct response to that chart.

Update: some hero Charlie-fied the chart.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:14 PM on November 14 [20 favorites]


Wikileaks was a wiki when it started.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:19 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


wicki leakers leak
wiki leaks leaky wikis
it's the leaky wickis
wicki leakers leak
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:27 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


It's clear that if any of the principles Murkowski, Collins, and McCain spoke about in the health care votes are real they will kill the Senate version of the tax bill.

I expect it to pass.
posted by Justinian at 4:31 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Me too. Bloomberg's take on the state of play is a good read.

Murkowski and Collins are worried about premiums, but offering them Alexander-Murray in a separate vote may help get them to yes, maybe. And the pressure on them if they're blocking not just healthcare but all of taxes will be enormous.

So, um, call your reps, please.

Oh, and one rep wants changes to protect the precious tax-exempt bonds for the Texas Rangers (the House bill, interestingly enough, imposes federal taxes on stadium bonds).
posted by zachlipton at 4:41 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: I was like, don't look the chart, don't look at the chart, and then I went and looked at the chart.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 4:45 PM on November 14 [23 favorites]


Oh those Rangers; I was thinking policing was financed by bonds and was like Whoa, that's f'd up.
posted by Mitheral at 4:46 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Can we set up like a gofundme to emotionally support whatever poor staffer was tasked with making that chart and thereby becoming a lifelong laughingstock?

Or legend, I guess.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:48 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


were he starting it today, it'd be called the Leakchain

"CryptoMiners", probably.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 4:48 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


What precisely is the point of Alexander-Murray if you've already busted the marketplace by repealing the mandate? It seems like that would be even more expensive since the subsidies you'd have to pay for the people who remain would be so large.
posted by Justinian at 5:07 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


If they repeal the mandate I would encourage all Democratic senators to vote no on any "compromise" on health care in the future which does not re-impose the mandate. The Republicans own health care, don't let them try to postpone the reckoning.
posted by Justinian at 5:08 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


I loved the chart, personally. I just pretended it was a subway map of Obamatown.

The dotted line between Eric Holder Circle and Loretta Lynch Circle is, of course, a hyperloop
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:12 PM on November 14 [13 favorites]


Reference for all you young 'uns, to better appreciate what Atom Eye just did there.
posted by Mchelly at 5:12 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Oh, and one rep wants changes to protect the precious tax-exempt bonds for the Texas Rangers

Well given that Texas Rangers baseball is essentially a proxy for Tha Dubz, it'll be interesting to see how the Dub-shat-upon react to that request.

Incidentally, that article zachliptonlex linked says the Rangers' new stadium is expected to cost one-Billion-with-a-goddamned-B dollars. America's priorities are a joke.
posted by petebest at 5:14 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


I know, right? You could make like 10 high school football stadiums for that.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:16 PM on November 14


Funny, I would have thought bread would be more cost-effective than circuses.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 5:19 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Money's no object.
posted by kingless at 5:24 PM on November 14


Metafilter: I was like, don't look the chart, don't look at the chart, and then I went and looked at the chart.

If you looked at the chart you have seven days to show it to someone else, or Louis Gohmert will climb out of the internet and then you get added as a circle on the chart.
posted by um at 5:38 PM on November 14 [71 favorites]


So, there was a quick dismissal of that Buzzfeed story about Russian money sent to their embassies for "2016 elections." But Ben Wittes (the tick tick tick guy) points out that there may be something there - Citi reported them to the FBI as suspicious, and the FBI at least found it worthwhile following up on.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:39 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Tonight’s Twitter HQ projection, along with a call to ban Trump.

The guy who does this has been at it at least weekly lately.
posted by zachlipton at 6:21 PM on November 14 [16 favorites]


Man, the tax bill was horribad already and now they’ve gone and stuffed an individual mandate repeal into it?

I’m scared what tomorrow will bring.
posted by notyou at 6:31 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


ELECTION RESULT

GOP HOLD in OK Senate 45, 57-43. District was Trump 67-27 and Romney 70-30.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:32 PM on November 14 [19 favorites]


I feel like these charts are a glimpse into the alternate universe Fox is beaming from. We know Hillary is president and has been since 2016 at least. But she may have been president before that, maybe in power-sharing triumvirate with Bill and Obama where they take turns being Augustus? Unclear.

The reason Hillary and Bill are never connected directly to each other in either chart is that in this universe they may not be married any longer. Maybe they never married and Hillary married someone else with name Clinton?

I think the next chart will really blow the mystery of Earth 1 wide open.
posted by asteria at 6:47 PM on November 14 [13 favorites]


I feel like these charts are a glimpse into the alternate universe Fox is beaming from. We know Hillary is president...

HOW DO I GET THERE?
posted by Behemoth at 6:50 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Portal gun.

Or, a fifth of scotch and a handful of shrooms.



I kid, I kid.
posted by darkstar at 6:54 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]


If we figure out where the timelines diverged, we can get there!

(The other chart I mention being Sean Hannity's.)
posted by asteria at 6:57 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


Wait, so Hillary and George Clinton are married in the real timeline?? This groupon I got really fuckin blows.
posted by riverlife at 7:05 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

Dem GAIN for mayor of Albuquerque, NM.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:05 PM on November 14 [53 favorites]


Something of a nailbiter, I think, in OK-37 state senator race.
posted by lalex at 7:08 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


and upon refresh it looks like the Democrat...won? in OK SD-37.
posted by lalex at 7:09 PM on November 14 [25 favorites]


lalex, if you are going to steal my links, I shall have to ask you to step outside.

Yeah, final in SD-37:

Dem 1967
Rep 1894

This was a Trump 67-27 and for Romney 69-31 district that the old rep won 56-40 last fall.

Off to google Oklahoma recount laws.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:16 PM on November 14 [33 favorites]


wait wait wait, two precincts are showing out still
posted by Chrysostom at 7:16 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


lalex, if you are going to steal my links, I shall have to ask you to step outside.

I just saw it on Twitter! I beg for your forgiveness.
posted by lalex at 7:23 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


538 breaks down the voting blocks in the House GOP & which Reps could save us from the tax bill. We need 23 of them to break assuming all Dems hold fast. These House Republicans Could Cause Problems For The Tax Bill.
posted by scalefree at 7:24 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


(100% kidding, of course!)
posted by Chrysostom at 7:24 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Now it's 27 precincts reporting, still Dem ahead.
posted by nat at 7:26 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


(100% kidding, of course!)

I know ;) Quick, tell them how much Trump won SD-37 by!
posted by lalex at 7:27 PM on November 14


I guess the Dem has declared victory, but the state website still shows one precinct out, so I'm going to hold on a few.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:27 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Republicans in the VA House-28 want to throw away 55 soldiers’ absentee ballots because a staffer picked them up from a PO box on Wednesday. rather than Tuesday.

Republican Bob Thomas leads by 84 votes.

Republicans hate democracy, that is an absolutely inarguable fact.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:28 PM on November 14 [55 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

GOP HOLD in OK House 76, 68-32. District went for Trump 65-30 and Romney 71-29.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:29 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


So like, I can't say I like Pete King (R-NY), but I'm also not gonna complain about this:

"From Sandy aid to tax reform @MickMulvaneyOMB tries to screw New York. Probably feels inferior because New York subsidizes his state of South Carolina."
posted by lalex at 7:30 PM on November 14 [18 favorites]


Even if the Democrat loses that Oklahoma 37 race (seriously, 51-49 in Oklahoma?), the GOP should be shaking in its boots.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:30 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


On that VA HD-28, you may want to look at tweets tonight from VA Dem political strategist Ben Tribbett. Sounds like there's some complications here.

Also, note that the Stafford County BOE is 2-1 Dems.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:32 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Pete King is an absolute garbage human being, and every time I think about him, I want to gag.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:32 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


FelliniBlank: "Even if the Democrat loses that Oklahoma 37 race (seriously, 51-49 in Oklahoma?), the GOP should be shaking in its boots."

If she holds on, it will be the 4th Dem flip in OK this year.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:33 PM on November 14 [13 favorites]


Pete King is an absolute garbage human being

I KNOW BUT THAT WAS A PRETTY SICK BURN
posted by lalex at 7:34 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]




*hums Pinky & The Brain theme* Yeeeeessssssssss, soon enough, we'll be renaming it the People's Republic of Tornadostan.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:36 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Senate just dropped the revised tax bill (PDF) at 10:30 at night. Some changes:
-individual mandate repeal
-permanent 20% corp rate
-passthru changes
-Child Tax Credit to $2000
-rates on middle brackets inch down
Technically, the individual mandate still exists, but the amount you pay for not having insurance is reduced to $0. As with previous versions, many tax cuts for individuals sunset after a few years, while the corporate cuts persist.
posted by zachlipton at 7:37 PM on November 14 [13 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

Dem GAIN in OK Senate 37, 50-50. District went for Trump 67-27 and for Romney 69-31.

Dem 2234
Rep 2203

A cursory look at Oklahoma recount laws seems to indicate the loser can ask for a recount at will, see what happens.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:37 PM on November 14 [39 favorites]


Oooh, I didn't realize OK 37 was half of Tulsa and the western suburbs (and West Tulsa is usually the most conservative Bible thumper part of the city. It's like going back in time when crossing the Arkansas River). I'm so rarely proud of my hometown. But tonight I'm smiling.
posted by downtohisturtles at 7:38 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


That's a brutal result for the Republicans in the OK Senate.

I'm surprised the Senate's bill qualifies under Byrd even with the mandate repeal with a permanent 20% corp rate. Unless they really are just gonna ignore the rules.
posted by Justinian at 7:39 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


OK Dem results tonight vs Clinton results:

HD-76 +2
SD-45 +16
SD-37 +23

And the ABQ mayoral was a romp, as well. Well over the Dem registration advantage in the city.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:42 PM on November 14 [13 favorites]


Oh. Virtually all of the individual rate cuts and deductions are sunset. Only the corp rate cut is permanent. L-O-fucking-L.
posted by Justinian at 7:47 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


More Senate tax bill lowlights from Richard Rubin, including:
The bill would set the individual tax cuts, including the repeal of the alternative minimum tax and the higher standard deduction, to expire on Dec. 31, 2025. That could let Republicans meet a deficit test to pass the bill without Democratic votes. But Democrats will pounce on the contrast between permanent corporate rate cuts and temporary individual cuts.
All the individual cuts are gone in a few years (except for, say, the estate tax, which only helps millionaires). Corporate tax cuts last forever.
posted by zachlipton at 7:49 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]


All right, the bottom line summary of the Senate's tax bill is that it raises taxes on much of the middle class and blows up the individual health insurance marketplace in order to fund a permanent cut in the corporate tax rate to 20%. That's it. That's the bill.
posted by Justinian at 7:49 PM on November 14 [54 favorites]


> Virtually all of the individual rate cuts and deductions are sunset. Only the corp rate cut is permanent. L-O-fucking-L.

And don't miss:
> Child Tax Credit to $2000.
> Permanent repeal of the Estate tax.

Why do Republicans hate middle class families with kids? Why are they making the upper middle class pay for tax cuts for corporations and billionaires?

How on earth are they expecting to pass this mess?
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:51 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


The 1% own 50.1% of the world's wealth per Credit Suisse (link goes to NY Post)
posted by petebest at 7:55 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Get out your protestin' thumb and dial the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 tomorrow morning.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:55 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


I believe the estate tax cuts sunset as well. Seriously, virtually everything except the corp tax rate cut and the child tax credit thing expires on 12/31/25 AFAIK.
posted by Justinian at 7:55 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


How on earth are they expecting to pass this mess?

I believe they are expecting to pass this mess by getting 50 yes votes + Pence in the Senate. I believe they are correct.
posted by Justinian at 7:56 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


That's it. That's the bill.

Oh cmon, they also repeal the Johnson Amendment and and define personhood!
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:57 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Yes, Jared the Subway sandwich pedo is declaring himself a sovereign citizen

Also that he didn't travel over state lines for the PURPOSE of committing the crime, he just happened to be traveling for another reason WHEN he committed the crime, so the federal court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to convict him. "pro se" - that explains it.
posted by ctmf at 7:58 PM on November 14


(The other chart I mention being Sean Hannity's.)

DysPepsi Blue. The Twitter caption contest is pretty choice, though.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:59 PM on November 14


Here's the JCT Score on it. Net total for the 10-year budget window is -$1.4T, which blows the deficit the hell up, but it's less than the -$1.5T they gave themselves to pass under reconciliation. That's before the interest costs that result from the aforementioned blowing the deficit up.

I still think they pass it, but the mind-boggling stupidity of attaching healthcare to it is the one thing that makes me think it could all blow up. Please call your reps in the morning.
posted by zachlipton at 8:01 PM on November 14 [23 favorites]


How on earth are they expecting to pass this mess
Their donors are in revolt, and it’s increasingly looking like they might not be able to pass anything after the 2018 elections. They need to pass something or the pretty, pretty Koch money dries up, so they’re going to try to pass it, no matter how unpopular it may be. I really hope I’m wrong, but I think this atrocity has a chance of passing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:04 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "Republicans in the VA House-28 want to throw away 55 soldiers’ absentee ballots because a staffer picked them up from a PO box on Wednesday. rather than Tuesday.

Republican Bob Thomas leads by 84 votes.

Republicans hate democracy, that is an absolutely inarguable fact.
"

So, that's a story that seems pretty misleading:

* Thomas leads by 82 votes after the provisionals were gone through today.
* It is not clear how many of the 55 are from military people (not that that is actually relevant).
* The count here is Stafford County. Stafford has multiple Delegate districts in it, it is not clear how many of these votes would be for HD-28.
* The BOE for Stafford is two Democrats, one Republican.
* There seems to be some legit lack of clarity on when the ballots in question arrived, according to a Democratic state senator. The board seemed to realize that they may have screwed up, but felt that state law did not leave them the flexibility to count the votes at this point.


To be clear, I'm not saying the board made the correct decision, necessarily. But I don't think we've got a clear moustache twirling case of villainy here. Nor do I think it's clear that it would swing the race, even if (unlikely) all the ballots were in HD-28, and (unlikely) all of them voted for the Democrat Cole.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:05 PM on November 14 [12 favorites]


So my guess on Trump's major statement from the WH upon his return is that he's going to call off the whole Russian interference investigation because he asked Putin and Putin said he didn't interfere, so he's solved the matter. Runner up is that he's firing Jeffy.
posted by perhapses at 8:06 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


NYT: Steve Louro, a Republican donor who hosted an event for Donald J. Trump at his Long Island home last year, abruptly quit his post as regional finance chairman for the state’s Republican Party on Tuesday over objections to the Republican-led tax bill advancing through Congress.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:12 PM on November 14 [19 favorites]


Well, at least he looked like rumpled dogshit when walking across the WH lawn from Marine One earlier tonight getting home.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


One of the worst parts of the tax bill is that they switch the individual rates to be indexed to the chained CPI (a slower rate of inflation). That's going to hit squarely at the middle class.

I, for one, cannot wait to see the distributional tables CBO puts out on this (tables showing how much of the cuts/increases go to different income levels). They're going to be hideous.
posted by zachlipton at 8:16 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


How on earth are they expecting to pass this mess

They must not be expecting to, or it's a piece of "hey, we tried!" political theater? I mean, they took an irredeemably awful, economy-trashing bill that nobody in the populace and precious few factions in the GOP Congress can support and then . . . made it even worse by adding back in the thing that already previously made large swaths of the general public shoot death rays and flames out of their eyes in the direction of the Capitol.

They had to have seen the poll numbers on the amount of people in Virginia last week who voted specifically on preserving health care. This just seems more self-destructive than every other self-destructive thing they've already done this year. I guess they truly believe that between the gerrymander and the bags of donor dollars, they cannot lose, despite all the recent evidence to the contrary.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:17 PM on November 14 [10 favorites]


Please call your reps in the morning.

I call about something just about every day. It's been a hell of a long day today though, and now it's late; hope me with a starter script?
posted by perspicio at 8:17 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


The evil genius in their plan is this; they sunset all the individual rate cuts and the increases in deductions but make the corp rates permanent. That allows them to claim it doesn't increase the deficit in the out years and thus passes the Byrd rule. Then, if the Democrats in 2024 or whatever don't vote to make the rate cuts for individuals permanent, which destroys the national debt worse than this bill, the Republicans will scream and scream that Democrats are raising taxes on the middle class by not extending the Republican cuts when the sunsets were necessary not to explode the deficit!
posted by Justinian at 8:19 PM on November 14 [9 favorites]


They must not be expecting to, or it's a piece of "hey, we tried!" political theater?

I wish I had your guys optimism. I think they are gonna ram it through no matter the cost.
posted by Justinian at 8:20 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


> Then, if the Democrats in 2024 or whatever don't vote to make the rate cuts for individuals permanent, which destroys the national debt worse than this bill, the Republicans will scream and scream that Democrats are raising taxes on the middle class by not extending the Republican cuts when the sunsets were necessary not to explode the deficit!

It's like deja vu all over again.
But these articles almost never explain why the Bush tax cuts are expiring. The answer is pretty obvious—they're expiring because the law was written with a sunset provision in place. But why do that? It seems like an obvious question to ask. But reporters tend not to ask it because everyone who follows American politics closely thinks that we already know. The tax cuts were written with a sunset in place in order to disguise their true cost in a 10-year budget window. But as far as I know, the authors never actually said that on the record and still haven't said it today. But it seems like a natural issue to raise. After all, if the tax cuts only looked prudent because of scoring window games that constitutes a strong prima facie case for scaling them down.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:22 PM on November 14 [19 favorites]


I’m saying that as a middle-income American, I’m happy to pay my fair share of taxes, but I find it really galling that this bill would raise the taxes of people like me to give a tax cut to millionaires and billionaires, and I hope my reps will remember that they represent their constituents, not their donors, and vote against it. It’s not much of a script, but I think it gets the job done.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:24 PM on November 14 [37 favorites]


I wish I had your guys optimism. I think they are gonna ram it through no matter the cost.

Well, they're going to try, like they did with all the other 2017 bullshit. Possibly they'll succeed. But coming up with a total Screw You Suburbs bill like this nonsense in light of the recent Virginia vengeful voting demographics is indicative of a (perhaps unconscious) death wish. As pissed as the electorate already is, how do they not get eviscerated over this in 2018?
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:25 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


By cheatin'.
posted by perspicio at 8:28 PM on November 14 [12 favorites]


On that VA HD-28, you may want to look at tweets tonight from VA Dem political strategist Ben Tribbett. Sounds like there's some complications here.

There's a very good piece of advice in some of his tweets on this:
By the way, I hear more ballots than the difference in HD-94 have arrived since election day and will go uncounted- because House Dem Caucus was pushing absentee voting so late in cycle that some Dem voters didn't get ballots back in time.

[...]

The lesson from this is you should never push mail absentee within two weeks of election day- at that point in person absentee only.
More ballots than the difference! This could have gone another way with better strategy!
posted by jason_steakums at 8:30 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


A) True, that was dumb, and b) the HD-94 margin is 10 votes. That definitely could still flip in the recount.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:33 PM on November 14


I just think it's a neat note, you don't think about the difference that kind of timing can make if you haven't been into the nuts and bolts of GOTV efforts. Little notes like that can make a big difference, especially in small local races to build the Dem back bench!
posted by jason_steakums at 8:35 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


I think in the past, Democrats assumed their voters were less likely to get to the polls, and that might not be true this time, because there’s so much more enthusiasm on the Dem side. It’s possible they’ll need to rethink their strategy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:39 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI and Law Enforcement has arrived.

Uh, I think something got stuck in his drafts folder and he just accidentally posted it upon arriving home, grammatical error and all.
posted by zachlipton at 8:40 PM on November 14 [17 favorites]


Oh, hey, we also picked up a seat on Albuquerque City Council.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:44 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


Some people on twitter (not randos) think that with all the sunsets and the chained CPI, when this bill is scored either nearly all or ALL individuals will be scored as having a tax increase in 2027.

So this Senate bill may well increase taxes on 100% of Americans in order to fund permanent corporate tax cuts.
posted by Justinian at 8:44 PM on November 14 [19 favorites]


Jesus... I know it's tiring, but imagine if Obama had done that.
posted by codacorolla at 8:44 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


zachlipton: Uh, I think something got stuck in his drafts folder and he just accidentally posted it upon arriving home, grammatical error and all.

He posted a similar one after it. I think these are various tweet options that his staff composed for him while he was overseas and he's accidentally posting them instead of deleting them.
posted by bluecore at 8:55 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI and Law Enforcement has arrived.

I know that it has been said many times before and will no doubt be said many more times before this is all said and done, but the man is so, so, so, so, so unbelievably stupid.
posted by vverse23 at 8:58 PM on November 14 [40 favorites]




From that Omarosa article linked above - which is worth the read! (emphasis mine)
Ultimately, in my quest to better understand what, exactly, Omarosa does each day, I learned little more than the fact that she was getting married. I reached out to then deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders to find out more about the bridal luncheon—whether it was normal, in the middle of a workday, for a staffer to use the White House for a personal event? Did taxpayers, or Omarosa herself foot the bill?

“I have no idea… I will try to track her down,” Sanders responded. On Friday, a senior White House official emailed: “She did not have a bridal lunch but did invite her bridesmaids to have lunch with her in the navy mess which all commissioned officers are allowed to do.”
How is a "bridesmaids lunch" NOT a "bridal luncheon"? I know there's a ton of flaming garbage going on, but it's this stuff, paying someone to do nothing(?), making up bullshit distinctions, etc that are driving me bananas. We are PAYING this person!! I laughed literally for about a minute straight at this insanity, only to keep from crying.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:00 PM on November 14 [39 favorites]


A. Are the FBI and Law Enforcement agents of God? Discuss.
B. Are the FBI and Law Enforcement a singular entity? Discuss.
C. If they have arrived, does it negate the bad things? Discuss.
posted by perhapses at 9:02 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


bluecore: He posted a similar one after it.

Correction: the one he tweeted now is very similar to the one he tweeted the day of the mass shooting (11/5), although I do believe they're both options sent from his staff - the cadence doesn't match his own and has too many commas. Ugh, I hate trying to read the tea leaves of Presidential tweets.
posted by bluecore at 9:04 PM on November 14


Covfefe leaves
posted by Burhanistan at 9:06 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Kremlinology, but about a moron.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:07 PM on November 14 [10 favorites]


I think we just felt the shockwave from America's collective cringe here in Halifax. All the windows just broke and ships have inexplicably lost buoyancy.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 9:07 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


this is probably right, from @oufenix: "Wrong state, you MORON. This is ANOTHER mass shooting! This time at an elementary school in California. 5 dead. Focus, you nitwit."

To be fair when you have so many mass shootings it's fairly easy to get confused about which one is the latest.

Which is a sad reflection on this country.
posted by Talez at 9:09 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Yeah. Mass shootings are just another sport in America. Every time one happens, it's all about the numbers. How many? Is it a new record?
posted by perhapses at 9:13 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


The Cards Against Humanity stunt is interesting, but it's also weird that they just say "a plot of vacant land". So, like an eighth of an acre, or 100 acres?
posted by bongo_x at 9:22 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


The stunt can make some headlines and get some viral attention going, I guess. It's a statement, at least. But I kinda feel like donating that money to a group like the International Rescue Committee or some other refugee aid group might have done some actual good, y'know?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:48 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


They need to pass something or the pretty, pretty Koch money dries up,

Which is the end of the party. It's an existential vote. It wouldn't matter if it was about killing kittens, it will pass.

Or so the big donors would have the R's think. But what else are they going to do, try to invade the democratic party next? They already tried rebuilding from inside with the tea party. They aren't really going to pull the money, because they like the influence they do have.
posted by ctmf at 9:52 PM on November 14 [8 favorites]


Wisconsin state senator Sheila Harsdorf just resigned to accept Walker's appointment to head DATCP. There will be a special election to fill the WI-10 vacancy (nominations must be in by Nov. 21, primary on Dec. 19, election on Jan. 16.). She crushed her 2016 opponent 63-36, but given the Dem surge, who knows?
posted by Jpfed at 10:14 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI and Law Enforcement has arrived.

I know parsing his tweets is a ridiculous waste of time but this phrasing really makes it sound like he's warning Sutherland Springs to watch out because the FBI and law enforcement have arrived.
posted by greermahoney at 10:15 PM on November 14 [70 favorites]


I’m saying that as a middle-income American, I’m happy to pay my fair share of taxes,

Right, and so am I. And we still get to. And the billionaires are not, and they won't have to. It's win/win, really.
posted by ctmf at 10:22 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


scaryblackdeath: The stunt can make some headlines and get some viral attention going, I guess. It's a statement, at least. But I kinda feel like donating that money to a group like the International Rescue Committee or some other refugee aid group might have done some actual good, y'know?

Alright then, 30 bucks it is. Gotta diversify, dontcha know.
posted by onehalfjunco at 10:24 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


How are Republicans going to simultaneously make the following arguments without exploding in a supernova of hypocrisy:

1) The middle class gets a bunch of tax relief because the sunsets are nothing but an accounting gimmick to pass the Byrd Bath, and they will surely be made permanent.
2) The tax cuts don't explode the debt and deficit because they sunset.

HOW. HOW CAN YOU ARGUE THESE THINGS AT ONCE. OH GOD I THINK I AM BROKEN.
posted by Justinian at 10:28 PM on November 14 [32 favorites]


How are Republicans going to simultaneously make the following arguments without exploding in a supernova of hypocrisy

They’ve had decades of practice.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:32 PM on November 14 [20 favorites]


> HOW CAN YOU ARGUE THESE THINGS AT ONCE.

Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:33 PM on November 14 [25 favorites]


How are Republicans going to simultaneously make the following arguments without exploding in a supernova of hypocrisy:

Little known secret. This is the power source for the Tardis.
posted by michswiss at 10:44 PM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Depressingly widely known fact. This is the power source of the Republican Party
posted by fullerine at 11:10 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Just say No to Make America Potterville Again. Just say No to The Company Store.

Also, if I'm reading this right, many/most people initially get a tax cut, but in the end all people get a tax increase. The end result of an historic tax cut (besides killing healthcare) ... is a tax increase. For all non-corporate persons. Dirty, inefficient humans.

Only sophistry that argues, among other things, This here gentleman need step aside, for he only wishes to molest and rape your children, whereas I a True Patriot will go the full mile and remove their healthcare to murder them dead, can hope to pass excrement this fetid.
posted by riverlife at 11:16 PM on November 14 [5 favorites]


This is the power source of the Republican Party

You wouldn't know to look at it but it's much smaller on the inside.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:47 AM on November 15 [11 favorites]


If the tax bill passes, I'm just going to incorporate myself and enjoy the sweet, sweet tax break. Rent? 3 squares? Cat food? To the one regular and/or daily business expenses of being me, ain't that right? And therefore deductible!
posted by carsonb at 12:52 AM on November 15 [4 favorites]


Re: SHS' statement on Omarosa, where she says " invite her bridesmaids to have lunch with her in the navy mess which all commissioned officers are allowed to do"

But looking over Omarosa's bio, I'm not seeing a Commission in any service?
posted by mikelieman at 1:46 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


If the tax bill passes, I'm just going to incorporate myself and enjoy the sweet, sweet tax break. Rent? 3 squares? Cat food? To the one regular and/or daily business expenses of being me, ain't that right? And therefore deductible!

I already have a sole-prop LLC. So, yeah, I guess I just get a company credit card, and consider myself on-duty 24/7.
posted by mikelieman at 1:50 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]


The "Apprentice" villain turned senior White House official brought members of her 39-person bridal party to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for an extended wedding photo shoot, catching fellow senior aides and some security officials by surprise in her bridal attire. The visitors loudly wandered around, looking to snap photos in the Rose Garden and throughout the West Wing, according to four current and former White House officials.

While it’s unclear whether she received formal permission for the photo shoot, at least some lawyers and other senior aides were not briefed in advance, the officials said. They quickly banned Manigault, director of communications for the Office of the Public Liaison, from posting the pictures online, citing security and ethical concerns.


https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/07/omarosa-manigault-wedding-photo-white-house-dysfunction-244640
posted by sio42 at 2:13 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


They quickly banned Manigault, director of communications for the Office of the Public Liaison, from posting the pictures online, citing security and ethical concerns.

That's some deliciously stealthy shade right there. You can allllmost feel the stiletto slip in.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:37 AM on November 15 [22 favorites]


This is like a scene where our hero gets away from the monster with three close calls, only to have the thing get him when he's two inches from safety.
posted by angrycat at 4:12 AM on November 15 [4 favorites]


Mother Jones: WikiLeaks Set Off an Attack on Our Trump-Russia Project—Right After Messaging Donald Trump Jr. About It
On the evening of September 20, 2016, WikiLeaks sent a direct message on Twitter to Trump Jr.: “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch. The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?”

“Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” Trump Jr. responded about 12 hours later. “Thanks.”

posted by PenDevil at 4:20 AM on November 15 [8 favorites]


I know we want Biden to shut up, but he's shredding on NPR right now. It's an inspirational interview.
posted by angrycat at 4:30 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


“Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” Trump Jr. responded about 12 hours later. “Thanks.”

I can't decide which is funnier, that he started off a written communication to a self-proclaimed radical transparency organization by claiming it was "off the record," or that the off the record response was denial of any knowledge of what was being discussed. Maybe he and Spicey had some discussion about just starting every conversation that way, just in case.
posted by solotoro at 4:34 AM on November 15 [19 favorites]


It's the "if you're a cop you have to tell me" proactive defense.
posted by Roommate at 4:56 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


I know we want Biden to shut up, but he's shredding on NPR right now. It's an inspirational interview.

Personally I don't want him to shut up. I want him to not run. He can be of value, just not be the candidate.
posted by chris24 at 5:02 AM on November 15 [100 favorites]


^ what chris24 said
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:03 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


It's the "if you're a cop you have to tell me" proactive defense.

it's like their understanding of legality is operating on the same level as your average third-grader's -- 'off the record' is somehow the functional equivalent of 'punchbuggy no punch back' or 'jinx you owe me a coke'
posted by halation at 5:08 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


Biden's NPR interview.

My crystal ball says his role is going to be elder Democrat statesman, something he's awfully good at.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:13 AM on November 15 [12 favorites]


How are Republicans going to simultaneously make the following arguments without exploding in a supernova of hypocrisy:

As others have said, it's their jam. But it doesn't work unless there are drooling craven corporate news husks nearby to provide the act a sheen of legitimacy.

Gee pa, it shore would be swell if the press asked better questions.
posted by petebest at 5:24 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


Here's my bold prediction: The GOP will become a defunct rump and the two parties will be Corporatist Neoliberal Third Way Business Friendly Democrats and (here's where I'll cop to wishful thinking) actual Liberal Democrats Who Believe In Things Like Labor and Equality and Equity and Maybe Even Unapologetically Leftist From Time to Time.

I'm sure there are plenty of Democrats that will find Koch money irresistible, and none of us should be surprised at how little laundering and ideological cover they'll require to receive it.
posted by whuppy at 5:40 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’

Please someone tell me they hacked the site and added an account with putintrump as the password. Because otherwise it's almost like they were asking to be hacked.


[Edit]

Nevermind, I read the whole thing and it's just to preview the content not the backend. It's still stupid.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 5:43 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]


I'm sure there are plenty of Democrats that will find Koch money irresistible, and none of us should be surprised at how little laundering and ideological cover they'll require to receive it.

'Democrats who aren't as left as me are corporate whores who will sell out to evil extremely easily, or are already evil' is a great way to start the thread today.
posted by chris24 at 5:44 AM on November 15 [26 favorites]


Please someone tell me they hacked the site and added an account with putintrump as the password. Because otherwise it's almost like they were asking to be hacked.

That was just a site password so that the press could get an early look before going public. The actual site itself (in terms of admin, DB etc) remained secure.
posted by PenDevil at 5:45 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


Merkel pokerface

I laughed.
posted by mumimor at 5:46 AM on November 15 [46 favorites]


'Democrats who aren't as left as me are corporate whores who will sell out to evil extremely easily, or are already evil' is a great way to start the thread today.

Honestly wasn't trying to stir shit up but whatever. I've got two Democratic Senators. One nearly convicted and one deep in the pockets of fin and pharm. I voted for them, but don't hold any illusions about their integrity.
posted by whuppy at 5:50 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


'Democrats who aren't as left as me are corporate whores who will sell out to evil extremely easily, or are already evil' is a great way to start the thread today.

It all depends on how evil the Kochs actually are. Are they theocrats who want to murder minorities, enslave women, and establish a white supremacist homeland, or do they just want ALL THE MONEY and are willing to ally with those theocrats in order to get it? Right now it's a distinction without a difference, but in the bright optimistic future it could be a distinction with a difference, and that seems like the best we can hope for.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:51 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


If I misinterpreted, my apologies.
posted by chris24 at 5:53 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


The Cards Against Humanity stunt is interesting, but it's also weird that they just say "a plot of vacant land". So, like an eighth of an acre, or 100 acres?
posted by bongo_x
"We’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built," the company said on their website.
I may just have to part with 15 bones for this one.
posted by yoga at 5:57 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


Maybe we can concentrate on getting rid of the actual Nazis before the leftist knife fights start up?
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:58 AM on November 15 [26 favorites]


The idea that the two parties will be Centrists and Liberals ignores the large swathes of Americans who are specifically racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic pieces of shit who want to vote for candidates who are specifically racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic pieces of shit.

So no. If anything, the GOP will be replaced by a party even more explicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic than they currently are.
posted by lydhre at 6:00 AM on November 15 [14 favorites]


it's like their understanding of legality is operating on the same level as your average third-grader's -- 'off the record' is somehow the functional equivalent of 'punchbuggy no punch back' or 'jinx you owe me a coke'

*sees latest news story drive by*

"Punchbuggy treason!"
posted by Servo5678 at 6:08 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


So no. If anything, the GOP will be replaced by a party even more explicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic than they currently are.

Agreed, but IMHO that dooms them to permanent crazification factor numbers. And a poor ROI for the donors.

To flesh out my scenario a bit (and I swear on my squishy Liberal heart I'm not trying to start a knife fight), whatever non-rabid, old school businessman GOP types remain need a place to go, but more importantly so does their donors' money. I'm speculating that there's plenty of pro-corporate room under the Dems' big tent for anyone, donors or pols, willing to shed their Kulturkampf and focus on the One True Religion of the Almighty Dollar.
posted by whuppy at 6:09 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


I scanned across the political section of my satellite radio this morning on the way to work. It is a fascinating exercise as long as you're up-to-date on your vaccinations.

About half of the stations made sense and spoke intelligently about today's issues. Discussing the pressure on Roy Moore, what the impacts of the tax bill would be on various groups, what Sessions did and didn't hint at. Then I hit the other side and the flames shot up. All of the Moore allegations are lies and are the Mainstream's war on Christians. Sessions needs to resign because he's weak and won't fight for Trump and prosecute the REAL crimes. Trump is doing a spectacular job but Congress needs impeachment because they're not doing their jobs and implementing MAGA and AMERICA FIRST in full. Callers saying, without a trace of irony, that Trump just needs to get the government out of the way so he can do what needs doing.

I think we're done here as a productive nation. The prion damage is too deep. There are good people in every state, county and neighborhood but far too many Americans are simply broken beyond retrieval by the propaganda streams. The Reagan mantra -- all government is always inherently bad -- has hatched all of its poisonous eggs and nothing short of a 1930s-level national crisis will produce the slightest shakeup of this.

I am reminded of my sister, when she was a teenager and degenerated into a hellion. She would do whatever pleased her -- skip school, steal, lie -- and then simply ignore the punishments as well. It was if she completely rejected her father's legitimacy as holding any authority over her, and that drove him nuts. How do you break that pattern? You can't just keep setting harsher rules and penalties if she ignores those too. Talking did no good. Yelling did no good. Logic and argument fell on deaf ears. You couldn't get violent. She was a minor so you couldn't just kick her out. How do you coexist with a self-absorbed tornado?

You wait for reality to shatter her perceptions the hard way. (Which is how we got my oldest niece, but that's another story.). But this is where we are with Tea Party America. Nothing is ever their fault or concern, nothing matters except what they want, and nothing is ever heard except what they want to hear. Reality breaking them will be less enjoyable since it'll be breaking the rest of us at the same time.

(And this is when women, minorities, LGBTs and such say Oh, so NOW America is broken, suburban straight white boy? Welcome to the party, pal! And they're right.)
posted by delfin at 6:24 AM on November 15 [109 favorites]


Here's my bold prediction: The GOP will become a defunct rump and the two parties will be Corporatist Neoliberal Third Way Business Friendly Democrats and (here's where I'll cop to wishful thinking) actual Liberal Democrats Who Believe In Things Like Labor and Equality and Equity and Maybe Even Unapologetically Leftist From Time to Time.

I don't see how this would work in practice. Duverger's law means that third parties are doomed, so you won't see three separate parties. Republicans won't be disappearing from the ballot across the country. There's a great incentive to take advantage of the existing party infrastructure to put forward candidates who actually win elections. It just so happens that those folks for Republicans are now often racist assholes. If racists assholes start losing, and Virginia results becomes standard, look for the Republican party to change direction (like recommended in 2012) and tack towards the center.

Nothing focuses the attention of political parties elected officials like losing elections.

Caveat: It could be that the Republican base is so beyond reason that they don't care about passing policy or losing elections, the Akin-O'Donnell-Mourdock Effect (maybe now the Roy Moore Effect) as it were. You see this potentially in the Baudrillardian Presidency of Trump.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:37 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


Yup. Note that I said explicitly "the two parties will be". I don't know what they'll be called, but I do think the Republican brand is so damaged that their name could go the way of the Whigs.
posted by whuppy at 6:48 AM on November 15


> Duverger's law means that third parties are doomed

From your link: "A third party can enter the arena only if it can exploit the mistakes of a pre-existing major party, ultimately at that party's expense."

Duverger's law describes an inevitable equilibrium, and I don't think it's hard to argue that the polity is not currently in a state of equilibrium. I think 2020 is going have a serious 3rd party spoiler tipping the result, and a return to a solid, realigned 2 party system in 2024. Aligned about what axis is the million dollar question.
posted by klarck at 6:51 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


Can we win back the House first before predicting (again) the death of the Republican Party?

They still control everything. Congress, President, SCOTUS, nearly all of the states. How about winning first, and deciding what to label the corpse after that?
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:52 AM on November 15 [76 favorites]


Triumphalism's a helluva drug.
posted by whuppy at 6:55 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


The Way of the Whigs. An epic novel of the 2030s in which two young Republican lovers see their way of life change when the lost cause they fought for -- screw everybody else -- falls into disrepute.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:57 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


So no. If anything, the GOP will be replaced by a party even more explicitly racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic than they currently are.

Even the deplorables want their trash picked up on time, their kids to have a decent school, and for the roads to be pothole free. That's how it's played out in Kansas so far. The state was happy to vote for the extremists until the extremists actively made things worse for everyone. The 2016 election showed a return to the boring, semi-sensible Republicans Kansas used to be known for.

As much as I like thinking about the GOP's imminent death, I think this will be the long term trend nationally for them.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 7:14 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


Can we win back the House first before predicting (again) the death of the Republican Party?

1. I can do two things at once, sometimes as many as three!
2. Thinking about and talking about the death of the Republican Party is what motivates me to make sure the Dems win back the house and every other thing that can be won.

We're fighting a war here and that means strategizing around the small battles AND putting all the small battles into the larger context so that we can plan how to win the damn war. The death of the GOP and anything like it is the goal, taking back the house is one of the battles and big one for sure, but not the only battle and not the whole war. Even once victory is in site and inevitable, there is still a lot of fighting that will need to be done. We're well aware that planning for victory doesn't at all assure that victory.
posted by VTX at 7:15 AM on November 15 [4 favorites]


Perhaps it's whistling past the graveyard, or grasping at straws, but the GOP's trying to stick the knife in the individual mandate is lifting my spirits about the GOP tax mess.

Repealing Obamacare has already gone down in flames dozens of times. The tax plan is already a turd in a punch bowl on so many counts. By adding their Obamacare mandate repeal poison pill, it is going to make it that much harder to twist arms to get their 50 votes.

So, on the one hand, part of me is ringing the alarm that the tax bill has become just that much more of a dog's breakfast. But then, the still small voice inside that urges me to keep my head up says that the GOP have tipped their hand, and they don't really expect this lead zeppelin to get off the ground. It's just kabuki theatre for their constituents and donors.

Still, I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch. There's always an asshole* that's just waiting in the wings to vote the wrong way.



*Okay, technically a synecdoche. Cut me some slack.
posted by darkstar at 7:24 AM on November 15 [13 favorites]


So the % of individual filers who see a tax hike under this plan isn't actually 100%. It apparently turns out to be 72%. Yay? The vast majority of those who don't see a tax increase make between 0 and 30k a year. So they are hardly paying any federal income taxes. Almost everybody who does pay federal income tax is seeing an increase.
posted by Justinian at 7:25 AM on November 15 [9 favorites]




Gee pa, it shore would be swell if the press asked better questions.

But that's work!

(see the Biden NPR interview, in which Biden's responses are great, but the NPR interviewer jokes that her reporter card will be revoked if she doesn't waste time asking him about running in 2020 -- and then Steve Inskeep spins his deumrral as a "non-denial denial." Feh.)
posted by Gelatin at 7:32 AM on November 15 [1 favorite]



I am reminded of my sister, when she was a teenager and degenerated into a hellion. She would do whatever pleased her -- skip school, steal, lie -- and then simply ignore the punishments as well. It was if she completely rejected her father's legitimacy as holding any authority over her, and that drove him nuts. How do you break that pattern?


I guess maybe don't equate the limited powers of a legitimately elected democratic government whose mandate rests on the consent of the governed, to the power of a literal patriarch over an unwilling dependent who has the pure drive to resist the command of Because I said so?

"the citizens should do what they're told, like teenage girls should listen to their dads" is about equally offensive as a message to the citizenry or to girls. it is probably more appealing to irredeemable conservatives than to anyone else and should exert no emotional pull at all on leftists or regular Democrats. every so often people here get into a good round of head-scratching on how people of apparently normal intelligence get to have a Libertarian phase without they had a head injury first or were born a sociopath, and this is how.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:34 AM on November 15 [24 favorites]


DPRK sentences trump to death!

It says a lot that my first reaction to this was to notice the awfulness of photos they chose to represent these two.

That's where we are now.

Foreign country sentences the president to death?: 'Oh, wow, he looks terrible!'
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:36 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


That is an unnecessarily uncharitable extrapolation from delfin's comment.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:36 AM on November 15 [32 favorites]


The Guardian probably could have gone right ahead and just captioned it 'Dumbasses.'
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:37 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


I hate to be this person but I'm going to remind people once again to call their members of congress. The switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. Here's an all-purpose script:

"Hi. I'm a constituent. May I leave a message for the senator/representative? Thanks. My name is X and my zipcode is Y. I'm calling to ask the senator/representative to vote Yes/No on Z. Thank you for taking my message."

That's it. You can fancy it up with a personal story but it isn't necessary. For the most part, the staffers are just taking a yes/no tally of calls. And for those with phone anxiety, it's perfectly OK to call after office hours to leave a voicemail message.
posted by mcduff at 7:38 AM on November 15 [45 favorites]


I think 2020 is going have a serious 3rd party spoiler tipping the result, and a return to a solid, realigned 2 party system in 2024. Aligned about what axis is the million dollar question.

The part of my brain that remembers living through the last several administrations is pretending a return to a solid, realigned two-party system is possible.

The howling anxiety part predicts it will just be Holnist Toxic Masculinity cultists and some sort of Zardoz-style one-percenter Galt's Gulch warlords doling out guns in return for food, while the rest of us shell rat-sized radioactive cockroaches with sharpened cat food tins in the ashes of civilization.

The more realistic part pictures a massive centrist corporatist party composed of DiFi-style democrats and McCain types, against . . . . something? A libertarian party tugging in the tea party chuckleheads along with the small gov folks from that end of the left?
posted by aspersioncast at 7:40 AM on November 15 [6 favorites]


Chrysostom: Dem GAIN for mayor of Albuquerque, NM.

A note on New Mexico: it's a blue state, and was called for Hilliary around the same time as California. Albuquerque is fairly progressive, with the outgoing Republican mayor went out and talked with homeless people to understand what they wanted, and hired homeless people to beautify the city, but the mayoral debates focused on being tough on crime. State Auditor Tim Keller, the next ABQ mayor, might have also done better due to a lot of positive coverage of state audits finding issues in the state (UNM athletics is the most recent scandal, but before his office was pursuing companies with unpaid taxes on insurance premiums totalling almost $65 million, and investigating possible procurement violations in the state.

I'm not familiar enough with his personal politics to comment on what he might mean for the city and the state, so here's local political analysis, which can be boiled down to 1) change in Albuquerque PD, which has a bad history of excessive use of force, 2) expanding the controversial bus rapid transit system in ABQ, and 3) signalling that the state is strongly Democratic, especially paired with the progressive sweep of Las Cruces, the New Mexico city adjacent to El Paso, TX, and indicating that the next governor will likely be a Dem.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:53 AM on November 15 [18 favorites]


I'm sitting in Indiana and just made my calls about opposing the Tax Cuts and Job Act (what a name) to the DC offices of Representative Buschon (R) and Senators Donnelly (D) and Young (R).

I got through to a live person at Represenative Buschon's office, but had to leave a message for both Senators (I am hoping their phone lines are clogged as hell with calls from people like me).

Please call if you can!
posted by minsies at 8:07 AM on November 15 [11 favorites]


"the citizens should do what they're told, like teenage girls should listen to their dads" is about equally offensive as a message to the citizenry or to girls. it is probably more appealing to irredeemable conservatives than to anyone else and should exert no emotional pull at all on leftists or regular Democrats.

The issue was not that my sister was a GIRL WITH GIRL COOTIES.

A mandate does rest upon the consent of the governed, yes. But a government, like a family's household, is a give-and-take proposition. There are benefits and responsibilities, sometimes unpleasant side effects, but at minimum a recognition of the fact that hey, this is where I live, and other people live here too. I don't have to always agree with them but I need to acknowledge that they have needs too, that I can't just do everything I want, and at minimum I shouldn't shit where I eat.

Every teen feels the urge to rebel sometimes. But a lesson of growing up as a dependent is that actions have consequences, and sometimes you have to accept those consequences. People who say "I don't like the government, so I declare that I don't have to follow its laws, but I'm going to keep living here" have a name. They are called Sovereign Citizens and they get laughed at and/or jailed.

We are at a point where a pretty good chunk of America isn't just disagreeing with everyone else but literally refusing to grant legitimacy to anyone but themselves. They want all the benefits but none of the costs, refuse to listen to (much less negotiate with) anything that doesn't fit their immediate interests, feel no moral obligation to treat peers as equals, and think that no rules or regulations should apply to them. And, like a teenage dependent, they can't be kicked out or locked up on a whim. Dad is a legitimate authority but not an absolute monarch. They are part of the family no matter how much they kick and scream about how they hate it there.

Clearer?
posted by delfin at 8:18 AM on November 15 [56 favorites]


The trollbot Twitter account that made up the story of WaPo paying Moore's accusers and then deleted the tweets and account when revealed?

Was pretending he was a SEAL who actually died in 2007 and was retweeted by Dan Scavino to "prove" that Muslims danced on rooftops in Jersey on 9/11.
posted by chris24 at 8:18 AM on November 15 [16 favorites]


@MichaelSLinden (Roosevelt Inst.)
Reducing the corporate tax rate to 23% instead of 20% generates the SAME savings as repealing the ACA mandate.
They could cut taxes for corporates just a little less, but instead they're cutting health care.
posted by chris24 at 8:30 AM on November 15 [61 favorites]


Delfin, there is a whole George Lakoff theory about how conservatives and liberals both see the country as a family, but what conservatives want from the government is a strict father, whereas liberals want a nurturing parent.

I get where you are coming from, but you really could not have chosen a worse metaphor, for a liberal audience. We don't know your dad or your sister so you are just invoking archetypes, for us.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:31 AM on November 15 [7 favorites]


If my last comment makes no sense try reloading- I edited to fix it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:33 AM on November 15